Ch. 5: Alone
Kevin in the spiritual plain:
Kevin watched the injured hero from the bed of his brother, he could tell Devon was having nightmares. His fists clenched and unclenched and his face distorted every now and then. The spirit attempted to access Devon's mind, but the darkness and hate was too unbearable for him. He couldn't imagine how long Devon could live with it until he snapped. It was true the black diamonds could allow him to control the darkness that flowed constantly through his body, but it would be to much for him if he continually absorbed the hatred. All the memories that are stored in each diamond, all their previous users and all the death and chaos they had caused would surely be too much for him. Unless he could balance it. Thankfully Kevin had been told by Araceli there was a way, but it would not be easy for Devon. Also there was the problem of the spirit telling the hero what he had to do, for they were on two different planes of existence and communication between the two was easier said then done. Fortunately Kevin knew a way that he could get through to the young hero, but it would mean getting Devon to lose himself to the chaos in his body.
"I just hope he doesn't do anything too rash while he is out of control." Kevin said to himself as he vanished from the room.
Back in the plain of the living:
Devon jolted awake, his eyes shooting open, he was in his bed at home. "But how..." He thought to himself. Devon began to recollect what had happened before he blacked out. His mind was a haze, flashes of what the diamond had show'd him blurred his thoughts. The images showed death and destruction. Humans, Devon's own kind, burning in the fires of their rubbled civilization. The monsters that he saw before were there feasting on the torched corpses. There was something else though something in the haze that filled the streets of the city. There was an explosion that blinded the view of the city. It quickly subsided revealing a change, the beasts that were before eating the flesh of the humans were now being fought off by a group of humans led by a black haired girl. She looked so familiar, but the haze hid her features. Thankfully she came closer and closer to the foreground, it was then that Devon realized that the crystal was showing him memories of one of the beasts as a mangled appendage shot out at the advancing girl. He also realized who the girl was right before she used a pistol to kill the beast ending the memories. Devon's mind snapped back to reality and he immediately felt light headed, he grabbed his temples noticing a layer of bandages that were wrapped on his head. His body was covered in sweat which mixed with the smell of blood. The young hero rolled at of his bed and stood up feeling very lightheaded, but he fought through it and stumbled over to the bathroom. He looked at himself in the mirror scrutinizing his condition. His skin had lost it's pigment, grey bags lined under his eyes, and his bandage had a red blotch on the right side. He began to remove the bandage, but winced as intense pain irradiated from his right arm. Using only his left arm Devon undid the bandage revealing his blood caked hair.
"I must have hit my head when I fell. I guess it explains the arm too."Devon thought aloud as he turned the knob of the sink and began washing the blood out of his dark hair. The wound was revealed under the coating of blood and appeared to be nothing more than a small gash that had fully healed. "I've had worse." Devon said as he dried his hair being careful to not put too much pressure on his already aching head. A loud grumbling filled the air drawing Devon's attention to his abdomen. "How long was I out I'm starving." The young hero said as he realized his hunger was extreme. Devon threw the towel on the ground and made his way back to his and logans bedroom. The cloths that were on him were a loose shirt and black shorts that smelled of blood and sweat. The smells reminded him of the images causing a wave of light headedness to overtake him. The girls face flashed in his mind many times, he knew who it was even though her hair was cropped short and her facial features were that of a girl a few years younger. "Danielle." He whispered as he grabbed onto the dresser for support. "I need to go see her." Devon said having many questions for the Princess of Evil. He quickly stripped off his cloths and dug through his dresser for new ones. He pulled out brown shorts and a black long sleeve shirt, he wasn't sure what the weather outside was like but he could care less. Though he was in a rush and very light headed, Devon still remembered to get a hat. He picked up the same grey camo bucket hat he had worn the day before he went to the Water Kingdom and put it on his head careful not to be to ruff with himself. Devon, now more sturdy than before, made his way down the ladder of the trap door, trying his best not to miss any of the rungs. When he was finally on ground level in the living room of his house he turned around expecting to see Logan either in the kitchen or on the sofa playing video games, but he was shocked on who was in the house with him. The girl sat alone on the sofa strumming aimlessly on Devon's black guitar and was clearly having trouble understanding the way it was tuned. Devon could tell she hadn't slept in sometime by the bags under her eyes, but he was overjoyed to see the demon girl, not only for the fact he had many questions to ask, but just because he was happy to know that she stayed there for him when he was injured. Just Devon's presence in the room caused Danielle to become aware, her extremely keen senses picking up on Devon. Her eyes lifted up to see the young hero standing across the room with a goofy smile that fit him well.
