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The Prophecy

A Vision of Escaflowne Fanfiction

The standard disclaimer: Yeah, okay I stole these characters from the marvelous creators of The Vision of Escaflowne...and Rurouni Kenshin too. Yadda yadda yadda. Please don't sue me ^_^ The main story line is of my own delusional imaginings. Blah blah blah.  Please do not distribute. Thanks.

The Twinned shall fall from the Sky.
A Broken Land shall rise again;
Vengeance and Hunger as Guidance.
The Wheel of Fortune turns.
Feathers tipped in Blood;
The Dragon's Sword forged in heated Battle.
Thy Kingdom's Heart it shall possess.

WARNING: This chapter has violent scenes and crude language that may be disturbing to some readers. Please use discretion.

Chapter 12 XII "Intrigues"

The clash of metal echoed hollowly in a sharply lit room. A man grunted, followed by the dry shuffling of quick footsteps across the cemented floor.

Loki danced away as his sparring partner, Musalan, thrust her sword towards him, catching the thin fabric of his sleeve. He quickly parried, forcing Musalan to retreat and to rally her forces once again.

Slash, turn, block, parry, thrust, it was a dance with a rhythm few could understand. Each movement completed in turn would be repeated even faster the next time, until the dance could no longer be followed except by the dancers themselves.

There was another clash, and another grunt. Musalen flicked the tip of her sword under Loki's and flipped his sword into the air. It fell with a loud obnoxious jangle to the ground a couple feet away from where they stood.

Musalan stepped back and stared at her companion. "Something bothers you today. You're distracted and pathetically non-attentive to our sparring." She reached out and fingered the small tear in Loki's sleeve. "I shouldn't have been able to wreak your shirt like this." She stopped in surprise. “You’re cut. You’ll need stitches.”

Loki looked at the small tear and dismissed it. "It's nothing that a needle and some thread can't fix."

"And if my sword was poisoned?"

"Then I would have died."

"You are too careless."

"Perhaps I choose to be so."

"For what reason?"

Loki stared at his first commander, his green eyes meeting steel gray ones. "So I can remember the consequences when I am." He absently touched his chest where the shirt hid the long scar that he bore.

* * * * *

In the privacy of his own room, the man given the name Loki stared at his reflection in the mirror.

“Who are you?” he asked the man with the tired green eyes. “What is it in your past that haunts your dreams?”

He picked up the long, curved katana in front of him. Other than the wicked scar that decorated his chest and the clothes on his body, the sword in his hands was the only clue he had of his dark, forgotten past.

He ran his fingers lightly over the sheath of the katana. Embroidered on a cloth-wrapped wooden sheath in muted threads were animals that he knew existed as fighting disciplines. His fighting disciplines.

An image of a carved wooden twin flashed in Loki’s mind, and eyes twin to his own stared out of the mirror as if they belonged to another.

Loki slowly fastened the sword to his side and drew on his leather gloves. His armor was a deep red, the colour of heart’s blood. He met the stranger’s eyes in the mirror once again and surrounded himself with the sound of silence.

Someday, he promised the stranger, you won’t be able to hide from me any longer.

* * * * *

He walked into the main square where a hundred guymelefs were assembled with their operators. Close to two thousand men and women gathered where sound echoed eerily in the underground caverns of the hidden city Pride.

Artificial light flickered across the metal surfaces of the guymelefs’ bodies, replicas of Zaibach’s design from the Great War. Loki’s people had spent the last three years scavenging and raiding for parts. Drag energists were slowly excavated to avoid detection.

Musalen stepped out in front of her chosen guymelef. She affectionately called it “Vengeance.” She was the most accomplished of the riders and was the key in training their ragtag army.

Loki moved to meet her, shaking his head as she mockingly patted her machine.

“Muse, you could have a chosen a less...angry name for your guymelef you know,” he told her with exasperation.

Musalen raised an eyebrow, an amused expression on her face. “I thought it was appropriate. Somehow I don’t think a name like ‘Fluffy’ would strike fear in the hearts of my opponents.” She paused and looked up at the towering machine. “I don’t suppose I could interest you in trying one out again.”

Loki shook his head adamantly. “I prefer to remain outside and not closed up in a machine. I’ll be more effective on foot.” He shuddered when he remembered his attempt at using a guymelef. Although he was fascinated with how they worked, he couldn’t connect with the great machines warriors.

Transferring his power with his sword to a guymelef proved to be too much for the machine, and it had taken eight long hours to extract Loki from the rubble that remained from the explosion.

Musalen laughed, “I think it would be better for the guymelefs if we kept you away from them.” She glanced around the rest of the force gathered. “Is a hundred enough?”

Loki frowned, turning the question in his head. “I’ve been told that Asturia had called a Summit. We know that Merchant Fassa has brought word to Fanelia.”

“How do you know they will come?” Musalen asked.

“They have no choice.” Loki shrugged. “In the end, it doesn’t matter. The Princess must return to Asturia, and the King knows it. The Summit is another reason, and so is his conscience.”

Musalen sighed. “What has Raspun said? What are the possibilities?”

“Basram and Fried remained in Fanelia. Merchant Fassa and the Princess have joined them. There is the highest possibility that if Fanelia goes the rest will follow.”

“And the chance Fanelia will not attend the Summit?”

“Less than 1 percent and the odds are still in our favor. There are no countries remaining that have a standing war guymelef army over 10. The contingent from Fanelia will have 5 war guymelefs at the most, possibly a detachment of 20 small melefs. Even then, one of ours is worth ten of any other, with the exception of Basram.”

“And compared to Basram?” Musalen asked dryly, already knowing the answer.

“Equal, if not better.” Loki accepted the fact with little trepidation. “However, Basram’s war fleet stands at merely 20. I’m not concerned. And Escaflowne remains decommissioned last we heard.”

Musalen relaxed slightly. “So, the Dragon sleeps for now. Well, I can trust Raspun’s numbers of nothing else. The numbers are most compelling.”

“Yes.” Loki shrugged. “But it’s not enough. Numbers will not win this war alone.” He signaled to his people and the murmuring among them fell silent.

“Where’s the informant?” Musalen waved to the guards behind them. The guard on the right shoved a ragged man dressed in worn fatigues forward. The soldier staggered and fell hard to his knees; his tied hands behind him unable to break his fall.

Loki studied the tired man in front of him. “Your name is Farell, isn’t it? Why did you come to us? Why are you so eager to betray your country?”

The man reared back in anger and spat in disgust without thinking. Musalen drew her sword so sharply, the tip rested at Farell’s Adam’s apple before his spittle completely left his lips. The sharp scent of urine filled the air as a small puddle collected between the ragged soldier’s knees.

“I believe,” Musalen commented mildly, “you are capable of explaining without being so vulgar, soldier.”

Farell slowly swallowed, wincing as the movement pushed the sword tip in a little further. A small bead of blood trickled down his throat.

Loki surveyed Farell’s current condition with distaste. “I want to know why.” Loki fingered the hilt of his sword thoughtfully. “Your life may depend on it.”

Farell flicked his eyes nervously from Musalen’s cold gray eyes to Loki’s even colder green eyes, down to the sword hilt that Loki’s hand rested on, and cross-eyed at the one resting at his throat.

“Fanelia is no longer my country. She has abandoned me before I have betrayed her. All over a single white-haired bitch.” Musalen raised an eyebrow and lightly lifted the sword tip a little higher.

“Girl. A girl. Named Seiki. She looks…she looks…” Farell stopped in surprise and stared at Loki, his mouth gaping wide as realization dawned on his face. “You look like her.” he blurted out. “You are the one she seeks!”

Musalen blinked in surprise. Loki ignored both of them. “You have not given me your reason.”

Farell closed his mouth slowly and scowled. “The King wanted to test the chit. Make her prove that she was capable of taking care of herself. He had three of us attack her at the same time. I felt sorry for her because she was so small and hurt. No one else saw it but me.” Farell sneered. “She was only pretending and humiliated us. A wolf in sheep’s clothing. I threw my daggers at her, and for that, my King dismissed me dishonourably.”

He laughed harshly, for a moment forgetting a sword rested at his throat and a warm puddle sat between his knees. “Years of blood, sweat, and tears to be among the elite, only to be ruined by a bitch-in-heat the King has the hots for. This is worth losing honour for? One woman?”

Loki remained quiet as Farell babbled on until he finally fell silent. The men stood still, watching and waiting for their leader’s decision. Wordlessly, Loki waved Musalen back. Surprised, she stepped away reluctantly.

With the removal of the sword, Farell closed his eyes briefly and heaved a sigh of relief. He opened his mouth in order to speak words of gratitude and pledge his allegiance to this strange new power but stopped short at the sound of steel rasping. Loki has shifted position, posed in the position identical to the white-haired bitch in Fanelia.

Identical in every way.

Loki straightened and flicked his contemptuous gave over the informer. “I have no need for fools and betrayers. You can never trust their loyalty.”

Farell’s puzzled look changed into horrified surprise as his open-mouthed head slowly slid off his severed neck and fell to the ground with a wet thud. With his katana, Loki had sliced off Farell’s head faster than anyone could witness with their eyes.

Musalen watched the Fallen One with a hooded expression. Loki’s gaze had briefly taken on a chilling, amber sheen, unsettling his commander more than she cared to imagine. “We could have found out more if you had let him live. More about the woman in your dreams.”

Loki sucked in a startled breath. Visions of flames flashed in his mind, and he could smell smoke, burnt flesh, and blood. His nostrils flared and he shook his head. “This fight is bigger than me. I couldn’t abide his filth to spread among our people. How can we survive with betrayers in our midst? One mistake, one fool, would destroy us all.”

He turned to the watchful gathering of men and women, silent witnesses to the necessary ruthlessness of their chosen leader.

“You know why we’re here and what needs to be done. We leave with the setting of the sun to our destinations.” He looked around and met the expectant gazes of the men and women he would fight side by side with.

“Activate your energists. Prepare your gear. The time has come to take back what is ours. Our Pride.”

Go to chapter XIII

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The Prophecy, original characters, artwork and links © Melinda Ho, dragonmmho 1999 - 2004. All rights reserved.
The Prophecy
is a fanfiction, images in The Gallery are either original or fan art and are not for sale or profit.
For personal use only. Do not distribute.
The Vision of Escaflowne title, names and characters © Hajime Yadate and Shouji Kawamori.
This fanfiction also includes parts from the anime/manga Rurouni Kenshin.
All characters and references to it the property of Sony and Nobuhiro Watsuki.