Jak and Daxter Fanfiction: Troubles
Jak continuously gazed at his hands as he slowly walked down the congested city street. The people who walked by would glance curiously at the young man for a second and continue with their strolls down the street. Zoomers and Flyers hovered above at leisurely paces carrying their drivers to their destination. They were all carrying on with their seemingly normal lives, and were all completely unaware of the conflict taking place right before them; a conflict that had nothing to do with the city or its surrounding areas.
Jak nearly ran into a tall man as he stared, earning an angry glare from said man, not paying any attention and unaware of where exactly he was going.
"Jeez, what crawled up Grumpy's butt?" Piped up a voice from his left shoulder. "Uh…you okay buddy?"
"Hmm?" Jak broke his gaze to look at the furry orange ottsel on his shoulder. He had nearly forgotten he was there, much to his own embarrassment.
"You've been staring at your hands since you took out all those guards."
Daxter was looking at his friend with an unusual frown on his face and his small arms folded, which surprised Jak.
"It's…nothing…" Jak mumbled.
"Sure don't sound like nothin' to me."
"Dax…what happened back there? When I fought those guards?"
"Well, you got all mean and nasty and kicked the asses of over a dozen dudes. It was crazy! You were all like…"
Daxter proceeded with making various punching noises and whirling his hands and feet around. Jak however wasn't paying attention again and went back to staring at his hands.
Mean and nasty…
Daxter's voice began to fade away as Jak's mind began to drift back in time. A cold, dark environment swirled into view and then there was a flash of deep purple accompanied with an incredible surge of pain. A scream of agony echoed across stone walls and rattled the bars of seemingly endless prison cells. The crackling arcs of electricity seemed like they would never end, but as quickly as they had struck, they suddenly ceased. A low growl sounded, followed by a distant pair of voices. And then there was silence. Everything was swirling and pulsing, and then a strange, bright orange color came into view. The orange color moved closer and a high-pitched, upbeat voice broke the silence. The voice was incredibly familiar, but from where? Or what? An incredible fiery sensation had suddenly risen and continued to intensify. A monster was squirming, begging to be free as it growled within the darkness. Everything became covered with a purple tint, and then something exploded from within like a bomb.
The orange color along with a few pieces of metal flew a short distance away onto the metallic floor. Edging closer, the upbeat voice suddenly became a whimpering one and was coming from the orange color. Madness engulfed the voice and the purple intensified. The voice began again and its words were somehow clearer. The monster growled fiercely. That voice was really becoming irritating; it was time to put it to rest…
"It's – it's your old pal Daxter, remember?"
Daxter… Old pal…?
A large, old hut swirled into view, perched atop a rocky cliff and overlooking a vast, deep blue ocean. A small village lay further away, accompanied by a pleasant scent of salt water and brilliant light from the sun above. An old man and a young girl came into view, the former with a disgruntled, irritated look on his face and the latter with dirt smattered on her face but wearing a bright smile. And then a small, orange, and furry creature came into view. The voice echoed again.
"It's just you and me, buddy! The two of us on a grand adventure! Look out world 'cause the dynamic duo are coming through; Jak and Daxter!"
The small creature shook in fear, bracing itself for a death-dealing blow by the claws of its best friend…
"…Daxter?" Said a harsh voice…
Once again not looking where he was going, Jak went head first into a rather large man's chest, knocking them both backward and off balance.
"Watch it you little punk!" The large man growled.
"Gain way, tubby! We're walking here!" Daxter yelled back.
The large man had started to walk away, but then he immediately whipped back around and threw a large hand at Daxter's neck.
"What did you just say you little rat?!"
"Ack! I said that you have more jiggle than – ack! – a bowl of jelly!"
The large man growled angrily and raised his other hand into a fist, ready to pound the ottsel's head into a pancake. The large man roared, but before he could bring his fist down, something had slammed into him hard and sent him tumbling several feet backward. He landed on his back, dazed, and raised his head to see what had hit him. But before he could get up, something landed on the large man's chest and a hand had seized his neck in its powerful grip.
Jak stared down at the man, hatred filling his mind. The large man stared back in utter shock, catching a flicker of purple in Jak's blue eyes. Jak raised his own fist in the air, ready to crush the face of this idiotic man who attempted to hurt his best friend. The large man covered his face with his arms, bracing for impact. Jak could feel something bouncing up and down on his shoulder, and it was then that he became aware that Daxer was yelling at him.
"Snap out of it, pal! Just let it go!" Daxter yelled. "This tub of lard ain't worth it!"
