"Sa Machine Ailée" et autres histoires

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Re: "Sa Machine Ailée" et autres histoires

Message par Sandentwins »

:condor: Where the Abyss and the Surface Touch :condor:

He loves him.

He loves him subtly at first, and perhaps he does not realize it yet. But as time passes, as they spend it together in the many ways they can, as Karsha shows just how full of surprises and wonders he is, Esteban comes to find the truth about how he feels for his friend. And it's surprising, and it's new; but it's pleasant, and it makes him happy. And he wants it to happen.

He loves him when he says to him these sweet words of promise, of meeting each other again very soon. This promise that no matter what, Atlantis will rise from the depths of the ocean and find its way into the world again. Karsha promises, and Esteban believes it, and he will do all he can to make it happen.

He loves him when their eyes meet a last time, before it is eventually time to go and resume their quest, his quest. The world still needs a hero, it needs the chosen ones, and it needs the Cities of Gold. It needs young and innocent shoulders to rest its burden on, and Karsha knows that, and so he does not stop him.

He loves him when he thinks about him, about these nice moments they've spent together in the underwater city. These hours spent talking, learning and teaching the names of things, of creatures, of everything. Of slowly forming a bond not only between their two souls, but their two worlds: those of the surface and the abyss, like two long-lost brothers that just met again.

He loves him when he carries on his mission, and does as he is told like a mere servant of the elders of Mu, and bears it all with no regards for himself like he's always done. Thinking of him gives him strength, gives him courage, and he carries on still.

He loves him when he is ready to throw it all away, to cause a massive catastrophe to save his people from the darkness. And even after he realizes what he's almost done, he can't help but think it was for a good cause, no matter what consequences it would have had.

He loves him when he tries for days on end to make it work, when he loses so much sleep over potential ways to save the Nemishtari from the depths. Even when his body is heavy with fatigue and his mind so fuzzy he can't think straight, he tries to do something, anything. And Zia and Tao see how much it wears him down, and promise to help; because they understand. And he knows that somewhere, they know what he feels, even before he understood it himself.

He loves him when he stands on the Condor's wing, anxiously watching events unfold with a nervous heart beating away in his chest. His hands are sweaty, and he can't think of what to say; but his friends are here, and they reassure him. They tell him to go ahead and meet the people who never breathed the surface air before, and he does so. He's met with thanks and many words of praise, and he smiles, but his eyes still search the crowd.

He loves him when gold meets gold, and they finally see each other again. And he runs, he doesn't know why, but he runs, and opens his arms, and he's got his arms open too, and they embrace so hard they almost fall down.

He loves him in that instant he can finally see him again, and he cries, he lets it out, and he replies in the same voice, and returns his words and his arms, and he's there, he's finally there, and it feels like the world regained its colors and its beauty once again.

He loves him during those moments they spend together, these days where he teaches him all about the surface, about the world over the ocean. Karsha is a child at heart, and gets excited over the tiniest things, the little nothing Esteban always took for granted. The sun, the wind, the birds, the flowers, everything is so new and fascinating to him, and he loves it, he loves that new world, and Esteban loves him more as he watches him laugh and smile and find out about all the surprises of life.

He loves him the first time it rains, and Karsha stands perplexed, wondering why water is falling from the sky, as if he's afraid they will drown; but Esteban keeps calm, and Karsha senses it, and soon after he starts to dance, he dances under the rain like something is making him do so, and he lets water trickle down his face and his arms as he moves with grace, like a bird taking flight. Esteban can't help but join him, and the two of them dance under the rain, they move and they touch and slowly he understands, and water cleanses away his worries and his fears, and it feels like he's being reborn, dancing with this boy of the abyss, like a whole new door has been opened to him and he's slowly making his way in, step after step, twirl after twirl, touch after touch.

