What looked like four or five guards at distance turned out to be at least double that.
Bastion was a surgeon with his M-1 Garand. But the math at the Altar was the math — eleven guards, one eight-round clip.
Making matters worse, his bezoar was acting up.
“Ackkkk… “, he whined, the ache from his bezoar shooting through his consciousness.
“You’re honestly gonna act up now!?”, Bastion scream-whispered, crouched behind a series of fallen, middle-aged trees. “It’s just you & me, bezoar, just you and me.”
“And eleven of those assholes, i guess.”
Shortly thereafter, the eighth and final round left Bastion’s M-1 and found itself traveling through a human brain. It was the eighth such guard-brain to play host to a bullet since firing commenced seconds earlier. But, indeed, it was the last on this night.
Making matters worse, Bastion was now effectively surrounded, having traded mobility for a stable shooting platform up in some kind of spiky tree. Even if the moonless, humid forest delayed his capture for the time being, it wouldn’t be long until the final three armed guards of Ignorance Altar succeeded in their search of the area.
It was at this moment that Bastion’s bezoar delivered to him the single most uncomfortable sensation of his lifetime. He felt deeply nauseated and incredibly full at the same time, so much so that he doubled over and prepared to vomit.
But as the vomitus worked its way though his person and onto the forest floor, his pendant worked its way from behind his shirt, and into his lap.
“The Do-Good! Of course! And I don’t remember eating carrots today!”
Bastion held the vomit-covered Do-Good in his hand, and in a flash his mother’s stories from childhood came flooding back. She’d go on and on about The Do-Good’s power to effect positive change, and its world-shaping potential.
But those were just stories, right? He’d always written them off as a mother’s tool to stoke the fires of altruism in the psyche of the young American. But…
Upon closer inspection, and having wiped a wet piece of mystery-carrot from the pendant, Bastion noticed… a mechanism… within the Do-Good.
“No waaaayyy”, he whispered between cleansing spits.
“Could the stories be true?”
With nothing else to lose, and a startling clarity of purpose, Bastion gently clicked the Do-Good.
The world around him began to change immediately.
At his feet, eroded topsoil suddenly de-roded… or whatever. In the trees, long-extinct and endangered species appeared out of nowhere. Bastion saw several huge-eyed tarsiers and what looked like a miniature deer emerge from a previously empty cut of woods bound off into the forested night, only to be immediately predated upon by a suddenly healthy population of jungle cats.
“It’s nature’s way.”, he assured his bezoar.
He could swear the air tasted cleaner. The night sky became substantially clearer. And though he couldn’t see it, water levels in a 70 mile radius receded to pre-1950’s levels, revealing so many coastal homes that had been abandoned after the global floods of 2020.
One thing Bastion absolutely noticed – the immediate, violent and simultaneous explosion of the three remaining Ignorant guards.
“How in the…”
With the Do-Good humming in his hand, Bastion dropped out of his perch, and into his vomit. His shoes were ruined.
“A little help? No? Hello?”, he asked the Do-Good, without response.
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