Chapter Twelve (Happiness)

An absolutely enormous bird stands before the crowd of caged birds. Its black eyes and deep, cerulean blue feathers are a sharp contrast to the dull, brown crates around it. Nigel manages to stand up, shaking in fear and pain. One of his wings is broken; he won't be flying out of this.

It looks Nigel directly in the eyes. Pure malice is etched in its features, its whole body tense with rage. Nigel voices his question. "What in the world are you?"

The enormous bird whispers in a deadly manner with a deep baritone, snarling: "You don't recognize me? Pity, Nigel, I never thought you'd forget a 'birdie' like myself quite this quickly." He suddenly rushes at Nigel, and before Nigel can move, the bird picks him up in his talons, whirls him around rapidly and tosses him against another crate, obliterating it in Nigel's path. Nigel slides to the floor, stunned.

The bird looks at Jewel, and his expression immediately softens. "Are you okay?" it asks gently, moving closer. Jewel cannot move, her wing trapped by the fallen cage. She looks up at this stranger, quizzical. "Who are you?"

The bird simply says: "I told you I love you; I still do, Jewel."

Jewel's eyes widen in shock. "Blu?" she asks.

"Yes Jewel, it's me" he replies. Gently, he picks up the cage off of Jewel's wing and tosses it aside like it weighed like a feather. He looks at her wing, concern etching his features. "Well, it's definitely broken." Jewel nods her head, wincing as she moves to a standing position.

Leaving Jewel's side, Blu walks over to the other birds. Gingerly he opens their cages as well, setting them free. Before he can turn around, a small shuffling sound makes all the other birds gasp. Blu turns around to see three humans walking through the door leading from the bridge: the smugglers.

They stare at each other, each unsure of what to do. Blu's instinct decides for him: he charges at them, screeching and thrashing among the crates. The humans turn and flee, screaming like little girls. As they scramble up the steps, one knocks over a lamp. As the door shuts, the lamp's contents catch on fire, setting the wooden hull aflame.

The birds all back away suddenly, fearful of the flames. They soon begin to spread around the flammable wood, expanding and consuming more and more space.

"We've gotta get out of here!" shouted Rafael. All the birds desperately looked at each other, panic coursing through their bodies, unable to escape the quickly spreading fire. Blu walks over to a section of the hull and studies it intently. With a sudden motion, he smashes his head into the side: a big gaping hole appears, large enough for everyone to escape through. As the birds fly out, Blu looks at his friends. "Take Jewel with you; I'll catch up." Rafael, Nico and Pedro nod. Before they can pick up Jewel, she rushes towards him, and Blu stoops low enough for her to plant her beak against his. "Come back to me." she whispers. "I will" is his reply. The others carry her off, heeding Blu's promise of return. They only hope he can keep it.

As they fly out, he hears a screech. Turning around, he sees Nigel jumping at him. The crazed bird lands on his face, tearing and slashing at any point he can. Blu manages to shake him off onto the floor. Before the insane bird can recover, Blu pins him with one of his large talons. He looks deep into the insane bird's eyes for the final time.

"Goodbye, you psychopath!" Raising his foot, Blu smashes it down with all of his weight onto the evil bird. Nigel, crushed by Blu's weight, is smashed through the bottom of the boat's hull. His flattened and bleeding body lands into the water face-down, floating like a bizarre sea creature.

Finally victorious over him evil nemesis, Blu looks around at the approaching flames. Jumping on a large crate, he bursts through the ceiling onto the upper deck, roaring as if the primeval bits of dinosaur DNA in his blood surged with life. Debris flies everywhere as he throws the box holding the unconscious monkeys into a life raft. They were innocent of any real wrongdoing: leaving them on the boat would be an act worthy of a psychopath. Lowering it, he pushes it away from the boat just as the flames start to spread to the upper deck.

Slowly, his large form reverts back into a macaw, his feathers still the same color as they were before. As the blood clears from his eye, he sees the shouting humans dive overboard. Their sudden hurry makes him looks around. The flames are rapidly approaching a large tank of gasoline and several large propane tanks. Crates nearby are also marked as flammable: likely fireworks or weapons of some sort.

Leaping into the air, he just misses a gust of fire as the wind picks up. Flying farther from the boat, he spots a bright flicker in his peripheral vision. A second later, a massive explosion of noise fills his ears. The shockwave soon reaches him, sending him off balance in mid-flight. His body manages to land on the shore, and as he looks back, he notices a crate, flying straight at him.

Suddenly, blackness takes over his senses. More debris from the boat washes ashore, spread out for miles. The steady booms of thunder and flashes of lightning continue into the morning, petering out with the lashing rain as the sun rises from the waves of the Atlantic. All becomes calm, as if the events of the night before were nothing more than a bad dream.

The next morning, birds from the doomed vessel search the nearby coastline, looking for any sign of their savior. All along the shore, they find debris from the destroyed boat strewn helter-skelter. A small life raft holding an empty crate is also found, with a series of small footprints leading into the jungle. The birds move on, paying no heed to this minor interest.

Rafael is flying nearby a large section of crate when he sees something: flying closer reveals it to be some blue feathers. "Guys! I think I found something!" he calls out. Other birds arrive, and help him pick up the crate piece.

Blu's form is underneath. Peaceful. Happy. Motionless.

Rafael sighs. "Let's bring him back to Jewel: she needs to see the truth for herself." With that, the birds make a small net between them and fly off, gingerly carrying Blu's body aloft. They soon reach the abandoned watchtower in the jungle.

