A/N: My apologies for not being able to update last week. Something came up that I've explained on other stories and I could not be around the computer. Now that it's over, I'm updating steadily again. Next week, I have four days off, so I might be able to get a lot of updates written up. This week I'll just be updating this and Obake.

I hope you all love my newest chapter!

XxXxXxXx

Capricious Infection

Act 29: Boxcar's School of Hard Knocks

By: Revamp

xXxXxXxXx

Tarvos walked into the adjacent room to see Karkatta, who had their shoulder rested against the wall and their arms crossed with a sour expression. It was clear that Karkatta was thinking about something that got them riled up. Knowing the Dius, it could very well be anything. They did have that fiery temper behind them, and at times Karkatta didn't even have to be angry to appear as if they were.

Tarvos put his bony hand beside of the Dius' head, making them jump as dark blue eyes trailed to the reaper. A devious smile graced his face. "Hey."

"W-what the hell? Get out!" Karkatta stammered, uneasy that he was so close to their face. Karkatta could smell the earth on his skin and the scent of his breath as he breathed.

"I came to check on you." Tarvos said lowly.

Karkatta's eyes rolled. "I don't see why. You should worry about your dear little Diablo, or Ares or whatever." Coming to see the Dius when he had other things on his mind only made matters worse. The reaper was so dense that he couldn't even comprehend Karkatta's feelings.

"I'm not worried about Ares, he can take care of himself and Dante will be just be fine." Tarvos inched in closer to the smaller Dius. "I'm worried about you."

A blue blush crossed Karkatta's face. That damn reaper and his low, sensual tone made it seem like there was a chance for them to be something more than what they were. It frustrated the Dius and it made their blood pumping organ beat violently. Karkatta hated having this feeling. "S-stop it, you jackass. I said I'm fine. I just don't forgive Diablo. I can't after what he did to me."

"You're certainly bitter about something." Tarvos thought there was something deeper behind the Dius' actions, something more that they weren't saying about their true feelings about Diablo. It ran much deeper than petty jealousy, and he wanted to see if he could get it out of Karkatta.

"I like my miserable bubble, so fuck off." In other words, Karkatta wasn't about to tell him anything. They owed him nothing, explanations included.

"Misery and death are good company." Tarvos tried to see if he could ease an answer out of them, although he knew how stubborn they were.

Karkatta's angry façade eased up. "I guess you're right."

"Why are you so mad at him, anyway?" Their past situation didn't really have anything to do with Karkatta, so Tarvos didn't understand, unless Karkatta liked him more than they were saying, and that was the piece of information he was looking to unearth.

Karkatta jerked their head away, "none of your damned business."

Tarvos' voice lowered as he leaned in even more, nearly touching noses with Karkatta. "I can make it my business."

Karkatta's blush amplified. "Don't patronize me."

"You like me, don't you?"

"Because getting so uncomfortably close that I can smell your rancid breath signifies that. Stop being a creeper- Wait, I forgot who I was talking to." Karkatta shot back sarcastically, finally making eye contact with him after all of that time.

The reaper's voice changed tunes to a more serious note. "In all seriousness, we are close still, aren't we?"

"Get it through your maggot-infested thinking organ. My word is my word." Why did he care so much about their bond anyway? It wasn't as if they were in a sector together. Maybe he was afraid that their bond would be broken because of their positions in the war.

Whatever the case may be, it made him crack a small smile of happiness. "You're the first friend I ever made. I don't want that to end."

"Stop being insecure," Karkatta scolded.

"I love you so." Tarvos teased.

Karkatta shoved him away. "Stop," the Dius closed their eyes still blushing. "I'll pretend to be happy if you stop annoying the shit out of me."

"So, you intend to stay?"

That's what this was all about. He wanted them to stay with Oz and fight for his cause. Karkatta looked conflicted, but said nothing in response.

"Is it a secret?"

