Chapter 11: Heels and Faces
Pitch black darkness was all he could see. The dust particles floating around him more visible than the enemy he was fighting. He could hear his light footsteps landing on the different beams. His ears trying their best to pinpoint his opponent's location.
He heard another set of feet land off to his right. His body moved naturally, sending four blades into the darkness. He hissed when he heard them colliding with the roof's support beams.
His head searched for any sign of the bird. He made out the image of Crow dashing to another beam, but when he turned to face him, he was gone. His movements were silent, like a cat landing on the carpet. His body was hidden, like a mouse running through a field. To put it bluntly, he was almost invisible.
Meanwhile, Leon stood in the middle of a black room wearing bright green and yellow. Like a highlighter in a sea of black sharpies. He stuck out like a sore thumb.
While Crow's movements were perfectly hidden, his daggers made more noise in the silence. With the speed he threw them and the amazing craftsmanship of his blades, Leon was able to hear them cutting through the air.
His ear picked up on another volley aimed in his direction, quickly leaping to another nearby board. He sent a few blades in the direction of Crow's attack, the boy biting his lip when he saw his attack helplessly fall to the diner below.
He followed the blades, noticing that the monster Bull was hiding behind a table. Bo was keeping him pinned behind the wall with a storm of explosive arrows. His eyes crept to Rosa, the botanist trading blows with the bat-wielding woman. From his position, it looked as though Bo and Rosa were winning. That meant he needed to win his fight.
Leon turned to the voice, only to get a face full of Crow's fist and getting launched off his beam. He contorted his body, latching onto another beam at the last second. He dangled there, his legs helplessly flailing above the diner. He looked down, it was roughly a twenty-five or thirty-foot drop onto unforgiving wood.
He tried lifting himself, only for one of his hands to be pierced by another dagger. He let go, now holding on with just one hand. He tried to pull himself up again, but more daggers flew his way. The boy's body twisted and turned uncomfortably to avoid the fan of attacks. He looked for Crow, finding the bird staring down at him, a smirk across his beak. "Not bad, but not good enough."
Crow lunged towards him, his feet aiming for Leon's supporting hand. The boy mustered up the strength to flip his body back up onto the beam. Crow was already mid-flight, leaving him helpless to the kick Leon planted into his chest.
Leon watched as Crow landed on another beam, quickly shifting to a vertical position and gathering his breath. Leon readied more blades but paused at a new sound. A low and unsettling noise. Like laughter coming from a wildebeest.
Crow looked at him with a terrifying smile, then hopped into the darkness. Leon's blood froze, he tried his best to understand what he saw but didn't have time to think.
"Not bad, kid." He heard the voice originate from behind him, but Crow was just ahead. How did he move so fast? "You're an impressive fighter," Leon turned around again. The voice had somehow leaped to a new location. Another unsettling laugh leaked out the darkness, "Much like your sister."
"You leave her out of this!" Leon sent a few blades in the direction of the voice. Just as his blades flew, three daggers buried themselves in his back.
He could feel them slowly fall from his smaller frame, alongside a thin trail of his blood. His adrenaline allowed him to ignore the pain and send a volley of blades in Crow's direction. When he heard them collide with the wood, Crow laughed merrily to his right.
"You are a great fighter, but there's one reason why you'll never beat me." Leon turned so that his body was watching the angle Crow spoke from and the opposite direction his attacks would come from. His head on a swivel to try and catch any incoming attacks. He never saw the knives flying from his front, slashing at his gut.
He crumbled on the beam, holding onto his new wounds. He checked the blood staining his hands, a light green substance mixed with the crimson red.
Crow appeared before him. His hands in his pocket; his black eyes were two cold, emotionless husks. "You aren't an assassin."
Leon sent another volley of blades. Crow was barely able to deflect most of the attacks, a single blade slicing at his leather jacket's sleeve. "Yep, a great fighter. But not an assassin."
Leon's breath was staggered, "Why? Why do I feel weak?"
"Poison." Crow readied another dagger. "Your body is much weaker than Rosa's. You couldn't survive a fraction as long as she. You need stealth with your weaker body."
"You coward. Who uses poison?"
He held the final dagger above his head, "A real killer." Crow paused for a second, "As a professional's courtesy… any last words?"
