Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Kaisaan, Nov 28, 2015.
Colart Ward, the man from the past.
Aaomi Kazakova, the woman from the future.
The world was no more. It had been gone for years now and there would be no return to what people had once known. Warfare tended to do that, though. It was astounding they'd managed to crawl out of the rubble after the Nuclear Winter, but that was nearly thirty years ago and the world had at least started to come back from that devastation. Radiation pocketed the planet, entire cities, countries that were inhabitable, Dead Zones without hope of recovery for many centuries yet. The climate had changed, going from extreme colds, perpetual winters to extreme heats in the last ten or so years, UV rays a deadly killer from the atmospheres weakened shields, forcing those on the ground to seek shelter from the sun during the day, active most at night and always covered from head to toe in clothing if they dared venture into the sun. Food was scarce and a constant thought on all minds. Large game had died out more than two decades ago and the smaller animals were resilient and wily to avoid the humans. Predators were few and far between, but those that had survived were apex and no longer had any fear of civilization - there wasn't any.
Mankind had fallen into far more savage ways, survival the only law anymore. Warlords ran what cities still stood, their remains like bleak, crumbling skeletons reaching for the sky. Those who paid tribute to the warlord were allowed within the 'safety' of the cities and scavenging groups, raiders and loners made up the rest of the population without. The world was a harsh, unforgiving place now and few remembered what it had been like before.
Aaomi should have been one of those blessedly oblivious to how the world had worked for she'd been born into this one, during the second-half of the Nuclear Winter. She'd grown up in this time, among these people, immersed in the near-feral ways of the people around her and yet she knew the colors of a pure blue sky untouched by the purple hues of the ultra-violet rays that seeped through the protective layer of ozone. She knew the shade of green from grass and what a tree looked like as it towered toward the sky, leaves waving in the wind. She understood the concept of seasons, autumn colors splashed across the now cragged and barren mountains. She knew the glitter of a reflection on the surface of a lake extending further than the naked eye could see. She understood the noise and bustle of a city, the lights and signs and smells as millions of people came and went about their mysterious business. She'd seen the abundance of food, the ease in which it could be acquired. She'd viewed the majesty of an elephant and the shiver-worthy power of a tiger. She'd felt the joy of cuddling a puppy and the contentment of curling up with a book, a cat at her side.
She knew impossible things, experiences she'd never experienced.
It was perhaps that fact alone that had kept her alive for twenty-four years. With a gift of Foresight, a True Power from the Golden Age, she was a coveted possession for any warlord and it was in such a position that Aaomi found herself now. It hadn't been a chosen path in her life, but one she'd been forced upon, but it had kept her alive. Fed. Clothed. It had kept her from the barbaric acts of men who would see her with far less value than Koso did. The warlord viewed her as one might a prized, exotic bird, sure to keep her in her cage, but those bars kept her safe even as they kept her trapped. Aaomi did know the difference, though.
She'd tasted freedom even if it had never been her own. She'd seen a life beyond what she knew and she understood that this one was no better than glorified enslavement, that she was only as valuable to Koso in so that she remained useful to him. She knew he wasn't her friend, but she had little other choice. It was him, another warlord or the scavengers and raiders. She was not helpless, but Aaomi would be the first to admit that for all her wisdom, she was no where near prepared to truly take care of herself.
So she stayed and she Saw, and she kept Koso in power. And she lived.
Colart Ward was a man from a simpler time. He was a son of a farmer and helped his father clear the land, plant the seeds, sow them, and so on. That's not to say his household wasn't full of conflict but he survived the lodgings he had. When his father would die, Colart would inherit the land as his own for his sisters, Mary and Katherine, had no power to hold any estate. The Sheriff of their village made sure of that. The Sheriff was a man by the name of Gailen Ardin who sat too proudly on his horse and had much regard for common folk. He helped them all he could but the laws at the time were what he held highest.
He was from a town five miles from the nearest castle village. Many pockets of civilization ruled the world at that time under the careful rule of a Lord or King. They called it Middleton and it was one of these villages ruled by a Lord. With the permission of His Truly, they even put together funds to have a sign painted and planted by their north and west roads to signal their proud town although it was really just a speck against the world's true map. It was a quiet village where everyone knew everyone's business but Colart didn't mind that much. He stayed away from the main roads with their bandits and thieves. The Sheriff's men could only protect them so much. At least everyone in Middleton had a fire in their house, sturdy structures made of wood, mud, and stone with thatched roofs.
But Colart kept his focus mostly in the forest instead of by the well in his town's square where people, tradesmen and common folk, seemed to crowd. He wasn't an outcast by any means of the word. Colart was known and loved throughout Middleton as a kind and helpful young man. But on his own time, he kept a close watch on his village. More often than not, he would sneak out at night, climb a tree, and sit with his axe as if expecting an enemy attack from any of the bandits or thieves that roamed the wilderness freely. He was good with an axe, a simple hand crafted tool from the blacksmith in town. But Colart, knowing the dangers of the world, taught himself to chop more than wood up with it.
He thought his future was to stay and assist on his father's farm for the rest of his life until he found a wife and bought some land of his own. On one particular morning, his father woke him up before the sun had risen and stars still littered the sky. "Come on son," he said, his black beard moving around his lips and Colart followed him as any good son would. It was practically considered an offense to betray a father's wishes especially when he was the ruler of the household. "Of course, father," he grumbled as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes and threw on some clothes to follow his father out into the world. They walked for what seemed to be an hour in silence. Colart knew not to cross his father, the man practically twice his size despite his age of twenty and three.
They came to a clearing, one that Colart recognized where the brush and trees had been cut away by axe and scorched away by fire. He had been here once or twice before, either passing through or if he wanted to look up at the stars at night. "Father?" he asked the older man, cloaked in a brown robe with the hood drawn up. "Why have you brought me here?" Colart didn't dare touch the hilt of his axe blade for he had no reason to distrust his father but this area, quiet in the night with the stars above them, drew something strange from the man that he could not explain. "Father?" he asked when the man before him did not answer. "Why?"