"Let's just say these circumstances are better than being around Calypso. I had to run the fuck away from that festering shit-stained, hellhole." That was the best answer that he was going to get.

Tarvos frowned. "She's serious, isn't she?"

"Hell bent as fuck, I just wished I knew her motive. I've wondered if she just wanted to punish Oz. If she was scornful of their failed pyrexip or she just wants the Earth to be hers." It was as much of a mystery to Karkatta as it was everyone else. Calypso didn't even tell her minions what was up; she only made them promises in secret and gave them orders to do her bidding.

"What would she want it for? She's space itself." If Calypso wanted a planet to herself, then couldn't she just pop one into existence? It would be easy to do once this paradox was ended. There would be a void space to create a paradox of her very own where she was the ruler. The only thing she would have to sacrifice would be killing herself in the doomed paradox, due to the law of a Dius only existing in one paradox at a time.

"Unless she wants to destroy this paradox to create more space," Karkatta noted.

"Seems odd, maybe she wants to start it over as head ruler." That was the most logical deduction to their situation. It was what he thought she wanted from the beginning.

Karkatta arched an eyebrow. "That's scary in itself. She's a devious woman." Thank the world that she hadn't thought of doing that already or they really would be screwed.

"Space and time in a fight to the finish," Tarvos mused over the possibility. "I wonder if this will be like laying my head in a guillotine and waiting for the blade to come down."

It was a morbid perception on the situation, but Karkatta couldn't help but find it true. For all they knew, the reaper's side could just be lined up like ducks in a row just waiting to fall prey to her. "She might just do it, especially if the Balancer is involved." If his decision was tilted in Calypso's favor, then their punishment was death as well as everyone who was involved with them. That much Karkatta knew for a fact.

Tarvos chuckled unstably as a crazed look of fascination instantly jumped to his face, "nothing like heads rolling from the jaws of the iron maidens."

"You're a twisted fuck to think that is anywhere near hilarious. Please don't suck the infected puss from your sickening, yellow dripping think organ's putrid thoughts in front of me, you useless doom-troglafuck." The Dius' eyes narrowed as they stared at the reaper and reprimanded him for his classless joke.

It only earned the Dius more psychotic laughter. "I love the way you insult me."

Did this actually turn him on? What kind of weird fetish was that?

"You're a filthy clusterfuck who's into humiliation, a true leech that clings to the infected sores festering on logic's ass crack." Karkatta continued to berate him for his weird ways as Tarvos continued to laugh at them. The sad truth of the matter was that she was completely right, he was into humiliation.

Oz arched an eyebrow.

"They're having way too much fun in there." David turned to hear the sound of Tarvos laughing hysterically. What was so funny anyway? More importantly, what were they even doing back there?

Never mind.

He didn't want to know.

XxXxXx

The Cut-Throat Crew reassembled at the abandon building that they had set out to meet at. Boxcars was cross and Dove looked apathetically at them all as she stood by Spades. She was disappointed in her team mates. It should have been easy to get that sword from her brother.

"You had the sword right there. You guys suck." She frowned.

Boxcars held his arms above his head, and then brought them down as he screamed violently. "RAAAAAHHHHH! I'm fucking pissed!"

"What's our malfunction, Spades?" Hearts asked with a snarl painted across her muzzle.

"Yeah," Clubs pointed his knife at the Arcane. "It was your idea that we do this, so what? You're taking it back now? Did they beat you in the head too much?" Something was wrong with him in order to make him think such things. What happened to the leader that he used to know? The leader that wasn't afraid to speak out and defend his cause? What was happening to the Cut-Throat Crew?

"I just see that this isn't worth it. Think about it. If we ended up here because of the Divine Ones, shouldn't we listen?" Even if Pregmacia chased them to their current paradox, it was still a sign. The more he thought about it, the more it made sense to him.

