Monster in the Mirror

Chapter 34

Sprinting down my street, I lowered my head and used it to break down my front door like a battering ram: scaring the shit out of both my parents as they watched T.V. only to leap from the couch as I bounded for the stairs. "Saphira, what on earth?!" mom yelled as I jumped up the staircase and into one of the guest rooms, leaving an alarming amount of Mysterion's blood to paint the floor. "Now she's gone and done it! She attacked somebody and the kids' dying in our house!" dad snarled as he and mom ran into the guest room, just as I ripped the sheets and covers from the bed and set the wounded vigilante on the bare mattress.

"Saphira what did you do?!" mom gasped as I became cloaked in biomass and changed my form into a Marine combat medic. "I didn't DO anything, he was clawed by a fucking Hunter! Now you can either get your asses over here and HELP me, or you can get out!" I yelled in the female medic's voice, paying them no mind as their faces paled while I ripped apart the white sheets into long strips and set them to the side. "Sorry Mysterion, I'll fix this later." I promised as I tore the top of his costume from his body, exposing the wound that would even make veteran doctors ill. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw mom gasp as she set down peroxide, ointment and a sewing kit while dad's face turned all shades of green.

Biting my lip as the wounded kid's whimpers started to get to me, I pinched the pressure-point on the back of his neck in order to knock him out. 'Sorry.' I thought as I nodded to mom: who moved to help pin him to the bed as I unscrewed the lid of the peroxide bottle. It took everything I had to block out the screams, begs, and pleads to stop as I poured the awful liquid on each of the three bone-deep lacerations: each of which sizzled and bubbled mercilessly. Stepping outside, dad kept Alex away as Mysterion screamed himself hoarse, only to have me knock him out again before I took a cloth and dabbed the foamy liquid away as carefully as I could.

'What I wouldn't give for some Morphine…hell even Ibuprofen would be nice.' I thought as Alex walked in and handed mom a pot of boiled water. "Sorry Mysterion, I really am." I said to his unconscious form as I dipped the sewing needle in the water, aware of the curious look mom sent my way before shooing Alex out of the room. With a heavy sigh, I threaded the needle and got to work on sewing him shut while mom did her best to distract him by doing what moms do. Even though I didn't do this often, the medic I had consumed had been one of the best so I trusted her knowledge as I stitched the uneven, ragged, and just plain shredded wounds shut: leaving tiny gaps between the stitching so the wound could breathe.

After about three hours of sewing him back together, the last claw mark was closed up, leaving me to gently disinfect them with ointment and an alcohol swab. With mom's help we got him sitting up enough for me to wrap his torso in the makeshift bandages before setting him back on the bed. With a keen eye, I made sure he wasn't injured too badly anywhere else before I stood up straight, feeling the biomass crawl and shift until I became my original form again. Once he was settled and covered up with the discarded blanket, I picked up his ripped-to-shit uniform: seeing as the talons of the Hunter had torn right through the 'M' and almost from the right shoulder to the bottom of the left side.

"Now, you ARE going to explain this, Saphira Alexandria." mom said sternly, bringing out my middle name to prove her seriousness. Glancing at Mysterion's hooded and masked face, I nodded before following my mother out the door: closing it quietly as I did so. Creeping down the stairs, I saw my father growling and angrily pacing in front of the fireplace: the T.V. turned off and long-forgotten. Spotting me at the bottom of the steps, he and mom stood firmly with their arms crossed, waiting for an explanation. "Well go on then: let's hear it! I'd LOVE to hear your excuse this time." dad growled as I sighed before sitting on the couch in front of them.

"I met him when we first moved here: he's kinda the town's superhero. He helped me out multiple times whenever YOU yelled at me or treated me bad. He didn't ask questions, just…stayed there: like the friend he is. Well, when you yelled at me and pissed me off, I sat on the roof and just talked to him when he showed up: he heard you by the way." I paused, internally smirking at the look on his face: like a cookie thief that just got busted. "That's when the chopper showed up." I said with a gulp as both my parents became more alert: paying special attention to me now. "They were carrying a shipping container as a 'care package' that they dropped in the middle of town. Since they were here looking for me, I couldn't let that thing run amok and cause mayhem so I went to go kill it: I didn't know it was going to be a Hunter though. Nobody saw me or it if that's what you're wondering: and both it and the chopper have been dealt with, even though the idiot upstairs 'tried' to help and save me when I had it covered. Long story short: he's lucky to have the wounds he does, if I didn't pull him back…he would be in pieces right now." I explained as dad started pacing again while mom worried on her lip and looked at her folded hands.

"Should've known they'd be here sooner or later, you attracted WAY too much attention to yourself and this family, therefore: as of this moment until they leave –if they do- you are grounded. Now get upstairs and out of my sight." dad said as he poured himself a glass of bourbon and downed it in one gulp. "But dad-" I started, panicking about the fact that if I was grounded…who was going to protect the town from incidences like what just happened. "This instant young lady!" he yelled, making me growl in frustration before reluctantly tromping up the stairs and in my room, listening to my dad reattach the broken door with his tools. Entering my room, I saw Alex staring at me with wide fearful eyes: letting me know he had heard what I said downstairs.

