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Evil Eye (Loony's Swan Song Fiction)

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imaloony8.0 Posted: 18:15 Jun08 2015 Post ID: 3380726
imaloony8.0
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Part 13: Adriana


Adriana came to a moment later, lying down. She sat up, looking for Naomi, but she was nowhere to be found. Bayle, Striker, Teya, and the others were gone as well. She was inside a house now. She was...
"Home..." Adriana gasped. She was lying on a couch in her old living room.
From the hallway, she could hear soft signing. Adriana could feel her heart skip a beat as she sat up. She exited the living room and walked down the hallway where she could see the door to her old bedroom was open a crack. She peered in just as the singing stopped. Adriana could see a familiar shape siting above her bed, and another lying in the bed.
"Mom...?" Adriana whispered.
Cassandra leaned down and kissed the young Adriana on the forehead before standing and moving towards the door. Early into her thirties, Cassandra was seen by some as rough around the edges. She was often covered in cuts and grime from her work, her arms were strong and covered in scars, but she had a rare beauty with her flowing brown hair and a gentle face.
Adriana was too stunned to react, and was still in plain sight as Cassandra exited the room.
"Mom! I... you..."
Cassandra didn't seem to react. She closed the door with her usual tenderness, not making a single sound. She turned and walked straight through Adriana on her way to the front door.
Adriana jumped and began patting herself down to make sure she was still solid. "Am... am I dead?" Adriana whispered. Not surprisingly, she didn't get an answer. She felt goosebumps on her arm, shaking the shivers for long enough to follow Cassandra as she exited the house.
The house was also her shop and smith, and was located approximately in the middle of nowhere. Cassandra always claimed that the lack of the hustle and bustle of the city helped her focus on her work, and it was such high quality that most were willing to make the trip this far for it anyways.
Cassandra glanced to the left and cleared her throat. Nothing happened. She sighed. "She's asleep. You can come out now."
There was a pause, and then someone stepped out of the shadows. Whoever it was, he looked like hell. All of his clothes were battered from his ratty hat to his faded duster and his worn boots. A long scar ran across the side of his head, giving him the rough appearance of a bounty hunter or some sort of criminal.
"How did you know I was here?" The man asked, somewhat surprised.
Cassandra gave a small smile. "You never were as subtle as you thought you were, Roy."
"Roy!?" Adriana cried. As Roy approached, she could see his cloak move enough to reveal his mechanical arm, but his face, haggard as it was, seemed foreign to her. "Why can't I remember this face? When I try to recall what he looked like, it was always so... happy." Adriana thought.
Roy stopped in front of Cassandra. "It... it's been a while."
"Almost five years," Cassandra said. Only a moment ago, she had seemed completely exhausted, but now, she seemed... happy. Energized, even.
"Wait," Adriana said. "Five years? What do you mean by that?" Neither saw fit to answer. "That means... this was right before you died, mom! But that's..."
Roy embraced Cassandra. "I've missed you so much. Every moment away... I'm sorry."
"You said sorry enough for a whole lifetime when you left," Cassandra said with a laugh. She shifted a little in his grip. "Your hug is a little weak."
Roy seemed taken aback. "I'm sorry, I just..."
Cassandra laughed again. "It's the arm. It's amazing it's held up this long without my maintenance. Come inside, I'll have you fixed up in a minute."
Roy paused. "I really shouldn't... I mean, it's not that I don't want to, I just..."
Cassandra pulled Roy close and kissed him. The two stayed locked like this for at least a minute. When Cassandra finally pulled away, she smiled. "You see, now you've paid. I can't let you leave without doing the job now."
Roy smiled. "You never change, Cass."
Adriana watched the two walk inside in silence. Soon, she was alone. Shaking herself out of her stupor, she made her way to the workshop, where Cassandra was already popping the access panel of the arm open. She poked around inside with a screwdriver for a minute, scowling. "Honestly Roy, you're lucky you have me, I hope you know."
"Don't I ever," Roy smiled.
There was a pause as Cassandra dug through her desk for some tools. "Adriana would love to see you. I know she would."
Adriana froze.
Roy looked downtrodden. "Would she? Her deadbeat father?"
"Good point," Adriana growled, plopping down on a stool on the other side of Roy.
Cassandra hit Roy on the head with a wrench, making him and Adriana jump.
"Yeow! What was that for?" Roy yelped, rubbing the lump on his head with his free hand
"Don't say that about yourself. Never say that again."
"Right. I'm sorry," Roy sighed. "It'd better if I didn't see her. I'm leaving shortly... it would just hurt her more to see me leave again, this time for good."
Cassandra stopped digging through her drawer and looked up at Roy. "For good? You're not..."
"I don't think I'll be walking away from this one, Cass," Roy said. "You remember what I told you before I left the first time? I only survived last time because Teya begged for my life. This time it'll be much more dangerous. I'm a wanted man there and I won't get off with a slap on the wrist this time. More importantly... well, I have a feeling it's going to get hot, and I have a duty to see it through to the end. I fear I won't be able to make it that far with my life..."
"But if you do... you'll come home, won't you? We can live together again like a family..."
"Cass, you know just as well as I do that I can't do that. The assassins... they're still out there."
"Yeah," Adriana spat. "Didn't you know, mom? This jackass has to kill the woman who saved his life so he can save his own skin. Then he inevitably chickened out on that and kept running. Can't let himself get caught, can he?"
"They're still out there?" Cassandra whispered.
Roy sighed and drew a piece of paper out of his duster. "Wanted Dead: Princess Teya Lovette," Roy read before pausing to flip the flyer over. "Roy, it appears that our initial threat wasn't sufficient motivation. Jack is dead, I'm sure you know. We are not patient men. We've enlisted the assassin's guild this time. If you fail us again, they will be coming for you and any other family you have left. Do not disappoint us."
Adriana stood up. "What the hell? Mom, you never said anything... anything about..."
Cassandra gripped his metal hand. "I hope you're not..."
"...I don't know. But what I do know is that I can't stay here much longer. The longer I stay, the more danger you two are in."
"You can't kill that girl, Roy. We talked about this last time, and my answer has not changed: I forbid it!"
"Cass... you always were so stubborn."
"Promise me. Promise me you'll protect that girl as viciously as you protected Adriana and I."
Roy smiled. "How can I say no to that face?"
"Good. Now hold still and bite down on something because this is going to hurt." Cassandra jammed a screwdriver into Roy's arm and began to viciously tighten something, causing Roy to tense up and bite his sleeve, a muffled scream escaping his mouth.
Adriana stared at the two blankly, trying to process everything that had just happened. Before she knew it, however, the two were gone again. Adriana quickly ran out of the room, finding the two in Adriana's room. Roy was kneeling down next to the bed, leaning over Adriana's head with tears in his eyes. "Please be strong. Be as strong as your mother. I love you Adriana. I love you more than anything." He kissed her on the forehead gently.
Adriana touched her own forehead. "Roy..." Before she knew it, she was alone again. She ran from the room, this time finding the two outside of the house again.
"Be sure to oil the arm regularly. And for the love of god, be careful with your grip with that hand cannon of yours. My metal is sturdy, but if you keep firing it from that stupid grip of yours, it'll break, you got it? If what you said is true and this is the last time..." She caught herself, her voice finally cracking. Tears filled her eyes, and a soft sobbing echoed off of the house. "Oh, Roy, I feel my heart breaking. I don't think I'll be able to survive without you."
Roy embraced her once more. "You have to survive. For Adriana's sake."
"Oh please, don't leave again. I don't care if I die, I'd rather die in your arms than live another second away from you."
"Please Cass... I couldn't bear to watch either of you die. Not because of me. I already have to live with my father and brother's deaths on my shoulders..."
Roy held her a moment longer, Cassandra's sobbing filling the silence of the night.
"I didn't just come here for a repair, Cassandra. I had to ask you something." Cassandra pulled away from Roy enough to look up at him as he pulled something out of his pocket. "I always like to play the tough guy. I've face down demons, dark gods, assassins, and more drunks than I care to admit, but my greatest fear was always asking you this." Roy opened his hand, revealing a gold ring. "Will you be my wife?"
Cassandra threw her arms around Roy again, still crying, but this time tears of joy. Adriana could barely make out her "Yes" among her sobs. She kissed Roy over and over. She cried and held him close until she finally cried herself to sleep.
Roy slid the ring on her finger and carried her back into the house, leaving her sleeping on the couch. He walked out of the house, making sure to close the door behind him. Adriana followed him as he walked away. For what seemed like an hour she followed him in silence. Finally, he spoke. "You know, I never intended for you to see that."
Adriana jumped, looking around for who he might be talking to. When she turned back, Roy had turned around and was looking right at her.
"You... can see me?"
"Of course I can. This is my memory after all."
"Oh... right. Sorry about all that stuff I said at the house before, I thought you couldn't..." Adriana twisted the toe of her boot into the ground slowly in silence. "You... you never told me that the assassins were coming for us too."
"Would you have believed me?"
"Probably not. Mom never said anything about it either."
"I didn't want her to make any excuses for me. More importantly, I didn't want you trying to play the hero and getting yourself killed."
"I see." There was another pause. "Mom told me that ring was from some dumb client who couldn't pay for the work she did."
"She wasn't wrong, really."
"It... it was a nice gesture to give mom that last good memory of you. Proposing, I mean."
"It was a long time coming. Like I said, I'm a coward in that kind of way."
"You know, it still makes me a *******."
Roy sighed. "Yes, I know."
"I mean, I was born before you proposed. On top of that, the two of you still technically never got married..."
"Adriana."
"Sorry." Adriana wrapped her arms around herself. "I... I was serious when I said that I had some good memories of you. Do you remember when we went out in the forest and you made that little bow for me?"
Roy smiled. "I thought it was pretty good, too. You shot at all the targets I set up... until it broke."
"I was covered in splinters!" Adriana laughed. "Mom had a fit. I was so scared that she was going to kill you!"
"You were scared? I kept some of those bruises until I... until I..." Roy caught himself.
"I owe you an apology. Several, actually," Adriana said. "I was so damned bull-headed that I never bothered to think about the possibility that you were trying to protect us. Eva had faith in you. When she told me that I knew better than anyone why you left, I assume she meant that you had some business to finish with Naomi and Vladimar... but that wasn't it. She knew you did it to protect us. I'm such a fool. Can you ever forgive...?"
Adriana felt Roy wrap his arms around her. "Always," he whispered.
Adriana laughed lightly. "I'm so stupid..." she whispered, letting her head fall into Roy's chest.
"Hey, Adriana," Roy said.
"Hmm?"
"Knife."
"Knife?"
"Knife!"
Adriana's eyes snapped open. Above her, she saw Naomi holding her knife in both hands, ready to bring it down...
Adriana's arm sprang to life before she could even think to defend herself, catching the knife just before it struck.
"Don't you dare touch my daughter you hag," Adriana heard Roy's voice echo in her head.
"But... but you..." Naomi started.
Adriana threw Naomi to the side as if she weighed no more than a rag doll, and jumped to her feet to survey the scene. Teya was on her hands a knees, panting from the stress of having so many of her spells broken, Johan laid against a cracked wall, moaning quietly, and Adriana couldn't see Striker at all. Leon was still taking shots at Bayle, but his mask was cracked and he seemed to be bleeding from one of his arms.
"Hey Bayle! I'm not through with you!" Adriana cried. Both of her submachine guns were still in hand, and she took a moment to reload them.
Bayle swatted away another of Leon's shots before turning at Adriana, scowling.
"Alright Roy, time for some family counseling, starting with a trust exercise. There isn't time for me to explain how to use my body, so you and I will have to sync up. I'm going to trust you to follow all my telegraphed movements without question..."
"...and I'll trust that you know what you're doing, even if it seems like you're about to do something incredibly stupid,"
Roy replied.
"That's the idea. You've got the wheel; try not to scuff the paint."
Adriana dashed at Bayle, guns raised.
Bayle sighed. "I've had enough of this; we've been through this one before. Adriana, drop your guns!"
Adriana responded with a rain of bullets that sent Bayle reeling back.
"You little whelp... so Roy is controlling your body now. Then it should be no difficulty to defeat you!" Bayle reached out to grab Adriana, but before he could touch her, she seemed to disappear. With his powerful eyes, however, he saw exactly where she went. He looked up at Adriana, now a hundred feet above him and braced for an attack.
"Hah!" Adriana thought. "This god power is great! I don't even need to remove my rig to jump this high anymore!"
"Quite a technique," Roy observed.
"Yeah, it's a technique I developed while I was busy ignoring all the Powder Fist teachings. I'd like to think I did them one better though, and I call it..."
"The Spricket Waltz!" Adriana let loose a rain of gunfire from her elevated position, forcing Bayle to focus blocking above him. Adriana landed and dashed at Bayle while he was off balance. She jammed the sharp ends of the magazines into his back and hit the release at the same moment to free her weapons, leaving the magazines embedded in Bayle's back. She jumped away just before Bayle moved to counterattack, returning the guns to their holsters. Now, she drew the Piston Pistols.
Bayle seemed like he was hampered with the magazines sticking out of his back, but knew that attempting to remove them would leave him wide open. He set his stance again, his eyes observing Adriana closely. "Clever. We'll have to crush his confidence and this Avatar of his before it can recover." Adriana dashed at Bayle, firing two shots low at his legs, causing them to buckle slightly. The hammers of the pistols snapped forward, leaving the guns unarmed for the moment. As she neared, Bayle lashed out at Adriana. She was too quick, however, and jumped over his arms, spinning her guns to catch his shoulder with the hooked hammers. Bayle roared in pain as the hooks dug deep into the muscle. Adriana heard two clicking sounds as the new hammers of her guns were pulled back, loading the next rounds. Adriana kicked off of Bayle's back, landing behind him and leaping over him once more. Before he was able to recover, Adriana shot downward, hitting him in the top of the head with both rounds. Bayle fell to his knees for a moment, breathing heavily before slowly getting back to his feet.
"Careful Adriana, if he gets a hold of you, it's over," Roy warned her.
"Try not to think on ifs. Now let's hit him a little harder, shall we?" Adriana holstered the pistols and pulled her bolt-action rifle from her shoulder. The lever on the bolt had been modified to be about six inches long, and stuck straight out from the side of the gun. Adriana took a moment to make sure the weapon was loaded before dashing at Bayle. This time, Bayle took the offensive and jumped forward to meet Adriana's charge with a wicked hook, catching her on the jaw.
Adriana found herself spiraling backwards from the air, seeing star for a moment before regaining her orientation as Bayle bore down on her. She angled the rifle and fired, striking Bayle in the stomach. Bayle recoiled with a grunt, leaving him wide open as Adriana connected with a strike from the rifle's barrel. She spun it by its extended bolt, working up momentum while working the bolt to load the next round. The attacks came in rapid succession, seamlessly switching between hitting with the rifle and firing. After two full loads, she slung the rifle and drew her shotgun. This weapon lacked the evasiveness of the pistons, the trickery of the submachine guns, the grace and momentum of the rifle, but it made up for it with raw power and savagery. Alternating between point-blank shots and slamming Bayle with the butt of the weapon to load a new shell, Bayle was reduced to a full defensive stance to try and hold the assault off. The Spricket jumps had become smaller hops to get behind Bayle's guard and shoot where he was most vulnerable. Once the gun was finally dry, Adriana jumped back to assess the damage.
Bayle's eyes bore deep into Adriana's as his wounds slowly closed. "Are you quite done child?" He was on the ropes, but he had a healing factor even greater than what he had given to Adriana, and it was impossible to land a decisive blow that wouldn't immediately heal up.
"This is pointless," Adriana scowled. "I'm just wasting ammo this way. Once I switched to the shotgun, he stopped even seeming interested in attacking."
"He's waiting,"
Roy replied. "But for what?"
"Well, let's not find out. I still haven't used the last pieces of my arsenal... but I'm not sure if it'll be enough. I'll need to hit him when he's at his lowest, but he heals too quickly for that. By the time I've switched weapons, he's already mostly healed again."
"Well then... how about we try something stupid and reckless?"
"Now you're speaking my language. What did you have in mind?"
Adriana asked, smiling. Bayle shrugged his shoulders slightly and the sharpened magazines slid out, falling to the ground with a clatter.
"This." It took only a moment for Roy to share his plan with Adriana.
"That is the single dumbest attack I've ever seen. It would require an absurd amount of practice even for someone operating at the eye's full power, not just this choked version that Bayle imposed on me."
"Indeed. It should be child's play for the two greatest gunslingers in history to pull off, though."
"Took the words right out of my head. Well, no time like the present."

