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Songfic PG-13

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#1 Offline Peach 00

Peach 00
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Posted Apr 04 2012 - 04:19 PM


The day had gone. He was left alone, the mutant waters beneath Voya-Nui’s core trapping him under the rippling waves above. The waters were clear as he soared gracefully through the waters with unsurpassed swiftness and speed, bubbles creating behind him as he sped through the water current with ease. The lime-green and silver blur left behind him was too fast to even look at, the water sled his only friend he had left with him. The propellers on either side of it made it speed like a rocket through the slightly murky waters. But he did not care for petty time wasted on thoughts and stupid descriptions and words he had with him. He was washed up, no emotion left to use. He only wanted revenge.No one could stare the Toa in the eyes. The anger he held with him was one no one could imagine, the pain unbearable, the anguish and throbbing beyond horrific. And to feel no emotion was the worst of all, to not feel love, to not feel sorrow. But the only thing he could feel was pain, the scarred memories burned upon his mind. Those screams of terror and horror, the groaning and high-pitched shrieks of the Zyglak that had burned and terrorized his home with an ease unimaginable—all of it, scarred, the battle wounds he received gleaming red as it came to his mind. The petty blood and sinew spread, the tissue shredded with claws sharper than the most razor-sharp knife conceivable.All of it....bitter, acerbic, astringent memories blemished upon him...all of it an inconsequential disfigurement on his soul.‘Why, Mata-Nui, why?’ would be the continuous question asked over the years, constantly burning in his mind. It had been repeated over millions of times, too much to ask of the sacred Great Spirit. Again, no one could stare into the eyes of the Toa of Air: When you gaze into his eyes, you can only see burning hatred for the Zyglak, his own soul and maybe even Mata-Nui. It was burned upon him, undeniably exceeding any possibilities of living a happy life for him. He was comfortably numb in his own body, revealing no personal information to anyone and none at all of his emotions stuffed inside him, concealed by a mortifying attitude of hatred for anybody. Lesovikk was an empty soul.And he did not care to feel anything with him, not for years until the day he died by Karzhani’s hand. He had already stepped upon a path he did not want, messing with the being Karzhani already. Stepping onto that path once more would be foolish, but not as foolish as the past mistake shrouding his darkened path. And, though he protested against his mind, the horrific moments of that day were coming back to him slowly, as the deepening scar seemed to gleam alive to a terrifying moment of saddened life and death and the one soul he nearly killed himself over that died in his arms.

Spend all your time waiting,

For that second chance—

For a break that would make it okay,

There’s always some reason—

As the squadron of Zyglak advanced up the beaches, concealed within the shadows of the wavering palms above their head—the continuous shared ­click-click-clickety-click noise of orders between the creatures, while one shrieked a high-pitched howl to signify their advance, to give a choice of sweet surrender or death for their victims. They advanced up from the shores with no further hesitation, and as they did, the Toa of Air watched from behind the palm’s top, as the group of fifteen rushed forward in a quick, scavenging way, on all fours they ran without any wait for answer. Essential that he would report and say they were coming, he decided to play it safe and not advance. But, perhaps, it would not matter.Lesovikk looked over, for he could see the other side of the island—he was shocked. Clouded with smoke, he could see the burning fires, the screaming in the city and in the villages all around. His eyes held anger, tears of pure hatred. As he grasped with great the light-as-a-feather katana off his back, he held it tighter, and one would think it might unwillingly shatter into a million pieces due to his strength of pure and utter force that was compulsory inside him.Thud! A loud, ringing, steel-against-wood sound echoed, as a million pieces of bark would be lifted from the tree, and the palm tree shook, sending Lesovikk into a wild ride as his body was flung into the air, a bad, ear-hurting crack sounding in his body that resembled one’s spine breaking. As he was left barely awake, he watched as he nearly hit the ground, while he still had the energy to release a gush of wind to send him upward like a cyclone. With this, Lesovikk leaped gracefully upward, lithe and as light as a feather as he prepared himself for the thudding when his feet touched the ground. Expecting his abrupt attacker to be below, he swung himself into a gut-wrenching spin.The spin was blurring, dizzying, and slightly nauseating, but Lesovikk could tolerate the sheer force and effect that was placed upon his body, while for others their stomach would have flipped several times from the force. While he continued to spin, his katana blade was outstretched in expectancy for his opponent to appear. As he stopped, he looked around. Nothing. But as he waited, his body was flung sideways, his back reaching the outer skin of a palm tree, uncomfortably sliding downward and laying on the ground with some pain enforced.As his eyes opened, he realized he had several deep, painful cuts across his right leg, a slice too deep on his back that seeped out blood with anguish. But Lesovikk withstood the pain, as he saw his opponent slowly walking forward. It was a Zyglak, as it shrieked the echoing, painful call that was a trademark to their tribe. Its claws were covered in blood and tissue from his leg, as he realized his leg was worse than he thought. Unsteadily and barely any balance to keep him standing, Lesovikk still leaped to his feet.Blood poured down his leg, while he quickly tried to run away from the Zyglak, while he continuously felt shameful with cowardice as he had realized what he had done. As he ran with sheer anguish unimaginable, he stopped and looked back. The Zyglak was not moving, but realized the Toa’s surrender and to only run.As it did this, it again let out a scream, echoing like a wolf’s howl but more like a bird would cry squawk. This is how the Zyglak’s call sounded, and finally Lesovikk looked forward in front of him and just ran limping as he did as he held his leg to try and hold the blood from dripping on the ground, to avoid from any unnecessary followers and unwanted guests.

