|BandiChron: Fading Legends
Author: CadeXHybrid PM
After vanquishing four evil threats, Crash and his new allies must still take care of the last pestilence known as Draksin Mefisto. The conclusion to Legends United has arrived, and our heroes may lose a piece of themselves in the battle. V.G. Mash-up.Rated: Fiction M - English - Adventure/Humor - Crash Bandicoot - Chapters: 17 - Words: 98,392 - Reviews: 33 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 07-24-12 - Published: 08-08-11 - id: 7265303
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Linkin Park is the truth!
Chapter 15: Burn it Down
Crash's eyes slowly eased open. The world was quite blurry. His lower body felt quite…warm.
Thinking he'd wet himself in his sleep, Crash tried to sniff down there to confirm his suspicion, but when he did, he wound up hitting his head hard against a rock. Eyes flying wide open, Crash came to the conclusion that his body was wedged between two rocks at the base of a cliff. His lower body was submerged underwater, thus explaining the warm feeling.
"Whoa…I must be in the past!" Crash exclaimed, remembering everything that had just happened to him right up to the blinding blue light.
Quickly dislodging himself and flying up along the cliff, Crash reached the top and landed gracefully. Observing his surroundings, Crash noticed Cortex Castle was still up and intact.
"Looks like they haven't blown it up, yet," Crash said to himself, recounting the series of events Coco told him were supposed to happen. "That means Jak and Link should still be alive, I hope. Okay, it's time for me to—OOOAAAH!"
Clutching his aching, agonizing belly, Crash fell on the ground and writhed in pain. Looking at his hands, he gaped at the strong amount of blood on his fur. Looking down, Crash stumbled upon the open wound on his abdomen. It was from the blast Draksin had used to push him out the window hours ago. To Crash, it still hurt like mad. In fact, it hurt so much that he involuntarily transformed into his darker Minion Form. And just like that, his stomach stopped hurting him so much.
Maintaining his Minion Form, Crash brushed aside his black hair and said aloud in a grittier voice, "Thank Wumpa that's over. Hold it…what's going on here? I changed again…?"
Glancing back up to the sinister tower that held his friends, Crash changed the subject, "Crud…I've gotta find Jak and Link before that whole place comes down. But where did Coco say they were when it exploded? Shoot, I should listen more…"
Standing up with his wound still bleeding from his belly, Crash cursed himself before he began running for the castle, "Oh, well—I'd better do something!"
Meanwhile, back up in Cortex's laboratory, Jak was calmly sitting against the wall, hearing Keira quietly cry over the communicator. That's when he heard Daxter's voice.
"Jak…you lied to me!" Daxter shouted, sounding very choked up. "You're not supposed to lie to your friends…"
Of all times to do it, Jak knew this was the perfect time do so. No one was watching, so the blonde hero let a few tears roll down his cheeks. However, he made sure to hide this in his voice as he laughed and replied, "You've always been a good friend to me, Daxter. You're the man."
Audibly torn apart, the ottsel could only say, "Jak…"
"How much time left?" Jak asked curiously.
This time, Coco answered, "Sorry Jak, but you've got twenty-five seconds."
Outside, everyone listened to Jak's last words over the communicator. Keira had become a mess, hardly able to listen to him at all as he said, "Hmph. Well, guys…it's been an honor. Sorry I couldn't come back to Haven City with you, Keira. I really do love you. Goodbye."
Back in the lab, Jak had used the last bit of his strength to thoroughly crush Bentley's communicator in his hand after his surprisingly teary goodbye. More tears than before were now streaming from his eyes.
And then from nowhere, a welcomingly familiar and raspy voice echoed in Jak's head, "You did well, son. Once again, you've made me proud."
Jak laughed to himself, closing his eyes in total preparation.
"But it seems the world is still in need of you, my son."
Reopening his eyes, Jak appeared to be confused from Damas' echoing words. Looking around the destroyed room, Jak gave one last look to Link's mutilated body lying next to the debris. Slowly, Jak closed his eyes again…
A part of the floor burrowed open, revealing Minion Crash's poking head. Like lighting he grabbed Jak by the leg and pulled him in the hole in the floor with him, doing the same for Link.
"Goodbye, old friend," Bentley said, removing his cap and bowing his head.
