A/N: Here's the chapter that everyone's been waiting for. Now at least some of the questions I've been getting in reviews will be answered. I hope you all enjoy my little surprise.
Act 12: Grand High Messiah
By: Melissa Norvell/Revamp
"Tarvos…" Lannad's voice trailed as she stared up into the homeless man's shadowed figure.
He gave her a toothy smile, filled with mischief. "Well, I didn't think you'd wander into me. Then again, our sectors are close together."
Standing, she questioned him on his progress. "Have you found any survivors?"
"Not exactly." She had not heard this tone of voice from him before. There was something about it…Something dark and foreboding. It was as if he was a different person entirely from the one she'd once known.
"There are time rips here. You should be careful in case something pops out." The girl warned, ignoring his change in tone. More importantly was the fact that Lannad didn't want him to be hurt. It was more dangerous than it had been before. Not to mention Chaos and the Grand High Messiah were around.
"I can handle myself. I just hope that you can work that little wand." If she didn't, then she would be the next one to die.
"I know a few spells. I study when I can." She noted, looking down in embarrassment. The fact that she spent so much time getting over her shock had caused her advancement not to be as far along as some of her friends. For that, she regretted her decisions. Light blue eyes then gazed back up at the curly-haired man. "Can I ask you something?"
Tarvos rested a hand on his hip, remaining encased in the darkness. "You people are always badgering me. What now?"
"Are you really not human?" Lannad figured it would be safer to ask him when they were alone. If he really wasn't human, then he wasn't going to publically announce it. She would keep his secret if requested, even from the likes of Dante.
"Why do I even bother with this disguise?" Tarvos deadpanned. It was time to shed his masquerade. Besides, it had long outlived its purpose. "I'm not human. So, go ahead and say all of the predictable stuff I think you'll say." Morphing, his shadow sprouted wings and horns, his teeth glinted in the murky-looking air of the church.
Lannad's features hardened. "Are you Chaos?" She chose her words wisely. If he was, she was all alone and out of earshot of the others.
The Dius choked back a chuckle. "Don't make me laugh. Why would you think that?"
"Everything spun out of control when you came here." She noted.
"This is coming from a Marked One." He retorted sardonically. It wasn't as if he was the only one branded unlucky.
Lannad blinked in surprise. "You know what that is?"
"I'm a Marked One as well." In his own right, they were the same.
"How can you be a Marked One? Was your birthday the same as mine?" Could it be that he was born on the marking time for the end of the world? If he truly was a Marked One, that meant they were the same age. All Marked Ones held her exact birthday when the premonition was made.
"Not exactly. My birth was a marked time for my race's demise. Things tend to…get terminal whenever I'm around." If that wasn't an outright answer to who he was, he didn't know what was. If Lannad didn't get it then she was an unworthy, unintelligent human who deserved to meet the same fate as Ayumi had.
Lannad's pupils shrank to the size of pennies instantly. Her form trembled in terror and the realization hit her. Dante was right. "You're…" Her trembling lips whispered against the stagnant air.
Rezzi was pecking away at her phone keys as Ringo wiped the sweat from his brow, taking off his designer hat. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed the girl's actions and questioned her.
"What are you doing?"
"I wanted to ask a friend if they were alright." After all, she promised to check up on capriciouscarnage when she had the time. Not to mention, she wanted to keep him informed on what was going on.
"Oh, say have you seen an actual time rip yet?"
Rezzi frowned at him, and then it hit him,
"…Yeah, never mind."
She was blind.
"This looks completely normal. Nothing has been touched." Mae said as they walked through what appeared to be a normal sector of town. It was a nice contrast compared to the doom and gloom around their houses. No one was around, but the buildings were virtually untouched and the skies were void of any discoloration.
A beep was heard as Rezzi checked her phone. Squinting, she made out the form of a middle finger.
"I think we're going to see all we can see here." Ringo commented. As far as activity went, this place was all clear.
"Yeah, let's meet back where we were." Mae settled. It was boring. Time to report that they didn't find anything.
Oz stood with crossed arms at the point where their group assembled. No one had shown up yet. They must have been still been searching for the Grand High Messiah or Chaos. Tarvos had strayed away from him during their search, doing god knew what. That man had a mind of his own and he wasn't too concerned with him. This gave him a rare moment of peace to think to himself. 'Sorry David, I can't particularly stop this. Even I know that this is beyond cruel, but I have no choice. This is something that must happen in order to keep this paradox from certain destruction.'
A skeletal hand touched his shoulder, bringing the duel-spectacled Dius from his thoughts. "As you said, this is my shining moment."
It was Tarvos.
