Monster in the Mirror

Chapter 39

Walking inside the Community Center, I saw Principal Victoria, Mr. Garrison, Randy, and the other two parents I didn't recognize from before still sitting at the table in the front of the room. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted Mr. Mackey sleeping at a VERY cluttered desk, making me wonder how long it took him to make that mess. Shrugging it off, I approached the front of the room and waited patiently for one of the parents to notice me, which didn't take very long as Randy stood up and walked over to me.

"You're back! Did you find anything?" he asked as I pulled out the tape and handed it to him before turning away: trying not to be sick at the information gathered on that tiny device. "What's this? It's a recording! And there's data on here!" he said, drawing the attention of the rest of the adults as they leaned in to hear what was on the tape, oblivious to my anxious and nervous antics that made me look like Tweek. "Well, what does it say? What kind of Taco Bell is it going to be?" Principal Victoria asked as I bit down on my knuckles to keep myself from running out of the building as Randy pushed the replay button.

"The PROTOTYPE isn't a SHE: it is an IT and here's how we're going to clean up this mess: we're going to blow up EVERYTHING within a three block radius: killing all the Nazi Zombies and hopefully Gentek's freak monster too. Find locations for the bombs, bury it all, plant bait for the PROTOTYPE and detonate the explosives. Once that's done, make up a fake story about an earthquake." the voice of the head government agent said from the tape, making me flinch suddenly as blood started soaking through the leather of my glove: making me realize I had bitten myself harder than I thought.

And that didn't help my situation as I glanced up at the adults: to find every one of them frozen in disbelief as Randy walked around the table and stood next to me. "They're just…gonna blow up three blocks? And what is this PROTOTYPE they were talking about?! And what are Gentek and Nazi Zombies?" Principal Victoria questioned nervously as the adults looked to Randy for answers I knew he didn't have. "Sons of bitches, YOU SONS OF BITCHES!" he yelled, making me sigh and a headache form itself behind my eyeballs from all the stress this situation was causing me.

These people weren't supposed to know ANYTHING about my past, and now: they got curious and are in just as deep as my family which was more MY fault than anything. "What gives them the right?!" Mr. Garrison asked from his seat as I took a deep breath and crossed my arms in a self-hug to stop myself from shaking. "They're military: they can do what they want, whenever they want and however they want. Your word means nothing to them and there's nothing you can do about it." I said, drawing the attention of the adults for a second before they started questioning each other.

"I KNEW there was more to this, it's not a simple Taco Bell we're dealing with: but the most massive one EVER BUILT! You see, ever since the Doritos Locos Tacos thing: Taco Bell thinks they can do whatever they want! This 'PROTOTYPE' must be the building before the Taco Bell is constructed: ingenious!" Randy explained, making my earlier observation of him actually being smart fly out the window. "Are you all FUCKING STUPID?!" I yelled, finally having enough of their stupidity and lack of intelligence.

"Young Lady! How DARE you use such vulgar language?!" a woman with large red hair gasped as the rest of the adults looked at me in shock, not that I gave two shits at this point. "How can ANY of you think that they're building a Taco Bell?! They DON'T close school or businesses when building a restaurant! Don't any of you UNDERSTAND: it's a military cover-up to keep idiots like YOU from snooping in their business! I saw I guy get fucking SNIPED for asking questions! What construction worker does that?! Certainly not where I come from: use your brains for once and look at the bigger picture before it's too late!" I snapped harshly as I tried to get them to understand that this wasn't what they were told to believe.

"Saphira: having a big imagination like yours is normal for a kid your age, but try to keep it under control, M'kay?" Mr. Mackey said as the rest of the adults agreed, making a roar of frustration rip its way out of my chest as I fought to keep my body suit and the virus from showing up. "It looks like Taco Bell wants to replace our mall to add to their power: as if taking up three blocks of the town wasn't bad enough." Randy continued, making tears of anger flow down my face at the unbelievable amount of idiocy and lack of common sense as my warning blew right over their heads like a leaf in the breeze. "Well not here, not in our town." Principal Victoria said angrily from her seat as I growled before storming out of the building and started heading home: kicking up snow and ice as I did so.

