... Maybe I shouldn't have written this while listening to NieR : Emil ~ Sacrifice?
Anyhoo, I just finished watchin' Samurai Jack! And I was sort of inspired to write a sad...
There ARE some things that I want to tweak up a little bit - mostly character dialog, because... Well, I'm not really used to writing as characters I'm not used to writing with?
So, if you've got any advice on how I could improve the dialog, PLEASE let me know! I am open for criticism!
And of course, if there's anything else you'd like to see me improve, let me know! ^^
"... Oh no."
That was all Aku could manage to get out... He pawed at the ground, uttering a string of soft little 'nos' as he frantically sought the time portal, to reach through and pull the Samurai back in time. But it was gone. The Samurai, and Aku's own, traitorous spawn, had passed through the portal, and into the past!
"No!" snarled the demonic entity, rising up to his full height. Perhaps, if he could open himself another time portal, he could pass through and reach the Samurai, and prevent him from slaying him in the past!
"You will not best me, Samurai!" exclaimed the Shapeshifting Master of Darkness. In one, final effort, he screamed, letting flow rings of light from his mouth ; And as he watched these glowing rings circle above the ground before him, Aku grinned wickedly... Only to have his smile vanish instantly, for when these rings descended to the ground, no portal did they make.
He stared disbelievingly at the ground. How could this be? It... It should have worked! He knelt down, digging into the ground. Maybe the time portal had formed a little bit deeper than he had intended, he tried to rationalize ; but dig as he could, there was no portal. Just dirt, dirt, and more dirt.
He... He couldn't believe that this was happening... Without the use of a time portal, Aku could not pursue the Samurai! Which meant... His past self was at the mercy of the Samurai, and Aku - the Aku of the Future - was in a state of jeopardy.
The sounds of loud, obnoxious laughter startled Aku from his thoughts ; and he turned. The ghost of the Scotsman floated nearby, with both hands resting upon his hips ; and standing behind him were his many daughters ; and at their sides stood the Archers and the Woolies, the Triseraquins and the White-Haired Apes with their equally hairy 'monkey man' friend ; The Ravers, Rothchild and his many canine companions, and three-hundred spartans behind them, and pretty much every single friend and ally that the Samurai had made during his time and travels in the future.
... And they were all looking pretty pissed, judging by the scowl on each and every one of their faces. Despite his immense size, Aku, for whatever strange, mysterious reason, felt significantly smaller when faced by the lot of them.
"There's nothin' ya' can do now, ya' accursed tree ogre," started the Scotsman, pointing his finger at the shapeshifter. "Jackie Boy's finally fulfilled his quest of gettin' back to tha' past ta' vanquish you! Yer' finally bested, ya' wretched- Hey! I ain't finished chewin' ya' out!"
The once great and mighty Aku had retreated from the scene, leaving behind the Samurai's many allies. With an annoyed growl, the ghost of the Scotsman turned to rally a pursuit, only to be halted by one of the three Archers.
"What'r ya' doin'? After all he's done an' everythin' he's put us through, we're just gonna let tha' bastard flee like the coward he is? I say we give pursuit and give tha' beast hell!"
There was a sudden silence... The Scotsman eyed his ally with an arched brow, arms crossed over his chest as he awaited an explanation.
"We came to lend our aid, and we have fulfilled our part... There is nothing more that we can do."
"He is right," said one of the Triseraquins, stepping forward and staring off in the direction where Aku had fled. "We have triumphed over evil at long last... Whatever it is that the Samurai must face in the past, it is all now up to him."
There was another moment of silence, before the Triseraquin sighed, bowing his head. And after a moment, he looked up, turning to all those who had come to the Samurai's aid. "We do not know what will happen to this time, should the Samurai succeed... But... I cannot shake off this feeling in my heart... You've all felt it too, haven't you?"
Many glances and whispers had been exchanged among the crowd... And before long, they all turned to the Triseraquin, and nodded with a somber expression on their faces. The Scotsman, also, was silent.
"We do not know what will become of all of us... So I suggest we leave the creature of darkness to his final moments," said the Archer. "I do not believe we should waste any more of our time on him."
"Yes, I... Do believe we should spend our time in the presence of our loved ones," said Rothchild with a slow nod of his head... With a frown, the Scotsman turned, looking to his friends and comrades, brothers-in-arms, and finally his daughters.
Yes... Whatever happened now... The Scotsman believed also that time would be best spent in the company of friends, and loved ones.
Deep into the Pit of Hate he fled... Aku, the Shogun of Sorrow - The Shapeshifting Master of Darkness, once feared and dreaded throughout the land - throughout the galaxy - reduced to a cowardly shadow, running and hiding.
