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Luckster_Gal
11-27-2008, 01:57 AM
Author Note: Nyehh....finally gave in and reposted it...

consider this BEFORE asking for the next Polokus forsaken volume--"Anytime someone asks for it or why it's late, they postpone the posting a week."

=======

Prologue

All he could feel was pain. One heck of a headache pulsed through his brain. The last time he'd felt this terrible was back when he'd been captured by the Robot Pirates, being ambushed by them and knocked out. Nah...this hurt a lot worse! It was like a Knaaren sucker-punched him in the back of the head. He didn't wanna move. Instead he continued to lay there, trying to remember what had happened. Nothing out of the ordinary happened yesterday. Wait...

---

"Rayman?? Raaaaayymaaaaann!!" Globox called, having forgotten the point of hide-and-seek was for him to find whoever was hiding, not call their name. Couldn't blame him though, considering Ray had been hiding a few hours. The sad part was he fact Ray was very close the whole time, up in a tree. The Glute had been more focused on hiding places on the ground rather than up in the air.

Rayman allowed himself to laugh once Globox was out of earshot. "So simple," he chuckled, getting comfortable in the branch he'd claimed for the past few hours. "He'll figure it out eventually," he added with a yawn. "Or he'll just go home. Either way, I at least got to play again. Three days is WAY too long to keep this hero indoors." A nearby Lum suddenly swooped down, nearly smacking him, as if offended by his remark. "Hey!! Don't you be looking at me like that!" Ray snapped, sitting up. "You're all the ones that made it so everyone in the Dream Glade had to keep indoors for three days!" The Lum furiously flashed brighter at Rayman, as if attempting to yell at him. He simply rolled his eyes and got himself comfortable.

The Lums really had caused quite a commotion during the week. For three days everyone in the Dream Glade region had to remain indoors because of portals popping up all over the place. No one knew where they were leading, only that the Lums were angry, and their fury was causing these rifts to open. They would have lead two feet away, or two dimensions away. Not even the Teensies knew, and they were in charge of the pathways of the world. Not having a house, Ray had to stay with Globox and his family. Quite the tight squeeze considering he had 650 rowdy kids.

Three days in closed quarters was not exactly Rayman's idea of fun, nor anyone else's in the household. Everyone was relieved when the portals all vanished. The front door had been busted open as the Glute children all barged out of the house to play. Such a relief to have some room to run around for once. Rayman had wondered what had made the Lums so angry to open rifts like that, but it was a thought fast forgotten as Globox wanted to hang out with him a bit.

After a long day of games, Rayman was bushed. Even though Globox hadn't found him yet, he was ready to turn in for the night. There was no breeze, so sleeping in a tree seemed safe for him. The Limbless' eyes slowly closed and in only minutes he'd drifted off to sleep. Sure enough, Globox had forgotten about the game of hide-and-seek eventually and headed home for dinner. It wasn't long before everyone in the forest was asleep, except for the Lums. No one knew if they even slept. The Red Lum who'd been insulted to Rayman's words returned to his tree soon enough, still in a bad mood.

It continuously flew around in front of Rayman's face, glowing bright enough to irritate the Limbless as he tried to sleep.

"Gehhh...turn out that light..." he groaned, attempting to turn over away from the light. A rift opened beside him in response to the Lum's anger, gently sucking Rayman into it. Only a few light mutters escaped Rayman's mouth as he drifted through the portal, landing gently enough on the ground to where he wasn't hurt, but also hard enough for him to realize, even in his sleep, that'd fallen. The rift closed just as his eyes were opening. The first thing he noticed was the starry sky. There was something wrong with it. Considering he spent much of his life outside, he knew for sure that he'd seen none of those particular stars and constellations before.

"What the--Where am I!?" he gasped, sitting straight up the instant he realized something was wrong. The trees all looked so uniform. He remembered there being several different types of trees in the same area. Rayman got up to his feet, looking around the area desperately. Not even Lums were flying around the area. "Globox??" He called. "GLOBOX!!" No answer. He stopped searching the area, trying to calm down. "Okay okay, just calm down, Rayman," he told himself. "Think...what happened. Let's see...I was in that tree...that Red Lum musta been near me still when I fell asleep..." He paused a moment. He'd made the Lum upset by complaining about the previous three days. "Oh...NICE one, Rayman!" he growled at himself. "Way to make a Lum mad JUST when all the portals are gone!"

He began to wander around the area again, he'd beat himself up later about the incident. Wherever he'd ended up, it sure was quiet and peaceful. Not a single creature around. "At least it's not dangerous here," he admitted. "Looks just like home in a sense..."

TAK!

He stopped, looking a the ground, rather than the trees and stars. He'd stepped on a stone road. It didn't quite look stone though, or at least not like any sort of stone he'd ever seen before. And it was so perfect. He looked to either side of him, taking note that it continued on in each direction without a single imperfection like most stone roads in the hills and mountains back home. Before Rayman could make further observation with his discovery, something caught his eye. Two bright yellow lights could be seen off in the distance.

"LUMS!!" he cried with excitement. "I'm still home! Just in another region!" the Limbless boy stepped further into the road as the Lums got closer, looking like they were racing. He'd wait for them to pass before asking for assistance to get back to the Dream Glade. A sudden realization hit him though and time seemed to stop for a moment. Yellow Lums resided only in the Heart of the World, so what were they doing out here? Also, since when do Lums glow so bright?

Pain suddenly rushed through Rayman and everything went dark. He wasn't home. The lights hadn't been Lums. In the world he was in, what he'd seen was a large truck, and since the driver hadn't seen him, he was hit at full force, his parts scattering as he was knocked out cold. Off to one side of the road, one of the world's inhabitants had witnessed the whole thing in pure shock. Slowly she wandered to the middle of the road, looking down at Rayman.

"There's no way this thing coulda survived that," she mused, kneeling down and nudging Ray's large nose a bit so she could get a better look at his face. In response to the pain mixed with the creature's cold hands, Rayman managed to give off a quiet groan. The creature withdrew her hand and stood up again, backing away. "No way...it's still alive?" she questioned. She looked at the creatures scattered hands and feet, then at his body and head. "What ARE you?"

For a while she just stood there, staring at the Limbless Being. She shook her head to get out of her little trance eventually, realizing they were both in a bit of danger if they remained in the middle of the road. She picked up his scattered parts and his main body. Not exactly an easy task since his parts wouldn't reconnect as long as he was out cold.

"Dunno what the heck you are little fella," the girl admitted, as if he could hear her. "Yer safe with me though."

Luckster_Gal
11-27-2008, 01:57 AM
Author Note: Nyehh....finally gave in and reposted it...

consider this BEFORE asking for the next Polokus forsaken volume--"Anytime someone asks for it or why it's late, they postpone the posting a week."

=======

Prologue

All he could feel was pain. One heck of a headache pulsed through his brain. The last time he'd felt this terrible was back when he'd been captured by the Robot Pirates, being ambushed by them and knocked out. Nah...this hurt a lot worse! It was like a Knaaren sucker-punched him in the back of the head. He didn't wanna move. Instead he continued to lay there, trying to remember what had happened. Nothing out of the ordinary happened yesterday. Wait...

---

"Rayman?? Raaaaayymaaaaann!!" Globox called, having forgotten the point of hide-and-seek was for him to find whoever was hiding, not call their name. Couldn't blame him though, considering Ray had been hiding a few hours. The sad part was he fact Ray was very close the whole time, up in a tree. The Glute had been more focused on hiding places on the ground rather than up in the air.

Rayman allowed himself to laugh once Globox was out of earshot. "So simple," he chuckled, getting comfortable in the branch he'd claimed for the past few hours. "He'll figure it out eventually," he added with a yawn. "Or he'll just go home. Either way, I at least got to play again. Three days is WAY too long to keep this hero indoors." A nearby Lum suddenly swooped down, nearly smacking him, as if offended by his remark. "Hey!! Don't you be looking at me like that!" Ray snapped, sitting up. "You're all the ones that made it so everyone in the Dream Glade had to keep indoors for three days!" The Lum furiously flashed brighter at Rayman, as if attempting to yell at him. He simply rolled his eyes and got himself comfortable.

The Lums really had caused quite a commotion during the week. For three days everyone in the Dream Glade region had to remain indoors because of portals popping up all over the place. No one knew where they were leading, only that the Lums were angry, and their fury was causing these rifts to open. They would have lead two feet away, or two dimensions away. Not even the Teensies knew, and they were in charge of the pathways of the world. Not having a house, Ray had to stay with Globox and his family. Quite the tight squeeze considering he had 650 rowdy kids.

Three days in closed quarters was not exactly Rayman's idea of fun, nor anyone else's in the household. Everyone was relieved when the portals all vanished. The front door had been busted open as the Glute children all barged out of the house to play. Such a relief to have some room to run around for once. Rayman had wondered what had made the Lums so angry to open rifts like that, but it was a thought fast forgotten as Globox wanted to hang out with him a bit.

After a long day of games, Rayman was bushed. Even though Globox hadn't found him yet, he was ready to turn in for the night. There was no breeze, so sleeping in a tree seemed safe for him. The Limbless' eyes slowly closed and in only minutes he'd drifted off to sleep. Sure enough, Globox had forgotten about the game of hide-and-seek eventually and headed home for dinner. It wasn't long before everyone in the forest was asleep, except for the Lums. No one knew if they even slept. The Red Lum who'd been insulted to Rayman's words returned to his tree soon enough, still in a bad mood.

It continuously flew around in front of Rayman's face, glowing bright enough to irritate the Limbless as he tried to sleep.

"Gehhh...turn out that light..." he groaned, attempting to turn over away from the light. A rift opened beside him in response to the Lum's anger, gently sucking Rayman into it. Only a few light mutters escaped Rayman's mouth as he drifted through the portal, landing gently enough on the ground to where he wasn't hurt, but also hard enough for him to realize, even in his sleep, that'd fallen. The rift closed just as his eyes were opening. The first thing he noticed was the starry sky. There was something wrong with it. Considering he spent much of his life outside, he knew for sure that he'd seen none of those particular stars and constellations before.

"What the--Where am I!?" he gasped, sitting straight up the instant he realized something was wrong. The trees all looked so uniform. He remembered there being several different types of trees in the same area. Rayman got up to his feet, looking around the area desperately. Not even Lums were flying around the area. "Globox??" He called. "GLOBOX!!" No answer. He stopped searching the area, trying to calm down. "Okay okay, just calm down, Rayman," he told himself. "Think...what happened. Let's see...I was in that tree...that Red Lum musta been near me still when I fell asleep..." He paused a moment. He'd made the Lum upset by complaining about the previous three days. "Oh...NICE one, Rayman!" he growled at himself. "Way to make a Lum mad JUST when all the portals are gone!"

He began to wander around the area again, he'd beat himself up later about the incident. Wherever he'd ended up, it sure was quiet and peaceful. Not a single creature around. "At least it's not dangerous here," he admitted. "Looks just like home in a sense..."

TAK!

He stopped, looking a the ground, rather than the trees and stars. He'd stepped on a stone road. It didn't quite look stone though, or at least not like any sort of stone he'd ever seen before. And it was so perfect. He looked to either side of him, taking note that it continued on in each direction without a single imperfection like most stone roads in the hills and mountains back home. Before Rayman could make further observation with his discovery, something caught his eye. Two bright yellow lights could be seen off in the distance.

"LUMS!!" he cried with excitement. "I'm still home! Just in another region!" the Limbless boy stepped further into the road as the Lums got closer, looking like they were racing. He'd wait for them to pass before asking for assistance to get back to the Dream Glade. A sudden realization hit him though and time seemed to stop for a moment. Yellow Lums resided only in the Heart of the World, so what were they doing out here? Also, since when do Lums glow so bright?

Pain suddenly rushed through Rayman and everything went dark. He wasn't home. The lights hadn't been Lums. In the world he was in, what he'd seen was a large truck, and since the driver hadn't seen him, he was hit at full force, his parts scattering as he was knocked out cold. Off to one side of the road, one of the world's inhabitants had witnessed the whole thing in pure shock. Slowly she wandered to the middle of the road, looking down at Rayman.

"There's no way this thing coulda survived that," she mused, kneeling down and nudging Ray's large nose a bit so she could get a better look at his face. In response to the pain mixed with the creature's cold hands, Rayman managed to give off a quiet groan. The creature withdrew her hand and stood up again, backing away. "No way...it's still alive?" she questioned. She looked at the creatures scattered hands and feet, then at his body and head. "What ARE you?"

For a while she just stood there, staring at the Limbless Being. She shook her head to get out of her little trance eventually, realizing they were both in a bit of danger if they remained in the middle of the road. She picked up his scattered parts and his main body. Not exactly an easy task since his parts wouldn't reconnect as long as he was out cold.

"Dunno what the heck you are little fella," the girl admitted, as if he could hear her. "Yer safe with me though."

Luckster_Gal
11-27-2008, 02:02 AM
Chapter One: Humans

"I remember now!" Rayman gasped, sitting up. Bit of a mistake, since the quick movement only made his headache worse. "Something hit me...some sort of metal monster. Oh Polokus...I hope the pirates haven't returned!" He paused his thoughts and took a good look at his surroundings. At first he wasn't so sure how to describe it. It almost looked like the inside of a fairy's house, but the shape of the furnishings seemed so different. So perfect. Even fairies were imperfect at making their home furnishings. He noticed a few box-shaped objects that were alien to him, though he recalled seeing similar items in both the Pirate's bases and the Hoodlum's Hideout years before.

"Where am I?" he mused, standing up. He felt a little dizzy. That didn't surprise him too much. What did surprise him was that he had all his parts with him. Two hands, two feet, one body and one head. He was sure that the impact with the mechanical monster would have sent his parts flying. "Wait a sec...how did I even get here!?" he asked himself, bewildered that it hasn't been the first question. This defiantly wasn't Globox's house or Ly's house. He'd recognize those instantly. He was about to call out to see if anyone was home when a female voice suddenly boomed through the house.

"HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU THIS!?" she roared, obviously arguing with someone. Impulsively, Rayman ran towards the voice, which was simply emitting from another room next to his. He peeked in, taking note that the room looked almost like a kitchen before noticing only one person was in the room. A tall young female with messy purple hair and a very interesting attire--a red short-sleeve shirt on top of a longer sleeved white one, and pants made from a material Rayman wasn't familiar with--and on top of it all, she appeared to be screaming into a small device in her hand. Sounds emitted from that as well, but for Rayman it was inaudible.

"A fairy," he gasped, a grin forming on his face. Seeing this fairy assured the Limbless that he had simply been transported to another region of his world. Besides her attire and behavior, there was something bothering him about this fairy. She had no wings or a tail. Most fairies had wings back home, and those that didn't had a tail instead and could use their magic to levitate. ˜Perhaps she's hiding it,' he thought to himself, approaching her from behind. ˜Though why would she? No shame in having a tail, or wings for that matter."

"Look," she girl continued into the small device, holding it up to her ear now. "If you don't stop harassing me about this book, I will quit. Ideas aren't easy to come by you know! It's not like my deadline is a week. I have a year to do this. Call me one more time about this and I will drop the deal and go to someone else." She groaned, and shut the device, pocketing it immediately. "Jerk...why'd I even sign up with him?" she grumbled to herself. There was a sudden draft behind her. Her face turned bright red, feeling someone tugging a bit on her shirt and pants.

"Erm...excuse me, miss," Rayman ventured, sounding quite concerned. "You are aware that you're missing your wings or tail, right?" The only fairy Rayman had ever seen lacking both was Betilla. The girl began to fume. This sudden intrusion of her personal space combined with the conversation she'd just had leaving her at the very end of her fuse. Rayman didn't have the reflexes to act before the wheeled around, smacking his face as hard as she could.

"PERVERT!!" she roared. Rayman stumbled back a bit, his head facing the other way. He knew she was about to hit him again, her growl sounding almost animal.

"STOP!! Stop!!" he pleaded, holding up his hands and turning his head the proper direction. "Please don't hurt me!! I hurt enough already!" He watched her, frozen in fear. Why a fairy could strike fear into the Limbless Hero's heart, he had no idea. She was quite the scary sight in her anger, however. She even had razor sharp fangs, almost threatening to tear into Rayman's flesh. "Please....I'm already injured," he quickly reminded her. The fairy stopped growling and slowly calmed down, the scowl on her face fading away.

"Sit," she commanded, pointing at a few chairs near a table. Rayman quickly complied, not wanting to get hit again. The pain from the hit had make his headache almost ten times worse. The temperamental fairy opened a large box and pulled something out, which Rayman could identify as an ice pack. "Here," she sighed, passing it to him. "For yer headache."

˜How did she know?' he questioned. ˜Can she read my mind?'

"Guess smackin' ya upside the head ain't gonna make yer injuries any better," she sided, sitting in the chair next to him. "Not many people can survive being hit by a truck at sixty miles-per-hour and live to tell about it...at least not without being in pieces." She paused, taking a good look at Rayman as he placed the ice pack on his head. She blushed a bit, her expression saying that she was upset with what she'd just said. "....no pun intended...."

