“(Huff) (Huff) (Huff) by the abyss what happened in there?” asked an exhausted bandit.
By now all the members of the Wonderland Circus including the Damos Minimus pets, or Damos Minor, were now outside the base, the door to the base disappeared as soon as it was no longer needed making it look like just another canyon wall.
The cool night air was a minor comfort to the demons swollen burning skin.
“What are you doing?” asked one bandit to another.
“Taking my clothes off!”
“Why are you doing THAT?”
“Because thanks to that holy water my clothes are wet, and my wet clothes are BURNING MY SKIN!”
“Well keep them on I don’t want to see your funny business!”
“Oh so I’m suppose to stand here and let the water burn me just because you’re so squeamish.”
“You want a “better” reason, well I’ve got two right here!” the demon bandit then raised his fists threateningly, needing no further motivation the two bandits started to get into a grappling match while the other demons gathered around them egging them on.
“ENOUGH!” yelled a voice.
The two demons that were fighting stopped while the rest of the Wonderland Circus looked to the source of the voice. The voice came from the King of Hearts who had his Kanabo stabbed into the ground. He was currently balancing on top of the Kanabo, trying to look formidable; he would have succeeded if he didn’t wobble every few minutes to keep his balance.
“I think it’s obvious who is responsible for this little prank.” The King of Hearts then waited for everyone to catch on.
The Wonderland Circus stood racking their brains.
“It was the humans, it was the humans you idiots!” yelled the King of Hearts, in his anger he nearly lost his balance but quickly managed to regain it.
“Uh King, are you saying it was our humans?” a bandit asked obviously unable to grasp the idea of the slaves having the guts to try and overthrow them.
“Of course OUR humans what else could it have been?”
“I heard there are demons who gained holy powers by becoming christen or Jews or whatever, maybe it could have been one of them.” Another bandit pointed out.
The bandits started nodding agreeing that made much more sense than humans revolting.
“No, are you guys listening to yourselves,” in Kings anger he started to flail about which caused him to fall off his Kanabo.
While the bandits were snickering at Kings situation he climbed back onto his Kanabo trying to act like it didn’t happen “SO as I was saying this was an act of revolt from the slaves, and as such should be meet with equal retribution.”
“How exactly do we do that, the holy water in the building proves that they got one of them, uhhhhh...” the bandit turned to the bandit next to him “... what do you call the head of a church-thing.”
“I think you call them a Llama.” She answered.
“If the holy man/women/person/thing was that powerful we would all be nothing but vapors by now.” King corrected, he then sighed heavily while rubbing his temples “Look holy water is created when humans use holy-molly whats-its, which he can’t use forever, when he runs out...”
“How do you know it’s a he?” yelled a feminist bandit.
Kings eye twitched a moment before continuing “It’s only a matter of time before he OR SHE...” the feminist bandit nodded in approval “... runs out of holy... stuff and then that holy water becomes just plain water. And when that happens we move in and KILL THEM ALL!”
“WO, wo, wo, wo.” yelled a bandit “We can’t kill ALL the humans, if we do that then who’ll do all them chores we don’t like to do.”
“I say we kill one of them to show were serious, that’s usually enough.”
“We should also make it a real spectacle, something long and flashy.”
“I say we just hurt em all real bad, not enough so they can’t work but enough so that they get the message.”
’WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU DEMONS?” King yelled, he then jumped down and picked up his Kanabo, “They are HUMANS the cheapest and most abundant of all the enslaved races, we can replace them as quickly and as easily...” he snaps his fingers “... as that. (Sigh) Forget this, I’m killing those humans so the rest of you morons can either help me or stay out of my way.” As he spoke he goose-stepped towards the entrance to the base. Before entering he looked to the bandits to see what their intentions were.
The bandits all looked to each other for a bit. Before they all grinned maliciously bearing their fangs while drawing their weapons, even the Damos Minor started to growl in anticipation for the upcoming slaughter.
