While I'm still at the controls here, I'm thinking I should treat you to an English translation of the traditional Blood-Oath that PePe and I were required to swear to one another on Friday. It's quite touching, and it gives the reader a window into the Piper/Fighter relationship. That the Rule of Secrecy should have kept the EIDF from sharing a tradition as beautiful as the Blood-Oath with the at-large culture (for eight centuries!) well, it really gets my goat, and it's something I want to fix.
I'll skip through all the invocations of gods, goddesses, and ancestors the droning doctrinal niceties, the three or more pages given over to buttering up Viracocha, the storm and sun god and set you down right in the heart of the text:
*Piper and Fighter walk together when Viracocha brings the sun.
*Piper and Fighter walk together in the rain.
*Piper and Fighter take shelter together when Viracocha brings black clouds, and the thunder and lightning.
*Piper and Fighter are inseparable.
*Piper and Fighter keep no secrets from one another.
*Piper and Fighter use their unique abilities to protect one another. Their lives are forever intertwined, in this world and the next.
*Piper and Fighter are of One Blood and One Being.
There is a postscript, a tacked-on bit, the importance of which has become another wedge issue between the Dance-Fighters of the First and Second Secret Mountain Redoubts. My Master Trainer, who provides Piper representation on his Council and Advisory Committee, regards this text as merely optional. Sort of like ". . . for thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory forever and ever," at the end of the Lord's Prayer:
*The Piper cannot live without the Fighter. When the Fighter dies, the Piper dies, too even if he must take his own life.
PePe and I talked this over when we wrote up the contract. He lobbied to include this language in our blood-oath, but I would have none of it. He insisted; I demurred. It was the one sticking point in our negotiations, and very nearly a deal-breaker. In the end, I proposed that the clause be bilateral, so that I would be required to take my own life, too, if my Piper should die. Tears welled up in PePe's eyes. He stood up from the table, and with voice cracking, he declaimed:
"Only now do I understand how foolish, how unfair I am to press my willing sacrifice upon you! It took this this unprecedented offer of mutuality from a Fighter! Now I am required to consider how it would feel to enter the next world whatever it is, wherever it may be bearing the weight of a blood-brother's untimely suicide on my shoulders. No, Phutatorius. I will not accept your offer; nor should you mine. Let us dispense with this clause in its entirety. May we never speak of it again."
Helluva guy, PePe.