*Fandom: Jak and Daxter
*Pairing: Jak/Torn, Jak/Daxter (friendship)
*Warning: This contains male/male relationships and a crack pairing. If you're allergic to either the featured couple, and/or male/male relationships, please steer clear.
*This is POST JAK III.
Disclaimer: I don't own ANY part of this, save for the summary and my laptop. I certainly do not own the featured image. It is only used to enhance the feature presentation.
Stage One Recap
The Absinthe had gone under their covers for the night, sparing the world from additional devastation. Their specialty was mass destruction, and they served it well, battering cities into submission. Haven wasn't exempt from the Absinthe's brand of destruction, but a rebellious wave battled the Absinthe with increasing ferocity. The war against a revived ancient race had elevating difficulty, but Haven City's tidal wave confronted all challenges with a lion's courage.
The Absinthe had them in the center of raging volcanoes, so courage was an invaluable asset.
So many others had gone to sleep, but Haven City's lions were up and about. While small battles against the surreal had been won, there were plenty more battles on the agenda-including the finale. Mapping out strategies for the nearby, explosive future, Jak and his comrades witnessed the night's passing in the Naughty Ottsel. Daxter's hip nightclub had been transformed into a priceless homebase. much to his chagrin, but it was the perfect sanctuary for budding bullet points.
In their universe, the fun would never end. Dark Eco, Baron Praxis, Erol and a slew of other colorful characters had drawn the Dynamic Duo into a parade of adventures-but, as evidenced by the Absinthe War, the fun had just begun. The reborn race of ancients only wanted to order one thing off the menu, and that was the end of the world. Terms like 'purging' and 'cleansing' painted all of their sentences, but in the end, they wanted to erase the known world. And-
Torn was at the forefront of the Absinthe parade.
"It is time for you to pay close attention, as my master is not fond of repeating herself! Now. As you all know, the Absinthe thrived in times of old. They are an ancient race, a race fond of calamity, and share an equally strong fondness for screams of terror. But I digress. The last ruler of the Absinthe Empire was extinguished by the last Chosen One, as he was apparently too weak to handle the raging, turbulent power that came with his job description."
"And a certain someone is?"
"Welcome to Pendragon."
Those words pulled Jak out of silent frustration. Wandering through the pool of murky reflection had been a three-hour long experience, but not a minute of that adventure conjured any pleasure. The blonde elf's mind was lodged in cement-a substance so strong, not even lightning had a chance at shattering it. But how could he help it? Having one's mind drawn into a black hole prevented one from enjoying the lush, captivating splendor normally found in travel brochures.
He didn't mind the Absinthe. He didn't mind having an ancient race run rampant, didn't mind their wish to remake the world, and didn't mind their penchant for steamrolling cities. The Dynamic Demolition Duo had several mottos, 'we never turn down a challenge' being one of them. 'Failure is NEVER an option' was a motto Jak used frequently, which enveloped the refusal to turn down any challenge. But as of late, he was in a wrestling match against a riddle so hard to untangle, he would've had better luck throwing a lasso around the moon.
The revived race of Ancients ran every city through the wringer, in the hopes of 'erasing degradation'. 'Purging' every known world of 'sinful, unworthy roaches' was their goal in life. No one was exempt from their marketing plan: arrive in every city unnanounced, promote their wishes like crazy, and spread their brand name by wreaking havoc. All of that would've been perfectly fine, if-
They hadn't dragged Torn into the equation.
The Dynamic Duo's latest journey introduced Jak to Anima. In stark contrast to the Absinthe, the Anima were a race of powerful but peaceful goddesses. Also an ancient race, they were well known for their gentle nature, healing abilities and fondness for serene eras. Once upon a time, the two races duked it out-but without their de-throned Emperor, the Absinthe were easily beaten into defeat.
Now, in the current era, the Absinthe knew they had the upper hand.
They gained a strong advantage by kidnapping Torn, who jumped as soon as the Absinthe arrived in Haven City. True to form, the redhead grabbed a challenge as soon as it landed on his plate.
