The Latverian Air Force didn’t take too kindly to our arrival. “Incoming aircraft, you are invading Latverian Air Space!” warned a heavily accented woman’s voice over the radio. “Turn back immediately or we will open fire!”
“Ignore!” barked the Dalek. “Proceed! Nothing must halt the mission!”
“…What was that?” quizzed the woman.
“For once, listen to the dust bin,” I urged Mickey. He terminated communications and we continued on our flight path. The Latverian Air Force then opened fire on us. We took a couple of hits before Mickey made a decision.
“It’s too hot for me to land!” he called. “You fellas need to make a drop towards Doom’s Castle! Professor, take over! I’m going with them!”
“Understood!” I called.
“Got it!” confirmed the Professor. He then took Mickey’s seat as the mouse opened the rear whilst we stood up. The Dalek turned towards the opening.
“Advance!” it barked.
“I give the orders around here!” I shouted. “Onwards!” We all shouted “Henshin!” and leapt out of the craft. Alesandro’s belt called “Open! Turn! Imagine! The Crossbow of Striker!” Alesandro took the image of a 17th century Spanish knight, adopting his Rider name of Kamen Rider Striker. We landed in the courtyard of Doom’s castle, all the soldiers leveling their guns at us. “I apologize for our abrupt entrance,” I began, “but we need an audience with Lord Doom.”
“My husband is away,” replied a cold, callous woman’s voice. Maleficent then stepped into the courtyard, drawn to her full height. “I rule here at the moment. State your business.”
“My Lady,” I explained, “it has been brought to our attention that you have this one’s weapon,” I gestured towards the Dalek, “on top of non-human prisoners and an orange crystal sphere.”
“What interest are they to you?” demanded Maleficent.
“They are very dangerous to anyone, especially one of your magnificence,” I explained.
“Flattery will get you flattened,” threatened Maleficent. “Suppose I refuse?”
“Then…one of our sides may live to regret it,” I sighed.
“I see,” replied Maleficent. “You have a lot of gall to just barge into Latveria like that. But, you temper it with showing me the proper respect. I must say, you seem much more worthy of being a king than Aurora’s father. I will not give in to rash impulses. Shall we discuss this over dinner?”
“We cannot delay!” barked the Dalek. “You will…!”
“Be quiet!” I snapped. “Show some respect! She is a ruler and requires a fair amount of manners towards her!” I turned to Maleficent. “Please excuse my compatriot, it comes from a culture that simply takes what it wants, showing no respect for other life. A bit of a god complex.”
“Just remind it of its place,” warned Maleficent. She turned to the troops. “Stand down. They are guests in this castle.” The troops obeyed and went back to their normal duties. “Follow me to the dining hall,” Maleficent directed us. As we all powered down into our civilian forms, we followed her to a magnificent dining hall. Chefs were serving up the dishes as we sat. The Dalek twitched as it watched us. “I must say, this brashness is unlike you, Mickey,” mused Maleficent.
“I apologize,” replied Mickey, “but when life is threatened, I can’t turn my back.”
“The knowledge we would acquire,” continued Maleficent, “would be very prized. How else can we obtain it?”
“Perhaps ask the Tarlaxians?” I suggested.
“They never talked,” replied Maleficent. “We had to resort to torture, but they still refused to speak.”
“Torture?” remarked War as she tore into a drumstick with her hands. “A mere test of resilience on Tarlax.”
“We could tell you,” offered Alesandro.
“Alesandro!” I admonished.
“Actually, a fair trade,” countered Charline.
“It IS the most logical option we have,” supplied Kit-10.
“And if you’re lying?” inquired Maleficent.
“Attach us to all the lie detectors you have,” replied Alesandro, “cast a truth spell, anything to assure you we’re not lying.”
“And yet a lie was fed to you, specifically,” chuckled Maleficent.
“…Perdón?” (I beg your pardon?) quizzed Alesandro.
“The instant you came in here,” explained Maleficent, “I’ve cast multiple truth spells around you lot and probed your minds. Alesandro, was it? Has Megumi ever tried to hide anything from her team before you joined?”
“No,” replied Alesandro.
“Michael, same question,” directed Maleficent. Unfortunately, my mouth was not under my control.
