?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

[Orig] The Stuff of Legends 2/2


notes:
- Gravity is the name of the next story in this series. however, we are taking a break from Eyalus to return to Onoker and Wish (quite possibly Gamble) and the Realm of Jildab.
- yes. the idea for Trowa in the fic Revival came from this world.
- one of these days i'll scan the maps of all the Realms. *sigh*
- no-beta warning

Predecessor - Cosmic: Prologue, Ch 1 Ch 2 Ch 3 Ch 4 Ch 5 Ch 6

The Realm of Eyalus © 2010 property of Kenen and E. Entity. Do not repost. Do not repost and claim as your own. Do read. Do enjoy. Do comment.

The Stuff of Legends
-----
Subpoena
-----
Nyamgero the Turoghen was in his element as he waltzed down the street with Bonds Trevbor, The Captain's Right, and Zuc of N'arsh N'ton. There was a skip in his step, much to Zuc's dismay for the N'arsh tended to disdain 'unmanly' behavior.

As a Marottana and her children paused to point and stare at the motley crew of Surfers stalking down the street, the Turoghen doffed his hat amicably, offered an engaging smile, and sent the family on their way believing they'd seen the most interesting butterflies dancing in the wind. Turoghen's had a unique gift, which ensured they were hunted down and murdered quite often. They were more commonly called The Shifters in Vai's Sigh. They could shift their flesh and assume the shape of another, albeit imperfectly. Or they could shift another's sight and become completely unnoticeable. Or, lastly, what Nyamgero could do, shift the thoughts of others to whatever he wanted.

Nyamgero laughed under his breath. When the Earthian, Leo, had come on board, he'd never heard of a Turoghen. After a demonstration of his ability Leo had exclaimed and Alinon had translated, "Holy shit, you just Jedi Mind Tricked him!" That had led to a lively discussion on Star Wars and other Earthian entertainment.

The Shifter liked Leo a lot. When he wasn't brooding, Leo was all kinds of fun. He was as interesting as this mission the Captain had sent them on -- a subpoena of the two defendants in the case of the Marottana girls, Uedi and Delur.

Zuc hissed at an old couple and Nyamgero misdirected their thoughts to the birds fluttering overhead. Nobody liked Turoghen's; they were dangerous, and tricky. But Judus Jach didn't seem to mind that. Jach had welcomed Nyamgero on The Merry Death bleeding from multiple wounds and pursued by hunters. At first, Nyamgero had thought Jach was crazy for it; however, he soon learned that Jach had allowed him because nothing happened on board The Merry Death that Jach didn't know about. The Turoghen respected Jach for it, for never letting him get away with anything -- and Nyamgero definitely tried.

That was why he had volunteered for this mission; because those girls had asked for help, and nobody gets away with it on Jach's watch.

He stopped a gentleman walking some creature with way too many eyes, "Excuse me, sir, I'm looking for House Norc." The gentleman frowned as he took in the unsavory lot before him. Quiet, but large and imposing, Trevbor, small but deadly Zuc, with his daggers visibly wrapped into his turban, a scimitar at his waist, and nondescript Nyamgero.

The gentleman swallowed.

Nyamgero sighed and muttered, "I'd so wanted to do this the easy way." He smiled pleasantly at the thing the gentleman walked. A second later it took off in the direction of a huge estate; the poor man dragged along screaming orders. "That's the house," Nyamgero announced.

--------

Tophe of House Tisian combed a brush though his long hair assessing the damage. That girl had yanked a good portion from his scalp in their squabble. Girls. He shuddered. Girls didn't turn his antenna, but Clia liked them and he liked Clia so he'd gone along with it horrible as the experience had been.

Clia of House Norc was applying antiseptic to his face. It had been his idea to go for those girls, but it couldn't have been much fun for him. He'd liked her, the girl, Delur. He'd made passes at her on many occasions but she never paid him any heed even though she was poor. It had offended Clia to be denied.

An old servant walked in without knocking. "Your Lordships," he began in that pompous voice Tophe didn't like. Clia seemed to think servant dignity was funny though, so he allowed his to parade around with their noses in the air. "Three gentlemen are here to see you." Tophe could have sworn the look on his face was pure evil.

When Tophe regained consciousness he would remember that Clia had once told him that Uedi was that old man's granddaughter.

--------------
Trial By Judus Jach
--------------

Judus Jach decided to hold open court on the top deck of The Merry Death. There were two more Marottanas present. Two men, one with a fresh, swollen scratch down his eye, the other with stitches leading from the corner of his puffy lips. Their clothes were rumpled, their hands in chains, as though they'd been coerced here.

