Friday, April 20, 2012

"Cartman Rising" Chapter 13: Nightmare

 South Park fanfiction
Rated T for language, some sexuality, and just Cartman in general

Wendy Testaburger and I were married on Christmas Day of that year, in the best ceremony that there ever was. Bigger than those royal weddings they have in England, anyway. Butters cheered for us, but Kenny frowned. He knew that Wendy and I were in an ideal position to take all the power for ourselves.

But right now, I had bigger problems than Kenny. I had promised the former Canadian government that I would release Ike Broflovski after one month, and the month was up on New Year's Day. While I did want Kyle to have some awareness of what I was doing, I didn't want him to have any proof, or any witnesses, of what I had done. That included Ike; I had to release him, but I had to keep him from opening his mouth.

Fortunately, I had a plan.

Butters stepped out of the car. "So, where are we, Eric?"

"We're about to go on an adventure, Butters," I said. "Don't you like adventures?"

"Oh yeah!" he said. Then, suddenly unsure, he added, "At least, until they start getting unpleasant…"

"Don't worry, Butters. You'll be in familiar territory," I assured him.

We entered the building, and Butters immediately recognized where we were. "This is…"

"Yep," I said. "The headquarters of Project Imagination Doorway. The gateway to Imaginationland."

"Wow…" Butters gasped. "So, are we going to see Aslan and Morpheus and Santa Claus again?"

"Not exactly, Butters. In fact, we're not really going to Imaginationland." I motioned him toward the scientist in the room. "This is Dr. Chinstrap; he's an expert in psychology, and a hoarding specialist on the side. He's made some modifications to this machine," I said, pointing at the gateway.

Butters was confused. "Huh?"

I grinned. "Butters…what if I were to tell you that we've discovered a way to enter into people's minds? A way for us to ensure that there will be no threat to our authoritah, ever?"

Butters was at a loss for words, so I continued. "This gateway no longer leads to Imaginationland, per se. Instead, it leads to a network of minds. All minds are connected in some way. Imaginationland contains people and places that come from the minds of every living being. In the land beyond this new gateway—call it Mindworld—there's a way back into the original minds. So someone can go through that portal, and see someone's innermost thoughts. Not only that, but he can manipulate them."

Butters was starting to follow. "So, it's kind of like that movie, Inception?"

"That's exactly right, Butters," I said, handing him a radio. "Take this walkie-talkie; we have a job to do."

"What's that?"

"I need you to go in there, find Ike's brain, and…take a few things out."

"Like what?"

"Don't worry," I told him. "I'll tell you when you get in there."

"Why do I have to do it?"

I sighed. "Because you're the one who is more familiar with Imaginationland, which this is like. Now come on; we don't have all day!"

"Oh. Okay, then," he whimpered, accepting the walkie-talkie. With some trepidation, he walked up to the portal, and then stepped through. After a few seconds, I spoke into the radio: "Butters, can you hear me?"


Now, for a little test. I turned the radio off. "Butters?"

"Yes, Eric, I can hear you."

Ah, so being in the mind network allowed him to hear me speak even without the radio. I was probably projecting my thoughts directly at him. "We actually don't need the microphone, Butters."


"Okay, now see if you can find a way to Ike's mind."

Butters spent a few minutes talking about how Mindworld was laid out, and babbling cheerfully about how amazing it was. I filed away anything that might be important, but mostly, I ignored him. What a dork. Finally, he said, "I think I found it, Eric."

Good. Time for another test. In my head, I pictured a snake, and gave it some simple instructions.


"What was that, Butters?" I called out.

"Something just bit me. I think—oh, geez, it's a snake!" Butters shrieked.

"A snake?" I feigned ignorance. "What's it doing now?"

"Well, it looks like it's trying to tear up some of the books that are lying around here, but it can't. Eric, I'm scared; I don't like snakes!"

"What do you mean, it can't?"

"Well, Eric," Butters said, sounding puzzled, "every time it tries to rip up a book, it just passes through them, like it's a ghost."

"A ghost?" I said. "But it bit you, didn't it?"

"Yeah," he replied. "It doesn't make any sense."

Oh, but it did. If I directed my concentration, I could effectively interact with Butter in Mindworld. However, it also seemed that I couldn't directly interfere with someone else's mind. That made sense. Anyone on the outside could interact with Butters, but not with each other. That had all sorts of possibilities.

"Don't worry about it, Butters," I said, mentally ordering the snake to leave. "I need you to find where Ike stores his knowledge." Then, being careful to not think at Butters, I turned to Dr. Chinstrap and said, "Shut the machine down."


"Do it!"

Dr. Chinstrap pressed a few buttons, and the gateway closed. Then I walked over to the controls and pulled some of the circuits out. Now Butters couldn't leave without my say so.

"I found it," Butters said. "Now what?"

"Now I need you to be very cautious, Butters," I said. "If you mess around too much, Ike might figure out you're in there. I need you to find the specific information about what the Brotherhood has done, and any speculations he might have about what we're planning. Once you've found that, carefully find some way to remove it."

"What for?" he asked.

I slapped my forehead. Butters, you sure are an idiot. "If Ike goes back to his home, knowing what he knows, he'll be able to tell Kyle everything. I would prefer that our dealings not be known, and I can't have Ike blabbing to the world, now can I?"

"Well, I guess not." Catching on quickly, aren't you Butters?

