The Story of Tata Chapter 7
Forgetting the Past
By The Man
The minute Tata walked into the Knight's Quarters, where the others had been meeting mostly, he knew he should have stayed in bed. He had gotten up feeling like molten lead, but had managed to dress into his usual garb and trudge down to them, but as soon as he overheard: " there was blood everywhere," when he had first entered the room, he knew he didn't want any part in the conversation. But now everyone had seen him, and it was too awkward to leave. He sat himself down between Flea and Lucca and listened in on the conversation.
"I had a nightmare, too." Said Marle. "I awoke to find a demolished landscape, with burned and ashen bodies everywhere. I was missing my right hand, and before long, I found Lavos. He opened his mouth and " she fell silent.
"I had one." Spoke Robo. "And I'm not even supposed to dream."
"I had one, also." Said Tata. "I heard a loud scream, then everything went black."
This was a fib, of course. But as Tata remembered more of the horrible nightmare, a simple scream would have been comforting. The meeting went on like that for another hour, the others discussing the haunting dreams, while Tata let his mind wander. He was going to witness it tomorrow; the coming of the asteroids.
Tata didn't know how long he let his thoughts carry him, or what happened during that, but soon. he was snapped out of it by a hand shaking his shoulder. Instantly he was alert again, and looking up, found Glenn standing over him, his hand resting on his shoulder.
"Were going." He said flatly. Glenn now wore a black and gold suit of armor, much like that of his friend Cyrus.
"Huh?" mumbled Tata.
"Were going over to Lucca's house. She hath a device that may solve a little mystery. Care to join us?"
"Of course." Tata said numbly, rising from his chair.
They walked for hours, no one saying much, no one really showing any real emotion at all. They just walked until they came to the bridge linking Lucca's island to the inland.
They made their way across the bridge and soon found themselves in her house. Tata was in the back of the room, and was only able to see the "telescope," as Robo called it. In his future, they were supposed to be able to view stars closer than any human eye.
Finally, after a few minutes of Lucca fiddling with switches and peering into the narrow end of the scope, she withdrew, shaking her head in dismay.
"There's a Lavos spawn on that thing, alright. And it looks big." She said tiredly.
Sighs filled the room. Except for Tata, who just stared at the wall, dully. He didn't care.
"Well, we might as well prepare for the events ahead." Said Magus.
Tata was too absorbed into his subconscious to hear anyone else. He was too obsessed with the idea that slowly grew and appeared in his head. Of course. He thought to himself. The meteors. Of course! They will get through, and then I can
Tata smiled to himself. He looked out the window at the meteors, and his smile grew even wider. He was looking at his ticket to oblivion.
Tata went to sleep early that night, eager to get tomorrow over with. He was fed up with his life, and now it was going to come to an end. Tomorrow, his friends would attempt to destroy the meteor. But they would fail, and Tata could tell. They were too big, and his friends were too weak. There was no way Magus could stop them, even with his powers. They would fail.
Tata dreamt again that night. He was standing in a small field that was bordered by curved stone walls. The sky was a rich blue, with the occasional cloud passing lazily overhead. The grass that covered the ground was thick and full of life. There were many butterflies floating everywhere, quietly drifting on the wind. In front of him was a large pedestal, with red tulips growing out of two patches of dirt on top of small pillars, which were one both sides of a small stairway. There was a lone figure on the pedestal, but his/her back was turned to him. Tata instinctively walked toward the humanoid figure, and upon nearing it, he saw the figure was wearing a loose and flowing white robe, its hood covering its head. It billowed to the right of its owner like caught in some fierce wind, yet Tata felt no such air pressure.
Soon he was about two feet behind the figure, and it was then that the figure reached up with both hands and threw back its hood, revealing a small, yet fitting head. Its crimson hair was pulled back in a ponytail. It had light skin and elongated, pointed ears.
"So you've come." The mystery figure said in an elegant, silky voice. Then it turned to face him.
Tata nearly had a heart attack right then. "You y-you " But he lost his voice.
