"All right Wendy, lets go!"
Michael shuddered has he heard the boy next to him call it out to the other room. Another dosage of humiliation was coming his way. He looked at the screen in front of him as the counter reduced itself to zero. His character was just a gun on the bottom corner of the screen and scrawny sights in the middle to indicate where his bullets would land. This level, whatever it was called, was a large and desolate looking canyon. He moved from side to side, still trying to get a feel for the controls.
"Come on dude, get in the warthog." Kyle whispered to the nervous imposter.
He noticed the other character in front of him, a large soldier clad from head to toe in red armor jumping up and down. Michael moved towards him and climbed into the rugged looking jeep that was parked behind Kyle.
"You drive." Stan commanded him as his character manned the rear mounted machine gun.
"O-Ok" Michael answered. The speaker system of the living room entertainment center rumbled as the jeep's engine roared to life. He moved his joystick back and forth, noticing how it effected the position of his jeep. Michael began to think to himself,
"If only I could just…"
"GO!" Stan and Kyle yelled in unison.
And off they went; down the canyon and through the grass covered dunes. Michael had no clue as to where he was supposed to drive; his only hope was that he would receive further instructions from Kyle or Stan. His controller vibrated as Stan opened fire from his massive machine gun on some unseen target.
"Left dude, LEFT!! I saw one of them skulking inside the caves." The other boy ordered. Michael sifted his thumbs on the controller in response and the warthog rammed its way towards the rusty colored sandstone cliffs that surrounded the canyon.
"Ain't we supposed to go grab the flag?" Michael asked to try and give the other boys the impression that he wasn't completely clueless.
"Shutup Butters and just drive" Stan snapped back as he continued to shower the rocks ahead with as endless volley of bullets. Michael felt his face get slightly red as he thought to himself,
"Did the real Butters actually let people talk to him like this?"
Kyle was now giving him instructions,
"Keep driving towards their base Butters. When you reach the door, I'll jump out and grab their flag. You'll make a circle around the base and pick me up back in front. Got it?"
"A-Alright then." Michael responded in a manner that he felt his predecessor would answer in.
"Were all his friends like this?"
Soon the jeep was on the other side of the canyon and Michael was driving circles around the blue painted base, waiting for Kyle to walk out the front door with the flag. Stan was still standing in the back, wasting his unlimited ammo on unsuspecting rocks and trees that were scattered around the building.
A roar followed by a sharp explosion made all of the players seated at the couch jump.
"Rockets dude! Bail bail!" Stan screamed as another rocket zoomed their way. Both players jumped out of the vehicle before it slammed into the warthog. An urgent sounding beep from the speakers informed Michael that his shields were down. And the attackers took notice of this as they opened fire upon the survivors of the car wreck.
"Get inside the base, we'll take the portal out of here." Stan commanded. The two soldiers retreated towards the front door of the enemy base. Two loud shots from a distant corner of the canyon silenced one of the blue attacked who were pressing towards Stan and Michael.
"Hah, got another one!" cried the muffled voice of Kenny. He prided himself in being the sneaky sharpshooter who could strike any player on the map with his high powered sniper rifle.
"Kill those bitches! I've got the flag! We're going to have to walk out on foot!" Kyle said just as the announcer called out over the loudspeakers,
Michael watched the armored figure of Kyle run out the front door of the blue base right as he and Stan approached its safety. The shots from the nearby opponents stopped as they were finally out of sight.
"If we go through the caves on the right, we could avoid them for a little while." Stan advised, who was met with a nod of agreement from his Jewish friend.
Michael obediently followed his teammates, hoping that he wouldn't do anything else to screw this game up. They were soon traveling inside the caves that were elegantly carved into the sandstone cliffs of the canyon.
"There' two of them in front of us" Kyle announced in a low whisper. Michael looked up his radar and he could understand what the other boy was talking about. Two menacing red blips where lurking ahead, obviously hidden in the next room.
"Ok Butters, I'm going in first. We need to kill those bitches fast before they get to Kyle. If he dies, you MUST pick up the flag and run towards the base. Do you understand?" Stan looked at Michael, searching for any sign of acknowledgement. Michael blinked his eyes and gave a quick nod.
"Alright, lets go!"
Stan's armor clad Spartan soldier charged ahead into the room, releasing a hail of gunfire at the yet to be seen enemies inside. Michael walked into the room right as Stan's character fell to the ground. The killing blow was inflicted by just single shotgun blast. The blue Spartan that wielded the weapon immediately turned to Michael and fired another round and the boy. This did only minor damage since he wasn't quiet in range.