“Yes, she did,” I said. “Before we fought Vortech in 1885 Hill Valley, Megumi kept Batman, Gandalf, Hongo, and Wyldstyle in the dark about the true nature of the threat. When she learned that X-PO had actually sent for them, she had an emotional collapse.”
“…A lie, sí?!” pleaded Alesandro.
“…I’m sorry, but no,” sighed Gandalf.
“…You kept a secret from me?!” accused Alesandro. “I told you that I had trust issues within my family! I thought I could start with a new family with no secrets! I can’t begin to tell you how betrayed I feel!”
“Alesandro, I…!” I began.
“¡Cállate!” (Shut up!) roared Alesandro. “You don’t deserve to speak!”
“Oh, how things fall apart,” chuckled Maleficent.
“Madam, we’ve tried to be nice,” growled War, “but our patience is at an end! Hand over that which we seek or your castle will be destroyed!”
“You dare threaten me?!” challenged Maleficent. “In my own castle, you dare threaten the Mistress of All Evil?!”
“We know worse bad girls!” taunted War.
“Please! No!” I begged. “Let’s all calm down and…where’s the Dalek?! WHERE’S THE GODDAMNED DALEK?!” The damned thing scuttled off in search of its weapon!
“Mistress, the robot has entered the vault,” reported a soldier over the comms. “Somehow, it bypassed all the security codes and gained entrance. It’s moving towards me. I’ll stop it.”
“You can’t!” I warned. “Get out of there before it kills you!”
“…One of the guests?” guessed the soldier.
“It is,” replied Maleficent. “Ignore. It only has a plunger. On screen.”
“Yes, My Lady,” obliged the soldier. The screen showed the soldier approaching the Dalek.
“Stand aside!” barked the Dalek as it held its plunger towards the man’s head.
“What are you going to do?” scoffed the soldier. “Plunge my toilet?” The plunger then grabbed the soldier’s face and created a powerful enough suction to crush the man’s skull and dehydrate the skin until the soldier fell to the floor, dead.
“All soldiers, converge on the vault!” ordered Maleficent. “Kill the creature inside!” As more soldiers moved, the Dalek placed its plunger on a glass casing. It created a vacuum that cracked the glass until it shattered, revealing the signature gunstick of a Dalek. It floated towards the empty socket and installed itself into the Dalek.
“All systems operational!” reported the Dalek. The soldiers then arrived and leveled their guns. Someone shouted an order to fire, as if it would make a difference. The bullets and laser weapons had no effect. The laser fire seemed to be absorbed into the shields while the bullets, unbeknownst to people that didn’t watch Doctor Who, were dissolved. The Dalek then aimed its gunstick and said the one word I prayed I’d never hear during this mission. “EXTERMINATE!” The soldier was gunned down by the Dalek’s weapon, scrambling his insides as he fell. The rest fell the same way. Mickey gasped, never imagining such carnage. “The Dalek race is superior!” boasted the Dalek. “All shall bow before us!” Maleficent then shut off the visual link.
“Now do you see how dangerous that thing is?!” I snapped. “Now do you see why I was holding it back?! Even when it didn’t have a gun, it could still kill people and counter your spells! Not even your dragon form could destroy it!”
“What…manner of creature IS that thing?!” breathed Maleficent, the gravity of the situation dawning on her.
“I’d like to know that myself,” boomed a voice. There, holding himself high, clad in armor with a green tunic and cloak with cowl, and a face hidden behind a silver mask, was Doctor Doom, Lord and Emperor of Latveria. “It slaughtered my best soldiers as if they were nothing,” boomed Doom. “Those men and women were trained in dealing with all manners of threats.”
“Not the threat of a Dalek, Lord Doom,” I argued. “It’s an alien mutant from the planet Skaro, from another universe. It’s been genetically engineered and locked within a metal casing, conditioned to hate non-Dalek life-forms.”
“I was put into a coma by their creator, Davros,” Irina chimed in, “and he’s a man in a wheelchair!”
“Well, with super-powered experts on that creature, we may prevail,” mused Doom.
“By the skin of our teeth, if we’re lucky,” I replied.
“In the meantime,” declared Doom as he keyed in a command on a screen from one of his gloves, “Castle Doom is in lockdown. No one goes in or out. I will not have that Dalek kill any of my people.”
“A wise decision,” I praised. “Can you, at least, tell your men to stick to surveillance while we deal with it?”
“You ARE including my wife and I in this endeavor, I trust?” requested Doom.
