|The Happenings I|
|Series||The Happenings by Azaelia Silmarwen|
|Next||Sparrow's Happily Ever After|
|← Heroes United||Chapter Chronology||Sparrow's Happily Ever After →|
CHAPTER TWELVE: AND SO IT ENDSEdit
I was comfortable and warm. That was the first thing I realised when I began to awake. Wait! Awake? How could I awake after being shot?
I hurriedly opened my eyes and sat up.
This room...how could it be possible? I was sitting in my childhood bedroom, in my childhood bed. I was on the farm where I use to live, before my parent's deaths.
Was this the afterlife? I began to wonder as I clambered out of bed and walked absently around the room. Is this where -
I stopped dead in front of a mirror. That couldn't be me! But it was. There I was wearing one of my favourite childhood outfits. And there I was, looking like my five year old self. How was this possible?
My thoughts were interrupted by a warm, cheerful voice that I never thought that I would hear again.
'Are you up yet, Little Sparrow?' Rose asked as she walked into the room.
'Rose!' I yelled, running over and embracing my now startled sister. 'Aren't you a sight for sore eyes!'
'What are you on about?' she asked, blinking down at me. 'You saw me last night as we went to bed.'
'What?' I replied, taking a step back, looking up into her bewildered face. 'But...that night. Lucien killed you!'
'Lucien? As in Lord Lucien? Why would he do a thing like that?' asked Rose. She was getting more confused by the minute.
'But it's true! I saw it!' I argued. 'As a result I became a Hero and went to find Hammer the Hero of Strength - who became my best friend -, Garth the Hero of Will - who also became my friend-, and Reaver the Hero of Skill, who was...dreamy.'
Rose stared at me for a minute, before laughing.
'Oh, my Little Sparrow,' she laughed. 'It was only a dream. Nothing more and nothing less than a dream.'
'A dream?' I repeated, looking around.
Could it be true? Could all over that have been only a dream? But it all felt so real!
'Anyway, Mum and Dad have gone out. You've missed saying goodbye.' Rose told me, as she led me outside. 'They won't be back for ages. We're going to have such a fun day. I've got so many things planned. I've hidden bottles around the farm you to shoot, the chickens need rounding up, or we can kill some beetles. All sorts of things. So, what shall we do first?' she added as we came to a halt outside.
I grinned up at her and ran off towards the chicken coop, shooting bottles with my toy gun as I went running by.
In the end, it felt like an hour had past, when in reality a whole day had passed. I had so much fun. I ended up finding and shooting all of the bottles, I rounded up all the chickens making Rose exhausted just from watching me, and I killed all the beetles in one of the vegetable gardens. After that, we went to bed seeing as though there was nothing else to do and it was getting late.
'Goodnight, Little Sparrow. Pleasant dreams.' Rose whispered to me as she tucked me in.
'Night Rose.' I said sleepily, and in moments I had fallen into a deep sleep.
Sadly, I was woken up at midnight by a strange sound coming from outside. Curious as to what it was, I climbed out of bed and looked out the window.
'Rose? Are you asleep?' I asked, not taking my eyes away from the darkness outside.
'Yes. And that's what you’re meant to be doing.' came Rose's sleepy reply.
'Can you hear that music?' I asked her, ignoring her last comment.
'It's nothing Little Sparrow, go back to sleep.' Rose grumbled.
'But it sounds so familiar. As though it was from some sort of dream...' I muttered. 'I'm going to see what it is.' I said suddenly, before leaving the room with Rose grumbling after me.
'Aww, come on, get back to bed, there's nothing fun to do here now.' she grumbled. 'Where are you going?'
'Outside to see what's making that music,' I replied as I ran to the entrance of our property.
'Are you mad? It's dangerous out there!' exclaimed Rose. 'Don't go out there. Mum and dad will be angry.' she added, when she saw that I wasn't listening. 'Don't go. Please, don't leave me again. I don't want to be alone anymore!'
