The Darkness Within

The Escape - Act I Finale

“Desperation is the raw material of drastic change. Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape. ”

-William S. Burroughs


"Rah!" I grunted as I rammed through some cardboard boxes, desperately trying to evade my pursuers. If this was a normal day for me, I could evade them with ease. I would just jump up onto the rooftops and evade them there.

But that I couldn't do. I was bleeding from several smaller wounds, and the torture Sayer put me through had taken its toll. Couple that with my legs being about to give in and snap, and things get bad.

My other option was to use my powers, use a tentacle to grab something to get ahead. A good idea at first, if you didn't take into account that my powers were weakened from my outburst which lead to Sayer's death.

Then why not just turn around and sick Supernova Dragon on them? A valid idea, but to do that, I need both arms to do that. And both arms were quite preoccupied with something more important: carrying Akiza.

So I really only had one option; run like hell, and pray to whatever deity up there that I could escape. And a quick look behind me would quickly diminish that hope.

There were at least fifty people charging for me, spouting murderous words and dark glares. They yelled loudly about what they were going to do to me once they caught me. Something along the lines of stringing me up by my own intestines and feeding me something I couldn't really hear, but it didn't sound very nice.

So that was my situation. I was running for my life from an angry mob wanting to kill me, without any defense, while carrying my unconscious crush, with a body that could crumble at any moment. I think you can imagine how fucked I was.

Yes, fucked. I really am not a big fan of swearing, but even when I do, I usually don't say that. But in the situation I was in, I think you'll understand why.

Running desperately with death licking at my feet. Absolutely, definitely fucked.

I turned around for another glance at my pursuers, and found myself staring down a row of fireballs headed my way. Great, as if my situation wasn't bad enough. Psychics. I snarled inwardly, as I zigzagged to avoid the falling balls of scorching fire headed for me with the intent to incinerate me and Akiza until I was nothing but ash.

As I kept on running; for a second I felt a pang of pity for my pursuers. They were probably like me; scared of the world around them and their capabilities; and Arcadia became their solace and home, as Sayer twisted his lies expertly, fitting them right into their brains, manipulating them into these hateful, angry murderers.

Arcadia was like a giant tinderbox, chock-full of the hate and wrath bottled up inside. And by killing Sayer, I lit the entire thing, creating a blazing fire, spiraling out of control. What were they going to do without Sayer as their front-figure, without him as their dictator, what were they?

They were lit matches, running around like crazy. It was only a matter of time before they would either extinguish, or blaze up further, sparking fires all over New Domino, making the situation even worse.

Right now, I was hoping that Sector Security could get it under control.

But that was a slim hope. From my brief time in the Satellite, Sector Security didn't come across to me as effective in any way.

If no-one did anything, New Domino would catch fire, and burn down to the ground, leaving nothing but broken dreams and burnt bodies.

As I continued my run, I gave Akiza a glance. She seemed so fragile, like her skin was of porcelain. She was probably what made me keep going, even when whatever chance I had seemed so slim. I was gonna save her, then she might like me, and then we might even become boyfriend and girlfriend!

Well, that's what I wanted to believe, but it wouldn't be that easy. Why would it? From the time I spent in Arcadia, Akiza was more or less Sayer's lap dog, for the lack of a better term. She did his every bidding, and seemed to only trust him with anything.

How would she react when she found out that I had killed Sayer, her only solace, her only friend? I did my best not to think about that, but someone thought otherwise.

What a pitiful sight you are, Jay. I couldn't muster the strength to respond to Akron's bullying, because all strength I had was being spent on running for my dear life. He could babble on, and there was nothing I could do about it.

What is she gonna do when she finds out? I bet she'll jump off a building, or drown herself. You've driven her to suicide, Jay. So what's it going to matter? Drop her and forget about her. She's just dead weight. I tried to shake his words off, but truth can't be hidden.

What would she do? No way in hell would she trust me. My point score with her was really low. If I wasn't afraid of the thought, I was pretty sure she despised me, even if I had a mark similar to hers.

'WROOOM' I heard behind me, the roar of a massive, big-block engine behind me. I looked behind me, and saw what seemed to be an armored car, complete with machine gun headed right for me, being driven by five from the mob.

What the- I thought as it began to close in on me. As it got closer, I recognized what it was. It was Overdrive, a Level four Machine-Type Earth Normal Monster, which just happened to be an armored car with a gun on top.

Just great.

As it began to close in on me, I had to think fast. I ran around a corner, where I saw the entrance to a garage. It was fenced, so if I could muster enough strength to jump it, I could escape.

The roar of Overdrive began to get louder, as I ran for the fence, mustering whatever strength I had left as I held Akiza tight, and ran for the fence, and jumped.

Everything seemed to go in slow-motion. I slowly glided over the fence, as the armored car roared around the corner, gun trained right at me.

A flash of light signaled that they had begun shooting. I could see the bullets whizzing through the air past me, a few of them just barely missing me, as I began to descend back down.

Just an inch more, and I was down on the ground, and away. Just a little more.

'Tap,' my shoes went as I landed on the ground, the loud RATATATA from the gun firing wildly at me as I ran again, bullets hitting the ground, sending small bits of asphalt flying around me.

I saw an open door right ahead! Safety for Akiza, and rest for me! Just another foot, and I-

My train of thought slammed into a wall, as what was unmistakably a bullet, whizzed right for me and hit me right in the right leg, sending me forwards to the ground, screaming in pain as the piece of metal went right through my leg, ripping sinew and just scraping the bone as it exited my leg, and lodged itself into the asphalt.

Akiza fell out of my grasp, and landed on the ground in front of me with a soft 'whump', her hair loosely spread around her as she rolled to a halt.

The gunfire had stopped. Their last bullet had been lucky. I was out, no more running for me. The blood was gushing from my leg, where the bullet had hit, and I desperately tried to pull myself towards Akiza, but exhaustion and blood loss began to catch up.

My vision began to blacken from the blood loss, but the last I heard was the tapping of small shoes running across the ground; and then a strange mechanical sound roared. It sounded like a dragon, but the voice was mechanical, but stout and proud.

"-Power Tool Dragon, attack!"

And that was it.


My eyes fluttered open, and I was met with a vast expanse of white before my eyes. I was lying on a flat, smooth, cold surface on my back. I tried to raise my head to see where I was, and I was greeted by more of the same expanse of white.

I pulled myself up from the floor, and was greeted with incredible pain on my leg, from where the bullet had gone through my leg. I got myself into a sitting position, and gave a look at my leg.

Where the bullet had hit, blood had gone out and formed a small puddle around where the wound was. It hurt like all hell. I clenched my teeth to try and quell the pain, when a soft light appeared before me, pulling in my attention.

"Why?" It questioned, with a voice I knew all too well, a voice that I wished it wasn't in this case.

Akiza's. I drew in a deep breath, ignoring the blinding pain in my leg to respond. "Because I had to." What was I supposed to say? I killed Sayer, the one person she saw as a friend. What should I have said?!

"That doesn't justify it. That doesn't justify taking what I loved from me," Akiza's voice replied, attempting to be stoic, but I could hear that her voice was wavering, on the verge of crying. I felt awful, but I did what I did. Nothing will ever change that.

"I know. But I had to," I replied, my voice wavering as well. "You can hate me if you want to, I wouldn't be surprised. But I did what I thought was right, and that's all." Tears began to stream down from my eyes, as my head slumped forwards, not even brave enough to look at the light.

"I hate you." She replied, still trying to be stoic, but I could hear she was crying too.

"I know," Was all I managed to squeeze out of my throat before the light brightened, and the expanse around me faded, and my eyes burst open.


"Urh," I grunted as I managed to get to a sitting position. The very first thing that struck me was 'Where the hell am I?' Last thing I remembered, I had been shot close to an open door, and passed out from blood loss, and now I was in what looked sort of like a hotel room, lying in a soft bed, covered by a blanket.

My next thought was 'Am I in heaven?', but that thought was quickly dragged into an alley and shot in the neck; because there is no way my name was on the list for heaven, but if this was hell, or the Netherworld, or whatever you call it, it didn't look like it.