“Wouldn’t dream of leaving you two out,” I replied, realizing I slightly lied. Maleficent’s spells must have worn off.
“All soldiers, report all observations on the enemy,” Doom ordered over the comms. “Do not engage. Repeat, do NOT engage! I will not lose any more men.” He ended the broadcast once he got the Dalek’s location from a soldier. “The enemy is moving towards the Foundry. We shall meet it there.” He led the way to the Foundry and we met the Dalek. “Dalek, I warn you!” called Doom. “You have killed too many of my people! If you do not leave, the sonic cannons lining the walls will tear you asunder!”
“Your sonic cannons have already been adapted to!” barked the Dalek. “Your threat means nothing! My mission of reconnaissance and conquest shall continue!”
“A Recon Dalek!” I breathed. “I’m honored! Tell me, what does Hiro want with the Sources.”
“The barrier shall be lowered!” replied the Dalek.
“I take it, you’re talking about the barrier surrounding Foundation Prime?” I guessed.
“Correct!” confirmed the Dalek. “With the Rift Loop collapsed, we need no longer fear Vortech!”
“The Rift Loop collapsed?” I quizzed. “What does that mean? The Doctor set up the Loop. All of her, in fact.”
“The Doctor failed to realize,” boasted the Dalek, “that Vortech’s presence made the Rift Loop unstable! With that gone, Vortech’s life signs vanished!”
“Hold on, are you seriously telling us Lord Vortech is dead?” asked Hiroki.
“Correct!” confirmed the Dalek.
“But, what could you…?” asked Charline.
“No more questions!” barked the Dalek. “Exterminate!” At that moment, I drew my Sonic Screwdriver and leveled it at the gun. A wisp of blue smoke came out, but nothing lethal.
“Nice try!” I laughed.
“Your sonic device will not save you!” barked the Dalek. “I am already adapting around it!”
“Yeah, you Recon Daleks have a tendency to do that,” I muttered.
“You have a sonic device?” quizzed Doom.
“Yep!” I replied. “Called the Sonic…” I stopped myself, figuring Doom would take issue with the name.
“Sonic what?” asked Doom.
“It’s just sonic!” I answered.
“Sonic what?!” repeated Doom.
“It’s just sonic!” I insisted. “I’m all sonic’d up!”
“Sonic device override!” announced the Dalek.
“SONIC WHAT?!” roared Doom.
“SCREWDRIVER!” I finally answer as I pointed it at a large thing held up by chains. The chains were undone and the thing fell.
“Exterminate!” shouted the Dalek. Too late, the thing separated us from the Dalek.
“RUN!” I call. Doom knew the way to a safe room, thus he led us there. We spent the time catching our breath.
“…A sonic screwdriver?!” protested Doom. “That sounds a little contrived, even for Doom! Doom would never look at a screwdriver and say, ‘This could be more sonic’!”
“What, Doom was never bored?!” I mocked. “Doom, of all people, never had a long night or had a lot of cabinets to put up?”
“Did you just mock Doom’s habit of talking in the third person?!” snarled Doom.
“You sound ridiculous doing that!” I argued.
“Doom is currently panicked!” snapped Doom. “Talking in the third person helps Doom relax!”
“Can we save it?!” snarled War.
“You’re right,” I concede. “We have a very angry Dalek ready to kill us all. All right; assets, everyone. What do we have?”
“Most of us have transformation belts,” helped Hiroki.
“A good asset,” I replied.
“Doom and I know the layout of the castle,” offered Maleficent.
“A good asset,” I answered.
“Doom is a technological and magical genius,” boasted Doom.
“A good asset,” I concede.
“I have a magical key that functions as a sword,” supplied Mickey.
“A good asset,” I praised.
“I have the Elemental Keystone,” offered Gandalf.
“A good asset,” I replied.
“I’m a robot that can interface with any computer and I possess a stun blaster,” called Kit-10.
“Good assets,” I remarked.
“Wait a minute,” called Discornia, piping up after a while, “I have my awesome powers of light and sound, if I may boast, and I just remembered something wicked about the Source, if I may boast.”
“That’s right!” recalled War. “The Dalek is in danger if it touches it!”
“It is?” I quizzed.
