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Dragon Mama - Wilted Vines [Oct. 25th, 2011|09:29 pm]
julian_skies
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Wilted Vines
They both stared below them at the same time, enticed to look below the soft fragrance of freshly-bloomed flowers. The trip had been long, most of the time was spent in silence, a silence which often would prompt Hirya to make some comment as she could not bear Samuel’s solemn silence for long, and it came to an end as they slowly drifted down into a flower meadow.
 
The wet mist that accompanied Hirya’s landing only worked to make the scene even more beautiful, making the flowers glisten. The two of them stopped to take in the scenery, the colorful plants were spread like a carpet, so neatly arranged this might as well be someone’s garden. And Hirya’s heart sank when she looked under her feet, a clearing in the flower meadow, which extended forward… Such a beautiful place, only the power of a dragon born under the element of wood could do this, she had found the second of her sons.
 
Samuel gently put a hand on her side, and she looked at him, and wordlessly they followed the path that led onwards. It was clear it’d lead to only one place. Where they wanted to go.
 
With little trouble they found him, a lot smaller than the rest of his kin, his movements and pose suggested such a gentle and kind demeanor his body looked like the only thing wrong in this place. He carefully treaded through a grove of trees, leaving no leaf turned, no blade of grass bent as he walked, gently caressing the plants and trees, with each movement of his, he’d coax the plants into movement, opening way for a growing bud here, lowering slightly a branch there, so the newborn birds would survive their eventual fall.
 
Hirya couldn’t say a word, she simply quietly followed her son, as he seemed to not notice her and went about, caring for the forest around him. This place was beautiful, poignantly beautiful, sad. The gentle beauty of those woods, the little beasts who hid from those who came by, the gentle flowers. Their arrangement, their sounds, it all cried, it brought tears to the eyes of the watcher, and neither Hirya nor Samuel knew at all how it happened, but it did.
 
Samuel looked down, and stopped, surprised. Hirya looked when she noticed him stop and saw what caused him pause. They were following a track, a track full of red, flowers colored deep red, crimson grass, vines which grew the color of blood. And they were all behind them, never ahead. When Hirya looked ahead again, she saw Granno staring at her, before resuming to ignore her presence, and continuing his walk.
 
He led them through the entire forest, leaving behind them a trail of blood red plants, Hirya only grew more and more uneasy, every step he took, every movement he did, even plant he moved, it all had a hidden meaning, she could not get it, but she felt it, and she would not contain the low rumble which slowly started to grow in her throat.
 
It all ended when they came full circle, and he led them finally to the same grove of flowers where they first landed, but this time, they were all blood red, the grass too, and the wind moved in such a strange way, causing the flowers and grass to sway as if they were stepping on a large puddle of blood. And Granno finally laid down, curled, at the center of it.
 
It was too much for Hirya, as she walked towards him, as she was just one step away from being close enough to speak, she collapsed to the ground, a loud, bass growl rumbling and echoing through the forest. Samuel simply put a hand over his mouth, muttering “Cruel…”
 
Samuel moves by slowly, and knelt beside Hirya, gently smiling to her, but without saying a single word further. Hirya then slowly gathered her strength, finally managing to stand up again, what little composure she could muster barely holding her head in level with her son “G-granno…”
 
And he made a raspy sound, it looked like a cough at first, a horrible strain to his throat. He slowly forced more and more, Hirya was worried but could not move a muscle, and eventually he managed to turn that tortured sound into words “Mother…” his voice was hoarse, unused as it was ever since that day, and bitter.
 
“Granno… H-how have… You been…” she was unsure of her words, her tail was shaking slightly, she knew the answer to that question, he had told her, all the way during this trip.
 
“It… Should… Have been… Me” he forced, more and more, voice slowly returning to lungs. He utterly ignored her words, speaking only what he had been storing all of those years. Hirya attempted to speak once more, but he stopped her, his at first faltering voice gaining momentum, coming by more naturally “I am weak, mother… All I can do, is care for this garden…” he slowly unfurled his wings “I cannot hunt… I am always afraid, afraid to hurt another…” he stood up, now this close Hirya could see many scars in his body “I could never defend another, all I could ever do, is rebuild this garden…” he opened his wings with all his strength, and at his command the trees and flowers bent away, showing carefully hidden and overgrown bones, humans and dragons aloge “This graveyard, of people who thought me strong enough to defend them!” he had never done so before to anyone, not since that day, and yet the first time he did so was for the only one he knew did not deserve it, he bared his teeth at her “Eratho was strong, mother, he stood for us! I am weak, it was me you should have killed that day!”
 
It brought not the closure he thought, to finally use his voice again, to say those words. Although he knew in his heart his mind refused to admit it, the one in front of him was not the monster his mind made her out to be, that day, but the displaced, kind soul his heart always knew she was. Watching her break down, collapse under the weight of regret and despair in front of him, it only hurt him more. His own low rumble joined hers, as he laid down again, this time beside her, gently putting a wing over her collapsed for “What… Have I… Done… I’m… I’m sorry, mama…”
 
Samuel bit his lip, this was not the time to interfere, so he sat down calmly, all that crossed his mind was sadness, he wondered what sort of twisted society the dragons had that gave birth to such horrible tales.
 
“E-eratho… I…” she started speaking, without noticing to whom, although she knew that those who had to hear it was there, that was all that mattered “I don’t even remember… What my children were doing… Something I thought wrong, but it is meaningless now… I sought to chastise them, they had to… Be stronger. They were cornered, and I did not want to think. It was painful to think, to realize all that I had done was wrong, that like I had suffered I had brought suffering to them too… No, I ran on instinct… I raised my claw, called them careless, weak… Eratho stepped up, in front of his cowering sibilings…” she was in a daze, she could not hear her own words any longer “’Impudent whelp, you have to learn to obey’ I yelled. And I brought down my claw… The sound… The sound of bones breaking, the echo… That echo, in the empty cave… It echoed for days… I-I killed him. He was the bravest of my children, and… I killed him, myself”
 
Samuel tilted his head to the side, and simply watched. As mother and child growled the cry of dragons, a light mist set on the area, giving the crimson swaying flowers and even creepier appearance of a puddle of blood, but as the mist soaked his clothes lightly he noticed the crimson wash away from the plants. It always amazed him, how sometimes the best way to read such powerfully elementally aligned people was not to look at them, but at the surroundings. As he plucked a flower before all crimson would wash away from it, he looked at the child who held his mother as if were she the kid, who cried herself to sleep. “Sometimes… The most gentle hearts, can be the most cruel” he said
 
Granno looked down at his sleeping mother “Sometimes… The most cruel beasts are the greatest bastions of love in a warped world…”
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Dragon Mama - Dead Sparkler [Sep. 15th, 2011|02:36 pm]
julian_skies
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Dead Sparkler
                Hirya didn’t want to think, it would be too painful to try to think and prepare for what was to come. She knew she had to do this, not just to ease her heart, but something in her told her that her children needed this too, but she could hardly bear to think about what she was about to do. She believed in Samuel when they set off, she figured he’d have a plan or, if he didn’t, that he was wise enough to know that things would solve themselves naturally.

                As they landed in the ravine, which was a couple of days of air travel away from the castle, she was sweating. As a dragon of the water element she was a dragon who could do that, and she was doing so coldly. She shook slightly to remove the layer of water over her and stared at the cave set in a small rocky outcropping. Standard far, for all she knew, of dragon housing. Not the kind of place she’d live right now, she had grown used human-style homes but given the way she raised her children, he’d definitely be in this cave. She stopped to sniff at the air for a while, a thick, acrid smell of ozone, a familiar scent “Voltaro…”

                Samuel looked up at her “Are you ready, Hirya? He could be a bit aggressive” he couldn’t exactly tell the smells of this place like she could, but the static in the air, that he could feel. It was unusual for a dragon’s children to have differing elements from their parents, what put some mystery on Hirya’s past, none of her children bore the element of water like her. Voltaro in particular could be troublesome were he to stir up a fight, he was born under the element of thunder.

                Hirya just grinned “Nothing I don’t deserve” she said, adjusting her glasses, and carefully treaded into the cave. It was high noon, the sun casting a thin veil of light that was just barely enough to trigger her nightsight as it reflected off equally crude and gaudy decorations on the walls, were not for her glasses, she’d be functionally blind in this place. And then she heard the clinking of metal, and the sound of another dragon’s voice from farther in “Who comes?”

                Hirya stalled in place, she looked forward and saw another dragon, slightly smaller than herself, scales an electric blue. He stared at her defiantly, although she noticed it wasn’t at HER she was looking, but some spot far behind her. Those accursed eyes of hers, all of her children but Lumina had inherited it. She twitched slightly, holding back her desire to chastise her son for cursing himself to blindness in this place out of pure idiocy. “V-voltaro? It’s me…” her voice was the sweetest Samuel had ever heard

                The other dragon perked up, lowered his head as if in a sign of respect “Ma-“ and then his reaction changed suddenly, raising his head again and changing his tone of voice “Mother, what are you seeking in my domain?” Samuel bit his lip, this was definitely familiar.

                “I… I just came to see you, Vol…” Hirya already had a rather calm and submissive demeanor, now she also seemed unsure and scared.

                Voltaro snorted “’see’ me, mother? Like you could see the tip of your own snout” Samuel kept a distance, watching Voltaro’s body intently “I will suffer no fools or weaklings in my domain. Either you come here to offer me something, or yourself” Voltaro had a harsh tone.

                Hirya took a step back, surprised and scared. This was… Exactly what she was expecting. She started to cry in a low tone, but spoke “Vol, my son… You’re not like this… You don’t need to be like this!” she said in anguish.

                At that, Voltaro snapped at her, jumping towards where he thought she was, missing widely. Hirya in her turn ducked and weaved away, the last thing she wanted was a confrontation against her own son. Voltaro turns to where he heard her steps and unloaded a massive flash of lightning towards that direction, the momentary increase in light allowing him to see she had already dodged before he even fired.

                “Son… I-if you don’t want me here, then, I’ll just leave” she tried to squirrel away, but Voltaro stepped in front of her. “Vol…” she closed her eyes, unfurling her right wing and using it like a cloak diverting Voltaro’s pounce “Grr… Voltaro I’m sorry. But I’ve learned with humans that there’s a difference between chastising and… And… And right now, Vol. You need a proper scolding, the way you’re used to” she didn’t want to hurt him, but it was about time he received a few slaps, dragon style.

                Voltaro tumbled backwards to dodge a tail swipe from his mother, he was visibly shaking, his voice was wavering when he said “Hah! Like you’d ever hit me, you cripple-“ except he couldn’t talk much, he never saw it coming, when his mother landed the full extent of her stretched palm directly to his face. Her claws didn’t even nick his scales, but it hurt too much, regardless.

                “Vol… Those cursed eyes… You inherited them too. I’m just not… Stupid enough anymore, to think they’re as bad as I’ve been told they are” she simply turned around and walked away, leaving Voltaro to stare at her back, growling.

                Samuel didn’t leave yet, though, he had been unseen this long and if he could just confirm… He watched when Hirya’s footsteps vanished in the distance, and saw Voltaro crumble to the ground like a sorry pile of potatoes, crying in a low tone, curling and covering himself with his wings “M-mama… Don’t… Leave me…” and Samuel just grinned to himself, and followed Hirya out.

