(Phases into existence, his face hidden within the cowls of his robes)
Greetings, one and all, and I hope that you are having a splended day. Little nervous right now, as this is my first time ever writing a sequel to any of my works, and I fear that I might somehow trip over my feet...or run out of steam. I know that I said that this story would be posted one week from today, but by insipration and a now smoldering keyboard, I was able to finish it in time. I apologize for the short length of the chapter, and I want to warn you in advance that it will be a little while before I start cranking out the 8000+ word chapters you might be used to by now.
Also, for those of you who have not read the prequel story, Risen Demon , I highly suggest that you do so, otherwise you will likely be very, very confused, as while this is a Jak 3 novelezation, it is almost an AU story. Changes will include sequences of events, the roles that certain characters will play, the deaths of some random OCs, heaps of Veger torture, and Damas most likely surviving, as what N.D. was beyond evil. Also, if luck holds out, the story will climax with a massive, 3-4 chapter Pelinor Fields style showdown between the elves, the Precursors, the Metal Heads, and the Fallen Ones, so wish me luck, I'm going to need it. Also, for those of you who are aware of the changes that I've made to teh Precursors, you can expect to see Daxter 'suiting up' later on towards the end, and he will get his own chance to shine.
To all lawyers: I own nothing of this story save what my demented little mind has managed to cook up. (and so the disclaimers begin again)
That said, let the story commence, and may you hopefully find it worth your while.
War of the Ancients
Skimming over the top of the desert, the blue armored drop ship flew at top speed into the rising sun.
One might have wondered what the craft was doing so far out in the Wasteland, as the constantly shifting winds and unpredictable sandstorms made the journey a hazardous one to say the least. Plus, all the little particles of dirt and whatnot tended to really screw with the craft's engines.
That confusion wouldn't really have dissipated all that much once one looked inside of the craft, and beheld its occupants.
Ashelin Praxis, Governess of Haven City, looked over at the pair of blue armored soldiers, who kept looking back at each other, neither one apparently thrilled about having pulled this duty. She could sympathize with them, as she looked over to the prisoner who was about to get dumped into this hell on Gaia.
Most simply knew this particular elf by his reputation, and by the rumors spread about him. It was said that he had been a murderer, imprisoned by her father, the now late General Geoffrey Praxis, and experimented upon as retribution for his crimes, and there were several other rumors of similar nature. The ones that were whispered the most frequently, though, said that he turned into the devil himself with proper provocation. Gossip of that particular nature abounded, but few knew the truth about the complicated and scarred elf known to most only as Jak.
She, however, was one of those few who knew the truth behind him, or at least as much as she'd been able to learn.
He'd been born Alexander Jacob Mar, and he was her first cousin, the son of her aunt, Alicia Mar, and King Damas, both now dead. The latter in an ill fated assault upon the Metal Head Nest, and the former at the hands of her own brother when he'd overthrown the government shortly thereafter and set himself up as Baron.
She choked back a tear that tried to manifest itself, thinking of her father, a man who'd done all the wrong things for all the right reasons. Eventually though, he'd seen the error of his ways, and tried to fix things. Unfortunately, his redemption had been cut short by a Metal Head Cloaker sticking a blade in his gut.
It had been a blow meant for her.
She refocused her attention upon the dark elf in front of her, scarcely daring to believe that he'd technically only been born about seven years ago. He'd been hidden away in another time through the use of technology she wouldn't even pretend to understand, so that he might one day gain the power to do what was spelled out in prophecy: bring down the Metal Head Leader.
Eventually, through a rather long series of events, he and a few others had been catapulted back into the future, where a blind seer had dropped information to her father that resulted in the experiments that he had been rumored to have been put through.
Upon finding out that he was a Channeler, a descendent of an elven/Precursor Hybrid, he'd been injected with concentrated amounts of Dark Eco, the most dangerous element of Gaia's lifeblood, with the hopes of turning him into some kind of super weapon.
They had succeeded…to say the least.
He'd escaped and assisted the Underground resistance movement against her father, but a careless screw up on her part had gotten nearly the whole lot of them captured. She'd been there, looking down with Torn and Tess from a cell as one last injection had done something utterly irrevocable to him.
He looked up suddenly, his slitted, reptilian eyes undeniable proof of what had been done to him. It was only later that they'd been told by Onin, the silent mastermind of all of this, what had happened.
