Author's Notes: Hello. I wish you all very good day, my good men and women. Now, with the upmost restraint and dignity… *Cough* *Cough*…DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK! Yeah! You thought this story was dead! Oh, like a good zombie you can't keep it in the grave! :)
But in all seriousness, I must apologize for the inexcusable wait for this chapter. I mean, before I thought a five-month wait was too much. Now there's been a ten-month wait…literally double the pervious long wait! Goddamn do I suck!
I mean…an entire season of Total Drama was finished in between these updates!
But you have to understand, in that ten month period I went to a three month long summer job and then a full semester of graduate school classes roughly a week later. This holiday break was the first chance I got to give this story the attention it deserves. It might not be warranted by I feel like "Mad Mikey" require an especially big amount of preparation and free time. And even then, this chapter isn't what I had originally envisioned. I'll explain more about this in the endnotes but what your reading is roughly half of the chapter that I had originally envisioned.
Since its kind of relevant to this story, I'll briefly go over my thoughts on Total Drama All-Stars as a whole before getting to a particular aspect of it which you can likely guess. This season is very, very mixed for me. For most of it, it was easily one of the good seasons! Even with things like the unbelievably good luck of Al and Sierra's obsession with Cameron, I, for the most part, really liked TDAS. But then it muddled up one of the two big reasons why, it ruined Gwen and Courtney's friendship for no good reason! That really pissed me off! And it was so bad that it made this season go from great to mixed in just one episode (and the one after that before the finale didn't help either). But the gains of TDAS (even if that great one only counts as half now) were great: Gwen broke up with Duncan, Gwen's character was redeemed and returned to her TDI-self, Duncan was eliminated from the game and sent to jail, Gwen formed friendships with both Zoey and Cameron.
Now for what you can may expect me to talk about…Mal. What did I think of Mal? I LOVED Mal! Seriously, he's the only TD villain aside from Heather who I liked! He and Mike's struggles with him were one of the best unsoiled parts of TDAS (along with Gwen's redemption and her friendships with Zoey and Cameron). What I in particular loved about Mal was how ruthless he was, perfectly content to injure and potentially kill to reach his goals. Even at their worst Heather and Al weren't that bad. I did have one problem with Mal but its not a objective problem, its just a matter of personal taste. You see, for most of the season, I got the impression that Mal wasn't interested in the money. It might be me having read too much into it but I got the impression that Mal was only concerned with hurting as many people as he could. The fact that he was ultimately just after the money was a little disappointing. But that was the only thing with Mal that I didn't like. As a friend on devaintART (who I'll be naming very shortly) mentioned, Mike's face when Mal's in control, with that creepy smile that doesn't have any noticeable humanity to it, was amazing. And something that I loved even more than that was Mal's voice, an electronic monotone version of Mike's voice that was both kind of growly and kind of threatening while calm. That's sort of what I envisioned Mad Mikey's voice to be.
And that's a good segway to another topic worthy of discussion. Some have suggested to me that the people at Fresh drew from this story when writing TDAS. I'm not sure if that's the case but I'd LOVE it if that was the case! I doubt that it was but I can dream, can't I?! :) Though to be fair, there are certainly similarities and parallels between the two: a long buried psychopathic personality within Mike, that personality taking over Mike's body and imprisoning Mike in his own mind, that personality being psychically tougher than Mike (as shown by him mopping the floor with the established super badass fighter Izzy), and Mike obtaining the abilities of his other personalities after they are destroyed to name the most obvious.
Obviously "Mad Mikey" is far darker than what they could have on TDAS but it was thrilling to see something possibly based on what I've written on the show!
And for those of you wondering, within TDAS Fresh unknowingly revealed some things that will be happening later in this story. But don't worry, most of the best things to come are completely not hinted at, at all, by the people at Fresh TV.
Now, I must give a few quick shout outs before getting to the chapter as it is for your viewing pleasure.
Firstly, I must thank "CMR Rosa" for making this story an honorable mention on TVtropes! Ever since starting this story, I've dreamed of having this story on TVtropes! Hopefully him or someone else could start creating a separate page for "Mad Mikey". But one thing at a time, yes?
Secondly, I must thank my good friend on deviantART "ThomasVeggieDramaFan" for the first piece of fan-art not sent directly for my viewing alone of "Mad Mikey"! After I finally remembered how to upload images to this site, I made it this story's cover image. I really can't be grateful to you for this awesome cover image! :)
As my apology to all of you for making want so long, consider this chapter a Christmas gift. Imagine finding this, finding Mad Mikey, in your socketing? ;)
Having said all of that, let's not waste anymore time and get right into the tenth chapter of "Mad Mikey": Some Guilty Mortal Miseries
Fog drifted like cold music between the broken trunks of terrified tress. Decomposing leaves fell from their gnarled braches and existed as dead notes on the fog's unseen stave.
But these leaves and fog were not all that filled the air; they were not the only notes. And those other notes, unlike the leaves, were not dead. They were alive, so terribly alive!
They were Mike's screams of agony!
In its private night, it, the greater monstrosity, heard the screams of Mike, that human once a brother now its hated enemy. Though it wasn't here, Mike could feel its smile.
The teen was enduring his next torment, from the hands of the other personalities. There weren't the same other personalities that before were problems with Mike interacting socially but nothing more. Not like now, now they were lessor versions of the demon. While not as powerful or well versed in its ways, they shared its incredible monstrosity.
Whether by fist or kick or cane or rope, these four now demonic personalities attack him. They loved it. Here was a person, the person who had unknowingly created them and knowingly destroyed them…their God. And he was bound up and helpless before them. They had power over their God. It was incredible. With every blow that briefly made Mike's imagined skin break and tear, they would forget that they were only fractions of what they once were, that they were still subservient and malleable to another's whims. With Mad Mikey not here now, they were in charge. They were whole. They were God!
As they, the aristocracy of this dark forest for the wet and lonely and not whole, attacked, Mike struggled to remain conscious. Sadly, being conscious was the last thing he wanted. It was more natural to live from moment to moment; it was more natural to endure life no matter what pains constituted it and the amount there were. Every ten minutes of life with predetermined torture at the end was more natural than ending all of the pain at once.
As the tortures continued, there were moments where Mike's mind flashed frightening thoughts. One of the worst of which began with a simple fact as obvious as it was horrible. These creatures, whatever their delusions and current power over Mike, were pawns. It was Mad Mikey who was directing everything. Everything. It was Mad Mikey who brought the pain onto Mike and for all he knew also prevented him from dying. It was Mad Mikey who decided when Mike should scream and convulse in pain. It was Mad Mikey who decided when Mike should have a respite to reflect on that pain. It was Mad Mikey who allowed Mike to feel whatever microscopic releases from the pain he could. Mad Mikey was Mike's tormentor, inquisitor, and Satan. Mad Mikey was Mike's protector, friend, and God. These concepts began to overlap in a horrific ambiguity.
Trying to ignore this ambiguity, Mike focused on the savage sensations filling him.
There came a most deadly nausea over his spirit as every fiber in his bodily frame became thrilled in pain-filled excitement. But it wasn't from the other personalities.
No, instead it came from the people on the outside, whose dark thoughts he still felt. As the blows of his other personalities rained down upon him like a savage, sentient storm, Mike felt a second set of blows. They were the same that he felt when he first got here. The thunderous sins and broken up virtues of humanity were an omnipresent choir of birds whose chirping never ended and never allowed his cracking mind a moment's relief.
The thoughts were like jagged tin, jangling and cutting with every new ire-filled idea. Those voices bombarding this realm inside his brain had continued as they spoke both in tones trembling and aghast while others were brimming with malice and sensations sadistic the entire time. The voices of a multitude of being came crashing in with variations in their cadences from syllable to syllable before falling on Mike's dusky ears.
There were so many voices…and yet none of them spoke of his pain, or tried to stop it?
Were all of them, the entirety of the human race, really so powerless and unable to help?
Did they think that there suffering was greater than his, that they were worse off than he?
Mike almost would have laughed if not for the horrible state of his existence. He had endured things, endured pains of the flesh and mind, which he couldn't describe. Assuming he ever escaped this Hell, it would be near impossible to explain to anyone else what he had felt. Mike was feeling pains beyond human reality…and its sense of time.
The span of his suffering was only understandable and appreciable at intervals that seemed ages equivalent to the lifetimes of great empires. It was like the pendulum in Poe's story with a pit; time was coming lower and lower and lower still without actually coming, the very action of its descent adding to the abundant atmosphere of madness.
Still it went on and on!
