The Aftermath Of Mount Woe
Battle Royal: Zeal Vs. Schala
Schala and Ertai cried out in unison. "Well, I'm glad that little phase is finally over with." Zeal said. "Now that filthy animal is out of your life, so you can get back to what's really important." Zeal turned to leave. Schala's arm jerked out with surprising strength, stopping her in her tracks.
"How could you do this?!!! He was my Vigo!!!" Schala could barely control her rage.
"Don't be silly. That insolent peasant was nothing like your father."
Jumping back, Schala ripped her dagger out of it's scabbard. "You... You, have just made the biggest mistake of your life!!!" They stood, glaring at each other, when Ertai burst out.
"Nooooooo!!!! The wavelength she used! Its impossible to bring him back!"
Zeal nodded. "That's pretty much correct. Without Lavos' energy, he's gone for good."
Schala sank to her knees. "He's really gone. Forever..."
"That's right. I'd never waste the power to bring him back."
Schala sprang back up again, twirling her dagger in her fingers. "Ertai, charge up the dagger and get out of here!"
"No way!" He came up and stood beside her. "I have as much right to avenge him as you do!"
"You have to survive! You have to protect your family! Now go!" Ertai glared up at her, incredibly angry, but in the end, he disappeared with a white flash just as a lightning bolt struck Schala's dagger.
"Schala, you really must calm down." Zeal said tiredly. "That boy has done nothing wrong. There was no reason to send him away."
Dalton coughed and slowly stood up. "You're overreacting. We did this for your own good."
"Shut up, you hypocrite!" Schala jumped forward. She stabbed the dagger deep into Dalton's chest, letting some of the electricity flow into his body. "Greven came so close to killing you, it would be a shame not to follow through." She forced her arms upward, and Dalton slid off the dagger and went flying through the air, to land hard on the other side of her bed.
As he looked up, the blasted remains of Greven's skull seemed to be laughing at him. "Shhhut up!" He cried, punching the skull of off the vertebrae, where it shattered on the floor. He invoked yet another healing spell, realizing this was the last of his energy. If he was going to be of any help in this battle, he would have to wait for an opportune moment...
"Schala, I'm afraid I'm going to have to take some disciplinary action against you..."
"Don't you get it Lavos?!" Schala spat, slicing the air with her dagger so the blood flew off. "I have to avenge him!" Suddenly, Zeal's earlier words came flooding back to her.
"If I'm still in his control, kill me!"
She couldn't have imagined doing it then, but now, she had no reservations. "I am going to kill you and run the burning remains of your intestines up the flagpole outside!!!" Schala screamed a tortured, feral scream, and a small, intense beam of holy energy hit Zeal right between the eyes.
"So, you force me to teach you a lesson. Very well." A huge lightning bolt raced toward Schala, but she just thrust her dagger forward and absorbed it. "Oh, very courageous Schala."
Schala was so angry that the stupid taunt actually worked. She shoved the dagger back in it's scabbard, rainbow colored beams of Shadow energy flying from each hand. Zeal grunted with the blow, then returned fire with Flare. Schala screamed, then jumped through the heart of the explosion with a huge holy blast. She jumped back as several sharp icicles flew at her, but one stabbed deep into her abdomen anyway, in almost the exact same spot the golem had hit.
Suddenly, the roof shook, and a meteor came crashing down, landing on top of Zeal. Before either of them could do anything else, there was a different kind of rumbling, and a shot from the Blackbird impacted into the middle of the room, rending a huge hole in the floor. They were both thrown backward, dazed.
"What was that?" Gaspar asked, looking up from his work table. Spekkio shrugged. "It sounded big." He strained his ears again. "It came from Schala's room. I wonder what..." He sniffed the air, smelling a great many things burning. "Spekkio, grab some of those Stop devices and follow me." Gaspar hurried out the door. Spekkio picked up three of the egg shaped objects and hurried to follow.
Zeal stood up, looking at Schala, who was still sitting on the floor, grimacing. "A timely intervention. A little longer, and someone might have gotten hurt."
"You did hurt me." Schala said softly. "More than you can possibly imagine." Then, the true Holy spell launched from her chest, ripping through Zeal with violent force. The Queen was lifted into the air and thrown back into the wall.
"You don't know what real pain is. Your feelings for that animal were simply imagined!" Zeal shouted, floating up in the air to summon Luminaire. The ceiling could no longer handle all the stress, and collapsed into the explosion. When the rubble cleared, Zeal saw Schala standing with the dagger held in front of her. It was now glowing brightly with energy. Zeal yelled in frustration. A barrage of spells from many different magic types surrounded Schala. She dodged the ones she could not absorb, until Zeal finally ceased the bombardment.
