A/N: Hip-hip Hooray! Goody…my fic has originality ^_^ Two reviews on its first day; it’s so lucky! Please review some more! Okay, enough of that. I must channel all of my negative energy into my brain and then onto the computer. If I do it right, it should be full-blown angst and well, torture. If you think I did something wrong or something’s missing, please review and give me some pointers for the next chapters.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Slayers or anything else that isn’t mine to own.
2- Day One
Lina gave Zel a slight frown, as if she couldn’t believe that Zel didn’t believe that this was for real. “Zel, you know me; would I lie or question something that has anything to do with my sister?”
Zel made one quick sideways jerk of his head as he realized the truth in this. He responded, “I suppose you’re right, but are you sure you want to do this with me? I mean, if your sister said not to go alone, I would have thought that you’d choose Gourry. He’s always been your protector.”
Lina smiled softly and shook her head. She closed her eyes as she did this, and when she opened them, her eyes showed that she only wanted Zel to go with her. “I have a feeling Gourry wouldn’t ‘appreciate’ this as much as you would. If you think about it, what does he have that needs curing? He’s happily married to someone who cooks and takes care of him, while assisting the villagers in any way that he can. No, I thought it best to just leave him be; he’s Sylphiel’s protector now.”
Zel nodded slowly, as if he were just beginning to understand just how much things had really changed while he was away. Returning Lina’s smile with his own, he asked, “When do you want to leave?”
Lina’s whole expression brightened considerably at this. “You’ll go with me then? Great! It’s in Solaria – East of here about two or three days walking – so we can leave tomorrow morning, after breakfast. That okay with you?”
As Zel stood up, he replied, “That’s fine. I’ll meet you downstairs in the morning then. Good night.”
“G’ night Zel.”
With that, Zel crossed the room, left, and went into his, which happened to be just next door. Smiling happily, Lina scrambled under the covers like a child on Christmas Eve who couldn’t wait for morning to come. Looking out the window, she saw one star burn brighter than all the others. In her mind, she thought, “I did it Onee-san; I did what you asked me to. I just hope I can survive this to tell you in person.”
The next morning was bright and cheerful. Birds were chirping their song of dawn; leaves were rustled by a crisp, uplifting breeze; and for once, the place where Lina had eaten wasn’t blown up. Yes, this was definitely a good day to start something; a new era of peace had begun that morning.
Upon seeing Lina, Zel informed her that if they flew, they could reach Solaria easily in a day, and then they could use that night to rest up before they tackled this new situation. Surprisingly to Zel, she agreed, and that became their plan of action. However, once in the skies, Lina’s playful, competitive side took over; she’d race ahead of Zel about twenty or so yards, stop, and wait for him to come near her so she could repeat the process. Lina quickly grew bored of this game as Zel seemed to simply ignore her antics, so she flew beside him the rest of the way.
Zel’s calculations were dead on; they reached their destination a couple of hours after the sun had set. Just like they had intended, Lina and Zel found a suitable inn and rested up for the following day. When that morning came, Lina stretched like nothing could defeat her that day. Before long, they were out searching for the designated place, which, after asking a few senior villagers, wasn’t hard at all.
Set up in
the middle of
Lina showed them the flyer she had received, and proceeded to sign up. Zel did not intervene for the sole purpose that Lina had told him there was no need to. In what seemed like less than a minute, they were ready to enter. Taking a deep breath, Lina encouraged, “Let’s do it!” Together, they flipped open the curtain and took the first step forward.
A strong rush of wind, similar to that of a vacuum, sucked them into the depths of the dimension. During their flight, Zel and Lina gripped each other’s hands, not wanting to get separated. All around them seemed to be an endless black abyss, with no road, no light in sight. As always, for some strange reason, they could still see themselves, and found unknowing gratitude in that. As sudden as their first sweep off the ground, they were almost thrown through another veiled doorway, landing with a *thump* on a cold, hard surface. With a groan, Lina and Zel slowly stood up and looked around.
They seemed to be in a movie room of some sort, for two black lounging chairs fitting of a futuristic setting, sat facing a large projector screen. The room itself was very square; dark gray in color, the walls seemed to close in on them, ever so slowly, ever so carefully. The ground they stood on was black marble, swirls of black, glossy marble.
An automated feminine voice took them by surprise as the sound echoed within those very walls. “Wel-come to the Mo-vie Me-mor-y Room. Please have a seat and en-joy.”
