The monster 19 lunged one of its cords right at them. 10 pushed 6 and 17 out of the way. Before they could regain themselves, the monster lunged at them again. It caught 10's foot and sent sparks up his leg. He cried out and rolled away. His leg twitched as he gasped, trying to run off, but his leg wouldn't allow him.
6 hid behind 17, who held her spear at the beast.
The beast hissed at 10 as it drew closer. A rock hit its head and it turned around.
"Why doncha pick on someone your own size?" 17 growled at it, holding her spear in one hand, a rock in the other.
The beast lunged its needles at 17. She fended them off with her spear.
"Quick, take 10 and go," 17 said to 6.
"But" 6 muttered.
17 landed on her back as the beast's needles caught her scarf and pulled her down.
"GO, NOW!" she screeched.
6 ran over to 10 and helped him up.
17 swung her spear at the beast, but without avail. The beast was about to lung one of its plugs at her, when 10 climbed up its back and yanked at the head. The beast screeched and sent its cords flying to try and hit 10, but 10 managed to dodge them.
6 helped 17 up.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
"Yeah, but 10 needs help," she tried to run, but 6 held her arm.
"Don't go, don't go, don't go," he pleaded as he rested his head on her arm.
"Knock it off," she growled as she slipped from his grip.
"Bad. Baaaad. No, very baaaaad," 6 mumbled as 17 ran towards the beast. He placed his hands on his head and shook all over. "No, bad. Very bad. Very bad. Very bad."
17 jabbed her spear into the beast's chest. The beast screeched out in pain, then 17 stabbed it again.
"Get out of here!" 10 yelled at her.
"No!" she screamed as she stabbed the creature again.
The creature threw 10 off its back. Its optics glowed red as it lunged at 10, who tried to get up and run, but his leg wouldn't move.
Before the creature could take a shot at 10, 17 tackled it and jabbed it in the head with her spear. The creature shot bolts of electricity all around, and 17 flew back in a burst of blue sparks.
The creature lunged at 17 in full fury, lifting one of its needles above her head, trying to stab her. 17 rolled around, dodging the attacks, but she could not manage to get up. 10 noticed her spear was still in its head. He limped over as fast as he could and yanked it out. One of the needles got caught in the back of 17's head and she was yanked with the beast, screaming in terror. In one swipe, 10 lobbed off the beast's head. The body and electric cords fell limp shooting off a few more sparks through its corpse.
The sparks of electricity traveled up the chords and to 17, whose head was still caught in the needle-tipped claws of the beast. In a flash of blue, her body convulsed, each of her limbs flailed out of control in every direction. Her optics shot open as wide as they could and the black of her eyes fizzled with gray wisps of static. When the shock subsided, she was knocked unconscious. 10 stabbed the beast in the head, splitting it in two. The needle finally ripped out of 17's head, but now the fabric had been torn almost perpendicular to the seam on her head. 17 laid still, her limbs scattered and bent in random directions.
10 panted and held the spear, as though the beast would rise again, but it stayed down. Not a twitch or spark emitted from the beast.
6 whined as he knelt by 17's side.
"Bad things. Bad things," he panted.
10 handed 6 the spear and picked 17 up. Her optics were closed and she hung limp from his grip. 10 shook her, but she did not respond. He gasped as his eyes went wide. He shook his head, muttering a barely audible, "no
The sun was just barely visible along the horizon when 10 came bursting in using 17's spear as a crutch.
"Help! 17's been hurt," he called out.
The rag dolls clambered out of their sleeping quarters to look at 10. 6 followed him, carrying 17. 2 and 5 led 6 to the same sponge they used to treat 17's hands and feet.
"What happened?" 13 asked 10.
"Another beast came out and attacked us last night. It shocked my foot and electrocuted 17. She hasn't moved since."
1 and 8 rushed by 2 and 5 to see what the commotion was all about just as 6 placed 17 on the old sponge.
"Is he dead?" said 8.
"She," 1, 2, and 5 said in unison.
"What?" 8 looked puzzled.
"17 is a girl," said 5.
