Last chapter, Barring a few Epilogues.
Chapter 9: In which Lyle fights off his fellow guards, The Shade outlives his usefulness, and the girl meets an unfortunate end, maybe.
Lyle opened the last gate. If the Shade had done his work well, the Prime Revenant would just move right through. No one would be disturbed, and no one would get hurt. Everyone here was some sort of combat expert, except for Zelmie, Quatre's representative. She did something, but he couldn't figure out what. He hoped not to find out, Quatre's moderators creeped him out. He also counted his lucky stars that only two of Tanith's Moderators were here... What was he thinking? He'll be fine, as long as that darned Shade does his work properly. He slid back, making sure that the lights made a very clear path for the Prime Revenant to take.
"A pity I never learned how you communicated across planes..." He said to the mass that passed by. It could only described as a vague, gelatinous mass that slithered like a slug, yet it had legs- better term would be 'appendages'- and had actually displayed great agility when they had tried to capture it. A gigantic, singular eye appeared suddenly, blinked at him, then disappeared. "No answers from you, huh." The Prime Revenant ignored him.
The Shade slid out from a wall next to him. "Well, only one thing left to do." He paused unnecessarily. Lyle suddenly became paranoid.
"You betrayed me didn't you. Ten says that you woke someone up. Another twenty says it's Gazelle. You know why? Because her reaction time from sleeping to awake is long enough for you to escape."
"Hey, do you know how long I've been stuck doing night duty? Remember, the Prime Revenant has been imprisoned for thousands of years! I got BORED! So, I figured out a long time ago how long it takes for people to wake up. I also have kept up with the major literature directions, martial art styles..." He looked down the corridor, Gazelle and False were coming down the corridor at a hundred miles an hour. "Including a nifty little one that allows you to fight against multiple opponents at once. You. Suck."
"I feel the love from here, Sir Lyle. Have a nice day." The Shade waved, then followed the Prime Revenant towards the portal.
Turning towards the pair running towards him, he held up his hands in an apologetic gesture. "This is all a misunderstanding!"
Gazelle unsheathed her sword, known to the Cameans as a Jian. It is thin and considered a more elegant weapon. First time she'd told him about it, he laughed and laughed until she started trying to kill him. "The HELL it is!"
False's Faceless One charged out of a nearby door. "I WILL STRIP THE NERVES FROM YOUR PATHETIC, IMMORTAL MEAT SACK BODY!" Lyle drew his mace and brought his full strength down on the back of the Faceless One's head area. There was a darn good reason why Xewleer sent him to Lockheed. Lyle could do whatever it took, even if it meant killing his companions.
He threw Momose the Faceless One through a door, effectively taking her out of the picture. Two more. He blocked Gazelle's strike with his own weapon, then jumped to avoid a low kick by False. He kicked his feet into False's face, then landed on her knee. By this time Gazelle was making her second move, a back handed swipe at him. It would be straight, but without her full power. He ducked under it and twisted his body so that he put a substantial amount of momentum into his blow to her face.
Zelmie walked out, snapping her fingers. Light Subjugators, the servants of Moderators and Administrators, formed around her. Lyle blanched, if it was anything that the Moderators of Xewleer and Xewleer himself agreed to dislike, it was freakin' Light Subjugators. "What's going on here? I mean, I was getting such a nice sleep!" She smiled and winked at Lyle.
"Has Quatre ordered you to back me up?" Lyle was worried. While Xewleer and Quatre generally got along, but every now and then, they did wildly different things.
"Nope, this time we're not working together. Quatre thinks that Xewleer's plan is a failure that should never had been started. Sorry we have to fight like this. SUBJUGATORS!"
Lyle dodged the Subjugator attacks. This wasn't good, all that was needed was explosion and Tanith would come here with fire and a whole lot of death, mainly for Lyle, if it was possible to kill an Immortal. He looked down the hallway to the portal entrance. The Prime Revenant was just getting into the portal room. How'd that thing move so quickly? It didn't matter. He dodged another attack and brought his mace down on the defender's arm, snapping it.
"Lyle! Just give up! You know you can't win!" Zelmie gave him a sympathetic smile. "Come on! the Prime Revenant was secured here! We didn't need you to rile things up!" Gazelle and False jumped in and joined the Light Subjugators in their assault. "It's a pity we can't Rift Walk in Lockheed. We'd be able to stop this fight in an instant." Zelmie sighed.
Gazelle yelled over her shoulder. "Stop trying to taunt him and help us take him down! Otherwise we won't get to the Revenant in time!" Lyle landed a hard hit on her shoulder, forcing her to pop it back into the socket. "Screw you! I'm going around!" Lyle threw a grenade at her back.
"Anti-rioting Foam Grenade! Ha!" Xewleer had thought of everything. The foam rapidly expanded, even encompassing Lyle, Zelmie and several Light Subjugators. "Well, now we wait."
"You suck." This comment came from somewhere within the center of the foam.
