Well, my friends, this is the final chapter of On the Brink. Thank you so much for reading my first ever fanfiction! I do hope it was well worth the (sometimes long) wait for the conclusion of this story! Like I've been saying, I do plan on having a sequel to this one (that's why there are some loose ends as well as a rather interesting ending to this final chapter). I hope to have it done and ready to be posted by the beginning of next year, but we'll just have to see. On another note, I'm really sad to see this story end but I'm super glad I made it this far! Thanks so much to all who've read this and a special thanks to those of you who review!Well, thanks again and I hope you enjoy the conclusion!
As always (and for the last time with On the Brink), Read, Enjoy and Review!
Chapter Twenty Three- Final Justice
Flynn watched as the ex-General fell, dropping farther and farther until the ground halted him. The dark sky bore onto the dead man, not even allowing the crimson liquid to escape his body without being torn apart by the black rain. The vision was horrifying and the blonde quickly turned his attention away, not wishing to see the sight any more. Although he ripped his eyes away from it, the image was still staining his mind, but he would have to deal with it later.
With as much strength as he could muster, the blonde dragged his friend onto the roof. After several slips, some of which could have landed them both in the same place as Chandler, he was successful with getting his friend up.
After the final yank, Yuri was dragged onto the roof where they both collapsed for a short second to catch their breath. It'd been a difficult mess but they both knew things weren't done yet.
As if reading Flynn's mind, Yuri stood up, helping his friend to his feet, and starting his way up the roof. Once they reached the top, Flynn and Yuri began their decent to the hallway, knowing full well time was running out.
Although Flynn hadn't known Chandler long, hell, he really didn't even know him at all, he still felt the pain of his loss. The loss of a man who could have really changed the world.
There wasn't time to spare as Yuri darted off the roof, body soaked in black liquid, and entered the hallway. Inside, the sounds of battle rattled the tile walkway, echoing and bouncing about in an attempt to be heard.
Yuri took off, his feet guiding him to the entrance of the conference hall where he stood in horrified awe at the scene. Estellise was busy healing Karol and Judith while the others were battling their way through the Generals. The entire equation was completely mismatched as his friends raged against the far greater number of Generals.
His senses coming back, Yuri looked around for Rita, whose small body was hidden away in the chaos.
"Rita!" Yuri dashed in, Flynn close behind. It only took a couple of seconds for the dark haired man to locate the mage, who was casting violent pain on an older gentleman Yuri had never seen. After the dark tentacles rained down on their target, Yuri grabbed Rita's shoulder, catching her attention.
She twisted around, slamming her scroll into Yuri's arm before realizing who her 'attacker' was. "Yuri? Flynn?"
"Yes, Rita," the swordsman rubbed at his sore arm before continuing, "Chandler's taken care of but I need your help in defusing this aer bomb."
"Shouldn't killing that bastard have taken care of that?" Her voice carried annoyance as Yuri shook his head.
"I don't have time to give you the entire story but he told me we have to redirect the aer inside of Justice to stop the Ending from happening." As if on cue, the storm outside rammed against the building, causing it to shake. Everyone who was fighting stopped, fear growing as their panicked voices filled the air. They finally realized something outside of their power was going on and there was nothing they could do about it.
Flynn's voice cut into Yuri's thoughts, "we need to do this now."
Yuri and Rita nodded, the three of them making their way out of the mass of Generals. It wasn't long before they reached the front, only to see Justice wasn't there.
"Shit," Yuri scoffed, looking around for any sign of the dying man. It wasn't like he could get up and walk away, right? He was too far gone to do anything of the sort. So then, where was he? With a frantic look about him, Yuri continued to search in vain for Justice, all the while knowing time was running out.
If he wasn't here, where would he have gone? With another look into the room, the Generals and his friends standing silently as the storm reared its ugly head; the dark haired man took off down the hallway, passing the opening leading to the black outside.
Flynn and Rita followed closely, the two of them jogging to keep up with Yuri. There wasn't enough time for this, Yuri thought. Chandler had said the Ending was going to happen within a matter of minutes. There was no time to play hide and seek but unfortunately, he had little choice.
Justice was missing and it was only a matter of time before the bomb went off.
There was honestly nothing to keep him from doing what he was doing. He'd lost his will to attempt at escape, he'd lost all drive to try and find a way to save himself and he couldn't care less if the Capital went to hell. There wasn't anything to think about any more. He was going to die and he was going to die soon. Those were the facts of life and, quite frankly, he'd accepted that.
Although, he wasn't entirely aware of his acceptance.