How could this be? How could it have come to this? Fools. Fools! All of them! Have they not considered the risk they ran in aiding the Samurai in returning to the past? Considered that their very existence was tied to Aku's own, and that, should the Samurai succeed in vanquishing Aku in the past, that they would all cease to be? This future cannot exist, because it was created by Aku! He WAS the future! He was THEIR future! Everything, and everyone was HIS! And they would throw it all away for some...! Some...!
A sudden wave of fatigue washed over the demon, interrupting his train of panicked thought... The shapeshifter came to a stop, leaning against the fiery walls to catch his breath... Catch his breath? When... When had Aku, Master of Masters and Deliverer of Darkness, ever needed time to catch his breath? Why would he ever need to catch his breath, when he was near omnipotent?
Was it... Was it because...?
"N-no," Aku started, cutting himself off from the thought. "Maybe I am... Maybe I am overworking myself," he tried to reason. "After all, this would not have been the first time I have felt... Exhausted... There was that time when I came down with the Aku-Flu, and that left me lair-bound for several weeks...! And who knows? Maybe it is I, Aku, who will have succeeded in vanquishing the Samurai in the past...! That's it...! Isn't it...?"
... Isn't it...?
There was a certain tone of uncertainty to his voice that had surprised even himself... After a moment, Aku drew in a few, deep breaths before he began to move forward... When all of a sudden he found himself down on his knees, having fallen to another bout of vertigo.
... This was no illness.
The once great and terrible Aku remained there in silence, clawed fingers digging into the ground.
Aku could not recall a time where he had felt so weak. Faint.
As if fading away...
That was when he noticed his hand... His eyes widened at the sight of his hand disintegrating, splitting and falling away into tiny specks of ember. Horrified, he reached for the embers, claws closing around the glowing particles. Yet more and more split away...
There was nothing he could do... He had lost something. Something from a time long, long ago, that served as an anchor of sorts - something that allowed him to exist in the future.
His tie to the past had been served...
"No, no...! Not like this...! Not like this...!"
After all these years, this was how he was to meet his end? To be left behind to fade as the Samurai passed through time, putting an end to his past self once and for all, and subsequently undoing the future that Aku occupied?
Aku had often thought of what the final showdown would be like between he and the Samurai. The Samurai would have reached the end of his long, tiring journey ; but before he could return to the past, he would have to face Aku in the future for one, final duel. Aku had run the scenario through his mind time and time again. And he had thought of the possibility that the Samurai would, one of these times, vanquish Aku in the future. As unthinkable as that was.
But, so long as he wielded that sword, the possibility still existed... And the Samurai was a most formidable foe indeed! He had the means, and capabilities of defeating Aku in one, final duel, before passing back through time.
That was what Aku had thought, when he wasn't picturing his own victory. One final duel... Good against evil... That was how most stories ended.
As unthinkable as his own demise was, Aku would have much preferred to have that one, final battle against the Samurai... But instead, this was what he got : cheated, at the very pinnacle of victory, by none other than his own spawn... Left behind to fade away, bit, by little bit.
... This was not the ending he wanted. And there was nothing he could do. His powers had left him, and he could no longer create portals through time.
This was the end.
... No. He had already met his end. That was why he couldn't open his own time portal to the past. And time was finally catching up to him... The future was reshaping itself into a world without Aku ; and everything he had achieved was now becoming undone.
... Perhaps there was a bit of irony in the fate Aku was faced with... On one hand, he had unknowingly spelled his doom when he had visited the Cult of Aku, gifting the High Priestess with his own essence... And with that essence, the High Priestess gave birth to a girl : One of Aku's very own! And he would be lying if he said he wasn't a little bit... Ecstatic at the revelation.
But... She would turn on him... Aku, betrayed by his own issue.
There was also the additional irony in how Aku felt... All these years, he ruled the world through terror, destroying any and all who would dare to wrong him. And in his final moments, he now knew the very thing he inspired in the hearts of all under his rule.
He was afraid... He was afraid. And it angered him that he felt as such. Tore him apart, knowing that this was how he was to spend his final moments.
Was this how past Aku felt? Aku hoped not... He wouldn't want to meet his end like a coward, running in fear from the Samurai.
"... Foolish Samurai," he said quietly to himself. "Have you not realized...? Her existence is tied to my own... Without Aku, your beloved Ashi will cease to be... And all those you have met in the future will never know who you were, assuming that they will exist in a future without Aku... In the end, it is I who will have had the last laugh."
... Yet there was no laughter from Aku. No satisfaction with this ending.
He took in a deep breath, watching as little embers fell away from him.
"... I'm... Scared..."
He wrapped his arms around himself.
"I don't want to... Die..."
... This was not how he wanted to spend his final moments.
Perhaps these final moments would be best spent cursing the foolish Samurai one last