Fic: What Ties the Soul 1 and 2/?




What ties the soul
By max

Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam wing

Note: this is slightly au, more tech, cuz that's how I roll.


The hadn't been designed as a cell. All it was was a hastily fabricated cylinder that they’d bolted down to the secondary hanger floor.  The man slumped on the warm metal floor tried to smile up. Half his face was swollen though, which made it hard. His skin was dark, making his brown eyes look warm, soft, hard to look away from.

Duo perched on the top edge of the railing.  The darkness in the unused hangar behind him soaked up the light from the light bar he'd dropped into the makeshift cell cast his slender face in stark shadows, lit up violet eyes with an unnatural burn. He had bits of scrap gundanium sharpened into claws on his fingertips, which he was dragging over the rough texture of the cylinder. “Ima kill you,” he hissed at the wounded man.

The man shifted a little, stretching out his legs, almost purposefully exposing his abdomen, belly.  His lips were thicker than Duo had ever seen and he wanted to look away from those big brown eyes, from the discomfort they left him with, but he wasn't going to give in. “Now boy,” the man said, his words in a thick and strange accent,  “Why you wanna do dat? Killin’ a man ain't no small ting.”

Duo dropped down into the cylinder, landing without a sound. Dressed all in black, excepted for the dingy white of his priest collar. “you ain't mah first,” duo said, his gundanium claws lifting sparks from the metal of the cell wall. “I killed the rest of your team. You shouldna attacked our ship.”

“Little man,” the wounded man said, gentle, as if he were protecting the kid in front of him. “You didn't kill us. It was a space battle. Children aren't responsible for what adults do. If we'd known there were kids on this ship, we would have been more cautious.”

“This is a sweeper ship,” Duo said, squatting down just out of reach. “Dar are kids on’em all. You should fear us. I killed your team and Ima gonna kill all of earth!” Duo said angrily, jabbing his claws into the floor. “Ima make them starve and burn!” Duo’s lips curled angrily as he spoke, violet eyes dark with rage. “You give pain -Ima give it back!”

“Wow,” the man said, eyes wide. He held out his hand. “Ma name is Jean-Jackson Damice. What's yo name?”

“Death,” Duo said,straight faced, prideful.

“You ain't Baron Samedi, no way, no how,” Jean-Jackson said. “You a kicked dog and I'm shit sorry that you been treated so bad.” His fingers flex d and suddenly there was a wrapped little candy in the palm of his other hand. They both stared at it. Darkness stained the little white paper wrapped candy.

Duo’s hand snapped out, grabbing the little thing. He popped it into his mouth.

“Uh, Jean-Jackson swallowed, his lips tensing for a moment. “Ah think there was blood on that.”

Duo wrinkled his nose defiantly and swallowed the candy. “Yer mine. Ah salvaged you. I can do anything ah want with you.”

The bigger man pointed a long finger at him. “Folk ain't salvage, kid. Ya might kill me, but ya ain't neva gonna own me. Why the hell you call yer self death?”

“Cuz,” Duo said. “Ain't you afraid of me?”

“Nope,” Jean-Jackson said. “You just a kid. How old are you, fuckin ten?”

Duo scrunched up his face, nose twisting. “I'm 15!”

“No you fuckin’ ain't,” Jean-Jackson said.

“I am too,” Duo said standing up, chin lifted. “I'm a great pilot! Ima rain death and destruction on the monsters!!!”

“Earth ain't filled with monsters, you little shit. Sure, people are assholes, but not all of them. Come to earth and let me show you,” he challenged hi,.

Denk banged on the outside of the cylinder. “Hurry up, Duo. Kill’em! I gotta clean this hanger!”

“That's all you value life,” Jean-Jackson asked sadly.

“You came here to kill me,” Duo defended. “Earth took our food and medicine and left us to die! I have to kill the monsters so we're safe!”

“I,” he said, pointing to himself, “came to arrest your ass for illegal weapons. If I'd known about you, I woulda added child abuse to the charges. That was really you, only you attacking us?”

“Yeah,” Duo said proudly. “Arrest, kill, same thing. Soon, Earth ain't gonna take from us no more.”

“A long time ago, people came to the place of my ancestors and took us...they sold us like we was property. We fought back though and we got free.”

Duo squatted down again, his braid held in both hands. “What colony are yer people on?”

“I'm from Haiti. It's an island on Earth.”

“What's an eye land,” Duo asked, suspicious.

