Chapter 13:

Fighting Back

The Garden Of Dreams

The COUNCIL had failed. Never had they ever faced a failure so big. They lost Jake as well as the papers, and lost some men too. 
But why did the COUNCIL fail? What went wrong?
This was a very serious matter, the COUNCIL had spent their entire lives after the G.O.D.
If the leader would have been the in charge of this exchange, then none of this would have happened. But the leader was not available at the time, he had gone somewhere in a very urgent manner. So, he had made Artur the in charge of the exchange. Artur didn't supervise much tasks but he had earned the leader's trust over the years. Many members had opposed the leader's decision of making him the in charge, but the leader believed in him.

Artur wasn't a human, he was a humanoid. The leader, along with some other brilliant scientists, had created him around 9 years ago. They tried to make him better than humans, more powerful, more intelligent and more efficient. He was very strong, but he was also overconfident. As he defeated different enemies with ease, his ego and confidence grew day by day, he started believing that he was superior to all the humans. He slowly became a monster who enjoyed fighting and hurting others.
He didn't expect the NCPD to attack them on such a large scale. He didn't prepare enough units to fight the NCPD, hence they had no choice but to run. He had underestimated the NCPD. The other members had warned him too, but he didn't listen. 
Artur had failed the COUNCIL, more than that, he had failed the leader. When the leader heard about this, he was enraged, he was furious. He came back to Nodax as soon as he could and called Artur to meet him. Artur wasn't scared of anyone, except the leader. He didn't know how to face him, he didn't have the guts to face the leader's wrath. 

"Care to explain yourself Artur?"
"I'm very sorry Leader, I made a mistake. Please forgive me."
 "What went wrong?"
"The NCPD, they got involved, and they attacked us with all their strength."
"Of course the NCPD got involved, you should've seen that coming."
"I thought that everything would go perfectly, I never expected them to fight us head on."
"You know what the reason for your failure is? It's not carelessness, it's your overconfidence and your ego. No one else is to blame for this Artur, It's your fault, and yours alone."
"I'm sorry leader. I'll make things right. I swear, I'll get you those papers."
"You think you're so strong and powerful, huh? You think no one can beat you?"
"No, it's not like that leader. Please, listen to me...."
"You disappointed me Artur, I'll show you what power really is."

The Leader walked up to Artur. He punched him in the face several times. 
The punches didn't affect Artur much, they could barely move him.
"I know that these punches don't hurt you. But the fact that you weren't even able to move a single muscle against me, the fact that you couldn't do anything else except getting punched, is what power is. It is more than just physical strength, it's dominance. You maybe be physically strong, but you're very weak Artur. And you know that I don't like weak people...."
"I'm sorry leader. I'm very sorry."
"I don't want to hear it. Get your hideous face out of my sight. You're not a member of the COUNCIL anymore, you're on your own."
"What? Leader you can't do this to me. I will make everything right, please give me one more chance, I won't let you down again. Please Leader! What will I do without the COUNCIL?"
"Do whatever you want to, just don't come back. Nothing you do or say will change my mind."
"Leader I-
"Shut up! Get the hell out of here!" The leader screamed. 

Artur had never seen leader so angry. He had no choice but to go. He walked out of the building and sat in his car.
"It's all their fault! If they wouldn't have involved the NCPD then nothing like this would have happened." Artur somehow considered it Jake's and Nathan's fault.
"I'll get those papers from them, I'll make them pay." He planned to do something to them. He thought that if he somehow got those papers back from them, the leader would forgive him and accept him. 

He found out every bit of information about Jake and Nathan. He also came to know that Nathan was Detective Alek's son, whom he had killed years ago. This became all the more fun for him. He began his hunt and started following both of them. 

Jake had planned to take on Danny first. But they came across Artur.
Nate told Jake that someone had been following him. Jake was being followed too. The follower was none other than Artur. They devised a plan to corner and confront the follower. Jake told Nathan to go out and to do nothing. Just roam here and there, and that he would be monitoring him and keeping track of the follower. 