Nodding, the Dius placed his hands together, thrusting them up into the sky. As if by magic, the heavens split and a beam of purple, neon light bled through. A giant scythe appeared, descending down. It was intricate with carvings around the long, curved blade and a purple N similar to that of the Capricorn symbol adorned the top of it. The weapon was purple and black in coloration and highly metallic. Pulling the weapon back from its aura Oz turned and held it out to the now unmasked Dius, who took it. "As promised, here is the War Scythe. You know what to do."
"They're already on to me, so why not give myself a little exorcise and test their skills?" Flashing his trademark smile, his fellow promised him that he would give the humans a good battle. He practically trembled in mirth. This was the moment that he had been waiting for.
"Don't screw this up." Oz warned. A lot of things rode on this moment. If it wasn't executed with precise measure, then their plan could have bad repercussions.
"If there's anything I can do right, its commit genocide. I know just where to start." This was going to be fun.
Oz just frowned.
Fur Elise sounded through the air momentarily before the cell phone was answered.
"Hello, this is Rezzi."
"Hey, we lost Lannad. Have you seen her?" Dante asked. It had been far too long since they've heard anything from the priestess. He told her to stay nearby but she didn't listen. Everyone had become concerned.
"No. There's actually nothing strange in our sector. What about yours?" She inquired on their terrain.
He looked above him as another rip formed above them. "The sky is shitting out time rips and everything is destroyed. Nothing's come out of them so far. We've been watching them for a while. We were going to head over to the big-ass crying fest at school…because I want to drown in fucking tears if the Grand High Messiah doesn't kill me first." He continued to complain as David snuck up stealthily behind him with his hand out, ready to snatch the phone from him at any given moment. Dante had complained the whole trip; the last thing he wanted to hear was him bitching to Rezzi about how he hated funerals.
"Did you want us to head over there in case something happens?" Rezzi questioned as she heard rustling. A bewildered expression crossed her visage. "Hello?"
"Ugh! No! You dip shit stop!" Dante screamed as rustling and the tones of number punching sounded.
"Give it to me!" David's voice was then heard.
"I was talking first, you douche bag!"
"Your oral defecation stops here."
"It'll shove it in your-"
"I hope you punched yourself in the face." The gruff teen's voice became faded, as if he were in the background and David's clarified. She could only guess that he had taken the phone from Dante.
"Sorry about that. I was tired of hearing him bitch." David replied. "We want you guys to come as backup in case we see either one of those entities at the morning session."
"I'll do that. I'll tell Ringo and Mae as well. I hope that you guys find Lannad. She doesn't need to be running around out there with these time rips." Even though they haven't seen anything come out, something very well could and if they wanted to take over the Earth, they might try to kill her in the process. It was imperative that they recover their friend before she ran into anyone shady.
Dante wore an angry expression as he flipped David off in the background. "Yeah, after we find her, I'm going to gather everyone up and head over."
"Right, I'll see you there. Bye." Rezzi ended the conversation and hung up the phone.
"You asshole." Dante frowned, glaring daggers into his friend's soul.
The cool kid leveled him with a serious expression as he hung up the phone. "We don't have time to hear you bitch. We have to find Lannad."
"Where the hell is Tony? He's not here, either. Damn it, don't people know how to reform?" It wasn't that hard of a concept. The last thing he wanted to do was lose everyone in their group. It only put them behind.
"Let's go and look for them." David instructed as he ran off with Dante in tow.
She tore through old draperies that hung down in a dilapidated doorway to a mostly crumbled building. Her adrenaline fueled her body as she ran as fast as she could. Lannad had to reach the others. Stopping for any reason other than to catch her breath would not be allowed. 'Oh no! This is bad!' Her thoughts raced as the memory of that shadowy form sprouting wings and horns haunted her. 'It's him! It's the Grand High Messiah! Dante was right. I can see it too, now. I've got to warn the others.' Glancing back for the slightest of seconds was a miscalculation that resulted in her body slamming into something that felt like a brick wall. It beat the breath out of her as her petite form flew back and landed on her butt. "Huh? Tony!"
"Have you seen Dante or David? I need to talk to them." Her expression was grave as Tony helped the Lolita from the ground.
"Why? What happened?"
"I found him when I was walking after we went our separate ways." The girl explained.
"Why didn't you stay with him?" The strong male had a feeling that she was talking about the Grand High Messiah…either that or Chaos. Either way, she shouldn't have run from him regardless.
"Where did he go?" Tony questioned.
"I think he went to the school memorial. He was headed that way." That very fact made her worry.
"What?" That was horrible.
David and Dante rejoined with them and now they traveled as a group. They shot out of an adjacent pathway to the broken up street that they ran down. The two boys were uncertain of where they were hurrying off to so quickly.
"That's where you two are." David pointed out the obvious.
"David! Dante!" Lannad called out as she looked behind her. Finally, their group was complete.
"Guys! We have to get to the memorial!" Tony educated them on their current situation.
"No shit!" Dante shouted. "That's where Rezzi, Ringo and Mae are going to meet us!"
