"Communion": Buddy Baker madly chases a creature he has been led to believe is god. He tracks it deep into the woods, and tries to remember how he got on its trail. He had been speaking with his mother-in-law Mary Frazier, and she revea
- See, sex is usually good for me and Buddy. I always feel comfortable and strong about it... So I thought maybe that'd be a safe way for me to get in touch with the lifeweb and feel the world the way he does.
- -- Ellen Baker
Appearing in "Communion"
- Silent Walkers
- Maxine Baker (Flashback only)
- Annie Cassidy
Synopsis for "Communion"
Buddy Baker madly chases a creature he has been led to believe is god. He tracks it deep into the woods, and tries to remember how he got on its trail. He had been speaking with his mother-in-law Mary Frazier, and she revealed how she had met this creature as a child.
As a young girl, Mary had had a hiding place in the gnarled roots of a tree. Once, she had fallen asleep there, and awoke to a strangely comforting smell. Then, she had seen this creature. She was drawn to him, and he held her, and he gave her calming visions. When she returned home and told her father what she had seen, he called her a blasphemer, and belted her. After telling her story, Mary had encouraged Buddy to chase after the creature, so that he doesn't miss his chance.
Elsewhere, Ellen Baker sits in the rain, where she is joined by their guest Annie Cassidy. Annie wonders what's on Ellen's mind, but Ellen is hesitant to share. She admits that she was jealous of Annie's connection to things wild, making her a little closer to Buddy than herself. She reveals that she and Buddy had had sex as a means of bringing Ellen closer to experiencing the lifeweb, but that ultimately, she had preferred the more human side of lovemaking to the animal one.
Annie suggests that the driving force of sex is fear of death, and that the reason that Ellen didn't enjoy it was that she was forced to come face to face with that fear. She claims that humans mask their fear by calling it desire. Annie explains how her detachment from desire stems from her daughter's diagnosis with cancer, and her feeling that the human race is on the road to extinction.
Buddy has been chasing the creature for three nights. He worries about Ellen's response to their wild sex, knowing that she is too vulnerable to handle it properly. Finally, he encounters a group of these creatures at the top of a mountain. They convey to him that they are beings known as the silent walkers, and have been around since as long as humans. They have stood by for years, watching humans come close to supremacy, only to fall into ruin - over and over again. While they do not condemn the humans, they fear that this time, humans are coming closer to destroying their host: the earth.
Buddy joins the silent walkers in ceremonies and rituals, participating in a funeral rite for them. They dance, and eat together. Finally, the beings leave, with Buddy left naked and alone in the woods. Buddy, however, feels changed. He has a new awareness that has given him the ability to see an alternative way to live. He leaps off the mountain top to the ground below.
Buddy arrives back at the farm at night, sneaking into bed beside Ellen. Ellen mentions that she worries for their daughter Maxine. She had gone out normally, and then come home naked in a police car, smelling strangely, wrapped in a blanket. She had attempted to stop some loggers from cutting down a tree with a squirrel's nest in it, and wound up peeing on someone.
When Ellen asks what Buddy had been doing, he responds that he was visiting with god. Ellen looks at him, and is disturbed to see that his eyes have changed to something more animal than human.
- This issue is reprinted in Animal Man: Red Plague.
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