Looking for MaroonLights! Cameos! Action!
Posted 11 March 2013 - 05:38 PM
Posted 20 March 2013 - 10:25 PM
Violet dings the small silver bell on the counter.
“No,” she says.
Nothing seems to happen behind the counter. They are surrounded by a menagerie of deadly weapons, ranging from the barbed-wire bat on Violet’s left, to the hydraulic acid thrower on her right. Red is looking over a display of spear guns behind them. Black is by her side, staring at the oatmeal raisin confection in her other hand.
“Can I at least have half?”
She rings the bell again.
“Come on we haven’t had anything to eat all day.”
“I just gave blood, and that vampire lady said I need sugar, so no, you cannot have my cookie!”
She then begins to tap the bell so fast that all noise is blurred into a whining ring of annoyance.
“I heard you the first time!”
The voice seems to be yelling at her from under the floor. A hatch opens up behind her and something begins climbing up out of the dark hole. It’s a large, black, fluffy, sphere, that jostles with every step. This was an unusual sight for Violet.
As it emerges she sees that the black fluffy sphere is attached to a woman’s head, which is itself attached to a woman’s body. There weren’t a lot of afros in the ninja bounty hunter community, so Violet didn’t feel particularly ashamed for thinking the fuzzy sphere may be a single self-aware organism, rather than a hairdo. Also, she was missing blood, so we aught to cut her some slack.
The woman appears to work there. She was wearing a tank top splotched with oil and tight bellbottom jeans. She sees Violet’s hand over the bell, and looks her way.
“Welcome to The Pragmatist. So, how can I help you Lady Likes-To-Ring-The-Bell-Alot?
“Oh, hi Ma’am, now we’re lookin’ for somethin’ you may have purchased from my,”
“HEY!” She interrupts.
She whips around at Red who is now cradling a silver-plated spear gun with a shark face decal. He looks up sheepishly.
“Are you gonna buy that?” she demands.
“Uhh, just sort of browsing,”
She nods and smiles without showing pleasure.
“Great. Then put it down and browse with your eyes. That trigger is very sensi,”
It goes off with a noisy pop. Violet reacts without hesitation, pulling Black and the clerk down to the floor with her; the spear blurs over them and impales one of those signs reading ‘No accidents in X days”. It was currently set to eight days, and would as such need to now be reset anyway.
Afterwards, Black stands calmly and brushes off his armor, while the clerk jumps to her feet and storms at Red, and Violet picks her cookie up off the floor. She finds it mostly unharmed in the scuffle. Across the store, the clerk snaps the spear-gun out of Red’s hands.
“Sen-Sit-Tive! The trigger is,”
“Yeah, my bad,” he admits, “But there aught to be a sign or something.”
The clerk raises an eyebrow, then points up at a large notice above the display. ‘No Touching’ is spelled out in broad black letters in various languages. Right above the lettering there’s a picture of a hand encompassed with a bright red circle with line through it. The clerk gingerly places the gun back on the display. When she turns back at Red she eyes him up a tad.
“Wait a minute, I’ve seen you before.”
“Hmm, oh yeah right,” he says, “I was here last night. I had a motorcycle.”
“Right, the guy who traded his bike for a Talbot-Tech Plasma Tazer. Now I remember.”
She struts across the store and Red follows her. He’s really just following her butt, but there’s no reason she needs to know that. She then grabs the spear with two hands and begins to tug. The spear remains stubbornly opposed to coming out of the wall. Red leans against the wall as she pulls.
“Well, here’s the thing, I kind of need it back, the motorcycle that is.”
She grits her teeth and pulls harder. She places one foot against the wall for support and grunts out her response.
“Sorry. All trades are kind of final.”
The spear dislodges. She breathes out in a little joy at her success, then drops it to the floor and turns back to the counter. Red steps in front of her.
“Well can’t I just trade back for it?”
“No. There’s a reason I traded the bike for the gun in the first place. It’s a nice bike and we’re running a business here.”
The clerk circles around him, only to find Red flip back and follow behind her again.
“But I have to get it back,” he says.
“Do you have fifteen grand?”
“What? No. Are you kidding?”
She sits down in a rolling office chair behind the counter and leans back. Her smile has only gotten wider.
“You’re right,” she says, “that’s a little excessive. I can lower that for you.”
“How about $14,999.”