"Heh...don't worry about it," Rayman chuckled, trying to not be too loud. "I probably deserved being hit anyways...I really didn't mean to offend you. I thought you'd lost your tail and your wings." He sighed, adjusting the ice pack a bit. "I don't mean to trouble you, but you wouldn't happen to know where the Fairy Council is, do you?" The fairy quirked a brow at him. "...Okay...well...how about Clearleaf Forest?" The fairy only continued her confused expression. "You don't know about those places? How about the Bog of Murk?" Same confused expression. "The Fairy Glade?" No dice. "The Sea of Lums?" Again, the same expression. "What about The Dream Glade?? EVERYONE knows where that is!" It was true. The Dream Glade was the name of one of the four regions of his world.

The girl just continued to look at him with a perfectly blank expression. It was as if Rayman were speaking a different language than her altogether. It finally started coming together for the Limbless. "You really have no idea what I'm talking about, do you?" he sighed.

"In one ear and out teh other, Limbless," she chuckled nervously with a grin. Rayman groaned, a bit. This girl wasn't a fairy. He wasn't home. It now made sense why he didn't recognize the metal monster, why the house looked so strange, and why the fairy lady didn't have wings or a tail. She probably wasn't even a fairy at all, despite the striking resemblance.

"So that angry Lum really did send me through a portal," he sighed. "Well...it can't be all that bad. Someone will find that I'm missi--." Rayman's thoughts were interrupted suddenly as the fairy lady suddenly grabbed one of his locks of hair and pulled without mercy.

"Ya know what? &# being polite!" she roared, glaring at Rayman as he yelped repeatedly. He'd endured worse matters in terms of injury, but sometimes it was the little things that hurt enough to drive a person mad. "I wanna know what the hell you are, and I wanna know NOW!" The woman let go, standing up before him, her arms crossed. She seemed quite serious with her request. She scowled at Rayman, and Rayman scowled back at her.

"Is this how your people greet each other or something?" he questioned, massaging his very sore head. "If it is, I'm sorry, but it HURTS!" The girl quirked a brow at him, just barely smirking.

"Says the Limbless Alien who survived being hit by a truck at sixty miles-per-hour," she scoffed, reminding him of the whole ordeal again.

"What's a truck?" Rayman finally questioned. The fairy lady didn't respond with words. She only rolled her eyes at him again. Before Rayman could continue to question and argue with the woman, a loud chime filled the house, like large bells had just been rung, though there was no room in the house for such a thing from what he could tell. "What was that?" he asked. He noticed that all the color seemed to have left the woman's face as fear replaced it. His first instinct told him that an enemy of hers had found her, and the bells were a signal of their arrival.

"Was I too loud?" she whimpered, suddenly yanking on Rayman's hoodie, pulling him out of the chair.

"HEY!! What do you think you're doing!?" Rayman roared, not exactly accustomed to be dragged around all over the place. "Lemme go!"

"Shut up and get in there!" she roared, opening up a door to another room and shoving him inside none-too-gently. Rayman didn't get to stumble too far without bumping into a wall and found himself surrounded by clothes hanging off a pole. "Just stay in there and shut up, okay?" the lady called, shutting the door. The Limbless Hero sighed, going through the day's events so far, even though he'd only been awake about fifteen minutes.

"First I'm attacked by this Truck monster, slapped around by some strange fairy, and now I'm shoved into a closet for only Polokus knows what," he growled, rubbing his aching head. "Yep, this day just can't get any better."

Outside the closet, the woman slowly opened the main door of her house, peering out, expecting so see a concerned neighbor or even a cop. Instead, she was face to face with a man about her age, with hair that almost looked like fire with the unnatural red hair dye mixed in his blond hair, and his most distinguishing feature were he two bandages on the right side of his face forming an X. Unless his creepy attempt of a charming grin counted as a distinguishing feature.

"Good morning, my sweet little flower," the man began, trying his best to sound romantic. "I thought I heard a disturbance, so naturally I hurried over to make sure you weren't harmed." The girl glared at the man, feeling sick to her stomach to the man's words. She attempted to shut the door on him, but his hands got in the way as he pushed the door to fight back.

"TANNEN!" the woman roared, still struggling to shut the door. "Damnit, don't I have a retraining order against you!?" She'd been trying to keep Tannen away from her for some time now, classifying him as a stalker.

"It's not yet official, my dear," Tannen cooed, continuing his faux romantic voice. "You can't get rid of your Prince Charming that easily." The woman felt like she was going to barf, doubling her efforts to shut the door, while at the same time, Tannen was doubling his efforts to get in.

"What am I doing in here?" Rayman groaned to himself. "I'm a hero! I can't let this fairy push me around." He started pounding on the closet door. "GET ME OUTTA HERE!!" he cried, grabbing both Tannen and the fairy lady's attention.

"Um...love...what was that?" Tannen asked, managing to get in the house a bit more as ˜his princess' eased her strength, going pale to the sound of Rayman's voice.

"I didn't hear anything," she whimpered a lie. "I have no idea what you're talking about." Tannen didn't seem all that amused.

"You do realize you're a terrible liar, right?" he mentioned, stepping into the house.

"It's nothing! I swear!!" The girl whimpered, able to hear her own heart pounding furiously. Rayman was getting quite impatient as he tried to open the closet door, only to discover it was locked.

"Forget this. I'm busting outta here!" he declared, taking a single step back and winding up his fist, prepared to knock the door clean off his hinges. "No closet can hold THIS Limbless Hero!!" His fist sped up, faster and faster, when suddenly it caught on one of the hanging garments in the closet. In the high velocity his fist had been spinning, Rayman ended up pulling the whole rack down, causing a bit of commotion as the shelf fell with it, a few of its holdings falling on his head. Eventually it stopped. "...ow..." was all the hero could say, his pride taking a beating. ˜Beaten by a closet...how humiliating can this get?' he wondered to himself.

Tannen ventured closer to the closet, a sly smirk forming on his face. "Well, that certainly doesn't sound like ˜nothing'," he mocked, peering back at the girl as she closed the front door. "Shall I check what it is, or should I make a ˜domestic disturbance' call?" She didn't reply to him. Instead she just shut her eyes and placed her palm over her forehead. ˜I'm so sorry,' she whimpered in her mind, as if Rayman could hear her thoughts. ˜I tried to--'

"What the!?" the man cried, breaking her thoughts. "You okay sir?" The woman opened her eyes again. She'd expected Tannen to start freaking out, ranting about aliens, or the fact that this creature had no limbs to speak of. Instead, he'd reacted as if a normal person had been stuffed into the closet, and she saw why. In Rayman's attempt to escape, he'd gotten caught in one of her old long coats, which had luckily slipped right on him when he stumbled out of the mess. It was perfect, long enough to cover up the fact that he had no arms and legs, and his hoodie had ended up being put up, covering up the fact that he had no neck, and making his hair cover his eyes for the moment, forcing the Limbless to stumble forward blindly.

Within two seconds of seeing Rayman like this, an idea triggered in the girl's mind. "Oh, how rude of me," she laughed. "Tannen, I would like you to meet my boyfriend." The words blasted Rayman's ears like an explosive. He quickly uncovered his eyes and glared at the woman. First she'd thrown him around like a used toy, and now she was claiming to be his mate!? This had gone WAY too far! Before he could object, however the girl quickly approached him, nearly tackling him as she kneeled on the ground, holding the Limbless close with one hand and covering his mouth with the other. "He's just a bit shy about it," she quickly added, pulling off an innocent grin.

Before Rayman could do so much as squirm, the girl looked back at him, an evil look in her eyes and began hissing in his ear. "Listen up you little....whatever you are," she began, whispering so Tannen couldn't hear as he was processing the words she'd said moments before. "If you value your life, you would be wise enough to just go along with this. Don't let him know you lack limbs or you will die." She narrowed her eyes at him. "Don't even object to anything I say either." Rayman had faced many cold and cruel creatures in the past, but somehow this woman was scarier than any of them. Even scarier than Mister Dark, and he STILL had nightmares about the dark mage!

"So," Tannen spoke up, breaking up the negotiation with the two. "How long have you two ˜lovebirds' known each other." The woman rolled her eyes, knowing well that Tannen would be asking questioned sooner or later.

"A month," she said, dropping it at that. The boy wasn't done just yet.

"I haven't even seen him before," he mentioned, crossing his arms.

"He's new to the area, so just drop it, Bind!" she hissed. Rayman assumed the boy's full name was Tannen Bind from what he'd heard so far. It bugged him that he still didn't know his captor's name. ˜Does she have to cover my mouth the whole time?' he groaned to himself. Tannen squatted down a bit so that he was at eye-level with the stranger. He scowled at him, and he scowled back. "Ain't he...erm...how do I put this," Tannen groaned after examining him a bit. "Well, to be blunt, ain't he a bit short for you?" Rayman rolled his eyes. One feature everyone back home except for the Teensies pointed out was Rayman's stature.

The woman finally let Rayman go, as if she were the one offended by Tannen's words. "What's the matter?" she hissed. "Have a problem with shorter people?" The boy simply smiled at her, his voice returning to its poor romantic tone.

"I just assumed you'd prefer being with someone that's actually worth your time, my star," he purred. "Someone tall and strong enough to ward others away. This little shrimp here could be used as a stepping stool and nothing more." Rayman tied his best to stay cool, not wanting to blow his cover as the fairy had instructed. Seems that he didn't need to move at all, as the woman let him go and stood up. He noticed she was just a bit taller than the boy as he too stood up.

"If he were someone like yerself," she growled, her hands both folding into fists. "I would have kicked him out a long time ago. Get out of my house!" Tannen's smile faded just a little bit.

"I assume you two lovers need some ˜alone time'," he mocked. "Just don't make it loud." The woman was anything but amused, although Rayman had no idea what the man was implying.

"Get out of my house," she repeated. "Get out now or I'll call the cops on you...AGAIN!" Tannen backed away a bit, glaring at Rayman. The Limbless made sure he was fully covered in that instant.

"I'll warn you only once, shorty," he growled. "Break my angel's heart and you're a dead man."

"OUT!!" the fairy roared, about to just throw him out the window. He complied after the yelling, in a surprisingly calm manner, seeing himself out the door. The woman locked it instantly, groaning in frustration and grumbling vulgar words Rayman wouldn't comprehend. He looked around the house a bit while she was distracted, looking back in the kitchen. His jaw nearly dropped as he saw a HUGE opening in the back of the room they'd been in. He hadn't noticed before since he had been focused more on pain and figuring out where he was. Now there was a wide open exit just waiting for him.

"Why me...of all girls to stalk, why me?" the woman groaned, forgetting all about the Limbless wonder for the moment.

THUNK!

"What the hell was that!?" she snapped, turning around just in time to watch Rayman tumble in reverse onto his back, rubbing his nose to make sure it wasn't broken once he'd landed. On her sliding glass door, there was an impression of his nose and hands. She couldn't help but to smirk, nearly busting a lung to keep from laughing at the creature's attempts to escape.

"That window is too clean," Rayman grumbled, figuring out quickly what it was. He hated clear windows with a passion, as they constantly fooled him in the past. He'd tried to take a shortcut out of Ly's house before, only to smack his face against a window, much to the fairy's amusement. He soon saw the new fairy peering over him, quirking a brow at him. He took note that this expression was quite common for her.

"Trying to get out will only get you killed, big-nose," she stated, offering her hand to help him up. Rayman hesitated at first, then took her hand, surprised that he was gently pulled up, rather than jerked up.

"What's your deal!?" he yelled at her, backing away. "I don't understand...are you my enemy or not!? First you hurt me, then act like you're my friend. You throw me around, and pretend to be my mate moments later. You threaten to kill me, and now you expect me to believe that going outside will be worse than you? I think I'll take my chances outside!!" The woman looked quite confused of Rayman's words, grabbing onto the sleeve of the long coat before he could go anywhere.

"Hang on there, little fella," she grumbled. "Look, I know I haven't been giving ya the best first impression, but that's just how I am. Besides, I've been having a horrid day since before you woke up. I have nothing against you as far as I know. I'm just stressed and I have a short fuse. I'm sure an apology isn't enough to make up for this first meeting and all, but at least allow me to protect you."

"Protect me from what? Yourself!?" Rayman snapped. "You know....if you weren't a girl I'd use my fists on you!"

"At least you have chivalry," she sighed, letting go. "Seriously though, Limbless--"

"My name is Rayman!"

"Rayman...whatever....anyways, I really am trying to protect you," she continued. "If I wasn't, I would have left you on the side of the road for someone else to find you. You woulda been sold to the highest bidding zoo or science lab hours ago. Humans tend to freak out when it comes to creatures they haven't seen before. You're probably a lot safer with me than you are any other human, although I will admit, your limbless appearance scared the hell outta me."

Rayman wasn't so sure if he could believe this woman. His instinct told him to just run, but something else was holding him back. This scenario all felt familiar to him. He couldn't quite remember what in his past reminded him of such things though.

"Look...if yer stay is really that bad after a few more hours," the woman sighed, appearing to have fully calmed down already. "You can walk out...but I assure you letting yourself be known to others will be your death wish."

"Why would your species want to hurt me?" Rayman questioned. "Why would you be scared? I'm not going to hurt anyone. I'm a hero back home!" The girl sat down so she didn't have to look down at him.

"Humans fear difference," she explained. "They fear change. You are a threat to the way humans think. Instinctively, we're violent creatures who will destroy whatever it is that's considered a freak of nature to our world. No offence, but you kinda fit the bill on that one."

"What makes you so different from them?" he questioned, not caring about the whole freak thing one bit. He considered himself a freak as well, but took pride in it.

"I just am," she sighed. "I've been different from most humans for as long as I can remember. Probably the reason I haven't gotten any friends." Those words made Rayman's heart sink just a bit. She had no one? Not even evil friends like herself? "Just trust me," she urged. "You're truly a magnificent creature from what I can see, and the last thing I want is for you to be destroyed." The Limbless took a moment to think about the situation.

He was trapped in another world. Probably another dimension to be exact. This creature who had already given him a bad morning was suddenly willing to change just to protect him from her own kind. He didn't see much of an option since he didn't have the ability to open a portal back home, and he didn't want to take his chances with other humans if they were worse than her.

"Alright....I'll say," he agreed. "But only until I find a way home. Soon as I figure out how, I'm outta here!" The woman nodded, seemingly in a respective gesture. "Erm....what's your name, by the way? I don't think I caught it."

"Just call me Luckster," she instructed, holding out her hand. Rayman shook her hand, unable to resist smiling at her. Okay, sure this creature had a temper problem, but he started to have a good feeling about her.

"Erm....can I take this off now?" he whimpered, tugging slightly on the long coat he was stuck in.

Luckster_Gal
11-27-2008, 02:03 AM
Chapter Two: Questions

"So...what exactly are ya anyways?" Luckster asked, taking the trench coat off Rayman only after making sure the surrounding windows were covered with curtains, including the sliding glass door. "Some sort of alien or something?" It was still a bit difficult for her to get used to the concept of any creature walking about without any limbs to speak of. If he were some sort of puppet, then it would make some sense.

"Alien?" Ray asked back with a look of disgust. "No, I'm just a limbless, nothing special." he shrugged, though it seemed a quite strange gesture without shoulders.

"Erm...no offence, uh...Ray, but 'Limbless' creatures aren't exactly common here," she said, sitting back down at the table. "So that kinda classifies you as an alien." The limbless couldn't say he liked that term, though it held some truth. If he looked at it more closely, he was just as alien here as a Knaaren in the Fairy Glade. Finally letting it slide, he sat down as well.

The woman couldn't keep her eyes off Rayman, more fascinated now than confused or scared like before. He moved around perfectly as if he really did have limbs, while at the same time it was very obvious he didn˜t. Like with the way his feet seemed to dangle from his torso on the chair, like a small child˜s would.

"How did you even get here? You never did clear that up," she reminded. "Ya just kinda...trailed off before I freaked out."

"Uh...well...the closest I can give to an answer, is that I ticked off a Lum and it probably opened a portal." he reached back, scratching the back of his head with a thoughtful expression. "Though I was sleeping so I may even be off..."

"Portals from one world to the other normally can't open unless there's some sort of connection though," Luckster said. "There's no life on any planet in our solar system besides our own, and the closest star next to ours would take more than a human lifetime to get to..." Rayman kept blinking to her words for a little while, without an answer. First impression was of a fairy...now he was beginning to think she had Teensie origins too. He could almost feel his head hurting from it. "If you say so..." he muttered, obviously bewildered.

"Scientific theories aside, you still need to get home somehow," she sighed, blushing a little in embarrassment to her sudden burst of intellect. "Unfortunately, portal technology is still centuries ahead of us humans...so the only way you probably can get back is if someone figures out you're missing and uses the same pathways to get here."

"Well that's gonna take a while..." Ray groaned, slapping his forehead. "I'm known to be one who can roam the forests for days without showing up. It'll take at least a few days to notice I'm gone...even more until they'll come after me."

