Origins Scene-8

“We all dream of things we cannot have.”

― George R.R. Martin, A Feast for Crows

Dragon III

 

Khulan

   No one crossed the threshold of the Dragon Master’s home without his or his wife, Naran’s invite. Temür and Balad, the guards often ruined the happy mood of unwelcomed guests. Rose had no intention of crossing her Master’s temper with her presence.

   Rose waited in the market until she spied Naran and her handmaidens entering the butcher shop. Dressed in the everyday clothes of an unmarried woman, Rose blended into the crowd unnoticed. She went into the butcher shop, her stomach aching with nervous tension. She would either change her life, and her daughters or they would die for her insult to the Dragon Masters.

   She eased closer to Naran as the handmaiden gave the butcher their order of mutton. Rose pretended to look at the cuts of meat in the greasy case. There were Camel and Yak cuts and a few forlorn-looking geese. The girls had developed a lust for meat and the smell of it in the shop aroused the Dragon. Distracted, Naran’s voice surprised the courtesan.

   “Rose! What do you stare at with such hungry eyes?”

   “Oh! Madame. Forgive me. I am so rude to not greet you.” Rose bowed and offered her respect to the Dragon Matron. “I must feed the girls more and more. They grow so fast, and their appetite grows with them.”

   Naran saw the worry on her friend’s face. She knew what Rose and the girls went through to please the Dragon. She didn’t know if they would live through it. Her heart softened when she saw the plain clothes that hid the Sister’s beauty. The Master’s number one courtesan never complained, never disobeyed, and never asked for anything for herself. Chingis had done well to choose her.

   “Why don’t you come to my house for tea and we’ll talk. I want to know how the girls are doing.” Naran held Rose’s arm and walked her out of the shop into the street as the others fell in behind them. Rose felt relief flood her body and mind as she relaxed in the older Sister’s grasp.

* * *

   Temür greeted them at the door. His smile changed after Naran, and the others passed through the door. His eyes turned to ice when he held Rose back.

   “What is your business here, woman?”

   “I have no business here. I come on the Madame’s invite.”

   “Hold still. No one passes without my permission.”

   Temür’s fingers were like iron as he felt her body under the loose clothes. He was quick and did not disgrace himself by lingering. He searched for weapons, not pleasure. Everyone was an assassin until he was sure they weren’t and then he searched them with more care.

   No one lived to tell how the guard reacted when he found a weapon secreted away in a visitor’s clothes. There were rumors about why the potatoes grew so well in the dirt behind the Dragon’s home. Chingis took no chances and Temür took no shit. The icy stare moved from Rose to the door and back to Rose. She nodded her understanding and went inside.

   Rose felt the hair on her neck and arms rise. The skin tingled, her heart pounded, and wariness filled her mind. A young woman stared at her from the kitchen. Her broad face and windburned cheeks gave away her nomadic life. They stared at each other. Pupils elongated, irises flickered from dark to yellow and gold in a field of black and brown. She was a Dragon Sister.

   “Rose meet Khulan. She is the daughter of Chingis’ third brother. He and his wife died in a tragic accident last year. Khulan has come to live with us.”

   “I am pleased to meet the niece of the Master.” Rose bowed to the younger girl which placed Rose in a subservient status and gave the girl a feeling of superiority. Khulan seemed to relax but never took her eyes from Rose.

   Naran sensed the unease between the two. No one would disgrace her home with such behavior. She offered a chance for the two to regain their composure.

   “Khulan, Rose is like you, she is of the blood of the Dragon as well as her daughters. They will join you for treatments soon. You must get to know each other well.” Naran paused with a stern look at Khulan.

   Khulan picked up on her aunt’s demeanor. Naran’s wrath was more fearful than the strange sensations that flooded her in the presence of this woman that shared her fate. She approached Rose and took her hand to lead her to the table to sit next to her. Rose felt the soothing energy she sensed with Jasmine and Faith. She grew comfortable with the girl. Their shared pain and the Dragon’s blood bonded them. They were sisters of sorts.

