23 Red Twilight Worldwalkers chapter 23
Attack on Eden part 2
Charlie falls into black water, light receding from his eyes as he sinks into the depths. The water howls with a whale like cry. Teeth emerge from the infinite darkness. Charlie rolls around only partly aware of his surroundings. The teeth catch his gaze, in a panic Charlie struggles against the water trying to find the surface. Cravixs is still chasing Charlie even here, even in the land of the dead. The hooked teeth inch ever closer, one scrapping across one of Charlies legs living a white burning mark where he had touched the nothingness.
I hand brakes the surface of the water gripping Charlie by the wrist pulling him from the water and dropping him onto a raft. The darkness fleas once Charlie is out of the water. Charlie lays on the wooden raft looking up at Lous-DayO. The old man smiles down at Belmond. Charlie grunts noticing that he is back at the Lake of Forgotten Memories "this must mean I am dead again."
Lous nods "Yep."
Charlie takes a few breaths watching the sky "did we win?"
"Nope." The medicine man rest his hands behind himself looking out into the water "what do you want to do Charlie? If you want to run away no one will call you a coward."
Charlie snaps to attiniton remembering were he has been and what he has seen "The Tree of Beginnings! I want to go to Yggdrasil. Before Cravixs wakes up! Everything ends at the Tree of Beginnings! But I need Celverant and the Steel Rose…"
DayO tips his head "what?"
"Fate said it! Cravixs power is intrinsically linked to the Tree. I can't beat Cravixs so long as the tree stands. But if I can…" Charlie tries to explain his plan to Lous-DayO by DayO cuts him off
"…Have you gone Mad?!"
"…Macbeth," Charlie explains. "The Macbeth curse. Cravixs is unkillable, but he could land a lethal strike against himself if…"
Lous slaps Charlie "NO! you cant…"
Charlie grabs DayO "We can." Lous-DayO calms down, he pulls a clay bottle from his belt and dips it into the water. There is a long silences as the eldest of the keepers of Eden spins the jar in his hand watching the water within twist and swear. Charlie watches him his eyes jumping about in anticipation.
Finally the elder god laughs, "of all the beast, across all of creation, how I wish there were more like you. 'the old and the brave where scares so that the young need not.' One of your grandfathers said something like that once. 'I bleed for others.' Always looking to do the right thing, no matter the cost." Dayo lowers his head and runs his hands across his brow "Alright, let's go around again." Lous grips Charlie by the head and the stars start to spin in the sky.
Charlie snaps back to reality mid-sentence "…I have a reservation on room E772. I would like to inquire about upgrading to E776, it has a better view of the lake, and I understand that it comes with a 3-session patio…" Charlie grips his chest in crippling pain. He looks around trying to peace together where Lous-DayO dropped him.
Celverant now alive and well stands over Charlie, Jloose by his side. he is on the Steel Rose before the attacks happened. Lances, David, and Milli are spread out on the ground having just been warped in. Celverant leans over Charlie "I will see if your room is ready." Charlie pushes himself up to his feet struggling. Redcap and Hetatsubatchi are at the pond watching ducks play, Seeker is standing at a computer terminal with a electronic scanning device.
'Things are changing already,' Charlie thinks as Celverant turns his back to enter the courthouse. Charlie focuses, he lays chase "Celverant wait." Charlie grabs the giant by the wrist to stop him "Worldwalkers can travel across space in two way, x-x or x-y, I made in x-y jump to get here."
Celverant turns to face the tiny man "you are a time shifter?"
Charlie points "Seeker is going to betray the Worldwalkers. She is a void worshiper. So is Harm, if you don't know what that is yet ask Syphon, she will tell you all about it. There is a universe eating demon on its way here called Cravixs. We will fight it and we will die. Unless we can go to Eden where it sleeps and destroy the tree that it sleeps in…" Charlie starts rambling
Celverant looks at Jloose, Jloose nods "He is telling the truth, at least as best as he understands it."
Charlie continues his monolog "… And, Jessica the Weaver his been possessed by the Darkness."
Celverant holds up a hand commanding Charlie to stop "Enough, I believe you."
Charlie shakes his head in shock 'you…, you, do?"
"even had Jloose said nothing I still would."