Bayle held his guard up still, watching Adriana closely. He seemed completely unwilling to make the first move.
Adriana took a moment to set her stance. "Hey Teya!" She yelled.
Teya had recovered enough to reply at this point. "Yeah?" She panted, sitting up.
"You have to be ready to cast some spell to banish this guy once I've hit him, you got it? You have to be quick; only hit him once he's too injured to disrupt your spell."
"R-right..." Teya gasped. She seemed uncertain, but drew her spellbook from her robe and opened it to a select page. "Ready!"
"You know," Bayle mused, "discussing your strategy in front of the opponent isn't the wisest of decisions."
Adriana smirked. "Only if they're actually capable of doing anything about it. Luckily, you don't fit the bill." Adriana sprinted directly at Bayle, hands empty.
"A foolish move born of desperation," Bayle remarked.
"Maybe, but at least it'll look really cool!" Right before impacting, Adriana dropped into a slide, skidding to a halt directly at Bayle's feet. Before he could react, Adriana pulled herself into a ball and rolled back so she was balanced on her hands before fully extending her body, connecting both feet with a jaw shattering kick that sent Bayle twenty feet into the air. Adriana wasted no time and began jumping in rapid succession across the square, bouncing off buildings faster than a human eye could accurately follow. One of her submachine guns seemed to come loose at some point as she jumped, seemingly hovering in the air for a moment before it began to fall. And then her shotgun appeared in another spot. Soon, a small sphere of Adriana's guns were floating around Bayle. "Powder Spricket Secret Technique: Web of Lead!" All at once, the guns seemed to open fire on their own from all directions. The bullets kept Bayle pinned in the air as they impacted, eat one tearing up his Avatar. Adriana's timing had to be perfect, as she not only jumped from gun to gun to keep them from falling, but firing and reloading them accurately.
"The strain is too great..." Adriana groaned, "Even with The Eye, I can't keep up this speed for much longer..."
"Ten seconds. That's all we need,"
Roy replied.
Adriana was moving faster than she ever thought possible, and could even feel a finger and a few toes break from the strain. She almost outsped the gun's mechanisms as she continued unloading on Bayle. A rain of spent casings, shells, and empty magazines seemed to rain from the heavens, but not a single stray bullet left, each shot hitting home with pinpoint accuracy. Finally, all the guns dropped to the ground along with Bayle. He lay on the ground, not moving or making a sound. His form seemed disfigured and bloody, barely resembling the humanoid shape he once had.
Adriana hung in the air fifty feet up, holding the large tubed weapon that she hadn't previously used. "Grand Finale!" She cried as the explosive round left the launcher with a dull thump. It impacted on the center of what remained of Bayle, exploding with a bright flash and a splash of red.
Teya looked on with awe. "You did it! That..."
Adriana landed ten feet back from the impact, breathing heavily. "What are you doing!? This isn't over! Cast the spell Teya! Now!"
Teya seemed startled. "Right, sorry!" She closed her eyes and held her hands over her book and began to chant. "In brightest day, in brightest night, let my love shine the brightest light! When evil comes, I will join the fight, the power of Jovalin is the strongest might!" A white circle appeared around the smoldering crater where Adriana's final attack had impacted. Slowly, lines extended from the interior of the circle to form a complex seal. It took nearly a minute before it finally began glowing even brighter, shooting a beacon into the sky. The seal began to fade, being peeled away into the heavens and out of existence.
Adriana let out a laugh from her prone position, able to forget her pain for a moment. "Oh damn... that was... hah! I was afraid for a second that it..."
"...does not work! As judge of all realms, I find Queen Teya Lovette guilty of conspiring with a criminal and hereby strip her of her title and connection to Jovalin, God of Light!" Bayle's voice seemed to ring in Adriana's ears for several moments, powerful weight behind his words. The light that seemed to be climbing to the heavens suddenly stopped before seemingly moving in reverse, crashing back to the ground with a blinding explosion. The light quickly faded, revealing Bayle. Apart from an enraged expression, he seemed unhurt. In his hand, he held an enormous Warhammer. It seemed to be made from a dark, heavy, polished wood and was wrapped in several bands of gold and silver. It took Adriana a few seconds to place where she had seen a similar hammer before she realized it was a bigger version of Bayle's gavel that he had used earlier. Looking at his belt, she noticed the smaller hammer was gone.
Teya's eyes widened as she quickly chanted the spell again, but to no avail. She screamed out several other shorter spells in desperation, terror filling her voice. The true realization of what happened seemed to strike her at last. "What... what have you done? I can't feel Jovalin anymore!"
Bayle ignored Teya's cries. "The others will be angry that I had to use Due Process's true form. When I use it like this, it tends to cause me to act more recklessly... and can have long-reaching consequences. However, I am tired of this fight and will end your resistance now. Be glad that I will allow you to die without the influence of that maniac in your mind, Miss Lovette."
Teya stared down at her book, utterly speechless. "Jovalin... please..."
Bayle turned to Adriana now, who still hadn't recovered entirely from her last attack. She growled, picking herself up. "What are you looking at so confidently? I've been kicking your *** before, and that won't change now. So come on, you dusty old librarian!" She picked up her discarded submachine guns and aimed them at Bayle.
"You won't be kicking anything with those useless toys," Bayle declared, pointing at Adriana with the hammer. She could see a golden band on the hammer shine slightly.
Adriana pulled the triggers. The guns clicked several times before sending out a stream of bubbles, harmlessly popping in the air. Adriana's eyes went wide. "What in the hell? How..."
Adriana nearly blacked as she felt her head slam into something solid. Bayle had dashed forward and slammed her against a building, pinning her against it by her neck with Due Process.
"Enough talking. I have been patient enough and wasted enough time, so now I will rip off your limbs and drag you along with me so that I can do my job. Just know that you forced me to do this." Bayle grabbed Adriana's left arm and began pulling it forcefully.
Adriana screamed out as she felt her bones and muscle begin to strain against Bayle's strength. She swung a few punches at Bayle's stomach, but he didn't seem to notice.
"What's going on? I feel so weak now..." Adriana thought.
"It's The Eye, Bayle's failsafe to keep you alive kicked in. The strain from the last attack sent it into a recovery state. You won't have your godlike power back for some time... Damn, that's what he was waiting for!"
"He was never in any danger of losing... not so long as he had that hammer. He can make up any law he wants on the fly. Seems reluctant to do it, though... maybe we can use th- AUGH!"
"We won't be able to use anything without any limbs. I don't suppose you have an ace up your sleeve?"
"Of sorts... but it's a delay tactic at best. Unless we have a follow-up, it's all for nothing. Wait..."

