Somewhere amidst the maze of Studio Anipike's sets, actors' lounges, concession stands and tech rooms, two chibi authors found themselves before a small store also doubling as a hotdog booth. Chibi-Nightbreak warily appraised the banner embroidered on the awning: Dark Day For Anime's Wholesale Deities & Dodgy Backyard Deals!!
"You have got to be kidding me," he finally said.
A bandaged Chibi-Chaos (still recovering from having been filled with more holes than the plot for End of EVA) showed more enthusiasm, eagerly perusing the various items lining the walls of DDFA's souvenir stand. "The way I look at it," Chibi-Chaos said. "I just might find Beans' lake god here. Black market deities are all the rave these days among otaku. No sense in infiltrating her fics if the lake god's right here."
The two looked at their dubious, would-be vendor.
"Now this," Chibi-DDFA said, holding up a small plastic bag filled with water. "comes from that Seleces Machin that Umi used in Cephiro. I should warn you, however, that it has a disturbing tendency to messily devour its owners."
Chibi-Chaos: ^-^ [handing over his money] "I'll take it!"
Chibi-Nightbreak: [sweatdrop!] "......"
Chibi-Chaos: [shrug!] "I'll just have Desolation clean the fishtank. Being eaten isn't a new thing for him."
"Is Selece even a god?" Chibi-Nightbreak muttered, scratching his head.
"Hey, look!" Chibi-Chaos added, shaking the bag. "This water god comes with a herd of goldfish too!"
Chibi-DDFA shook his head. "Actually, those are highly lethal and very ravenous, mecha piranhas."
Chibi-Chaos' eyes widened as he stared at the metal fish inside the bag. "So what do I feed them?" he asked.
"They seem to have a particular affinity for gold-plated faucets," Chibi-DDFA said, shrugging his shoulders. "Go figure."
At that, Chibi-Chaos gave a sigh of relief. "Oh, good. I'm safe."
"But," Chibi-DDFA added ominously. "if they get a taste of human flesh, they become rabid little unholy creatures who would threaten the future of the human race and Crystal Tokyo!!! Bwah ha hah hah hah ha!!!"
Chibi-Nightbreak: --;; "What strange little alternate universe did you escape from, anways?"
"So...this is the next best thing to Beans' lake god," Chibi- Chaos said cautiously, still staring intently at the mecha piranhas. "Ne?"
Chibi-Dark Day For Anime grinned. "Hey, look at this face! Doesn't this look like a face you can trust?"
Chibi-Nightbreak seemed unimpressed. "Nice try, Dark. I read 'Hip Hip Hooray! Usagi is Dead'."
"Everyone's a critic," Chibi-DDFA sighed, shrugging his shoulders as if to ask 'what's an author to do?'
Chibi-Nightbreak was about to ask a question rather crucial to the plot, but decided against it when he saw that Chibi-Chaos was busy doing some kind of "I'm too sexy for this omakefic" dance, complete with a Sana-rap machine. Since it appeared that the fic wouldn't be doing much in terms of advancing the plot at the moment, Chibi-Nightbreak tried to strike up conversation.
"So," Chibi-Nightbreak ventured. "How's your 'Waiting for Minako' fic going?"
Chibi-DDFA sighed. "You know, in all the days of shooting that series, Minako has never *ever* made it on time. We have to improv the whole thing without her since it's a live presentation. And the very minute we send the end credits rolling, she shows up!" He rolled his eyes. "It's a living hell."
Chibi-Nightbreak: --;; "Oh, the irony of it all."
"Aha! I have it!" Chibi-Chaos suddenly exclaimed. "Staring at this plastic baggy full of water, I've just had inspiration for my newest Chaosfic: Deep Blue Senshi!"
[Cue the Chaosfic!]
The delegation of Inner Senshi had seen better, and definitely drier days. They were all soaking wet, water dripping from their hair and their sailor fuku. It had been sheer luck that none of them had been caught in the hellish flood, when the main research chamber's immense window had been smashed apart, letting the ocean come roaring into the underwater facility. Now trapped in a slowly-sinking structure located somewhere in the Tokyo Bay, without anyone coming to pick them up for at least another day, they had to figure out a way to escape.
"Care to run this by me again, Ami-chan?" Rei said, unable to hide her scepticism. She was leaning against one of the many pipes lining the corridor, trying to ignore the creaking that echoed across the cramped passageway. "Just how did your genetically- altered daimons manage to do this?"
Ami shivered as she stripped out of her utterly soaked, white labcoat. "The youma we were breeding here were meant to give the new generation of soldiers that Uranus and Neptune are training something worth fighting. All the past models we tried to replicate were below standards, though, no challenge at all. So in order to improve on the daimons...we used certain drugs and genetic hormones to boost their physical strength."
