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The Ascended



O'naisac's Journal pt.6



I can't stop it. I can not stop or prevent it from getting worse. A Demon horde is coming to my world, my home. I am facing this threat alone with an absolute certainty of death. Nothing but doubt creeps into my mind as the clock ticks closer to the battle. I am the Guardian of Midgar, but I can not protect it. I have enemies all around and too few allies. How could I possibly face this with any hope of victory? Despite all this, I must face it head on for no one else will. It is my duty, my right and I refuse to let Demons invade my home without a fight. Even if the population is gone as the last Rhode Islander, I will defend my state, which has given more to its nation than most of it's citizens know. My fate and the fate of Midgar will be decided.


































Prelude to War



On Niddavelir, O'naisac, Selwyn and Zurrin relayed to Girgeth what they had seen on Muspelhiem, the Demon Realm. Less than a day ago O'naisac led Selwyn and Zurrin to Muspelhiem. Before that O'naisac had a suspicion about the Demons and brought it to Girgeth. Girgeth, who had secretely found the Demon Realm, had a satellight in it's orbit. With thermal imaging he was able to confirm O'naisac's suspicions. The demons were gathering, but that was all they knew. They needed to know more, but the satellight couldn't help further. It was then that O'naisac decided they had to go to Muspelhiem. Which had never been done before. Fortunately, finding Muspelhiem wasn't Girgeth's only secrete. The Dwarf had created a technological marvel that would've angered the Guardian order. He created a machine that could bypass the magical laws that enforce portal travel. He named this machine the Ring, and with it he could send anyone or anything wherever he wished. And the first thing he did with it was send O'naisac to Muspelhiem.

O'naisac didn't go alone. He couldn't bring his fairies, they wouldn't have survived, so he enlisted the help of those who could. Zurrin volunteered to go. Selwyn took a little more convincing, but she did accompany them.

When they arrived on Muspelhiem, they were welcomed by the ash covered lands, lakes of lava and fierce storms. After hours of traversing the terrain they found the Demon horde and worse, who was leading them. Five Demon Lords, whom were all presumed dead. With the help of A.C.E. they managed to find out what their plan was. In four days the horde would attack the city of Providence Rhode Island. Once that knowledge was obtained they fled from the horde and was barely able to return Niddavelir. O'naisac, Selwyn and Zurrin with A.C.E. showing recording images, told Girgeth what they had seen.

They were all sitting around Girgeth's desk in his office. Girgeth's eyes were wide in disbelief as he stared at the images. Particularly of the Demon Lords.

“This is not good.” he breathed. “I never would have imagined this.”

“Yeah, it's a real shocker.” said O'naisac.

There was a moment of silence as this information sunk in.

“So...what do we do now?” asked Robin.

O'naisac looked at her. Ordinarily Robin would be sitting on the desk. This time she was sitting in her own chair next to him. And also, ordinarily Robin would be four inches tall and have orange wings. Now she was five foot five and had no wings. She wasn't the only one. Jay and Card were sitting right next to her and they were also as tall as Robin was. You're probably wondering how this happened. Well, the answer is easy, Girgeth.

Before they went to Muspelhiem, O'naisac and Selwyn had to undergo gene splicing. Girgeth enhanced their physical prowess so they could withstand the immense gravity. He also gave them specified equipment to breath and suits that could withstand the intense heat. Zurrin didn't need the procedure or the equipment. His biology as a Dark Elf was best suited for the conditions of Muspelhiem. When they returned O'naisac had followed Girgeth to the room where he and Selwyn had been altered. There were three pods connected to an advanced generator. O'naisac saw Girgeth typing away on a holographic keyboard.

“What's going on?” Shush! This is delicate.” said Girgeth, sounding annoyed. “We're almost done.”

O'naisac looked at the pods. “What are you up to?” The dwarf didn't answer.

He just kept typing and a moment later he said, “And we are done.”

