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- Final Chapter – Chapter 24: Leave

11:00 p.m. Monday 4th August 2003

The road from the highway had led us to a forest route we knew would take us to Fenton and in a matter of minutes we would see it. I had taken control of all aspects of the situation, this was my finale to tell and so there was no need for the ‘third’.

Along with the black fleece Ed had given me I was also wearing my famous brown jacket which I had worn a year ago to this day. Things were set up with confidence riding along with us. Ed made me promise that if it came down to it I would have to use the gun he gave me. I agreed willingly, this was no time to be afraid of death lest I would experience it myself.

I was guided by the beams of light ahead of me and the anxiety was showing. My breathing was uneven and my mind was conjuring endless numbers of outcomes to tonight. However, this was halted when a sudden insight became so clear to me. This experience mirrored my vision.

Again I was surrounded by trees in the darkness of night and that guiding light was the lamps on the motorbike. Things were heading towards this nightmarish future which I thought I had avoided by not killing Ed. For a moment I thought about stopping so I wouldn’t have to see it, but hearing Ed behind me I knew I wasn’t doing this alone and that I was doing it for us.

So I fought against that judgement and continued, knowing too well that I was heading into the heart of danger where every decision would make the difference between life and death. There was only one constant I could grasp on, knowing that no matter what the outcome this would remain true if nothing else would:

“It ends tonight.”


To my surprise we had entered Fenton from an opposite side to the hill overlooking Silver Way, in an unfamiliar part of town, but already I was feeling a deep sense of foreboding. The streets we drove through were strangely quiet and nothing was moving but us, there were no signs of life and it looked like the place had been deserted for some time.

Then, as we drove on the deafly silence was broken by the all too familiar sound of crackling embers and creaking metal, my fears were taken tangible shape at last.

We were a couple of blocks away from Silver Way but I knew not only from those sounds and the smells of soot and smoke that danger was ahead, but I could see black smoke billowing in the air above where the Octagon building stood. Ed, who had been a bit of a ghost to this point, explained what I should have known.

“See, the Order is doing their part, they’re distracting them for us. Now let’s get to the park before Octagon does so we can prepare to eliminate Alfred and make our escape.” He said.

“No.” I said firmly. “Not yet, I need to see for myself.”

So against his thoughts I continued our course and in a few minutes I had parked at a T-junction which allowed us a clear view down the road to Octagon HQ. It was burning alright, just like in my dreams but this time I could not hear any screaming. Various Shifters could be seen smashing through windows, shattering the building and I wondered if there had been anyone inside when this attack had started.

I was in a trancelike state and it was only when Ed placed a hand on my shoulder and through the sound of his voice that made me fall back into the harsh embrace of reality.

“We have to go, time is running out.” He said inevitably.

I nodded solemnly, knowing that we had a job to do, and got the bike going again.

Seeing it with my eyes was bad enough, at least I didn’t have to hear what kept haunting me. The sound death could make still made me shake but I made a promise to be strong, and put those fears into a box away from myself where they couldn’t affect me.

I knew, in a few minutes we would be at the park and then things would really get on edge. So, this was my final chance to get ready. I had secured the badge onto my jacket for good luck earlier and now I looked at it again. So this is how my life had turned out. A month ago and I would have never guessed that anything like this would have existed in this reality and further more in my life.

I looked up, there was nothing more to think about. It was time to face up to my demons.


We came to a stop outside the gate to the park and decided it would be better if we went by foot. Ed got off first and had already taken his gun out, and when I got off I took my helmet off. The feeling of the cool air against my flushed face made me sweat a bit and all of this added to the apprehension I was feeling.

Ed took the lead and I followed his example, taking my gun out as well. We knew that the rift would appear here, like it had done before, and that was why we were here. It was close to midnight and from what Ed had told me before it had been the case a year ago.

My memory was vivid about where the rift had showed up before, but Ed knew exactly where to look for it. Tonight though, one wouldn’t need a guide to find it, it stood out for all to see.

“I can see it!” Shouted Ed and he immediately started to run towards the swirling hole and I followed. We were within metres of it when we were stopped by the sound of movement and literally in a flash of light we knew he had fallen into the inevitable trap.

We stopped and I raised my arms to shield my eyes from the blinding light as I looked around in a frantic endeavour to find out what was going on. When my vision cleared I could see people standing next to industrial lights wearing the same uniform as Ed, but my attention ended on a group of two who stood out amongst these simple people. The older of the two, not very tall, tanned, with greying hair walked in front of Ed.