"I'm down" Stan announced in resignation
Michael pressed the right trigger button down on his controller as hard his small muscles would allow. But he might as well had been shooting spit balls because the armored soldier in front of him stood ever taller and charged towards him with a barrel full of buck shot.
"My shield is down Butters! Oh my God, hurry up and kill him!" Kyle cried out in panic. Michael could see him attempting run in the opposite direction, away from the attackers. Michael had no idea what to do. His heart and mind were racing at an unbearable speed. He finally did the only thing that his non existent combat instincts told him to do.
There were several metallic clinks echoing through the speakers. And as Kyle gave Michael a mixed facial expression of horror and rage, the loud explosion of Michael's own grenade killed the two remaining soldiers of the red team. Michael immediately felt his checks glow bright red, this was the third time he was responsible for the demise of his team and he knew that Stan and Kyle wouldn't be so forgiving. The imposter looked over anxiously as he prepared for the worst.
"Fuck this!" Stan began as he chunked his controller down at the carpeted floor. He then looked at Kyle, as if trying to confirm his thoughts with those of his friend's. But suddenly, the sensation that Michael had felt earlier when he had been accosted by his so-called friends erupted. Why was he to feel guilty for being terrible at a game he had never played? And why would his friends be so rude to him just because of a video game.
"Is that all you've got doughnut punchers?" asked the mocking voice of Heidi Turner in the other room. Her insult was joined by a chorus of giggles from the other girls.
Kyle finally opened his mouth to express the rage that he shared with Kenny and Stan. If there was anything that these three boys hated, it was being humiliated by the girls of the fourth grade class. But the young Jewish boy never got to say what he wanted to, Michael beat him to it.
"Well screw you guys; you're all a bunch of assholes anyways. How the heck do you expect someone who has never played this game to play to such high standards? I can't believe you would treat anyone like this."
Michael then tossed the controller down on the couch next to Kyle and ran out of the room, leaving Kyle, Stan and Kenny's jaws all hanging wide open.
The bristly sunrise brought forth another Monday morning to South Park elementary. The hallways were filled with the same young students chattering about everything from the game last night to Mrs. Garrison's new girlfriend. Their lazy attitudes were changed when the front doors of the school burst open and a jubilant looking Eric Cartman entered the building. Stan and Kyle interrupted their discussion when the giggles coming from all the other students around them became too loud.
"Make way! Make way you guys!" Cartman said as he pushed his way through the crowd. The two boys took notice of his domineering grin.
"Cartman! What the hell is this?!" Kyle demanded as his face twisted itself in disgust. He and Kenny immediately walked over to the humiliated boys who were crawling behind his nemesis. It was Pip and Dougie, both of them were wearing only their underwear and bound by leashes that their fat master held tightly in his hand.
"Come on my minions! Do it." Cartman ordered the two others, pretending not to notice Kyle. Pip and Dougie looked uncomfortably at each other.
"Do it or your going down like Butters!"
The other two jumped up on their feet and proceeded to dance in a form resembling the Macarena. As they moved arms and legs around they both sang in unison.
Oh, we love Cartman like nobody does,
The grand master of all that's cool
And what would you if leaving him is what you asked?
Well would simply tell you to kiss our ass!
The two student turned slaved finished their dance by turning around, grabbing their ankles and pointing their rear ends straight into the air.
The entire school hallway was roaring with laughter and applause. Kyle's face got noticeably redder as Cartman's smile got more and more smug. His friend Kenny was rolling on the floor next him, his entire body shaking from another humor induced seizure. Stan was kneeling with Kenny, tears of laughter dripping from his eyes. Everyone was laughing except for Kyle, who now approached the two leashed boys that were mooning the entire school at Cartman's request.
"Pip, Dougie, Come on guys. You don't need to do this. Go home and get dressed. That fat prick is just using you." Kyle said as he got Pip to stand back up. But the British orphan surprised his rescuer by responding,
"I don't think so Kahl! You see, Eric warned us that you would try to interfere. And no Jew scum shall interfere with the master of the world! You should have sucked his balls while you had a chance. Oh what an honor it would have been!"
Kyle looked absolutely repulsed. The words were Cartman's with an English accent. The villain of the scene simply added a chuckle with his minions words and then said,
"Nice try Kahl! But these are my new recruits for the replacement of our missing Butters."
Kyle and now Stan both looked back at the fat boy; both of them were somewhat confused.
"What the hell are you talking about Cartman?" Stan asked, still wiping the tears from his pale cheeks.
"You haven't heard? Butters ran away last week. Only God knows where hell he is. Getting raped by forty year old men I hope, but no matter. I need a new servant to carry out my plans for humanity."
