Original Stories Fan Fiction ❯ Capricious Infection ❯ Act 26: Fear ( Chapter 26 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Act 26: Fear
“I'll be yours. I've wants that for so long. Tell me, Ares, will you come with me? Spend time with me and help us change this world.” If Ares wanted to take a more active role Tarvos was giving him the chance to do so.
The Warrior King tore his gaze away with a look of inner turmoil. “I don't know.”
“Diablo is in the past. It's like you told me, let's walk forward, together.” If there was ever someone who was stuck in the past more than he was, it was Ares. Sometimes, the small-horned man just needed a gentle nudge in the right direction.
Ares slowly turned his gaze back to the reaper. “I'll think about it.” His sentence was reluctant at best.
Tarvos held his hands and smiled gently. “That's all I want.”
“What's this favor you wanted?” The Warrior King decided to cut to the chase, before his new stratos decided to go off into some other unimportant tangent. As much as they could have spent some time rekindling the feelings of the past, he knew that wasn't Tarvos' main objective.
A wide smile crossed the reaper's face. “Glad you asked. I want you to help us destroy that place. Your ships can cover more area and radius than when we exhaust our attacks.” It was cheating a little, but it was also conserving their strength.
“Why just attack them? You can do other things, like spread plagues and things like that. Why do you want to selectively kill things and people?” Ares was a little baffled that Tarvos was actually picking a choosing souls to reap. Wasn't that against his code as a reaper?
“Certain beings and places need to be left,” Tarvos explained.
“Orders from Oz.”
Ares smirked. That was all he needed to understand. “Well, I can't resist the cry of the battlefield, so I'll do what I can from the air, anything for my beloved stratos.”
“I thought you'd like the idea. Its fun and we need to teach Dante what it is to be a true bringer of destruction.” Even if the hybrid was against it, Dante would soon learn his true purpose and learn to accept it, or befall an unfortunate fate. Tarvos just hoped that he would learn it before it was too late.
The two of them walked back outside, only to find Sawtooth and Dante engaged in a conversation. Dante was learned against a wall and Sawtooth stood a few inches from him. The extension of Chaos crossed his arms and cocked his head at the strange being.
“You know, you remind me of someone familiar,” Dante wasn't sure what it was about this freak, but something felt as if he'd known him even though they clearly never met. Maybe Diablo knew him and those memories were carrying over.
“That's understandable, if you knew who I was,” Sawtooth remained ever mysterious.
“But I've never seen you before. It's bizarre,” Dante replied before he was interrupted by Ares. Sawtooth was thankful for that moment. If the two of them hadn't returned, then he was going to have to run Dante around in circles again, like he had been since they started talking.
“So, I've come to a decision,” Ares announced as the two turned to him in question.
“What?” Dante grumbled. Whatever it was, he was sure that it was going to suck, just like all of the other things that happened on this god forsaken factory.
“I'll do your dirty work for you.”
“I don't need you. I can do it myself,” like hell he was going to let this guy do anything for him. The only thing Ares contributed to was his misery and he didn't need any more of that.
“That's pretty insensitive,” Tarvos didn't help by defending him, either. Like a sociopath would know about feelings.
“I want to go back down,” he had seen more than enough.
“That can be arranged,” Ares still stuck true to his promise.
“Then Ares will help me,” Tarvos already knew that this wasn't going to end well. Dante was being blind and stubborn and when those two emotions combined, he was beyond convincing.
“Whatever, just send me back. I'm going to do my job,” Dante turned away from the two and stuck his hands in his pockets. He had enough of the torture and he didn't even want to know what those two did when they disappeared for a while.
The reaper held his left arm straight out to his side. “So be it,” Tarvos sighed as a vortex spinning in a whirl of color appeared behind Dante and sucked him in. It then threw him out in a crumpled heap on the ground below. Getting to his feet and dusting off the debris, Dante took a final look at that floating hell before he disappeared into the town, running as fast as he could carry himself.
`I don't like him like that!' He mentally beat himself down as he heard his own breathing escalate. `But…seeing him with Ares…Was I really such a promiscuous person back then? This other me…who exactly was he?' Dante planted his heels in the ground, skidding to stop in an area that was untouched. “I'll prove my worth to you!” Dante shouted as he threw out his arms, summoning up a massive wave of destruction that flattened everything in its wake, just as it did before. Now that he tapped into his chaotic powers, he was going to use them.
From high above, Ares watched as Dante created a crater in the middle of town. Crossing his arms, the Dius closed his eyes and sighed. “Looks at that, jealousy can do a lot to pure chaos.”
