Ashkii is in his apartment thinking about the beginning days of his life. With a pencil he draws a zig zag pattern; it represents the thunderbolt or Man in the Navajo culture. A flashback comes in his mind of his grandfather in his small Hooghan smiling and talking to a young Ashkii. He smiles, “Shiyazhe what is wrong?” Ashkii looks without making eye contact at his Grandfather, “Shiche’ I have been having nightmares.” His Shiche’ looks at Ashkii, “Well it is only a nightmare young one, though if it makes you feel better I love to hear it.”Ashkii frowns and replies, “I see a lot of fire and then death. A long walk that kills so many father and there is no hero in sight for us only the white people with a man who flies and burns our homes.”
The Grandfather understands this nightmare is something different. He comforts Ashkii after he blesses Ashkii with taadadine (corn pollen), “Don’t Ashkii you are protected nothing will harm you trust me.” Ashkii smiles since he feels safe again, nothing will harm him it was only a dream, Just a simple nightmare that is going to go away in due time. Though his grandfather still has a sense of fear and foreboding, lately the whites and the Navajo have been in conflict with each other. Any day now he feels that it will explode to something more evil. He prays in his heart that nothing shall turn destructive to the Dine’ the Navajo.
Ashkii has another flashback, this time in the Long Walk to Bosque Redondo.
As a child he looks up in the air to see a hero with a black union outfit with a helmet and mask covering his face named, Freedom. Ashkii even as a child see’s the irony of the man’s name. HE understands what Freedom is. Right now, the freedom for his family to live on their sacred homeland has been taken away. He doesn’t understand why his mother has tried to help the white men all she could. But instead of being free to live her life they murdered her and raped her.
Ashkii’s see’s the man Liberty come down in front of him, though he doesn’t land, he hovers in the side of Ashkii and he starts talking, “He little Indian. How is it going? Ready to go to your new home?” Ashkii looks at Freedom with a lot of spite and anger. How dare he say a new home for him? It was stolen away. Ashkii only observes Freedom and notices a Star of David necklace come out of his coat. Ashkii remembers that was the symbol of the Jews The ones who had to wonder to find their homeland. Ashkii made a smug remark in Yiddish, “`du yidish sir (you Jewish sir)?” in shock Freedom replies, “ye` ikh bin bisl Indian.Iikh bin khideshn zikh yener`du visn mame-loshn!!?(Yes I am little Indian. I am shocked you know Yiddish)!!!?” Ashkii looks at the hero of the White man he is perplexed. The Jews in his mother’s story had always spoken of the Jewish people as the chosen people of God. But if they have been chosen by their God as a chosen people Ashkii is perplexed and asks Freedom, “adoyn frayheyt farvos muzn ikh geyn avek fun heym?(Mr. Freedom why must I go away from home?)” Freedom hears the small child and then responds an answer that was told to him by Sherman himself, “Gezunt kid meir zeinen nemen`du keyn a bsholem arayngebn vu`du kenen blien (Well kid we are taking you to a safe place where you can flourish.)” Ashkii then looks even angrier and bitter then responds in English, “but we are already able to flourish in our lands. It’s when you came is when we started to die and suffer!!!!” Freedom can’t seem to respond to such pain in Ashkii’s voice. He knows that the land where they are sending Ashkii’s people to it is barren. Ashkii keeps on yelling at him in English showing disrespect by looking at him in the eyes, “Why can’t I go home!!!Why can’t I have my shima (my mother) again!!!!!! I want to go home!!! I want my shima (my mother) back!!!!”
Freedom has a guilty face listening to the angry voice of a child such bitterness and sadness. Instead of responding Freedom flies away not looking back and Ashkii keeps on yelling but his Grandmother pulls him back in line.
In modern day Angel Falls.
Ashkii wakes up from the dream and Sasha is over home hugging him. He must have been screaming from the memory awake. Sasha seems to assure him saying, “It’s over Ashkii. Don’t cry Maestro it’s alright.” Ashkii wipes his face away and see’s that tears ran down his face. He knows he has a lot of pain in him from the past. Sasha got him to go to a psychiatrist, especially with the help from the Guardians who have experience from dealing with time travels. Ashkii looks at his purple haired friend and she looks at Ashkii, “Maestro you should rest. Your doctor’s appointment with Dr. Methuselah will be early in the morning.” After that she hugs Ashkii again. She cares for her friend Ashkii. Not just for being a weapon with a soul but as a person. Sasha looks at Ashkii and he seems to calm down. He doesn’t say a word but sleeps again in the arms of Sasha.