"Sitting on your couch, watching cartoons and having those two bring you chips and milkshakes isn't exactly helping humanity fat ass! And I have no idea why you think Butters is gone. He's standing right over there!"
The crowd of students that shielded the boy from view soon parted to reveal a nervous looking Michael. The imposter had been very meticulous in his efforts to keep a low profile after his incident the other day with Stan and Kyle. His chances of blowing his over was deepening as he looked all of the intrusive stares around him. Cartman was completely unprepared for this. He walked straight up to Michael and placed his hand on the boy's shoulder, as if to confirm that what he was seeing was really there. Eric stood there for a good long while, trying to make sense of what was happening. He finally asked in an agitated whisper,
"Whe-When did you come back? I heard it with my own two ears; your parents said you were gone?"
"I've got no idea what you're talkin' about Eric. I-I never left, I've just been sick is all." Michael responded in an impeccable match to his role's real voice. Alarm bells were still whirling in his mind. How did this fat kid find out about him?
"You're lying again Butters, you black asshole! Why did you leave? Did you think I would not get you back for failing me on your last mission? Nobody can escape me!" Cartman spat back in the imposters face. Michael could smell the stench of digesting powdered doughnuts on other boy's breath.
Stan now stepped in between the pair, like a school teacher who was going to pull two fighting boys apart.
"Stop it Cartman! Butters was with us last Sunday. He told me himself that he's been sick. Whatever you sent him to do last time was probably lame and unfair for him anyways, so just back off!"
"Yeah, even though he was acting very weird last Sunday." Kenny added.
Cartman narrowed his eyes as his mind traveled down internal logical paths that were rarely traversed. The crescent of his trademark malicious smile were formed by his plump lips as his thoughts were transformed into words,
"That's not Butters."
Several seconds of icy cold silence dominated the air before Craig joined in.
"Um, what do you mean that not Butters. It's him, it looks exactly like him."
"Oh sure Craig. It would be easy for your average professional. Dye the hair, master the stutter. Oh I'm sure we are dealing with a veteran actor here," Eric announced as he slipped Michael cruel snicker.
"He might be right man! What if the CIA sent him!? He must be wired, we're all screwed! AHHHHHH" Tweak screamed has pulled out a few more locks of his hair. His sleep deprived black eyes wide open in panic.
"I don't believe it Cartman. You still haven't given any proof" Stan said resolutely as he stared at Butters. "Butters may have his flaws, but he's always stuck through the tough times. That's what I like about him and why he's always been a better friend then you."
Cartman didn't answer this accusation. The subject of his popularity among his other two semi friends was not his favorite. Michael immediately thought of a risky scheme to get him out of this dangerous situation,
"Well um, fellas, if you don't think this are me. Well uh, why don't you ask me a question that only the real Butters would know?"
This quieted the crowd as each student began to think of something that only their classmate would know.
"When went skiing at Aspen, what did you keep saying the town smelling like?" Stan started.
"A-Ass…." Michael began repeating the name of the town.
"That right dude." Stan cut the other off, completely oblivious to the real meaning behind Michael's stuttered word.
"The last time you spent the night at my house, how many titties did that chick have in Crack Whore magazine?" Kenny asked.
"That's disgusting Kenny! Don't you dare answer that Butters!" Wendy cut in.
"I-I won't" Michael responded.
"You're always such a sweetie, why do you always pick on him? You boys are such assholes sometimes." Wendy added as she walked over to give Michael a gentle hug. Stan immediately crossed his arms and looked dangerously at Michael.
"You don't understand Wendy, that's not really Butters." Cartman said with a chuckle.
"Your right, I will never understand the twisted minds of you chauvinistic men." Wendy snarled back with her arms still around Michael. The imposter was preying with every inch of his mind that he could slip away from this crowd. This girl, Wendy might just be his escape from this mess.
"The provider will know." Cartman said in a dark whisper. A sudden, invisible wall of frost permeated the now silent hallway. Michael looked around too see that nobody was able to make eye contact with him or anyone else. He knew it was too dangerous to ask.
"Y-y-your r-right Eric. The p-p-provider will know, he always knows…"
"Then we meet tonight at the grove. The provider will punish all non believers who infiltrate our circle with death. Hah, hahahaha!" Cartman said trough his wicked teeth.
"Carousel, carousel, carousel" Chanted the kindergartners in unison. Their voices were dreamy, as if they were caught in a supernatural trance. Michael bit his lip as he realized that his own life was now hanging in the balance.
It was raining again. The streets and sidewalks of the densely populated vertical empire were completely drenched in water and mud. All along the roads were streams of flood water rushing into the vast depths of gaping storm sewers. The thousands of denizens walking around were oblivious to the infiltrators in the man made tunnels below.