"I have spent over a hundred years seeding countless worlds with clones of myself. A decade ago I could see only 1% of the universe. Today my eyes can see almost 8%. And it is not because I am becoming vaster, all of reality is contracting in on itself." Celverant walks over to a keyboard on a nearby wall to talk to his ship "Ali, level 9 lock down. Clearances C-00-308 -01, raise antimagic shell, shut down all transport pads, no one leaves without clearance from two senior officers and myself. No one boards unless they are 'coming in hot.' understood?"
The computer beeps "containment is active."
Celverant turns his gaze back to Charlie "the suspected traitors are; Harm, Seeker, Jessica?" Charlie nods. "I should also like to bring Visstle and Krain in for questioning."
Charlie shrugs "Krain never harmed anyone to my knowledge."
Celverant looks to Jloose "Jloose, you, Cender and Dash will bring in the above mentioned." Celverant looks back to Charlie "was there anything else you needed to bring to my attention?"
Charlie nods almost biting his tongue, as he does his voice reduced to a squeak for a moment "I also need to barrow your space station." The giant statue that is Celverant leans over Belmond studding his features as a collection of his armors pick up Lances, David, and Milli carrying them away.
"This is going to require some explanation" Celverant stands up straight. "Make your way down to the medical compound and have Sigh look you over, then come find me in the executive building I have an appointment with Bloodsage I must get to." Charlie is lead away by another pair of armors.
Sigh gives Charlie a once over, he ties a kashmir cloth around his chest and administers a prayer to treat his cracked ribs then sends Charlie on his way. The two of them make small talk for a moment, Charlie casually bringing up that Sigh's elder brother is planning a coup.
When Charlie catches up with Celverant he is a den room within the executive building. Celverant is entertaining the company of Jessica the Weaver and a man that looks to be a gray skinned elf dressed like a pharaoh; baggy pants, a pair of cloth wings attaching his arms to his hips and a crown with a cats face etched into it. He is holding Jessica's ruby pendent in one hand.
"Were did you get this?" Arwen Bloodsage ask.
"It was given to me by Walker the Sillenite." Jessica explains "what is it? Why is it so valuable?"
"it's a Guardian Stone. I must say there aren't too many of these around." Arwen hands it back to the mousefolk "the way I understand it, in order for a wizard to forge one of those he first needs to kill a Ju-on and I will tell you that is no easy task." The vampire shaman walks around afew steps thinking " far as I know only a Ju-on can kill a Ju-on. But that does explain why Kari couldn't kill you. So long as that thing is touching you, without line of sight, not even the strongest wizard on any world could hex you."
Celverant cuts in "why hasn't it interrupted the horizontal planeshift she is experiencing?"
Arwen thinks "A Pylon. That is the only thing I can come up with. Something she is wearing, or frequently makes physical contact with has a spectral anchor on it that the demon is using to push against Jessica's magic wards." Arwen points down at Jessica "set everything you own on fire except that necklaces and go to a planet at the edge of the mana stream."
Celverant looks at Charlie. "I see you are in good health. Now tell me why you want to barrow my space station."
Charlie tells Celverant everything, everything he can remember about Cravixs, what Fate had told him, what Redcap and Lous-DayO had to say. Jessica is enticed by the story and even backs up some of Charlie's claims as she had seen events not so dissimilar herself during the Battle for Graywall Keep.
"… So you see, this is our last grate hope. We need to destroy the Tree of Beginnings in order to rob Cravixs of his power and make him mortal."
Celverant looks around the room thinking "we will make a stop on Cathall, drop off all nonessential personnel. We will need to refuel on Soverngaurd, Then in the name of peace we strike."
Enthused Charlie grunts and punches the air with a teeth gritting "Yes!"
All preparations are made. Charlie, Celverant and his army of golems are all that remain aboard the Steel Rose. One last jump across space and they arrive floating over Eden. the mighty garden stretches the width of the horizon. Past the city of glass, past the black tower, there it is! The tree so grand that one could see around the world standing on its branches, so mighty its roots are the hart of the world, its fruits so swollen they could be moons. Only from the window of the Steel Rose could one see the full glory of Yggdrasil.
Charlie marvels at the tree for a time before looking to Celverant. "Destroy it." He whispers, the magic of the tree filling him with shame as he orders for the death of the tree of Beginnings. Celverant sits on his throne, his hands dances across the keyboard on the arm rest. The Rose howls as it draws in power readininig for the attack that will destroy all of Eden.
The primer cannon fires first lighting the way for the mean gun, the air lights on fire, rocks melt around the Steel Rose as it heats up, water boils, oxygen is sucked from the atmosphere. Celverant starts a countdown to the moment the cannon will let loose.
