Vision Of Escaflowne Fan Fiction ❯ Dream Desire ❯ Two Lives to Live ( Chapter 9 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Yeah. . . that thing about updating again soon. . . failed. November was NaNoWriMo (Write a 50k novel in one month) so all my free time was taken up with that. Then December was frantically writing finals (I’m an English major) and working insane hours back at home. So now it’s a new year and I will get this story finished! It’s actually close to the end so we’ll all get through this soon enough. And now, part 9. Enjoy!

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Dream Desire: Chapter 9
Two Lives to Live

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What was better? What was different? How could she choose what life to live when both were so full of friends and memories. On Gaea she had ears and a tail — she was a regular cat girl! On Earth she was the daughter of a pet breeder and had been around cats her whole life. In both worlds she had grown up with Van, had loved him from from afar (well, from very close actually, but Van just never saw it). On Earth she also knew Hitomi at a young age. On Gaea she was the head of Van’s knights. On Earth she was going to college. She had parents on the Mystic Moon, none on Gaea. Yet, she had responsibility on her home world. True she wasn’t royalty like Van, Millerna, and Dryden, but there were people who depended on her, and she had to protect New Fanelia! But she had family obligations on Earth. She had family.

Folken had told them the choice was made, but Merle wasn’t sure she wanted to go back. Life was so peaceful on Earth, her friends and family were safe. She was safe. All she had to worry about was going to school and finding a good job or a husband. There were no wars she was directly involved in, no danger at every crossing. She wanted the life on Earth to last! Why couldn’t Gaea just be put on pause while the five of them took a well-deserved rest?

“The worlds exist at the same time, there is no way to change that. I am sorry young kitten, but you will have to go back,” Folken’s voice spoke from behind her. She tensed up and could feel her tail stand straight. Though she had her memories back, it was still a surprise to feel the extra appendage.

“You’re all-powerful! I’m sure you could do something!” she hissed, baring her fangs unconsciously. Folken’s shoulders shook briefly though a smile never touched his face. He reached down and ruffled Merle’s hair, pulling away before the cat-girl could bite his arm even though he was only a spirit.

“I’m afraid I am not as powerful as I seem. Something can be done, but the final decision is up to Hitomi and Van.”

Merle tried to respond, mouth opening wide, but Folken and the rest of the room flashed to white and suddenly she was gone from the in-between world and back on Gaea.

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A king or a journalist? The choice seemed obvious at first, but a king was locked down with responsibilities and a duty to his country. As a freelance journalist, Dryden had been free to go wherever, whenever, chasing after an interesting story or just to go and hope the story found him. He had Millerna in either world, and was glad for it as it seemed he had no choice but to go back to Gaea. It seemed her affection had been much harder to win on Gaea, though it made her eventual acceptance of him all the sweeter. Their relationship was public on Gaea as well, not hidden for fear of Allen or someone finding out. Perhaps things wouldn’t be so bad on Gaea. Sure he would lose a lot of free time, but he’d done it before, and he could handle it again as long as he had Millerna.

It seemed a shame however, to have to forget their time on Earth. He had learned so much and if that knowledge could be brought to Gaea, the land he ruled with his queen would prosper and have more wealth than it had ever known. Dornkirk had brought the limited science of his time and had created a machine to alter fate. If Dryden could bring the technology of Earth from now, even just the ideas, he could—

“I’m afraid that will not be allowed. That kind of knowledge could mean Gaea’s destruction, as it almost once did,” Folken interrupted his thoughts and brought a frown to his face. “If Gaea is meant to know the extent of science as Earth does, it will learn, but the planet will also lose much of what it has now. Forests would be leveled, animals destroyed, mountains mined for material. Enough of that is happening now with current technology and guymelefs, there is no need for more.”

“But the medical science I could bring would heal millions of diseases we didn’t even know had a cure. And we could solve food shortages with new agriculture techniques. There’s no limit to how we could adapt Earth’s science and knowledge to Gaea,” Dryden countered. He had to try and convince Folken to allow him that much, especially since it would benefit Gaea in the end.

“You saw what science and Earth knowledge did for those of Zaibach. It turned them into ruthless killing machines with a desire for world conquest. Once you know more than the rest of the world, it seems but a plaything. You, or your child, or even your child’s child would become corrupt from the power. Zaibach would happen all over again. As Gaea’s protecter I cannot and will not let that happen.” Folken’s voice had grown cold and fierce. Dryden wanted to argue back, fight for his knowledge, but knew he was beaten. Folken could do whatever he wanted with Dryden’s mind, the king and the journalist were powerless.

“Fine. Take it away. But at least give us Hitomi. You won’t be doing Gaea any service if you deprive Van of his woman. The only thing getting him through the construction and rule of New Fanelia was hope of seeing her again. Take away her time on Earth too, and let her be on Gaea.”

Folken’s eyes softened and he placed a ghostly hand on the king’s shoulder. “That is all up to Hitomi and Van, and not your concern. I am sorry.” Dryden closed his eyes and felt something course through him. When he opened his eyes, the world of Gaea thrived in front of him.

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Her sister and her parents were. . . on Earth she had led a happy life and besides her brief jealousy of her oldest sister, Millerna had been content. On Gaea it just seemed one bad thing after another happened. There had been relative peace after the incident with Dornkirk, but it had taken a long time to clean up the catastrophe he had left behind, and the peace between nations was fragile as all had seen how easily the alliances could crumble. There were strict politics to adhere to and certain things a queen could or could not do. On Earth she was allowed to follow her love of healing and medicine. Though she had helped start a serious study of it on Gaea, she herself was banned from dabbling in it. She had lead such a peaceful existence on Earth that she wasn’t sure her mind could handle going back to Gaea, being overloaded with the stress of ruling a united kingdom.