“It's a bit of land in the ocean - the blue parts. Have you seen Earth at all?”

“Sure I seen simulations and maps of places where people live in real close together and comfortable on all the stuff they stole,” Duo said angrily. “I got real good with the tactical simulations. They got a lot of gravity and it don’t never fluctuate. That’s gotta be some fuckin hard core engines!”

Someone else banged on the side of the cylinder. “What’s going on in there,” Doctor G demanded. “Duo! Did you leave a survivor? What have I told you about that!”

Duo growled over his shoulder, “Leave me alone! I’m gettin’ ready in my own way! I do what I want!”

“Like hell you do,” G snapped. “I didn’t give you augmentation and train you in the Gundam so you could start fucking around! Get out here!”

Not looking in the direction of G’s voice, Duo flipped him off over his shoulder, while pulling what looked like a pen out of his shirt. He bounced his eyebrows at his prisoner, and turned the pen on. It turned out to be the smallest micro torch that Jean-Jackson had ever imagined, Duo quickly cut a hole in the floor and dropped down and out of sight. The hole was big enough for the man too and following the kid seemed like a real prudent thing to do.  

While Jean-Jackson had been on a lot of ships in his time, nothing had ever prepared him for what was below that hanger. “What the hell is this place,” he said, hurrying to catch up with the boy.

“Smelting,” Duo said, “And biorecapture.”  Duo went around a corner, then came back, motioning for the man to hurry up. “We don’t have long. They are gonna come after us.”

The man just stood there, staring at a huge transparent vat full of stuff floating in a slightly blue gel. “This is my partner! What have you done to him?”

“It’s biorecapture,” Duo said, “If you fuckers at Earth wasted less, you wouldn’t have to steal as much. Sorry about yer friend. He was dead when he went in though.”
“You’re sure,” Jean-Jackson whispered, his hand on the glass near his friend’s floating hand.

“Yeah. Messes with the enzymes if you put live shit in,” Duo said. “If you don’t wanna join’em though, we really gotta go.”

Jean-Jackson ran his hands into his hair, eyes wide. “This ship is a fucking nightmare.”

“So let's go see your eye land,” Duo said, “I ought do up front reconnaissance before I wreck their shit!”

A hand still holding his head, he nodded. “If I could take you to my family’s Mambo, she’d help you,” he said. “How we gonna go to Earth, boy?”

“Come on,” Duo said, turning and running off into the warren of vats and refining equipment.

Jean-Jackson gave chase because that was the only hope of any thing. He didn’t think any of the adults in this nightmare of a ship were going to be even a little helpful.

When they finally stopped, in something that Jean-Jackson thought had to be some kind of garbage resevoir, thought it looked like it hadn’t been used in decades. There was a thing that looked kind of like an escape capsule, kind of like a blender container.

“See? Ain’t great!? I put a second seat in for you,” Duo said, pulling part of it back, and it looked a lot like a very large gun.

Jean-Jackson’s stomach felt like it was in a blender. “What the hell? You can’t go anywhere in that! We’re two weeks out from Earth. There wouldn’t be enough air. It’s a coffin.”

“Who makes coffins? Are they fast?” Duo said plopping down in the front seat, “Come on. They are gonna be on us any minute. It’ll be fine!”

Jean-Jackson sat down in the back seat, scrunched up uncomfortably. “I suppose living a little longer is better than living less longer.”

Duo pulled his seat up a little to give him more room as the canopy slide closed around them. “Oh and we’re at Earth now. We got a good jump after the battle. Hold on!”

“OH Jesus and the saints,” Jean-Jackson yelled as the floor dropped away below the little craft and they fell just a little, “There are no restraints!”

“Nope,” Duo said, firing on the engine. “Buildin’ shit outta spare parts means sometimes ya make do.”

“You build this out of spare parts,” Jean-Jackson wheezed as the nose dipped and the lateral engines both fired forcing the little ship out of docking with the much larger Sweeper ship. “Have you flown her before?”

“Yup, nope,” Duo said as he pulled her around so they were facing Earth and then he just hung there, in orbit around the great blue and white swirled world. “Oh.”

As the Sweeper ship slipped away in a slightly higher and faster orbit, Duo reached out to touch the transparent nose of his little ship, as if he were touching Earth. “It’s so big.”

“Really,” Jean-Jackson snapped. “You don’t say!”

“It’s so beautiful!”
What Ties the Soul 2/?

