It was a most surreal feeling—perhaps you'd had breakfast on that burning rampart this morning, or maybe your recently petrified friend had told you a funny joke a few hours ago. The once picturesque landscape of clouds was now lurid with hungry flames; solitary statues, once denizens of this world, turned immobile, horrified eyes to their besieged home world.
As did she: The Goddess of Light, Palutena.
How was it possible? How, with the balance of gods and goddesses, had this happened? Angel Land resided right beneath the mighty wings of Mount Olympus—before the very eyes of Zeus himself! One would suppose a great realm like this would be almost impregnable, truly.
Just as she did not: The Goddess of Darkness, Medusa.
A woman scorned—cursed and outcast from the land she once presided over alongside the good Palutena. Medusa, a woman twisted by shadows and ambition, soon to be queen over more than the barren rock astride the river Styx. With a mane of serpents and a gaze of stone, her army of demons was merely a formality.
Palutena's Sky Palace would soon be under her control, and the slate of karma would again be wiped clean.
"No good." The remark was more of a growl than anything, though its owner had perfect reason for his tone. Demons crawled the once proud marble walls of Sky Palace, streaking its silver-veined exterior with their grisly handiwork. Already they'd lost both the east and west wings, and it was only a matter of time before Medusa's army reached Palutena's modest observatory and claimed its prize. Those remaining would certainly face death or an eternity encased in stone…
"Palutena." The goddess' own Captain of the Guard turned to address the beautiful emerald-haired deity with clear resolve in his eyes. "You can't stay here—go to Mount Olympus—ask the gods for guidance…!" The boy seemed to realize his efforts were futile; Palutena's attention was fixed, glassy-eyed, on the chaos all around her. She smiled sadly and shook her head, golden crown tinkling faintly with her movement.
"…I cannot." The Goddess of Light said gently, delicate fingers resting upon the windowsill. "…This is my realm—my fate and its are intertwined." Palutena looked gracefully over her shoulder, green eyes tired, albeit resilient and kind. "My sister shall not harm me—she cannot." The goddess winced, once again gazing out the window at those suffering below. "…Now go, Pit, lest Medusa find you in her sights. You are more of a cause for hope than I am."
The young angel bit his lip, knuckles white around the shaft of his bow. She was right, but that didn't make the decision any easier. Palutena was noble and wise, and surely if she said it was so…
Tentatively, Pit flapped his wings, hesitant to leave. If he failed Palutena, what then? If he were to hear her cry as he was leading his regiment, surely his wings would turn to wax and melt beneath the sun's harsh glare. He was only a child—as the foolish Icarus had been.
"Captain—!" A robust Centurion urged his superior onward with an urgent tone; a fresh wave of screams erupted from close by. Palutena did not flinch.
"Go, Atalo!" The small captain ordered, finding his voice as the tremor of footsteps drew ever closer. "Kairos, Lysander—!" Almost frantically, he called the names of his fellows, commanding them away from Sky Palace and its impending defeat—away from Palutena and her honorable final stand. As the final winged soldier threw himself to the winds of fate, their captain rose to follow, fanning his wings out as he turned towards the wide window, blue eyes already examining the trajectory of his troops. The heavy oaken door shuddered as Medusa's minions flung themselves against it.
All right, no time to lose. Jump now.
He couldn't stop himself from looking back at her one last time.
Strangely, the Goddess of Light met his gaze—her eyes were wide and pleading, though the remainder of her expression was still gallantly passive. Unable to tear himself away, Pit's eyes moved around the handsome telescope at the room's center and towards the quivering countenance of the door.
His attention reached it just as it ceased to exist; the once-sturdy wood fell to smoldering splinters, and Medusa's army breached the final stronghold of Angel Land. Again, Pit and Palutena exchanged hurried glances, and the Captain of the Guard hastened to do as he was bidden.
A woman laughed.
Pit gritted his teeth as he gripped the window's edge with his free hand. I am not a traitor. Staying here makes me a traitor. Go! Fly! You're doing this to save Angel Land—to save Palute—
A fiery pain erupted in the angel's right wingtip, and the force behind it was enough to tear him away from the window, slamming him back against the wall. His shoulder wrenched backwards—all the tendons in his injured wing drew taut. No—you can still do this! Just block it out. You have to escape. Just a little farther…
Palutena gasped, and instantly Pit's heart leapt into his throat. Was she—
His gaze flickered towards her in a panic, only to realize that she had gasped out of concern—and concern for him, no less. Clumsily he stumbled to his feet, though with each instinctive flap of his wings a new sear of agony greeted him. He tried to ignore it, if not for himself then for her. He had to keep the pain from his face, just as Palutena kept the despair from her own.
With his bow in one hand and the cool stone wall against the other, Pit realized that he was trapped—grounded, like all of those below on Earth. Just as easily, he realized that he was condemned, closer to becoming a brother to the wall at his back with every passing second.