Lina and Zel exchanged glances, and with a shrug, they both seated themselves in the chairs. As if it were a lightning reflex to weight of any amount, a seatbelt shot out of the left armrest, and connected with a click to the right armrest. The same happened around their ankles and their wrists. Zel and Lina were bewildered as they wondered what was going to happen to them next. The metallic voice came again. “Please en-joy the mo-vie.”
In black and white, the old projector displayed the number count down. Four, three, two, one…*Bleep* They could hear the camera rolling behind them as they settled in their seats.
The camera zoomed immediately into the face of a bright, cheery young girl. Her wavy hair flowed a bit past her shoulders, and she seemed to be wearing a very simple light-colored shirt and darker, tighter pants with a trim. Her head barely came over the white clothed table that she stood next to, eyes constantly eyeing the cake that stood on top of it. The homemade chocolate cake with four lighted candles was a big hint that she was a birthday girl, who was just turning four.
From her height, and the fact that her two front teeth were missing, one would guess that she was a toddler who may or may not like to get into fights. In the background, an identical table stacked high with presents, signified that this girl was very much loved by those around her. Those people were surrounding the little girl, bright smiles on their faces, and very basic, home-sewn clothes on their bodies. An older girl wearing a slightly dusty dark gown underneath a flowery, white apron, with very neatly cut purple hair that came just above her shoulders, now bent down to talk with the younger girl.
Lina tried to sink in lower in her seat, but the iron belts kept her from moving too much. Zel noticed this and glanced in her direction, but the movie soon proved to be too irresistible to miss.
“Alright, Lina,” the older girl spoke, “It’s time to blow out your candles. Make a wish!”
The little girl, now revealed to be little Lina herself, put a pudgy finger to her lower lip in thought.
“I know!” Lina exclaimed, her eyes suddenly shining brightly, “I wish for more gifts!” With that, Lina blew out all the candles, with a little spit added along. The older girl shook a finger at Lina in a reprimanding way, but her smile showed her own amusement.
“Lina, Lina, Lina. What did I tell you before? Your wish doesn’t come true if you tell it to anyone. Now, that’s all the gifts you get, today.”
Lina immediately pouted, bringing out her lower lip to enhance the sympathy votes. “Awwww….Oneeee-san….Pleeeeeeeaaaseeee? I’ll be a good little girl… I pwomise!”
Lina’s older sister, Luna, shook her head, smile still shining. “No, no. I can’t trust your word. Well, unless…”
The little girl immediately started to get excited. “What? Unless what? Come on, tell me, tell me, tell meee. I can do it!”
Her sister straightened up as Lina looked up at her with pleading eyes. Luna tapped her lips with her index finger in thought. “Alright then. Tell me the truth now. Your wish come true depends on your answer. What really happened on your school field trip last month? Somehow, the answer you gave me before seems a bit, unreliable.”
Lina let out an exasperated sigh. “I told you. The Boogie-man jumped us in the middle of the night and destroyed our camp. Why won’t you believe me? Anyone else who was there can vouch for me.”
Zel snorted, as if he had tried to laugh without opening his mouth. Lina glanced in his direction and frowned. She sighed; Lina didn’t like where this movie clip was going – she still remembered that horrible day.
Luna crossed her arms in front of her chest. “Well, I would, but nobody else seems to share your opinion, let alone the fact that your ‘boogie-man’ seems to have made your ten other classmates as well as your teacher, disappear.”
Suddenly, as if on cue, a friend of Lina’s, one of several people who were invited to the little party, screamed, “RUN!!! IT’S THE BOOGIE-MAN!!”
Luna was a little dubious of this supposed attack, but the sudden deluge of fleeing guests convinced her of it. Party tables were overturned, dropped cups and plates littered the grass, and Lina’s presents were sprawled in a heap on the ground. Before long, not a single person remained in the Inverse’s backyard, save for Luna and Lina. Together, they looked in the direction that the others were running from, and did indeed see something that could very well be described as the ‘boogie-man’.
A shaggy humanoid creature towered over the small village with gleaming red eyes. Its long snout and ragged ears made it resemble a werewolf of some sort. Perhaps the strangest part was the clothes that the animal wore. Black sunglasses resting on top of his head, just before his ears, a smug expression on his face, and black dance shoes, only accentuated the monster’s jazzy disco suit. A white shirt could be seen underneath an open lightning-design long-sleeved shirt. A black belt held up its matching pants that flared considerably at the bottom. All said in a word, he looked “dorky” in Luna’s mind. However, having seen his moves at play before, Lina was a bit more reluctant to judge him like that.