"Lucky you," she sighed. "You don't have family or work to deal with? If I went missing like that, my boss would freak." She got back up, heading to the fridge to grab something to eat. She knew her houseguest had to be hungry by now. "No matter...yer stuck with me unless you manage to find someplace safer around here. I dun think staying in the house will kill ya though."

"Except that I've been defeated by a closet, I don't think so either." Ray sighed. This place was just weird all over...and that was counting it by his standards! He flinched a bit as his mind comprehended something she said a moment ago. "I DO have work to deal with..." he muttered, turning a bit pale. Why hadn't it dawned on him before?

"Oh yeah? What do you do?" Luckster asked, returning to the table with a large bowl of fruit. "Can't imagine what kinda job a Limbless could have really..."

"You'd be surprised..." the mentioned mumbled, worry already eating him. It was just irritating until now, but he just thought about his situation a bit more. What if something attacked while he was stranded here? He'd be powerless to defend his friends! "I'm...basically a guardian to everyone."

"Guardian?? You mean like a cop or something?" she asked casually. "I kinda got a similar job."

"I don't know what a cop is..." Ray reminded, his expression backing up his lack of knowledge. "I'm the one people count on when something evil threatens peace. I have already built up a kind of 'hero-fame'." he silenced as he noticed the fruit. Though they seemed different from the ones in the Glade, he didn't really care at the moment. Food was food, right? He grasped an apple and eyed it for a little while, even sniffling it. He finally decided to take his chances and took a bite of it. A smile quickly formed on his face as he found the taste quite to his liking.

After a few moments, trying her best to place a visual in her mind, Luckster spoke up again. "So yer the 'hero' of yer world?" she questioned, quirking a brow. "I'm sorry, but I really find that hard to believe...I mean--yer like 3-foot nothing in height, no limbs or muscle build...how can you be a hero? Unless everyone in yer world is tiny..." Rayman stopped in mid-bite, a scowl quickly forming on his face. He lowered his hand, revealing an offended expression at best.

"No. I'm in fact small compared to most others in my world, but that doesn't mean I'm weak. How can you judge when you don't even know anything about me?" he spat.

"I just call em as I see em," she said with a simple shrug, not at all intimidated by his scowl. "Yer small, and got walloped by a truck...the only strength I see is that is takes more than a big of heavy motorized machinery to take you down."

"It takes more than even an army to take me down!" Ray growled, putting the apple on the table and jumping out of the chair. He was going to show her what he could do! He hated it when people assumed he was weak, just because of he didn't have the look of a titan. He had much more than one could see at first. "Here, I'll even show you something!" he called, still scowling.

"This should be good," she muttered, still sure that he couldn't do much of anything with his small stature, taking a bite of an apple as she watched. Seeing she was reluctant to believe him, Ray decided to first surprise her a little bit.

"For one thing...I can attack pretty fast, not to mention in a way not many would expect." he explained casually, like a simple lecturing. He suddenly leaned forward a bit and shot his fist, aiming right at Luckster's face. Just before impact though, he pulled back on it, making it stop only inches before her. The woman fell back and out of her seat, reacting simply to the fact that he was about to hit her.

"Next time yer gonna make an example and you use ME as yer target, I'm gonna kick yer ***!" she warned, looking just as scary as she did before with the scowl on her face. Rayman's spurt of glee couldn't be stopped by her expression this time though. He kept laughing for some time, while his hand came back and rejoined his form.

"It got my message across though, I think." he managed to say between laughing.

"All you've managed to prove is you can throw a fist like any other person," She growled, scurrying up to her feet. "The only difference is yer lack of limbs. If that's yer only trait, then yer no different than any other fighting-thug around these parts, or myself for that matter." That however silenced Rayman once more. He seemed annoyed by the fact Luckster didn't believe him at all. He suddenly remembered he actually had something even more special.

"How much are you willing to bet that I can show you something really out of this world?" he smirked. "No pun intended, of course."

"Just show me it and you might get me to shut up," she offered, crossing her arms and quirking a brow again. "If ya aim at me though, you won't be in this world much longer if ya catch my drift..."

"Don't worry...this is a bit too dangerous to fool around with." he winked before closing his eyes. He didn't use this power for a long time, thus it took a little while to call it once more. He brought his hands up, palms facing each other. Exhaling, he poured raw power through himself. It took a few moments before the energy began to visibly appear in his hands, though only a swirling mass yet.

Luckster's eyes opened to their fullest. The only time she'd ever seen something like this were in movies and TV shows, and those were always visual effects. This was the real deal! The limbless kept his eyes closed, concentrating on carefully forming the energy. He wanted to impress Luckster; to show her just what he was really capable of. His hands gave off a brief flash, which after he opened his eyes again. "Behold..." he grinned, holding up a ball of pure energy.

"Okay...I will admit, THAT is pretty awesome!" she said, her eyes still on the perfect sphere of energy. She could even feel the pure energy emitting from it like heat. Rayman chuckled a bit, happy he was able to amaze her.

"And I already saved my world once, even before I got this power." he mused, and began juggling with the sphere, as if it was just a little ball. "Ly gave me this ability, when our planted was invaded." he explained.

"Invaded? By what?" she asked, getting back in her seat, her interest growing on the Limbless and where he came from. In terms of excitement, this was the best she was getting for many years.

"Robot-Pirates." the limbless replied, his voice tensing a bit like always when he spoke about them. He still hated them, even after all these years. "They were big metallic thugs, who enslaved nearly everyone, and even blew up the Heart of the World! The Heart is our energy source...without it, we first lose our powers and eventually our lives as well." he continued explaining.

"Damn...sounds interesting," she admitted. "Ya gotta tell me everything later." Just the idea of the robot pirates alone reminded her that she had a book to write and still didn't have ideas. Rayman was actually keen on continuing, but the return of a growl from downstairs alerted him to a simple fact...he was still hungry. Just to show off a bit more, he sent out his hand to retrieve the apple. He immediately began to munch on it once again, the moment his hand was back at its proper place.

"Can't say I got much of anything interesting," she admitted after swallowing another bite of her own apple. "Just an average human trying to survive life like everyone else."

"Are you kidding me?" he mused between two bites. "Nothing here is average for me! I mean...you have so many things I've never even heard of, let alone seen. This whole world is a mystery to me, just waiting to be explored!" he chimed, sounding a lot like an adventurous kid at this point.

"Well, I've grown up around this stuff, so it's normal for me," she admitted. "Humans rely on a lot of technology for survival. There are inventors and scientists constantly improving old technologies and making new ones." She looked a bit serious at him for a moment. "And the only exploring you get to do is in this house."

"WHAT?!" Rayman nearly shouted his chin hanging loose a bit. "You can't do this to me! To be in a completely different world, and at the same time, locked up in a house, that's pure torture!" he whined. He already concluded in the back of his mind that he'd go out either way. Not even she could stop his exploring spirit. He'd already been forced indoors for three days before in his world.

"I can't let anyone find out about you," she snapped. "I nearly had a heart attack when Tannen found you...that was pure dumb luck that my old jacket fell on top of you in the closet."

"I still don't really understand what this world resents in other species so much, but it doesn't matter right now..." he crossed his arms, looking defiant all the way. "In any case, I can hide quite well...being raised in a forest does that to you."

"The only way you can be out and about is if I get you a proper disguise that covers up the fact that you're limbless," she sighed. "You going around in a hood and trench coat will make you look like a gang member."

"I'm willing to risk that." he grinned. He felt really excited that he would actually get to see more of this world. Though it wasn't his own, he had a curious nature, which didn't lay dormant even here. "When can we go?" he asked quickly, his trepidation completely apparent. Luckster, on the other hand, didn't look to eager to leave.

"Consider yerself lucky I got my paycheck recently or you'd still be stuck here," she groaned. "One or two outfits are all yer getting. And I need you to promise you won't draw too much attention to yerself..."

"Okay, I'll put up my best behavior." the limbless assured, still grinning. It began to seem like getting stuck in an unknown world wasn't as bad as he first thought.

"Alright then," she sighed, getting up and tossing the coat back onto Ray. "Make sure yer lack of limbs can't be seen at all and we'll get going." She left the kitchen to get her own jacket and shoes, still a little unsure about the idea of taking the Limbless outside. He seemed awfully excited though, quickly making the coat the most comfortable for himself, without revealing his form. He pulled up the hood as well, completing the disguise. Now all he had to do was- A loud thud sounded as the limbless ungracefully tripped in the long coat.

"I hate this thing..." he growled, his face planted into the floor.

"You get used to it after a while," Luckster called, recognizing the thud from her own trench coat wearing days years early on when she was shorter. She came back out with a simple overcoat and her boots added to her outfit. "Ready to go, Limbless?"

Rayman quickly wobbled to his feet and scurried to her. "As ready as I'll ever be." he smiled, as if going on a tour or something. "Oh. and...could you call me Rayman instead? I don't go around calling you 'Human'." he remarked, sounding just a tiny bit hurt.

"Fair enough...er...how about I just call you Ray instead?" she asked. "It's a more common name than Rayman would be around here."

"I'm fine with Ray too." he nodded, still smiling. "Most of my friends call me Ray too...and right now, you're the closest thing I have to a friend around here."

"Eh...dun call people you just met a friend," she groaned, opening the front door. "Especially since ya won't be here forever. No need to get attached or anything."

"If other people behave with me like you described, then you're the only one close to a friend I'll ever get in this world." he mused, going towards the front door. "Besides, even if I go back into my world...pleasant memories never hurt."

"You'd be surprised," she muttered, locking the door and grabbing onto his hand before he could wander off too far. "Stay close or ya might end up walloped by another truck like last night...and try not to stare at people," she instructed, walking him down the sidewalk through her neighborhood. Lucky she spoke, as Ray was just doing that. He quickly realized himself and tried not to stare at everyone, even though the temptation was huge. He could see a few cars going by making him shudder a bit. He had grown to resent these metal monsters.

"If we're lucky, we won't run into many people," she sighed. "It's Monday, so most people are at school or work..." She growled a bit, seeing a group of teenagers at the corner across the street, apparently skipping school. The limbless was alerted by the growl and glanced at the teenagers. Humans...they'd freak out at the sight of him and would react badly...but why? He didn't even notice he'd been leaving his gaze at them for the longest time. The Teenagers noticed Rayman staring at them and scowled at him, giving him gestures that were unfamiliar to him, but very familiar to Luckster.

"YA WANNA COME OVER HERE AND DO THAT?" She roared, making most of the group nearly jump out of their baggy jeans. "That's what I thought..." Ray merely quirked a brow at the whole ordeal, a bit bewildered on what just happened. He pulled a tiny bit on Luckster's hand to grab her attention.

"What did those gestures mean?" he asked.

"Bad things," she sighed, carefully crossing the street with him. "Certain words and gestures mean some pretty rude things. They were looking for a fight..."

"I could've gotten rid of them easily." Ray mused. He tried to imitate the gestures they were doing, just out of pure curiosity. Luckster smacked him instantly, glaring at him in the same manner she had to the teenagers.

"It's not a good idea to imitate everything you see here! You wanna get us in trouble!?" she growled. Ray held his free hand over the spot where she smacked her. He scowled back at first, but quickly gazed at the ground instead. She was right...he shouldn't mimic everything he saw, especially not when she stated it was bad.

"Sorry..." he muttered.

"Just don't do it anymore," she sighed. "And that goes for words you don't know either." She went pale at the idea of this clueless alien casually saying vulgar language and causing a fight.

"Alright Mommy..." he grumbled a bit, continuing silently along with her. Nevertheless, he stored the words and gestures in his mind. Maybe he'd actually need them once...probably not, but he still wanted to remember. The neighborhood eventually started turning into a small city as Luckster continued walking with Rayman, stopping quite often at the crosswalks and getting a little more and more grouchy the further into the city she got, glaring at anyone on their cell phones in the cars, and scoffing at people with unsightly clothes.

Rayman on the other hand was becoming a sort of rock, stopping every few moments to gaze at something, before being dragged off by Luckster, again and again. He also nearly bumped into a few people along the way, only luck saving him. He didn't even notice Luckster was going shorter on temper, on the other hand. Luckster nearly snapped as the two crossed another street while their signal was allowing them, narrowly avoiding being clipped by a car.

"GET OFF THAT GOD DAMNED CELL PHONE AND DRIVE YOU !!" Luckster yelled as the car sped off. The limbless gazed at here with wide eyes, not just a bit surprised of her sudden spurt of anger. He actually felt a slight twinge of fear as well.

"Not using those words, right?" he couldn't help but add that remark.

"Yeah...exactly," she sighed, pulling him towards a building and stopping. "Stay put," she grumbled, rubbing her forehead between the eyes. "I remember now why I hate going out..." Though the sights were still interesting, Ray rather diverted his attention to Luckster at the moment.

"Why?" he asked, curious and also a bit worried.

"Cause I hate people," she growled, trying to calm down to make her headache go away. "One of my flaws is that I notice everything about a person...everything...just by looking at them." Ray stood silent for a short while, comprehending what she said.

"But, you also notice if they're good right? Why not just concentrate on only those? That way you wouldn't notice anything bad." he mused.

"Most people don't have very good qualities anymore," she sighed, calming down just a little bit. "The seven deadly sins have pretty much taken over the average human lifestyle...the main one being greed."

"Seven deadly sins?" Ray muttered, confusion apparent. "What are those? Do you actually die if you commit one?"

"It's just an expression," she sighed. "They are Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, and Pride...they take up the basics of an average human's personality...even I'm guilty of having one." Ray couldn't help but quickly run them through his head. Lust...concerning he didn't even have a concept on it, that was a sure no. Gluttony...rarely. Greed...nope. Sloth...again, not too much. Wrath...only if his friends were involved. Envy...no. Pride...well, maybe a bit.

"Wrath, may I guess?" he asked.

"Pretty much," she sighed. "My hatred to other people has grown a lot over the years...I can't help it. They give me very little reason to not hate them."

"Still...isn't it a bit harsh to just collectively hate all of them?" the limbless queried. "What if there are still more or less pure people around as well? They're hated as well because of others?"

"You have a lot to learn about humans, Ray," she sighed, grabbing his hand again and continuing the walk, heading towards a larger building in front of a huge parking lot. All of the parked cars seemed like sleeping monsters to Rayman.

"I hope these don't work on their own too..." he muttered. He didn't even notice he was nearly clinging to Luckster. Getting hit by a truck was a feat he didn't want to attempt again.

"Dun worry about it," she sighed. "Cars and such can't work unless there's a person inside to operate them." Rayman stayed close to her side anyways, just in case her word wasn't entirely true.

Luckster_Gal
11-27-2008, 02:04 AM
Chapter three: Too Much Information

Luckster tried to avoid looking at any of the people as she stepped through the automatic doors of the mall. Normally in the early afternoon there weren't many people. Just those who happened to have the day off, or didn't work, who were around for routine shopping. Today, however, looked just as crowded as it would on a weekend evening, complete with the parents with lack of control for their kids, and teenagers who sought attention or trouble--whichever came first.

"Guess a lotta people have the day off," she grumbled, her headache quickly returning. Rayman was holding himself back from playing with the automatic doors. Even during the Robot Pirate invasion he had goofed off a few times, entering and exiting a place via automatic door, over and over again. Though concerning Luckster's temper, he didn't try it. He noticed Luckster held mixed feeling about the people around them as she pulled him through the masses. Luckster smirked just a bit to some of the small children playing around in the windows of some of the stores, and scowled at others who were crying and screaming as they passed the soda and candy machine.

"...kids...meh..." she simply grumbled.

"You don't like kids?" Ray couldn't help but ask. He personally loved them, having spent half of his life with a bunch of Glute kids perching on top of him. He simply adored little ones.

"I'm picky...I dun like spoiled brats," She admitted. "Most parents these days don't raise their kids right and it shows. Take a closer look around ya." She stopped and pulled Ray to the side of one of the stores, just to give the limbless a good idea of what she was on about. The limbless took a moment to examine the noisier kids a bit, and finally had to agree with her. Globox's kids were nowhere in comparison to these...the little Glutes didn't whine for nearly nothing, only when they lost a toy or something like that. They were little angels most of the time, while these were rather devils.

"You know...I think I agree with you, for once." he mused.

"My Dad always yelled at me anytime I was a brat. Kept me in line," she explained, walking further away from the screaming children. "Parents these days think that yelling at their kids will damage them or something. It's really stupid...I personally salute my father˜s method. A quick raise of his voice and a scowl on his face was more than enough to scare a bit of good behavior into me." Again, Rayman measured humans to the Glutes. He never heard Globox yell at the kids...not that he ever had to, as most of them listened to him, and the rest would only protest because they wanted to play with him.

"From what I see, NOT yelling does more damage..." he quirked a brow at a particularly screaming kid. That was just not normal...

"Oh well...not my kids, not my problem," Luckster said, pulling Rayman into a clothing store. "I'm just thankful to have had a strict father to keep me in line." Instantly she started looking at the sweaters in the teen-section, for something to match Rayman's hoodie. The limbless was just simply marveled by the amount of clothes. He never even dreamt so many existed, let alone such a colorful chaos. He got used to seeing always the same clothes, with only a few variations coming from Teensies. His mind pointed out one thing though.

