In which I kill everyone except Emily.
“Any last words?” Spike cackled.
“Kiss me again, Kris?” Emily suggested.
“Shut up,” Mango replied. “What’ve we got that can defeat this dumb quack?”
The hydra snarled.
“He doesn’t like the q-word,” Spike whispered. “Here’s a game fit for the video games. Challenge: Find a way to defeat the hydra! Snookums is your big boss battle. Once you have defeated him, you will have to attempt to shoot down the platform I will be standing on. Don’t bother shooting me down before killing Snookums, because he’s only gonna stop you. Once you have shot me down, I will personally face you off in a battle. Happy hunting.” He pulled on a chain and was launched up onto a large platform above them.
Everyone stared at him. “Snookums?” Hayley asked.
“Best name I could think of!” Spike replied.
“I wouldn’t think of anything if I were you, buckface!” Scar snarled. She aimed the gun at Spike’s platform.
“Scar, don’t!” Emily screamed.
It was too late. Snookums lunged at Scar. She barely had time to scream, and when she did scream, it was relatively loud. But it only lasted a second, as it only takes a second for a hydra to bite you in half.
“New game plan,” Kris said. “Run for the crates!”
Emily and Mango ran for the crates with Kris. But Kris had to grab Hayley’s collar to get her to move.
“She…was…” Hayley breathed as they reached the crates.
“No time to bother with that!” Emily snapped. “We gotta stop this thing! It’s for the greater good!”
“The greater good was not getting involved in this mess!” Hayley screamed. “I wish I was back home!”
“Getting home is something we worry about later!” Kris said. “Now, what was it about hydras we need to worry about?”
“Something about the head,” Emily muttered.”
“The head is the vulnerability!” Mango said. She jumped up and through an axe at the hydra’s neck. It sliced the head clear off before flying back into her hand.
“Wait, where’d you get that axe?” Spike called from his platform.
“Hammerspace,” Mango replied. “But it worked, right?”
Spike didn’t look fazed. He broke out in an evil grin. “Do your research, lughead,” he said. “Cut off one head of the hydra, two more grow.”
Mango nearly fell backwards at the sight of the hydra growing two more heads until it seemed as if the hydra had always had three heads.
“How did Hercules defeat the hydra in the original myth?” she asked after ducking behind the crates again.
“I think he burned the neck?” Kris suggested.
“We’re gonna have to set a fire,” Emily said. “But with what?”
“Hydra breathing in our faces,” Mango said.
Everyone made a wild dive as the hydra smashed through the crates. One of the crates was smashed to bits.
Emily picked up a board. “Huh,” she commented. “You’d think that would’ve been obvious.”
“Mango and Hayley, you get started on the fire,” Kris said. “Emily and I will try to distract ‘Snookums’ until it gets started.”
“We’re fine with that plan.” Hayley said. “Let’s get moving.”
Emily and Kris stood before Snookums.
“It’s no use attacking!” Spike taunted. “He’ll gobble you up like a pancake!”
“I hate pancakes,” Emily replied. “I’m glad I brought a sword.” She unsheathed it and made a slash at the hydra’s leg. The hydra stumbled, but kept its pace.
“Making a fire now would really help!” Emily called.
“Working on it,” Mango called back. “This isn’t very easy!”
“My lighter isn’t working,” Hayley grumbled. She kept on flicking it, but nothing worked.
The hydra recognized what was happening, and made a lunge for Hayley.
Kris knew that if he cut off the hydra’s head, two more would grow, but that thing was gonna swallow Hayley whole if he didn’t do something. He groaned and made a slash at the hydra. Its head landed right near the two fire-starters, who grimaced.
Hayley made a final flick. A flame erupted. “Got it!” she said triumphantly.
But her triumph was premature. For the two newly created heads of the hydra grabbed her. Hayley, screaming, dropped the lighter. The flame blew out as it hit the ground.
“You’re not tearing her in half, lizard-brain!” Emily screeched. She slashed at the hydra’s side. It dropped Hayley to the floor with a loud thud, and turned to attack his new rival.
“Ah dang it,” Emily said as she made a run for it.
Mango lay near the crates, staring at Hayley’s frail body. It had hit the ground really hard, and Hayley wasn’t moving.
“For god’s sake, that fire needs to be started,” Mango muttered. “Get up.”
She heard a loud groan. Hayley looked up from her falling point. The lighter was a few feet away. If she could reach it and light the fire, things would be all clear. She pulled herself toward the lighter, but it wasn’t an easy task. The hydra’s fangs had sunken into her body, and the poison was starting to make her very weak.
She made a wild grab and got hold of the lighter. She flicked the wheel, and a flame popped up.
“Welcome to the fires of hell, Geico newt,” she groaned. She tossed the lighter at the stack of food. The flames ignited.
Hayley made one last groan, and then fell back. She was out of the count for good.
