Characters: Cinder & Kai, Scarlet & Wolf, Cress & Thorne, Winter & Jacin, and the android Iko.
Time: Set some time after the events in Something Old, Something New (Stars Above) by Marissa Meyer
Disclaimer: I don’t own any of the characters. This fanfic contains spoilers to all the books!!!
Our favorite characters take a vacation to the exotic Lesser Sunda Islands on a liveaboard.
Part 2 of 2.
Cress was wide awake at 5 AM the next morning, ready to view the sunrise. Thorne was snoring loudly when she left their room. After making herself a cup of Flores coffee, she settled on the deck to enjoy the scene. The sea, stretching and pulling in every endless direction. Shadows of the small islands jutted out here and there, creating a majestic rhythm upon the shimmering surface.
It started with a soft hue, an orange tint making the waters seem purple. Slowly, steadfastly, the shining circle claimed the dark sky. Pink and red harmonies permeated from the core of the light. Tears blurred her vision, and by the time she had wiped her eyes, the world was illuminated.
“If I see more views like this, I might be able to heal naturally,” Winter’s hushed voice startled Cress. “I might not need the bioelectric chip to regain my sanity.”
Cress nodded in agreement. Being a Lunar meant that Winter had the gift to manipulate bioelectric fields of energies around weaker beings. At the age of 12, Winter resolved never to use her gift again, albeit at the cost of her sanity. She suffered from hallucinations and visions which often caused her to harm herself without realizing it.
Luckily for everyone, the bioelectric chip founded by Linh Garan, Cinder’s Earthen adopted father, was proving potent to help prevent Lunars from losing their mind. It worked the other way around too, it helped to prevent Earthens from being manipulated by the Lunars’ ability.
The little chip was pricey though, and the operation to inject it into Lunars’ and Earthens’ spines was tricky. Only the very privileged strata of society could afford the chip. Of course, being a Princess of Luna, Winter was the 1% of the 1% of society on both Earth and the Moon. That still left just about everyone else. The less privileged.
“Yeah, we might not have all that manipulative glamour you have on the moon, but we have gorgeous sunrises and sunsets,” said Thorne yawning as he joined the two women on the deck.
“And it’s free. Everyone can enjoy it,” Winter beamed.
The rest of them were waking up now, getting out of their rooms, making coffee, preparing for the day’s trip. They were going to stop by Komodo Island, the largest island where the endangered Komodo dragons resided. It would be a hot day full of sun, so everyone slathered on sunscreen and protection. Iko took out a gigantic hat that covered up to her shoulders, while Cinder needed a combination of SPF and umbrella to cover down to her prosthetic feet. She did not fancy her steel limbs overheating. They still functioned fine but became too hot for other people to touch.
“Well if the dragons attack us you can poke them with your umbrella,” joked Thorne.
“False! My data says that the Komodo dragons would easily be able to snap the umbrella in a single bite,” countered Iko brightly.
Jacin pulled Winter towards the hallway of the ship and strictly warned her to stay a safe distance from the Komodo dragons should they see one.
“I’m sure they won’t hurt us if we don’t bother them first? Can’t we be friends?” asked Winter.
“Yeah, after you’re all tucked away in their stomachs,” Scarlet called out while applying SPF on Wolf’s face. “Don’t try to charm them, Winter. Jacin is right this time. Keep your distance.”
“I don’t suppose glamours and manipulations work on dragons?” mused Kai. He was all ready to get down to the dinghy and see these fascinating creatures.
“I’m not going to be the first one to try that theory,” Cinder said as she jumped down to the dinghy.
When everyone was in the small boat, one of the crews steered it closer to the harbor. As they walked towards the entrance of the park, local children ran up to greet them while carrying souvenirs to sell. Cinder saw Kai giving Andre instructions to buy out all the goodies before they went back to the Rafida. She raised her eyebrows at him-how is this going to help them in the long run? He just mouthed, I’ll think of that later, while winking at her. She shook her head. He could be irresistibly charming at times.
Two forest rangers greeted the group. Before starting the tour, they told them that one of the dragons was hibernating near the trails. So at least they would get to see one Komodo. They reminded the group not to touch the dragons, or everyone would be in trouble. Just as they were about to begin the walk into the forest, however, Wolf sniffed and stopped dead in his spot.
“The one nearby. I can smell him.”
