Interlude II

Interlude II

Fatherly Concern

            I awoke to the sound of knees hitting the hardwood floor. I was so tired that I had missed it- Dantia had another one of her episodes and was slumped near the window. Every night this happened and I did not think she was aware of it. I was not sure what caused this phenomenon, but she seemed to have been afflicted with it long before we had met.

I pushed back the blankets and moved out of bed so that I could walk over to her prone form. Usually I would be up and ready to catch her by the time she collapsed, before whatever possession released its hold on her. She was still on her knees with her forehead pressed against the sill of the window. I examined her to make certain that she did not harm herself before I cradled her form in my arms and carried her back to her bed. I did not concern myself with accidentally awakening her, as I knew she was a very heavy sleeper.

I placed her on the bed and drew the covers firmly over her, resting the edge close to her neck. Then, I brushed back the cumbersome golden brown strands she stubbornly allowed to obscure her face. The ear hugger soon became visible and glinted in the moonlight.

I was well aware that she was once a pirate- or rather, she was associated with them somehow. The citizens of Port Sibest told me as much when I had taken her under my care. Before I was exiled, Sibest and most of the coastal cities on this continent were within my territory, so I knew about the occasional pirate raids they have suffered in the past. It was no disclosure to discover that they had alienated Dantia simply because of her former alliances, though they were in the wrong to condemn a child.

No matter her connection, I did not believe she was a pirate by choice. She was most likely born into it or had a caretaker who took on pirating as a profession. I could not see her actually taking part in the raids, nor would she understand the damage her companions have caused- I would sooner believe that she merely helped guard the ship and remained ignorant to most of their dealings. Regardless, there were two facts that were quite obvious: the pirates were a very bad influence to her character and someone had hurt her very gravely.

Dantia had little concern for law and order. She was raised to believe that most people were fools she could steal from and that it was perfectly acceptable to physically harm others. She would treat others as a pirate would because that was the only life she had known from an early age.

It seemed the only trait she did not adopt was a lack of concern for life. Even if she had to kill for survival, she admitted that she did not like enacting it and would prefer not to take a life. Unfortunately, she had failed time and again to realize that some of the fatal wounds she would inflict on her victims could potentially claim them at a later date. But if there were any belated deaths, she was unaware of them. Personally witnessing her brethren surviving dire injuries probably confused her ideal of human mortality.

I tried to recondition her behavior, but as with most young, the information I fed her tend to either get lost in translation or drowned out by her random thoughts. What little progress I had made with her was only through her desire to make me happy.

Dantia was quite a distant and rather cruel child, but she was a loyal and devoted companion to me. She was an independent girl who was capable of making her own choices, and yet once she found someone she cared about, she was unable to let go. She willingly sacrificed most of her freedom for my sake and I honestly wished she would not.

Her forced dependency of me most likely stemmed from the person (or persons) who had harmed her. There had to be a reason for her mistrust of humanity- I could clearly see that it had an impact on her social tendencies. One could not witness it unless they observed her for a long while, but Dantia was a secluded human who did not like social contact. She could sit in a crowded room and not interact with anyone unless it was necessary.

But, there were those who confused her attractive physical appearance for sociability and tried to force communication with her. She probably believed that humans were out to hurt her again and she did not want to allow them the chance. It was only natural that she would respond with hostility as a method of self-defense.

However, this is not true to those of my kind- she was more willing to converse with my younger brother and I without prejudice. I believe this was because I was the first to treat her kindly and gave her false impression that falucite were to be trusted. This is not so- socially, we were not so different from humanity. There were those of my race who would betray one of their own or even slaughter without a second thought.

Even though there was much I knew about her through observation, I had no clue what to make of her past. She was afraid to discuss that much with me, perhaps fearing that I would end up treating her as those from Port Sibest did. There was only so much I could assume, but I suspected that she had her trust shattered when she lost someone dear to her. When I had first met her, there was a pain in her eyes- one that I could easily identify as loss. …I would know, for I have suffered the same fate.

It had been difficult to lose my parents, my mate, and my daughter. I, too, have felt utter hatred and disgust with my elders, the Daedeleth, and the blind worship of the Fates. Had they ever bothered to think for themselves, my parents and Oria would still be alive today. Because of my feelings, I could not completely fault Dantia for how she felt about humanity. But I believe that her ire was misplaced- she should not blame a whole race for what happened to her. I fear that Port Sibest was responsible for pushing her to that point. She needed support, but only received cold shoulders and deaf ears.

I wanted to fulfill that role for her- show her that she was mistaken about her kind, but the damage done to her was very severe. All I could do was lecture her and allow her to live as she pleased. At first I had no intention of keeping her and I wanted her to be fully capable of leaving me at any time, but when she first started to open up to me, I knew I could not turn her away. I was the only individual she could trust, even though she would not open up to me completely. Before I knew it, I developed a deep bond with her that I did not think possible. I loved her despite her being broken and flawed.

In all honesty, I did not think I had the right to be a father again. Because of my past mistakes that resulted in my exile, I could not take my beloved daughter with me. She ended up leaving home on her own to search for me, but it resulted in her death. She was only seventy-four years old and her powers had not yet manifested. She was unable to defend herself from whatever attacked her… and I was not there for her final moments. It was ultimately my fault that she ended up in that predicament- though I agree that the elders shared some of the blame as well.

I was not sure what I was thinking when I bestowed that slip of a human girl my fallen daughter’s name. Perhaps I merely wanted to see her name live on in another, or maybe it was a result of the grief I felt. I could safely say that I had no intention of replacing my daughter. The human Dantia was nothing like my falcie Dantia, so in my eyes, it was like having a second falcie.

I watched my human charge for a moment before I leaned down and pressed my lips against her forehead- just as I used to do for my falcie when she was her age. I wish there was something more I could do for her to make her see reason. Dantia needed to come to terms with her pain and learn to forgive her self and humanity. I knew within the depth of my being that when she muttered obscenities for her kind, she was also speaking of herself in the same breath. She tried to act superior and even attempted to convince herself that she was above her brethren, but she knew that she was not.

Unfortunately, that was the only way she could cope- her posturing to the world helped her from falling into deep despair. I busied myself with helping the masses to forget about my pain. In truth, I had not given the clan a single thought until I heard dire rumors of the Daedeleth threatening to wage war upon my clan. Being faced with my past and those who had wronged me was certainly not easy, but I am fairing better than I thought I would.

It is in part because of Dantia- watching her slowly heal and grow helped fill the void within me. Having her around has helped me come to terms with a few issues and proved that there were some aspects to my past that were simply not my fault. I still hesitate to tell her much, but I believe I could someday sit her down and tell her of my family and the sister she will never meet. And I hope in doing so, it will encourage her to bravely face her shadows and confide her darkness with me.

The human child was considered an adult to her kind, but she was just as immature and brash as any falcie. In many respects she was very much like Satel and I did not find myself that shocked to see them grow so close together. I am not certain if anything would progress between them, but I am relieved to see her fostering a relationship with another being. I want her to be able to live a normal enough life and find happiness for herself, but she cannot do that alone, with only myself to keep her company.

I lay back in my bed and tried to resume my slumber. I should focus more on the coming days than on her, but as a father, I could not help but worry about her. When this matter is settled, I should focus more on her. It is time for her to see the world in a different light and be able to transcend her pain. We could heal together.

To the Next Chapter

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