the dreams leave
Session 2: Setting the Context
Jak and Keira were in their apartment, preparing for the arrival of their
guests. They did their utmost best to clean up everything, making their home
presentable. Once they were certain the dining table was properly laid out
and prepared, they went into the kitchen to busily prepare the meal. It was
stew with butternut squash and hot paprika, the very meal Keira had intended
to prepare for Jak that night, as they had both begun their days believing
he would soon embark on a long journey. As that was no longer the case, they
were both much happier and the mood more light-hearted. They helped each
other in almost every chore, finishing the stew preparations and leaving the
mixture to cook, while they both prepared elements of the apricot pie. The
mood was so cheery they started singing various songs and rhymes from their
childhood, laughing when they discovered they could not remember some of the
Eventually, everything was finished and cooking. The couple sighed as they
began to clean up the mess they had made in their kitchen, Keira dealing
with the used utensils in their sink, while Jak grabbed a mop.
"We have to change out of these clothes," said Keira disapprovingly as she
inspected their stained and dust-covered garments.
"Nothing too formal," ordered Jak as he swept. "You can wear a dress
though," he suggested with a grin.
"So you can stare at my legs while you're supposed to be getting help?"
observed the mechanic wryly. "I don't think so, your Highness."
Jak gave out a mock moan in response. He continued sweeping while a thought
struck him. "Did you mean what you said, about wanting to understand what I
went through?" Keira stopped her scrubbing to face him, wanting to say
something but only nodding her reply. He looked at her earnestly. "Part of
the reason I want you to sit in is so that...I don't feel so alone, when I
explain what happened to me back then. But I need you to promise me
something, ok?" When she didn't answer, he continued. "I need you to just
listen, only listen. If I need something from you, I'll ask, I'll say
something. Just don't suggest anything that could help me, or you think
could help me. Or ask me to talk outside the sessions. Yerran's the expert,
after all, not you."
His beloved seemed sad that he would ask such a thing from her. She forced
herself to smile as she nodded. "I understand. I'll just listen." She turned
back to her scrubbing, while Jak finished his sweeping. "That doesn't
include tonight though, does it? From what you told me, we'll just talk
about ourselves tonight, us in general."
"Yeah, tonight. So, that's the exception." He picked up a dustpan to sweep
the mess into.
"In that case, we should figure out what we're gonna say. I seriously
don't think they'll believe the time travel part."
In his smart baby-blue britches, white T-shirt and navy waistcoat, Jak
opened the front door. The sky was lit orange by the sunset and his smile
seemed to match.
"Good evening, Jak, this is my granddaughter, Pern." The older woman
indicated the teenage girl next to her, who wore her dark-brown hair short
and had watchful eyes the colour of green emeralds. Her skin was dark, like
the other nomads, but she was wearing a pink dress more similar to the style
the citizens of Haven City adopted. Coolly, she shook hands with Jak,
exchanging greetings with him.
Inside, Jak poured into the glasses the grape juice from a tankard. The two
guests seemed very curious about the furnishings, clearly interested in the
typical household items and styles of other cultures' homes. Vocally, they
asked about some of the pictures and photos adorning the walls. Keira,
wearing a marine-green tunic over silver leggings, brought the food to the
table and served the stew onto the guests' plates first, explaining the
ingredients as she did so. The two visitors looked delighted by the food and
happily tucked in.
