Over in Sand and Ash, we hit one of my favorite chapters of the book. And on Flight of the Scions, we are one chapter away from introducing probably the most popular character in the entire book: Maris.
Sand and Ash 23: Reunion
I love this chapter for so many reasons. The biggest is Rutejìmo finally acknowledged that he loved Mapábyo to her. And, for the briefest moment, everything is right in their life as we fade into a kiss.
The theme of "falling in love" badly was important to me. I wanted a story of fumbled declarations, messy fights, and the struggle to realize that there might be someone out there. I don't believe in soul mates or even life partners (my spouse disagrees on the last one), but there is the "good enough" that sometimes lasts decades if not centuries. But, it is rarely the clean falling in love of the movies with their non-issues mostly driven by communication.
Rutejìmo and Mapábyo will fight in the future, outside of the purview of stories. She will hit him and throw things, he won't hit her back; he is fully a pacifist at this point. They will scream and storm away.
But in this point, this one moment, they kissed.
This is humanity at its best. Look at them. All that anger, all that mistrust, all that unhappiness… forgotten, for that one perfect moment when they get off the plane. — Bartleby, Dogma
And I love that.
Now, it took me forty-three thousand words to get here but this isn't the end. The world doesn't get better just because of that kiss. He is dead after all.
Flight of the Scions 5: Lesson Plans
The fifth chapter is a transition, an introspection scene. It gives Garèo and Kanéko a chance to talk to each other and hopefully get a little more idea of why they are going on the trip, what is Garèo doing outside of the desert, and pointing out that Kanéko really has had a cozy by sheltered life.
What doesn't come up much in this book is that Ronamar, Kanéko's father, had a marriage before Mioráshi and Kanéko. They were killed trying to get to him and he ended up having a rather impressive war with his neighbor. Some of the cut chapters talk about it, but he met Mioráshi during that battle when he hired a bunch of desert mercenaries to help with the offensive. It just happened that the foul-mouthed daughter of the mercenary leader hit all of his right buttons. Repeatedly. When the desert mercenaries returned to the desert, Mioráshi was pregnant with Kanéko and decided to stay behind.
One thing about Mioráshi is that she really isn't prepared to be a mother. She was young (early twenties) when she had Kanéko and spent most of her life with rather impressive combat skills and only judged on her ability to blow holes through walls. She does her best, which is one reason why Garèo is here.
All these details were cut from the book. Yeah, there are references to them, but I'll probably put more into Kin-Killer and Ronamar's novel (if I write it). I have no intent of writing a full novel for Mioráshi, but maybe a story or two.
Until then, enjoy the stories. Flight of the Scions is a patron only serial. The money I get from patrons will go into editing and commissioning a cover for these two books.