A/N: The last chapter for this fic! I had so much fun with this thing! I hope you stick around for my brilliant sequel. Thanks for the many reviews! Someone asked me to make this last chapter long, so hope you guys like the longness! And here is my part time ending. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: For the last and final time for this fic, I don't own anything from Jak 2!
The heat in the small, metal box that carried the banished teen was almost unbearable. Merlander slept roughly on the bench in the zoomer with a Krimson Guard and Erol in the front driving the hovercraft. They had been the lucky ones with an AC system. Merlander had nothing to cool him off, so he just sweated for the three to four hour long trip out to the Wasteland.
The teen lifted his head up when the zoomer stopped suddenly. They were finally here. Merlander waited silently till the door to his small prison cell was opened and he was blinded by the stunning sunlight that pored into the darkness. He had to hold a hand over his eyes till his vision got used to the surrounds.
Erol led Merlander a few yards away from the zoomer while the Krimson Guard stood by the hovercraft with his gun aimed at the teen. Erol stopped and took off Merlander's handcuffs. He avoided any eye contact with his friend as he did his job silently.
A depressing feeling came over Merlander as he stared out into the Wasteland. Nothing was seen for miles, just cactuses, small plants, rocks, and lots and lots of sand. The sun bore down onto the deserted land relentlessly and it made small mirages on the horizon here and there. Because of so much heat, everything seemed fuzzy, as if it was a dream of some kind.
"Are you sure that you know what you're doing, Mer?" Erol whispered to Merlander suddenly. He looked around them with a grim look on his face. Right now he thought Merlander was crazy to want to come out here in the middle of nowhere. Sure, there was Spargus, but how was he going to find it?
"I have connections," Merlander answered with a shrug. "I'll be fine."
"Whatever, freak," Erol said. He smiled slightly up to Merlander and the teen returned it with a wide grin. Erol then stepped back and said to Merlander very professionally, "Merlander, the Barron has sentenced you to the Wasteland and to your death because of the following: spying, treason, and murder. He wishes you a happy afterlife."
Merlander gave a small laugh and noticed that Erol was trying his best to hide a small smile. "I like that last part, Erol," Merlander said. "Tell my uncle that he has a good sense of humor." He paused then added, "And tell him I'm not finished with Haven City."
"Don't worry," Erol said with a sharp nod, "I will."
The two stood there for a few silent seconds. This was it. The two were going to have to part for good this time. When Merlander came back to Haven City they were would be on opposite sides and emotions and friendships could not get in the way. Even though Erol never wanted to admit it, he would miss his friend with his whole heart. It pained him to see Merlander like this.
Merlander sighed and said with a small nod, "Go, Erol. Goodbye…for now."
"Goodbye, Merlander," Erol said quietly. His pent up emotions then couldn't take it being locked up and the Elf ran towards Merlander and embraced him in a farewell hug. Merlander was a bit surprised by this act because usually it was him that would express his feelings with actions while Erol just spoke his feelings. Plus, Merlander was about to do the same thing.
"You were the best friend I had, Erol," Merlander whispered to the other Elf. "Make my uncle proud while I'm gone."
"I will, Merlander," Erol whispered back. "Just don't get yourself killed out here. And I'm sorry if I caused you any pain. I wish I could take what I did back."
"We look like freaking girls!" Merlander said while pushing Erol away jokingly. "And please don't tell me that you're crying. Why did you have to get all mussy on me, Erol? Geeze! You have problems!"
"I have problems?" Erol asked him. "What about you. You wanted to get banished to this frying pan! Man, it's hot out here! How do you people live like this?" Merlander just shrugged and smiled. They both grew quiet again and Merlander gave his friend a nod to go. Erol nodded back while understanding. He turned and walked back to the zoomer where the Krimson Guard had already gotten into the driver's seat. He hadn't seen anything and only thought Erol was gone for so long because he was dirty talking the banished teen.
Merlander watched Erol leave till he couldn't see the zoomer anymore. He gave a deep sigh of sadness then ran a hand through his hair. Goodbye Haven City and hello Spargus! The ironic thought made the teen give a bitter chuckle. No one but him would think like that.
The teen then set off into the desert to where some rocky mountains were. Behind those mountains would be the city he was looking for. It would take him a day to get there one foot, though. After around an hour of walking slowly up and down small sand dunes and stumbling through small wind tornadoes, Merlander had had enough with the desert even though he knew exactly how to survive in it.
The sweat pored down Merlander's forehead and back and soaked his clothes as the sun overhead kept coming down at him with no mercy. He was slowly becoming dehydrated and weak. But he kept going and pushing his way through the blazing wilderness. He knew a stream was at the base of the mountains. He would only stop there.
