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„No Reflection“ by Marilyn Manson

 

The sun stings hot through the small window of the abadanoned bunker and warms up the cold grey stone. Dried up leaves are scattered across the floor and a single snake is hissing angry in one corner of the building. Other then that its silent, even the birds are quiet today and the young man who´s entering the bleak room enjoys the pleasant emptiness.

Too many thoughts are piling up in his head, too many considerations and too many memories. He welcomes the silent with a smile and one quick cut with his machete shuts up the salviating snake.

He´s alone, like ever so often, but it doesnt really bother him. Being alone protects him, causes him to be more calm and allows him to feel more like himself. Moreover does it safe him from all the uncomfortable questions they would ask him inevitable.

Jason Brody drags the heavy backpack off his shoulders and tosses it in the corner. He takes one deep breath and closes his eyes, tastes the damp and earthy smelling air and recognizes how he slowly begins to relax.

Yesterday he started his way at Citras temple and headed to the norht, almost constanly moving through the jungle. He didn´t want to take a car, wasn´t seeking more attention then he already had since he came back from the dead.

And its also part of the ritual to walk this path with his own feet, the path that will make him a warrior.

Tomorrow he is going to kill Vaas.

Tomorrow he will be worthy his Tatau.

The thought of the upcoming fight worries him a bit. It will come to an end, this way or another, doesn´t matter if he succeeds or not. Tomorrow the whole insanity will end and he will be killing the man that hurt him so much. If it´s necessary he´s going to die with him to make sure that Vaas and his whole filthy pack of pirates are obliterated.

Jason isn´t sure what he should feel because of this. On the one hand he believes he has the needed strength to fight Vaas, Citra seems to think the same. But on the other hand there are still so many doubts gnawing on him. It feels weird to think that tomorrow should be the day he has worled towards to for so long. That everything will be finding an end.

Sure theres still Hoyt but they doesn´t share this uncomfortable bond he has going on with Vaas. Vaas killed his brother, nearly killed Jason himself mutliple times and tried to sell and enslave his friends. Whereas he saw Hoyt only once for a short amount of time and he seemed more like an insane business man then a nemesis.

He wants and needs to do it. Thats what he promised Citra. And the Raykat; his people. The pressure thats lasting on him is big, he doesn´t want to fail and he wants to complete his path. But he can´t bann the torturing thoughts out of his head completely.

´What happens next?´

´You kill Hoyt. You take the island back. You become a warrior.´

´What about Liza? Daisy, Keith and Oliver? How am I suppossed to return home after this? I´ve done so many horrible things.´

´No you did what was necessary. You freed the Raykat from their injustice, you´re a hero. You´re doing it for Grant.´

´Am I really doing this for him? Or for Citra?´

These thoughts have been tormenting him for a while now. The boat is nearly finished and his friends force themselves more and more onto him. They want to talk to him, want answers he can´t proffer them. He is aware of the expression in Lizas´ eyes, sees how she glances at him with this questioned and increasingly dissapointed gaze. He doesn´t want to witness it and keeps wandering through the jungle to get a clear head.

This worked out well until he tried to free the alleged Raykat and Vaas almost drowend him in this Cenote. In the following fight he became aware of the fact that he can´t leave the island until he isn´t completely sure who he is and who he wants to be. Something inside of him desires answers to all of this and he hopes that Citra is able to give him what he needs.

The trip to her temple afterwards was breathtaking and confusing. The stuff she gave him made everything appear so real and defeating the giant Tatau monster felt like winnig. For a moment he really thought he could face every imaginable evil in this world, nothing could break him and that it really is his destiny to be a warrior.

For one Moment he actually thought he knew who he was and where this path leads him.

The sex afterwards was at least as incredible. She had ridden him in a way he never experienced in his life before and he loved it like with no other before. The sex with Liza wasn´t bad but also nothing special and he didn´t even felt sorry for replacing her with Citra.

Now in the emptiness of the jungle the whole expirience seems different to him and his conscience is stirring. His thoughts bite themselves umconfortably through his convictions and he tries to repress them but they won´t vanish.

He remebers a fight with Liza and how much he hated her in that moment only because her words contained a truth he couldn´t gainsay.

He was about to check on his friends if they were alright, after one of his many sojourns at the temple. They tried calling him multiple times but he always avoided the confrontation. One day they got so importunate, he had no other choice then to apologize embarassed to the Rakyat and leave finally.

