dracobolt: (Ivan and Stupid People)
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Garet: You like watching me get beat up, don’t you?

Me: -.-;; For the last time, that’s not what this thing is about!

Sheba: Those nightmares Isaac had in the last Chapter were really…um… Lame?

Ivan: …Twisted! I know this is an angst story, but jeez, you’re scaring me!

Me: I know. I apologize for that. Believe it or not, those dreams were actually based on ones I had once. That… explains a lot, actually.

Jenna: No way! You lie like a rug!

Me: No, I’m serious. Let that be a warning to you—never read anything by Edgar Allan Poe right before going to bed.

Garet: …So is this a horror story?

Me: Certainly not…at least it’s not supposed to be. Well, intended or not, it certainly scares me. This story is about despair and loneliness. How is Isaac going to despair if bad things don’t happen, especially to his precious Mia? I know conflict is essential to a story, but no one said it has to be so… awful.

All: Good point.

Me: See? Now don’t worry about it. The nightmare he has this time is more like the one in Chapter 1, so it’s less gruesome and more sorrowful.

Disclaimer: Last time I checked I didn't own Golden Sun and I'm sure that fact hasn't changed. Thank goodness. Can you imagine a GS3 as designed by Midnight? Mortal minds weren’t meant to comprehend some things, and this is one of them.

Frozen Only I’m allowed to use bold formatting! You get underline.

Mia stood alone before the fountain in Lemuria Village as Twilight settled around her. The streets grew quiet and the lights in the windows shone brightly. She thought back to what had happened earlier today. While it was true that Garet could be a pest on occasion, she'd never known Isaac to ever want to pick a fight with him. Isaac was a fan of more subtle methods, like poison. Well, they'd argued a few times, but that would be a verbal fight, not a physical one like today. And verbal fights with Garet were a lost cause because he would inevitably reply with “That’s what she said!” or “Your mom!” Such behavior went completely against Isaac's nature. He was Lawful Stupid Good and everything! Though he was a fierce fighter in battle, as they all were, at any other time he was so patient, gentle, and fervently protective of all of them. He made sure everyone in the party kept curfew, and leaving the table without finishing your veggies was simply not allowed. What would bring him to attack his own best friend like that? Inane plot? She couldn't come up with any logical reason as the whole of it made absolutely no sense to her. You’re not the only one, Mia. The Isaac that had struck out at Garet wasn't the one she knew and loved--it was a different person entirely. What was happening to him?

"Lady Mia?" said a voice behind her. "What are you doing out here in the cold by yourself?"

She didn't bother turning around, knowing full well that was Picard's voice since only he called her Lady Mia. But it wasn’t Piers. It was Edward Cullen, and he was here to drain Mia of the few vestiges of character that Midnight hadn’t already stripped her of. "Hello, Picard. I just needed to be alone to think for awhile. Cold doesn't bother me much. I was raised in the arctic by wolves."

"I see." He went to stand beside her. "So that’s why you go around sniffing people’s butts. If you don't mind my asking, what's bothering you? You seem quite troubled. Right now you’re looking down and out, and feeling really crappy. But when I see how sad you are, it sort of makes me… happy!"

Mia sighed. "It's Isaac. I can't for the life of me figure out why he lashed out at Garet this afternoon. PMS joke."

"You mean he's never done that before?"

"No. Isaac's not like that at all. He loves Garet like a brother they’re Incest! --he'd never want to hurt him like that." You know what they say, you always hurt the ones you love!

"Even the closest brothers can fight," Picard observed. "And Garet is a little--how to phrase this-- special difficult."

She nodded. "That's true, but as bothersome as Garet can be at times, I have never seen Isaac hit him before.” She thought back briefly to all the times she’d seen Garet with mysterious bruises that he claimed were all from accidents, then shook her head, dismissing the idea and launching into a defense of her boyfriend. “That's not who he is! He's too kind and loving to do something like that!" She clasped her hands together and rested her chin on her knuckles. "Something's wrong with him--something awful!" Yeah, I’d call being stuck in this fic “something awful!”, too.

