A Tale of Two Kingdoms, part 1/11 (2015-08-15) [1]

Magic is a delicate topic on the Isle, as much as something can be considered delicate in such a place. It’s true that the worst villains, the most powerful ones, were so successful due to magic. Curses and shapeshifting and mind control, as impressive now as they were decades ago. But magic is also the reason why everyone is trapped on an island in the middle of the ocean with no way to escape.

Magic is a double-edged blade, has always been one, and while usually villains don’t care about the collateral damage when using magic… In this case… well.

Four determined magicians shatter the barrier around the Isle; but they also manage to tear a hole in something along the ocean floor. And there are things bigger and badder on the other side.

Auradon first learns of the kaiju when one comes up off the coast of Charmington and proceeds to decimate the town.

It takes a while to understand the situation, to call for help, to get effective aid. By the time Fairy Godmother arrives, wand in hand to wave the problem away, over one thousand people have been killed.

The once beautiful resort town empties within the week, a rubble strewn graveyard.

Magic has gotten them into this mess. The ambitions of one sorcerer and three witches, the sacrifice of one boy’s life. Jafar, Maleficent, Grimhilde, and Ursula, the Isle’s foremost magicians. Uri, who would have been a sea wizard had he been born underwater, with tentacles instead of legs.

“That bastard was my best friend,” Jemma says, a pirate who has been land-locked her entire life, “He was going to send storms after my enemies, and I would throw all the prettiest prisoners overboard just for him.”

It’s as close to a declaration of love as they get on the Isle. Carlos understands that this is an act of trust, of desperation.

“Build me something to avenge him,” Jemma demands, because she cannot ask. Cannot ask Carlos to build something to save them all.

Magic got them into this mess. Science is going to have to get them out.

The kaiju are not from the Isle. The kaiju are getting bigger and stronger. The kaiju can learn.

Soon, Fairy Godmother’s magic can no longer contain them, can no longer destroy them, can no longer stall them.

The coasts are no longer premium real estate, the nobles and royalty move inland–not that titles mean much anymore.

Futilely, Auradon sticks to what they know, they attempt to contain that which they fear. They begin to build the Wall.

The Isle of the Lost is less tempting a target for the kaiju, but they are still conveniently right next to the tear. There is no more barrier around the Isle, but there are also no more barges from Auradon.

Many islanders make confused, fearful noises, surely the heroes won’t leave them to die? But they are villains, and the kids of villains, what do heroes care for their lives?

“Are we Auradon? Scurrying around in fear whenever things get tough? Do we run and hide behind barriers like those spineless sea-slugs? No!” Jemma Hook shouts, standing atop a tin roof, every inch a brave captain her father only pretended to be, “We fight!”

Even villains know that in the face of a greater force, cooperation is key to survival. Carlos is given whatever he needs.

Auradon no longer cares about what happens to the Isle of the Lost. They are too busy trying to survive. Many citizens escape inland, to other kingdoms and nations and entirely, if they can. But not all can, not all choose to.

The royal family will not leave, not while there is still someone under their protection that remains. They were once the kingdom to which others sought refuge, besieged by their respective villains. But this time, the enemy is not a single megalomaniac whose pride will ultimately be their downfall, it is not something that can be outsmarted or outlasted.

The Wall means nothing to the kaiju and, soon enough, distance from the ocean will mean nothing to them either.

The first jaeger is an ugly thing, cobbled together from defunct ships and old automobile parts. Carlos still has it painted red and white and black. It is ten times the size of the tallest building on the Isle, and still smaller than the most recent kaiju sighted.

“If anyone is going to captain this crocodile killer,” Jemma says, back straight and chin up despite the suicide mission it entails, or maybe because of it, “It’ll be me.”

That first jaeger is named Jolly Roger. Despite being a prototype, it holds up remarkably well against the kaiju. The same cannot be said of it’s captain.

After the Jolly Roger’s fourth battle, Jemma has to be helped out of the cockpit, blood streaming from both nostrils. She waves it away as no big deal.

It takes three more battles for Carlos to realize that it’s not enough, One jaeger is not enough. One captain is not enough.

This is not a story about the heroes defeating the villains. This is not a story about villains’ kids realizing their potential for heroism. This is not a story about good versus evil and the unlikely places both can grow. This is not a story about a boy defying both nature and nurture to save the world. 

This is a story about survival.

~

A/N: WHY WOULD I DO THIS TO MYSELF?

Uh, so… here was my thought process. I gave some sample prompts here, a little jokingly but then it stuck in my head, then I happened to see this post regarding how socioeconomic levels in Pacific Rim works and how the poorest would be most grateful for the jaeger program, than I saw Kristen Stewart’s recent cover of Nylon– 

image

–and while I don’t actually fancast her as Captain Hook’s daughter, I definitely fancast her outfit. So… yeah.

Unsure if I actually want to continue this or not. And, I know, there’s such a distinct lack of the actual canon characters that it’s weirding me out too. The next part would definitely have more of the movie-canon characters, but I do have some non-movie characters I want to play around with a bit before that, and then there would be an eventual Ben as one of the last Auradon, decides to help with the jaeger program. He’s drift compatible with Mal, but it would maybe still be Benlos? I dunno. Maybe both?

This was just bugging me while I was trying to write Ain’t No Rest, and I figured if I didn’t get this out, it wouldn’t leave me be. This one’s probably only three parts max, so if it wouldn’t take long for me to get the entirety scraped out of my head. I dunno, we’ll see.

(Also, it’s my birthday today. Hooray me!)

EDIT: NOW WITH TITLE: “A TALE OF TWO KINGDOMS”

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