Post WC: 1176
Thread WC: 1000
Notes: B Rank Exam
Natural disasters were just that. Natural. As Icarus soared through the air on red wings, he wasn't in any particular hurry. It wasn't that he didn't appreciate life. I really did. But he also respected nature and its many circles. When he was dispatched from Sabertooth under the premise of saving people and finding his 'motivation to act', he couldn't help but feel peevish. They hadn't mentioned that the floods were magically induced or caused by malicious humans to force any sort of agenda, so why couldn't these people take care of themselves? He lived his life according to Omera's wishes. He felt no particular urging from her to act outside of his normal perception of things.
As he soared over River Village, he took in the sight from behind his yellow lenses. It was certainly a flood. The muddy waters still rushed below, looking more like a sea in size than the river if not for the trees and previously mentioned mud. Being a big fan of the sea and its blue waves, Icarus was put off by the dirty water as he rushed over places it wasn't meant to be. Most homes were either entirely engulfed or showed only their roofs, and as he made a wide loop, he noted that on a mount a distance to the west there was a large group of people and a hastily erected tent village. He'd stop there later. He knew he was intended to mostly play fetch for sentimental items and valuables for the sorry bunch, but first, he'd play god.
Icarus didn't like taking the place of a god. Who was he to choose who lived or died? He'd been in that position before, when he'd tried to wrestle fates out of supernatural hands for his own ends, and all he'd had to show for it was a grave and a reordering of priorities. He still missed her. Time had dulled the sharp ache, but that sort of pain and loss didn't just disappear in a couple years. Most of her life had been in servitude and while she'd said those last months had been the best in her life, the sadness in her eyes as she was killed wasn't just mourning leaving her love, but the realization that her life had been misery. And guilt over feeling relieved that it was all over. It was possible that the winged hero had yet to truly process the impact of that moment. Perhaps he didn't want to. It had propelled him into the lifestyle change. Shed his materialistic views and his passive acceptance. Omera had saved him from taking his own life, as she'd seen fit. She spoke wisdoms to him. It didn't feel right to swoop down and save these people from the rushing waters when he couldn't save her, and Omera didn't save them.
He did as expected. Anyone still in the water and alive was plucked up, two at a time. On wings as large as his, he was perfect for rescues like this, though he rarely did them. Sticking around to talk was usually his thing, but the thankful families and loved ones didn't feel right. Most people would love this, but he just felt like he's disrupted something. It took a while to comb through the submerged undergrowth and trees, and also on roofs or in attics. Once that was done, he joined with a group searching the waters for the less fortunate, gathering up the bodies for burial. Despite the grim project being rather unpopular with the other legal mages dispatched, Icarus was more than happy to do it, but it seemed the locals had other plans. They'd definitely noticed how mobile he was, which made him great for the next important task. The orders started flowing in. My grandmother's necklace. Photo album. A lot of iLacs, family rings, a disturbing amounts of pets were left behind. It wasn't enough to have their loved ones, but their stuff. An endless list of stuff. He didn't mind fetching favorite stuffed animals and security blankets for the innocent children, but the adults panicking over jewels and meaningless stuff sank his spirit. He got it. Not everyone had had the money and security he'd had growing up. But he'd also left all that behind and traveled with no more than what could fit in a duffle bag. When one really reordered priorities, it was shocking what little was needed to survive and honestly thrive. He'd never felt more free.
Before he went about collecting shit, he took a moment to pray. He knew Sabertooth had expectations, but this felt like a lot of pressure on his ideals. Icarus acted when he felt it was natural, and right now what felt natural was to fly away and say fuck it. These people could wait like so many others without help for the waters to recede so they could pick up what was left. It was an internal conflict for sure. Perching in the dry upper branches of a wise old tree, he fell silent. He closed his eyes and let his ears fill with the sounds of the rushing waters and the crackling of weak limbs from smaller trees. There was an odd piece in the earth's wrath, but he remained focused. What would Omera have him do? He didn't wish to displease her, since as he saw it, his life was hers. She'd saved him so he'd devoted everything to her and her teachings.
It was a long time before he felt the thoughts come. While it had been his salvation to cast off his old life and the shackles of wealth and comfort, it was only natural for people to cling to those they loved and to things that made life rich with either memories or comforts. Not everyone could take his path and survive, and while that was a circle of life, if there were those who could step in from time to time because it was their nature, didn't that make occasional rescues okay? Sometimes a wild baby animal about to become prey to an apex predator would be saved by a creature that should normally take no part in something like that. There were many laws that were constant, but nature, just like Omera, had many mysteries as well.
Now that he'd worked through all of that with Omera's help, Icarus took back to the skies with a renewed perspective. Not everyone could be saved, but it was natural for some to be, even when death seemed inevitable. Some people could easily transition into a low maintenance life, but for others it would only mean misery, and not everyone had to be miserable. He hadn't wanted her to be miserable. If it was alright for him to ease the suffering of some, then maybe that's what his own hardships had been for all along. By nightfall he'd returned with anything he could salvage from the ruined town, providing tiny snippets of peace and hope for tired souls.