He stopped and they looked at the pods. The alarm stopped and the pods opened. Steam escaped and filled the room. Through the steam O'naisac saw the outline of someone fall from the pod on the right. Then someone fell from the left pod. And finally someone from the middle fell before them. O'naisac knelt down to help them. Then the person before him lifted themselves up and looked at O'naisac. His eyes widened in disbelief. “Jay?”

Yes, it was Jay, only different. She was bigger, much bigger and her wings were gone. There was no other way to put it. She looked human. Her blue eyes stared at him as though through a different perspective. She then held up her hands and looked at them as if for the first time. O'naisac couldn't believe it. How was this possible?

“Ow, my everything?”

O'naisac looked left. The steam had mostly cleared and he saw Card. She was also human sized and rubbing her arms.

“Oh, tell me about it.”

O'naisac looked right and saw Robin, also human sized. He stared at them in disbelief.

“Girgeth, what did you do to my fairies?” “Oh, we're your fairies now?” groaned Robin.

“I will explain everything later.” said Girgeth. “But for now, you and Selwyn must get in the pods. The sooner we reverse the process the better for you both.”

The gene splicing procedure is not without consequences. After twenty-four hours the mind and body begins to react to the change which inevitably results in brain damage and loss of motor function. O'naisac stepped outside the room processing.

“Way too much is going on today.” he said in a distant tone. “What has happened?”

O'naisac focused and saw Selwyn and Zurrin heading towards him.

“You'll see in a moment.” said O'naisac.

They stopped in front of him and Selwyn looked at the door. “Sounds like your fairies are in there.” she stated. “Though, they seem a bit louder.”

Then the door opened and Card came out dressed in the same black wetsuit as they were wearing. Card's face lit up when she saw the elves.

“You all made it!” she said, excitedly. “Oh, thank the magic!”

She then hugged them both. Selwyn and Zurrin were very confused.

“Hey, they just got back don't break them.”

Card let go and looked at Robin. She and Jay just came out of the room also wearing the black wetsuits. Selwyn and Zurrin looked at the three of them. They were all the same height, but their postures were clearly different now that they could see them in larger details.

“So, what do you think?” asked Robin, with a grin.

Selwyn and Zurrin just stared at them wide eyed.

“Now, now you three.” said Girgeth, following behind. “I have food in my office, so wait there until I return.”

The three...sisters, then walked down the hall. Zurrin and Selwyn remained fixed with wide eyes.

“I know.” said O'naisac.

Selwyn looked at him. “Did you know?” “Not a clue.” said O'naisac. “I don't think I can take anymore surprises today.” said Zurrin.

After the shock wore off a bit, O'naisac and Selwyn got in the pods and Girgeth began the reversal. It took less time than before. About twenty minutes. When it was done O'naisac and Selwyn felt weakened. Which was the case. The muscular bulk they had was gone and Girgeth assured them that they would be back to one hundred percent in an hour.

Girgeth gave O'naisac back the clothes he wore before they left. Jeans, boots, a black compression shirt and a brown jacket. Once he was dressed, O'naisac strapped on his sword and he was ready for the world. Selwyn chose to stay in her wetsuit because her last attire consisted of animal skins and had torn at the seams when she first came out of the pod. Though secetely she thought the wetsuit was very comfortable. She took off the gloves and shoes however. The three of them then went to Girgeth's office where Robin, Jay, Card and Zurrin were waiting for them. Zurrin was wearing his black and orange Vezdu attire again.

“How are you?” asked Jay, concerned. “Fine, I'm just gonna seem tired for a while.” said O'naisac.

He then noticed a tray of food on the desk. The tray had the simplest looking burgers and yet they were the most beautiful thing O'naisac had ever seen on Niddavelir. There was also a pitcher of a purple liquid. O'naisac and Selwyn ate the burgers, much to the displeasure of the fairies.

Once they were done they all sat around the desk.

“Okay, first off.” said O'naisac looking at his fairies. “What happened?” “Girgeth made us human.” said Card, simply. “Okay...why? And how the hell is this possible?” “Through those pods.” “Card, shut up.” said Robin. She looked at Jay. “Tell him.”

