I really enjoyed putting this chapter together even though it has a lack of screenshots when comparing to other chapters of similar lengths. I made two poses of it that I'm pretty proud of even if they aren't the best. I will probably get a "Behind the Scenes" little author's note up in case any of you are interesting in that. I have just been rambling in the author's notes so far. I enjoy it. Livvielove did all the edits for this chapter except the chapter picture. They are just...so awesome. I'm in awe. Before I ramble too much, I have yet another song for you! It is called "Heathens" if you can't access the link due to internet problems. I hope you enjoyed the chapter as always! Edit: I changed the chapter picture later because I thought it was more fitting.
Jasper’s eyes widened as the red pickup truck pulled into the familiar farm with the wooden sign announcing the truck’s entrance into the farm. Blake’s Farm. Jasper sighed. “Ah, the gateway to hell.”
The man - who had introduced himself as Kefka - raised his eyebrows. "Is here good? I could drive through the front door if you'd like." He gave him a charming smile.
Jasper shook his head. “Nah, no need. Jim tends to shoot trespassers. Thank you though.” Jim was Jasper's birth mother’s husband. He was as crazy as she was. Shots were already going off in the distance as Jasper’s eyes became wider. How did they know he was already here?
Kefka nodded, looking at him with a smirk. Jasper moved to get out of the car when he spoke again. "Good luck, Chicken Boy." He grinned and when Jasper turned back Kefka's eyes had flashed to a golden color and a set of fangs showed in his smile.
Jaspe sighed. There was more of them? How? Now was not the time to question things. “I appreciate it. “ Jasper shut the pickup truck door and watched it drive away in the distance. Everything was too strange. Jasper walked cautiously towards the house as more shots went off. The soft grass crunched against his worn shoes as the old farm house with peeling green paint and a metal roof came into view. Jasper took a deep breath as painful memories threatened to take over from the back of his mind.
“Jasper, what did I say about crying?”
“Jasper, what did you do? Mom’s really angry.”
“Go clean out the Chicken Coop.”
"Yeah, yeah, FUCK YOU TOO." The unfamiliar voice yanked Jasper out of his thoughts as he sprinted towards the house to see an older man with grey stormy eyes and grey hair glare at a man with yellow hair and pink skin.
“Don’t shoot, Jim. IT’S JASPER.” Jim narrowed his eyes and pointed the gun at Jasper as Jasper calmly glared back at him. It didn’t matter. Jim was all bark and no bite. It did help a little he was an “avid follower of Agonin, the god of Order.” If Agonin was the god of a twisted order then. Jasper was positive that was called corruption.
“All you have been is a pain in my ass, boy. You should have never come back.” Where had the Jim been that had been encouraging Jasper’s birth mother to get Jasper ‘home?’ He was gone or he didn’t care. He had an agenda. Everyone here did.“The feeling is mutual, Jim. Why the hell are you trying to shoot him? Have you gone mad?” If it was possible for Jim to go even madder, that is.
“The damn fairy tried to steal my chicken!” Jasper’s eyes narrowed as Jim’s face turned bright red. Racism got people killed around here for good reasons.
“Put the damn gun down Jim.” Jasper answered coolly.
An arm slunk around Jasper's shoulders suddenly and the man with yellow hair pursed his lips. "Jim... Jim... Jim... Can I call you Jim? Surely we can talk like reasonable adults here? Well... perhaps that's stretching a bit for you... like your pant's waistline - but I digress! Surely we can come to an accord. See... you have a chicken here that's not actually a chicken - well he is a chicken right now... but... it hardly matters. You've got this genius man right here who's beautifully put that you should put down your gun before someone gets hurt and I agree with him wholeheartedly." The man nodded, smirking slightly as he continued on. "Then I can take my feathered, asshole-of-a-chicken with me and you can won't have to tell anyone that a stupid fairy - I'm half damn fairy by the way... I mean, if you're going to insult someone... do it right. But you won't have to tell anyone that you got your ass whooped on your own property by a half damn fairy. Sound good?"
