gorsecloud: (Default)
gorsecloud ([personal profile] gorsecloud) wrote2011-12-11 03:21 am

MORE THINGS + New Plot Bunny

Hi! I know I added at least one person on the Luceti friending meme, so figured I'd say hi and welcome to my LJ. I do use it sometimes, more to post writings and general updates and long rambling thoughts when I don't feel like dealing with ridiculously small letter limits.

Anyway hi again! I am Gorse, a.k.a. Kristen. I am a college sophomore trying to get a major in animation so I can go make movies and the like. Major fandom at the moment is Tales of the Abyss, so I'll probably end up talking about it a lot on here, though I do like other things, like Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, Harvest Moon, Disney/Pixar, Golden Sun, Mana Khemia, Tamora Pierce and etc. I currently roleplay at three games - [livejournal.com profile] luceti, [livejournal.com profile] paradisa, and [livejournal.com profile] riftedguilds, the latter of which I help mod. And... that should do for Gorsie CliffNotes. HI and welcome again!

Anyway. Onto the other part of this journal entry: So I had an Abyss AU plotbunny a couple weeks ago, which has tentatively been named Instability. The idea is fairly simple: After Akzeriuth, the party is lucky as hell that Luke didn't have severe, severe trust issues - the person he trusted most in the world utterly betrayed him, and most of the others were hiding/keeping secrets that in theory could have possibly helped prevent it from happening (i.e. Luke being a replica). So what if he had those issues? How would that have affected the character relationships, party dynamic, and progression of events?

The inspiration for this idea has been very hit-or-miss since it's started, so I'm probably not going to actively pursue making it into a fully-fledged story with full continuity, unless something changes, but here's all the excerpts that I've written so far:

==============================

[[Note: This particular segment happens right after Ion reveals the nature of curse slots in Grand Chokmah]]

She felt like she was on the edge of another shift, like she had on the Katsbert Ferry, when Luke had first explained how he’d spent most his life learning the very basic things, and she’d realized that it had been unfair of her to expect so much of him so suddenly. His behavior up until now, ever since he’d woken up from his sleep… he was combative, defensive. He argued and fought them almost as much as he had before, if not more so. It was aggravating and frustrating, putting up with his arguing and moodiness. His actions were improving, and he’d begun to think for himself, certainly, but his attitude had seemed as sour as ever.
 
Until just now. Yes he’d shouted at her, slammed the door in her face… but she’d seen the look on his face, when Ion had finally relented, and told him what the curse slot really did.
 
He’d been so pale, white as a sheet beneath his tan. And his face… Even now. He hadn’t been able to hide how his voice was shaking. He was scared, terrified even…
 
Guy had been the only one who’d really made much progress with Luke, since Akzeriuth, able to bring him out of his taciturn silences and brooding, able to eventually talk him down from arguing with Jade or Anise… Guy was the only one whom Luke would even let touch him, whether it be guiding him in a particular direction, grabbing him to keep him from walking into a trap, or just a friendly clap on the shoulder. And even then… barely a week ago, on the Tartarus, she’d seen him flinch away and yell at Guy for doing even that.
 
“Tell me, Ion! What does the curse slot do?! You guys never told me anything-!”
 
She’d already seen how little Luke trusted Jade and Anise, and was aware on some level that that mistrust extended to her, Natalia and even Ion as well. She might have brushed it off at the time as childishness, a petty form of revenge for them leaving him alone on the Tartarus after he’d pitched his fit.
 
Now, she wasn’t as sure. Luke wasn’t good at faking his emotions, and fear wasn’t an emotion you used to punish others the way you could use petty anger.
 
Was he really afraid of them?
 
Ion and Jade had known Luke was a replica before they’d reached Deo Pass. She’d suspected it, by the time they got to Yulia City and Asch had confronted them.  None of them had said anything. Natalia had been much more preoccupied with Asch since they’d found out he was the original Luke fon Fabre. Meanwhile, Anise was making it clear how much she loathed the replica one. They’d kept a great deal of secrets from him. Some of them still did. Not to mention Van, whom Luke had worshipped, who had committed the ultimate betrayal, deceiving Luke – who hated killing, even now – into destroying thousands of lives in an instant…
 
The only one left out of this equation was Guy – the one who’d left Asch to come wait for Luke. Who’d raised Luke, who’d apparently had no secrets to hide and hadn’t hidden crucial details – like what Luke was. Only now Luke had just found out Guy wanted to kill him. Or had wanted.
 
