He doesn't know his own fate, but he should. After all, he is a god.
| "Focus. Just focus. Move the glass. You can do this."
"Okay. I can do this. I can do this." Doe attempted to pierce the glass with his gaze. Could he really move the water? It was his forty-third attempt that night. He could have sworn he was beginning to sweat. He gazed harder and harder, staring until it strained his eye, but the water didn't boil; the glass didn't move.
"It's not working!" he yelled, "And I have a headache! Why can't you suits leave me alone?"
"Because," the agent replied nonchalantly as he took a sip from the glass, "We know you can do this. You've done it before, and we were very impressed."
"That was different. I didn't want to die!"
"So you think it was your will to survive that brought out these powers? Interesting." The agent began to jot down this new thought in his notebook. He always had that disgusting little notebook. "Now listen," he eventually continued, "Close your eyes and concentrate. Stop staring at the glass. Don't let your eyes control what will happen. Just concentrate on your ability to move it. I know you can do this. All you have to do is convince yourself of that."
So Doe closed his eyes and bit his lip, telling himself over and over in his mind, 'I can do this. I can do this. I've done it before and I can do it now. I can move this stupid glass!'
Suddenly, a sharp noise jutted into Doe's train of thought, bringing it to a screaching halt. A thud was synchronized with the opening of his eyes.
"What the hell was that?" he asked, "What was that clangy scratchy thing?"
"That," said the agent with a wide, secure grin pinned to his face, "was the sound of a glass wobbling as it was lifted from a table. Our session today is concluded. Congratulations, L151920." And with that, the Agent Marlow got up and left, and shortly thereafter, Doe was escorted back to his room.
Doe laid on his bed. He always laid on his bed. Since they had brought him there six weeks ago, all he had done was lay on his bed, with the exception of his meetings with Marlow. The room was actually very luxurious. There was plenty of light, the only thing he could actually turn on. The windows were bolted shut. There was even a big screen television, but there was no remote, and the buttons had been torn off. The video games weren't of any use either; no controllers had been given to him. He couldn't use any of his things. They were just there to encourage the development of his powers.
Everything he could possibly want was in the small two-room cell, but before he could use any of it, he had to learn how to do it by only using those damn powers everyone kept telling him he has. And so, Doe just lay on the bed, like he had every night since they put him in there. He just laid there and thought. Could he have really lifted the glass?
When six o'clock came around, Doe was already standing by the door. He had learned to tell the time without a clock, so the absence of one in his room didn't bother him. The door opened as usual, but the face behind it wasn't the same as it had always been. It was Marlow.
"What are you doing here?" Doe asked, annoyed at seeing Marlow again.
"It seems you've been outdone. Fulano is always one step ahead of you. Can I come in?"
"No," said Doe, his eyes now drifting toward the standard-issue tray Marlow held. "Just give me the food and leave." Marlow offered Doe the tray, and Doe snatched it out of his hands. Doe returned to his bed, his back facing the door, keeping the tray out of sight as a mother might protect her young. He lifted the goop onto the fork and swallowed a bit of the lumpy mess. "What the hell is this crap?"
"It's mostally a mental stimulant," Marlow began as he meandered slyly into the room, "some kind of root that's supposed to increase brain power. It's not much on taste though." He now leaned against the far wall, watching Doe eat.
"I thought I told you to leave."
"Listen, Doe," Marlow began. This could have possibly been the first time the agent had refered to him by his true name instead of that blasted number. "I know this has been hard on you, but you have to believe in yourself! You were very impressive today, and you can do so much more! Today Fulano lifted his glass and poured its contents down Agent Salikov's pants! I know there's no way you think he's better than you. If he can do that, just think of what you might be able to accomplish!"
Doe put down his fork. "He almost seems to be waiting for me. Everytime I strain and manage to do one measly little unnoticable thing, Fulano comes along and shatters it. What's wrong with that kid?"
"Some folks just need a bit of competition to get them going. Listen, L151920," Back to the damn number. "I just want you to know that I really think there's something special about you. I really think that you can be something. I believe in you. Just do me a favor and believe in yourself."
