Four-Thousand Years Ago...
Samad had been a patient man. A very calm and very patient man. His greyish-green cloak fit snugly around his form as he calmly walked the desert at night. Normally, walking the desert at night was a foolish thing to do, as with how cold it could get, going below freezing; though it mattered not to Samad, his nerves have long since been dead. His blue eyes were far colder than the iciest gaze, but his demeanor, aside from his orbs, was that of a passive individual. Though at times, he'd contort his face in confusion or anger, if not curious and content.
The desert of Egypt was proving not even be a hindrance to the man who stalked in the night, much so, as he had yet to shiver in the cold temperature. Be that as it may, there was not wind, but that did not mean Samad was walking in pleasurable silence. Indeed, he was plagued by something far worse, something akin to a curse. It was this very curse that caused him to change his facial expressions upon his visage so quickly. Though he avoided outright speaking about his condition, he kept it mostly to himself.
The stoic man thought to himself, "A few years since the Secrets left that tome, and the items were created." The items, the Secrets created that Tome that formulated artifacts of great power, unfathomable power. Indeed, Samad had constantly repeated the mantra that whoever had all Seven of the Secret Items, they themselves could be considered a Secret.
He repeated this mantra as he entered a small, quaint town, stones making up most of the homes. A village more so, if you will, as the sun was beginning to rise in the east. Very few people were walking about, merchants preparing the shops, their own children helping him. He gave a small smile to the people getting ready, only to have his curse open up in his mind.
"What are you doing, you weak fool?" Another voice, much gruffer, although somehow higher pitched spoke in his mind.
"I am to give the Golden Staff to the chosen..." Samad answered back, "It is my duty to both Anubis and the Secrets..."
"I think it's nice to help. Sharing is nice..." Another voice, that sounded effeminate spoke aloud, once more in Samad's mind.
The gruffer voice growled in annoyance, "You're an idiot. What sort of moron shares? Stealing and killing is where it's at! Samad! Let's send someone to Anubis! Or Ammit!"
"But... But Uraeus, killing people is bad. We can't do that! At least help someone in need or something, don't steal!" The kind voice rebuked.
"Uraeus! Den! Silence! I am to find the chosen one for the Golden Staff, you're breaking my concentration!" Samad groaned inwardly, his mind was tired, tired of these two that consistently argued back and forth in his head. He knew there was no way to be rid of it, but alas, he had to exist with it.
"You can take your words and shove them all up-"
"Uraeus! That's mean!"
"I'll feed you to jackals when I get the chance."
A gasp was heard, "How dare you-"
"Silence!" Samad ordered, but he wasn't heard, the two voices in his head were at it. Barking back and forth and continually, minute after minute, hour after hour, breaking Samad's concentration. He had no idea where the one the Golden Staff had chosen was, but he could feel the Staff calling out. He called the staff forth with his mind, as it formed in his hand.
He felt the powerful object give off signals, and using its power, Samad allowed the staff to guide him to its chosen owner: A young boy, who appeared to be the age of five. Why did it take itself here? Samad could only assume it was for the child. Strange, it didn't seem like this would be the one to hold ancient power, that of the Secrets.
"Child... Come here..." Samad said softly to the boy, beckoning the child to him. The boy appeared apprehensive, taking only a few steps, seemingly afraid of Samad. It was just then he felt a strong power struggle in his mind, suddenly hearing himself speaking a few words, those not his own, "I have the biggest staff you've ever seen, do you want it?"
A short silence before, "URAEUS!! You're so sick!! Ugh!!"
"This boy looks good enough. I'm giving it to him, go stick yourself in a scarab's mind, Den!" Was the reply.
Samad sighed inwardly, knowing that Uraeus was weird to no end and a jerk to the infinite degree. He looked to the child, who had a weird, open-mouthed gaze, before looking to the Golden Staff in his hand. Samad handed it to the child, and stood up, noticing how the staff itself was much taller in height. "Take good care of it."
The child nodded, and Samad turned around, walking back from the town. His anger to the piece of his personality, that which named itself Uraeus, was to be founded. He didn't know what else the piece of his personality would do next. Den was the easier one, so much more simple than the other. It was a rough existence, a very rough one indeed.
Present Day, Realm of Darkness
Pitch-black emptiness, that was the main part of the Realm of Darkness. Despair and sadness were apparent here and the Darkness itself seemed to creep around the blank objects that floated about endlessly in the realm. It was here in this empty plain that Philip now knew as jail, where he was ruthlessly held captive by Ateo, the psychotic Egyptian who kidnapped him not even a day before. The silence was all too great, but it was also very unnerving.
It was no wonder why the Egyptian had gone crazy in this realm after the past four-thousand years. Truly, Ateo was a strange sight to behold, a psychotic Egyptian with anger management issues. Ateo was no doubt probably going crazy in Egypt, searching for his Necklace that he so desired, but Philip was locked here, away from civilization.
"Hmm..." Philip thought, "Well...I need to find some way out of this dimension. Who knows what's going on right now. Damn Assimilators could be running all over the place!" He decided to see if he could getting to higher ground in a vain attempt to get a better view of the bleak dimension he was in.
He found no way further, only long and everlasting darkness. There was nothing but these random floating objects, one upon which he stood. A laugh suddenly echoed across the dimension, one that would make hairs stand on end, "Philip..." A voice wheezed, "How do you... Enjoy my realm?"
Philip whipped his head around, looking for the source of the voice, "Who are you?"
"It's no wonder... Ateo brought... A toy to my... Realm..." Floating in midair, the Secret of Darkness appeared, high above the floating cube which Philip stood, "How interesting... One that isn't... So... Human..."
Philip interrupted, pointing the the Secret, still not quite realizing what he was dealing with, saying, "Not close, but thank you for playing."
"No... I do not taste total decimation of consciousness... I could still infect you..." Darkness came down, landing upon the cube, standing inches from Philip, "And your..." Darkness stopped speaking, chuckling to himself, before he spoke once more, "Do you enjoy my realm?"
"Depends on what you mean by "enjoy". To be honest not my cup of tea, I prefer being on Earth and not being a slave to a psychotic ancient Egyptian man with little to no regard for human life...in fact you can say I would prefer to be on Earth and kick his ass."
