Monster in the Mirror

Chapter 61

I barely had a split-second to react before the dragon lunged, snapping his unusual jaws directly where I had been standing as my instincts kicked in as I bounded backwards and out of the way. Observing the beast, I noticed that his massive size prevented him from moving too much, giving me a huge advantage. With that in mind, I stood up from my defensive crouch and smirked at the creature and started laughing: much to the horror of the boys.

"Aw, what's the matter? You stuck?" I taunted, just as the dragon snarled and lunged again: snapping his jaws not even a foot away from me. It wasn't until he flicked his tongue, that I was knocked back on my ass from the brute force of the offending appendage. 'Well, if you're gonna be like that.' I thought as I jumped back up and wiped the foul drool from my face before glaring at the beast. "Alright big guy, let's dance." I said with a wicked smirk as I straightened my spine and allowed the virus to show itself: oozing and crawling around my nine-year-old form and transformed me into my all-time favorite appearance.

What had become of my original appearance melted away into a solid-black and silver version of Daedric armor from Skyrim, only instead of spikes: were smooth ridges that gave me the illusion of being extremely fit. My entire body was covered, making me look as if I had been a Blackwatch soldier dipped in brimstone and left to cool. My head was covered in a helmet-like design that had a visor that copied the look of the face of a spider, which allowed me to tell the difference between enemy and ally by an aura around the target: green for friend, red for foe. The torso was segmented like the body of an insect but was skin-tight: showing the boys plenty, but left the actual image to the imagination.

My shoulders were like the shoulder-pads of a football player's, while my arms appeared as if I was using the Musclemass: only my fingers (with the exception of my thumbs) looked as if they were stuck together. On the ends of my hands were very short claws that really had no purpose, but I liked them anyway. The Armor gave my stomach the look of abs while my hips were protected by larger ridges that melted into segmented leggings, only to smooth over into knee-high boots. My feet had the same appearance of my hands, only it looked as if I were wearing Japanese socks: changing my feet into those with two toes with the same short claws attached.

The design of my back looked like melted metal as it had no particular pattern, but it only added to not only my protection, but the intimidation too. The back of my helmet was also ridged, but it ended in several points from the top of my head down to the back of my neck. Giving my new form a stretch, I exposed the six lethal spines on the backs of my elbows as I readjusted to the almost unfamiliar feeling of this stage of the virus. Blinking behind the helmet, I watched my vision change: giving the monstrosity in front of me a dark-red glow as I flexed my arms: commanding the virus to change my right arm into one of the Claws, while my left morphed into the Blade.

"Holy…shit, dude." I heard from behind me, making me glance over my shoulder and through the metal spikes jutting from my right arm to see the boys peaking from around the corner of the door. Seeing their petrified faces, I internally winced: these kids were NEVER supposed to see me like this, and now all they will see when they look at me from now on is the demon standing in front of them. Heaving a heavy sigh, I turned my attention back to the dragon as he snarled and hissed, recognizing the threat I posed to him.

Bringing my weaponized arms behind me, I leaned forward for a second before I dashed forward faster than a normal human could keep up with before leaping to the side to avoid the dragon's bite. Jumping off one of the dragon's hands as he made to snatch me in his rotting grip, I slashed him in both of his left eyes with my Claw, making a terrible shriek follow the five bloody gouges the metal claws left in his decayed flesh.

Kicking off his face, I dug the tiny claws on my feet into the wooden floor as I slid across the Throne Room and came to a stop in front of the boys' hiding place. Ignoring them for now, I quickly changed my right arm into the Hammerfist and ran at the beast again the same time it lunged at me with a roar of rage. Grateful he was half-blind now, I stayed on his left side before bringing my fist forward and punched the dragon in the teeth, not only breaking half his jaw, but the force from my punch also caused him to roll over and fall out of the treehouse: completely destroying Clyde's throne and the wall behind it as it did so.

'Much better.' I thought as I jumped after him like a grasshopper, not giving him much of a chance to right himself as I flipped in the air and kicked him in the chest: sending him crashing back-first to the ground: thankfully out of the way of any battling warriors of either army. Changing my right arm again, I rapidly brought the Blade up in front of me to block against the beast's tail before I pulled back the multiple-bladed Whipfist behind me and positioned the limb around and behind me with the Xenomorph-styled tip above my head like the tail of a scorpion as I waited for the beast to make his move.

Not having to wait long, I jumped to the left as the dragon lunged and struck with the Whipfist: burying the tip into the beast's neck and used the momentum to swing myself onto the dragon's back: which he did NOT appreciate. Wrapping the extendable appendage around the dragon's neck like a lasso, I held on tight as he bucked, reared and shook relentlessly as he tried to throw me off. When that didn't work, he spread his massive wings and took to the air: knocking me flat against his putrid flesh with the force of his take-off.

As he took me on a rollercoaster ride, I couldn't help but feel like a bull-rider as I managed to look through my dizzying vision and see that the boys had come out of hiding and were watching with fearful awe at the show I was giving, while Eric and Clyde argued viciously: but I couldn't hear what they were saying over the howling wind in my ears. Fighting off the urge to vomit, I pulled back on the Whipfist: pulling the dragon's head with it as he halted in mid-air with a bellow of anger.