Jak was a very special kind of Channeler, one whose body was attuned to a particular elemental type of Eco, darkness in this case. While he had initially been as normal as any Channeler would have been, prolonged exposure to Dark Eco activated a strange genetic quirk in his DNA, and it was now the only variety that he could use. The tradeoff had been a loss in flexibility for an increase in sheer power. He was blessed with vampiric strength, speed, and reflexes, not to mention enhanced sensory perceptions and a healing factor that made it damn near impossible to take him down. He also had some rather nasty Channeling powers at his disposal that she had seen him use time and time again.
And that was to say nothing of what lurked underneath the surface.
He had a split personality, another entity that resided within him: Kage, the oni. However, while said alter ego might have been more than eight feet tall, possessed bat wings, horns, and other such features that virtually screamed 'spawn of the abyss,' a devil he was not, at least as far as personality was concerned. Far from that, the Dark Eco demon seemed to possess a strange honor code, and was far more noble than many an elf could proclaim to be. While his personal code was something she didn't fully understand, she knew that Kage was not the monster that the vicious rumors made him out to be.
A small glint of light being reflected off of metal drew her eye, and her attention was focused on the ring that he had on his finger. It was a simple golden band, the only decoration being a few Precursor runes inscribed upon its length.
There was only one other like it in the world that she knew of, and it was currently on the same finger of an aqua haired mechanic back in Haven.
A few weeks after their victory over Kor and the Metal Heads, Jak had proposed to Keira, and the two of them had been wed in a quite ceremony, with her, Torn, Jinx, Tess, and of course, Daxter and Samos being present. They watched in silence for the most part, though Daxter had blubbered and used Samos' oversized beard as a tissue, as an elven holy man had bound the souls of the two elves together for eternity. Fortunately for the Ottsel, the Green Eco Sage was so overcome by emotion himself that he did not think to swat him for doing such a thing.
Unfortunately, just as things were looking up, they had come crashing down yet again.
The Metal Heads, thought to be broken since their Overmind had been destroyed by Jak and Kage, returned with a vengeance. Worse, they had had help in the form of strange mechanized soldiers that had slammed into them from the east, while the Hora-quan had torn into their western flank.
The dark elf and oni had both assisted as best they could, driving the fiends back whenever they ran into them. But they couldn't be everywhere at once, and the situation had deteriorated rapidly. And the Haven City Council, which had been granted emergency powers in the wake of the crisis, had found themselves in need of a scapegoat, something that the dark elf conveniently provided.
Her eyes narrowed to a glare as she looked over to the man that was responsible for this outrage. Count Veger, chairman of the city council, and the power behind the throne, most unfortunately.
However, the Governess did take some satisfaction as she looked at the councilman's battered state. His fancy and expensive clothes were torn, and there were what almost looked like claw marks around his face. Not to mention the bruises on his neck and the fact that his left eye was currently swollen shut. There was also a rather large lump on his head at about the same point where his extremely receding hairline began.
A smirk came over her face as she remembered how the arrogant elf had gotten those battle marks…
It was the dead of night when they'd decided to carry out the sentence, and they'd taken the dark elf from his holding cell within the secondary command barracks in the Residential Sector.
He was in chains, and surrounded by Torn, Jinx, and another Revenant, their visors glowing the eerie blue that they always did. She'd been there next to him as well, staring down at the ground, a look of disbelief upon her face that had been plastered there ever since the twelve man council had reached its decision. The Revenants no doubt held similar expressions upon their faces, and it was made all the worse by Veger's egotistical swagger as they marched towards the drop ship.
Outside, waiting for them, were Daxter, Tess, Samos, Pecker, and of course, Keira.
The aqua haired elf took one look at the downcast appearance of Ashelin, and the downright evil smile upon the chairman's face, and she knew what had happened. It put her disposition somewhere between wanting to cry and resisting the urge to rip the man's throat out with her bare hands.
Heedless of the consequences, she'd ran out, and gripped Jak in a fierce embrace, a gesture that he returned as best he could, considering how he was restrained. A moment later, they let their lips wander to each others, both silently vowing to each other that this would not be the last time they were in each others arms.
Ashelin felt her rage double as she watched them, hating her own inability to stop this madness from taking place.
"Oh, for the love of the Precursors!" she heard Count Veger hiss, rolling his eyes at the scene in front of him. "Still, I suppose we should be grateful for some things. I praise the gods daily that he hasn't somehow managed to get her pregnant yet, as the last thing that we need is to have a bunch of little demon children running around Haven, wreaking havoc where they will."