Jasper nodded as he listened to the man. Sounded fair to him. Maybe not everyone around here had lost there mind? Jim pointed the gun straight at the man’s head as Jasper glared and stared at the chicken in the man’s arms he had picked up a moment before.
It was his chicken, Moby Dickhead. He had bought him from a stranger by the shops at the age of seven to please his birth mother. It had not ended well as the chicken was...not well behaved. Jasper had named the chicken Moby Dickhead as a small rebellion against his birth mother’s disciplining.” It had been his small rebellion. It was ridiculous. “Jim, it’s my damn chicken. Put the gun down before I do it for you.”
The door creaked open as everyone stared at the woman with grey hair and dark purple eyes. Her scowl landed on Jasper as it had done years before. His eyes widened as he felt like a child again, trying to escape her next beating.
The man nudged his hand with the chicken in it towards Jasper and nodded. "Then you're the one I should take this up with. Thank goodness... here I thought getting this chicken back would be unreasonable!" He looked at Jim and made a face. "Now Jim, if you could be a dear - it looks like the woman holding the rope around your balls is looking for you - you shouldn't leave a lovely lady to warm a bed all by herself, right? Even a moderately... uhm... well... a mostly...? Well she's passable in the dark - right? Age is a killer you know, quite literally. Thank god I'm half-damn-fairy. My good looks last as long as my charm." He winked and smiled brightly. "Now if you'll do us a solid, my good friend..." He paused, eyeing Jasper curiously before remembering, "-Jasper! Right! We're going to go negotiate this asshole-er Chicken. Thanks."
Jasper nodded as the gun shifted from the man’s head to his own. “Amy, your son is causing trouble again. I told you we should never have let him come back, damn it. He’s as much trouble as he always was.”
Jasper rolled his eyes and resisted the urge to stare at the woman that had beat him for years to keep him from the horrible flashbacks. “Jim, it’s my chicken. You guys have been complaining about years how much trouble it has been causing you anyways. Let this go.”
Jim’s face turned redder as Jasper’s birth mother answered for him. “You gave me the chicken at the age of seven, Jasper. It’s not yours anymore. I have been taking care of it.”
"I live by the rule 'finders, keepers; losers, weepers' so..." The man shrugged loosely. "At this point it doesn't matter whose chicken it is, it's coming with me, and if you two prudy-dudes don't put away your nasty attitude I'm going to get angry... and you don't want to see me angry, ok? Jasper - you seem like good people... It's a shame they can't learn from your example."
Jim’s face became even more redder as he pointed the gun at the man’s head. “You come into my house, take my property, and then insult my wife and expect to leave unharmed, fairy? You’re whole race should have been killed a long time ago, you are all nothing but trouble. Put down the damn chicken and maybe I will let you leave alive today.” Jasper shook his head. Jim was mad and he had the glint in his eye the racist asshole had that had been blown up inside the mad god’s temple. It was almost as if he was begging for death from this man.
Jasper watched the man's fingers twist and curl as the air continued to shift. In a sudden movement, the man made a fist and strings appeared, wrapping themselves around Jim and instantly yanking the gun out of his hands. The man looked down darkly, a coy smile on his lips. "Tell me... Amy, was it? How many pieces of your husband would you like to bury? 5 sound like a good number to you? Maybe a piece for every single time a racist phrase came out of his mouth? No... then the pieces would be too small." He chuckled darkly. "Not so tough now, Jim? What happened to you? Fairy catch your tongue?"
He taunted before shaking his head. "Pitiful." He lowered his fist down slightly and the strings yanked up on Jim who was struggling to break free of them with a horrified expression. "Jasper, you've been a downright reasonable chap, tell me - what in the world brings you to a racist's farm at this hour? Anything I can do for you since you seem to be the only sane person here?"
