How's it going, guys? My first and only one-shot for Prince of Persia ("Broken") did surprisingly well, and I got a lot of feedback and requests to write some more for the game. I'm doing my achievement run for Prince of Persia right now, and I absolutely love the game--seriously, I think it's underrated. People grade it too harshly because they believe Sands of Time was the best game, but I'm proud to say that I played Sands of Time before the 2008 addition and I love the newest one the best. The only thing that really bothers me about Sands and the newest one is that the setting was always completely deserted...I really wondered, "Am I fighting for this place or just for survival?" That's where this idea sparked. I'm proud to say that it's over 3,100 words and very rich in detail. The only thing is, I really feel like I should continue it but I honestly have no idea what to do for the moment. That's the only reason why this isn't listed as complete; after reading, please let me know whether or not you think this should be continued. Anyway, let's get going!
Based on: Prince of Persia (2008. Ubisoft)
Rating: K+ for blood and emotional conflicts (sorta)
Author's Notes: I honestly have no idea when or where this takes place, so trying to establish the characters was a little hard, since Elika is harsh to the Prince at first and then progresses towards a very caring person near the end. She's both here, so I'd say that this takes place in about the middle of the game, and somewhere in the Ruined Citadel.
Also, the title was inspired and snagged out of the acoustic version of "Three Libras" by A Perfect Circle, which is what I mainly listened to while writing this. I originally planned using this title for another story, but I don't plan on finishing it, so I snagged it for here.
The Prince coughed as he felt his muscles weaken, torn by the feel of hot blood that slipped through his flesh, dripping down and past his muscular arms and onto the cold, frozen corrupted land beneath him. His heart pumped little energy into his weak muscles, leaving him with a numbness circulating through his mind.
"How are you?"
The luminous blue eyes were about the only color in the world at the moment. They drifted to the side of him, noticing Elika's presence like a beacon of light, of hope in hell. He couldn't make out the finer details of her body, her clothes, her face—his vision seemed to blur the world for the moment. The Prince coughed once again. He couldn't tell what exactly he was trying to bring up—blood, corruption, maybe even the scarce water vapor that his body clung to so desperately. Something lingered in his lungs, and it scraped up against his throat with every hack. Maybe it was from all the corrupted air that clang to his lungs—Elika already had to cleanse him once because of it. Maybe that injury penetrated far into his body, although his stubbornness refused to believe that.
"I'm fine," the Prince managed to reply, but a grunt of pain slipped through as he touched the wound. He ignored it, however, and his personality blinded the consequences of his decision for a moment. He gently placed pressure onto one of his legs, managing to squat at first, then tried to raise himself to his feet, only to end in failure. No sooner had he tried to get up did he fall back down again, using his gauntlet-covered hand to hold his weight while the other was wrapped around his chest.
"Ok," he finally admitted, squinting his eyes as a shot of pain ran into his stomach. "Maybe not." Elika walked over to him, kneeling down and placing her hand gently on his shoulder.
"Here," she said calmly, "let me see. You need to rest for a moment." With another groan, the Prince gently placed himself onto the frozen ground. He dragged himself over to a nearby wall and allowed his weight to shift so that his spine now rested on the stone. Elika followed, the light pat of her feet reminding the Prince of her presence. She tapped the Prince's arm, and slowly, he removed his bloody hand and displayed the large gash that ran across his flesh.
"The Hunter must've…got me…when we were fighting, over by the wall." He could hardly collect any oxygen to even express his words. "I suppose Ormazd didn't give you…" he winced, "…healing powers, huh?" He let out a nervous smirk, but Elika seemed to ignore it. She gently placed her fingertips in the scarlet liquid, warming her fingers for the moment before they felt cold once again in the frozen world. The Prince groaned and stuttered in his pain, jerking his head around as his nerves pulsated through his body.
"No, he didn't," she replied rather casually. "Here, let's use your scarf."
"What?" the Prince nearly exclaimed, but his lack of oxygen held him back. "Are you kidding? Do you even know how…hard it was to get it around my head, in a position that will actually…stay?" Elika masked her emotions behind a blank face.
"I suppose you would rather die of blood loss, then," she replied, although her tone wasn't as bitter as the Prince expected it would be.