"I told that Shade that after he betrayed me." He paused a second. "I did see it coming, just a little by-the-way."
"Changes nothing, nothing at all, and I hate you for it." Gazelle was struggling against the foam, and it was constricting her.
Tanith walked in. The non-gender looked at Lyle's head poking out of the foam. "Xewleer."
"Yeah, he got you good didn't he?" Lyle smiled at him.
Tanith snapped his fingers and whistled. Lyle locked that information away. Music was her reality warping tool. Soon, he was the only one stuck in the foam. "We'll come back in a thousand years."
"That's not cool." Lyle was disappointed, that was all?
"No, it wasn't." Tanith moved out with his Moderators, they would gather their things and leave. Zelmie walked the route to the second Portal that led to Carnelia.
The Shade was certainly pleased with himself. His plan had finally succeeded. Xewleer was saying something. "And to our friend, his just rewards." Aw nuts, when humans say 'just rewards', they mean someone is going to die, especially a traitor. And guess who was the only real traitor in the area? Natch.
"A fitting death for a traitor!" The Shade was bathed in light. He screamed and melted down into a puddle.
Nanael punched Xeweleer in the shoulder. "You made those lines cheesy on purpose!"
"Indeed I did." Xewleer had a firm hand on the girl's shoulder. "I just wanted to do something like that. I mean, I read so much, but I never have a real chance to USE those cheesy lines." He looked down and smiled at the girl, trying to reassure her, for his benefit. If she spooked and tried to run, then everyone'd waste time trying to find her again, and the Prime Revenant would leave their area of control.
"Do you feel anything about what you are about to do?" Art looked to his Administrator.
"Nope. You have to remember, the Prime Revenant is a great threat to the Lifestream. According to my purpose, anything goes if I have to protect it. Remember, anything and everyone is expendable... even you and Nanael and even Pause." He said this without hesitation. Art didn't like to be told he was expendable, he already felt like he was.
"Leaves a bad taste in my mouth, that's all." Art brought out a Cartridge Cannon from an inside pocket. He had used it many times. There was one story told in the art circles that he once fought off a hundred mind-controlled antiques dealers with that weapon, but that, like so many other things, was another tale that will likely never be told. He aimed it at the emerging Prime Revenant.
The Prime Revenant was in a particular situation. It was forced to exit the portal at a slow pace. There was another benefit to the Portals at Lockheed. Nothing with a soul could leave at a faster pace than a walk, giving anyone guarding anything ample time to react to a jail break. Now it worked in their favor, giving them time to prepare for the Prime Revenant's emergence.
Xewleer kept a tight hand on the now struggling girl. He felt fortunate, apparently his presence as an Administrator weakened her soul stealing aura. Pause was already recovering a little, and was ready to fight. The Prime Revenant was nearly out after all, and he signaled his Moderators to take their positions.
"Is Lyle assisting?"
"No Pause, he's been immobilized, unfortunately, both Quatre and Tanith are against the plan. Fortunately, Lon Lon, our dear Utan friend, has been able to distract him and his. But, we don't have much time, they expected their agent, Zelmie to be able to control Lyle and the Revenant, she failed, of course."
Nanael drew her own weapon, a short spear. Like many things that are connected in some degree to Xewleer, it had a story attached, Nanael's ascension into immortality. When she left her home to travel to Arcadia, she found that she made the best friends with non-organic life forms, like the ancient City Builders. They asked her to do something for them, discover the strange space anomaly in an old office building. The dropped her off and waited for her to come back. She entered the building and discovered that Xewleer had made his home there, creating what he called a pocket plane. This was the reason for the City Builder's confusion, their sensors couldn't comprehend the fact that it was another dimension without being outside of this one. Xewleer explained this to her, impressed that she would deal with the machines that were older than he was. She returned to the City Builders and told them about it. In gratitude, they used their strongest building materials to make her a spear, as she used one to defend herself. Later, Xewleer would decide to make her an immortal after several later adventures.
The Prime Revenant was out all the way. It produced one giant, glowing eye and looked around. "Remember everyone, it's a lot faster than it lets on. It will go for me. Because I am the source of your lives and immortality, you cannot be absorbed by it like it did Llerwen. But don't take stupid risks. Ready? Go!"
Pause charged forward, her actions taunting it into action. It met her charge and sent her flying towards Nanael. Nanael planted her spear and used it as an anchor, and reached up, grabbing the in flight Pause and swinging her around back into the path of the Prime Revenant. Pause tackled it, stunning it for a second. The Revenant produced a tentacle and slammed it down on Pause, removing her from the fight for two seconds. Nanael had, by this time, leaped into the air and came down like a meteor on what she assumed was the Prime Revenant's head. This pinned the creature. Art took advantage of the situation and fired at its bottom, fusing much of the lower half of the creature.