"Alex, it's four in the morning: I'm tired and not in the mood for any more family drama. Go and sleep with mom and dad, I need time to think." I said as he hopped down from his bed and dashed off for my parents' room, giving me the peace I needed in order to figure out what to do. 'Now what? I can't protect anybody from Gentek or Blackwatch because I'm grounded…but WAIT a second! I'M grounded…but Blacklight isn't! Christ, I think I hang out with Eric WAY too much: making me break the rules and shit.' I thought with a tired groan as I massaged a nasty on-coming migraine as I dug out my 'How to Train your Dragon' print sleeping bag out from under my bed and grabbed my pillow.

'Once he wakes up, he's gonna lose his shit.' I thought as I snuck out of my room and into the one Mysterion occupied. Taking in his pained but sleeping expression, I unrolled my sleeping bag and settled myself on the floor at the foot of the bed, ready to be there in case he woke up and freaked out. It was about noon the next day when I woke up and checked on the vigilante, slightly worried that he wasn't awake but then again: he was lucky to be alive at all. Feeling my stomach grumble, I left him in peace and headed downstairs to get something to eat: only to almost run into Eric as Alex let him inside the house, even though my brother was still in his PJs.

Taking in his nervous expression, my body suit immediately tensed something fierce as he looked over at me before running over. Once he caught his breath from both panicking and running, he kept stumbling over his words until he finally got his mouth to work right, letting him say what he was going to. "Aghgh! MY GOD! They came outta nowhere! There was this huge earthquake and then, and then there was burning in my yard! Didn't you hear about it?! It's all over the news, look!" he ranted as he turned on the T.V. and showed us the news story that showed the still-burning remains of the UFO and the Blackwatch chopper that went down last night.

Out of the corner of the screen, I saw a group of curious people surrounding the remains of the dead Hunter: some even poking it with sticks, but it was the voice of the newsman that had my attention. "…and that a large earthquake and several fires in the South Park area, woke many residents from their sleep. Here with the report is a midget in a bikini." he said as the camera view changed to the scene of the commotion, where a little person wearing a pink bikini stood in front of the chaos that was unfolding.

Several helicopters were trying to lay extremely small tarps over the hull of the UFO that didn't cover it at all as military and government agents kept curious onlookers away. Taking a good look at the soldiers, I sighed in relief that none of them were a part of Blackwatch: but that didn't mean they weren't watching. "Tom, government officials are assuring everyone nothing out of the ordinary has happened. They claim that the only reason why tents have gone up to cover this area is to mask the construction of a new Taco Bell, which is scheduled to open sometime later this month. They also claim that the body of the strange creature found nearby, was part of a animatronic show that was to be included within the Taco Bell, and is not in any way related to the damage done to the surrounding area." the reporter said before the camera reverted back to the newsman, who looked like he truly believed that bullshit story.

"Thanks midget I do love me some Taco Bell. The mayor of South Park states that last night's tremors and fires are under control and that schools and businesses can open again soon." he said before Eric shut off the T.V. and looked at Alex as he hid behind me. "It's horrible, you don't understand. The elves…THEY TOOK THE STICK! And its bullshit, because that is TOTALLY CHEATING! We specifically said no trying to take The Stick at night. Elves are DIRTY LITTLE LIARS and we need to lay waste to their ENTIRE base! You have an incredible ability to fight and take hits Lady MacManus: I'm sending you into the Hornet's Nest. You will infiltrate their base and find out where they've hidden The Stick, while your brother goes out into the lands of Zaron and recruits a whole other FACTION to Kupa Keep. Find the Goth kids and give them this letter, get them to join our kingdom and we shall lay waste to those Drow elves once and for all! Fucking cheaters…." he grumbled as he headed out of the house and back over to the kingdom, while Alex took the letter nervously from the coffee table and looked at me fearfully from under his Thief garb as he put it on.

"I know what you're worried about, don't worry Alex: they won't get close to you. If they even THINK about it, well…I don't have to explain what will happen." I said as I nudged him out the door before closing it and leaned against it with a sigh. 'If it's not one thing it's a thousand others. I'm too young to be bothered with this shit.' I griped to myself as I went back upstairs and checked on Mysterion, frowning as I noticed he was still out. 'Looks like I need to go to the hospital and pick up some more bandages and Morphine.' I thought as I wrote him a note explaining where he was, how he got there and what happened, just in case he woke up while I was out, especially since both my parents were working.

Quietly closing the door, I went back downstairs and grabbed myself some breakfast before heading out the door, only to stop in my tracks as I spotted a large cardboard box sitting on the porch. Picking up the slightly-heavy box, I saw it was addressed to me in crayon: making me raise an eyebrow at it before bringing it inside. Setting the box on the floor, I gave it a sniff: thankful that nothing dangerous was in it according to my nose as I opened the flaps. Reaching inside the box, I pulled out a brown football helmet with a whisk of a broom attached to the top. Running my hand over the rough bristles, I noticed that there were more items inside the box.

Setting the helmet aside, I pulled out a pair of light-gray shoulder plates that were thick and sturdy that were just my size. Putting those down, I turned the box upside-down: revealing a dark-red sweater, brown gloves, and dark-teal pants: all brand new, thank god. Taking off my old Fighter's attire, I put my new equipment on and discovered the entire new armor set to be a perfect fit. 'Now all I need is a weapon, oh wait…I AM a weapon.' I mused sarcastically as I threw the empty box away and headed out the front door: completely disregarding the fact that I had been grounded: because when you've lived most of your childhood in a cage like I had, I'd take every chance at freedom I could take, no matter how small.

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