In the Shadow of Heaven [ORIGINAL VERSION]



Chapter Eighty-Four - The Cliff of the Future, the Darkness of the Past


The Cliff of the Future, the Darkness of the Past 

Seven years I've been gone, I've been gone, I've been gone. Seven years I've been gone so far from home. I have walked and I have roamed, I have run and I have flown. It's been seven long, long years away from home.”

- from “The Son's Return”, traditional song

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Yan found it difficult to sleep. Even with Sylva curled up beside her on the narrow bed, she was too alone in her brain. She wasn't pulled down easily into sleep, and there was no escape from her body or her self. It was just her.

Yan only vaguely remembered what it had been like to be with the Mother. The facts were all there and the images were as clear as any memory, but it was as though all the key content had been leached out of them. She could recall, for example, standing and confronting the Green King with Iri's gun, but she couldn't remember how she had felt, or what the Mother had been thinking. She was forced to piece it all back together from what she felt now, and it left her distant and troubled.

She knew that her parting from the Mother had been unwilling and unpleasant, and she knew the Mother had rifled through her brain to disguise that fact. The evidence, the gaping wound left by tearing away her many other selves, was incontrovertible. She lacked. She was herself, no more and no less, and she was alone.

Sylva slept deeply, with wheezing little snores that were more cute than they were annoying. Very carefully, Yan extricated herself from the bed, then tucked Sylva back under the blankets that she had shoved off. She got dressed without turning the light on. If she didn't look at it, the borrowed Fleet uniform was similar to what she would have been wearing aboard the Iron Dreams.

Yan scrawled a note on a sticky note and left it on the door, in case Sylva woke up and wondered where she was. She exited the room as quietly as she could.

The hallways of the Impulse were not quite bustling, but they were far more full of people than Yan could have ever imagined. On a Guild ship, one could walk around the hallways for ages without encountering another person, except in the very busiest sections. Here, there were people around every corner. In her loaned uniform, Yan blended right in and no one spared her a second glance.

She didn't exactly know where she was going. She checked the time as she passed an informational display. It was a couple hours into first shift. Maybe she should get breakfast, get her body onto the right schedule.

If she could think about practical things, that would keep her mind off of everything else.

So Yan consulted the informational display, navigating through it until it told her how to get to the mess hall. She noticed that it logged her in as soon as she walked up to it. She hadn't remembered setting up an account aboard the ship, but probably someone had done that for her while she was getting her medical check done.

Now with a better idea of how to find food, Yan trudged slowly through the gently curving and pristine hallways of the Impulse. She wasn't in a hurry. As she walked, she heard someone come running up the hall behind her. She wasn't paranoid, precisely, but she wasn't going to ignore something like that, so she moved over to the side of the hallway and turned to look at who was coming.

He was a tall man, spindly looking, but with a nice enough face. He smiled when he saw her. “Apprentice BarCarran?” he asked. She vaguely recognized him from the day before. He had been there when she got off the shuttle, but hadn't talked to her.

One of the most awkward things about her neck, now that she was back in civilization, was her inability to nod. “Hi,” Yan said. Her voice felt a little rough, probably from sleeping.

“I'm Lieutenant Cesper. I'm the liaison that Captain Wen assigned to Apprentice Welslak and Mejia. Since you're onboard now, I'm your liaison as well.”

“Nice to meet you,” Yan said. Cesper stuck out his hand and they shook.

“I'm sorry if you feel like it's an invasion of privacy, but I had the ship set an alert to tell me if you went anywhere.”

She didn't love the concept, but she couldn't blame him, so she just shrugged. If she looked at the situation from outside herself, she could understand why everyone would want to keep an eye on her at all times.

“I saw that you were looking for something to eat,” Cesper said. “Let me show you to the Officer's Mess.”

“I'm not an officer.”

“You're a guest,” Cesper said. “The food's about the same either way, I'm told.”


Yan followed him through the hallways. She definitely could have found it herself, because the rotating rings were not wide enough to have branching paths, but she wasn't going to reject his help. She had gone from feeling listless in bed to feeling dull out of it. Cesper seemed happy enough to not hold up a conversation as they walked, so Yan stayed quiet.

The mess was a medium sized room, and it wasn't particularly full at the moment. Since first shift was underway, the bulk of the crew were probably going about their duties and only a few off duty stragglers were able to linger at their meals.

Yan got herself a bowl of dry cereal and fruit. She stared blankly across the room as she picked at it with her fingers. Cesper sat across from her, drinking a cup of coffee.

