STUDIO ANIPIKE SOUNDSTAGE #0026
Heaven had been recreated in all its glory. Trees blew in a gentle breeze, the light shone down on golden paths and majestic buildings, and the technical director leaned in with his light meter to check the levels. "All good, Director-san!"
Director Nightbreak looked over from his place in a circle of goddesses. "Arigato!" He turned back to face the four grandly dressed women. "All right, ladies. As director of this fic by our favourite lady, I'm here to make sure that . . . that . . . Beans, this would be easier to do if you weren't glomped so tightly onto Belldandy's back."
Urd smiled tolerantly. "Oh, let her stay where she is. She's enjoying herself."
Beans: ^^ [kawaii kitty ears!] "Prrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. . . . Bell-chan."
Belldandy chuckled as well. "Shouldn't she be in wardrobe, getting into her own goddess outfit? She did write herself a cameo into this fic, after all."
Nightbreak nodded. "Wardrobe on set!"
Nanami: ^-^ [singsong!] "Coming!"
The blonde wardrobe head pushed a rack of robes and accessories over to the group, then used the flat of her Duellist's sword to gently pry the authoress off Belldandy's back. "I'll bring her right back, all nicely done up for you!"
The Goddess First-Class bowed. "Thank you." She smiled as Nanami pulled Beans behind a screen and began to send clothes flying. "Amazing how different her personality was in the series."
Peorth adjusted a hip buckle. "I've dated her brother before, and I swear I was constantly looking over my shoulder the entire night in case she came after me with both swords. And the next morning, she had made us both breakfast in bed!"
Nightbreak coughed as he stood up. "Well, then. While we wait for Beans to get herself deified in drag, why don't you ladies take your positions and see how the opening in Heaven is going to work out?"
Goddesses: ^-^ "Hai!"
SCENE FROM AH MAMEGAMI-SAMA! 0130 HOURS
"Sorry, Kami-sama," Urd sighed, "But it's utterly fux0red."
A lightning bolt promptly zorched her.
"What Urd meant, my Lord," Belldandy hastily interjected, "Is that we are absolutely nowhere on the repairs to Yggdrasill." As she took off her glasses, she pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed, a smoking Urd stumbling past her. "And now, it just may take even longer after that."
Skuld yelped as she ran past with her mallet extended, chasing down a bug. "Waaaah! They're making more backups!"
Belldandy's long, diamond goddess markings glowed as she tried to access the system. "There are a lot of files still corrupted, Skuld. We're not getting to the source of things. Peorth! How are things at your end?"
The redhead shoved her glasses onto her forehead and looked up from a lower level on the Tree of Life. "No luck yet. I could use more people down here, too."
Wincing, Belldandy nodded. "Unfortunately, Urd just mouthed off to Kami-sama, so we're short-handed up here, too. I'm going to call in support for both of us." Turning away, the Goddess First Class picked up the phone and tapped out an internal number.
"Goddess Technical Support staff. How has your connection failed?"
"Boune, it's Belldandy. We need extra Yggdrasill techs on both levels. Can you spare them?"
"Hai, Belldandy-san. I'll come right up to your station and dispatch the rest to help Peorth-san and her group. Has Kami-sama taken Urd out again?"
She glanced over to where a still-smoldering Goddess Second Class was stretched out. "I'm afraid so. Will this make your job harder?"
"Not at all. In fact, it may make things easier." The connection clicked off in Belldandy's ear.
A few seconds later, Boune flew up to the same level as the other three goddesses. A short-haired blonde in royal blue robes, she was pressing a hand to the shining markings on her forehead and cheeks. "Belldandy-san, access is limited, but I'm sure I can get into Yggdrasill, given a little bit of time." The bell at the base of her throat tinkled as she landed.
Belldandy knelt next to Urd. "I must stress that time isn't something that we can afford. The longer Yggdrasill is down, the harder our job will become later."
Boune cracked her knuckles. "I'll see what we can do. Probably something deceptively simple, like some poor demon hacker finding more than he could handle and just freezing Yggy up. Come out, my Angel! LOTUS CASCADE!"
A tall pair of white wings erupted from her back, followed by a dark-haired angel who yawned, stretched, then cracked her own knuckles. Reaching up, the Lotus studied the Tree of Life, frowning a little.
"I'm ... I'm picking something up," Boune murmured, letting her Angel hover around and over her. "There's definitely something interfering with the programming, too. As well as . . . . " She blinked a couple times. "Uh-oh."
Skuld skidded to a stop in the middle of chasing down a bug. "What? Is there something else we missed?"
Beans: o.O;; "No. ANYTHING but them!"
Chaos: "They found me again! Somebody hide me!"
Sailor Titan: [chasing after him!] "Get back here, you petty excuse for a fanfic author!"
Dark Mayhem: [peering through the Senshi-shaped hole in the wall.] "Not bad, Chaos. You keep destroying sets at this rate, you could set a new Anipike record."
Havoc: [bounding through as well] "Hotcha! I've got Urd's bra! Not that she ever uses it!"
Urd: [Fiery aura of Oh! Mass-Destruction-sama!] "SHIN'NE!"
Unfortunately, Urd didn't look where she was going, and so she collided with a frantic Pesti-chan. The two of them collapsed into one large pile of SD incarnations.
SD Pesti # 4: "Gack! What the hell?"
SD Urd #2: [argh!] "You Fanboys again? Can't you guys just keep misdialing our number so we can hang up on you?"
SD Pesti # 6: [flailing around under a pair of Urds!] "KYYAAA! Drowning in leopard-printed cleavage here!"
SD Pesti # 3: "Hey, quit hogging all the fanservice, Roku!"
SD Urd # 5: "When I get myself untangled, you're all going to taste Destructive Thunder!"
SD Pesti # 3: ^-^ "Hotcha! I've got Urd's panties! And Urd's panties! And Urd's panties!"
SD Urd # 4: [chasing after San-chan] "Give me those back, you little freak!"
SD Urd # 1: o.o;; "Drafty . . . ."
SD Urd #3: [cuddling up and groping SD Pesti #1] "Ooh, aren't you the cutest, most delicious little chibi I ever did see?"
SD Pesti #1: o.O; "Mako-chaaaaaaannnnnnnn!!!"
Belldandy: [blink blink!] "Oh, dear."
Beans: -.-; [sighing!] "Fanboys are in Heaven. Kami-sama help the world."
Demolition: [ripping his shirt open and flexing.] "Look at me!"
Peorth: [looking around.] "Odd, I could have sworn I heard something."
Demoliton: ;.; "Damn. And she had goddess-like legs, too."
"Must go faster! Must go faster!" Chaos exclaimed, tearing by the goddesses, only to trip over a Yggdrasill bug and go flying into Skuld.
Skuld: o.O "ACK!"
Chaos: ^-^ "Whew! It's a good thing this nice, soft cushion was here to break my fall!"
Dark Mayhem: "Ne, Chaos? That's not a cushion you're nuzzling right now."
Chaos: o.o; "Oro?"
Skuld: [fiery blush!] "Ano ne . . . "
[Cue Hotaru appearing and transforming into Mistress 69!]
Mistress 69: -.- [yanking on her whip.] "Chaos-chan, I told you that I'm the only lady whose breasts you can fondle like that. We'll have to review this lesson again, I believe."
Chaos: [oversized demonic head!] "I DO NOT HAVE A LOLITA COMPLEX, DAMMIT!!!"
Carnage: --; "Then why haven't you let go of Skuld's chest yet?"
Riot: "Most dishonorable underaged fondling-fu, is it? I admit, his technique is certainly flawless."
Skuld: [blushing harder!] "Hey, am I wearing a sign that says "Free Samples Available?"
Belldandy: ;.; "I never thought I'd live to see my sister so badly mistreated by an avatar! I'm afraid I'm going to have to punish you myself!"
[Cue Belldandy's transformation into her battle outfit!]
Belldandy: --; "Prepare yourself!"
Riot: ^^ "Ah, a most honorable challenge. Very well, anything-goes martial arts defending sister's honour-fu it is!"
Ruckus: [chasing SD Pesti #4 past them!] "This is more fun than trying to keep daimons in line!"
SD Urd # 6: "Hey, hands off! I saw them first!"
SD Pesti # 4: [giving both of them the middle finger!] "When I want molesting, I'll ask for it!"
Eyebrow twitching furiously, Beans slid a hand under her goddess robes and felt for a pan-dimensional octopus. "Chaos, I thought that my fic would have been safe this late at night. But I guess your stupidity never sleeps. I'm so going to make you call me the Bean Goddess for this."
Hotaru looked over her shoulder. "Hey, Chaos-chan is my boyfriend and I'm the only one allowed to discipline him!"
SD Urd #5: [snuggling up to Carnage's knees.] "Oooh, you're adorable!"
Carnage: -.-; "Damn Tenchi Masaki Syndrome."
Beans: [chasing after Chaos!] "Chaos, you've ruined your last fanfic!"
Hotaru: [chasing after Beans!] "Mame-sama, how can I whip him if you hurt him too badly?"
FanSenshi: [chasing after both of them!] "Magical Girls, Unite!!!"
Chaos: O.o "TASUKETE!!!"
Dark Mayhem: "Well, looks like this soundstage is going to be a write-off."
Director Nightbreak: o.O "And . . . cut?"
CLUB ANIPIKE 0300 HOURS
The dim morning hours showed the Club to be nearly deserted once again. Except for three tables' worth of breathless avatars and authors.
"We're not going to be doing this again any time soon," a reassembled Pesti-chan wheezed, sipping his Hard Lemonade through a straw. "Please tell me we're not."
Lying upside down in the booth, Chaos groaned. "At least I finally managed to pacify those psychotic FanSenshi."
"Chaos, Hotaru challenging them all to a Dance Dance Death Reborn Revolution contest isn't pacifying them. It's merely deciding which one of them gets to smite you first," Dark Mayhem pointed out.
"I've lived another day, Newt Boy. Tomorrow's smitings can wait until tomorrow."
