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30 September 2011 @ 09:49 pm
The way of the warrior Chp 8b, (9/14), R, Sam & Dean Winchester.  
The way of the warrior, chapter 8b.

“I’ve been a total goddamn idiot! I got it wrong. I thought Great Bear was looking at Dean as an enemy. Shit! I couldn’t be further from the truth. Amber, what do you know about Great Bear?” Sam leant forward excitedly. Several theories were suddenly whirling around his head and he needed Amber’s help to sort them out. Amber looked taken aback by the strange question, “Not too much. I only know what I’ve heard concerning what happened on the Trail of Tears. How he led a fight back against Captain Stoneman, allowing the other tribes people to escape. I’ve told you all about that already, Sam. How does that help?” She was at a loss how to help the young man further.

“No, what do you know about Great Bear -the man, not the warrior? It’s important, trust me, Amber. Anything, anything at all could help.” Sam looked around at the others anxiously, hoping one of them could help him.

Daryl shuffled, and started to speak, “When I was younger, my grandfather used to tell me stories about Great Bear, but they’re nothing to do with how good a fighter he was. They were just family stories. I don’t see how they will help.” Daryl looked Sam, wondering what a bunch of fairy tales could possibly do to help them.

“Please Daryl, just tell me. I’ll let you know if the stories are relevant.” Sam waited to hear the stories.

“Ok then. Well, you all know how good a warrior and tactician Great Bear was. But my grandfather used to tell stories of how compassionate he was, and how he believed that violence should be the last course of action, not the first. Grandfather also spoke of how Great Bear believed in negotiating with the American government, as he knew that the tribes would lose a direct confrontation. Grandfather always talked of Great Bear being quite the peacemaker, and that his younger brother, Black Eagle was the real warmonger in the family.”

“Hold on. You’re telling us that the man they elected War Chief, is really a peaceful man?” Sam interrupted, shocked at that news.

“According to my grandfather, he was a family man first and foremost, and would do anything to protect those he loved. When the government made it plain it was a case of go on the march or die, Great Bear was doing everything he could to keep his family safe. Like many at that time, he’d seen what the army would do to any ‘redskin’ who defied them.

Great Bear’s younger brother was a real hothead, he enjoyed rabble rousing every chance he got. In the end it got him a place with the agitators on Captain Stoneman’s march. In fact, Great Bear should never have been with them. He should’ve gone with the rest of the Cherokee nation. But he came to keep watch on his brother, and to make sure he didn’t get himself killed by doing something stupid. But then on the march, Great Bear and the others realized what was happening, and when the council was held to elect the War Chief, Great Bear was the only choice, due to his skills as a leader. I don’t know how that helps you, Sam. As I said, these are just family stories. There’s no evidence to prove what Grandfather told me.” Daryl finished speaking and looked at the faces around him.

Sam sat up straight. Daryl had been more of a help than he could ever know. Great Bear may have been a warrior, but it seemed that he wasn’t one for spilling blood just for the sake of it. Now he needed to understand about the canyon itself and that’s where Amber could help him.

“Amber, do you think that the ghosts were aware of their surroundings all that time they remained trapped here in the canyon?” Sam needed to hear just how the ghosts were kept here.

Amber tilted her head, and answered the question, “No, Sam, the ghosts were never trapped here. Great Bear and his men vowed to remain and protect us. That’s why the shaman still performed thanksgiving rituals; we honour their sacrifice. I’ve been here with Albert to perform the rituals, and you know I’ve always felt safe in here and at peace. There’s a feeling of serenity here, or at least there was. I always felt as if the canyon was waiting for something and I.......” Amber paused and looked right at Daryl, something flickering in her eyes.

“Daryl, which way around do you do this? Did you gather the bones and place the medicine bags first, or did you summon the ghosts first?” She watched Daryl closely.

Daryl ran his fingers through his hair, “I...came into the canyon and got the bones and the dirt first then I summoned the ghosts.” He looked down at the floor,

Amber let her head fall forward, “Daryl, you don’t understand. You didn’t just summon the ghosts from the bones, you woke the whole tribe. And they thought the time had come to fulfil their vow to protect the tribe once again.” She looked over at Sam and saw he was thinking about what was being said.

