FOUR WEEKS LATER (a month)
"AAAAAAAAHHHHH!" Jak screamed his voice hoarse from the hours of 'treatments' they were putting him through. They had upped the eco more, finally switching back to pure dark eco. That hadn't meant it would be easier for Jak, far from it actually.
The beatings came harsher, their frustration showing in the brutal way they treated him. Food became a blessing, only gave out every six or so days. Jak started running solely on Dark eco, so much that Dark and him began absorbing it for energy. (It was a hard task, collecting dark eco from objects, wearing him out easily- but it was all worth it.)
Purple blotches stained his shirt, seeping into his wounds and shorts. His arms were marked by Precursor language tattoos, the letters running down the backs of his arms before stretching up to his ears and chest.
Those, by far- was one of his worst punishments. The whole thing took 18 hours to do. 18 long, painful hours.
Scar littered his body, ranging from short and shallow, to jagged and deep. His hair was matted down from the eco and blood, so different from his other haircut. His eyes were no longer the brilliant blue, but brighter navy- darkened by pain and torment.
Dark didn't change much over the two years they were here, taking on the bruises, scrapes and tattoos, but never truly having a scar, sans the tattoos. Jak had grown a surprisingly well maintained goatee, starting from the middle of his chin and stretching downwards. Dark had also taken on a similar look, although his was slightly smaller. In fact, Dark was smaller than Jak in every way. His build was leaner than him, and his structure was generally smaller. Jak, however, has built to be tough, his shoulders broad and his stance deadly. His muscles were more promote than Darks, but not overly so. Although they looked slightly differnt- they both were highly agile and flexible
A woman's voice stopped his thoughts short, as he had given up screaming some time ago. He felt the needles pop out, and let out a weak yell.
"Dark eco injection cycle complete. Bio readings nominal and unchanged." His vision swam, the dark colors mixing together, before Jak shook his head slightly, his hearing came back in the middle of a conversation.
"…this one would be different!"
"…resistant to your… fear the Dark Warrior program has failed."
The Baron suddenly growled and grabbed the roots of his hair, screaming at him.
"AAARGH! You should at least be dead with all the Dark Eco I've been pumping into you!" Jak scowls at him, voicing his thoughts internally.
'That's what I'm hoping for!'
His vision dipped again, but Jak could hear them talking clearly.
"What now? Metal Head armies are pressing their attacks. Without a new weapon, my men cannot hold them off forever!" He heard Errol say.
"I will not be remembered as the man who lost this city to those vile creatures! Move forward with the final plan! And finish off this…'Thing' tonight!" The Baron barked. Jak mulled over his words. Were they going to kill him? He heard Errol mutter a 'as you wish' before walking towards him, roughly grabbing his tattered shirt.
"I'll be back later…" Errol shoves him back onto the chair, making Jak break out into a fit of coughs.
Jak lays back, his breathing heavy. Dark appeared to his left, worry written on his face.
'What are they going to do?' He asks mentally.
Jak looks up, his eyes sliding closed.
'Kill us, tonight.' Jak breaths deeply. Dark suddenly growls, and crouches down as a pile of cloths land by Jak. The elevator used to transport guards lands on the floor in front of him.
"Ding, Ding… Third floor… Body chains, roach food, torture devises." A loud, high pitched voice breaks out through the silence. An orange blur lands on his chest, agitating the tender wounds there.
"Hey buddy… you seen any heroes around here?" A pair of eyes peer down at him, shock portrayed on them.
"WHOA! What'd they do to you?! Jak, it's me… Daxter!" Jak tried to sit up, to get a better look at the orange thing on his chest, not realizing it said its name. A pang of familiarly courses through him. He's seen this face before. Pain shot up his arm, and Jak slumped back down into the chair.
"That's a fine hello! I've been crawling around this place risking my tail, literally, to save you! I've been looking for you for two years! Say something! Just this once!"
Jak heard the words two years, and was reminded that yes, he has been here for two years, and it was all Baron Praxis fault… All Baron Praxis fault.
He bolted upwards, rage filling his eyes.
"I'm going to kill Praxis!" His voice was still raspy, but not as bad as before. The orange thing put its hands on his mouth, unknowingly chocking him.
Dark sprang forward, sensing Jak's problem.
"Shhhhhh! Right now, we gotta get you out of here." Dark's form started to take over Jak's, his eyes changing into deep violet.
"Just let me figure out how to open the security locks for your chair so I…" The orange thing was cut off by Dark scream of rage.
