The Makaiju Arc
Chapter 6 – Reunion
I do not claim any rights to the Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon series in the animated format or the manga books. All copyrighted materials belong to their respectable owners. The following story is entirely fictional and pays tribute to the amazing characters developed by said owners. As a fan, I am writing this out of respect to the owners as well as to elaborate on this couple because I don't think the series gave Ail and En enough attention.
I'm excited about this story but I will admit…I'm a little nervous because I don't know many people who are fans of this couple. Take note, that lists them as "Ali and An" but if you watch the subtitled anime, the actual spelling is "Ail and En" – the creators did this as a play on the world "Alien," so I'm going to follow their example. I know some of you have been waiting a long time for me to update this story and I am sincerely sorry. But, I am pleased to say that I am finally in the process of finishing up this story. To those of you who have followed, reviewed, and encouraged me to continue, I thank you very much for your support.
Ail woke up with En pressed warmly by his side. He pulled away and stretched, grimacing as he tentatively touched his side where he was struck by the adult before the entire ordeal with the water. Hiba had bandaged him up quickly, and the torn pieces of her suit were still attached. He pulled them off to inspect his wound, realizing that the bleeding had stopped. His joints were stiff, and he could feel where the bruises were, but he ignored the discomfort as he turned to stare at En. He was still amazed that she had jumped in after him. He could barely recall anything from when they were climbing the vines, to when he lost consciousness - only blurred images of En and water.
Lots of water.
"En." Ail whispered, as he gently brushed her bangs away from her face and kissed her on the cheek. She didn't stir, still in a deep slumber.
He recalled the deep gash he had seen on her last night. After reflecting on how best to help her heal, he decided to take a look around and find some nectar from the canopy up above. He didn't want to wake her but the idea that he'd quickly get what he needed and return to take care of her while she rested took a strong hold on him.
He warred with himself for several minutes. If they were to recover, they needed nectar, but he hated having to leave her side. She was incredibly vulnerable at this moment. And he wasn't in the greatest of physical conditions, so he would have to rely on stealth. He moved to her side and watched her sleep. He couldn't wake her up; he couldn't bring himself to wake her from what looked like very much needed sleep.
"I promise to come back to you, En. Wait for me." He said, as he brushed her bangs away from her face, caressing her cheek before he got up and crawled out of the cave.
It was pre-dawn. He could see the telltale signs of the minutes just before the sun-star would rise across the now watery horizon. And while he could see a few tall trees far off in the distance, their planet had turned into a watery grave. In fact, he was surprised with their proximity to the water. Sixty meters away from the buttresses was the sandy shore - remnants of what once was the forest floor of their planet. Turning back, Ail marveled at the enormous buttresses and roots of the Makaiju.
However, it was silent. Way too silent, which only confirmed his fear that there were adults still alive. They were probably nearby, so he would have to be quick. He kept glancing back to the far edge of the roots where he left En. He knew he would have to hurry. The faster he was at getting the nectar, the faster he'd be able to return to her side.
As he started making his way around the enormous buttresses and roots, he heard a horrible scream slice through the silence of the atmosphere. He quickly ducked, looked around and noticed a group of adults approaching.
Pure, unadulterated fear gripped his heart as he realized they were passing just over the roots and buttresses that he had emerged from... En was literally beneath their feet in that cave all by herself. For a moment. For one sickening moment, Ail feared that they had discovered their cavern and would break their way into the cave somehow. But instead, they simply walked over the roots with not so much as a glance and proceeded to approach in his direction. They weren't moving fast though. Not at all. Nor were they behaving as if they had seen him. But that didn't change the fact that he had to get away. He had to make sure they were lured away from the cave at all costs.
Just then, a small branch from up above landed on his head. Startled, he looked up and saw a group of other kids staring at him and signaling to him to climb up fast. Ail's eyes softened for the first time. It had been a long time since he had seen any other kids their age. He recalled vividly when he emerged from his pod with En as they opened their eyes, meeting the one they were destined to be with for the first time. His memories flashed back to that moment when all the other kids also emerged from their pods and sepals; as they began to stretch their legs and move about. He recalled how he and En had just started to look around and admire their surroundings, taking in their world all around them for the first time, reveling in the warmth of their sun-star's rays… but that's when their paradise of peace and tranquility shattered.
