1975 –

The spirit was dazed, as it most often was even for years after it died. All of its lives were tangled together, meshed, pulsing.

Fighting.

But never against one another; the spirit liked that. There were others of course, other warrior spirits that split their time between opposing sides, but this warrior never divided itself; it always knew what side it was fighting on, what side was right. Sometimes it took its new body awhile to realize it, but the warrior's soul always won out in the end.

The spirit was still sorting out which life was which when its most recent life suddenly became clear. Only a year ago, young man, barely 25, on the ground in Vietnam, fighting for the freedom of his family against the North. He'd died too soon, trapped in a prison camp, but he'd fought until the very end, helping to lead a revolt that was all too quickly quashed by the well fed guards.

The spirit had taken a break before that. The World Wars hadn't called to it, and the spirit never even looked in if there was nothing to call to it. There hadn't really been anything going on to interest it since the Battle of Little Bighorn in '76, when it had been with one of the teenage Lakota warriors who'd fought against Custer. It had been almost 100 years since an unborn soul had shown the promise the spirit wanted, the promise of defiance, and the promise of a true warrior.

How the spirit wished it could find someone like the sweet Northern girl with her tomboy side in 1834. Now she was a fighter. Even before the war, she'd fought against the mindset of the day, wearing men's clothes and cutting her hair, getting a job at a newspaper, all while hiding her gender. She'd run away from that job in '61, and joined the army at the age of 27, enlisting as an 18 year old boy to go and fight the Johnny Rebs and help end the wrong of slavery. She'd died at the long and bloody Battle of Antietam, when the cannon she'd been helping to fire was overrun by enemy soldiers.

The spirit was contemplating just simply waiting until the year 1983, when a soul would be born that could help fight the outrage and terror felt by the American people in 2001, and later join the fight over in Iraq and Iran, but there was something out there, something that was calling to it. It peered into the distant and not so distant future of the life of one young family about to have their first child. The child's soul was calling out to it, screaming its need to fight, its need to be a warrior.

The spirit hadn't felt a call this strong since 1744. That soul had gone on to stand firm on the blood soaked fields of the American Revolutionary War when others quailed in fear or even ran and hid.

The future was never firm and clear like the past was, but even now the spirit could see that this child's soul was going places. He would have a rough time of it, growing up very poor and losing a lot of people he would care about along the way, including most likely his entire family, be it to death or a rift in his relationships. He would find true love and lose it, find his purpose and find that it was not at all what he thought it was, and he would be all alone in the world until one man brought him into a group of people that would change the boy's life.

The spirit smiled to itself. It was very much looking forward to working with this man for decades to come. Unlike the people it usually worked with, it could tell that this man was not going to die young. This man's star was going to burn bright and long. It chose the unborn's consciousness and slipped inside…

With dual cries from mother and child, the new baby slipped into the world. The doctor looked up into the faces of the concerned parents and smiled.

"Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Spencer. You have a healthy baby boy."