anarchist_queen: (Elf Princess)
[personal profile] anarchist_queen

“Stupid, stubborn...what are your people called again?”

“Elves. I am an Elf.”

“Stupid, stubborn Elf!” Karla raged quietly, helping the stupid, stubborn elf into the cave. “What were you thinking?”

“I am not in the habit of allowing those in my company to be harmed.” Leda said calmly. It somewhat infuriated Karla that Captain Danan did and said everything calmly. “You confided in me that you were particularly vulnerable at this time. I thought it best to cover your escape.”

She put a hand up to her head and when Karla pulled it away, she saw more blood than she was comfortable with. Any blood coming from her friends was more than Karla was comfortable with.

“Yes yes, you were very heroic, bludgeoning that male's boot with your head.”

“I did not hear him coming.”

“That's because he was running on the air.”

Leda raised a brow, her only show of surprise.

“What,” Karla tried to lighten the mood, though she did not like the look of the blood, Captain Leda Danan's pupils, or come to think of it, the upper third of her ear where the armored boot had connected. “You and your court...no, crew, don't do that?”

“We've never had occasion to try but I will certainly suggest...” At that point the strength in her legs failed and Karla found herself supporting the Elf's full weight.

“Mother night!” she swore, easing her friend down as best she could. “It was very rude of you to get injured when I can't properly heal you.” she grumbled.

“If you were in a condition to heal me, we both would have been better able to fend off our attackers. No doubt they timed their assault carefully.” She looked blearily around the cave. “Have we gone underground or is my eyesight failing?”

“We're in a cave.” Karla explained. “We're safe, for now.” I hope. “Uncle Hobart was never able to find me when I hid here in the past. As long as you don't die on me, which would also be very rude of you, we should be okay long enough for my court, or your crew to find us.”

She pictured Morton and Leda's second in command, Ember sniping at each other while they searched.

“Do not die? Your protocols are quite exacting.”

“Why Captain Danan, Leda, that was a joke. You made a joke.” Which actually worried her. It wasn't exactly Leda's first joke, but it was less dry and deadpan than her usual humor. “Are you okay?”

“No I've been kicked in the head.”

“And you just frowned, and hey! No closing your eyes!” One didn't learn healing without knowing how injuries and illnesses worked, and one thing Karla knew for certain was, do not let someone with a head injury fall asleep.

“I wasn't dying, I promise.”

“You're being...not like you, which is a bad sign. Unless you're letting your guard down just for me, which is very sweet, but maybe a bit premature.”

In the faint illumination from the cave mouth and the luminescent lichen she watched the Elf attempt to compose herself. “When my people first encountered humans, it was not unlike your mistaking me for a Dea Al Mon. They remarked on our resemblance to a fictional race of alien beings from one of their more popular epics. Many Elves, myself included found it amusing to play along and emulate the behavior of said aliens. It is a habit I have had little success in breaking.”

That's good, keep her talking.

“Tell me about that.” Karla said, putting an air of command in her tone. “Are there no humans on your world?” Karla could not envision a world with only one sentient species. She'd assumed that all of Leda's crew were from Earth.

“In a manner of speaking. Centuries ago the realms of Faerie and Earth were connected so closely that one could hardly tell that they were separate worlds at all. But gradually the connections fell away, until they were completely cut off from each other.

“Approximately nine decades ago something happened that still has yet to be understood. Not only were they reconnected, they appear to have merged. The humans, the dominant species on Earth had only just survived a global war that, to borrow one of their colorful terms, knocked them nearly back to the stone age.”

While Captain Danan talked, Karla did what she could for the wound, cleaning it as best she could and bandaging it. It would do for now but she would need proper healing as soon as possible.

“Unfortunately, while the trauma of that conflict left them open to accepting us as part of their world, we, the Elves were not quite as flexible. Two factions quickly arose and conflict escalated between them. My parents...were among the first casualties.”

“Oh, oh Leda I'm so sorry.” Karla said softly. She wondered if the trauma of that event had in any way precipitated the iron deadpan with which she conducted herself.

“I was very young. My memories of the event are hazy. But I thank you.”

“But if you're out exploring the stars, I suppose that means the civil war is over?”

“At the cost of our own rigid traditions and much of our society, and capital city, yes. The nobility, our aristos as you would call them, were all slain, and it was only with the aid of the surviving humans, and delegations from the other sentient races from Faerie that we were able to rebuild.”

“In less than a century you went from little more than savages, to building sky ships capable of traveling faster than light and visiting other worlds?”

“Well when you put it like that it sounds implausible. As best as I have ever been able to understand, it is the fusion of human technology and magic that has made it possible. I am neither a scientist nor particularly creative when it comes to magic, so I could not explain it to you.”

She'd seemed creative to Karla when Hobart's assassins had attacked. She wondered if the one male's head would ever return to it's proper size. And turning another's scarf into a serpent had been a neat trick as well.

“CAPTAIN?!”

“Ow!” Leda and Karla both grabbed at their heads, which did not help Leda's condition.

“Oh fucking shit fuck dammit fuck.” Leda hissed, completely losing her composure. “Ember's dropped her Elven form that's not good.”

“That was Ember? Your second in command? She has another form?”

“She wouldn't fit on the ship in her natural form.” Leda winced. “But if we don't want another blast like that we should answer her.”

To have bellowed that loudly she must be close anyway, and she wasn't hard to spot from the cave mouth.

“Oh my,” Karla gasped. “Well you're both terrifying, and beautiful.”

“THANK YOU. I TRY.”

“Can you whisper in that form? You're um, very loud.”

“Sorry. I didn't realize you were so close. And the men who attacked us made me angry.”

“I like her when she's angry.” Morton quipped. Karla hadn't noticed him, having been staring at Ember. “Well, when she's not angry at me.”

“Are you two okay?” Karla asked, only half a second before Leda did, who had stumbled up behind her.

“Leda I swear by the Darkness if you kill yourself I will end you.” Karla growled.

The sight of a massive red dragon rolling it's eyes and smirking almost made the whole fiasco worth it.

“Welcome to my world.” Ember sighed.

[Alternate Karla modded with permission.]

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Leda Danan

May 2017

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