I rise from bed early. There is a lot to do. I have to figure out how the hell I am gonna do this, and make up a plan.
I open my computer and go to my code program. Even a master hacker wouldn’t be able to break through this. I am quite proud of my invention. It is a computer program designed to send signals to my safe. The safe is inside my closet. I can’t really explain it properly, but I have made it so no one can guess or hack the code from outside. It is untraceable and I have sealed the signal off so it can’t be picked up. It is a code program for the safe, as I said before, and the program itself is hidden within a game on my computer. Actually it is hidden within a bonus feature, within a game, which I have made invisible at my desktop. My background on my computer is an open wordbook, and the program is hidden at the word ‘different’. I click in and open the bonus. First I have to clear it to get to the code program, but that isn’t a problem. I have played for so many hours I could get through blindfolded. I open the code program and tap my password. I can’t tell you what it is, just in case you’re not trustworthy. Not that I think you are at all! Sorry, breaking the fourth wall again…
Anyway, I hear a click from the closet. I quit the code program and delete the bonus data, so anyone who tries to get through will have to play it first.
Inside the closet behind a stack of boxes and my chair is a painting. Behind the painting is the safe. Somewhat classic, but unnoticeable. I move the painting and tap the second code directly on the safe. With a creaking sound, it opens. I don’t use these often, but desperate times calls for desperate measures, you know.
I open it further, until it can’t get any more open. There they are, my other characters. I have a few more than Phoenix, but I have almost never used them before. I know exactly which one I shall use. It is very unnoticeable, but it would be handy today. It is not so strong, so it wouldn’t be of any use in combat. It can do nothing special but jump far and climb.
I close the safe. The codes automatically reset.
My plan has begun.
Class has started. Everyone has been talking about the visit from Phoenix yesterday, and I haven’t had a moments peace to think my plan over. I am beginning to get nervous. What if it fails? If I can’t get Phoenix back, I am just gonna have to go back to being the zero I have always been, and I don’t want that.
Even though the teacher tries to calm the class they keep talking. She start shouting, but so do the students. What will I do? I can’t just go back to being me. I just…
“… Phoenix, please get your ass outside in front of the school. As promised I haven’t done anything yet, but if you do not get out here fast, it will cost everyone dearly, not just you...” it suddenly sounds from the stereos. Everyone probably heard that. Everyone in class quiets down immediately. Then the mumbling starts.
“Is Phoenix at our school?”
“What was that?”
“It said that Phoenix is going outside, let’s go out there now!”
Jeez, what do I do? What? What?
Everyone rises from their seats and rush out the door. Mark grabs my hand and drags me along.
“this time you cannot get around it!” he exclaims and smiles weirdly. The other character is under my hoodie in the bag, but I can’t change here.
It looks like every student on the whole school is going outside in front of the school. They all want to see my true form. I am shaking. I have to do something…
While a group of younger girls pass by us I twist myself out of Marks grip and make a run for the bathroom. He barely notices until it’s too late.
“HEY! COME BACK!” he shouts, but I ignore it. I slam the door and transform. It is a weird feeling, not being Phoenix. I run out of the room again, but my steps can’t be heard. Smooth and stealthy, not the best for the arena, but for this it is perfect. I jump out a window and hang on to the brick wall. I catch a glimpse of myself in a window while climbing sideways on the school building. Big green eyes with large black pupils, black fur, pointy ears and big fangs. I don’t know the name for this character, but it is some sort of cat-man, or panther.
I climb quickly and swiftly. Smooth and stealthy. I go to the roof to reach the other side of the school. The front, where my, I don’t know, stalker or something is waiting.
No one is to be seen anywhere. They’re all down in front of the school to see me. Even though they won’t recognize me at all in this form.
I crawl to the front on the roof. Lying flat and peeking down, I can see a huge crowd as expected. But there is something else too. A character! It is a demon or devil, with leathery wings and a flaming tail. It is holding something in it’s hand… my character! At least now the students know why I am not in that form.
How do I get down there? To get it, I mean. Getting down shouldn’t be a problem at all. A cat has nine lives and always land on its feet. The nine lives thing may be overdue, but the rest is true enough.
While I am thinking, a strong wind starts blowing behind me. I don’t really notice until it sends me off the roof. Underneath me, the crowd gasps and spread out, so I won’t hit them when I reach the ground. I am falling with my head first. I make a 180 degree turn, and land on my feet at the last moment. Everything falls silent for a moment. The demon is staring at me. I don’t know what to do.
Suddenly it takes a step towards me. Then another one. It keeps going until it is standing right in front of me, with my character in its hand. Everyone’s eyes are following us.
“What do you want from me?” I ask it, or her. No answer.
The crowd starts mumbling to each other.
“Is that panther Phoenix? Or is it a spy?”
“What is going on?”
“Who’s that devil?”
They keep chattering. I reach out for my character but the demon takes a step back as I do.
“I“ it says with a deep voice.
“I want you to come with me” everyone falls silent again. The tension is flowing thickly in the air, like boiling water in a too small pot where the lit is about to fall off.
I look from the demons face to my character, then back again.
“Fine” everyone gasps.
“Good, then take my hand” it says and gives me its hand. As I take it the crowd starts mumbling again. About stupid things, like if I really am Phoenix, and what is going to happen to me then. Stuff like that.
A tele porter catches my eye. So we are going somewhere. Interesting.
For a brief moment I feel absolutely nothing. Then I am in a room. I think I have been here before. Wait a minute…
“So we are here, at last” the demon says.
We are in the janitors office! He is never there, but really? Was all that really necessary just to come here?
It walks towards me, still holding my precious phoenix.
“So, what do you want?” I ask it directly.
“I want” it steps closer.
“To get to know you” it pulls back smiling. I completely lose it, lose the whole point of this.
“Wait, - what?” I just stand there, with my jaw at the floor. Nothing makes sense. This is supposed to be a scene where I get killed by another contestant or something. This is kind of an anticlimax.
“I said I want to get to know you” it smiles again. It really creeps me out.
“Why?” I ask it.
“Because I am a huge fan, like, the BIGGEST one” I take a few steps back.
“O-k, can I get my character back now then?”
“NO!” it yells with an extremely terrifying voice. I feel very small.
“o-ok, just ask anything” I don’t know what else to do. I have to get my phoenix back somehow, and this doesn’t seem all that bad. I could’ve been asked to kill someone. Ok, maybe that is a bit extreme, but it happened in one of my videogames.
“Who are you?” it leans closer again. I am out of space and my back is against the wall.
“Ermmm, could we start somewhere else please?”
“Fine! I’ll have more fun that way anyway” it smiles again. I shiver.
“What gender are you?”
“I am a boy…”
“Yesss!” it whispers and makes a fistpumt. This is getting reaaally weird.
It turns its head towards me again.
“Since I know you go to this school, what class are you in?”
It is way too close!
My personal space is suffering!
“Well?” it leans really close.
“I, eh, I go, to…”
“SCORE!” it exclaims and pulls back a little fist pumping again.
I reach for my character, but it notices.
“We are not done yet, my friend” I have a bad feeling.