Author Topic: Magness, Chapters 3-4  (Read 1256 times)


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Magness, Chapters 3-4
« on: June 04, 2004, 07:45:56 pm »
<1025 A.D.>



   Lucca Ashtear was in her late thirties. She had hit the middle of the road. From there on, she couldn't classify herself as living anymore. From there on, it was only a downward spiral of decay and eventual senility. Her peak had been hit well over ten years ago. Her research continually hit snags now that she could neither fix nor undo. Her once striking pink hair, which from afar and in the wrong lighting seemed brown, was now thinning and white sprouts were appearing. She was dying.

   Her legacy was no longer her science or her own, now ephermeral brilliance. She had never had children. Had never had a partner with which to have any to start with. Her early years were spent formulating and adventuring. That isn't to say children were never or weren't a big part of her life though. She had started an orphanage no more than twenty years past. It had started with the last child to enter a gate; with her, with Kid.

   She had gone away on her own quest as she grew and matured. Often times Lucca would wonder and reminisce about Kid, her "Little Sister". Was she doing alright? Of course she was she would tell herself. It was her after all. What was she doing? Where was she? When was she? Her amulet could have taken her to countless worlds. Or could it have? There were no more gates she would remind herself, she had made sure of it. Or were there? Obviously something was meant for Kid. She could feel it again, stirring, rising from its sleep.

   Lucca wished she could have gone with her, but it wasn't her time anymore, she knew that, Kid knew that. Nothing was said. She left one chilly summer night. No good byes, no hugs or kisses, no tears. Just a sorrowful note filled with innuendos of unknown fates and burning fires of fervor that needed, no, demanded satisfaction. It was the sort of letter she too would have left her mother if her own adventure had called for it.

   Yet, still, she shed no tears for her. Tears would be admitting something. It would be like saying out loud that Kid was no longer just a kid, she was grown and was facing similar perils. It would mean that she believed that Kid could be dead. Kid was tougher than that. Kid was stronger than anyone she had ever seen. Although she sacrificed her femininity to accomplish this, that tomboy part of her was just another quirk that made Kid unique.

   Fortunately (or not), the orphanage still kept her busy most of the time. A few years back (Kid had yet to leave, she remembered), the whole place had almost been burnt down when a few components of circuitry in her room had overloaded. Luckily she was there and her Ice Gun put the flames out quickly. She had cursed herself for her carelessness, although it seemed as though she had taken every necessary precaution. The added distress wasn't needed, so she had a laboratory extension built onto the back of the house to keep the children safe.

   There was always a fresh face every month or so in from Porre or the farming sections of Truce. The children were always there. She enjoyed the consistency of it all. It was all so neatly ordered and yet so overly chaotic at the same time. There was a feeling of content with her current life outside of her own diminishing scientific prowess. Adventuring was a part of her past that she told the children like fairytales. Older children could not find it within themselves to believe her stories, but nonetheless they did not question her. She was their Big Sis'; if she said it happened, then it must have. Her world was moving on.

   It was night when he arrived. At least, it was night when his consciousness arrived. Enormous waves of self bashed-broke-into him long after his corporal body stood there beside an immense evergreen tree. He had only seconds to raise his arms to meet the ground after the waves smashed into him. It didn't help much.

   He hit the firm, damp earth with a thud. The air was clean, pure, unadulterated. It was quite a quick distinction from the dank stench of that metallic future. Part of him hoped his being in the past again would upset the future and cause it never to exist.

   A sudden occurrence came to his attention. His left had was working again. New, invigorating power filled him; he was refreshed, revitalized. The time spent in the time rift jolted his power somewhat and the pain of the travel was now somewhat lost unto him. It was a breezy cool night, with a lofty full moon gazing above, casting all its many shadows and darkness. He was deep in a rich and fertile forest; it was a good feeling.

   "Could it be?" He said aloud to the memory laden forest. Another wave of self struck him and dropped him to one knee. But he had already felt whole.

   A maniacal laugh broke through the empty sounds of the forest floor. It was his laughter and yet it was not. His legs quaked as they struggled to lift him back up. His scythe had fallen to his side. Fists clenched to solid bricks.

   His hands hammered at his ribs wildly, possessed. Not his hands, but doubles of his hands, mirrors of his hands, ghost images of his hands that would not listen to his commands. One struck him square in the jaw and sent him reeling backwards into the base of the tree. He staggered and tried to gain his bearings. With a fierce and intense concentration he began to fight the ghost images back with his mind. They persisted for a moment, relented, and then the sound and feeling of a great, gusting wind flooded past him and through the surrounding foliage. The mad laughter echoed and finally faded throughout the woods.

