The Book of Fate Part 4: The Temple
Jekyll and Pyro have now reached the temple where the Book of Fate resides. They decide to set aside their differences and work together in order to retrieve the book. However, when they are separated inside the temple, they must do everything in their power to survive.
The next morning comes and Jekyll wakes up and walks out of his tent. He sees a crowd of people at the entrance of the temple with Pyro in front of them giving a speech. He walks over there, and Pyro greets, “Hey there Nu-I mean Jekyll. Gosh, that is hard to do.” He scratches his head in contemplation. “Anyway, you should get dressed because we’re going into the temple soon. There’s already some soup made for breakfast so grab some of that. We’ll be going in the next hour or so, and umm…sorry for my slip-up.” Jekyll nods and goes back to his tent to get dressed. A tall, black guy with a lean build and curly black hair walks up to Pyro and asks, “Since when were you buddy-buddy with him?”
“We found him on our way here. He’s supposed to be some sort of counterbalance so it’s better if we keep him around.”
“That wasn’t my question.”
“Essentially, acting friendly is simply a means to an end,” he says coldly.
“Is it? Because that didn’t seem like acting. But what do I know? Just remember he is a Null. In the end, he’ll try to kill us. Just like the rest of them,” says the guy before leaving.
Pyro looks down contemplating his words and then he remembers the huge crowd of people there. He clears his throat and announces, “If there’s no further question, then get ready for the expedition.” He walks away and the crowd disbands. Pyro gets out his phone and calls someone, “Hello, Dr. Hyde?”
An hour later, everyone reconvenes at the temple including Jekyll and they head inside the temple. They use the maps to avoid the traps cross-referencing them to spot unknown traps. Eventually, they stepped on a tile that sent Pyro and Jekyll into different rooms. Jekyll lands on his butt and groans, “Where are we?” Nobody answers him and he thinks, “Ok, it looks like I got separated from everyone. I can probably use the map to find the way out.” Suddenly, the room starts filling with scorpions from every angle. Jekyll looks everywhere and sees a vine hanging from the wall. He runs over to it, jumps, and grabs on. The scorpions come from the edge of the wall the vine is attached to. He sees this and starts searching his pockets for something. He gets out a pocketknife that Pyro loaned him before coming in here and he uses it to separate the vine from the wall. Thanks to his weight he starts swinging on it and spots a higher floor. He swings back and forth hoping to gain enough momentum to jump before the scorpions fill the room. With only a few seconds to spare, he jumps and grabs on to the ledge. He climbs up and as soon as he gets up, he runs down the hall taking a quick second to catch his breath.
Meanwhile, Pyro is in a cold room with an icy floor facing some ice monster. He’s shooting fire at it trying to melt it but to no avail. It stomps its foot and spikes of ice sprout up from the floor. He jumps and uses his fire from his hands to propel himself. He decides to melt the ice on the floor around the monster. He shoots flames from his feet in order to steer himself in the air while melting the floor, but this burns off the soles of his shoes. He circles overheads and the monsters breathes an icy breath that freezes anything on contact. He dodges it and it freezes the ceiling and the wall connected to it. This gave Pyro an idea. He stops shooting at the floor and starts propelling himself up and he fired his flames from his hands at the ceiling. He cut it close but he barely manages to break the ceiling before sustaining a head injury. He heard the monster shoot another breath and he jettisoned himself through the hallway before it could freeze him. He flew out of an exit and found himself in a magnificent chamber. He was in awe at the sight and lands. He looks at his shoes. “Aw man. This is why I hate using the flames from my feet. New shoes every week is too darn expensive. That’s why I try to reduce it to at least once a month.” He takes off the charred remains of his shoes and tosses them. He hears a sound and sees Jekyll tumbling down a chute screaming.
He lands face-first and mumbles, “I barely got out of there alive.” Pyro walks over to him and extends his arm while smiling. “Need a hand?” Jekyll smiles and takes him up on the offer. He grabs it and stands back up. They look at the chamber and see a book. However, the book was pretty thin. They look at each other and go over to it. Pyro grabs the book and opens it. It glows and a beam shoots out of it. Outside, the sky turns into pages not just in the general area but all over the world. The beam disappears and Pyro can finally lay his eyes on his prize only to see, “What is this? It’s only around 27 pages long and it starts from when I found the map? What madness is this?”
Jekyll grabs the book out of Pyro’s hands just to confirm it and sees that he speaks the truth. He says, “Dude, that’s nuts.”
“I know, right? It looks I won’t be able to use it to change the past even if I wanted to,” states Pyro.
Jekyll replies, “Well, unless you write a flashback scene and retcon any contradicting scenes.”
