Sunday, March 18th, 2029
“My world plan coincidentally drops off here. I could look to see what comes next, but I don’t want to spoil it. We’ll truly see here who’s will is stronger.”
“You’re leaving this up to chance?” I ask
“I only have one chance at this good-bye, and if it were lackluster I would regret it for the rest of my days. In the end nobody wants to be disappointed.”
“And what about what’s to happen today? What are you doing with that?”
He stands to John’s full height.
“It isn’t here,” He says, laughing.
“What do you mean, isn’t here?” Andy asks.
“Not all of it, at least. I hope you know there is so much more than just you or me. And to know that you’ll have to pry its whereabouts from my cold and lifeless body,” He says, his arms open wide, a large grin plastered on his face.
I look to Jen and she looks back to me. We both walk across into the encircled area. Jack smiles and lifts up his arms.
“My girls return to me, what a twist of fate,” he says.
“You are no father of mine, my family is here, everyone here but you,” Jen says.
“I’ve had enough talking, now it is time to decide who is-”
I don’t wait another moment. I hold up the .44 caliber and feel the world around me slow down. I line up my line of sight and hesitate slightly. I see John’s face with a look of surprise, but I remember what is at stake. I pull the trigger and close my eyes.
A few seconds later I open my eyes, expecting to see John’s body on the ground, but instead I see him in the same pose as before, but now the bullet is floating right before his eye, unmoving.
“How…” I begin.
“It is because I now have the power of a god,” He says smiling, and as he does the bullet falls to the ground.
“You aren’t a god, you are only a weak man who has to hide away inside the body of a teenager to feel safe,” Jen says, stepping up.
The next minute Jen flies off of her feet against one of the fallen bits of the Statue.
“You will know your place, no one talks to me in such a tone!” He yells. She then flies upward, grasping at her throat.
I take the opportunity to fire another bullet towards him, trying another well placed head shot. Within the second Jen falls to the ground and he catches the bullet in midair once again.
“Playing the same tricks isn’t going to work, dear,” He says with a terrible emphasis on the latter. I recognize he’s speaking through John’s voice now. “Oh, what, Sarah? Too afraid to hit me now that I’m sounding just like him?” His eyes shift upwards slightly and I see the bullet begin flying in the opposite direction. I jump out of the way, it just narrowly misses its mark. I land hard on my stomach, the gun slides out of my hands. I rush to grab it, but I see it shake and then fly off of the ground.
I turn to see it fly straight into Jack’s hand.
“Now, you will realize the error of your mistakes,” He says, walking towards me, the gun aimed straight at my face.
There’s a loud smashing sound as I hear what sounds like glass breaking and I see the burning remains of the van land right between Jack and me. I turn around to see Andy rushing in, a chunk of the metal in his hands that he molded into some makeshift sword.
“Your barrier’s weaker than I expected, Jack!” he calls out, running and jumping to the side of the burning mess.
I stand up as he continues past the van out of my field of view. I pick up a gun that fell out of Jen’s satchel as she flew back and run around the mess as well.
There’s a loud crack that sounds out as I catch up with the fight. I see Jack double over in pain. I turn to see Jen, kneeling on one knee with a large revolver in her hands. She must have had another with her. She’s breathing heavily, and she must’ve shot him.
I look towards him, and he’s smiling, laughing even.
“What now?” I call out, standing up.
He bends over laughing, I can see the blood run down his side, he puts his right hand over the bullet wound and a green light emits from his hand.
Jen doesn’t waste any more time and shoots him some more, three bullets, two of which hit their mark. Andy catches up to him and pushes him back with his telekinesis. The bullets reach and catch in his right shoulder and the other hits him in the gut. He laughs as the light keeps flowing out of his hand. He doesn’t seem phased by any of it.
“You don’t understand, your bullets mean nothing to me. Any wound you make I can stitch back up as good as new,” He says, laughing even harder.
The first bullet falls out of his body and I can see the wound closing up. He places his hand over the wound in his shoulder and it does the same.
