Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Part 6: Dragon Falcon

Hulk insisted on carrying my pack, so I happily obliged the request and also gave him the axe and maul. It was a welcomed relief from the constant burden of the weight that it gave me. We gathered and readied ourselves, and as we were walking towards the door, someone said, “Eli.”

It was a voice I didn’t know. Hulk, Lawrence, and I all stopped and turned toward the sound. The sound came from the back corner behind us. I couldn’t see anyone, but the shadows covered everything in darkness. After staring for a few seconds, I saw movement. Eli still had his back turned to the sound; sighed and said, “Back so soon?”

The voice said, “Eli, I don’t like being lied to.”

“I didn’t lie.”

The voice scoffed. Eli turned around and said, “You assumed.”

With more anger the voice said, “You told me you could kill Watcher.”

Eli nodded, “I did.”

“You set me up, Eli.”

Eli’s face tensed, “What did you do? Tell me you didn’t…”

“Didn’t what? Didn’t tell Watcher about your plan?”

There was complete silence. We were staring at Eli and were confused. The voice continued, “No, Eli. I didn’t. I did follow Watcher. I followed him through the maze and into the tower.”

Eli rubbed his forehead and said, “Why? Why did you do that?”


Eli bowed his head, “I told you to follow him, not sneak into his bed.”

“I had to know you were telling the truth, Eli. About… that thing you’re helping. Watcher’s creation.”

I found my body burning with rage at these words. We all knew who this voice was talking about. How could he accuse me of being created by Watcher? I was innocent. I simply woke up. I did nothing wrong. I started towards the voice when Eli’s left hand slapped across my chest; stopping me. He whispered, “That’s not very smart.”

Eli looked towards the voice and said, “I assure you Marcus is innocent.”

I saw more movement from the shadows and the voice said, “He may be innocent, but he’s going to be the reason for all our deaths. He’s going to kill us all, Eli.”

I yelled and cursed at the voice and said, “I’m not trying to hurt anybody!”

“So… the bastard son can speak?”

Eli again held me back and cupped his hand over my mouth. The voice said, “Listen, little worm, you are being tolerated by me. I will not hesitate to snatch the life from you,” there was more movement in the shadows as the voice continued, “but, thanks to your blind guardian, I’ve been damned.”

Hulk scratched his head and said, “Wait… you’re blind?”

Lawrence elbowed Hulk. Eli looked down again and asked, “What… what did Watcher do to you?”

“Tortured me. Mocked me. Made me a ticking time bomb. Thanks, Eli. Thanks for asking.”

The figured emerged from the shadows. He was garbed in all black including a black mask. The ninja ambled towards us and said, “He wants me to kill you, Eli. That’s the deal he made me. That’s the only reason I’m still alive.”

Eli’s hand slid for his blade.

“Now, now, Eli. There’s no reason for that. I’m not going to kill you. I don’t really want to spend the rest of my days as a guardian, which unfortunately, is my destiny if Watcher gets his way.”

The ninja looked at us and said, “I don’t have a lot of time left. As much as I despise that thing all of you are coddling, I don’t really have a choice. I can only hope that I’m wrong and Eli is right.”

Eli cupped his brow and said, “Ryu, I never meant for any of this to happen to you. You’re my friend, and I needed your help. That’s why I asked it of you. I couldn’t have ever known that this would happen.”

“The fate of our friendship will depend on the amount of truth in your words.”

Eli smiled and said, “Then we have nothing to worry about, Mr. Hayabusa.”

“Let’s hope so, old man.”

Eli let out a scoffing chuckled and said, “All right.”

Ryu eyed all of us and said, “Really going in there?”

Lawrence nodded and said, “Yeah,” and paused a second and looked back at the ninja and continued, “Ryu… we could really use you.”

Before Ryu could respond to Lawrence, Eli interrupted and said, “Ryu has a very important job. He’s the only one of us that can travel around the realm and try and get more support. So, I know we need him, but he needs…”

Ryu cut off Eli and said, “Eli, don’t tell me what I ‘need’ to do. Besides, I’ve already got those wheels turning. Andy and I have rallied much support.”

Eli smiled and said, “I knew I could count on you, Ryu.”

Ryu nodded at Eli and said, “But… all the support in the world will be pointless if the little worm doesn’t defeat the guardians.”

With frustration in his voice, Eli said, “Ryu… that’s not necessary. Marcus is a friend.”

“We’ll see.”

Ryu turned his focus towards me, squinted his eyes, and said, “I find it hard to believe you killed a guardian… moreover Conan.”

With hatred in my words I said, “I did. And maybe, if the dice play in my favor… and if ‘time’ permits… I’ll get to kill another guardian.”

Ryu tightened his face and said, “Don’t test my patience again, boy.”

Without regard to his warning, I said, “So, how many guardians have you killed?”

There were a few gasps and chuckles, and Ryu scoffed at my statement like it was the dumbest thing he’d ever heard and said, “I may actually be starting to believe that you have no idea what’s going on. That’s very fortuitous for your health.”

Eli looked at the others and then looked back at me and said, “Marcus, we can’t be in the presence of a guardian.”

Confused, I asked, “Wait… what? What do you mean?”

Lawrence said, “Marcus… we… us… the ones that have been summoned here from different worlds cannot fight a guardian. We are simply powerless. If we should ever be in the presence of a guardian, we would be frozen… unable to move. After that, one of two things will happen…”

“You get killed,” said Hulk.

Eli finished, “Or… or Watcher makes you into a guardian.”

Ryu was still staring at me and said, “So, now you know why you’re such an enigma. Just like the others said earlier, your existence makes no sense.”

I suddenly realized the apprehension and inherent angst that Ryu had toward me, and how unbelievable it was that the others did not share his point of view. I looked at Ryu and said, “I get it. I’m sorry for being a jerk. Thanks guys. Thanks for helping me… and… and, Ryu…” I paused, pointed at the double doors and said, “We could really use you in here.”

Eli said, “Yeah, Ryu, we could. Andy will get the word out.”

Ryu nodded, “We need to hurry then. Watcher threw Maximus in the pit. He’s supposed to get slaughtered in a few hours.”

Hulk growled and said, “Man, Watcher is one vile dude. Max is my brother. We gotta get him outta there.”

We all nodded in agreement. I turned to Eli and asked, “So... ummm… I’m the only one that can kill guardians?”

Eli smiled, “Something like that. A few catches, though. We’ll talk about that later. C’mon, we gotta get moving. 243 souls are waiting.”

Eli placed his hands on the two door handles, let out a barely audible “all right”, and pulled them open.

We stared into a black abyss after Eli opened the doors. I wasn’t sure what to think about the room. It was simultaneously the most astonishing and most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen. Nothing could be seen: no walls, no floor, no roof, and no life. My opinion seemed to be shared by Hulk and Lawrence because they both gasped at the sight. Ryu was the first to enter. He stoically passed by us, and I watched as the darkness poured over and engulfed him. Eli followed suit with Lawrence closely behind him. Hulk looked at me and said, “Hey brother, I hope you did your training, said your prayers, ate your vitamins, and you believe in yourself because it’s about to get no holds barred. Y’know what I mean, Gene?”

With that, Hulk leaped through the open doors. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I held it for a second, reopened my eyes, and walked through the door.

No comments:

Post a Comment