Labyrinth Fan Fiction ❯ Dark Crystals ❯ Basis for comparison ( Chapter 7 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Chapter Seven: Basis for Comparison

"You look surprised to see me Jareth," Stephanie, the missing girl, said. Her voice sounded otherworldly; it echoed and resonated with every breath she took.

The Goblin King shivered as another chill went up his spine. The way she spoke his name was the reason, it had sounded different than usual; cold, heartless and cruel. Her normally brown eyes were replaced with cold crimson ones. This was not the girl he knew, she in fact looked evil.

"I wouldn't have thought it were you behind all this." he said, slowly rising to his feet, still slightly dizzy.

"No one would have," Stephanie admitted, rising up from the throne, her hands at her sides. "'It's always the quiet one.'" she said in a mocking tone and finished with a bored sigh. "You would think people would learn by now." Another smile.

"Why?" the Goblin King asked. The ultimate question.

"Why not??" Stephanie replied, stopping on the third and last step of the throne pedestal. "Who wouldn't want to rule a realm??"

"Ruling over goblins? Poor choice my dear girl, and a very pathetic start to ruling this realm." Jareth said in mockery as Stephanie passed him and stopped at the other side of the room. "Sounds to me that-"

Stephanie stood inches from him suddenly. "Burning yourself is not going to stop my intentions." she smirked. "Babysitting snot-nosed little brats or kidnapping unwanted children and people is a pathetic attempt to rule and a complete waste of my time. I don't rule like you, I have my own way and I know that there's more than just goblins in this realm or yours and that the goblins are just part of it."

She paused and smiled. "The Underground shall be mine,"

"Do you really think so? What makes you so sure that you can?" Although he was at least two feet taller than she, he still felt intimidated especially by her expression.

"Get in my way and I will not tolerate your insolence, Jareth." The air around the girl was menacing, her voice continued to resonate with each syllable. He smirked. His smirk in fact hid the uneasiness he felt. Something's going to happen, isn't it?, his mind asked.

"You can't expect to rule the Underground. You're not really ruling material." Jareth continued the former conversation, breaking away from his troubled thoughts.

"Are you really that foolish to underestimate me Jareth??" Stephanie asked, taking a menacing step forward and the Goblin King actually stepped back. "Just because I don't look like I can handle it??"

"No. Do I look like a fool who would? You've stood your ground before and I've acknowledged this. You are a worthy opponent, no need to prove it further."

Stephanie scoffed. "I find it hard to believe that a being like you would be intimidated by someone like me," she almost smirked, lightly amused.

"You seem stronger." Jareth confessed. "The air around you; it's giving off powerful vibes and is affecting people, no matter how powerful they may be."

"I wonder what else you're going to say to save your hide and your realm." Stephanie laughed softly. Jareth said nothing, he almost looked insulted.

"It's disappointing," he finally said. "that you would have gone to a darker state,"

"Such reverence for me suddenly??" she turned to look back at Jareth. "What if I chose this, dark side, then what??"

The Goblin King raised an elegant eyebrow. "So it's based on some form of-"

"Revenge??" Stephanie laughed. "Please. I'm not one who would stoop low enough for revenge. I may not have the intellect to explain the meaning of this takeover but I assure you it's not revenge. But I don't see how it can be so difficult to understand that I'm taking over the realm, I seriously don't. You need a reason??" she took a few steps forward, her fingertips pressed against each other. "Here's one: your reign had ended and I'm taking over. Simple really."

"Who are you to judge when my reign should end?" he protested.

"What makes you think I'm judging you?? All I want is to takeover. Have you ever asked past enemies their reason for attacking your castle?? They have the same reason as I." Stephanie replied with a slight shrug.

It was silent for a moment. "I tire of this, perhaps I'm avoiding logic talk and frankly I don't care. The sooner I rid of you, the better." her crimson eyes flashed dangerously at Jareth.

"What is the hurry? Why not start with 'lesser' enemies and save me for last? Wouldn't you want to destroy me last before you take over the Underground, to keep the savor for later?" he replied, trying to buy some time.