With that, Marlow got up and stretched, even yawned, before rubbing his hand back and forth on the top of Doe's head on the way out. Doe took a minute to scowl until he was sure he heard the sound of the rusty metal lock being secured on the outside of the door. Then he used the blunt end of the plastic fork to poke at where the power button on the TV should be, like he did every night when the guard brought him his food, and the TV still didn't get any stations, just a big fuzzy screen.
So he turned it off, and laid back on the bed.
He still remembered the accident that caused the world to find his powers, that caused him to find his powers. Every intricate detail was permanately etched into his mind.
It was very wet, not that he cared, but the drivers on Public Route 34 were annoyed by the mud that rested on the road from the previous night's storm. Public Route 34 was the short connection between Public Routes 75 and 28, the only P.R. to run through the city. The government had placed it on Bustleton, the busiest street in town. During rush hour, it was hell, but on this particular morning, just a little after seven, it wasn't so bad because everyone was still afraid to drive with the muddy conditions left by the hurricane. Everyone was afraid except Roofus T. Kellinger and a few other scarce drivers. Roofus sped around the highway faster than he should've had the conditions been good. Walking by the side of the road, Doe noted how dumb this guy was.
He only had an extra second or two in which to notice that Jack Russel, a tourist vacationing in the city, was across the street with his family, filming their trip. After that split second, he heard the screeching of tires as they slide against asphault, the sound of a wheel popping off the ground, and the metal grinding of a roof on cement. His instincts took over. Twirling around, he held out his hands, let out a quick scream, clenched his teeth, closed his eyes, and tucked in his head.
It took Doe a minute to realize it was all over. His eyes slowly opened to the sight of the car, upside down, resting about a foot away from him, the driver bloodied and unconscious, almost unrecognizable as a human, pieces of glass scattered throughout his face. Police arrived soon to clean up the mess. A resident nearby must have heard the commotion and called them. Kellinger was declared dead on the scene; his face had actually been pushed in. Russel had one hell of a video to show his mother back home. Doe went to school.
As a matter of fact, it was Russel's video that showed up on the news only a few nights later. Anchors billed it as the most amazing thing to be caught on tape since its invention. The world watched as Mr. Roofus Kellinger's car hit a bump in a funny way and starting spinning out of control until it hit a curb and flipped over, then skidded towards the out-thrusted hands of local boy Doe Brown, at which point the car stopped in its tracks and moved backwards, just as it was about to come in contact with the boy's hands. At that point was when the windshield was smashed inward and Mr. Kellinger's head collapsed.
The video was aired two or three times an hour over the various stations. The phone at the Brown household rang incestantly and Russel suddenly became a very rich man for filming the remarkable event. The very next morning, there were two agents, Marlow and Salikov, at the Brown family door. The day after that, Doe had already found himself laying in that damn bed.
Hours passed since Marlow left. Doe kept track of every minute, every single second, in his head. He did this every night, counting the time, anything to keep his mind from decaying. But tonight, Doe couldn't stand it anymore. He couldn't stand counting and he hated just waiting for something to happen to him.
Sitting up, Doe began to concentrate on his pillow. 'Come on!' he thought. 'Get up! Come on, damn it, just float!' But sitting there, staring at his pillow, he watched it fail to move. It continued to fail for five more minutes. Then ten. Doe kept every minute ticking away in the back of his head. Ten more.
"Why the hell won't you move?" he shouted, rising to his feet. And suddenly, it did move. He watched in awe as it rose to eyelevel. Doe circled it, looking for some kind of trick. He couldn't have done this himself, could he? And suddenly Doe found himself on the ground; the pillow had attacked him.
"Well, Doe," a voice came from behind him, "I'm tired of waiting. You bore me, Doe, so it's time I sped up the process."
"What the hell-" Doe sat up, rubbing his head, turning to look over his shoulder. "Fulano! How the hell did you get in here?"
Fulano down on Doe. "Well," he said coyly, "I'm tired of waiting for you to figure it all out, so I've come to just flat out tell you."
"Tell me what? What the hell are you talking about?"
"Geez, Doe, you really are a moron aren't you?"
"Hey," Doe yelled, "you better give me some answers! I'm pissed the hell off! Just tell me what's going on or I'll deck you!"
And at this Fulano laughed. "You'll deck me?" he asked between laughs. "I knew you're stupid, but man, that's... that's just amazing!" Fulano barely got that out before cracking up again.