Picard smiled down at her. "He means a lot to you, doesn't he? He must be the one who gave you that diamond on your finger, correct?"

"Then you noticed it?" She was a little surprised that he had. "Yes he did. We're planning to get married once our travels have ended. I love him with every ounce of my being, and I know he feels the same way about me. We're soulmates, he and I." Okay, jeez, Julia Roberts, he just mentioned your ring. No need to go all Power of Love on him.

"You're both very lucky then. A love like that happens only once in a blue moon."

"I know," she said. "I hate to even think of anything bad happening to him. I don't know what I'd do if I lost him!" Suicide is your only option. Tears shined out of the corners of her eyes. What can I do? she wondered. I have to find out what's going on with Isaac, but how?

"Lady Mia," Picard began, placing a hand on her shoulder. "No matter what happens, as long as you keep faith in that love you have, you'll have nothing to fear." Literally nothing. Their power of love is so potent, apparently, that it could block cruise missiles.

"Do you really believe that, Picard?"

He nodded. "Indeed I do. It is a rare woman that can capture the heart of a man of honor, and rarer still is the man that can capture hers. Trust those feelings, my Lady. That is all you need to know." All you need is loooove! … I can just picture Mia taking this advice literally and then showing up on a game show or something and giving every answer as “What is love?” This would then prompt everyone in the live studio audience to shout back “Baby, don’t hurt me!” Now that would be amusing!

Mia smiled and hugged him. "Thank you, Picard. I think that's just what I needed to hear."

"You're welcome, Lady Mia," he said, returning her embrace. "I'm just glad to be of help."

Neither of them saw the figure watching them from a short distance away. Kent looked on, heart-broken. It seemed that Mia had found someone to love. With a wistful sigh, he dropped the flowers he’d brought and turned away. Isaac hadn't heard anything they'd said, but he stared at the pair as they hugged. They both seemed so happy. Wouldn’t you be happy if you were gonna get some hot Lemurian lovin’? He could only stand to see it for a moment, and he swiftly turned and walked back for the inn, head down and heart cracking. He didn't feel much jealousy this time, since it would serve him right if Mia left him. Dude. Why on earth is Isaac thinking Mia’s gonna leave him? Seriously. They had a whole fic which ended in them using the Power of Love to save Isaac’s life. They’re engaged and have been sexin’ each other up on a regular basis (and not just in my comments anymore, either). Mia told Isaac point-blank that she didn’t love anyone but him. Come on. Why should she stay with someone who couldn't even decipher his dreams from reality? Someone who had attacked his own best friend because he'd thought he'd seen some imaginary shadow beast! He was a loose cannon, completely untrustworthy and unpredictable. And in the hands of a better author, this could be a really interesting plot. Shame, really. She'd be better off with someone more reliable, someone capable of keeping her safe from people like him.

But holding that belief didn't make the prospect of losing her any easier to take. When he reached his room at the inn, he slammed the door and locked it behind him. Leaning against it, he slowly sank to the floor and rested his forehead on his knees, willing himself not to succumb to the heartache he felt. It ravaged him on the inside, stabbing and burrowing itself deeper into his soul love – it’s like a malicious parasite and screaming to be let out. He swallowed hard to try to keep it further at bay but still it persisted. It cried out her name again and again in his mind, and Isaac finally relented and let some of the hurt escape in a few stray tears. Just then, Isaac sprouted a pair of boobs because, in this series, crying and showing emotion is unmanly. Why was this happening? People usually cry when they’re upset, Isaac. Why him, why now?

Someone knocked at the door. "Isaac?" came the angel of death's voice. "Are you in there? I want to talk to you."

"Not now," he said, rubbing at his eyes.

"Please?" Mia asked. "It's important."

Important? All he could think was that she wanted out on their engagement. He could almost hear her saying it. The hurt within him intensified.

