No matter what happens, I’ll always be with you.
The words were a struggle to say, each one a clawing score in your heart even as you knew it was right to send him away. It was his best chance of getting better, they’d said. The land he’d come from had medicine and healers more advanced than your own. Still, it was difficult to release his hand as they carried him away, your fingers reaching until the last possible second. The hand your father placed on your shoulder kept you from going after him at first. This was for the best, you told yourself over and over again. Your people needed you and John needed his. No matter that as the ship began to sail out of the bay, your heart seemed determined to go with it moored as it was so securely to the boat. A sort of blind panic overtook you and without realizing it you had taken one step, two, and then you were running. As fast as your feet would carry you, you ran along the coastline, keeping John’s ship in your sightline until you reached the cliffs and you could run no more.
It was a strange sensation, and a painful one, to have your heart torn in two. The half that remained with your people was quiet, calm in its security that it had succeeded in keeping you anchored here to this land that you loved. The other half that had begun to rend itself away from the whole the moment you’d made your decision down by the shore now tore itself free completely, leaving you aching. With a strength you didn’t know you had, you remained standing. Your shoulders back and your head high, standing as tall and straight as the pine, no one could tell that your knees shook as you prayed for the spirits to watch over him, to journey home with him and speed his healing. To remind him of you so that one day he might return. You watched the ship as it sailed through the mouth of the bay and into open water, watching even until it but a shadow on the horizon, all as a feeling of dread sank in your stomach like a river stone.
Only after the ship was out of sight did your legs finally give out. Sinking to your knees, you wrapped your arms around yourself as if their strength could keep the remaining pieces of you together. You could not regret your decision to stay as much as it might have pained you. You belonged here, with the forests and the rivers and the mountains. With your people learning to make peace with words and not weapons. Your path was to guide them, you knew that now, however much you wished it would have led you across the sea. On that cliff, you stayed long after the light had left the sky. No one came to comfort you or entreat you to act sensibly; you would not have welcomed them if they had. The solitude was what you needed for now. You could be strong later.
You would have to be. Much stronger than you ever thought you could be.
You don’t know exactly when the voices of the spirits went silent around you. At the time, you trumped it up to the heart that lay broken in your chest, too weak to listen. Nor did you immediately notice the unsettling quiet of the forest around you as you slowly picked your way back the village. So wrapped up in your own thoughts, you failed to notice that no scent of smoke filled the air as it should have with the fires that burned nightly in the village. When the wind shifted around you, it creaked through the tall sycamore trees in warning. You should have listened. You should have paid attention. For then, you might have been prepared for the scene you same upon when you entered the village.
The fire pits were cold, not an ember burned or a plume of smoke rose with any recent heat. Broken pottery and houses half destroyed greeted you as walked further into the village. The hushed quality that lay over it halted your step as you strived to hear even one movement, one sound that someone remained there. As you rounded a bend, that’s when you saw them. The beasts. They were unlike anything you had ever seen before and as their eyes glowed in your direction, the light seemed to be blotted out of the sky. On instinct only, you turned on your heel and ran into the forest. You could hear them beating through the underbrush in pursuit of you and still you kept running, your mind blocking out everything but your heartbeat and your steps as your already tired muscles carried you further and further into the darkness. You could not focus on anything but survival as you ran, your feet carrying you on muscle memory alone as all light seemed to be extinguished from the world.
No matter what happens… the errant memory emerged inopportunely. You faltered. It was a mistake that would cost you. You veered down the wrong path, one you never intended to go. It took you upwards, back towards the cliffs from which you had come. The way was steep and rocky and it cost you time. You could hear the beasts gaining ground behind you but you continued to push yourself. You were nearing the edge, with nowhere to turn, but you could not think about what would come next. Not yet. Then you reached it, your toes skidding just over the edge as you stared down into the murky darkness of what lay below. The clouds parted then, to shine on the water of the bay you had spent so long looking at earlier. Heavy, rough steps sounded behind you and whipped your head around, staring eye to eye with the biggest of the beasts. Saliva dripped from its jowls as it stared at you hungrily and you swallowed, knowing that death awaited you no matter what choice you made.