The Absinthe grabbed him, as soon as he landed on their plate.
The Anima, Pecker and Onin led Jak through the basic program. The degree of one's darkness made or broke an Absinthe Emperor, and apparently Torn had the perfect degree of darkness. But he wasn't at the forefront of battle. While Jak and his friends were forced to battle against him in body, his consciousness had been forced into a painful nap. The Absinthe Spirit of Malice, otherwise known as Peerla, possessed every Emperor-and Torn was no exception.
He had been pulled off the frontlines, after wrestling against Jak on two occasions, and that alone was cause for worry. Pecker and Onin had just reminded him of an important blueprint: use the power of Anima to revive Torn's consciousness. But, much to the blonde elf's chagrin, the power of Anima was not to be used as a weapon. It was up to him to liberate Torn, and prevent the Absinthe from using their Emperor to Purge everything.
Jak confronted the challenge with determination. Tireless courage, devotion and skill. He-
Inwardly imagined himself banging his head against a wall, on a frequent basis.
This has to be hardest challenge of my career.
Ah, well. At least Daxter was able to chill. Shortly before their departure from Haven City, the Dynamic Duo paid a visit to the one, the only Tess. Tess-the only one idiotic enough to fall head-over-heels in love with the one and only Daxter. Being an Ottsel didn't stop her from kicking hardcore butt at being a mechanic, so she gladly polished the duo's cyberboard and cars with upgrades. Wanting her to get out of the shop, the love of her life and his counterpart invited her onboard. Both Ottsels rode in the handy bag Jak made himself, and kept attached to his shoulder.
Watching them only made the issue with Torn worse. Especially with a certain remark, stinging him from the back of his mind.
"Guy, girl-it doesn't matter to me. I don't shut anyone down. But Torn? I'd rather marry Samos!"
So Jak wasn't the perfect traveling companion. If anyone wanted a friend to share the sights with, Jak wasn't the best name to pull out of a contact book. Not even the surreal, airborne city of Pendragon could soothe his rattled nerves. Let alone Ashelin, Tess or even Daxter.
Daxter recognized the distant, aggravated look in his partner's blue eyes. The Pendragon Welcome Committee was going on and on about how beautiful their city was, even after it had been ravaged by a stormcloud of Absinthe. But the Mar's mind was elsewhere, clearly focused on the Absinthe Emperor.
Otherwise known as Torn.
Ashelin, after filling in Tess, kept a close eye on him. Inwardly she grinned over Jak's obvious concern for Torn, putting no credibility to his crack about marrying Samos. Daxter had said something about his refusal to turn anyone down, based on 'physical bullcrap'-unless someone had the nerve to look like Krew. That alone was cause for a parade of smiles, but she was comfortable, happy with her heroic friend's personality.
His Anima was exactly what the Absinthe Emperor needed.
She kept a close eye on him, even as the team entered one of Pendragon's sky bars. The Welcome Committee had disbanded, leaving the Ambassador to do as he pleased, so he remained at the forefront of tourism. Being in an airborne, regal empire should've been a dazzling experience-but its magic completely zoomed over Jak's head. His teammates, save for Tess, found themselves at a loss as well. Normally Daxter was all over anything that had the word 'new' scribbled all over it, whether it was a new plate of sweet potato fries, a new bike, or a new adventure. But-
Whenever his other half's mind was swamped, he was right at Jak's side.
The Pendragon Ambassador, oblivious to the blonde elf's visible distress, rubbed his hands in a frantic manner. "I think its about time to get into our city's defense," he said, his thick accent billowing into the air. His wide brown eyes, grey mustache and blue suit created a picture of old-fashioned nobility-in a reflection of Pendragon's fashion sense.
"Now, ahem ahem. Demolition Duo, dear new friends, you were summoned because our city is in dire need of aid."
"Like I haven't been able to figure that out."
Ashelin gave a fierce nudge to Jak's ribs, but continued to beam inwardly. On the inside, she was a million times brighter than the sun.