"Aaomi, pet, why do you frown?"
The voice, deep and large as the man himself, came from behind and Aaomi did not turn as dark hands, huge upon her shoulders, settled there. Koso towered over her smaller frame, but the presence of the warlord had long ago stopped being a threat to Aaomi so long as she behaved like the docile creature the man wished for her to be. "What do you desire, little bird? Tell me and I shall make sure you have it." The words could be as good as a death sentence for someone else if that had been what she wished, but Aaomi only shook her head just slightly, her eyes intent upon the world outside through the sliver of curtain she dared peek through. The sun was finally starting to set into evening, bringing those most daring out into its harmful rays, but it was not yet safe to draw the ratted blankets away from the windows, for her to look out freely.
"I desire nothing. I am content."
Those large hands slid down her arms and Aaomi fought the urge to stiffen. Koso would not take her, that she knew, but that didn't mean he didn't desire to. It was only legend that kept him at bay, the belief that only a virgin could be a Seer, and Aaomi had been careful to play on that superstition over the years. It had kept her safe not only from Koso's advances, but those of his men as well for none would dare cross him in such a way. Aaomi knew that she was the only woman in this city who might walk around it freely, always guarded but never approached. She should have been grateful, but instead she only felt trapped and resentful of the condition that kept her from the fate of so many women. Yes, she wasn't raped, but neither could she love.
A blessing. A curse.
Like her Sight. Like her.
"Then why do you not smile?" She was being turned and Aaomi didn't resist, black eyes rising to meet the warlord's dark set. African, built like a bull, his arms thick as trees and his torso hard as rock, he struck an imposing figure made all the more intimidating by his many tattoos, piercings and body paint. He looked at her now like one might a great puzzle, both careful and frustrated, and Aaomi gave a silent sigh and brought a slight curl to her lips. "I am tired, Koso, that is all."
"Did you have a vision? What did you see?" Instantly he had taken a step back from her, expression eager and yet scared as well. It was that latter glimmer in his eyes that sent a thrill through the woman's body, igniting a deep, malevolent glee inside that longed to reign terror on the heads of those who had used her for so long. It was nothing more than a brief surge of false power, a flash of strength that could not be and Aaomi returned to reality soon after where Koso was waiting for her to speak. So she spoke and when he departed, having left a new garment for her on the chair on his way out, Aaomi knew there would be bloodshed soon after.
She rarely saw anything else anymore.
((From my phone))
Colart's father only stands there and looks around to the trees in front of them. "Colart, I have brought you here for a reason. Please respect what I am trying to teach you. What I am asking if you." He says no more and just pulls down his hood. The man's hair was long as Colart always remembered and tied back into a long ponytail. But his face was pointing the other direction so Colart could not see his expression. "My son... Do you know why this circle has been cleared?" He asked and Colart and the young man nodded his head.
"I do know father. It was because the land was infected and they needed to clear the land before it spread to the other trees."
The older man turns around and faces his son. "You were told that." Colart narrowed his brows but stayed quiet as his father spoke. "Yes. But in order to be the man you were meant to become, my son, then you must understand what is said to others and what the truth is underneath. You were told there was a plague but that was not true." He exhaled. "And tomorrow you will be twenty and four. This means that this circle won't just be a patch of burnt snd chopped down trees. It will be the start to an adventure that will change you as it changed me." He saw the confusion in his son's face. "Let's just say that time isn't as straight as we may make it out."
"What are you saying, father?" He asked and crossed his arms across his chest.
"Time travel, my son." Smiling, he outstretched his arms and closed his eyes as if waiting for a bolt of lightening were going to come down and teleport him to another world. But nothing happened. "It is a fantastic experience. Something you can never wish for... You could never dream of."
Colart took a step back. "F-father? What does that mean? Time what?"
"Instead, let me show you my son. Come here. And tomorrow you will be able to do this too. It has been like this since the great book was read from by your great grandfather, Colart."
"I... I don't understand." He takes a deep breath and sits down in the charred earth. "I have no idea... What. What are you? F-father."
He kneels down next to his son and smiles. "I did the same thing. Just breathe" he smiled, something that was very rare, "and relax. And when you are ready I will show you all that I mean."
The headache was late in coming, but come it did and Aaomi found the freedom of her night hindered by the pain that made her vision blur and her stomach roil as nausea threatened. She lost that latter battle rather quickly and groaned as she wiped her mouth afterward, doing the same to her running nose and watering eyes. A swish of water spat back out drew some of the taste from her mouth, but it didn't curb the renewed spinning her head was doing from standing. Or was she sitting? Yes, yes, she'd lowered herself to the floor now, but it wasn't helping the building ache, the pressure in her head and the woman realized rather abruptly that it wasn't the aftermath of a vision she was experiencing, but the forewarning of a new one - one that was certainly going to be a bitch provided the evidence already experienced.
The words morphed into a scream as the pressure behind her eyes finally broke loose in a flood of images and sensations far too numerous to stop. Aaomi clawed at the floor, desperate to find purchase as she spun out of control, another burst of sounds and forms she could barely identify or focus on flooding her senses, causing her body to convulse with the intensity before one scene made itself clear among the chaos.
Two men in a clearing, both kneeling. The trees around them are burned back, the earth charred from years before. The brush has been cut, culled and it is dark, the stars above more clear in the sky than she's ever seen them. The older man is long of hair, long in years and is smiling at the younger, something encouraging in his eyes. The younger is much shorter of hair, lean in build. She can not make out the color of his hair or the shape of his eyes, but she sense he is confused, perhaps scared, certainly frustrated. Beyond them, though, is an electricity, a taste of energy in the air that she can't identify.
It is drawn, though, drawn to the younger man, hovering, waiting and she can feel it drawing nearer, ever nearer to him as somehow he seems to summon it. Finally, after what feels like forever, the two touch, the man and the power, like magnets drawn together and the world flashes with light.
