17th September 2015.
Jackson swung his sword downwards to block Mordred’s assault. The two swords clanged together loudly with every hit, a metallic heartbeat growing stronger.
The ruins on Excalibur shone brighter with every hit. The sword felt weightless in Jackson’s hand as he bent it seamlessly to his will, almost impossibly as if the blade had a mind of its own. They shared one mind and without even thinking Jackson span on the spot and pumped to dodge a hit from Mordred. As he descended Excalibur’s blade cut Mordred’s sword hand.
Mordred screamed in agony, dropping his sword and clutched his hand as blood like the basilisk poured out. Suddenly, sharp fangs appeared in Mordred’s mouth and the scoundrel spat basilisk venom at Jackson. The venom burnt holes in part of his armour and he used his arm to shield his face.
Whilst he was down Mordred picked up his sword in his other hand and stabbed it down towards Jackson who rolled out of the way and leaped to his feet. The grass where Mordred’s sword hit was lit in green flames that expanded to a diameter of six feet in the direction of Merlin and Raven.
Merlin stabbed his staff in the ground to enclose himself and Raven in a protective blue circle that the flames ate around. The circle expelled its power and smouldered the flames, leaving behind a charred and black ground.
“We have to help him,” Raven told Merlin, looking up into the ancient eyes of the ancient Wizard. His eyes had changed now, they were friendly and full of regret – full of guilt.
“We cannot, this is Jackson’s fight. The House of Pendragon shall live on, but in order for it to do so it must be done by him and no one else.” Merlin stared at the girl, no longer a Familiar but with a familiar face. She was just a girl about to turn into a woman, just, “So much like Guinevere. She would have been proud.”
Mordred’s blade then cut Jackson’s calf an he collapsed. The sensation of burning hell-fire spread up his leg and caused him to shake all over, his breathing much heavier and strangled as if there was a large weight pressing down upon his chest. Excalibur fallen by his side.
As Jackson reached for Excalibur Mordred stepped on his arm and stabbed it. Jackson wailed and burned, all his veins sticking out under his armour. The stress was becoming too much, one more hit and he would be dead. Mordred kicked Excalibur further away.
“Merlin,” Raven said, “the thing about Arthur is he always had someone to fight for. It was never his kingdom…”
“Funny,” Morgan sneered. “This is just how it happened last time, at Camlann. When I killed you and you nearly killed me. I survived, you know? Mother resurrected me, she defied the Universe to allow me to live and take my throne. Well it is now mine. Albion is mine.” His eyes became slits and a forked tongue hissed put of his mouth. “Goodbye, Arthur Pendragon, and this time for good.”
“It was someone he knew he could always believe in,” Raven continued. “Someone who’s life was worth fighting for and that’s why he died. So she could then save him, and Guinevere will save her King tonight.” Raven ran.
“Guin-Raven, NO!” Merlin was too late.
As Mordred brought down his blade to strike Jackson’s heart, Raven jumped in front and the blade impaled her.
The shock was too much for her body and she couldn’t feel anything just the cold.
Time slowed for Jackson.He didn’t know what to feel. Anger. Pain. Sorrow. Mourning. But in that moment he acted out of love. Excalibur flew into his hand and he stood and as Mordred pulled the sword out of Raven, Jackson came in from behind and stabbed Mordred in the back. His eyes flooded with a white light which expelled through his mouth and Mordred with a look of utter and complete disbelief fell to ash.
“No, no, Raven…please, no!” Jackson knelt down by her. He held her head on his knees, her wings had expanded. One of her black feathers fell into his hands.
“Jackson,” she whispered. “I’m so cold, Jackson.”
“Then let me warm you.” Jackson took her hands and rubbed them, he kissed them. As much as he tried to be strong for her he couldn’t be. Not now and his tears escaped. “Merlin,” he looked at his mentor.
“I am sorry, my King. I am afraid I cannot bring her back.” Merlin looked away in shame.
“Then what exactly is the point of you!” Jackson spat it at him. “The world’s most powerful Wizard, most powerful Warlock ever to be born and you can’t help her!”
Raven began to cough and sputter. “Jackson.”
“I’m here, Raven. I am here.” He tightened his grip around her hands.
“One last time, please. I love you. Kiss me.”
Jackson kissed her putting in every ounce and moment of love that had ever passed between them.
“The perfect last goodbye,” Raven said.
“What do I do, Raven?”
“What you are meant to.” She placed a hand on his cheek and he kissed it. “Aspire to inspire, Jackson, for as long as you aspire to inspire you always have a purpose. Inspire kindness, hope and love, my King.”
Cold, she was so cold and he couldn’t warm her. No matter how much he tried, Jackson’s magic could not help him.
The light left Raven’s eyes, her hand went limp and her eyelids slowly shut. Her last breath left her lips. The perfect last goodbye.
“Don’t go, Raven. Please, I love you.” He knew she had gone. They always leave in the end, always taken by deaths bittersweet kiss. “I’ll do it, for you. I will be the King you wanted me to be, all for, forever for you. The one good thing to have ever happened to me in my life, my light. For you.”