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Ok. So clearly this is not real. This is fan fiction. I thought it was really sad that Martin didn't have any family. Obviously, after the whole situation with Rose of Noonvale, I couldn't write a love story. And since Sayna and Luke are dead, I couldn't have Martin on a quest for his parents. So I thought of this idea instead. I am not saying it's good. I had a LOT of issues to work through with this story. Anyway, enjoy...
Marion bit her lip to keep from crying out. Her paws always ached, but they rarely hurt like this. She glanced over at the two vixens standing beneath a spreading honey locust tree. As usual, Lady Redflash and her mother, Moonfang, were engaged in a heated argument. Marion stood up and slipped off to the riverbank. She dipped her paws into the icy-cold water and stared down at the horrible jagged white scars across both of her hands. Seeing them always reminded her of her family... A tear slipped down her cheek at the thought of them. Instantly she chided herself.
"Stop it. Father and Mother wouldn't have cried. And neither would my brother."
Her mention of her brother brought forward the awful pictures of her past. She tried often to make herself believe she had forgotten, but they were always there, hovering in the back of her mind. Marion had no strength left to fight the memories. With a sigh of resignation she let herself remember. As the scenes played across her mind, she cried out against herself again and again.
"You are a coward, Marion! You shame your father's name! Oh, why didn't I show myself? Why didn't I speak out? Coward! Coward!" Overcome with grief, the frail mousemaid collapsed on the riverbank.
Pale silver moonbeams stole across one of the many bedrooms of Redwall Abbey. They crept silently across the face of the sleeping occupant. The moonlight did not wake Martin the Warrior. He was dreaming- or was it a nightmare?
At first Martin saw himself, as a child, running along the sand of the coastline where he was born, trying desperately to catch an unusual mousebabe with long, soft golden fur and grey eyes. Luke the Warrior stood in the background, a faint smile crossing his face as he watched the two young ones. Martin felt enveloped by an overwhelming sense of peace and joy and happiness. He found himself wishing that this dream would last forever... And then the scene changed.
Now Martin stood alone, looking over the ruins of Fortress Marshank. At least, he thought he was alone. Then he noticed someone else- a mousemaid. He knew instinctively that this was the same one from the first part of the dream, but she seemed so different!
Instead of being wild and fearless, she seemed timid and small and afraid. Martin felt oddly as if he had seen the golden mouse somewhere before.The mousemaid had seemed to be looking for something, but now she straightened up and tiptoed out of the ruined fortress. Martin followed, for what reason he didn't know.
In what felt like only a short time, the golden mousemaid and the Warrior were no longer on the coast. Instead they were wandering through a dense forest, not light and cheering like Martin's own dear Mossflower, but dark and oppressing.
Suddenly Martin felt that danger lurked nearby. The mousemaid stopped by the side of a stream and splashed cold water over both of her paws, which Martin saw were marked by a pair of terrible whitened scars.
Martin saw the danger as well. A pair of vixens were moving quietly through the trees toward the mousemaid. As one of them pushed through the underbrush he tried desperately to shout a warning but couldn't. The scene began to fade as he heard the mousemaid's frightened scream.
"What are you doing here? Let me go, let me go!"
All was blackness, yet the dream was not over. Instead, another mousemaid approached Martin. With a tender smile, she placed a paw on his shoulder and whispered his name. "Martin."
"Rose?" Her smile grew broader. "Rose, what is this? Who is she?"
"Do you not remember her?"
"No, Rose, I don't."
"Think back, Martin, back, to a long time ago."
"I have, I know I've seen her before, but I can't...remember..." Intense weariness took over as Rose disappeared with a single parting word. Only one word, but it brought everything back to the Warrior.
Martin sat bolt upright. Now he remembered it all. The door creaked open.
"What? Oh, hello, Germaine. Come in, is something wrong?"
"Well, I don't know, is it? You cried out in your sleep."
"Did I? No, it's all right, Abbess. It was...it was just a dream."