Within seconds, the adults had attacked and started to kill off all the kids. Even more sickening was the fact that another group of adults emerged, and the two groups of adults started to fight amongst each other. The children were wiped off in the process at the hands of both groups.
Harmless. Defenseless children were being slaughtered. Ail and En had stumbled back along the bark of the closest tree. They huddled together, Ail holding her between his arms as she wrapped her arms around his torso. Fear, shock, confusion and helplessness etched in every fiber of their being. Had it not been for Fiore, who in that moment landed beside them, grabbed each of their wrists, hoisted them off of the ground and ran away with both of them in tow, they too, would have suffered the same fate.
One of the other boys snapped his fingers together and that was what woke Ail from his momentary flashback. He quickly watched the adults, making sure they were walking away from where En was. They still had not seen him and Ail wondered briefly about that scream. Who was the poor soul who encountered and eventually suffered at the hands of the adults? Ail felt sad. He was sorry for whoever was unfortunate enough to encounter those crazed adults, but he had no time to worry about the victim.
Looking back up, Ail noticed that the group of kids was moving in the same direction, away from the adults, but they weren't going further up the Makaiju. Were there no flowers or nectar up there? He wondered. If that was the case, they were doomed. They needed nectar in order to survive. At least, that's what he was told during the few weeks he had been alive.
The same boy who had snapped his fingers earlier, made a very soft and low whistle. It sounded almost bird-like. Ail looked up in anticipation. The group of kids had stopped. Several of the ones upfront were trying desperately to see or hear what was around the other side of the giant bark of the Makaiju. The ones further behind in the group were clearly keeping an eye on the group of adults that were making their way towards their current location.
Ail stayed put. For a brief moment, he was relieved that they had kept moving away from the cave. But now he had to figure out a way to escape the adults. Looking up one last time, Ail tried to make eye contact with the same boy who had whistled earlier. He was whispering with some of the other kids and then just as suddenly, the boy looked down to Ail.
Ail's heart stopped.
Ail recognized the fear on the boy's face. He recognized the fear on all of their faces as they all signaled to climb up the tree as fast as they could. Ail was about to call out to them, to tell them to wait. But it was too late. The kids started scrambling up the tree.
At that exact moment, Ail heard a noise to his side and instinctively ducked underneath several broken branches before crawling army-style underneath the massive roots nearby. As he finally hid himself well enough, several adults wandered by; Ail held his breath. Never had he seen so many adults of his species in a group so large. It was both fascinating and terrifying.
As he analyzed them from his hiding spot, there was no clear structure to their movements. They scanned the canopy but would not ascend. Ail made a mental note that thus far in his life, he had yet to see an adult ever climb a tree and wondered why. Just as he was registering this, a couple of the adults growled as they glared at the canopy up above. Suddenly, the adults extended their hands forward and to his horror, their fingertips elongated up into the branches in the shapes of spears. And to his dismay, he heard the other kids cry out in pain and agony as he shut his eyes and covered his ears with his hands. He didn't want to hear their cries nor their pain; he was no match against the adults even if he wanted to help. He then heard several thumps hit the ground. He could only assume that the adults were able to take down several if not that entire group of children. He waited. He refused to look and it was at an unnamed time and hour that he finally opened his eyes to realize that he was once again alone. The adults had moved on.
He tried not to think about what he knew would be above the roots on the surface. The bodies of those kids now lifeless. He tried so hard to prepare himself for what he would see as he'd have to eventually emerge to get back to En.
But knowing and seeing were still two very disparate and fundamentally different things.
He climbed over ever so carefully, before moving towards a root and hoisting himself up and over it. As he emerged, Ail looked around as the bodies of the other kids remained motionless on the ground. He quickly averted his eyes and proceeded to walk away, but something tore at his heart and he felt himself grow cold. He had to get back to En. There was no reason for the kids to not be up in the canopies unless there was nothing there for them to survive on…which only diminished his and En's chances for survival.
And just for a moment, Ail stopped before looking over his shoulder. His eyes scanned the ground one last time of the kids who had tried to help him. His eyes caught sight of the boy again. A gaping hole in his chest still bleeding out. Tears welled up in Ail's eyes. At least, Ail thought, you are at rest now. And with that, Ail moved back to trace the short distance back to En.
