Chapter Eight: Tears of the Orchid

Pennington stared into the lifeless eyes of his father, Penbert.  That wicked smile he had known for so many years was forever baked onto his father’s half-robot face, but never again would it breathe the robot fire that had ruined so many lives.

“Father…” Pennington said, cold and emotionless.  ”I gave you a chance to listen…  I gave you a chance to change… But instead you let that BASTARD Tuxie lead you into oblivion! Why did you do that!?” He punched seven holes in the wall because thinking about Tuxie made him SO MAD.

The Museum of Chaos, built over the ashes of Tall Tall Mountain, stood as a monument of remembrance for those whose lives had been torn apart by the war.  It was within these hallowed halls that Pennington shared a moment with the stuffed corpse of his father, and ironically, the very location that their fateful final confrontation had taken place.

“Do you remember, dad!?” Pennington yelled.  ”Do you remember what happened that day!?  How Wart… how Wart lost his life!?”  Pennington screamed but we don’t get to hear it because we’re going into a flashback right now.

“Father, what are you doing!?” Pennington yelled, pointing his bazooka chainsaw at his father.

“I’m going to kill Wart!!!” Penbert said, laughing maniacally.  He breathed robot fire on Wart, who immediately melted and was very sad because he really didn’t want this to happen to him.

“OH NO!” Pennington shouted and he cried.

The flashback is over now and we see that Pennington has punched thirty more holes in the wall in the meantime.  Now he was crying.  He was crying like the Great Fire Flower that Penbert had promised would lead them to salvation.  But it was all a lie.  The Great Fire Flower turned out to be a fucking asshole who just set everything on fire and cried a whole lot.

Then he heard something.  A heavy, raspy breathing, eminating from the darkness.  Pennington turned and face the darkness, clutching the Bazooka of Unrelenting Sorrow that he had brought with him just in case.

“Hhhhh… It’s been a long time… Pennington…” said a voice in the darkness.

“Who are you!?” Pennington called out.  He had a hunch, but… but no, it couldn’t be!

“It’s me…” replied the voice.  A wheelchair painted Shadow the Hedgehog Black rolled out from the darkness.  On top of it, Pennington recognized the beaten and battered sillhuoette of Grodus.  ”Do you remember… Pennington?”

“YOU!!!” Pennington shouted.  ”What the FUCK are you doing here!?  Are you here to taunt me about how you turned the Order into the massive cult it’s become!?  Are you here to make FUN OF ME!?” Pennington punched another two hundred and nine holes in the wall and this pretty much caused the wall to fall apart.

“Yes…” Grodus laughed.  ”But also… hhhhhh… to KILL yoooouuu….” He snapped his fingers and three familiar faces filed in.

Pennington gasped.  ”No, it can’t be!  My best friends!  Toadsworth!  Zess T.!  And… of all people… the person who I used to love more than anything in the world…”

“It’s useless to resist, Pennington!” said Axem Yellow while biting into a big greasy cheeseburger.  ”The love we once had is meaningless! I now serve a much greater cause!” Toadsworth and Zess T. agreed with him.

“Back off!” yelled Pennington, who fired a chainsaw in Toadsworth’s direction.  The chainsaw severed Toadsworth’s arm and blood spurted out of the stub.

“Dude!” Toadsworth yelled, picking up his arm.  ”You need to chill out!”

“Yeah, stop resisting!” Zess T. yelled, pointing a pocketknife threateningly at Pennington.  ”Don’t make us beat you up!”

Pennington was nervous because he didn’t want to be beaten up.  He set the Bazooka of Unrelenting Sorrow on the ground in front of him.  ”Alright, I’ll play along,” Pennington growled.  ”But know this… whatever you do to me, the Shadow Coup will continue to grow… They may be scared of you now, but soon, they’ll be unstoppable!”

“Perhaps!” replied Axem Yellow, meticulously licking and sucking grease from each of his digits.  ”But no matter how big they get… they don’t have The Great Fire Flower!”

The ceiling exploded and peering over them was the colossal figure of the Great Fire Flower.  Massive tears dripped from his face and exploded into flames wherever they landed.

