096 Chapel Days · Scene 14
ights out on the Chapel meant little as Squawk’s voice woke everyone aboard the mobile fortress. Those jarred from sleep were on as high alert as those who worked the night shift. When Squawk’s yelling ceased the Chapel lit up as the nuns went about checking on each other’s wellbeing. Before Chain the sight of the Chapel coming alive with light in the dark of night was mesmerizing.
Though she spoke the words aloud, Chain could not hear herself at all over the ringing in her ears, but she did not care at the moment. Captivated by the beauty brought to life by Squawk’s voice she could only marvel in amazement. Her amazement though conjured old memories from a quaint village within a cliffside alcove nestled in a forest and of the dreams of those she cherished. Looking at the vegetation that adorned the Chapel in the artificial light, her face of awe gave way to a jealous smile.
“You beat me to my dream, didn’t you Squawk?”
The answer the nāti youth provided was not picked up by Chain’s still ringing ears and she offered him a smile as she pointed at her ears. Naturally, Squawk threw his arms up in frustration making Chain’s smile widen even more. Not to torture Squawk too much though, she turned her eyes to the stars above.
“You really are my beacon back to who I was Squawk. I bet you don’t want to hear that though. You’re probably thinking I’d want to drag you along on my adventures just to keep me, me. But you know Squawk, if you look down, you’ll see all of the life on the Chapel and it’s so different from what the rest of the world is like. People are happy and their worries aren’t worn on their faces. They know that life can recover and grow strong again, and you’re a part of that Squawk. You always went on about how you’d become a Pilgrim of Atheaeldre and return her gift to the Face of Icarus. Everyone doubted you, you know? We never thought with your pride you could pull it off, and yet… I can see it with my own eyes, the life you’re bringing back to the Face of Icarus and it amazes me. How hard did you work to make your dream come true?”
“It hasn’t come true yet. Look beyond this vessel and you’ll still see the same charred waste you do everywhere else you idiot.”
Though Squawk sounded muted, Chain’s hearing was coming back and she heard him clearly enough to respond.
“But you’re out here giving it your all, even when your life is in danger you haven’t given up.”
“Can finally hear again can you, you idiot?”
“Then consider it a lesson you best not forget; never give me a reason to yell at you.”
“Heh heh… I think I’m probably going to though.”
Chain scratched at her cheek as Squawk surely enough raised his voice, though fortunately not anywhere near his full volume. Risking giving the already agitated youth reason to raise his voice further, Chain backflipped off the railing and onto the balcony. Stretching, she looked down at his bewildered expression behind her and smiled.
“I don’t want to take the path to your dream away from you Squawk. Not after you’ve worked so hard to get here. Besides, I have others out there who can be my beacon so you don’t have.”
“You mean to tell me the other idiot and your pet⁈ Pah! And how exactly do expect to find them in your state. You were fortunate as it was to find me.”
“You were too Squawk.”
With a condescending harrumph, Squawk folded his arms indignantly as Chain pouted at him. Curling her hands into fists at her side, Chain’s pout deepened but did not budge Squawk. With a groan she gave up and turned her back on him.
“Well it’s not like I don’t have a way to find them. I shouldn’t have to get lucky like I did with you. I just have to chase after my dream and they’ll naturally come to me. Though becoming the most renowned adventurer in the world might take some time and effort.”
A heavy sigh escaped Squawk as Chain again scratched at her cheek in thought. Lowering his head, Squawk uncrossed his arms only to clasp his hands behind him.
“It’s little wonder that brutish horse has chosen the path forward that she has. She’s still a fool but considering the level of idiot you are it’s a decision I can deride for only so long. Pah! It really is like you’re all twisting my arm.”
Tilting her head confused, Chain looked back at Squawk trying to fit his words together.
“I don’t think I get it Squawk. I just said I’m not going to take you with me, and I have no idea what horse you’re talking about?”
“The one prone to calling you a heretic you idiot!”
“I don’t believe I stuttered.”
A nervous laugh escaped Chain and she scratched at her cheek again as she came to terms with Squawk’s way of referring to Maye. Coming to terms with that though was only a partial answer to Chain’s question as it became easier for her to refine her inquiry.
“But what does Maye have to do with anything? She isn’t forcing you to follow me, is she?”
“You’re innocent naivete does not fit you, you idiot. You opened her Ambrosial Gate today and can you guess who she asked to teach her magic?”
“Eh–⁈ She asked you⁈ Why⁈”
Turning to fully face Squawk, Chain held back not one drop of her growing curiosity. Squawk was not in a particularly good humor however as he spoke about Maye’s intentions.
“Because of you.”
“That’s right, you idiot. Your idiocy seems infectious and she has decided to head into the world with you when you leave this vessel behind. She believes there is much to learn following an idiot of your caliber around and knows more about my opinion on that than I would like. Hearing you spout your own idiocy however it has become apparent that you surely will just get yourself killed on your own, but I can’t possibly trust that fool when she would choose to willingly become a Sa·B·er so as not to be a liability.”
“Eh? EH⁈ E~~~~~H?????!!!!!”
Absolutely dumbstruck, it was Chain’s voice that next echoed out into the night.