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Winter and the Komodo Dragon, A Lunar Chronicles Fan Fiction

Fandom: Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

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.

“Yes.”


Endnotes

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!

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Stargazing, A Lunar Chronicles Fan Fiction

Fandom: Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

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 1 of 2.


“Not fair. Everyone gets to dive but us,” Iko complained to Cinder, looking at the crystal clear waters with longing in her eyes. Her droid body was not waterproof, so it was out of the question for her to go scuba diving. Cinder, a cyborg with a steel hand, foot, and computer implants in her brain, faced the same predicament. Cinder wasn’t bothered though. She was still traumatized over the time when she jumped off the Lunar palace into the river. Although it was an artificial river, that jump nearly destroyed significant robotic parts of her body.

“Why don’t you go flirt with the Captain?” Cinder winked at Iko. “He seems like your type.”

Iko flashed Cinder a naughty smile and headed towards the upper deck of the Rafida Adventure boat. They were all on this liveaboard for one glorious week, together with a team of local Earthen boat crew, guide, and their cute Captain. For once Thorne, the Captain of the Rampion spaceship, was calling someone else “Captain.”

Cinder’s retina scanner gave her information on the water currents, temperature, visibility, and estimation of how long everyone else would be under the water. It would be roughly 30 minutes since they were all newbies to scuba diving. Well except Wolf, who due to his genetic modification was an excellent swimmer and could handle the water conditions much longer than everyone else. But even he couldn’t stay down there just by himself.

You always need to dive with a buddy, their dive guide had reminded them during the dive briefing. Stay close to your buddy. Take care of each other. Cinder smiled. Wolf and Scarlet didn’t need a reminder to look out for each other. They did that all the time whether on land, flying over the galaxy in a spaceship, overthrowing an evil Queen on the moon. No doubt they would watch over each other under the ocean.

It was Kai she was worried about. He could swim, but he was the Emperor. She imagined the panic everyone would be in if something happened to him. Torin, his advisor, insisted on a personal bodyguard joining the liveaboard to ensure the young Emperor’s safety. This bodyguard could also swim and was an experienced divemaster. He was assigned as Kai’s buddy during the dives.

Cinder drove unnecessary fears away from her mind. They would be fine, she told herself. Andre, the bodyguard, was experienced. He knew what he was doing. She went into the ship’s engine room to distract herself. Linh Cinder, in addition to being a Lunar and a cyborg, was also a talented mechanic. Her experience revolved around androids and spaceships, but never with well, actual ocean ships.

It was fascinating. The Rafida Adventure was a phinisi – a type of ship originating from the year 1906 of the Second Era of Earth. It was found in an archipelago nation once known as Indonesia. Now, in the Third Era, all the islands are part of the Eastern Commonwealth under the rule of Emperor Kaito.

Who was, at this moment, submerged underwater…Cinder again reminded herself that everyone would be fine. Her retina scanner confirmed that the statistics of accidents during scuba diving were very low. Sharks rarely attacked humans unless humans attacked them first. Plus they were only doing open water diving – only about 12 meters under the surface.

She pulled her attention back to studying the ship. It was originally crafted by master seafarers from the Bugis race, with multiple sails and soaring masts that gracefully parted the waves. Now though, they came with serious engines to increase speed. Not to mention power for air conditioners, refrigerators, scuba diving oxygen tanks, and even charging stations for androids.

The crazy idea for a reunion on this liveaboard came from Cress. Several months ago she made a trip to the exotic island of Flores with Thorne on the spaceship Rampion. They were delivering antidotes for a recent letumosis plague outbreak. Cress spent 7 years as a prisoner inside a satellite orbiting Earth when Queen Levana was still alive. After Cinder dethroned the evil Levana, Cress resolved to see more of the world – as much of the world as possible. Thorne was right there with the Rampion to support all her travel itches.

