The story you are about to read is part 3 of a multi-chaptered story, which I have entered into heartofstone15's battle royal competition. Part one is a story entitled "Battle Royal Entry: Sancho" and part 2 is a story entitled "Battle Royal: Sancho vs Quel and Cal". The story kind of builds on itself so I suggest you read it in order. I don't usually like to break my stories into parts like this, it's just that its the preferred format of the Battle Royal Community. If you would like to read any alternate versions of this chapter or the material that influenced its content, on go to the Battle Royal Community, which is listed under Invader Zim Communities. You'll find it there.
I consider this story a collaborative work because most of the central characters in it were created by other people. Benedict was created by Sienna1997. Nyx was created by Ryuu-Yamiyo . Scullene, Panece, and the word "florp" were created by Familiar47. Lucy was created by heartofstone15 and Cal was created by the crazygirlyouwishyounevermet. If you are one of these people and you have an especially huge problem with the way that I wrote your character, send me a PM and I will make alterations. I should also probably mention that the song that Benedict starts to sings towards the end of this is "Truth or Dare" by Emily Osment. Anyway, thanks you guys for giving me such great material to work with. I hope you enjoy this story, or at the very least, tolerate it. I have part two planned already and it should be finished in a few days.
An Irken finds a bundle of papers buried in the sand. He stoops down, brushes the sand off of them, and picks them up.
"Hey," he says, addressing his companion, who is also Irken.
The second Irken walks up to him, eyeing the bundle of papers with a mildly curious expression.
"What's that?" asks the second Irken.
"It looks like some kind of an old manuscript," says the first Irken. "Do you think that we should read it?"
The second Irken shrugs. Then he takes the papers and flips through them briefly.
"No," he replies after several seconds. "It looks really boring and stupid."
"I think we should read it," says the first Irken.
"There's an entire page here devoted to the significance of mustaches and bowler hats," says the second Irken. "And there's no way that I'm going to waste a single second of my life reading it."
"Oh, come on," says the first Irken.
"I hate reading," says the second Irken. "And I hate you."
The second Irken hands the bundle of papers back to the first Irken and then walks away. The remaining Irken reads the first page of the manuscript, becomes bored, and decides that what ever he is reading really is boring and stupid. He drops the papers in the sand and walks away.
This is the message that was written on that bundle of papers:
Chapter 3 Part 1 (Akarivik's POV)
I've been stranded on this planet for a long time, so please forgive me if my story telling skills aren't what they used to be. I am a journalist not an author.
I must recount for you the events, which took place during my exile, and the betrayal that followed as a natural consequence of my ignorance and desperation, for you see I am still in exile, and will remain so until someone sees fit to rescue me. If you are reading this, and you own a space ship, please, for the love of Plorgar, come rescue me. The coordinates of the planet are written on the back of this manuscript in black magic marker.
If you are from a post-industrialized planet, then you probably recognized my name and are aware of my status as a very wealthy and well respected documentary film maker. I am not, as the Irken-dominated media would have you believe, hibernating in subspace chamber on a moon orbiting Parking Lot Planet #84126. The Irken dictators, Red and Purple, used that as an excuse to explain my disappearance, but what really happen was this: The Irken dictators recognized my influence and popularity. They saw me as a threat to their power, and so devised a plan to assassinate me. Their plan backfired, however, because I survived, and I intend to have my revenge.
It had been almost a year since the tragic events, which left me stranded on this god forsaken planet. I muttered to myself as I scuttled past a waterfall and the liquid poured down over my scaly skin. There was a cave behind this waterfall, which had become my home. My limbs collapsed into coils underneath of me as I growled and rolled onto my side.
"...Cave...,"I muttered. I hadn't spoken to anyone in quite some time and my language skills were beginning to break down.
The cave was a nice, cool, place to hide, far away from the channel 10 live video feed that was currently being recorded by the Battle Royal Company. It was currently the thing keeping me alive.
My eyes, which are large and yellow, about three times the size of an Irken's head, closed slowly, and I drifted into a deep sleep.
"Well that's too bad because I intend to kill you!" shrieked a skill, girlish voice, and my eyes shot open. There was someone standing on the opposite side of the waterfall.