Jay seemed uncomfortable being put on the spot like that. “I just thought it would be more convenient.” she said. “Before as fairies, we couldn't appear before human crowds and even now we would draw too much attention. So, taking a human form would help us help you better. Us being away could cost you your life. As it almost did in New York.”

O'naisac listened and it made sense, but judging by her posture that couldn't be the only reason.

“And you all agree on this?” “Well, actually.” said Robin. “Card and I never thought about it until after Jay already discussed it with Girgeth. We were listening in on them and by that point he believed it was possible to turn a fairy in to a human.”

O'naisac looked at Girgeth. “And you authorized this?”

Girgeth gave a sheepish smile. “The logic was sound and they gave me their consent.”

“And you didn't think to wait until I got back?” “We don't need your permission.” Robin commented.

“It's not about permission. It's about you three making a big decision and I think I should at least have a say in the manner. I mean, what if something went wrong? Which by the way.” O'naisac looked back at Girgeth. “How the hell is this possible?”

“Well...” said Girgeth. “When Jay first brought the idea before me I thought it was crazy. But them I remembered she was a Bird Fairy. So, I did some scans of her. As A.C.E. processed the information of both our gene splicing and Bird fairy biology, the conclusion was there was in fact a safe way to transform them in to another species.”

“But how?” said O'naisac. “I get the science, but explain the biology.”

“Fairies in general are true magical creatures born of magic. They don't have physical attributes like us. They have a form, but they don't have genetics.”

O'naisac nodded knowingly. Selwyn was just sitting there not engaging. And Zurrin was just confused.

“But Bird fairies do. They carry the genetic markers of the race that created them, along with the magic of their race, despite it being unpredictable most of the time and with my technology, I was able to turn them human.”

“Yeah, and we weren't going to let Jay go through it alone. Even if something went wrong.” said Robin, patting Jay on the shoulder. “Okay, but still...What's wrong with you?”

Everyone looked at Card, who was holding her stomach.

“What's wrong?” asked Girgeth, concerned. “I feel this weird feeling I've never head before.” said Card, Straining. “It's like something inside me is about to burst. Only it's not magic.”

O'naisac, Girgeth, Selwyn and Zurrin all realized what it was. O'naisac quickly got up and rushed over to Card. “Come on, lets go.”

He quickly brought her to the nearest women's bathroom and threw her into a stall.

“Okay, drop your trousers and sit on the toilet.” “Okay, now what?” asked Card. “Just...let it flow.” “Let it flow? Let what, Oh! Something's happening!” “Do not give me details!” “Is this what you use to do back at the apartment?”

O'naisac turned away and then froze. Standing in the doorway was a female dwarf who was eyeing him suspiciously. There was an awkward silence and O'naisac said, “It's her first time.” “Hi.” said Card, waving her hand from under the stall.

Once Card was done she and O'naisac rejoined the others.

“Well, that was interesting.” said Card. Robin and Jay did not inquire.

They sat down and O'naisac continued where they all left off. “So, I get you managed to find a way to safely transform my fairies without any foreseeable repercussions and I understand their reasons for doing it...but there's one problem. I need my fairies as fairies. How are they gonna help me as humans? Are they going to have to go back in the pod to be fairies again?”

The looks on Robin, Jay and Card's faces clearly indicated that they had not thought about that.

“Oh, no.” said Card, worried. “He's right. We were so fixated on becoming human that we never considered it.” She began to panic. “What if we never become fairies again?!”

Then something happened. So fast if you had blinked you would have missed it. As Card hysterically rambled she suddenly shrunk. She was four inches tall, wore her red clothes and she had her wings. Everyone stared at her in shock as she continued rambling. She stopped and noticed everyone's expressions.

“What? And why do you all look bigger?”

“Card, you're a fairy.” said Robin. “I know and I want to be one again.” “No.” said Jay, firmly. “You have become a fairy, again.”

Card looked down at herself. She noticed her clothes, that she was off the ground and then she looked over her shoulder and saw her wings.