The vision released the woman with the abrupt disdain of a dissatisfied lover and Aaomi struggled to breathe, her body shaking, shuddering. Pain spiked through her temples, a natural occurrence to the black-haired woman and she clenched her teeth against the sob caught in her throat. No one would come if she uttered it. No one would care. So she swallowed it back and instead rolled slowly to her side, sweat slick along her skin as she forced herself to her hands and knees, slowly crawling to the bed on the floor, sinking on to the mattress. She curled into herself as her body continued to tremor with shocks and waited for the aftermath of her gift to pass.
And she wondered, not for the first time and not with the first vision, what the hell it was she'd seen and just what it might mean.
Two months would pass since the time Colart's father took him to that charred earth patch in the middle of their forest. He had seen, spoke, heard, and touched amazing things all from spectacular times. His father took him centuries into the future as well as into their past to show him of the book he referenced and how it had been passed down. Colart might have understood his father now and the mystery behind his trivial words but now he still questioned why he would be the one to 'keep the line strong' as his father referenced often. He had an older brother, one who was training to become a knight in the castle and live his days through honor and glory thanks to their cousins position under the Lord's rule. Wouldn't he have been the proper man to continue their line?
Over those two months he tried not to think about what he had seen, what he had experienced. He looked out to the field of growing grain before him and smelt the churned earth in his nostrils. This was the place he loved so why would he ever take himself away from it. Why would he ever want to leave? He had a family to protect for just last week he had caught a bandit trying to sneak into town. That man could have robbed his family, burnt his crop, or separated someone from the ones they loved so tenderly. He didn't hate the idea of time travel but he loathed that he was a part of it all. The world was not meant to be screwed around with. At least that's what he had thought thus far in his life. He was a simple peasant living a life that thousands of others lead. Why should he be so different?
So he went to that charred grove in his tunic lined with belts to hold his hunting knife and axe, his bracers tightly strapped onto his body. "Dear..." he said aloud when he reached the center of the circle. But he did not know to whom he was addressing such words. "Dear ... whoever you are." he started again and nodded quickly to himself as if to reassure himself that these words had importance no matter who they were addressed to. "My name is Colart Ward and my father is one of you... one of those time twisters. And now," he lowered his head gently, "I am as well." He wasn't sure if this message was just spoken or if it was also heard. "But what is the point of this? Why me? Why now?" He looked down to the earth. "My father taught me how so that when I was ready, I too could jump time. If I make a portal now, right here, will it take me to you? Will it take me to someone who can answer my questions?"
He was uncertain but he slowly shifted his weight from one leg to the other and closed his eyes. Then he knelt and pressed his palms to the earth and started a slow chant in the form of a song verse. As he sang, he felt a lightening start to make the hairs lining the top of his spine start to stand up, the electricity run through him. Soon his fingers were glowing a soft purple color and he kept his eyes shut, still reciting the lines. He did not know where the portal would take him or how long he was suppose to chant. Yet, he kept doing it until whatever this was felt right. Until it felt over. What he didn't see before him was the ground around him start to glow purple through small veins that he was pushing out into the charred circle. He wasn't teleporting himself, he was bringing someone to his time.
They'd moved since the attack she'd predicted two months before. The same city, but a different location. As long as the water source remained here and the food kept coming in, there was no reason to leave, no guarantee that anything better awaited them out on the wastes. There was only death there. Aaomi had seen it often enough, had watched people venture out on their own and never come back, and she'd seen people cast out, banished to the merciless desert that dwarfed most of the planet now. Most could scarcely believe it had ever been anything else, but she knew. She'd seen it if only in a waking dream.
She felt she lived in those dreams, those visions far more often than she did in the present lately. Her gift had grown, from sporadic images every few days, few weeks to an full onslaught, an attack almost daily, but such was what happened when a Seer reached their twenty-fourth year. Her kind, few and far between, the rarest of the rare, were not truly useful until they came into their birthright in that year. A wise person kept the Seer safe until that point and then kept them close afterward because they didn't last long after that. Aaomi supposed she could be grateful that her visions would kill her. At least she knew how the end would come and that she wouldn't have to wait too long for it. Perhaps it shouldn't have pleased her so much, the thought of her own death, but in truth, what life did she had to look toward? To forever be trapped here, nothing more than a crystal ball for a warlord who would just as soon as discard her if she didn't prove useful to him?
Death would be freedom.
Such a mindset could have been why she didn't panic when the first spark of violet energy appeared along her peripheral vision. It was night, true darkness over the city and she'd taken advantage of the cooler temperature and the lack of a vision today to enjoy it. Yes, she was followed by at least three men, but they kept their distance and Aaomi could almost pretend she was alone. The darkness just made the spark of power stand out all the more and she turned toward it, feeling a tug of familiarity she could not place....and then she just felt a tug. No, that was too gentle a word for too harsh a sensation.
She felt a tear, as if something were attempting to rip her away from her body and for a moment Aaomi felt panic, that natural inclination to fight, to stop the sensation, to survive but it passed. It passed and a wild curiosity the likes of which she'd not felt since she was a child rose up within her breast and the woman took a step forward, her black eyes flickering from one violet spark to another, noting with abstract fascination that they were growing more numerous and they seemed rather fixed on her, gathering around. The first one to touch her skin left a spark of quick pain, but it didn't deter her from reaching out for the next one like one might a snowflake, catching it in her palm. It burned, just like the first, and more started to gather soon after, swarming in a whirlwind around her small frame.
It was the sting of a thousand fire ants as she disappeared in the cloud, but Aaomi didn't scream, didn't move, didn't fight or run. She accepted because whatever this was, it was like her own power. It was familiar even as it was foreign and it wasn't like anything she'd ever known. That alone guaranteed Aaomi's cooperation. She knew her world, her existence, her fate. Anything that deviated from that....well, it was worth investigating, wasn't it? Such was the last true thought she had before the energy finally seemed to reach completion and Aaomi felt herself drop, a cold, sudden sensation that got a startled sound from her throat as her stomach jumped into her chest, a sound that was lost in the darkness around her as she spun out of control, nothing more than a rag doll in the wind. It all came to a halt rather abruptly and yet not soon enough and the woman found herself truly and really falling from thin air. The briefest of shrieks, reflexive, left her again before she landed on the ground, hard, wind knocked from her lungs.