Pyro looks at him wide-eyed. “That’s actually…not a bad idea. But still, why does it start from when I found the map? Shouldn’t it start when the world starts? That should at least be 8000 pages.”
Jekyll answers with a question, “Remember that legend you told me about the world merely being a stage for another world’s entertainment? What if we’re the story?”
Pyro looks at him concerned and starts reading the book for himself with Jekyll looking over his shoulders. After he got done reading it, he noticed the end of it was still writing itself as it went along. Pyro states, “You’re right. We’re the actors.” He pulls out a pen and a giant mound of dirt rose up in the chamber.
“Whoa. It works. So, what are you going to do with that book? Wait,” realizes Jekyll.
“Is something the matter?” asks Pyro.
“Who are those corpses in your flashback scenes?” asks Jekyll.
He flashes back to them falling on the ground with the guy in the gun aiming it at him. “You Supers think you’re all that. You have the nerve to call us Nulls? Well, a lot of good it does you when guns are still as effective as they ever were.” He gets ready to fire before someone tackles him to the ground and yells, “Run, kid, run!” He runs for his life, crackling electricity can be heard in the background. The flashback ends and he feels dizzy. He answers, “My parents. Some Null attacked us in an alley years ago for no other reason than we were Supers. I hated Nulls ever since.”
Jekyll apologizes, “Oh, sorry. I didn’t know.”
Pyro continues, “It’s alright, but I believe you taught me something. Not all Nulls are like that. Maybe I can learn to let go.”
He begins to burn the book. “I don’t need this anymore.”
A shadow jumps out of the side and grabs the book. The shadow turns out to be one of Pyro’s ninjas. He throws the book on the ground and stomps on the flames to put out the fire. He says, “I’m highly disappointed in you, Pyro.”
“Greg?” asks Pyro shocked by the sudden events.
He takes off his mask revealing the face of the tall, black guy from earlier. “Yes, that’s correct. In all honesty, I followed you all this time because I thought you knew what it was like to have to deal with all these Nulls. They are a plague on our world and must be snuffed out. Now, I see you all buddy-buddy with one. I will not let this stand!”
He grabs the book and takes out a pen. Pyro thinks fast and launches a fireball but he dodges thanks to seeing it written in the book. His places the book in the same hand as the pen and starts charging electricity. He shoots it at Pyro who jumps up. Jekyll rushes him and tackles him to the ground. He loses his grip on the book and it slides over the floor. Pyro runs to it. Greg electrifies his whole-body causing Jekyll to scream in pain thus causing him to fall off his body. Pyro manages to grab the book, but Greg uses the electricity to speed himself up and tackles Pyro. He grabs the book that falls out of Pyro’s hands. Jekyll is struggling to get back up. Greg opens the book and jumps on the mound of dirt. He electrifies the way up before jumping into the hallway. Pyro propels himself upwards in pursuit of Greg. He yells, “You know Greg, you’re one of the people who gives us Supers a bad name!” Greg is running at lightning speed with Pyro on his tail. Jekyll gets up but is struggling to keep himself up. Pyro starts creating a massive fireball. Greg turns at a fork in the hall and accidently triggers an arrow trap that he runs past but Pyro can’t. He launches his fireball. Jekyll opens up his map and pleas, “Please help.”
The map replies, “No can do.”
He opens the other one that Pyro dropped which replies, “I really wish I could, but my hands are tied.”
Then he hears a voice behind him say, “I can help just this once.”
He looks behind him and sees a glowing figure in a robe with an odd staff. He touches him with the staff and his injuries fully heal. “Now let me give you one last Dues Ex Machina.”
Greg is breathing heavily hiding at the corner of the hall. He opens the book at once and prepares to write in it one simple sentence, “All nulls die.” He feels a tap on the shoulder. He looks to his left and sees Jekyll who punches his light out. A while later, he’s being loaded onto a police helicopter, the sky back to normal, and doctors were examining Jekyll and Pyro. They were very surprised by Jekyll’s lack of injuries. Pyro asks, “So how did you do it? Did you convince the maps to teleport you to Greg?”
Jekyll replies, “No, someone else came and said he was going to provide me one last Dues Ex Machina. Next thing I knew I was right next to him.”
Pyro wraps his arm around him and noogies his head. “So, want to be friends?”
“Sure, just don’t threaten to kill me and burn my house down again.”
“Deal,” says Pyro.
“By the way, sorry about what happened to your parents,” apologizes Jekyll.
“It’s alright. It was a long time ago. That’s why I go to a therapist. It’s something you never recover from. However, I’m willing to try.”
Jekyll smiles as they watch the police helicopter fly away.