Masking his pain, Link claws arduously to his feet and manages to look somewhat steady despite the fact that he is anything but. Strangely the hippy girls seems to want to be away from the garden as well and so she eagerly gets underneath one of his arms to help support his weight and together they tromp off through the woods. They get about a half mile before Link needs to sit down and rest. Pulling two banananas out of her seemingly bottomless bag she hands him one and they eat quietly for a bit. Not wanting to get up quite yet he asks her, “So just how badly has the garden been damaged?”
She looks bitterly over at him, the garden not being her favorite subject at that moment, “It is pretty extensive. The place where Sara lit the fire is nearly a compleatle loss. That is where the majority of the daffodils were growing”.
“As for the rest, well you kind of saw for youself the whole garden is pretty much in ruins. They dug up the bulbs, threw plants everywhere, what’s worse is that they poured bleach all over the place, so I don’t even think the grass is going to make it”
Link nods, “Damn they were really going for scorched earth weren’t they? Is that why you came and got me?”
She looks sullen for a bit, “I, I don’t know why I came and got you actually. I knew you would do what you did. I abhore violence, I really do. It seems to me that just about every situation can be solved with out it you know? I mean it all just seems so unessisary most of the time. But something snapped inside of me when I saw them digging up my plants and threatening both me and my girlfriend. I couldn’t take it. I don’t approve of your actions at all, they are against everything I stand for, and yet, yet, ultimately I don’t feel bad about what I had you do. I’m glad you hurt all of them. Just before I escaped, I watched them dance about the garden reveling in the destruction they were causing and somehow somewhere I got this glimpse. This idea that they weren’t entirely human you know? That they were some sort of cross bread animal creatures that have no sense of language of their own. Such vicious things. So I ran, ran to find you”
“I’m sorry, I brought this tidle wave of destruction down upon you, I wish I can make it up to you”
She smiles, “Well Link, first of all I’m not an idiot. With people like you and the blonde haired boys in the world still a life without violence is just not going to work. I knew that long ago. So I’m doing the next best thing, which is what’s happening now. I am going to replant that garden, you are going to help, and the next time this happens to me. There will be a next time. I know it. I won’t loose my shit. You won’t kick the crap out of 7 people, and hopefully my new girlfriend won’t slice up your face, and hopefully you won’t go all Freddy Kruger on us.” Link realizes that’s the first time she mentions the marks on his chest, confirming his suspicions that no one there that night made them, which means he went somewhere. To the white room perhaps? What were things doing in there? Despite coming close several dozen times he suspects that Sara never really intends to kill him or anyone else. The anyone else part she may not be so good at, but putting things in the white room is going a little far. Then again there are enough forces on the battle field at the moment that it is really anyone’s guess as to what’s going on.
Link’s interior sleuthing is interrupted, when the Hippy starts pulling him up again, “Come on you;’ve rested enough and we have more ground to cover, lets get your heavy ass back home”
They continue on through the woods for a bit giving Link enough time to appreciate the world around him. It isn’t often that the weather is absolutely perfect, but right now, as of today it is. Just warm enough to keep a set of bones moving, with a slight breeze to give the world that pleasant sort of windswept ambiance that no instrument can hope to match. Birds flit about through the low hanging branches and even the occational attack by the squirrel more adds to the atmosphere than takes away from it. For now the storm will abate. All side will have to retreat to lick their wounds and as a result the world is celebrating. They carry on for awhile and just before they hit the treeline she decides to stop again, “Jesus Link, what the hell are you made of bricks and lead? Jesus”
He shrugs, “I’ve developed a lot of muscle mass over the years, has something to do with it”
“Strange you don’t look very strong, I mean you look strong but you don’t have weird bulgy muscles sprouting all over the place”
“Yeah well part of that is my build, and part of that is that I do so much yoga that it keeps everything stretched out. After all flexibility is just as important as pure strength”
She blinks in surprise, “Wait you do yoga?”
He nods, “Yeah I know it seems strange, but man that shit works. I hate all the spiritual crap that comes with it. You would think that people would want to exercise without a god damned sermon but nope, every week it is some dumb shit. Eventually I just started going once every other month to make sure my positions were correct. Otherwise I don’t need or like those people”
She laughs, “I know what you mean actually, sometimes what they say is so terrible. It’s to much even for me”. The laughter doesn’t fade away the way normal healthy laughter does. Instead it dies, abruptly and violently. She looks pensive for a moment.
