|The Happenings II|
|Series||The Happenings by Azaelia Silmarwen|
|Previous||War and Truths|
|← War and Truths||Chapter Chronology||None →|
CHAPTER ELEVEN: THE ENDEdit
At first, Cassie was confident that she would be able to raise the money needed to protect her people and have some left over for rebuilding Albion, but as the months went on, she began to find it hopeless and would stay up to all hours of the morning working. As a result, she was always tired and snapped at anyone over the simplest things. She even snapped at Gail when her daughter asked her to play dolls with her.
Elliot had tired countless times to get her to relax and sleep for at least a day and each time Cassie snapped at him and removed him from the room. As a result, he had called upon their friends to help. Walter had suffered the same fate as Elliot; Page ended up leaving the room muttering about Cassie turning into a Logan; Ben, Kalin and Swift equally had no luck, and Sabine came out with Boulder looking extremely angry. None of them knew what to do.
'We could try Jasper,' suggested Walter. 'He's never taken any nonsense from her.'
'I think he has already tried,' sighed Elliot. 'She was muttering about Jasper being as bad as you and me the other day and how she didn't have time to relax. Probably tried to reason with her through the Guild Seal.'
'Then who else can help her? We've all tried and she literally threw us from the room, well to me anyway.' said Ben.
'True. She even snapped at Gail,' said Kalin.
'What, when?' asked Page. 'And how do you know?'
'I saw her running down a corridor crying and she ran into her Uncle Logan and as he comforted her, she told him what had happened. He then went off to play dolls with her.'
'Logan, playing dolls!' laughed Sabine. 'I would have loved to see that!'
'That's it!' exclaimed Elliot.
'What's it?' asked Swift.
'Logan and Reav-River are the only two that haven't tried yet.'
'I don't know, my friend,' said Swift. 'River has been in Aurora trying to get the sand furies to join us -'
'I still do not know how he is able to get close enough to charm them,' mutter Kalin.
'- and getting that diamond Kalin mentioned. In addition, I don't think sending Logan in would be very wise. She'd probably attack him.'
'Besides, Reaver hasn't been in Cassie's life for a very long time. Does she even see him as her father?' asked Page.
'Elliot is right,' said Walter. 'Out of all of us, they probably have the best chance of handling her.'
'How did you figure that?' asked Swift.
'Logan has been with her from the beginning, which means that he knows how to handle her mood swings...most of the time -'
'Most of the time?' repeated Ben.
'There have been a few times when he has retaliated to something she has said and they have ended up fighting, but even so, he is the best chance we have.' said Walter. 'As for River, he is her father and during the sort period of time he was in her life, he didn't take any nonsense from her either. Oh, and River returned this morning,' he added. 'There's currently an army of sand furies living in his mansion and the diamond is in the treasury.'
'Well, I guess it's worth a try,' muttered Sabine. 'Do you know where they are now?'
'Logan's study,' answered Walter before leading the way.
'Let's hope this works,' said Elliot as he knocked on Logan's study door, while the others crossed their fingers.
'Come in,' called Logan.
Slowly, the group of friends entered and found Logan sitting at his desk, pouring over some maps of Bowerstone, while Reaver sat on the ground playing with Gail.
'Daddy!' exclaimed Gail, running over to Elliot and jumping into his arms. 'Are you here to play with me and Papa?'
'Maybe later, Gail,' smiled Elliot.
'If you're after my sister, you just missed her,' said Logan, without looking up. 'Though, if you are after her you better hope that it is important, for she is in a foul temper.'
'That's actually what we wanted to talk to you and River about,' said Walter. 'Each of us has tried to get Cassie to slow down and relax, but she just won't listen to us. She will not even take a day off.'
'What are you on about?' frowned Logan, looking up from his work.
'Cassie left the castle yesterday morning saying that she was going off to do some shopping and relax down by Bowerstone Old Town's docks.' said Reaver, also frowning.
'Old Quarter, Father,' corrected Logan.
'Same thing,' shrugged Reaver.
'True she left the castle, but it was to hunt gnomes,' said Elliot. 'Someone brought some gnomes to life with a gargoyle in Brightwall,' he added, noticing the confused looks he was getting.
