View Full Version : Original Fiction: The Academy Chapter 2

Ichiro Matsuchani
05-19-2007, 04:58 PM
Authors note: Like the first one, this is just a broad draft of what I'm writing, and is subject to change drastically.

The Academy
Chapter: 2

Mae felt uncomfortable inside the cramped train car, which was built to only sit four people per row with a small walk space in the center. She felt as though she was compressed into a small box; she sat rigidly in her seat as if any slight movement would cause her to fall from her seat. It was an almost frightening experience for her, sitting in such a small space with so many strangers that she’s never seen before. The feeling of claustrophobia that swept over her made her sick to the stomach.

She gave a sickly glance to her sister, who was staring out the window with a glimmering expression. The change of environments did not seem to sway her in the slightest, as she was bouncing up and down in her seat out of anxiety. Mae swallowed her pride as she turned back towards the front of the car, envying the ignorance of her sister.

Saidari turned towards Mae with her eyes sparkling with amazement.
“Hey, have you seen where we are? We’re not in Oldash anymore! See? Look!” she said excitedly, pointing her hand out the window as a five year old would at something interesting.

Mae took a quick glance out the window, and immediately regretted it. She saw a wall of tall trees, all moving at a rapid speed by the train as they plowed through the midst of them. Her stomach turned upside down as she looked out the window, and she quickly turned away, leaning her head against the back of her seat. She heaved in great portions of air, trying to keep herself from vomiting.

“Aww, you’re no fun. Why do you always have to go and spoil it for everyone else?” whined Saidari, protruding her lower lip outwards.

Mae turned her eyes towards her sister, and said through clenched teeth, “Why do you have to go and make me do something that will make me lose my breakfast?”
Saidari tilted her head to the side out of slight confusion.
“What do you mean?”
Mae rolled her eyes.
“Forget about it.”

She turned over on her side in the seat, trying to make herself comfortable on the thin padding of the head rest. She spotted another girl that sat in the row across from them, looking in her direction with a thin smile on her face. Mae sprang upright out of surprise, causing the girl giggle.
The girl looked like she was close to Mae’s age, with short black hair that reached halfway down her neck. Her face was thin and tall, giving her a slightly bony appearance.

“What’s this, don’t like trains?” said the girl jokingly.
Mae didn’t react well to this comment, thinking that the girl was trying to make fun of her. She would have offered a rebuttal, but she felt too sickly to even bother. All she was able to muster was a dim glare, which only brought more giggling from the girl.

“I’m sorry, did I make you angry? Motion sickness is a common thing for people that have never ridden a train before,” My name is Alandra. And you are?”

She gave Mae a friendly smile, which caused her to formulate a different opinion of this girl. She seemed nice enough, and someone that would be easy to get along with.

“Mae. My name is Mae,” she answered her from the corner of her mouth.

“And my name is Saidari! Me and Mae are sisters!” exclaimed her sister suddenly from behind her, causing her to jump in her seat in surprise.

The girl went into another fit of laughter from the childish antics of Saidari, who didn’t even notice for the view from the window now had her attention once more.

“Pleased to meet the both of you,” she took a brief glance of their garbs. “Those are clothes from the Academy, are they not? That’s quite an accomplishment.”

Mae felt herself blush from the compliment, “Well, yeah, thank you. We’ve been working for a long time to make it in.”

Alandra nodded slowly, with the same smile on her face from before. She turned away from Mae, looking out the window of the train. The scenery had changed slightly, now just rolling hills that extended past the horizon.

“I love this part of the country,” spoke Alandra. “Very quiet and very beautiful.”

A man came in through the front of the car and started to whisper to the clerk, who followed him through the door.

“Did you used to live here?” asked Mae curiously.

Alandra was transfixed at the closing door of the car, and offered no response to Mae.

“I’m sorry, but will you excuse me for a moment?” asked Alandra suddenly, who got up and started her way towards the front of the train.

Mae blinked as Alandra walked off. “What an odd girl…I wonder where she came from?” mused Mae.

Saidari shook Mae’s shoulder to get her attention.
“So who’s your friend?

Mae glanced towards her sister; her eyes narrow with slight annoyance.

“Haven’t you been listening at all?”
“Listening to what?”

Mae groaned at her response, wondering why she expected anything more from her sister. She leaned back into her seat once more and closed her eyes.

“Forget it.”

The train director took quick sips of tea from where he sat at the front of the train, trying to keep himself calm as they approached the border city of Tulk. He always hated to take this route, as Tulk was not a very visitor friendly city. The entire city was corrupt from the inside out, with gang lords that ran the streets and conflicted against other rival factions.
Although slavery was illegal in the Empire of Aelhurst, Tulk was booming with it. Most of them were victims of bandit raids, kidnapped and sold off into the market. There they would be forced to obey the whims of whoever bought them, who were usually thugs who answered to gang lords.

Two clerks came in through the door of his car, saluting the director before speaking.

“Sir, were you aware that there are two academy students aboard this train?”

The train director blinked, not fully understanding the point of the question.

“Of course I was aware. Why are you bothering me with this?”

The clerk hesitated.

“Well…they’re sitting in the lower class seats,” spoke the clerk,” If they truly are academy students, then wouldn’t they have ordered higher class tickets?”

The train director rubbed his temples with irritation.

“What does it matter to you if they didn’t buy higher class tickets?! It’s not your responsibility! Your job is simply to keep the passengers comfortable, and that’s it!”

The clerk stood up straight and saluted the director once more, this time a bit more stiffly. The director sighed a little bit, and looked straight into the eyes of the clerk. “This crew always thinks too much,” thought the director.

“They’re from Oldash,” spoke the director, “It’s a poor farming village. The people there didn’t have enough money to afford a higher class ticket. It’s as simple as that.”