My arms twisted slowly underneath of me, as I turned toward the direction of the noise.
"I forfeit!" shouted a boy's voice in reply. It was a voice that I recognized.
"You can't forfeit!" was the girl's witty retort.
The conversation quickly degenerated into a lot of mindless screaming and discharging of firearms. I coiled my arms underneath of me, waiting for the long stretch of silence that would signal this battle's conclusion.
"Look what you did to me!" shrieked the girl. "Look what you did to me! I'm blind! Die and go to hell!"
I heard the sound of a gun firing immediately followed by the silence that I had been anticipating. This battle was over, and one of the competitors was dead. I crept slowly out from behind the waterfall, expecting the see the girl, who ever she had been, standing over the corpse of some poor sap.
Instead, I saw the sap. He was a young male human, who seemed to be wearing Irken armor, and lying in a puddle of his own blood. As I approached I noted the way that his left arm cradled the seeping wound at his stomach. There was an Irken made laser pistol clutched in his right hand.
He must have noticed me coming toward him, because he sat bolt upright and aimed the laser at my head, pulling the trigger several times in a vain attempt to murder me before I got anywhere near him. He must have been out of ammunition, however, because gun made a dry, unimpressive popping sound, when he pushed down on the trigger, no deadly radioactive beams were emitted from its nozzle, and of course...I didn't die.
"No...No it can't be...No...I must be losing my mind," I said when I saw his face. It was badly bruised but far from unrecognizable. "...S-Sancho Rodriguez?"
"...How do you know my name?" he asked, sounding surprised, but not quite surprised enough to lower his gun. He kept it aimed at my head, and continued to click the trigger uselessly as he spoke.
"I...um...put the gun down, Sancho, I won't try to hurt you, I swear."
"You didn't answer my question," said Sancho, he dropped the gun in the sand, and his right hand shot to the bleeding wound in his stomach.
"That's not important now," I said. "First I have to stop you from bleeding to death."
"...Why are you going to do that..." mumbled Sancho, weakly.
"Listen kid," I said. "Because I'm about to tell you something that's probably going to save your life."
I had a large bag tied around my waist. (Well in all honesty, I don't really have a waist. The people of my species are all pretty much what you would consider a bunch of giant round blobs. If you are a human you might compare us to octopuses.) It was the bag that I used to carry my film supplies in, but now it was were I kept my provisions, namely, food, water, and bandages.
I removed a bandage and a roll of gauze from the bag, and tossed them in Sancho's direction.
"Dress your wounds," I said. "And make it quick, you only have fifteen hours before this place is flooded with toxic chemicals."
"Toxic chemicals?" repeated Sancho. He started wrapping the gauze around the slice in his stomach, wincing slightly as the cloth blushed up against his injury. "Why are they flooding the place with toxic chemicals? And when you say 'the place' do you mean the whole planet?...Because that would be pretty bad."
"Well not the whole planet," I said. "There's an island in the middle of the planet, that remains above water level when the planet is flooded. This is where they stage the final round. I'll tell you how you can reach it, but you have to promise me something in return...If you make it past the final round of Battle Royal, and the Tallests ask you what it is that you want from them, you have to say 'Release Akarivik from Planet Doom.' They'll offer you money, power, women, anything that you could possibly want, the resources of the universe will be at your disposal...but you have to turn them down. You have to tell them 'No, I want you to free Akarivik'...and this is the price of what I am about to tell you. Do I have your word?"
Sancho ripped off another piece of gauze from the roll and started wrapping it around a few of the deeper cuts on his left arm.
"Um...sure...whatever" replied Sancho uncertainly.
"I have managed to locate one of the planet's on-surface control centers," I continued. "Which means that I can control all of the cameras on the desert portion of the planet, basically turn them on and off and make them follow who ever I want. So I know that you destroyed the GPS device that they gave you at the beginning of the game."
I stuck one of my arms into the bag that I was carrying and pulled out a GPS, which was identical in appearance to the one that Sancho had destroyed.
