FIC #9: CLASSIFIED PLACE: STUDIO ANIPIKE, STAGE #0064 TIME: 2120 HOURS COMMENTS: 20/20 Hindsight . . . .

          "Whoooaaaaaa!" Minako shrieked, flailing wildly as she tried to regain her balance.
          Makoto winced as the blonde thudded onto her tailbone. "Itai. . . Minako-chan, daijobu?"
          "Ha-hai. . ."
          Card Captor Sakura sighed and glided over to the two Senshi, adjusting the shoulderpads of her new outfit. "Minako-san, you won't be skating too much on your own. You'll be holding onto Mamoru-san's loops for most of the fic." She looked around at the other twenty roller-bladers. "I know most of you can ice-skate. This is *exactly* the same thing."
          Looking over at a dark-haired girl who was skating in and out of the Senshi, cheerfully giving instructions and capturing special moments with her camera, Sakura blushed. "Tomoyo-chan, even here?"
          Her friend winked and shut down her video camera. "Come on, Sakura-chan. You know the real fun is going to come later, when the other cameras begin to roll." Easing to a perfect stop, she slipped her arms through the wire loops on the back of Sakura's costume. "Now, let's show them again how they're supposed to skate together."
          Sakura blushed even deeper.
          TigerEye wobbled a little, leaning on Michelle's shoulder to steady himself. "And that idiot wants us to tear through HOW much track?"
          The aqua-haired girl patted his arm, giving him a gentle push and sending him rolling over to HawkEye. "I'm sure he's accounted for everything."
          "I recall similar words at the beginning of today, Michelle," Setsuna snorted heavily, whirling around on her toes and skidding to a stop. "He didn't account for that daimon catching a cold from Storm, did he?"
          Michelle shrugged and linked up with Yaten. "So it began sneezing. Chaos-sama said he'd just change the name of the card from Storm to Pepper."
          Setsuna sighed and looked over at TigerEye, who was supposed to be her "engine". "Why don't we switch places, so I can pull you instead?"
          The four of them suddenly had to dodge as Rei skittered past, Yaten managing to grab her arm and pull her against him, keeping her from falling.

Alexis: [why can't I be the Haruka on Beans' set?] "This is going to take some time, I'm afraid."

Director Chaos: [on roller skates with plenty of training wheels!] "Okay, everyone! This is going to be the most fun we've ever had on set!"

Usagi: [calmly cutting figure eights through the cameras] "You mean, since the time we did Havoc-sama's "Minako-chan in Wonderland"?"

Chaos: [smacking his head into a boom mike repeatedly] "Why, oh why, does it always come back to the Pervert?"

SCENE FROM SAILOR STARLIGHT EXPRESS 2143 HOURS

          Seiya snorted with laughter. "Hey, everybody! Chiba thinks he can take us in the Championships!"
          From across the yard, the other five trains swept in, eager to hear more.
          TigerEye braked to a halt, Setsuna holding onto him. "Is that a challenge I hear there, Chiba-kun?"
          HawkEye and Taiki exchanged smirks as they skidded in as well, Haruka and Makoto behind them respectively. "We've got time," HawkEye said, "After being brought from the Dead Moon Yards, we haven't had a chance to race here yet."
          Taiki nodded, looking over to where Yaten and FishEye were standing, Michelle and Hotaru gripping their loops. "Chiba-kun, you really feel that you can race against us? You are the last of your kind, a throwback to the beginning. We are the future of the Moon Kingdom Train Yards."
          Mamoru shrugged, looking back over his shoulder at Usagi, Ami, Rei, and Minako. "I've been with them for a long time and . . ."
          Usagi patted his shoulder. "You don't have anything to prove to me, Mamo-chan."
          Seiya laughed some more, rolling over and cutting Rei away from her loops. "Well, that may be the case, but I happen to know that Rei here wants to see the country, and she can only do that with a real engine like me. Ne, Rei-chan?"
          The raven-haired car blushed a little. "Well. . . I would like to travel more, and Mamo-chan just can't go long distances."
          Seiya put his arm around her and looked at Mamoru. "Okay, Chiba-kun. You against us. Steam against diesel. You know the rules: One coach per heat. Fastest two from each heat go to the finals."
          Mamoru nodded tightly. "Right. No problem."
          Yaten raised a hand, leaning on Haruka's shoulder as the blonde brake car flirted with his aqua-haired coach. "Problem."
          Beside him, FishEye smacked his forehead with a palm. "Haruka, can't that wait?"
          Haruka glowered back and smacked him in the same place with the hilt of the Space Sword. "That WASN'T what he was referring to!"
          FishEye pouted as he rubbed the lump. "ITAI!! You want to spoil my looks?"
          She snorted. "Impossible."
          Yaten shoved the two of them over in a tangle of skates and limbs. "As I was saying . . . Four engines are needed for each of the two heats. There's only seven engines here. We need one more."
          As that sunk in, the cast glanced around for someone they could find to fill the last spot.