Demon eyes, of a wild and ghastly vivacity, glared upon him in what seemed like a thousand directions. They gleamed with the lurid luster of a fire that Mike could not force his imagination to regard as unreal. But, oh, how he wanted to believe it was not real!
There were moments during the many types of tortures where Mike observed that the outlines of the monstrosities around him were sufficiently distinct, and that the colors seemed faded and blurred, as if from the effects of the forest's damp atmosphere.
Moments such as these, when his vision became briefly blurred, were among the best. His body was in just as much pain but even so it did offer one very small solace for him. For it was only in them that Mike could, if for a moment, distance himself from them. Only during those moments of faded sight could Mike escape seeing his tormentors.
But moments such as these were a rarity. For most of his time being tortured, Mike saw things very clearly, most the time Mike had uninterrupted sight of the forest's demons.
There could be no doubt of what design of his tormentors had…the worst kind of design. They were Mike; on them he saw his mocha-skin and his black spikes made of hair. It was as if he was imprisoning himself, torturing himself. But they were not Mike. They couldn't be! There was no way! There was no way that Mike could ever be so unrelenting, so demoniac! Mike tried in vain to shrink away from this dark possibility.
Despite his attempts to shield himself from it, the dark truth was slowly revealing itself.
Mike was starting to see it quite clearly, he was being converted…and he couldn't stop it. Despite his powerful initial wishes, Mike was unable to change this transformation. He still had the desire to not submit to Mad Mikey but he found that it wasn't as powerful. That was what Mike feared more than anything else: that he was already slipping and sliding down a perilous slope. He couldn't describe it but he could see himself changing.
The image that came to Mike's fracturing mind was that of a wall being slowly eroded. It was mighty and imposing but unable to move and forced to endure the relentless advance of time and the elements it started to break apart bit by bit. And that was only when normal elements and normal time were involved. Neither time nor the elements at work within this forsaken forest could be considered normal. They were so horribly abnormal!
As the hurricane gusts of these ghastly ghouls broke against his resolve with every new surge of pain, Mike started to wonder if there was any point to all of this painful struggle. He was so small and weak; Mad Mikey was so massive and mighty. Mike thought of how resisting its power felt as pointless as the Earth resisting the gravitational pull of the Sun.
Even amid the pain, Mike's eyes went wide with realization…happy realization. He thought to himself, 'Wait…the Sun? Yes, yes…there is a Sun. Oh, silly Mike; you had almost forgotten that there ever was a Sun. But there is! It does exist! Things outside of this world exist! This cold dampness is not all that there is in life!'
For all of the power Mad Mikey had, it couldn't chance that beautiful fact. The sun exists. Even it couldn't blot out the fact that Mike had felt its warm, angelic, live giving golden rays on his mocha skin so many times. Mike imagined it now; he imaged the sun.
He imagined the opulence of its golden arms stretching out over the cold, dark blue sky. Every arm of energy gave the Earth some of the Sun's endless power, some of its warmth. Every bit of warmth fought against the coldness, it fought against the night. Yes, the Sun battled the night, the evil. And it always won. The sun always rose each morning. With each rising it made the darkness moan in defeat, forcing it back to reluctant sleep. It never became less eager to reach the pinnacle of noon, the absence of all grim darkness.
Even if the night was the darkest and coldest before the dawn, the dawn always came.
Mike remembered all of the dawns he had seen and enjoyed in his sixteen years of life. Due to their recentness, he in particular thought of the dawns shared with his new friends.
Mike thought of his friends. Oh, they were such wonderful friends! He remembered them all.
He remembered B, and how the brilliant black boy who was slowly leaving his silent shell. He thought of Sam, and all of the fun times playing video games they shared. He thought of Dawn, whose love of nature Mike was appreciating more now than ever. He thought of Dakota, and how her struggles, like his own, could be overcome with the help of her friends. He thought of Cameron, his best friend and one of the best people he ever knew, who had helped him with his MPD, who was a part of the reason he hooked up with Zoey, and who…
Oh, just that word, the word itself, nearly brought Mike to such happy, nostalgic tears!
Suddenly, Mike almost imagined Zoey appearing before him, her hair having the redness of an even mightier sun. She was approaching him, leading to the feeling of touching lips.
The memory of her, the aching nearness of her, unlocked a floodgate of sensations almost too sharp too bear: her laugh, her compassion, and her beautiful…beautiful face.
The image of her face was so beautiful and electrically stimulating that Mike instantaneously forgot, if only for a moment, all the fatigue and pain on his soul. In that immediate but all too brief moment, heroic ardor and strength surged through his veins.
But then, even amid the surges of pain, more strength pulsated along side the pain.
Amid all of his infinite miseries, there came sweetly a few true cherubs of hope.
Firstly, Mike remembered his friends, and he remembered Zoey. He didn't know how they would do it but he knew they would save him from this fate. They cared about him enough to. They could discover the swords with which to slay Mad Mikey that he could not.
Secondly, no matter what there power over him, Mad Mikey and his demons weren't God. They were pretenders, charlatans who claimed themselves to be gods since they couldn't be humans.
Thirdly, their power, whoever great here, was only limited to here. It ended at Mike. They couldn't change the outside world and Mike's memory of it. They could change that Mike had felt the rays of the sun and had found such pleasure among his friends.
Finally, and most importantly, all those other reasons met that Mike could endure this!
He had been subjected to horrors that humanity had no words or thoughts for and remained unbroken. He was damaged, but unbroken. He still resisted Mad Mikey! He may suffer, likely suffer greatly, but he would overcome this vile and unholy fiend!
Now, Mike almost looked forward to his next little "chat" with the green-eyed devil.
The length and number of his sessions with Mad Mikey was unknown, as were all matters of time in this place. Mike had his own idea but he hadn't dared say it, out of fear that it would bring about a new and even more terrible tide of torture. He would have to wait, to hope for the opportunity to answer this question. Then he would show this demon, Mike would show this monster that though great in power and pain inflicted, that it had not broken him. Though this time of torture was so terribly long, Mike knew that within that long length there was the equally impressive proof of his resistance and will. Despite being somewhat defeated by the demon, Mike clung to the span of his resolve, to the fact that in all of this slow and long time he hadn't been totally broken of optimism!
He was reveling in, nay, dreaming of the moment where Mad Mikey would ask him that question. He would shove in its similar looking but totally different mocha skinned face!
By attempting to show his weakness, Mad Mikey would prove his strength! Mike would prove his strength in a way that, even though the only way he could, was the sweetest.
Mike would have some power, by turning Mad Mikey's attempt to break him against it. The teenager longed for the chance to do that.
And this ungodly universe contained within Mike's own storming skyline of skull and sinew seemed willing to oblige.
Without any indication as to why, the dark doppelgangers of Chester, Manitoba Smith, Svetlana, and Vito all stopped their storm of strikes upon Mike. Mike knew why.
It had happened so many times that he was now acutely aware of the warning signs. The already oppressive and vapor rich atmosphere of the forest became even more so, adding to his assemblage of aromas the bouquet of slowly burning flesh. Some of the deader trees shivered in a panic of dead leaves. The sky drew a greater cover of crisscrossing lightning currents to cover its frightened head. Despite their being no wind, some of the trees and animals stagger back as if they were suddenly trapped in an awful hurricane.
Mike knew by now why some of them staggered back.
Its power was cracking through this false forest's sham soil like an underground thunderstorm; the land lightning was erupting into every presence in the forest without exception. What was approaching Mike was like a sentient storm from an angry God.
Feeling the darkened energy quickly crawling through his bodily form, Mike knew this was it. Within mere moments, he would have to stare into those glowing green eyes.
The dark god was coming, bodiless through the internal forest of night. As it approaches, a razor slash of even more furious death and decay is left in its intangible wake.
Everything around it was affected by its wake, the gravity from what it was deformed all.
The air was tense and pregnant with worry within the Milton Medical Faculty, and nowhere was more so than in the room that would hopefully be the womb of mankind's salvation.
At the center of this womb room was the battle armor being built, still under construction. One of the two masters behind its creation, B, was working on it with a strong blowtorch. His capable mind was focused on this task of vital importance…even if it occasionally drifted. He thought of someone who he deeply cared for but hadn't been seen in sometime.
B thought of Dawn…and how the Moonchild hadn't been seen since Mad Mikey's televised broadcast. It wasn't just for the obvious reasons that B was worried. What worried him nearly as much as Dawn's safety was that he wouldn't confess how he felt about her, how he loved her.