Darkness chuckled, "Ateo is a bit... Out there... Is he not? That's what happens... Especially remaining here for a long... Time indeed..." Darkness yawned, "He'll be back... No doubt very soon..."
Philip paced for a second before asking, "I know you'll probably say "no" but, think you can let me go home to Earth? So I can show Ateo that I refuse to follow anything he tells me. Oh and tell him I say this to him."
Philip then whispered some very rude phrases in Hebrew to Darkness.
"I sadly have to disallow your... Desire to leave." Darkness stated, "I'm not going to waste the chance to watch the Earth plunge into the depths of Darkness." Darkness created an image behind him, displaying the planet, "Once Ateo has everything completed... The Earth shall be eclipsed... The human race shall once more... Taste my power..."
Almost on cue, laughter echoed and Ateo faded into view, landing down beside Darkness, "What are you doing here?" Ateo growled at Darkness.
"Merely seeing your... Pet..." Darkness chuckled, "It was quite a chat, Philip..." Darkness faded a few moments after, the image of Earth fading as well.
"Hate that useless, good-for-nothing bastard..." Ateo grumbled, he looked to Philip, "And before you make fun of me, no, I did not find the necklace..."
Philip then responded, "I believe my friend Todd would say something like this, one moment please, ehem...HA!" It was a large relief to Philip that Ateo couldn't find the necklace. 'Give Earth a little more time. Admittidly this would probably hurt the Assimilators, but I can't let the humans get in this...I doubt even Todd can face this cosmic joker.'
"Whatever..." Ateo rolled his eyes, "It's not like it's going to take long finding them anyways... Especially after how long it's taken me... We're going." A portal formed behind the white-haired Egyptian, "Come... You'll enjoy this..." Ateo traveled through the portal, leaving it open for Philip.
Reluctantly Philip followed Ateo back to Earth through the portal, to which he found himself in some underground room that appeared to be in shambles. A giant cauldron lied on the ground, next to a large golden structure of a man. There were many skeletons in the room, and two torches lit the room up. Ateo approached the statue of the man, placing the various Golden Items he had collected upon his body.
"Ah... The Key to his left palm..." The Egyptian muttered, placing it in the statue's left hand, having placed the other items already. Ateo clapped his hand together, overjoyed and happy for once, "Only two more! So close!"
"What is all this? What are you doing?" Philip demanded. He didn't like the looks of this statue, the room, the skeletons, and the lighting was terrible.
"This is the very room the Sacred Golden Items of the Secrets were created..." Ateo scowled at Philip, "I'm placing them back where they belong... And now that there's only two more left, it won't be much longer..." Ateo walked over past Philip to a pile of dirt and borken pieces of wood, blasting it to bits, revealing a stairway, "Come... We don't have much longer..."
Philip demanded in Hebrew, "Not much longer until what? What are the Sacred Golden Items? What are the Secrets?" Despite the last question, Philip did remember Todd mentioning them, but Philip was in the middle of reading Carl Sagan's The Dragons of Eden, one of the few scientific books he hasn't read at the time. 'Damn it. When this is over, I'm asking Todd about these Secrets.'
Ateo stared at Philip, then approached him, the red robe he now donned instead of the golden one that was now on the statue flowed around his form. He stopped before Philip, "I'll answer the other two but not the first... The Sacred Golden Items of the Secrets were created by foolish mortals by paying a big sacrifice... The Secrets are gods that live far... Far away... The one in the Realm of Darkness, that was Darkness, a Secret."
"I assume by a "big sacrifice" that they died in the creation of these artifacts. But why were they made? And what do the Secrets want with them?" Philip has already rationalized the Secrets are powerful extradimesnional entities, much like Todd's other "gods" and "demons" but something about them were more unstettling to Philip, though it might be just Ateo's description.
"The creators never died making the Secret Items... And they were made to protect Egypt during a period that has since been wiped from the minds of history. I want them... The tools are just named after the Secrets..." Ateo growled, "Anything else?"
"Wait...so the powerful godlike beings are named after the tools that were created by men some...five to six thousand years ago? That doesn't make sense to me."
"The Secrets... You nimrod... They were named the Secret Items because they were created by the Secrets! Their physical creation shot through with the actual human creators. The assholes who created that!" Ateo yelled, pointing at all the skeletons and bones strewn about.
Philip responded stoicly, "Well the way you worded it implied that the Secrets were named after the artifacts. No need to yell."
"You'd be just as mad if those skeletons were your friends and family..." Ateo growled, catching his breath and he turned walking toward the staircase. Small droplets of water dotted the spots he walked, he did not turn around when he made it to the stairs, "Let's go..." He gruffly said.
Philip noticed the drops of water on the ground, 'Is he crying?...' He looked at the back of the man's head and asked, "Will bringing this artifacts together bring them back? Is that the goal?"
"They're dead, you idiot. You can't bring back someone who is dead... You moron..." Ateo growled, dark energy began slowly seep off of his body, but the energy reeled itself back into Ateo moments after. "I want the other two. We are going. Get over here."
Philip followed the man slowly and asked, "What do you want? And by the way the Christians beg to differ."
"I want the other two items..." Ateo took each step upward, blasting sand out of the way with his dark magic until they got to the opening of what appeared to be a cave on a cliff. He walked out into the opening of the cave, "Whatever else I want has no value or matter. Sometimes I'm curious as to why I do certain things... When they are of no use..." Ateo snapped his fingers, the wristbands around Philip faded from existence, "You've proven to be no help, enjoy whatever you do." He jumped off the cliff.
Philip, despite hating this guy, couldn't let him jump, "You crazy asshole!" he snapped, stretching his arm after Ateo, capturing the Egyptian before he had landed on the ground.
"Let me go!! You idiot! I have things to do... Items to steal!!" Ateo growled.
Philip snapped, "Then go up and out, not down and dead!"
"I've jumped off this cliffside when I was much younger and never hurt myself. So let me go, idiot!!" Ateo screeched, dark energy once more seeped from his body, attacking Philip's nanobots.