“So we meet face to face, traitor. It wasn’t clever coming here.”

Ed smirked defiantly, not fazed the slightest by our precarious position.

“Oh, I can say the same about you considering what happened to your precious building, Al.”

Alfred didn’t seem the least annoyed by the insult and the other man walked to his side automatically and without a word.

“A minor setback considering what we aim to achieve tonight. With the town in a deep sleep I’m sure they won’t mind if we take things to a new level.”

He clicked his fingers and all the uniformed soldiers readied their guns and took aim at us. Then he looked past Ed and straight at me.

“Ah, and there’s Robert Wright, or should I call you Marcus Fair?”

I wasn’t the only one who was shocked as Ed jolted around and looked at me.

“You’re a Fair?”

I was motionless and stunned, was that really my real name or was it another falsification of my true identity? These thoughts were shunned aside as Alfred continued without hesitation.

“I knew someone who looked like you Marcus; he used to work for me, another traitor. His name was Zack Fair, your father.”

I had lowered my gun at this point and now I realised that I was at the centre of attention.

“Where is he?” I asked, sounding rather pitiful and weak. He smiled in a cruel and sadistic manner.

“No one knows. He ran away like the coward he was with that girlfriend of his. But I must admit, without him Octagon wouldn’t be what it is today.”

My heart was racing as I finally knew not only my name but the name of my father. Alfred smiled smugly and continued.

“If it wasn’t for your old man we would never have had the technology to create a rift, but that’s a whole other story and I’m sure you know why we won’t let you leave here, Rift Walker.”

My hope had been torn away replaced by fear as I realised that even though I knew more there would be no point in knowing if I didn’t have my freedom to be able to use it.

Alfred signalled silently to the other man at his side with the wave of his arm.

“I’ll leave the rest to yo….”

There was a series of explosions around us and I immediately hit the deck, losing my grip on my weapon and landing almost face first into the ground. My head racked of pain and from what I saw as I regained my bearings I was in the middle of a battlefield.

My thoughts immediately went to Ed and when I got up I saw that he was on the ground as well and had already started to crawl towards me.

“They’re dead… both of them.” He murmured with a grin across his face, overwhelmed by the sounds of gunfire and death.

I looked around and finally understood what Ed meant by the war between the Shifters and Octagon. Octagon’s security force was holding their own against the shifters but I knew they were fighting a losing battle. I cringed as I saw a black and grey wolf shifter leap up and grab a guy in the gut and throw him around like a rag doll until he breathed no more.

By some miracle the shifters were leaving us alone, that was, until a white furred wolf came scampering towards me, completely oblivious of all the chaos occurring around her.

“Sierra.” I whispered, feeling a sudden exhaustion causing my eyesight to blur up and fade slightly and my body to numb like jelly.

Ed raised his gun but I motioned weakly to him not to shoot. The overzealous female padded to my side and looked at me with worried eyes and for the first time I saw just how beautiful and captivating her ruby red eyes were.

“Rob, are you ok? Are you hurt?” She said with true feelings of concern for me.

I smiled, even in such a situation and raised a hand to her head.

“My name isn’t Rob, its Marcus.” I said, much to her bemusement.

Before our conversation could go further she leaped over me and scampered back into the mass of shifters which were chasing after the last group of armed soldiers of Octagon. Suddenly, the numbness in my body receded and I was able to get up. I looked round and saw that Ed was only a metre away from me now and he had discarded his jacket.

I had the feeling that I was being watched and looked behind me, I had been right. In the distance I could see a figure wearing a black suit and the moment I had turned to face him he fled. Who was he? And what was he doing here?

I could not think further about this as I heard an uproar of noise and looking back in that direction I noticed the last of the soldiers had been ‘caught’ and ‘dealt’ with. The O.S.F. had been crushed, Octagon beaten, and fears for my own safety began to rise. I got up onto my feet, wobbling a bit and helped Ed up.

“Come on Ed, we’re free, we have to leave now.” I said, wondering why he was taking so long to respond. Then I saw it, he had been shot. Panic almost overwhelmed me but when I looked at the wound it was clear from any major organs. Then he noticed that I had noticed.

“Don’t worry kid, I’ll be fine. The Sarge wouldn’t stay down, that’s all. Just stop the bleeding will you.”

I got straight to it. He didn’t object when I ripped his shirt and I tied it around his waist as I placed pressure on the wound. I had no medical training before; it was all impulse and guessing at this point. I then took off my coat and slipped his heavy arms into it so his body temperature wouldn’t fall because of the cold air.

