"Rhuho? Uh-haagh!" Cried an armor armored beast as it made one last, desperate charge towards the yellow haired youth it had the misfortune of coming across.
In a mix between a rallying cry, acceptance of its impending demise, and a call from whatever creature the Bone Armor Lurker once was before being corrupted by dark eco, it charged forwards swinging the comically oversized femur bone it wielded with reckless abandon. Dressed in the bones of a long since extinct creature from Misty Island or perhaps one of what it was once was, hence its name, few people could hope to stand against the fearsome beast. An army of Babaks, a weaker and less intelligent but far more common variety of purple furred Lurker had nearly taken over the world with only minimal interference from their late masters and a lone Bone Armor Lurker could conquer a village on its own. Still, the boy stood strong before this particularly fearsome monster where all others would have faltered faster than the Warrior of Rock Village after his defeat at the hands of Klaww.
"Go get him Jak, give him the old Fastball Uppercut I taught you!" Cried the lone spectator to the showdown between man and beast.
The boy, Jak, had good reason to remain as fearless as he had despite having 400 pounds of malicious muscle sprinting as fast as it could in its sturdy but restrictive armor. A few months ago, he had managed to travel the continent and single handedly ruin the Lurker army and save the world from the clutches of a sage driven mad by the very eco he had dedicated his life to studying. By the time he had managed to stop him and his sister, a single glance could tell anyone that Gol Acheron had long since been replaced by the Lurker Jawed abomination dark eco had turned him into. His sister somehow had managed to avoid her brother's gruesome transformation, but whether that was only because she had never offered any resistance to the corrupting substance or had not progressed as far as her sibling would never be known. No one knew how an army and two sages could not stop him except for the hero in question and those who were able to witness his legend unfold around him.
What would be known, however, was the outcome between the Bone Armor Lurker that had unfortunately happened upon the lone boy that had decimated Lurker kind as a whole. Rather than simply disposing of it with a single hit like the Babaks it had commanded, Jak instead grinned as he decided to entertain his audience's request.
Answering the Lurker's charge with one of his own, the two quickly covered the sandy ground in between each other until only a scant few feet remained between them. The Lurker saw no indication of the boy stopping as they charged towards each other and prepared to strike the boy it believed to be running towards his death. It gleefully came to a standstill, raising its bone club in preparation to bash the boy's head in a single strike. The boy paid no mind to the deadly weapon his opponent now held like a seasoned warrior or the dastardly smile on its face, instead he silently thanked his target for standing still as he rolled towards it and sprang off the ground with his hands. Jak catapulted himself into the Lurker, a single kick delivered from both of his feet knocking the wind out of the beast and pushing it back a few feet leaving it completely open to the uppercut the boy delivered to the now defenseless creature. A snapping of bone could be heard, maybe from the Bone Armor Lurker's skull-fashioned helmet shattering from the impact, possibly its own skull unable to survive taking the same force that rocketed the boy 10 feet into the air as his fist connected with the beast's chin. It was more likely that the resounding *CRACK* came from both.
"Mrrwaaah!?" Was the only sound that escaped its lips the moment its feet left the ground.
The Bone Armor Lurker never fully realized what had happened as it sailed through the air after its impressive armor failed to live up to its intended purpose, the beast vanishing into the green eco pips that gave life to all things and a now harmless cloud of dark eco that had corrupted it. This odd effect only ever occured when Jak was the one who managed to kill one of the beasts, as his talent for manipulating eco also had the odd effect of breaking down anything he killed into the ecos that the creature was made of. It was an oddity that not even the Green Eco Sage and his adoptive father, Samos Hagai, could explain after a long decade of research and neither was it something that Jak cared much to understand, much to the old log's annoyance. As far as the boy was concerned, just being able to heal from any wound inflicted upon him by Lurkers or anything else and even empower himself by fighting them was just something that happened. So long as it didn't stop happening and helping him out of more desperate situations than the taciturn boy ever admitted to finding himself in, he couldn't care less about how important Samos said it was.
