Tangled Up in Blu: Part Ten
Blu had reached the end of her life, and she knew it. The Trident glowed with more power than Blu had ever seen; it was almost impossible to look at. The power would overwhelm her, and she didn’t plan to interfere. There was nothing she could do.
As fate would have it, Blu’s mind flashed back to her moment with Zwane before the battle.
“Blu...” Zwane’s face was inches away from Blu’s, and he spoke in a reassuring whisper. “There’s no reason for you to give up now. You’ve been through too much to just throw in the towel when things seem too tough. You can do anything, Blu. Already, you’ve found a forgotten empire, escaped from the prison, discovered and almost mastered your water bending ability, and found the legendary Trident. The word ‘impossible’ does not exist. If you believe in yourself, there is no obstacle that you cannot overcome. And if your own confidence isn’t enough, you will always have the confidence of your friends.”
“But I can’t, I can’t do it! Even if I wanted to, I can’t,” Blu whispered, talking to herself. “I can’t.”
But you can. The normally unwanted voice in her head spoke. Do you not remember your abilities? Not only can you move water; your powers branch into the field of healing. You can heal yourself and fight back. Blu was dumbstruck. How could she have been so forgetful? She could heal! Unsure of exactly how to heal, she tried her own way.
Breathing deeply, she closed her eyes and let her energy flow throughout her body. She let go of the pain, releasing it into the air. It has to go somewhere; it doesn’t just vanish, the voice in her head told her. Instinctively, Blu sent her pain at Vzelle. In a split second, the Eyrie was doubled over on the ground, clutching at her sides. The Trident was still clutched in her talons, but Blu knew that with one powerful, successful blow, she would lose her grip on the weapon. Rising to her feet, she began to call on her powers.
Okay, let’s see. Whirlpool; gotta focus. First, rotate your hands. Blu’s paws began drawing circles in the water and a current quickly arose, following her circular motions. Increasing the circumference of her rotating hands, the whirlpool expanded. When her hands could not make a larger circle, she let them fall to her sides. Her lids slipped over her blue eyes, her mind taking full control of the whirlpool.
“You cannot control it... you couldn’t then, and you can’t now,” Vzelle hissed from her spot on the ground. The comment hit Blu hard; she never had the self-confidence she needed. Her mind wavered, and the whirlpool began to slow.
“That’s right; you’re too pathetic. You will never be a great water bender.” Vzelle smirked as she spat words at Blu. Blu tried not to listen, but the words continued to stab at her until she let them in. She could feel her confidence fading, taking the whirlpool with it. And then, out of the blue, came a burst of something from deep inside the Gelert. Was it fury, perhaps, or just her long lost confidence? Unidentifiable, it sent Blu over the edge.
“No. I am a great water bender, better than you’ll ever be. And I can control this whirlpool, and I’ll use it to defeat you.” Blu’s eyes turned completely blue, the whites and pupils swallowed by her cobalt irises. She rose up slowly in the air, the whirlpool growing exponentially with her ascent. She glared daggers at Vzelle, fury bubbling below the surface of her determination.
For nothing gold can stay, and so Blu’s whirlpool began to waver as it became too powerful for her to control. Her eyes were wide as she glanced frantically around. To her dismay, the only thing she could see was a trademark smirk playing on the lips of the villainess.
No. Blu’s thoughts came in frenzied bursts. I’m not giving up now, no! I’ve got to trust the water, trust the water... Her eyes squeezed shut; her mind focused on repeating that phrase over and over until her body was limp and she was one with the water. The whirlpool steadied itself and moved closer to its target. Within a matter of seconds, the massive current of water had overtaken Vzelle, leaving the Trident safely on the ground. In a white and tan tangle of wings and limbs, she was tossed ruthlessly around in the fierce current. Blu lowered herself to the ground, still keeping the whirlpool in full force. She stalked over to where the Trident lay, and stared down at its turquoise form.
This is it, Blu thought. This is it. The Trident’s right here, waiting for me to take it, and no on can stop me. The Gelert felt the warm, tingling sensation of victory fill her body as she reached for the Trident. As soon as her white paw had taken the Trident into its grasp, she felt the surge of power from the powerful fork. It pulsated through her veins, willing her to unleash it.
With its power, you can do anything you want, A small, seemingly innocent voice filled Blu’s head. Blu had only thought of banishing evil with the Trident, so why was that notion so appealing?
C’mon, you know you want to. It would be such a waste to use all of that power - power that you are in control of - just to make you a big hero. So what if it’ll give you fame? It won’t give you what you want. If you just ignore the petty problems of these foolish kingdoms, you can have whatever you want. So go ahead. Kill that Eyrie and go fulfill your innermost wishes, Blu; your destiny is in your hands.
Blu felt her eyes widen. So much power, why waste it? She could do whatever she wanted...
Mephtik saw the change in Blu’s expression, regarding it with loathing. Tha’ same expression tha’ Gwahre had when ‘e first found tha’ blasted fork, the Elephante thought in disgust. The Trident’s power was quickly corrupting the water mage’s mind. Mephtik hauled himself out from the safe haven of the boulder he had situated himself behind and began swimming towards the transfixed Gelert.
Zwane watched as Blu’s fiery cobalt eyes lost their determined glow and faded into a hollow stare. What was happening? She should’ve already used the Trident to end this madness... Zwane thought. He turned to ask Mephtik about Blu, but found that the prison guard was already speeding towards the water bender. Without hesitation, Zwane followed.
“Blu!” Mephtik’s deep voice pierced the haze of thoughts in Blu’s mind. She turned her clouded eyes on the Elephante, who was now only a few feet away.
