Mark cussed in Furbish.
Jessica put her computer down where its camera would be most likely to shoot the clearest footage, then released Mark into the room.
"Traitor!" Kitri shouted as she dive-bombed Mark from her place on a counter.
Mark yelped, and backed away. It was then that he saw Jessica heading up the steps and toward the door. In a desperate efforrt, Mark hurried after her and climbed up her back to get to her shoulder. He had hoped to make a quick escape as she opened the door.
Jessica shoved him back.
He almost tumbled off her shoulder, and reacted by digging in and holding on. In addition, he bit her ear, drawing blood.
Jessica cried out in pain and surprise, and pitched him hard, but couldn't dislodge him.
Mark bit her again, causing her to shriek and frantically grab for the doorknob while throwing herself against the door in a futile effort to get away from the attack.
Mark would've kept up the attack, he was hoping Jessica would become panicked enough to open the door and run out, letting him back out in the process.
But Toby bounded up the steps and climbed up Jessica to confront Mark.
Mark screamed and made a clumsy leap off Jessica and down the steps, trying to get away from Toby, who attacked his ear, the one Peekaboo had observed was already torn on his first night trying to play "Jenny".
"This is the last time you hurt Jessica or anyone else!" Toby roared, going after Mark.
Jessica stood trembling for a few seconds, then quickly opened the door and got herself through as quickly as possible, then tightly shut it again.
There wasn't much she could do for her ear but gently wash it and wrap some kind of dressing around it to help stop the bleeding. Then, she prepared to wait out the battle with some trepidation.
Dmitri came up to her, and immediately knew something was wrong with her.
"Hey, what happened to your ear?"
Mark happened to it."
Dmitri scowled. "He bit you?"
Jessica nodded. "But it'll be okay, just look a little messed up for a while."
But will you be okay?"
Jessica shuddered. "Ugh. I'll be very surprised if I don't get nightmares over this. That furby is just evil. I never thought I'd ever get bitten by one, let alone hard enough to draw blood." She trembled.
Want me to give you something much gentler to help you get rid of this feeling?" he asked.
"Sure, I'll try anything to get un-creeped out."
So Dmitri climbed carefully onto Jessica's shoulder and nuzzled her neck with a low purr.
Jessica stroked him down his back, then picked him up to hold him.
The tenderness did help to get rid of most of that horrified, unnerving feeling, but it didn't go away completely because of the vicious sounds of combat going on in the basement.
But it did a lot of good for Dmitri. For a long time, he had wanted to get as close to Jessica as Peekaboo or Toby always did, but felt strangely shy about initiating it. Now, he finally had a good opportunity and the nerve, and he was secretly delighted his offer of comfort was so well accepted.
Eventually, he remembered something Jessica had said during their Funny Intros game. "I didn't know your middle name was Marley, I didn't even know if you had a middle name."
Jessica smiled. "Well, now you do."
"I like it."
"Thank you, Dmitri." She tussled his fur.
"So - were you named after Bob Marley, or that dog from 'Marley And Me'?"
Jessica spluttered with laughter. "No!"
"Oops, sorry, maybe I shouldn't have asked." Dmitri said sheepishly.
"Oh, my flustery fur ball Dmitri," Jessica said, still chuckling, "How will you ever know something if you don't ask? Do you know the story 'A Christmas Carol'?
Dmitri had to think about it for a moment, then he realized, "Oh, that's who you were named after!"
"You got it." Jessica smiled.
Wow, Toby sounds like I feel toward Mark." said Dmitri after a particularly fierce snarl was heard issuing from the basement.
I hope Mark hasn't hurt him." said Jessica.
"I don't think so, or we'd be hearing a lot more from Kitri. Did you want me to look in on them?"
"Yeah, I'll just have to be careful not to open the door any wider than I have to or Mark will get away."
Jessica opened the doorr just enough for Dmitri to get through, and he scuttled down to take a look.
"Help!" Mark squealed as he was being slammed, pummelled and torn this way and that.
Kitri, who didn't interfere much, replied with "Nah, not necessary, I think Toby's doing nicely on his own."
Mark's failure to apply himself during training, his overestimation of his ability against Toby or Kitri one on one due to size difference, and underestimation of Toby's drive to annihilate him, all worked against him. Every time Mark tried to slam Toby in turn, his enemy was too quick on the draw, always ducking out of the way, only to come at him from another direction. Mark managed to get some scratches and bites in, but this only enraged Toby more.
Dmitri soon came back up and jumped on Jessica's shoulder, grinning. "Oh, boy, Toby's all over Mark like white on rice!"