After some light prompting, Jak and Keira took it in turns to talk about
their life story, albeit in summarised form. They briefly talked about their
childhood in Sandover Village, both talking about the role of Samos in their
lives. Jak then went into detail about how he could not only channel Eco -
already an unusual and unique ability among people - but also absorb it for
various effects: green for healing, blue for faster speed, red for strength
and yellow for the ability to aim and shoot energy. He compared these uses
to Dark Eco, which is a dangerous substance and has harmful effects when
absorbed in great amounts; at this point he mentioned how Maia and Gol had
been mutated and driven mad by the substance, as well as how accidentally
pushing Daxter into a pool of it meant his best friend had been turned into
an ottsel. After defeating Maia and Gol and stopping their plans to open up
the Dark Eco silos, they had found a large rift gate. As agreed earlier, the
couple did not mention that this gate had sent them through time, providing
the impression that he, she, Daxter and Samos had simply been sent over a
Keira mentioned that they had all been separated before arriving in Haven
City and Jak had been captured and sent to prison almost immediately after
his arrival. The other three did not see each other for nearly 2 years. Jak
quickly said that Daxter had led him out of prison and introduced him to the
underground, where he helped them stage a revolt against Baron Praxis. At
this point, the very curious Pern interjected with her questions regarding
political history, as she was aware that the current baroness shared the
name, so Jak confirmed that Ashelin was his daughter. Without mentioning
that there were 2 Samoses at this time, as well as a very young version of
Jak, who needed to be sent 300 years back in time after the baron and the
Metal Head leader were defeated, Jak quickly skipped to the point when all
enemies had been defeated and the city was quickly reformed. Ashelin became
baroness, reformed the Krimzon Guards into the Freedom League and held
elections for a new, elected City Council. However, the Metal Head threat
had persisted, so the top priority was reinforcing the city's defences and
retraining the troops where necessary. Jak had assisted in this all he
The finished meal had to be cleared and dessert served before the story
could be continued. After a few months, the city had been the victim of a
vicious Metal Head assault; there were many casualties among civilians and
troops and the city's palace had been destroyed. In a quick trial, Jak had
been charged guilty for crimes against the citizenry and was exiled to the
Wastelands. Daxter and Pecker had joined him, Ashelin had also provided him
a beacon. The heat meant all 3 had passed out, so when he came to, he found
himself in Spargus and worked to become a citizen of Spargus. He and Daxter
had learned much about the Precursors, as well as the plot of the 'Dark
Makers' to come to their planet and conquer it. They had had assistance from
what had remained of the Krimzon Guards, which had all been mechanised by
this point. While learning of this plot, Jak had been granted Light Eco
powers (at this point in the story, he realised he had not mentioned the
fact that his time in prison meant he had escaped only with the ability to
channel Dark Eco. He quickly stated this and then continued.) While Jak had
fought the Metal Heads, the Krimzon Guards and
the traitorous council member Count Veger, who had desired to become a
Precursor and gain great power, he had also gotten to know Damas, the King
of Spargus and former King of Haven City, who had been overthrown and exiled
by Baron Praxis. Damas was also his father.
"That's why officials address me as King Mar. It's the name he gave me, but
I grew up someplace else and have no memory of my time around here, so my
friends still call me Jak."
Jak became contemplative as he shared the moment of his father's heroic -
yet tragic - death. After defeating numerous Metal Heads their vehicle had
been damaged by a landmine. Jak's fast reflexes meant he had jumped clear of
the accident, with Daxter hanging on his shoulder, but Damas was too injured
and died from the damage, simply asking Jak to save the world, as destiny
foretold. At this point, Jak got up and fetched the jewel from a cabinet. It
was a dark magenta stone, portraying 2 sides in a loop, to signify balance.
Jak turned it over, showing the date of his birth engraved on the back.
"This jewel is supposed to signify that the wearer is a member of the legacy
of Mar. They wear this, they have the right to rule. Damas gave me his and I
put it away for safe-keeping."
After putting the jewel away, he wasted little time in explaining that it
had been Count Veger who had had him kidnapped as a child, before he was
rescued by the rebelling underground and sent away. At this moment in time,
Count Veger's intention was to save the world from the Dark Makers by
becoming a Precursor. Well, he became a Precursor alright, the Precursors
were actually all ottsels, meaning Count Veger was turned into an ottsel as
well. The 2 guests could not hold back their laughter at this. The hosts let
them laugh, knowing full well how silly this twist in the story is (and
another reason why they did not mention the time travel element). Once the
laughter died down, Jak stated that he and Daxter were able to defeat the
mechanised Krimzon Guards and the Dark Makers, thus saving the world and
Daxter could finally have them grant his wish: a pair of trousers.
Keira then spoke. "And if you still don't believe that the Precursors are
ottsels, well go to the Naughty Ottsel and see Tess. She wished her shorts
could fit her like Daxter's so she got turned into an ottsel." This time,
the guests did not laugh, simply looked stunned.
Yerran let out a breath. "Well, I can honestly say I have never come across
anyone so young with a life already so eventful."
Jak chuckled. "Impressed?"
The elder woman nodded. "Among...other reactions," she answered mildly.
"Can I use the bathroom?" asked Pern.
So Keira showed Pern to the bathroom, while Jak gathered up the used and
empty dishes, Keira helping when she returned. After a few minutes, all four
people found themselves seated on the sofas arranged in the other end of the
dining/living room, each holding a mug of warm herbal tea. The couple had
questions of their own regarding the nomads and their history, as well as
their specialist craft.
As was becoming typical, Yerran did the talking. "Skydown Fountains is a
township that prides itself and focuses on the sciences, as well as some
arts and philosophy. Centuries ago, philosophy and observational science
merged when the following questions arose: What is it that informs a
person's morals? How important is the surrounding environment on a person?
Does a particular upbringing decide a person's intelligence level? And why
does hypnotism work?"
"Hypnotism?" asked Jak.
"You mean that act people do when a person controls another person and makes
them do things?" clarified Keira.
