Monster in the Mirror

Chapter 57

Running forward in a surprising burst of speed, the real Craig raised his dagger and slashed at Kenny in a flurry of strikes and combos even I had trouble seeing. Which was why I cringed when my feminine-dressed companion got hit particularly hard on the top of his head: making him drop to the floor like a sack of potatoes.

“Kenny!” I yelped as he released his grip on his bow and didn’t stand back up again, making me realize that Kenny had been ‘killed’ and wasn’t going to be able to help me defeat Craig and his remaining clones. Before I could make my move, the clone closest to Kenny charged me and tried to hit me with the same combo that had taken Kenny down: only to find that I had blocked his attack by grabbing his wrist.

“Hey!” he yelped as I sent him a mischievous smirk before I twirled around in a circle: dragging the helpless boy along until I let go: sending the clone flying back and into the other two boys. “Lesson one: don’t leave yourself open, or shit like that will happen. And by the way, Craig: taking out Kenny was a bad idea, because now you have ME to deal with.” I said as I slipped into the Leopard stance and waited for him to make a move, considering it was now a fight between me and him with no clones to hide behind.

Closing his eyes, Craig spread his arms out and looked like he was focusing really hard on something, making me realize he was trying to channel his ‘power’. ‘If I let him hit me with that, he might just beat me. I can’t let him win because if he does, Clyde gets to keep The Stick and who knows what would happen then.’ I thought as I made to attack, only to find that I took too long as Craig suddenly flipped his dagger in a stabbing position while taking a Tiger fighting stance of his own.

‘Oh, shit.’ I gulped as Craig smirked at me before back-flipping and tossing a smoke bomb on the floor: blocking my vision from him for a few seconds before it dawned on me that he wasn’t standing across from me anymore. ‘Well, if he’s gonna be like that.’ I thought as I closed my eyes and discretely took a sniff: mapping my surroundings based on smell and found that Craig was going to be…I whirled around on the balls of my feet and brought my sword up just in time to block the three overhead stabs and one frontal stab from the sneaky Thief.

“Nice try, but my reflexes are FAR superior to yours: which means you can’t hit me Craig.” I stated as his eyebrow twitched: the most emotion I saw out of him yet. “Don’t get cocky ‘Savior’, you still have yet to beat me.” Craig said as I suddenly sheathed my sword in my belt and picked up Kenny’s bow with his only remaining arrow. Taking my stance, I notched the slightly-bent arrow, pulled the string with my right hand, took careful aim, and fired: hitting Craig right between the eyes.

“No more!” he yelped before glaring at me as he took off running in the opposite direction and away from me, only to trip over his own feet and fall to the floor. Shouldering Kenny’s bow, I jogged over to Kenny as he started to sit up, only to grip his head in pain. “I didn’t need special powers to hear Craig’s blade crack your skull, you okay?” I asked as I crouched in front of him and checked to make sure he wasn’t too badly hurt.

“Whoa, Saphira…since when are there three of you?” he questioned as he shakily stood up and swayed from side-to-side as if he were drunk. “I think you should sit for a bit.” I advised as I caught his arm, stopping him from falling flat on his face, unintentionally making him look at me. “Only if you sit with me.” he said to the wall as I handed him a water bottle and waved at Butters, who joined us as soon as the gate opened itself back up. “Normally I wouldn’t mind, but we’re SO close to finishing this, and I’d like to do it before ‘they’ show up.” I said cryptically so poor Butters wouldn’t have a panic-attack.

Nodding in understanding, Kenny took his bow back and several arrows I carried with me from the last bow I used. “Alright, then. I’ll just stay here then: can’t have Clyde calling for reinforcements now can we?” he said with a wink, making me roll my eyes and scoff good-naturedly at his antics before I stood back up and smiled at Butters. Waving goodbye to Kenny, I led Butters over to the ladder Craig had tied up on the second floor: passing the defeated Thief as we did.

“Justice has been served unto you this day, Craig.” Butters said as I picked up one of the spears and threw it: cutting through the rope and letting the ladder down so we could climb up and out of the arena. Walking over to the left, I clenched my right fist and gave the barricade a good punch: shattering the boards and letting Stan and Kyle inside with us. “Whoa, dude.” Kyle said as he jumped to the side to avoid the sharp splinters of wood.

“Sorry, and sorry about not finding a way inside for you, Stan.” I apologized as the elf king adjusted his crown while Stan shook his head. “Don’t worry about it, watching you kick the shit out of Craig made up for it.” he said with a grin as I looked behind them to see if Alex was with them, only to not see him anywhere. “He’s with Cartman, Wizard Fatass said something about wanting to keep an eye on him to make sure he wasn’t a traitor and join Clyde’s side after Craig did.” Kyle said, making me nod in understanding as I frowned.

‘Why now? Of all the times for Alex to have an ‘episode’ why did it have to be right then?’ I wondered before I followed Stan and Kyle through the doorway and up a short staircase, with Butters following close behind. Running up the steps, I almost tripped as I came to a sudden stop, shocked to find who I did standing in the hallway. Stepping aside as Stan walked past me, I watched as Randy turned around and smiled at us.

