Labyrinth Fan Fiction ❯ Dark Crystals ❯ You have no power over me ( Chapter 9 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Chapter Nine: You Have No Power Over Me

No time to teleport safely, no time to morph into his owl form, no time to grab hold of the wall ledge he flew over.

He caught glimpses of blurred trees and hedges, felt the brush of the leaves and branches against his face. His arms and legs hit thick branches before he landed roughly onto his back on the ground. Blood seeped out a few cuts, clearly visible through the dark clothes he wore. A thin line of blood ran out of the corner of his mouth. He licked at the darker shade of crimson and frowned at the coppery taste. It stung but not as bad as his other wounds. He slowly got up, wincing as he did, and ignored the pain throbbing through his body.

The wind picked up, rustling the leaves and almost muted the thunder. The sky darkened and the sun was ready to set in a few hours; he did not want to battle in the dark. He was not worried about the time limit to take back his throne, not like the last mishap where they had barely made it; he had worked on that specifically before working on the shortcut. No one would be able to take over his throne that easily, he made sure of that; however this situation was indeed proven to be more difficult.

He heard footsteps not too far off and he knew it would not take the girl long to get over his location. An orb in hand, he waited and listened.

Soon enough, Stephanie stepped into the clearing but quickly ducked behind a tree, expecting the attack. The tree was fairly thin but it was the closest to the entrance of the wall and that had offered some, but not very much, protection. When she ducked, she felt the air of a crystal orb brush against her leg.

Jareth kept sending his own crystal like attacks and they shattered and dug themselves into the ground, some managed to trail against the walls. Burning and exploding, they hit the fragile tree trunk, shaking it of its pale green leaves.

_____________________________________O O O_____________________________________

Stephanie watched from the corner of her eye of his movements behind her, her back was against the tree trunk. Short blasts followed and cut into the bark. She screamed once as splinters of bark fell upon her head and grazed her ears and neck. Soon the trunk would splinter completely and she would need to find herself another shield. She wanted to conserve her powers to attack; she had no use wasting her powers on meager barriers. She was breathing hard and was slowly tiring. Her muscles were sore; they were not used to the strain of using magyk.

She looked to her right when there were no other attacks. It was strangely quiet. She frowned. She saw only the current hedge corridor they were in; they weren't much protection, flimsly at best like the tree she was trapped behind. She looked to her left with not much choice there either, and then back to the solid stone wall in front of her; no way around that without sustaining injuries. She frowned again and settled to go to her left where a thick enough looking hedge stood.

A beam of energy shot by her left, so close that it made her loose hair fly forward with the force of the passing beam. She gasped. "Damn," she muttered. He knew she was trying to reach a new shelter. She stood up, becoming a smaller target behind the small tree. 'Throw an attack and then rush behind the hedge?? No. Too obvious.' Her mind tried to strategize what moves he would do if she made her bolder ones. "Screw it." she decided and dove towards the hedge. She quickly sent a quick attack. A few blasts came from Jareth. She landed on her stomach and clutched her upper arm, and quickly retreated behind the new barrier. She winced. It was a good hit. Blood flowed freely from a fair sized gash. Having barely any tolerance for pain and of her own blood was an interesting task to stay conscious, even with the newfound power flowing through her body. She cursed this weakness bitterly.

Stephanie bit her lip, trying to fight the urge to pass out or throw up. This power was some advantage but it was still hard to concentrate when you felt sick to your stomach. 'Think of something else!!' she snapped at her mind. She concentrated on an attack; a smaller crystal appeared and she managed to stand on Jell-o like legs. She was free from attacks from the Goblin King; his presence was detected not too far away. She supposed he was conserving his energy as well. It was good that he was slowly weakening as well, or was he perhaps strategizing? Taking a deep breath, she opened her palm and the crystal flew around her hiding place and through the air, towards the Goblin King.

This, he blocked just as easily. He almost frowned. 'What's this?' he raised a quizzical eyebrow. 'A weak attack?' Maybe in this state he'll be able to overpower her. He placed his hand together and then slid them apart where a crystal appeared. The crystal shot forward at Jareth's will and spread into an energy beam; it smashed through the hedge.

Stephanie did not have the time to react. Colliding against and through the hedge walls was just as bad as hitting the stone ones. They looked smooth and harmless all trimmed, but it was a form of trees after all. The branches tore at her skin. She felt herself pass through many hedged corridors before sliding to a stop on her side.