When he didn't answer, Mia tried the door only to find it locked. He locked me out! she thought in disbelief. This was a first! Before, he'd only locked the door to keep her in and everyone else out! It highly concerned her that he would do such a thing. It probably means he has Jenna in there with him, Mia. Go fetch your mace. "Isaac, please open the door and let me in." Still he didn't answer. Her tone grew more worried. "Don't shut me out! Something's wrong with you, I can feel it! Please let me help you!" Lost cause, Mia. He’s a hero and thus must suffer silently.

"I don’t want to talk about it!" he snapped. He instantly regretted yelling, but he didn't know how to explain to her what was going on. He didn't even understand it himself. And should she say anything at all about Picard, whether romantic or not, he knew it would crush whatever sanity he still had. Even if she said that Picard was a Lemurian man whore whose guts she hated? He simply couldn’t bear hearing anything of the sort.

Mia backed a step away from the door, frightened by his angry outburst. This wasn't really her Isaac talking, was it? It was his evil twin… FROM DIMENSION X! No, it couldn't be. This was that other being, the same one that had attacked Garet. What should she do? She was powerless to help him as long as he insisted on keeping her out. It’s just as true without that second bit. Too afraid to press the issue further, she sat down in the hall and leaned up against the door. If she couldn't get inside, she'd at least stay as nearby as possible in case he needed her. It wasn’t until the blood ran out from under the door that Mia cursed her timid nature. That was the fifth time that had happened to one of her boyfriends!

Isaac tramped through the bleak wilderness, the freezing cold air numbing his body from head to toe. A thin layer of snow had fallen to the ground, veiling everything in perfect whiteness. Everything was still and quiet. Only his footprints and steamy breath broke through the silence. He had his arms wrapped tightly around him, feeling certain that he'd freeze to death before he found refuge. But off in the distance he saw the warm light of a village and rushed forward with renewed hope. The great mountain looming over the town looked very familiar. Could it be? Yes it was! It was Mt. Aleph and Vale Brigadoon! At long last he was home! He dashed for the village gates as fast as his feet would carry him, the tails of his long scarf flapping behind him like a pair of yellow wings. Garet's grandfather, the Mayor, stood waiting to greet him at the entryway to Vale. While the world around the town was cloaked in winter, within the village gates it was green with summer, making it look twice as inviting as it already did. After all this time, all this fighting and traveling, he'd finally arrived at the most wonderful place he could ever imagine--home.

"You made it, Isaac," said the Mayor when he'd reached the gates. "We were wondering what happened to you."

"Well, here I am," Isaac said after he'd caught his breath. "You have no idea how much I've missed this place, Mayor."

"Oh, I could venture a guess. After all, few places can compare to one's home."

"Right," Isaac agreed. He spotted two figures emerging from within the village. He smiled ear to ear when he saw his mother, and then gasped in utter astonishment when he saw the person behind her. It couldn't be…but it was! "Dad?! You're…you're alive!" And you are stealing my formatting!

"Welcome home, son," Kyle greeted warmly.

"We've missed you so much!" Dora added.

It was simply too wonderful to be true. There’s the first sign. Isaac found himself sandwiched between both of his parents, much the same way the three of them hugged when he was little. Home again with his mother and his father! He couldn't even begin to sort out the pure elation running through him, but he loved how it felt. His soul fluttered with new wings of happiness before some nerd scooped it up with a net and pinned it to a card, at last breaking free from the three long years of loss that had weighed so heavily upon it.

"Dad! Mom!" he exclaimed, choking back tears of joy. "I can't believe you're really here! It's a Christmas miracle!"

"One that's highly overdue, don't you think?" Kyle asked with a wide grin.

"Yeah," Isaac agreed, half laughing.

Dora kissed him. "I'm so glad you came home to us safely, Isaac. Now I finally have both of my boys back!"

"Hey Isaac!" a familiar voice called. "Did you forget about us?"

He turned and saw Garet, Jenna, Ivan, Sheba and Mia quickly approaching Vale, all of them smiling happily. He couldn't help but laugh. Now everything really was perfect. Vale, his family, his friends, and Mia--he had it all! Everything, everyone that he'd longed for stood before him at last. He went to his friends and got caught up in the midst of them, Garet, Ivan and Sheba nudging him playfully and Jenna and Mia throwing their arms around him.