The next morning the air is chilly and it wakes Ashkii up. Though normally he would run against the sun he overslept this night and woke up in the morning. He still does his prayers and then looks at the time. Ashkii smiles, “Well it’s time to visit that shrink." As he walks along to the Psychiatrists office he sees an Athiest group put a sign of their logic is beyond anything and that God is a figment of someone’s imagination. Ashkii chuckles, “Then they never had seen me.” Walking around the crowded streets he sees many people practices the debauchery to survive. He sees a young man selling Marijuana maybe trying to keep his family alive. He sees another young girl that sees no option but to do escort work for the wealthy of the city. Ashkii takes pity on the young girl. There he sings to calm him down, a simple song then walks along the dreary path.
In another location of Angel Falls Dr. White prepares to meet his next patient. He is reading the books of the famous Indian Fighter Ashkii Nadleehee or Sachael Abraham. Reading these books he sees the intellect that he left behind after his disappearance in the 1870’s. It is almost too beautiful to behold. As a youth he had always admired his rebellious nature against the US government. So much so that he joined the American Indian Movement. Though after reading the books through he sees some of his thoughts about rebellion, culture, ideas on to care for one another, revenge, and ultimately he thinks Native American nationalism.
Recently one of the Guardians had approached Dr. White to take a look at a time traveling patient. He agreed to do so. Now he waits for that patient to come.
Ashkii enters the small Psychiatrists office a small bed in the middle of the room. A man greets him, “Hello Mr. Abraham was it? My name is Dr. Niqatoag White at your service.” Ashkii is shocked to hear that name and responds politely, “My name to the white world is Sachael Abraham.” Dr. White Is shocked at the full name but looks like its just another name that is just similar to a historical figure. He asks nicely, “Well we are both Native American so how about we introduce each other in our actual names?” Ashkii smiles in his mind he is glad to see a native knows his real name. Dr. White smiles, “My name is Niqtoag Alatetmat, or the Man Who Walks around with Light.” Ashkii smiles and says in Navajo, “Shi’Ashkii Nadleehee yinishye. Shi’Yikáí Sidáhí Ashkii yinishye.”
Dr. White is shocked to hear the two names. These names he though belong to history. Of the same warrior that remained uncatchable and unable to be defeated. He now takes a look of the face of the same man in the paper called Sachael Abraham. He has the same distinct scars going down his face with the same cruel but handsome face that is often seen in the old photographs of him. Though different outfits instead of the Wild West travelers outfit he sees an Unlucky Rabbit Zero shirt and jeans with Southwestern moccasins. Either way he takes a look at an old photo he found in a National History museum and finds that they are one and the same people.
Dr. White smiles politely, “So Mr. Abraham do you understand why you are here?” Ashkii nods, “I do, for psychiatric treatment. From the insistence of the god damned Guardians.” Dr. White smiles and then replies, “Yes it is from the Guardians. They want me to help them figure out how you tick. So then Ashkii can I ask you a few questions to say enlighten them.” Ashkii looks at Mr. White sternly, “Well they could just read some of my journals I written in the past and they should figure me out pretty easily. It seems that everyone thinks they know who I am.”
Dr. White almost emotionless states, “Well your journals were published for the world to see in several different languages and many of the great intellectuals read them including, people like Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, even Che Guevara but, most notably amongst Native American peoples in North, Central and South America.” Ashkii gives a slight chuckle of pride. Though Dr. White continues talking, “But I don’t think that’s the complete picture of the man Ashkii since according to oral history you were more complicated.”
Ashkii gives a chuckle then replies to Mr. White a quote from the Bible, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8: 32.” Mr. White looks perplexed and asks, What do you mean by that?” Ashkii looks at him, “I mean that when I tell you the real truth you will be set free from the histories the white men made and assumed about my life. But I rather not disclose some parts.” Dr. White smiles in his mind he know that after enough prodding he could get to a core of a person all he needs is the opportunity.
So Dr. White asks about a recent event, “So why Mr. Naadleehee did you put criminals on the cross? What in the right mind make you think like that?” Ashkii responds with a cold demeanor, “Its simple its justice that no one will give the streets. The Heroic Meta Humans of this town don’t care of the minority’s deaths or injury. Instead they would save the white person instead. While an injured let’s say African American person would be left there. So instead of letting injustice happen I punish it. Yes the use of a crucifix is well barbaric to say at the least. But sometimes cruel things must be done for the better of neighborhood. Hell where I live crime had gone down and children can actually play outside with their elders watching them.”
