The Return Chapter 5

Hostile Takeover

By Firstborn Dragon

"Why would Rudy want to speak to Zed?" Jane was puzzled by this. Cecilia, Jane, and Jack were still standing by the town.

Cecilia looked at them, finally figuring out what Rudy had meant. "Because of what he is. I just figured out what he meant when he said I stood up for him. It was when he got his arm fixed. A monster was trying to kill him from inside. I stood up for him,"

"And that’s why he stood up for Zed?" Jane was cleanly puzzled by this. Cecilia shrugged. "I guess. He must want to know something about his other half."

Jack looked in disbelief at Cecilia. "Why? Demons are evil. It’s their…"

Cecilia cut Jack off. "Zed’s not. He fought against his own kind to protect Laura. How can he be evil?"

"Excuse madam, but…." McDullen suddenly appeared next to Jane, and turned to her.

"What is it McDullen?" Jane turned to McDullen.

McDullen pointed towards Zed, and Rudy. "That creature is attacking Rudy." They all turned to look at the two figures standing in the distance. Zed approaching Rudy with his sword out. Rudy lying on the ground, screaming.

Drawing his sword out of it’s sheath, Jack ran towards Zed and Rudy. "He’ll pay! I swear that beast will pay for his treachery!"

Cecilia stood there in shock, then yelled; "RUDY! LOOK OUT!"

"He heard. Look!" Jane pointed, as Rudy started to get up.

Cecilia, Jane and McDullen started running towards the pair, even as Rudy stood up. Jack was now nearly within sword range. His voice was hard, and menacing. "Zed, you’ll die for that."

The next comment was totally unexpected by the group.

"Indeed he will….." Rudy looked at them. But he had somehow changed. It was as if Rudy were gone, and a stronger, more evil presence replaced it. "and after I deal with him, I’ll deal with you!"

Rudy threw out his hand, and the small party was thrown against the wall of the town. They couldn’t move.

"What’s wrong with him?" Jane looked at Cecilia.

"I don’t know. It’s almost like he isn’t himself." Jack was the only one to have seen his face.

"He’s not"

"What?" The three were surprised by a voice.

They looked to the left. Standing there was Boomerang. Or at least what appeared to have been Boomerang. The figure standing there was nearly translucent. But he still had the same menacing presence.

"What are you doing here! We killed you!" Jack was clearly getting irritated by the lack of understandable things in his life.

"But I am a demon. There are only two ways to truly kill a demon. One is to get another demon to kill him, and the other is with special weapons. Like the sword I left after our final rematch. Not that you could harm me right now" Boomerang appeared to smile at the comment.

"What do you mean?" Cecilia wasn’t one to let an opportunity to gain knowledge pass.

"Well demons are different from humans. If a human dies, then they’re dead. However when a demon is killed, one of two things happens. If he is killed in a way that he’s dead, then he’s dead, like a human. But if he’s not killed in one of those ways, then he’s temporarily harmless. I’m hear, but I can’t harm you, anymore than you could harm me. That’s what happened when the Guardian Blade created the desert. We demons were seriously injured, but we weren’t killed. That why you didn’t have to worry about us for so long. I’m a little surprised that Zeikfried’s back so soon. Where’d you kill him?" Boomerang was clearly curious.

"The void." Cecilia saw no harm in answering.

"That explains it. Well I guess I should go. By the way, there is a way for a demon to help someone in your friend’s position. Ask him about it some time." With that, Boomerang vanished.

"Great. So we can never kill these dammed demons." Jack had an annoyed look on his face. It was at this point that Cecilia decided to point out the obvious. "Not to interrupt you, but unless Zed wins, we’re dead anyways. So what dose it matter?"

"Thanks Cecilia. We really needed to hear that." Jack was not happy about the sudden idea that his life could rest in the hands of a demon. Especially not one he was ready to kill five minutes ago. Jack rolled his eyes. "Great. Our lives depend on the very being that tried to kill us a year ago. I feel so much better now."

The four watched as the two opponents circled each other.

