6.41 Fight Until The Very End

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The dinner table was unusually silent. Jeffrey lifted a slice of steaming extra cheese pizza and placed it on top of his plate. “Anyone else want some? Kal?”

 

“I’ll have seconds,” He said through bites of the slice he had already had on his plate. “Don’t have to ask me twice.”

 

“Tommy?” Jeffrey asked, but the man looked away from his father. “Not here. Not at the dinner table.”

 

“Then where?” Tommy asked angrily. “Are we just going to pretend like this makes sense?” Tommy slammed his fist onto the table. “I’m starting to forget things, dad. That can’t be normal.”

 

“We’ve all been through a lot. You could be repressing your memories,” Jeff said. “Don’t you think that’s a possibility?”

 

“I don’t know, dad. All I know is that this feels strange. I don’t feel like this is where we belong. This can’t be right.” Tommy placed his napkin down and stood up. “Never in my two lives have I ever felt this misplaced. Something isn’t right.”

 

“Sit down,” Jeffrey said, in a stern voice. “Have some pizza and when your stomach is full we can talk about it. Not in front of the kids, though.”

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It was finally apparent to Tommy that the kids had overheard the argument ensuing. He looked around with a deep frown. “I’m sorry, you guys. I’ve been really stressed lately.”

 

Kalmali placed down his half eaten pizza and watched as his uncle kissed him, Alaina and Peyton on the forehead. Not once though did Tommy glance at his father. “Of course things aren’t right,” Kalmali said, as if it was obvious. “Mom is gone. Grandma is gone. Aunt Emerson, Camila, Uncle Waverly and Pax are all gone.”

 

“But why?” Tommy asked quietly. “I want you guys to ask yourselves that, because I don’t have an answer. If anyone can tell me why everyone we care about is really gone, then I’ll be satisfied with the fact that I’m losing my mind. But until then, I just don’t feel right.”

 

Alaina hopped off of her chair and ran to her father’s legs to hug them tightly. She hadn’t understood what was going on, and it was wrong of him to involve her in such catastrophic thoughts, but he needed to know if he was the only one with a gaping hole in his memories. And why now was he thinking about things he had accepted for years? “Daddy…”

 

“I love you sweetheart,” He whispered, patting her head gently. “That’s all that needs to make sense. You know what? You can go and play some games in your room early tonight. I want to talk to grandpa and your cousins, is that okay darling?” Alaina seemed hesitant but she nodded and ran upstairs. She’d do anything for her dad.

 

When she was upstairs, Tommy finally noticed the look of disapproval on his father’s face. “They’re old enough,” Tommy said firmly. “Things have never been easy for us. But I’ve been thinking a lot recently. Are we supposed to just accept that people have gone missing? Why aren’t we looking? Why does this feel so fake?”

 

Peyton frowned, tapping her hands on the table. “What’s the last thing you remember, Tommy?”

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“Don’t edge him on,” Jeff told his daughter. “Stop this.”

 

“No, dad,” Peyton said. “I’m curious to see what Tommy has to say. What’s the last thing you remember before your memories fade?”

 

“After we came back from the underworld Graciela had just given birth to Kalmali and  the darkness was gone. We headed back to Fortitude, but Ethan, Alistair and Callen stayed to fight the fake Altiere and reclaim Moonlight Falls. Owen and Mandi went to Imaginationland….” Tommy’s voice trailed off and he rubbed his head. “That’s what doesn’t make sense. What happened after that? Where did everyone go?”

 

“I have Charlotte’s letters,” Jeffrey mumbled, dipping his head low. “Do you want me to read them again? She had to do something she didn’t want to tell me about. If you ask me, she was forcing me to live a little longer and take care of the family.”

 

“Everyone is gone because Lunar Lakes fell and the darkness took over,” Kalmali said with a frown. “Mom thought she beat the darkness, but it came back and was too strong for her to beat. It was angry that grandma Charlotte and Leon outsmarted it. So, it attacked our dimension. Mom, Briella and the others left to fight the remaining darkness looming over our dimension.” He noticed the dumbfounded look on the faces of his family. “Come on guys, you were all there. Don’t look at me like that.”

