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[Original] The Fall of Icarus pt 01

late :( + not happy with today's progress :( = still some semblance of a prologue :). I'll do an appendix to explain the world later.

Summary: The N'arsh N'ton have a lot of rules and none of them benefit Ithan. Ithan wants to be a warrior though his caste dictates he's a slave. Deciding to break the rules may kill him, but at least he'll die on his own terms.

Bryoni: bree-yawn-nee
Shwe : shway
Khaleo(n): kah-lay-o(-ehn)

The Fall of Icarus
©: Ken Black, all rights reserved.

Part One : Prologue
of 50,000
Warnings: eventual M/M. Slow building. Weird world. No Beta.

Bryoni quietly tiptoed across the bog. Somewhere behind him he could hear his best friend, Shwe, sloshing uncertainly and cursing his luck whenever his concentration slipped and a foot would sink into the muck instead of glide weightlessly over it. Of everyone in his age group Bryoni was proud of being the most adept at this trick, and it was especially useful in a climate that saw a lot of rain. Shwe was all right at it; at least he could keep up when Bryoni felt like exploring.

"Bryoni!" There was a slight quaver to Shwe's voice leading the boy to believe that his friend had been farther behind than he’d believed. Shwe had likely lost sight of him and was panicking.

"Over here!" Bryoni called. He needed to learn how to make trace markers, he decided. That way, the next time he and Shwe left the village and got separated Bryoni would be able to mold arrows in the dirt that would lead right to him.

Shwe pulled the end of Bryoni’s ponytail once he’d caught up. Bryoni looked his friend over and felt a sliver of remorse. Shwe's dark curls were rumpled out to the side in a telltale style only his fingers could do. Shwe sometimes raked his hands through his hair when he was frustrated and Shwe's nose -- too big for his face --- was reddened from rubbing.

"You weren't a’scared were you?" Bryoni asked.

"No!" Shwe snapped as he dragged his fingers through his hair. "Just thought maybe you'd fallen in, and then what I tell your mammy? We're not even a’sposed to be out this far."

Well, that was true, Bryoni acknowledged. It didn't change the fact that it had been raining for almost two weeks and his home had become suffocating in that time. His dad was Khal'terra of the village and constantly having to solve everyone's problems. He was a serious man who always frowned. Bryoni tried extra hard not to fall under his scrutiny. His mother wasn't much better, but at least her bad mood could be blamed on the new baby. That thing never slept. When it wasn't crying it was glowering at people. Everyone in the village said Bryoni should be proud to be a big brother, but Bryoni was still skeptical; the kid looked like it was plotting something and Bryoni didn't want to be anywhere near it when it learned to walk or talk. As far as Bryoni new, his parents were thinking of calling the baby Brisyn if it survived another month and didn’t contract aerostasis.

That had been his hell for two weeks straight. Bryoni had had to survive a grumpy dayda, a sleep deprived mammy, and an evil crying baby brother. Then yesterday the rain had finally stopped falling on the forest and Bryoni and Shwe had overheard the older kids talking about the width of the river and how the canopy didn’t cover the space between. They’d claimed the sky was visible. Bryoni and Shwe had never seen sky before. Light trickled down from the canopy in stingy handfuls by the acre. When one looked up in the Khaleon rain forest once saw varying shades of green back-lit with ever elusive sunlight. The boys had made a pact to see the sky in that instant.

While they knew the general direction of the river, they hadn't realized it was so far or that the ground was so soggy. None of the bigger kids had complained and Bryoni and Shwe were five — practically men — they should have been at the river by now.

His friend fidgeted beside him as he picked at a scab on his elbow. "Are we lost?" Shwe wondered.

"Uh-uh," Bryoni denied confidently. He rubbed clammy hands on his hemp loincloth as he closed his eyes and calculated how far they'd gone. As far as he could tell they been walking for an hour and usually people were to the river and back in that time. Maybe there was a shortcut and they'd missed it, Bryoni allowed. They’d probably missed it while playing that game of mud-slap earlier when they’d started this expedition. At least the game had been fun.

Shwe was tugging on his ponytail again. "Hey Bryoni, do you hear that?"