So Doe attacked him; he threw one good solid punch right at Fulano's face, but soon he found himself falling forward on his own momentum, tumbling for a second, and just before he could secure himself on the ground, he felt a sharp pain on the back of his head and the treads of a shoe against his neck, and he was sent flying again. He slammed into the ground and slid until his head hit the wall.
Rolling off of his own face, trying to figure out what had just happened, Doe found himself in the hallway, his head propped up against the wall that he hit. He was facing the door to his room. How the hell was this possible?
Then Doe saw the sight that signaled the beginning of his new life. Fulano walked through the door. He didn't open the door and walk through the walkway; he walked through the door. And just then, Doe noticed the guard who still stood by the door. The man was stiffened, as if he were a statue, but somehow he still seemed so alive. There was color in his cheecks.
"Well," began Fulano, still chuckling, "do you want an explanation or would you rather have a rematch?"
"You're a god," Fulano repeated coolly. He reached through the vending machine and pulled out a Coke. Leaning back against the wall, he smiled and took a sip.
"What the hell do you take me for?" Doe shouted. "I'm not a god!"
"Yes you are, you just don't know it."
"If I'm a god, why don't I have powers like you?"
"You moved the glass, didn't you?"
"Well, yeah, I guess, but I can't stop time or walk through doors!"
"A god is only as powerful as he believes he is. Believe you are as strong as I am and you are."
"Are you listening to anything I'm saying?" Doe shouted. "Is any of this getting through to you? I'm not a god!"
Fulano sighed. "Fine," he said, "I propose an experiment. Tip over the vending machine."
"It's easy. Watch!" Fulano raised his hand and directed the soda machine as it lay itself down. Then, bringing his hand back up, Fulano smiled as the machine hoisted itself up back into its original position. "Now you try."
So Doe also raised his hand. He motioned for the machine to do his bidding, but the machine ignored his will. "You see? I can't do it! Now do you believe I'm not your magic god?"
"Doe..." Fulano began pensively, "try it with your eyes closed."
"You're only as strong as your beliefs, Doe, but your mind is clouded with what you expect and what you percieve. Close your eyes and try it. Block out everything external. Let there be no sight, no sound, no smell, no taste, and no touch. When you block out your senses, you're left with nothing external - no perception, no expectation, just your own will. Believe in yourself, Doe, and believe in the fortitude of your will."
So Doe tried again. He closed his eyes, and he blocked out his senses as best he could. He almost strained himself trying to move the machine, but it did not move.
"Nothing's happening!" he screamed, suddenly erupting in anger. "See that, Fulano? Nothing! Are you happy with that or should I not move something else?"
"I can't do it, Fulano!"
And with that statement, Doe found himself embedded in the floor. His eyes were level with Fulano's ankles. Fulano bent forward, engulfing Doe in his shadow.
"Don't give me any of that 'I can't do it' bullshit!" Fulano yelled, as he began kicking Doe lightly in the head. "I know you can! You know you can! Now stop trying to prove me wrong and believe in yourself! Stop doubting and do it!"
Doe found himself back on the ground feeling defeated. He closed his eyes and saw his mental image of himself take a breath and then sigh. 'Fine,' he thought, 'I can do this. I can move it. I can tip this damn thing over. I can do it. I can do-' And then he heard a crash and there was soda leaking in through his shoe.
"Very good, Doe," Fulano said, patting him on the shoulder. As Doe stood there amazed, Fulano handed him the empty can of Coke and continued past him. "We'll meet again tomorrow," Fulano said calmly. "Until then, you can be proud of yourself."
And Doe found himself sitting back on his bed in his room. The TV was on. It recieved a picture.
The next day, Marlow brought Doe to the same room as always. The same glass of water sat on the same table, but there was something different about it this particular day. It didn't seem so menacing.
Marlow sat in his chair and jotted down a quick note in his notebook. "Okay, L151920, let's get started. Try your best to move the glass. I know you can do it, okay, so just- huh?"
Marlow was distracted by the gentle rapping of the glass as it danced on top of the table. He looked up at Doe for a second, who sat there, eyes closed, almost sage-like. Leaning in to get a closer look at the glass, he laughed in astonishment.
