Guardians, Episode 6: Warriors

[Scene 1: The castle Atrium]

[Narrator:]    When I was a child, my parents brought me to a castle. I was an toddler, and I hardly remember it now, but my favorite photos of us was taken in front of that castle. As we stepped out of the vehicle, I remembered that the back of the photograph had “Castle M” written on it. I closed my eye, trying to feel some trace of their presence, something the years hadn’t eroded away. I felt nothing but a gentle breeze and smelled the aroma of nature mingled with the smells of small town living. I opened my eyes and looked up at the castle. The castle had 7 stories, including 2 floors below the first one. The stones that made up the exterior were blue dolomite, and the roof was red. Out in front were two iron wrought lion statues, positioned on either side of the door. Above the door was an insignia I recognized. It was the one who appeared on Dean when he’d had his fit a little over a month ago. Fayth and I followed Alan Grace in throught the giant front doors.

[Alan:]    Yoo hoo, I’m home!

[Fayth:]    This place is gorgeous.

[Amelia:]    It’s even better in the daytime.

[Narrator:]    A woman was walking down the grand staircase in the front entry hall. She had brown hair pulled into a tight ponytail and piercing green eyes lined with smokey black liner. She was wearing a vintage black dress with a green ribbon tied in a bow around her waist. She had a friendly smile, and it was clear looking at her and Alan standing next to each other, they were related.

[Alan:]    Amelia, I wasn’t expecting you to be up.

[Amelia:]    Couldn’t pass up a chance to meet the famous RedWing. Plus I’m waiting for the other part of the crew to arrive. That delivery from Tess Johnstone came through.

[Alan:]    Ah, fair enough. I just heard from JV that they are on their way.

[Jordan:]    Um, hi, so… why have we been brought here?

[Alan:]    Simple, Jordan. We brought you here because the King requested it.

[Fayth:]    Who exactly is this king you keep speaking about?

[Cedric:]    That would be me, The Raven King.

[Narrator:]    We looked up at the top of the staircase. Standing at the top of the stairs was a man who looked to be about 60 years old, his red hair streaked with salt-and-pepper grey. He wore a sword at his belt, and a black cape seemingly made of thousands of black feathers joined at his shoulders with a gold feather and chain. He looked every bit what you would expect someone called “The Raven King” to look like. Flanking him on either side were 2 people I knew well: Dean’s mothers. They were wearing black togas with gold rope tied around the middle. The most striking change to both of them was that growing from their backs was large black angel wings. Alan and Amelia bowed, as did Fayth. I did not.

[Jordan:]    You…

[Cedric:]    You must be Jordan.

[Jordan:]    You… must be joking. Do you really expect me to believe you brought me here so you could “converse with me”? Normally, when people want to chat, they pick up a phone and call someone, or even send a text message. Hell, you could’ve even wrote a goddamn letter. You don’t just go around kidnapping public officials! {turns to look at Emma and Anna} And just what in the actual fuck are you two grown ass women doing here with these fucking psychopaths?! Standing there, looking like some kinda Fallen Angel Cosplay. You vanish for 3 weeks, no calls, no texts? All so you can come here and dress up like we’re in some fancy hollywood masquerade? What the hell is going on here?

[Emma:]    Relax, Jordan. There is much you wouldn’t understand.

[Jordan:]    RELAX?! What the actual-

[Anna:]    We needed all of you for something specific. You would not have come otherwise. But this is of the utmost importance, and we couldn’t chance that you or Dean would refuse.

[Jordan:]    THAT. DOESN’T. MAKE. SENSE. YOU’RE HIS PARENTS. Why would he refuse?

[Anna:]    We are his mothers, we know how he’d react. We raised him, we birthed him, we taught him… we know that you’re the only thing he’d never leave behind.

[Emma:]    So if we have you, Dean will follow. We know our son, and he knows us.

[Jordan:]    Yeah, but for the years that I’ve known you, you didn’t have wings growing out of your back. Who are you really?

[Cedric:]    Silence, Jordan. All will be revealed tomorrow, when his Trials begin. Your rooms are ready. Alan, take Jordan to his room for the night. Amelia, please accompany Fayth to her quarters.

