This is a short one-shot about Mu La Flaga's past. It's a story that's been playing in my mind for a long time now, but I never really got to put it into writing. But recently I have been inspired enough through my work on my other story to finish this short tale. I hope to reveal in my own way the burden that Mu carries since his birth, a burden that he does not reveal easily, but to those who knows his character understands he has. It's a short tale that gives us a look into the major tragedy of his past, and a glimpse of his future.
Ruins And Legacies
Da Flaga Estate
February 14, CE 70
Time never healed the scars of the fire that burned and cursed his life.
In the fading light, Mu La Flaga took in the shattered ruin that once was his ancestral home. Burnt timbers lay unmoving in the snow, their skins blistered in black, silent testaments of the conflagration that razed throughout the vast Victorian styled castle the Flaga family had dwelt in privilege for many generations. Black soot covered the ground, and bits and pieces of destroyed furnishing and luxuries were scattered in them. The stone chimneys were the only ones that stood standing, but they were not saved from the black scars that were burned into the red bricks hat made them up.
Black. Everything was black.
As black as the heart and soul of the man that was the last master of this dark place. A man driven by the ambition of power and immortality that he attempted to challenge God's divinity by creating man himself, sculpting a living person in his own image. A man who had fallen into madness like that which contaminated his own creation. A man who chose such an abomination over his own blood son.
Mu kicked in a fallen piece of burnt wood that was blocking the way into the ruin, and the fragile dead wood shattered at the force. Mu stepped into the interior of the ruin, now bare and exposed to the early spring sun with the loss of the magnificent ceiling and rooftop the once adorned above the sprawling mansion, but which had collapsed as the support beams melted in the extreme heat of the fire.
Mu remembered the night of the blaze, a cold wintry evening over thirteen years ago. It started off as a lonely evening for him, a boy just who just turned twelve, who had stepped out of his room as he heard his mother weeping under the verbal abuse of his drunk father. He stood at the edge of the balcony to the second floor, hiding in the shadows as he watched the scene between his parents down in his father's library. His mother knelt on the carpeted floor, begging his father not to send her and Mu away. His father was sitting on a plush velvet chair, laughing maniacally as he gingerly clutched a bottle of Scotch on his right hand. He was shouting curses at her, but his mother just stayed there, not moving, taking in all the abuse Al Da Flaga could give.
By now Mu was accustomed to these violent outbreaks from his sire, Mu kept a hidden desire to hurt him, to let his father feel the pain he was causing his mother, who was taking such abuse only for her love for his father and Mu's protection. For Al Da Flaga thought of his son a failure, a disgrace to his name, unworthy to continue his legacy of madness and greed.
Thus Mu's father took extreme measures to keep his legacy alive, in the form of the young boy that took Mu's place in the center of his father's universe, the boy mere presence causes extreme discomfort for Mu, whose eyes mirrored the evil the Mu never wanted to have, but deep inside he knew was the legacy and curse that his father gave the blood the flowed in him.
The hairs on the back of Mu's neck tingled, and a sudden burst of insight in Mu's mind triggered his senses, Mu knew his favored brother was there. Mu never understood how Rau's approach could draw such an attack on his senses, nor could he understand the knowing smile that framed his brother's face whenever they faced one another. He only knew that he was there, and Mu knows that Rau shared the same sense.
Mu did not turn to face him, nor did he acknowledge Rau's presence. The other boy just stood as his side, the smile that always made Mu uncomfortable again playing on his lips. Rau rested his arms on the balcony rail, and tilted his head down towards the direction of the scene below. He was also watching his father, cold gray eyes staring on their sire with a fire of fury and ambition. Feeling disturbed by Rau's closeness, Mu reluctantly started to leave for his room, but he stopped at the loud snap of his father's hand connecting violently with his mother's cheek.