It ignored its injuries and its matter flowed around the anchors holding it down. It charged towards Xewleer, but Pause caught at it, and attempted to throw the creature. She failed, but it gave Xewleer enough time to dodge. It turned around, it's tail end knocking away a small playground. Art ran in front of Xewleer and fired at it, causing the front of the mass to congeal, and forcing it to find another route. Pause met its advance, this time from the front. It started to absorb her, attempting to suck the life out of her. "Art! Fire on me!" Art did what he was told, guessing what she was planning to do.
Now, much of the front end of the Prime Revenant was a solid scab, firmly attached to Pause's arms. "Nanael!" She put her full strength into her legs and arms, and began to toss the creature.
"PAUSE!" Nanael ran in as the Prime Revenant was gaining momentum. It was fortunately still distracted by trying to suck Pause dry. At the right time, Nanael arrived and cut Pause's arms off. This released the Revenant from its anchor, and it flew towards Xewleer, and the girl. "I've got you!" Nanael caught Pause as she collapsed, Pause had passed out already.
Xewleer threw the girl into the enemy at the last possible second. The girl and the Revenant screamed, until finally the girl stopped screaming, and the Prime Revenant began to writhe. It changed into a great black sphere after a few seconds, and slowly floated down. When the mass touched the ground, it became a waterfall, finally becoming a small pond of black goo. The girl was at the center, but she wasn't moving.
Art had picked up Pause and brought her before Xewleer. "She's took a beating, hasn't she?"
"Xewleer, I don't think this is something to joke about." Art wasn't amused by Xewleer's nonchalance, Pause still felt pain.
"Under a certain point of view. She'll heal up, and so on and so forth. And I've got a special gift for her. Some very valuable information." Xewleer pressed his hands on her head and concentrated.
"What, she's not the last of her kind after all?"
"Naw, she'll always be the last of her species. Sad fact, but she never really liked her species anyway. No, an old friend, probably the closest thing to a lover she has. Dear ol' Plue."
Art was surprised, Plue was a mysterious traveler and book writer, no one really knew much about him, except that he's published his adventures since before anyone's grandfather's grandfather's time. "Really? Well, if it's her kind of thing. Wait a minute! Tales of a Young World! That was Pause!?"
Xewleer smiled, and stood up straight, Pause was now fully healed in body, but she'd need to sleep for a long time before she'd be able to properly travel.
"Come on. We're getting out of here before Camean Police show up. Nanael, pick up Lyle and meet us at the Pocket Plane. Leave everything else."
Nanael nodded. She almost felt like picking the girl up, but she looked dead. No point to it, her real worry was Pause.
The Shade had kept quite still for a long time. After Xewleer and his Moderators left, he investigated the black goo that had once been the Prime Revenant. He felt very frustrated. He was supposed to have picked up his former master's body and revive him, but that was impossible. He saw the goo move and the girl sat up. She was no longer emanating her strange, soul stealing power. Well, maybe he could figure out how to reactivate it later.
"Who? You're that Shade..." She was groggy and barely alive.
"Yeah, sorry hunny, looks like I'm going to have to take over your body for a while. Don't worry, I'm not a pervert." She had already lapsed back into unconsciousness, oh well. Body stealing is easier when the target is unconscious. He figured that his best bet would be to head to the realm of the Warlord with the One Eye. People didn't ask questions there, and he could, provided he reactivated her powers, experiment on all the myriad species that had come to call the cosmopolitan country home. Also, he knew that the Warlord was an immortal, there was potential there.
Pause woke up in her room. She instantly felt Xewleer's presence. "I hate you."
"I want to die."
"But you'll miss out."
"Well..." Xewleer made a pretense of trying to remember something. "There's Plue."
"What about Plue?"
"I know where that little writer/adventurer is currently."
Pause bolted right up. "Where!?" She had a great fondness for Plue. She was recovering from a fight against fellow Immortal Kaede E. Mellow when she met Plue. She told the writer about the early world, and Plue put them into writing. She really liked that.
"Well, you want to die, why should I tell you." He was teasing her.
"I don't want to die."
"There we go! Luida's Bar, in the Domain of the Warlord with the One Eye. Better hurry!" Pause rift walked straight out, then came back.
"I FORGOT MY CLOTHES!" She kicked Xewleer out, dressed and returned to her destination.
Surry drove about, heading south. Poor guy was crying, he couldn't sense his sister any more. He couldn't even find her body, though her last traces brought him to a part in Opal. It made him sad. BUT! He remembered what his father said.
"Son, do you remember what I said yesterday?"
"Don't drink the pickle juice without first removing all the pickles?"
"Uh, no, that other thing, after the pickle incident."
"If something should happen to my sister, despite my best efforts, I'm to head to the Warlord with the One Eye."
"Because he owes me a debt for that job in Gabzedon, and he will repay it. You'll get a job of some kind."
"Why would I want to work for him?"
"I dunno, I just felt compelled to tell you that."
What do you guys think of it?
I'll show you how terrifying a true Christian can be!
Looking for a worthy opponent but the one man who can face me will not fight me anymore.