SOUND STAGE # 0061 0200 HOURS
The rest of the Fanboys followed Belldandy and Chaos out of the soundstage, curious to see if he had actually succeeded in capturing the one thing (other than a brain or a clue) that had eluded him all these years.
Mayhem leaned over to Demolition. "Fifty thousand Yen says that he gets eaten by whatever's in the aquarium."
"Twenty thousand on whether or not Beans is waiting for him for one last bombardment." the fantasy Fanboy countered.
"I'll take that bet."
Belldandy stopped in front of one of the last soundstage doors and folded her hands. "Behind here is your lake god, Chaos." She looked over at Carnage, then indicated the pile of manuscripts for Neon Genesis Ace Ventura that lay to one side. "Carnage-kun, if you would please?"
Cracking his knuckles, Carnage nodded. "Hai! FIREBALL!"
By the light of the blaze, Belldandy stepped aside, the shadows dancing across her face. "Please, go in," she bowed. "Abandon your fanfics, all ye who enter here."
Chaos bounded for the door. "Hotcha! Beautiful pig-tailed lake god, come to Chaos!" He threw it open and happily launched himself forward, only to massively facefault just over the threshold.
The Fanboys crowded through the door to see for themselves, trampling Chaos in the process.
The stage was an idyllic woodland setting with a forest, blue skies, and butterflies. And in the middle of it all was the marshmallow itself, Mokona, happily frolicking in a lake.
Chaos: [ballooning demon head!] "BEANS! You have stolen my divinely procured lake god!"
Belldandy: "What? It's a lake . . . and Mokona *is* a god . . . You have your lake god."
Chaos: o.o [.... somehow, Beans is behind this!] "But, but. . !"
Belldandy: "Now now, I never said you'd be getting *her* lake god, you made that wrong assumption all on your own."
Chaos: o.O;; "BUT MOKONA?!"
Belldandy: "Now do remember that you are contractually obligated to stick with this new lake god, or else you forfeit everything."
Chaos: o.O;;;;;; "He's peeing in the lake!!!"
Mokona: ^-^ "PUUUUUU!!!"
Chaos: -.-;;;; "You had better not be doing that either, buddy."
Belldandy: ^-^ "I'm so glad you're getting along. I'll let you two bond now. Ja ne!"
The minute the Goddess had shut the door, Chaos reached behind him and pulled out a Beam Sabre. "The only thing you're going to be the God of in a second is that of S'mores, you little marshmallow!"
STUDIO ANIPIKE SOUNDSTAGE #0020
[Cue Lain seated behind a desk, dressed in a blouse & suit jacket, sipping from a coffee mug!]
Lain: "Good evening, everybody. And welcome back to "Whose Lain Is It Anyways?". This is the anime show where everything is made up and the points don't matter! That's right. The points don't mean a thing, just like the sex life of Tuxedo Mask!"
[The live studio audience applauds appreciatively.]
Lain: "Just a reminder that, at the end of the night, the winner gets do to something special with me. And the losers are deleted from reality. The next game is called Narrate, and it's for Lupin III and Inspector Zanigata."
As the thief and police inspector both got up out of their chairs to stand in the middle of the empty stage, Lain turned to the studio audience. "So they're going to act out a film noir scene, while narrating what the other person is doing. And what I need now is an unlikely place to have a film noir scene."
"Dr. Tofu's office!"
"A karaoke bar!"
Lain pointed her pencil at the last person. "Karaoke bar. That's a good one. Zanigata and Lupin: Your scene is in a karaoke bar, film noir, narrate for each other . . . and begin!"
[Cue the film noir piano music, courtesy of the Fairy Godbabbit!]
Zanigata: [tilting his fedora and narrating.] "He was already singing the blues when I walked into the bar. A guy's got to be feeling REALLY bad to be singing PenPen's version of "Fly Me To The Moon". I'd been chasing this guy for three years across five continents, four oceans, and over Niagara Falls twice. And now I'd finally caught up with him at the Singing Senshi. He had the song. You know, the one that could make the whole world cry. I had to stop him before we were all drowned in a sea of salty tears."
He turned to Lupin. "Excuse me, I believe I requested the next song?"
Lupin smiled. "Of course. Here's the microphone." He stepped forward to look at the audience. "I watched him slither into the joint, looking like a heap of laundry left in the rain. Oh, I knew who he was. And I knew what he wanted."