The old Abbess looked searchingly into Martin's face.
"Was it? Was it really just a dream?"
Martin dropped his gaze with a long sigh. "I don't know. Truly I don't. I need some time to think."
Germaine nodded. "I understand." She turned to go.
"Oh, and Martin..."
"If you need to go, then go."
Martin made his way wearily to the table the next morning and took his place beside Abbess Germaine. As she had done the night before, she looked him in the eyes and then nodded. "You're leaving after breakfast."
"Yes, I...how did you know?"
"Your eyes. They get that look sometimes. It tells me when you're about to go off on some adventure."
Martin's friend Gonff leaned across the table. "Leaving? Where?"
"I was about to ask the same question," the Abbess remarked.
"I don't know myself!" Martin replied. "It was just something about that dream that made me remember."
Germaine frowned. "What exactly was it that you remembered?"
Martin sighed. "Somebody I thought I had forgotten a long time ago."
Gonff looked quizzically at him. "Who?"
"You never told me you had a sister."
"That's because I didn't know, Gonff. I mean, well, I did know, but...I guess I just forgot."
Gonff still seemed puzzled. "Look, Martin, I know you had a lot on your mind with Tsarmina, and then with your father, but how did you forget your own sister?"
"It was...something that happened when I was young, that's all. I saw the place in the dream, and that's where I'll start looking. Although it doesn't make sense to me why Marion would have been there."
Germaine settled back in her chair. "Maybe it was something your sister will be able to explain."
Martin stood up. "Perhaps. Anyway, I'd better be off."
"Yes," the Abbess agreed. "When you find your sister, let her know that she is welcome here. I know a little of how you've wished for family like the rest of us. After all, look how dedicated you were to finding out about your father."
"Right," said Gonff. "And like I did then, matey, I'm going with you."
Martin smiled. "Thank you, Gonff, but I made a promise to some friends a long time ago that I have to keep. I need to go alone."
"All right, Martin, if you're sure. But be careful."
Marion woke early. She had had a hard time sleeping, partly because of the constant getting up to tend to whatever Lady Redflash and her mother needed, and partly because of the ache in her paws. It seemed to get worse over time. She smiled wistfully as she remembered how skilled she had been at throwing a dagger- once. Now it would be almost impossible for her to even attempt the feat. The creature who had done this to her had known what he was doing. She flinched at the familiar weight that crashed down onto her shoulders at that thought. What were the scars compared to everything else Badrang had done? As she always did, Marion found comfort in the thought that the Tyrant's reign was over. Marshank was a ruin. While she herself had not witnessed the battle, she had met some of the brave creatures who had undoubtedly played a part in it. Those creatures had saved her life. If only she had had the courage to be one of them. Marion crept quietly over to the embers of the long-dead fire and stirred the coals with a long stick. She knew from experience to have breakfast ready when the two foxes woke.
Martin knew well where he was going. Memories swirled over him as he walked down the familiar path. It would be a long trip, but he was ready. His heart was elated at the thought of finally having someone close to him, someone related to him. Oddly, after the dream, he could remember Rose and the others without sadness. But he was busy searching his mind for everything about his sister that he could possibly recall. One thing, however, completely escaped him.
"If Marion was at Marshank that whole time, why didn't I see her?"
Marion had no time that day to go down to the riverside to be alone with her thoughts. She wasn't sure she wanted to. It was painful to think about. However, Marion wished she could escape the constant orders of Lady Redflash and her mother. The abusive duo didn't seem to realize that their young slave had a name. They simply called her Scarpaws, a name that jolted Marion's terrible memories each time she heard it. Marion knew better than to say something about it to her captors. She had learned long ago to keep silent. Still, Marion couldn't help the exhaustion that overtook her by nightfall. She tried to look busy pitching the vixens' tent and organizing the supplies, but her weariness was impossible to hide.