“OH NO!” screamed Pennington.

“BOOOO BOO BOO BOOO!!” cried the Great Fire Flower, setting fire to the entire museum and what little effort had been made to restore Tall Tall Mountain to its former glory.

“I’m going to stop this monster!!”  Pennington said.  ”Right here and now!”

“Not so fast, son!!” yelled a voice from behind him.  Suddenly Pennington was held tightly by his father’s cold robot arms.  ”I was alive and waiting for you this whole time!  And now I will kill you as I have dreamed of doing ever since you went against the order! AH HA HA HA HA HA!!!”

A piece of shrapnel then shot through Penbert’s robot eye and his head exploded in a shower of blood and electricity.  Pennington grabbed his bazooka and shot several chainsaws at his former friends.  Axem Yellow and Toadsworth ducked out of the way, but poor Zess T. wasn’t paying attention and was blended into a fine, bloody pulp.

“NO!!!” Toadsworth screamed, crying.  ”I loved her!”  He looked at Pennington, a fire in his eyes.  ”I’LL KILL-” but then a giant tear drop landed on him and erupted in flames and died immediately.

“Looks like things are starting to heat up!” Axem Yellow said.  He whistled through his sweaty fingers and his flaming demon stallion galloped into the fray.  He hopped on top and took the reigns (which were covered in BLOOD), pointing Serpentilius’s Shotgun at his former lover.  ”Come on, Pennington!  The Great Fire Flower is unstoppable and nothing can stop it!  Won’t you rejoin the Order and help us crush the Shadow Coup under our feet?  It can be… just like the old days…”

Pennington shed a single tear.  They used to go to the diner ever Sunday and Axem Yellow would get a hundred milkshakes and Pennington used to think it was so cute.  Oh, how he would love to go back and enjoy just one more shake!  ”I’m sorry…  We can never go back… You’ve changed too much, Axem Yellow.  I’m putting a stop to this right here and now!”  He pointed his bazooka at the Great Fire Flower.

“Stop!” said Axem Yellow.  ”That flower’s unstoppable!”

“BOO BOO BOOOOO!!!” the Great Fire Flower continued to cry its destructive tears.  There was no backdrop, no landscape, only flames.

“Oh yeah?” yelled Pennington.  ”Well, take THIS!!” He fired two chainsaws at the Great Fire Flower and it was sliced into pieces and died.

“SHIT!” yelled Grodus.  ”That really sucks!!! Hhhh….”

Pennington turned and Axem Yellow was charging at him.  Those tearful eyes showed nothing but remorse.  Pennington sidestepped his attacker and Axem Yellow stampeded directly into the flames and caught on fire.

“AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!” he screamed.  ”Pennington!  Please!!”

Pennington looked at the pitiful display before him.  The once great and mighty Axem Yellow was being burned alive.  His eyes now expressed only one thing.  He desired a merciful death.

“I’m sorry!” Axem Yellow cried.  ”All I ever wanted was you!  You were… everything to me! But please… this fire really hurts a lot!  Kill me, Pennington!”

Pennington shed SO MANY TEARS and Aerith’s theme from Final Fantasy VII is playing in the background because this scene is really sad.  Whispering a goodbye, he shot a chainsaw at Axem Yellow who got cut into pieces and died with a smile.  The flames finally died down and once again, Tall Tall Mountain was ashes.

“Geez…” said Grodus, who had sat there watching the whole thing and it was really awkward.  ”That was fucked up…”

“Grodus… you’ve led the Order of the Crying Fire Flower into ashes…” Pennington said.  He pointed the bazooka at Grodus and fired as many chainsaws as he possibly could.

“BLAAEGAAAGHAHAGBLAAAGH!!!” screamed Grodus who died horribly.

“The Order of the Crying Fire Flower is under new management!” Pennington announced, lightning up a cigar.  ”This time… I’ll lead them to true salvation!  The salvation that only resides… behind the door!”  He pulled off Grodus’s shadow cloak and disappeared.

A single flower pedal landed on the ashes like a single tear from heaven.

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