“Apprentice BarCarran,” Cesper said, breaking the silence between them. “Are you feeling alright?”

“Are you asking because I look like something's wrong?” She sat up straighter and tried to put a more pleasant expression on her face. She didn't really need this near-stranger trying to comfort her, too. If she wanted real comfort, she would have gone back to her room and woken Sylva up, or maybe even gone to find Iri.

“No,” Cesper shook his head. “I'm asking because Captain Wen has requested your presence, at your leisure, of course.”

“Oh.” Yan continued to pick at her cereal, occasionally crushing a piece between her fingers and dropping it back into the bowl instead of eating it. “You can take me to him. I should thank him.”


“After I finish eating. I don't have much else going on.”

“Alright,” Cesper said. “Please don't feel like I'm pressuring you into things. I can leave you alone if you want.”

“It's fine.” She ate some of her fruit, strawberries, very slowly.

“Okay. Before you do go talk to Captain Wen, just, maybe don't mention Apprentice Mejia to him. She caused a bit of a stir earlier and has fallen out of his good graces.”

“Fine.” There was a part of her that wondered what exactly Kino had done to anger both the captain and Sid, but Kino had just apparently been on a losing streak with people recently. Sylva may have thought that Yan couldn't hear what she was yelling at Kino through the door about, but Yan's ears were more than capable of picking up every word, especially when Sylva was as loud as she was. “Where is Kino?”

“I don't know at the moment. I can find her, if you'd like.”

“Later,” Yan said. “After I talk to the captain.”

Cesper smiled. “Alright. Are you friends with Apprentice Mejia?”

Yan shrugged. “I guess.” She was feeling so flat and dull, it was about all she could muster as a response.

“I haven't had as much of a chance to talk to her as I have with Apprentice Welslak,” Cesper said. “I'm sad that he left the ship.”

“He should have stayed.”

“I am sure that Apprentice Welslak is grateful that we are not in charge of his behavior.”

Yan didn't respond to that and continued to eat. She noticed after a while that Cesper was half watching her, pretending not to be sneaking glances. Yan caught his eye and he looked down at his coffee for a moment.

“Sorry I'm not making the best first impression or conversation,” Yan said.

“Don't worry about it. Everyone understands that you've been through a lot.”

Yan ground another piece of cereal to dust between her fingers. “Can I be honest with you, Lieutenant?”

“Of course.”

“I'd prefer if you treated me the same way you would treat Sid or Kino. Treating me like I'm delicate probably won't help.”

Cesper's face twitched in the tiniest gesture of amusement.

“What?” Yan asked.

“Nothing.” Yan stared him down. “I just highly doubt you would want me to treat you the way I treat Apprentice Welslak.”

This confused Yan for a moment. “I find it hard to believe you would still be his liaison if you didn't treat him well.”

“Hm,” Cesper said, and stirred his coffee.

“Oh my God,” Yan said. “You're the boyfriend.”

“You don't have to be loud about it,” Cesper said, wrinkling his nose.

Yan laughed. “That's funny. Good for you.” It was too bad that Sid wasn't here anymore. Connecting the dots was genuinely amusing to her, and she wanted to laugh with him about it. It broke her out of the malaise she had been operating under.

“Well, I don't know when I'll next be seeing him,” Cesper said. “So I don't know how good it actually is.”

“Don't wait on him to write letters. I hear he's horrible at keeping up correspondence.”

“And who told you that?”

“His sister. I visited his family, once.”

“What were they like?”

“Nice people,” Yan said. “Do you sign?”


“Then you probably wouldn't enjoy being around them,” Yan said. “You should learn. It would make him happy.”

“I'll make an effort. Though I think that Apprentice Mejia has been trying to learn, and she hasn't made that much progress.”

“You can just call them Sid and Kino, you know.”

“Just trying to be polite.”

“Suit yourself.”

Yan finished her cereal. “I can go see Captain Wen now, if he's available.”

“I'll let him know,” Cesper said, pulling out his phone. A minute or so later he got a response. “He's on the bridge. I'll bring you there.”

“Thank you.”

They cleaned up their dishes and headed out to the bridge. It was a decently long walk, and they both kept quiet. Cesper nodded at a few people that they passed in the hallway, mainly fellow officers, but probably out of politeness did not tarry to talk with them. Cesper keyed them into the bridge.

