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|Out of Place, Part 1|
Lost and Found
November 10, 2012
Previously on Heiress of the Nile Edit
The Shrike army is on the move, heading toward Thebes. After ignoring her father's messenger, Seraphine had a heartfelt talk with Tegan, who had been sent to get her instead. She told him what truly took place with Hahn and the slave girls, much to his rage. When gazing in the somehow familiar-looking eyes of the girl she save, Seraphine was overcome with guilt and vowed to set things right for the young girl. However, she got into a fight with Hahn during which she injured her shoulder badly. Apepi broke up the fight, but after blaming Seraphine, she took off without further notice.
Out of Place, Part 1 Edit
The air was reverberating with the last of that day's heat, unwilling to let it slip into the cool embrace brought by the rising moon. The steady beat of Arrow's thundering hooves had subsided to a soft trickle hours ago and Seraphine was nearing the brink of exhaustion. Time had passed in a blur since she had dashed away from her father, and the remainder of the day slowly slipped into the darkness as she trudged on. A sharp pain originating in her shoulder traveled through the rest of her body with every step Arrow took through the mull sand, a reminder of what had brought her there: the crunching boulder dislocating her shoulder and ripping through her flesh; the feeling of the ragged rock as she had slammed her arm against it to pop her joint back into its socket; the nauseating smell of her own flesh cooking under the burning sensation of her red-hot finger being rammed into the gaping wound to sear it shut and stem the bleeding that would've been her death. She absentmindedly rubbed her throat, sore from screaming out in agony when she had rudimentarily tended to her wounds, and went on to stroke the warm neck of her stallion. She shook her head, but the heavy fog clouding her mind, slowly overpowering the grasp she had on the realm of consciousness, would not go away.
"Sorry, friend, for getting us . . . into this shit. I'll figure some-some-something out." The words were slurred and the answering whinnying of the horse was drowned out by the silence that forever accompanied the dark abyss of nothingness she was falling into. As a last defying stance of her senses, Seraphine felt her body crash on the ground, and Arrow's soft lips nuzzle her hair in concern before her consciousness completely succumbed to the pull of her fatigue.
Her head bumped on something hard beneath her, rousing her from her dreamless slumber. With tremendous effort, she cracked open her eyes, only to be rewarded by a splitting headache from the burning light of the midday sun. "Fuck. . ." Seraphine moved to cover her eyes with her hand, but grew tense when she found her movements restricted. "What the. . ." Straining herself to slightly raise her head, she stared at the bandages that were skillfully wrapped around the wounds that were now throbbing in unison with her steady heartbeat. The rumble in her chest quickened as her mind raced to puzzle the pieces of her surroundings together: midday; bandages; wooden board; moving. Her thoughts strung together to realize that she must have passed out and that someone had found her and taken care of her wounds. She found herself lying on a makeshift stretcher from the bark of a palm tree on the verge of decaying. A soft whinnying reached her ears and Seraphine tilted her head backwards. A beautiful dark-gray stallion was pulling the board that served as her rudimentary transportation method.
"Arrow." Her mouth was dry and her voice sounded rough, but the horse's ears pricked instantly upon hearing the familiar sound of its master and Seraphine was nearly flung off the board when Arrow attempted to turn and reach her. A gentle female voice quickly spoke up and soothed the excited horse. Teeth grinding and breath escaping in desperate pants when her entire weight had fallen on her wounded shoulder, Seraphine could only muster a feeble attempt to push her up on her elbow to see the owner of the voice, but the fresh pain and ensuing strain on her unrecovered, exhausted body caused her vision to black out again before she could focus.
Seraphine lay with her eyes shut on a soft mattress made of what felt like koala sheep wool. She had regained consciousness a while ago, though she had no inkling of exactly how long it had been, nor what time it was. Her ears had alerted her to the presence of another being in what she presumed was a room, but, in need of a plan and the time to assess her situation, she had decided that playing unconscious was the best course of action for now. The rush of water, the rustle of cloth, and the light shuffle of a pair of feet alerted her that a woman was nearing her. Mentally prepared to remain still under any form of contact, Seraphine did not move a muscle when fingers gently caressed her face and pushed back several strands of her black hair that had wandered over her closed lids. The softness of the touch and smoothness of the skin made her relax ever so slightly as no captor to be feared would be that gentle. The woman tenderly untied the wrappings around her shoulder and the faint whisper of her breath on the wound made Seraphine's senses tingle.
"You were lucky. Searing the wound shut like that saved your life. Now let's see if we can keep it saved and free from infection." She wasted no more time and worked swiftly to apply some soothing ointment, based on aloe if Seraphine was to trust the smell, to the wound that felt much lighter already, and bandaged everything with fresh linen strips while murmuring the incantation for the binding up of wounds. "I bind thee up, thing of Seth; I stop thy red mouth, thing of great evil." Comforted by the knowledge that only skilled healers knew the citing, Seraphine was surprised to hear a sigh escape her caretaker's lips. "It's been over a day, you should've been awake by now." A hand traveled through Seraphine's dark locks once again. "What was a beautiful girl like you doing all alone in the desert anyway? You don't strike me as a fool to ignore the dangers out there. What happened to you? What history lies behind those shut, amber eyes?"
Much to Seraphine's amazement, the questions were loaded with an undertone of sincere caring more than with curiosity and a quest to truly find an answer, and she pondered whether or not she would open her eyes to give the girl that had obviously looked over her peace of mind. However, her warrior judgment quickly mentally berated herself for even thinking about giving away her chance to secretly get to know her surroundings for something as weak and trivial as comforting another person.
Thundering footsteps announced the arrival of another person, clearly male, and brought Seraphine back to alertness before his low voice resounded through the room. "Sami!" The hand on her head stiffened and was quickly withdrawn, leaving her to wonder how this Sami person could not have picked up on the obvious signs that preceded the man's arrival. The thought was swiftly pressed to the back of her mind, however, as she had the unnerving feeling of hungry eyes running over her body, and she needed all the self-restraint she could muster not to shift at the sound of lips being licked in delight. The ragged intake of breath spoke to Seraphine's mental defenses to ignore the comment without so much as the appearance of an annoyed goosebump, but the awaited syllables never came as Sami's commanding tone told the man to leave the room.