Aaomi stared at the sky then. The impossibly red, orange, purple and blue streaked sunset sky and she wondered if maybe, finally, she'd actually died.
Colart didn't open his eyes for a long time after he stopped singing, his humming taking its place. The veins of the earth slowly swept themselves back into his hands that were pressed to the dirt and ash. He hadn't done it and he felt it. He knew that he didn't travel through time. There was no pull and push, no breaking up of his body and reassembling it in a different time. The earth still smelt the same underneath his hands and the trees swayed gently as he heard another breath beside his own sound into the small area around him. His eyes open but take a second to adjust in the dim light. The ground was still there and the trees, and his body was still in the same place. But there was something else, a shadow a few feet away from him.
"What?" He breathed as he looked upon this body. It was a woman's body and that he was sure about. But how did she arrive here? He thought to himself, clenching his fists then opening them. They were stiff and sore from his power but luckily that discomfort would pass soon. "M'lady?" he asked, scooting just a little bit closer to her resting form. "Are you...?" He rubs his cheek with his hand, the stubble scratchy to his fingers. She wasn't dead, was she? He moves over to her, not thinking about what he was doing. He reflexively kneels down in the dirt before her and moves his hands as if he were about to cradle her in his arms. But then he stops himself, his hands only an inch away from her waist and shoulder. He recoils, unable to bring himself to touch her.
Instead, he looks at what she has on and he wonders where she came from. He did, after all, bring her here. Perhaps his father forgot to tell him that part about their power. Their secret. It probably slipped his mind, Colart thinks to himself with a small smirk to his lips. Yes. That was it. Just slipped his mind. "It's okay, you're safe with me." Is all that he can tell her, unsure if she will awaken or not in the future. "My name is Colart Ward and I am a farmer's son. Don't be alarmed. You are just... well, you've been brought to my time, m'lady. I didn't know my powers allowed for such things. But they do and you are evidence of that indeed." He looks down to her, not knowing how much time had passed, he was interested to see her, talk to her, and find out where she came from. For some reason, he wasn't scared. Not of her or the fact that she was from a different time.
She wasn't alone.
Aaomi became aware of that fact very swiftly as a body blocked out what little light was coming from the setting sun and her body stiffened, drawing a harsh breath from her lungs as her muscles protested the treatment. It was hardly her concern right now, however, as her eyes moved up to the face that was looking back down at her, the glow from the sunset illuminating the figure with a golden halo that made it hard to make out the features. It was only when he spoke that she knew the person was a he, and the woman listened to the words without a feeling of panic, only absorbing the information.
She was safe, or so this Colart Ward, a farmer's son, claimed. She had traveled in time, that part Aaomi could believe without question even if she couldn't believe anything else, and if that made her strange so be it. She wasn't alarmed, not in the least. He hadn't meant to bring her here? Well, that was interesting. A time-traveler who didn't know his own powers. Interesting, indeed....but then again, meeting a time-traveler at all was astounding. They'd gone extinct nearly five centuries ago from her time.
The thought prompted movement in Aaomi and she sat up slowly, noting that the male beside her almost seemed to hesitantly want to help. She was glad he didn't as his distance let her get a good look at him without the glare of the sun obscuring her vision. What she saw made the woman blink and then blink again, her black eyes sweeping across every plane for the male before her, finally feeling some shock where the time traveling itself had failed to instill the emotion.
The man from her vision!
She would exclaim over the fact that he was real except she'd already known that. The fact that he was here - or she was here? - alive, flesh and bone, breathing, was astounding to Aaomi. She'd always seen the past. She'd never gone back to it, met those she saw and the realization that not only was she seeing one of her visions, in the flesh, but that she'd essentially become part of the time-line she glimpsed so often was.....staggering.
And she was staring.
Swallowing hard and sitting up further so that she was on her knees, ignoring the small wave of dizziness that wanted to grip her, Aaomi rubbed her palms on her thighs once, twice, before she spoke with a breath. "Glad to help. I'm Aaomi. What's the year, Colart?"
When she sat up, Colart moved backwards, giving her enough space to sit without him being right on top of her. "Are you hurt?" is his first concern, those hands still lingering in the air but not touching her. Then he focuses on her face and she seems... astonished? He assumes that it's because of the time travel. "Are you alright?" He asks again, raising an eyebrow when she continues to stare at him. When she sits up on her knees, Colart stays his ground but drops his hands. Then he sees her sway and a hand flinches but doesn't move to catch her for she did not need it.
"A-oh-my?" He repeats, trying to say her name like she had just done. "a-oh-me?" he tries again and waits for her reaction before he should repeat himself. It was a strange arrangement of sounds and letters in his mouth and he clears his throat before looking down at her rubbing her palms together. "Are you cold?" He asks, knowing he cannot produce her any clothing of her own. He focuses on what she is wearing for just a moment before looking back up to her. "Did you... did you know that I summoned you?" Colart asks with a concerned look on his face, his eyebrows knit down gently in the middle of his face. "I never... have done that before."
"Oh," he adds, forgetting already that she asked him the question of what year it's been. "It's the year of our lord," he starts with a sudden stop. What year was it? He ponders for only a second. "1389, m'lady. Are you..." he asks tentatively while looking at her clothing. "From the future or the past? You are under the rule of King Richard II. He rules these lands, m'lady. Have you ever heard of Middleton? Well, if you have ever heard of our little town," Colart was skeptical and he even chuckled just once as he said it, "then that is where you lie right now. We are under the guidance of Sheriff Gailen Ardin and a lesser Lord who answers to the King. So therefore we," he smiles proudly, "also answer to the King."
Was she hurt?
Aaomi quickly assessed herself for any damage. Her back hurt from hitting the ground so hard and her lungs felt sore from the same impact, but her skin no longer stung from the power that had touched her and despite the tearing sensation from before, she didn't think anything had actually been ripped from her. Coming to a conclusion that no, she wasn't injured, the woman kept the answer in mind to give Colart after he'd addressed her own inquiry.
