Chapter II: The Beginning
It wasn't always like this. Believe it or not, I was once the most famous person in my home City, the Great City Haven.
My name is Jak Mar, son of the sort-of-late Damas Mar. And, ever since I was a little boy, I have hated my father… with all my heart. It would surprise you then to learn that, as much as I hate him, I have followed his footsteps in my career choice. My father… he was the best Racer alive, at least that's what people tell me. They continually tell me that I can't be anything but the best… because my father was the best.
Damn him… I planned to prove them wrong. I would become the best racer in the world, but by my own talent… not by piggybacking on my father's reputation! Look at me, I'm getting carried away. None of you care how I feel about my father, or why I hate him. You just want me to get on with my story. All right, then.
I suppose it all began… that one day in Haven City…
Haven City… possibly the most technologically advanced City on the planet, was arguably the funnest place on the planet also. The entire City was like one big party. This was mainly due to the fact that they had machines to run the work places and to do all the work, leaving the people free to have fun all day.
And, without a doubt, the most popular sport was racing. Haven City had the biggest stadium on the planet, and the stands were always full. People came from far and near to cheer their favorite racers as they would racer at top speeds around the track. However, this sport was extremely dangerous as everyone seemed to cheat and deaths were as common as wins.
Jak Mar, a young man of nineteen didn't mind the danger. He loved it! The thrill of having someone trying to kill you, while trying to reach the finish line first… that was the life…
Jak Mar was a well-built man. Slightly on the short side, considering the average height for a male elf was 6'2". He may have been short, but that didn't mean at all that he wasn't highly dangerous on the track. His stance suggested a power that his small frame could never communicate. However, even though he was the youngest racer in the world, he had become one of the best, and that meant he had fans… lots of them…
Jak realized this for the thousandth time as he drove up the stadium for his next race. He was immediately mobbed by people, demanding his autograph.
"Gimme your autograph!" One girl would shout, shoving a paper and a pen under his nose.
Another would attempt to hug him. "Marry me, please!" She would cry.
Jak would just back away. He was far too used to this to get offended or surprised. He got at least two proposals of marriage a day since he was seventeen. Jak laughed quietly to himself. He would flirt with these girls, but he never actually considered marrying them.
A young woman caught his eye. She held a paper out to him. "Can I have your autograph?" She asked.
"Sure." Jak said, quickly signing the paper and handing it back to her.
"Good luck, tonight." She said.
"Oh, are you going to be there?" Jak asked.
"Of coarse." The girl said. "I never miss one of YOUR races."
"Really? What seat?" Jak asked.
"East block in the front row." The girl answered. "Fifth from the right."
"Say, if I win, I'll.. do this…" Jak made a quick sign with his hands. "That will mean it was for you, okay?"
The girl blushed and giggled. "Thank you." She said.
"No problem." Jak said. "Now, I've got to go. Got a race to win." He winked at several of the people standing there. They parted to allow him passage.
How did my father go missing, you ask? Well, that's actually a short story. He went to another continent for training… and he never came back. I remember the entire City of Haven went into mourning. I think I was the only one who was glad to see him go. I remember my mother cried for hours when they told her. She was more devastated then anyone else. I have no doubt that she loved my father… I could just never imagine why. In my eyes, he was a drunk, arrogant, son of a bitch. I shouldn't call my father that, you say? I've got the right! Everything is his fault! He's the reason I… But look, I'm getting ahead of myself. I'll get back to the story now.
Silence… there was always silence before the storm, and racing wasn't the exception. Jak Mar sat quietly on the track, waiting for the race to begin. Then, quite suddenly, the stadium exploded with noise…
The race was beginning. Jak stood up from the track and the audience roared with applause. He walked over to his racing vehicle. The other racers did the same for their vehicles. The audience roared at the race got underway.
Quite a ways away for the stadium a man stood on the outside of a large building, looking out over the sea, waiting for something.
Suddenly, the sea bulged, as if something extremely large was coming out of the water. The man watched this with no surprise coming across his face. He had been expecting this. Everything was happening as it should…
Back at the stadium, the race was going full tilt. Jak raced past another racer who had slowed down to take a turn. Another racer tried to pass him and Jak kicked out at their vehicle, sending it into an uncontrolled spin. Before the racer could recover…
The racer impacted the wall and exploded, there was little chance that he survived. But the audience cheered. It was universally agreed that the crashes were the best part. Jak grinned as he made the final turn to the finish line. Then something caught his attention out of the corner of his eyes. Jak looked around and gasped. A huge ball of water was floating in the air, seemingly on it's own power. As Jak watched, the thing seemed to shoot projectiles out of it. The projectiles hit the buildings of the city, and they instantly exploded. Sadly, the stadium was one of the buildings hit. The walls caved in and Jak, along with the rest of the racers were buried under all sorts of rubble.
