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Iam Canadian

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Joined: Aug 2002

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Aug 5, 2006, 08:56 PM
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His Motivation in Life

AUTHORLY PERSON's NOTE: I don't usually share things that I write, but I figured this one might be interesting. It's the product of some random brainwave. A simple question: What would Devan Shell do if he actually defeated Jazz Jackrabbit once and for all? This is just a short story, more a character study of Devan than anything, though I imagine this could develop into something bigger in more capable hands than my own. At any rate, enjoy, if you can, my, um, different take on Devan Shell's character.


A wisp of smoke contorted lazily in the air as it rose from the tip of Devan Shell's blaster. The weapon was still clutched tightly in the sweating, white-knuckled hand of the turtle terrorist. A gleeful light took shape in Devan's bulbous, watery eyes.

He had done it. He had won.

Jazz Jackrabbit was the hero of Carrotus. A cunning warrior, an unstoppable force for good and justice in the galaxy. The bane of evil, the scourge of all that would seek to undermine the Royal Family of Carrotus.

Now, nothing but intangible vapour and bits of green fur.

Devan stood there in his inner sanctum, rerunning the last few moments in his mind, wrinkling his protuberant nose as he did so. He remembered it with a kind of frenzied pride. The excitement of having finally conquered Jazz Jackrabbit was so overwhelming to Devan, he shifted his weight from foot to foot, unable to contain his excitement without doing something - anything - physical.

Devan's armies had launched an attack on Castle Carrotus. Boldly as ever, Jazz had marched into Devan's latest fortress as he always had, muttering snarky comments along the lines of "son of pond scum" and fighting with the same zeal as ever.

This time, however, zeal hadn't been enough. Jazz had been a hair too slow and a lucky shot from Devan's powerful blaster had caught him dead-on.

It was in that way that the deadliest fighter in the galaxy just became dead.

The first thing Devan did was laugh, a long and maniacal laugh. He cradled the triumphant blaster like a baby as visions ran through his head, like a video tape on fast-forward.

Devan's visions were so vivid that they seemed as real as reality itself, like he was granted some sort of clairvoyance. He would take Carrotus. The armies of the rabbit horde would fall before him. He would overthrow the oppresive (in his view) Royal Crown of Carrotus and establish the Shellion Empire. Devan would rule his Empire, the only being in the galaxy capable to rule. In Devan Shell's eyes, the triumph over Jazz Jackrabbit was the catalyst. With that victory, Devan's conquest was inevitable.

After his body slowed its relentless pumping of adrenaline, Devan took a deep breath and decided to slow down and look carefully at the situation.

He didn't like what he saw.

Though he didn't doubt that without Jazz Carrotus would fall, something about the victory seemed...empty.

Devan frowned. How could that be? Was it some tiny dissenting bit of his conscience protesting his victory? No, that wasn't it. Devan felt no regret or sympathy for Jazz Jackrabbit. On the contrary. Even now, with the knowledge that Jazz could never, ever interfere with Devan's affairs again, his cold blood still became decidedly warmer when his mind drifted to the subject of a certain green fuball.

No, something about the victory felt...unsatisfying.

Then it struck him.

Somewhere along the line, Devan's perspective of the seemingly never ending conflict against the rabbits had changed. His conditions for victory had changed. The conflict had certainly begun as the Turtle Terrorists against the rabbits of Carrotus. But at some point or another, that had altered.

It had become Devan Shell versus Jazz Jackrabbit. Personally.

Reflecting back, Devan could see how the conflict had subtly changed its dynamic. His first scheme, his use of the Twin Mega Battleships on Carrotus, certainly was not aimed specifically at Jazz but at rabbitkind as a whole. Even his creation of a powerful robotic doppelganger of Jazz hadn't been out of a personal grudge, but the simple desire to destroy a dangerous enemy.

Devan decided he could pinpoint the moment that he had gone for Jazz personally at the precise moment that his fabulous Twin Mega Battleships had become so much scrap metal.

That shift in paradigm had been entirely subconscious. His attempt at eradicating Jazz from time itself with his time machine had been the first step. Devan rationalized it to himself as simply pre-emptively removing a threat to his schemes. In his less lucid moments, he even believed it.

But now, in his moment of triumph, the truth of the situation - and the irony of it - had come crashing down upon him like a poorly built house of cards.

Devan no longer wanted to conquer the rabbits. That was the slogan, the goal he used to rally his armies of reptiles to his cause. But it was no longer about that. It wasn't even about destroying Jazz. Not really.

It was about the competiton. The thrill of the battle. The joy of matching wits - and firepower - against a true equal.

Arrogance was an essential aspect of Devan Shell's psyche. Up until Jazz Jackrabbit had blasted his way into his life, Devan never considered himself as having a true equal. The conceit of genius had elevated him - in his own mind - to a level above all other sentinent beings. There was only one atop Devan's personal hierarchy and that was Devan himself.

Jazz had provided him something unfamiliar; competition for that apex of the pyramid. And it was something Devan found he craved.

There was a hole in Devan's soul. It was as if his purpose in life; his reason for being; had just been cruelly snatched away. And the final touch was that Devan himself had done it.

It was a terrible paradox. His goal in life was to conquer Jazz. But once he had done that, there was nothing left. By accomplishing his goal, he had only made himself more miserable than even at the moments of his defeats.

It was in that moment that Devan realized the folly of rivalry. He had created a no-win situation for himself.

Even winning was losing, in a form.

All elation left Devan and he sunk to his knees in regret. Not in regret for destroying Jazz. No, by that moment, it had been too late. He had already been sucked into that black hole, draining happiness.

He regretted he had even let himself make the conflict personal.

The Turtle Terrorists had won. The most logical and calculating part of Devan's mind recognized that. One part of his glorious visions had, at least, been true. The turtles would have little opposition in conquering Carrotus. With bitter regret, Devan noted that a few years ago, this would have been the greatest moment of his life.

Instead of the worst.

Devan knew a brigade of turtle troops would be coming soon. They would be suspicious, that was a sure thing. Without any sign that either Jazz or Devan had won, the turtles would blindly act on loyalty and march into a potentially Jazz-occupied zone, willing to risk vaporization by an LFG-3000 to appease their obedience to Devan.

Throwing his blaster to the side, Devan marched to the secret access shaft in his chamber that led to the base's hangar. Devan would take his shuttle and leave. Where he would go, that he didn't know.

He would go to find a new purpose in life.

As Devan Shell left his former life behind, the blaster that had slain his enemy clattered to the floor next to a long, cylinder shaped blue firearm.

Rivals that would be together. Forever.
"If there's anything more important than my ego, I want it caught and shot now."
-Zaphod Beeblebrox

Last edited by Iam Canadian; Aug 5, 2006 at 10:40 PM.