Bryoni peeped open one eye to focus on his best friend. Honestly, all he heard were typical sounds of the rain forest. The birds cawed and chirped overhead. The lizards rustled through the underbrush in search of food and the monkeys chattered and screamed at each other. Nonetheless, he dutifully squeezed both eyes closed and focused on things he hadn't heard before. A sound like what happened when too much rain overwhelmed the forest and sent it crashing downhill in a swoosh met Bryoni’s ear. It was a lot of water, he deduced and it wasn’t that far. He could also make out a sound he’d come to dread these past weeks.

"What's, a baby doing out here?" Bryoni wondered aloud as he opened his eyes. Shwe shrugged expressively.

"Want to go find it?"

Bryoni hesitated. He’d seen babies, those were nothing to get painted about, but he’d never seen the sky or the sun, and they were really close to the river. Competing with the call of adventure, in the back of his mind was his mother, dark circled eyes and defeated posture, telling him that most times when babies cry there was something wrong. As much as he wanted to dismiss those words, Bryoni couldn't believe all of them were terrors like Brisyn or there wouldn't be any more made.

"Okay," he agreed and they set off in the direction of the cry.

They found it some minutes later, all alone, tucked between the roots of a tree. It was about the same size as Brisyn as far as Bryoni could tell. It was toothless. Its eyes and fists were squeezed shut as it screamed injustice. It was swaddled in a material Bryoni had never seen or felt before. The fabric was clean and smooth, soft shiny and white.

"I don't see any tracks or nothing," Shwe announced after he looked around.

"Then how do you think it got here?" Bryoni wondered.

"Who knows?" Shwe answered as he touched its hand. The baby hiccuped its tears to a stop and opened its eyes. "Do we leave it?"

Its eyes were blue, Bryoni noted first. What kind of creature had blue eyes?

It smiled at him, Bryoni noted second as he put a finger in a tiny fist and let the baby squeeze it and then try to put the digit in its mouth. "Nah, I don't think that'd be right." Bryoni replied. "Hey, you want to be a brother? I mean, your dad could take him in right?"

"Not really," Shwe answered. His mother had died in childbirth the year before. The baby hadn't made it either and his dayda had yet to recover from both losses.

Even so, they took turns carrying the baby back to the village and suffered through their parents discipline for exploring so far from home and then foolishly bringing back some strange offspring. The Khal'terra declared he would return the child to where the boys had found it despite the protests of Bryoni's mother. A few passionate arguments later and his dayda promised that if no one came for the baby then they would decide a permanent home for him.

But the next day when the sun had barely pierced through the canopy an explosion rocked the village and redheaded demons commanding Vai’s Breath fell from a sky Bryoni had never seen.

comments appreciated!


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 7th, 2012 03:26 am (UTC)
This is a good prologue - there's enough hints of worldbuilding to give us a general feel for what the setting here is like, and to establish a basic sense of character for these two, which is enough to work with for a prologue and a good base to build from if they're going to be a substantial part of the story as it gets going.

I like what you've got here and I look forward to seeing it take shape all month. ^_^
Nov. 12th, 2012 02:06 am (UTC)
thanks TJ. you'll definitely be seeing more . . . just differently. t'was a rush job on this prologue and i feel like i'm missing a couple of key points still. good news though, is that with being freed from Naruto'verse i now get to incorporate bits and pieces of U'verse into into tFoi. all that planning not wasted makes me so happy. will be sending it your way as i get it read. XD
Nov. 15th, 2012 04:17 am (UTC)
i now get to incorporate bits and pieces of U'versae into into tFoi. all that planning not wasted makes me so happy

That's an awesome perk, yeah! Planning not wasted, indeed. ^_^
Dec. 9th, 2012 11:52 am (UTC)
Hi Hi, late as ever, but here I am.

This looks really promising. Having a bit of trouble getting my brain to stop looking for Naruto parallels, but that's my problem not yours and I'm sure it'll shut up as you go on.

Cool world building, look forward to more info.

Edited at 2012-12-09 11:54 am (UTC)
Feb. 7th, 2013 04:06 am (UTC)
you late? naaah. i'm late as ever (though usually not this late). sorry.

i'm trying to keep the parallels from being too obvious so early on. later chapters it'll be real apparent in some places and -- i don't know -- i guess i want to establish this fic's independence from the Naruto'verse first? it makes sense in my head.

anyhow, let me get a few more chapters typed up and i'll start posting more on (hopefully) a regular basis. thanks for the encouragement.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )