It's the year 2013 and Mother Nature has decided that she is tired of the humans mistreating her Earth. She takes all the polution and bad energy and throws it back at the humans. Some humans are not able to take the energy and they die. Some become... different. They change into something else. Some gain powers. Some become dark. Many people take out on their own, but other survivors ban together. A small group of survivors ban together in an attempt to fix the Earth. Can they fix this Hell they have been brought into...?


21. Chapter Twenty: The Duo

 I sat up with a yawn, rubbing the sleep from my eyes. I stretched from head to toe, trying to let last nights dream flow away. It had been about the Mother, killing each of my friends, slowly and full of torture right before my eyes. She saved me for last, giving me the most painful death. I shuddered and looked around, the light blinding me for a second.

"Kate... Kate...!" I heard a familiar voice calling my name in a pleading whisper.


I turned around hopefully, shocked to see Duo. Riley was lying on top of Duo's chest, curled up and fast asleep. "What the...?"

"Get her off me!" He whispered harshly.

Riley suddenly sat up with a yawn. Her eyes raked across the camp site, flickering passed me and coming to a halt on Duo. "De... How did I get on top of you?"

"You said something about a giant snail in your sleep," Duo said as his eyes narrowed and he let out a huff.

I smiled and walked over to them. "Come on, Riley, up and at 'em. You must have been dreaming." I reached my hands out to her to help her up.

"Yeah, I was!" She said taking my hands and hopping to her feet. Duo seemed to sigh with relief. "I was somehow lying on a giant snail and it kept squirming!"

"I was trying to get out from under you!" Duo said with another huff.

Riley gave a cheerful giggle. "Anyways, you stayed! Yay! You may now move."

I walked over to my bag, rummaging through. "Come get some breakfast!"

Riley ran over eagerly, licking her lips. "What's to eat?"

I pulled out red solo party cups and plastic eating utensils, pulling out cans of raviolis next. I dug around for the hand held can opener as well. "I know it's not the best breakfast, but it's better than nothing, right?" I gestured for Marissa, Lina, and Duo to join us. Marissa smiled widely and sat down patiently beside Riley.

"Yup, better than bubbles for brunch," Riley said with a shiver. "Not the best."

"You've eaten bubbles?" Marissa asked with a giggle.

Riley crossed her arms, puffing out her cheeks. "They were so pretty! I wanted to see if they tasted as good as they looked. But they just tasted like soap. Yuck!" This time we all joined in Marissa's laughter, our voices sounding as one.

After everyone caught their breath, Lina chuckled one last time before speaking. "I'm not hungry."

Duo picked up a stick from the ground and began to doodle in the dirt. "Neither am I."

I glared back and forth between them for a moment. "You need to eat. I WILL force feed you!" I opened a can and dumped it into a cup. I handed a fork and cup to Riley. I began to pry open the second can. Once open I dumped it into the waiting cup. I handed the cup and a fork to Rissa, who smiled appreciatively. Both girls began to chow down.

Riley sighed happily. "Best I've ever had! You'll make a great house wife!" Marissa nodded in agreement.

"It's canned-never mind." I said with a laugh as they continued eating. I opened the last two cans and poured them into cups. That left none left, but I would rather them eat then myself. I grabbed the cups and two forks and began the small tread toward Lyllina. "Please eat it. You'll need your strength." I didn't wait for a response, just placed the cup in her hands. Then I made my way to Duo. I stood over him, placing one hand on my hip, the other holding the cup. "You're going to eat and you're going to like it!"

Duo gave me a sarcastic laugh. "So serious, love."

"Fine, I'll eat." Lyllina started.

I smiled over my shoulder at her. "Good girl," I turned back to Duo. "Come on, be a big boy and eat your breakfast!"

"But not this," I heard Lina say. I heard her jump, her feet making contact with a ledge a few feet away.

My gaze never left Duo as I called after her, "Don't go far Lyllina. We need to leave after this."

"I know!" She called back, her foot steps fading.

"I'm not going to eat it," Duo said stubbornly.

I sat down in front of him with a sigh. "We can do this the easy way or the hard way. Your choice."

"Neither sounds good."

