The final entry into this series is here.
"I'll see you there, Vert! Kill some Bards for me!" Chengsha waved goodbye to Vertroyer, and watched the android disappear. She sighed, running her hand through her hair. That was the last invitation.
She walked down to an internet café that she frequented regularly, gave a winning smile to one of the patrons, and then sat down at a couch. The couple who had been kissing on the couch hastily got up and moved to the opposite corner of the room. The last time someone had crossed her in this room had been a year ago.
No one actually saw the climax of her fight but everyone saw the man's clavicle put on national television after the man went missing for a week. The man's body was never... fully recovered.
How did she get to that point? Cheng remembered a time when hurting even a fly would be ludicrous and she wasn't constantly forced to put up a front of alternating between being a ditz and being a shrew.
And it wasn't Desert's fault, not by a mile. In fact, Desert probably kept her from going full-on vile. It started with Rubik's death, she had concluded. And then Rocket, and Uli... And now FirePyre. Chengsha guessed it was a coping mechanism, to deal with the fact that so many of her friends had died, and died messily.
She shook her head vehemently. No time to look back on the past, there was a wedding! She needed to be happy, not pensive and distraught. She rubbed her eyes. It was just so tiring...
She looked at her aura. It was an interesting color, just barely visible to her, and most definitely invisible to others. She kept it running a clock, down to the millisecond. It helped throw most people off on what her Grant was, and she liked it that way. Invisibility was a useful Grant, and all the more so if no one knew of it.
It was 18:43 back on Prime, which meant the wedding was in a couple of days. She needed to be ready for it...
But for now? She was gonna go surprise Desert.
Spicy was on his back, Desert holding a knife to his throat. Recruits had gathered around them to watch two top fighters spar. Both were quite bruised, although Spicy looked worse for the wear. He grimaced, and to anyone watching it would look like he had given up.
But Spicy had a trick up his sleeve, one he hadn't ever practiced. Desert wouldn't see it coming.
Spicy's leg rose up quickly, slamming into Desert square in the chest, lifting him off the ground an inch. And an inch was all he needed.
Spicy then reversed his personal gravity, turning the roof into his floor. He was yanked up, and as he passed Desert's floating body, he delivered a series of punishing uppercuts, forcing Desert's body up. Spicy wrapped Desert in a bear hug, trapping his arms. Being heavier than Desert, Spicy was able to have Desert be brought along unwanted on Spicy's upwards journey. When the two hit the roof, Desert bore the impact while Spicy stood on him.
Then Spicy stepped to the side, and let Desert drop a couple feet before turning his gravity back to normal, landing a kick on Desert's jaw as the two hurtled to the ground.
Desert got up, and the two friends shook hands before bowing to the crowd. They retired to a nuclear bunker that had been left behind by the planet's previous inhabitants and commandeered as a living quarters for Spicy.
Now that they were alone, they could really talk.
"Spicy! You and Eclipsa are getting hitched, eh?" Desert joked, playfully shoving Spicy.
Spicy winced in pain. "Hey, ease up on the shoulder, you disjointed it, remember? But yeah..."
"That's great, dude! You're gonna get together and kiss and have ALL THE BABIES and-"
"Okay let's calm down..." Spicy blushed. "She's really something, isn't she?"
"You two are perfect for each other," Desert emphasized. "It's gonna be fine, don't worry!"
"But you and Cheng, eh?" Spicy quickly changed the subject.
"Honestly, Spicy? Can I be serious for a moment?" Desert's tone changed.
"She's nice and all... But she's changed. Cheng is kinda... Irritating? She just grates on me. I... Don't like her like that."
Spicy opened his mouth to give some sympathetic reply, but was cut off by a quiet sobbing.
Cheng faded into existence, slumping to the floor. "Th- that's how you feel?" She looked up at Desert from the floor with tearful eyes. "You k- you kept me sane!"
"Cheng... Please..." Desert put his hands out, voice soft, face contorted in guilt. "Please... Calm down..."
"Fuck you, Desert! Fuck you and your magnanimous Holier-Than-Thou attitude! You... You shithead! I hope you fucking die!"
Cheng quickly and messily Plunged out of 156050.
"Chengsha, wait!" Desert disappeared in an attempt to follow her, and Spicy was alone.
Jeez, I hope nothing like that ever happens to me and Eclipsa, He lamented.
4 DAYS LATER
Playful looked in the mirror, adjusting her suit. She was to be the preacher at Spicy and Eclipsa's wedding. She checked to make sure that her blazer complimented her hair, that her tie wasn't too obnoxious... Then took a deep breath and stepped out to the pulpit.
She looked out at the crowd of people. Everyone was there, truly. Vertroyer, carrying his mop like always, HAWAIIAN, leaning back in the chair, Addfire, taking the form of a purple-haired teenager, Zed, sheriff's hat protecting his eyes from the sun. Desert and Cheng both made it, although they were at opposite sides of the crowd, pointedly ignoring each other. Yami was there, with Jmskilz as a bodyguard, and Sondz was there, for once not wearing his signature yellow jacket. Even the greenie was there — Ghosty was wearing a beanie, but had taken off his faded blue hoodie.
There was a hubbub in the crowd, a buzz of excitement. Playful cleared her throat to get the attention of the audience.
They kept talking. Playful cleared her throat again, without fruition.
Playful manipulated her shadow into an eldritch monster that loomed over the crowd. It became so quiet you could hear a pin drop.
"Thank you," she said with a grin, dismissing her shadow. "Let's begin, shall we?"
Spicy and Eclipsa walked up to the stage.
Playful looked down at them from where she stood. "Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here, in the sight of God, and in the presence of these witnesses, to join together this man and this woman, in holy matrimony...
Her speech went on, going through the 'I do's quickly and eagerly.
"... Should anyone here present know of any reason that this couple should not be joined in holy matrimony, speak now or forever hold your peace."
Twenty gunshots rang out in lighting-quick succession. Eclipsa's body was hit with bullet after bullet, forced into a macabre dance by the impact of each round. The blood sprayed from her body formed the words, I object.
Sondz stood up, a smoking Kel-Tec PMR-30 in his right hand.
"Sorry," he said with a rakish grin as Eclipsa's mangled, lifeless body slumped to the floor. "I should have made it clear that was from me."
END OF CHAPTER 4