Her smile cracks into a laugh. Red lets out a frustrated grunt. Violet has by now finished her cookie and tries to intercede on his behalf.
“Look, ma’am, I hate to say this, but my friend here did not exactly own the vehicle which he sold to you. It was not his to trade.”
“That’s not my problem.”
Violet leans over the counter.
“And the rightful owner has kidnapped a friend of mine as ransom for her stolen property.”
“Also not my problem. I’d suggest you call the cops; or better yet, purchase one of our fine products and deal with this person yourself. Might I suggest a thermite bolt crossbow kit, or quite possibly if you want to keep said hostage in one piece, a little do-dad called ‘The Incentivizer’.”
Violet says nothing. She wants to bring up another reason why the clerk should hand over the bike, but her mind brings up nothing of the sort. Instead it begins contemplating the best way to incapacitate the woman should she continue to be difficult; however a better solution comes from the most unlikely of sources.
The Black Force Warrior leans over the counter.
“Now wait a minute, sugar,”
She stares at him cockeyed.
“Don’t call me sugar, weirdo.”
“Whatever; look, last night you traded a bike for a weapon right? So we could in theory trade something else of equal or greater value for the bike, right.”
“…Maybe,” she replies, “Depends on what you’ve got.”
It wasn’t a yes, and it wasn’t a no, which was further then they’d gotten so far.
“Ok,” Black says, “so we’ll start with the plasma tazer.”
“I already told you, the bike is worth more than the tazer; I ain’t trading back.”
“Not back for the tazer,” he says, “trading back for the tazer, AND, some highly advanced super armor, bestowed upon elite earth warriors by the all powerful spirit of justice, Clarion the Wise.”
The clerk leans back some more and exaggerates a disinterested sigh.
“I don’t know, we’ve got a lot of armor already…”
“Not like this you don’t,” Black says, “It enhances the user’s strength to super-human levels, and gives them cat-like reflexes. Here, watch!”
He turns and throws a haymaker right to Red’s jaw. There’s no super-human reaction; Red gets knocked back ten feet and skids on the floor like a hockey puck. The clerk watches; if she’s impressed, she isn’t showing it.
“I don’t know,” she says, “He didn’t seem to have super-human reflexes.”
“Whaaaaaaat? No. He was just using our ancient chin-blocking technique. All Force-Warriors learn how to block strikes that way so we protect all our vital organs. Ain’t that right Red?”
Red moans and lurches, saying a few words under his breath that can’t be repeated in good company.
The clerk rolls her eyes. Maybe she really was impressed with their little display, maybe she felt genuine pity for them, or maybe she just wanted them out of her store, but something caused her to say,
“Fine, you get the bike back in exchange for the tazer and the armor.”
“Deal,” Black says.
He then looks at Red who is finally getting back onto his feet. It’s like this for a while. An uncomfortably long while. Then Black transitions from looking at Red, to staring at him. Then he coughs, loudly. When it becomes clear that someone isn’t getting the hint he just comes out with it.
“Well?” Black says.
“Well take it off you jackass, we don’t have all night.”
“Take it off?” Red exclaims, “Wait, me? Why? It was your idea, you do it.”
“Hell no. You’re the one who sold the bike in the first place. This is on you.”
Red then looks to Violet for support; he gets none. He then turns to his partner who remains resolute. Red’s drops his head and pouts.
“This doesn’t seem fair.”
“So then suck it up, shut up, and strip for the nice lady.”
The clerk peers his way.
“Anytime you’re comfortable.”
Red mutters some more things that aren’t heard then returns his attention back at Black.
“Fine,” he pouts, “but I’m lodging a harassment complaint as soon as we get back to base.”
“Lodge as many as you friggin’ want, just do it already!”
“I’m doing it, but they can’t watch,”
He points towards Violet and the clerk,
“I don’t want them ogling me like a piece of meat.”
“Trust me,” Violet says, “I’d ogle a porkchop before you.”
She then turns around and looks back towards the front door. She hears a zipper run down quickly. Then comes the sound of a belt being unlooped. After that there was a clack, like some sort of clamp being undone, followed by a slippery rip, similar to the sound you might get in an underwater chest-wax. The mystery of whatever is involved in taking this armor off piques her interest; however that interest is soon caught and scolded for forgetting why she turned around in the first place. She then hears what she knows to be the exact sound of a champagne cork being popped across the room. Then there’s a heavy thump as a suit of armor hits the floor.