"You've lost your god damned mind. We don't owe them anything! Don't you want to restore the glory of our people?" Hearts growled. She wasn't about to let go or lose sight of their common goal. Why did Spades all of a sudden want to just abandon everything? It didn't make any sense.

"We had opportunity enough when we were in possession of the Dimension Sword. They're right. We could have used it to hop through time and free them ourselves." Spades was sickened by the fact that he didn't do just that. They could have avoided the Keeper of Order and Dimension Reaper and they would still have their Dimension Sword.

"We had to reset the other paradoxes to flow in sync! You know that!" Clubs remarked. It was something that they had worked hard on doing. Many years were spent making sure that the surrounding paradoxes flowed correctly, in order to master the formula needed that would carefully insert Arcane back into place without there being many consequences to bringing it back. Spades just decided to screw that up. All of that wasted time, all for nothing.

Clubs couldn't deal with it.

"We are not crawling back to them." Hearts crossed her arms and held her canine head high. She had her pride, and she didn't believe that they were wrong. There was nothing to discuss. If Spades wanted to flip sides, then she had no choice but to let him go.

"There's nothing wrong with admitting your failures." There were times that even people like him had to push aside their pride and admit that they were wrong. Spades knew that he was wrong, and so were they.

"The only failure here is you, Spades." Boxcars let a feral growl reverberate in his throat as he thrusted his barbell at his leader in accusation. He couldn't believe that Spades was going to suddenly flip sides of them. It was disgusting!

"You're blinded by rage." Spades knew that the gladiator had a quick temper. He was more than likely being angry without thinking about his own side in all of this mess.

"We can't rely on you for anything." Boxcars argued. He was beginning to feel like putting all of his faith in Spades was nothing but a mistake.

Dove stepped up in front of her friend. She was tired of hearing them argue amongst themselves. "Maybe Spades is right. Fate has a weird way of trying to tell you something."

Boxcars turned to her. She was the last person he wanted to hear advice from. Not only was she not an Arcane, she hadn't even been a member of the Cut Throat Crew that long. "Oh? So is this the one who's been leading you to think such idealistic bullshit?" Spades didn't start thinking like that until after the two of them had their private talk. Something was up about that, and he didn't like where it was all going.

"Actually, he thought that before I even said anything." Dove defended her position on the matter. She didn't talk Spades into believing anything. He did that on his own.

"You don't think we can do anything on our own do you?" Clubs leered accusingly at the two, who had broken themselves off from the group.

Hearts narrowed her pupilless eyes. "Maybe he needs proof."

"Are you ashamed of us?" Clubs took a menacing step forward.

"None of you are thinking logically." Spades tried to calm the group down so that they could talk, but right now it was impossible to even accomplish such a thing. Everyone was flinging accusations around like they were going out of style and the situation had escaladed out of proportion.

"Fine," Boxcars snorted in disgust. "I'll take the Time Sword from that punk myself." Maybe that would restore Spades' loyalty and faith to their group. This time, there would be no playing around. Boxcars was going to unleash his true powers and stomp that shades wearing asshole into the ground with a fury like no other seen in the known universe.

That was a solemn promise.

"Boxcars…"

The warrior growled at his leader and took a step forward. "Shut up! If anyone's dead weight around here, you are." He proclaimed as he continued to point his weapon at him in accusation.

"Not cool," Dove frowned. Spades couldn't help that he got hurt, and in several ways she felt like it was her fault that he had gotten nailed to that cross. "He's hurt. It's not like he can do much until he gets better."

"What would you know? You haven't even been in the Cut Throat Crew long enough to have an opinion that counts." Clubs turned on the girl, making sure she got the point to stay out of their conversation. This was between established members, not neophytes.

"This is coming from the guy who set himself on fire," Dove remarked as the words cut into Clubs' being, causing him to flinch momentarily before seething with anger and throwing a knife at her.

"Shut up!" His vicious tone tore into her mind as she caught the knife between two fingers.