'So she hasn't had a day off since after her crowning?' asked Logan, just to clarify. The others nodded.
'Father and I will take her out tomorrow morning,' he said after awhile. 'Just get her to meet us at the Bowerstone Bridge and we will do the rest.'
'That won't be easy,' muttered Ben.
'And overthrowing me was a walk in the park?' Logan asked, raising his eyebrows.
'Logan's right. If we could do that, we should be able to get Cassie there...but how?' said Walter.
'Tell her that you found a gnome there,' suggest Reaver innocently.
'She'll kill us when she finds out that we lied to her,' said Elliot pointedly.
'Don't worry, we'll probably get full blast of her temper,' said Reaver. 'Sometimes I wished she'd taken after me in that category, instead of inheriting her mother's foul temper. Now that I think about it, both of them inherited Amy’s temper.’
Therefore, it was decided that the next morning, Reaver and Logan would take care of Cassie, while the others continued to do their work.
Reaver's plan worked in regards to telling Cassie that there was a gnome on the bridge. Elliot told her that morning, before walking with her to the bridge, though she told him that he didn't need to, but she wasn't suspicious. However, she did become suspicious when she saw Reaver, Logan, Walter, Kalin, Page, Ben, Swift and Sabine standing on the bridge.
'What's going on?' asked a suspicious Cassie, stopping in front of them.
'You are coming to Bower Lake with your brother and I, just like we did before your mother died,' said Reaver firmly.
'Oh, not you two too,' groaned Cassie. 'I don't have time for this -'
'Yes you do, and you are coming whether you like it or not.' interrupted Logan. 'If you keep going on down this path, you will turn out like me.'
'I'm not going!' Cassie said stubbornly. Many citizens of Bowerstone stopped to watch what was happening. This was the first time they had seen Logan and Reaver with the group. 'And you can't make me!'
'Cass, you sound like a spoilt two year old,' stated Logan.
'I don't care! I'm not going!'
'I was afraid you were going to say that,' sighed Logan, before walking over to his sister.
'Logan, what are you - Oi! Put me down this instant, Logan!'
Logan had grabbed her by the legs and flung her off his shoulder before walking to Millfields.
'Logan, put me down!' demanded Cassie, hitting him in the back, making him wince, but not stop. 'Dad! Tell Logan to put me down!' Cassie begged to Reaver.
Bowerstone went quiet. Did she just say...? Was River alive?
'No Cass, this is for your own good,' said Reaver, picking up a picnic basket and following them.
The market was quiet until the family was out of sight. The people couldn't believe that Reaver was their beloved King River.
'Here we are,' said Reaver, a few hours later as Logan put Cassie down and rubbed his back.
Cassie glared at her brother and father.
'Cassie, wipe that look off your face,' said a stern Reaver. 'You're here to have fun, not burn holes in our face.'
'But I don't have -'
'Cassie, we have enough money at the moment,' interrupted Logan, before chucking a pair of short shorts and a singlet at his sister. 'Go get changed, and don't even think about running off!'
Grumbling, Cassie went to the Sanctuary to get changed, before coming back and seeing that Reaver and Logan had already set up the picnic and both were top and shoeless.
Cassie went and sat sulkenly between Reaver and Logan. Sighing, Logan got up with a water bottle in hand, before sneaking behind Cassie and tipping it down her back.
'Logan!' shrieked Cassie as the cold water rushed down her back. 'You're going to pay for that!' she added, grabbing another bottle and flinging water back at him while Reaver sat back and happily watched his two children muck around.
In the end, when Logan ran out of water, he managed to pick Cassie up and threw her into the Lake before jumping in himself.
'Come on, I'll race you to the big rock,' said Logan before swimming off.
'No fair, you had a head start!' yelled Cassie before tearing off after him.
'It seems, so long ago that we raced to this rock,' commented Logan, helping Cassie out of the water when they arrived at the rock.
'That's because it was,' sighed Cassie. 'It was back when we were a family and had no troubles.'
'We will be that way again one day,' promised Logan. 'Come on, let's go get some lunch.'