"You're doing it! You're really doing it. Just a little higher! Come on! Lift it up!" And then the water came charging at him, and Marlow's face was drenched. Doe laughed.
"Oh, very funny," said Marlow, dripping wet and very annoyed, "very, very funny. I'm making a note of this. Go back to your room."
That night Fulano arrived in Doe's room exactly as he had said. Doe figured it was around eight o'clock, but he had had times wrong all day. The meeting with Fulano from the night before had added otherwise absent hours to his schedule.
Fulano started in similar fashion tonight as to that of the night before. This time, Fulano's head popped up through the floor. Doe threw his pillow at it.
"What kind of way is that to greet your mentor?" Fulano scowled as he floated to ground level. The pillow had passed through his head.
"Do you have any idea the hard time I had convincing Marlow that I had nothing to do with the TV suddenly being able to recieve a signal when it has no antenna?" Doe shouted.
"I know," Fulano said calmly, "but I figured you'd be able to handle it. Besides, when you're done with tonight's lesson, you're going to be able to come back here and turn it on yourself! Now get up and follow me!" And with that, Fulano turned and paced through the door. Doe got off the bed and went to follow him, but stopped at the door, which he knew was bolted from the outside. There wasn't even a handle on this side. Suddenly, Fulano's head popped through.
"Well what're you waiting for?" Fulano asked. Then he realized the problem. "Ugh... You can walk through it, numbskull!" Fulano's arm was suddenly thrust at Doe, latching onto his own arm, and Doe was yanked through the door.
"That's impressive, Doe," Fulano said, as Doe watched him start down the hallway, already passing the petrified guard. Doe hurried to catch up.
"What's so impressive?"
"I didn't do anything to make you go through the door. If it were just me, you would have smashed your face into the metal, but you believed I was pulling you through, so through you went! That's great for a beginner!"
And Doe wasn't sure, but he thought he already knew that.
"So you're from the future?" Doe asked astonished, looking at Fulano over the tip of the match in Fulano's hand.
"No," said Fulano, "I'm from the past, but I generally preside in the future, except when I'm on a mission."
"Are you on a mission now?"
"You are my mission, Doe; now concentrate on the match."
"Right," Doe affirmed, as he tried to concentrate on the igniting the small piece of sulfur and wood. 'Fire... Fire... I can make it burn...' he throught, and then his thoughts turned oral. "You come from the past? When?"
"Doe! You're supposed to be concentrating on the match! We don't have much time!"
"If you want me to concentrate on burning that damn match and not on burning your fingers, you better tell me where you come from," Doe said with a smirk.
"Fine," Fulano agreed coyly, "I'm willing to play your game. I'll tell you my story, the whole story, but then you'll do everything I ask of you without any more questions. Agreed?"
"I'm from the Middle Ages."
"What? No shit?"
"None. I'm from the Middle Ages."
"Seriously? That'd make you like a couple thousand years old!"
"A couple hundred's more like it!" Fulano yelled, smacking Doe upside the head. "And it's not like I've lived those years consecutively! I've spent my last five jumping between this epoch and the time you know as the future. I'm no older than you are when you count by personal years! I'm seventeen, just like you!"
"You don't look like you came from the Middle Ages," Doe said, trying to hide his giggling. "I mean, your clothes and your face. You're not dirty or raggedy!"
"Don't you think that it would arouse suspicion if I showed up in this time wearing armor and asking people if they could cure the plagues?"
"Well, you might do well working for White Castle. So what's King Arthur like?"
"Doe! Do you want to hear the story or not?" Fulano yelled, starting to get upset.
"Fine, fine," Doe muttered in response. "Just trying to have a little fun is all..."
"Okay," Fulano said, setting himself up for his tale, "basically, you know that people in my era are more open to religion than the cynical people you know, right?"
"Yeah, I guess so."
"Well, one of us, a god I mean, suddenly realized that he was a god. He still had the belief that that kind of thing was possible. Society hadn't yet outgrown that thought. He became a very powerful person, but he eventually found another who was also a god. The first one trained the second, and then they together found a third. The process repeated and they all found another, until a small tribe was born. I, at only twelve, was part of that tribe, as were my mother and my father. It wasn't long before the god believed they could travel through time, and since a god is only as powerful as he believes, they could travel through time. So a group of gods formed, called the Expansionists, who-"
"That's original," Doe chirped in sarcastically.