In some ways, the Impulse's bridge was just like that of any Guild ship that Yan had ever been on. All of the same operations that were required to run a stardrive and ship had to be taken into account, of course. But Guild ships, at least the ones that Yan was familiar with, tended to be much... looser? Looking around the people sitting at their consoles, Yan saw that they were stiff, silent, and focused, and they didn't even look up when the door opened to let her and Cesper in. She remembered, so long ago, her stint working on the Dreams's bridge-- there was lively chatter across the coms and throughout the room, and the stations were interchangeable. Her sixteen year old cousin could be filling in for his mother on shuttle control, if necessary, or Captain Pellon could sit down at the navigation console if one of his primary navigators was sick. Just from a single look around, at the emblems stitched into the sleeves of the uniforms, at the way that everyone oriented themselves on this bridge, there was none of that here.

“Apprentice BarCarran, welcome,” Captain Wen said, standing up from his seat. He had a bit of a nasally voice, and he looked at her with something approaching wariness, but he didn't seem unpleasant at first glance. Cesper stepped away from Yan's side, to give the approaching captain some space.

“Pleasure to meet you, Captain Wen,” Yan said. They shook hands. “Thank you for your hospitality.”

“Although I would say it's no problem, my crew might disagree with me on that one,” Wen said with a smile. “Please, take a seat.” He gestured to the seat next to where he had been sitting, and they both settled in.

Yan did her best to smile. Good behavior. Pleasant demeanor. Don't act like a crazy person. She didn't want to be treated like one.

“I do remember that someone said that coming to find me was a major detour for the Impulse,” Yan said. “Did you have to go really out of your way?”

“We've been on an exploratory cruise for the past year,” Wen said. “Compared to that, no, this was a minor hop. It's about fifteen days of travel from Emerri. But we were scheduled to head in for maintenance, and most of my crew was ending their service. We extended it by about a month to accommodate this trip.”

“I'm sure that is an inconvenience for people who want to go home and see their families,” Yan said.

“They're getting double pay, and the Gatekeeper came to pick up our slack, and you were retrieved with much less fuss than I had anticipated, so I don't think that anyone has any right to complain at this point,” Wen said.

Yan didn't want to get into the specifics of what was happening down on the planet she had just abandoned, or been abandoned by, depending on how she looked at it. The thought of it made her feel sick. “Everyone loves to be homeward bound,” Yan said.

“You most of all, I'm sure.”

“Well, I'm a spacer, so home has always been on the journey,” Yan said. Wen laughed. She hadn't meant it to be funny; she was mainly saying that to avoid admitting how little enthusiasm she actually had for the future.

“I don't have many spacer crew,” Wen said. “It's a shame.”

“No offense to your ship, but it's a bit crowded for spacer taste,” Yan said. “This is like a whole planet.”

Wen laughed again. “I can't imagine how you all run your ships filled with old people and children.”

“Family makes it work,” Yan said. “But I can understand why spacers would be hesitant to join up with the Fleet.”

“What did you do aboard your family's ship?” Wen asked.

“I was away at the Academy, most of the time, but my last summer, I was a navigator. I also flew the shuttles on occasion, and helped out around. Everyone tends to have multiple skills.”

Wen looked her up and down. Compulsively, Yan smoothed out the fabric of her pants. “So you flew the ship?”

“Only in dead space,” Yan admitted. “Not technically licensed for close quarters jumps.”

“I'm afraid that I will not be letting you jump my ship around,” Wen said.

“I wasn't even going to ask.”

Wen paused. “You seem in good spirits.”

“I'd like for my life to get back to normal.” Yan said. “The best way to do that is to put on a smile.”

“Apprentice Welslak gave me the impression that you were a wreck,” Wen said.

“Sid was probably just concerned for me as a friend,” Yan said. That was only partially true. She had seen the way Sid had looked at her, and she knew the edges of her power were painful. She hadn't yet tried using the power for anything, for fear that she had lost her touch. She hadn't tried meditating or let herself be alone, for fear that she would start seeing things that weren't there, or remembering things she didn't want to. But she wasn't going to tell any of that to this stranger.

“As any friend would be,” Wen said.

Yan tried to change the topic. “Is the Impulse going directly back to Emerri?”

“Yes. It doesn't make sense for us to stop anywhere. We're taking the direct route. Should be back in fourteen days.” Wen pulled up a very zoomed out map of their route and showed it to her. Indeed, they were tracking the straightest line they could, and any other station or planet would have added at least another day and a half to their trip.