He seemed rather determined to address everything but her question, though, and she watched him with some combination of interest, amusement and impatience as he attempted to pronounce her name correctly, asked her yet another question - oh, her hands on her legs must have been why he assumed she felt a chill - and then still another question posed almost as a statement. A brow rose, a slight quirk of a smile pulling at the right corner of her mouth as Colart finally acknowledged what she wanted to know. Upon hearing the year, though, and the explanation that followed, Aaomi couldn't help but feel her head spin, her eyes flickering back and forth, not truly seeing what was around her, rather calculating the time, the years, the sheer amount of history between where she'd been and where she was. And how impossible it all seemed.
She'd been quiet just a bit too long - or maybe not considering she had just been brought to a different time. Didn't that give her some leeway in how much time she might need to process? - and Aaomi made herself blink, made herself swallow, forced her mind to wake and her body to shift, having great experience in hiding her own shock and emotions from others. She let a calm demeanor slide over her expression and nodded just slightly, showing her understanding and then just as stoically answered the questions that had been directed at her.
"No, I am not injured, nor am I cold. I'm all right....I think." The woman tried for a chuckle that came up a little shaky and brushed her black hair back behind her ear, looking to the impossibly colorful sky. God, it was gorgeous! Black eyes moved back to Colart and Aaomi took a deep breath, her palms once again rubbing at her jeans, a nervous habit she rarely showed, but then again, she'd never expected to be pulled back in time, either. "It's pronounced Aa-oh-mee. Like Naomi....though, I am not sure you have that name quite yet in the 1300s...." Damn, she wished she knew more about this era. "I'm from the future. The 23rd century to be exact...umm, 2340, I believe. The world's kinda gone to shit, so I'm not entirely sure that date is completely accurate." Aaomi was making her way to her feet as she spoke, needing to, curious and just a bit scared as it really started to sink in that she wasn't in any place familiar to her. Even the trees were a sight she'd never seen before with her own two eyes. Only in visions.
"I'm from nearly a thousand years after your time, Colart, and no, I didn't know you were summoning me. Time-travelers have been extinct for near five hundred years where I am from, but so have a lot of others with gifts. All I saw in my time was this violet energy and when I touched it, it swarmed me and I found myself here. Frankly, I wasn't aware time-travelers could bring others to their own times."
Now....now she was just feeling curious, studying him just as much as he'd done to her.
Colart looked to her with a cocked head as she spoke. His dark auburn hair short enough so that the lengths of his bangs did not yet reach his eyebrows. He pushed his hair back with his hand as he comprehended her words just as she did his own. She was from the future? Well, he might have guessed that from the odd sort of clothing she had on but he swallowed and stayed silent as she spoke. "One thousand years?" He mumbled to himself as he ran his hand yet again through his hair. It shifted but fell back down into place when he let go of his scalp and put his hand back down to the ground. "Most of the women I know would not be able to count that high..." is something else he mumbled. Then he looked up to her and smiled gently as she stood up. He followed swiftly and held out his arms for her to use as balance if she needed. He wasn't sure how she got here or quite exactly what he had done differently from what his father taught him that would summon her instead of transport him but Colart.
"No," he answered her previous question about her name when they both stood on their feet. He was a bit taller than her but not by much. Colart's build was like that of a youthful tree. He had strength and muscle but it wasn't so well defined as to be noticeable from a far. Plus, the shirt he had on did nothing but sway this and that way in the wind due to its bagginess. "Well," he told her as he looked around in the direction of home, "no one other than my family knows about my time traveling ability. My father has it too and I suppose that's why I am able to do it." Unsure of what else to reveal, he closed his mouth and stepped in the direction of a small pathway through the trees.
Then he stopped when she described the sensation of her travels. "Violet energy?" He quickly glanced down to his hands. "In what form was this energy you speak of? Did it crack the ground or spin above it like a cloud just inches from the ground?" He turned to her, his brown eyes fixed upon hers as if she had the answer to a very important question. "My father--" but he stopped himself. How did he know she could be trusted? How did he know that she wasn't from the future and here to kill him and his family? Colart suddenly bit his tongue, the thought caused a strange sourness in the back of his throat. How could he have been so stupid to be so open with the woman? He would have to be on his guard, for his families sake.
"Well," he looked at her clothes again, "you can't... you--" He cut himself off and sighed. "I need you to know that I can't exactly take you strolling around town in that.." he motioned to her clothing. "If you are from the future as you say you are then that," he wasn't quite sure of the material her pants were made of or her shirt, "thing you have on cannot be seen. It will raise questions and suspicions towards my family if I am seen with you. The Sheriff would have you arrested and hanged for witchcraft if you even tried to say anything about being from the future. Do you understand?" He took a few steps forward and sighed. "I don't know what you are doing here. I don't know why you are here. But now its my job to keep you safe if I am indeed the one who has brought you here. Do... do you want me to try and send you back?"
His mumble was not as quiet as he thought, but Aaomi only smirked to herself as she remained silent on the manner and instead paid far more attention to what Colart was saying and not her surroundings. It was growing dark anyway, less light to see by and she was more than sure that there would be a great deal more to see than she could look at in one day tomorrow. Black eyes looked to brown, absorbing any information, storing it away as needed. So he was a time-traveler by bloodline? That was interesting. She'd heard about them, legends of them anyway, but had never been able to get her hands on anything concrete like some of the history books that could still be sought out by people crazy enough to still guard them. Most travelers were random, their gifts coming at birth, but not passed down through generations, just like those with Foresight. To hear Colart was one of the less known travelers was....fascinating.
And yet he didn't seem to understand anything about it, but that made sense if he was just learning. He'd likely just turned twenty-four, just like her. At least they had that in common....and caution. He was only just now exhibiting it, but better late than never and it showed he wasn't stupid, just....naive. Not an awful trait in and of itself, and it would and could give way to wisdom. He'd learn.