When Cress saw the phinisi ships harboring in the Flores port, she decided it was the next experience she wanted to try. And what better idea than to have all your best friends join on the adventure!

They all needed the break, but especially Cinder and Kaito. Since Cinder became Queen of Luna, her first act was to sign the Treaty of Bremen to ensure peace between Earthen Union and Luna. Her next act was to dissolve her own monarchy, paving the way to a republic governmental system on the moon. After her abdication, she was now a Lunar Ambassador in a relationship with Kaito, the Emperor of the Eastern Commonwealth.

This was their first vacation since they changed history. She decided that saving the world was pretty important, but saving your mind and body was just as important. Kai usually forgot this. He always worked so hard for his people, often neglecting the care of himself. Cinder hoped some ocean, fish, and sun would recharge his energy and spirits. She hoped at the very least he would get a tan after this trip was over.


Dinner that night was filled with talks of what they saw during their dives. Wolf layered all his food with the delicious sambal luat, a local spicy sauce made of small chili peppers, tomatoes, onions, and coriander leaves. Poor Iko could barely contain her envy because she could not taste the food, nor join the dives.

Scarlet thought the luat would be even more delicious if it was made with tomatoes from her farm, but then again she was biased. The farm was her grandmother’s farm, passed on to Scarlet after the old lady died a tragic death. In fact, Scarlet’s grandmother was tortured by Queen Levana’s genetically modified wolven armies. The very same army which Wolf was a part of, but had been able to break away from. The very same army which Winter later convinced to fight on their side.

“None of my hallucinations could compare to what was happening down there,” Winter stated happily. “The corals, the sharks, and even all the tiny crazy-looking creatures! Everything is wilder under the ocean. My scary visions seem tame in comparison.”

Jacin patted her head lovingly. “Then we’ll dive more. We can even take the deep-diving specialty and explore other wonders hiding in the blue.”

“Oh, can we! I’d love to join!” Cress bubbled in excitement. “I’ve heard of dive sites which are quite difficult to access but have marvels beyond marvels. The ocean itself is a wonder – it’s a galaxy all of its own!”

Everyone had to nod in agreement. Cinder traded jealous looks with Iko. Life was not fair. Not fair at all. The cyborg felt a soft hand take her right hand-her human hand and squeezed it lightly. It was Kai, trying to make her feel better. He’s the best, Cinder thought.

“How was your day?” he asked her quietly.

“Honestly? A bit boring up here waiting for everyone,” Cinder shrugged. “I did take a good look at the engine rooms though. The machines are fascinating.” She played with Kai’s fingers, a gesture they both enjoyed.

“But I’m glad you all had a great time. And that everyone surfaced safely.”

“I did. It was the best fun I’ve had in a while,” answered Kai, with a dreamy look on his face. He was remembering the gentle body of the giant manta ray, flying through the waters like an angel. “Oh and the turtles! Cinder, they were huge! I think I saw one as big as my body!”

Cinder laughed. She rarely saw this side of him, this face which was like a happy little boy. He usually had so many problems etched into his forehead. She leaned forward and kissed his cheek.

“I’m really happy for you. I’m glad we’re here.”

On her other side, Thorne rolled his eyes and was about to groan, but Scarlet shot him one of her silencing glares.

“By the way, did anyone notice all the trash?” asked Scarlet, frowning. “There was plastic stuff everywhere. Isn’t it supposed to be bad for the marine animals?”

“It’s bad for all of the underwater environment,” Iko piped up, glad that she could contribute to the conversation again. “My data is showing me that there are more than 200 million tons of plastic thrown in these waters every year.”

“Damn. Can you imagine if our neighbors were throwing trash at our farm, and we couldn’t get rid of it?” Scarlet turned to Wolf, shaking her head angrily.

“Better to get rid of our neighbors then,” he snarled in response.

“Take it easy there!” Thorne protested. He quickly hid the plastic water bottle which he was drinking from.