"Devon." she said so quietly that it was barely heard. She vaulted over the table and in her excitement to see the young hero alive grabbed him in a tight hug that caused his body to explode with pain, especially his shoulder. He ignored the pain though and return the hug to his friend. "We thought you wouldn't wake up, it's been two whole days since you blacked out." She said muffled by Devon's chest.
"Two days?" Devon questioned in disbelieve. "Have you been here the entire time." He asked pushing the girl away so he could talk to her properly.
"Yea I couldn't leave you. It was my fault you fell, I should have helped you or at least realized that Eisenhower was controlling the Kraken." Dani said clearly feeling guilty for Devons condition, but Devon being the selfless hero he was wouldn't hear talk like that.
"Danielle it wasn't your fault this happened." He said trying to make the girl feel better. It worked too, something about Devon saying that made danielle feel less guilty in her mind. "Wait where is Logan?" Devon asked concerned of his brothers whereabouts.
"Don't worry he just went with Victoria to get groceries. And knowing those two they will be awhile." She said hinting at what the pair might be doing.
"Well that's fine I actually need to talk to you about something that I think is important." Devon said as he began to get light headed again thinking of what the diamond had showed him. Danielle noticed as he began to sway and helped him over to the sofa where he sat down sinking deep into the cushion.
"What do you need to talk about?" Danielle asked curious and slightly nervous about what he might say. "Did I do something wrong?" She said half-heartedly trying to bring comedy in to avoid the serious situation about to unfold. Something she did often.
"No, well I don't think so. Let me just tell you everything…" Devon preceded to tell the girl of everything he had seen through the eyes of the diamond, all the chaos and destruction, but he made it a point to emphasize when he saw Danielle kill the beast.
Danielle leaned forward in her seat clearly contemplating what she had just heard. She barely knew how to understand what had happened, that was so long ago in her life, a memory that she hoped she would never have to deal with. Even though she knew this would happen. She exhaled deeply, "That was a long, long time ago. I was only sixteen. It was only a few years after the Great War, the War to End All they called it. With all the constant death going on my father became extremely busy and him and my mother were constantly at ends, fighting about how he never spent time with her, so I left and went to the surface to begin my life away from them." It took her a moment to realize what she just said to Devon. "Wow, sorry I didn't mean to say anything about my parents, I-I've never told anyone that." She said surprised.
"No, It's okay Dani speak your heart you can trust me with anything." Devon said. "I want to know everything I can. I think something back then happened that has to do with the whole save the world thing."
"But I'll skip the stuff about my childhood. It's all bad memories and stuff I try to avoid." The girl said trying to avoid the topic of her life. Devon could see that this was really a touchy topic for the demon girl, but for some reason he felt that he should try to talk to her about. Maybe if she talked to him about it she could move on and feel better about life.
"Danielle you can tell me anything, if there is something, anything in the past that you need to talk about tell me." Devon said sitting up on the sofa.
"You wouldn't understand." Dani said rather idiotically. She knew that if anyone could understand her childhood problems it was Devon. Not only because he was such a good person, but because he had plenty of life issues as well.
"Try me." Devon said acting slightly cocky.