Her features were unmoving and she refused to stand down just because she wasn't an alien or an established member. "You're being assholes. This is dumb as shit. You guys are supposed to be a team, so you're letting this come between you? Not just that, but you're the last of your kind. I'm not sure if this is entirely applies because our timelines are fucked, but my parents have always told me that you should leave the past in the past, and that if you don't like the way a story is being told to rewrite it. You have to learn from your mistakes, because they make you wiser. If you fix the mistake, won't you still be dumb? I mean, you're erasing stuff you learned. Sure, it made you all hardasses but life bites like that."

Honestly, these accusations and paranoia were tearing the Cut-Throat Crew apart. It was bad enough that they hung onto the aspect of reviving their race, but now they were dividing themselves and taking dire action by acting on their current emotions. They should be coming together, since they are the last of their race, not bickering and fighting among themselves. There had to be some kind of order between all of them and some sort of conclusion that they could all come to.

Boxcars wasn't buying any of it. "You just want to protect your sibling." For all he knew they were in it together.

"He's got reinforcements. They're pretty good fighters. Not insulting you guys, because I obviously think you're better. I wouldn't stay here otherwise. I think this war is stupid. I'd rather kick it and chill, go and do some serious record spinning at a club. That's my environment." Dove replied as she folded her arms over her chest. She was a disc jockey, not a sword jockey. The sooner this war was over with the better. It didn't help that they were all fighting like idiots. She thought it was supposed to be the Arcane against everyone else, not the Arcane against themselves.

Clubs arched an eyebrow. "You're a disc jockey?"

"It's my hobby. I was working on getting into a music college before this shit happened." Talk about something that completely ruined her plans, so much for a bright future.

"Ugh…I say we take them out. We're wasting time arguing with disc jockeys and old bags of fur." Clubs was growing restless. He agreed with Boxcars. They should have already been on their way to causing chaos and taking that sword for themselves. Who gave a shit what Spades and Dove thought? They were going to seize that ruby for themselves.

"For being psychic, you're not very smart. You think you'd learn from people's mistakes." Dove looked down on the smallest member of the crew.

"It won't matter what you say to them. They're stubborn." Spades knew that once they got an idea in their heads, there was no stopping them. They would have to learn the hard way.

"We've got no choice, huh?" The girl looked back to her alien friend.

"It seems that way. Let them figure it out."

Dove looked back to the rest of the group, their reflections prominent in her dark shades. "Well, what do you guys want to do? You going to gang up on my brother and try to kick his ass?"

"What? We need your blessing now?" Clubs shot defensively.

"Nope, go ahead and do it."

"What?" Spades did a double take. Why was Dove giving them incentive to go and take the Time Sword? He didn't understand her logic.

"Apparently, you share a single brain cell among the lot of you. Go ahead and fight him but Spades and I won't help you. We won't care if you're suffering either…because fuck you guys if you won't listen to us. We don't need that." Dove was sick of trying to explain things and tired of her heartfelt words falling on deaf ears. Spades was right; they would have to learn things the hard way.

"Dove…" Spades trailed, shocked by her words.

"If we do prove ourselves, then what?" Boxcars asked as he placed his hands on his hips and assumed an arrogant position.

"If you get the sword then we won't preach anymore or at least, I won't. Hell, I'll help you save Arcane or whatever." Dove decided that if Boxcars accomplished his mission then she would give up her ideals and work with them to obtain their goal.

Spades nodded. "I can agree with that. Prove to us that you can accomplish this mission without our help. Obtain the Time Sword on your own and I'll let you do what you want without question." If they achieved their mission, he would gladly step down and continue to support their cause, all he needed was proof.

A smile snuck across Boxcars' muzzle. "I know just what I'll do. Come on you three."

Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs turned to retreat with Boxcars. If Spades and Dove would not come with them, then they would take matters into their own hands. They were prepared to get the Time Sword. They had too much resting on them to fail this mission. As everyone continued to talk, Diamonds paused and looked over his shoulder at the two.