8 widened his eyes, raised his eyebrows and frowned.
"There's no time to dawdle," said 2. "Let's get to work." He turned 17 on her stomach to examine the gash on her head. "Oh, this looks serious." He reached his hand inside the wound and 5 flinched. "5, can you fetch me the string please?"
"Yes, of course," said 5 as he skittered away.
A few minutes of silence passed by before 5 returned with a red thread and needle. 2 threaded the needle then began to stitch up the wound. More moments of silence passed by before anyone said anything.
"Is she dead?" 6 whined in a manner that resembled crying.
2 stopped for a moment and smiled at 6. He placed a hand on the artist's tuft of yarn hair.
"Not to worry, you won't see any more deaths tonight."
A collected sigh of relief passed through the crowd surrounding 2.
"Everything seems to be here," said 2. "It appears as though 17 just went into shock. She should be gaining consciousness once her hard drive reboots, just as your foot should be feeling better," 2 looked at 10.
10 leaned on both his feet to test them.
"Seem to be all better," he said.
"What's going on here?" 11 pushed his way through the crowd with 12's help. 11's optics widened when he saw 17. "What happened?" he demanded.
"My apologies," 2 said. "10 and 17 seem to have gotten in a bit of a fix, but everything's alright now."
11 looked over at 10, then at 17, "will she be alright?"
"She'll be fine once she wakes up," said 2.
11 hummed in thought. "Who did this to them?"
"Another beast, sir," said 13.
"Not just any beast," said 10. "We were attacked by 19, or his beast form." His tone of voice barely hid his suspicion.
11 glared at 10, then looked at the rest of the crowd "very well. Then I will see to it personally that 14 and 15 are punished for their disobedience. Come, 12."
With a wave of his scepter and black cape, 11 walked out of the barn with 12 following close behind.
A few minutes later, the crowd had disbanded and returned to their business. Only 2 and 6 remained by 17's side. 5 wanted to stay, but he promised 9 to help look for the talisman.
After some silence, 17 moaned, opened her optics, gasped loudly, and then shot straight up in her bed.
"Calm down," 2 soothed. "You're safe now."
17 let out a sigh of relief then fell on her back.
"I thought I was done for," she said, placing a hand on her chest.
17 turned her head to look at 6. She reached out a hand to touch his face.
"I'm sorry 6. I should have listened to you," she whispered.
6 only looked sadly at her, touching her hand against his face.
Moaning, 17 sat up again and scratched the back of her head. Her eyes popped open when her claw touched the extra seam.
"What is that?" she asked.
"It's a scar," said 2. "We patched it up as best we could.
"Is is bad?"
As though on command, 3 and 4 appeared with two mirrors they were cataloging among other little trinkets they were carrying. 17 got up and ran over to them, stopping in front of the mirror 4 was holding. 3 stood behind them
"It looks awful," she whined. "Everyone will notice it."
She slumped over and frowned. The twins looked at each other, then went over to 17. They fashioned her scarf into a hood and pulled it up over her head. 17 looked in the mirror again then smiled.
"This could be a new look for me," she looked at the twins then hugged them. "Thank you guys. You're not so scary after all."
3 and 4 flashed their optics in approval, then grabbed the mirrors and wandered off to go catalogue some more.
8 stood alone outside, holding a magnet over his head. He cooed as his eyes buzzed with the magnetic charge.
8 gasped and dropped his magnet. He looked at a smiling 16. 8 stumbled over his words and kicked the magnet out of sight.
16 took 8's hand and stroked it.
"You don't need a magnet to have a good time, big boy. Not when you've got someone like me with you. Sit down, I'll show you how."
8 chuckled to himself and did as he was told. 16 sat in his lap.
"Now close your eyes," she cooed.
8 did as he was told, leaned in, and puckered his lips.
16 pulled out two steel rods from behind her back and jabbed 8 in the neck. His eyes shot open, but his body twitched from the electrical shock. After a few seconds, he knocked out unconscious, his optics still wide and unblinking.
"Sorry big boy," said 16. "Maybe next time.