         [Cue Havoc swooping in on the rails, dressed up as a phallic train engine and pulling most of the Benkyo Brigade behind him!]

Havoc: ^-^ "Hotcha! The Ogenki Express has just arrived in the nick of time!

Senshi & Set Crew: O.o;;;

Director Chaos: [oversized demonic head once again!] "HAVOC!!!"

Setsuna: -.-; "Dead Scream."

         [This ficfeed has abruptly been terminated due to Random Acts of Sploot. Please stand by.]

CLUB ANIPIKE 2203 HOURS

          Ritsuko frowned at the Anime Trivial Pursuit board. "You're going to take what again?"
          "Spells and Attacks," Kuno said, his fiancee Asuka Langley standing behind him and kneading his shoulders.
          The scientist exchanged glances with both Washu and Folken, then reached for a card. "All right." She cleared her throat. "What is the attack of Angel Lily?"
          Kuno, Asuka, Mihoshi, and Yurika all turned their heads to look across at the three magical ladies of the Wedding Peach anime. Yurika blinked. "You've got to be kidding."
          Washu smirked a little. "If you think it's too hard . . ."
          Tilting her head back, Mihoshi glanced at the ceiling. "Saint. Lip. Liner. Lily. Rainbow." she recited softly. At her teammates' stunned looks, she shrugged. "Who do you think helped make my wedding dress two years ago?"
          Ritsuko tossed the card down and groaned. "Okay, the piece is yours. Your turn again."
          As Yurika rolled the die and discussed her team's next move with Kuno and Mihoshi, Folken got up from the booth. "I'll be right back, folks. Just need some fresh air."
          "Be careful out there!" Asuka called after him. "There's a paintball tournament going on outside!"
          Grinning, the Escaflowne cast member waved her off. "Those little things. They don't sting that much." He strode across the Club and opened the padded front door, taking a deep breath of night air.
          Then he saw the medicine-ball sized Gundam paintball hurtling straight towards him.

Folken: o.O "Eeeep."

Paintball: *SPLAT*

Asuka: >.<;; "Ooooh. That's going to take a few baths to scrub off."

          Kuno patted her fingers. "Perhaps you should join Washu-chan and Ritsuko-chan for the rest of the game to help even things out."
          The redhead pouted a little. "But I wanted to see what's going to happen next on the Chaosfic." She gazed up at the TV screen. "See, they're coming back on!"

SCENE FROM SAILOR STARLIGHT EXPRESS 2227 HOURS

          Chaos cheerfully raised his megaphone as the tech crew finished clearing away parts of the lighting grid and speaker system. "Right, then. We come back to just after Nehelenia's grand entrance as the electric train, Nehelectra. . ."

TigerEye: [whacking the side of his head] "Yes, and thanks for putting Eudial on that massive electric pipe organ. I don't think my hearing will ever be the same."

          Chaos deftly ignored the interruption. ". . . and the Asteroid Senshi as her cars. Now, we're ready for the first Amazing Race scene!"
          The cast of Senshi and villains gazed down at the tracks that stretched off down the soundstage and around the corner, some with more than a little trepidation.

TigerEye: -.-; "Would somebody check to see if my insurance is paid up?"

Rei: ^^; "If I do it, do I get to not be in the scene?"


          HawkEye rolled up to the starting line, Alexis still holding onto his back. "Come on, you chickens. If I'm going to die while filming a fic, it's not going to be anywhere near the soundstage of a Chaosfic."
          Nehelenia signalled to Vesta, who detached herself from her fellow Asteroids and linked up with her mistress. The red-haired Senshi flashed brightly, small tracers of electricity flying up and down her body in blue arcs. As the follower of a futuristic, soul-driven engine, she looked down on the smaller, older Moon Yard engines that ran on the powers of the Moon.
          FishEye glanced down at his small, darker-haired car. "Hotaru-chan, if we run in this race, you can't Death Reborn Revolution the other engines and their cars, all right?"
          She silently nodded, slipping her arms through his loops and rolling with him to the start line. "Perhaps in the finals, then. . . ."
          Minako munched on a snack as she leaned against Mamoru's shoulder. "This could prove interesting, Mamoru-kun. Who are you going to use in your race?"
          The last of the original Moon Kingdom engines shrugged. "We'll see, Mina-chan. Usa-ko, if she wants to."
          He and his three remaining cars watched as TigerEye and Setsuna joined the other three pairs at the starting gate. The race marshal, a stray Nyan-Nyan, raised her flag. "Ready! GO!"
          The four engines lunged forward, their cars giving then the opening push to give them the speed needed to round the first corner. Then they vanished behind the walls of the sound stage, out onto the rest of the course.
          A few seconds after everyone was out of sight, the rest of the cast was surprised by the Queen Senshi above All leaping into the middle of the set, dressed like a massive steam engine.