Why were they hunting the young? It was something he had asked himself since he woke up with En from the sepals of the tree. Why were they targeted? What had happened to drive the adults to become so ravenous and virulent?
He would not let that happen to En and himself. He would make sure to study and avoid the adults in order to survive; that would be their only option. As he quickly made his way back to their hiding place towards the buttresses of the tree Ail's heart sopped when he saw small footprints leading away from the entrance in the opposite direction.
EN? His mind screamed as he cautiously made his way in and checked their hideout.
She wasn't there.
EN?! Ail gritted his teeth. He couldn't call out to her for fear that he might attract the adults who now inhabited the island with them. She was exhausted so there was no way she could have gotten far.
Why did you leave?! Ail closed his eyes as his mind screamed in anger and fear.
En woke up alone and that was the most terrifying feeling she had ever felt. She quickly got up and crawled out, hoping to find Ail outside but he wasn't there. Her body protested; it hurt, it was stiff, and she felt dizzy as she quickly ran out. Her shoulder was killing her and her legs buckled several times underneath her weight, but despite all the physical pain, her mind was screaming. She had to find Ail. She took several steps but then stopped herself. She could see the silhouettes of adults walking away. They must have just literally passed over their cave. But where was Ail? She ducked down for a moment, observing the adults. They were not rushing so she knew they could not be chasing Ail. So instead of following the adults, she did the logical thing. She went in the other direction where they had just come from.
The sun-star had already emerged over the horizon and was now starting to make its way overhead. She didn't know what to do. What if Ail was hurt? What if he needed help? What if he was unconscious?!
With her ever growing anxiety, she began to scan her surroundings more vigorously.
En peeked from her hiding spot once again to ensure that there were no adults present. As he jumped from her hiding spot, she abruptly stopped, her blood running cold. She was surrounded by bodies…bodies of adults…all motionless.
Her heart staggered for several seconds as a cacophony of sound crashed through the foliage. Her eyes glanced up and encountered a group of adults fighting amongst each other. She quickly retreated as she watched the carnage. The adults were attacking each other. They were killing each other. They had turned on one another even on such a remote island.
One thought echoed in her mind as En watched the carnage unfold before her. Hope that the adults would wipe themselves out so that she, Ail, Zahi and Hiba, and any other children could avoid imminent death.
Suddenly, the adults started moving towards her. They were chasing each other and En had to get away. She quickly started running.
En! Where are you?! Ail's heart screamed as he quickly started making his way through the roots and buttresses of the Makaiju searching for En. He would search the ground first, look for her on foot and if she wasn't on the island, then, and only then, would he go up the Makaiju. He highly doubted that she would climb the tree. If she left, she was probably looking for him, just as he was looking for her. She would definitely be on foot. A small smile graced his features. Yeah, he knew her well enough to know what she would do. It scared him, but it also warmed his heart that they knew each other so well at such a young age.
Quickly, he started running through the foliage and brush, trying to cover as much distance as possible. It was still daytime; so he knew he had several hours before it got dark and they would have to crawl back into the underground cave they had by the shoreline if they wanted to avoid the adults.
As she finally made her way around several large buttresses of the Makaiju, En quickly glanced over her shoulder. The adults were still heading in her direction.
They're attacking each other?! En's mind screamed, as her eyes widened in horror to the realization that their entire species had truly gone mad. If these were the survivors, was there no such thing as a sane adult?! Unfortunately, her leg buckled once again and she fell face first onto the ground. She immediately crawled under several large roots, trying to find any barrier between herself and the adults. She shrunk back further. As far back as she could in hopes that the adults did not see her.
Several of the adults lashed at the roots; she had been seen. She could see through some of the small crevices their feral eyes. It terrified her to know that those adults were the same species as she and Ail.
She tried to crawl further back, but to no avail. She was cornered.
One adult finally managed to tear its way to her and raised its clawed hand. En's heart dropped. She had learned since she woke up from the sepals of the Makaiju to remain quiet. To stay as small as possible without drawing attention. But fear gripped her heart and she did what any scared kid would do.
"Cardians!" En called out, but she already knew, she had no energy to call them.
"AIL!" She finally screamed as she closed her eyes and raised her arms, in a futile attempt to protect herself.
