Three human boys prepared to go for a swim in the open lake. Launching along the sea shuddering and wobbly grounds, the kids pondered several egg shells to crack. The beach hatched dragons from thousands of yolks, rambling on toward the Darden heroes who float peacefully beyond the ocean.
Dragging overlapped hands, Dandy and Niane slept, worn out. Soon both Dardens were awoken by an earthquake. “What was that?” Dandy asked, staring at a dazed Lorden.
“Another struggle waiting for us up ahead.” Lorden stood on the far end, replenishing his guns.
Niane passed by them. “There I can see the Grounders. If we can reach out to them, they can lead us to our target,” he said, looking back at his brothers.
“Now the plan is to return the boy, instead of dealing with the main problem at once,” Dandy replied based on Lorden’s response.
“Orkold was right, things did not pan out as we expected. Until we find ways to bring ourselves in line with him, for now we will have to stick with the Grounders’ plan,” Lorden answered as he triggered his guns upon shark tails roaming towards their path.
“Let’s get this over with; we need to head back home now,” Niane said and he rolled up to furnish his powder.
“I’m charged up!” Dandy shouted and raised his nuclear machine high as the sky became dark with the evolved worms closing in on the attack. Niane and Lorden shot the monsters from far while Dandy marked their queen, who waved back and forth from her flight, revealed by her army. “I had never seen such madness on TV!” shouted Dandy as he turned direction with the monarch.
“We never get this far!” Niane commented, redirecting shots side by side with Lorden.
“But they are still living creatures, they can still die!!!” shouted Lorden from the loud dispute.
The nuclear machine was reloaded, but then an upcoming hit was mistaken by a shark which snatched the gun from the blast and got lost in the sea. Dandy was flustered as the target made him a target, staggering him with a huge mouth, then flew away.
The two Dardens were mystified.
“I’m out of shots. Let me go after him!” Niane called. He dropped his empty weapon and pulled out his two Sai knives and jumped on top of the evincible worms, chopping heads off on his way, then he rode dead bodies to the destructive queen bug.
Lorden was preoccupied by the marine warriors. With both guns, he shot decoys launched across the sky and cleared the way for Niane, leaping on end to reach Dandy in time. Dandy battled to pull himself from the jaws, breaking the predator’s teeth with a heavy punch until he singled out the whole row of the lower jaw. The monster lost his grip as he fell back to the sea, not far from the land.
“Oh no!” Lorden shouted.
Perplexed with the impostors who lost interest in him and chased after the weak Dandy, he also dropped off his empty shells and jumped into the sea, grabbing one of the fish by the tail. Moments later, the nuclear weapon blew from the deep blue, but Niane rolled over from the sky to land on the ground before searching for his brothers, still lost in the ocean. Probing a huge explosion burning the surface, the fish finally gave in, including the dragons’ queen who had lost all hope that the Dardens could ever be defeated. Lorden got hold of Dandy, battling to stay afloat, assisting him out with a flap towards the beach. Niane saw their heads swimming below; soon they all came out as the sea blasted wide from the projectile. The Dardens laughed hideously, looking on from the sand.
“That shot must have taken too long,” laughed Dandy, looking at the huge wave coming in.
“Orkold must build us better weapons next time,” Niane said, checking up on his brothers.
“We need to keep moving. These battles are starting to wear us out.” Lorden commanded, straightening his upright posture, the other two joined him and they rode towards the monstrous human that was too big to notice any of them.
Waiting for the birds to return, the Dardens lay on top of their clothes enjoying the sun. Later on, the human children came running to fetch their outfits.
The Dardens enjoyed a peaceful breeze coming from the mountains for a while longer, then rose from their flight when they finally saw the walls of Porto.
Tom arrived at his house heralded by everyone. It became clear to him that all of this had to do with Gabriel’s presence. He flipped wings, meeting eyes with his father. “Where is Gabriel?” he asked, confused by the flock surveying their home.
“Tom I need to tell you something. If we can discuss it in the house?” Mr Mifflin said making his way there as he spoke.