"What? We have to get there before them!" This was more than bad. If the others reached that destination before they did, they were going to run into Tarvos.
"Is something going on?" David asked, only to get no response other than the two speeding up their pace and pulling away from him.
"We'll explain along the way!" Tony shouted. There was no time to stand around and talk. More than ever, their outcome determined the lives of hundreds of people.
"More fucking running?" Dante questioned in agitation. He was sick of running. He ran all the way here and now he was running some more. His legs hurt and he was thirsty.
Lannad frowned. "This is serious. The Grand High Messiah is going to be there. I am almost certain of it."
"How the fuck do you know that?"
"I met him."
"Are you serious?" David asked, butting into their conversation.
"No, she's bullshitting you." Dante shot sarcastically before letting out a scream and belly flopping into the ground.
"Whoops! Foot slipped!" His friend called out, waving as he ran off.
"My foot's going to slip up your ass if you do that again." The disgruntled teen grumbled and pulled himself off of the ground.
"Bro, I'm not that way."
Dante ran after him. "You just like alien dick!"
"What?" He wasn't sure what Dante was talking about because he was so far ahead of him, but chances were it was just bitching and David didn't feel like slowing down to hear it.
"Ugh!" His friend vexed.
Tarvos appeared in the middle of the desks, which had been set up with bouquets of memorial flowers. All around him there were trinkets for the fallen, picture frames of the deceased, toys, flowers and even articles of clothing. It was like a giant graveyard, complete with friends and family of the students and faculty who all stopped in their mechanizations to gaze at his foreign form in terror. A wicked, toothy smile crossed his features as he let out a deep, malicious laugh. A commotion broke out and people rocketed off into different directions in panic and fear. Screams could be heard as well as several distraught phrases.
"Time to cause this place a little discord. It'll be nice to meet you all in the searing depths of hell." With one mighty swing of his War Scythe, he sent a wave of neon, purple energy through the crowd of mourners. They quickly tried to scatter to get out of its path, screaming and toppling over each other in an act of desperation. Those who did not move out of the way were dismembered by it on contact. Blood was splattered everywhere as body parts lay in every which direction.
Tarvos' smile was wide with joy, and he spoke in an unstable tone. "Scream, run like frightened lower beasts in the talons of the great hunter." He snickered through the chaos and grabbed a man's neck tie as he attempted to run past him. The force and stealth at which he grabbed it caused the man to instantly break his neck; his body went limp as the Messiah held him up by the neck cloth, staring deeply into his glazed, horror-stricken eyes. "There's nothing that brings me greater joy than the dying look on a being's face. It's a passionate love that runs deeper than that of any one that I could hold as a pyrex."
Carelessly, he tossed the man's corpse aside like it was nothing. It crashed into the ground with a loud thunk as he turned, digging his nails into a woman's back and ripping her spine out. He took joy in the vertebrae as they popped and cracked. Ichor and blood bathed his arm up to the elbow and splattered on his chest, small droplets hit his face, tainting the pristine white of his skin. It was a sick joy he bathed in. "Yes…that feeling against my body. There's something so melodic about your screams of agony, so orgasmic about the color, taste and texture of blood. So wonderful. I'm shaking with excitement." His unstable voice spoke lowly as he let go of the woman's spine and grabbed a young man by the head, ripping it clean off of his shoulder in a sheer display of power and brutality. "So intoxicating." The Dius spoke, in a voice of elation. Swinging his scythe again, the blade made contact with a man's body, ripping it in half with ease. The frayed strands of what was left of his insanity vanished into extinction. His eyes were wild with psychosis as he shook violently, frantically searching for new victims to quell his violent urges. The Dius' pupils were nearly pinpricks as adrenaline and excitement coursed through his blue veins. "All of you…All of you should die, and your red blood will paint the skies a brilliant hue."
Tarvos thrusted his hand under a woman's rib cage and ripped her intestines out, stringing them along as he felt them pulse and twitch in his grasp. His dark, malicious laugh echoed through the empty skies above the demolished school.
When everyone arrived at the school, a massacre awaited them. The bodies of the mourners had already been decimated. They lay littered around the buildings in a sea of grotesque gore. Some of them hung from exposed electrical wires or fallen pillars. In a chair that stood out by itself was the body of a young woman whose arms and head had been cut clean off, the torso and legs just sat there with blood that had cascaded down the front, soaking into her clothes. Pieces and parts laid everywhere, as if someone operated and had a fight with the organs and limbs.
David glanced to the floor, tipping his shades down as he spied an organ beside of his red and white sneakers. "Dude, there's a heart at my feet."
Dante was absolutely horrified. When he got there, all he could do was stare blankly into the mass of corpses with dread in his heart. "What the fuck is this?"