                He found her staring skywards, her entire body spoke of uneasiness and worry “Did I do the right thing… Samuel?”

                Samuel stopped at her side, staring upwards too, at the clouds “Righter than you believe. Don’t worry, Hirya… He’s just a boy”

                Hirya looked down at him “A boy?”

                Samuel grinned “Boys… Are pretty different from girls, that’s just it” he pulled a map from his backpack “Another three days westwards, and we’ll reach Granno’s place”

                Hirya turned to look over his head at the map “I’m scared, Samuel… Scared to find poor Granno broken…”

                Hirya was startled when Samuel sighed and started walking, that was an uncharacteristic forceful behavior “People are like metal. Once broken, they’re reforged even stronger” he turned back to grin at her “That, however, needs an able smith”

                Hirya chuckled, beating her wings and stirring up dust, darting forward and grabbing Samuel with her claws, helping him to her back “Maybe if this all works out, we can take on that surname, then”
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Dragon Mama - Let's Go [Sep. 13th, 2011|12:30 am]
julian_skies
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Dragon Mama
                It was already deep into the night, dark as it would get. In a secluded room of the castle a faint glow could be seen from outside, there were candles lit inside. There, everything was illuminated by an almost ethereal blueish light, not dark enough to be hard to see but neither light enough to make everything clear, like an artificial twilight.

                In that room sat two scholars. A man still in his young years, although long since past his teens. He evaluated ancient, almost-faded scrolls with care and separated them into different piles after carefully reading them, and then picking those up from the piles and reorganizing them again in the scroll shelf behind him. It was an almost mind-numbing work if it wasn’t his favorite past-time, deciphering ancient draconic language. In fact in the entire world there was exactly one human capable of understanding it, and it was him. He looked up from the scroll he was reading, gently adjusting his glasses so he could make out the figure in front of him, her carefully shined dark blue scales giving the room’s lighting a unique color, her wide wings and sharp, pointed features and savage appearance belied the dragon’s true disposition, a scholar at heart and as mellow as it comes. He grinned slightly, it had always been a great pleasure to work at her side, one of the rare few dragons to remember their own ancient script.

               And then he frowned slightly, he was not one to show his thoughts in his features so everything was ever so subtle, when he noticed that every scroll she read she carefully added to a single pile.  That wasn’t good, it was her “work later” pile, generally reserved for hard-to-decipher scrolls. He stared at her face, for a moment content to look at her eyes, naturally they’d be a light sea-blue color, but hers were slightly different, showing almost all colors of the rainbow. Something was amiss, and it was her glasses. Dragons were proud creatures, who were raised to be powerful and brutal like beasts, despite being as if not more intelligent than humans. That means that any physical disability generally meant death at an early age. The scholar in front of him, Hirya her name, was lucky enough to avoid that fate, her rainbow-hued eyes meant an actually troublesome disability, her twilight threshold, the difference of light that made a dragon switch from daysight to nightsight, was damaged, so to see at anything but perfect lighting or perfect darkness she needed a little human invention known as twilight glasses. Glasses that she was missing at the moment. Which meant that she was doing no work at all.

                Samuel chuckled slightly, long ago Hirya stopped caring about the image she held in front of her fellow dragons, so she’d sport her glasses even out there in public, but not now. It could only mean one thing, she didn’t want him to see her ‘weakened’ as it was. He turned back to look at his own scrolls, continuing his work for a while.

                “Don’t you need your glasses, Hirya?” he said with a gentle voice, not looking up. They’d often speak without doing so.

                “Hardly, Samuel” she answered politely, he could feel a tinge of fear in her words “Light is akin to a full moon night, enough for me”

                “That’s a pity” he said grinning “You look so cute in glasses” she didn’t show any reaction
 
               It had been a week already, and she’d wear her glasses every day now. Which meant that work was flowing quickly, in fact far more quickly than before. While Samuel was pretty apt at reading draconic script, nobody could beat Hirya in that, she could pour through scroll as faster than a trained human would go through human script, although Samuel started noticing she suddenly started slowing down the rate at which she devoured scrolls. And her wings, she had them stretched just a bit more than normal, her tail staying still. A dragon’s face wasn’t as expressive as a human’s, but that only meant their emotions showed through the rest of their body, and right now, he could see she was worried, a lot.

                Samuel did not pry,however, when he realized she had been looking at the exact same part of the same scroll for the last hour, he gently picked one of the scrolls on her side of the table to read. Medical lore, dragons sure had it advanced, not nearly as much as humans but still. Whelp care, it was interesting, nowadays out of a nesting of seven or eight, what was normally laid, only one or two would survive as sibiling fought with sibiling for superiority and the parent’s favor, but it seems like the ancient dragons cared for their young as deeply as humans do.

                So that explained what was having her worried, Samuel knew Hirya was a mother already, and different from most dragons wherein the patriarch raises the whelps, she raised them herself. “Thinking about your kids, Hirya?”

                And then Hirya started rumbling a low, somewhat sad growl. Her wings shook lightly, slightly more than the rest of her body, she lowered her head to lay it on the table as the growling became deeper. Dragons didn’t have tears to cry, this is what they did instead “Hirya?”

                “Why couldn’t I have been born in this era?” she just lay still there as she spoke “A few decades later, under the rule of the new Dragon King? Why’d I have to be raised like a cruel beast…” her cry became louder “No… Why did I have to believe I had to raise my own children like that… Why couldn’t I be as brave as the new king and change the world, my own way… Why…”

                Samuel stood up, going around the table and holding her gently as well as he could, she was somewhere between two or three times his size still “It wasn’t your failt, Iry… It’s the only truth you knew, your world was cruel back then”

                “Voltaro…” Samuel was silent, hearing “He… Eleria and Forio, I had brought them all food, I knew it was far more than enough for all seven… But Eleriaio, she wanted it all. I- I could have interrupted, taught them to share but… ‘they have to be strong’, I thought…” she felt the comfort of Samuel’s soft arms, softness was something she was greatly fond of “Voltaro was hungry, too hungry, had to eat, so he challenged his sister it… Voltaro’s breath, he was the first one to develop it. He… When he bit Eleria’s neck I just… Couldn’t bear looking anymore, I had to look away… When I looked again, the she was… Wasn’t… And Voltaro, poor whelp, after that he… didn’t even eat the food he had fought for her just went to a corner, and cried, for a day, he did…”

                Hirya had her eyes closed, the memories were painful but, sharing them for the first time, it felt easier somehow to remember “Granno, he… He had always been innocent, so innocent. His sibilings, they’d gained their hunter senses so much earlier than he did. It was horrible he… He and Forio were just playing, just… Just playing. None of his sibilings could ever get angry at Granno… And that day they started… Play-fighting. I saw it start… I saw it get dangerous… I saw them get too into it I- I saw when Granno tackled his brother, held his neck and just… Kept going and… It just… Snapped… H-he… He hadn’t ever spoken again, since that day. Hadn’t opened his mouth since then, for nothing… Weren’t for his innate… Innate power, he’d be gone too, of hunger”

                “Lumina… M-my only girl. My little whelps they… Why, if I’ve always lived on my own… Why’d I have to teach them what I’ve been taught, that a patriarch’s to form a harem… My little girl, when… Aros was growing fast… I’ve been teaching them what I knew, even if I did not believe in it… He did what he would clearly do… He started to impose on her… But I had always been there. My little Lumina… That night, it was the only thing I could see, I don’t even know how it happened, these accursed eyes… I all I could see were her pure white, light-giving scales… Tainted red, with Aros’s… Aros’s…”

                Samuel had no idea her children had been raised in the traditional manner, at least not that far. He was holding her like he’d a love, awkward as it’d be, as she cried on his shoulder. He surely had no idea what her pain was like, but he did know that it must have been horrible, he knew all the kindness in her heart and could in no way picture her letting anything of that happen. Even though curiosity hit him, knowing what happened with the fourth, because she mentioned ‘the seven of them’ and he knew that only three were alive, wasn’t something he wanted to ask. But she would speak regardless “Eratho… T-there was… Eratho he… He…”  she couldn’t speak any longer, and her cry became the loudest, he looked behind him when he saw something move and saw her staring at her own claws, winced, and muttered in her ear “I don’t want to know, Iry… I don’t…”

                They did no work that day, or night. It took Samuel much exercise of his speech skills to convince her to go home and rest. It was true, he wanted to be there to help her get through the bad memories, but there was only one way to get through them, and he was going to help her that way.

                The next day, when Hirya arrived at work in the morning, she was still shaken, but figured the more she buried her snout on scrolls the faster she’d forget everything. And was surprised, Samuel had arrived early, and had a backpack and a saddle ready “S-Samuel?”

                He simply grinned “Come on, Hirya. Isn’t it about time we go visit your kids?”
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(no subject) [Aug. 20th, 2011|05:16 pm]
julian_skies
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Celesto and Santana


            The soft smell of the woods in this area were a thankful reprieve for her tired and burning lungs as she ran, the Varg’s bare feet tapping hard against the grass below as she panted trying to take in as much air as she could. This sweet and almost intoxicating fragrance meant many things, but above all else safety. She spared a glance at the tattered letter in her right hand, her latest orders, why’d she have to screw it up a week prior to her vacation?


          The job was meant to be simple, at least, it was meant to be a job she had repeated many times before. Infiltrate the Ethereal Kingdom through a route that was both the safest and most dangerous, the Viera forest, completely devoid of enemy soldiers, but the Viera of the place were a murderous bunch. She was proud of her skill to navigate this place, and it was not it that failed her, it was care own carelessness. She planned on simply delivering the Dead Eye Shooter to the spot and returning, but then a heavy rain started. She knew that’d make slipping back easier, but she didn’t feel like wading through mud and was sure that she could give the slip to whoever chased, and that damned Ronso and Dwarf pair were ready to prove her wrong.


          Eventually she came to a full halt. She had passed at least five kilometers past the borders of the Viera woods and was now in the ‘legal’ Material Kingdom, but it was actually a no-man’s-land still. Even then, the storm season was here and the Viera had most likely caught those two. At least that’s what she started thinking, but her thoughts were interrupted by a loud shout of “Thunder!” from her right and a “Lightshot!” from her left.  Squeezed between the two spells she cried out in pain, stunned.  She recovered in time to notice both almost upon her and slammed both hands on the ground, then uppercutted the air, sending a wave of force through the ground striking both incoming mages. Quickly scurrying back to her feet she started to run again, this couldn’t be happening…


          That wasn’t the last she’d see of the mages neither was it her chance at escaping, she could only hear the dwarf shouting “Stop!” and then the next thing she saw was the clouds above her, the thin drizzle hitting against her eyes making it hard to see. She tried moving but her body was entirely paralyzed, her senses worked, her body didn’t. Her wits attributed it to the fact the Ronso, who was keeping her stasis start ongoing, was discussing with the Dwarf, distracting himself from keeping the stasis spell going.


          “I’m telling you, Gimble, we just don’t earn enough” the pair were certainly not making a point of carrying her wherever they were gently, for sure “And I know a guy who, you know, could definitely give us a good Gil if we send her his way, instead of the prision”


          “Sarjo, for Phoenix’s sake, do you know what you’re talking about? It’s a slaver you want to deal with”


          “Yeah, whatever way you want to call it… But come on, it’s not like she’d be more than a mindless husk in the prison, they wouldn’t even let her move or whatnot”


          “*groan* Alright, you win, Sarjo. It’s not like I hold any love for those beasts, anyway”


          And with the Ronso’s grin as the last thing she was the spell returned full force, and she lost track of time and space again. Next she saw, she was sitting in a cage, devoid of all of her gear, wearing only rags hardly worthy of being called clothes and with a glowing crimson collar on her neck. She growled and tried to remove it but found the strength of her arms gone, she could barely raise them. She tried a gentler approach, to break the magic within it, but her mind was not clear enough for her to focus on such complex techniques. This collar had her completely tamed, for now, at least.