"Sure feels good to be back in the neighborhood, huh?" Garet implored.

"I always knew you'd lead us home, Isaac!" Jenna cried happily.

"You deserve this, Isaac," said Ivan. "You've fought hard to bring us here safely."

"A fitting end to a grand adventure," Sheba added.

Mia didn't say anything but pulled him into a long kiss instead, which basically said it all. Isaac couldn't remember ever feeling so good. He had to be the richest person in the world. Montgomery Burns, Richie Rich, and Scrooge McDuck all hung their heads in shame.

The Mayor had watched all of this carefully. When much of the initial ecstasy had faded, he approached the cluster of people before him. "How's it feel to be home, Isaac?" he asked.

Isaac shrugged, grinning. "There aren't any words for it, Mayor. It's wonderful, to say the least."

The Mayor nodded. "I hate to ruin such a joyous occasion, but I'm afraid I have some bad news."

"Mayor?" Kyle questioned.

"What is it, Grandpa?" Garet asked. "Surely it can't be that bad."

"There is still the matter of the Sol Sanctum incident," said the Mayor. "That can't be overlooked."

Everyone else looked confused. "Oh, but that was a long time ago, Mayor," said Jenna. "Why should it matter now?"

"It does matter," the Mayor continued. He looked directly at Isaac. "Vale was nearly destroyed because you knowingly defied the laws of this village! Not only that, but you caused the volcano to erupt and destroy the Sanctum! Such blatant disregards for our laws cannot go unpunished!" Although I love watching Isaac getting owned, shouldn’t they be blaming Kraden instead? He was the adult in the group, after all. I guess they needed a scapegoat or something.

"What are you saying, Mayor?" Dora asked. "What do you intend to do?"

"I have discussed it with the Great Healer and we both agree." The Mayor set his expression into that of a stern lawmaker. Gregory Peck as The Mayor! "Isaac, you are hereby banished from Vale forever."

The word hit Isaac like a massive blast of Psynergy, and he felt that he'd collapse from the impact. Banished?! Never to enter his own village for the rest of his life? NO! This was the only home he'd ever known! How could they do this to him? Why would they do this to him?

His friends and family seemed to have a similar reaction. "Mayor, you can't be serious!" his father demanded. "Banishing Isaac from his own village? That's ridiculous! This is madness!” “This is VALE!"

"Surely there must be some other way he can make amends for what happened in Sol Sanctum!" Dora pleaded, sounding near hysterics.

"If you're going to banish Isaac you should banish me too!" Garet declared. "I was responsible for that mess too!"

"Don't be foolish, Garet," said the Mayor. "You're my grandson--you can't be banished from Vale." Ah, the perks of nepotism. He sighed and shook his head. "I am sorry for this, but the matter isn't up for discussion. The decision has been made. You're all welcome to stay with Isaac if you want, but if any of you do, you'll be banished from Vale as well."
Everyone was visually stunned. "You mean we have to choose between Isaac and Vale?" Jenna questioned in disbelief. "That's unfair!"

"Say what you will, but the order stands," said the Mayor firmly. "Make your choices, everyone."
A cold winter wind blew by as everyone pondered what to do. Isaac was at a loss for words, still reeling from the Mayor’s sentence. Certainly it was fair to hold him responsible for what happened in Sol Sanctum, but this punishment felt too severe. Still, he knew he could make a life for himself in one of the other places he’d visited in his travels. And he knew everyone else would be willing to make a go at it too, especially Mia. He could live with that.

"Well, that’s it then," Kyle sighed. "Let’s go, Dora."

Isaac was stunned to see his parents heading back towards Vale! He grabbed his father’s arm. "Dad, wait! Where are you going?"

"Home, of course," he replied mater-of-factly.

"You didn’t really expect us to leave Vale, did you?" Dora implored. "Your father and I are too old to be starting over in a new place. You’ll be all right on your own, won’t you?"