Lina's sudden voice just behind me made me jump. That was quick. "Duo, eat. Or I'll just make room for dessert."

"Hard way it is!" I said when he didn't respond to either of us. I got on my knees and inched closer, collecting a spoonful of raviolis and held it out to him. "Here comes the freaking train, now open your mouth!" He grimaced and shook his head. Lyllina gave a smile and grabbed him, yanking his mouth open. I quickly shoved the food in his mouth, clamping his mouth and nose shut when Lina released him. He grinned and rolled his eyes before swallowing. I smiled as he tried to catch his breath. "Now, am I going to keep feeding you, or will you eat it?" Without another word, he stood and began to walk away. I jumped up and followed. He walked passed the tree line, continuing on into the woods. "D-Duo?"

"Yes?" He asked quietly.

I jogged a bit until I was beside him. I stared up at him, unsure. "Why are you walking away?"

"Because, you're forcing me into things." He said simply.

"I only want you to eat, is that so bad?" I said as I grabbed his wrist and pulled him to a stop.

He wrenched his wrist away, as if my touch physically hurt him. "Yes, it is."

I looked down sadly, unable to meet his eyes. "I'm only looking out for you."

Duo sighed and looked away. "I know, I know."

"Then why won't you eat...?" I whispered not bothering to glance up.

"Just because, okay?" He said hopelessly as he stalked off.

I stood there frozen.

I heard someone walk over and I stiffened. I relaxed at the sound of Riley's voice. "Hey, he'll come around." She said encouragingly.

My thoughts immediately went to Vaann as I wrapped a shaky hand around his necklace. Where was he now? What was he thinking? What was he doing? Killing some innocent survivor? I wished I could see him... "I know he will... He promised." I whispered to myself, too low for Riley to hear.


 Riley's POV:

I stared at Snowdust, lost in thought. How would I dress her up fancily? A beautiful French braid, or maybe find a way to curl her hair! What color dress? Or maybe a long gown. Definitely a strapless gown, I decided. Red? No... Hmm, maybe a deep navy blue? No, that would make her too pale. Rich purple? That would make her hair too light. Big clash there. Green? No, that would make her eyes pop in a scary way. Maybe a rosy pink color... Yes, that was it! A nice light pink would-

"You'll have a better chance getting Vaann to a tea party." Lyllina said glancing to me.

I felt my eyes widen as I stared right back at her. "W-Why do you probe my mind?! You need to look fashionable!" Kate was off to the side, sitting alone. Duo still hadn't come back. I saw Marissa walk over to sit with Kate.

"Maybe after this..." Lyllina sighed. "Maybe."

"No, it has to be now!" I protested. "That reminds me, I need to do Kane's hair..." I turned and put a finger on my chin as I stared at Kate in thought. Fish tail this time? Kate was clutching her pretty necklace as usual. She did have nice taste in jewelry; I should ask where she got hers! Then we could match!

Lina looked up to the sky, bringing my attention back to her. "Please, don't rain." She whispered.

I turned my whole body back to face her. "If you don't look pretty, I will torture you with tickles! Everyone looks amazing when they fight pretty!" I grinned widely.

"Are you alright, Kate?" I heard Marissa ask.

Lina smiled back slightly. "If it doesn't rain..." She trailed off.

"You'll do it?!"

She smiled at me fully now. "Yes."

"Hey," I heard Vaann's voice say. I could see him out of my peripheral vision, the smoke dissolving around him from his teleporting.

"Yay!" I hopped to the side of Lina, tossing her hair to the right side as I waved at Vion. Lina didn’t even turn, not noticing him just yet.

"Yes, I'm fine." There was a grin in Kane's voice. I saw Vion smile at Kane.

"Hey, Vaann," Marissa said. "And why are you blushing, Kate?" She added teasingly.

I started a side braid carefully in Lyllina's hair. Her hair was so light in my hands, it was almost white. And it was really soft. Not to mention so pin straight, I felt a wave of jealousy. My hair was a mess of waves. Sure, I loved who I was, but I hated people who had naturally beautiful hair! It wasn't fair! I made sure the braid was well kept in before using the elastic from Kate's hair to tie Lina's hair. "Whatever you do, don't take it out!" I warned her. She nodded.