"Are you quite through?" Schala asked in a steely voice. A purple flame seemed to leap up in her eyes, and for a moment, Zeal was worried. An icicle flew into Zeal's midsection, tearing a fairly gaping hole through her skin. As Zeal struggled to move out of the way, Schala lifted the dagger up, and blinding, pulsating beam of multicolored energy roared into the wound, nearly blowing Zeal apart. The queen collapsed to the floor, blood flowing everywhere.
"So its true." She coughed weakly. "Your powers do exceed my own." Schala began to step forward. Zeal twitched a little. "But they can never compare to the power of Lavos!" To Schala's amazement, Zeal stood up, oblivious to her blood loss. "Lavos, my liege, grant me the power I am due." She intoned, lifting her arms high. A red glow permeated the room, and all of Zeal's wounds sealed up instantly. Crying in rage, Schala ran forward and buried the Dreamstone dagger up to the hilt in Zeal's chest.
A bright glow emanated from the wound, while Zeal tilted her head back and laughed. She yanked the dagger out easily and tossed it aside, while the wound quickly closed up. Schala realized that she should submit now. There was no way that she could defeat this Lavos incarnate. She had no idea of it's weaknesses, or even how to hurt it at all. But a quick glance back at the twisted, fried remains of Greven sent her reeling into emotional turmoil. She couldn't stop. She had to kill this monster that had killed her lover.
She punched Zeal in the face as hard as she could. Zeal hardly budged an inch. Then she grabbed Schala's arm and twisted upward, throwing Schala into the wall, where she landed upside down. Schala quickly responded with a whirlwind that would normally have tossed Zeal around the room like a rag doll, but now she just stood, unmoving.
Zeal summoned a bolt of ball lightning that struck Schala square in the chest, knocking her down and leaving her twitching on the floor. Schala jumped up, yelling in rage again. Zeal hurled yet another icicle. Schala didn't dodge fast enough this time, and the icicle passed through her left shoulder and carried her back into the wall, pinning her against it. Blood streamed down her robes, some of it freezing the icicle in place. Before Zeal could do anything else, Schala actually cast a fire spell on herself, melting the icicle, before expanding it to hit Zeal too. The heat cauterized the gaping wound, although Schala could no longer feel her left arm. She stretched her right hand out, and a mixture of fire and lightning roared into Zeal. Zeal quickly absorbed the fire, and turned it against the lightning.
While Zeal was distracted by this, Schala clumsily ran around the hole in the floor, and charged at Zeal. Hitting Zeal with her right shoulder, she managed to knock the queen to the floor. Zeal immediately jumped up, grabbed Schala by the neck, and slammed her down to the ground, knocking the wind out of her. "You are beaten." She said simply. "It would be very wise to give up now."
"Did you... give Greven the chance to give up?" Schala coughed.
"Don't be ridiculous." Zeal laughed scornfully.
"Then no! I will never give up! I'll die first! And if even if you vaporise me like you did him, my ashes will clog your lungs until you can't breathe!" Schala wearily got to her feet.
"Its not your body I need to tame, its your will." Zeal sighed. "Maybe one can lead to the other though. Let's see how cocky you feel after this!" Suddenly, a rainbow colored circle of light emanated from Zeal. As it passed through Schala, she felt as if all the energy was draining out of her body. The wound from her shoulder reopened, along with her Golem gash. Burn marks appeared at various points on her body. She couldn't figure out where they were from, until she recalled her failed attempt to defeat Serges all those years ago. It was as if every wound she had ever received had reappeared.
Schala couldn't take much more of this. She healed herself as much as possible, although she still felt weak after that spell. It seemed there was nothing that could seriously damage Zeal. Well, not quite nothing... While she had been training Greven to use the true Holy, they had come up with a very powerful light spell, although they had not actually tested it. But they had developed the exact wavelength for it. It almost seemed too powerful to be classified under light magic, so Greven recommend terming it "star." They had never decided, because Schala didn't think they'd ever have an occassion to use it. But now, it looked like this was an appropriate time. Greven had even come up with a catch phrase for it, and although Schala certainly didn't feel like saying his cocky statement, she figured she owed it to him.
"Call me old fashioned, but I've always been a believer in the "big bang" theory."
"What the hell is that supposed to..." Zeal trailed off as a bright yellow ball about four feet in diameter appeared in front of them. To her immense surprise, it slowly began to shrink, until it was nothing more than a pinpoint of light. "A failed experiment?"
"Not quite." Schala gritted her teeth. This would be quite rough on her, as well as those on the receiving end. She stretched out her hands to encompass the spark, then spread her arms outward quickly. "Eyaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!"