"No!" Isaac declared vehemently, still in disbelief. "If you don’t come with me, I’ll never see you again!"

His parents shrugged. "Sorry, son, but that’s just the way it is," said Kyle. "Good luck out there."

"But…!" Isaac’s protest fell on deaf ears. His mother and father had already crossed through the village gates. He couldn’t understand it. Surely he meant more to them than the village…didn’t he? A cutting sadness started to gather in the pit of his heart, and it only got worse when he noticed Garet, Jenna, Sheba and Ivan heading for Vale as well!

"Guys!" he called to them. "What are you doing?"

"Hey, it’s been fun, Isaac," Garet said with a shrug. "Hope you make it out there."

"Take care," Jenna added. "We’ll think of you now and then."

Tears appeared in the corners of Isaac’s eyes as he realized that they were serious. "No, please don’t go, guys!"

"Sorry, Isaac, but it’s cold out here," said Ivan. "It looks much warmer in Vale."

"Thank you for everything So long, and thanks for all the fish," Sheba said. "Do take care." Oh snap, Isaac got rejected!

The four of them headed into town without even looking back. Why were they doing this? Why were they leaving him behind? Didn’t they care about him at all? The roaring, painful sadness gathered within him, gradually trying to tear him to pieces on the inside. Then he realized that Mia was still standing nearby. If there was anyone who wouldn’t ever leave him behind, surely it was she. Hope seized him, pushing some of the pain back down as he looked over at her and smiled sadly. His beloved angel—how could he ever doubt her? Well, seeing as you misconstrued a friendly hug as a romantic tryst, I’d say pretty easily.

Mia approached him and kissed him on the cheek. "I’m sorry, Isaac, but Picard is waiting for me." She pointed to Vale, and sure enough, there was Picard standing within the gates waving to her. "Farewell."

Isaac frantically grabbed her shoulder, completely shocked at what she’d said. "No, Mia! Not you too!"

She gave him a funny look, as if she didn’t understand what he was saying. "What’s wrong? You’re a strong warrior—you’ll be fine."

"But you’re all I have left!" he said. "I love you, Mia! We promised that we’d always be together!"

"Things change, Isaac," she said. "I want to be with Picard now."

Her words felt like a knife being twisted in his chest. This couldn’t be! After all they’d been through, all that they’d meant to each other, how could she turn her back on him? They were soulmates! Soulmates! Mia, you whore! "Mia…!" he begged, his voice wavering in sheer desperation. "Please, don’t go! Don’t leave me all alone!"

"Goodbye, Isaac," she said coldly, shaking him off. Please don’t let this be a dream sequence, please don’t let this- Hey, I can hope, okay? He watched her run for the village and into Picard’s waiting arms. The Mayor nodded and headed into Vale, the gates slamming shut behind him.

Snow slowly drifted down from the sky, settling all over the bleak wilderness but never touching the pristine, golden Vale. A bitter wind sent the flakes into a tizzy around Isaac as he stood there in the cold, gazing down at his warm and beautiful village. A moment ago he’d experienced his heart’s fondest desire, and now it had been ripped away from him. It laid there before him, tempting him, teasing him, and calling out to him, but it was just beyond his reach. He ached with longing for it down to the core of his soul. Was this how it would be? The wish was there for him to see and hold in his heart, but it would never truly be his to have.

Part of him still couldn’t believe that everyone had so freely left him behind—that he’d never see any of them again except from a distance. Maybe it had been too selfish of him to want them to leave Vale and stay with him, but it hadn’t seemed like an outrageous request. Sharp, jagged bullets of sorrow and loss pierced him each second. The tears he’d tried to hold back began to seep out, gradually building up intensity as they did. The droplets froze to ice as soon as they felt the cold air. "Come back!" he pleaded in a soft whisper through his sobs. There was nothing for him out here in this isolated and lonely place. But standing there in the bleak winter, it was crystal clear that was what he was.

Alone. Abandoned.