"Leon!" Adriana yelled. "Signal the Divine Intervention!"
"The what?" Roy asked, confused.
A strained response came a few moments later. "I don't even know if it's in position!"
"Do it!" Adriana reached behind her back with her free arm and drew her smallest gun, a tiny tubed handheld device and shoved it in Bayle's face.
"You don't actually think a weapon that small will hurt me, do you? I've already read up on all your guns, and no pistol that small could hurt me."
Adriana gave him a pained smile as she felt Bayle pull her shoulder out of its socket. "Good thing this isn't a pistol then." Before Bayle could react, Adriana pulled the trigger, and a burning red shot fired out of the gun, catching Bayle in his left eye where it stuck. Bayle roared in agony, releasing Adriana as he reached up and ripped the flare off of his face.
"You... whelp! Enough games! I'll-" Bayle was cut off as something struck him from the side, sending him crashing through the wall of a nearby house and out the back wall where he crashed into another house. A second later, an earthshattering boom swept through the village, sending a shockwave through that knocked the wind out of Adriana and pushed her back to the ground.
"Ugh. Am I still alive?" Adriana thought, trying to clear her head.
"For now."
"Good enough."
"So, what in the hell was that?"
"Grandma."
"Jennifer? She's here?"
"Not really. She's in a big tree. We can talk about it later."

Leon appeared, standing over Adriana. He had removed his mask at this point, or it had broken off entirely. He looked concerned. "You okay?"
"No. Help me up."
Leon grabbed Adriana's good arm and pulled her up.
"So... that was the it?" Adriana groaned.
"Yeah... I've only seen her fire it a few times, to be honest. It attracts way too much attention, but it does make the village think our home is haunted... so that's a bonus. Her normal rifle usually does the job though."
Adriana looked down at her left arm, which hung uselessly at her side. "Do me a favor and pop that back into place, would you?"
Leon nodded, grabbing the arm. "This is going to hurt."
"No, really? Look, just do-" Another retort from the Divine Intervention drowned out Adriana's scream as Leon jerked her arm back into its socket.
"Another shot? Already? There's no way he could pull himself together that quickly..." Leon sounded uneasy. "That gun only holds five shots and Master can't reload it without me. Once she's out of ammo, we're done."
Adriana fell to her knees, holding her shoulder and breathing heavily. "You know... he has a point. I was honestly hoping that gun would be enough to destroy him. Guess that was overly optimistic... heh."
"We don't have much time,"
Roy reminded her. "We need a plan. Now."
"Plan? That
was the plan. Now we have time to hold each other and sob silently before Bayle kills us all, rips my arms and legs off, banishes you to hell, and takes me to go summon his god buddies to wipe out humanity. Can't call it a victory, but we did pretty well, all things considered."
"No! Come on Adriana, there has to be something else! Another plan!"
"I could always try shooting myself again."
"That's delaying the problem! If Bayle found one loophole to get into this world, I'll bet he has more. More importantly, I'll bet that those gods will eventually be able to return to check on their experiments. We have to beat Bayle now. It might be our only chance to stop this before it happens."
"How? Beating this avatar of his won't kill him!"
"The hammer. If we can get that... we might have a chance. It can warp reality, meaning we can use it to lock them out."
"Fat chance of that! Everyone is exhausted, we're out of steam, and he's incapable of running dry! The only choice is that I kill myself and buy this world a little more time to prepare. That is unless we want to go back to my last plan and you want to try abandoning him. Maybe the crushing depression will make him go home."
Another shot rang out. Based on the sound of shattering wood, it sounded like that shot drove Bayle into someone's basement.
"This is serious, Adriana! We can't just... we can't..." Roy was silent, as though something struck him. "Say that again."
"What, shooting myself?"
"No, the other thing."
"We should... abandon him?"
"That's it. Holy hell, that's it. Adriana, get to Teya!"
"Aren't you going to tell me what you're on about?"
"Once we make it to Teya!"

