Just a short, one-shot fic to soothe the wound left by Jak 3. (One of the many. The last game in the series, and it was so short?! Nooo…)
WARNING: This fic contains spoilers, for at least two major events. DO NOT READ unless you've finished the game, or simply don't care.
Oh, and I haven't forgotten A Different Direction. Although I am submitting it to quite a lot of scrutiny and weighing up my options.
To conform, or not to conform? Should I blend in what we know from Jak 3?
A little extra scene: For all those who went 'NOOOOO!' as Damas died without knowing that Jak was his son. (Set the night after the Precursors leave. Daxter is off with his Precursor girlfriend, hence his lack of presence)
Note: 7/12/04: Re-posted story, after fixing a line here and there and adding an explanatory note at the end. Thanks to everyone who reviewed. It means a lot to me!
All review replies can be found at Dribs and Drabs (Link in my Bio)
And then, sudden pain that rapidly drained away.
Something fuzzy and orange filling the world. A kind voice, wise and comforting yet…
"Your son has done much for the Precursors. In return we will grant him his one greatest wish."
"Time to wake up, King Damas."
Jak stood still against the sharp and cold spray. Moonlight glinted off the dark waves and shrouded his form in a halo of white. His eyes were closed against it all, as he listened to the crash of the waves against the rocks under his feet.
He'd missed this, though he hadn't realised it 'till now.
If he closed his eyes, he could almost see the green of Sandover's grass, or the vibrant reds and blues of the butterflies that had lived there. He could almost remember what it felt like to lie in that soft green grass, while the butterflies flitted across the sky and the waves crashed against the unspoiled shore.
But not quite.
The outlines of the memories were there, but their essence had been burned away long ago…
Destroyed by a force that, although now balanced, still lurked within him.
Somehow, though, his ears knew this sound. It was…. Comforting. Familiar.
There was another noise, a scuffle on the rock behind him.
He whirled, Blaster drawn and ready.
Aimed at a dead man.
Jak drew in a sharp breath, taking a step back even as his finger tightened on the trigger.
The man's lip quirked, as he raised both hands to indicate peace.
"Easy there Jak. It's me."
Jak's eyes narrowed. It was impossible to believe. He'd seen Damas die! He'd held him as life slipped away!
"Damas is dead." He said flatly. "You can't be him."
The other man sighed and lowered his hands, though he kept a sharp eye on the blonde who was still pointing a weapon at him.
"I don't.. know how I came back. There was…" He lifted an arm slightly "Some kind of… orange thing… like your friend. It said something about… granting a wish?"
Jak blinked then re-holstered his weapon.
"Oh. Well. I'm glad you're back Damas." He said quietly, his gaze skittering back towards the ocean.
He was glad. He genuinely liked, respected and admired the King of Spargus, and had done long before he'd discovered his relation to him. But now that he knew… He didn't know how he felt.
Damas stepped forward to stand next to the silent blonde. Something was niggling at the back of his mind… he glanced sideways at the boy and the thought seemed to solidify without quite revealing itself.
"The.. orange creature.. he said that my son had done much for the Precursors." He glanced at Jak again, surprised to see tension tightening his muscles. He frowned slightly and continued, still watching closely. "He said that he was granting my son's wish. And I thought: How could my son know I had died? What could a child have done for our long-gone creators?"
He waited, not quite knowing what for.
Jak sighed and turned slightly away. What was he supposed to say? What was Damas angling at? Could he know? Had the chubby little Precursor told him anything else? If so, then why hadn't Damas said anything?
Because he made a damn good Wastelander…. But a disappointing Son?
'After all…' he thought bitterly 'who'd want a… monster… like me to be related to them?'
"Jak?" Damas' frown deepened.
"He was a Precursor."
"The creature you saw. It was a Precursor. The Precursors are Ottsels."
Damas opened his mouth, then closed it again. He shook his head.
"I don't… how can… are you..?"
He saw Jak sneak a look at him, a smile playing around the edge of his mouth.
At that angle, with the moonlight behind him…
The thought exploded into his mind as his eyes widened and his breath hitched.
At that angle, he looked like….
Jak turned away again, stepping from rock to rock as he made his way back towards the lights of Spargus.