Tarvos sat on the ledge of the stone wall, peering down at the destruction below. “Maybe I was too hard on him.”
Ares nearly did a double take at that sentence. He had never heard the grim reaper say anything like that. “Did I just hear regret from you?”
“I don't regret our stratoship. I think that maybe I was a little too honest with him,” Tarvos shrugged it off. “Oh well, he would have found out anyway. We can just use it to our advantage,” the only way to go about this was to turn a negative into a positive. If anything, Dante would be more attentive to him now. Tarvos couldn't complain about that. “His hatred will fuel him enough to get the job done.”
Down below, Dante was ripping people and structures apart with his bare hands, sending his blade into them without mercy and staining his hands with blood and debris. Every bit of aggression he had towards his own short comings, his budding feelings for Tarvos and his utter hatred for Ares was being taken out on whatever he could find to destroy. Dante had never been so pissed off and frustrated in all of his life.
“I'm going to help him regardless. I can't have him claim the victory in this war,” Ares placed a foot up on the railing of his ship and pointed off into the horizon. “Fire!” His voice was strong and commanding as it cut through the air with ferocity. Beams and rays flew from each of his ships in a display of brilliant neon colors as they wiped out the town in long, barren strips.
Sawtooth watched the destruction below, immersed in deep thoughts as different colored lights bathed him in an array of colors. `Interesting, this world is succumbing to its fate, just as predicted, but I wonder if they can maintain this delicate balance for my sake. They should watch their moves carefully. The very build up to this new world depends on my existence.' He then glanced to the two Dius, who were engaged in a friendly position. Tarvos had his arm wrapped around Ares' neck like they were the best of friends, and truth be told, they were. A small smile crept to his face. `Well, at least one good thing has come of this. Ares is the perfect compliment for him. He'll need that support for later, when the darkness befalls death itself.'
In the abandon sector of town, Pregmacia, Tony, Oz, David, Lannad and Rezzi stood outside of the inn that had once been occupied by the Cut Throat Crew and their group of tough children. All around them, nothing had been present. They searched all of the buildings only to find turmoil in their wake. It seemed like this truly was nothing but a ghost town, as so many others before it had been.
“There appears to be nothing here,” Pregmacia was the first to report her findings.
“It's eerie, like everyone just disappeared,” Lannad spoke in similar fashion that the Cut Throat Crew had when they arrived in that place.
“Well, they have in a sense,” Oz pointed out the glaring obvious about the situation before them. All of the other races came so suddenly, people had to drop what they were doing and immediately take shelter to save themselves from being caught up in the war, so towns that looked as if the inhabitants simply vanished were a common sight.
“That weird factory picked them all up, right?” Tony questioned as he looked at Oz. If the aliens came in and slaughtered everyone, then they probably were just sucked up by the death factory and taken to be made into ships or something.
“So, what was the point of coming here, again? I mean, there's nothing here,” the question had been looming around in David's head for a while. There was literally nothing there but a little town that was untouched for the most part and void of anything living.
Suddenly, knives flew past his face, from behind him. They came dangerously close on either side and he swore that some of his hair was missing and if he had tried to dodge, he would have been laying on the ground in a pool of blood.
“Watch out!” Oz warned as he teleported in front of the boy and held his hand out. “Time Freeze!” The Dius called out as the knives froze and hung in mid air. David might have been able to dodge the first barrage, but the second barrage would have hit him.
“Not cool…thanks, bro,” David said as he turned around slowly and realized the positioning of each knife. Whoever threw them was skillful at targeting the exact points it would have taken to bring him down.
“Be on your guard,” the Dius' look hardened as he glared down the point from where the blades originated. The black-haired boy nodded in response and steadied himself for another onslaught.
“Hey! That was pretty badass the way you stopped those knives,” Tony's face lit up with excitement at seeing just a small glimmer of the powers of time. He literally had the ability to stop objects in mid-air; it was like something straight off of an anime.
“It's a simply psychic ability. I can freeze air in a certain place to create a dead zone and suspend objects in mid-air,“ with a wave of his hand, the knives turned around. Oz snapped his fingers and the knives sailed back in the direction they came from. “It seems we're not the only ones here.”
From a building in front of them, Clubs, jumped through the window, sending shards of shattered glass everywhere and landed in front of them, clutching a few of his throwing knives in his hands. “Your assumptions would be correct.”
Pregmacia frowned, “Clubs Cutlass.”
“You're the one who followed us here,” Clubs pointed one of his knives at them in accusation. They were trying to get away from the Dius and came to the abandon village, and now they decided to show up. They couldn't get rid of the Dius if they tried. What was with them? Was it Pregmacia still pursuing them?
