Chapter 13: Chaos
“How long have I been out for?” I asked, I had sent Tina and Lobatae off before I tried dealing with Etern and if I still had time I wanted to go after them to help Mink and Quell.
“Maybe five or ten minutes,” Responded Krien who had collapsed on the couch that was soaked with her blood. Even if her wounds couldn’t kill her, I could tell that they were taking a toll on her. It would probably be several days before she was in top form again. She healed much quicker then normal humans but it still took time for her to recover.
The large cannon light weapon she had been holding was set down at her feet. The roaring flame what had been on it had gone out. Now that I wasn’t too worried about being late to help my friends I wanted to quickly ask Krien a couple questions.“Krien, you said that you had something to say when I talked with you on the phone. There are a couple of questions I wanted you to answer too, having to do with Garian Laboratory.”
Krien nodded, “I see, so you have remembered something about Garian Laboratory. I’m not surprised, everything has been started in motion so you would have found out sooner or later.” She wiped some blood off her chest with a rag while she spoke, “I will tell you anything you want to know, I really don’t have any reason to hide it anymore. However I don’t know everything and there isn’t time to tell the whole story now.”
Krien looked apologetic, “You see, my part in everything is over. Unlike you I can’t see the Tower of Nothing even though I know it is there. When I was at Garian Laboratory it wasn’t as anyone important, I was just Bixuman Falldreck’s assistant. Only he knows the entire story. But all of that can come later, you need to go after your friends quickly. The Beast of Ruin is stirring in it’s sleep and one of it’s brood has awakened. The other, Dawn, she is already going there. You must stop her, if she comes in contact with the Beast of Ruin then it will be the first step on the road into darkness.”
“Do you mean that her Dark Fate will come about, isn’t that what Etern was trying to stop?” I didn’t know, if Dawn meeting the Beast of Chaos was her Destiny of Doom then why would Etern have attacked me.
Krien shook her head, “I don’t know. What I do know is that something terrible will start to happen if they come into contact. From Bix’s hypothesis is the start of the Imaskin Doom that he was trying to prevent but he only managed to delay it five years.” She motioned toward the door, “No go, you don’t have much time, you must find the Beast of Chaos before Dawn does.”
“But where is it?” I asked but the response from Krien was only, “You must find the Beast of Chaos by yourself, you are one of the two people who has any control over it.” Then Dawn must be the other one with control over it.
“I’m coming with you.” Said Jamel. She had also returned to her normal height, though her hair was still like crystalline ice. I nodded in agreement and the two of us left Krien’s house. Before we leave Krien agreed to manage Etern, though the look in Krien’s eyes when she said that suggested more then just watching over her. Krien would get her type of revenge on Etern after all, and all in the name of the defunct discipline called Science.
The streetlights outside of Krien’s house were working again, whatever power Etern had over them was gone now. However even with the street lit I didn’t know where to step, I had to figure out where the Beast of Chaos was and quickly. I pulled out my cellphone and tried calling Mink again. However I didn’t get any better a response then I did before. The same was true when I tried to call Quell and Tina. “Where would I be if I was a monster which was out to get me…” I asked absently as if saying the question aloud would help, you’d be surprised how well it works.
“School.” I head a Jamel’s voice from behind me say, “If I were out to get you then I would look for you at your school. It is a place you go regularly but it isn’t a safe place for you like your home would be. I would probably go the during the day because you would be more likely to be there, but that is where I would find and get you.”
I smiled at Jamel, “Thanks, I guess having a monster on my side is useful for many reasons. However I hadn’t realized that the insight into monster psychology would be one of them. It isn’t very far from here so we can get there quickly, we might even be able to find the others there.” I set off toward school with Jamel following close on my heals.
It wasn’t long before we reached the school and discovered that Jamel’s hypothesis was correct. The gates of the school had been torn into pieces. Was it the Beast of Chaos that had done that, I couldn’t imagine a human, even a Zoomorph, being able to do something to the gates like that.