To feel not good enough,

And it’s hard at the end of the day—

I need some distraction,

Oh, beautiful release...

His destination was near. He realized that he was nearly there, towards his village where his friends and the villagers would hide in the caves. As he was there, lingering in the bushes, he saw an unwanted Zyglak patrol strolling by. Lesovikk thought twice of going into a complete banzai mode with his katana, but he abandoned it immediately. As the gleaming red eyes of the Zyglak traced over the area, the squadron of six moved onward without any precaution, running on all fours.As he leaned his body forward the slightest, he glanced left to right to see if anymore were coming, and finally rushed forward, hesitation seeming appealing in his mind every now and then. Lesovikk looked around as he stood in the middle of the dirt path—everything was set aflame, nothing but burning flames of agony and screams seeming reminisce to him.And, the saddest and most haunting sight was the one lying in front of him—the Toa of Fire comrade of his, his body sprawled upon the ground with dirt and mud covering him and dirty blood emitting from his insides as he saw the terrifying sight of a wooden, broken but sharp spear stabbed into the Toa’s armor.And Lesovikk clenched his fist, as his whole body seemed to shake violently, like a tremor in the ground. As he gawked his eyes towards the group of Zyglak that continued down the path in wild, beastly gallops, he set off in rage, his katana sword at the ready while he took his secondary one from the second scabbard on his back. Lesovikk sprinted forward with outrageous haste, as within minutes he reached the squad of Zyglak, and he screamed, his dignity and soul shattering. His eyes were blazing with anger in that moment of unexpected haste that broke loose inside him like wildfire, as he slashed his katanas this way and that with the Zyglak deflecting and some scattering in fear at the worthy attacker.Lesovikk threw his left-hand katana in a jagged spin, as it flew hard to the left in an ugly slashing manner as it tore through the Zyglak’s armor, while with a gush of air he blew the bodies straight into the hard, tangling amount of bushes that they were flung hard into. As he retrieved the katana again, the Zyglak were beginning to corner him, while again he only let himself become a vortex of wild movements, spinning dizzily once more as the katanas ripped through the Zyglak creatures like razor-sharp blades.Within five more minutes of wicked moves that destroyed the Zyglak squadron and several deep cuts slashing through Lesovikk’s armor once more, he rushed forward to the city, where the rest of comrades would possibly be, defending themselves against the wretch of the Zyglak tribe.

Memory seeps from veins,

Let me be empty,

A little weightless and maybe—

I’ll find some peace tonight.

Too much was happening, overgrowing on the group of four Toa. The Toa of Electricity rushed forward, leaping upward gracefully and spinning herself as she landed lightly on her feet behind the Zyglak. As it turned around, a mound of electricity made it stop, its arms and legs buckling as the lightning stopped its workings. Nikila sprinted once more to retrieve her sword, a powerful blade with lightning intertwined around the shining silver metal of the blade’s core. Sticking the blade right through another Zyglak’s armor, the lightning zapped the insides of the Zyglak, the wiring of it weakening as the smell of electrical wires burning seeped into the air, black smoke revealing from the wiring of its arms and legs that connected to its torso.The shining amethyst armor of Nikila was a blur as she swiftly dashed forward, a rolling jump as she swept over another Zyglak. But this time, she was too hasty as a burning feeling of pain and agony reached her insides—she gaped at her waist to see blood and a cut seeming to seep slowly, the blood trickling down her leg. She held it with her right hand, as her body fell to the ground in a wrench of pain, her body limp and useless.As the lime-green clad Toa of Air reached the city square, he saw in a slow-motion fashion Nikila falling like an angel that had broken its wings. And this was the final straw that broke his spirit, raising him from a deadly climax of anger and lethalness that oozed from his soul, leaking as he dove forward in anger, watching as his comrades fell one by one nearby. As he sprinted forward, he slashed this way and that at the surrounding Zyglak, but then he didn’t care.He ignored the Zyglak beginning to surround the Toa of Air, as he picked up his comrade, beginning to rush away from them with Nikila lying in his arms, her body just barely on the verge of consciousness as her body was surfacing towards death. Her body was nearly lifeless.“Le-leso-vikk...” she stammered, her voice faint as she stuttered the Toa’s name to him. Lesovikk continued, hesitating every second, as the word came to his mind—hesitation.