The second hour went by just as unbearable as the other. Merlander was trying to keep himself awake and going by talking to himself, but it was more along the lines of arguing with himself.
"You had to get banished," Merlander said to no one. "You had to go and be the strange one and come out to your homeland!" He climbed a sand dune with some difficulty. While coming down he tripped over a small rock and rolled and tumbled the rest of the way down.
Merlander picked himself up while coughing up sand. "Idiot!" he yelled at himself. "Why did you come out here in the first place? Maybe I should have just stayed at Haven City."
"Maybe," a voice said from Merlander's side. "But I think you're better off here, kid."
Merlander's eyes went wide with surprise as he turned around to see Sig leaning against his huge, armor platted dune buggy with another smaller one behind his. Merlander was so happy at this moment that he could do nothing but laugh. Sig shook his head at the teen's actions while throwing a canteen of water to him.
"Have I ever told you, Sig, how awesome you are?" Merlander asked him. He gulped down the cool water gratefully and left a little for Sig. That was what the Wastelanders did. They always looked out for the others when they were in groups. Leaving some extra sips of water for the other person even though you were dying of thirst was something everyone out here did. But that didn't mean they did it all the time.
"I bet you're wondering how I knew where to find you," Sig said. Merlander nodded with a smile. "Well, Krew is doing some strange things in Haven City and left the Hip Hog Heaven Saloon for a few days. I took that as my opportunity to come here and welcome you back to the Wasteland. Damas let me have a few buggies to pick you up."
"Man! You came just in time, Sig," Merlander said. He jumped into his dune buggy and didn't even bother to buckle up. He looked up to the Elf and asked, "So Damas won't make me work for my acceptance into Spargus?"
Sig smiled slyly and said, "He wants to know how good a fighter you are now. You were the first kid born and grown up in Spargus City. He was surprised to hear your name again when I said you were coming. I'll just say that he looks forward to your arrival."
"Great," Merlander muttered but couldn't help but smile when Sig started to laugh at him. The teen gave a sigh then yelled over to Sig who just got in his vehicle, "Let's hear these babies roar, Sig! Lead the way!"
Sig started his buggy and Merlander followed suit. The engines roared into life and Merlander nodded with a satisfied smile playing on his lips. Sig didn't do bad picking up these buggies. Sig took off and Merlander slammed his foot on the gas pedal to stay with him. They headed quickly for the mountains.
Both Elves flew over the dunes and got at least five seconds of air every time. They would come crashing down with a whoop of joy while pumping their fists into the air. Merlander was having a blast! He had missed doing this. These vehicles could take so much, unlike zoomers. Merlander was fitting in already.
The two made it to the mountains by nightfall because they had goofed around for around an hour. A small hole was at the base of the mountains. It was a cave that would take them easily to the other side. They slowed down at bit and went into the cave while turning on their lights.
Sig stopped when they came out on the other side. They were on a cliff looking out onto the land. Merlander stopped his buggy next to Sig's and stood up in his seat to get a better look. From here they could see all of Spargus. It was way bigger than what it was a few years ago. Fire torches were everywhere behind the high walls to keep it safe. And there was the Arena.
"It's different but still the same somehow," Merlander said quietly. He closed his eyes as a strong breeze brushed over his face. Sig smiled while watching him. He had never seen Merlander so calm and peaceful like this ever before.
"Let's go before a Marauder spots us," Sig said after a few silent seconds.
Merlander looked over to him with confusion. "What's up with the Marauders?" he asked. "They used to come and go peacefully. We traded with them all the time. Why would we have to look out for them?"
"War," Sig answered grimly. "The leader is ruthless and personally I think he's insane. I've never seen him before, but I've heard that he wants Spargus as his own and he'll take it from Damas even if he has to kill every last one of its inhabitants."
"That sounds lovely," Merlander said. He sat back down in his seat and said, "I guess everywhere I go a war is breaking out." He grew silent while staring at all of Spargus. Would he just mess things up here too? He gave another sigh while accepting his fate. He nodded to Sig while saying emotionlessly, "Let's go."
"Oh! I want to help, guys! Let me help! Please!" Flash said in a rush of words while zipping around the hot and steamy kitchen. Blue sparks covered the kitchen floor where the boy had gone. He kept popping up in front of Meg or Daxter begging to help them somehow.
"Calm down, kid!" Daxter yelled at him while putting on the brakes so he wouldn't slam into Flash once again. The animal held up a bowl of salad over his head to dodge the hands of Rose who was hungry as ever for her dinner. "Salad's not for you!" Daxter hissed at her.
"Gentle, Daxter," Meg said calmly down to him. "Babies don't like it when you yell in their faces."