'Somehow, I'm not sure of whose side to take. This is rather complicated.' He thought to himself as he continued to walk. Even if Spades and Dove might have been right about some of the things they said, Diamonds still wanted to try to get the Blood Ruby. He didn't want to give up on the goal he had established many years ago. He figured that this was for the best. After all, Diamonds had one chance to get the Blood Ruby, but he had all the time in the world to change his mind.

Dove watched the three leave, and when they were out of sight, she turned to Spades with an arched eyebrow. "Do you think we're doing the right thing?"

"I'm doing what I feel is right. It's only a theory of mine, but I believe it to be true." Spades wasn't going to give up on his visions. Sooner or later, they would come to pass and be realized by everyone. At least, that was what he had hoped.

"If we're not right, we're going to look like assholes." Dove knew that she was taking a big leap, but she also believed in her heart that her way was the truth.

"I'll live with that shame." For Spades, it was worth it.

XxXxXx

Hearts looked to Boxcars as they walked towards their destination. She asked the one question that was on so many of their minds.

"What's the plan?"

"We're going to challenge that human one-on-one. If we win, then Spades will shut up." The toothy smile crept back onto his long, pointed muzzle, revealing his long, jagged teeth. He was going to show Spades that he had no reason to doubt the Cut-Throat Crew or to have any faith in that human or her nonsense.

"Why does he like that human so much anyway?" Clubs wondered. He didn't get why the two of them had become so close.

Boxcars snorted as his smile morphed into a dramatic toothed frown. "Who the hell knows?" His gaze then jerked towards the English member of his group, who was quiet with a perplexed look on his face. "What are you thinking about, Diamonds?"

"Yeah, you've been quiet the whole time." Hearts joined in, casting him a gaze from her uncovered eye.

"I am just not keen fighting amongst my chaps. It's putting shame to the strong unity of our group." It was partially a lie, but he wasn't about to give them another reason to fight with him and make himself a lone target.

Determination crossed Boxcars' visage. "We'll settle this. I think our leader is just letting that human whisper in his ears."

"Even so…let's hope we can grab that sword." After all, even Diamonds wanted to get his clutches on the Blood Ruby, despite Spades' claim of witnessing the birth of another paradox and living among the other races that would be left after the war was over.

XxXxXxXx

At Rezzi's house, the entire group is gathered in her large front yard. They were grouped together, talking amongst themselves as they tried to figure out their next move. Most of them were separated into groups and among those groups were David and Oz. The two decided that they couldn't make out their points very well, so they headed off towards an area of scattered, large rocks a ways from her house.

This area also had twisted and disfigured trees as well and scattered remains of what once was a video game arcade that David and his friends used to frequent back when they all had normal lives. A lot of hours and money was spent there, playing video games and having ice cream floats. Idle conversation and carefree moments dashed just like that.

"I've gotten this eerie as fuck feeling about today. Do you feel it too?" He asked as he climbed over one of the demolished walls. He couldn't help it. It was like a premonition that bugged him and ate at his psyche.

"I could agree but I've been paranoid." Oz replied and with good reason. He had bigger problems to face and different people after him. If there was ever a time to watch his back, now was it.

David turned as the Dius floated down and landed on the wall beside of him. "About what? These other aliens?"

"It's something that you'll know eventually." He would come to learn of his situation very soon, in fact.

"I'm starting to wonder if I'll need to pick your brain in the future." David was a little tired of these run arounds. If there was something that he needed to know, why couldn't Oz just tell him instead of having him learn through experience? It would solve a lot of problems that might go on in the future. Then again, David knew about the laws of time and that certain things needed to happen in order for this paradox to become what he wanted it to.

"Perhaps I'll tell you things when I think you need to know them." It wasn't as if he didn't want to let him in on things, but he was afraid he'd try to correct problems that needed to happen in order to ensure the safety of their new paradox.