"AH! Son of a bitch!" Philip shouted, letting Ateo go, reeling his arm back, watching it regenerate. Ateo fell, landing painfully on his stomach, no doubt cracking, if not breaking, a few ribs. His arm landing in an awkward position, snapping the bone within as well. Ateo's eyes widened in pain, when he finally noticed that some bits of sand blew away, revealing rock that connected to the cliffside.
"But... I-I thought..." Ateo struggled, standing up on his own, merely grunting in pain. He took a few steps, feeling the reverberations of agony resound throughout his body, he turned to look up at Philip, "Good job, idiot!! Dropping me so I couldn't land correctly, squeezing me so my dark energy released itself involuntarily to protect me. Real smart." Ateo then fell to his knees, sweat marring his brow, ragged breaths slowly coming in and out.
"One problem with that theory!" Philip called down at Ateo, before changing to Hebrew, "How the hell was I suppose to have known all of that?"
"If you... Didn't act so rash... I wouldn't feel.." Ateo breathed out, gasping in pain. He turned around slowly on his knees, crawling to the east.
'Huh,' Philip thought, 'How truly pathetic his image is now.'
Ateo growled, rasping for breath, "You asshole... H-how can I now reach my goal... You-" Ateo coughed, wheezing from whatever damage was doen to his ribs. "You've ruined... My plan..."
Philip suddenly felt like Todd and said, "Huh, that was the goal, but dropping you wasn't the plan."
Ateo ignored this statement, having too much of a pride for himself, he slowly got to his feet, his right arm limply dangling at his side. He continued to walk before falling prey to his own pain and slamming into the ground on his face.
Philip groaned, saying, "I'm going to hate myself for this tomorrow." He streched his arm down, wrapped it around Ateo's waist and started to try to reel him back up.
Ateo opened his eyes at the fear of being grabbed, and began to flail like a maniac, "Ah! AH! Fuck! Let me go!! Damn you!!" Philip continued to form tendrils and stretching them in hopes to restrain him.
"Now calm down you little idiot, I'm taking you to the hospital...or ancient Egyptian temple if you prefer." Philip stated flatly.
"I don't need a fucking hospital! Or a damn temple! Anubis will swallow your soul! May Ra burn you for the next thousand years!" Ateo yelled, angered by this forced action Philip had decided.
"Yeah yeah yeah, I'll ask some Kemetics later for their blessings. And if my memory of your mythology is correct, the ancient Egyptian gods are the least petty of the ancient world. Of course this is assuming they exist."
"May Darkness forever seal your physical body in his realm!" Ateo growled, "You are not taking me to some damn place for me to get healed, I can take care of myself! So leave me alone!!"
"Judging by what I'm detecting, you have a broken arm and a few ribs. You need medical attention to make sure those heal right." Philip groan, continuing to reel Ateo up. "Just be happy I didn't leave you down there to suffer for God knows how long."
When he got Ateo up to the top, the Egyptian grumbled angrily, "Darkness could heal this waste of time in a few seconds flat. I don't need some damn healer. Leave me alone, go away. Didn't I just free you? Think for once and go!!"
"I am thinking. I just happen to have a conscious and I would have to deal with the guilt of leaving someone who needs help behind."
Ateo growled, "What if I wanted to die?" Ateo turned his head, outstretching his other, working arm, a portal of darkness appeared. "I am heading back..." Philip shrugged his shoulders, swung his arm and literally tossed him into Darkness' realm. Ateo barely had enough time to scream in pain at the sudden strength of the throw.
"If you say so." he muttered.
The portal slowly began to close.
"Well," Philip said, "That was a pain, better start on my way home. Oh crap." he sighed, remembering one tiny issue. "Right...I'm in Egypt." He transformed into a box and started calculating how many stamps it would take to get back to America so he can adjust his form accordingly.
One Day Later...
Corvus had been dragged to an interesting place, a museum of sorts. Right now, Makoto had joyously traveled to each individual piece of ancient history. Oogling at some ancient Mayan history, Makoto smiled, reading the small display tablet that came with the object in the glass case. He pressed a button to explain what he was looking at in clearer detail.
"The Sun Stone is a calendar invented to keep track of time and..."
Corvus silently watched what Makoto was listening to, not speaking in any way and just silently paying attention to whatever was going on around him. He wasn't very surprised to feel a presence was lingering around, paying attention to his every movement. It wasn't a very strong presence, another human he could easily guess, probably female. If it wasn't a woman, Corvus would be sure to fix up his skills in detecting a presence after the little meeting he knew was to come.
He watched Makoto before turning around and going off on his own, he walked down a few room, before coming to a room filled with Ancient Egyptian artifacts, surprise for him. He would figure as much that the presence would vanish when he found himself getting closer to it.
No one was in this room, to say it was creepy was an understatement, when Corvus had first entered, he found the whole museum filled to the brim with people, but this one room had no one in it.
All was silent for a few moments, until he heard a voice.
"I've been waiting for you, Corvus." A feminine voice, so indeed, he was right. He turned to meet a woman who had a dark complextion, she had bright green eyes and long black hair that cascaded down her back. She wore a tan colored dress that bared her shoulders, but what was most surprising was what she wore around her neck. A necklace that appeared to be made of pure gold.
"Who are you?" Corvus questioned.
"I am Aishazi Kasra, the curator of this museum and the holder of the Golden Necklace." The woman informed, pointing at her necklace to prove her point, it glowed gold for a moment. "I saw a vision in which you would come here, and I would meet you. I am here to explain of your purpose of remaining on this planet, instead of leaving like Darkness had stated."
"What would that be?"
"Before I can answer you, you must answer me a question." Aishazi stated, "Are you aware of the recent burglaries plaguing the world? That each one of the artifacts of Egypt, specific golden ones have been stolen?"
"Then you are also quite aware that there must be someone stealing them, of course. The Champion of Darkness, his name is Ateo, and he has waited for four-thousand years to enact his plot." Aishazi informed, her eyes closed for a moment before opening them to look at Corvus into his golden orbs.
"How do you know this?"