 

“No, no. Graciela and the others just up and disappeared,” Jeff said, tilting his head in confusion. “I know that Charlotte left to do something because I woke up to a letter. Then, the others were just…gone. Yes, gone.”

 

“That’s how I remember it too,” Peyton said softly. “Kal, you were telling me about a boy and girl before weren’t you? Do you think there’s a reason your memory is different than ours?”

 

“Maybe?” Kal asked, shaking his head. “I don’t know. This is all too strange. Maybe dad knows something. We should call him.”

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Graciela looked at the notes she had taken from her conversation with Ellery. Nothing seemed to make sense to either of them. She recalled the conversation they had only a day before. “Tell me everything,” Graciela had said. “Leave no details out.”

 

And he hadn’t, intentionally at least. “Lunar Lakes fell,” Ellery had stated as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

 

“Yes, but how?” Graciela had asked. “The darkness says I caused it, others allude to it being my fault too. So, what did I do?”

 

“I…I don’t know?” Ellery frowned. “It’s like…hazy…” He shut his eyes and tried to think about it. “That’s strange. This is common knowledge I should know about. In fact, I’m confident that I know the answer, but I can’t reach my memories. I just see darkness everywhere.”

 

“Yeah, that does make sense. When I woke up in Cassius’ mansion, I didn’t have any of my memories. If you can’t tell me why Lunar Lakes fell…can anyone? All I keep hearing is that it might overwhelm me. But maybe it’s something else.”

 

“Could it be that our memories have been tampered with? Someone would have to be very powerful to do that. There are a few ways it could happen theoretically. One- a skilled dimension watcher could have the power to do it.  Two- a time keeper who has access to a timeline. If you tamper with a timeline, you could potentially remove vital things to a timeline. I mean, it’s more complicated than that. You’d be moving pieces in and out of a timeline which is nearly impossible.”

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“Nearly,” Graciela pointed out. “But not entirely impossible.”

 

“No, not entirely,” Ellery said. “If you woke up in Cassius’ mansion with no memory, it’s entirely possible he’s the mastermind behind it all. If altering memories was the case at all. I…I don’t know.” He frowned and tapped his forehead. “No, something isn’t right. I can’t remember the event.”

 

When Graciela had questioned him about other things, it was easy for him to recall and tell her in great detail about Pandora’s dealings and how the resistance had formed to fight against dimension travelers. But all of that felt so foreign to her. How did things get from Moonlight Falls, fighting Altiere, to stopping dimension travelers? “What is the interest in traveling to other dimensions? I mean, it must be something significant if there’s a police force stopping it.”

 

“As children of dimension watchers, Zinnia and I knew from the beginning that our dimensions weren’t the only out there. Dimension traveling has always been a thing, safely and unsafely. But until the academy was formed by Audric and Quinn, there weren’t any pathways that allowed dimension travelers of casual skill to come into our dimensions. That’s why it seems like such a big deal now. There are people who want to be in control of the dimensions, because why rule the world when you can rule many?”

 

“Maybe that’s the end goal then,” Graciela mused. “Ruling all of the dimensions.”

 

“The council has that pleasure, Ellery said. “Maybe someone is finally tired of it. Maybe that someone is Cassius. Maybe he’s not who he says he is. Can you do us a favor and keep working for him? Find out information, see if it sparks any memories or gives us insight to his plan. We’re trying our hardest to spark your memory, but maybe it’s everyone’s memories that have been altered. Ask everyone you know what they remember.”

 

She knew where to start. Her journal. What did it say at the very end? She didn’t even know if she trusted her own words. “If the memories you guys implanted into me never show themselves, what does that mean?”

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“It means that your memory is blocked by something, preventing certain things to come to fruition. Or, that the memory no longer exists within our dimension’s timeline which  means we’re in some serious trouble. Someone that powerful could mean the destruction of all we hold dear, rewriting and changing everything we’ve known. Someone with that fundamental power must have studied with the council.”

 

Graciela groaned, lying her head flat in her arms. “I hate this. I hate this so much. I have to talk to Asher, see what he knows.” Because Asher was the one who was so adamant that she read her journal/ She’d also have to talk to Briella and ask her why she was so against Graciela reading the journal…

 

“Talk to everyone, even Dionysus,” Ellery said. “I’ll ask Zinnia what she knows too.”

