Infiltrating the Parade
I wake up with a start, surprised at that Sparrow is sleeping in my arms...whoa...what happened?
Then I remember...Sparrow's troubled past...life really did suck for her. She lost both of her parents, has powers that no one can help her control, growing up alone all of these years.
"I wonder how you cope…" I whispered to myself.
But enough moping...today's the day that we kill General Mavis Sean.
Darwin shakes us awake a couple minutes later. Sparrow isn't a morning person, either.
"UGHH! What do you want?" Sparrow exclaims, still closing her eyes.
"Today's the parade! We need to take out General Mavis!" Darwin said.
"Wake me up tomorrow." Sparrow said, falling back to sleep, holding me tighter. "This is a nice pillow..."
"There is no tomorrow! We have to do this now if you're going to save this town!" Darwin exclaimed.
Sparrow sighs, eyes still closed. "Alright...I'm getting up."
She opens her eyes, and is surprised when she saw me right next to her.
"Why are we hugging?" She asks slowly.
"We fell asleep like this, don't you remember?" I said.
"Nnnnnnnooooooo…?" Sparrow said, confused.
"Well, I'm not going to refresh your memory, I don't want you to cry again." I said.
"What happened?" she asked.
"Don't worry about it...it was nothing bad, I assure you...but I really don't want to see you cry again. It made me feel uncomfortable." I said.
"Okay then...but can we stay like this for just a couple more minutes? Please?" Sparrow asks.
"...O-kay?" I say.
"You know that this doesn't mean anything." Sparrow said, still hugging me.
"Yes...yes I do." I said, not disappointed at all.
Darwin facepalms his forehead and gives us five minutes to do...whatever we were doing.
Five minutes later, Darwin forces us up, and gives us a plan that he made up in those five minutes.
"The General's float will be the biggest one there, so it won't be hard to find it. The problem is that it's loaded with booby traps and other crazy things, so climbing it is a no-go." Darwin explains.
"So how are we going to him?" I asked.
"Rocket Launchers." Darwin says.
"You heard me!" Darwin says, looking over to Sparrow. "Rocket Launchers."
"I guess by the way that you're staring at me means that this is where I come in." Sparrow said.
"Yup. Now I have some friends of mine in the artillery business, and they could hook you up...but they don't sell anything anymore due to the General's bewitching of all of the citizens. So you're going to have to steal some." Darwin said.
"Why do you have friends that own heavy artillery? That I have to know." Sparrow asked, pointing a finger at Darwin.
"Wait...Sparrow can just form one out of her hands, she doesn't need any actual rocket launchers." I said.
"It is true." Sparrow said, forming her arm cannon.
"Woah...so you're supernatural, eh?" Darwin says, as if he expected this to happen. "Then we can forget about getting those things, then."
"So how are we going to approach this?" Sparrow asked.
"Our attack will be made on the rooftops. You," Darwin says, pointing at me. "will position yourself on the highest point in the city...the radio tower."
Then he moves to Sparrow. "You will be stationary on a rooftop that is not quite directly across from the radio tower. The bowling alley. When the float is directly in between you and the radio tower, you fire. Then he'll jump onto the burning wreck of a thing and finish the job."
"You make it sound so easy." Sparrow said, putting a hand on her hip.
"Yes...yes I do." Darwin said.
"Let's head out, then." I said, standing up. "Quicker we get there, the sooner we can leave this place...it's giving me the creeps."
"The parade doesn't start for another 4 hours." Darwin says. "And this place isn't that bad...once you get past all of the weird things."
"More sleep for me!" Sparrow said, out like a light.
"So it seems." Darwin says, holding the bridge of his nose.
I place Sparrow on the bed...for her to be the one firing the shots, we wouldn't want her to get a crick in her neck now, would we?
"Hey. You and that girl...is there something going on that I don't know about?" Darwin asks. "I just have to ask."
I'm surprised by this question. "O-Of course not! She said it herself!"
"What do you think a girl means when she says that?" Darwin asks.
"I don't know…no means no?"
"It means that she's really into you."
Why are we even having this conversation?!
"Why is it so interesting to you?" I ask.
"I don't know. It's just the way she looks at you sometimes."
She looks at me? Like that?
"Oh, really?" I ask, trying not to sound surprised.
"Yes, really." Darwin answered. "I'm just asking."
"All right, then there's nothing going on." I deadpan.
Darwin nods his head and chuckles, then walks away.
What's his deal? I know that Sparrow said that the hug didn't mean anything between us, and she couldn't have grown feelings for me already...can she?