“I don’t get it already,” Tom said faking bliss with the community at his door step.
“See, I don’t want you to get carried away,” said his father and his mother looked on as they went into the house together.
“And who are these people, dad?” Tom asked staring at his speechless father, rummaging his hair.
Mr Mifflin finally managed. “Ken was here and he invited her to his castle.” He was unable to nest his head.
Mrs Mifflin screamed. “What have you just done?” and Tom was stupefied with his father’s gesture. He opened the door and hurried; he walked the acreage counting his thoughts while the birds looked at the fool acting out.
Mr Mifflin rushed to paw at him. “Tom!!!” desperate to stop him from doing something stupid. Tom took to his wings to the king’s castle.
A few moments later, he touched down on the king’s plot, irate, lurched out his swords and propelled to pass the two guards handling gun machines. But on this day they let him pass like he had never been.
Ken unlocked the Griffin’s cage and came out, dragging his own sword and ready for a confrontation with Tom. They both stopped, sizing one another. Blade came out too, followed by the guards, and stood between both men. Gabriel ran out to try to stop the conflict.
“Tom!” she reached out her voice to ease her broken heart. “I’m sorry for taking off in such a way,” she whispered with great concern.
“It’s okay. We can go home now!” Tom said looking at the king spitefully.
“I’m sorry Tom, but I can’t!” Gabriel said, unable to raise her eyes to his level.
“What do you mean, you can’t?” he calmed his nerve, desperate to leave with her, but Ken smirked at him, enjoying the challenge.
Gabriel sobbed. “I have other friends who need me here.” Her face showed denial. “I never planned for things to end this way!” she cried, trying to grab his arm and share her guilt
Tom stepped backwards, realising that his life with Gabriel was not to be.
Gabriel was not sure about what had just happened, and her friends rested their wings around her with great comfort.
A lone wolf walked out a beaten man. Placing back his sword, Ken could not hide his delight at the sanctity of being the last man standing.
Revealed in the bright sunlight, Tom sat on top of his empty Cobo thinking about the good times he’d shared with Gabriel and the smile from the man who took everything from him. Tom looked at his 3260 G Hego machine. “Today, I lost everything. Including you my friend!”
Tom started up the Cobo; a ground-fighting machine which took human form. Guards flew in when they heard a moving robot from the repertory. Inside Tom directed the Cobo with his body, leading it towards the gates. Several guards locked target on the 3260 G Hego.
“This is an unauthorised departure; please return your Cobo to the yard!” One guard shouted. The Cobo charged up its gun as they all jumped from its path. Tom blasted warning shots and ran the Cobo to the wide burg. He took a long leap next to the castles of Porto, then began digging for gold, punching and demolishing buildings.
The trembling ground worried Ken who came out to observe the results of a loose Cobo destroying his kingdom. “Well, if it isn’t that fool! Blade go clean up this mess quickly before he ruins everything!”
Gabriel grabbed hold of Blade’s hand. “Please don’t kill him!” Blade got back on his road, considering her weeping face.
Humans screamed, dodging for their lives, some fled their homes with little while Tom demolished their habitats. Shortly a 3784 G Hego joined in the fun. Tom slowly turned 3260 to behold the mentor of his kind, sizing him up for a battle. The Mifflins stood far away, ashamed of their son once more.
Blade took the battle to Tom who placed himself in a defence mode. He leaped above the ground for a super punch, but Tom quickly shot him from the sky but did not stop Blade from crashing into his head. He followed with upper cuts which knocked down the 3260 Hego, destroying houses beneath it. Tom released several shots from the ground which had Blade blocking backwards.
“No! Don’t fight, you fools!” Ken muttered stationed at his castle view.
Tom managed to get up while blasting 3784 on defence mode. The guards joined the fight shooting 3260 on sight, and this gave Blade time to run and spearhead Tom to the ground then blow punches against his Cobo. 3260 locked his hand to reload the hydrogen bomb which blew 3784 yards away.
