|Beneath These Walls
Author: Avenvia PM
Grey eyes meet blue ones as Wander pulls the bow tighter, tighter. Does the eagle know? Does it know that this insignificant, clumsy little thing has laid its kin to ruin?Rated: Fiction T - English - Words: 1,285 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 12 - Published: 04-09-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6891310
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Wander's reflections as he prepares to battle Avion.
I do not own Shadow of the Colossus.
Beneath These Walls
The first death, they say, is the hardest in any war.
The first arrow that becomes embedded in the enemy's eye is the most heartbreaking thing a man will ever see, but after that it becomes easy. The first dead man is an individual, the hundreds after that are just meaningless numbers. They are no more significant than the crows that circle above, lost in their little piece of forever.
Wander remembers the first casualty. He remembers how quickly he raced to the beast's lair, urging Agro faster every second. He decides that he must have looked a sight; the hero riding into battle, alone in the sun. Just for a moment, he lets himself imagine that someday they'll tell legends about him, about how he did what no other man dared to dream about; love past death, death no longer being the end of love.
These delusions were shattered when he put all his strength into that final stab downwards, into the monster's head. He told himself that it wasn't really alive, not like he is and Mono must be, so it wasn't like anything more than killing a tree, really.
Wander tried to forget how the rough, tangled fur that he clung to was warm from the body it was attached to, and how the muscles flexed beneath his fingers as the colossus gave a final, desperate attempt to throw its attacker off.
Wander dealt the death blow quickly, and black, inhuman (but not inanimate, not insentient) blood sprayed out eagerly. His mouth had been open in a twisted snarl, and in reward for this savagery he soon found it filled with the poisonous black liquid.
Wander wished that after that he had become dead to it.
The next colossus was even bigger than the last, and Agro had been wild with fear as the two of them fled its crushing hooves. It had taken quite a while of this aimless panic before Wander had noticed the glow of hidden magic on those hooves, and dismounted his horse to face his enemy alone.
As he readied an arrow, Wander tried to tell himself that the colossus didn't remind him of the cattle that he and Mono had used to see so often. Mono had tried to pet them, had cried when she learned that they were killed for meat. She'd begged Emon to spare one, just one, so that not all of their lives would be about death.
As the arrow was released from its forced stillness, striking the hoof that had been bearing down upon Wander, he thought to himself that, if Mono could talk now, she'd beg him to spare each and every colossus.
But that didn't matter, because as the beast fell with a rumbling moan of pain, Wander was already running towards it and drawing his sword.
When he slew the next colossus, he was nearly crushed by the falling stone knight.
He knows that realistically he did not have time to consider anything in that hasty descent from head-that-could-touch-the-sky to the unforgiving stone, but even now he remembers thinking quite clearly about his foe, his fallen.
All knights must fight for something, for, in Wander's mind, he is a knight and he fights for love. What cause is more noble than that?
Nothing, he answered himself as the ground rushed up to meet his spiralling body, except his enemy knight's fight for the right to slumber, the right to exist in peace.
Wander thinks now that it is a good thing that the ground broke him into pieces, then, or he would have wept for the colossus.
Yet, broken as he was, when his soul was bathed in that ethereal, bluish light, he could hear Mono, begging him to stop. She hated every death, he remembers now, except her own.
If Wander were a little more human, he'd weep.
When he faced the fourth colossus already he had moved past weeping and onto stone. He feels like a colossus himself; the vulnerable, fleshy emotions shielded by intricate stone walls. Beneath these walls, he hopes that he is still human enough for Mono to love him as she did.
He remembers that he was crouched in a tunnel. The ground as writhing, writhing, and he was trying not to crack his head open on the stone steps. He was just like a rat as he hid, hid from the colossus that he had incited.
The horse was harder to kill than the others, he thinks to himself now, because its tireless energy reminded him of Agro. It does not matter if one is made of meat and the other of stone; they move, they act, the same, and another little piece of his heart seemed to chip away as he hauled himself up onto the creature's masklike face.
If Dormin requested, would Wander kill Agro, too?
He pretends that he would not, that he would find another way. But it doesn't dispel the image of how tired his arm was as he stabbed the horse again, how it bucked and reared like Agro would.
He thinks that in his dreams, moments before he awakes in the Shrine to start the process again, he can hear Mono begging him to stop. Her voice is faint, faint, but beautiful like the birds. Still, he'll keep murdering just to hear her voice, even if it does mean that she begs him to end this parade of pain.
Because he can't ever do that, or maybe it's just that he won't.
The bird, the eagle, regards Wander with burning eyes, eyes of the sky. Those eyes, like the eyes of its brethren, are so intense Wander is certain that they can see into his soul.
He hopes that each Colossus has and will forgive him, because there is no cause more noble than love.
Grey eyes meet blue ones as Wander pulls the bow tighter, tighter. Does the eagle know? Does it know that this insignificant, clumsy little thing has laid its kin to ruin?
Those blue eyes are curious, perhaps barely even interested enough to warrant that, and Wander thinks that the eagle must not know what those pillars of light plunging down from the tumultuous clouds signify, because it would surely fly away if it did.
Wander hopes that he will hear Mono's voice again as he lets loose the arrow.
The world takes its breath around them as man and monster face each other. The arrow is lost to the mist, but Wander has never doubted his aim.
The colossus shrieks in indignation at the unprovoked attack, and Wander calmly puts his bow away. He remembers how badly his hands used to shake, but now they are smooth, resigned.
The air itself seems to groan in protest as the colossus takes off, but soon it accepts the eagle as its child and the monster is racing towards Wander in a lethal dive, perch and tranquillity forgotten.
Wander draws his sword and waits, patiently, as the beast's mouth opens in a snarl (or a scream), and he tells himself that it is better to have Mono alive and full of sadness for his sins than dead and not think of him at all.
His heart swells with love as he jumps forward, and he tries to forget that he can still hear Mono's dead bird's voice in his ears, begging him to stop.