Dani took a deep breath before she began. "OK then if you insist. When I was just thirteen years old I decided to leave my home in the underworld. My parents constantly were fighting, my mom feeling neglected by daddy who was constantly working. I thought I could live on my own I thought it would be easy to live in the human world, but it wasn't. For the first two years I was a drifter moving from destroyed city to destroyed city just trying to not be killed by some sort of monster that had come out of Pandoras Box. Especially the dark beasts you saw in the memories. That way of life though was becoming harder and harder so I finally decided to take a leap of faith and joined a group of survivors. I won't bore you with the details and all our misadventures, but I can tell you that joining them was one of my worst ideas. That group of people was the start of the end for me." Dani paused leaving Devon confused on what she had meant by her last sentence, but he noticed her eyes had begun to tear up.
"Dani, what do you mean." He said trying to be soft with the girl.
"Do you know what it's like to be alone Devon. Not alone as in alone in a room, but truly alone." This conversation was beginning to take a new turn for Dani. "I hate thinking about the past because all it does is remind me of all the people I have lost and that no matter what I do everyone will leave me. Even the ones who could be immortal with me." Devon never knew that Dani felt this way and immediately felt sympathetic.
"Dani, I understand. I know what it's like to be alone." Dani was surprised by this, even a little angered for Devon to make a statement like that. "Look at me, I'm the last of my kind, the last human in existence. No matter how many people I surround myself with I will always be a Human and unlike the others in this world I will die while all you live. I will die alone." Devon had never admitted his feelings about death to anyone and choked on his last words as he felt like a weight had been pressed down on his chest. Dani was shocked at what he had said. All her life she had been thinking about how she was alone because everyone around her would leave, if not by death, then by choice. She never had thought what it must be like for others, especially Devon since his lifespan is so short.
"Devon, I-I never thought like that." She said not sure how to go about this situation she wasn't use to talking about emotions. They sat in silence for a few movements until Dani decided it was time to break it. "Devon thank you for listening to my past. One day I'm sure you will have to hear more about it, but happy that I was able to get the whole alone thing of my chest."
"Yea, no problem. I… It just sucks doesn't it. All these people around me and not one of them knows what it's like to feel how I feel." Devon said relaxing into the sofa.
"Even though we feel like this we can feel like it together." Dani said leaning into Devon causing him to lock up at her touch, but quickly relax. Dani wasn't one to let people in to her past like she just did, even with most her past boyfriends and even a few girlfriends, but there was something about Devon that made her trust him. Maybe it was because he was a hero, or because he was so selfless, but she really felt that Devon understood her problems and would always be there for her no matter. "And if you want to know what happened in that memory you saw; Me and my survivor group were fighting a group of Dark Beasts, which are these mutated humans. It wasn't the greatest day ever. We lost a few good men. I still remember their names still, but their faces are a blur now. After so many years they have just slipped my mind."
"The diamond showed me so much, but none of it really makes sense. I really thought their was something in there that could help me understand what's happening, but I guess I'll have to wait." Devon said disappointed there wasn't something more to the images, but maybe in the future he will understand. He began to contemplate what the Devil had meant about controlling peace and chaos and zoned out for a brief moment, but was pulled from his daze by Dani shifting so she was looking Devon in the eyes, her face inches from him. The close quarters they were in now caused Devon to blush, then Dani when she realized how close she was, but she quickly recovered remembering what she wanted to say.
"Devon promise you won't ever leave." Dani knew that this was a lie since Devon was cursed with mortality, but for some reason she felt that knowing he wouldn't would make her feel better.
"Dani I promise I won't. I won't ever leave you or anyone else behind. You guys are all I got." Devon said smiling happily to Dani. What happened next really surprised Devon, he did not expect it for a second. Danielle was not sure what she was doing, but was running off of pure hormones and emotion and didn't feel any wrong about it. She leaned into Devon and their lips met causing Devon to lock up in fear. The young hero never expected this to happen when he woke up today and was extremely confused, but quickly relaxed as his mind regained itself. The kiss was simple enough only lasting a few seconds, but it was the perfect thing to break the tension and this room and speak what both parties felt. Even though they were still not sure what they felt and definitely didn't have the courage to explore it further at this moment.
