tasogare_n_hime: (Alex)
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Last Exile: Beyond the Sky
Fan fiction by Tasogarehime

Summary: An unexpected survivor brings hope, but there is still much to do, and no one is out of danger yet.

Warnings: None so far.

Disclaimer: I do not own Last Exile. If I did, certain people would have gotten much happier endings than they did.


  Vincent watched Sophia as she discussed the weather controllers with members of the newly reformed Guild Council. The news wasn't good. So far it seemed they were beyond repair. The loss of the Grand Stream had provided a temporary reprieve, as evidenced by the short but violent storms that raged over the two countries as the air of both was finally able to truly mix. But Disith would continue to freeze, and the rain would eventually stop. Exile, and the blue planet their ancestors had fled were the only hope for the people of Prester.

He really wished she would take the time to rest but the Empress had continued her work non stop since the Maestro's defeat the day before. Sophia hadn't slept staying up through the night helping to organize search parties for possible survivors until David, and Nestor had taken charge of the recovery efforts both men telling her to rest. She had nodded given that polite, vacant smile she kept using, which honestly was starting to worry the hell out of him, and had gone to work on other things the moment they left. The crew of the Silvana was just as worried as he was it seemed. At the moment Wina Lightning was keeping an eye on her under the guise of "Temporary Secretary to the Empress."

The guild city itself, which had become a command center, and meeting ground for all three nations was in a minor state of chaos at the moment with injured from all sides of the conflict arriving for medical treatment. The technology that had nearly killed them all now being used to save as many lives as possible. The Guilds medical staff along with people brought from both the surface countries was working overtime, which was why he was a bit surprised to recognize Isis Actias, the eldest daughter of the guilds chief surgeon and head of hospital staff approach Sophia as the council members parted ways.

Isis bowed at the waist to both of them. "I apologize for the interruption Your Highness, but Father has requested your presence at the hospital, as soon as you are able."

Sophia nodded, smiling slightly at the girl. "Of course, What does Dr. Actias need."

Isis hesitated biting her lip before continuing. "...It..is...It would probably be best if you saw for yourselves."

Vincent and Sophia exchanged looks out of the corners of their eyes. "Dio" they thought together. Someone must have found the boy who was now technically Maestro of the guild.

Vincent smiled at the nervous girl it what he hoped wasn't a threatening manner. "Lead the way."
______________________________________________________________________________
Dr. Iakona Actias was waiting for them outside the medical sector when they arrived. He was a tall slender man in his late fifties, with short cropped grey hair. He looked like the typical guilds' man until you noticed the cigarette in his hand. This earned him a murderous glare from Isis.

"Father..." Actias waved her off in a manner that suggested this was a frequent occurrence, putting the cigarette out against the wall. Which caused his daughter to give out an outraged squeak. "Father!"

Actias ignored her angry outburst. "Did you tell them?"

Isis' anger was replaced by the same nervousness she'd had when she'd found them. "I... wasn't sure how to explain."

Actias gave out a quiet grunt before turning to the automatic doors of the hospital.
"No point in spoiling the surprise I suppose. This way, there is someone you should see."

They followed him through the halls, to Vincent the medical sector was disturbingly quiet, and even more disturbingly odorless. It was better than the smells of bleach and other scents he had always classified as "Hospital smells" he supposed, but he wished he could smell something besides this mornings coffee on his own breath. He had several questions but the atmosphere kept him silent. He wondered if it was having the same affect on Sophia. Wina who had followed them looked very unhappy about being there. Though he realized that may be because many of the Silvana's crew weren't ready to trust the guild yet.

The doctor stopped at a recovery room that had two guild guards standing at the door. Giving a curt nod the young men he opened the door and stood aside for the three to enter. As Sophia passed Actias placed a hand on her shoulder. "Before you go in, I want to assure you he's not nearly in as bad a shape as he looks."

