The Story of Tata Chapter 15
By The Man
The Bionational Research Facility was large, to say the least. Skyscrapers shot out of it like great imposing walls, metal could be heard scraping against metal, and each section (there were five, each divided by large roads and identified by one or two of the large towers) bustled with activity. Yet, for Tata, who drove the battered Jetter through the skies at a liesurely pace, there was nothing spectacular or awesome about it. It did not shine, like metal should, it did not gleam in the sunlight. It looked unimpressive.
As they neared the facility, Tata glanced back at his shattered friends. Robo had deactivated himself, or he simply sat there looking dead, Tata could not tell. Robo's right arm was mostly gone from their earlier accident. He couldn't stop worrying that at any moment Robo would topple off the Jetter, but he kept reassuring himself that he wouldn't.
Then there was Glenn. He held the dead figure of Lucca is his armored hands, never looking up from her. Tata had never seen his friend this upset. He could just make out tears falling from his unseeable face and dropping on her fragile form. Tata felt that way when he found Minka dead at Len's hands. He could still remember how badly he wanted to die after that. He had tried countless times to end his life, but to no avail. He just wished he could see her again, to feel her in his arms, to stroke her hair, to touch her face, caress her silky skin, to gaze into her sky blue eyes and kiss her lips and hold her as if to never let her go.
Tata realized he had been drifting. Focussing once more on the road, he admitted to himself that he could never do that again. "Minka is dead." He mumbled to himself.
"Tata?" He glanced around at the voice. Glenn had finally taken his eyes off Lucca and now stared at him with such a pained look that Tata felt his heart breaking all over again. Streaks of tears ran freely down from his welling eyes and across his cheeks that were wet from others.
"Are, are you okay, Tata." He asked shakily. "I mean, do you want me to drive."
Glenn sniffed loudly. "I'm fine, Glenn." Tata kept his eyes on the road. "We're just about there anyway."
Tata was almost instantly back in his mind, thinking over matters. Len was the first thing he saw, and he ground his teeth with such ferocity and hatred he thought they would shatter. Len, or Grendel, as he now called himself, was still alive, he knew it. It was only a matter of time before he found them again. And how many will die when he arrives? Two of his comrades had already fallen to that monster. How many would fall before he put Len away? All he had now was Robo and Glenn, two of those who had been chosen by fate to destroy the otherworldly creature known as Lavos. They were indeed powerful; they had put Lavos down with no casualties on their side. But Grendel was as powerful and evil as at least twenty Lavos's. They would do little against that monster.
Tata knew. Tata knew that he was the one who could confront Grendel and defeat him. He was as powerful as his enemy, powerful enough to shatter worlds at a mere thought. But he was not supposed to destroy worlds; that was what he was preventing Grendel from doing. His power was the light, the creating force that was linked to life. Grendel was his opposite; his was the dark, the destroyer, the evil. His force came from death.
Tata against Len. Beowulf versus Grendel. It mattered little who they were in this world, or in any other. They had to fight forever. They hated each other, so they fought. Yet, in a way, they needed each other. There could be no light when there was no dark and no darkness when there was no light. There always had to be a balance, for if one did not exist, then the other wouldn't either. There are no shadows when there is no light, nor is there death when there is no life. Without these factors, it is simply nothing.
Tata realized that he had already landed the Jetter in a sort of port. Looking around, he saw many streamlined objects with open barrels on wings and a clear dome on top. They resembled eagles in flight, with wings that spread forward in a simicircle and a tail on the back. One of them was occuppied by a man with a large helmet on his head. Tata couldn't see his face clearly, but he guessed that the man had not seen them yet. Looking around some more, he saw the ports the machines occupied were huge garages. They were made out of some type of metal Tata couldn't name, and in the back were materials supposedly used for repair on the craft.
Tata heard faint shoutings and turned in his seat. Looking behind him, he saw a group of about fifteen armed men heading toward them. They wore dark metals on their limbs and body, as well as a helmet of the same material. They reminded Tata of beetles, for their armor shone with an ugly blackness that was very displeasing to him. They held large guns that looked able to take a person's head off with one shot. When they were perhaps twenty feet away from them, they split up and formed a tight circle around the Jetter. One man approached them and poised his gun at Tata.
"You! Get out of that vehicle!" The man shouted. Tata didn't move. "I repeat; get out of that vehicle, boy. Now!"
"General Byer!" Called Robo, hoisting himself down from the Jetter. "It's only me! Robo!"