Jasper stared at the strings that had transformed Jim into a puppet bound by this man’s hands. His eyes widened as he answered simply. “I met a lady today that happened to blow up the mad god’s temple. She gave me a note telling me to come back to my birth mother’s farm….who happens to be married to Jim here.” Jasper couldn’t exactly grasp what was happening. This was too strange. He had never seen anything like it. He tried to figure out who the man was that was dangling his asshole of a stepfather by strings. He stared blankly at Jim struggling against the strings. He was like a fly caught in a spider’s web. There was no getting out. This was an absurd dream. It must be.
The man raised his eyebrow slightly before he groaned. "You mean I missed the explosion? Dammit, Mania." He sighed heavily. "Send ol' Quinn out to get the freaking chicken while you have all the fun." He grumbled to himself. "Well, I think I know what you're supposed to do next, but first we must decide what to do with old Jimmy here."
Jasper nodded as his birth mother spoke up. “Is this the kind of man you want to be, Jasper? Killing the man that is like a father to you?” She hissed.
Jasper gave her a weary look. “The man that is like a father to me is in Bridgeport.” Jasper tuned her out before the flashbacks came back. They always did. He instead focused on what Quinn was doing. “Well...he did insult you multiple times and point a gun at your head. I would say anything is fair game at this point.”
Quinn wasn't listening though, instead he was making Jim whack himself in the face with one of his own hands using the strings that held him. "Stop hitting yourself, man. You've got to stop hitting yourself...! You've got a real problem, dude. Oh that's just savage." He seemed to realize he was being spoken to and he straightened and cleared his throat. "Oh, huh? Right." He swallowed and dramatically straightened himself, his voice changing. "By the good grace of the kind, handsome, charming, wonderful me, I allow you to have your life. So... uh... yeah. Fuck you all, and have a lovely night." Quinn released his fists and the magic in the air dropped, causing Jim to fall roughly to his knees on the ground as Quinn began to saunter off towards the edge of the property line. "You coming, Jasper?"
Jasper nodded as he stared at his stepfather one more time. He had been reduced to a puppet within minutes, tangling by a piece of string under a master that could kill him at any moment. Jasper turned his back and started walking towards Quinn as his birth mother started ranting. “I always knew you were like your father, Jasper! You’re a coward! You blame everything on everyone else! You don’t care about your family, the only person you care about is yourself! How can you live with yourself?”
Jasper pushed back the flashbacks one more time as he emotionlessly gave his birth mother the middle finger as he walked. He needed to stop thinking for once.
Quinn had waited up for him, rolling his eyes at the woman's rant before he patted his shoulder. "Come'on mate, let the old bat keep blowing shit out of the hole in her face." They walked in pace next to each other. "My mom was a shit lady too. Who needs 'em? The best family in your life is the ones you choose - trust me." When they had gotten a good distance away he reached over and held out his hand as he walked. "We've not been formally introduced - I'm Quinn."
Jasper nodded as he shook Quinn’s hand. “I’m Jasper. How did you get those puppet strings to come out of the air?” Jasper asked curiously even if he knew the answer already. Magic, but how?
Quinn gave him a bright grin and he started laughing until his laughter died and his face grew more serious. "Oh... you weren't joking?" His eyes widened. "Okay then... we'll the world moves at approximately 300 miles an hour..." He held his hands up and gestured to the moon. "And the moon has a gravitational pull that affects the tides, which ebbs and flows into the... magic. It's magic, mate." He grinned again. "Mania picked up an algul? How strange." He shook his head and shrugged. "I suppose the master works in mysterious ways. So you really have no magic?"
Jasper stared at Quinn as he nodded his head again. He didn’t understand anything he was saying. Master? Was this master Mania? He wasn’t sure. Why did it feel like there was more to this? He understand the question of having magic or not though. Jasper shrugged. “No magic at all.”
Quinn seemed to assess him before shrugging. "Don't worry, we'll fix that soon." He paused as he slung his arm over Jasper's shoulder. "So you meet Mania at the temple? Was she alone? I can't believe she didn't wait on me." He sighed heavily. "I could've used that explosion to clear my head. Women, can you believe it? Cruel mistresses."