“Ok Ed, just hang in there, we’re going to start walking back to my bike. Then I’ll take you to a hospital to get you patched up, just stay with me.”

He nodded passively and I helped pick him up. I only managed to take a few steps before a familiar red dragon landed in front of me.

“You’re not going anywhere.”


My blood went ice cold as all those fears started to take over; joined by new ones I thought I never had.

“Chris…” I jittered.

My free hand reached for the gun but I remembered I had lost it when the attack began.

“Put him down Rob, you’re coming with us.” He continued his voice concentrated and strangely lucid for once.

I shook my head defiantly.

“I won’t, look at him; he got shot for goodness sake. I need to bring him to a hospital now or he could die.”

Chris blew puffs of smoke and showed no care for him.

“He deserves to die after what he did to us. Now drop him.”

“Don’t you care that I’m a murderer?” Ed’s words echoed in my mind.

I was shaking, my memories returning to that one image of death, the body of my future surrounded by his blood. Ed was taller than me and I was finding it harder to support him as my own strength began to show its true colours.

“No.”

Chris took a step closer and then panic almost took over as I realised what had really been going on.

I mustered my dwindling strength to turn round and my suspicions were correct. Two shifters were only metres behind me and were probably just about to pull Ed away from me. Suddenly, I felt something being pushed into my hand, it was Ed’s gun.

“Use it… if you must.”  He said, then he closed his eyes.

“Ed!”

The rift glowed, exuding a white aura, and a moment later a great light flowed out of the rift and engulfed us all.


I opened my eyes and knew that I was on my own in this. I stood within a dreamlike area. Everything was glowing white and looking down I couldn’t see anything which indicated ground yet I was standing on something solid. What I did notice was that within this area there were two rifts, one behind me and one behind them , on the other side.

Shifters stood on the opposite side of me and looking at what was within the rift behind them I could tell that it was their ticket home. I looked down at Ed, he was still unconsciousness but I could feel his breathing as I scanned my hand over his face. I tried to place my hand through our rift, which was glowing red but when it hit solid matter I knew I wasn’t going anywhere soon. I swore silently, looking back at the other side and was forced to lay Ed down. I had no choice.

I rushed forward and raised the gun with both hands.

“Just go, and leave us alone!” I stammered.

I could see them all, looking at me like I had gone insane. Perhaps I had, no one would believe me if I told them about this but that didn’t matter. My friend was dying and I could do nothing for him here.

Again Chris stepped forward, but he wasn’t alone. Sierra, Laura and Drake followed and all of them looked at me the same way. Chris stopped halfway across; I still had not lowered the gun.

“I didn’t tell you this before… because I was afraid about what you would think… but seeing you now I want to help you so much… I would do anything to protect you from danger… because I love you.”

There wasn’t time for me to dwell at emotions for the moment, I did not want my resolve to decline even the slightest, all my feelings at the moment were to get out of here so I could help Ed and nothing else mattered.

Chris waited for me to answer, I could tell by the look of edginess he was showing.

“Please, say something.”

I was snapped out of my thoughts and looked firmly at him.

“If you forced me to go to your world would you be happy knowing that I would hate you and try everything in my power to escape?”

He growled in surprise, I had him in a tight spot.

“You would come to love our home world like we do if you gave it a chance.” He said.

He matched my stare and for the first time I saw the richness of the blue in his eyes emanating love and compassion towards me. I remained silent, somewhat confused about myself, and he continued.

“What makes you love your world more than you love me or the world of dreams I offer you?”

For the first time I didn’t have a clear answer in my mind, then I remembered.

“I don’t love my world, it’s not perfect, but I wish to remain so I can find my parents and so I can live the life I wanted.”

“The life you wanted, what is that?” He said firmly.

I was caught off by the question, this time, I didn’t know. Chris would have said more had he not been surprised by Drake leaping ahead, taking flight and heading straight for me. I could see that he had the intent to kill me and even with the gun in my hand he would reach me before I could pull the trigger all the way.

“Marcus!”

Something knocked me over from the side and somehow I managed to hang onto the gun as I struck the invisible ground. When I was able to get back up I looked back to where I had been standing and saw Drake holding Ed in both hands. Ed had saved me.

I followed the first thought which sprung to mind, knowing that Drake would take off and I would lose my chance if I had waited a moment longer. I ran towards him, aiming to pull Ed out of Drake’s claws. I had my arms outstretched and was within arm’s reach of him when something struck my left this time and I was thrown into the air. Drake had spun round and struck me with his bulky tail.