"It was in the Middle Ages! Now shut up and listen!" Fulano snapped back. "The Expansionists decided that it was a god's duty to try to awaken gods in every era to their true potential. They set up a base of operations in the time of the birth of the last known god. I work for them. That's why I'm here with you, Doe. So please now, try to light the match."
"That's it? That's the whole story?" Doe asked.
"Yes, Doe," replied Fulano, "that's all."
"Light the damn match yourself." And Doe got up and started back to his room.
"Where the hell do you think you're going?" Fulano shouted at Doe, who continued to walk towards the shadowy hallway. "Hey!"
Doe continued walking. He didn't even look back. He didn't have to. Fulano appeared in front of him.
"I asked you a question! Where the hell do you think you're going?"
"You also lied to me. You said you'd tell me the whole story!" Doe walked through Fulano and kept going.
"I did!" Fulano yelled after him.
Doe stopped and twirled around with sudden fury. "Then why the hell did you say that we don't have much time? You can freeze time! We've got all the time we want! What are you hiding from me?"
"Fine," said Fulano, defeated, "I'll tell you." Doe found himself sitting back at the table. Fulano sat across him, his head down. "I didn't want to tell you this. I didn't want you to have this pressure on your training, but I guess you won't train at all if I don't let you know. You're a bitch, by the way."
"Just spew it, Fulano."
"Fine. I told you that there was a group of gods called Expansionists, right?"
"The was another group as well, the Conservatives. Their philosophy was that no god should be forced to realize his powers. If he couldn't figure it out on his own, then the mental shock of learning it could yield horrible results. Gods could become dangers to their worlds. Well, when the Expansionists began traveling through time, attempting to awaken gods, the Conservatives took offense to it. They attacked. We fought back. There was a war."
"A war between gods? Sounds like something from a sci-fi show."
"Unfortunately, it's much more serious than television. The Expansionists eventually one, forcing the Conservatives into a treaty. Only so many gods would be awakened in each era. Well, time goes on and new eras form, so with infinite eras, as you can guess, the Conservatives weren't fond with the idea that there could be inifinite awakings. Their leaders were willing to go along with it, though. What else could they do? That was until he came."
"Dupont, the most dangerous entity in the universe. He was one of the Conservatives, but he had slightly different motives. He didn't want any gods to realize their powers, ever! He wanted divinity for only himself! Well, he led an uprising among the Conservatives, destroying their own leaders who had signed the treaty, and then he restarted the war. This time, our forces were weary. He did his damage. In the last epic battle, all the gods waged war. Expansionists vs. the Power-Hungry!"
"He did." Fulano's speech was getting painful. Doe could feel the pain Fulano was putting himself through to tell this story.
"My parents and I fought in that battle. We were being surrounded, trapped." Fulano's voice became cracked. It seemed as though he was constantly grasping for air. "The four of us, my parents, me, and my family's oldest friend, were cut off from the main force. My parents sacrificed themselves so that the friend could take me to safety away from that battle. Can you guess how many survivors there were from that battle, Doe?"
"Three, Doe! Three fuckin' survivors!"
A silence fell upon the two of them. Fulano's heavy breathing couldn't even break the chill of the silence. Doe counted five minutes in his head as Fulano calmed down. The heavy breathing and gasping soon became wheezing and then panting and then disappeared into the silence. Doe eventually found a way to shatter it.
"I'm sorry, Fulano. I didn't know."
"Of course you didn't know!" Fulano snapped back at him. "You're only a god!" Fulano took a breath and calmed himself again. "I'm sorry," he said. "Listen, when Dupont's forces advanced, they obliterated everything, everyone. They destroyed all that they could, especially the Expansionists. Finally, Dupont turned on his own men, who were now badly beaten and fatigued, and he killed each one of them. Only my friend and I survived. But now it's just me. At first, Dupont didn't realize, but the two of us decided that we couldn't defeat Dupont, so we had to recruit more gods. We had to awaken enough people that Dupont couldn't exterminate us all himself! But Dupont found out, and he destroyed my friend. Now only we remain, Doe. You and me, we're the last gods."