Tom rose up with even more guards gunning at his 3260 G Hego; he lost the upper hand and ran away. Rolling over contiguous castles, kicking additional buildings in his direction, Blade kept his chase close to 3260, ducking bullets among the tall buildings. 3784 managed to jump on 3260’s back, losing both Cobos in the heavy crash onto the dry land.
Tom rose from the encounter and realised that Blade had locked his shoulders and held him back from escaping. Every guard clung on 3260 G Hego as Blade super-charged in preparation for a lift off. Eventually Blade flew both Cobos like a speeding sky rocket. All disavowing heavens, the Cobos vanished into a star.
“Don’t do it!!!” Ken shouted reeling at the skies.
Blade pulled the plug and blew up both machines.
While the crowd howled, Ken flew up to the rooftop to anticipate the possible return of his brother. Gabriel sealed her mouth in defiance of Ember encompassing her sight. Tom’s mother cried with his father as the young ones were dumbfounded by the incident.
Heart of a Darden – Chapter 8
The Mifflin family swiftly packed up their bags. The guards kicked their door open and found an abandoned house; one guard went out irate. “Where are they?”
The crowds were rebuilding their houses when the family of three hooped from one end with heavy bags, scouting the dangerous sky.
Ken kept looking at the universe, hoping his brother would fall. Inside his castle, the two women helped Gabriel get over the grief and hurt of her lost lover. Ken had his prediction wired when he saw one coming. He drank a glass of fear as Tom approached him, and he acknowledged it was not his brother drawing out his sword.
Up closer, one of the men who had survived the blast, had his sword on Ken’s throat. He kicked out savagely and was agitated by a foul return kick. Tom got closer and Ken ran to meet his challenge not far from the battle ground. The blades met in mid-air as Tom swayed a lock which blew Ken, the king, backwards, fighting to get a grip on his feet and the king took it in and waved his sword, swinging with his rival.
Tom was taken aback by the power of the king, who handled his sword much better than Tom did. He kept dodging the blades until he fell, and Ken was not keen on killing him.
“Where is he?” Ken asked furiously.
“Don’t worry! Soon I will reconnect you with your brother,” Tom replied and he came back swinging hard. But soon lost his footing and the king tripped him with a kick on his neck and he lost the sword.
Ken laughed at Tom. “I’m not going to kill you today!” and tossed him his sword. “But I will destroy you,” he got back into position to fight again. Tom kept losing his target while the king moved back and forth, kicking and punching until Tom lost all he had. Ken thrusted his sword victoriously, slowly withdrawing his sword from Tom who was coughing his last breath. Gabriel came up to witness Tom being murdered.
She rushed in, staring at Ken with utter hatred. Ken saw her expression. “If we lose my brother, we lose him too!” he said. The nearby guards agreed as they took him away from Gabriel, who was completely overwhelmed.
“And if your brother lives?” she sobbed.
“He has fouled too many laws, he will have the griffin on this day!” and he turned his attention back to the sky in grief.
Moments later the great griffin entered the cage which Scissor had last ruled, set to meet the gladiator of tomorrow. Blade luckily survived the explosion and opened his safety jacket which allowed him to land with a parachute not far away.
A few days later it was a huge day for human birds as Porto gathered to celebrate its new crown, Queen Gabriel. She sat in her room battling to smile while every make-up artist was running wild. Her friends Kate and Ember were so glad, talking loudly near her mirror, adjusting her diamond nest for a crown. In her bed, Linda the leopard, was sleek and well-nourished, adorned with colourful bracelets and a blue diamond rock on her forehead like the Indian elephants.
The host blew the horn once more as Porto erupted, the uproar of Hercules the caged lion surpassed them all.
The host shouted: “God bless the last kings on this Heaven and Earth!” delighted he watched over the great king and the king of the jungle while the crowd settled down. “Today I’m proud to introduce to you the new queen of Porto! We shall dance and feast till the sun falls,” he shouted, extending the excitement.
