This Year's Love

Chapter 12: Kidnapped

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Thank you to all my faithful readers and those who still want to read my rambling storylines. I appreciate every single review and your words are the few great things that can brighten my day anytime. I apologize ahead of time for this update's shortness and the wait for it as well. The next one shall be more filled.

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Beastboy was shaken from his reading, so intensely focused; by a powerful shaking of the earth underneath him. Immediately, Timid jolted awake with a start and leapt away from her position of cuddling, in mortification and surprise. Both their eyes were wide and Timid allowed a silent, whining whimper to escape before the ground jolted again. This time, the shaking was enough to throw the two off of the couch and onto the floor. Moments later, every candle-lit lantern blew out and the whole of the library was plunged into darkness. Finding Timid's hand, Beastboy squeezed it to give her some ounce of reassurance.

"What the heck is going on?" he silently asked himself, not knowing what to do. As his eyes, heightened by his morphing abilities and his spliced DNA, slowly adapted to the impenetrable darkness, he could just make out the book a foot or two away from them.

"B-b-beastb-boy?" Timid began, hesitantly whispering, "W-what's going on?"

He squeezed her hand again, closed his eyes for a moment, and moved a bit closer to her before he answered.

"I don't know, I was hoping you had some idea. Maybe Trigon is trying someth—"

CRASH

Before Beastboy could finish his thought, a loud explosion could be heard followed by the sounds of broken glass. In a flash, Beastboy stood up, fists ready, wildly searching through the darkness for the source of the intrusions. He was frantic; it seemed to be coming from everywhere. The eerie silence that followed the crash just moments before caused Gar's heart to race. His ears could just pick up on foot steps and wings flapping. Inching his way as close to Timid as he could, he glanced down to see her tear-stained face and shivering figure. This couldn't be happening, the library was supposed to be safe. Gar knew, however, that Trigon's warriors were getting into position. Ready to strike. He could sense them, smell the foul stench of blood and fire that radiated from the hell spawns. Despite the obvious trap about to be sprung, Gar was determined to fight.

He just was waiting for Trigon to make the first move.

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Even with his heightened senses, the first blow to the back of his head, came as a surprise. Instantly, though, Beastboy reacted in turn by transforming into a gorilla, grabbing blindly behind him, he caught the figure's shoulders and threw the creature over his head. Transforming had taken away some of his heightened abilities and senses, but at this point, a wild frenzy broke out in the pitch black space. All hell, as it were, had broken loose in the tiny space with Timid slipping to hiding just beside him, curled up and frightened.

Aiming his massive fists wildly to his right, Gar made contact with a hard something. Hearing a crack and a wave of pain rushing through him, he realized he must've broken a demon's head (and consequently tearing a large chunk of flesh from his hand). He pushed past the pain and stood his ground, dispatching half a dozen more warriors in blind fury. Timid's helpless whimpers and shrieks, as she kneeled close by, were all the incentive he needed to keep fighting.

In the madness of the trap, despite his strength and his victories against Trigon's minions, a blow to the back of the head was the least expected while Gar was furiously beating two dark figures into each other. With a powerful crack, Gar fell sporadically, crashing into debris and rolling to lie on his stomach. Feeling blood running down his face and into his fluttering eyelids, the last thing he saw was a dark figure with glowing yellow eyes, conjure a bright column of flame. The small ball of flame that had been summoned into the creature's palm shed light into the dim room. Gar could just make out the walls filled with books, dozens and dozens of demonic warriors, the overturned couch and Timid; her forearm clutched in the massive hand of an the monstrosity before him; one that Beastboy had never before seen. The creature was a goliath of a being. Taller than Gar's Beast form (which stood roughly at seven feet) It held Timid in one of its four massive arms, and stood on two bulky legs. The demon's head held two wickedly curved horns and two slits for eyes. There were no pupils.

Worst of all, the creature's smile was sinister; its black lips curling back to reveal long fangs and mismatched, jagged teeth. The devil held two swords in its other hands, and bore only two leather straps across its massive torso, holding the twin scabbards behind its monstrous back.

Angling the flames and its outstretched palm directly to Gar, the monstrosity surprised him by speaking.

"LORD TRIGON WISHES THAT I GIVE YOU A FINAL MESSAGE BEFORE HE TAKES DOMINANCE OF THIS REALM."

Struggling to stay conscious, Beastboy could feel his heartbeat thundering throughout his whole body. His blood and sweat mingled and ran cold as the devil before him gripped Timid more tightly and continued. Uncontrollably he could no longer keep his massive gorilla body any longer and he transformed back to his normal self.

"HE WANTED YOU TO BE AWARE, EVEN AFTER YOUR DEATH, THAT BECAUSE OF YOUR INSOLENT MEDDLING. THIS PITTIFUL EMOTION SHALL BE THE FIRST TO SUCUMB TO HIS WILL.

SHE SHALL BE THE FIRST TO BE TORTURED. AND, ONCE ALL THE EMOTIONS ARE DESTROYED AND MASTER USES RAGE TO TAKE CONTROL OF HIS DAUGHTER'S FORM, HE SHALL FORCE OPEN THE PORTAL TO OUR REALM.