She paused awkwardly, not thrilled at sharing what she was about to say. "As a side effect, the daimons got smarter."
The other Inner Senshi gawked at her.
"When were you going to tell us *that*?" Makoto exclaimed angrily.
"She wasn't going to," Rei stated, her expression no more pleasant for Ami to look at. "This sort of tampering breaks every medical rule we established in Crystal Tokyo. You knew what sort of security risk this was, Ami-chan, and you went and did it anyways!"
"If any of those super-intelligent daimons get loose, and reach the city..." Minako whispered hoarsely.
Ami avoided eye contact with the other Senshi, saying nothing. "I did what I had to for the good of the city," she defended herself. "What if another enemy showed up, one far worse than Nemesis or Galaxia or the others we've faced before? Our new sailor soldiers have to be strong enough to fight them, or all that we've worked so hard for will be lost!"
That only led to a heated shouting match between the Senshi. Neo Queen Serenity, who had been standing back and trying to squeeze the excess water out from the tresses of her white gown, abruptly called everyone to cease and be quiet.
"What's done is done, and we can discuss the blame later," she stated. "Right now we have to escape this lab before it sinks too deep and implodes with us still in it."
"Easier said than done," Makoto answered, consulting one of the facility maps. "The level above ours is flooded, and I do NOT want to risk going out into the water with those daimons swimming around."
"So here's the riddle," Neo Queen Serenity said. "What does a ten foot-long, abnormally smart and hormonally imbalanced shark- daimon want?"
After an ominous pause, Minako quietly spoke up. "Pure hearts?"
The Inner Senshi looked at one another in horror, suddenly realizing the fate that could now befall each of them.
Chibi-Chaos: [in the director's chair] "And cut! Beautiful, ladies! Nice water-logged effects. Okay, people, let's get ready for the big elevator shaft sequence!"
Chibi-Havoc-kun: ^^v [boing!] "Did somebody here call for a big shaft?"
Chibi-Chaos:--;; [deadpan] "Get your wang out of my fanfic, Havoc."
Michelle: [looking down at Havoc's pants] "Sugoi, even Ruka-chan's isn't THAT big."
Chibi-Chaos: >.< "Too much information!! LALALALALALA!!!"
[A thoroughly in denial Chibi-Chaos starts running around the set!!]
Chibi-Nightbreak: [aside to Michelle] "Ano... Haruka doesn't really have one of those, does she?"
Michelle: "Of course not. I just wanted to see Chaos run into a wall."
[Cue Chibi-Chaos running into a wall!]
Chibi-Chaos: @.@ "Aiyaaaaaaa...."
Michelle: ^-^ "So...was it good for you too?"
Chibi-Nightbreak: [sweatdrop!] "I'm surrounded by weirdoes."
At that, a large bell rang out across the set.
The Senshi all strolled out of the cramped corridor, attended to by many stagehands with large fluffy towels. Various techies went running around to prep the flooding elevator shaft in the adjacent soundstage for its big scene. Large water pumps and pyrotechnics were having their final inspections performed.
Chibi-Chaos carefully hopped out from his director's chair and bounded happily over to one of the cameras. "How are we doing on the wideshot for this next scene?" he asked Cameraman Dan.
Chibi-Nightbreak tapped Chibi-Chaos on the shoulder. "Ano...weren't we going to steal Beans' lake god?"
Chibi-Chaos: ^^v "Hai, but I just had to get this Chaosfic in first before my imagination failed me. Isn't it ingenious?"
Chibi-Nightbreak: "But if they're trapped on this sinking facility, why don't the Inner Senshi just use Sailor Teleport to escape?"
Chibi-Chaos: ^^;;;; "Shut up, Nightbreak."
"Ne, Chaos," Minako said, peering into the large storage tank at the base of the elevator shaft. "You should come over here. Those mecha piranhas you're using for the daimons seem to be up to something."
Chibi-Chaos glanced at the water's glass surface, but found it to be perfectly (if not hauntingly) calm. "What?"
"Usually those guys are swimming around as if they're looking for an exit to exploit," underwater fish wrangler and Blue Sub #6 cast member Tetsu Hayami said, as he climbed down one of the set ladders. "It's too serene for the likes of them. Those guys are up to something."
Chibi-Chaos scoffed and waved their worries aside. "Aw, they're probably on sleep mode," he stated. "I'll just stick my head into the water just to make sure, though."