After she was eliminated from Revenge of the Island, Dawn and him had spend much of their time together. The Silent Genius felt more comfortable around her than anyone before. Unlike most, his difficulty with speaking wasn't an issue around the Moonchild. And it didn't hurt that she was the kindest and cutest girl B had ever seen. He quickly fell for her. But, because of his difficulty speaking, even under normal circumstances, he was incapable of saying how much he cared about Dawn. Now he was afraid he never would.
He was afraid he'd never see that special twinkle in her eyes when she made some animal or person feel better, that he'd never hear her angelic chuckle when he made her laugh by imitating Charlie Chaplin. The Silent Genius would have given much to be assured that those delights would continue into to future, even if he couldn't have her.
Even though his mind was as focused at the flame of the blowtorch to the battle armor, every now and then B would curse himself for not being able to something as simple as speak. For someone has smart as him, he struggled to get his vocal cords to obey him! He literally had almost the entire season and the time since then but he still couldn't do it!
What snapped B out of his worry was a small hand tapping on his very wide shoulder. Noticing this tapping and turning off the blowtorch, B turned around and saw Cameron, the other master of the battle armor's creation.
With his powers of observation as undaunted as ever, the Former Bubble Boy quickly analyzed his intellectual equal's face and asks, "Are you still worried about Dawn, B?"
The much bigger black boy's teal eyes became just a bit moister as he nods his head.
Cameron was the only other person who knew for sure that B had a crush on Dawn, thanks to both the massive amount of time he spend with B working on helping Dakota and his natural talents at analysis. To be fair though, most of their friends on the island thought as much, even though they didn't know for certain.
"I know your worried but I'm sure Dawn's fine. As you know, I have a very scientific mind and the data as far as I can see says that she's fine. No one knows this island better than her. Plus, she can teleport! I've no idea how but she can escape from any danger." Cameron says, hoping that the combo of positivity and practical proof would help B.
As the small smile on B's face showed, it did. Cameron smiled back. Smiles were a rare thing around here so both teens wanted to savor these new ones for as long as they could.
Even so, it didn't take long for the smiles to fade into the past. The present came back, in all of its horror and fear filled glory.
"Anyway B, I think I finally found some proof for my earlier concerns. Let me show you. Follow me." Cameron says. B nods his head and follows the smaller, thinner brainic.
The two of them were standing in front of one of the many computer monitors in this oversized lab room. B noticed something that he hadn't before. This particular computer had the same series of odd looking devices had Dr. Johnson had used in the movie theater's snack bar, the machines that had recorded and gauged things like changes in Mike's breathing, heartbeat, and brainwave activity among other things.
As Cameron started typing on the keys had shocking speed he says, "As you already know, I told you about how somehow Mad Mikey's outline and voice ended up on a live video conversation. When that happened, it left a trance of Mad Mikey on it. I hope this explains why I haven't been helping you unless when you absolutely needed it. I've been watching the conversation that me and Anita had again and again and again to analyze the data."
Looking at B for some reason, the Silent Genius had one eyebrow raised and a smirk. Still typing just as fast but now developing a bright blush, Cameron struggles to say to B, "W-wa-well, ok…that wasn't the on-only reason." He then developed a dopey smile.
Even when the fate of the world was at sake, there are things of even greater importance. Chiefly among them…revealing when a super-hottie is into you! And that's exactly what Cameron did, he told B everything he could about Anita with him and how it made him the happiest he'd ever been. When Cameron showed B Anita's profile picture, the Silent Genius released a normally out-of-character wolf-whistle. Though his lips didn't move, Cameron agreed. For the first time ever, Cameron was experiencing bodily urges that he had read about in his books…that were connected to images of Anita in a tube top and fishnet leggings. After allowing Cameron to remain in his fantasies for a few moments, B nudged him. Snapped out of his trance, Cameron shook his head violently and returned to reality.
Even though, what he was about to show B was so fantastically it made him question if this could actually be considered reality. Regardless of whether it was or not, it was true.
"Ok, it looks like the programs are ready. Do you remember what Dr. Johnson said Mad Mikey was doing while talking to me, Dakota, and Zoey?" Cameron asks as the image on the computer screen changes to the image of Mike's outline that had been seen earlier, but this time it was against a pure white backdrop.
B nods his head, remembering that the doctor said that Mad Mikey was lightly pulling on their brainwaves to bring buried and painful emotions to the forefront of their minds.
"Well, thanks to the data made possible by the recent footage that got into my chat with Anita, now we can see it. I tried countless ways of viewing it that bore no fruit. However, I finally found one which makes it seeable." Cameron says pressing a few more buttons.
After he did so, a clock that previously been paused had started to advance forward. As the digitized numbers moving upward, other changes, initially subtle, began to appear. At first B was confused. At first he thought it was merely some kind of new glare on the screen. When looked closer, he saw that it wasn't. Even so, he didn't know what it was. The Mute by Choice, had he normally spoke, would have found himself at a loss for words. Whatever it was he was looking at was so subtle but it unnerved him to no end. Gently reaching out from Mike's form with random advances and retreats was a flowing. It almost looked like the way that heat is visible in the desert, only more fluid and not so rapidly shimmering. And that slow shimmering added another layer of discomfort for B. Whatever it was coming off of Mad Mikey was part of some strange transparent color spectrum. It was nearly impossible to describe; and it was only by analogy that it could be called a color at all. And along the rims of these bands of faint light like slowly fattening delicate jellyfish stingers caught in the gentle currents of the ocean they oscillated, subtly shifting to other colors for the briefest of seconds before stopping.
B was released from his study of the sight on the computer screen when Cameron says, "This is Mad Mikey's aura. Like all auras, it's a collection of electromagnetic energies of varying densities that permeate through and emit or exit from the physical body of a living thing. When Dawn gets back I really must thank her for those books and shared discussions on auras that let me make this aura sensor to help Dakota. But anyway, as you can see, its coloring doesn't match any of the known and clashing opinions about the colors of auras. Furthermore, as you can see thanks to the time being sped up, its aura is extending, even beyond the few inch norm of aura width."
Looking closer, B realized that Cameron was telling the truth. Thanks to Dawn, B had also become much more knowledge about auras during this time on Total Drama. He knew that auras were supposed to extend from roughly a few inches from the surface of the skin. Even though auras do increase their distance from the body, as it grows stronger, it was a process that took years at least. Mad Mikey's was doing the same in seconds. Also, for some reason, occasionally a faint fluctuation in the audio caused a brief sound burst. While strange, B didn't think that much of these unusual features.
"Now," Cameron continued. "You can see that the rims of the aura briefly change color. I discovered that it is from the rims that those bits of noise come from as well. After focusing on them for a little bit, I think I've discovered what exactly those chances are."
Typing away on some more keys, Cameron zoomed the screen to just the aura's rim. "This was during Mad Mikey's talk with Dakota. Pay attention the shifts in color, ok, B?"
The Silent Genius did just that. Amid the amorphous blob that was Mad Mikey's aura, he saw some small section of it become more unified and remain a strong singular color. It was black; a color that B knew most likely reflected some corrosive long-term unforgiveness. As it remained there, thin hair-like wisps of another color approached it. These tendrils were a dark blue, probably linked to feelings of fear about the future or the truth. And then there came another color, a bright lemon yellow, revealing a struggling for control and fear of losing control. The dark blue and lemon yellow strains made contact with the black, almost as it they were gently pulled to it. After remaining there for a few seconds, the two kinds of aura wisps were released and started to float off of the screen. As they did so, they were a much stronger dark blue or lemon yellow.
Cameron then showed B an example from his talk with Mad Mikey and then Zoey's. Both times, the basic idea was the same. Even though the colors changed, what remained constant was that Mad Mikey's aura had guided bits of theirs to its, made their feelings (in this case negative) stronger, and then sent them back to person talking to it. Zoey's was especially curious because for most of their talk before Mad Mikey hinted that other dark personalities might exist in Mike the black bumblers of its aura had little effect.
After showing him that, Cameron returned the computer screen to all of Mike's form. B was now starting to become able to pick up brief lines of recognizable color within the largely colorless context of Mad Mikey's aura. He'd see indigo, reflecting natural psychic abilities. He'd see smoke gray, pointing to depressing thoughts and unclear intentions. He'd see sulfur, showing suffering.