“The Sources amplify the feeling attached to the aspect they signify,” explained War. “Death causes grief, Pestilence brings hopelessness, Chaos sparks uncertainty, Famine induces resentment…”
“And War inspires anger!” I realized. “The Dalek IS in danger! Now that’s enough good assets to form a plan! Doom, can you allow Kit-10 to guide the Dalek to the Source?”
“I’ll need to input various passwords,” replied Doom as he revealed a computer terminal for Kit-10 to interface with.
“That will make the work easier on me,” assured Kit-10.
“Excellent!” I praised. “Now, once the Dalek spots the Source and is close enough…”
The Dalek was guided to the Source and clapped its eyestalk on it. “Source located!” it cheered. “Beginning retrieval!” It then moved forward. Once it was in the center of the room, I noisily entered in my Rider persona of Kamen Rider Battle. It heard my steps and turned towards me.
“Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!” I called.
“Exterminate!” it squawked. It then fired only for the shot to be absorbed by a shield Doom had erected once the Dalek got to the center of the room.
“If the Doctor wasn’t that daft, why should you assume a companion is?” I taunted. Everyone then joined me. Those that had a Rider persona had changed into it.
“Hide behind your shield!” barked the Dalek. “You and your associates, you have failed!”
“Dalek, I’m giving you one chance!” I snapped back. “Leve this universe at once!”
“You are not my commander!” replied the Dalek. I sighed.
“I tried,” I muttered. “I really gave it a chance. You all saw it, right?” The general consensus was yes. “Now, we’re fast enough for this plan to work, correct?” There was a bit of mumbling before Doom responded for everyone.
“Possibly,” he stated.
“Well, THAT needs work!” I hissed. “All right, everyone, Catchphrase time!
“Kamen Rider Climb! Mountains are a warrior’s best friend!”
“Kamen Rider Sengoku! You shall get a taste of Feudal Japan!”
“Kamen Rider War! This battlefield is mine!”
“Kamen Rider Battle! For friends and family, I shall be victorious!”
“Kamen Rider Herald O! I bring news of your defeat!”
“Kamen Rider Striker! None shall delay victory!” called Alesandro.
“I am Gandalf the Grey! Prepare to see some fireworks!”
“I am Discornia, the Dazzling Dancer!”
“I am Kit-10! You shall fall before my claws, both digital and physical!”
“All shall bow before Doctor Doom!”
“You shall be ashes at the feet of Maleficent, Mistress of All Evil!”
“I’m Mickey Mouse! The light of imagination shall show the way!”
“The Dalek race is supreme!” boasted the Dalek.
“DOOM! NOW!” I called. Doom keyed in a command and dropped the shield. We then spread out as the Dalek fired on us.
“All shall be exterminated! Exterminate!” shrieked the Dalek. Mickey stopped by a door and heard something pounding on it from the other side. He used his Keyblade to unlock it and revealed…the crew of the Tarlaxian scout ship! The crew was as follows, Captain Bladriga; a male that had multiple blades for his limbs and digits, Commander Crabordii, a female that was based on a hermit crab, and Lieutenant Draknarg, a male based on a western dragon. They seemed to be recovering from injuries and I remembered Maleficent saying they had resorted to torture to no avail. Mickey had cast a healing spell and helped them recover faster.
“Thank you!” bid Bladriga.
“How do we know he’s not part of some elaborate…?!” snarled Draknarg. He was interrupted by one of the Dalek’s shots flying over his head. “Okay, bigger priorities,” muttered Draknarg as he drew his blade. His crewmates did the same as Crabordii waved Mickey over.
“You might need this,” she offered. “A little extra protection.” The object was a Chronicle Driver! Mickey looked at it in awe, then equipped it onto his waist. It formed the belt strap automatically.
“Chronicle Driver!” it announced. He then fished out an Armor Auto-bio and pointed at his enemy with both his pointer and middle fingers. He then turned the hand sideways as if the fingers were a key.
“Henshin!” he called before inserting the Armor Auto-bio into the shelf and pressing it down into the buckle.
“Open! Turn! Imagine!” announced the belt. “The Keyblade of Lux!” Mickey’s armor attached itself to his little body, even his tail and head, and he stood proud after the eyes flashed, indicating the transformation was a success. Mickey examined himself briefly before drawing his new Keyblade and leaping into the air.
“EYES SHUT!” he warned. We all shut our eyes while the Dalek foolishly looked up.