Adriana felt Roy take control as he ran over to where Teya was. She lay huddled next to a building, clutching her spellbook.
"Teya, get up!" Roy was speaking through Adriana. "It's Roy! Get up!"
Teya slowly sat up, her expression downtrodden. "What is it? You should go find wherever Striker was flung to, he'll be of more help than I am. Without my spells, I'm just..."
Reaching down to touch Teya's shoulder, Roy spoke again. "Right now I don't need a spellcaster. I need my friend. You're the only one who can do this, Teya. Please, help Adriana."
Teya looked up. "I couldn't save you Roy," she whispered. "I couldn't save you with all the magic I had at my disposal, so what could I possibly do now?"
"One thing." Roy's request was mostly drowned out by the sound of Jennifer's fourth shot echoing through the village, but Teya seemed to get the idea.
"What? I... don't understand. Why would you-"
"Can you do it? Without your magic?"
Teya furrowed her brow. "Yes. I don't exactly have all the supplies I'd normally want, but I can improvise without too much trouble. But what will this accomplish?"
"I'm with Teya on this one. What are you thinking?" Adriana asked.
"There isn't time to explain," Roy said. "Please Teya, just make it happen. I'm giving control back to Adriana now."
Teya nodded. "I'll do my best."
"Roy! Answer me! What are you trying with this?" It only took a moment for Roy to share his thoughts with Adriana. "Will... will that work?"
"Honestly, I have no idea. Nothing like this has ever really happened, so it's a shot in the dark. But it's our only hope. Still, it's ultimately your decision. Will you trust me on this?"

Adriana clenched her fist and knelt down next to Teya. "Lay it on me. How do we do this?"
Teya crossed her legs. "First, breathe deeply, and clear your mind."

« Last edited by imaloony8.0 on Aug 28th 2016 »

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imaloony8.0 Posted: 16:18 Jun09 2015 Post ID: 3380833
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Part 14: The Last Hope


Where am I? I feel so cold... the last thing I remember... daddy? Daddy, don't go... please, I need you...
I heard an explosion in the distance and opened my eyes in time to see a man pull himself out of the ruins of a house, dragging a wooden Warhammer behind him. "Enough! I will not be humiliated any further! I will end this now!" he bellowed, slamming his hammer into the ground.
I tried to clear my mind, but I couldn't come up with a name for this one. Was my memory failing me?
Another man appeared on a rooftop in my line of sight. He held a scoped rifle, but I didn't recognize him either. "This guy is a monster... well fine; we have a monster of our own!" He raised his hand and closed it into a fist. I could feel the shockwave before I could actually hear the boom, and only now did I realize how hurt I was. The vibrations sent knives of pain through my entire body. Were I not so tired, I probably would have cried out.
The first man reacted in an instant. He held out his free hand just in time to catch something moving very quickly towards him. It impacted on the center of his palm and drove him back about fifteen feet, tearing up the ground has he slowed himself and the object to a stop. He ground his teeth and held up the object for everyone to see. At first, it just seemed to be a chunk of lead, but I realized what it was: a bullet half the size of his head. With one swift motion, he crushed it and dropped it to the ground with a dull thud. He pointed at something in the distance. I focused my eyes, but all I could see was a big hill with a forest on top of it. Some giant tree seemed to be at the very center of the forest. "Jennifer Falcion! I have suffered enough insubordination from your son and granddaughter... but I will not stand for this! After all I have done for your family, you dare to attack me like this? There is only one punishment worthy of such a gross offense." The man raised his hammer over his head. "I, Bayle, god of Law, hereby declare Jennifer Falcion guilty of high treason against her god! I sentence you to death, to be carried out immediately!" The man who had identified himself as Bayle slammed his hammer into the ground with one swift motion. The impact sent out a shockwave, but of a different kind than the one I felt earlier; this shockwave seemed to rattle me to my very soul. In the distance, I saw something strange; the sky, which had seemed clear only a moment before, had become thick with black clouds above the giant tree. I could hear a resounding boom to rival the first one, but this time, it was from the sound of lightning striking the giant tree. Within moments, a fearsome looking blaze began to consume the tree.
The other man that I didn't recognize fell to his knees. "No... Master! You *******, she can barely get up a flight of stairs on her own; she can't get out of there...!"
Bayle seemed to ignore his cries and began marching in my direction.
"Hell... we're running out of time!" I could hear someone say. I couldn't see who was speaking, but she sounded close.
"Don't break your focus! We only need a few more minutes to complete the ritual!" Came a second female voice, this one softer.
"He'll kill us in fifteen seconds! Anyone alive, we need more time!"
Another man dragged himself out from a house. This one was still intact, though the door had been broken down at some point. This man I had a name for: Striker. He was in rough shape; he was walking with a limp, blood flowed freely from a gash on his forehead, and he seemed rather beaten in general. He spoke, his voice shaky. "Jovalin's best, reporting for duty..."
The man on the roof readied his rifle and pointed it at Bayle, his eyes full of rage. "I'll kill you... I'll kill you, you goddamn monster!"
For the first time, I noticed someone slumped against a wall just at the edge of my vision. He must have been unconscious, but something had woken him up. He drew a familiar looking sword as he slowly stood up, breathing heavily. My eyes widened. I knew this one. I knew this one too well. "Keep your cool... Leon... we need to buy time, not do anything stupid..." Johan gasped. There was anger in his eyes as well, but something else; wisdom beyond his age.
Johan and Striker formed up in front of Bayle, presumably between him and the other two voices I had heard. "Where do you think you're going?" Striker asked as he raised I sword I recognized as the Jovasaber. "We're not done with our fight yet."
No, you need to leave! I wanted to scream at them, but I couldn't make my mouth work. After seeing him catch such a powerful bullet so effortlessly, it was clear that these two in their current condition didn't stand a chance.
Bayle barely paid them any mind. He swept his hammer to the side without breaking stride, sending Striker and Johan crashing into another building. The two fell into a pile and failed to get back up.
"Die! Die!" Leon cried, firing off a series of shots. Were those tears in his eyes?
The rounds impacted on Bayle's back, knocking the wind out of him and sending him to one knee. He scowled, standing back up while Leon reloaded and slammed his hammer into the ground again. Another of those strange shockwaves seemed to pass through my body, sending a shiver down my spine. At this point, Leon had successfully reloaded, shouldered the rifle, and fired again. This time, however, a loud crack went off, and the gun seemed to explode in Leon's hands. A scream filled the air, and the man fell off the roof, landing in a motionless heap.
"Pathetic," Bayle growled. He continued his match in my direction.
"We're out of time! Tell me we're done!"
"We're not! These outbursts of yours are only going to make it take longer! Resume the chant!"
"Teya, we're going to die if we don't move now!"
"Adriana! Shut up and finish the stupid chant! I promised your father I'd do this!"
Adriana? Teya? Adriana's father... R... Roy... Roy! I have to move. I have to move now. To protect... protect her! I owe Roy my life... owe him more than my life! Stupid body, move! Move!
Seemingly from nowhere, a surge of energy filled my limbs, and I somehow managed to stand up. A discarded sword lay at my feet, but it was broken, so I ignored it. To my left, I could see Adriana and Teya kneeling, a Jovalist book between the two of them. Before I knew what had happened, I found myself standing in front of Bayle.
"Another?" Bayle said, disgusted. "You're in even worse shape than the others. Move aside, now."
"No," I managed to say. "I won't let you. I'll defend these two to my last breath."
"...Eva!? What are you doing?" Teya cried.
Eva... right. I must have been hit pretty hard to forget my own name. "Come on you *******. Let's see what you've got!" I pulled my hands up in front of myself as though I was going to box him. Well, it was a good life, anyways. Maybe I'll be able to brag about this world needing a god to take me down in the afterlife...
"Very well," Bayle sighed. He lifted his Warhammer for the killing blow and time seemed to slow.
What was this strength I'm feeling? I feel something... something building within. Where did it come from? If I could tap into it maybe I could...
A voice seemed to spring forth from deep within my own mind. "Human. You may not trust me, but trust that I would not like Bayle to interfere in this realm any further. Accept this aid from me as you did long ago and use it to fight Bayle. Use it wisely, for it will not last for long."
"Wait, what? Who are you?" The voice, however, had disappeared. I could feel the power that I had detected earlier rush forth into my limbs. Also, my range of vision seemed to improve quite a bit for some reason. As time returned to normal, I raised my hand, catching the hammer with ease.
Bayle growled. "Impossible! You are but a human! You couldn't possibly..." His eyes glanced upward, looking at something on my forehead. "Damnations, why can't you fools just stay out of this matter? You've done enough damage here, Vladimar!"
As though in response, my third eye blinked.