By Max

Disclaimer: I don’t own Gundam Wing

“You’ve never really even seen a picture of Earth,” Jean-Jackson said. “You know all humans come from Earth, right?”

“People come from God,” Duo said, repeating learning he’d had as a little child, because most of his mind was taken up by the beautiful blue colony in front of him. Great swaths of white and blots of green and browns. Wonder like he’d never felt filled him and his fingers touched the thick clear nose of his little craft. “Why did they paint it like that? It seems so.... Beautiful.”

“What are you talking about? “ Jean-Jackson groaned, “It’s not painted. That’s just want it looks like. Those’er clouds. Fuckin’ hell. How can you build a fuckin ship, but not know what clouds are?”

“Shutup,” Duo snarled, turning around in his seat to glare back at Jean-Jackson. He was much smaller and so there was much more room for him. “Yer one ta talk! You don’t even know what bioreclaimation is! No, be helpful, cuz you know I saved yer life. How do I dock on Earth?”

Jean-Jackson stared at him for a moment. “It’s a planet, boy. What is yer name? I oughta know, you know, because we’re gonna die together.”

“I can’t die,” Duo said, bragging a little, “A planet’s just a big ass colony. Look, I ain’t attackin’ it now, so I don’t wanna damage the hull, ya know? I didn’t really put in tools for pop and boarding her, but I got a computer for breaking a docking code.”

“There’s no hull on a planet,”  Jean-Jackson said, head tilting. “I bet this shit we’re in ain’t gonna handle the heat when we reenter. We’ll be roast pig when we get to the ground.”

“Well, if there ain’t no hull, how’s it got breathable air? I been to meteors and they ain’t got no hull and no breathable air.”

“Gravity,” Jean-Jackson said gently. “Large objects such as planets produce gravity naturally.”

Duo glared at him with suspicion. “So if they got air and gravity... just naturally... how come they gotta steal from people and leave people to starve, uh?”

“How the fuck old are you,” Jean-Jackson asked as he tried to connect the dots between what he knew about people who lived in space, children, this child, about how dangerous it was to have a child who could pilot like this one did, but still know nothing about humanity.

“Ah told you. I’m fifteen. So... we just... like dive in like it’s a pool or something?” Duo said, watching Jean-Jackson with more trust now.

“You got heat shielding on this thing?” Jean-Jackson asked smiling nervously.

“No, but I got plenty of radiation shielding. We’re safe,” Duo said, pleased with himself.

“You got any way of communication,” Jean-Jackson said, strained, super worried.

“Sure,” Duo said, still feeling pleased with himself. “You got a an access code to reach your people. Are you gonna try to get us arrested? Cuz that wouldn’t be real nice.”

“No, no,” Jean-Jackson said, holding up his hands. “No, I got some friends that will help us get down to Earth. I’ll show you Haiti and you’ll never be the same. We got good food. You like food, right, Death?”

“What kinda food,” Duo asked, violet eyes narrowing. “Do you have real potatoes? I got one of those once.”

“Oh yeah,” Jean-Jackson said. “We got lots of potatoes. I’ll get a whole bag. We got eggplants and plantains. We got sweet potatoes, red beans - you gonna love red beans.”

“What’s a sweet potato,” Duo asked, head tilting. “Is it like a potato cupcake?”

“Oh no man, it’s an orange potato. You can almost make pumpkin pie outta’em.”

“What’s pumpkin pie,” Duo said, mouth watering. “I wanna go to your place. You’ll show me all these foods? Which foods were stolen from L2?”

“Uh,” Jean-Jackson said, “Uh, all these foods grow natural on Earth. What kind of food does L2 grow?”

“Grow? Food don’t grow,” Duo said, “And we got all kinda bars. They come in like ten different flavors and there are all kinds of things you can do with’em. There are some places that make a great kind of candy that doesn’t last very long. I really like apples.”

“Apples grow on trees,” Jean-Jackson said, “They aren’t candy.”

“Yeah? And does pizza grow on trees too,” Duo snickered.

“What do you think pizza’s made of?”

“Carbs, fats, and protein,” Duo said, as if that were the most obvious thing in the world. “It’s not like everyone has a printer, but they’re really cool if you can get them.”

“Ima a make you a pizza boy,” Jean-Jackson said, pointing both fingers at Duo. “Now, Ima give you a contact number and I need you to put that call through for me. Can you do that?”

“Yeah, I guess. No cops, right?”

“No cops. This is mah cousin Dravin. He’s about as far from cops as someone can get and not be a murderous little fuck like you.”