There was also Hitomi to think of. Though Millerna had been so jealous of her at first, now she couldn’t imagine living without the strange girl. Even when her friend was on Earth, she still felt like a part of Hitomi was with them, wanted to be near them. It was one thing to have Hitomi be a world away, and quite another to have all memory of her wiped clean. Folken hadn’t been exactly clear on how much their memories would be tampered with though. Would they even remember Hitomi’s first visit?

“You will remember it, though it will begin to cloud over soon after your return. Her visit did shape the history of Gaea after all. But,” and here Folken’s voice softened, “constantly wishing for her return is not helping the will of planet. You must all focus only on your present roles, not a girl from the past.”

“But Hitomi is our friend! And she was the focal point of everything that happened! She brought us together and her love for Van saved us all! How can you tell us that we need to forget?” Millerna nearly screamed in frustration. She didn’t want to forget and she didn’t want everyone to suffer again.

“Hitomi has made her choice. You will not suffer because you will not remember much, and neither will she. It will be like a sunny dream you can recall having back when you were a child. Your love and feelings for Hitomi, and hers for you, can never really be erased, but they can be muted to a pleasant hum.”

“Please Folken, don’t do this to us, don’t do this to your brother! Let us all stay together,” she pleaded.

“Even if it brings ruin to Gaea? Even if it destroys your kingdom and your people?” he asked her calmly. Millerna faltered. Could she really make that demand if it meant the death of millions? Millerna clenched her fists and turned her head away from the spirit of Folken. “You are a good queen and an even better person, you understand,” he told her, brushing a translucent hand across her cheek. Millerna shivered at the cold feeling.

“There is still hope, Queen Millerna. Never despair,” he said before disappearing into a flash of white. When she could breathe again, Millerna was looking up into the night sky at the Mystic Moon.

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It was a cruel fate on either side of the equation. In one world he had lost his sister, but gained Hitomi in her place. In the other his sister had been responsible for killing scores of people, but he had her back, though Hitomi was lost in the process. In either case he would lose part of his family, as that was what Hitomi had grown to be. Allen Schezar had had enough of loss. Between his father disappearing, his mother’s death, and Celena’s disappearance, Allen had suffered it all. He had also lost Hitomi to Van and Millerna to Dryden. They had tried to hide the relationship on Earth of course, but Allen had known, he could see the difference in Dryden’s smile when she came in the room. And on Gaea they had married. There was no one in either world for Allen.

He had tried so hard on Earth to find Celena, and the opportunity to have her back safe and sound on Gaea was a very tempting thing, but Allen wasn’t sure there was such a thing as “safe” on his home world. They had kept it very secret that Dilandeau had been made from Celena, and those who knew the truth also knew that Celena could never become that crazy killer again, but there were others who knew and did not care. They wanted revenge and justice for the war crimes Dilandeau had set upon the people. Even as head of the World Knights, Allen couldn’t always protect his sister. Losing her again would be worse than never finding her. Would he have to lose Hitomi too?

Folken had said they had no choice, that Gaea was where they belonged, but Allen sensed there was another option, another choice that could be made. If there was a way that Allen could return to his sister and bring Hitomi to Gaea, he would do whatever possible to achieve it. Not just for himself, but for Van, Millerna, Merle, Dryden, for Gaea.

“Unfortunately brave knight, that choice cannot be made by you. Are you not happy enough to be reunited with your sister and your old crew mates?” Folken asked. Even without his memories, Allen had been happy seeing Celena and Gaddes again, some void in his being filled, but now that he remembered his life on Gaea, he knew that void was still there with the loss of Hitomi.

“Would you give up your sister if it meant Hitomi could return to Gaea? Would you risk the destruction of Gaea just to see her again?” Folken waited for the answer, stony eyes locked onto the blonde man. Allen sneered his lip at the choice.

“So it’s Hitomi or the world, huh? There is no choice. I love her, but one person’s life cannot be traded for an entire world, no matter who it is,” he responded sullenly. It seemed there would be loss in Allen Schezar’s life once again. Would he ever know peace? Even on Earth he had been plagued with grief. Perhaps it was simply his destiny.

“You have led a hard life, knight, but it has made you who you are and it will help you protect those you love,” Folken said, resting a hand on the blonde’s tensed back. The cool touch made his muscles relax even against his will.

“Obviously it isn’t helping me protect those I love now,” he spat out bitterly. Folken lifted his hand and sighed gently.

“You cannot help Hitomi, but there is someone on Gaea who desperately needs you. And there are many others who are lost without your presence. With you to guide them there is always hope for peace.” Allen was mystified by the former stratego’s words, but before he could question, the in-between world blinked out in a flash and he was transported to his home.

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There was one person left to take back, one left to convince that Hitomi could not return to Gaea. With all his heart Folken wished that his brother would see the right path to take. The spirit breathed in deeply and approached Van.

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Yeah! Finally another chapter done. Once again I apologize profusely for the horrible gap in update, but things just caught up to me in real life. Oh, and sorry for the sort of cliff hanger too (is it even a cliff hanger?). I’m back in the groove of things now though, and it’ll only be a few more chapters until the end (probably one more chapter and an epilogue). Thanks for those who stuck with me, it means a lot!