"Jak!" Damas cried, the word nearly sticking in his throat. He knew, somehow…
Jak kept walking, one hand rising up in salute. "Sig's taking care of things in Spargus right now," He called over his shoulder "but he'll be glad to see you back. He doesn't like all the 'damn fiddly bits' of being in charge, and Kleiver's already making noises about rightful succession.."
Damas took a deep breath, but what he had intended to come out just under a yell was barely above a whisper.
He saw Jak freeze mid-step, then slowly lower his foot.
There was a loud silence.
Damas wet his lips, not knowing how it could be possible, yet knowing it was true nevertheless.
"You… you are… my son. Mar. I.. don't know how it could be… but you are…"
Jak remained completely still for several agonizing seconds, then slowly, very slowly, turned back to face him.
The two locked gazes. Two sets of blue eyes, one darker than the other.
"Tell me how." He whispered, almost pleading.
Jak swallowed. Haltingly, he told the resurrected King a story.
His arrival in Haven over three years prior, from a beautiful place called Sandover.
His immediate capture by the Baron's forces, and his escape two years later.
Missions for an Underground who used him like the weapon the Baron had tried so hard to create. Meeting a small child who wore a red amulet.
Fighting the Metal Head leader. Discovering that the child was himself, that he had been born in this hellish place. Realizing that the one door back to his lost home was forbidden, that it needed to be used to send his younger self away, to grow up free from threats.
He withdrew from his pocket two glinting red amulets. He spoke of how he had given himself the amulet, one tiny, smooth hand placing it in a larger battle-worn one.
Then he spoke of Damas dying in his arms, his world-stopping shock as the man had handed him an identical seal, and unwittingly revealed his parentage. Of Veger arriving, mocking his loss and admitting that it was he who had first taken him away… Who had started… everything…
At long last, the boy's voice died out, the rising wind whipping sand between them.
Jak broke eye contact first, looking away in fear of seeing the shock and confusion in his Father's eyes turn to disgust… or hatred…
As the silence stretched out, he turned back towards the city.
"I'm sorry." He choked out with a voice gone harsh from the dry air and more speaking than he'd ever done in one go before.
Damas shook his head sharply. What?
He voiced the question and was horrified at the answer.
"I'm sorry… that I'm not… who I used to be. I'm sorry you had to find out that your son is gone… and that I'm all that's left."
Horror gave way to anger. In three strides he'd reached the boy and gripped his shoulders, swinging him sharply around. Startled eyes looked up at him as he glared down, and he was dismayed and angered even more to see them shut down in expectation of… what? That he would strike his own son?
"What are you talking about?" He snapped, trying desperately to make him see. "I'm proud, Jak.. Mar.. Everything you've done, everything you are.. How could I not be?"
His son twisted out of his grip, glaring right back at him.
"Proud? Of a 'dangerous animal-man'?"
Damas grit his teeth.
"I'm proud of you J..Mar! I have been almost since I first met you. After Pecker told me you'd been 'touched' by Dark Eco, I asked about you. I was revolted by what that bastard Praxis did to you, and I was impressed that you'd somehow come away from two years of that still with a sense of what was right and wrong. That you still had a self at all, let alone one of such apparent character."
He shook his head and continued.
"I even began to like you! You were reliable, honest.. I found myself.. enjoying your company. I worried when you were out in the Wasteland and the sensors showed a storm on its way. I was proud of you then! It was almost like I somehow knew…"
He fixed his son with a look, honesty plain to see.
"I didn't know then, but I do know now. I never understood why I felt so strongly about you, one young man who could take care of himself better than many twice his age… but I did. Your Dark self is just another part of you. And there is not a single aspect about you that I do not like, that I would not proudly claim as my son."
The closed look in Jak's eyes had disappeared, awe and disbelief warring for dominance on his face.
Damas' hand twitched. Wastelander King or not, at that moment he wanted nothing more than to hold his son, this remarkable young man, miraculously returned to him.
Jak was breathing hard. He opened his mouth to say something, but couldn't seem to find the words.
"My only concern..." the older man said slowly "was that I would find my son.. and he would hate me for loosing him. Or not want anything to do with an outlawed father who commands a city of outlaws."
"No!" Jak cried, without thinking.
Damas looked at him silently.
Jak took a hesitant step forward, one hand rising to grip Damas'… his father's forearm.
"No." He repeated quietly. "Damas... you are.. I mean, I've never, but.. if I had…"
He stopped, frustration with himself evident on his face. He released Damas' arm and ran his hand through his hair.