He loves him during these moments they spend together on the Castilian beach, watching the sea move and breathe under the twilight sun. They talk, they share their worries of times long past and future, and they understand one another like no one else could ever do. Esteban is not sure of where his life will lead him next, and Karsha fears there is no place for him in this world where no one remembers Atlantis anymore. They exchange glances, worried words, and the slight hint of a what if starts to slither into their minds, and they think that maybe, maybe, they could find out what's in store for them together. And their hands touch, and hold, and they move a little closer to one another as this possibility becomes more and more believable, and he realizes he wants it to happen.

He loves him when their lips meet, even though it isn't to share air anymore, but something entirely else that they open up to with time. Esteban has never felt such a thing before, even less so for another boy, but with everything that has been going on, he figures it does not make that much difference anymore. And he's happy it's happening, and he wants it to happen, and he will do all he can to make it worthwhile, because that's how much he wants things to be.

He loves him more as time passes, as their worlds touch some more, as Karsha discovers the surface and as Esteban reconnects with the ways of his homeland. He teaches him to swim fast, to hold his breath for longer, to fish in the way of the abyss. But Esteban knows he'll never be as graceful underwater as these dolphin people, who swim faster than anyone and with more grace than fish themselves. Whenever Karsha breaches out with a catch in his mouth, he does so with such power and elegance, like he was born to be one with the sea. And Esteban watches him with impressed and enamored eyes, for every little thing is a whole new reason to fall in love with this seaweed-haired merman.

He loves him when they rest together under the cover of the night, and Esteban's finger lazily traces the unique patterns of Karsha's skin, following the thin wriggly line where pale meets dark, making him giggle somewhat. He's so different in many regards, and he figures Karsha must feel the same about him. Sometimes his webbed hands feel his hair, how soft it naturally is; they cup his own hands, which look nubby in comparison, their fingers lacing together without they can properly interlock all the way. [...]


Continue reading over at https://archiveofourown.org/works/21733108
Modifié en dernier par Sandentwins le 07 avr. 2020, 02:17, modifié 1 fois.
:condor: Le meilleur personnage de toute la série, c'est la mère d'Esteban.:condor:

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Re: "Sa Machine Ailée" et autres histoires

Message par Sandentwins »

:condor: Liars Must Be Punished :condor:

I'm just a child like any other, he claims. He repeats it and holds it to be true, shields himself with these words to fight back superstitions and stubborn beliefs. He's just a boy, an average Spanish boy like any other, and there's nothing to him that can prove otherwise.

But he knows. Deep down, he knows, and yet refuses to face it.

The monks that watch over him seem to know something he doesn't. Sometimes they whisper, they exchange worried glances, and Esteban feigns to not notice it, to pretend everything is fine. The monastery is his sanctuary, but even here he feels like he's being watched and judged, and he has to deal with this uneasy feeling he can't explain. Of course, the adults make it clear they love him and care for him like their own son, but deep down, he knows there's something they're not telling him.

In the water of a puddle, in the sheen of a spoon, he sees his own reflection, and he ponders. He sees his eyes that appear gold, and he tries to tell himself that he's wrong, that they're just a light brown, that there's nothing unusual to be seen. He notices the way his face seems to shimmer under the sunlight, like thin flakes of gold on his skin, and tells himself it's nothing, it's just sweat or something similar. He doesn't want to stand out, he hates to stand out, and yet his body betrays him and makes itself way too easy to recognize. No matter how much dirt he rubs over his hands and face, he can't make it disappear, he can't appear just like any other child.

And he hates it.

He sometimes would like to ask Father Rodriguez where he comes from, for maybe it could explain how come no one in town looked like him. But he figures it isn't a good thing to inquire about. All he knows is that someone brought him here, to the monastery, when he was no older than a baby. Brought him from where? He dares not ask. Maybe what he'll hear won't please him, maybe it'll only make things worse. All he has is this idea of 'somewhere', and his moon pendant.