She began to feel stirrings of pity, and, a bit deeper, of guilt…
 
She knocked on the door again. No response.
 
“Luke,” she said quietly, “You don’t have to open the door. Just listen to me.”
 
She took a deep breath, and let it out. “While it’s true Guy may have hated you enough to want to kill you once… you have to remember that he came back and waited for you. He’s told you he has faith that you can change. Please… don’t forget that.” And don’t do anything rash…
 
Luke still didn’t say anything, though she hadn’t expected him to. With a sigh, she turned to go find Jade. It would probably be best to decide whether they wanted to go see Peony with Luke or without, though to tell the truth she doubted Luke was fit for polite company at the moment.

------
 
The first words out of Guy’s mouth when they entered the room, having just returned from their visit with Emperor Peony, were “Where’s Luke?”
 
“He’s still in his room.” Tear replied calmly. Jade had agreed that it would be best to give their errant redhead some time to calm down and mull things over rather than risk him antagonizing the entire Malkuth court.
 
“I need to see him,” Guy’s voice was calm but firm, even as he pulled on his shirt briskly, getting to his feet.
 
“Before you go up, if you would,” Jade said calmly, standing in front of the door he’d closed, “I’d prefer an explanation. Personal feelings aside, he’s a capable fighter and I’d rather not have to worry about you potentially killing him.”
 
“I don’t want to kill Luke,” Guy snapped, “And I don’t want to discuss this before I’ve talked to him. He needs to understand.”
 
“What does he need to understand, precisely?” Jade adjusted his glasses neatly.
 
The tension was thick in the air, neither side wanting to budge. Finally Guy sighed, running a hand through his hair.
 
“My family was from Hod. After they were killed in the Hod War, I started working as a servant at House Fabre for revenge.” There was a gasp from Natalia.
 
“Duke Fabre did lead the attacks on Hod...” Jade commented quietly, “That would make you a noble, I suspect?”
 
Guy grimaced, “Already figured it out, have you?” He sighed, “Gailardia Galan Gardios.”
 
“One of the most prominent noble families on Hod.” Jade’s glasses gleamed in the light, obscuring his eyes, “And here we’d thought the family had been wiped out. What made you give up on your revenge, then?”
 
Guy sighed impatiently. “Luke did. Look, it’s not something I can just explain, okay? Can I go see him?”
 
“Oh, very well,” Jade stood aside, opening the door.
 
Guy was out like a shot and up the stairs. They could hear the floorboards creak above them as he walked down the hall.
 
“Shouldn’t we follow them?”  Anise asked.
 
“Now, now, Anise,” Jade admonished lightly, “You know we’re not welcome with our red-haired friend right now.”

“Booooo!” she pouted, “I want to know what they say!”
 
“Well, I suppose it would be good to have someone up there to make sure things don’t get out of hand. Tear, if you would?”
 
“Me?” she blinked, before sighing. Jade would always be Jade.
 
Quietly she slipped out into the hall, and up the stairs to the second floor. To her surprise, she found Guy still standing next to the door. His face was set in a grimace.

“He’s not answering, and it’s locked from the inside,” he said.
 
Tear had a sudden sense of foreboding. “I think I have the spare key.” She reached into her bag, already digging for it.
 
Guy’s grimace deepened. “I hate forcing him right now, but I need to make sure he’s okay.” He took the key once she offered it and knocked on the door. “Hey, Luke? I’m coming in.”
 
There was still no answer, not even as he inserted the key into the lock and turned.
 
Tear didn’t even need to see as Guy took one look around the room and swore, slamming his fist into the doorframe. The room was completely empty, with only the open window out onto the roof to indicate where Luke had gone.

----------
 
“Hey, Thing, do that thing where you shoot fire over here.”
 
