Battle of the Snowflakes: Part Eleven

Part ten is here if you need a refresher. Full story after the cut!

Part 11: Good Evil VS Evil Good

A low hiss escapes Satantastic’s lips.

“Purity,” she says, black teeth bared.

“Villain,” Faith Hope Charity Love responds.

“What?” I say, backing away slowly.

“I’m here too,” Gamer Girl says, stepping out from behind FaithHCL. “Not that anyone cares.”

Through the shop’s front windows, I spy a floating cloud of dark broodiness that can only be The Darkness. Apparently everyone wants to see how this fight is going to go down.

Except me of course, but I don’t have a choice. Both Satantastic and Faith are between me and the exit. Somehow, I don’t think sprinting between the two in an escape attempt would be beneficial to my health. Instead, I take careful, measured steps backwards while scanning the room for something sturdy to hide behind.

Faith and Satantastic are still locked in a stare. Flames begin gathering to Satantastic’s fists while Faith’s hair starts fluttering around as if caught in a nonexistent breeze.

Then Faith calls out, “Get her!”

It takes longer than it probably should for me to realize that comment was aimed at myself and Gamer Girl.

“Wait, seriously?” Gamer Girl says.

This elicits an sigh from Faith. “Yes, seriously,” she says. “I’ve got her cornered, you two go and grab her. Quickly!”

“Look here, princess–” Gamer Girl begins as I leap out from behind some plastic shelving.

I charge towards Satantastic, throwing in a battle-scream for good measure. One of Satantastic’s red-tinged brows arch towards her hairline and she calmly steps to the side so as to not be in my path. I launch myself forward a half-second too late, missing her entirely  and deliberately botch the landing, tumbling ungracefully past both Faith and Gamer Girl. When I run out of momentum, I flop over in front of the door, doing my best impression of unconsciousness.

“Oh, right,” I hear Gamer Girl say.

I crack an eye open just in time to see her “accidentally” punch herself in the face and fall over next to me.

In the silence that follows, Satantastic begins to laugh.

Faith sighs. “I suppose that’s what I get for hiring nonbelievers.”

“Hiring?” I whisper, turning to Gamer Girl. “Wait, you were getting paid?”

Gamer Girl keeps her eyes closed but I see her shoulders shrug ever so slightly.

“I’ve been waiting for this for many years,” Satantastic’s deep yet attractive voice rumbles.

“Well I’ve been waiting for this for centuries,” Faith replies.

Beside me, Gamer Girl cracks her eyelids just enough to show me her eye-roll.

“Excellent,” Satantastic says. “That will make your shame exponentially worse when I defeat you.” With this, she hurls a volley of fire-blasts at Faith.

A wall of Stuffer clothes behind Faith goes up in flames. The tiles around her feet melt in a perfect circle. Yet somehow Faith is is unharmed.

“The fires of hell cannot harm a true believer!” Faith yells.

“Oh please.” Satantastic adds her own eye-roll to the mix. “As if you could truly believe in anything besides yourself,” and launches another volley.

“We need to get out of here,” I whisper.

Gamer Girl smirks and opens her mouth for what is clearly going to be a witty retort.

“Watch out!” I yell.

We both roll away as a fireball hits right where we had been lying only moments before. Gamer Girl and I lock eyes for a moment and without a word stand up and head for the exit.

Unfortunately, the glass doors have been twisted off their hinges and a glowing puddle of melted glass stands between us and the safety of the hallway.

“Typical,” Gamer Girl says and we dive out of the way as yet another fireball careens towards us.

Faith and Satantastic are still hurling generic insults at each other and destroying the shop as best they can. Satantastic’s hair is flickering with fire now as well as her hands and Faith seems to be shimmering with some sort of white light. As another wall of Stuffers goes up in flames, I get an idea.

“Help me grab one of the bins,” I tell Gamer Girl.

Moving carefully around flaming store items and melted floor-tiles, we manage to grab a plastic Stuffer bin and drag it over to the doors.

“On three,” Gamer Girl says as another fireball ricochets towards us.

We tip the bin over into the steaming puddle of glass and dive out of the way again. The plastic bin starts hissing and melting as soon as it hits the puddle. Gamer Girl and I and crawl across it as fast as we can. We barely make it to the cool, non-melting floor of the hallway before the bin dissolves completely.

The Darkness, levitating with her legs crossed a few feet away from us, breaks into a slow clap.

In response, Gamer Girl jumps to her feet and takes a bow.

Behind us, the Stuff-a-Stuffer store is completely filled with black smoke and blinding white light. It’s impossible to see anything that might be happening inside.

Since there’s a great chance either Faith or Satantastic will find me and finish me off before I get the chance to finish anymore hyperbolic statements, I decide the best course of action is to get as far away from the battle as possible.

Unfortunately, I only make it about three stores down before Gamer Girl and The Darkness decide to join me.

“What?” Gamer Girl asks. “You’re not going to stick around and watch?”

It is at this moment that the Stuff-a-Stuffer store explodes.

The blast of hot air throws Gamer Girl and me to the floor and sends The Darkness spinning through the air and into a potted topiary. All three of us sit in shock as the flaming remains of unstuffed animals rain down upon us. Then, through the smoke and debris, Satantastic’s menacing form slowly appears, walking towards us.