"Look," He started again "I hardly ever wondered about my parents. I only knew two other kids in Sandover, Keira and Dax. Keira's dad was a Sage and they hardly ever seemed… I dunno, family-like. Dax didn't have any parents, like me, and my Uncle… or at least the guy who adopted me, never mentioned it. So I never thought about it.
But after I met you, I began to think that – if I'd ever had a father, I hoped that he'd be like you."
The slightest touch of colour on his face indicated Jak's embarrassment at admitting any such thing, but he drew a deep breath and kept going.
"For the first time, I… cared about what someone else thought of me. I didn't give a damn about the Underground, what they thought of me. Even Samos… back in Sandover, he was just someone I knew, I used to help him out… My ability to channel Eco, even then, used to fascinate him. After I was… changed, he could barely even look me in the eye. What respect I'd had for him vanished pretty quickly. But you weren't afraid of me.. You.. didn't treat me like I was a walking killing machine. You.. offered me advice.. like.. you cared about me… not just that I completed my mission."
He stopped and shrugged helplessly. Damas's lip was quirking again. He scowled.
"What's so funny?" He ground out.
Damas laughed and slung an arm over Jak's shoulder, steering him towards his own vehicle.
"Nothing. I'm just… happy. For the first time in a long while. I may have missed my son's juvenile years, but I have him back now. And I couldn't be prouder of the man he's become."
Jak ducked his head, trying not to show just how relieved his father's words had made him.
The two got into the vehicle Damas had arrived in.
"You know," Damas said easily, as he gunned the engine and drove off. "Between the two of us, we've got the thrones of both Haven and Spargus. What do you think about taking over Haven?"
Jak grinned and folded his arms behind his head.
"Nahh." He said slyly, watching Damas out of the corner of his eye. "Seeing as I'll eventually go back in time again and actually found Haven and be the Mar everyone talks about, I might just go easy on the time I spend there now…"
Damas turned to look incredulously at his son.
Sharp, pointed bits of cacti rained down on the two men, as Damas' lapse of attention drove them into a thicket.
Damas regained control just in time to avoid a large boulder, swerving around it sharply enough to hurl most of the hunks of cacti out of the vehicle. Jak picked a spine out of his upper arm and shot a look at his father.
"You call that driving?"
Damas shot him a disgruntled look, though surprise still lingered in his eyes.
"You and I," he said firmly "are going to have a lot to talk about."
Jak smiled slightly, eyes turning towards the glow of Spargus.
"I'm looking forward to it." He said quietly.
Woah, was that too mushy? OOC?
If you liked it (or if you didn't) please let me know.
Extra notes: I apologise for forgetting to mention this earlier, but the vehicle that Damas drove was the one that he brought to back up Jak. I figured it was not likely that the car had been damaged too badly, simply by being thrown forward. It hadn't looked obviously broken on the screen, and after all the stunts I pulled off in mine, I figured a little flip would barely scratch it.
The vehicle was lifted off Damas when he was revived. For (as CSkerries pointed out) it would not be good if he was brought back only to die again because he was still crushed under a ton of metal.
I believe Damas had more than enough time to reach Jak, as; He was revived just after the Precursors left Jak and company and it was late at night/early the next morning when Jak was standing out by the ocean. Judging by how much time would have passed between Jak hitting the alarm and Damas charging off across the countryside (obviously breaking through a destroyed section of the city wall) he would have had ample time to make the trip back.
Oh, and to clarify; Jak had Jet-Boarded to the ocean, which was why he was happy to accompany Damas back in his vehicle.
Also, regarding a point CSkerries made, I decided that – though in the game, the only light you can see of Spargus is the fire stack – a city would have a 'glow' of light at night, that would show over the wall, not to mention lights showing from other high-rise buildings (Damas' Palace) and any and all rooms built into the rock face itself.
And last but not least: YES! I, too, was upset that no-one seemed to acknowledge that Jak had his impressive winged Light Jak version. I'm sorry it's not mentioned here, but there wasn't really a point where it would be. I'm thinking of some other one-shot (mid-game) where his decidedly impressive other half is finally noticed, but I promise nothing. I have a hard time keeping up with all my promises.
Again, All review replies can be found at Dribs and Drabs (Link in my Bio)