General looked Robo's way, but kept his gun on Tata. "Robo! What are you doing here? Who are these miscreants?!"
"They are my comrades." Announced Robo. "We are weary from a battle. We request asylum here."
General Byer glanced at Tata, then to Glenn, then back to Robo. Finally, he eased his gun down across his torso. "Request granted." The rest of the soldiers eased down as well.
General Byer finally noticed Glenn was holding Lucca's body. He leapt up onto the Jetter, hardly paying mind to Tata and knelt down next to him to examine the broken corpse.
"Dear, God. It's Lucca." He moaned. "What happened to her?"
"She was killed, you imbecile." Shouted Glenn, then realizing he had insulted the man he said; "I'm sorry. I did not mean to snap at you."
"Forget it. What kind of battle was this?"
"The kind where there are no winners." Glenn wiped a tear away. "I'll explain later, I suppose. For now, have Lucca's body cleaned and clothed for a proper burial."
"Right away uh, what's your name?" Byer asked as he took hold of Lucca.
"Glenn." He said, finally meeting the general's eyes. "My name is Glenn."
"We will do as you ask, Glenn." Byer, with the corpse in his arms, leapt down from the smashed Jetter.
"Denner!!" Byer called. Almost immeditately, a young soldier came running up to him and saluted.
"Yes sir?" the boy's voice spoke of a determined soldier with high hopes, but still young. He happened to glance at Tata for a brief moment, then back to his general
"Take these men inside and have them cleaned and given rooms. They deserve our best."
"Yes sir!" Again the boy looked at Tata with wondering eyes, and Tata realized the boy couldn't be more that six years older than he. But he also noticed that Denner looked at him like Minka used to: with care and comfort and compassion. It was weird, but Tata suddenly saw Minka looking at him, but only for moment before Tata shook his head and looked down.
"If you'll follow me, sir." Denner was standing by the Jetter looking up at Tata.
Tata hopped down and trotted ahead to Glenn, who was sauntering alongside Robo. They were led inside by Denner and given separate, but close rooms. Tata was the last to receive his room, but Denner did not leave immediately.
"You'll be shown to the bathing rooms in a few minutes." Denner spoke bluntly.
"Thank you, Denner." Tata said uneasily.
"Well, uh, see you around, Tata." Then Denner left.
Tata's room, dispite being called "the best" was pretty plain. The room was larger than Tata's, but the walls were a plain white, as was the ceiling and the flush carpet. There was a decent, wide bed that had a navy blue blanket on. There was a mirror opposite of the bed and a set of dressing drawers underneath. There were no windows, however, which displeased Tata slightly.
Right at that moment, Tata wanted to just drop onto the bed and sleep forever, but suddenly there was a small beep from the door. At first Tata was unsure what it was, but in response, a tall, lanky man opened it. He stood there for a moment, holding a towel in one arm.
"If you will please follow me." The man said finally.
Slowly, and with his left hand on his sword hilt, Tata followed the gaunt man through what seemed like endless hallways, never seeing anything of much interest. His emotions were at crossroads right then. They had just lost Lucca, so they were one person less. When he thought of that, he felt sad. Then there was the young soldier Denner. Why did he keep looking at Tata so strangely? Those thoughts made him feel confused. And what was of Len? Was he truly dead? No, he couldn't be. One could never survive without the other. This made him worry.
Then, there was Minka. Not a thought ever passed his mind that didn't remind him of her. He had loved her so much. Now, with her dead, his life had almost no purpose outside cold revenge. Why can't anything ever go my way? He wondered to himself. Love had left him behind in the dust with a burning hatred for her killer. Why was he so unlucky and gifted at the same time?
He barely noticed himself entering the bathing room and watching his attendant
prepare a bath.
Once the man left, Tata removed his tattered clothing and got in the tub. The water was hot on his skin, but Tata stayed alert. He had propped his sword and the hilt against the tub.
He did not know how long he lay in that tub, trying to relax, but not succeeding. He was hardly conscious the whole time. But after awhile, he found himself stepping out of the tub and water dripping off of him. He scrubbed his head with his towel and wrapped it around his waist. He was just about to leave, but he remembered his clothing and sword. When he turned around, though, the sword was gone.
It was one of those horrible, frozen moments. Tata remembered no one entering the room while he was in the tub. No one. But his sword was gone now. A tremble went through Tata and he realized he was afraid. He had not felt this way for a while, but his jaw trembled in fear.