Let it go…
Jak glanced at Daxter with a frown and then back at the large man. The large man's face was twisted and his watery eyes were alight with fear. He had the same look on his face that Daxter had back in the prison…
Jak's muscles relaxed and he raised himself off of the man and onto his feet. The rage began to die down, the purple began to fade and his vision was clearing. The large man scrambled to his feet and took off in the opposite direction, determined to put as much distance between him and Jak as possible. Jak stared after the man for a while and then gazed around him. The people surrounding him stared with various expressions on their faces. Some had scared and worried looks, while others had looks of disgust and anger. Jak was beginning to feel rather uncomfortable; he wasn't used to being stared at like this. The last time someone stared at him like that was when he and Daxter had pulled a somewhat harmless prank on their friend Keira and got the scolding of a lifetime by Samos the Sage.
Doing his best to ignore the stares, Jak continued on down the congested street until he arrived at a more open part of the city. It was quite crowded, with an equal mix of depressed citizens and the red, bulky forms of the Krimzon Guard patrols. Jak stopped walking and suddenly felt nervous. Were they looking for him still?
Jak searched the area with his eyes. It seemed like there was no place to hide, and with this many people around, there was no way he would be able to escape unnoticed. A few Krimzon Guards were slowly approaching him from a short distance away. Jak's heart began to beat faster the closer they got. He clenched his fists and teeth, ready to fight if necessary, still looking for a way out. The Guards were each looking at him, and within seconds they were right on top of him. Jak's heart felt like it froze and Daxter hunched down low on Jak's shoulder. But they continued straight past him without so much as a stare, appearing to not take much notice of him. One of them said, "This is unit Alpha. We're on route," and they continued on toward the direction Jak had just came through.
Jak let out a heavy sigh. His body relaxed a little, but his heart continued to pound in his chest.
"Whoo! I was worried for a sec there." Daxter said. "This must be our lucky day!"
"I don't know if I'd call it 'luck.'" Jak said somewhat quietly, making sure all the Guards were out of earshot. "Maybe they just haven't been informed yet…"
"I seriously doubt that, pal. We're not exactly acres away from the Prison here."
"I know, but…"
"Jak…you're just worrying too much."
"I hope so…"
"Let's just get out of these crappy slums and find this 'Torn' guy. That old fart said that he could help us and 'the Shadow' or whatever his name was could use guys like us."
"Y – yeah…"
Jak began to make his way through the crowds, doing his best not to stand out and remain unnoticed even though it felt impossible with Daxter on his shoulder. He gazed around at all the different paths he could take to get out of this area, but they all looked the same and all had the same amount of danger. According to that old man Kor, there was a group somewhere in the "Slums" that was waging a war against that madman Baron Praxis. Their destination shouldn't be too far from their current position. And if this underground movement is against Praxis, he would be more than happy to lend a hand, or a fist.
Something suddenly caught Jak's ear toward his right; a most loathsome voice that sounded like it was coming from a speaker of some sort like the ones he had heard in the Prison. Jak started to move around pedestrians and toward the voice, wondering where it was coming from until he saw a glowing metal stand with a very familiar symbol floating above it with precursor lettering floating around it, the symbol of the Krimzon Guard. As Jak got closer he immediately recognized the voice.
It was Praxis' voice.
"Oh great, another one of these things." Daxter moaned.
"You mean…there's more?" Jak asked, trying to control his anger.
"Yep. These things are placed all over the city. As if hearing his voice once isn't enough to get the point across, we have to listen to him yap about how he 'does everything for the city,' 'I'm still in control' and 'don't pay attention to this' and blah blah blah every friggin' time we turn a corner! I swear that guy's voice gives me a headache!"
I'd sure like to give him a headache, Jak thought. A permanent one…
"Come on, let's keep going."
Jak turned around and began to walk in the opposite direction. Just as he took a step, suddenly his ear caught a few particular words from the voice…
"Don't try to make a fool out of me, Jak. Just because I haven't killed you yet, doesn't mean I'm not on to you."
Jak stopped dead. He slowly turned back around and glared back at the kiosk.
"The citizens of this city worship me, because I offer them safety. All I ask in return is for their lives. I'll find you. And when I do, you'll wish you died in prison."
Just when he thought he was starting to calm down, the monster began to squirm around again. His fists became clenched once more, his nails biting into his gloved palms. He felt his arms tense as he glared at the floating symbol and his face twisted with fury. Daxter looked at his friend again with worry.
"The dark eco inside you will eventually kill you, Jak." Praxis' voice continued. "Its destructive effects cannot be stopped. Once you are in its chaotic grip, it will not let you go until you slide into insanity. Turn yourself in, and I will kill you mercilessly and painlessly. It's your only way out."