[Alan:]    As you wish, sir.

[Cedric:]    Oh and Jordan?

[Jordan:]    What?

[Cedric:]    {chuckles} I am not your enemy. I met you when you were just a wee little lad. I knew your parent for many years, and I had the honor of fighting alongside them many times. They were honorable people, as are you. So long as you are here, no harm will come to you. If my son passes the Trials tomorrow, you will have my blessing to marry him.

[Jordan:]    And if he fails?

[Cedric:]    {Menacing} Then it won’t matter whether or not you have my blessing. It would be best you pray for his success.

[Scene 2:]    [The Atrium]

{Door creaks open}

[JV:]    Alrighty, we’re here. Amari?

[Amari:]    Thank you, JV. I will take them from here. Welcome, Dean and friends. My name is Amari Agrinya. I am 2nd in command of the Warriors.

[Narrator:]    Amari was tall, with dark cocoa skin, and thick curly natural black hair. She wore a black tunic embellished with gold around the collar and the hem. She held a wooden staff with gold and black bands going around it. Her eyes were dark and serious. When you looked into those eyes, you didn’t question that she was a warrior. This was a woman who had seen combat, fought and won without even breaking a sweat.

[Dean:]    Where is Jordan?

[Amari:]    He is in his quarters. You will be staying on the second floor, and you will be seeing him when the sun rises. I suggest you get a good night’s rest. You will want to be prepared for the Trial.

[Keiran:]    What kind of trial are we talking about?

[Amari:]    You must be the bokor they are calling Sparrow. Very well then. Dean will face a trial by combat. If he fails, then all of you will die. However, in the... {pauses, sizing up Dean} rather unlikely event that he succeeds, great fortune will be bestowed on you all.

[Marilyn:]    And what about the rest of us?
[Amari:]    Ah yes, Rook. I’ve heard much about you from Alan and Amelia. Well, while Dean rests, we have other tasks for the 4 of you. You must be Jeremy.

[Jeremy:]    Aye, that’s me.

[Amari:]    You will be brought to your brother. Rook, you will go with him. Sparrow and WhiteHawk, you are to come with me and Amelia. We have a task for you to complete.

[Johanna:]    And what is that task?

[Amari:]    You will see, soon enough.

[Johanna:]    Sorry, sister, I’m not going anywhere without answers.

[Amari:]    {chuckles} Excuse me?

[Johanna:]    You heard me. You haven’t earned my trust, or my assistance. If you don’t release Jordan to me, you will get nothing from me.

[Amari:]    {hearty laugh} HAHHAHHAHA, oh, oh, that is just too precious. You thought that was a request? No no no… That was not a request, tiny dove. You will do as I ask… Or we can do this the hard way.

[Dean:]    Threatening a guest is bad form in literally every cultural tradition. You should be ashamed. Let Marilyn go with them. Jeremy can go to Jordan. Report back to me that he is alright?

[Amari:]    You will find that your communication devices have been disabled for the time being. But I can assure you Jordan and Fayth are perfectly fine and completely unharmed.

[Dean:]    Bring Jordan to me, then.

[Amari:]    I do not obey your commands, Dean Morrighan. I obey the Raven King. He wills this of you, and you will comply.

[Dean:]    Or else what?

[Amari:]    ... such arrogance… If you are asking me if I will fight you, I normally would fight and bring you down without a second thought. However, that goes against my commands. The more you linger with this inane argument, the more time you waste, the more likely you are to fail the trial and doom your friends. Now… {Taps staff to the ground} Go.

[Dean:]    Fine. Team… I’ll see you soon. Do as they ask for now, we’ll get to the bottom of this soon.

[Narrator:]    Amelia appeared and took Keiran, Marilyn and Johanna in the direction of the basement staircase. Dean was brought upstairs by JV. Jeremy was brought upstairs by Amari.


[Scene 3:]    [Midnight work]

{Footsteps on the stone corridor.}

[Johanna:]    So, you must be Amelia.

[Amelia:]    Yes, I am. Wonderful to meet you. I take it you already met my brother?