“RUN!” Gamer Girl screams.

We do.

Figuring that running in a straight line is just going to give Satantastic an easier shot, I dodge to the left as soon as I can, sprinting up a “down” escalator nestled between two shops to reach the second floor. Gamer Girl follows closely behind.

We sprint up two more escalators in the same manner–and seriously, where are the “up” escalators in this place?–before I have to stop in order to retain consciousness.

No one seems to be following us, so I slump to the ground, breathing heavily. Gamer Girl follows suit.

“Where’s The Darkness?” I ask when I can manage it.

“Who cares?” says Gamer Girl.

A deep rumble sounds as if in response to Gamer Girl’s comment. She barely has time to roll her eyes before the ground beneath us bucks wildly. We hug the floor for a few seconds and then all goes still.

“What the–” Gamer Girl gets to her feet and heads to the railing. Despite my self-preservation instincts screaming at me to sprint in the opposite direction, I join her.

The ground floor of Mall Deorum no longer exists. In its place is a disaster zone that looks like it was attacked by a tornado, wildfire, and a well-funded terrorist group all at the same time. Everything is scorched black and riddled with holes. What remains of the floor is cracked and uneven; spikes of blackened dirt jut from it at random. Every single storefront window has shattered. The only color comes from the flaming merchandise scattered throughout the scene. My lightheadedness has nothing to do with all the running.

“You think. . .” I swallow, a difficult move when your throat seems to have turned into a desert. “You think they’re gone?”

“We couldn’t possibly be that lucky,” Gamer Girl says.

Another rumble sounds, followed by a small quake. I’m able to stay on my feet this time by clutching the railing, and so I see the exact moment Faith Hope Charity Love emerges from the floor. Literally. The ground breaks apart in a blast of pure white light and she climbed through the resulting hole, looking pretty–well, pretty, for having been buried beneath a half-ton of rock only moments before and has somehow managed to change outfits in the few minutes since I saw her last, now sporting a simple, all-white dress with matching bonnet. She stands, dress rippling as if caught in a slight breeze.

Satantastic’s raspy laugh echoes from somewhere further down the hall.
Gamer Girl rejoins me at the railing and lets out a slight gasp.

“That–that poser!” Gamer Girl snarls, jabbing a finger down at the carnage below.

I follow the direction of the point to a small, slightly smoking blackened shrub set off to one side of the hallway. Something seems off about it though. I try to make sense of the small movement in back of the shrub, the entire picture jumps at me. It’s no shrub, but rather The Darkness, cleverly disguised as one. From this angle, up high where we can see the back of her cape, it’s obvious, but from the ground. . .

“Hiding in plain sight,” Gamer Girl says. “So lame.”

Down below, Satantastic finally makes an appearance. She too has found a different outfit, managing to find a black cape, black halter-top, black miniskirt, dark gray fishnet stockings and shockingly red heels.

“Your reign of terror is at an end, she-devil!” Faith yells. “You have miscalculated. As you can see, none of your attacks have done any real damage.”

Satantastic laughs again.

“My dear,” the now-fabulous femme fatal begins, “You’re far too much fun to damage this early in the game.”

Faith sticks to her guns. “You cannot hurt me, regardless of how hard you may try. Only one with pure intentions may do me any harm.” With this, Faith begins walking towards Satantastic, her white dress rippling back, and a soft glow of light gathering around her feet.

Satantastic says nothing, but flames begin leaping up around her.

“And while that definition may include pure evil, for some reason, you still can’t land a blow,” Faith continues.

Satantastic’s flames grow higher.

“Perhaps you cannot harm me because, deep down, you don’t want to,” Faith suggests.

“Or perhaps it’s because I can’t decide whether I want to kill you now or spend an eternity torturing you instead!” Satantastic growls back.

“Torture! Go with torture!” Gamer Girl calls before I can stop her.

Luckily, neither of the combatants looks up.

Faith is mere feet away from the ball of fire that has become Satantastic. “Rest assured, should you attempt to end my life, it will only result in the end of your own,” she says.

Satantastic sneers. “Do you wish to test your theory?”

I thought we’re safe three levels up. That was before Satantastic and Faith started levitating.

“We need to get out of here,” I say.

For once, Gamer Girl seems to have no sassy comment. “Where is there to go?”

I think. “What’s the opposite of total good and total evil?”

“Total stupid,” Gamer Girl says. The “duh” in her voice is implied.

“And what’s the definition of total stupid?”

In unison, we both turn to Bureaucratic Policy Maker’s R Us, conveniently only a few shops down from where where we stand.

It takes us less than a minute to find the standard panic-bunker installed in every BPMRU store. By the time we locate the key, the front of the store has begun to melt, presumably from the intensity of the battle outside. Through the melting storefront windows, I see a blur of black and white shoot past our floor. Almost immediately, the ground begins shaking again.

Gamer Girl and I have just barely locked ourselves inside the bunker when the lights go out and everything tilts sideways.

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Posted on May 6, 2014, in Battle of the Snowflakes and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Battle of the Snowflakes: Part Eleven.

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