Everyone down in Vale looked so warm and happy. Garet and Jenna were arguing over something as usual, and Ivan and Sheba were laughing at their antics. His mother and father stood hand in hand by the giant Psynergy stone lost in each other’s company. And Mia…she was still in Picard’s arms, resting her head on his shoulder the same way she used to do when she was with him. Isaac smiled slightly in spite of the emptiness he felt. At least they were all happy. That was one thing he could hold on to. Even now, he’s a Tragic Hero, thinking about the good of others. Jeez.

Unable to look at Vale any longer, he turned to leave for parts unknown. No sooner had he traveled a few steps, however when he heard a crashing sound behind him. It was a noise he found all too familiar. Whirling, he saw another huge boulder coming down from the peak of Mt. Aleph, only this one was even bigger! Before he could even react to the spectacle, it had crushed the entire village beneath it, leaving only a twisted pile of rubble. Isaac ran to the scene, frantically calling out names, but was answered only in silence. Gone. It was all gone! Now he couldn’t even feel content in the knowledge that the others were happy and safe—they were all dead!

"NO!" His anguished cry even shook the solid mountain. That’s a pretty powerful anguished cry right there. He truly had nothing to cling to anymore. Now he couldn’t even see that beautiful, shining desire he’d held!

The ground beneath his feet suddenly gave way and he tumbled down a dark and narrow fissure. Somehow, he reached out with his hand and managed to grab a ledge. Can’t you just give up and fall to your death like a good little emo kid? He hung there by one arm for a few moments to catch his breath and then started to pull himself back up. But the ledge gave way and he continued to fall further into the unknown darkness. He desperately searched for something else to grab onto, but he received a sudden blow to the back of his head and he blacked out, helplessly falling down the rest of the fissure.

Isaac slowly awoke Argh! It was a dream sequence! I knew it was too good to be true, seeing red from the blood that was running down his forehead and into his eyes. Literally seeing red. A nice change of pace from all the figurative times. He couldn’t even breathe without feeling agony racking his entire form. Broken spirit, broken body—was there really any difference? CRAAAAWLIIIIING IIIIIN MYYYY SKIIIIIIN! He could sense and vaguely see the large and expanding pool of his own blood that he was lying in. Okay, so this isn’t as mentally scarring as the dream sequence, but I’ll take what I can get. Above him, staring at him in the dim light, was that black shadow with the red eyes. Is it Blob!Alex? It had taken on a more human-like shape this time and it sneered down at him, cackling lowly. Shadow Link?

"So Isaac, the great warrior of the world, has finally fallen." Its voice seemed more suited to a serpent than a shadow. "How does it feel, hero? How does it feel to know you are truly alone in your suffering?"

"What are you?" Isaac whispered faintly. "Why are you doing this?" I know what it is now! It’s the spirit of Midnight C, and it’s doing this for contrived drama!

The shadow laughed. "I’ll make a deal with you, hero. If you can find me and defeat me, you will suffer no more. Until then, however…" It leaned in close, it’s hollow eyes and haunting gaze slicing into him. It’s a jack-o-lantern? Its next words shattered whatever parts were left of Isaac’s being. Unknown Antagonist gains ten points in my book. "You are mine, Isaac—now and forever."

The apparition vanished. Isaac felt himself begin to sink in the pool of red around him, but he couldn’t fight it. He went under. What a lovely way to end the chapter! I’m much happier now.


Ivan: OK, that was depressing.

Sheba: sniff It was so sad! We’d never do that to Isaac!

Me: Duh! He dreamt that, remember? Sadly enough…

Sheba: Oh yeah…

Garet: I’m confused…

Jenna: Now there’s a big surprise!

Me: No fighting or else the four of you are out of here!

Ivan: What’s this all leading to? It’s getting really weird. I think we all want to know that, Ivan.

Me: Good question, Ivan. Why don’t you stick around for Chapter 5 and find out? Can’t you just tell us now and save our brain cells?
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dracobolt: (Default)
Lynn Dracos

November 2010

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