“There,” she hears him say, “I hope it was worth it.”
“Wow,” Black says with a stunned slowness, “I mean, wow….Today…today was not the day to go commando.”
Violet feels a migraine hatching beneath her skull.
Posted 20 March 2013 - 11:48 PM
They had entered the garage at 11:45. It was now 11:50. Violet was trailing behind the Force Van on her ninja, and inside the van, Black sat at the wheel making slow turns around the garage, while his now nude partner stood in back with Alma’s now returned motorcycle. It was dark inside the garage, and the van’s illegal tint job was not helping much. In addition, whatever was in the glove box was rattling again, but the Force Warriors were capable of ignoring it for the time being. They make another turn, and to their dismay, find more of the garage to be empty.
“So where is it,” Red asks, “ We’ve only got ten minutes before she offs the kid.”
“Yeah I know.”
“Well then where is she?”
“How should I know?” Black yells back, “She said Birch Center Parking Garage at midnight. She didn’t say where in the parking garage, or what to look for.”
Red nods and leans over the front seat.
“You think we passed her earlier and just didn’t know?”
“No,” Black says.
Red shakes his head.
“Yeah, but what if we did?”
“But what if we did?”
“We would have seen her,” Black says, “and the only person we’ve seen so far was the homeless wino sleeping in the stairwell.
“What if she was in disguise?”
“…As a wino?”
“The element of surprise.”
Black makes another tight corner. The clock on the dash now reads 11:52. They reach the top garage level, and at the far end of the ramp stands the woman he had met earlier. Next to her was her captive, tied to a chair.
“See,” Black says, “no disguise.”
“I don’t know,” Red says, “ it doesn’t feel right. This seems too easy.”
“Too easy? You’re naked and Violet is missing a pint of blood. Does someone have to lose an eye before it feels right?”
He throws the van’s stickshift into park and it gradually clunks to a stop. Violet whips her bike around the van, then steps down and pops her helmet off. It is quickly replaced by her cowboy hat. Black steps out of the van and the two of them approach Alma. They get within twenty feet when Violet feels a heavy pressure pushing back against her. A telepath, someone should have mentioned that earlier, but at least she could prepare for it now.
“That’s close enough,” Alma tells them, “stay where you are. I want to see what’s mine before we get any further.”
Violet and Black stop in place. Damselfly looks up with a stupid grin.
“Hey Damselfly,” she says, “how you doing, she treating you all right?”
“It’s better then the last kidnapping,” he says, “ You know, the one with the cult guys where I was tied to the big stone slab under the swinging axe. But not quite as good as that time with the British Butler’s Bombing Brigade. I mean they were some crazy terrorist SOB’s, but they made their hostages feel like kings.”
“SHUT UP!” Alma yells.
“Let me guess, getting on your nerves tonight?”
“All, night, long,” Alma replies wearily, “Give me my bike, and I will gladly trade you.”
Black gestures back towards the van. The back doors swing open and Red emerges, leading her bike out and carefully guiding it off the back step. He slides it between the Force Van and Violet’s own motorcycle.
“See,” he calls out, “everything’s fine. All the parts are still on, the handlebars, the chassis, the wheels, the speedometer, the… the thing that measures how much distance you’ve traveled.”
“Odometer,” Violet says.
“Yeah, I’m sure that one’s fine too,” he says.
Alma looks his way, then squints, and cocks her head.
“Why is the man handling my bike naked?”
“Don’t ask,” Violet says.
Red knocks the kickstand down.
“So, we good?”
Alma looks over the bike. She analyzes it carefully, but if anything the chick at The Pragmatist had just cleaned it for her. She nods.
She heads towards it and gestures for Violet to go on up to Damselfly. They pass each other without drama or so much as an awkward glance. Violet kneels next to her sidekick and works on the knots. It takes less then a minute before Damselfly is back on his feet and stretching his arms. Violet and the Force Warriors stand in a neat circle around him. Despite having a rough night, Violet is smiling again. This will not last long. Black turns to her.
“See little Miss Judgmental Bounty Hunter Chick. Nobody died, we uncovered the mystery of the missing motorcycle, and everything has concluded nicely. Adventure complete.”
Red stares his way with annoyance.
“Nothing has concluded,” he says, “we still don’t know what happened to our android. That was the whole reason we started this whole thing. Adventure not complete.”
