etienne_bessette: (Dilandau)
[personal profile] etienne_bessette
Title: A Wish for Jeture
Fandom: Vision of Escaflowne
Characters: Dilandau, Dragonslayers, various others
Ships: none
Rating: PG
Warnings: Mild language. (It's Dilandau for crying out loud).
Summary: Jeture lives within your desires. He knows what your soul longs for, even if you yourself do not. Sometimes he will speak to you, if you wish fervently enough. Sometimes he will even grant your wish. But not all wishes are meant to be realized...

 

This story was heavily inspired by some scenes from the Escaflowne Drama CD. In a section of that CD, Jeture actually does speak to Dilandau in his dreams, and insinuates that Dilandau's wish isn't what he thinks it is (power, at the time). I highly recommend reading the transcripts to this CD, if for no other reason that it really sheds much more light on events in-between some of the earlier episodes, as well as on Dilandau's past and how exactly he got to be such a high-ranking officer (and in command of an elite squad) at such a young age.

 A Wish for Jeture: Prologue

Power is meaningless in dreams. It doesn’t matter who you are, what rank you hold, or who is afraid of you; the moment that your subconscious slithers to the surface, it swallows your free will whole, gorges itself on your uncertainties, and vomits nightmares into the unguarded pits behind your eyes. Nothing is ever secure in dreams. One night you may be aware and able to influence the intangible forms around your illusory self, but most nights you will be helpless, unaware that you are even asleep—trapped within a morphing reality.


Dilandau hated dreams. He'd learned long ago that he could not count on control there, lost within the blind abyss of fear and desire. He'd dreamed of cold tables, foul-tasting air, and syringes that injected terror into his heart. He'd dreamed of Escaflowne, charging, charging, charging and slicing his cheek with a stone-coloured steel blade. He'd dreamed of his Dragonslayers, melting within liquid silver and electric flames that were the same shade as their soul-shredding screams.

Forgotten fears made themselves known. Past mistakes mired his thoughts in despair.

After the massacre at Godashim, his dreams had not waited for Dilandau to surrender his head to the pillow in his dark and empty quarters; rather, they had reached up, laughing at his pain and confusion with the ghostly, sobbing voice of a little girl. He had passed out on a lonely catwalk: one of the few on the Vione that ventured far enough from the fortress’s metallic bowels to taste the sharp, frigid air. After the rush of failing blue and the onset of granular greys fading into black vision, he’d watched, frozen, the replay of their deaths—his Dragonslayers’ deaths. He’d screamed soundlessly until he was alone, utterly alone, and then he’d screamed even more for someone—anyone—to come.

And then a voice had answered.

He’d heard this voice only once before, and only in his dreams. He could not remember when—only that he knew that voice from somewhere. Deep, calm tones rolled like waves and resonated with every bone in his body.

<<Now do you know your true desire?>>

Dilandau was floating. He realized this as he struggled to understand what was being asked of him. His mind felt clearer than it should have in a dream, although his thoughts were sluggish with shock.

Who are you?” he demanded. His voice did not carry in the depths of midnight blue. He sounded small and meek. Dilandau was never small or meek. But here, in dreams, none of that ever mattered.

<<I am Jeture. I have heard your soul’s cry, and I have answered. Speak your desire, mortal, if you yet realize its nature.>>

Jeture? Dilandau found his head tilting upwards, ballooned by an invisible weightlessness. There, the serpentine form of a regal dragon darkened the curtained seascape like a black bruise upon deep deep blue. Dilandau stared, oddly devoid of fear—perhaps because this was only a dream. Or, perhaps, because Dilandau did not believe in gods. Gods were legends made up by mortals, security blankets thrown up in desperation to shield themselves from the cruel knowledge of death.

Death.

Dilandau noticed, abruptly, how the colours of the water enveloping him were the same colours as his Dragonslayers’ deaths: blue armor, blue Alseids, blue liquid flames. They had been the best soldiers in the entire Zaibach copper army. He’d made them the best in the span of a single year, and they’d idolized him for it. They’d loved him. They’d loved him so dearly that they’d reached their grey fingers from beyond the stillness of death to save him from joining them.

They’d loved him, and he needed them. They represented everything that he’d achieved. They’d stood as the sum of his power: young and gifted and unsurpassed. Power was everything. Without it, he was hollow. Without them, he was an opened shell.

What was he going to do without them? Gatti, Shesta, Dalet, Viole… He didn’t know what he’d done wrong. He didn’t understand how he could have misjudged the battle so severely. He didn’t understand how Escaflowne could have destroyed every single one of them. If only they hadn’t died.