[Johanna:]    Yeah, I met him at the blackjack table.

[Amelia:]    {sigh} ugh, I’m not surprised. Well, in any case, thank you for agreeing to help.

[Johanna:]    Um, I haven’t agreed to do anything. As I explained to Miss Agrinya earlier, you haven’t earned my help.

[Marilyn:]    Johanna, I can vouch for Amelia. She’s good people. Her codename was Fauna when we worked for the Division. Amelia, what is going on? It’s been almost 8 months since we’ve seen you and Alan.

[Amelia:]    That was Alan’s doing. He was approached by the Raven King, and he said he wasn’t leaving Bayou City without me. So I came out here, and I got a… unique job. You see, I work with um… well…

[Marilyn:]    With what…?

[Amelia:]    Cryptids. I work with cryptids.

[Johanna:]    Wait… Cryptids? As in, monsters?

[Amelia:]    I wouldn’t call them that. How would you like being called a monster?

[Johanna:]    I’ve been called worse. You haven’t met me in the morning with no coffee, when my blood sugar is low.

[Amelia:]    Cryptids are the creatures and beings that are rare, mysterious, and often magical. Some are humanoid in shape and appearance, others are more beastial, but like all creatures on God’s earth, they are unique and have their own personalities. Marilyn, you remember what my powers are?

[Marilyn:]    You can communicate with animals, right?

[Amelia:]    Well, yeah, that about covers it. I work for this school, as the caretaker for the more… animalistic cryptids, I guess you could say. Ah here, we are…. {opens door} Please, don’t be shy, come on in.

[Keiran:]    What is this school you speak of?

[Amelia:]    The Berkshire Academy for Cryptids and Faefolk. We try to… well, integrate the cryptids of the wild world into greater society at large. Like this guy here.

[Puppy:]    {3 Dogs snarls}

[Keiran:]    OH. MY. GOD.

[Marilyn:]    Why the blazes does this dog have 3 heads?

[Keiran:]    He’s… SO…. CUTE!

[Amelia:]    Shhh shhhh, there there, Puppy. That’s a good boy, a good good boy. {pets him, happy dog whimpers} He’s a Canis Cerberus. Also known as a Cerberus, or a Hell-hound.

[Johanna:]    Why the hell is it in your office?

[Amelia:]    Well, that’s just it. This is my off-campus office, but there is a full lab right across the hall. The school is nearby, but sometimes, I need the quiet of this place. And this pup here… Well, we want to rehabilitate him, so he can be the therapy dog at the old folks home down the street. The problem is that I’m the only one who can understand him. That’s where you and Keiran come in. I need you two to synthesize my power and create a modified dog collar that will give him the ability to speak English. When I heard you two were coming, I knew I simply had to ask you all.

[Keiran:]    [sarcastic] Oh, is that all?

[Johanna:]    Do you have a blood sample for us to use?

[Amelia:]    Of course. It’s in the cooler. I was able to isolate the metahuman part of my genetic sequence, but I couldn’t find a way to integrate it with the collar.

[Johanna:]    Leave that to us. Metahuman-Bio-Tech is totally my jam. Keiran, you up for being my assistant?

[Keiran:]    Always, Jo. Just like old times.

[Johanna:]    Okay, this shouldn’t take long.

[Marilyn:]    While y’all are doing that, do you mind if I catch up with Amelia as we head up to the room?

[Keiran:]    No problem, my love. I’ll see you soon.

[Marilyn:]    I’ll be waiting for you, stud.

[Keiran:]    Alrighty, sweetness.

[Johanna:]    Both of you, stop that. Right now. Ugh.

[Marilyn:]    Girl, don’t hate, appreciate.

{fade out…. Fade back in}

[Johanna:]    Alrighty, are we ready to test this puppy out?

[Keiran:]    Weird choice of words, but yes, I think we are.

[Johanna:]    Alright. Let’s just… slip… this on… and… okay. Alrighty, hound dog, what’s your name?

[Puppy:]    {bark} the human’s call us Puppy. I’ll have you know that our name’s are Plato, Homer, and Virgil. Plato likes duck, Homer likes chicken, and Virgil likes pork. You can call us PHV

[Johanna:]    Wow, we did it.