"As you can see B," Cameron says, again pressing a lot of computer keys lost in thought. "The aura of Mad Mikey seems to be capable of effecting the auras, and by extension moods, of anyone around it. But that's not all. I can't show it to you but I have evidence that it can also affect the physical properties of objects. I'm not sure if Mad Mikey has any control over it but its very presence changes everything around it. That's how its able to make Mike's body so much stronger than it ever should be. And its how Mad Mikey was able, it seems unknowingly, to appear on the computer screen when I was talking to Anita. Its aura is now strong enough and big enough for it to have some sway so far away from Mike's body. While all auras technically enter whatever is around them, Mad Mikey's seems capable of changing whatever it enters physically and absorbing bits of them. In fact, that makes me wonder if Mad Mikey somehow knew all of those facts and other languages before because it was someone connected to the wireless electronic messages in the air? Could it be literally connected to the Internet? I'm fairly sure that was those noises are, its aura clashing with other electronic signals. But as fascinating as that is, there something else which is more fascinating but also far more frightening."
When the sound of computer keys being types stopped, the computer screen changed. Now the screen was broken up between two reduced screens, one of which was at ground level and another that had to be at least thirty feet in the air. They appeared to be recording in real time, leading B to assume that they were a few of the many cameras. The fact that what they showed was the warped woodlands of Wawanakwa proved that. The images were quiet and oddly soothing with barely a sound being heard.
"Yeah? Well, 'RRRAGHHH', to you too!"
Suddenly a shape was sent flying past one of the cameras, the one at ground level, before crashing into a tree!
Given the speed at which the shape, the human body, was traveling, it should have been dead.
"Now what was the point of that, love? To give me a nasty splinter? Or were you planning on drowning me in tree sap?" The voice coming from the human body supposed to be dead taunts. It was an electronically distorted voice. It was the voice of Mad Mikey.
Still imbedded in what remained of the standing tree, a colossal carroty claw clutches Mike's throat. It then slams Mad Mikey to the ground! It picks Mad Mikey up, and throws it into another nearby tree. The camera lens was assaulted by a bombardment of barbed bark as the demon said with a look of mock fear and worry, "Oh please, Masta Datokazoid! I've learned my lesson. Just please don't throw me into the easily breakable bark that I barely feel again! Please don't make me feel the non-pain again! Plea-URK!"
Another carroty claw coiled around Mike's throat. Mad Mikey was slammed into the same tree, causing it to fall over with its roots forcing up a minor rainstorm of dirt.
As B watched this, he saw Cameron typing on some more keys. Suddenly the screen changed. It still showed Mad Mikey and the Dakotazoid fighting but now it was also showing the same aura-sensing filter that had been used before.
The Dakotazoid's aura was a hodgepodge of reds, ranging from deep to clear. Based off of its behavior, it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what they showed; these densest of aura colors showed anger, power, strong will, and a survival orientation. Aside from the odd but bright flashes of orange, the Dakotazoid's aura was all clashing reds.
But it was, not surprisingly, Mad Mikey's aura that was of greater concern to both teens. It was exactly as it was in the previous footage; a color it was hard to call a color, shifting, and moving past Mike's body. And it was that last one which worried them so. The ground level camera was completely engulfed by the invisible ocean of energy.
But thankfully, the camera that was at least thirty feet in the air was clear of this aura. It showed the same bright and sunny day that proved to be such an ironic contrast to the horror of this day. Under the unbroken beams of the sun, nothing could be hidden from.
B and Cameron both sighed in relief at seeing this. They had half-expected to see Mad Mikey's aura dominated the scope of this camera's focus as well. That would have been horrible; it would have been incontrovertible proof that there was no limit to Mad Mikey's potential for power. But there was nothing but bright blue, completely unhidden.
In their relief, both of the black brainics missed something, some small shift on the screen. It was on the bottom of the screen in the smallest part of the right corner. It came slowly skyward, sprouting up like a shimmering sapling. It wasn't until a few others started to appear that B and Cameron noticed them.
There black faces became white.
Mad Mikey's aura was spreading, soon being enough to invisibly blot out the sun. These fanatical and unknowable bodily currents were crawling out of Mike's form, capable of affecting everything, not just Mike. Mad Mikey's power was still steadily growing!
The two teens stare at the screen in sheer horror, noting the shifting colors of the rim. They just stare at it for a few seconds.
Then finding a sudden cold vigor that didn't exist before, both B and Cameron rushed back towards the battle armor to assist with the efforts of its construction more directly!
As they created the means of their salvation, hopefully, both teens had their minds haunted by the horrible hues within that colorless cloud that was Mad Mikey's aura.
Of the two of them, B thought the most about all of the pulsating pigments he saw.
But it was three recurring colors that worried him more than any of the countless others.
The first was a green. While most green shades showed compassion and unconditional love, the green he was seeing did not. It wasn't the kind of green that Dawn surely had. The green B saw was a slightly darker and more muddled version of that sickly neon green glowing of its eyes, indicating jealously, resentment, and endless shared blame.
The second was a black, a barren and inky shade like the most lightless of nights. As B knew, it was representative of some vast inability to offer forgiveness and it dragged the energy of others' auras into it. Like a black hole, it consumed all other kinds of colors. But unlike real black holes, it spat them back out, with their original state magnified.
But it wasn't those two colors that filled B with the greatest amount of a nameless horror. The color that did that was the color that appeared most often on the aura's borders. When it flashed, it flashed brighter than any of the other colors and for far longer as well.
It was the most rare and most pure of all aura colors, one of a light so full of awe that its energy was new but not yet designed. Its emissions were sensed by others as electric, because they were capable of influencing others' senses like no other aura color could.
It was white!
The most prominent color in Mad Mikey's largely colorless aura was a color meant only for the purest of beings, whether they are prophets or angels. Only for the best of beings!
Despite the normally soothing associations made with the color white, there was something, an innermost idea lurking elusively within this supposedly heavenly hue. It filled B with a greater panic that the blackness of night and the redness of blood could match. The pure blackness in Mad Mikey's aura when it was talking to them in the movie theater and the blaring red of the Dakotazoid's aura couldn't match the fear of this white.
Like an unstoppable fog, the whiteness of the aura beyond colors the human eye could see glided with its otherworldly pallor through the green of the island's ghastly groves.
It was a grand, grave ghostliness to this eldritch aura that filled B with such dire despair.
He knew that a white aura was suppose to show an incarnated being on the mortal plan of existence that has transcended the limitations of the physical world that enacts a profound change in the name of positive evolution. The pulsing within the whiteness showed the overcoming of some mental or physical limitation.
Mad Mikey, a being who wants to kill everything on Earth, was one of those select few!
How could its demonic goal be viewed as a change in the name of positive evolution!?
Just as white ghosts are believed to be capable of surpassing the laws of physics and by doing so rendering them all nonsense, would Mad Mikey do so too? Would it become all-powerful in its mastery of the physical world?
Finding his mind obsessed with this topic, B thought more generally about whiteness itself. In doing so, he would discover even deeper fissures of fear about Mad Mikey.
Whiteness was not so much a color as it was the visible absence of color. It was a colorless, all-color atheism. Its blankness blotted out all other colors, all other equally natural hues as if they had no worth in the grand scheme of things. Its absoluteness foreshadowed the heartless voids and indifferent immensities of the universe itself.
What did the bands of bright whiteness of Mad Mikey's aura mean? What did it show?
Was it conformation that Mad Mikey was the intentional creation of the cold universe, that it was the instrument of annihilation by which life on Earth would be stabbed and snuffed out?
Was it symbolic how Mad Mikey was filled with some inscrutable malice, whether that malice was the agent or the principal in its binary relationship with Mad Mikey?
Not liking where these thoughts took him and needing to focus on his work, B mentally dropped all such debates about auras and their colors.
Due to their sudden desire to get back to work on the battle armor, B and Cameron left the computer screen as it was, sending them live feed from the battle taking place. Despite their being no one to watch it, the camera feed continued to show it unhidden.
As this camera feed showed, even when stripped of these suggestions of some supernatural agency supplementing Mad Mikey, there was enough in the earthly and incontestable capabilities of the monster to the strike the mind with unwonted power.
Just it being a super-strong psychopath was reason enough to be terrified of Mad Mikey.
On the ground level camera feed, the proof of that was offered. The battle continued.
The Dakotazoid had one of its clawed fists balled up and rocketing towards the face that should have belonged to Mike…
…and collided with that stolen face with a bone-crunching SMASH!
The hidden thunder of the Dakotazoid, red with uncommon wrath, roared loudly in the strike of its clawed fist.
The opponent was sent flying into another tree, making a storm of stabbing splinters. But these splinters and the thunder that forced it into this newest tree left it deeply unfazed.
Without missing a beat, Mad Mikey left the Mike shaped indentation in the tree and charged at the Dakotazoid.
Mad Mikey was fighting off the Dakotazoid, this frightening thunder beast, with a frightening thunder of its own.
And it was a thunder that was growing. The proof was faint so far but was about to start becoming louder and louder.