Lady Moonfang noticed. She seized a small, sharp pebble and hurled it, catching Marion painfully in the shoulder. "What's the matter with you, Scarpaws?" she screeched. "You shoulda been done with that before now!"
"Nothing's wrong," Marion said quickly, ducking her head to avoid any more rocks that might be thrown. "I'm sorry, I'll try to be quicker." But she knew it was useless. No matter what she did, one of the foxes would find fault with her. As she settled down, her aching paws crying out for rest, she could only think of one thing. "I'm no better off than I was before. I'm still trapped...trapped forever."
Though his sister slept, Martin did not. He had a destination in mind, and he refused to rest until he reached it. Fortunately it was not much farther off, and Martin soon was rapping on the door of a stately and beautiful cottage.
A pretty female wildcat opened it. "Yes? Well...well, upon my word! Martin the Warrior!"
Martin bowed deeply. "Yes, it is I, Lady Sandingomm."
"Goodness gracious me, Gingivere! Look who's here!"
Gingivere came yawning from the cottage interior. "What in the world? Why, Martin!"
"Hello, old friend."
"What brings you here -yawn- at this very late hour?"
"It's a very long story."
"Well, come in for goodness sake," Lady Sandingomm declared. You're more than welcome to stay the night, if you've a mind. Far better than spending the night out there. It's late autumn, near winter, after all. What are you doing?"
"That's an even longer story."
Gingivere interrupted. "Never mind all that, let's get inside. The wind is very cold tonight."
"Indeed. Come, Martin. You can have a good night's rest tonight, and tell us these long tales in the morning." Martin paused for a moment at the doorway to Gingivere's home and looked back through the thick branches whipped back and forth by the chill wind.
He could not help but wonder where his sister was tonight.
Marion lay still, breathing hard. The shock of the thought that had just invaded her mind left her confused and disoriented.
It had come as if a voice had spoken. "Rise up, Marion, my daughter. Rise up and run. Escape while you still can."
Marion winced. "I cannot," she whispered.
"Ah, Marion," the voice of her thoughts replied. "Then wait. Wait for your thoughts to rise by day and take the night. Wait and be ready, for a time of great pain and hardship may come to you. Wait, and prepare yourself. Wait, my dearest daughter, wait."
The voice did not come again. Marion curled into a ball, shaking with fright and trying to make sense of the riddle.
"My thoughts to rise by day...what thoughts?"
Martin was on his way early the next morning before either of the wildcats awoke. He paused for a moment in the cottage doorway, imagining how it would be to share his story with his sister. She would do the same. Ah, he could picture it, the two of them, telling all that had happened during the many seasons they had been parted. Who might Marion mention in her tale that he knew? Felldoh and the Rambling Rosehip Players or Brome and Keyla, certainly. One of the two groups must have helped her to escape Marshank with the rest. But had she taken part in the final battle? No, Martin decided. She would have sought him out somehow.
An idea came to Martin's mind. He was walking back through his past all the way to where his warrior's journey had begun. He would take a small thing for each part of the trip. This would be invaluable to the mousemaid he sought. His paw traced the red stone on his sword hilt. Somehow he must explain to Marion about Luke. The stone would be his aid there. Martin bent down and selected one of the wild violets that grew by the farmhouse. This he slipped into one of the small pockets in his satchel. It was a start.
Memories of her family, interspersed with those of Marshank, seemed to be the only thing Marion could think of that day. For the first time she could remember them without the tidal wave of guilt and grief crushing her. As she sat by the riverside scrubbing at the breakfast dishes, she felt a strange feeling come over her. It took her a minute to remember what that feeling was. Happiness? No, it was something more than that. It was a feeling that something indescribably wonderful was going to happen soon. She began singing softly under her breath, one of the celebration songs she remembered her grandmother Windred singing. Suddenly she was interrupted by the smooth, cultured voice of Lady Redflash.
"You didn't tell me that you could sing."
Marion looked up with a sunny smile. "Can I? Oh, I didn't know. I was just singing to myself."
"Yes, you can. And quite well, too."