"A mistake to keep your main enemy for last. Get rid of the priority first and then take care of the weaker nuisance." Stephanie said with a clear laugh, it made the flames of a few torches within the room dance. She held the tip of her tongue to one of her canines, savoring the plan. "Still. It's an interesting idea and a very tempting one at that."

"Pity," Jareth commented.

"I give you an 'A' for effort." Stephanie smiled to which Jareth smirked. She had been walking around and stopped only once to gaze into the crystal before continuing around the room. "Sorry, but I'm a very busy woman and I must continue with my plan."

"And I must apologize Stephanie but I'm going to have to put an end to your fun." he said, making the girl turn around from the edge of the pit.

"Spoilsport," she smirked.

Jareth smiled. "Well, this is giving me the pleasure of stopping you first, and for that I must thank you."

"You'll not stop me," Stephanie threatened, her voice resonated a bit more, light in her crimson eyes shifted and a eerie faint note seem to hum in the air at that precise moment. Jareth kept his composure, holding back a shiver as she kept her malicious smile.

"I can try," Jareth said, not backing down. The girl's crimson eyes flashed with curiosity.

"I admire your determination," she had continued to walk around the pit, and now she stopped at the crystal and passed her hands over the smooth surface, the image inside seemed to ripple like water at her touch. "for that, I'm going to give you the choice to back down."

"I must decline, dear girl." Jareth had stepped away from the crystal, but continued to face her.

"So be it. If that's the way you want to have it." Stephanie nodded, crossing her arms over her small chest.

Jareth seemed to flex his fingers; they rested at his sides, preparing for something. Raising his arms to waist height, his eyes remained on Stephanie, he then concentrated; magic hummed in the air around him.

Two grayish energy balls appeared in both hands, magic swirled like smoke before it formed into what appears to be solid spheres. Magic lightning crackled within the crystal like spheres.

Jareth started to bring his hands together but the spheres seemed unstable and deflected negative energy off each other and the magic crackled with disagreement. He decided to use another method: he threw one orb to either side of the girl, where it trailed around her and as soon as the first had left, he threw the second to her other side. The action made the floor rumble and animated a few loose objects around the room.

Fire like beams flew upwards and surrounded her; it was to trap the girl until he can cast another form of magic to finish the task. The fire was burning fiercely but nevertheless, the girl stepped through unharmed. She looked back at the still burning circle.

"Impressive," she commented and turned to the Goblin King. "Though you shouldn't have held back on your powers,"

Her crimson eyes flashed dangerously as she slowly raised her arms and mimicked his first casting gesture, there was only one difference: the crystal like spheres were a much darker shade of grey. She managed to complete what Jareth was unable to do; she brought her hands together and the spheres merged into one large orb. She raised her arms above her head, whereas the orb followed and floated inches from her head, just barely touching her headpiece. Pure white lightning crackled loudly within the orb.

"I believe this was what you were trying to do??" the girl struck her arms down.

"Bloody he-" Jareth uttered, his greenish-blue eyes widened as he was struck by the orb and was thrown back. He landed roughly to the ground, his shoulder throbbed but he managed to stand.

'Drat! Either that crystal upon the stand is giving her these powers or it's the pendant around her neck. Either way, this is not good.' he thought as he glanced first at the crystal then back at Stephanie.

Stephanie stood there, hands on her hips, a smile upon her thin lips. "More??" the girl held up a hand, palm up, a black energy ball appeared and it floated above her palm. With a flick of her wrist, it shot towards the Goblin King. He had been holding his shoulder since the first attack, now he let it go to raise his good hand. The dark orb hit an unseen force field that surrounded him.

The blast cleared; hair and loose clothing billowed with the speed of the forces. He knew that Stephanie was just warming up. How much power was given to her?, he wondered. Another round of the same pitch black orbs flew towards him and he managed to block them as well. He mentally tried to calculate her strength.