“I'm a fairy again!” she cheered happily. “How did you do that?” Robin demanded. Card shrugged. “I just wanted to be a fairy again. So I am.” “Can you do it in reverse?” asked Girgeth.

Card thought about it. Then as quickly as they first time she grew to human proportions. Her wings vanished and she dropped into the chair. Card looked at herself all over.

“I'm human again.” she said. “I guess we can go back and, why are you looking away now?”

O'naisac, Girgeth and Zurrin all turned away when Card grew. When Card became a fairy the suit fell onto the chair and when she grew she was naked. Unlike the others Selwyn was admiring the novelty. “Very nice.”

“Card, put some pants on.” said O'naisac. “And shirt.” said Girgeth.

The concept of embarrassment from nudity was a little foreign to fairies because they always wore the clothes they were born with. They never take them off. Card didn't seem bothered by her nakedness, but she put the suit back on and sat down.

Once that was over O'naisac said, “And how is that possible?” “It's probably because of their magic. As I said, it's a unpredictable.” Girgeth explained.

“So, assuming that Jay and I can also do that, I think it's safe to say this discussion is over.” said Robin.

O'naisac looked at Girgeth. “Keep the pods ready, just in case.” Girgeth nodded and then said, “Now, what happened on Muspelhiem?” The room went silent.

It took almost a half hour to tell them what happened. Now they sat with Robin's question in the air. What do we do now? Selwyn was staring at O'naisac.

“What?” he said. “What will you do?” she said. O'naisac looked at her. “You are the Guardian of Midgar. They will attack your world. How will you defend it?”

Everyone was staring at O'naisac now. Before his fairies gazes barely registered, but now that that were human, their eyes seem to bore into him. He didn't like it, because it made him realize the fate of Midgar was all on him. It was his world and by unspoken Guardian ethics, it was his call as to how to proceed. O'naisac tried to think.

“What are the chances the Guardians will fight beside me?”

“Zero.” Girgeth answered. “The Guardians have labeled you a traitor.” said Selwyn. “Even with the knowledge of a Demon horde they will not fight beside you.”

“Somehow, that's not surprising.” said Robin.

“What would it take for them to consider it?” asked O'naisac, knowing the answer.

“Your surrender to their custody. Or your death in battle.” said Selwyn.

O'naisac sighed. There was going to be no outside help. There was only one thing. “Then Midgar will have to defend itself.”

They all stared at him. Zurrin then leaned forward and said, “O'naisac, if you ask Iwami and my people, we will fight beside you.”

“No!” said O'naisac, sharply. That took Zurrin by surprise. “I appreciate the thought, but I can't let your people do that. You know as well as I do that if my race sees your people mobilizing for war and then you fight on another land, they will react badly.”

“But we would be fighting for their preservation.” Zurrin reasoned.

“You've seen how the leaders of my world behave. It won't matter.” said O'naisac. “Then how does Midgar defend itself?” asked Jay. “This is going to be fought on American soil. So, the American army will have to defend it.” O'naisac answered.

There was a second before Selwyn said, “You jest...don't you?”

O'naisac looked Selwyn in the eye as he said, “No. This is their world and they need to fight.”

Selwyn didn't seem to know how to react. She seemed stuck in her head for a moment then said, “O'naisac, you know as well as I do that your race is not ready. Humans haven't fought demons in millennia. Even with their advancements they don't have the ferocity or the numbers to face them. Even before the plague wiped out most of humanity they were pampered and arrogant in their confined ignorance and if they fight this horde as they are now they'll be slaughtered.”

O'naisac just stared at her expressionless. “What do you want me to do? I am one man with absolutely no outside help coming. I can't call on the Dark Elves for reasons I just stated and frankly I have no other choice. All I have is a sword, three fairies and metal gauntlets. I will need military might to stem this tide. As severe as it will be it is time Midgar relearns what it is a part of. Even if they refuse to accept the fact that there are real demons.”

“Don't they already know demons are real?” asked Zurrin, confused. “Especially after what happened in New York?”

Almost a week ago a rather large demon appeared in Harlem. O'naisac, Selwyn and two other Guardians were able to kill it, but even with footage of the battle and the dead body lying in the streets there were still skeptics.

