A/N: I know what you guys are saying: "Qille! What the hell are you doing! Starting a new story when you already have like 8 others you could be working on?" I know, I KNOW! But did you guys seriously think I was gonna pass up the opportunity to write a multi-chapter 9 story? NO!
For those of you just now joining, hi, I'm Qille. Hope you guys enjoy the story, this is NOT A SLASH! I thought I should let y'all know that. It takes place after the movie, and it includes a single OC named 0. But don't worry, 0 is a North American Hissing Cockroach. More accurately, he's 6's pet. If ya wanna know how 6 met him, just look under my stories. It's titled "Zero."
Okay, enough rambling! Enjoy!
5 watched through the telescope as a dark figure moved around in the Emptiness. It was hard to see what it was due to the darkness of nightfall and the fog that had cloaked the ground, but 5 could still see the faint red glow of it's eye. It was a Beast.
"Is it still out there?" asked 9, squinting to see through the fog to the ground.
"Yeah," said 5, stepping away from the telescope. "Take a look."
9 stepped forward and looked through the telescope, aiming it down at the Beast. He watched it for a while before shaking his head and pulling away from the telescope. "I can barely see it. Are you sure 6 doesn't remember what it was?"
5 shook his head. "6 barely remembers any of his visions." Now that he thought about it, 5 hadn't seen the striped stitchpunk in a few days. "Do you know where 6 is anyways?"
"I think I saw him run into his room earlier," said 9, remembering the striped blur that he had seen out of the corner of his eye when he had passed 6's floor on the way up to the watch tower. "You should see the hall. He must have ran out of space in his room, because there are pictures all over the walls."
Suddenly, 2 popped out of nowhere. "6 is drawing pictures again?" He looked a bit too excited when he said that.
"I was actually about to go talk to him," said 5. "I'll see if he lets me borrow one or two."
"Excellent!" exclaimed 2, clasping his hands together in excitement. A moment later, however, he shook off his excitement and walked over to the railing, looking down into the fog. He squinted a bit, adjusting his glasses. "Can either of you see where the Beast has gone?"
5 and 9 joined 2 at the edge, looking down. They couldn't see anything moving either, so 5 took to the telescope, scanning the Emptiness. He didn't see anything moving.
"I think it's gone," said 5, inwardly breathing a sigh of relief. The Beast had been doing that for the past three days; disappearing and reappearing in the night, always staying in the same area and disappearing without a trace when the sun came up. It had been 9 who made the assumption that it was nocturnal.
"I'll stay up here and keep watch for a little bit longer," said 2, stepping back from the edge.
"I'll stay up here too," 9 offered. 5 nodded in agreement.
"It's fine, boys. I've got it handled," said 2. He looked at 5. "Remember: try and borrow some of those drawings."
5 nodded. "I'll see what I can do."
"I'll let you know if I see anything," said 2, adjusting the telescope a bit.
5 and 9 nodded and left the room, heading towards the stairs. They would leave the elevator up just in case there was an emergency and 2 had to get down to the ground floor.
"What do you think that thing was?" asked 9 as they walked down the stairs to the workshop floor.
"I'm not sure," said 5, shrugging. "It didn't look as big as some of the other Beasts..."
"Do you think 6 might know what it is?"
"I know he's seen it, but like I said, he probably doesn't remember it..."
They reached the workshop floor, which was practically deserted. Papers and spare parts were strewn everywhere; the only light was a dying candle in the corner.
5 and 9 took the next flight of stairs in silence. They were both trying to listen and see if they could hear anyone, or anything, moving. However, it was all silent.
As soon as they reached the floor that 6 had claimed, 9 nearly tripped over a puddle of ink.
"I see 6 has been busy..." muttered 5 as he helped 9 regain his footing. They carefully stepped around the puddle and into the small hallway. 6 had most definitely been busy.