In the next booth, Beans sighed heavily and tossed her Mamegami-sama script back into her briefcase. "Filming delayed for up to a week, having to rebuild the set of Heaven . . . Havoc, Urd still wants some of her chibis' underwear back, too. Between you and # 3, you made off with more than enough pairs from her."
Havoc crossed his arms. "Only if you're willing to trade a couple pairs of yours in return. The Hentenno doesn't surrender silken treasures for nothing."
Nightbreak slumped on the table across from her, a purring Neko-Rei draped over his back for a vibrating massage. "Remind me again how I end up entangled with you idiots?"
Carnage: "You hang around here long enough, you get sucked into the insanity."
Nightbreak: "Ah. I see."
Abruptly, his Neko-Rei gave a hissing shriek and leapt in the air, startled. As she came back down, she bounced off his head in angry pursuit, sending his face into his club sandwich.
Nightbreak: -.-; [with lettuce & turkey up his nose] "Havoc, can't you leave even a neko-jin's underwear alone for two seconds?"
Havoc-chan: ^-^ "Hotcha!"
Beans: -.-; [feeling drafty as well!] "That's a "no", in case you were wondering."
There was silence for a little while, as the authors sulked and the Fanboys returned to drinking, which was only interrupted by the approach of Misato.
"Ne, could I have a word with you all, please?" the owner asked, setting down another tray of alcohol for Carnage and Demolition.
"What did we do now that we have to apologize for like little crying magical girls, Misato-san?" Beans sighed.
"Nothing. I'm actually here to thank Chaos."
Pesti-chan: "For what, running up the largest repair bill in the history of the Anipike, or getting you into the Guiness Book of Anime Records for most pissed off customers in a single night?"
Misato: ^^v "For giving us enough footage to continue my wonderful array of bootleg avatar videos. "When Fanboys Go Boom!" volumes 7, 8, and 9 will be available in a couple days on the Wired, after today's show."
Chaos: ^-^ "Hotcha! I'm going to be a star! When do I start seeing royalties, Misato-san?"
Misato: [evil grin!] "Read the small print in your Studio contracts, Chaos. You signed over all video rights to the Club when you first started making fanfics here. It's the only way we can cover you for insurance."
Chaos: ;.; [C...cr..cruel!] "Argh!"
Misato slung her red jacket over her shoulder and stretched. "I'm going home now and won't be in until late. If you need anything, Rei will quite happily take care of you. Ja ne!"
Greenwood's Mitsuru Ikeda shook his head at the next table as he watched Misato sashay out the front door. "Oooh, she's cold."
Shinobu Tezuka nodded. "As long as we make money off the advertising for her videos, though, we can't complain."
" . . . . True."
The two clinked glasses and returned to counting their winnings from the day's betting.
THE END 0315 HOURS
The following people must be thanked.
His Lordship Chaos, for: Galaxy Gunning a Totoro, Sailor Charon & Ebichu, Gendo's "Asshole" song idea, Endless Love Ranma ideas, the "please break glass" alarm system, the end to the chariot race, Chaosfic titles of "Card Captor Setsuna", "Those Who Hunt EVAs", and "Haruka VS the Predator". Plus more and more encouragement the deeper I seemed to bury myself in the fic.
Jamie Jeans: For suggestions, the out-of the blue comment that led to the EVA basketball game opponents, "A Dragon Slave Is Not Enough" Chaosfic, & other gags.
Amanda "Greenbeans" Anderson: .... Oh, where to start? Endless, endless encouragement, love, support, ideas, and laughter from my patron & partner in crime in the States. She helped me through a great deal of this, especially when I couldn't write any more or even see the end in sight.
Other people who need to be thanked: FurrySaint, Levar Bouyer, Nightman, Kojiro, and Silver Neko, and Cyclops for coming up with the "Whose Lain" title in the first place.
Zodiac Senshi, of which there are many different kinds, I will credit to Silver Neko, because she kindly offered her set for Gone With Sixty Senshi.
Satellite Senshi will be credited to Dottie Wor & the former Sailor FlowerPower because they once lent their FanSenshi before for a fic, and are now used again here.
Other ideas were contributed and rejected by my own Muse, Hyatt. Much thanks, Hyatt-chan.
Hyatt-Muse: ^-^ "My pleasure, senpai!" *wobbles* "Oh, my...." *THUD*
>.> Sheeeee'lllll be fine down there for now.
The soundtrack for the whole fic spanned the range from the Strictly Ballroom hit "Love Is In the Air", to Ayumi Hamasaki, Bowser & Blue, Michelle Branch, and anime themes & J-Pop.
Boring E-mail can go to: firstname.lastname@example.org Loving Emails can go to: email@example.com Protests to give Chaos the lake god can go to: firstname.lastname@example.org
[Cue Pesti-chan, after a hard fic's work, retiring to the apartment's bathroom for a nice soak in a hot bath...]
Pesti: [yawn!] "Shimatta! So many Chaosfics, so little cyanide. I can't wait for us to get back to our own deranged little universe. These multiverse fics get seriously complicated the more you stay in them. But at least now I can relax in some hot water all by myself!"
Mokona: ^-^ [frolicking in the bath!] "Pupupu, PU!!"
Pesti: -.-;;; "Chaoooooooos..."
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