The Makaiju Arc
Chapter 7 – Broken
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!
"I'm sorry," En whispered, as she buried her face in Ail's chest.
The only thing flashing through her mind was that if she had stayed put, if she had waited, he would never have had to use so much energy to save her.
Ail's relief at finding En was all he could feel at that moment. He simply held her close; grateful that he had drank so much nectar earlier to sustain the energy he used thus far.
"En." Ail whispered, as he pulled her even closer. He closed his eyes and he buried his face in her hair.
En pulled away and caressed his cheek before running her hand along his forehead. "You're warm."
Ail shook his head. It was because of all the energy he used, but he was fine. He quickly pulled a few of the flowers still attached to his side and offered them to En.
"You first." En said, still concerned about his health. Ail frowned as he pushed the flowers to En.
"Drink." He instructed.
"You first!" En insisted, as she pushed the flowers back to him.
Ail stopped. They were both stubborn. Ail handed her one and held onto another. "Together," he said, as the two of them nodded and drank the nectar simultaneously.
They had been walking for quite some time. The planet now felt truly deserted, but they knew they were still not alone. The last two groups of adults had wiped each other out, but they were both sure there were probably a few adults left. As they made their way back to their cave, Ail and En kept glancing back up, scanning the Makaiju to see if there were any flowers left.
They were all gone.
That worried them, but the two refused to work themselves up. They had been through enough that day. Finally, as they found their cave, the two glanced onto the horizon and noticed the sun-star setting. They wouldn't dare remain outside the cave at night but the two sat down on the large buttress, watching the last rays of light dance across the horizon. Ail sat down and leaned against the giant roots as he sighed. They would have to search the entire island tomorrow to ensure that they were truly safe…truly alone. He also knew that they would both eventually have to climb the Makaiju and check the canopies up above.
His mind started to race about all the things they would have to do the next day, but all thoughts ceased in an instant…the moment En sat down directly by his side and leaned into him, resting her head on his shoulder.
For a moment, an ever so brief moment, Ail felt content with everything around him. The sound of water ripples against the shoreline, the rustle of leaves above dancing in the wind, and the rays of sunshine slowly fading in the distance…the atmosphere finally turned quiet and calm. Two traits he hadn't felt and wasn't even sure he understood the meaning of…but if any moment in his life was to be termed quiet or calm, it was with En sitting by his side, in that ever-so-brief moment in their lives.
Once again, as he stretched, Ail felt his joints ache and protest. This time though, he didn't force himself up; instead, he turned over so he could rest his arm in the crook of En's waist and buried his head in the crook of her neck, as he pulled her closer to keep themselves warm.
Last night, as soon as the sun-star disappeared, they quickly crawled back into their cave and slept. Ail wished that if they were meant to die, he would have preferred if they fell asleep together and simply never woke up. He was content to die knowing they were in each other's arms.
Inhaling deeply, Ail closed his eyes and savored their peaceful morning. He had grown accustomed to sleeping with En by his side and enjoyed every chance they could rest together. Just as he was falling back to sleep, that's when the ground began to shake and jolted them both awake. The dirt beneath their fingertips and bodies was shaking violently and the structure above their heads began to collapse.
In seconds, Ail and En quickly grabbed each other's hand and scrambled towards the exit. Ail crawled out first, checking their surrounding quickly before he turned and pulled En out.
The ground beneath them continued to shake and rumble violently as they quickly made their way near the shoreline. However, the water was churning violently and they both glanced across the horizon noticing how violent the tides were coming in.
"The Makaiju." En said, as she glanced up at the canopy. They'd be safer up in the canopies.
Nodding his head, the two quickly scrambled back to the tree and started to make their way up. Just as they were a couple feet up, the Makaiju shook violently as the ground beneath it split in two. Ail and En both gasped, as the tree began to tilt towards one side, as several branches and roots snapped.
They tried to climb back up again but this time, another violent quake shook them both and the two of them lost their grip and tumbled back down to the ground.
As they landed on the ground, they stared in awe as it began to violently rip apart. Water started gushing through the newly formed cracks and crevices in the ground as the two decided they were not safe anywhere…not in the canopies nor on the ground. But if they had to choose one path, they'd stay with the Makaiju.
Just as they reached for the tree yet again, En gasped as she was ripped away from the tree. Ail turned in time to see En being held by her arms, as an adult turned it's feral eyes towards Ail. It had yet to harm En, but it was clear that it was toying with the two, as it extended its claws towards her neck.
En remained silent and motionless as the adult started walking towards Ail.
