Chapter Two: We Fry Some Killer Chicken Nuggets (Raven∆)
Jessica Silverwing was the best Hunter of Artemis I, Raven Gravemore, had ever known, but now even she was in a predicament. We had been sent on a high ranked reconnaissance mission to an old abandoned warehouse in Upper Tokyo and had now run into a bit of trouble…
~TWO HOURS EARLIER~
I fastened the saddle onto Phobos, my black Pegasus. Phobos was named after the Greek god of fear, and was a large, strong black Pegasus with brown-black spotted wings. His eyes were silver with hooves to match. Strapping my Plutonian Glass dagger on my side(named Niki̱tí̱s for the Greek word “Winner”), I moved towards the other side of The Stables.
Jessica was waiting for me, preparing her Pegasus, Redwood, for flight. Despite being older than my grandparents, Jessica had maintained her perfect, 18 year old figure and appearance…then again she was a Hunter of Artemis. Hunters of Artemis were bound by a magic code to never date or marry, but in return they were immortal and unchanging…but it must have sucked to be an 18 year old for the rest of your life…
Jessica strung her silver bow over her back along with a matching quiver. As I approached, she lifted her hair up into a bun, keeping it up with a single glass dagger.
“Ready to go?” she said upon turning and seeing me.
“Yeah sure,” I said, looking around. Of course, no one was around. They were all at The Arena (hence the loud buzzing, screaming noises coming from down the road.) The tournament had started two days ago, with a total of six breaks through out those two days. Typhus- my big brother- had one all the rounds single handedly.
I snapped back into reality and returned to Phobos, strapping the last of the gear onto his sides. Then, suddenly, the small, sound of clip-clop, clip-clop was behind her. Jessica, who was mounted atop Redwood- who had a long brown mane and a white spotted body-, rode up behind me.
“Why do you think Blake assigned us this mission?” I asked, swinging my legs up over Phobos.
“Not sure,” Jessica said, furrowing her brow. “All he said was that there was something at this ware house that we needed to ‘collect’.”
I was unsure of what this meant. Most of Blake’s riddles (or what he thought were riddles) were extremely confusing and unhelpful. Speaking of Blake, as we were about takeoff for flight, I caught a glimpse of his silver, cross necklace coming down the road.
Blake was a tall, stout young man with a 5 o’ clock shadow. His eyes were a beady black and he usually wore a matching T-shirt and jeans. His dagger, Pierce, was hung at his side and his late mother’s cross necklace was clasped around his neck.
“All ready leaving are you?” Blake chuckled.
He was two years older than me- 17- but he sure was cute. I smiled back at him and brushed back my hair. I opened my mouth to speak, but his gaze flashed right past me to Jessica. I frowned. Of course he would be interested in Jessica. She was beautiful, she was a warrior, and she was immortal. She would always look 18 and perfect.
I, on the other hand, was not perfect at all. Despite not having any acne, I had a rather too-big nose and still had some baby fat. I was nearly flat chested- if that. My hair frizzed out in all directions, and my arms had not lengthened out like my legs. I did not have curves like Jessica, and the only trademark I could really be proud of were my dazzling, bone gray eyes.
“You look great, Jessica,” Blake smiled, staring her up and down.
She huffed and rolled her eyes. “Thanks?” The problem (or maybe it wasn’t a problem) with Jessica, was that she was unobtainable. Being a Hunter of Artemis, she could absolutely, positively never date. This just made her seem like she was playing harder to get.
Blake smiled and stepped aside so our horses could take off. As their large wings flapped, and they lifted into the air, I turned around. I could see Blake waving in the distance, but there was something about his eyes…they were like yellow, luminous cat eyes…
I turned back ahead, shaking the thought away, and when I turned back towards the stables Blake was gone…
We flew into Upper Tokyo, past a lot of skyscrapers and stuffy traffic, and finally came to the ware house. But it turned out, that the ware house was just an abandoned McDonald’s storage unit. I sighed as we parked our Pegasi atop the roof.
“This must be a joke?” I questioned Jessica.
She shrugged. “I have no idea…” She’d learned, as a battle trained warrior, to never question authority. I, on the other hand, had had no such training. I always questioned Blake’s ways…but this was just ridiculous.
“Are you sure this is the right address?” I asked, as we climbed down to the street below. Looking around to see if anyone was watching, we found only a couple of pigeons picking at crumbs on the asphalt.
“I’m sure,” Jessica said, “that Blake has a completely simple explanation for this…maybe…maybe there really is something here that we need?” She lifted her foot up and brought down hard into the side door of the storage unit.
Inside, the lights were dim, some having sparked out altogether. The floor was covered in a thin layer of dust, as were the crates that lined the shelves and walls. As we traveled through the ware house, Jessica removed a small stone from her pocket. Greek symbols were carved into its surface, and it glowed bright with white light that spread out from between her fingers.
“What’s that?” I asked, examining the stone from afar.
“This?” Jessica said, holding up the stone. “Oh, this is a stone with Greek fire enchanted into the runes around it. See the symbols? When I think or say the incantation, it leaks out the fire in streaks.”
“Doesn’t it hurt?” I asked as we continued down one of the long, shelf-made corridors.
“Not really…well at first. But it’s like a small sting. It just itches from time to time.”
I nodded in understanding as we came to a small row of large crates. Suddenly I felt a sharp stabbing in my gut. This was one of my powers- I could sense the presence of magical artifacts or beings from short distances and right now, this thing was close.
“Stop,” I said, holding out my arm.
“What’s wrong?” Jessica said, suddenly supporting me up as I tumbled to my knees.
“Whatever we’re looking for…it’s here…in-“I looked around and found it: a large crate with small, almost unnoticeable runes etched into the wood-“in there!”
Jessica whipped around and kicked the crate to the floor. She was super-fast, and obviously had the strength to match.
“What’s in here?” Jessica said, looking suspiciously at the box.
“I don’t know…but it’s powerful.” I said, standing up. “Watch out!” I added, as she made to open the crate.
“Don’t worry,” she sighed, lifting up the lid. “There’s nothing in here but…”
She paused, staring down into the crate. All I saw was her back and, wondering what mysteries laid in the box, I asked, “What’s in there?”
There was a short hesitation and then…
“Nuggets,” she groaned. “Chicken Nuggets…”
I choked. “What!? C-chicken Nuggets!? You’re joking right?!”
She shook her head and from the box, she pulled out a small, 12 piece box of Chicken Nuggets.
“What the…?” I began, but then I winced. This box of nuggets was different. It wasn’t the usual McDonald’s Chicken Nugget box colors…no…this box was definitely strange.
“Jess…” I said. “Look at the box.”
She looked down and gasped. So there was something wrong with it! I wasn’t the only one going crazy here…
The box was black and gold. Instead of a picture of McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets on the front, there laid a picture of a cracked lightning bolt. There was a large, golden M behind the bolt, and inscribed into the M were dozens of small, heating tiny Greek letters…
Jessica dropped the box faster than I could’ve even blinked. She tackled me to the floor as the box of Chicken Nuggets exploded…
Out of the box stepped three giant monsters. Now, don’t get me wrong- I had seen monsters. I’d battle Cyclopes, Minotaurs, even your occasional Serpent. But these…gods, this was something I’d never seen in the books- EVER.
The chickens were large, bigger than any teenage Cyclopes, and their heads nearly broke through the 17-18 foot high ceiling. Their beaks were black as night, and their eyes were like swirling vortexes of molten lava. Their claws were a matching obsidian color, and instead of small poultry wings on their sides, they had giant, leathery bat wings. Goat horns curved out of their foreheads, and instead of plumaged tails, they had barbed, demonic rears.
“What in the name of Hades-“Jessica began, but the creature opened its mouth. A shriek, louder than any Banshee’s, issued from its mouth. I covered my ears, blood pouring out of them. When the demon nugget closed its mouth, all that remained was a small humming in my ears, like the never ending purr of a motorcycle engine.
My vision was blurred at the rims, and all I saw was Jessica stand and charge. The first nugget dodged the attack from her dagger, but she caught the second on the leg. All of a sudden, it exploded. It wasn’t like your average monster- there was no golden shower of monster dust. No, this thing really exploded.
It was guts-galore. Blood sprayed across my face, along with a few pieces of chicken guts. I stood, wiping the slime and blood off of me, and unsheathed Niki̱tí̱s. With a loud battle cry of, “DEUS HUMANA!”, I charged.
My target was the largest nugget. It side stepped as I charged, and knocked me aside with its bat wing. The wing hit me head on, sending me through a row of shelves. Unluckily, I fell on my bum and knocked my head on a large crate full of something heavy….for a moment my vision was blurred, and then I felt it…a sharp stabbing pain in my gut…I whipped around and dug my dagger into the crate, ripping off the wood lid. Inside I found something you would never expect to find in a McDonald’s storage unit.
It was a flame thrower, and I mean a literal flame thrower. Not a gun, no, but a giant stone gauntlet. The hand was the size of a giant’s but, it was weightless when I picked it up. Greek runes were etched into the stone finger tips and palm, and as I slid it on to my own left hand, it ignited. Flickering flames grew to life atop the gauntlet’s finger tips, and the palm ignited with a ball of golden fire. Across the fingers were small blue, red, white, and green flames. I was in complete awe…until the chicken slammed into me.
I flew across the storage house, and slammed into a wall. The wind was knocked out of me and I fell to the floor. My long hair fell around my ears as the demon nugget charged again. This time, however, I was ready.
I stood, sucking in my gut, and I turned. My feet seemed to flow beneath my like air. They twisted and turned in spiral motions and then I threw. It was like throwing a simple ball, except the ball flew at a million miles per hour. The large golden ball of flame mixed with the miniature other colored ones, forming a giant black fire ball. The ball of fire slammed into the chicken, and it disappeared in a heap of chicken-fried stench….in its place, lying on the concrete floor, was a small, rotting chicken nugget. I dashed forward and- not wanting another demon chicken incident- smashed the nugget into a flat, pancake-like heap of disgustingness.
“RAVEN?!” Jessica called, leaping over rubble and debris.
“I’m fine!” I called, slipping the flame-throwing gauntlet off of my arm.
“Whoa!?” she said, the gauntlet catching her eye. “Holy…how…what is that?!”
“I don’t know,” I said. “A flame-thrower?!”
“Ha, ha,” she said. “Very funny.”
I nodded. “I’m serious. It…throws flames?”
She laughed. “Is that what we came here for?”
I grinned as well. “Maybe...or for the chickens. They did look pretty tasty.”
She giggled, but then her expression hardened. “Yeah, well I’m going to have to have a word with Blake when we get back. Now come on, let’s clean this place up before someone sees us…”
I nodded, setting to work on the debris and mess we’d caused…till this day, though, I haven’t eaten at McDonald’s ever again.