Date: November 27, 3008
Location: Outskirts of Sleepywood
She stood there, the rain pouring down on top of her, a limp S-16 Scarab in her hands, the tip of the barrel still smoking. The coldness was numbing as another chilling breath of air rushed through the intertwining trees. The final gunshot was deafening, splattering the trees with deaths mark. He was dead.
Are you ok? Natalie asked uncertainly, her eyes twitching from Fenris dead body to Nova.
Yea, Nova sighed in relief and turned around. Her face was still stone cold, Im fine.
The pair trudged through the ankle deep mud as the storm continued to lash at them. Stray leaves and tall grass whipped furiously at their bodies like the old Perionic Kings and their flails. Natalie shivered and shifted closer to Nova. Now that she knew she had an older sister, life felt a lot more bearable.
The gunfire was scattered now, broken bursts in the torrent of rain. News of Fenris death must have traveled quickly. Natalie stepped through a brush into a small clearing and instantly took that thought back. Mikhails haughty grin had never been so wide.
What happened here? Natalie asked, not to Mikhail, but to Nova instead. She could see her sisters mind already working without interference once more.
Theyre dead, Nova replied in a monotonous tone, nothing more than a whisper, Theyre all dead
Natalie gave a sigh of relief, Well then, lets get the hell out of here! She was about half way out of the clearing when she realized no one was following her.
Theyre all dead, Nova repeated in the same tone. A shiver swam down Natalies spine. What did she mean?
Mikhail nodded and Natalie realized that he had a tear trickling down his face. It took a while for the truth to finally sink in. They were dead
Where where are they? Nova asked, her voice far too quiet for anyone to hear.
Natalie looked from Nova to Mikhail with terror stricken eyes. She glanced around madly, trying to find the absentees. Then, her eye caught a slight movement in the trees to the west. Immediately, she bounded across the clearing into the trees once more. A rumble of thunder shook the heavens. The angels were crying.
Pushing past the tangled ferns, Natalie came upon Russ and Felix crouching by two bodies. They were like angels amidst a field of demons, two roses in a garden of weeds. Even in death, they were beautiful.
Naz Blacks charcoal black eyes stared up into the murky grey heavens unseeingly. Countless bullet wounds riddled his body. Natalie almost scoffed at the sight; it took hundreds of men to kill him. Felix looked up with tear-filled eyes, full of misery and sorrow. He nodded once and closed Nazs eyelids for the final time with the palms of his hands. Felix then folded his hands across his chest into a final resting position.
His two pistols were by his side, along with seemingly hundreds of spent bullet casings. The Shadow Templars weapons were still smoking in the rain, still recovering from their last exclamation.
Right by his side, lied Lily White, her pure white clothes once again stained with one, and only one foreign stain. A blossom of red had spread across her heart, the blood now cold and lifeless. Though her lips were white and her skin pale, Lily still looked like the most beautiful entity Natalie had ever seen.
Beside her were two katanas, the blood still being cleaned off by the drenching rain. They had tasted their last victims, and now lay still, nothing more than an heirloom. The steel was slick, reflecting the somber clouds above with perfect clarity. Lily had dove clean off the ragged edge of the knife, landing straight in front of heavens pearly white gates.
And now, the two Shadow Templars, the last of their kind were gone, the line of their ancient lineage severed. Natalie felt a sinking sensation in her stomach. Though she did not physically know them for too long, it felt as if they had been together for a lifetime. Novas memories were bleeding too deep. The last of the Shadow Templars
Mikhail joined them in the clearing, tear streaks making tiny lines down his cheeks. He put a hand on Novas shoulder and sighed, Goodbye my soldiers, my Shadows my friends You will not be forgotten. He smiled gratefully. It didnt take a telepath to sense how Mikhail was feeling.
Another rumble of thunder and flash of lightning broke the murky atmosphere, searing through the clouds like a run away freight train. The rain finally seemed to be fading; the Maple Gods must have cried out all of their tears. Natalie stood unable to move her feet. The waterfall subsided into a drizzle. At last, the storm was coming to an end.
I looked up into the graying skies, feeling the quiet drizzle slide down my face. It felt refreshing after all we had been through, but my mind was still troubled. The impact of the bullet did not reach far enough. Fenris was dead, but the priced was paid dearly by the last of the Shadow Templars. Naz and Lily
Somehow after a while of silent walking, I found myself staring at the black rock, Mikhails C-4 still planted under the bodies of the dead guards. Mikhail stared at the elegant crystal for a moment, then pulled out the detonator from within his black cloak. Flipping open the cap, he turned to me, Nova, will you do the honors?
I stared at him, dumbfounded by his simple question. Finally, I managed to work up the nerve to take the trigger from him. As my fingertips touched the cold steel contraption, I suddenly felt a jolt of memories come streaming from the depths of my brain. I did not know how long ago this started, it felt more like years than days. So much had passed by, the chronology of it all shot to hell.