Just as she would have to. He was right, her clothing was going to make her stick out in this place and Aaomi glanced down at herself with some faint amusement. And this was one of her favorite pair of jeans, too. Oh well. Looking back up at the man watching her, the woman brushed her hair back behind her ear and started toward him, gesturing to the path he'd been about to go down anyway. "I suppose we'd better get me some clothes then, yes?"
She waited for him to move and when he did, started to follow, unable to help looking around at all there was to see as the light faded in the sky. As she did, though, Aaomi spoke, answering the questions that had been posed to her with effortless ease. After all, questions had been something she'd been dealing with all her life, often under duress. A simple conversation was not going to faze her in the least. "The energy was neither of the things you described, though, I suppose it was more comparable with the cloud above the ground. It was specks of light, floating through the air, gathering in one spot and when I grew closer to them, they started coming to me. Their touch burned, but the pain didn't last long before I felt myself being torn, tumbling, falling and then I landed here. It felt like a great amount of time, but didn't last long at all, too. I'm afraid I can't be more detailed than that."
Her brushed the bark of a tree, a shadow of a smile ghosting across her lips at the sensation of the trunk, of something she'd never encountered before, but had always dreamed of. "You need not worry about what I might say, Colart. I know my presence here has already disrupted time. I will not harm it further by changing things I should not - or at least I will strive not to do such. I hardly wanted to hanged, burned or tortured because I happen to know more than I should in an Age I shouldn't know it." She canted her head at him whether he was looking back at her or not and continued with some amusement. "As for me being from the future or not, that is not the point here. What you should be thinking about is HOW I fell from the sky unless you DID bring me here. Either I am a witch with my own means of transportation, or you did indeed bring me. I don't think it's in question that I come from somewhere else entirely."
And did she want him to send her back there? The question, up until this point, had seemed trivial, but now that she was truly thinking about it.....
"No. I don't want to go back." The words were softer, firmer. She'd never go back if she could help it.
Colart may have smiled at the mention of how she arrived at this time. The specks of light was something that he may have found beautiful just like the light that comes through the cathedral stained glass in the larger city a few miles down the road. But that was where the Lord lived, in that town, that bustling city of sorts that Colart has only been to on very important errands or to sell this family's goods on occasion. But the city took a day to get to once he oriented himself, headed off, traded, and came back after supper. So they didn't visit often. They had their town here that was enough for them.
Then he heard her words about how it felt to be ripped from her time and thrown into his. Colart's face hardened at such thoughts. He had, involuntarily of course, caused someone else pain and that made his heart sink in his chest. His eyes looked at her again and then to the ground. "I am sorry to have to hear of such disgraceful ways to bring you to my time, Aaomi. I am sorry if I am the one to have caused you such pain and agony. I have never experienced such pain through time travel. You feel your body being pulled this way and that but never burning. Never that much pain at once." He shook his head. "I am sorry to have brought you through that m'lady."
She brushed her hand along the bark of the tree and Colart looked at her with a cocked eyebrow. It was strange to him that she would act in such a way. Trees were abundant here and he would hardly think twice about them. Yet now he is looking upon a woman who was a millennium or so older than he. And she found the trees as strange as he found the pants on her legs. "I don't know," he replied and shrugged his shoulders, "I have never been told of anyone bringing a person back to their time. Time travelers are only said to have the power to move themselves through time, not other people unless a physical connection was..." he trailed off as he stepped through some brush and held a branch back so she could walk past him without being whacked.
When they came to the clearing to where the farmland starts, Colart dropped to one knee by the closest tree and looked out upon the acres of sown land. "Okay," he breathed as he looked back to the woman. "You'll need to stay here while I go in and take some temporary clothes of my own for you to use." He looked back down at her and grinned only slightly. "Well, maybe," he compared her body size to his. She did, given, have a bigger chest bust than he but his shoulders were broader which meant that the clothes he gave her would hang awkwardly off of her.
"My sisters might have some other clothing for you... but..." he licked his lips and looked back toward the house."Nevermind," he shook his head and itched his head before a hand moved toward his axe. He rested his palm on the side of the blade and thought to himself quietly. His other hand scratched the side of his face then his stubble. "You have two choices, m'lady. We can either make up a story and bring you in that house with me as a lost soul found in the woods or something..." he waved his hand, indicating they would come up with something a lot better if they took that option, "or we could hide you away until I find a moment to tell my father about you... well, or rather, about me and my abilities if it was truly me who brought you back."
Aaomi waved away the apology with little thought. She'd been the one to approach the energy, to step into it knowing it burned and if she was truthful, it wasn't the most painful thing she'd ever experienced. A mild vision and its aftermath could be far worse besides. No, the pain hadn't bothered her too much. If it had, she wouldn't have risked the energy at all and she wouldn't have been here. Still, the woman didn't explain such to Colart. He was being careful with his words and what he told her, she would do the same - especially since any information she imparted could drastically change the future.....or maybe she already was?
Now that was the question of the century. Was she meant to come here, already a part of history, making sure it followed the course that it should and therefore part of a casual loop, a paradox in time? Or was she going to be part of a consistency paradox, the future coming to change the past and therefore preventing the future? Or would she do nothing at all, simply spring back to her own time, nothing changed? There was no telling and Aaomi knew if she thought too deeply on it, she'd get lost in a jumble of thoughts that had no answers. Still, it was nothing something that could be completely avoided. She was here, in the past, able to change it if she chose to. But what kind of changes would come from her influence? And would the future as she'd lived it and saw it be better or worse? Would her Sight show her and would it be technically her present because she was from there or would it be future and this become her present? Could she even go back if the future changed, her own time lost?
Stars, she was developing a headache...and Colart was speaking.
Ah, the clothes thing again. Aaomi looked down at her outfit again and smiled just a little. Well, she did guess compared to him she would stick out like a sore thumb. Still, if she had to wear a big poofy dress with corset and underwire....then again, was that the style in the 1300s? She didn't know and the woman could see that getting frustrating as time progressed. Right now it was just an annoyance however, and Aaomi crouched beside Colart and listened to his options with careful consideration.
