Part 6: Journeys of the soul
That night Taker stayed in the bedroom of the strange young woman who had brought him to her home. His vision still blurred by the tears he'd shed for his lost Hope, he began to regain some of his composure. He saw the woman walk into the room. She was dressed all in black from what he could see. She walked up to him, slow in her approach. "You're awake now." She said plainly. Her voice...it was, strange yet familiar. Then, he saw her face. His eyes still not focused strained to see the face of the person standing before him. Her face....Hope's face. But it couldn't be. Hope was dead. He had himself seen her body. "Hope?" He asked wearily. "She is with the great spirit and the council of elders now. I am her twin sister. I am Nokomis."
Taker looked confused for a moment. "She...never told me about a twin sister. What...what happened?"
"I found you at my sister's grave. I brought you here so you could recover. You have much recovering to do. I have watched you...you seem to be in a great deal of pain and conflict." Nokomis replied. "That name...it's one I've never heard before."
"It means daughter of the moon. How do you know my sister? "
"I...was in an accident, and met her in the hospital. She...was a great friend to me in the short time that I knew her. She helped me recover things I thought I had lost in myself...but now...now I have to wonder if that which I recovered just got lost again. She was the only light I had left."
"She was a light to many people. But she was not your only light. I do not know you...but I can look at you and tell that you have been in conflict with yourself for a great many years. The lines on your face, your eyes. I can see many things from them...you are a dark soul, sullegent, weary of how this world's people have treated you. But you also hide things...wrongs against others you have committed."
"You are perceptive. I...don't know that I can ever recover from all that I've done or been through. Far too many people now have suffered because of me to ever be forgiven." Taker said feeling the deep regret in his heart. "I...I walked out on the people who needed me. The hate they feel for me now is understandable. I took things I had...measure of respect, love, adoration...and I destroyed them in one fell swoop. Why? Why I did it I still don't fully understand. I did things, horrible things that I could never be forgiven for."
"How do you know you can never be forgiven? Is it not up to those you have wronged to forgive you? Perhaps seeking their forgiveness is not what you fear. Perhaps the one person whom you feel cannot forgive you... is you." Nokomis said. "I can't forgive myself. No one could forgive what I've done." Taker said sadly. "Tell me...tell me the things you've done you feel to be so horrible."
"You wouldn't want to know." Taker said solemly. Nokomis walked over to him and sat on the bed. "You can't begin healing until you have hurt. I, like my sister, do not judge upon past actions."
He didn't really know if he wanted to go into this. But, perhaps she was right, it was time for him to confess of the things he had done and face them this time. "It all started a year ago. My brother Kane and I had been in a match for a prestigious wrestling title..the most prestigious in fact. At first we had agreed that I would take the title that night. But something happened between us and we ended up at each other's throats over the belt. He wanted the title, I wanted the title. It turned into sibling rivaly at it's worst. We ended both losing the title shot. The next night..." Taker paused for a moment. I came out the next night and said that I had caused a horrible fire that had killed our parents and scarred Kane horribly. I called him weak. Then...from there on the true hell began."
He told Nokomis of the terrible things he did before and after the Ministry of Darkness was born. She sat listening displaying neither shock or disgust...she only listened. "I was overcome by my own darkness. I always knew I harbored evil within me...but this time I let it go too far. I lost the respect I once had, lost the admiration, the people who followed me...but above all, I lost my brother."
"That you show remorse for all that you gave up and lost shows you are not beyond redemption."
"Hope...I remember once she told me she believed that no soul was ever beyond redemption...never beyond hope."
"I don't believe that you do things solely for the purpose of evil. We all have a good side to us, and a bad side...it seems like you have been taken by both at one time or another. What we carry within us is a fragile balance of good and bad. It seems like you knew that balance for a while, then you lost it somewhere. You admit your anger and jealousy of your brother...but I feel there are a great many things that you must face that the human voice alone cannot tell. There is a way that you can face these demons that plauge you, if you are willing and ready to take on the task at hand that can set you free from the terrible evil that holds sway over you. It is a journey you must take that holds the key to what troubles you so, but it is also a risky journey. You cannot let doubt rule your heart when you go upon this journey."
"What sort of journey is this?" Taker asked. "You will go into the spirit realm and face the demons of your past. There are many things you have hidden from for a long time...many regrets you carry on your heart. This journey, if you come through it all right, will help you face the regrets, the mistakes you cannot seem to forgive yourself for. That is the key...that is your greatest downfall. You punish yourself relentlessly for some reason...and unless you find that reason and come to terms with it, you will never leave the darkness you are in now. But you must be ready to face what you will face. There are things in the spirit realm that hold great danger. You need to understand that in this realm, the realm of my ancestors there are spirits that will help you, but also those who will decieve you and seek to steal away your soul and keep it with them forever. For now you need to rest. In time when you are rested and healed you will understand all that I tell you. Here and until you feel you are ready to make this journey of the soul, you have no past...you are neither evil nor good. Here, you are a neutral force until the time comes for you to decide the path you will take."
Taker looked at Nokomis and pondered what she said as she left. He thought of the pain he'd been through, and caused. He knew he would have to go back to the WWF sooner or later. But would the return be worth it. He'd literally walked out on Machamon, and on the people who had loved him for so long. Then he thought about the little child who had given him purpose again...Macy. But the memory that stuck in his head, that gave him joy and pain...Hope. The acceptance she'd given him, the hope, the joy, the pain of her death. He would find her killers and bring them to justice....his justice. But the nagging feeling within him would not leave him be. Would anyone care if he came back? Would he be missed? For the first time the thought of returning scared him. After all he had done good and bad, would the fans accept him again...would Kane forgive him, truely forgive him. He laid back on the bed and closed his eyes, slowly drifing off to sleep.
As he drifted off to sleep, he felt himself becoming aware of the fact that he was not in the room any longer...was he? He opened his eyes and found himself in a ring...a wrestling ring. Around him stood a mass of bodies...standing, animated, breathing, yet, somehow, not human. Their eyes were all blank, empty, clear as glass. No one moved, spoke...they just stood there. Taker looked on in shock realizing he knew these people...The Rock, Mankind, Test, Edge and Christian, The Hardy's, Even the Big Show. They all looked like spiritless zombies. And across from the ring stood the member's of DX, including Triple H and Stephanie Machamon Helmsley. But what shot a pure wave of terror into him was the tall, red clad figure standing beside them, and at his side, Tori...she looked at him with a maniachal smile...looking up at Kane, then pointing to Taker. "The end is at hand..." She spoke, then the ring, and every human body standing around it began to burst into flames. Taker watched the bodies of the people he'd known enveloped by the flames, then as the fire began to touch his own, he awakened.
He rose with a start, his skin now covered in a cold sweat and his breathing fast and labored. He looked around and saw himself back in the home of Nokomis. What had happened? Was this a dream, or something much deeper? He tried to go back to sleep, but could not. The dream, if it was a dream, felt all too real to him. He knew of the Machmahon/Helmsley era...but why would Kane have anything to do with it, and what interest did Tori really have in him? He didn't understand why, why would he see this? The WWF might cower to their demands for awhile, but this would not destroy them utterly. And Kane, after the betrayal he had went through with DX, surely he would not align himself with them. What did it mean? Taker could not begin to undestand it for now...he still had to recover himself and try to gather his wits about him. He still had his own private battle to wage within himself. He had to come to terms with the evil he had committed, the innocent he'd hurt...and the brother he was still convinced he'd lost. It had been so long since he'd been in the Federation. Would they even care if he came back?