Old Nicholas and his six conventioner companions--two of whom were the blonde girls who'd set up the pinata in the diner, and two others being
Nicholas's grandchildren--came forward and chose a gun. Xavier quickly dug out the boxes of ammunition from the bottom of the gun case and distributed
it accordingly. As they all exchanged conversation and helped one another with the use of their firearms of choice, time passed, and nobody realized
when the clock above the bed had struck 4:00 am.
"Er..." Nicholas grumbled, examining his rifle and holding a single bullet in his hand. "How do I...?"
Arkus took the gun from him and opened it, placing the bullet inside and showing Nicholas how to load it properly.
"Thank you." Nicholas told him.
"No problem. Thank you.
For talking to them." Arkus responded. "At least some of them came around. That's more than ever before."
Nicholas nodded, grabbing a few more bullets from his box. He took a moment, glancing at Arkus and seeming to be in thought.
"You're the green man." Nicholas said.
"Yes, I am." Arkus agreed.
"But everyone's told me you're a monster. How can you be a monster and still want to save Christmas? I think I've been horribly misinformed." Nicholas
told him, smirking and stoking his beard.
Arkus smiled appreciatively at him.
"But, uh... how do you know its going to be tonight?" Nicholas wondered. "Their attack, I mean... how do you...?"
Arkus opened his mouth to respond, then hesitated. Just when he was about to speak, a loud rumbling seemed to shake the floor beneath them, followed
by the frantic screams of everyone on the bottom floor.
Arkus, Xavier, Nicholas, and the others all froze, staring at one another for a split second.
Then, Arkus darted passed everyone and out the door, Xavier following him close behind and everyone else tailing them, their firearms at hand. They
didn't bother with the elevator this time; everyone followed Arkus down four stories of stairs, and after a lot of running, they all appeared in the
hallway leading to the banquet hall.
People were flooding through every entrance of the gigantic room, and the music inside it had stopped following a large explosion. The jukebox erupted
into a million plastic and wooden firey pieces, and a group of thirty armed Reptilians were lighting the room up with their fire pistols.
Many of the people had already been lit ablaze; some of them had crumbled to the floor, smoldering in a mess of ash that was once clothes, along with
burnt skin that smelled absolutely putrid.
"This is it..." Arkus muttered, watching the scene excitedly, his eyes shining green and his heart hammering. "This is it!"
He, Xavier, Nicholas and the others entered the banquet hall, spotting the Reptilian army, who were still occupied with lighting their remaining human
captives on fire.
"STOP!" Arkus hollered, his voice echoing terribly throughout the room. "Leave them alone--they've done NOTHING to you!"
When the Reptilian killers paid no mind to him, Nicholas and his followers raised their guns, and Arkus dashed towards the killers at full speed, his
scars and eyes shining more brilliantly than ever before. He flew across the room in a streak of neon green, then tackled one of the Reptilians to the
floor full force.
Arkus stomped on the disoriented Reptilian's gun, shattering it. The others rounded on him--aimed their pistols--
A horrible, ear-splitting sound set off, and one of the Reptilians closest to Arkus exploded into a scaly mess of blood and bones.
Xavier pulled back the pump, then aimed at another--
Her second shot hit one of the Reptilians in the arm, removing half of it from its body. Blood began to squirt uncontrollably from the creature as it
let out an awful, screeching howl of pain.
Two Reptilians remained in close proximity, and they seemed to be trading glimpses between Arkus and Xavier. Both Reptilians had fire pistols pointed
at Arkus, but Arkus responded to the threat only by piercing them with a paralyzing glare, holding up both of his hands, crackling his fingers as his
glow grew even brighter.
They both pressed the triggers at once, sending two ginormous waves of fire through the air. The flames engulfed Arkus, who was beginning to glow like
a green sun, and he pressed forward, his skin emitting what appeared to be a greenish fire.
Arkus grasped the closest Reptilian's head, then pushed it backwards with all his strength; the sound of the spinal cord snapping was the loudest
thing in the room, despite the screaming and gunshots filling the banquet hall.
Xavier fired off a third shot, hitting the second Reptilian squarely in the stomach. It collapsed onto the floor, bleeding and motionless.
She and Arkus glanced at one another, then continued onward.
Nicholas and his companions were firing shot after shot into the Reptiliam army, careful to keep their distance; the fire pistols used by the
Reptilians had much less range than the conventional firearms used by the humans. And, by some Christmas miracle, none of them had been lit on fire so
But the Reptilians seemed to be focusing mostly on the remaining unarmed conventioners in the room, who were panicking and crying, unable to muster
the strength to run for their lives. The Reptilian killers continued to light them ablaze by small groups, and the screams were unbearably
Arkus approached the attackers, and when Xavier followed him, he stopped.
"Stay back." Arkus told her, swatting his hand.
"What?" Xavier responded. "You can't take them all by yourself--!"
"Just stay back! Trust me!"
Arkus yelled, then marched towards the remaining of the Reptilian invaders.
He stood before them, having yet to grasp their attention, holding out both of his arms as his glow became blindingly illuminating; transparent
greenish flames arose from his body, and it looked as though he'd become a human conduit of pure, unrestrained energy.
Arkus's blood was on fire--he'd never been so overwhelmed with energy before, never handled such a ridiculous amount of it before. He couldn't see
anything... no walls, no people, no Reptilians, no Xavier... everything was lost... except green... blinding green light... he knew what he was doing,
even though he'd never done it before... focusing... concentrating... hold the power... hold the power... and then... then... then... all at
It was astonishing; Arkus's light exploded like a thunderclap, making a deafening rupturing noise fill the entire lodge. Everyone within ten feet of
him was blown back... not just blown off their feet... burned... vaporized... their skin was ash before the lumpsum of their bodies hit the walls
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