Jessica shut the door and smiled.
"Oh, now I remember what I meant to ask you earlier!" said Dmitri, "May I hold on to those bugs? If Sundown and Toby and I can use them to scent out the others that are still out there, maybe we can put a stop to the Slender operation in this city even without Mark telling us where he got them."
Jessica smiled. "Certainly, Dmitri, help yourself."
Mark's insults and threats mingled with Toby's snarls and hisses, and every so often, Kitri would issue a remark or direction to one of them.
The gravity of the situation only hit Mark when he squealed, "Oh, give me a break already!"
This was answered by Toby. "No! You've had too many breaks. This is it, Mark, the end of the road!"
"Oh, yeah? Just wait, Jessica will be careless and open a door or window in this house and I'll grab my chance and - "
"No, you won't," said Kitri, "because you are never leaving this basement again!"
"At least, not alive." said Toby.
"You can't do that! I'm a furby! One of you!" Mark tried to appeal.
Toby slammed him again. "Since when did you care about that? You're not one of us and you never were!"
"You're in league with Slender Man. You're on Jeff The Killer's side. You would have either of them torture and kill Jessica for kicks, and you'd watch with glee!" said Kitri acidly.
"And to think it took you all of two months to finally figure that out." Mark snickered defiantly. "I'm more powerful than any of you. So are they. And if I cry pitifully enough, Jessica will come to my rescue. People like her are so easy to play because of their mercy. But only the weak and the stupid get killed. Jessica fits both categories and so do you - "
Mark was planning to rush Kitri after saying his piece, but all he managed to do was tick off both furbies and put Toby's fury into overdrive.
Toby cat-screamed and lunged for Mark's throat, tearing off a fair piece of the skin.
Mark bit him on the ear.
Toby growled and maneuvered behind mark, then savagely tore at his ripped ear, sheering a piece clean off.
Mark howled, spun around and bit down hard on one of Toby's feet.
Then all heck broke loose, fur flew, bodies slammed against each other and against walls and what little furniture was there. Bodies rolled and tore at each other, then flew apart. Moans, howls, yelps, screams and snarls, thuds, even crashes were heard.
Jessica sought out Polly and had to reassure her she was not getting in trouble for being too afraid to come forward earlier about Mark's pressuring her to go with him at night. But she also asked Polly to let her know if she could recall anything Mark said that might've given away the location of the proxy bug stash.
The vicious battle continued in the basement until all of a sudden, to Kitri's dismay, Toby sprawled on the floor, breathless and groaning. Mark had viciously slammed his heavier body into Toby's, downing him.
"Toby!" Kitri rushed to him. "Are you gonna be okay?"
"He got me - " Toby moaned and took a gulping gasp. "I'm hurt." His breaths came in short, laboured, desperate gasps.
Mark looked in bad shape also, with both ears torn off and lying in different parts of the room, throat area torn, and fur missing or messed up, but he looked triumphant. "Looks like your little friend met more than his match." he crowed.
Toby crawled feebly along Mark's side as if disoriented and looking for a place to die. He buried his face in Mark's fur on that side, exhaled painfully, then couldn't be heard any more.
Mark chuckled with glee and turned his head to leer down at Toby. "Pathetic little worm took on more than you bargained for, didn't ya?" He turned his contemptuous gaze on Kitri and said, "Now, I'll have some fun with you, little lady…"
Kitri flew into a rage, and she began attacking Mark. "I'll kill you myself!" she screamed, and tore viciously into Mark's back.
Just then, there was a horrible snapping sound, and Mark uttered a long, drawn-out, "Nooooooooo!"
Kitri backed up, then was going to slam into the top of Mark to put him off balance, but then she saw something that baffled her.
Mark seemed to be struggling to hold himself together. A couple more sickening cracks, and Mark came apart, somewhat, though not completely. One side of him was broken, the other still held. Then, there were a few more sickening snaps, and Mark's frame began to separate, the feet from the body, which also began splitting in two, the front with the face coming away from the back and tail.
During their battle, and even before that when Toby could get close to Mark to unease and investigate him, he had discovered some weak points that Mark sustained from the beating he had taken from a previous human whom he had almost driven crazy.
Those weaknesses had now caught up with Mark and worked against him. He was barely holding together. A few more well-placed knocks, kicks, or even bites might pry him completely apart.
There was no further sign of life from him.
Toby sat up abruptly, triumphant, but still fierce rather than gleeful. "So, Mark…Thought I was a goner, huh?"