'What did you say?' I asked, coming to a halt in front of the front gate. What did she mean about leaving her? I never left her. We have never left each other's sides except in my dream...
'It wasn't a dream.' I muttered out loud, before slowly backing away from Rose. 'None of this is real, is it?
'Please, we have a perfect life here! You'll ruin everything!' Rose pleaded.
'I'm sorry, Rose.' I said sadly, before running out the gate.
'Noooo!' came Rose's agonising scream from behind me. It was the same scream she made when she was protecting me from Lucien.
Part of me was screaming for me to go back to her, but I knew that I couldn't. I knew that I had to move forward and that I couldn't live in the past.
As I ran along the path, I saw the dead bodies on many travellers and my parents. The poor victims of one of Thag's ruthless raids. The one raid where he left no survivors. Closing my eyes, I continued to run blindly forward, and when I opened them again...I saw it. Up a head was the music box. The music box that resulted in the course of events happening. But why was it here? Why would it show itself to me after all these years?
Hesitantly I picked it up and everything changed.
I was back in my adult, twenty-eight year old body, and just meters away was an eight year old me, talking to Rose in front of a fire. It was the morning of the day Rose was murdered. I watched as Rose looked longingly up at the castle, before running off to listen to the trader, Murgo. I then watched as Theresa spoke to us and we went and to earn money to buy the music box. The scene then changed to our wish being made and the box disappearing, before my surroundings changed and I was standing in Lord Lucien's study as he interrogated us. It was then that I had to watch as Rose was murdered.
Once more the scene changed and I realised that the music box was showing me different memories, but why? What purpose did it have?
This memory showed an eighteen year old me, in my bra, pauper skirt and boots, travelling to the Guild and the ritual that awoke my blood. Theresa's voice echoed around my head.
'For centuries, this academy trained the most supremely gifted sons and daughters of Albion, bound together by the blood that flowed in their veins. Can you feel power coursing through you?'
The memory changed once more and was replaced with Hammer crying over her father's body, before it was changed, yet again to my challenges in the Crucible and then the Spire. The music box then showed my decision in the Shadow Court and a few images of Reaver with all our teasing and flirting.
Finally, it came and rested on the memory of Lucien trying to kill me once again. It was at this point that I realised that all these events that had happened made me stronger and had allowed me to give up what I had wanted the most.
'You have passed the test.' Rose said, appearing in front of me. 'Your reward is the opportunity to face your enemy - and the means to destroy him. Take the box, and go to him.'
'I will revenge you, Rose. I will make you proud.' I promised.
'You already have, Little Sparrow.' she said, before she disappeared as my world went black once more.
* * *
When I awoke, I saw that I had somehow teleported to the Spire's entrance. Sadly, I was standing behind all of Lucien's Spire guards and somehow they were alerted to my presence and turned to face me.
With my head held high, I gave them a challenging look and walked forward, but found my path blocked by the commandants.
'Well, look who's come back.' one of them grinned nastily. 'But sadly, this isn't an inn where you can check yourself in and out. Those that do leave must be punished.'
'Alas, I won't be the one who is about to be punished.' I told him, with a small smirk beginning to cross my face. He looked uneasy.
Then, without warning, I sent a huge surge of electric blades at each commandant and just stood there as they became nothing more than a stack of bones. I then looked up at all the guards and raised an eyebrow at them. They took a step back.
'I thought you would get the message.' I said coldly. 'And if you value your life, you will free all the prisoners and leave the Spire immediately.'
The guards rushed off and did as I said. I stood there for a few moments, before I ran along the entrance, up the stairs and into the white light that I knew Lucien would be hiding behind. I wasn't disappointed. He was indeed there and he was performing the same ritual, myself and the other three Heroes had performed before we were ambushed.
I looked at my friends. Each of them looked like they were going to pass out from the amount of pain they were going through, if their faces were anything to go by.
As I walked forward, Lucien caught sight of me and his eyes bludged.
