The Return Chapter 10

Unexpected Allies

By Firstborn Dragon

They quickly proceeded to Emma’s hidden lab. And soon they were launching the airship. However, they soon learned that they had another problem. It was Rudy who first discovered it. "You all right Zed?"

Jack laughed at that. "Rudy, get real. This guy’s traveled here from another planet, survived a war, and managed to be the only demon who wasn’t killed in the war, and you’re asking if he’s all right?"

Rudy threw a comment back at Jack. "As I recall Jack, you got air sick the first time you got on the air ship too."

"I did not!"

Rudy just looked at him, and shrugged. "Have it your way then. Maybe all swordsmen get air sick though."

"You never!"

"But I’m a dream chaser, not a swordsman. Think on it." With that, Rudy went down into the cabin. Jack took one look at Zed, then mumbled to himself.

"Well maybe a little."

A short time latter, they arrived at Rosetta. Zed looked worried, but at the same time he wasn’t going to back down on his promise. Just then, Zed looked up. "So there really is one left. I thought they all departed this world after the war."

Rudy appeared puzzled. "What are you talking about Zed?"

Zed turned to him, and explained. "I can feel the Elw. By this point, she can probably feel me too. And if anyone in the town listens to her, there could be trouble."

Jack looked at Cecilia, and Rudy. "Cecilia, go on ahead and tell Mariel what’s going on. Rudy and I will wait here with Zed. Hopefully this will avoid another situation."

For once, Cecilia didn’t argue. She went. And soon came back. "She understands, but she’s not comfortable about this."

Jack laughed. "I know the feeling. But there’s not much else we can do." It was Cecilia’s turn to laugh. "Those were Mariel’s words too. You two sure think alike."

And so the small party advanced through the town. Some people starred at Zed, but no one attempted to attack them. They reached Mariel’s house without trouble. In fact, that was where the trouble started. Mariel was standing outside, waiting for them. When she saw Zed, and Zed saw her, it looked to be an invitation for trouble. "You weren’t kidding. I was hoping that the demon was only a joke. I never thought I’d you travelling with one."

Zed threw a comment back. "And I thought they were joking about you. There hasn’t been an Elw reported to exist since they vanished after the Dual Blade disaster. So I guess that means we’re even."

But even with those words said, the two did not take their eyes off each other. Things were not going as well as planned. And it looked like things would go downhill. No matter how much humans could dislike Elw or demons, it seemed as if the two hated each other more. Cecilia attempted to remind them why they were meeting in the first place. "Can we get back to the real problem here? There’s no way to tell when Zeikfried will take Rudy again. And given what nearly happened last time, I think it’s the last thing we need."

But it was not Zed or Mariel who spoke the next words. Rather it was Rudy. And they did not sound reassuring. "Indeed there is not. Too bad for you. You fools have just lead me to the one who could ruin my plans." The evil laughter that followed was nothing like Rudy’s. "Now watch as your hope for my defeat dies."

Rudy/Zeikfried drew his sword, and moved quickly. Even Jack could not keep up. But there was one who could. "Never again! I will see you stopped Zeikfried! I’m sick of you trying to ruin me." Zed ran in front of Mariel, and blocked Rudy’s sword with his own. "We both know the truth. It’s hard for you to hold on long. Isn’t it. Last time Rudy threw you out, and if he did it once, he can do it again."

While the two were busy testing their strength against each other, Cecilia ran over to Mariel. But when she got over there, Mariel looked up at her in shock. "He saved me. That demon saved me. Why?"

"Because he and Rudy are so alike. Two individuals who don’t fit into this world, yet at the same time want to." Cecilia turned to look at Mariel. "It was Zed who helped Rudy throw Zeikfried out last time. Maybe he can do it again. I hope he can do it again."

Mariel shook her head. "A demon fighting a demon. Strange things are happening."

"Indeed." Even as Mariel and Cecilia turned to see who spoke, Boomerang appeared yet again. Jack stood, facing neither Boomerang nor the fighters, but watching them both.

Mariel was looking at Boomerang in amazement. "Incredible. The Elders always speculated that they could do that. Yet to actually see it…Is he with you?" Cecilia turned to look at Mariel, a little surprised by her comment. "You don’t care about Boomerang who is the more dangerous of the two, yet you were ready to fight Zed with your bare hands?"

Mariel shook her head. "That’s because I know that Boomerang isn’t dangerous. But why did Rudy try to kill me?"

Cecilia sighed. "That’s a very long story, that I don’t really understand." Boomerang once again threw his own knowledge into the discussion. "That’s because you aren’t a demon. Mind you, I don’t know if being a demon would allow you to understand. But somehow Zeikfried is able to overtake the minds of your half breed creations."

Mariel was shocked. "How! That was supposed to have been impossible." Boomerang laughed. "Well somehow it was done. However only Zeikfried truly understands how. And I doubt he’d tell you."