          “A feisty one, aren’t we?” said a somehow absolutely disgusting looking Galka, displacedly lusty and demeaning tone in his words weren’t something she’d ever associate with such a race, making her sure this was a deliberate act “Don’t worry, you’re my prized possession, I’ll be sure to find you someone who’ll enjoy breaking you in”


          There truly wasn’t much she could do, aside from waiting in her cage for a chance. She was sure she wasn’t in the Ethereal Kingdom yet, because far as she knew such practices were seen as horrible by the general populace even there. At some point in time her cage was covered with a tarp, and she would spend time trying to break free of the collar. It was a fruitless attempt, although she did come to the conclusion that the collar’s magic was temporary, and not permanent, so sometime it’d run out. She sighed, and laid back against the cage “What’d you get yourself in, Santana…”


          She guessed a Pass or two had been gone by the time the tarp was removed and she was prodded outside to wait in a line, she was being showcased together with other slaves. It wasn’t a nice view, those slaves, they were often weak people, some children, all of them easy prey. In fact, she was the only actual warrior of the entire bunch. However despite her situation her acute senses couldn’t fail to notice one thing… As desperate as the slaves on display looked, the would-be buyers looked far more so. Something didn’t sit right with her at that sight, she expected all of those who’d come to such places to be horrible men of questionable ideals, but some of those had the looks of farmers, crafters, none of them wearing any sort of fancy clothing but wearing traces of heavy work instead (or as heavy work as it came for a mage, that is).


         She was effectively helpless the whole auction, however when one particularly large Yeti wizard bought a young child that was standing next to her she couldn’t help but lash out at him as he came by to pick it up. The Yeti winced and seemed fully intent on receiving the full force of her kick, and that is exactly what threw her off enough for her to miss. He looked regretful, perhaps. And as the Galka who was leading the auction hissed lightly and prepared to punish her with a fiery spell, an Elvaan in the crowd intervened “Wait up!”


         Everyone stopped and stared, there seemed to be a staring contest between the auctioner and buyer for a moment, and then the elvaan said “I’d be far less inclined to buy her if she’s hurt. Thirty thousand, in the state she is right now”


         The Galka grinned a smug grin “A brave buyer, aren’t you? Celesto, the salvemaker, right? I hear you’re not faring well enough for such a large sum”


        The Elvaan was clearly pissed off, but didn’t move a muscle of his face, simply tossed him a bag full of Gil. The Galka looked at the coins, then at the Varg “She’s yours, friend!” Celesto nonchalantly went up, forcibly grabbed her, and taking advantage of her diminished strength dragged her off. He did soften up a bit, instead of dragging her by her arm he picked up her hand and slowed down his pace, after he was a good distance away from the auction site. They remained silent for the remainder of the long voyage ahead, towards the fringes of the bigger cities of the Ethereal Kingdom. The travel took quite a few Passes, and Celesto wouldn’t let her out of his sight for a moment. He wasn’t particularly threatening, although she guessed it was just an act so that others would not catch on what was truly going on.


        Eventually they reached their destination, it was a small house about a kilometer away from the walls of a large city she wasn’t sure the name. There was a considerable garden in the back, it was mostly dominated by thin-stemmed and thick leaved herbs, given what she had heard of who he was it made sense, he was a salve-maker after all. And once they made it inside, he gestured for her to sit on the only couch in the room. He just looked down at her for quite a while, and it was unnerving “Alright. I know you can speak, what’s your name”


        “What does it interests you, master” she spitted out the last word


        Celesto clearly winced, but maintained his posture “I’d rather call you by SOME name other than Slave. Also you’re most likely a soldier, so I thought I’d spare you at least some honor and call you your proper name”


        Santana wasn’t sure what to think “Knight-Artificer Gadgeteer Class Santana Domingues” she said, with all the pride she had.


        “Alright, miss Santana. You work for me now. And you’ll start with working the field. I’ll call you when it’s time to sleep and eat” he was stern, but something in his voice didn’t sit right with Santana, it sounded like those many times she’d swallow her deepest thoughts and just say what her superiors wanted to hear “Oh, right” specially those last two words, when something that he had forgotten surfaced in his mind, the soft tone they had when he wasn’t focused on being stern simultaneously amused and worried her.


        Celesto came closer and put his hands over her collar, chanting and charging it with magic. For a moment she thought that he was going to recharge the wards keeping her weak, but that didn’t seem to be the case, whatever it was either he didn’t know about those wards or didn’t care. “In case anything happens to you. I’ve invested my last coins in you so you better be worth it” he said, turning to leave “It’s late now, however. I’ve set up a room for you there” he pointed to what was, essentially, a locker.


        It was, in fact, pretty much a cramped storeroom, but it was full of smelling herbs that left a smooth fragrance in the air, making falling asleep after such a long voyage a pleasant experience. She dreamt of her home and of her past, all the good things that happened to her before this whole disaster… Pleasant dreams.


        She woke up of her own volition, unsure how much time had passed. She laid still, thinking for a while, slow to awake and recollect everything that had happened. Furrowing her brows she tugged lightly at her collar once again, her strength was returning with time. Standing up and heading outside, she found Celesto laboring heavily over beakers and pots, pumping all of his magical energy on fire, ice and time, brewing potions that she could identify and those she couldn’t. It was clear he was using magic to speed up the crafting to produce more salves than would naturally be able.


        “Ah, you’re awake…” he was certainly tired, and a certain flection in his voice told her trained ears that he was on the verge of absolute exhaustion of his magical reserves “Go on, get to the fields”


        That was how most of her early days working for Celesto went on. He seemed to always be up before her, and go to bed after. He’d order her around all day, doing menial house chores and tending for the herbs, which was in fact an easy job, far easier than she suspected it’d be. At dinner and lunch, she’d be called back in and Celesto would eat in the same table as her. This intrigued her greatly, way too much for her to care that by now she could easily plot an escape. This man seemed like a person shunned by society for no reason other than being ‘a failure’. She did figure out why this man that seemed to hide such gentleness inside his heart had gone so low as rely on a slave, making potions was such a serious business in the Ethereal Kingdom that one had to invest all of their magic on that, to make so many in so little time, and that was the only thing he knew how to make a living with. But he was no accomplished alchemist, however, and held in fact fame of incompetent (why, she knew not) and without any assistance or student to alleviate his workload he was on the edge of turning homeless, or killing himself of overworking.


        And with time she’d discover other things about him. He was haunted by restless sleep, as are mages to be when they far exceed their limits, and those sweet and fragrant herbs in the storeroom she called a bedroom were, in fact, originally in his bed to ease his sleep, yet he put those with her. She discovered what he did in her collar, it was in fact enchanting it with a fair few defensive enchantments, to keep her safe. Also all of the people of the fringe community had come to distrust his salves because he kept her, so every four Passes he’d go peddle his wares in the big city, only to return with at least a third of what he went with. He seemed to work day and night for raw survival, some unseen force making him keep moving. But that was not the last of his problems, there was also a type of mafia that had cropped up in this place, and they demanded terrible ‘protection’ wages off Celesto. Santana had come to a single conclusion: Celesto was hardly a bad man, he was simply a man driven to the edge of despair so that he’d sell his soul to the devil only to survive. And she did feel like helping him out.


        It went on until the storm season came by again, and the heavy water in the air made everything colder. It made sleeping for Santana incredibly more difficult, here up north the weather was far colder than the south she came from. It was then that one day Celesto invited her to sleep in his bed “Two bodies are to warm eachother, plus, I’ve a magical heater in my room” was his explanation. He was definitely too kind for his own good.


        No more than a Pass later, Santana heard rough knocks on the door all the way from the backyard, and her sharp battle senses, which
hadn’t dulled in the slightest, warned her that it meant bad news. She rushed to the front door, but not fast enough to open it before Celesto. It was a group of five magicians, clad in jet black robes.


        “Celesto… You haven’t been a good payer of our insurance service, have you? Now, don’t you know that it’s dangerous around here, these days?” said a sleazy Creimire


        Celesto was definitely scared at this point “L-look, I just don’t HAVE the money, y’know…” he wasn’t sure how to pacify the whole situation, but he DID know this was coming “But come on, you even bought yourself a slave, and a pretty rare one to boot”


        Santana noticed Celesto’s right hand forming a fist, an undeniably natural reaction that even magicians had when angered “Look… I did so because I needed, that’s it, else not even the payments I did I’d be able to afford…”


        The Creimire sighed “Ah, you know what, you’re so not worth my time. Boys, burn the place” he said, turning around and walking away. After a few steps, however, he looked over his shoulder “Oh, right… Flare” It was a blur of motion, before the surge of crimson energy could reach Celesto, Santana had already moved in and pushed him away, offering her back to the incoming spell. It was her training, it was in fact easier to take a direct fire spell like that with her back and face up. “What are you doing Santana!?” Celesto yelled.


        Santana didn’t get a chance to answer, drawing strength from Phoenix knows where Celesto tossed Santana aside, extended a hand and with a shout of “Shell!” attempted to hold back the incoming salvo of fire spells. His magical barrier was not nearly enough, however, and he collapsed, still conscious but severely burned.


        Santana stood up slowly, and stared at the offender mages “You’ve hurt my master…” she didn’t know why she used that word “It’s about high time I teach you respect for us warriors” she howled a long and deep howl that made the mages facing her whimper and step back. Then she stared at them and, assuming her usual combat stretching her right foot out, lowering his right fist almost touching it and left arm behind her back, burst into movement dashing straight among them. She jumped from target to target, literally, sending them scattering, and flipping midair landed on both of her feet, a ring of water surging from the ground as she did so. “Eternity Striker!” she shouted, as the ring of water expanded outwards, forming the faint outline of a clock, ticking to a halt together with the flow of time. She dashed with amazing speed from one mage to another, delivering a powerful sequence of punches and kicks finishing with an open palm strike, to apparently no effect, then she jumped to the center of the ring again and, as time flowed normally again all foes came flying in her direction as she finished with an uppercut, striking not only all of them at the same time but a powerful wave of white energy sending them flying.


        Then she rushed back to Celesto, who was staring dizzily at her display “You’re… Pretty strong, Santana…” he tried to stand up, but was far too wounded. She shook her head lightly, using her nimble fingers to strike him at vital points, helping his body heal.


        “There, that should help…” she said, helping him stand.


        Celesto looked up at the clouds “Come on… We need to get the next batch ready before the next pass if we’re to have food for dinner tomorrow” he said, looking incredibly sad, and heading back inside.


        Santana would notice that the way Celesto treated her changed from that day on, it became awkward but not in a bad way. Often, Celesto would offer some kindness, as if trying to get closer, but unsure whether he really should or not. And always, there’d be this one tiny thing that he kept hidden that made him be sad when he thought she wasn’t looking. She also started calling him by name ever since then, and he didn’t mind, and she also started to have some interest over the study of magic, she knew that being from the Material Kingdom she couldn’t use magic herself, but she could at least extend her help further because no matter how much her assistance with menial chores lessened the load of Celesto’s work, the biggest threat to him, the over-expenditure of his magical reserves wasn’t solvable by her.


