The Makaiju Arc
Chapter 6 – Resolve
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 am excited about this story but I will admit I am a little nervous because I don't know many people who are fans of this couple. Take note, that this site lists them as "Ali and An" but if you watch the anime, their 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. This story has been in the making (in my head) for almost a year and I'm happy to finally put it down into words. As always, please don't forget to leave me a review!
Ail woke up with En pressed warmly by his side. He pulled away and stretched, grimacing. 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, and could only remember a quick image in his mind of En crying, while holding him close.
"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 sleep.
He recalled the bruise he had seen last night. He wanted to help her feel better so he decided to find some nectar from the canopy up above. He didn't want to wake her up so he decided that he would go alone. He'd quickly get what he needed and return to take care of her while she rested. But he was torn. He didn't want to leave her alone for fear that something may happen to her while he was gone.
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 was going to, just to let her know where he was going, but he couldn't bring himself to wake her from what looked like a 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 dawn. He could see the sun-star just starting to rise across the watery horizon. He was surprised at how close they were to the water, the buttresses and roots were enormous. The fact that they found such a hiding spot was incredible. As he crawled onto the roots, he pulled himself up as he slowly inched his way closer to the bark of the tree. It was silent. Way too silent, which only confirmed his fear that there were still adults alive. They were probably nearby, so he would have to be quick. After a moment, he ducked down to make sure he wasn't being watched or followed. He kept glancing back to the far edge of the roots, near the shoreline 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 up, he heard a horrible scream slice through the silence of the atmosphere. He quickly ducked, looked around and began scrambling up the buttresses of the Makaiju to get as close as he could to the bark. Once there, he began to inch and climb his way up. He knew the scream came from far off in the distance. He wasn't sure how large the island was but he would have to hurry to be safe.
Once he made it to the large bark, he scrambled up as quickly as he could. He could see some flowers hanging on low branches but he'd have to make sure they had nectar. As soon as he reached the first branch, he was shocked and surprised to catch sight of other kids his age already scrambling up the tree. He wanted to call out to them, but he was hesitant about bringing attention to himself. Yeah they were kids just like him, but in the short span of his life he had learned to not trust anyone outside of his group.
He watched as they soon disappeared in the branches up above. As they scrambled up, Ail's eyes also caught sight of another important fact. Most of the flowers were actually on the lower branches. From what he could see, not many were further up.
So they used up all the flowers on the higher branches…if they want nectar they have to come down. Glancing towards the other side, where the scream came from, Ail deduced that the adults must have learned about the routine of the kids descending in order to access the flowers for nectar.
So that scream earlier? Ail turned around, making sure he was safe and alone. Whatever happened earlier, someone must have encountered an adult. 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. He had to take care of En. And with that thought in mind, he quickly closed the distance between himself and the lower branches and grabbed several flowers. He drank from one, making sure that they all had nectar as he made his way slowly back down. Just as he landed, he heard a noise to the side and ducked underneath several broken branches and underneath the massive roots. Just 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 shock, their fingertips elongated up into the branches in the shapes of spears. He heard some of the children cry out in pain and agony as he closed his eyes shut and covered his ears with his hands. He didn't want to hear their cries nor their pain, for he was helpless and couldn't help them even if he wanted to. He could hear several thumps hit the ground. He could only assume that the adults were able to take down several 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.
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 vicious?
Ail looked around. Unfortunately, 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 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 the underground cave, underneath the buttresses of the tree, his heart stopped as he saw footprints leading away from the entrance.
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 ,weak so there was no way she could have gotten far. But then again, how long had it been since he was hiding from the adults. He could not tell.
Why did you leave?! Ail closed his eyes as his mind screamed in anger and fear. Why?!
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. I should wait for him. He might be back any minute now… she tried to convince herself, as she crawled back to the opening of the small cave and sat at the entrance, ever apprehensive and cautious to her surrounding environment.
She lost track of time. The sun-star had already passed overhead and was now hidden behind the canopy of the Makaiju. She didn't know what to do. What if he was hurt? What if he needed help? Even though, by some miracle, he was in better shape than she was, what if he over-did it and pushed himself to his limit. What if he was unconscious?
And so, she bolted up and began to scan her surroundings; and unfortunately, she started walking in the opposite direction that he took.
En! Where are you?! Ail's heart screamed as he quickly started making his way through the roots and buttresses of the Makaiju in search 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 doing for her at the moment. She would definitely be on foot on the ground. 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; the sun-star was high above the canopies, 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.
Ail peeked from his hiding spot once again to ensure that there were no adults present. He was surprised that he had yet to run into any since they appeared to prefer the ground instead of climbing the Makaiju. As he jumped from his hiding spot, he abruptly stopped, his blood running cold. He was surrounded by bodies…bodies of other children his age…all motionless.
