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[personal profile] renay
I wanted to write some stories every day for 12 days, but apparently retail is harder during the holidays! I also wanted to redeem myself over falling short of my 100,000 mark for the year, because I'm crazy. So, what better way than a crazy, 500-words-a-day project?

  • work in progress, which means 100% more failed imagery, metaphors and spelling and normally I'm pretty bad at those anyway so uhhhhh
  • will be shamelessly X-2 focused and Baralai/Gippal flavored, because I know I owe Susan fic and Nikki porn
  • ummm I'm doing something weird with the Al Bhed translations and I'll probably stick with it because footnotes drive me crazy and putting it inside the story is just the most ridiculous thing ever so sorry if hovering doesn't work?

The Damages of Loss (1)
(800 words, G)
"Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward."

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The sun beat down on Gippal's neck like a fistful of embers from a fire. It sent his shadow stretching out in front of him across the white sand of the desert, pulled as thin as Gippal's nerves felt listening to Rikku's constant chatter. Despite the headache he could feel behind his eyes, he liked having her with him on big excavations, and the pile in front of them was the biggest haul Gippal had seen in years from any dig, his or anyone else's.

"I bet all those metal boxes are full of gil. Loads of it." Rikku rounded the pile to stand beside him. "Wouldn't be so heavy otherwise."

Gippal shrugged. "Could be. Don't get your hopes up."

Around them, the other workers were in constant motion. Gippal hadn't counted the number of boxes his team had been pulling up from at least ten feet down, but they were still coming up via the crane on the Celsius, coated in decades of dirt. He had never seen metal casing like it before, the exterior smooth to the touch and bright. Gippal guessed if they cleaned them up the boxes would glint back at them, like a million mirrors pointed at the sky.

"Don't look so grumpy," Rikku said. "Who cares what's in them, anyway! It could be anything, and the Archives will be throwing dough at us to take it."

He snorted. "Yeah, if the Praetor allows it. You know how it is with historical finds these days. Bunch of bureaucratic crap, and then they end up gouging the search teams by only ever following through on half of the price."

"Someone's bitter." Rikku rolled her eyes at his look. "I didn't say it! I didn't." The corner of her mouth slid up. "But I thought about it."

Gippal had her a headlock when he saw one of his team members wave at him from the control tent, and he let go, dropping her in the sand with a thump. "Don't even think about it," Gippal said as she fanned sand at him. "The rules."

"Right, right, the rules. How old are you again?"

Gippal headed toward the tent and wiped sweat from his face, grit from his hands stinging his skin as he dragged his fingers across. Behind him, Rikku's voice grew shrill as she yelled at someone, but Gippal didn't turn around, because he had already spied the glint of a comm sphere in Benzo's hand.

"I thought we were out of range," he complained. Benzo shook his head, his hair falling into his eyes.

"Someone brought her close enough to call. She doesn't sound happy."

Gippal grabbed the holder. "When is Nhadala ever happy?"

"E raynt dryd."

Gippal grinned into the oversized sphere, Nhadala's face flickering and skipping through the glow. "What's up?"

Behind him, he heard Rikku squeal, loud and long, covering Nhadala's reply. Gippal turned his head to see Rikku waving a sphere in her hand, the rest of the team coming to crowd around her, her excitement like a gravity none of the team could resist if she got going. She spied him looking and started toward him.

"Gippal! You have got to watch this! Now!"

"Gippal, byo yddahdeuh." Nhadala's voice was tinny, like screws falling to land on the floor of his shop, and he turned back.

"What's going on? Rikku's about to explode." He turned back to her, but she was paused, showing the sphere in her hand to another worker, and Gippal heard Nhadala's words through a curious haze, enough so when the name registered he only tensed up, instead of dropping the sphere where he was and walking off.

"Ed'c Baralai."

Gippal grimaced. "Way to be a killjoy. Who cares? I've got better things to do than talk to him."

Nhadala huffed, the sound like an angry bee. The sphere holder vibrated in his hands. "Ed'c esbundy —."

Rikku laughed again, and Gippal watched someone pick her up and spin her, and he was annoyed he was missing out on whatever was going on. He was the damn dig leader and he was missing it to hear that Nhadala was breaking the agreement about ever mentioning Baralai's name to him again. "Listen, I don't know why you thought I'd care, but I don't. If he doesn't want to talk and it's business, tell him to bother Rin instead of me." Gippal didn't expect silence, so he looked back to the image to see Nhadala staring at him, eyes worried.

"What?" he asked. "You know how I feel about —"

"Gippal." Her tone changed, the voice she used to use when he was hurt or angry, and he froze, all the noise around him fading to a point and a ringing replacing it, like a internal alarm gone haywire. "Cusadrehk'c rybbahat du Baralai," she said. "Oui haat du lusa rusa."

Date: Tuesday, 1 January 2008 08:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Nhadala's voice was tinny, like screws falling to land on the floor of his shop

Best most awesome description EVER.


renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)