* * *
Thou art hereby forewarned....
The stage was set. The lights were flashing. The music was delivering rhythmic pulse-pounding beats across the entire establishment. Surely this could mean only one thing!
No, SEELE hadn't let loose with yet another N-2 mine directly atop the Geofront.
In actuality Bandai, Kodansha and the local Magical Girls Union had sponsored a 'Battle of the Karaoke Bands' tonight at the Club Anipike...kami-sama help the Aniverse. Yet so far everyone had managed to keep wayward Jigglypuffs from getting near the microphone. The same emergency tactics were employed for whenever an incredibly drunk Big Momma tried to sing "Feelings" again.
Currently Xellos was on stage, singing and swinging to an upbeat tune that had everybody dancing in the aisles. And in some cases on the tables too. But Leon made Daley get down before he embarrassed the AD Police even further.
Regardless, "Livin' La Vida Lina" was proving to be a smash hit. Especially (and literally) when Xellos hit the next verse.
Xellos: [singing] She's a babe in animation
Young girl with a real flat chest
But don't you ever let her hear that
Of ass-kickers, she is the best
Lina: [flat chest?!] "Allow me to demonstrate, you baka Mazoku! DIL BRAND!!"
However, this only served to char a number of the tables closest to the stage. Having neatly teleported out from the blast range, Xellos reappeared in behind Lina and tapped her on the shoulder.
"You certainly have a way of asking for an encore," he joked, grinning at her with pleasant, nearly-sealed eyes.
Kaikan Phrase's resident band, Lucifer, took to the stage afterwards, trying to play their first hit single "Midnight Crow" without having to worry about the scorch marks on all their instruments. Santa looked up from the slightly burned drum set and out across the bar.
"Hey, Sakuya!" he shouted. "Get your over here and sing!"
Busy flirting with Lum, Sakuya rolled his eyes. "I'll be back," he said, winking at her as he took to the stage.
Lum swooned, accidentally zapping Duo Maxwell in the process with her static electricity.
Indeed, the entire club was in an incredibly genki mood with the karaoke band battle going on. The hyper dance dance revolutions were even infecting those outside. Much to the amusement of everyone in the parking lot, male Maze was busy doing the "Zakkenayo dance" up on the roof to a fuming Chic & Gorgeous as they tried to find a place to park their Folm mechs.
Misato was humming along with Lucifer's song as she carried a few meal orders out for the waitresses to distribute. Jotaru, still wearing his gruff scowl as always, merely concentrated on scrubbing the bar down and keep the beer steins filled.
A gang of the Battle Athletes walked into the club from the Studio Anipike entrance, many of them still sporting their trackwear, towels and a glistening layer of sweat. Kris Christopher's pet cow brought up the rear.
"You're kidding?" Anna Respigi said between laboured breaths from a fic featuring an intense 100m dash. "Gourry's created a Sim Tokyo game?"
Akari nodded. "Apparently you can choose from any different version of Tokyo, like Neo Tokyo, Tokyo-3, Crystal Tokyo, or even Demon City Shinjuku. And each simulation comes with its own set of disasters like Godzilla, demon invasions, rampaging mecha, and more! Though from what I hear, the "End of the world" disaster option
features more than twenty variants."
"Try the X "End of the world" version sometime," Fuma said from his place on one of the barstools. The athletes were a little surprised to have someone listening in, but he reassured them with a charming smile. "It takes over two dozen turns before your city's completely demolished by the Earth & Sky Dragons."
Suddenly the African (and catgirlish) Tanya vaulted over their heads, happily niyaowing about how she was going to relax for the remainder of the night with her favourite drink. Once a waitress managed to get Tanya calmed down, the battle athletes were shown to their table.
Lucifer finished Midnight Crow, and left the stage, a large crowd of amorous fangirl avatars in tow behind them. From where he sat at the Weiss table, Youji snorted indignantly. "Look at them strutting around like that with all those girls around them. I don't even think a single of member of their fan club is over eighteen years old!"
He returned his attention to the small harem of 18+ year-old fangirl avatars who were draped all over him in the booth. "Now this certainly beats a yaoific with Aya or Schwartz anyday!"
All conversations in the club then came to an abrupt end as the spotlight focused on a man heading for the karaoke machine. Largo stalked onto the stage and glared at Kiki as he reached out a hand and snatch the microphone from her grasp. The Boomer to rule all other Boomers looked out to the hushed & fearful crowd of observers. One
hand still hanging loosely out from his pocket, he raised the mic to his mouth and started to sing.
[Cue the Tom Jones music!]
Largo: ^-^ "It's not unusual to be loved by anyone! It's not unusual to have fun with anyone!"
Priss: [suiting up] "I can draw a bead on him with my arm cannon if it means he'll shut up...."
As Largo continued to croon out the lyrics (and was subsequently shot off-stage by Priss), the soaked and slightly gnawed-on Chaos emerged from the Studio Anipike entrance with a little help from Pesti-chan. A number of the patrons nearest to the door slowly turned and stared in disbelief. Holding his head up with dignity, Chaos had Pesti-chan piggyback him to the bar so they could order something with a very large alcoholic content.
"What happened to him this time?" Jotaru asked, fetching them a pair of bottles of Hard Lemonade.
Pesti-chan ardently shook his head, and made hand motions to cease & desist. "Don't ask," he said quietly to the bartender.
Chaos in turn spat out a chunk of white meat onto the counter, making a sour face. "Gyaaa, that tasted terrible," he remarked.
Misato nervously studied the piece of food on the table. "What is it?"
"I think I must have accidentally taken a bite out of one of those mermaids during the bitch-slapping melee," Chaos replied nonchalantly. "Sure, it means I'm immortal now, but that whole myth is over-hyped. Mermaids taste just like chicken. And that one could have used a little barbecue sauce too. Ne, can I get an order of garlic bread here, please?"
Club Anipike patrons: [staring at him dumbfounded] "......"
"They're speechless at my genius," Chaos said to Pesti-chan as they made their way over to a vacant table. "As you can plainly see, I have a flawless technique when it comes to directing a fanfic. Now then, any questions?"
Pesti-chan tentatively raised his hand. "If that last scene was supposed to be Minako's bedroom at the Crystal Tokyo palace, why did you use a really cheesy backdrop on the empty drama stage Gainax used for the final two episodes of Evangelion?"
Chaos scowled as his kawaii kitty ears perked up, and then drooped in dejection. "Can you believe it?" he lamented, a super-deformed cloud now raining over his head. "Movic cut their sponsoring of the project. Something about having endured enough bad publicity already thanks to my Iczer One-Half fic."
From where he sat at the usual fanboys-reserved booth (easily identified by the large array of Cream Lemon stains, scorch marks, and tattered remains of sanity, dignity and clothing strewn about the booth), Dark Mayhem waved the two otaku over.
"So how's the juggernaut of doom going?" Carnage asked, lounging in his chair and drinking back a hit of warm Sake.
Oblivious to the sarcasm in the question, Chaos smiled cheerfully. "Quite well, actually...if we discount that ugly incident when the Outlaw Star lost control in a fic being made adjacent to ours, and crashed into my meticulously detailed model of Tokyo-3. But we've finished restoring half of the city model now!"
Carnage: [sweatdrop!] "I thought you were doing a Sailormoon fic, not an Evangelion fic."
Chaos: o.O; "I'll be right back."
[An SD Chaos dashes out of the club!]
"I'm still trying to piece Chaos' fic together," Pesti-chan said as he sat down. He gave a resigned shrug to the others. "Chaos killed off all but two of the Senshi in the first Sailor Scream. Now they're apparently all resurrected because it's Crystal Tokyo. He never did explain why, though."
"Who was the killer in the first one?" Demolition asked, using some Zechs Wax to polish the blade of his Sword of Light. And like every wise otaku, he protected his eyes from the intense light with his Raybandai sunglasses.