Both the Ascended Channeler and the mechanic stiffened, slowly opening their eyes and pulling away from each other. Jak looked back over his shoulder, his slitted azure eyes flashing purple for a brief second, and the Governess knew that it was taking every ounce of willpower that he had not to strike the councilman dead on the spot.
"I think they heard you." came Jinx's sardonic voice from behind, the pyromaniac not really giving a hoot that he hadn't asked for permission to speak his mind.
"And I should care because?" Count Veger asked, arrogance dripping from his voice.
The answer he got was the gray armored soldier pointing at something in front of the chairman. He turned around just in time to watch Keira lunge at him, and clamp her fingers around his throat. He went down with a shriek, and the aqua haired elf immediately began to tear into him, raking his face and tearing at his suit, all the while having a vice-like grip upon his wind pipe with her other hand.
As the councilman screamed for the Revenants to help him, Jinx opened up a private comm. line with his squad mates.
"Okay," the pyromaniac said, a large amount of amusement in his voice, "he screams like a girl. Cody, you owe me five creds."
"There is a time and a place for everything, Jinx." Torn growled as he watched Keira deliver a bone cracking punch to Veger's face. "Now is neither of those…and, much as I hate to give this order, pull her off of him."
"No freaking way, leader man!" the other Revenant said, emphasizing his dissent with a shake of his head. "Did you see the look in her eyes?" he asked, turning to face his squad leader. "I will sooner lead a one man assault upon the West Side in nothing more than my boxer shorts with a giant bulls-eye painted on my chest and attempt to single handedly drive the Metal Heads off while singing 'La Cucaracha,' okay? I would have a better chance of coming back alive!"
"Cody?" Torn asked.
"Sorry, fearless leader," the heavy weapons expert replied in his accented voice, "but I'm siding with the pyro on this one. Why don't you try and get her off?"
Silence met his suggestion, and both Cody and Jinx exchanged knowing glances with each other.
Finally, after Veger had taken about a good minute's worth of thrashing, Samos groaned and slapped his hand to his head.
"I am never going to forgive myself for this." the Green Eco Sage muttered quietly, before walking over to his adoptive daughter. "Keira," he said, leaning down next to her as she punched the councilman in the face again, "you are not helping Jak by doing this."
His adoptive daughter looked over to him, and with a disgusted sigh, let go of Veger's throat, which allowed for his head to hit the dura-crete walkway one last time. She then rose, and went to walk over to where Daxter and the rest were. However, she wanted to get one last blow in, and chose that moment to stomp on a certain part of the Councilman's anatomy, hard. This resulted in a high pitched shriek coming from the elf, and every other male except for Jak, as his restraints made it impossible to do so, covering their own vulnerable areas and grimacing.
She then embraced Jak a final time, until Veger had managed to get back up to his feet. For a moment, he looked ready to kill, but Jak caught his eyes again, and this time the slitted irises flashed red for a brief instant.
Even the Chairman of the Haven City Council was wise enough to know what that meant, and he backed off, opting to order the two members of the Freedom Guard to come and take Jak away. Reluctantly, the dark elf allowed himself to be carried away from his wife and soul-mate, knowing that these two were simply doing their jobs.
Veger had gotten onboard right after Jak and the guards, and Ashelin went to join them, as she had something to give the Ascended Channeler, something that might very well wind up making the difference between life and death. However, Keira and Samos motioned for her to stop for a moment and come over to them. She did so, and was surprised when they pulled two things out of a pack that they had brought with them. The first was Jak's armor, something that Keira had made for him some months ago, a vest and trench coat made from blaster absorbent electro-mesh and ferrosteel plates.
The second, was Kitetsu, the dark katana that had been used by his ancestor, Mar, founder of the city. Ashelin felt memories flash, recalling all the times that she'd seen Jak and occasionally Kage use that Precursor crafted weapon to devastating effect as the blade had cut down Metal Heads and combat droids alike, shredding titanium-A battle armor like it was paper.
She'd taken them with a nod to her friend, and hopped on board.
That had been more than six hours ago, and as she replayed the memory, she vowed that Verger's thrashing would be something that she would never allow herself to forget, ever.
Hell hath no fury like a woman whose husband was being exiled on a trumped up charge to satisfy the need for a scapegoat.