The family spent the entire day at the lake, laughing and reliving past memories, and by the end of the day, Cassie felt more relaxed than she had in a long time. She even felt healthier.
'Okay, I admit it. It was a good idea coming back out here,' Cassie told her brother and father as they walked back to the castle, each of them wet from their swim.
'Does that mean you will slow down now?' asked Logan.
'I don't know. If I do, what if I can't get everything done?' asked a worried Cassie.
'Who said you have to do everything by yourself?' asked Reaver. 'You know you can ask me or your brother anything. The same with your friends.'
'There's no guessing, sweet heart,' smiled Reaver. 'How about this. Let me deal with finding the gnomes and Logan can look for those books for Samuel that you have been going around the castle muttering about.'
'Are you sure?'
'Positive,' smiled Logan.
'Okay, if you insist...Dad, Benjamina is waving at you,' said Cassie, trying not to laugh as Reaver gave her something that could have been a wave back.
As the months rolled on, the treasury became fuller and Cassie continued to work on defences, getting more money and helping the citizens of Albion. This included locking up Ferret, the man who kidnapped Elliot and finding a statue for a rich citizen, who then donated it to the treasury. Logan ended up tracking down all the books for Samuel and Reaver got all the gnomes.
During these months, Cassie noticed a few chances happening around the castle. For starters, everyone seemed to have forgiven Reaver and Logan for what they had done, including Sabine, and they could normally be found talking together like old friends. Logan's coldness towards Elliot had also disappeared, which resulted in him not glaring every time Elliot held Cassie. However, what took Cassie's interest most was the fact Kalin and Logan seemed to be spending a lot of time together. Most mornings they could be seen sitting in the gardens, talking quietly and sitting unnecessarily close to one another.
Cassie wished that the palace life could stay that way forever, but it was not to be for the year was up and the darkness was about to mount its attack.
When Cassie walked into the throne room, the morning before the invasion, she was surprised to see that it was full of people. She had expected it to be empty. As always, there was Logan and Reaver, Page and Kidd, Kalin, Elliot, Walter, Sabine and Boulder, and Ben and Swift, but there were some other familiar and unfamiliar faces their too. The mercenaries Saker, Ulva and Jimmy were there, along with three sand furies, a couple balverines -probably Father's guests, thought Cassie -, and a large woman with a hammer with a dark skinned man with blue lines all over his skin.
'So this is the famous Cassandra we have heard so much about,' said the woman with the hammer. 'So you weren't bragging then, Reaver. You're right, she is gorgeous. You look just like Sparrow.'
'Sparrow?' frowned Cassie.
'Mother,' said Logan. 'Cass, this is Hammer and Garth. Mother's friends, the Hero of Strength and Will.'
'Oh, it's a pleasure to meet you!' said Cassie.
'And you,' replied Garth.
'What are you all doing in here, and what are you doing here Saker?'
'We are here to fight the darkness with you,' shrugged Saker. 'That flag we gave you was a symbol of our allegiance and we will follow you into battle.'
'As for what we are all doing here; the darkness will reach Bowerstone by nightfall.' answered Walter.
'I can't believe that it has already been a year,' muttered Cassie, before going into queen mood. 'I want Bowerstone evacuated, especially the children, and I want all the guards and other warriors equipped and ready by nightfall!'
'Yes, my Queen,' said Walter, and with that, everyone went their separate ways to prepare.
Sabine and Boulder went off to prepare the Dwellers, Kalin to the Aurorans, Page and Kidd to the Resistance, Ben and Swift to the guards and soldiers, Saker, Jimmy and Ulva to the mercenaries, Reaver went to organise his balverine and sand fury friends, while Walter and Logan went to evacuate the people, leaving Elliot and Cassie alone in the throne room.
'Elliot, I want you and Gail to go to the Sanctuary and to stay there until it's all over.' said Cassie.
'What? No!' exclaimed Elliot. 'I can't just sit around and do nothing while you put your life in danger as well as our friends!'
'Elliot, you're no warrior and I won't be able to concentrate on the battle if I know that you are in danger.' Cassie said bluntly. 'It's bad enough Logan and Dad being out there without having to worry about you too.'
