Welcome to Doom Burger.
Chapter ten: Licking the Wounds
Jade had been running through the woods for what felt like hours now. She had to find Azure, before she didn't something she would regret later. If only the ram had known that it was far too late for this. She huffed, her legs burned, and her lungs begged for mercy. Jade couldn't slow her pace until she found her best friend. Then, finally, she got a lead.
A shattering cry filled the darkness. It was a mixture of an enraged monkey, and a human in agony. Jade stopped and tried to find the direction it had come from. But the monkey found her first.
"Hey best buddy." She seemed to have appeared out of nowhere behind the girl. Jade jumped and turned away, her blood running cold at the sight she beheld. Azure was covered in blood, both human and other. She was bleeding slowly from claw shaped slashes across her throat, and her right armed looked burned.
"Azure, what did you do?"
"I tried to make the voices stop," The girl's voice went from manic to heartbroken. "But there's so many."
"Theirs." Azure looked back up, that grin across her face. She began to chuckle.
"Stop!" Jade shouted. She couldn't take the sight of her friend like this. It was...horrifying. Maybe she could help. Maybe she could use her powers to calm the monkey down. Jade reached out carefully to touch Azure's temple, then tried to contact her mind. Jade then cried out and pulled away as horrific images, voices, and feelings all came at her like a pile of falling bricks. Azure's mind was too full of chaos to help mentally, but maybe she could still talk her down.
"Azure, please listen to me. You don't have to do this. I know you said it was in your genes, but that doesn't mean you can't fight it." Tear began to well in her eyes. "Please fight it. I couldn't take losing my best friend."
"I...but I...I can't..." Jade could sense her calming down. She couldn't stop now.
"Yes you can. Just come back with me and we'll explain to the rest what happened. They'll understand."
"No they won't."
"They will, you have to trust me."
"But...I killed Amar...and the human rat."
Jade grimaced. She had honestly hoped the blood had come from somewhere else. The fact that some of it was smeared around the girl's mouth didn't help. But she had to keep on. "That doesn't matter. It wasn't your fault."
"I...I'm sorry." Azure looked away as a tear ran down her cheek, making a trail in the blood that caked it.
"It's okay," Jade smiled and reached out to hug her friend, but before she could, a circular light formed above her. Then she was gone.
Jade was in the last group to be transported. The moment she rematerialized, she jumped off the pad and looked around. "Where's Azure?" There was a pause among everyone. Some glared back at her, wondering how she could possibly be concerned with that monster.
"She's not here." Orren spoke in a bitter tone. "I couldn't risk her coming here and fucking the lab up."
"No! You don't understand! I calmed her down, she's safe now! We have to go back and-"
"No. We aren't going back. This all happened because we went there to find one person. And surprise, surprise. He turned on us. We aren't going back into the Purple Dimension until we are completely ready for it." Orren turned from Jade, ignoring her tears and pleas. He began to count the heads in the room. Twenty.
"Where's Isaac?" Caleb just realized that his one and only follower was missing.
"Isaac's dead. I saw the monkey kill him."
"She killed him too," Jade whimpered. In one night, they had lost four people. Orren wasn't sure how to handle this. His father never trained him for this kind of shit.
"Alright. Everyone get some rest. We'll...uh...have some kind of funeral service in the morning." His voice sounded strained and tired. He couldn't believe Amar was gone. Sure, he hadn't liked the rooster that much, but he would come to miss hearing his slurry of insults.
Orren then looked up to search for Teal. "Teal! Come here." The dog boy turned and looked, then slunk towards Orren. He assumed he was in trouble for something.
"I'm gonna need you to take a break from the effort, just until we can take down Jack. Without you around, he won't have his immortality. You understand, right?"
"Yeah." Teal tried not to show his relief. Personally, he had no more interest to fight anyway. Not after tonight.
"You can be our computer guy from now on, since these workers are useless. I'll show you how to use the transporter later."
"Yes sir. Is that all?"
