And we’re not talking about Batman and Robin. I’ve had enough of those two in Lego Batman 2, thank you very much.
Another thing that’s interesting about writing is when you start shipping your own characters. (Shipping, for the uninitiated, is when you take two characters and make them lovers, regardless of cannon.) One thing I really struggled with writing for my epic was a love story. I feel like that as a young woman, Anya would have several little crushes that manifested through out her journey in life, and eventually she would fall in love, get married, and have a wonderful life.
After her rebellion, of course.
But I could never properly ship her with any of the other characters. Vriss was too old, Riga was too crazy, Sarnath was too… Sarnath-like. But then Shahain came along. Shahain developed an obsession with Anya; she was a free woman, roaming around the country side, popping in and out of situations with ease, while maintaining her status as a thorn in his side. She would be a challenge to “tame”, a challenge that he welcomed.
If the circumstances were different, say she wasn’t a freedom fighter in possession of a deadly weapon and he had a better grasp on reality, they might be quite perfect together. But alas, his grip on reality is waning and Anya is still in possession of a deadly weapon.
(CAUTION: This sprint has swearing in it towards the end. Like lots of it. From surly old men.)
It was late in the night when the military finally arrived. The emergency operation had been underway since before nightfall, and most of the sailors had been given basic medical treatment, but they required more in the ways of long term care. Anya was immediately alerted to the Navy’s arrival, and of Sahain’s presence among them.
“Should we leave?” Maria asked as the group watched the rescue boats deploy from the main carrier.
“No,” Anya said stubbornly, “we finish what we started. It’s not our fault they were late.” With out a word further, the group stalked off towards their make shift camp. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed a small man lurking a short distance away from her. “If you’re going to shoot me, do it now.” she barked and he jumped, surprised by her sudden attention to him.
“Do you mean it?” He asked, a hopeful look in his eyes. Anya gave him the once over; he wasn’t a soldier, nor affiliated with the Empire in any way. He was a short round man, balding on the top in his head, with a large bag at his side and a large camera around his neck.
“Who the hell are you?” Jozef snarled, his claws extended and lips pulled back to reveal his vicious teeth.
“I’m a photographer,” he pointed out, nervously holding up his camera, “I take photos for a living.”
“We’re not stupid, we know what a photographer is.” Maria snapped, walking towards him. “What are you doing here?” Maria’s towering height didn’t help the situation, and only stunned the man into silence. Anya decided to jump in.
“Okay, okay,” she said, hopping between the three of them. “Questions first, shoot later.”
“I’m-I’m shooting the fishermen,” he squeaked, “the lights reflecting on the water tonight made for some lovely pictures.” He quickly removed his camera and showed the group his pictures. A commotion on the beach drew Anya’s attention away from the photographer; Shahain was here, and he was looking for her.
Anya turned her attention momentarily back to the photographer. “I don’t care what you take pictures of,” she said, “but stay out of the way of the soldiers. Your payment for the photos will be helping with the rescue effort.” Anya turned towards the beach, patting Jozef as she walked away. “Jozef will hold you to that promise.” Bounding down the rocky cliff face, Anya quietly slipped through the villagers towards the new arrivals.
“Anya!” Shahain flagged her down.
“Shahain,” She greeted him coolly.
“You’re much shorter in real life,” he pointed out.
“And you’re a bigger dick in real life.” She shot back. “Are you here on a social call?” Shahain grinned.
“I come bearing gifts,” he said, waving his arm dramatically towards the medical staff behind him. “Where can they begin?”
“Do they speak Mutu?” She asked, plucking the universal translator off his jacket. “Because this thing is going to be quite useless.” The doctors looked quite nervous. “They don’t bite, assholes.” she spat. “You just won’t understand them.”
“I’m sure we can work around the language barrier.” Shahain growled, glaring at the sailors.
“And that’s only if the village elders accept your help.” Anya added; Shahain immediately glared at her instead. “I didn’t that they needed or wanted your help.” Anya said casually. “I’m just here as a translator, and they’re not here to be the next poster for an Empirical propaganda campaign.”
“I’m not using them as a propaganda,” Shahain growled, trying to maintain a civil tone.
“Then tell that to the elders,” Anya nodded towards a group of men waiting off to one side. They were older men, some with white hair, some without. In the dim light of the burning torches on the beach, the sailors could see the black lines of the tattoos that covered their bodies. “They’re the ones that will approve your help, if they even decide to accept.” Shahain and the soldiers followed behind Anya as she took them over to the elders.
“Good morning, fine sirs,” Shahain began, but the elders looked unimpressed at him.
“They don’t speak the common tongue.” Anya reminded him quietly.
“Then translate,” Shahain hissed back.
“<Dickhead over here says good morning,>” Anya translated, motioning towards Shahain. “<He wants to offer the use of his medics as a peace offering.>”
“<Does he know that it was one of their weapons that caused this whole fuckin’ mess?>” One of the elders demanded.
“He wants to make sure that you’re aware that it this whole mess was the Empire’s fault.” Anya told Shahain.
“We’re willing to right the wrong that has been done.” Shahain said apologetically.
“<Dickhead is willing to have all the mines removed to make up for his family’s stupidity.>” Anya translated.
“<Tell him to take the other ships with him when he leaves.>” Another elder spoke up.
“They also want the removal of all other fishing vessels from their waters,” Anya said.
“Consider it done,” Shahain agreed.
“<Tell him he can also go fuck himself with a pointed stick.>” the oldest elder added finally.
“And exclusive fishing rights.” Anya added.
“<Translate that!>” the elder snapped, angrily tapping his walking stick into the beach sand. “<He can go fuck himself with a pointed stick!>” Anya sighed heavily and motioned for Shahain to lean down closer.
“He wanted to tell you to go fuck yourself.” She said quietly.
“<He’s a great cunt! Him and his brother and their father! And the whole fucking navy!>” Anya cringed slightly.
“And he just called you a cunt.”