The whole thing is just ludicrous.
Three hours pass, and Darwin is telling us to get ready to head out. I slowly wake Sparrow up, and she's less impulsive when she sees that it was I who woke her up instead of a 10 year old-looking boy.
"Are we ready to head out yet?" she asked me.
"Yup. Darwin needs to measure the space we have in order to take the float down."
Soon, we're on the street where the parade will pass through. "I have the measurements. It's going to take about thirty minutes for the General's float to reach from the starting point to here." He whips out a piece of chalk. and starts drawing two wide lines between the radio tower and the bowling alley.
"When it reaches this exact spot, you shoot, and you prepare to jump." he says, pointing to both Sparrow and I.
"Alright. Where do I go?" I ask.
Darwin pointed up behind me, and I see a huge metal tower rising up into the artificial sky.
Sparrow pats my back. "Good luck scaling that."
Sparrow is already starting to climb the bowling alley and perches on the edge of the roof.
I'm only a quarter of the way up the tower. If you were right next to me, all would've heard is me repeating to myself, "Don't look down. Don't look down!"
Darwin positions himself in a nearby alleyway, and whispers to himself, "I really hope that these guys can pull this off."
"James! Get me my tea!" General Mavis Sean exclaims for about the twentieth time now.
"It's coming, sir." James the Butler timidly replies.
"It had better be. This parade will be one to remember. Today is the day I take over the surface!" Mavis says with a maniacal laugh.
"Yes, sir...good for you." James says, half-listening. "Your tea is ready, sir."
"Gimme dat!" Mavis exclaims, snatching the cup of tea off of the tray and pouring it down his throat as if the heat from the drink didn't already scald his insides. "Ah! Refreshing!"
"I swear that this guy can act so childish sometimes." James said.
"That's good, sir...now it is time for your float preparations." James said.
"That's great...I hope that float was made to be the tallest one in the entire parade!" Mavis said.
"It's sure is, sir. Just follow me." James said, walking down the hall and into a huge and spacious room. The only thing there was...
"The biggest parade float in the world." Mavis said, eyes gleaming.
The whole float looked like a huge cake with huge layers. each layer slightly smaller than the last. Though it was entirely painted black, with white frosting.
"And it also comes with weapons and other things to ensure your safety."
"Like rocket launchers?" Mavis said.
James rolled his eyes. "...Yes...even rocket launchers."
"The Stone is in there, right?" Mavis asked, tone growing serious.
"Right in the middle of the entire float." James said. "There'll be a small controller where you'll be sitting, just press the big red button, and you can release the monsters onto the surface when you reach the end of the parade trail."
Mavis pats James on the back. "You've done well, my friend. I'll make sure that I don't execute you afterwards."
"What!?" James exclaimed, horrified.
"Gotcha! Let's get this thing started!" Mavis said, climbing the ladder to the cockpit of the float. The cockpit was completely covered in bullet-proof glass.
James rolls his eyes, not amused by the horrible joke the General just told.
"Now I'm protected by the strongest material down here! This should go smoothly." Mavis said.
"Like you need rocket launchers." James said to himself.
"Open the gates!" Mavis yelled.
James pushed a button, and the whole hall opens up to the outside, and the float slowly rolls out onto the road.
"Here we go! My plan is set into motion!" Mavis exclaimed.
"You mean my plan…" James thought to himself, walking back into the hallway as the gates close with a dramatic finality.
I'm already on top of the radio tower by the time I hear trumpets. The parade's about to start.
"All right, I'm in place...let's get this guy." I said.
Sparrow has been waiting for about ten minutes now, and she's about to fall asleep again.
"This guy's...sure...taking his...time…" Sparrow said, nodding off. Then she shakes herself awake.
"No! I'm the rocket launcher...literally. I've...gotta...stay...awake." Sparrow falls over and falls asleep.
The trumpets blare with a massive crescendo. General Mavis Sean, along with numerous other floats, ride out into the street.
Darwin is pushing through the crowd, trying his best to follow the General's float.
"I hope those guys are ready for this." Darwin said.
"My fair people...today marks a new beginning in advances for our city! Today...we take over the surface!" The General exclaims through speakers built into his float. The crowd goes wild.
"Long live Sean! Long live Sean!" they chant.
"Thank you, thank you!" Mavis says, bowing.
Darwin realizes that the parade is reaching the bowling alley. "Oh shoot! Here we go!" he says.
In the distance, I see the huge float is coming down the street, with rejoicing civilians dancing around it.
"Sparrow, get ready…" I whisper to myself.