“Yes, Master!” the cheagle bounced over and obliged, blowing out one of the biggest, best fireballs he could make. Master was really unhappy a lot lately, and maybe by doing his best, Mieu could cheer him up a little!
 
“Hey, hey not so big!” Luke yelped in panic, leaping back as the pile of wood in front of him was consumed in the fireball that Mieu had produced, “That was supposed to be our campfire!”
 
“Oh…” Mieu stared at the now-charred branches, “I’m sorry, Master.”
 
Luke merely sighed irritably. “Now I have to get more… What a pain…”

============================================

[[Guy splits off from the party to try to track down Luke. The others proceed to St. Binah, Dist interferes, and they go to get the Albiore as per normal. Anise sends word to Mohs that Luke's running around the middle of Rugnica on his own - Mohs, who needs Luke to die for the Score to be fulfilled seizes upon this opportunity to try to find him before anyone can interfere. Guy catches up with Luke right when some Oracle Knights have a sword leveled at his throat and rescues him. They talk a little, but Luke is still too wary really, though he's still trying to save St. Binah, and Guy mentions if Luke doesn't want him around he'll go back and join the others (who are also supposed to be at St. Binah), so if they're going the same direction, they might as well go together. Luke gives in.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party returns with the Albiore and picks up the citizens just in time. Field Marshall McGovern pleads that they try to save the city. They ask Theodoro for ideas and find out about the Shurrey Hill Sephiroth. Upon arriving there and breaking the Yulian Seals, they do have two Seventh Fonists with them, but overall their efforts to stop the land sinking are only partially effective. Jade comments that if they had Asch's hyperresonance with them, they might be able to fully stop the lands from sinking. They spot that Engeve is still in danger, and go back up.

While this is happening, Luke and Guy arrive at St. Binah just in time to see it properly fall. Luke is beyond upset upon seeing this (as he doesn't realize the citizens are safe), and it's only Guy who manages to keep him from "falling" in after the city (not sure yet if Luke's going to try to run after it like in the anime or if just a patch of rock he's standing on near the edge of the hole breaks loose). (This scene will probably be written out) After that ordeal, Guy drags a mostly unresponsive Luke back to Engeve to try to recuperate and figure out their next step.

Upon seeing the war, the party splits up like in the game, though only with two people on each side as opposed to three (adding to the danger and risk). This particular scene is when the Engeve party runs into something a little unexpected]]


“We’ll rest in the inn overnight while Rose makes the necessary preparations,” Jade said, adjusting his glasses, “Go on ahead and wait there. Meanwhile, I need to speak with the nearby standing forces. We’ll need whoever they can spare to guard our backs.”
 
“All right,” Tear nodded grimly, aware now, more than ever, how true what Jade said was. The two of them, by themselves, would not be enough to guard the entire village, and from what they’d seen, the area around them was currently crawling with Oracle Knights – for what reason she couldn’t say for sure. Were the people here all Scored to die, and they there to ensure that it happened?
 
Walking through Engeve, it was hard not to feel uneasy and unhappy. This whole area was doomed to fall, to sink into the miasma of the Qliphoth, and there was nothing they could do to stop it, not with the Sephiroth closed off as they were. Was this what her brother wanted to do? Slowly destroy the land bit by bit until there was nowhere left for the people to run?
 
This place already had quite a few memories for her – it was one of the first places she’d seen, after leaving on her quest to kill her brother. She’d taught Luke how to shop, here, met Jade and Anise and Fon Master Ion…
 
And soon it would be gone.
 
The innkeeper, Kelly, if she remembered correctly, was behind the counter, sorting through his belongings when she pushed open the door to the inn. 
 
“I’ve already heard,” he said, looking up and giving her a brief nod, “So we have to be ready to leave by tomorrow, eh?”
 
“Unfortunately, yes,” she replied, “There’s no saying how soon the land will fall. It would be best to leave as soon as possible.”
 
He sighed, “I’m going to have to leave so much behind…”
 
“Better to leave it than lose your life,” Tear pointed out.
 
“I know, but still…” He shook his head, “Is there any chance we’ll be able to come back at some point?”
 
Tear’s throat constricted. “… I’m not sure,” she said, finally.
 
