Ian tried to shake off the vision as well as the voice that was so vivid and echoing through out his head. A scarier place he had never been. The Ruler was close, Ian could feel that. How close was any ones guess. Or was it?
"There is no time left, Ian. You have to get what we need and then go!!! He is coming back to the surface!"
"You don't have to tell me, Imel. I am very aware he is coming back! I will have what I need a moment!"
Ian probed once more into Alisa's mind. Her pain was terrible and he knew it. HE wondered if she would Love him after all of this. It came to him just as another burst of pain shot through his head. He felt what he thought were tears seeping from his eyes. A tour in Nam had opened his senses to what this was. Not tears at all. The stench of blood filled his nostrils. Not just any blood. This was his own blood and Ian was very afraid."
"I got what I needed from her, Imel! You get her to a safe place now! You don't need her anymore!"
"How do we know that the..."
"Get her to safety or I will take what I know to my grave! Do it Now!!!!"
As soon as Ian said the words, Alisa suddenly disappeared from his arms. Ian suddenly felt very much alone and scared. The waters around the sandy beach turned dark green, as if the ocean floor were rising to the surface. A wave that seemed 100 miles high raised up out of the water and smashed itself on to the beach. Ian was lifted from the sand and tossed 300 yards further up onto the island. He choked on the salt water he had swallowed in the toss. As he regained some composure, he saw the shadow before ever seeing the creature.
"Oh My God!!!!, was all he could say as he looked up at the behemoth.
"Farthest thing from it, Ian!" The voice was as loud outside of his head as it had been inside. "It is time you and I had a little talk!! I think you have something of mine!"
Ian stared up in awe of the size of the Ruler. He knew that running was not even an option. He stood up to face the creature.
"What I have is mine to keep, Demon. We do have a few things to talk about." Ian did his best to sound sure and unafraid. He doubted if it was working very well.
"I will kill you if you play with me, little man!"
"And with me will go what you need."
For the first time, Ian seem to have the Demons attention. "Alright Ian, what would you have from me for the knowledge you hold? But I warn you, my patience wears thin!"
"I want these soldiers freed of the curse you put on them. I want them to go back to who they were before you stole their lives away with your disgusting foul lies!"
The Demon looked down at Ian and then at the tiny creatures hiding in the trees.
"They seem to be un-willing to help you! Why would you help them!?!?"
"They were good men at one time. You tainted that with your touch. Give them back their lives and then I will give to you what it is you seek!"
"Done! They are of no consequence to me!" With a wave of his talons, the Demon changed the creatures back to the people of Atlantis once again. The men looked at one another in shock. It had been forever since they had been this way. In a moment, they all disappeared into the trees.
"It would appear that it is just you and I now, Ian. Your friends have left you to your demise! Shame..."
"Alright Demon, you sought the knowledge of where your little box of powers went. I found them inside Alisa's mind."
"Give them to me Now!!!'
Ian stepped back. "Not so fast, Demon. It seems that Mark discovered more than just your powers. He found your weakness also. It seemed strange to me that you, a creature, a Demon with all of your power would be concerned over such a tiny box. But then I saw it. It wasn't the box of power you wanted back. It was the boat! The boat that had flowed under the firewalls of Volcano's and into the deepest parts of hell. A boat that could enter Hell's gates, where you could not. You were a banished Demon! A Rogue that The true Ruler of the fire no longer had need of. You floated the boat in and out of Hell's gate and stole tiny pieces of Hell's power. You took it and hoped that one day you would be more powerful than the true Ruler. While you slept, Mark found the boat. Just a "boat" to him, but the only way You had of getting more of what you wanted. And in the boxes...? The boxes contained souls of good men that you took and used as payment for the powers you were stealing from Hell. You would soon go back to being just "another demon" if you didn't have that boat and those boxes. You could make more and steal more but that would take precious time from your powers. And besides, if you took too much too fast, Satan would catch on and destroy you."
"If you know all of this, Ian, then you know also that I would Kill you without thought!!! Now Give me what I want!!!!!!!"
The voice was so loud that Ian felt the tears of blood running down his face again. He knew that he could never give to this Demon what it wanted. He was prepared to take it to his grave now. Alisa was safe and the men had their lives back. The Demon would never survive long enough to hurt them any more.
"Kill me, Demon!"
The demon squinted it's bloodshot eyes at Ian. It reached down with it's talons and scooped him from the sand. Bringing Ian directly in front of it's face, it stared into Ian's face.
"What did you say, tiny man!?!?!??"
"I said... Kill me! Just do it and we will end all of this, now! I have no fear of death! You have nothing to take from me! Do it now, Demon! Kill me!!!"
The Demon shook with anger. He opened his mouth and began to place Ian inside. "I will do it, you fool!!!"
"Then do it, damn you!!! Do it Now!"
And then, there was a commotion coming from the trees. The ground was suddenly filled, nearly every inch, with the good people of Atlantis. And leading them from the trees was Alisa.