|The Pen is Mightier! (penismightier) wrote in chaotic_library,|
@ 2010-02-02 23:27:00
|Current music:||Stevie Nicks - Doing the Best That I Can (Esc|
[Folken Fanel; Celena Schezar; PG] The Politics of Truth
Character/Series: Folken Fanel; Celena Schezar; Escaflowne
Notes: Because I like making characters who never meet interact.
Title: Politics of Truth
Word Count: 1137
Summary: The Strategos of Zaibach was never considered an approachable man by any stretch of the imagination.
Heaven couldn't hold her.
She'll be by your side when it's your turn.
All she's seen without you,
To you she'll confide when it's your turn.
-"Jacksie"; Over The Rhine
The Strategos of Zaibach was never considered an approachable man by any stretch of the imagination. Few cared to try anyway; he was distant and closed off, well-mannered but without any visible personal connection to the people around him. He did his job, they did theirs; he worked as part of a well-constructed machine, as did much of the Zaibach military.
Equally unapproachable on-board the Vione was the young commander from the Red Copper army sent with his elite squad to assist in carrying out the dragon hunt in Fanelia, a mission headed by Fanelia's traitor. Dilandau Albatou was hot-tempered and loud-mouthed where Folken was calm and quiet; a brilliant leader on the battlefield where Strategos lived up to his title with thinking in the long-term, spotting weaknesses in thinking that would only work in the spur of the moment. The skills of the two men complimented each other, as long as Dilandau was on the job and following orders.
The problem was, Dilandau wasn't terribly fond of following orders. He could as far as a soldier of rank needed to, and his loyalties to Zaibach and Emperor Dornkirk ran deep enough to keep him in line, but he spent as much of the time the two men had to spend together heckling and testing how far he could get away with pushing at Folken. He made it obvious he thought of the former prince of Fanelia as beneath him, a traitor of one country to be watched in the other.
A shame. If Dilandau were more cooperative, the two might have been a formidable team in Zaibach's mission
The loss of a potential resource irritated the rational side of Folken, but inwardly, he was just as glad. The Sorcerers of Zaibach were behind the blood-thirsty nature of the creature known as Dilandau, and knowing what he did about the Sorcerers and their experiments, it unnerved him to be around the young man. He couldn't help but wonder what kind of things they'd done to the child Dilandau had been made from to make him.
It wasn't a thought he wanted to contemplate too far.
That day, Dilandau had been scarce, seen by only a couple of his most loyal men who had delivered messages to and from Folken in the bridge of the Vione. Dilandau's reclusive moods were increasing in frequency since the day they'd attacked the Asturian fort commanded by Allen Schezar and Folken's younger brother had left a disfiguring scar on Dilandau's face during Van's escape. Folken didn't question it; Dilandau was vain to a fault, it wasn't surprising.
What was surprising was opening the door to his private chambers and finding Dilandau standing by the table, a book in his hand. As far as he'd known, Dilandau was barely more than literate, able to read enough to be a functional and efficient soldier, but hardly a literary genius. Even if his literacy levels weren't in question, his personality didn't seem the sort to include 'bibliophile' or even 'light reader'.
Dilandau didn't look up at the sound of the doors opening, as if he didn't notice or didn't care that Folken had entered. Folken cleared his throat, his politely understated version of 'what the hell are you doing?'
The boy known as Dilandau Albatou looked up slowly, and for an irrational moment, Folken thought that perhaps, somehow, this was not Dilandau at all, but a look-alike. The eyes were too blue. The expression was all wrong.
But there was nobody else it could be, there was no mistaking the angry red scar marring the right cheek. It was Dilandau. A different mood for Dilandau, but still the same crazy young firebug that screamed and giggled in joy on a battlefield.
"You understand what's in these books?" Dilandau asked in a quiet voice, and again the idea that it was a look-alike crossed Folken's mind. The voice was almost too feminine; not soft, but almost an octave too high.
"I do," he answered, deciding to humor this mood of Dilandau's. It was strange and unusual, and Folken's curiosity was getting the best of him. He walked over, curious which book it was Dilandau was holding. Some treatise on politics, something that seemed utterly absurd for Dilandau to be attempting to read.
"He doesn't," the strange creature that seemed to be possessing Dilandau said, and Folken wondered what was meant by that statement. Dilandau returned the book to the shelf. "I've disturbed you. My apologies."
"You haven't," Folken told him somewhat dismissively. "I am curious, though. I never took you for a reader, Dilandau."
The boy looked squarely at Folken again and this time, Folken didn't question it. It wasn't a look-alike, but again, the eyes were too blue, the voice too feminine. Some part of Folken knew exactly who he was speaking to, and it wasn't Dilandau. He didn't have a name to give this person, but he knew. With everything that he knew about the Sorcerers and Fate Alteration, he knew who this was.
"He's not here right now," the strange, new person said. The real Dilandau, the person behind that artificially created man. A woman, if Folken had to guess, although beyond that, he had no ideas about who she might be.
Folken decided to take it in stride. "So I have noticed."
The woman smiled, just a tiny bit, but it lacked warmth and conviction. "I admire you, Strategos," she said. "It's a shame you seem to be the only one with any intelligence in this pitiful nation. Perhaps it is because you are not from Zaibach."
"There are quite a few intelligent men in Zaibach," Folken told her, ducking the compliment a bit. It was strange, the whole situation, and it unsettled him somewhat.
That smile tugged at one corner of her lips again. "Then let me rephrase. You are the only wise man in this nation." Folken couldn't argue that. Before he had a chance to respond the woman bowed slightly. "Forgive me. I must go. Thank you, Strategos, for your understanding." With that, she left, without offering a name or an explanation as to why she sought out his quarters, or possibly he himself.
Were it not for his conviction in their mission of a world without war, Folken would question what he was doing, helping a nation that experimented on children and turned them into creatures like Dilandau. He looked back at the book the woman had been looking at. "Thank you for an enlightening afternoon, my lady," he said quietly to no one.
Once Zaibach had succeeded her mission, Folken would have to see to some other changes in the way the country worked. There was so much more than just war that needed to be prevented.