Judus looked just like himself as he walked across the deck. To anyone unfamiliar with Jach, he would appear confident and cocky. The buckles on his shoes glistened in the afternoon starlight. His hair was plaited back smartly. There was a smirk upon his sculpted lips. However, those who knew the Captain would say he seethed.

"Explain," he ordered when all were assembled. He pointed to one of the girls. The one with the broken antenna answered and Alinon translated.

"We are peasant girls. We clean the houses of the nobility to feed our family. Two suns ago when we are walking home, two noble boys attack us. We try to fight them off, but we cannot. We are raped. We go to the Mandate. But he is a friend of the boys' parents. He throws out the case. We are shunned. So we think to ask a Captain if we are wrong to seek justice."

The boys rebutted. The one with the scratches spat upon the deck of The Merry Death. Jach's eyes narrowed, but the boy didn't notice as he sneered, "Liar. You and your whore of a friend wanted to make a few extra Marians. We obliged and now you cry 'rape'."

"If what he says is true I would be able to afford a healer even though I am shunned," the girl fumed. Her throat worked as she fought strong emotion. "I would have had a husband the sun past but he will not accept me because you have tarnished my body as well as my name! Then I am told you will get away with it." She burst in to tears.

Simov, though why he was so close to the Captain baffled Leo, handed over a handkerchief. His eyes rolled to the back of his head as their fingers touched. After a moment, his sightless, black eye sockets found Judus' face and he shook his head negatively.

"Well then," the Captain clapped his hands together. Stood from his chair and began to pace the deck. "They say yes, you say no. Such a shame, because I would have been lenient if you two had just confessed."

Judus shrugged elegantly. "See, I was already inclined to believe them when they stepped aboard my ship. I thought, who wanders around in such a state? And this girl, Delur," he nodded toward the Marottana who had remained silent the entire time. "So traumatized she is catatonic."

That is when the legend struck. Judus Jach loosed his cold, lime-hued gaze upon the two men. They flinched. The one with the long hair took a step back. The other gasped; the front of this trousers darkening in a telltale stain.

"Your skin is still beneath her fingernails," Judus' voice was a rumbling whisper. "So, gentlemen, I have one woman who is denied a husband because of you and another who will spend a long time trying to remember where she left her voice. Again, courtesy of you. I have an Arksan who has seen your thoughts and an Eater who has tasted them. He says it is the worse filth he has ever fowled his tongue with." He nodded toward Simov. "You should try it."

The two male Marottanas were instantly on the ground writhing in pain. A satisfied smirk twisted Simov's lips into something that could be termed fiendishly delighted as his black-light eyes watched.

Judus Jach continued then, impassive ice eyes raked the two men. "And now we will have my decision. Sovereign Rule upon this ship, The Merry Death, I, Captain Judus Jach, proclaim Clia of House Norc and Tophe of House Tisian guilty of the rape and defamation of Uedi and Delur." Ice eyes glinted; Judus Jach's voice became a growl, "You would make merry with the unwilling, then know that it will be a merry death before you leave my ship. Strip them! Their punishment will be indefinite community service onboard," an evil grin, "on their backs. Take them to their new quarters and have fun lads. If for any reason they refuse to part their legs, do not hesitate to beat them into submission."

Crewmembers whooped in approval. Eager to obey orders, they unshackled the former lords of Marottan and tore their fine clothing into shreds. The Marottanas were dragged protesting below deck.

Judus Jach smiled harmlessly at the girls, as though he hadn't just ordered the interminable rape of two men. "Is justice served?" he asked.

"Yes, Captain," Uedi whispered as though in awe, "Thank you so much."

Delur blinked. It almost looked like she was waking up to Leo.

"Did you want to watch?" Jach offered magnanimously.

Uedi's face blossomed in lilac color and she stumbled to demur, "N-No, C-Captain, I trust your word."

Delur took a step in the direction the crew had gone with Clia and Tophe. There were tears in her eyes but the corners of her pouting lips had turned upward. It was only vaguely disturbing. The part of Leo that understood doing something against one's will -- the part that still considered Alinon a rapist . . . But he wouldn't dwell on that. At the end of the day you got what you deserved. In this instance Alinon deserved to live and he, Leo, deserved to save him and have purpose. Clia and Tophe deserved the same treatment they had afforded to innocent girls. And Judus Jach deserved to know that he had returned Delur's smile after it had been stolen.

He could hear screams.

Jach sent Trevbor below with the girls. Leo could feel the Captain's eyes on him and wouldn't meet them.