I tried to move my right leg, but was met with mild pain from where the bullet had gone through. I tossed the blanket to look what state it was in, and I was in for a shock.

It had been bandaged, and for the looks of it, been treated with something, otherwise it probably would have hurt a lot more.

I started to connect the dots, when I heard a soft creak before me, like that of a door being opened, and a beam of light shined in my face, causing a groan from my eyes, and I quickly covered them with my hands.

"Oh, you're awake!" A voice rang out shortly after. It was the voice of a girl, but this voice was innocent and kind, the kind of voice only a sweet little girl who hadn't done a thing wrong in her life had.

I removed my hands from my eyes once they had adjusted themselves to the sharp light, so I could see the person who had spoken to me. It was a little girl, she looked to be around 11 or 12. Her hair was a slightly bluish green, and she had tied some of it up into two pigtails. Her face looked innocent, and she was carrying what looked like a tray with a glass of water in it.

"Where-" I began, feeling a little groggy from just waking up. "Where am I?" I questioned the little girl, as she walked over to me with the tray, and placed it on a small nightstand beside the bed.

"You're in the Tops," She replied, as I grabbed the glass of water, and gave a quiet 'thank you'. I had heard about the Tops before, when I still lived in Arcadia. It was basically New Domino's high-end area, where all the rich people lived. It was close to a city into itself, as you needed a pass card to even enter the Tops, where everyone lived the high life.

"Leo and I found you and your friend outside last night. You were being chased by someone. Leo managed to fight them off, though," She spoke sweetly, as I slowly moved my legs to the edge of the bed, and slowly dragged them down to the floor, and tried to stand up. My right leg began to hurt badly when weight began to be put on it, but it faded soon after.

I turned towards the little girl, and smiled at her. Her and this 'Leo' had done that? There really were good people in the world, after all, and that fact alone made me smile, as I said two words seldom used before.

"Thank you," I said, as I stood up. "What's your name?" I asked calmly.

"Luna," She replied meekly. "I'm Luna, and this is our house," She said, sounding almost proud of it.

"What about I show you around the place?" She asked me with her innocent voice, as I cracked my neck. It felt good to be finally moving properly again, without a bullet having gone through my leg, which had in some way healed.

"Yeah," I replied. "I'd like that."

The tour turned out to get quite lengthy. The 'house' Luna and her brother, Leo, lived in was actually a penthouse on top of a skyscraper in the Tops, the tallest one actually. The house was like a mansion, with rooms everywhere. I'm pretty sure I counted at least six or seven bathrooms. Who needs that many?

Apparently, Luna and her twin brother Leo lived alone in that place without their parents. It's got to be lonely, right? Well, I woke up in a concrete facility without any memories, so I should know what it's like. Well, I'm human, so I must have parents somewhere. But I doubt they'd call me their son, when you look at me now.

It actually did surprise me that neither my horns, (which had grown back at some point), or my black criminal mark filled her with fear and made her run for her life. I did ask her, but she glazed over the question like it was nothing. Apparently, she sensed goodness inside me, which I really didn't believe.

I mean, has anything I've told you made you think? I'm not sure you could call me a good person. Sure, I did save Akiza from Arcadia, but why did I do that? Because she was all I had left. You couldn't find a more selfish reason even if you wanted to.

But another thing I noticed was the lack of any 'servants', for the lack of a better word. Butlers? I dunno, I'm not incredibly knowledgeable within this specific category. So how did they get food? Call for take-away? That can't exactly be good for your health, but I'm the dumb one, right? One of them could probably cook.

Then, Luna told me something that caught my attention; both she and her brother were psychics. When I told her I heard a voice calling out 'Power Tool Dragon' before I passed out, she replied that Power Tool Dragon was Leo's ace card, which meant that he was the one who I heard.

She then explained that while Leo and his Power Tool Dragon were chasing off my pursuers, Luna got one of her monsters, the lion Regulus, to help carry the both of us inside.

"So, where is Akiza?" I quickly asked, not sparing a moment. I had taken the responsibility of keeping her safe, so I needed to know.