"He's no god! He's a demon! If we can't stop him, he'll destroy us both and rule over the universe unopposed forever! We can't let him do that! You have to learn how to use your powers, Doe, because I can't defeat this guy, and if you can't, all is lost!"
Doe thought for a moment, the impact of Fulano's words settling in. Could it really be that he was the only person in all of reality who was capable of saving, well, everything? Could it be that the entire universe was really counting solely on him? "I don't get it," he said, suddenly, bringing his eyes to meet Fulano's.
"What's not to get?" Fulano replied, struggling to regain his former dominance over Doe. "It's kill or be killed! Fight or die!"
"That's what I don't get. How can a god die? I mean... a god is a god. How can one die?"
"I told you, Doe, that a god is only as powerful as he believes. It is very difficult to convince yourself that you can't die. I've never known a god who could break that boundary. Well, maybe Dupont, but if he has, we're in trouble." Fulano was silent for a moment. "Come on, you're not going to be able to light the match tonight with all this on your mind. Go get some sleep."
"No, I'll do it," Doe said, raising his hand to prevent Fulano transporting him back to his room. Fulano looked down at the match in his hand and suddenly he dropped it, as it had become completely engulfed in flame.
"Doe!" he exclaimed, "you're starting to believe!"
"Yep," Doe replied, "and I've been practicing. See ya tomorrow, Fulano." And with that, Doe got up with a smile and walked through the walls on a straight path back to his room.
"Hello, L151920h my god! What the hell happened here?" Marlow stopped short when he opened the door to Doe's room in the morning. Doe groggily openned his eyes and raised his head just enough to see Marlow over the pillow.
"What do you want?" he choughed out. Marlow just pointed. Doe looked in that direction and saw before him a billards table where the TV was. The TV was now on top of it, as well as a pile of the most recent video games, and some which hadn't yet been invented. Doe now realized that the walls had also been painted, wild greens, yellows, reds, blues, and pinks. Actually they seemed to be made of any color except white. There was a heating and cooling system installed now, and most importantly, a clock was on the wall.
"Oh, those?" Doe asked, still in a haze, "gifts from a friend. The guy sure has a sense of humor. Go away now so I can sleep."
"Uh... Doe... we've got to run some tests and-"
"Not today!" Marlow ducked just before a video game came flying past his head. Then he screamed and ran out of the room. The guard was very perplexed that day when Marlow ran from a billards table that chased him down the hall.
Doe waited all night, the hours and minutes passing away in the back of his mind. Fulano didn't come. Doe knew why.
The next morning his door was flung open. Salikov entered, followed by Marlow. Doe hadn't moved since the night before. He sat on his bed, his eyes bolted shut.
"Doe!" Marlow shouted.
"I thought you prefer to use that number of yours," Doe replied without moving.
"Fulano is missing!" Salikov shouted, his Russian accent lingering heavily in the air.
"I know. He's been missing since last night." Doe opened his eyes now and looked upon the two of them. "I'm looking for him. Don't worry."
"Listen, Doe," Marlow began, taking a step into the room, "we don't know what happened to him, but we know that you do. Just tell us all you know, and we won't hurt you."
"Hurt me? Do you know how powerful I've become?" Doe laughed.
"You're powerful, Doe, but you're still mortal!" Salikov yelled, drawing his pistol. "Cooperate!"
Then the pistol fired, although Salikov had not held his finger on the trigger. "My god!" Marlow yelled. "Doe, are you alright?"
Doe held the bullet between his two fingers and crushed it. "So much for idle threats," he said. "As for Fulano, he's been captured. An enemy who can kill you twice as fast as I could has him."
"Is he alive?" Marlow asked.
"Yes. I know that much, but I don't know where he is yet. Give me time and I'll find him."
"You don't have any time!" Salikov cried. "Until we know exactly what happened to Fulano, we've got to keep you in a secure location. Guards!" It was just then that Salikov and Marlow fell through the floor to the cafeteria on the floor below. Doe then floated upward, through the ceiling of his room and the ceiling of the next, until he came to the roof of the facility. There he closed his eyes once again and began his meditation.