"Hey," he said, trying to force a laugh, "might as well die looking good, right?" Elika shook her head at his remark. Without another word, she reached over and began to unwrap the Prince's scarves, much to his complaint. The rough, dirty fabric didn't prove to be the best bandage, but it was all they could do. Elika had to take the Prince's cape off in order to put the bandage on, and she tried her best to tune out his remarks as he ran his mouth off. The blue fabric was instantly stained with crimson as she wound it around his chest, wrapping it multiple times and tying it with a pressure hopefully tight enough to stop the bleeding. The Prince groaned and winced multiple times, but when Elika was finally done, he relaxed after taking a long, deep breath.
"Wow Princess," he managed to say. "Didn't know you were a doctor, too."
"I've seen many injured soldiers while growing up, mostly due to training accidents. I've watched the others heal them, so I know a little bit about how to treat injuries, but in no means am I a professional." The Prince rubbed his forehead with his bloodied hand.
"Well, you're good enough for me," he responded. Elika took a good look at him now that his scarves were removed. She could see why he wore them—his coarse, dirtied dark hair hung in front of his face like cobwebs. They constantly drifted in front of him as the wind passed by, blocking his eyes and shading his face. But he didn't seem to care. Elika slipped his cape back around his shoulders, being careful not to damage him any further. She held the red scarf in her hand, and offered it to the Prince.
"Here," she said, the red cloth striking color into the world. "I'll put it back on for you."
"Nah," the Prince quickly replied, "that's ok. Doesn't look like we're going anywhere for a while, so I don't need it right now." Nervousness crept across Elika's face, and the Prince seemed to notice it. "Any chance you can make it to the Fertile Ground on your own? Looks like we managed to scare the Hunter away, at least for the moment."
"The Corrupted are unpredictable," Elika suddenly countered. "Even if I do get to the Fertile Ground on my own, the Hunter might attack me."
"Well, if anything, he should attack us now," the Prince responded. "But I guess he's figuring that I'm basically dead, anyway." He said the comment with a sense of humor, but instead, it forced dread to slip through Elika's stomach. "If you want, I can give you my sword," he said, jerking his head towards the long sheath that ran nearly the length of his leg. "If it makes you feel safer."
"No," Elika replied rather quickly. "If anything, you need it the most. I have no knowledge of swordsmanship, anyway." The Prince smiled.
"Well," he began, "when this is all over, I'll take you to one of my favorite temples." He raised his hand and slowly waved it across his face as the words slipped out of his lips. "We'll take a trip to the city nearby there—I'll buy you a huge feast, with meat cooked and spiced perfectly…new carpets as thick and as soft as you can imagine…clothes, jewelry; whatever you want. Then I'll take you to the temple and I can teach you all I know." Elika smiled, flattered at the Prince's plan.
"I suppose this…temple…happens to be one you robbed?" The Prince shyly smiled.
"Well…yeah. But the place is deserted, so there's no need worrying."
"What about your donkey?" Elika allowed a half-smile to slip up her lips. A hint of a taunting yet playful tone slipped into her voice.
"Oh, I'll find her eventually. Farah's a good donkey…she's never deserted me. She'll return to me soon enough."
"Oh, I'm sure."
The Prince shivered as the cold of the corruption slipped through his skin. He never realized how cold exactly it was here—his body was always steaming, sweating as he ran across one wall to another, jumped over ledges, swung around poles, fly to each plate… He could see his breath materialize in front of him in a warm mist before it quickly disappeared.
"Hey Elika," he suddenly let out, his vision still concentrated on the puffs that slipped out of his wide mouth. "Why do you want to purify this place, anyway?" Elika stared at him with unknown emotions flashing in her pupils—a frown was beginning to pull at her lips, making the Prince quickly regret his question.
"If we…fail…our task…" she seemed to bite her tongue for a moment before she continued. "…then no one will ever know what it's like to view the world in its beauty. Men, women, children…they will all die as the never ending shadow sweeps across the land, just as they had when Ahirman had first attacked this city…" She gulped. The Prince looked at her, his expression showing that he seemed clueless on the matter.
"Yeah, I know that," he replied, trying his best not to sound smart-mouthed. "But, I mean, this land is just…falling apart."
