Rise 7.11

“Carter,” I whispered, staring down at the lot. “Carter get up!” I threw my hands down onto the snow covered railing. “Get up!!!”

 

In an instant, I was full-on sobbing, tears and mucus covering my face.

 

Abraham pulled his blood and entrails covered blade out of Carter, his body still and his sole open eye lifeless.

 

Shay roared at the top of her lungs, leaping off the railing and running toward Abraham.

 

“Not without me!” Malcolm growled, following Shay.

 

I let go of the railing, preparing to teleport down there as well, but Olivia put her hand on my shoulder.

 

“We can’t fight him,” she said softly.

 

I let out a cry, Gordon stepping in the way of Shay and Malcolm, sword in hand.

 

“I don’t want to see anyone else die today,” he said.

 

Looking up at Olivia, she was clearly trying to stay stoic, but she couldn’t fully hide the same fear and despair that we were all feeling. Eve had her head hung low and Sammy looked like he was too scared to move at all.

 

Gordon and Salaran stared down Malcolm and Shay, Abraham morphing his arm back to normal.

 

“You killed my brother!!!” Shay roared, shoving Malcolm into Gordon and Salaran, then using him as a stepping stool to leap over the two and continue making her way toward Abraham.

 

Malcolm was tossed aside by Salaran, the two once again getting in Shay’s way.

 

“You have my apologies,” Abraham said, walking closer to her. “His death was inevitable, be it at my hands or Adam’s. The pain I put him through…put you all through… it was how I thought I could defeat destiny.” Faster than I could see, he appeared behind Shay. “I shall grant you all a quick death.”

 

“Abe, no!” Gordon screamed.

 

Abraham grabbed Shay’s head.

 

“No!” Malcolm screamed, getting up.

“No more deaths!” I screamed, teleporting myself down next to Shay and Abraham, along with Gordon and Salaran, to the other end of the lot.

 

“Raina!” Olivia cried out, jumping down next to me.

 

Sammy groaned, shaking his head back and forth.

 

“This isn’t going down without me!” he screamed leaping down next.

 

Eve casually followed last, just stepping off the platform.

 

“He’s mine!” Shay screamed at the rest of us.

 

“You’re still not getting it,” Abraham said, all three of them having already closed the gap between us. “I am trying to do you a kindness, Shay Myers!”

 

“You killed my brother! You killed Joey!”

 

Gordon stiffened.

 

“Do you imagine Adam would grant kinder fates? Especially after what you’ve all done.” He looked straight into my eyes. “Do you disagree that for turning you against him, your father wouldn’t make Carter, and all those who stand alongside you suffer?!”

 

He…he wasn’t wrong. But I still…I still believed that we could stop him, even if it seemed like we didn’t have a chance. Failure and suffering couldn’t be our only option.

 

“Why does everyone keep calling him…” I started to ask, but was droned out as a helicopter flew over us.

 

“What is this?” Salaran asked.

 

Olivia slammed her fit into the pavement.

 

“Exactly what Adam wanted,” she said. “We’re being recorded. And the whole world is seeing that the man they all looked to as a savior is dead.”

 

“Leaving that spot ripe for Adam to take,” Eve continued. “The key to his plan.”

 

In the face of what had just happened it was small, miniscule, but there was still a pleasure in seeing Abraham completely dumbfounded.

 

“What’s wrong?” Shay asked, rage in each syllable. “Something you bastards didn’t  know about?”

 

For a brief moment, we were so close. We were almost all together again. We almost had a way to win. To beat all the odds against us and be heroes. But now all we had was moxi and the rage that was driving us.

 

Carter was dead.

 

*

 

“Congratulations,” Sarah said. “We’re dead.”

 

Both Sarah and I were drifting through the darkness. It wasn’t like when I was inside my soul. There, I could stand. I could do things other than float around. I could feel things other than the cold.

 

“Seems we’re in limbo,” she continued. “Unsurprising. A human with a demon living inside them? The system must be having trouble processing us. But have no fear. Soon enough, I’ll be gone and you’ll be in Hell.”

 

“No,” I breathed.

 

“This was exactly what you wanted, Carter Myers. The least you can do now is stand by your selfish decisions.”

 

“No,” I repeated. “Shay’s okay. And the others…they were there too.”

 

“It’s a little late to be having regrets.”

 

“They must have saved her somehow,” I whispered to myself.

 

“It’s over Carter Myers. Just give up.”

 

I wanted to shake my head, but I couldn’t.

 

“But…I do have regrets,” I said. “The way I’d been acting…Gaaaah!” I screamed out. “I really was an idiot.” I paused. “I shouldn’t have done what I did. I should have been there for Raina. For Malcolm. Help them do whatever it was they did. I played right into Abraham’s hands.”

 

Sarah remained silent.

 

“And I shouldn’t have done what done what I did to you.”

A moment passed.

 

“Oh?”

 

“Yeah, I guess it seems pretty obvious in retrospect. Acting like a hero got me as far as it did. Acting like a monster got me dead.” I paused again, trying to block out the cold. “I’m sorry.”

 

Sarah’s body shook a little, twitching.

 

“At the very least, you seem to learn quickly from your mistakes,” she said.

 

“For as much good as that does now,” I sighed.

 

This couldn’t just be the end of the line. Sure, Sarah had done some pretty horrible things, but so had I. She didn’t deserve what I put her through. I owed it to her to get her out of this.