   "What the hell was that?" He said aloud, spitting at the ground and noting the small spot of blood in it. More surprises, more annoyance. He snarled at the situation, but the vibrations of the forest had already calmed down, whatever it was had passed. He moved to and picked up his scythe, examining it momentarily. It was a long weapons, just over his height, and it had a long curved blade as well, "It is unnecessarily conspicuous..."

   Soft-toned ancient words elegantly floated from his mouth as his hand and the scythe began to glow minutely. With a quick movement, he struck the handle, cutting it into two parts clean as a knife through warm butter. He grasped the end opposite the blade, which held a long metal spike, and whipped it through the air a dozen times. Each time, the shimmering spike would form a curved blade at one side that would grow and lengthen with the momentum. In the end, he had two uniquely matched twin sickles.

   He nodded to himself with the slight and justified satisfaction like he would have seen as a child when he would finish a drawing or just when sitting in front of a fire petting his kitten. Taking the sickles, he latched them to the middle of his back in a neat "X" and into a loop of the blue cloth around his waise. Another spell stuck them in place.

   He would still need to replace his cape to properly conceal them he thought. If the forest was the one he thought it was, then the Ashtear family was a ways to the north.

   What would she do when she saw him? He was never friendly with any of them really, even her. She was smart, but she was also just as foolish. But he was one of them too, in the end, wasn't he? He continued to stalk out of the forest, keeping ever watchful of everything, fully aware of the scrutinizing eye of the forest.

   There was something missing, was it something important? He didn't feel the same. Why would he think about Lucca and the others? Why would he place himself in their company outside of just to complete his undertaking? Simply put, he was lonely. No, not lonely. How could he be? Were not Slash and Flea his former companions to some degree? No, he thought, they were tools just like all the others. So was that despicable and loathsome Ozzie. Just the thought of that bulbous green and flaking skin made his stomach churn.

   There it was again. Why would he feel the need for Slash and Flea to be his former "companions"? It must have something to do with that ghost, no, not a ghost, something else. Lucca would have given it a long, fancy name...a Temporal Apparition of Irrefutable Subconscious Development & Severance. But what did all that mean? What part of him left just then? Or was it a new part? Something wholly different from him and yet, completely like him. He didn't know. He didn't want to stop to think about it further.

   "Think of her, damn it." He said to himself, carefully darting to and from the backs of remarkably mossy trees. He felt as though, if he wanted, he could just pick one of the trees up in both of his arms and toss it aside. They seemed so spongy and soft, even on the sections without as much o fthe lush, bottle-green moss, "You need to focus damn it. I cannot be defeated."

   It was going to be a long trek before he actually got to his destination. First was the forest, then the bridge, and then he'd have to cut around Guardia & Truce down to the bridge to Ashtear Island. His skills would be tested, as well as his nerves, he knew. That's what it always came down to in the end.

   He imagined himself here, in the kid's future, the Mystics were even more the embittered, loathsomely sad, and far worse, defeated, bunch, could see the dying race of Mystics joining the Humans and relations mending where once pure, unspeakable hatred and resentment stirred at the mere mention of the other race. And unsurprisingly enough, his thoughts weren't far from the truth.

   In the South, Porre was creating a faction with the Mystic Village by way of ferry transportation. Mystics and Humans had been uneasily migrating inbetween the two towns for the past twenty years or so. Commerce was up, tourism for both was at an all-time high, and people were learning new things from each culture. It was an amazing time in history. He would hate it all if he actually knew.

   The thought of co-existence had never been a thought in his mind before. The Humans just didn't deserve it and almost everyone knew it in the start. It was Mystic territory from the beginning, all of Guardia & Truce, was theirs before they were driven out like so many other had been before them and a multitude would be after. It was the cycle of the world. All he had done was pick the justified side to fight for. He had seen a vast majority of the dawn of the war, more than anybody really wanted to, and in the end, he didn't really care for either side. It was all frivolous to him anyhow.

   Change was coming; The Wind was blowing strong again. He took the Amulet from his sack and looked at it for what must have been the millionth time since the seperation. It brought back burnt red memories of his life, embers of a past slowly turning to fragile ash. His sister Schala, his only friend Alfador, his mother-the Queen, his father-the King, the false Queen that took hi smother's place, the Mystics, the Humans, the War, that stupid, gutless frog, the bullheaded, order-driven knight, the kid & his friends, those enlightened "gurus".

