Archive for May, 2010

Chapter 5: Spiritual Warfare

May 4, 2010

I’m a bit late again, but not as before. After Chapter 6, it may be a while for the next one to come out, because 7 is not finished yet. Thankfully, summer is arriving, so I should have plenty of time to finish things.

Chapter 5: Spiritual Warfare

Animus was released from complete darkness to find himself in the midst of what used to be a big city, now in fiery ruins.
“What happened, here? Did this happen while I was captured? No, it can’t be. What about my friends?” Animus wandered around the mix of steel, broken glass, and towering flames until he saw a silhouette of a figure in the distance.
“Finally! I need to figure out what’s going on!” Animus quickly ran toward the figure to find out it was Dirk. Dirk turned toward Animus with a mean look on his face.
“Dirk! What’s going on here? Where is everyone? What happened?”
Dirk was silent for a moment, but then he spoke. “You abandoned us at the time we needed you the most, and you ask ‘What happened’? You’re no different from them… I thought I could trust you, but it was all a lie!”
Animus was shocked by these words and replied as fast as he could. “But Dirk! I was up in space! I couldn’t do a thing! But I’m here, now! We can fight the enemy together!”
Dirk only responded meaner and louder. “I… HATE YOU, ANIMUS! YOUR LIMBS WILL BE SCATTERED ACROSS THESE RUINS!”
Dirk rushed toward Animus at great speed, leaving Animus with little chance to fight back before he was knocked fifty feet by the force of Dirk’s attack.
“Dirk! Why are you… Ah!” Animus was interrupted by another dash, but quickly leaped upward, narrowly dodging the attack.
“I’m sorry, Dirk, but it looks like I have no choice.” Animus unsheathed his sword and prepared to face Dirk head-on. Dirk extended his claws and dashed again toward Animus, preparing for a quick swipe with his claws. However, he was interrupted by a volley of energy shots fired by Animus. He leapt into the air for a downward slash direct at Animus’s face. Animus attempted to use his sword to parry the claws, but he failed to strike them. He saw that his sword dug deep into Dirk’s heart, immediately ending his life.
Animus removed his sword from Dirk’s lifeless body and laid the corpse on the ground. As he stared at Dirk, his heart began to hurt a bit.
“What… what have I done? I didn’t mean to kill him! Why… why did this have to happen?!”
A voice came out from nowhere. “Animus, how could you stoop so low as to murder your fellow Spirit Warrior?”
Animus turned around to see Mentivis, giving off the same mean look as Dirk once gave.
“Tell me! What is going on here! I need to know!”
Mentivis answered, “What you need to know is that you are no longer part of us. You are our enemy, and as part of our duty, we will make sure you are put to death.”
Mentivis began to walk toward Animus, without making any sudden moves.
“Mentivis! You don’t need to do this! This can all be forgiv-unh!!” Animus’s mind was interrupted by a painful attack. Almost immediately after, several more mind pains began to attack him.
“Aack!! Stop!” Animus was on his knees, leaning onto his sword for support. Mentivis walked all the way to Animus and enchanted his staff with electricity.
“No! Stop!” Animus reached his hand out toward Mentivis. All of a sudden, a strong burst of energy came out from his hand and knocked Mentivis a great length into a tall shard of glass that was sticking out from a nearby building. Mentivis was pierced and immediately deceased.
“No! Not him, too!” Animus got up and ran toward Mentivis’s lifeless body. The pain in his heart hurt even more, almost torturing him with every breath.
“Ugh! It hurts.. it hurts so bad…” Animus, clutching his heart, could barely stand. Seconds later, he was covered by a shadow. He turned around to see Melina, standing behind him.
“He was all I had as a family, and you murdered him in cold blood.”
Animus, worn out from fighting and buffeted by the pain in his heart, was ready to collapse. “Do what you will. I’m not going to fight you. I’m almost dead, anyway. Just… finish me…”
“Animus! Please, don’t die!” A familar voice, accompanied by the sound of weeping, echoed throughout the ruins. Animus looked at Melina, but the voice was not coming from her. But, it was coming from her, because he could discern that it was clearly Melina’s voice.
“If the voice is Melina’s, who is standing before me?” Animus pondered as Melina looked around to find the source of the voice.
“Aghh! Stop it! I can’t hold it any longer!” Melina began to glow in several colors and slowly shifted her shape into a demon’s. At the sight of this, Animus’s heart healed completely, and he could finally stand up. As he looked around, the corpses of Dirk and Mentivis disappeared into the familiar demonic smoke.
“Alright, demon, I think it’s time for you to disappear, as well.” Animus quickly dashed forward and sliced right through the demon, while dashing by. He quickly stopped and dashed again towards the demon, slicing it once again. He stopped again, jumped back towards the demon and let out several slashes coming from all directions. He jumped back and fired a powerful energy blast, destroying the demon entirely. All of a sudden, everything went white.
