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    version 22: awakening


    OCEANE -- Year 208


    "Because if she had not met him, she knew she would have been searching her whole life for the piece that he filled her heart with." -- Eva, written by Shelbi

    I don't wanna wash up on that shore; starsin
    and I can't get to sleep with that wolf outside my door

    Alita wishes her mother had let her fly to the sound of screams and bloodshed. She wishes her mother had let her take to the skies, lifting a body still slowly maturing to follow her father and rain fire down on the land that dared defy them. Instead, Starsin had kept the young dragon in check; insisting she stay.

    And when she realized that her father wasn’t here to look after her mother—well.

    Well, it wasn’t much of a choice any longer.

    But eventually in the midst of the chaos and the rubble, her mother had slipped away and Alita had not yet managed to find her. Every second that went where the gold and turquoise filly didn’t see the familiar constellations of the mare was another where she got more tightly wound, her head hurting with fear.

    She begins to walk around the kingdom searching, but eventually grows frustrated with the confusing twist of bramble and vine and bush. She hears the screams of other children and the fury of the parents and it all becomes too much for her. Eventually she pushes off and leaps upward into the sky, her growing wings flaring outward and catching her aloft. She climbs higher and higher until she has a satisfying vantage point of Loess. She can see the fires being put out atop the maze and the hole burned through it.

    She can see the groups of clustered horses.

    But she doesn’t see her mother.

    It is only when she begins to see the portals winking open throughout the land and sky that she feels any kind of hope in her chest. She sees a pair of wildcats roll through one near the edge of the maze and she angles her body downward, diving quicker than she knew how to control. It results in a clumsy, stuttering landing that makes her knees ache and causes dust to plume upward around her golden face.

    She coughs as it clears before swiveling her head to and fro, walking toward the portal and startling when the magma fills the window and then it blinks out of existence. The hope in her chest snuffs out and she feels a tear prick at the corner of her eye, but she refuses to be one who cries out of fear or frustration.

    She’d find her mother.

    She had to.



    and let me crawl inside your veins. I'll build a wall, give you a ball and chain.

    The events that had transpired in Tephra almost didn’t feel real. Perhaps it was due to the haze from the shadow and smoke, and the way only lightning and fire had lit up the darkness. Everything had been disorienting. She isn’t even sure if she had actually seen Litotes and Kensa. She isn’t sure if she had actually collided with a dragon and caused it to shatter into a thousand scattered pieces. All she knows for sure is Ophanim had been hurt; his wing hanging useless, and blood streaming from a wound on his throat.

    The portal had spit her back into Loess, and she still didn’t know where he was. He should have been right here; before her, or behind her.

    It takes her a moment to gather her composure, her dark blue eyes flitting almost frantically. The sight of the maze had been confusing, at first, having already forgotten it was here. But the sight of it brings everything from before Tephra flooding back. Malone and Alita. She didn’t know where they were. Oxytocin had promised that Malone would be okay, but what if he was wrong? And Alita – she had made her swear to stay here, but there was a part of her that feared the girl’s headstrong nature would have brought her to the frontlines of the war.

    But from the corner of her eye, there is a flicker of turquoise and gold, and she can feel her heart clench. “Alita!” The space between them disappears,  reaching to pull her into an embrace against her chest. The skin on her face and her chest still stings from the dragon-fire that had blown back as a result of the explosion, but it doesn’t keep her from running her muzzle against the girl’s neck. She was still so adrenaline-charged that whatever guards she usually had in place were completely demolished, for now. Bringing Alita here had originally been a form of revenge; to come home with a physical manifestation of Ophanim’s infidelities. And even though over time she had begun to see her as a real daughter, her own personal guilt often kept her from being as open as she could be.

    Now, however, she holds her close, breathing in her familiar smell and willing her erratic heartbeat to slow. “I’m so glad you’re okay,” She murmurs into her skin, her voice raspy from the smoke that had burnt her throat, and perhaps from the emotion that builds in the back of it. But she pulls away, smoothing the girl’s forelock as she asks worriedly, “Have you seen your brother? Or your father?”


    it’s not like me to be so mean. you’re all I wanted.
    ( just let me hold you Like a hostage. )

    and I can't get to sleep with that wolf outside my door

    Starsin has never been a particularly soft mother—not prone to sweetness and gentleness—but Alita has never needed that anyway. She has needed her strength and the clear-eyed vision she had when she looked at a world of muddled grey. She had needed the strong shoulders that bore the weight of it all; who stood up to the torrent of the rain and never one bending before it. Who never compromised.

    But that doesn’t mean she does not blossom beneath the attention now.

    Something of the child within her is greedy for the affection and she gladly folds into her mother’s chest, lets her fuss over her. She closes her golden eyes and presses her forehead into her mother’s neck, letting the feel of her mother and the scent of her sink into her so that she can cherish it forever.

    “I’m okay,” she says and although tears of relief spring to her eyes, she doesn’t try to brush them off. “I was so scared that something had happened to you.” She doesn’t know what she would have done if she had woken cup to a world without Starsin—a world without her father or her adopted brothers. It is the only stable thing that she has ever known; she cannot imagine what it would be like if it got ripped away.

    The moment doesn’t last forever though. Eventually, Starsin steps back from the embrace and brushes her hair back. She lifts her chin up so that she can look at her mother, obedient and quiet, her draconic wings folding by her sides, her halo angled just slightly above her head. “I haven’t seen anyone,” she whispers sadly, knowing how disappointed her mother would be to hear it. “I can keep looking though.” She takes a step back, her wings flaring just slightly at her sides. “Do you want me to go find them?”



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