   It was a flood; hundreds of names blurred and etched into him memory. Not even a handful of them were even his acquaintances. Only a couple he would call his friends. He was born the solitary life of the noble. Although he hadn't lived his productive years that way. Those years had been hard and merciless in their training for him to be more effective in achieving his one, ultimate goal in life. He was taken and he was hardened to long-smelted, galvanized steel. A warrior became of him, a wizard, a lone wolf, chasing the moon.

   Nameless faces coming and going in and out of his life in a seemingly limitless cycle of pain and suffering. Was there an end to be had of all this? He had a reason, yes, but what of the rest of it? He walked on swiftly in his present, knowing his past, and foreseeing his cloudy future. What was he willing to do? What was he willing to give up?

   Strange thoughts on this pale summer's night in Fiona's Forest...

   It was a nice place, she thought. Not quite the grandiose 'temple' she had been told of. It was a simple cathedral building. High architecture, flying buttresses, heavenly and obvious religious over-tones all well maintained white and wooden decor. The sounds of a wolf's howling came in from afar in the darknened night. What she was looking for though, wasn't here. She didn't necessarily expect it to be, had begun losing hope.

   Her long, lemon-blonde hair was wrapped up on her head in covered buns at each side. The candle-light at the head of the chapel flickered in her curiously attentive azure-colored eyes. She watched the nuns go about their daily (and nightly) chores, so neat, so orderly and routine, like all of them she'd ever seen before. When she found a temple or church, she would stop and pray, but it seemed like the whole world was deteriorating before her. Not just society as a whole, but nature as well. Something was swelling up in the world deep down, she could feel it.

   She sighed soft, but long. All of fourteen now, she still hadn't found what she was looking for. So much had been given up just at the beginning and so little had changed. Another, smaller sigh came out of her as she picked up an unlit candle with her left hand and dipped its wick into the flame of another.

   "Not many travelers, 'specially not ones so young, in this part anymore." One of the nuns said to her, coming up from behind her right side, "These candles are lit mainly by we nuns here now. In some ways it's good to know that no one's in need of 'em, but in other ways, we see it as people simply losing faith."

   She held the lit candle in her small, clutching left hand. A tear almost escaped her.

   "I'm so sorry, I should not be intruding." The nun turned to leave.

   "It's for my brother." She said rather unexpectedly. She had never shared anything with any of the previous inquisitive nuns or church-hands. But they had all been less elusive about it; had asked it flat out, "I'm looking for him."

   "I'm sorry. To lose a sibling is a hard thing to do."

   "Where is God for these times, good sister?" She said, looking down into the flame's white eye. A bead of wax formed and trickled its way down to kiss her hand.

   "God is always there, within us all. His plans are not always for us to understand." The sister took on a look of mixed shame and anguish at a buried memory suddenly surfacing again and she grasped for her subtle mask of happiness and relentless joy, "Sadly, everything that has form must eventually fade away...Such is life."

   Looking back at the nun, she smiled and was about to say something along the lines of, "Are you nuns always so depressing?" This smile was wiped clean from her face. A look of mute dread replaced it and the only words that managed to escape her mouth were, "Oh, my god!"

   The intricate stain glass windows shatters like so many soft eggs smashed into brick walls. The large, oak door began to creak, cringe and splinter with the outside weight. Large Wolfs heads protruded from the now windowless openings. There were easily a dozen, buth they saw hundreds.

   He counted fifteen; a very large pack. They made their move towards the openings. Should he intervene? He didn't have any reason to. At least, he didn't think so. These problems with time were kind of confusing. Was he being manipulated to help this cathedral? No, too far-fetched.

   But he was a long way from the nearest town, named Porre, which he was going to avoid and it was out of his way anyways. This chapel was a regular rest stop for people going to and from Guardia & Truce and Porre. It was also where they had reunited with the old Prometheus chip, which had at the time inhabited the circuit-driven iron hide known as Robo, serial number R66-Y.

   It seemed almost too right for him to do. He stood there, in the total darkness of the tree up until the first of the Wolfs managed to break in. Then he started his spell.

   The Wolfs just piled on top of each other, not caring for the ones beneath; the first Wolfs to smash the windows were also the first Wolfs to be trampled over to get inside. They were the first Wolfs to have their innards meet the sharp glass still spearing out from the bottom framework of the windows. They jerked and convulsed under the pressure of the others.