Lupin turned back to Zanigata, who had been faking a few dance moves with the imaginary microphone. "You sound familiar. Didn't you once sing babershop?"
Zanigata shook his head. "No, but I once studied light opera." Glancing aside to the audience, he snorted. "If you could call 300 pound people light. I could see my cover was blown. Yeah, I sang babershop. So did he at one time. Judging by his hair, he hadn't been practicing."
Picking up an imaginary glass, he turned the microphone upside down in it and passed it back to Lupin. "Why don't you let me buy you a song? Got anything *special* you'd like to request?"
Lupin took the glass and looked out. "As he tried to electrocute me, I felt something was wrong. Luckily for me, I was able to levitate myself until the danger was past." Swinging the mic by its cord, he glared at Zanigata. "Nice try, Inspector. Why don't we both come clean about why we're here? You want the song, don't you?"
The inspector nodded. "But the song can wait, Lupin. I'm taking you back to Tokyo. There are people waiting for you."
Lupin shrugged. "All right, but before we go, how about we sing together once more for old time's sake?"
"All right," Zanigata nodded, picking up another imaginary microphone. "You take tenor. I'll take baritone."
"Oh, sure," Lupin nonchalantly agreed, turning to the audience and grinning evilly. "He didn't know it, but this was going to be his swan song. Because I'm willing to bet he's never seen Angels In The Court."
Lain: o.o [bzzzzzt!] "I'm going to stop you right there, thank you!"
As the two performers rejoined Touga and a rather bouncy Tira Misu in their chairs, Lain shook her head. "Eight hundred points apiece. I would have liked to give you a thousand, but I'm subtracting two hundred points each because neither of you actually sang anything."
Lupin shrugged helplessly at his comedy partner as Lain continued on. "Now, let's play a game called "Audience Invitation". And I'm going to need a volunteer from the studio audience . . ."
Mokona: o.O [barging through the studio doors!] "PUU!"
Lain: [*blinkblink*] "Okay, you can come down onstage with our performers, and . . . "
Chaos: [bursting in after Mokona, waving his Beam Sabre!] "Get back here so I can finish making marshmallow Peeps for Easter!"
Mokona: "PUUUUU!! PuPuPuuu!"
Pesti-chan: [looking in] "Ne, Chaos, when you're through trying to kill your own personal Stay-Puff deity, we'll be next door at the Iron Chef anime taping."
[Meanwhile, next door at the Iron Chef taping . . . ]
Chairman Largo: ^-^ "If memory serves me correctly, there has never been a challenger quite like this before. He first showed his skills a few years back at Tempura No Escaflowne, where he quite literally blew away Chef Vargus. Since that time, he has won accolades due to his new and innovative spices. I felt it appropriate that he join us tonight. Please welcome, His Lordship Carnage!"
Carnage strolled into Kitchen Stadium, his Zanba sword over one shoulder. Demolition, Dark Mayhem, and Pesti-chan were in the Royal Box, while the Iron Lady Chefs - Marie, Cherry, and Mahromatic, all gazed wistfully at him from their side, sighing.
"Now, our challenger would usually pick one of our chefs to challenge him, but tonight, I had something different in mind," Largo announced, smiling broadly. "I went out and found the best for this battle, upgrading her greatly to make a worthy opponent for the likes of you. I give you, my newest Iron Chef!!"
With a snap of his fingers, the lights dimmed and a tall silhouette arose from the depths of Kitchen Stadium.
Largo: "THE M-66 OTAKINATOR!"
Carnage: [sweatdrop!] "You reprogrammed this killing machine into a cooking machine?"
Largo: ^-^ "Precisely. And now . . . I thought long and hard about the ingredient to choose for today. I feel it is one that will challenge you both. Today's ingredient is . . . TANUKI!"
Yes, from the deep, foggy pit rose an assortment of freshly killed rock badgers with giant testicles. As both Carnage and the M-66 boggled, Largo hoisted one up by the scruff of the neck, smiling. "Now, you two chefs! Show me dishes of tanuki that will bring me great power! ALLEZ CUISINE!"
Announcer Hanigata: "Here we are once again, the Tanuki Battle set to begin between an avatar and the M-66 robot! There's the gong and the battle is on!"