Marion tried to hide her shock. She couldn't remember the vixen ever complimenting her. However, Redflash was not finished.
"Maybe I'll have you sing for Mother and me. But don't waste time doing it here. You have work to do."
The fox was completely unprepared for the mousemaid's response. Marion threw back her head and laughed aloud, a silvery, joyful sound. "Yes, Ma'am," she said respectfully, but she couldn't hide the merry mood that had swept her off her feet. Yes indeed, something was going to happen.
And something did a few weeks later. Martin had passed all the way through Noonvale. He was not looking forward to going to Marshank, but if it must be done, then...
Suddenly his ears caught a very strange sound. Automatically he drew his sword. It was the distinct sound of somebeast singing. The song was a warrior's song, one he had been taught by his father. Martin's heart pounded. "How would anyone else know that song?" he whispered.
Marion was not having a good day. The two foxes had noticed her mood and attributed it to an escape plan of some sort. Consequently they had been very tough on the little mousemaid. To keep up her spirits as she worked at making breakfast, Marion sang an old childhood song very softly. Lady Redflash heard.
"Come, Scarpaws," she commanded. "Sing something for me." Marion started the song over, louder this time.
Both the foxes and the mousemaid were startled by a crashing in the underbrush. A lone traveler pushed through the bushes and nodded to Lady Redflash.
Martin's breath caught as he saw the mousemaid from his dream. She was staring at him with no sign of recognition, yet seemed to be sending him a message with her eyes. This was undoubtedly his sister. Why didn't she seem to know him? Martin kept calm, nodding to the younger fox.
"Good morning. I heard the little maid singing and wondered who it was. I didn't mean to intrude, I'll just be going." He caught the look that passed between the two foxes.
"No need, sir," Redflash said smoothly, taking his arm. "Come, eat with us. We always have space for a hungry traveler."
Martin smiled. "I see you have already made space for this one with the golden voice and fur. Surely you have no room for two."
"Er, she is not a traveler," Moonfang stammered.
Martin frowned. "I see. Then what exactly are you, miss?"
Marion looked at him, her mouth slightly agape. "I...I..."
"Silence!" Moonfang ordered.
"Oh, don't trouble about it, m'lady," Martin said evenly, drawing his sword. "I already know."
Lady Redflash lunged at Martin from behind with a long dagger. He leapt aside, slicing the sword across the fox's arm lightly. Redflash screeched.
As good as the traveler was, Marion knew he could not take down both foxes. She gasped as one of them managed to jerk the sword from his grasp and the other pinned him against the thick trunk of an oak. Something was tugging at her. Marion never knew why she did what she did next. She snatched up Redflash's dagger from where it had fallen and threw it as hard as she could at the cruel vixen. She cried out at the fiery lance of pain that shot through her hands. And then it was gone, gone forever.
Marion's aim was straight and true. Redflash collapsed with a wild scream. Marion sprinted forward and seized Martin's sword. It too sailed through the air and struck down Lady Moonfang. Gasping for breath, Martin pulled his sword free.
"Thank you for saving my life, Marion," he said. Marion drew in her breath sharply and pulled back.
"How do you know my name, sir?"
Martin smiled tenderly at his sister. "Don't you know me, Marion?"
Marion stared at him for a long moment and then flung herself into his arms with a cry. "Oh...Oh, Martin!"
Martin embraced his sister as she sobbed joyously. "Badrang told me you were dead!"
"He was wrong."
"Oh, I have so much to tell you!"
"Later. For now let's get out of here."
"Where can we go?"
"Don't worry about that, sister. I have friends at a place called Redwall Abbey. The Abbess, Germaine, has already assured me you're welcome there. Come, Marion. Let's go home."
Marion placed her paw in her brother's. "Home," she echoed.
So there it is, my first fan fiction. I know it may be kind of short, but that is just how it worked out. If you liked it, fear not, I have two other plots that I'm working on and I'll post those soon. Thanks for reading!