However, things like that just made David even more perturbed at his secrecy. He looked the Dius straight into the eyes, piercing through both of their shades and into his soul. "Don't you think that you could stop treating me like a child? We've got to be on similar terms if you want me to work with you."

"I think you mistake my choice of words. It's not that I find you immature-"Oz cut himself off as he warned David to look out and held his hand out. An invisible force field surrounded the boy and deflected bullets that bounced off as several pings reverberated through the air. A serious look crossed his face as a flash of light crossed his shades. "They're back."

Boxcars jumped onto the other end of the wall of the house with a large crash and pointed his barbell at David, ready for a fight. "I challenge you, David Ryzek!"

David sighed, not even bothering to pull out the Time Sword. "Can this get any worse?" It looked like his premonition was coming to pass.

"It could, but let's not think about that now." Oz replied.

"At least the one who controls blood isn't here. That guy freaked me out." He didn't think he could stand another Spades coming at him. It wasn't even anything about him; just the fact that he was able to pull his own blood out of his body and control it unsettled him.

"To make it fair, we'll fight you one at a time." A smile crept to Heart's red lips as she blew the smoke from her twin barrels.

"If Oz stays away from you, that is." Clubs gave the Dius a menacing glare.

David pulled out the Time Sword. If they wanted a fight, then he wasn't going to run. "Even if I said no, you'd do it anyway."

"Are you trying to get yourself killed?" Oz couldn't believe that David was going to battle Boxcars. Did this boy even know what he was up against? The beast before him was the best gladiator in all this paradox and the strongest being who wasn't a god.

David looked back at him. "Have a little faith in me."

"Are you sure you want to fight?" Oz didn't feel so great about this.

"I am," but David was going to keep his word.

"The Cut-Throat Crew are powerful psychics." The Dius warned, hoping that he would listen to reason.

"You want to rebuild this planet, right Oz?" David leveled him with a serious expression. "You gave me this sword to help me become a warrior and I've been fighting aliens right and left. It's my duty to keep fighting. Besides, if you don't believe in me who will?"

Oz was silent for a while. All he could do was look at David with conflicted eyes before he quietly wished him good luck.

David nodded. "I'll need it."

Boxcars stepped up to him, inching closer. "I'll be your first opponent then, let's go!"

"You're going to feel really lame for getting beaten by a kid with a sword." David retorted, them silently scolded himself for such a stupid sentence. 'That sounded cool in my head at least.'

There was no time to think any further on that as he saw a barbell being swung towards him. David ran towards Boxcars as he swung his weapon again, trying to smash him with it, but he proved too slow as David jumped into the air and propelled himself over the seven and a half foot Arcane, kicking him in the back of the head and causing him to stumble forward in the process.

Boxcars caught himself on the end of his barbell into the ground, shattering the wall below him as he caught himself. Before he could react, David kicked him in the stomach as hard as he could, sending the Arcane crashing to the ground despite his efforts to keep on his feet. He then quickly got up and leveled David with a single punch, sending his small body backwards.

"Time Sword! Do your thing!" David called out, as a brilliant, white beam shot from the clock face on the hilt of his bastard sword.

Boxcars pointed his barbell at the boy and deployed the spikes on the end. One of them made contact with him, sending his body back yet again. His body landed on the grass with a thud, beating the air out of him.

"David…" Oz paused, looking on as the boy's form didn't move. "No, he's not dead yet."

After a few moments, he caught his breath and used his legs to propel himself into a flip. Boxcars was right in front of him. Swinging the Time Sword, he sliced through an image that merely disappeared and faded away. He glanced around, trying to find some hint of the gladiator, but found nothing.

Suddenly, he felt the force of a kick in the middle of his back. It jolted his body forward, sending him skidding across the ground as his body went over rocks and debris, cutting into his clothing and skin. David finally stopped face down and there he lay, unmoving.

