Regine had sent Luke for the kid because he was in a bad neighborhood, as far as their data could discern, he was a descendant of Aelfgar, and he was male.
It made as much sense as most of her decisions, so Luke had armed up, tapped their current staff teleporter, and headed into the wasteland that had once been St. Paul.
It had been surprisingly easy to find the kid; Luke had followed the shouting and found a scrawny, filthy, sunburnt kid holding a stick in each hand and fending off three grown men. Not from himself, Luke quickly noticed; the kid was protecting three smaller children who were, it seemed, roasting a pigeon over a small fire.
“Hey!” Luke had absolutely no problem getting everyone’s attention. “Let’s even this fight up!” He noticed the moment where the kid thought he was going to attack him, and the way the boy’s stance, untrained as it was, shifted.
Me or Shou, he decided, although they were supposed to let the kids choose their own mentors. This one would need training if he was going to survive more fights like this.
When the boy – who everyone called Pony – refused to leave until Luke promised not only to find a safe place for the kids he was protecting, but also to help Pony find his mother and the kids’ mothers, if they were still alive, Luke amended the decision to mine. The kid had Mara instincts. They were going to need a lot of honing.
Maybe he should have let the kid go with Shou.
Luke had been chewing that thought over for well over a year now; by the end of Apollo’s third year, it’d been clear that there were some holes in his education that he had no interest in filling. By the end of his fourth year, Luke had on his hands an Adult – but an Adult it would be a crime to send out into the world.
Cy’Luca had taught Apollo how to fight – but every heroic, stupid, suicidal impulse had just been reinforced by the cy’ree and, unfortunately, by Luke himself. The kid was too full of himself, and any lectures otherwise came out as hypocrisy and worse.
So Luke had asked Cya Red Doomsday to clean up his mess.
It had been a few months, and the guilt was beginning to eat at him. So Luke visited Cloverleaf – walking in, like a normal person – and asked around until he found Red Doomsday’s Latest Kept.
He found him in the pasture, sparring with a haybale. Luke watched for a minute or two, noting that the kid’s technique had improved, that the frown of concentration was the same, that he was putting on color and keeping his muscle tone, and that his tempero huamu was definitely getting better. The haybale moved almost like a person.
“Keep your guard up, you’re leaving your left open,” he barked, both because he couldn’t help himself and because he wanted to let Apollo know he was there.
Apollo nodded, lifted up his off-hand dagger-stick, and lunged into a tricky stab-and-roll that Luke definitely hadn’t taught him. When he came up to his feet again, the haybale settled into an unmoving pile.
“Nanaya keeps doing this thing with her off-hand weapon. It’s tricky, and I haven’t quite figured it out yet.” He pushed his hair out of his face and settled into a more still position. “Sa’Hunting Hawk.”
There was a quietness to his body language that Luke certainly hadn’t managed to teach him. “jae’Sun-fire.” He nodded politely. “Nanaya?”
“She’s cy’Inazuma, one of his best students. I’m still figuring out how to beat her.” Apollo shifted hie weight from his front foot to his back. “Why are you here, sir?”
Luke sighed. “I wanted to check up on you. See how you were doing.”
Apollo tugged on the collar around his neck. “Still Kept.”
“She has only once in her entire history Kept someone for more than a year, and she’s never Kept anyone for less than a year.”
“There’s always another chance to be an anomaly, then.” Apollo smirked. “She might get sick of me, or she might decide I’m hopeless.”
“Last time, the world was ending.” Luke allowed himself a grim smile. “Let’s hope that doesn’t happen again.”
“We found Olindo.” The change in topic came with a shift in posture. He sheathed his wooden practice weapons.
Luke fought down the instinct to move into a combative position and stayed casual, wings folded, hands loose. “Yeah?” The kid’s crewmate had been less than happy with Luke over Apollo’s Keeping.
“You shouldn’t have split us up.” Apollo twisted his lips in something almost like a smile. “We’re too stupid on our own.”
The character is female.
6 ft. 3 in. tall
cropped short perfectly straight strawberry blonde hair
Their eyes is notable in some way.
They have a large feline Change.
Significant physical Changes include: eye color
Their innate ability allows them to attract weather in some way.
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