Then, there it was, in plain, clear view. It was jutting out of his chest, blood caking it. His blood was now everywhere, oozing on the walls and floor and ceiling. Pain seared up and down his body, followed by a deadly numbness and his legs crumpled. He fell on his side and didn't move another muscle. His spine had been split in two. He felt blood welling in his eyes and his vision became blurry. He tried to breathe, but he felt tired and numb. Blood poured out of his loose mouth as he choked softly. He felt hot tears fall from his eyes, but upon seeing them, Tata realized it was blood. In the moment before he blacked out, he heard one, final statement.
"I win again, Beowulf."
Pain annihilated the world into blackness.
He saw Len, a child of six trip and fall. His face smacked into the dirt and the boy uttered a curse. None of the people around him offered a hand. No one seemed to notice. Tata began to laugh at the unfortunate boy when someone bumped into him. What came out of his mouth became a hiccup.
Wandering into the nearby café, he was given some water in a pewter mug. Tata chugged it gratefully and then wandered home.
A few years later, he met a girl who was a mystic/human. He instantly fell in love with her. When they had completed schooling, they married. With the war still going on, Tata was forced to enlist in the Guardia army. He quickly rose to the rank of sub-commander of the knights of the square table. Even though the hero had never appeared as people thought he would, Guardia was still confident that it would win the war.
Then, a band of scouts came back with only three of the ten that had originally left. Their report stated that Magus had been overrun by an even darker mage. His brutal armies had scorched the entire continent of Chorras. And they were now coming to destroy the two remaining human continents.
Tata and his platoon were stationed in Porre, which made it easy to visit his wife and two sons. One day, however, and army of Mystics stormed into Porre. At the head of the group was a man clad all in black. The details of his face were unclear, but he could tell the evil mage wore a smile that froze his bones. Right next to him was the infamous Magus in chains, looking totally beaten and solemly casting magic spells that annihilated everything in their paths. Tata saw his house being shattered by a shadow magic blast. Finally, a ball of magic, so dark it seemed to eat up the light around it, came hurtling at him. Tata didn't even get the chance to move before he was utterly destroyed. Yet at the same time, the dark mage gasped and grabbed his throat. He fell to the ground, dead.
Tata ran out the door of the café, still only six years old and full of life. The next second he was on the ground with a thin form on top of him. It was a girl with red hair. She was pale and thin and had a disgruntled look on her face.
"Hey! Get off!" he shouted even as she got off of him.
"My pleasure!" She responded as she stood up. He was quick to follow. They glared at each other for a minute or so before she turned on her heels and walked into the café.
Shrugging his shoulders, Tata walked home with the realization that that girl was a Mystic, judging by her ears
Later, when Tata was fifteen, Tata met a girl with strait brown hair and a pretty, thin face named Faleen. They later married and moved to San Dorino and had three children. Tata became a fisher in the village and became the best sailor on the southern continent.
One day, Tata heard that Magus had disappeared. Simply disappeared. The Mystics quickly fell without him and the other three commanders, Ozzie, Flea, and Slash scattered. As time went on, Tata grew old and his children moved out and got jobs. One day, though, Faleen got sick and died. Tata mourned for what seemed like an eternity. Every day he would visit her grave and cry his heart out on her grave.
It was when he was sixty-five and tending to his nets in silent sorrow that he was attacked by a man that looked far too old to be picking fights. They struggled on the muddy ground as hard as their aging muscles would allow. Tata, being younger, flung his opponent off of him and yanked his sword out of its sheathe (he had never given up the blade his childhood friend, Glenn had given him for his fifth birthday).
His opponent leapt with surprising agility at him, but Tata was ready for him and raised his blade. The assailant slid right through the blade and Tata, unable to support the extra weight, toppled back into the water. His head went under and he pulled it back up, only to have it shoved back under again by his attacker, who seemed unaware and/or unaffected by the sword that was jutting out of his back. Tata fought fiercely to get his head above the water again, but his concentration was fading fast. The blood of the other man was pouring into the water, making a murky, red cloud. It was the last thing Tata saw as his opponent gave his last breath and went limp and Tata blacked out for good.
"Walk me to the door?" asked Minka, giving Tata a smile.
"It's right there." Tata said, motioning to it with his hand
"I know, it's just an expression." Her walk was a graceful as her figure. She was so elegantly beautiful that Tata could have cried. She was just reaching for the doorknob when Tata spoke up.
"Hey, um " She turned to look at him.
Tata tried again. "Listen, uh, if you give me a few minutes, I can get my clothes the rest of them, and we could go get a bite to eat at the café."
