~Animaniacs: Nocturnus Act XXII~
*Chapter 9: Escape to the Sistine Chapel*
Rem let out a yelp when she was suddenly yanked backwards by an unseen force. Yakko was quick to act and managed to grab ahold of the teen before she was dragged too far. In the process of doing so, he pulled out a mallet from his hammerspace and flung it forward in the hopes of hitting the Boy lurking around in the shadows.
"...whoops. You missed." Seth tutted.
"Bite me." the elder Warner hissed under his breath.
Rem meanwhile was shaking a little in Yakko's hold, even though he had a vice like grip on her. The entire party recovered from their spill and shuffled to one corner to reassess their situation.
"So, what the heck do we do now?" Max retorted. "The guy's got us cornered. Literally."
The toons stopped to think quickly as time was being a merciless mistress. Suddenly, with a light bulb appearing above their heads, it occurred to the Warner Siblings that there was indeed someone who could actually bring down Seth. They were almost ready to whack themselves with their own mallets for not thinking of it before.
"Eeeeehhhh, I think we might have a back door." Yakko implied.
"Great, let's use it." Buster replied, catching on.
"Hold on sports fans..." Slappy interjected. "Let's make sure the psychopath doesn't follow us."
"I'm on it!" Gogo shouted eagerly. He was out to restore his honor and ego after it got crushed earlier.
The dodo sped off, determined to make good on his word and then came to a screeching halt. In a flurry of movement, he pulled out a black hole, a bucket of paint, and a paint brush. Gogo then slapped the hole right onto the floor and proceeded to paint right over it in the exact same shade of the floor rubble and all. As he was doing this, Yakko could feel Rem still slightly shaking, although she was making quite an effort to reign herself in.
"Relax, Rem." Yakko murmured in a tone low enough that only she could hear while giving her hand a gentle squeeze.
A few seconds later, Gogo came rushing back, taking a spare door from his hammerspace and slamming it down in the spot between them and the rest of the ground floor.
"He's coming!" the dodo exclaimed.
With a hushed silence, the toons waited for Seth to cross the newly erected threshold. Although they attempted to clear their heads of any coherent thought, anxiety ran high because if this distraction didn't work out the way it was intended to, they were effectively screwed. Seth reproached the room where the floor above had collapsed, feeling rather amused and giddy for the damage and fear he had wrought. He almost laughed aloud mockingly when he was met with the door that Dodo erected.
"While this was, for the most part irritating, I daresay, I'm actually enjoying my--"
He never got to finish. As soon as the Boy stepped right across the threshold, he fell right into the strategically hidden black hole. Once everyone heard the fall and the ensuing crash, they all made a mad dash towards the nearest exit they could find,
"That's it, let's beat it!!" Buster shouted.
After they had each made it outdoors, they got as far as they could from the campus.
"Next step, the Sistine Chapel!" Yakko exclaimed.
"...Wait, how the hell are we gonna get there?!" Rem rasped.
"Like this." Wakko replied.
To Rem's astonishment and disbelief, Yakko, Wakko, Dot, Slappy, Skippy, Buster, Babs, Plucky, Hampton, Gogo, and Calamity grabbed the corner of the scenery like a page from a book and suddenly they were in Italy.
Just moments later, the shadows from the playground, the school house, and the lamps grew longer until they met at a center. Seth's darkened shade emerged as if he were simply taking an elevator up until he fully materialized. However, the Boy soon realized that neither Rem nor his adversaries were there any longer. He couldn't even sense them, they were too far away. With his rage how running high as ever, Seth threw his head up facing the night sky and let out a powerful, furious demonic roar.
Michelangelo Buonarroti was busy touching up the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. For the past few nights, he had been terribly uneasy that he seemed to have lost his traditional and trademark bad temper and manic obsession compulsion to be a perfectionist. Church goers that came in for daily services noted that he had suddenly became quiet and instead of raging at them for every little thing, he was grudgingly laid back. Some wondered if he had or was becoming ill.
Truth was, there was an evil in the night sky that caused the uneasiness in Buonarroti and being inside the chapel provided some solace. IT was near dawn when loud knocking suddenly broke the silence, and nearly caused him to slip a paint stroke on the fresco. Letting out a heavy sigh as if he were expecting this, Buonarroti climbed down from the scaffolding and went to the church's front doors. He found himself not surprised to see who was standing on the front steps and nearly out of breath.
"Well, don't you look like you've went down the Tenth Circle and back again." the artist said sarcastically, arching a brow.
"Eeeeeeehhhhh, you might say we kinda went over our heads." Yakko admitted sheepishly.
"We're any of you followed?"
"Unless this whack job has a highly sophisticated GPS system...." Brain muttered.
"What he said." Dot added.
"Then get inside." Buonarroti urged. "Quickly."
Not needing to be told twice, the whole gaggle of toons rushed in. Buonarroti cautiously looked around before shutting the doors tight and locking them.
"Sorry we came in such short notice, Mike." Yakko began again. "But we could really use a hand."
"Well, that's all well and good, but before any of you do anything you could do well with some sleep." the artist ranted.
"That would be nice, if we didn't have a psychopath on our butts!" Slappy ranted back.
"Which I'm well aware of. But the lot of you won't be able to confront him while fighting fatigue. I should know."
"Of course, he's an artist." Dot humorously mused as she pointed a thumb at him.
"And besides, a church is certainly not going to be at the top of his list of places to search if he's after you."
"He's got a point there." Buster said with a shrug.
As the morning star slowly entered the sky, following the behest of Buonarroti, the toons took the precious amount of daytime they could get to rest and recharge from for lack of a better word, getting their butts handed to them. Only three individuals were awake, two of which had briefly joined Buonarroti as he patrolled through the church's halls.
"Don't worry, I'll find a place suitable for you to recuperate." Buonarroti said. "I've spent many a sleepless night working on countless commissions, paintings, and frescos, all to accomplish getting them done perfectly without fail. Not getting at least one night or day to rejuvenate will land you back to square one. Or so my psychotherapist tells me."
"I happened to fully understand how you feel, good sir." Brain replied with a contemplating expression.
"Hey, Brain. Maybe we should get a psychotherapist." Pinky enthusiastically suggested. "NARF."
"Gee, I don't know, Pinky." said Brain irritably and sarcastically. "Perhaps when this is over, we can start searching the Yellow Pages."
"Hmph, at least you're better to house than those buzzards..."
The other individual still very much wide awake and deep in thought was Rem.
....dammit, what the hell is his weakness?? He doesn't like sunlight, but UV rays aren't always foolproof. He's not exactly a friggin' vampire.
The sound of birds from outside tweeting and then getting bopped by a grumpy Pesto made Rem's ears twitch a little but didn't distract her from her thoughts.
...I wonder if I can 'go all out' like everyone else. I'm not exactly what anybody would refer to as a 'purebred cartoon character', but would it kill me to try? And if I manage to pull it off, will it be enough to end that son of a bitch?
Her ears twitched again, this time to the sound of three pair of feet tapping at her. Rem didn't have to look up to see that it was her guardians.
"If this is about offering myself as bait, you can chew me out when this whole shitfest is over." the teen murmured quietly.
"Weeelll, it's not precisely that." Dot said.
"But Mike did have a valid point about getting some shut eye for a bit." Yakko added.
"...I'm not tired." Rem asserted. "And besides, why are we here in Renaissance Italy?"
"Because Mike was nice enough to lend us some assistance the last time we were here, so we figured it was a good idea to seek his enlightened guidance again."
Rem nearly snorted in laughter at Yakko's response. It was almost amazing to see that he could still be a smartass even in their darkest hour.
"So, about that shut eye..." Yakko pressed.
"I told you, I'm not tired!" Rem exclaimed while resisting the urge to rub her eyes.
"Uh-huh, and the bags under your eyes are just a figment of our imagination." Dot said.
"Yup, they sure are."
"Don't you get zany with us, missy." Wakko tutted.
The teen let out a groan.
A few hours later, just past midday, Rem was next seen in deep dreamless slumber. Wasn't quite sure how she got there, but it was bliss nevertheless. It was better than enduring what was happening before. Heck, she had somewhat forgotten of the peril that raveled around her world. Then a familiar voice broke into her psyche and shattered the reverie and peace of the silence.
Rem snapped her eyes open and darted them across her surroundings. She then jerked up, nearly toppling over from the sudden movement.
"Jeez, Rem. It ain't quite time to smell the espresso yet."
The teen rubbed her eyes with a groan.
"Crap...how long was I out, Warner??" she asked.
"Weellll, according to this, precisely three hours, five minutes, and twenty seconds." replied Yakko, pulling out a sundial.
"Where's my sword at?"
"Funny you should ask. Dot's got it."
Rem heaved a heavy sigh as she rubbed her eyes again.
"...what the hell did'ja let me fall asleep for??" she muttered under her breath.
"I don't suppose you had plans to record Italian opera on the tube there, Rem."
Rem wanted to smack him for being a smartass and letting her fall asleep. Then a thought occurred to her. She got up off the bench she was sleeping on and headed out into the halls.
"Hey, hey, hey, where do you think you're off to?" Yakko protested, also catching the attention of his younger siblings.
"There's something I wanna ask Mike about." Rem replied.
Yakko, Wakko, and Dot exchanged glances and then shrugged. They followed their charge until she found the noted in a small room preparing some weaponry.
"...This is some fancy artillery you got here, uh Mike." Rem commented pointedly.
"And you of all people should know why that is." Mike gruffly responded.
"...Point taken. Actually, I have a question for you, if you don't mind."
"I thought you might."
The teen was about to answer when she blinked in surprise.
"Well, if I'm not mistaken, you're the 'friend' those three fools alluded to when they paid their last visit."
Rem made a face.
"...Seriously?" she sighed, almost sensing that her peers were watching and now innocently whistling like they had no idea what the artist was talking about.
"Seriously. " Buonarroti said. "And not to be what you would call a 'buttinski', but you should be just a little more respectful of the fact that you have people that are willing to help you. Not that I'm one to talk, but still."
Rem was about to protest, but saw his point. Still, she felt the need to go solo and not involve those that had become near and dear to her.
"I'm the one that brought that asshat here." she murmured. "Shouldn't it be my responsibility to get rid of him?"
"Well, in some respects, yes." Buonarroti answered honestly. "Be that as it may, this is not a task you can accomplish on your own."
There was a brief pause.
"And if I might say so..." the artist continued. "In spite of my own short comings, there's really no shame in seeking assistance from others."
Rem got a little quieter before answering.
"One other thing, watch that mouth of yours. We're in a church."
The teen slightly rolled her eyes.
"Anyway, you had a question?"
"Oh, yeah." Rem replied, snapping back to the task at hand. "So, the last time I had a run in with this jerk, I was able to run him through and weaken him somehow. But apparently, that's not working for me anymore."
"Not necessarily. You probably grazed his heart then."
Rem blinked in surprise. So did the other toons that joined the Warners hiding behind the wall to eavesdrop.
"...he has a heart?"
"As surprising as that sounds, yes. However, it's just a muscle that gives him life. It doesn't give any emotion."
"Clearly. So essentially, what you're telling me is that I have to stab this guy in the heart?"
Listening very intently, more so than the others, was the Warners. Most especially Yakko. Although the act of straight out murder was very much against their nature and code, if it meant protecting Rem from that....that freak, they were all for it.
"There's just something else I don't get." Rem added. "Why would he come after me? Out of all the flipping people in the known universe, why would he single me out?"
"You were attached to this beast before, yes?" Buonarroti replied.
"Then that made you an easy target. Why go out for a new host when he could just reuse the old one?"
"Figures. I don't suppose I can get a restraining order, so I don't have to put up with this mess, or anyone else for that matter...."
"Why don't you have a little faith?" Buonarroti ranted at her. "You've come this far, and things could be worse."
Rem fell silent again, watching him continue working as she delved into her thoughts.
"Hey." she softly said aloud. "Um, you think you could tune this up a bit?"
The teen handed him her own crossbow that had now looked like it was showing some age. Buonarroti took it and gave it a scrutinizing examination.
"Where the heck did'ja get this??" he exclaimed. "The middle ages?!"
At last a smirk stretched across Rem's face.
"A little bit." she replied smoothly.