And suddenly, he knew his most fervent desire.

I want them to live. My Dragonslayers.” His voice sounded stronger this time. “Something went wrong today, and they died. They should not have died. I want to change what happened.”

The sea god rumbled thoughtfully, and it sounded like wet thunder. <<And if it was their fate to—>>

Dilandau cut the god off unthinkingly, blinded by sudden fury, and shouted, “I’m sick of hearing about fate! You asked me what I want! That’s what I want! So either help me or quit screwing with me!”

Deep, consuming silence clogged Dilandau’s ears after his voice quieted. Only in that moment did fear press at his heart, hindering its beating. He had dared to interrupt a god. Even though he knew that this was a dream, and even though he did not believe in gods, his surroundings were too vivid for him to blanket himself with total apathy.

All motion died. Currents ceased. The serpentine blue-black bruise burned in stillness against the backdrop like congealing spots in his eyes after a bright flash.

Dilandau expected to wake up, or die, or both. Or for the dream to freeze entirely, then morph into something less coherent, something more like the nightmares. In the uncertain seconds that followed, Dilandau hoped desperately for anything but that last possibility.

He felt the roar before he heard it; his entire frame jerked in its force, thrashing angrily like a doll throttled by a furious child. Earthquake. It was only once he realized that he was not in pain that he understood why the ocean was shaking.

Jeture was laughing, and his voice was tearing the dream down with its force.

The god never stopped laughing, even as the blue currents around Dilandau turned to grainy noise and fell away as waves of colourful sand into nothing.

Date: 2011-01-30 01:12 pm (UTC)
bluealoe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bluealoe
Oh, this is lovely. It's very very dark, but so well-written. I can *feel* Dilandau's pain here, so vividly.

The first paragraph is a good introduction to exactly why Dilandau hates dreams so much. If you know even a little of his personality, it makes so much sense.

He had passed out on a lonely catwalk: one of the few on the Vione that ventured far enough from the fortress’s metallic bowels to taste the sharp, frigid air.

Amazing imagery in this sentence.

There, a black shape bruised the serpentine form of a regal dragon upon the curtained seascape.

I have to admit this sentence confused me a bit. How can a shape "bruise"?

Dilandau cut the god off unthinkingly, blinded by sudden fury, and shouted, “I’m sick of hearing about fate! You asked me what I want! That’s what I want! So either help me or quit screwing with me!”


*cheers* Go Dilandau! You tell that god!

Jeture was laughing, and his voice was tearing the dream down with its force.

*shivers* That is a powerful sentence there.

I look forward to seeing where this is going! Am I correct in assuming Jeture's going to grant his wish, but things are not going to turn out well?

Date: 2011-01-31 05:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scribeshiloh.livejournal.com
The first paragraph is a good introduction to exactly why Dilandau hates dreams so much. If you know even a little of his personality, it makes so much sense.

Eeeeee! That's what I was hoping for. I got that impression pretty vividly from the anime, but far more so after I read the drama CD transcripts (which I will link you to!) Reading those transcripts was what gave me the idea for this entire concept.

I have to admit, the line describing the Vione's catwalks is one of my favourite lines. I actually managed to get the imagery right. Hooray! Thanks :)

And then of course there's the places that I fail! Have you ever been awake at night staring at the ceiling, and it's way too dark to see anything, but you think you can see spots and morphing shadows of shapes that might only be an artifact of your eyes? That's what I was going for here. For me, it's like having bruises blossom on your vision, only the bruises are shadows. And that's how I picture Jetura appearing--as an ethereal not-quite-there bruise in the deep blue of the sea.

Maybe I should have tried saying that instead >.> Or something.

Dilandau strikes me as the only person (except maybe Van...) with enough gall to talk back to a god like that. Heee~ I love Dilandau so much.

And yes. More or less that's where I'm going with this. ;) It'll be complicated and heartbreaking, but through it all Dilandau will learn some things. The hard way. And hopefully be better for it in the end.

Or not. Who knows. I haven't actually written the entire thing out all the way yet, and it's Dilandau, so he's just as likely to say, in the middle of the story, 'What? No. I'm not doing that. I'm doing this. To hell with your plans.'

Date: 2011-01-31 01:44 pm (UTC)
bluealoe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bluealoe
I fail! Have you ever been awake at night staring at the ceiling, and it's way too dark to see anything, but you think you can see spots and morphing shadows of shapes that might only be an artifact of your eyes?

