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Rebellion: The Last Rebel
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Chapter 7: Reunion
If Angus had been more open-minded he might have approached differently. If his thoughts hadn’t been swirling around his own sense of guilt and failure he might have noticed the changes.
He might have wondered over the brooding storms engulfing the cloud gate. He might have wondered why the trip through the clouds seemed grimmer, and why a misty grey cloud seemed to hang over the cloud-island. He might even have wondered about why there wasn’t a sound to be heard in the jungle of the island, and why the track to the altar of dreams seemed drier then he had remembered it as.
Now, standing before the clearing with the altar to the dream world, faint memories of the changes of his travels came back to him; but they did little to nothing to surprise him now, what feelings of shock and wonder he had now came from the sight ahead: the clearing was dying.
The lush green grass seemed to be dying away, and was turning yellow. The pillar like trees, which once had an almost holy presence over themselves, were now a pitiable sight, their crowns were bare, and bowed depressingly, as if they were carrying a heavy burden to the ground filled with the rotting remains of leaves. Angus shivered. He noticed a film of white, almost transparent, thin roots grasping at the trees, engulfing them and choking them. He also noticed that the same thin roots where zigzagging themselves through the grass towards the altar. At the edge of the circle they covered the whole outer circle, but the roots had difficulties the closer they got to the altar. Still, though, two or three large roots had overtaken the last step and were now creeping into the altar.
Angus felt a horrible suspicion, and quickly went towards the altar, leaving the greener grass of the outer circle.
The lid of the altar was already open and he could see a bright light from inside. Could there still be hope? He wondered.
He didn’t want to think much over this, so he calmed himself, and jumped headlong into the altar.
What met Angus next was a painfully bright light, so bright that he was unable to see anything other than a intense whiteness. He got up on his feet, and fumbled around with his hands. He had to find a wall or something, and find Xyzta and Jim.
“Xyzta!” he called desperately, as he was unable to find anything solid in the following seconds, “Jim!” No reply came, only a shattering fading echo returned to his ears.
“Xyzta! Jim!” he called again. Only a mocking echo replied.
“XYZTA!” He was starting to get desperate, and had fallen on the ground and was crawling on all four.
A cold breeze met his face; a breeze carrying an odour that Angus instantly recognised as Xyzta’s. He nearly jumped ahead. His nose guided by the tingling odour directed him just as well as any eyes might have done.
He got closer, the smell stronger.
Suddenly something met Angus’ shoulders. A strong, hairy arm stopped him from moving forwards.
Angus tried to get away from the grip, but the effort was useless.
“Don’t go any further Mr. McDow.” Bobo’s shrieking voice pleaded from the whiteness.
“Why?” Angus asked. He wasn’t surprised to met Bobo, though a bit annoyed. “Why shouldn’t I?”
“You won’t find anything you want to find here.”
“What do you mean by that?” Angus didn’t understand what Bobo was talking about. “Where is Xyzta?”
“She isn’t here anymore.” Bobo said sadly.
“But I can smell her!” Angus protested.
“You smell an illusion.”
And as soon as Bobo said this, Angus sensed a rotting smell hit his nose, mixed only too well with the scent of Xyzta.
“No!” Angus cried as he wriggled out of Bobo’s grip.
“Don’t!” Bobo cried after him.
It was too late. An icy cold wind brought with it an opening in the whiteness, and a bitter sun illuminated a body on the ground. It was Xyzta, lifeless and cold. Angus tossed his hands around her, buried his face in her bosom, and held around her, desperately trying to find a sign of life or warmth, perhaps even hoping of warming her back to life.
Angus had held her in sorrow for the longest time, when the mist started gathered again. It fought away the sun, took his vision away, making Xyzta fade into the whiteness, even though she was inches away from him.
There was a stillness unlike anything Angus had ever experienced. Even his breathing seemed to have disappeared. He could now no longer see Xyzta, so he let her go; put her gently back on the ground again, and silently walked back to where Bobo had been.
Slowly the sun returned with a faint cold wind.
“Why?” Angus cried to himself. “Why did I leave her?”
“You had a quest to complete.” Bobo answered solemnly a little in front of him.
“And look how well that turned out.” Angus answered him bitterly.
“Still, your quest is completed.” Bobo answered knowingly.
“So what? I failed, Xyzta is dead.” Angus looked behind him towards Xyzta. The mist was too dense for him to see her though.
“You didn’t fail,” Bobo said reassuringly “it looks like you couldn’t have done anything to prevent this in any case.”
“Then I did indeed fail.” Angus was feeling endlessly helpless.
“At least you are alive to keep fighting.”
“Before she died, Xyzta bade me to urge you to keep fighting against the VoodooLady and her spell over the lands and seas below.” Bobo said, “The VoodooLady now has more power than ever, so it’s even more important for you to fight against her.”
“Why should I bother?” Angus asked.
“Because you are the only hope for young Jim.” Bobo said with significance.
“Is Jim alive?” Angus jumped up, hope gleaming in his eyes, and looked at Bobo.
“He was taken by the VoodooLady.” Bobo said sadly
Angus’ hopes faded a little. “Then I have to rescue him!” He declared.
“You won’t succeed.”
Angus gave Bobo an angry glare.
“At least not while the VoodooLady is as strong as she is now,” Bobo said “you have to weaken her somehow before you can hope to openly attack her, or pull off a rescue.”