“All right let’s do this!” yelled the King of Hearts as he found the hidden switch to the base, he then banged on the button using an ostentatious amount of strength, and stood triumphantly waiting for the door to open.
Only nothing happened.
King pressed the button again this time normally, only for nothing to happen again. So he kept pressing it again and again, quickly losing his cool and repeatedly banging on the button.
“Could someone please tell me what’s wrong with the base this time?” King yelled.
The bandits stood in place faces pale, weapons held much more loosely, some even dropped them. The Damos Minor even started to whimper.
“What you guys aint losing your nerve just because of a door now are you?” King asked. The bandits didn’t answer, it was then that King noticed that they were all staring upwards. Out of curiosity King also looked upwards only to notice that everyone was staring at a collection of huge energy cannons, shaped sort of like giant white chess pieces, covering the wall all the way to the top.
As the sound of the cannons heating up filled the air, King could only feebly utter “by the Doom!”
The cannons opened fire.
“HA HA HA HA you see you are nothing more than a feeble stack of cards?” Mad-Hat cackled as he watched the cannons shoot at the Wonderland Circus.
From the Rose Gardens many screens one could see most of the demons ran around in panic to avoid the gun fire, a few others cowered behind boulders, others tried to fight back using guns and/or long ranged attacks of their own and others fled screaming.
Ultimately the bandits were no match for the cannons, and were being driven back.
“So sad to see that time has not been kind to the “white soldiers” said Mad-Hat in a faux-depressed term “In their prime the Wonderland circus would be nothing but little bits of roasted demon meat, now all the cannons can do is break a few bones and pierce a few organs.” Mad-Hats face distorted with a malevolent Cheshire cat grin “At least they are hurting!
“Keep it down out there!” yelled Mad-Hat annoyed “I know Morphan is fighting to protect us, but does he have to do it so loudly. I almost can’t hear the sound of the bandits getting their comeuppance.”
Hedgehog stared at Mad-Hat in worry, for as long as he known him he was always “Mad” but now for the first-time Hedgehog was genuinely afraid of him, as he seemed to take a disturbing amount of joy from watching living creatures suffer. Granted those living creatures were abusive demon criminals but still.
As Hedgehog thought these things Miss Hare held him trying to comfort him in this terrifying moment, though on closer inspection it looked more like the other way around.
Dormos on the other hand was having trouble keeping up, his voice was giving out due to constant praying and the white aura surrounding him was far dimmer now then it was when he started. In addition the aura would dim out before diming up again.
The Walrus’s last energy blast must have struck particularly close to the Rose Garden as it caused the whole room to shake. Hedgehog looked at the door leading to the slaves quarters and in his head prayed to any and all higher powers that, for all their sakes, Morphan would win.
While the slaves cowered in the area between the Rose Garden and the slaves Quarters, Morphan and the Walrus continued their battle. They would timidly poke their heads out to see what was going on but would quickly duck them back at the first hint of danger.
The Walrus tried to blast Morphan with barrage of smaller weaker energy blasts, but Morphan would run around dodging them, when dodging proved ineffective he would deflect them with arm swipes and kicks.
“You’d think he’d be slower with all that extra armour on.” Thought the Walrus “But he’s actually faster now! His transformation must have made his legs stronger as well!”
Morphan then rushed forward to go onto the offensive. The Walrus seeing it coming charged up his aura before trying to blast him with a fully charged shot. This forced Morphan to jump to the side to dodge. Before he landed the Walrus grabbed Morphan by the arm and then started to throw him onto the floor repeatedly.
After he was done he threw Morphan into the air and shot him with a fully charged aura blast.
Before crashing Morphan managed to regain his senses, flip until he landed in an ideal position. He then stood up ready to continue.
“Well I’ll be dammed you’re actually pretty strong?” said the Walrus “Hard to believe your that same moron, I spanked in the canyons earlier today.”
“In this form I was able to defeat the Representative of Labirinth canyons, Straight Arrow!” Morphan boasted, he hoped that fact would intimidate his opponent into submission. Instead the Walrus just chuckled loudly.
