Chapter 6 - Softer Than the Night
April 7, 2006
April 7, 2006
|After Jak 3. Torn is bitten by a mysterious creature and things go crazy.|
Chapter 6 - Softer Than the Night
Chapter 6 - Softer Than the Night
I have some people I'd like to thank before we get started! Lunar Squirrel, Feral Spirit 714, and mecca-dog…thank you for reviewing my story! It means a lot to me that you guys like my story…! -sniffles- Anyway, that's my shout out and I think it's time we get started, eh?
Chapter 6: Softer Than the Night
“My…Brother?” Cal stood up and stepped forward but the shock of this news was too much and she teetered on her feet, staggering forward. Jak, eyes clouded with confusion and pain at the same time, wasn't ready to catch her and Daxter scrambled out of the way. Torn, however, mind clear and senses as ever alert, dove forward and caught her; the metal bands and blades on his arm sliced her flesh and tattered her cloths.
“Watch yourself, Master Callingway.” Vic stuck his head into the room, “Oh, and dinner is ready whenever you are…!”
“VIC!” Cal shoved herself away from Torn, ignoring her bleeding cuts, and stomped towards her first friend, black eye flashing, “Did you know about this!?”
“When I saw Jak and his Light and Dark Eco powers I realized it well enough from what you had told me.” Vic's soothing grin stopped Cal dead in her tracks, “Dinner time? Perhaps after you deal with your injuries?”
“Injuries?” Cal looked down her arms and chest, “Well, that's little embarrassing…”
She raised her right hand, palm up, and turned it towards her chest. A glow of white light shimmered around her hand and she moved it up and down and around her body. The cuts on her skin and the rips in her cloths closed as though they'd never been there.
“All better…!” Cal said merrily, “Coming to dinner…Torn? Brother?”
“She accepts things awfully quick…” Daxter reclaimed his perch on Jak's shoulder, “In a scary and jollier sort of way, she's just like you!”
Torn hadn't said anything but his curiosity about the Shade powers he'd obtained was growing. Vic saw Jak's Dark and Light Eco powers? He'd have to ask Cal and Vic about it. Not that he wasn't shocked about Jak's sister, it was just that he didn't really care. He'd never really cared about anyone…not truly. Sure, he respected Jak and Ashelin; they were comrades after all; but he didn't care about them. The only person he'd risk his life for was himself.
Dinner was excellent; it seemed that Vic really knew how to cook. Jak was constantly arguing with Daxter, nothing new there, while Vic and Cal ate their meal in silence.
Torn's head pounded against the bandages. If he didn't ask now he knew he'd never have the guts to ask again. So, he swallowed his food and his pride and asked.
“Cal…what's a Shade's power do?” Even Jak and Daxter stopped what they were doing. Cal looked at him, her eyes glittering with something that looked like pity.
“Do you know what a Shade is?” She asked and Vic stood up, grabbing his plate, and left the room. He obviously didn't want to hear this again.
“What?” Torn said shortly; he wanted answers, no riddles.
“A lost soul.” Cal placed her knife and fork on either side of her plate, “A soul who failed to protect the one they loved or cared for and died without fulfilling their duties in life. When they bite, they transfer power to their victim, giving that person the power to protect their loved ones. After that, they die in peace. Before I found Motovia, he'd destroyed an entire city on accident because he couldn't control his powers. He killed his sister, the one he was meaning to protect.”
There was a crash and they knew Vic had been listening. Cal pretended she hadn't heard.
“Is that what's going on with Torn's arm?” Jak asked. Daxter had dived head first into the mashed potatoes and was probably not even paying attention.
“Not exactly.” Cal looked at Torn and he turned away, clenching his right hand into a fist, “He doesn't have anyone to protect…do you Torn?”
“WHAT I CARE ABOUT AND WHAT I DO WITH MY LIFE IS NONE OF YOUR FREAKING BUISSNESS!” Torn shouted, standing up and knocking his chair over, “JUST…JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!”
In his fury, Torn didn't notice Cal's movement and he was already on the floor by the time he did.
“Get…off…me…!” He snarled but she just brought her face close to his, anger blazing in her right eye and cold annoyance in her left.
“Get your act together!” She hissed, “Or somebody's going to die and it's going to be your doing!”
She let him up,
“I'll get Vic to train you. You need to learn from page one. Now…all of you…GET OUT OF HERE!”
Through out the next week, Torn had to swallow his pride many times. Again and again, he found himself on the floor of the immense under ground, dirt floored gym, gasping for air. He hadn't had this much of a work out since he was in the Krimzon Guard. Besides, gun skills were one thing but melee was something else completely.
Cal had used her Light and Dark Eco powers combined (“You get a lot of free time when you're alone in the Wasteland”) and made a band that clamped tightly around Torn's right wrist. It seemed to restrain his Shade Power.
