An Introduction for
Skylar was my favourite in the series and I hated that she only got 2 seasons of screen time! I found a piece about her that I really like! ALSO there is a treat in here for people who read the books! ;)
The wind almost knocks Skylar over and the first thing she thinks to do is grab onto her hat. Falling down on her ass would be okay, but if she lost her hat, she might as well be losing a friend.
“Alright there?” a deep voice says from behind her.
She turns around and smiles at the tall, bearded man standing a few feet away. His hat looks much sturdier than hers, but she figures that’s normal considering he’s a captain and she’s a nobody.
“I’m alright,” Skylar finally answers with a smile.
He nods at her once and continues down the skydock at a quick and confident pace. Skylar takes a deep breath and runs after him, trying her best to come across as sure of herself as she once felt.
“Wait!” she calls. “Captain Barnabas!” The wind rolls across the docks again and she grabs for her hat too late. It flies off her head in one easy motion and when she tries to grab for it, she loses her balance and almost falls right off the edge. Almost tumbles into the sunset below her, through the clouds and pink sky that hold the ships of her dreams. But as she squeals and tries to right herself, a strong hand grabs her arm and pulls her back.
“I keep telling them to put railings on these things,” her rescuer says, his hand still gripping her bicep.
“Yeah, that would be helpful,” she replies with a smile. It takes everything inside of her not to scream over the loss of her hat. She’s had it for as long as she can remember. It used to be too big on her, falling into her eyes and covering half her face. The day she realized she’d grown into it was cause for celebration. She swallows hard and tries her best to continue the conversation with the person who just saved her life. “But what’s a sky pirate if they need railings to keep them in the sky?”
“A live one.” He winks at her and grins, and must have only just realized he still has a hand on her, and he pulls back immediately. “Sorry. I didn’t mean-”
“Oh, that’s alright.” Loose strands from her braid blow across her face and she tries to put them behind her ears without him noticing her fingers shaking. “I was just trying to - I mean, my name is Skylar Westward, and I’m heading towards the Thunder Cloud.”
“Are you a member of their crew? Are you a Necronaut?”
“No I’m, well I’m, I mean I’ve always longed to be a part of the True Winds but I -”
“How old are you?” he interrupts.
“Seventeen. I’m turning Eighteen next month, though!”
“Come back when you’re older.” He turns around to walk away but she chases after him.
“I’m not much younger than you are! I’m old enough to work! I can fly a ship!”
He stops almost immediately and pauses, keeps his back to her for more than a few seconds. When he turns around, Skylar’s heart skips a beat at the sight of his straight face, his narrowed eyes. He doesn’t believe her. Nobody ever believes her.
“Are you just saying that, or have you actually flown before?” he asks.
“I’ve been flying since I was a little girl.”
He grins, and Skylar feels herself relax a little. “Show me."
Skylar follows this young man along the skydock, past Captain Barnabas’s ship, and to a smaller, homier looking ship. The dark sails spread above and across the deck, and they flap in the wind as she watches him board. He holds out a hand for her step across the gap but she shakes her head and does it on her own. She’s glad to notice that he doesn’t seem fazed by it, doesn’t raise his eyebrows in surprise or skepticism like other men have done in the past. Maybe she’s just been flying with the wrong people. She chuckles to herself. Of course she’s been flying with the wrong people. This is why she’s here, isn’t it?
“What’s your ship called?” she asks. “If this is your ship, I mean. This is your ship, isn’t it?”
“It’s my ship,” he says with a crooked smile. “Flying one of these isn’t like sailing on the water,” he adds after a bit of silence.
“Did I not say I’ve done this before?”
“Where did you come from?”
“I’d rather not say.”
“I can’t employ you if I don’t know who may be after you. I need my crew to be as safe as possible.”
“This is a big fleet, I can join another crew. Thank you for your time.” Skylar smiles and nods, starts to back off the ship.
“Hold your cogs,” he says. There’s something about her that keeps nagging him to give her a chance. Something about the way she stands. Even though she stumbled through all her words earlier and sounded as nervous as a baby kratch, she looked confident. The way she followed after him and the way she stepped onto the ship. He had noticed the way she took in her surroundings, as if she was greeting an old friend whom she’d missed dearly. He could almost feel her relief as she stepped onto the deck. “What did you say your name was? Westsky?”