In the arms of the angel,

Fly away from here,

From this dark, cold hotel room—

And the endlessness that you fear...

Hesitation.Hesitation?Hesitation...It repeated, as innocence turned to pure agony and blame. Lesovikk ran, breathing reluctantly as he ran farther away, through the hills of stone as flashbacks of the Toa of Fire with a spear shoved through him came back. It appeared all around him as he climbed higher, flames burning nearby as the charging Zyglak were coming behind him, cordak blasters in hand and ready to fire the destructive missiles while their eyes were shimmering red in a blood color. Their claws were shining with dripping, scarlet blood as they galloped.Nikila’s yellow eyes grew fainter and less life-filled as he sprinted, thinking there was no end. The pure anguish he felt, the guilt, the blame...oh, the ravaging blame and guilt he felt as all Karzhani was breaking loose and unraveling before his eyes, as he looked over the several stains of blood on his hands from that moment and before when he held the blood of his leg, while wounds were building as recent memories for him. All of the blood was dried and fresh intertwined as all he could here was the distant beating of his heartlight on and off, rapidly increasing in pace.He could not tell if he was living a very horrible nightmare or reality.

You are pulled from the wreckage,

Of your silent reverie...

You’re in the arms of the angel,

May you find some comfort here...

Behind him he looked, black and white images racing in his mind as it conjured recent flashbacks of those past horrifying minutes that flashed before his eyes, and all of it seemed like seconds. Behind him were the dead bodies of his friends, and in his arms was a being he loved, one that had become more than a friend in the times before this.“Lesovikk...” the voice came again, and Lesovikk looked down at her waist, which he had quickly had the time to put a single wrap of bandage over from his own wounds, which had easily been covered in blood in those past minutes. Lesovikk looked at her face and expression, which had had an eerie smile crossed there.

So tired of the straight line,

And everywhere you turn—

There’s vultures and thieves at your back,

The storm keeps on twisting...

Lesovikk continued, as finally he reached his objective and destination, the final moments—the cliff face. As he reached the very top, below he saw the large, running waterfall, that lead to the ocean surrounding the island. As he looked behind him, he realized that he was cornered, and the only thing that he had left was to freefall downwards towards the endless ocean bottom.He turned around, seeing the endless, numerous amounts of Zyglak here and there, and finally the leader shrieked a call of defeat to the others behind him. And Lesovikk just fell backward without any reason. His body fell, with his hands gripping Nikila as he continued to fall. Creating an easy air cushion as he clenched his hand in a fist, letting one hold Nikila, he outstretched it, falling slowly on the invisible cloud of air, as it was an illusion to the Zyglak hundreds of feet above, looking like they were just relentlessly falling to their dooms.As they reached the very bottom, the water traced their bodies from head to feet, and the two were engulfed with fresh water, while Lesovikk reached the water’s surface, revealing himself behind the waterfall and finding the secretive cave that he briefly went inside to lay the weak body of Nikila against the cavern wall.That had been where he wished to reach.

You keep on building the lies,

That you make up for all that you lack,

Don’t make no difference,

Escaping one last time—

“Lesovikk,” another weak, but sweet-sounding voice came, Nikila’s. Lesovikk glanced over at her as he himself laid next to her against the cold, stone wall, the water soaking on Lesovikk staining the walls quickly. He smiled as he looked at her face, eyes beginning to fill with water and trickling down his mask were tears.“Yes?” he gently replied in slightly sorrow-filled voice.“I...I love you...” she slowly whispered, as she weakly tried to turn her head towards him, to lean forward and to lie against him. Her head fell on his shoulder, as she tried to wrap her arms around him, but she did not have the energy, or strength. And Lesovikk clasped his hand in hers, her own tears falling upon his hand.

It’s easier to believe

In this sweet madness—

Oh, this glorious sadness,

That brings me to my knees...

