Friday, September 19, 2008

Nepharia and Havok -- Leg 1

I must admit that the drive from the school parking lot to Moosejaw was undoubtedly the most boring trip I've ever had. Thankfully Havok drove the entire way so I could nap while he droned on about himself and his older brother, Cyclops.

The only excitement we had was when we stopped for gas. Our first fill-up was in some small town in Michigan. Since Havok is a mutant and obviously more competent that I am, he felt it was only fitting that he should fill up the tank.

I guess he wasn't paying attention to the price, because when he went to get the receipt from the pump, he howled with rage. I immediate jumped across the car to the driver's side and started the engine – driving it quickly out of harms way.

I looked in my rear-view mirror and all I saw was this:

I saw Havok emerge from the flames brushing the soot from his suit. Walking to the SUV, he quietly opened the passenger door and climbed into the cab.

"Subtle," I said.

"Here's the gas receipt for our reimbursement forms," he commented casually, placing the receipt in the ash tray. "Xavier's a stickler for paperwork."

I just nodded and put it into gear to begin the next leg on our trip.

Mooselodge… Moosehead… Moosejaw… whatever it's called… is a nowhere little town in Saskatchewan. Getting out of the Expedition I looked around momentarily at the landscape: it would be the perfect place to get lost. The air was crispy chilly and had the hinting smells of Fall. I turned to Havok.

"Would you prefer the Claw or Saw option on this leg?" I asked.

He straightened up and smirked. "Claw," he answered.

"Good, let's go find the tribal seat for the Athabaskan tribal elder," I answered.

His jaw dropped in surprised. "What!?" he exclaimed. "You're going to make me find my place in the universe? Ugh!"

"Shut up and get in the car," I said, climbing in the cab. He stomped over to the SUV and got in. Sitting next to me he put his hands on the wheel and thought a moment.

"Ok, but I’m doing so under protest," he said.

"Fine," I said, "and noted. Start the car and let's go."

After wandering around for hours (because Havok wouldn't stop and ask for directions) we finally found the Athabaskan tribal seat in the area.

The tribal elder did not look very pleased to see me.

"C'mon, this guy isn't going to help us," Havok said, pulling on my arm.

I shrugged him off and stepped over to the elder. I wasn't exactly sure how to address an elder, so I talked to him as I did my own master.

"My Lord," I began, the words nearly sticking in my throat: it had been a long time since I'd had to speak them to anyone out. "I have driven here with my companion all the way from New York to seek your wisdom and ask to be allowed a vision quest."

He eyed me suspiciously and then turned to Havok. "Why have you come?"

"Well…," Havok began and then rambled on for hours about this and that and how we were actually on a race and that he was a mutant and I was not – it was totally amazing what he went on about.

At last, Havok fell silent. The elder turned to me, unfazed by Havok's story. "You said you drove all the way here with him?"

"Yes, many hours," I answered. The elder looked back and forth between us.

"My Daughter," he said, "the feat of patience you exhibited while traveling with him is clearly a sign that you are indeed worthy of a vision quest."

The elder then turned back to Havok and said of him, "You shall go with her to learn more of her ways of patience and long suffering."

Havok rolled his eyes and looked at me in disgust. "Gee thanks," he said. "I was hoping to hang out back in Moosejaw and explore the local pubs."

"Well," I began, "you'll just have to do that after we've finished the quest, won't you now?"

We were taken to the shaman, stripped to our undergarments, and put into the sweat lodge to purify our souls. I believe they finally decided our souls had been purified enough when Havok finally quit talking – I think he passed out from the heat. I almost asked to be left in there just to get some peace, but then remembered that we were still trying to win a race.

After purifying our souls, we were sent out with whatever we could easily carry into the wilderness. It was clear to me that Havok had never done any real camping when he was young.

"We have to sleep on the ground?"
"What are we going to eat?"
"You want me to drink water that hasn't been purified first?"
"How do you know where we are?"

It got a little tiresome. Against my better judgment, I tried to get him preoccupied.

