Hello my friends!
So, here’s the story about my superpower, and why I quit my job because of it. It’s a long story.
Within about the first year of my meeting Odin, by way of he and Frigga returning my phone to the cricket store (it was an elderly couple, I took it as a sign), and getting my internal radio working properly, he told me that I was a berserker. By told, I mean the word itself, the anime, Skyrim builds, all sorts of stuff kept coming up until eventually I was like, “okay, Allfather, I get the picture,” and started researching. That ended up being right around the middle of my freshman year of college, and roughly the same time I figured out that being transgender is a thing. I learned and read, and then at roughly winter solstice that year he started showing me what I was like in a previous lifetime: a man in viking age Scandinavia, who happened to be a berserker. I kept remembering details of that life, and wondering what the actual eff was going on, until Odin started training — or re-training as the case may be — me as one of his Wolves. Somehow, my boyfriend managed to stick with me through the absolute clusterfuffle that was my half-semester of sophomore year, where All The Wyrd came crashing down on my head and I had to step away from the whole college thing.
If you don’t know, a berserker is someone who, when driven too far over certain physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual limits, will go full-on, bug-fuck-nutty and all sorts of weirdshit starts happening. The berserk’s brain activates both sets of nerves at the same time, both the fight-flight-or-fuck response and the relaxed, trance-like, healing response. Normally, this shouldn’t and doesn’t happen, but because of whatever reason — I still don’t know why, it just happens — it does, and when it does, all of the body’s regenerative, sensing, and immune functions are boosted out to space by all the adrenaline in the system. I mean all the adrenaline. It seems to the berserk as though time has slowed slightly, everything gets clearer, smells get smellier, and the weirdshit sense gets weirder. Along with that, it’s as though the “human” part of the brain shuts off to some degree, which varies from person to person, and the “animal” part comes to the fore. It’s like being possessed by something, like becoming a werewolf, if you will. Or werebear. Or were-whatever, there are apparently a lot of variations.
Now, with the vast majority of people, the body just can’t handle the absolutely immense strain of having all of the wiring suddenly turned on and re-routed, and a lot of people who try to induce a berserk state without being able to take it end up injuring themselves, sometimes really badly. Berserkers usually have one of two body types in this case: tall, broad-shouldered, barrel-chested, basically more bear-like to support slightly larger lungs which keep the brain working when shtuff like this happens, and short, thin, wiry, and light types, which take the “smart car” approach, meaning that they don’t need as much “fuel” to get going and stay going. I am of the latter persuasion, and I can attest that I do have a disproportionately big rib cage, and wide shoulders for someone of my height, weight, and chromosome set. I almost always look emaciated, because they stick out. It’s not because I am, it’s just because that’s how I’m built. I’m a little wolf which is freaky to me, because my last name, “Lowell” means little wolf. Whoever stuck me here, good job on that score!
Basically, I can do shtuff that other people can’t. I can do Serious Weirdshit and still be functional the next day. I can push myself physically for far longer and far harder than someone like me should be able too, which is useful when your job requires you to be on your feet for 5-ish hours at a stretch, and lift things that weigh half as much as you do(I said I was tiny. I am tiny). I haven’t ever gone full-on snarly mode at work — although I had a close call last week when I picked up something a little too heavy for me, carried it over to where it needed to be, and about blacked out after I put it down — mostly because I know where my limits are, and what I have to do in order to get just there, but not over the line. And I can stay in an almost-berserk state for about an hour if I need to, which I need to do a lot in order to keep up with the work load and not injure myself in the process.
The caveat to this “superpower” is that the crash afterward is horrendous. I’ve gone full-on warg because of Bran twice(plz don’t ask) and at least once, a few days ago, with him in close proximity. I’ve never hurt him, aside from a few scratch marks, but the point is I know what full-gone feels like, and he knows what it’s like for me after. It sucks. The fatigue is real, and usually the length and intensity of the crash is proportionate to the length and intensity of the incident. For instance, the other day it was 98-ish degrees out (F), middle of the day, and I was already more than a little frustrated because Bran was walking me back home in that redonculous heat, and we’d been on the road an hour when he pointed out that someone had removed the willow tree – my favorite tree in the city – from its spot next to the path to the park by my house. I was seething for a good five minutes, before finally flying into a sixty-second rage. Which is dangerous, when it’s that hot out, because I could have easily gotten heatstroke with all that energy. We ended up sitting on the shore of a nearby pond for a few minutes while I came back down, and by then most of my muscles had cramped up and I was sweating like I’d just run a marathon. The fatigue hit all at once, and I was sitting there practically laying on Bran while I waited for my strength to come back, but it did in short order, and we hiked the rest of the way back to the house.
So, short burst of Hulksmashery means that it’s followed by short burst of “kill me like one of your French girls.” Which means that long periods of being almost-there-but-not-quite, means that A) I don’t get any benefits of the heightened healing because I’m only running on adrenaline, not serotonin, and B) the crash lasts much longer. Those two things make for long hours at work, and long hours after work of not being able to do a whole lot more than sleep. Now, having to do that once or twice a week is one thing. That, I could do. Four or five has started to wear me down to the point where I’ve actually started to lose weight – which is a big Not Good when you’re already this much of a twig – and am in pain constantly. I get crashes even when I don’t/can’t go berserk lately. This afternoon I had the first migraine I’ve had in a very long time, which is basically the last straw for me. Tomorrow is my last day, and I am beyond thankful for that.
Tl,dr: Tiny squishy berserker is tiny and squishy.
Moral of the story: the next time Odin tells me to run the hell away from something, I will listen sooner.