   Seated on the floor, Rose and Naran began to gossip and catch up with the latest events that traveled faster on the tongue than the radio or printed news. Rose waited for the right moment to ask for Naran’s help to deliver her plea to spare the girls the humiliating pain of their treatment. She had a plan to offer herself in exchange.

   Khulan excused herself and went to the kitchen and fixed Suutei Tsai, tea with milk. Later, she brought the tea in and presented it to Naran who lifted the drink with her right hand and her left hand under her wrist. She drank from the bowl and placed in on the table.

   “Ah, thank you, my niece. This pleases my old belly.”

   Khulan bowed and offered a bowl to her new Dragon Sister. Rose repeated the ritual of acceptance and almost emptied the bowl to quench her thirst and quiet her hunger. The smell of the mutton cooking in the kitchen distracted Rose. She felt the Dragon rising in her veins.

   Khulan caught Rose’s eye and for a moment the two held their gaze. The young nomad left and came back with strips of fresh-cooked meat and placed a dish in front of Naran and then gave some to Rose.

   Rose’s hands shook as she took a piece of the flesh and savored it. The Dragon Sister sat next to her and continued to look at Rose as if she were some new creature just discovered. Rose took another piece, turned and fed it to Khulan. The girl almost inhaled the courtesan’s fingers as her teeth latched onto the meat. The mutton and tea put the women in a good mood, and they chatted between mouthfuls of the greasy meat.

   Khulan seemed emboldened by the banter and turned to Rose. “Older Sister, do the pain treatments disturb you as they do me?”

   Naran choked on a mouthful of potatoes. Rose watched as the Master’s wife struggled with her niece’s violation  of good manners. Rose felt it was as if Kulan read her mind and offered the chance to propose a change in their treatments.

   “I will take whatever pain the Master offers if it pleases him. Every time I see what this harshness and humiliation does to my Jasmine, my heart rips apart. I don’t know if I can live with the shame of submitting my Little Sparrow to this treatment of pain.”

   Rose turned to Naran. “Please Madame, tell me if there is a way to allow us to summon our Dragon for the Masters through our hard training. Let us all live together and train this beast in us before it consumes us and we become lost to it. Every day the darkness in our thoughts drags us deeper into the mind of the animal. It should be the other way, I feel. The beast should serve the Masters and us. I fear we are losing ourselves to it.”

   Khulan held onto Rose’s arm as she spoke. Tears streamed down her face. “It’s the same for me, Sister. I don’t know who I am anymore. I don’t know what to do, and the treatments of pain and shame cast me deeper into the Dragon’s claws.” The girl turned to Naran and pleaded with her. “Please Auntie, help us.”

   The entreaty tugged at Naran’s heart. She was aware no one knew the fate of these girls. The men may have to put them down like animals some day. If the Dragon Masters wanted to realize their dreams through these girls, they needed to give them the chance to come to terms with what was happening inside their bodies and minds not add to their torment.

   “I am a silly old woman. I have no voice in front of the Masters.” The Master’s wife paused then looked at Rose before she continued. “No man has worn the robe of the Master without the back and belly of a woman to hold him up. We have our ways.”

   Naran turned to Rose, “go back to your girls and do what you must. I’ll send for you if the Master desires it.”

   Rose clasped the hands of her benefactor and placed her head on Naran’s hands. “Thank you, Madame. Ask your price. I’ll pay it.”

   “Go now before the men come home and catch us conspiring against them. It will take a lot of mare’s milk and vodka to get Chingis in a listening mood. You can help me make more if he drinks my house dry. And you, my wild donkey, go to the kitchen and help prepare the meal.”

   Rose bowed and backed away before turning and leaving. Khulan watched her sister leave then ran to the kitchen. Naran wiped her brow.

   “What in heavens do I get myself into?” She asked herself.