The Dakotazoid swung one of its long spiny arms, ready for another thunderous fist. Its speed was as fast as all of the previous ones. But when it was fired, the fist hit nothing.
Confused, the mutant didn't realize why until the moment it felt a rarely felt sensation. Pain.
Soon it knew why. Mad Mikey, with a speed so far unseen, had circumvented around the Dakotazoid's long spiny arms and was now delivering some punches! It was faster now.
They were stronger than the single strike that it had handed on its chin at the start of this brutal battle. It almost seemed as if Mad Mikey was hovering in the air as it rained down rapid-fire punches. The thunder of Mad Mikey was getting louder and louder.
With a well-timed spin, the Dakotazoid sent Mad Mikey flying with another arm strike.
Its thunder still wasn't loud enough yet.
Mad Mikey wasted no time in continuing this battle. Using Mike's body as a puppet, it lunged at twelve-foot high mutant's tall orange belly covered with tattered hot pink cloth.
At the moment contact was made, Mad Mikey prepared itself for the next strike, something began to bubble up in its mind. It tried to force out whatever it was away, tried to clear its mind, but the blurry images and voices persisted, playing out inside Mike's head under its control. Thanks to these unwanted mental images, it stopped its attack.
However, it was still touching the Dakotazoid's gut. After the confusion of this wore off, the Dakotazoid acted. Using its clawed hands it grabbed Mike's arms in a vice-like grip. Then it lifted Mad Mikey off of the ground, and without hesitating the Dakotazoid slammed one of its ginger knees into Mike's stomach and released its grip on Mike's arm. With Mad Mikey slightly launched into the air in front of it, the mutant grabbed the still airborne demon and forcefully threw it behind its behemoth bulk!
Though it felt pain, that pain was not anywhere near enough to stop Mad Mikey from charging at the mutant again. This time, it leapt into the air as it was charging. With Mike's legs operating on a level surpassing its human limitations, they launched Mad Mikey into the air over the Dakotazoid's shoulders. When it was behind its head but still in the air, Mad Mikey grabbed the Dakotazoid's neck from behind.
Without missing a beat, the mutant grabbed the thin mocha arms. Swinging the demon over its head of green spiny hair, the Dakotzoid slammed Mike's body into the dirt!
Still holding onto Mike's arms, the Dakotazoid lifted Mad Mikey into the air. Releasing one of the mocha arms from its grasp, the mutant then used that freed hand to punch the face with the glowing green eyes a few times, knowing the extra damage that they did. After these fists to the face ended, the Dakotazoid sent Mad Mikey skyward with a crippling knee strike to the face!
The demon came crashing down with great force, struggling to stand upright once again.
In its momentary disorientation, the unwanted thoughts began to return…those of joy.
Oh, how Mad Mikey found such joyin seeing Dawn's parents being so…
Mad Mikey shut Mike's eyes and seized control of its mind in Mike's brain before it could wander any further. It could not think of those memories anymore.
But as it shook Mike's head, the Dakotazoid released another skull shattering strike to that same head. In keeping with the precedent of all head injuries, it hurt Mad Mikey more than most other kinds of injuries. The demon staggered back, reeling back.
Earlier in this fight a direct head punch from the Dakotazoid was enough to stun Mad Mikey. And Mad Mikey was thoroughly stunned. But unlike earlier, the reason wasn't just the punch from the Dakotazoid. In fact, now the punch wasn't even the main reason.
The demon controlling Mike was getting a headache…but not from the vigor of combat.
Despite the small headache chewing on the front of Mike's brain, Mad Mikey continued to fight.
Attempting to find release from its headache from the carnage of the epic battle before it, Mad Mikey ran towards the Dakotazoid, ducked another powerful punch of the mutant's, and leapt into the air as it delivered a devastating uppercut to its colossal carroty chin!
The pain of Mike's frail fleshy fist being sliced by the Dakotazoid's steak knife sharp teeth was more than balanced out for Mad Mikey by the pleasure of seeing the massive mutant being lifted slightly into the air as it was falling backwards right in front of it.
As it was falling backwards, the Dakotazoid had an idea, an unusually clever idea for it.
Once its spine was almost an arch and its hands reached the soil, the Dakotazoid grabbed that same soil with her clawed hands. Still in mid-fall, one of its feet, showing an ape-like prehensility not seen before, grabbed Mike's head as its curved toes gripped it tightly!
Using the momentum of its fall and the shock of Mad Mikey to this sudden turn of events, the Dakotazoid did a handstand and threw Mike's body like a speeding missile!
As the demon was rocketing through some more trees, the Dakotazoid stood up again as it almost did a flip to return to its feet.
Hearing the smashes of Mad Mikey colliding with the trees, the Dakotazoid smirked. Then when the sounds of the smashes stopped, its face changed to an expression not seen on it before, a subtle expression of worry.
Far away from the mutant and hence unable to notice this, Mad Mikey stood up again. As it ran back towards the Dakotazoid, it realized how it felt conflicted about what just happened. On the one hand, it was tempted to actually praise the mutant for such a maneuver that caught it off-guard. But on the other hand, the stronger hand, it wasn't in a praising mood now because of the images now haunting its mind…from Dawn's mind.
With anger at the Dakotazoid brought to the forefront by this latest assault against it, Mad Mikey became to do what it did whenever it got angry or crossed.
It would imagine the lifeless and hellish Earth that would exist after it was finished with it as it reveled in the joy it would feel at both seeing and creating that bleak future.
The images of what Mad Mikey wished to make the future of the Earth, in all of its gruesome and grim glory, manifested themselves with its shared mind. But, unlike the other times, this time those unchanged images left a strange feeling in Mike's stomach.
Despite dreaming of this moment, of finally striking back at humanity, for so long, Mad Mikey felt a previously unknown emotion. Mad Mikey felt a twinge of guilt twist within it. Why was that? Why did Dawn's aura and past experiences affect it so strongly?
Mad Mikey was so affected because it could still feel the entirety of Dawn's aura.
All was real. Nothing was real. Its physical state was not any different and still slowly burning to allow it to remain in control. It felt no more flames feeding on its illusory skin and no more of the pain that had defined its entire existence. Before its eyes were the same decayed and sunless forest it had been imprisoned in. Before its eyes was a natural garden of unrivaled beauty and endless sunshine. It still heard the endless malice and madness of humanity that would rupture its eardrums if it had any. It heard the genuine reassurances of kind parents and the gratefulness of a little girl. The smoke of its own burning body followed it around like a plague of flies following a rotting corpse. The air was a delightful perfume of many different and wonderful kinds of flowers.
Within Mad Mikey's core, thanks to the joining of their very spiritual energy, was now a minuscule piece of Dawn. Due to this, it now was in a state of limbo.
While the actual pleasures and love of Dawn's aura were no longer with it, the impression of them was. They had smeared its very soul as if they were a few small shining stone of snowy marble amid a vast field of coal black volcanic ash. The amount of it was very trivial but it was impossible to ignore and starting to spread. And as it spread it never was allowed to overpower Mad Mikey's natural aura, it merely caused enough of a clash between the stark differences to bring about the great discomfort.
The high spirits that Mad Mikey had been in when it indulged in its first sadistic cruelties had faded. Every few seconds unwanted false memories and hopeless desires buzzed around in its mind like a locus swarm. It wasn't a little girl crying because it was bullied; it wasn't weak little child that wanted Mike's love more than anything in the world. Still, the years of the later being what it wanted and recent revelations of the former would not give it any peace, and it was putting it in an even fouler mood.
Even amid the roars of the Dakotazoid and the concessive bangs of its clawed fists striking, Dawn's squeaky voice somehow was not deafened as it repeated itself, repeated Dawn's earlier words.
'You likely don't realize this but you have so much potential, for both you and humanity. For all of the power you possess, you can transcend that and reach an even greater power. A power not based in violence and pain but forgiveness and understanding. Knowing all of our emotions and trials in life as if they were your own, you are capable of forming a kinship with humanity that surpasses what humans can have with each other. You have all of the means to ascend to a higher level of existence, to lead humanity into a new era. Perhaps that was your true purpose, to bring humanity into the next phase of evolution? Maybe you were meant to be a savior of humanity who tragically became consumed by the core flaw of humanity, our petty but endless capacity for self-destruction? But even though that is what happened to you, unlike us you can rise above that in a total sense!'
After what had happened earlier, when it saw Cameron and some girl it didn't know as it was torturing Mike, Mad Mikey gave new analysis to these words.
Was Dawn right? Was Mad Mikey capable of a greater power that it itself didn't understand? Did that mean that Dawn was right about the rest of what she said, could it transcend all of the horror it had endured and form a stronger kinship with humanity?