It was a few minutes later that Jak finally managed to get himself free from the rubble. He was pretty beat-up. But, then again, who wouldn't when they just had a wall fall on them. The other people had long since evacuated the stadium. Jak glanced around, confused, before deciding the best thing to do was to head to the exit.
He began to stumble over the rubble in his effort to get to an exit when he saw a familiar face. "What?" Jak asked himself. "Sig?" Jak walked up to Sig. "Sig? What are you doing here?"
Sig was a tall, and strongly built man who towered over Jak. Sig looked down at Jak with those mysterious green eyes. "I was waiting for you, cherry."
"What are you talking about?" Jak asked.
Sig? He certainly is a strange man. I don't really know anything about him, and I'm sure no one knows his past. He's sort of been a father figure to me… and I respect him a lot more than my REAL father. Why does he call me 'cherry'? I don't know. I remember when I was a kid, I thought that he thought I was a cherry and he wanted to eat me. Haha. Pretty dumb, huh?
Sig turned and walked away in a brisk walk. "Hey, wait!" Jak called, limping quickly after him. They left the stadium and Jak paused, gazing at the destruction around him. "Oh my God!" The larger buildings were destroyed, and people ran in every direction, trying to escape the un-seen terror.
Suddenly, everything stopped.
Jak glanced around, confused. It seemed that time itself had stopped from everyone but him. Suddenly, Jak heard a voice. "It begins." Jak spun around and saw a small boy standing in the road three feet away. It was the strangest boy that Jak had ever seen, he was covered in robes that had strange symbols embroidered on it.
"What?" Jak asked, confused.
"Don't cry." The boy said.
"What?" Jak asked, even more confused. Jak walked over to the boy. A hood covered his face, so Jak couldn't see him. Suddenly, the boy vanished, and time seemed to catch up with him.
Jak looked around for the strange boy. "What the…" Jak began. He looked around and saw Sig waiting for him, standing on the entrance to the highway which ran over the city. Jak ran over to him.
Jak stopped next to Sig. He looked around, all the people seemed to be running the other direction. "Not this way!" Jak said.
Sig ignored him, he was looking up in the sky. "Look." Sig ordered.
Jak did look and he gasped. It was the huge ball of water he had seen early. It was floating high in the air above Haven. "What the hell is that?" Jak demanded.
"That is the Metal-Head Leader." Sig said.
"Metal-Heads?" Jak asked, for he was unfamiliar with the term.
If only I never heard that damn name…
Suddenly, something large seemed to fall off the ball of water. It hit a nearby building and, once it was in place, its skin seemed to fall off. But… no… it's scales were falling off and hitting the ground in front of Sig and Jak. Then, the scales seemed to come alive, they split into new creatures that were all black except for the yellow gem that each of them had in their foreheads.
"What the…" Jak cried out as one of them rushed him. He fell back in shock, and fell right on his backside. Suddenly, a blade was shoved in his face. Jak looked up to see Sig holding the hilt. "What's this?" Jak asked.
"A gift… from Damas…" Sig said.
"My… father…?" Jak asked. Never the less he accepted the sword. Sig gave him the hilt and Jak grasped it. Sig then forcefully pulled Jak off the ground. Once Jak was up, Sig let go of the sword and Jak nearly dropped it, unaccustomed as he was to the weapon.
Sig sighed. "I hope you know how to use it." She said, pulling out a large katanta.
Jak nodded in agreement. "I hope I do too." He said quietly.
The monsters slowly surrounded them. At least Jak thought, there are only three of them. Sig examined the battlefield. "Don't bother going after all of them." Sig said quietly to Jak. "Cut only the ones that matter and run."
There was only one monster in front of them, so Jak took it. He rushed the monster, raised the sword and brought it swinging down on the creature. The monster, surprised by Jak's sudden movements, didn't react in time and it was cut in half by the broadsword.
They ran down the street. Jak laughed. "Haha! I guess I'm a natural!"
Sig scoffed. "Beginner's luck." Then, they were blocked by three more of the scale monsters. "Watch closely, cherry, this is how a pro does it!" Jak hung back to watch as Sig charged the monsters. They hissed as Sig approached. Sig raised his sword and brought it swinging down into all three of them. The monsters were bisected.
