It was dark, that's all that really mattered. The day, month, year... All lost in the idea of time. All that was needed now was day and night. The stars glittered in the black sky, illuminating the gentle waters of the sea below. The waves lapped up against the white sands of the ever stretching beach, disappearing along the horizon.
Along this beach stood a mighty brick and stone structure that rose high above the tree tops. Black birds perched at the top layer of this stone building, a temple. It was a lonely building, as the little structures around it had been overtaken by the force of erosion and the gentle touch of ivy plants…
Through a broken window in this mass stone house, came a gentle glow of candle light. And through that window, hidden inside those old stone walls lived two mobian echidnas, as lonely as the temple itself. One of these two was currently walking down the chipped and cracked broken stair case, down to the first floor. He held in his hand a holder for the candle, as it burned brightly and melted the snow white wax.
This mobian echidna was old, to put it simply. His albino fur had grown thin and long, kept clean though. His dreads had long ago reached the floor, dragging behind him several feet. He had heard they stop growing eventually, and reach a point to where whatever length you have, you got. But he didn't believe it anymore… they are still growing, still ever so long. His name, was Finni.
Finni let out a yawn, and tugged a bit on the collar of his coal black robe. Stopping by a block of stone, he placed the candle down for a moment and stretched. He let out a small sigh and took off his cracked glasses, rubbing them against his robe to clean them. They were his last pair, and he knew of no place that sold any like his own. He didn't mind too much. His life was peaceful, and he was glad nothing worse than a broken pair of glasses, and being a care taker to someone even older than him. And he himself was over 200 years old. A thin smile crossed his face as he thought about this.
He had lived a long life, one not many would experience. While experimenting with his own gift given abilities, he figured that the Chaos Force, a grand idea of time, space and power put together, could be used in more than one way. Many small experiments on small animals such as fish and rodents, he managed to extend the life of these small creatures, and even his own. He slowed down internal growth, but he has not perfected this. As his outer image was beginning to follow the plan time had set for him.
But it works, for his 'father' (a name he does not call him) was still around, who was and still is very ill. If nature had taken over, and surpassed his knowledge of the Chaos Force, his 'father' would have long ago died of many problems, most likely of organ failure.
Suddenly, a shuffle. A whisper broke his thoughts. His ale golden eyes snapped towards the entrance of the temple. He held his breath, and listened. The wind was beginning to pick up outside, the midnight birds had stopped singing, the crickets quit chirping. Someone was outside.
Finni felt himself quiver, as he leaned over and with a gentle breath blew out the candle. A flicker, and the light disappeared leaving the room in darkness. The only light that existed now was from the starlight outside, and the faint glow his necklace emitted. A chaos emerald shard, one form the Master Emerald, and the source of his power. He took his hand and covered it, destroying that light as well. The room was dark and silent.
A click, a beep. Something electronic had gone off outside. The beeping was consistent, like a heartbeat, but he could hear it, speeding up slowly, but it began to get faster and faster. A bomb!
Finni dashed towards the stair case, and ducked into the arch and hid sheltered behind a small piece of stone. Just seconds after a fiery ball of flame and destruction broke open the stone doors. Shattering the thousand year old stone into rubble. Finni looked around the small corner, his body shaking, startled.
A flash of silver, and gold. Uniforms he recognized so very well. It was soldiers from Albion, the empire of his kind. Long ago they had fallen into a pile of ashes and misery, when Dr. Finitevus had struck upon them, beginning his long time goal of "cleansing" the world of technology, corruption and stupidity.
But years later they managed to rise up again, and upon their new rise to power, it was time for 'justice'. Finitevus needed to be found, and pay for his crimes. Finitevus' mental state had become worse, and his health had started to fade from him, making this the perfect time to capture him. The only thing Albion had not known, was he had a son. Finni.
And Finni had never left the temple, always stayed to protect Finitevus as he lie somewhere in the stone maze, waiting out his days till the end. And Finni now has become a prime enemy of Albion, because in his long struggle to protect Finitevus, he had need to kill many upon many soldiers… All in self-defense.
For many years they had left him alone, and Finni silently cursed to himself for letting his guard down. But more than anything, he was worried. These were new, young soldiers, training for this, he was old, alone, and had never been trained to fight.
Yet here he was now, and with this problem faced before him. The soldiers stormed in, and he turned just a bit raising his hand. He gave them no warning this time to leave, and they gave him no chance to surrender. He fired, a blast of emerald flame that hit the ground and erupted into a wall of green fire. It burned, lapping up the air. This was normally enough.
But suddenly the wall of flame was extinguished, nothing but a few stray flickers. The only explanation for this, was that his necklace's power was almost gone. He glanced down, seeing it flicker. A scowl of hate crossed his face, and this time he just simply fired, managing to hit one of these silent soldiers. They screamed in pain, but quickly recovered.