“LIGHT!” announced Mickey as he summoned a bright light. I heard a crack, then the Dalek screamed.
“VISION IMPAIRED!” it screamed. “ENTERING SIEGE MODE!” When I was sure the light had died down, I noticed that the Dalek was different. Its sensor spheres, eyestalk, speech indicators, and armaments had retreated into the casing with covers over the holes while the collar around the neck had slammed shut, covering the neck. It didn’t move, most likely too focused on fixing the eyestalk.
“NOW!” I called. Striker and Doom grabbed the Source and attached it to the Dalek’s backside while Kit-10 and War used a small laser each to weld the Source to the casing. The Dalek started twitching.
“What did you attach to my casing?!” it demanded as it disengaged Siege Mode.
“I must say, the Siege Mode thing is smarter than your usual screaming about your blindness and firing wildly,” I mused, not answering as the Dalek’s dome and newly repaired eyestalk whirled violently around to identify the object on its back.
“What did you attach to my casing?!” the Dalek demanded again. “My…hatred…is reaching…unacceptable tolerances!”
“War’s Source amplifies the emotions and feelings associated with her aspect,” I explained, repeating the lecture Discornia and War gave. “Since you Daleks are born with hatred and anger towards the existence of non-Dalek life-forms, it’s making that hatred go through the roof until you want to destroy everything with no reason and no sense of purpose, even yourself! A blind killing machine! In other words, the Dalek Factor cranked up to eleven!”
“MY MIND IS ON FIRE!” screamed the Dalek. “ALL MUST DIE! ALL! ALL! DIE! DIE! EXTERMINATE! ANNIHILATE! DESTROY! DIE! DIE! DIE!”
“Gandalf! Maleficent! Doom! Now!” I called. Doom activated a shield around the Dalek as it fired blindly. Maleficent and Gandalf used their magic to reinforce the shield.
“And a little more power,” called Gandalf. “Elemental Keystone, activate! Element of lightning, all allies!” We were all surrounded in a cyan aura and felt an electric charge tingle through us. Us Vortex Riders spun the wheels on our belts while Mickey and Striker pressed the button on top of their belts and War rotated her belt’s sword a full 360⁰ before pressing down again.
“Final attack!” called the Vortex Drivers.
“Final Pen Stroke!” announce the Chronicle Drivers. We all leapt into the air as Gandalf, Kit-10, Discornia, Doom, the Tarlaxian crew, and Maleficent fired a stream of lightning at the shields.
“RIDER BATTLE KICK!”
“RIDER SENGOKU KICK!”
“RIDER CLIMB KICK!”
“RIDER WAR KICK!”
“RIDER HERALD O KICK!”
“RIDER STRIKER KICK!” announced Alesandro.
“RIDER LUX KICK!” shouted Mickey. We all then performed a flying kick at the shield as the rest stopped their attacks. The Dalek was still violently firing until its own shields came down and it exploded, scattering its gooey remains all over the inside of the shield. The only things left intact were the skirt section and the Source. Doom turned the shield off so we could get a look. A rather nasty smell assaulted our noses, coming from the dead Dalek. Crabordii braved a look and gasped.
“I thought the internal creature was underdeveloped with vestigial limbs and sensory organs, almost ameboid,” she recalled.
“This one seems altogether different than what you just described,” remarked Doom. “This one has functional appendages with some form of mechanical prosthesis grafted into its body.”
“Davros must have dusted off the plans for his old Imperial Daleks,” I mused as all of us Riders cancelled our transformations.
“I think I’m going to be sick,” groaned Maleficent.
“Now, at the risk of sounding rude,” snarled Doom as he turned to us, “a good number of men and women died at that creature’s hand! You brought death into my castle! Take your Tarlaxians and your Source and get out!”
“…Understandable, Lord Doom,” I replied.
“May I come with you?” asked Mickey. “I think I’d need some training for my new Rider form.”
“If you wish, then very well,” I answered. “What did your Chronicle Driver say when you transformed?”
“I think it said ‘The Keyblade of Lux’,” recalled Mickey.
“Then that makes you Kamen Rider Lux,” I explained as I took out the communicator. War held the Source and examined it for any damage. “Vorton, we’re ready to return,” I called. “Mission accomplished. Mickey Mouse will be joining us as well as other Tarlaxians”
“Good to know,” replied the Doctor’s voice.
