Retribution: Part Eight
Part Eight: Battle
Silver looked at the Bori nervously. "Cam? What are you doing?"
Cam flashed him a smile that didn't seem quite right, dead eyes gazing at him. "Cam? I'm sorry, but that is not the inhabitant of this body at the current time."
Silver jerked his sword out of its scabbard. "You're really starting to freak me out..."
"I am? How careless of me." He lunged forward, knocking the Zafara over before he could even think to lift his sword. "I shouldn't be starting to do anything."
There was a flicker of movement on the edge of Silver's vision, and his eye shifted the faint form of a wraith-like Lupe hovering over his companion, staring down at him with uncaring eyes. He couldn't help the cry that escaped from his lips, "H-help!"
That's when the knights appeared around the corner.
Wraith looked from Martin to the two members of the Three and back again. "What is your obsession with me?" he growled. "Don't you have better things to do? Other lives to destroy?"
"Perhaps," three voices responded, "but we really can't do that until we take care of you."
Wraith's eyes narrowed dangerously. "You don't think I'm just going to give in, do you?"
"No," the possessed Martin responded. "You never were one to accept your just punishment easily."
Wraith stiffened. "What?"
"Don't sound so surprised," Martin said, grinning as he pushed the cell door open and walked through. "You know as well as we do that you deserve punishment."
Wraith clenched his fists, trying to ignore the voice that agreed with them. "No," he whispered quietly. "I left my past behind. I'm not Kass anymore."
Martin smiled. "Oh, Kass. How naïve."
"What happened? Who are you two?"
Silver hadn't imagined he'd feel so relieved to be caught. "Help!" he repeated, trying to push Cam off of him.
The Bori's head snapped up, a half-grin, half-sneer twisting his facial features as his dull eyes settled on the knights that were racing towards them. "Knights? Well, I suppose this couldn't just be an easy task, could it?"
One of the knights swung a sword towards him, and he lifted a hand. The weapon seemed to bounce off an invisible barrier, forcing the knight back. Silver, taking the opportunity to fight back, swung his sword up. This Cam wasn't able to block, and instead was forced to jump backwards. He angled his feet so that they collided with the chest of a knight, sending him sprawling across the floor.
Silver scrambled to his feet, jumping back to join the knights who stared at his former companion in horror. "What's wrong with that Bori?" one whispered in dismay.
As Silver watched him pick up a fallen sword, he replied in honest horror, "I have no idea."
Wraith lifted his arms to shield himself out of reflex. The powerful blast of magic collided with the burly purple appendages, and he scrunched his eyes shut, trying to ignore the pain. "You just can't help fighting, can you?" Martin asked dryly.
"It's been ingrained into me," Wraith replied tiredly. "You should know that."
"We do," the possessed Martin agreed. "After all, that's what we played on when we needed you to act for us."
Wraith's eyes narrowed to slits. "Stop it."
"Oh, and it was so easy, too," Martin added. "You always wanted power more than anything."
"Stop trying to mess with my head," Wraith hissed.
"Mess with your head?" three voices asked, mocking offense. "We wouldn't dream of it."
Silver watched as Cam swung his stolen sword, the weapon clanging off one belonging to a knight. The Bori didn't bother to struggle against the Grarrl, instead thrusting a palm forward to hit the other neopet with a powerful blast of magic. Where is this power coming from? the Zafara wondered, eyes stretched wide. He never showed any sign of it before! Then again, he hadn't known him for very long; maybe he'd completely misjudged his character.
Cam spun in a low circle, tip of his sword pointed outwards to force back any knights who tried to converge on him. He returned to an upright position quickly, jumping into the air and dragging the sword above his head to bring it down in a powerful overhead strike. The target of his attack lifted his sword to block the blow, but with the force of the blow and the Bori's full body weight caused him to go crashing to the floor, Cam pushing off and flipping over himself before falling. He landed on his feet, stumbling to catch himself before frowning, rolling his shoulders. "It's been a while," he commented. "I'm out of practice."
"That's out of practice?" a knight gasped, mouth flopping open in his shock.
Silver couldn't help but agree. He watched as two knights charged the Bori, but they were easily forced back with a blast of magic from an upraised blue palm. Another attempted a sneak attack on him, but he ducked to the side, slamming the pommel of his weapon into the knight's stomach and forcing the breath out of him.