   Wolfs don't need to be careful though. It's not hardwired into their nature to be so because they heal rapidly, especially so during the full moon. No one really knows any good ways to get rid of them. They're unstoppable.

   "C'mon then!" She said, taunting the Wolfs. This was going to be the final battle. Here, in this chapel, with the nuns cowering behind the main area and Wolfs bearing down on her. It if was to come down to this, then she'd have to give it her all. Nothing so far had gotter her down-except time-and nothing was going to keep her down. She absorbed the moment in a heartbeat and became one with her emotions, "I won't be stopped here, so soon (outside of the moment, the words would have resounded in her mind with a dull aching) in my search. I hate you and you will die."

   The pleats of her light-colored skirt flittered behind her as she swooped through the aisle of pews. The flames of the candle lighting around the cathedral glittered and glimmered on the face of the heavily polished, small, iron shield covering her left forearm. The sight stopped those Wolfs who had begun to climb in over the bodies of the first Wolfs for just a moment. A loud burst of a howl escaped each of the Wolf's large, gaping mouths. Bubbly, rabid saliva drooled out as they stared down the young girl with a horrible hunger in thier eyes.

   "Miss, you mustn't! There's nothing you can do!" The nun she had spoken to pleaded from the back of the room.

   "Die fighting, good sis'." She replied, not turning, lifting her smallish, gloved hands, clenched in fists. A thick, denadorite spike stuck out at each gloved knuckle, "Die fighting..."

   Wolfs lept with claws bore. Fists blurred, pews shattered, blood sprayed and two Wolfs were knocked down, but not out. They each limped off to the side, inbetween shards of wood. Both had their faces turned into messes of concaved bloody and broken bones.

   She was drenched in their blood: her face, her fists & her hair, the armor covering her dress, her pleated skirt, and even a multitude of tiny spatters running down her legs. A film of dark red Wolf's blood. Her shield took a little beating, but was still in good condition. She readied it, holding it up along with her other fist.

   A bloody angel with no more shimmering, no more glimmer, no shine, no glitter, no more heavily polished, sparkle dances, just blood, until it hit.

   An inferno of flickering flames scorched all the Wolfs from the outside. Hideous screeches of pain echoed in the forest night. Bursts of great scarlet fire bubbled in through the window openings and singed the hair of the two standing, bewildered Wolfs. A man crashed through the remaining, smoldering glass of the middle window, no, not just crashed, but he seemed to fly.

   The shimmer was back. Though it wasn't held within any of the girl's objects, not even her eyes so much as twinkled. The candles had blown out with the explosion of flame coming from the outside. Moonlight poured in through the various new openings. It wasn't the moonlight either though. They glowed with a power of their own. Two brightly radiant new moons, one each held at attention in his hands.

   The Wolfs had never seen anything like it. The girl had never seen anything like it. Not even the nuns in the back knew what was really happening. It was some kind of skill, but it was the kind of ancient or newly discovered skill none of them had ever seen. The two Wolfs that had ducked out earlier had now revived and were standing at the other Wolfs' sides. None of the other Wolfs moved; they were burnt and dead.

   "Howwwwwww?" One of them bellowed and the word transformed into a long, angry howl. The girl was too stunned to move, the nuns had been already, far before her. Two Wolfs pounced at him. Flickers of the glowing light traced patterns into their skulls, their arms, and up their torsos. They toppled over in heaps of mangled flesh and severed intestine.

   "Magically endowed mythril." The man replied as if it were the simplest and most obvious thing in the world. The sickles weren't tarnished at all, in fact, they seemed to pulsate and grow brighter. How else do you take care of Wolfs? He thought numbly to himself.

   The last two looked at each other and began leaping over pews and throwing them back wildly at the entrance, at the man. He ducked and dodged their attempts to stop him.

   "Stop, or the sister diessss." One of the Wolfs said. Its voice was slithering into that of a snake. It was regressing. A great clawed hand was stuck at the sister's throat. The Wolf's big eyes bulged with intensity as it struggled with its form, finally getting it back under control. The other Wolf held a nun in a similar manner. Beads of blood began at the sisters' necks, tears flowed down their cheeks like waterfalls, and their hands were clasped together in prayer.

   He almost smiled at the attempt to persuade him to let them live by threatening the life of another. One he did not know and did not care about at that. Who did these silly Wolfs think he was? Of course, even in his former life, he had to cut the Wolfs down to size for their sheer stupidity. History, it seems, was repeating itself once again. What a fool he was to think of defying it.

