Put more trust in nobility of character than in an oath.

–Solon

Truganini Returns

Thoughts of lust flow like water and blood winks and slaps against the tide.

I can’t even out what or weather patterns are signs of stability and instability.

The paradox of instability and stability. Experience is split so that is can exist. Everything is the same as nothing. Aum.

I breathe deep, close my eyes, and quietly hum “aum” again. Controlled perception begins to return. Why am I sitting on the sidewalk? Why does my back hurt?

My back hurts because I’m sitting against a brick wall downtown. No, I fell against it. Because… I need to rewind more.

I finally caught Ruby leaving work. I was able to trade some favors to get a picture of what she might look like. No guarantee, of course. Human beings are shape shifters, but rarely use it.

Then, suddenly I couldn’t think or stand straight.

It was like…

I look around and see her grinning that big toothy grin. “Truganinni returns,” I say.

She growls, “I promised I’d come back, didn’t I?”

“I thought that was a threat,” I return.

With that she leaps and tackles me back down. I land away from the wall this time. She’s smaller than me, but she also packs a lot of muscle and fat. She’s almost human, which is more than I can say for most of the animals around here.

“Yes. There is much fear in you,” she says in somber wise tones, with a furious scratch of her chin. My reaction must require an explanation. “Yoda?” she prompts.

I stand up and brush myself off checking my suit for damage. “Don’t tell me you spent your entire walkabout watching Star Wars,” I had to know time was better spent.

“Primus, less than 48 hours out of a few decades is barely a grain of sand, idiot. Secundus, dude, stop being racist. I was not undergoing a ritual of adulthood. I was roaming the world because you ‘had to find yourself'” she says in a mocking tone that was a terrible impersonation.

“I haven’t seen you in almost… ‘Decades?'” I almost laugh from the tragedy of it all. “You’re off a little there.”

She nibbles on her nails and footpads while letting me know I’m being judged. Just the right amount of times passes when she sighs, “Oh you poor baby. Still bitter you didn’t come with me?”

Oh, she wants to try and hold that against me? “I’m bitter you broke our contract to do it.”

She falls over in a flash, rolling side to side, like a cat wrestling a milk-tie, but laughing deeply. I prepare to eat humble pie. She’s got something on me.

Through laughs and gasps of air, she informs me, “We did not make a ‘contract,’ boy. We did not put words down where they can be destroyed. You and I made an oath under the sun.” She looks up, into the sun, which chooses this moment to come over the rooftop to shine on her face. “No matter how much you live among them or act like them, you cannot break an oath.”

Her fur shines black gold with warmth. I squint at the sun, too. Instead of warmth, fear leaks into my bones, chilling me. Heat is leaving me so quickly, it’s almost like Sol has a bigger role to play than I realize. Traitor.

Tru paddles over and pinches my ear between two small, though quite sharp, fingers. “I am not forgiving like She is,” I’m reminded. I feel her power crackling. She warned me, back when we made the oath, that it could mean my destruction.

Well. This is it. I’ve had a good run. The final sleep, perchance to dream. I…

Wait.

“If you’re going to kill me, why did you greet me with a Yoda quote?”

She snickers. “Kill you? Why would I do that? I’m going to make sure you fulfill your oath. Idiot. Kill you? Lucas, you do spend too much time with the humans,” she shakes her head.

“It’s Luke now,” I correct her.

After it’s clear the awkward level is too high for continues conversation. I make sure dirt and pebbles are brushed off. Then I notice a tear in the suit. Dammit. She breaks the silence with: “So, what’s good to eat with lots of meat around here?”

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