Abruptly, she yanked herself out of her musings, as she realized that they were slowing down, reaching their destination, which was officially the middle of nowhere. She sat up and looked over to Jak once again, and saw the silent agony that was in his face. She could hardly blame him. He'd risked life and limb for the city of his birth, for a people that he barely knew, yet still protected as best he could. Hell, he and his inner demon had damn near gotten themselves killed in their battle with Kor, and only near divine intervention had saved the dark elf's life.
She also remembered the overwhelming feelings she'd gotten when she'd seen his rescuer, a living, breathing Precursor. Tarath had been his name, though most elves would have probably known him better by his military rank of Praetor. He'd been a myth supposedly; a companion to Mar and the one who'd awakened the future king's gifts, not to mention that he'd later helped with Haven City's construction.
It had been only three months ago when it had happened, yet it seemed such a long time since then. There had been mourning for the dead, and celebration for the living, and then the drek had hit the fan again.
The drop ship stopped altogether, and the repulsor lifts shifted to where it was in a hover mode. She stood, and moved to help him up. However, despite the heavy chains that he was in, the Ascended Channeler managed to do it on his own, and shuffled over towards the ramp, which was being lowered.
Despite the fact that it was only a little past dawn the searing heat of the Wasteland hit them like a shockwave, rolling over them and making the inside of the drop ship seem like an oven. Jak also let out a hiss, and she knew why: his vision was more sensitive than theirs, and the bright flash of the sun, after so many hours in near darkness, must have been nearly blinding to him.
As he'd been helped off the ramp by the two guards, who once again wore looks of bitter resignation at their current tasks, Veger stepped forward, and with all the dignity and arrogance he could muster from his battered state, pulled out a fancy piece of parchment, clearing his throat before beginning to read it.
"By order of the Grand Council of Haven City," he said in a voice that was still slightly 'off key,' puffing out his chest and glaring at the dark elf, who returned the favor with interest, "for heinous acts and crimes against the people, you are hereby banished to the Wasteland for life."
He then rolled up the scroll and stepped back, that ever cursed swagger to his movement.
"This is a death sentence, Veger," Ashelin growled, stepping forward and sending out a verbal jab by not referring to him by his rank, "there has to be another way."
"Your protests were overruled, Governess," he sneered, "this freak is dangerous."
It was true unfortunately. She might have been the Governess of Haven City, but she was little more than a figurehead, and in reality held very little power. The Grand Council was a little wary of putting too much authority into any one particular person after what her father had done, and she could hardly blame them.
However, that was still no excuse for this perversion of justice. And her tactical side was screaming in rage as well. Not only was her cousin being thrown out to die for no good reason, but the fact that he was their best soldier, so much so as to virtually be an army unto himself, compounded the problems of holding the city together.
"This is an outrage!" came a voice from behind them, and all turned, shocked to see Pecker standing on the rear of the loading ramp, his wings crossed over his chest and his eyes narrowed. "I am outraged beyond words…though I do have something to say. Not everyone agrees with this," the monkeet paused for a moment, squawking in mid sentence, "ridiculous decree!"
"Yeah we want a recount!" this time, it was Daxter who spoke.
Ashelin was thunderstruck, to say the least, as she realized that the two of them must have snuck onboard the drop ship. While their small sizes would have enabled them to do that quite well, what puzzled her was how they had managed to stop from giving themselves away, as neither of them were exactly known for being the silent type, especially when in each other's company.
"Oh," Veger stated, morbid amusement present on his battered face, "so you wish to join him then?"
That took the bluster right out of Pecker, but Daxter retained his own cross expression.
"Actually," the familiar said, scratching the back on his head and laughing nervously, "we are not that outraged. Farewell, Jak," he said, waving and retreating further back into the transport ship, earning him a look from the furry rodent, "stay out of the sun! And remember to drink lots of water…if you can manage to find it."
"Jak." Daxter said, after a moment of quietness had passed.
The daughter of Praxis was stunned once again by the Ottsel. He wasn't the comical joker that he always seemed to be before, the one that always flirted with Tess, and found some way to piss Torn off. Now, he was serious, anxious even. It was a side of him she'd never seen before.
"Go back to the city, Dax," the dark elf said, turning his head and staring out over the vast Wasteland that would, at least as far as Veger was concerned, be his grave, "Tess will be worried about you."