Chibi-Chaos stumbled into Club Anipike, a dazed look on his super-deformed face. His hair was in disarray, and his clothes were utterly soaked...save for one pant leg that was nothing more than itty bitty strips of what used to be cloth.
Everyone in the club went silent.
From behind the bar, Jotarou could hardly contain his disbelief as he looked down at the mangled avatar. "What the hell happened to you?"
Chibi-Chaos turned his head, and upon realizing he now had an audience focused solely on him, he tried to slick back his hair and act dignified. "My newest fic shall go down in history as featuring one of the most amazing stunts ever in fanfiction."
"You referring to that ugly little encounter with those carnivorous mecha piranhas?" Chibi-Nightbreak remarked as he strolled into the club. He then ordered himself a drink.
Chibi-Chaos scowled. "What are you complaining about, Nightbreak? You weren't the one who got your bikini shredded by those piranhas and then spent the rest of that scene trying to outswim them!!"
"No, but I had to listen you whine about it for the rest of your filming," Chibi-Nightbreak retorted.
Chibi-Chaos: [sulking] "......"
"Well, you're safe and I'm sure someone like Belldandy would say that's all that matters," Nabiki Tendo remarked idly, stretching out a hand. "So, what did you bring me from your Chaosfic?"
Chibi-Chaos and Chibi-Nightbreak sweatdropped.
Chibi-Chaos: "Souvenirs? We brought back souvenirs?"
Chibi-Nightbreak: "Only if you count those carnivorous mecha piranhas."
Chibi-Chaos: [erk!] "Na ni?! Where are they?!"
Chibi-Nightbreak: "Lurking in your underwear drawer, I believe."
Chibi-Chaos: ^^ "Oh well, that's alright if they're lurking in my- (o.O;) WHAT?!?!"
"If only we could get them in Beans' underwear drawer instead," Chibi-Chaos mused. "All we need is some sort of decoy to distract her. Or maybe someone she'd trust to let near the lake god--yet someone we could bribe to steal it from her."
He turned to Omi of team WeiB, who was busy typing at a laptop computer.
Chibi-Chaos: ^^ "Omi, you have any ideas you'd like to share with us?"
Omi: [still typing] "Aya...has problems."
Chibi-Chaos: ^^;; "Okaaaaaay."
"How about you, Keaton?" he asked, turning to Master Keaton. "You're practically the Macguyver of Anime! Surely you can think of some ingenious strategy?"
Master Keaton looked up from the house of cards he was busy building, and then calmly said, "Did you know Cadbury's chocolate can also be used to diffuse bombs?"
"Um...no, I didn't," Chibi-Chaos said with a bemused smile. "Okay, you're off in your own little TV series. I'll just let you be."
"Maybe you should dry yourself off first," Chibi-Nightbreak suggested. "Then we can actually contribute something to the plot."
Shaking his head, Chibi-Chaos retired to the bathroom to dry himself off. In the meantime Chibi-Nightbreak waited for his drink, deliberately trying not to notice two miscreants from the Ping Pong Club using Charmander's tail to light their farts.
However, the next best distraction wasn't exactly a good one either: Legato Bluesummers was singing the Geobreeder's theme song, "Dynamite Mambo."
Legato: ^-^ "Chachacha...chachacha!"
Knives: --;; [sinking into his seat] "I don't know you anymore."
As it turned out, Chibi-Nightbreak didn't get past a second sip of his drink before he heard a loud splash, which was followed by Chaos shrieking at the top of his lungs. Everyone in Club Anipike stopped what they were doing to listen to the thrashing sounds coming from the men's room.
The washroom abruptly grew very quiet.
And then the door swung open to reveal Chibi-Chaos, soaked from SD head to SD toes. He waddled out from the toilet stall, his arms raised at his sides and his legs wide apart. And still gnawing on the chibified fanboy was an army of mecha piranhas.
Chibi-Chaos' eyebrow twitched, and he slowly turned to Chibi- Nightbreak.
Chibi-Chaos: "They ambushed me from the toilet. The good news is: I think I've gone into shock, so I can't feel a thing."
Chibi-Nightbreak: "How about we go and get Beans' lake god now?"
Chibi-Chaos: "Just give me a second to flush these stupid things back down first."
(What this fic really needs is a toga party!)
Snow in late January is something to be expected.
But that doesn't mean you have to actually enjoy it.
Her lake god doing whatever it was lake gods normally due (which at this point in time was just burbling to itself in the aquarium), Chibi-Beans continued to work away on her computer, which had been affectionately called Yggdrasil. Sure there was a computer lab assignment due in two days, but given how she was already 90% finishing on that, she felt she could afford to take a few hours off and do some mindless surfing by herself.
