The next day, with everyone tattooed and the wall built, Mike and Gabriella snuck into a puffball computer lab and printed off some flyers for the rebellion. The entire group took some and stealthily began delivering them. Alex stalked through yards and put them in shutters. Gabriella and Mike slipped them into mailboxes. Cat and Stef climbed houses without smoking chimneys and dropped them down. The Council members slid them under doors and Kate turned into a toy and left them in children’s beds.
When all of the flyers had been delivered, everyone met back at the main clearing to await anyone who wanted to join. Half an hour went by and almost everyone was asleep, the only ones awake were Alex, Kate and the Twins. Cat and Stefan were dozing against the base of the rock, near Cassidie’s body and Kate was lounging on the rock while Alex stared up at the sky as she stood stock-still.
“Allie,” Kate droned in her soft voice. “Lie down, they’ll be deciding whether or not to join. I think we have to do something to get everyone’s attention. What do you think Cassi would do?”
Alex laid down next to her and thought a moment. “Sing,” Alex murmured suddenly, memories flooding to her mind.
“What?” Kate’s head popped up curiously.
“Sing!” Alex said excitedly. “Cassi would sing a song that would make monsters want to join the rebellion. Come on, we’re going on a parade.”
Wow! Kate thought, impressed. We actually look pretty good.
The group, minus the council members, was decked out in creepy clothes and had on masks to conceal their faces. Even though their hair was splayed down their backs, the masks would still conceal who they were. Kate had morphed into a wolf as well so she wouldn’t stand out, but Alex was the most heavily masked since all of Vincent’s wolves had gotten a good look at her; she even went so far as to put contacts in her eyes.
Mike and Alex had mikes, Mike carried his keyboard under his arm, Stefan was hauling his drum set in a wagon and Cat carried her bass on her back. Kate donned her favorite pink and black guitar and the band moved out. Gabriella was carrying a cooler filled with drinks so that she could pass them out during the concert they were going to put on.
They traveled through the city, playing their instruments, attracting the attention of the other monsters. They were followed to a raised platform that Bill and Jacko had set up for them. Alex took to the stage with Kate, Cat and Mike as Stefan stayed below with his drumset. Alex faced the curious crowd and grinned to herself.
“Midnight Haven!” she called. “It's so killer to see you again. Now, over the past two days, I see you’ve had something taken from you that could never be taken away. Now I ask you this: Do you want your freedom back?”
A few people in the crowd murmured and Alex put a paw to her ear. “I didn’t catch that. Say it louder.”
There was a louder cheer, but Alex shook her head. “I’m not convinced. Let’s try this one more time. Do you want your freedom?”
Kate laughed at the cheer that roared up and Alex nodded. “I thought so! Then if you want it as much as you say, join us! Join the Keeper’s Angels to rid the world of its unnecessary ruler.”
With a slight gesture of her paw, Alex signaled the music to start. “Be heard, be strong, be proud! I wanna make some noise. Stand up, come on, be loud!”
The music was a bit brasher than Kate would have liked, but the lyrics got their point across. “All my people, treat’em right. We reserve the right to fight. For what we want. For what we need. To the front we shall proceed.” The crowd seemed to like some part of the performance though so it might work after all.
“We're going to stand up for what we believe in. We might be on our own, but we are one. Everybody ready? Come on, let's go!” As the song ended, Kate looked out into the crowd and saw as many hopeful faces as there were doubtful ones. Most of the teenagers in the crowd were shouting the rebellion’s name and Gabriella threw out some drinks for everybody as the band packed up. As they were leaving, Alex, Kate and Gabriella handed out flyers to anyone they passed.
Suddenly, a roar cut the air and the crowd went deathly quiet as three guards appeared and glared at the rebels. The leader stalked forward and glared into Alex’s eyes. “What do you think you’re doing?” he snarled.
“I think I’m rebelling against your boss, tough guy.” Alex retorted snidely, staring back into the guard’s eyes defiantly, making Kate flinch slightly. The wolf raised his paw and swung at her, but Alex’s own paw shot out and caught the one directed at her. Holding the paw firmly, Alex stared into the wolf’s eyes and held his gaze. When he looked like he was getting dizzy, Alex smirked at him and pushed him backward. The wolf stumbled and fell on his tail, much to the mirth of the crowd. Kate sighed in relief at her friend not getting hurt. The wolf snarled and got to his paws.
“Get them!” he roared. “They are committing treason.”
“We can’t commit treason if we don’t serve a ruler.” Alex told him. “And no one in this country serves a king, especially not your stuck up boss. Come on gang, let’s fly.”