"This is the one they gave me when I was drafted into Battle Royal about a year ago," I said. It still has last year's competitors on it, but the geography of the planet hasn't changed and that's the important thing. Fifteen hours from now, this continent will be underwater, and if it wasn't for me you would have been underwater too. I saved your life, kid. I want you to remember that. The GPS function of this device will lead you strait to the nearest teleported sight. You'll need to reach this point to escape the water."
I tossed the GPS in his direction and he caught it. He looked at it for a second and then looked back up at me. His expression was confused and perhaps even a bit horrified.
"You still didn't tell me how you knew my name," he said.
"Well...it's been awhile since I've spoken to anyone who speaks your language," I began. "My English are...is not as good as it once was...but I'll try to explain it the best way that I know how...I was once a pretty famous documentary film maker, but my work got a little...um...political. So the Irken government…they didn't like the message I was sending people about their society. Anyway, I know your name, because a year ago my camera crew and me...oh, I'm sorry, I mean 'and I'...My camera crew and I were on Earth about a year ago shooting a nature documentary. We came to a place you might be familiar with, a fast food restaurant that sold something called tacos. My camera crew went to this restaurant, cleverly disguised of course, and set up some hidden cameras. Well...anyway, a lot of the footage we recorded was of you, and I've gotta say, kid, your antics really made the documentary. No really, thank you for making me so much money. Nothing sells video disks like teenage angst."
Sancho put a piece of the bandage over his left eye which was swollen shut, and held it there like it was a piece of ice. In my opinion it was waste of a perfectly good bandage.
"So my whole life is like some kind of a sitcom for aliens," he said. "And when I put on the taco hat it's like a sitcom where there's a prerecorded live audience that claps, and all the aliens at home say: 'there's Sancho Rodriguez, that loser that works at the Crazy Taco. Let's see what that idiot's up to today. Hey, is this the episode where he summons Muertos Der Soulstealer to murder his abusive father, only to discover that Muertos Der Soulstealer doesn't steal souls on Mondays, and then loses his nerve and spends the remainder of the afternoon locked in his room crying and writing Goth poetry? Naw, man, this is the episode where he falls on his ass in front of that girl, and the whole restaurant stops what they're doing to laugh and point at him while an old lady accidentally trips over him and spills a cup of nacho cheese on his head. Damn. I've already seen that one. Why do they keep playing reruns?'"
Sancho paused his rant for a moment to blink back the tears that were gathering in the corner of his right eye. He pressed the bandage to his left eye tightly, as though afraid that it might pop out of his head if he were to stop pressing on it.
"...You know I'd be a lot madder right now, except I'm kind of light headed, from losing all that blood. Do you think it's possible for me to sue you?" he finished, his voice assuming its previous tone of casual indifference.
"Heh heh heh! Sue me. Yea right. Under the constitution of the Irken Empire you don't even have rights, so no, you can't sue me. Not that you'd be able to afford a good enough layer, anyway. You don't want to make me your enemy, Sancho. I was once one of the most powerful sentient beings in the universe, and I will be again, just as soon as I find a way off of this planet," I said.
"Well, now at least I know why there were a bunch of giant octopuses with mustaches and bowler hats wandering around the Crazy Taco." said Sancho.
"You didn't notice them. You just ignored them when they walked into the building," I confirmed proudly. It was me, after all, that had come up with the ingenious mustache and bowler hat disguise.
"I thought they were with the convention," said Sancho.
"The convention?" I said. "You mean like a science fiction convention?"
"But they looked just like regular humans," I replied defensively. "They were...they were...wearing mustaches and bowler hats, damn it!"
"...Just out of curiosity," said Sancho "Where did you get all of this great mustache and bowler hat information."
"Hey, kid, I'm a professional ok, I know more about blending in with foreign societies than your tiny little human brain can even comprehend," I said.
"...Am I wearing a mustache and a bowler hat?" asked Sancho.
"No." I replied.
"And why do you think that is?" asked Sancho.
"Because you're not cool, obviously," I said. "Only some one extremely un-cool could be so ignorant about his own culture's popular trends, and my research confirms that mustaches and bowler hats are extremely popular on your planet. Now go to the teleported sight. Go quickly if you want to live."