"Ding ding ding! Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!" Cried Daxter, a friend seen so often with Jak that most people considered them brothers despite the obvious differences between them, and that was before recent events…
Formerly a buck toothed fiery red-head that could be smelled before he could be seen, Daxter found himself looking up to more and more people everyday now that he was a small little… 'mammal' that was almost three feet long from ears to tail. No one quite knew what Daxter was after falling into a vat of dark eco on an ill-advised adventure to Misty Island with Jak. The boy turned rodent himself thought he looked like a half otter, half weasel thing and referred to himself as an "Ottsel" and as many of the people who knew him before his transformation into perhaps the only varmint the Yellow Eco Sage had yet to hunt, they considered his new look an overall improvement. Considering how most other creatures are twisted into horrendous, murderous monsters referred to as "Lurkers" as a whole or outright destroyed by even the slightest contact with dark eco, even Daxter considered himself fortunate. The added perk of most women who saw him holding him tight and giving him a view of their great, big, beautiful eyes, eyes and nothing else according to him, was one of the few perks that Daxter had as an Ottsel. Jak had long since figured this out after following his friend's gaze one day, but he was not too terribly inclined to put a stop to one of the few things his lecherous friend could now do since his prospects of finding a girlfriend were… bad. Since most women shared their other friends' rule of "no dating animals", Jak decided to let Daxter take what he could get.
"So, you enjoy your little workout Jakky boy? We should probably get back to Keira and old greeny before he notices you're gone." Daxter said as he crawled up his partner to take his usual place on top of the shoulder pad jak wore with his blue tunic and baggy white pants.
Jak just shrugged and headed back with his friend in tow, taking a moment to brush his vibrant yellow and green hair back into place. Jak had always been the strong silent type, something that might have risen out of necessity as Daxter was naturally loud, cowardly, and never quite realized that his friend wouldn't always be there to save his skin, err… pelt. Even then, Jak had always been a man of few words for as long as anyone one could remember. A few denizens of Sandover Village were still confident that he was mute despite Samos and Daxter having evidence to the contrary. To Jak, actions were his words and he was almost as loud as Daxter when it came to expressing himself. 'Borrowing' the Fisherman's boat to go to Misty Island one day, the same escapade that turned Daxter into an Ottsel and spurred the two of them into saving the world, was one of Jak's more vocal moments despite never needing to utter a single word.
The two boys walked, or rather one walked while the other rode, side by side as they traversed the now Lurker free Sentinel Beach back to Sandover Village, as known as home sweet home to the two of them. The place was a quaint little village consisting of a mess of buildings, islands, and bridges overlooking the ocean and nestled in between the Forbidden Jungle and the beach the boys were coming back from. In the distance a fog shrouded island could be seen that everyone knew but no one dared to talk about, the dreaded Misty Island that had now seen much more human activity now that the Lurker army that was gathering there had been dealt with by Jak a few months ago.
The boy couldn't help but to smile back at the memory of that encounter, where despite being trapped against impossible odds and dodging cannon fire of all things as Lurkers poured into the arena he stumbled in to, he found himself having the time of his life being like a hero in the stories Samos used to tell. Sure being a hero was a lot more challenging and above all else painful than pretending to be one, but then again, most things in life were not as perfect as the stories about them made them out to be. Despite the bruises and burn marks from a VERY lucky shot from a Babak that day, Jak longed to be able to experience something like that again. Misty Island, the fight against Klaww, the Snowy Mountain Fortresses and yes, even the fight against Gol and Maia had been some of the most exciting moments of his life.
This was especially so when compared to what he had been doing after collecting 101 power cells to open the precursor door atop the Acheron twins' citadel. Nothing was quite as boring as lugging around heavy pieces of precursor crap across dozens of miles by zoomer or by hand for three months straight. In fact, that was the reason he had decided to take a break on Sentinel Beach since Samos hadn't deemed one necessary and the boys were finally feeling daring enough to rebel against him despite knowing what would happen after doing so.
Their climb up the rocky crag to Sandover Village had been done with a smile across both of their faces, a smile that faded the moment the mayor ran up to them and said Samos had been looking for them for hours and would be waiting in his hut for their return. Not a single soul was awake to greet them this early in the morning when the sun hadn't even had time to rise yet. What started out as a proud stride soon turned into a mournful walk with a brief one sided discussion as to whether or not they would be able to hide in the Forbidden Jungle long enough for Samos to calm down. The fear of annoying the crotchety old man any more than they already had ended that train of thought as soon as it arrived on the final few steps of their journey home.