“Unfortunately, there are people who think the footage of our battle is fake and most will never see the body.” O'naisac explained.

“How could they think it's fake?” said Zurrin, stunned. “Humans are stupid creatures.” Selwyn stated. Robin, Card and Girgeth nodded in agreement. O'naisac didn't even bother feeling insulted.

“So, how will you convince them to fight?” asked Selwyn. “The only way I can think of.” said O'naisac. “I'll have to talk with the president.”

Robin looked at him. “Just don't do what you did at the U.N.” “I might have to if that's what it takes.” said O'naisac.

There was a moment of silence.

“Alright, before we do anything, lets review.” said Girgeth. “There is a Demon horde coming to Midgar, led by five supposedly dead Demon Lords. They will attack in four days and there is nothing the Guardians will do, so long as O'nasiac lives. But there's one thing that confuses me. Why would they strike at Providence?” Confusion spread as the question hung in the air. “Demons in mass tend to attack populated areas. So, why attack a dead city?”

O'naisac stood up and began to pace. He tried to think of an answer. They watched him as he paced. After a minute he stopped and said, “Nothing. There's absolutely nothing.”

Selwyn didn't believe it. “Surely there must be something in your home?”

“That's just it.” said O'naisac. “I'm not saying nothing in any defensive manner. There truly is nothing in the city or even in the state itself. There is no strategic advantage to Providence. The only thing of value in the entire state, would've been the Naval academy, and that's abandoned. If they really wanted to set up base they should do it to either Hartford or Jersey city.”

“Maybe we're going about this the wrong way.” said Girgeth, thoughtfully. “Demon Lords are more intelligent, but they're still demons. They might be acting out in some unforseeable reason.”

“What if it's pride?” said Jay. Everyone looked at her. Jay looked at O'naisac and said, “Well, you have fought a Demon Lord before. Maybe they took offense.”

“Unlikely.” said Girgeth. “Demon Lords don't care for one another. If one dies it's a better opportunity for another.”

“Hold on.” said O'naisac having a thought. “She might be on to something. Okay, human Guardians are notorious for not lasting long on this job in general and put a Demon Lord into the mix, certain death. Now, there have been human Guardians that have faced Demon Lords and there were a few that managed to kill them, but they all died shortly after. But unlike them I killed Bakasora and survived. I'm the first human Guardian to win a battle with a Demon Lord and walk away. A lowly human doing that could be considered a grave insult to them. So, they could be attacking Providence, because one, it's my home. Two, if the demons attack they know I'm coming. Three, it's where I killed Bakasora and demonstrated my insolence. And finally, they know full well that when I come I don't stand a chance against five Demon Lords.”

Everyone processed his reasoning. “Well, you certainly think highly of yourself.” Robin commented.

“It doesn't matter what the reason is.” said Selwyn. “That fact is there is a horde coming to Midgar and you must act.”

“Right.” said O'naisac with authority. He looked at everyone. “Girgeth, I want you to go to the Guardians and find out if there's any way that will get them to help. I don't care if you have to blackmail them.” Girgeth nodded. “Selwyn, Zurrin, you go back to Dark Elf Landing and tell them what happened and make sure they have their guard up.”

“Understood.” said Zurrin. “And what about us?” asked Robin.

O'naisac looked at his human sized fairies. “Well, I can't believe I'm saying this, but you three go shopping.”

The three looked at him with puzzled expressions. “Why?” asked Jay.

“Because if you're going to look human you might as well dress like them.”

Card gave a shriek of delight. “I can't believe we're finally going clothes shopping. I always wanted to see what the big deal was.”

O'naisac looked at Girgeth. “I assume you can get me another credit card?” “Of course. The account never died.” said Girgeth.

By the latter half of the twentyeth century, Girgeth created a bank account so Midgar Guardians, could be financially sound and focus more on being a Guardian.

“And with that comforting thought.” said O'naisac. “I'm off.”

Submitted: February 23, 2022

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