Daisy apparently moved on with the boat and wanted to show him her success personally. He nodded apathetic at the news, he didn´t really care. Oliver watched the whole scenario and shook his head silent while Keith asked if everything was alright.

There was still this teared look to his eyes and the fear that haunted him since his martyrdom with Buck. Jason showed very little pity for this as well. He also survived something traumatic and he didn´t let his friends feed him through. He was doing something for them.

Didn´t they notice that he was the only one facing the danger outside? That he was the only one fighting against dozens of pirates every day, taking back radiotowers and outposts and that he´s the one who safed all of them one after another? And what did they do?

He wanted to leave and headed back to Citras temple, mumbling a very short tailed good bye. Then Liza grabbed his arm and got him to the side where she looked at him once again with those hurt puppy eyes.

„Jason you´ve changed, what´s wrong with you?“ He could see the desperation in her eyes, she clung to him and was close to tears. He wanted to turn away but she remained intrusive and continued badgering him.

Citras words came to his mind, the words that ate themselves in his soul.

´A warrior has to change.´

He tried to get rid of her and murmured „You´re crazy Liza. How am I supposed not to change after all the things that were done to my family? That were done to me? Leave me alone, I need time for myself.“

She broke out into tears, sobbing „Jason you´re not yourself anymore, that fucking island changes you! You don´t even know which one is your friend or your enemy.“

Once again Citras words resounded in his mind, this time almost scornful about Lizas accusations. ´You need to leave your old self behind and completely surrender yourself to the Tatau. A true warrior is through and through permeated by this power and theres no room in his life for people who doesn´t help him on his path.´

In that cave her words sounded true and right. He could´nt hold himself back with things like that, he needed to finally find his way and he must know what his destiny is.

Now, where his feelings and emotions collide unimpeded against each other and mix themselves to a confusing mash of accusations and doubts, Jasons is no longer sure which way is the right one. He still has a mother in America and even if Riley and Grant are dead, he can´t leave her alone.

He also begins to question what he´s doing on that island the whole time.

He kills with an easiness people, living and feeling human beings, that makes him want to throw up, gets him dizzy and drives up the question if he has become a cold and emotionless monster. He takes indiscriminately drugs and drinks potions that let him fall into hallucinogenic horrortrips and tattoes himself with foreign signs and motives that are supposed to help him become a warrior. He follows a tribe and has no clue about their manners and history and believes hes one of them.

And he has sex with a complete strange woman that asks him afterwards to do her a favour an kill her own brother.

He understands Citras inducement, perceives her hate and her motivation. But isn´t Vaas still her brother, a part of her family? She doesn´t seem to care and she didn´t even look very sad about the fact that he wants to kill her last family member. She even requiered that from him. Vaas must have hurt her unspeakably.

´The first time I ever killed was for my sister. But it wasn´t enough for her, no.´

He pushes the thought away. Vaas simply screamed some bullshit, probably only lies anyway. Why should one believe a drug addicted maniac?

So he does no longer question Citras reasons and just accepts that they probably have the same goals and she is going to help him. Or is he the one who helps her achieve her goals?

He doesn´t know for whom he runs through the jungle and kills all those people and he feels more confused then ever. He´s Jason Brody after all and he want´s to save himself and his friends so they can leave this hell.

Or is he a warrior that fights for the Rakyat and wants to free them?

Or just a monster that rages itself all the way to his real goal without any regards of loss?

He hopes that the upcoming mission is going to clear all those thoughts. And hes sure with one thing. He wants to kill Vaas Montenegro, whether for himself, for Grant or Citra it doesn´t matter. The only thing that matters is Vaas´ death.

He opens his backpack and pulls out the musty and damp sleeping bag and hangs it over the window frame to dry. He had to sleep in the rain last night and there wasn´t enough time to dry the bag.

Through insiderinformations the Rakyat found out that Vaas is throwing a big party in his piratecamp to celebrate Jasons death and they decided that now is the right time to fight back. It is well known that those piratepartys last for a few days in a rough but after that no one could say where Vaas would go so they had to speed things up.

Citra told him in the very beginning of his journey that it´s an important part of his path to kill his archenemy and the demon of the island. Only then he is allowed to call himself a Raykat.