Jasper didn’t understand what Quinn had said at first. We'll fix that soon. Fix what? Jasper not having magic? He didn’t know if it was possible. Jasper tried not to think about it too hard. Jasper paused for a moment as he searched for who Mania was with before speaking. “She was with Deliro.” The man had seemed a bit strange as if he knew something Jasper didn’t. Probably did, Jasper did black-out after the explosion. Oh well, no hurt feelings. Just a lot of unanswered questions. He shook his head as he laughed nervously. “Some women are nuts.” Jasper and Quinn just didn’t seem to be thinking of the same woman at that moment though.
"Liro? I figured she would've gone with... ah it doesn't matter. He must still be out on that mission. Ugh, my brain is fried, man. Absolutely fried. Have you ever had a woman that just... walked in and out of your life so many times...?" Quinn sighed and shook his head, exasperated. "Only she doesn't just walk in and out... she bulldozes me... every time." His slumped more of his weight onto Jasper as they walked before pulling his arm off and rubbing his temples dramatically. "Fucking women, I can't get her out of my head but I have to for this mission and... it's not working. I was hoping to find that stupid chicken so I could have something to punt around - but my girl... she's everywhere."
Jasper sighed as he took everything in it. Yeah, he did. “If you don’t want to forget her, you won’t be able to.” He shook his head. “I had an ex-girlfriend convinced I had to see my birth-mother. Got to Dragon Valley and suddenly she stops answering my calls. The only thing she left was a voice message telling me she was done with me.”
Quinn let out a sigh and shook his head. "It never ends like that - never in my history at least. If I had a nickle for everytime my Ezzie told me she was done with me I'd be a rich man." He sighed. "The difference between us, most likely... is that I don't want her to go. This ex of yours sounds like a piece of work. Perhaps it's a blessing in disguise... ah well. Drop off her address with Liro and we'll have some fun with her later."
Jasper shook his head before answering. “Maybe you shouldn’t go on this crazy mission you are talking about. Sometimes staying is better. Nah, I think she left town anyways.” At least he thought she did. It sounded like something Natalia would do.
Quinn shook his head. "I don't want to, but... I may have to. It's... complicated. Yeah, that's a good word for it. She skipped town on you? The bitch! Don't worry, Nia can find anyone. Can't escape her cards, you know? Ah shit, you probably don't know any of this shit if you're an algul. Buckle up, buddy. It's going to be a crazy ride. You said she sent you for the chickens?"
Jasper laughed as he shook his head again. “I have no idea what you’re talking about. I really don’t know what I signed up for, I saw an explosion and loved it. I blacked out and woke up on a bench in the middle of the main park in Dragon Valley. After that Mania sent me to get the chicken I bought when I was seven from a deranged man that let me have it for a nickel along with giving me more money. I didn’t even question it. I was a weird kid.”
Quinn stopped immediately from walking and looked at Jasper with narrow eyes. "Deranged man?" He paused as he looked at Jasper before stepping forward. "Were his eyes the same color as mine?"
Jasper stared quizzically at Quinn before answering. This felt like a trick question. He needed to answer carefully. “His eyes looked similar but more like….flowers?” Flowers? Jasper resisted shrugging. That’s what his seven year old self had seen.Quinn let out a harsh breath and he raked his fingers through his hair. "SERIOUSLY, MASTER?! SERIOUSLY?! You sold a... a...! -to a CHILD?!" He groaned and shook his head before letting out a long breath. "You have no idea how long I've been looking for that son of a bitch." Quinn's face returned to being level and he walked to catch up to where Jasper waited on him, both of them continuing their pace forward into the woods. "Question for you - how much do you know about..." He stopped and debated how to word it, "our... little group?" Jasper’s eyes widened. Oh shit.
*Quinn and Kefka were written by Livvielove*