"Yes, it's me, Tata." It answered his silent question.
Tata's mouth continued to speak silent words as she continued.
"I haven't much time, Tata. You need to listen to me." It said as the unfelt winds died and let its robe fall silently to its sides.
Finally, Tata found his voice again. "How, how can you " again he fell silent.
"Tata, please listen to me." The figure said again. She looked deep into his eyes, and once again Tata spoke.
Tata exhaled heavily and put a hand to his forehead, getting over his shock.
"It's really you." He said, the corners of his mouth creeping up to form a smile. He reached out for her, but she grabbed his hand and held it in a gentle, yet firm grip.
"Tata, that's not important now." She said as his smile slowly disappeared. "The important thing is you."
"Me?" Tata said, slightly flattered. "What's so important about me right now?"
"Tata, right now, if not that, then before, you have been having thoughts of self-destruction." She answered. "And I know that the reason is me."
Tata was taken aback a little by this. "It's not you, Minka, it's everything. I have witnessed murders so macabre that they seem like appendages on my lifeline. I've lost so many people to Death, I've had to kill to stay alive, I " he trailed of once more. Then he found some words.
"What ever happened to the phrase; 'A person's childhood is the happiest time of his life'? Isn't it supposed to mean something to the average teen, never mind the average child? My days have been branded by horrible accidents, brutal murders, and woeful horrors that plague and direct blame to me. Why did it have to be me?"
"Because," said Minka in a calm manner. "you are not average. You know as well as I do that you have always been stronger than the rest, smarter, kinder, more gentle-"
"It's gotten me nowhere!" shouted Tata. His anger was boiling, fuming at his pores, despite the fact that he now stood before the girl he lost mere days ago. "Why does being the kindest, strongest, most likeable person around also make me the most miserable? Huh? Answer me!"
Minka slowly bowed her head and sighed. Then, she lifted her head again.
"It has gotten you somewhere." She said, taking one of his hands in hers. "Right now you are company to the heroes of the world. You have many friends, you are loved by many, you possess powers that most only dream of. You had my love."
The last phrase really hurt Tata. 'He had her love.' The 'had' was the key. Now, there was nothing.
"Then why'd did you have to die?" he asked, even as he felt a solitary tear trickle down his face.
"I'll never be dead." She said with a slight smile. "You said it yourself, Tata. 'Heroes get remembered, but legends never die. The important thing is to keep them in our hearts.' I may not be much of a legend, but I know to you I was. So keep me in your heart. And never forget me."
"How could I forget you, Minka?" Tata asked quietly. "How could I forget what was done to you?? When I found you, you were hacked up so badly, the room was covered in blood."
"You'll have to forget the past, Tata." She said simply.
"Forget the past? How?" he questioned, a quizzical look crossing his face.
"Destroy it. Accept what it did and demolish it." She said, letting go of his hand.
"How on earth am I supposed to do that?" asked Tata.
"You'll know." She said as her voice began to echo, and grow distant. Suddenly, there was a blinding flash. For a minute, Tata was completely blind, unable to even see the end of his nose.
Then, Tata woke up. It was close to noon, and the clouds rolling outside didn't completely cover the sun that spilt its faint rays onto the thick, gray clouds. The last traces of his dream lingered in Tata's head, filling him with sadness. Forget the past. The phrase hung in Tata's head like a spider hanging by a solitary string of thread, gripping his brain and forcing him to listen to it.
Forget the past. It sounded again in Tata's head, eating at his soul, destroying his heart. His past was horrid, and would have been best forgotten. But how could he destroy his past?
Forget the past. At that moment, the final puzzle piece of the mystery clicked into place, and Tata realized what he had to do.
Quickly dressing, he scampered down the stairs and got into the main court just in time to see Flea leaving.
"Hey!" shouted Tata as the girl walked out the door. She turned to stare at him, a smile crossing her face.
"Yeah? Do you need something, Tata?" she answered.
"Um, yeah." Responded Tata, walking closer to the doorway that she stood in. "Is the Epoch back yet?"