With a swish of long hair and the scraping of wood, followed by hastened footsteps leading away from her, Seraphine knew she was alone for the first time since awakening in the unfamiliar environment. Carefully cracking open her eyes, she darted a look around to make sure that her hearing had been correct. Confirming her solitude, she opened her eyes completely and took in her surroundings. What she had assumed to be a room was in fact a tent made of animal pelt. Though decorated with the hardships of years of travel, it provided ample shelter against the sun's burning rays and the moon's freezing beams. A shaky table, a simple trunk, a standing mirror that was slightly cracked in the corner, and a chair next to a Pai Sho table, its twin brother next to the koala sheep wool-covered cot Seraphine was perched on, made up the furniture in this simple traveler's abode. A painting of four people, two teenagers and their parents, and several scrolls and writing utensils were strewn across the shaky table. A bundle of colorful rags next to it indicated that the owner of the tent had swiftly kicked the stray clothing aside to make room for her patient and the medical supplies. Seraphine gawked around the cozy mess for a few seconds longer until she noticed a half-scratched out Water Tribe symbol embedded in the support beam; the skillfully applied petroglyphs of a detailed vulture and a little basket with an small ear at the side, reading "A + K", etched underneath it.
Seraphine sat up, favoring her left shoulder, and eyed the little works of art for a second, the covers sliding off her body. She soon forgot her interest, however, as the embrace of a soft wind entering through the partially rolled up entrance drifted across her skin, making her very conscious of the partial nudity of her upper body. Unable to locate the whereabouts of her top Sami undoubtedly had taken off to gain access to the wounds, she silently slid out of bed and stealthily stalked over to the trunk located not far from the entrance. The uninterrupted mumbles of the conversation between Sami and her companion reassured Seraphine that the squeaking of the lid had gone by unnoticed, and she dug through what seemed to be the clothes of a young woman. Shoving many dresses aside, not caring about refolding them, she stumbled upon a scarlet patch in the form of a vulture. Turning it in curiosity, Seraphine wondered what this girl was doing with the scarlet hieroglyph of an "A" among her clothing. Her eyes shifted from the patch to a dark red top that had been partially dug up, and Seraphine carelessly discarded the patch and slipped on the piece of clothing, the fabric softer than she would have given it credit for. Aware of the benefit her looks posed to her, the wounded warrior could not help but dart a glance in the mirror as she smoothed her outfit. The top reached to her midsection, leaving her abdomen bare to show the outlines of her toned abs. A small belt underneath her breasts accentuated the womanly curves on her nearly seventeen-year-old body, and a goldish neckband made sure the top would remain in place while moving, though leaving the arms completely bare.
Seraphine tucked her necklace safely underneath the top. Her gaze moved on to the strips covering a good portion of her upper body, left arm and shoulder, its bright-white contrasting heavily with her sun-bronzed skin and the dark red, borrowed clothing. Touching the sore spot with her right hand, she could not help an involuntary flinch to play over her face at the slight pressure she applied. The burning sensation of the muscles made her bear her teeth, and she chocked back a scream as her probing fingers further inspected the wound and the bandage that had been expertly bound over it; she could even feel tiny stitches, marking the work of a skilled healer. Trying to ignore the hardship the movements caused her, she rolled her shoulder to assess the damage. The pain flared and shot through her arm every time she clenched her fist, and she could barely suppress a grunt when attempting to create a small ball of fire. With tremendous effort, she managed to produce some flames; they flickered for a moment, though she was unable to condense them into the form she desired and they soon died out. Seraphine hissed in annoyance at her reflection, berating herself for being in such poor state. "Looks like we'll be staying here for a while longer."
"– can't be compared! My identity was never a secret when they found me. You don't know anything about that woman!" The man's voice floated inside the tent and brought Seraphine back to the full reality of her current situation. Sneaking closer to the core of the argument, she moved toward the exit and carefully peeked through to take in her surroundings with a soldier's precision. From her hidden position, Seraphine had a visual on three dust-covered tents. Judging their size, she figured the largest one had a maximum capacity of six people, the two smaller ones of four, and taking their circular placement into account, she assumed that there were two more tents, maybe three, depending on their size, hidden from view on the other side of Sami's, which was clearly made to accommodate two people, though Sami seemed to be living by herself. The short shadows cast off the bickering people in the makeshift center of the camp combined with the slight growling of her stomach reminded her that it was past midday. Though the man was standing with his back toward her, she could not miss the sight of the young woman. Sami reminded Seraphine strongly of a desert rose in bloom, one of those rare, natural beauties that contrasted heavily with an otherwise barren place. Her loose, slightly waving, raven-black hair that had a brownish hint to it in the sun and her darker complexion, revealing her obvious Water Tribe heritage, put even more focus on the pair of the brightest azure eyes that Seraphine had ever seen. She was not surprised to find that those almond shaped shutters and sweet face had an air of permanent kindness over them, though they were now staring in determination at the man before her, growing angrier with every accusing syllable made by the adult.
"Who's to say that she will not try to rob us, or even kill us all the moment she wakes up, huh? We are crossing dangerous Shrike lands here, Sami, who knows who she is, or even, what she did to get that nasty wound on her shoulder!"
Seraphine smirked at the valid question and wondered how Sami would talk her way out of that one. "She won't do that, Trok." Her smirk grew into a stifled laugh at the weak answer.
"Oh yeah? What makes you so certain? You psychic?"
The girl was silent for a moment and when she spoke again, there was a mixture of determination and doubt in her voice, as if she was attempting to persuade more than only her conversation partner. "I just . . . know that she won't. I can't really explain it, but there was just something about the way that her horse was guarding her that tells me that she is a person worth saving. You can tell a lot about a person by looking at how they treat their animals, and that horse clearly cares about her, so she must have some good in her."
Before Seraphine could stop herself, a loud snort escaped her, making Trok turn on his heels in shock and Sami gawk at the tent entrance dumbfounded. Cursing inwardly for revealing her position over something so stupid, Seraphine decided that she might as well interact and show herself. "Arrow? You're defending me, taking me in, based on how a horse looked after me?"
Slightly offended by her patient's mocking tone, Sami straightened herself in her impressive length. "Did I make a mistake, then?"
His soldier instincts picking up on the dangerous aura that accompanied the calm stranger, Trok unsheathed his sickle sword and held it to the ready before him, standing protectively between the approaching girl and Sami, a gesture at which Sami rolled her eyes and ostentatiously moved to stand beside him. Seraphine had stopped only inches away from the point of the drawn sword and let Trok's harsh voice assault her with a barrage of questions. "Who are you? Where did you come from? What happened to you? Who wounded you like that? The Shrikes? Are they close?"
