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.
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.
Chapter IX "The Fallen One"
The wind was blowing, stirring up tiny sandstorms in the corners between lean-tos. A pair of small twins, a boy and girl, ran barefoot in front, squealing and laughing as they chased each other, their dirty little faces lit up in a moment of delight.
A slender cloaked figure walked, purposefully, through the dusty paths of this village that looked like it had seen better days. The adults were not around, working industriously not too far away in the mines that lay beyond the dunes, leaving the task to watching of young ones to the elders too weak to toil below in the mine shafts.
The figure stopped and the wind teased a wisp of long, pale hair from beneath the hood before pushing back enough of the fabric to reveal the face of a young man. He absently scraped the stray lock out of his eyes. His face, though still young, seemed tired and older than it should. His leaf-green eyes betrayed wisdom and knowledge hard-won and burdensome.
The little girl screeched as she neatly avoided her brother's grab and ran smack into the cloaked visitor. Wary, she quickly stepped back, her brother standing beside her to make sure she was okay. Underneath black messy bangs, her bright blue eyes stared woefully up as she popped her comfort finger into her mouth.
A smile appeared on the man's face as he regarded the pair of children. He reached down and ruffled the little girl's hair, nodding to the brother. The boy grinned back, recognizing the visitor, and then tugged his sister back, out of the way.
"Fallen One," The man turned around with a slightly irritated look in his face.
"Musalen." He acknowledged his companion with bad grace. "How many times have I asked you NOT to call me that ridiculous name?"
"Loki,...Fallen One, whichever pleases you." A very tall, slender figure, dressed in a similar cloak, stepped out from behind a particularly dismal-looking shack. The light flickered across pixi-like features and an intricate tattoo that curved and spiraled across the right side of a decidedly androgynous face. Slender winged eyebrows rose over sharp, intelligent gray eyes. "It's hard not to get caught up in the craze of things. 'Fallen One' has become most popular among the people here."
Loki glared at Musalen before sighing and turning away to watch the laughing twins run off toward the little hovel they called home.
Musalen pulled back the hood to reveal short, black, curling hair and shot Loki an exasperated look.
"Be reasonable, Loki. We need to name you something since you can't remember your true name. At least until you find the One you're looking for. The title helps the people build a mystique around you and in doing so help build their own faith in the cause."
"Even if it's false?" Loki muttered.
"Even so." Musalen agreed. "Although the title is appropriate since you did fall out of the sky."
"And just how many people are aware of that Musalen, one of the three Great Swordsmen, is a woman?"
Musalen raised a piqued eyebrow, the most reaction that Loki had ever been able to provoke from her. She was the most stoic, irritating woman that Loki could remember having the misfortune of meeting. Trust his luck that she happened to be the first one he actually remembered.
The yawning black hole that represented Loki's past was something that never stopped bothering him. It was like losing a tooth and pushing your tongue through the hole it left behind. The fact that something that had been there for so long was now gone, it was a constant niggling *thing* that irritated Loki to no end.
His first memory was the simple sensation of falling. His next, the very uncomfortable landing on a crabby, thorny patch of shrubs that populated the small patches of forest that lined the edges of the dunes. It was strange that fate would have him fall at the feet of one of the Great Swordmasters of Gaea. Lucky too since the prickly bush happened to be mildly toxic, and Musalen knew of the remedy to cure the fever that began to plague Loki within the hour.
The fever was not the only wound Musalen would have to treat. Loki bore a frightening scar across his chest, gaping and bleeding, torn from the fresh stitches that once held it closed.
That was almost three years ago.
Loki's destiny, however vague it was for Loki himself, led him to the war-torn and destitute lands of Zaibach on the strange world of Gaea. A place where two moons hung large in the sky, and the blue green world he supposedly came from was named the Mystic Moon.
In Zaibach, Musalen was working among the refugees and war victims from the Great War, trying her best to provide a safe haven where those who had suffered could find a new beginning. She spoke to the people about fate and destiny, about a time that would come when they would be strong enough to take back what was theirs - their pride. She spoke of a promise that a leader would come, a fallen one, and lead them to the beginnings of a new world.