[Keiran:]    Wow… How old are you?

[Puppy:]    In human years? It’s hard to say… I don’t know how human years work.

[Keiran:]    Oh, I see.

[Johanna:]    Amelia said she was trying to get you ready to go work in the old folks home.

[Puppy:]    Oh, yes. We love the elderly. They give us treats. I like them most because they like my stories that I tell them. They also really like poetry, and I can recite 50 different epic poems from memory.

[Johanna:]    Well, then, I’m glad. PHV who brought you to the Academy?

[Puppy:]    We were brought here by Miss Johnstone. She is headmistress at the academy. She has the best puppy chow. One time, I was in her office, and out of nowhere she…

[Johanna:]    Sorry, PHV, but it’s late, and we’ve got to figure out what’s happening in the morning.

[Puppy:]    Oh you mean for the Trials? Well, golly, I sure hope we aren’t here for that. I heard from the Edgar the Turtle that the Trials are crazy. I hope your friend pulls through.

[Johanna:]    Thanks, PHV. I hope he will too. Hey, can I ask you something else?

[Puppy:]    Of course, kind human.

[Johanna:]    How many of you are there? How many Canis Cerberus are there in the world?

[Puppy:]    That’s tough to say. I know there’s us, but I don’t know if there are many others. I sure do hope I can meet others like me someday. Maybe you all can help me find them?

[Keiran:]    We can try, PHV. We can try.

[Johanna:]    I’m gonna see if we can duplicate this tech when we get back home. This could really come in handy someday.


[Scene 4][The Trials]

[Narrator:]    I was woken up with by the sound of rumbling drums. I had slept rather well, considering. Jeremy had shown up at some point, and when I rolled over and saw him, I was confused for a second before I made the connection. He woke up when I did, hearing the drums, and we both climbed out of bed. We looked at each other and decided without words to put on our suits. When we opened the door to follow the sound, we found a man posted outside our door. He was wearing what could only be described as modern-day spartan armor, including a sword, cape and helmet. He indicated that we should follow him, and not wanting to argue with a man wielding a sword, we followed. We were joined by Keiran and Marilyn, both of whom were in their suits. Johanna joined us last in her WhiteHawk gear. Somehow all of us knew we should be dressed up for whatever was happening, and that to me was off-putting. We were led outside to the courtyard, which was massive. There were two lines of people, all dressed modestly. I recognized Liza from the previous day, and Johanna pointed out a woman named Amari to me, who was dressed slightly better than everyone else and had a ceremonial spear, and looked as though she was a higher rank. We looked out over the wall, and saw a small reflection pond and a smaller building with 4 columns in front of it. It was then that I saw Dean, who was being escorted by Alan, who was also in the same modern-day spartan armor. Dean was wearing similar armor, but definitely less modern. He didn’t have a sword, and that made me nervous. I wanted to call out to him, but that seemed like a bad option. Dean was being walked towards 3 people. I recognized them as Dean’s 3 parents, even though Emma and Anna looked years younger and were wearing masks made of black feathers. The Raven King looked every bit the resplendent warrior monarch, with his cape of black feathers, golden crown, and a bejeweled sword with a golden hilt. The ceremonial drumming grew louder. The King raised his hand, and the drumming ceased.

[Cedric:]    Welcome all to this most glorious day. Before me stands a man I have not seen since his birth, but who has been on my mind everyday since then. Before me stands my son, Dean Morrighan. We are gathered here today because today he will face the trials, as so many of his ancestors have before him. As I myself did, more than 150 years ago.

[Narrator:]    Dean looked at him confused, as confused as I was. How could this man be over 150 years old? That wasn’t possible… was it?

[Dean:]    Before I face anything, I need to know this… Who are you, and why must I do any of this?

[Cedric:]    My name, dear son, is Cedric. Cedric Morrighan, The Raven King. I am he who reigns over all of the race of Warriors.

[Dean:]    Who are the Warriors?