"You are again to think Hiyam too harsh?" Judus wondered.

Leo shrugged. "You're the . . ."

"Do not say 'You Captain' again. Hiyam want hear as you think."

Leo took a deep breath, glanced at Alinon, but his alien gave away nothing of what Jach wanted said. He sighed. "They . . ." he licked dry lips after accidentally meeting the Captain's eyes. "I think they . . . I think you were fair."

"Forever is long time," Jach stated.

"They should have thought of that then," Leo everted. He didn't know whom Jach was trying to convince. He didn't believe the man was a monster no matter what he'd seen of him. Jach struck him as uncompromising. That wasn't the worse trait a being could have.

He continued to think that when he returned to the quarters he shared with Alinon; passed by Clia and Tophe's prison. Heard their moans of pain and denial. Grunts of pleasure from the crewmembers they were traded around. Saw Delur sitting in a corner, wide-eyed, completely still, smiling brightly.

However distressing, Judus Jach was fair.

--------------
A Merry Death
--------------

Uedi and Delur saw them off at noon the next day. Uedi waved. Delur's eyes had regained a modicum of life. The ship’s doctor had given them medical attention. Jach had had new dresses delivered that morning. Alinon was pleased that the damage to their minds had begun to heal with Jach's ruling.

An emissary had been sent to the Mandate of Marottan explaining what had become of two of its citizens, as that was the proper legal thing to do. Jach's decision would be filed within the courts.

Leo was back at work on the music player when Alinon found him. He sat on the floor in trousers and his cape of intelligence. Alinon had liked that studious aspect of Leonard Dukakis, in star-touched Leo Cosmic it was delicious; an extension of the man he was instead of the only characterization. He allowed his fingers to ghost over the surface of Leo's back.

"So, are you going to be able to fix this?" Alinon asked. He'd refrained from asking before. To his mind the circuits in Leo's thoughts had appeared right -- but that was mostly because Leo seemed confident, and Alinon knew nothing of electronics. But now Leonard's certainty waned and the circuitry confounded him. And Alinon still had no clue why.

A shrug was his response. "It's like the damn thing doesn't remember what it was originally created for. It's . . ."

Beyond me, Alinon heard. Sometimes he felt that way about his relationship with Leo. Like they didn't connect in some fundamental way. But that was impossible. Leo was his mate. Almost to prove it, he suggested, "Well, you want to do lunch and then come back to it?"

Alinon weathered the slight thought of revulsion from Leo with the usual grace. Always there was shame or the indifference, but the result was the same.

-------------

Leo was halfway through lunch when he realized the ship rocked for other reasons. There was movement of scores of feet. There was canon fire booming. He was rudely extracted from Alinon and tossed to the floor during a severe dip. He instantly reached for his pants and shot Alinon a frantic look. "What's going on?"

The alien needed a moment to blink the food rapture from his brain. Leo impatiently watched golden eyes return to focus, antenna twisting as he sought out someone's mind. "The ship is under attack!" he gasped.

"Who in the hell would attack Judus Jach?" Leo demanded as he scrambled for his shoes.

"Well," Alinon hedged, also reaching for his clothes. "Besides the fact that there is a huge bounty on his head, there is one small issue with Sovereign Reign."

"Why do I get the feeling it's not so small?"

"Well, thing is, when the Captain makes a decision the courts can't do anything about it but that person's family or friends can."

Leo paused at that. "You mean to tell me that's those two creeps' homeboys out there trying to get them back?"

"I would say mercenaries paid by their families," Alinon replied after a second more of listening in on the intruders.

Leo raced from the room spurred into action. He had no idea what he was trying to do. He wasn't even sure why he was running in to a fray that could very likely see him dead. What he did know was that Judus Jach had made a just decision and those two ass-wipes deserved what they got. They shouldn't be rescued.

The main deck of The Merry Death could have been a scene from Earth's Revolutionary War without all the flags and posturing. Mercenaries who had made it on board besieged crewmembers. Some were injured. Metal blades clashed in his ears. Another canon blast erupted.

Arba Wardat took females and multi-tasking to a whole new level as she staved off three mercenaries and defended Hakina's back. Zuc was a flash of burgundy and white as he zipped around the deck stabbing enemies in vital places. Whatever Nyamgero was doing, mercs were cheerfully throwing themselves from The Merry Death. Trevbor cleaved two men in half at a time with each wide arc of his huge scythe.

