Catalyst

Pack Goldmane
Aesalif Goldmane


I remember that first night I got drunk. I guess once my body started, it knew how to find it’s way to what little peace it could get. The drink finally gave me the energy to do what I had been considering for a long time. Turns out it only really takes resolve and some crazy to kill yourself. I knew the best way to do it as well, so nobody would be too disappointed in me.
I’m not really sure why they let me out on patrol that morning. I had been up all night, drinking all night. I must have looked like shit. I suppose they were just so relieved to finally see me up and about that they didn’t much care.
Being out on patrol was hard. I was twitchy and my pleasantly numbing state of inebriation was ebbing. When I finally found a mordok, I lit into it despite orders. I meant to get killed by that thing, you know. Either it was too weak, or there was some spark left in me that didn’t want to give up, not yet. I beat that thing. There was no finesse, no sword play. I hacked at it, my arms driven by rage, my eyes blinded with tears, and my mind consumed by an unnatural glee at the carnage I was creating.
When I finally came back to myself, I couldn’t recognize the pile of offal at my feet, and my packmates were staring at me. It wasn’t with respect neither.

I kept drinking, and I kept trying to get myself killed. I really don’t know how I managed to fail at that, I really wasn’t trying to save myself. I got fucked up, sure, but I healed up nicely. How perverse it was. Some of them tried to get me to stop drinking so much, but I couldn’t, not at that point. Wouldn’t. It was the only way I could sleep anymore, and it had become my crutch.
He tried to reason with me, but I just threw his words back in his face. The more I argued with him, the more poisonous my words got. With anybody. I’m pretty sure there was talk about throwing me out, especially since everyone afterward so vehemently denied it. I was half near a mad animal, savaging myself and anyone who tried to help me.
Everyone, except her. Gaia bless and damn her.
Somehow she pulled me out of the grave I was digging for myself. Believe me, I didn’t want to go. It was surprisingly comfy down there, and I didn’t have to dream. I kinda was like a project for her, by helping me, she was helping herself. We had both lost our families and mates, lost everything. I guess sharing our pain made it a bit easier to bear. I still murdered every filthy mordok I could get my hands on. I wasn’t trying to get myself killed anymore, just relieving some of the pent up emotions I had.

I think that’s why we never really realized what changes were happening around us. We were too wrapped up in our own tragedies to see the one unraveling in the world at large.
We argued about it a lot, late at night when we were alone. It didn’t seem right, it didn’t feel right. I would have been first in line to tear apart some colonists, believe me, but there are lines, you know? I couldn’t really figure out what to do, but when they started killing mothers and children? No fucking way. I won’t do that.

Both of us nearly died. She was almost killed in a duel, by that by that overly fanged macho mute who cost us our revenge for our families. I was nearly killed by our erstwhile packmates. They did a number on my leg, fucked it up real good. Funny how the one real injury I ever took was from former friends, not from me trying to die. Shit.

We shacked up with the western Watchwolves. They took care of us, got us back on our feet. It’s just that I couldn’t walk right anymore. Can’t really run, and no more fighting, that’s for sure.
She did good. Still angry, just like she always was. But she made friends, in her own way. Got some purpose, and she liked that. It suited her. She started going of more and more, missions and shit. I had to stay behind. I slow everyone down, you see. I was just a causality, a burden. I had to watch them going out time and again, while I grubbed in the fucking dirt. I couldn’t drink either, they wouldn’t let me. She had warned them, see. I really didn’t know what to do with myself. I couldn’t carve, not like I used to, before all this happened. My hands shook too much. Made it hard to do much of anything useful, really. It made me mad. Real mad. Sometimes i wasn’t sure if I was shaking because of my drinking problem, or because I was so damn pissed. I felt so damn useless, and pushed to the side. I didn’t want anyone’s help. For anything. I’d try until I’d near hurt myself again. i wanted to be independent, but it seems like I never will.
Didn’t near hurt as much as watching her grow away though.
She deserved it. After everything she had gone through, she deserved some happiness, some purpose. There was no need for her to get dragged down with me. I mean, what use does the Great Wolf have for a crippled, alcoholic, has been warrior like me? She tried to argue that, but we both knew it was true.

I feel really bad, walking out on her. I left behind my oath ring, so she’d know. So she could move on, and have that better life. I wasn’t going to get better, probably never will at this rate. I left behind everything. I want to say it’s like being reborn, but it’s not. Now I just get to be alone with my thoughts. Maybe I’ll get my wish, and some lucky mordok will catch me out. Maybe I’ll be doomed to limp on these dusty roads for years to come. With my luck, I’ll probably trip and break my good leg.
I’m don’t really know where I’m going to go, but that doesn’t really matter much anymore.

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