Holding her tail high and puffing out her chest, Alex strutted forward and the crowd parted for her. She moved through the crowd with Cat, Kate, and Gabriella close behind; after a moment, Mike and Stefan followed. “Anyone against this puffball idea of being ruled over by that flea-bitten mutt, follow us.” Alex called over her shoulder.
No one moved for a while, then, tentatively, a small teenager followed the rebels, accompanied by three larger teens, a female bigfoot, a ten-year-old, and a male minotaur. Alex flicked her tail at them and continued on to the forest. They reached the initiation clearing with the mud and tattoo materials. Kate grinned as she sat next to the mud pit.
“Line up, newbies!” she called. Everyone lined up and Kate dipped her paw into the mud.
“Jupitar.” The young wolf-sea serpent-mummy said.
“Do you, Jupitar, pledge your allegiance to Cassidie and the cause she died for; helping and protecting those that need it?”
Jupitar nodded. Kate dabbed at her fur and scales with mud and sent her to Alex to get her chest tattooed.
“Next?” Kate said, dipping her paw again.
“The name’s Chester,” the golden brown, lake monster-vampire-cyclops said. “And I’m guessing you’re beautiful?”
“No, I’m Kate.” Kate said in confusion.
“I mean, you’re beautiful.” Chester said with a wink.
Kate heard a growl nearby and turned to see Cat glaring at Chester. Kate stared at the other spy as though seeing her for the first time, but in a clearer light. Cat turned and met her eyes and Kate’s breath caught at how she seemed to shine from within. Kate shook her head and blushed as Chester said, “Hey, my bad, I didn’t know you two were mates.”
Kate’s blushed deepened as she did the oath with Chester. When he had moved on, Kate let out a sigh and continued with her duty without any more interruptions. Kate glanced at Cat again and saw the other girl staring at her intently, almost… longingly.
Alex was leading everyone down the sheltered path to the spacious main clearing. Alex jumped onto the large rock and the five others jumped onto the slightly lower rocks around her. Alex glanced down at Cassidie’s body and sighed.
“You see what they’ve done to our proud and mighty Mistress?” she asked the new recruits. “They’ve left her body here to decay like any other lowlife. Our mistress was fierce and fearless, yet gentle and compassionate. We are not to let her die in vain. Our mission is to get rid of that tyrant on the throne and put on someone who deserves to rule us.”
Chester raised his webbed hand and asked, “If you don’t want King Vincent on the throne, why are we pledged to someone you call ‘Mistress’?”
Alex looked down at him speculatively and jumped smoothly from the rock next to Cassidie’s body, facing Chester.
“Kate,” she called up to the shapeshifter on her right. “Take care of the rest of the speech. Chester, follow me.”
She left and Kate knew where they were heading. Alex would take Chester to the hill that overlooked the city and would show him the destruction Vincent had caused. She would tell him that Cassidie would never have let that happen; she would have done everything she could to prevent it. Kate jumped onto Alex’s rock and Cat jumped onto hers.
“The new ruler will make sure that living conditions are fit for all monsters and that there aren’t guards beating, mugging and abusing helpless others. We are going to find that person after we defeat Vincent and put that person on the throne. Your job is to help us recruit more monsters to aid us in bringing Vincent down. Are you ready to begin training?”
Jupitar raised her own webbed paw. “Training for what?”
“For the battle,” Alex said as she strode back into the clearing with Chester following behind with a disturbed expression on his face. Alex climbed back on the rock as Kate and Cat returned to their own rocks. “There will be a battle to overthrow Vincent. We are going to need more than fifty monsters if we want to beat down his forty plus attack field. Mike will lead you to the training arenas where he and Stefan will begin your combat training in swords, knives, crossbows and hand-to-hand combat.”
Mike and Stefan both raised their paws when their names were mentioned and Alex nodded. “But first, let’s sing the new song of the Keeper’s Angels.”
The group all looked at her curiously and Alex launched into the song. “Push it harder, chase it faster, pass it cause we know we’re better…”
Everyone’s eyes widened and they immediately joined in. “Not tomorrow, not next year, today we’re gonna show’em who we are!”
Everyone stopped to let Alex have the lead. She jumped down to Jupitar. “Don’t close your eyes. We’re all here together. No matter, who they are, we’re always better…”
The others joined in. “We can’t back down, there’s too much at stake. This is serious, don’t walk away. We can’t pretend it’s not happening in our own backyard, our own home plate. We get called out, do you hear your name? I’m not confused, let’s win this thing! We can’t back down, there’s too much at stake, don’t walk away, don’t walk away.”
As the group sang, Kate thought that Alex’s voice seemed to fill the clearing and the surrounding forest until it reached the city.