"AAAAAGGHHH!" The security locks shattered when Dark jumped up, his claws coming out with a 'slink'.
"Or aah… you could do it."
Dark staggers toward The furry thing on the floor, almost tripping on his own legs.
"Jak? Easy now. Easy buddy. It's your old pal Daxter- remember?" Dark Continued to clumsily walk towards the thing, his claws poised at a deadly angle. Jak thought hard from inside his body. Daxter… Dax… He remembered! Daxter from Sandover- the one that said he was going to rescue him! He called out to Dark.
'STOP! He's good!' Dark stopped his claws mere inches away from Daxter's face, and Jak took that time to regain control over his body.
"Daxter?" Jak stumbled back, his muscles protesting any more movement. The transformation receded, and Dark returned by his side, confusion written on his face. Daxter looked up at him disbelievingly.
"What the heck was that?! Sheesh, remind me not to piss you off! Come on tall, dark, and gruesome. We're outta here!"
Daxter jumps onto Jak's shoulder, not noticing the wince Jak gave at the contact. Dark growled for his side, and Jak mentally flashed a smile. No need to be angry- they were getting out of here!
Daxter gives him some clothes, beaten up blue shirt with beige kakis. Jak eyed the accessories with a smile. Goggles with two uneven scopes on them twinkled up at him, the leather that bound them together looking horribly used, with multiple scratches and cuts on them. Another leather piece was draped on the pile, a heavy eco ring bound in the middle.
Jak quickly dressed and looked over to Daxter.
"Where to?" Dax pointed to a stack of boxes leading up to an open vent.
Jak snorted. 'What idiots.'
'Definitely.' Dark agreed an unimpressed look on his face.
Daxter started talking aimlessly about if he could still jump, roll, etc. Jak nodded the whole way through, expertly avoiding guards and crawling through shafts. Dark floated next to him, disappearing and reappearing at random times.
Finally, after some minor problems, they reached a medium sized hole.
"Here's the exit!" Daxter beamed at him. Jak looked back at him, his eyes wide. Was this the end of his hell? Was he finally getting out? Jak hauled himself up, and noted Dark was right by him, his violet eyes impossibly large. Ushered tears glistened on Dark's eyes.
Jak smiled to himself- finally. FINALLY out of that prison! Relief flooded through him in waves as reached the top.
Jak sank to his knees, not caring if people stared. His head fell onto his chest, laughter bubbling up from within his very soul.
Two years, two freaking YEARS and they were out. Dark dropped down next to Jak, also breaking out into a slightly maniacal laugh.
Dax put his paws on Jak's face, inspecting it.
"You need a bath, pronto!" Jak shook his head; he needed to see where he was- revel in his freedom!
"Later, let's look around first." Dax rolled his eyes, muttering what vaguely sounded like 'there's not much to see in this dump.'
Jak ignored him, to wrapped up in looking at his surroundings. Dark had latched himself to his side, looking around like a six year old in a candy store.
The three had been wandering around for about 10 minutes before they stumbled upon an old man with a child hugging his knees.
"Excuse me." The old man said, reaching out with his hand. Jak turned to look at him, an eyebrow quirked. The old man gestured to the child.
"I am protecting this child- for his fate decides the worlds'. I fear that may be a challenge as this place is dangerous." Jak gave him a look that clearly stated Do-I-look-like-I-care? The kid looked at him, shuffling closer. Dark growled lightly in confusion.
Jak knelt down, ignoring Daxter and the old man talking. The boy looked up at him, a curious twinkle in his eye. Jak was vaguely reminded of himself when he was a kid.
"My name's Jak? What's yours?" Jak gentle said when he reached eye level. The boy stared at him, and Jak had the feeling the boy couldn't talk. Jak smiled at the boy and gave him a stick he picked up.
"How about you write your name in the dirt?" The boy beamed up at him, and gratefully took the stick.
As the soon to be named boy started writing, Jak took the time to inspect the child. A leather hat was placed down on his head, and Jak had a sense of Déjà vu. A flurry of green hair slicked up from the hat, curving up in the middle of his fore head. A –admittedly- cute sideburn peaked out from both of the sides of his face. The boy had a face of immense concentration, and Jak was seriously considering helping out the poor kid.
The boy suddenly turned toward Jak, who instinctively flinched at the movement- but instantly thought he was foolish for flinching at a kid. The boy pointed towards the ground and Jak peered over the eager kid. There, scratched into the ground was a messy precursor letters:
M A r
"So your name is Mar?" At the boy's nod, Jak continued.
