Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Deleted Scene: Take 12 - In Another Castle (Part 10)

Final part for this scene!

10 ~ Winning Road

Shard was doing well in fending off her attackers, better than well. Anna was unconscious, Misty was out of arrows and tossed to the side, DJ was struggling to stay conscious, and who knows where Christina disappeared to. Jester and EDJ were the only ones she really had left to take out. Jester was about out of the fight, having been in it longer than his ally. Most of her enemies were taken out and she didn’t even break a sweat defeating them. She was doing very well, until about five minutes ago. Shard was in the middle of blocking an attack when she suddenly felt her power leave. It felt like someone had sucked the energy right out of her.
Shard fell to her knees, eyes wide with disbelief. “No. It can’t be…” she muttered.

“What’s the matter? Too much awesome for you to handle?” EDJ said with a smug grin.
DJ and Misty winced as their memories flooded back.
“Not you, blockhead! Them!” Shard pointed at Lui and Hanna as they entered the hall, still holding hands.
“Well, it’s about time,” Misty said with a huge grin.
“I’ll say,” agreed DJ.
“You couldn’t have waited five more minutes?” EDJ complained. “I almost defeated Shard single-handedly!”
“As if that was ever going to happen.” Jester yanked EDJ out of the way. “This is her fight now.”

Nodding to Lui, Hanna stepped up to Shard and drew her sword. Shard herself stood up and smirked. “Evening, darling. Growing soft?”
“Hardly,” Hanna said as she began circling her opponent. “I have nothing to fear now. You can’t touch me.”
“Everyone has a weakness.” Shard nodded in Lui’s direction. “Yours is him.”
“False.” Hanna smiled. “He helped me see my greatest strength. They all did. Now that strength will defeat you and put an end to all the suffering you’ve caused. You’ve been living in this fantasy world for far too long.”

“Perhaps.” Shard’s confident smirk faded. “I’m glad you’re here, Hanna.”
Hanna stopped circling and looked at Shard in confusion. “What?”
“I’m glad. You wouldn’t believe how useless power is with no opposing force. I left the others alive in hopes that, some day, someone would help them. I’m glad you came to stop me.”
“Technically, that was Anna’s doing… and I don’t know which alien race kidnapped you, but this mellowed out version is starting to grow on me…”
“That’s nice,” Shard said with a smile. “I’m sorry we can’t be friends.” With that, Shard sent a barrage of icicles toward Hanna.
Hanna stopped them with a wave of water. “We might be able to if you quit attacking.”

“It’s more fun this way,” Shard said before creating a sword of thick ice and attacking Hanna with an upward slash. Hanna dodged and blocked another slash with her sword.
“Besides,” Shard continued as she pressed her sword against Hanna’s. “This is my nature. Do you really thing I’m going to make this any easier for you?”
Hanna shoved the attacker away and brought her sword down in Shard’s, shattering the icy weapon.
“I was hoping so.” Hanna raised her sword and Shard bolted for the throne room. She took flight and headed for the portal. Hanna swooped in and cut off her exit. “It doesn’t have to be like this, Shard. You can stay and-”

“Stay? With you for an eternity? I could never stand it. I’d rather…”
“Rather… what? In the moment of death, you traded me for an eternity of evil. I know what you fear, but what other option do you have?”
Shard sighed as she thought about the situation. “Fine.”
“You’ll have to stay in the tower.”
“But then I’ll never be let out!” Shard objected.
“Never is a long time.” Hanna moved aside so Shard could see the painting.
“So is eternity,” Shard grumbled as they both entered the portal.

Deleted Scene: Take 12 - In Another Castle (Part 9)

9 ~ Reminiscence

Lui found himself at the base of a tall tower. On the wall of the tower was a painting of the throne room he just left. Looking up, he could see a small window close to the very top. Cupping his hands around his mouth, Lui shouted, “HANNA! HANNA! LET DOWN YOUR HAIR! Or… you… YOU COULD FLY DOWN TOO! THAT WOULD BE GREAT! … HANNA?”

A dark head poked out of the window. “Lui? LUI! WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!”
“I CAN’T!”
Lui tilted his head in confusion. “BUT YOU DO HAVE A PURE HEART!”
“Oh, SORRY!” The head disappeared and Lui heard a short buzz sound. Looking around, he found an intercom in the side of the tower.