Kitri's mouth fell open, and her eyes went wide. "Beethoven Nerdby, you rascal, you really had me worried!" She squealed in surprise and relief, approaching him to give him a kiss on the side of the head.
He looked at her, stunned. "Did you just - ?"
Kitri grinned. "Yep, I just - . But don't get too comfortable with the memory, because now I'm gonna kill you!"
"I'm sorry for alarming you, Kitri," said Toby, looking regretfully at her. "I had to make him let his guard down so I could get at that side to finish him off once and for all."
"Ah, forget it. No hard feelings." She reached out and tussled his fur, "Let's call Jessica so we can get out of here and - "
"Not yet. I'm not through with this guy."
"Toby, he's dead."
"and I wanna make sure he stays that way." Toby turned his attention back to the now expired Mark, and buried his face further into his broken side that had been snapped by biting in a weak place.
Kitri watched in a curious mixture of approval and horror as Toby savagely tore Mark to pieces.
The whole was gnawed larger, then Toby was able to get his paws in, and worked to pry the body shell apart and right off the feet, exposing the inner workings. Then Mark's obliteration accelerated at a frightening speed. Fur, skin, bits of inner workings, even eyes, lashes and mouth, all were roughly dislodged, chewed up, broken, and sent flying. Toby's laboured breaths were punctuated with the sounds of Mark's utter destruction and the odd groan of effort or hiss. By the time he was through, the basement looked like a disaster, and Mark was no longer recognizable as a furby.
Finally, Toby sat back with a relieved sigh. "There. No one's putting that one back together again." The ferocious look returned for a moment as he added, "Especially after that crack he made about having fun with you!" Toby growled, bared his teeth, and wagged his tail furiously.
"Wow." said Kitri, grinning. "Remind me never to get on your bad side."
"I wouldn't wanna be on yours either, Kitri." He said.
Thanks. And I agree, that last remark of his was utterly tasteless!" Kitri looked around. "What a mess." Then Kitri approached Toby and began looking after his wounds.
Toby flinched. "Don't touch me."
"Don't be such a sissy. I'm not killing you yet, that comes later."
"Oh, Kitri," He laughed.
Eventually, Jessica heard Kitri calling to her, and got up from the kitchen table, where she was having a hot lemonade, to check on how things were downstairs.
Jessica opened the door, and let Kitri and Toby out of the basement. But when she went down to check things out, her jaw dropped. "Holy - crap!" she exclaimed.
"We're sorry about the mess." Kitri said.
"That's okay, I'll clean it up some time tomorrow. Probably late in the day. I'm gonna need a good long rest. Sure glad it's the weekend." said Jessica.
She retrieved her computer and turned off the video recording. She would watch it tomorrow.
Jessica gave Kitri some cold lemonade, and Toby some vanilla milk. The two furbies downed their drinks at a desperate rate while Jessica calmly sipped hers.
Then it was off to bed for the night.
But Toby couldn't unwind, and he asked Jessica to let him use her iPhone.
She agreed, but told him to put it to sleep when he was done with it.
"And Jessica?" he said.
Toby looked ruefully at her. "Sorry for being so upset with you earlier."
"Yeah, we're all sorry for doubting you over keeping quiet about the bugs." Kitri added.
"That was my fault too, guys, I thought if I kept it between Brittany and myself, there would be no chance of anyone else inadvertently giving our suspicions away to Mark too soon."
"Mm-hmm." Sundown agreed with a pleased smile. "I thought so."
"Makes perfect sense," said Toby, "I should've known better."
Jessica heard the sadness in his faltering voice, saw the pained expression in his eyes, and felt compassion for him.
She picked him up and held him as if he was a frightened kitten. "Oh, my fretful little friend, you're not the first and you won't be the last to misunderstand something another person does, or freak out over it. It happens to all of us. Especially when we're overwrought. And with Mark around, we all had good reason to be. But everything's been cleared up, and it's all over now."
Jessica's reassurances were welcome, but even though Mark was finished, everyone knew it was not all over, nor would it be until Slender Man, Jeff The Killer and their kind were taken down.
Jessica held Toby until he felt better and was ready to use the iPhone.
Eventually, she and most everyone dropped off to sleep.
As everyone slept, Toby looked up Jeff's letter on the iPhone and studied it carefully.
The next day was the first truly peaceful one they'd had in a long time. Nothing out of the ordinary happened, and that was how they liked it.
But Jessica took the time to look at the video of Mark's demise, and was unnerved by such ferocity. She had seen the aftermath, had known beforehand that it would probably get ugly, but that wasn't quite the same as watching one of her best friends nearly die, then attack and tear apart another furby with such savagery.