Don't read until you've finished the game. Contains some spoilers (not many, but still).
If you have finished the game, this story takes place after setting sail (Evacuation).
Zulfy has been saved and all that jazz.
The Bastion is now docked at an ocean side beach.
It is in 2nd Person with Rucks as the narrator (as if that's a surprise).
So without further ado, I present to you, War Songs and Black Rye.
The Kid feels like he's gonna drown.
He's never felt, never seen the ocean before… not that anyone blames him.
Surrounded by the towerin' walls all his life, when's the Kid ever gonna see the Ocean?
So when he finally sees the ocean, his eyes get real wide.
Zia smiles a little, takes his hand, and leads him into the ocean.
The Kid stumbles after her, surprised.
Sure, he's seen the ocean in books and drawin's but, it's still a lot to take in.
Real life's never like in picture books.
He feels the waves lappin' up against his not-too-tall knees and almost falls.
Zulf's just standin' next to the Bastion.
He seems to be deep in thought, starin' at the Ocean,
Not sure what to say, not sure if there's anythin' to say.
There's a squirt floatin' next to him, playin' around.
Somehow, the two have gotten attached,
Abandoned by their own kind.
I take a swig of my own drink,
Like hot vinapple chowder on a cold day.
Brings back memories.
The sound of Zia's melodic laughter brings my attention back to the shore.
The Kid's flailin' and floppin'in the water, splashin' water high into the air.
The Kid may have been able to save all of us and fix the Bastion, but in the water, he's just about as graceful as a scumbag.
Zia's barely containin' another round of laughter as the Kid emerges with his hair flattened.
She expertly swims next to him, swimmin' around him in fluid strokes.
Hense knows where she picked up a skill like that.
The Kid's lookin' confused at her laughter.
Zia tells him to ignore it and asks if he wants to learn how to swim.
The Kid thinks he's up to the challenge.
Zia calls out to Zulf, askin' him to join them.
Zulf decides to stay in the shade of a tree; he prefers to stay out of the sun.
I take another gulp of the Black Rye and stand onto my feet, walking next to Zulf.
He raises an eyebrow at my drink but doesn't say a word.
I motion for him to sit down with me under the tree.
He sits and hugs his knees to his chest, expectin' a long story.
Good, I'm in the mood for one too.
We sit together as I begin my tale, lost in the memories of Caelondia.
The day passes as tales are shared and lessons are learned.
The sky goes pink when I run out of Rye.
Zia's draggin' the Kid out of the water.
They go to dry off as Zulf lights a fire.
By the time the kids are all dried and ready, Zulf's done with his work, allowin' Zia to take over.
She sets her stockpot on the fire and starts to hum.
It's an old song, a war march*.
I close my eyes and listen, hummin' along.
Zulf and the Kid make small talk.
It's nice being this peaceful.
Maybe evacuatin' was the right choice after all.
The tides get lower and you can see a hint of the first star.
I offer Kid a drink while waitin' and he takes it…
Only to have it swiped away by Zia.
Zia serves up her stew.
May not've been made from the finest ingredients but we'll take what we can get.
Zia finishes first and gets out her harp guitar.
She sings a couple soft songs and the Kid get real tired.
He starts to lean on Zulf, his eyes half-moons.
I get out the bedrolls and Zulf neatly lays the Kid down onto his bedroll.
Zia has stopped playin' and gazes at the Kid, much like a parent would do to a child,
Or a lover to her love.
Zulf has lain down on the bedroll next to the Kid, the full moon reflected in his wide, brown eyes.
The Kid's eyes are closed, his chest moving up and down.
Zia gently brushes back the Kid's hair and kisses his forehead.
Zia places her instrument lovingly back into her tent on the Bastion and sets up a bedroll on the other side of the Kid.
She curls up next to him and closes her eyes.
I don't move from my spot; instead, I hum Zia's song and look at the stars off the Ocean.
The Kid was right.
Evacuation was the best choice.
Wouldn't want it any other way.
*Zia's song, Build that Wall is something of a War March whereas Mother I'm Here is more of a Funeral March
I owe many thanks to my friend Jinxlet-and-Cake.
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