THEN, ONCE HE ESCAPES, HE WILL RAPE AND TORTURE RAVEN UNTIL HE TIRES OF HER USELESS BODY AND WILL FORCE HER TO WATCH AS HE SKINS THE BONES OF EVERY HUMAN BEFORE HER. HE WILL CONTINUE ON TO DOMINATE THIS DIMENSION."

"AND THEN," the creature continued, smirking sinisterly, while curling his fist around the dampening flames in his hand.

"WHEN HE TIRES OF TORTURE….HE SHALL SLIT HER THROAT AND FINALLY BE FINISHED WITH THE WORTHLESS HUMAN SPAWN."

Erupting in a howling fit of laughter, the demon, in one fluid motion, pulled his arm back and shot out the glowing flames directly at Gar's unmoving form.

The last thing Beastboy saw was the inescapable flames rushing through the air to finish him off.

The last thing he heard was the sniveling laughter of Trigon's minion and the helpless, wailing cry that Timid let out before she disappeared. Her scream tore through the very fabric of his being and Gar, mere moments from death, felt the blackness boil within him. Erupting within him, the power was too slow, Gar knew this was it. The end.

As the ball of flame shrieked through the air, as if in slow motion, Gar's vision clouded over.

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Timid couldn't believe it, for the second time in her short life, she had seen Beastboy killed. Well, she hadn't seen it completely. Right before the blast of flames hit Gar's frame, the demon warriors and her captor had teleported out of the Library. Forcing her to watch, the large demon holding Timid smiled as the building erupted into hungry flames.

The grey-clad emotion tattered and beaten was horrified beyond words. Long after the demonic horde had turned and began their journey to Rage's realm, Timid could do nothing. She lost all hope. She was going to be delivered, and Trigon was going to kill her and the other emotions. Rage and Raven were going to be used to open the portal and free her father. Countless deaths would be assured and yet, all she could think of was the green teen who was probably burning to death. The only person to make the timid emotion feel brave and strong; who always told her that everything would be alright. The only one who cared and told her to try to be brave. But she couldn't. All she could do was silently weep as she was carried away to a fate that would only end in the destruction of everything.

Try as she might, the tears refused to stop.

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From the stasis of the otherworld, the land in many ways similar to purgatory, where time held no bearing, Aiala looked down in horror as Gar was overtaken by the flames. She had had to be careful. The rules of the Champion power were strict; she may have had the luxury of being the first champion for Azarath, but the power was ancient and absolute and could not be defied. The power hinged on the sacred rule that the texts of the book; the history of the Champion power was never to be read out loud. Should the book's secrets ever be revealed in the open air, the power would destroy itself and cause a chain reaction that would bring about the destruction of everything. The power could do what Trigon could not: roam the realms and different dimensions of existence. Each universe ever having contained the book and sword at one point or another would be destroyed.

The rules were a safeguard to never let that happen. That was why everyone who read the book eventually forgot the exact syntax and words. Aiala had no choice but to abide by the rules.

She had hoped that the placement of the book within Raven's subconscious would be easy enough for Gar to discover and learn all about what he must become. Without the book, now lost among the debris of the burning library, Garfield would never achieve the power only he could contain. Of course such musings did no good, considering that all was lost. Gar had been destroyed and the realm that he had inhabited: earth and the dimension it belonged to would soon fall to the might of the evils of Trigon the Terrible.

It had not been the first time the power had failed. The champion force could do great things, but its true potential was based on the limitations of its host. Had she been stronger, she would have been able to harness it for all time, but, in her fear of the madness and rushing power that came with accepting the champion force, she had relinquished it and instead became the eternal keeper of the book and sword when the power was inactive. But, that had been long ago and the nightmares of the present were haunting enough without her bringing up her tragic past.

Sighing and with a flash of light, Aiala willed a portal into the realm of Raven's damaged mind and entered into the library.

Dust and ash met her solemnly as the last of the fires were snuffed when the portal broke into the dimensional space.

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"So sad" The once championess thought to herself as she lightly treaded over the splintered and burnt floor, searching for the artifacts forever in her care. She had a connection with the two mystical items and in reality, could probably discern the two easily. In truth, Aiala needed this time to roam the wreckage and relive the horrors of failure. In the otherworld she had felt sorrow for what would happen. Now, walking and experiencing the image of failure first hand, a powerful surge of pathos gripped her.

"All is lost" she whispered into the ash-filled air. The open air all around her, save a few support beams and large masses of wrecked piles that littered the shattered surroundings. Despair etching into her every feature, her eyes spied the picture of the sword laying perfectly in tact by a large mass of debris. Near it, a few yards away, the book also lay unscathed.

Walking to the book, Aiala crouched down to grasp the tome closely to her chest. Standing up, a chilled wind blew by and she bowed her head, resting her chin on the large spine of the mystical volume, her words lost in the tumbling breeze.

"All is lost"

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And that's the end of chapter 12. I am truly sorry again for the space between the update and the shortness of the chapter. After much that has happened, including a recent death in the family, I have found my spark once again. I promise another update much sooner, much more interesting and longer as well. Here's to wishing you all a good holiday season.

-Fernnu