 

“I think we should try to communicate with our dimension watchers too. I need to return home. We have to unseal it, or get there somehow,” Graciela said.

 

“Why didn’t I think of this before?” Ellery cried, jolting to his feet. “The underworld connects all dimensions and would be unaffected by any seal! You’d have to appeal to the guy in charge there, but it won’t be easy. He likes to make deals.”

 

“Asher knows the underworld too,” Graciela said. “I’ll see what he can do about this. He knows something, I’m sure of it.”

 

“Wait. One more thing,” Ellery said. “Adriel knows where Zinnia’s brother is. Knox.”

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“That’s great news!” Graciela cried, clapping her hands together. “I can go there next to recruit new people for Cassius’ dimension.”

 

“Well…” Ellery bit his lip. “Society there is different than society here. You’ll have to act and dress the part. Vampires aren’t exactly in existence there. So you’ll need to be careful.”

 

“I’ll have to go in hiding?” Graciela asked. “I can do that.”

 

“Zinnia knows a spell that can make you human for a bit. No vampire powers, no glowing skin tone. It’s not risky at all, you’ll just need to keep drinking the potion. Make that your next destination and bring Dionysus along with you. He’ll probably fit right in.”

 

Graciela nodded and stood up. “I can be human. How hard will that be?”

 

“In the meantime we’ll work on finding Pax, Camilla, Waverly, Jordyn, and Travis,” Ellery said. “We’ll also try to find a way to fix everything and find some answers.”

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Briella hugged her arms around her knees and let out a huff. “Leave now, Dragos. I have nothing to say to you.”

 

“Nothing? After all we’ve been through and you have nothing to say to me?” Dragos demanded. “You take  over the role of princess, attempt to marry me to gain control over my kingdom, dump me for my brother when he gets the role of king…”

 

“You got the better end of the stick, didn’t you?” Briella asked. “Indy is dead and you have a power granted from the gods. Still alive and breathing.”

 

“And cursed!” Dragos cried. “Because of you. Lest you forget all the trouble you caused to begin with. You weren’t happy with being a servant? You had to be the lady of Halina?”

 

“I did,” Briella said. “I wanted to have a better life. Sophina didn’t want that life, so why couldn’t I have it? It was her who went against the traditions of her people. It was her and Dionysus who involved you all. So, yell at them for your problems. it isn’t my fault the darkness came about with such strength. It’s theirs.” She stood up angrily and headed for the door. “Oh, and for the record- I love Graciela, I don’t want her to have to suffer through having to battle the darkness as she has. But the divines spoke and we can’t fight that.”

 

“Stop lecturing me,” Dragos said. “I didn’t come here to be bored to death. I didn’t know who else to turn to. Something isn’t right. This new dimension, it feels…I don’t know, wrong?”

 

“Dragos, I don’t care about this dimension one bit. I want to return home and be with my husband and child. I can’t lose another love.” The way she said it made his heart ache. He really felt for the girl, having lost the love of her life and then possibly having to face that fate again. But what about him? How was it that she got a second chance at happiness despite all the trouble she caused? Dragos was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and still faced an eternity of loneliness. He’d never have someone at home waiting for him. In fact, the person he was bound to find as prophesied was going to suffer because of him. “Do not look at me like that. There is no pity to be had here. We knew the lot we were given in life and we must accept it. I just wish my daughter Alaina wasn’t involved.”

 

“Find her then,” Dragos said. “If she’s worth fighting for, you have to fight for her until the very end.”

 

6 thoughts on “6.41 Fight Until The Very End

  1. Memory loss is pandemic! There must be something to what Ellery said…someone for whatever reason messed with something they shouldn’t have 😦 I do agree that Tommy should have been more discreet when voicing his concerns in front of the kids. He’s right they should know of their concerns but there’s a way to do it without making them afraid the way he did it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, Tommy could have handled it differently but he’s really just trying to see if anyone else is feeling or noticing the same thing, even his daughter Alaina. She’s a tough cookie like her mom, so she can handle a little bit of speculation 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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