Jason willingly agreed when she begged him „Jason you have to do this! He´s the true enemy, it´s your destiny and a hurdle on your path to become a true warrior. Show us that you are worth having the Tatau and show me that you are serious about it, show it the tribe!“

He told her thereupon „I will do it. For you and the tribe, I promise.“ and kissed her on the forehead. She smiled silently and it appeared somehow inappropriate to him in this situiation. They were planning a war after all but he didn´t care much longer. For him it only was a concession of her affection.

When he was about to leave she held him back and said „You need to understand that this is a ritual Jason and it´s important to honor the manners of the ancestral. You serve yourself with the power of the Tatau to kill the demon, but to do so you have to go into the empire of the giant. The Ayahuasca will lead your way and will awake the warrior inside of you. It will show you your true destiny and will reveal who you truly are.“

She told him to seek a certain liana and brew it with the leaves of the Chacruna shrub and to drink the potion right before he kills Vaas. The warrior has to create himself an entrace in the world of the giant by brewing the potion and going into the pond. To enter a different dimension so to say.

When he left the temple he didn´t thought much about it. But now he asks himself if he really wants to fall into another mad trip once again and how he is supposed to kill the most dangerous man on the island while being high as a fucking kite. He really hopes that Citra is right and that the Ayahuasca will help him finding the right direction.

The sun crawls slowly behind the horizon and Jason stacks wood for a small fire on the stone ground. Besides some utility objects he carries a tiny bit of dingomeat in his rucksack, from a small dog he killed on the road. He cuts it into more or less fine strips and cooks the meat over the crackling fire.

Cooking never was one of his strenghts, he´s too lazy and doesn´t feel like dealing with spices and ingredients. So he just devours the food unseasoned and dry when its finally no longer raw and grimaces.

„Disgusting.“

It was a long day and he had to take extra care on his way that none of the patrolling pirates would see him. After all they are not supposed to know that he´s still alive and about to come for their leader.

It turned out to be more difficult then he thought it would be to find one specific liana in the middle of the jungle and to that the right leaves. More then one time the thought of not drinking this brew and to just make a short process with Vaas came to his mind.

But he doesn´t want to dissapoint Citra and if she´s right then this stuff will actually help him with his task. At some point he found what he needed and now he pulls the small claypot the Raykat gave him out of his backpack and starts mashing the liana and the leaves to a paste. The juice that´s coming out smell horrible and looks pitchblack.

Jason pours in some water from a nearby river and leaves the brew to cook on its own, stirring from time to time in the thicker getting mush and blowing his nose because of the worse getting smell of rot. He doesn´t want to think about what this will taste like.

The jungle comes to life and he is aware of the soft rustling underneath the window and the crickets that start to chirp nearby. It is so quiet and peaceful, Jason notices how soemthing drops of his shoulders. Out here he feels the most like himself. Not like the friend, the warrior, the asshole or the murderer. Out here he´s just Jason Brody and it feels so good.

He dosn´t know what he should think about his own feelings for Citra. Are they even feelings? Or is it just the euphoria you experiences when you have terrific sex and you feel alive and filled out? He can´t say what it is and this thought unsettles him.

Sure, she is a beautiful woman and she has something mysterious on herself; when hes with her he feels the need to give her everything she wants.

But in other moments, when hes alone and on his own hes no longer sure if he should give himself up completely for this woman. If he should bequeath his life to her and give her everything she craves from him. He wants to become a warrior but does he really want that for himself or for her, because thats what she desires?

In addition comes that the thought of his friends isn´t going to die completely. They are still real, they are still out there hoping to be able to go back to America. Hoping for his help. And even if the relationship with Liza is about to end he still has an obligation to them and can´t let them down this easy, no matter how much they annoy and importune him.

He can´t wait for this to be finally over and desires at the same time to drag Vaas´death out, to savor taking his life and watching him suffer. It should feel wrong but all he can sense is the growing anticipation and arousal when he imagines Vaas´ agonized face.

The concoction in the small pot starts to have the consistency of wasted oil and according to Citra is this exactly how it should be. Jason pours the viscous, fetid liquid in an small flask and puts it carefully back into his rucksack. Tomorrow he´ll need it, no matter if he want´s it or not.

He pulls the sleepingbag off the windowsill and spreads it accross the hard floor, it´s still damp but Jason doesn´t care. He can see Vaas´ small island through the window and quiet music echoes from the distance. The son of a bitch should celebrate his death. It won´t take long until he earns what he deserves.

And with the thought of revege, retribution, love and a warm bed Jason Brody falls asleep.