Sophia blinked at him before turning her head to look at the sole occupant of the room, and gasped. Vincent had to remind himself to breath as he followed her to the bed. Somewhere behind him he heard Wina squeak. When he turned she was already gone hurried footsteps echoing down the hall.

He turned back toward the bed and wondered if he had walked into some strange dream. Of all the people it could have been, he'd never expected to see Alex lying there. He'd never thought he'd see Alex again, and yet there he was. He did look pretty bad covered in bruises, cuts, and Vincent noticed what looked like a bad burn just peaking out from beneath the thick bandage covering his right shoulder and neck. The Captain's right arm was encased in a heavy cast, while the left was strapped down with an IV in it. He was also hooked up to several complicated looking machines.

He looked like death warmed over, but when he thought about the situation. Vincent reminded him self Alex actually looked really good. "That's right Vincent! Think positive, Some kind of miracle has just happened....Would this be considered a miracle?”  Vincent thought to himself as he watched Sophia siting in an uncomfortable looking chair next to the bed. Her left hand laid gently over Alex's own, her right hand running through his dark hair which looked even more in need of a comb than usual.

She was smiling, crying a bit too, but her smile was the first genuine one she'd had since he had first met with her after the war had officially ended. Vincent decided not to disturb her and turned to Dr. Actias, who was talking quietly with Isis, and her younger sister Luna, who didn't look much older than Alvis. Both girls nodded when their father had finished and left together with out a word. He walked over to the doctor watching the girls walk down the hall, he couldn't stop himself from asking. "Luna is awfully young to be working in the hospital isn't she?"

"She's in training." Actias replied. "Children in the guild are by tradition trained to follow the professions of one of their parents. They always begin training at an early age. I also have son, Atlas who works with their mother training students in the various martial arts of the guild. There are exceptions of course. Yearly exams, and such to determine if a child might not do better in another field. I could go on about guild traditions for hours, but I'm sure you have other things you would like to discuss?"

Vincent blinked. "Uh...Right, um...How..I mean..Alex was...er..I saw the ship...and..."

The doctor seemed to think for a moment. "Well, he was restrained, which kept him from being thrown about too much. Debris shielded him from the full force of the explosion, and took the brunt of the fall. He was most likely unconscious for most of it, and the relaxed state of his body helped avoid a lot of soft tissue damage he might have had otherwise. The cold kept him from bleeding to death before they got him here... This is all complete bullshit by the way. Sounds very convincing though doesn't it."

Vincent blinked a owlishly, opening his mouth to speak then closing it again a few times. He turned to look at Sophia who was still focused solely on Alex. Seeing no help there he turned back the doctor, still unsure how to respond.

Actias snorted. "To be honest I haven't got a damn clue how he survived. When they brought him in I was surprised he'd lived long enough to get here. He went through nine hours of surgery last night, including having several internal organs replaced, and having his hearing restored. We've done a lot of that surgery, damned explosions..."

Actias was cut off by the arrival of three men who Vincent recognized as Silvana mechanics trying to get through the door at the same time, and as a result became stuck. This soon turned into three grown men trying get into a fist fight while stuck in the door. Vincent could hear several other Silvana crew members behind them along with the now very confused guards. In the end Alvis was the first one in the room when she managed, somehow to crawl in safely between the legs of the mechanics, who were still trying to shift them selves to get unstuck without falling, though they were being far more quiet now after being harshly scolded by a passing nurse.

Sophia who had been shaken out of what ever world she had been in by the arrival of the mechanics, had a look on her face that Vincent recalled seeing on his mother more times than he would like to admit. He was reminded of a conversation he'd had with Alex about two years after they had both been given their commands.

"Isn't it great! We both have our own ships, We're really making our way in the world."

Alex had just glared at Vincent's poor attempt to cheer him up. Still overwhelmed by grief, too little sleep, and lack of apatite. "Marius has me babysitting a volatile pack of half-crazed, man-children no one else will hire. If they weren't on the Silvana most of them would probably be in prison."