I returned to my cave, which, as I have mentioned before, is in fact a ground control center for the battle royal network's video feed cameras. There used to be an Irken guy who worked here, adjusting the light filters on the cameras and fixing them when they broke, but I cracked his head open and ate his brain when he refused to enter Battle Royal on my behalf. Then later, when I started to go mad from loneliness, I drew a face on his PAK with the same magic marker that I used to write this manuscript. I drew two circles for eyes, a strait line for the mouth, and fourteen squiggly lines for arms. I'm not very creative, so I decided to name my new friend 'Mr. Pak'.
"Damn it Mr. Pak!" I exclaimed flipping the red switch that activates the ground cameras. I always turn the cameras off when I leave the cave so that Red and Purple won't figure out that I'm still alive and try to kill me. "That Sancho human is going to betray us I just know it!"
There where a number of tiny screens along the walls, which lit up when I flipped the red switch, revealing several dozen horrible and utterly pedantic desert landscapes. I was so sick of looking at yellow sand.
"No...no...Mr. Pak your wrong!" I said to Mr. Pak as I searched the screens for the feed that I was looking for. "I had to trust him. Yes, yes, I know it's a bad idea...but it's the best idea I've got! The best idea I've got, OK, and I'm the brilliant florping award winning documentary film maker not you. So my plans aught to be a smidgeon more practical than yours! ...Well shut up...you don't even know what's good!"
I spotted the screen that I had been looking for, observation screen 7, which I had rewired to a hidden camera that was built into the GPS device I had given Sancho. The adolescent was staring back at me through the screen, which meant of course that he was staring down at the device, reading the map that was programmed into it, or at the very least...attempting to figure out how it worked.
"Yes, OK, yes, your right Mr. Pak. Your probably right," I said. "I know I can't trust him, but I don't really have any other choice. This is the best chance I've had to get off of this planet since I cracked that other guy's head open and ate his brain. Let me have some kind of hope for once would you?...Yes, I know he worships the florping devil...I followed the kid around with a camera for six months, of course I know that. That doesn't necessarily mean...what-no! You're stupid and delusional, not me. How dare you call me crazy! I'm more sane than you'll ever be! Do you hear me! Well, it's true! It's true I say!"
I stopped yelling at Mr. Pak for a moment, and looked up at screen number seven. Sancho was mumbling something about how hungry he was and apparently shaking the GPS device in frustration. I could tell because of the way that the screen shook every time his eyebrows drew together in an expression, which my research informs me, denotes intense anger.
"...Why can't you be a sandwich, thingy?" he said with a sigh as he stared down at the GPS device. "...Or at least a map to a sandwich."
I heard a metallic click that sounded like the someone pulling the safety on a laser. Sancho's eyes got wide and he looked startled. He lifted his head slowly to stare at the thing that must have been standing in front of him.
"C...Cyborg girl," he stammered in disbelief, and the GPS device fell out of his hand as he raised his arms over his head and stuttered "D-don't s-sh-shoot!
The GPS had fallen and landed in such a way that the attached camera captured everything that was going on. I could see the source of Sancho's distress now, a pale human girl with short blue hair and mechanical appendages. Her right arm, which possessed a bazooka-like laser in place of a hand, was pointed at Sancho's head.
"Remember me," she whispered spitefully as she pressed the weapon against his forehead.
"No...no...," whispered Sancho to himself, he squeezed his eyes shut, waiting for the fatal blow. "Don't shoot...please...don't shoot..."
"It's too bad that you're too much of a fucking pussy to look me in the eye when I kill you," said the girl. "I really wanted to see the stupid look on your face just before your head exploded into a million bloody skull fragments."
I heard a few light, brisk footsteps on the sand, and understood that there must have been a third organism off screen.
"Wait! Stop!" called the organism. Though the voice was unmistakably Irken, it was also dignified, intelligent, and very beautiful. "I propose a diplomatic solution! Listen, Nyx! Round two is a puzzle! I know what it is now and I have a plan, but I'm going to need both of you! You have to trust me, Nyx, it's the only way to make it to round three!"
"What if I don't trust you," replied Nyx bitterly. "What if I decide that it's more fun to bust this loser's skull into a thousand pieces?"
"That can wait until after we make it past the wall," replied the organism. "I'm only suggesting a temporary alliance, and only because it's necessary. Trust me, if there was any other way for me to make it to round three, I would have killed you both by now."