However we weren’t able to enter the school and discover what had caused the destruction of the gate peacefully. Sitting on a chair where the gates of the school used to be was a man. He was an older man, maybe in his thirties, and he was wearing a dark black suit. It was impossible to discover what his features were because he wore a plain white mask over his face, though his hands, which were visible, were crisscrossed in numerous scars. Sticking out of the ground next to him was a large sword, it was overly big and seemed like it would be to heavy to actually use.
When we got closer to him he stood up and placed one hand on the sword before saying, “The Mistress wishes to be alone. I can’t let you enter this place. Should you refused to agree then I will be forced to violently eject you.” He sounded and looked like he was entire serious and he felt entirely capable to carry out his threat.
I took out my Destiny Watch out of my pocket and flipped it open. “Your one of Dawn’s hands, aren’t you. I’m afraid that I’m here to stop her from meeting with the Beast of Chaos and I can’t let you stop me. But I have no plans of fighting you either.”
I heard the clack of Jamel’s claws hitting against each other. “Do you want me to fight him Ema, I’m not afraid of his sword.”
I shook my head, “No, I want you to stay with me for when we enter. I have a different idea about how to deal with him.” I smiled a little bit and Jamel, “You remember don’t you, Dawn isn’t the only one with a swordsman who is one of their hands. I have one too.”
Jamel looked a bit confused for a second and then it finally dawned on her face. “You don’t mean him do you?” She too smiled a little bit and laughed, “You’re right. Not so long ago I was always thinking about him but now I feel like I can see him again.”
“Alright then.” I reached down to the Destiny Clock and put my hand over the Silver Hand. Arlan, Jamel’s brother. The last time I had seen him was just before we hand reentered the Old World. He had followed us through the portal, but we never saw him on the other side. I concentrated and the Destiny Clock began to glow white. I could hear the ticking of the hands, in particular I could hear the precise crisp sound of the Silver Hand of Duty. “Come Arlan, I call you.” I spoke is a soft sound like I was whispering to the clock.
There was a nearby flash of silver and like he had been waiting all of this time, Arlan arrived as if I hadn’t called him but like he was always supposed to arrive. His silver clothes fluttered in the light breeze. He looked a bit frazzled, like he had spent several nights out, though even this only showed in his hair and body language. His clothes were different then the ones he had worn in the New World even if they were the same color.
He seemed to be slightly out of breath like he had been running for a while. “Jamel, its you!” He cried and rushed at us. He grabbed Jamel’s hands and there was a glisten of tears in his eyes, “You’re all right, I’ve been so worried about you. I’m so glad that your all right.” He seemed really sincere for a person who left his sister along for a long time to find a cure for her.
“Sorry to but in on your happy reunion but that guy over there,” I pointed at the man with the big sword who was kindly waiting for us, “is threatening to hurt your precious sister.” It wasn’t really a lie because without Arlan here Jamel and I would have had to fight him and he certainly would have tried to hurt us.
Arlan however turned on me, “You! You’re the cause of all of this. Because of you me and Jamel were forced to leave our home and come to this strange place. Do you know how much I have been through here to try and find her again, I can only imagine what horrors she has been through while I wasn’t there.”
“Quit deluding yourself. She has been quiet happy since she left your.” I stressed the word, the place they had left was more Arlan’s home then Jamel’s, “home. In fact she even has a bunch of new friends here, people she never had back at your home.” I turned back to Jamel, “I guess it was a bad idea after all. It appears we will have to deal with that man ourselves.”
However I stopped when I saw a strange glint in Jamel’s eye, “Oh brother, please don’t bother Ema. She was only trying to do the best thing she thought she could for me. However this man was being mean to me, please help me brother.” It was a pleading voice that I had never heard Jamel speak in before.