Unfazed by the questions or the sword aimed at her heart, she lazily batted the weapon away. "Put this thing away before you hurt yourself, big boy." Watching Trok's insulted gaze travel over her body and briefly shift to one of lust, Seraphine felt her resolve to play the good-girl part waver and she only barely managed to keep her raging anger out of her voice. "Like what you see, pervert? You're old enough to be my father, so don't even think about me, it is disgusting. Now, who I am, where I came from, and what happened to me, that's my business and doesn't concern you in the least. As for you," she continued, turning from the baffled man to the mildly-shocked Sami. "I can't figure out whether you're naïve to the point where it hurts, just utterly stupid, or . . ." A sharp sting in her shoulder contested the movement she made and reminded the angering warrior to keep it cool. With common sense prevailing over her boiling temper, Seraphine briefly inclined her head in recognition to Sami, and her voice softened with a sweet gratefulness draped over it. "Actually genuinely kind. I owe you my life and for that I thank you. I'm in your debt and I give you my word that I'll repay you. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a horse to check up on. "
Leaving the duo to their bafflement, Seraphine quickly turned and walked away, hiding her frustration from sight. She was already nearing the edge of the camp-circle before Sami broke free of her stupor and regained her senses. "Hey, wait!" Irritated by the other girl's refusal to lessen her pace even though she obviously heard, Sami shot Trok an annoyed look, daring him to even utter one word of the thoughts he was thinking and sprinted after her patient.
"H-hold up!" Panting heavily, Sami pulled up next to Seraphine who was still walking away with large strides. "W-where do y-you think y-you're going?" The Water Tribeswoman pushed her side, hoping the stings would subside while mentally promising herself to start working out again. Finding the question and herself totally ignored, she trudged after Seraphine, running short distances from time to time to keep up with her patient's marching pace. Though normally a patient person, Sami did not take well to being ignored, especially by someone who she was pretty sure had just called her stupid and naïve. Testing the boundaries of her patience with every step she took, she eventually crossed that line into annoyance when they reached the horse pens on the far outskirts of the campsite. "Will you please just stop for a second! Who do you think you a–" Before being able to finish her sentence, Sami got the wind knocked out of her when she crashed full on against the shorter girl who had suddenly halted before her.
Turning around, Seraphine gazed at Sami as if she just saw her for the first time, a weird expression flashing in her eyes for a second as she took in the girl towering over her by a head's length. Feeling uneased under the piercing look of the stranger and sensing that she would have to be the one to start the conversation, Sami straightened again, growing even more taller in the eyes of the other girl that darkened upon noticing. Sami's eyes slid down from Seraphine's face to the top she was wearing and a smile tugged at the corners of her mouth, forgetting her prior irritation. "Nice top, I have that exact same one."
Seraphine' expression remained unreadable under Sami's attempt of small talk and the long pause the tall girl gave her to reply in any way. "That man called you Sami." Sami gave a slow, short nod in confirmation, quirking an eyebrow in silent wonder where the girl was going with this. "So why then does the carving in your tent say 'A + K'?"
Caught completely off guard by the unexpected and brash invasion of her privacy, Sami could only stare at the other girl like she was a ghost. She did not know what kind of reaction she had been expecting from the stranger, but that question was not even among the possibilities she had come up with. After what felt to her like minutes, she regained her voice. "What carving?" She winced at how unnaturally high and unrecognizable her own voice sounded and she could not blame the other girl from cocking an eyebrow in disbelief at her with that superior, but at the same time, irresistible smirk on her face. Sami contemplated playing the 'none of your business'-card, but sighed instead, acknowledging her own horrible to worse lying abilities, and decided the truth would be the best way to go. She had never liked to lie or be deceptive anyway. "The 'K' stands for Korra. She is . . . was my . . . er . . . best friend." Sami slightly slanted her eyes away from that observant amber gaze, and shrugged unnoticeably. Perhaps there were just some things she was not quite ready for to explain yet, not even to herself, let alone to a complete stranger. Then again, as Sami looked back up, she could not shake the feeling that there was more to the girl that stared back at her than the short, fiery temper she had already displayed, a side of her that she was hiding, but Sami was determined to lure it out, so she continued on a lighter, and to her own relief, more natural tone. "And my name is actually Asami, but I go by just Sami nowadays."
"Are you seriously expecting me to explain my entire history to you when you blatantly refused to do so just minutes ago?" Sami did not quite know how to react under the silent stare of the girl, thus engaged in a staring contest with her. However, she soon found herself drowning in those fierce amber eyes that looked like they were made of pure honey. They were alert and inquisitive, sparkled like little diamonds, and kept their focus on her as if they were reading her like a scroll. There was something mesmerizing about it all. Realizing with a shock where her thoughts were taking her, she sighed in shame and broke contact by turning half away from her beautiful patient. "Fine, here is a little history for you. I was born in the Water Tribe city of Taremu in the central part of the Nile Delta region. When I was three years old, my grandfather sent word that he had found a gold vein in the nearby mines, and my parents decided to move to Nubt. It quickly became one of the many Water Tribe settlements in Fire Nation territory that were allowed to flourish under the peaceful reign of late Fire Lord Tamose and his queen, but although it was situated on foreign lands, its government was held according to the rigid Water Tribe ways, so not exactly a place where you want to be when you are a girl, but I was happy there. My family had soon gathered enough riches to provide us with the good life. I got everything I ever wanted –as long as I stayed in line. It was different for my brother though. Although three years younger than me, he lived there like a king and I, as a girl, clearly lived underneath him. I didn't mind though, especially not after she and her family moved into the city." Sami could not help but smile at the memory of the first time she had ever seen Korra. "Her paler skin and big emerald eyes obviously betrayed her non-Water Tribe heritage, but she never looked like she did not belong, especially after she started to wear her brown hair in classic Water Tribe style, wolf tails included. She was truly something else, you know, that one-in-a-million kind of girl. She had a sparkling personality and a sense of humor that could send you in a giggling fit with only one word. Yeah . . . she was something all right; she was my best friend." Her mood, joyous mere seconds ago, dropped dramatically the more she remembered of her time with Korra. "It all started as just a rumor, but of course it wasn't." Little droplets glittered, though never broke out of the corner of her eyes. "That should not have mattered though. Love is love, no matter who it is." The tall girl remained silent for a while, visibly making an effort to recompose herself, but the bitterness in her voice became almost palpable when she resumed her story while staring off in the distance. "But try making that point with those conservative idiots of the council. . . They were disgusted and afraid of it just because it is not in line with their standard. They just fear it cause they don't understand it, and they are too shortsighted to allow anything that is even remotely different than the tradition. They were to be wed, I knew that, but I didn't even start it . . . They still went through and I was blamed for everything that happened, so they forced me to wear a scarlet vulture on my chest for all time, forever branding me for something that should not even be a crime!" Sami took another moment, lost in the turmoil of her thoughts, before turning back to face Seraphine. She crossed her arms, hugging herself, protecting herself from the painful memory. "I couldn't bear the judgment, the disapproval, and the loneliness anymore, so I ran away. From that moment on, I dropped the 'A' from my life. That was eight months ago, and I haven't heard my family . . . or Korra ever since."