The Irken walked into the range of my camera, and I saw that she was slightly taller than the average female of her species with bluish-purple eyes and slightly deformed antenna. She was holding a laser gun in each hand.
"Bang," she said, pushing the barrel of one of her guns against Nyx's forehead. "You're dead."
She pushed the barrel of her other gun against the side of Sancho's head, and he flinched.
"Bang again," she said. "You're both dead...Now you see, If I wasn't telling the truth about round two then it wouldn't make any sense for me to let you live right now. Red knows that I'm the most advanced fighter in the game. If it was just about killing then I would have already won. That's it. Check mate. You're dead...but it's a little more complicated than that. Now, lower your arm Nyx. To have even a chance of survival, you're going to need to be on this team."
The laser cannon folded back into Nyx's arm as she lowered it and a mechanical hand sprang out in its place.
"That seems...perfectly reasonable," said Nyx. "What was your name again?"
"Skullene," replied the Irken.
"Well...if you can talk me out of slaughtering one of those grotesque human worm monsters, then the way I see it...you can probably do anything." said Nyx. She held her hand out in a friendly gesture and Scullene shook it.
"Let's hope you're right." said Skullene.
"That's Skullene," I told Mr. Pak. I pointed one of my arms at screen number seven just incase Mr. Pak didn't know which one I was talking about. "Have you heard about her?...Well of course you have. Hasn't everyone?"
I had met Skullene once before, after she was disgraced and sentenced to exile. At the time, I was touring The Massive with my camera crew, shooting footage for my latest and (very possibly) final documentary entitled: "The Tale of the Idiot God-Kings". She was very angry when I interviewed her, almost to the point of being frightening, but she calmed down a bit once she realized that my questions were slanted in her favor. I found that she could be very personable when she wanted to be, and despite her ragged clothes and battered appearance, I would have gone so far as to say that she was charming, articulate, and persuasive. I knew right away that she would make the perfect symbol for Irkens to rally behind.
"What about you? Do you agree to be a part of this alliance?" I heard Skullene's voice ask, and I didn't know a soul in the universe who could have said no.
I looked back up at the screen and saw that she was talking to Sancho.
"Um...sure," replied Sancho nervously. "I'm just glad I don't have to fight you."
"That's great," said Skullene. She held her hand out and Sancho shook it. "Welcome to the team."
Sancho stared at the empty space in front of him for a moment as though unsure of what he should say.
"...Thanks Skullene," he said after awhile, but I don't think that she could hear him. She was shouting something about how they had to out run the flood, and from the sound of her voice, I hazarded a guess that she was already about several dozen feet outside of the range of my camera.
Sancho darted off screen, apparently forgetting the GPS device in the sand.
"Oh COME ON, Mr. Pak!" I exclaimed. "That's the second damn GPS that he's lost or destroyed! What the hell's wrong with him? Now I'll have to use the damn spider cams and they're a lot harder to maneuver!"
The "spider cams" I was referring to were a number of miniature cameras mounted onto mechanical spider legs. They had the appearance of a nearly microscopic insect, and could move with great speed and dexterity.
"I positioned a number of spider cams around the perimeter of the desert area, Mr. Pak," I explained to Mr. Pak. "Then I hooked them up to screens 17 through 35. I'm going to have to use these cameras in order to follow the organisms when they leave the desert area. Let's hope that there are a few still active in their vicinity.
I pushed a few buttons on my control panel to activate the motion sensors on the spider cams, and found that two of them happened to be active and fully functional within the immediate vicinity of the organisms that I was tracking. Screens 17 and 32 shifted immediately, and I saw the divide between the desert portion of the planet and the city portion. The yellow sand ended in a sharp, crisp line where it met with the ominous grey concrete that would mark the beginning of the city area. Skullene was sitting on a pile of debris situated beneath a broken street light. Her blue eyes were focused on a communicator device.
"Paneece? Can you hear me Paneece? Are you there?" she said.
Sancho and Nyx were standing a few feet to her right, staring at her. It was odd to see them silhouetted against that familiar desert backdrop, when Skullene was standing so close to them yet at the same time, illuminated by the glow of that broken traffic light.
