Beyond The Holders
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Balancing the Score
Continued from Heaven in Balance.
The first thing Dallas noticed when we exited the Heavens and found himself at Legion’s gate was the carnage and the crowd. The homeless men were being gathered in body bags. The same homeless men that guarded Legion’s Gate, the police had quarantined the area as a crime scene. A crowd of at least a hundred people were conjugated in a small area of the subway station. The trio shoved their way through to the yellow tape; the last of the hobos were being zipped up in a black bag.
“Balance, we can’t get into Legion’s realm without those men.”
“I got this one,” said Yochanan, stepping under the tape. Almost immediately the police walled in front of him, demanding he not pass the yellow tape. Yochanan smiled at them, the men stepped back, looks of horror across their faces. Yochanan approached the cops carrying the body in the bag. He whispered something in one’s ear, the man dropped to a fetal position, cowering. By now the other officers noticed Yochanan’s actions and they attempted to arrest him.
“Hello,” he said before they could get to him, “my name is Jack Empty. You may go now.”
The officers, bystanders and even the man on the ground dropped anything they were carrying and ran as fast as possible, avoiding us by a meter at least, screaming with shear terror. The body bag dropped to the subway floor with a thunk. Devaide and Balance stepped under the tape and walked over to Yochanan, whose lips were curled at the ends to form a mocking smile.
“That was unnecessary,” Dallas told him.
“But it was fun.”
What be the means that you achieve your task, Dallas. Are you really prepared to allow the Hollow Man to walk among the mortals? He will destroy and continue to spread his emptiness through humanity. You know this, is stopping me really worth it? Tell me, is the reality I want accomplished as bad as the one he will unleash upon the world?
“Who said that?”
“Who said what, Balance?”
“…Nothing, Devaide. Never mind.”
Yochanan stood over the body bag, then knelt down and unzipped it. The hobo we had left was not the one we saw before us. His skull was destroyed, mashed to pulp; his blood was coagulated to the point where it looked like black sludge. More to the point, he showed no signs of coming back to life like he had before. Dallas reached down and touched his blood, it seemed to have a life of its own, it moved about my fingers like it was trying to get away. He wiped it off on the bag.
“Well, go on Balance, we need him alive for the moment.”
“Indeed we do, Yochanan.”
Dallas reached down and touched what was left of his face.
The man’s skull reformed before him, bones and flesh reconstructed in a gruesome display of reverse-smashing. When it was done a few seconds later, Dallas touched his forehead again.
The Man’s eyes opened suddenly.
“You did it! He’s alive.”
“Where am I?”
Do you really believe you can save humanity? The Objects are closer together than you know, Dallas. They have always been, my companions and I will reunite them, and I promise, nothing will stop us. Not you, not Legion, not Yochanan, nobody. Let's see you try and Balance the end of all things; for when it comes, there will only be you. You and Me.
“Please, Sir, I need to speak to Legion.”
“Yeah, I don’t even want to fight you, Balance, just get through the damned gate.”
The gate appeared, although destroyed, it had been torn from its hinges. What looked like massive handprints bent the metal. Dallas looked at it, and heard the subtle clash of metal in the background. He looked at the massive door at the end of the bridge, it was opened a crack.
“Take my hand, you two.”
Devaide offered it freely, Yochanan's Dallas had to forcefully grab. He closed his eyes, and when he opened them, they were at the Door. Dallas looked around. The stones that used to be a bluish colour shone out with a black light now. The holy artwork seemed to leak the black sludge that resembled the hobo’s coagulated blood. Devaide threw open the doors, just in time to see a man in a cloak stand over a bludgeoned Legion.
“It’s over, Legion,” he said the name in a mocking tone, like it was a joke.
He then plunged his sword into Legion’s ribs.
Legion screamed, but not the hateful roar Dallas had heard before; no, this was a very human, very mortal scream of agony.
“Legion!” Shouted Devaide, stretching out his hand.
That’s when Dallas noticed two more figures, to the left of Legion and the man who had gutted him, and both had their heads turned our direction.
“Devaide! You Fool! Keep your mouth closed!”
“To late, Yochanan, they see us. Reinstate the curse, quickly, there isn’t much time.”
“The curse was in effect all along, Balance, Legion and Devaide just need to make contact with each other.”
“That could be a problem, how long can you hold those two off?”
“Hah! Edo Edi Essum and his Cloaked freak friend? About thirty seconds.”
“That’ll have to do.”
Yochanan rushed the two figures, his intense speed left an afterimage in his wake. Dallas did not waste time watching him, he grabbed Devaide’s hand and willed them over to a dying Legion. The man who slew him removed the blade to meet the new threat. He readied his sword, facing the closer of the two, Devaide. He raised the black sword to his shoulder, preparing to make a horizontal cut and decapitate his new target. Devaide was mabey a mere three meters away from Legion.
"Devaide!" Dallas shouted.
He wasn’t going to make it.
The man swung the sword.
Dallas stepped in front of it.
You fool; you and you alone might have bested me. But instead you sacrifice yourself for a mortal? By stepping in front of his swipe you merely managed to delay the inevitable. Your race will fall, the universe, all of it, will bow to me. These men think I’m working for them, helping them, but they’re mistaken. I’m using them to get my job done. And now you die with a final thought. You have accomplished nothing, and all the realms, and all the races, will be obliterated.