"I don't feel quite ready to face other people yet, Colart. If it is possible to hide me for a time, to give me time to come to grips with where I am, I would prefer that." It seemed the wisest course, especially when she knew nothing about this place, it's customs, tone of speech or ettiquete. An experienced time traveler like Colart's father might pick up on things like that and Aaomi was not ready to explain who she was and where she came from in depths to anyone.
"As for the clothes, yours will work fine and would likely be easier for you to get without suspicion. Do not worry, I am used to men's clothing and making do with what it provided." That at least, was not a struggle.
((From my phone))
She made her decision and Colart could do nothing but not at her choice. He thought her a smart woman even though he would never tell her such things. He knew his thoughts about her were right. Truly, he would have not given her an option but he had hoped she would have chosen the right pathway. She had to give herself time to become familiar with his time and his customs. This new environment, especially being in her past, must be strange and foreign to her. She will need to let it soak in before she started to meet his friends and neighbors. Even his own family. He would have not felt comfortable with himself if she had wanted to meet them. What a lie he would still have to spin for his family though. He shivered at the thought. Then he looked to Aaomi out of the corner of his eye then back to the field in front of them. Now he would have to lie to protect this time traveled woman who he, most likely, had brought back to his time. She was in his hands now.
"You've made a wise decision..." He cut himself off and bit the inside of his cheek. "Now where to hide you." He thought aloud and trailed off once again. "I don't recommend you stay in the forest. There are beasts and bandits alike out in these woods. They would find you a more than suitable prize. But -" he was searching the field before him with squinted eyes. "There are two options. There is the rafters above the barn and, well, I guess my own quarters as well. It's off the main building so you'll be able to at least have your own bed and some privacy. No one goes in there but me. You won't be heard as long as your voice is a whisper." He shrugged and thought nothing of it. "Both places are safe." His mind was concentrated on her safety above all else. "I will leave the choice up to you which one you would like." He took a step out from the line of trees and into the clearing. "I will be back with your clothing. Stay low and keep your eyes open."
Colart made his way across the field with those words and would return half an hour later with fresh clothes in a stack by his left arm. His right was on his axe. He had a dark black shirt and dark brown pants. He tried to find a smaller fit but this was the best he could do. "Aaomi?" He asked when he got close enough to the trees in a loud whisper. She better have not run off. He looked around the trees and sighed. Perhaps she should run off and do whatever mischief in his village and country but Colart did not want that to be true. He spent enough time protecting his village from bandits and now he did not want or need a time traveler.
Aaomi had not gone anywhere, nowhere but deeper into the foliage, into hiding and she was rather good at it. She might not have known how to fight or how to survive on her own, but she knew how to hide and she knew several ways to stay out of danger. What she lacked in physical prowess she more than made up in intelligence, her mind as sharp as any blade and always twirling, spinning with ideas and cunning observation....and visions. Constantly floating around behind her eyes, sometimes able to be ignored, sometimes too powerful to deny. With Colart gone, there was less distraction from them and Aaomi felt them push forward, eager to show her all about this new time, this new land, these new people. She might be able to hold them back now, but not forever and it was for that reason that she'd choose the rafters.
She couldn't guarantee she'd be as quiet as Colart needed, not when half the time she didn't have control of her body or her voice anyway.
For now, though, the images were just pressing, insistent, but not demanding, not taking over and she kept them there, taking the opportunity alone to look, truly look, at the world around her. Even in the darkness it was breathtaking and the quiet! There was such silence around her even as there was noise from the forest. It was a different kind of atmosphere, though. No drunken men and crying children. No screams or sounds of rutting couples. No coarse laughter and the breaking glass that followed a brawl. The smell of filth was absent and when the wind brushed her skin it didn't carry the touch of sand, of death. It was beautiful and Aaomi didn't know whether she should be thrilled beyond belief or terrified out of her mind that she was here.
Or maybe it was the thought of returning that scared her so. Would Colart send her back? If he did, would she return where and when she'd left or would the same amount of days have passed as she spent here? Would anyone know she'd left at all? If they did, Koso would not fail to make her pay for it and the thought brought a shiver to her frame. It was a thought she was not allowed to dwell upon, however, as Colart's return demanded attention and Aaomi rose from the ground to approach, noting the worry on his face in the moonlight, rather amused that he would think her foolish enough to just go running off. With what clothing? What food? What source of direction? What knowledge? She would be a stupid woman indeed to attempt such a thing.
But perhaps that was all he was used to. Aaomi WAS aware that in this time, women were thought of little more than accessories for a home, bargaining chips for a kingdom and tools to be used however a man saw fit. It was not much different in her time, so at least little seemed to have changed. Though, in her time at least there was an awareness that women WERE capable of more - men just didn't like it and tried to keep it from happening.
Stepping out from the trees, she took the offered clothes with a nod of thanks and then looked back toward where she knew the fields to be in the dark, nothing but the firelight from the house now visible as it started to glow in the windows. Black eyes moved to Colart, impossible to see in the darkness now. "I will stay in the rafters. I can not guarantee complete silence and I do not wish to be discovered quite yet, nor do I wish trouble upon you. The presence of an unfamiliar, unwed woman in your bed might not be the best impression to greet your family with when I do meet them."
Aaomi stepped from the forest foliage and despite Colart calling out to her, he still felt his heart jump and his hand moved to his axe handle. This forest was a place for bandits, gypsies, and the like. He would never venture past the time travel circle his father had showed him alone. Not without a proper escort of men with their broadswords and plated armor. But even then, Colart knew that the traveling party would not be safe. But then he releases it immediately once he thought of the dangers of the forest. They were on the edge by the fields and there was no havoc to be had tonight. The patrols would be in their full session and his village would be safe. Still, he knew he would venture out into the forest and find himself a tree to perch up in just to make sure his family, and this new girl, were safe for the middle of the night. He wondered for a few more seconds then brought his attention back to the situation in front of him. The clothes in his hands were coarse and unwashed for he hadn't worn them in a long time.
