Monster in the Mirror

Chapter 37

About halfway over to Eric's house my phone went off, letting me know I had a text from somebody. Pulling out my phone, I saw it was a message from my mom telling me that she went ahead and picked up Morphine and bandages from the hospital. She also said she was home and knew I was out but wouldn't tell my dad anything: saying how she knew how stupid it was to ground the only person that could possibly stand up to Blackwatch.

Texting her back, I thanked her before I asked her if she could watch over Mysterion and let me know when he woke up as Alex and I reentered Eric's backyard and approached the Grand Wizard. As Eric spoke with Butters, I got a reply back from mom saying that she would: making me happy that I didn't have to worry about him freaking out when he saw he was in a strange place by himself. 'Because he would do the same for me.' I assured myself as I nodded to get Eric's attention once Butters walked away. "Ah Lady MacManus is back, what secrets do those fucking cheaters have?" he asked as Alex was called away by Craig so he could train some more.

"They don't have The Stick, I searched their entire base for it but couldn't find it anywhere." I lied, mainly because if Eric found out that I was working with BOTH factions: he would label me a traitor: something I didn't want. "They must've hidden it somewhere! We recently intercepted a Carrier Raven that had a message saying something about a PTA meeting at the Community Center. That MUST be where they took The Stick! MacManus, I want you to infiltrate that meeting and find that Stick: we can't have the relic fall into enemy hands!" he ordered as I once again left his backyard on my own: which was okay considering I knew right where I was going thanks to my…nightly activities.

Taking off in a run, I held The Staff of Smiting like a baseball bat as I bolted down side-streets and alleys that Mysterion showed me: getting to the Community Center in record time for a fourth grader. Slowing my pace down to a walk, I frowned under my helmet at the sounds of multiple angry adults echoing loudly from inside. Quietly opening the door, I saw the entire center was filled with angry parents protesting loudly at Principle Victoria, Mr. Mackey, Mr. Garrison and a few parents I didn't recognize: not that it was any fault of mine.

Gulping nervously, I glanced around the room for my dad and thankfully, didn't see him anywhere as I walked up the aisle of chairs before coming to a stop at the front of the meeting. 'If only my Sonar worked on inanimate objects.' I thought sourly, as that would help me find The Stick no problem. I was snapped out of my thoughts by one of the parents as he stood up from his seat and started throwing his arms around in anger.

Getting a closer look at him, I saw he was dressed in a gray jacket, a blue shirt under that with dark-green pants. Looking up, I saw he had a magenta hat that Jewish people commonly wear on his balding head: making me realize this had to be Kyle's dad. "It isn't RIGHT, I tell you! Out of NOWHERE this HUGE Taco Bell is being built, and now our CHILDREN are missing precious school time!" he yelled, causing the rest of the parents in the room to erupt in an uproar.

"Parents, we've been assured by the builders that they're working to fix whatever problems they've encountered and school should be able to resume soon." Principal Victoria said as she stood up so everyone could see her, making me silently curse and rage at the fact that because school is closed: I wouldn't be able to get revenge on Wendy. 'Yeah, because the building of a restaurant TOTALLY closes down school and businesses.' I thought with a roll of my eyes as a man in a light-blue shirt stood up. Looking at him, I saw he had shaggy black hair as well as a black mustache. As I took in this man, I felt that there was something about him: something these other adults severely lacked.

Before I could analyze him further, a man wearing a long-sleeved gray shirt, white tie and blue jeans stood up on my left. "Resume SOON?! Who do they think they are?! They think were gonna see a-a Taco Bell as being more important than our kids' educations?!" he exclaimed, causing another uproar among the parents around me. 'No, of course not.' I thought sarcastically as I fought the urge to face-palm at the lack of common sense here. "What if it's not REALLY a Taco Bell we're dealing with?" the man I had my eye on earlier suddenly questioned, rendering the entire room silent.

'Could it be? An adult with a brain?' I thought skeptically as he looked down and spotted me with this odd look: as if he expected me to be there when I was. "Thanks for coming, New Kid. Your younger brother told me about you." he said, making me wonder how Alex knew him but didn't want to draw attention to it right then. "Everyone, this is the sister of the kid whose family just moved to town. Her brother and I have become very close friends, her name is…what's your name?" he asked me, making me want to face-palm again but I didn't as I shifted on my feet once I saw everyone staring at me. "Saphira MacManus." I said, as he nodded at me with an almost over-the-top grin on his face.