Before the sword could reach Dallas' cloak, Dallas felt something warm and soft in his hands. A garment of clothing, he'd felt it before, it was warm, seemed to radiate divinity. The shining black sword clashed against Balance's cloak-
-And bounced off.
“What the?!” Raged the man, but Dallas knew, he knew what it was before he even looked down at it.
“The Toga of the Gods.”
Dallas took it and held it as tight to his chest as he could. His faded cloak turned brilliantly white. Dallas absorbed the Toga into the cloak with a mumbling of a few magic words. Before the hooded man could raise his sword again, Balance pushed him with all the might he had. He sailed backward, into one of his companions. Yochanan jumped backward; the unexpected assistance was all he needed to recover from the fight he was in a moment earlier.
Dallas turned back to Devaide.
He was at Legion’s side.
“It is we, brother.”
“Be still, Legion, take my hand.”
Devaide and Legion’s hands touched, and Legion’s body convulsed, rapidly healing any wounds that he had suffered. He flexed his hands into fists, and rolled onto his side, it was then when Dallas felt Yochanan at my side. Balance looked over and saw that the cloaked companion of Legion's adversary was on the ground, while Edo Edi Essum was completely unharmed.
Legion rolled onto his stomach, and forced himself up, grabbing his sword in the process. Dallas could hear his spine crack and pop as he stood. He threw his head to either side as he cracked his neck, then turned around, the diamond on his chest glowing with a new intensity. He looked past Dallas, past everyone, and caught eyes with the one who had beat him.
Then came his roar. The man who had defeated Legion saw him. His horrific eyes widened, and he seemed to become unhinged.
Legion thundered past us, sheathing his sword whilst he ran. He tackled the adversary and began beating him with his massive ungloved fists as his adversary was still screaming in rage.
The other figure knocked Legion off; it was an amazing the amount of strength the creature must have possessed to accomplish such a task. It was then, while Legion took his moment to recover, that everything began to go wrong. As Legion rose, Edo Edi Essum turned toward him. Legion screamed, falling to his knees. As Edo Edi Essum began to drain away Legion's life, he spoke to me.
It matters not what you do. Your power matters not. You cannot defeat me. I do not care what allies you bring with you; it is irrelevant. We are as different as night and day, and there is nothing you can do to stop me.
Dallas was shaken from his reverie as the man who had defeated Legion charged at him. IDallas quickly conjured up a shield of energy in front of him. The man's sword impacted it. Dallas thought it would hold him, but he saw the sword grating through the shield, and suddenly Balance realized there wasn't much time. He tried to stall him by taunting him, "Is that it? All of this hard work, and Edo Edi Essum is going to get your revenge for you? Pathetic!"
The man laughed.
He jumped back.
He nodded to Edo Edi Essum
What happened next, Balance will never be able to describe. A blinding flash of light and darkness enveloped the entire chamber, and sounds not meant for this earth pervaded his hearing. When it was over, Dallas looked around. Devaide's ears were bleeding. Even Yochanan appeared to be shaken by the sound. When he was able to focus again, Edo Edi Essum and the other man were gone.
Do you see now, Balance? How long will it take before you realize the futility of trying to stop me? I will destroy everything and burn all to ash, for I am the Destroyer of Spirit, Infector of Souls, The Object’s own version of Damnation. I am Edo Edi Essum. I am all that is dark, and no matter whom you have with you, or how powerful you are, you cannot ‘balance’ me.
Legion recovered, and joined them in checking the remaining creature. Yochanan pulled back its hood.
It was quite possibly the most tortured and disgusting looking creature Dallas had ever seen. It had once been human, obviously, but that was long ago. Too long ago. Its skin looked like a bug's, or a turtle's, like a carapace. In some places the bony skin faltered to expose bare muscle, its teeth were deformed and pointed, its nose crooked its eyes red and burned with hate. The creature was unconscious, and didn’t react when Devaide kicked it. In fact, it just lay there, pathetic and helpless. Dallas compleatly dismissed it, if its companions had forsaken it, and if they showed no interest in protecting it, why should Balance bother with it at all?
Yochanan didn’t feel that way. He knelt down to it, touching its face gently, chuckeling quietly to himself. The creature’s eyes fluttered open, and it began to panic, being surrounded like it was must have been horrifying. They all stared down at it, unknowing what to do. All but Yochanan, who looked at him gently, like a apprehessive, caring brother.
“What is your name, creature?”
“P-Pessum. Pessum Ire.”
“Hello Pessum Ire,” said Yochanan, touching his cheek, “Do you wish to die?”
“A wise choice,” Yochanan said sadly. "It is the most horrible thing in life, dieing."
“How does one know?” it asked sadly, reminiscing in its old memories.
“I died once.”
The creature looked into Yochanan’s eyes.
Yochanan tore its head from its shoulders.
Continued in Balancing Thought.
Part of The Balance Saga.
|Last modified on 2009-11-11 10:35:54Average Rating: 5 / 5 (1 votes)Viewed 6251 times|