“You know, these islands are part of the Eastern Commonwealth…” said Kai slowly. “They’re so remote and away from the capital that they don’t usually get much attention. But I think I can look into something to help marine conservation around this area.”

Winter clapped in excitement. “That would be wonderful!”

Jacin, ever the realist, had to be the devil’s advocate. “It won’t be that easy. Top-down initiatives are never easy, especially this far away from the source of power. You would have to work very closely with locals here.”

Everyone turned towards the boat crew, who were hanging around behind them waiting to clear up their plates. They smiled innocently back at their guests.

“I bet I can make some kind of program…” muttered Cress to herself. “Some kind of game translated into the local language for the kids to learn about their oceans better.” She was already busy punching codes and ideas into her portscreen.

Cinder coughed loudly. “This is great everyone. I’m glad we’re thinking about this. But look it’s supposed to be a holiday, not a working visit. Let’s stick to the having fun plan and do our research and work later. We can always come again.”

“I wouldn’t mind parking the Rampion here for a month or two to analyze what we can do,” Thorne suggested. “Cress and I can easily keep you all updated.”

“My data feed is showing me that there are many traditional ways – local wisdom – from the old women in the society. I bet you can ask them for information and ideas,” added Iko.

“Correction: you’ll have to ask them. Everyone knows old women harbor the most knowledge,” Scarlet reminded the Emperor. No doubt she was thinking again of her grandmother.

“Great! It’s a plan.” Cinder stood up, taking pulling Kai with her. He obliged happily. “I’m sure Emperor Kai will follow through. But for now, how about letting the crew clean up and we do some stargazing.”

Continued to Part 2: Winter and the Komodo Dragon.


Endnotes

1. This is my first fanfiction! Feedback much appreciated.

2. 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!

Posted on 2 Comments

Book Review: Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles)

My oh my, I hear the screws of my head getting hooked on Marissa Meyer from now on! I completely blame my Mad Tea Book Club Co-Founders Krisandryka and Sherry H. Gosh where do I even begin. Let’s start by saying that I am biased towards fairy tale retellings. I love retellings with a fresh perspective and stronger female characters. The first Marissa Meyer book I read was Heartless, which was a retelling of Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland. I gave that 3 stars because the heroine was just plain annoying at times. Cinder gets 5 stars though!

Synopsis

Cinder is the first book in The Lunar Chronicles. Taking place in New Beijing under the Eastern Commonwealth of Earth, Linh Cinder is a cyborg with a talent for fixing broken things. She has a reputation as the best mechanic in town. This brought Prince Kai (soon to be Emperor Kai) knocking on her booth asking if she could fix his android Nainsi. This first momentous meeting unfolds into a swooping inter-species romance! It’s complete with evil witch Queens, spaceships, and a metal foot in place of the traditional glass shoe.

If you can’t already guess, this is based on the classic Cinderella story crossed with the popular manga Sailor Moon. With that in mind, yes, everything is rather predictable. But the author spins a heck of a fun story anyway, especially if you are a fan of Usagi and her sailor armies. To be honest, this was one of the biggest pulls for me: the fact that it had oriental elements mixed into the narrative. So many fantasies are based on a western point of view, but Cinder had a good mix of eastern and western cultures.

Cinder and Kai

I think this is one of my favorite relationships in young adult fantasy! The two are on par with each other and they treat each other as best as they know how to. Their relationship develops naturally even though there was obvious attraction from the first moment. Cinder kept her level head around the hot young prince, while Kai did not show off his power or status. The young Prince is actually showing himself to be a promising leader with a very responsible mindset.

Supporting characters like Iko the android, Evil Queen Levana of Lunar (who is set out to marry Kai to get control of Earth), and the infamous stepmother Linh Adri were all well proportioned throughout. One of Marissa Meyer’s strongest traits is in creating protagonists that you actually want to hang out and be friends with. Keep your eyes open for the rest of reviews, plus a fanfiction that I decided to write!