"Jak, Daxter, where have you two been? Samos has been looking everywhere for you two!" Keira shouted at the dynamic duo upon seeing them try their best to enter Samos' hut silently.
Anyone in the village that wasn't deaf could tell that they were back after that, but that didn't stop them from trying to hush her in their own personal ways. Jak did his best to gently signal for her to stop by waving his arms so hard that they looked like they might fall off while Daxter took a less subtle approach and leapt onto her and covered her mouth with his hands. Keira wasted no time in pulling off the little orange rodent that had yet to get a good grip on his new perch and shot him a venomous look before throwing him back to Jak. She would have said something more if it hadn't been for an earth shaking roar that came from above them all.
"YOU IDIOTS! GET UP HERE!" Cried Samos with all of the raw fury the boys had been expecting from him.
"Sorry guys…" Keira said after realizing her mistake. Jak could only give her the same embarrassed look he usually saved for her when either Samos was calling for him or Daxter tried flirting with her.
"N-" Jak gave her a nervous chuckle before attempting to speak, but like always, found something or rather someone cutting him off.
"You better be! We were *this* close to getting away with our little trip to Sentinel Beach!" Daxter shouted while raising a fist towards her, a look both of his friends found to be quite humorous as Jak held him by the scruff of his neck like a feisty Muse.
Both of the long eared humans could only shrug and do their best to hold in their laughter at the definitely threatening and comically adorable act Daxter unwittingly put on for them. Showing any signs of weakness now would have only made it harder to keep themselves from laughing once he noticed and got even angrier. Thankfully, their dorky friend was just as oblivious to the world around him as always.
"I-I'll try to make it up to you guys later." Keira said as she did her best to rein in her laughter and turned her attention towards Jak instead of the furball that had taken its place back on his friend's shoulder. "Anyways, you should probably head upstairs before..."
"NOOOOW!" Samos said with enough energy to cause the roof above them to shake. Whatever patience he still had left was running dangerously low now that he was just screaming orders again.
"...that happens." She said, feeling more pity than usual for the two after seeing their looks of utter hopelessness for what the future held in store for them.
"Stop wasting time Jak, let's go to Samos before he comes to us." Daxter said, earning yet another annoyed look from Jak before they began their walk upstairs.
The two didn't rush since there wasn't anywhere on the continent that they could travel that Samos wouldn't find them, not that they had any thoughts about running away and earning a worse punishment than what was already in store for them. Still, they did take the time to look at the sunrise coming over the horizon. Considering how much work they had been skipping out on recently, it was probably going to be their last one in the near future.
"Enjoying yourself boys?" Came a very hoarse voice that had no more patience than the sage it belonged to.
The boys nearly fell off of the cliffside stairway and into the Lurker Shark infested waters below the Sage's hut. Jak thankfully had learned how to be more aware of his surroundings following his and Daxter's fateful trip to Misty Island. Still, the old man certainly had a way with words. Few people, let alone those who were supposed to be the peace loving researchers of the essences that shaped the universe, could manage to fend off an angry Lurker with words alone. Samos had long since mastered the art of bludgeoning them and the boys with words alone, and after being captured by Gol and Maia he had only increased the potency of his arsenal.
"Well? What do you two have to say for yourself?" Samos said as he raised an eye, half in challenge to see what excuse they would come up with and the other out of genuine curiosity. The little bird that nested in the log that he carried on top of his head as a hairband and conversation piece mimicked the carrier of its home, hovering scant inches away from the duo before being shooed away by Daxter who had been devising a story just for this exact moment.
"Uhh… well first there was this HUGE Lurker that we saw snooping around the village, so me and Jak here… well it was mostly Jak's idea since I'm only along for the ride you know, he had me follow that Lurker who laid out a trap for us where an ENTIRE LURKER ARMY with Snakes, Serpents, Babaks, Bunnies…"
"We were tired. Needed a break." Jak told the truth, hurriedly and softly as he usually did when he spoke, earning a look of absolute disbelief from Daxter and Samos for telling the truth.
"You. Took. A. Break?" Samos said, milling over each word and idly repeating them as if they were the most incredible things he had ever heard.
"Uhh… Jak? I think we broke him." Daxter said, now that he had climbed out from behind his back and onto his friend's shoulder now that Samos seemed to be lost in thought.