"This way" Said the deeply accented voice of a young boy. Their view was limited and aided only by the weak incandescent bulbs inside their flashlights. Both of the boys hugged the wall of the tunnel, trying to avoid stepping in the rushing stream of water or scurrying city rats.
Even in the eerie twilight, you could recognize the infiltrators as they progressed deeper and deeper into the sewers. Short, curly black hair on top skin of dark complexion described the boy walking in the lead. His face displayed eternal determination, there was nothing would stop Bahir from accomplishing his mission. Saarin was what brothers were instructed to call him,
The other boy, who was closely tailing Bahir, was the newest members of the Brotherhood of Eternity. His pale face contained both fear and eagerness. He knew not what he was doing in these filthy tunnels or where they would end up. He was following the only order he had been given, to follow Bahir. Butters adjusted the collar of his freshly issued tunic, a pushed a couple locks of hair out of his cobalt blue colored eyes. While his new outfit wasn't the most comfortable garment he had worn in his life, it certainly looked awesome. The embroided skull and fist on his shoulder made him finally felt like he was a part of something special. Butters was distracted again as he admired himself and did not pay attention to where he was walking.
A squeak echoed through the tunnel and Bahir immediately spun around, as if ready to fight. Butters looked down and realized in revolt the cause of the noise. Beneath his boot were the bloody remains of a freshly crushed sewer rat. The weight of the boy had smashed the small mammal's spine and all it could do is twitch in that darkness as it exhaled its final breath. Butters immediately made eye contact with Bahir and whispered,
Bahir didn't reply, he simply spun back around and took off walking at a faster pace.
"What's he scared of?" Butters quietly asked himself. Since he had joined the Lord Rache, he had more questions then answers stuffed into his small brain. It was earlier today that Bahir had approached him back at the headquarters and told him that they had a new assignment. His friend and fellow brother had the gravest look on his face and would not tell him why he was so scared of the Chicago underground.
"Guess I'll find out soon enough" Butters comforted himself as he rubbed his nose. The mildew produced by the over abundant bacteria and fungus growing on the stone walls enraged his allergies. Whatever mission this is, it will need to end quick before the young boy suffocated.
"We're almost there Chaos." The darker boy announced in a whisper, temporarily disrupting Butters' thoughts
It was a name he thought up over a year ago. An identity he created when the world did him wrong. Now it was his sole identity; the one that would dominate his destiny forever.
The tunnel soon ended at the end of a vast chasm. Butters pointed his flashlight down to see a violent pool of water swirling below; several heavy streams plummeted to feed the turbulent waves with rain drops from above.
"There it is, let us hurry so that we may leave this place." Bahir announced as he pointed at a scaffold ten feet above the entrance of the tunnel.
Butters began to climb the slimy, rust covered ladder that was bolted to the walls of the shaft. He could feel Bahir, right below him, pushing him faster up.
"Whats the rush? I'm gonna slip if he keeps pushing me like this." Butters thought to himself in panic. He could feel his boots gliding over the rails.
The pair finally made it to the top of the scaffold. And as Butters gasped for air, Bahir immediately moved down the scaffold. When the blonde boy finally looked up, he saw his partner digging through his pack.
"Here it is" Bahir whispered when he pulled out a nimble black radio from one of the obscure leather pockets. He turned a few of the dials and finally spoke into the transmitter.
"My lord, we are in position."
"Very good Executor, did Chaos make it in with you?" called a gravely familiar voice through the static.
"By my side, m'lord. We await your orders." Executor Saarin replied.
"Crimson Knight will guide you through phase two. Chaos shall be the one to do it." Bahir nodded his head and pressed the radio in to the other's hands. Butters nervously took it and pressed the send button.
"H-hello? C-crimson knight?"
There was no answer. Bahir looked back at Butters and assured him.
"He's probably getting ready. Don't worry, Knight is our technical genius. He could build a computer out of thin air my friend. Why you should have seen when he…"
A new voice entered the airwaves, interrupting Bahir. It was strained and somewhat difficult to comprehend. It seemed that ever syllable the speaker said was over articulated.
"Look in the backpack that we gave you Chaos." The voice ordered. Chaos took the pack from his shoulder and carefully placed it on the metal scaffold.
"I haven't touched it, just like R-Rache said." Butters responded into the transmitter.
"That-that's good Chaos, now um…" the boy's voice drifted off into space and only returned a few painful seconds later "…yeah, I need you to take out the diverter from the main pocket."
Butters reached his hand inside the pack and felt the large, metal object inside. He used both hands to lift the silver coated machine from inside; staring curiously at it as he held it in mid air.