   The lone girl, dripping with blood, stood trembling between him and the Wolfs. He moved swiftly past her. Much too swiftly, faster than a man could move. He was somewhere behind her in a dark flash, an instant. His eyes flared and they saw the death awaiting them there.

   His arms rose, as if pleading for them to stop. The hands were empty, his gaze was hard, burtal cold. The Wolfs' eyes rolled up into their heads. The great silver of the mythril sickles still glowed ever brighter and pulsated, spiking out, one each, of their foreheads.

   Crimson smears of blood and gristly bits of brain spatter both nuns, each shining spike of the sickles coming within an inch of their faces. He had made no attempt to spare them, it was just how the cards were dealt, how the darts landed, how the sickles cut.

How ironic that, having been drawn into yet another portal, I would end up...

<1025 A.D.>



   The little fire cast many shadows in the late of the night. Its flame seemed to switch from blue to green and back again, going almost unnoticed. The shadows filled his face, consumed his form. She wondered a lot about him, but none of the questions she had came to her. Ones that did didn't seem appropriate. She didn't know what kinds of questions were appropriate at the time. What could she say? How would she have to say it?

   "Where are you headed?" He asked her, popping her thought balloon and snapping her back into the moment.

   She had stood there, just as stunned (and bloody) as the nuns. With his hands still up, he walked toward the impaled Wolfs' bodies. With a flick of his wrists, the two sickles were back in his hands, and, just as quickly, behind him, at the small of his back. They still pulsated, but the light was fading, dying out. It was still dark out, and the moon had begun to set.

   His right hand raised and the candles of the little church sprung to life again, as if nothing had happened. The only difference was that there were now two more candles lit for mourning and, of course, the broken windows and the door, bursting inwards. He assessed the church, the damage, the lone standing pedestal of holy water near the entrance, the large pipe-organ in the corner, the nuns, the bodies, and lastly, the girl. What was the point? He could only think that this ultimately changed the future and that made him somewhat pleased.

   He turned and went for the door. There was nothing for him there.

   "Wait!" The girl asked in what she thought was a shout, but as it turned out was more of a heavy squeak. He didn't turn and he didn't stop.

   "It's dark. This church has lost its appeal as a place of safe haven." He said, opening the door and before steppin gout, he paused, "I must set up a camp and make a fire."

   She must have stood there, dumbfounded at the entire sequence of events of the past four or five minutes (could it have been such a short time? she thought) before actually doing anything. The nuns were shifting now, finally getting their bearings. Two of them wandered into a back room that was added on five years ago when traffic was at its peak. One collapsed to her knees before getting there, the other fell face first onto one of the beds. The other two wondered and pondered over the bodies of the Wolfs. How would they get rid of so many bodies? Who did they report this to? And more importantly: what role did God have in this and what purpose could it have? Was that man their heavenly savior, or something else, something far more sinister?

   She bolted to the door, at the last minute stopping at the pedestal of holy water to splash and scrub off some of the blood. Her skirt remained stained and flecks of dried blood entangled her hair. She opened the door and in came the dead body of a large Wolf, thudding dully on the hard floor of the inner church and making her jump back before stepping over it warily, cautiously.

   No backward glances at the distraught nuns or the face of the church lying in rubble. She had a singular goal. This man could help her. This man had the answers. She knew it instinctively and without question. This man would help her finish her quest. There was no doubt and she was right.

   "W-what?" She asked, suddenly back in the present, getting used to her own tongue all over again. He seemed annoyed, but went on anyways.

   "I said, 'where are you headed?'."

   "Oh! Yes, right, I'm..." She thought about apologizing, but it didn't seem right, it wasn't what he wanted. She got the feeling that an apology would just make him more annoyed, "I'm heading to the festival."

   "The-the Millennial Fair?" He wondered where in time Prometheus had truly sent him.

   "No, of course not. Why would you say that?" She asked. She was too young-she would have only been four at the time-to remember the Millennial Fair held in Truce, and she hadn't been around fairs much in her youth, "I'm headed for the United Festival."

   "United Festival...?" He asked. Hist stomach was already churning. The Millennial Fair had been a test of wills for him to endure before; another such experience would be too much to bear, "For what occasion is this 'United Festival' being held?"

   She looked at him inquisitively for the briefest moment before answering, "The factions of Guardia, Porre & the Mystics, of course."