Nate went out. He drove his car around the city. But he didn't see anyone following him. 
The next day, Jake went out. Each day, both of them passed through Baker avenue. They repeated this for a few days and then checked the CCTV footage at the Baker avenue. 
They noticed that a red car passed just 20-30 seconds after them, each day. 
It wasn't a coincidence, they were sure that they were being followed by the person in the red car.

They prepared to tackle that follower.
Both of them went out in the same car, Jake was looking out for the follower and Nate was driving. 
"I see him, he's right behind us."
"What now?"
"Take the car somewhere alone and quiet, let's deal with this."

Nathan was taking the car to Xeron, the abandoned town. The car was still following them. 

"So, what are they after?" Nate asked Jake.


"The COUNCIL of course." 

"It's a little complicated..."

"Well, Xeron's pretty far, we've got the time to discuss."

"They're after something called the Garden Of Dreams. It's... it's uhh...I don't know what to call it...a portal I guess..." 

"A portal? To where?"

"I don't exactly know...but it is believed that the Garden Of Dreams fulfils all your desires. You become what you've always dreamt of becoming..."

"Wow, that's umm....pretty unbelievable." Nathan said with a laugh.

"It is...but it might as well be true. I mean, if it wasn't true then why would the COUNCIL go to such extreme lengths to get their hands on my father's research papers." 

"So the box contained your father's research, huh?"


"Why did your father hide these papers from the COUNCIL? I mean, why couldn't he have just handed them over? What did the research say Jake?"

"The research wasn't meant to fall in the wrong hands. My father, and his partner, Jim had discovered the true power of the Garden Of Dreams. Each time a person was sent into the Garden of Dreams, the  radiations emitted would be unique. This led them to believe that each time, each person was sent somewhere different, to a different world perhaps. And going by the legends, they believed that each person would be granted their wish inside the Garden and then they would move to their ideal world. Meaning that the entry point of the person is earth but the exit point is another world, and for every different person, their world is be different too. After years of research and hard work they found a way to manipulate the Garden's functioning. They found two possible ways in which they could make our world as the entry and exit point both. Meaning, the person inside the Garden would be granted his wish, but not in a different world, in his own real world, our world. They found ways to bend this world's reality using the wish granting power of the Garden. But these methods relied heavily on theories, so they were just hypothetical, no real experiments had been conducted to prove their genuineness. But my father and his partner didn't want to take any chances, they couldn't let the COUNCIL's wish to be granted. So they chose to hide this research from them." 

"I see...This Garden Of Dreams, it seems pretty interesting."

"It does, but if someone tried and succeeded in it, they would be unstoppable. 

"I get it. Your father chose to die instead of giving those papers to the COUNCIL and risking the world's future...I respect him for that."

"Yes, he was a very noble man."

Nate was now aware of the COUNCIL's actions and their goal. 

They reached Xeron...

Nate stopped the car, the red car stopped right behind them. 
Jake got out of the car, with a gun in his hand.

"Who the hell are you? And why have you been following us?" He shouted.
No one replied anything. 

The gate of the red car opened, but no one got out. 

Nate got out of the car too.

"Hey! Get out of the car!" Jake shouted.

There was no response this time either.

Jake and Nate slowly walked towards the car. 

"It's empty. No one's inside." Nate said 

"An automated car?"

"Yeah, I think so."

"Huh? Why would someone send an automated car after us? This makes no sen-

BAM!!! Jake was punched out of nowhere. He fell on to the ground. 

"What the f*ck! Who did that?" Nate was confused because here was no one else present there. 

Nate looked around, he couldn't see anyone. He didn't understand what was going on.
He ran towards Jake. But someone punched him midway. He fell down too. 

"What the f*ck is going on?" Nathan thought to himslef.
"Show yourself you coward!" He shouted. 

The one hitting them was Artur, he had used his invisibility feature.  

He grabbed Nathan by his neck and lifted him up, Nate was struggling to free himself.

Jake was lying on the floor, he sat up and opened the scope in his gun, and it detected Artur. Jake shot him.
Artur fell down, his invisibility wore off. 