Leon muttered, "Take care of Nita, please."
Crow's heart stopped. He hadn't thought about her. What would Nita think if she found out he killed her brother? He wouldn't be able to live with himself if he made Nita cry.
With a frustrated breath, he put the dagger away, calmly walking away from the boy. Leon looked up in confusion, "What? What are you doing?"
Crow looked over his shoulder, "I'm letting you live."
Leon was flabbergasted, "Why?"
Crow looked below him; he could see most of the carnage that had taken place below. He could see Rosa laying lifeless on the floor, Bull was in a heap behind the bar, Bibi and Bo were currently at each other's throats, and he swore he saw Brock sitting in the corner. "You're not a threat to me."
Leon's breath caught; he couldn't believe what he heard. He was being pitied. Crow continued his statement, "Let's make a deal, you can visit her once a month and she'll be able to come to your village any day she wants. That way you two won't be apart forever. How's that sound?"
Leon's blood was boiling, "No." Crow didn't turn around, he just silently listened. "No deal. She's my sister…" Leon shouted at the top of his lungs, "And you won't take her away from me!"
Crow blew a frustrated breath, 'Forgive me Panda Bear.' He turned around, "Then you'll live on in her memories." He looked at Leon's position, but the boy had disappeared. He calmly scanned the darkness, his eyes easily able to see everything around him. Yet somehow the boy had vanished, only a wavering cloud of smoke where he once stood.
He grew a little flustered as he tried to find the boy's body, sounds of him hopping around could be heard, but his position was hidden from his eyes.
"You said that I lacked the abilities of an assassin." Crow turned to the voice, precisely launching daggers into the air. They crashed against the wood followed by Leon's soft laughter. "That I needed stealth to defeat you. Well tell me, Crow," he could feel a warm breath on his neck. "Am I an assassin now?"
He swiftly slashed at the air, the boy's mirage glistening for a second as he escaped once again. His mind tried to process the magic he was witnessing. What was this trick, how could it be possible? His mind tried to reason through the boy's technique, a key memory popping up suddenly.
He saw himself sitting in the storage room on Nita's blown-up mattress. The girl wrapped up in his arms as he processed his newfound love for her. He remembered saying, 'I'll always be there. Even if you can't see me.'
Then he remembered her response, the words that he couldn't process at the time. 'You can turn invisible? Just like my brother?'
Crow couldn't believe it; the boy could turn invisible. So many questions rushed through his mind. How did he learn to do this? How was this even possible? Could he learn this technique?
He couldn't think for long, the boy continued to speak to him. His childish tone like nails on a chalkboard as he toyed with the older male. Crow's daggers flew like the wind but continued to fall short of their target. This child's voice continued its naggy taunts as Crow lost all control over his emotions. That same emotional mess that he once was years ago had come out once again. He lost control of his actions, his instincts taking over.
"Enough!" Crow filled his hands with daggers, fanning them in a circle around him as he leaped into the sky. He tried to find evidence of Leon's location but there was nothing to be found. As he landed on a distant beam, he fanned more blades in a circle around him. He closely observed his surroundings.
A drop of blood, a shred of green cloth, even a little bit of his poison dripping off a beam would count as a sign. But there was nothing, nothing except this stinging pain in his left leg. He looked down, noticing a blade protruding from his leg. Upon inspecting the wound, he started to process the peril. This blade was buried four inches deep into his calf.
He reached down to pull it out, only to feel another blade sinking deep into his back. He didn't have a chance to cry out in pain as another hand clamped his beak shut. His eyes were shakey as he watched the hand slowly rest on his chest. Its touch soft and gentle, yet the tone of the interaction screamed violent and deadly. Leon's face shimmered into existence, a sickening smile plastered across his face. "Who's the killer now?"
He softly pushed Crow back first off the beam. The world slowing down as he made his descent. Leon jumped off as well, sending a blade into each of his appendages on his way down. Each blade reached deep into his bones, but the real torture was the feeling of his body crashing against the floor. The blade in his back submerging into his body.
The filthy crack of his hollowed bones hitting the ground caused Bibi and Bo to pause. They watched Crow's body laying on the ground, his lungs painfully trying to get air to his brain. Bibi moved away from Bo, rushing to Crow's side. "Bird-Brain?! Get up!"