“Is…this it?” Jen asks, lowering the gun, a scared look in her eye.
Jack finishes healing the last wound and then turns to Andy, “And you, my old friend, do not scare me with your new tricks.” He looks towards the van, to which I can see the fire rising out from the mess and it sprays outward. Andy raises his arm instinctively to block the flames, some of them reach his arm before being blocked away. He then grabs a hold of Andy and lifts him into the air, then looking over to Jen and doing the same. They’re both in the air and can’t move.
“Oh, how little chance you actually stood,” he says. “Jay isn’t here to save you now.”
I look back, Jake is helping Iris get to safety. It’s good he’s helping her get safe, but at the same time now it’s just him facing me.
“Ah, now we have some time alone, my dear,” Jack says.
“I saw your father, Friedrich.” I say.
“Then that means you know entirely too much. Shame you weren’t Megan, or else I might have let you live,” he cocks the .44 caliber in his outstretched arm, “This is the end of your story.”
I close my eyes and wait for the gun to fire. Seconds pass, nothing happens. Hesitantly I open my eyes. I see Jack standing before me with the barrel of the gun hanging right in front of my eyes. I don’t even dare breathe, but I also see that his hand, Jack’s hand is twitching. I look up and notice he has a look of aggravation on his face, like he’s gritting his teeth. His whole body then begins to tremble and he looks down, I can see his lips quiver as if he wants to say something.
“…S…Sarah,” he says. It’s in John’s voice, but it isn’t in Jack’s harsh inflections, it’s a tone I only know that comes from one person.
“John?! Are you in there?” I ask.
He looks up to me, he’s breathing heavily and his expression is gaunt.
“You…you need to continue your art.”
“Continue your art, Sarah. Please, I wish…to see more of it.”
He then struggles with his arm, but then he manages to turn the gun on himself, and I know what he’s planning to do.
John shakes his head, but it is Jack that answers, “No! No, this will not end with you! You are nothing! You are weak and insignif-” He begins shaking some more, I can see that his hand is shaking and spasming violently. It begins glowing with a weird light, not unlike the light that healed his wounds.
“Sarah...this future...save it.”
His eyes go wide, he stands there with the gun pointed at himself. His mouth hangs open and he looks as if he were studying everything in front of him, if he’s even here now.
“I...I understand,” he says, but I’m not so sure it’s John.
“What do you mean? John, is that you?” I ask, standing once more.
“I see…that this…is necessary, for the birth of a new era. For complete...”
He pulls the gun close and aims it just before his throat and pulls the trigger. Time slows to a near halt. The gun is overcharged with the light from his hand, the bullet looks entirely like a tiny sun as it exits the chamber. The bullet flies up through his jaw and exits through his skull, a horribly beautiful display of blood and the multicolored liquid sprays out from the single shot. I’m screaming as his body falls to the ground and crumples like a ragdoll. Andy and Jen fall to the ground beside him.
The second John’s body falls to the ground I fall over, my arm burns from the fire he hurled at me. Sarah is in hysterics, she has tears running down her face and she can’t seem to get her words out. Iris and Jake go to look at Jen, I place both of my hands on Sarah’s shoulders and spin her around to face me.
“Listen, Sarah, I know this is the absolute hardest thing in the world right now. I get that, but he’s saved. And the best part is that he was able to help. I think he made a makeshift cure to his explosion.”
She nods but puts her hands to her face. “I…I know, but…”
“He’s with his father, for once he has the guardian he should have had since he was a baby. This absolutely sucks, but we need to stay strong for him.”
She hugs me close and I pat her on the back.
“And you also do what he asked, keep up with your art,” I say.
She nods and sniffs a bit, wiping her nose, “Every day, I’m going to work on something every day for him to see from above.”
“That’s the spirit.”
She let’s go and Iris walks over, pulling her into a hug. I let them be and I walk over to Jen, who’s in a similar motion with Jake.
“I’m so glad that you’re safe,” I say.
She opens her eyes and smiles. She lets go of Jake and nods at him, then pulls me tight into a hug that almost sends me off my balance.
“It’s over,” I say.
“I’m so sorry about what happened to Lindsey, I wanted to say it earlier but I didn’t want to bring it up right before all of this,” she says.
“I look at it this way, at least…now she can see what we’ve accomplished, what we managed to do.”
“We’ve still got what Jack said, about whatever is going to happen about it not being here,” Jake says.
“What could that mean?” I ask.
“I don’t know, but we have to bring this country back together. This cannot go on, not how we’ve been living. Especially now that there’s nobody left to give orders,” I hear Sarah behind me.
I turn to face her, “What do you mean?”
She cocks her head to the right and I see half a torso sticking out from underneath a large section of debris on the other side of the land.
“Is that…President Avery?” I ask.
Jake walks up behind me and nods, “That is. Jack didn’t give two shits it seems.”
“Now look at him, crushed for his beliefs.”
“So, what do we do now? We have no leads.”
“We move,” I begin. “We search for whatever we need to find, and we find it. We travel the country, we get these people who are rioting and we stop it.”
“Are you sure we can do that? We’re just only a few people,” Iris asks.
“We need to, because what happened today isn’t the final straw, not for any of this.”
“What do you mean?”
“There’s one thread in all of this that we’ve been avoiding like the plague, the Queen.”
“You can’t seriously be suggesting that we take on an entire country?”
“Not right now, no. We’re much too small in number, but something needs to be done. We need to reunite this place, this country. There needs to be a revolution,” I say.
I start believing it more each time I say it. I think back to how Gavin told me about Oliver Avery instructing Jack’s situation as a direct order of the Queen. She’s the roots of this, and we’ve only chopped off a leaf.
“I have some connections down at the NYPD, I can get the office to work with us, a few of them are still a little…uh, afraid of me over there,” Jake says.
“We could start a rally! And Andy can be our President!” Iris says.
“President? I couldn’t be the president…” I say, shaking my head.
“You know the law the best out of all of us, being an attorney and all,” Sarah says.
“That doesn’t mean I’m automatically the best candidate for president!”
“I’d vote for you,” Jen says.
I hear a voice in my mind echo.
“What if...we don’t go back?” Lindsey asks.
I’m looking at myself back in Elysium, back in Elysium. I’m sitting beside Lindsey.
“If I stay in here I don’t have to be in the same world as him, I don’t have to be scared anymore,” she says.
“You could die in here.”
“People die out there all of the time! At least in here there’s no blood and no mess.”
“I’m afraid I can’t abide by that. I can’t sit around and pretend like everything is okay here, there are hundreds of players in here that want to get out.”
“You know that things will never be right out there, right, with how the country is fucked?”
“Things can get better, they will get better,”
“How are you so certain?”
I look back into her eyes, I caress my hand against her cheek. “Do you remember in the old cartoons where they’d always bring out that large stick of TNT?” I ask.
“They’d always focus in on the little spark that lights the fuse. That teeny-tiny little spark that causes the huge explosion. That spark is me.”
“I guess I haven’t thought on it much recently, I was too down in the dumps to, but yes. I am that spark, I want to be that spark that ignites the bomb that changes our world. I remember a time when it wasn’t the way it is now, and I want to bring it back to that point again.”
“You really think that you can make a difference?” She asks me.
We’re both staring into each other. Athena turns towards me and leans in close and whispers, “I want to join you. I want to make a difference with you,” she says.
“Are you sure?”
“I’ll follow you anywhere.”
I’m standing back on the peninsula and I keep seeing the moment where I truly fell in love with Lindsey.
“I am a spark.”
“Huh?” Jake asks.
“I am a spark, a spark to the flames of reconstruction.”
“I don’t know what that means,” he replies.
I turn to Jake, a sly grin on my face. “I’m in, I’m all in. We’re going to do this.”