“Daryl, when you planted the bags, did you do anything else to the site? Like make it into sacred ground like the canyon here?” Sam spoke suddenly and everyone looked at Daryl

Once again Daryl looked away from the others, “I performed the cleansing rituals, and placed totems and medicine bags for the four elements around the site. Yes, I made the site sacred ground for them to walk on. I guess I really screwed up, didn’t I? I’m so sorry, Amber.” Daryl’s voice was filled with remorse as he spoke.

Sam heard another of Amber’s friends snort with derision, “Dude, it ain’t Amber. You gotta say sorry to Sam and Dean. Especially, Dean, the poor bastard, now he’s agreed to go through all that crap for us.” Sam watched Daryl squirm. He wanted to step in and tell them to leave him alone, but at this moment in time he didn’t have the heart. But it was helping to confirm a suspicion that had begun to form about Great Bear, and what he’d done.

Amber rolled her eyes, “Seriously, Eric, just leave Daryl alone. We’ve got enough problems, without us turning on each other as well. I think Sam gets how serious this is, we all do. There’s something on your mind about this, isn’t there, Sam?” Amber watched him as he stared over at Great Bear once again.

He turned back to the others, before letting his eyes stray back to the spirit of the great warrior sat alone, keeping his own vigil in the night. “Amber, I’d guess that the majority of the people here were Cherokee. Didn’t they develop a similar constitution to the rest of America along the lines of one man, one vote? What if the majority of the warriors wanted to kill us? What would Great Bear do?” Sam waited for the answer, his theory hinged on this.

Amber thought for a moment before responding, “Well if they all voted to kill us, then Great Bear would have no choice but to give orders, and we’d all be dead? Why do you ask?” She sounded intrigued by Sam’s questions.

“Ok, what if he offered them an alternative? A Trial by Torture. Pick a champion and if the champion passes the ordeal then we go free. Would that be acceptable to the other warriors?” Sam continued his line of questioning.

“I suppose it would be acceptable. They see what Daryl has done as a debt of honour that has to be paid. And a warrior undergoing the Trial would honour our traditions. Also with Great Bear’s condition, if Dean fails, we all die. It means there is still a chance the rest of the tribe will get our blood in the end.” She looked at Sam, wondering where this was leading

Sam rocked back; everything fell into place, “Great Bear and his men wake up; they think the time has come to protect the Tribe once more. Then the warriors attached to the medicine bags wind up on the construction site. I’m pretty sure more than one of the ghosts speaks English. It doesn’t take them long to figure out what’s really happening. And what do you know? Suddenly there’s one bunch of extremely pissed-off warrior ghosts.” Sam paused, looking around at the group; he could see Amber was getting what he was saying.

“Ok, they wake up, and, instead of fighting for our protection, they find out that someone wants them to scare a bunch of tourists, shitless Yup, that would piss these guys off good and proper. Don’t forget these particular warriors were separated from the rest of their nations because they were considered agitators. God, Daryl, how the hell did you ever think you could manage to control them?” Amber was angry at Daryl’s arrogance, and ashamed their ancestors had been treated like this.

Sam continued to explain his theory, “Ok, Amber’s got the idea, and the warriors bring back reports to Great Bear telling him what’s happening. All the while, his men are becoming more and more angry with being treated as figures of entertainment, rather than protectors of the tribe. He can foresee things escalating, even the possibility of it ending with his warriors attacking the site and massacring construction workers. Great Bear doesn’t want that to happen; he’d prefer that they return to their rest. Maybe Black Eagle is demanding action and vengeance for the insult to the tribe. Then me and Dean show up in town and Great Bear’s got the answers to all his prayers, stood in front of him.” Sam shook his head. He had to admire the war chief, his planning had been perfect.

“What answer to his prayers? I don’t get what you’re talking about, dude?” Eric looked around his friends, puzzled.

Sam smiled and carried on, “Great Bear knew that Daryl couldn’t control them. That they were too powerful both here and on the construction site, and it was only a matter of time before his warriors exacted their revenge for being disturbed. He was looking for a warrior, a champion he could rely on to protect anyone caught up in the crossfire. And then he walked into Amber’s bar and that was that.”