The boys didn't quite know what to make of their situation. One on hand, this was the first time either of the two could remember leaving Samos speechless from something they said instead of something they had done… or broke. The Green Sage's twitching eye that showed through his glasses was worrying, as was the sage's inability to find any words to speak despite never failing to do so no matter what shenanigans he had caught them doing. The boys had long since made their peace upon entering the village, so rather than worry about what Samos might do to them they instead just walked by him and took a seat in his hut beside the Green Eco Plant there.
"Crash" was the nickname that they had given the goofy, toothy plant after the many late night noises he had made before it had been civilized by Samos. The plant that oozed with as much personality as it did green eco gave the two a small nudge with its head, as if sensing their general unease and still recalling exactly how pacifistic Samos truly was from its more rebellious days. Jak pet his ferny friend and tossed him a skinned kangarat from a nearby barrel. Crash caught the rodent effortlessly and swallowed it whole with a comical *gulp* before the plant looked expectantly at Daxter. Too expectantly, if the Ottsel's retreat to Jak's other shoulder, the one farthest from Crash was anything to go by.
Scared?' Jak asked his friend with only a raised eyebrow, teasing an explanation from his friend.
"Have you seen the way that thing looks at me now that I'm bite sized!? That plant has been looking at me the same way as it's feed ever since I started looking like this!" Daxter said as Crash, as if to prove his point, started licking its faux-lips as it stared him down despite lacking any eyes.
Jak only chuckled as he and Daxter began one of their usual arguments which Daxter carried on for both of them. Neither one noticed when Samos entered his hut, but once he took a seat beside them both boys could not look away from the pained look that their foster father had.
"I'm… I'm sorry. I really am." Samos said.
Both boys looked at each other first to make sure that they heard words that they never knew Samos was capable of speaking, then back to their father to see the pained look on his face.
"I know I have been working you boys hard these past few months, but getting those relics back to Sandover is important. You boys are still… well, boys, and I'm sure there are things that you would rather do instead of -WHAT'S SO FUNNY DAXTER?" Samos said, finally recovering some of his usual indifferent look after seeing his boy's concern for him before seeing the only person alive who could compete against him for the title of 'most creative insult'.
"Nothing." He said, quickly getting rid of all the thoughts of the village girls of Sandover and Rock Village that they had seen looking at him and Jak, but mostly him, while they were at work on Samos' seemingly endless errand for them.
"Good… now where was I? Oh, right. I know that the two of you would rather be doing something, anything other than heavy lifting right now. I would love to join you in that, but right now it is not safe to keep those artifacts there so deep in Lurker territory. Gol and Maia are probably gone… probably… but that doesn't mean the Lurkers will be idle without their masters. If that story of yours, Daxter, held any truth…"
"Which it did!"
"Right… if it did, then I think I can tell the mayor that our visitors from Misty Island last week have been taken care of. Even so, rather than rewarding you both for a good day's "rest", there simply isn't any time to do so. If the Lurkers are still bold enough to be scouting villages, then there is no telling when they will try to retake the Gol and Maia's Citadel and the few artifact pieces we haven't moved yet. I promise you, when this is all over I will gladly let you two rest for as long as you want, but until then the fate of the world still rests on your shoulders." Samos said before ending his speech with one of his usual destiny riddled lines.
It was now the boys turn to be speechless having seen their caretaker finally act his age for once. Neither one of them particularly disliked the old man in any way, there was no mistake about that, but like all rebellious teenagers their age his constant surveillance and efforts to mold them into the people he wanted them to be had worn away at them. All three of the men, Crash too, sat in silence before anyone dared to interrupt the tender moment in between them.
"...how long of a break are we talking about here, log head?" Daxter prodded with high hopes.
"Don't push your luck, flea bag." Samos prodded back.
"Well, I suppose that little night out on the beach might have given us the energy to finish bringing the last few parts back here. What do you say Jak?" Daxter said with little intent of doing any of the heavy lifting, a fact everyone present knew well but something Jak wordlessly agreed to nonetheless.
"It's times like this that make all the headaches worth it boys. I'll be waiting for you here until you come back with the first load of parts." Samos said as he finally stood up and set the precursor gate to the Yellow Sage's Lab as the boys followed behind him.
