to go back.
This is a review from my other story, but I don't care! Lady Lanet thinks that I could be the next desert Lynx, and that really means a lot to me!
Speaking of Desert Lynx, I'll answer your review. The main part of the story is set after Revenge, but there will be several flashbacks, as demonstrated by this chapter.
Gilder slowly backed into the banquet hall, unable to take his eyes off the scene before him. Unfortunately for him, he bumped into Brabham.
"Gilder! It's been a long time. You seem... distant. What's wrong?"
"Hmm? Oh, nothing. I was just thinking."
"Nothing wrong with that! I have a few ideas that I'd like to share with you..." They talked for almost an hour about possible improvements for airships. Once the energetic old engineer left, Gilder exited the banquet hall, headed for the untouched buildings.
*twenty minutes later*
--Moegi was right. This place was pretty easy to find.--
Gilder wandered among the rusted steel buildings, surprised at the size of the unaffected area. It was roughly a square acre, though it had looked much smaller when he had viewed it from the balcony.
--Ah. Here it is...--
The blue rogue pushed the door of the small house open, and looked around at the all-too-familiar surroundings.
--It's remained untouched... Why didn't some of the other people, the homeless ones, move in? I mean, that old book... is still where I left it, all those years ago...--
Sighing miserably, he walked over to the couch, which was steel, covered with a thin, tattered blanket. He lay down on it, not wanting to remember, but the thoughts came anyway.
I'd turned four only a week ago. My parents could barely support my sister and me, but they managed somehow. We were as happy a family living in lower Valua could be.
My father was leaving Valua permanently that day with some friends of his, promising to come back later for us. Mom, my sister and I weren't at the dock because we would have given them away, but we watched from one of the windows of our house, as we had a pretty good view of the dock.
We watched as dad got onto the small ship. It was old and small, but sturdy enough to allow them to leave. Also, it had been painted like a merchant ship to try and fool the Valuans.
I was happy, but worried at the same time. Last night, I'd heard my parents talking, my mom desperately asking my dad not to go, telling him that he'd get killed. He was stubborn, refusing to stay in this dump any longer than he had to.
The grand fortress door was just starting to open, and already I could see many ships gathering near the tunnel to take them out of this city. My father's ship rose slowly to join them, and I was sure that he would make it.
But my mother was right. Just as the ship entered the tunnel, two gunboats showed up and started firing their cannons. The rickety old ship didn't stand a chance. Within seconds, the ship was a roaring inferno, slowly sinking towards deep sky, and the gunboats were going back to their patrols. The three of us could do nothing but stare in horror, desperately not wanting to believe what had just happened.
The blue rogue slowly opened his eyes and looked around the room more closely. Everything was as he remembered it; a rusted metal table in the middle of the room with four broken stools around it, the couch he was lying down on along one wall next to the stairs, with the old kitchen across from him, and a single drafty window with the broken lower-left pane.
--That memory that I just relived... It reminds me of another, worse one...--
Five years had passed since my father's death, but it still affected all of us greatly. I saw little of my mother, as she worked extra-long hours now to support us. That meant that my sister Claudia was the one to raise me. She was thirteen years old and looked similar to me, except she was taller, her hair was darker and she had piercing green eyes. They were similar to Ramirez's, only much kinder.
The two of us had finished eating dinner, and we were sitting at the table. My sister was staring into space. She must have been thinking about something. I was reading. Books nearly impossible to find in lower city, but there were a few old ones scattered here and there. Normally nobody knew how to read or write, but a kind merchant had taught the two of us how to.
We were waiting for mom to get home. The grand fortress gate was opening late today, and the three of us were going to take advantage of that and escape this dump. We had a boat similar to my father's, only it was sturdier and more convincing.
A knock on the door. My mother was here, it was time to go. I dropped my book on the table and followed my sister out the door, and the three of us went to the harbor. Reaching our boat, we climbed in, all of us knowing that if we died trying to escape, it would be better than continuing to live here.
Our ship floated out of the lower city docks, and my mother steered it towards the grand fortress gate. It was open, and we made it through easily without any of the valuan ships harassing us. We were overjoyed, and my mother turned the wheel towards sailor's island, with Claudia navigating and me on the deck, making sure that there was no sign of the valuan armada.
Our joy was short-lived. A cannonball came out of nowhere, igniting the bridge and killing my mother and sister instantly. I stayed where I was, overcome with grief, not caring if I fell with the ship or if the fire consumed me.
Another ship pulled up beside the burning one, and two people came aboard, grabbing me. I struggled, not wanting to be taken. All I wanted was to die.
The last thing that I remembered was the brief pain of the pommel of a knife striking my forehead, knocking me unconscious.
The blue rogue couldn't take it any longer. He got up and ascended the stairs, throwing open the window on the second-story landing. Leaning out of it, he looked at the yellow moon, allowing silent tears to stream down his face.
--The moons are cruel... forcing me to remember a past that I only wanted to forget...--