“I suppose it would add too much time to bother going somewhere with an ansible,” Yan said. “It'll be a surprise when we get back, then.”

“Do you enjoy publicity?”

“Not in particular,” Yan said. “It comes with the territory of being First Sandreas's apprentice, though.”

“I'm just thinking, if it's a surprise you're coming back, maybe you'll be able to avoid some sort of elaborate welcome.”

Yan couldn't suppress a shudder. “You're right. The less advance warning they have, the better.”

“It's one of the many joys of far distant travel,” Wen said. “Since we were out for a year, when we first came back to civilization, we learned the double blow that Sandreas had taken apprentices, and one of them was missing at the same time.”

Yan smiled. “I thought I had it rough as a spacer, but we were always tracking between places with ansibles.”

“Five days out of contact is a lot shorter than a year,” Wen said.

“That is true. Do you like to travel?”

“If I didn't, I certainly would not have stayed in the Fleet long enough to become a captain,” Wen said.

“What do you like about it?”

“The same thing that you do, I'm sure. The variety, the feeling of being around people who have your back.”

Yan would have debated that the loyalty that Fleet soldiers had to their captain was not the same as a Guild ship had to their own family, but she just smiled.

“I'd like to ask you something,” Wen said. “Just your opinion.”


“During our search for you, we ended up taking prisoner two crew members of the pirate ship who were also looking for you.”

Yan began to sweat, the anxiety traveling outward in waves from her heart. “I see,” she said faintly.

“What do you think should happen to them?”

“I'm not a tribunal,” Yan said.

Halen's voice was briefly in her ear, and she couldn't tell if it was memory or imagination. “The punishment for piracy is death.”

“Hm. They would have killed you if they had found you,” Wen said. “I figured you would have more of an opinion.”

There were spots on the edges of her vision and her heart was pounding. She gripped the fabric of her pants and held on as though that would stop her from careening out of control. “I am glad that they didn't find me. But I want nothing more to do with them. Let the tribunal have their say for whatever they did actually do.”

“Are you alright, Apprentice?”

“I'm sorry,” Yan said. “I'm not feeling well.” The words were sticky in her mouth.

“Of course. I shouldn't have brought it up, I apologize.”

“It's fine,” Yan said. “If you'll excuse me.” Wen nodded.

Yan stood up and maintained her composure until she left the bridge door, then she bolted down the hallway, running as fast as she could to the nearest bathroom. If there was one advantage Fleet ships had, it was that all the bathrooms were well marked. She slammed into a stall and knelt on the floor, whole upper body over the toilet bowl, choking but not quite throwing up.

It was so stupid. In the moments where she had absolutely no desire to see or hear Halen, she had to imagine him. Now, when she could have used his stoic presence, he was nowhere to be found.

Someone knocked on the door to the bathroom. “Apprentice BarCarran?” It was Cesper.

Yan knelt on the floor a moment more, then stood up. She washed her hands and splashed a copious amount of water on her face, looking in the mirror until she determined that her eyes were as tear free as they were going to get, and it hadn't just looked like she had been kneeling over the toilet.

She opened the door. Cesper was there. He smiled when he saw her.

“Are you alright?”

“Fine,” Yan said. “Please tell Captain Wen that I'm sorry for leaving him.”

“I'm sure he understands. Do you want to go back?”

"No." She began walking somewhat aimlessly down the hallway. Cesper followed after her.

“Do you want me to find Apprentice Mejia for you?”

“Could you tell me where the gardens are? I want to take a walk,” Yan said.

“Oh, of course. They're in the other ring.”

They walked (then floated, in the zero gravity section) to the gardens. Yan noticed at one point that Cesper fell behind her. She couldn't turn her head to check what he was doing, but when she heard his phone vibrate, she knew he was talking to someone. She desperately hoped it wasn't about her.

The ships gardens were, for the most part, completely utilitarian. There were kilometers upon kilometers of soy, grains, fruits, and vegetables, all carefully managed to provide the optimal nutrition for the entire ship's crew in the least amount of space.

There was something very calming about them, watching the little robots go up and down the carefully planted beds, checking soil moisture levels, making sure that the plants had the correct doses of nutrients, gathering what was ready to harvest, pruning back what needed to be cut. Yan had always loved the gardens, even these purely functional ones.

“The nice garden is this way,” Cesper said. He led her far, far down the ring.