Before she could reach him, Leon crashed into his lungs feet first. She could hear his bones snapping as a volcano of blood spewed from his mouth. His pupils disappearing and his body freezing.
Leon looked at her from under his hoodie, that singular green eye filled with malice. "I don't think he's getting up."
Bibi stepped away slowly. Crow was legally dead; his body was broken beyond repair and his mind was unresponsive to stimulus. She looked to the bar, remembering Bull had fallen behind it a while ago. She was nervous when she didn't see him moving. At that moment, she had a shocking realization.
She was alone. All her teammates had been utterly defeated. She looked to Crow, the green hooded boy stepping off his body and walking to her slowly. She turned around seeing Bo was approaching as well.
She brought her bat up to her chest, wincing in pain from the seared flesh along her arm. Her legs felt like jelly and her grip on her bat was getting weaker. Meanwhile, Leon and Bo looked ready to rumble. These inhuman beings continuing to push their advantage over her.
Her head sunk as she tried to think. She weighed the consequences of her actions. Why was this happening to them? Then she remembered what she was fighting for. The little girl that shined a light on her mostly dull life. A little girl that made working at the diner worth it. That made being a criminal seem reasonable if she could provide for her.
She looked at the two males, both had grown closer. There was a complacent look on Bo's face while a slight smirk graced Leon's lips. Bo spoke first, "Ms. Bibi with your bat of metal. You have fought well, but this fight is over. Give up now or suffer a crushing defeat."
Bibi's grip on her bat loosened. They could see her muscles relaxing, a small frown forming on her face. Leon gladly continued, "Crow threw me the professional courtesy of giving me a way out. As you can see…" he motioned to Crow's lifeless body. "I didn't take it. But you could be smarter, just give up now, and give me my sister."
Bibi's muscles flexed again. An angry scowl forming along her face, "How dare you…"
Leon was perplexed, "How dare we?"
Bibi showed her face, tears rolling down her cheeks. "How dare you take her away from me?!"
"Take her from you? You stole her from us!"
Bibi choked for a second, "I know… I know… but I can't lose her." She felt so confused.
Leon was getting angry, "Stop pretending like you care about her. You were going to pawn her off to us for a quick profit. You didn't even want to take her initially; you were after me and messed up."
"And it was the best mistake our men ever made." Bibi relaxed, letting her bat rest at her side. She looked at Bo, her eyes soft and pleading. "Before she came, all I did was argue and fight with everyone around me. I didn't have anything to be proud of, I was alone. Other women would snicker behind my back saying, 'Look at forever alone, taking her rage out on every guy she meets.' 'She'll never find a family like that.' I would see mothers walking into the diner, enjoying a meal with their daughters, and giggling about some ridiculous show they watched the other day. And secretly, I wanted that too. Now I have this little bundle of joy to talk to. This adorable child that I can take care of as my own. She's the daughter I could never have. My light in a sea of darkness." She looked to Leon, "Please don't take my sunshine from me."
Leon spat out a wad of blood, "Before she was your sunshine, she was my sister."
Bo spoke up, "Before she was your daughter, she was my youngling." He pulled back an arrow, "You are not her family, you're a parasite feeding on her for joy."
Bibi's eyes were crazed spirals. Her brain trying to understand what they were saying. "No… I love her."
Leon drew his blades, "You don't love her, you love how she makes you feel. And once she stops being what you think she is, you'll dispose of her like trash."
Bibi covered her ears to block them out, "No! She's my precious baby. I would never-"
"Enough!" Bo silenced Bibi's pleading. "You have talked enough, either give us our girl or lose your life."
Bibi curled inward, soft heaving leaving her chest. So many thoughts were flooding her mind. What if they were right? What if this love was fabricated? Was she just a bother to Nita? Did her panda bear actually hate her?
Bo was frustrated, in a lapse of judgment he spoke again. "Look at you, you have broken apart like a dandelion in the wind. Your weak mind shows your true emotions."
His words triggered something within her. She sucked in her sobs, "Fine…" She stood tall, wiping the tears from her cheeks then slammed her bat against the ground, "Then bring it on! You want my panda, take her from my cold dead hands."
She rushed toward Bo, her bat low to the ground for a decapitating swing to the skull. Her breath caught when she felt several blades lodge into her back. As time slowed down she could hear Leon behind her. The boy softly responding, "So be it," as he pushed her forward.
