Dragon Knights Fan Fiction ❯ Dragon Knights Sentai ❯ Warning ( Chapter 10 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Anyone who watched rival shows Dragon Knights Sentai and Youkai Sentai this week was given a shocking treat. The shows have produced a cross-over showing violently different sides to the same story: in one the youkai are sadistic bullies and in the other the dragons are simplistic and dull, moral cowards. I don't know how the two production heads, rumoured to hate each other's guts, ever managed to agree to the storylines, but watch both, for an intriguing and deep look at way fables are presented to us and the truth that moralistic fairytales might gloss over.

While staunch fans in opposing camps have drawn battle-lines, those who enjoy both shows are overjoyed that the meeting was handled without compromising the spirit of either. Internet forums are abuzz with discussion and the occasional flamewar. I have some hot gossip which will stir the frenzy even further. This is directly from the set of the latest Dragon Knights episode, which apparently stars Lykouleon himself as the father of Rath, the Fire Dragon Knight. Lykouleon is the executive producer of the show, the rumoured love interest of Lady Raseleane and the real-life father of Rath...

Nadil tossed the paper aside, slammed his hands on the table and glared at Fedelta. "He's in it?" he hissed. "It's bad enough that he rewrites the agreed script as much as we did, but he then steals publicity by appearing in the following episode?"

Fedelta shrugged. His hair had suffered from the purchase of a new gel or mousse and it wavered in the air like licks of flame. "It should have gone badly for him. The man's desperate for adulation and this smacks of vanity." Shaking his head caused the loud crackle of an angry fire. "It's a slow week. The newspapers are desperate for something to print."

"Then put me in too," snapped the angry man, throwing scowls like a toddler hungry for sweets throws smiles.

"Sir." Fedelta coughed and started again. "What'll you do with your head? Since the cross-over, we share a continuity with their show and all the youkai side have is a headless corpse."

"Darn him! That bastard planned this all along!" Nadil whacked the table, bruising the wood. "Well, if that man wants to be the talk of the review pages, I'll help him out. Call in every favour we have. I want that show off the air."


A sombre mood permeated the conference room where they'd all met for the first time. Cernozura pulled a chair closer to Ruwalk, while Tetheus and Alfeegi discussed some of the classic films they admired. Kai-Stern poured himself a glass of water from the cooler in the corner when Lykouleon walked in, somehow deflated in a navy suit.

"I've got some bad news," he said quietly, walking up to the head of the table and the most comfortable chair. The crew crowded round, Alfeegi and Tetheus abandoning their declaration of independence at the far side of the room and settling into chairs nearer the boss.

"What's wrong?" asked Cernozura, voicing the group's concern.

"The network is talking about dropping the show," replied Lykouleon. "They say that they're nervous of promoting values contrary to accepted norms, but since the entire board is a pack of screaming queers, I'm fairly sure that's not the full story."

He answered the first few comments "Yes, I'm sure" and "No, it's not set in stone, but..." then shut up and let confusion reign. Everyone turned to their neighbour and whispered away, searching for clues from conversations with friends in the know: Kai-Stern and Tetheus argued swiftly; Alfeegi watched them with a stony gaze.

Ruwalk squeezed Cernozura's hand. "Are you okay?" he asked.

"Strangely, yes," she replied, brushing newly cut hair out of her face before giving her full attention to him. "We don't get to finish it," her voice was husky, but grew stronger, "but then again, I had no idea how I was going to end the show." She shrugged, her eyes flicking quickly about. "There were a few things that I was toying with, but I guess that rumour and fanfiction will do the job for me."

"I wasn't expecting to wrap up so soon. Packing costumes is always hard after a series, but this?" Ruwalk whispered in a strained voice. "And then the hunt for another job?"

"We'll both find work easily enough," she said, caressing his arm, then moving up to stroke his shoulder. "You're good and a lot of producers know that."

He shook his head in response and the hair dripped off his shoulders. "That's not it," he said. "We won't be working together and I enjoyed that. I really liked working with everyone here; it felt good."

A quiet moment in Tetheus's conversation with Kai-Stern spread that last phrase around the room and they all heaved a sigh.

"I'll try my best to talk them around, or to find a new home for us," Lykouleon said, with a sudden rush of grave resolve. "Let's not give up yet. Don't tell the actors, or crew. Let's continue as though we had the go ahead. It's amber at the moment, not red."

"If worse comes to worse, could we finish the series as a dvd set?" asked Alfeegi. Kai-Stern cheered up and the others looked hopeful.

Lykouleon shook his head. "We'd still need a backer for that and there is none."

"Surely you..." Ruwalk pressed, stopping nervously after those few words.