“Doctor?!” I yelped. “What are you doing on Vorton?”
“Are you familiar with Rose Tyler?” asked the Doctor as the portal opened.
“Your first companion after the Last Great Time War,” I recalled. “You two had a romantic attraction towards each other. Why? Did she find you again?”
“No, but a clone of her did,” explained the Doctor. “Do you mind talking to her when you get back?”
“Of course,” I promised. “See you later. Michael out.” I hung up and we went into the portal, arriving back on Vorton after a minute. The Doctor and Megumi greeted us. “Where’s the Rose clone?” I asked.
“This way,” directed the Doctor. She led me to a spare room where the Rose clone was watching the first Dalek episode of the revived Doctor Who. It was the scene within Van Statten’s cage. The 9th Doctor spoke.
“What the hell are you here for?” demanded Nine.
“I am waiting for orders!” replied the former last of the Daleks.
“What does that mean?” asked Nine.
“I am a soldier!” barked the Dalek. “I was bred to receive orders!”
“Well, you’re never gonna get any!” hissed Nine. “Not ever!”
“I demand orders!” screamed the Dalek.
“Excuse me?” I called. The Rose clone shook as I had apparently startled her.
“You…are new,” she ventured as she paused the video.
“I’m Michael Archer, Kamen Rider Battle,” I introduced myself. “I take it you don’t know what or who you are?”
“…No,” muttered the Rose clone. Que the awkward silence.
“So…how are you doing?” I asked.
“Nothing…feels…right,” mumbled the Rose clone.
“Maybe if you had a change of outfit…?” I offered.
“That’s not what I meant,” answered the Rose clone. “Besides, I don’t feel like changing out of my outfit. It’s mine, not hers.” I guessed the “her” was the original Rose Tyler.
“I believe I understand,” I assured her as I sat on the bed next to her.
“…The Doctor thinks I’m Rose’s clone,” muttered the Rose clone.
“I don’t suppose you have any leads on that?” I asked.
“No one does,” sighed the Rose clone.
“Do you have a name?” I inquired. “I mean, it would only cause the Doctor heartache in both of her hearts if we called you ‘Rose’.”
“The Doctor suggested ‘Daisy’,” grumbled the Rose clone.
“A little on the nose, even for the Doctor,” I mused.
“I don’t know who I am,” sighed the Rose clone. “Every name I’ve been given feels wrong, even ‘Rose’. I suppose it’s because I’m NOT her.”
“You’re not required by any law to be Rose Tyler,” I assured her. “Be your own person.”
“But I need to conform somehow,” mumbled the Rose clone. “If I’m not her, then I need to know who I am. On the other hand, if I AM a clone, then who cloned me?”
I had retreated into my quarters on Vorton and took off my Chronicle Driver, tossing it onto the dresser. I needed to be alone. I looked at the calendar and saw the day circled. “Feliz cumpleaños, Tío,” ( Happy Birthday, Uncle) I sighed. Just then, the door chimed. “Adelante,” (Come in) I called. Mickey came in.
“You live in an AWESOME place!” he praised.
“Gracias,” (Thank you) I mumbled. Mickey noticed my mood.
“Is everything okay?” he asked.
“No, not really,” I muttered. “I’m thinking of leaving the FNS.”
“…I think I have a guess why,” mused Mickey, “but could you tell me so I can see if I was right?”
“I came from a totally dysfunctional family that always kept secrets,” I explained. “My uncle was the only one I could rely on. When he died, I felt like I had to get away. After Academy and the FNS gave me a fresh start. I thought I could get away from secret keeping, but what I heard in Doom’s castle gave me horrible flashbacks! Is it wrong that I feel angry at the FNS?”
“No, in this instance,” replied Mickey, “your feelings are legitimate.”
“It’s just…I’m not sure I want this kind of life!” I continued.
“Where will you go?” asked Mickey.
“I’m not sure,” I answered.
“While I’d be saddened at the implication that my arrival in all of this would mean I replaced you,” sighed Mickey, “I do know some areas in my domain that could use you.”
“I appreciate that,” I bid. “Let me think it over.”
“I WOULD strongly suggest that you talk to Megumi before you go,” urged Mickey.
“…Why?” I hissed.
“Because, if you don’t,” answered Mickey, “you’ll be leaving with no feeling of closure.” He left my room on that note.