“Are you still trying to get the Blood Ruby?” Pregmacia inquired as she glared down the black figure.
“We figured that we'd seize the opportunity when it came,” Clubs stated as Hearts came from another building across the street, Diamonds stepped out to the right, Boxcars came from behind him and Spade stepped out to the left of the group. “We've got you surrounded. So, give it up.”
It was a brilliant plan that he had literally come up with in seconds. They would surround them and execute an ambush. They were taking a chance, but so far it was a success. The Cut Throat Crew had them exactly where they wanted them.
“This was a trap,” Pregmacia's frown grew stone cold as she took her axe from her back and swung it forward, prepared for whatever came at her.
“Well, a last minute one. You see, we didn't really think you'd show so randomly. Good thing I predicted you all right,” Diamonds being an oracle had its benefits. Since he no longer had the Dimension Sword, his psychic powers played a bigger role as being used as a weapon.
“David, whatever you do, don't let them get the Time Sword,” Oz instructed the human behind him.
David nodded. “They'll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands.”
“Whatever gets the job done,” Boxcars slammed his barbell into the ground. With a loud crack, he split the earth below and watched as the Dius and humans frantically dove out of the way, avoiding a plummet into the deep chasm he created.
Tony dodged the crack and ran forward. He jumped into the air and swung his axe over his head. “Take this!” The dark-skinned human flung it forward in an attempt to cut Boxcars down to size. Instead, a metallic clank rung through the air as his blade clashes with one of the spiked barbs. The sound reverberated through the air as Tony used the force of the blow to launch himself back. Flipping through the air, he landed a few feet away. “That didn't work.”
“I guess we have no choice,” Pregmacia settled. She didn't want to fight them but it wasn't really an option at this point in time.
“I hope my training holds up to this,” Lannad gripped the Staff of Diorus in her hands.
“We'll each take one. I'll take the one behind us. Tony, you take the one you just attacked. Pregmacia, you take the one with the eye patch,” David tried to devise some sort of plan.
“I'll take the one with the throwing knives,” Lannad added her purpose to the plan in.
“Well, we can take them. Spades, don't let him get away,” Hearts looked over to the blood manipulator upon hearing the human's plan of attack.
Spades walked up to David, who steadied himself for their upcoming battle. The Arcane didn't look like the fighting type, but David knew better than to assume things. Spades stopped a few feet from him and leveled him with a neutral gaze. “Are you sure that you want to do this? You won't be able to win against me.”
David pointed his blade at him. “I don't have time for idle chat. Let's get serious.”
“As you wish, it's nothing personal, but my comrades need that blade,” he intended to get it, one way or another.
“No can do, Fido. I promised that I'd keep it safe. Besides, I can't be a Time Guardian without it.” There was a lot more on the line than the stone that he wanted. David wasn't going to give it up unless he died first, and he was ready to defend it with all that he had.
Without a word more, Spades charged him and tried to strike him across the chest but David jumped up and flipped over him. Spades swung around, only to have his arm collide with the flat of the blade. It created a metal reverberation.
“You're stronger than you look,” David was actually amazed at Spade's display of strength. He didn't look nearly as strong as he actually was.
It was time to get serious. Taking the blade of the sword, Spades ran his arm across the sharpened edge, making a laceration that dripped with red essence.
“What the fu-“ the action threw David off.
“Go forth and retrieve that sword,” Spades commanded as streams of blood rushed out of him at a fast pace and headed for David, who turned and ran.
The streams followed him, ripping up the ground and bouncing from every available surface with amazing versatility. David ran straight for a nearby wall as the blood streamed after him. Jumping up, the fluids collided with it in one big, red mass. David continued running up the side of the wall as the blood reformed in snake-like streams and cascaded after him.
Clubs couldn't help but smile at his challenger and bask in her beauty. It had been a while since he came across a girl that had the type of beauty that made him feel an attraction towards them beyond admiration. “You're very pretty, very pretty indeed. What's your name?”
Lannad was unamused. She was far from attracted to a short, anthromorphic dog who tried to kill her friend moments ago. “My name is Lannad,” she pointed her staff in order to look menacing, “and I'll be your opponent.”
“A doll-like girl with a wand. Ooooh, you look like an anime magical girl. Too bad I have to make you a bit less attractive,” Clubs launched a series of throwing knives at her.
Lannad wrote out a stream of ancient, golden, symbols with her staff and turned as she did so, making sure that the symbols wrapped around her in a perfect circle. She then jumped into the air, turning as the magical language rotated around her body. The ring expanded, consuming his knives and disintegrating them effortlessly.