Amber’s face lit up with realization, “Oh, dear god! You mean Dean, don’t you? Great Bear saw this coming. He doesn’t want more bloodshed; he’s grown tired of it. But he knew that he would have to abide by the decision of his men. Instead of risking a massacre he intended to offer them the trial as an alternative, and he had a champion in mind.” Amber was starting to follow what Sam was suggesting.

“When Great Bear was searching for his champion, he used the blood link between Daryl and himself to appear at the bar the other night. He saw Dean for the first time and he instinctively knew he’d met another warrior. Later on that night we went to the site to look around. I never mentioned it to Dean, but I felt as if we were being watched. I’d bet my last dollar it was some of the warriors, and they reported back to Great Bear about us being there. Then when we all turned up at the site yesterday....”

Amber interrupted him, “We showed up, so did Great Bear and his men. Was that the plan? Turn up, frighten the crap out of Daryl and hope he’d come here and try to get rid of them?” Amber asked Sam, beginning to understand the chief’s plans.

Sam nodded, “Something like that. I think he was hoping that a mass appearance would force us into acting. He may not understand what hunters are, but he knew we understood what was going on, especially when I found the medicine bag. And if he couldn’t stop his warriors from attacking the site, then perhaps he could offer them payment in another way...”

Sam was interrupted by Jim, “Yeah, we were there. They attacked everyone, man. If you’re suggesting they ain’t violent, I saw them shoot Norm. Now you’re telling me, he didn’t give the order to shoot at us?” Jim sounded incredulous.

“Actually, Great Bear didn’t give the order to attack. I think if Norm had stayed still then nothing would’ve happened. But Norm ran and it all went to hell. I saw the way he watched. Dean and I thought he wanted to take him on, one warrior to another. That he saw my brother as an adversary worthy of him. Instead he knew he’d found his champion, a man who would do whatever it took to protect those around him. Remember that damn stupid charge with the nail gun? I bet that just made Great Bear’s day.” Sam shook his head at the memory.

Amber sat, listening, “Fine, but it doesn’t explain how he could be sure we would come to the canyon tonight. How did he manage that, Sam?” Amber was curious to where he was going with this train of thought.

“Great Bear didn’t have to do a thing. We did it for him. After the attack at the site, he knew there was going to be a confrontation here tonight. He was already aware of who was summoning them, due to Daryl’s use of blood in the ritual. Although Daryl’s been a dick, he wouldn’t want to see people hurt. The only other people he knew would come here was us, once we were here. It was just a matter of letting events unfold. Then in the council, he put forward the Trial as a way to pay the debt, knowing full well his chosen champion would step forward and do it.” Sam stopped speaking, he understood Great Bear now. The War Chief didn’t want to kill descendants of the people he and his men had sworn to protect, that he’d seen enough death and bloodshed in life. But the need for revenge amongst his warriors had to be appeased; he was protecting all of them the only way he could think of.

Dean would suffer for them, and as much as they were relying on him to succeed, Great Bear needed him to survive the Trial almost as much as they did. The War Chief didn’t want to carry the burden of their deaths on his shoulders. Sam knew tomorrow was going to be hard for Dean, and it hurt him a little to think that Great Bear had seen himself in Dean. So where did that leave him? The bitter troublesome younger brother? Now, along with their expectations, the chief’s hopes rested on his brother’s shoulders as well.

The group fell silent; they were trying to take in what Sam had told them - about how the chief had manipulated events in an attempt to protect them. Now their lives were in the hands of a wounded warrior, who was going to battle for them all.

Amber watched Sam; he was tense. She could see that in the way he sat, his posture stiff and the way he shifted constantly. Then she saw the tension flow out of Sam’s body and she followed his gaze. Dean was sitting with his legs stretched out in front of him, crossed at the ankles. His arms folded across his stomach, his eyes had been closed and he looked as if he was asleep. Then as Sam had been staring at him, Dean opened his eyes, sharing a look with his younger brother. The look they shared said more than a thousand words ever could. It calmed Sam; gave him the strength to face whatever was going to happen. Then Dean winked at Sam and closed his eyes again.