"Thanks for promising Dev." Danielle said as she settled comfortably into his chest and began to doze off, tired from the last two days of sleepless worry. Devon's mind was now racing replaying the events that had just took place. He was filled with so manh emotions mainly confusion, but also happiness. He always knew he had a crush on the demon girl, but tried to avoid the fact not wanting to ruin the friendship they had. He also never thought he'd have a chance with the girl due to the fact he is a mere human mortal whole she is the Princess of Evil and the daughter of the Devil and a Vampire. Not to mention her immortality. Devon wasn't really sure what the kiss meant, but he was keen on finding out.
On the path to the Suiker Kingdom…
"I hope he wakes up soon." Logan said extremely worried about his younger brother. "We should have stayed at the house, who needs groceries anyways. I think I'm gonna go back actually." He said as he began to turn back on the trail for the third time.
"Logan stop. We need to get supplies, not just groceries, but medical equipment incase something else is wrong with Devon. And don't worry Danielle will keep him safe." The princess said grabbing the fur of his neck forcing him back on the path. "And we are halfway to the Kingdom so lets get moving." She commanded.
The wolf wasn't going to deny that his behavior was irrational, but this was his brother that was hurt. He just wanted to be there to make sure he is ok, it's what Devon would do for him. But he knew that the Princess was right, Devon would need food when he wakes up knowing how he is when he is hungry. The wolf nodded in agreement to his rider and was about to break into a sprint towards the kingdom, but something didn't feel right. He could smell it in the air, his senses were screaming, but he didn't know what was wrong. Victoria could feel the wolf tense up and she leaned down to his ear. "What is it." She whispered as she felt the need to be quiet.
"I don't know." Logan growled. For a few seconds Logan stood completely still trying to pinpoint what was off in the air.
A boulder landed mere feet from the pair causing Logan to jump backwards away from the rock. The boulder caused dirt to fling into the air filling the area with a dirt haze. Both the Princess and the wolf were on high alert not understanding entirely what had happened.
"A boulder? But how?" The princess asked very confused. As if to answer the question the boulder started to change. Cracks ran down the sides of the large rock and around the front section. The sounds of rock-on-rock grinding filled the air as the rock began to break up. Two arm like appendages then popped out from the rock and Logan immediately knew what was happening.
"That's not a boulder, it's a rock golem!" He growled as he began slowly backing away. The beast finished it's transformation now standing tall on two large legs. The stone creature was massive towering over the large wolf, it's stone body making it extremely intimidating. It's stone eyes moved rapidly not focusing on what spot for too long which made the Princess curious. She has been with the hero's before when they dealt with rock golems and she has never seen one moves it's eyes. She always assumed the eyes were just for show not actually offering sight. The monster released a mighty roar as it began charging at the two. Logan wasn't sure what they did to irritate but wasn't about to stay and find out.
"Hold on." He ordered Victoria as he began sprinting back towards the house. He knew his brother might still be unconscious, but he couldn't fight this size of a rock golem alone and he knew it. Logan just hoped that he was awake. While Logan was concerned with his brother Victoria was concerned with decreasing gap between the golem and them.
"Logan it's gaining on us!" She yelled over the buffering wind. Logan only grunted as he pushed his body to move faster, but he was already going at the point of break for his body, he knew he wouldn't be able to keep up this pace for long and the Princess knew it to. She reached into her crimson red jacket and fished around the multiple hidden pockets pulling at a small bottle that was labelled with magical symbol of ice. She tossed the bottle over her shoulder hoping that her aim would be solid and lucky for her the bottle broke perfectly on the leg of the golem. As it shattered the liquid inside spread over the lower have of the golem and immediately encased the beasts legs in ice slowing it to a hault. Logan stopped to catch his breath and looked at the rock golem which was struggling against the ice that encased him. The beast may have been contained, but Logan could see the cracks already beginning to form. He had to get moving now and put as much distance in between the two. He began to sprint now at a more reasonable pace for the wolf.