The entire left side of the wall was completely covered in drawings. They were all basically the same thing: a large hexagon with a smaller hexagon inside. Inside the smaller hexagon was a small circle with three protrusions evenly jutting out from the center, ending at the edges of the small hexagon. Between each side of the hexagons were dash marks. It all looked painfully familiar to 5, but he just couldn't remember where he had seen anything like it before.
"Well... that didn't take long..." muttered 9. When 5 looked at him, he elaborated a bit. "When I came up earlier, only half of the wall was covered..."
"Wow..." muttered 5, deeply impressed. He looked down the hallway towards 6's room. Everything was silent. Slowly, 5 walked forward with 9 at his heels. When he reached the entrance to 6's room, he stopped for a minute before slowly peering around the corner.
6 stood motionless, staring at one of the drawings on the wall. His head was tilted to the side, and his arms were wrapped tightly around his chest. His faithful cockroach, 0, sat at his side, also staring at the picture.
5 moved forward a bit, and 0's head snapped towards the door. The bug hissed a bit, acknowledging 5 and 9's presence. The hiss, however, didn't alert 6, who kept staring at his drawing, his eyes wide.
Slowly, 5 and 9 stepped into the room.
"Hi, 6," said 9, trying to get the young stitchpunk's attention, to no avail. 6 continued staring at his picture, his mouth moving as if he were talking to himself but no words were coming out.
"6...?" After a moment, 5 tore his eye away from 6 and looked at the drawing. When he saw it, his jaw dropped. "That's it!"
The drawing that 6 had been staring at was a drawing of the Beast that had been lurking around recently. It had an elongated body with a triangular head that was wide at the top and narrow at the bottom. It had two large crab-like claws and six spidery legs. It had the tail of a scorpion. There wasn't much detail in the drawing, and the edges were kind of ragged; it was clear that 6 had been trembling when he had drawn this.
"6, what is that?" asked 9, pointing at the drawing.
6 finally looked away from his drawing. "Scorpion," he said to 9. This caught 5's attention.
"How do you know what it's called?" he asked.
6 shook his head and pointed to the drawing again. "Here."
"What do you mean?" asked 9.
"Here!" said 6 again, starting to look agitated.
"Uh, 6, can I borrow one of these drawings?" 5 asked, gesturing to a picture of the six-sided symbol.
6 nodded and took one of the pictures off the wall, handing it to 5. He then turned back to his drawing of the Scorpion. A second later, he gasped and spun around, grabbing another picture of the symbol. He then turned and sprinted out of the room at full speed. 0 immediately ran to catch up to his master, and 5 and 9 took off after 6, a bit worried about his mental state at the moment. They followed the sound of 6's frantic footsteps all the way to the throne room on the ground floor. However, by the time they reached the end of the stairway, 6 and 0 had disappeared into the mountains of books.
"Did you see where he went?" 9 asked 5.
"No..." said 5, looking around. He could see 1 lounging on his throne talking to 8, and he could see 7 and the twins looking at a book with pictures of birds in it. 6 and the bug were nowhere to be seen.
5 looked down at the picture in his hands. "Have you ever seen anything like this before?"
9 looked at the picture and shook his head, no. "Maybe we should ask 3 and 4."
5 nodded. "Good idea." He and 9 made their way towards the table near the window; the one that the twins and 7 had been standing on. When they got there, however, the twins were gone, and 7 was leaning on the window sill, looking out at the fog, which was alternating between a ghostly blue color in the moonlight and a veil of darkness when the half moon was cloaked behind a rain cloud.
"Hey, 7," said 9 as he and 5 clambered up onto the table.
7 turned around and smiled. "Hey guys. What are you doing?"
"We're looking for the twins," said 5. He handed 7 the picture. "We were wondering if they could tell us what this is."
"6 drew this, didn't he," asked 7 as she held up the drawing, examining it.
"Yeah," said 9. "He also ran down here a few minutes ago. Have you seen him?"
7 nodded. "He had a drawing just like this with him. 3 and 4 went to go help him find out what it means."
As if on cue, 3 and 4 scurried back up onto the table, waving at 5 and 9 in a friendly manner, who returned the wave.