Reluctantly, Coco closed Bentley's laptop and looked away from the castle.
The first thing to erupt in a blazing inferno was the highest tower, Cortex's lab. Without delay, the lower levels of the castle began to explode in loud, bursting intervals. They were not loud enough, however, to cover up Keira's and Daxter's aggrieved cries of his name.
After Cortex's Castle had fallen to the ground in a flaming, smoking heap, everyone took a moment of silence to mourn the loss of two courageous heroes.
Then, about ten seconds later and ten feet behind them all, a hole in the ground burrowed open. The remaining heroes—Coco, Crunch, Ratchet, Clank, Sly, Bentley, Murray, Keira, Daxter, Sora, Kairi, Riku, Donald, and Goofy—all turned around to face whatever disturbance was occurring in the ground.
A voice from the hole shrieked, "WHEW! Man, that was some serious diggin'!"
Recognizing the voice, Crunch said, "What the—?"
Minion Crash, with Jak and Link tucked under both arms, used his long teeth like pickaxes to climb his way back to the surface, safely dropping his cargo and wiping his brow in exhaustion. All eyes were on him.
Seeing all of his friends alive and unharmed again definitely made Crash happy. And with that rush of happiness, Minion Crash reverted back down to his regular, slightly smaller, orange and smiley form. Nodding, he said causally, "'Sup, guys. Did I get here in the nick of time, er what?"
"Crash—you're alive!" Coco exclaimed in joy.
"And ya saved Jak and Link!" Ratchet added.
The rest of the heroes erupted in cheers of delight and praise, some running up to embrace Crash while others checked on Jak and Link. Speaking of them, Jak seemed to be the only one cognizant of his surroundings between the two of them. While Link was still badly injured and unconscious, Jak had been watching the entire scene unfold before him with wide, almost frightened eyes. Another thing currently happening to Jak was…
"Whoa…" said Sora, totally taken off guard as he noticed something. "Check it out, guys. Jak is…crying!"
"What?" Bentley exclaimed in disbelief. "That's preposterous!"
All eyes were now on Jak, perplexed from his freely flowing "manly tears." In that time, Keira made her way over to the man lying on the ground. Holding his head up with one arm under his neck, Keira couldn't help but smile joyously with plenty of tears of her own. Then she noticed the many injuries Jak had sustained from his battle with Draksin. Along with many cuts and bruises, Keira noticed the two bloody holes in the side of Jak's neck.
"What happened to you, Jak…?" Keira uttered.
Meanwhile, Donald and Goofy were in the middle of closely observing Link's much more injured body. Strangely, to Donald's surprise, the Hylian was actually still breathing. There was even a slow pulse.
"Link looks terrible, but he's alive!" Donald shouted. "My magic might be too slow to heal him in time. What should I do?"
Crash just shrugged and said, "You could just wait for Jeycko. He should be showing up any—"
A burst of light interrupted Crash, heralding the arrival of Jeycko. The blonde-haired precursor had appeared skidding to a halt on the ground, as if he had been sprinting to get there. Looking around, he asked urgently, "Yo heroes, what'd I miss?"
"What the heck's goin' on, here?" Sly asked, puzzled from all the sudden appearances.
Crash cut to the point. "You got the healing water, right Jeycko?"
Holding his wooden flask with a smile, Jeycko answered, "Of course!"
"Good, 'cuz Link's pretty much on the brink of death right now."
Crash pointed toward the fallen Hylian. Making his way over to him, Jeycko knelt by his side, twisted open the flask, and steadily poured the sparkling water over Link's long impalement wound. Like a zipper, the lacerated skin stretching across his chest closed up, leaving only a rip in Link's tunic. After Link's broken nose healed up too, Jeycko got a murmuring response from the cured Hylian and allowed the boy to drink the healing water in order to mend whatever else needed mending.
With the color restored to his eyes, Link sat up slowly, looking at his entranced allies. Unable to believe his eyes, Murray said, "He's…he's okay! Jeycko just fixed up Link in less than five seconds!"
Hardly able to believe it himself, Link felt his belly to see if it really was whole and unscathed. Looking up, Link met the eyes of a smiling Sora holding out his hand for him to take. Taking it, Link stood to both of his feet, smiling back at him.
"Welcome back," Sora said, every last trace of hatred and jealousy expelled from him.
