From Exalted - Unofficial Wiki
Miakonda was normally the first to wake in the morning. The crew around her snored or tossed in their sleep, the male she shared the rough blanket with grumbled slightly at her moving, but was silent quickly. He had told her to call him Burns when she had joined the crew, just like the rest of the crew, but his real name was V’neef Yarra. His face was rather horribly mutilated from an accident when he was a child. Now he smiled with only half his face, had no left eyebrow, and was deaf in his left ear. The burns traveled down his body, stopping at last at his hip. Miakonda had seen how far they went down only once and on accident.
Burns was the closest thing Miakonda considered a friend on the ship. Both of them had a fear of fire and were not fond of being touched. Burns took his deformity with a light heart, saying that it made him look meaner and that one day he would find a woman that found men with body withering scars, flattened noses, and twisted lips sexy as hell. Miakonda, being albino because of the curse of her people, was rather shy. Burns often spoke for her.
Miakonda stood and went to the edge of the ship and watched as the sky pinked with the coming dawn. Right now, she knew, her mother and father would be burrowing into the sand to hide from the harshness of the desert sun. They would breathe out of hollowed human femurs until night fell and then they would seek out humans to feast on. Miakonda too was albino, but the fine white fur that covered her entire body protected her skin from the reflected sunlight of the ocean. It also helped her dry out faster after a storm. She rubbed her fingers together, admiring the softness of the rabbit fur.
Her mind took her back to memories she did not want to remember. Luna had appeared before her, a gloriously beautiful male with long black hair and white glowing eyes dressed in silver, black, and blue robes. His alabaster fingers had touched Miakonda’s lips and she had wept when he kissed her.
Miakonda snarled and shook her head. There was no reason to remember those thoughts. They were back with the people that slept under the sands and raised their children in flesh tents. She climbed over the edge and dove into the salty sea, taking on the form of the dolphin as she splashed. She was still covered in fine white fur, but she would not be going for on this morning’s swim. The water embraced her and she enjoyed being with another of the followers of Luna: the ocean. The tides rose and fell with the moon. Miakonda was much happier around water.
The chamber was surrounded in flames, with great spires of grafted flames holding the chamber’s roof up. She was young, not yet old enough for anyone to have even explained to her what would happen to her when she grew. She had tasted human flesh only once.
The woman was beautiful beyond reason. Her hair flowed down her back and rippled with a shine like gold. Her skin was ebony and her lips were ruby. She was dressed in a fitting crimson dress, her ankles, wrists, and neck were adorned with gold rings and jeweled chains. She was the most beautiful thing Miakonda had ever seen, and when she smiled to the little girl, Miakonda lost her knees.
The sonic burst escaped her before she could stop it. Frustrated with her inability to stop the memories, Miakonda swam back to the ship, changing to her human form and climbing the anchor chain to get back to the ship, shaking herself dry.
“Good swim?” Burns asked, offering the hardtack biscuit.
“The tide will be in,” Miakonda told him as she took the biscuit.
“That’s good. We should put into An-Tang today, lots of jungles there for you to run around in.” Burns told her as he leaned against the rail. Miakonda sucked at the hardtack to soften it. “I went there once, before,” he gestured to the scars. “Anyway, it’s really pretty country. Now’s the best time for us to be going, it’s too humid for the Dragon Blooded to be visiting there. It’s a week’s span of time, but that’s all we need to get supplies and repair the ship. You know, ale works better to soften that.”
She stopped sucking on the biscuit and looked at him,
“Let me eat the way I like, please.” Burns held his hands up in defense. Miakonda sighed and sucked on her biscuit, eating it once corners were soft enough, and began helping to raise the anchor so they could get going. She nodded to the captain as he took the helm.
Just as Burns had said, the ship was pulling into the land of An-Tang, in the Port of Dragon’s Jaw’s as the sunset. Miakonda looked up at the rising moon and scowled when there was not one in the sky.
“No moon, idiot,” she told herself. “And a fine one you make.” She hung back as the others hurried into the city to drink and stat their lust.
“At least come join for some rice wine,” Burns said, as he approached her.
“I’ll come along, but I don’t think I’ll be drinking much.”
“Of course you will,” Burns replied. “I’m buying.” Knowing better than to touch her, Burns grinned and grabbed her seven-section staff, running down the gangplank with it.
“Burns!” Miakonda shouted and chased after him, into a bar, where she got her staff back only after she had ordered a drink.