Animus opened his eyes to find himself back in his room at the base. Dirk and Mentivis was standing by, while Melina was embracing him tightly.
“He’s awake!” Dirk shouted.
“Whatever you did, Melina, it saved his life,” Mentivis added.
“Animus!” Melina saw her awakened knight and started hugging him around his neck and kissing him many times on the cheek. All Animus could do was blush as Dirk and Mentivis stared at the two with smiles on their faces.
“Thank you again, Melina. I really thought I was going to die before I heard your voice. But, what happened while I was out?”
“Well, Mentivis had been looking for you for days. We all managed to save your life when you plunged toward Earth.” Melina then began to recall the events that followed the rescue.
“Quick, get Animus into bed. The sooner he recovers, the better,” Mentivis told Dirk and Melina as they carried the unconscious Spirit Warrior to his bed. Later, Mentivis began to examine him with his mind.
“He seems to be in a coma. I’ll continue to figure out what is going on with him. You two go ahead and get some rest, yourselves.” Dirk and Melina left for their rooms, as night had just fallen over the base.
“Ahh!!! My chest! It hurts!” Melina shrieked in the middle of the night. She held her hands on her chest, wincing in pain. Immediately, Dirk and Mentivis came rushing into the room.
“What’s wrong, Melina?!” Mentivis asked, full of worry.
“I… don’t know! It hurts! It won’t stop!” Melina continued to hold her chest as tears began to flow down her face.
“That’s really strange,” Mentivis pondered. “At the same time you shrieked, I felt Animus’s life signs drop. I couldn’t get through to his subconscience, but I can tell something is terribly wrong with him.”
“It might be easier if she were closer to Animus. It looks like we’ll need to watch them both,” Dirk suggested. Mentivis used his mind power to move Melina to Animus’s room, as she herself could not walk far, due to the pain. All of a sudden, she screamed in pain again.
“AHH!!! IT HURTS! IT REALLY HURTS!” By now, Melina is in terrible pain. The tears that ran down her face kept multiplying.
“So, that’s it. Whatever pain Animus’s heart is going through, she can feel it, as well, as if their hearts were intertwined. If Animus dies from this coma, Melina will die, as well.” As soon as Mentivis said this, Melina rushed toward Animus with all her might and embraced him, laying her head on Animus’s chest.
“Animus! Please, don’t die!” The tears became uncontrollable, now, as she wept for him. Gradually, the pain in her heart began to ease. Eventually, Melina, filled with fatigue, began to rest on top of Animus.
“Oh, man. I’m sorry to have put you through so much trouble, Melina,” replied Animus, feeling guilt from hearing what happened.
Melina softly responded, “It’s not your fault, Animus. You did what you could do, and we’re thankful you are alive and well, now.”
Animus turned his thoughts toward his earlier experience. “Anyway, guys, I met Corrunderus.”
“Corrunderus,… that was the name that came to my mind back at the old castle,” Mentivis pondered.
“He’s the guy who’s orchestrating the whole thing. I couldn’t fight him, though. There were too many demons about for me to confront him then.”
Mentivis nodded and responded, “As of right now, none of us know how to reach him. We’ll need to continue our goal of obtaining all eight Great Deed Medallions until we can find an opportunity to bring the fight to him.”
“Well, where are we going to get the rest of them? I want to clobber that guy, right now!” Dirk shouted in haste.
“It’s not ‘where’, Dirk. It’s ‘when’,” replied Mentivis. “There is nothing we can do to obtain these medallions more quickly. All we can do is wait for them to come to us as they have before. We each have four medallions in our possession. It shouldn’t be long before we obtain the remaining four.”
The following day, Animus decided to meet Dirk at the Training Chamber. “So, Dirk, you said there was something you wanted to show me?”
Dirk nodded. “Yes, as a matter of fact. Thanks to Mentivis, not only did we manage to kill a lot of bugs and glitches since the last go-around, but he also had the bright idea of adding a bit of adventure into the mix. Go ahead! Try Level 1! It’s awesome!”
“Well, since you put it that way, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to try. Anything I should be familiar with before I dive right in?” Animus asked.
“Well, you might end up using more than just your sword. Expect to get familiar with weapons other than your sword. Also, this is the first project that doesn’t involve demons. There will be a variety of enemies to fight. Lastly, the object isn’t to kill all of the enemies. You need to touch something that ends the simulation.”