From an adjacent booth, her Yammish pink wig on the table, Chibiusa immediately put up her hand. "Yo! But I wasn't the only one, though."
The fanboys smiled uneasily and waved to her.
"I don't think I'll ever get used to seeing her acting so...unyammy," Pesti-chan said, horrid MSTfic memories of nudist fromage resurfacing. "At least she's not in the cast for Sailor Scream 2 on account of death from the first fic."
"From what I hear Chaos has got a bigger cast too, apparently," Dark Mayhem remarked. "With Crystal Tokyo in play, he's now subjecting the Asteroid Senshi and a bunch of 'visiting' Sailor Animate delegates to his ridiculous plot devices."
"Like you wouldn't believe," Pesti-chan agreed soberly, drinking his hard Lemonade. "It's the whole Chaosfic sequel premise: more characters and more stupid flaming hoops for them to jump through."
Demolition sheathed his sword and winked at a Variable Geo girl who roller-skated on by. After realizing that even here, his invisible boyfriend syndrome was still in full effect, he decided to join in the conversation. "I hear Totoro still hasn't managed to grow back his fur from that last flaming hoop."
"Oh, the Tonberry no Totoro fic? That doesn't surprise me," Carnage said, thumbing over his shoulder to the large, bald Totoro sitting at one of the tables. Across the table, X's Satsuki was busy complaining about he never contributed to the conversation and just stared at anything catching his attention.
"I need to get a new BEAST," she sighed finally when Totoro tried to appease her by doing his Cheshire cat grin.
"It's a perfectly well-known fact that Chaosfics have destroyed any Anime genre whatsoever," Dark Mayhem said. "Take his Legend of the No-Brand Heroes...even though Shinobu and Von Lohengramm make for perfectly interchangeable characters."
"What about Key the Metal Idol Project?" Carnage spoke up. "I've never seen MSTiers actually hold a Dance Dance Revolution contest before just to see who gets to riff it."
They all glanced to the front of club as it appeared that a new singer was getting ready. Sana-chan eagerly leapt onto the stage and introduced herself. Then with Rei-kun snapping his fingers and the Babbit playing back-up on the drums, she engaged in one of her breathlessly madcap Sana raps. She was subsequently interrupted as Hayama casually strolled onto the stage halfway through her "love song", copped a feel off her chest, and then grabbed the mike from her while she was spazzing.
Hayama: [deadpan] "Bura bura-bura, bura bura. Bura bura-bura, bura bura...."
Demolition rolled his eyes and slid out from the booth. "Well, as much fun as I'm having here, I'm going to try to hit on some girls." After a thoughtful pause he asked, "Think any of the fangirl avatars out there are worth flexing my manly abdominals over?"
Dark Mayhem nearly choked on his drink. "Tough call," he sputtered.
Demolition nodded. "This place shouldn't restricted to the limitations and laws of any given fanfic. Maybe the women here aren't noticing me because...I haven't done my Demo-chan Sexy Dance!!"
And with that he took to the stage, ripping off his shirt and flexing all his upper torso muscles as he stuck a hand down his pants & started to dance across the floor.
Everyone: o.O;; "Jotaru, more alcohol over here!!"
Ruckus: [seated next to Youji] "*Sigh!* It's just not the same without Asaba doing that dance."
Sarcasm: [fondling Kaji in an adjacent booth] "Ruckus, what have you been doing to my bishies? Remember, you have to sign them out before you do anything yaoi to them!"
Ruckus: --;; "Hai...."
Chaos returned from his quick trip to the Sailor Scream 2 set, and froze in horrified shock upon seeing Demolition dancing on the stage. "Demo-chan Sexy Dance again?" he asked, shuddering as he rejoined the others in the booth.
Dark Mayhem nodded. "Enjoying your Chaosfic, are we?"
"Hai!" Chaos replied. "I've had this in the works for a year already. And the best part is, no one will see the end coming! I've got a great plot twist."
"Who's the killer, then?" Carnage asked.
Demolition leaned back in his chair. "Can't be Setsuna--though I hear that she did axe Tuxedo Kekko Kamen."