« Last edited by imaloony8.0 on Jun 24th 2015 »

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imaloony8.0 Posted: 17:19 Jun10 2015 Post ID: 3380961
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Part 15: Adriana


"Is that... The Eye of Vladimar? That's impossible! I destroyed that twenty years ago!" Roy's voice exploded in Adriana's mind.
"Hey, shut up, will you? I'm trying to concentrate!" Adriana snapped.
"Obviously not hard enough," Teya retorted. Their meditations had become deep enough that they could communicate with thoughts. "Continue with your breathing and chanting, Adriana. Roy, how do you suppose this is possible?"
Roy paused. "Maybe... when Naomi blasted Eva with that surge of Vladimorian magic, it allowed Vladimar a way back into Eva? A connection, however unstable, would become much stronger in someone who once was a bearer of one of his pieces. That eye though, it isn't real. It's just a projection to amplify her abilities."
"So we need to deal with Vladimar
and Bayle now? Teya asked.
"No," Roy replied. "Vladimar isn't in control, his link from that burst wasn't that strong. Actually... it looks like he's trying to help us."
Teya seemed to find that amusing. "I see... he just doesn't want to deal with the consequences should Bayle summon the other gods to this realm. He and Jovalin would be in some serious trouble then."
"As strange as it is to say, our lives are in his hands now,"
Roy said.
Bayle continued with rapid swings with his hammer, driving Eva back with every impact. "I judge you unworthy of this power! I find you guilty of-gah!" Eva caught him in the throat with a left hook, finally stopping his advance.
"I don't care what kind of god you think you are, you're not worthy of judging anyone if this is how you abuse your power," Eva responded. She extended her palm and The Eye glowed, driving Bayle back with a series of invisible blows. Eva winced as The Eye of Vladimar narrowed slightly.
Bayle finally shook off the attack and glanced at The Eye again. "Looks like Vlad could only send a little power. I'll show you how little it matters..." He raised his hammer again, about to strike the ground. Eva was on him in a moment, connecting with an uppercut and sending him flying.
"Something strange I noticed while I was lying on the ground," Eva said, rotating her wrist. "Despite your claims of being an all-powerful god... you've been struggling through this whole fight. I don't think fighting is your strong suit. I think your unlimited endurance and increased strength and speed has been all that kept you in this fight for this long... that and those magical artifacts you hold."
Bayle scowled as he stood up once again. "I said earlier that I don't enjoy fighting... and I meant it! But to preserve this world and our experiment, I will wipe out any number of you humans! Your skill is irrelevant, and my law is absolute!" Bayle sprung forward once more, only to catch a punch to the center of his face and be sent tumbling back once more.
"And that crummy resolve of yours is exactly why you don't have a chance! I'm fighting for my friends and family. You're fighting to take that away from me... and I won't let that happen."
Bayle spat to the side as he stood again. "I don't think you have much of a choice. That last hit was weaker; I could feel it. Vladimar's burst of strength is running low, isn't it?"
Eva smirked. "Wanna come over here and test that theory?" She raised her guard as Bayle charged at her once more.
"Bayle's right, Eva's not going to last much longer. Is it done, Teya?" Roy asked.
"Yes, we're about finished. All that's left is for Adriana to speak the final words." Teya said aloud now. She turned her book and pointed to a short line printed at the bottom of the page.
Adriana laughed. "What, that's it? Some last hurdle." She cleared her throat and then opened her mouth, but nothing came out.
"Adriana?" Teya asked. "Just this last line! That's it!"
"I know, I know," Adriana said. She opened her mouth again, but nothing came out. She smacked herself on the top of the head. "What's wrong with me? I just can't..."
"Blast," Roy said. "It must be another of Bayle's failsafe's, and we walked right into it!"
There was a crash in the distance. Adriana looked up in time to see Bayle slam Eva into another house. From here, she couldn't see The Eye of Vladimar any longer. Bayle threw Eva through the door of the house with a flick of his wrist. Not wasting a moment, he slammed the house with his hammer, collapsing it on top of Eva.
"We're out of time!" Teya shouted.
"Roy, can't you say it? You're not bound to Bayle any longer!"
"No, it has to be you! Adriana, clear your mind and pretend you're speaking to me. Please, do it so I don't have to watch my last loved one die today."
"This ends now!" Bayle shouted. He turned and dashed at Adriana, his hammer raised.
Adriana screwed her eyes shut and opened her mouth wide, "JOVALIN! I ACCEPT YOU IN MY HEART!" Then she fell to her knees and began dry heaving.
Bayle stopped dead in his tracks, his eyes going wide. "You... no... you can't... you CAN'T!" Bayle roared. Suddenly his body seemed to fade slightly, as if it were phasing out of reality. His hands began to tremble, as if they could no longer support the weight of the hammer. Bayle began staggering forward, clawing at Adriana. "No... no! It's not possible you brat! IT'S NOT POSSIBLE!"
"Get away from her!" Teya slammed her palms into Bayle, sending his sprawling to the ground. Teya looked surprised. "I didn't think I pushed him that hard..."
Adriana, having recovered slightly, managed to shakily stand up. Her eyes were closed, the lids twitching slightly. "My eyes... god they hurt... I can't stand to even open them..." Adriana grabbed the tinted goggles that hung around her neck and pulled them up over her eyes before opening them and letting out a sigh of relief. "Better... I suppose."
"You... what did you do!?" Bayle demanded, still unable to stand.
Adriana smiled, sweat running down her face. "You're looking at the newest follower of Jovalin, as invoked by the current High Priestess. If what Roy told me is correct, that is in direct violation with the terms of our contract, is it not? The vow of Neutrality, right? The punishment for breaking this particular agreement is also quite clear. Unlike striking back at you, which you can set the exact punishment for... allying with one particular god other than yourself is punishable only by the offender losing their Emerald Eye." Adriana smirked, leaning down towards Bayle. "And in case it isn't clear enough already: I plead guilty."
Teya gasped. "So, if you violated that term and lost your Emerald Eye..."
"Then the Librarian doesn't have a direct connection to his Avatar any longer. There were only two Emerald Eye users left in this world, and he just eliminated the other." Adriana frowned. "This is for her, by the way, you son of a *****," Adriana sent a sharp kick to Bayle's side, making him cry out in pain.
Bayle howled as his form flickered again. "I made sure... I made sure that no one with the Emerald Eye would be capable of making a deal with another god... saying the vow should have been impossible!"
"Looks like we humans and our willpower are stronger than you could have imagined, aren't we? You fell victim to your own failsafe. You were careful to make sure that Vladimar and Jovalin could never use the power of The Emerald Eye for themselves, so you had to write this punishment in specially which, ironically, ended up sealing your fate."
"But... why is he still here?" Teya asked "His portal is gone, isn't it?"
Adriana nodded at the hammer. "A pair of powerful artifacts keeping him anchored to this realm... for now."
Bayle brought Due Process up, pointing it at Adriana. "I bestow the Emerald Eye upon y-"
Adriana was too quick on the draw. Her last gun, Viridian Six, was out in the flash. She shot Bayle in his shoulder, causing him to cry out and drop Due Process. Adriana kicked Bayle again, sending him sprawling away out of reach of his hammer.
"I bestow the Emerald Eye upon you! I forgive all previous violations of our contract!" Bayle cried out. Several moments passed, and nothing seemed to happen.
Adriana smirked. "It's like I thought. Bayle the god has the power to pass judgement as he sees fit, but his Avatar does not. To bestow some of his abilities, he needed to send his avatar with special artifacts. That was the true risk of using Due Process and that Codex of yours. What should happen if these items which contained the true power of a god fell into the wrong hands?"
Bayle's eyes grew wide. "You wouldn't dare... you couldn't! Those artifacts recognize me and me alone!"
"Time to test that." Adriana reached down and grabbed Due Process. Green sparks danced off of Adriana's hand for a moment, but quickly died down as she lifted the hammer. "No problem."
"But that's... that's..."
"Please don't say impossible again. That word is really starting to lose meaning around here. This artifact seems to recognize more than just you... it recognizes your power, which is why this Avatar of yours can use it."
"You violated our contract! You gave up that power!"
Adriana held up Viridian Six. "I did, but he didn't. I'm channeling Roy's spirit not through my eyes, but through this. And with it... I can wield this hammer just fine."
Bayle ground his teeth. "Roy... ROY FALCION! How dare you? Were it not for my power, Naomi would have destroyed you all ten years ago! This is how you repay me?"
"Adriana, please, do us all a favor and shut him up," Roy said.
"Gladly." Adriana hefted the hammer. "Bayle, god of sight, knowledge, and law, you stand accused of attempted Genocide of the human race, murder, and assault on this world's greatest heroes. How do you plea?"
"You... blasted fools! Jovalin and Vladimar will use this world until they've sucked it dry! You speak as though you humans are strong, and yet you relied on both of these destroyers to help defeat me! You're hypocrites and fools, all of you! You've sealed this world's fate with your blasted pride! We gods are the only ones who can save this world, why can't you see that?" Bayle was practically hysterical.
"You listen close, you stupid, near-sighted, big-headed, self-righteous son of a *****: We humans are not your playthings! When Jovalin and Vladimar make a mess, we'll be here to stop them and save our race from them just like we've stopped you here today! Humanity will never fall to the likes of you, and would you like to know why? It's because humans are flawed. We've had to bite and scratch and claw for everything we have and keep fighting to protect it, no matter what we have to do or use for that end. You gods are perfect... and that is your greatest weakness. You'll never know true desperation or the strength it can bring. We humans are tenacious; that is the result of your precious experiment! Make sure your fellow gods hear this last field report! I find you guilty on all counts and banish you from this world! You and all the gods of your realm will be forbidden from entering into or interfering with anything or anyone within this world for the rest of eternity!"
"Miss Reinhart, think about the consequences of your actions!" Bayle cried in desperation, dragging himself away from her.