"So, anyone got a plan?" Vaann asked.

"Nope," Kate replied.

"Well, neither do I," he started, "so let's just bust in, take out the Shadows and go from there!"

My hand shot straight into the air in my excitement. "I call being a distraction!"

"I'll help Riley if she's okay with that," Marold offered.

"Carefully!" Kane added anxiously.

I stood and held out a hand to Marold. "Come on, we need hard things to throw." I smiled.

She smiled right back grasping my hand. "Let's go look for sharp objects!"

As we turned away, I saw Zack appear next to Vaann. He held out something shiny, a piece of jewelry-maybe a bracelet?-to Vaann. "Put this on." He told him.

"But it's tight..." Vaann complained.

"Shut up!" Zack snapped. I started looking around on the ground with Marissa for rocks. "This is going to condense our energy. It should go in and cancel out what dark energy the Mother took from the Army."

"Yes, but we will need Kate too." Vaann added. Kate was staring at the ground.

I smiled as I found a small but sharp stone. I touched it, making blood rise on my finger. "Oh! I like this one!"

Vaann suddenly straightened up, his eyes going wide. "Oh, dammit!" He said before he teleported away.

"Well, then." Zack muttered.

Marissa slipped some stones in her pocket. "Be careful, Flowers." She warned me.

I smiled at the nickname she'd given me as I began to search for a softer rock, slipping the sharp one into my pocket.


 Vaann's POV:

I materialized back at the base just as the Mother came crashing through the double doors of her throne room. Anisa was close behind her, just on her heels. "Vaann, your 'friends' are too close! Why aren't they dead yet?"

"Uh, they resist?" I said quickly.

"Bad excuse," her back was to me as she paced toward her large throne, but I could hear how displeased she was.

"Yeah, I got nothin'," I said with a shrug.

She sat down, looking me up and down as she crossed one leg over the other. "Really? Your quick wits got nothing?"

"Wait," I said gulping a big breath. I let fake tears run from my eyes and turned away slightly. "They hurt poor little Zack! He was bleeding and broken!"

Zack picked that moment to teleport himself in. "Yes, Mommy?"

"God dammit, kid..." I muttered.

The Mother was silent for a moment as she stared at me. When she spoke her voice was soft and sweet, but filled with suspicion. "You aren't loyal to me, are you Vaann?"

I thought about denying it, making some lame excuse, but decided to throw the towel. I couldn't keep away from my friends for long. It was where I needed to be. "Oh, what tipped you off, Lady? The fact that I've been sneaking off to my friends or that I'm constantly alone with Kate?"

"Vaann, what the hell?!" Zack snapped.

The Mother stood her face and voice becoming dark. "I should have known!"

"Yeah, I'm gunna go, if it's all the same to you guys." I said turning to leave, only to find Guards blocking my way. "You guys might want to move," I told them, keeping my cool demeanor.

"And you, Zack?" I heard the Mother ask.

He gave an awkward laugh, "Would you kill me if I say no?"

A Guard in front of me crossed his arms, smirking down at me. "Where do you think you're going?"

"Somewhere else?" I asked sarcastically.

He lifted his hand and snapped his fingers, sparks flying out. "What if I say no?"

I laughed a bit, rolling my eyes, "Dumbass." I kicked out with as much force as I could manage, sending the Guard flying through the wall. I felt a smirk creep across my face.

"We're doomed..." Zack said in distress.

"When did you get Dark Powers?" The Mother asked in shock.

"You didn't know?" I asked with a cocky smile. Might as well play it up.

"I'm just going to kill myself now and save your Guards the trouble." Zack muttered.

Suddenly the Mother's voice raised a few octaves, her voice becoming dominant as she contacted back-up. Funny that she thought she needed back-up. "Damien, we have a traitor, come here now!" I rolled my eyes, what could he do? Nothing, he could do nothing at all. I walked from her throne room, pushing things from my path with the mere out stretch of my hand. I pulled my sword from my sheath as I stalked the halls. It was odd. All the Guards saw me, they stared in shock, but none of them made one move toward me.