Pesti: [sweatdrop!] "Why?"
Setsuna: [sulking to herself] "Those 1,000 nights of pleasure didn't last 5 minutes."
Havoc: ^-^ [boing!] "What have I told you about working with amateurs, Pu-chan?"
Setsuna elbow-jabbed Havoc in the face and then punted him back to the Dojiworks studio from whence he came.
"If you must know," Chaos told the other fanboys. "The killer is actually *two* killers: Haruka and Michiru are working together!"
"They why does Michiru get attacked halfway through the story?" Pesti-chan asked as he flipped through the script.
Chaos: ^^;; "Ano...Haruka gets overzealous?"
"Idiot," Carnage sighed. He was about to take another drink, but then abruptly set his glass of Sake down. With a curious expression on his face he glanced underneath the table. "Miyu, would you kindly explain what you're doing with my zipper?"
Rabbi Happosai: "Ecchi."
Carnage: [irate balloon head mode!] "You stay out of this!"
Rabbi Happosai: "Oi vey, now there's an otaku in need of some Ritalin."
"You know," Chaos remarked with a smile. "As I was trying to get my Tokyo-3 city model to look like Crystal Tokyo by making a large crystalline palace out of shaving cream in the centre, I got to thinking."
All the other fanboys immediately cleared out from the booth.
"Picture it," Chaos said, moving his hands as if mimicking a large movie title. "An epic and romantic Chaosfic, destined to become a classic: Gone With the Wind of Amnesia!"
Rhett Butler: "Frankly my dear, I don't give a...um...what was I going to say again?"
SexDoll Panther: "'Damn.'"
Rhett: "Thank you! And you are?"
SexDoll Panther: "That's it, I'm leaving."
"This can so work! Who's with me?" Chaos called out the bar.
He was instantly pummeled by a wide variety of plates, cutlery and glasses as Anipike patrons let out a collective groan of despair.
Saito High's holy student council president was among the first to take action. "There's an emergency at Club Anipike," Haruto exclaimed, pulling out a few of his pins. "Giant, Nino-kun, Hanako: we need you here on the double. WELCOME!!!
With a grand flash of light, the three ghosts appeared.
"What do we need to do?" Nino-kun asked.
Asahina immediately pointed to Chaos. "Step on him before he comes up with any more fanfic ideas!"
[Cue the Giant's foot stomping on Chaos!]
Roger Ebert: [wince!] "Oooh, now that had to hurt. The Giant was wearing cleats too. But I give the attack a Thumbs-up."
Sizer: "What are you doing here?"
Roger Ebert: ^-^v "I'm helping critique a Mononoke Hime fic."
Chaos: [crumpled li'l fanboy] "Rough bunch of critics out tonight."
"At least they didn't tar and feather you like last time," Ed remarked as she sipped on her Shirley Temple. She resumed hacking away on her laptop. "Aw, no fair! He beat me at chess again!"
Dark Mayhem nodded from the safety of another table. "Compared to the hell you had to pay for the Ramen incident, Chaos, this is fairly benign."
"Mayhem, need I remind you about that non-disclosure agreement we all signed in the aftermath?" Chaos muttered darkly. He finished peeling himself off the floor and dusted his jacket off. "Well then, with that said I think we should return to Sailor Scream 2. Any Senshi involved with the next scene should report to wardrobe in five
And off he went, dragging Pesti-chan (who had by now resigned himself to this fate) behind him.
"I can only hope the pay is good for you ladies," Carnage said to Setsuna as she and a table of other sailor soldiers got up to head for the wardrobe department.
Minako grinned and flashed Carnage the V-sign. "Daijobu. After all that product placement you guys did in the last fic, Chaos has been granting us enormous payrolls."
"Does he budget anything else for the rest of the movie?" Dark Mayhem asked.
Hotaru shook her head as she grabbed her purse and jacket. "Nope. I think Chaos-chan's so elated to have gotten us signed onto the fic, that he forgets about the rest of the details until after the fact."