I totally know what you're going for here. And I think that if you phrase it that way, it would work really well. Maybe "a dark shape blossomed like a bruise on the sky" or somesuch? Using "bruise" as a verb didn't really work for me, but I think if you changed it around a bit, it's be perfect imagery.

Man, I haven't seen Escaflowne in so long...I need to get those DVDs. Thanks for linking to the transcripts, too. :)

And remember, if you need a beta reader...

Date: 2011-02-03 07:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scribeshiloh.livejournal.com
You betcha :) I've been working on the next chapter (forcing myself to just write and not care about perfect word choice and order or imagery at the moment). We've had two snow days in a row here and all of my homework has been pushed back to Monday. So I found myself with (le gasp!) free time. I've been taking as much advantage of that as humanly possible.

(Edit): Where I was going with this--when I am done, I shall email you the next chapter for beta-ing purposes :D

(Edit Edit): I fixed the imagery, so hopefully it makes more sense now! Tell me what you think?
Edited Date: 2011-02-03 07:32 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-02-04 03:43 pm (UTC)
bluealoe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bluealoe
There, the serpentine form of a regal dragon darkened the curtained seascape like a black bruise upon deep deep blue.

Perfect! It made my hair stand on end.

You get snow days in NM? :-O

Date: 2011-02-04 05:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scribeshiloh.livejournal.com
Yay for working imagery!

And no, we don't usually get snow days in NM. But when you get five or six inches of snow that turns to ice because the temperatures drop to -13F WITHOUT wind chill (and STAY below zero for several days) so the interstate is shut down and the gas lines have frozen and the governor has declared a state-wide emergency and there's not enough heat to keep the buildings warm...

...yeah, school gets cancelled. >_>

Date: 2011-01-30 01:13 pm (UTC)
bluealoe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bluealoe
BTW, where can one read the transcripts you mentioned? They sound intriguing...

Date: 2011-01-31 05:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scribeshiloh.livejournal.com
I lied in the previous reply that is now deleted. The awesome is HERE (http://www.lizzard.net/Jeture/), not OVER THERE (http://www.lizzard.net/Escaflowne/drama.html) (although the movie drama CD is cool, too!)

Date: 2011-01-31 09:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dracomaleficium.livejournal.com
Absolutely loved it. Not to mention that it made me squee in delight to see something new about Dilandau written (high-five to a fellow fan!), which involves the Jeture plot from the drama CD to that(you should really listen to it, by the way, not only read the transcript - Minami Takayama simply shines and blows you away with her performance as Dilandau, and the dream sequence makes me shiver whenever I listen to it, the conversation with Folken is also blood-chilling!). It's so well-written, too, so much great, vivid imagery which automatically transported me from my Uni's library right into Dilandau's mind. He's so in-character here, his thoughts are so well portrayed, and it's no piece of cake to do that, so congratulations and keep it up! The twist is very interesting and original, too. Can't wait to read more.

I'm actually in the middle of writing a Dilandau/Dragon Slayers fanfiction myself, so additional kudos to you for joining me in the mission of revitalising the fandom :D

Date: 2011-02-01 06:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scribeshiloh.livejournal.com
High five back to a fellow fan! :D And thank you for the compliments! I love imagery, but it's a struggle to find just the right words and phrasing. This short prologue actually took me a while to write, particularly once it hit the dream sequence.

Have you posted your fanfiction yet? Can I read it? I would love to read it :D

Also, do you know where I could find the actual audio files to Jeture? It's out of print and ridiculously hard to find x_x But I would love to listen to it.

Date: 2011-02-02 11:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dracomaleficium.livejournal.com
No, I haven't posted it yet - I decided to wait until it gets finished. Having readers urging you on is stimulating, but in the past, I've posted fanfiction while writing it and I actually never ended up finishing them and it disappointed a lot of people, so I want to avoid it now and make sure it gets written :)

I know what you mean with finding the right words - but the struggle paid off completely in your case, the prologue is very intense and powerful. I'm sure the rest will be just as good and I can't wait to read it! ;)

As for the drama CD - send me an e-mail at dracomaleficium@yahoo.pl, I'll let you know where you can find it :) It's sure to inspire you some more once you listen to it - it worked wonders for my plot bunnies.

Date: 2011-02-02 04:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scribeshiloh.livejournal.com
That's a very good policy :) I've always personally found it comforting when reading a story to know that "yes, the author has all of this finished and it won't be discontinued". I've never been able to do this myself, though. Having the expectation out there gets me to write when I otherwise probably wouldn't.

Still, once yours is finished, you have a very interested reader right here already :)

And thank you for the compliments, again! :D

(Edit: btw your icon is awesome.)

