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  • Beqanna


    Assailant -- Year 226


    "But the dream, the echo, slips from him as quickly as he had found it and as consciousness comes to him (a slap and not the gentle waves of oceanic tides), it dissolves entirely. His muscles relax as the cold claims him again, as the numbness sets in, and when his grey eyes open, there’s nothing but the faint after burn of a dream often trod and never remembered." --Brigade, written by Laura

    [open]  out in the dark, there burns a dream
    kraken image by yishinimmo

    He’d never been quite right, but who in his family had been?

    His parents should have been sworn enemies, but like a cliched romance novel, they fell in love and stole away in the dead of night to build a life together, away from the contentious atmospheres of their respective homes. While each parent clearly did not fit into traditional stereotypes, there was just enough Baltian militant rigidity and compassionate Stratosian gentility to result in four children that covered virtually every area of the personality map. Though so different, they were each well-loved by their parents and each other.

    There were the two girls.. his “twin-but-not-twin” younger sister was most like their mother, both in appearance and in their quiet and kind demeanors—Samaritans in every aspect of the word. On the opposite side of the spectrum, was his wild-child baby sister and the irreverent impulsivity that got under their skins. Still, she was charming and ultimately loved by everyone that crossed the path of her hurricane. And then there were the boys.. Eddie had once been a bright, silly child that loved only one thing more than creating laughter, and that was being surrounded by music of any kind. The love of music remained, but little of the rest survived after it happened.

    The eldest by several years, his brother had been a morose, irascible type with no clear goals in life. Nothing ever really seemed to satisfy or soothe his brother, but that did not stop Eddie from clinging to every word or mimicking every action during their time together. However, that insatiability may have contributed to the premature conclusion of all of their childhoods that occurred when his wingless brother abruptly threw himself from the highest peak he could find. Eddie had been the one to find his brother.. the images haunted him from that day, but they were nothing compared to the guilt that had also sunk its claws into that young boy. He’d thought that there had been an unbreakable bond between him and his brother, so he never understood why his brother would leave like that. Darkness crept over him as he grew, stealing his joy to leave anger and bitterness in its place.

    Life had not been kind, but Eddie thought he had been finding his way out of the consuming shadows, that he had been coming to terms with the loss.

    Until now.

    The disasters that had torn down the walls concealing Baltia and Stratos from Beqanna had also ripped away the remainder of Eddie’s family. While they were imperfect and constantly butted heads in the years following his brother’s death, the five of them loved each other fiercely and were always there for each other when someone needed support. And now?

    He walks along the riverbank, utterly lost, both physically and emotionally, and unsure where to look next. He is desperate to find his family, but so much time has passed that hope has dwindled to the tiniest flame. A quiet sigh escapes with his next breath and he turns his eyes from the unfamiliar ground beneath his feet. They fall upon the horizon instead. He can see the ruins looking down on the bucolic scene the river and its meadows create. An intrusive thought bullies its way to the forefront of his mind.. perhaps it would be better to follow in his brother’s footsteps. After all, what is remains to tie him to this world?

    But the thought is fleeting. There is still that flicker of faith deep within his heart and he cannot find the fortitude to quell its fire, however small it may be. So he sighs again and climbs the slope leading to the meadow. Nothing wrong with a quick meal before he continues on in the search.


    Family has always been a large part of Margot’s life. Even through the disasters in recent years, the fickle woman has always found comfort and solace in her parents’ company. No amount of catastrophe could make her forget her loyalty to her blood. Though it was not a simple childhood that she had—one often flavored with heroes and monsters alike—it was a good, easy childhood. One much like the life Eddie contemplates.

    Wholesome in its best moments, complicated in its worst; but love was resounding.

    Margot doesn’t think of her family now, though she often does. It is just that the riverbank does not remind her of her family like it might remind Eddie. She does not wear a melancholy face of remembrance nor trudge aimlessly across the damp, wet pebbles. She does step daintily into the water, splashing liquid against her hocks with an amusement that is somehow also extremely bored. 