"Where are your parents?" The boy had a sad look on his face, and Jak was about to say 'forget about it' before Mar hunched over, and started to tear into the dirt.
A couple minutes passed, and Jak was surprised that the old man and Dax were still talking. Mar finally stopped and sat up- his eyes looking over the scribbles once more before turning toward Jak; gesturing to them.
Jak studied the drawing with growing interest. A circle with strange lines bunched together next to an oval with pricks at the top were put side by side, a small circle half blackened with a line through the middle was put by the pinprick one. Jak thought for a second, Mar had a hat- and a curl; that must be him. Jak assumed the others were his parents.
A bold line was rubbed into the ground where Jak guessed was a 'break'. In the next picture, there was the mop head one turned sideways on top of a bunch of scribbles. The pinprick one now was equipped with a darkened oval flipped to its side, pointing at a new circle. Jak had some trouble with this one, racking his brain for reasonable answers. He finally came up with this, Mar's Mom (mop head) had died, and his Dad (pinprick) tried to defend Mar.
His eyes roamed to the next one, which was pretty easy to figure out. The pinprick one was away from Mar's circle, which was being held by the previous circle in the last drawing. Finally, his eyes came on the last installment. Mar's circle was laying on the ground, which had lines on it. A tall circle stood next to him, its hairstyle being three scratches on the top, and both sides of its head. Jak vaguely registered that as the old man. It seemed as though the picture was conveying that the old man had come and rescued Mar off from the water slums, hence the lines on the ground.
Jak looked back at Mar, who was staring at him with some kind of anticipation. Dark poked him in his torso, mentally telling him to say something.
"I never met my parents; I lived with my uncle in Sandover." Jak blinked at his words. When did he become so talkative? The boy cocked his head, and Jak took a deep breath, ignoring the pain stabbing his ribs.
"That's my hometown. Where I came from before I came here." At that, Jak gestures around him. Dark leans forward in curiosity, his ears trained on Jak's tale.
"Me and Dax had some cool adventures- not to forget Keira and Old Samos." Another stab of pain, this one emotional. "We were always fighting lurkers, exploring the forbidden jungle. Lurkers are basically overgrown boars, yipping like dogs all the time. Since we lived on the beach, we occasionally went for a swim, not much; there were too many crabs and snakes. It was great, one might call it the good life, but we always wanted more. To see more, feel more, explore more. I guess that's what got us into this mess, right?"
Jak glanced down at Mar, who seemed hanging on every word. Dark also had a similar look, and Jak had to chuckle at them.
"Anyway, we once went to an island, somewhere where we weren't supposed to go, and Dax got turned into an osstell. That's where the adventure really started." Jak decided to skip all of the less than good points of his tale, and went to where they went forward in time.
"So, after saving the world and all that, we found a precursor artifact. Keira tweaked it a little bit, and it was soon running. When we got into it, we were pulled forward in time- and ended up here. Stayed in some places for some time, got out- and here I am now."
Mar looked up at him, a skeptical look in his eyes. Jak shrugged.
"Think what you want; it happened." Dark gave out a growl of displeasure, apparently he was also displeases with the tale.
Mar looked at the old man, tugging impatiently on his robes. The old man looked down, an irritated look on his face.
"What, boy?" Jak noted that the words had a, icy edge to them. Dark stalked forward, his violet eyes fixed on the two.
"I don't like him." Dark said with a grumble.
Jak nodded. 'Me neither.'
Mar looked up at him, his head inclined to Dax. The old man glanced at the ottsel who was standing on a crate.
"What about it?" Dark growled, his claws 'shink'ing into existence. Jak frowned at the old man; Dax was a person! Well, osstell… Jak felt another spark of pain, accompanied by a pang of guilt. Mar's eyebrows knitted together, and he breathed heavily out of his nose. The old man stared at him for a second before waving his hand in a 'shoo-ing' motion.
"We'll be done in a few, now shoo; adults are talking." Jak snorted, first he called Dax an 'it', and now he was saying he was an 'adult.'
"It's alright- we gotta go; right Jak?" Dax looked at him, a slight smirk on his furry face.
"Yeah." The old man nodded, and Mar looked at him with sadness. Dax scurried up his torso, gripping onto his shoulder. Jak bit back a yelp of pain, choosing to flash a grin in Mar's direction.