‹ Prequel: A Hidden Kindness

Queen of the Banished

Plans and Uncertainties

1365 words

Rabia was roused from her brooding by a loud crash outside. She looked out her window to see everyone crowding together in the square below, but she couldn’t see what they were looking at. She ran downstairs and hurried outside. The crowd parted for her and the chatter quieted. Rabia stared, wide-eyed, at the sight before her.

Aveil was laughing triumphantly from behind a huge, furry, tusked creature that seemed a bit disgruntled. She had rigged up some sort of harness wrapped around the creatures middle, to which she had tied a rope. She was holding the other end, and was covered head to toe in sand.

“Aveil… WHAT are you doing?!” Rabia asked. Aveil grinned.

“Well, a group of us were just, you know, exploring,” she emphasized, “when we ran across this guy!” She patted the creature’s hide. It gave her the side-eye, but only seemed mildly irritated. “They run CRAZY fast over the sand. I rigged up a harness and just kinda… surfed in behind him on my shield! They’re kinda hard to steer, but…” she trailed off when she noticed Rabia’s crossed arms and displeased expression.

“You just… approached a wild animal and thought you should try to RIDE IT INTO TOWN?!” Rabia demanded. “Are you crazy? What if he had trampled everyone!” Several of the gathered women let out sounds of agreement.

“...But he didn’t,” Aveil said meekly. She looked down at her shoes when Rabia glared.

“But he COULD HAVE.” Rabia huffed in agitation. “Give me your pack.” Aveil shuffled over to Rabia, head bowed, and handed over her bag. The gathered women started to disperse and go back to what they were doing.

“Didn’t anyone ever tell you that it’s cruel to leash something that doesn’t want to be leashed?” Rabia asked as she dug through Aveil’s pack. Rabia let out a small ‘aha!’ as she procured a palm fruit. She walked over to the animal and offered the food to him. It looked at her suspiciously before taking the fruit, and she patted its side in consolation. “Don’t worry, big guy. We’ll get you unleashed soon…” she handed it another fruit and, while it was distracted, removed the make-shift harness.

It didn’t take long for the animal to realize it was free and it took off in the other direction, deeper into the desert. Rabia watched it go, then offered the pack back to Aveil.

“That was rather cruel of you to do, Aveil,” she said. “You also could have really hurt someone, antagonizing a wild animal like that. What were you thinking?”

“I thought they might be useful transport for your project…” she mumbled, still not meeting Rabia’s gaze. “The horses aren’t nearly as fast. If we hadn’t let him go, I’m sure we could’ve domesticated him.”

“I appreciate your enthusiasm,” Rabia said, “but some animals are meant to stay wild. If he comes back, he might be willing to let you tame him.” Aveil nodded. “Now, while I have some time, why don’t you come update me on the project.” Rabia linked arms with her and led her back to the office. Kamilah was setting down a plate for lunch and some more paperwork as they entered.

“Any letters?” Rabia asked hopefully. Aveil plopped herself in the seat across from Rabia. Kamilah shook her head.

“Nope. No mail,” Kamilah said.

“None?” Rabia insisted. “I wrote to dad two weeks ago,” she frowned. “And I was expecting something from Zelda… Are you sure?” she asked. Kamilah nodded.

“The Postman hasn’t been with anything for a bit,” she answered.

“Oh… okay,” Rabia let out a disappointed sigh and sat back down to get back to work. Kamilah left, closing the door behind her.

~ VAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTT ~


“You asked for me, Rabia-lati?” a voice asked from the door. Rabia pushed her papers away and smiled, gesturing for Aveil to come in.

“I did,” she answered. Aveil sat down in her usual spot. “How are the ports coming along?”

“The docks will be done very soon,” Aveil said. “They go up quick, now that we know the best way to secure them. Actually, the sand seals transported the last of the materials for the docks this morning. They’ve been a HUGE help.”