Arlan rounding on the man, a look of anger in his eyes. It gave Jamel a questioning look and then barely heard her whisper to me, “Monsters have no problems manipulating people.” I smiled back at her, it truely was useful to have a monster on my side, and a lot of fun. Alran drew his sword, which was small compared to the sword the masked man used, with a flash of silver. Alran’s sword was much better maintained then the Masked Man, his was perfectly polished and gleaming even in the darkness. The masked man’s sword was chipped and stained, but it had more weight and force then Alran’s blade so it didn’t need by be as sharp.
The masked man grasped the hilt of his sword and lifted it out of the ground with one hand. “It is rude for two swordsman to cross blades without first giving their names.” The masked swordsman said, “I am Kimlar, knight of the Scion of Time. Those who cross her path will perish by my blade.” His words were eloquent if outdated. This masked knight Kimlar, in his black suit, kicked the chair he had been standing on out of the way and stood ready for Alran’s advance.
“I am Alran Fillmore.” He said as he solemnly approached Kimlar, however Jamel broke the mood when she yelled at him, “He is the Knight of the Scion of Truth.” Alran might have been surprised by being called that title but he hide it behind discipline and training. In a battle like this large reactions could be deadly and fatal.
However Kimlar noticed and looked back at me, “I see, so the knights will fight each other. Such a destiny cannot be avoided.” He looked back at Alran. “Then come and we will test our blades against each other. Only the victor will be allowed to continue their path.” With that he sung his blade and Alran. Rather the block the heavy blade, Alran slide it out of the way with his own. He wouldn’t be able to defeat Kimlar in a battle of strength but that was hardly the only factor here.
I motioned to Jamel and whispered to her over the clashing of the swords, "Let's go now, while they are both distracted. That will kill two birds with one stone." I saw Jamel nod and then the two of us began sneaking toward the gate. We crept around the side while trying to keep out of the way of the two fighting swordsmen.
Kimlar was locked in combat with Alran pushing him back, but Alran just danced back easily and moved toward the side. Arlan wasn't letting Kimlar use his strength which was a good move on his part. From watching the two of them I could tell that both were experienced fighters, much more then I was. Even when I had fought Etern, this was on an entirely different level. I wondered how both of them had managed to get the experience fighting like they had now.
We edged through the gate and managed to escape notice from both of them. They were probably so intent on fighting each other that no only did they no see us it probably would have been fatal for either for them to do anything about it if they did. I moved farther toward the school and when we got out of sight of the two of them we both got to breath a sigh of relief. However I still didn't see anyone around, and though I knew Dawn was here about of Kimlar, I didn't know where she would be "How about we go up to the room?" I asked Jamel, "That way we will be able to see them where ever they are and if we are lucky that will be where they actually are.
The two of us then entered the school. However the doors were locked, which we should have expected, but I managed to get around that by pressing the Destiny Clock up against the door and willing it open. There was a short glow and then the door was open and we were inside the school. It was then easy to make our way up the stairs and onto the roof, though I had to open another door onto the roof in the same way. Students aren't normally allowed onto the roof that that door was locked too.
We moved onto the roof and looked around. I didn't initially see anyone up there so I was able to move safely over to the side and look off into the grounds. I could see Kimlar and Alran still fighting over next to the gate but I did see anyone else. I know I already asked the question before but this time I was asking Jamel because of of her useful advice last time, "Jamel, where would a monster be waiting for me in my school if it wanted to stop me."
There was a second as Jamel thought about the answer but eventually she said, "Well, wouldn't your classroom be the best bet. If there is anyplace in there school that you would eventually be it would be your classroom. If it isn't there then maybe the lunchroom would be a good second bet. At least there you would be able to find snacks to keep yourself busy while you waited." I nodded at the advice. It was better then I had thought of, though the lunch room suggestion might just mean that Jamel was feeling a little snackish. Not that that was a bad thing, given everything that had already happened and would probably happen tonight grabbing a bite to eat might not be a bad idea.