As he neared the house he could hear the wild screams of the rock golem and knew the beast had continued to follow. Logan didn't dare to turn and see how close, but only continued his sprint toward his home, now picking up to a speed that forced him to dig deep into his endurance. The princess however looked back to see the beast crashing through a set of trees, it looked extremely angered due to the ice and sent fear through the princess, but she dared not to show it trying to be brave like Logan and Devon are. The princess turned back and saw the house in the distant. "Logan were almost there! Don't stop!" She yelled trying to push the wolf to it's full potential. The house got closer and closer, but so did the Golem.
"Devon! Dani!" The princess yelled, but voice was unheard inside the house. Logan knew her voice wouldn't be able to reach the house so he let at a mighty howl that pierced the prairie and echoed through all the way to the house.
Devon and Dani:
Devon's mind was still pondering about Dani and his conversation and what it had led up to. His Ming filled with thoughts of what it had meant, did she like- like him or was just filled by emotion. He had remained on sofa with the demon girl only moving to pull her closer into his embrace, now her onyx hair draped over his chest as she snored quietly enjoying the first restful sleep she had in the last two days. Devon wasn't tired and spent the time admiring the girl and how even when she slept still managed to be the most beautiful thing to him, but his admiration kept being interrupted by his stomach growling. Even though he hadn't eaten anything in the last two days and his mouth was extremely dry he just didn't want to move enjoying the situation he was in. But it started to become unbearable and he knew if he didn't have food soon his IQ level would drop. He carefully moved out from underneath the demon girl and gently laid her down on the sofa being sure not to wake her. She rustled a littled and mumble something incoherent as she settled into the soft sofa, but thankfully she did not wake up.
He immediately went to the kitchen filling a jug with water from the sink which he chugged immediately. He was about to get food from the fridge when a howl pierced through the house sending shivers down his spine. Devon knew it was his brother as he began to run out of the house.
"Dani!" He said to the already awake demon. "Logan's in trouble, come on." Devon ran to the front room to find his sword and gun waiting on the bench. He quickly dawned the holster and sprinted outside. His brother was close now running at full speed being chased by a plume of dirt. Devon squinted seeing the angry rock golem chasing the pair.
Dani had come out side and was shocked to see the beast chasing her freinds, but she was even more so by Devon who had already drawed his sword. "Wait, Dev, you can't fight him you are still hurt from the fall." She said concerned for his well being.
It was true his arm hurt still and he was light headed, but he was to stubborn to not protect his family. "Don't worth Dani I'll be fine." He said flashing her a reassuring smile which did nothing to reassure the demon.
Devon charged forward as Logan ran past sliding to a stop. He tipped his body letting the Princess fall off and allowing him to fight with Devon. Devon, though, seemed not to need help as he stood infront of the golem, it's roaming eyes now locked on the hero's. The creature dug his hand into the dirt and pulled at a rock which he threw at the hero who easily deflected it with his sword. Devon charged at the beast and aimed his blade for the joint of it's leg, but the sword was caught and snapped in half by the beasts powerful hands. It then punched Devon in the stomach sending him sliding back. He quickly got to his knee and began firing his gun at the beast, but the bullets did nothing but anger the golem which let out a mighty war before sprinting at Devon who was down to his last option.
"Let's see what I can do." He said as he summoned his dark energy creating a circle of power around him. He immediately felt the knew strength that the diamond had given him, but he found that the darkness was more overbearing as it flowed through him. It was so much that his brain began to loose function and he could feel himself slippig from control, but he persevered focusing his energy to his hands were black electricity started to shoot from to the ground. He drawed the energy back then released at the beasts striking it with lightening like dark energy. It was very unfocused but the pure power was enough to stop the golem right in it's track. The electricity snaked around it's body as the rock began to crumble away leaving behind a robed man. He was cleanly shaven with well kept blond hair his blue eyes locked in on Devon observing him, making sure that the hero could see him. Devon was very confused on who the man was and why he was disguised a rock golem.