"Luck is always on my side." Aishazi stated, "I get my information from many sources, and my Necklace is to be included. You are to soon be added into Darkness' game, if you have not already been sucked in his rounds of choice."
"You've gained this information from many sources, but can you trust these sources?" Corvus desired to know if this woman knew what she was even speaking of.
"I can easily verify that everything I have seen thus far has been correct. That is how my Necklace has yet to be stolen. I can see the future long before it even happens."
"You cannot always trust the future, it is not set in stone..."
"The future has an unlimited number of outcomes, compared to the past that has become but a trace of memory." Aishazi replied, "But, my Necklace informs me of what is to truly happen. It cuts through time in every way possible, and even then if it ends out wrong, Luck will always fix the outcome to match my vision. That is why my Necklace has yet, and shall not be stolen while I have it."
Corvus was silent, this was the first time in a long while someone had denied his words, and totally berated his beliefs, yet she did so in a sophisticated manner, that it was not rude.
"In any circumstance, it enhances my already powerful foresight. Which is why the thief has yet to find me, for I am always gone when he arrives." Aishazi mysteriously stated, "Speaking of which... You are to meet up with another... Philip is his name... A friend of a boy you met in the past... Todd..."
Corvus' eyes widened, he now knew that she could also see into the past. This was indeed a person not to fight with, even if he is as powerful as he is. Arbiter would probably have qualms dealing with a simple human woman such as this, she seemed to know everything and anything. "I shall find this friend of Todd then... Since you seem so sure of your ability.
"Very well. He'll be in this city by the time the sun sets."
"In about thirty minutes, Ateo will be here, Corvus... I will be gone." A simple sentence, but Corvus figured if the woman has been right about everything thus far, he should probably heed her warning, "Take your time looking at the hieroglyphs, as this room will be completely decimated when he arrives."
"Why do you not protect these things? Or call for help?"
"Corvus, if I were to tell of his impending arrival, who would believe a fortune-teller with a necklace that can show the future? As well as explain how a man who broke his ribs and arm yesterday, got them healed by an ancient god known as a Secret, and is coming here from a portal to steal the Necklace?" Corvus was silent at her words, "I received the vision only a few moments before, while talking to you. It cannot be helped. I shall be leaving within fifteen minutes, know that we will meet again in one day, six hours, fifty-six minutes, and fourty-three seconds..."
"Indeed, my friend." Aishazi turned around, "Know that these events were predetermined by Darkness himself. It is his goal to consume our world as he did to another world long ago. He is doing his job, but he cannot be allowed to taint Earth with his power. Until then..." Aishazi walked down the hall, vanishing around a corner.
Corvus walked to where she did, and he took note that there was a dead end at the hall. She seemed to have just turned down the hall and suddenly disappeared. Corvus though, managed to keep his expression contained, even if she was human, she had remarkable abilities.
He returned to Makoto, who was overlooking some of the more interesting artifacts dating back thousands of years in China.
"It is time to go." Corvus stated, "We must leave."
"I understand. I know of a nice coffee place. We can go there?"
Corvus nodded at the weak boy, who smiled and led him out of the building, leaving in time, it was soon under attack.
The sun was done setting as Philip wandered the city. 'Amazing how fast our planes are.' he thought, never actually been riding a plane before, only possessing the data of their speeds in his head. 'Well, this might now be home, I'll have to deal with it for now.' Philip wandered the dark, half expecting Darkness to be looming over his shoulder. The thought, surprisingly enough, made him laugh.
A raven landed on a pole nearby, it's eyes boring into his being, it cawed loudly before flying away. Philip noticed a nearby newspaper speaking of an earlier day attack on a museum by a white-haired man. Philip picked up the paper and crumpled it into a ball before devouring it. 'If I believed in fate, I'd say I'm still supposed to fight him...and it'd be right due to my damn morality."
He looked up at the raven and stared back at it, thinking comedically, 'I can stare too my avian buddy.'
The raven came down, landing before Philip, its eyes turning a bright golden for a few moments before it faded into nothingness. A few seconds later, a man appeared wearing a black cloak and had the same color of golden eyes as the raven, "You just entered this city, did you not?"
Philip, still taken slightly aback by the shapeshift man, 'Or perhaps a shapeshifting raven?' he thought, and responded, "Uh yes I did. Why does it matter to you?"
"I am looking for someone named Philip, I was not appointed a last name. He is friends with a boy named Todd. Are you him?"
Philip held his left hand behind his back, just in case this person was trouble. 'If he knows Todd,' Philip thought, 'He's either really good, or really bad.' He then spoke aloud, "Yes I am Philip, I know Todd, and I'm monoymous by the way."
"I am Corvus. Makoto, it is fine to come out from the shadows now." Corvus stated, a kid appearing to look almost exactly like Ateo appeared from nearby under the shadow of a building, which seemed almost pitch black.
"What the hell? There's two of him now?!" Philip snapped, revealing his claws.
Makoto backed in fear, his eyes widened at the claws before he hid behind Corvus, who then spoke, "Two of whom? If you're speaking of how Makoto looks exactly like the museum thief, I'd not be surprised by your action."
The claws retracted, Philip face Corvus and asked, "You know about Ateo?" He approached him and asked, "What do you know? What is his goal?"
"Ateo is truly his name?" Corvus questioned, "I know very little... Just his stealing of artifacts... The curator of the museum spoke of him, he's a Champion of Darkness..."
Philip decided to fill him in on what he knows, "Yes, the thief's name is Ateo. He's been stealing these powerful objects from museums, also serves a powerful extradimensional entity that calls itself Darkness, which lives in an alternate dimension that seems to house the, ehem, mental imprints of sapient beings that have...passed on. Now, how did you know my name and that I would be here?"
"The curator of the museum told me... Her name is Aishazi Kasra, she said you'd be here by sunset in the city. I was supposed to meet up with you. She knew by looking into the future..." Corvus stated, Makoto peeped out to look at Philip from behind Corvus.
Philip looked down at Makoto and bent to get at eye level with the boy. "Hey pal. Sorry for the scare. I've just been through a lot of trouble in the last few...I actually lost track of time, but I'll just say hours because even if its been days I would be right by technicallity. You don't have to worry about me." He outstretched his hand, no blades, "See, I'm not going to hurt you."