However we didn't have time for that so the two of us headed off toward my classroom.It wasn't very far from the stairs so me snuck quietly toward it to hopefully arrive unnoticed. My plan was disrupted when there was a loud crash from the classroom, it was an enormous rending sound like brick and mortar being broken apart. Then there was that sound again. That loud piercing sound that had woken up up earlier that night. It might be the sound of the Beast of Chaos or one of its spawn. Without wasting a moment I burst into my class room to find out what had just happened.
There was a gapping whole in the wall, like the classroom had been split from end to end. Through the wall was an enormous black form. It looked like a large dog, but no dog had teeth like that or was that size. It had thick matted fur and I wasn't sure if it was flesh and blood or pure darkness like Etern had been. However standing there in front of the enormous animal was the, relatively, small form of Dawn. She was wearing much different clothes then I had seen her in the meadow. While perviously she had looked casual, this time she was wearing formal attire, for some reason.
It took me a second standing agape at the doorway looking in at them to finally realize everything. Dawn was standing there with her hand outstretched, like she was about to pet the enormous beast on the nose. She turned as she heard the door I slammed open. She was looking back at me with a dark smile on her face, it was like nothing I had seen her wear in the Meadow. In the meadow she had seemed resigned but now she looked enraptured, like that is the best thing that could be happening to her. The smile on her face looked so dark and so foreboding that I didn't know what to do.
"You're too late Ema, you can't stop me now." Said Dawn, she had acted teasing to me in the meadow but now she was deadly serious. Her entire feeling was completely different, perviously it had been like the big sister that I had never had. Now it felt more like something much much worse, like an unstoppable evil. Even though she said I couldn't stop her I still tried. I rushed toward her and the beast, which much have been the Beast of Chaos. However I was too slow and just as I was about to reach them Dawn placed her hand on the Beast's snout.
There was a blast of wind and the lights in the room cracked and shattered. I fell back from the force and I could hear Jamel fall back as well. When I looked back at Dawn and the Beast of Chaos, one of them was gone. Only Dawn stood there, however she was glowing, but it wasn't the soft light glow of the power of the Destiny Watch. It was a red sickening glow. Dawn turned around slowly, meniously, and looked streight into my eyes. Her eyes which were once a conforting ___ were now a deep dark crimson. She reached out her hand toward me and spoke.
"You see, it is too late.” As she spoke the walls around her began crumbling falling into bits like they were quickly being eroded. Even the ground beneath her was breaking apart. There seemed to be a miasma surrounding her which ate at everything nearby. I scooted back away from it, though I still didn’t know exactly what had happened to dawn I know that it was very bad and that I had failed at stopping what I was here to stop.
However I wasn’t fast enough. Dawn seemed to move at lighting speed in a way that looked like she was moving completely normally. The ground around me cracked and began breaking apart as Dawn leaned over me and grabbed my chin with her hand. “You see, I will never let you open the Tower of Nothing. It is something I absolutely can’t allow.” She lifted up her head while still holding onto my chin and laughed. It was the loud piercing laugh that I attributed to the Beast of Chaos. “Even if it means following the will of the Beast of Chaos, you will never open the Tower.”
From next to me I hear the cracking of flooring, “LET GO OF HER.” Came the chilly voice of Jamel. Her claws whipped out at Dawn but only caught air. Dawn had released me and moved back with that same graceful speed which boggled the mind. Jamel was growing before my eyes, her already icy hair now completely frozen. However she wasn’t able to do anything. Dawn simply lifted her hand and pointed it toward Jamel and Jamel was flung against the wall by a black and crimson wave of energy. The wall cracked against the pressure and when the energy faded Jamel collapsed to the ground, apparently unconscious.
