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Wicked Game

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Here they are.

They’re going into Purgatory, to the Museum of the Dead, and rescue those already dead.

Mortimer never thought it was possible, but then again he also did the following during the past while:

  1. Saved Everlock and ten unsuspecting guests from the Carnival Master with the help of Jetpack Girl, Riley and Vincent.
  2. Fell in love with Vincent Wells in one night, which happened during the events of 1.
  3. Recently became one of seven legal guardians to a teenager that lived in the woods.

Yeah, he’s pretty sure he should’ve expected things to get weird.

They’re waiting in a forest area, isolated enough so that no one will stumble upon them at random. Matpat and Nikita, two of the ten survivors from Everlock that they helped save, are with them. They joined up with the Society Against Evil. Nikita sports a crop-top and skirt that Matpat apparently recognizes as something from whatever “Sucker Punch” is, and Matpat has a Society Against Evil-themed leather jacket on.

Mortimer recalls overhearing Jael and Ryu trying to argue against it for the safety of the two. Matpat does have  a family at home and also would cancel a livestream for this, and Nikita has her own life to attend to, too. However, both were more than determined to save their past-deceased friends, and the helpers had no choice but to let them help them.

Joey drives over in his van. He’s wearing a brown leather coat that also is from the Society Against Evil (Mortimer guesses that the SAE has many of these jackets on hand for their members), (decorative) spectacles, and getup that makes him look like an adventurer from those comics Mortimer used to read back in Everlock.

“You guys get what I ask for?” Joey asked.

Matpat nods, a grin on his face as he holds up the Crown of Oblivion. “Yeah. What took you so long?”

“Uh,” Nikita looks suddenly sheepish, still holding the Carnival Master’s Crystal in one hand, “Is this a bad time to tell you that I invited someone to the party?”

Mortimer stared. What? Who? Surely it can’t be Tyler Oakley or Andrea Russett, nor Oli White and Eva Gutowski. Oli was too far from this location to make it, Eva had no interest getting stuck in Purgatory, and Tyler and Andrea respectively also declined, wishing to stay safe and at home. Mortimer didn’t blame them. If he were in the survivors’ shoes, he probably would’ve stayed home, too.

“The party’s here~!” Approaching them is a young man with tan skin and perfectly done-up makeup (the  makeup reminds Jetpack Girl of Manny for a moment, given how Manny was a makeup guru) donning a yellow jacket, some black pants and heeled shoes. Also holding a baseball bat as a weapon, too.

“Nikita,” Joey groaned, looking to Nikita, “I told you not to invite anyone. This is a dangerous mission!”

“The only dangerous thing here,” The newbie snipes back with pure confidence, gesturing to himself, “Is this fat ass.”

The newcomer (Bretman Rock, he introduces himself) looks like some kind of playboy in that yellow jacket and black pants and heeled shoes, so Mortimer nicknames him the Playboy in his head. He has a feeling he’s going to learn many names tonight, forget those names, and then try to scramble to remember all the names. They are saving numerous dead people, after all.

Jael breaks down the situation: Joey, Bretman, Vincent, Jetpack Girl, Mortimer, Calliope and Riley will infiltrate one section of the museum, where all the deceased Youtubers are. Jael, Nikita, Dylan and Ryu will head to the other section to cause any distractions and/or help needed to keep the guests safe from the monsters in the Museum. Both teams would ultimately find the guests, get them out of there, and avoid the Collector at all costs. Seems like an easy job, at least in word. Probably not that easy, when applied in reality, but Mortimer liked to hope for the best.

“Doesn’t it seem a bit uneven to have one giant team on one side and a smaller one on the other?” Jetpack Girl pointed out.

Jael sighed. “It’s to make sure all your friends get out safely. There are at least ten of them in there, after all. The rest of us will be a distraction to whatever dangers are present, in the meantime.”

“Meaning we get to kick some ass.” Nikita looks thrilled as she says it, and Jetpack Girl is more than sure that the Troublemaker was not called the Troublemaker for nothing (and she’s pretty sure it goes beyond Everlock at this point).

“What about me?” Matpat protests, face falling as he realizes he wasn’t included in Jael’s stated plans. “I did cancel my livestream for this.”

Jael sighed as she looked towards him. “You’ll be with me. Baby steps.”

Smart choice, Mortimer thinks. Matpat does have a wife and child at home to worry about after this, and they didn’t want him getting in harm’s way. Jael was one of the more seasoned combat experts, and Matpat wasn’t exactly great at physical strength (though he was very intelligent), so that made sense.

With that settled, Jael and Ryu prepare the spell with the cursed artifacts, the crown, and the crystal. Calliope also joins in, the golden glow of their magic activating the mansion’s Cursed Artifacts, the Carnival Master’s Crystal, and the Sorceress’ Crown of Oblivion.

A portal opens.

“Go!”


 

Dylan is sure that this will turn out okay. Five of the seven legal guardians he has, Calliope included, are going in first to make sure they get to the guests. Jael, Ryu, Matpat and Nikita (both who he’s never met, but seem nice) are going with Dylan next afterwards.

“The Crown is breaking!” Ryu calls out suddenly, and Dylan freezes for a moment. Sure, the Crown had limited power to keep the portal open, but…how long will it last?

His answer is given when the portal suddenly closes behind Calliope, Vincent, Jetpack Girl, Riley, Mortimer, Joey, and Bretman, just before Matpat and Nikita even have a chance to run in next.

Matpat’s the first to look towards Jael and Ryu, instantly screaming frustration on his face before he even expresses it aloud. “What happened to the portal!?”

“The Crown’s broken.” Ryu points out, and Dylan is pretty sure that the other has worry in his otherwise-calm tone. “None of the rest of us can get in…”

“What?” Nikita looks towards the portal, and for once, Dylan sees worry in her own eyes. “Damn it, I promised Bretman I wouldn’t leave him alone in there!”

Dylan remembers being told, once, that Nikita had a friend named Manny who was stuck in Everlock with her. That Manny and Nikita were fire-forged friends, and Manny almost had to die at her hands during a death challenge if not for the intervention of the Helpers. No wonder she’s worried. She and Bretman must be close, too.

“There’s a chance for us to get in, still.” Jael tried to reassure her. “The Guardian Angel stone exists in Purgatory, and if Joey and the others find it…”

Dylan gives Jael a look of his own. “And you didn’t tell us this before everyone else went in the portal?” Why? Why didn’t you? Dylan trusts Jael as one of his seven legal guardians (though he’s let the words “mom” and “dad” slip a few times), but he hates that sometimes, some people neglect to give useful information at good times.

“We were sure the Crown would be stable enough for all of us to go through.” Jael swallows, and it dawns on Dylan that she’s just as worried as everyone else about the others now in Purgatory. “They’ve survived a mission like this once. They can do it again.”

“I hope so,” Is all Ryu can say, and Dylan can only hope that his five other guardians/parental-figures will be okay.

Please make it out okay.

He couldn’t bear the thought of losing more parental figures. Not after what happened with his Pa.


 

The portal closes behind Calliope, and she swallows. That can’t be good.

“Was that supposed to happen?” Mortimer asks.

Calliope looks towards him and shakes her head. “Not as soon as now, no.”

“What happened?” Bretman’s face is utter confusion as he looks towards where the portal is.

“I don’t know.” Joey looks just as nervous. “It’s supposed to stay open.”

Bretman’s jaw drops. “Does that mean we’re stuck here!?”

Calliope is the first to assuage Bretman’s worries, knowing that this young man is inexperienced in this sort of thing. She’s no Nikita, she knows that, but she knows that panicking now won’t help in their mission. “I’m sure Jael, Ryu and the others are working on it. Let’s just get to your friends, first.”

“Let’s just focus on the mission, come on!” Joey calls, and the group heads towards the Museum. Thankfully, it doesn’t take them long to get through the complicated foliage and towards the Museum entrance. Out walks the Collector, and everyone hides from sight.

The Collector, Calliope notes, looks powerful. She exudes it in every step, full of grace but clearly ready to stab someone with that spear of hers, given the deep focus in her expression. There’s a woman with snakes for hair with her, too, and there are several guards, dressed like the ones you’d see in the paintings of Egyptian soldiers.

Calliope is strangely sure that the snake-headed woman looks familiar to her, but she’s not sure how. At least, not right now.

“We are leaving on an expedition to find pieces for my new exhibit.” The Collector speaks to who is presumably the head guard. “Keep careful watch.”

The Collector opens her own portal, and she and the snake-headed woman head into the portal. It closes behind them, and the guards march away.

“We have to avoid her.” Joey whispers to Jetpack Girl.

“At least she’s gone for now.” Jetpack Girl whispers. “This is our chance to get everyone. Just avoid the guards.”

Calliope nodded as she looked towards Jetpack Girl. “I agree with her. We should go, now.”

She could only hope that nothing more went wrong.