Both women kept quiet for a moment, each lost in their own thoughts. Sami wondered why she had so easily opened up to that stranger, and Seraphine was trying her best to make sense of the last part of the story where Sami had trailed off in an incoherent recollection of past events, obviously painful to her, but in her sorrow, she had neglected to fill in the necessary details needed for any outsider to be able to understand what she was talking about. The silence kept on for a while until Seraphine broke it with an amused snort when she realized some ironic fact out of their situations. Sami, thinking the other girl was making fun of her, shot her a hurt and offended look, but was cut off by her conversation partner even before she could begin. "Classic Water Tribe male." Seraphine shook her head and cracked a goofy smile at a confused-looking Sami. "They always think they can get away with everything. You could say that I was sort of in the same water as you. I was not forced to wear a scarlet letter or anything –I'd like to see him try to put that on me," she snorted out the threat while unconsciously balling her right fist, before continuing in a sweet manner like no dark thoughts had interrupted her. "But I was forced by my father to marry this scumbag of a waterbender for. . . I still don't know why actually. After a few verbal disagreements over the entire ordeal, I got into a fight with my 'betrothed' and his friends and ended up hurting my shoulder badly in the process. Dad intervened and broke us up, but the damage was done and according to him, I was to blame. So I just got on my horse and rode off. I guess the loss of blood and my fatigue –seriously, don't ride off into the desert without preparations, especially not when you're wounded, very bad idea, trust me– made me pass out, and the next thing I know is that my wounds were taken care off and I had spent more than a day resting in a soft bed thanks to you."
Shyly tugging a loose strand behind her ear, Sami blushed at Seraphine's smile and concealed thank you, but even more at the fact that the other girl had finally at least said something about herself. "I thought you said that who you are, where you came from, and what happened to you was none of our business and did not concern us."
Seraphine smirked and pensively eyed the other girl who beamed at her. "No, I said that it didn't concern that baboonish friend of yours, the idiot with the sword. You, on the other hand, I owe my life, so you at least have some right to get an answer to your questions. So yes, I am no fool, I knew perfectly well what dangers awaited me in the desert, but it beat the alternative of staying with my dad and my 'betrothed' at that time. You contemplating whether or not you made a mistake by helping me is something only you can answer and make out for yourself. As for the rest, I think I just answered what happened to this 'beautiful girl all alone in the desert' and what 'history lies behind my amber eyes'." She could not help herself, she just loved making people uncomfortable.
Though Sami had that typical dark, Water Tribe complexion, her blush upon recognizing the wording of the questions as the ones she posed to a supposedly sleeping Seraphine earlier was still visible. "You heard that? Oh sweet Hapi." The embarrassed girl buried her head in her hands, letting her long hair fall in a curtain beside her face in an attempt to shut everything out.
Lightheartedly, Seraphine looked at the girl and laughed. "Cute. I'm . . . Sera, by the way."
The slight pause before mentioning the abbreviation of her name was lost on Sami, who looked up again, thankful that Seraphine would not linger on her words from before, and smiled at the shorter girl while taking her stretched out hand. However, in all her eagerness to get past the awkwardness, she shook it too violently, causing her patient to wince in pain as the motions disturbed her bandaged shoulder. "Sorry, sorry!" Sami released her in an instant, checking the bandages immediately for any complications.
"Sami." Seraphine patiently addressed the slightly panicking Sami who probed every inch of the bandage, but the girl did not pick up on her name, too consumed in her investigation. "Sami." The tall girl shifted positions to Seraphine's back. "Sami! Stop!" Suppressing a painful grunt while twisting her shoulder out of her impromptu doctor's examining fingers, Seraphine side-stepped away. "Stop doting over me, I'm fine. Trust me when I say that I've had worse." She immediately regretted her open confession upon witnessing Sami's inquisitive look. However, before the tall girl could ask her anything, Seraphine cut her off casually with the well-timed aid of a stomach growl.
Sami laughed at the sound and the accompanying questioning smile for food. "How about some lunch? You must be starving. Do you even remember the last time you ate something?" Her patient's growling stomach was faster than her mouth, causing Sami to laugh again. She hooked arms with the strange, but intriguing girl, and started off on another amused tale. A bit weirded out by the close contact, Seraphine shoved her discomfort aside to aid the aura of the friendly girl she was hanging up. She was determined to play her role as a gentle spirit as opposed to the infamous Shrike, and if that meant listening to Sami's incisive verbal waterfalls, then that was what she was going to do.
By the time the sun was making room in the wide sky for his paler brother and the two girls joined the rest of the travelers at dinner, the warrior had learned more about the camp and its inhabitants than she would ever need to enable her to destroy it if it would come to that. The community she was taken in was made up of several refugees, some families, but mostly of loners who found friendly company and the safety of numbers in their solitaire travels. In the camp, tasks were divided among the people according to their skills, thus having made Sami, who came from a long family of healers albeit not blessed with the ability to bend water herself, but knowledgeable about people's chi patterns and healing herbs nonetheless, in charge of the sickbay. Jumoke was the oldest traveler of the company and the de facto leader. He was kind and just, loved by all, and openly welcome to everyone who needed help. Trok was the most recent addition to the group of refugees. Just as the Shrike commandant, Trok had been found in the desert by Sami, only two days prior to Seraphine's arrival, though he had only a gash on his head that had looked worse than it was. He was an earthbending warrior of the village of Palm Spring which had been annihilated by the Shrikes a few days earlier . Upon learning his history from Sami, Seraphine had nearly choked on the dried date she was eating, though a quick reaction and a well-ministered abdominal trust by Sami had forced the alien object out of her throat. Coughing heavily, she rubbed her painful throat and arduously squeezed out her request to hear more of his tale. Trok, who was sitting nearby, had grudgingly explained what he could still remember of that fateful day; much to Seraphine's relief and smug pleasure, it turned out that he had been among the first ones to be knocked out. He had been tossed through a window into a house where he had banged his head hard against the counter and sagged down unconscious. Mistaking him for a dead man, the Shrikes had left him alone and an overturned table had saved him from major burns and bone crushing from the collapsing house. Seraphine was thankful for the obscuring long shadows that were cast on her face by the dinner fires, as she knew she had trouble hiding her satisfied expression at the victory of her men over the buffoon. The rest of the evening had passed in a relaxing bliss for the female warrior, filled with cheerful banter with some of the campers, but mostly with long and amusing talks with Sami; Seraphine had not felt so at ease in years.