“Well, it seems I really will have to use my magic. I'd much rather be a physical fighter.” Throwing his arm into the air and reaching skyward, a symbol for clubs in a deck of cards glowed green in front of him as he summoned his attack.
“Diamond storm!” What looked like diamonds flew everywhere, whizzing past Lannad and cutting her form, slashing her flesh and tearing their way through the layers of her light blue dress.
Lannad jumped back and pointed her wand. “Light Barrage!” She called out as polka dots of rainbow colored light exploded around them, illuminating their forms in a barrage of colors.
“Sanctuary!” Clubs summoned his barrier to keep himself out of the danger of her uncontrolled and wide-spread attack. The explosions beat against the barrier, making it shake as it absorbed her blows.
Boxcars spun as Tony jumped up, avoiding his barbell. The teen swung his axe down, trying to split his opponent's head open, but Boxcars evaded him by moving to the side. The Arcane swung his weapon around to try and smash Tony into a nearby wall, but the human jumped up at the last minute. The barbell collided with the wall in a boom as debris rained down around him and cascaded onto the ground.
Tony landed but Boxcars was right on top of him. He swung his barbell down, in an attempt to smash his head into the ground. Tony dodged, but the blow was so forceful that it created a fissure that cracked up the ground. Tony tried to run away in order to beat the burst of force, but he was knocked off of his feet and flung forward.
Boxcars looked pleased with himself as a twisted smile formed across his muzzle. “Heh,” there was no way that he was letting some kid beat him. It would be an insult to his title.
Hearts fired her guns, trying to land a hit on Pregmacia, who ran through her peppering of bullets. The Arcane looked disgusted with herself. `Damn it! She's too fast. I keep missing.'
As her thoughts ended, the heeled end of a boot made contact with the side of her face, sending spit flying from her mouth as her body was sent to the ground.
“Tch!” Hearts huffed as she lay on her back, rubbing the side of her face with her knuckles.
Pregmacia stood over her and swung her axe down, but only hit the floor as the gun slinger teleported out from beneath her. The blade of her axe dug into the ground, scarring the earth. “Damn it!”
Hearts appeared behind her and shot her gun, only to have her bullets reflected by the quick movements of her enemy's blade.
“Not today,” Pregmacia leveled her with a stern visage.
“Your reflexes are fast. Not even my bullets can keep up with them,” Hearts knew that the Dius were great magic users, but she didn't expect them to have the type of speed that exceeded even the swiftest of physical movements.
“I told you. I won't let you break Paradox Law,” she was going to stand firm on her beliefs. Like hell Pregmacia was going to let Arcane be revived.
“I don't want to hear it,” frankly, Hearts was sick of being preached at by her.
“Even if you rewrite time and send everything back to the way it was before, you're just going to suffer the same fate but in a different way. You may have knowledge of your enslavement by one race, but what does that prove?” There would always be more threats, more unseen dangers that lurked in the universe. They could not prevent everything from threatening their existence.
Hearts frowned. “You could never understand Arcane's pain.”
“Don't give me that swill. You and I are the last of our race. It's a common factor; it's not even up for debate, so why don't you give it up?” Their plan was doomed from the beginning. It might have been a difficult pill to swallow, but Hearts needed to take the dose and leave everything that her plan involved alone.
Tony was engaged with a power struggle that he was quickly losing as he and Boxcars tried to shove one another to the ground. Axe blade pressed against the center bar of his barbell. The teen was almost bent over backwards and he felt his knees shaking as he struggled with all of his might to stay up. “Why can't you guys just help us out instead of trying to murder us?”
“This…it's just like Dove said.” The more Spades fought, the more he realized how true the human's words were. So they could save Arcane from one incident, but what about others that were to follow? They couldn't protect their planet forever.
“Why would we dream of doing that? You ensure nothing. You call us criminals but you're doing the very thing we are,” Hearts wasn't going to give it up without a fight, especially to a bunch of hypocrites who were trying to save a dying planet. What made their endeavors any more important or any more right?
“What?” Tony strained out, still engaged in his power struggle.
Oz turns from his fight with Diamonds. “We are not rewriting history; we're trying to preserve what's left of the future.”
Diamonds interjected, holding up a finger. “I say, even if we could do that, we'd rather get back what is rightfully ours. Had we known what happened, then we would not have gotten so bloody blindsided.”
“Everyone wants to change the future, but a doomed paradox is just that,” Oz argued the fact. While it was true that he wanted to save a paradox that way dying, it had not already died as theirs had.