Adriana tightened her grip on the hammer and clenched her teeth. "My name... IS ADRIANA FALCION!" Adriana swung the hammer, connecting with the side of Bayle's head. His form seemed to shatter into a shower of golden sparks, which rained down on the ground, shimmering for several moments before they faded into nothing. All that remained of Bayle was his small Codex. For a moment, all was silent.
"Did... did we win?" Teya asked.
Adriana couldn't help but think of Jennifer, taking a moment to glance at the burning tree in the distance. After a moment, it began to crumble to the ground. "No. We survived. Most of us, anyways," Adriana muttered.
Teya gasped. "The others!"
It only took a moment to collect Striker, Leon, and Johan. Eva took quite a bit longer to dig out from the collapsed house, but eventually they all came to with various degrees of injuries. Explaining what happened took only a few minutes.
"Ugh, I feel like I just fought a freight train!" Johan muttered.
"Eva, are you okay? Is Vladimar still...?" Teya began.
Eva shook her head. "No... I think I'm alright. As much as it pains me to say it... Vladimar really saved us there."
"More like saved himself," Johan growled.
Striker hadn't looked away from Due Process the whole time he had been awake. "So... what happens with that now?"
Adriana looked down at the hammer, considering the question. "Roy," She thought, "how much time do you have left?"
His voice was faint, as though he were speaking to her from far away. "Not long. Whatever you plan to do with that that, make it quick."
Adriana lifted the hammer and pointed it at Teya. "Queen Teya Lovette, I hereby reestablish your connection with Jovalin, God of Light."
Teya seemed surprised that Adriana had done that first. She snatched Adriana's hand and shook it viciously. "Oh, Adriana! I was so afraid when I lost Jovalin... I didn't know what I'd do. But now I can spread his light again... you're going to love being part of the church, I promise!"
Adriana winced. "Right... about that." Adriana lifted the hammer above her head. "From this day forth, Adriana Falcion and every Falcion, living, dead, or yet to be born, owes loyalty to no god and severs their connection with the gods Bayle and Jovalin forever! This excludes Roy Falcion; his loyalty ends ten minutes from now."
Teya's jaw dropped, but Striker could only laugh. "You know you don't have to be neutral now that Bayle's gone, right?" Striker grinned.
Adriana gave him a faint smile. "Someone has to be. As a Falcion, I'll still guard this realm from any god who steps over his boundaries and endangers the human race. To do that, I can't be loyal to any god. We need some plan just in case those gods find a way back here, or if Vladimar and Jovalin make Earth their battlefield again."
"I think Bayle may have rubbed off on you a little," Striker laughed.
"Please don't joke about that," Adriana scowled.
"Surely you don't mean to stand up to the gods all on your own!" Teya exclaimed.
Adriana shrugged. "Maybe, maybe not. We'll see."
"What does that mean?" Teya demanded.
Adriana ignored her. "Now, before I deal with this thing... Naomi, you can come out now."
The haggard woman stepped out from around a corner. In her hand she held the same jagged knife she had tried to make Adriana take her own life with. Her eyes seemed even redder from crying so much. In the hour since they had last seen her, she also seemed to have gotten even thinner somehow. "You ruined everything... but I can still take my revenge. I'll kill you, take my own life, and live in paradise with Benjamin forever!" Naomi cried, running at Adriana, knife extended.
Adriana effortlessly sidestepped the attack, snatching the dagger from Naomi's hands as she passed. Naomi seemed too weak to resist. With her momentum, she only ended up falling on her face.
"You were never able to let the past go, Naomi. I'm sorry for what you became."
"Go to hell, Roy." Naomi turned over and spat at Adriana. "I don't need your pity; I just need a quick death."
Adriana let the hammer rest on her shoulder and tossed the dagger off to the side. "Yes... you have suffered far too long. It's time for you to go free."
"Then do it!" Naomi cried.
Adriana swung the hammer down at Naomi, who closed her eyes, accepting her death. At the last moment, however, the hammer slowed. It touched Naomi's head lightly, and then Adriana pulled it away.
Naomi opened her eyes. "You still insist on mocking me? End it already!"
"I did. Open your heart and listen for a moment."
Naomi paused. "It's quiet... it's quiet? It's never quiet, there's always the sound of..." Naomi's eyes went wide. "What have you done with her?"
"I have released Anna Asakura's soul from this body. Her spirit can finally rest at ease without the torment you have forced on her," Adriana replied.
Naomi tried to stand up, but she was far too weak. She only succeeded in setting herself on her knees. "You... you... You've done worse than kill me. I had her. I wasn't alone. You don't understand... I needed her screams to remind me that I wasn't alone! Now the silence... it will drive me insane!" Tears flowed from her still red eyes. "I've lost everything! My love, my followers, my Gods, even the last person in my life! How can you be so cruel?"
Adriana snorted. "That's coming from you? Listen-" Someone touched Adriana's shoulder. She turned and saw Teya. Teya shook her head slightly and approached Naomi, dropping to her knees so that she was on an even level with her.
"Naomi... did you know that you were one of the reasons I even decided to pursue being a priestess so much?" Teya asked.
Naomi seemed to laugh through her sobs. "You speak as though your idiot parents didn't force you into the role."
Striker growled, but didn't advance.
"They put pressure on me... but you were my idol. The great Naomi was a symbol of all that was good about Jovalin. You were pure, powerful, beautiful, and good natured."
"Why are you telling me this...?"
Teya put her hand on Naomi's head. "Because you have me."
"I... I killed Roy. I killed so many, caused so much pain..."
"How many lives did you save in your earlier years? How much joy did you bring to the masses? To me?"
"I... I..." Naomi sniffled. "I loved him so much. All I wanted to do was follow him to the ends of the Earth, to be with him for the rest of my life and be happy. I did so many horrible things for him... for love. I became what I hated more than anything for him. Those who previously loved me so much cursed every fiber of my being. Is this how true monsters are made? Having something as precious as love stolen away from them?"
Adriana shifted slightly, biting her lip.
"All I did... even following Vladimar... I did in the name of Jovalin's teachings. Can we really call what Jovalin feels for us love if it causes so much pain to us? Is he any different from Vladimar, or Bayle?"
"Maybe not," Teya said, "but it's what we do with his teachings that can bring joy to this world. Things we do for the world."
Naomi looked up at Teya, sorrow on her face. "I'm so worthless. I'm being comforted by my greatest foe after trying to destroy her again... truly now I feel unworthy to sit on this world."
"Please, Naomi, come home with us. We'll find help for you. Someday you might find the love that you fought so hard for."
Naomi hung her head. "I'm sorry, but anywhere else I would go, I would only bring pain. The Naomi you see before you is just the broken shell that remains of the great cleric and the great destroyer." Naomi finally managed to stand and began to slowly hobble away. "Teya... thank you. For believing in me." Naomi slowly limped out of sight.
"You're not really going to let her walk away, are you?" Striker scowled. "Not after all she's done!"
"She's harmless, Striker. Let her search for her answers and die in peace," Teya replied.
"Like she'd do the same for us! We have to-"
Adriana grabbed Striker's arm. "Please. Don't turn into what she was. What I was."
Striker looked shocked. Slowly, he relaxed. "I'm... sorry."
Adriana shook her head. "Don't worry about it. Now, before anything else, we need to deal with these things." She held out Due Process and The Codex.
"I'll let you do the honor," Adriana could hear Johan say from somewhere behind her. "I'd do it, but I'm still trying to get the feeling back in my arms."
"Pah, as if you could even hold that hammer," Eva's voice drifted up.
Adriana laughed. "Thanks, you two." Teya and Striker stood clear as Adriana set The Codex on the ground. "In the name of the Falcion family, I banish The Codex and Due Process to oblivion for all eternity, to never be used by anyone or anything ever again!" Adriana swung the hammer down. As it connected with The Codex, a flash of light engulfed the arena around the impact, momentarily blinding Adriana.
When her eyes cleared, she was standing at the top of a hill. Around her there was little to see except for a small, cozy looking house. "Wait, I know this place." She looked around, but everyone else was gone. Everyone, except for Roy.
Roy sat in front of Adriana, looking down the hill at their house. "I'm out of time," he said. "I figured I should say goodbye. That is, if you even want me to..." his voice trailed off. "I sat up on this hill for two days, you know. I was so scared to go down there, of what I would find. My love giving her heart to someone else, nothing but dust, corpses..."
"...a resentful daughter?" Adraiana suggested.
Roy sighed. "Time is so precious. If I could spend every moment of the rest of eternity with you and your mother, I would. Instead, I have to say goodbye."
Adriana sat next to him. "I thought when I met someone in our family, I would feel only anger. I destroyed a bunch of Falcion gravestones a few years ago when I was in a blind rage, and I thought the same would happen when I finally found you. Instead, I met grandma. All I could think was how grateful I was that I wouldn't have to live alone anymore. The fear of isolation can make us all do crazy things. Naomi is proof of that. But... it takes someone truly brave who will willingly choose isolation to save those he cares about."
"I don't deserve your forgiveness, but please... if you could find some way to..." Roy stopped, feeling Adriana embrace him.
"I won't accept your apology. I won't accept it because you have nothing to be sorry about. I'm so happy I got to meet you, so happy I got to learn the truth. I never thought I'd get to say this, ever. I'm so happy that it happened... I love you, Dad."
Roy hugged Adriana back, tears streaming down his face. "Please, never forget how much your mother and I loved you. With everything we were, with everything we still may be, we love you so much."
Adriana could barely hear Roy now. He was fading away along with the memory. She pulled away slightly, looking into Roy's eyes. "Daddy?"
Roy tried to wipe his eyes clear. "Yeah?" he choked out.
"Keep your head up."
The next thing Adriana knew, she was standing back in Terragnus, the hammer gone from her hand, and her father gone from her head. The pain had abated from her eyes, and Adriana slowly reached up and removed the goggles from her face. She looked out around her at the town with eyes that she had never used before and... began to laugh. "It... haha! It makes so much sense! Oh god, that's rich!" Adriana's laughs seemed to echo across the whole town. Adriana was laughing so hard that tears were rolling down her face.
The others exchanged confused looks. "Adriana," Eva said, "what's so funny?"
"Haha... Teya, do you happen to know any good eye doctors?" Adriana laughed.
Teya gave her a puzzled look. "What for?"
Adriana wiped a tear from her hazel eye. "I need glasses."