“Alrighty, then. Let’s do this!” Animus shouted with a smile. He put on all of the equipment and strapped himself into the gyroscopic chamber. As soon as Dirk turned on the machine, a feeling of nostalgia encompassed him. He appeared in a bluish rectangular room filled with statues. On the left side of the room were fishlike statues. On the right side, dragon statues. There were four doors in the room, one on each side. The door up ahead was locked. The doors on the sides were open, and the door behind him was sealed tight, presumably the dungeon’s entrance. Animus walks through the door on the right to find himself in a room identically-shaped to the previous one, but with walking skeletons and two columns of blocks in the center of the room.
“Well, this is new. Let’s see if those walking piles of bones can stand a few sword swings.” Animus goes up to the first skeleton and gives him a few simple slashes. However, the skeleton fell after only a couple hits.
“Dirk’s only making this too easy. I’ll just clean this room up quickly.” Animus quickly dashed around the room, slashing the remaining skeletons as he flew by until they all crumbled. As soon as he stopped to look around, he noticed a faint glimmer amongst one of the corpses. He walked over to it to pick it up and found that it was a key.
“I think I know where this goes. I’ll head to that other open room to see what’s there.” Animus walked back to the previous room and went through the other open door to find himself in yet another identical room, only there was nothing in it, except bats.
“Bats… Ok, then. Time for target practice.” Animus fired energy shots at each bat until they were all vaporized. Suddenly, a small sound, like a piece of metal dropping, came from a corner of the room. He went to the source of the sound to find that it is another key. He picked it up and carried it with him as he returned to the previous room to unlock the door. As soon as he put the key in the hole, both the key and the door disappeared! He walked through the door to find a room with a single column of blocks in the center and a few more skeletons. He disposed of the skeletons as he did before and continued on to the door up ahead. The next room had four blocks near each corner and more skeletons.
“Yeah, I should’ve guessed. This place is littered with them,” Animus sighed. He fired energy shots at each one until they were all destroyed. A key appeared on the north end of the room, so he picked it up, leaving him with two keys: this one, and the one from the skeletons in an earlier room. There were two doors apart from the one he entered from: one on the west side and one from the east side. He decided to go through the east door to find himself in a dead-end room that was full of bats.
“I don’t think this area was meant for training. It’s too easy to move through this place. Oh well. Time to clean house.” Animus destroyed each bat with energy shots and discovered that a circular object was at the other end of the room.
“A compass, but the needle isn’t facing north. Maybe it leads to the end.” Animus backtracked to the previous room and walked through the west door to find more bats.
“Oh, come on, Dirk! Don’t you have anything here besides bats and skeletons?!” Animus shouted.
“Heh. Just you wait,” Dirk answered, though he was nowhere to be found. Animus destroyed the bats in similar fashion to the others, unlocked the door on the north side, and proceeded onward.”
“Uhm… yeah. Animated Jello. Good thing I don’t normally eat Jello. Otherwise, I probably would’ve lost my appetite.” Animus slew the gels that inhabited the room to find that the west door is shuttered.
“Now how to open this…” Animus tried firing blasts of energy, but nothing seemed to work.
“Try using your head, Animus. This is a dungeon, after all,” Dirk said, though still not around. Animus looked around to find a lone block in the center of the room.
“Well, can’t say I didn’t try.” Animus pushed the block to find that the shutters had opened. However, the block could no longer be pushed. He proceeded to the newly opened door to find a dark room with two flames. An old man appeared between the flames.
“Uhmm… do you need rescuing, sir?” Animus asked the man.
“Eastmost peninsula is the secret,” the old man replied.
“How ya doin’…,” Animus sighed to himself. He returned to the previous room to try the door on the east side. He went through to find more gels and a piece of paper at the far end of the room. He slew the gels and picked up the piece of paper to find that it was a map. Upon gazing at the map, he slapped his forehead.
“So that’s why this place felt so nostalgic. Dirk, your Level 1 is the Level 1 from the first Zelda game?!”
“Well, yeah. I needed some practice on making dungeons for the simulator, and I thought this was the perfect candidate.”
“You could’ve at least strengthened the enemies in here, you know,” Animus replied. He went through the north door to find a water-filled room with skeletons traversing the walkways. He slew each skeleton to find a key inside one of them and proceeded forward through the north door.