And for a while, it's all he needs. He can deal with this. He can deal with not knowing, even though curiosity nibbles at him whenever he spends too much time playing with his necklace, or ponders about what is outside the city he's grown up in. He can deal with being the way he is, with having to run from people calling him a child of the Sun, with this weird obsession everyone has with him and his so-called abilities. He can deal with it, for now.

~~~~~

But things always change. Things come and go, and new things that come end up eroding his whole worldview little by little.

He travels. He sees new places, learns of new things. He meets people with so many different beliefs, and while he's opening his mind to it all, it still seems very strange to him. Yet that strangeness brings comfort, for it changes from everything he's known so far. He was a stranger to these people he met, but they were strangers to him too, and that feeling he's known all his life was reciprocated. It was petty, but it made him feel better about himself and his weirdness. The people he stayed with for longer times eventually got over their first impressions, and while the whispers remained, they were not as persistent. And he appreciated it.

Zia is there, and she does not judge him nor berate him for who or what he is. She's understanding, she knows what he's gone through, and he knows she felt the same. As an Inca girl at the court of Spain, she too felt like an outcast, an anomaly, that people gawked at without an end, until she felt physically sick and hateful of the world around her. They can be outcasts together, he offers, and she's quick to take up on his word.

Tao is there, with his quirks and his manners, and a difference he's actually proud of. He claims he is the way he is, and that how he acts and speaks and behaves is a matter of cultural pride, and Esteban wishes he could understand. For weeks on end, Tao refuses to learn to speak Spanish, instead expressing himself in the language of his ancestors, and it frustrates the group to no end; yet the children remain patient, and eventually learn enough words to hold strange conversations. And all the while, Esteban ponders about it, about how that boy kept holding onto what makes him unique and different; and the more he thought about it over time, the more it made him consider some things he hadn't seen before.

The people are stubborn. They don't want to let go of what they believe in. They call Esteban a godsend, a child of the sun, a messenger and a demon. They keep mentioning that power he supposedly has, the power to call forth the sun and make it shine at will. For the longest part, he's dubious, he claims it's a coincidence. When that strange masked priest beckons him to try, he does so without really meaning to, and that's when he feels it.
[...]

Continue reading over at https://archiveofourown.org/works/21895027
Modifié en dernier par Sandentwins le 07 avr. 2020, 02:18, modifié 1 fois.
:condor: Le meilleur personnage de toute la série, c'est la mère d'Esteban.:condor:

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Re: "Sa Machine Ailée" et autres histoires

Message par Sandentwins »

:condor: Buried in the Cinders :condor:

The Golden Condor landed in a cloud of grassy dust, its wings carefully folding down as its legs straightened out. Esteban kept it steady until it was fully grounded, and only then let the engine power down. The glass pane above them slid upwards, letting in some fresh air after a long flight, and the bird's head lowered to let them outside.

Pichu immediately fluttered out, happy to stretch his wings, and Tao followed shortly after. The sun was going down over the ocean nearby, and while most people would be tired, these two still seemed full of energy. Zia felt relieved to get some exercise, merrily sliding down the Condor's beak to meet the familiar touch of the grass below. It was a little dry, as was common in Inca lands, but it was only the more welcoming. Nothing better for one's soul than to gaze upon familiar sights, after all.

Esteban followed them shortly after, as the Condor finished powering down with the sun, and the three of them made their way down the hills. Below them, right by the coast, there was a little village with houses of stone and roofs of thatch. It looked rather charming from there, and with hope, the children could find a place to sleep tonight. It's been a long series of travels for them so far, and it would do them some good to rest at last.

“Do you think the people here are nice?”, Tao asked, as they could make out the first human silhouettes from the path.

“I'm sure they wouldn't actively hurt us.”, Esteban shrugged. “Even though we're obviously not from here.”

“Worry not, I'll be your warrant as usual.”, Zia snickered.