Zeikfried obviously didn’t know how to use the ARMs. Which put the two combats on an even playing field. "You were a fool to desert us. Now you will pay!"

"Why should I have stayed. First I played decoy while Lady Harken got to do the real job. Then I get play decoy AGAIN, just so you can fight on your own terms. And instead of letting me fight them, like you said I could, you take them on. Then you let me get shot through the void. And if I ever did anything right, I never got credit. Why should I have gone back. You would have just let me go on another suicide mission." Zed wasn’t impressed by Zeikfried’s words.

Rudy/Zeikfried looked at Zed, with murder in his eyes. "You were the fool who could never follow orders."

"I always followed orders. It was you who never let me have a challenge." Zed was taunting his opponent, and Zeikfried didn’t like it. Cecilia suddenly noticed that the bonds of magic which held her had begun to loosen. Then the words of one of her teachers came back to her….

"Of all the spells that a sorceress can use, the spells of holding are the most difficult. When using these spells, the caster must never loose concentration."

"But why?"

"Because when the concentration breaks, so do the bonds. An important fact to remember should you ever find a spell of holding used on you." Jack suddenly realized his bonds had begun to loosen. He quickly began to struggle agents them. Cecilia quickly, but strongly whispered to him. "Stop it!"

"Why? I’m just about loose." Jack, never having any magical training, didn’t know of any restrictions on the spell.

Cecilia forgot this. "Because you gain his attention."

"So?" Jack didn’t understand.

Cecilia suddenly realized they didn’t know about the magical spell the way she did. "The spell is based on the amount of concentration the caster puts into it. As long as Zed keeps most of Zeikfried’s attention, we can move. But if you keep that up, we may soon be held tighter."

Jack looked puzzled for a moment. Then he thought of a great idea. "Well Hanpan, feel like giving us a hand?"

"Last time I gave you a hand I ended up getting lost in a maze, stuck in a wall, and finally pulling levers." Hanpan looked annoyed.

Jack couldn’t resist a small chuckle. However, Hanpan quickly cheered up when Jack explained what he had to do. "Well this time all you have to do is go bug Rudy."

"This time I like the idea. I can get him back for calling me a useless fur bearing pest." With that comment, Hanpan ran off towards the two battling contestant.

"How much good can that rat do?" Jane gave Jack a puzzled look.

"I’ve been with Hanpan for a while. He can be very annoying if he chooses. And he’s very hard to hit." With that comment, Jack suddenly fell to the ground, as Zeikfried’s attention was diverted from them, towards Zed and Hanpan.

"Where you going Jack?" Jane couldn’t figure out where he was rushing off to.

Jack yelled over his shoulder, as he rushed off. "To help them. The more of his attention that we take, the less there is to maintain the spell." But just then, Rudy/Zeikfried fell to his knees again, screaming.

"Impossible. He can’t…..He will not. I will not let you." The others fell to the ground. They ran towards Rudy, totally ignoring Zed for the moment.

Zed was watching Rudy too. "I’ve never known one to be able to throw him out before. Incredible."

Cecilia gave Zed a puzzled look. "What are you talking about?"

Zed tried to explain. "During the first war, Zeikfried kept taking the demon human crosses, and bending them to this will. I never saw may fight him, and of the few that did, I never saw one who was able to throw him out. Your friend there has an incredibly strong will."

Jack turned to look at Zed hard. Then, perhaps doing the hardest thing in his life, Jack directed a question towards Zed. "Can’t you help him?"

"Not really." There was a sound of regret in Zed’s voice.

Jack was very annoyed by the answer. "That’s not what Boomerang told us!"

"Jack!" Cecilia looked at him in shock.

Zed let out a small laugh. "So you’d trust a demon who died trying to kill you, rather than one who owes you his life. You are a strange one Jack."

"At least we knew what Boomerang was up to. You’re a wild card Zed. I don’t trust you any more than I trust Boomerang. Remember that." There was a promise in Jack’s voice. But none of the others knew of what.


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