        This went on for over a cycle… But over that same Cycle Santana slowly started to understand magic a bit further, especially given Celesto’s helpful teachings, and came up with a minor trick… She noticed that regardless of her inability to use magic, she too had some reserves and if she could only share with him... That was when she came across the spells of those known as Seers, they were capable of recharging their own magic, but that was an incredibly complex skill, but if she could combine that with her restorative skill she could definitely help Celesto going for far longer.


        Once, while looking up into that, she wondered if that sort of thing was what always was going on in Transcient Town.


        Eventually, it was a terrible storm, the skies had darkened, when she thought her secret technique was ready, it was usable but still crude, specially the delivery method. Still, with the storm having damaged part of the herb garden and money issues getting worse and worse, Celesto was overworking himself nearly to the point of collapse every day, and she really had to help. Celesto was sweating beads keeping up his magic to accelerate the reactions upon his brews when she interrupted him lightly “Celesto… Can you spare a moment?”


        Celesto turned to face her, slightly relieved for having a reason to break focus for a moment, but didn’t have a chance to actually tell her anything as she quickly grabbed him, brought him closer and put her open mouth over his. Celesto was even further surprised when he could feel the magical energy flowing from her through her mouth into his, making him feel far better. He was stunned, that was a terribly bold move, and certainly a skill he had never heard of before. “Wow… Thanks, Satana, really” he smiled “Nice delivery method, too” he was flustered.


        Santana was blushing slightly, something in her felt too good about doing this, she had no idea why she was bashful right now “I-it’s what I could come up with”


        “Well, I expect you to keep helping me like that from now on, then” why was it hard for Celesto to say it?


        Somehow, however, this seemed to make life more difficult for both. There now appeared a sort of unseen tension, something that was slowly eating at both of their nerves, something incomplete, unfulfilled. And neither of them knew, or would accept, what was required to ease that tension. At a point, that tension became too much, and something had to be done, one way or another, and it’d be Santana to do it. The day was bright, the drizzle light, and for what it was worth their money issues were starting to ease up, with how many and cheap Celesto started producing his salves after she learned her little Mana Gift skill. The day was almost perfect, and Santana set out to make it fully.


        She waited until as always, like clockwork, Celesto would call her for a recharge, he was pretty tired as always, he’d always use every last ounce of his own energy before asking for more. She did as she always did, except didn’t finish as always, looking slightly awkward, no. This time, when she was done transferring her mana to him she hugged him tightly, and turned that awkward almost-kiss in a passionate kiss, which he retributed with a bit of a physical awkwardness, still unused to her snout. They kept in this passionate embrace for a long time, before letting go “Just… Do it you silly mage”


        Celesto didn’t regret it in the slightest, although he was definitely worried “I really had to have done that earlier… But still, Santana. You’re Varg, me an Elvaan, I’m a mage and you a warrior… I don’t care that it’s wrong, but it is”


        Santana smiled at him, and went over to the table he was working on “This” she picked up a vial with a light violet liquid within “CS Miracle Cure… Our secret receipt we’ve been working on… When you ignore standard concepts and look at things for what they truly are, their basics, something incredible is discovered” she put it down gently, and turned to him “It’s the same, Celesto. I’m a woman, who sees in you a man worth of her affection. That’s all there is to it”


        Celesto thought for a moment, and smiled back “You know you’re right… That IS all there is to it” he said, today he’d skip working, he could just this once.



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The Little Thief Prince [Aug. 18th, 2011|07:59 pm]
julian_skies
[Tags|]

The Little Thief Prince


The young boy poked
idly at a floating piece of something in his stew. He was hungry, alright,
hadn't eaten yesterday neither today morning but it'd be just rude to start
eating without his father. Staring outside the window he thought “He's late”.


It didn't take long,
however, for said father to arrive. Dressed in the same rags as his son he
climbed down the ceiling by moving away a piece of wood that made up their
makeshift home. He stretched out and sat down on the ground near the fire
wherein his son had prepared a stew, serving himself after tossing a small
satchel in the ground, light clinking to be heard “Pah, just four coins today,
but should be enough to get tomorrow's dinner”


His son smiled back
at him “Good enough for me! Plus today's the Thief Prince Parade, everyone's
wary of theft”


“Thief Prince
Parade... To teach the next ruler of the country what it is that the common
folk feel, he's raised from birth to his fifteenth birthday as a beggar and
thief, in honor of the founder of this country...” he looked at his son
smirking “Wouldn't it be great if it were you, Kirel?”


He shook his head
and raise the bowl to his mouth, drinking some of the tasteless stew “Ah,
Joshua, my delusional father, you're far too crude to be even close to being a
king yourself, plus, the queen's alive and well at the throne and you remember
fairly well what befell to my mother at the hands of the royal guard two years
ago”


Joshua looked pretty
sad, although something in his eyes looked strangely unfitting for his son.
Still, he brushed that off and looked out the window, gobbling down his stew.
“You're right, you know, you don't look all that princely yourself!”


Kirel laughed “True”
and then he continued with softer tones “If anything, Jilia would be the one,
her nature, her sweet voice and beauty, her charming words, all of them so
befitting a queen. I'm sure that, today, I loose my last chance”


“Tsk, only because
you're slow. You DO know she's been all over you for more than an year and yet
you keep hesitating!” he sighs “Still, those are things best left to your own
heart” Joshua then was pensieve for a moment “Well, since everyone's expecing
some robbery, why not give them what they want, son?”


Kirel raised an
eyebrow, his father wasn't one prone to excess or recklessness, so clearly he
had a plan “Aiming high, dad? Hoping to steal the queen's heart?” he said
jokingly “Anyway, you do have a plan, don't you?”


Joshua was smirking,
partly due to his son's words, partly due to what he expected to go on “I do.
Let's just do the usual, grab some unwary ones at the fringes... And then i've
got a... Special way to to snag some goodies off the queen herself! If we do
that, it'll be at least an year before we need to steal again!”


Kirel wasn't as
hopeful as his dad, but entertaining in his head a life where he hadn't the
need to fight of his life every day, where he had to stoop as low as thievery
to eat, where he could take Jilia at least once to a nice place... Even it was
just for a few months. That was definitely worth a try “I'm right behind you,
dad”


Joshua nodded, and
went over to the only thing other than the pots and mats in this house, a small
wooden box wherein they kept what they passed for clothes and a couple of metal
implements. He picked up a dirty length of chain, and tossed his son a
sharpened length of metal detritus “In case of guards” he said simply.


As always, the Thief
Prince Parade was open to all and security was relatively light, as per
tradition, the new Thief Prince would show up to reveal his nature during the
parade and thus, he required an easier entry given only a select few knew his
identity. Which also in turn made the parade ripe for robbers and outlaws to do
their job. Kirel and Joshua weren't exactly having an easy time for now,
however, given how none was stupid enough to come to the parade with their
valuables on them.


Kirel was
hard-worker, though, even if it was an illegal work and he was determined to
find at least one fool he could get some spare coin from. And that was when he
saw the only thing that could diverge his mind from the objective at hand,
Elesphoro, a smuggler that sold out his mother to the royal guard when she was
doing a run for him in order to save his own life. A hundred thoughts ran in
his mind like the wind and he was urged to act, faith in his father's plans and
level head.


Kirel not-so-gently
grabbed Elesphoro and turned him around “Nice to find you here, smuggler” he
said, rather loudly, making a few head turn their way, including of a nearby
guard. Kirel calmly had a hand under the makeshift cloak he wore making it
clear he had a hidden weapon.


Elesphoro quickly
jumped back “Hey, Kirel” he was the kind of man that seemed, but only seemed,
to have had rigorous martial training, muscular and well-built, his ratty face,
however, belied this warrior's body wih a coward's stare “Uhn, nice pared, eh?”


Kirel calmly stepped
towards him, with slow and measured steps “Indeed, my friend, indeed. How about
we add a little dance of ours to it?” he had the most devious grin he could
muster on his face, and that isn't saying little.


Elesphoro then
didn't have the nerve to keep chatting, and simply turned tail and ran, as
quickly as he could, through the crowd. Kirel gave chase, the years of running
through the back streets had given him an unusually atlhetic physique that he
knew very well how to take advantage of. However he noticed a thing,
Elesphoro's movements were strange, measured, he seemed to know just how much
to push people to make them move without hurting, and weaved and dodged past
the startled crowd with an expertise no common robber would have. Kirel didn't
have much time to analyze him, however, he had to carefully force Elesphoro
where he wanted him to.


It was a frantic chase,
tumbling through the crowds and running down a side street. Sometime during the
whole ordeal the two of them had managed to kite five guards behind them.
Elesphoro suddenly took a leap, grabbing to the side of a nearby house's roof
and flipping himself upward. Kirel was amazed because that was no easy jump to
make. Then he heard the sound of metal chains above the roof, Elesphoro yelled
and then he saw his father standing there, tossing the chain his hands down for
his son to grab “Up here!”and it was in fact the only way he could climb up
that much height.


Joshua stayed behind
to busy the guards as Kirel ran after Elesphoro, thankful to his father but
really hoping his father understood what he was doing. Using a couple of stones
he carried in his clothes he deftly managed to divert Elesphoro from his
planned path and towards the parade, everything was falling into place. They
reached a dead-end atop a short roof, and when Elesphoro stalled at the edge
Kirel didn't, ramming him full body and sending them both tumbling down
straight in the middle of the parade, no morethan a couple of paces away from
the queen's carriage. And the whole parade stopped.


Kirel quickly stood
up and faced down a fallen Elesphoro, pointing his makeshift weapon at him.
“What you've done to my mother... Are you ready to feel it?”


Kirel was surprised,
however, when he heard his father yell “KIREL! What are you planning on doing
with him?” he couldn't really identify where his father was, behind the many
guards that now encircled him.


“Dad... Heh... I'm
getting myself, and him, arrested. He deserves some time in prision, and i've
had enough runs in that place I don't care any longer. But what ARE you doing
here, dad?” he grinned, might as well keep a good mood “Weren't you planning on
stealing the queen's heart while I gave you a distraction?”


To his surprise, who
answered next wasn't his father, but a voice he hadn't heard in a very long
time. It came from behind him, from the queen's carriage “He already did that,
years ago, my dear...” Kirel turned around startled, hearing his mother's
voice. He saw her there, standing atop the queen's carriage, WEARING the
queen's clothes, and holding the carved staff symbol of the current queen. He
was struck reactionless.


However, even at his
most startled state his senses were still keen enough to notice Elesphoro
attacking him. He turned around quickly, holding the metal trinked with his
right hand and with his leeft supporting it, blocking the massive overhead
slash of Elesphoro's greatsword.The massive sword was so powerful that it
shattered the rusted metal he held in his hands, revealing it to be nothing but
a casing for what truly was, a beautiful silvered metal shortsword with the
hilt made of bronze and leather.


