A/N: So I just reread the Reckoners Series, and started thinking: hey, what if David did accept his Epic powers when they were offered in Firefight. So this is the result of that plot bunny. "…" = speaking. Italics= thoughts/telepathic conversations. *…= radio conversations.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Reckoners or any of Sanderson's characters.
I'll start at the end of chapter 41 in firefight.
"Do you know of the rending?" Regalia asked. "That's what we call the time just after an Epic first gains their powers. You'll feel an overwhelming sensation
driving you to destroy, to break. It utterly consumes us. Some learn to control it, but others, like dear Obliteration, never quite get beyond them."
"No," i whispered, feeling a growing horror.
"If it's any consolation, you'll probably forget most of what you're about to do. You'll wake up in a day or so with only vague memories of the people you killed." She leaned in, voice growing harsher. "I'm going to enjoy watching this, David Charleston. It is poetry for one who has killed so many of us to become the thing he hates. I believe, in the end, that is what convinced Calamity to agree to my request." She slapped me in the chest with a liquid hand, shoving me off her platform. I fell backward into the waters, and they churned about me, raising me in a pillar toward the night sky. I sputtered, righting myself, and discovered that I was hanging some hundred feet in the air, as if on an enormous jet made by the spyril. I looked upward.
And there was Calamity.
The star burned fiercely, and the land around me seemed to grow red, bathed in a deep light. Like on that first night, so long ago, when Calamity had come and the world had changed. Impossibilities, chaos, followed by Epics.
It dominated my view, that burning redness. I didn't feel as if I—or it—had changed locations, and yet suddenly it was all that I could see. I felt, against reason, that I was so close I could reach out and touch the star. And within that blazing, violent redness, I swore I saw a pair of fiery wings.
My skin grew cold, then shocked alive with a tingling, electric sensation—as if recovering from numbness. I screamed, doubling upon myself. Sparks! I could feel it coursing through me. A foul energy, a transformation.
It was really happening.
The redness upon the land retreated, and my water pillar slowly lowered. I barely noticed, as the tingling feeling continued, more frantic, like thousands of worms squirming under my skin.
"It is unsettling at first," Regalia said softly as I lowered down to sea level beside her. "I have been assured that you will be given powers that are 'thematically appropriate.' I suggested the same water-manipulation abilities that young Georgi possessed. That, if you have forgotten, is the Epic who was killed to make that abomination you call the spyril. I think you'll find being an Epic to be far more liberating than using some device to ape us."
I groaned, rolling over, face toward the sky. Calamity now seemed only a distant prick, but that red glow upon theland remained—faint, but noticeable. Everything around me was bathed in a shade of crimson.
"Well, on with it," Regalia said. "Let's see what you can do. I am distinctly interested to see how your former teammates react when you bumble into the middle of their careful planning, manifesting Epic powers, murdering everyone you see. It should be…amusing."
A distant part of my brain realized that this was why she'd been so fast to help me escape the base. She hadn't believed I was defecting; she intended to use me, and my new powers, as a way to disrupt the Reckoners' plans.
I rolled back over, finding my way to my knees, still positioned on a section of water that Regalia had made solid. My face reflected in the waters, lit by spraypaint on a nearby building.
Was I now an Epic?
Yes. I felt it was true. What had just happened between me and Calamity was no trick. But still, I had to test it. I had to know for certain.
And then I would kill myself, quickly, before the desires consumed me.
I reached out and touched the water… and I felt something. Well, I felt the water, of course. I mean I felt something else. Something inside of me. A stirring.
Take it. A voice said in my head. A quiet, distant voice, but a real one. Take this power. It is yours.
"No." I replied.
Think of what Jonathan will do to Megan.
Think of it. He has already set a trap for her. She will walk blindly into it.
Thinking she will be meeting you.
Then she will be dead.
I shook with rage and sorrow. But I...
But I can help you save her.
I can help you save her. Take this power, and save her!
On one condition.
What is that?
Innocents will not be harmed.
That is ridiculous!…
Fine, not many innocents will be harmed.
...Alright, I agree to your condition. You shall wake tomorrow and find yourself, mostly, in your right mind.
Fine… just help me save her.
I was suddenly racked by pain. I could feel my bones shifting, growing as my muscles grew greatly in size. Then, I felt nothing. Everything faded to a crimson haze...
I heard a scream of pain, loss, and rage split the night. I knew that scream. It was the scream of a new Epic. Unfortunately, my target, the traitor Megan, had heard it as well and stopped.
A second scream filled the night air. A scream of rage and bloodlust. It was closer this time. I cursed, the new Epic was heading straight for us. I knew I had only a few seconds before it got here. I started to take aim when I heard a loud thump fill the air.