Samos had no time to offer any more words of comfort or threats before a blur of blue and orange sped past him and leapt into the portal with a *woosh*, leaving Samos and Keira as the only two people left in the hut. The old sage couldn't help but to smile as a feeling of pride welled up in his chest before he grabbed a broom so he could clear a space for Jak to drop off the first load of parts, briefly noticing Keira with the same smile as her father.
"I can't believe that actually worked." She said, still somewhat surprised at how easily Samos had convinced the two to stop slacking off for once.
"I told you it would work. You old man's still got the precursor touch." Samos said, his bird and Crash nodding in agreement while leaving Keira to groan in embarrassment at his smug look.
"Hey… wait a minute. He tricked us!" Daxter said on their way down the elevator to the open precursor gate as they carried only a single, fragile looking item from the pile the rest were laying in.
Jak clicked his tongue as his friend only now realized what had happened, but still couldn't find himself smiling as he carried out his current task. Samos was many things, regretful perhaps, but never apologetic. The moment he had heard the words "I'm sorry", Jak quickly figured the words were truthful. The thing that Jak remembered that Daxter hadn't was that Samos was only ever sorry for things he was about to do instead of things that he had already done. Considering how furious he had sounded in Keira's workshop, Jak knew better than to push his luck in the same way that Daxter tried to. He would gladly settle for getting off without any punishment like he did as opposed to being forced to take the long way back home again.
Still, the boys both knew that Samos always kept his word whenever he promised them anything. He would make good on his threats as much as he did his rewards, so they were definitely going to be in store for a well earned vacation once they finished hauling the last precursor artifacts back to his hut. The only question was what he had in store for them that would make them want to start doing chores for him again instead of relaxing. Samos fought as well with words as Jak did with his fists, so they knew his choice of words was very intentional there.
Before either of them could explore that line of thought, their ride came to an end which left them atop the now abandoned Lurker fortress between the Citadel and the Yellow Sage's Lab. The seemingly haphazardly used parts that made up the spire powered their now destroyed robot using eco drained from each of the sages at one point, but now its only purpose was to act as a loading platform for the elevator that went between the top of the spire to the top of the Citadel. Back then climbing the spire was an almost suicidal task but now, thanks to the efforts of the thankful nearby villages, a network of bridges allowed for easy yet nerve wracking travel between the base of the spire up to the elevator.
The hastily built wooden bridges creaked under the weight of Jak's footsteps, but he paid little mind to the sureness of his footing or the pit of darkness below him. After traversing the icy slopes of Snowy Mountain and nearly falling to his doom several times, most of which were thanks to the slick bridges that had lost most of their planks, a height of unknown distance seemed like child's play. Daxter on the other hand made no effort to hide his fear of heights which had only grown worse when he shrunk. After having cling onto his friend for dear life every time he had used one of the plentiful precursor jump pads on their grand adventure, it was no wonder why his fear had only grown worse. Luckily, the two were able to climb down without incident or another scare this time because of a bridge picking a poor time to settle.
"Whew, I almost wish that machine Gol and Maia had here still worked. It might not have been, you know, good, but at last it didn't feel like it was going to drop us down to who knows where at any moment." Daxter said after hoping off Jak's shoulder and caressing the ground for a few moments in order to reacquaint himself with solid footing.
The boy could only shake his head and laugh at the sight, earning a pained yet playful look in response.
"Oh laugh it up Jack, let's see how you like it when you're two feet tall and every fall looks a lot more terrifying all of a sudden." Daxter said as he climbed back onto his perch on Jak's shoulder pad. "Anyways, let's just take this doohickey back to Samos and get out of here. This place gives me the creeps."
Not wanting to waste any more time they could use in the future to unwind, Jack decided to turn his slow pace into a jog at his friend's request. The precursor orb-like thing he carried didn't weigh much making it easy to carry, but the delicate looking rings and patterns that decorated it prevented him from focusing on anything other than not dropping it. If Samos had been mad when they were goofing off then words would not be able to describe how angry he would have been if they broke this. Words would certainly be used in the ensuing lecture, but neither wanted to find out if Samos learned any new tricks while they were gone.