Those concepts writhe uncomfortably within its handless grasp…but it holds on tight.
Even as it continued to exchange blows with the Dakotazoid, Mad Mikey held them tight.
After all, just the existence of this battle gave them merit. Its power allowed it to fight this being, this hulking creature whose physical body greatly surpassed Mike's, and it was holding its own. Mike's body was slim and certainly not muscular, not the way the Dakotzoid's was. It may have been defined by its tremendous power, but that power was an absurd psychology and physiological bending kind of power behind mere muscles. Mad Mikey was free from such worries of such superficial trappings. They were beneath its concern. It didn't need food or drink or sleep. It never had to fear illness or limitation. It never felt the need to be dominated by any trivial notions of sex, never felt the need to surrender its reason and very being to some ancient and vestigial pelvic brain. The only human traits and animal requirements that existed in Mad Mikey were ones that it chose to keep…at least for the time being until all of the beings that didn't have a say in the matter were dead and gone. The only requirements it had were ones that it chose to keep.
Such was the source and strength of its power, to have only whatever Mad Mikey chose.
Could Mad Mikey do it? Could its power allow it to truly become a god of the Earth? What would it be capable of doing? How far could this power that transcended itself go?
With Dawn's aura as a kind of roadmap, Mad Mikey thought of the fantastically and impossibly plausible possibilities. What could it do if its power kept expanding?
It could make everyone as powerful and as free from all physical worries as it was. It could make food and drink and sleep and even breath something that was an indulgence instead of a necessity. It could eliminated all illnesses, or even make the most fatal and painful of illnesses not fatal and barely more than an almost unnoticeable soreness. It could end all death, wiping away the tears from every cheek that had ever lost or would ever lose a loved one. It could return the ravaged and dying earth back into its original Edenic glory while still allowing the technological jungles of mankind to exist alongside the jungles of nature. It could bring back species rendered extinct to get a second chance. It could bring back the humans who matched those extinct species, bring the dead back to life with their bodily forms as they were if not deemed more desirable by them. It could increase the size of the Earth and the universe itself so the undying masses never had to worry about overpopulation and the total cosmic order was not at risk of being asunder.
'I could it.' Mad Mikey thought. 'I could improve all existence. I could do anything. Anything.'
For a length of time that could only be guessed at, Mad Mikey wondered about this.
'If I were to feed the world, heal the wounds inflicted by humanity against the earth and each other, allow them to exist in a existence so wonderful and free that there'd be no more need for a heaven…would that end the horrors gripping me? Would they love me?'
Mad Mikey, with his mind in a silence jarringly contrast to the roars and blows of war, thought about this question. It hung there as bat that could either feast on fruit or blood?
Which kind of bat was it? What kind of answer was there…one of fruit or blood?
Even Mike's face being repeated smashed in didn't stop this internal debate. Soon enough, Mad Mikey had felt that it had reached a conclusion that it repeated to itself.
'No…they wouldn't. Even if I made everything better…it wouldn't actually improve.
'I would be able to chance anything…expect human nature. They would take my bounty for granted, becoming even more slothful than they currently are. They wouldn't stop committing the horrible deeds they do. Nay, they'd do them even more, on all fronts.
'They'd destroy the Earth with even greater vigor knowing that I'd be able to repair it. The people on the top would still find some idiotic means of keeping their illusory elevation. The people on the bottom would either buy their excuse or resist violently. They'd still do monstrous things to each other; they'd still mutilate each other, being even more remorseless since they'd be incapable of causing permanent damage or pain.
'Even if I made everything better for them, I'd remain in this hellish state. No, that's not true. I'd be even worse. I'd be exposed to all of its pains, endlessly repairing them. And even then, my pain from their pain would not be lessened. Neutering the means and releases for humanity's dark side wouldn't end the fundamental darkness itself. It wouldn't end why I must always burn. Their sadism would sear me just as potently.
'And even if I did everything I could for them, they still wouldn't love me as they love each other. Any positive emotions towards me would be more graduate and praise. But not love. They'd always keep me at arm's length, aware that I'm not one of them. They'd see me as some kind of machine that they all thought was all right at best. But the second I stopped providing for them, they'd turn on me. They'd all still hate and fear me. There will never be a human being who would reach out and care about me, actually me and not some general principle or desired goal. No love will ever be sent for me, just me.'
As that last thought rung more loudly than any of the others, the Dakotazoid was bringing another fist towards Mike's face. At seeing this, Mike's mouth was made into a smile. The thought dominating Mad Mikey's mind was one of Dawn…
The Dakotazoid's fist was caught before it could reach Mike's face. Mad Mikey roared!
Even after it would do all of that for them…it would still be as miserable, as unloved!
Finding that the white marble stones on its soul were being blackened by hateful soot, Mad Mikey used Mike's hand to push against the Dakotazoid's fist, overpowering it. So much so in fact that the Dakotzoid was brought to its brightly organic knees.
The Dakotazoid and Mad Mikey were now roughly eye-level, staring into red or green.
Seeing the look of shock on the Dakotazoid's face and reveling in it, Mad Mikey says, "You know what my ugly mutated friend? I'm feeling uncharacteristically generous. So I'm going to give you something. I'm going to give you…a fist!"
Mad Mikey than punched the Dakotazoid's face as hard as it could with burning hatred!
"And it's a gift that just keeps on giving. After all, you can use it again!"
"Goddamn! I'm so 'BLEEPING' generous they should call me jolly old Saint Nick!"
With that last punch, the Dakotazoid was knocked to the ground. Liking to imagine that this mutant was now eating the same dirt it had to several times by know, Mad Mikey reached for it so it could be "generous" some more.
Oh, joy to the world! It was feeling so "generous", that it would be "generous" with all!
But before it could be "generous" some more the Dakotazoid "gave" Mad Mikey a fist too. The mutant apparently liked the gift idea so much that it was offering it as well.
Mad Mikey didn't mind or care. Instead of the Dakotazoid it was starting to see all of humanity. Every blow to this mutant was a blow against the things it hated above all else.
With this fire fueling its efforts, Mad Mikey resumed its battle with the Dakotazoid.
As they battled, several ironies went unsaid. These two beings, enemies fighting to the death, were at war in the bodies of two friends. Both of these friends were linked through Zoey, the girl who the beings that were not human were fighting for. But even more than that, Mad Mikey and the Dakotazoid were beings who had more in common with each other than the humans on the island. And the only thing they truly shared was their uniqueness. Both were alone save for one human they were unwillingly forged to. They were beings not part of an existing race; instead mortal craftsmen created these two creatures by accident. They were both cosmic accidents…accidents on a god's level.
They are titans, surging and pulsating with a stamina staggering and a power primeval. They are mightier than the mortal gods known as humanity; they are more saddened.
We will never understand the alien inferno that blazes in the furnace of their souls. The only three humans, Dakota and Dawn and Mike, who have obtained any understanding of those alien infernos, however small, now wished they hadn't. For now they were burned, at a loss for how to cease the burning that now tormented their very souls. What other reaction could there be? After all, they, like you and me dear reader, are only human.
We will never grasp the heights of their hopes, the depths of their despair, the fury they feel at the futility of both. And that is not all that we, as humble humans can't grasp. Inside fires flickering in hope, despair, and fury, there was another set of emotions. But this set was an alien set, unfathomable to the mortals that they fought for, fought over.
Humans would never comprehend the blistering rage that informs each devastating blow.
That once mightiest of the species, Homo sapiens now cowered before forces mightier.
The former masters of the Earth would never know the destiny that howls in their hearts, never see the cosmic clash contained within their pain, their lacking love and total hatred.
As mighty as both beings are, they are subverted by a known secret. They are powerless. Powerless against the fact that this, lives of violence certain to end violently and desires that will be forever out of reach and unreturned, is all that they are destined to know. At once formidable and feeble, filched fingers in fury force their way onto the other's flesh.
Even when knowing the ultimate futility of it, the two mighty beings continue their war.
Every five seconds or so, the thunder of their Olympian blows roars through the air!
Far away from the filched fists of the savage super-beings, the thunder of their war, another sound filled the air. It was a much softer sound, and a more obviously sad one. As it barely bounced off of the tree's healthy trunks, the knowledge that they would soon not be healthy but broken and burned fueled the soft and saddened sound to continue.
A lone Teleporting Frog, curious as to the source of this unfamiliar sound, teleported to it. When the bright white light of its teleportation no longer surrounded its wet skin, the atomic amphibian looked around with its third eye, attached to a long vertical eyestalk. Remaining hidden behind a bush, that same third eye peeked out and found the source.