Elliot and Cassie just stared at each other before a defeated Elliot said, 'If that is your wish. Just promise me that you will come back to us.'
'I'll do my best,' smiled Cassie, before kissing him gently.
For the rest of the day, Cassie moved anxiously around the castle and Bowerstone, overseeing the preparations for the invasion. Then, as night was fast approaching, Cassie paced her shared room with Elliot and jumped when someone knocked on the door.
'Come in,' said Cassie.
The door opened to reveal Reaver.
'Dad? Is something wrong?' Cassie asked, slowly starting to panic.
'No, there's nothing wrong,' smile Reaver. He was holding a large parcel. 'No, I just wanted to give you this. Sort of an early birthday present for tomorrow...plus it's one of the many you will get from me tomorrow since I missed so many of your birthdays.'
'But you never forgot them.' said Cassie as she opened the present. 'Logan admitted to me last night that many of the presents he has given me have actually been from you...oh, wow. Thanks Dad. I absolutely love it.' It was a female warrior's suit. Its armour would definitely come in handy that night and when Cassie said that to Reaver, he admitted that was the reason he bought it for her and that Logan got one too...only his was a male warrior's suit.
'I've already lost Norman and your mother to that creature...I couldn't bear it if anything happened to you or Logan.' admitted Reaver.
'Logan and I aren't going anywhere, Dad.' promised Cassie as she went over and embrace him. This was the first hug that she could ever remember having with her father.
Reaver and Cassie broke apart as Logan came running in.
'It's here,' he said simply. He was already wearing his armour.
Reaver nodded, before leaving the room with Logan while Cassie got changed. Fifteen minutes later, Cassie was standing in Bowerstone with Ben, Walter and Albion guards and soldiers. They watched as black puddles of darkness and corruption began to appear before shadows appeared and began their attack.
'Charge!' yelled Cassie, drawing her sword and pointing it at the advancing enemies.
'Defend the city with your lives!' yelled Walter, to the soldiers and guards as he advanced upon the shadows.
Cassie ran past him and straight into the middle of the small army of shadows in their section, jumping onto the shoulders of one, breaking its neck, before jumping off it, over another one and plunging her sword into its back. Again and again she slaughtered the advancing shadows mostly through melee, but she did get a few with her pistol and the use of flaming blades.
Halfway through the slaughtering of the shadow quadrant, they heard a mighty growl echo around Bowerstone, startling what was left of Cassie's guards and soldiers.
'What was that?' exclaimed one of the soldiers.
'It's here! It's here!' yelled Walter, looking around for it. 'We have to find it. And we have to save our people!'
'Right,' said Cassie, focusing down on her will, before letting it out with a yell as flaming blades went soaring through the air and impaling the remaining shadows. 'Follow me!' she then ordered, leading the way through the streets of Bowerstone, only to then realise that it was only Ben and Walter left standing.
As Cassie ran along with Ben and Walter, she saw Reaver, Logan, Kalin and some soldiers fighting the shadow "children". Cassie looked away as Ben and Walter started to move on, but quickly looked back as she heard Logan scream, 'Kalin!'
Logan had Kalin in his arms and Cassie felt her stomach drop as Reaver shot any advancing shadows, protecting his son and Kalin. The soldiers also surrounded their prince to protect him. Cassie hoped that Kalin had just been knocked unconscious and that she was not dead.
'Come on, Cassie. Let's end this.' said Ben, looking pale as he tore his gaze away from the still Kalin.
Cassie nodded and hurried after him.
They knew when they were getting closer to the Crawler's location when its taunts became louder and more powerful, and more successful with Cassie, for as they were passing the Bowerstone general store, its voice echoed around the streets mockingly.
'Are you thinking of your loved ones now, your majesty?' It asked mockingly. 'How you will never see them again?'
'You're wrong! We will survive and see each other again!' yelled Cassie, though she secretly feared what the Crawler said to be true.
It laughed and a burning fire appeared in the general store windows.
Cassie looked in there before letting out a scream as she saw Elliot, Gail, Logan and Reaver all chained up in there screaming in pain and the fire burnt them.
'No!' screamed Cassie, running to the entrance to get them out.