“GET UP!” The force of Vic's mind shout set Torn tumbling head over heels, face beet red when he managed to regain his balance, “You're not even trying to hit me!”
Oh, Torn was trying to hit the mute man alright…he just couldn't do it. Vic could move impossibly fast and, on top of that, Torn was annoyed with his own disability to keep up; his anger exhausted him even more.
“Maybe…if you'd…hold…still…” Torn huffed, climbing weakly to his shaking feet, “I'd…have more of…a freaken'…chance!”
“Skill doesn't always come of the trained body!” Vic snapped back but with a consoling air about him, “At times, it comes from the mind…or even the heart.”
Torn's weary mind tried to grasp this concept but it slipped away. He was too tired to even stand upright anymore; he slouched, breath coming in short gasps, arms hanging limply at his sides.
“You look worn out, we'll stop for today. Maybe by tomorrow you can release your Shade Power…!”
Torn didn't argue but slid away to his room. He was so miserable that he bumped straight into Jak and they both went down.
“Sorry about that.” Jak said, helping Torn to his feet, “Boy, you look pathetic!”
“Shut your mouth, Freak!” Torn had seen little of his comrade but now that he was here, the tired man decided to poke some fun, “Where's your rat? To heavy?”
“Would be for you. He's around here somewhere. For someone like Daxter to have taken to exploring…I guess he feels it's actually safe in this place.”
“And where've you been.” Torn asked, trying not to sound to curious as the pair set off down the hall again.
Jak didn't answer; either he hadn't heard or he just wasn't saying.
“Jak? You all there?” Torn waved a hand that felt like lead in front of the blonde's face. Jak blinked, startled.
“I asked you what you've been doing.”
“Sounds pretty dull.”
“Hanging out with Cal, then. Happy?”
“Am I ever?”
“Brother-Sister time, huh?”
“More or less…”
“You're hiding something.”
“I'm not stupid! I know when I'm being lied to!”
“Cal just…never mind.”
“Well when you get the guts to spill `em…you let me know. There's something bigger going on here than just my Shade Arm.” Torn slammed his door in Jak's face, confusion and anger boiling with his fatigue. Why was he so upset that Jak wasn't telling him what was going on? It didn't make sense! Why would he care what Jak and his stupid rat where up to!?
“I don't…!” Torn snarled at his reflection in the tall wall mirror. He felt a little better. A nice hot shower would really make him feel better!
Torn stepped into the bathroom, shutting the door behind him and stripped down to nothing, throwing his cloths into a corner and starting up the shower. Cal had somehow managed to get water to come through a bunch of artificial water ways she'd created with Vic's help right from underground water sources. The best part was that the water was sent through a Light Eco filter the sage had created to get rid of every nasty little thing that could ruin a guy's shower!
Torn gave an involuntary shiver of comfort as he felt the hot, steamy liquid run down his shoulders and legs. He yanked out his thick dreadlocks, letting the water wash his brown-red hair too. His arm and face tattoos gleamed under the constant rush of water. Water plastered his hair to his legs and back (yesh, `tis very long-down to his ankles). Eventually, this soothing relaxation had to end; Torn really didn't want to turn into a wrinkled bunch of peach fuzz.
“Forgot my towel…!” Torn swore but lightly, he was in a good mood now that his worries had been washed down the drain with the dirt. He walked back into his room and tugged a thick, burgundy towel from a closet drawer. Turning his back to the door and dripping water everywhere, Torn began to rub his face and chest.
He heard the door handle twist behind him but was too high on his pleasure of being clean to register it until Cal stuck her head in.
“Torn, just letting you know that dinner's…ready…OH MY GOSH I'M SORRY!!” There was a slam and Torn blinked over his shoulder. Cal had stuck her head in his room and…why was she sorry?
“Oh…she saw me naked. OH GREAT PRECURSERS, SHE SAW ME NAKED!!” Torn shouted and cursed for what felt like half an hour with the towel around his waist before even thinking about getting dressed.
Cal was the only one left in the dining room when he entered; face still flushed from his ranting. He pretended she wasn't there and helped himself to whatever was left.
“Sorry about that.” She whispered when he was had cleaned half his plate, “I didn't know you were…um…yeah…”
“Doesn't matter.” Torn snapped, not really interested in the topic of conversation, “What've you and Jak been up to?”
It seemed Cal was eager to change direction to.
“Daxter found my Corner; it's where I invent stuff and test my Eco powers. He's been in there constantly, fiddling with my Shape-Changer, trying to get it to work. It doesn't…I've tried so many times to-!”
“I asked about you and Jak…not the rat.” Torn surprised himself with the coldness in his voice. Why did he care!? His good mood vanished in the blink of an eye. His bracelet tingled, the blue sapphires in its black surface shimmering. Cal noticed.
“It doesn't matter…Brother-Sister time…that sort of thing.”
“You're lying too, huh?” The sapphires glowed brighter though Torn's face remained blank and impassive, “It figures nobody wants the Torn-man in on anything…!”