   "Of course..." He said.

   "Althought I'm not going to enjoy the festivities."

   "Oh?" He didn't know if he wanted to know, but he decided to humor the girl for giving him information that may prove valuable in the future, "Then why are you going?"

   "I'm looking for my brother." She said, looking deep into the fire. His brow line rose at this. It was too coincidental, too similar, and too obvious. He too looked into the flame which he had created magically moments before. Before the girl had come up and propper herself at the opposite side, sitting cross-legged. He knew she would come. He saw it with the eye of The Wind.

   "You truly hope to find your brother there?" He said, almost with a mask of condescension.

   "Yes, it's a large grouping of many people. It's my best hope for finding him...or someone who knows how to find him..." She said. He looked into her great, sparkling sapphire eyes; those eyes that didn't look up from the fire. The discussion was personal for both of them, it was getting uncomfortable, "My-my name is Marcy; I'd like to thank you sincerely for saving me-and the nuns-back there."

   He nodded at this. It seemed to her that he was going to give her his name. She hadn't expected him to, but the pause after his nod seemed to extend and accentuate her thoughts. Was she welcome here? Here beside his fire? Here in the same forest? Here in this unreasonably uncomfortable moment in time?

   His eyes never left her own. Hers were gazing around rapidly, looking for something; a way out? Was she afraid of him? Were people so automatically afraid of him? She bit her lip and scratched at her nose. She wasn't afraid of him. She was just uncomfortable with his lack of response.

   It was only a moment, but she still felt it, and he had come to realize it, "My name is Ma...Gil. You can call me Gil." He thought for another moment and added, "You are welcome for the assistance with the Wolfs, but you didn't have a chance against them."

   She was happy to know he had a name and that he had told her it. His last comment seemed abrasive, but it wasn't intended, "We would have died in there. So I stood up to fight."

   "Die fighting, hmm?" He stated more than asked.

   "Well, yes, exactly." She said, looking up fro the fire with an excessive blinking of her eyes as if waking from a dream.

   "I've known people who live by that same code."

   "You-you didn't know about the Festival, where are you headed?"

   She thought better of asking where he was from. Something about him, his light blue hair, his weapons, his pale, hardened skin, and even his voice all said to her, 'you don't want to know little doe, just know I come from harder times'. This was not far from the truth at all.

   "I search for a scientific mind." He said, not wishing to give all the details, if not necessary.

   "The Ashtears perhaps?" She asked, finding a stick and poking it into the core of the flame, "They're supposed to be at the head of the major techno revolution. There's supposed to be next to nothing the great Lucca can't do."

   "That's good to hear." Gil said. The connections were adding up, but it was too soon to tell. He hadn't meant for this moment to sound like it did fortunately enough. He was simply thinking how it must be to be so recognized as Lucca at this point in her life. Again, he was drifting back to them as if they were childhood friends. He risked it, "I heard she hasn't been as active recently though."

   "Huh?" She was popped out of another realm of dream, one of sheer surprise, "Uh, actually, I think you're right. She's getting older now, though. I don't think she's even married yet. I wonder where all that talent's going to go after her."

   "I'm sure she has understudies or the like." He said. His chance had paid off. It seemed that she had been slowing down and getting old. What Prometheus said about her Time Egg could be true. Gil's face showed obvious dissatisfaction.

   "So then, you hope to find one of those understudies I take it?" Marcy asked him after he shook off his thoughts.

   "Yes, that's what I have planned exactly, if Lucca cannot help me." He said with all honesty, but had doubts about whether or not he should approach Lucca at all. Perhaps a raid was in order, he thought to himself with a cynical sort of pleasure. Would she allow him to use it if she thought it wouldn't work? This lead to the question of whether or not she knew if it worked. Perhaps only Prometheus knew.

   "What need?" She asked inquisitively.

   "Need?" He asked, searching the recent conversation, "Oh, I-I too am looking for...for someone I lost."

   "What?" She had never come across anyone with a similar goal in her entire life, "You're kidding."

   "About this, I never kid." The statement would have made him laugh. He thought briefly of his sister, "It happened long ago, I was much younger than even you."

   "Wow. My brother...I lost him when I was too young to remember much." She said, the story needed to be told, and this was her chance to tell it, "I just remember a large, dark silhouette taking him and the heavy smell of burning tobacco. I remember screaming loudly. I've found out that the man I seek wears a patch over one eye."

   "So which do you think you'll find first? Your brother or the man with the patch over one eye?" He said, knowing exactly what she wanted, "Which do you want to find first?"