"What is this thing?" Butters asked aloud.
"Well its…" Knight's voice started, but Rache's voice immediately halted him,
"Not now Chaos!" He said, knowing that the boy on his end would waste hours droning on about technical details that none of them would understand.
"Look at the panel in front of you Chaos." Knight's voice ordered as he seemed to have regained control of his radio from the dark lord.
Butters gasped as he realized the scaffold he was standing on provided access to a massive series of weather shielded electronic cabinets. They all had the weird looking globes printed on them with the acronyms 'AT&T'.
"T-There's a whole bunch of them." Butters said.
"Oh, uh…the one we need has the letters E29-0 printed on it. There would probably be another one next to is labeled NSA." Knight replied still not recognizing that he was a step ahead of the young initiate of the Brotherhood.
Butters, assisted by Bahir, began scanning over the covers of the humming compartments. Even when standing several inches away, Butters could feel the raw heat radiating from the buzzing circuits within. The boy could only guess this was some sort of hub for a vast computer network. Maybe the whole gosh darn internet.
"Here it is my friend." Bahir's Syrian accent called out from the darkness. Butters picked the strange silver device up from the floor and walked towards the source of Bahir voice. When he arrived at the end of the long scaffold, he could see Bahir's flashlight fixed on a grey box the size of a refrigerator. Two large green lights poked out of the side of the box, making the eyes of both boys glow green in the twilight.
"We found it Knight, what now?" Butters asked the other boy on radio.
"Open it up; this is going to be a very delicate process Chaos, so….sooo listen to me carefully." Knight was once again fading between the sub-conscious. Bahir had already produced wicked looking set of wire cutters that he would use to remove two heavy padlocks that sealed the panel shut.
Two large clanks echoed in the stony shaft as the locks fell to the ground and both boys now used all their muscular strength to pry the heavy cover off of the panel. Butters gasped at what he saw inside, A forest of messy wires connected series after series of circuit boards. A large collection of LED's flashed in way that reminded the young boy of lights on a Christmas tree.
"Pretty ain't it?" Butters muttered to Bahir who was also mesmerized by the computers in front of him.
"Now, don't touch anything unless I say so Chaos. Th…They have ways of telling that the hub has been tampered with. We cannot allow th-at." Knight warned through the static of the radio. Butters nodded his head in acknowledgement.
"There is a board labeled ENET-079 to the bottom right of the cabinet, look for it."
"I can't see any writing on this junk" Bahir said as he swept the beam of his flashlight over the electronics.
Butters was more meticulous is his own search.
"CMOS-305 no, DRAM 36… no…wait, here it is! Seventy nine!" Butters announced loudly.
"Shhh!" Bahir hissed through his teeth as he looked over his shoulder to see if anyone was watching them.
"We found it." Butters said as he pressed the transmission button on the radio.
"There should be three cables plugged into the side of it. With Saarin's help, you must plug the three cables hanging out of the capture device I gave you in place of those three cables and plug those into the other end. And make sure you turn on the transmitter before you unplug them."
Bahir looked up at Butter, hoping that the other boy understood the instruction even slightly better then he did. In unison the boys plugged and reconnected the wires.
"There!" Butters said as he placed the silver device inside of the large metal cabinet.
"Its-its working…" Knight's voice announced over the radio.
"Well done boys, we will have the information for the endgame project soon. Head back to the surface." Rache added with a hint of glee in his words.
Bahir clicked off the radio and shoved it into his backpack.
"Let's go Chaos, quickly!" He said as he already started to climb down the slimy metal ladder back towards the tunnel.
"You've b-been all jittery since we left HQ Bah...I mean Saarin. What are you so s-scared of?" Butters finally asked as he also descended the down the shaft and joined his friend in walking briskly down the tunnel.
"A dangerous foe hunts all intruders to her realm. We are her sworn enemy and her minions will kill us if…"
Bahir never got to finish his sentence, only gasp escaped him as he reached beneath his cloak and unsheathed a large viscous knife. Two shadows stood in the tunnel just in front of Butters, They both walked closer and his flashlight revealed more details to his weak eyes.
They both had no shirts and ripped jeans that only reached down to their knarly knees. Blue and black paint covered their pale skin which hadn't scene the light of day in years. Two menacing looking handguns where pointed at the chest of Butters and Bahir.
"What are you two doing down here? We though we could here and smell the stench of the Brotherhood? Your filthy rodent Rache knows that this our domain." The left hand side one said through his brown stained teeth.
Butter only looked over two the strained face of Bahir who only raised his blade further and muttered in a barely audible voice,
"Don't move Chaos…"