Aburastsubo: "Hai! And Carnage is handing tanuki over to his chibi-Sandrock Gundam sous-chef for cleaning . . . what do you think he's going to do?"
Hanigata: "No idea, old friend. But it looks like he's already getting a grill out . . . yes, there's the Fireball spell to light the charcoal! A classic gesture. And over on the Otakinator's side, she's removed her head spike and has a pair of tanuki on the spit in the oven. Both chefs going different routes here."
Aburatsubo: "And that grill that Carnage is using, by the way, comes with optional Vulcan cannons and progressive knife for easy cutting of any meat."
Hibiki Amawa: "Hani-san?!"
Hanigata: "From the floor, Hibiki-san. Go!"
Hibiki: [Cross-dressing gym teacher extraordinaire!] "I just talked to the challenger, and Carnage pointed out that if he wants to win against the Otakinator, he's going to have to blow the judges out of the water! I'm thinking he didn't mean that literally! Back to you!"
Aburatsubo: "Well, there you have it. Comments from the challenger, determined to win today. Hanigata-kun, what is the Otakinator up to?"
Hanigata: "Looks to me like she's tenderizing the meat strips from some of her tanuki. Mind you, I've never seen it done by dancing on it with a pair of cleats on the cutting board before, but I guess that's what it takes when you're a Iron Lady Chef!"
Hibiki Amawa: "Hani-san?"
Hibiki: ^-^ "I'm back with the challenger here and you'll notice that he's got his other sous-chef, a Guymelef, to make a wok out of its liquid metal claws. When I asked Carnage why he doesn't use the regular kitchen instruments, he just glowered at me, threatened a Satellite Strike, and went right back to cooking!"
Aburatsubo: "Thanks again, Hibiki-san, for putting your neck and outfits on the line tonight. Although, I must point out that it's after school and you forgot both your wig and voice collar. Couldn't you leave your dress and high heels behind as well?"
Hibiki: ^^; "I can't comment on that right now, Aburatsubo-san! But now challenger Carnage is not looking happy! I can hear him talking to himself, saying things like, "These should be cooking faster!" and "Cook faster, damn you, cook faster!"!"
Upon hearing this tidbit of information, both Dark Mayhem's & Pesti-chan's eyebrows twitched and they discreetly began edging out of the Royal Box, Demolition covering their retreat with a double handful of demon wards at the ready.
Hanigata: "Okay, you heard Hibiki. Perhaps Carnage is already losing his cool under the pressure of this ingredient, which I'm sure none of us expected Chairman Largo to come up with . . . . "
Carnage: -.-; "ARRRGGGHHHH! Useless, all useless! FLAMING ODANGO BARRAGE!"
The Fanboys freaked, making a fast break for the door as the flaming meatballs began slamming through the ceiling of Anipike's Kitchen Stadium. Cabbages wrapped in demon wards were launched as a counter-attack. The commentators grabbed pots to place over their heads, ducking and trying valiantly to continue as the rest of the studio ran for cover.
Aburatsubo: "This is something we haven't seen before, Hanigata-kun! Could this be one of the ingredients for a stew that Carnage is going to make?"
Hanigata: [flicking a smoldering meatball off his desk!] "Maybe, but at the same time, these fiery taste treats have taken out the M-66's dishes, not to mention most of the equipment in Kitchen Stadium itself! Chairman Largo may have to disqualify the challenger, if he can catch him!"
Outside the soundstage, the four Fanboys leaned on the wall and panted for breath. "Good one, Onii-san!" Demolition sarcastically remarked. "You just couldn't keep from torching the entire place, could you!"
He was abruptly whacked upside the back of the head with the Zanba sword. "Hey, I had a time limit!" snapped Carnage. "If you can think of a faster way to cook tanuki, YOU go back in there and . . . . "
The hallway rocked under a ground-shaking explosion, forks and chopsticks shooting out to stick in the wall beside them. Pans and trays bounced at their feet, warped from the fire.
"Just a recommendation. Wear an asbestos suit before going back in there," Dark Mayhem suggested.
Down the hallway, the doors of the Whose Lain soundstage banged open. "KYAAA! She's after me!"
Out scrambled an SD Chaos, Mokona perched on his head. Behind them came Tira Misu's voice, "Chaos, it's time for the whip!" followed by Touga's, "Tira, go easy on him! I want enough of him left to show the End of The World!"