“How can I do that?” Angus asked, clearly worried about never seeing his son again.
“That you must figure out for yourself,” Bobo said.
“How should I know how to handle this problem?” Angus asked. He was feeling that the task at hand would be an impossible one.
“Your latest quest has taught you much about different approaches to solving problems …”
“You know what happened during the quest?” Angus had thought that he had been completely alone during the quest.
“Xyzta could see enough to understand your sufferings, and she wanted you to know that you always were in her heart and that she loved you whatever you might do. She didn’t judge you.”
Angus started crying. The pain was nearly unbearable. If only she could return, if only for a second, so that he could give her a reply and let her know that he loved her endlessly and would do so eternally.
They had stood there silent for a while when a faint cracking sound and a slight darkening of the mists started to make Bobo anxious.
“You better go now Mr. McDow.” He began to pull at Angus’ arms.
Angus resisted, but when he saw Bobo’s face and its anxious features he agreed to follow.
Bobo quickly followed Angus back towards the gate to the cloud island.
When they had reached their destination Angus had calmed himself, and a thought that had troubled him had taken more and more room in his mind.
“If Xyzta could follow me on my quest, why didn’t she notice that the VoodooLady was coming for her?”
Bobo looked sadly into Angus’ eyes, put his hands on his shoulders, opened his mouth slightly, and then happened the strangest thing Angus had ever seen in his life: He first noticed that the hair of the monkey was falling from him to the floor in great chunks, then the flesh was churning into dust, and finally the bones faded away. Bobo had in seconds evaporated into dust just before Angus’ eyes, leaving a last fragrance of the living Xyzta though not any answer to the question that Angus had asked. Angus would have spent much time speculating over the meaning or possible message of this strange incident if it hadn’t been for the fact that the Xyzta fragrance seemed to make him extremely tired. It didn’t take long before he had fallen to sleep.
He later awoke in the altar of the clearing. He rose up and left the clearing, then the island and finally the cloud island and cloud sea all together.
He would never return to the clouds that had been his home for ten years, or three months.
Writers note: (for especially interested readers)
Here ends the tale of Angus McDow and his final relations with the now famous "Big Whoop" crew. The tale also covered some parts of his short family life, and his earlier connections with the dubious Marco LaGrande.
It should now be clear for anyone what happened to the crew of The Grog Villains Beauty, after “The Beginning”.
For anyone wondering what happened to Angus after he left the island (which remains are now so fondly is called “Monkey Island”), I won’t tell much further than is written here; there is truly little more to it than what everyone already knows about him.
He couldn’t handle the world’s sufferings any longer. He couldn’t keep up fighting the VoodooLady. He tried, but gave up, even gave up hoping for his son to be alive.
His nightmares were the major contributor to this despair. It is highly possible that the VoodooLady had gotten some of her brainwashing powder to work on Angus, and that his experiences in the dream world intensified this, and literally made him crazy.
His vision of reality was severely damaged after he first entered the dream world. His adventures in this book showed this, and he would still have problems afterwards.
He accepted at one time that he was still in the dream world, and that the VoodooLady was just another character in a nightmare. If this was his thoughts when he died, is unknown however.
He spent his days secluded in a cave on Phatt, far away from society. Only Marco would some days visit him, giving him food and the occasional news from the triisland area.
The inhabitants knew Angus was in the cave, but didn’t care. Eventually they heard little about him, and it was generally accepted that he was dead when the stories about Marco and ‘the unknown avenger’ started appearing.
This story is based upon Angus McDow’s own writings; both diary entries and letters addressed to me. He knew the importance of the history he had been a part of, and had written much after I met him in the tavern decades ago.
Even though Angus had given me much information for this book, it has taken me a long time to get myself to write it. It has taken decades only to start working on it, and properly chronicle the sources. Its darkness has drawn me away from it. Now, however, I feel that it is fitting that this book might find its place among the other writings in the Secret Library of Phatt alongside my earlier “Rebellion” writings.
I no longer feel the need to sugar-coat the rebellions earliest days. Angus McDow doesn’t need to be an iconic figure of great legends anymore. It is time that the all good heroic Angus, is replaced by the actual figure that lived and breathed in the triisland area.
I wished with this book to show the human behind the legends, and portray the truth about our first rebel in the fight against the Voodoo Lady. I feel that this book might serve as a good starting point for an even truer collection of writings from the rebellion.
We should all remember how the Secret Library started, with log-books and diaries who told the truth, compared to the alterations of reality that the Voodoo Lady had created. I hope that I can create a homage to that past, and perhaps make this book a symbol of the organisation’s love for truth; that in search for the whole truth we will even throw away epic legends about our grandest heroes.
I have in this story tried to hold myself to the truth in every situation as far as possible. I have tried to write joyous in joyous situations, and coldly grim, in grim situations. I must admit that some poetic liberties have crept into the story at various stages, but I strongly believe that these additions to the raw material is not only fitting and true, but also essential for you to understand the true nature of Angus McDow.
I see my literary works as now complete. I didn’t become a great writer as I in my youth had dreamed of, but I hope I have at least brought some clarity to the masses.
Written by, the now experienced and humble, Jim McDow from the written accounts of, the most devoted and esteemed, Angus McDow.