PART FOUR: THE GREAT DECEIVER
Director Pheonix Port heartily laughed as he pulled back his hair and nodded enthusiastically accepting that his rival, Avery Alison, had bested him by revealing his secret identity.
“Ah, I’ve been had. I should never have underestimated you, Miss Avery Alison. How long have you known?”
Avery simply glared at him. Port nodded and continued laughing, highly amused.
“A woman after my own heart. With you by my side, there’d be nothing to stop us from taking our rightful places in history. We’d be the most formidable pair of gods that have ever existed,”
“I’d never join your side of my own volition,”
Port smirked on hearing Avery’s rebuttal.
“I am not one who is easily deterred by one rejection. Besides, surely you all know who is in a better position to make demands. Resistance is simply not an option, Alisons,”
“We’re with her on this. We are going to come at you with everything we’ve got. We will stop you no matter what,” Avery’s doppelganger bravely pronounced.
“Are you sure you want to do that, mom-in-law?” he asked as he shape-shifted into Charlton Rivers, Ada’s husband. Ada suddenly felt weak in the knees and collapsed to the ground, utterly defeated by the reveal. Avery’s doppelganger immediately got down on her knees to help her daughter.
“What say you, my love?” Port asked, shifting into Dewey’s wife, Dr. Chidinma Kanda1. Dewey felt weak in the knees too, steadying himself on Emre’s offered shoulder as he processed that Ash’s predictions had been right all along.
Port laughed as he shifted back into his better recognized form.
“As you can see, I am one of you now. I will make this simple, family. You will grant me an audience with the Lord of Fire, Blaize, I know he successfully ascended into godhood. I will return all your close friends and family who have been assimilated provided you grant me an audience with him and he provides me with a world seed so that I may also achieve Apotheosis and rightfully take my place in history as a god as is my Fate,”
“You can never return what you have stolen from us. You must think we are crazy if we would even entertain the thought of your obtaining a world seed,” Avery stated through gritted teeth.
“Oh come now, Avery, don’t make this any harder than it has to be. Don’t force my hand; I would rather like to avoid an all out battle,”
“Brave words for a man hiding behind a magical crystal prison,”
“My, my, stubborn, aren’t we? Very well… Taja darling, do your thing,” he stated.
The cloaked individual standing next to him bowed and then turned to look at the Alisons menacingly. All it took Avery to assess the potency of the one named Taja was one look and it chilled her to the core.
“Whatever you do, don’t look directly into her eyes!” Avery warned her family.
The family looked away as they desperately sought a way out of their prison but suddenly, the oxygen in the room felt very thin and they soon begun to cough violently. Avery chanted every counter-spell she knew to prevent Taja’s potent poisonous aura emissions against her family but it was futile. Aurora was the first to fall to the lethal aura emission and Leal desperately clung to her body as he begged her to keep fighting.
“Stop it!” Leal shouted at Taja. Taja’s emissions persisted despite Leal’s plea.
“I’ll do whatever you want just… please stop hurting her!” Leal shouted desperately.
“Leal-“Aurora called out weakly.
“My love, just save your strength, we will get out of this just like we’ve gotten out of similar fixes in the past,” Leal reassured her.
“Don’t-give-in-to-their-demands. Don’t-let- the-darkness-prevail,” Aurora breathed as she struggled to take in air.
“What are you saying, Aurora? I cannot let them kill you! I will do anything it takes to save your life. I’ll even forfeit my own soul. Please, you have to fight. You have to live, please, Aurora, for me, please, you have to live,” Leal begged her.
“Leal, I love you with all my heart and I wish I was stronger… I wish I could live for you but I-cannot, Leal. I will watch over you and over them in the other life-“
“Aurora, don’t you dare give up on me! Don’t let go, please, my love- You, Taja, stop it! I’ll obtain the world seed for you. I’ll do what you want, please just stop it,”
“Leal- it’s too late for me. I love you…”
Aurora then turned to the rest of her family and said, “I love you all- I’m so sorry, I am not as strong as you all are- please take care of your father for me,”
Time suddenly stood still as Aurora Alison took her last breath. Leal released a painful, guttural scream that drowned out every other sound in the room. He felt it the very second his charge left the world- felt it echoed in his soul and registered it as the worst pain he had ever suffered through in his life. It was an agony that Leal could not live through. He unwittingly performed his last quantum jump, transmitting his last agony to several of his doppelgangers across Time.
Leal tightly grasped the lifeless cadaver of his charge and give up all hope. His family tried everything they could to pull him out of his helpless state but there was nothing they could do. They barely had enough time to register the death of their Matriarch when Leal fell lifelessly before them too, with tears still streaming down his face while he looked up at the sky. His last moments brought him peace knowing he would soon be by his charge’s side in the Paradise Lands.
The rest of the family all fell to the ground weakly and Port moved closer to them.
“What a pity; it didn’t have to come to this. Taja, that’s enough,”
Taja nodded and stopped emitting her poisonous aura directed at the family.
“Wait a minute, where is she?” Port suddenly asked noticing that Avery Alison was nowhere to be seen.
Taja looked around the room worriedly before she began to shiver uncontrollably. Port noticed that in the commotion following the deaths of Aurora and Leal Alison, the sudden burst of energy as their spirits departed from the world of the living had interrupted the flow of the energy of the magical crystal prison giving Avery the perfect opportunity to escape.
“Taja, get out of here quickly!” Port pronounced urgently.
Taja nodded and began to sprint towards the exit but was soon frozen in place, reduced to an ice sculpture. A potent energy blast soon reduced the ice- sculpture that had once been Taja to powdered snow. The cadaver began to emit an ominous dark cloud which Avery easily exorcised before making a bee-line for Port. The closer she drew towards Port, the further apart the magical crystals imprisoning the Alisons grew until they were finally free of their cage.
“It’s pointless to kill me, Avery. You know I’ll just come back. I’ll make your lives hell. It’s better to just give into my demands and I will leave you be,”
Avery did not falter until she within a breath’s width of him. She and the rest of the family gathered their wits about them and entrapped him. Avery touched both his temples and began to chant a spell to recall Port’s entire Consciousness to the body he was currently occupying. She nearly succeeded when suddenly, Port ejected as much of his Consciousness from the body he occupied as he could, soon entering a self-induced catatonic state.
“You will live to regret this, Alisons,” his sentiments echoed in their minds before he completely disappeared. The family were then left in the vast darkness of the warehouse they had been summoned to, staring down at the lifeless cadavers of their beloved parents.
TO BE CONTINUED…
With the wicked Port at large and the death of their beloved parents, what shall the Alison family do?
Definition of Terms
- Dr. Chidinma Kanda: a brilliant researcher that worked for the DoD in Timeline D-3; she met and fell in love with her husband Dewey Alison via a numerology-based dating site and eloped with him after a few weeks of dating. Dr. Kanda is one of many victims of Director Pheonix Port in his bid to get closer to the Alison family.