"Dere she is!" Grim exclaims, looking at me with a bittersweet smile. I hold the broken mirror tightly in my hand as I walk up to Grim. He stares down at the mirror in my hand with a look that I didn't recognize. Even though he didn't have eyes, I knew that Grim was observing the mirror closely. I'm not sure what Grim has to do with all of this, so for now I will just play it cool and try to get as much information from him that I can.
"Hey there Grim!" I say, smiling at him as I walk up and stand near him. "What's up, Dexter said you had something you wanted to talk about?" I tilt my head to the side slightly, genuinely interested in what he had to say. He took his attention off of the mirror and focused on me, nodding his skull slightly as he sighed. As I look at him, the mirror feels heavy and heavier in my hands. I look down at the mirror and turn it in my hands. The back of the mirror had symbols etched onto it. As I run my hand across it, a memory plays in my head before I can think to stop it.
I open my eyes and see that I'm sitting on my bed, holding the mirror in my hands. I look around and see my sisters. Bubbles is sitting in front of me on the floor, playing with her dolls. Turning to my right, I see that Buttercup is sitting on the windowsill, reading a comic book while eating a bag of potato chips. It is storming outside, and we were waiting for the rain to let up so that we could go outside to play. As I hold the mirror, Aku's whispers float through my mind without resistance. Meaningless words were spoken within my mind, just him talking to himself mostly. My sisters can't hear the whispers. My father can't hear the whispers. Nobody can hear the whispers except me. Sometimes it makes me feel like I was going crazy.
I turn the mirror in my hands and trace the etches with my finger. I look into the mirror in my hands and see a version of myself that I barely recognize. My eyes are dark and look lifeless, bags under my eyes telling everyone around me just how tired I was. I was having a hard time sleeping at night because of the whispers that got louder at night, more restless. Sometimes the voice stopped rambling on about nonsense and said something to me that made sense. But not right now. Sighing, I stand up and walk towards the window and look out at the street down below.
As I'm looking, I see movement out of the corner of my eye. Blinking, I rub my eye and look closer. That's when I see someone standing outside in the rain, holding an umbrella and staring up at us. As soon as we make eye contact, the figure turns around and looks out towards the gazebo across the street. From this angle, it's really hard to tell who the mysterious person is. Looking between the mirror and the mystery figure, curiosity gets the best of me and I decide to go find out who it is. Placing the mirror on the bed, I leave our bedroom without saying a word to my sisters. They make no move to stop me or even ask what I am doing, so I continue downstairs.
At the bottom of the stairs, I look around the living room and don't see the Professor. He must be in his lab, I think as I open the front door and step outside. The rain has let up a little bit, but not a lot. I look around and find that the person is standing across the street facing away from the house. A chill runs down my spine and I note that it's colder outside than I first thought. Rubbing my arms, I look back at the door and wish that I had put on a jacket before I came out here. Before I can run back inside and grab a jacket quickly, the mystery person turns back around towards the house and makes eye contact with me. Building up my courage, I step out into the rain and call out to the mysterious person.
"Hey!" I call out as I shield my eyes from the rain so that I can see. The figure stares at me, stepping back a bit in surprise. Before they can run off, I call out to them once more. "Who are you? Why are you watching us?" I ask while holding my arms out, wanting answers and no longer worrying about the rain or anything else. The figure lowers the umbrella and now I can see that the person watching the house is a boy around my age. He's about my height, with curly brown hair and round glasses. With his umbrella now on the ground, this mysterious boy is now allowing himself to get soaked just as I was at this point. He smiles at me and holds his hand out as I look at him, waiting for an introduction or at the very least an explanation.
"Hi there! You don't know me yet, but one day we are going to be really good friends." He says, still smiling and now nodding in a friendly way towards me. Pointing at the watch on his wrist, he looks at me expectantly. "Here's the thing, I need to talk to you about a time-sensitive issue. It's really important that I talk to you. Do you have the time to chat?" He asks, but the look on his face tells me he knows that I could never refuse such a request. How could I, when you say something as crazy as that?