Three explosions crashed against her chest and face. Her flesh searing and flames running through her body. She lost her grip on her bat, the metal falling at the same speed as her. She lied down lifeless, her eyes white and her breath disappearing.
Bo and Leon stood over her, both with a somber look on their face. Leon was excited to fight the woman, but he knew what they did was necessary. This woman wouldn't have stopped even if they cut off her limbs.
Bo calmly inspected their surroundings; he saw the lifeless bodies of Crow and Bibi. The way they laid there, it seemed as though their hands were stretched out in the same direction. One was directed at a random spot in the room, the other pointed at each other. It was as if they were reaching out to the other in their dying breaths. Perhaps they looked at each other as the parents of Nita. To Bo, it was a shame that people with such kind hearts would have to be eliminated to correct the course of this world. Bo's eyes followed the angle their other hands pointed. He saw a little toe sticking out from behind a booth.
He nodded to Leon, the boy understanding as he started moving away from him. He looked around the diner, the wood was ripped to shreds in several spots. There were dented metal and tattered clothes across all the booths around them. He could even feel a faint rumble growing beneath his feet.
He wondered if there was an earthquake until the shaking grew closer. He turned to Leon, the boy flinching in his direction. Bo turned around; his face swallowed up by a massive hand. The force that lifted him continued rushing forward, picking up Leon with his other hand.
They both swung wildly trying to fight his grasp but ultimately just hitting a brick wall of humanity. This brick wall proceeded to drive them through the brick and mortar of the diner's exterior wall. The debris scattering across the cold lonely road outside. They were both launched into the middle of the street, their bodies beaten and bruised with an all-new world of pain coursing through their heads.
Bo was able to move first, looking up to see Bull's massive frame towering over them. As he stood up, some of the gravel and dust rolled off his shoulders. His knuckles were raw and his smile wild, "Call me the Bulldozer cause I just leveled your ass!"
Bo reached for his bow but couldn't find it. He saw it sitting inside the diner where he was initially snatched up by the monster. He tried to stand up, but Bull fired off a round in his direction. The blood that shot from the newly opened woods splattered onto Leon, the boy waking up from the foreign liquid.
He reached out to help Bo, but Bull stepped on the boy's fingers. "You're not gonna be throwing anything else for the rest of your life." Leon writhed in pain under his weight. It was as if a cinder block had fallen from twenty stories and directly onto his wrist. Bull holstered his gun, "Don't worry, you won't live much longer."
Bo jumped up, decking him in the chin with a right hook. Bull just snorted, gripping Bo's arm. "What are you gonna do?" He lifted Bo by his arm, then punched him in the gut with all his strength. The archer's tongue rolled out his mouth, desperately gasping for air.
Bo crumbled to the floor, allowing Bull to drop a thunderous foot across his spine. Watching the two men beneath him writhing in pain was the best thing he'd seen tonight. He started laughing maniacally, his voice causing many of the people across the streets to wake up. Lights turned on and heads peaked out of windows to inspect the scene. There were several large gasps as they noticed the bloodied body of Bull and his two victims.
Bull noticed the crowd he had gathered, choosing to address the public. "Let this be a lesson to all of you." He picked Leon up by his skull, the boy dangling for everyone to observe. His blood-stained hoodie standing out like a star in the sky, "I am still the same monster that took over this town years ago. Just because I have become kinder to you does not mean you may test my patience. I will obliterate all who oppose me!"
Hushed whispers grew to scattered shouts at the scene. He could hear his loyalists shouting his name and praising him for his victory. There were groups in the crowd that voice their disdain, mostly for how he was treating the child in his clutches.
Leon mustered up some courage and spoke, "This isn't over…"
Bull snickered at his statement, "I have completely destroyed you and your leader."
"We still… have Rosa."
"HA! The plant woman? I killed her ages ago."
Bo and Leon flinched at the declaration, "You… killed her?"
"What's wrong, kid? Is it that hard to believe? Is it hard to believe that I blew her head off in one shot? The pain she felt as her life was stolen from her in one swift motion? Or maybe you want to know how it felt when her plant wrapped around her cold dead corpse?" He increased the strength of his grip, Leon letting out a painful screech as his skull was being squished in his palm. "I could show you."