When I turned toward the sound I felt as though I had just travled back in time. Broad shoulders, wide jaw, shirt stretched to the limit over almost too much muscle, my only thought being: No, not Steelheart. I can't face him and Megan!
But then the Epic staightened and I got a clear view of his face. It couldn't, shouldn't be possible. But he was here, David was an exact replica of Steelheart.
David's face was contorted in rage. His eyes were bloodshot, the irises had a red tint. He was very gone at this time. But perhaps I could reach him?, a small voice in the back of my mind reasoned.
He screamed at me, but it sounded more like a roar. He then pointed his finger at me and spat, "You shall not touch her, worm."
"David, this isn't you. You must fight it. Like you always tell me to do " I tried to reason with him.
"You don't understand, little Epic, do you?" he paused and I tilted my head in confusion. "David is not here right now." He hissed.
"The Rending." I stated dumbly.
"Yes. Now you shall either bow or die. Decide quickly!" he thundered pompously.
I was frozen in shock. "I shall do neither." I replied, knowing it was stupid.
He regarded me coldly, then smiled. "You know, he actually made a deal with me. I was not to touch most of the inhabitants, and of course Megan, and he would give me total control for 24 hours. Now, let's see what I can do!" he said, then flew to Megan and grabbed her. She screamed and he grunted, then grabbed her and took off. He came back about fifteen minutes later, sans Megan. "You think yourself strong, little Epic? Let me show you what real power is." He shouted.
Then he attacked. he started with Val. "You shall perish first, doubtful one. But know this, Megan did not murder Sam, she defended herself. You have hated someone for preserving their own life for so many years, and now you shall die with that thought as the last one burned into your mind!" He then crushed her skull in one hand.
He smiled and whipped the gore from his hand, then turned to the rest of us and smirked at our outraged faces. "Who's next?" he asked in an almost cordial manner.
We rallied valiantly against him.
But we couldn't stop him.
(David POV, 23 hours later)
I woke slowly. My head was pounding, like a tribesman was using my skull as a drum. "Ugh. What happened?" I asked no one in particular.
"You turned about a quarter of the city to steel, killed all the people in the steel section, and you killed Val. Missy and Excel are badly wounded. Prof distracted you long enough that you didn't kill Tia. Then you noticed I was back in the city and you brought me back here, berated me, then passed out." Someone said.
I jumped up and found myself looking into Megan's eyes. "Where am I?" I asked.
"On the northern coast, about an hour's walk from Babilar." She replied.
I glanced around and noticed that we were alone, and Megan was avoiding my eyes. "You're one of us now, David." She whispered.
"I… I know. But it was the only way to save you." I replied.
"That's very sweet of you, but you destroyed about a quarter of the city. And… it wasn't you David. It was Calamity in control. He used you to destroy part of the city, and kill so many." She paused.
"What is it?" I asked worriedly.
"You killed Val. You shouted that she was idiotic and had been living a lie, then crushed her skull with one hand. Then you challenged the others." She said shakily.
I sobbed, how had I let this happen? I shouldn't have accepted. Then Prof found us.
"You! You killed Val! Destroyed the city. Killed hundreds of innocents!" he growled to me.
"No, I did not. Calamity did, using my body. I had no control." I replied.
Before he could reply, Tia called over the radio Prof had. *John, we think there may be a bomb.* she said.
I took the radio from Prof. "Where?" I asked.
*David!?* she asked.
"Yes, where's the bomb?"
*Sending the coordinates. Be careful.*
I flew to the building specified. The bomb was worse than I had imagined. I grabbed it and flew up, farther and farther, until the bomb exploded. I felt a bit of pain, then everything went black.
Megan and I ran after David. I didn't dare touch her with David in the vicinity. i created a force field platform and we hopped on it, and had almost gotten to the coordinates when David burst through the roof of the building and took off into the sky. It was silent for a moment.
Then I saw the explosion happen, and a dark shape start to fall from the sky.
"David!" I screamed, not caring about the events or arguments of yesterday. I created a force field under him and caught him. Then I noticed that he was completely naked. His new powers had saved him from major injury, but his right arm, right hand, and probably a few ribs were broken. He was also unconscious.
"John, is he even alive?" Tia asked me.
"Yeah, but he has some broken bones. Bring the first aid kit." I replied. I wrapped him in my lab coat and sighed. Why had this happened, why David? He was too young.
And then Prof wouldn't turn bad, David and Megan would be together, and none of the team would die, except Val, because she annoyed me. Have a great rest of the day!
Also, if anyone has any requests or wants me to do alternative endings for any of my stories, just review/PM me.