"Yeah, and don't call me 'sir'." Teal nodded and turned to go off to his room. Orren would let them recover before dumping more orders on them. After today, even he felt a little shook up.
Welcome to Doom Burger.
Chapter Eleven: Character Antics
The next morning was a rather rude awakening. The kids were forced from their beds by the sound of the fire alarm going off and sprinklers soaking them. Come to find out, one of the lab workers had left a curling iron plugged in for five hours straight. Orren wondered what they even needed curling irons for. They didn't have hair that he knew of. It was kind of hard to tell when they wore full body suits all the time. He doubted they were even other beings. They were probably some kind of genetic milkshake that was thrown together and formed in test tubes in the lower levels in the labs. Either way, they were all idiots.
Molly and Viridian were sent to work on the room that had been destroyed. With their ability the fix object, they could have it done in about...three hours. Molly wasn't looking forward to it. She had nothing against Viridian, he was just...she didn't know how to put it gently...a self obsessed hipster.
"So," She started awkwardly. The silence in the room was so thick she could cut it with a knife. "What do others do for fun on your planet?"
"I don't know about those neanderthals, but I like to go to shop at the strip mall, and sometimes I do photography."
"Photography's cool. What do you take pictures of?"
"Just abstract art. You wouldn't understand it."
Molly felt like gagging. Still, he WAS her counterpart, so she supposed she should at least try to tolerate him. There was another silence in the room before she found another topic to talk on. "How do you get your hair to do that?"
"Do what?" Viri swiped his hand over the burned wall, fixing it.
"That mohawk thing. Do you shave it?"
"No, it grows like that."
"Yeah, it's an other thing. You probably-"
"Wouldn't understand. Yeah, I know." Molly grumbled. This guy was impossible. Molly was a girl known to be able to get along with just about everyone, but Viridian seemed like he was specifically made to be her exact opposite. It was going to be a long three hours.
"So what do you think about this thing?" Emma asked as she sat in the bright blue grass of the field. "It's kinda scary. Demons and psychos and shit."
"It's kinda' stupid." Zoey picked at her ear. "I mean, why couldn't we get the army or someone to deal with it?" Zoey was never the brightest tool in the shed. She probably made it to the grade she was in by cheating off everyone else's work. Emma didn't give it too much thought, though. She was too much of a laid back personality to care about things like that.
"I guess it's like the green guy said. We're destined to do it because our ancestors did."
"But what if we all die? John's dead, Isaac's dead, and Jack's gone batshit. I don't want to die because of some dead ancestor told me to."
"The way I see it, it's probably better to die fighting for our world than to roll over and die without a chance. If we don't do anything, we might as well join Jack in the demon parade."
Meanwhile, elsewhere inside the base, the two rabbits were making the same effort as the horses: trying to get to know their counterparts. However, their efforts were much more successful.
"And my mom's always been kind of a bitch. I don't know why my dad ever get with her. He's my favorite parent, my dad. He's done a lot more for me than my mom ever would have." Dylan rarely expressed his feelings about his parents, but Violet seemed so gentle and nonjudgmental. This was his chance to get it off his chest.
"I can't imagine how stressful that must be, them fighting all the time I mean. My parents usually got along pretty well." At first, Violet had gotten the impression that Dylan was another one of the asshole types humans seemed to be so prone to be. But now she realized he had a good reason for his moodiness.
"Yeah, I guess it's pretty rough. I hate having to listen to their bullshit. I just...I wish they would stop fighting for four minutes and realize that I still exist."
"Well, maybe after you save the world, they'll have a good reason to be proud of you. Not to say that they shouldn't be anyway."
"I know what you mean. Deep down, I think that's why I've been going along with this thing. I just want a chance to show them that I'm not their mistake, you know?"
Moving on from that emotional train wreck. In another room in the base, two more counterparts were getting to know each other, for different reasons.
"Hey Lucas, do you think I'm...boring?" Harkin asked. Lucas looked up from the stick he was carving at.
"Uh...no, not at all, bro."
"Well. Yeah dude, you're pretty damn boring."