Before relinquishing the clothing to her, he thought of what her future was like and why they wore such strange clothes in her time. One thousand years was indeed a long time for change and by the looks of her jeans, the fabric foreign to him, he had no idea what it could protect her from. Perhaps a blade wouldn't be able to penetrate it as it does the cloth and linen that are on his body. Would she want to return later on down the line? He knows that he had asked her just a moment ago but he couldn't tell if her thoughts would change come the sunrise or perhaps a week or two down the line. She might be enjoying her new freedom but come tomorrow, she would be another woman here in a world ruled by men.
"They might, well, of course, be a bit too big for you but they'll do until I can journey into the Lord's town and get you some proper clothing. You wouldn't be able to leave the barn in the daytime." He gestured toward her face with his free hand. "You're face is a woman's face. I don't care where you come from but you'll be sure to get into trouble if you, as you said before, try to pass in a man's clothing around here. Even in my clothing you couldn't. You just couldn't." That was still something he couldn't quite get his head around and it didn't sink in until now. She would wear man's clothing? What? He blinked and looked down to the ground. He squinted and looked back at her clothing. "Well, come on, after you give yourself a nice change."
He looked away and turned his back to her so that she could walk into the trees and change her clothing. "Even if we're to be seen crossing the field, which is unlikely, I would rather have you in a proper clothing choice. It would suit me better if I have to talk my way out of why you're here." He wondered what her future looked like again and if all women in her time could have the option of dressing like men. Would they act like men as well? He chuckled at such a thought but kept his head down once they started to cross the open field. "Can you read?" He asked, only knowing a few words himself. "Well, I suppose that it might be hard for you to read our language. It's English but ... I'm not sure if you have the same tongue that we do." He shrugged and quickly started his way across the field and to the barn. Immediately, he opened up the door and shoved her in when they reached it.
"So I'll see you tomorrow," he added while keeping the door ajar and looking out for anyone who might be on their way to the barn. "yeah?" He cleared his throat then shook his head. "No, I mean, you should be hungry, hm? Would you like me to steal some bread and bring it to you?" Colart held his hand to the door and readied to shut it if someone was sighted. "The rafters are up there," he gestured to the top of the barn, "And there is some straw. I can bring you a blanket. You should start thinking of a name for yourself. How about we think of that first. Aaomi can hardly pass as a name here. Unless you would like to be some foreigner. Yes." he smiled. "Yes, that's a fantastic idea. You can be from a land far away if we ever present you to anyone then your ... your situation can be explained. Your lack of knowledge for customs and such."
Why he was so very focused on her clothing was beyond Aaomi at the moment. In time she would truly think about it and come to understand that to wear men's clothing was to say she felt herself on equal standing with a man and in his time that just wasn't proper at all, but for the moment she didn't think on it at all and merely listened to Colart speak about something she didn't feel mattered at all. They were clothes, nothing more and when he turned away, she silently undressed and then slipped on the new ones. They were indeed coarse from disuse, but where they'd not been washed in a while and smelled a bit musty, they were not actually dirtied in the same sense the clothes he himself wore were. They would be, in time, but Aaomi would deal with that problem later. She could be grateful she wasn't close to her time of the month, too. What Colart would do about that if the time came was rather an amusing thought, but the woman kept her smile to herself as she turned around, her own clothes folded and tucked under her arm.
She'd kept her own belt, though, his pants likely to slide down her hips if she didn't and Aaomi had tied the front of his shirt to give it less of a baggy feel, the sleeves rolled up to her elbows. It was as good as she could get it right now without taking anything in and in truth it didn't bother her. He was right, though, she looked nothing like a many with her long black hair, curved features and noticeable bust, but she certainly didn't look like she was from the future now....unless one counted the piercings in her ears and the jewelry that hung from them. Aaomi would take care of that soon enough, though.
And she certainly wouldn't let her tattoos be seen, either, though, that should be easy enough as they were on her the back of her left shoulder and her right hip respectively. Not even Colart was aware of them for all his studying and Aaomi followed the man wordlessly to the barn, merely listening to him talk. Wasn't that what women in his time did? It certainly felt like it should be as he asked her question after question and yet didn't actually seem to want a reply, continuing on before she could take breath to answer. Were all men of his time so....perhaps not rude, but full of their own masculinity and its sovereignty over all? Would he like to hear any of her answers at all or was he just speaking to hear his own voice?
The thoughts were.....unkind, sexist certainly and Aaomi knew that, but she couldn't bring herself to care right now. Just as Colart seemed not to care for her opinion in the least.
Proper clothing? Oh, Aaomi didn't mind dresses and had worn some numbers that would undoubtedly seeing this man before her going red as a tomato for the scandalous nature of those outfits, but to be told that ONLY a dress was proper for her gender? Yes, that rankled, but again she said nothing, did not answer, not even to the question of reading. She could read, in several languages too, but Colart was already moving on to the next topic and Aaomi slipped into the barn, stiffening at the push, but again not commenting. It wasn't like she was stranger to being shoved around where men wanted her. She'd just rather hoped, very briefly, not to find it here.
Black eyes, now far more guarded watched the hazel set in the darkness of the barn and it was likely a good thing Colart might not be able to make out the frown on Aaomi's face. She knew he was risking a lot hiding her, helping her and she was grateful for that, but all the same, he would have done better to acknowledge her mood. The poor man couldn't be truly expectant to know that, though, and such was the reason Aaomi didn't lash out at him. No, her voice was utterly calm, factual when she finally felt she could respond.
"Yes, a foreigner might be best. I will keep that in my mind, though, I was also think of a name I can respond to should we need it." She gave a deep exhale and finally turned away, toward the rafters and it was rather eerie how she seemed to know her way in the dark. It was something most humans of her time could do now, their eyes having adapted to the utter darkness of the wastes over the years. Aaomi was no exception.
"I would appreciate the blanket, but food can wait until morning. Thank you, Colart. I will see you on the morrow."