Long after a crescent moon had fully claimed dominion over the sky and time had flown well past midnight, most of the campers had already retreated to their tents. Sami and Seraphine, consumed in a debate about the value of relationships, had completely missed the slow emptying out of the dining place. Agreeing to disagree, though Seraphine got the last word by muttering her opinion once again under her breath as they stood up, the girls bid Jumoke goodnight, and left him alone with the two last remaining campers to finish their game of Pai Sho. As Seraphine followed Sami back to her tent, they were in a cheerful state due to the heavy beer they had been drinking, the effects of which were especially visible on Sami who never drank much, but could not help herself tonight as she felt delirious about Seraphine having opened up to her. Seraphine on the other hand, felt slightly guilty as she watched the raven-tressed girl trudge on. If there was one thing she had learned about Sami during the day, it was that the girl wore her heart on her sleeve. She was devastatingly honest with her feelings, sensitive, caring, patient, loving, understanding, and giving; basically everything the Shrike commandant was not. Seraphine had happily engaged in conversation with her, but had spun her words so that it would look like she was letting Sami in, whereas the truth was that she had kept her at bay from the important and personal subjects, though Sami never caught on. Now, Seraphine was confronted with the dire truth that she could easily hurt the other girl now that she was considered a friend, but what surprised her most about that information was that she did not know what to do with it. In any other circumstances, she would not have thought twice about using what she knew about someone to utterly destroy them, mentally and even physically if she felt like it, but there was just something about Sami that made Seraphine reluctant on doing anything of that nature. There was something appealing about the Water Tribe girl –though it annoyed her that she was actually taller and a year older than her. Something about that genuine kindness spoke to her, or perhaps it was the fact that for the first time, someone regarded her as just Sera, someone they could have fun with and talk to, as opposed to Commandant Seraphine, daughter of the general and someone to be feared. Lost in her thoughts, she had followed Sami into the tent on automatic pilot, but was roughly put back on manual control when she noticed that the other girl had already changed into her night gown and was looking upon her, obviously waiting for her to do something.
"So, what about it, girl?"
"Hmm? 'Scuse me, wha?"
Sami snickered at the confused state her patient was in, gathering that she had not caught a word of what she had been saying. "I asked you to strip." Her snicker evolved into a full out, heartwarming laugh at the sight of her patient's totally shocked and bewildered expression. Hardly able to suck in enough air to breath and speak, Sami gestured at the medical supplies standing at the ready beside her, and something began to dawn on Seraphine, who could have slammed herself against a wall for her stupidity for not catching on. Unfamiliar with how to deal with embarrassment, Seraphine swiftly moved to the chair before Sami. She undressed and sat down, allowing the tall girl to address her wounds again. Surprisingly skillful for someone who was slightly buzzed, Sami peeled off the bandages and administered another film of the soothing aloe ointment, before neatly tying the shoulder back up.
"Urch, I feel like a mummy." Seraphine grunted in annoyance when Sami asked for the third time to hold still.
"At least you are a healthy, living, breathing, and more importantly, nicely healing mummy. One of the best looking ones I've ever seen, too." Sami winked at a, to her surprise, slightly blushing albeit extremely uncomfortable, Seraphine. "There, all done. That wasn't so hard, now was it? Let's get some sleep, camp life usually starts early." Sami quickly washed the remainders of the ointment off her hands, and handed Seraphine a soft bundle of clothes. "Here, these will fit you just as nicely as my top did. I hope you don't mind, but I took liberty of going through my own stuff to see what you could borrow from me." She winked teasingly at the shorter girl who had the decency to look a bit ashamed of the privacy breach she had committed earlier by rummaging through Sami's belongings.
Mumbling something that could have been interpreted as an apology, though only if one applied a really broad definition of the word, Seraphine changed into the nightwear she had been given and turned around to notice that Sami had already clambered into the bed, making herself comfortable.
"Er . . . Sami?" The Water Tribe girl lazily hummed, signaling she was listening. "Where euh . . . where am I supposed to sleep?"
Not opening her eyes, Sami patted the empty spot next to her, but noticing that there was no sound in the room, she cracked open an eye to look at Seraphine, who had not moved a muscle, but just stood there, an indecipherable expression on her face. "I promise I will not steal the blanket." Sami's smile deterred slightly, and she opened her eyes completely and pushed herself to rest on her elbow, facing her cautious guest. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing." Noticing the cocked eyebrow on Sami's face, she rolled her eyes in annoyance. "Really, it's nothing. It's just . . ." Seraphine's thoughts trailed off, not really knowing why she was hesitant to get into the bed –it was not like she had never shared her bed before. Though, when she came to think of it, that was exactly what she had never done before. Every time she had had someone in her bed, she had kicked the guy out before he could fall asleep there, not wanting, even dreading the personal contact a sleepover inevitably brought with it, and personal contact was something she attempted to avoid at all costs. However, that was exactly where her current issue lay. If she stayed out of the bed and decided to sleep on the floor –she could easily do that, being hardened by years of campaigning with the Shrikes– she would have to explain to Sami why she would shun the comfort of soft wool in favor of the hard ground, which would lead her to have to admit her adversity to personal contact and the other girl would undoubtedly never let it go until she would have reached the bottom of that story, a path Seraphine was not about to venture down. Or she could get into the bed, but then there would be this other person lying next to her, probably constantly touching her in her sleep, a complete and utter personal space invasion. Though none of her options seemed appealing to her, Seraphine made the decision to stay with the 'friendly girl' course she had taken, and moved to put out the candle, immediately rendering the tent pitch-black, before getting in the bed –though above the covers, making up some excuse of it being too warm to sleep underneath them.
Seraphine could not sleep. She was freezing in her short pajamas without a blanket, and she flinched every time Sami so much as even breathed too deeply. However, even without the cold biting her skin, she would not have been able to catch some rest anyway as her mind was tossing about as much as Sami was in her sleep. Two days had passed since she had ridden away from her father –what was she going to do about that? Apepi would undoubtedly be seething mad, and with reason. Though Seraphine regretted nothing of what she had said, she knew there had to be some consequences of disrespecting the general in front of his troops. Luckily for her, the witnesses mainly consisted of the men of her own regiment, and they knew better than to gossip about their commandant. Hahn on the other hand, was a totally different issue. What was it with him and her father anyway? What did he have on him to make him side with the sleazy skunk fish? Sure, people change over the years, but she had apparently missed the step where her father had switched sides and no longer had her back. She began to play with her necklace as her mind wandered off to that world she had temporarily left behind while trying to make sense of it all and searching for a way out of the mess she was in. Nearly an hour had passed and Seraphine was still as restless –and answerless– as before, only now, she had an extra reason.