 Duo's POV:

I sat far from the others, feeling a bit anxious. The hours, minutes, seconds were counting down. Counting down to our final moments. But we still had a chance, right? Kate, Vaann, and Zack were going to make this right. But they still couldn't save me from myself or half of myself anyhow. Zack had said none of us could be fixed now that it's been rearranged. But was there a chance he was wrong? Could we, I be normal?

It would be paradise.

My own thoughts.

My own feelings...

What I wouldn't give...!

Finally, I peeked around the camp site. Why were we sitting here when there was work to be done? "Starting a distraction, hmm?"

Lyllina looked at me then, her eyes intense. "I suggest you find something useful that will suffice as a weapon."

"It's good, I have a wrench," I said pulling said weapon from my pocket.

She raised an eyebrow at me, not believing what she had heard. "You're going to fight a huge army... with a wrench...?"

I smirked at her, half in amusement, half in exasperation. "I've done it before."

"Uh huh... sure." Lina said sarcastically. As my eyes flickered to Kate, I noticed a quiver of a somewhat red mist in the air behind her. Was I imagining it, my eyes playing tricks on me?

I shrugged it off, standing with my wrench, twirling it between my fingers. "Okay, maybe half an army." She didn't laugh or crack a smile. She just stared at me with dark eyes. "If you don't believe me, search my mind."

"Maybe I already have," she suggested flatly.

"Hello, dear," a voice said from Kate's direction. Lyllina and I locked eyes, sharing a glance.

"Nonono!" Kate squealed.

"Oh, no... not now..." Lina muttered.

I whirled around at the exact time to see a dark haired man with red eyes attempting to wrap his arms around Kate's waist. He resembled Kate's sister a lot in his face, except his cheek bones were more defined. The way he moved was even like her. What was her name? Amanda? Ariel? Allison...? Anise...? Anisa!

"I missed you!" The guy crooned.

"Get off!" Kate growled.

"Is this Damien?" I asked narrowing my eyes.

Suddenly he picked up Kate bridal style with a large smile. The curve of his lips resembled Anisa's too. "Now we run into the sunset!" He shouted.

"Ah! Put me down!" Kate yelled, thrashing violently.

I saw Marissa run forward before my body could unfreeze and yank Kate from Damien's arms. Lina ran and swiped her claws out, raking them across his chest. I grabbed Damien and pulled him away from the girls. Damien was staring up at me, baring his human-like teeth. I grinned widely, showing my sharpened needle-like teeth. His eyes got wide. An explosion from the base caused us all to jump. When had we gotten so close? A cloud of dust formed around the collapsed wall, fluttering all around.

Vaann suddenly jumped out from the cloud, landing right in the middle of us. "They are pissed!" He informed us. He looked to Damien and I then, a bit surprised. "Oh, hey, Damien."

"You okay, Vaann?" Marissa asked, her arms wrapped securely around Kate's shoulders. I felt the sudden need to stand beside her, make sure she was safe.

"Yeah, I'm cool."

Damien was still staring at me, ignoring everything around us. "What the hell are you?"

"I'm just a person, what do you think?" I replied flatly.

He broke out laughing, causing me to flinch. "You sure?" He asked when he caught his breath.

Kate suddenly marched over and shoved at Damien. "Leave him alone!" She protested.

"I found him and his group!" An unfamiliar voice shouted. It must have been one of Mother Nature's Guards.

"I thought I said shut up!" Vaann shouted back toward the voice. He turned back to look at us, a little panic stricken. "Can we go now?" He smiled suddenly toward Damien and me as if he thought up an idea, which was most likely the case. "Duo, make an entrance if you please; Damien should work fine."

Out of my peripheral vision I saw Marissa and Riley disappear in one of Riley's illusions. Damien's growling was beginning to sound like one mental little engine. Kate stepped toward us, her voice rising up an octave in stress. "What if they hurt him?" She said placing a hand on my arm.

But Vaann was facing away, his back to us. He thought she meant Damien, not myself. "Who gives a damn, fire!"

I saw Lyllina look to the sky uneasily, "It's going to rain." She murmured.

"Yep, rain hell on this base!" Vaann said, sounding far too confident. I just wanted to back hand him. But if I did that, I'd lose my chance to mess up Damien's face. One glance passed the group and I could see a flood of black swarming toward us.

The Army...

