I don't know where else to put this haha. Might be a bit long.
Hi, I'm Cindy, I'm 11. I guess this is the bit about me. Well, I just got back from another boring day at school, and I'm quite lucky that I already finished the algebra worksheet yesterday unlike everyone else. They all have parties and get-togethers to go to all the time, talk all the way through class and all the way through recess and lunch as well. I don't see why everyone needs to make so many friends. I mean, I'm usually on my own at school, I'm anti-social, but I'm happy. I think making friends is just going to waste your time where you can do other valuable or fun things, like studying or playing computer games.
Speaking of games, I quite feel like playing Plants vs. Zombies right now, so I grab my DS and start playing Survival: Endless. I usually restart this a lot, not because I die but because I get bored of it once I have already created a good setup. I have all the fancy gadgets at home, iPod touch, iPad, PlayStation 2 and recently, a brand new MacBook. But still I feel quite bored sometimes at home. I have everything I need and want, yet I still get this empty feeling sometimes.
For some reason today the DS seems to be really hot when I touch it. Maybe it's just my little brother messing around with Yoshi or something. So I navigate to the PvZ, but the screen seems to be getting even hotter, to the point that my fingertips are starting to look radiantly sunburnt. And suddenly it seems to start to boil. The sharp pain cuts right into my skin, and I scream as I throw the DS onto the floor.
And just as I do, a strong, stinging light fills my entire bedroom. It was so luminous that I feel like my eyes were being torn apart, even though I'm covering them with my hands. The searing pain in my eyes spread to my head, and just before I lose consciousness, a voice begins screaming, "Cindy what did you do?!"
I cannot believe what happens after I awake after I seem to have slept for Dr Zomboss knows how long.
What seems to be a peashooter is towering above my head, looking into my eyes with a confused look. Along with a sunflower and a snow pea.
And after an awkward silence for Crazy Dave knows how long, the peashooter begins speaking. "Are you okay?" he says in a soft, husky tone. "You must be Cindy, right?"
I take forever to reply yes, and straight after, he begins to introduce himself and his friends as if this is a normal Saturday afternoon.
"I'm Peculius, and this here is Helianthus," he points to the sunflower. "And the blue-headed odd one out in our Peashooter family, Nivos."
Nivos shoots an ice-covered pea onto Peculius' head, turning him icy blue and dizzy for a while.
"And of course you can just call me Pec and call her Heli," he says as he desperately try to recover from frostbites.
"Oh okay, so don't I get an abbreviation," Nivos snorts and turns his back on us. "I'm chill with that."
"It ain't the time for this, Niv," says Heli. "Cindy, we really need to get to the Mushroom Garden now."
Oh gosh, this is confusing me even more. So I snapped out of this mess in my mind, "Leave the Mushroom Garden whatever it is for a while, can you just tell me where on Earth am I for heck's sake?!"
They seem to be quite shock at my impoliteness. Who cares, they're just plants anyway.
"We're in a parallel universe," explains Pec. "And we must soon get a move on to save YOUR universe from a zombie apocalypse."
Nonsense. Zombies don't exist, I think to myself. But then when I think again, if zombies don't exist, what on Earth are these plants doing right in front of me here, then? And what's with this parallel universe thing?
"Cut it out, we're getting on the move now," Nivos says in a hurried tone of voice. "Cindy, follow us and stay with us, otherwise you might be in danger."
The three of them moves off along what seems to be a lawn, and even though I'm thinking, who are you to tell ME what to do, I chase after them hastily before finally catching up with them on the footpath.
It has been quite an awkward trip. I'm anti-social as I stated previously, and did not talk to any of them. They just keep going on about how "Nix" and "Sol" are essential to them completing this mission. What on Earth - oh wait I'm in some sort of parallel universe. This is just way too confusing.
The sun seems to have set overhead. It's getting darker, and I feel like suggesting that we should find somewhere to stay for the night, but they still look as fully spirited as they do in the daytime.