“Okay,” Duo said, still a little suspicious, but he put the contact number through and handed Jean-Jackson an ear piece.

“So, hey Dravin! Hey! How ya doin?” Jean-Jackson said, trying to sound as cool as he could, “Yeah, yeah, this is J.J. and uh, yeah, so about me arresting you last year, yeah, I know... that was some shit. So.... Yeah... I’m sorry. No, no, please don’t hang up! I need you now more than I evah did and I will give yah anything ya might want.”

Dravin, who was sitting in his office, piles of gambling cash laying in piles in front of him, “What the fuck do you want, J.J.?  You where? You serious? NO... seriously, you where?”

“I’m in orbit with a sweeper kid. My team is dead. We got no heat shielding. I will give you the camaro if you come get us.”

“I am offended,” Draven said, leaning back in his seat, a hand over his heart. “I am mortally wounded in mah truest of hearts that you think I’d take payment for rescuin mah auntie’s only son!”  His grin though, told a whole other story. “You just sit tight there cousin. Ah’ll send somebody fer ya.”        

“You know where ah am,”  Jean-Jackson asked, suspicious.

“O’course,” Draven purred, “The encryption on this line was shit. What was it done by a child?”

“Probably.”

“Oh you a funny man,” Draven rumbled. “Ima wanna hear this story.”

A couple hours later, the strangest shuttle Duo had ever seen touched down in a football field. Until the door opened, he’d been sulking that they wouldn’t let him pilot. With the opening of the door, the scent of grass after a spring rain came in along with traces of oxidized afterburn, flowers, forests, wood fires, the ocean, all the scents that would be on Hispaniola and Duo forgot completely about not being able to pilot the small and highly illegal little craft.

Jean-Jackson laughed as Duo ran down the ramp onto the football field and just stopped. The dawn was just coming up and the sky was orange, a vibrant orange that Duo had never even seen before and then it transitioned though some almost misty vanilla into a blue that sang of freedom, joy, health like no inner hull that Duo had ever seen.  He stood there at the bottom of the shuttle’s ramp staring, head tilted back, violet eyes wide.

“Yeah,” Jean-Jackson said, laying an arm around Duo’s smaller shoulders. “Dat’s da fuckin’ sky. Yer great-great-grandparents were born under that sky an’it belongs to ya too.”

Hair standing on end, Duo reached out his spread fingers as if he could touch it. “It’s so far away.”

“Kid,” the pilot Santos snapped, “You ain’t never seen the sky before?”

“He’s from space,” Jean-Jackson said kind of puffing up a bit to keep Santos out of Duo’s personal space. “Give’im some fuckin’ time!”

“They ain’t got no kids in space. Who the hell would take a kid to space?”

“Born there,” Jean-Jackson said.

“Bullshit,” Santos grumbled. “Too much radiation and not enough gravity. Maybe when they get Mars colonised or some shit. No fucker’s dumb enough to have kids in space.”

Duo flipped him off, but his eyes were still on the climbing sun. “That’s the SUN!  It looks like it... belongs there!”

“Duh” Santos groaned. “Get off my shuttle. I got to put it away.”

Duo jumped the rest of the way down, eyes caught by the mostly pretty nice bright green turf.

“Take yer boots off,” Jean-Jackson urged.

Duo gave him a look that was more the little monster that came into the cylinder than the boy seeing the sky for the first time.

Jean-Jackson backed off, hands up. “It’s not like you can’t still kill me if ya take yer boots off, baby monster.”
Duo wrinkled his nose, those violet eyes glaring slits for a moment. Then he bent over and unfastened his boots, pulling sockless bare feet out. As soon as he set one bare foot down on the cool green grass, his whole expression changed. At first slack, then his lips parted, eyebrows lifting. The second foot brushed over the top of the grass, brushing at it as Duo looked down, watching. His toes brushed at it with his foot pointed, head tilted, then he was jumping up and down on it, running around in small circles.

Jean-Jackson did his best not to laugh. “Oh boyo! Wait till ya feel warm sand!”

The engines on the shuttle fired up and Duo grabbed his boots, holding them to his chest. As the little shuttled lifted off, he looked around the open football stadium, his heart rate racing from being in such a wide open space. Boots held to his chest, he raced for the nearest cover.

“Stop! Boy! Wait!” Jean-Jackson yelled, but even being a foot taller and used to Earth’s gravity, he couldn’t keep up and Duo disappeared into the shadows and was gone.


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