« Last edited by imaloony8.0 on Sep 4th 2016 »

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imaloony8.0 Posted: 14:18 Jun11 2015 Post ID: 3381032
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Epilogue Part 1: Life Goes On


"Paperwork... paperwork! Why does it have to be paperwork? I'd battle a hundred more gods if this pile of paper would just get the hell off my desk!" Eva cried. She winced, reaching down to rub her leg just above her bandages. Teya's healing magic had kept them all out of casts, but only just.
"We leveled half a town with that battle, ElTee," Johan's voice echoed from the other side of the room, blocked by the stacks of paper. "With the injuries, the elderly that dropped dead of heart attacks while Bayle was warping reality, and Evergreen Peak going up in flames, we're the only ones left to foot the bill. Though it's strange; Teya's the Queen, shouldn't this all be going through her?"
"It is," Eva groaned. "I need to approve sending troop support, double check her figures, and resubmit this crap when it inevitably turns out to be wrong! Why can't Teya just get a secretary!?"
"Because I have you," came a familiar voice.
Eva stood up suddenly. "Your highness! I didn't hear you come in!"
Teya laughed. "Come on, Lieutenant, take a walk with me."
"Great!" Johan jumped up from his seat. "Stretching our legs would be great."
"Actually, I'd like you to stay here and continue working," Teya said.
"Hey! That's not fair!" Johan said.
"We both outrank you; it's perfectly fair," Eva said, sticking her tongue out at Johan.
"I swear, that girl has rubbed off too much on you," Johan grumbled. Eva responded by slamming her office door in his face.
"Come on," Teya said, "we need to pay Adriana a visit. She's up in my old room."
"How's Striker healing?" Eva asked.
"Well, he should be bed ridden for another week, but of course he left an hour ago. Said he had important business he was working on before he got called away to, and I quote, 'babysit.'"
"Glad to know he's back to normal. Wish we could get a little less lip from him though; Adriana was the one doing all the heavy lifting."
Teya shrugged. "It's how he is. We'll see him in a month. Or three years."
"What about Leon?"
"What about him? I saw to his wounds and he left soon after. Never said a word to me the whole time I was healing him. Ungrateful little punk. Where did he even come from?"
"Well... Striker said that Jennifer Falcion was in that tree that Bayle lit up. She was the one giving us all that covering fire. Leon was her apprentice, apparently."
Teya looked shocked. "Roy's mother? Why haven't I heard of this?"
"Striker kind of dropped the ball when he let it slip to me, but he didn't want to tell anyone. Figured he would let Adriana tell who she wanted. I don't know how she's taking it; she lost her only family member hours after discovering she was still alive."
"That is... distressing. Perhaps we should talk with her?"
"If she hasn't brought it up, I wouldn't," Eva responded. "Let her process it at her own pace."
"Very well," Teya replied. The two continued to walk in silence for a few minutes.
"So, what're we going to do with the girl?"
Teya sighed. "We still need to decide her trial date."
"You can't be serious. That girl saved humanity and she can't get a pardon for that?"
"I got outvoted."
"Outvoted!? By whom?"
"Flare and Tide," Teya grumbled.
"You're the Queen! Just order them to let it go!"
"I would, except that they both called in a favor."
"You're joking. For this?"
"They think it's important. Personally, I think they have a bit of a grudge against Roy for all the times that he and your father butted heads. Also, they were still walking funny from the beating Adriana gave them, so I imagine that had something to do with it as well."
"Wonderful, and Striker leaves before we can get him to be a witness."
Teya waved her hand dismissively. "Don't worry, I'll testify and she'll be off the hook before you know it. Give her a year of guard duty to appease Hot'n'Cold and then she'll be free as a bird. It should give us some time to catch up with her, at least. Who knows, she might even choose to stay here!"
"I guess." They finally reached the top room of the tower. Eva knocked lightly on the door, but there was no response.
"Adriana, don't tell me you're still sleeping," Teya called. Again, no response. Teya sighed and pulled a key out to unlock the door. "Honestly, we'll need to teach you to be more courteous..." Teya froze as she entered.
Eva glanced into the room over Teya's hunched head. "She's gone," Eva observed calmly.
"I can see that!" Teya snapped. "But how? It's too far of a fall even for her from the window, she didn't tie a rope, this lock can't be picked..."
"There's a secret exit in the fire place."
"There's a secret exit in the..." Teya turned around and glared at Eva. "She doesn't even know that exists! She couldn't have..."
"She still had some notes from what remained of Roy's journal, right? I mean, some of those pages survived that shotgun blast." Eva said. Teya's jaw fell open and her eyes went blank. "Probably was up all night reading them too," Eva continued. "Hell, she might have left before either of us woke up."
"Augh!" Teya yanked her hair and kicked the door the rest of the way open. "She's just like her father! She doesn't even care!"
Eva laughed. "You've got it backwards; she only does things because she cares."
Teya screamed again. "Flare and Tide are going to be furious, and I'm going to have to answer for it! I swear to Jovalin, the next time I see her I'm going to... to...!"
As Teya rattled off an impressive and unladylike string of curses, Eva picked up a small note that had been left on the bed.