He'd lost his ability to think, contemplate, understand or ponder. Those things had died with his sanity a long time ago. Deciding to take over the empire had killed him, inside and out, and the aer charging through him was simply finishing the job.
He stumbled mindlessly into the empty room, knowing full well she wouldn't be there. She'd probably left, after all. She was smart like that, which was another thing he used to like about her. He, of course, didn't feel one way or another anymore. She was going to die just like he was, but they wouldn't be going to the same place.
Absently he looked around, eyes gathering absolutely nothing from their surroundings as he made his way to her desk. It was crammed in the back corner of the room, every piece of paper stacked neatly on top. Her room, something he'd always noticed, was extremely tidy, similar to how her captain's room looked. There was something inside of him that wondered if she was trying to impress that captain, try and get him to notice her the way she noticed him. Of course, it didn't work, just like his own attempts didn't work.
It wasn't meant to be, that much was clear, and he used to resent that fact. Now, though, he couldn't resent much of anything. As he collapsed on the floor, body inches away from her desk, his devastated mind thought of her and her alone.
Even in his last seconds, he'd be with her. If she could exist in his frayed mind, she could exist with him for eternity. Although they were going their separate ways, she would stay with him inside of his head. Hell would claim him soon, but she would be there with him, a figure he can't touch, a voice he can't hear, a smell he can't catch and a women he could never stop loving.
As his thoughts of her faded along with his own fleeting mind, he was at peace. He'd finally accepted death, welcoming it with open arms.
Rita wasn't sure where they could find Justice. It wasn't like he was in the physical condition to get anywhere but still; it was ridicules that he was missing and even worse that they couldn't find him. Yuri had said something about time being of the essence, so the entire affair was grinding on the mage's already thin nerves.
She watched as the dark haired man took another turn, twisting his body down another hallway that would most likely lead to another dead end. But none the less, she followed, determined to save the Capital.
As they ran, their shoes made solid clicks against the harsh tile, which was quickly disappearing due to the vast darkness outside. With limited vision, the group continued their search for Justice. It wasn't until the faint sound of whimpering came to Rita's ears that she stopped, "hey," she managed as she strained herself to listen.
"What is it?" Flynn asked, catching Yuri's attention as well. The three stood still, silence bouncing off of them. After a couple of seconds though, the sound came again and Rita perked up.
With a nod to her companions, they headed towards the sound, feet guiding them to a small gold door marked with the silver emblem of the Flynn Brigade. "This is Sodia's room," Flynn spoke. The curiosity couldn't be mistaken in the blonde's voice but that wasn't the issue right then.
With a quick motion, Rita swung open the door to find Justice lying on the ground.
The sight of him was grotesque. He was covered in blood and oozing soars, his skin burned in various places due to the sheer amount of aer riding through his veins. The once proud uniform clung to him in rags, ripped and tattered. Along his arms and face, claw marks could be seen and Rita found herself nearly gagging at the thought. The man was truly lost, leaving him to attack himself in a vain attempt to rid himself of the aer.
The mage had never seen someone so far gone from aer exposure but even though the sight was disgusting, she shook it off and looked at the two men. "Ready?"
Two nods sent her flying to the dying General as she opened up his aer reader. "This thing's going crazy. His aer levels are extremely high."
Yuri's complained, "That's nice Rita, but can you fix it?"
She glanced over the information that burned into her eyes, sweat beginning to form on her brow. Could she fix it? She was smart and very good with this kind of thing, she'd be the first to admit that, but was he too far gone? Was it possible they'd come too late?
"Well," Yuri's voice cut through Rita's thoughts and she shook her head. There wasn't any time to think about it. If she didn't try, she'd die anyway. With as much determination as she could muster, she began clicking away at the screen. "I'll need to use you two to direct the aer away from this place."
"That's fine," Yuri said, getting himself close enough to Rita so she could catch him. Flynn followed suit, both men positioned and ready to go. With a couple of clicks, two bright circles appeared under them. She closed her eyes and began to focus.
Using her own body, as well as the two's bodies, she moved the aer through them, pulling it out of the dying man's body. With as much speed as she could use, she started filtering it into the sky, letting it dissipate into the atmosphere. Outside, the raging storm started to slow, dragging itself against the castle. It twisted and contorted against the white building, its fearful wind and rain fading with each passing second. Before long, the wind couldn't be heard and the black rain that had been falling so hard was nothing but a soft whisper.
"It's working," Flynn breathed as he continued to battle the pressure of the aer.
"We're not done yet," Rita's voice came softly as she pulled the last bit out and pushed it into the air. With a matter of seconds, the screen disappeared and the circles vanished from sight.
