Carpathia III: Episode 143: Thirteen


The Portal

Artemis too huddled with the others, abandoning his computer as soon as this etherial Wishmaster appeared in the energy stream of the portal. Incensed, Jaze stood with fire forming in his hands. He didn't know what would happen if he launched fireballs at the energy stream, but anything seemed better than subjugating himself to Wishmaster again.

With a yell, Jaze swung his arms, launching two fireballs at Wishmaster. The figure in the energy field did not move and the fireballs passed harmlessly through it.

Ryuu: Jaze, you can't harm Wishmaster's etherial form!

Jaze swung violently around and faced Ryuu with gritted teeth and eyes glassed with tears.

Jaze: We have to do something! It can't end here!

The etherial Wishmaster spoke again, his voice reverberating throughout the entire complex as though it were coming out of every orifice in the room.

Wishmaster: That is correct, little dragon. You cannot harm me. I also cannot harm you. This facility, however, can.

Right away, the facility started to shake and the group clung together more. Lights exploded, sending showers of sparks raining down upon the area. A light fixture above the group exploded from its fitting and hurtled down. Azrael reacted quickly, leaping to his feet and swatting the fixture away with his sword.

Toma stood as well and used his wind power to assist. Together, he and Azrael blasted and swatted various sorts of debris, lights and ceiling tiles, away from the others.

Wishmaster: You can't keep this up forever! I will bring this entire building into ruin before I will let you use it!

Azrael cautiously attempted to herd the group to a safer location, looking around frantically for a doorway or at least a place where there was less chance of being hit by debris. Meanwhile, the environment deteriorated rapidly, as a large chunk of a heavy ceiling beam started breaking loose with a screech.

Zet: Look out!

Zet scooped up Wolfram and Reuli into his arms and, at the same time, booted Aten out of the way before making a dive himself just before the beam had a chance to crush them all. Now, the scene was chaos, with everyone running around in a panic doing their best to dodge the falling scrap while Toma, Azrael, and Jaze fought a hopeless battle trying to deflect it.

Then, suddenly, the shaking stopped entirely.

Wishmaster: Thirteen?

Everyone looked around frantically for yet another dangerous nemesis.

______________

Nekramentia

In the ruins of Nekramentia, Wishmaster stood amongst the detrius of the collapsed tower. His head moved as though he were watching something that did not exist and spoke to what seemed like nobody. Another plate of his armor fell from his body, unnoticed, and landed with a thud on the ground, exposing more of his soft, tender skin underneath.

Wishmaster: You can't keep this up forever! I will bring this entire building into ruin before I will let you use it!

Wishmaster paused as though he were waiting for a response and his eyes followed the rubble-strewn landscape until he finally caught sight of something familiar.

Wishmaster: Thirteen?

Thirteen stood in the distance, bracing himself with his hand on a large chunk of metal that had fallen from the tower. Aside from being dirty, he showed no outward sign of injury, but nevertheless, his steps toward Wishmaster were shaky and laborious.

Wishmaster: It is you, Thirteen!

Wishmaster stumbled toward Thirteen with his arms outstretched, like someone who had just been reunited with a lost pet. As Wishmaster drew closer, Thirteen stopped and braced himself again on another giant shard of wreckage. He did not flinch when Wishmaster dropped to his knees and threw his arms around Thirteen's comparatively tiny body.

Wishmaster: I am so pleased to see you!

Wishmaster pulled away and held his head high, extending a grandiose gesture to the sky with his huge paw.

Wishmaster: Together, we shall forge a new army and rebuild that which...

Wishmaster suddenly stopped speaking and shuddered. Slowly, Thirteen pulled his short sword from Wishmaster's soft flesh where his armor plating once resided. Wishmaster stumbled backward, struggling to stand again on his own two feet. Still incredulous, Wishmaster touched his paw to his wound and gazed upon the bloody result, wide-eyed, and struggled to speak.

Wishmaster: Thirteen... Why?

Legs still trembling, Thirteen nonetheless now stood pridefully unsupported as he glared maliciously at his former master. He spoke sneeringly out of the side of his mouth.

Thirteen: I shall not be your nursemaid any longer.

Wishmaster growled, lowering his head and affixing his narrowed eyes malevolently on Thirteen. With his strength rapidly leaving him, Wishmaster attempted a desperate lunge at his new foe, but Thirteen stepped one foot back and held up his sword, catching Wishmaster in the chest.

His momentum easily blunted, Wishmaster staggered back several yards before he collapsed on his back. Thirteen gripped the hilt of his sword with both hands and slowly approached.

Thirteen: I shall go to the village in the north and beg their forgiveness. Either they will kill me where I stand, which would be their right, or I shall live out my few remaining days there. Regardless, I will not die on your terms.

Thirteen wrung his hands tightly on the hilt of his sword and then held it high above his head.

Thirteen: I have lived on your terms. You will die on mine.

Wishmaster struggled to move, but his body was already quickly failing him.

Wishmaster: No... Thirteen... Don't!

With all of his remaining strength, Thirteen thrust his sword into Wishmaster's chest.

_______________

Back at the portal, the others watched with bewilderment as they listened to Wishmaster's side of a very strange conversation. The facility was calm, as the shaking stopped and the raining of debris subsided.

Wishmaster: No... Thirteen... Don't!

There was a pause, and everyone jumped back when the etherial form almost seemed to leap from the energy stream in which it resided. The form then let out an otherworldly howl so forceful that it could be felt as much as heard. After persisting for what seemed like minutes, the yellow-eyed Wishmaster simply vanished.

The energy stream normalized. Lights blazed steadily. Aside from the bits of lights and ceiling on the ground, it was as if Wishmaster never existed at all.

Jaze: What the hell just happened?


Commissioned art in this episode from:
Miyumon
Jenova87
Iniphineas

All city pictures from SimCity 4

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