"Let me guess. They want you for a game of "Smite the Audience Member"?" Dark Mayhem asked.
"Hush, Uber-Exploder Newt Boy!" snapped Chaos, pulling out a bathtub and futilely trying to swat Mokona off his head. "They're just a little upset because I nicked a few stage props with that Beam Sabre." A few seconds later, a cow fell from the ceiling for no apparent reason and into the bathtub, squashing Chaos but missing Mokona completely.
Carnage hefted his Zanba sword. "Allow me."
He had only taken two steps when a low rumbling was heard from behind them. And it was getting louder.
Demolition blinked. "Anyone else hear that?"
The five Fanboys turned around to look at the twisted and blackened doors that led into the still-smoldering Kitchen Stadium. Through the smoke, something could be seen moving. And then the doors were obliterated by a 10 foot-high flaming meatball.
Fanboys: O.O "KYAAAAAAAA!!!"
Otakinator: [appearing behind the fiery odango!] "SHIN'NE!"
Carnage became Bambi-eyed immediately. "She turned all my Flaming Odangos into a giant one! Why didn't I think of that?"
"Here's something else you should think about, Carnage." Pesti-chan commented as the Otakinator punted the Flaming Odango at them. "RUN!"
And off down the hall they ran, hell bent for any place that would be safe.
STUDIO ANIPIKE SOUNDSTAGE #0025
A spotlight shone down, illuminating a single figure on the dark stage. Xellos, the resident sorceror for Slayers, grinned widely. "Yes, and welcome to the Third Annual Daimon Ballroom Dancing Championships! We're down to our last ten couples and I'll be singing this last song personally. So, EVERBODY DANSU!"
The music began and the house lights came up to reveal a packed ballroom of daimons, most of them in outlandish costumes and with numbers pinned to their backs. On the pristine marble floor, ten pairs were doing a samba to the beat.
[Cue "Love Is In The Air!" (Daimon Remix)!]
Xellos: [singing] "Pure hearts in the air, everywhere I look around!
Pure hearts in the air, and bouncing off the ground,
And I don't know if that's a Talisman,
Don't know if it's just a dud,
But it's something that I must abscond with,
And it's there when I rip out your heart!"
Taiko Daimon: ^-^ "Wonderful music!"
Tea Daimon: [spinning her] "Architecture has been called frozen music, dear. Does that mean music is melted architecture?"
Taiko Daimon: [. . . ] " . . . Just dance, hon."
Racing Daimon: ^^ [pair #50] "Steering!"
Violin Daimon: ^^ [pair #50] "Exactly."
Xellos: ^^ "Starseeds in the air, from the forehead of a girl!
Starseeds in the air, and there's one for every world,
And I don't know if I'm a monster,
Don't know if I'm doing right,
But I think I'm about to get Dusted,
And I'm walking into a pink light!"
Pool Daimon: [in her inner tube!] "Lovely!"
Volleyball Daimon: -.-; "That Tactical Heart Nuke sure wasn't."
Xellos: ^^ [belting it out!] "Pure Hearts in the air! StarSeeds in the air! Oh, oh, oh . . . . oh, oh, oh . . . . !"
Chaos: o.O "KYAAAAA! GETITOFFGETITOFF!"
Mokona: ^-^ "PUUUUUU!!!"
Steering Daimon: [*blinkblink*] "Steering?"
Tira Misu: [flinging her whip!] "I'm not done with you yet, Chaos! Hold still!"
Steering Daimon: O.o; [whipped!] "LOVELY!"
Carnage: "Fanboy, coming through!"
Demolition: [flee in terror!] "Why don't you blow it up, Onii-san?"
Carnage: [argh!] "Chairman Largo made me leave everything in the Club. Stupid "No killing in the Kitchen" rule! Where's your Sword of Light?"
Demolition: -.-;;; "Still locked in the prop room from "A Dragon Slave Is Not Enough"."
Xellos: ^-^ [still singing!] " Fanboys on the floor, watch them all just run away . . . "
There was a shriek of surprise as the giant flaming odango followed the Fanboys into the soundstage, dramatically enlarging the hole in the wall and abruptly eliminating Daimon team #82.
Xellos: ^-^ [can't stop him!] " Meatball on the floor, better get out of its way . . . "
Tea Daimon: @.@ "Fire fire, everywhere . . . . and nothing to make tea with. . . ."