"Who are you?" Devon questioned the robed man.
"My name is Kevin MacArthur." His voice was strong and confident. "And I'd like to apologize for attacking you, I had to make you revert to your dark form for us to communicate for we live on different planes of reality."
Devon was confused, how could he be fully in his dark form, he was fully aware. He looked over himself realizing his skin had paled to a grey, his fingered ending in black claws, and his hair had become white. "But how?" He wondered. "I can still feel the darkness, but it isn't controlling me. I have conquered it!"
"Devon focus on me." The man said causing Devon to flood with hate at the man who attacked his family. "I know you most likely are angered but you must listen. You may have control of dark energy now, but if you keep filling yourself with power from the diamonds the unbalance of chaos and peace will kill you. I don't have much time left before you revert back to normal so I can only briefly tell you what to do. Go into the Badlands and find a spire that admits light energy there you will find a white diamond. Use it to become one with peace and serenity the way you are one with chaos and disturbance."
Devon began to feel weak, the darkness was flowing out of him causing the man to begin to fade as he left the spiritual plain. "Wait, tell me more about saving the world! What's going to happen?" He asked as he felt a wave of light headedness hit him.
"Sorry hero, but I can not tell you what is going to happen for I don't truly know. All I can say is to collect the four white diamonds and the three remaining black ones. Good luck hero."
The man began to fade as Devon returned to normal. The change caused him much agony as his head began to ache and his eyes became extremely sensitive to light forcing to cover them with his hands. He violently jerked causing his friends to run to him. The pain and seizuring only lasted a few seconds and stopped once all the darkness had receded leaving Devon on his knees. The pain quickly subsided and Devon was able to stand on his own accord even though Logan attempted to help.
"Devon, Devon? Are you okay what happened?" Dani asked concerned her eyes roaming the hero trying to find any injuries.
"I'm fine." Devon said weakly, shaking his head a few times to focus himself.
"What just happened!?" The three asked simultaneously causing Devon to flinch and them to all mutter sorry.
"I just talked to a man, no, a spirit, his name was Kevin MacAuthor. He told me to go to the Badlands and find a white diamond in some sort of spire. He said I need to become one with peace and serenity."
*ring...ring. "Who could that be?" The princess said as she reached into her pocket pulling at a phone. She answered it and a holographic image of the queens face popped up.
"Everyone there has been an extreme massing of Scrapper drones in the Badlands around a high energy source. I need you to go to check out." Her voice crackled as the single faded, but quickly returned. "Victoria go with them. I want you to collect samples of the Scrappers and the energy source. Boys keep her protected. Report back to the Kingdom when you're done. Queen out." The hologram cut off leaving the adventurers with a new mission.
"Well I guess we should go pack up and move out." Devon said as he stretched his sore body.
"You think that energy source is the spire?" Logan asked.
"Maybe, maybe not. We will just have to find out." Devon said. "Come on lets go get ready."
Everyone nodded and headed back to the house to gather their supplies, but Dani pulled Devon back so they were a few paces behind the other two. "Are you sure you are up for this." Dani asked the young hero.
"Don't worry Dani, I just need a bite to eat and I will be all set." He said trying to reassure his demon friend. Dani though was extremely concerned by his well being, his unknown quest, and how the man that spoke to Devon was to familiar.
"I never thought I'd hear about Kevin again." She thought as old memories flooded her mind.
The group packed up their gear for the journey west into the badlands being sure to pack food, water, medical supplies, weapons, and all other necessities. They decided to use one of the boys vehicles that they retrieved from their large underground garage. It never ceased to amaze the girls that the two heroes had built such vast underground caves and rooms especially their garage which held multiple vehicles. They all crowded into the humvee like car, with Devon at the wheel, and speed off towards the treacherous Badlands.