"Mushrooms are so lame," Nivos breaks the silence. "We can stay awake whether it's night or day, but whenever they fight with us while the sun's up they have to take those stupid coffee beans."
"Dude, that's like, discrimination against inexpensive plants!" a voice arises from nowhere.
Heli's face lights up, throwing a blob of sunlight into the air. "Hey Sol sister!" she exclaims cheerfully.
"Wasn't me," Nivos licks his beak-like mouth and rolls his eyes.
"Well that's awkward cos it wasn't your Sol sister who was speaking," the same voice replies. I finally notice that it was a puff-shroom. He must've been too short for me to see from behind Pec (and yes, I feel quite inferior being stuck with a bunch of plants who are TALLER than me. That puff-shroom is probably small enough for me to hold in one hand.)
"Aw sorry about that Nix!" Heli bends down, and gives him a kiss on the cheek. I can understand that - mushrooms and sunflowers don't meet very often at least when I play PvZ.
Before long, the sun-shroom whose name is Sol is also out in front to greet us, and Pec begins to introduce me to them, which is quite a dreadful experience. I hate it when people, or plants in this case, introduce me to others in embarrassing ways. Pec isn't too bad, he just talks so fast and it makes him sound like a clown.
Nix even jumps onto my hand. I've gotta admit, he's quite a cute lil creature, so I finally smiled and said hi.
"No time for this Nix," Sol orders him to jump off to the ground. "We need an emergency meeting right now."
But I want to sleep, eugh.
Surprisingly I have no chance to fall asleep at all. I mean, the meeting is CENTRED ON ME.
Apparently, because I was the cause of this zombie apocalypse, I have crucial responsibility in the carrying out of this mission. And apparently I let out the zombies in my DS into the real human world. "It wasn't my fault, my brother was probably messing with it and it got too hot, how was I supposed to know what to do?" I defend myself.
"Actually, he didn't," Nivos replies calmly.
"And guess what, you didn't do anything wrong yourself, either." Pec interjects.
I start to get more emotional. "Then why do I have to take on this responsibility that I didn't need to have?"
Heli stares at me for a while, and sighs. "Kids these days, they always assume that they don't have any responsibilities."
"Except me, I'm responsible, I'm responsible!" Nix jumps up and down on his special added-height flower pot. I feel for him. He's the tiniest plant in PvZ, yet he always stand at the front line, closest and most at risk to zombies' attacks.
"I can understand how you feel, Cindy," Sol reassures me. "You might not be ready for this, but it's okay. You're not the only one who has to fight, we're all on your side dear. We'll have to stick together as a team like we are."
The words are imprinted in my head. As I lay down on the area they organised for me to sleep, I keep thinking about it. "We're a team. We must stick together."
The first thing I see when I open my eyes is Heli's big friendly smile. It makes me feel like a good start to the day. My parents probably don't know where I am, I'm missing out on chunks of school, but these things aren't top priority on my mind. I'm really getting into this saving my world from the zombie apocalypse thing. And I'm starting to like the plants as well. Nivos has such a cold but intrigueing sense of humour, Helianthus and Sol are so nice and kind, Nix is the cutest thing ever and I swear I'm having him as a pet, and Peculius is just so much fun to be with. I finally realise that friendship can be so wonderful. I start talking much, much more, and am always coming up with new ideas at meetings regarding how to rescue my local universe.
We're running into a problem. If we have lobbed-shot plants and instant kills, Dr Zomboss will be much easier to defeat. But because I only had peashooter, sunflower, snow pea, puff-shroom and sun-shroom in my Zen garden, us six are what is limited to defeating him. We decide that using an Air Raid mode would work the best, so we start building flying flower pots as soon as we can get down to it. Well, I'm the director, so mine doesn't need to move, so we needed five flower pots with devices enabling easy flight. And I'm just amazed at the plants' attitude to this whole thing. Their lives could be taken in the imminent battle against Dr Zomboss, but yet they're still happy and positive, joking around all the time. It makes me believe that, as a team, we will certainly be able to succeed. And I finally understand why we are preparing in the parallel universe: this is Dr Zomboss' home universe, and he uses dark energy to distribute zombies into my home universe to collect brains for his cruel scientific experiments. I work harder than ever to perfect the flower pots' features, testing them many times to ensure that they are tough enough for battle and not accident-prone. Because to me, the lives and safety of my plant friends and the destiny of the human race are everything.