He was powerless at this point. He couldn't risk attacking the adult without harming En. Just as he was struggling with coming up with a plan of attack, the adult howled in pain as it dropped En. With the momentum from the drop and the ground still shaking below her feet, En tumbled towards Ail and landed in his arms as he pulled her close, as he inched his way back towards the bark with En still in his arms.
The two children tried to formulate a quick plan while the adult crumbled on the ground, still howling in pain. However, their inability to formulate a plan in seconds was dismissed as they both heard an all too familiar and very much missed voice.
"What are you two waiting for?! Get up here now!" Hiba yelled.
Ail and En abruptly froze and ever so slowly looked over to the Makaiju. There, in the lowest branches they saw Hiba with her pendant glowing. They knew, somehow, that Hiba had tracked them.
En gasped, "You…you survived?" she couldn't hide the overwhelming joy that she was experiencing that moment.
"Zahi?" Ail asked, relieved that Hiba was alive, but worried as his eyes quickly scanned the branches and noticed that his friend was missing.
Hiba smirked and with her pointer finger, gestured behind them, to where the adult was.
As Ail and En turned around, they noticed the adult lay now motionless on the ground and directly behind him was Zahi, with his glowing armbands slowly dimming. He had saved them and just finished off the adult.
"Zahi!" En chocked, Zahi made his way to their side and the three of them embraced.
"Sorry to ruin the moment, but hurry and get up here now!" Hiba yelled.
The three noticed that the ground had now torn completely from the shoreline with the large buttresses and roots ripping straight from the ground and away from the land. Giant waves started crashing all around them and the Makaiju seemed to ever so slowly start to extend away from the land.
Ail and En had no time to think about how their friends survived and made it to the Makaiju. They simply grabbed onto the Makaiju and quickly started climbing up. As they finally reached a few branches beneath Hiba, the group glanced to the side as everything suddenly became eerily quiet.
"What's going on?" En asked, turning to Ail.
Ail shook his head. He had no idea nor understood what had happened to their planet.
Once on the branches up above, Ail looked over at Zahi and smiled. Zahi put his hand on Ail's shoulder before pulling him close and hugging his friend. En had just made her way up to Hiba, as Hiba extended her hand to help En up before she slapped En. "Don't you ever do that again!" Hiba yelled, before pulling and hugging En in a tight embrace.
En laughed, with tears of joy and pain running down her cheeks. It was clear that Hiba was still shook up with how En jumped into the raging waters in order to go after Ail.
"I missed you too…" En murmured, as she returned the hug.
"How did you get here?" Ail asked, as he looked over Zahi to ensure that they were all physically unharmed.
"Hiba's pendant guided us. And somehow, by focusing like this…" Zahi pulled away and maneuvered his hands to form a circle around them, which created a bubble just like the one Fiore had once made for them, "…you then focus on where you want to go." Zahi looked up towards Hiba and the bubble moved towards the girls.
It then deposited the boys right next to the girls, on the same branch. Zahi then waved off the bubble and it disappeared.
"You try it next time." Zahi said as he moved towards Hiba's side.
"I still can't believe you two made it here." En said, as she let go of Hiba and joined Ail's side.
"I knew you two would make it." Zahi said, as he turned to Ail. "You two are too stubborn to die off like that."
Ail smirked. Talk of death had now transcended the philosophical and it was now something they could joke about because they were finally able to defend themselves. It was also the only way they could cope and deal with what they had endured.
"So, what do you think is going on with the planet?" En asked, as she glanced back down. The ground had stopped shaking and although water was still gushing forward and inching its way up, at least for now, it had significantly calmed down in comparison to a few moments ago.
"I'm not sure." Hiba said, as she kneeled down and glanced below. It seems like it has stopped. But at the same time, I'm not too sure about what's been going on. We're still connected to lots of dirt, but it also looks like the roots were being pulled apart and away from the ground…"
The four of them studied the ground and roots. True enough, it looked like the roots and buttresses had arched themselves and it almost looked like the Makaiju had tried to pull away from the ground. Now though, everything was quiet aside from the water.
"We should head further up. We need to find more nectar." Ail said, as he glanced up above. Still no sign of any flowers or any of the other children. Are there even any left?
The four friends continued their ascension up into the canopies, searching for nectar and weary of any other individuals that might have been hiding within the branches and leaves of the Makaiju. Several times they thought they heard a few screams but they all weren't completely sure as to what they heard. Every now and then, they would catch a glimpse of branches breaking off and falling towards the ground. They were so high up at this point, that they couldn't see the ground below because of the dense leaves and canopies.
That's when they realized that they were not alone.