Jeycko had performed the same procedure with Crash (who was definitely glad to have his stomach mended) and then on Jak, who was now stumbling to stand up again. With wet eyes, he and Keira embraced once more, tightly holding each other before Daxter crawled up from nowhere to the top of Jak's head.
Actually sounding ticked off, Daxter shouted, "Don't you ever pull that hero crap on me again, you big ugly nincompoop!"
"It's good to see you again, Dax," Jak greeted wholeheartedly.
Jumping back down to the ground, Daxter cracked a smile and stated, "Ah, I can't stay mad at ya…but I will if ya don't stop all that cryin', ya big girl…" Turning around sharply, Daxter cleared his throat and said, "Funny. Looks like I've got something in my eye…"
Watching the ottsel fail to conceal his weeping, Jak and Keira chuckled with each other before engaging in a kiss. However, the kiss lasted for about two seconds because everyone present collectively let out one long, embarrassing, "Awww!"
"Real mature," Keira scornfully muttered.
"Yeah, thanks, guys," said Jak with a roll of the eyes.
Just then, the precursors Orphco and Gladdus appeared on the scene in two bright flashes. At first, they seemed unaware of the heroes behind them as they stared at the burning remains of Cortex's Castle. Then, turning around to address the alive and well heroes, Orphco asked right away, "Are we too late?"
Smiling, Jeycko said with a wave, "Actually, you're late as hell!"
"J-Jeycko?" Gladdus sputtered, eyes wide open. "Wha—we saw Draksin stab you!"
"You were bleeding on the ground," Orphco added, equally perplexed. "How are you standing here before us?"
With a snide grin, Jeycko explained, "Well, after you two left me to die, Draksin decided to hightail it back to Earthrealm with his little Amulet. Believe it or not, I was still alive. Bleeding like a tomato, but still alive. I dragged myself into our magic little river and passed out. I literally just woke up five minutes ago."
"My dad and Glen—were they alive, too?" Gladdus asked.
Shaking his head solemnly, Jeycko replied, "Sorry. They died where Draksin left them. But before I came here, I did make sure to deposit their corpses in the river."
Ratchet suddenly intervened, "Hold on. Glen and the General are dead? How did that happen?"
"Draksin," Orphco explained. "He entered our Realm with the Amulet of Shinnok and attacked us. Gladdus and I barely escaped his wrath…"
"What's been happening down here, anyway?" Gladdus asked curiously.
Sly Cooper answered, "We were looking for Crash when we decided it was a cool idea to blow up the castle with Draksin trapped inside. And if it wasn't for Crash himself, Jak and Link would've been caught up in the blast, too."
Nodding somberly, Orphco looked over toward the castle's smoking debris and said, "So it seems Draksin Mefisto has finally been destroyed."
Crash quickly countered, "Nope. Not exactly. Right, Coco?"
A bit perturbed, Coco shrugged unceremoniously and asked, "What are you talking about? You know he's still alive?"
Raising an eyebrow, Crash responded, "We both know he's still alive, right?"
"The heck if I know?" Coco said, still troubled from Crash's odd tone.
That's when Crash figured out that Coco had no recollection of their bleak future. Just like everyone else, this Coco was still the same Coco native to the past's timeline, meaning that she didn't time travel like Crash and Jeycko. Looking over at the blonde precursor, Crash noticed Jeycko was having the same thoughts.
Out loud, Crash asked a question that sounded totally bizarre to everyone else, Coco especially, "Um…did Coco die before the clock took us back in time?"
"I think that's what happened," Jeycko replied lethargically. "I guess Tropy must have zapped her to death. Imagine that."
Daxter suddenly interrupted, "Awright, time out! One of you better start tellin' me what's going—!"
A loud explosion resounded over where the castle's ruins were situated. A pile of smoking wreckage had burst off the ground to reveal a particularly pissed-off-looking dark lord, who was roaring like a monster into the air. His face was also taking the shape of something monstrous, as if he were in mid-transformation.
Every single hero, including the ones who were frightened or surprised by Draksin's return and the only two who were anticipating it, could clearly hear Draksin yell in his furious state, "You weak mortals will not see the end of this day!"
"Heck—you weren't kidding," Ratchet said, reaching for his wrench. "He really is still alive!