I barely had time to scream out to Jamel before Dawn had turned her attention back to me. Looking at her now, I didn’t know what type of person she really was, was she the older sister type who I had met in the meadow or was this who she truly was. Did the beast of ruin do this too her and if so why had she seemed to have so willingly accepted it. She had said that we would be opposing each other the next time we had met but I never thought it would be like this.
Dawn lifted me up by my collar with one hand and stared at me with her now crimson eyes. I felt betrayed, both by Dawn and myself. I had always been a good judge of character, being able to tell who people really were despite what they pretended it me. That had served me well with Jamel and many others but it failed completely when turned on Dawn. Both aspects of her that I had seen seemed real. Even before she touched the beast of Chaos she had felt much different then she had been in the meadow. Had she been lying to me since I had meet her, or had something changed to make her a different person. I didn’t know, and now as I stared into her Crimson eyes I didn’t know if I would ever find out.
Dawn placed a hand over my heart and leaned over to whisper in my ear, “Goodbye Ema.” Then her hand began glowing a dark red.
‘Do you want to live?’ Everything seemed stained dark red. I couldn’t see anything other red. ‘Do you want to live?’ I heard repeated. It was a soft voice, though I couldn’t make out who was saying it. I felt like I was falling. ‘Do you want to live?’ The voice repeated for a third time.
“Who are you?” I barely managed to whisper. I think I hit the ground, but I could barely feel anything. Was I dying and this was just some pointless hallucination of mine, wasn’t my life supposed to flash before my eyes.
‘The Second of One am I, Creation and Destruction. Destined One, I have watched you long. Do you want to live?’ The question came the fourth time. I was feeling cold, far colder then I had felt before.
“Yes.” Was the only thing I could whisper. I don’t even no if the sound managed to actually escape my lips. However the red began to clear from my vision and I was beginning to be able to see again. I could see Dawn standing above me laughing, though I couldn’t hear her, but beyond her, beyond the gapping hole in the wall I saw something large. What did it look like, it wasn’t human but seemed like everything else that I could imagine, but the eyes were something that struck me. They were deep and dark, yet sparkling. It looked like I was staring into the universe and it was staring back.
‘Destined One, I will lend you my power. When all is over, seek me out. I will be waiting for you.’ With that it turned and was gone, maybe bounding away. I could now feel my surroundings again, but the whole world felt different. I staggered to my feet and my whole body felt lighter then again.
Dawn stopped her cold laughing as I stood up, however a wide grin had spread across her face. “You’re still alive Ema. I’m so glad, I know that you wouldn’t disappoint me Ema.” She reached out, her movements still almost lighting fast. However this time I managed to react, stepping quickly out of her reach. I felt faster then I have been before, was it the because of that universe-eye creature.
Dawn lifted up her head and laughed again, “Good, good, Ema, you are reborn again, like me.” She stepped backword and stopped in front of the hole in the wall. She spun in a small circle, “Come Ema join me as we dance at the end of the world.” She face was covered with a mad grin, like nothing else in the world mattered to her. She lifted a watch out of her pocket and opened it. After a second she clicked it closed again, “Soon Ema Soon. When the end comes, join me at the Tower of Nothing.”
With that see stepped backward out of the room. The room was on the second floor so she fell but when I rushed to the window I saw her below on the ground in the arms of the swordsman who have been fighting with Alran. The man’s sword was stained with blood. Dawn waved at me, “Goodbye for now Ema, we will see each other again soon enough.” With that there was a red glow that surrounded them and then they were gone.
It was over… for now. Dawn was gone, though I knew I would see her again. Jamel and Arlen were hurt but neither had fatal injures. I later found Tina and Mink who had met with resistance from the other of Dawn’s hands. However Quell was nowhere to be found. I didn’t know what Dawn or her servents had done to him but he was gone just as much as Dawn was.
Whatever power that universe eyed creature had given me was gone, at least for now. I had only its words to go by to find it again. However I had a sinking feeling that everything that happened wasn’t the end, but the beginning and I didn’t want to know where it ended.