Hello, South Park! Your friendly neighborhood Mayflower is back and ready for action with the crappy, 21st-century remake of her original story, "Apocalypse: Cartman". (Yes, for the six of you that read that, the mysterious 'other version' is finally ready to unleash its terror onto the world. Prepare yourselves.)
Anyway, we have a prologue of sorts to get to (that's fanfiction code for "lower your expectations for Chapter 1" XD), so I'll try to keep this brief. I just want to throw out a quick thank you to one of my beta-readlets, Strange Liou, without whom none of this would be possible, because she helped me to discover the missing piece of the puzzle that was holding this story back; its damn ending. XD If there are any YuGiOh! readers in the audience, do yourselves a favor and check her stuff out. It's pretty awesome.
Alright, bragging about how much I love my readlets over. XD ON WITH THE SHOW!
LAWYERBOT SAYS: "Man, this story's been on hiatus for so long, I almost forgot how to care about it."
South Park, both the show and its inhabitants, (c) Comedy Central
Comedy Central (c) Trey Parker and Matt Stone
All characters and events in this fanfiction, even those based on real people, are entirely fictional.
The following story contains coarse language, and due to its content, should not be read by anybody.
WARNING: This story contains usage of the German language. Which I do not speak. XD I am doing the best I can, but please respect that my German may not be perfect. (To be fair, though, neither is Cartman's; if it bugs you that much, pretend I'm doing it on purpose.)
CHAPTER ONE: Das Gelobte Land
The Promised Land
I hate boats. Why do I get seasick so easily? Leave it to Kyle Broflovski to find a way to throw up when he hasn't eaten in two or three days.
Still, I'll take a little seasickness over ANYTHING they had back in Germany. The salty air of the Atlantic doesn't have shit on the smell of factories and death camps. I can still see the smokestacks from here; it's like there's this black cloud of death hanging over the whole country.
Then again, a lot of places are like that now, I hear - ever since Cartman took over, most of the world's gone to hell.
I know we all grew up with the stories of how bad the Holocaust was, but I never thought I'd actually experience it first-hand. And it was all thanks to someone I knew, someone who grew up with the same stories I did...hell, someone I USED to consider a friend sometimes.
We all knew Cartman was crazy. We all knew he was a hateful bastard. We all knew that adults are stupid and fall for his tricks. Why didn't we see this coming? One junior-internship with the mayor started it all. Then he moved to Washington, DC, and we thought we'd never have to hear his whining and bitching ever again. We couldn't have been more wrong.
He came back, alright. With his own personal army.
I'll never forget that day, just under a year ago. It was the last time Ike and I saw our parents, the last time I got to see Stan and Kenny and the rest of the gang. We all heard stories about crazy takeovers happening in the south, schools being raided, blacks and Jews and redheads and handicaps and Latinos being kidnapped left and right...but that was in the south. Texas, Arizona, Alabama, Mississippi...who would've thought that mess would make its way to Colorado?
But it did. It was a firefight from the second they stormed into town. Parents were rushing into school left and right to save their kids. I still have marks on my wrists from Stan trying to drag me along when his parents came for him. We didn't know at the time why Mrs. Marsh refused to take me along. Now I get it - I still don't LIKE it, but I get it.
I remember how the last kids in my classroom were me, Jimmy, Timmy, and Token. Token managed to sneak out, right before Cartman's neo-Nazis came in and dragged me out. I still have no idea what happened to Jimmy and Timmy, but I can only imagine.
Right before they threw Ike and I onto their cattle-truck, Cartman pulled me aside. I hate it when he knows he's winning; he has this cocky look on his face that just makes me want to punch all of his teeth in. "Well, well, well, if it isn't mein Jude," he laughed. "Did ya miss me, Kahl? Did ya?"
With his goons holding me back, he stole my jacket and used his pocket-knife to cut a bloody swastika into my arm, deep as the knife would go. "Make sure nothing happens to this one, verstehen?" After putting his knife away, he grabbed my face with those fat, grubby hands of his, squeezing my cheeks like your grandmother does to embarrass you. "I wanna save lil' Kahl 'ere fer last."
I remember cursing Cartman out at the top of my lungs, all the way until they shut the door on the cattle truck with Ike and I inside of it. It didn't make a difference; none of us could make a difference.
My group was heading to Germany. As we got down the road, we saw another truck just before it split off from ours. I found out later that it had all of the older people Cartman captured, anyone over thirty-something that wouldn't be useful much longer. (Really, why did history have to be Cartman's best subject? I thought we were joking when we said Cartman could recite the timeline of World War II.) Seeing how it just came from South Park, I wouldn't be surprised if Mom and Dad were in there. I hate being the pessimist, but...let's just say Ike and I aren't about to go looking for them anytime soon.