At that moment, Rudy/Zeikfried fell to his knees, as the battle for control raged on. However, once again Rudy broke free, and Zeikfried was cast out. Only this time Rudy was not as exhausted. He turned to Zed. "He hates you. I don’t know why, but both times Zeikfried has taken controle he wanted you dead."

Zed looked puzzled. "How do you know that?"

"When he takes control, it’s like I’m forced into a small part of myself. I know exactly what he’s doing, and feeling. I become Zeikfried. At times it’s hard to remember that I’m Rudy. But then I think about things that Zeikfried would never care about, and that’s what ends up forcing him out. Or else remembering who I really am which then allows me to throw him out. Either way, if I didn’t have something to hold on too….."

Jack, still standing so as to keep an eye on each of the demons posed the unasked question. "How do we stop Zeikfried from taking over Rudy again. One of these times it’s going to escape our notice until it’s too late. Then….." There was no need for Jack to finish. Everyone knew what could happen. But Mariel shook her head unhappily. "There’s noting I can do. I was not involved with the creation of your kind Rudy. My brother was one of the assistance’s in that program.

Cecilia looked at them. "But to get his help, we’d need to venture into the Elw’s world. And after seeing the forest…."

Rudy looked at Zed. The others understood, but the two demons, and Rudy, did not.

Zed asked first. "What forest?"

Mariel attempted to explain. "There’s a forest in the world of the Elw. It was created to trap any monsters who followed. It may trap you if you entered."

Zed shook his head. "Unlikely. I’ve entered through wards that were sent against common enemies. But they did nothing agents a demon."

Mariel looked up at him. "But even if it did not affect you, there’s no way you’d make it through alive. Even if I were to tell them what I’ve seen. And that’s assuming they haven’t shut off the entrance to their world."

Boomerang began to laugh. And after a few minutes, so did Zed. None of the others could see what was so funny. "So they think the wards they made can protect them. Against normal demons maybe. But not against the Forgotten."

Mariel looked puzzled. Then worried. "What do you mean? The Forgotten. No they can’t be the same. They were exile long ago…" Jack looked at her. "Who were exiled?"

She started to explain. "A small group of scientists once created some machines. They were supposed to have been the ultimate creation. A collection of robots capable of doing anything an Elw could. Even think for themselves. But something went wrong. Since these machines were capable of thinking for themselves, they thought they were superior to us. They nearly destroyed the Elw, and the planet. In the end we were forced to retreat. No one ever went back to see what had become of them. It was always assumed that they would destroy each other, and that the final one would break down after a thousand years ago. What was left of the Elw, my ancestors, fled to this planet. We learned to co-exist with the humans. That was over a thousand years ago. But those machines took a name for themselves. Not the Forgotten, but something very close to that. They called themselves the Forsaken…"

There was silence after than. Then Zed spoke. "The Forsaken? I once heard that name used to describe the Forgotten. But everyone believed them a legend. Not that anyone knows how we demons came to be in the first place. Those who remembered never told others. And so our past was forgotten. But if there’s a connection between the Elw and the Forgotten…"

Mariel turned white at the suggestion. Neither Zed nor Boomerang looked very comfortable with the idea either. But now that the suggestion had been brought to light none of them could avoid the possibility.

Mariel tried to come up with an alternate possibility. "But you’re alive. You’re so unlike anything else that was done."

Boomerang shook his head. "Not really. Instead of flesh and blood, we have metal and lubricant. But there is the ability that allows us to re-create our form should it be destroyed. And there are so few things that can destroy us. It’s strange to think that the ones who sought to destroy us, are also the ones who are partially responsible for our existence." Mariel slowly shook her head. Then she turned to Rudy and the others. "I must go speak to the Elders about this. And Rudy as well. But I dare not take you to our world. It may prevent Zeikfried from taking you over, or it may allow him a gateway into our world. I dare not risk it."

Rudy nodded. "I understand. I really don’t want to put you, or the others at risk. Not after what they did for me."

She then turned to Jack and Cecilia. "Maybe you should come. The elders may want to speak to you. You seem to know more about what happened. Or at least more than I do."

Jack looked at Cecilia, and slowly nodded. "I guess so. But I don’t like the idea of leaving Rudy alone after what’s happened. But I suppose there’s not much choice."

Cecilia nodded in agreement. Mariel turned to look at the strange group. Two who sought to destroy the world only a year ago, now sought to save it. And the three who fought against them, needed their aid, as much as the two needed the three. Mariel shook her head. Troubled times lead to unusual partnership. And if it were true that the Forgotten or Forsaken were loose, she would almost bet that stranger thing would happen. "Tomorrow. We’ll go to my world tomorrow. It’s getting a little to late now."

The others nodded in agreement. Tomorrow would be a day of revelations for all. But would they be good or bad?


Author’s Note: I have no idea whether or not the demons and Elw are connected. But with their advanced technology, it's always possible that something like this really happened. E-mail me your option of this idea.


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