Galaxia: "Wait for me! I'm here! The Galaxia Express 999!"

Everyone: O.o!

Ceres: " . . . You're too late, Galaxia-sama. They just left."

Galaxia: -.-; [shuffling off] "Oh, phooey."

          Meanwhile out on the course in the middle of Studio Anipike, HawkEye and Alexis tore around a corner, leading the pack by a few meters. "Alexis!" her partner shouted back, "You have any idea where this track leads to?"
          "None at all!" she called over his shoulder, hanging on grimly and helping him take the turns. "But I think I just saw the Evangelion sets go past!"
          Behind them, FishEye and Nehelectra were neck and neck, racing frantically to grab the second of the two places in the finals. Farther back, TigerEye was still having trouble with his balance, being pushed along the rails by Setsuna's Time Key in the middle of his back.

Setsuna: -.-; [poke poke!] "I still say I should have been the engine."

TigerEye: "Just watch where you shove that--(O.o!) Yow! The *thin* end at least, please!"

          HawkEye and Alexis whipped around a hairpin turn, ducked a chroma-key screen, and were on a straightaway rail.
          Alexis peered over HawkEye's shoulder. "Wait, I recognize this place! Take the left hand fork! The left!"

STUDIO ANIPIKE, STAGE #0053 SI-SM-ORIGINAL FICS DIVISION AVATAR: GREENBEANS

"Nicholas?" I asked, unable to fully contain my surprise.

Michiru looked from Nicholas and Haruka, and then back to me. "Do you know him?"

I nodded. "He's an Electronics major. I've had a few classes with him."

Michiru nodded as she listened, and then drawled, "Then perhaps you could explain what he and Haruka are up to."

As it turned out, Nicholas was busy arm-wrestling Haruka, and it was a near miracle that she was indulging the guy. 'Of course,' I reflected, 'the maniacally ridiculous expression his face certainly made the challenge worth it.'

Currently Haruka was holding him at bay, and she looked casual about the whole deal. Nicholas on the other hand was sweating, clenching his jaws and turning purple from holding in his breath. Not to mention he was also using both his hands in an attempt to push hers down by placing as much of his weight as he could on it.

Sighing from what sounded to be boredom, Haruka turned and saw us. "Michiru!" she called out happily, instantly slamming Nicholas' hands onto the table. "What are you doing here?"

Nicholas' eyes bugged out immensely as the back of his left hand was smashed against the table. He made an exaggerated face showing just how much pain he was in, but let out little more than a squeak.

"Are you okay?" I asked him.

Nicholas gingerly lifted up one hand with the other. "She killed it," he sniffled, feigning hurt.

Beans, Haruka, and Michiru all watched as his hand then attempted to choke him out on its own.

Nicholas: o.O "Yow! It's got me!"

Director Greenbeans: -.-; "CUT!"

          The SM authoress pried herself out of her comfy director's chair (with a nekkid Quistis whipping a nekkid Haruka on the back), and strolled onto the set of her College Life series. "Look, I know it's been a long time since we all came together to work on this fic, and outtakes are all fine and well . . . but I would like to get this scene finished before some idiot Fanboy who shall remain nameless gets wind that we're shooting here today and shows up for a thrashing."
          Michelle stretched as the production assistant handed her a water bottle. "We're getting there, Mame-sama. Just have some patience. It's not like that little twerp is skulking around the edges of your set, thinking up some improbably stupid plan to steal your lake god again."
          Beans the avatar snorted. "He is. Believe me." She flipped pages in the College Life script. "You've been in the Bean Wars, Michelle."
          Director Greenbeans sighed again. "Anyways, let's take this scene again, if we could. Haruka, very nice reactions to Michelle. Keep everything the way it is. Nick, you're in pain, but still sarcastic. And no disembodied hand gags this time." She stepped back off the set to resume her seat, but stumbled over a metal rail embedded in the floor and earned herself a nomination for Faceplant of the Week award (held every Sunday night at the Club Anipike Main Stage).
          "WHAT IS THIS DOING HERE?" a demonic-headed director bellowed, hauling herself upright and aiming a kick at the tracks. A frenzied bit of hopping around and cradling her toes later, she calmed down and examined the tracks running through her soundstage.

Director Greenbeans: "Odd. Now why. . . ?"

HawkEye: [outta my way!] "Amazon Duo, coming through!"