Loki had no illusions that Musalen truly believed that he was this Fallen One she seen in her visions. He did not condemn her belief or her people's because it gave them strength to continue living. The state of horror the people of Zaibach lived in was bitter enough that Loki could not turn his back on their need. The outrage he felt on their part could not be denied.
No, he didn't mind being this prophesied leader as long as the idea stayed in people's minds, not their mouths. Being constantly referred to as "The Fallen One" made him exceedingly uncomfortable as he felt undeserving of the awe and exultation that came with it. Attention was fine. Worship was a little iffy.
Worship was a difficult cross to bear because it meant that if someone could succeed, someone could also fail. The fall from grace was something Loki knew would be more painful than his fall in the toxic bushes. It was something he felt he had experienced before; the scar that he bore was evidence of that. It wasn't a trip he would recommend.
In the three years Loki had been on Gaea, Musalen and Loki slowly began the foundation of The Resistance. Only in the last year had they finally accumulated enough resources to begin asserting themselves. The literature, information, and technology salvaged from the War were slowly pieced together to create the underground city in the dunes and mountains of Zaibach. The city was called "Pride".
From the recesses of Loki's fragmented mind came the knowledge and understanding of technology and sciences that surpassed the sorcerers of the past. Whispered rumors about The Rebellion and The Fallen One lured the technologists still surviving out of hiding in order to join the cause and pool their knowledge together.
The challenge was getting the former Sorcerers to put aside their egos and cooperate. The perpetual babying of the discontent within the group was enough to drive Musalen crazy. The respect the technologists gave Loki was reluctant and grudging, leaving Loki to be the only one the sorcerers were willing to answer to. Although they refused to honour Musalen, even with the knowledge of her true identity hidden, they did what they could to stay out of her way.
It helped that Loki had his own quiet way of inducing fear among the learned elite of the sorcerers. Not only was he capable of understanding the principles behind the sciences that eluded so many people, but it seemed that he was also blessed with a gift to wield the sword with the same kind of mastery as the Great Swordsman Musalen. The mind behind the sword was very sharp indeed, and it scared the Sorcerers into groveling peons.
Pride was not very large and for the most part only a portion of the Rebellion members lived there. Small, scattered farming communities were established near Pride's hidden site but in unobtrusive numbers. The city had evolved into a technological factory. Weapons and armor were built and created in a mind-boggling quantity in preparation for a foretold war.
The jewel of Pride was the standing force of over 200 guymelefs. The stones had to be mined and collected under stealth and cover to keep the creation of the war melefs secret.
The raids that began a year ago were part of a ruse to disguise the transportation of the energists; however, efforts were not to be wasted so they tended to target trading barges that carried needed supplies.
Loki tilted his head up to the sun. That was the downfall of Pride. There was no sun, no breeze in the air. The release of the merchant from the last raid would now carry the news that the Rebellion existed. The time for hiding would soon be over. The war would begin in earnest.
His dreams were getting stronger. Every night he dreamed of a woman. He never saw her, never heard her voice. All he knew was she was a part of him and that she could give him his name and his past back.
The dreams were never pleasant though. It could be his own reservations about this war filtering through but his dreamscapes were filled with oppression and the sound of war. This would be where he would find her, in the land of the fallen where the earth has accepted the sacrifice of blood in the mist of violence.
It would be a baptism that could cost more than anyone could possibly imagine.
"We will find her, my friend." Musalen placed a comradely hand on his shoulder. "We will get your name back and your memory." She looked around and spotted several of the villagers returning for the evening meal. "We should return to Pride. We must not linger out here too long and risk the villagers with our exposure."
Loki took one regretful look at the small children squealing as they spotted their parents coming in from the dune mines. He squinted in the sunlight. "Yes, I know."
Musalen turned and weaved her silent way back along the lean-tos, and into the scattered patches of forest that masked the hidden pathways into the underground city. Loki paused and sent up a silent prayer to nameless gods. He opened his green eyes, dark with pain.
"So it begins."
The Prophecy, original characters, artwork and links © Melinda
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