"Her name is Saphira MacManus, and her brother and I witnessed something last night. I'd like you to hear his story: but he isn't here. What he and I witnessed is something incredible…too bad he isn't here to tell this amazing tale." he said, making a quiet hiss escape my lips as I tensed in fear. 'He couldn't have seen…there's NO way!' I panicked as I rapidly glanced around the room for a way out of this suffocating room as the man to my left began yelling again. "This is a waste of everyone's time! If the PTA isn't going to do something about Taco Bell taking over then the rest of us parents will!" he yelled as everyone in the room stood up and angrily stormed outside yelling things like 'That's right' or 'Let's go' before nothing but knocked-over chairs were left from the angry meeting.

'Yeah…good luck with that. With sense like yours, you will most definitely need it.' I thought as I shook my head at the amount of stupidity coming from the adults. Once everyone was gone, Mr. Garrison sighed before picking up a broom and began sweeping: paying no attention to me as I walked past him and over to the man in the light-blue shirt as he texted on his phone. "Sorry about putting you in the spotlight like that. I'm Randy, and I want to help: I saw your brother on the ship and he has pretty good control over his farts. I saw the helicopter too: something big is going on here, we need to get inside that 'Taco Bell' and find out what's really going on. Help me with that, and I'll help you find what you're looking for. Deal?" Randy said, making me almost drop my weapon: Alex was on the UFO when it crashed! This man saw him AND the Blackwatch chopper, meaning he also probably saw me fighting the Hunter too.

'My baby brother was on that thing, and I had no idea! I'm such a horrible sister!' I thought as I fought not to cry as I nodded, agreeing to help Randy before Alex walked inside the building: making me turn away from him in shame. I couldn't bear to look at him as I wordlessly turned from both of them and headed back outside where surprisingly: Stan stood waiting for me. "Stan? What are you doing here?" I asked, confused that he was standing in front of me and not at the Elven Kingdom.

"Kyle sent me, he feels horrible about doubting you: said he couldn't believe he stabbed you in the back like that when you gave us no reason to hate you. And what you showed us…we're really sorry that happened to you and don't think you're a monster just because you can do those things. What I'm trying to say is…we're glad you're our friend: even Cartman, though the fatass won't admit it." he said sheepishly as he played with his sword, only to drop it on the sidewalk as I tackled him in a bear-hug.

"Thank you Stan, really: you don't know how happy that makes me. Despite everything I am: you guys still want to be friends with me, because of that I know that I'll never have better friends than you guys." I said with a sniff as I let him go before sharing that same random handshake with him that neither of us really knew what we were doing. "Don't mention it Saphira, so: where to?" he asked as he fixed his red and blue helmet before picking up his sword. "Wait, you're coming with me?" I asked as he nodded with a shrug. "Sure, I've got nothing better to do and the elves get boring after a while." he said as we started walking in the direction of the mall.

"Ever consider joining the humans?" I said, half joking/half serious, sticking my tongue out at the deadpanned look on his face. "Never happening." he answered as he bopped me in the helmet with his sword. "Fair enough, I tried." I said as we entered the parking lot of the mall, where the down chopper and UFO still sat barely-covered on top of the remains of the mall. From the sidewalk, we saw a bunch of people being held back by military and government officials as helicopters continued to lay extremely small tarps over the ship.

As I peeked between the gaps in the crowd, I saw several people in yellow hazmat suits: making a chill run down my spine as a man near me dropped to the ground with a single bullet hole in his skull. 'Sniper!' I thought with wide eyes as I used my Sonar to find out where he was: to see him hiding on the roof of a nearby building. Backing up a couple steps, I saw that the crowd either didn't pay attention or didn't care about the suddenly-dead man as they walked away normally after a government official said something to them.

Once they were gone, I watched as the soldiers and hazmat guys continued their business: leaving only two soldiers to guard the front gate. "So, any idea on how to get in?" Stan asked as I rubbed my chin, only to snap my fingers in a sudden idea. "Follow me." I said as I walked down the sidewalk like I was going elsewhere before taking a sharp left and hid behind one of the convoy vehicles. Glancing around to the soldiers, I picked up a loose piece of cement and threw it at a nearby vehicle: setting off the alarm and drew in the curious soldiers.

Nudging Stan, we quickly and quietly ran past them and through the gate before ducking behind cover again. "Holy shit! How stupid can you be?" I questioned as we shared a look before sneaking past another soldier and into a vent in one of the portable buildings that was big enough for us to fit into: unsure of what we would find, but more than ready to face it head-on…whatever it may be.



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