Taiko Daimon: @.@ "Tell me that wasn't an oversized meatball on fire, please."
Riot: [on the judging panel] "We've interrupted anything goes martial-arts ballroom-fu for anything goes running away-fu? Most dishonorable. For where there are embers of deceit, one will find their father's eyes."
Managing to dive out of the way, avoiding being rolled over and becoming Fanboy flamb like Dark Mayhem often did, Pesti-chan caught a glimpse of where they had run to. "Ummm, Chaos? I think we're about it be in a lot of trouble. What do you think?"
The crossdressing Fanboy blinked, looking around at all the stunned daimons in sequins, frills, and puffy hairdos. "I think . . . I still look better in a ballgown than anyone else here."
[Cue the facefaults!]
Xellos: ^-^ [he's on a roll!]
"And I don't know if we should kill them
Don't know if it's too late.
But we have a story that we must keep going,
So get them and cause them much pain!"
A Motorcycle Daimon flexed her gears. "Willingly."
"Time to see what their pure hearts are made of," her partner, a Statue Daimon stated. "Maybe there are some Talismans we haven't found yet."
"DAMMIT! Whaddya mean, there aren't any virgin anime babes around here!" bellowed a completely frustrated Dark Mayhem. "How's a guy supposed to blow things up? There must be *someone* here I can kiss!"
Hysteria-chan: ^-^ [on the judging panel] "Ooooh, komban-wa, Mayhem-poppa!"
Dark Mayhem: [turning elsewhere] "Someone else!"
It was then he turned and saw a red box on the wall, which read, "In case of acts of Chaos, please break glass!" on it.
Glass shattered a few seconds later.
In charged a legion of FanSenshi in response to the alarm, most of them looking extremely angry.
Sailor Bearing: "CHAOS! We know you're in here. Surrender now and accept your smiting peacefully!"
Sailor Snow: "Galaxia-sama may have saved your hide once, but we will continue to punish you in the name of the Magical Girls' Union!"
On the dance floor, the Volleyball Daimon blinked as she dipped her partner. ". . . . Magical Girls? Here?" She looked up and bristled at the sight of the fuku-clad women. "AUGH!" A half-dozen volleyballs hurtled across the dance floor, converging on Sailor Vanilla and knocking her into a nearby buffet table.
"Why, you. . . !" glowered her partner, Sailor Caramel, launching her Taffy Stripes and wrapping them around the pair. "SHIN'NE!" With a yank, she sent the two daimons tumbling.
Xellos: ^^ "And team #56 has been disqualified!"
On the sidelines, Mikuuji, the leader of all of the Season S Daimons, got to her feet. "Get them!" she bellowed, ripping the top of her ballgown open and revealing her black star mark. More than two dozen others imitated her action, and soon black beams were criss-crossing the ballroom and striking pure hearted Senshi, whose companions fired back with their own attacks.
The flaming meatball met an untimely end, being blown to bits by Sailor Aphrodite's Seaquake just before it ran over a terrified, kitty-eared Chaos. Two seconds later, Daimon Nekonneru's star beam pierced his chest and extracted his pure heart. Three seconds after that, Sailor Morningstar's attack whooshed by and the resulting slipstream knocked the crystal back in.
As shrieks of the Senshi and cries of "Lovely!" filled the air, the Fanboys regrouped around the main stage. All except for Chaos, who was being ping-ponged back and forth across the dance floor by attacks from all sides.
Pesti-chan: "How's Chaos doing?"
Demolition: "Ummm... his pure heart's out at the moment. Now it's back in . . . . Oh, it's out again. No, wait. He's got it back. Hang on, Sailor Sinope's about to blow him over here."
Chaos: O.o; "KYAAAAAAAA!!!!"
Luckily, the judging table nicely broke his fall, although Chaos broke the table in return.
Hysteria-chan: ^-^ "Oooh, Chaos-momma! You need a kawaii frill apron-chan to keep your pure heart crystal-chan in!"
Chaos: -.-; [pulling out an umbrella.] "Bend down, you uberkawaii twit. Let's see if this will fit all the way up your nose before I open it."
Dark Mayhem: "Pick him up, you guys, and we'll sneak out before the Senshi and Daimons settle down."
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