My body struck the solid matter encasing the rift and crashed back to the ground on my front before I rolled on impact and ended up on my back. Now I felt like it was over. Everything was hurting and my head slumped to one side in defeat. I looked to my left and a small glint of silver grabbed my attention, Ed’s chain.

“It’s something to remember my hopes and dreams so I never forget them. We all should have hopes and dreams, they make life worth living.”

His words echoed in my mind and brought me back from the edge of defeat. I snatched it up thoughtlessly and pocketed it so I wouldn’t lose it. My head was spinning and I felt like I had been struck by a car, but I wasn’t going to give up yet. So I got up gun pointed at them again.

“Let him go.”

I was losing it, and I knew it, the blow to the head must have caused a concussion or something, because I was barely able to stand up straight let alone point the gun without shaking. Chris had noticed this.

“We have healers who can heal you, please…”

I kept the gun on him…

“No, I’d rather…”

But then everything went horribly wrong. A whirl of air began to encircle me. It started down at my ankles and it rose up. I tried to move but I was frozen onto the spot. The air kept rising higher and higher until I couldn’t see Chris anymore, then there was blood.

The wind had taken the shape of a leaf and struck me diagonally onto my head between my eyes, but that wasn’t all. Another struck me vertically on the upper left of my forehead and the last was the worst. It hurtled towards my right eye, I closed it and felt it just catch the surface before dissipating away and finally it let me go.

I fell to my knees; the gun fell out of my hand while my right hand covered my face, where blood had already covered most of the right side and was dripping off. Then what shocked me the worst was a projection of what I felt was my inner heart, my sanctuary aside from the mind.

It was a glowing ball of colour, light, darkness and memories, and it had been pulled away from my body. Then without warning, this wind struck through it too and my breath was halted, then the sphere shattered and fell to the ground where it disappeared into non-existence.

I slumped over to my side and felt my consciousness slipping away; however I had just enough energy to think one more thought before my light was extinguished.

Why?

Then, as my eyelids began to descend to put me away I could see a creature standing there in the centre of this place between the worlds. It was a creature which stood on four legs and had a tail. It was mostly white but I could make out patches of gold and a black underbelly. But what caught my attention most was a large, golden wheel with 4 green circles around its abdomen, connected by spikes.

As everything seemed to become nothing I passed into the darkness with this conclusion. I knew that whatever this creature was, it had done this to me, and now I was going to...


I fell out of the rift and staggered on landing, I was still alive. There was still plenty of light; some of the industrial lights Octagon had brought were still functioning. I fell to my knees and found my free hand, free of blood, touching a cold smooth object on the grass. I picked it up and saw it was the gun Ed had given me.

“I noticed Marian gave you an item with this symbol.”

I looked around, desperately searching for any signs of him. I was scrambling on the ground and found his jacket and in my search I felt his chain slip from my pocket. I lay on the ground on my back, knowing that I was going into the darkness soon and that he was lost to this world.

I managed to find the cool silver object and lifted it closely to my chest, running my hand across it. Then, I suddenly felt grooves in it and lifted it in front of my blood covered face. Just as I entered the darkness of sleep I saw that the symbol which had been on my back was now engraved into one side of the tag which hung on the chain.


01:15 a.m. Tuesday 5th August 2003

“Come on Marcus, wake up, wake up.” Said a voice.

My eyes opened weakly and as the blurriness started to clear away I could make out a woman… Marian, it was her!

“You’ve got mild concussion… going to take you to the hospital… Marcus… Marcus… Stay with me…”

I was on the verge of falling into the darkness once more, but I had the strength to say one thing.

“Thank you.”

Then finally, all which there had been became nothing at all.


Epilogue

And yes... it has become clear... I know that now.

Three months have passed and life continues as if the events of that chaotic time had never happened, albeit my appearance has changed greatly now.

The story I intended to be my first is a story which changed my life beyond immeasurable lengths and will remain with me forever. I have learnt that some stories are best left untold.

I did strike success with that other story, the one I had written during that chaotic time. It didn’t give me the fame and money I hoped for but still the returns I received were enough to keep me going.

I don’t know what happened to them… if they managed to find their way home… and what happened to Ed… And why that thing had tried to kill me… and perhaps I will never know… it isn’t my story to tell… yet….

Since I recovered I have been wearing your chain, keeping our dreams alive. I will find out what happened to you and if you are still alive, I will bring you back. If there is something in life that I am certain about now it is this: The ending can not be truly written yet… it won’t end…not until the day I die or when my greatest wish is fulfilled, or the ultimate act of betrayal committed.