“Dad, what the hell are you doing here?” Stan questioned as Randy approached us and I couldn’t help but snicker in my sleeve: he was shirtless with a large red-brown belt around his waist, while gray boxers made up for his lack of pants. Instead of a cape like some of us wore, Randy’s was hardly anything more than a light-blue bath towel tied around his neck. On his left arm was a small green shield with a purple dragon painted on it while he held a large sword in his right hand.

As he walked closer, I saw that he had brown cowboy boots on his feet, making me wonder how the hell he dresses himself in the morning with the mismatched getup, but I had to give the adult credit for trying: my parents wouldn’t be caught DEAD playing with us. “Oh! It’s my favorite kids!” Randy cheered as Eric and Alex walked up the steps behind us. Walking right past Stan, Randy twirled his sword before stabbing it in the rug and knelt at our feet. ‘Damn, he favors us over his own son? That’s fucked up.’ I thought as I sent an apologetic look to Stan as he stared at his father with a hurt and betrayed look on his face.

“Listen! I found out what they were doing at the Taco Bell! They were searching for a candidate to put a Snuke into! They couldn’t use the PROTOTYPE because they can’t find it! They’re going to NUKE ALL OF SOUTH PARK!” he suddenly yelled, making my blood run cold while Alex instinctively grabbed my hand. ‘There is no way on this earth am I going to let that happen! I stopped it once, I can do it again.’ I thought as I clenched my jaw to the point where my teeth hurt but I didn’t care: my new home and friends were threatened: and I’d be DAMNED if I let Blackwatch, Gentek and whoever the fuck else threaten anything that was important to me.

Taking my gaze from Randy, I focused my hearing and felt a stab of fear run through my body as several dozen military vehicles quickly made their way in our direction. ‘Shit! I have to wrap this up! Fast!’ I thought as Kyle decided to speak up and drew my attention to him. “A Snuke?” he asked in confusion, and I understood why: I was VERY familiar with Nukes, but a Snuke? These people have the weirdest names for things, if a Nuke and a Snuke were the same thing, that is.

“You kids don’t understand, they put the Snuke HERE.” Randy pressed, jamming his sword deeper into the floor as he did, making me all the more nervous as the sounds of the incoming military came closer. “Who did?” Kyle asked as I glanced out of the large window to my left and swore I felt my heart stop: the sky was nearly BLACK with Blackwatch choppers while the ground shook with combat tanks of almost every size and shape. In between the convoys were hundreds of Blackwatch troops: the visors on their gasmasks gleaming like thousands of hellish eyes in the growing darkness, and they were ALL coming this way.

“Whoever these people are CLAIMING to be Taco Bell.” Randy answered, as I clenched my fists to try to control my fear and body suit from going haywire at the approaching death on two legs. As the rest of the boys watched Randy as he stood up and started to pace, I wracked my brain as I rapidly tried to come up with a plan that will SOMEHOW take care of Blackwatch and protect the town at the same time. ‘COME ON! Think, damn you! You have Hunters and you have Nazi zombies, use those to stall for a while!’ I plotted frantically as Randy started to explain to us the compassion of ‘Taco Bell’ while remaining oblivious to my panic.

“We should have known, we should have known Taco Bell is far too compassionate and caring to be so secretive.” he said as he dragged his sword along the wooden floor, making an awful racket as I made a mental head-count of my friends and found many of them still fighting on the ground. ‘I already told you that.’ I thought as I rolled my eyes before zipping up my jacket: silently commanding the virus to be ready for use. When I couldn’t take the stress anymore, I loudly cleared my throat, shutting Randy up and drawing everyone’s attention to my rigid form. “I REALLY hate to interrupt you all, but…we have company.” I said ominously, which was unfortunately lost on Butters.

“R-Really?! We’re gonna have new friends?! Oh boy! I wonder if they wanna play with us!” Butters cheered, making me desperately want to rip my hair out at his innocence but couldn’t waste time on that right now. “Not that kind of company, Butters.” I sighed angrily, making Stan and Kyle glance nervously at each other as Randy tilted his head to the side as he shouldered his sword. “What kind of company do you mean then?” Stan asked as all the boys FINALLY took notice of my sickly-gray face, causing Alex to tremble and hide underneath Randy’s cape with a whimper.

Without a word, I shakily pointed out the window, causing the boys to curiously look outside: only to express their own terror soon after. “Holy, fuck.” Eric whispered as his shaking grip eventually caused him to drop his staff, not that anybody took notice, however. “F-F-Friends of y-y-yours?” Jimmy stuttered as he slowly started to back away from the window, as if that would protect him somehow. “You could say that.” I spat hatefully as Stan curled up on the floor and started crying: knowing there was NO way any of us could escape without being spotted.

And that’s when I knew, the people of this town grew on me, accepting me when they knew who and what I was: that sort of kindness can only be repaid one way: question was, was I willing to go that far…in order to save those who should’ve never known this sort of evil?

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