'They don't believe me! Well guess what you stupid morons: once Blackwatch shows up with more of their "pets" maybe just MAYBE you'll believe me as you're getting your faces ripped into.' I thought as I continued walking down sidewalks and streets: passing groups of elves challenging me to fights I really didn't want to get into at the moment. It wasn't until I was about halfway home did I freeze on the spot as a sudden 'droning' noise caught my sensitive ears. Focusing on the sound, I realized with numb horror that the sound was coming from military vehicles: very HEAVY DUTY military vehicles. Holding my breath, I waited until they turned into the crash site before turning around and taking off in a full-sprint for Eric's house.

Taking a different route this time, I made sure to lose any pursuers before finally coming to a stop in front of Eric's back gate. Calming my racing nerves, I walked through the open gate and approached Eric as he spoke with the Goth kids near the tent. Nodding a greeting to Butters and Tweek, I turned my gaze to Alex as he trained with Crag: impressed he was actually talking back and asking questions now. "Ah Lady MacManus is back: have you located The Stick?" Eric questioned once he got the Goth kids armed and ready: it was strange not seeing Kenny there, but we could make do without him for a little while, I think. "It wasn't there: it was obviously a decoy message to throw us off. They didn't even leave us any clues to go by: it was a complete waste of time." I said as Eric's face scrunched up before he smashed the end of his stick on the snowy ground in anger.

"You have GOT to be FUCKING kidding me! Where the fuck did they take it?!" he snarled as he angrily paced back and forth in front of the tent until he growled and walked to the middle of the yard. "Everyone gather around! While the rest of you have been picking your respective arses, Lady MacManus has gone out and brought reinforcements to our kingdom. Lady MacManus, it is time to grant you a title WORTHY of your deeds. By the power of Mandaloth: third-born of the Redguard, and the glory of Christ: I now appoint thee…COMMANDER MACMANUS! With all the rights and privileges accompanied therein!" he said as he 'knighted' me with his staff, earning me a round of applause from everyone around me.

'Commander MacManus…I like it.' I thought with a toothy grin as Butters approached and knelt in front of me and held up a new armor set with his head bowed. "Thank you Butters." I said as I took the gift and examined it. It was similar to my current armor, only the red sweater was upgraded to a blue jacket with a gold four-pointed star on the right breast pocket. The thick plastic shoulder plates had been replaced by ones made of Aluminum: making them heavier but were able to offer better protection: not that I needed it. The gloves in this set were white with a green stripe around the back of my hand and green cuffs, while the belt was made of thick and sturdy leather that still had that freshly-made smell to it.

The pants were also upgraded from cotton, to a thick brown material that was fur-lined on the inside. But it was what was sitting on top of the new clothing that caught my eye: it was a crown made from cardboard and tape with a large plastic ruby glued to the front: right above where my forehead would be. Taking the outfit from Butters, I ducked inside the tent and quickly put it on and made the necessary adjustments to it so it was good and tight. Stepping back outside, I was shocked to find the boys stepping aside and saluting respectfully as I approached Eric again, just as Butters ran up to him as fast as his legs could carry him.

"Eric! ERIC!" the paladin yelled as I stood next to the both of them. Getting the Grand Wizard's attention, Butters caught his breath before continuing with his seemingly-urgent message. "We know where the elves have taken The Stick!" he yelled, drawing the attention of everyone as Eric gave Butters his full attention.

"What?! REALLY?!" he questioned as he and I shared a glance. "We just intercepted their message on Twitter!" he continued, making Eric glare at him in annoyance. "YOU MEAN YOU SHOT DOWN THEIR MESSAGE RAVEN." he hissed though his teeth, making poor Butters quickly catch himself and repeat what he was supposed to say.

"R-Right, w-we shot down their Raven a-and the evil Elf King has hidden The Stick inside his desk at school!" Butters exclaimed, making me face-palm considering I had literally JUST been to the school and didn't think to check there. 'That's why they didn't have it at their kingdom.' I realized as Eric's face split into a pleased expression before he turned to me. "OF COURSE! Kyle hid it in his desk. CITIZENS OF KUPA KEEP, WE KNOW WHERE THE ELVES HAVE HIDDEN THE STICK!" he yelled as everyone stopped what they were doing and ran over to us.

"I TOLD YOU THEY WERE CHEATING! NOW WE SHALL MARCH ON THE SCHOOL AND MAKE THE HALLWAYS DRIP WITH ELVEN BLOOD!" he screamed in a war-cry before leading the charge out of the backyard and in the direction of the school. 'Paint the hallways with their blood? That's a bit TOO extreme for a game if you ask me.' I thought with a shrug before running after them, oblivious to a pair of eyes following my every move.

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