The Final Confrontation
**Author's note: It's been quite a while since I've actually written anything, so the quality of this story from the end of the second paragraph onward may not be as good as my usual writing. With that said, enjoy the final battle of Darkworld!**
Markus's stance stayed true and calm as Eileen, the final contestant left and his opponent for this battle, closed the distance between them in just a few short seconds, pulling her stolen arm back and balling up its fist. In the fraction of a second it took for the mechanical limb to shoot forward on a crash-course with his face, Flynn dodged out of the way and delivered a powerful blow of his own to his opponents exposed ribs. Eileen reeled back from the strike, the wind knocked from her lungs, and charged again. This time, she brought her newly acquired tail back, flattening the end of it and pushing it forward so as to cause as much damage to as much of his body as she could.
Markus saw this. Again, he dodged out of the way a fraction of a second before the attack connected with him and moved forward with his own blow, tripping slightly. This time, the force of his punch was only enough to stun Eileen for a short time while he regained his composure before pulling his arm back a third time and rocketing it forward, connecting hard with enough force to shatter bones into dust. If only it had hit it's desired target. Eileen had recovered from the quick punch fast enough to block his attack with her tail, deflecting his fist. She kicked out with her leg, hitting the masked fiend in the knee causing him to stumble. Not missing a beat she lowered her tail and brought her robotic arm around, crashing it into the side of Markus' head.
He slid a few feet and tumbled a few more, flipping himself back up onto his feet and preparing for another attack, which came swiftly. Eileen was running full tilt at him, her tail curved around in front of her into a fine point and aimed right at his chest. Thinking quickly, Markus reached his hand back in a fist, then flung it forward, releasing a tiny ball of fire that quickly grew into a screaming, burning, ghost-like figure. The girl only had enough time to gasp before being caught full in the face with the ethereal inferno, thrown back by the following explosion. Smiling slightly under his mask, Flynn took a few swift steps toward his opponent who was already picking herself up from the ground. Grabbing her by the hair on her head and the tail at the base of her spine he picked her up and flung her another few dozen feet, landing hard on her face and cracking a lens on her glasses.
Eileen hurt all over, but she didn't show it. In seconds she was back up on her feet with her cell phone in her hand, quickly punching in the number combination to turn it into a pistol. Across the arena, Markus had already flipped his own weapon, Clarent, out from his sleeve. By the time the phone had transformed he had his gun aimed directly at Eileen's head. In a half-second of thought, Eileen brought her tail reflexively up, flattening it out into a shield before Markus opened fire. After a few shots merely bouncing off of the girls' stolen tail, Flynn paused in his barrage of bullets and pulled the hammer of his weapon back until a fourth click was heard. In an instant, the amorphous entity that was his Darksoul dove down his arm and into the barrel of the gun. He pulled the trigger once more.
The projectile that hit her tail/shield brought her protection crashing backwards into her, dazing her for a moment. Eileen straightened herself out, holding her head. As the her senses came back to her, she found the arena to be strangely silent. Not the kind of silent that still had countless of whispers being spoken, but truly a dead silence. She brought her hand down from her face, but found nothing but a thick darkness. A laughter as dark as her vision sounded from all around her before something struck the back of her leg, causing her to spin and stumble to the ground. Another blow caught her in between her shoulder blades. The next at the base of her neck. She was waiting for the next attack, the powerful punch she knew would be delivered to her head, but nothing came. Slowly standing up she glanced around the inky shadows encompassing her. There was a dull red glow slowly growing brighter off to her left. Readying her borrowed arm for anything, she turned to face her attacker head-on.
Markus, taking long, slow steps, approached with his hands behind his back, his head leaned back slightly in thought.
"You know, having lost your dearest friend recently, I would've thought your attacks would be more.. how should I say? Let go? Careless? Aggressive? But you're showing a fair amount of control for someone in your position." He circled his opponent, staying just out of reach of her deadly tail.
"You're taking a break from trying to kill me to try and egg me on?" Eileen panted, her physical exertion starting to catch up with her.
"Maybe. Maybe I'm just attempting to have a friendly chat before your fate finally meets you." Eileen could hear the grin in his voice.
"Like you'd be friendly to anyone." She retorted coldly. "And wipe that grin off your stupid face."
Chuckling, Markus reached up and tapped the smile on his mask. "Not exactly the easiest thing to do, dear. I've been smiling for as long as I've had this particular face."
"Not the one I would've chosen."
"No, I would picture something a bit more serious for you..."
Almost as soon as he said that, Eileen could feel the muscles in her face being forced into a static scowl. In fact, her entire body was frozen from head to foot and the tip of her tail. All she could even feel (ironically) was the robotic arm. As she saw Markus stepping closer, though, she decided to leave it motionless.
"There we go, I knew you'd look better that way." He reached forward and wiggled her nose in between his fingers. "Looking so grown up, aren't we? Too bad you won't grow to be an adult." He took a few steps back, raising Clarent level with her forehead. "Not here anyway."
In a flash, Eileen shot her arm up, grabbing Flynn's wrist in a bone-crushing grip. Taken completely by surprise, he had no time to react as she yanked him forward, his mask connecting with her metal elbow with a shattering -SNAP-, followed quickly by his face. There was a sickening crunch as his nose dove into her arm. Acting on autopilot, Flynn reached back again and flung another flaming, screaming ghost from his palm at his opponent, catapulting both Eileen and himself from where they had been standing, her grip coming loose in the blast.