"O-oh..." Makoto looks away, seemingly stuttering at his words, "H-how did you d-do that?"
"The claws?" Philip asked, "Well you see, Makoto, I believe Corvus said was your name? I'm made up of an infinite number of these tiny machines capable of self-replication, and they all possess a single mind between all of them, a hive mind. I can shape them to become anything I want, blades for one, or even mimick small animals, watch."
Philip altered his hand to resemble mouse, with twitching whiskers and everything. "See?"
Makoto silently nodded, not turning his head at all.
Corvus sighed, "Aishazi said nothing more when I met you, so I'm in the dark as to what I was supposed to do when acquianting with you."
Philip then shrugged, "Want to find Ateo? I have no other ideas than that so far...of course then again, I can look up all previous robberies, try to find a pattern and predict the next one...don't know how well that'll work though."
"Oh, it seems you found me!!" A gruff voice laced wihth sarcasm exclaimed. A portal opened up, a giant hand grabbed Makoto before Corvus had a second to react. The duo turned to see Ateo suddenly holding the boy, knife to Makoto's throat, "Now, what do we have here? Philip and co.? Nice rag-tag group we have here, huh?" Ateo smiled devilishly.
Corvus kept calm, but knew who this was the instant that he saw him, "Ateo..." He merely said
Philip snapped, "Ateo! Drop the knife or I swear to god I will eat you!"
"No, I don't think I will. But if all is fair, I'd never harm my Light." Ateo stated slowly, licking Makoto's cheek, who shivered, "I wondered where you had gone when I was broken in the Realm of Darkness..."
Makoto began to have tears dot his eyes, "P-please..."
Corvus kept silent, assessing the best strategy to deal with the newcomer.
Philip had an idea. Philip pretended to take a little lint off his shirt, and flicked off a nanobot, hoping for it to land on the knife's blade. It landed, though Ateo had put his knife away at the last second.
"Don't tell me you don't remember... We are the same person, my dear Light..." Ateo smiled, "We are the same being."
"I don't... I-I don't know w-what you mean..."
Corvus jumped forth, but got blocked by the giant winged serpent Wadjet. Philip tried to strike Wadjet, smirking that his short term plan, albiet not at exactly as he wanted, was working.
The lone nanobot was already beginning to replicate, and started trying to devour the knife.
The serpent kept blocking, stopping anyone from getting past, but was slowly weakening. To power it up, Ateo used his dark energy, killing any of the nanobots that were on the knife. "HA! You freaking mortals think you can do anything to get past my magic? What a waste of time." Ateo smirked, "My dear Light, watch as I annihilate these two." Ateo dropped Makoto to the ground, who got a minor scrape from landing on the ground.
Ateo ordered the serpent to lash out and spit flames at Philip and Corvus. Corvus easily jumped back avoiding the flame, and took himself into his raven form to fly above the snake. Philip, still slightly surprised at the destruction of some of his machines, merely dissolved and slithered away from the flames. As he slithered, he tried to stretch out a tendril to strike Ateo in the stomach.
Ateo dodged the attack from Philip, as well as when Corvus landed down beside him and attacked in his full human form, easily holding his own. He was swift and grabbed Makoto, jumping atop Wadjet's head and flew over to the other side of the street.
"Now... We can't be too hasty. I've gotten a little boost, Darkness was kind enough to hand over a little more power to me..." Ateo smirked, "Stay out of the way, or else I'll have to kidnap you again Philip."
"Just try you psycho Egyptian!" Philip snapped, forming a flail and swung it at Wadjet.
Wadjet seemed totally unfazed by this attack, merely staying in place and flicking its tongue out, "What's that my Ka? You say that there is an ant nearby?" Wadjet flicked out it's tongue again, Ateo laughed, "Nice..." Ateo formed another dark portal, shoving Makoto into it and closing it, "Can't harm my Light now can I?"
Corvus breathed fire at Ateo, Wadjet simply waved it away with its tail.
'Damn!' thought Philip, 'There has to be someway to hurt this damn thing! Guess I'll have to focus on Ateo then.' He sprinted towards him, making his nanomachines condense, making it hard as iron, jumped and tried to throw a punch at Ateo shouting in Hebrew, "Go to hell!"
Ateo smiled as the attack went straight through him, Philip landing on the other side of him, Ateo turned around. "I question, Philip... Do you have emotions?"
Philip stood back up, turning his fists into blades, answering, "You're really trying that tactic? Trying to play on my artificial nature? Make me go through some exstistential crisis about who I am, what's my purpose in the Universe? I'm just going to tell you this now Ateo, it won't work!" He sprinted again, trying to slice Ateo, continuing, "Do you know why?"
Ateo gave a small smile, "No... I'm not asking for any of that..." Philip sailed through Ateo once more, who turned around to look at Philip, "I ask if you can feel for another reason." Corvus jumped up, landing beside Philip, Wadjet kept them all up on its head, keeping still as Ateo ordered, "So can you feel emotions?"
Philip responded dryly, "Considering the fact that I'm angry right now, the fact that I hate your guts...what do you think?"
"Good." Ateo smiled, "Spirits of Kur Eltinae, attack!!" From the folds of Ateo's cloak, disembodied, ghostly skulls shot forth, entering both Corvus and Philip, wracking powerful emotional pain and agony.
Corvus bent down, panting in breaths, unable to take the suffering he felt the spirits have been enduring for four millenniums.
Philip also fell down, really regretting telling him anything. The pain was unbearable. He tried to lift himself up, only to fall back down, his arms falling into puddles, Wadjet vanished, as it did half of Philip's body fell as he hit the concrete. "Sh-shit..." he muttered.
"Do you not feel it Philip? What my family and friends still go through? Do you feel that?! DO YOU?!" Ateo's eyes burned with rage and hatred, "You've only got a glimpse. As do you, raven boy."
Corvus sweated under the immense pressure of the emotional agony the spirits forced him to endure. The spirirts suddenly let up, leaving both Philip and Corvus, and going back to Ateo.