Another one, fired at Finni from an angle, and Finni watched as a bullet whizzed past his face hitting the wall behind him. Bullets? They have never used them before…
Finni decided he didn't have time to think about what weapon they used, all he knew was that it was dangerous. Finni stepped out from the corner and fired a string of chaos arrows towards the soldiers. Not a single one making contact with them, but hitting the ground at their feet. A small panic started between them, until two took aim, and fired.
Finni swiftly opened his warp ring as a pair of bullets were engulfed in the golden light, and came back out in a second one, facing the group. They dodged. They were prepared.
A blast, from a strange weapon went straight for the warp ring, and Finni watched in surprise as his only warp ring dissolved in midair, disappearing into nothing. Before he had time to fully get passed what had happened, a single shot rang out, and a sudden blow struck him in the gut. He bellowed over, clasping his hand over the wound as he felled back onto the steps.
He had been shot, and this to him was a new pain. One he had never experienced before. And it scared him down to his core. He shook, backing up slowly. He kept sliding back on the stairs, blood pooling up on his robe. With a quick action, he fired at the ceiling causing the support to give away, and a wall of stones suddenly was made between him and the entrance to the stairs. He was safe from them, for a moment.
Finni managed to get to his feet, and begin the walk up the steps. A sudden realization came to his mind as he took his fourth step. He had just blocked his only way out of the temple. And sealed himself inside. Not only that, but he could hear the soldiers yelling, working to move the stones. They would be through soon. And when they get through they would shoot again… and wouldn't shoot so low.
Finni hurried up the stairs, each step letting out a small cry, the bullet wound caused waves of pain to flow over him, but he ignored it. He felt his warm blood cover his hands as he reached the top of the stairs. He fired, at the celling blocking one way, and then he did it again firing at another way. Walking over in a hurry he smeared his hand across the wall leaving a blood mark. Then, he turned away and went down the last direction of the hall, closing that one up with a chaos spear and stones too.
Now, with little time to spare, he leaned on a wall and took a second to rest. He was too old to run far, or for a long time. His body was wracked with pains, and he was on the edge of shedding tears. A deep fear was welling up inside. He was wounded, he was old, and in the natural world. Kind like him don't last long, especially when versing a group of healthy, young soldiers, trained to fight, to win. This fear struck him, and he knew if they found him again, he was going to die.
His glasses slipped off his face, but he did nothing about them. They fell, and shattered when they hit the floor. Keeping his hand on the wound, he walked forward, and turned opening up a door. He shut it quietly behind him once he walked in, and began up the spiral stair case.
"Finitevus…" He called, his voice thin and just above a whisper. He walked up these steps, his blood dripping to the floor. The room was beginning to spin around him, and he nearly fell. He was tired, oh so very tired. But his mother had taught him to be strong, and he was just that.
He reached the top of the spiral stair case, and once again fired with the last remaining power in his stone at the ceiling. The spear was not enough, and only cracked the foundation. Dismay fell over him as he tried again, but only a thin spark came from his hand. He looked down at his necklace, as it gave out its last flicker, and became a cold, dead stone.
Suddenly a black, corrupted spear of chaos energy flew overhead, and hit the spot causing the ceiling to cave in, and fill the stairs with lose rubble, and blocking the doorway. Finni turned around and looked towards Finitevus.
Finitevus, lie in an old broken bed. The legs of this bed had snapped and the mattress and wood boards lie on the stone floor. The blankets were old and worn, with many holes in them. Finitevus faced Finni, his arm outstretched, and chaos energy crackled around the tips of his bandaged fingers. He slowly placed the arm back to his side. And sat up slowly.
"You've been shot." He pointed out bluntly and then commanded "Come here, Finni." Finni did what he was told without question. It was always easy to do what Finitevus wants. Finni had no idea how sane he was at the moment, or if he would snap at him all of a sudden.
Finni sat down next to Finitevus and waited for the insanity to take over, and for a lashing to follow. But it never came. Instead Finitevus reached over and carefully tore Finni's robe open a little, right above the wound. He then pressed his own hand on it, and said very quietly "You're going to bleed out if you aren't careful. And then what would I do? No one would be here to stop all this nonsenses from happening…" He went on a bit, about how things would change if Finni where to "bleed out" but Finni didn't listen. Finitevus didn't care if he died. He only cared about what hot meal, or the protection he was getting. He never cared about Finni…. Never….
A blast, from downstairs broke his thoughts and both the echidnas looked to the blocked doorway. Albion was on the move, and they would reach them soon.
Finni kept staring at the door, his eyes locked on the rubble. Finitevus on the other hand, turned to his left and reached over, a small tray serving as a night stand was there. On it a small potted plant, a glass of water and empty dish. Finitevus carefully reached for the plant, and pluck of the small black and red berries from the plant. The mint leaves shook as each berry was taken. In all, he held six berries in the palm of his hand. He brought them close and with his free hand, reached over and set off flicker of chaos flame, which lit the plant on fire.