And there was a space, wide open, probably the width of the ring, full of flowers and trees, and little pebbled paths, and benches. Water bubbled somewhere, she could hear it, probably fed by hidden pumps to give the illusion of springs and ponds. There were no bird sounds, of course, and no wind save the constant movement of the air by the filters, but the artificial lights were as bright as a sun, and it was warm, and the air was wet and smelled like dirt and flowers. Yan walked around. She hardly noticed when Cesper stayed behind, probably watching her from afar.

Yan's heartbeat calmed and her body grew less tense as she wandered slowly around. She turned her brain off, trying to think of nothing but the leaves on the bushes, the blades of grass, the smells in the air.

She sat on a bench near a little pond for a while. There were goldfish swimming around in it, and they flashed bright above the black rocks that lined the bottom. Yan pulled a red berry off a nearby bush and tossed it into the water, watching the ripples spread out. She didn't know how long she stayed there, just watching the fish.

It was some time later that Kino appeared, walking down the path and into Yan's field of vision. She didn't say anything, just sat down next to Yan on the bench. So it must have been Kino that Cesper was contacting earlier.

Kino leaned her head back and stared up at the bright lights above them.

Yan finally broke the silence, because it seemed like Kino wasn't going to. “What are you thinking about?”

“What it's going to be like going home,” Kino said.

“Are you in trouble or something? I heard you've managed to piss off just about everybody.”

“I'm about to be.”


“Sid told me not to talk about it, so I won't.”

“It's clearly not a secret.”

Kino looked at Yan. “When I fought with Sid, it was over something very important. It changed the way I saw him. It's something that I'm willing to take a fall for. I have been told in no uncertain terms that you are standing on a cliff, and I should avoid pushing you off.”

“You've been talking too much to Sylva.”

“It was Cesper who told me that.”

“He doesn't even know me.”

“He knows me, and he knows Sid, and he has access to the ship's records.”

“Is this about the Bellringer?” Yan asked.

“No.” Kino looked at her sideways.

“Captain Wen asked me about it. I thought that might be what you and Sid were arguing about.”

Kino shook her head. “I don't know why he would bring that up.”

“Curiosity, maybe.” Yan stared at the fish.

“Sid told me that there was something wrong with your power,” Kino said bluntly, as though she ever said anything other than bluntly.

“It's fine,” Yan said. She felt Kino's power, odd and ghostly, reach out towards her. For once, Yan kept hers still, though it took all of her control not to reach back. She submitted to the inspection.

“What happened?” Kino asked. Her face betrayed nothing of what she though of Yan's power, but the gentle way in which she probed, and the ringing pain that Yan felt where she touched spoke enough.

“I don't know,” Yan said. “I think I was holding on too tightly.”

“You were in a group mind,” Kino said. “Like the ones during worship.”

“Not really. I mean, yes, but no. It was more permanent than that. Did you ever like joining those?” Yan couldn't think of a time that she had encountered Kino in the group mind, but maybe that was because she simply hadn't noticed her and her strange invisibility.

Kino shook her head.

“Why not?”

“My head was always a mess,” Kino said. “I didn't want to bring that to anyone else.”

Yan laughed a little, though it was a bitter sound. “I can understand that.”

“So did the group mind do that to you?” Kino asked.

“I think leaving it did. I was part of it for so long, and I don't think that I wanted to leave.”

“You don't think?”

“I can't remember what I was feeling. It's all-- it's all a wreck.” Yan waved her hand, then leaned back on the bench, closing her eyes. “I know a lot was taken from me. I think it was just like, thoughts, but I don't know.”

“Can you still use the power?”

“I haven't tried. Not more than just reaching out, anyway.”

“Why don't you?”

The light from above danced in Yan's vision, through her eyelids. “I haven't had the best experiences with it, since I've been gone,” Yan said.


There was a shuffling sound. Kino pressed something into Yan's hand. Yan sat up straight and opened her eyes to look at it. It was a little rolled cigarette. Kino had one of her own in her hand.

“You can't light that; we're on a ship,” Yan said.

“So?” Kino said, pressing her finger to the tip of the cigarette and lighting it with the power. The smell of it was potent, but the light wisp of smoke that it gave off was immediately sucked up into the ventilation fan above.

“Fire in here could kill everybody,” Yan said.

“You're being paranoid,” Kino said, taking a drag.

“Why do you even have this?”

Kino shrugged. “I've smoked these since the Academy.”

Yan rolled the cigarette around in her hand, then passed it back to Kino. “Thanks, but no thanks.”