Jewel is looking up in the sky with Nico and Pedro as they arrive. Her expression becomes pained as she sees the cargo. As they softly lay Blu's body down, she hobbles over and starts to whimper. She can barely look at him, splattered with dried blood and sand. Many of his feathers are askew, with several missing ones exposing his torn flesh.

"I don't think he even felt it. The crate, I mean" says Rafael, patting her on her good wing. She starts to cry into his shoulder, her breathing becoming shallow and raspy.

"He promised he would come back...He promised!" she half-shrieked. Her sobs become harder, louder, more violent. Nico and Pedro look at each other, sniffling. They nod at each other, knowing what must be done.

"Let's cover him up; it would be better" they say to each other. As Nico and Pedro reach to cover Blu up with some leaves, Jewel almost jumps at them in aggression. They fly backward, startled by her strong reaction.

"Don't you touch him!" she cries, throwing herself on Blu, her face a tearful snarl. Her sobs continue, ones of sorrow and mourn.

She looks Blu in the eye. "You can't leave me! I can't go on without you!" Her screams stop, replaced by wailing and more sobbing. Strange, how the selfless sacrifice of one's-self can change the very way someone feels about you.

As her tears roll down Blu's face, Jewel holds on to him tight with her good wing. Lifting her head, she notices something through her tears. A slight glow is starting to emit from Blu's closed eyelids. Jewel stands up, suddenly alarmed. All of the attending birds gasp, awestruck by what was unfolding. The dried blood on Blu's feathers begins to run as a liquid again, as if time was seemingly in reverse. It disappears into his torso and wings, leaving behind a sheen of silvery streaks. His flesh wounds start to seal themselves, as if being covered by a new set of skin every second. The wounds soon disappear, leaving behind very slight scars where torn flesh should reside.

Blu's body starts to glow, his feathers becoming almost a brilliant sheen of bluest azure. His beak was shining like a beacon, with his eyes glowing the brightest of all. The birds swear they could see his blood moving in his veins. After a few seconds, the glow starts to fade, though it doesn't entirely disappear. A sudden thump shakes the tower, rocking the birds on their feet as dust falls from the rafters. Another thump follows, then another and another, incessant sonic booms ripping through the jungle, with an impact that sent leaves flying and trees bending. The bumps soon cease to be distinct, instead being one giant vibration that reverberates throughout the jungle. Rocks are loosened from the earth, birds in the distance take flight and tree's fruits are falling like mad. All of the jungle is throbbing like a tightly wound drum, showing no signs of stopping.

Blu's feathers begin to reappear in the places they had been removed, growing at an incredible rate. The vibrations knock the sand clean off of him, with dried sea salt falling out of his wings. All at once, at the crescendo of vibration, everything is suddenly still. The light fades from Blu's features, and Jewel steps closer. "Blu?" she asks, finding it impossible believe the past moment's events.

Blu's eye open and he draws in a deep breath of air. His head turns to face her. "Hello, Jewel." All of the birds gasp, doing double takes. There is complete silence in the tower.

Jewel's eyes well up, threatening to spill forth more tears. But these are no tears of sadness: these are tears of amazement and joy, the kind of joy that knows no bounds. Her speech falters for a bit, until she manages to croak out; "Blu; I love you." With that, she lies on top of him, and grips him tightly, never wanting to let go. The tears flow freely, with no sign of stopping. Blu returns the hug, comforting her in his wings. All of the other birds start to celebrate, beyond happy that their savior is alive.

In the distance, three figures stand amongst the jungle foliage, looking at the birds through an odd binocular-like device. "See, I told you it would work." said one, a smile forming on his beak and his blind eye twinkling. The other two look up at him.

"I had no idea it could do that; the formula, I mean." replied the darker one, a sense of awe showing on his face. The smaller one nudged him. "Told you so." she said, smiling as well. All three birds fall silent, taking in the joviality of the birds as one would stare intently at a beautiful picture.

"Let's leave them to their happiness." said the first. With nary a sound, the three figures walked off into the jungle, leaving no trace except for slight smell of lilac wafting in the morning breeze.

Who has the power to stop time?

Who has the power to determine what would happen, and what had happened? It is not something inherited, not something that can be bought, nor stolen, nor taken advantage of for political or economic prosperity. All in all, who has the power to start anew?

There are people, evil people, who would make use of time, of power, of total control, and would trample over everybody just to have it. But what it all boils down to is simply this: who should have this privilege?

It's those who truly deserve it, those who truly care for others. To those who have a noble cause, and fight for it. To those who want to fix something they truly love. To those who fight, and those who love, with all their heart.

The End.

A/N: Well, this has been quite a journey, for both Blu and me as an author. I started this story with a simple idea back in the early summer of 2011: how could Blu be different? As it was my first story, I needed to shore up on all the things I had previously learned to make it work. I took my background in prehistory and brought forth a combination of secret histories and a modern sci-fi tale, mixed in with a little love story to add some spice. Overall I found writing this story to be rather enjoyable and I once again must thank my beta reader, Holo-spartoi for helping me greatly with this tale. As of now I have no plans on returning to this story, though the future may prove to be rather unexpected. If you feel like I should rewrite parts or add additional scenes, I hope you will understand my reluctance to do so. If you do have an idea on how to add something, please feel free to PM me or leave a review: I would appreciate it.

Peace out- Abramus5250