"It is a great honor to have you here, but...the circumstances surrounding your presence are less than pleasant. The Absinthe have been here on a regular basis, spreading their propaganda. Working towards their idea of a 'perfect world'. Killing at random! Our citizens have been devastated by their chaos. And what's more, they're shaping their world into a paradise for their Emperor! I shudder at the thought of this city, being ruled by another!"
Daxter jumped off Jak's shoulder and landed on the nearest counter. "Screw th' throne, Mack Daddy," he snarled, noticing an outbreak of greater distress on Jak's face.
"Tell us what we're here for, so you can keep your crown, and we can keep our sanity!"
"Ahem ahem. Pardon me. Now, if you don't mind, I would appreciate it if you could secure firepower for us. As of late, we've been plagued by a dire lack in artillery-which comes from a rare brand of Eco. Sky Eco."
Tess, perched on Ashelin's shoulder, punched at the air with both fists. "That's what keeps this city afloat!"
"You couldn't be more right, m' dear. Ahem ahem. Our Sky Eco powers our city's functions-including our weaponry. Unfortunately, our very way of life is endangered by an Absinthe camp. A flock of those horrid creatures have parked themselves in our city's Arena."
"Th' place th' city council uses, right?"
"Yes, you are absolutely correct," the Ambassador nodded at Tess, once again. His brown saucers were grave, laden with uncharted horrors."Those wicked nightmares have driven out our esteemed council! They've taken over our Sky Eco sanctuary. We would be forever indebted to you if-"
A resounding boom silenced the rest of the Ambassador's plea. The Stratus Skybar went up in the flames of chaos-as evidenced by the loss of electricity, the resounding screams and scattered tables. Outside melee gave birth to the inside calamity-beyond the skybar's doors brewed explosions, an approaching fleet of certain beasts, and-
"The Emperor! Its the Absinthe Emperor!"
After exchanging a glance with Ashelin, Jak swept Daxter into his arms. "Don't you worry about a thing, ol' moon eyes," the Ottsel said, casting a wave at the frazzled Ambassador-who had occupied himself with straightening his glasses, while running his eyes through the now-chaotic skybar.
"We'll handle this!"
Jak turned his attention to Ashelin and her Ottsel friend. "Maybe the two of you should stay here. Things are getting pretty ugly."
The female redhead folded her arms, and punched Tess' fist with her own. "Ah, don't worry about a thing. We can hold our own."
"I know. It's him I'm worried about."
With a nod of his head, the Mar indicated the increasingly anxious Ambassador-who was currently occupied with running around the sky bar, failing miserably at keeping everything together. Without another word or nod, the Dynamic Duo bolted out of the door and into the outside fray-instantly greeted by a world of explosions. Ashelin and Tess remained inside of the skybar, agreeing to Jak's wishes without a single complaint. Tess made a remark about a 'headless chicken', then set about calming down the sky bar's customers-
Without being the least bit worried about her other half. After all, she had no reason to worry. Meanwhile, her other half quickly absorbed the scene-perching himself on Jak's shoulder.
"Wow. Screaming citizens, black skies, pissed off Absinthe-ain't this a familiar picture!"
Jak's voice, despite the melee, was forever soft-but perilous. "Yeah," he agreed, unsheathing his favorite gun.
"And we need to find this picture's focal point."
"Keep your eyes open, Goldilocks. I know this is pretty messy, but we should be able to find Peerla in a nice, thick cloud of Absinthe!"
Pleased with Daxter's switch from 'Torn' to 'Peerla', the blonde elf winked at his shadow. All the while firing at swarms of nightmares, the expert gunner sought the Absinthe's water hole-where Daxter predicated the Emperor would be. Heart throbbing in a fashion he could not explain, he ran deeper into a stormcloud of Absinthe-
And fortunately discovered just how accurate Daxter had been.
"Well, well, well. If it isn't my favorite duo. Long time no see, darlings."