Mu saw her fall to the ground, and watched in horror as his father beat his wife. Mu started to move, wishing himself to be down there, to stand in front of his father, defying him to strike him down in defense of his beloved mother. But Rau's cold grip stopped him, and anger rose from the depths of Mu soul at his brother's audacity to hold him back. But the anger turned to fear as he met Rau's gray eyes, filled with amusement and hunger for the violence and pain they were witnessing. Rau saw the fear, and he took advantage of Mu's weakness by hurling him onto the floor in the corridor leading to the many bedrooms of the second floor. Mu felt the pain shoot out from his back, as he writhed in agony from the fall. Rau just stood there, smiling evilly at his brother's torment.
For several minutes both did not speak, one silenced by the fear for his mother and himself, the other happily witnessing the cruelty he had beheld from his father. But the silence was broken by Rau's dark whisper.
"Only in pain can one feel the truth of life." Rau turned away from Mu, and walked towards the stairs. "And only death can reveal the truth of immortality. I will show our father all the truths he seeks, Mu. The truths the only I possess and know."
What is he saying? What does he mean? Mu wondered as Rau disappeared down the stairs. Some servants came to help Mu up, but he politely shrugged them off. The head butler implored him to listen, asking him not to follow his brother, but to go to his mother who waiting for him in the garden, being treated by the butler's wife.
He found her crying by the rose patch she cultivated and loved, and the young boy instantly rushed to his mother's side and comforted her. She held him close, and for the first time in Mu's life he felt how important this woman, who bore him for months and brought him to into the world through her pain, was to his life. His sheltered existence had made him a little jaded and spoiled, but witnessing what her mother went through that winter evening made him change his priorities in such an early age. He led her back to the castle, and accompanied her to her room. He stayed at her side that night, as she fell into a fitful sleep, bothered by tears. In an act of filial piety Mu stood guard over her, and cleaned the bruises and cuts all over her mother's body to help her heal. Mu never saw his father again that evening; Al Da Flaga was so deep in the grip of alcohol that he was left in a drunken sleep in the study. Nor would Mu ever see his father again alive.
The rest of the night's events came as fast as a blur, and Mu always had problems remembering all the details of what happened in the early hours of the morning. He remembered being waken by one of the maids, and several servants hustling himself and his mother out quickly of the castle. He could hear frantic shouting from other staff, and smelled the scent of burning wood and steel. He fully woke up in terror as he saw the first flames that destroyed his home that night, the conflagration from Hell that ate unto the wing that held his father's study.
He could barely remember calling out for his father, his eyes wet from tears caused by both the heat and sorrow. He remembered struggling to get away from the hands of the head butler, who with all his might dragged the little boy to safety in the estate gardens. From there, huddled under a gray overcoat, hanging on this his distraught mother, they sat in cold in the same rose garden he went to early that eve, now with its roses crushed in the stampede of a frightened humanity.
For the rest of the night until the sun came out the next day, he watched silently as the fire burned down his home. He was glad he and her mother and all of the staff were safe, though some, like his father's bodyguard, was dead. But his father wasn't saved, for as investigations soon revealed, the fire came from his study itself, so the master of the Flaga family was the first to day in the hellish inferno.
But where was Rau?
Mu forgot where his brother was. He looked all around the grounds for him, shouting his name, asking the staff if they'd seen him. All of them looked at him first with terror, then sadness as they turned away from his questions. Mu was growing confused, why would these men and women, whom Mu treated with respect and loved as much as his father abused and vilified them, would not answer him? At last he confronted the head butler, and demanded for an answer.
The head butler looked at him sadly, and bowed his head before he answered him. "I'm sorry, Master Mu, but he is dead too?"
"What do you mean?" Mu demanded. "How could he die? Why didn't you get him out!"
The old man started to cry. Slowly, he told the young child the hard truth. "Because he was there, in the study, when the fire broke out. I-I saw them. He was arguing with your father, and both were angry. A-and-"
The old man grabbed hold of Mu and held onto him tightly. "I'm sorry Master Mu. I couldn't stop your brother. He-he stabbed your father with a knife, and threw his liquor all over him." The butler's voice collapsed, and struggled to finish the horrible tale he was telling Mu.