The big fight is tomorrow. My plant friends have all fallen silent for some reason. Even Nivos and Nix stopped joking around, and no one said a word while refining designs and testing weapons. They must feel the same way as I do. "Are you okay?" I ask Heli.
Heli just shakes her head and walks away without a word. They've been my best friends for weeks, and I really don't want to lose these valuable first friendships so soon. I know that I'm not going to fall asleep tonight, even though the battle is going to require me to be fully concentrated.
As I lie down in bed I hear a noise, and my instincts tell me that something's definitely wrong. Out of curiosity, I get up and open up the curtain. Nothing is there, so I just opened my window a bit to let some cool air in. I mean, it's a hot night, and I could hear Sol twisting and turning, trying to get solar heat out of her system. And then, I just find myself snoozing off for no reason.
All I remember before is that I fell to the floor and into a lapse of unconsciousness. And now this.
I think it's still about 3am-ish cos it's still dark outside. A zombie approaches me and sits down just before me.
Don't ask me what I'm going to do. I have no idea. My mind isn't working.
Well I still reckon that asking him would be better than just sitting in a corner in this weird-looking, can I call this, jailhouse. "Are you going to eat my brains?" I ask.
"If I was going to," the zombie mumbles, "I would have eaten them while I was in your bedroom."
Wow isn't this the most confusing thing ever? "Well then what am I supposed to do here?"
And then a scary thought comes into my head. What if the zombies have kidnapped me? Maybe they're planning to use my life as a threat to my plant friends, to stop them from defending my universe from Dr Zomboss' further attacks? I back off shivering, forgetting that my back is already against a wall and I can't really go any further.
The zombie seems to recognise my fears. "It's okay, we're not going to harm you or your friends in any way," he softens his voice. "We just brought you here to tell you things that you really should know, which your plant friends haven't told you yet."
"What... what kind of things?" I stagger.
"Well," the zombie clears his throat, "Your plant friends do seem to believe that Dr Zomboss' intentions are evil. But believe it or not, dear, it isn't true..."
"Wait, wait!" something in my mind makes me stand up and shout suddenly. "So you mean Dr Zomboss' intentions are actually GOOD? He's not trying to do something evil while he's dispersing zombies into my universe? Isn't he going to collect human brains and do experiments and stuff with 'em?"
"Wow, calm down..." the zombie is looking more flustered by the second. I could care less about that and continue with angry emotions swelling. "If you think that humans are not valuable living things... remember that you were once humans too!"
Now that must have been a cherry-bomb in the zombie's face, I think to myself. But unexpectedly, he calms down, and begins speaking to me as if my argument was weightless. "That's exactly what I'm about to say to you! Dr Zomboss' plan this time, is to send zombies to the human world to communicate with your species and reconciliate!"
Once again, I find myself having words at my throat that cannot manage to come out.
Seriously, the zombies are willing to reconciliate with us?
This zombie here in front of me didn't even try to eat my brains, and I could understand how hard he would have tried. I mean, a zombie's craving for brains is probably equivalent to mine for chocolate.
"You need to trust us," he says with a gentle smile on his strange, wrinkly, but seemingly kind face. "Stay with us, and you can help humans and zombies ascend into a brand new era of peace!"
Still I can't say anything. I'm just super confused now and have no idea who to believe. Uncertainty begins to overtake me, and I start thinking really, really hard.
Yes, I have been friends with the plants for quite a bit of time, but how could a few weeks ensure that I can trust in 100% of the things they tell me? I remember them telling me that zombies are purely evil, greedy creatures, but the one who just spoken to me seems very friendly and trustworthy. Now that I think about it, their argument is a bit lop-sided, really.