Lyllina stepped forward, ready to face the incoming doom. Kate walked passed Vaann, brushing her hand along his trench coat. I saw a glint of silver. What...? As Kate brushed up against him, Vaann glanced at her, touching her arm gently. She joined Lyllina, staring out at the chaos. She would fight for us. I flinched as I heard the screech of the first arriving Shadows. I could hear Kate and Lina tearing them apart...

I shook myself mentally, forcing myself back to reality. No more distractions. I used one arm to thread through Damien's arms and pinned them behind his back. I wrapped my arm in a choke hold around his throat to make escape impossible. Damien hissed in protest.

"This good? What are you planning?" I asked.

"You know what? You can throw Damien into something later." Vaann said, ignoring my question. He pulled a black blade, I think they were called Katanas, and swung, slashing it through the air. A blast of black fire shot from the tip of the blade, blasting through the wall, making a big hole.

My arms suddenly felt very empty.

I glanced down, blinking in confusion.

Damien was gone.

I looked around in confusion. He was standing by Vaann, staring at him in shock. He must have used his weird disappearing act. That is just not fair, I thought. "Oh, come on!" I growled, crossing my arms.

I watched as Damien walked passed all of us toward the heated battle.

Toward Kate.

She glanced up as he came closer, severing the head from a Shadow as it dissolved. Damien stopped in front of her. "Let's go back now," he begged.

"No!" She snapped whipping around to kick a Shadow right through the spot where its heart would be. It dissolved too.

"Oh, I thought you knew." Vaann shouted, bringing Damien's attention back to him. "I'm not on your side." A Dark Bow and a quiver full of arrows appeared in his hands. He moved quickly, his body used to the motions as he readied his bow and loaded an arrow. He aimed and released, sending the arrow flying through Damien's arm. It flew with enough force to send Damien tumbling back. He was pinned to a tree now, writhing in pain. "All yours, Duo." Vaann said.

His arrow...

It touched....


Come to think of it...

I touched him too...


Vaann's younger brother Zack appeared just then. "She is pissed! It must be that time of the month." Damien gave a whimper and then howled loudly as he ripped the arrow from his arm. Blood gushed from the wound. He didn't give up, did he? "Oh, for hells sake!" Zack growled impatiently. He marched over in frustration, holding up his arm. His hand turned into a large hammer and he swung at Damien. "Out of our way, fag!"

Damien stood up with a growl, his right shoulder and cheek bruised from Zack. He began walking toward Kate. She looked up at his advance and her eyes widened. She scurried toward me and jumped behind me. I held my arms up protectively. Damien whirled toward us.

Vaann was beside us, staring at me. He grabbed Kate's arm. "Duo, can you screw up his face a bit?" He asked. "I need to borrow Kate." She stared up at him in surprise.

Damien stopped in front of me. He was almost two heads shorter than me. "Alright..." I felt an evil smirk spread across my face as Sebastian slipped into control. This was his area.

His head will make an excellent addition to our collection.

Your collection.

No, Demetrius. We are one. And we will be for quite along time... It's time you stopped denying yourself the truth. You are never going to be truly alone. You are not just Demetrius anymore.


There's no escaping the truth. You are forever a monster stuck within a monster.

Stop, Sebastian.

You know it's true.


Yes. Being in denial will not make being a monster any easier.


Say it.

Say what?

You know.




... We are-

Nothing! We are nothing!

We are Duo.

...Yes. We are Duo... We... are one.

There it is.

I felt someone grab my wrist and my mind focused back on the scene.

"Don't touch me!" Damien snapped.

Kate and Vaann were stepping away, gesturing to Zack. Kate looked back at us, her eyes glowing red. She glanced up at Vaann in desperation.

"Kate, leave it. We have a bigger issue." He informed her.

Kate sighed and looked back to me. "Be careful..." She looked back to Vaann and nodded. Zack had finally made his way to them. Just off to the left, Lyllina was fighting was seemed to be a child.

Lily... My mind told me.

I grabbed Damien by his full head of hair throwing him around a bit. I rag dolled him with a straight face. "Okay, take your time."

Last thing I saw was Vaann pull Kate along, Zack on her other side as they disappeared into the thick smoke.

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