Original Stories Fan Fiction ❯ Capricious Infection ❯ Act 14: Revival ( Chapter 14 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Act 14: Revival
By: Melissa Norvell/Revamp
The scythe was pulled carelessly from its victim's back as the corpse fell to the ground, bleeding out over the debris. Her drained essence coated the curved blade as her friends looked on in horror, not daring to move against the grim reaper. Not even Dante, who was in a pivoted kneeling position, would rise.
“The Maiden of Sword has fallen as well. The rebellion has ended and now they are left to come to terms with their fate and stare death in the eye. This was a sudden twist of events. The Maiden's original purpose was to act as the Grand High Messiah's body guard. She was to shield him from those who tried to oppose him and alter their fate. All of the Maidens that I have appointed in the past for eons have faithfully guarded the Messiah and approved of his slaughter. I carefully chose the Maiden based on her faithful, tenacious nature. Because of the Maiden's nature, a delicate decision was vital. Any act of rebellion and the king would execute his disciple,” Oz commented to himself from his remote location, overseeing the events with a watchful eye. It seemed that the Maiden was just another Unfit One.
This was a most unsettling turn of events.
Dante's shaken form crawled over to Mae's body; his widened eyes stared into her blank gaze. The light from her eyes was gone. Tears clung to his eyes. As much as she might have annoyed him, she was still his friend and he couldn't handle knowing that she had just been ripped from his life before his eyes. “Why?” His voice was just above a whisper, trembling with the torrent of emotions that stirred within him.
“She tried to kill you. Don't you give a flying damn?” Tarvos asked, as if it were no big deal. To be truthful, it really wasn't. A corpse was just a corpse and another murder was another murder. It was all relative.
Ringo dashed over and sunk to his knees, crying hysterically as he slipped his hands under his dead girlfriend's shoulders, hugging her close to him. He shook with sorrow and buried his face into her shoulder. “Mae! Mae! Why did you do this? You didn't have to kill her! I thought she was one of the Chosen Ones!”
“What is created can also be destroyed. Everything faces destruction.” It was the harsh role of death. Tarvos had no regard for the lives people so closely cherished. It was her time to die, and that in itself was inevitable.
Rezzi's face turned serious.
Lannad also wept for the loss of her friend. “How could you? How could you be so cold?” They could have worked things out. Mae was just being stubborn and emotional. There was no reason to just kill her so callously.
“You have no idea what it takes to be the Grim Reaper of Paradoxes. You could say that I was born without that human organ you call a heart,” Tarvos replied. At least, that was what humans have claimed that their feelings came from. What an odd race.
David had his back turned to everyone, his head was downcast and it took everything in him to be strong. Mae was a good friend to him, and now she was gone as well. It wasn't just her death that pressed on him; it was the countless deaths of others and the knowledge that Tarvos could possibly kill him next. It didn't matter if he was a Chosen One, that wasn't a security that his life would be spared. As Tarvos said, death consumed all and it didn't give a damn if you wanted it or not. `Mae…'
Tears streamed down Tony's face. He had never seen anyone die unless it was on a video game. Not only had he witnessed a murder but he watched as his friend was savagely ripped from this world. “Why did you do it? I'm sure she would have stopped if you just tried to talk to her. Mae was never a mean person. She was just spunky,” he cried as the time rips in the skies multiplied.
Dante jerked his head violently, frantically from side to side as he helplessly watched the time rips. “How do I stop this?”
“As long as you're in this form, you can't control your powers. They'll just continue to multiply and manifest.” Tarvos informed the shaken boy on the futility of his situation.
“What the fuck do you mean `this form'?” He whipped his head to the reaper's form.
“Diablo is the true form of Chaos.”
“What will happen now? Are you going to kill us?” Lannad wondered aloud, wiping the tears from her face. That seemed to be the only thing left for them. After all, none of them made it past the Grand High Messiah in the game.
The Messiah arched an eyebrow in amusement. “Kill you? As much as the idea sounds exquisite in every way, I won't be killing any of you for now.”
“That still means you may,” Rezzi pointed out, finally speaking for what seemed like ages.
“It depends,” Tarvos smiled content with the events at hand.
“I hate this. No one can even trust you,” David spoke in a low tone, his back still turned to the group.
"Now I know why Oz said we'd have to work with you. We literally can't beat you. You're even stronger than I imagined, and the fact that you were with Chaos the whole time just means that you have been gathering even more strength,” Tony deduced. It was like fighting the end boss of a video game while being at level one; destruction was the only option.
“We need to find Oz,” Lannad suggested in a small voice, not wanting to draw any more attention to herself.
“Maybe he can tell us why we even did this. It was pointless.” Not only was he disappointed, David was disgusted. This was just some fucked up game that got his friend killed in real life. It seemed like a big sham, and he couldn't be more upset over the boisterous girl's demise.
There was nothing more that could even be done here. Burying her didn't seem like an option either.
“This isn't pointless. You just don't like seeing all of this death. Your little minds can't get over the agony,” Tarvos explained. When it came to mentality, this race was weak-minded and emotional over subjects that they could not help. It didn't make much sense to him, but he saw death as a different entity entirely.
David turned around. “Between you, Oz and the renegades who escaped through the time rips from other planets, humanity doesn't stand a chance.”
“Wait! Can't we give Mae a proper burial?” It would be the last thing the Apocalyptic Priestess asked. It was only right to pay their respects to their fallen friend. It would put her soul at ease.
“What is the point of burying someone?” She couldn't tell if Tarvos was experiencing a cultural difference or he just didn't care. That constant laid back tone of his never gave much light into what was going on inside of his head. This Dius had two moods: laid back and uncaring, and psychotic and unstable, a true mad man in every right.
“Humans bury their dead. To us, it's respectful and honors them,” Tony explained, figuring it was a cultural difference. He didn't want to fly off of the handle and get killed. The Dius already showed his threshold on what he would let them get away with and it was a thin line.
“Why should you show respect to someone who tried to kill off a piece of Diablo?”
Tony drug a hand down his face, “I don't even get anything anymore. Someone should really start explaining things to me.”
“I agree. Without structure, this twisted story just keeps falling apart,” David replied.
“Now that you know who I am, I'd be happy to answer your questions.” For now, Tarvos was done playing with them. Even he knew that he couldn't keep them in the dark about things as they were.
“Oh, you'll be answering questions once we get back to Oz. You both have a lot of explaining to do after we bury Mae,” David shot the grim reaper a serious gaze before he walked over to their group and they started to dig a hole to place their friend's body in.
After they buried Mae, the group headed back to Rezzi's house, picking up Oz along the way. The unstable skies above them let a steady rain fall and by the time they got inside, the storm had worsened. The rain was so loud against the windows that they still felt as though they were outside. Everyone was gathered in the living room. David and Tony sat on a couch, Dante sat on top of the kotatsu table, exhausted from what had happened. Lannad stood by the ever-stoic Rezzi, and Oz and the blood-stained reaper as well as Ringo stood on the opposing side of the room. It was silent for a while before Tarvos spoke up.
“Well, I guess its question time.”
Oz folded his arms across his chest. “You're right. We should have told you about everything before, but we had our reasons why we couldn't.”
“You would have never done what we wanted if we didn't manipulate you a little,” Tarvos finally admitted the mind fucking loop. However, he was not the only part of it. Oz contributed his fair share as well.
If he was going down, then Oz would fall to hell with him.
Lannad glanced to Rezzi, who remained silent.
“So, are you guys really the same Dius race?” That question had been boring a hole through Tony's thought process this entire time. Tarvos didn't look typical. He was like some mutated version that could be classified as a sub species of Dius, not the same race.
“We are. Tarvos is a mutation. That's why he has wings. He is the only Dius who possesses them,” Oz informed him, disproving his sub species theory.
Dante just kept looking to the floor with his eyes shaded and a deep-set frown plastered into his visage. He didn't feel like being a part of this inquisition.
“You two were working together the whole time, weren't you? Tell me the real reason the both of you are even here. No bullshit,” David leveled the two aliens with a stern look to signify the fact that he meant business.
“I came here because your paradox was quickly reaching its marking point. I was cast to this world by Oz and I lived here for a year before your world's shortcoming. I actually was searching for you all in that amount of time. While I am the metaphorical pallbearer of this world's deceased shell, my job isn't to completely destroy it. Not this time. I don't think you realize what my job really is,” Tarvos stressed the issue once more, hoping they would take the hint this time.
“To kill people?” David was the first to guess.
“Grim reaper?” Tony followed up.
“Death itself.” Lannad pointed out the obvious.
“I am the Grim Reaper of Paradoxes.”
“Oh-kaaaayyyy…What exactly is that?” David arched an eyebrow.
“This universe consists of different points of space and time. All of these places are past, present and future variations of this current point in time. As we go on now, there are alternative versions of people reacting to the same situation in different ways or even leading completely different lives due to a drastic change of events. These alternative parallels run in sync with ours. They all have beginnings, middles, and ends. They can also morph into each other, as the past does to the present and the present morphs into the future. This causes the illusion of infinite time and created the theory of being a single union. However, these points in time actually do die,” Oz explained.
“This paradox is on its death bed. When a paradox dies, all things and aspects of time and space within the paradox are destroyed,” Tarvos added.
“When that happens…you show up to make sure nothing is left behind,” Rezzi was certain that their story was going along this path.
“To create another paradox, you must destroy one. That is what the Grand High Messiah does,” Oz continued to justify his companion's reason to cause all of the pandemonium that he had.
“So, we've been living in a doomed paradox since Chaos first came here?” The blind girl asked. It was just a guess, but a good one. Death followed Chaos, that was how the Dius had explained it, and generally how their existence has humans explained it was well. This was the foundation of life.
“You've done a good job trying to alter and prolong your demise, but this is the end.” The intellectual alien's words were ominous and held more power than ever before.
“So, does that mean we all have paradox selves who act just like we do?” David wanted to get away from the death subject for a while before it ate at his mind too much more than it already had. He was still trying to decipher who to trust and what was reality and what was fantasy.
“They are variants, so you're half right.”
“Do you have paradox selves?” Rezzi inquired.
“No, Tarvos and I defy time and space. There is only one variant of us.”
“So, you can't kill off multiple paradoxes at once?” David wondered.
“No. I don't kill anything that isn't supposed to die. I can only get rid of that which is facing death in torder to keep the universal balance,” The reaper got him up to speed on how the deaths of paradoxes worked.
“But, you guys want us to save the paradox from you? How does that make any sense?” Unless he had been doing it wrong this entire time, Tony was very confused as to what their real goal was here.
“We can't go against our jobs,” Tarvos stated.
“We don't want to be your enemies. We're trying to be your allies,” Oz pointed the indisputable fact out. The Dius were not trying to be malicious. In fact, they wanted to reap the benefits of this dying world.
“In order to do that, you have to help us demolish this world so that we can rebuild it.”
“Why do that when there are plenty of people here that you don't have to kill?” Tony didn't understand why everyone had to die. Couldn't they just rebuild the planet with the help of those who already lived there?
“This will be a world inhabited by both of our races,” Tarvos educated them on one of the many reasons they wanted to help them rebuild this paradox.
“We need your paradox. The planet of Scales and Balances has been destroyed and reduced to a barren asteroid,” Oz informed the group. They really had nowhere to go. Like many of the other races who were plaguing the planet in a barrage of attacks.
“You said there were more of you. Where are they?” Rezzi questioned. There was capriciouscarnage, and where he was, she could only assume a few more existed.
“They're traveling through the time rips that Dante created.”
“But there are more than just the Dius race out there,” Tarvos reminded them of several hundred other types of races who were all after the Earth as their new home.
“The time rips appeared all over your universe,” Oz stated. “Thieves, pirates and normal citizens alike can easily go through them. Time rips are even a mode of standard transportation. The Dius race isn't the only ones who have access to time rips.” Many of the races could pop through one and end up on Earth by mistake. There were infinite possibilities as to who could access them and what their intent and destination might be.
“How does rebuilding this world save us?” Lannad had been thinking about this for a while and it still made no sense to her.
“It creates a new paradox from an old one. That means that this plane can exist for another couple of thousand years,” Tarvos educated the girl. His intent was to prolong whoever was destined to live and give the Dius a place where they can exist and live a reformed lifestyle.
“We're just prolonging our own existence. That seems so selfish to spare a few while others die,” the blue-haired girl was looking at the whole picture, and it was nothing but depressing.
“The lives that will continue to live over the four thousand year period will offset the death toll.” It was fair enough given the situation and the fact that they should technically all be dead.
“We live and punish our future offspring…”
Tarvos smiled. “Selfish, isn't it?” He was sickly amused with that cruelty of life's vicious circle.
“Do you have no sense of sympathy?” David was a little annoyed at how funny Tarvos thought everything dismal about life was. His perception of dark humor was worse than even the most cold-hearted of morticians.
“That wasn't up for debate. I live for suffering. The sorrow etched on your face, the tremble in your unsure voice…those delicious tears that stain your skin…It's intoxicating,” Tarvos almost seemed to have a sense of erotophonophilia towards the horroresque aspects of his job. It made the black-haired boy shudder in revulsion.
“Dude, you're fucking creepy.”
Then, his tone took an unpredictable snap into darkness. “I'll say this once and only once. I am a killer, an undertaker and a murderer. I'll kill you without the slightest of guilt. I'll bathe in your blood like it's an intoxicating potion, and I'll string your organs around like decorative accents. Lives mean nothing to me. In the end, I'll always be that fucked up guy you're dying to see.” His smile widened once more.
“No. That was a horrible joke.” Tony caught his emphasis on that word. This guy had a sick sense of humor. It was uncomfortable to even listen to him for more than five minutes at a time.
“Tarvos, if you're the Grand High Messiah…then who is undyingdiscord?” Rezzi had a feeling that he actually did know the identity behind that mysterious screen name. Even if he didn't, Oz certainly did.
“Tarvos wouldn't know the answer to that,” Oz knew all too well that Tarvos was oblivious to what happened inside of the game.
“Wait…Don't tell me…” It suddenly hit the black-haired, cool guy like a ton of bricks. He had finally pieced the puzzle together.
“I was undyingdiscord. I did it to cover for Tarvos,” the master hacker admitted.
“I knew it. More mindfucking,” furrowing his eyebrows in irritation, David was sort of pissed to find out this new information. His idol was turning into something sinister before his eyes.
“I apologize.” It was a sincere one.
“It doesn't help. I lost Ayumi, my friends…and now I lost Mae,” David shoved those facts into the alien's face, forcing him to share in his guilt.
“…I know.” It wasn't as if Oz didn't feel guilty for it. He was an entirely different creature than Tarvos, with feelings and understanding. He knew the pain of loss, and that things weren't easy for the boy who admired him so much. For that, he felt bad for hurting him in the way that he had, even if it had just cause.
“Too late!” Tarvos was ecstatic, on the other hand. “You can't take it back. Deal with it.”
“You knew all along that Dante was Chaos, didn't you?” Lannad was pretty skeptical now. She refused to believe that Tarvos was just wandering around with his head cut off. He might be crazy, but he was a brilliant strategist.
“Not at first, but I felt an attraction to him. After all, we were created to run hand in hand. After a while, I discovered that the time rip in the shrine was gone. The fact that Dante could see me and he appeared human led me to believe that Pandora used magic to conceal Chaos inside of Dante's body. It was the only real explanation that I could come up with.” The Messiah knew something was special about Dante. If he wasn't Chaos than he didn't know who would be. One of them had to be in that group; otherwise he would not have sought them out like he did.
“You're half right,” Oz corrected him.
“What?” Dante looked up from his position at the table.
“There's a reason that you don't remember your childhood.”
“You mean my life is more full of fuck? I already feel like vomiting. You going to make me regret my existence any more than I do right now? I killed all of these people and I didn't even realize it.” That factor alone was enough to bring a world of guilt raining down on him. Dante could hardly handle the pressure, the last frayed strands of his sanity desperately tried to hold to their foundation as they were still being tugged at.
“Pandora did have a boy named Dante, but Dante passed away a week after she obtained him.”
“What?” Lannad was shocked to find this out. She thought for sure that Dante was just Dante, a boy with the soul of a piece of Chaos.
“What happened to him?” Tony was intrigued and freaked out all at the same time.
“Why would she do that?” The priestess couldn't help but feel disturbed just knowing that her friend was a child who died and was infected by a piece of Chaos.
“You mean…this body…” Dante looked at his hands in horror; his pupils like pin pricks as he felt the paranoia and anxiety come back full force.
“Hmpf,” Tarvos' smile widened even more.
“Pandora had strong spiritual powers. She practiced for years in secret inside of the room with the time rip that acted as an entrance to the Null Zone. She also had ties to the Grand High Messiah and Chaos himself. She was a Dimension Wanderer. She could travel to various planes and even talked to Diablo while he was exiled to the Null Zone,” Oz revealed a haunting part of Dante's past, another piece that covered a void on the puzzle of his existence.
“Then, that boy…” Lannad's words were chilling as she made the connection.
“He was a sacrifice. When Pandora broke Diablo's seal in the Null Zone, he had to leave his body behind. Since I can travel in dead space, I retrieved his soul and implanted it in the child's corpse. It's only a temporary body, however. It was mean to conceal Chaos' power until the day of reckoning came,” Tarvos definitely knew more than he should. He knew way more about Dante than he knew about himself and that fact terrified him.
“Tarvos, did I kill the priestesses when I was a child?” He feared the answer, but he had to know. If anyone could tell him, it was the Grand High Messiah.
“Of course you did,” Tarvos was amused at the boy's internal suffering over this. Dante could no longer deny his origin or his true self. To do so was asinine.
“No…” The black-haired boy trembled, running his hands through his messy, short hair.
“You didn't need them anymore, so you laid waste to them. You destroy and breed reality. You level out the tranquility of a mundane and boring world. Pandora was a device of mine, a human puppet designed to bring you back to me. She grew fascinated with your infamy, and she dedicated her life to bringing you back.” Walking up to the boy with his deranged smile, Tarvos bent down and placed a bony finger under his chin. “I did this all, so that you could come back to me. You'll thank me in the end.”
Staring into those unstable blue eyes, Dante couldn't help but look out of his mind with fear. “You made my life a living hell, but you also made me realize what I was. Why would you do this for me?”
“I need you.”
Dante frowned, trying to muster anger only having it give off the appearance of defiant misery. “Is that all?”
“Hardly, it's not about needing you because of my goals, it was my desire to save you from rotting in that purgatory. I came to save you and all of this time I've searched for you. It's a pity that you don't remember me, but you will,” Tarvos drew back, gazing down at the fruits of his labor. “You're my partner, the one created for me. You provide me with an impetus to become my whole self.”
“What do you mean? What the fuck are you talking about?” Even if he was Chaos, Tarvos was just spouting off insane stuff. Not only that, it almost seemed like he was implying that there had been something between him. That thought alone only added a whole new horror to his situation. Why the hell did it have to be him?