“Westward,” she corrects. “Skylar Westward.”
“I’ve heard of the Westwards. They’re not good company.”
“Why do you think I’m here on my own?”
“Hmm. Good point. We’re docked for another night. You have until then to get me to trust you.”
He grins again and raises his eyebrows. “You’re an interesting one.”
“You still haven’t told me your name.”
“I don’t indulge that information so easily.”
The captain of this small ship knocks on the door to Skylar’s temporary quarters. There are three other beds in here but she sits in here alone. She was told to get settled and wait to be fetched, so that’s what she’s done. She looks up at him and gives a weak smile, starts to put Henry back in her breast pocket.
“Is that a salamander?” he asks her.
“It’s a skihllie,” Skylar monotones.
She sighs and holds him out in her hand, lets his bluish, green body stretch out over her palm and fingers. He looks smooth like a salamander at first glance, but he’s actually scaly and dry to the touch. Skihllie scales are just so fine that you can’t see them unless you’re looking really closely. His paper-thin wings tuck across his back so smoothly that you’d never guess he had them until he spread them or opened them up. “He’s a dwarf,” she says, holding her hand a little higher to show him to her new maybe-captain. “His family wasn’t going to keep him and he would have died on his own so I saved him. He’s too little.”
“I see.” He still looks confused but as if he’s afraid to let her know that.
“I swear I’ve been living in an alternate universe,” she says. “Nobody has ever even heard of them before. But obviously they exist, there’s one right here!”
“I think it’s a salamander.”
“It’s a skihllie.”
Skylar pets his back in one soft stroke, and he raises his head, spreads his wings, and flies over to the captain. He gasps and tucks his neck into his shoulders as if he’s afraid, and then Henry lands on his left arm.
“Are they… dangerous?” he asks.
Skylar shrugs. “No, not particularly. But they don’t seem to like people who keep their identities a secret.”
The captain tries not to smile, but is unsuccessful.
Saying Goodbye to Annie ... Again
Maybe it was okay that they lost Annie again. But maybe it was okay because maybe she hadn’t really come back. Even though her body had come out of the ground, Annie hadn’t. The Annie that they all knew and loved was never coming back. It was a bit of a shame that no one could accept it until that very moment, that it had to take her dying twice for them to realize it. But that’s what happens when you love someone, right? You wish they could stay with you forever, you don’t want to believe it, and you think of any little excuse to be wrong. But this time they knew it was over. It had been for a long time.
Her hat swept off the ship in the wind, and they almost grabbed for it, desperate to hang on to any piece of her that they could. But instead they smiled, for her, for themselves, for each other, and in unison their voices rang out the six words they all missed hearing Annie say. “She’s buttoned up, Cap, let’s fly.”
For the Annie & Glurp Shippers...
“I guess now is as good a time as any to tell you who I am,” he says, his breath warm on her lips.
She pulls him closer to her, afraid that what he’s going to say will ruin all of this. “It doesn’t matter,” she whispers. “It doesn’t matter who you are.”
“But it does.”
She sighs and rests her head on his chest so that she can hear his heartbeat. It’s calm. Wait a second. Maybe… too calm? Why is it so faint and slow? She pulls back and looks at him, trying to read his expression, trying to understand what’s going on without him saying it out loud. She just knows that if he tells her who he is, they’re probably going to have to fight. With her luck, he’ll be from the --
“Swiggety Swaggety,” he says a little uncertainly before she has a chance to voice her thoughts.
She stops and almost chokes on her own breath. Annie blinks twice and stares at him, but she can’t form any words, she has no idea what to think.
“No,” she finally says.
A grin breaks across his entire face, lighting up his eyes in a way she’s never seen before. A way that she never thought could be possible.
“How?” she asks.
“I don’t know, I swear I have no idea what happened. One minute I was regular me, face tentacles and all, and the next I was this… Man? Is that what I am?”
Annie chuckles under her breath. “If you feel like a man, then I guess that’s what you are. But you don’t have to be.”
"Well what else am I, then?”