The cave still remained damp, cold and dark to the two, as the small sound of dripping water leaked through the silence that the two kept. And Lesovikk slowly replied, “I love you, too, Nikila,” And both their eyes closed to remain in the cold silence of the cavern, as finally Lesovikk took her body and held it in his hands, his head laying against hers and eyes closed for both as Nikila’s life slowly faded away, and Lesovikk was left lonely, silence once again deadly to his soul.And it came again to him:I love you, too, Nikila...And that one word that made him feel the agony, the pain, the anguish, the bitterness, the loss of friendship—the lives and friends lost, the guilt, the very reason he would avenge their souls—the only thing that made him to blame for in his mind for everything that had happened all in that day, when nightfall began to rise on the outside and still the cool whoosh of the waterfall’s water pouring; that one word that had him all to blame for it:Hesitation.

In the arms of the angel,

Fly away from here,

From this dark, cold hotel room—,

And the endlessness that you fear...

And the memories ended for Lesovikk, as he emptied the tears from the inside of his mask. It was too much to bear as the burden came down upon him, the reason why everything had gone wrong, why it all happened—himself. And Lesovikk could not bear that burden, that weight—it was too much for him to carry upon his shoulders. But it had happened, haunting him still to this very day that he lived in haunting of it.It crept on him again.

You are pulled from the wreckage,

Of your silent reverie,

You’re in the arms of the angel—

May you find some comfort here...

That burden...the one he had carried upon himself for years at a time, one that made him wonder what would have happened if he had possibly expected that, all of it before it came crashing down upon him. He would not have been here, down in Mahri-Nui, where his soul was left empty, no emotion that he could share but tears and pain, no friends with him and the only thing he had—a simple sword and a sea-sled that he would soar with among the waters of the underwater island where creatures lurked in caves.He was left in the dark, where he did not feel he belonged in all this time of waiting for a shining light of hope to come, and the darkness shattered and the shadows unveiled from his mind. Not anymore to be left in a lurking of memories of pain, anguish, agony, astringency, mortifyingly, throbbing, pain unending. Immortality of pain and revenge lurked still in a scarred memory, and an eternity it would take to remove it and to look forward to hope and none of the despair that kept with him now.And that was a path that would take years to conquer and go down in happiness.But he would set out to do it, to become a hero and to show the leadership he had yearned for all those years ago that he had failed himself with. He would regain the respect he thought he deserved, the respect he would set out to earn in the empty, mutant waters of Mahri-Nui. He would find friends to lead and friends to not fail again

You’re in the arms of the angel—

He would indeed.

May you find some comfort here...

---This is really out of date, and I plan on revising it very soon. The story is based off of Lady Kopaka's picture Hesitation (don't have the link to the picture, although those of you who have seen the piece of art will see the inspiration), and although at first I wanted the viewpoint to be based from Nikila's perspective, I switched it to Lesovikk's point of view before making last-minute edits to it. The song is by Sarah McLachlan, entitled Angel. I mainly posted this as a 1,000 post special (1 over, but it's still a specal), so yeah.Comments and critique are appreciated. =)

Edited by Peach 00, Apr 04 2012 - 04:20 PM.

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On the day the wall came down / They threw the locks onto the ground
And with glasses high / We raised a cry / For freedom had arrived
On the day the wall came down / The ship of fools had finally run aground
Promises lit up the night / Like paper doves in flight
I dreamed you had left my side / No warmth, not even pride remained
And even though you needed me / It was clear that I could not do a thing for you
Now life devalues day by day / As friends and neighbors turn away
And there's a change that even with regret / Cannot be undone
Now frontiers shift like desert sands / While nations wash their bloodied hands
Of loyalty, of history / In shades of grey
I woke to the sound of drums / The music played, the morning sun streamed in
I turned and I looked at you / And all but the bitter residues slipped away
slipped away...

#2 Offline fishers64

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Posted Apr 14 2012 - 01:03 PM

Well, I have to hand it to you for evoking the somber mood I'm feeling this week very well. You did a good job creating the grim feel of Lesovikk's thoughts, and connecting it back to the song - you incorporated it well. That, and the insertion of the word hesitation, which I assume is a nod to the picture you mentioned. 

 Lesovikk thought twice of going into a complete banzai mode with his katana, but he abandoned it immediately.