"Skullene, who are you talking to?" Nyx asked. Something in her voice suggested that she was beginning to doubt Skullene's leadership.
"I have a friend on the outside who's hacked into the Battle Royal system's mainframe," Scullene explained. "She's got some information that's going to help us survive to the next round."
"Skully, is that you?" mumbled an Irken's voice from the communicator device groggily. "It's like florpin' three in the morning where I am now. What do you want?"
"I'm ready for that sequence, Paneece," said Skullene. "Do you have it?"
"Yea, I have it," Paneece replied. "I wrote it down. Here...I'll read you my notes."
Paneece paused momentarily, and I heard the sound of papers rustling as she was apparently searching for the notes that she had mentioned.
"To survive this deadly flood you'll have to move fast," said Paneece. "There a wall surrounding the inlet where round three will take place. This is the mechanism that stops the level from being flooded with o-bots. However, there is only one way into this structure, a secret door hidden somewhere in the city region of the planet. The city level is set up like an incredibly vast and complicated maze, and it contains within it a puzzle which will reveal the location of the door and then unlock it. However, in order to break this puzzle you're going to have to be in three places at one time."
"I have two people willing to help me," replied Skullene.
"That's uh...ill advised," said Paneece. "But I guess you really don't have any other options at this point. I'm uploading the map now. Are you ready to hear the sequence?"
"I'm listening," replied Skullene.
"OK, so you'll want to head North East until you reach a stop sign with the worlds 'Eat at Sloogar's' spray painted onto the side of it. Then, turn left and keep walking until you see an identical sign. The first switch is in a black box located on the fifth floor of a grey building located directly behind the second sign. The entrance code of this building is the answer to a riddle of some kind, but you shouldn't waist time trying to answer it. I've got that taken care of. Just type the word "doomsday" into the locking mechanism and you're in. Once you've activated the first switch a second and third switch will be unlocked. Exit from the side of the building that faces south and cross the street to the next building, which is also grey, and has an advertisement for a late night television drama called "Galactic Conquest" spray painted on the side of it. There are three switches in this building, one on the fourth, one on the thirteenth floor, and one on the thirty-seventh floor. They need to be pressed simultaneously or the puzzle will restart itself and you'll have to begin again from the first building. However, once the buttons are pressed a door should appear on one of the three floors. This is the door two the third round...Do you think you can remember that?"
"Yea, thanks Paneece, you've been a great help," answered Skullene.
"Good luck, Skullene," said Paneece. "...and come home safe."
"I will," said Skullene. "Bye Paneece."
Skullene pushed a button on the communicator device and folded it closed.
"YOUR TRANSMISSION HAS BEEN TERMINATED," the device informed her in a cold, robotic monotone.
"...Let's move out!" Skullene shouted. She stood up, assuming a stance and demeanor befitting an Irken military commander. "It is likely that we will be attacked so I want you to both be prepared for a fight. Nyx, be sure to have your laser cannons ready! Sancho, be prepared to do...what ever it is that you do!"
I rapped one of my arms around a lever on my control panel and moved it to the left so that my camera followed the organisms as Skullene lead them into the city. The images captured on screen 17 and 32 rattled slightly as the devices' miniature spider legs struggled to crawl over the sand. The picture grew steadier as the cameras reached the cement line that marked the beginning of the city, and I saw the organisms walking along an vast freeway, surrounded on both sides by countless, crumbling skyscrapers. Each building was so tall that it nearly blocked out the sun, casting long, snakelike shadows over dark alleyways and fractured cement paths.
"Um, Skullene..." said Sancho. "I kind of don't have any weapons left...so...I'm not sure just exactly how useful I'm going to be...and also wouldn't they want to make it a little easier than this to get to the third level? I mean, if you hadn't hacked into the aliens' system or whatever you wouldn't have known about the switches, and the only way to know that without cheating is to wander around the city randomly pushing levers. It doesn't make any sense, really. What are the chances that someone would just randomly push the right combination of levers? Um...Skullene?"
"She's ignoring you, dumb-ass," said Nyx.
"Why are you such a bitch, Nyx?" he answered her, crossing his arms defensively.