Slowly marching over to the heroes' position, Draksin continued his loud threat, "You fools haven't truly been through hell just yet! I will annihilate…"
When Draksin's eyes met the fierce green ones of Crash Bandicoot, his sentence slammed into a brick wall. Watching the dark lord gape wider and wider, Crash greeted gravely, "I hope you're not busy."
"What—h-how are you still breathing?" Draksin sputtered. "I defeated you! No, I did more than defeat you—wait a minute, is that Jeycko? This is ludicrous!"
Actually snickering to himself, Jeycko replied, "You think that's crazy, then check this out!"
Jeycko reached back and pulled Link to the frontline, just to show him off. Link's uninjured and breathing body was enough to cause Draksin to have a meltdown.
"I-Inconceivable—absolutely outrageous!" Draksin stammered repeatedly. "Did I NOT just kill the three of you?"
Crash explained, "Actually, you just stink at finishing the job."
The confounded dark lord's expression went serious for a second before he suddenly began laughing. After he finished, he said, "Oh, I see. You dumb defects think you've outsmarted and got the best of me? Far from it. None of you are a match for me. You all are weak whereas I am the almighty omnipotent Draksin Mef—"
The claw of a grappling hook had assaulted Draksin's face, causing him to fall backward and thankfully end his rant. Pressing a button on his Hookshot to reel in the cable, Link peevishly stated, "I hate it when they monologue in front of us."
Laughing his tail off at the fallen dark lord, Daxter shouted, "You just got jacked, brah!"
After plenty of high-fives were given to Link, Draksin brusquely stood back up and screeched, "I shall NOT be made a fool of! We'll see if you're still laughing when you're precious world is being overrun by demons!" Tapping his amulet, Draksin shrieked with unneeded ferociousness, "Amulet of Shinnok, guide me to the Netherrealm at once!"
In a burst of green light, Draksin vanished from where he stood, leaving behind a little bit of his pride.
"Never thought I'd see the day when he'd go cowering off with his tail between his legs," Jak said with a satisfied smile.
"Yeah, but…what was all that 'overrun by demons' stuff about?" Kairi asked uneasily.
Riku stated, "I'm willing to bet that that was just a bluff. We've got Draksin on the edge!"
Shaking his head, Crash dismissed, "Nope. He's about to go pick up a legion of demons and attack the city. We'd better think of something—"
"Alright, that's it," Crunch interrupted. "Tell us right now why you know so much about everything that's going on! Go on, tell us already! It's like you're two steps ahead of everyone—including Draksin!"
Judging by their curious looks, every hero seemed to be thinking exactly what Crunch was saying. Receiving a yielding nod from Jeycko, Crash sighed deeply and looked around at everyone once. Shaking his head, Crash directed, "I say we go home and catch a few hours of sleep first. Looking around at each other, I think we can all agree that…we're freakin' tired."
Hours later, the heroes had finally gotten a decent amount of rest, considering they had stayed up nearly half of the previous night worrying about Micayla's abduction (and eventual murder) and fought to the death multiple times with Draksin Mefisto in Cortex Castle all morning. They were freaking tired.
So they spent a good majority of the day crashing on any comfortable surface they could find in the house—beds, couches, wooden floors, broken glass, rolls of barbed wire—they could practically sleep on anything. Each hero freely slept late throughout the clouded daytime until the sun went down. Fully rested, everyone awakened at nighttime and gathered in the living room, ready to hear Crash and Jeycko's story.
With a serious look, Jak confirmed, "So in your time, Link and I died because you were still unconscious."
Orphco also asked, "And Draksin murdered Gladdus and me so no one else would have a way to get home? Such evil…"
Leaning against a wall in the house, Crash nodded as a response, unable to look anyone in the eyes except for Jeycko occasionally.
"And then Draksin came by here and slaughtered the rest of us?" Keira asked curiously. "He didn't take any prisoners?"
Meeting the eyes of the aqua-haired girl, Crash winced a little before looking off to the side and lying through his teeth, "Nope. Killed everyone."
Jeycko picked up on Crash's little fib, thinking it best to follow suit. The blue-skinned deity nodded and said, "The state he left you guys in was probably the worst thing I'd seen in years. And remember, Coco was the only survivor because she went looking for Crash. Good thing she actually found him."