The flock flapped wings to view Gabriel riding on her beautiful, twenty-foot tall Linda. They curved from the far side, followed by the astonished Kate and Ember holding white roses. Ken stood up for his bride and gave much credit to the work of her charming friends. He walked towards Linda as she sat not far away, giving his bride a hand, and they shared a blissful gesture as Queen Gabriel sat next to Ken. The rose blossoms rained from the sky.
Tom sat staring at the sunlight from his cell. The guards came to unlock the distressed prisoner.
The Dardens joined the caged battle field and kept turning heads, viewing thousands of Grounders across the sky, glad to see them fight today. The wounded Dandy even laughed, quite taken by the great sensation.
Near the gate which leads to the battleground, Tom and his guards were interrupted by Aaro who had been given a free pass by the three royal guards. “Tom!” Aaro shouted putting a grin from the shady side. “Are you here to save me, my friend?” asked Tom.
Aaro was fearful. “I’m sure you’ll come out of this one quite okay. They told me about the event and I rushed in hoping we could have a word. I’ve already arranged vacations for your family, we’re all waiting for you to come back home, Tom!”
Tom was so grateful. “I don’t know how I can thank you, my friend! I now owe you one!” he stared at his next opponent across the valley, and then regarded his wounded shoulder wryly.
The royal guards allowed Aaro to head back to the headquarters. The bars allowed him to enter the chamber first; the crowd held a huge grudge for the young man. Gabriel stood up bitterly which caught the eye of the king. She looked towards Blade amongst her friends and asked: “Does he have to kill that monster before he can get a chance to live in Porto?”
“If it wasn’t for his reputation, or you, he would have been dead by now. The crowd decides whether he is worthy of death.” Blade answered.
Gabriel laughed sarcastically. “Or the king makes his decisions,” viewing the caged man looking back at her.
The Dardens however saw a chance to escape with their target. “It’s now or never! Grab hold of the Grounder and return to Dormend!” Lorden shouted. He took out an injection from his pocket filled with the blue chemical.
Tom walked towards them to confront the griffin, which waited patiently at the other end. The crowd shouted out at his great confidence, instead of running to get himself armed with the poles.
Hercules was released from the gates and made a silent cat walk around his prey. Tom kept the same distance, limiting any surprise attack from the beast and picked a sword to start with. Hercules halted his paws to move in for a direct attack, but Tom took it to the centre, pacing his footing.
Ken rose up to view the first blow of the fight; Gabriel went back to sit down in despair. Hercules sprinted out to wrestle with the armed human bird.
John Ferguson had now completed his invention of the Evo 62 Megado, the Darden evolution machine. Enclosed with a huge glass to allow complete transparency, the lab bugs could not believe the change the world had yet to see and mingled near his cage. A variety of dripping pipes wired different chemicals into his immune system. Godevo was fully clothed with the pipes injected on his shoulders and knees; it was time for the great transfusion and he was hoping it wouldn’t fail because the next war with humans could break out at any time. For now, the wedding of his daughter came as a distraction to the men of Porto.
Inside the scientific chamber, the evil scientist signalled for the final session to proceed. Peter pressed the main blue button, a variety of chemicals and steaming gas emerged beneath the master. With a dull face, the evil scientist set his sight on his employee to do the right job this time around. When the chemicals reached the level of his sword, the chamber boiled up, inflicting extreme pain on the patient.
“He will never come back the same!” Peter addressed the spectators.
With his muscles stretched out, Dr Ferguson managed to hold it together with streaming blue eyes. His body sweating the Darden glands, his mouth breathing hard toxic gas into the room. Soon he relaxed his body muscles, feeling better than after a hot bath.
Dr Ferguson took a gas mask to breathe in oxygen. “I’m never coming back!”
Evo 62 Megado was 2% complete when the chamber was fully occupied. Godevo disassembled the liquidator which was unconsciously afloat with the Sword of Life still attached. Part of him was to become time and space, where men meet their Gods; perhaps feel the heart of a Darden pump in the next universe.