"Now, get started," I ordered. "And if you have any questions, let me know, and I'll try to talk you through it."

The actual process of looting Ike's brain took about two hours. The way Butters described it, it sounded like Ike's brain was like a library, and that the "books on the shelves" were where all the information was kept. Butters had to take the books off the shelf, one at a time. Meanwhile, one of the guards whom I had ordered to closely observe Ike told me that his eyes were becoming unfocused, and he looked confused. Both of those were signs that this was working.

After Butters had removed all the necessary information, I decided to take it a little further, and told him to do some more damage. Instead of just taking books, Butters started knocking over the bookshelves with surprising enthusiasm, and Ike's IQ began dropping by the minute. By the time I let Butters stop, Ike was in no shape to spill the beans to Kyle. Or do much of anything else, for that matter.

"Are we done, Eric? I—" Butters started, but suddenly he broke off. "Hey, the portal's gone. C-could you let me out of here?"

"I'm afraid not, Butters," I said.

"W-what do you mean?" He sounded scared, proving that even after ten years of my guidance, he was still a wimp.

"Think about it, Butters!" I went on. "If you stay in there, then I have access to the minds of every person in the world. I would be reading their thoughts, and keeping them loyal. Dominion over the world would not only be possible, it would be guaranteed."

"So…I can't leave?"

I sighed. "No, you can't. Don't you want to help me create my perfect world?"

"Well, sure, but…I don't want to live in this place forever."

"Butters, sometimes we have to make sacrifices for the greater good," I reminded him.

Butters was silent for a long time. It was just like the pause he had made before telling off his parents, just before our first coronation. I knew it that he was getting ready to tell me something I didn't want to hear.

"Eric…I was talking with Kenny…"

Here we go.

"…and he told me what you did to the others." Butters took a deep breath. "How could you turn on your friends like that?"

"They weren't my friends," I explained. "They betrayed me first."

"Well, they were my friends," Butters said, his confidence building, "and I don't want to hurt them. And if this whole thing is just an excuse to make innocent people suffer, then I don't want to be a part of it. So, y-you can just go and rule the world by yourself, because I'm not going to help you anymore."

Oh, Butters….why couldn't you learn? Why couldn't you just do what you knew to be right, instead of being so selfish? You don't know how much I believed in you. You could have been great. You had the most potential; you followed orders without question, and you were a natural leader, because everyone felt like they could trust you. I wish I could. But now I can see that the Jews got to you first. Now, you'll never follow me willingly.

But you will follow me. One way or another.

"S-so you let me out of here, right now," Butters demanded, trying to intimidate me. He should have known better.

"I'm afraid I can't do that, Butters," I said. "I didn't want to force you, but you've left me no choice."

Then I closed my eyes, and concentrated. When I concentrated this hard, I could actually see Butters in the Mindworld, shouting in defiance, but hoping that I would have mercy on him. So I thought, and I imagined. I called forth every kind of monster, and every kind of horror that I could conjure. I have a vivid imagination, and no matter how confident Butters might be, I was in control here. He would never be able to get past my mental safeguards, and he was at the complete mercy of my thoughts.

Butters did the only thing he could be expected to do. He screamed. And in that scream, I knew that he had realized that being trapped in my mind was the worst punishment he could possibly imagine.

But I wasn't going to rely on his fear of my thoughts alone. The largest nightmare rose up, and struck him in the gut. He doubled over in pain, realizing that there was more to be worried about than being frightened. I pressed the point harder. The monsters that I had created beat him again and again, until he finally squealed, "That's enough! Stop! STOP!" Then he began sobbing uncontrollably, and I knew that he was broken. One of the monsters kicked him again for good measure.

I knelt down, mentally projecting my image so that I appeared to Butters as a giant. I could practically see Butters myself, cowering in terror, waiting for me to pass judgment on him.

"Now," I smiled, "did we learn our lesson?"


"And what lesson is that?" I asked.

"Th-that I n-need to th-think about the gr-greater g-good," he sobbed.

"Exactly," I said. "The greater good is more important than any of us. Even you. Even me." But especially you. "And in the interest of defending the greater good, you should…?"

Butters thought about it before answering. "I sh-should…l-l-listen to y-you…"

"And why?"

"B-because…" Butters said, hanging his head, "y-you kn-know b-best."

Never forget that.

"Now," I told Butters, "since you tried to place your own good above that of others, I have no choice but to remove you from the Brotherhood. What was once six is now only three. But don't worry, you'll still be able to do your part. You're going to stay in here, and watch Kenny's thoughts like a hawk. He worries me, and I want to know the instant he tries pulling a fast one."

"Okay," Butters sniffed. I considered reminding him that if he put one toe out of line, I would sic the nightmares on him again, but I decided against it; I had already made myself clear enough.

Then a thought occurred to me. Should I have him watch Wendy, too? No, of course not. She's my wife; I can trust her.

Or can I? They say, after all, that love is blind. I do love Wendy, and I mean that. But I have the important job of improving this world, and I couldn't allow myself to ignore someone who might be a potential threat, just because I loved her. I don't believe that Wendy would betray me, but I can't let my trust in Wendy overcome my caution. There's too much at stake.

"And also keep an eye on Wendy, too, while you're at it," I told Butters. He didn't object, but then, why should he? He had learned his lesson, and he knew as well as I did that you can never be too careful.

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