Archive for April, 2010

Chapter 4: Leap of Faith

April 7, 2010

Sorry I’m a week late with this one. There’s been so much going on lately that I’ve been doing so many other things. Anyway, here is Chapter 4.

Chapter 4: Leap of Faith

“Ok, Dirk, let’s try that move we’ve been practicing.” Animus flew a couple feet next to Dirk and held his sword up in the air.

“You didn’t eat anything just before this, right? You know what happened,last time.” Dirk asked as a precautionary measure.

“Just do it, Dirk!”

Dirk grabbed Animus’s feet and, with his immense strength, swung Animus around in circles, slicing the surrounding demons in two. Just as all the demons were slain, the environment around them returned to the base’s training center.

“It’s a good thing I had my eyes closed, this time. My stomach still isn’t used to that move. Hey, Dirk, wanna invite the others to play Brawl?”

“Okay. One of us needs to end Mentivis’s win streak, sooner or later, anyway,” Dirk grinned.

“I’ll go ask Melina while you invite Mentivis,” Animus requested.

“Looking for every opportunity, eh, Animus?” Dirk’s grin became a little wider.

Animus’s face turned red. “Hey! I only thought it would take less time if we split up.”

Dirk’s grin changed to a smirk. “Ok, then. How about you go ask Mentivis, and I’ll go ask Melina.”

“No way! You’re the one who mentioned Mentivis. You go ask him.”

Dirk laughed. “Ok, then, lover-boy!”

Dirk proceeded to the basement, where they found Mentivis in the war room. There were piles of open books on the table, with maps and chess boards lying about. In the center of the table was a hologram of the forest south of Kariba City. Several small figures of the Spirit Warriors and the demons were moving around, battling each other within the hologram.

“Yo, Mentivis! Wanna Brawl with us?” Dirk shouted toward him.

“Darnit, Dirk! How many times must I tell you not to shout while I’m busy? It interrupts my train of thought!” Mentivis yelled back.

“Well how else am I supposed to get your attention? If I talked any lower, you wouldn’t respond.”

Mentivis’s aggravated tone disappeared as a smile began to show on his face. “Well, I guess I need a break, anyway.

Meanwhile, Animus met Melina in the kitchen. She was busy cleaning the dishes from the night before.

“Hey, Melina, Dirk and I were wondering if you’d like to play some Brawl with us.”

Melina turned to Animus and smiled. “Sure, after I finish washing these dishes.”

“Is there anything I can help you with, Melina?” Animus asked.

“Well, there aren’t many dishes left to clean. All that’s left is putting the clean dishes in the cabinets. Hey, you’re blushing!”

Animus’s face turned a bit redder. He rubbed his hand on the back of his head as he spoke. “Sorry. Dirk was just teasing me earlier when I suggested we split up so that I could invite you while he invites Mentivis.”

Melina giggled. “Well, let’s make sure not to keep those two waiting!”

About 15 minutes later, the four warriors got together in the big room, in front of the TV.

“No using Ike, Animus. He’s the cheapest character in the game,” Dirk said.

“Hey! I can’t help it if I like using Ike. He’s got that nice sword and a cape. Wait, what about you and Bowser? How many times have you Koopa Klaw’d me next to the edge?” Animus replied.

“Half those times, you had more lives than me,” Dirk said in response.

“Yeah. Then I don’t even have enough lives to deal with Mentivis’s Lucario.”

Mentivis joined in, “Just be thankful that this game doesn’t have Mewtwo. At least you guys would have a chance against me in this game.”

“Yeah. Partly due to the fact that you leave yourself wide open to Melina as she’s spamming Zelda’s Din’s Fire on you,” Animus grinned.

“I just want to fight you for once instead of Mentivis. It always ends up being me versus him,” Melina replied.

“Ok, 5-stock, Castle Siege?” Mentivis asked.

Later that night, after everyone is in bed, the shutter door near the stairs opened. Animus quietly made his way out of the building and flew northeast to a cliff west of Terto City. There, Animus stood at the edge of the cliff and thought to himself as he stared at the stars.

“(Man, it’s been six months since that day. Ever since we defeated that army of demons, the attacks that came afterward have been minor. Are we near the end of the battle, already? No. It can’t be. We still need to find the five remaining medallions. What should I be doing now?