"Oh, shut up already!" I snapped as I raised my left arm and drove the Blade home into the side of his skull: severing the jaw from the rest of the face as the snow and ice below became dyed a sickly-red with the beast's blood as it fell from the gaping wound like rain. Yanking the Blade free, I jumped from the monster's back as it crashed on top of Clyde's fence like an over-sized ragdoll, only to shriek at me and hit me square in the chest with its tail and sent me flying into the base of the tree with a yelp.

Shaking away the stars in front of my face, I noticed with distain that two of the boney spikes that had been attached to the dragon's tail were now lodged deep inside my chest: making me thankful that the Armor prevented me from being skewered by the large spines. 'Damn, that was close.' I thought to myself as I sat up, changing both arms into the Musclemass and grabbed hold of the deeper of the two spikes by its shattered base and yanked it free with a sickening 'crunch' before tossing it aside. Taking hold of the other one, I pulled it free and disposed of it just as the dragon staggered wobbly to its feet.

Growling at him, I stood up and changed both my arms into the Blades this time before I ran at the wounded beast: the massive, black and silver blades with glowing, black-cherry veins growing over them flew behind me like wings as I jumped off the beast's mangled snout as it tried to bite me: launching myself higher in the air before landing on his back. Before the creature could do anything to stop me, I had made a savage 'X-Scissor' in front of me: severing both of the monster's wings in a brutal flurry of sinew, blood, and bone. Gritting my jaw to the point where my teeth hurt, I tried to deal with the unearthly howl of rage and agony as the dragon shrieked louder than any sound I've ever heard before in my life.

As he swayed on his trembling legs, I summoned four of my tendrils and used them to grab hold of the creature's legs as I readied my Blades again. Raising them up, I drove them deep onto the dragon's sides: dealing the killing blow as the virus's biomass crawled down the surface of the blades and into the dragon's body at a hurried pace. Concentrating, I focused on the virus the poor man had been exposed to and used my own virus to 'talk' to it: combining both strains together as the dragon's massive body became nothing more than a huge mass of writhing biomass. Reaching my hand out after I had changed my arms back into my armored form, I touched the writhing mass: cueing the virus to crawl over my arm and mold itself to me, consuming the massive beast and adding the unfortunate soul to join the rest of the hundreds of others in the back of my mind.

Sighing with relief as the 'meal' healed my wounds, I looked through my visor to the top of the treehouse with worry for my friends as I could no longer see them or hear them. "To hell with this." I said to myself as I backed up several steps before jumping to the closest branch to me. Swinging and jumping from branch-to-branch, I free-ran back up to the Throne Room at the top of the tree, only to find the boys cringe away from me as I stood from my crouch. "Wh-What are y-you?!" Butters stuttered fearfully, making a stab of pain and guilt hit my heart as I stared at them through my visor: lighting them all up in a soft-green glow.

"As I explained at Kyle's house, I'm a shapeshifter. And I know I look scary, but do not be afraid: I mean you no harm." I explained, staying where I was in a non-threatening stance to avoid scaring them further. "You didn't explain shit, I thought you were NORMAL, not this-this MONSTER!" Clyde cried angrily as he once again held The Stick of Truth in his grasp, and I was prepared for that kind of reaction: Clyde wasn't there with us when I showed them what I was, which makes his reaction justified. "Fuck you, asshole! Saphira may LOOK like a monster, but would a monster save lives like she just did, dude? She TOLD you not to throw that stuff at Chef, and look what it did to him!" Stan shouted in my defense, making me extremely grateful that not all of my friends saw me as a cold-blooded killer, but as a friend.

"Yeah dude, did you NOT see her reaction to that stuff? Besides, she wouldn't have HAD to turn into what she is now if you hadn't used it in the first place!" Kyle snapped, making me irritated that they were talking about me as if I wasn't even there but wisely kept my mouth shut. "Your foolish actions were brought upon yourself, it is no one's fault but your own. Do not bring forth blame on a failed plan that was YOUR fault!" Chaos growled from where Butters stood, making my jaw drop in shock from behind my helmet: Professor Chaos was defending me! What the actual fuck?! I couldn't even think as Clyde stared at me fearfully as he held The Stick out in front of him: as if the Holy Relic would protect him from me.

"Uh-Um Saphira, th-that suit of yours…can I-can I touch it?" Kenny stuttered, and I noticed with a smug smirk that he and the rest of the boys were 'trying' to avoid eye contact: instead focusing their gaze elsewhere when they thought I wasn't looking, typical guys. Nodding at his request, I walked over to them and held my right arm out for them to touch: not feeling their gloves as they cautiously ran their hands over the diamond-hard Armor.

Making a light fist as Eric tried to touch one of my claws, I pulled my arm back and became cloaked in biomass again: returning to my original form and turned to face Clyde as he gulped nervously as Eric followed my gaze before glaring at the Dark Lord in utter hatred. Stomping forward with purpose, Eric pointed at a fearful Clyde as I lowered my hood and letting my face to be revealed to the cold, December air: crossing my arms with a victorious smirk as Clyde realized he had been defeated: which would make whatever was to come next, that much sweeter.



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