Arbeitsdorf. Leave it to Cartman to be so bastardy and so lazy at the same god-damn time that he would just rebuild the concentration camps that Hitler put down in the 1940s. That stone and wire fence was our prison; for Ike and I, it was about a year. For the others, it was even longer, and it'd still be even longer.
6:00AM; the morning wake-up call. Report to the middle yard for counting and announcements.
6:15AM; count's over, head to the mess hall for breakfast.
7:00AM; get to positions and get to work.
7:00PM; back to the mess hall for dinner.
8:00PM; dinner's over, time to clean up and hit the showers.
9:00PM; lights-out for the younger kids, older kids go back to work.
Midnight; total lights-out.
Every. Damn. Day. I feel like I always know what time it is now, just because I'm so set to this god-damned schedule. I couldn't even get to sleep when Ike and I made it to the boat; it was 7AM, when I should've been up and working.
But leave it to Cartman to put the icing on the 'fuck you!' cake. See, I was expecting the hard work schedules. I was expecting the uniforms. I was expecting the new label as "Prisoner 1286". I was expecting the drafty barracks. I was expecting the cold showers. I was expecting the poorly-made meals.
Cartman added the piece to the puzzle that I WASN'T expecting - this damn swastika on my arm. The one that was cut so deep, it never healed properly. The scar I'm going to have for the rest of my life.
I got special treatment. And yes, I'm complaining about it. Where the older guys were sent to the weapons factory next door and the little kids were off making clothes and doing simple work, I was back at camp, doing housework and kitchen duties with the girls. There was no real reason behind it; I may not be big and strong, but I'm definitely tough enough to keep up with other guys my age. I asked a guard about it one day. He told me I was safer at the camp.
I was being baby-sat.
I was in the nicest of the three bunkers, the one with the little kids. I got extra blankets when I got sick. I never got whipped for being late. The guards never picked on me, and anyone in the camp who did got their asses handed to them.
Everyone knew I was getting special treatment. And the only thing they could pin it on was this damn swastika, the one I wasn't allowed to cover up with my shirt sleeves. Rumors were EVERYWHERE - stories that I was a spy, stories that my parents were Nazis, stories that Cartman and I were best friends...
And unfortunately, that last one used to be true. And the kids I went to Jewbilee with, the ones that knew I grew up in South Park, made sure every last kid in that camp knew it. Just because the guards were instructed to beat the bloody hell out of anyone caught picking on me, it didn't stop some of those bigger guys from trying.
The worst one was in the showers one night. The boys had snuck some knives from the mess hall, and as soon as they spotted me, beat me against the wall and hacked off as much of my hair as they could before the guards turned off the water and called everyone out. I had a black eye and bruises everywhere for weeks, and even now, you can still see where I'm missing chunks of bright red curl.
"Where's your buddy now, ya kike?" "Why isn't big, scary Cartman sticking up for you now, daywalker?" "Maybe we should give you a few more scars to match that one, huh?" I can practically still hear them now. Right when I thought getting beaten up in the locker-room for missing a free-throw was the worst thing ever.
Eventually, though, the animosity stopped. The kids stopped crying in the middle of the night, the boys stopped rioting, the foiled escapes stopped happening. One by one, I could look around the mess hall and see the broken pieces laying around. In just a few months, you could tell when the new recruits were in. They have the same look we did on that first day, with fire in their eyes and rebellion in their souls. The older kids were done, you could see it just as easily. They shuffled through their motions, nobody complaining about the food or how cold the shower was.
They gave up.
I didn't. Who's the little baby now?
It took me a while to get the plan together, but things couldn't have gone smoother once I did. When it was my turn to clean up the kitchens, I held onto some of the leftovers and let it spoil for a few days. Then, when it came my turn to cook, I mixed some of the mess into the stew we were serving to the older boys. One, that felt DAMN good after all of the harassment those guys put me through, but two, it got most of that barrack sick with food poisoning, meaning the guards were distracted. The girls and I were put on nurse-duty, cleaning out bedpans and replacing sheets and whatnot; all I had to do was sneak Ike into my laundry basket and duck out while the night guards were stuck tending to the mini-epidemic happening across the camp.
It was a long road from Arbeitsdorf, but being careful to stick to the forests and away from the roads, we made it to the border. One sneaky net-climb later, and Ike and I are on a shipping boat en route to New York. Turns out security's actually a lot lighter under Cartman's control (though he was always the type to bitch about taking his shoes off at the airport, the fat bastard). I grabbed fresh shirts for Ike and I that didn't have prisoner numbers, then turned my old shirt into a bandana to hide my hair. Nobody on the boat gave us a second look; all we had to do was avoid the passport checks at the gates and watch out for night guards lurking around the storage bay Ike and I were calling home.