Sparrow is still sleeping, even with all the noise the float is making. I look down and gasp.
"She fell asleep! Oh no...what are we gonna do?" I look around, and I see a huge pole going down from the length of the radio tower. It's just out of my reach.
"Maybe I can grab onto the pole, and slide my way down...no...it'll take me too long to get to Sparrow…" I say.
That's when I reach behind myself to itch the back of my neck, and my hand hits the shaft of the Dual Bladed Scythe, still sheathed in its place. I smiled.
"I have an idea." I say.
I'm swirling down the pole, using the curvature of one of the blades to hang on to the pole while I'm swinging around and around.
"It's still too slow..." I say, seeing the float approach nearer after every turn.
I have another idea, but it's really risky. I can swing off of the pole and land on the building where Sparrow is.
"It's worth a shot." I said. This was really out of my skill set.
When I'm at the right altitude, I swing off of the pole with all of the momentum that I've gathered. I soar through the air, nearing the bowling alley's roof. I see another pole, it was a small flagpole, sticking out from the exterior of the building. If I can time it just right, I can swing myself up and onto the roof.
I'm nearing the pole, and I reach out for it with my Scythe, and I actually grab onto it and swing myself onto the ledge...grabbing onto it with my Scythe. I breathe in and out, calming myself down and climb onto the roof, and find Sparrow still sleeping.
"Sparrow! Sparrow, wake up!" I exclaimed, shaking her in an attempt to wake her up.
She's instantly awake. "Why are you here, Shiro? You're supposed to be on the radio tower!" She exclaimed, surprised to see me.
"You fell asleep! I had to come down here and wake you up so you can hit the float!"
"I fell asleep?" Sparrow asked, looking guilty. "Man, so it is true what they say about eight hours of sleep."
"No time for that now! We need to figure out some way for me to get to the top of the float so I can finish off the General!" I look to the side, and see the float just 20 yards away from the line of white chalk that Darwin drew.
Sparrow bites her lip. "I don't have anything that won't be dangerous!"
"Just lay it on me! The difficulty doesn't matter, we just need to take this guy down!"
"Fine...since you can't get back up the radio tower in time to meet the float...then you're going to have to ride one of my rockets." Sparrow said.
"Okay! I'll do that! just make the rocket flat so I can ride it!" I said.
"Gotcha...but how will you get up to the General?" Sparrow asks.
"I'm gonna see how much my skills will aid me in this one." I say with a smile.
"Don't joke like that! You might die!" said Sparrow.
"I won't...I promise." I say, putting a hand on Sparrow's shoulder. She blushes and looks away.
"Just make sure you don't screw up...okay?" she says to me, still looking away.
"All right." I say. "Get into position."
Sparrow gets on one knee, and prepares for a shot, with her arm turning into a cannon. I stand on a platform above, ready to jump down as soon as she fires.
"On my call!" I exclaim. Sparrow nods her head.
"15 yards….10 yards….5 yards….FIRE!" I jump down as Sparrow fires a flat rocket at the float. I jump off of it, pushing it into the bottommost layer. It explodes on impact, and the other layers start to catch fire. I land on the fifth layer, barely missing a candle that would have ended me for sure.
Darwin silently bumps his fists together, content that his plan went smoothly...or so he thought.
"Guess the only way to go is up." I say, scaling the float.
On the top of the float, Mavis is in distress. He's pressing the eject button, and it won't function.
"JAMES! THE FLOAT'S BLOWN UP! WHAT DO I DO?" Mavis screams into the radio transceiver that the engineers installed.
"Uh...have you tried ejecting, sir?" James said on the other side.
"YES! IT WON'T WORK!" Mavis exclaims.
"Hold on, sir, I'm bringing help." James said, and hung up.
"Plan A has been compromised. I guess we have to go to Plan B." James said, and left the room.
He walked down a long hallway, and opened a trapdoor in a small space at the end of it.
"Don't send a kid to do a man's job." he said as he descended into darkness. "It's time to use the Stone."
"Man, how tall is this thing?" I exclaimed as I continued climbing. That's when I saw it. A huge rocket zooms past me, barely missing me. It explodes in the distance.
"Oh...I almost forgot about the booby traps." I said.
Another one zooms past me, much closer this time. I could feel the wind of it passing me on my back.
"I'd better get out of here." I said, scrambling up the layer. I'm finally halfway there.
Sparrow is following the float, jumping from building to building. The random explosions are worrying her.
"I hope he's okay...I don't know what I'd do if I lost him." Sparrow said.
Mavis is spamming on all of the trap activators, and weapons are being fired everywhere. It's starting to get kind of hard to balance yourself and climb a huge float without getting blown to bits.
Another rocket zooms past me, and blows out a chunk of the float. I climb even higher. Now I'm just three layers away from the top.
"Here I come, Mavis." I say through gritted teeth. He did piss me off today.
I climb higher and higher, and soon, my face meets his. He was a middle aged man, grey hair, beard, dressed in a dark suit and black tie.
"A-Are you here to save me?" He asks, scared to death.
I take out my Scythe, blades extending as if underlining my nonexistent threat.
"I guess not!" Mavis said, punching the 'Eject' button so hard that it actually sticks into its slot.
"What did I ever do to deserve this?" Mavis exclaimed.
As I was about to deliver the final blow, a hiss of air was heard, and we were sent flying into the air, while everyone below evacuated the area, for they knew what was about to happen next.
"AHHHHHHH!" I yelled, hanging onto the glass for dear life. I was losing my grip, so I drove the Light blade of my Scythe through the glass and held onto the shaft tightly. It missed the General's head by an inch. Below, there was a mighty explosion, and the surrounding buildings collapsed. I thanked my lucky stars that Sparrow was further away from the explosion.
"Woah!" Sparrow was blown backwards, grabbing onto a flagpole she happened to pass by. She looked in terror as the great cake float collapsed in on itself and disappeared with a huge explosion.
"...Shiro..." Sparrow started to weep. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
Something sparked inside her...it felt...so powerful...so warm...she didn't understand it, but she just let whatever was happening to her happen. Her eyes glowed a bright white, and her hair became longer, her tails growing longer as well. She flew back toward the wreckage and saw that there was no sign of me or the General. A single tear ran down her cheek as the powerful feeling left her wracked and feeble on the ground. She got into the fetal position and began to cry harder and harder.
"This is all my fault. If I didn't fall asleep, none of this would have happened!" Sparrow exclaimed. And with that, she continued crying.
The General and I landed softly in the middle of an empty street, and I pulled my Scythe out of the glass, and took a couple of steps backwards. Mavis, still inside the capsule, shook with fear.
"Please don't kill me! I didn't do anything wrong!" He yelled from inside the capsule.
I smash the glass with my Scythe, and Mavis screams in fear.
"PLEASE SPARE ME!" He exclaims, one final time.
I ignore his pleas and raise my Scythe again for the finish blow again, that's when I saw a dust cloud coming from the opposite side of the street. It came fast. Before I knew it, something exploded in my face, and I flew backwards and hit the ground. I was knocked unconscious.
"Shiro?" Sparrow said, her sobs finally subsiding.
She looks around. I'm nowhere to be seen. She's confused.
"What is this sensation that I'm feeling?" Sparrow asks herself, placing a hand on her chest. "It feels, weird."
She look around, and realizes that when she looks to the right, the feeling gets stronger, when she looks away, the feeling diminishes.
"Is it some kind of tracking power that I have?" Sparrow asks herself.
"I think I should probably follow it...I mean, I can't just lie here." She says, slowly getting onto her feet, putting her hood on, and scaling the burned remnants of a building hit by the float explosion.
"It's getting stronger. I'm sure that I'm close." Sparrow said.
That's when she sees it. She sees the General being helped up by another man, something like a butler, and another figure, about 30 feet away.
"Is...is that…?" Sparrow jumps down, and lands right next to me.
"Shiro!" She exclaims, flipping me on my back, exposing my newly formed black eye.
"What...happened to you?" Sparrow said, worried.
I remain silent. Knowing that I'm not going to answer back, she turns around and finds the perpetrators.
"YOU!" Sparrow exclaims, pointing at the pair.
"What do you want?!" the butler asks.
"You did this to him! You could've killed him!" Sparrow exclaims.
"Why do I care? I have bigger things to do than to deal with two meddling teenagers." the butler said.
"Like what?!" Sparrow asks.
"It none of your business! Now trot along."
"T-Trot along? TROT ALONG?! My friend is hurt, the product of your friend's ballistic float, and all you can tell me is to-" Sparrow is getting that powerful, warm feeling again, and she transforms in an explosive manner. "-TROT ALONG!?"
The butler doesn't flinch. "Huh...so you're the Assassin, aren't you?"
"No...I'm not." Sparrow says, white eyes glowing with anger.
"Hm...figures. Guess I don't have to worry about who is, then." the butler said, putting a dark, smoking hand out in front of him. "Then ending you should be easy."
"I don't plan on dying today...or ever." Sparrow said, hands glowing.