   "My brother of course!" She said, surprising him at first. Then she paused, lowered her head, shadows swallowed her eyes, "Sometimes though, all I'd like is just one crack at that bastard. Just once, right across the cheek."

   She grinded a knuckle into the dirt beside her and he understood: It was too coincidental. He would have to do something about it, he knew, "I'm going to turn in."

   "Yes, okay." She said meekly, wanting to ask about his amazing ability, but it still didn't seem like the proper time. Tomorrow would be her chance. He rounded a great tree and sat at its base. She laid herself down by the fire, warming herself, and drifted off into sleep.

   A great deep white mist rolled into the forest, engulfing everything, smothering the fire. The forest fell back; Gil was now inside Lavos' core again. He could hear it breathing all around him. In and out in large, sucking gasps. There was a great white light coming from the center of the shell. A blue flash shocked him, pulsating in surges of brilliant, blinding light.

   A dream

   He was on his side' his face covered in deep cuts and marks, one eye was bleeding and battered shut. Blood trickled from his lip. He was screaming something, blood spattering out his mouth in all directions. There was furious and panicked anger swelling across his face. His arm flashed forward, trying desperately...

   Just a dream

   The birds twittered, both in her sleepy mind an din the waking forest. She was still deep and sound asleep. Dreaming a dream she had dreamt for many of the lost years of her own youth: her brother was dead. She finally found him and he was dead. The man with the eye patch was nowhere to be seen.

   A dream

   Her focus shifted. She was stalking the man, hunting the man. Her own eye was adorned with an eye patch now. Her bright dress darkened to black as she swept through sleepy little villages and wet shingled rooftops, wide open grassy fields and sandy deserts, windy and rock-strewn mountains, boundless frames of existence. Nothing would stop her.

   A dream

   Gil blocked her way, stolid and calm. She was a wraith of fury and anger as she beat at his chest, demanding he let her go, but he did nothing but stand there, looking down at her petite little form with a kind of sadness-a kind no one had ever seen him give. She cried in his arms, wishing the dreams away.

   Just a dream

   Marcy awoke as if coming up from the deep for a refreshing breath of air. Her dreams had choked her, the Wolfs had jolted her. The fire was long out, nothing but a burnt char in the earth. Someone had mashed dirt into it in the morning.

   The sun had risen hours earlier. She had slept late. Looking around, she noticed that Gil was gone. She circled the tree he had slept against and found nothing but moss and a lot of empty space. She was alone again. She cursed out loud. The tip of the cross atop the church could be seen just barely floating above the trees in the distance. Would he have gone back there? Of course not she thought to herself.

   The fact remained; he ditched her. She didn't know what to think. Why was he being a jerk to her? What was he hiding? Did he know something about her brother? No, it was something else, something personal, she knew.

   When she gave herself time to think, she often found that she could find some relatively good answers to the questions she had. Too many people she had talked to always jumped to conclusions before really thinking things out. They acted like children. Even the wisest elders she'd met thought in that same overcomplicating regard. Sometimes she felt the need to pound them into little bits with her fists. She really loved the feeling, she had decided long ago. Fight was in her spirit; it was a part of her.

   He left at dawn, looked down on her smallish figure in the light of the new day and his eyes did a slight smile. She reminded him of better times, when he was just starting out. Ready to be molded into a killing machine bent on vengeance. It was all there. It was practically fate, he thought, slightly amused. With his boot, he kicked some dirt over the dying ashes of the fire.

   He floated out of the environs without so much as a single twig snapping or a leaf crunching. The need to say goodbye was not even so much as a drifting thought in some deep corner of his brain. He knew what he was goin gto do, what had to be done. If this was what it was, then he'd let it, but not until he knew. There were too many important things on the line. Too many whole lives.

   This girl was innocent enough and strong; her destiny was, in effect, his to take. It was he who saved her from the untimely fate which awaited her. In the original timeline, she died, the nuns died, the Wolfs fed and grew and the chapel turned to a decomposing graveyard to passing travelers, never to be entered again, never to be torn down. Perhaps it was this that guided things. There was no fate to be found here, just timelines interweaving with change, rolling with th epunches, re-stitching itself whole again, if not with just longer sleeves.

   The Wind was blowing now; hard and swift.

Do you hear that sound around you...?