Andy, our new President. It’s kind of a surreal thought. Of course, it’s going to take a lot of work to have people see him the way we do. Maybe his charisma and a little help from his ability to find the truth out will help him in the long run. I’m sitting beside John, looking at his lifeless body. I place my hand over his chest, his heart, and in an instant I can feel a sort of dizziness as my vision begins to cloud.
It is as if I’m looking into a dream, maybe John’s dream? Or maybe what’s…left of his spirit? Jay did say that we Dreamers were connected, so it could be possible I’m just looking at his last dream that he had in his own body. I see a large forest, he appears into view, dressed as he had been when he died, and I assume when he dreamed this dream.
I come into the picture, and I’m wearing a beautiful red dress. I watch as we walk together and talk, passing by a huge statue of some monster. I arrange myself as if I were watching a program on the television. I feel someone grabbing my arm, and then I hear Iris.
“Hey, what’re you doing? We’re getting ready to leave.”
We’re now walking into a cave of some sort.
“No, wait a second…” I say, pushing Iris away.
I see John crossing a long dark pathway, I assume that we’re still in the cave. Next it is my turn to cross, but I fall halfway, and John’s worried face…how much I’d give to be able to see that face animated again here in the real world. I pick myself up and finish over to the other side. He grabs my hand and we fall on the other side of the chasm, lying on our backs. We stand up, it seems to be moving in fast forward for a second, but I hone in on him saying something. I can’t hear it, everything is mute here. He looks down to the ground and then up to me, his entire body lit in a purple glow from above. I look at him and smile and say something back. He seems to ask something, he rubs the back of the neck with his hand and looks expectantly. I reply with a smug look on my face, a grin above all else.
What could we be talking about?
He looks disappointed for the slightest of seconds, but then I give him a wry smile, and he smiles back, and then we kiss. I can feel a tear stream down as I watch it, the final dream John had on this earth is what I’d wanted all of this time…
I blink and then it is gone, it fades from my view and then I’m looking back at John’s corpse. I’m staring at him with the sole tear strolling down my face as if it were just a person taking a walk through the park. The park. I think back to my first meeting with John, how awkwardly adorable he was.
“Are you going to be okay?” Iris asks.
I look up to her and take a deep breath. I nod slowly and swallow.
“Y-Yeah, I’ll be just fine.”
Iris offers her arms open again, and I stand up and walk into them again, letting the tears flow once more. This isn’t fair, any of it.
“Okay, we need to move. The way I see it, the faster we get our country back up and running, the faster we can get to relaxing on that beach!” Andy says.
I laugh, a bit of it is some of my tears working their way out of my system, but the majority of it is the thought of finally being free of my father’s poisons. I mean, sure, we have to fix and entire country and that is no small task, but we can really do this, I believe so.
Andy begins walking, “You guys might want to get a move on, our car kind of got wrecked remember?”
“I hope you had insurance on the ZX,” Jen says, laughing.
“I hope the Aurora PD doesn’t mind one of their vans is a giant tin can now,” Andy replies.
Jake laughs. “We’ll explain it all, we’ll make sure that none of this is forgotten. I mean, I don’t know how many people will believe it, but we’ll try our hardest,” he says.
“What are we going to actually do about transportation, though? I sure am not walking across this country,” I say.
Iris perks up, “I…actually know where we can snag a car, providing someone knows how to hot-wire a car.”
“I…know how to,” Jake raises his hand, embarrassed.
“You do?” Jen asks, looking towards him.
“Yeah, being the son of a police officer makes the rebellious phase a little awkward,” he says.
“Alright, fair enough,” Iris says.
“Where are we headed?” I ask.
“Back up where Gavin and I were staying, there was a parking garage that was across the street.”
“I remember seeing that garage, the entrance was completely encased in debris, how do you manage to get in?”
Iris thinks it over for a second and then smiles. “I have a shortcut,” she says, and then takes off running. I look to Andy and then to Jen and then Jake, we’re all sharing the same confused face, but then shrug it off to follow her. In the distance I see the sun rising, a new dawn, a new beginning. A new day.