"Why are you such a retard?" she replied in a cold monotone.
"You...your...your face is stupid!" Sancho shouted.
"Not as stupid as you."
I noticed something green appear in screen seven.
"Shut up, bitch. Leave me alone."
It seemed to be an Irken, wearing gloves and a white lab coat. His head was oddly flattened and his antennas drooped down over the sides of his head, as though perhaps they had at been snapped at the base and forced to heal that way.
"Sorry there Senor Panza but you're not the governor of this insula," I heard Nyx snap in irritation.
The picture in screen seven shook slightly, as the Irken in the lab coat, knelt down and lifted it out of the sand.
"What does that even mean?"
The Irken in the lab coat grinned evilly and his face filled the screen. Those green, orb-like, eyes of his moved back and forth, as he was apparently reading something from the screen of the GPS device that was connected to my camera.
"Read a book some time, Sancho," grumbled Nyx. "Then maybe you would get the reference."
The Irken with the drooping antennas put the GPS device into the pocket of his lab coat, and a white fabric mesh filled the screen.
"Would you both shut your florping mouths! You're going to lead Cal and Lucy strait to us!" I heard Skullene shout.
The mysterious Irken in screen seven had a bloody surgical scalpel in his pocket, a couple of twisted paper clips, and a piece of paper with the lyrics to "Funky Town" scribbled on it in red, dripping letters that may or may not have been human blood.
I heard Skullene shriek a string of profanities in some other language, and Nyx screamed "Holy fucking shit it's coming right at us!"
Nyx's laser canons when off, and I heard the sound of something heavy hitting the side of a skyscraper. My eyes darted back to screens 17 and 32, and I saw that there was a large, green beast, with luminous, orange eyes and a mouth full of grotesque, rotting fangs, that curled out from it's mouth, and stretched downward ending a foot or so below the creature's chin. There was circular area of singed, flesh, where Nyx's laser cannon had struck, on the left side of the creature's chest, where its heart should have been. It bounded forward, letting out an ear shattering cry that was something between a roar and a gargling hiss.
I could hear the mysterious Irken in screen seven, singing some bizarre song.
"I've got a secret..." he sang creepily.
The creature swung one of its front paws at Nyx and she jumped out of the way. Shullene, drew a pair of curved blades and charged at the beast, jumping into the air and swinging her weapons so that they sliced the monster's neck. The creature hissed and flailed its head in Skullene's direction, knocking her out of the air in mid jump. It turned and bounded toward Sancho, who screamed and quickly sprinted away into the distance.
"I'm telling everyone...an't gonna keep it..." sang the Irken in screen seven.
Skullene hit the pavement head first and rolled several feet, coming to rest beside a traffic sign that had the words "Eat a Sloogar's" spray painted over it in blue and yellow graffiti letters. She got up quickly and charged at the beast again, while at the same time, Nyx fired her laser cannons at the monster's head. The plasma beams missed and hit the side of a building, blowing a pair of circular holes in a billboard advertising canned soup.
"I'm gonna play it dumb..." sang the Irken in screen seven.
Skullene swung at the monster again, this time nearly severing one of its front paws. She managed to duck and roll out of the way just as the creature's jaws closed over the place where she had previously been standing.
"I made a promise..."
Nyx jumped into the air and kicked the monster in the face with her mechanical foot, and the creature roared as several yellow fangs were dislodged from its gums. A torrent of blood poured from the creature's mouth and drenched Nyx, staining parts of her hair, skin, and clothes a deep, sickly green.
"I think I'm ready to break..."
"Mr. Pak!" I yelled in frustration. "Put screen seven on mute! Put screen seven on mute immediately! I'm sick and tired of that bloody stupid, god-awful song!"
"La-la-la la-lah la! La-la-la la-lah la!" the Irken in screen seven sang.
"That's it! I can't take it!" I yelled, and I promptly hit the mute button on screen seven myself.
I heard a sickening crunching sound and screen 17 turned to static. I darted to my control panel and maneuvered, screen 32's cameras a few dozen yards to the right, just in time to avoid having it crushed, under the pads of one of the monster's vast, green feet.
