Yes, yes, I know, I’m two days late. First night: homework overload, and I figured I could post it the next night (which was yesterday). YESTERDAY: shopping. We were looking for a new concert dress, and I barely had time to finish my homework. What a nightmare! What’s worse, I was almost finished, but not quite, and I was still trying to figure out how to tie together the ending.
Therefore, I decided to break up the (very long) Day 15 into three parts to make up for it. Enjoy Part 1!
(P.S. Yes, the above picture is Mettaton Ex from Undertale. I got the game recently and it’s great. Mettaton just reminds me so much of the robots that I decided to put it up. BESIDES, he looks absolutely fabulous when dancing.)
“Wait up!” Dee yelled as Jason charged ahead into the bushes. “You don’t know what’s out there!”
It had been three days since Jason’s party had met up with Artemis, Winter, and Cara-delle. They had stuck together – although Cara-delle stalked through the undergrowth instead of walking on the path like them – and were now just walking until they found a landmark, because they’d gotten lost easily in the forest where everything looked the same.
Dee was ready to hand Nephthys back to Arion, but Artemis and Cara-delle streaked ahead to follow Jason. Amarantha shook her head with a sigh.
“Jason’s too direct,” she complained, but Arion noted she was smiling a little.
They heard a yell from ahead, and Artemis let out a yowl. Winter spread her ghostlike wings and launched into the air, ducking and dodging through the trees. Arion, Dee, and Amarantha followed, Dee still holding Nephthys.
They emerged in a clearing that appeared to be empty, until Arion looked up. Winter was hovering beside a net encompassing Jason and Artemis, but the net was tied to nothing. Cara-delle was nowhere to be seen.
Winter was trying to cut away at the net, but to no avail. “Help me get them out!” she called down.
Dee gave Nephthys to Amarantha and boosted Arion up. He sat on the older boy’s shoulders and reached up, tugging at the net. Dee handed up a short knife and Arion began to saw at the cords.
He finally finished and handed the knife back down to Dee. Artemis fell first, landing on his head as he tried to get off Dee. He fell forward into the grass, and a moment later Jason fell on Dee, and both teenagers toppled onto Arion (Artemis had scrambled out of the way).
Arion attempted to shove them off and wriggled away, then stood up and brushed off his grass-stained T-shirt with a soft grumble.
“What happened?” Dee asked Jason.
“I don’t know,” Jason replied grimly. “But I suppose we’ll find out.”
Arion looked up as something overshadowed him. He wasn’t quite sure what it was, but everything had suddenly gone dark.
Suddenly, rainbow dots of light began bouncing around that reminded Arion suspiciously of a disco ball. Sure enough, a random disco ball descended from nowhere, like a beacon in the near-darkness. Arion spotted Artemis eyeing the red dots strangely.
“What da hay?” Jason swore. (Jason probably would’ve said something that included more profanity, but I don’t condone profanity, sooo)
“I don’t know, man.” Dee was just as confused.
Amarantha came up beside him, setting Nephthys in the grass. Arion crouched down beside her, still watching the sky, while Amarantha drew her baton again. Artemis paced back and forth in front of the five, while Winter fluttered to and fro around the disco ball.
“As far as I can tell, this is some suspension magic,” she called down.
Suddenly, a voice boomed from (nonexistent) loudspeakers. “WELCOME TO THE HIT SHOW THAT HAS A RIDICULOUSLY LONG NAME, ‘DESTRUCTION OF RANDOM UNLUCKY CREATURES THAT WANDER THROUGH THE STAGE AREA’!”
Jason swore again. “Not this guy.”
“LET’S HEAR IT FOR OUR CONTESTANTS!” the voice continued; applause burst from the (nonexistent) speakers.
A spotlight fell of Jason, who covered his eyes, momentarily blinded. “JASON HERALDRER!”
It shifted to Dee. “DIERDRAS JENEVENE!”
“Still a girl’s name,” Dee mumbled in annoyance.
“WINTER DRACONIS, SPECTRE-GIRL!”
It fell on Arion, who stared at the ground. The voice paused a moment.
“…UHM. THIS IS EMBARRASSING. WHO ARE YOU?”
Arion looked up, amazed. “Say what now?”
“YOU’RE NOT IN OUR RECORDS,” the voice boomed. “PLEASE, WOULD YOU KINDLY TELL ME YOUR NAME AND SPECIES?”
Arion looked at Jason, who promptly shook his head.
“Uh.” Arion hesitated. “I’m Equinox of Origin. A lava-dweller.” He had no idea where that came from, but as long as the voice bought it, he would be fine with it.
Everyone gave him a weird look, and even the voice faltered. “EXCUSE ME, ARE YOU THE EQUINOX OF ORIGIN? THE ONE WHO NEARLY DESTROYED THE WORLD TWO QUADRILLION YEARS AGO AND ALL?”
Arion frowned. “No. Who-” he broke off, realizing that asking who Equinox of Origin was would be a bad idea. “My mother named me after him because he was strong,” he lied.
“AH. WELL. IF YOU’RE NOT THE REAL EQUINOX OF ORIGIN, WE SHOULD BE FINE.”
Dee rolled his eyes. “Shall we continue?” he drawled sarcastically, obviously still annoyed by the voice calling him by his real name.
“YES, YES, OF COURSE. MOVING ON.” The spotlight shifted a little to encompass Nephthys. “THE LEGENDARY NEPHTHYS!”
The spotlight faded away until all Arion could see was the disco ball glittering above their heads. “NOW FOR THE FIRST CHALLENGE: TWO-ON-TWO!” the voice announced.
Arion heard soft footsteps in the grass. The disco ball’s lights began to dance again, briefly illuminating two figures from time to time.
Are those robots?
Arion looked closely at the two. The metal skin was gleaming in the half-light, and the eyes, hair, and clothing were jet black. Aside from the fact that they were both made entirely of metal, they actually looked pretty human.
“FIRST CONTESTANTS: JASON AND DEE!” the announcer boomed.
Jason and Dee stepped forward, swords flashing as they unsheathed them. They jumped forward, each going after a different bot. Arion couldn’t see what they were doing in the dark, but before long both bots were in metal pieces at their feet.
The two stepped back, sheathing their swords.
“NEXT UP: AMARANTHA, WINTER, AND ARTEMIS!” This time, three robots emerged from the shadows; the remains of the other two had disappeared.
Artemis streaked forward. One bot toppled to the ground in pieces, shredded by the cat hybrid’s long, piercing claws.
Winter’s wings shook. The second bot froze.
Amarantha whacked the third bot with her baton, throwing it back into the second one. The second one shattered into icy shards, while the third laid among the pieces, stunned. Amarantha pressed a concealed button on her staff and and there was a soft click as a short blade slid out on one end. She stabbed the robot with it.
The three girls stepped back; Amarantha retracted the blade and strapped the baton on her back again. “That’s settled, then.”
“FINAL ROUND: EQUINOX AND NEPHTHYS!”
“He can’t be serious.” Jason shook his head in disbelief. “He can’t possibly expect you to fight two robots by yourself.”
Arion shrugged and stepped forward, realizing too late he had no weapons. Even the older kids’ swords would be of no use – they were too heavy, and he couldn’t balance a sword anyway.
“NO WEAPONS!” the announcer boomed. “THIS SHOULD BE INTERESTING.”
Arion took his stance in front of Nephthys, who was still asleep on the ground, and clenched his fist. All those taekwondo lessons would prove useful, although he’d never actually felt he needed them until that moment.
This should be so fun.