“Well you do look like a human. There are a lot of species that look like humans though, so I guess we can’t be sure. You really don’t know what happened? Did you wake up like this?” Annie gasps as she realizes the thieves that snuck onto the ship were there for a little while before they found them. They thought they just caught them before anything was stolen, but were they really trying to steal something after all?
“That pack of Gedrohans -- they - we thought they were stealing our map, but they…”
“They wanted me,” Glurp realizes aloud.
“But how would turning you into a human benefit them?”
“Maybe it doesn’t,” Glurp says. “Maybe it distracts us. I mean, we have been distracted, haven’t we? But maybe there’s something else that comes with it. Maybe I --” He stops so abruptly that it worries Annie.
“What?” she asks.
“I don’t have my visions anymore. I can’t see anything past my own two eyes. I didn’t realize it until now. How did I not realize it until now, Annie?” He looks down at his hands, as if they hold his powers, and he balls them into fists. He watches his skin turn paler as he digs his nails into his palms, trying to release the energy he normally uses for his Watch. “I can’t,” he gasps, falling to the deck. “I can’t see anything, Annie. I can’t … I can’t feel anything, either.”
Annie gets onto her knees and sits next to him, wishing she had the answer, a way to fix this, anything.
“They took everything away that makes me who I am.” He doesn’t even try to hide the trembling in his voice.
“You’re still you, Glurp,” Annie says almost frantically. “Even before I knew who you were, you felt so familiar to me. You have the same personality, you’re still quirky and fun, and silly, and you still make me laugh.”
“Anyone can make you laugh, Annie.”
“That’s not true,” she says softly.
"Even Meadow makes you laugh.”
Annie sighs and thinks about her friend. “You’ve always made me laugh the most. Plus Meadow's adorable, you can't help it.”
“They’re planning something bigger, Annie,” Glurp chokes. “Something that they couldn’t do if I was still myself. I would have found them.”
“Well how do we get you back?”
“We need to find them.”
“How do we do that?”
“You have to reconcile with Esther.”
Annie stands up and shakes her head. “She’s leading the other fleet, there’s no way she’s going to help us. Not after… Not after what I did to her.”
“Then I’m going to be stuck like this forever!” Glurp shouts. “And our ship will be in danger. It’s already in danger, Annie. We’ve just been playing love story with each other for the past two days, meanwhile someone has been planning a sabotage against us! This is what they wanted!”
Annie grabs onto his hands and tries to pull him to his feet but he won’t budge.
“Come on,” she says, pulling on his arms.
“I can’t.” he shakes his head and resists.
“Glurp, please. We can figure this out together. Maybe we don’t - maybe we don’t need your Watch. Maybe we can … Maybe you can…”
“Stay like this?” he asks.
Annie doesn’t reply. She knows it wasn’t the right thing to say, it isn’t even the right thought to have, but she can’t help it. She sort of fell in love with this man. But she knows he isn’t real. Not really. If Glurp wanted to say like this, she would support it, but only if he wanted to. She should not be suggesting it. She should not be suggesting that he just stay put in the body of a completely different species just so that they can have some kind of relationship without it being weird. Or impossible. It would be impossible if he went back to his normal self. Their normal self. See, she’s already thinking of Glurp as a man and that can’t happen. Shouldn’t happen. Glurp is not a man, and they deserve to be themself. Face tentacles and all.
Annie takes in a deep breath and nods her head. “Alright I’ll send a message to Esther. Let’s get you back to your own body.”
Glurp smiles and stands on their own, letting Annie lightly place her hands in theirs. “Thank you. But before we go, I have to do this one more time.”
They press their lips to hers and gently opens her mouth with a soft sweep of their tongue. Her hands find their way to Glurp's thick, dark hair and they pull her body in as close to theirs as they can. As much as they don't want this to go away, as much as Glurp wishes they could kiss Annie like this all time, they know they won’t be happy as a human. Glurp isn’t human. Nothing about them feels human, ever, even while playing the part. And not getting to be themself would be far worse than not being able to kiss Annie. Maybe these Gedrohans did them a favour. If it weren’t for this, they would have always longed after Annie, wishing they could have something that was never really possible. Wishing they could be human, but not realizing that actually wasn’t what they wanted. They still loved Annie, of course, and probably always would in some way. But they loved themself more. And that, Glurp just couldn’t give up.