Wishing that she could somehow summon up the power to stop this madness, Ashelin walked forward, the keys to the Ascended Channeler's restraints in her hands. However, before she could get close to Jak, he sent another glare at the Grand Council Chairman, and a second later, Dark Eco lightning coursed its way over the chains. With a snarl, he leapt into the air, balled himself up slightly, and then spread his arms and legs, shattering the restraints.
His ferrosteel plated boots hit the sand, and he continued to keep his unnerving glare upon Veger. He was sending the Count a silent message, one that caused the balding elf to shudder despite all his supposed control.
You're only exiling me because I'm letting you, the look said.
Ashelin leapt back up, and grabbed his armor, before heading back out into the broiling heat of the desert. She handed the equipment to him, and he slipped the vest on before she realized that she'd left Kitetsu back in the transport. However, Jak simply extended his hand, and the dark katana lifted into the air, scabbard and all, before flying over to him, heeding the call of its master.
He took the blade, and slipped the strap on the scabbard over his shoulder to where the sword was pointing handle side down towards his right side. Normally, the blade would have fallen out, but a locking mechanism set into the scabbard prevented such a thing from happening, and it also made the weapon very easy to conceal with the right clothing.
Which the trench coat conveniently provided for him, and as he slipped the last bit of armor over himself the Governess noted for the first time that it had been modified slightly since the last time she'd seen him with it. It was more voluminous now, covering more of him, and had a hood as well, no doubt to help keep the desert heat at bay a little better. That was one reason that electro-mesh was so highly sought after by mercenaries, it was not only good protection, being lightweight and highly flexible, but it protected against extreme temperatures rather effectively too, despite the fact that it was black.
She then dug into her pocket, and drew out an odd, blinking device, before pressing it into Jak's hand.
"Sig wanted me to give this to you," she hissed quietly, so that Count Veger wouldn't hear what was going on between the two of them, "whatever you do, don't lose it. Someone will come for you."
"You just make sure Keira doesn't get herself hurt." the dark elf said with a whisper. "You know how she is in a scrap."
"Don't worry about her, she'll take care of herself," Ashelin muttered, "you just stay alive, you hear me?"
"I've lived through things tougher than this." Was the reply she got, and she knew to what he was referring.
With a backwards glance at him, she clambered back up on the transport craft. She looked upon him, the young elf that had saved them all.
And this was to be his reward.
He shielded his eyes as the drop ship blasted off, kicking up a cloud of sand and dust. Much to his surprise, he heard coughing and hacking coming from in front of him. That surprise only grew when the dust cleared, revealing Daxter and Pecker.
"Dax?" he exclaimed in disbelief, his eyes widening slightly.
'He follows us willingly into the jaws of Death…' Kage mused in a weary voice, speaking for the first time in hours. 'He's far braver than most give him credit for.'
"Don't thank me." the Ottsel grumbled, oblivious to the oni's compliment as he dusted himself off. "I only came along 'cause you and I both know you wouldn't last a second out here on your own!" he then crossed his arms and looked around at the Wasteland. "Okay, big guy, you got us into this mess, now you gotta get us out."
"Ahh," Pecker remarked, surprisingly cheerful despite the situation, "what a team we'll make."
"Let's just get moving." the dark elf said, pulling up the cowl of his armor, shielding his face from the blistering sun that was starting rise higher in the sky. "But which way."
"That way!" both Daxter and Pecker exclaimed, pointing in the exact opposite directions.
"Oh, and I suppose you know where you're going, eh, rat boy?" the monkeet said, glaring at the Ottsel.
"Better than you do, bent beak!" the diminutive rodent shot back.
"Arrgh." the elven member of the group growled. "Let's just move."
With that, they began heading west, keeping the sun to their backs. As they traveled, Jak stared down at his right hand, watching the sunlight reflect off the ring on his finer.
'I will see you again.' he vowed to where only one other being could hear him.
"Sig's on the move again, my lord." the elf replied with a thick aussie accent. "But he's slower this time, definitely humping about on foot now."
"Then let's get moving, this might be the break I've been waiting for."
Okay, first chapter is done, and I hope it wasn't too much of an eyesore...
If its not too much, I would like to know what you readers thought of the chapter, be it in advice, critisism, or even a flame. For that matter, Ideas are also welcomed with open arms.
That said, I hope you enjoy the rest of the day, and I'll see you next week with any luck.