Jak huffed. "I could've done that."
"No time for that, cherry. We've got to go." Sig ran away.
"Give me a break!" Jak cried, running after him.
Suddenly, the ground beneath their feet rumbled as something impacted the ground up ahead. Jak looked up. It was the same type of monster that had crashed into the building back there. A guard of the scale monsters surrounded it.
The creature waved its many tentacles round and, suddenly, a big ball of Dark energy formed over the duo. And it hurt, a lot. "Ow!" Jak yelled. "What the hell was that?"
"Demi." Sig answered like it was the most common thing in the world. "Don't worry about it. It can only hurt, but it can't kill."
"What about those?" Jak asked, looking at the other monsters.
"I'll take care of them." Sig said. "Some can't wait to die!" Sig brandished his sword and leapt into the air, slamming the blade, almost up to the hilt into the road. A strange energy seemed to flow though the road until it was under the enemies. Suddenly, the ground underneath exploded, killing all of the scale monsters. However, the big monster was still alive.
"Whoa! How did you do that?" Jak asked.
"It's simple." Sig said. "If I get mad enough, I can perform a special attack, like the one you just saw."
"Why can't I do something like that?" Jak pouted.
"You can." Sig said. "You're just not nearly angry enough yet." Sig looked at the remaining monster. "Now, let's take care of this worthless bag of slime!"
Sig rushed the monster and began to hack away at its armor, slowly exposing the soft fleshy parts. As soon as there was a big enough hole in its armor, Sig called. "Now, kid!"
Jak rushed forward and stabbed the creature right were the hole was. It was obviously a fatal attack for the creature began to writhe. Suddenly, strange light things rose up from the empty shell, and the lights floated away. Jak watched them go. He had never seen anything like them.
"Come on, cherry, let's go!" Sig urged, moving around the creature. Jak followed.
They had only moved a short way when more of the scale monsters began to block their way. First, it was only a few, and then, it turned into hundreds. Several hundred fell behind them. Sig looked at all the monsters. "Hmph… this could be bad." He looked around and saw a small container of Dark Eco hanging over the edge of the highway. "That! Knock it down!"
"What?" Jak demanded.
"Trust me, you'll see." Sig said. The duo ran over and began to push the thing over the edge. It was rather heavy, but it moved. Suddenly, it was over the edge. It fell down to the ground below and exploded, taking out most of the support structure from the highway directly in front of them. Sig watched as the highway began to fall. Jak walked up to his side. Suddenly, Sig turned to him. "Run, now." He ordered. Then Sig took off across the falling highway.
Jak followed, running as fast as he could, while at the same time avoiding the explosions that were happening all around him. Jak reached the end of the falling section and jumped out to the safe level above. But he couldn't make it, instead he grabbed the edge and held on. Under normal circumstances, he would've been able to pull himself up, but his body still hurt from the beatings it had taken that day. Sig stood above him and Jak looked up at him. The large water ball was hovering over them. "Sig! Sig!" Jak called.
Suddenly, the highway foundations were ripped away, and the whole thing began to float up towards the thing. The water moved, revealing a large hole that glowed with bright light. Sig looked up into the light. "Are you sure?" He asked.
There was a loud rumbling that met his words. Sig looked down at Jak, who was slowing pulling himself up onto the platform. "This is it." Sig said. He bent over and picked Jak up by the front of his shirt and holding him. "This is your story." Sig said. The light was getting closer. "It all begins here." Suddenly, Sig disappeared into the light.
Jak yelled in surprise as he was drawn into the light also.
Suddenly, it was silent and Jak found himself standing on a platform high above what appeared to be Haven City. Suddenly, a gruff and familiar voice called out to him. "Hey. Hey!"
Jak looked around in shock. "My… father?" But, he didn't see his father. What he saw was… himself… only as a little boy. Jak looked down at his younger self in surprise.
I thought about a lot of things in that strange world. Like… where I was. What I had gotten myself into. I started to feel light-headed… and then sleepy. I think I had a dream. A dream about being alone. I wanted someone… anyone beside me, so I won't have to feel alone anymore. But Sig was right. This would be the beginning of my story. Or… should I call it 'our' story?
LES: I hope you've figured out by now that the narrator is Jak. But he is telling the story from that point in time when he is standing on that hilltop I described in the first chapter. That's why every narration is past tense. So, everything he's describing has already happened to him.