Yerran grinned. "Yes, exactly. Hypnotism is often used to force people to
tell the truth or put them under an illusion of some sort. Jak, it is likely
I will use it at least once on you, but not for a while yet. Anyway, with
these questions our ancestors began studying various people and children in
various environments, some within our township and some in a few towns and
villages further away. They learned fascinating things about the
relationship between a person's morals, character and the environment they
grow up in, as well as how people treat them. So this was the beginning of
the study of the mind, or Mind Sciences, or even psychology, as some choose
to call it. Then, nearly 250 years ago, Skydown Fountains was hit by a
plague. I don't have to explain how terrible that was. After the plague was
gone, after the disease claimed no more victims, there was still suffering.
Doctors were baffled, they were unsure what caused this hysteria or how to
"This was when my people made a remarkable discovery and when explaining
this discovery, I always compare it to a physical injury. Say you broke your
arm. You know what's wrong, your doctor knows what's wrong, so he treats it
as normal and advises you to leave it alone. Which you do, because a broken
bone needs to be kept in place and left alone in order to heal. However,
when the mind is wounded, the
problem is not an obvious one because no one can see it. The injured person
is also unaware of it, not realising anything is wrong until they notice
that, they are not thinking the same way they used to, not acting the same
way they used to, not even feeling the same way they used to. Because the
mind does not know what is wrong, it always touches and fiddles with the
wound, never letting it heal. So the person then finds themselves re-living
the terrible experience that wounded them."
Jak nodded. "Makes sense."
"So, what happened to all the people that ended up in the Keris Institute?"
asked Keira. "A lot of them have been there for years, no war to scar them."
"The majority of the poor people in that institute have been affected by one
of two things: either they have had numerous traumas in their life, meaning
their minds have many wounds, or their minds simply deteriorated."
The hosts blankly stared at her. "Minds deteriorated, just like that?"
Yerran nodded sadly. "Just like that. The studies of our ancestors
discovered that as well, meaning that treatments could be developed. The
studies of the mind are very vast and treatment for any problems long and
complex. When comparing the mind to the body again, a person's body will
always look like another's, in the sense that a doctor can find the same
bones in the same places, the same organs in the same places. Every visitor
we care for is different, in personality, in experiences, the way they
communicate, whether they know which of their life experiences has
traumatised them or not. When our ancestors chose to leave Skydown
Fountains, it was not only to share what they had learned in their studies,
it was also to study further, to come across new situations and new kinds of
"So the first sessions we'll have is to identify the wound? Even though I
already know what caused it?" asked Jak. At this point, Pern grabbed a pen
and notebook from her satchel and began scribbling notes.
"The fact that you are able to refer to your 'time in prison' without
hesitation suggests to me that being locked up was not the cause of your
trauma. I will need to know what happened to you, how it has affected your
mind and how it affects you now. Only then will I know how to train your
mind to accept the wound, to allow you
to be able to live with your experiences without them interfering in your
"So," spoke up Pern, pausing from her writing and looking up, "are you King
of 2 cities? Because you said Damas ruled Spargus but you said you're the
King of Haven City."
Jak nodded. "There's a man called Sig, he governs Spargus when I'm not
there. Even when I am there really."
"And how does your rule work with the baroness around?"
"Her main responsibility is security, like mine is securing our sources of
Eco. She also governs when I'm not here. And before you ask, yes I trust
her. She was working with the rebels against her father."
Pern scribbled in her notebook further. "Matthias said you were really quiet
in the Council Meeting, the baroness too. Why do you let the council talk
all the time?"
"That is the name of the speaker who presented us to you," answered Yerran.
Jak blinked. "The reason I don't talk in meetings much is because the
council is elected, so I'm really just there to stop their debates getting
out of control." He frowned at the sight of Pern note-taking. "What are you
The teenager looked up in confusion. "I'm writing notes."
His frown changed focus to the elder guest. "You take notes too?"
"Yes, but I choose to never take any during a session, I prefer to write
some key notes afterwards so that I know where to focus."
His frown deepened. "You keep records?" he asked in a hardened voice.
Yerran watched his reaction and grew concerned, so much so that her
perpetual smile had vanished. "Of our sessions? I will do, yes."
Her concern matching Yerran's, Keira laid a hand on Jak's. He seemed to
appreciate the gesture, squeezing her hand in return. "New condition," he
ordered, "before every session starts, I want to read your notes of the last
one. All of them, including hers."
Pern looked panicked, but Yerran was not surprised and nodded easily. "Of
course, it is your right."
Relieved, Jak let out a sigh of relief. "Good. So, can we have the next one
by Ruth Hüneke 2013
Naughty Dog and Sony