The monster snarled, and its claws caught the side of Nyx's face as it knocked her backward into a wall. She stood up as quickly as she could, shaking from head to toe with the effort of maintaining a standing position. The monster swung around and knocked her over again with its tail. The cyborg girl hit the ground face first and coughed a red, viscous fluid onto the pavement.
Skullene fired a round of lasers at the creature's body, but this didn't seem to have any kind of significant effect. The creature swung one of its paws and hit Skullene in the stomach, knocking her backward so that her body shattered one of the nearby windows and she fell through it, disappearing into the ominous, shadowy room within.
The monster turned its attention back toward Nyx, who was curled up on the pavement, vomiting blood. It snarled and opened its fanged mouth as though prepared to devour her.
"H-hey! Over here!" I heard Sancho shout, as he emerged from his hiding place, a narrow alleyway located a few feet from where Nyx was lying.
The monster forgot about Nyx, momentarily and bounded toward Sancho.
"Oh fuck!" Sancho yelled as the monster approached him.
He turned and ran. The monster began to chase him.
"No!" he yelled as he continued to run and the monster continued to chase him. "No! Oh god no! STAY AWAY! Eat THE GIRL! EAT THE GIRL! SHE'S ALOT SLOWER!"
Sancho tripped over a pile of twisted metal debris that was lying out in the middle of the road. He yelled out in pain as he fell on his face, quickly rolling onto his back, and wiping the blood from his nostrils. The monster was nearly on top of him now. Blood dripped from the corners of its grotesque mouth as it lowered its head and its jaws separated in preparation of biting down. Sancho screamed and crawled backward along the pavement. He pulled the Irken armor that he was wearing over his head and threw it at the monster's face.
The armor hit the monster's forehead and it let out a horrible gargling shriek as its head was forced backward by the force of the blow. I heard a loud crack that might have been the creature's neck snapping, and then, just as suddenly as it had appeared, the creature vanished, leaving nothing but a trail of sickly green life fluid.
I could see Nyx, who must have been standing behind the creature when it disappeared, splattered with booth the monster's blood and her own. She shook with rage as she approached Sancho, her orange eyes narrowing in disgust as she observed the way that he was lying there staring blankly at the empty space which had once encompassed the giant green monster.
"I can't believe it." she muttered bitterly. "I kicked the teeth out of its head and nothing. I fired a four thousand volt laser cannon at it and nothing! Then you throw your damn chest plate at it and it-and it...DESINTIGRATES!"
Sancho stood up and looked around, as though expecting to see the monster still intact and hiding in a shadowy corner somewhere. Then he blinked and said: "Hm...yea. Honestly that doesn't make sense to me either. Maybe there were like explosives in that thing or something...or maybe I'm just a better fighter than you."
"Oh, shut up." spat Nyx. "You couldn't fight your way out of a paper bag."
"Well that depends," said Sancho. "How big is this paper bag we're talking about...and how many ninjas live there?"
"You're going to die a slow, horribly painful death, you disgusting human worm-pig. I'm going to make sure of that." said Nyx.
Sancho Ignored her.
"Noooo! He's getting away! Quickly! He's escaping! Ninjas assemble!" Sancho shouted.
He turned and ran several hundred yards down the road. Nyx remained where she stood. Her left eye was developing a violent twitch.
Skullene emerged from behind the broken window.
"I have good news," she told Nyx. "That building that Lucy knocked me into happens to be the one that Paneece was telling us about. While you were distracting Lucy, I went up to the fifth floor and found the first switch box."
Skullene held up a tiny black box for Nyx to see, then opened it carefully to reveal the tiny red switch hidden within.
"Sancho, what are you doing? Get over here!" Skullene yelled.
Sancho sprinted back within the range of my cameras and stood beside Skullene and Nyx.
"I'm going to flip the switch now," Skullene warned. "Are you ready for what might happen?"
"Skullene, honestly," replied Nyx. "After today, I don't think that anything could surprise me."
Skullene flicked the switch with one of her slender green fingers and it snapped upward. I heard scream and then something that sounded like an explosion. A blue creature with long dropping antenna appeared in screen 32. Then the lens shattered, snapping the image into jagged, demented fragments.
The screen faded to static…
(End of Part One)