“What do you mean?” Hearts looked to him, not sure if she was supposed to be offended, but she decided that she was.
“Arcane is destined to that path. No matter how many paradoxes you create with the Blood Ruby, the outcome will always be the same,” the past, present and future was written for their home planet. Even if they brought it back, destruction was eminent.
Boxcars growled lowly. “You're lying! You're just feeding up some bullshit and I don't buy it, even if you are the Divine One of Time itself.”
Pregmacia turned to the gladiator. “You're in denial of your own existence. You should be grateful that you were even spared. You spend all of this time, chasing ludicrous dreams when you could have used the Dimension Sword to find those enslaved and help them escape.”
Hearts snarled. “Easier said than done. It's your races' technology that allowed our enslavement.”
“I allowed nothing. That was Ares-“ Pregmacia was cut off.
“Take responsibility for your actions!” Hearts was sick of her making excuses. Their opinions on Arcane's matters were entirely based on hypocrisy, lies and excuses.
“What if Ares didn't know that it was intended for that purpose? There are unknowns in every equation. Scornful or not, the only ones who can be blamed are the ones who committed the crime.” Rezzi cut into their conversation with something that she thought was insightful, but she was quickly told what the Arcanes thought of her ideals.
“Stay out of this, human,” Hearts shot. It was really none of her business.
“I should hate you all, given the circumstances. You all created an apocalypse for my world and now you all want it. It's like it's a prize and it was once my home,” Rezzi continued to talk. Even though she was told where to shove her words, she wanted to make a point in one way or another.
David stopped in the middle of his battle and turned to her. “Huh?” His eyes trailed to his opponent, who was concentrated on the discussion. His blood was swirling around him as he did so. `He's distracted.'
“How would you feel, working with those who impeded on what you would call mundane surroundings and circumstances? You can't keep staring into the reflection of the past. You must adapt and survive. Tell me…what has this war gained any of you?” Rezzi looked across the blurs on the battle field, awaiting an answer.
Everyone was quiet for a few minutes before one voice carried the answer out clearly.
Everyone's heads shot back at the source of the voice.
It was Spades.
“Spades…” Hearts was shocked that her leader would utter such a thing.
“Why would you say that?” Clubs was just as astonished.
“I say, are you brain dead? You were nailed to a bloody cross!” Diamonds didn't know how he could think that everything they were fighting for amounted to nothing.
“At the risk of gaining disrespect from my fellows of the Cut Throat Crew, I'll ask you this: what would we truly gain from this? What if the future we rewrite is worse than this one or yields the same results? What would we gain?” It was something that Dove brought up to him, and it made perfect sense. It stuck in the back of his mind and picked at his brain. It made him realize a lot about where he stood in the vast scope of the intergalactic war.
Boxcars was disappointed. He bore his teeth at his supposed `leader'. “You agreed that this was worth it. Are you trying to back out?”
“I just…wonder the same thing,” Spades admitted cautiously.
“I think you're too hell bent on the phrase `war, war, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.' This isn't like you, Sir Spades. After all, you were the one who founded the Cut Throat Crew,” Diamonds revealed their leader to the others. He questioned Spades' outlook on things. Ever since his incident on the cross, the former knight's thinking became unorthodox.
“I can change motives.”
“I'm still pursuing it. You may be rattled by what happened, but I'll never give up,” Hearts decided to fight tenaciously to the end for her people and the prospect of life flourishing once more on the now dead Arcane. Just because Spades was giving up didn't mean that she was. Not by a long shot.
`In that case, I'll just take this opportunity to kill off the weakest link,' David thought to himself as he ran at Spades and drew his sword back. As the human neared him, Spades turned with mere seconds to make a move.
“Blazing arrow!” A feminine voice called out as an arrow surrounded by flames hit the Time Sword so hard that it knocked it out of the teen's hands.
David held his wrist in pain and clenched his teeth. “What was that?”
Spades' visage brightened as he turned to the source of the attack. “Dove!”
The girl stood on the porch of one of the buildings with her bow and arrow pointed straight at them. “Don't move, or I'll fire this one up your ass.”
“Who is that?” Oz adjusted his glasses as he examined the girl in shades before him.
Rezzi blinked a couple of times. “I think I know that girl.”
“Did he say…Dove?” David froze in place. He could hardly believe who it was that stood in front of him. It was as if he was looking into the eyes of a ghost.
“Dove Ryzek?” The words slid from Lannad's mouth like saliva.
“No way! You're my-“
Dove smiled at the bittersweet moment. “Are you shocked that I'm alive, little brother?”
…To Be Continued