Philip reformed, panting, glaring at Ateo, "We had nothing to do with them Ateo...why would you make us feel their pain...why do you allow them to continue to exist in this sort of suffering?!"
"Because you fighting against me is the exact thing as fighting against them. They are not forced to continue in this world by my hand!!" Ateo exclaimed, his red robe billowing behind him, "I've consistently told you stay out of my way, you prolong their suffering!!"
Philip then demanded, "And how Ateo, do you think the artifacts that killed them will do anything to fix that? What is the point, why not do what every other mythological person do, and go the the underworld and drag them back or something?! Why break the law and murder people over the very thing that killed everyone you knew and loved?!"
"You little brat! You know nothing! Those items didn't kill them! You're a fucking moron!!" Ateo was suddenly there, standing in front of Philip, and smacked him hard across the face.
Corvus lashed out, grabbing Ateo's arm and got the thief to look into his eyes. Corvus though was unable to cast an illusion, finding Darkness had made Ateo highly powerful, Ateo slammed Corvus into the ground, then threw him into a wall.
Philip expanded himself into a sheet and tried to wrap around the theif's head, to try to knock him out through suffocation.
Ateo growled, quickly avoiding the attack and jumped back, "You know nothing Philip! You don't know what happened! Quit coming up with stupid speculations on something you don't even believe in!" Ateo yelled angrily, "You think you understand so much! You think you knew what happened when they died! You know nothing but the golden history of Egypt, and nothing more!"
Philip responded, "Not believe? Of course I do! It would be illogical to not believe after repeatedly seeing it! I don't have to accept it as you have worded it, as a supernatural source of power. And I have the entire history of Egypt in my head. And as you have never given me any information about these circumstances, all I have left is speculation. So that about me which annoys you most is entirely your fault."
"You don't need to know anything, there is no point to speaking to an outsider who cannot empathize with one such as myself. I do not trust, I do not care. Speculation is best for the ignorant, for if they learn the truth, their world will crumble!" Ateo growled, "You deserve no truth, none of it!"
Corvus stood up, walking over to Philip, "He's more powerful than I'd have imagined for a mere human..."
Philip responded to Corvus, "Yes. His master is an entity known as Darkness who possess godlike powers. It only makes sense that his minion would also be powerful. But you said so yourself Corvus, powerful or not, he's still human. Limited."
"My cousin... Darkness and I come from a close family tie..." Corvus stated, "Darkness is one of my... Many cousins..."
Ateo glared at the duo, then changed his expression to a sad one, tears began to run down his cheeks, "Aw... D-do you w-want p-p-poor st-stuttering Makoto back?" Ateo mocked, his expression becoming hard once more, "My Light is mine now. It seems he's lost himself through the times... Makoto, what kind of name..." Ateo seemed to be speaking to himself once more.
Philip responded, "I hope your "Light" as you call it, burns you from the inside out." But mentally Philip thought, 'I could really use Todd's bizzare book right now. Might have something in it about this..." Turning his arms into claws he snapped, "Let Makoto free or I will tear him out of you!"
"Makoto is sitting in the Realm of Darkness... I'd invite you to the fun I'm going to enjoy turning him back into who he was long ago... But something tells me you'll just get angered and yell and snap." Ateo smiled, he outstretched his hand, a portal of darkness formed beside him, Ateo was swift to jump in.
Corvus ran straight for the portal, his golden eyes gleaming as he ran as fast as he could before it closed. Philip followed suit, following Corvus to the portal, more than willing to try to save an innocent life from the corruptive forces of the Realm of Darkness.
Ateo smirked, "Makoto, as you now call yourself, how is it to be ignorant of your past?"
"I-I d-don't know what y-you mean..." Makoto responded, shivering under Ateo's red eyed gaze.
"Get back from him, Ateo." Corvus stated as he came through the portal with Philip. Philip stretched his arm out to reach for Makoto, hoping to be able to yank him over to safety. Admittidly, it would be slightly harder to get a portal home, as their will now doubt be a "trade-off"; a portal to Earth for Makoto or no portal and all three of them imprisoned in this dimension, but his safety is now Philip's priority.
Ateo snapped his fingers, the portal of darkness closed, leaving all four of them standing on a cube.
Makoto was taken over to safety by Philip, but Ateo merely laughed like a maniac, "Ah! Here we are. The grand meeting in the Realm of Darkness. Trapped like rats, you let a meager thief outwit you." Ateo smiled.
Corvus was silent.
Philip responded in Hebrew, "Emphasis on "meager" Ateo."
"Now I can beat you here, and hopefully become one once more with my Light. A tiny goal, but I haven't felt whole in a long time, indeed." Ateo stated, Wadjet formed, taking Corvus into its jaws and flying over to another cube floating far away, spitting him out on it.
Ateo looked to Philip, "Just you and I."
Philip gently pushed Makoto behind him and turned his arms into blades, responded, "I'll have you know no one has killed me yet. I doubt even you can."
Ateo laughed, "I don't even need to kill you..." Ateo waved his arm, what appeared to be lightning shot in the background as a strangely empty wind blew through the area. Ateo formed a dark blade of energy, "Know that I shall damage you greatly..."
Makoto squeeked, fearful of Ateo as the Egyptian began to take his steps toward Philip. Philip responded, "Not many have done that either." He walked forward as well, his the tips of his blades sliding across the floor, "Now let's see how much punishment a pseudo-god can take!"
Ateo licked his blade, before arcing it down onto Philip for a simple strike on the head. Philip hid his pain well, grabbing Ateo's arm and pulling it away as to pull the knife out of his head and said, "I told you, you probably can't hurt me." He then turned one of his blades into an incredibly dense block and tried to strike Ateo dead in the chest.
Ateo growled, jumping back to avoid the attack, "I was never skilled in swordplay..." Ateo whistled, Wadjet came back from where it was fending Corvus off. Corvus came down, landing nearby from his raven to human form. He ran straight for Ateo, breathing a fire attack of the same, burning the thief.
Wadjet attacked Philip by breathing fire, then whipping out its tail to strike him as well. While Philip just barely managed to contort himself into a shape to avoid the fire, Wadjet's tail struck him and sent him towards the edge, just barely grabbing on before falling and begun pulling himself up.