“Why doesn’t it surprise me to know that Arrow lost to a half-breed. How that weakling became a Representative I’ll never know.” Said the Walrus “Any ways it doesn’t matter how strong you are because I’ve already figured out your weakness.”
Morphan remained steadfast, appearing visually unafraid.
“You half-breed are a close quarter’s type fighter.” The Walrus announced while pointing at Morphan in a demeaning fashion “Your CQC is BS if you can’t get close to me. And with my power...” he activated the aura around his tusks for emphasis “... you’ll never be able to touch me.”
“I got pretty close to you a few minutes ago.” Morphan pointed out.
The Walrus gestured to the cracks on the floor caused by him slamming Morphan into it “And you see where that got ya. So even if you get past these guns...” the Walrus pointed to his tusks “... you still will have to get past THESE GUNS!” he then flexed the muscles on his large arms.
“So you’re saying I’m unarmed in a gun fight.” said Morphan.
“I guess so, if you wanted to be poetic.” The Walrus responded “But this aint the time for poetry.”
“I agree!” Morphan then charged forward, the Walrus tried to blast him, but Morphan managed to dodge and deflect all his energy blasts. Morphan quickly got close and engaged the Walrus in close quarters combat. In addition to his fists the Walrus also tried to stab Morphan with his tusks, though Morphan managed to dodge his large spear-like teeth. For a while the fight seemed like it could go either way until they got into a grappling match.
“You know I managed to figure out your weaknesses as well.” Said Morphan as he briefly had the upper hand.
“Weaknes-SES?” the Walrus asked as he managed to overpower Morphan.
“Yeah” Morphan continued as he again gained the upper hand “For starters you need time to charge if your blasts are to do any REAL damage, brief time granted but time which anyone can use to get close to you.” As he spoke he continued to push Walrus down “secondly you can’t use your blast at close range or you risk hurting yourself.”
By now Walrus was almost taken down by Morphans strength, suddenly when it seemed that Morphan had cemented his victory the Walrus smiled “Your right I can’t use my blasts so close without hurting myself...” then he started charging his Aura to its maximum, this caught Morphan by surprise and in his shock loosened his hold momentarily. The Walrus used this brief moment to grab Morphan by the shoulders to hold him in place. As Morphan struggled the Walrus continued to charge his Aura “But to beat you I’ll gladly take a few bumps and bruises.”
“Big Clam Cannon”
The resulting indigo explosion propelled both fighters back a good distance, they both managed to slide into ideal positions with mild damage. While Morphan was still woozy from the attack, the Walrus took the opportunity to get ready for his next attack.
He squatted down and clenched his body to charge his aura quickly creating a sphere of indigo Aura between his tusks.
From out of the sphere came thousands of tiny energy blasts that pelted Morphan relentlessly.
When the attack was finished Morphan stood rigid and stiff in pain as smoking imprints were left on his body.
The Walrus stood huffing and puffing from the exertion of Aura “(huff) (huff) how’d you like THEM oysters!”
Walrus stood in shock as Morphan revealed himself to be unharmed by Walrus’s attack, the smoke on the imprints having already dispersed “No way! Even if the blasts didn’t pierce his armour the shockwaves should have reduced his innards to mush! Just how strong is this guy?” thought the Walrus nervously.
Without another word Morphan charged forward while the Walrus desperately tried to shoot him, but all the aura he could conjure up only made his tusks flicker.
“Out of ammo.” Said Morphan as he was a few feet in front of Walrus.
Morphan slammed Walrus’s head downward with an elbow smash; the force of the blow caused his tusks to be nailed into the ground. As he struggled to pull himself out of his humiliating position, he snarled and glared at Morphan “Damn you half-breed, damn you to the eternal abyss!”
“You know you’re not the first guy I’ve gone up against who uses “guns” so to speak.” Morphan boasted coldly “With the life I live I doubt you’ll be the last either.” He then charged his aura into his fist for the finisher.