However, there was something else one should expect when living on dorm: having more than an hour to yourself is about as real as a tap-dancing unicorn. Used to this reality, Chibi-Beans didn't quite mind when there came an unexpected knock at the door.
Leaving Yggy to its screen-saving devices, Chibi-Beans scuttled across her dorm room and opened the door. She then came face to face with perhaps the single-most disturbing shock of her life. In short, Chibi-Beans found herself looking at...Chibi-Beans.
"'Byte me,'" the erstatz Chibi-Beans said playfully. It was obviously Haruka's voice. Not to mention this other Chibi-Beans' expression had yet to change at all.
Haruka and Michiru then stepped into the doorway, Haruka lifting up the false Chibi-Beans' arm at the wrist and waving it at Chibi-Beans. "You should have seen the looks from everyone we passed in the halls."
Chibi-Beans warily regarded the two women, and then looked back at the grinning face which so chillingly resembled her own. "You...made a dummy of me?"
She stepped back, allowing for the two to step into the dorm room. "I affectionately call it a 'mamequin'," Michiru punned, giving Chibi-Beans a playful wink. She set up the mamequin on the chair at Chibi-Beans' desk.
Chibi-Beans shook her head at the frighteningly lifelike dummy poised to type at her computer. "Michiru, just what were those art students at your university thinking when they made this?"
Michiru only flashed her that angelic smile.
The impish grin on Haruka's face couldn't be missed, however.
Chibi-Beans suspiciously eyed Michiru. "You did this yourself, didn't you?"
"I thought you would appreciate the effort I went into having this made for you," Michiru drawled, smiling at the sight of Chibi- Beans squirming where she stood. "At the very least, it didn't cost much since you are super-deformed for this omakefic. The supply of raw materials was neatly reduced by half."
"So what's it supposed to do?" Chibi-Beans asked, warily poking the mamequin's cheek. She ran her fingers through the mamequin's hair and found it unusually lifelike. This wasn't a mere toupee glued onto the head. Even the eyes seemed disturbingly real.
Michiru gestured to the burbling aquarium. "Consider it a proverbial scarecrow for you-know-who. I made it as real as I could, in every way possible. The joints are very similar to some traditional Japanese dolls, so if worked right it can simulate your own exaggerated, chibi movements."
"I don't know," Chibi-Beans said, forcing back her shiver. "I kinda like being a single unique person."
"This giving you an identity crisis?" Haruka inquired with a smirk.
Chibi-Beans shook her head. "Not really. I just got this weird feeling...like something bad was going to happen because you brought it here. This is just asking for him to Chaos-no-baka up and mess with my life yet again."
"Maybe we should consult the Aqua Mirror," Michiru suggested.
There was an abrupt knock at the door. Chibi-Beans walked over, and after much jumping around in trying to grab the knob over her head, Haruka opened it instead.
Touga: ^-^ "Can't you hear it? The sound of the End of the Fic?"
Haruka: --;; "......"
"Who was that?" Haruka asked.
Chibi-Beans rolled her eyes as she scuttled back to her Yggdrasil computer. "Running gag that has yet to be sedated," she glibly replied. "Or crippled."
"So, what were we talking about?" Michiru asked.
Haruka could only shrug. "I was so amused by the sweatdrop next to Mame-chan's face that I haven't been paying attention to the conversation."
"That's rather unbecoming of you, love."
"But Michiru, she looks so cute when she's SD and flustered."
"So, do you like my creation?" Michiru asked.
Chibi-Beans gave the mamequin another appraisal. "I guess. At the very least I pull a few cute pranks of my own with it. But it's still a little unnerving to look at my face without needing a mirror."
"It will grow on you, I'm sure," Michiru reassured her.
"If not, I'll call you a 'sissy' for the rest of the semester," Haruka added for good measure, not minding the elbow jab she got from Michiru for that remark. "Say, if you're not doing anything, we can hit one of the campus cafeterias before Michiru and I head home. Our treat."
Chibi-Beans immediately perked up and started happily bounding around the room. "Wai! Wai!"
"See, isn't she just adorable when she's chibified?" Haruka murmured to Michiru.
Michiru just smiled. "Ara, but she's not a plushie you can take home, love."
"I put some kitty ears and a tail on her, and she makes for the perfect nekojin," Haruka countered. "We could make her our little pet."
"And I'm sure you'll lavish lots of attention and tummy rubs on her every evening," Michiru agreed, feigning a pout. "You'll ignore me completely then."
Abruptly the two Outers found Chibi-Beans tugging on their hands.