“How convenient!” Lui pressed the button. “Hanna?”
“Hi,” came a timid voice on the intercom.
“Hi! So what were you saying again?”
“The tower doesn’t let anyone out if they don’t have a pure heart.”
“Then why won’t it let you out?”
“… Weren’t you listening?”
“Of course I was. I just don’t see why it won’t let you out since all your evil is in the other dimension.”
“That’s a good point. I don’t know.”
“You’ve got a beautiful heart, Hanna. You’re always trying to help others, no matter what that evil side tries to do.”
“I don’t think so. The evil will always be part of me.”
“Maybe, but that’s not the Hanna I know,” Lui continued. “The one I know is brave and smart and will do anything to protect her friends.”
“…but I…”
“Remember that time you came to Iul’s castle to save me and DJ? You went through all those dangerous traps and risked letting your evil side out just to help us! You’ve got to stop letting Shard tell you you’re no good. It’s not true.”

The other side of the intercom was silent for a few minutes. “…not true. Not true! THAT’S IT! Lui, you’re a genius! Thank you!”
“…Does this mean you’ll go out with me?” Lui squeezed his eyes shut and waited for a response. Static and awkward silence filled the air for several long minutes.
Gulping, Lui tried the intercom again. “…Hanna?”
After a pause, she replied in a slightly higher pitch than normal, “Hold, please.”

Hearing a flutter from above, Lui looked up to see Hanna gliding down from the window. She gracefully landed beside him, face bright red. Awkwardly staring at the ground, Hanna stood nervously quiet. She suddenly reached over and held his hand, face turning a deeper shade of red.
“…Does that mean yes?”
Hanna nodded with a smile.
“YAY!” Momentarily forgetting she was holding his hand, Lui jumped into the air and hugged Hanna.
After a minute or two, Hanna coughed in embarrassment and said, “W-We should probably go help the rest of our friends now…”
“Oh right.” Lui broke the hug, grabbed Hanna’s hand, and jumped through the portal.

Deleted Scene: Take 12 - In Another Castle (Part 8)

8 ~ Path to Awesomeness

Laughing in relief, DJ flopped onto his back and glanced at the ceiling. “Hey Lui, look up there.”
Lui stared intent at the mural on the ceiling and gasped. “It’s Hanna!”
“Pfft, silly Lui,” Christina said with a giggle. “That’s not Hanna. It just dimensional portal disguised as a PAINTING of Hanna.”
Misty wrinkled her nose as she stared at the mural. “Obviously… What makes you think it’s a portal?”
“Where would you stash yourself if you were trying to hide you? Somewhere only you would look, right?”
“Why not just use a mirror?” Misty asked.
Lui laughed nervously before Christina could answer. “So, do we have a way to get up there?”

“You do now!”
Darkness filled the room as black smoke laced with electricity encircled them. A billow of smoke rose up in front of the stunned crew. Silver wings swept back the darkness like curtains, revealing none other than EDJ.
“Miss me, losers?”
“What’s he doing here?!” Christina pouted.
“What, you don’t want to learn my evil laugh?” he said with a wink.
Christina brightened up instantly and clapped in delight. DJ and Misty were left just as confused as ever.
“You’re here to help us, right? Lui asked as he pulled DJ to his feet.

“Of course!” EDJ replied as he took out a few weapons. “Not. I’m just here to settle the score.”
He handed an extendible lance to DJ and muttered, “For future reference, try to remember I gave you that lance when you get your memories back, ok?”
EDJ next handed a bow and quicker of arrows to Misty. “You too, missy. By the way, what did you think of the new entrance? I’ve been working on it for a while.”
“It could have used some background music,” Misty admitted.
“Like a theme song about your wings with a chorus in the background chanting your name and a bunch of other words in Latin!” Christina chimed in.
EDJ laughed. “We’ll go with that.”

Coming up to Lui, EDJ stopped and stared at him for a few minutes. “Come on, loser. Let’s go save your girlfriend so she can stop controlling the world.”
“But she’s not my-”
“Yeah, right,” EDJ interrupted as he grabbed Lui and flew up toward the ceiling. Once they were close to the painting, EDJ threw Lui into the portal and flew back down.

As he neared the ground, EDJ threw a large fireball at the doors. “Let’s go, pansies! Charge!” he shouted as he crashed through what remained of the doors and swooped into the hall.
Anna was lying on her side, just barely conscious, but Jester was still fighting. Every time Jester threw an elemental attack at Shard, she effortlessly found a way to deflect or annihilate the attack with her own element.

Glancing at the busted doors and incoming reinforcements, Shard smirked.
“Well, you found me. Congratulations. Was it worth it? Because despite your violent behavior, all you’ve managed to break so far… are the doors to my throne room. Maybe you could settle for that and we’ll just call it a day. I guess we all know that isn’t going to happen.”

