Vision Of Escaflowne Fan Fiction ❯ Prologue

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Author’s Note

This is a re-write of a story under the same name that I started in 2003 and never finished. It’s done now thanks to the sfifibigbang over on Livejournal, and I’ll be posting it over the next month or so. I’d like to thank my beta-reader and general cheerleader, Yuuo, and SanadaFaye, who dis some manips as illustrations. (Available on my writing LJ.)

Smoke. The scent of blood. The feel of strong arms around her, even felt through leather. Before that, it was a sea of haze, more feelings and images than actual memories.

« Easy, Celena. I got you. » The owner of the arms was guiding her towards her right. She struggled to make her eyes focus, to look over towards something that was just a dark blur against the gray skies.

The blur of gold and blue resolved itself into a face. Brother. Sir Allen Schezar, Knight Caeli of Asturia. Her knees buckled at the sudden rush of memories, but Brother’s arms around her steadied her. « I have you. We’re almost to the Crusade. »

She could hear the different sound their boots made, from packed earth to perforated metal, as they stepped up the ramp. She squinted, taking her eyes off of Brother’s face, but couldn’t make her eyes focus. Figures moved to blot out the lights, too many shadows flowing across her sight. She stiffened, causing Brother to murmur more encouragements under his breath.

« Boss, what-? » The speaking shadow was male, and he stopped moving, stepped forward enough for Celena to see the outline of a head against the brilliance.

« Gaddes, this is my sister, Celena, » Brother said, a commanding tone more suited for a battlefield than an introduction. The men were Brother’s soldiers, and she tried to fill in the shadows with Asturian uniforms, but the details just slid into black and blue armor. « She’ll need a quiet place to recover, and a change of clothing. Teo, go find out if the princess or Hitomi left anything on-board. »

« But, Boss- »

« That’s an order. The rest of you, get ready to cast off. We’re sitting ducks when we’re grounded. » His arms guided Celena forward, into the light of the… airship, if it was casting off.

She wanted to tell Brother not to worry, as he lead her within the belly of the ship. Zaibach wouldn’t hurt them. But there was another memory. Her brother’s guymelef fleeing from Zaibach’s mirages, Alseides units.

What had happened to her?

By the time she was taken to a tiny cabin, her eyes had adapted. She sat down on the slim bunk Brother had led her to, looking at him for any sign about what would happen next. He didn’t speak at first, only grabbing a small stool. The room was cramped, even with just the two of them there.

He took her hand, through her gloves. « Don’t worry, Celena I’ll take care of everything. You just need to rest, right now. » He paused, then added, « it’s good to have you back. »

« Where…? »

« You’re on the Crusade. That’s my airship. You’ll be safe here. Don’t worry; just try to rest. »

There were more questions — what was happening? She couldn’t focus enough to ask that, couldn’t make the memories work together. Maybe Brother was right, and sleep would help.

There was a knock at the hatch. « Boss? I couldn’t find anything ladylike, so I just brought the smallest set of clothes I could find. They’re clean. Don’t worry. »

Brother sighed, and she could see his eyebrow developing a bit of a twitch. She leaned forward, trying to see what would happen between him and the voice. Teo, it had been. He stood up, hand at the latch. « Celena? I’m going to leave you alone to change. Is that all right? »

She nodded. « You’ll be outside, right? » It was the most she had spoken since… for a while, and her voice sounded high and tinny to her ears. She shook her head, and swallowed, trying to clear dust and the taste of metal from her tongue.

« I need to talk to the men about… about something, » Brother said. « You should change and lie down, and I’ll bring you back something to eat, if you’re not ready to sleep quite yet. » He opened the hatch, taking a bundle of clothing from hands outside, and handed them to her. They were the worn softness of fabric that had been washed often enough to fade, and smelled faintly of soap. She unfolded them, pressing them flat with shaky hands. Brother nodded. « I’ll get you something more suitable later, I promise. » And then he was gone, leaving her with only the gentle swaying of the ship as company, and she had to fight back a shudder.

She changed quickly, and curled up under the blanket, head to the bulkhead, straining to hear the sounds of voices. She remembered…

… she remembered the Vione, which was too big to sway, and built as much out of levistone as the wood and metal of normal airships. The walls there hummed with the power of generators, and clanged with the echos of bootsteps on metal.

Here, she could hear the wind most of all, like they were being blown instead of driving their own flight. But this was Brother’s place; it would be safe for her. Even if she didn’t remember how she got here… what did she remember?

Someone screaming that she could be Celena again, that it would be all right —

— the flutter of soft wings, the crunch as they collapsed within her hand, the terror —

— the feel of thorns against bare feet. These woods were familiar, and her feet were carrying her home —

— pain, light, and she wants it to stop, it hurts so bad —

— the white guymelef moves like a ghost and she sees it strike down her men, one by one, as if it is some kind of avenging dragon from Hell. She screams at it, screams at it to leave her men alone, bringing her arms up in battle-trained reflexes to attack, knowing that it was useless, that the monster was coming for her —

She jerked awake, nearly hitting her head on the bulkhead, and pulled herself to a seated position. She grabbed for the comforting, holding the sound of Brother’s voice, the feel of his arms, the presence of him, to banish these demons she conjured. She was safe here; Brother had said so.

What had happened to her?

Chapter 1