"Shoot." Sami whispered through her teeth. She needed to pee and had been fiddling about, trying to find the candle Seraphine had put out earlier, but in reaching for it, she had accidentally knocked it over, and heard it roll away. She could not see a hand before her eyes, and although she did not want to disturb the girl next to her, she did not want to break a leg in the mess that was her tent either. "Sera?"
"Candle?" Seraphine responded quickly to her whispered name, referring to the noise she had heard.
Mildly surprised by the fast answer, figuring the girl had not been asleep, she nodded in confirmation, but stopped upon realizing the other could not see her. "Yeah, and it was the only one I had left. You think you . . . er . . . could you . . . er . . . perhaps you could . . ."
Sami was very careful in picking her words, something that started to annoy Seraphine. "Spit it out, will ya? Some of us would still like to get some sleep while it's still dark."
Sami felt uneased by Seraphine's irritated attitude, because what she wanted to ask was something she had noticed her patient had never mentioned during the day. She sighed, deciding to just take the plunge. "You think you could light up for a second?" Though unable to see her face, Sami could practically feel the shocked look her patient was giving her.
Seraphine remained silent for a few seconds, though they seemed to last forever, her mind racing over every option she had, weighing off the benefits and disadvantages of her choices. When she spoke again, Sami had difficulties discerning the emotions that were detectable in her voice, though she was sure she caught on to the hostility. "Light up? What'cha mean, 'light up'?"
Nervously fiddling with the hem of the blanket she turned in Seraphine's direction. "Well, when I found you and addressed your wounds, I couldn't help but notice the necklace you have." She picked up on the unmistakable sound of a hand grabbing a hanger on a necklace. "It depicts two intertwined flames, and then I noticed how the wound on your shoulder was seared shut with fire, though there were no signs of a campfire anywhere, so I just assumed that you were actually . . . a fire . . . bender . . . though you never mentioned that during the day."
Deafening stillness fell over the duo in the tent; not even the rustle of the wind could be heard, but then a sigh and the crackling of blue flames broke through the silent barrier. "Go on, take your time. I'll wait." Seraphine's voice sounded calm as before, but her face, now visible in the eerie blue light of the fire that danced around her right hand, spoke a tale of many different emotions. She stretched her hand out and basked the room in blue light entirely.
Sami was caught like an antelope deer in the shine of a torch and stared mesmerized at the oddly colored flames. "They're blue."
Her awestruck voice was met by rolling eyes and an annoyed grunt. "I thought you needed to go, badly."
Shaken from her stupor, Sami hurried out of bed and tried to locate the runaway candle. "Oh no, I think it rolled out of the tent . . ."
"Just do what you gotta do, Sami. I can stay lit up as long as you need, no big deal."
"Thank you, it will just take a minute."
While Sami was out, Seraphine made good use of her time to warm herself up with her fire breath, and when the other girl returned and slipped back under the covers, she snuffed out her flames. At a comfortable temperature now, the firebender rolled over, facing away, hoping she would be able to catch at least some hours of sleep, but the absence of her companion's deep and regular breathing kept her from sinking into oblivion. Having expected it, Seraphine rolled back over on her back when Sami's soft voice pierced the darkness. "Could you show me again? Please?" She sighed, took her time, but eventually lifted her hand and lit up the room once more.
Ignoring the unmistakable flinch she felt while touching Seraphine's arm to pull the fire closer, Sami studied the glowing hand in front of her face meticulously. "It looks so cold . . . but the heat radiating from it is stronger than I've ever felt with any other fire." The brightness and blueness of the flames faded and intensified randomly, but with a regularity and pattern that were utterly hypnotic to the nonbender. "It's simply breathtakingly beautiful," she spoke softly.
Seraphine started to feel more at ease under Sami's examination, so she kept her hand aflame, while attempting to lower the heat to its lowest point as to not burn anything. "Yeah, it kinda is, isn't it?" The girl snickered quietly. "You know, I used to watch it for hours . . . but the thing with fire is, though beautiful, it's also hot, dangerously hot. Damn near caught my own hair on fire a few times. Then try having to explain to your father why your bed is partially reduced to ash."
Sami smiled at the image Seraphine had painted for her, and before she knew it, the question she had been dying to ask had escaped her. "How come they're blue and not the normal orangey-red?"
The only thing betraying that Seraphine did not expect that blatant breach of her personal zone was a slight flare of the dancing flames in her hand. Staring at her palm, though rather seeing in history, the otherwise always-alert Shrike Commandant missed the shifting look on Sami's face between the fire and her face, while she trailed off into an old memory, the first one she could remember. "That happened a long time ago . . ." Seraphine scowled, lost in her past, her eyes unfocused.
Sami could see an internal battle unfold on the face of that stranger she had come to like in a very short time. She knew that there was much about her life that Seraphine had not told her, but seemingly a part of her did want to tell her. She wanted to help the girl, but her patient was obviously not the kind of person that could be forced to do anything she did not want to. An irritated groan and the ensuing growing flames startled her, but before she could even move back, the fire had died down, and Seraphine's face was calm once more, though her voice sounded strange when she spoke; tired, emotionally tired. "I was about five-years old, but I'll never forget –"
The cold. The full moon was looking out over the desert, its clear rays basking the ocean of sand in a silvery glow, though devoid of all warmth its yellow twin spread during the day. The desert nights could be so cold that bodies would freeze by just listening to the howling wind, and during the day, the sun could be so cruel, that all the tears turned to dust and all the water was drying up forever.
Amidst this hell on earth, a little girl, clad only in the finest, white linen, lay curled up beside a large boulder, her slim figure shivering in the first rays of the rising sun. That had been the second night in a row that she had survived the icy cold coming from every direction during the moon's ruling of this barren place. She was a pitiful sight to behold; her stomach growled violently, gnawing at the insides of the small body, desperate to find something solid to digest, and the left side of her face was coated in a dark red crust of dried blood that had welled up from a large wound on her head. The youngster opened her still vibrant amber eyes upon hearing the high-pitched cry of the ibis falcon perched atop the stone. "Good morning, Akiiki." Her voice sounded loving and completely out of place in the hostile environment she was lost in. "How are you today?" She pushed herself up and gently pet the bird, who cooed in appreciation and pretend answer. Her laughter resonated over the empty sands as the bird hopped on her slim shoulder, and she set off again. More on instinct than anything else, her tiny feet struggled with, but determinately trudged through the heavy sands, following the tracks of many onyx wildebeests. Whenever she felt lost, Akiiki would fly off in a certain direction, and she would follow her newfound friend trustingly.