His heart staggered for several seconds as his eyes glanced up and encountered a group of adults fighting amongst each other. He quickly retreated as he watched the carnage. The adults were attacking each other. They were killing each other. They had turned on each other.
The only thing stronger than fear … hope. Hope that he would find En. Hope that the adults would wipe themselves out so that he and En, and whatever remaining children could avoid imminent death.
Suddenly, the adults started moving towards him. They were chasing each other and Ail had to get away. He quickly started running back, back on the path he had taken earlier.
En had been crawling, hiding, and searching for quite some time. Her fear continued to grow, but she maintained hope that she would find Ail alive. Her hope and desire to be by his side were the only things motivating and pushing her legs forward to keep looking for him. She was trembling and several times she had to recollect herself, breaking down in silent tears before kicking herself to get back up and find him.
As she finally made her way around several large buttresses of the Makaiju, En glanced to the side and realized that a group of adults were running in her direction. Panic sank in and she quickly ducked beneath several large buttresses and tried to make herself appear as small and insignificant as possible. If she was able to hide and blend in, maybe they would not notice her.
To her horror, she soon realized that the adults were fighting amongst each other.
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. As she shrunk back further, she felt her heart stop several times when an adult turned its feral eyes in her direction.
She tried to crawl further back, but to no avail. She was cornered.
The adult finally made its way to her and raised its clawed hand. En couldn't scream. 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. The Cardians! En's mind screamed.
"Cardians!" She finally managed to shout out, but she already knew, she had no energy to call them.
Tears started streaming down her face as the hand lowered. "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. And her tears increased. 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.
He passed the cave. As the adults continued to fight behind him, he continued running and eventually made it back to their hiding spot. He ducked in quickly, just to check to see if she was there.
Anger filled his heart. He was starting to hate everything about his existence as well as the planet. 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 still. Cursing under his breath, he continued to run. This time, unbeknownst to him, he was running in the direction En had taken.
He quickly grabbed another flower he had had attached to his clothes and drank as much as he could, while running. He needed energy to maintain this pace if he were to outrun the adults. 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 jumping and 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 heard noises coming up ahead. He recognized those sounds. More adults. And they were fighting as well.
Slowly, he made his way forward and realized that this group was much smaller than the last but he could care less, they were too preoccupied with one another that he inched his way along the roots to make his way around, still trying to keep an eye on the footprints on the ground. It was hard, because there were so many roots and it was clear that if those footprints belonged to En, then she had climbed up and over several of them to get through. A process that now Ail was repeating in order to find her.
As he glanced towards the adults, he felt himself smirk. Go ahead a wipe yourselves out. You'll be doing us a favor, he thought, as he resumed the path that he presumed En had taken.
Finally, a small clearing was visible and he made his way forward. Just as he rounded another corner, 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, he ducked underneath, tumbled around before he spun around. He was determined to find En and no adult was going to stop him.
It came at him again, roaring as it approached. This time, Ail could feel something bubbling up within him. It was painful but he used the pain to concentrate. He didn't even realize it, but he glared mercilessly at the adult as the distance between the two closed. He would protect En. He needed her. And this adult was trying to block them. This adult was preventing them being together. In seconds, his hatred poured through, and he raised his hands with only one thought in mind. "Burst."
Ail raised his hands and channeled all his hatred towards the beast. It disintegrated within seconds.
As he looked around, he realized that all the adults lay motionless on the ground. Had he taken out the last adult from this group?
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 ran forward. As he rounded another large buttress, he heard En call out his name. Within seconds, his eyes registered their surrounding 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 once again and fired at the adult.
It lay motionless on the ground. Ail studied it for a few seconds before his eyes turned to En. His topaz eyes met En's tear-stained Tourmaline eyes.
He found her. And she was alive. "En," he said, his voice filled with relief. I found you. And in that moment, Ail felt so relieved and at peace. He forgot about death and that he had taken two lives that day. All that disappeared from his mind. The only one he could see at that moment was En, as tears continued to trail down her cheeks.
He felt himself drop to the ground, falling onto his knees before he sat back on his rear, trying to recover from all his exertion.
"Ail!" En called, as she wiped the tears from her eyes and pushed herself up off the ground, and ran to his side. She was just a couple feet away when she tripped and fell down.
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.
And they simply held each other, unable to let go, unable to live without the other.
Alright. Another chapter complete. What do you think? Don't forget to leave me a review; and if you like the story, please add me to your favorites. Also, just an FYI…that last scene, when the two are hugging each other, I was trying to incorporate the scene from the anime where we see Ail and En as kids hugging each other on the ground by the Makaiju surrounded by dead adults all around them. Do you guys remember that scene? It was pretty sad. They looked so cute as kids but it was also quite horrific that they were surrounded by that carnage. Anyway, until next time!