Just to prove her point, Rose kicked Daxter in the legs and made him do a face plant on the floor. The salad bowl flew into the air and Flash was right there to catch it. Meg set her soup pot on the table and smiled down at Flash when he offered the bowl to her. "Why, thank you, Flash," she said sweetly.
Daxter got up quickly while glaring at Rose. He glanced over to Roxie who was sulking on the couch in the small living room beside the kitchen. She had wanted to go and see Merlander's trial that day, but her parents had forbidden her to do so along with all the others living in the house. So she was sitting on the couch with a sour look on her face and refused to speak to anyone or pay any attention to them. Daxter was beginning to get sick and tiered of her attitude and was close the point of telling her off.
The front door opened and Vox came in quickly. He threw his back pack on the floor next to the door and smiled slightly as he sniffed the air. His wonderful wife was making something good for him. He was so thankful to have her.
"Just in time for dinner, honey," Meg said to her husband. They both smiled at each other and pure love. Sometimes Bo or Daxter would laugh at how much they still flirted with each other. It was rare to see people still loving each other these days in Haven City.
Suddenly Bo flew through the door with a wild look in her eyes. She was soaked to the core and water dripped to the floor of the house as she placed her basket of fruit on the counter. Roxie glared at her because the Human was late and she knew all too well where Bo was all this time. She watched as Bo flung her cloak off her body.
Bo walked past Roxie and whispered down to her quickly, "I want to see you after dinner in your room with Daxter." Roxie perked up right away and smiled. Maybe Merlander had said something to Bo as a note to her. She wanted dinner to be done right away.
The family sat down at the table and dug right into the marvelous food they had created. Roxie was eating the fastest because of what Bo had said to her. She really wanted to know what Merlander said. Daxter looked up from his blue apple and saw the girl pretty much acting like a vacuum cleaner and garbage disposal at the same time. And he thought that he sometimes ate like a pig! This girl was a living nightmare in this mode.
Her parents thought the same thing and Vox was the first to say something to her because Meg was too busy feeding Rose. "Maybe you would like to slow down," he said to her. She didn't seem to hear him and kept going at a speed faster than Flash. "Roxie!" he shouted at his daughter, but she kept ignoring him on purpose.
"This is how you do it, Roxie's dad," Daxter said while hopping onto the wooden table. He smiled slyly while picking up the salt shaker and unscrewing the top. Everyone watched in silence as the animal pored the whole thing in Roxie's soup when she was taking a quick drink. "That will calm her down."
Roxie gulped down a few spoonfuls of pure salt before her taste buds and brain told her to stop. She stopped suddenly with her mouth full of the stuff then spat it all out into Daxter's face by mistake. She started to scream while trying to get all the salt out with a napkin.
"Beautiful," Daxter muttered sarcastically as he wiped the salt mixed with spit off his face. Rose giggled loudly while Flash tried to hold back a laugh. Bo smiled smugly at the animal then continued to eat.
"Sorry, Dax," Roxie said. "But why did you put salt in my soup? I'm going to have to beat you up for that!" She stood up out of her seat while forming her hands into fists. Daxter looked like he had wetted his fur as he backed up on the table because the crazy girl was serious. Yes, she was one hundred percent insane in his eyes.
"Calm down, Roxie," Meg said calmly to her daughter. "Sit down please, sweet heart. Plus, your father and I need to tell you something."
"Fine," Roxie said while sitting and glaring at Daxter. The animal sat down in his own seat silently and looking a bit nervous. Roxie glanced over to her mom and saw her smiling at her father again. They had been doing that a lot lately and it was kind of annoying her. It was like they held some kind of secret.
"Well," Meg said slowly. "I don't know how to tell you this, Roxie, but…"
"But your mother is going to have a baby," Vox said for his wife quickly to get it all out.
"A baby?" Roxie asked with a very confused expression on her face.
"Yeah," Daxter said to her. "You know. Those small, cute, and soft Elf looking things that only know how to scream at the top of their lungs, crap, and throw up in your face. It would look like something like Rose, here," he said while pointing to the baby who giggled and tried to grab his fuzzy finger. He smiled sheepishly when he saw the cold glare of Vox bore down on him.
"Yew. Why would we want that?" Roxie said with a joking smile. Her parents were about to say something, but she quickly jumped up from her seat and hugged her mom and said, "I was kidding, mommy! I think it is wonderful!"
"Maybe you'll get lucky and get a baby not as crazy as this one," Daxter said with a smile and nodding his head over to Roxie. Bo tried to hold back a wide grin behind her hand at the comment. Roxie glared at him and didn't even get to open her mouth to shout a threat to him because her dad got there first.
"One more sound out of you and you're sleeping on the streets of the Slums tonight!" Vox yelled at Daxter. The animal nodded and quickly went back to eating. He did manage to give little Flash a wicked smile to put a smile on his face.