“Emily, try to stumble over to the fire!” Kris called.
Emily groaned. She had been running for a very long time now. But a break could do her good. She stumbled over to the fire. She paused to look at Hayley’s lifeless body, then stared at Mango, who was lying on the ground in shock.
“It wasn’t in vain,” Emily said reassuringly. She then motioned over to another stack of crates.
Mango nodded and made a dash.
Emily turned back and waved at the hydra. “Hey, Snookums!” she screamed.
The hydra looked at her, somewhat amused.
“You couldn’t eat me if I was a 10 pounder!” Emily called, waving her arms.
The hydra snarled, and lunged his head at Emily.
Emily pulled out her sword, made a slash, and then pushed the stump of the neck into the fire. The hydra, having lost a head, was furious. He made another lung, but Emily managed to push two of the heads into the fire with a slash of the sword.
The hydra was now with only two heads, and he was furious. He wasn’t going to fall for the fire trick again. He swung his tail. In his haste, he knocked down an electrical cord on the wall. It split in two, and sparks flew around the room.
“Sloppy trick,” Kris commented. He and Emily grabbed the sparkling cables and ran straight towards the hydra. The hydra didn’t have time to squeal as 1000 volts of electricity ran straight through his body. With an unhappy groan, he collapsed.
Emily and Kris looked up at Spike. “It’s over, Spike,” said Emily. “We can do this the easy way or the hard way.”
“Hard way?” Spike taunted. “I could go with the hard way.” He pulled out a sword from his belt. “I guess this game has a cheat code!” He jumped down onto the floor of the warehouse.
He jumped at Emily. She blocked his strike. “I don’t fall for tricks like this,” she said.
“That may be,” Spike commented. “But you fall for tricks like this!” He pulled out a gun from his pocket. “Gets people every time!” And he fired straight at Kris. Kris hit the ground hard.
“You little son of a…!” Emily screamed. She slashed at Spike several times. Spike simply blocked them, and backed up onto some stairs. They slashed and blocked all the way across the warehouse catwalks.
Emily then made a jump. “Wise gal, huh?” Spike laughed. “Two can play at this game!” And he jumped from the catwalk…
…straight onto a demon-trapping symbol.
“I fell for that shtick again?!” Spike complained.
“Believe it, lughead,” Mango said, walking out from the shadows with a red bucket of paint.
“I believe exorcism is really gonna help with this,” Emily said.
“Yeah, well,” Spike said. “There’s one advantage about being a demon in this body. I learned the tricks on reversing demon trapping symbols.” His eyes turned black, and he stepped right off the symbol.
Mango and Emily jumped back in horror.
“Admit it, EpicnezzEmily,” Spike laughed. “You’ve lost.”
“Not yet,” Emily breathed. “I still have Mango.”
“Can’t forget good ol’ me,” Mango added.
“Yeah, well, screw her,” Spike said. He lifted up his hand and made a twisting motion. Mango’s head turned in a strange angle, there was a loud crack, and she collapsed. Emily stared at her in horror.
“Your turn, bucko,” Spike said. He lifted his hand.
All of a sudden, he screeched. His head flew up and black smoke bellowed out from his mouth. It flew straight into the ground and vanished. The body hit the ground, without a soul in it.
Emily stared. Standing right behind where Spike had stood was the Devil.
“Boy, my sons can be so distracting!” the Devil groaned. “They cause problems, I have to clean up their messes!”
Emily rubbed her eyes. “Why didn’t you come when we needed you?” she complained.
The Devil glanced down at Spike’s body. Emily remembered that it had one housed TenCent’s consciousness. “Sometimes, there are things in life I can’t get involved in,” he said. “But the world is no longer at risk, and Spike is no longer a threat.”
Emily walked over to Kris’s body. His eyes were wide open from the shock.
“But…these guys,” she said. ‘They died for this cause. And they’re only kids.”
The Devil sighed. “There really isn’t much I can do for them. I’m sorry, but they’re dead.”
Emily sat dejectedly on a nearby crate. “I wish I could rewind time and defeat Spike before this whole business started,” she groaned.
The Devil walked up to her and looked around. “I need you to listen to me very closely,” he said. “Give me that location-jumper watch you have.”
Emily handed it to him. The Devil held up a little crystal that was hung as a necklace on his neck. “This is a special crystal,” he said. “Inside it is a warp hole. If you connect this thing to your watch and set a certain date, the watch will send you back in time to that moment. Time will reset, and no one will remember anything save for you.”
“I can bring back all these people?” Emily asked, motioning to the bodies that lay around them.
“If you rewind time, they would never have died,” the Devil said. “But to be clear…you didn’t hear this from me.” And with a whoosh, he vanished.
Emily looked at her watch. She stuck the crystal into a little hole on the side. She tapped a few buttons.
“Three weeks ago,” she said. “And…go.”