The zombie sees me thinking, smiles to me, and walks away knowingly, leaving me alone here until the next sunset.
And now that the last rays of daylight are fading, I decide that I'm going to take a risk, and see what it's like to be on the zombies' side for once.
The battle is about to begin, and I'm starting to feel quite guilty about it. From the zombies' watchtower, I could see the plants hurrying around, looking puzzled, wondering where their director is. The zombie who has spoken to me yesterday stands behind me, telling me not to worry about the plants, as Dr Zomboss has good intentions and will not hurt them.
The plants have finally decided that they're going to have to start without me. Today is the day that the Boss is launching the most massive amount of zombies into my universe as planned, and according Peculius, he should not know about this attack. But if this is the case, why wouldn't the zombie have notified him?
The sky darkens suddenly, and streaks of lightning begin to paint the clouds, followed by horrific sounds of thunder. "Have no fear," the zombie reassures me.
And as I look further up, I could see Dr Zomboss' colossal metallic body towering above this battlefield of tiles, with his head above the clouds. I can feel my heartbeats tighten for the plants, and wonders how them five can take on such a monster. Plus, only three of them are offensive. Helianthus and Sol are just providing them with the vital energy they need, and none of them have any defensive abilities. I really start to regret my decision now. Without somebody to guide and direct their paths and strategies, they certainly won't be as effective on their own. Their lives are at risk, and...
Dr Zomboss lowers his head into the clouds. What, what? He's going to talk to the plants? Shouldn't he have no idea that they're even there?!
"Hmm"s and "huh"s arise from the hovering flower pots. That must have been unexpected for them.
"I, Dr Edgar Zomboss, has been waiting for you for quite a while," the robotic voice continues.
"This may have came as a surprise to you. I only knew about this yesterday as well, so don't be too upset about someone leaking information to me while you were still working on these lame hovering little weapons of yours. I know nothing of their structure, and I do not need to. To me, these are no challenge against my knowledge of Thanatology. What I do know, is that you lost your precious little helper."
"What?" I turn to the zombie behind me. "You said he's not going to hurt them!"
The zombie still smiles at me without saying a word, and his grin is creeping out more and more by the minute.
"What on Earth did you do to Cindy?" Peculius flies up close to the metal shell, the angst and despair in his voice obvious.
"Well you'll have to ask her yourself."
Dr Zomboss points his heavy right hand towards... me.
The plants must know clearly that, if a zombie does not eat my brains at the instant they capture me, I must have made quite a good deal with them. And it could only mean one thing to them: I betrayed them, to help the zombies.
I cover my face as I see their expressions turn from shock to disgust. And I know immediately, that I must have disappointed them too deeply for them to ever trust me again.
Dr Zomboss' laugh echoes throughout the lightning-stricken sky, and spits out a fireball. The plants, the ones who have once been my best friends, scream in terror as they hurriedly manoeuvre themselves to avoid the fatal attack.
Hearing their desperate voices breaks my heart. I cannot take this anymore. "Why would you do this?!" I shout madly at the zombie. "I'd rather have my brains eaten by you, than go through this torture watching my best friends do this! I'd rather have my brains eaten than be lied to like this!"
The zombie's grin widens, showing his teeth just before he rips his greenish-grey skin off his head, letting loose a heap of red dreadlocks. And that's when I recognise him.
I get why he was able to control himself from devouring my brains - he didn't need to. He is a space ogre who has a brain of his own - facing another creature with a brain would be as comfortable as being with his best friend.
Having no directions to follow and their flowerpots half-damaged from the attacks, not mentioning the disappointment I gave them, the plants are not going down well. But I don't care anymore. I've been deceived, I've been misunderstood, I've seen dirty looks from my best friends. Why should I?
Until Peculius is brought down by a ball of ice. And believe me, it really is quite massive.
"Pec! NO!" Helianthus screams as she makes a dash for him, not realising that the not yet disintegrated ice-ball is coming right at her. And the moment it hit her, I could feel my heart bleed.