Jake got up and saw who it was.
"So it's you..." He said. He remembered seeing Artur at the exchange. 

Nathan was lying down, he got up too. He walked towards Jake. 

Artur was just lying there, his systems had frozen temporarily. No one had checked his systems after he was attacked at the exchange, hence he took considerable damage from this attack too.
"I'll f*cking kill you." He said to Jake.

"Oh yeah? Go ahead and try." Jake replied. He had aimed his gun right on Artur's face. 

"Who are you?" Nate asked Artur. 

He looked at Nathan and said, "Nathan Frost, you look a lot like your father." 

"Huh? What do you mean?" Nate was confused, he didn't understand what Artur said.

Artur chuckled to himself. He said, "I'm the one who killed your family." 

"What? That's not possible! My family died in a car accident."

"That's what the NCPD told you."

Nate didn't know what to do, he didn't know what to feel. All his life, he was in the disbelief that his parents had died in an accident, but in reality, they had been killed by the COUNCIL, by Artur. 

His breath got heavy and his head started hurting. The glimpses of the accident flashed before his eyes. He sat down, and held his head. 

"Nate, pull yourself together! Now's not the time for this."

Nate couldn't hear anything. His mind went blank and his ears started ringing.

Artur had told Nate about this so he could create a window, just a small one, so he could get back up and attack them. 

While Jake was looking away, he  quickly got up. Jake turned but it was too late. Artur knocked the gun out of Jake's hand and punched him in the gut. 

Jake fell down in pain. 

Nathan was still out of his senses. 

Artur grabbed Nathan by his collar and stood him up. 

"It's over for you." He said. 

"Nathan! Nathan!" Jake called him but he didn't respond.

"Say hello to your father..."

"Nathan!!!!" Jake screamed his lungs out. 

Nathan finally heard him. He snapped out of his episode and came back to his senses. Suddenly, all his rage and anger, which he had buried in the past, was brought back to life. 

He stretched his prosthetic arm and punched Artur in face as hard as he could. 

Artur was sent flying away. He hit his own car and fell down. Nathan walked towards him. 

"How did you get so strong!?" He asked Nathan.

"It's all thanks to you. I would've never got this power if you hadn't cut my arm." 

Nate sat down on his toes. 

"Scared, are you?" He asked Artur.

"Sacred? Of you? Don't make me laugh, you bastard! Just you wait, I'll fu*king kill you!" 

Nate grabbed Artur by the collar, with his left hand. And with his right hand, he punched him again, and again, and again. 
A dent developed in Artur's face...
"You're not human, are you?"
He punched him again, he couldn't stop himself. He was feeling very good, taking out all his rage on someone. He kept on punching Artur's face up to a point where it had been completely destroyed from one side. Artur was no longer functional. 
"Lucky for you that you can't feel the pain." he said to Artur. 

Nate went to Jake and helped him up. 

"You killed him?" Jake asked Nate.
"I don't know. He's a friggin' humanoid. I'm not even sure if it can die."
"Whatever, let's get the hell outta here. He might not be alone."

Nate sat Jake down in the passenger seat. He sat in the driving seat and started the car. As soon as he stepped on the accelerator, some one jumped right in front of the car and smashed his fists right into the car's bonnet. The car flipped over the person's head and crashed upside down. 
The strong chassis of the car saved their lives, but they were injured heavily. Jake lost consciousness but Nathan was still conscious, but not enough to move or say something. He saw someone tear apart the car's doors and pull Jake out of the car. The person then pulled him out of the car and threw him on the floor.
Nate didn't see the man's face but he felt like he had seen him somewhere before. Seeing the giant physique, and the robotic arm, made Nathan sure that he was the same person who had attacked the wedding.

Some other cars arrived and some men got out of them. They put Jake and Nathan in one car, and Artur in other . The man who had attacked them also got in one of the cars. 

Nathan lost his consciousness as the cars drove away.....

TO BE CONTINUED IN "Realization; Goodbye to the Real World"