Finni looked over at it, and stared confused on why Finitevus had set his favorite plant on fire, he liked it so much because it was the only thing that depended on him now. Depended on him to care for it, and water it. But just in a matter of seconds, the person it depended on had ended its life.
Finitevus took half the berries, and held them out to Finni. Finni looked down into his hand, but he could hardly make out any details of this fruit, his head was spinning, his mind was drifting. He looked to Finitevus and softly said "I don't want them…"
Finitevus ignored him and replied almost in an equally quit voice "Finni… just take them… the Albion Soldiers will find us soon."
Finni was surprised that Finitevus fully understood the situation they were in. It was like his mind had fully settled and he knew just how serious this situation had become.
All of a sudden Finitevus' hand jerked upwards and he pressed it against Finni's mouth. He rolled over and with his other hand he tightly gripped the bullet wound, digging into the torn flesh. Finni opened his mouth to scream, but it was choked off by the small berries. They slid easily down his throat, and before he knew it, he had eaten the unknown fruit.
A cough. "What did you give me?" Finni asked, angrily. He hated being treated in such a manner, even in the situation they were in. Finitevus had left the other three berries on his lap, and just stared at them.
Finni rolled his eyes and then asked "Do you have a warp ring, any at all? We need to go…" Finni started to get up but Finitevus grabbed his arm and held him down. "No… Just sit… This will all end soon…" A dead silence filled the room, which was soon broken by the distance sounds of another explosion.
"We need to go!" Finni said and moved his leg to get off the bed, but stopped. He moved his leg but he couldn't feel anything. He stared at his own feet in a frozen state, as he could feel a numbing sensation overcome them.
"….What… What did you do?" Finni asked, his voice slightly cracking. Finitevus didn't look at Finni, instead played with the berries in his lap. "Oranion Berries…" He said softly… A thin smile crossed his face. The most dangerous berries there are…"
Finni froze up completely, but his body began to shake uncontrollably. He no longer could feel his legs, and moving them was now impossible. Finni began taking quick breaths, as a panic rose up from deep in his chest.
Finitevus pulled up the tatted blanket and scooted close to Finni. And he watched as his son fell back onto the pillows shaking. His whole body jerked in ways Finni could not control, and he opened his mouth to scream but no sound came out.
Finitevus laid down next to him and wrapped his arms tightly around him, slowly forcing Finni to stop shaking so violently. He then said softly "We can do this anymore… You can't." Finni's only reply was tears of fear slipping down his cheek.
Finni looked around, as the edge of his vision began to fade to black. He was scared beyond anything he had ever felt before. No longer was he in danger of dying, because he was dying.
Finitevus continued to talk. "Your mother loved you. A lot… and I am truly sorry I ripped you away from her. These past years I have realized how much time I had wasted ignoring the only person who stayed by my side…. Alex is gone… Aruna and Justin is gone…. Celty, Arrow, Lucy-Na…Falo-Lan… everyone's gone. Yet, you're here. And so am I…" He paused and slipped each of his own berries into his mouth.
"We both have blood on our hands. But for different reasons. You wanted nothing but peace and love… I knew it from the time you were five. And I hated you for that. For not seeing my ways. But in the end everything in my power could not change the world, and I was going to be left alone… yet you stayed… And now it's time for you to go… And I'll take you there."
Finni's reply was soft breathing, followed by a cough as he spat out blood. Finitevus went on. "I'll take you far as I can go… but in the end… we will have to say goodbye… but not before I tell you…. I am sorry… for all the things I put you through…."
"I don't love you though." Finitevus coughed himself and slowly loosened his grip on his son. "I have never loved anything. Never. I wish I could sometimes, so that I may understand more about the world I had forgotten the day everything had changed for me. But it is too late for regrets… So, I do not love you Finni. But I care deeply about you, and that is as far as I will ever feel towards anyone in the end…"
Finni just looked at Finitevus…. His father… He moved his hand with what little strength he had left and laid it on Finitevus' arm. He could hear Albion Soldiers running up the stairs… He heard the click, the small quiet beeps. But nothing after that… darkness filled his world… his everything.
And there he was, floating in this darkness. The fear he felt was swirling through his body, as he only saw, only felt darkness. But then, he felt someone grab his hand and he turned. And in this darkness he saw his father looking back at him, half hidden in the eternal black.
"Come on…" He said with a calm tone. A gentle smile crossed his face, and he held tightly onto Finni's hand. "I told you, I'd take you there, Finni…" And then he turned, and started walking. Finni didn't reply, only followed his father as they walked through this void. The distant sounds of life had left him, anything that was is no longer of any matter to him. All he wanted to do now, was to get out of the darkness... to someplace where people were waiting for him. Where his family was. Where his father was going. And so, Finni followed him, heart, soul and all. He grabbed Finitevus' hand back and hurried along to keep up, and he followed him into the bright light...