Walking into the Yellow Sage's Lab has been uneventful for the duo, as it usually was when he wasn't home. As the old man and expert in one of the more volatile ecos of the world, the Yellow Sage typically could be found field testing out new uses of eco in weaponry to defend against the Lurkers every moment he could. At least, that was his typical excuse he saved for Samos and the other sages when he went out on one of his lengthy hunting trips. Daxter for one was thankful that he wasn't usually home, as the promise of the old man's muskrat stew never did sound too appealing when you were about the same size, shape, and species as the main ingredient.
The portal that the duo had traveled through an hour earlier was still operational and connected to Samoa's hut, meaning they would not accidentally be barging into another one of the Blue Sage's wacky experiments again. That had been a long lecture neither wanted to experience again, so they made sure to recalibrate the portal to Samos' hut just in case something odd happened when Daxter finally decided to address the yakow in the room.
"Uhh, Jack? Isn't that portal supposed to be blue instead of purple?" He said, looking at the swirling mass of light purple light in the middle of the precursor gate ring.
Jack only shrugged, he wasn't an expert in precursor technology and knew better than to make any assumptions about it. Rather than arguing about how much safer it would be to travel back home by Zoomer, the boy instead only gestured back to the Lava Tube entrance and empty Zoomer pad before looking back at the portal once more.
"I see. Be burnt to a crisp or just go home and get this thing over with. Choices…". Daxter said, seriously considering each option evenly before relenting. "Fine! We'll go through the stinking portal, but if anything happens when we do I am not going to let you live this down."
"Not if it kills us." Jack said, earning a groan from his friend.
"Why did you have to say that? Uggh… well if it does then that will only make it easier to keep my promise. Now hurry up before I change my mind." Daxter said doing his best to show no fear before his brave friend and failing miserably.
Rather than continuing to argue with his friend, Jak leapt into the portal without a second thought. It was only once he landed afterwards that the two of them realized exactly how bad of a mistake they had just made.
So yeah… I'm a first time poster and just felt like saying a few things at the end here.
First of all, thank you all for making it until the end of the chapter. If anyone has anything they want to say whether it is a review, criticism, insults, or anything else you want to say then please go ahead and don't be afraid to speak your mind. I would love to hear what people think of what I have so far and even my loose plans for the future. I know nothing much exciting has happened for now but that will change once the moment is right.
About why I choose to make this story:
With how the series as a whole had one of the most drastic tone shifts of any series that comes to mind, I felt that building up Jak and Daxter as their own characters to some extent was needed.
Also, have any other fans of either J&D and RWBY ever noticed that there are a LOT of similarities between the two? Just substitute Eco for Dust, Lurkers/Metal Heads for Grimm, Precursors/Dark Makers for Brother Gods, Precursors for Ozma, and any of the 3 final bosses for Salem and there are not that many differences between the two. It was this line of thinking, nostalgia for days long past, and writers block on another story that led me to finding this frustratingly easy to write and think up a plot for.
Last bit for you all, I promise this won't be too long, I figured that J&D:PL Jak would be the best to include in Remnant for several reasons. First, his ability to channel eco is practically a semblance and the possibilities that could open up with dust and aura sounded enticing to write about. Next, I felt the personality of the younger Jak was more appropriate to bring over to Remnant since a bubbly, mischievous, and shy powerhouse like him would fit in well with RWBY's cast of characters. As for including the vengeance hungry versions of Jak from the second or third games… anything I can think of just seems too edgy. Finally and most importantly… with all the shit going on in the world I just want to write a feel good adventure story because goddamnit, everything is going to hell in a handbasket and I have not found a chipper story like the one I have planned for a long while. The wonder that came from my first time seeing the flut-flut and exploring a new world that focused more on the fantasy aspects rather than the mundane ones is something I sorely miss and many authors tend to ignore. In my humble opinion and not to complain about someone else's passions and creation, RWBY is a long standing criminal in this department since the world as a whole feels not much different than our own. The constant mysteries that are teased and implied but never explored beyond the scope of team RWBY pains me since Remnant seems to hold a lot of fantastic things that are just being ignored for your dime a dozen teen dystopian story. So much potential just sitting there, waiting to be explored…
Sorry for getting off track, and if my complaints are invalidated by material outside of the show. I didn't mean to go on a rant there but since it helps explain the direction I want this story to go in (action/adventure and character bonding, not a shattered world on the brink of collapse) I just decided to keep it in.
Hope you all stay for the long journey ahead!