    It takes Margot a few moments of childish kicking before she is truly bored; and when she looks up she is surprised to see a stranger giving the riverbank a forlorn stare. When he moves up the slope, Margot breaks into a curious trot after him.

    “Hey!” she calls, a hesitant smile lighting up her face.

    When she finally draws close, all that love he holds makes her skin prickle. Margot draws in a surprised breath, pupils quickly dilating and then drawing back to their natural size. Margot feels nearly intoxicated as she falls endlessly into the stallion’s warm heart.

    “Where are you going?” she finally asks after an awkward beat. The words tumble clumsily out of her mouth. Margot can’t resist attempting to draw closer, longing to curl into his tenderness like a purring cat.

    “I’m . . . Margot,” she continues, only barely remembering her manners.

    kraken image by yishinimmo

    At first, he does not react. He does not mean to ignore her, but he is still caught up in the memories, the last traces of his family. Well, that and he does not expect an unfamiliar female voice to be seeking his attention, for he is not only awkward in appearance, but in personality as well. Perhaps, under different circumstances, he might have been more comfortable in social settings, but there’s nothing to be done in this moment.

    His head snaps up reflexively as the sound of her approach startles him. He notices the gentle but urgent rhythm of her steps and this causes him to turn, intrigue highlighting his icy tint to his blue eyes.

    Though he has said nothing yet, he is stunned into further silence when she comes to a rest near his grazing spot. He is no stranger to unusual creatures, but there is something about the somewhat angelic air she projects that fascinates him.

    'Where are you going?' The spark that had lit his eyes dims just as quickly as it had come. With melancholy clinging to every word, he responds, ”If only I knew..” As she subtly moves closer, he unconsciously pulls back. Again, not out of disrespect, but because this flusters him.

    The embarrassment seems to radiate from every inch of his being as he nervously tosses his head, sending the yellow-white strands of his mane into a fluttering frenzy. A crooked but charming smile forms when she gives her name. His voice is still rather flat, though now with shyness, but it also hints at his genuine curiosity at her presence.

    ”Eddie.. A brief pause, then, ”I’ve been searching for my family, but I don’t really know much about this place. I’m not sure where I am, where I’ve been, or where to go next. And it’s been so long..” He trails off into a silence heavy with the implication that an unfavorable fate may have fallen upon them.


    It would be a lie to say that Margot does not notice Eddie’s strange appearance; but she certainly does not notice it before she notices all the love twisting and turning his gut. She merely blinks as his gangly appearance takes shape. All strange Baltian, aquatic features and stuttered, Stratosian feathering.

    The laugh that Margot barks out comes as a surprise to even her. She blinks in pure surprise at Eddie, though there is no real malice in her gaze.

    “You wish you knew?” she questions.

    “It’s rare I get to hear something so pitiful.”

    There’s honest pity in her eyes—pity and perhaps a bit of sympathy. While never really plagued with such melancholy aimlessness, Margot understands the idea of being truly lost. She frowns, reaching out for the love she felt so strongly before. His affection beats so wildly around him that Margot almost—almost—feels how much pain he exists in.

    “Ah,” Margot exhales as the stallion continues. Another displaced refugee.

    “Eddie . . . I’m Margot,” she answers, then cocks her head. “You’re in Beqanna. At the River. If that wasn’t already obvious.” The laugh that leaves her mouth rings delicately around them.

    “Your family,” the porcelain woman starts again, chewing on the rest of her thought before continuing. “I don’t know where they are, probably. You love them, though, yes?” The question is perhaps a bit too eager, the words tumbling out of her mouth as if a dam behind her teeth has broken.

    @eddie <3
    don't waste your time always searching for those wasted years

    Pitiful, ridiculous. What’s the difference, really?

    It is not the first time that word has been used to describe him. Others had never been able to grasp his hang up over his brother’s death, why it haunted him even years later. So, they condescendingly called him pitiful, never understanding the gaping hole of innumerable questions left in death’s wake, only seeing a moping young man content to wallow in misery.

    His eyes are not fully Baltian with their bright blue color, but the pupils are still cat-like and they narrow further in his misunderstanding of her statement. Of course, the first person that he meets in this new land is as patronizing as the rest. A sudden flame of angry pain licks at his heart, heats the blood coursing through his veins. Tension bristles almost tangibly through the air as he lets out a low sound of resentment.