I could not put my own safety into account anymore. While Zomboni is not watching, I jump off the 2-metre tall watchtower, landing onto the hard tiles beneath me. The excruciating pain could not stop me from getting back up and making a dash towards my friends. Yes, my friends.
Pec's body bitterly cold, but I still give him a hug while trying to lift Heli with my free hand. I just want them to be warm.
"Cindy, leave us... alone," Heli mutters exhaustedly. "We'll... be... okay..."
"Are you okay... Cindy?" asks Pec. "Did you... twist your hip falling... off from that tower? I could hear... it cracking..."
Tears are starting to well in my eyes. I thought that they are never going to care about somebody who betrayed them. But so tired and hurt themselves, they still put me as a priority. Pec's stem is quite heavily fractured himself, and on the verge on breaking.
"OUCH!" a scream comes from above as Nix falls from being hit by a fireball, landing in my palm where he writhes helplessly. I put him in my shirt pocket, and bring Pec and Heli closer. I want to hug all of them to make them feel better, not realising how close I am to the Zomboss' foot. I cannot stop myself from crying now, my tears landing on the Zombot shell.
And suddenly, a massive clash of thunder disintegrates the clouds, and to everyone's surprise, the Zombot begins to tumble to the ground, and melt. All around me, supporting zombies lose their grey colour. I feel a very strong source of light overpowering my vision - exactly like the one that made me faint when I dropped my DS.
But this time, I'm strong enough to stand my ground, and face this tide of light until Dr Zomboss appears in a glowing halo.
The plants start to wake up around me, confused about what happened and where they are.
And I grow even more puzzled as Dr Zomboss walks up to me and holds out his right hand. He has lost his wrinkles and grey colour, which I'm kind of unused to because I've never seen a zombie like that. I look at him doubtfully - is this another trick? After being deceived by Zomboni, I could not trust another zombie easily anymore.
But I could feel Peculius patting my shoulder from behind, and saying, "Go ahead and shake his hands. This light is a source of healing, and I understand what this signifies."
Tentatively, I hold out my right hand, and the moment our hands clasped, the heavy light is washed away in an instant, revealing a blue, cloudless sky above me. Sun starts falling, and cheers are rising all round. Peculius, Helianthus, Nivos, Nix and Sol are all jumping up and down around me happily. Heli gives me a tight hug and thanks me. I stand still, feeling quite happy, but totally confuzzled. "Cut it out Heli, what did I even do?" I ask, half-jokingly.
"What did you do?!" Nivos grunts with folded leaves. "C'mon, you inspired all the zombies to come to their realisation!"
Dr Zomboss walks up to me, and I can tell that his smile is genuine. "Zombies," he begins, turning to a mass crowd of zombies in front of us. "This young lady here has shown us that love and friendship always override what we thought were true values - greed, selfishness and dishonesty. The moment that Cindy disregarded her own safety to be with her friends during hardship is truly inspiring, and her tears showed us that her love for her friends cannot be stopped by any obstacle. To celebrate this, the healing light has been rained upon her and her friends, aiding their recovery from injuries unfortunately caused by me."
I can't believe a word he says. My tears melted his Zombot?
Thinking back to my old life, I never really cared about anyone other than myself. I got my brother and sister to do all the chores, always tuned the television to shows that I liked before my family had a chance to have a say, and at school, anyone who offended me slightly, I would do anything to make their lives hell. I never knew that I could feel such tough love for anyone until the moment when Heli rushed for Pec when he fell - when something touched my heart and drove me to the front line.
"And as for Zomboni, who used to be my most regarded fellow spy..." Dr Zomboss' voice trails off, after announcing that the zombies have decided to live in peace with humans and plants.
I look up to see Zomboni flying off in his Zamboni in the distance. Smiling to myself, I just know that this liar isn't going to be back for quite a while by the looks of it.
Look forward to Part 2 - Zombies vs. Aliens!