I turned away from the water, wiping off my mouth and taking a few deep breaths to try and make my stomach calm down. We made it this far, that's all I could think about. A year in the camps, two weeks in the German wilderness, and three days on a German shipping barge; hard to believe we're only two days away from making it back to the states.
At least...I'm going back to the states.
"You done throwing up out here, bro?"
I couldn't help but jump a little. "Ike, don't sneak up on me like that!"
Ike just laughed as he hopped over and joined me by the railing. I always forget how big he's gotten, then remember when he comes and stands right next to me. He comes up to my shoulder now, and he's looking to pass that any day now. I still catch myself thinking he's still three years old, barely babbling and just the right size to be kicked through a window.
So hard to believe he's twelve now. Twelve years old, and enough torture to last a lifetime.
But you'd never know it by looking at him; it's like there's this brightness in those little black eyes of his, knowing that no matter how crazy things get, big brother Kyle's going to make it alright, just like I promised the very first day in the camps.
Said black eyes turned to me when he noticed I was zoning a bit. "Seriously, Kyle, you alright?"
"You need a haircut," I pointed out, noticing how his messy black hair was starting to hang in his face.
"Don't you think we have bigger problems to worry about than my hair?"
"Yeah, I'm just saying."
He laughed; ever since we got sent to the camps, laughter was his new answer to everything. Who knows, maybe it helped him deal with all this craziness. "Kyle, you're such a dork."
"Oh, and you're not?" I teased, grabbing at Ike's sides. He gave a little squeal before trying to shake me off; he hates it when I do that, but god-dammit, I can't help picking on him sometimes.
I gave him a few moments to calm down. Since we were so close to the states and it was already on my mind, I decided this would be as good a time as any to break the news. "Hey, Ike?"
"Y'know that story I'm making you memorize?"
"Lemme hear it."
Ike sighed, looking upwards for a second until the pieces of his alibi came back to him. "My name is Peter Gintz. My parents were just taken out in a town raid, and now I'm heading to live with my Uncle Harry and Aunt Elise in Quebec. I grew up in the United States, even though I'm Canadian by blood, and I'm Roman Catholic." At the end, he turned back to me. "Did I forget anything?"
"Nope; A-plus again, little bro."
"Why are you making me memorize that again?"
With a sigh, I dragged Ike closer to me, putting an arm around his shoulder. "I was going to wait to tell you, but I guess now's a good a time as any."
"Ike, when we get off the boat in New York, you're heading back to Canada."
"...Not we're heading to Canada?"
"No, Ike - YOU'RE heading to Canada. Without me."
"What? But why?"
I put a finger to his lips before he started attracting the attention of the crew. "Ike, listen," I shushed. "Canada's safe; from what I've heard, Cartman hasn't destroyed it yet. I scrounged up some money for you, so I want you to get a fake passport and catch a train to Quebec. Try as hard as you can to find out where your birth parents are, or anyone else that'll take care of you while I'm gone, okay?"
"And what are you going to be doing that I can't come with you?" Ike frowned.
"Don't worry about me; I've got a plan." (Hey, it was partially true; I DID have a plan, just not a good one.) "When we hit New York, you worry about you, okay?"
"Kyle, I can't just go out without you! What if something happens and I never see you again?"
"Hey, hey; have I ever let you down before?"
"Then don't worry about it," I tried to reassure him, ruffling up that heap of black hair with my hand. "Look, the most important thing you need to focus on is staying somewhere safe until things settle down a bit, okay? I know it's crazy, but-"
"I'm going to go take a walk," he interuppted, slipping away from my arm and storming down the deck.
I decided to let him go. It DID sound pretty harsh, expecting a twelve-year-old to give up the only family he has left and make a new name for himself in Canada. But in my mind, it still sounded better than the alternative; forcing that twelve-year-old to stay with his marked-for-death brother. If I wanted ANY chance at keeping Ike and I safe and giving him a real home to finish growing up, I needed to figure something out. I needed some way to avoid Cartman, if I couldn't just take him out altogether. And in my mind, that added up to one thing:
I needed to get back to South Park.
Alright, THAT part's over with. XD Fun stuff starts next chapter! ...Kind of! I think? Hey, there's only one way to find out! And that's to tune in next time! Make sure to review 'til then! Thanks for reading! :)
§ Tucker's Mayflower, signing off! §