Just as Zahi and Hiba made it to a higher branch, that's when they heard as clear as daylight, the sound of a strangled scream coming from their right. They quickly ducked and hid behind a few thick leaves as Ail and En followed suit.
Searching for the source, they now noticed a few individuals rustling through the branches.
A group of around ten adults emerged and they were indeed frightening. Several of the males stopped and gestured to one of the females. She moved forward.
"Makaiju!" The female shouted, "Give us energy!"
That same female then proceeded to sing a tune. It was strange to see but the singing inspired the Makaiju to shine bright. That's when Zahi and Hiba quickly encased themselves in a bubble. Zahi was clearly struggling to focus as he kept them safe from harm. Hiba gestured towards Ail and En to follow suit, motioning with her hands to make a bubble. Ail understood and quickly tried to make a bubble. He struggled for a while, still not sure if he was even doing it right. He could feel some strange energy coming from the Makaiju and it was not an energy he was comfortable with.
Finally, on his third try, he was able to create a bubble around himself and En. It was just in time too, because the female's singing had reached a high note, and that's when they could hear some screams from far off in the canopies up above and below. They were painful, strangled screams before silence filled the air. They could then hear rustling and branches falling down to the ground. But that's when reality hit. The rustling and falling of branches weren't branches. They were bodies of other kids, teens, and adults….they had been drained of their energy.
En gasped but quickly covered her mouth. Hiba and Zahi glared at the remaining group of adults who had drained the life out of their own species. Ail glared too, he felt true hatred and really wished he could finish off those who now seemed more despicable than then crazed adults they had faced earlier.
The Makaiju continued to glow and then several vines extended towards the adults and provide nectar to the awaiting adults.
The four stared in awe at the realization that the nectar they so desperately needed was easily accessed by controlling the Makaiju. The four quickly locked eyes, realization hitting them all at once, and they nodded silently in understanding. They would have to find a way to control the Makaiju the same way the adults did in order to survive.
The grown-ups regained their strength but then all of them sat down, creating a temporary resting spot which meant that the four of them would have to remain hidden for an indefinite time. En looked up and noticed Hiba roll her eyes in frustration. Zahi looked irritated beyond reason but he remained silent and focused as he kept the sphere around them as a shield. En also noticed that Ail was also doing the same; he was determined to keep the sphere around them as their last means of defense, just in case the adults did find four children hidden within their midst.
It was night when the adults finally fell asleep. Several of the grown-ups had left and then returned during the day but it seemed that the location the adults chose that day was to be their resting ground. No doubt, the adults had gone off searching through the branches of the Makaiju for any other rivals or children. Every time they returned, they ruthlessly detailed how many more were gone or what they would have liked to have done in order to maintain power over the Makaiju.
Even now, everything seemed to be eerily quiet as the four kids watched and waited. The adults had finally gone to sleep. Two of the adults who were charged with keeping watch had neglected their duty and fallen asleep. So now, Ail, En, Zahi and Hiba glanced at one another and motioned to move further back and upwards in order to assess and determine their best strategy at survival.
Stealthily and silently, Zahi and Ail both removed the barrier of the sphere from around them. It was amazing how quickly and easily it was to keep it conjured without using so much energy, but they were tired. They realized now that they would have to somehow regain their strength if they were to be in perfect shape to help and keep up with Hiba and En.
When they were all finally together on the same branch, further away from the adults but still able to keep an eye on them, they began whispering and devising a plan.
"We need to take them out." Hiba said, as she glanced wearily at the adults, counting them and recounting them to ensure that they were safe for the time being.
"I agree." Ail said, as he glanced over at the sleeping adults. "They're too powerful. They'd never let us live…and we can't just keep running. Sooner or later, they'll find us."
En put her hand on Ail's shoulder, trying to reassure him but he was really upset. His shoulders were tense and he had a determined glint in his eyes.
"What should we do?" En whispered, as she turned to Hiba.
Hiba frowned and crossed her arms across her chest. She wasn't sure either. How were four kids supposed to take out ten physically strong and powerful adults?
"We will have to outsmart them." Zahi said, as his eyes narrowed on the four of them. He was determined to live with Hiba, Ail, and En. He would not lose them the way they lost Fiore. If anyone could survive, it would be the four of them.
Hm…so, I'm guessing that I owe you – my readers – an apology. I got so busy this summer with work that I didn't have any free time to actually work on this story. For that, I do apologize. On the plus side though, now that summer is ending, I'll have more time to work on this story again. As always, let me know what you think…trust me, it's really hard to write something when you don't know if anyone is even bothering to read, so please don't forget to review.