“WAIT, WAIT!” the Walrus pleaded “All right, you win, I admit defeat. Now spare me and I promise to leave you alone. I’m sure it would be no hardship for either of us if we never to see each other again.” He then stretched his hand forward in a friendly manner “What do you say! Get me out of this “position” and let by-gones be by-gones.”
Morphan reached out his hand before drawing it back “No” he said “I can’t risk it. I’ve met too many demons like you before you and you always turn on me.” Morphan prepared his attack.
“I swear in the name of the Doom and the Discarded Gods I won’t harm you!” Walrus practically sobbed “I’ll even do the blood oath, just don’t hurt me.”
Morphan fists unclenched and his face softened before clenching again “No I know your type all too well. Even if you don’t hurt me, you’ll undoubtedly take this loss out on those humans hiding over their or anyone else unfortunate enough to be in your presence at the time. I won’t allow that to happen!”
Realising his ploy wouldn’t work Walrus tried desperately to remove his tusks from the ground.
The blow to the middle of his face was so powerful that it broke the Walrus’s tusks off in addition to several of his teeth while sending him flying back into the wall, plowing through a slave’s makeshift house.
When Walrus hit the wall, he hit it so hard it left a deep Walrus shaped imprint, he then feel to the ground semi-conscious.
While Walrus lay on his front tusks face bloody, Morphan looked around at the damage the battle caused. To his guilt many of the poorly built shacks that served as the slaves homes where now reduced to even greater rubble, still the slaves themselves weren’t complaining as they continued to cower, unharmed in the room between the Rose Garden and the slaves quarters.
The Walrus’s tusks were still firmly imbedded in the ground, like some sort of monument to his victory.
Eventually he found what he was looking for, a long thin metal column used to hold up a roof of one of the shacks. Morphan then used his strength to bend the column tying up Walrus. Once he was done he lifted Walrus over his head and started to carry Walrus up the stairs.
Before leaving he looked back once out of curiosity only to find that the slaves were still cowering in the previously mentioned area. As far as the slaves were concerned, Morphan defeating the Walrus only proved himself the greater of two evils. Morphan sensed this by the vibes they were giving off and although this was entirely expected it still saddened him to an extent.
Morphan then carried Walrus up the wet stairs; he had to move slowly and carefully to prevent slipping. As the likely result of a concussion Walrus keep singing songs about how he loved to shellfish, which made it hard for Morphan to concentrate.
Eventually Morphan made it to the top of the stairway. First thing he noticed besides the wet floor was that the sprinklers had been turned off.
“Must have run out of water.” Morphan stated to himself, he silently wondered to himself how the slaves would get more water once the base was theirs especially since they were in the middle of a dry canyon in a desert, miles away from civilisation. Morphan then discarded such thoughts as they were irrelevant to the current situation.
He found the closest, the same one he got the map from and put Walrus in it. The Walrus sat in the closet bloody face, tied up in metal and deliriously singing songs about how he loved shellfish. Morphan then shut the door then used some aura from his hand to heat up and melt the door knob essentially forcing it shut.
“There you shouldn’t be a threat to anyone in there.” Morphan thought to himself. He then noticed that the controls for the door into the base were destroyed “Odd but that means that no one from the outside is getting in, meaning the slaves should be safe for the time being.” Needing no further motivation Morphan moved up the stairs to help his friends.
Suddenly half way up he started to feel woozy “That’s right I’ve been in this form all day, I often forget how the increased aura takes its toll on my body.” Morphan then started to weigh his options he could stay in his more powerful Demon form in case of future battles, or he could revert to his Half form to conserve energy. Deciding the latter would be safer and that keeping his heritage hidden at this point would be redundant, he decided to revert to his Half form.
Before continuing on Morphan stretched a little now that the extra weight from his armour had been lifted. Feeling good he left.
Neko Maneki chased the Carpenter through the halls of the Wonderland Circuses base. Neko had to run carefully so as not to slip on the wet floor, so her speed was hampered. The Carpenter on the other hand thanks to his flying shoes had no such drawback.