[Amari:]    We are the Warriors. Every generation produces warriors from around the world, human being with powers bestowed by the gods. We are strong, we are bulletproof, we are fast, we are lethal with any weapon known to man. We are beings designed to fight for mankind, should that need ever arise.

[Cedric:]    And you, Dean, are not only a Warrior. You are my child, the child of a king. You were raised by these two spirits of war and fate. And as my son, you are the future king. But you have not been trained by me, or by any warrior for that matter. That is what the trials are for: to see if you have the heart of a true Warrior, the soul of a King and the courage to be the leader of the Warriors.

[Anna:]    You have powers beyond the ones you’ve shown as WarBird. You must tap into that strength.

[Emma:]    Failure is not an option. Should you fail this challenge….

[Narrator:]    Silence hung in the air for a moment. My heart was pounding. Would they kill us if Dean failed? Emma held up a hand and snapped her fingers. Dean vanished, as did 5 of the Warriors that surrounded us. I noticed that Amari, Liza, and Alan were among those who had been transported. I looked out over the wall and saw them reappear in the field. They were about 300 feet from where we were. Cedric spoke and his voice rang out across the field.

[Cedric:]    The First Trial will be for you to fight the 5 best Warriors of this generation: The Slayer, The Hunter, The Soldier, The Fighter, and The Paladin.

[Jordan:]    Are you insane?! He is unarmed and doesn’t know what he’d doing. DEAN!

[Cedric:]    BEGIN!

[Narrator:]    The Fighter was the first to strike towards Dean. He slashed his sword for Dean’s face, but Dean lept backwards out of the way. Dean used his opportunity to kick the man in his side which destabilized him, making him drop his weapon. Unfortunately, Dean didn’t see that Amari The Paladin and Liza the Slayer were both preparing different strikes. The Slayer hit him in the chest, while The Paladin swept Dean other leg out from under him. Dean hit the ground so hard I could feel the wind get knocked out of me. The Soldier delivered a kick to the side of Dean’s head, but Dean grabbed the Soldier’s boot and pulled her him down. Alan, The Hunter stepped back from Dean a slight bit and pulled out his sword. Alan raised the sword above his head, and brought it down towards Dean’s arm. Dean rolled just in time, pulling the Soldier’s leg to the place his arm would’ve been. The blade shattered against the Soldier’s leg, which was not at all what I had been expecting. Dean punched the Slayer in the stomach, and as she fell, he rolled to a standing position where she had been. Amari took her chance to strike Dean in the side, but Dean grabbed it, and pulled her forward slightly. She moved forward with the staff, but she lunged to punch Dean in the face, and her fist connected with his jaw. I saw blood come from Dean’s mouth as he fell backwards and the Warrior gang descended on him. I turned to look at Cedric, Emma and Anna.

[Jordan:]    Are you crazy?! They could kill him.

[Cedric:]    They plan to.

[Jordan:]    You need to stop this.

[Emma:]    He can’t.

[Anna:]    Not until it’s all done.

[Jordan:]    You are monsters.

[Cedric:]    This is tradition.

[Jordan:]    Yeah? Well, your tradition is bullshit.

[Narrator:]    I turned to the warrior nearest me and punched him in the face. I kicked the one on the other side of me in the face, and threw 2 darts at Cedric. He dodged both of them, which gave me just enough time to get to him, flicking RedFeather open to it’s full length, and holding it against the King’s neck. I was well aware that 3 Warriors had swords trained at my head and back.

[Jordan:]    Tell them to back off of him. This is not a fair fight.

[Cedric:]    Now now, Jordan, there is no need for that. Look.

[Narrator:]    I narrowed my eyes, but turned back to look at Dean. All 5 Warriors he’d been fighting were down, and Dean was floating. I could tell from afar that something was different. There were black markings all over Dean’s skin. The thing that was strangest to me were the 2 black wings that spread from his back. He was flying… with wings… and he was flying back to where we were. When he reached us, the 3 warriors had pulled me back. Dean’s eyes were glowing a deep green color.

[Dean:]    Those were your best, old man? That’s a pity.

[Cedric:]    Well done, my boy.

[Narrator:]    Dean’s wings faded away, but the marking remained. His eyes stopped glowing a slight bit, but he still looked angry.