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Deleted Scene: Take 12 - In Another Castle (Part 7)

7 ~ Unshakable Faith

Once the doors slammed shut, DJ, Lui, Christina, and Misty found themselves trapped. Try as they might, the doors wouldn't budge. Four thick walls of ice sprung up from the ground, enclosing them in a frozen box. The walls grew to be about 10 feet high before being sealed at the top with an icy panel. Water started filling the prison from an unknown source.

"We're all going to die!" Christina dramatically cried out. DJ and Misty tried beating against the ice walls to no avail.
"It's no use, it's too thick!" DJ punched the wall in frustration.
"Try using magic," Lui suggested.
"Magic?!" Christina stopped her moping and got really excited. "You never told me you have magic!"
"That's because I don't," DJ stated as he waded to another ice wall. The water was already up to his knees, but it didn't stop rising.
"You've got to believe me, DJ. I know you can do it!" Lui insisted as he faced his original. "Just think about all those years you spent studying."

"I'm telling you, I can't do it!"
"Yes, you can!"
"No, I can't!"
"I know you can!"
"No. I. Can't!"

A squeal of delight broke the disagreement. "I'm a gutless flip flopper!" Christina blissfully exclaimed as she wiggled around in the water. By this time, the water was already a good six inches higher than it was just moments ago.
"All this arguing isn't getting us anywhere," Misty berated. "Stop acting like preschoolers and look for a way out." She pawed through her bag, searching for anything that might help their situation.

"She's right." DJ splashed water in Christina's direction to get her attention. "Do you have a way for us to get out? Maybe your crystal ball trick can help."
Christina thought for a moment then pulled out her orb. With a few moments of concentration, though the water was growing even higher, light filled the tank. When the rainbows disappeared, so did Christina.
"Look!" Following the direction Misty pointed in, DJ and Lui found Christina standing just a few feet away on the other side of the ice. She smiled and waved.

The water was now over chest-high and the trio soon found themselves swimming.
Unable to find a way out and his head already almost touching the ceiling, DJ grumbled, "This is hopeless!"
"Don't say that. Always hope!" said Lui. "You can still get us out of here with your light magic!"
DJ was about to protest again, but stopped to contemplate.
Lui continued, "At least try. I believe in you." He smiled before taking a gulp of air and going under the water.
DJ took a deep breath and followed, with Misty doing the same.

Concentrating on the wall in front of him, a beam of light shot from DJ's hands and melted an opening in the ice.
Water, ice, and three soaked heroes crashed to the floor.
"Careful," Christina said as she backed away from the deluge. "I don't want to get drenched again."
Lui patted DJ on the back with a smile. "Told ya you could do it!"

Friday, May 10, 2013

Deleted Scene: Take 12 - In Another Castle (Part 6)

6 ~ Inescapable Fate

The band of misfits made their way up the stairs of the dark tower, wondering how they would ever rescue their long lost friend and defeat the unstoppable Empress Shard.
“Are we there yet?” Christina asked as she sluggishly dragged her feet along in fatigue.
“You asked that five minutes ago,” Misty replied. “Why don’t you just zap us there like you did Jack and Jill?”

“Jester and Anna,” Lui corrected.
“That’s what I said, Joker and Jenna.”
“We’re both right next to you,” Anna mumbled in annoyance. After a sigh, she turned to Jester and asked, “So what’s it take to get their memories back? Or even their normal personalities back…”
“I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure it will be resolved once we save Hanna.”
“Pretty sure?” Lui asked with a hint of worry.
“42 percent sure.” Noticing Anna’s frown, Jester added, “Don’t sweat it. You got me with you!”
“That’s so reassuring.” Anna’s sarcasm went unnoticed. She suddenly stopped in front of two big, red doors. “Oh hey, we’re here.”

“Do we have a plan?” DJ inquired.
“Find Hanna,” said Lui.
“Defeat Shard,” said Anna.
“Find the exit,” said Misty.
“Save the world,” said Jester.
“Make a giant cupcake out of unicorns and rainbows!” exclaimed Christina. Mixed expressions of confusion, shock, and fear made the following silence slightly uncomfortable.
“Well that escalated quickly.” Anna pointed at the doors. “Maybe we should just go inside and see what happens.”

Christina nodded with a very serious expression and said, “That is either madness or brilliance.”
“It’s remarkable how often those two traits coincide,” a mysterious voice said. Shard stepped out of the shadows of the stairwell.