All the while, the Zafara stood there, feeling helpless. I know I should be doing something, he thought, but I can't move. His wide green eyes watched as Cam parried a strike from a knight, jerking his sword arm far to the side in order to force his opponent to do the same. He's just so strong. How can we beat him?
Then he saw an apparition flash behind the Bori; the same image of a Lupe he'd seen before. The image stayed longer this time, and Silver realized he'd seen this figure somewhere before, in the images his mother had shown him when telling him the story of how Meridell had fought against the forces of Darigan Citadel.
That's not Cam. The thought was enough to force him from his stationary positioning, and he surged forward, sword held out at his side.
Wraith watched Martin warily as the possessed Techo circled him. "We remember everything about you, Kass," he whispered. "Surely you remember everything, too?"
"Just get out of here," the Eyrie seethed. "Leave me in peace."
"Peace?" three voices repeated in amazement. "You think you deserve peace, after all you've done?" Wraith stiffened, unable to move away as Martin stopped in front of him, leaning forward so that his face pressed up near the beak of the Eyrie. "You were the cause of a war that brought despair to not one kingdom, but two. Do you really think that 'peace' is what you deserve to get?"
Silver's sword slammed into Cam's with a loud ring. He ignored the shocked protests of the knights behind him, hissing, "Cam, you've got to snap out of it."
The Bori's brow furrowed slightly. "I told you, this isn't Cam's body anymore."
"Yes, it is," Silver growled back. "You've just stolen it."
There was a paused before the voice of Cam hissed, "Nonsense."
The green Zafara was suddenly forced back by a burst of magic. He skidded across the floor, letting out a small cry as he bounced once, his weapon flung from his grip. He started to push himself up, looking at the Bori as he advanced towards him. "Come on, Cam; fight this thing!"
The eyes of the Bori narrowed. "You really think you can reach him? How foolish." He lifted his sword, seemingly preparing to bring the weapon down on the defenseless Zafara.
The weapon stalled in midair. "What's going on?" he growled, arm shaking as he tried to force the sword down. Then dull amber eyes stretched wide. "Illusen..."
Cam wasn't sure he understood what was going on. One moment, he was sitting in a plain of empty blackness; the next, he was seeing himself standing over an injured Silver, arm raised above his head as if to attack. "W-what?" he yelped before he was flung back to his darkness.
This time, however, he remained aware. What's going on? he wondered, whipping his head around wildly. I don't understand.
"You've been possessed, Cam, taken over by the power of one of the Three."
The Bori's head whipped to the side. "Who's there?" he called.
A faint light flickered into existence before his bewildered gaze. "A small portion of Illusen's power," the voice whispered, "instilled in you to help keep the menace that possessed you at bay."
For a few moments, Cam was unsure of what the voice was talking about. Then his eyes stretched wide in realization. "The mirror."
"Yes," the voice agreed.
A mountain of questions piled up before him, but he shook them off, instead asking, "Is it possible for you to help me fight of this 'possession', then?"
"All you had to do was ask."
Silver watched as Cam seemed to struggle with the specter, arm shaking and eyes flickering with brief flashes of consciousness. "No," the Bori growled quietly. "This is my body, not yours."
This power struggle lasted for a few moments before there was a wild, piercing cry. The specter of the Lupe detached itself from Cam's body, flying off into the castle. Cam gasped, falling to his knees and dropping his sword. "You alright?" Silver exclaimed, scrambling to his feet.
The Bori appeared not to hear him. Instead, his eyes stretched wide, and he whispered, "Boss." Then he was on his feet, racing away before Silver could stop him.
No matter how hard Wraith tried, he couldn't deny what the possessed Martin told him. Maybe it would be better for him to just give in; after all, he deserved it, didn't he? "Yes," the two members of the Three agreed. "You are Kass, and you will always be Kass. You can't escape that."
His shoulders slumped. Were they right? Perhaps.
He hardly noticed when a third figure joined the other two, or when the Three converged, Martin's form disappearing as they flew towards him. The only thing he could think was that maybe he deserved this, after all.
Cam didn't have time for relief as he found the dungeon, sprinting down the steps to look for Wraith; the first sight that met him was the form of his mentor being attacked by the spirits of the Three.
To be continued...