Image source: pinterest.com

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25 thoughts on “Origins Scene-8

  1. Though the subject matter is serious, I liked that you threw in some humor here to lighten things up with Naran’s comments like “we have our ways” and talking to herself at the end. 🙂 I have a feeling Rose will be summoned soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lauren! I feel having good humor in tough situations keeps things calm and confidence builds. Sometimes the more off color the remarks, the more people relax. It’s very hard to stress out while one is laughing. I tried to show that here with Naran’s confidence hidden in her humility and good nature. We had a good conversation on this subject at work the other day. We were laughing about how our Command Sergeant Major would come up to us while we were fully vested in bloodletting and say things like, “saddle up cupcakes we’re going to a tea party.” That made us laugh and sounded a lot better than, “okay men we have a suicide mission coming up and some of you are going to have widows knocking at the insurance company’s door soon.” I’d love to hear how you motivate your Goth Girls. I can imagine the motivating humor there. 😀

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  2. There is humanity in this chapter of yours, Daniel. I love the fact that the beasts within shows another path to tame their monstrosity rather than let the Dragon males using their Superiority against the dragon inside the body of their female companions. Any women or any female creatures, even demons needs the love rather to cause them more pain that might end up either killing them finally or that the dragon changed into a most powerful Beast of which not even the Master Dragon can beat. Dragon are not a beast you can playing with and manipulate, said my grandfather – they too, are creatures of love and they need the understanding not to treat them with force or like a monster. All creatures need the secure feelings of love and wisdom.

    And I do agree with my grandfather on this matter.

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    1. This is exactly what I want to portray in the story, Sherrie. The Sisters feel the Dragon as it grows within but they don’t want to lose their humanity to the beast. We will see how they come to integrate their lives with the changes their DNA treatments bring about. They will learn to live with, love, and protect their dragon and the dragon will protect and love them. This is when they will become the fierce warriors they were intended to be. 🐉💃🏼

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      1. And this is what of the subject my brother did came across at the university so long ago. He told me there is this professor who believes in the cross-species DNA and they want to make an evolution NEW genes on the human chromosomes. If that happens, I think we are the more superior and the fearless monsters ever … to think what a superhuman can do to the world with it … A perfect bio weapon.

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        1. It’s surprising that humans and most mammals are between 90 and 97 percent the same in the DNA makeup. It’s the 3 to 10% differences that count. We have successfully blended the DNA betwen diverse species giving mammals certain characteristics of the other non-mammal species. Only subtle differences but this blending of Komodo Dragon and and Human DNA can be done but the specific strains of the genes would have to be used to splice into the human DNA where the DNA did not self destruct. We are using genetic mutations to treat cancer now successfully. So in 10 years well see gene therapies and mutations as common as the gene splicing in plants. But to be sure, we are on a very precarious threshold with human experimentation. Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.

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            1. LOL! I think of this often when I see the Cosplay players all dressed up. I do think this is where we are headed in the future. Our human frailty in areas of honor, integrity, morals, and values, will challenge us to shy away from mutations that change us for evil intent but then, that is the greatest motivation for some.

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                1. You would be the immortal Sherrielock Holmes, tomatoing the naughty bottoms of evil doers and forcing them to change their evil ways. I think if that ever becomes a graphic novel like a Marvel comic or anime, it will be a huge success. 😀

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  3. I loved this chapter in more ways than one, and I must say in a very profound way. It’s sensitive and bold, and it pierces deep. First of all, to me the Stockholm syndrome comes across very strong. What makes the Dragon Sisterns subject themselves to pain (and himiliation!)? It must be huge, or like many victims, they’ve learned to love their abusers. Especially people with nobility of soul fall in this trap. But is this even a trap, or are the Dragon Sisters in it for some huge reward like nuns for eternal happyness?
    This is sooooo real! It happens just like this in many societies, secret or not, civilizied or not, cultivated or not. I have observed it in my work as well. I’ve seen people whose intelligence levels went through the roof become doormats for other people. While I do understand that in this story the stake is very high, and I do understand the Dragon Sisters’ nobility of soul (power of self-sacrifice, not asking anything for themselves, putting up with pain – but humiliation???) I can’t wait to discover what’s in it for them, and why the Dragon Sisters are so devoted 🙂
    Very well written, cuzz, some paragraphs really made my jaw drop, like the one with Tamür. I’m intrigued to find out more!