“SHARD!” Anna drew her sword and Jester’s created balls of electricity in each hand.
The empress made no sudden movement, only walked ever so gracefully through the group and to the doors. Frost formed on the doors and they gently swung open. Raising an eyebrow at the motley crew, Shard asked, “Well aren’t you going to come inside?”

Christina was the first to walk through the entrance with a big grin on her face. “Thanks a lot, you’re not half as mean as they say you are!”
Misty was the next to walk through. “Mighty kind of you,” she said as she passed Shard.
DJ walked through with Lui close behind. DJ gave a nod toward the empress while Lui hid behind his original. Shard smiled politely to all her guests. Once only Anna and Jester were left, the doors slammed shut and froze over.

 “Now that the pleasantries are behind us…” Shard’s polite smile disappeared. She stretched her neck until it popped and cracked her knuckles. “I am pleased you made it through the last challenge where I pretended I was going to kill you by chucking you out a window. I am very happy for your success. I’m throwing a party in honor of your tremendous success. All your friends are invited and there will be cake. And flooding.”

“LIES!” Jester shouted as he attacked Shard first. Sending bolts of lightning at Shard, the electricity hit only to fizzle out. Anna followed with a quick downward slash, which Shard stopped by dropping a block of ice on her attacker. Jester threw a ball of flame at Shard only to watch it get devoured by a wave of water.

“Look,” Shard said calmly. “You’re wasting your time. And believe me, you don’t have a whole lot left to waste. What’s your point anyway? Survival? Well then, the last thing you want to do is hurt me. Not that you can. By the way, your friends are slowly drowning on the other side of those doors. So this isn’t brave. It’s murder.”

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Deleted Scene: Take 12 - In Another Castle (Part 5)

5 ~ Gypsy Bard

“Whaddya mean we don’t have any marshmallows?” squealed a voice from one of the cells. “I demand a marshmallow!”
“For the last time,” an irritated guard mumbled as he glared at the prisoner. “We don’t have any.”
“How could you not have marshmallows?! They’re my life source! I need sugar to survive!” The prisoner sniffled as she sunk to the cobblestone floor.
“I have some food you can eat,” said the person in the neighboring cell as he offered some fruit through the bars.
“Oh, THANK YOU!” the girly voice squealed. “I just adore… apples? Ew. No thanks. You got any strawberries and chocolate?”
“Sure do!”
“Sweet!” After munching on the fruit and chocolate, the prisoner noticed the guard was missing. “Oh hey, where’d grumpy go?”

Out of the shadows crumpled said guard as DJ and Misty walked into the light.
“We’re all gonna die!” cried the girl in the first cell.
“Yay! It’s DJ and Misty!” her cell neighbor exclaimed. “They came to save us!”
DJ scratched his head. “Lui, I presume?”
“That’s me!” Lui affirmed. “How’s Hanna?”
“Who is this Hanna everyone keeps talking about?” Misty grabbed the keys from the unconscious guard and unlocked his cell door.
“Oh, right. I forgot that you forgot.”
DJ pointed to the cell with the high-pitched girl. “Who are you?”
“Me?! Why, I’m the great and powerful CHRISTINA! But you can call me Princess.”
“Highness,” Misty said as she held up the keys. “You want out?”

A few minutes later, Misty, DJ, Lui, and Christina were making their way up the long stone stairways of the main tower.
“Where are all the guards?” Lui asked.
Misty and DJ stopped walking.
“Oops. I thought we had forgotten something,” Misty said as she opened her map. “How are Anna and Jester still fighting all those soldiers by themselves?”
“Wait, wait, wait,” Christina voiced dramatically. “You mean to tell me we have members of our party sacrificing themselves so the rest of us can stop a crazy dictator?”
DJ took the map from Misty and examined it. “It would appear that way.”
Christina shrugged and kept walking. “Cool.”

“Maybe we should go back and help them,” Lui suggested.
“What nonsense,” Christina said with a dismissive wave of her hand. “Those guards are practically storm trooper knockoffs. Unless the demise of your friends is pivotal to the plotline, they’re just fine.”
“But they’re our friends!” Lui insisted. “DJ and Misty might not remember them, but I do! We need to go help them!”

Christina critically observed Lui for a few minutes. “You’re very persuasive for a guy who can’t ask a girl out. No matter, I shall retrieve your so-called friends for you.” Pulling a crystal ball out of thin air, the ball started shimmering. It floated in midair and a bright light from the orb flooded the stairway with rainbows. Once the episode was over, everyone except Christina was surprised to find Anna and Jester in their presence. Being just retrieved from battle, both held weapons frozen midswing.
Jester interrupted the silence. “Well, this is awkward.”