Corvus was fighting the thief who's robes were burning, the enraged theif growled, able to utilize dark magic in his attacks, blasting the demon son of Zied back. Corvus turned to look to Philip who had gotten up, "Are you okay?" Philip finished clawing back up.
"Yeah, I'm good Corvus, let's just say I heal fast." Philip answered, before thinking of an idea. He shouted to Ateo in Hebrew, "Come and face a superior force Ateo, a being greater than you are!"
"Who the name of Osiris would that be?!" Ateo's eyes glinted dangerously, "No matter!!" Ateo formed two spears of darkness and ran straight for Corvus and Philip, intent on stabbing their abdomens.
Makoto quickly scooted out of the way, getting to a corner of the cube in fear. Corvus on the other hand jumped at the correct moment over to the side, and produced a blade, stabbing Ateo in the side.
Philip sprinted, creating his blades again, taking up his hands and forearms. As he approched he answered, "Me."
Ateo stared at Philip, feeling blood dribble down his chin from his mouth, his eyes wide in fear, as Philip approached. Philip then raised one arm up to slice an arm and his other arm forward to try to stab. Ateo's eyes widened in pain as he screeched from the pain, as he was unable to move.
Ateo fell down backward, bleeding profusly on the ground, "Wh-why could I not m-move?"
"I shut down a good portion of you nervous system by circulating electricity through my sword." Corvus stated emotionlessly, "When I stabbed you."
Philip thrusted his arm further, adding, "I would also assumed that the shock from blood loss would also stop you from moving. Might lose your sight temporarily even." He then continued, "I have made it my job to aid in the fight for justice. You claim you're tortured and I believe you. That changes nothing! You could...you can still make something of your life! But so far you only choose destruction...just like how I was made..."
"You-you asshole... H-how dare you... My-my... Light..." Ateo turned his head to look at the quivering Makoto in the corner, "My... Light..." Ateo's eyes began to cloud over, having taken a strong bit of damage, and losing blood rather quickly.
Philip removed his blade arm from his chest, continuing in Hebrew, "Rest in Peace Ateo. And may your gods have mercy on your heart and soul."
Ateo continued to mutter, his last bit in Egyptian, "I am... Not done... I am... To continue..." Wadjet shot out of Ateo's body taking flight and screeching in agony. It slammed it's tail straight down onto Corvus and breathed fire at Philip.
Philip tore a chunk of his body off him and threw it into Makoto's hands as the flames destroyed his form, at that exact moment, Wadjet turned its gaze to the young child. It hissed before it flew straight at him, becoming smaller and slamming itself into his weak, frail form. Makoto didn't get pushed back, but dropped the piece of Philip.
Makoto's ebony black eyes changed, one became a bright red, the other remained black, "What?" Makoto's voice sounded gruffer suddenly, "Wadjet?! What did you do?! What did you do?! That was the dumbest idea I've ever seen!! Anubis save my snake's mind!! It's so damn stupid!!" Makoto, or as obvious as it was now, was possessed by Ateo.
Corvus got up, damaged pretty badly, but able to move, he turned to where the flames died down where Philip was last seen. The orb of silvery metal slithered behind Corvus, saying, "I'm over here Corvus," as he reformed his humanoid shape.
"Very well... Makoto seemed to have been taken over..." He absentmindedly stated.
Ateo, who was now housed inside Makoto, ran over to his old body, "Ah! No!! I didn't want to fuse with my Light so early!! Damn Ra! Damn you Osiris!! You too Anubis!! Ammit, I'll kill you!!" Ateo cursed every one of his gods, one by one, name by name.
Philip walked up and demanded to Ateo, again in Hebrew, "Get out of Makoto's body now! Return your...whatever it is! To your old body and just accept death gracefully!"
"You moron!! Do you think I wanted to be in this body?!" Ateo yelled, "This is so damn stupid!" Ateo grabbed Makoto's long, white hair, from the stress of the whole situation, "I wasn't supposed to die yet! This wasn't supposed to go this way! Gods, this isn't happening!!"
"What do you mean Ateo?" Philip questioned.
"You fucking moron!!" Ateo yelled, "You ruined everything!! Darkness!! Help!! Please!!" Ateo screamed out into the realm, hoping for the Secret to appear.
"Calm down Ateo..." Darkness appeared, "Ha... You look weak..." Darkness chuckled.
"I didn't- I mean! Wait..."
"You lost..." Darkness hovered over to Ateo's body to stare at it, Corvus looked to Darkness, wary of his cousin.
"So sad... Ateo lost.." Darkness giggled, using his own dark magic to throw the body down a pit into the everlasting darkness.
"What?! Why did you do that?! You prick!!" Ateo screeched.
"It was old anyways. You've got a new one." Darkness clapped, "Now, then get the last two items to save your friends and family."
Philip watched as Ateo's body fell and then asked Darkness, "Uh...what the hell is going on here?!"
"Hee-Hee... Ateo was my champion... Seems his Ka was so intent on making sure he saved his family he fused with Makoto... The boy you knew, he's inside... They now share a body..." Darkness giggled, "Ah... How fun this was Ateo... But you should be going somewhere now... Get the eye back from Marcel, and then attract the Necklace by using the statue... That is something Aishazi can't escape." Darkness pushed Ateo into a portal of darkness, which then closed.
Corvus slowly walked over, "Cousin... What is going on?"
"I already explained. And how stupid of you two... It's like you think you can stop Ateo's dream of rescuing his family."
Philip then demanded, "What is your role in all of this? Why do you want the artifacts? You're supposively a god, you should have no need for them?"
"I cannot truly infect the planet Earth without breaking a few rules... But my friends can... I just required one hundred sacrifices... You know, some kid that sees it all, and a gateway, namely a statue... Promise to help the child who's family is suffering in eternal damnation and you're bound to get some good results." Darkness informed, "This is my job, ingenious, but my job."
Philip muttered, "Bastard!" He glared at the Secret and demanded, "Why are you so interested in our world? You have an entire dimension at your command! Please! Enlighten me!"