“That's enough,
Royal Guard Captain Elesphoro. I think my son's awake enough of his reverie
already” Kirel turned to the voice and his father, still in his rags but now
one of the guards was helping him don the king's cloak “Son...” he smiled


The queen hopped
down from the carriage, her athletic skill the very same one that Kirel
remembered carrying his small shape through dark alleyways running from guards
“My dear...” she nonchalantly hugged her son “I'm sorry for that whole debacle
about my death... But with the war coming by, either me or your dad had to
assume the throne again”


Kirel still couldn't
use his vocal chords, but his father hugged him and his mother “All those
dreaming ideas you had, son... I really hope that you'll keep them forever in
your heart, and in your actions. But first!” he grinned a devious grin that his
son knew it meant he was going to tease him “I'll make sure to give you a good
chance to pamper Jilia a bit, because you know, you ARE right, she'd make a far
better princess than pauper”



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Transfer, residence and work [Jul. 8th, 2011|08:50 pm]
julian_skies
So... Is it cool that you can serve anywhere in the contry? Yes it is.
Does it sucks that you have ZERO TIME to find a new home after you're shipped off god knows where? YES IT DOES
Okay so, I feel like expressing myself here so hee it goes.
It is... Kind of scary to move on to a different city, i've always lived my whole life in one place and suddenly I have to go somewhere else, not even the slightest chance of being home. And then I end up going where I have no friends as well. Or at least where none of the two people I call "friend" went to. I'd say, the first, what, five days were incredibly depressive for me, specially since the weather here is I suppose as cold as canada. It just made me highly depressed.

That aside, more problems, finding a friggen home. Good god, for real, even renting is going to be like the eyes off my face. Depending on how much I earn i'm pretty ok with paying a rather large rent, really. I don't SPEND much, when I do it's sporadic, hell for me 2k is like so much money to spend with my own stuff i've no idea what to even do. Which should be more or less what i'll be left with after the standard rent around here.
Still, actually getting to the renting part is looking rather troublesome... Y'see, they're asking for all sorts of documents, some of which I am quite literally unable to hand over at this point since they would rely on my finances to be transferred to the new base and for my first payment as a sergeant to cash in. What only happens next month ~_~

As for work, well... It's simply enough right now, really. I mean, i'm just doing paperwork for now but later i'm dealing with the real deal of management and enabling of the civilian air traffic service stations. Miiiiind, I wish my direct boss was a little bit less hyper. For real he runs around chasing his own tail and finding STUFF to do, when it would be FAR easier to tell us the goal he wants, he keeps tossing around methods instead. But he's just new to this officer thing, mind, he seems to be a recently-promoted lieutenant (used to be a sub-officer, the highest rank of sergeant), so he probably just needs to settle on his job. Still, I ended up burdened with a little job to do in like two days, with little to no actual guidance of what I had to do (thanks to him being too hyper to actually transmit information to me properly, but I had the other sergeants to help me), and ended up stuck with a terrible computer for a while (which I had to use to format a document... It took me like a WHOLE DAY to format ONE PAGE so much to locked up. And it had only Open Office).
Otherwise, the place's actually fun, y'know!
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Princess Trap [Jun. 7th, 2011|10:22 pm]
julian_skies
[Tags|]
[mood |excitedexcited]