It was Dawn, the Saint of Camp Wawanakwa, still thoroughly defeated and crying.
The Moonchild remained exactly as she had been, sitting on a lone tree stump and trapped in a despair that was almost metaphysical in terms of its depth and features.
The horrible visions, the projection of what may happen after this moment, still played themselves out before Dawn like a reality TV show straight from the bowels of Hell. Well, even more from the bowels of Hell than most, if not all, reality TV shows, that is.
Even so, they weren't what haunted Dawn the most, even though they still haunted her. Now what took over the position of primary poltergeist possessing Dawn was a succession of thoughts, internal debates and doubts spurred by what she discovered.
What began this succession were a few thoughts striking in their shortness and simplicity.
'I-I…I failed…I failed them all. I wish there was another way I could say it. I cannot.'
All the Aura Whisperer could do is beg of their forgiveness, knowing they wouldn't. Even with so much hanging on her, even with her extraordinary powers, she had failed them. Beads of glimmering guilt fell from her crystal eyes and rolled down alabaster cheeks. With the tears falling, Dawn was mourning over much more than just her failure.
The Moonchild was mourning for something often taken for granted, her view of the world…one of the worst ways to hurt something to destroy their view of existence. It is a method of injury that leaves no physical scars and can be inflicted with words alone.
For all of her life, Dawn had seen Nature and life itself as something oh so beautiful. Where many of the people she encountered viewed her with fear or even contempt, Nature hadn't. The plants and animals occupying the wilderness had no such hostility. None of the flowers would recoil if Dawn tried to help them become happier, none of the butterflies would call her hurtful things like freak, witch, or goblin girl.
While Dawn might not have hated or condemned the people who feared or hated her, that didn't mean that she enjoyed being feared and hated. But then, who would enjoy that?
But it was more than just the lack of hostility that made Dawn love Nature so deeply. There was a beauty to it that Dawn could only describe in inadequate comparisons. On the right type of night you could see countless fireflies, like millions of birthday candles. Once, when on a camping trip when she was younger, a young fox had put its paws on the outside of her family's tent, and from within Dawn playfully scratched at its soles.
Whether grand in scale or small, whether personally experienced by her or not, Dawn knew that it was a beautiful world out there, full of wonders greater than she could know.
But though it was beautiful, Dawn wasn't so naïve as to believe that it was without flaw. She knew that for every moment of beauty, there was one of horror that balanced it out.
Even though death and pain were abundant in Nature, it was never all it initially seemed. Pain was fleeting, released at the moment of death. Death was never without some point; plants and animals were not killed because of other creature's sadism but because of hunger. They only took each other's lives to allow more lives in their offspring to grow. And even then, death was not total. Even when the body had fully decayed, life that once occupied it wasn't gone. Life could never be truly gone…it merely changed in state.
Water would fall to the earth as rain. Water would freeze into solid ice. Water would turn into water vapor. Whether it was a liquid, solid, or gas…it was all still water, still a life force. But that didn't mean that each individual life force didn't matter or was an exact copy. Every life force was like snowflakes, despite all being made of the same things, they all had a unique pattern within them that could never be copied or denied. No matter what it is, or what state it is currently in, everything has a beautiful shape that is its own.
As odd as it may sound, this sense, that everything was unique and yet the same, was what allowed Dawn to form her opinions about people and the overall state of mankind.
Every person was both part of the human race but also a individual unlike any other. Because of this, no matter what the contexts of their lives was, they could all be saved.
Humanity was ultimately a good thing, a positive force within the annuals of existence. Just like everything else within nature, human beings were divine at their very core. There was no inherent sinfulness, no hidden abomination that needed to be destroyed. The worst part of life, the greatest failing of mankind, was not evilness but ignorance. And ignorance can always be corrected. It might take years or intense personal trails but eventually all of the people who commit offenses against their follow siblings in Nature will see the error of their ways and start to make amends out of a desire to spread love. Evil is merely a biased perception of mankind, not a definite force that exists on its own. Anything believed to be evil, even harming others, was merely correctable ignorance. All people have a natural want for happiness and love. True, what each person perceives as happiness and love could be different. But even so, the basic desire was shared. All that was needed was figuring out what each person viewed as happiness and love. From there, provided it didn't involve harming others, it could be giving and the act of giving it would allow the person to begin healing whatever wounds of the soul they possessed. And if there perceptions of happiness and love did involve harming others, that could be corrected by constant interaction and showing them the conviction of your empathy.
This was the way of the universe, the means by which the ultimate victory would be obtained. Empathy with logical wisdom and compassion with undying resolve…these would be the means by which love would wash away all sins and heal all wounds.
Because of all of this, Dawn always had an ultimately optimistic view of existence.
These were but a few of the core beliefs that Dawn held…and were now shattered.
Whereas before Dawn could only see, or rather mostly only chose to see, the beauty of Nature, she was now more than knee-deep in its horrors, without point or purpose. Whereas before Dawn saw a forest of flashing fireflies and frisky foxes, now she was seeing a forest, a continent, a whole planet…full of torture, madness, and death. Now Dawn started to see the coldness behind the Nature she loved, how the fireflies only glow to instinctually continue their species, how the fox's paws investigated her tent not out of playfulness but ungrasping confusion. The beauty was not intended, not real. It screamed against everything that she had ever thought but now Dawn saw no beauty within Nature.
The Saint of Nature cried more furiously, like all saints who discover their god is a lie.
Nature never called Dawn hurtful things like freak, witch, or goblin girl not because of being any better than man but simply because it couldn't say them, or deemed Dawn unworthy of hearing its voice that no human has or would ever hear. Any perceived beauty was just an error on mankind's part full of lies, of life's sad mechanical exercise. Pain was endless. Death only lacked finality in that it allowed more death to continue the cycle. All the wonders that Nature brings are fueled by the fresh blood spilled in spring.
But these soul-crushing developments couldn't compare to the changes in her perceptions of humanity. It was there that the scars were the deepest, roughest, and most unbearable.
THERE IS NO EVIL POWER TO COMBAT…or at least, that's what Dawn thought. For all of her life, that belief, in the innate goodness of mankind, was unchallengeable.
But now…now it wasn't.
Despite herself, Dawn couldn't help but think that Mad Mikey, as horrible as it was, was right. One statement of its in particular cut the Aura Whisperer right into her very soul.
'…you've only seen the ideals and noble features your species as you view the weakness and ignobility as nothing more than an unpleasant footnote that can be skipped.'
Mad Mikey was right! Even though Dawn always knew that there was a dark side to mankind, she never really gave it much thought except in how to remove it, to skip it.
She never dwelled on exactly what this unpleasantness was like for those who lived in it, for those who were victims of it and victimizers for it. With the sense of irony being so sharp as to almost stab her, Dawn realized her ignorance about the dark side of man. But what was once believed to be the greatest failing to her was replaced by something else.
Now Dawn knew of humanity's dark side, its evil. Now Dawn knew nothing but this.
The Moonchild had felt horror after horror, as if she had experienced them all directly. She had experienced things that cannot be burned away, or forgotten, or walked away from. There was no pattern to perceive, no silver lining to be seen, no light at the tunnel's end. It was all just a senseless pageant of atrocity churning within the human condition. It was an endless, dismal circle of pain and retribution, a shifting maze of death and guilt.
When linked with Mad Mikey, the true abyss of the human condition, Dawn had heard it. Inside its aura, she had heard the moans, the whimpering, the unrestrained pleas for a simple hand to hold, that people were making in their souls. The vague concept of a universal sorrow was given terrifying presence within her aura's ethereal territories.
She had heard the unending despair that all humans add to by merely existing and living!
How did Dawn reach this point, this appalling position within the chronicles of creation?
Dawn didn't know where she went wrong. She had abandoned her anger and disdain towards him, and she abandoned who he was and what he had done. Even going so far as to not make Mad Mikey appear soulless by now thinking of him as a 'him' and not a 'it'. All that mattered to her was that he was a creature that needed her help, and she was determined to give it. She had lifted the veil of ignorance clouding its sight; she showed Mad Mikey that love existed…that it was real and powerful! And even after all of that, it wasn't enough. Mad Mikey was just as tortured. Not only that but now Dawn was just as hurt…her pain hadn't saved the others. She was suffering but nothing had been gained by her suffering, wouldn't be gained by it. All she had to show for her efforts were wounds.