Bo slowly spoke, "Her plant… wrapped around her head?"
"The poor thing was trying to comfort its dead owner. I almost felt bad… almost." He said that with a grin, though he remembered the actual events and internally cursed himself for doing such a thing. He still felt bad for what he had to do now, but they were going to take her from him. And he refused to lose her.
A low chuckle filled the night sky. Bull observed himself and noticed that he hadn't started laughing yet. He looked at his feet, Bo was smiling up at him, "What's so funny?" He heard Leon start laughing as well. His grip loosening at the strange behavior. "I said," he punched Leon in the kidney, a guttural screech leaving his body. "What's so funny?"
Bo spoke up, "It's not his fault. It's just… you see we have many rules in our village. Not quite like the laws of your society." He coughed lightly as he rolled over on his back, "But words to the wise for everyone to remember."
Still in his grasp, Leon continued the statement for him. His voice gurgled from the blood filling his throat, "One of those rules is the rules of combat. They're advice for people who have to fight inside or outside the village."
Bo continued, "Rules such as, 'Range is deceptive'. And, 'Just because they are unseen, does not mean they aren't there'."
Leon laughed out his next line, "But the number one rule of them all is…"
Bull felt a hand tap his shoulder. He turned his cheek into a jaw-shattering left hook, his body falling limp to the floor. He checked his jaw, feeling a crack running along the edge of his chin. He painfully turned his head to look at his attacker, a woman with dark-brown skin and purple clothes staring down at him.
She popped her knuckles and spat a wad of blood-filled mucus on the ground beside him. Her British voice calmly stating, "Don't box Rosa."
Bull was terrified, "How? How did you?"
The pink plant around Rosa's head retracted, the vines that were wrapped around her wounds growing smaller as well. She had a sweet smile across her face as she patted the little plant, "Dionaea. It's short for Dionaea Muscipula, aka The Venus Fly Trap." The sentient plant rubbed its head against her palm.
She suddenly doubled over, clutching at the wounds along her stomach. Bo limped towards her, "Are you okay?"
She brought up her hand, her palms were red. "I'll be fine," a stream of blood leaked from her scalp. "I just need to finish this."
Bull watched in horror as the woman slowly approached him. He reached for his holstered gun, only for Rosa to crush his arm under her foot. She pulled him up from his prone position, then proceeded to pound his face into the pavement.
With each punch a new pool of blood formed beneath him. The crowd cringing as they watched the brutality. Bo calmly walked inside, grabbing his bow and returning to watch Bull's punishment.
In the middle of the street, Leon proceeded to slice up Bull's body while Rosa held him still. The boss of Retropolis's torture was free for everyone to see. A few loyalists tried to stop them, going as far as throwing items or rushing down to join the fight.
They were quickly dispatched by Bo's arrows. Their weaker bodies crumbling under the power of his explosions. "This has nothing to do with you people. This demon must pay for his sins."
Bull quietly accepted his punishment; the razor blades the boy used were slicing him up like a tender cut of steak. The blood that flowed from him caused him to get lightheaded. He could feel himself getting weaker with each passing second.
Rosa kicked his legs out from under him. The boss now on his knees as Rosa held his skull by his hair. She angled his chin upward, exposing his neck to the world.
Leon's blade rested against his jugular, a menacing smile across his face. Bo rested his hand on his shoulder, the boy pausing from administering the final cut. "Bull, you are the leader of this city. As a leader myself, I shall give you one final chance. Give us the girl."
Bull's eyes were glazed over, his breath raspy and his heartbeat slow. He moved as if molasses had replaced his blood. Like his veins were vines slowly growing on a tree. With his last ounce of strength, in a final show of defiance, he flipped Bo off.
The chieftain shook his head, nodded to Leon, then turned away from the slaughter. He couldn't see what happened, but he heard a blunt blow rather than a swift slice. When he turned around, he saw Nita slowly setting Bull's body on the floor. Rosa was laying on the asphalt, clutching her hip while Leon stared dumbfoundedly.
"Nita!" Leon threw his blade to the side, "Get away from him."
Nita stood between Leon and Bull, "He's done. You win. Now leave him alone."
Leon approached her, "Do you have any idea what they did to you?"
"They kidnapped me when they were looking for you. They held me up for ransom and then they went back on their promise."