The sky tears apart, the void appears engulfing Eden to protect it. Cravixs appears in the throne room standing before Belmond, scythe in hand his voice booming with rage "What do you think you are doing Belmond?"
Charlie smiles "I am doing what is right."
"you have no idea the consequences of this action." He grabs his reaper in both hands.
Charlie giggles "go right ahead, strike me. See how much good it does you."
Crow lowers his head, his eyes glowing with unearthly spite. "such limited imagination." Waves of darkness blast away from Mammon's body, the Rose gets consumed by rust, flesh and teeth punchier the walls, the ship starts to breath becoming something that is both flesh and steel.
A reptilian howl echoes around the world. Magical ropes snap into reality grabbing Charlie around the arms and the lags "I am board of being kind Belmond. Now it is time to sunder you from reality." Crow waves a hand to start stretching Charlie. Celverant tries to stand to aid his companion but the rust has sealed his body to his throne. Crow laughs devilishly.
The dragon howl echoes again this time fallowed by a voice "I cannot prevent you from being killed. But I cannot let you die." Charlies head falls back, the brown burns off of his eyes being replaced with gem green, his skin turns to silver and his hair knots outwards "now you are just no playing fair."
Charlie pulls his arms into his chest shattering the ropes like ice on pavement. Crow grips his scythe and launches himself at Charlie to cut him apart. Charlie points at Cravixs and a ray of light burst from his fingertips knocking Crow to the ground.
Crow pushes himself up to his knees looking at Charlie his eyes wide in fear "what is this power, it feels so..." he freezes thinking "my beloved." Charlie brings one hand up to ear level, he snaps banishing the rust and returning the Rose to pristine condition.
Charlie speaks to Mammon, his voice high and feminine. "I think it is time for us to have a heart to heart." Charlie waves his hand off to one side magicly flinging Crow into a wall, then he waves the other way throwing him at another. "or I could just slap you a few more times."
Mammon tries to stand, Charlie thrust his hand at the ground and a unmovable weight thrust Crow back into the ground "Let's talk." Crow mumbles. Crow turns to darkness and retreats. Charlie turns to stardust to fallow.
The two of them appears in the forest of Eden. Charlie snaps his figures teleporting the Steel Rose to another realm. The forest is ablaze, wind howls an unearthly racket. Flames turning the wilderness into a hellscape.
Crow stands before Charlie "Chaos?"
Craw is nearly brought to tears as he gasps and offers outstretched arms to his twin sister.
Charlie shouts into the air "DayO! If you don't show yourself I swear I will flap my wings and reduce Eden to a nucellar wasteland! And you know I can do it!"
The old man that is Lous-Dayo appears in a crash of lighting "three cosmic lifeforms in one place, this hasn't happened since…"
Mammon steps up to Lous, "since you started banishing gods you didn't like to the Nether."
Lous shouts "Is that really what we are going to talk about!?" Charlie looks around for a moment then blinks his eyes dispelling the energy in the air and restoring Eden to Its peace and charm.
Mammon and DayO stare eachother down "If you hadn't been such a coward maybe this deathcurse would never have happened, maybe we could have killed the Nothingness, just the four of us!"
Charlie grabs Mammon by the chest and speaks in a calm and concerned tone "we did; you, me, Lous, and Sa-la, did kill the Nothingness."
Mammon steps back in shock trying to remember the War of the Premortal age "no, the Nothing killed you, and I had to cage it within myself to prevent it from spreading to other world."
"It wounded me, it wounded all of us. It limited our power. Took away our ability to see into the future, but it the nothingness was unstable. There just wasn't enough room in existence for nothing to exist." Charlie as Chaos explains.
Mammon looks around overwhelmed "then what am I? who is that other voice I hear whispering to me?"
Lous speaks to Mammon "the last seed of the Nothingness. It impregnated you during the battle."
Mammon starts panicing as the Nothingness starts shouting at him to provent Mammon from hearing the voices of his siblings "I don't believe you! I don't! Where is Sa-la-day-namO! Chaos! Help me!" he grabs the sides of his head crying out. Charlie approaches Mammon to grab him to try to calm him. Cravixs eyes snap up and his voice goes cold and empty "this will never end, all things must return to the Void, all things must feed the Nothingness." Cravixs turns to mist flying away.
Lous-DayO turns to face Chaos "I see you are awake again."
"You two made enough noise to stir the dead."