"He killed your father, Master Mu. Your brother killed your father."
Suddenly the whole universe felt like it was falling on Mu. He remembered trying to deny everything he heard, and wishing that the butler was dead for telling him such vicious lies. He remembered the staff, firemen and police gathering around him, wondering what more could cause this young boy more sorrow beyond the flaming tragedy that befell his family. His mother came to him, taking from the arms of the of the butler, soothing him as much as she could with a lullaby Mu knew and loved. Mu succumbed to sleep, weakened by exhaustion and sorrow.
From that day on Mu's life changed. Though he became the new master of his estate, its affairs was in shambles. It was learned from the family lawyers that Al Da Flaga had divested much of the estate towards an unknown recipient, and that the finances could not be traced because they were laundered so meticulously. Though Mu and his mother still received a sizable sum as inheritance, the rest of the family fortune was gone. Through the years, Mu heard different stories as to where his father's money went; some stories bordering to the bizarre, but Mu found himself not caring about wealth anymore.
The inheritance allowed his mother and Mu to live comfortably, but they had to let go of the trappings of royalty he was accustomed too in his young age. Gone were the servants, finery and luxuries from his father's days, but the simple life in the city with her mother turned out to be the happiest days for Mu. As a teenager he thrived in the company of other children of his age, peers that offered him friendship and equality. He excelled in school, and grew up to be an active, intelligent young man before he graduated high school.
But before he could decide what path to choose next, tragedy once more entered his life. His mother before was a strong person, cursed with a frail body all the more abused by the hard hand of his father. Mu never really understood why her mother never left him, a question that haunted him until the day her mother lay sick in the hospital bed, her life fleeting, calling for the young man she loved the most. Mu once more stayed at her side, easing her pain, praying for the benefit of her spirit. At last, as she quietly knew her time had come, she whispered to Mu her last request, the last wish of a woman who loved.
Forgive your father, Mu. And forgive yourself.
And so she passed away. Mu buried her in her home in the western states of the Atlantic Federation, in a simple grave overlooking the wide blue ocean, where her mother's spirit could watch the sunset in peace.
Mu's next chapter in life took him into the military, a option he wanted to take and studied hard for a long time. With whatever was left in his inheritance, Mu entered the military academy under the merit of a scholarship, backed by influential friends of the family who still remembered, and owed, his father.
He excelled in the Academy, graduating as a lieutenant and accepted into the navy. He became one of the elite in the skies, a marine aviator flying the cutting edge in military hardware, and soon part of the space forces. And he was one of the first chosen to become part of the elite of the elite, a member of the OMNI Enforcer's secret program to develop highly advanced space weapons called mobile armor, where in the dark future ahead, Mu will begin to make his mark.
His mobile phone buzzed silently, vibrating from inside his jacket's pocket. Annoyed at the interruption of his thoughts,Mu reluctantly flipped the phone open and putitonhis ear. "Hello?"
"Hey, Mu." It was Michael, his best friend and roommate in the Academy. Michael had accompanied him on this trip, and was waiting by the car at the gates of the estate. His friend didn't say anything at first, but Mu knew he didn't want to intrude with Mu's sad pilgrimage unless it was very important.
"What is it?"
"The commander's called us in," Michael said. "Look's like we're on full alert. He said something happened over in the Junius sector of the PLANTs. He didn't say much, but the CO sounded really scared. Nothing on the news yet, but I think we should get back."
Mu acknowledged his friend then turned off the phone. He took one last look at the black ruin he stood in, listening for the ghosts of his father and accursed brother, hoping they could hear what he wanted to say.
"Mom forgave you for what you've done to her, father. But I haven't." Mu started to walk out of the black place, but stopped before he stepped out of its border. "I can never forget your dark legacy, for I carry it too. For however I want to deny it, I can't. That's because I am your son, father. Your true son."