"It was the corruption that did that," Elika interrupted. "While man's neglect had lead the kingdom into ruin, Ahirman's work is what nearly destroyed it. It is the reason for what you see now." She turned her head to view the bleak landscape ahead of her. The oddly shaped mountains were deprived of color and highlighted with the faint lines of snow. Below them was an endless sea of corruption, nothing else. The Prince watched as the princess of the forgotten land seemed to be swallowed by her sorrow. She sighed, the ruffles of her hair rippling as she shook her head.
"I dream for the day that our land will flourish as it once had." Elika seemed to relive her memories for even the slightest moment before she continued. "Flowers and color everywhere, markets and people walking through the streets…the smell of the lakes and the fish that it brought, the chirping birds, the talk among locals…"
"Why did everybody leave?" the Prince questioned. Elika turned her gentle gaze towards him, leaving him with silence for a moment.
"…I don't know," she finally replied, gently clutching her hand above her heart. "I don't know."
"Did the tales of Ahirman scare them away?"
"No, that wasn't it," Elika quickly replied. "The Ahura were tasked to hold the secret of Ahirman's imprisonment—those who visited the kingdom always felt safe because they never knew of the danger that lurked in the temple. Then, we simply began to dwindle." She looked away from the Prince for a moment. "My father once told me legends of what past Ahura had accomplished while our kingdom still flourished. It always made me feel proud to be a part of this tribe. Then my mother died, and my father never spoke of these tales again…"
"Did your mother's death affect the kingdom?" the Prince asked, gently tossing his hand as he spoke. "I would imagine the death of your queen would have at least some effect." Elika seemed to ponder this statement for a moment.
"I suppose it did," she replied, which was followed by a gentle sigh. "We were never ourselves after that." She gently tapped her fingertips together as she seemed to become lost in her thoughts for a moment. "But my people…they abandoned their duty. If they hadn't, then this event would have never happened. My father would never be…" She stopped herself and seemed to choke on her words. "Allowing Ahirman to be released would ruin the legacy of our people. It would kill my mother again." The Prince tried to search for the correct words before he responded to the mourning princess before him.
"Well, sometimes people have a reason for abandoning things," he began, attempting to look Elika in the eye, however she was too concentrated on the ground to notice. "…even if they've been charged with it for thousands of years." This finally made Elika face the Prince, although her expression seemed to show a bit of shock and depression.
"They had no right to do such actions," she replied, a bit of hostility surrounding her tone. The Prince didn't seem threatened by the sudden change.
"Tell me this, Elika," the Prince stated. "Did you at any point of your life wish you weren't a princess? Did you ever wish that you could just live a normal life?" Elika seemed to ponder the statement for a moment.
"Are you suggesting that I should also abandon my duty, my people?" Her words seemed to lightly snap at the Prince as she neared the end of her sentence.
"No, not at all," the Prince quickly replied. "I'm just asking if you've…you know…ever seen kids when you were young playing around with each other and wish you could do the same?"
"No," Elika responded. This seemed to confuse the Prince. "I was allowed to play with the children. Why do you think I am in the shape that I am? I traveled all around the kingdom whenever I played with my friends when I was young."
"Really?" The Prince seemed to search for his words for a quick moment. "Weren't your parents over-protective, or something?"
"No. There were certain things that were off limits, but my parents trusted me to take care of myself. When my mother died and when my father locked himself in his study nearly every day, it was something that I had to do."
"…oh," the Prince replied after a moment of silence, his tone seeming as though he felt defeated. "Well, that destroyed my entire conversation."
"Did you feel like that?" Elika asked. The Prince shook his head.
"…no," he shyly answered. "I've just heard stories about young royalties and how they wished they could just live like everyone else. Not that I know why or anything…they have everything they could possibly want. Why would they want to live a simple life?"
"Well," Elika replied with a sigh, her playful tone coming back. "You were the one who said people have reasons for abandoning their duty." The Prince frowned.
"Alright Princess, you can stop with the mind games." He smirked at her, and Elika shot one back. The Prince stared into the dark sky for a moment. "You said there were fish and birds here," he began. "What happens to them when the land becomes corrupted like this?" Elika looked at the distance.