Just as the claws were about to descend, the adult was knocked down to the ground by a large energy blast. Trembling, En looked up.
Topaz eyes, glittering with resolve and relief bore down on En's tourmaline eyes. Ail had saved her. His hands were extended and a light was fading from the palm of his hands.
"En." Ail said, before he collapsed onto the ground.
Anger filled his heart. He was starting to hate everything about his existence. He looked up and glared at the Makaiju. He hated it so much. Just as those feelings were welling up inside, he could hear the adults' crazed screams and fighting get nearer. Cursing under his breath, he continued to run. This time, unbeknownst to him, he was running straight towards En.
As he rounded a corner of a large buttress, he tripped and fell. Just as he got up, he noticed footprints on the ground. They were small footprints. En!
His anger quickly faded. His fear was replaced with that overwhelming sense of hope. Hope that he would find her now. He started running even faster. He had to make it to her. He had to protect her.
He had lost track of how long he had been running, but he stopped in his tracks when he finally made his way around another giant root. An adult came flying in his direction. He jumped to the side as it crashed against the Makaiju. Ail turned around, ready to outmaneuver the adult when it came at him again, roaring as it approached.
This time, Ail could feel something bubbling up within him and he recognized it instinctively. It was that same confidence Fiore possessed. It was primal and it was the desire to survive at all costs even if that including taking the lives of others. Ail finally realized what power meant as he could feel the natural prowess and gifts his species had culminate in his blood. It was painful but he used that pain to concentrate. He didn't even realize it, but he glared mercilessly at the adult as the distance between the two of them closed. He would protect En. He needed her. And this adult was trying to stymie their reunion. This adult was preventing their reunion. In seconds, his hatred poured through, and he raised his hands with only one thought in mind. "Die."
Ail raised his hands and channeled all his hatred towards the beast. It froze in mid leap and burst into pieces before disintegrating into nothing but dust.
That voice! Ail knew that voice and recognized the pain and fear mingled within that one word. He turned to run, but his legs buckled beneath him. No! En! Ail shut his eyes tight and forced his weakened body to move. He would not lose her. Not like this.
He somehow managed to get up and jumped forward. As he landed on a large buttress, he heard En call out his name. Within seconds, his eyes registered the situation and his eyes narrowed, glowing in intensity. She screamed his name, raised her arms above her head to protect herself from an adult who was about to lash at her with its disgusting claws.
Don't you dare! Ail raised his hands again and focused on the adult. You won't lay a finger on her! His mind screamed as he channeled his rage and rancor once again and fired all his hatred and energy at the adult.
Within seconds, just like the previous adult, it was blown away and dissolved into dust. Ail's energy attack was so strong, it also projected further and felled the other adults behind it, who were also tearing at the roots in an attempt to also make their way to En.
Ail swiftly ran over and was above En. His topaz eyes met En's tear-stained tourmaline eyes. He could feel the power and adrenaline start to recede; his hands still tingling with the power and force he had exhibited just moments ago. But that didn't matter now.
He found her. And she was alive. "En," he said, his voice filled with relief. I found you. And in that moment, Ail felt something he had not felt in a long time.
He forgot about death and the fact that he had killed that day. All that disappeared from his mind. The only thing… or in this case…the only person he could see at that moment was En. But the exertion of all that power finally caught up with him and he felt himself falling onto his knees.
"Ail!" En called, as she pushed herself up off the ground, and ran to his side.
Ail glanced at her, he was clearly exhausted, but he watched her as she made her way to him. He reached forward, opening his arms as she crawled into his arms, hugging him tightly. Her arms wrapped around his torso as his hands embraced her. Ail leaned back against one of the roots, so he was sitting on his rear instead of kneeling on his knees. They held each other close, losing track of time, and unable to let each other go. Ail rested his head on top of her head and closed his eyes.
"I found you."
If you are reading this for the first time, then don't worry about this note. But for those of you who read this story from 2012 and have been waiting for me ever so patiently to update and finish this story, I want you all to know that I went back and updated each chapter. So you will definitely find new changes in the storyline and I highly recommend you re-read the chapters before proceeding. I'd say most of the changes took place with this chapter and the next one. After that, it should be all brand new material. Anyway, I hope you all like this new version and please don't forget to comment. Thanks for reading!