"There was the planet Thyria... But I already infected it... You could say that I exist to do this. Which is true, I was born to enhance the evil in being's hearts..." Darkness chuckled, "Corvus has murdered hundreds... Because he's a foolish demon..."
Corvus bristled at this.
"Ateo is just another one of my perfect creations... You drive a mortal insane after four-thousand years of constant silence. He's hardly in the right mind anymore. You see... I influenced men using my Tome of Secrets... To create the Golden Artifacts... They killed everyone Ateo loved, you'd be surprised at how kind he was when he was younger." An image of a happy, young, white-haired child playing with other children in a desert-like town was shown before Corvus and Philip, the children were laughing. The image faded though, "Yes... I am the progenitor to this all."
Philip gritted his teeth and snapped, "Be glad that Todd and I aren't one and the same or else I would end your miserable, pitiful existence this very moment you extradimensional freak!" He created his claws, despite knowing it probably wouldn't work.
"You're going to hurt me? Try to damage me? Do it. Give in to your... Darkness..." Darkness chuckled, "Don't tell me you feel bad for Ateo... I thought that you believed he was... 'Pathetic', that he's lower than a slave, isn't he also an idiot...? Perhaps one of the biggest morons you've ever met... A murderer with little to no regard for life..."
Everything was silent for a few moment, Darkness though broke it once more, "How little you truly know... Very little... Ateo is in fact someone who loves everything unconditionally... His actions aren't always fully under control, but that is just the Darkness here... Allow me to repeat something, you probably weren't paying attention..."
Darkness turned around, an image faded into view, it was of two days ago. "Philip!! What did I say?!" Ateo's voice rung out in the illusion created by Darkness. The image showed Philip placed before the golden-robed Ateo, "You idiot! Stay out of the way!! Do you know what would have happened if there were more cars and I hit you?!" Darkness chuckled at Ateo's words, the image stopped, Ateo's face appeared be hit by some strange and sudden realization. The image then faded.
"Ateo Ake in his life was taught to love everyone and care for everyone... His goal was to become the greatest healer in all of Egypt, and save petty mortals." Darkness chuckled, "But I had different plans, and turned one of the kindest, most Light-bound beings into the darkest soul. I twisted that pathetic boy and taught him that he must hate the world for his loss. The Statue of the Secret Sacred Items will release their damned souls, but it is also my gateway to enter Earth in my true form."
"Darkness I-" Corvus was cut off.
"Silence cousin. You know nothing, your darkness is weak. I have no need for a weak one. Ateo was the most Light of all human souls, but through my twisting and changing. That boy is a masterpiece. At the same time, he has also become the most worthless human being alive. The Last Egyptian: the failure, the moron, the loser, the idiot, the slave, the pathetic one... And the best description... The only human less than the Earth you beings walk upon. Disgusting." Darkness was turned around at the moment, hiding his smirk that appeared through his cloak.
Philip sheathed his blades, ignoring his own defects in his character for a later time for analysis, asking the question that seemed more important, "So basically, you need him to collect these artifacts, bring them to some statue somewhere and you can take over the world?"
"Yes... And I gave it all away... Consider it a gift... Since I know that all will go well, for me, at least." Darkness snickered, "We Secrets always win..."
"But what good is a Secret once it's out?" Philip asked, "I can easily transmit this information to the World Walker, a good friend of mine. And once he starts fighting, he won't stop until the job is done."
"The World Walker would stand no chance to Ateo... And if you allow someone as foolish as he to interfere, I'll have him killed before you have the chance to even make contact." Darkness stated, "There is more power than this that you should be aware of, but I'd prefer that be kept hidden."
Philip then demanded out of nowhere, "Let us out of here! If you think anyone on Earth will just let you take over, you are sorely mistaken! You claim you'd be able to take over the Earth and the Universe, but guess what about Earth? Humans are adaptable, that's how they survived. And that's just the normal humans! There are superhumans, mutants, "wizards", "warlocks" people with advanced technology, and so much more to help them survive! And that's just one species on a random rock in a far out place in the Universe. No telling what the other species can do...!"
"Silence boy. I was going to release you anyways." Darkness growled, "I just wanted to explain to tell you just how futile your efforts will be." Darkness formed a portal beside himself, "That is your exit, the same Ateo made to get you here. When we see each other next time... You'll probably want to hide..." Darkness snickered, slowly fading from view.
Corvus was already leaving, walking through the portal, "What do we do?" He questioned to himself, but probably to Philip as well. Philip walked behind him before giving him an answer. He placed a hand on his shoulder.
"We try to find your little fortune teller before Ateo does and if we fail, find and destroy Darkness' statue before Ateo gets to it." Philip answered.
"I doubt we'll be able to destroy the statue." Corvus admitted, "Darkness made it, I assume it's indestructible."
As they walked, Philip responded in a matter of fact tone, "Corvus, if it is composed of atoms, it is not indestructible. Even I, being composed of nanomachines capable of self-replication and use that to heal from various damage, as you've witnessed, am not indestructible. Admiditly the Laws of Conservation of Mass prevent it from being destroyed to the point of atomic nonexistence -unless a nuclear blast were involved- it can be destroyed until it is no longer a useful conduit for Darkness' dimensional travel."
"You're forgetting something... Darkness utilizes magic. It is probably indestructible. Magic is Darkness' forte..." Corvus stated.
Philip then admited, "True I have forgotten his "magic", but even that has its limits. From piecing together what Todd has told me, "gods" possess great, but limited, powers. Though he has mentioned a particular entity that seemed to dwarf the powers of the other "gods", but it at least seems benevolent. There has to be a limit to Darkness' "magic" as well."
The duo were both stopped by a slight noise of rustling fabric, and found a man clothed in green standing before them, "Greetings, my friends... My name is Samad..."
"Hello Samad. I assume from your timing you're on our side...at least I hope so anyway..." Philip stated
"I have located you quite easily... Now you shall come with me to get to Aishazi..." Samad turned around, "Follow me..." A portal of white energy appeared, Samad walked through.
Corvus nodded, following.
Philip, who's been going through portals for the past hours have completely gotten use to them and no longer questioned what was happening...though the rest of his life probably had a hand it that too.