Coco piped up, "And…Dr. N. Tropy killed me before I could time warp with you guys? How lame…"
Clank commented, "I find it rather remarkable that you were able to find and use my father's chamber without evoking any reprehensible consequences in the fabric of time. Very intriguing indeed!"
"Didn't know that was your pop's time machine-thing, by the way," Crash threw in guiltily. Suddenly snapping his fingers, Crash randomly figured something out. "Wait a second…oh, now I get it. Sora's the daddy! That's what Kairi was talking about…"
"Um…" Kairi began. Her face said it all. Maybe "What the hell?" was better suited.
Stupidly, Crash continued, "Remember? In the hospital? Oh…wait. That was in the future. My bad!"
While Jeycko slapped a hand over his own forehead in displeasure for the bandicoot's nitwitted idiocy, Kairi asked in even more confusion, "Hospital? When was I in a hospital? Did I go there sometime before Draksin killed me?"
Repeatedly smacking himself over the forehead, Crash laughed in embarrassment as he said, "Uh, just ignore what I said about any hospitals, please!"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa," Crunch interjected. "I thought you said everyone was dead except for you, Coco, and Jeycko by the time you went to find N. Tropy at the hospital."
Link asked, "Does this mean Kairi was alive with you guys?"
"And what was all that 'daddy' junk about?" Sora asked, a fearful look in his eyes. "Seriously, am I the only one freaked out about that part?"
Daxter muttered to Sora, "Trust me, you're the only one freaking out."
As all eyes were on Crash, waiting for him to supply those questions with answers, the bandicoot felt backed into a corner. He had no choice but to shoulder the burden to someone else. "Um…Jeycko, handle this situation, please. I've gotta go come up with a plan to defend Wumpa City. You decide if it's safe to keep lying or tell the truth!"
Crash immediately sprinted across the house and made for the door, disappearing behind it. Everyone's attention was now focused on Jeycko, who was angrily mumbling, "Of all the rotten…"
"What were you lying about?" Bentley asked.
Deep in the fiery bowels of Hell, Draksin stood atop a large rocky formation, overseeing an entire legion of demon warriors of all shapes and sizes. These full-fledged demons ranged far into the millions, all standing before Draksin Mefisto on a vast black field of volcanic rock. The unholy army of Satan all stood in dense, unruly rectangular formations as they clattered their axes, mallets, shields, and swords, chanting and roaring for battle.
Draksin didn't intentionally plan to recruit this many demons. He had originally only wanted to attack Wumpa City, but now, he was going to make the entire world pay for the heroes' disrespect. Using the amulet on his belt, Draksin opened up various green portals that each led to densely populated cities on Earth. The appearances of these portals caused many of the demons to quiet down, puzzled from the swirling green thresholds.
In a booming voice, Draksin commanded, "Devils of the Netherrealm, I permit you all—destroy Earthrealm! Leave no survivors!"
Crash's sixth sense was going off like an alarm. He could detect negative energy popping up all over the world. They had to be Draksin's demons. Crash was outside and had distanced himself from the house, standing on the island's shore and watching the dark ocean's expanse. Behind him, his thoughts were interrupted by Jeycko as he sidled next to him.
"You told them?" Crash asked dryly.
"Put it this way," Jeycko said with a sigh. "They now want to kill Draksin more than ever. Jak especially."
"Speaking of Draksin, something tells me he isn't just going to sick his horde of demons on Wumpa City. I feel them popping up all over the world!"
Nodding, Jeycko said, "Same here. That's why I came out. Listen, everyone else is geared up to fight right now, but if you go now, you guys'll be greatly outnumbered."
"What do ya think we should do?" Crash asked.
"I'll take you to Wumpa City to start defending it. Later on, I'll try to bring in help."
"Yeah. You let me worry about that, Crash."
Nodding, Crash looked back out to the ocean and said, "After we defend Wumpa City, we should help out the rest of the world that's being attacked."
"Agreed," said Jeycko, looking out across the ocean as well. "Somehow, though, I think a good majority of the world already has heroes that can defend it themselves."
Okay, check this out—I'm actually proactive and have the next chapter half-written, and good-golly-gosh is it a crazy chapter. I definitely took inspiration from Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale to write it! That game looks awesome by the way. Stay tuned for the next chapter, Devil May Die!
Oh, and please don't hate me for using time-travel.