Harkin sighed and plopped himself down in a chair. He had always been told that he needed to lighten up and have fun, but fun just didn't sound...fun to him. "How do I be more interesting? Like you; you're always doing something cool."
"What do you mean?"
"Like whittling that stick. That's pretty interesting."
"Yeah it is."
"No, I'm pretty sure you're the only one who thinks so."
"Fuck you. Just help me be less me."
"How am I supposed to do that?"
"I dunno...what do you normally do?"
"Shit, I don't know...stuff."
"Well teach me that."
As interesting as that scene could be, we are forced to leave it to find another. Porfirio had taken the job that Orren neglected, or simply didn't know how to handle. Someone had to do it. The dragon boy took a deep breath before he knocked on the grey door. "Jade? It's Firio. Can I come in?"
"I wanna' talk."
"Well I don't."
"Don't make me bust the door down."
"Go ahead." Porfirio sighed and took out the key he knew he would be needing. He unlocked the bedroom door and helped himself inside. Jade hadn't come out since the argument over going back for Azure had been lost. He supposed he could see where she was coming from. If Orren completely flipped his shit, Firio would want to do everything he could to help. Hopefully, that scenario would never oppose them.
Jade was laying on her bed, her face buried in her pillow. Firio approached tentatively. "I'm sure she's fine," He tried to reassure. It was hard to sound sincere when he was lying through his teeth. In all likelihood, the monkey girl wouldn't last the night alive in the Purple Dimension. The place was crawling with all kinds of weird shit, not to mention the demon that lived there. In fact, she was probably dead already.
Jade didn't respond, forcing Porfirio to continue the conversation one-sided.
"Maybe we'll find her when we go back. Orren said-"
"I don't care what Orren says," Jade finally spoke up. "I'm not doing what he says anymore, and I'm not going on anymore stupid missions."
"Well...you could stay here if you want." Firio was sure she would change her mind later. And besides, she didn't really have anywhere else to go. From what he understood, Jade's parents didn't want her coming back home. He grimaced at the thought. Two mean parents and a dead best friend; this girl just didn't much luck, did she?
"So do humans go to school like we do?" Saff asked as he walked along through the grassy field with Sam. Saff seemed to have latched himself on to the older boy like a little tick. Or maybe like a little brother. Not that Sam minded; he was used to the big brother role.
"Yeah. We have elementary school, middle school, high school, and if you want to go, college. I don't think our dimensions are really that different, really."
"But they look so different. You humans are so pale, and you all kind of look the same. No offence."
Sam snerked. "Don't worry about it. I guess to you, we would look the same."
"And your names are kind of weird." Saffron grinned as he continued. He wasn't use to so much attention from his superiors. "What color is Sam?"
"It's not a color, dude. It's just a human name."
"What does it mean?"
"Uh...I dunno, actually."
How touching. Moving on. Ash was dealing with one of the less than pleasant humans. Luckily, he had patience and tolerance on his side.
"So you're a mutant, huh," Caleb said as he crunched into a bright red pear. "So do you have any special powers?"
"Other than the zodiac powers? No."
"So you're just a mutant because you're grey? What about your eyes, do you wear colored contacts or something?"
"Caleb, I don't think he wants to talk about it." Logan saved the rat from the rainfall of questions. Ash gave the rooster a small smile.
"I'm just a freak, I guess." He shrugged. Ash had been taunted so much about his grey skin and blue eyes that it hardly phased him anymore. People were always asking dumb questions about it, like the human was just doing. If the rat let it get to him every time, he would be as bad as Ama- Oh right, Amar was dead. That thought still took some getting used to.
In another dimension of the purple persuasion, a demon and his minion talked. "I'll be raising the army soon. I need you to be ready to lead them. You won't have the convenience of me being nearby to save you if you hesitate again."
"I don't get it. If you're so powerful, why do you need me to lead your army."
"I'm bound to this dimension. Your accursed ancestors played a hand in that."
"Whatever. So how do I do this again?"