    His first instinct is to look away from her, but something compels him to hold her gaze. It’s a wise choice, for the look she gives him is a far from condescending and it instantly douses the fire within him. Well, at least he hasn’t said something he might regret. But there’s still time.

    So, Beqanna. He glances around, taking in the scenery as he wonders what secrets its beauty might hold. Even if it does not have his family concealed in her wings, maybe it has something that will help him anyway. The laugh she offers is sweet with a musical quality that he finds appealing. The gentle melodies of calling birds, the clicking choruses of insects, even the seductive songs of sirens of the deep have always soothed his tortured soul. He notices a similar effect in her voice, but her question catches him off guard.

    He does not understand the possible suggestion that families do not love each other. Though contentious as they are, Baltians and Stratosians are different sides of the same coin when it comes to family. His tone is defensive, almost offended when he responds, “Of course.. do you not love yours?”

    The feathers of his forelegs rustle quietly in his frustration. He’s not sure where he was expecting this conversation to go, but this is not quite it. Perhaps he should bring the topic back to simpler subjects.

    “Have you lived in Beqanna long? What is it like?”

    for Ian
    image by hel-gi
    @ margot 

    Oh, what a wonderful, delicious feast of love this stranger has provided Margot. Layers and layers of strangled, unconditional love wrap Eddie in a bright white cast. She blinks quickly at him, almost creepily doll-like as she smiles a shark’s smile in his direction.

    “My love for my family is the strongest I’ve ever known,” Margot answers lightly, wondering why such indignation flavors Eddie’s words. It’s not necessarily a lie, but it’s certainly not the total truth. Margot has sensed loves that pulse stronger than the love she feels for her family, but never has she felt so personally. 

    There’s an insatiable curiosity that overtakes her whenever such emotions tangle up in her magic. To know a love so strong it’s toxic, possessive, unforgiving; but what she senses from Eddie is not necessarily any of those things. Perhaps unforgiving in its grip on his melancholy, but without the possessiveness that lacks the grace of being unconditional.

    Addicting, such a strange force Eddie carries.

    Margot elects to mostly ignore her new acquaintance’s next question and says, “I can feel all that love you have. I can take it away, too. All your pain. I can sense it poisoning your affection. Do you want to feel this way forever, Eddie?”

    She breathes out, excited. Indifferent to his response but—ecstatic at the possibilities.

    don't waste your time always searching for those wasted years

    He is suspicious of her declaration, for it comes too quickly without much conviction behind its words. Of course, he could be wholly incorrect in his assumption, but there is something about her predatory smile that reinforces this idea. Where there once was a sense of comfort in her voice, now a shudder of uncertainty lies, stroking its fingers along his spine.

    Then she continues speaking, adding to the sudden unease that has fallen on their conversation.

    His expression twists with nervousness, with uncertainty of how he should respond. Does he want to feel this way forever? Well, no.. who would? But what he believes she is asking him to trade for relief from his torment is, quite frankly, preposterous.

    Though he does not know how to express or even understand it, profound grief arises from love that is far deeper than the ocean is wide, love that is more expansive than the sky stretching over their heads. He misses his family because he loves them and he cannot imagine trading his devotion, his respect, his adoration to simply be rid of the pain he feels over the loss of their presence in his life.

    It may be difficult to fathom while the sting of his wound is so fresh and raw, but the smarting will subside with the passage of time. Undoubtedly, the scar will remain forever and occasionally send a new wave of sorrow to scald his soul, but the pleasant memories of his loved ones will eventually overpower the heartache that currently overwhelms him.

    In unison with his silent rejection of her proposal, his feet shuffle restlessly, plainly increasing the space between them. His head tosses in physical representation of his agitation as he speaks, far more forcefully than he has thus far.

    “Take away the pain? How? By getting rid of love? I don’t think so.”

    “Why does it matter so much to you?”

    for Ian
    image by hel-gi
    @ margot 

    “Love matters so much to me, Eddie. It’s all I care about,” Margot replies, pastel eyes growing wide with a twisted sincerity. Her smile never strays from her face, leaving her doll-like and strange.