"None of you wear body suits?" he queried, still regarding the humans fairies at some point. Luckster took a moment to make sure she heard him correctly before thinking of a response. Even thinking of a response took her a while, trying her best to not make fun of the naive limbless.

"Not normally...why do you ask?" she quirked, sure that going around in just a body suit would make anyone feel rather exposed. She may have had the body for such attire, but objected to the very idea, even if she were paid.

"Well...Ly wears a body suit, so I expected it must be a common attire, even here." he mused, scratching the back of his head. "Though it seems it's not...strange. I think it suits better than simple clothes."

"If I wanted someone to be able to see every curve and fold on my body, I'd go around naked," Luckster muttered before pulling a red sweater off the rack. "Slip this on and see if it fits." Lucky she steered his thoughts away, as he was just about to visualize what they were talking about. This way, he just silently took the sweater and attempted to get into it, though getting trapped in it halfway along the process. He looked rather like someone being shipped to an asylum, at the moment, the trench coat disguise of his not helping him one bit in the struggle.

Luckster smirked a bit, enjoying the show a bit before getting a new idea. "Never mind...we'll try something else," She sighed, pulling the sweater off him and pulling him to another part of the store. "The dressing rooms have no cameras, so no one will see you," she explained as she pulled him into a small room. "NOW try it on." Ray groaned but complied, trying again after taking off the coat. After a few minutes of trying, he finally managed to get it right...though it seemed even worse, as he nearly completely disappeared in it.

"Is this a bad joke?" he sighed, his hands not even reaching out of the sweater.

"Hmmm...a little too big..." Luckster said. "You stay here. I'll find a few more in different sizes." She left the room without another word, leaving Rayman alone in the dressing room. A few other humans were around, talking about school, work, and even more personal topics. The limbless resisted the urge to go out, but couldn't hold back his curiosity. He thought about what would happen if they found him, but discarded the gloomy images. Instead, he leaned a bit closer towards where the sound was coming from, eavesdropping on the conversations.

There was a girl in the next dressing room over, chatting with her friend outside it. "You'd think these teachers would realize we actually have lives rather than slamming us with two tons of bookwork!" One complained. "Eh...you know how old geezers are. Youth isn't important to them anymore so they wanna make us all miserable and bitter."

He blinked a bit to that. Maybe that was another reason why Luckster acted like this? Humans were actually educated to be so against the world? ...maybe that's why they didn't accept other species? He stopped his thoughts for the moment and continued to listen instead.

"It's not like we even need this information!" The first one continued. "You think we're really gonna need to know anything about the political system or economic system if we're nurses?"

"Or History! Don't forget that. I mean--what's done is done, right?"

"Exactly...and most of the stuff we learn in science class...ugh...it's based on theory! They just wanna make us think it's important so we can't argue with them about it."

Luckster finally came into the room again with more clothes for Ray to try. "Sorry that took so long Ray," she sighed, putting the clothes in a tidy pile on the dressing room bench, not even noticing he˜d been listening in on others˜ conversations. The limbless flinched to Luckster's arrival, a bit red that he'd been eavesdropping all along...which only made him understand humans even less. Why did they learn things the didn't use? He mostly knew things he could benefit from, in everyday life.

"Uh...it's okay." he finally muttered, shaking his head a bit, even sporting a faint smile.

"Hey...you have a BOY in the same dressing room as you?" One of the girls suddenly called over.

"Yeah?? And??" Luckster mused, scowling a bit. She recognized the tone of the voice too well. "Shouldn't you two be in school or something?"

"We're 25," The other lied. "We don't go to school anymore."

"25 my ***!" Luckster growled, peeking out the dressing room to look at the girl outside, keeping it closed enough to where no one could see Rayman. "Bull****...yer as flat as a 14-year old, and as snooty as a prep," she growled. "Get yer spoiled asses outta here and over to school unless ya wanna grow up to be stupid bimbos!" Whether the girls were offended or scared, they eventually left within seconds of Luckster rant and she got back in the room. "Teenagers...they think they know everything..."

Ray couldn't say he wasn't a tiny bit scared of Luckster, even knowing she didn't like most people in general. Still...that was a bit harsh, at least in his opinion.

"What's this school exactly?" he asked. "And why are humans obliged to study there?"

"School is where we get our basic education," she explained, grabbing a smaller sweater than the one before, pulling the old one off him. "We go starting when we're as young as five years old and remain until we're 18, advancing to different grades over time. Depending on our intelligence, we can learn some advanced stuff at an earlier age."

"That sounds...boring." Ray remarked bluntly. "I learned everything at home, or out in the forest. We don't really have schools like yours. We...kinda educate each other on most matters, and learn mostly from experiences. It's a lot more fun that way."

"Humans are a little more advanced than that," she explained, pulling the sweater off him, proving to still be a little too big for the curious limbless. "We have a very long and complicated history that's best to be taught to every young generation so that they are not blind to what our world has been though. Science changes every day and it's a good idea to figure out what can be made, even if it's just a theory. And in this country especially, economics and politics are very important subjects to know about in terms of the government and our jobs. I find it fascinating myself...then again, I've spent the last few years reading books more than anything."

"Yeash...makes my head hurt just by thinking about it." Ray mused, rubbing his forehead a bit. "We're much simple than that. Teensies know the most because they're everywhere, while fairies know a lot about nature and magic. Other than that though, we usually have enough knowledge to live well...and that's about enough for us."

"Sounds nice...wish life was simple like that for us," she sighed, pulling the new sweater on him, struggling a bit with his large nose. The limbless reached and helped her a bit, forcing himself into the sweater. He looked over himself, smiling.

"Much better..." he mused, now that his hands were actually visible as well.

"Alright, now for the pants," she sighed, handing him a pair of black sweats. "I woulda got you jeans like mine, but they'd probably be a hassle for you to move around in." Ray eyed the pants with a bit more discomfort than the sweater. That seemed like having a bit too much...he was all too used to having just his shirt and hood on.

"Whatever you say..." he sighed in the end.

"Sorry bud...unless ya wanna trip around in a coat all day, ya gotta do this," Luckster sighed, helping him into them one foot at a time. The limbless soon got over himself and got into the pants, though looking disgusted and befuddled all the way.

"Now I know why Ly wears body suit..." he groaned. "I'd die if I had to wear this all the time!"

"You'll get used to it after a while," she assured him. "Perfect! They fit you. Now I just need one more thing..." She ripped off the tags dangling off the side of Rayman's new clothes. "Just gotta buy em."

"Buy?" he muttered, quirking a brow. "Humans buy clothes? I thought they could be taken freely, like in my world. Fairies make clothes for others just out of pure fun." he explained.

"No...that would be stealing in this world," She explained. "People made these clothes and sell them to the stores, then people have to buy them from the stores for the store to make money to pay their employees and buy more merchandise." Rayman listened well, though obviously confused of the whole thing. He couldn't even comprehend the basics of economy.

"Humans think too much..." he groaned finally, rubbing his forehead again.

"Maybe you just don't think enough," She chuckled, placing his hood back on his head and pulling him out of the room, holding her old jacket in her other arm as well as the tags for his clothes. She went to the counter to pay for them, letting go of Ray's hand to dig through her purse to find her money. That was all it took for the limbless to vanish though. He couldn't help it though, his curiosity got the better of him again. He strolled along the clothes that could be found, eying them each.

He suddenly came to a stop as he found a few clothes he just couldn't figure out what their purpose was exactly...undergarments for women. A few other shoppers just walked passed him, ignoring him entirely. A few girls scoffed at him and muttered 'pervert' as they passed him.

Luckster noticed he was gone by the time she was done buying the clothes. "Oh for the love of...he couldn't stay still ONE minute?" she growled, looking around for him.

The limbless was still in one place though, trying his best to figure out what these clothes were for. He had never seen anything so much as resemble them, before. He took one off and examined it a little closer, determined to find out what they were for, even if it'd take him all day.

Luckster looked though every aisle and dressing room on the other side of the store, her blood boiling more and more. "If someone finds him, he's dead," she growled, getting a little more frantic as she looked. She paused for a moment, dazed by her own behavior. "Huh...so this is what it's like to be a mother..."

Rayman on the other hand had no knowledge of how Luckster was searching for him, still caught up with trying to figure out the purpose of the clothing he had in his hand...they were like two small bags connected, way too small to actually carry things in it, though he could see different sizes as well. 'Humans are weird...' he concluded his thoughts.

"Well, lookie here," A familiar voice rang. "The short man seems to have a bra fetish." Of all the terrible coincidences to occur, Tannen just happened to be in the same store as Luckster and Rayman. "Where's Luckster? Ya ditch her already?" The limbless rolled his eyes, even at the sound of Tannen. He didn't like him at all, and that was putting it VERY softly. Frustrated over his own lack of understanding and Tannen's arrival, he replied with the first thing that came to his mind.

"I'm getting one for her." he growled.

"Wow! You're already at the point where she's comfortable with you buying her underwear?" he asked, sounding very impressed. "Even when I was on my second year with her she never let me do that!"

"Just shows she likes me more than she ever did you." the limbless replied, allowing a smirk for himself. The word 'underwear' only sunk in a little bit later. Once it did though, he turned about as red as possible, though resisting the urge to throw it away, fearing he'd blow his cover in front of Tannen.

"Yeah right...she probably just feels sorry for you," Tannen mocked, crossing his arms. "She has a weakness for freaks like yourself. Once she finds an excuse, she'll just get rid of ya." Ray's reddening was now fueled by anger, aimed towards Tannen. He didn't mind being called a freak every now and them, but he didn't take it lightly from a person like Tannen.

"What was her excuse when she threw you out?" he growled, failing to hide his anger.

"Ah, she made up some lame excuse about me cheating on her when it was really her cheating on me," he scoffed. "That girl sure can get around! She just got bored with me and wanted to get rid of me...until she was found out by the others. Now she's alone, and up until now, I'm the only one who can put up with her. With her vile temper and demonic heart, you won't last much longer I'm sure."

The limbless gazed at Tannen with eyes wide to his words. He couldn't really believe Luckster would do all that...after all, she protected him...even took him out when he asked. The other part of his mind agreed with Tannen, concerning what he could see of her temper, her anger spurts...and honestly, she wasn't always good to him. Rayman kept being silent, unable to decide what to believe.

"Probably a good idea to ditch her while ya can," Tannen advised. "I'm only still after her to keep her from hurting other people. It'd be much better now for you to leave her before she betrays ya."

"But...but why'd she betray me like that? I didn't do anything wrong!" Rayman muttered, his tone showing he almost fully believed Tannen.

"She's just like that. Women are evil by nature and Luckster is the worse. She'll reel you in, gain all your trust, then use you in the end. She ain't worth it," he sighed, sounding rather mournful. "Even as a friend she ain't worth it. She uses them too...well...used them to be more accurate."

Rayman fell silent once more, Tannen's words sinking in slowly. He thought he gained a friend in this alien world...and now he was alerted to the fact that the one he considered a friend was actually just playing with him. 'That's why she didn't want me to think of her as a friend...because I'm not one to her.'

"W-what should I do?..." he muttered, mostly to himself.

"Ditch her while ya still can," Tannen repeated. "Don't even go back to tell her. Just leave...unless ya want a large red hand mark on your face from her anger, that is." Rayman pondered about that for a little while, the clothing he was holding slipping out of his hands. What if she was lying about people acting badly towards him, too? He found himself slowly walking away, but quickly picking up a pace as he was promptly running. He wanted to get as far away from Luckster as possible.

As soon as Rayman was out of sight, and no longer a threat to him, Tannen chuckled rather evilly. "Now...where is that sexy angel?" he purred, casually walking through the store to find Luckster.

Luckster_Gal
11-27-2008, 02:04 AM
Chapter Four: Truth

Rayman just continued running without a thought, swallowing the hurt and bitterness inside of him. To think he actually trusted Luckster. He made his way out of the store and into the main halls of the mall, still crowded with people. Many of them tried to avoid running into him, or vice versa, all of them confused of why he was running. Luck didn't seem to shine on him today though as he couldn't avoid every single person, ending up running against someone much larger than him, falling back from the impact.

"Watch if you big-nosed freak!" The man growled, two of his friends backing him up by giving Rayman angry scowls. "What's the hurry? Ya looking for trouble?" For whatever reason, these three were in a foul mood. They looked somewhat like the teenagers Luckster had yelled at before, but further observation told that these three were adults, possibly older than Luckster. Rayman groaned a bit, still slightly dazed from the impact as his sat back up, rubbing his nose.

"No...sorry...I just..." he mumbled, trying to stop the world spinning around him. Bumping into the stranger combined with Tannen's words about Luckster were clogging Rayman's thinking.

"If we were outside, you'd be a deadman right now," the man growled, verifying that he really wasn˜t in the best of moods. He walked past him with one final glare before the other two followed, both wondering why the stranger had such a large nose. One of his buds kicked Rayman back to the ground, just for a final warning to watch where he was going next time. By the time Rayman rose again, he was more angry than dazed. The frustration that had been building up in him since Tannen appeared reached its peak. No one was allowed to kick the Limbless Hero around like that! He quickly jumped to his feet and lunged forward, punching the one who'd kicked him in the stomach.

That was all that he needed to cause a commotion. The small group put their sense of mercy aside and fought back. Parents were pulling their children away from them, other younger guys were rooting them on, and a few employees were calling security. One of the men managed to land a right hook on Rayman's jaw while the larger one was quickly pulling out a knife.

"You get off if ya don't wanna be killed, little man!" he roared before aiming to slice Rayman's neck, only to have gone right through where it should have been! "What the hell!?"

"Surprise!" Rayman grinned. quickly punching the guy's hand holding the knife, making him drop it. "I have a lot more to me than it first seem like." he taunted, getting back on his feet and taking up his usual fighting pose. Now he felt like back in his world, fighting undesirables. Despite ˜missing' his target, the larger one seemed more than eager to continue fighting him.

Rayman didn't care too much about concealing himself anymore. All humans seemed to be against him anyways. He began winding up his fist, forming an energy sphere within it all at the same time. Before the boys could react offensive or defensively, Rayman let his fist fly, not caring which of them were hit. They were all enemies to him. He missed all three of them, his fist crashing into a wall instead, leaving a small crater in it. He quickly called it back, ready to fight more, despite the fact that the three were shocked to the point where they didn't even want to move.

"What the hell are you?" One of them asked, glancing at the crater in the wall for a second. No human could ever cause such damage, even if they were strong and had metal gloves on. It just wasn't possible. What was more was the fact that he'd shot his fist, as if it had rockets in it.

"Rayman!" A familiar voiced called in the surrounding crowd. "What are you doing!? We gotta get out of here!" Rayman looked over, seeing Luckster pushing through the crowd. He turned around, intending to get away from her, only to trip over his own garments. He got back up before she could reach him, pushing through the crowd and heading for the doors. Luckster tried to keep up, losing sight of him quickly through the crowd.

"Being short has its advantages here," he said to himself, smiling a bit. He didn't need Luckster. He'd just go back to where he started and wait for his friends. If any humans crossed his path, he'd just fight them. Something suddenly didn't seem right. The Limbless felt pain. He didn't recall any of the three men landing anything except for a few punches and kicks. He was used to that from previous experiences. Something else was bugging him.

He paused once he'd left the building, trying to figure out what was causing such pain. It was getting worse and worse, especially as he searched for the source on his body. He noticed his new sweater was wet, and only seconds later discovered why. When he'd tripped, he'd fallen on the knife one of the assailants had dropped. The blade wasn't that big, but it hurt! He pulled it out and his eyes opened wide to the sight of his own blood. He'd never been cut like this before. Not when he was facing Mister Dark. Not when he was fighting the Robot Pirates, and not even when he was dealing with the Hoodlums. He'd gotten a few tiny cuts when he was younger from thorns, but this hurt almost one hundred times worse.

"Rayman!" Luckster's voice rang again. She'd caught up with him at last and noticed almost instantly that he was hurt. Rayman dropped the knife, trembling all over. The realization of his injury only made it worse. He didn't care that Luckster was there anymore. The pain was too much. "Hold still," Luckster instructed, her heart racing. She picked up the limbless, keeping one of her hands over his wound, applying a bit of pressure.

"Lemme go! That hurts!!" Rayman cried, trying to get her hand off him.

"Hold still or you're going to bleed to death!" Luckster snapped, not letting go. The pressure was all she had to lessen his bleeding. She had to get home and get him properly bandaged! "You'll be okay," she assured, running through the parking lot, intending to get home with as little stops as possible. "Just keep calm...you'll be okay. The limbless could barely hear her through the pain. He just kept standing against the torrent of pain, fighting a losing battle. He thought he would die here and now...so very far away from his friends, his home. He wanted to be back home now, more than anything.

The fifteen minutes it took for Luckster to take him home probably felt like hours for the limbless. By the time she approached the house, she was nearly out of breath. The only reason she forced her body over the limit was the fact that Rayman's bleeding was lethal to him. She nearly kicked down her own front door to get in, taking him to the bathroom to clean his wound, holding him tightly, knowing he was going to writhe in pain. Rayman was holding onto consciousness like dear life, even if it meant facing the continuously growing pain. His body instinctively squirmed to get away from the pain, only forgetting that it came from inside of him...and he couldn't escape from that.