'No, Cassie! Stop!' yelled Ben, grabbing her around the waist and trying to pull her back. 'It's an illusion!'
'Wh-what?' asked Cassie, ceasing in her struggles.
'Think about it. Elliot and Gail are in the Sanctuary so how can they be here?'
'You're right.' gasped Cassie, before her anger flashed in her green eyes. 'Let's end this now!'
Ben let her go and hurried after Walter, who was in front of them.
When they arrived at the main entrance of Bowerstone, Walter stopped and looked around.
'I can feel it. We're getting close to that thing.' muttered Walter. 'Where are you? Show yourself!' he ordered.
It obeyed, before forcing itself into Walter and taking control of his body.
'Walter?' Ben asked warily.
The now possessed Walter looked at him before sending him flying backwards into a wall, then advanced on Cassie, trying to kill her. Cassie blocked and dodged every blow but never made on in return. How could she fight Walter? She knew that they only way to destroy the darkness was to kill Walter, but she couldn't do it. Killing Walter would be like killing Logan or Elliot.
As Cassie dodged another attack, Walter was able to speak to her, momentarily gaining control of his body again.
'Take it out of me! Please!' Walter begged.
Cassie closed her eyes before making a deadly blow at Walter one the Crawler could not block and then Walter went flying to the ground where he then laid breathing coming painfully.
'Walter?' Cassie said warily, walking over to his broken body.
'Cass,' he said quietly, smiling up at her.
'I'm so sorry,' sobbed Cassie, kneeling next to him and holding the top half of his body.
'You took away the darkness.' Walter said gently. 'It's been inside me all this time, but it's light now. I can see the sky and it's light.'
Cassie didn't say anything. The sky was grey and it began to rain lightly.
Walter coughed weakly.
'I don't think I can fight anymore.' said Walter, taking in Cassie's face as she fought back tears.
'It's all over, Walter. We won. We beat it together.' said Cassie, being naive as to what kind of fighting he was talking about.
'Do you remember the stories I'd tell you when you were a child?' asked Walter. '"There was once a great Queen, the mightiest Hero of them all." Remember what you would say?'
'Teach me to be a Hero,' replied Cassie, voice thick with emotion.
'You've done me proud. You've always done me proud.' he said before closing his eyes and falling into an eternal sleep.
'Walter!' cried Cassie as she looked down at his peaceful and untroubled face. She could no longer hold in her tears. They began to pour down her face while her body began to shake. This victory was meant to bring joy, not sorrow.
Cassie started slightly when a gentle hand was placed on her shoulder. She looked up as Reaver knelt down beside her, his expression pained - he had been friends with Walter since Walter became a guard - before he embraced her and she cried into his chest. She was barely aware of Logan, Kalin - who Logan was supporting -, Sabine, Boulder, Ben, Swift, Page and Kidd's presence. Each of them felt devastated at the loss of a loyal friend and a great warrior.
Since Cassie was too upset with Walter's passing, Reaver went and got Elliot, Gail and Jasper to fill them in on everything.
The funeral was held at dawn the next morning, seeing as it was Walter's favourite time of day, and he was buried in the royal gardens where he use to stand to watch the sun rise.
'You know,' began Ben, breaking the silence that had accumulated between the friends, 'I think Walter would have liked it out here. He was always a fan of looking...tall and, um, stony.' He was referring to the huge statue of Walter that was above his grave. 'I can imagine what he would say if he was here now.'
'Shut up, Ben.' said an amused Cassie.
'Exactly.' laughed Ben.
'Well, it's time I returned to my own castle.' Sabine sighed, turning to Cassie. 'If you ever need to save the world from another abomination, you know where to find me.'
'You are a good friend, Sabine.' smiled Cassie. 'But remember, if you need any help, you also know where to find me. What about you, Kalin? Are you returning back to Aurora?'
'Yes, I shall return with the knowledge that we shall at last enjoy peace.' said Kalin, who was leaning against Logan, who, in turn, had his arm around her waist. 'My people shall never forget what you have done for them. We are proud to be part of Albion. We will see each other again, Cassie.'
'I hope so.'