"My money's already tied up. It'd take months to detangle it and I'd have to get approval from the board of directors. The budget for my hobbies is very limited," he said, with a bitter air. "If this show gets cancelled, any hopes of a long term production budget is sunk along with it."

They moved on to planning the next episode, although it was hard to muster enthusiasm for it. Without Rath and since Thatz had claimed a family emergency, the episode centred about Rune, and details were left entirely up to Cernozura. The group broke and went their separate ways: Ruwalk to his sewing machine; Tetheus and Alfeegi to the editing room; Cernozura to her typewriter and Lykouleon to one of the other meetings that his job as head of the Dragoon Company demanded. Kai-Stern pushed past the editing team to catch up with Lykouleon before he escaped. "Did you ask Raseleane..."

Alfeegi glared at the back of his head, while punching the button for the lift. "Doesn't it make you sick?" he complained to Tetheus.

The director started and looked at him blankly. "What?" he asked.

The doors slid open and they stepped inside. Alfeegi punched the button for their floor, just as hard as he'd hit the call button. "This... Now... After all the stress and short notice and violence to our lives, we've finally got everything sorted, have a good working relationship and are on top of all our problems. When everything's going smoothly, we're being rejected." The doors opened onto an empty floor and Alfeegi whacked the buttons again. "That's so inconsiderate," he moaned.

"I guess," Tetheus responded.

Alfeegi turned on him. "You guess?" he asked, the doors closing again and trapping the two together. "You guess? You love this show. I know you do. You've poured so much into it and have worked so damn hard for it and you guess that it being cancelled is a bad thing?"

Tetheus stayed dumb as the tirade continued.

"Shout, scream, get angry. Throw things at Lykouleon. Why don't you say something? How can you not be angry?"

When he finally spoke, it was with a quiet voice. "I have an ulcer. Anger could kill me," he said, with eyes firmly on the brightly illuminated floor numbers as they cycled downwards. "I'm on a diet of enforced yoga, natural yoghurt and no booze."

"That's no life for anyone." Alfeegi twitched, his hands and fingers unsure what to do. "There are better ways to cope with stress, with life, than pretending that it doesn't affect you."

"I worry about you," replied Tetheus. "I see a lot of your anger and outbursts burning holes inside you like the ones in me. Every time you scream and fall to the floor, I wonder if the pain is physical as well as mental and whether you're taking something to hide it and get you through the day."

"Don't worry about me," Alfeegi said, smiling up at his friend, as though the sun had broken through a storm. "As soon as I feel in the slightest bit stressed, I get rid of it."

Tetheus frowned.

"That's what shouting at Kai-Stern is for!"


Despite her words, the episode she was penning took a melancholy route, emphasizing the danger and loneliness of working alone, especially for one who was arguably the weakest member of the troupe. In a stark effort to add some comic relief, Cernozura wrote in an unrequited admirer for the troubled water knight, but she couldn't stop the tone from getting darker.


It was hard to keep the worry from their faces. An odd vibe spread through the shoot, with frequent frowns thrown at the production team, although no-one asked the question. Alfeegi wished that someone would. He knew that he couldn't keep the secret in and that one blunt question would burst his banks and reveal the deceit. He didn't like to keep things on simmer. Alfeegi's way was a volatile one.

Surprisingly, the muted atmosphere added to the shoot. The general air of the script was one of melancholy and Rune was the perfect star to carry the tone. Thatz's clowning would have detracted from it and Rath's anger would have diluted it.

The entire episode was scheduled to be shot indoors, as if the staff were afraid to venture out of the studio. Even Kai-Stern was grounded and had subbed in as Alfeegi's helper and assistant set designer.

Alfeegi's phone went off during a take on the final scene. He grinned sheepishly and ran out of boom reach to answer it. Tetheus glared after him as he ordered a reset and the actors and cameramen struggled to find their marks. They ran through the lines and had almost completed a perfect take, when Alfeegi blundered into shot. He waved at the others to be quiet, oblivious to their concern, before sticking his finger in his ear to drone out their moans and hisses. Curious, the cast snuck closer in an effort to hear the other side of the conversation. Alfeegi said little.

Finally, he hit the button to disconnect the call. His hands were shaking and the crowd drew closer. "That's it," he said. "Best of Barnstormers is being aired tonight and for the next few weeks until they get another series to replace us. The last episode shown will be the crossover. We've been cancelled."

Dragon Knights Sentai is fanfiction based on the works of Mineko Okhami.

Thanks for reading. I hope you still like it. All feedback is appreciated, so please click on the review button. I love Alfeegi and Tetheus's conversation in the lift. It just seems very real to me.