"Come on!" Chibi-Beans exclaimed, still bouncing up and down like a rubber ball. "You're buying me a sub sandwich and large Pepsi! Wai! Wai!"
With that, Chibi-Beans yanked the two women out the dorm room and down the hall, leaving a large dustcloud in her wake. The door to her room caught the jetstream and swung wide open. The mamequin rattled slightly, but stayed sitting upright in front of the computer.
Not two minutes later, two chibified fanboys could be seen creeping through the dorm hallway towards Chibi-Beans' room.
"Ah, now this is the way grabbing a lake god should be done!" Chaos sighed happily. "The thrill of the hunt, the danger lurking around every turn, the unexpected plot twists! I'll take this over DDFA's dodgy backyard deals anyday. Onwards, to the lake god! I just hope I get to it before that stupid King of Bandits Jing, and his bird-bazooka, get to it first, though."
"What if she's working in her room when we get there?" Chibi- Nightbreak whispered. "We'll be covered in octopi for certain!"
"Don't worry," Chibi-Chaos said. "I brought just the thing to distract Beans. And best of all, it can stand up to any amount of live sashimi thrown its way, and still keep moving!"
And with that he pulled on a pan-dimensional rope hanging next to his head. Suddenly one of the other dorm room doors opened up, and a large Sana hammer came crashing down, smashing a panicky Chibi-Nightbreak into the floor.
"Um...gomen!" Chibi-Chaos apologized, laughing in embarrassment. "Wrong rope. Daijobu?"
"I'm not sure," warbled Chibi-Nightbreak's ominous voice from beneath the oversized Sana hammer. "Why don't you come down here and check?"
Anyhoo, sometime after Chibi-Nightbreak had been returned to his three-dimensional self, Chaos unveiled his newest invention. "Okay, here we go," he said. "This is guaranteed to get us Beans' lake god...and with any luck the wind god too."
"It's just Zelgadis," Chibi-Nightbreak said as he appraised the creation.
"Au contraire," Chibi-Chaos countered. "He is actually a cyborg made to look like Zelgadis. A cyber-golem, if you will."
That didn't make Chibi-Nightbreak seem any more confident. "You built a cyber-golem?"
Chibi-Chaos proudly nodded. "Hai!"
"You're never going to let those Fushgi fansubbers live that flub down, are you?" Chibi-Nightbreak sighed.
Chaos emphatically shook his head. "Not a chance! But them calling Zelgadis a cyborg instead of a rock golem gave me an idea to create this. Best of both worlds, in my opinion. Zelgadis was able to stop a cannonball with his head, but he passed out after. However, with this Gundanium endoskeleton, my cyber-golem would be able to get hit in the head with Gaghiel and still not feel it!"
Cyber-golem: "I am Zalgardis. I am a cyborg."
Chibi-Chaos: --;; "What the? Crap, he's still got Fushgi programming in him. It's not Zalgardis! Lose the 'r'!"
At that, Chibi-Chaos started to irately kick at Zelgardis' ankles. Now the Cyber-golem did not take too kindly to this, and promptly put Chibi-Chaos in a chokehold. "Zelgardis the cyborg does not like you molesting its functions," it stated. "Zelgardis asks that you change users before Zelgardis gets pissed off."
Came the squeaky & strangled voice of Chibi-Chaos: "hai."
At that, Zelgardis dropped Chibi-Chaos.
"I think your cyber-golem still has a few glitches in its programming," Chibi-Nightbreak sighed. "Now *my* creation, on the other hand, is 100% pure genius!"
He reached out for a pan-dimensional rope dangling next to his head. Naturally Chibi-Chaos immediately dove for cover. However, when Chibi-Nightbreak yanked on the rope, nothing happened.
"Na ni?" the SD MSTier mused to himself, giving the rope a few more tugs. "Why isn't this working?"
[Meanwhile, somewhere at Club Anipike....]
Excel: ^-^ [at the karaoke machine] "Hai, Il Palazzo-sama!!! Right, OK, I want to dedicate this song to Hyatt, but she's being carried out in a stretcher after dying yet again--but don't let that worry any of you younger Anime characters since she does this all the time, though I can't believe she doesn't have a 'Wu' mark on her or something, but she just keeps coming back and what am I ranting about, this is supposed to be a love song dedicated to my beloved Il Palazzo-sama! Wai wai, Il Palazzo-sa--"
[Suddenly, for no apparent reason, Excel falls through a trapdoor! A loud splash is heard from below.]
Misato: [looking around the club] "That's odd. I don't recall anyone pulling on the rope for the trapdoor."
Il Palazzo: "What? What is everyone suddenly looking at me for?"
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