Melina… I know she is the one my Lord chose for me. Now that we have a lot of free time, we can finally do more things together, like go to a movie, or something. My Lord, she’s so beautiful. I want to be her knight in shining armor. I want to always protect her. But, she seems to have protected me more than I have protected her. Even at that time when I tried to save her, I… I didn’t make it in time. Well, I did save her back at that old castle, but after that, she saved me when I was trapped by demons in a cave. And then, there was that one time, a few months ago, where I had to face my personal foe. If it weren’t for her, who knows what might have happened? The enemy had me feeling helpless, again. No, I shouldn’t think this way. If I couldn’t pull my own weight as a Spirit Warrior, I never would’ve become one.)”

“Animus…”

Animus broke from his thinking and turned around to find Melina standing in front of him.

“Melina!” Animus ran toward Melina and hugged her.

“Animus, I can feel your heart. Are you okay?” Melina asked, worried.

“I… I… was just looking at the stars,” Animus answered, hesitantly.

Melina saw through this, as she knew what was in Animus’s heart. “Animus, you will always be my knight in shining armor, no matter what happens. I love you.”

“Thank you, Melina.” Animus hugged Melina more tightly than before.

“It’s a beautiful sky, tonight. Do you want to stay here for a bit and watch the stars with me?”

Animus’s smile became bigger when he heard this. “Absolutely!”

A few minutes into watching the stars, Melina began to speak. “Ever since we first met, I felt as if my heart became attached to yours. I wasn’t sure what it was, at first, and I felt nervous. As we went through those battles, the tug on my heart felt even stronger. I can feel what you feel, and it feels strong.”

Animus replied, “I have felt the same over the months. I can’t stop thinking about you. I want to always be by your side. Melina, I have been praying for my Lord to bring you and me together before I even met you. Without you, I felt so incomplete. Even as I continued praying for us to be together, I had a long, hard struggle with lust. I hated lust. The moments where I fell into a lustful state, I just felt so unforgiving of myself. I knew it dishonored you, my Lord, and even me. Melina, if I ever return to a lustful state again, I want you to be by my side, so that I don’t fight alone, because I know that a stand a bigger chance of losing if I try to fight lust by myself.”

“To me, it feels like your heart is the one most broken after the battle. I promise to always be by your side. On the outside, your flesh slowly moves you into a state of lust. But your heart is what still keeps on resisting that lust. I can feel your heart struggle during those moments, and it is hurt during the battle. But, like a fortress that is damaged from a struggle with the enemy, it begins to heal itself and prepare for the next battle.”

Upon hearing this, a tear slowly crept down the left side of Animus’s face. He embraced her, with his head on her shoulder. “I love you, Melina.”

“I love you, too, Animus.”

A few months have passed, and Dirk and Animus have returned to college. Dirk majored in Engineering, while Animus continued to press on with the passion that he had before becoming a Spirit Warrior: teaching. Mentivis would assist Animus and Dirk by teleporting them to an empty classroom in the college, where they would not be noticed by the people around them. Once college is over for the day, Mentivis teleports them back to the base from a quiet alley near the college.

A full semester of college passed, and the Spirit Warriors began to enjoy the coming summer. One day, however, Mentivis began to notice some strange activity coming from a secluded area in the southern tip of the Eastern continent. Mentivis decided to call Animus to the war room to discuss the situation.

“Animus, I was wondering if you could do me a favor. Every time I scan this section of the southern continent, I have been picking up some unusual activity.” Mentivis pointed to the southern peninsula on the Eastern continent.

“Sure thing. What do you need me to do?” Animus replied, eager to work actively as a Spirit Warrior again after so long.

“I just need you to head over to this area and see if you can find out anything. Once you’re done, return to me and give me your report.”

Animus nodded and left the base to scout the requested territory. A while later, he arrived at the peninsula and began to investigate.

“Well drat. This is going to take me a while with all these trees everywhere. I’ll have to do this on foot.” Animus stepped into the forest and began to search for signs of suspicious activity. After a couple hours, he began to grow weary.

“Whew. I need a break. The forest seems practically endless. I’ll just rest here for a bit.” Once Animus began to lie down, many dark figures surrounded him. One of them began to shout, “Seize him! Take him to Lord Corrunderus. He wants to deal with the knight, personally.” Before Animus could yell, he was knocked cold by one of the demons.