Indeed, it was of so much help that they had her to vouch for them as good people, especially since she spoke the languages of the land way better than the two of them. So all in all, Esteban wasn't too worried; but still, he tried not to catch anyone's attention as they entered town at last.

Maybe he failed at his task, for the first whispers of the people came very soon to his ears. Obviously, their arrival couldn't draw no noise at all, but he'd have at least hoped it would take some more time. With a habit gained from twelve long years of living in Barcelona, he simply ignored that background noise, pretending he was but a normal kid on a normal errand, not something to be pointed at and whispered about. Some things never change, it would seem; at least, since he didn't understand most of these people's words, it had next to no impact on him. Maybe this place has never seen white men before, that's all.

That's about when Zia's hand held onto his forearm. He rose a brow, looking at her with surprise, and she returned his gaze.
[...]

Continue reading over at https://archiveofourown.org/works/22019335
Modifié en dernier par Sandentwins le 07 avr. 2020, 02:19, modifié 1 fois.
:condor: Le meilleur personnage de toute la série, c'est la mère d'Esteban.:condor:

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Re: "Sa Machine Ailée" et autres histoires

Message par Sandentwins »

:condor: Viper and Mongoose – That night when... :condor:

The sound of rustling grass made Laguerra turn around, a hand grasping the handle of her whip as a reflex. Should someone come around here, it would not end well; if she's been in the mood to kill a man before, now would be even worse. As put as a predator about to strike, she stayed on edge, listening for any other sound that might cue her further as per who was coming here. Her heart was pulsing in her head, almost in tune with the melody of the crickets and the beating of the hot Egyptian sunset on her face. She certainly was ready to commit a heinous crime if her plans were to be cut short; but another rustle, along with a familiar shuffle of fabric, reassured her that she wouldn't need to.

“It's me.”

When her eyes laid on the man's face, she almost let out a sigh of relief, and lowered her hand. In the reddish hue of the sky behind him, Mendoza's silhouette was difficult to miss, his cape trailing behind as usual as if he wanted to give himself a superior air. Laguerra didn't comment on it, instead relaxing her stance a little.

“I got your message.”, he continued. “You wanted to see me?”

“Indeed.”

He came to stand next to her, to gaze at the scenery below them. They could see the river from here, like a green snake slithering through the ochre desert, giving rise to various patches of trees in the sandy sea before them. The air was warm, and carried a sweet scent that spice traders would have killed for in their early years. From that vantage point, they could see the borders of the city of Luxor, already shadowed in the first colors of the night, as if it were laying to rest. From there on, it was nothing but wilderness and solitary statues, standing in the sand as if waiting for something.

Mendoza stood with his arms crossed, letting the warm breeze pick up his hair somewhat. Like a beacon of certainty, he stood there with his eyes on the Nile, almost indistinguishable from the dozens of other idols she's seen on her way here. How she wished she'd understand what made him so placid, so calm at all times! It was almost getting on her nerves, but she decided to not speak of it. So she simply came closer, and stood next to him to watch the horizon.

“I wanted to tell you that I'm going away.”, she said. “There's no more use for me here, and I'd rather leave before things turn sour.”

Mendoza turned to her, a hint of disbelief painted on his face.

“No more use for you? How can you say that, with everything you've done so far? You've helped Ambrosius too much for me to think you're useless.”

“That's the whole point. I've helped him too much! And I didn't realize it until what happened at the laboratory.”

She held her face in her hand, trying to find a moment's relief from Mendoza's glare.

“And even before that…I wasn't in a better place either. He could have killed the children, that day!”

Mendoza tried to hide a shudder. Being aboard the Golden Condor while it was being attacked was definitely not a pleasant experience. The moment Esteban leaped out to try and repair its broken wing, he felt his own heart leave his chest for a second.

“I thought that didn't stop you.”, he snickered. “What's a child's life to your great plans?”

Laguerra turned her face away, feeling just how ashamed she should have been; it was all catching up to her in a single moment, and it was not pleasant a feeling.

“You know what I mean.”, she protested. “I thought it wouldn't affect me. Nothing ever did, so why would...”

She sighed.