One of the rangers looked oddly at Wolf.
“He’s a genetically modified soldier with a heightened sense of smell,” explained Scarlet.
“I’m going to stay right here,” Wolf said with a low voice. His jaw was clenched tight.
Thorne gave a small whistle. “I guess his dog instincts are kicking in. Those dragons do eat dogs after all.” Cress punched him in the arm. He could be so off at times.
“Fact!” Iko brightly agreed. “They have venomous saliva, and can kill even the largest prey with a single bite.”
This time Cinder shot Iko a dirty look.
“And even wolves are considered prey…” Scarlet said slowly. “Then I’ll stay here with Wolf. Just to make sure my Alfa is going to be alright.” She was soothing his arm even as she shooed the others away. “Go have fun guys. Don’t get bitten. We’ll be fine here.”
The others slowly walked into the forest, following the ranger at the front. Thorne and Cress were right on the rangers’ heels, while Jacin and Winter walked a bit more carefully behind them. Jacin was keeping a very close eye on Winter. Just in case. He wouldn’t have thought twice about throwing himself between a poisonous giant lizard and Winter if it was needed. Cinder and Kai trailed behind them, with Andre flanking Kai’s other side. A second ranger stepped in place at the end of the group to make sure everything would be safe from behind.
“My retina is giving me more facts about these carnivorous lizards,” Cinder told Kai. “I’m so glad Levanna didn’t know they existed. Can you imagine an army of genetically modified Komodo dragons? Even wolves would seem like puppies in comparison.”
Kai shuddered. “If her army was modified with these genes, we would never have won, that’s for sure. And I would still be married to her.” Indeed Levana had forced Kai into a marriage treaty with her for a short-lived couple of weeks. It was still an acknowledged ceremony though.
“They can’t be that bad?” Winter said over her shoulder, overhearing their conversation.
“Don’t try anything crazy,” Jacin held her wrist tighter.
“Up ahead!” pointed the ranger at the front. He stopped and put down his wooden staff several meters away from what looked like a big rock.
“Oooh,” gasped Cress as she realized it wasn’t a rock, but a very still Komodo dragon.
“Look at the Komodo from sideways or behind,” the ranger instructed. “They can only run straight ahead.”
The group huddled instinctively towards the tail of the lizard.
“Wow,” Thorne said, for once speechless. He imagined this big fat lizard moving at 20 kilometers an hour to catch meat.
“It’s staying so still,” whispered Winter curiously.
“They try to fool their prey that way,” Iko matter-of-factly informed everyone. “Oh hey Cinder, look at this fact I found. Female dragons can have virgin births! They can reproduce without a male to fertilize their eggs. Whoa.”
“Again, I’m so glad Levanna never heard of these creatures,” Cinder replied dryly.
“I don’t know, maybe then she would modify herself so she wouldn’t need an emperor husband,” Kai shrugged nonchalantly.
Winter took a step forward, even while Jacin was pulling her to stay back. Their little struggle caught the lizard’s eye, and it slowly fixed its stare on them.
Everyone froze. Winter looked straight into the dragon’s eyes. And smiled.
The venomous, carnivorous lizard looked straight back into Winter’s eyes, blinking slowly. It then shifted its gaze forward again, ever so deliberately.
The group gave a collective breath. Winter was smiling ear to ear.
“We connected,” she said contently. Jacin was wiping his clammy hands on his shirt.
“Leave it up to Winter to charm even a poisonous giant lizard,” Cress laughed, giddy with relief.
The rest of the walk was uneventful, and they did not come across another hibernating dragon. The forest was interesting but hot and sticky. By the time they met up again with Wolf and Scarlet, everyone was ready to get back into the Rafida, get a cold drink, and perhaps jump in the ocean for a quick dip.
“Mission accomplished?” Kai asked Cinder as they strolled back towards the dinghy. Andre was ahead of them, already buying all the souvenirs the little children kept pushing towards him.
Cinder took a good look at Kai and saw that his handsome face was finally showing a tan.
1. Read the first part of this Lunar Chronicles Fan Fiction: Stargazing
2. This is my first fanfiction! Feedback much appreciated.
3. The Rafida Adventure is an actual liveaboard that can take you to the Lesser Sunda Islands. If you ever want to book a trip with them, you can use my promo code : airinrafida2021 for a special discount!