Still frozen like a statue, Eileen barely felt the impact on her limbs. Far across from her, Markus landed in a tumbling heap, blood running down his face, clutching his nose with his un-injured hand, the other hanging lamely at his side. As her body slackened and finally responded to her commands (after which she noticed a little black entity speeding away from her), she noticed something else about her opponent and overlord of this sick competition. His eyes looked like they were about to pop out of his head. His chest was expanding and contracting faster than anyone she'd ever seen out of breath. After a few shaky, ragged attempts at breathing, he snapped his nose back into place and brought his hand down to his throat as he began a violent coughing fit.
A small glint caught her eye. Standing and moving to inspect it, she discovered a small respirator on the inside of the shards of Markus's mask. He can't breathe!, she realized. Suddenly, she felt empowered. Like she was suddenly the stronger of the two. Shifting her gaze, she glared into the eyes of her opponent with devious intent, a smile growing across her face. Markus, his eyes still wide and on the verge of losing consciousness, had a singular thought on his mind.
As his Darksoul rocketed over to him, he looked up at it desperately. Without any insult or clever remark, it descended on his head. Annoying though it was, without Flynn he was powerless. Forming around his host's head, he mimicked the functions of the respirator in Markus's mask. In minutes, Flynn was breathing normally again, if not a little raggedly. Lifting himself up, his chest was assaulted with unexpected force, flipping him over onto his back.
Standing above him was Eileen.
Oh yes, She's still alive... he thought to himself. But he no longer had the fear of vulnerability now that he could breathe again. He simply brought his hands back behind his head and crossing his legs as if he were resting. "Fancy meeting you here."
"Flynn the smartass, huh?" Eileen deadpanned. "Lost your 'higher than thou' attitude, have ya?"
The next second, both had their guns pointed at each other.
"Lost your best friend recently, have ya?"
Eileen was the first to fire, the bullet masterfully deflected by one from Markus's firearm. Movement sent pain searing through his wrist, even more-so from the substantial kick of Clarent, but Flynn ignored it. Pain was nothing to him here. In the barrage of their firefight, Markus kicked himself up off the ground, knocking the weapon out of Eileen's hand and knocking her to the ground herself. With him on his feet and her on her back, Markus once more had the upper hand. Summoning his blade Fear to his hand, he stepped over to his once more fallen opponent as she struggled to raise herself, stepping on her pistol in the process. It reverted back into a cell phone and shattered under his weight.
The world shook slightly.
He raised his blade, preparing to finally finish the battle once and for all. Pausing, he chuckled to himself.
"I really must congratulate you though, Eileen." Flynn said, his opponent glaring at him. "You've made it to the very end of the tournament. You managed to deem yourself worthy enough to fight me-"
"Collin should have been the one to fight you." Eileen muttered angrily under her breath.
The world shook again.
"Maybe you're right." Flynn laughed. "Maybe if he hadn't torn his own heart out like a coward and faced his reality like a fighter he'd be laying here in front of me instead of you, waiting for me to finish him off just like you are."
Another quake, this time noticeably shaking the entire arena. Markus looked up, seeing the ceiling of his world crumbling and cracking above him. His attention diverted, Eileen struck out with her tail again. This time she managed to connect and stab deep into his leg, eliciting a cry unlike anything she'd have expected from her opponent. It sounded like genuine pain. Unfortunately, she didn't pull the appendage back in time to escape Flynn's grip.
Yanking her across the ground, Markus flipped the girl over and planted his foot harshly into the small of her back. With an enraged grunt and a jerk of his arm, a small fountain of blood began to pool where the borrowed limb had once been. Eileen screamed as high as her voice would go, tears pouring down her face. Yanking a bit more, Flynn smiled. He had only separated the flesh, but the makeshift bone structure keeping it to her body was still there.
He reached down to the base of the tail, twisted hard, and pulled the bones apart with a -CRACK- that resounded throughout the entirety of the crumbling arena. The incredible pain stopped the girl's screams. She lay there, her eyes wide and her mouth contorted into a silent howl of agony.
Flynn flipped her over onto her back, taking a few seconds to admire his work before bringing the tail around and catching Eileen in the side of the head with the bloody end of it, scattering the red excretion across her face, her eyes vacant. He repeated several more times before finally casting the improvised whip to the side. He returned his attentions to the ceiling of the cave. Any second now it would give and bring his world to an end.
He limped forward a few steps, waiting. He had known from the start that a world supported solely by his own mind wouldn't hold up very long, and quite frankly he was surprised that it had lasted this long. The crowds had long since dissipated and returned to mere thoughts in his head. Soon, his greatest creation would follow with them.
Lost in his thoughts, he never noticed Eileen slowly pick herself up from the ground. Her face returned to the defiant, enraged scowl she'd worn at the beginning of the fight. She brought her robotic arm back again, aiming for the back of Flynn's head.
The ceiling caved in, rocking the world violently. Eileen tripped forward, falling into Markus's injured leg. The burning pain pulled him from his thoughts and back to the situation at hand. Looking down, he saw the girl he'd just beaten senseless wrapped around his legs in a slight daze. He attempted to kick her violently, only resulting in tripping himself onto her. As reality around them was crashing and crumbling, Flynn pinned Eileen back onto the ground and furiously assaulted her with blows to the face.
Her vision gradually getting bloodier and bloodier and the skin around her eyes swelling from the beating they were getting, Eileen barely managed to make out a particularly large chunk of falling stone jostle loose and plummet toward the ground. All of her opponents attention focused on destroying her face the beaten girl moved her legs up, preparing to kick him off. In a final burst of effort, Eileen sent the final vestiges of her strength into her legs and pushed Flynn off of her. He landed on his back a short distance away. The stone was seconds away from reaching the ground, and it's new target. There was a surprised cry before the crash of victory signaled the end of the battle.
Eileen, on the ground and losing consciousness fast, tiredly glanced toward what was left of the judging box. The red form of Patience was there, standing in awe, before disappearing in a flash of light.
There was a crunch, and Eileen's world went dark.