None too thrilled with the sound of Peerla's dark, poisonous voice, Daxter shook a small fist. "Listen, you crazy, whacked out jerk," the Ottsel snarled, eyes flashing at the airborne entity. The Absinthe embodiment of dark nature was still inhabiting Torn's form, but magic had distorted the elf's body. With the arrival of every battle, he looked more and more like a spawn of immeasurable yet empty oblivion. And, as predicted, Peerla had surrounded himself with the strongest cloud of bodyguards.
"We've had enough of you playing musical chairs! If y' know what's good for ya, you'll get outta Dreadlocks this instant!"
"Hmmm. That idea....well, needless to say, it bores me. Why would I forfeit my claim on such a deliciously wonderful form? The darkness within this frame amuses me to no end."
Jak slapped a hand to his forehead. "Again with the darkness," he muttered venomously, momentarily shutting his eyes. In an attempt to shed some much-needed light on a dark-laden riddle, he asked a question.
"What 'darkness' are you thriving off of? Th' last time I checked, our friend was anything but a moronic, heartless bastard with a thirst for blood!"
Peerla, pawing at Torn's dreadlocks, smiled with a victorious cat's glee. "You are never wrong, are you?" the Absinthe Spirit purred, arms outstretched in a shrug.
"Well, I'm more than happy to confirm your suspicions. Your dearly departed friend is anything but 'evil'. He's lonely, beaten in a thousand different ways-the perfect plaything. And all of his delicious, yummy darkness? It all comes from his broken heart. His emotions. The trinkets you mortals treasure so fiercely."
Reveling in the duo's increasing displeasure, the faux Torn went on-still airborne, hovering above devastation with pride. "It was soooo easy to slither into this perfect body," the Spirit purred, running a hand through his host's hair.
"All I had to do was slip into a crack, and voila. Instant success."
Daxter, picking up on his friend's itchy trigger fingers, tugged on blonde locks. "Careful, Jak. Remember what that obnoxious monkey reminded you of! You've gotta figure out another way t' deal with Peerla! With Torn!"
Torn's obviously still in there. Otherwise, Peerla wouldn't have any ground to stand on.
Words became blurry, unrecognizable forms of life. Daxter continued to tug on his hair, screaming in his ear, Peerla surrounded himself with a tsunami of scorching, white light-
All I have to do is find Peerla's crack. Should be simple. Right?
In a heartbeat, the Absinthe entity dove out of the air and towards his opponents. With a trademark cry of horror, Daxter dove into Jak's Ottself sack-refusing to leave the other's side, even as a stark-raving mad beast threatened to tear them to shreds. Retaliating against the Emperor's wave of light, Jak outstretched his arms to their limits, and summoned Anima in a heartbeat. In no more than a flash, two tsunamis of light engaged in battle. Jak pressed against the faux Torn, Peerla pressed against Jak-
And in another heartbeat, the two of them broke apart.
Daxter peeked out of the Ottsel sack, just in time to see his friend conjure up the Staff of Anima. The radiant, ivory white relic was used in a variety of twists and turns against Peerla, perfectly used by someone that had been born to use it. Every attack from the staff unleashed a wave of piercing, white light, a laughing Spirit retaliated against the Staff with staggering speed-
"Its clear to me that you care absolutely nothing for my grand host!"
The Absinthe representative took the perfect opportunity to knock a stunned opponent into the ground. "It's as clear as day-or should I say night," the false Torn sang, putting a hand on his host's heart in an extravagant fashion.
"You don't care about this creature's fate. It is of no concern to you. You're only trying to save him because you've been ordered to!"
Having gotten back on his feet, a clearly bewildered Jak turned to an equally stunned, horrified Daxter. "Disgusting," Peerla sneered, while Torn's eyes glistened with ecstasty.
"And I thought my last host had it bad. It'll be a piece of cake, bringing about the ultimate Purge!"
Piercing the black sky with shrill, unwavering laughter, the embodiment of malice dove at his one and only combatant. Daxter covered his eyes with his hands, Jak placed himself in a defensive position, and then-
Everything went white.
Fun Fact: Pendragon was inspired by Final Fantasy XII's Skycity of Bhujerba.