No, my dreams and hope are to find you and my parents, only then can I finally stop writing and let my reality become a dream.

End of Rift in Reality </u>
Chapter 24: RIR may be over but Marcus' story isn't over yet. There are plenty of questions still unanswered. Did Chris and others make it back home? What will happen to Ed? Is Ed still alive? What will Marcus do next? And there are plenty more.

I would like to thank my watchers who have commented on various chapters, giving me advice about my writing and who have pointed out any mistakes i have made.

I give my thanks to :iconzerodevil: for the advice he has given me and :iconnecron-cheese: for taking some time out of his busy schedule to try to read through the whole thing. I also thank :iconlatioslegends: for all his reviews. Not only have they been in-depth but also they identify errors and points of improvement on a constant basis. Thank for all for your time.

No, this is just the beginning (cliche, i know, but this was only my test story so it certainly applies).

If i have time i will submit the character bios and perhaps begin to write the first chapter of 'Walking in the Mist', but i'm going to get a much needed break so my deviations may come to a standstill for a while.

Anyway, i hope you have not only enjoyed this chapter, but the whole story if you have been brave enough to try and get through it, and please comment.

Your ideas can become a reality.

James.

Link back to
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Link to
Walking in the Mist
Add a Comment:
 
:iconnecron-cheese:
Necron-cheese Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2008
Awesome ending =) You've made sure that readers are forced to read on if they want to finish the story of Marcus.
RIR only took me nine months to finish. XD But I finished it as I promised.

Onwards to Walking in the Mist!
*runs*
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:iconbahns:
Bahns Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2008
Thanks, and well done for reaching the end. I hope you enjoy WITM, i think you'll like the second chapter the most.
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:iconlatioslegends:
latioslegends Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2008
Well here to review the final chap or RIR :)

REVIEW
Hm to start off lets get down to description which is has been done to it's fullest here; compared to all the other chaps this one gave the most detail :D. You gave a excellent amount of detail into the rift, and throughout it along with decen detail through the begining, the only thing that could have used some touch ups was the begining ;). Now going down to the grammical area I didn't spot any spelling mistakes, but for grammical there were couple, but real minor :). Finally I can get down to the plot on this great chap; huh so it ends with Octagon falling and the rift opening was the perfect way to end it, and Ed's fate is definetly something to get me reading more, lol I can see your FF fan by the name of Marcus's dad XD. Anyway great ending how things slowly turn to a sense of normal to Marcus it's been while since I have read the ending of a fic around here :D
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:iconbahns:
Bahns Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2008
Thanks for all the reviews you've given while reading this series. I'm glad you liked it but as my comment for this stated the story will continue and i promise this isn't the last you'll hear about Octagon. I'm also pleased to see you know that the name Zack Fair comes from FF but i'm just using the name and therefore his character at this moment will have no connection to FF. Walking in the Mist follows this and is a mini-series centred around Marcus. Also, i've actually begun writing Tragic Hero so hopefully i can meet the submittion time i've planned for it.
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:iconlatioslegends:
latioslegends Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2008
Well I might not be reviewing you for a bit since I have a few other fics to finish^^; and it was my pleasure completing your fic :D
Reply
:iconbahns:
Bahns Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2008
Thats fine with me. And about my latest work i've hit a block so it might take a bit longer to write. I'm glad you've liked my work so far because i intend to take my writing to a higher level during Tragic Hero. i.e. more descriptions :)
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:iconzerodevil:
ZeroDevil Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2008
Nice ending.

Great story all the way around.

The rift itself, as well as Octagon, sorta remind me of the resonance cascade at Black Mesa during the events of the game Half Life 1.

I liked it. ^^

You said there will be a sequal series right?
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:iconbahns:
Bahns Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2008
Thanks and yeah there will be a sequal series following RIR but i haven't written anything for it yet ^^;.
My journal has more info about it but in short it'll be a fanfic of some sorts. Ideas would be much appreciated and thanks again.
Reply
:iconzerodevil:
ZeroDevil Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2008
You're welcome. ^^

I don't really know of many ideas for the sequal series though.
Reply
:iconbahns:
Bahns Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2008
Thats fine and to be honest with you i have left many subtle clues hinting towards what i intend to do with the series throughout RIR.

For instance, If you can correctly identify the creature which attacked Marcus just before he returned from the Rift then it might be more apparent. The last two things i'll say is this: Marcus will leave Earth in the sequal and go to the world his 'friends' called home. His 'friends' and the creature both have something in common.

If you manage to solve all this i would be mightily impressed.
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