"I…am not sure," she softly replied. "The writings said…'When darkness rolls across the land, all that was once beautiful will cease to exist. The world will be doomed to live in eternal suffering, where none shall experience happiness or joy forever.'" The Prince seemed to shiver at the statement.
"Well hey, don't worry, Princess." He tried to shoot her a smile. "We'll make everything better. As soon as this is over, you'll have a kingdom again, and all your people will return." He grabbed Elika's hand, whom at first seemed alarmed but then accepted it. "I promise." Elika looked away from him for a moment.
"I hope you're right," she said. She stared into the endless sky, which pulsated with lashes of corruption and lightning. Her irises reflected the doom that lurked around her, although the hope in her pupils seemed to dully sparkle.
The silence of the corruption was rather disturbing—there were distant sounds of thunder crashing and rocks falling as the kingdom continued to deplete into ruin. Not even the wind provided a sound, although it constantly reminded the two of its power as it gently brushed against their cheeks, stinging their flesh and turning it a scarlet hue. Just being within the corrupted land seemed to sting the Prince's heart, not with pain but with depression and sadness…it felt rather odd to him. Whenever he fell into the corruption, he could feel it just eating away at his mind and slashing at his humanity and happiness. He could see why the writings Elika spoke about mentioned that happiness will never be seen again. This wasn't his land, and the place was practically a ghost town, but he felt as though he had to help Elika…plus, if the corruption spread across the desert, then there would be no point in robbing temples if he didn't feel excited and beyond overjoyed whenever he came across a huge stash of gold, anway.
That's when a scream interrupted his thoughts. By now, the Prince was beyond familiar with the calls of Ahirman's soldiers—he was pretty sure he only had about five hundred to go—but this call sounded too high-pitched to be of the soldiers, too inhumane to be of a human, though he doubted it was. The scream scratched at his eardrums, its volume loud enough to be heard across the land due to the echoes. Elika gasped and instantly became alerted by the call, walking over towards the Prince with her hands now alit with the blue energy that circled through her bloodstreams.
"It's the Hunter," she warned him, her eyes searching the surrounding areas, in hope that the Hunter's glowing eyes would betray his presence.
"Guess he got tired of waiting to see if I would die or not," the Prince said with a grunt. He tried to place his weight onto his feet once more, but Elika placed her hand across his knee. He got what she meant. Elika's eyes drifted across the landscape, but the Hunter seemed nowhere to be—
The Hunter had suddenly jumped right in front of the two, letting out a screech that both threatened and welcomed a fight. Elika hid her fear and concern behind of mask of determination.
"Will you be able to fight?" She asked the words without even looking at the Prince; paranoia kept her concentrated on the Corrupted in front of her.
"I hope so," the Prince responded, his voice weak. He tried once again to place his weight onto his legs…
The Hunter screeched, his tone sounding rather impatient.
The Prince was now on his feet, somehow able to stand. He slowly removed his sword from the sheath, responding to the Hunter's call with a SHING! from the metal. The Prince winced as he placed his body into a position that he usually took when a battle had started, raising his gauntlet and silently threatening the Hunter with its claws. The Hunter seemed rather amused at the Prince's attempts. Elika quickly walked in front of the Prince, the blue glow from her hands lighting up the anger within her eyes.
"You shall not fall," she told him, her muscles tightening. "I will protect you." The Prince acknowledged this, responding to her in a silent voice.
The Prince pointed the sword at the Hunter, its tip lined up with his head. "Come on," the Prince muttered with determination. His fear was gone, his task was set, and his anger and emotions were set into the fight. For this land, and for his...for the chance for peace and happiness to become eternal...Ahirman will fall, and light will bathe the land once again.
This is where I'm stuck. I'd love to continue this, but I honestly had no idea what else to write. The story was supposed to go on longer, but I thought that the ending was a bit too perfect yet too open. Please let me know if you would like to see this continued and feel free to give me suggestions--I suppose a badly wounded Prince fighting the Hunter is a bit too...suspenseful to be left with.
Thank you very much for reading, and please check out my first one-shot for the 2008 Prince of Persia known as "Broken" if you haven't done so already. Once again, thanks!