“I have to go. I...I must go. The more I help Ambrosius in his plans, the more I put you in danger. And I came to realize I didn't want that to happen.”

Mendoza tried to say something, but his words got lost in his throat. Laguerra simply searched her belt, and took out a golden item, which she handed to him.
[...]

Continue reading over at https://archiveofourown.org/works/18757 ... s/53270206
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Re: "Sa Machine Ailée" et autres histoires

Message par nonoko »

Je vais avoir de la lecture pour réviser mon anglais ce weekend, merci !
"On savoure mieux ce qu'on a désiré plus longtemps, n'est-ce pas Mendoza?"
Unagikami mon amour
"It was a skyfall, and a rebirth, a bloody honeymoon, for both of us"
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Re: "Sa Machine Ailée" et autres histoires

Message par Sandentwins »

nonoko a écrit :
21 mars 2020, 09:26
Je vais avoir de la lecture pour réviser mon anglais ce weekend, merci !
:D !

:condor: Where the Ocean Guides Him :condor:

:condor: Chapter 1: The Seagulls' Nest :condor:

July 1495

“It's over! By order of the King, surrender!”

But the gilded ship refused to listen. Sailing on the tide as smoothly as the wind, it evaded the assault once more, its crew cheering in loud and rowdy voices. The cannons shot, but they missed their target once again, as if that cursed boat was as elusive as the rarest of chimeras.

High above their heads, the winged pirates jeered as they swooped down, somehow knocking down another batch of confused sailors. Their wings of metal and leather whistled in the air as they flew back up, powered by some kind of witchery that left the Captain both confused and horrified. He barely managed to duck in time to avoid getting slashed in the face by whatever shivs these heathens had tied to their boots, all in a flurry of curses muttered under his breath. Getting his footing once again, he swished his sword as he tried to get them, to even reach them, to no avail.

“I will not repeat myself!”, he shouted, trying to assert his authority over these ruffians. “By order of the King– "

His sentence got cut short when another gust of wind nearly knocked him over, under the mocking laughter of these witches.

“Seize them, boys!”, the pirate commander called. “There's bound to be some good treasure in there!”

The gilded ship sailed closer, and a heap of footed pirates climbed aboard the Gallega, making no small show of it. The Spanish crew could do nothing but watch as these pirates invaded their precious ship like parasites, and started pillaging whatever goods they were bringing back from the New Continent. Several of their winged generals landed down, asserting their superiority on the newly-caught caravel. Their wings made a clockwork sound as they folded back behind them; if they weren't such evil, twisted miscreants, they would very well have passed for angels.

The captain of the Gallega was brought onto his knees, in a shameful act of submission; his head was pressed down by a foreign hand, and footsteps drew closer. He seethed with rage at the idea of being stopped and captured by pirates of all people; when his chin was suddenly lifted, his eyes were full of wrath.

But quickly, they got stained with confusion.

“So, that's the feared captain Mendoza.”, the woman snickered.

Her thick black curls framed her face like clouds over a stormy sea. Her build, her stature were definitely those of a leader, and there was no doubt she was the head of the pack. And there was something in her eyes, something that glared at him with cruelty, that could have made all his hairs stand on edge if he were any less calm and composed under the threat of death.

“A fierce and fearsome captain, that?”, she jeered. “I see nothing but a meek little prawn. Why, who is he to think he stands any chance against us?”

The crowd cheered along, bellowed with evil laughter under the sneer of their leader.

“I bet he can still be worth some ransom. Tie them all up in the back, and make sure they're not too tight in their bonds. Last thing I want is a prey's complaining.”

She wove a hand dismissively to her mates, ordering the caravel to be searched and all valuables rounded up. In the moment she didn't look at him, Mendoza suddenly jerked and managed to break free from his captors' hold; grabbing his sword, he held it forward, stinging humiliation fueling his moves as it blazed through him.

“What kind of pirate are you, to rely on witchery?”, he taunted. “You have no more honor than manhood, you wench!”

A shocked gasp ran through the crowd, as the leader froze in her tracks. And a second later, the glare she cast at him was so cold and cruel, Mendoza felt he would die on the spot. He started to regret his words, as the pirates draw their swords and headed for him; but she snapped her fingers, stopping them in their endeavors.

“Those are bold words for someone about to die.”, she spoke with a bone-chilling voice.