“That’s wonderful news! While those are being finished, I have another project for you,” Rabia said. She stood and grabbed some large rolls of paper that had been leaning against the wall and unfurled them on the floor.

“What are these?” Aveil asked after a moment.

“Plans to build ships, of course,” Rabia said. “From the research I’ve read, I think this is the best method to use. Do you think you can get the materials?” Aveil leaned closer, studying the papers before her.

“Yeah, that shouldn’t be a problem,” she said. “But they’re going to be expensive. How do we know this is going to work?

“Because I’ve already tried it,” Rabia grinned. Aveil looked at her, confused. Rabia grinned and, with some difficulty, pushed herself up. Aveil kindly grabbed the papers off the floor and put them on the desk while Rabia rifled in one of her drawers.

“Aha! See? A miniature model, made from those plans,” Rabia said proudly, setting the small boat onto the desk.

“It’s so TINY!” Aveil gasped, leaning closer to see it. “...Does it float?” she asked.

“It does!” Rabia said. “Though I don’t know if it floats because it’s small or because it’s good at floating. The only way to know is to build the big one.”

“I’ll work on getting the materials brought over,” Aveil said, grabbing the list.

“Thanks, Aveil. You’re awesome,” Rabia smiled. Aveil bowed to her, then pulled the door shut behind herself.

Rabia sat back down behind her desk and, after clearing it once more, finally reached for the stack of mail Kamilah had left for her that morning. A few weeks ago, when the building process had started, Rabia had written trade requests to several of the neighboring kingdoms. She was surprised to see responses so soon. It had been weeks, but there were still no letters from her parents, brothers, or friends in the mix. Anxiety twisted in her gut and didn’t leave her mind for hours to come.

~ VAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTTVAATISPURPLEBUTT ~


Rabia woke from her nightmare with a start. She struggled out of the blanket, still able to feel the ghost of Finn’s hands and see the blue of Gideon’s eyes in the dark of the room. She stumbled out into the hallway, where the drapes were still open and moonlight spilled onto the wooden floors. She sat on the carpeted stairs and caught her breath while the panic faded and wiped her eyes angrily. Despite the late-night silence, she didn’t hear Kamilah until she sat beside her.

“Are you alright, Rabia?” she asked. Rabia leaned into her mother’s shoulder and shook her head. Kamilah stroked her hair gently. “What’s wrong, darling? What woke you?”

“Just… a bad dream. I miss Ganondorf,” Rabia sighed.

“I know you do,” Kamilah said.

“It’s just… I don’t know what I’m doing. I can’t rule own my own…” Rabia said.

“Of course you can,” Kamilah replied. Rabia looked up at her.

“How can you be so sure of that? I can’t even get my own step-daughter to respect me. How could I expect a whole tribe to?”

“It’s in your blood,” Kamilah said. “Your great-great-great… I don’t know how many greats, actually… but one of our ancestors was Queen to the last Gerudo king. Angelique,” Kamilah said. “You actually share quite a resemblance to her, if her old portraits are accurate.” The somehow-familiar name made Rabia shiver and slide closer to her mother.

“Have you thought of any names?” Kamilah asked, trying to change the subject.

“I’m thinking… Aria,” Rabia set a hand on her belly and smiled. “She started moving today.” News of her pregnancy had spread quickly after Ganondorf left, her belly no longer concealable under loose shirts.

“Aria is a lovely name,” Kamilah smiled. They sat there together for awhile, before Rabia finally headed back to bed. She shut the door behind her and curled up on Ganondorf’s pillow, and fell back asleep.
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AHHHH SORRY I'VE BEEN SO LONG IN UPDATING!! I've been super busy dealing with some stuff - it's all exciting, but very time consuming. I'll let you in on it once things are more solidified. The worst part about the lack of updates is... THIS STORY IS ENTIRELY WRITTEN I LITERALLY JUST HAVE TO POST IT. Yikes.