"twice" doesn't need to be there - feels odd. It was kind of hard to get the point of hesitation - I garner it was when the Zyglak first came onto the beach, and Lesovikk didn't immediately come out and attack them or run and warn his team.  It didn't stick out to me - probably because of the wording you used. You tell us a lot of the character's feelings and what is going on, but it almost seems, because of this, that the actions of the characters don't follow from their emotions. For the graphic violence and carnage you describe, the effects on the characters don't seem to be affected by them. The story is lacking in emotional detail in a story where the emotions of the characters are the whole point - to allow the audiance to empathize with their pain. The effects seem to be blunted by words like "rage", which you use to describe Lesovikk a few times - why is he angry? What is he thinking about himself when he's mad? What does his rage cause him to do? His actions just seem to be there, without any emotional cause. Why does Lesovikk do what he does in this story? That's a question you haven't really answered. I had a teacher that told me to avoid "being" verbs - "was", "is", etc. If you decide to revise to improve later, I would encourage you to go in and remove those words and revise to make sense, which might help you avoid just telling us what the characters' emotions and actions are without connecting them together, which seems, in my view, to be this work's greatest liability. 

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#3 Offline Cederak

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Posted May 05 2012 - 06:53 PM

Hello, Peach 00, here is your official SSCC review. I think this is the first time I've read your work and, to be honest, my first review of a songfic…ever. Now, a couple canon deviations aside (Nikila wielding a sword rather than a trident and having amethyst armor rather than blue and white), the only thing I was curious about was your spelling of Karzahni as Karzhani. Artakha's name manages to trip me up at times, so I'm sure it was an honest mistake.Once I caught on that this was going to become a Lesovikk flashback, I couldn't help but think of the tagline to the game Halo: Reach - from the beginning, you know the end. Whether you're familiar with that game or not, the idea translates well into what you set up in this story. But I suppose that's beside the point. I should be emphasizing whether or not your song choice translates well into your story. I'd like another moment to switch my focus elsewhere, just for a second. I think, being in critic mode at the moment, I shouldn't let a notion about a song influence my judgment of your work. And I won't. But outside of BZP, I'm a regular guy. I come home, I watch television, and then I have to hear Sarah McLachlan's Angel attempt to tear my heart out in those overdramatic, super sad ASPCA commercials. So yes, there is a noticeable degree of gloom to that song, but it works fairly well with your story because Lesovikk is such a gloomy character. A bit more on that later.Thematically, you conjured up hesitation. That is a strong reflection of who Lesovikk was - an indecisive entity that, in a single moment of uncertainty, let his world slip away from him. The island was overrun by Zyglak and his friends were dead, and Lesovikk's survivor's guilt tore at him. For millennia on end. Perhaps I'm reading too deep here, but there's an importance to how Lesovikk handled the situation in trying to save Nikila. They enter the fresh water and take refuge behind a waterfall. The water is a rescue. In the present, the Pit water is black, and Lesovikk is deep within it, travelling alone among the mutagen and the monsters that dwell there. The black water is a fitting place for Lesovikk - a hopeless, bitter realm where the defenseless live in fear and the beasts roam for their next meal.Without Nikila, I think Lesovikk's spirit is broken, hence why he renounces the Toa code (in canon at least). For whatever reason, Lesovikk loses his friends, he loses the one biomech he cared for most, and he can't forgive himself for that. And so he feels this wide range of pitiable emotions, filled with anguish and despair. To feel responsible for the loss of so many lives, let alone one life, and have reality play back in your mind as you try to think of ways you might've saved them, over and over and over, that's hard to live with. You captured the tortured soul within Lesovikk perfectly, shedding light on that moment where he felt his innocence vanish and found blood (and tears) on his hands.Normally, I'd say something about what needs to improve, but I don't have much. Your grammar and spelling were fine, and the dialogue was wonderful. Even you descriptions managed to paint a vivid picture of Lesovikk's surroundings, whether in the past or present. As for the song Angel, I'm still a little undecided on that. I don't think it conveyed the idea of your story as fluidly as you might've hoped, as lyrics can digress at times and break focus. Bear in mind, I've never written a songfic or critiqued one, so perhaps I'm not the utmost authority on what works best. In that respect, I'd understand if you take my words with a grain of salt. The only real fault I found was your ending. For being so tormented, Lesovikk's final reflection is impossibly hopeful for the character you built throughout your story, not to mention his belief that he deserves respect. Following the incident, I wasn't even sure Lesovikk respected himself.After reading this, however, I'm convinced that you're an excellent writer and have refined your craft to an exceptional degree. That doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement, though. Perhaps you were planning to end this beautifully depressing tale on a high note, but there are more creative ways to achieve that than breaking a character's consistency. Beyond that, your work is solid and was a delight to read. Keep it up, Peach 00.-Ced
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