“Yes?” Blu asked, her voice lacking any emotion. This only caused Mephtik’s concern to deepen. The corruption was setting in. Desperately, he turned to Zwane.
“Zwane, ya gotta talk some sense inta yer friend. The Trident’s power is corruptin’ er mind; turning er evil. If ya don’t get through ta er, we’re all doomed,” the Elephante pleaded to the shadow Gelert. Zwane nodded, and turned to his friend.
“Blu, listen to me. You don’t want this, do you? You don’t want to let your selfish desires get in the way of saving lives... you want to help them. Your only desire was to help these poor people, and now you're going to let yourself be swayed by a little dark magic? You’re better than that, Blu, and you know it. Fulfilling your own desires isn’t the key to happiness; only through fulfilling the desires of others can you achieve true bliss. You want to use the Trident only for the good of these people, and you know it. You spend too much time listening to your mind and not enough time listening to your heart. Listen to your heart, Blu; not your mind. Save these people, and save yourself.”
With each of Zwane’s words, Blu’s eyes grew less and less clouded. Her expression altered, going from blank and transfixed to shocked and disgusted. The mage released her grasp on the Trident and fell to her knees.
“What was I thinking? How could I ever think of using the Trident for my own personal gain?” Blu shook her head, appalled at her own thoughts. Zwane stooped down next to her, letting a black paw rest on her shoulder. She turned to him, and he offered a reassuring smile. Mephtik, coming closer to the pair of Gelerts, began to speak.
“It’s not yer fault, Blu. Tha’ darn fork can do more bad things than ya can think of. It made a whole kingdom turn evil in abou’ an hour er two. Ya can’t go blamin’ yerself for things ya got no control over. What ya gotta do is be thankful Zwane snapped ya outta it, an’ go an’ use tha darn thing to save us all.” Mephtik grinned at Blu, handing her the Trident. She smiled back and rose to her feet. She closed her eyes to begin, but then opened them again as a realization came.
“What do I do?” Blu asked. Zwane and Mephtik both shrugged. Blu sighed. Okay, so if the Trident made me think of what I wanted, maybe I have to banish those thoughts and think of what I want to do. It’s worth a shot... Blu let her eyes close once again. The Trident sent corrupted messages into her mind, and Blu did her best to ward them off.
Help others, save them, no selfish desires... she repeated mentally. Almost telepathically, she told the Trident what she wanted to do.
And just like that, the Trident’s power was unleashed. Blu winced, struggling to keep hold of the wildly vibrating Trident. A beam of blinding white light shot out of the prongs, swallowing the war scene whole. The battlefield in its entirety was flooded with blinding light for what seemed like hours to the island Gelert. When the light finally faded, it left the scene utterly transformed.
Where relentless battles once stood, there were now just small clusters of soldiers looking anything but eager to fight. Most were smiling, making small talk with the nearest pet as if nothing had happened. Weapons were all sheathed; there was not one weapon out and poised for attack. But the most shocking thing was that you could not tell a Maraquan soldier from a Dehytreznian one.
The previously scarred bodies of the Dehytreznians were now flawless; their bodies were identical to that of the Maraquan pet they resembled before. Hostile eyes had melted into the normal hues, and discoloring and mutations faded away. Even if the war had continued on, no one would be able to tell a fellow soldier from the enemy.
Blu’s eyes darted back and forth over the scene, hardly able to comprehend what she was seeing. As her mind slowly realized what had happened, warmth spread throughout her body. A smile crept upon her lips. I did it! I really did it!
Before she could say open her mouth to say anything, Blu was wrapped in a literally breath-taking group hug. Mephtik’s flippers wrapped around Zwane’s shadowed arms, pressing them closer to Blu than anyone thought possible. They all laughed at the frivolity of the hug before pulling away for air. As Blu finally really looked at Mephtik, she realized he too had changed.
The Elephante had lost his scars like the rest of the Dehytreznians, but something else about him was different. He always seemed to have a black cloud over his head, but it seemed to have disappeared. His cheerfulness was more apparent (not that it wasn’t apparent before), and the normal dull glow of his eyes had increased to a twinkle. He seemed so much happier...
“Blu! Ya did it! I knew ya could do it!” Mephtik pulled the Gelert into a bone-crushing hug. She laughed, hugging the loveable Elephante with all of her might. After a few seconds, they released each other from the hug.
“Oh, guys, I didn’t think I could do it, but I did. Thanks for believing in me.” Blu sighed happily. Zwane smiled as he came up behind Blu and put his arms around her neck.
“You always did believe in yourself. Even if you didn’t think so, there was a little part of you that did. Maybe you just needed friends to bring it out.” Zwane squeezed her tighter, and then let his arms fall to his sides. “But one question: where is Vzelle?”
There was a collective shrug. Odd how no one noticed where the source of this whole troublesome affair had gone. The trio began looking around, and quickly located the Eyrie, who was unsuccessfully attempting to escape unnoticed. Blu gasped at the sight of her; her blue eyes were dulled and her feathers were graying. She was a scrawny thing; fear was evident in her eyes. Nevertheless, Blu could show no pity.
“I’m sorry, Vzelle. You were such a great mentor, even a great friend, but you betrayed me. And I cannot change the past, no matter how much I want to. So I’m going to have to imprison you.” Blu couldn’t help but let her voice tremble as she lifted the Trident above her head. She closed he eyes and directed the energy at Vzelle. With a blinding flash of light, Vzelle was turned to stone.
To be continued...