“Finally, something different!” Animus shouted. “Yikes!” Animus quickly ducked in time to dodge an oncoming boomerang.
“You like throwing things, huh? How about a game of catch?” Animus fired energy shots at the monsters, who appeared to be rats that could walk upright. After a few blasts of energy, the rats were defeated and a key appeared on the other side of the room. He used the key to unlock the west door and continued onward, only to find himself between two oncoming spike traps.
“OH SNAP!” Animus dashed quickly out of harms way to find a stairway that was surrounded by blocks.
“Heh. I could just jump this. Forget about pushing the right block!” Animus jumped over the blocks and went down the stairs to find a bow on the floor.
“Uhh… ok, I’ll take this, but only because I want to play with it later. Hmmm… I have an idea.” Animus grabbed the bow and raised it over his head with a smile.
“Ok… a nice little tune would’ve kept that moment from being embarrassing,” Animus said with a red face as he lowered the bow from atop his head. He backtracked to the room where he found the map and continued eastward, unlocking a locked door with the only key he had remaining. There, he found a few more boomerang-wielding rats that he managed to dispose of in a little time with his energy shots and picked up a boomerang that appeared on the floor.
“I never was good with these things. I want to see if it’ll come back without me making any effort of throwing it right.” Animus threw the boomerang to find that it managed to fly straight forward and back, despite how badly it was thrown. It returned to Animus’s hand without a single problem.
“Now this is pretty sweet! I can throw it and it comes right back, and I don’t have to worry about dropping it! Man, I’d like to have something like this back at home!” Animus grinned as he played with the boomerang a little while longer before continuing east,following the compass.
“Room with lots of blocks and a locked door up north. Maybe there’s a key nearby.” Animus looked around the room until he found a key next to a wall on the south end.
“Gotcha. Time to move on and…,” Animus cut himself off to find that he was staring at a massive hand right in front of him.
“Get away from me! I know what you guys do and I don’t want to be anywhere near you!” Animus ran from the hand and dodged another hand that appeared through a wall until he came to the locked door.
“Good thing these guys like hugging walls, so long as it isn’t me.” All of a sudden, a roar came from behind the door.
“Okay… I don’t like that sound. I liked it better when it didn’t even sound like a roar,” Animus shuddered as he unlocked the door. As he entered the room, he saw a large monster, half-dragon, half-unicorn, standing to the right of the room. No sooner did he see the boss than the boss begin to hurl balls of fire from his mouth. Animus quickly dodged the oncoming attack and distanced himself from the monster.
“No time to waste here. CLUSTER BLAST!” Animus fired a powerful ball of energy directly at the monster. The blast was so powerful, it obliterated the monster in one fell swoop.
“Good thing I knew that trick. Time to grab that glass heart over there, and…” As soon as he touched the heart, it disappeared.
“Well that was anticlimactic,” Animus sighed as he passed through the east door. There, he found a glowing triangle in the center of the room.
“Well, that was fun, but I think it’s time to leave.” Animus touched the glowing triangle, and he suddenly found himself back at the base.
“(Whew. That was pretty interesting. Oh snap… I forgot to play with the bow while I was there. Oh well. Maybe next time,)” Animus thought to himself.
“Not bad, huh? Though, I might fix that whole Aquamentus-bomb thing. That boss was supposed to give you a challenge,” said Dirk, a bit unimpressed by the boss battle.
“Just try to make something original, next time. Going through a dungeon I’ve played through probably millions of times kinda takes the fun out of exploring it in a simulator,” Animus replied.
A week had gone by since Animus’s awakening. The warriors have been busy training in the simulation chamber. However, today’s simulation was suddenly interrupted by an alarm.
“Darnit, Dirk! I was so close to beating you in that match,” said Animus, irritated.
“Saved by the uhm… alarm, huh? Let’s hurry to the War Room.”
Dirk and Animus raced to the basement to find Melina and Mentivis already sitting down in the War Room. As soon as they sat down, Mentivis began to speak.
“Okay, guys. There’s a demon attack in Terto City.”
“Again? Are they looking for something, there?” Animus interrupted.
“I doubt it, though I could look into it later,” Mentivis answered. “Anyway, I’m getting strange readings about this one. His skill level doesn’t seem to match ours, so a quick fight will be in order. Ready, team?”
“Ready!” the other three team members shouted.
The four warriors arrived at Terto City, where they found the demon standing there, waiting for them.