Jareth and Stephanie regarded each other; crimson eyes stared at greenish-blue ones, both adversaries anticipating their next move.Chantal tiptoed, making sure that her running shoes made not a sound upon the dark marble floor. She inched her way towards the throne room entrance; it was different from typical castles, there were no doors, just an open doorway. The light from torches and sunlight shone from the throne room and made a path on the floor of the grand hallway.

She heard muffled voices coming from the throne room, the voices stopped from time to time and was replaced by explosions or the sound of things getting destroyed and the floor shaking. Finally the rumbling subsided.

'What's going on in there?' Chantal wondered. She dared a peek from one side of the large doorway. Dust trailed in the air following pieces of ruble that flew by, followed by the Goblin King, sliding on his feet; he shot what looked like a glowing crystal, the same he had thrown at the Labyrinth's entrance. There was a few rips in his clothing and a few places were covered with the stones' dust.

Chantal saw him move quickly sideways, almost like he had turned an invisible sharp corner; conjuring up another cast, from what Chantal could tell. He moved just as quickly from view and a girl with a dark dress came into view, just as quickly, going in the same direction. The girl also slid on her feet at the same spot as Jareth, a crystal in hand. Although the speed of the chase was incredible, Chantal could still make out the face of her friend; she wasn't certain when she hit her head a while back but it was true indeed; it was Stephanie all along.

She wasn't certain how to feel of the situation but she knew that they had to stop Stephanie, there was no choice. She nodded as though to reasure herself. She took a deep breath. Her hazel eyes peeked out more around the corner, to view more of the ongoing battle within the throne room. Strands of her curly brown hair swifted with the breeze of the blasts and passed over her face, almost ticking her nose. She craned her neck to better hear the conversation between blasts attacks.

"- and you don't care what happens to the inhabitants you've injured nor the homes you've destroyed?" Jareth's voice rang out clearly in the room."- and you don't care what happens to the inhabitants you've injured nor the homes you've destroyed?"

Stephanie laughed. "They mean nothing to me, and I have no use for them if they chose to be a nuisance." her eyes continued to glow eerily in the light. She waited patiently, inspecting a few scratches on her arms as Jareth had taken refuge behind a column.

Jareth cracked his fingers with a satisfiying snap, apparently still a little rusty using his powers for defense and for attacks; he was too used to his usual powers. He sighed and leaned against the column. His eyes looked back as he replied. "What about the people around you?"

"Useless and meaningless as I've said. I've no problem getting rid of those who defy me, including those around me."

"Even if it's me or Chantal?" the Goblin King asked, he stepped away from the column and made his way to the center of the room. Stephanie's eyes glanced up from inspecting a cut upon her bare shoulder.


"But we're your friends!" a voice called out.

Jareth turned around and Stephanie slowly blinked and faced the figure in the doorway.

Chantal stood in a defense like stance.

"Friends??" Stephanie gave a short laugh. "I do not need friends." she stated. "Friends get in the way; they'll stop you when they get the chance, they slow you down when reaching your goal and they always expect something once you've achieved it. A warning to you foolish girl, go home and be out of my way, this does not concern you."

Chantal ran towards her but stopped dead in her tracks, her hair settled a moment later. Her clear hazel eyes were wide. "What are you talking about?? We haven't done those things to you," Chantal replied, confused.

"That's not how friends treat each other," Jareth put in.

"Your philosophy of friendship is highly, overrated." Stephanie scoffed. "Now, enough of this prattle." she turned around to face Jareth.

The Goblin King was ready for another attack, he was also ready to stop Stephanie if she should attack Chantal, in any means.

"Jareth," Chantal started as though she read his mind and took a step forward, meaning to stop him.

"I'm not going to hurt her!" the Goblin King snapped, he glanced at the girl from the corner of his eye and quickly returned his gaze to Stephanie, who smiled and remained in her current position.

"A pity really," Stephanie said as she uncrossed her arms. "This ought to be amusing,"The "friendship" speech has no way related to the reason why Chantal and I are no longer doing this together, nor it is meant to burn her in any way. I had typed out the speech months ago before any of the writer's block and her not wanting to participate any longer had taken place.