The Aftermath Of Mount Woe Chapter 40
The Way Of Atma
Violen continued to tirelessly pound through the rock. 'I'm almost there now. You'll pay for all of this Lavos. Oh, how you'll pay for this. I'm going to enjoy the violence this time.' Her strong hands carved huge trenches in the rock. She had been at this non-stop for months now. Somehow, Lavos had prevented her from using magic to get to him. So she had decided to go about it the old fashioned way.
'I let everyone down. I let Serges down, I let Schala down. I felt Schala die back there. Not completely though. Maybe if I kill him, she can finally let go...' Her thoughts stopped as she felt her fist punch through the rock, meeting no resistance on the other side. A red glow suffused the narrow tunnel. Violen quickly tore a hole big enough to fit herself through, and without pausing, jumped inside.
Lavos was waiting in a brightly glowing, high vaulted chamber. His outer shell could best be described as "radioactive porcupine." There was an odd pod on the front with three slits gouged in it. The pod ripped open as Violen landed, and an odd blue glow emanated from it. "Lavos, I've had just about enough of you."
If Lavos' thoughts could be put in a form humans could understand, he would have been thinking something like, "What? I've been asleep this whole time. Why is an annoying Weapon of the planet waking me up?" But then Lavos remembered that a standard defense against Weapons was to make them more intelligent, and therefore make it harder for them to understand the planet's orders. His magic must have carried this out automatically. Then he thought, "It's about time for me to be waking up. I guess absorbing a little Weapon DNA wouldn't hurt." The needles on his shell seemed to raise up higher.
Violen pulled her spear out. "You don't deserve to live, feeding off our planet! Your miserable life ends here!"
Lavos thought something like, "Sheesh lady, I'm just doing my job." She charged at him with her spear, but it just bounced off his tough shell. Three of his front needles shot out of the shell and into Violen, throwing her back into the cave wall. She lifted her hand up, and a tremendous amount of ice encased Lavos, then broke apart, and a blast of wind threw the shards around the room, gouging deep holes in whatever they touched. The opening in the front pod narrowed a little, and then huge beams of fire shot out of his shell at every angle. Many impacted into Violen right away. Those that didn't gathering in midair, and combined to form one huge fire laser that smashed through Violen's midsection. She collapsed to the ground, muttering one last spell.
Ice encased her spear, and it launched right at Lavos' front pod, striking it dead center. Lavos screamed with surprise before healing himself, then summoned a tornado funnel that sucked Violen back up to the surface. "That tired me out." He thought. "Guess I'll get a little more rest before I start harvesting. But it won't be long now..."
Violen sighed heavily as she watched her turquoise blue blood spilling onto the grass. 'I never thought he'd kill me so easily. I guess I needed Serges. I went about all of this all wrong.' She realized she was going to die fairly quickly. 'I have to apologize to Schala first. Schala!' She called loudly.
'Violen?' Schala's weak voice responded. 'Where have you been all this time?'
'I'd like to explain to you in person. Can you teleport down here?'
'I can try.' Several seconds later - many more seconds than it should have taken her - Schala appeared next to Violen. "It's good to see that I haven't lost everything." She almost smiled. Violen was surprised to see that she was wearing even more robes than Zeal had used to force her to. It was like she was trying to hide in them.
"I tried to kill Lavos." Violen whispered in a pained voice. She held her arm against the gaping hole in her stomach, trying to stay alive long enough to say everything that needed saying. "Instead, it was the other way around. Lavos had given the Weapons this unnatural intelligence to confuse us, and make us lose sight of the real threat to the planet. Namely: him."
"What can we do now?" Schala asked in a scared voice.
"If no one can kill him, then this planet will eventually die. Not in your lifetime, but in a very short geological span." Violen grew too weak to remain kneeling, and collapsed forward, the blood pouring out from her. She groaned softly. "I failed everyone Schala. You most of all."
"Don't say that. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have lived as long as I did."
"But you're dead now... aren't you?"
She remained silent for a few seconds. "Yes."
"See? I failed, miserably. I shouldn't have kept living after the other Weapons died." She sighed again. "At least I didn't go the way of Atma."
"The way of Atma?" Schala almost got some emotion in her voice. "Serges mentioned something about that."
"So he talked to you, did he?" Violen turned on her side, and she got a far away look in her eyes. "Atma was the leader of the Weapons on a distant planet. All the Weapons except him got killed in a great war. He should have killed himself after that. But instead, he kept going, and eventually, an evil man named Gestahl took control of him. He should have killed himself. I should have killed myself..."
"Sometimes I wonder why any of us are here, if we're all dying so badly." Schala frowned.
"I wish I could tell you Schala. I wish I could tell you..." Then Violen's eyes closed, and she drifted off into a painful sleep, never to wake up.
"And so now we're all gone." Schala stared at the dirt. "Except I'm still here. To do what? What good can I do like this?"
'I wish I could tell you Schala...'
"Where did you go?" Janus asked immediately when she 'ported back.
"Why do you care?" She asked, but not meanly.
"I think it's good that you actually went out somewhere, so there!" Janus stuck his tongue out at her. If the Nu ooze hadn't been coursing through her body, she would have laughed.
"I'm so tired Janus. I need to sleep some more." She lay down on her bed.
"But, it's only afternoon."
"I know." She lay back, saying nothing more. Janus walked over and put a hand on her forehead.
"You're freezing! I'm worried about you."
"Of course. I'm dead. But you shouldn't worry about me." Then she turned her head and ruffled his hair. Then, she slowly withdrew her hand in a sudden realization. There was no disputing it anymore: the boy had blue hair. "Janus, will you do me a favor, when you're strong enough?"
"Of course." He nodded eagerly.
"Someday, will you kill Lavos?"
Janus scowled, then with all the seriousness a four and a half year old could muster, said solemnly. "No matter how bad things seem, I'll never rest until Lavos is dead."
"Thank you. I'll rest a little easier now."
Janus left the room, clenching his fist angrily. "You're not dead Schala! Not completely. But how can I make you see that? And if I can't, who can?"
"Now, I think I have an answer..." - Atma
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