The spirits had smiled down upon her, as Akiiki and the trail had led her to a small oasis by the end of the second day, where she had found ample water, fruit-carrying trees and bushes, and a cave that provided shelter against the heat, the cold, and possible predators, though Akiiki had managed to keep her safe so far. Having satisfied her thirst that had seemed unquenchable only hours prior and having washed her face, the exhausted girl retreaded into the warm hole to crash down for the best night of sleep she had had since her lonesome journey had begun, under the watchful eye of the ibis falcon, as always.
She drowsily stretched and flexed her limbs, before crawling out of her safe haven to behold the splendor of nature she had been too tired to take in the previous day. Though very young, she knew that she was gazing at something magnificent. The colors of the trees and bushes in full bloom were in perfect harmony with the plumage of the many chirping and cheerful birds that had found refuge there as well. Akiiki soared down from a nearly branch and dropped a leaf filled with fruits before his human friend. When she had almost giddily munched down her entire breakfast, she was startled by the low, painful roar of an unmistakingly wounded animal originating from the shrubbery. Akiiki had puffed its feathers, but had further remained motionless at the sound, making her comfortable enough to explore. As she pushed aside several branches, she stumbled upon an old rhino lion, the tall beast growling in anger upon witnessing the slim figure tumble out of the thicket, though it was silenced upon a dignified cry from Akiiki. The rhino lion eyed the bird with some sort of divine reverence, before turning to the girl again who had ventured close enough to be trampled. "It's okay, Akiiki says that it's okay. So hello there." She slowly petted the animal's thick manes, unafraid. "Are you lost as well? I am, but I don't really remember much. I bumped my head against a rock, see? That really hurt." She bowed and pointed at the wound on her head. The rhino lion curiously sniffed at the little girl, and licked her hair with a big slobbery tongue, much to her amusement. "That tickles! You're nice, I like you! Will you be my friend? And Akiiki's? He helped me find you." The rhino lion looked inquisitively at the broad smile beaming up at him. "You're so fluffy. I'm gonna name you Mufasa. Whadda ya think?"
The animal grunted once in compliance to his new name, and with his instincts telling him that he had nothing to fear from this small creature, though it were adult specimens of her species that had assaulted him, Mufasa sagged down again, emitting another painful cry. As he rolled on his side, the girl noticed the arrows sticking out of his back and limbs, severely wounding him. Akiiki cried mournfully, something she later realized she should have seen as an omen, but had passed her by at that moment. The bird fluttered up and landed on the back of the great beast, between two of the protruding, deadly objects and shrieked at the girl. She looked up from petting Mufasa's manes, who huffed softly, but contently. "Are those the thingies that're hurting my new friend?" The ibis falcon nodded solemnly. "Then I shall pull 'em out!" She stated matter-of-factly and promptly moved toward the rear of the animal. Before she had reached the first arrow, however, she pivoted on her heels and dashed back to Mufasa's head and hugged his fluffy neck. "You'll be okay, don't worry." And with that, she left him again. The thick rhino skin covering the back of the animal had prevented two of the three arrows to enter too deeply and cause mortal damage, however, the third one, the one that was closest to the soft underbelly of the beast and its chest, had lodged itself deep within his flesh, and whenever she enclosed her small hands over the shaft and attempted to pull, the flesh and blood would suck itself around the object, preventing it from leaving the body. Mufasa roared in agony with each attempt she made to remove the last arrow, and eventually she had to give up, unable to stomach more of the wounded animal's cries of anguish. "I can't get it out, Akiiki." Defeated, several tears marched over her face, while dejectedly petting the side of the large beast. "It's stuck and won't let go." She sniffled as the bird emitted a comforting cry and snapped the shaft of the defiant object in two with its sharp beak; Mufasa purred softly in relief upon feeling the slight pressure release, though it would only prolong the inevitable.
Since Mufasa was unable to move, she had taken it upon herself to walk back and forth from the center of the oasis to her new friend, carrying supplies to cater for his every need. With a lot of effort, she had managed to drag two large palm leafs that had fallen on the ground to provide some shade for the merciless stare of the Sun Spirit. When the sun had passed its midday peak, the girl was busy hauling several fruits and other delectables she could find towards Mufasa when the raw sounds of a mortal battle met her half way. Breaking into a run, she dropped her load when she dashed through the thicket and saw Mufasa being viciously attacked by three vulture hyenas. With only thoughts of helping her newest friend on her mind, she wanted to spring forward, but was halted by a swirl of feathers. "Akiiki, lemme go!" The bird cried out in warning, heeding her for the dangers that lay on the path she wanted to run down. Unable to stand idly by, but incapable as well to go to Mufasa's aid, she started to hurl every object her little hands could grab hold of toward the scavengers, however, to little effect. The sand around the fighting animals, locked in mortal combat, turned to a pallet of cheerful colors, emanating from the squished fruits, though they contrasted heavily with the gruesome and undeniably expanding dark carpet that was slowly creeping further underneath it.
Blinded by tears, deafened by her own cries, she failed to register the deadly silence that had befallen the small area. She felt the fear for her friend fill her chest, nearly drowning her in panic. It slowly spread out, reaching to the utmost corners of her body, until it burst out in a heated inferno, fueled with the urge to help. The flames traveled swiftly toward the closest vulture hyena, singeing several of its back feathers. The animal yelped in pain, causing his friends to burst out in their typical laugh, though their bare teeth bore no mark of humor. Akiiki's warning cry was met with a growling snarl, and the three quadrupeds rushed at the only resisting creatures in the vicinity, dodging most of the incoming fireballs blindly thrown at them by the little girl who kept screaming for Mufasa to wake up, to move, to do something, anything at all. The wind sadistically played around with his manes, puffing his fur, creating the illusion that he would get up, but his spirit had already moved on, leaving his mortal body pinned to the ground by heavy crimson chains.