Flea nodded at the woods. "Magus still has it, but he should be back anytime."
Suddenly, there was a bright flash, and Tata and Flea shielded their eyes. The flash quickly subsided, and Tata looked back in time to see a large, white craft land just outside Guardia Forest.
"There's my ride." Said Tata as he ran down the steps and across the drawbridge. Flea simply let him go, without a word.
Tata made good time through the forest, but never ran into Magus. Probably off to seclude himself from the rest of the world, Tata thought as he hopped aboard the craft. The glass dome automatically closed on top of him. Tata inspected the controls, trying to figure out what was what. There really weren't really that many controls, despite the fact that it could travel in time. Tata was expecting a little more complex control system. There was the manual thrust system, the arsenal controls, which included a metal stick for targeting that also had a trigger on it. There was the steering, another metal stick, but without a trigger. And then there was the key control: the time giro.
Tata powered up the engine, set the giro for 600 AD, and before he knew it, he was warping back to his home time.
The mad whirling world outside the cockpit canopy slowly faded away as the time machine reached its destination. Tata looked up and saw many snowflakes falling from the dark, winter sky. He flew around for awhile, searching for his target. He turned south, heading to the small town of Porre. Nearing the Cursed Woods, he spotted it and took the craft down. He landed on the west side of the foul forest, all the time keeping his eyes of his destination.
He approached the old house with great anxiety and fear. He stopped before the front step and looked up at it, the very sight of it depressing to him. He saw the door was off its hinges and lay flat on the floor. He took a deep breath and stepped inside.
The inside of the house was even worse than its exterior. It was strewn with cobwebs, each one host to dozens of spiders. The walls were rotting and reeking of mold, which was already creeping out of the crumbling walls. The silver spinning wheel was now simply molded rust, no longer shining with intense beauty, it sat there like a burden on one's shoulders.
Then, as he approached the stairs, he saw dried puddles of blood leading up the stairs, each smelling of something unimaginable to the human mind. Just as he remembered it. He slowly trudged up the creaking stairs even as a putrid smell began to invade his nostrils. Like the front door, the entrance to the next room had no door, and the hard, cold winds ripped at Tata's face.
Then, he entered the room. Just as he had left it. The stench was intolerable. It was beyond stench. It was beyond foul. It was an incomprehensibly loathsome miasma that raped one's soul through the lungs. The dead, rotting bodies still lay one the ground with maggots and flies festering in the macabre meat. The blood was everywhere, dried and smelling of death. The window was still shattered, causing the bitter winds and snow to blow freely on the bed.
Tata felt like screaming. Screaming for what, he was not sure of. But he felt like screaming. Still, he didn't. He simply turned on his heels and walked back outside. He looked at the godforsaken hellhole for only a moment. Then he extended his right arm and pointed at the house. This was Minka's house, her grave. This was his past. And now, he was going to destroy it.
At that moment, a fireball leapt from Tata's outstretched hand and smashed into the house. Tata didn't know how he had done it, but he had stopped caring why. The house burned quickly, leaping up the walls, onto the roof, spreading it's burning touch across every inch of the damned house. Tata felt like crying his heart out, to empty his sorrow in his tears. But he had no tears left to show. He had wasted them a while ago.
Tata walked over to Epoch, letting the house burn until someone did something to stop it. He climbed inside and was setting the dials when an image of Minka appeared in his mind. He saw her perfectly, as she was right in front of him. He saw her as he liked to remember her, beautiful, elegant, and kind. He saw her running through a field of daisies, her arms outstretched, as if prepared to have the wind pick her up and take her into the sky. He shining, crimson hair flapped in the wind behind her head, like a flowing red sea on a stormy day, catching every wisp of wind that blew past her beautiful face. She laughed and laughed, tears of joy streamed off her face and into the wind.
Keep me in your heart.
"I will, Minka." Tata said as Epoch lifted off the ground. "I swear on your grave, I will."
With that, Tata hit the throttle and Epoch entered the eternal oblivion of the time warp.
End of Chapter 7
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