Leo snatched a rapier from a fallen merc and flicked his wrist to cleanse it of excess blood. He looked up suddenly, as though someone had called his name, and he saw Judus Jach standing center deck in the circular design carved into t he wood. Jach's lime-hued eyes were closed. He seemed indifferent to the turmoil that had become his ship. Another canon lit off. Leo saw it land, but impossibly bounce off the railing of The Merry Death barely nicking the wood.

He saw Simov knocked to the deck, a mercenary going in for the kill when suddenly the floorboard beneath him flopped down causing the merc to overbalance and impale himself of Simov's sword as he stumbled.

Coincidence?

No way.

All around him, Leo realized, were dead mercenaries. The crew had suffered injuries, true, but none were dead. It came to him then that claiming Jach wasn't fighting was completely inaccurate. Jach didn't fight for himself because he fought with everyone else.

You join with me, I will protect you until I die, Jach had promised when Leo had first step foot on board.

He would return the favor, Leo thought as his eyes were drawn irrevocably back to the Captain. Behind Jach crept a creature, wicked blade in hand. Leo thought Jach had to see him, had to know he was in danger, but apparently the battle ate all his attention and spared none for himself. The next thing Leo knew he was slicing through a merc that had jumped in his way. Years of fencing training slammed through his muscles. He was on auto-pilot, a two-time regional champ revived from the dead. He could feel warm blood on his face; the strain in his thighs as he lunged at Jach's would be assassin and pierced him in the gut. He flung the body off his sword into another mercenary. Whipped the blade into the throat of the one who replaced them. Looked around to see Jach's eyes briefly open and meet his. It was likely an adrenaline dream, but Leo could have sworn those eyes, renowned for their frigidity, were something other than cold. Either way, he knew in that instant he was hopelessly caught in Judus Jach's gravitational pull and Leo Cosmic was more than content to revolve around him.

-----------
Left Handed
-----------

Simov swabbed the deck of The Merry Death free of bloodstains with his usual candor, Leo noted on his way to dinner one sun turn after the raid. Alinon had explained that Simov was from a race of beings called Sylph-[word that cannot be pronounced or spelled in any language he knew], but roughly translated to Eater. Sylphs were cousins of Arksans, but they weren't fond of each other. Leo garnered that was because they were both parasitic races and no alpha carnivore likes to share their food. He didn't tell Alinon that, but trusted the alien to lift if from his mind someday if he hadn't already.

Simov's people ate and regurgitated feelings. Which is why he was so popular on board the ship. Who wouldn't want to be with someone who could eat your pain, or crush your enemies with fear, or even amplify sex?

The Slyph winked at him.

Leo hurried across the deck. He also understood that if Simov was interested it was because his prey had strong repressed feelings. Leo Cosmic wasn't the type to sit in a circle singing Kumbaya waxing lyrical about such things.

He almost didn't see Trevbor, The Captain's Right, propped against the bulkhead beside the hatch leading into the mess. Though how anyone could miss such a big man Leo did not know.

"Judus would have a word," Trevbor informed him. Large as he was Trevbor was not the intimidating sort. He had no temper. He liked to sculpt delicate statues, and hanging mobiles of wire, metal, and space crystal. Leo often marveled at how such huge hands could make something so small and intricate. All that gentleness and yet Trevbor was fierce for Jach. He ran a tight schedule, kept crewmembers in line, did the occasional kidnapping, or shanking as the Captain required. He was the only one to call the Captain, Judus; the only one Jach premitted to. As such, Leo knew he hadn't been requested, but summoned, and Trevbor would snap a leg and drag his protesting body across the deck and up the two flights of stairs to Judus Jach's quarters should he resist.

Leo nodded, and headed in the opposite direction from the mess, Trevbor following a few paces behind.

Trevbor entered the captain's cabin first. He had to duck to do it. He announced Leo to Jach and then waved Leo in. Trevbor walked at normal height to a comfy-looking cushion in the corner and reclined. Judus Jach offered him a brief smile. "Thank you, Trevbor." He turned to Leo. He was sitting behind an elaborate desk of lightwood. Strange beings with wings carved for the legs of it held up the space rock pane. Leo thought they were angels but knew Vai's Sigh did not have them. He would have to ask Alinon about that later.

Judus Jach was shirtless. His body was littered in bruises of deep purple, red, and green, as though a pitching machine had malfunctioned while he was up to bat. His right arm was deformed with the swelling, in a sling packed with asteroid ice rock.

Leo was about to ask how Jach had gotten so beat up when he hadn't been in the fight, but a memory flash of a canon ball harmlessly bouncing off the railing of The Merry Death stayed his tongue. Perhaps harmless wasn't appropriate. Whatever happened to the ship, happened to Judus Jach; but whatever bond tied Jach to Merrec to The Merry Death made him strong enough to rebuff damn near anything.