You turned to look out at the wide ocean in the distance, taking a breath. ”I’ll always be with you,” you whispered before spreading your arms wide and letting yourself fall over the side of the cliff. This was the death you chose.
The spirits, however, had another plan for you. As you awoke, battered and sore on a shore you did not recognize, you realized that your path had not ended; it had simply changed to a new, unfamiliar course. It was awhile before you could move from that spot on the pebbly beach you has washed up on. Exhausted, injured, and alone, you forced yourself to keeping your mind focused on the next step and only the next step. One foot in front of the other was how you eventually made it back to your village, only to see the damage that had been wrought in the broad light of day. Aside from a few broken bodies, whom you would later put to rest as best you could, the village was empty, abandoned, and, fortunately, free of the beasts that had pursued you. Had they all run as you had from them? Had they abandoned your home and each other? You refused to think on it. Of course they had left. Your father and the warriors had led them to safety, you were sure of it. Practically limping, you made your way to Grandmother Willow, only to find the ancient tree silent against your entreaties.
It was then that your spirit broke fully, unable to hold it back. With arms wrapped tightly around her trunk, you buried your face against the roughness of her bark and wept. You cried and cried until there was nothing left in you, you were an empty water skein hanging limply to the gnarled body of the tree. It would be days before you would be able to move from the tangle of the willow’s roots and only then to retrieve what had been left behind, hidden in the foliage. John’s compass. Holding it between your hands, the cold, smooth metal brought you a sort of clarity. You stared at it’s face, at it’s arrow forever pointing in one direction. Slowly, determination rose to steel your spine. The compass had led you to your path once before, surely it would lead you again. You would find your people, find everyone you loved well and whole, but first you would need to stand. And like that, on shaky limbs, you pushed yourself to your feet. This, this like all the others, was the path you chose.
I chose Algonqiun names for Pocahontas as that would have been the language she was most familiar with and ties back into her Native American/First Peoples heritage. Kanti
means "to sing" which is an obvious tie to the movie but also in that singing, and music in general, would have been one of the foremost ways she and her people communicated with each other --
telling stories, healing, etc. Odina
means "mountain" and I chose this based on a specific line in the song "Savages Part 2" in which she asks the spirits of the mountain to give her heart strength. I think that would have been a prayer she would have continued using given what happened to her and her tribe after John and the others returned to England. Matoax
is a variation of the original Pocahontas' true name.
PLAYBY: Devery Jacobs has the sort of underlying strength and quiet sass that I thought suited my interpretation of Pocahontas best. Plus, she's of Iroquois descent which makes her kind of perfect, imo?
BIRTHDAY: January 8th
OCCUPATION: Unemployed. She does sometimes do sidewalk art or small chalk pieces for extra case, but otherwise it's odd jobs here and there when she happens to be in San Francisco. When she's not
puttering around volunteering at Haven Hill, she's in the animated world looking for her people, or even a trace of them. She only vaguely knows of the resistance but until her people are found, or she gives up, they are her priority.
POWERS & ABILITIES: As in the movie, she does sometimes have dreams that foretell of the future. Nothing concrete or in the least bit straightforward, but she can tell the difference between a 'normal' dream and prophetic one and does her best to pay special attention to the details. Also,
she's retained the gift of understanding the spirits gave her and remains attuned to/empathetic with most living creatures. Though she can't chat with them as she would another human being, she is able to understand them to a degree.
PERSONALITY: While her personality has remained much the same as it was, she is decidedly older and more serious than she was previously. Her determination, inner-strength, stubbornness, etc. are all there but the playfulness is reserved for those who know her best. She wasn't broken by the darkness but there are visible cracks.
BACKGROUND: I did not change her background at all, which is why I focused more on the events directly following the cut off and how she ended up alone.
CANON CUTOFF: The end of the first film, a little while after John and Co. return to England.