Mendoza gulped, but stood all his might.

“Then I will die with more honor than you've ever had in your life.”

The pirate drew her sword, tracing a silver curve in the air. Clearly she was angered.

“The only honor you'll ever have will be to die by La Gaviota's blade!”

And she rushed on him. [...]

Continue reading over at https://archiveofourown.org/works/22881 ... s/54687850
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Re: "Sa Machine Ailée" et autres histoires

Message par Sandentwins »

:condor: Chapter 2: Marooned on Stranger Shores :condor:

June 1504

“Where are we going?”

The man didn't answer. Carlos frowned, and tried again.

“Hey. I said, where are we going?”

Still nothing. The kid grumbled, and grabbed his sleeve.

“You'll answer me!?”

This time, Mendoza snapped, and swatted Carlos's hand away.

“Stop being rude!”, he growled. “And don't talk back to me.”

Immediately, Carlos's mind filled with protest. What was this guy talking about!? He wasn't talking back. He was just asking a question, one that needed to be asked. He was the rude one for not answering him!

They were walking through unknown streets in an unknown town, where people spoke an unknown language. Esteban was holding his brother's hand, toddling uncertainly behind him, and obviously needing to ask questions that the Captain's angry glares stopped him from speaking. The little kid was terrified, holding onto his elder like a lifeline, and he was this close from bursting into tears, if it weren't for Mendoza's presence.

Eventually, they stopped in front of a small house. It was worn-down in places, the stones sporting thin cracks and the wooden beams overgrown with moss. It didn't look anything warm or hospitable, and for a moment Carlos thought the captain had gotten the wrong one. In his head he begged, pleaded that it was the wrong one; yet the Captain came forward and knocked on the door.

From inside came a rustle, an angry voice and heavy footsteps. Carlos held Esteban close, fearing whatever danger was coming from the other side of this door; and when it opened, his breath stopped for a moment.

The old woman had an evil look in her eye. She looked just as worn-down and crumbly as her house, her spine crooked and her gray hair held under a handkerchief. She seemed displeased with Mendoza's presence, speaking to him in that language; but when she happened to saw the kids, her anger rose even more. It was a great deal of discussing before the brothers were eventually allowed inside.

It smelled weird. Everything looked old and dusty. Carlos and Esteban were instructed to sit at a table; they were served some food while the adults talked. It was bland, and very different from what they've been accustomed to, living on their mother's ship. Merely thinking of it made Carlos almost want to cry, but he held it back.

The old crone looked rather angry, in a passive manner. Whatever language they were speaking was similar enough for Carlos to understand a few words. But it wasn't until Mendoza came back that the boys got the first explanation of their situation.

“I've talked to my sister.”, he said. “She's accepted to take you boys in.”

His sister? They didn't even know her! Carlos frowned.

“What about you? Where will you go?”

“It is none of your business.”, the Captain responded, irritated. “I have to report to the Admiral. I have a duty to uphold.”

“You can't go! You're...you're our father!”

The word almost disgusted him. In the three years that Carlos had known this man, he's never acted like a father. Not to him at least; he's been way more invested in La Gaviota's second child. After Esteban was born, things became a little too complicated for Carlos to understand, but the Captain had expressed a lot of disappointment over something unknown. Gaviota didn't care, and loved him just as she's done before. And now that she was gone, her little seagulls could as well have been orphaned; for as far as Carlos was concerned, they never had a father.

“I am.”, Mendoza conceded. “Which means that Tia Gerda is your aunt, and family. You owe her respect and obedience, like with any relative.”

Carlos was about to reply that he owed no one obedience, but Gerda's evil glare shut him down.
[...]

Continue reading over at https://archiveofourown.org/works/22881 ... s/55209604
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Sandentwins
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Re: "Sa Machine Ailée" et autres histoires

Message par Sandentwins »

:condor: Chapter 3: A New Pair of Wings :condor:

April 1513

Time sure flies fast. Yet Carlos could feel the weight of each day pushing down on him like a burden.

Sitting by the docks, he was staring at his reflection in the water, watching his own face be twisted by the constant motion of waves against wood and stone. The slow pace of the rowboats and the ships being loaded, unloaded, repaired, cleaned, was but a background noise to his monotonous thoughts, a distraction to his gaze that couldn't get out of the dirty port water, out of his mishandled reflection.

