The Indigo Warrior
|Title:||The Indigo Warrior|
|Fandom:||The Phantom Menace|
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From the flyer:
"This is the story of a *ronin*, an unattached samurai, and how, through many adventures and misadventures, he came to be an attached samurai. His name, at birth, was Hasegawa Kaemon, and his battle name was 'The Indigo Warrior', though he is universally known as 'Jin' now - 'the man'. Yes, he has a past. Quite unexpectedly (to him at least) he now finds himself with a future, a future involving a young man he met under less than promising circumstances. This is his story, the Indigo Story, or ai no monogatari.
So far, so good. But this is not just his story. This is also the story of the people he travelled with, the people he met, the people who shaped, adored, used, or even ignored him. And in one case, it's not even the story of people at all - the narrator is in fact a horse.
All this has been made possible by a handful of wonderful authors and artists in fandom, who jumped up and yelled "me!" when I asked whether anyone would be interested to play in the sandbox that is the Indigo Warrior universe. It has become a richer place thanks to their involvement, spanning decades, miles, and gender lines.
The following is a little taste of each of the pieces of this zine. If you prefer to skip straight to the order information, it's at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!
- The Indigo Warrior. Story by Tem-ve H'syan
It was the eyes that did most of the talking, Jin noticed as they remained trained on his own face, cataloguing its cragginess, the slightly crooked nose with the pale scar across it, the greying hair and the stubbornly black beard. The youth's face was clean-shaven and almost pale, his mouth bordering on the sensuous. It was the eyes, really, that kept the face from melting into womanly softness. With their thick straight black brows, the tiny line between them, and their striking light brown, these eyes were those of a warrior. Well, an apprentice warrior at the least. And he was clearly sizing Jin up as potential competition.
- The Road to Kyoto. Story by Raina. Art by Little Owl and Dr Squidlove
Of course she had known this before, intellectually, but now she realised it on a different level, one that made her stomach flutter ever so slightly. It wasn’t a new sensation, really. Neither so was the blood flowing more rapidly through her veins, or the urge to reach out and just… touch, something, anything, even the red silken kimono, if not pale skin and soft hair. But it was the first time Takada made the connection between the flutter in her stomach, the rushing of her blood and Seihako’s soft skin, her hair, the unfathomable air of femininity so in contrast with the iron of her will, like the trace of curves underneath the kimono.
- Horse Sense in the Transport Business. Story by Little Owl
Why two males? Don't ask me. Am I a two-legged one? But consider how badly they hear and see. Obviously they lack instinct even when it comes to mating. Rare condition? He-he, where you from, little red one? China? Well, let me tell you, there was a reason why my former master dragged your former master out of the temple instead of sneaking away. And why did that puny master of yours not scream for help or try to fight? Ah, c'mon, no need to get embarrassed. You're not responsible for what the beast on your back thinks up; you have to survive it, that's all.
- 'Idea of iron am I
- A song of steel
- A long tongue telling life
- And death
- Untitled Story by Alex.
There are those who are content to allow themselves to float through life like russet autumn leaves on the surface of a stream. They drift without purpose, eyes dreamy and half-closed, letting Fate's caprices move them hither and yon, to stay afloat, wash ashore, or drown. Then there are those who fight, eyes open, like salmon struggling and surging against eddies and undertows. Kajiya no Ryo was such a one. Ryo who had been the girl Tamae, who had become Takada, the boy. Ryo, small, willowy, slender-hipped, Ryo the acclaimed onnagata, the man who distilled nature and drew from it the most exquisite artifice, a lacquered surface of matchless beauty and grace. Ryo would be the stream, the wind, the forces that shaped life itself.
- Iron & Indigo. Story by Jennifer Gail. Art by Fuumin and Little Owl.
Wa met Hasegawa Kaemon, samurai, in Tokugawa-sama's camp. Met him, indeed, coming out of Tokugawa-sama's tent, wearing nothing but a fundoshi and an interesting set of rope marks. Forcibly struck by his height, presence and the luxurious length of his hair, only half caught in an upside-down topknot, Wa had said nothing, had not even bowed in politeness at one so obviously samurai. Their eyes met: indigo and iron. For a long moment the air braided them together, until one of the functionaries spoke loudly, announcing Craftsman-kaji Watanabe Kenji into the presence of the war leader Tokugawa-sama.
- The Seven Virtues. Story by Jennifer Gail
He had expected blood. This was the sword that had killed his brother. (The brother who had needed killing, whispered the part of his mind trained to judgment. The brother who had paid lip-service to bushido, the warrior virtues, demanded the strictest adherence from his retainers, but had no stomach for it himself.) But no red stained the steel. Water had washed everything away. Sheathless, no hunger sang from the edge. Even the hilt was grey, and Hideyasu felt something tighten in his breast.
- Jisei (Farewell Poem). Story by Gloriana. Art by Shiun
When he wasn't balancing on blades of grass, trying not to cut off his own toes or get dowsed in the water, Kaemon had him run backwards up the benches with the sword held perfectly steady, or blindfolded him and then demanded he slice the acorn shells Kaemon sent whizzing past. "You're enjoying this, aren't you?" Benjiro said, as a shell clipped his ear. "Close your mouth and open your ears," Kaemon replied. In the quiet there was the rustle of Kaemon's hand in the sacking, a squirrel shifting through its winter hoard looking for the last uneaten acorn. Sudden silence, and Benjiro lunged. The halves of the shell rattled to the ground.