It looked as if Sophia sometimes shared that sentiment. The mechanics, pushed from the outside fell to the ground with a heavy thud, and turned to glare at Ethan who grinned sheepishly. "Sorry."

Alvis now at Sophia's side was looking over Alex with a frown on her face, while the other crew members entered stepping over the fallen mechanics. "He looks even worse than when Clause was all beat up." Alvis said softly looking at Sophia while hugging her goat toy to her face.

Sophia smiled at the girl. "The bruises will go away eventually, and he'll look more like himself."
Alvis was about to say something else when Sirens went off causing everyone to jump. The guards looked at Actias waiting for his nod of consent before heading off in the direction of the noise. Apparently another faction of guilders still loyal to Delphine had made a move somewhere in the city. It was another problem that had plagued recuperation efforts.

Dr. Actias snorted again. "Damned idiots, the woman treated us all like insects and they still throw their lives away for her."

Sophia looked at him the unspoken question written all over her face.

"Dead." Was the reply. "Very dead. I can show you the body later if you like. We're keeping her under constant guard in the morgue to make sure there aren't any incidents." There was a sigh of relief from everyone, as the tension they hadn't realized had built up was released.

While the young vanship pilots joined Alvis and Sophia around the bed, older crew members after confirming their Captain was indeed alive, if not well, reluctantly returned to what ever they had been assigned to do. Two mechanics Godwin, and Kostavi if he remembered their names right, stayed taking up the now vacant guard post at the door. He felt a bit useless, like he should be doing more. Watching Sophia talk to the children quietly, he noticed she didn't seem to be able to hide how exhausted she was anymore. The kids had noticed too, and were concerned.

Thinking for a moment he turned to Dr. Actias speaking quietly "Would it be possible to bring another bed in here for Sophia? She hasn't slept, and if it's possible I think she would rather stay here."

Actias nodded, giving Vincent a rather knowing look "I'll see to it. You look like you could use some rest yourself."

He was about to reply when a startled noise from Sophia drew him back the conversation with the pilots, and Alvis. Clause had handed Sophia what looked like an old messenger tube. "You mean..."

The boy nodded at the empress, Lavie at his side wiping her eyes. "We found both of them, still in their vanship on Exile."
______________________________________________________________________________

Authors notes: There are some OCs in this: Actias and his family are all named for the Saturniidae family of moths.

The Actias family is one of the lesser families of the guild, Not nearly high enough that any would ever be considered for Maestro, but before Delphine's coup they held some power as council members.

Iakona Actias: Age fifty seven, is a chain smoking father of three. Married to Andrea Actias nee: Attacus a retired guards woman who now trains students in the guilds martial arts along with their son Atlas. (named after the Attacus Atlas moth.) Father and son don't see one another very often which is probably for the best as they don't get along very well. About the only thing they've ever had in common was a hatred for Delphine. Anyone entering his office will first notice two things: the smell of cigarette smoke, and several pamphlets, booklets, and informative papers on the dangers of smoking. These are left by his daughters in their efforts to get him to quit. He mostly uses them as impromptu ashtrays. His first name is a form of Jason and means healer.
The guild tradition he speaks of is made up by me, and as far as I know has no basis in the actual series.

Isis Actias: Age seventeen, She is a doctor in training. She is skilled enough to follow in her mothers footsteps but chose, out of a distaste for violence to follow her father. She spends most of her free time keeping Luna out of trouble. She is named after the Actias Isis moth.

Luna Actias: age thirteen but she's small for her age. A doctor in training like her sister Isis. When she's not training under her fathers supervision she's a typical energetic child usually getting into a bit of mischief. Unlike her sister and brother she has no aptitude for fighting. She has several collections of small odds and ends mostly of objets from Anatoray and Disith, as she does not get to go to either country very often, and both fascinate her. Her big fixation at the moment is buttons, and she was a bit put out to see that the Silvana uniforms had zippers instead. Several other people however are going to wonder what happened to their uniforms when they are well enough to be discharged. She is of course named after the Luna moth, Actias Luna.
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