He also realized that Palutena might soon have only Zeus' good grace to count on.
"How tragic." A woman's voice chuckled; it was deceptively mellow, though with a chorus of snakes beneath it, it was unmistakable for any other. Pit clenched his jaw, again reaching up for the windowsill in a futile endeavor. His knuckles whitened to match the pallor of the cool marble ledge. Already it felt as if he'd been turned to stone; were it not for the churning of his stomach, he would've suspected as much. He kept his eyes stubbornly averted, if only to prolong the inevitable.
"An earthbound angel." Medusa continued; Pit fiercely scanned the floor with his bright blue eyes, noting how many nightmarish feet now inhabited it. Attempting to fight his way out was out of the question—he was immensely outnumbered, not to mention endangered by Medusa's penchant for petrifaction. "Palutena, dear, is this another of your divine comedies?" She said playfully with a scathing edge to her voice. "This boy is your final line of defense…?"
"…You came here for me, Medusa. Let us leave it at that." The Goddess of Light said levelly, clasping her fingers over her elaborate white gown. "Your quarrel is not with the boy, it is with me."
Medusa turned to the side with a swish of her mangled white dress, never turning her back on either of her captives. Examining Palutena's green eyes with her red, snakelike ones, the Goddess of Darkness paused, a small laugh teasing at her lips. She waved a graceful hand to one of the monsters behind her, then tilted her head, the coil of snakes atop it protesting vehemently. Medusa gave a wicked smile.
"Precisely." She agreed, nodding courteously before turning to face the other goddess completely. "Although…it is quite petty that we, as goddesses, can only curse one another with trivial ailments." Medusa sighed with false despondency as she allowed a single snake to slither around her outstretched finger. "It's a terrible bore being immortal, wouldn't you agree…?" She gave a sarcastic wince before laughing softly.
"However." Her gaze snapped back to Palutena with striking malice. By then, the Goddess of Light had already understood Medusa's gambit—and it was at that moment that Pit instigated a valiant fight by the window. Weakened by apprehension and overpowered by sheer strength in numbers, he fell depressingly easily; twisted gargoyles held his arms back, though the tall, cloaked figures behind him had the most leverage, stretching his wings out behind him with unforgiving grips of steel. He looked up at Palutena with apologetic frustration. If only…
If only I'd gone. If only I'd left a moment earlier…
"There are certain things that would hurt you more than curses." The Goddess of Darkness asserted with a toothy grin, backing up to the defeated captain of the guard. "And…" She tapped her chin, exaggerating thoughtfulness. "Since I fully intend to take up residence here, I believe the Underworld needs a new curator—wouldn't you agree?"
"Release him." Palutena commanded, her voice wavering ever so slightly. "Zeus shan't allow this—you will know his fury." She warned, but even this sounded hollow, if only by the slightest degree. Medusa shook her head with mocking regret, then suddenly whirled around to face Pit. Startled, he blinked and attempted to back away—then froze.
I'm dead. Stone dead—all who meet her gaze meet…
All he could see were her fiery red eyes; he couldn't move, although his pounding heart protested that he was not yet a martyr to the dark goddess' gaze. Medusa smiled triumphantly, then moved to the side, allowing Pit and Palutena to exchange glances—his regretful, hers faintly desolate, still with that stoic exterior.
"Make the most of this, Palutena." The Goddess of Darkness paced over and draped her arm across Pit's shoulder, his chin in her other hand as she held his gaze to Palutena. The angel attempted to pull away from her, but the goddess' minions held firm. "…it's the last time you'll see him, never mind without his flimsy little wings broken."
"Medusa, no—…!" This was the most distraught the Goddess of Light had sounded, though she still managed to retain some shred of her composure. Medusa released Pit, but even then, he still couldn't tear his gaze away from Palutena's fast enough.
A great tremor cracked through his body like lightning as his left wing broke.
At first, a stab of pain shot through him like a lance, then branched off into agonizing repercussions as the young captain crumpled, his voice tearing from his throat in a tortured cry. Something else twisted at his right wing, but he hardly felt it—his mind was already past its limit, threatening to shut down as he heard himself scream. I can't.
I can't win.
I can't take this.
I can't hold on.
I can't breathe.
Palutena let out a strained sob, and she and the rest of Sky Palace drifted into merciful darkness.
This thing called for a novelization, and I couldn't pass it up. I mean, what with Nintendo discussing a sequel and people fangirling over Brawl!Pit, I thought I'd at least try to put a story and personality behind him (FIRST, haha, take tha—…no, not really, you can aim that laser cannon away from my house now), even though this is nowhere near accurate and about as far-flung from any shred of canon in existence.
Okay, well, maybe not. I'm trying my best. There'll be more allusions to Greek mythology in store, and don't think I've forgotten about the Eggplant Wizards, either. Well, all right. I think I've said my piece for now. Hope you enjoyed the prologue—this is only a taste of what I've got ready for you guys, so buckle up!