"All you have to do is lead them to the base. I'll get you there and back. Now all I need is my summoning sphere and I can call them forth."
"You mean the glowing ball thing?"
"Yes. Give it to me."
"I thought you had it."
"I specifically instructed you to track of it for me."
"I was, until you called me over here."
"And where did you leave it?"
Jack pointed to a spot near the mouth of the cave. "Over there."
The beast let out a loud, frustrated sigh. "Go find it."
Welcome to Doom Burger.
(Note: Jade's color has changed to a lighter green to make it easier to read.)
Chapter Twelve: Home Field Advantage
Three days had passed since the massive screw up in the Purple Dimension. The kids seemed to have recovered from it well enough, considering what all had happened. Everyone was getting back into the swing of things...all but Jade. The goat girl had hardly stepped foot outside of her room since the incident with Azure. Orren had tried time and time again to make up for the choice he had made, but the very fact that he stuck by it was enough for the girl to ignores his attempts. He would bring her breakfast, lunch, and dinner, try to get her to open the door for him, and eventually end up leaving the tray on the floor. Half the time when he came back, it hadn't been touched.
Other than that emotional satellite wreck, the base was running smoothly. They had been given plenty of time to practice their powers, and those with more defensive powers were beginning to learn how to use weapons as an offense. Molly had yet to pick up any sort of weapon, not being much of a fighter herself, while her counterpart was taken to a scythe. It was about as useful as a sword, but not as mainstream. You wouldn't understand.
Dylan and Violet had both taken to using small handheld blades that they could attack with rapidly. Their speed allowed them to tear shit to shreds, which made them a bit more formidable. Sam, not sure how to use his mind control as a weapon, decided to go with more modern weapon: a gun which he already knew how to use. However, he would sooner or later learn that such a weapon wouldn't do much good against an immortal demon. However, it would sure come in handy in the case of an attack by an army of demon minions. But what were the chances of that?
"What's that outside?" Harkin looked out the window across from him as he sat at the kitchen table, drinking his coffee. A cloud of dust was approaching in the distance. Porfirio was chest deep in thought when the ox's word drew him back to reality. He stood up and went to check it out. The purple boy looked closer out the window, squinting.
"Oh shit. Go get Orren. Tell him to lock the base down. We're about to be under attack."
Crossing the grassy plain was an army of demon minions. Go figure. They were about as deformed as their master, but most were made of two thrown together animals, rather than twelve. A rather large one seemed to be leading the pack. On it's back was mounted none other than Jack.
Orren's voice came in over the PA system, telling everyone to come to the lab immediately. This message was for everyone, but had a feeling that a certain other wouldn't show. He wasn't disappointed.
"I'm locking down the base," The tiger boy said once all but one had arrived. "We can't afford taking on damage. We'll have to meet them in the field. Everyone, grab your shit and get your asses out their; don't get killed...that's pretty much the plan." On this short of notice, that was about all the guy could say. What were they expecting? Some sort of brave speech to rally their spirits? Orren waited until most of them had cleared before addressing the dog.
"Teal, I need you to go to the human dimension and hide out until this is over. With you around, we can't do anything about Jack." By 'do anything' he meant 'kill'. But that seemed like such a harsh word. "Just don't let any humans see you."
While Orren took care of the situation with Teal, Porfirio took over with Sam to lead their pitiful troops into battle. The dragon took to the sky the moment he burst from the door. He flew ahead and try to take Jack out first. He soared among the clouds, then swooped down with blinding speed. Firio opened his mouth to unleash a burning cloud of fire, but Jack struck first. He held up a spear that shot out a blast of blue light, hitting Porfirio dead on. It seemed that they weren't the only ones who were learning to use new weapons. The difference was that Jack had the demon's black magic on his side.
Porfirio plummeted to the ground. Demonic creatures of all shapes and sizes rushed by him like an evil river. Luckily, they seemed more interested in following their leader than stopping to tear apart one target. As the boy tried to pick himself up, he was pummelled by hooves, paws, and talons. The spear seemed to have robbed him of his fire powers. Porfirio tried to blast his way out of the stampede with no results. Finally, as he had been trampled within an inch of his life, a pathway formed in the beasts. The dragon remained conscious enough to see the awe inspiring sight of Lucas simply tossing the creatures aside to make his way towards him.