'Your power is astounding. Twice you have cheated death.' exclaimed Lucien. 'Yet your abilities are pitiful compared to the power of the Spire, which will soon be mine. Now...Sleep.' he said, sending a force of energy at me. It was the same spell he used on me when I first arrived at the Spire, only this time, I wasn't going to give in.
'Nice try, Lucien, but your little trick doesn't work on me.' I snapped as I took out the music box and held it in front of me.
'What is that?' Lucien asked, sounding a little unsure.
'The Relic,' I muttered as a jet of light went and hit Lucien right in the chest.
'What are you doing?' Lucien cried out.
'What do you think?' I replied back. 'I'm stopping you.'
'You think a mere trinket will save you?' Lucien asked, trying to keep the panic out of his voice and distract me. I ignored him. 'You think anything can?... Stop; think about what you are doing. I will put an end to chaos... Stop it you fool. I order you to stop.'
In the end, I did stop...only because I had freed my friends from the ritual. Lucien wasn't happy.
'You consider that a victory?' he snarled. 'Your merely delaying the in editable. All that you struggled for will be crushed under the majesty of the Spire. Why? Why must you interfere? What are you fighting to protect? The world that robs us of what we loved most? Is that what you think is worth preserving?' Lucien asked me, but I wasn't listening. Instead, my attention was on Reaver.
Unlike Hammer and Garth, who were both lying on the ground, Reaver was standing up, even if he was a little bent over trying to regain his strength. Then, a few moments later he stood up straight and just stared at Lucien with his head cocked to the side, with a look of boredom and disbelief on his handsome face.
'You small minded fool!' Lucien continued, unaware that I hadn't heard a word he had said. 'Do you think that you are the only one to suffer loss? I asked the world for nothing but a family, and even that trivial request was too excessive. Such a cold world does deserve existence. The New Kingdom will have no place for fate or chaos - or Heroes.'
I watched as Reaver glanced at me, before pulling out his gun and shooting Lucien in the chest carelessly. The bullet hit Lucien with that much force that it ended up knocking him off the platform and we listened as his scream was suddenly cut off when he hit the ground with a crash.
'Oh, I thought he'd never shut up.' Reaver said. I wasn't sure if he meant Lucien talking or him screaming.
For some reason, I didn't feel annoyed about Reaver killing Lucien, and when I thought about it, it was probably better off this way.
‘Lucien's...dead?’ Hammer said as she struggled to her feet. ‘So, what happens now?’
‘I guess we go our separate ways,’ I said hesitantly, taking in all their faces.
Before any of us could say another word, Theresa appeared in the middle of the room.
‘Theresa!’ I exclaimed. ‘Thank goodness you’re alright!’
‘Thank you for your concern, but now isn’t the time for concern.’ Theresa said in her usual calm voice. ‘Hero, it is time you gain you reward.’
‘My reward?’ I said blankly.
‘Your gift for saving the world from a mad and selfish dream.’ Theresa answered. ‘The Spire has awakened, and it still has the power to grant one wish...yours. Come, take my hand.’
As I walked up and over to Theresa, I swore that I could hear Rose speaking to me.
‘It's alright Little Sparrow, don't be afraid.’
Once I took Theresa’s hand, she took us...I have no idea where she took us, but the entire place was white.
‘Theresa, where are we?’ I asked, looking around.
‘You stand in the heart of the Spire, as the archon of the old kingdom did thousands of years ago.’ explained Theresa. ‘Now it is you turn. Make a wish, but choose wisely, for it will affect the all of Albion.’
‘So...so I can wish for anything?’
‘No, there are only three wishes that you can choose from.’ answered Theresa.
‘And what are these wishes?’
‘Sacrifice: you may choose to revise all those who died in the Spire's making. It is a selfless gift; your only reward will be the gratitude of all of Albion, but know that you will never see your dog again.’ said Theresa. ‘Love: those dearest to you, even your faithful dog, will be restored to life, but their lives come at the cost of all the lives lost in the building of the Spire. Or wealth: more gold than you can imagine, to spent on whatever you want to, but any you loved, and all the prisoners will remain dead. What will you choose?’