 

And I owed it to my family. And everyone in Bluejay. In the world. I was the one with the demon inside me. The one with the power. I was the only one who had a chance of protecting everyone. They needed me.

 

“I have an idea,” I said. “I think it may be able to keep you from vanishing and me from going to Hell.”

 

“Is that so?” she asked with a sense of disbelief.

 

I grinned.

 

“Let’s fuse.”

 

Sarah chuckled.

 

“What’s so funny?” I asked. “We’re not a complete fusion. Not at our strongest. And my body is dead, right? So if we fuse, right here, right now, before we’re doomed, won’t we be able to form a new, alive body? One that’s more powerful?”

 

“Complete fusion is a dangerous process,” she replied. “Even when a human body is in top shape, there is a chance of the process not working and the human’s soul being burnt up.”

 

“Not like we have anything to lose,” I remarked.

 

“True. However, after everything you put me through, I don’t think I like the idea of living on as a part of you. With how strong your soul is I’m sure you’d have dominance of the body after all.” She paused. “I know nearly everything there is to know about you, but you don’t know the first thing about me. Do you even really want a stranger’s consciousness becoming part of yours?”

 

I didn’t even have to think about that.

 

“For my family? Absolutely.”

 

Sarah sighed.

 

“The Carter Myers I observed for so long is certainly back,” she said. “Very well.” Her arm, which had still been twitching, was slowly reached out towards me, the action looking like it was taking a great deal of strength. “Take my hand.”

 

*

“I…helped him?” Abraham asked, frozen in place.

 

It was possible I was seeing things wrong, but there did look to be a tear running down Olivia’s face.

 

“Did you never think there was a reason why he kept you alive?” she asked. “He needed to go with this plan because out there in the world, there are those with the power to challenge him. But you only survived so the world could see you kill Carter.”

 

“This whole time, you’ve thought you were some kind of hero,” Malcolm said. “But all of the lives you’ve taken and destroyed have been for nothing.  You’re no less of a villain than the maniac you pretended to be.”

 

All three of them looked to be getting angry. They hated what we were saying because deep down, they had to know it was true.

 

“Nah, these creeps aren’t just villains,” Sammy said. “They’re just a villain’s pawns.”

 

“Enough!” Salaran screamed, stepping forward and transforming into some kind of monster.

 

“Salaran, wait,” Gordon said.

 

“No! I will not have these mortals disrespect the master like this!”

 

Abraham walked passed her, patting her shoulder as he did so.

 

“If what you say is true, then I have indeed made significant errors,” he said, staring down at the ground. “But who the Hell are any of you to judge me?!” His head shot up. “All of you have committed great atrocities. Some far more than others.” He looked to Olivia and Eve as he said that last part. “Do you know how many people I’ve killed?” No one answered. “Neither do I. But I do know that the number of lives I’ve taken could never come close to the massive body count of those who stand before me! Most of you, individually, have killed more people than I. And for what?! Pride? Obsession? Anger? You wish to deem me evil, but you have committed more evil acts. You wish to deem me a villain, but I am the only one here whose vile actions have been selfless. If you feel that I deserve to die, then why should any of you feel that you deserve to live?!”

 

Everyone looked shook by his words. Even Gordon and Salaran. Because he wasn’t wrong. We had all done horrible things. Worse than him.

 

I stepped in front of the other six, hearing a mix of soft “Ray” and “Raina” come from them as I did so.

 

“You have something to say, Raina Davenport?”

 

I exhaled.

 

“Everything you just said about us is true,” I admitted. “Look at these faces; no one’s denying it. But there’s one thing you’re ignoring.” He sneered. “The evil acts you’ve committed? You’ve done them in the name of a so called greater good. You believe that the ends justify the means.” I shook my head. “That’s not us though. Eve, Olivia and me?” I looked to each of them. “No one here’s done worse than us. But we know that we weren’t in the right for doing so. That doing what we did made us awful! Malcolm and Sammy?” Looking to each of them there had the smallest bit of happiness showing. “They never tried calling themselves heroes. And they’ve never killed innocents!” I looked to Shay. “And I sure she’s done some awful crap too, but no close to the level of the rest of us and not close to your level.”

 

Abraham wasn’t just frozen now. He was cracking.

 

“Deny it all you want, archangel,” I continued. “You are the villain of this story.” Carter, this is for you. “And us…we’re the heroes who have done awful things. The ones who wish to be better. The ones who will stand in the way of the wishes of God! We…are the Heroes of Sin!”

 

As Abraham shook, his head in his hands, everyone stepped up next to me, tearful smiles all around as we took fighting stances.

 

“What you are,” Abraham growled. “Is dead!!!”

 

Both arms in their blade form, he dashed forward.

 

I couldn’t see him move…but I couldn’t see anything else either. Nothing but a flash of white, yellow and blue light and the only sound I heard was a deafening thud.

A moment later, I could see clearly again.

 

“Oh my god. Oh my god.” There were really no other words.

 

Abraham was nowhere to be seen, but someone else stood right in front of me.

 

My mouth hung open as I tried to find something else to say.

 

His body was different. He had what looked like shark fins coming out of his elbows. His hair went down to his shoulders and was a mix of neon yellow and blue. And he had bright yellow tattoos of markings I didn’t recognize. There were other differences too. But it was definitely him.

 

“Ca…Carter,” Shay moaned.

 

He jumped back a few feet away from me, looking over at all of us.

 

“Heroes of Sin, huh?” He donned his big, stupid grin, slamming a fist into his other hand. “I like it!”

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