Leon and Bo paused, "So you do understand? Then why are you helping him?!"
Nita looked over her shoulder, Bull was still trying to recover from the beating. "He's not as bad as he looks."
Bo stepped up, "There is no one as villainous as this man."
"He took care of me while I was here."
Leon pushed ahead of Bo, "You're wearing handcuffs!"
"They look cool."
"Nita, get away from him. Now!"
Nita whimpered, "Promise you won't hurt him."
"Promise you won't hurt him!" She was more assertive with her tone.
Leon was going to yell at her, but Rosa placed a hand on his shoulder. The boy quieted down allowing Bo to speak up, "We shall not harm him anymore, my child." Nita slowly put her arms down, joining them at Bo's side. "Good, now let us take our leave."
He turned around, slowly walking down the sidewalk the way they came. The crowd of bystanders continued their outrage, throwing more trash into the street but keeping a safe distance from the trio. He noticed Leon and Rosa walking close behind, but Nita was not near them. He turned around to see Nita still looking at Bull's body, "Nita?"
She was unresponsive.
"Nita. We're leaving."
Leon was enraged, "What?!"
"I said no!" she had her fists balled up at her side. "I'm not leaving him."
Leon grabbed her arm, "You are not doing this now."
She ripped her hand from his grip, turning around with tearful eyes. "I'm not going with you."
Leon was flabbergasted. What is wrong with her? Why is she acting like this? What did they do to her? "Nita what are you doing?"
"I'm protecting my friend."
Bo placed a hand on Leon's shoulder, whispering into his ear. "Calm down, son. I've heard of this, it is called, 'Stockholm Syndrome'. Allow me to handle it." He cleared his throat, "Nita, my child, I see something is wrong with you. It would seem as though these people have done something to you. Warped your mind. Allow-"
"They didn't do anything to me!" They stood silently for a second. All persons allowing these statements to digest.
It didn't take Leon long to speak up, "Why are you protecting these monsters?"
"You're the monsters!" All the observers were on the edge of their seats. Their intrigue peaked at the girl's protest. "All you've done is fight since you got here." She looked to Leon, "When Papa Crow approached you, you threw blades at him and the other people inside."
Rosa and Bo looked at each other. The word 'Papa' throwing up some alarms.
Nita continued, "When Mama Bibi told Leon to put me down, he punched her in the back of the head. In the rafters, Leon crushed Papa Crow even after he won. You teamed up and hurt my Mama. And now all three of you are beating on Uncle Bull. You're a bunch of monsters!"
Rosa took her time approaching her, "Nita, those people aren't your parents." She tried to place a hand on her head, but the girl smacked it away.
"And neither are you. I don't have any parents. The only family I have is Leon." She looked at her brother, a disgusted frown across her shadowed face. Her mind remembering the horrors he committed in all his battles, "And I don't even know him anymore."
Leon's heart shattered. He didn't think about what Nita would think from watching his fights. He was filled with so much rage. he didn't care how atrocious the acts were he committed. "Nita you have to understand-"
"No! You killed Papa Crow!" She looked to Bo, "You both killed Mama Bibi! And all of you are trying to kill Uncle Bull!"
They all turned at Bull's voice. His gurgled call was low and painful. Nita instantly ran to his side, laying his head on her tiny lap. "Uncle?"
"H-ey kid. How's it going?"
A tear rolled down her eye, "I'm okay, Uncle."
"That's good. Your brother's here to see you." He groggily turned to the three Tribal Terrors, "There they are." Nita tried to stop him from speaking but he kept fighting, "How's Bibi and Crow."
She couldn't stop her tears, "They're gone. Just like my real Mama and Papa." She cried over his head, her tears entering his open wounds.
He gritted through the pain, reaching his hand up to hold her face. "Kid… in their eyes. They were your real Mama and Papa." Nita tried her best to hold back the tears, but Bull wasn't done talking. He gave her a genuine smile, not his faux grin to please the crowd or secure a deal. He was truly happy as he said, "These past seven days we've had with you, has been the best week of our lives."
Nita buried her face in Bull's neck. Her screeching cry waking everyone on the block. The boos from the crowd were like fuel to Leon's fire. His anger growing as he watched his sister mourn the end of that bastard Bull. "How dare you?" He muttered over the roaring discourse of the crowd, "How dare you…" he dashed past Bo.