Oz looked on tensely, waiting for him to move, but nothing happened. David was motionless on the ground. "Get up. Don't just lay there."

Hearts smiled. "Well, that was easy."

"Is he dead?" Clubs cocked his head, watching the boy's body with interest.

"Surely he can't be that weak. Nothing Boxcars has done would truly kill someone…unless he died of a blood pumping organ malfunction." Oz thought to himself. Maybe the whole situation gave him a heart attack. There were reasons that he had chosen David, other than the fact that he managed to beat the Twisted Land game. David was strong, and he didn't want to be let down.

Oz believed that David at least stood a chance against the Arcane, if only a small one.

Slowly, David propped himself up on his shaking arms. Boxcars smiled as he watched the boy feebly arise, his arms shook so bad it looked like he was going to fall face first into the ground again. "You're too weak to defeat me."

Spitting the dirt out of his mouth, David glared at him with gritted teeth, "but I'll damned sure try."

"Defiant until the end, huh? You really should stay down, human child." Boxcars advised. He hadn't even broken a sweat yet and the gladiator has already put a few scratches on him.

"I don't let dogs give me commands." David spat.

This enraged Boxcars. His blood boiled as he snarled and charged blindly at the boy. "How dare you insult me!" His voice boomed as he landed a punch right in David's gut. The boy flew back again. Black energy gathered at the Arcane's fist, which turned into a whip that took the arm off of David's shirt, ripping it off on impact.

The black-haired boy flipped over and landed on a rock as the black energy retracted and was sucked back into Boxcar's body. "What the hell was that?" He panted out.

"He has the power to change his body parts in any way that he chooses. He's much different than Spades, who can only control his blood. David, he's an Acranian gladiator." Oz had tried to tell him these things before, but he didn't feel like it would have made a difference in the human's resolve to fight.

Boxcars sneered. "Damned right, kid. You don't know who you're dealing with." With a powerful swing, he commanded his weapon to propel itself forward in a mighty swing.

David jumped back, evading it. "Figures you know, you could have told me this before…You know when we did this the first time." If it was going to be this dangerous, then why didn't Oz make him understand the error of his ways?

"You should concentrate on the battle." Oz reprimanded and crossed his arms.

"Then shut up and stop distracting me." David argued.

"I'm sick of this." Boxcars propelled himself, putting all of his strength into his legs and flinging himself into David, kneeing him in the stomach. The human coughed up blood and spit as the force of the blow plowed him into the ground, jamming his back into a sharp rock.

Hearts cringed. "That looked like it hurt."

"Boxcars is frightening when he's this pugnacious." Clubs definitely didn't want to be on the brunt end of anything that the gladiator sent out to deliver. More than most, he knew what Boxcars was capable of.

Oz continued to watch on as David slowly came to and pulled himself from the ground. 'He may die. Physically, I'm not sure I could hurt Boxcars. He's a force to be reckoned with and undoubtedly the strongest of his race.'

"It's time I got serious." David's voice cut into his thoughts. Oz was shocked that he even pulled himself up off of the ground.

Boxcars laugh boomed through his mind. "I refuse to think of you any highly than I already do. You can't fool me with your act." There wasn't a doubt in his mind that this boy wasn't hurting badly, if not internally bleeding. Now he was asking for more pain? It was laughable for him to keep up such a charade.

"I don't get you. You seem like a crusader more than a criminal." David said as he propped himself up on his sword, using it as a crutch to support his tired and beaten body. "Do you even realize what you're doing? Taking my sword and using it for your own selfish endeavors will affect everything as you know it."

To Be Continued

A/N: Happy Fourth of July! Hope you enjoyed this chapter. It was nearly six thousand words long. Also, please check out my newest story, Defy and Comply. It's a school story that's romance, a little action, some scandal and a huge mystery. I hope everyone checks it out.

Review and I shall review in return!