Yuri looked around, eyes scanning the area for any sign of trouble, "Is it really over?"
More silence and then finally, a sigh of relief. Rita smiled, sitting down to catch her breath.
All at once, heavy rain began pouring down, catching everyone's attention. Flynn shot up from where he was sitting, taking himself to the window. "It's raining."
"No duh, Flynn," Yuri spoke as he approached his blonde friend. Outside, a clear, white rain fell, washing away the blood soaked earth, cleansing it of its impurities. The two smiled at each other as Rita made her way to the window as well, all three of them drinking in the clear rain and the end of the battle.
"In closing comments for this report, I'd like to say a couple of things," Raven put down his pen to exam everything he'd written up to that point. The report had been lengthy, since he'd been there to witness many of the things that had gone on, and looking back at the entire document made him wonder how on earth he'd gotten to the end.
Alexia wanted a complete report from every captain or General that had been there, although he'd spared the blonde captain who was most involved from writing one until he was out of the hospital. The old man groaned as his tired eyes skimmed the document. It was due tomorrow, after all, and he'd only started about six hours ago. It was truly a miracle he'd lasted this long.
As he read, his eyes caught on a spelling mistake, which he quickly attempted to correct with his pen, "Regarding the incarceration of the Generals involved, a speedy trial was pursued, with each member receiving the death-"death starts with a d not a b, "-penalty for the crimes of treason, conspiracy to commit treason, mass murder and attempted mass murder." Although he thought it was a bit cruel to sentence Tao to death, at least by someone else's hand. The massive man couldn't be hanged, beheaded or shot to death. The most they could do was starve him, though it might take a couple of years for that to kill him.
He continued reading, ignoring some missing commas and periods before stumbling upon another mistake, "Even though many of the surviving Generals were against it, I do think that having ex-General Chandler burned in the proper fashion was the wise choice. The man, although he attempted to destroy the Capital, did honor-" Yup, not horror,"-this country during the Great War. I don't agree, however, that he should be stripped of all titles, names and ranks. The other Generals seem to think it due process, but I think that's rather rude." Of course, attempted genocide is also rude, Raven wanted to add, but he didn't feel it belonged in a formal review.
Once he was done reading over the document, he looked at the very empty ending.
With another swig of coffee, he got to work on the final comment's he wished he hadn't mentioned. But, to be honest, there was a lot to say. "ex-General Chandler, although receiving a proper funeral, was not given the utmost respect. Only two people attended the event, one Captain Flynn Scifo and a Yuri Lowell. I did go for a short moment, but that was all. No words were spoken about the sacrifices he made for the sake of ending the Great War, no tears were shed on account of his loss and, even as he burned, no one mourned, not even the two who stood before the fire. Although I can't say for sure what they were thinking, you could ask them but good luck catching Yuri Lowell, but I could tell it wasn't about him. Instead, it was probably about who he used to be, or pretended to be. Perhaps even about The Ending Theory and how terribly powerful that is. Speaking of which, I've received word that that particular information has been spread to others just as powerful as Chandler and I suggest, with as much urgency as I can, that you locate those who know. Either way," Raven looked through what he'd written and sighed. There were a million things he could say but he decided to leave it at that, "That's all there is to say regarding this incident."
He signed his name, closing the massive document and rubbing his eyes. It was time for bed, he thought.
He stood from his desk, clicked off the lights and went to sleep.
"No sir, I'm sorry, but you're not allowed to leave," the lady in white said to the man. He was wrapped firming in white cloth, red stains already making their way to the surface as she gently nudged him back to a laying position. No matter what he tried, she wouldn't let him leave, not even sit up. Instead, she'd bring him back down and would leave him alone for a couple of hours.
His ice blue eyes travelled out the dark window, catching the light of the moon. Something about it made him smile, or at least, he thought it was smiling. He wasn't sure. Maybe he'd ask the lady in white the next time she was around. Then again, maybe he wouldn't.
"The moon's full," another man's voice said as the man in the bed continued to look out the window. He didn't register the other man's presence, but he was thinking his reply.
Of course it is. I've been watching it turn that way, too.
Why's that? I happen to like the moon, full or not.
"They're never going to let you leave, Justice."
I've heard as much. Something about trials and how I've yet to have one. Of course they won't let me leave.
"I can take you away from all of this. The pain, the torture," the other man walked closer to the bed-ridden Justice, "I can take everything away."
So that's who you are, then. I've been waiting for you. You've finally come to claim me.
"Are you ready?"
The moon disappeared behind a cloud, turning the room as black as a crow. When the light emitted its eerie glow once again, the bed was empty, a single black feather left in Justice's place.