Author Notes (aka V_Translanka Says)

So, Chapter 3, 'Dying Full Moon', starts the so far 8 Chapter long set of Gil being in 1025A.D. Yup, I decided on 'Gil' as his name. I haven't really given much reason though besides him feeling that he needs this new name. I might expand if I want...But I don't feel as such now...

These Chapters are the ones that went through the most change during the writing. Basically I skipped ahead originally and went directly to somewhere around where Chapters 5 & 6 are currently. I originally put him a lot closer to the Zenan Bridge and there never was a scene at Fiona's Villa-Church-thingy and I had only a hint of a wanting to have Marcy be involved in Gil's quest. Then, after a few bad attempts at putting in Kid at Zenan Bridge, and then one with Mel, I decided to back up a little and put in a part with Marcy, whom I've fallen in love with.

You'll actually see part of that scene with Mel, although I've fleshed it out a lot more, and made it somewhat more believable (I think). I'll show you in the "Author's Notes" of Chapters 5-6 the blunders I had for Gil going to Zenan Bridge, which was initially planned for Chapter 3.

Another thing I couldn't decide on until...I think I was done with Chapter 4...Was that I couldn't decide on a title for the damned thing. The title for Chapter 4, 'Exchanged Names', was easy enough. Chapter 4 also I think begins the decline in length of the Chapters until around 8 or 9 where that picks up again.

A few original ideas for the title of Chapter 3 were a couple of double or "extended" titles, where I used a backslash to mark that there were actually kind of two titles for it.

The first was 'Ashen Tears for Lucca's Blight/Forest Song'. In the beginning, it was just the first part, which plays both on Lucca's whole name and the similarly named villain in a game I've never played: Suikoden (1, 2 or 3?), but with the addition of the second sequence in the Chapter, it needed to have an extended title, so the backslash was used and a second title was added to cover that part.

After this, I decided the first part was too apparent and also I figured if I really wanted, I might be able to fit that somewhere else. The second part simply did not explain or go over any of the second sequence besides the fact that it takes place in the forest, so I scrapped that idea.

The original idea for the last word was, "Suite" but my comp wouldn't recognize it for what I was intending, and I didn't end up wanting to look it up, I still, as I write this, don't know if I'm thinking of the right word there. It was supposed to be a throwback to one of Mog's Dances from Ted's translation of FFVI.

The second idea for the title was called 'Solace for Lucca/Phantastic Phorest'. It kept the two-part title configuration idea. In the first part, words are simply mish-mashed and made differently after listening to Children of the Monkey Machine's 'Cid Solace Simplicity'. I didn't really like the sound of the words (or the connections to FFVII for that matter), and decided to scrap that as well. The second part was a play on the Phantom Forest from FFVI and also a hint at the 'spiritual separation' in the Chapter.

In the end, neither of them simply covered all the bases like I wanted the title to do, so I ended up thinking over things more and tried to find a title that suited both sections on the whole, and I think Dying Full Moon does that nicely. A kind of connotation to Lucca's getting old, and then it also has to do with the wolfs of course...

'Strange thoughts on this pale summer's night in Fiona's Forest' was definately me, again, giving props to the greatness of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. Very much derived from his work.

The fourth Chapter, 'Exchanged Names' definately stands as a cornerstone in the story so far. It was, to me, the beginning of dreams in my writings that actually will serve a purpose later on. Expect other dreams in the Chapters to come. Although not particularly in the upcoming two Chapters...Those coming next I'm least proud of-but still enough to read! But, hey, we'll get to that in due time!


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Magness, Chapters 3-4
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2005, 05:39:33 pm »
I posted the edited versions here and the edited versions are also in the Community section of the Encyclopedia. I also edited the Author's Notes.


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Magness, Chapters 3-4
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2005, 08:32:28 am »
I have to say, until heavy dialogue entered with Marcy and Gil, your writing is beautiful, no doubt, but a bit hard to stay focused on. Then when the Ch. 4 began, I was completely engrossed, even after the dialogue ended. I can see your writing improve, so it seems, as the story progresses. Fantastic work! You truly are a gifted writer.


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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2005, 10:44:11 am »
Thanks...Although I think Ch. 1 was probably my favorite because it was all Gil alone, there wasn't really any dialogue and a lot of it was just stuff happening in his head...I tend to think of Ch. 5 & 6 as my least favorite...maybe you'll see why...but I still like them...

Otherwise, yeah, my focus wasn't very sharp, especially in the beginning...Magness really is me trying to become a better writer through characters that I like and easily understand.

And again, thanks for the read and the comments.