"Do you know where 6 is?" asked 9.
3 and 4 nodded and simultaneously pointed across the Library, towards a table in the corner. Sure enough, they could see 6 frantically flipping through the pages of an old book with 0 sitting at his heels. Suddenly, 6 whipped around, facing the window with a terrified look on his face. He quickly hopped off the table and disappeared from sight, 0 following him.
Before anyone could respond, 2's voice echoed down from above in the elevator. "Get away from the door! It's here!"
There was a loud CRASH as something rammed against the door. Almost immediately, 5, 7, 8, and 9 were at the door, shoving books against the cracking wood.
At that moment, the elevator reached the ground floor, and 2 hopped out and ran over to the table where 3, 4, and now 6 stood. They were all looking out the window.
"It's here... it's here..." muttered 6.
"What's here?" demanded 1 as he climbed up onto the table with the others. He hopped up onto the window sill, took one look at the creature trying to break in, turned, and ran for his life.
2 rolled his eyes and climbed up onto the window sill to get a better look. The creature was large; about two feet long! It was pounding it's massive claws against the Library door, leaving large burn marks where it's claws hit. Unlike any other Beast, both of it's eyes were red. Instead of a stinger on it's scorpion-like tail, there was a strange cup-shaped object that emitted a faint blue glow. It's long sleek body was mostly silver and metallic. There was a strange device on it's back that looked like an old solar panel, and even from a distance, 2 could hear the Beast crackling with electricity.
"Scorpion..." 6 muttered as he wrapped his arms around himself.
"Hey!" shouted 9 as he pressed his back against the door. "We could use a little help down here!"
The twins quickly jumped back down onto the table and briefly communicated with each other. 4 then nodded and hopped off the table. A moment later, he returned, carrying 5's crossbow. He tossed it up to 3, who caught it and quickly turned, tapping 2 on the shoulder to get his attention.
When 2 saw the crossbow, his eyes widened in realization. "Excellent idea, boys!" he exclaimed. 3 handed him the crossbow, and 2 turned to face the door. "5!" he shouted, holding the crossbow up in the air. 5 immediately understood, and he ran over to the table.
Once he was up, he took the crossbow from 2 and quickly went over to the window, leaning out to get a good aim. 4, who was now back up on the table, and 3 rushed over and held onto 5 to keep him from falling out the window. 5 saw how the Scorpion would back away from the door before charging forward and ramming it; that would be his only opportunity to shoot it. Aiming at the empty air behind the Scorpion, 5 waited. Moments later, the Beast backed up, right into 5's line of fire. He pulled the trigger and shot the arrow.
The arrow lodged itself into the Scorpion's side. It let out a sharp roar before turning and running off into the Emptiness.
As soon as the Scorpion ran off, 7, 8, and 9 ran over to the table and climbed up, hoping to catch a glimpse of the monster.
"Did you guys see where it went?" asked 9, scanning the hazy horizon for the Scorpion.
5 shook his head, no.
"Nice shot, by the way," said 7, patting 5 on the shoulder.
"It was the twins' idea," said 5. He turned to look at the twins, but they weren't looking at him. Their nervous eyes were looking at the stitchpunk standing next to 5. Turning to his left, 5 saw 6, who stood frozen in terror. He was pointing a shaky finger out into the Emptiness.
"6?" This caught the others attention.
"6, what..." 5 voice trailed off as he followed 6's finger. His eye widened when he saw what 6 was pointing at. "Uh oh..."
Sitting on a large pile of rubble not 50 feet away was the Scorpion. 6 must have seen it by the light of it's eyes, because otherwise it was invisible. The others spotted it a moment later.
7 quickly turned around and waved her hand, signaling for 2 and the twins to get back. 2 quickly took the twins and hurriedly led them away from the window, off the table.
"What's it waiting for...?" grumbled 8 nervously.
"Charging..." 6 whispered.
9 glanced over at 6. "Charging what...?"
A moment later, they had their answer. The faint blue glow of the Scorpion's tail flared with bright blue light, and a faint crackling noise filled the silence.
