I’d never been all that attached to my way of life. It’s not that I disliked it or anything—I was quite happy before Purple Steve landed in my hands. I just didn’t care so much about it that I’d fight to protect it or choose it over better options.
Leaving that life behind was an easy decision; there wasn’t much to tie me back. I felt a little bad about leaving the yard project half-finished, but I hadn’t wanted to start it to begin with, so it wasn’t a big deal. The prospective life of adventure awaiting me was far more appealing.
I loaded up a backpack with snacks and drinks and a couple changes of clothes. Nathaniel was strapped over my shoulder, and I’d made a belt holster out of shoestrings for Purple Steve. I stuffed my pockets with a wallet, a Game Boy, and Pokemon Red, Zelda: Link’s Awakening, Castlevania II, Kirby’s Dream Land 2, and Super Mario Land. I was all set for a journey through the desert.
Soon, Steve and I were roaring down Route 95, blasting Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones from the stereo.
“I’m starting to sense the space-time anomalies even more powerfully out here.”
I had the windows down and wore aviator sunglasses while smoking a cigarette.
“How’ll we know if we pass the spot?”
“My readings are very accurate. I should easily be able to pinpoint the location of the incident. That said, it’s becoming apparent that there’s a lot more anomalous activity going on in this area.”
I tossed my cigarette out the window and gunned the engine, hauling ass like an angry woman.
“Holy shit, Cirno—this is a lot bigger than I expected. There must be a large gathering of Furrow Dubs nearby.”
“Call ’em demons. It seriously sounds much better.”
Only a few minutes passed before Purple Steve spoke up again.
“Okay, turn off the road on the right side and head in a straight line, and we should get there before long.”
I rolled off the road and made it a good ten yards before I had to stop again.
“Why’d you stop?”
” ‘Cause this Geo Metro won’t last five minutes in the desert.”
I geared myself up and stepped from the tiny car to trek the barren sands.
“Agh… no! Shit! God damn it, Bowser, you fat fucking bastard…”
“Cirno, we’re getting close.”
“Hold on one minute, I’ve almost… GOD DAMN IT!”
I turned off the Game Boy with fury and looked ahead. In the far-off distance, I could make out what looked like a huge campsite.
“What’s all that now?”
“The readings are definitely coming from that camp. That’s where we need to head.”
“What should I be expecting when we get there?”
“Who knows? Trouble, I’d wager.”
I withdrew Purple Steve from his belt holster and gripped his handle tightly.
“Alright Steve, let’s do this.”
The closer we got, the larger the camp appeared to be. There were tents upon tents in a huge group, like people camping out at a rock festival. When we were close enough to make out the people walking around, our first big surprise came.
We saw humans and demons walking together.
“The plot thickens…”
“Cirno, come to think of it, there’s not a whole lot to keep them from noticing our approa—”
A demon pointed a big red finger our way.