"Alright then, let's talk," I say, causing him to laugh. He picks up his umbrella and holds it above the two of us. I look at him and roll my eyes. We are already soaked to the bone so there isn't a point, but his grin puts me at ease in the weirdest way. I don't know why, but I have a gut feeling that whatever this kid has to say is going to change everything.
"I knew you would say that," He says and gestures towards the gazebo and we walk towards it together. Walking underneath the shelter of the gazebo, we sit on the ground and wring out our clothes. He sets the umbrella down nearby and takes his glasses off to wipe the water off on his soaked shirt. I wring out my hair and eye him warily, still waiting for whatever he had to say. I don't even know this kid's name and here I am sitting under a shelter in the rain with him? What am I doing?
"Otto." The boy stated while looking out into the rain. He looked back at me and laughed a bit when he saw my confused expression. "My name, it's Otto. I am here to talk to you about a very serious problem that is currently in motion in this timeline as we speak. If we don't do something about it now, people will be in serious danger." He said, looking at me with a grim look on his face. Seeing him switch into such a mindset out of nowhere really creeped me out.
"It's- it's about Aku," Otto said hesitantly, as he looked at me with a mixture of sadness and nervousness. My blood runs cold as he says that name. My mind races as he continues. "Aku was an evil being, even before he was put inside the mirror. He had bad intentions for this world and still does. You have to make sure that he is never freed. If he does, he will destroy the world and everyone with it. And I think he plans to use you to do it. You have to make sure that Aku is never released. You are the only one who can do it. He chose you. I don't know why, but he did. You can change everything." Otto finished, looking at me expectantly. I open my mouth and then close it again, not knowing what to say. Instead, I just look back at the house.
As I turn back to Otto to ask him about how he knows about Aku, the scene fades away and I'm back in the present with Grim.
"Well, I may have heard a little somethin' that you might be interested in." Grim states as he turns around and looks out towards the sea. "You gotta understand, as da Grim Reapa, I have a certain connection to da otha side. An' I know what that mirror is, or was, I should say. I know who was in that mirror up until Fuse got his nasty paws on it, an' what he did to da world, to dat Samurai. And especially to you." As he says that Grim turns to the side and looks me in the eye, a sad expression plastered on his skull. I sigh and look out towards the sea.
"You know, Grim, I didn't come out here to talk about the past," I say a little more harshly than I meant to, but I can tell that Grim took no offense to my words. I cross my arms and look up at the sky, waiting for him to continue.
"I know ye didn't. Sorry." Grim murmurs before continuing with his train of thought. "De other day, I was out here on da beach and I felt a shift in de balance. A big shift, bigger than what dem monsters caused when the invasion first started. And when Dexter sent out that bulletin I just knew. Knew that he had escaped from dat dere mirror," Grim states as he points at the mirror.
"What I'm tryin' to get at, is dat I can help you wit dat. Findin' the pieces, I mean." Grim says, which caught me by surprise. Thinking about it, I guess it does make sense. If Grim can sense the mirror pieces, then maybe we have a shot of getting Aku back in the mirror before Fuse can get his hands on him. "In fact, there is a piece of it not too far from here," he states with a smirk.
"Really?" I ask happily, ready for some good news today. Grim nods and I let out a sigh of relief. The sooner we get this dealt with the better. "Where is it Grim?" I ask and he pulls out his nancom and he opens up his map and shows it to me. It's the infected zone of Bravo Beach, the Sand Castle. Home to Fusion Bubbles, Fusion Mojo Jojo, and a bunch of Squish Scalers. At one point, Fusion Mandy had a lair in there, but she got taken down about a month ago and hasn't been reported to have come back yet.
"Got it. I'll go poke around and look for it." I tell Grim and he nods. "Do you happen to know where it will be?" I ask, and Grim shakes his head. I sigh, it figures that it wouldn't be that easy, but it still would have been nice.
"I don' know where in der it is, but I do know that Fuse's creeps want it," Grim says before turning around and walking towards the sea. He then stopped and turned to the side, and spoke quietly while taking one last glance at the mirror.
"I'd be careful if I was you."