Revenge Au Trois

Chapter 10

Christophe wandered along what had once been a quiet residential street, his rifle dangling at his side. His head was aching, not just from sleep deprivation – he was used to that – but from sheer frustration, and nicotine withdrawal. He had walked every street on the east side of South Park, trawled through every remaining building, and now he was on the last one.

Maybe they weren't there; maybe they were on Trent's side. God help them if Trent found them first, at least if he, Christophe found them, it would be quick. Ha, God, he thought with a sardonic smile. You desert me again, you inglorious bastard.

He jumped as something hurtled past him, and grappled with his rifle. He aimed it at the thing, which turned out to be a young deer. He watched it bolt away, his finger hovering over the trigger. After a little thought, he lowered the gun. No, he couldn't shoot something so untamed and graceful. It would be like shooting himself.

He felt his phone vibrate in one of his pockets and pulled it out, scowling. He didn't even have to look at the screen, he knew who it was. He hit a button and the screen lit up, confirming his worst suspicions. He rolled his eyes. Yet another text from Gregory, to join the other seven already in his inbox, each one more agitated and threatening than the last. He deleted it without bothering to read it and tucked the phone away again. Thank God he only had a little battery left, although he didn't like to think what the Brit would do if he could no longer contact him.

Christophe was jolted out of his reverie by the sound of a dustbin crashing to the ground a couple of houses down from him. The metallic crash sounded almost unreal in the claustrophobic silence. It could just be a raccoon, or…Christophe gripped the rifle tightly and walked toward the house, his excitement building with each step. Was his long, fruitless search about to end?

He stopped in front of the house, which was light green in colour and had probably been quite smart and well looked after once. Now the paint was peeling and the house looked dilapidated and sorry for itself.

He walked across the front lawn, thistles and other weeds grabbing at his khaki combat trousers. The overturned dustbin lay in front of the door, almost pointing the way in. He stopped and frowned. Something about this didn't feel right. Why make such a stupid mistake now? He stared accusingly at the dustbin. This all felt far too convenient. What was it about him being the hunter and them being the hunted?

His phone buzzed again. He ignored it and chewed his lip anxiously. Maybe he was just being paranoid – after all, he hadn't had a cigarette for hours. Maybe this was just a coincidence, and if it wasn't, well, he would just have to deal with it. Come on, what are you? A mercenary or a pussy?

Decision made, he stepped around the dustbin and gave the front door a nudge with his Army issue boot. It had clearly been forced, which was a good sign. Christophe walked slowly into the hallway and stopped almost in surprise. Butters sat on the stairs, quivering. Curiously, he held a dustbin lid in his shaking hands.

"Hey, Christophe!" he quavered. "L-Long time, n-no see!"

"Butters," Christophe growled. He smiled nastily. "Where are ze others?"

"I don't know, I swear!" Butters cried, holding the dustbin lid like a shield.

Christophe pointed the gun at the his former lover's chest. "Do you know 'ow many people 'ave betrayed me and lived?" he asked.

"Uh, six?"

"Non. Ze answer is none. And you will shortly be joining zat list. Come down 'ere, Butters." Christophe beckoned to him with the gun.

Butters stood up.

"Sit down, Butters, you're not going anywhere!" a voice said.

Butters sat down.

Christophe whirled in the direction of the voice. Stan stood in the doorway of the dining room, a length of pipe in his hand. He smiled at the mercenary.

"Actually, you're not going anywhere either, Chrissie," another voice said.

Christophe turned. Cartman stood opposite Stan, in the lounge doorway, tapping a metal pole menacingly into his open hand.

"Cos we got you surrounded," someone else said.

Christophe turned again. Kenny had snuck in through the front door, which he kicked shut. He held a broken bottle, which he smashed against the wall. He pointed it at the Frenchman, smiling evilly.

"So what's it gonna be, Christophe?" Kyle asked, walking in from the kitchen. He stood next to the staircase, brandishing a plank of wood with a rusty nail in the top.

"What do you want?" Christophe asked. He watched them all carefully, weighing up his options.

"The keys to the car," Kyle replied. "Give us the keys and we won't hurt you. Too much."

"And if I don't?"

"Then we'll beat the crap out of you and take them anyway," Cartman said.

"Do you really think it will be zat easy?" Christophe asked, raising his rifle.

"Oh, come on, dude," Stan said scathingly. "There's five of us and one of you. Even if you did manage to shoot one of us, the other four'd be on top of you in seconds. Our weapons might not look much, but I bet they could do some damage."

Christophe didn't reply. They clearly had him rattled. He moved almost hyperactively as he tried to watch all of them, wary of any sudden movement. His brown eyes bulged fearfully. He had the look of a cornered animal facing its last fight. Stan gripped his weapon tightly and stood poised on his toes, waiting. Come on you bastard. You know you want it.

Kyle held out his hand. "Last chance. Keys."

"Non." Christophe glared at each one of his captors. He still had his gun, which in his mind was a major advantage, even if there were more of them. Besides, if he was to let them get away a second time, he might as well hand his balls to Gregory on a plate.

"Okay, buddy, it's your funeral," Cartman said.

