Sunday, March 13, 2005

Counterfeit Lives.

Episode for Mar 7, 2005, Monday. In Lagaslaw, there was silence. Habagat, Dakila and Mulagat were sitting side by side on a bench. Aramis stood before them waiting for their reaction. He had lived with a lie for too long, and now he was free. Even if his confession would cost him the society of the only decent people he had ever known, it was worth it. No price was too great to pay for personal freedom. Mulagat rose from his seat and walked over to him. He touched Aramis on the shoulder with his left hand. “Aramis,” he said gently, and then swung a right hook at the hunter’s jaw. Aramis’ teeth almost popped out of his mouth. “This is all your fault! You’re the reason why all this is happening to my family!” “Mulagat!” his father shouted, standing up. Aramis showed no anger. “I know that I have wronged you,” he said. “But I had no choice. I owe my life to the Ravena. My hands were tied and I had to do what they wanted. I grew up among them even though I felt no love from them.” “How long were you with them?” asked Dakila. “A good seventeen years.” “Incredible,” the old Mulawin replied. “You were with them for so long and they never turned you into one of their own?” Aramis answered, “They tried, but they couldn’t. And when they failed, Rasmus sent me away from Halconia.” Now this was a mystery to Dakila. “How can that be?” he wondered. “Ravenum is very powerful.” “I think I know why,” Habagat said. He stood up and pulled away his son from Aramis. “There is something you need to know about yourself,” he told the former Ravena spy. “Linang told me about you. You were raised in Encantadia, and it was a Diwata who gave you your unusual power. But you have no memory of it.” Savannah was desperate. Before she was the only Ravena female around, and Gabriel had ignored her. Now there was a whole army of them, what chance could she have now? But there was the wonder-boy! The princess pulled Niwalum aside. “Look here, I want Gabriel,” she said to him. “Make him like me!” Niwalum broke away in disgust. “You might as well ask for snow!” he cried. “You might as well ask me to make you beautiful! You’re asking the impossible!” Grrr! Kids these days! Savannah bared her teeth at him. “Damn you, boy! Do you want me to hurt you?” “Go ahead and do that! Then who would do all that things you make me do for you?’ Then the princess grabbed him by his shirt and tossed him in front of the egg-nest. “Fine! Just do your job and hatch those damned eggs.” Niwalum did so, but not without saying, “Even if I hatch a thousand eggs for you, you still won’t win!” Sadly for Savannah, the situation was about to get worse as far as her illusions of being wedded to Gabriel were concerned. Rasmus was walking in-between worlds now. He was still very much within the sphere of that dark influence he had followed for ages. But having gazed into the abyss for so long, the truth was finally setting on him. There was a light beyond the abyss, after all; a whole world outside the cave of hatred, anger and violence where he had been an unwitting prisoner. “I’ve been where you are and you know it,” Veronica told him. “When I was still a Ravena, I never had any peace of mind. But now no matter how many hardships come my way, I don’t get discouraged because I know I’m surrounded by those who love me.” Bagwis spoke earnestly. “You have been on the dark side for too long. But did all that help you get what you want?” Rasmus looked from one to the other. “Turn your back on your father,” Veronica said. “Do it for yourself.” “You were a Mulawin once,” said Bagwis. “You are a Mulawin. And in spite of everything, I still believe that there is still goodness left in you.” They left him alone with those words. Rasmus hated them for it somewhat; he hated their compassion. But those statements rang so true. Something inside him was crying and hollering in agreement with them, urging him to make the turn. You were a Mulawin. You ARE a Mulawin! Turn your back on your father. It’s about time you do! You’re right. I’ve been fooling you all along. You’re not my son. You can leave now! Rasmus clasped his head with both hands, feeling it would explode. “STOP IT!” he cried out. “I don’t want to live in the darkness anymore!” He was growling loudly and intelligibly. He raised his eyes to heaven and roared, “SHOW ME THE LIGHT!” But the darkness is ever on the prowl for new recruits, new victims. Lawiswis was now one of its spies. Something was telling her that she had to have Alwina’s necklace. “Nice necklace you’ve got,” she said even as she was tied to a tree. Alwina smiled at her. “You like it?” “How I wish I could have it,” Wis replied almost to herself. Now her upper arms were tied behind her, but she could still stretch her lower arms and hands. She put forth her right arm and tugged at the precious necklace. Then Alwina shrieked, “What are you doing!” Wis pulled back her arm like a spring and hid the necklace. At once, swirls of black smoke enveloped the Sugo. Aguiluz overheard her cries and ran to her side. Gus turned angrily to Wis. “Is this what you want to happen?” he asked, taking the ornament back. “Too late!” Wis said tauntingly. “She’ll be a Ravena now!” Alwina fell on the ground convulsing, like an epileptic having a seizure. She felt her soul leaving her, and another trying to take its place. “Kill me!” she begged Aguiluz. “I’d rather die than become a Ravena!” “I can’t do that and you know it!” Aguiluz shouted. “Fight it, Alwina!” But Wis was correct; the column of smoke had done its work; the necklace was useless now. A sheet of red light passed over her body, and left behind it the new Princess of the Ravena. Alwina promptly stood up and knocked Aguiluz aside. She had an appointment to keep. Meanwhile, Gabriel had received her signals in his head. “Alwina’s coming,” he told Terong. “She’s on her way to Halimhim.” Then Gabriel flew away towards the boundaries of Halimhim. He saw the red armored figure of his lady, being pursued by Aguiluz and Pagaspas. Gabriel created an invisible force-field that bar the way to Halimhim. “You cannot follow her anymore, Aguiluz,” he said in a low voice. “She’s mine now!” And so Alwina passed through the aerial gates of Halimhim without difficulty. But when it was the Mulawin’s turn, they could not get through. Aguiluz bumped into the unseen shield, hammering away in vain. “Alwina, don’t leave!” he called out. “Our feathers are falling out,” Gus noted. Then Aguiluz dropped his arms, exhausted. He could not see her anymore; she was gone, and the heroes were forced to retreat. They still must go to Halimhim, of course, for Alwina and for the fruit. As they sat resting beneath a tree, Gus spotted a green object dangling overhead. “Niwalum’s kite!” he exclaimed. “Please get it!” Aguiluz looked up. “Do you really need that toy?” “It has powers!” Gus claimed. Aguiluz himself had an odd feeling looking at it; it was oddly reminiscent of the fruit hanging on the Mulawin tree. Gus himself fetched the kite, and saying it could fly, asked Aguiluz to step on it. But the kite did not move. “Hey, kite!” Gus scolded it. “Play along with us, will you?” Aguiluz smiled in polite silence. “You’re lying!” Ravenum wrote on the book. “How did he become my son?” The answer appeared. Ravenum rewarded the book by throwing it angrily on the ground. But wait, he thought. I can use this to my advantage! A smile broke through his terrible face. Hmm, I can smell victory now! He picked up the book again when sentinels arrived to report Gabriel’s sudden departure. Ravenum decided to go to Halimhim. Terong grasped his legs and said, “Take me with you1” Ravenum looked down on him with contempt. “Fine! Fall down as you please!” At long last, the moment he had been waiting for all his life. Alwina was here now, a Ravena like him. “Do you still remember me?” he asked. “How can it be otherwise?” she replied with a smile. “Even when covered feathers, I can still recognize the man I love. And now, we will always be together, now and forever!” Gabriel walked from one side to another, and touched the feathers on her head. “My Alwina,” he said softly. “My Gabriel,” she answered. Rasmus and Aramis would have felt for them both.
 

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