The spark exploded outwards, enveloping her, enveloping Zeal, and the entire room, before blasting it's way outside. The huge ball of light was visible from Enhasa, and the every resident of Zeal outside at the time saw the top of the tower crumble into the explosion, where it was vaporised. The sphere of light energy finally dissipated with a huge concussion, creating a sonic boom that rocked the air all the way to Kajar.
Back amid the flaming rubble and dust clouds, Schala wiped the soot from her face. She saw Dalton's unconcious form burning in the distance. As the dust cleared a little, she saw Zeal standing about twenty feet away. The queen had a pained look on her face. She opened her mouth and coughed raggedly. Schala smiled. Then Zeal looked up and said, "You little bitch, that HURT."
Gaspar ducked as rubble rained down around his head. Spekkio seemed oblivious. Then they were both thrown to the ground as the concussion rocked the palace. "Did you hear that? Activate the stop device!" Spekkio obeyed, but the rubble continued to fall. Gaspar frowned. "That one must have been defective. Use another, quick!" Spekkio obeyed again, then scratched his small tuft of hair when nothing happened. "Don't tell me... Try the third one." Spekkio activated it, but it didn't work either. "What can be wrong? These worked on everything before, even Weapons!"
"Lavos' energy is different from Weapon energy." Spekkio stated matter-of-factly. "That thing has it's own wavelength, which is smart. Guess your devices are calibrated for human magic."
Gaspar growled angrily. "C'mon. Let's get back to the lab."
Schala spit out the blood that flooded to her mouth, glaring at Zeal's offending boot. "You know you cannot beat me. I saw how much that took out of you. Why do you persist?"
"You were ready to die when dad did, or don't you remember?" Schala growled savagely. Using the last of the energy available she could see on any wavelength, Schala created a sword made entirely out of ice in her hand, since she couldn't find her dagger. She raised it up weakly, and tried to charge at Zeal, although it was really more of a half limp.
"I remember. But I already told you, that filthy animal was nothing like your father!" Zeal invoked a fire spell. Schala brought up her sword to defend it. She heard Dalton's snicker too late, and knew it was over before she could do anything.
But she was still not prepared for the tremendous pain as the point of her dagger jutted out of her chest, blood spurting everywhere. She let her sword fall, and the fire spell entered her body through the cut, roasting her from the inside out. She would have screamed, but the fire had already vaporised her voice box. She felt the tremendous fear and pain as her own heart stopped, impaled by the dagger and now roasted by the fire. As the flames raced up her spinal column, her vision went black, and she welcomed death, if only to end this.
* * *
Schala saw Greven standing in front of a full length mirror, dressed in a blue and gold explorer uniform, looking very nervous, yet confident at the same time. Ertai came running into the room, gesturing at Greven. "You're still dressing? You better hurry, or you'll be late for your own wedding!"
Greven straightened his cravat, before grinning. "You know, its a shame I'm the groom, because I'm obviously the best man!"
Ertai grinned back. "Looks like Schala's sense of humor has been rubbing off on you."
Greven smiled differently now. "Yeah, she's a good influence. That's part of why I love her so much."
"So why are you still primping yourself in here?"
"I'm not nervous about marrying her," Greven grimaced, "I'm just worried about the mother in law."
"Oh c'mon." Ertai dismissed the matter with a wave. "How bad could she be?"
"I don't know." Greven said darkly. "I really don't know."
Now Schala seemed to be in a dark cave, which glowed slightly green. She seemed to be back in her own body, except she was lying naked in a puddle of greenish ooze. She stood up, shivering, trying to shake the goo off her body. "Where am I?" She cried into the darkness. The sound of heavy breathing answered, like something having it's sleep disturbed.
"Hello?!" She cried, half panicked. She didn't understand what was happening at all. Now she could hear footsteps coming toward her. The gloom lessened a little, and she saw what looked like a gigantic suit of armor opening. A much smaller humanoid stepped out, and it was undoubtedly alien. It stepped toward her rather menacingly, despite it's ungainly appearance. "W-what do you want?" She gasped, her shivering increasing.
The alien tilted it's head back, stretched it's arms out, and emitted a horrifying noise. The most horrifying part was that Schala realized she had heard this before. It was unbearably loud; nothing human could ever match it. The slime in between her goosebumps vibrated with the sound waves. Then the scream died off, as if someone's throat was being cut. And on that thought, Schala fell forward, her world fading to black.
"Is this all you've got? It will never be enough!" - Elmina, a.k.a. Lady Harken
"Good. At least I won't have to wait long to be with him." - Queen Zeal
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