The attack was over.

She slowly got to her feet, every part of her body stung with extra cuts and scrapes, her muscles burned with her aches. A multitude of energy orbs suddenly came flying towards her like a tennis ball machine had shortened a circuit. She braced for impact, arms at her eye level. The series of explosions shook the ground, causing loose bricks to fall and a few sections of the Labyrinth to fall apart, making wider corridors.

The dust settled and the Goblin King waited; hands on his thighs, out of breath but completely alert in case this attack did not stop her. 'I hope this at least slowed her down.' he thought and soon approached the spot where she was seen last. This prolonged game of cat and mouse was perhaps finally over?

Stephanie lay unmoving on her side. A few more cuts were on her arms and a few scratches were on her face. He could see that she was only knocked unconscious. He nodded to himself. 'Let us hope this barrier will be stronger.' he thought. He took a deep breath--it was cut short--and coughed terribly. He winced bitterly when his fit ended.

A voice then made him turn around.

_____________________________________O O O_____________________________________

Chantal by this time had rushed out of the castle through means of usual doorways with Serek on her shoulder, and ran towards the visually ongoing battle. Out of the Goblin City, she kept her distance in case of attacks or debris gone awry, came flying her way.

It was silent for a long time and she wondered who had won. She saw dust swirling around before settling. She took the shortcut through the U openings, knowing it would take her longer the other way around. She didn't know what she would see once she got closer to where the action seemed to have stopped. She was climbing halfway in an opening when she saw light gleaming off blonde hair. She called to the Goblin King when she saw that he was not in an attacking or in a defense stance. He turned around and he wearily waved back.

It was over. She was glad, for this was way too much excitement for one being to bear. She--Movement was heard; cloth brushing against stone. Jareth spun around as Chantal had just entered the same corridor.

Jareth cursed himself under his breath at his own carelessness. He should have finished his spell and not get easily distracted; that was unlike him.

Stephanie moved and slowly sat up. A small moan escaped from her lips as she felt her new aches overlapping the dull ones. She shakily got to her feet and looked up; the headpiece remained floating firmly in place, undisturbed. She half leaned against a wall for support. She was tired but she was also stubborn. With her palms pressed firmly upon the stone wall, her hair swirled slightly and the walls and the ground started to rumble. From what Jareth could see it was as though she sent sound waves, just like before, through the walls and it traveled to the stone flooring. The ground moved and rippled like water and moved like the waves; the stones oddly remained together. The stone wave rose and lifted Jareth in the air; he was inches from the wave before he quickly put his weight down. He stumbled and almost lost his balance when he landed on the stone wave.

The ground shook and continued to rumble. Chantal fell back. The wave rose again, and lifted the girl in the air, her balance already lost, she hovered in the air for a second as the wave fell back. In that second, she could see above the corridors, beyond the sections of the hedges, and a few places that were destroyed in the fray. She screamed as she started to fall.

A few feet before she hit the ground, she suddenly stopped. She looked to her right. Jareth had a hand out and with some form of his powers, had saved her from the nasty fall. He rushed over and the barrier let go but he caught her before she fell completely to the ground. He quickly set her to her feet as another attack came from Stephanie and was heading their way. He managed to slow it down. He threw a glowing orb, one as clear as his usual ones; it shook the ground and trailed burrows in one wall. Stephanie caught this and used this attack to her advantage. He then created a force field, one large enough to cover both Chantal and himself. His feet slid on the ground from the force. He had no choice, it was too close. He glanced at Chantal again, silently urging her to understand the plan or at least do something to help him. He glanced at the girl next to him and then shifted his eyes to the opening Stephanie had created in the wall. He needed one chance, now that Chantal was here; hopefully she understood his signal. There was no time to explain, even then, he would have to yell over the rumbling of the attack; some were quite fierce.

Chantal was thinking deeply about Jareth's quick eye signals and seem to somewhat understand. She knelt and picked up a brick that had fallen from the walls, passing one to her shoulder dragon. Serek chirped. She then stood up and threw the brick at Stephanie. The brick bounced off Stephanie's back, Serek dropped the brick he carried in his tiny but strong claws, which hit her squarely on the shoulder before hitting the ground. She turned around sharply, clutching her shoulder and back, an annoyed expression came across her features.

"How annoying!!" Stephanie hissed. Her expression then changed to an almost eerie calm. "Foolish girl, didn't I warn you to go back home??"