Crackling fire, snapping jaws, and laughing howls blurred together with rustling feathers, painful yelps, and high-pitched cries in a mournful adagio of life and death. The song they were playing was interrupted when Akiiki's painful shriek made her head snap to the right to see the bird being flung against a nearby rock, where he sagged down and remained motionless in a heap of plumes. Her world ceased turning. No longer did the cuts and bruises, the hardship and the loneliness, the cold and the heat of the past days bother her. No longer did she care about what happened to her; all she wanted was to get to her friends –and that meant getting past the vulture hyenas. Her amber eyes sparked fiercely, her hands blazing vibrant orange, but it was not enough to break through. A heavy paw made contact with her fragile frame and she was knocked backwards. The sharp talons missed her slim neck by a whisper, but hooked behind her necklace and tore it off. Though barely audible, the hanger dropped into the sand with the sound of a collapsing tree as far as she was concerned. It enraged her. No matter what she had been through, there had been three things to keep her safe: The pendant, as something she found comfort in, Akiiki, someone who had come from the heavens to her aid when she needed it the most, and Mufasa, her reassurance that there were still friends on the world. However, in the course of several breaths, her three pillars had been taken away from her, ripped from underneath her, sending her tumbling down into the nothing she had left. Empty; she felt empty and alone, devoid of any friend, any holdfast, any footing to the world. Not anger, nor fear was what kept her going. Amidst her downwards spiral, she felt herself be leveled by something inexplicable. A reason, though still clouded; a power, though still untamable. She stumbled forward and punched out, a bright blue flame, stronger, faster, more aggressive than anything she had ever conjured before, now surged from her open palm. Raging like a wild fire, uncontrollable like a stampede, the flames shot in every direction, unstoppable and all-consuming.
The characteristic laughing that had previously dominated the fight was replaced by high-pitched, fearful howling, originating from the deepest, most primal instincts of all, fear and the will to survive. Her tears had dried up, the sadness had left her body, all there was left was blue fire. She felt drained when she picked up Akiiki's body, and emotionally dislodged from everything when she sagged down against Mufasa's battered form. The low rumble of male voices or the whinnying of horses did nothing for her. Two strong hands pried the bird from her grasp before lifting her off the ground. Though the man smelled alien to her, she put her arm around his neck and let her tired head rest on his broad shoulder.
"Dad found me. He told me that a freak desert storm had picked me off the back of his horse when we were riding through the dunes. He'd been searching for me for days, and had arrived just after . . . Anyway, after that, my firebending training intensified. It took me a while before I learned to control those blue flames, but–" The tent immediately went dark when Seraphine snuffed the flames around her hand, and her words froze in her throat. Sami's arms firmly encircled her chest, pulling her in a tight hug. "What do you think–"
"That's one of the saddest stories I've ever heard, you poor thing." The tall girl sniffled.
They lay there in silence; Sami's breathing had become deep and regular, signaling she had drifted off into sleep once more. Seraphine on the other hand could not catch that elusive dimension of rest, staring wide-eyed in the impenetrable darkness before her. The warm body of the girl next to her, snuggled up close to her side, kept the external cold at bay, but inwardly, Seraphine felt ice encase her heart. What am I doing? Why the fuck did I tell her that? She's coming too close, I'm letting her too close. She ignited her hand again, though the light never woke the slumbering beauty. One quick jab and I'm free of her. She stared at Sami's sleeping form, at the slow rising and lowering of her chest. Her stomach played with the sheet as she breathed, showing a lot of the permanently tanned skin with each rise and fall. Long legs, supple and strong, ending in beautiful, dainty feet had the remains of the sheet wrapped around them. She looks so innocent. . . Oh screw it! I owe her my life, but not my everything. I need to get the fuck away from here.
Author's note Edit
- I apologize for the very long gap between this chapter and the last one.
- I thank Wilbur Smith again to provide me with the name of Trok.
- I thank Bryke to "let me" use Korra and Asami.
- The scene with the candle dropping to the floor is heavily inspire on "Alone, Together", one of the best Kigo-fanfictions I have ever read.
- The series never explained how Azula got her blue-colored flames, so I just gave it my own interpretation: blue flames come from a need to be stronger, something like a hidden power.
- In case it was not clear, the letters that Seraphine read in Sami's tent were written in hieroglyphics.
Fun facts Edit
- Seliah was ecstatic by the use of Egyptian incantations when binding up the wounds -though she will deny so when asked.
- "Shoving many dresses aside, not caring about refolding them, she stumbled upon a scarlet patch in the form of a vulture. Turning it in curiosity, Seraphine wondered what this girl was doing with a scarlet "A" among her clothing." Those two sentences revealed ARG to have somewhat of a perverted mind as he thought I was talking about Sami's cup size when I mentioned the scarlet "A".
- For those who didn't get it, a vulture is the Egyptian hieroglyph for "A". It is made in a scarlet fabric, and as such, it is a reference to the "The Scarlet Letter".
- The top that Seraphine "borrowed" from Sami was heavily "inspired" on the top Azula wore in "The Beach".
- This chapter takes Korrasami to the next level: shipping of appearances. Asami now has Korra's eyes and dark skin tone, while Korra has Asami's eyes and pale skin.
- Sami's background was purposely left vague, so don't worry if you couldn't follow.
- Seliah compared me to Seraphine when Seraphine was hungry and asking for food -apparently, I have that same habit. I oppose.
- Jumoke is an Egyptian name meaning, "Loved by all".
- Akiiki is an Egyptian name meaning, "friendly".
- Akiiki is an ibis falcon. An ibis is the animal symbol of Toth, the Egyptian god of the Moon, and a falcon in the animal symbol of Horus, the Egyptian god of the Sky. Since Horus was said to be the sky, he was considered to also contain the sun and moon. Pharaohs were also said to be Horus in human form.
- So does that mean Akiiki is magical and has a link to the Spirits? Who knows.
- ARG noticed that I inserted a full circle in the chapter: Seraphine starts and ends with a growling stomach (albeit in the flashback). That was completely unintentional.
- "You're so fluffy. I'm gonna name you Mufasa. Whadda ya think?" --> Seliah's commentary with this:
- "You're so fluffy." It's so fluffy I'm gonna die!
- "Mufasa" Mufasa rhymes with 'Fluffasa'
- I cried when Mufasa died in The Lion King. . . I was five when I saw it in the theater.
- ARG saw that movie in the theaters as well -yes, we are that old.
- Mufasa was doomed from the start due to his name. No lion can have that name and live. . . Damn you, Disney.
- Vulture hyenas are the ultimate scavengers.
- Seraphine's entire background story was never planned; it is the product of a spur of the moment.
- This chapter counts 10764 words.
|Heiress of the Nile|
|Book 1 - Lost and Found|
|• • • • • • • • • • •|
|• Intef • • Kun • • • • • Seraphine • • •|
• • •
For the collective works of the author, go here.