"This looks like the bodies at the shrine." Ringo noticed a murder pattern. The corpses all showed the same type of weapon cuts for the majority.
"This is horrible…I feel sick." Mae held her stomach to keep down the nauseating feeling inside of her.
"This place smells of death." Rezzi noted. The combined fumes from the rotting school children and the newly slain victims were enough to make anyone want to hurl.
"We're going to fucking die. How can we even compare with whatever the fuck did this?" All of a sudden, the dark-haired boy wasn't feeling so defiant. He was actually scared stiff, and not even his toughest façade could protect his fragile heart.
"This place is becoming a graveyard." Lannad said lowly, almost as if uttering a curse upon the place.
"I never fucking thought I could do this before. I can't do it now either. Oh my fucking god, are those intestines on the floor?!" "Dante was losing it. Every inch of sanity in him was slowly being frayed by the horrific sight before him. It was as if reality finally slapped him in the face and he was having a hard time coping.
"Weep for yourself. You're not as brave as you were from the start." Tarvos' voice loomed over them being projected from above.
"What the fuck?" Dante paused as he slowly looked up to see the blood-stained Dius, perched above them on a broken pillar. His staff was held with the N on top pointed upwards and his knees bent. The bi-species wings were up behind him like a bloodstained angel and dragon.
"Tremble and cry, worry and complain. It's very endearing. You'll never settle any of your scores. You'll meet your destined fate in this real world video game. You see, I hold all the cards. I know all of your moves. You're a smart one. You knew about me before anyone else. You found out my true nature but past that point, nothing will ever be the same. I really fucked it up this time." Flying down from his post gracefully, the Dius landed before Dante, putting his blade behind the boy's neck. The massive, metallic weapon, stained with the blood of the slaughtered curved around him. Tarvos leaned down, gripping him by his right bicep as he leaned down by his ear. "Didn't I, my dear?" He whispered affectionately as his hand slid down the blood covered pole, gripping the weapon close to the blade. His dark blue tongue ran over the blood soaked tip of the weapon, lapping up the fluids.
"It…really is you. You're the Grand High Messiah." Dante's voice trembled as the other's faces twisted in shock. The only one who didn't change was Rezzi, and she had already been told his secret when they were walking around the pond during Oz's training session.
"Just for you, I took my disguise off. Now everyone can see me, even your little friends."
"Tarvos…" Lannad's voice trailed. All along, all along he was the Grand High Messiah. He hid behind a human masquerade and fooled them all. All of them but Dante. She felt like a fool for not believing him.
"Holy shit! That homeless guy Rezzi took in is really an alien." Tony exclaimed and pointed to the said man in accusation.
"I told you…" Even when staring down his potential death, he would bite back when people decided to act like idiots.
"No one believes a little black sheep like you." Tarvos purred into his ear, taunting him.
"Are you going to kill me?"
"That is a stupid question."
"Please don't." Dante begged. "I'll do what you want. I swear, I won't be an ass to you anymore. I'm sorry." He was practically trembling, and he didn't dare to move. He was sure Tarvos would slice off his head if he dared to piss him off in any way.
"Your replies are self-centered bullshit. Tell me something real, something that isn't you pulling random shit out of your ass to save your life." If the boy was going to beg him, then he wanted something worthwhile. Everyone he killed was like this. They all selfishly begged for the same thing, or they threw themselves at his feet, claiming to do anything for him as long as their pathetic lives were spared. It was mundane. How he longed for creativity.
"Shit. What do we do?" David asked, frantically looking to his friends for any form of a possible answer.
"I'm going to save him." Mae replied, pulling out her sword. She charged towards Tarvos and Dante, thrusting her weapon out. "I don't care who you are or what you control, leave my friend alone you psychotic bastard."
With a single swing of his scythe, he projected powerful winds at the girl, blowing her back. Dante kicked behind himself, nailing Tarvos in the gut. The Messiah flew back in a whirl of feathers and scales and landed on his back on the top of a pile of debris. In his moment of shock, he dropped the War Scythe. The gruff boy retrieved the weapon and put the blade under his pointed chin and brought a foot down harshly on the Dius' chest.
Looking down on Tarvos with a look of stoic disdain, Dante spoke. "Even if I can't kill you, you're going to stay the fuck down there you sick, twisted piece of shit."
"That kick felt familiar somehow…" Even if it wasn't time for nostalgias, Tarvos couldn't help but think about it.
"What in the ever hell are you talking about? I'm sick of hearing the vomit seeping from your pie hole." He was half tempted to kill him now, just to get him to stop talking about shit he didn't understand.
Then, the Dius smiled in an eerie way, the look on his features turned endearing. "It really is you. After all this time…I've finally found you."
…To Be Continued
A/N: Now I'm just going to await the responses I get on this chapter. I hope everyone was either shocked or pleasantly satisfied with the outcome. Review and I shall do the same.