When he reopenned his eyes, Doe was in an unfamiliar place. It was dark. He was in some kind of long hallway. A dim light was flickering at the far end. He started towards it, slowly, cautiously. He was completely silent; not even his footsteps made a sound. When he got to the end, he noticed a something very strage in the flickering light. He could see the shadow of a man bound against a wall. Doe knew this shadow.
There was also a second shadow that was unfamiliar to Doe. It stood before Fulano, taunting, jeering, or doing something deragatory to him. Doe also knew who this was. Dupont.
"I won't tell you anything," Fulano's voice came weakly around the corner. He was barely able to speak between his own heavy breaths.
"Well," Dupont replied, "I'd threaten you with the death of your friends, but it's a bit late for that. Give up, Fulano. There's nothing left for you. You're done. Give up. Give in. Just tell me where that other god is, and I'll make your demise quick."
"That's not exactly stunning motivation, Dupont."
"It's not? Well perhaps this is!" Doe suddenly saw one figure charge into the other and Fulano let out a terrible scream. Dupont drove his shoulder into Fulano again, a terrible, powerful strike, and again Fulano cried out in pain. When he was done, Dupont stepped back, awaiting a response.
"I won't tell you anything." Fulano forced these words out of his broken body, but they still carried enough force to infuriate Dupont. Even Doe found them to be intimidating. Despite his weakness, Fulano seemed strong.
So Dupont attacked again, screaming between punches and jabs, "Tell me where he is!" With each strike, Fulano recoiled in pain. His screams echoed down the hall. "Tell me," Dupont repeated, "where you've hidden your new god!"
"I'm right here."
When Dupont turned, he saw Doe emerging from the shadows of the hallway. With each step Doe took, he seemed to gain dominance. His shadow in the flickering torchlight engulfed the other shadows until they no longer seemed to exist.
"I'm right here, Dupont. Leave him alone and come after me."
"Well, this certainly makes things easy," Dupont chuckled. "Fulano, I hope you enjoy watching the last hope for your cause get brutally murdered at my hands. And as for you, my boy, prepare to die!"
Suddenly forming a broadsword in his hand, Dupont charged at Doe. Doe knew this was his only chance. In a single quick movement, he acted upon his plan. He threw the fireball that he had been secretly gathering in his hand directly at Dupont. Dupont saw it and screamed.
But when the smoke cleared, Dupont stood unharmed. His sword was broken; the hilted end had fallen to the ground. He still held the blade end in his left hand. It glowed red with heat.
"Not a bad trick, boy," Dupont snarled, regenerating the hilted end of the sword, "but your magic show won't be enough to defeat me!" Dupont swung his sword horizontally, then vertically, both strikes nearly cutting through Doe's vulnerable flesh. Dupont stuck again and again, driving Doe back into the corner of the room. With his back touching both walls now, Doe knew the position he was in was not a good one, but with a split second left before death, Doe saw Dupont's one mistake!
The sword was thrusted forward to finish off Doe, but Doe jumped up and landed on the blade. He quickly ran its length and lept over Dupont's head, landing squarely back in the middle of the room. Growling, Dupont charged at Doe once again, but this time, rather than running, Doe turned around, and using the hilted end of Dupont's sword, parried Dupont's attack. With Dupont caught off guard, Doe quickly ran his broken blade along Dupont's broad sword. Doing so, he managed to knick Dupont's hand with the broken blade, and the broadsword was sent flying out into the darkened hallway. With his opponent unarmed, Doe laughed.
"This is the ultimate god-hunter? This is the undefeatable Dupont? Ha!"
"I'm not defeated yet!" And suddenly, Dupont brought down his newly reformed broadsword over Doe's head, and Doe barely managed to raise his own fragment of a blade to block.
"Watch out, Doe!" Fulano cried as he watched Dupont press into Doe, each strike driving Doe farther back. Eventually, Doe found himself in the corner again, and this time, he slipped. Dupont's sword rained down once more. Doe blocked it with his blade. Bracing it with his other hand, both combatants knew this test of strenght could determine the battle. Dupont continually pushed his sword downward. Doe could feel the blade begin to push into his forhead.
"Fulano," Doe cried out between grunts, "I can't believe you let him do this to you! I know you're not that weak! You taught me everything and you're five times as powerful! I can't believe you'd let a bitch like this push you around! This guy's just a big pansy!"
