#2 - Canon
Mood: Happy, to finally talk about this
Location: at our desk
Music: silence, the bank has answered our questions :)
Dibs. Because I want to talk, and this is the place where I can talk, and there's a lot of anger I need to express here, for a lot of different reasons. Luteia says I need to add trigger warnings, so we're going to go with mentions of gore, torture, and war. Somehow, we avoided the topic of incest and polyamory. Amazing.
So. I'm Regulus. Leo Regulus? Nah. Celestial Midnight Star Rusalka Regulus, from the Griffon division. I was once known as Leo Regulus, held Cloth and Surplice and was a Gold Saint and all.
I didn't stay that way. I'm sure they wanted me to. They killed me for not staying that way... twice.
Actually, a lot more times than twice, but those were the only times their reasons were "because you betrayed us" and not "because you're a Spectre and therefore, you're as good as a rabid dog we need to cull for the good of society".
Simply put, my canon was a shitshow. And that's where this begins.
Leo Regulus, in canon, is the son of Leo Ilias, who died to Wyvern Rhadamanthys, and who grew up a Gold Saint and died at fifteen stopping Rhadamanthys and thereby furthering the goals of Athena, hoping to join his father in the afterlife.
What actually happened? Well, yes, my father Ilias died when I was five. Rhadamanthys - my uncle Rhadamanthys, who was Ilias' younger brother - did not kill him. He tried to save him, although he ended up face down in a ditch with ice freezing his demon star in his throat. I don't see any Saints here, so there's no issue with telling you that weakness of ours. But if it wasn't obvious, Aquarius Krest killed my father, and took me back to Sanctuary.
I didn't see Rhadamanthys again for six years. Am I on speaking terms with him? No, not really. He's a judge, and he was eighteen, and he'd fought Krest before. You'd figure he would have been able to stop him, but apparently not. And then he never bothered to actually help Albafica or I, so thanks, asshole, for a total of nothing.
I found the Meikai again when I was eleven. The Underworld, my home, where I was born and spent the majority of the first five years of my life. Spent the first year as a fish, actually, until the shapeshifting kicked in. Yes, that means my parents had to carry me around in a fishbowl, no, I don't really get why everyone thinks that's funny or asks that question, but they do, so there's your answer.
Either way, I went back to the Meikai, I learned my own history, and I started training to become a Spectre.
That's where the differences start, and while I won't go into my entire history (I can, if anyone wants, Luteia wrote it up for me already and it's in a document), that's the background I need before I can talk about the difference between me and Leo Regulus.
He's this... sunshiney, distractible boy with a heart of gold and the belief that everyone is good. He thinks that he can defeat evil by punching it hard enough, and doesn't take no for an answer, and always wonders about whether or not he's living up to his father.
I recognize being a ghost of your parents, and forever being haunted by it. I also don't take no for an answer. That's where the similarities die.
Had things been different, would I be less of a cruel, uncaring person? I don't know, not really. I know that I was a child forced to be a war general on both sides of a conflict, and that everything I loved was either taken away from me or at high risk of being taken away, and I was willing to do whatever it took to ensure I kept what I loved close to me.
It's hard to be sorry for gutting one of your coworkers and hanging his intestines around the room like party streamers while he was both awake and still trying to use them when the other option is watch your older brother, amnesic and incapable of recognizing himself and the fact that you're his younger brother, fall into another breakdown about how powerless he is to stop what he doesn't like and drown his sorrows out with more alcohol than is right and good for anyone.
That's the decision that I always had to make. Become cruel, torture someone you mildly dislike but could probably learn to forgive... or watch someone you love get hurt in ways that torture you to watch and you might never be able to fix.
I was a child, and I was angry and grieving and all but two people refused to see me as anything other than a five year old ghost of my father's lies. He was a Spectre, too. He was betraying them the entire time, and they wanted me to be the lies they believed from him, and refused to see that I was my own person.
When you slowly begin to hate everyone that much for what they've refused you, suddenly torturing them so they don't hurt your family is a lot easier choice to make and live with.
I hate Leo Regulus because he didn't suffer. Because he lost his father and nobody treated him right, and he didn't care, and he loved them anyway, and he died for people who never actually knew or appreciated him, because what he wanted and what they wanted were the same. Because there was absolutely no reason for him to want what he did, and all the reasons to hate them, and he was still perfect and smiling and sunshiney and didn't know what despair feels like.
I hate him because he's perfect and innocent, and he's what just about everyone around me in Sanctuary wanted me to be. I gutted Shion to give Albafica some peace of mind, and Dohko never really forgave me, and I did it with my eyes wide open and the pure intentions of wanting my family to be safe.
I hate him, because he's a mockery of my pain and grief. I'd enjoy more than I can articulate gutting him alive.
I go by Southern Star, mostly, and I only answer to Regulus (or is more likely, simply Re) when it's family calling me. That way, I can be judged for being me, not for my unfortunate resemblance to that sunshiney guy over there. Even as a Spectre, I went by my middle name, Raitis, whenever I had to interact with Sanctuary. They didn't know that Rusalka Raitis was Leo Regulus all along until Pegasus Tenma cut me down and I stayed down for three hundred years.
Can't say it wasn't inconvenient as all hell. I hear the 1800s were a blast, and I missed the entire century.
I say a lot that I don't recognize Leo Regulus as me, and that's not a lie, but it's also false. Because I am - I was, to be more specific - Leo Regulus. Had the cloth, had the surplice, my name's Regulus, open-shut case. I'm just not that guy over there, and I don't want to be mistaken for him unless I'm using it to lull you into a false sense of security so I can rip you open. I am a monster, so don't mistake me for kitty-cat over there.
I want to be seen as myself, as Sanctuary denied me. I want to be given the respect I have more than earned. I want to not be labouring under the expectation I'm less broken than I am, or that I handled things better and with a gentler heart, because I'm not capable of that and you may as well ask me, a fish, to climb a tree and then jump off it and fly.
In order to do that, you need to understand the world around me, and you need to politely forget my canonical counterpart ever existed.
That's really all I wanted to say.