[Dean:]    What else do you need me to do?

[Cedric:]    You have proven yourself as a Warrior, but now you must prove the soul of a king. And there is only one way we can test that.

[Narrator:]    I was going to ask how, but before I could, a deafening roar came from above. I looked above us and thought for a second that I must be dreaming. When the beast touched the ground on the courtyard, I knew I wasn’t hallucinating because I could feel the full weight of it in front of me. Standing before us was a Golden Dragon, roughly 12 feet tall, with a long neck and a long tail and 2 leathery wings. The dragon stared at Dean, and Dean stared back. Dean walked towards the Dragon. I was frozen to the spot. Dean was less than a foot from this very large creature. As we watched, the dragon and Dean made no moves. And then finally, after what felt like a million years, the dragon kneeled before Dean, and Dean put his hand on the creatures scale-y head. I thought I heard the creature purr it’s approval.

[Cedric:]    Well, that settles that. Warriors, I present to you your future King, Dean Morrighan. {Applause}

[Narrator:]    Dean’s eyes stopped glowing, and I ran to him. He turned to face me, and I practically tackled him and kissed him. During the time that Dean had been dealing with the Dragon, Amari, Liza and Alan had come back. All 3 of them smiled at Dean, impressed by what he’d managed to do.

[Dean:]    Thank god you’re safe.

[Jordan:]    Me? Thank god YOU are safe. I don’t know what the hell is wrong with these people. Oh… uh… sorry for threatening your dad, I guess?

[Dean:]    Haha, it’s fine. I totally get it.

[Cedric:]    Not the best thing to do to your future father-in-law.

[Narrator:]    Cedric was approaching us. Johanna and Keiran had walked up to the Dragon and slipped a strange collar on his neck. I could’ve sworn I heard the dragon start asking them whether or not they had any puppy biscuits. Dean put an arm around me defensively, and I glared at him.

[Dean:]    You, old man, have a LOT of explaining to do.

[Cedric:]    Of course, of course. If you and Jordan would kindly retire with me to my chambers upstairs, I will explain everything. Jeremy, please come with us. Oh, Amari?

[Amari:]    Yes, sir?

[Cedric:]    Please commence with the next… event. You know which one.

[Amari:]    With pleasure and swiftness, sir.


[Scene 5] [Cedric’s office]

[Narrator:]    We entered a room that was the size of the apartment I had lived in with Johanna 6 months ago. There was a fireplace that was going, which seemed to be giving off the smell of vanilla, apples and cinnamon. The room was darkly lit, but it didn’t feel sinister. It just felt… old-fashioned yet high-class. Cedric sat down in the hair nearest the fire. There was a couch opposite of him, and that was where Dean and I sat. Dean’s mothers sat on either side of us, Emma was next to Jeremy, and Anna was next to Dean. We sat in an awkward silence for a moment, just staring at each other…. Before we all just started laughing. It was a strange spot to be in, definitely not the usual thing anyone would expect to happen to them. It’s not every day that you get out of jail, only to get kidnapped with the hater who had just tried to get you convicted of accessory to murder, mend the bad past you had with said hater on the way to a french-style chateau in Western Massachusetts, where your fiance’s absentee father and a band of weirdly strong cult members try to kill your fiance, and you find out your fiance is royalty, and descended from ancient Celtic spirit-goddess thingies, not to mention finding out dragon’s exist and that your future husband has the ability to grow wings. No, not your typical 24 hour period. Cedric broke the laughter first.

[Cedric:]    I admit, this is a strange situation. I suppose I shall start from the beginning. Jordan, a couple things for you to know. When you came here at age 3, your parents were trying to figure out what to do with the powers they had extracted from your Uncle Isaac. They had reason to believe he would come back, and try to exact some kind of revenge. Without his own abilities, he couldn’t tap into the Power in the soil beneath the city. They figured the best thing they could do would be to have the strongest witches they knew cast wards on New Ark City, to prevent anyone from remembering the former Guardian team. Anna and Emma were instrumental in helping everyone forget. They had me keep them, until such time as Isaac died, at which point I would return it to you, which I will do shorty. However, before we get to that, we must tell you all why all of this had to happen.