Princess’s Trap
The entire city stared in disbelief as the large blue dragon flew away from the castle. The city had stopped just to watch, because a blue dragon flying this close had never been a surprise, but this was different. He carried Justina, the eldest of the two surviving princesses, in its claws. Atop the castle’s roof, the royal guard and the court stared upwards, they cursed and promised war, none of them would see the Dark Dragon King alive for taking their princess, those beasts would pay for taking both of the princesses.
Atop the highest tower of the castle, the king and queen looked at up at the dragon that left with their daughter in its claws. They smiled, happy, and proud of their child. She had always been a wiser and braver leader than her siblings; they just had to hope she was half the fighter her elder sister was.
The trails of mist that flowed out of the blue dragon’s wings, the kind that is sapphire-scaled and whose cold breath would freeze a foe’s blood, glittered in the sky as he beat his massive leathery wings. He carefully held the princess in his right claw and had his eyes closed “One… Two… Three!” and then he let go of her, and with a fast and acrobatic maneuver put himself under her, who complimented the maneuver beautifully by spinning in the air and landing on his back with both feet like a talented acrobat.
The princess closed her eyes to feel the wind and spread her leathery wings, feeling the sky she’d been denied for months She opened her eyes and looked ahead, still slightly distracted by the sight of her own mossy-green snout, a recent addition to herself less than a few months ago. She raised her hands up to her sight, inspecting her clawed draconian hands, and stopped to look at the golden bracer, cracking a slight smile. She still wore her social dress, carefully tailored to fit her new form and, more importantly, to conceal the twin swords she carried. She smiled and, puffing a thin and small cloud of green mist said “You know, the wind feels so different when you have wings”
The dragon she stood atop of smiled and looked at her for a moment, risking losing his route “Doesn’t it, love?” he looked forward again “Anxious?”
“A lot… I’m not sure I’m looking forward to it, though… He’s still your-“ she said before being interrupted
“Hah! I am. If I could, I’d tear my father’s heart out with my own claws, because he more than deserves it” his flight became unsteady for a moment “But in the end, we’re going to need to use the Dragonsbane and Dragonblade. Not even I am a match for him.”
The princess let her wings catch wind and started to fly herself, clumsily and inexpertly, feeling bad for riding on the back of her future husband and Dragon King, that is, if the assassination plan were to work “Blades forged for opposing means and by opposing methods. One made to kill, crafted from the remains of its prey, forged in the burning husks of its enemies. The other meant to protect, crafted from the gifts of both worlds, forged in the flames of friendship and love. Together they’re meant to bring peace and equality to the kingdoms, by accepting that disagreement and hate is inevitable, but so is peace and love, thus they will bring down the tyrannical kingdom when wielded by dragon and human”
“Feeling poetic?” the dragon prince said smiling “Though you got a tiny mistake in there”
The princess giggled “Yeah” she breathed a large cloud of green smoke ahead of her and flew straight through it “I’m a dracian, not a human. I’m sure the history books will take care of that, though.” She said ironically.
They flew in silence for a time again, simply enjoying the sky and the company of each other. And as the sun started to set the princess saw it in the distance, a gigantic stone structure carved out of the mountains themselves, the capital of the Dark Dragon Empire, the fortress city of Kartacha and only actual dragon city. “It’s time”, she said, and her mate once again grabbed her in his claws, a strong grip, but careful. They couldn’t approach with her flying freely, and during the Shadow Dawn, the brief moment of the day wherein dragons are almost blind outside, any dragon flying would be highly conspicuous.
As was normal for the Dragon Prince, he ignored the majority of the city, heading straight towards the castle, a gigantic structure shaped ironically akin to the human castles, but sized for dragons and severely lacking in stairs. Once inside he made his way quickly towards his room, as was usual, his movements were carefully measured to be the same as they were every day.
However, something within him forced him to stop in front of a memorial, it had only the horns of a dragon and some words, a memorial that always filled him with strength. It was a memorial to his mother, a blue dragon like him, with a kindness unbefitting a dragon and one of the pioneers in attempting good relations with other species. He had never met her as she died when he was just an egg, but story told that she was killed by dragon hunters. He knew better, though. The truth was that she was killed by his father. The princess winced slightly when he held her a little too tight when he mulled his thoughts, and he returned to reality and moved on his room.
“Ow… What happened?” the princess said once he put her on the ground after they arrived. She knew that wasn’t intentional.
“Sorry. I stopped to think about my mother…” he sat down, looking around his room to avert looking at her, feeling ashamed at his lack of self-control just now. It was an unusual dragon’s den, it had furniture and was organized in a similar way to a human’s, despite not having any object that a human would find of use, except maybe the dolls “I hear she tried to be a mediator with humans, but for the lesser beasts they were, humans killed her when she was vulnerable” he noticed Justina was going to say something, and immediately continued “That all that was found were her horns. That’s not true, everyone that looks at the memorial can see, only a dragon could leave those marks, and I know just who did it”
“I… Wasn’t actually aware of that” said the princess, wary of her words “You never told me. It must have been so hard living with the Dark Dragon King for a father”
“Yes, he had no respect or kindness… You never saw him personally but, do you know he isn’t branded?”
“But-“ she was surprised “I thought he had taken your mother as his First Mate…”
“It only goes to show, not even for her he cared, she was just another one who could give him an heir.. I never had a chance to meet her, the only thing I have of hers is… A phrase I’ve been told that was hers… ‘We were once known for our intelligence too’” he looked at a wardrobe, mostly too small for anything that he could deign to use “Let’s change topics, alright?”
“You’re not planning on asking me to dress you up pretty, are you?” she said jokingly, quickly changing the matter of talk.
“Well… Everyone knows I got somewhat weird tastes” he said teasingly, picking up a pink dress from the wardrobe, it was for a human, however “What few people know is that lately I’ve… Taken up playing with dolls too” he said with a smirk
The princess raised an eyebrow “Dolls? Now that’s an interesting image! I didn’t think you were the doll type”
“I’m not, really” he moved the clothes in the wardrobe a bit showing it’s contents were almost exclusively women clothing, although there were some outfits that were definitely meant for something else, things for all tastes.
The princess stared at the wardrobe, about to laugh, but noticed something. Over time she learned to recognize the unique cut that clothes meant to store hidden weapons had, and many of those outfits had it, so well made only a trained eye like hers could see “But, you can always claim that I’m like a living doll…” she smirked “Your father expects you to be as cruel and sadistic as he is. And taking the heir of the human kingdom as an offering to play with her as a toy…”
He smirked back at her “He’d want to play a bit, too. I could leave him alone to play a bit for a while”
“And when he turns his back to you”
“The Baneblade Strike. You better have your timing right”
The princess made her way to the wardrobe, carefully looking over the clothes, now the selection made a lot of sense, as well as the few person-sized dolls in the room she noticed earlier. She carefully looked over the clothes until she found one particularly ‘bold’ set made mostly of leather straps and chains, perfectly fit for a slave (and her plans for the night), it included binds that, upon closer inspection, she could release with a flick of her wrist and of all the clothes the hidden sheath for the blade was in her favorite fast draw position. She looked at the dragon and grinned, signaling him to turn around, which he obliged. “Hrm!” she made a noise, and he turned around, seeing her wearing nothing but leather binds (sufficiently covering ones at that), which even included a muzzle and wing claps. He wasn’t sure she managed to bind her own arms, but if she did it, she could undo it. She grinned at him maliciously. “Well, now” he swiped his tail, slamming the door locked “Feeling a little too rebellious, little slave?”
It wasn’t until the morning that the room was again disturbed, the dragon prince lay curled around the princess, sleeping lightly, wary even in his sleep. It was not a noisy disturbance that made him wake, but the eerie silence. Dragons were not subtle creatures, the city was always noisy, even here, and silence meant only one thing, the Dark Dragon King was nearby. He pretended to still be asleep, his father disliked if he gave sign to any intruder he was aware of his presence until the last moment, and let his father enter. The Dragon King was the most imposing presence of all dragons, three times as large as any other dragon, his claws and scales showing signs of going through hundreds of thousands of battles and coming victorious out of each one, jet black and blood red eyes staring out from the skull-looking head, every movement of his wings left behind trailing shadows that looked like mist, much like his son’s wings were always enveloped in frozen mist, a sign of only the most powerful of dragons. When he was just close enough, the dragon prince looked up at his father, putting on his most disgusting grin he moved his left wing slightly, letting the Dragon King see the dracian princess’s body, tied in an awkward position, wings bound and muzzle tied shut, passed out near him.
“Heh… Fitting use for a half-blood” the Dragon King sneered “Small and weak, she is” he gave his son what the dragon prince thought was perhaps a proud look, but he could never tell, everything his father did was somehow aimed at causing pain to others in the end “Didn’t even take your time to show her to me, didn’t you?” he seemed to be joking, that was never a good sign, that meant he was angry in the cruel sense “Eager drake, you should learn a little bit of patience. I’ll forgive you this time, though, you’re approaching the age, after all” how little this demonic excuse for a father knew of his son.
“I’m deeply sorry, my king, but I was rather excited, I’ve spent the whole night playing with my new toy” he couldn’t feel worse about the words he spoke, he could feel the princess twitching, though he was sure her patience would hold up. “As a forgiveness offering, would you like to play with it today? Just don’t break her… Worse than we can fix, anyway”
The Dark Dragon King stopped to think for a moment, the dragon prince knew his father considered his taste the most disgusting thing there was, the only thing that saved him punishment was the way he went about it in front of his father, and when he saw the Dragon King’s pensieve face turn into one of idea sprouted, he felt he had no need to know what occurred in his father’s mind “I’ll accept that. Tonight, then. I’ll be sure to have the crystal ones return her usable to you, I’m sure you won’t mind a few scratches” he said, leaving.
As soon as the Dark Dragon King left the room, and was safely far away, the prince stood up with a start, snarling, and the princess rolled and stood, easily undoing the fake binds “Why had I to be the one cursed with such a despicable, heartless wretch for a father, wish I he left me an orphaned egg when he killed my mother” the prince scowled “I fear every day to get more like him, so often I play the part in front of him”
The princess sighed “My fiercest lover” that’s what she said whenever she was ironic “I fear that if you keep practicing your great acting skill you might one day be as good a king as any other human”
The dragon prince let off an annoyed puff of cold air, forming tiny icicles in the furniture “I’m sorry, I know that’s one of the skills of royalty.” The pose he did afterwards was indescribable as anything but ‘effeminate even for a dragon’ “And I definitely can’t be as openly girly as I want if I am to command any respect among my kin or humans after we marry, so I guess a little taint will work for the best”
All the princess could do was laugh when he did that, and took her almost half an hour to be able to continue the conversation “Oh… Aegis shield me… Okay… Okay I can talk again”
“Good, we need to get planning going” he said, in a better mood
“It’ll be simple, you’ll drop me off in his room, or wherever it is, and step out. The moment you step out-“ he interrupted her
“Count two, turn around, enter again starting the maneuver. Shouldn’t be hard, but- That might not be fast enough…” he was truly worried
“Don’t worry… No, you’re right to worry, I can’t tell you not to, but… Noblesse Oblige. Neither human nor dragon can escape that”
“You’re worse off, then, given you’re both”
And the day passed, the dragon prince had to leave his dracian lover in his room as he went out to tend to business he had to, and when the time to start enacting the plan arrived he was more than eager to start. Either he’d come out of this the Blue Dragon Emperor of the future Great Aegis Empire or he’d come out of this brutally killed with his pieces scattered all through the known land. The princess was ready, focused and equipment set to act quickly, she wished now she were her older sister, such a powerful and skilled fighter, but she would have to do it.
As the dragon prince made his way towards his father’s room, however, he stopped at a particularly dark corridor, the shadows here seemed off and he knew exactly how. They were but ten paces away from the Dark Dragon King’s door. He made a quick movement with his tail and pulled seemingly out of the wall another dragon of the same structure and color, but of far leaner and weaker build, as his father “You know, my father doesn’t takes kindly to assassins, and while your tricks might fool many, he’s a shadow dragon as well”
The other dragon was easily pinned to the ground just with the strength of the dragon prince’s tail, she squirmed and groaned “He will… Pay for his tyranny… So will you-“ and the prince squeezed her neck harder, cutting her phrase, but not hard enough to make her pass out.
“Blah, blah. You want to kill my father, get in the line. Which I believe is just one long right now. Don’t get in my way, or else you’ll be my scapegoat of this fails. If it DOES fails, however, feel free to give your own try” he said, letting her go.
“What…” she said steadying herself again, her front feet still struggling to regain balance “You’re going to- Of course, this is how it works with you” she looked at the dracian princess that lay (apparently) unconscious in his right claw “Hrm, so you offer him something to feed on, then strike from his back, your plan is no better than mine”
He sighed heavily, filling the corridor with frozen mist “Just stay in the shadow and watch me” he said, heading towards the Dark Dragon King’s room. He hit on the door twice, to announce his entering, and opened it. He made a point not to register what he saw in the periphery of his sight, he didn’t want to know what kind of terrible experiment his father was planning, and kept his eyes focused forward. He simply walked silently to his father, who had the sternest look in his face, and walked away. He couldn’t stop his muscles from twitching, all that was around him… He had to wait the proper time to lash out, doing so right now would be for naught.
He stepped out of the room… “One…” his father turned to face the princess who stared at him defiantly, his back turned to him “Two!” he turned around and pounced over his father. The Dark Dragon King always expected betrayal from his son, and was ready for that. What he wasn’t ready for, however, was what his son pulled with his right claw, a massive blade of ice had formed, it was not an ability any blue dragon had ever shown. Surprised at that he barely had time to twist his body and catch the blade with his fangs, the prince simply did not have the strength to move it any further, overwhelmed by his father’s raw physical power.
“Nice trick… But a badly hatched plan. Before I kill you, tell me, how did you do it?”
“A weapon, forged from dragon slurry alloyed into steel and bronze using the flames of a red dragon, meant to be wielded by human hands to give us power, the Dragonblade”
“I don’t think your little princess wants to help you that mu-“ but before he could finish the Dark Dragon King felt great gashes open in his sides, cuts so deep and painful like he had never seen before, he could feel the steel eating his flesh like a rabid beast, he twisted his body again just in time to roll out of the way of the finishing overhead slash of the princess “Crap, I missed the finisher with the Dragonsbane”
The Dark Dragon King finally acknowledged to himself he met a foe that was a match for him, the princess of the human kingdom armed with the Dragonsbane and his own son armed with the Dragonblade. He couldn’t fight them here, he was caught off-guard and was wounded, so he beat his massive wings and vanished in a trail of dark mist, position unknown, vanishing into the darkness “Bahamut’s claws, father, I WILL find you!”
At this moment the prince felt another dragon pounce over him, although it was not an offensive strike. The shadow dragon from before had firmly gripped his back with both hands, her tail swiping and grabbing the princess “You can’t. But I can!” and she vanished along with them into a dark mist as well.
The next thing the royal assassins saw was the dark open sky, some distance ahead, the Dark Dragon King flying wounded, but still incredibly fast, the nighttime greatly increasing his capacities due to his shadow nature. The prince threw upwards the Dragonblade, for some reason he knew what was about to happen, he knew what that shadow dragon was going to do, and he dove straight towards below his father. They were right above the central square of the city.
The shadow dragon herself appeared above the Dark Dragon King “My little contribution, your misogynistic tyrant!” she said, diving towards him with all her speed. The hard horn-first tackle was strong enough to disrupt his flight and send him plummeting downwards, but she couldn’t perform such a feat without it’s price, and with a single swipe the Dark Dragon King’s riposte severed her right wing, greatly mauled her face and broke all the bones of her right claw. But he was falling uncontrollably now, he couldn’t shadow jump so soon and was far too large to take flight fast enough to avoid the ground. She simply closed her eyes.
The dracian princess took a millisecond to try to feel herself back in place after the shadow jump, she had never done that before, but she knew she didn’t had time to acquaint herself with the feeling. She knew what they had to do, if the Baneblade Maneuver failed and they were forced to direct confrontation, they would need the Reversed Grip, she would wield the Dragonblade and the prince the Dragonbane, that way the blades would work at their best, even though they risked backfiring. She tossed the Dragonbane down, where she expected the dragon prince would be and simply opened her left hand, the Dragonblade being perfectly where it should for her to grab it. And then she dove.
In the square were not only quite a few dragons, but the most important of them. Dragons were loner than humans by nature, so only those powerful enough to control great swathes of terrain or gather unimaginable riches would wish to come to a city for some reason, and those were the ones that witnessed what happened in that sky that day.
The Dark Dragon King could only see his son and the dracian princess flying parallel to him for a moment, his body was too wounded and he could not react fast enough, and for the first time in his life he felt what fearing death was like.
Letting the opposing blades do their job, the royal assassins flew straight towards the Dark Dragon King, the bloodlust of the Dragonsbane, hungering for the blood of the one dragon it was meant to kill, and the vengeance of the Dragonblade, against the cause of all the pain it was meant to soothe, combined to allow the two to perform an incredibly powerful strike as they faded into a blur of speed once, twice, three times as only lines of sapphire and jade colors could be seen. And as they finally stopped, the dragon prince holding the Dragonsbane in his mouth, the dracian princess the Dragonblade with both hands, all the pieces of the former Dark Dragon King fell from the sky, straight into the square below.
The dracian princess was the first one to land in the square, her body covered in splatters of darkened blood. Landing with a grace unique to dracians, she looked up at the crowd that had amassed, she had never seen a crowd of dragons, and any being would be intimidated by their concentrated gaze, but not her, not after what she had done. She looked at them and silently sheathed the bloody blade on her hand, and they took a step back scared.
Shortly after, the great blue dragon landed with a thud behind Justina, the beat of his massive wings as he steadied himself covering the area in tiny frozen particles. The dragon prince looked around with an unnatural air of superiority as he carefully put down the unconscious black dragon that he hefted on his back, the right side of her face was mauled beyond recognition and encased in ice, her right wing was missing the little stump also frozen and her right arm lay limp and flaccid, as if devoid of bones.
“I declare this day to all those who watch!” the dragon prince roared “The Dark Dragon King lay dead and in pieces at my feet, killed by me and the dracian princess Justina aided by my bodyguard, I have earned the right as the strongest dragon of all to rule over those lands!” he spread his wings wide “I am Sarteras, the Blue Dragon Emperor!” and the lands shook at the combined roar as all the dragons present roared with all their lungs and those who heard echoed their sentiment.
Far from that place, in the castle of the Bastion Kingdom, King Jariel smiled unconsciously as he slept, holding his wife closer. Somewhere in the skies over the boarder of the kingdoms, a green-scaled dracian rested on the back of a red dragon, she smiled a broad grin “Way to go, sis” she whispered, before her and her mate joined in the roar.
And the Blue Dragon Emperor turned to the princess of the human kingdom of Bastion, he gallantly showed his chest to her, grinning. All the dragons seemed far more startled at that act than the remains of the previous Dark Dragon King, and the reason was obvious, they had never seen such a powerful dragon willingly submit in such a way. “I-idiot…” the princess muttered “Romantic, but stupid…” she said so only he could hear. And picking up the Dragonblade she carefully carved on Sarteras’s chest her family crest, with a slight modification, the wounds closing almost instantly leaving a faint but visible mark. Then with a swift movement she cut away the straps of leather over her chest set the Dragonblade in front of her, opening her arms “You turn, dear”, and in a display of great dexterity, he did the same with her, holding the Dragonblade on his mouth.
But the crowd had still one more surprise to witness, as Justina undid a bracer of golden metal plates she wore and pulled something out of a concealed pocket with her other hand. With a quick movement she snapped the bracer together, forming a rather large golden ring, and opened her other hand showing a smaller one “Emperor of the dragons, would you accept me?” she said, kneeling down. And the new dragon emperor finally assumed his reign as he clasped the ring over one of his fingers, taking Justina as his empress by both human and dragon tradition.
Later, he would find himself alone with Justina in the room that previously was owned by his father “We’ve a world to change…”
“We won’t do it” said the new empress “But we will surely start it”


-----
Well, another bout of randomness
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Astran Gender Issues [Feb. 10th, 2011|09:17 pm]
julian_skies
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Astran Gender Issues

"Even though they have completely different bodies and physiology when compared to humans, they still have the same genetic code..." the medic on the TV said. It was an interesting show, what with the newly-discovered non-human races, magic and the hidden country where they've been for so long, Astral, coming public recently. The TV was full of those shows as of late, this particular one was interesting.