"Hold still!!" She hissed, pulling off the sweater and applying water to the wound to clean it out. It wasn't all that deep at all, but he was still bleeding heavily. Rayman tried to get away from her, the water only making it worse. She couldn't take it much longer and slapped him, looking at him right in the eyes. "Hold still damnit! You're only going to die if you keep whining and squirming like this," she hissed. "Stop moving and let me help you!" It was all too easy for her to say; she wasn't the one with a knife-wound! Nevertheless, the limbless obeyed, trying to keep as calm as possible, only hissing bit whenever the pain topped new heights.

Luckster applied special chemicals to the wound to clean out any remaining germs. It tickled more than hurt like the water had. She kept pressure on the wound anytime she wasn't cleaning it, making the bleeding less and less. Rayman's squirming stopped by the time she'd pulled out some bandages from the drawer, making sure the wound was fully covered and just enough pressure was still on it. "There...that should help," she sighed, washing her hands a bit to get the Limbless blood off her. It was similar to her own, only a little darker.

Rayman leaned against the wall, going over what had happened within the hour. He'd become his own enemy, nearly killing himself over a simple mistake.

"Feel better?" Luckster asked, getting his attention again. He nodded a little, not moving a bit as she carried him back out to the living room, sitting him on the couch. "Keep yer hand here," she instructed, putting his hand over the wound and pressing a bit. "It'll help stop the bleeding entirely." She left after that, heading for the kitchen for some ice to help numb the pain.

The limbless was in no condition to disobey, thus he did so. Inside of him, each of Tannen's lies began to shatter...if someone had the heart to treat him like this, that one just couldn't be a bad person. He swallowed back all the pain now, trying to keep at least some of his pride intact. Luckster returned with a full ice pack, lightly resting it on top of his wound, calming down a bit at this point. She was no longer out of breath from the run, and her heart and mind weren't racing each other from Rayman's injury.

"What was all that about?" she asked, "You had no reason to run off like that...you coulda been killed!" Though even the attempt was hard for Ray at the moment, he managed to get himself to speak.

"T-tannen..." he muttered. "He...lied..." Luckster's blood began to boil at the mention of Tannen's name. She'd run into him only minutes before finding Rayman. It was no wonder he'd been so cocky.

"What did he tell you?" she growled. "Anything Tannen says is a pure lie. He does anything to make sure I'm alone."

"He...told me you were just pitying me." Ray answered, going red over the fact he believed him. "That you betray everyone. That you just use people." he winced a bit, before sighing. "I'm sorry I believed him..." Luckster heaved a sigh, applying a bit more pressure to Ray's wound. She knew something like this would happen the moment she'd introduced Rayman to Tannen as her ˜boyfriend.' She couldn˜t help but to feel responsible for the incident.

"He does this to everyone I meet," she explained. "He makes me look like the bad guy. He's the one who uses people. He has a long history of it. I may have a temper, but I'm not bad. I just have little reason to look happy or act it. I'm still a good person though."

"I know full-well now," Ray muttered, wincing a tiny bit again. "You're the only one in this world who actually cares for me." he sighed. "I should've never doubted you."

"Shhh...try to rest now," she said, smiling at him for the first time. A true smile, not one of sarcasm, or being sinister. She was happy. "Yer safe now. The wound was pretty small, so you should be able to move in a few hours...yer just a heavy bleeder."

"Every hero has a weakness." Rayman managed to sport a smile, closing his eyes. He was very tired from all that happened today. Though he had to go through a lot of pain, he knew now that he could trust Luckster with his life. He was happy to know that. Luckster let him nap for the while, noticing she'd made quite a mess on her way in. Her door was off the hinges and blood was on the floor, leading to the bathroom.

--

Ray's calm nap took an abrupt ending when he suddenly woke up coughing from some strange chemical fumes. The coughing was quite hard at first, but it slowed down after a few moments.

"You alright out there Ray?" Luckster called from the bathroom. She was a little worried that his wound would open again from the coughing, and she had just finished cleaning.

"I...think so." the limbless muttered, only to sneeze right a moment after it, quickly followed by another one. "Just something bothering me here." he added.

"What's up?" She asked, stepping out of the room to check on him. He seemed perfectly fine, aside from the wound, but that was to be expected. She didn't expect him to heal up in only a few hours.

"Dunno really...it's just something making me-" he couldn't finish, interrupted by yet another sneeze. Neither his nose nor his lungs seemed to like the fumes.

"OH! My bad!!" She laughed, gently getting him off the couch and walking him to the sliding glass door. She opened him and walked him outside, not worried about anyone seeing since the only light in the area was from the stars and moon. "There...feel better?"

"Much better, thanks." Ray smiled, no longer having the urge to sneeze.

"Sorry about that...forgot that yer nose is bigger than mine," She teased. "Shoulda opened up a few windows when I was cleaning up." He only smiled at her, not minding too much. It hadn't done much damage. Just made him sneeze is all. He glanced up into the sky, his heart sinking a bit. "You have only one moon.." he mused.

"Yeah...why? You have more?" She asked, sitting down on the back porch and looking at the sky--something she hadn't done in a long time. The limbless gazed up again, a sad smile on his face.

"Two. They're our twin moons, lighting the darkness of the night with their combined light." he explained.

"That'd be interesting to see," she admitted. She seemed a lot less cranky than before. "My great grandmother lives somewhere where she always has a beautiful view of the sky. There was this cliff side I used to rest with her and watch the night for hours. It's too expensive to visit her much anymore. She lives far away and it costs too much to continue visiting. I miss that view almost as much as I miss her."

"I sometimes spend hours watching the sky as well." Ray smiled. "Though I usually don't care whether it's day or night...I just gaze into the nothingness, and usually doze off eventually." he sighed. He really missed his home by now.

"Must be nice not having to worry much about the things I have to put up with," she sighed. "I have a boring job that just barely gets me by, and I'm supposed to be writing a book, but I'm out of inspiration. Life is more about survival in this world than actually enjoying yourself."

"In my world you decide how you live. With nearly none of the stuff this world has, our place is peaceful...sure some evil always comes by, but I tend to get rid of them. On most days, it's a paradise.." he mused.

"Humans could have that kinda life if we weren't so greedy and brutal," she sighed, looking over at him. "...ya wanna know why I've been hiding you?" Ray glanced back at him, with a sort of quizzical look. He nodded, highly curious over her answer. "Well...someone like yerself, who defies the laws of physics just by appearance, would be considered a threat and a discovery at the same time. A threat because humans fear anything different, and a discovery...er...that speaks fer itself," She sighed.

"If someone greedy were to find you, they would cage you and sell you to the highest bidding scientist. Chances are the scientist who'd gain you would want to know exactly how you work, which would mean they'd have to cut you open to examine yer insides and everything...if not that, they'd do a series of tests on you and never let you rest. You'd be an object to them..."

The limbless' eyes widened to nearly a double, just from the explanation. It was hard for him to actually believe people could be this horrible. He pictured it before himself, making him shudder quite hard. Anything was better than a life like that, especially for someone who cherished freedom like he did.

"Makes staying in my house all day seem like fun, doesn't it?" she sighed. "I may not really know you, but I wouldn't want you hurt. You're too fascinating of a creature to go through all that torture." She reached over and gently pet him between his tufts of hair. "It'd kill me inside to know I coulda protected you, but didn't." Though in most cases he avoided producing such reactions, he actually found himself purring to her touch. It tickled slightly, but just enough to make him feel real good, helping him forget all the images he had in his head.

Luckster felt quite comforting about Ray somehow. He'd been with her one very crazy day and already she was becoming attached to him. "Wanna go back inside? It's getting kinda cold...I'll open a few windows in case the fumes are still lingering."

"Okay..." the limbless muttered, taking a momentary break while purring. In earnest, he was getting cold now as well, and he guessed it wouldn't be good to catch a cold too, next to the knife wound. The two had enjoyed the talk and the short gaze at the night sky, but someone else had enjoyed a much different view. The curtains of the neighboring house's windows shut the moment they stood, its inhabitants plotting.

Luckster_Gal
11-27-2008, 02:05 AM
Chapter Five -- Inspiration and Nightmares

"You hungry? I don't have much to eat around here, but there should be enough for us." Luckster called, opening up the kitchen window.

"I support the idea." Ray chuckled a bit upon hearing his stomach growl a tiny bit. He hadn't eaten anything since that apple, and his tummy really needed some nourishment. He got a bit sick of the remains of his human outfit and removed them, even lowering his hood.

"What do you normally eat in yer world?" she asked, taking a peek in the fridge, which was nearly empty. "Probably a good idea to know now before I offend ya."

"I'm most attuned to fruits, actually." Ray replied, quirking a brow. "Why, what do humans eat?"

"We're Omnivores," she said, pulling out the container of fruit again. "We eat Meat, as well as plant-based foods." Ray put up a quite disgusted look upon hearing that, but quickly eased.

"Some species in my world eat meat too, though the residents of the Fairy Glade, like me, never eat meat." he remarked.

"I respect that," she admitted, pulling a few veggies out as well. "I don't tend to eat meat that often...gives me the willies when I have to handle it raw before cooking it." She shivered just by mentioning it.

"Luckily, the nearest species who actually eat meat are nearly on the other side of the planet." Ray smiled. "Thus this is another problem we don't have to deal about."

"Well, for respect or yer kind, I won't eat meat around you," she said, washing up the food. She smirked a bit, noticing just how hungry the Limbless looked as she rejoined him at the table with the food.

Ray looked quite hungrily at the food and didn't waste much time, already reaching for an apple. He already loved the taste of it.

"It may be late to bring this up, but sorry about the terrible first impression this morning," Luckster spoke up. "I was just having a bad morning." Ray simply smiled at her, too busy with a mouthful of food to respond. Luckster nibbled at a celery stick, thinking about her crazy day. She originally expected to face another day of forcing herself to wake up her creativity. Instead, she ended up on a misadventure with an alien.

"I've actually been raised like this." Ray admitted, getting her attention again. "I was always told that I must first get to know a person, before I'd dare act as a judge."

"Sounds like you've got some wise parents then," she said, smiling. "That's how I was raised too. My Dad was always very firm about that." Mentioning her own father made her feel a bit nostalgic and made a mental note to call him later.

"I think he did a good job." Ray smiled brightly, though with a little sadness in it. "I wonder what my Dad was like..." he muttered.

"Oh..." Luckster went pale and nearly choked. "I'm sorry...I didn't know..."

"Nah, don't worry about it." the limbless shook his head, smiling slightly. "I don't know any of my real parents..I was raised by a fairy. All I know is that I was fished out of the Sea...and that she took me in as her own."

"Wow...even at the beginning of yer life things seem exciting," she admitted, nibbling on a carrot now. "I'd love to hear more about yerself."

"Well...my 'mother' was guardian to a powerful energy source, called the Great Protoon. One day though, another limbless by the name of Mr. Dark stole it, making the land fall into chaos. That was my first adventure, actually." he told Luckster all about his trials towards Dark. He described every enemy he'd run into, even at his age, and was able to defeat them. The fairy in question had helped him tap into his powers so he could fight them with relative ease. The final encounter with Dark really caught Luckster's attention. "I've been a guardian to the Glade ever since."

"Wonder why Dark fled though," She mused to herself. "I've read many stories where the villain will attempt to take the hero head-on...but never flee like that. Have you seen him since then?"

"Never...I've heard he later returned to Candy Chateau, but he didn't make a move since then." Ray shrugged. "I can't say I want to though...he's really powerful."

"Did you ever figure out why he took the Protoon?" she asked. She seemed very interested in figuring out what had been on Dark's mind. She acted like a young student, eager to learn everything about the particular subject her teacher was babbling on about.

"No, not really." Ray sighed. "I can only assume he wanted to harvest its power, but I don't know any details. Though with Dark, one can never know what he has in mind..."

"Interesting...what about those Robot Pirates you mentioned before?" She asked. She'd forgotten about her meal at this point and wanted to know everything. Rayman smiled and continued telling Luckster everything. It wasn't the first time he'd done this. Many travelers whom had heard of Rayman often stopped by to hear about the Limbless Hero's trials in life, many of them not believing most of it. Luckster smiled at him just about the whole time, images in her head as he spoke.

Rayman even continued to tell her about Andre and the Hoodlums. She giggled a bit to the parts of poor Globox being forced to drink Plum Juice, normally resulting in him acting very silly compared to how Rayman had grown to know the Glute. Rayman's descriptions of some of his enemies, namely the Knaaren, sent shivers down her spine.

"Do you even know what caused Andre' to exist in the first place?" Luckster asked, once Rayman was finished. "If you have to scare a Red Lum for it to turn into a Black Lum...what scared him?"

"That's a question I dunno the answer to." he mused, scratching the back of his head. "I don't even know what's powerful enough to scare one..."

"Couldn't have been me," she joked. "I wasn't there." She glanced over at the clock and her eyes opened to their fullest. "Ah !! It's two in the morning!! You sure can keep a story going, Ray...I shoulda been in bed like...four hours ago!"

"Sorry..." the limbless scratched the back of his head again, grinning nervously. "I sometimes get a little too talkative. I'll go on forever if someone doesn't stop me in time."

"It's alright...maybe your stories will be the inspiration I need to write my book," she yawned, getting up. "I just hope I don't end up copying the story too much...that wouldn't be right..."

"I don't mind." Ray laughed. "If you'd write a story on my adventures, you'd be more of a chronicler, than a thief. And hey...experiences are good to share." he winked.

"Are you sure you wouldn't mind," she asked, sounding pretty concerned. "I mean...humans wouldn't know it's a true story...they'd think it's all fantasy."

"I'm definite." he nodded, still smiling. "Stories are to share without picking...I'd actually be honored if you'd write a book about my adventures. And who knows...maybe it'll influence people to be maybe a bit less greedy."

"That'd be great, but I doubt a story could make THAT much influence," she laughed. "Ya never know though...geez...we should REALLY get to bed." She turned off the kitchen light and walked over to the same couch Ray had been resting on before. She pulled a lever on its side and it folded down into a bed. "There. Plenty of room for you to sleep," she said.

"Wow...I though only Teensies make things like this!" Rayman chuckled. Nevertheless, he lied down carefully, mostly because of his wound. He found it quite comfortable, to say the least. Luckster left a moment and returned with a pillow and blanket for Ray.

"Rest up as long as you want to," she encouraged. "Yer still hurt after all. I'll be sleeping in the other room if ya need me." She gave him a light kiss on the top of his nose before heading towards her own bedroom, turning off the lights on the way. Luckster got herself comfortable in her bed, ready for a nice long rest, but Rayman's story was buzzing around in her head. After about ten minutes of arguing with her mind about it, she sat up and pulled out her labtop, the only sound in her room being the faint and furious typing of the keys. This was gonna be a long night.

As the darkness descended, Ray's joy faded a bit. He couldn't remember when was the last time he fell asleep without seeing the twin moons or the stars. Nevertheless, he tried to get to sleep, only to end up gazing before himself without sleep. Even with Luckster in the next room...he just didn't feel safe. He was in an unnatural place, and he feared he might wake up in a cage, at best.

The limbless finally managed to slip asleep, but only because he was too tired to stay awake. He wished he was awake though... In one moment in his dreams, he was talking to Ly, then a bright flash and he was in a completely different place. He could see people around him, pointing at him, laughing and even throwing stuff at him. He wanted to go away, but found himself blocked by cell bars he couldn't break.

He shouted for someone to let him out, but by that time, everyone disappeared. In the next moment, he was tied up before a particularly evil looking man, who eyed him like a new piece of merchandise. He wanted to move but his parts wouldn't obey him, slaves to the man. Another moment passed and he found himself lying on some kind of table, feeling quite dazed, almost nauseous.

He blinked and could see a bunch of people around him, all looking at him like an animal. He tried to speak but no words would come out. He couldn't even move as his parts were restrained. Finally, a person came before him, with a knife in his hand. Ray's eyes widened in horror as the man prepared to dig into his torso. He cried out in agony as the knife struck into him, revealing his body fully.

Rayman thought he could hear another voice, but it was dulled greatly by the pain that overwhelmed him. He could see his blood slowly flowing all around the table, while the people casually inspected him, sometimes even reaching into him just to see something closer, ignorant to his cries of pain. They only seemed to care about figuring out how he lived...they didn't care if it hurt him.

"Rayman!!" Luckster screamed. His stress was making his wound bleed badly again. "RAYMAN WAKE UP!!" She hollered, sure she was waking up the neighbors at this point. The limbless' eyes sprung open, a final cry leaving him. He couldn't even decide where he actually was, the pain dulling his senses completely. He could only writhe in pain, tears running down his face.

"Shhhh...it's okay," Luckster purred, trying to calm him down. "It's me...you're fine. It was just a nightmare..." Ray instinctively clinged to Luckster, tearing from the nightmare he had. He didn't even notice he was bleeding again, holding onto the woman for dear life.

"Don't let them...take me...please..." he sobbed.