He looks at her trying to be patient but the ground is hard and he really wants to take a shower, “It’s alright just say what you need to say”
“Well after the insident at the bar I vowed never to speak to you again. I saw something inside you there that night, something so dark and, I don’t know, primordial, that I realized that I just can’t be around you. It was before you did your whole vilonce for violence sake thing. It was just the way you changed, the way you stood, the way you looked, even smelled. You were completely altered in there, like you were shedding your skin and becoming what you really are. Strangly it was only after you started punching people in the mouth that you began become youself again. As if coming to my aid and pounding some poor sods into the dirt let you put the mask you wear back on. At that point I felt safer taking my chances with the thing in the woods than with you.” She stops for a long while, and Link lets her gather herself. She seems to go very far away, her voice becoming almost sad and hollow, “But I see now that sometimes these things happen to people. I saw a woman I loved turn into an unspeakable monster, and my own views on life became so twisted that I could no longer hold onto my values and I went and got you to solve my problems. You the last person who’s help I wanted. In a way I guess we all become what she want’s us to. But I can’t blame her for everything that happened. I need to step up and take responsibility too. I was there after all, and I let my lovesick blindness get the best of me. I guess what I am saying is that sometimes we become things and we don’t mean to and we forget that we have control over ourselves. So here is the deal, give me your left hand”, from one of the pockets on her worn out green vest she produces a hematite ring and slides it on his finger. It immediately shatters into a thousand pieces. She smiles faintly, pulls out another one and tries again. It’s a snug fit and once she gets it on he realizes that it isn’t coming off any time soon, “Good this ring serves two purposes. One, hematite absorbes negative energy, and two they are pretty fragile. Now you can’t be punching people because otherwise you will break your ring and that will upset me. Now you have a greater incentive to settle things peacefully” Her smile beams with an innocent warm nurturing light that you couldn’t help but love, “Your left hand is for love. Use it well please. Now come on lets get back to campus, you really need a shower”
As they walk back he begins to think to himself about the things she’s been saying. A life without violence? More like a life with a future. He’s tempted to tell her things, things like the gun, what happened to Alex, the white room, and other things about him. Things that make a violence non violence binary almost impossible. It’s easy to wash your hands of a series of events and to wrap yourself in a blanket of idealism but at the end of the day sometimes you just need to throw a punch to get a point across. Sara hasn’t given up, hell Sara hasn’t even used up all of her forces of darkness. Even if she could be reasoned with, and he highly doubted she could be, the blond boys? They are something else entirely. Link suspects that hippy knows more than she’s saying when she accused them of not being entirely human. Individually they might be talked down, but when that wolf looking one is precent? No way. He is the key to many of the things going on around here, and he is a man who only speaks one language. He doesn’t care about life, about building something better than yourself, or even the petty war games of others. He is in it for the blood. Pure and simple. You can’t just talk to people like him, so how are you suppose to take responsibility for your own actions when your own actions are nothing more than reactions? Hippy didn’t choose to go get Link she chose instead to react to her situation, as a result Link reacted quickly and efficiently because that is what he does, it is the reason why she came to him wether she admits it or not. It is more or less what he’s been built to do, first by himself, then refined by Sara. He suppose he could proact, but against the blonde haired boys? He doesn’t even know how to find them, or if they can currently be found. Somewhere along the line he suspects that the wolf looking one appoched Sara and they made some sort of dark compact, not that Sara sought him out so that she could put him under her thumb. He suspects that the wolf looking one is the Sara of this geographical region, the lady in white, the golden lady, the bar, all these things have their own careful balance. Now Link and Sara are damaging that balance without understanding it. Maybe that is the way to deal with this whole situation without needing to punch more blond haired rednecks in the face. With most of his knuckles bruised it is a prospect that appeals to Link. Still now is not the moment to voice serious doubts. Well it is, and if Link were a stonger man he’d realize that.
His room mate is out predictably. He sends her on her way, promising that he can rebandange his own wounds and that letting her see him naked is a little bit much for him. Mostly though, he just wants some time alone. Some time so that he could take a chance, roll some dice and hope that all this pain, misery and stupidity could just go away. He can’t do it with her running around playing nurse Ratchet. So with new ring on his finger he sends her on her way with thoughts of suicide in his heart hoping that he never has to see her again, for he knows that unless he dies, he will let her down.
But the hammer hits empty and for one day at least life goes on.