“You won’t lay a finger on me!” The demon shouted as he lunged towards the group. He went after Dirk, first, who already had his guard up. However, as soon as the demon struck with his sword, Dirk could not feel the impact, but he was still in pain.
“Argh! What was that?! It hurts, and I don’t even know where!” Dirk immediately descended to the ground, trying to recover from the pain. Melina descended, as well, to attempt to heal Dirk. Animus lunged at the demon and prepared to cross swords wth him. However, his blows went right through the other sword!
“A phantom sword? But how?” Animus fired a few energy shots at the demon, but they went straight through him and hit a building right behind him.
“Ohhhh…. snap. That’s not cool at all,” said Animus, worried more about the damage he made than from the fact that his attacks went through the demon.
“That’s impossible!” Mentivis shouted. “We can’t hit him, but he clearly injured Dirk! Crud… Animus, can you hold off the demon while I go back to base to scan this abomination?”
“Just be quick. I don’t know how long I’ll last against this kind of demon.” Animus evaded to avoid any direct hits, while Mentivis flew back to the base to find some answers. Meanwhile, Melina continued to try to heal Dirk.
“I don’t get it. No bruises or scratches. I just don’t know! Hang in there, Dirk. Just fight it off.”
“Easy for you to say,” answered Dirk, still in lots of pain. “There should be a convenience store around the corner. Go buy me a bottle of water. I’m hoping that will ease the pain.” Melina left Dirk to buy a bottle of water from the store.
Back at the base, Mentivis was desperately searching for answers.
“Come on, computer! Give me something I can work with!”
Animus continued to battle the demon. Well, at this point, he was trying to evade each attack until Mentivis came back. After narrowly dodging an attack, he took notice at Melina, who was coming back with some water. Seeing the water made his mouth feel dry.
“Man, I am so buying some Gatorade when this is over.” Suddenly, Animus felt a sharp pain. He was struck by the demon, who used the distraction as an opportunity to attack.
“Argh! It hurts all over!” Animus said in pain as he fell to the ground. At the same time, Melina also felt the pain and fell to the ground, as well, dropping the bottle of water.
“But… I don’t understand… I didn’t get hit… Wait. That’s it! He’s not physically attacking us! It’s… our spirits? I can feel it coming from there.” Melina quickly tried to contact Mentivis, who is still desperately searching for a solution.
“(Mentivis! Quickly, grab some music and get over here! Mentivis, can you hear me?)” Melina tried to contact Mentivis with her mind, but no answer came. “Animus, try contacting Mentivis. Tell him we need music!”
“Music? Well… okay.” Animus tried to reach him, as well. “(Mentivis, find some music and head back. Melina has an idea. Mentivis? Darnit, Mentivis, answer it!)”
“Fools. I could kill you all by now, but I want to make sure you all are here to see each other die,” said the demon, temporarily ceasing his attack.
“I’m back, guys! I have the music… Oh no…” Mentivis returned to the battlefield to find the others on the ground in pain.
“Which CD?” Melina shouted to Mentivis.
“Whatever was in the CD player,” Mentivis answered.
Melina sighed at the answer. “I think I know what was in there last. Play number 2!”
“Got it!” Mentivis turned on the CD player and started playing the second song.
“Everyone, get up! Close your eyes and raise your hands to the sky! Listen only to the song and relax,” Melina instructed the others.
Slowly, the wounded Spirit Warriors got up and began to follow Melina’s instructions.

…and all You ever do, is change the old for new…

The Spirit Warriors closed their eyes, raised their arms, and relaxed.

…God… is bigger than… the air I breathe…

The demon was paralyzed in fear. As he saw himself surrounded by the warriors, four ghostly figures rose from their bodies, using weapons that the Spirit Warriors brandished: Animus’s sword, Dirk’s claws, Mentivis’s staff, and Melina’s daggers.

…God… will save the day…

The four figures lunged at the demon and impaled him with all of their weapons, utterly destroying the demon and wiping him from existence.

…and all will say… “My Glorious”…

The four figures, with their weapons, returned to the warriors, and the warriors opened their eyes. In front of each warrior was a Great Deed Medallion.
“Wow, that was awesome… beyond awesome!” Animus exclaimed, no longer feeling pain but is, along with the other warriors, experiencing a huge surge of joy.
“That was incredible. I feel so much at peace. It’s as if nothing else in the world matters,” said Dirk as he opened his eyes.
“Mom and dad… it felt like they were right beside me,” said Mentivis.
“Thank You, Lord. It is only through You that we have the power to overcome these foes,” Melina said, with a big smile on her face.
The warriors left the battlefield with rejuvenated spirits and a stronger urge to continue along the path they have walked on for so long.