The wounds were deep with scars that wouldn't heal. Dawn had been deeply affected, her nerves and deepest beliefs shattered into tiny fragments. There was so much turmoil. But if there was any one feeling that was more pronounced than any other the ordeal had left...it was guilt. Guilt for the way the unconscious minds of mankind had acted, for how badly they had hurt Mad Mikey…and had no control over it and no knowledge of it.
Dawn remembered seeing the eyes of Mad Mikey when it was a child, or at least it looked like one within the borders of Mike's mind. Its glowing green eyes were silently begging for respite, promising anything, as long as the unending agony would cease at last. Even after all of what she had endured, she still felt so sorry for Mad Mikey's pain. Despite the raging storm of suffering, Mad Mikey's internal crying was so loud, so sad.
Dawn cried again, producing another torrent of tears. Mad Mikey has been dealing with this pain for years…all alone, without anything else in its existence aside from isolation.
After dozens upon dozens of freshly shed tears, Dawn's mind calmed enough for a thought to creep in. It was a horrible thought; it was an inevitable thought now.
What would happen now? How would this day end…what would be Mad Mikey's fate?
First came the answer that was sadly the most fitting for the context of her being, Mad Mikey would kill them all and then continue on its rampage until life itself was no more.
Even in her current state, Dawn couldn't dwell on this option for very long at all. So, she began to imagine the other possibilities, the two ways in which Mad Mikey might be stopped. To stop Mad Mikey, the others would have to repress it once again or kill it.
Repression, even if it were possible, would only add to Mad Mikey's pain. It would be trapped in a prison so foul that the word "prison" was woefully useless for describing it. After everything that has happened today and would happen otherwise, Dawn didn't want Mad Mikey to be repressed again. Whenever she would see Mike, she would burst into tears at knowing of the creature suffering within Mike's mind because of its context. And besides, even if Mad Mikey was repressed, there was always the possibility it wouldn't stay that way. If it would free itself once, it would be very likely it could do so yet again.
Of course, that left the other option…killing. While Dawn couldn't objectively decide if this would be a worse fate than repression, it certainly was the one that spurred greater outrage and internal debate within her core. It was the thing she was the most against.
The number of ways in which this possibility offended Dawn were numerous and varied. But having noted that, two in particular were easily the strongest of these imagined fates.
Firstly, there was no guarantee that Mad Mikey could be killed…without killing Mike. After all, they were unquestionably joined in body and brain biology, even if not in mind. Did that mean that one could not be removed from life without taking the other one too?
Secondly, even if Mad Mikey could be killed without killing Mike, it would save mankind from extinction but reveal another fate just as grim…it was forever doomed. Any hope of humanity being able to rise above the monstrous life Dawn saw it as would leave this world along with Mad Mikey. The modern age, for all of its advancements, would be the same as all of the pervious and so-called more primitive ages of human history…dominated by the rule and final supremacy of brute force. Being able to kill Mad Mikey would only prove to Dawn that maybe it would be best if they let it kill them. With every fiber of her being Dawn didn't want to believe that but couldn't fight it now.
Even with those possibilities noted, the original one, the most dreaded one, hung over her head like a guillotine's blade with its silver crescent shape ready to slice her head off!
What if Mad Mikey couldn't be killed? What if it wouldn't be destroyed by force?
Dawn's overwhelmed mind dwelled on this question, the question of conflict and foes. Doing so, Dawn had an epiphany regarding the very notion of conflicting with foes.
Conflict is the only true foe. You cannot defeat it with physical force because it is physical force. You cannot defeat it with anger or violence because it is anger and violence. You cannot defeat it with death or pain because it is death and pain.
Those things; physical force, anger, violence, death, and pain; were what Mad Mikey was. It might not have been a literal demon but it was conflict given personification. It was the desires and drives of all conflict given a mind, a voice, and an individual will.
The Moonchild thought of the phrase, 'fight fire with fire', and pondered how absurd that statement actually was. Fire can't fight fire, all one fire does is make another fire grow. It doesn't fight anything, it just adds to the senseless slaughter that already existed before.
Of all of the horrific images and sequences, which played themselves out before Dawn, it was the most common: fires feeding each other with their fighting and consuming all.
Again, with the visualization of the fire rising, the nature of Dawn's curse was revealed.
All was real. Nothing was real. Her body was not any different. Her skin was burning. The space surrounding her was silent. Her ears were haunted by the flames' crackling. The air was filled with the fumes of flowers. The smoke thick with black vapors and sizzling human fat chocked up her nose and mouth, nearly suffocating her to death.
Within Dawn's core, thanks to the joining of their very spiritual energy, was now a minuscule piece of Mad Mikey. Due to this, she now was in a state of limbo. While the actual physical pain of Mad Mikey's aura was no longer with her, the impression of it was. It had smeared her very soul as if it were small black pitch on grand white canvas. The amount of it was very trivial but it was impossible to ignore and starting to spread. And as it spread it never was allowed to overpower Dawn's natural aura, it merely caused enough of a clash between the stark differences to bring about the great discomfort.
Such is the nature of two opposing forces co-existing without consensual cohesion.
Such is the nature of those who have seen and felt the darkness and misery too deeply.
"For, not to hint of this: that it is an inference from certain canonic teachings, that while some natural enjoyments here shall have no children born to them for the other world, but, on the contrary, shall be followed by the joy-childlessness of all hell's despair; whereas, some guilty mortal miseries shall still fertilely beget to themselves an eternally progressive progeny of griefs beyond the grave; not at all to hint of this, there still seems an inequality in the deeper analysis of the thing." –Herman Melville's Moby Dick
Okay, so that was the tenth chapter of "Mad Mikey"! Hopefully it was worth the wait.
Time to have a super-long endnotes! YAY! :)
First, let me address what I hint at in the intro author notes, that this is only half of the originally intended chapter. I had originally envisioned eight "scenes" for the next chapter of Mad Mikey and this chapter was the first four of those. There were three reasons why I decided to do this. One, I felt like this story had not been updated for far too long. Two, of the four scenes that will make up the next chapter: one is fully written, one is partially written but will prove very challenging, and the other two don't have anything for them but the basic idea. So it might take a while. And finally, I really wanted use a quote from "Moby Dick" for this story of mine! I know that last one is the least valid of reasons but I LOVE that book. In fact, it might be my favorite novel! I thank this semester's classes for introducing me to it. Though it can be kind of challenging, I'd seriously recommend all of you to read it! Also, just for this chapter alone, there were at least five awesome quotes that I wanted to use which fit the message and tone of this chapter's ending perfectly.
For another example of how the writing of that novel is so strong, some of the bits with B thinking about the terror he feels from whiteness within Mad Mikey's aura are based on the novel's narrator speculating on the whiteness of the titular whale. Why do I bring this up? Well, it's interesting and it provides me with a good segway! And that segway is that I must thank CRGGL with providing for me some insight into the phenomenon of auras and some websites with different explanations of what the colors of the aura represent. I was actually worried about the scene with Cameron and B not working but that info I think saved that scene. In particular because it allowed me to make stronger connections to the chapter's other scenes and it accidentally kind of fits with what's come before and will come later. I actually encourage you to look up the meanings of these aura colors for yourselves. Just know that you are going to get some clashing opinions about what they mean.
And speaking of auras, let's talk a little bit about Dawn since she wasn't covered at all in the previous chapter oh so long ago. As you all can see, she's quite devastated. I must say that writing this story has made me love Dawn even more than I already did. One of the main reasons is because it allows me to naturally integrate some moral dilemmas and concerns that would likely seem kind of forced for anyone else. And as you might have noticed, I love discussing moral dilemmas and concerns. Here, there are debates about the reality of evil and what might need to be done about it among other points. In particular the issue of what needs to be done about Mad Mikey and the prices of that will come to the forefront in the next chapter. While previously I've said that Dawn's beliefs mostly came from Mahatma Gandhi, in this chapter most of her beliefs come from those of the Wiccans. For those of you who don't know, Wiccans are members of the Wicca religion, a modern day paganism that combines ancient and current beliefs into a modern day witchcraft. I'm by no means an expert on the Wicca religion so I might have gotten some things wrong. If anyone reading this does see any inaccuracies, please let me know. Either way, with their deep love of nature and animals, Dawn would so be a Wiccan!
Anyway, let me briefly about the next chapter. As I've already said, the next chapter will be made up of four scenes. One of which is already fully written and ready to go. Another is partially written but will be challenging because of its importance. The final two are not written at all except for the most basic concept of the scene. I'm hoping that I can get this next chapter done either before the next semester starts or very early in the next semester. I'll just have to try and hope for the best.
Regardless of whenever I get the next chapter uploaded, until next time, please: read, review, alert, favor, and spread the word!