It was a pretty normal family that was watching the TV, the mother, the father, the teenage daughter, all watching TV in the couch. Of course, they had a reason to be really interested in the current show, even though the mother and father were human they recently discovered that their beloved daughter was, in fact, a Bangaa. It wasn't that much of a shock, at least not for the father and daughter, who were both facing this discovery gracefully, easily adapting to whatever new needs arrived. It was made easier by at least half the kids in school being more or less in the same or similar predicament. Of course, the mother kept freaking out and getting overtly desperate, almost a polar opposite to the cool father. Today the show as a special on Bangaa physiology.

"Interestingly, Bangaa gender can be pretty hard to discern. As you've already seen they aren't mammals, so they do not have the same secondary sexual characteristics as humans, not even their facial features vary much. The unwary might confuse them all for males given their bulk and those who happen to see their 'full' forms might mistake them all for females, specially given that the male's genitals generally remain hidden inside the body unless excited. However, that is an easy way to discern their gender, and that is their chest fur. Although at first it might seem strange for a reptile to have fur, they do, not only do males have a tendency of growing long and thin beards, females also grow a fluffy coat of fur in their chest"

The daughter couldn't contain herself and sneakily raised her right hand to put it over her chest. She stiffened, and carefully looked down through the collar of her shirt, at that same time the father gave her a sideways glance, and started reaching for the phone in the table at his side, resting his hand over it, the mother was completely oblivious. Then the daughter gave a shrill and loud scream.

"C-Carla, dear, what's wrong?" the mother said

"Nothing! Nothing, mom, it's ok!" she said desperately

"Come on, girl, you wouldn't scream like that for no reason"

As Carla kept evading her mother's questions at the peak of her lungs the father took the chance to make a call while the girls were distracted. "Hello? Doctor Sarah? It's Kane, Carla's father, remember us? Oh, no emergency, don't worry. We were watching a TV special on bangaa physiology on Discovery Channel... Aha, you knew, as I thought. Nah, don't worry, I understand. Yeah, she's freaking out a fair bit, her mother didn't catch on that yet, though. Ah, don't worry, we'll handle, smooth sailing, as always. Thanks for the sincerity." the girls were still discussing loudly.

"Emma, dear, look at the time" the mother looked at the clock on the wall and put a hand over her mouth, rushing to the kitchen.

Kane looked at his daughter and smiled at her "Carlie, my love. You're still Carla, whether you're out daughter or son, that's the last of my worries. I know you'll figure yourself out in your time, so, it's up to you, whatever happens, i'm behind you"

Carla was always caught off-guard by her father's wisdom and sincerity, he seemed to have some uncanny insight or something, or perhaps that was just effect of being her father. She smiled weakly and simply stood up, going up to her room. By now Emma had returned to the room, having saved dinner "What happened, dear?"

"Hum... Emma, love, sit down, this might take some explaining"

Carla closed the door behind her as she entered her room, resting against it for a moment, thinking. Was it really even right to use the female noun for herself? She looked at her room, it was in fact the girliest room of all of her friend's, a lot of pink (she was changing some for yellow, to match the sandy yellow of her scales), stuffed animals (so cute! Now she knew why some were damaged), lots of clothes and a dresser (she had even acquired some race-specific cosmetics lately!), posters- Yes, the posters. She looked at them, they did say something about her was a bit different. Other girls generally had only pretty boy band posters or similar, only cute guys unless one of them was particularly fond of someone's music, but hers were different. There were a lot of sexy girl bands and artists, and she had always been sure she felt something unusual when looking at them "Yeah... I'm not a dyke, I guess, that's a relief" she looked at the other side of the room, there were a lot of cute guys as well, and she wasn't really fond of their music either "I'm a faggot instead, great..." she still had doubts, though... She just wasn't sure if...

She went over to her dresser, opening it and staring at the clothes inside. The one that caught her attention was a dress, the only one there. She bought it a couple of days after finding out her true nature, it did look amazingly good in her body, it was specially made for the Bangaa body and managed to make her look actually pretty feminine. She just had to make sure. She went over to the door, and looked at the door lock. It had always been there, but she had never used it, she never felt the need to, her parents were understanding (even if her mother freaked the hell out at anything) and she could always count on her father's wisdom... But she felt the need to be really alone now, so it was used. She went over to her bed, sitting down, slowly removing her shirt and tossing it aside. She stared at herself in the mirror, slowly dragging her clawed fingers over her chest... It felt incredibly manly, yes, to the point it actually excited her, she felt weird, like this was completely right, yet wasn't. She slowly brought her hand lower...

The next morning, Kane was outside, calmly smoking a cigarrete, waiting by the car that was ready to depart. Emma was there, seeming split and confused, unsure of what to do. "Are you sure that Carlie's going to come down?"

Kane smiled "I trust our kid, she'll come. She's mature, far more than she seems, she just needed a little while"

Emma nearly jumped out of her skin when Carla bursts out of the front door, running, carrying her school bag "Aaaah! Dad, i'm here, i'm here!" she quickly tosses her bag in the back seat and with a single swift movement sits in the front seat, sweeping her tail into place with her leg as she sits, instinctively "Sorry, sorry. I woke up late"

Kane smiled, and looked at Emma, that wasn't even sure how to properly address her kid. He made a sound like a chuckle and got into the car, starting it up "Feeling fine?" he says, after they start to move

"Yeah. I think I figured myself out, explains some stuff, I guess"

"Oh?"

"Aha, well... I, uhn... I verified that, uhn... What I thought was actually true. I'm a guy alright"

"Ain't half bad being a guy, if I do say so myself. Nice dress, by the way, first time I see you using it"

"Thanks! I guess that, if i'm going to have some bizarre gender identity problem, might as well stick with what i've been the last 15 years, AND look cute in the process!"
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A rat [Jan. 11th, 2011|11:07 am]
julian_skies
The day was calm, the light chirping of birds which nested in the great grassy field, not a sound to be heard. Suddenly, a thunderous roar of engine, a massive shadow, the sound of rubber on asphalt. Another massive passenger plane landed.

Marcus looked out of the window, idly adjusting his uniform, a sky-blue color, light business-like affair, far different from the stereotyped camouflaged uniform of the armed forces. He did work with computer databases and radars after all, not on the field.

"Sergeant, are you alright?" said the only other person in the room, a woman in her mid 40s, hidden behind a massive server tower

"Oh? I'm okay, colonel, just kind of worried. Whenever I see a plane approaching I get worried"

"Calm down, bro. If they need your arcana they'll warn, the landing radars are just fine for a while longer, but we need to get the control server running again- Get me the N4557"

Marcus looked around, there were a series of circuit boards neatly piled nearby him, each in their own package, he found quickly where he had the N4557 board and tossed it upwards, with a mutter he controlled it's fall until it was in the colonel's grasp "Here, ma'am. How's it going?"

"Not good, when the energy peaked half the circuitry was destroyed. We don't have enough spares... Shit- I think a hard drive might have died as well"

"It's alright, the data's in the central server... We're going to lag to hell like this, though"

"Sergeant- Tsk, i'm no good at this, think you can fix this up?"

Marcus walked over and, with great amounts of effort, made his way in the little corner where he could access the damaged parts. Colonel Shiela didn't move from her spot, making them uncomfortably close, she was obnoxious like that always so he was used by now.

It was a fact, the circuitry was smelling fried, this had been a massive damage. What was worse was that they didn't have enough replacement boards so he'd have to actually go and fix them. He looks at them for a moment, thinking, when a rat scurried in his field of view. At that moment the colonel let out a loud "Eep!" and tried stepping backwards, failed because of the wall and toppled over Marcus.

Both went rolling into the ground "O-ow! What was that!"

Shiela didn't deem it worth an answer and stood up again, looking outraged "Inside the server!" she went over to the server again, listening closely. She shoved her hand in, gaining a series of nasty cuts in the process, looking for the rat. For a few minutes she behaved manically, frantically searching for the rat inside the server, whenever she heard it's chirping she'd shove her hand in and try to capture it, once or twice breaking something in the process. Eventually, however, the rat scurried out of the server, Shiela hot in her heels.

Marcus started dumbfounded at the mostly... Comical moment, the colonel in half her uniform, missing the shoes and the blue shirt over the white one, running after a rat scurrying about in the server room. Wait, no, that was-

Shiela finally cornered the rat, wielding a large broom in both her hands "Ooh... How DARE you place your grubby little paws here you little!" she swung the broom overhead to slam at the rat, that looked positively terrified.

"Aw, dammit! Julia, full transform, shikigami mode!" Marcus changed quickly, a white haze forming around the rat

And what Shiela struck instead was another woman in uniform, holding her hands over her head. The most distinguishing characteristics of this woman were her rat ears and tail. The broom broke in half in Julia's guard "G-gah! Colonel, it's me! It's me! Sergeant Julia from Microwaves!"

Colonel Shiela just stood there, blinking "W-what is... Going on?"

Marcus took a few deep breaths "Colonel, calm down, ma'am. Didn't you know Julia's my High Shikigami?"

Shiela scratched her head "Colonel, you know i'm a computer girl, I don't know a thing 'bout this whole magic stuff. Care to explain?"

Marcus sighed, still drained from the hastily cast magic "Okay, you know what a familiar is? An extension of the mage's soul, a beast used to enhance spellcasting ability. Well, Julia's a High Shikigami. A Shikigami is a human-shaped familiar, they still have animal traits. Case in point she's a rat. A High Familiar is a familiar that is more powerful and independant, because it has half of a soul of it's own. I met Julia in sergeant school, she was a masterless High Shikigami, she adopted me as her master, that's the gist of it"

Shiela sighed "Why didn't you warn me then, before I caused all this mess?"

"Ma'am, you freaked out before I got a good look at her! Anyway... Julia, form change, beast mode" and the white haze once again transformed Julia in the small rat. Marcus picked her up, and went over to the pile of random circuit parts. He picked up a select few and handed them over to Julia "Better than having to tear up your arm in the server, right?"

Shiela looked at her arm, full of cuts and bleeding quite a bit "Uhn... You ARE right. Okay, i'm going to the medic, then, you take care of the rest"

((Okay that was random, just had to take that out of my system))
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I can live with your curse [Jan. 1st, 2011|11:21 pm]
julian_skies
Okay, so, after a healthy critique session in real-time, I think i'm ready to write something more. Still 'bout that story but a bit more of an intimate thing, Illine and her boyfriend and a bit of drama.