"She's in another room," Luna replied, as she gestured for a big, blue couch in the middle of the twins' massive living room, and I did as told, and sat down. It was comfortable alright, like the bed they had put me in.

"She's still out cold, but she's breathing well," Luna then spoke, as she sat down as well. I let out a sigh of relief, knowing that she would be alright. The fact that she might hate my very guts and soul had escaped my mind at the time.

"Sis? He's awake?" Another voice rang out from above, as I saw a person looking almost exactly like Luna, but without the pigtails and a more masculine voice, slide down the barrister of the stair, and land perfectly on his feet.

"Yeah, Leo. He's awake," Luna replied, as she turned towards me again. "That's Leo," Luna began, but Leo quickly interrupted her. "Yep, I'm the guy who saved your sorry butt. So Jay, what happened?" Leo began, but the fact that he already knew my name, even though I hadn't told him startled me.

"How do you-", I began, but Luna interrupted me. "We've got a telepathic link. When you told me, I told Leo. I already told you we were psychics." Luna sweetly explained, as Leo plopped down on the couch next to me.

"Well-" I began, but a strange theme began playing to our left, and we all immediately looked to our left, to the massive TV left to the sofa.

"This is New Domino News, with a breaking news report," A neatly dressed man in a suit spoke, as he sat behind a desk, with a bundle of papers in front of him. "Last night, the streets were plagued with a surge of what is known as 'Psychic Duelists', who have over the night caused damage for millions, and dozens have been injuried," The host continued, as several images flashed on a small screen next to him, showcasing the destruction.

My stomach churned as I realized that this 'surge' had been the remnants of Arcadia, outraged at the fact that I killed Sayer, and clearly, they all went on a rampage. And it was my fault.

"Coupled with the rise of the infamous 'Akron', here on the streets of New Domino, the Director has decided to take drastic measures," The host began, as he took in a deep breath.

"Psychics are now all branded as fugitives, and will be pursued by Sector Security. If you happen to know, see, or hear of one, please notify Sector Security immediately, so they can capture these scum," The host continued.

I was in shock. All psychics are FUGITIVES?! What the-

"Anyone who is suspected of being a psychic is to be put through a series of tests, to determine if they are or not. All psychics will be detained in the Facility, but the most dangerous will be sentenced to death."

That was rubbing salt in the wound. I'd already been sentenced to death before, no big problem. But what about Leo and Luna, what about Akiza?

"From now on, we will display a Top 10 of the most wanted psychics in New Domino, so that you can all recognize them. This was New Domino News," The reporter finished, as the screen turned into a display, turning into a ranking board.

First, the bottom five were shown, all with faces I didn't recognize.

Then came the top five, which I looked through closely, and it said:

MOST WANTED:

Name: Unknown /Alias: 'Akron' /Age: 18 /Sex: Male /Status: At large (DO NOT APPROACH UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. IF SEEN, NOTIFY SECTOR SECURITY IMMEDIATELY.)

No. 2

Name: Akiza Izinski /Alias: Black Rose Witch /Age: 16 Sex: Female /Status: At large (DO NOT APPROACH UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. IF SEEN, NOTIFY SECTOR SECURITY IMMEDIATELY.)

No. 3

The rest of the list was blurred to me, but it didn't matter. What did matter was that now, I was a dead man. Akiza and I were now the most wanted people in all of New Domino. Leo and Luna were beyond shocked; their eyes were the size of saucers.

But I wouldn't blame them. They just found out that they were housing Akron, the most notorious psychic in all of New Domino.

"Y-you're Akron?" Luna asked meekly, while I just wanted to melt right then and there, and vanish from the face of the earth. "...Yes." I replied simply. Luna's expression turned from horror to sad, while Leo was shocked.

"P-please don't throw us out," I began. "We don't have anywhere to go."

"B-but you're evil..." Leo began, but Luna cut him off. "No he's not! Ancient Fairy Dragon said she sensed good inside him!" Luna cried, as she leaped into my arms, and wrapped her arms around me. I was shocked; I didn't know what was going on.

"I know they say I'm evil," I began, "But I'm not. I have feelings too, I'm afraid of them, just like they are of me." I began, as Leo got up, and walked over to me.