The boy has been sitting here for an hour now, water lapping at his feet, without he moved or said anything besides a deep sigh. He could have been playing, laughing, trying to have fun; but it was impossible now. What was the point in playing without a partner, talking without anyone to listen, entertaining a long-gone audience? Had he known how hard it would have been to endure this loneliness, he'd have cherished the past times much more.

How he regretted it now!

The noise of a fishing boat coming back to port drove him out of his reverie. He raised his head, and saw by the slowly descending sun that is was already late. Has he spent that much time here doing nothing but contemplating the sea of his own thoughts?

He sighed, and stood up slowly. His legs were aching from doing nothing, and for a moment he almost stumbled. Where he would have been playing, running, messing around, he was doing nothing of his days. And it hurt maybe more than the rest of all the things he was hurting from, because this single event has been impacting his life in more ways than he'd have thought.

He didn't want to go home. It was barely a home anymore, merely a place to sleep. He was already spending most of his days outside, hanging by the ships or at the tavern, trying his best to not think too much about the past. Tia Gerda had nothing of a relative anymore, time's turned her into a greedy monster that'd have eaten its wards sooner or later. Carlos didn't want to face her, not now, not ever. If he could avoid Barcelona for the rest of his days, it would be just great.

But he had nowhere to go. No plans on his mind, no paths on his map.

Sure, he's tried. But it wasn't the same anymore. Loneliness did horrible things to people, and confusion was one of them. Why bother running away? All he's ever loved was here. This place, albeit hated and despised, was where everything rested. Somewhere in this part of the sea, in the depths of this very port, laid an invisible grave. It had no stone nor soil, yet Carlos knew it was there. In his heart, it was there. And if he left town, it would disappear, and no one would know about it. Ships and people would sail over it day in and day out, without ever paying respect to the fallen one.

The perspective tore at his heart. Abandoning this place would be abandoning his memory, and he would never allow for it.

But even if he wanted to leave, he wouldn't be able to. He was only seventeen, with little experience. He had no means of leaving Barcelona, no money, no other family. He had no way to get in touch with the wind sailors, his mother's kin. His father has abandoned him. Tia Gerda would never allow Carlos to leave her controlling grasp. He was alone, himself against the world.

But the universe was kind. Whatever force drew him away from his mother, from his brother, had him on its good side. That evening, as he was walking home with the slow pace of someone who didn't want to go there, he heard voices talking.

He was used to the chatter and cries of sailors as they came home from a long day at sea, for it taught him most of his Catalan. However, this time was different: this time, it was children. Children's voices, coming from behind a pile of crates; Carlos couldn't help but have his interest piqued. He didn't know why he turned around on his path, but he did.

They were two. Two young kids, barely entering adolescence, pitted against a group of four or five older teens. A tall, scruffy thing with beaten knuckles; and a short, chubby kid clutching onto a red piece of cloth. Carlos couldn't hear what was going on from here, but he's seen enough similar situations to see that they were being harassed for money.

Such was the reality of this world. People were cruel, the strong preyed on the weak. It was a world of wolves, and those who weren't wolves had no place in the chain of things. Carlos turned away, decided to ignore it, simply because it was none of his business. Why would it matter whether or not he intervened? Tomorrow they'd be harassed again, and his efforts would have been in vain.

“Hey!”

But it seemed that it would not be the case. He froze in his tracks, not moving for a moment; and eventually, turned his head to face the group.

One of the bullies had called out to him. Ugh, great. Carlos turned away again, ignoring it, because it was none of his business. He had other things to deal with right now. Big mistake, for footsteps hurried after him, and a hand grasped onto his shirt.
[...]

Continue reading over at https://archiveofourown.org/works/22881 ... s/55276522
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:condor: Le meilleur personnage de toute la série, c'est la mère d'Esteban.:condor:

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Re: "Sa Machine Ailée" et autres histoires

Message par Sandentwins »

:condor: A Mother's Gift :condor:

Zia couldn't remember many things about her past. She's always assumed there wasn't much to remember; after all, she was pretty young when the conquistadors abducted her. It was a miracle that she could still recall her father's teachings about plants and remedies, for everything around this time was a blur in her memory.

She remembered the landscapes. The mountains, the wild plains of home. The alpacas grazing on the short grass of the hills, the sea and its murmurs carried by the wind. The song of the heights, of the condors and their voices, that echoed to her heart like music she could not forget. It was something dear to her, something that resurfaced even further as she and her new friends traveled across the New World for the first time. Every sight, every step brought something back to her, almost like digging up forgotten treasure.

Following her experiences in China, she started to remember even more, and she wondered how she could have forgotten it in the first place. She sought to recall these forgotten moments, these little slivers of the past, as if to find out answers she didn't even know she's been seeking.

She remembered her parents. She remembered how they seemed like strangers to one another, never overtly affectionate with each other, always so formal; yet their gestures, their touches were laced with hidden tenderness. She knew it had been an arranged marriage, for they both came from noble families and such was the custom, but she was happy that they had found companionship in one another, if not love. They were never fighting, nor were they particularly romantic, but they worked as a pair and respected one another, so much so that Zia felt it to be the type of relationship she wanted for herself, for nothing could top it. And of course, they both loved her with all their hearts, and made sure to show it.

Her father was such a gentle and soft man. As far as she could remember, he's always had white hair and wrinkles, and a slight tremble to his voice that told of his upcoming weakness. She's never heard him scream or speak above a whisper, and each of his words seemed to carry some deeper, profound meaning whenever he spoke. She's come to associate him with the sound of a brew boiling away, with the scent of freshly-chopped herbs, with the soft pounding of a pestle into some squishy leaves. When Zia met him again on that day, everything about him had seemed to overwhelm her, for he was both exactly like her memories and so different at the same time. He was indeed the man she remembered, but grief and age had worn him down so much that she could barely recognize him under his fatigued traits. And it hurt to know.

Her mother died when she was still young, and her face seemed to elude Zia, always in her reach but never quite in her grasp. She was not a certain face, but a myriad of scattered sensations: the embrace of her solid arms, the touch of a chubby hand over hers, a slight tug in her hair as it was being carefully combed. She was kind, gentle, and brought some flowery fragrance with her wherever she stepped. When Zia found some similar flowers during her time in India, it felt like she could recall even more memories associated with that scent: a kind laughter, a warm smile, the clinking of her bracelets as she moved her hands to do some obscure work.

It was her who gave Zia the medallion of the Sun, who told her to always keep it with her at any cost. And from the top of her four years of age, she already understood it as a sacred mission, something serious to always obey. She was meant to keep it over her heart like her mother, and her grand-mother, and all the mothers that came before them to carry on this duty. Yes, she recalled her cryptic words that did not quite make sense to her back then, and how serious and somber it felt, but also how close it brought the two of them together.

She's never had time to think about it. But as time passed, as the children went through new countries and adventures, current events seemed to echo her mother's words. That night in India, as she stared at her reflection in the water, Zia thought back not only on the crowns of the sunken City, but also on what she had been told.
[...]

Continue reading over at https://archiveofourown.org/works/23461342
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Sandentwins
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Re: "Sa Machine Ailée" et autres histoires

Message par Sandentwins »

Let's do something different, for thrice.



Tao's backstory, in a way words wouldn't suffice to depict. Enjoy, y'all broombutts.
:condor: Le meilleur personnage de toute la série, c'est la mère d'Esteban.:condor:

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