“Bad memories?” Burns asked once Miakonda had four or five pints in front of her. Her nose wrinkled and she nodded.
“Talk about it?”
“Just remembering how I got to the ship.”
“You got to the ship because the captain and I watched you kick the crap out of a man.”
“Not how I got into the crew, how I got to the ship.” Burns was silent, drinking, but his eyes never left her. “My parents are Dune People, the carnivores of the Lap, you know them?”
“Heard of them.”
“My tribe was foolish people and fell into the hands of a fae. I don’t think they know what she was…is…whatever.”
“Barbarians do weird things.”
“You have no idea!” Miakonda’s voice rose loud enough to make people look at her. She ignored them as she looked to him again. “The fae would feed of our dreams. Dune People, though, must have had pretty boring dreams because she decided it wasn’t enough…”
The woman held Miakonda’s chin in her graceful fingers. It hurt the little girl’s eyes to look at her, so she closed them until the woman let go.
“I am pleased with you,” the woman told Miakonda’s father.
“Thank you, holiness,” he replied.
“She is acceptable, you may leave.” Miakonda was left on the jade floor of the room as her parent’s left.
“Mama! Papa!” Miakonda called, chasing after them. The black door slammed shut and Miakonda ran into it, banging her fists on it. “Mama! Papa! MAMA!”
“Afraid?” the woman asked, her fingers starting to toy with Miakonda’s white hair. The little girl nodded, large tears trickling down her cheek. The woman knelt and licked the tears from her white skin. Her red painted nails traveled over the little girl’s body and Miakonda cried harder.
“You were a sacrifice?” Burns asked, raising his brows.
“She had been feeding off my dreams the most. She said that if they did not send me, she would move the sands so we could not hide.”
Miakonda was sprawled on the floor of the fire chamber. The woman walked around her in a circle, licking her lips. By sheer will alone, Miakonda had spent three years in the chamber. She was starting to be a woman now, her hips and her breasts swelling while her waist narrowed. She was horrifically thin; her ribs poking up through her skin, her knees almost perfect triangles, and her spine could clearly be seen. She struggled to breath, but it became harder the more and more her captor circled. The last of Miakonda’s hope was fleeing from her like air. For years Miakonda had been fighting the woman, she would keep fighting for her own sanity until the female killed her.
Her eyes closed.
Silver streaks surrounded her, a few touched Miakonda on the forehead and she opened her eyes. The man was too perfect. Miakonda’s heart beat faster, painfully, as he smiled to her.
“My child,” he said in a voice that rippled like water. “Here is not your end. Fight and end this. No Beloved of mine lets a fae have the last word.” He helped her stand and kissed her sweetly as tears trickled down her cheeks.
Her eyes opened to see the woman just above her.
“Not dead yet? Good.” Miakonda growled and her fist went into the woman’s throat. The fae gagged and stood quickly rubbing her perfect throat. Miakonda slowly stood, the love of Luna flowing through her and the silver light from the silver disk on her forehead illuminating the room. Around Miakonda’s body a circle of staffs like a sun formed in flicking reds, greens, and blues like an opal. The female’s eyes widened and she screamed as Miakonda pounced, tearing her apart with an animalistic rage.
“How did you escape?” Burns asked, leaning on the table.
“I was able to break through the door and escape into the night. I wandered for a long time before I was found by Dies Proudly with Enemy’s Heart in Hand, my mentor. They saved my sanity.”
“How old were you?”
“About twelve when I escaped the fae. I spent easily two decades with my mentor and the others. At last it became clear to both he and I that I was simply too scared from my past to be fully happy in a pack. He gave me my staff and wished me luck. I’ve been able to sneak off and see him sometimes, but we have nothing to talk about. But when it’s a new moon I have a harder time pushing those thoughts from my mind.”
The tavern was closing as Burns and Miakonda left to make their way back to the ship.
“Are you going to kill me now?” Miakonda asked him. Burns looked at her.
“You know that I’m Anathema, you’re supposed to kill me.” Burns laughed as they walked up the gang plank.
“Not all of us Dragon Blooded are of that thought. A pact, I won’t kill you if you don’t kill me.”
“Agreed,” Miakonda said, shaking his hand weakly before slumping drunkenly to the deck. Burns shook his head and sighed, lifting her up and carrying her to an out of the way place on the deck. He pulled the blanket over her and then leaned down to kiss her forehead.
“Thank the dragons you fought, Mia,” he whispered.