Dr. White records Ashkii’s words and reasons that he could possibly have a hero complex (which he finds common in Angel Falls). Then he asks another question. “So, Abraham what was your mother like?” Ashkii smiles with some pride in his voice, “My Mother was a strong woman that did anything inher power to make sure my brother and I was safe.” Dr. White is shocked and asks, “So Abraham who was your brother?” Ashkii has a solemn smile on his face, “His name in English is Gentle Boy. But the whites called him Jonah.” Dr. White records this information. In the history books his brother was hardly mentioned and he asks, “So what was your brother like?” Ashkii bluntly replies,” I recorded a lot of my brother in my journals maybe you should reread it. “
Dr. White avoids the questions about his brother so he won’t start any problems. Then he asks about the Indian Schools, “Well Abraham what can you tell me about the Indian Schools? What were they like?” Ashkii has a tear down his face but still keeps himself composed. “No more than brainwashing schools. They didn’t want to let’s say civilize us Natives. Only make us more subservient to the whites.” Ashkii sees flashbacks to all the beating he received and even seeing other students get molested. He knows what those places made and it was not good for him or the world. It was only a stain. “They would make us do military like drills for common shit such as make our beds, take orders and such. Then, punish us by doing drills or sometimes they just plainly beat us.” Ashkii remembers that Freedom recommended him to the school since his above average intelligence. When he came to the Angel Falls Indian school the teachers did not want the students to speak their Native Language. Only the language at the time Ashkii found detestable and evil, English. “They even try to snuff out our language so much for the melting pot of the world when they are trying to eliminate languages.” Dr. White has a tear come down his face as a veteran of the Vietnam war he was a part of the generation that went 20 years earlier Angel Falls Indian Schools and tried to do it on him he only says in his language, “Tlemen, Tetmigiac (Thus, Falling of the tide.)”
Ashkii continues through, “But it was not always that bad though I remember that Mr. Liebowitz brought me to his home in New York City. Since, they wanted me to do an opera. It was strange at that time to see so many people from all the countries of the world. But I also wondered. How could we beat these Bilagaana when there was so many of them?” Dr. White is recording the story of that part of Ashkii’s life since his Indian School days are almost unheard of and also to figure more about him. Ashkii continues, “Then I went to a concert to sing for rich millionaires. I sang Au Claire De la Luna. As I sang it upon everyone in the arena I felt something in my heart. I felt like I was being used as a toy. Before I loved the song and sang it often for its beauty. But now I realized the truth. That I was to them a success story.”
Dr. White this time responds, “What do you mean a success story?” Ashkii looks a bit peeved but composes himself, “Since I was to them close to being civilized. The purpose as you and I know was to kill the Indian, and save the man. But instead they made me into a toy to be played around with. As I came back to Mr. Liebowitz’s home I asked him, ‘When can I go home?’ He responded, ‘Not until I become civilized. “Then Dr. White I was silent because of the misery those words caused me. Not to go home is pretty bad don’t you think?” Dr. White was shocked at the almost callous response to a tragedy. What happened that day would have broken another person. But to the mind of Dr. White Ashkii was what the book told him a man who thought with precision, even though his face doesn’t show it very human.
Ashkii requests to end the talks for today. Dr. White agrees. Ashkii walks away from the door suddenly tears come from his eyes. But he does not cry out like a small child. He just walks silently away. No one he feels has to go through what he has gone through. His culture was nearly stolen from him, his language nearly purged away, the attempted moving and death of his family that went with him to the Hweeldi. ‘Why me’? Ashkii thinks ‘why did I survive and many others die? Why did the others go home before I got to go home?’ Ashkii walks along the hallway in sorrow and no joy remembering his bleak and cruel past.
In another room another person was listening in on the conversation from the Guardian base via a robot recording bug, Polygirl. She was astonished to hear such a tragic tale from Ashkii. Like many other Guardian members she thought of him as a monster of the past. Especially after the time he almost crucified them in a crazy state. After listening to that conversation and recording it. She is close to tears. She thinks out loud, “This is wrong why do we have to watch him?” She then relents and walks around after absorbing some of Ashkii’s pain just by listening to it. She has several tears going down her face. Now in her mind she cannot handle the pain of another. She then whimpers and cries for not just her but Ashkii.
“What we leave behind when we take a culture away from a person of the land is the curse of suffering, sadness, pain, and anger that will go through their family for generations.” Quote Ashkii Naadleehe, from his book “Impermissible” Page 339 (1878).
Well here is a story were Ashkii goes to an Angel falls shrink and well you see more of his past. But near the end Polygirl Listens in.
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