“Ow… what a headache. Where am I?” Animus looked around to find his surroundings completely different from earlier. Instead of a green foresty landscape, he was inside some sort of building. But this was not an ordinary building. The room around him looked too… technological. The door ahead of him looked like it could slide open. The floor was covered in blue tile. Wires hung from the walls.

“What the…? My arms and legs are tied! I guess I’m stuck here until I can figure out where I am.”

A few minutes later, the door slid open, revealing two demons, much like the ones he slew in the past. “You’re finally awake. Lord Corrunderus has grown impatient. You will follow us to meet him. Do not attempt to resist. There is nowhere to run.”

Animus was loosed from his binding and was escorted by the two demons to a large room with a long window in the back, revealing stars. In the room swarmed hundreds of demons. At the far end of the room stood a tall demon wielding a scythe. The two demons brought Animus to the one who seemed to be the leader of the demons.

“State your name, Spirit Warrior,” the demon sternly requested.

“Ripping off my line isn’t cool. How about you tell me your name, first?” Animus coldly replied. All of a sudden, he felt a blow from behind that brought him to his knees.

“Stop. Do not kill him, right now. For now, he must remain alive,” the great demon told the two lesser demons behind him.

The demon continued, “I am Corrunderus. The god we serve rules over this planet, thanks to your kind. However, your God interfered 2,000 years ago, and freed the likes of you from this kingdom’s citizenship. Now, I wish to know your name.”

“I am Animus, Spirit Warrior. My task is to defend the people from evil beings like you.”

“Interesting,” Corrunderus replied. “You may return to your bindings. You will be called back in an hour.” Animus was escorted by the two demons out of the large room and returned to the place where he was tied. The demons left as soon as they were finished binding his arms and legs to the wall.

“Crud. This isn’t good. I don’t know where I am. I’m surrounded by demons. Even if I succeeded in an attempt to break out of here, I don’t even know where I am. Those stars I saw out the window earlier is making me think I’m up in space. Come to think of it, I might be. I’ll take another look when I return to Corrunderus.”

An hour later, Animus found himself in the large room, once again. This time, he and Corrunderus were alone.

“I know you are not a fool that you would fight without first assessing the battlefield, first. You don’t know my strength. And even if you could overpower me, you would never be able to escape. In case you are wondering, we are in space, high above the earth. This place is not ours. It was abandoned by the humans.”

Animus could not believe his ears. “Space?! How did I get here?!”

Corrunderus continued, “You got me curious when you said that you were protecting people. Have you even known what your own kind has tried to do to people like you? They ridiculed you, beat you, killed some of you, or worse. Most of all, they hate you.”

Animus replied, “Who influenced those people to hate us? I’d like to hear your answer.”

“Many of them feed their hatred off of each other. Some were a little more stubborn, only giving in by accepting bribes. Money, pleasure, power, knowledge. There are plenty of others, too.”

“We, the Spirit Warriors, saved many of their lives. Do you honestly think the same people will willingly stab us in the back?”

“I want you to watch this monitor over here. I want to show you some of the people you ‘saved’.”

Corrunderus turned on the monitor. The screen revealed a human with a high position making a speech.

“How long must we continue to give our money to a group of people who claim to be ‘superheroes’, when there wasn’t an attack for a long time? Do you want to know why there hasn’t been an attack? I’ll tell you why. It was staged by a group of hooligans who have scammed us into supplying them with massive amounts of money. We must break the financial hold that they have on us, so we will no longer support their lies.”

Corrunderus turned the monitor off. “This is only the beginning. Your efforts to defend this planet are futile. The very people you are trying to defend will hate you. The more they know about you, the more they will hate. Do you really wish to carry this burden?”

Animus gave his answer, “I made a promise to defend humanity from you. No matter what happens between me and them, I will continue to honor that promise.”

“Very well,” replied Corrunderus. “Your execution is tomorrow. However, I will release you if you decide to rid yourself of your status as Spirit Warrior for the rest of your life. Allow me to make a recommendation: give up. The burden is not worth carrying. Guards! Send this fool back to his prison.”

The two demons at the other end of the room came and escorted Animus back to his bindings.

“This guy can play mind games with me all he wants. It’s not going to happen. I don’t know how I’ll avoid execution, though. I guess I’ll just have to play this by ear.