[Emma:]    Centuries ago, when the human race was young, the Old Gods, those present across the old faiths, began to regret that their power was contingent on people believing in them. Some of them turned on the humans, and began to eradicate us. But the ones who stayed on our side saw fit to give us 4 powerful gifts.

[Anna:]    The first gift was from the goddess who, in the Greek Pantheon, was called Hecate. She gave us the gift of magic. The second was from the Roman god Vulcan, who gave us the gift of invention. The third was the gift of wisdom and heart, which came from Athena herself. And the finally gift… was the Warriors. The warriors were granted the powers of most demigods, in exchange for the promise that, whenever a God comes to Earth and threatens the safety of mortals, the Warriors would convene and defend humans til their dying breath.

[Cedric:]    31 years ago, a power was born into this world that could bring the end to humanity. I felt it, when it happened. I felt the energy of that birth, from across the Atlantic. This triggered the birth of a new generation of Warriors. The Raven King is the title given to the member of the Morrighan, specifically the one who is born a Warrior. I knew that I would not be able to lead the Warriors against this power. So Anna and Emma and myself made the decision to bring you into the world. I will spare you the details on that part, but I will tell you this… I was there when you were born. I was the first to hold you. I saw in your little green eyes all the hope for the future and the salvation of the world. I also felt something I hadn’t been expecting. I didn’t realize how much I had wanted a son. For 2 years Dean, you stayed here with me in this castle. {chuckle} You know, you and little Amari hatched that Dragon egg together. You named him Clover. Here… here is a picture. I keep it on my mantle to remind myself of you and the time we were able to spend together. But I realized this castle was no place for you to spend your youth. I didn’t want to raise you to just be a Warrior. I wanted you to have a regular life, so you could experience the world you would be protecting. Anna, Emma and myself decided that it was best that they raise you within the wards of New Ark City. Malia and Terrance agreed to keep an eye on you from afar, and they did, until you and your brother were born, Jordan. They became preoccupied with protecting their son, which I could never fault them for. I will say though, I did feel it when you were born, Jordan and Jeremy. I felt your births, because you also possess the souls of the divine Raven. Indeed, when I met Jordan as an infant, I informed Anna and Emma that they should begin to teach you and prepare you in some way. Your union with Dean was not exactly planned, but we couldn’t be more happy that you found love for eachother. We didn’t know where you were, Jeremy, as you were being cloaked from us until your powers were activated, at which point Hunter kept tabs on you, from within the Division. You see, Dean, Jordan and Jeremy, not only is Dean the Raven King, but Jordan and Jeremy, you are the future spirits of the Morrighan. And that is why we needed to get all 3 of you here, so that we could tell you this: the time has come. That dark force is …. {knock on door} Oh? Do come in.

[Amelia:]    Sorry to interrupt, but the time has come.

[Cedric:]    Already? Well then. I’ll get to that last part at a later point. Right now, we’ve got something to do.

[Jeremy:]    Like what?

[Cedric:]    Well, I believe it’s time for Jordan and Dean’s wedding, of course.

[Jordan:]    Um, what?

[Dean:]    Excuse me?

[Emma:]    Well, you were going to get married anyway at some point.

[Anna:]    So why wait?

[Jordan:]    I can’t!

[Cedric:]    Why not?

[Jordan:]    For one, Jared isn’t here.

[Emma:]    I can solve that problem.

[Narrator:]    Emma snapped her fingers, and swirling feathers rose up to for a human-sized shape. Jared appeared, and looked confused as hell, gripping his firearm.

[Jared:]    WOAH. WOAH. WHAT THE FUCK?

[Dean:]    Jared! Jared, it’s okay. My mom brought you here.

[Jordan:]    Hey Dad?

[Jared:]    Jordan? Dean?.... Oh, Anna? Emma? Good to see you, it’s been a while. Um… What’s with the costumes? And furthermore, where the hell am I? And who is this dude?

[Cedric:]    Cedric Morrighan, Dean’s father, the Raven King. Welcome to Castle Morrighan. And you are?