“No…! You've got it wrong-!” Cal protested but Torn stood up, shaking his head.
“If you've got secrets, fine! See if I care! But you and Blondie aren't the only ones with problems!”
“For your information,” Cal stood up as well, Dark Eco flitting around her left side, “We're trying to find a way out of this mess! My mess! You think I just sat around on my rear inventing crap and play toys all the time I lived in the Wasteland!? I've been trying to find a way to at least look human! You don't have any idea what it's like! Walking home, minding your own business, and then some Krimzon Guards find it funny to shoot a few rounds at you! Even chase you down the street, firing bolts of Dark Eco at you!”
Tears welled in Cal's eyes while Torn just stood with his eyes wide, shock written clearly across his face.
“Do you have any idea what it's like,” Cal was screaming now, “To wake up it the morning with the fear that a KG is going to be standing over you with a gun and drag you off, kicking and screaming, to prison!? Do you know what it was like for me as a little girl to look outside and see all the other children playing but being unable to join because their mothers will call the Guard!? DO YOU!? ANSWER ME! Answer me…”
Tears of rage and hurt streamed down Cal's' cheeks, sobs racking her throat and making her shoulders heave. She'd been so afraid to tell someone how she really felt, afraid they'd think she was a coward. She was so brave, so brave; it was clear that Jak and Cal were related, this evident by their bravery, but Jak's was hero bravery while Cal's was something else.
“Actually,” Torn said softly (a surprise to him yet again), “I know exactly how you feel. At least, on some levels.”
Cal looked up at him, the look on her face saying clearly that she didn't believe him.
“My father was strict about all the males in our family being in the Krimzon Guards. I didn't hate him for it; I was too young to know any better anyways. But…a Krimzon Guard is looked upon as a noble; serving Baron Praxis. I wasn't aloud to play with the other kids my age and the ones in the KG with me…Tch, as if they'd ever learned the meaning of the word fun.”
Cal looked at Torn, searching for some form of sincerity and not just empty comfort. Yes, there it was, behind those stone cold brown eyes was a light softer than the full moon's shine.
A silence hung heavy in the room. Torn and Cal stared across the table at each other. Then something snapped and Torn's face went such a deep shade of scarlet that he thought it'd stay that way.
Cal was on him, her lips on his. He didn't object but there was something about making out in the dinning room that just didn't sit well with him. Then again, he wasn't trying to get her off him either.
“You taste like gunpowder!” Cal joked, teasing on his years in the Krimzon Guard.
“Yeah? You taste like sand!” Torn snapped teasingly back, realizing that he wasn't frustrated over not knowing what Jak was doing after all, “Let's get out of here.”
“What's that supposed to mean?” Cal stood up and started clearing the table, “Help me over here would you.”
It was more of a command than a request but Torn didn't care.
“I think your little horn there put a dent in my head.”
“You are, in a very stupid way, good at avoiding answers! I apologize for my horn. Now answer me or I'll put a bracelet around more than your wrist.”
“Hmph. Come back to Haven City with me and Jak, Vic too. We can all live there. Jak's a freak too, you know, Even if he saved the world, everyone's still scared of him.”
“You really think I'd be okay?” Cal slid into the kitchen with an armful of dishes and dumped them into the sink, “What about the KG?”
“They don't exist!” Torn seemed a little annoyed at the topic of the Krimzon Guard after the reopening of the wound his past had created, “Jak beat the snot out of the Baron, killed him in fact, and I took over the KG. They're the Freedom Guard now and they listen to me! You've got nothing to worry about! If the people know you're with me they wouldn't lay a finger on you.”
Cal turned her back to him and shook her head. Torn didn't know whether it was from disbelief or confusion or both.
“Whatever…” Cal spun around again and kissed Torn so passionately that they almost ended up on the floor again, “I don't really care. Just as long as I'm sticking with you.”
Torn pushed her away, grinning, and then punched her in the arm.
“Mind taking this off?” He yanked at the bracelet and Cal grabbed his wrist, the band disappearing in a flash of black and white light.
“You're not so tough after all.” And they were at it again, gentler this time.
In the crack in the doorway, Jak and Daxter peeked through at the couple, hands over their mouths, but a snigger escaped the little ottsel. Torn heard, registered, and planned his revenge while still enjoying the taste of Cal's lips. Perhaps the trip back to Haven City was going to be fun after all. So much for boredom.
Me: Sorry about the length of that one…! It was good though, no?
Torn: You have an evil way of getting what you want.
Me: And what's that supposed to mean?
Torn: You made yourself out to be Cal just so you could yell at me, see me naked, and kiss me! I should kick your-!”
Me: NO! Nothing that bad, Torny-kun! This is a rated fan fiction!
Me: Well, that's it for the `Oblivion's Grip' series! Look out for my random craziness! Huggles to all my fans and good luck in all you do fellow writers! Happy days to all!