Meanwhile, the rest of the group tore into the mass of fur and scales. Viridian slowly sliced his way through the onslaught to heal Porfirio, who was bleeding in a rather serious way. It was much easier said than done, however. A half dog, half boar beast lunged at him and grabbed the shaft of his scythe in it's jaws. While Viri tried to wrestle it away, another beast with tiger-like claws tore into his back. Luckily, he didn't have to wait for anyone's assistance to heal. Just as the horse healed his own wounds, the tiger demon would tear into him again, making a vain effort to kill him. Finally, Ash came to the rescue.
The grass around them came to life and wrapped itself around the demons' feet. The two turned their attention away from the blue boy long enough for him to make a dash towards Lucas and Porfirio. Lucas was being kept busy by a hoard of the hideous monsters, while Porfirio laid lifelessly behind him. Viridian would have him fixed up soon, though. Time to see what the rest of them were doing.
Orren had yet to find the time to train with a weapon, so his claws would have to make due. He used his invisibility to his advantage to take the creatures by surprise. Over the last couple days, he had gotten good enough at it to no longer rely on the phrase to keep him hidden. He followed behind Molly, keeping her back while she ran into the chaos to heal her downed comrades. The girl stopped to fix up Jake, who was completely visibly and not making much use of himself. Orren went ahead and told him to get his ass back inside before he got himself killed.
Dylan and Violet were making a surprisingly good team effort in the meantime. They would zoom up on a creature and half it filleted in seconds before moving on to the next. They were pretty much untouchable, as their speed made them far too hard to strike at. Caleb was barreling through the mass in his own way: as a large elephant. A snake-dog tried to take him bite him from behind with it's fangs before it was lifted into the air and thrown a good distance. Logan was getting better at his own abilities, especially after gaining full-time access to them after Amar's death.
As the army behind him slowly, ever so slowly, dwindled, Jack raced ahead. His orders were to infiltrate the lab and fuck shit up rather than attack the other kids. His dragon-ox mount ran along the outside of the compound as he looked for an entrance. Orren had the right idea to lock the whole place down. But sending Jake back inside would prove to be a mistake. Just as the pothead opened the door to get him, Jack took him down. His spear impaled the man from behind. Jack gritted his teeth as he reminded himself of Zodiac's words. You or them.
He pulled his spear free and rode deeper into the lab, looking for the room that held the transporters. If he was right, it was just ahead...He seemed to be homefree. No one could stop him now! Not even a mind fucker with a best friend to avenge. Speaking of which...
'You've got balls for coming back here, I'll give you that' Ahead of him, a figure stood in the doorway leading to the lab. A greenish tone could be made out in the darkness, and the two black holes where the eyes supposedly were told him that it was one of the others. Jack didn't pay her any attention. If he could spear his own former friend in the back, then impaling some girl he hardly knew in the chest would be no problem. But before he could draw closer, his head erupted in vivid pain. Jack cried out and brought his mount to a stop to hold his head tightly. It felt as thought it was about to slit into two halves. The girl stepped closer.
"You're gonna pay for what you did to my friend. When I'm done with you, you won't even remember how to take a shit." Jack cried out as the ram projected mental images into his head. His former friends' ghosts wrapped around him, chasing him around his mind rentlessly. He could feel himself retreating deeper and deeper, slowly losing touch with himself. Was this what it felt like to go insane? But before Jade could finish reducing the boy to a vegetated state, his master intervened.
'Release him.' The demon's voice forced its way into her head, making her lose her grip on Jack's mind. The boy limply slide from his mount's back and fell to the floor. Jade gritted her teeth and tried to attack Zodiac in the same way. But, being an ancient demon, he was no novice to his powers. He easily blocked her out. Even from another dimension, his mental abilities were stronger than Jade's. But she HAD managed to take his army's leader down. The boy would probably be out of commission for a while after this. Zodiac turned his thoughts to his many minions, telling them to retreat. The dragon-ox that had carried Jack in picked the limp boy up in it's jaws and darted off to join the fleeting troupe.