Teya, Striker, Eva, Johan,

Sorry about leaving so suddenly, but now that the matter with my father has been put to rest, I can't waste any more time. I need to finally do something with my life. Gotta make my parents proud, ya know? It was an enlightening experience; I hope I see you all again sometime in the future.

Adriana Falcion.
P.S. Teya, you should really clean the weapons out from under your bed once in a while.


"Weapons?" Eva lifted the bed's skirt and looked underneath. "Teya, did you know that there's a rusty sawn-off shotgun under your bed?"
Teya stomped over to the window and began yelling for the whole world to hear. "Thanks for reminding me! Now I've been reminded of how Roy almost shot me in this room! What a happy day that would have been! And they all lived happily ever after! A curse on your whole family! A curse, I say!"
"Teya, I think you're overreacting a bit."
"Bloody Falcions! You can stay neutral forever for all I care!" She caught herself. "Just come visit sometime, damn you! Don't you dare let your Aunt Teya grow old and die without seeing your stupid face again!"
Eva smiled, glancing out the window. "Thank you Adriana, truly. Another adventure, and I think our hearts are finally at rest. Now go find your own adventure."

« Last edited by imaloony8.0 on Jun 20th 2015 »

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imaloony8.0 Posted: 11:42 Jun14 2015 Post ID: 3381289
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Epilogue Part 2: Ever After


"I thought I'd find you here."
Leon looked up at the source of the voice. He was sitting on a burn, toppled tree trunk that seemed larger than possible. "Nice glasses," he said.
"I'm going to choose to take that as a compliment," Adriana retorted, adjusting the glasses in question slightly. Everyone had told her that they framed her eyes quite nicely. Striker specifically said that they helped make her expression look a little less hostile, at least. She certainly started smiling more after punching him for it.
Leon looked back down at the hunk of charcoal in his hands. Adriana thought it was the burnt remains of one of his masks, but then she realized it was the remains of the stock of a rifle. Some of the padding on the base had even survived the fire. "Here to pay your respects?" He asked with a hint of bitterness in his voice. His voice was slightly muffled with all the bandages covering half of his face. When Bayle had caused his rifle to explode, it had caused a lot of superficial damage. Teya had offered some healing that would reduce scarring, but Leon had refused it.
Adriana's gaze dropped. "Yeah, something like that." Around her, she could still smell fresh flames. The great tree had fallen on most of Evergreen Peak and spread the fire to most of the rest of the forest, so it was only natural that some places were still smoldering. The only trees that really survived had been those protected by the rocky terrain. The wildlife was nowhere to be seen, either fled or dead.
"Well, I've never given a eulogy. You?"
Adriana was startled. "I mean, when my mother died no one actually showed up for a funeral, so I didn't actually say anything out loud. I didn't really know Jennifer as well as you did either, I'm sorry."
"She was a cranky old *****," Leon said suddenly. "She bossed me around, never gave me a moment's rest, made me clean the guns, cook her meals, she made me study, and her expectations were so damn high."
Adriana glanced around. "Is uh... is this part of the eulogy?"
Leon pretended not to hear her. "I hated her sometimes... but they say you don't really know what you have until you lose it. She was the only real family I ever had. She wanted to make sure I could take care of myself because she knew that with her condition, she never could. She..." Leon gripped the charcoal tighter. "To the bitter end she was concerned for me. Despite that, the last thing I ever said to her was 'go to hell.'" Leon pressed the charcoal up against his bandage. "What a stupid, stubborn brat I was."
Adriana gritted her teeth and walked over to Leon, burn branches noisily snapping under her feet the whole way. "Why do you think she did all of that, you idiot?" Adriana shouted. "She didn't do it so you would praise her, or even like her! She certainly didn't do it so you'd sit around here moaning once she was gone! She did it because you needed her, and she needed you! You kept her alive through the grief of losing her sons as much as she kept you alive by giving you a home! You weren't like a son to her, and she wasn't like a mother to you, you were her son, and she was your mother, just as Roy was my father!" Adriana reached under her glasses and rubbed her eyes in frustration. "God, we are so stupid! We think we know these people our whole lives because we decide what we want about them at a young age, never for once thinking about it from their perspective! What they sacrificed, what they went through!"
Leon was quite for a moment. "Sounds like you and I learned a lot in these past few days. Maybe too much. Think we're wise now?"
Adriana laughed. "I'm not sure I believe anyone is truly wise. Maybe we learned respect. Or humility. What I am sure of is that I still have a job to do. Someone needs to be ready in case this world comes under siege from the gods again. I could use a hand."
"From me? What could we do against gods? Your Emerald Eye is gone, and I'm nothing special."
"Don't sell yourself short!" Adriana slapped him on the back. "You were apprenticed to the greatest sniper in history! You kept Bayle at bay on your own for longer than anyone else could have hoped to."
Leon was silent again, looking at the charcoal in his hand again. "I'm not sure. What makes you think there's anything left for us in this world? Anything left fighting for?"
"Dunno," Adriana replied honestly. She pulled Leon up from the charred tree and led him through the blackened skeleton of the forest. "But there's something I never understood these past ten years. It's what my father finally managed to get through my thick skull in the end. If you dredge through enough miserable crap, death, and pain..." she shopped and looked up to her left where a large outcropping of rocks stood. At the top, a small green sapling sat, leaves waving slightly in the breeze. "...you'll find something that's worth living for."
Leon smiled. He gave one last look to the remains of his master's rifle before discarding it. "That sounds like a resolve worth following. I don't think it'll be a waste to follow a Falcion for a while longer. So where to?"
"Where else?" Adriana turned towards the now setting sun. "The future."

The Beginning. The End. So Long.


« Last edited by imaloony8.0 on Jun 24th 2015 »

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imaloony8.0 Posted: 17:34 Jun15 2015 Post ID: 3381435
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Facts and Commentary on "Evil Eye". Do not read until after you've finished Evil Eye! There be spoilers ahead!
Spoiler:
click to reveal


I admit I stretched the fact section a little. I was stalling. I didn't want it to end. Still don't, really. This place feels like it's been embedded into my bones for all eternity. I may sound overly sentimental or nostalgic, but it's true. This place got my interested in Role Playing in the first place, which is still a huge part of my life with all the D&D campaigns I'm in among other systems. It got me writing, and I'm currently about a year away from getting my English degree. It's really no exaggeration to say that this place changed my life... you guys changed my life. I'd say thanks... but I'm not the only one who needs to thank you. You guys have done more than you could ever know for me... for us.

Jennifer: You've been with us for the better part of a decade and seen us through some crazy adventures.

Magni: We've fought in tournaments.

Blade: We were space marines, assassins, pokemon trainers, heroes, and more.

Fan: We wiped out any who would dare stand in our way.

Beet: We laughed.

Adriana: We cried.

Sky: We lived.

Roy: We died.

Devin: You influenced us and helped shape so many stories and brought a smile to a face more times than we can count. You're the reason we're even here.

Penelope: Even if you never met some of us.

Shin: Though our stories weren't always the most grand nor the most elegant, we remember them all the same.

Rilk: And we'll continue to live on thanks to you! For adventure!

Amanda: We had so much fun, and we'll miss you all a lot!

Maia: And don't worry, we'll still be moving forward even once we've left this place.

Flame: Until next time... please do try to take care of yourselves.

Well, that's it then. This is my last project for this site. I likely won't participate in any more RPs, and this will certainly be my last piece I write for this site. I'll continue to write Legacy of Sky (I seriously have got to come up with a better title for that), but I think I'll stop hosting it here for now. It's been a blast, guys. Really, I've had so much fun on these boards over the years and have grown as a writer thanks to them. I can't thank you enough. Until we meet again, this has been imaloony... oh, what the hell. I'm an adult now, gotta end it a little more professionally. This has been Jack Futty thanking everyone for this chapter of my life.

« Last edited by imaloony8.0 on Jun 15th 2015 »

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KOG Posted: 04:00 Jul08 2015 Post ID: 3382914
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You did some amazing work here. Bravo for a great fan fiction.
It flatters me beyond relief you chose to use characters from my RP.
I mean, you've been on multiple RPs and you decided to take time out of your life to do a fan fiction on the one I created. You say that means a lot to you? Dude, that goes double for me. I wish you all the best in the future.

Yeah, this site has a ton of memories. Good and bad, haha. I'm happy to say I left a lasting legacy on it though. Hopefully.
vvv credit to .Impact.

Bow down to the King of Games!!!

I have a NEW RP! Join the RP Ragnorak: "The Seven Spirits of Vladimar!" We need more RPers to help out.
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