"That's very sweet of you, Tata." Minka said, looking sympathetic. "But I haven't been home for a day now and my mom is probably freaking by now."
"Aw, come on." Tata urged, putting on a grin.
Minka had no choice but to smile back. "Oh, if only you weren't such a dish." She sighed.
"Two minutes, tops!" Tata called as he raced up the stairs.
The rest of the day was spent together, walking in meadows, sitting on riverbanks and under willow trees. They were the perfect couple, and deeply loved each other. At the end of the day, Tata offered to walk her home to her house.
They arrived there at seven o'clock, way after sundown and ready for the ravings of her mother. But surprisingly, no lights were on in the house.
"She might be asleep already." Minka whispered as the pair stared up wonderingly at the dark house.
They walked to the door and crept in silently. The house was silent like the night, dark and forbidding.
"Hello?" Minka called out.
Tata was the one who spotted it. "Minka! The stairs. There's blood on them!"
"B-b- " She could not say it.
They crept forward to the stairs. They stared at the blood with a horrific silence that seemed louder than thunder. At the same time, they slowly looked up at the closed door at the top of the staircase. The silence slit their throats.
Then, the door shattered outward with a crash like lightning. Tata shielded Minka with his body and paid for as a foot-long splinter speared him like a fish. Grimacing, Tata turned to face the attacker in time to be punched in the face by a black-gloved fist. He fell back onto the wood floor with a grunt. He looked up and saw his attacker, a tall, black clad figure with a black, slightly curved katana blade standing over a cowering Minka. He raised the blade and brought it down at her. Her throat became covered in her blood. She tried to scream, but her vocal cords had been severed. The figure raised his blade again and brought it down again. More blood.
Again. More blood.
Minka was dead now, bloodied and still. Screaming, Tata lunged at the figure, drawing his own blade. The assassin looked up at him just as Tata ran him through. The man screamed, but mustered the strength he needed to put his black blade through Tata's heart. Pain seared through him and his vision became clouded with blood. The pair fell down together, each caught in each other's death grip.
Just as Tata was about to breathe his last breath, his attacker spoke.
"It had to b-be this way " he groaned.
He was a peasant, a king, a sailor, an explorer, and a knight. He scaled mountains, sailed across whole oceans, and conquered many a nation. He died young, old, of diseases, poisons. He married Minka many times. Sometimes he married another. Sometimes he never even did get married at all. He fought wars, lead armies to great victories. He lost limbs, made enemies, and killed more people than he could count. Never was it exactly the same. But he was always the same person. Tata al'Myerrie from Porre. Each time he had violet hair. Each time he met Minka at least once. And each time, a mysterious assailant killed him. Tata knew who it was, yet he didn't. They both died near the same time. And as Tata saw these things, everything he knew finally made sense.
It all made perfect sense.
"Doctor! Doctor!!" came a voice from beyond the darkness. "He's waking up!"
Tata's eyelids slowly drifted open as a man clad in a white like that of most of the brightly lit room he was in ran in and stopped in front of his bed. Tata also recognized Glenn, somewhat looking older, standing in nearly the same place. He wore a pair of blue pants and a white shirt with no strings.
"G G-Glenn " Tata moaned in a deep, whispy voice. Deep. Yes, his voice was deeper than he last remembered it.
"Welcome back to the land of the living, Tata." Glenn said, smiling a warm smile.
Tata sat there dumbfounded as the doctor examined some monitors before saying, "He's going to be fine." Then he left.
Tata said the next thing that popped into his mind. "Where's Minka, Glenn?"
A heart broken look came across Glenn's face. "She's dead, Tata. Don't you remember?"
Tata sat there silently for a minute, staring off into space. Minka. Dead. Yes, yes. Minka was dead. She had been for some time.
"Damn." Muttered Tata.
Glenn came and knelt by Tata's bed. "Do you remember anything? Anything at all?"
"Yeah. Yeah, it's just coming back to me kinda slowly." Tata said distantly.
"You were out for quite a while. No one knew if you were going to make it." Glenn sighed. "Your whole spine was cut in two, and yet it fully mended two days ago."
"I'll be damned if I'm going to die now." Tata looked at Glenn. "Len is still alive, right?
"Yeah, it seems that way." Glenn said regretably.
"Well then, if that bastard is still around, do you honsetly think I'll croak before I get to cut his black heart out?"
"No, I suppose not." Glenn admitted with a grin.
End of Chapter 15
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