Nellie (cthonical) wrote in colossusfiction,
Nellie
cthonical
colossusfiction

Hi! I've been looking for a place to share SotC fics (because I don't like Fanfic.net) and stumbled across this place. It's nice to find a community that insists on -some- standards when it comes to writing.

Anyway, I'd like to share this first fic I wrote. It has spoilers for Shadow of the Colossus, and references to Ico. Constructive criticism welcomed... I don't write in the third person very often at all, so this was something a bit different for me.

Final awakening

This time when he awoke, Wander felt colder and stiffer than he had ever dreamed was possible. The derelict stone cut into his back and a chill breeze whistled through the temple, and yet he made no move to get up from the floor.

His quest was nearly at an end. The last colossus awaited, and Wander squeezed his eyes shut in dread of what appearance this final monstrosity might take.

Slowly, painfully, he struggled to his feet. His limbs felt like lead, like poison had seeped into his bones. It didn’t really surprise him as he gasped to catch his breath. Each successive creature had seemed to sap more of his strength, so it only made sense that his body would begin to fail him so on the final journey into the plains.

He looked around. Rubble from fifteen idols littered the grand hall, light from the rapidly rising sun striking the stones with painful pinpricks of light. The glare made him squint as he shuffled to the altar. Several doves took flight at his movement, rushing out into the sunlight in a flurry of feathers and anxious hoots.

The birds didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was the corpse laid out on the stone, so beautiful even in mortality. Wander reached out to touch her, sliding one hand feebly across her cheek and tucking a strand of dark hair behind her ear. It slipped free again almost instantly, caught by the same morning breeze ruffling the delicate edge of her white nightdress. A spattering of red marks at the hem betrayed the violence that had sent her to this gentle sleep.

“Hitsumomo…” Wander whispered. “Momo. Momo, can you hear me?”

Only the wind and the birds answered, in haunting harmony.

First of the final nights

They made good progress on the first day, nothing but the open plains and good weather between them and the point of light his sword directed them towards. The sun had well set before he put Agro to graze and erected his little tarp over a crevice in the cliff-face, a spot thickly carpeted with moss. It was a fine soft bed once he arranged his blankets over it, and Wander sighed with pleasure as he sank down into it. Everything still ached, his legs and arms stiff from the day’s ride. He only prayed that his strength would return in time to face the colossus that waited. Each other time it had, but this was different. He hadn’t felt so poorly after any of the others.

He closed his eyes. Surely it was a test of his bravery and abilities, of his devotion to the task. Lesser men would certainly have given up many colossi ago. But Wander refused to succumb. Rest, that’s what he needed. Just some rest. 

A girl in a delicate white dress ran ahead of him through the ruined castle, scared, disorientated, blind to the danger he could so surely see in front of them.

“No!” He cried out, reaching for the back of her dress. “No, this way! This way is safe.” The feel of soft cotton sliding beneath his fingers, slipping, before he caught a handful.

They tumbled to a halt, a mess of limbs on the dirty floor. His grip was still tight on the dress, dragging the girl with him as he clambered to his feet. He grabbed her hand, releasing her dress as his grip tightened on her frightfully thin fingers.

“This way, run!”

He could feel the way she was stumbling behind him, barely keeping up. But he didn’t slow down, and he refused to stop.


“Momo…” Wander groaned, bright sunlight already visible even behind his eyelids. He rolled onto his stomach, propping himself up on his elbows to rub his eyes.

Despite the strange dream, he felt more rested than he had yesterday. And as strange as the dream had been, he knew what it meant.

He rolled his bedding with deft movements and whistled for Agro. Moments later the faithful animal appeared at the crevice, reaching in to nuzzle at his face. Wander grinned, the horse’s whiskers tickling his face.

“You love me even though I came out here, don’t you boy?” He said.

Agro snorted in a response that could easily have meant yes or no or nothing at all.

Wander sighed. As much as Agro was faithful company, and as much help in battle as any trained swordsman, the horse could not vindicate him.

Again he sighed, clambering onto Agro’s back and stroking his neck a moment before urging him on to a trot. He drew his sword, holding it to the light.

“Same way as yesterday, old boy,” he said. The slightest increase of pressure to the horse’s flanks spurred him faster.

It felt like flying, galloping so fast across the empty plains. Wander lay low over the beast’s neck and clung to the reins, his hair whipping free of its band. The rushing air was soothing and cool, and the rhythmic drum of Agro’s hooves threatened to lull him back to sleep.

“I had a dream,” he said, his words snatched away by the wind. Not that it mattered if the horse really heard him or not. “I was rescuing Momo. But not like I am now, she was really there. I was leading her home.”

He took comfort in the thought as they raced towards finality.

Second of the final nights

Despite the hard ride, Wander didn’t feel nearly so poorly as he had the evening before. In fact, as he hefted his water bags from beside the stream and headed back to his make-shift camp, he felt stronger than he had in weeks.