Director Greenbeans: O.o "Erk!"

         *WHAM*

Alexis: [looking back] "Gomen nasai, Mame-sama!"

          The cast and crew of College Life gathered around the now squished bean of a director. Haruka lightly nudged her with a foot. "Mame-chan, daijobu?"
          Greenbeans winced as she rubbed the wheelmarks on the back of her head. "Oooh . . . Did anyone get the number of that engine?"

         [This ficfeed has abruptly been terminated due to Improvised Bean Dip. Please stand by.]



*         *         *

         And now, an interlude from His lordship Chaos:

          Wai! At the Halfway point in this fic, we would like
          to bring you the following musical interlude, so as to
          cleanse your palate. Or else get you paying homage to          the porcelain god (and we're not talking about Red          Mantle here), whichever comes first.


          [Cue Gendo Ikari sitting on a stool under a spotlight, strumming an acoustic guitar.]

Gendo: ^-^ "Folks, I'd like to sing you a little song, all about my dream, and about me, and my life as a man in Tokyo-3. About the way things are done, deep down in the bowels of NERV, or maybe higher, round about the kidneys or large intestine of NERV. Or Gaghiel, if you're Desolation. It's hard to say how many times he's eaten a Wu . . . . "

Gendo: [singing and playing guitar] "I'm just a regular guy with a regular tan. I'm your average, white, secret agency man . . . I like meetings, and working, and metaphysical things. I live underground, and like the quiet it brings . . . My wife, my affairs, my job, and my crew. I control giant robots, hey, how about you?"

          [Cue Kaji stepping out to join Gendo on stage!]

Gendo: "But sometimes that just ain't enough, to keep a man like me interested!"

Kaji: ^^ "Oh no!"

Gendo: "No way!

Kaji: ^^ "Uh-uh!"

Gendo: [singing!] "No, I've gotta go and have fun at someone else's expense!"

Kaji: ^^ "Oh, yeah!"

Gendo: "Yeah, yeah!"

         [Cue Ritsuko joining in with Kaji!]

All: "Yeah, yeah, yeah!"

Gendo: [singing!] "I use my kid's life for personal gain! I really don't care if it causes him pain . . . I'm an asshole!"

Ritsuko & Kaji: [singing] "He's an asshole . . . what an asshole. . . !"

Gendo: "I'm an asshole!"

Ritsuko & Kaji: [singing] "He's an asshole. . . such an asshole. . . !"

Gendo: "I want my wife back, no matter what the cost! I'll bloosh up the world, it's really not my loss . . . I'm an asshole!"

         [Cue the Children joining Ritsuko & Kaji!]

Asuka, Rei & Shinji: [singing!] "He's an asshole. . . what an asshole. . . !"

Gendo: "I'm an asshole!"

Everybody: [singing!] "He's the world's biggest asshole...!"

Gendo: "I really like boinking my dead wife's clone, while everyone else must live on their own . . . I'm an asshole!"

Everybody: [singing!] "He's an asshole. . . what an asshole!"

Gendo: [setting down the guitar.] "You know what I'm going to do next? I'm going to be an asshole to everyone at NERV and SEELE, because I'm the guy who's got everyone by the short and curlies in Tokyo-3. The Angels are going to come down and I'll send my kids out to kick their asses every single time. And there's nothing anyone can do. You know why? Two words, my friends. Lilith and Adam. I've got them both and no one's taking them away. We'll get Third Impact going, there's going to be a real sticky situation and I'm not going to hang around to watch them try and mop that LCL back up. Cause by then, I'll have my wife back and it'll be just me and her for all eternity, so the rest of you can just go and . . . . "

SEELE Monolith 01: "Hey, hey! You really are an asshole, you know that?"

Gendo: [one-finger salute!] "Ah, shaddap and sing this song with me, Keele!"

         [Cue all the SEELE Monoliths standing behind Gendo!]

Gendo & all Monoliths: [singing!] "I'm an asshole! What an asshole! Such an asshole!! I'm an asshole! The World's Biggest Asshole!! A-S-S-H-O-L-E! EVERYBODY!"

Everybody: "A-S-S-H-O-L-E!!"

Gendo: ^_^ [picking the strings!] "I'm an asshole, and I'm proud of it."

         [And standing in the wings of the stage. . .]

Nightbreak: [sweatdrop!] "I can't believe you and Havoc came up with the idea of having Gendo sing Denis Leary's "Asshole" song."

His lordship Chaos: [sweatdrop!] "I can't believe you rewrote the lyrics so well."

Havoc: ^^v "And I can't believe it's not Cream Lemon. . . Spray!"

         [Cue the facevaults!]

Page 6
Back to Fanfics