"No one's gonna take you," she purred, petting him gently as she held onto him. "I promise. I won't let anyone take you away. No one's gonna hurt you. Until we can get you home, yer safe with me." He continued to sob for a little while, slowly calming down to her soothing. The feeling of being safe returned, fueled greatly by her holding him. He still trembled a bit from the nightmare, the horrible images lurking in the back of his mind...helpless against all those who just sought to abuse him. He didn't want to go back to sleep, even though he could barely keep his eyes open.

"Come on...you're bleeding through your bandages," she said softly, picking him up and carrying him to the bathroom again. She turned on the wall light so they wouldn't be blinded. She removed the old bandages and cleaned his wound again. "Looks like it's closing up a bit already," she said. "At least that's good." Rayman remained silent while she changed his bandages, looking before himself with reddened eyes. The nightmare still haunted him, even though he knew full-well it didn't happen. Still, the fear was there. he didn't want to end up like that...losing his life to ignorant people, so very far from his friends. He finally sighed so he'd fully calm down.

"Wanna sleep in my bed tonight?" she offered once the new bandages were secure. "You might feel a little safer..." She pet him between his tufts of hair like before, making sure he wasn't shaking or sweating anymore. The limbless nodded silently, though the look on his face turned lighter from her touch. He was way too afraid to be alone again, dreading that the images would return the moment he'd be on his own.

Luckster turned out the light and carried Rayman off to her room. Her laptop was still on, lighting the room just a bit. She gently placed him down and walked over to her laptop to save her work before closing it.

"It'll be dawn soon," she sighed, getting in bed herself. "But sleep as long as you want. You deserve it after having that nightmare." Ray was already half asleep by the time she got into bed as well. He instinctively snuggled up to her, only feeling safe then. He drifted into sleep soon enough, the nightmare not daring to come out again.

Luckster_Gal
11-27-2008, 02:05 AM
Chapter 6: Tannen

The sun rose only a few short hours later, Luckster following it not long after, carefully leaving Rayman to rest while she went to do her usual morning routine. She was careful to not disturb the limbless, spending possibly the quietest morning she's ever had. Not even Tannen came over to bug her.

"Ray...Ray...wakey wakey," she purred. By now it was past noon. The limbless mumbled something in his sleep, before stirring. Opening his eyes, he didn't seem to realize his surroundings at first, his mind rather picturing the Glade around himself. He shook his head, and everything fell into place again. He gazed at Luckster with a hint of sadness in his eyes.

"...morning already?" he muttered.

"More like the afternoon," she admitted. "I'm surprised you didn't wake up this morning when I made breakfast. Yer nose is sensitive to cleaning chemicals, so I assumed it would be sensitive to food as well. Guess sleep is just more important to you." The limbless couldn't help but chuckle a bit to that, though a little wince was mixed into it too, his wound still there.

"I'm a very good sleeper." he mused with a bit of pride in his voice. "I can go on having naps for days, if I have nothing to do...and to wake me, something really big has to happen."

"Yeash...for a hero you sure are lazy," she joked, pulling the blanket off him to check his wound. "And yer a fast healer! Yer cut is gone!" His knife wound had been reduced to nothing more than a bruise, causing Rayman pain only if pressure was applied to it.

"Well, what can I say?" the limbless chuckled again. "Can't be a hero without decent self-healing abilities. I often get into rougher situations so it comes in handy pretty much."

"Good, cause I do wanna go out again today...kinda have to...and if ya get yerself in trouble again, I don't wanna have to take you to the hospital," She sighed, helping him out of her bed. "I'm sure after yesterday you'll behave yerself, right?"

"You won't have to worry about me this time." Rayman shuddered, remembering the nightmare he had only a few hours ago. "I already know the risks, thus I won't even attempt anything stupid. I'll also bear in mind not to listen to Tannen, ever."

"Sadly that last part is easier said than done," she sighed. "The bastard really knows how to get to a person. If it wouldn't get me in trouble, I'd give him a few reasons to leave me alone that'll probably break a few bones in his body."

"I can whole-heartedly agree with you on that. I'd wanna give him a beating too...in the end, it's his fault I got cut!" he growled.

"Actually it's yer own fault for behaving in such a matter to get a few thugs on yer back," she corrected. She crossed her arms and scowled at him a bit, like a scolding mother before him. Ray raised his hands, palms towards Luckster, a nervous smile on his face.

"I ran into someone and they were a bit rough on me...I was already on the edge back then, and I kinda snapped..." he scratched the back of his head, slightly red.

"Humans are known for their violence," she admitted. "You should just lay low next time. I don't want you hurt again." She pet him between his tufts of hair before working on fixing up her bed. "I have to check in with my boss today...shouldn't take more than an hour or so. There's some food on the table if yer hungry."

"Don't worry, I'll help myself." the limbless grinned. "What do you have to do exactly though?" he asked rather curiously. That wasn't a miracle, concerning he had no boss...except maybe Polokus. Betilla could count as a boss of him, not only as a mother figure, but an employer sometimes. That was only if he needed to help work in her garden though, which he tried to prevent.

"I'm what's called a Bouncer," she explained. "My uncle owns a hang-out club just outside of the city. I'm in charge of throwing out the people causing trouble or snuck in with a fake ID card. Needless to say, not many people who go there like me."

"I can relate." Rayman chuckled again. "Though it's their problem. If they know it's forbidden, they should know better." he mused, flinching a bit, smiling rather nervously again. "...that sound kind of weird from me, actually." he remarked.

"Sounds like you may be listening to the way I talk a little TOO well," she laughed, finishing up her bed-making. "I tend to speak wiser than I should. That's what I get for reading books as much as I have though."

"Still, most of the things you say do make sense. Had I listened to you, I wouldn't have spent half a day writhing." Ray sighed, still bewildered of the accident. "If your world is really as you described...maybe it would need more people like you." he mused.

"People like me are either near death, or very rare," she sighed, walking back into the living room with him following. "People are being greedier and more violent as time passes." She picked up the tv remote and turned it on to the news channel. "This is a nice little invention that helps people figure out what's going on in the world. I betcha not one story in the news will be a happy one."

Rayman gazed at the TV with total confusion, though amazement as well. "You said you don't have anything concerning portals...but...how can you make everything look so clear then? This just can't be without magic..." he seemed to be enchanted by the machine.

"We have cameras that record these things happening in studios around the country, or even the world," she explained. "The recordings are sent to people like me on the TV so we can see what's going on. There are also fictional things where actors create stories for us to watch...this is all reality here..." She turned up the volume a bit so Ray could hear better.

The limbless swallowed his question for now and just listened. News were on and off, speaking of traffic accidents, current wars, economical problems and so on. He couldn't believe what he heard...did humans know the feeling of happiness at all? "Why can't they also show things that are happy? I mean...surely it can't be this bad everywhere...can it?" his voice contained a sizable amount of hope.

"Unfortunately, not enough good things happen to make it worth watching or hearing about," Luckster sighed. "Once in a while there's a positive story...but it's only ever mentioned for a few seconds."

"But...how can people actually live like this?" he asked again, confused once again. There were so many things he didn't understand about humans. "How can anyone live with continuously hearing how bad everything is? Why don't they solve these problems?" She shut off the tv before Rayman had to endure much more.

"Why? Because violence is easier than peace," she sighed. "Humans have been a violent race since the dawn of time itself. To tell ya the truth, if half the human population suddenly died, it'd do this world some good, even if I was one of them." The air stopped in Rayman's lungs for a moment from hearing that.

"Y-you don't actually mean that...do you?" he nearly whimpered. Life was worth more than anything in his world, treasured by every single creature, let it be big or small.

"If it means this planet would have a chance at survival, then yes I do mean it," she said, sounding quite serious. "Heck...if all humans suddenly vanished, it would take only 1,000 years for it to recover from the damages we've done." The limbless was about to continue objecting, when something she said clicked in his mind.

"Damages? What kind of damages do you mean?" he queried. Though the concrete jungle Luckster lived in showed him that this world wasn't nearly as clean as his own, he couldn't imagine this being much worse.

"Where we're standing, I'm sure there was a huge forest," she explained, sitting down. "Most of this country used to be forest land, grasslands, and desert regions all in one. Over the years humans have destroyed the wild land to build houses and buildings for the city for the sake of human lifestyles. The metals and woods we use for such things wouldn't take long to be destroyed, as long as humans aren't around to maintain it. In the single millennium without humans around, this planet would resume to its natural state. The difference would be the mass amount of minerals in the ground."

Rayman's mind got into work from her words, demolishing the Fairy Glade in his head to replace it with a city like this. He shivered just from the thought. "Then I'm especially happy for my world." he mused. "It's forests, swamps, deserts, mountains wherever you look, completely uncorrupted." a little longing sounded in his voice.

"Natural and untouched," she said with a nod. "Exactly what I would love this world to be someday. It won't be in my lifetime that's for sure. And the chances of all humans vanishing is thin..." The limbless sighed a bit. He felt actually bad to know that Luckster would have to live her whole life in a world like this. He suddenly flinched...what if-

"Why don't you come into my world...I mean, once a way back opens?" he questioned, smiling brightly. That would be a perfect solution!

"What? Yer kidding right?" She quirked a brow at him, smirking as if it really were a joke. "A human in yer world? For one, I'd never fit in, for two, I probably wouldn't be able to survive."

"Bah, I'm nearly one of a kind myself and I'm doing nicely." he replied, getting excited about his idea. "Plus, you look completely like the fairies, so I guess they'd surely help you in any way possible."

"I dunno Ray...I have work here and people would notice if I went missing...well...my boss and family would anyways," she admitted, turning a little red. On the more honest side, the offer was overwhelming for her. That made the limbless' happiness sink a bit. Of course...she had a family too.

"You could always bring them along as well..." he mused, though not even a bit sure of that.

"No way!" She instantly snapped. She calmed down after a moment. "My family is kinda...well...different," she explained. "My father owns a business, as does my uncle...they couldn't just leave..." Ray sighed in defeat, knowing he couldn't object to that.

"Still...it's hard for me too see you living like this...though I know it's not my post to suggest such things." he turned red from his earlier excitement. He didn't really think it over.

"It's alright," she assured, petting him once more. "You were just thinking about a better life for me, and I respect that."

"...if you say so." Rayman muttered. He was still sure she'd be better off in his world , but didn't want to stress the topic too much. "Where would we head today?" he diverted the topic.

"To my workplace," she reminded, getting up to grab Rayman's human disguise. "Put these on again. Don't need ya caught." She went off to her room again to grab at least her purse. It was too early in the day for a jacket.

The limbless causally got into the clothes again, defeating his disgust over the pants. It took him a few minutes but he was able to dress up on his own, which filled him with a sense of pride

"Don't forget yer Hoodie," She reminded, heading for the front door again. She trusted him to behave this time, so she didn't grab his hand like before. She let him outside first, struggling with finding the keys to lock her door.

Tannen was waiting for them just outside her gate. He snuck up behind Ray while Luckster was still occupied. and grabbed him, covering his mouth. "If you scream or move I will not hesitate to hurt her," he hissed in his ear very quietly, slowly dragging him away.

Ray's first reaction would have been to blast back at him with an energy sphere, but he quickly stopped himself. Tannen sounded like one who would actually fulfill his promise, if he objected. Finally, he gave in, allowing the human to take him away. He didn't wish to get Luckster in harm's way. By the time Luckster turned around, Rayman was gone.

"What the...you have GOT to be kidding me!" She growled, looking around to see if Ray was hiding like a child. "Ray!! Where are ya?" She called, looking around the yard and on the other side of her gate. He was no where to be found.

Tannen was safe in his house, dragging Rayman still, eventually throwing him in an old dog kennel. "Good thing I kept this," he laughed, locking it up with two locks. Rayman's eyes glinted with a threatening light the moment Tannen let go of him. Luckster was far enough now...his turn was coming up now.

"You have five seconds to release me-" he growled, looking at the locked entrance. "before I blast this whole place apart..."

"You don't even have the room to do anything in there," he laughed. "Besides...if you cause trouble, it'll only mean the end of you faster. You'll end up attracting attention from people other than myself." He looked at Rayman like a common animal. "I can't believe she was hiding you the whole time...how stupid of me to think you were actually human. I mean--your nose should have given it away the most. It's huge!"

"I couldn't care less about your rambling..." Rayman growled. He felt quite humiliated to be stuffed in a tiny place like that, his anger quickly rising. "What do you want from me, anyway?"

"You, my little limbless friend, are gonna make me the richest man in the country," he laughed. "As soon as word gets out about your existence, scientists from all over the world are gonna flock in to buy you! I'll be living in a mansion by the end of the week!"

All color faded from Ray's face from that. His nightmare was about to come true. He was going to be sold off the be cut open! That evoke a panic-like reaction from him as he punched the entrance as hard as he could in this little place. He didn't want to die already.

"Awww...don't struggle so much," Tannen mocked before kicking the kennel a bit. "I don't want you TOO damaged before I sell you. Now you stay put while I get my camera." With another swift kick, Tannen left, leaving the scared limbless alone. As much as he tried to calm himself, the limbless was still in a state of panic. The kennel even felt smaller than it actually was, crushing him inside. Part of him wanted to make a sphere, but that would have been complete suicide. Unable to think of anything better, he began to pound the entrance, screaming for help.

Tannen returned only moments later, laughing at the limbless' cries. "Awww...is the alien thing scared?" he laughed. "I woulda thought you knew what trouble you were getting into when you arrived." He looked into the kennel again and smiled. The panic had caused Rayman's disguise to show more and more proof of him being limbless. He started snapping pictures of him, nearly blinding him. Ray instinctively covered his eyes, spots dancing around in the air before him. His panic hadn't subsided, merely increased even more. He wished to be back home again now, or at least with Luckster, but no...he was going to be sold off and killed, just for the sake of knowing how he existed.

"Let me go!!" he cried, smashing into the entrance again with all of his might this place allowed him.

"Struggle all you want, Limbless," he laughed. "You're not getting out...hmmm...maybe I should show you off to some of my friends first. Chances are they won't be able to see you up close after you're sold." The limbless just continued to pound at the entrance until he got exhausted. He had to lie on the ground, his whole form shaking from mainly the fear that coursed in him non-stop.

"If you sell me...they'll kill me!" he was disgusted of the pleading tone in his voice, but he was growing desperate. "I have a mother and friends waiting for me...you can't do this!!" he cried.

"You can whimper and plea all you want, it isn't gonna change my mind," he laughed, picking up the kennel and peering out his window before going outside with it, tossing him in the back of his truck and covering it with a blanket, just in case. "Enjoy the ride, freakshow," he laughed, getting into the driver's seat. In moments, the truck was started up and driving down the road.

Rayman promptly had to fight back his tears at this point. He knew this was hopeless now...Luckster wouldn't be able to find him now. He'd soon be sold and that will mark the end of his life. He'd never get to see Ly, Globox, Murfy or the rest of his friends, ever again. And they wouldn't even know where to look for his remains. He curled up in the kennel, trying to just remember his old days.

Luckster_Gal
11-27-2008, 02:06 AM
Chapter 7: Blowing off Steam

Luckster growled a bit, recognizing Tannen's truck as it drove past her. "How he can afford that thing I had no--" her eyes opened to their fullest. Tannen's old dog kennel was in the bed of his truck, but he hasn't had a dog in years. "--oh !" She started chasing after Tannen's truck, discovering where Rayman was now. Tannen was too focused on his upcoming fortune to see her in the mirrors.

The limbless was still hiding behind his memories, evoking every single moment he had spent with his friends...everything he did...and everything he still wanted to do, but would never get to now. His fists were throbbing from the pounding, his mind still clouded with leftover panic. He was beginning to come into terms with his impending death. Tannen eventually parked his truck and uncovered the kennel, carrying the kennel again.

"Oh good! You've calmed down," he laughed, going into a building that was apparently abandoned, the windows covered with 'for rent' signs on the front. He put the kennel down, waiting for his buds to show up. "They'll be here any minute," he laughed, holding up his cell phone a moment before pocketing it again. Rayman was actually very far from calm...he was just too numb to do anything now. He was stuffed into a tiny place, kidnapped by a person who's every word sounds like ultimate truth. He knew he was done for already.

Tannen waited patiently for his friends to arrive, pacing around the abandoned building, glaring at Rayman every once in a while, muttering to himself how much the limbless could be worth, his grin getting creepier and creepier as time passed. Every now and then, Ray caught his grin, further tarnishing his hopes. Luckster wasn't kidding...humans were very greedy, and it seemed like Tannen was the greediest of them all.

"You know they'll kill me if you sell me..." he muttered, slightly absentminded. "So basically you kill me...how would you look into a mirror, knowing it's your fault?"

"You're nothing more than a little freak in my eye," he scoffed. "So I honestly don't care what happens to you. They can cut you open or stuff you in a zoo for all I care. As long as I get a heavy paycheck for turning you in." Even through his desperation and numbed body, that still made the limbless' blood boil. How could anyone be so cold-hearted? Didn't the entire concept of life mean anything to Tannen? Letting out a cry of anger, and what could have been called hatred by now, he smashed the entrance of his prison again.