He would use Neko’s unsteadiness as an opportunity to try and stab her with his telepathically controlled nails. One would think with their small size and speed in addition to the slippery ground Neko would have difficulty dodging the attacks. But Neko Maneki as a testament to her skill she managed to dodge the nails with little to no difficulty.
“You really think you can beat me with such cheap shots!” Neko Maneki boasted.
“Cheap shots are what I do best!” The Carpenter brags, as he continued to fly forward he patted his pockets “Good still dry!” He thought “I can’t let the codes get damaged by all this water else this will all be for nothing.” He then looked up “Speaking of water guess the sprinklers are finally out soon enough this place will be as dry as a bone, and then those slaves will get what’s coming to them.”
The Carpenter then realised where he was and laughed triumphantly “just around this corner is the vault and once I steal from it I’ll be living on easy street!” He then used a burst of aura from his shoes to increase his speed causing him fly forward and turn the corner.
“Oh no you don’t!” Neko Maneki yelled. She got on her hands and feet and rushed with surge of speed.
“GOTCHA!” she yelled as she grabbed Carpenter by the back of his shirt “You thought you could beat me in a contest of speed did ya! Well ya thought wrong!” Neko Maneki then remained silent waiting to hear what Carpenter would say next, would he beg for mercy, would he try to swindle his way out, would he be defiant, or would he simply insult her in his usual pompous manner. As she waited she was shocked to discover that he did not say anything.
“Carpenter, Hello, hello anyone there?” she shook him hoping to get an answer out of him instead he just floated in his spot silent and rigid. Neko then realised that she didn’t catch Carpenter like she thought.
He stopped moving. Stopped moving in sheer terror over what he saw for leaning next to the vault door was the last demon either of them wanted to see.
Dormos lay on the ground passed out. Hedgehog, Miss Hare and Mad Hat stood around him in a circle unsure how to react.
Mad-Hat poked Dormos with the tip of his shoe “Looks like he finally tuckered himself out, suppose I can’t really ask for more of him. Well actually I could ask for more, a lot more but that would be cruel.” Mad-Hat sighed heavily before marching back to his console “everything seems under control outside but there are still two other demons in this base that pose a threat to us, we can only hope that Neko and her friends can handle them or we are all sunk.”
“I say we round up the rest of the slaves and take those demons out ourselves.” Said Miss Hare as she grabbed a knife from the table and held it offensively.
“Miss April Blossom Hare, that’s the craziest thing you’ve ever said, and coming from me that’s really something.” Said Mad-Hat “You know as well as I do that a civilian demon is as strong as ten humans. And these bandits are all experienced fighters, well above the civilian level. And even if we both got on our hands and knees and begged the other slaves to fight they’d refuse out of a displeasing but still appropriate sense of fear.”
“But I heard the F-Troop has humans who can go toe-to-toe with the Argus super elite!”
“WE ARE NOT THE F-TROOP!”
There was a moment of depressed silence as the words sank in.
“Soooo what do we do with Dormos?” Miss Hare asked.
“Let him rest lord knows he deserves it.” said Mad-Hat.
And they did just that for there was nothing else they could really do.
Walrus sat tied up in the darkness of the closet, with his face still bleeding and his beloved tusks broken off.
One would think that Walrus would be angry or upset that he lost his tusks. For demons their powers meant everything and there were few things in the Omniverse more damaging for a demon then to lose their powers. Since Walrus’s power revolved around him using his tusks as conduits, losing his tusks was the same as losing his powers.
In spite of this he seemed to be in a good mood as he continued to sing songs about shellfish and how much he loved them. The obvious answer was that the blow to his head left him delirious.
Ignorance is apparently bliss.
Suddenly the door was kicked open.
Walrus stared at the intruder and with a friendly, delirious, almost child-like tone said hello.
A few minutes later...
The Walrus was dead.
To be continued...