"This is too easy," Roxie said into her microphone that was connected to Bo's earpiece. She was walking straight through the great hall of the Baron's Palace like it was nothing. Daxter was standing on her shoulder with a nervous look on his face. His ears were alert and sharp for any kind of sound.
Suddenly Daxter grabbed the microphone that was connected to Roxie's earpiece and asked, "Are you sure that Merlander's note was right about this?" He gave Roxie a guilty smile as she glared daggers at him.
"He set up this escape plan for the whole time he was with the Baron," came Bo's voice from the earpiece. "I always wondered how he was able to go from the Palace to the Prison so quickly. That secret passageway is planned to be blocked off next week because some Krimson Guards have found it by mistake and are using it. He doesn't trust much people, so that is why it's going down."
"Fine," Roxie muttered as she took a hallway that would lead her to the passageway Merlander had talked about in the note he had given Bo before he had been taken away. It was all about an escape plan he had created to rescue Jak. Daxter had been a bit surprised that Merlander had still remembered their deal. He really didn't have to do this for him, but Daxter was still very thankful for the Elf's graciousness.
Roxie stopped in the middle of the hallway where a red tapestry was hanging. She threw the thing over her head and saw that a wooden door was placed right behind the hanging rug. "That's not noticeable," Daxter muttered sarcastically as Roxie gave a chuckle. They quickly opened it and rushed into the dark room.
"This place looks like it will collapse at anytime," Roxie said while putting a hand into the air and making a green eco ball in it to show her the way. She only heard static from the other end of her earpiece. "Bo, can you hear me?" she asked the Human. No answer.
"You can't talk to her in this kind of tunnel," Daxter said. "Just keep moving. Anyone could come through this place at any time. We have to hurry."
Roxie nodded grimly back to her fuzzy friend. She started to jog down the dark tunnel that kept sloping down. The two stayed quiet the whole time and left the other to their own thoughts. Daxter was jumpy and excited. He hadn't seen Jak in two whole years! He wondered if Jak had changed at all, because he knew that he sure did. He wondered how Jak looked like and wondered about other small details that didn't matter at all that kept popping into his head.
What was he going to say first?
The torture was finally done. The heat in the living hell he was in had subsided for a while. Jak relaxed his head against the chair he was strapped to as he pleaded for the darkness of unconsciousness to take him away from the world for just a little while. He caught fragments of the argument the Baron and Erol was in and just let them go. It meant nothing to him right then.
"I'll be back for you later," suddenly Erol whispered into Jak's ear, and then he was alone. Jak closed his eyes as his whole body was in agony. He wasn't going to pass out anytime soon, so he was going to be stuck in this stupid chair for hours till Erol came back to maybe kill him or put him back in his cell. Jak had a sick feeling that the first of the two was the right one.
Sparks of dark eco flashed around the teen's body still as he tried to block out the pain. It was said that he should be dead with the amount of dark eco that had been pumped in him for the past few months. He had been a lab rat for the Baron's project that was failing. Jak hated this life with a passion. It was even worse than the fort! He was stuck in a cold prison cell for hours and had dark eco pumped in him for 15 minutes of hell three times a day. Freedom and courage could never be on the mind of a frightened teen who was almost petrified of his next dark eco ejection.
And this was all because of the Baron! He had hated the man from the start. And that vow was still on the Elf's mind as he laid there on the torture chair. The anger in the teen was swelling up inside of him and he could hardly keep control over it. But through the seeming impenetrable darkness and depression that surrounded Jak's mind at all times there came a spark of light and hope, a best friend's voice.
"Ding! Third floor!" Daxter's voice came into Jak's ears. It made the Elf smile just to hear him talk again. Was it real or just his mind making it up again? "Chains, cockroach food, torture devices!" Suddenly Jak felt the animal jump onto his stomach and ask in his face, "Hey, buddy, seen any heroes around here?"
Daxter? Jak thought while opening his eyes to see the fuzzy orange creature with a goofy smile on his face. Before Jak could rejoice for the return of his long lost friend, something in him totally snapped. Daxter was rambling on about how he risked his tail by looking for him for two years. Was it really that long?
Another side that Jak didn't know that he had was unleashed. He tried to hold back the dark side in him, but it was no use. It only bubbled on the surface, but that was all it needed to get Jak's main thought out of his mind and into words. It was at this time that Jak's voice box suddenly kicked into action and he was able to form his first sentence in his whole life.
"I'm going to kill Baron Praxis!"
The End…or maybe it's The Beginning.
To Be Continued.
A/N: Sequel will be coming soon. I'll tell you readers that it's a sequel in the summery, so look for me! And I'm finished here! Over and out! Please give a last review! You guys have been great!