“Well, we did what we could,” said Snake, looking down at James.
“Thanks,” said Lilly.
“He’s not really fight material, you know.”
She bent down and reached toward James, but he slapped her hand away and said, “Don’t touch me. Ever. I hate you.”
“You’ll get over it,” she sighed.
“You should come around more often,” said Snake, putting his arm around her. “You bring nice toys for us to play with.”
Lilly looked at James. “Can he fight now?”
“No, but he’s getting better at defense.”
She nodded. “I guess that’s not a bad thing.”
“I despise you,” said James, glaring at Lilly. “As soon as I heal, I’m going to…”
“You’re going to what, James?” she asked, squatting down next to him. “Thank me for trying to save your life?”
“We didn’t hurt him,” said Snake.
“He won’t touch a blade, a gun, or pretty much anything. I don’t know how he got the way he is but he’s a dead man walking, if you ask me.”
“He’s the champion.”
“Of what?” asked Snake.
“I’m not sure yet, but he’s supposed to be the hero.”
“Good luck with that,” said Snake. “I gotta go, Lil.”
“I’ll let you know when the fight is on.”
He nodded and kissed her.
“Come on James, time to go home.”
“I hate you.”
“You said that already, but let’s go. You don’t want to be laying around here much longer, it’s too dark outside.”
“I never wanted to be around here in the first place, you…you…awful person.”
“I know. But you’ll thank me later.”
“I will NEVER thank you and I will NEVER stop hating you.”
“Small price to pay for saving you,” she said, helping him to his feet. “We have a hamster named Snowball. Can you believe someone just put the poor thing in their yard when they moved?”
“I hate you.”
“Ouch, ow, ow, ow, ow,” he said.
“Did you block with your arms, or with your ribs?” she asked, not looking at him.
“I really hate you.”
“They did it to me too, you know.”
“How do you think I learned how to fight? I went back every time I finished healing, until that was no longer an issue and they were the ones on the ground. So don’t think I don’t know what you’re going through.”
“Why would you do that?”
“Really? I’m a girl. Do you KNOW what happens to girls in this world?”
“Oh, yeah, sorry.”
“You should be,” she said.
“Excuse me,” said an older woman, coming toward them. “When is the fighting going to begin?”
“We don’t know,” said Lilly. “We’re hoping it won’t begin at all.”
The woman tittered. “Oh, sweet thing, it’s far to late for that. It’s just a matter of when. I fought last time and it was amazing. Once you’ve had that much energy flowing through you, when it’s over, it’s as if all the lights go out. It’s a huge rush. All those ships in the air, the different species, costumes, weapons, ideologies. It’s horrible, but it does have it’s moments, I assure you.”
“We just want peace,” said James. “No fighting, just peace.”
“Well, you’ll never find it here,” laughed the woman. “I’ll fight with you. Beware of the lizards, they’re really the worst of the lot. They’re pretty much killing machines, so don’t give them a second thought before you hit them. I just wanted you to know that I’ll be there with you. You’re the champion, so it’s nice to meet you but you better learn to heal a lot faster than you are, if you hope to make it out alive.”
“Learn to heal faster?” said James. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Apparently, you have healing abilities that you aren’t tapping into,” said Lilly.
“I’d like to learn how to do that as quickly as possible,” he wheezed.
“Good idea,” she said. “Let’s go and see Jerry.”
“Of course you can heal yourselves,” said Jerry. “Did you learn NOTHING, when you were dead?”
“No, Jerry! I didn’t learn ANYTHING when I was dead and whose fault is THAT?” shouted James, holding his ribs.
“Oh, you’re right, you’re right. That might be my fault.”
“Might be?” said James. “No MIGHT BE about it. It IS your fault.”
“Well, fix him now and show us how to do it,” said Lilly.
“This is the quickest way,” said Jerry. “Close your eyes. Take a deep breath and visualize a door. Open the door and go inside. There’s an anatomy chart on the wall. Go to the chart and touch the places that are damaged on your body. If you want to, you can run your hand down the entire chart and get rid of all aches and pains. It will reknit bones, tears, cuts and bruises. It will help with truly horrific wounds, until you can get to a hospital, or to a witch, whichever is closest.”
“A witch?” asked James.
“Stay in the room until you can feel the repairs begin. If one of them is stubborn, press the chart again. Nap, listen to music, read, or just sit there. You’ll know when it’s safe to leave. Always thank the chart and wipe it off with the cloth that’s on the table underneath it. Then leave and close the door behind you.”
“Go ahead, James,” said Lilly. “Try it.”
Jame closed his eyes and tried to get comfortable. Then he drifted away.
“What happened to him?” asked Jerry.
Lilly explained the situation. She also told him about the people they were meeting who wanted to fight again.
Jerry smiled. “So James is the true champion. He has to be, if the old gang’s getting back together.”
“What does that actually mean?” asked Lilly. “He doesn’t want to be a champion, so won’t that screw things up a bit?”
“No. The champion doesn’t have a say in it. He, or she, is chosen by the universe. Chosen because the universe sees something inside the person that can keep evil at bay.”
“That makes sense,” said Lilly, watching the bruises on James start to disappear.
“It does?” snickered Jerry. “That makes sense to you?”
“Don’t you wonder how the universe can choose anything at all?”
“Not really,” she said.
“Why not? How can that not seem weird?”
“It just doesn’t seem weird.”
“Okay, then,” he laughed. “Looks like James is waking up.”
“Hey, James,” she said, poking him. “How do you feel?”
“Better, but I still hate you.”
Jerry laughed. “I think that will take longer to heal,” he said, looking at Lilly.
“You’re all better, so get up,” she said.
“No. I’m never going anywhere with you again. EVER!”
“Okay, good luck, then,” she said, waving goodbye to Jerry, as she headed toward the door.
“Where are you going?” asked James.
“Away from you. That will make both of us happy,” she said.
“Oh, now you’ve gone and done it,” said Jerry, tut tutting him. “Now, you’ll have to win her back.”
“No way. Not after what she did to me.”
“She tried to help you.”
“By having me beaten up?”
“No, by helping you stand up.”