"I can't." said Chantal. "I won't let you go on."

"Heh," Stephanie smirked. "Then I'll rid of you as well."

"No! This must stop!" Chantal yelled and suddenly ran forward, tackling Stephanie. Both girls fell roughly to the ground.

"Get off!!" Stephanie yelled and struggled to push Chantal off who was trying to keep her pinned to the ground. Chantal felt a foot pressed against her stomach before she flew off Stephanie, bouncing once on the ground. She clutched her stomach and watched as Stephanie stood up.

"Foolish girl," Stephanie repeated, an eerie smirk appeared on the girl's thin lips as she held a blue flaming orb, ready to strike. Chantal's eyes widened.

Suddenly a hand grabbed her wrist and held it in a strong grip. The orb vanished just as quickly as it had appeared. Her arm was clasped tightly against and around her waist, her fingers in claws as though threatening the person behind. Jareth grabbed Stephanie's other arm before she could do a single attack and placed it around her waist atop the other. Chantal's distraction had given Jareth the chance to regain some of his strength back and to move quickly, unfortunate Chantal had gotten hurt in the process; but it was sufficient for Stephanie to become unaware of the Goblin King for that particular moment.

Now she looked back at him with narrowed eyes. "Release me!!" Stephanie said, her voice vibrated against the walls. She was struggling, more annoyed than enraged that she was caught off guard. He held fast; he was physically stronger than she was. She tried to elbow him in the stomach but the way he kept her captive was difficult and clearly impossible. He could feel her powers starting up again and it won't be long before she would be able to gather enough to free herself again. Her hair started to rise, her pendant swung as she struggled. She even tried to dig her heels into his feet; she was trying anything to free herself from his grip.

"Chantal!" the Goblin King barked.

The girl he called quickly stood up. The colorful dragon landed nearby and awaited orders should the King need his assistance.

"The crystal -around her neck " Jareth himself was struggling. "Destroy it!"

Chantal sprinted and almost managed to grab the pendant. She tried again when Jareth forced Stephanie to turn around, after lifting the girl off the ground. "Hurry!"

This time Chantal succeeded.

The silver chain broke free as she pulled. She threw the pendant down and smashed it with the heel of her shoe. The glass shattered with an odd silvery melody. A small gasp escaped from Stephanie and Jareth felt the girl go rigid. From Chantal's view, she could see Stephanie's eyes go wide and that the colors kept changing from crimson to her usual brown. Stephanie weakly continued to struggle as the color fought and switch to take over her eyes.

'The crystal did have some sort of hold on her,' Jareth thought. 'Now I can finish this.' He turned the girl around, grabbed the headpiece that floated inches from her forehead and tossed it away; it bounced off the ground with a metallic echo. He had no need to tell Chantal to step away. He also hoped that this idea would actually work. In fact, he had never tried it out; for one thing, he'd never had this situation before. He wasn't sure what the effects would be.

He took a deep breath. Stephanie stared at him, as though unable to move, she had stopped struggling. He trailed a symbol on her forehead; it was actually the same kind of scripture Chantal had seen on the puzzle board they've encountered. "In'éh lor ma'ateh," he muttered under his breath.

"What are you doing??" Stephanie asked, some form of panic appeared not only on her face but in her tone as well. She started to struggle again.

He didn't reply.

As soon as his finger left her forehead she began feeling an icy warmth trailing over the skin of her forehead. She felt dizzy and it felt like water was leaving her body starting from her head, it trailed through her skin, up the rest of her body before collecting at her fingertips. She continued to feel the liquid seep out of her skin, a dark substance as thick as blood ran down her arms. Jareth felt the essence pass under his fingers as he held Stephanie by the arms. To Chantal, it looked as though the "evil" was being cleansed out of her body.

"I I feel strange..." Stephanie mumbled. She started to fall back, her arms went limp at her sides, her odd colored eyes became unfocused and soon rolled up into her head. Her breathing became rapid as more of the dark liquid fell from her fingers and created black splatters and splotches, gathering in a pool by Stephanie and the Goblin King's feet. "Stop it burns," Stephanie said barely over a whisper. "...burns..."

Jareth waited until the flow of the dark liquid stopped and the last drop fell from her fingertips. The substance lightened and slowly evaporated until not one trace remained.

It would be a long and complicated thing to inform the Elders. He didnít know where to start.