“I saw your records too, you know,” Kino said. “The medical ones and the one Maedes put together.”

“Do I no longer have any expectation of privacy?”

“I wasn't aware that you ever had that.”

Yan scowled. “The last thing I want is more drugs in my system.”

Kino stubbed out her cigarette on the bench, then tucked the unburned part back inside her cassock pocket. “I know.”

“Then why'd you offer?”

Kino picked at her sleeve, nervous habit returning. Yan had forgotten how much of a constant that had been.

“Because my head's a mess and so is yours.”

“What are you upset about?”

Kino looked at Yan. “I'm not upset. Sandreas is probably going to kick me out when we get back, though.”

“God, Kino.” Yan found it hard to believe that whatever argument Kino had had was that serious. “What are you going to do?”

“I don't know.”

“You've been in Sandreas's head-- you really think he would do that?”

“Only once,” Kino said. “I don't know what he would think about this, or what he thinks at all.”

“Why not?”

“I was busy keeping him out of my thoughts, and he was busy being distracted by Halen.”

“How can you even maintain meditation like that.”

Kino put a tiny smile onto her face. “Brute force.”

“Why didn't you want him in your thoughts?”

Kino shook her head. “Lots of reasons.”

“Would you let me in?”

“Sid said that's what you wanted.” Kino pulled on the button on her sleeve. It was so loose that the threads holding it down were long and visible underneath. “No.”

“Why not?”

“Look at me,” Kino said. Yan obligingly turned her whole upper body to face Kino, who put her hands on Yan's shoulders. Yan reached out with the power and Kino reached back. It certainly wasn't enough to fall into meditation together, but it was something.

“Maybe someday,” Kino said. “But I can't help you with this.” Kino's power brushed Yan's raw wounds. “Maybe you need to just be yourself for a while. It feels like you're leaking out. Like there's no boundary between yourself and other people.”

“But I don't want to be myself,” Yan said, then realized how stupid she sounded and grimaced.

“Who do you want to be?”

The questions and possibilities jumbled around in Yan's mind. Part of her wanted to go back to the Mother, to abandon herself completely, to float away into space. Part of her wanted to go back to being just another BarCarran, spacer. But the road of the future pointed down one direction. At the end of it, she saw herself arrayed with a circlet of gold and a blood red cape, planets and the Fleet under her command. First BarCarran, Voice of the Empire. The image made her shiver under Kino's hands.

“I don't know,” Yan said.

“Someday, soon, maybe, you're going to have to figure that out. Make a choice what kind of person you're going to be. I hope you make the right one.”

“What do you mean?”

“We're standing on the edge of the cliff again,” Kino said. “Can you see it?”

Through her touch and the power, Kino sent Yan a surprisingly clear image. A jumble of rocks, high above a river, the sun a quarter of the way up the grey sky, the wind rushing past, birds wheeling out on the horizon.

Kino dropped her hands back into her lap. The vision remained clear in Yan's mind for half a second more, then dissolved into dust.

“Falmar?” Yan asked, taking a guess.



Kino smiled again, not quite easily. “Tell me about the planet that you were on.”

And so Yan told her about the birds, high in the clean blue air, and the mountains and the rain and the ocean, the wind in the trees and the fish in the cold salt water.

The Impulse jumped towards home.


A note from javert

So the poem Wild Geese by Mary Oliver is an extremely Yan type poem. Here it is, quoted in its entirety

wild geese by mary oliver

I put it here b/c at least one line in this chapter is stolen directly from it. Anyway all Yan wants is a place in the family of things.

I was also thinking. Everyone here has seen Neon Genesis Evangelion, right? I assume that everyone who hangs out on these nerdier corners of the internet definitely has. Anyway it has come to my attention, or at least floated into my brain that Yan:Shinji :: Kino:Rei :: Sid:Asuka. [ : reads as 'is to' and :: reads as 'as'] The parallels aren't exact, but they aren't nonexistent either :p This really has nothing to do with anything, and has no relevance to the ultimate path of the story, it just refused to leave my head until I wrote a rambly authors note about it.

Please leave me that 5 star rating, if you would, or a comment, or anything you choose to leave me. I very much appreciate you all for reading my story and talking to me.

Hope you all have a fantastic week. I'll see you on Friday!

edit 5/5/19 - added chapter title, fixed minor continuity error

About the author


Bio: hi I'm noodle, I studied aeronautical engineering in college, then I taught high school math. now I'm [redacted] and [remainder of message lost].

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