Jade made no effort to stop it. Now her head was pounding. The girl slunk back to her room, where she would probably continue her sulking.
Last edited by Metronome; 05-05-2012 at 10:30 PM.
Welcome to Doom Burger.
Chapter Thirteen: What Now?
After the demons retreated back to wherever the hell they had come from, the group slowly began to reform. The horses were up to their neck in healings, but so far they hadn't found any fatalities. That changed when Sam was the first to reach the base. He was thinking about taking a well deserved shower when he all but fell over something blocking the doorway. Sam looked down.
"Jake? Holy shit, JAKE?!" He dropped to his knees and turned the man over. Blood covered his torso, which sported a gaping hole. Sam's hand shook as he pressed two fingers against Jake's neck, looking in vain for a pulse. There was no chance of healing him. Sam's hands turned into white knuckled fists. He knew who had done this; he had seen Jack with his magic spear thing. His teeth clenched with rage.
"I'm gonna kill 'em," He growled. "I gonna fucking kill 'em!"
His cry was heard by the other kids, who were making their way inside as well. The other humans reacted about as well as Sam had to the death. Hell, even a few of the others were torn up. This wasn't some guy that they had fallen out of touch with. This was Jake, the happy stoner who, although not very useful, brightened up the base. It seemed that yet another funeral was in order, along with a few more days of bitter silence.
"You need to learn how to block the rams' powers out. If you let either of them get to you like that again, I may not be able to restore your mind." Zodiac had just spent the last couple hours sorting through the mess that sheep girl had made of his minion's head. It seemed he was still harboring regret towards killing his friends. That regret, if exploited, could destroy him.
"How am I supposed to do that?"
"Fight her back. If she's prodding around in her head, than she's as vulnerable as you are. Attack her mind like she did yours." Zodiac got up and headed towards the back of his cave to retrieve his summoning orb. The orb was the only tool he had to send his minions to the other two dimensions. His attack wasn't over yet; he was still planning on setting loose a few thousand creatures on the human dimension. It was about time that they learned they weren't alone. "Where is the orb?"
"It was back there last time I saw it." Jack wasn't very interested in leading another attack. All he wanted to do was wallow in his self pity.
"Why is that the moment you came here, things have began to disappear?"
"I don't know. I didn't touch your stupid glowing ball if that's what you're getting at."
"Where was it the last time it went missing?"
"I was way out in the middle of the damn woods. It took an hour to find that thing." Zodiac turned and stalked towards the mouth of the cave.
"Go find it again." He slunk off into the eternally dark forest with purpose. Jack wondered just what the hell he was doing, but then again, he had learned to keep out of the demon's business. Find the orb, right. The boy stood up and left the cave as well.
For being such a big demon, Zodiac was surprisingly quiet as he slithered through the woods. His glowing yellow eyes searched the darkness. He knew he wasn't alone, but he couldn't contact the mind of whatever was out there. It felt like the mind of some sort of animal, a mind that he couldn't read. Not that he'd want to. Any animal stupid enough to stalk him through the woods was hardly worth the trouble. Just as those thoughts crossed his mind, something dropped down out of the trees above him. It slashed his face with some sort of knife, leaving a deep and bloody wound that would soon heal.
Zodiac let out an angry roar and turned his glowing eyes on the creature. It was humanoid, but it didn't seem to have any features. It's black skin only made it harder to make out against the dark backdrop of the forest. Zodiac took a few steps towards it.
"You've made your last mistake," He growled. The demon took in a breath, then released a blast of fire. But when the flames disappeared, the thing was gone. Zodiac began searching for it again. He could still feel it nearby, but it was hiding in the darkness. It didn't seem interested in attacking again. It's purpose seemed to simply be to aggravate the beast.