    It truly is all that matters to Margot: love. It’s what she seeks out the most, what she dreams about at night, what pulses her blood through her veins. Stronger than her heart, than the muscles beneath her skin. Margot longs for nothing more than she longs to taste every kind of love that exists. Even as a darling girl, her fascination with others’ lives twisted quickly. From accidentally stealing a stranger’s love to forcing so much affection upon them that they go mad, however briefly.

    Margot’s eyes slit slightly, the smile twitches just a bit.

    She itches to drive Eddie mad. Her magic reaches out, brushes gentle fingers against all that dedication he possesses—

    But she pulls back, drawing her head to its highest height.

    “I could do it to you anyways,” she says tartly, fighting the sour look that wants to change her face. “But I won’t, hmpf,” she adds primly. “Because I’m so benevolent, Eddie. A great friend to have.” The shark’s smile returns to her face.

    “Anyways,” Margot begins again, sighing. “Do you care about anything else?”

    don't waste your time always searching for those wasted years

    He does not recognize the fingers of magic she directs at him for what they are, as they camouflage themselves among the tendrils of unease that have gone from lightly caressing his spine to scrabbling feverishly at his heart. His wildest dreams could not have ever imagined the strange twist that this interaction is taking.

    His eyes seem incapable of looking away from Margot, so he catches the small changes in her expression. It is unnerving, to say the least. He is descended from terrifying monsters of the deep, but even they pale in comparison to the hungry gleam he sees in her face. He knows that he should move along, leave her and his discomfort behind, but his feet are just as unwilling to move as his eyes are.

    “Benevolent.. I suppose that’s one way to look at it. But I don’t see how you can really care that much about love if you’re willing to take someone’s away against their will.”

    “That’s not something a friend would do. At least not the kind of friend I want.”

    He blinks pointedly, recklessly at her. He does not doubt that she has the ability to follow through with her threat and he knows he should use more caution with her, but self-preservation has never been his forte.

    Her question does not go unheard, but he is in no hurry to respond because he is not sure that he does have an answer. This is the first time he has ever been alone and the loss of the warm cocoon of his family’s presence has consumed nearly every fiber of his being. Right now, he doesn’t care about anything else.

    And what little else there is, he is not sure that he wants to share it with her.

    “If there is something else, are you going to take that from me too?”

    His expression is just as unforgiving as his tone is cold, but his blood pulses hotly beneath his skin. He doesn’t know how she might react to the quiet challenge in his statement, but for now, it’s just another item on the list of things he doesn’t really care about.

    for Ian
    image by hel-gi
    @ margot

    A sneer curls at Margot’s lips as she stamps a hoof in frustration. The little mare can sense how uncomfortable she’s made Eddie; and she gets a sick satisfaction that she has kept him in place despite it. Even if his lingering comes with such an egregious insult. To say that she does not care for love? A high-pitched laugh escapes against her will, colored by indignation and anger. To even suggest that she does not understand love, preposterous. Margot snorts.

    “I said I wasn’t going to take it from you, didn’t I, Eddie?” she jeers, the prim smile she wore so easily before melting off her face.

    In fact, Margot is so enraged that she picks up a pebble with her mind and flings it at the stallion’s head. The expression on her face is almost childlike, as if she is holding in a wild tantrum. She just simply cannot believe anyone would ever, ever say something so offensive to her face! So ridiculous and unfounded! What does this Eddie truly know of her?

    As many things go for Margot, that offense she feels twists into a vengeance much darker than any insult could be. She calms in the blink of an eye, taking a deep breath before pasting another smile on her face. She blinks and reaches out to the sea creature, touching his love but only taking a tiny bit—a minuscule amount, a taste, enough to remember—so she might never forget him. So that she might find him again all the more easily. Perhaps he doesn’t notice the nibble she takes, perhaps he does.

    She doesn’t care.

    She’ll find him again.

    “Oh, keep pissing me off, Eddie,” she pauses, dramatic, “and I’ll take everything from you.”


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