"Listen," I began finally, "rather than complaining, why not start us a fire for camp?"

Fire indeed. I did ask for it.

"Nice, huh?" he said as he gazed at his handiwork.

"I don't think the forestry service is going to be very happy about this," I answered, gesturing at what looked to be a 60 foot spruce tree in full flame. "I don't suppose you have anything for fire suppression in that mutant costume of your?"

"I just make the fires," he said. "I thought you were supposed to put them out?"

"I'm a Sith Lord – about all I could do is cut it down with my light saber," I answered, giving him as sithly a glare I could manage. "I've also considered a few other things I can do with my light saber as well."

"You just said. . . ." he started up again.

"Yeah, yeah. Forget what I said," I interrupted. I finally stepped forward and managed to throw up a force shield around the tree so that it did not catch the surrounding forest on fire. It did not take long before the oxygen within the shield ran out and the fire quickly died down.

I started to turn to say something snide to Havok, but saw him looking off behind me. I turned to see what he was looking at and ended up missing a step. I found myself heading to the ground.

I woke up at the Jedi Academy. "Come on, Meridi!" a voice insisted. Looking up I saw it was another initiate I had spent a lot of time with when I trained at the Academy. She left me behind, running to our next class.

I just stood in the hallway, watching the frenzied students move around me. Finally, it cleared out and I was left alone.

"Initiate Meridi."

I turned and saw Master Yoda behind me.

"Yes, Master Yoda?" I said, confused by what I was experiencing.

"In class, are you not supposed to be?" he asked.

I looked around me and knew that, as an initiate, I should be. "No, Master Yoda," I answered. "I'm not even supposed to be here."

"The will of the Force it is that you should be," he said.

"No," I answered. "The Force is wrong."

He cocked his head in question. "Elsewhere should you be?" he asked.

"I am Sith," I said, knowing where my path would lead me.

"Sure are you?" he asked. It all seemed so real and I found myself doubting what I thought was reality.

"Master Yoda," I began, "Where am I?"

"That, Meridi, find out, you must," he answered, then turned and waddled off down the corridor.

I stood watching him go.

Nepharia. I heard. Nepharia, I heard again, as if it were coming from a great distance.

"She's coming to,"

I opened my eyes and saw several people standing over me.

"How did I get here?" I asked, groggily.

"Your companion carried you here," the tribal elder said. "I now know why you allow him to travel with you: aside from being a total idiot, he is also a faithful servant."

I sat up and looked around.

"So did you learn anything on this journey?" the shaman asked me.

"I learned…" I began, "…that I can choose my place in the universe. And that I also have a race to win." I stood up and looked for Havok: as big a dolt as he was, he seemed to have turned into an asset.

"Are you ready?" he asked.

"Let's go," I answered.

We climbed into the cab of the Expedition and we consulted the map Xavier had given us to reach the Pit Stop.

"Isn't that an oil change place?" Havok asked.

"Yeah," I answered. "We must be due for a change. Punch it, Chewy."

Havok tore out of the gravel parking area of the tribal seat to head off to the Pit Stop back in Mooselodge… Moosehead… Moosedung… Moose Jaw….


Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

Jon's a stickler for paperwork?

Hey keep me out of this I am not involved no way no how thank you.

captain koma said...


So you're like not bad and not good.

Thats like so much of a reveal to your character.

Hey where's simon's comments?

Henchman432 said...

Nice too see there, Nepharia.

@Koma, I think Simon is going to post instead.

captain koma said...

Simons getting lazy in his old age.

Professor Xavier said...

Havok has got some issues. Quick thinking with getting that fire out.Nice job.

Nathan Petrelli: Bleeding To Death said...

I've actually had the exact same reaction to gas prices...

Are we supposed to have character growth, in these challenges? Sure it's interesting to read, but certainly not fair to any decidedly shallow characters that may be around...not talking about myself of course. I'm as deep as the ocean...uh huh....

Anonymous said...

nice to see you again

(devilish smile)