[Jared:]    Jared Lovelace, Police Commissioner for New Ark City, Dean’s boss, Jordan’s adoptive dad. [groans] Also, definitely too old for this magic shit. Why am I here?

[Cedric:]    These boys are getting married in the next 30 minutes.

[Jared:]    Uh, what?

[Jordan:]    Um, we still didn’t agree to this accelerated timeline yet. For starters, we were gonna get married at my family’s estate, to honor my parents. Also, neither of us have our wedding tuxedos.

[Cedric:]    You won’t need the tuxedos. We will deal with that in a moment. Plus, Jordan, you are aware Keiran can summon your parent’s spirits anywhere in the world. He’s doing that as we speak.

[Dean:]    Dad, stop. What is the rush? Why does this need to happen now?

[Cedric:]    Because once you two are bound together, the three of you will be ready to become the new spirits of Morrighan, and you will officially become the King. Which I insist must happen today, so you’ll be able to face what is coming. What kind of father would I be if I let you face danger unprepared? Now, my boys, will you accept?

[Narrator:]    I looked at Dean, and my heart skipped a beat. There was no question to me. It was in that moment the only thing I wanted.

[Jordan:]    I’m game if you are, D.

[Dean:]    Of course, J.

[Jordan:]    Okay. Cedric, we accept.

[Cedric:]    Perfect. Now… suits fit for the kings you both are… let’s try these.

[Narrator:]    He snapped his fingers. Slowly I felt myself lift into the air and swirl around. I shut my eyes, wanting to be surprised. My honest thought in that moment was about how much I felt like a disney princess. When I felt my feet gently touch the ground again, I opened my eyes and looked down. I gasped. It wasn’t a tuxedo, so much as it was fancy medieval studded leather armor. It reminded me of my father’s armor from his days as a masked vigilante, complete with a cape made of red, black and gold feather-like shapes of what I believed to be vinyl. It was a little bit “renn faire” but I loved it. I looked up at my fiance to be. Dean matched me almost perfectly, except where my outfit was red, his was green, the same color that matched his eyes. He looked perfect, and I couldn’t stop myself from smiling.

[Jordan:]    Dean… you look perfect. You are perfect.

[Dean:]    Me? No, J, you’re perfect.

[Jared:]    If I may say so, boys, you both look perfect.

[Cedric:]    So the father’s agree. And the mothers?

[Anna:]    Just as I always pictured it.

[Emma:]    Perfect indeed. I’ve never felt more proud.

[Cedric:]    Then we are ready. Right, gentlemen, we will see you in the hall.

[Narrator:]    With another snap, everyone except the two of us were transported out of the room, presumably into their places. Dean and I looked at each other and laughed before kissing one last time as unmarried men.

[Jordan:]    This day has been a roller coaster. I think your family is crazy.

[Dean:]    [chuckles] I’m pretty sure you are right. Are you ready for all this?

[Jordan:]    I want nothing more than to officially be able to call you my hubby.

[Dean:]    That makes two of us. Shall we?

[Jordan:]    Let’s do this.

[Narrator:]    We clasped hands and opened the doors. We walked across a short hallway, and followed the wedding music to the room. When we got in there, everyone was there. As we walked, I hugged Johanna as we passed her.

[Johanna:]    Go get ‘em, tiger.

[Narrator:] Keiran was seated in the front. Next to him were the spectral ghostly figures of my mom and dad. They smiled and waved to me. They couldn’t speak, or touch me, but their presence was all I needed. They approved. We reached the front, where Dean’s father stood. It made sense that Cedric would facilitate the ceremony, since he was a King he absolutely could do that. I held Dean’s hand and at the proper moment said I Do. Dean did the same. And when we kissed and became joined together, I felt something change inside me. Something deep within my core shifted and rose up and out of myself. Johanna told me later on that when I kissed Dean, the lights flickered, and something appeared behind me. Something wing-shaped. Jeremy told me he felt something change in himself as well. I would come to understand that as the moment we not only gained new abilities, but when we gained access to something that would change the entire world forever. I know know that moment was the beginning of the end.