S1| Ep11: Guardians Four (上)
May 20, 2011
(A/N: Out of town this weekend again, will be on the road by the time you read this and won’t see comments until I get back. This week’s installment is shorter than usual because of continuing awkward scene breaks. [next scene is rather lengthy, so I decided to break it off before.] Next update is on June 3rd!)
Crows. Crows everywhere, blanketing the shore.
The shadow coalesces into a face, then an accompanying body.
“Morikawa,” says Eguzki, standing warily. “Sir.”
The other boy sneers. He is tall, handsome, already growing into manhood. Dark curly hair spills almost to his shoulders, and there is an undeniable swagger in his stance.
But his response is polite enough.
“Let’s get along, shall we?” he says, holding out a hand. “We fellow Wisterias ought to stick together, after all.”
The sky darkens to evening. They are no longer on the shore of the lake, but in the abandoned streets by the old junkyard. The streetlights flicker, then still.
“That fucking Rusli. High and mighty bastard.” The tall boy spits onto the ground. Eguzki holds back, watching from a distance.
“Did you know? The only reason he was ‘chosen’ was because of his connections. His piloting skills are complete crap. Everyone knows. They just don’t say anything. It’s that… friend of his. More like a fucking lapdog.” He snorts, pauses for dramatic effect. “They say the guy even held back on the entrance exams so that he wouldn’t outshine his darling master.”
Eguzki says nothing.
“We’re different, you and I. We’ve worked to get where we are. Our talent is real. It’ll be different, after we graduate from this shithole. The phonies won’t be able to keep up their little act anymore. Mark my words. The Dolls know who’s truly worthy. We’ll be acknowledged as the elite of the elite. We’ll see who’s laughing then!”
Night blots away the scene, and they are by the lake again.
It is always sundown here.
The cawing of crows.
“I know the truth about you.”
The boy is staring him down. Eguzki’s fists are clenched at his side, but he says nothing.
“You got in on the Headmistress’s good graces. Plucked you from the streets herself, she did! And to think, all this time I was wondering who your sponsor was.”
Still he says nothing.
The boy lets loose a bark of laughter. “So you don’t deny it. So tell me, did she rig the results the other day for you too?” He closes the distance between them, grabs his shirt. “Answer me, dammit!”
Eguzki’s only response is to look away. The boy shoves him aside in disgust.
“Just figures. That they would burden me with the likes of you. It really makes one wonder, though. The Headmistress and her dead friend’s son? Likely tale! I’ll bet that old bitch just found some whore’s get from the dumps –”
The next moment, the boy is flat on his back, face smeared with blood. Eguzki is on top, pinning him down, a knife glinting in his hand.
“Don’t you dare,” he growls.
Crows thunder to the sky in a cloud of feathers.
In the distance, the Guardian watches.
* * *
They are no longer by the lake, nor indeed anywhere recognizable.
Something explodes. Smoking debris scatters through the sky like so many falling stars, swallowed by a gaping maw of shadow.
Bodies lie crumpled and torn in a cemetery of steel.
Red eyes glow.
* * *
Someone or something was screaming. Intan clutched at her ears, and realized with a start what she was seeing.
The black deer loomed over a cowering body — one of the two rebel men.
“No! Don’t!” she cried out.
But it was too late. The beast rammed its twisted horn into the man’s body and tossed it into the air with terrifying ease, despite its own sickly frame.
The body landed back on the ground with a crunch. With a great cry, the beast lowered its head and began to tear away at the flesh with a mouthful of jagged teeth.
“Stop!” Intan ran towards it, but was halted by a tight grip on her arm.
She turned. Eguzki looked gravely at her, shook his head slightly.
His hand was shaking, she realized.
He stepped forward.
The creature lifted its head, and their gazes met. Blood dripped from its jaws, but its eyes were achingly blue. There they stood, for how long, Intan could not be certain, staring at each other in silence, as if words passed between them unspoken.
Slowly, slowly it faded from sight, melting into the shadow of the trees.
The body of the man remained for a moment longer, then seemed to turn to moss and stone before their eyes.
Eguzki crouched. Looked down at his shaking hands.
“What the hell was that all about,” he managed to say at last.
Intan opened her mouth to respond, but no sound came out but for a half-choked sob.
Tears streamed down her face without end.