The tarp snapped and rustled in the rising wind. Clouds were gathering overhead… Wander dreaded the rain. He couldn’t imagine the horror of trying to climb one of the colossi in such conditions. Even when facing the most straightforward of them, the simplest to best, every moment was barely a heartbeat away from tragedy.

He pushed the thoughts away. Just thinking about those nauseating climbs made his stomach churn. Instead he drew his sword, holding it high to the last rays of setting sunlight that breached the clouds. Off in the distance, not so far now, the hulking heights of some old ruins smeared the horizon with their silhouette. Somewhere in there the final beast waited to be awakened.

Agro trotted up, snorting uneasily. Wander leaned into the animal, tangling his fingers in its mane. “I think it’s going to be a rough night, boy. You make sure to lie down against the cliff and keep warm.”

The horse tossed its head, nuzzling its velvety nose against his face. The physical contact was solid and reassuring, even if it did only come from a horse.

The shadows were chasing him! He reached for his sword to frighten them off with a burst of light, but instead of the solid comfort of steel his fingers found only a feeble stick tucked into his belt.

A sharp scream tore through the air, and he turned to see more of the shadows pawing at the pale white-dressed girl. Their claws worried at the edge of her dress as she scrambled to get up, her eyes wide with fear.

Hot anger ripped through him. He would protect her, sword or no. Even if he had to drive off these monsters with nothing but a stick. Even if he had to suffer those claws in his own flesh.

Even if he had to die.

Another scream grated his ears, and with a roar he leapt into the fray.

Cold water dripped onto his cheek, running down his face in a parody of tears. Lying on his back in his damp blankets, he stared up at the rip in the tarp and the violent sky beyond.

Another night. Another dream. Those shadows… he’d seen them many times before, in the hall of idols.

They were helping him, weren’t they?

Wander wiped the water from his face, rising slowly. He definitely felt stronger today, as if he could take on a dozen colossi all at once to save Momo. He was sure it was her in his dreams, the ethereal female figure. It was her he was saving, her he would protect.

She’ll never suffer again, he thought fiercely, pulling on his oiled overcoat roughly.

Final

The rain grew heavier as the cliffs drew closer on either side, resolving into a narrow canyon. It made the travelling uncomfortable, but Agro didn’t seem to mind so Wander wasn’t going to complain.

Soaked to the bone and blinded by the driving rain in his eyes, he didn’t notice immediately when the walkways and ruins began appearing. They were close, so very close. Overhead the mountaintop structure loomed, illuminated in the increasingly frequent lightening bolts that tore the blackened sky. With Agro surer of his footing and direction than he was right then, Wander let his thoughts roam. Where would this monstrosity be hiding? What would he have to do to draw it out? And most importantly… what would it take to destroy it?

It was pointless to speculate, of course. None of them had been the same thus far, and to assume that the final test would be that simple was pure folly.

The storm let up a little as they progressed further and the ruins became more detailed, bridges and enclaves all around. Wander reined Agro back to a leisurely trot. Gods knew the faithful beast deserved the rest.

Not for the first time he wondered where all the structures and ruins in this sacred place had come from. Perhaps the colossi had made them? They were certainly epic enough in scale to have created such things. Yet none of them seemed to possess that kind of sentience. It was a mystery, lost to time it seemed.

Wander snapped out of his thoughts at a loud, echoing crack. Too  close, too sharp for thunder…

Agro threw his head back, snorting and neighing, and leapt into a breakneck pace.

The seconds stretched into infinity as Wander turned his head slightly and saw the stone bridge falling being them.

Like fighting the colossi, where a heartbeat could draw the line between victory and defeat, his instincts asserted control. The roar of old stone rending apart filled his ears, and he leant low over Agro’s neck and urged the horse faster.

“Come on boy, come on boy,” he whispered over and over again, each length towards the solid ground taking eons to cover.

Agro reared, his whinny piercing the air. Wander struggled to stay in the saddle, clinging to the horn with grim determination. But the leather was slippery, slick with rain, and when Agro threw himself again Wander screamed as his fingers slid from the saddle and he was thrown hard to the ground.

All the air gone from his lungs, he struggled to his feet in time to watch Agro, his eyes so wide they were almost nothing but white, fall with the final stones.

“Agro!!” Wander screamed, reaching down. Useless. The horse fell, the river below breaking into waves with the impact of the heavy rubble and the animal.

On his hands and knees in the mud, Wander watched for long minutes. Watched, screamed the stupid beast’s name.

Nothing emerged from the depths of the river.

He cried then. He hadn’t so far… no matter how much it hurt, or how hard it was, or hopeless it seemed. He hadn’t cried. He felt stupid now, that the loss of the horse could cause him to break where the worst hardships could not. But Agro had been a companion, another living soul, a faithful partner.

His loss was unforgiveable.

The rain had begun again by the time he rose to his feet. His face felt swollen, and his throat burned. Wander craned his neck to try and see the top of the plateau that rose above, but like most things in this place its scale prevented him.

He wiped his eyes, smearing mud on his face. Then he reached for the first ledge, pulling himself up with steely resolve.

For Agro. For Momo.
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