Considering that he was so tall that most people didn’t even come up to the top of his shoes, the monster’s voice boomed, “Hey, hey, hey where’s the crowd gone? Call me Marv- everyone else does. I was told that a party was being held today.”
Upon remembering this, Lina shouted up at the monster, “THAT’S RIGHT!!! IT’S MY BIRTHDAY AND YOU SCARED AWAY ALL MY GUESTS!!!”
monster’s ears drooped and his smile disappeared at this, but only for a
second. Gaining a bright idea he
suggested, “I know! Why don’t I dance
you a birthday number to make up for it! I’m sure your friends will come running back soon.”
Without even waiting for their consent, ‘Marv’ started disco dancing. He started by doing a foot swivel but this didn’t work since his feet were in between close buildings, and thus he destroyed all of the buildings in his path. From then on, it was a complete line of inappropriate disco moves. In terms of inappropriate, the dance moves were inappropriate for one so large to portray in such close spaces. It was not long before Luna became angry enough to lash out at the beast.
First came the ‘please leave’ speech, which incidentally, only had those two words in them, but in a loud, firm voice. Over the music that Marv was humming to himself, there was a good chance that he didn’t hear her. Summoning her great sword from virtually thin air, Luna pierced Marv’s hand with it. That caught his attention. Luna repeated her words; Marv acted as if he didn’t understand the meaning of those words. Luna rephrased it as, “We don’t want you here. Please go.”
Marv didn’t believe her, as if the sword in his hand was no hint, and continued to wreck the village recklessly. Luna hid anger from her voice as she attempted to negotiate a.k.a. threaten. “If you don’t leave now, don’t think that I won’t hesitate to kill you.”
Marv’s attitude suddenly made a very big switch on them. Instead of having a carefree masculine voice, it became a squeaky, little girl’s voice. “Please don’t kill him! We’re inside of him! Help us!”
Lina identified the voice. “It’s SAL! One of my friends from camp! Luna, you’ve got to help them!”
Luna’s expression darkened. “You don’t honestly expect me to fall for some cheap trick like that, do you? Well, you asked for it. Say Goodbye, Marv.”
Without touching it, Luna called back her sword so that it hovered right in front of her. Luna started to cast a spell in which her large sword began to glow white. Just as she was about to say the final part, the name of the spell, Marv’s attitude became hostile, and he swiped Luna out of the air with a swift paw. Lina yelped as she saw Luna’s body fall limp on their home’s roof. Even from the ground, at a distance, Lina could visibly see blood forming a pool around Luna’s unconscious body.
Zel noticed that Lina shuddered. Looking over to her, he saw that her eyes were shut tight, and she had a grim expression on her face. A sudden notion hit Zel then. . . .Was this all true?
Body shaking from anger, little Lina slowly turned to face the beast. The disco pup let out a small, inquiring whimper, because just then, a fierce red aura surrounded Lina. The wrath of anger had merged with Lina.
As she turned three-quarters of the way towards the camera, the viewers saw that Lina’s normal ruby eyes had expanded, so that the white of her eyes had become a glowing red. For once, Zel and Lina were both startled by this. As Zel eyed Lina during the next few scenes, he realized that Lina had no recollection of anything that happened after Luna was hurt.
Slowly, torturously, Lina raised her right hand, until her five fingers were pointing towards the torso of the Disco Destroyer, another plausible name for the beast. In split-second timing, Lina’s hand raised even further up, so that it pointed towards Luna’s blade, which was still hovering, powered-up.
With one ferocious yell, Lina released all of her energy to power up the spell that Luna hadn’t managed to finish. “MONSTER BEGONE!!!” A thick beam of red light channeled energy from Lina’s body, to the sword. For a second, the silver blade glowed red, but the glow left as a red beam was released within a spiral spell of white magic. Both hit Marv’s chest where his heart would be if he were human. Shrieking in agony, the Boogie-man began to shrink smaller and smaller, until he was as short as Lina. Still raging from an emotional high, Lina walked over to the now feeble faux monster. As Marv attempted to beg for mercy, Lina punched him in the stomach. Bowled over, Lina kicked him in the shin; he keeled over even farther. As the final attack, Lina stepped back, and aimed her hand at Marv. With a soft “Goodbye”, Lina killed the terrorist off with what could be considered a mini-Dragon Slave. The Disco Destroyer diminished; he was decimated to dust that was carried off in the breeze.