"How dare you take my sister from me!" Leon saw red. The only feeling he could process was revenge. He was face to face with Bull, a blade in his hand ready to slice his throat. However, his rush was quickly silenced. A small fist colliding with his cheek and launching him away from Bull.
Rosa and Bo watched as Leon's body skidded into the middle of the road. There wasn't a sound from her attack, she just knocked him out. Nita softly laid Bull's head on the ground. She walked between Bull and the Ardacians, a low growl escaping her throat. Bull gained a little of his energy back at the sound. A sound he was all too aware of. He lifted a little, trying to better see Nita's form. "Kid?"
She didn't give him a response.
"Nita!" the girl peaked over her shoulder; he could only see her sharp white eyes. "Don't do it. They're your family."
She looked back at them, "…no." When she turned back to Bull she had a bright smile on her face, "You're my family."
She faced her new opponents, the two adults readying themselves for a final fight. Their bodies were battered and sore. Their bones fractured and their organs damaged. However, Nita was fresh as a daisy and ready to fight till the end.
She dropped down on all four, her teeth sharpening and her mind breaking. Everyone watching shuddered at the sight, a black and white aura spilling off her body. Rosa and Bo had seen this before, this strange light that would spew from her when she was enraged. However last time she'd done this, the aura was a maroon red. They had no idea what black and white would entail.
Her body writhed for a second like something was squirming through her blood vessels. The black and white aura solidified around her arms. They seemed to grow larger like they were increasing the muscle mass in her body.
The aura wrapped around her in a mostly white ball. They noticed a tiny ball wagging back and forth around her rear. Two giant paws ripped from her arms, using her shoulders as a brace to push upward. This strange creature that seemed to be fighting its way out of the girl, ripped its head out of her skull. Everyone gasping at the image.
Staring at Rosa and Bo was a giant panda bear. The creature's face was docile as if to show no harm. It continued to grow until it stood an extra body over Nita, the beast calmly standing at her side while Nita stretched her limbs. She got into a combative stance, her hands working as makeshift claws for attacks. The bear beside her let out a ferocious roar, signaling it was ready to fight.
Rosa leaned into Bo, "I thought Bruce was a red bear?"
"It would seem as though he takes the form that best suits her. Right now, she has decided to accept this new world. Which means she needs a new bear."
Rosa wasn't fully understanding this new appearance, but either way, she knew what she had to do. "Cover me. I'll handle Bruce." Rosa began her careful approach, Bo following close behind.
Nita nodded to her new ally, the creature slowly moving forward. Bruce was not like the humans around him, he didn't waste time with words. He quickly threw a punch at Rosa, the botanist blocking it with ease. She threw two short jabs to the bear's chest. The beast casually absorbing the blows.
They continued this interaction; Rosa throwing ultimately fruitless attacks and Bruce continuously attempting attacks only for Rosa to block or dodge. That is until Nita got involved. Her shockwaves came from strange angles, the attacks knocking Rosa off her feet and allowing Bruce to land clean hits.
Bo turned to Nita, "My child please!" Nita turned to him with an angry scowl, "I do not wish to hurt you."
Nita didn't give him a response; she just ran towards him. With a heavy heart, Bo released his arrows into Nita's chest. The girl getting swallowed up in the explosions.
The crowd's reaction was general outrage. Many people taking their furniture and throwing it into the road in hopes of hitting Bo. He understood now, Nita had not just found friendship in Bull and his men. She had grown closer to this entire town.
"Bo!" Rosa's voice was desperate and repressed. He turned to see her prone on the ground, Bruce wailing on her unhindered as she and Dionaea tried their best to defend against his attacks.
Bo readied more arrows until he noticed something strange. With every attack Bruce landed, a green wisp flew from his body. These strange airy orbs swiftly floating to the cloud of explosions. "No…"
Bursting from the darkness was Nita's tiny fist. The girl smashing Bo's face inward with a superman punch. He dropped his bow and sprawled to the ground, the girl pounding away on his defensive ball.
Bruce and Nita continued their ground-and-pound offensive as the crowd cheered around them. Nita wasn't listening to their cheers, she was being fueled by the imagine of Crow and Bibi's lifeless bodies. The concept of Bull following them to the great beyond. She stopped her onslaught abruptly as a new color filled the mostly dark street.