While this silent exchange had been going on, Amber turned her attention towards Great Bear. The chief hadn’t moved but he appeared to be watching the brothers. When Sam relaxed the chief had smiled, and then he returned to staring into the fire. She smiled slightly; it seemed Sam was right. Great Bear had been a leader of men. He understood that a leader needed to be able to keep his men calm under pressure, and Dean had managed that in a single look. Now Sam was calm and he was doing his best to calm her and her friends.

Sam was thinking about what Dean had said about his stuff. He stood up and moved over to his and Dean’s bags. The warriors tensed, but Sam just continued with what he was doing. He opened them and pulled blankets from both of their bags, and a canteen of water from his own. He paused slightly as looked inside of Dean’s bag, and then he produced a bag of candy from the depths. As the paper crinkled, a voice floated over, “Don’t eat ‘em all, dude. Save me some for later. Peanut M & Ms, the food of champions. Get your own candy, bitch.” Sam looked over his shoulder at his brother and grinned in acknowledgement. He stood up and walked back to where the group sat, huddled together. He handed over the supplies and sat down close to Amber once more.

“Just think of it as watching your weight for you. Who do you think is gonna be carrying your heavy ass back to the car after this, jerk?” Sam laughed as Dean flipped him the finger in response.

“Carry me back to my baby? Dream on, Sasquatch. I’ll be walking back. I’ll even carry your bag for you if you like, princess. You don’t want to break a nail now, do you, Samantha?” Sam smiled as Dean called out to him. “Now will you settle down, because some of us are trying to get some shut eye over here. You were the same when we were kids; always flapping ya trap in the middle of the night. God, the nights I wanted to lock you in the bathroom, so I could get some sleep.” Dean had opened his eyes. As he smiled at his little brother they crinkled at the sides.

Sam smirked back, “Of course, you get some sleep. After all, you’re getting on these days. Not as young as you were, hey, old man? What time would you like me to wake you in the morning with your breakfast?” Sam called back.

Dean yawned and stretched, “Dude, if you even think about waking me up before eleven, I’ll kick your giant ass around the canyon. Goodnight, Grandma.” Dean settled back against the wall and closed his eyes again.

Sam couldn’t resist it, “And goodnight to you too, John Boy.” He heard Dean’s laugh, and turned back to see the others staring at him in astonishment.

“Ok, guys, I think we should be scared; our fate’s been left in the hands of a pair of crazies.” Another of Amber’s friends spoke; he looked disturbed by what the two brothers had just done.

Amber just roared with laughter to the surprise of them all, “Oh, Chris, you’re priceless. Look at where we are and what’s gonna happen! Dude, if we don’t laugh, I think we’ll start crying and never stop. What the hell....?” Amber looked over her shoulder, and called out, “Goodnight, John-Boy.” Again Dean’s laughter rang out around the canyon and then other voices took up the cry, and the canyon was filled with voices all saying goodnight.

Finally they fell silent and the couples huddled together, wrapped in the blankets from Sam and Dean’s bag. Amber had gone to her and Daryl’s bag and found their blankets. Now she sat between Sam and Daryl, waiting for the morning, watching Dean as he relaxed. She knew he wasn’t asleep, but he was doing his best to appear unconcerned. She knew that Sam wouldn’t rest tonight. He would stay awake and keep watch over his brother, and she intended to watch with him.

“Amber, Amber come on, you need to wake up.” Amber was startled awake by Sam. He was gently shaking her arm. She blinked and rubbed her eyes furiously. Shit! She’d fallen asleep. She looked around, her friends were still sleeping. Daryl was awake, staring over at Dean, Amber came awake as if she’d just had a cold shower. Stood over Dean were two warriors, armed with rifles. They motioned for him to stand up.

Sam’s face was pale and there were dark smudges beneath his eyes. He followed Dean with his eyes as he got slowly to his feet. Without a sound Sam stood up as well, his eyes never leaving Dean. Amber scrambled to her feet as she heard the sound of her friends waking up. They grumbled at being woken so early, and then they too realized what was happening.

Amber moved closer to Sam, and the warriors positioned themselves either side of Dean, ready to take him to face his fate. Amber spoke softly, “It’s time, Sam.”

Chapter 9.

Current Mood: nervousnervous