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    1. Thank you, Cuzz, for elaborating on the force that bends people to the will of others. Your observation is spot on. The entire Dragon Story has been about this very thing. It is the core of every human. It is the binding force that brings people together and protects the group whether the group is good or evil. It is also the most abused human characteristic. Chapters 3 and 4 covered the treatment of Rose and Faith. It outlines the necessity of the pain response to cause the Dragon DNA to bind in the neuro-network of the Dragon Sisters where it can transform the Dragon Sisters into the warriors they become. Chapter three explains why the women were chosen over the men. Whether this is good or evil is one of perspective. As Dr. Aristov said, Rose is a means to an end and the end always justifies the means. In the Dragons, they examine their sense of worth and value versus their oath to obey the Masters. The struggle results in one discovering their true humanity or lack thereof. This is why Dr. Aristov predicted to his Wife Darya – Dominika’s mother, That if Faith was bonded to a person with a Warrior ethos, her own life would make her one of the greatest Dragon Sisters. Years later, in walks Hyperion. He was chosen for Faith because of his need to atone for his failure to keep his team alive. That makes him compliant. His reward the return of his dignity. He’ll do anything for that. And Faith needs Hyperion to have a child that will have the genes of both parents and the Dragon power. The child is the one that becomes the greatest Dragon Sister in their short history serving the masters as the Praetorian Guard.

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    1. Thank you, Chris! Not only can the girls ‘shock’ someone with their ‘biting’ humor, they can spank a person with their clever wit. My favorite kinda girl. 😉 That’s why I think Sherrielock Holmes was a Dragon Sister. I really like the photo too. The girl in the photo is Japanese so it isn’t a true representation of Mongolian casual wear but I was captivated by it and wanted to fit it in the story. I thought the quote really fit the image too. 😛

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  4. I like the women conspiring against men! The wife has to be sneaky to convince the master – her husband. That’s how it is in some cultures, because a man is supposed to be the voice of the family, and a wife has to find a way to let her voice heard without offending the husband. Now Chingis is going to drink their house dry lol

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    1. Ah, Natasha. You are well versed in how the true commerce of the world proceeds. Part of my job and also my greatest fascination in the past was to integrate into the cultures of those places I went to and learn from local people their culture and habits. Routines and patterns, ways of life, all make predictions of future decisions and reactions. This is critical information when you face an opponent of the same culture and way of life as those around them. In every society and religion, I found it was the women who could skillfully guide their husbands, brothers, and fathers to decisions that had the greatest impact on their future. Even in the cultures that are almost maniacal in their suppression of and demand for subservience from their women are influenced by them. These women live remarkable lives inside their own secret society of women. I found them to possess a sharp intellect even though they are forbidden formal education. They are as poetic, mindful, and altruistic as they are tortured by males. Also, in every society, there are the customs and courtesies of male social interaction and alcohol consumption is a big part of many of those societies. Apparently, it was alcohol and a woman that ended Genghis Kahn’s career at empire building and changed the course of eastern history. I watch on a daily basis how my Dragon Sisters network and conspire to help their men make decisions that please them. This all eventually helped me form my own personal philosophy of the Yin and Yang and the balancing of the extremes back to the center. It’s when our harmony with our women fails, that we male bipedal hominids strike out on our own and the result can be either magnificent or catastrophic such as the evolution of our humanity or the destruction of it. In each case, we have strayed from the balance of the center, which is where harmony and love between man and woman are found. Of course, this is only my view that works for my life. Others will see it differently and their mileage will vary. 🙂 My views do influence my writing a lot even though my muse sometimes refuses to listen to me and dictates to me how the story will go. 😉 Thank you for such an insightful comment, Natasha.

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        1. I like that saying. I learned a long time ago to listen to smart women. Life has been good since I learned that lesson as a young puppy. It’s a very good way of putting it. When they work together, they work well. 😀

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