"You are figured me out, yes?" the Captain asked. Leo nodded, not sure he could trust his voice. "My crew, no see me like this," the Captain imparted. "Is all how-you-say, magic, to them." His smile was a grimace. "Is something Hiyam want to ask you."

Leo's brow drew together in a way he knew was now an attractive bunching. "Okay."

"Hiyam want you to be my Left," Jach proposed, as always, to the point. Leo blinked. As he understood it, being chosen to be the Captain's anything was like marrying a princess and becoming king. It was the highest honor the Captain could bestow.

"What?"

"Hiyam want you to be -- Oh, you do not want again. Perhaps, Hiyam to explain?"

"Yes," Leo shook his head to clear it in vain. "I mean, I just got on board and I don't know enough about Vai's Sigh to be making decisions . . ." he paused for a Breath.

"Leo Cosmic, my Left, must be fair. Must be able to see in from the outside. Must keep a calm head. Must be smart, and respected. Must not be afraid to tell me when Hiyam not good."

"But Captain, I'm terrified of telling you that," Leo pointed out.

Jach grinned. "Leo Cosmic danced around me to protect a life he is scared of?"

Leo swallowed. He didn't want to think about that. He would never be able to explain to Jach why he'd reacted that way. He couldn't even explain it to himself.

"You may not be sure, but Hiyam to know you are what Hiyam need in a Left." He removed his arm from the sling. The swelling had disappeared though Jach still moved it gingerly; wincing as he did so.

-------
Banquet
-------

Dre was seated inexplicably beside Simov. Their apparent spat over, though Retuan -- pure green eyes flashing slate gray -- sat on his other side. Leo could see him teasing at the nubs of the rock-man's fingerless hand. He thought it a trick of the light, but the nubs appeared to be healing, lengthening.

Alinon was seated closer to the head of the table in the second seat on Jach's Left side. Trevbor occupied the first Right seat of course. His mate sensed him before he saw him, but he was instantly beckoning Leo to his new seat. Judus graced him with a smile when he got there.

The Captain sat stiffly. His clothing covered him from collar to fingertip to booted toes. No hint of the patchwork of bruises. His pain left in his cabin.

"Hail Leo Cosmic!" the Captain shouted upon Leo’s seating.

"Hail!" chorused the crew.

Jach surged to his feet and slammed his fist onto the table. "I said hail Leo Cosmic!" He barked enthusiastically.

The crew went wild. Banging on the table with their silverware and fists. Feet stomping. Voices raised in a roar.

When it sounded as though the noise had reached its pinnacle Jach held up a hand and everyone fell instantly silent and still.

"Hail Leo Cosmic," the Captain whispered.

In a hushed voice, as though imparting a great secret, Simov said, "In battle, he does not walk amongst Vai's Breath, he floats."

"His blades become a part of his hands, dealing death from his fingertips with a touch." Same reverent whisper only this time from Elysses. Bauer and Lilo puffed loudly in agreement.

"He twirls in Her Sigh like a flower with scythes for petals," Nyamgero smiled.

"Like a dread dance," Trevbor acceded.

"Or a deadly waltz," Jach responded. He seemed pleased. In the silence, he faced his expectant crew, and then turned to Leo and raised his goblet. "Hail Leo Cosmic, The Bladed Ballet!"

Leo blinked, had previously been immobile with embarrassment by such praise, but Alinon's arms around him, congratulations in his ear, followed by kisses that morphed into licks, broke the spell.

"Alinon, what's going on? What did Jach just do?"

His mate hugged him again. Golden eyes filled with warmth and pride. "Leo, you just got named," the Arksan gushed. "You're the stuff of legends now."

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
frolic_horror
Jun. 23rd, 2010 04:19 pm (UTC)
Hahaha... The Bladed Ballet? I wonder if Leo doesn't find that name embarassing (makes you feel like calling him a "ballerina").
It sounds like there's some weird vibe between Leo and Jach ... I'm suspicious of them. Poor Alinon doesn't seem to have made Leo grow fond of him. Maybe in the next story? :D
entitys
Jul. 8th, 2010 06:50 pm (UTC)
there's nothing wrong with being both graceful and deadly.

suspicions... what. blasphemy! (shifty eyes) why on earth would you be suspicious of anything between Jach and Leo (innocent whistling)

i will say, next story there is a change in how Leo and Alinon perceive each other that could be considered good...

again, thanks for your comments. its really encouraging.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )