Chapter Thirty-Eight: Belles Decision, Part 2
“It's been a busy fortnight.” Peter lounged back in his chair.
“A long, busy fortnight.” Thomas agreed. “At least Belle is talking to Charlie again.”
“I'm just glad he survived being shoved out of the tree.” Peter sipped his beer.
The pair were sitting on the bank of Pleasant Creek, two fishing poles dangling lifelessly in the water. The bait was probably long gone by now, but neither man had any inclination to check the end of his line.
“They're figuring it out. Soon it'll be as if they never left.” Thomas smiled, taking a swig of his beer. “Hopefully appreciating each other-,”
“And us.” Peter added.
“-more.” Thomas finished as they toasted their sentence.
The suns heat began to wane as it floated softly down into its western bed.
“Where ARE the kidlets today anyway?” Thomas stretched out.
“Lara has taken Madeleine and Ozzie to see her parents, Belle is hanging out with Charlie and they're meeting up with the Knights later tonight to go to the movies. Did you hear about Webster joining them?” Peter gave his fishing rod a token nudge.
“Maddy had a fit. Betty had to help calm her down.” Thomas laughed. “Betty can't wait for the twins to come home from camp, she misses them.”
“It's hard being a parent sometimes.” Peter sighed.
“I hear you.”
“This is where we made our first stand so many years ago. Can you believe it?” Sir Dark was still walking with a slight limp, but he was much better now. The Knights of the Last Order had been training at the tip, until they heard council workers coming in to inspect the place. So they'd run off and found themselves at the abandoned private school where Masked Revolver had met his fate.
“With this still taking up valuable land I don't understand why Demon wanted the memorial destroyed.” Lady Courage walked through the ruined classrooms.
“Because the memorial was in a great location.” Sir Hyper said bitterly, his arm still bandaged. “Did you hear that Marion only got three weeks community service for destroying it?!”
“He's not even pretending to be on the right side of the law any more!” Sir Hedgehog cried angrily. “And the people of this city just let him get away with it!”
“This place is a crime haven. There are so many businesses that come here to do their dirty work and places for them to do it that it's not funny any more. Belle told me.” Lady Silent croaked.
“Unbelievable. So the DVM aren't the only threat in town.” Sir Lionheart groaned.
They heard laughter outside, and not of the fun and joyous variety.
“That sounds like Ruby.” Lady Luck listened.
“It IS Ruby.” Lady Courage glowered. She HATED her brother with a passion!
“I desperately want to see who he's tormenting, but last time we tried to attack him as a group it ended poorly.” Sir Lionheart groaned. “I hate this situation. Why Belle couldn't have disposed of the Ruby Suit properly-,”
“Don't you DARE blame Belle for this!” Lady Luck fumed. “For all they knew the Suit was busted after what it did to her!”
“And just leaving it in the tip was a good idea?!” Sir Lionheart growled.
“I hear Knights!” The voice of Ruby floated through the school.
The Knights froze. Sir Hedgehog reached out and pushed the face of his grey watch in and prayed that Chuckles and Giggles would see it.
“Cheeky little brats!” Belle cried as her siblings laughed with glee. The front of her shirt was soaked with water from the bathtub where Oscar and Madeleine were having their bath.
Belle grinned as she splashed the two back.
“That floor had better be dry when I get in there!” Lara yelled from downstairs.
“Uhhh…” Belle and Ozzie looked around. A thin layer of water covered the entire surface of the tiled floor.
“Figures.” Lara appeared at the door. She laughed at Belles shirt. “They use you to try and mop up the floor did they?”
“You go and get changed, I'll handle these two.” Lara grabbed Madeleine and hauled her out of the bath. Belle headed back to her bedroom and was about to get changed when she noticed a grey light coming from her desk.
“Sir Hedgehog is in trouble.” She looked at the red watch. The arrow was pointing in the direction of the old abandoned school.
She sighed and looked out of her window. Charlie was waving madly at her.
“I was driving past and I saw it. Ruby Daryl has got them!” He squeaked.
“I shouldn't have left the Ruby Suit at the tip. This is all my fault.” Belle sighed.
“You guys didn't know that the thing still worked! We were just grateful to get if off you and away from here!” Charlie swallowed hard. “We were terrified you weren't going to survive and that everything Joe had done had been in vain.”
Belle looked back at the watch. Part of her wanted to turn away, say that she couldn't do that sort of thing any more, that her fight was higher up.
But she knew that if she didn't have the support from down the bottom, that she'd never get up the ladder. The people of Pleasantville needed the courage to want to change, and the only way that was going to happen was if their heroes, Chuckles, Giggles and the Knights of the Last Order stayed true to their cause.
Plus smacking the pants off Daryl sounded like fun.
“Let's get going then.” Giggles grabbed the watch and the rest of her gear and followed Chuckles to the old school.
Lady Luck ducked her head as another Ruby Blast shattered the wall above her. She tightened the bandage around Lady Courages bleeding arm.
“I can't do any more.” She looked sadly at her friend, who was badly bruised and battered.
“It's okay Lady Luck. You've done your best.” Lady Courage staggered to her feet as Sir Hyper went flying past them.
“He got my arm again! I can't feel it!” The young man cried. Lady Luck ran to try and help her friend, but copped a Ruby Shard to the leg, immobilising her.
“You lot are making this too easy.” Ruby sneered. He floated above the wounded Knights of the Last Order, all of them looking sad and sorry for themselves.
Sir Lionheart couldn't move his legs due to the Ruby Shards, Sir Darks ankle was flaring up again, Lady Luck was immobilised, Lady Courages arm was broken again, Sir Hedgehog had been knocked out along with Sir Hyper and Lady Silent was nursing some bruised ribs.
“What do you guys honestly think you're doing?” Ruby laughed. “You honestly thought you stood a chance against 200 years of history? You can't change this city, no one can change this city. If people don't like it, they're welcome to leave.”
“If they can.” Spat Sir Dark.
“Not our fault if people dig themselves into holes they can't get out of.” Ruby shrugged. “Anyway, you lot are pitiful. I bet you reckon you're all heroes too.”
“We tried.” Sir Lionheart gasped for air.
“Maybe we might make a memorial for you. Something to remind people never to challenge the status-quo again.” Ruby lifted up his hand and the Ruby Power began to gather in his hand. The conscious Knights reached out for each other, prepared to make a last stand against the might of the Ruby Blast.
“Be brave Knights.” Sir Lionheart glared into the eyes of Ruby Daryl.
“Let this be a lesson to all of Pleasantville.” Ruby hissed as he lifted his arm to throw the Ruby Blast.
A gunshot sounded and Ruby screamed. The Ruby Blast oozed out of his hand and sank to the ground harmlessly, where it disappeared leaving a small hollow in the ground. The mounted block on his shoulder had ruptured where the bullet had hit it.
“Sorry we're late guys.” Chuckles stepped out from the shadows, grinning. “You're screwed now Ruby.”
“Says who?! Who shot me?!” Ruby screamed in fury.
“That would have been me.”
Behind and above Ruby floated none other than the original Giggles.
And in her hand was the Lucky Seven Gun.