He swang his pole without warning, aiming for the mercenary's stomach, but Christophe dodged expertly and applied a hard kick to Cartman's chest. He fell back into the wall, winded. Kenny was next to try his luck. He ran at Christophe, slashing at him with the broken bottle. Christophe dodged that easily, and punched Kenny in the back of the head as his momentum carried him past. He crashed into Kyle and both men fell, Kyle hitting his head on the kitchen doorframe as he went down.

That left Stan and Butters. Stan's eyes widened with horror as Christophe spun around and aimed the gun at him, a bloodthirsty look in his eyes.

"Zat was even easier zan I thought. Goodbye, Marsh."

Stan stood, powerless, as Christophe put his finger on the trigger. He felt as helpless as he had at his bachelor party, when Trent had driven straight at him and Cartman. He held his breath, waiting for the inevitable.

Just then, out of the corner of his eye, Stan spotted something moving very fast towards the mercenary's legs. A pole, in fact, swung so hard it took Christophe's legs out from under him. He fell and the gun flew out of his grasp, landing at the bottom of the staircase. Both he and Butters stared at it in horror.

"Quick, Butters! Grab it!" Stan shouted as his friend froze.

Butters regained his senses and flew down the stairs toward the gun, just as Christophe made a desperate dive for it. They reached it together and grabbed it at the same time, Butters' small, pale hand almost touching Christophe's dirty one.

Stan's heart was in his mouth. If Butters let go of that gun, they were all dead. Cartman staggered to his feet, holding his chest.

"Just take the goddamn gun, Butters," he growled, wincing as he leaned on the pole for support.

"I…I…" Butters looked at Cartman, then Christophe.

Stan realised that this was probably going to come down to who Butters feared more. Come on Butters, just do it. Find that little bit of courage.

Christophe glared at Butters, who instinctively recoiled, one hand still on the gun. Stan was never quite sure what happened next – perhaps it was a defence mechanism, or just sheer, blind panic – but Butters swung the dustbin lid toward Christophe. It hit him square on the jaw, knocking him off his feet. He flew at least a couple of feet backwards and hit his head on the corner of a small table nearby, before landing on the floor in a heap, blood dribbling out of his mouth. Butters stood, openmouthed, staring at the unconscious Christophe. He started shaking uncontrollably and dropped the gun.

Stan whistled appreciatively. "Damn, Butters. Nice one."

Cartman simply raised his eyebrows.

"I-Is he dead?" Butters stammered.

"Nah, just unconscious," Stan answered. He started rifling through Christophe's many pockets.

There was a groan from the kitchen doorway. Kenny stood up and helped a dazed looking Kyle to his feet.

"Is everybody okay?" Kyle asked, rubbing the back of his head.

"Everybody except Christophe," Cartman replied, nodding toward the insensible mercenary.

"Damn, who did that?" Kenny asked admiringly.

"We'll tell you later," Stan said. "Right now – I've found something."

"Car keys?"

"Even better. Cellphone." Stan held up the small black phone triumphantly.

Cartman tried to swipe it from him but he dodged and walked away, scrolling through Christophe's contacts. He smiled when he found the name he was looking for, and called.

"Who are you calling?" Kyle asked. "Wendy? The cops?"

Stan ignored him and waited impatiently for an answer on the other end of the phone. After a few more rings, it went to voicemail.

"Hello, Gregory? Yeah, it's me. You thought I was dead, didn't you," Stan said, his insides pulsating with anger. "I'm coming for you Greg. We're all coming for you. So you get the hell away from Wendy. I mean it, Gregory. If you're still there when I get back, I'll kill you. You hear me? I will kill you."

Stan disconnected, breathing deeply. He'd never threatened anyone before, and he didn't like the feeling it gave him. He glanced at the phone again, and horror began to replace anger. It was lifeless, dead. He hit a few buttons in desperation. No, no, no. Don't do this to me. Not now.

"What the hell did you just call Gregory for!?" Cartman shouted in disbelief. "This is no time for a dick measuring contest, Stan!" He stared at him. "Well don't just stand there! Call the cops or something!"

"Love to. Can't."

"Why the fuck not?"

"Battery's dead." Stan's voice was barely audible.

The others stared at him, dumbfounded.

"You asshole!" Cartman roared, smacking him round the head.

"Whoa, hang on. Let me get this straight," Kenny said slowly. "You just called Gregory."


"So he's gonna know that we're free."


"And he's probably gonna be sending reinforcements pretty soon."


Kenny paused. "You asshole!"

He shook his head. Stan was supposed to be the sensible one, the one they turned to in a crisis. Stupidity was not his forté. If Stan had lost his head, they were all fucked.

"So, what does this mean, fellas?" Butters asked.

"It means that unless Gregory doesn't ever bother to listen to his voicemails, we're screwed," Stan said. He put his head in his hands.

"Maybe not," Cartman said. "We've still got a little window of opportunity. All we have to do is find the keys to that goddamn car, and we're home free."

Stan dragged his hand down his face. Oh, how he wanted this day to be over. Right now. "Meaning what?" he asked with trepidation.

"Meaning…" Cartman stooped and grabbed Christophe's gun. "We go after Trent."

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