The clerk scratched his head for a moment before speaking again.

“Well, since they are students of the Academy, then shouldn’t we offer them some special service or something? It’s not like we have such honorable passengers every day.”

The director fumbled his mustache, deep in thought. He does have a point there…,” thought the director. He stood up before the clerks, who instantly snapped to attention.

“I’ll go talk with them.” He pushed aside the clerks and proceeded to the back of the train.
__________________________________________________ __
Alandra hid to the side of the door as the director came through, quickly proceeding through the gap before it closed. The director did not notice her presence as she slipped by him. She ducked down low as she proceeded through the next few cars, as not to attract too much attention.

Beyond the car that they sat were the higher class seats, which were veiled by long, luxurious curtains. This was fortunate for Alandra, for it made them easy to pass by undetected. The only problem was that each car had a clerk inside them, keeping an eye on everything that went on. Alandra peeked into each car before moving inside; checking if there was a clerk moving through on patrol. When they went through the door on the opposite side of the car, she would slip through the car quickly and hide to the side of the door, waiting for the clerk to come back. When they opened the door, she would wait for them to walk by before slipping through the door.

She repeated this process about 8 times before reaching the front of the train, a nervous sweat running down the side of her face. She was now near the front of the train, the door to the engine room right before her. She crept towards the door and opened it up just enough so that she could peek in with one eye.

There were two men that were shoveling coal into the engine, both too transfixed with their job to notice the door opening. Alandra smiled at her good fortune, closing her eyes and cupping her hands. She started to chant an incantation as a dim blue light escaped from the cracks of her cupped hands. She opened her hands, revealing a small aspheric crystal in the palm of her hand. The jewel was slightly translucent by appearance, and gave off a slight chill in the air.

She gripped the crystal between her thumb and the nail of her first finger, holding it before the open door. She flicked the jewel into the room, landing it on top of the pile of coal that was being shoveled into the engine. One of the men shoveling unknowingly scooped it up and thrust it into the engine. Alandra smiled in triumph, turning back to get back to her seat.

She didn’t get even more than a step before she was stopped in her tracks. The train director had already come back up to the front of the train, much sooner than Alandra had expected. He looked at her as if he was looking at a ghost, his eyes filled with surprise. Behind him were a few clerks, both with looks of shock on their face. Alandra clenched her fists and cursed under her breath. Busted.

It did not take long for the director to regain his composure. He looked down at her sternly with his arms crossed.

“What are you doing here? This is a restricted area. No passengers are allowed up here.”

Alandra grinded her teeth, quickly searching through her head for some kind of excuse.

“I came up here looking for a bag for a sickly friend of mine in the back of the train, and I got lost.”

It wasn’t until after she said it that she realized how lousy an excuse it was. Getting lost on a train? You have to be a total idiot to get lost on a train! There’s no way he’s going to buy it!

The director rustled his mustache as his eyes narrowed on Alandra. She swallowed hard as he let out a deep sigh, than opening his mouth to speak.
“The clerk in your car will answer to all your needs. You can return to your seat now.”

Alandra froze, almost unbelieving at what she just heard. She bowed to him quickly before she scurried out from the car. Her heart was thumping so wildly that it had jumped to her throat, and she breathed deeply in attempts to calm herself.

“Lucky break,” thought Alandra.

It had been quite a while since Alandra had left, and Mae started to wonder where she had gone.

“What could she be doing that would take this long to finish?” wondered Mae.

She was starting to get used the train, her claustrophobia finally starting to wear off. She forced herself to just ignore the glances of everyone in the car, obviously shocked by her Academy uniform.

A few moments later, Alandra came in through the front of their car, quickly scurrying to her seat. She fell back into her chair, leaning her head up against the head rest with closed eyes. Mae glanced over at her with a slight look of concern.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Said Alandra, giving Mae a weak smile, “The train director just gave me a little scare, that’s all.”

Alandra looked up at the ceiling. Now just to wait for my magic to take effect.

A crew member from the engine room burst into the car in which the Director sat, causing him to jump in surprise.

“Sir! We have a problem with the engine!”

“A problem with the engine? That’s never happened before…” thought the director. He walked past the man with the shovel and entered the engine room, where the other engine crewmen stood there, staring into the engine with gapping mouths.

“What in the blazes are you…?” He froze when he looked into the engine, completely awestruck by the sight. A thin sheet of ice covered the entire inside of the engine, lining the sides and forming icicles upon the roof.

“That’s impossible…” the director scratched his head out of confusion.
Before he had time to even think, there was another call from the lookout point of the train. He rushed past all the men in the engine room and climbed the hatch into the tower. He looked around as he went outside of the train, noticing that they were rapidly losing speed. All that the train was running off from was momentum.

The lookout was holding his looking scope to his side, looking out into the horizon with a gaze of horror. The director snatched the scope from his hand, and pointed it in the same direction of which the man was looking. He saw a group of men mounted on horseback, waving what looked like musket rifles in their hands.

His eyes grew wide in realization of what he had seen. He turned to alert the crew of what was coming, when a cracking of rifles sent a large volume of muskets towards them. The director fell through the hatch, laying still upon the ground with multiple bullet wounds on his back.

05-20-2007, 08:32 PM
I read the two chapters today. You asked for my opinion and I say it's awesome, Ichi. I really liked it. The story so far is good. I want to know what happens next so bad! D: I love the way you detailed everything. This is going to be a good book. :]
Bah. I told you I suck at commenting. >_>;

I hope you're working on the 3rd chapter right now or I'll... >>;;

Ichiro Matsuchani
05-21-2007, 07:31 AM
I hope you're working on the 3rd chapter right now or I'll... >>;;Still in the writing process. It's taking a bit longer than I thought. But, it's better to take a long time and it be good.