-My first attempt at a colored picture of Leona. It was based off a picture that Syn sent me shortly after this post.-

-My first attempt at a colored picture of Leona. It was based off a picture that Syn sent me shortly after this post.-

-Originally posted Jan 27, 2001, Written by Syntyche –

Ben isn’t the only one trying to escape, it seems. Leona’s first post ever… and she was already calling Ben a Spinerat! It was this post that made me first notice Leona’s character and become curious… possibly because Syn did such a good job taking note of Ben. Maybe because she was just characterized so well.

It was shortly after I read this that I messaged Syn on the side and asked her if it was okay if Ben come and help poor crashed Leona out. The answer was “yes!” And the rest is history.

………………..

Baronian Becky spun erratically, leaping in a frantic dance of panic. The wind tousled her back and forth tangling the stuffed doll in the thin tether that held her from falling to the endless green and yellow patchwork below.

~Even the stupid doll mocks me today.~

Corleona Pollendina swallowed in desperation, as she held her arm tight on the rudder control. It ached as if a thousand swords had made mincemeat of her muscle, from the constant force she had applied to keep from spinning wildly out of control. Not that Leona expected the doll hanging to port to give her answers to the torn wing that appeared over her shoulder. But the young pilot knew reality. The core continued to fade like a dying candle, and would run out of the power that kept her from the ground.

~It wasn’t supposed to be this way!~ Leona thought to herself… ~If only I had checked!~

****

Everything had started out according the runaway’s plans. Leona had snuck into the airship hangar during the twin’s coffee break. She had swiped the Prototype-Z power core from her father’s workshop, and thrown it in the Ankaa, her glider-airship.

Fortune had been with her in the morning, as she was almost caught dashing up in the stairs as the Wizard Golbez came crashing down in the other direction. She found a side hall to duck out of, and thankfully, he seemed too rushed to notice that she even existed.

After all, her father Cid, made it a rule to howl to the whole castle – no – whole world when she received yet another dismissal-demerit from Grizelda of the Baronian School for Ladies. And if she was caught by any of those *bigwigs* sneaking out of the house yet again, she was sure she would receive more than a red face from her heavy-tempered father.

Not that she had a great opinion of “Creepy-Ben” either; after all, he always came over for dinner every week. (The guy always seemed to make a mess of himself, and everything else for that matter.) Secondly, he had been the Destroyer of Nations once. Her father had told her “A spinerat in sheep’s clothing was still, no matter what, a spinerat.” Why were adults always so contradictory?

She had flown out on the back dirt runway, and pushed towards the west to the River Bridge, where she was supposed to make the usual turn to catch the Desert Current. However, she had forgotten to check the flight schedule, and was greeted at that point from the great trade ships making the Damcyan Run. While there was no direct collision, the wake from the great ships was enough to throw the ship into a spiraling dive.

That was where she made her grievous error.

Directing the wing in the opposite direction had caused far too much stress on the left wing, tearing the outer fabric to pieces. The large ship continued undisturbed to Baron, not even seeming to notice the tiny ship struggling to level out.

****

And for all her planning and subterfuge, here Leona, daughter of the great airship chief, found herself prepared to join her mother in the land of the dead. At least it felt that way, as all her organs seemed to churn, and slither down filling her toes in fear. She was alone, her ship Ankaa, named after a mystical bird, was nothing more than a fluttering derelict chocobo, being tossed like a feather by the wind, and the prototype core which powered her ship flickering out of life from flying for endless hours. And now, she was being forced down from safety of the air.

It was not as if the raven-haired girl had not experienced failure before. To the dismay of her already overprotective father, her stunt flying had earned her many a-trips to Rosa’s clinic for the mending of bones and flesh. But there was no soft cut grass to land in here, nor the comfort of the kind white mage and healing powers. Leona took a deep breath, and brought the plane down to a long stretch of plains, trying desperately with what little control she had to slow down just a bit more…

~”Shiva.. <whump> shiva-shiva-shiva-shiva-shiva- <thwap-twang> …oh SHIVAGHHH!~”

Before the world slammed into darkness, Leona remembered Grizelda’s scolding words: “proh-purr ladies don’t curse.”

The tall blades of grass seemed to sway without notice as the glimmering white shape landed gently with a soft -thud-.

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