As if she just remembered her sister, Lina flew back to Luna. Lina checked her pulse, as if she had always known what to do. When she felt a feeble pulse, Lina grimaced, and glanced at Luna’s sword. Decision decided, Lina stepped back, and concentrated on levitating the sword towards them; it had the power to heal. She held out her hand, and the sword flew into it. All of a sudden, Lina was electrocuted so strongly that the very house she stood atop of shook. Toasted to a crisp, Lina collapsed beside her sister.
Only a few seconds later, Lina revived, eyes and energy virtually normal. As the first thing she saw was Luna’s still bleeding form, tears came to her eyes. Believing it to be her fault, Lina leaned over Luna’s back, arms crossed, and cried her eyes out. One of those salty tears fell into a deep cut caused by the Boogie-man’s claws. As if it were a magical tear, Luna began to glow a very pale blue, almost white. Lina abruptly sat up, alert, and rushed to dry her tears so that she could see. Right before her eyes, Luna’s scrapes began to mend at an incredible speed.
With a hiss, Luna bolted upright, rubbing her lower back as if she had merely fallen down. When Lina tackled her out of pure happiness, Luna did fall over again. Luna looked down at Lina in surprise, before turning her attention to her surroundings. No building within a mile’s radius was standing, save for theirs. Apparently, the shockwaves from the disco moves had destroyed houses farther away as well. Looking back down at Lina, she tousled her little sister’s hair and asked, amusement hinted in her smile, “So just what have you been up to?”
Fighting back tears, Lina replied rapidly, “It was the Boogie-man like I said! I didn’t do anything wrong, did I? You’re okay, right?”
As if just remembering, Luna’s expression grew serious. “Speaking of which, where is that vile monster?”
At this, Lina looked around as well. A totally clueless expression on her face, “I dunno sis.” Hitting upon a hopeful note, Lina added, ”Maybe the mean ol’ Mazoku just decided to leave us alone!”
Luna sighed. “I highly doubt that Lina, but there’s nothing we can do about that now. I can’t sense him right now, so it just might be something along those lines. Now then, let’s get this place cleaned up right and proper. Would you like to help me with it?”
A sullen look replaced Lina’s hopeful expression. “Clean this mess? But that’d take forever!”
Luna waggled a finger between their faces. “Not if you know how to do it with magic. Come on, help me up and I’ll teach you a new spell.”
As Lina got off of Luna, and helped her sister up, she groaned, “White magic again? When can I learn black magic?”
At this, Luna gave Lina a queer look. “Since when have you been interested in black magic?”
Upon fully realizing what she said, Lina blinked. “I don’t know, I just suddenly have the urge to learn about it and stuff. Besides, white magic is so boring.”
Luna raised an eyebrow. “Okay, think of it this way then, little Lina. If you were to learn black magic, and you hurt yourself, it’d be easiest if you healed yourself with white magic, see?”
Slowly, Lina found the truth in this statement. She nodded in response. Conversation settled, Luna nodded back and took hold of her sword. It fizzled slightly with sparks. Looking it over, Luna wondered, “Lina…did you touch my sword?”
Lina yelped as if caught in the act.
It was there that the movie clip ended. The scene faded to black, and then, in white letters, it read “THE END – OR IS IT?”
As if it were a reflex, both Lina and Zel leaned their heads back and sighed. There had been something about that movie that had made it seem as if they were right there in the heat of the action. Something was added, so that they could feel all of the emotions felt in the duration of the clip, when they were at their peak. Fear, Distress, Anger, Resentment, and then relief; they felt it all in their hearts, and it burned.
Zel looked over to Lina briefly, and saw a vacant look in her eyes, and that she was breathing laboriously. The movie had sent her to a new level of torment. A voice unknown to Lina, kept repeating inside her head, “It’s your fault. You killed the monster. You killed your friends. You knew they were still alive, and yet you killed them. Murderer.”
Lina and Zel barely had time to catch their breath, as the movie began to count down again. It was showing another movie clip. Lina snapped out of it just barely enough to pay attention to her surroundings. They both sucked in breath through their teeth, anxiety and fear coursing through their bloodstreams. What would they face next?
A/N: What? Darn. I wanted to get this done in three more chapters, but I guess I’ll have to drag it out a bit longer. Oh well. More chances for you to review it! If that was the best negativity I could muster, I’m beginning to doubt my ability at writing with it at all. *Sigh* I suppose I’m too happy of a person to really go full throttle on angst. Then again, this is just the beginning of the story…^_^ Please Review!