"GET DOWN!" 6 suddenly shouted. Without hesitation, he lunged to his right and knocked 5 over, who in turn knocked over 7, who knocked over 9, who somehow knocked over 8. They all collapsed on the table, out of sight of the window. An instant later, a faint beam of blue light shot over their heads, right where they had been standing a minute ago. It hit the back wall of the Library with a spark before fading away.
After a minute of complete stillness, 6 slowly stood up. He peeked out the window and relaxed a bit. "Gone for now..." he said.
With a sigh of relief, the others stood up and looked out the window. 6 was right; the Scorpion had disappeared into the foggy night.
"What was that?" gasped 9 as he and 8 pushed the window closed. "What did it shoot at us?"
"EMP," said 2 as he climbed back up onto the table, the twins at his heels. "An electromagnetic pulse beam. Used to disable or destroy anything mechanical."
"Wait a second... You're saying that thing just tried to kill one of us?" demanded 1 as he emerged from his hiding place behind his throne.
"One of us," snarled 7. "You were busy hiding."
"So what are we going to do about that thing?" asked 5 as everyone gathered in a circle on the table. Well... almost everyone.
"We should kill it," grunted 8, admiring his favorite knife. 7 smiled a bit at the thought of robot carnage, especially since that particular Beast had tried to hurt her family.
"Wait a second!" exclaimed 5. "Shouldn't we think this through? Maybe it's too dangerous to go after this thing."
"That thing is too dangerous to be let run free!" exclaimed 1, jamming his staff into the table in frustration.
The twins seemed to argue with each other, their eyes blinking rapidly; 4 was nodding his head yes, but 3 was shaking his head no.
"I hate to admit it," said 9, "but I think 1 might be right." This stopped all arguing; everyone, even 1, stared at 9 as if he had gone crazy.
"1's right," 9 repeated. "It's too dangerous. That thing was about to break in, and if 5 hadn't shot it, then it probably would have. And if it had broken in, then it would have killed all of us!" 9 pointed at the large burn mark on the wall left by the beam. "If it comes back, then it'll probably kill us all!"
Everyone fell silent at this morbid thought. 4 slowly poked 3 in the shoulder, as if to say "I told you so."
"So, what do you guys think?" asked 9, looking around at the others.
"I think that's a good idea," said 7 quietly. 8 and 1 nodded in agreement.
"I don't think we should rush into this," said 2, stepping forward. "We need to decide who should go, and when."
"I volunteer to go!" exclaimed 7, stepping forward.
"Me too!" exclaimed 8 and 9 at the same time.
5 gulped. He really didn't want to go fight a giant scorpion that could kill them from over 50 feet away, but he knew his family was in danger, and he had the best aim. He too could attack from far away. "I'll go too..."
"You should at least wait until daybreak to go hunt it down," said 2, forgetting, in the excitement of the moment, that the Scorpion was nocturnal. Everyone nodded in agreement.
"We should probably barricade the door a bit better first," suggested 5, gesturing to the splintering door.
"Good idea..." said 8. He ripped a large plank of wood off of the edge of the table and carried it over to the door.
"One more thing," said 2. "We should probably all stay up in the watch tower tonight. Just for safety."
After a quick conversation, 9, 5, and 2 went and joined 8 in repairing and barricading the door, while 7 took the twins upstairs. 1 grumbled to himself about anything he could think of before eventually heading upstairs himself.
No one noticed 6 sitting in the shadows under the table. He had heard every word that had been exchanged, and he found it amusing that no one had noticed his absence. 0 sat faithfully at his side, concerned for his master. Slowly, 6 shook his head. The events had been set in motion, and there was no stopping it now.
A/N: WHOO! First chapter, complete! Pictures of the Scorpion are up on deviantART. Just search "Qille" and you'll get some of my pictures. Just go to my page, look under my gallery, and I've got a whole folder dedicated to 9 things.
Hopefully, I'll have the next chapter up soon! Hope this tides you guys over for now!