Discord Ch. 10: Hey Gang!

        AV didn’t seem to find this quip amusing.

“I didn’t know little kids could fly,” he snarled.

“Excuse me I’m fourtee-” he began, but his works fell into a loud yelp and he was yanked upwards by the collar and thrown aside like a ragdoll. The scrawny human crashed into the curtain entrance which he pulled down with him. Slowly, he stood up, ignoring the pain roaring in his body. “Hey look, maybe we can settle this without violence?” he offered with a wince.

“You rats already had that chance,” the gang member spit

“Ah well. I tried,” he sighed.

With that, he broke into a run and sped across the alley. As he did, he shouldered off his backpack and pulled out his plasma blaster. He pointed it at his opponent and charged it. “I will shoot,” he warned, lowering his goggles over his eyes.

        A deep growl escaped from AV’s throat, and he lunged fiercely. Adrenaline his Max like a riptide. His grip tightened on the blaster and the trigger was pulled in the process causing a cone of green energy to shoot out of the small weapon. It flew at the white cat, and its impact threw him to the south side of the alleyway near the door. Max silently hoped the walls were soundproof (or at least more soundproof than Silvia’s glass dome). Backup wouldn’t help this situation.

        Nevertheless, he grinned at his accidental successful attack and glanced around at the battle around him. David was in a fistfight with Blood Rock who had faltered at AV’s downfall, leaving an opening for David to land a hit. Blood Rock was forced to step back to recover and resume his boxing match before David could injure him any further.

        With Silvia, it was slightly worse because of the size difference. It was the strength of an anthropomorphic lizard versus the agility of a teenage demon girl. She dodged Snake’s attacks as best as she could occasionally aiming a blow when she had caught her breath.

        “Why can’t you just get angry!?” Max called.

        Silvia ducked to avoid a left swing before calling back, “I can’t just get angry! You mind helping me with reptile breath over here, or are you going to keep judging my inability to lose my temper at convenient moments?!”

        “Oh yeah, sure!”

         A normal, rational person’s first fighting instinct would probably be to shoot his or her opponent with the blaster in his or her hand, but, by now, you may have noticed that Max is not a normal, rational person. Instead, he ran forward and attempted to use his weapon to bludgeon Snake on the head. As you may have guessed, this did not go well. The lizard glanced at Max and easily knocked him aside.

        Luckily this allowed Silvia to throw a nearby upturned trash can at her opponent. The plastic container ricocheted off of Snake’s head, but he seemed unswayed. Silvia stumbled back in panic. The cogs in her brain seemed to turn as fast as a locomotive as it attempted to formulate another strategy. Meanwhile, the reptile turned to face her with a malicious smile.

        “Nice try, Purple, but it’s going to take a lot more than an empty trash can to…”

His voice trailed off as he noticed a strange set of floating words drift down to circle him like the words on some sports stadium big screen.

How about a bunch of full ones?” it read.

Logically, Snake was confused. “What the he-“

        He was suddenly cut off when a dozen trash cans filled with trash dropped onto him from nowhere. Everyone not unconscious stopped in their tracks and looked beyond the trash to see the mute girl, Serena, standing near the now curtainless entrance of the alleyway. She gazed at them with a blank stare the wrote something on her notepad.

        The words, “Hey guys. What’s up?” appeared over her head.

        Max his goggles lifted back onto his forehead, blinked at the girl, and then at Silvia and David who seemed much more casual than him as if it happened on an average Saturday. Blood Rock, in contrast, looked terrified as he glanced at the unmoving Snake, then the groaning AV. In a frantic panic, he groped for the handle of the back door. Once he was able to grip it, he was behind the closed door in the blink of an eye. 

​​​​​​        Serena scribbled on her paper once more. It took an unnaturally quick time for the words to appear above her head. “We better split. He’ll be back with reinforcements.

        “Serena is right,” Silvia said with a nod, “We might’ve created even more turmoil between them and us, but first, let’s patch up Lurk.

         Meanwhile, Serena was inspecting the man’s body a few paces away. Over her head, she wrote, “Uh…guys?”

         “We’re going to save him!?” David scoffed, “He betrayed us. What’s with you being so reckless and caring all of the sudden? Where did your Mean Street mentality go? Strangers can’t be trusted and those who betray should pay the price. I was fine with the first time, but this is going too far.”

         Guys! came Serena’s message again.

         Max immediately leaped to defend his purple friend saying, “C’mon. What would you want someone to do for you in that situation? Completely helpless like that.”

         “Shut your trap, human boy!” he snapped, “I want to hear Silvia’s reasoning, not your perfect protagonist poppycock.”

         Silvia gritted her teeth, trying to keep her anger in. Magenta smoke burst from her eyes as she snarled, “You have no right to talk to him like that. What if I want to be good for once, huh?~”

         David stood stunned at this idea. “Y-you..” he stammered, “You want to-“

         A large bright light burst to life between the feuding discords like an angel itself was upon them. When their eyes adjusted they saw sparklers erupting around the boldly-written words, “GUYS!!!” It was a sight that made Max’s jaw drop in awe.

         David scowled. “Can’t you see we’re having a…”

        His voice trailed off as he turned to Serena. At his last word, his eyes went wide and he stepped back an inch. Max and Silvia followed his gaze, and what they saw was startling.

        Lurks body lay there, flashing signs drawn by Serena all pointing to his head. But it wasn’t the signs or the blood that was so shocking. It was that Lurk had no face. It was like a white mask, blank and smooth and fused into his skin, or at least it was before Snake had cracked it like a wooden board in those karate classes his mom paid for (and Max neither never paid in money or attention). The mask seemed to be damaged, but not completely broken. A relief if it was a costume, anxiety if it was a part of your body or something.

         “A Latent,” Silvia breathed, “Oh, I should have known.”

        Max opened his mouth to speak, but David spoke for him, “Care to explain to our foreign friend, my dear Silvia?” His tone still carried traces of that prior hostility but now was mixed with disturbed uneasiness.

       ​ The three cautiously make their way to their mute friend, and Silvia began her explanation in a solemn tone. ​​​”A Latent is a discord species. They have blank faces- like a mask that never comes off. Latents take the identities of other people and live their lives in hiding.”

         “What happens if the mask breaks,” Max asks.

​​​​        Silvia’s answer was simple, but it chilled Max to the bone: “They die.”

        Max moved to Lurk and reached to touch his mask. Before he did though, he recoiled, afraid to worsen his condition. Instead, he grabbed the Latent’s hand. It was cold but not ice cold. His pulse was slow but alive.

        He hooked his arms in Lurk’s and hoisted him up so that it almost looked like he was sitting. The seemed to be heavy from how much Max was straining himself

        “What are we waiting for, guys? Let’s get him to the orphanage,” he told the group.

        David and Silvia looked uneasy, and Serena just stood there with her whiteboard in hand.

​​​​​​        The Umbra spoke up, “Are you sure? He’s a Latent. They’re infamous for causing trouble. He literally just tried to barter Silvia for his own gain.”

         “He’s a discord like all of you, and he’s in danger. We need to help him,” Max retorted.

         David opened his mouth to protest, but before he could, Silvia silently made her way toward the human and lifted Lurk by the legs so that his whole middle was sagging like a hammock.

         “We’re really doing this, huh?” David grumbled with a hateful glare.

         “Well,” Silvia shrugged with a condescending smirk, “Us two are doing it. And Serena likes to carry the method of her communication in her hands without burden, so we’d absolutely love it if you helped us up with the middle so that we’re not swinging the equivalent of a wet noodle.”

         David scoffed at her tone of educated superiority and turned to his mute friend. “Serena, back me up here.”

         In response, she wrote, “Don’t bring me into this.” and held up her hands in mock surrender.

         The emo boy scowled, but after a few creative curses under his breath, he assisted the two by lifting Lurk’s torso to meet the height of his other four limbs. Together, they carried the unconscious man down the street. Max, holding his front, was walking backward and tripping constantly, much to David’s amusement and Silvia’s annoyance. Meanwhile, Serena kept a lookout so that the group wouldn’t bump into anything. However, the Mutam wasn’t doing the best job because she couldn’t speak to warn them of such obstacles. Looking back, it wasn’t the best decision to give her that task…

        “Do you think we’re attracting attention?” asked Max.

        Silvia, in turn, replied with, “We’re in Mean Street, Max. I want you to answer that question without assistance.”

        A few sly jokes and rude remarks later, they arrived at the orphanage. Serena knocked on the door in that secret passcode rhythm Silvia used. It sounded a lot different from the original code, though.

        Max pondered on this as the door swung open. “Did the passcode change?” he inquired.

         “Yeah. It does,” Silvia said with a shrug, “Whenever it feels like it.” She raised her voice and shouted down the hall, “Hey guys, we’re back!”

        In the living room, Yuka lay on his stomach as if he had slept on the couch the night prior. Jaiden sat facing him on the same couch, her hood lowered to reveal blond hair streaked with black and sandy wolf ears. They had oddly printed cards in their hands and we were playing a complex-looking game that most likely involved betting gold due to the stack of coins in the center. The pair looked up from their game and analyzed the five of them.

        Jaiden was the first to speak, doing so in a quietly monotonous tone filled to the brim with sarcasm. “Oh look, more new people.”

        Yuka tilted his head at the group, his ears and tail flicking in the same direction. He took a look at Lurk (or at least it seemed like he did being that his eyes were covered with his hair) and frowned. “Should I ask?” he said as he tilted his head up to the quartet.

        “Probably not,” answered David, “Unless you wanna heal this man’s rotten face?”

       Yuka didn’t answer, he just turned back to his card game. Jaiden followed. Guess that was a no…

      After a bitter sarcastic thank you from David, the three placed Lurk sideways on a lounge chair.

         “Where’s the rest of the gang?” asked Max.

        “Loin is attempting to teach Teddy how to steal, but you know how Teddy is. He seems to always leave a trail,” explained Yuka, “And Luna is sneaking off to watch them.”

         “I swear, if Loin gets my sister in trouble, I’ll make sure he’s too scared to sleep for the next month,” growled David.

         Yuka continued without comment, “And Varyn is…what did he call it? Oh yeah, he’s in the basement ‘training himself in the ways of war’.” He placed air quotes around the last few words.

         “Maybe you should watch him, Yuka,” Jaiden snickered, “If you’re lucky, he’ll take his shirt off.”

         The cat immediately flashed red underneath his mat of purple hair. “Shut up!” he hissed.

        “What about Ms. Lagoon?” Silvia asked from the lounge chair. She didn’t dare tear her eyes from Lurk. “Can’t she heal it?”

        Jaiden poked her head out from behind Yuka. “Oh, yeah probably. She’s in her room reading her new favorite romance novel.”

       As if on cue, Ms. Aquata Lagoon emerged from behind the door in the hallway, with her nose in a book, smiling vacantly.

        “Good morning Ms. Lagoon,” everyone chorused causing the woman to look up with the same warm smile. Max joined to chorus too but he came delayed, disrupting the whole cohesiveness.

​​​​​        Morning children!” she chirped. Her eyes drifted around the room until they fell on Lurk.”Oh goodness! What happened, here?”

        Yuka and Jaiden moved their card game downstairs so that Lurk could be placed on the couch. As Ms. Lagoon used some magic herbs, a bit of love, and a lot of bandages (supplied by Serena’s drawing power) to heal the Latent’s face, Max explained how they met Lurk, confronted the Toxics, and how they got into a fight with them. Some sarcastic comments from David and clarification from Silvia were added in every once in a while, as well.

        “And so we had to carry him all the way here to be healed,” Maxwell concluded.

        Ms. Lagoon secured the end of Lurk’s bandage with a pin and moved his hair to the side with a sympathetic smile. She was finished.  “That’s quite a tale. Almost as unorthodox as the one you told last morning,” she laughed, “I assume you’re going to be leaving for Discord’s castle. No worries, this lovely young man will be better in a day or two, and we’ll take good care of him in the meantime. When Teddy gets back, I’ll have him treat our guest’s wounds properly. I highly encourage you to leave now before Discord can prepare. The sooner you get there the better.”

        Silvia nodded. “Max, you ready to hit the road?” she asked the human.

        Max stood up, hoisted his backpack onto his shoulders, and proclaimed, “Yep! Let’s go!”

        “Hey, hold it,” protested David standing up to better help his argument, “I’m coming too, and so is Serena. No way in hell are we going to miss the downfall of Discord Destroyer of Worlds.” And a side-eyed glance was shot straight at Silvia.

        Serena copied, nodding her head stubbornly wrote, “Yep!

       Silvia sighed, “Fine, but just so you know, Max won ‘Rock Paper Scissors’, making him the leader.”

[9 pages]

(I made a lot of changes to this one too- though not as many as the prior chapter. The most significant change was David’s hostility to the whole “being good” thing. Originally, he warmed up to it as easy as Silvia, but I realized that doesn’t really fit his character)

(Fun Fact: In the original, the plan for book two, Aquata and Lurk were to get together. So were Yuka and Varyn :D)

So I finally drew Silvia- Well Silvia 2.0. She probably got another granola bar shoved in her face.

(This is likely the last and final posted chapter of Discord. The 11th and 12th are fully written, but I don’t like the direction I took it in. I have ideas on how to rewrite it, but we’ll see.)


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