“You don't have any recollection of me, do you?” Tarvos frowned deeply; disappointed that he wasn't triggering anything.
“I already told you that, you pretentious asshole,” Dante frowned; anger was finally taking over his sorrow in an act of repugnance.
“Loving as always. That's why I loved working with you so much,” the Messiah's voice reached a strange endearing tone that actually came off as kind. His pale, bony hand reached out and cradled the side of Dante's face as he stared into the blue eyes of death, who wore a subdued smile, blue tongue hanging slightly to the right.
Dante just glared at him. “Stop being a creeper, you asswipe.”
“You really don't remember, do you?” Why does he keep asking this redundant question? Dante felt like strangling him, although he couldn't help but feel his cold touch was somehow comforting.
Reaching up to the taller form, he placed a hand on the frigid cheek of the Dius for a moment and stared into those dark eyes for a moment, and then he shoved him off by the side of his face. “Why in the fuck is he being Mr. Clingy-Shit? It makes me want to kick him in the face!” Dante raged. The last thing he needed was someone else opening up even more emotions.
“We were more than just partners…my dear Diablo,” Tarvos' voice became seductive in tone, and Dante felt his heart slam against his sternum once. He could only wish to be killed by a heart attack.
“You've got to be fucking kidding me. Tell me that this is some sick fucking joke.” He was absolutely horrified.
Tarvos shook his head.
“Don't tell me…you're my pyrex…or what the fuck ever you call it.”
He could only hope that the answer was no.
Looking thoughtful for a moment, the grim reaper replied. “Not sure what we were. We never established one relationship or another.”
Thank all that was both holy and unholy that they didn't.
“No. I'm not into men.”
“Wow…What?” David was shocked upon hearing this. It was some pretty wicked, wild shit.
Lannad's gaze hit the floor.
“That shouldn't matter. Male and female of our species reproduce the same way,” Tarvos noted.
“No, man I don't-“ Dante was cut off again by the reaper, placing a finger to his slips.
“Don't say such rash words. For now, I'll be what you want me to be,” the Messiah smiled a kind smile at him. Dante was obviously going through an emotional hell, and it wasn't the best time to note their prior relationship but it was as good of a time as any. He could settle down and think about it.
Tarvos had a lot of patience.
“You tried to fucking kill me,” Dante backed away from his finger with a vexed expression. Why in the blue hell should he even consider him after what he did to everyone?
“It's his way of being affectionate,” Oz noted his strange personality quirk.
“And I'm supposed to be one of you?” The fragment of Chaos was pretty offended to know he was a member of such a twisted and tarnished race of people. It was sickening.
“Your soul is…your body won't be,” Tarvos noted.
“I don't want any of this. Why the fuck are you people torturing me?” The nerve racked boy continued to run his hands through his hair as tears cascaded down his cheeks. “I just…want to be alone.” Dante got up and walked off, heading down the hall into another room. He didn't want to be around anyone or hear their voices, nor did he want to even take part in whatever little discussion that they were having. Everything was irrelevant, and the fact that he wasn't just a piece of Chaos but a sham of an alien living in a sacrifice's body who had been killed by their own mother, was in love with or had an obscure relationship with the Grand High Messiah and had some weird corpse in a strange Null Zone was all too much for him to bear. If he didn't get away soon, he was going to murder everyone in the room. Not to mention he kept manufacturing time rips without any real way to stop them. Therefore, he technically brought all of the aliens there to lay waste to his entire race.
He was one step from wanting to kill himself.
Lannad took a step to go after him, but Rezzi reached out, placing a hand on her shoulder to stop her.
“Hey!” She looked over her shoulder as she met the serious expression of her blind friend.
“Let's leave him to his thoughts and try to figure out the rest of what's going on here. There's a lot to absorb.”
…To Be Continued