One thing bothers me, though. That man in the video… What if Corrunderus is not lying? I kinda wish he’d give me the ‘You and I are the same’ speech. The speech is so cliché, I’d have an easier time trying to shrug it off. I guess things will just have to play out before I can figure out what to do next.” Animus’s eyes began to close as his mind was tired from all the pondering.

Animus awoke to a painful punch in the face. “Wake up. The time of your execution has arrived.” The demons grabbed Animus’s arms and escorted him back to the large room. He was brought to a large table at the other end of the room. As he was getting tied face-down onto the table by his arms and legs, he was getting laughed at and mocked by the demons who came to watch the execution. As soon as he was completely tied down, Corrunderus entered the room with a large scythe. After he walked to the other side of the room alongside Animus, he began to make his speech.

“Today is a great day for us. We are about to witness the execution of the Spirit Warrior who had slain one of our greatest fighters. He shall feel pain like he has never felt before, as I pierce through his armor from his backbone to his brain.”

Upon hearing this, Animus began to grow pale and sweat uncontrollably. “(Did he have to describe how he was going to kill me? Oh, Lord, please get me out of this. I know I’m very scared, right now, but I know that as long as my mission is not complete, you will not allow Death to claim my body.)”

Just before Corrunderus could bring his scythe down onto his back, several bright lights appeared and began to harass the army of demons. Two of those bright lights destroyed Animus’s bindings, while the remaining lights kept the demons distracted.

“(Quick, Animus! This way!)” Animus could hear the lights speak into his mind. No sooner did the light speak than Animus followed its instructions. They escaped the large room and went down a corridor until they hit a dead end.

“Where do I go from here?” Animus asked the lights.

“(Destroy the wall, and we will take things from here.)”

“Alright, then. CLUSTER BLAST!” Animus destroyed the entire wall, revealing Earth and the space outside.

“You can’t be serious! I gotta jump?!” Animus shouted in a frightened tone.

“(Yes. Do not worry, however. When you jump, close your eyes and cross your arms. Make yourself as stiff as a board. We will provide you with air to breathe, and we will shield you from anything that threatens your life.)”

Animus gulped upon hearing this. However, he summoned all of the courage that he had and prepared his jump. “Ok, one world’s biggest skydive, coming up. Let’s do this.” Animus ran and leaped into the void of space, protected by the lights that had guided him.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, the three Spirit Warriors had been frantically searching for Animus.

“DARNIT! This is all my fault. If I hadn’t sent Animus to go scouting, he would still be here.” Mentivis just could not take the pain of losing Animus anymore. He began to weep as he kept watching the radar for any trace of Animus’s energy signature.

“Mentivis, you need to lighten up. You did not see it coming. Right now, you look like a wreck. You haven’t eaten, and you’ve rarely slept, save for those times you napped while watching the computer. If you think you’ve had it tough, you haven’t even felt what Melina had been going through the last couple days. Every now and then she screams as if she is in pain. Right now, she is in bed sleeping, so she doesn’t end up getting a heart attack out of all this.” As Dirk continued to pull Mentivis back together, the monitor started to go crazy.

“Mentivis, check this out! There’s an object heading toward earth, and it has Animus’s energy signature!”

“WHAT?! Quick, get Melina up! We need to intercept that object before it hits the planet!”

The three Warriors dashed straight out of the base and flew toward the calculated landing site of the object.

“Dirk, I need you to prepare to stop the object with your strength. I will ascend high enough to where I can slow down the descent of the object.”

Mentivis flew straight up into the sky, until the air became so thin, that Mentivis had to descend a bit in order to keep himself from suffocating. He focused his mind onto the object and began to slow it down. As Mentivis continued to slow the object’s descent, he realized that it was not an object at all, but Animus, himself, wrapped in a glowing energy shield.

“(Oh my goodness, guys. It IS Animus. I don’t know why or how, but he fell from space with only that shield. I need you to be careful with him. He seems to be unconscious,)” Mentivis telepathically spoke to Dirk and Melina.

“Melina, you might need to give me a hand, here. Once Animus has slowed down enough, you grab his arms, and I’ll grab the legs.”

After about a minute or so, Animus finally slowed down enough so that Dirk and Melina could grab and carry him back to base. As soon as he slowed down enough, the shield protecting him disappeared, and two lights scattered from it. Once the team returned to base and laid Animus on his bed, four Great Deed Medallions appeared before them. As for Animus’s medallion, it laid itself to rest on the nightstand next to the bed.

Advertisements