A misty smell of violets filled the air, they were in the end of bloom and the fog covered the garden. It was already late, the velvety moonlight shrouding the fog-filled gardens in a mysterious light, the flowering bushes growing wild in this corner, the only corner of the garden never tended. In the corner, aside from the grass and bush had only one more thing, a bench made of pure black granite, the only piece mismatching the white marble in the rest of the garden. It was fated.

A young girl paced about, walking to and fro in front of the bench, her long crimson red dress was somewhat frilly, embroidered in gold. It was simple, although a simplicity that mentioned the user's wealth, and how this was meant to be an everyday house dress, one which she would not care were it to be damaged and stained walking through hidden and forbidden paths leading to forgotten corners of the royal gardens. She was worried, at times looking up at the moon.

The noise of the bushes rustling alerted her, she turned to look and her face was relieved, coming through them was a young man, two or three years older, chestnut hair cut short and wearing regal clothes. He smiled at the sight of her and sped up his pace, she run up to him and both joined in a deep embrace. He loved those moments more than anything, the love, the care she radiated was so comforting. He put a hand under her chin and she looks up at him, he stares at her crimson red eyes, the birthmark of the three princesses, it's unnatural color and her innocent stare entranced him, he felt the need to hold her tighter, to take care of her, defend her, whenever he looked at them. But something seemed off in them today.

Both sat in the mismatched bench, she laid her head on his shoulder and they both stared at the moon, they remained like so for over an hour, almost two. It was what they loved to do the most when together, stay in silent contemplation, just feeling each other's company, neither of them could remain in silence for long in their daily lives. She was the youngest of the three princesses, and with both of her sisters gone all the royal duties fell to her, to appear in public, be the sign of public hope, to be the shining jewel of the kingdom. He was the most recent heir of a long lineage of dragon slayers, his father fell in battle beside the king and the family's sword was legendary, the Dragonslayer, capable of felling one of those mighty beasts in a single stroke, when he was not busy training he was busy being argued and bargained over, though his family's nobility was earned in the battlefield he was still their latest bid at more power. He loathed the moment his family knew him and the princess were seeing eachother. A sad cloud passed over them as they briefly contemplated those thoughts.

"Your mother's still bothering you with arranged marriages, Joshua?" the princess said, noticing his eyes

"Oh, yeah. I was just thinking the size of the theatrical piece she will perform once she knows about us" he said, half-joking "Still, i'd rather not even think of that, Illine"

"It's true" she said, and they remained in silence for a while more, slowly caressing him with her left hand that embraced his back, she closed her eyes to better feel him, her hands passed through the small cuts the bushes left in his clothes, the skin under unmarked, she could feel the tension of his muscles, feel the smell of tiredness in him "Today isn't training day"

He smiled sincerely this time "Shouldn't be, but i'm tightening up my schedule... We are under siege and, even if I am the last man alive in this world, I have to keep you safe" his words will full of an incredible passion, Illine felt his heart beat stronger, his skin grow warmer, the smell of adrenaline of a man in the verge of combat.

Illine twitched slightly with her right hand, she had heard those words so many times and it moved her in so many ways. As much as she loved them, she hated them.

Joshua knew that Illine was a great actress, it was her job, but he knew how to read her better than anyone else. He looked at her worried "Fear not those foul beasts, my love, I shan't let any of those mindless animals even close to you"

She couldn't take it anymore. Illine suddenly stood up, looking directly at her feet, so sudden was her movement that the bench was moved backwards a bit, now staying at an odd angle with the bushes behind it. "Joshua... I love you more than anything..." he looked at her worried "Illine..." she stared straight in his eyes, she was crying, her face red "Joshua... There's nothing to forgive, you are you. You're not at fault for the past!" she turned her back to him "But... Because you're you... Because of... What the past did to you..." she started to run "I'm sorry, but we can't stay together!"

Joshua was struck by surprise, but his trained warrior reflexes made him run after her before his mind could reach his feet. What had happened? This was too sudden. He ran after her, putting everything he had in that dash, he did not stop when she dove in the bushes, he trampled them like he trampled ants, and yet she ran too fast, in leaps and bound she ran with unnatural speed, and soon he was left to simply stare at her vanishing inside the royal castle.

Joshua looked up at the mighty gates of the castle, his eyes stopped at the highest floor, at a great open window in the ceiling he could not see, but knew was there, in the throne room... He turned back and walked calmly back home. But he had not quit, however. The only thing which could make Illine react so badly to anything was there. The King was a sensible man, and liked to deal personally with personal problems. But like his own father, Illine's father was a man of action and not words, he knew it was likely they'd come to arms, even if for a few moments, and in but a few hours he was again at the castle gates, his jade green dragonscale armor over his clothes, his rapier at his belt and shield in his back.

He was unofficially known in the castle, he had never been here announced, he never had any business here, but every person who manned the castle knew who he was, he was Illine's open secret. So he strode purposefully through the castle's halls, every one, noble and commoner, servant and guard alike let him pass, his objective was the throne room. He hesitated his steps for but a moment once he crossed the door to the throne room, at that gesture King Jariel stood from his throne, stepping towards him, tension built within the room quickly, the royal guards prepared to strike, the nobles gasped. And the tension finally exploded when king and warrior stood ten paces from each other, pointing like judges at the other and shouted at the top of their lungs the same phrase "Why is she crying!"

None reacted to that unusual sentence, except the Queen and First Advisor, who closed their eyes in thought. "Leave us alone" said the king, unmoving from his spot, in a contest of stoicness with Joshua. It took an order of the Queen for the guards to leave them alone as well, and quickly everyone filtered out of the room. Whatever happened here now would be a secret.

"What have you done to her? She comes home crying her heart out, says not a word to anyone and locks herself in her room! And today of all days, so important it is!" the king roared, his words begging for the echo an open ceiling would not give.

"Me? She is what I care for the most, I treat her as the goddess she is, we have had nothing but happiness together. And yet, today as I mention the siege she stands and runs, saying we cannot be together!" he said taking a step closer "What have you told her!"

Jariel grinned, a devilish, bestial grin akin to a dragon who stalks his dinner "Nothing, not now, she has known this since Valeria was gone" he crossed his arms "'I will protect you from those barbaric animals' or something far more cheesy to the same effect, is what you told her, isn't it?"

Joshua was startled, loosing his impetus to move forward, the king HAD said that she had not spoken to him, so how would he know his words so well? "And I stand by my words, even if this kingdom falls, even I have to face the entire Dark Dragon Army by myself I will not let a single one of those mindless beasts lay a finger on her!"

Jariel wanted to laugh, but knew it'd be counter to his purposes now "You will never have her, as long as you think of dragons as beasts to be hated. Were I not to believe my daughters should experience pain and joy alike to grow I would be at your throat now"

"I had heard you were one to make senseless relations, but I knew not you were so insane. What has that anything to do with my Illine?"

It was then that Queen Ashtara intervened "Do you know, that neither of the three princesses are mine?" she looked at Joshua with a level stare "Have you ever taken even a moment to try to discover what her crimson eyes meant?"

Joshua was taken aback, it was very rare for royalty to admit the heirs of the throne were bastard children "Yet I see no connection to the matter at hand"

It was First Advisor Rotaro's moment to speak, like the queen many paces behind the king, as if obeying a silent order of his "Crimson eyes, a common characteristic of certain humanoid non-human races" he said. Joshua could only stare in disblief

"Do you know how I met your father, Joshua?" the king spoke "What I told the masses is as far from the truth as it gets. Everyone knows the story, as a teenager I ran from the palace for adventure, met your father at some point, we ventured deep in the Dark Dragon Empire, and after killing many dragons he fell in battle, and not being able to bring back my dear friend's body back, I brought his sword, the legendary Dragonbane"
The king then closed his eyes, those were bittersweet memories, bitter loss and sweet revenge "No. When I ran, I met not him early in my travels but a dragon, no, none here use the correct term, dragoness for their women. Her name was Ikelna. We lived together for years, she was as young as I was, we fought together, we made discoveries together, we loved together. Then... It came the time when she laid her eggs... No, our eggs."
"It was a month later I met your father. I had left to a nearby city to buy food, we were living in the border between both nations. When I returned, I found a wounded and tired warrior deep in our cave... I found a blade in Ikelna's chest, her lifeless body standing guard in front of our eggs" at this time he opens his eyes and stares at Joshua's face of disbelief "There was not a drop of kindness in my heart as I took your father's life with my Dragonblade"

Joshua was... Lost. The implications of what the king said were several but the only thoughts which crossed his mind were... Illine, was her truly one of those bestial half-dragon hybrids, known as terrible barbarians fruit of rape or experiments. No, not the endless kindness which pored from her heart, not the tender and fragile woman he knew... Although his mind wandered then into some unusual facts that the mind erases when they are not important. In her strong reactions at the garden, she brushed aside a stone bench, which would have taken him all of his conscious effort to move, without even noticing. And if that was true... He had heard those hybrids were born almost completely looking human, but at their sixteenth birthday they would take on the appearance they were famous for... "Illine's sixteenth birthday... It is today!"

The King's facial features had softened greatly, now the secret was known. Joshua would require proof, if his daughter ran, it means she could feel it about to happen. He took a step to the side, and he could feel the air move as Joshua ran past him. And after Joshua vanished behind the doors leading to the inner chambers, he turned back to look at Ashtara "I'm sorry..."

"Don't be. I've come to accept it and, so often have I told this story. I need to be ready, for the day I need to tell this to our kingdom, when Justina returns as the Crimson Dragon Queen" she was crying, however. Jariel went over to her, and held her in his arms.

Joshua ran with all his speed through the corridors, he knew the path very well, more than once he snuck through here to reach Illine's room. He knew her, fragile as she was she had a bit of a rough streak from her father, so he knew she wouldn't mind when he tore down the locked door of her room. In fact, she never even noticed that "Please... Get away..." her voice was hoarse like a man suffering from heavy throat sickness, strained and pained. She was covered in her sheets, hiding from his sight.

Joshua approached her carefully "Illine... You're in pain... Are you alright?" he knew not what words to say

"Get away..." she was crying, too

"Illina... Whatever is going on, I don't care" she made a strange noise, although it sounded very strange for some reason he knew that noise, it was the same noise she did whenever she was surprised "You father told me of your... Curse" something in Joshua didn't let him use any other word for that "And I really don't care. You're Illina still"

Illina then tossed her sheets away, she was in the process of moving to sit on the bed but was wracked by such horrible pains she could only spasm slightly instead. She was a much different visage now, growing erratically through her skin in random patches were jade-green scales, her face was slowly, very slowly starting to elongate, forming a bizarre semi-snout, she was wearing nothing and visible on her back were small stubs of what would probably wings. Joshua held her firmly as she shook, and she smiled, bizarrely in her state, but she cried "J-joshua... Stay, please... Stay with me tonight... I can't do this alone..." she looked at his eyes, the only thing in her which did not change was her crimson eyes, the same eyes "M-my sisters... they had someone with them... Dad stayed with Valeria... T-they nearly killed Zanxir when he came... To stay with Justina. I... Can't do this... Alone"

"Don't worry, Illina... Whatever you look like, i'll stay with you... I won't let you go, I can live with your curse" Illina cried, but not of the pain of the apotheosis. Joshua didn't understand, and would not accept. Illina was proud of her blood-mother, she had no shame of her dracian nature... And she knew Joshua hated it now, and will hate it ever but... She knew it'd hurt, but she loved him too much... And she would endure... Somehow.

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