Also, I have sent an email to you!
Edited Date: 2011-02-02 04:27 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-02-02 07:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dracomaleficium.livejournal.com
Thanks for being so interested in my work - but I can assure you it's nowhere near as good as yours ;) Still, I'll let you know as soon as I decide it's fit to see daylight.

You're welcome, they're well-deserved - and trust me, I'm a VERY demanding and picky reader.

(Thanks! :D I nearly dropped dead when I saw that Captain Hook picture XD Yours are, too!)

YES

Date: 2011-02-05 06:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] disklobos.livejournal.com
You're writing in this fandom again. My day = made. Goodness gracious, I remember 7 years ago when I used to leave you embarrassing 14-year-old-girl reviews and would obsessively refresh your ff.net profile in the hopes that you'd keep posting your writing. Even after all this time, you've still got it. You're descriptions and imagery have always been wonderful, and now you've given me legitimate chills with some of the lines in this prologue.
If you will permit me to type at you for a bit: I can't tell you how many times I've wished that authors in this fandom would reference the drama CD; as you said, what little insight we get there really allows for the pieces of Dilandau's character to come together. What really got me were his comments on how experience is useless in the face of results, and how that tied in with his remarks to Van on how much he hated heroics. Whatever his childhood was like, a large portion of it must have been spent hoping that some sort of hero would rescue him- it must have been absolutely devastating to realize that that day would never come, which would in turn lead to his hatred of people who built themselves up on antiquated concepts like honor and heroism without actually doing anything worthwhile. It's great to see that you're pulling pieces from the CD and integrating them with material from the series proper in this work. I honestly can't wait to see what you're cooking up for the rest of the story- I have some guesses, but I'll leave the fiction writing to the masters, such as yourself.

Re: YES

Date: 2011-02-05 07:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scribeshiloh.livejournal.com
Oh my goodness! I didn't think anyone remembered me from back then! Well, you certainly made my day with this review :D I'm flattered and honoured. Thank you for your kind words...and for reading despite my ridiculously long hiatus from the fandom. If you don't mind my asking, what was your ff.net profile name? I will probably remember you!

Whatever his childhood was like, a large portion of it must have been spent hoping that some sort of hero would rescue him- it must have been absolutely devastating to realize that that day would never come, which would in turn lead to his hatred of people who built themselves up on antiquated concepts like honor and heroism without actually doing anything worthwhile.

Okay THIS. Is awesome. I confess I hadn't made the connection between Dilandau's hatred of heroics and the crushed dreams of a desperate child. Oh, poor Dilandau. It makes me love him even more, the poor kid :(

I hope that the subsequent chapters live up to your expectations! Sometimes the imagery comes out just right, and other days I just can't find the words. This story probably isn't going to turn out as good in print as it is in my head...but we'll see! I do have an awesome beta reader to keep me in line.

Let me know what you think of the later chapters, when they come out :) And thank you for reading!

Re: YES

Date: 2011-02-05 09:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] disklobos.livejournal.com
Aww, I'm sure a lot of your readers fondly remember your days on ff.net. I never actually had a registered profile, but I did leave a few reviews that are too horrible to look at anymore under the handle (Oh Lord) Mysterious Anonymous Esca looney. I am so, so sorry for my uncorteous, whining, 14-year-old idiocy.
And don't worry, I'm sure that your final product will be great. Just don't feel pressured to churn out chapters to appease people, and go at your own pace, and you'll definitely be able to take pride in your work.

Re: YES

Date: 2011-02-05 10:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scribeshiloh.livejournal.com
I REMEMBER YOU! :D

Please, don't apologize! We were all 14 once. If we didn't roll our eyes at our antics from back then, then we wouldn't have grown since then. I hope that made sense. And anyway, I loved your reviews, because you consistently gave them and you obviously loved reading my stories. Now, while I'm not particularly proud of anything I wrote back then, if I hadn't gotten encouragement like the kind you gave me, I probably would have stopped writing (or at least not have written as much). And without all of that practice, I never would have learned and gotten better. And well...you see where this is going.

So don't apologize. :) I loved your reviews, as evidenced by the fact that I remember your handle seven years later.

I'll take your advice to heart, too. I sometimes find myself eager to post a chapter or story that I've just finished, even if I know I should wait until the next morning to re-read it with fresh eyes, or to send it to my beta...I always regret not doing so later XD

School is going to make it hard to find time to write anyway, but I will keep working on it. Thanks again!
Edited Date: 2011-02-05 10:16 pm (UTC)

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Etienne Bessette

August 2012

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