Praxis' voice started to speak again, but the kiosk suddenly exploded into a large fireball and pieces of metal flew into the stone wall of the building behind it. Jak had smashed his fist straight through the metal stand, earning the stares and gasps of more people. Jak was breathing heavily and his fist was crackling with dark energy. Jak's eyes then widened as he quickly came back to his senses and realized what he had just done. He straightened up and looked at his fist, slowly opening his hand. His fingers had turned into a ghostly white and his nails were an obsidian color and unnaturally long and sharp. Slowly his nails grew shorter and his fingers regained their natural color, Jak's heartbeat began to slow down, his breathing returned to normal and the rage that filled his eyes subsided.
Jak took in a deep breath, tried to steady himself and held his head in his hands. His skin felt rather hot and his head was pounding. He suddenly became aware that his body was aching and quite sore as if his body had been thrown into a wall many times. Jak took another deep breath and lifted his head slowly. He looked around and caught the glares of many men, women and children, all with stunned looks on their faces. A few mothers began to drag their children away and the people closest to him began to back away from him. A strange feeling began to grow in Jak; a painful feeling of regret, of loss, and of sadness.
Jak swallowed a lump in his throat and he began to walk across the open area and down one of the paths to the right. The pedestrians he walked by would avoid him and go around him as if there was an invisible barrier surrounding him that would repel anyone who touched it. Jak did his best to avoid everyone's eyes as he walked.
"Hey, Jak…" Daxter said, pulling at Jak's long ear and gaining his attention. "You, uh…might wanna keep a lid on that temper of yours. If you keep going nuts on me like that the Guard will be all over us like a nest of angry wumpbees. Surely you don't want to end up back in the big house, do ya?"
Jak remained silent.
"Look, Jak. I know you've been roughed up, have a few serious anger issues, people out to get you and a rather poor sense of humor, but I'm gonna help you get through all of that. I haven't been looking for you for two years just to run out on you again. You obviously can't do this alone, so I'm sticking with you through the thick and thin. Plus, I don't think you'll last a second without me in this city. Your old pal the Daxtinator is here now, and will be with you 'til the end! You remember that!"
Jak came to a stop and gazed up at the ottsel. Daxter gazed back with an oversized grin. Jak slowly took it all in as he stared at his comedic face. He wasn't alone anymore. He had his best friend here with him like before on their last adventure, to accompany him, to guide him, to make him laugh at unexpected moments, and to help him. Jak had forgotten what it was like to have a friend with him ever since he was caught by the guards in red armor and thrown into the Prison for an unknown reason, shortly after their arrival into the city. Between the time he spent in a corner of his prison cell with little food and sleep, to the tortuous dark eco experiments conducted upon him under Praxis' eager eyes, Jak slowly began to despair. All his attempts to fight back were futile, and his bravery and strength meant nothing within the metallic walls. Every day went by slowly, and each was as miserable and agonizing as the last. His thoughts always returned to the world outside, to his friends and the people he left behind. After countless days had passed, he had lost all hope, and the bright flame of his soul had finally been extinguished. But as he stared into Daxter's friendly eyes, it felt like the flame was returning and flickering back to life again from the cold ashes. His heart suddenly felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of it and the lump had risen back into his throat. He then curved his lips into a smile, something he hadn't done in two years.
"Thanks, Dax…" He said softly.
"Don't mention it." Daxter smiled back. "What do you say we get on with this adventure, eh? We've got places to see, women to check out and lots of butts to kick! Now let's see if we can find this underground place and this ripped, uh, Torn guy."
Jak nodded and continued down the street with his head held higher than before and Daxter assumed his old perch on Jak's left shoulder. The duo gazed at their surroundings, looking for a dead end alley that the old man mentioned and making sure not to run into random citizens or, more importantly, Krimzon Guards.
Jak looked behind him and could still see the huge red structure of the Prison that had been his "home" for the last two years. It was an incredible relief to be free of that terrible place, free of the experiments of Praxis and the cold, dank, solitude of the Prison's cells. The flame was blazing with new found confidence and spirit, ready once again to take on anything. But even though they had accomplished a great feat already, Jak and Daxter knew from the silence between them that there was no rest for the weary. They had many tasks ahead of them, many people to meet, their friends to find in this huge city, a dark monster to tame, and a dictator to bloody the face of, all while avoiding the eyes of their ever-increasing amount of enemies.
Jak and Daxter's troubles were only just beginning.