Just four days ago, I was in New Leaf City, the night before Damiver and I were going on vacation to Zipangu. They were there, Felix and Maldran. And yet now, only one remained, the other entombed in a inundated city, buried underneath a buildings worth of broken concrete and twisted metal. I looked over at Felix. His dark eyes were fixed dead ahead upon the lustrous crystal, unwavering. His thoughts were completely filled with the death of his best friend, our best friend.
As my fingers traced the outline of the red button, a pang of guilt seared through my nerves. I should not be here, standing where I was standing now. There was a bullet lodged in my skull, held miraculously away from any vitals in my head. The more I thought about it, it should have been Naz or Lily here pushing the button. But they were gone, erased without a trace, their bodies buried underneath the tallest maple tree they could find. Mikhails last words to them ran through my head, You will not be forgotten
Half a week. A life time. Time seemed to inconsequential right now. As I stood there, the lingering raindrops sliding down my face, everything seemed to slow down to a halt. The wind ceased raging, turning into a more mild mannered breeze that swayed the drenched trees to and fro. It was strange, unfamiliar. It was peaceful.
I returned my eyes to the black crystal, jutting out towards the sky in beautiful formations. Though the sun was still veiled by miles of grey clouds, the stone was still brilliantly lustrous, too gorgeous to be destroyed. I took a last look at the thing that had caused us so many problems, and pressed down on the detonator.
The explosion rocked the Sleepywood forest like a full scaled earthquake. The lingering raindrops on the nearest greenery were instantly vaporized. Everything became incandescently white for a few seconds, as if the heavens had just opened up for the rapture. As I stood behind my tree, I could feel the intense heat bearing down upon my skin, threatening to cook me alive. But as soon as it started, it was over. I stepped out of the cover, my emerald eyes meeting the smoldering crater. It was over.
The black rock had been blown into million of tiny shards that were vaporized a millisecond later by the scorching heat. The trees around the epicenter were all charred and burning, tendrils of black smoke twisting and turning high into the air. And with it, my past was burning away.
Then, everything came rushing back to me. The shocking numbness finally subsided and the real world engulfed me. I suddenly found myself on the ground, crying my heart out. They were dead. They were actually dead. Maldran, Naz, Lily Damiver All gone from this world, all gone from my world. I could feel the others crowd around me with their comforting words, but I couldnt hear any of it. My mind was completely screwed up now. Tormenting voices reverberated off of my eardrums in a cacophonous symphony, torturing my mind to the point of fracture. The words kept repeating like a broken record in my head, They were dead
Your fingertips across my skin
Someones hands were on my face, cupped against my cheek, trying to make me come back. Her hands were cold.
Your eyes upon my face
She was yelling. They were all yelling. But his face remained; my eyes were blind to all else that moved.
Your lips upon my lips
They were fading now, and I could see him, his hands stretched out for me. I reached for him, but my fingertips slipped through his.
Yet you slip away
His face, smiling, started to fade. Everything turned black, lost in the shadows that overwhelmed me. I was falling and there was no one to catch me.
And the sun will set for you
The sun set. Twilight. I was gone.
I had a dream about him. He was dead. But it was alright.
After the destruction of the black rock, the S-Virus was stopped. Apparently, the answer to the rise of the undead had been inside the crystal itself. We had guessed that was only one of the many reasons Fenris wanted it. But in all honesty, the mysterious powers of that black rock will be lost forever.
As for Mikhail Shale, with his Shadow Templars gone, retired to Navasota Island for the remainder of his life where he dwelled contently. He had seen more than enough action in his life time and lived out the rest of his life in the peace and tranquility of one of the ony islands left on the planet uncorrupted by mans influences.
Russ Aure was released from Mikhails services and went on to help the world rebuild from the infection. His exceptional medical skills earned him the highest position for a medical doctor, and he spent his time traveling around the world healing those whos needs were most dire.
Felix Shadeswalker climbed his way up in the ranks of the Maple Army until he was promoted with full distinctions to a full time colonel. Afterwards, he retired to Henesys where he became the trainer of an elite sniper squad that specialized in covert operations. Felixs hands molded his students into the most lethal unseen killing force on the face of the planet.
As for me, I lived my life the best I could. But not a day passes that I dont think of her, of my sister. Her last words to me always ran through my mind, words that reminded me of who I was, of who I am. Yes it is painful sometimes when my nightmares bring me back to the forest, to the storm of the century, to the last moments with Nova, but I manage. As I write this, I can feel her presence, and she would not have wanted me to dwell upon the sorrows of the past.
The world is now extinct of Shadows. Their legends only live on in our dreams, only relived in the best of times, in the worst of times. They brought happiness and sorrow, joy and pain. They brought my sister to me and took her away from me.
And so the age of the Shadow Templars have ended, and a new dawn arises
I put the pen down and looked out the window into the dawning heavens. Streaks of golden red and orange beautifully lined the light blue atmosphere as the sun slowly but surely rose above the horizon to bring about a new day, a new beginning. A light breeze ruffled the drapes as it happily blew into the room. I closed my eyes, breathing in the sweet scent of morning dew evaporating into the light and smiled.