‘Well, it won’t be wealth, that’s for sure. What need for money do I have?’ I mused out loud. ‘And I cannot pick love either. Those that were dearest to me died many years ago and they wouldn’t fit in here now. And as much as I owe everything to Storm...it would be selfish to wishes him back on the lives of thousands. So...I choose sacrifice.’
‘So be it.’ Theresa said gently, knowing how hard the decision had been for me. ‘All those who have lost family and friends to the Spire have had their loved ones returned to them, confused but unharmed. So, all of Albion be filled with gratitude, and praise the name of this great and selfless Hero forever, and they will know what you gave up for their sake.’ she said taking my hand and teleporting us back to the others.
‘We heard everything.’ Hammer said quietly.
I wasn’t able to look at her or any of the others. The realisation that Storm was gone had just sunk in and it was tearing me apart. After everything we had been through...
‘Yes, a wish was made, and Albion must live with its consequences.’ said Theresa.
Hammer and the others walked over to me, and I felt Reaver bring me into a gentle hug. His emotionless mask had slipped in front of us in Wraithmarsh, so he no longer had to act in front of us. In his arms, I just broke down and sobbed into his chest. After a while, I quietened down.
‘When my father died, it was awful.’ Hammer told me quietly, putting her hand comforting on my shoulder. ‘I can barely stand thinking about it, but to sacrifice him myself...no. It took amazing strength for you to do that. More strength than I'll ever have.’
‘Thanks Hammer,’ I muttered.
‘So, what happens now?’ asked Reaver, still holding me.
‘That is up to you.’ Theresa answered casually. ‘I can send you anywhere from here. What do you wish?’
‘I wish to return home, to Samarkand.’ Garth answered immediately.
‘Ooh, I have never been to Samarkand.’ Reaver said, looking highly interested. ’Hot nights, exotic substances and ...uninhibited people.’
‘It's nothing like that!’ Garth said hastily.
‘Trust me, I'll find the exciting bits.’ Reaver shrugged, making me chuckle weakly.
‘Fine, but stay out of my way.’ warned Garth, before turning to Hammer. ‘Hammer?’
‘No. I'm done.’ Hammer said quickly, shaking her head, before turning to me. ‘I know why we got attacked in the cave. The day we met. You brought those hollow men in with you. Two monks would have found nothing, but a warrior finds battle...always.’
‘Not entirely true. They probably would have attacked you, even if I wasn’t there.’ I disagreed. ‘They would have felt the Hero blood in you.’
‘Maybe,’ said Hammer. ‘I want to go north. Study with those warrior monks. I was so sick of avoiding violence, but now I'm sick of causing it.’
‘Well time to go.’ Reaver said cheerfully. ‘Goodbye Hero. I simply can't thank you enough for dragging me into this mess, though if you hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t have found closure with Annabelle.’ he admitted. ‘Oh, I should tell you. I have to make the occasional sojourn back to Albion. I have an obligation to some friends in Wraithmarsh. So, until then, my dear.’
‘Goodbye Reaver,’ I said sadly as I watched him walk over to Theresa, whom sent him to Samarkand.
‘I had my doubts about you at first, but I'm glad me met.’ Garth told me, embracing me in a quick hug. ‘And we shall meet again. You shall count on it.’ he said, before following Reaver’s lead and disappearing to Samarkand too.
‘So, think you can handle Albion on your own?’ Hammer asked me, when Garth had disappeared.
‘I think I’ll be able to manage.’ I replied. ‘Are you sure that you won’t stay?’
‘Nah, I need to get away from here for a while. Do some thinking for a change.’ Hammer said lightly. ‘It's not like I'm leaving much behind. Well, maybe one thing. About the greatest friend I've ever had.’ she said, also embracing me and when she spoke, her voice was filled with emotion. ‘But it's time to say goodbye. Take care of yourself.’