"Hey Tannen, what ya got in there?" A new voice called. One of Tannen's friends arrived, sounding a bit burlier than the greedy liar. Tannen grinned and turned the kennel around to show Rayman off without risking him escaping. The larger man examined Rayman carefully, more and more amazed by his appearance. "Dude...this is awesome!!"

"'This', has a name and feelings you know..." the limbless growled from inside. He didn't take the humiliation of being shown around so well. "And if I'd be loose, 'this' would also be the one who pounds you into the ground!"

"Dude!! It can talk!!" The man gasped, ignoring the threat entirely. Another man entered the building, a lot scrawnier than the first two. He saw and heard Rayman for himself and was already speechless. "Tannen, man, you're gonna score big with this," the first man laughed, getting back up to his feet. The limbless was promptly shaking in the kennel from futile anger now. Did none of these people notice he was a living, breathing, feeling creature, not just some kind of currency? He couldn't believe anyone could be so ignorant to suffering. Growling in anger, he pounded on the entrance again.

"Tannen...that thing's secure, right?" The scrawny man whimpered, afraid that Rayman could break out at any second and hurt them.

"Not even the meanest mutt in the world could break outta this cage," Tannen bragged, kicking the side of the kennel again to make Rayman stop. He stopped either way, his energy hitting a low. He had already been tired by the time Tannen brought him here, and even rage couldn't fuel him as much as he wanted. He played with the idea of making an energy sphere again, but discarded it. Even if he'd survive the explosion, he'd be burned all over and wouldn't be able to escape. He just sighed finally, sadness washing over him again.

"How much you think he'll sell for?" Tannen asked, resting one foot on the kennel.

"Depends on the scientist I guess," The buff man admitted. "You ain't leaving with less than 10 million I'm sure."

The scrawny man looked around nervously. "Uhhh...Tan? You didn't tell anyone else...did you?" He whimpered. "I think someone was following me..." Tannen got a little tense hearing those words. On the other hand, that was more than enough to set up a spark of hope in Rayman one again. Maybe someone came by to save him after all? He mustered all of his strength left and pounded on the entrance again, calling loudly for help.

"Shut up you freak!" Tannen roared, kicking the kennel again. The buff man laughed while the scrawny one seemed a bit paranoid about his very own bad news. The door suddenly opened again, freaking out the smaller man.

"Sorry I'm late boys...didn't get the invite," Luckster growled, a look of pure hate in her eyes.

"Luckster!" the limbless found himself nearly screaming her name. He didn't care how she found her exactly, only that she was here now...she found him. The odds were a bit against her, but seeing her look, Ray doubted that would be a problem. She was just about out of breath, but her anger kept her from collapsing.

"Wanna know the bad thing about secluded meetings?" She growled, shutting the door behind her. "I can actually get away with beating the three of you up." The boys were silent a moment before the building was full of their laughter. That also made Ray reconsider his hopes. Luckster seemed quite exhausted, so chances were against her once more. He wanted to help, more than anything, but in this case, he was the one who needed help. He still hit the entrance as a feeble attempt to make them shut up though.

"Alright alright...I normally don't like the idea of you being hurt," Tannen laughed, wiping a tear from his eye. "But we'll humor you. Go on boys. Give her what you got." Luckster got into a defensive position, ready for anything. The buff one came up to her first.

"Too bad such a pretty chick like yourself has to be caught up in such a mess," he mocked before taking a swing at her. She moved out of the way of the fist without a problem and made her own move by kicking her knee right between the man's legs, making him drop to the ground writing in pain. "Personal foul..." the man cried, curled up in a ball tightly and crying.

That surprised Ray a bit. He didn't expect humans to have a weak point like that, but he decided to leave that question for later. For now, he just cheered for Luckster. Hope finally glimmered for him again.

"Now for the next one," she sighed, glaring at the shrimpier man.

"Please don't hurt me!" he begged. "I won't tell anyone about this! In fact--I'll go home right now and drink enough to where I won't remember this whole day!! Just please don't hurt me!!" Tannen's jaw dropped a bit. He knew his friend was a wuss, but he didn't expect him to just give up, especially to a girl.

"Alright...you get on outta here and drag yer big lug of a friend with ya," Luckster growled. The man looked at his comrade a moment. He looked heavy. He looked at Luckster again and the glare in her eyes told him this wasn't for debate and obeyed her, gone within mere moments.

"Well that sucked," Tannen growled. "They may be pathetic against ya, but I sure ain't." Luckster quirked a brow at him as he approached, smirking at her. "Why can't you just let this go, baby? I'll split the reward with ya," he offered, putting on his soothing voice again. Luckster nearly twitched to the sound of his voice. "You've got nothing and you ain't getting anything else anytime soon...what other choice you got?" Luckster stayed perfectly still, as if thinking it over.

For the first time since the past few minutes, Rayman's heart sank again. Part of him said this was surely the end...if Luckster agreed, he was surely done for. Still...after everything, she would never give him over to Tannen...she just wouldn't. At least, he hoped it with all of his heart.

"I think I'd rather die a very embarrassing public death than to turn a friend over for cash," Luckster hissed. "I ain't letting you sell him, Tan..." She quickly launched a kick right in his gut, sending him stumbling backwards a few feet. "...and don't call me 'baby'." Tannen quickly recovered from the kick and scowled at her. "Fine then...guess I'll have to hurt you to get what I want..." The limbless couldn't help but grin by now. Luckster refused, and Tannen looked like a complete pushover. He didn't hold much fear anymore. He knew he was going to be saved now.

"I'll give ya one freebie, Bind," Luckster insisted, holding back a bit of laughter in her voice. Tannen didn't need to be told twice and launched a furious right hook on her face, making her whip her head back from the impact. Rayman was about to shout at her for the idea itself, when he remembered something...he used to do the same with the Pirates. He didn't always destroy them right away, instead, played around with them for a little while, dodging their projectiles, just for the fun of it. He guessed Luckster was doing the same now, too.

Tannen seemed a little shocked that she didn't block it, but didn't care more than a few seconds. He had to take her down if he wanted to become rich off Rayman and quickly launched another punch before Luckster could react. She grabbed his fist before he could break her jaw and did the unthinkable--she pulled him into a deep kiss!

The limbless' happiness was blown like a candle, his jaw nearly hitting the floor of the kennel. He couldn't believe his eyes. Luckster hated Tannen from what he could see until now...then why did she kiss him? Thoughts of a conspiracy sprung into his mind, looking all too probable now.

Luckster kept Tannen fully occupied with the kiss, her hands wandering around a bit until she found what she was looking for. She pulled the key to the padlock out of Tannen's rear pocket and swiftly tossed it towards Rayman, having it land just in front of the door, part of it nearly in the kennel itself. Tannen didn't pay any attention to anything but the kiss he'd apparently longed for.

Rayman thought he'd start laughing in joy right then, but delayed it for later. With slight difficulties, but he fairly easily managed to get the key and open the locks. He slowly crawled out of the kennel and stood up, enjoying every moment of freedom. His expression twisted into a dark grin as he began to crack his knuckles. He had a score to settle with Tannen by now. As soon as the limbless was out, Luckster pulled away from the kiss and spat in Tannen's face.

"He's all yers, Ray," she called before her Ex could figure out what was going on.

"Remind me to thank you later..." he mused with devilish grin, before lunging at Tannen. Without the kennel, the human had to face the limbless' fury...and Rayman already stored a handy amount of it by now. He didn't even much care about where he was exactly punching the human, only hitting him again and again, repaying for the humiliation and fear he had to endure. Luckster winced and backed up just a bit with every punch Rayman landed on Tannen.

"Ray...Ray...Rayman!" she called, once she realized the man was long out cold. "I think he gets the point now..." Like a broken enchantment, the fog that descended on Ray's sight lifted, making him stop immediately. He quickly jumped off and backed up towards Luckster, a little scared of his own work. Usually something really bad had to happen to him that he'd start a rampage like this...last time he could recall was when the Pirates captured Ly...the first he came across later, was torn to shreds.

"Damn...he'll be feeling that for a month," Luckster chuckled, petting between his tufts of hair to show she approved. "He'll probably need his jaw wired shut after this..." She walked up to his battered body and pulled out his cell phone, dialing 911 on it so someone would find him. "Come on...we better get outta here."

"I support that idea..." Ray sighed, stretching his non-existant limbs a bit. He was really happy to be free once again. He quickly covered himself to avoid such an ordeal again, then gazed at Luckster. "Thanks for saving me." he smiled at her.

"You owe me BIG!" She growled, taking his hand and pulling him out of the building. "That was the most vile and most absolutely disgusting thing I've done in my LIFE!" Ray couldn't help but laugh.

"I'll try to repay it at some point, okay?" he managed to say, though it wasn't easy. In contrast to his earlier numbness, he was almost bursting with life now, overjoyed to be alive, to say the least.

"Yer lucky Tannen's friends are dumb enough to not check if people are following them," she sighed. "If it hadn't been for twitchy, I wouldn't have found ya..." She stopped a moment and looked down at him. She'd been holding back her tears of fear up until now. She kneeled down and pulled him in a close hug, not giving a damn about the people looking at them. The limbless hugged her back, knowing she was to thank for him still being alive at all. He knew well he had found a friend whom he could trust his life with.

"Thanks..." he muttered, the words barely coming out of him. "Sorry that you have to go through all this lately..." he sighed. "You'd have much less trouble if I wasn't around.

"Eh, if it weren't for you, I'd be just grumbling to myself going through my normal routine," she laughed, wiping her tears away. "This is probably the most excitement I've had since High School...I feel more my age now instead of like an old geezer waiting for life to just be finished."

"I also got something..." the limbless mused, smiling at her. "I met a person in a harsh world who actually cares about people...a person I'm honored to call my friend." Luckster smiled at him for the longest time. Being called a friend seemed to warm up her normally frozen heart. It was such a shame to know that he would soon have to leave. Her smiled faded as one of Ray's hands suddenly detached. Thankfully no one noticed as she quickly picked it up to put back in place. "...does that happen often?"

The Limbless' face paled slightly, a scared look taking place on his face again. "It shouldn't happen at all!" he gasped a bit. "Maybe under huge pressure, but under normal conditions, it shouldn't..."

"...maybe it was a one-time-only deal," she guessed, praying she was right. "Come on...my uncle's probably wondering where I am right about now..." She carefully pulled him along once she stood back up, a little worried about the hand thing...

Luckster_Gal
11-27-2008, 02:07 AM
Chapter 8: Saying Good-Bye

There was a soft knock on the door of Ly's house as the current King of the Teensies grumbled a bit. He'd been running around the whole glade the last few days, as some of his companions were. Ly peeked out of her room, before quickly skipping over to the door. She hoped she'd receive some good news for a change now...lately, things weren't going so well, ever since the Lums grew angry.

"Oh good! You're here!" The Teensie sighed, giving a small yawn. "One less person to worry about at the moment...you didn't, by any chance, see a stray portal open the other day, did you? After all the others had closed?"

"No...I don't quite remember any." the fairy replied, curious about the topic. "Why, did something happen?"

"We detected a portal opened a day after the others had all closed," he explained. "And what's worse it that we also sensed that someone fell through it. We need to figure out who's missing and where the portal was so we can open a new one and get whoever fell in back here before they're hurt..."

"Do you have any guesses yet?" she asked, worried over whoever might have fallen through the portal. "I haven't seen any portals around, and I don't think anyone's...missing..." her words came slower as she thought about it a bit more, though only a very slight hunch yet.

"We're checking all over the Glade and outer regions," he sighed. "It's a very tiring process...I have to head to the Glute's house now and count all of the children to make sure they're all there..."

"Can I come and help?" she offered. "It'd be a bit easier if I tagged along." she truly wished to help, though there was another reason she kept to herself for now. She had a suspicion she needed to determine whether it was real or not.

"That would be nice. You can count the girls and I will count the boys," He suggested. "We'll add them together once we're done." He adjusted his crown a bit before turning around to start walking, thought he was very slow. The fairy began to walk next to him, battling with the bad feeling she was having. She really hoped she was wrong though. Glancing down at the Teensie, she asked something else she was curious of.

"When was the last time you slept?" she queried.

"I think two days ago," he admitted. "This is a full time job unfortunately...the fate of whoever fell in the portal is more important than sleep at the moment. If we're lucky, it was just a fish."

"Concerning our luck though...I'm not so sure about that." Ly sighed, remembering just how many times things turned for bad before. "So you Teensies are all accounted for?"

He groaned a bit, remembering the Teensie count all too well. It was such a painful process. "Counting the Glute children will be easy compared to THAT!" he whimpered. The fairy quirked a brow at his whimpering, though from her previous experiences with Teensies, she could imagine a few things about it.

"What about us?" she asked, referring her kind. "We're all accounted for too...right?"

"Yep. Each and every fairy in the Glade is accounted for," he assured. "Betilla and yourself were the easiest to track down...I think I counted a few others twice..."

"Since we're probably the only ones who have a home of their own, I guess it had to be easy." she giggled. "Anyone in particular whom you suspect?" she continued asking, also curious as to how much did the King share her suspicion.

"Besides the glutes, the only one I haven't accounted for in the Glade is ol' big nose," he admitted. "Though I doubt he'd be silly enough to just fall into a portal like that." That was the point where Ly slapped her forehead. Yes...she did have something to worry about after all.

"I'm starting to think the kids will be perfectly accounted for..." she sighed.

"Never can be too sure," he said with another yawn. "There's 650 of em after all."

"And all 650 can't get into as much trouble as he can..." she shook her head. "But if you insist..."

"Ly, honestly," he sighed, looking up at her. "What are the odds Rayman went into the portal. We both know he's smarter than that." The fairy couldn't help but smile slightly as she shook her head again. Not many knew Rayman as much as she did.

"I'm quite willing to bet anything that he's the one missing..."

"In that case, we'll have to check if anyone knows where he was last seen," he sighed. "Globox should know. Or Murfy...though I'd much rather avoid the Greenbottle," he sighed, adjusting his crown again.

"Not that I'd want to be with him all that much." she remarked, crossing her arms. "I swear he gets worse with every passing day..."

"He needs a girlfriend is what he needs," he sighed, continuing on his way to Globox's house. He could see the large Glute playing Gluteball with his kids in the valley just ahead of them. "I sure hope this is done quick...I wanna go to bed..."

"Don't worry, I'll count fast." she winked, going forwards a bit. Globox noticed her just before she could get past him, and greeted the fairy with a hug that nearly imprinted her into the Glute's tummy. "I'm happy to see you too, Globox." she muttered, her voice muffled by his stomach.

"Globox, by any chance have you seen Rayman lately?" The King asked, getting to the point. "It's very important that we know where he is...or at least where he last was..." The Glute didn't answer for a while, thinking hard about when he'd last seen Rayman, while still hugging Ly. The fairy's head was steadily turning purple, but she couldn't loosen from his hold.

"We were playing hide-and-seek a while ago..." he answered finally, letting Ly go. "Though I think I lost by now..."

"...this is gonna take all day..." The Teensie groaned, already getting a headache.

--

"Man, I am NOT kidding," Luckster groaned, brushing her teeth for the 7th time. "You owe me big time! I feel like he's still kissing me...yuck!" The evening was already starting to fall, most of the day having been slept through by Rayman.

"Watch it, I think you've missed a spot." the limbless chuckled at her frantic reaction to get rid of probably even the memory of the whole thing. "Kinda like kissing a bug, wasn't it?" he grinned.

"I think I'd rather kiss a bug than him again," she grumbled, spitting out the filth and reloading her brush with even more toothpaste. "I never wanna do that again...I swear he doesn't even brush his teeth!"

"How in the world did you actually meet him?" Ray queried. He didn't quite understand why Tannen was around her nearly every single moment. "And why is he around you all the time? Can't he take a hint?"

"It's a long and boring story," she sighed, spitting out one last time and cleaning out the sink. "What matters is that I'm not with him anymore and never will be." Though curious still, Ray decided not to stress it. When someone started with the fact that it was a 'long and boring story', they usually didn't really want to talk about it.

"Well...I think he'll stay away for a while after this." he mused.

"That's fer sure...even when you leave he'll be too scared to come near me I'm sure," she laughed, leaving the bathroom and heading to her bedroom, intending to get back to work on her book. "Ever figure out what happened with yer hand?"

"Not a clue..." Rayman mused, bringing up his hand. It didn't seem to be flawed or anything. "Though maybe it was just an accident." he suddenly felt a large pinch, and the next moment, collapsed. "...or maybe not..." he ventured with eyes wide, seeing he was missing a foot.

"Are you ill or something?" She asked, quickly helping him back up, reattaching his foot. "Cause it's gonna make it harder for you to be around here if you keep falling apart..."

"I don't think so..." he muttered, slightly pale. "At least...I've never had an illness that made me fall apart." he looked truly scared about it. "And I'm guessing humans don't have illnesses like this either, right?"

"That would be scary--and gross--if we did..." She sat back and thought about where Rayman came from. Perhaps being in this world was doing something to his body. "What's that one energy source you mentioned?" She asked. "The Heart of the World? Maybe being away from that is doing this to you..." The more Rayman thought about it, the more likely it sounded.