Red and blue lights were flashing as many high-pitched sirens could be heard in the distance. Nita made an executive decision, whistling for Bruce to stop his attacks. She dragged Leon's still unconscious body on top of Bo, the chieftain looking at her for an explanation. "Go. Those men take away people like us." Bruce placed Rosa beside him, "Take Leon and go home. Never come back."
Rosa spoke up, "But what about you?"
She smiled down at them, "This is my new home."
Bo didn't know what to say. He didn't know what to do. This girl that he swore to raise after her parents' demise, was abandoning her home. The sirens were growing louder, the lights brighter. He did something he swore to never do again.
He picked up Leon and walked away.
Rosa followed close behind, her plant waving at Nita as a final goodbye. Nita gladly returned the kindness, watching as they disappeared into the horizon.
She and Bruce returned to Bull, the bear using his impressive size and strength to hold him up. Bull groggily turned to Nita, "Who called the cops?"
"That would be me, sir." They both turned to see one of the female waiters exiting the hole Bull left in the wall. "When we heard the fight most of us left, but I stayed and called the police. I know you said to never call the cops, but it looked like you were going to get hurt." Bull and Nita stared at her blankly, "Please don't fire me."
Bull let out a raspy laugh, "Fire you? You're getting a raise."
A few officers approached them, one escorting Bull to a squad car as they radioed for an EMT. Most of the officers were nervous to approach the giant beast but seeing Nita interact with it was enough for them to understand the situation.
When the ambulances arrived, Nita sat in the same car as Bull watching as a nurse tended to his injuries. Bruce sat outside the car awaiting orders from Nita. Her heart sunk when she saw two more cars pull up and wheel Crow and Bibi's ruined bodies away. Bull gathered the strength to rest a hand on her head, "I'm sure they'll be alright. I wouldn't hire 'em if I didn't think they could take a beating."
Nita smiled the best she could. She knew he was lying, but she appreciated the kindness. However, no amount of kind words would stop her from remembering the horrifying beating she witnessed.
Bull tried his best to help her, "Hey, you're a good kid." He didn't know if that helped. Comforting people wasn't something he had a lot of practice in. Especially not someone he cared about.
Nita smiled warmly at him, taking his hand and rubbing her cheek against his palm. "I'm your kid now."
"And I'll be the best Papa possible."
He showed her his bandaged chest. A patch of gauze was strapped above his heart, "Cross my heart."
The paramedic smiled as she watched the two comfort each other. They looked like a real family to her, she decided to allow them some space. Carefully maneuvering past the giant bear and lightly shutting the door behind her.
Fun Fact: Heels and Faces refer to the two types of characters in professional wrestling. More importantly, a heel is the 'bad guy' and a face is the 'good guy' but the crowd decides who to root for. When a good guy turns bad, it's called a heel turn. And I like to call bad guys turning good, face swap.
So we are done. This is the end of We're Keeping Her. Thank you for reading. It has been a pleasure to write this story and I have to be honest; might have enjoyed this story more than Fighter's Story. But that's because the pacing of this story was allowed to be a little faster, didn't have to do too much long-term storytelling for this little gem. But yeah that's how the story ends, Rosa survives a near-death experience, Crow and Bibi are brutally killed while trying to fight for their adopted child, and Nita makes a drastic life decision based on her own warped view of reality (she is just a little kid after all).
No response to reviews this time. So here are some final questions: What did ya think of this short story? Do you think that Nita made the right choice? Should Rosa have stayed dead? Who were the heels and the faces in this story? What was your favorite moment in this story?
Immortalize your memories in the comments cause this story will never be visited again. And big news, look out cause soon the brawl stars community will be getting a special Christmas-themed story posted by my good friend Queenbookerly! I wonder if she's gonna make Christmas angsty (probably it's kinda her mo).
Okay, I guess we're done, honestly kind of sad that this is where the story ends. But all good things must come to an end. So I hope you enjoyed (and if you happen to get inspired to draw some awesome fanart [I don't expect it but it'd be uber-cool] send it to this special email I made just for my fanfictions. samlore1985 gmail ).
Thanks again for reading another one of...
Sammy's Silly Scripts