S1| Ep25: Elegy (Fragments + Summary)
January 11, 2016
Author comments/summary in [brackets] — as you can probably tell, this and the final chapter are much shorter/less solidified than 24.
“So it’s true. You’re still alive, Your Majesty.” Rusli laughed, but it was a choked sound. “You should have stayed dead!”
[insert boring faceoff between the king and Rusli, with minor interference from Intan and Marius and whoever’s still around, though they are held back by the weird Dolls still hovering around the giant. Most of the rebels have fled at this point, but there are some who seemingly choose to regroup, though they don’t seem to be supporting Rusli, exactly, but like the weird Dolls are just trying to keep anyone from interfering for some reason known only to them.]
[… You know, I probably should have included a scene actually showing the king entering the giant, but uh, ~mysteries~]
[Anyway, it seems at first that the king is controlling the giant Doll more easily than drugged-up Mok did. It is, as he claims to Rusli, his duty. But as the fight drags on, it becomes apparent that even he is having difficulties with it. And it’s not because he’s untrained — it’s revealed at some point in this sequence that he did receive honorary pilot training back during the war, although he sucked at it and was never intended to actually fight on the front lines. Not that anyone says so outright, since he is the king and all.]
[I believe the king also admits at this point that it was the Headmistress who helped him fake his death. Specifically, that’s what Tuyet and Eguzki were at the palace for… not that this really explains why Eguzki was so upset, as Rusli points out. In fact, I think Rusli had actually been briefly entertaining the possibility that Eguzki killed the king on the Headmistress’s orders…]
[One of the giant’s stray shots hits a mountain.]
The mountain itself seemed to crumble into mist. And from the mist emerged a sinuous white mass.
“What –” muttered Rusli.
The king cried out. “It has come!”
Silvery scales shimmered. Silver eyes, round and luminous, unblinking. A black forked tongue darted out briefly, tasting the air.
A great serpent, coiled about the mountain peak.
Its great jaws snapped open, then shut, and a patch of blue sky opened among the swarm of Dolls.
It unwound slowly from its resting place, slithering down to the lake, crushing trees and birds and men beneath its mass. Soldiers fled, screaming, but its tail lashed out, lightning-quick, and they were flung broken into the air.
“No,” whispered Intan. “No!”
The serpent paused, as if sensing her voice.
It turned its head to her, and her vision fled.
[In case it’s not clear, it was heading for Rusli and the king.]
* * *
[Ummmm I left a space here for a scene, but this was not in the original outline, so actually I don’t remember what I was planning to stick in here. Most likely a flashback — something the serpent witnessed in the past. But I don’t know if it was to hint at something that happens in the final chapter, or if it was to explain that little detail about the king that I mentioned above, or something about Mok’s past, or something about Hadil’s village — which, you may recall, is the last time Intan saw the serpent all the way back at the end of Chapter 5. And has been briefly glimpsed again since then.]
[Hint: the deer-ish creature was the Guardian of the forests; the serpent has always been associated with the mountains.]
[That said, given the nature of these details, it could have very well been all of the above. Basically, I was probably leaving this space open as an easy way for me to dump whatever was left that I thought needed explaining/hinting that I couldn’t fit in elsewhere.]
[Also, I vaguely recall that at one point I had wanted the king to be bargaining with the serpent for whatever reason, so that’s another possibility for this empty space.]
[Episode break probably would have been here… although the second half is very short in comparison, so it’s possible I would have ended up splitting it at the previous scene break.]
* * *
Inky blackness stretched out beneath her.
It was as if the bodily confines of the Doll had vanished, and she floated adrift in a vast dark sea of stars, with nothing to tether her, and nothing between her and the glimmering power before her.
It hurts, hissed the serpent, in no human language or voice. It hurts…
“I know. I know. But please, you mustn’t do this. You’ll only make it worse!”
[blank space here as Intan continues pleading with the serpent.]
“Please, o great one. Return to the deep. Be at peace.”
[And for a moment it seems like maybe it’ll listen to her — except then it starts thrashing violently and Intan sees blood pooling along its scales.]
* * *
[She snaps out of her vision. It turns out that Rusli’s managed to wound the serpent. Out of sheer luck more than skill, he manages to dodge its retaliatory strike and kill it.]
[They are flesh and blood; they can be harmed through mortal means.]
[Still, like the Guardian before it, it crumbles into dust.]
Intan shuddered and shuddered and could not seem to stop.
“What have you done? Oh, what have you done?!”
“Those things are monsters! Demons! Leeches and parasites! They’ve just been using us all! Protecting only the royal family, the king, sacrificing the people for the sake of one single man — If not for them –!”
“You’re wrong!” screamed Intan. “You know nothing!”
She sent her Doll hurtling at him, aware of the giant screaming with her somewhere close.
Why could he not see? Why could he not understand?
It wasn’t about the king. It wasn’t about the king at all.
The second now had fallen.
Only two remained.