"We're not afraid of you," Luna began. "I know there's good inside you."

We sat there for a few minutes, letting the silence envelop us.

An hour or two passed, where I more or less told Leo and Luna everything. How I had woken up in the facility in the Satellite, my misadventures in Arcadia, and what led to my escape here. I left out the part where Sayer tortured me and electrocuted me until I began to cough up blood. I figured that they wouldn't take it so well, seeing as they were only 11 years old.

Afterwards, Leo called for takeaway, and we spent a good half hour eating pizza, as Leo and Luna explained why they lived here all on their own. Their parents were obviously rich, but they were both off on buisness trips, so the both of them lived in their penthouse all on their own, without a single other soul. Not a servant, butler, even a pet. Just themselves.

So why they so easily forgave me and understood me was easy. They were lonely, just like me. And now we were friends, so all was well, right?

But as I bit down in a large slice of pizza, my thoughts drifted to Akiza again, her perfect face, her angelic voice, her... well, everything. She was just so damn pretty, and... yeah, I was in love.

I can feel the heat rising to my cheeks now, as I begin to talk about it, but you want to know more, right? Well, it probably began from my loneliness. For the past month or two, (I'm honestly not sure how long it has been), I've been all on my own, not a single person to trust. Sayer, the one person I believed could save me chained me to a wall and electrocuted me.

But then I remembered my dream. I killed Sayer, the one person Akiza trusted in this world. I practically killed her father. And I really felt bad, but what choice did I have? Sayer was evil, and he had to atone his crimes. Whatever he wanted to use psychics for couldn't be good, and if I let Akiza stay, the remnants of Arcadia would probably hurt her, and I would never be able to live with that.

That's why I grabbed her, and tried to carry her away to safety. The one option my heart told me was the right one, but when my brain thinks about it, it was probably not a good idea.

She probably hated me now.

"Jay? You're spacing out. Are you okay?" Luna asked, making my train of thought screech to a halt. "Yeah, you seem a little distant. Are you alright?" Leo asked, as the twins both turned towards me. I was willing to bet my deck on that the two were having a telepathic conversation about me right then.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Just tired." I replied, as I pulled myself together, and kept eating pizza. It was delicious, no doubt, but my mind was elsewhere. Akiza was on my mind, and I needed to check on her. As Luna told me, she was still out cold, but maybe I could wake her up somehow. I didn't know how, but it was worth a try, right?

As we finished up the pizza, where I had probably eaten enough to sate the hunger of all of the world's armies, but after that long rest and running on practically broken legs had taken it's toll on me, and so my body craved nutrition. And apparently, it needed a lot. I went to the bathroom, and splashed water on my face.

It had practically become a practice for me nowadays, but it did feel nice when the cold water washed my face and cleaned away the stains that I had accumulated over time.

I looked myself in the mirror, and had a look at my face. My face had become normal again; or what was normal for me. The horns had returned, along with the crimson color, and my eyes had gone back to normal, too. My left blue eye, and my right crimson eye were as they had been that day I woke up.

I breathed in, and exited the bathroom, headed for the room where the twins had laid down Akiza, and breathed in. It was just a dream, it was just a dream, I repeated to myself as I walked up the stairs.

I don't think it was, Jay.

And as always, Akron was there to ruin it all, as I arrived at the door, and slowly opened it, and stepped into the room.

It was just like the room where I woke up, except with less pictures, and the bed was bigger. Akiza lay in the middle of the bed, the sheets covering her completely, with her head poking out and resting on the pillow.

I slowly walked over beside the bed, and put my hand over her forehead to feel her temperature. She was quite warm, warmer than normal. Then, I gently caressed her cheek, and felt her silky smooth skin on my fingers. It was smooth as porcelain, and it was likely just as fragile.

As I removed my hand, Akiza's eyes fluttered open, and our eyes immediately locked.

"Jay...where am I?" Akiza said meekly. Her voice gave it away, she was ill, and needed rest.

"Safe." I replied, as I kissed her on the forehead.

END ACT I: Fires of Arcadia

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