"That could happen...the Heart was only destroyed once, and even then for only a short time." he could feel chills running down his back. "But...what if this is only the start?" he whimpered.

"What's the worse that could happen?" She questioned. "So far yer only falling apart..."

"I've always been told that the Heart is not just a mere energy source...but basically a second heart inside everyone." Ray ventured, shaking. He seemed actually scared of the possibility the lack of Heart exposure would hurt him. "What if I won't even be able to reconnect to my parts after a while?"

"I'm sure I got some spare string and wood pieces around here," she joked with a rather cruel smirk.

"That was a really bad joke..." he glanced at her with an annoyed look. "I'd rather be carried around individually, then being attached together like that..."

"Well, the only other option I see is we find a way to get you home before that happens," she admitted. "But like I said before, we humans don't have that ability. The best we could do is camp out where I found you and just hope a portal opens from your world...but that could take days!"

"Hopefully someone noticed I'm missing..." Ray mused, scratching the back of his head. "Otherwise I'll be stuck for who-knows-how-long...and no offense, but I don't really want that to happen."

"None taken. This place sucks," she laughed, getting back up. "Guess we're going for another walk then."

"Hopefully it'll be a walk, and you won't end up carrying me..." Ray sighed. "By now, I can imagine basically anything to happen."

"Should I bring a backpack just in case?" She questioned, smirking once more. "I still got the string if that's still an option."

"Backpack's fine-" Ray fumed a bit. "But if you bring just one string, I swear you'll find it tied around your neck..."

"Yikes...you HAVE been around me too long," she laughed, grabbing an old backpack from her closet. "Get yer disguise on...probably a good idea to get there before it's too dark to see anything." Rayman quickly got into his stuff, breaking his previous records. He was starting to get used to it...though he still didn't approve the pants.

"Maybe they're here already..." he chimed excited. "Maybe they're just waiting for me!" he suddenly stopped, going a bit pale. "...or maybe they got caught." he muttered.

"Don't worry. I'm sure if they're here, they're safe," Luckster assured, leading him outside once more. Tannen's truck wasn't in his driveway, so it was safe to say he wasn't home yet. The evening was so quiet with very few people on the sidewalks or driving in on the streets.

"I sure hope you're right..." the limbless sighed as he followed Luckster. "Looks like we won't have to worry much about anyone noticing anything." he mused, though covering himself as usual by now.

"Until it's pure nightfall, it's a good idea to stay on the safe side," she advised, taking him into a different direction than she had the other two times of him being out and about with her. For a long while, they just saw more houses, but as the evening sank into nightfall the houses became fewer and fewer as they seemed to get to a stretch of road surrounded by trees.

The limbless became more and more excited as they got closer to the place he landed. He could almost picture his friends looking for him already, a portal wide open for him to go back. Part of him warned him not to get his hopes up, but he couldn't help it. He wanted to go home a lot by now. Luckster stopped and looked around a bit, smiling.

"I think this is where I found ya...in pieces anyways," she laughed. "So I guess we just gotta wait around here...or did ya wander a bit before I found ya?" Ray couldn't help but laugh a tiny bit in nerve, scratching the back of his head. "Actually...yes." he admitted. "I first landed in the middle of the woods." he pointed towards the trees. "I wandered around a bit and ended up here."

"Lead the way then," She insisted, slightly nudging him forward. She began to think about how she'd say goodbye to her new friend. He was only with her for a few days, either asleep or in trouble most of the time.

"I'll try..." the limbless took off into the direction he hoped he came from. He wasn't perfectly sure though, concerning he was more confident around the Fairy Glade. He didn't share her thoughts, only concentrating on getting home for now, and to see his friends again. Fate was still cruel to him though, as at a perfectly simple step, he suddenly fell completely apart.

"Smooth...you okay, Ray?" Luckster called, kneeling down to pick up his pieces, trying to put him back together again.

"Do I look like I'm okay?" the limbless asked back, his face posing in total annoyance now, instead of his earlier panic. Something really didn't want him to get home. Luckster had a bit of difficulty placing his parts back where they belonged. None of them seemed to want to re-attach.

"Guess this is the part where you've run out of power," she suggested, carefully picking up his head to she could look into his eyes when talking. "Now what?"

"Well, unless you brought the strings, which I do hope you hadn't, we'll need to resort to something else." he seemed highly annoyed of the fact that he was just a talking head at the moment. "Put my other parts in the backpack, and I'll tell you where to go." he offered. "Just hurry...I can still feel an itch on my back, and it's driving me nuts." Luckster couldn't keep from laughing at this point, placing him back down and putting his parts in her bag one at a time, scratching his back for him just as she was about to place his body inside as well.

"Tell me if I'm getting it..." The satisfied look on Ray's face indicated she was doing just fine. Though he had never fallen apart like this before, he took it without any sense of panic. Even more, after a few moments he began to nearly purr. Soon enough, five of his six parts were in his back and she was carrying his head again, blushing a little.

"This is so weird," she laughed, making sure there really wasn't anyone around. "Imagine what any of yer friends will think if they meet us like this..."

"I'd rather not..." he whined, rolling his eyes...at least those hadn't popped out. "I can surely kiss my reputation goodbye...not just Limbless now, but a talking head!" he sighed, his face bright crimson. The forest was filled with her laughter as she continued on, sounding like a happy child much more than her usual sound of being a grouchy adult.

"I'm sure they'd understand if they knew what was going on," she purred, scratching him between his tufts of hair once more.

"Keyword is 'if'...I'm definite they'll laugh first, ask questions later." he sighed, though purring a bit to her touch. Regardless his annoyance, he was happy to hear her laugh...he was beginning to think he'd have to fight for every second of it.

"Either way you'll have plenty of time to explain yerself," she assured. She was suddenly blinded by a bright light, seemingly coming from one of the trees. "What the hell? What's that!?" she growled, backing away slowly, trying to cover her eyes without dropping Rayman's head.

"Easy there, you're making me dizzy!" Ray remarked, from her sudden movement, before his eyes got fixed on the light. "Yes!!" he cried, forgetting even about his current ordeal. All that buzzed in his mind was 'home', over and over again. He was only moments away from it now! Luckster's backpack began to move as Rayman's body parts suddenly sprung to life, feeling the energy of the Heart coming from the freshly opened portal, climbing out and seeking its final piece, freaking Luckster out a little bit.

His headless body causally took Ray's head from Luckster's hands, putting it where it belonged, even screwing a few rounds on it, just in case. He cried out in happiness again, hitting into the air. Finally, things were turning out for the best.

"I honestly doubt things could get any stranger for me about now," she groaned. A Teensie suddenly tumbled out of the portal, nearly losing the crown on top of his head. "...nevermind..." Ly followed a moment later, stumbling maybe even more than the King. Luckily, she managed to regain her balance before ending up on the ground. She quickly glanced around to find Ray, but the limbless noticed her much earlier.

"Ly..." he whispered, overjoyed to see her again.

"No wonder you thought I was a fairy," Luckster chuckled, taking a closer look at Ly. "She looks like she could be my twin...Except for that extra bit of fur there." She quirked her brow a bit.

"Her tail." Ray explained plainly, smiling brightly. "That's exactly what I thought you were missing at first...or wings, for that matter." he mused, growing bright red. He was still embarrassed of that ordeal.

"...dun remind of that ever again," she grumbled, turning bright red herself. The Teensie King got back up to his feet and dusted himself off. "This place doesn't look so bad," he mused. "Looks like home...only darker."

"I don't really know..." Ly mused, a thoughtful expression on her face. "I smell something I can't quite identify...but it's not too good." she suddenly caught a glimpse of the figure she wanted to see most at the moment. "Ray!" she cried, already heading towards the limbless. Before Ray could even actually greet her, he was lifted off the ground, and enveloped in a tight hug. Luckster smiled a bit, happy to see the two reunited. She could already tell that there was a very deep connection between to two, perhaps more so than Ray may have explained before with his stories.

A few moments passed before the fairy finally put the limbless down. "You gave us quite a scare with this disappearing act, you know that?" she crossed her arms, sounding scolding and playful at the same time. Ray just scratched the back of his head with a grin, still just plain overjoyed to see her. "Well, at least we found you finally." she mused, her expression easing. Luckster took this as her moment to leave. Rayman was reunited with his friends and soon he'd be journeying home. She didn't want to keep his friends waiting and simply turned around, walking in the other direction. He was going home. He was safe. That's all that really mattered to her, even if she wasn't going to see him again.

Ray left his gaze on Ly for a little while, before flinching. He turned around to introduce his new friend, but she wasn't there. "Ray, is everything okay?" Ly queried gently seeing he was looking around for something. "Sure, just give me a few moments...I have a friend to introduce." he replied, quickly going towards where he suspected Luckster went. Luckster had to fight off her tears and tried her best not to think about the fact her friend was leaving. In due time, he'd be just inspiration in her mind, and if her book was successful, nothing more than a fictional character to others as well. She stopped suddenly as something grabbed her arm. She didn't even need to look down to know it was Rayman.

"Did you really think I'd let you go this easily?" he asked, smiling a bit sadly. He was really going to miss her, even if they started out a bit hard. "I owe you a great deal of gratitude." he gazed at her. "You found me, housed me, fed me, and even saved my life not once, but twice! I'm really happy I got to meet you."

"Eh...you'll forget me after a while," she sighed, still fighting back her urge to cry. Part of her wanted to just go with him, so see just how beautiful his world was and perhaps go on even more adventures with him like they had since his stay. She couldn't. She was a human. She didn't belong in a world that most considered fantasy.

"I never forget about my friends." he continued to smile at her. "Even if long years have to pass, or an eternity, I never forget about them." he sighed a bit before adding something more. "And personally...I'd want to see you nearly every day...in my world."

"Ray, you know I don't belong there in the first place. We've already discussed this ," she sighed, finally looking down at him. "Think about how you couldn't fit in here...It'd only be worse for me there..."

"The people in my world accept everyone...I couldn't fit in here because most humans don't even try to understand other species. But you do, and my whole world does the same!" he pushed, trying to convince her. After all she helped him, he really wanted to see her happy, which he guessed would be more probable in his world. "We'd help you in every way possible until you're confident on your own!"

"Rayman, it wouldn't work!" she growled. "Besides, I have work to deal with here!" A voice in her mind was screaming at her to just take his offer. Screw work. It was what made her so miserable! Somehow she just couldn't accept his offer. It didn't seem right to her. She didn't belong and she would never belong.

"But what keeps you here so much when even I could see you're not happy? Why live your life like this when there really is an alternative?" Ray was growing rather desperate now. He just didn't want her to leave forever...the only human whom Ray befriended. "Please Luckster...I don't want you to live out the rest of your life like this." he gazed into her eyes, nearly pleading.

Luckster couldn't take it much longer. For all she knew the portal wouldn't be opened much longer and Rayman's friends would be stranded here too. She knew that arguing with the limbless wasn't going to get her anywhere, so she had to give him her ultimate conversation stopper. She pulled her hand back from him and slapped him as hard as she could without leaving permanent physical damage.

"Just go and leave me alone, you limbless freak!" she growled, losing the strength to hold back her tears, trying to look upset with him. "Go before I change my mind about not turning you in!!" She didn't keep put for a reaction or response from the limbless, stomping off and out of the wooded area, trembling all over. The limbless gazed after her for the longest time, his face stinging badly from her slap, yet he could barely feel the pain. He didn't know what to say or do after all this, though his mind told him this wasn't the best time.

"Ray?" he heard suddenly and felt Ly putting a hand over him. "What happened?" she asked gently. The limbless sighed, shaking his head. Ly knew well this was a sign he didn't wish to talk about it right now.

"Lets go home..." she offered, nudging him a little bit. Rayman took a few more moments to gaze in the direction where Luckster stormed off, before finally going along with the fairy. It really was for the best if he had just left now.

--

Luckster's journey home seemed like it would last eternity. So many emotions were buzzing in her head. Guilt from hitting a friend, regret for not taking his offer, and hate on herself for being stupid in general. "At least he'll forget me," she sighed. "He won't miss me or anything. It's for the best..." Finally she approached her own doorstep, hardly noticing at first she'd gotten back into her own neighborhood. She sat at the doorstep and looked towards the sky as she and Ray had done just the night before. She remembered how he'd been amazed about her planet having only one moon. She could only imagine what his night sky looked like.

A few hours passed with no thoughts in particular on her mind. Just staring at the sky until some nearby trees covered the moon as it slowly crawled through the sky in its orbit. "Better make the most of his visit," she yawned, heading back inside and getting right onto her computer, typing up every word of his stories.

Luckster_Gal
11-27-2008, 02:08 AM
Epilogue

Luckster went back into routine quick over the next few days, save for Tannen's morning appearances. The boy had taken full refuge in his house, sure that Rayman would come out and pummel him once more if he was seen. Any time Luckster wasn't at work, shopping, or any other routines, she was working on Rayman's story, his voice ringing in her mind every time quotes from him were being typed.

Halfway through typing up the Mister Dark saga, Luckster found herself lost in thought, peering out her window. "Wonder what he's doing now," she sighed, feeling quite lonely without the energetic limbless around. Her own heart hated her for refusing Rayman's offer, though she felt in her mind it was the best. From time to time, she thought that perhaps they'd see each other again.

"Ha! Yeah right...now I'm dreaming," she laughed at herself.

--

"Rayman...Rayman, are you listening?!" The voice made the limbless flinch his eyes opening to see Ly standing above him.

"Sorry..." he muttered. "I was out of thought a bit."

"So I've noticed." she eased, sitting down next to him. She let a few moments pass before gazing at him. "What's with you these days? I've never seen you nap so much before, and the Glutes are nearly crying for Rayman by now."

The limbless sighed, smiling a bit though didn't reply. "I know you might have a few things to think over after you've been stranded in that other world, but...this is your home, not that world." there was a tiny bit of hurt in her voice, on which he couldn't help but chuckle.

"I know...and sorry I've been so passive lately...but there are a few things I even miss from that world." he sighed.

Ly fell into thought for a little while again, before speaking up once more. "You know...I think if you at least keep the memory alive, you'll miss those things a bit less...after all, part of them stay in your heart, from where you can always summon them." she mused, playfully poking the limbless' chest. He chuckled again, gazing at Ly with a smile forming on his face.

"You're right...I've returned, and all I brought are memories. But if keep these memories, I'll also keep a little bit of that world inside of me. The most I can do now is live on-" he gazed into the sky for a moment, his thoughts recalling a familiar face. "-and wish for the best."

Luckster_Gal
11-27-2008, 02:11 AM
Status Report on

Rayman, Human Flaws: Volume Two
"The Mysterious Mister Dark"

<LI> 4 chapters complete
<LI> 80% pre-written by myself and co-writer, Zay-el
<LI> currently in art block on chapter 5

Volume 2 may be much shorter than volume 1 due to personal memory failure.

Should be done around New Years.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">DO NOT ASK WHEN IT WILL BE DONE FOR SURE OR I WILL SERIOUSLY POSTPONE IT ON PURPOSE!!</span>

Hardstyles
11-27-2008, 04:22 AM
http://img523.imageshack.us/img523/9333/myimageha1.png

okie so the summary is being posted...When? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

http://img523.imageshack.us/img523/9333/myimageha1.png

Luckster_Gal
11-27-2008, 12:42 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Hardstyles:
http://img523.imageshack.us/img523/9333/myimageha1.png

okie so the summary is being posted...When? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

http://img523.imageshack.us/img523/9333/myimageha1.png </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You're kidding....you want a summery for the first volume when you could just read it?

caitlin23
12-05-2008, 05:16 PM
Horrraaaaaayyyy! Rayman Human Flaws is back! I loved that story! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Mylifeisinsane
01-03-2009, 05:36 AM
This has got to be the best thing I have ever read. That's coming from a girl who has nearly every Jacqueline Wilson book in excistence (nearly), quite a lot of Gwyneth Rees, has read every Mallory Towers book, half the St. Claire's...etc.
But this...this is brilliant. You have got to write to Ubisoft and get it published. If you do, I swear I'll be the first one in Waterstone's when it's out!
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/heart.gif
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

Luckster_Gal
01-09-2009, 02:59 PM
dawww...you make me blush!

I'm not really that great a writer. It's just a silly fanfiction.

I'm currently struggling because I've been giving Luckster too much attention during the Human Flaws portion of the series. I don't want people to label her a Mary-Sue.

Rayman_Addict41
01-17-2009, 10:40 AM
This...is..amazing. I am speechless with shock. The other guy (or girl) is right. Get this published. I'll be the second in Waterstone's!

(My username is not tacky; it's just what the kids at school call me after I used Rayman for my Creative Writing project. Well, apart from the 41 bit...)

Luckster_Gal
01-17-2009, 11:33 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Rayman_Addict41:
This...is..amazing. I am speechless with shock. The other guy (or girl) is right. Get this published. I'll be the second in Waterstone's! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I can't get fanfictions published. It may be my idea, but a number of the characters are not.