'Believe me. We will.' said Kalin.
A confused Cassie then turned to Page.
'What will you do now, Page?
'I will continue to serve you the best way I can, but I belong down in the city, the people there will always need help.'
'You have done, what I thought to be impossible.' said Logan, his voice full of pride as he looked over at her. 'You are the ruler I could never be. You don't need me anymore.' he added somewhat sadly. 'And Albion will heal easier without me.'
'What? What do you mean that Albion will heal easier without you?' demanded a startled Cassie. She looked over at Reaver who was looking at Logan calmly, though he had one of his famous smirks playing at the corners of his mouth.
'Exactly as it sounds.' answered Logan gently.
'But - but where will you go?'
'To Aurora...with Kalin.' said Logan, smiling down at the woman in his arms.
'Promise that you will visit?' Cassie said almost desperately.
'As long as you come and visit us as well.' smiled Logan.
'Deal.' laughed Cassie.
'Well queen. Old chum. Ruler supreme. Pal.' said Ben. It's my turn to say goodbye.'
'Don't tell me your going as well.' said a shocked Cassie as was Page and the other friends. 'I thought you were going to stick around and be a General?'
'I'm not cut out to be a General.' admitted Ben.
'Then what will you do?' asked a concerned Swift.
'I think I'd like to start travelling again or maybe,' he said, turning to look excitedly at Page, 'see if Page needs any help down in Industrial!'
The friends all looked at Page, knowing how much Ben could annoy her, and they were surprised to find her laughing.
'That's not the reaction I was expect - argh, where did you come from?' yelped Reaver, when Theresa appeared next to him. This startled everyone else.
'The Spire,' she said simply, before turning to a slightly amused Cassie. 'The world could have been devoid of colour and devoid of life. It is thanks to you that it isn't, and you did so without becoming a tyrant.' Logan moved uncomfortable. 'The people love you and you have banished the shadow of your brother's reign. You kept your promise to Sabine and his people when it could have been easier to turn your back on them. A noble gesture. You swore an oath to Page to better the lives of your people and you did so, even in the face of great danger. Without the strength to make those choices, we would not be standing here now. You are your mother's daughter.' she added, smiling somewhat sadly at Cassie.
Cassie blushed with pride before asking, 'Aren't you going to tell me my future?'
'The future will reveal itself when it is ready to do so,' replied Theresa, before disappearing.
'Hmm, I still would have preferred it if she was mute,' muttered Reaver, making them all chuckle slightly.
Cassie smiled and looked around at her friends and family. She had done it. She did the impossible and saved her kingdom, while suffering virtually no losses. Little did she know that at the current moment, historians were placing her amongst to greatest leaders of Albion, as well as one of the most loved and magnificent Heroes ever.
As the years went by, one would have thought that the Crawler's invasion of Albion had never happened. That it had only been a terrible nightmare, but those who thought that would only be kidding themselves.
A lot had happened since the darkness had invaded Albion. Reaver had become River once more and ended up buy some farming land in Oakfield, though he was still in charge of the different industries in Albion. However, most of the money made went either to his children, his grandchildren, the treasury, donated or put in the Guild vaults encase of emergencies. He kept very little for himself.
Elliot became Cassie's king, though he spent more time cooking than he did working out policies and taxes. They also ended up having twin boys, both too adventurous for their own good, and who loved to annoy their older sister Gail. Logan, on the other hand, went to live permanently in Aurora with Kalin and eventually became its joint ruler when he married his first and oldest friend. Kalin and Logan also had a child. A beautiful daughter whom they named after a rare flower found only in the Auroran desert. Of course, Logan journeyed back to Albion to visit Cassie and his father from time to time.
Jasper remained in the Sanctuary, keeping a close eye on the map of Albion and Aurora, before letting Cassie know who needed her help. Sabine ruled the Dwellers as he did during Amy's reign, while Swift became the head of all military life and often advised Cassie on certain matters. Most surprising though was when Page admitted her feelings for Ben - who had spent most of his time, after the battle, helping her out - after he proposed to her.
Albion was once more peaceful and flourished once again, which was going to remain that way for many years to come...or was it?
Written: 15 January 2012