The look he gave her told her that he understood what she was really saying. His mouth twisted in a grimace briefly, before he turned back to his work, picking what he could take and what he would leave behind. “Anyway, two of your friends have already gone in.”
 
Tear stared. “What…?” Jade couldn’t have already met the Malkuth forces…
 
“You mean they’re not with you?” He looked back at her in surprise.

“Who are you talking about?”
 
“That boy with the red hair you were here with last time, and a friend of his, I assume.”
 
Her heart stopped. Luke. And… did that mean Guy had found him? They hadn’t had the chance to really look for Luke at all, and they needed him eventually to prove to Ingobert that the basis of the war was groundless. And when they’d found out the land was falling… If he wasn’t found in time, there was the huge risk he could die when the land fell, but they didn’t even know where to look-
 
“H-he’s inside?” she stammered finally. 
 
Kelly looked at her oddly, “Yeah, they got here not too long before you did.”
 
Tear nodded a little numbly. “Thank you.”
 
With that, she turned and strode past, stopping at the door. She steeled herself for a moment before knocking on the door briefly and opening it.
 
“Luke?”
 
Instead she was greeted by the sight of Guy practically jumping to his feet, twisting around and putting a finger to his lips. In front of him, flopped over on his side, was a mop of red hair that could only be…
 
Guy glanced down once at Luke before carefully turning and making his way over, stopping a safe distance away. “I finally got him to go to sleep,” he explained quietly.
 
“He hasn’t been sleeping?” She glanced past him at Luke’s prone form. As much as she hated to doubt Guy, Luke really was asleep and not… but no, she needn’t have worried. It took only moments to discern the subtle movement of Luke’s breathing.
 
Guy shook his head. “Not a lot, especially not since we saw St. Binah.” He looked back at the sleeping redhead, “We got there right as the city collapsed. It wasn’t until we found some of the refugees here that we realized you guys had gotten there in time. I think that’s what finally got him to sleep.”  
 
Tear bit her lip. He really was trying to change, wasn’t he? It wasn’t as obvious on the surface, given how similar his attitude was, but the old Luke would not have been as driven as this one was.
 
But she didn’t say anything about that. Instead, she looked down, “So you’ve been able to speak with him, then?
 
Guy grimaced, “A little. He’s still really wary though, and I didn’t get to explain all I wanted to. There were a lot of things going on out there.”
 
“What all happened?”
 
Guy glanced behind him once more, then turned back. “Let’s talk about it more outside. I don’t want to wake him up.”

[[This segment will likely be extended eventually]]

=====================================

[[This scene isn't placed on the continuity yet, but it's when Peony and Luke meet for the first time, since they don't get to do their canon meeting like in the game. Possibly around the time of the treaty-signing]]

Peony put his hands on his hips. "So you're Luke, huh?"

"Y-yes, sir," Luke stammered, looking down, uncomfortably aware of the many pairs of eyes suddenly locked on him. He shifted a little awkwardly before continuing, "I-I'm sorry about Akzeri-"

Peony waved a hand, cutting him off. "Don't call me sir, it makes me feel old. Besides that, Jade's already explained what happened," he said simply, "He also tells me you've been running around trying to stop the rest of the land from falling, including places like St. Binah."

"B-but," Luke protested, "by the time I got there, St. Binah had already-"

Again Peony cut Luke off, "From the way I hear it, you had quite a few problems of your own, and it wasn't exactly for lack of trying. It still says a lot more about you than you'd think."

Luke ducked his head, biting his lip. What exactly did it say about him, then?

Peony sighed, "Man, I feel like I've kicked a puppy or something." Shaking his head, he took a few steps forward, until he stood right in front of Luke. Luke braced himself, ready for some kind of lecture. Instead, he was stunned when a hand dropped on top of his head, ruffling his hair.

"Trust your friends a little more, Luke,"  Peony said quietly, "You can't do this all on your own."

Luke merely stared at the ground, stunned, as the hand lifted away again.

"Need I remind you your majesty that physical contact with foreign representatives is generally frowned upon?" Jade commented dryly.

"Oh, relax Jade," Peony laughed, "It's not like we're in public or anything!"



And that's it for now!

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