"Poor little boy, so weak. You're just trying to reaffirm that I'm equally weak because you know that it's the only way to save yourself! Well, I'm not weak! Prepare to die!" And Dupont doubled his efforts. Doe screamed in agony, throwing his last ounces of physical strength into blocking Dupont's attack.
And suddenly, Fulano let loose a great scream and the sound of an explosion shook Dupont from his efforts. Dupont turned away from Doe just long enough to feel a slab of stone crush into his face, knocking him across the room. Fulano stood tall, pieces of the wall still dangling to his chains. Doe also rose to his feet and wiped the blood from his forehead.
Dupont skidded across the room for a minute before regaining his composure and leaping back to his feet. Fulano charged. Swinging wildly, the slabs of rock flew left and right, but Dupont skillfully used his sword to deflect each attack. Fulano was unphased, continuing his attack with both arms and legs simultaneously. Then to finish off the great Dupont, he attacked with both fists at once, great slabs of stone flying towards his enemy. And suddenly, Dupont ripped his sword in two, and each half became its own blade, and each half deflected a stone. Fulano tripped under his own momentum and fell to the floor.
"Now you die!" Dupont screamed, bringing down the swords. But just then, a fireball struck him in the back, throwing him to the ground and causing his attack to miss.
"What? You again?" Dupont waved his arms in fury. "You'll pay for this!" Dupont then hurled his own volley of fireballs at Doe. Doe skillfully dodged the majority, but the last two projectiles hit. Unfortunately, they weren't fireballs. They were Dupont's blades.
"Doe!" Fulano yelled, charging at Dupont.
Doe fell to his knees, coughing blood onto the floor. The sudden sharp pain in his gut was too much for him to handle. He felt a lump under him as he sprawled out on the floor.
Fulano formed his own blade in his hand and recklessly swung it at Dupont. The dagger never touched the evil entity.
'This isn't right,' thought Doe. 'I thought the good guy is supposed to win.' He laid on the ground like he laid in his bed. He had finally found a life worth living and now he was going to die. How ironic.
Fulano fell to the floor. Dupont had disarmed him, and now turned the tides of the battle with a flurry of punches.
Doe began to count. He wanted to know what time it was. About 10ish probably. He had lost track during the fight. 'It's not fair!' he thought, 'I don't want to die!'
Although Fulano could now hear the snaps and cracks of his bones breaking, he couldn't feel them. His body was numb; he couldn't move, not even to defend himself. He still had one attack, though. When he coughed up his blood and his innards, he tried to hit Dupont with them.
Two clings were heard. Dupont stop punching and simply held Fulano against the wall. He turned. Fulano smiled. A laugh escaped his lips as Dupont let him fall to the ground. Dupont looked directly into Doe's eyes and growled, "You're dead."
"I'm a god," Doe replied, "I don't have to die!"
With that, Dupont unleashed not fireballs, but a whole wave of energy at Doe. Doe crossed his arms in front of his face and felt the flames shoot by. He felt the heat move around him and avoid him. Dupont's terrible echoing laugh could still be heard despite the engulfing sounds of the flames.
Doe removed his arms from his face and stared through the flames to Dupont, who was obviously still oblivious to the power Doe now knew he had. He pulled his arms back behind him as he prepared for the death blow.
"I don't want to die!" he screamed, thrusting his arms forward as if they were one giant hammer. The flames flew back, engulfing Dupont, his terrible screams filling the room. When it was all over, Doe stood with arms outstreched, and Dupont was a charred corpse on the floor. Fulano laughed again.
"I knew you could do it!" Fulano chirped, still unable to move. Doe approached him.
"Get up," Doe said, "you're fine."
"Nice try," Fulano said, chuckling, "but I'm not like you, Doe. I'm not willing to be the ultimate god. I'm dying."
"You don't have to."
"I know, but I'm kinda tired of being a god anyway." Fulano laughed to himself a bit. "It's too easy, you know? I'll just wait until the next life when there might be something a bit more challenging." Fulano chuckled once more, then rested his lips and closed his eyes, leaning back for the last time. Doe closed his eyes, opening them to reveal a cemetary, Fulano's body at his feet. Closing his eyes and taking a breath, there he buried his mentor.
"Rest well, my friend," Doe said. Then the last god walked away into the mist.