‘You to, my friend.’
‘Farewell Hammer.’ Theresa said as Hammer went to her, to be teleported away. ‘And now it is time for you to leave.’ Theresa said, turning to me. ‘The world is yours to enjoy, but the Spire...is mine.’
‘And you’re welcome to it.’ I smiled at her as I embraced her tightly. ‘Thank you for everything, Theresa! I would never have been able to revenge Rose if it hadn’t been for you! But before I go, I have a question.’
‘And what is this question?’
‘The Spire has a gift for you too, doesn’t it?’
‘Yes. The future has always whispered to me, and I have followed its sound blindly.’ answered Theresa. ‘But now, as I stand here, I am starting to see all possible futures. There are many threads - too many to count. Yet there are moments when they all converge, events that cannot be avoided. Futures which must be fulfilled. Before you go, I believe I should show you one such future. Take my hand, one last time.’
‘Okay,’ I said slowly, but took her hand none the less.
When we arrived at our destination, I saw that we were in Fairfax Castle.
‘We’re in Fairfax Castle, aren’t we?’ I asked Theresa, looking around. ‘But, why are we here? What has this got – is that my Crucible trophy in that trophy case?’ I added as I caught sight of a familiar trophy with Sparrow and the date written on it.
‘Yes. It is many years from now.’ Theresa answered as a beautiful young lady walked through the entrance and along the red carpet. She was wearing a golden crown and looked oddly familiar. She had short light brown hair that seemed to have golden streaks throughout it and her green eyes showed wisdom beyond her years and they were also full of love. She was also abnormally tall for a woman with blue Will lines on her white skin. She was an older version of me.
‘That’s – that’s me, isn’t it?’ I gasped.
‘A queen feels age weighing her down and the responsibility of an entire kingdom.’ said Theresa as we followed the older me along the hall. I nearly stopped dead when she said that I would be queen of Albion. ‘These are her men.’ Theresa added, to the guards lined up before us. ‘Loyal soldiers who would die for her. Many already have, on battlefields at home and in faraway lands. They would follow her wherever she leads. These are her people.’ Theresa added again as we passed a crowd of Albion citizens from all regions. They all bowed and cheered when they saw the older me. ‘Subjects who worship her. Who trust her to guide them, protect them and govern them. And this is her throne. Albion's seat of power, where she has made countless decisions, delivered justice and led a nation.’ Theresa explained when the Queen sat down and began to listen to reports. ‘Yet none of this is of the least importance.’
‘Then why are you showing me this?’ I asked.
The future seemed to be on fast forward for everything seemed to be moving quickly. And in no time, the hall was empty, apart from the Queen.
‘Because this is the real future,’ explained Theresa as a child came running towards the queen.
I was unable to see the child’s face clearly for some reason, but I knew that the child was a boy, probably no older than ten. I watched as the Queen picked up the child and embraced him tightly. Before greeting a hooded man, who was carrying a young baby. I didn’t know the gender.
‘Her child, not yet born, but destined for greatness.’ continued Theresa, referring to the baby. ‘A child on whom the fate of Albion will depend one day. As will the fate of Aurora.’
‘Aurora? As in that desert across the sea?’ I asked, not taking my eyes off my future family.
I was trying to see who the man under the hood was. So far, all I knew was the man was taller than me, and the only man that I knew was that tall was Reaver.
‘Is that Reaver under the hood?’ I asked Theresa.
‘I do not know. I see only what you see here.' admitted Theresa.
'Nah, it couldn't be Reaver, could it?' I said more to myself than to Theresa.
'These things you will understand in time.’ said Theresa as she took us back to the Spire. ‘For now you must live your life, and prepare for what is to come. Take care, Little Sparrow. And remember, I am always here, always watching.’
Next chapter link: http://fablefanon.wikia.com/wiki/Sparrow%27s_Happily_Ever_After
Written: 9 September 2011