“Well I guess,” Black replies, “but I just assumed we had given up on that one. Cut our losses and move on right?”
Damselfly clears his throat.
“Excuse you,” Red says. He then turns back to arguing with his partner.
“No, no,” Damselfly says, “I meant I had something to say, that’s why I made that ahem noise. I just didn’t want to interrupt too rudely.”
“Oh, then just do it man, we don’t have time to be gentlemanly about it. Heck I’m already naked in a public garage, I think the rules of polite conversation are moot.”
“Fine by me,” Damselfly adds, “Anyway, while I was all tied up and forbidden from talking, I had some time to think, and I may know where Maroon is.”
“All right!” Black exclaims, “Now that would be adventure over. Let’s all hop in the Force Van and get out of this dump.”
A raspy female voice echoes from the bottom of the ramp.
“No one is going anywhere!”
They all turn. A pale and sinewy woman calmly stalks up from the bottom of the ramp. As she passes under the garage lights above, Violet recognizes the pattern of crimson tattoos sketched across her skin.
“I thought I left you paralyzed in an alley,” she states.
Jennifer is not amused by this.
“That was a minor set-back,” she rasps, “I’ve been coming for you since then. You won’t win a second time.”
“How’d you find us?”
“Isn’t it obvious? I used my mystical psychic powers to find your exact location.”
Violet spits on the floor.
“The Vampire stripper told you, didn’t she?”
Jennifer smiles, bares her fangs, and shrugs.
“Ok, maybe that. Crimson isn’t exactly evil, but she saw an opportunity when she looked inside your blood. I do some favors for her, and in exchange I get you. She knew where you’d be and when; I couldn’t resist.”
While the girls continue a dramatic staring contest as Jennifer moves closer, Black taps Red on the shoulder.
“Vampire,” Red says, “A bad one. Name was…Blood, Blood something.”
“Her name is Blood? Wow, if that isn’t a red flag I don’t know what is.”
“I wouldn’t worry about it, Violet and I were able to handle her earlier today.”
“Really,” Black says, “How’d you manage that?”
“I shot her with the little plasma pistol thing and it paralyzed her long enough for us to escape.”
Jennifer and Violet are saying something about letting bygones be bygones, and not fighting when they have nothing to gain. One of them is in favor of this line of reasoning, while the other is very stubbornly opposed. Black then turns back to Red.
“Wait, you shot her with the plasma gun?”
“The black plasma tazer thing.”
“Yeah,” Red says annoyed, “that’s the only plasma thing we have after all.”
“Huh, so that was the only thing that could stop her,” Black says. They both look back to the girls who are beginning to circle each other.
“Wait a minute,” Black adds, “The plasma gun?”
“The plasma gun that we just traded back for the stolen motorcycle?”
“The plasma gun which we no longer have.”
“yes… oh, shit,” Red mumbles, “yeah. Huh.”
Red looks concerned.
“What should we do about that?”
“I’m not sure,” his partner says, “But we can probably still take her. There are like five of us.”
Alma’s bike roars to life and she is off like a bolt. Jennifer makes no attempt to stop her.
“Okay, four,” Black corrects, “but still, we can take her.”
“GET DOWN” Violet yells.
The Force Warriors duck as a chunk of the garage floor is tossed over their heads. It’s as big as a couch and goes sailing out of the garage to fall to the ground below. Two seconds later they hear a booming impact and a car alarm go off.
Before Black has time to correct himself once more, they are forced to scatter. Jennifer focuses on Violet, quickly swiping for her throat. The Bounty Hunter jumps back, but not quickly enough. She’s a pint down, and her reaction time has suffered. Jennifer’s pale fingers rap around Violet’s larynx. She squeezes.
A body flies from behind and jumps on the vampire’s back, wrapping its arm around her throat.
“Let her go!”
It’s Damselfly; he is desperately trying to throttle her, an action which is clearly annoying the vampire. She moves to throw him off, when the Black Force Warrior hops on her back as well
“Hey there baby, I’m the Black Force Warrior. We haven’t been introduced yet.”
“Get off me!”
Red comes running at her from the front and latches onto her chest. This added weight begins to pull at Jennifer’s shoulders, and the fact that both he and she were nude did not make the situation better. Black looks over Jennifer’s shoulder at the latest hanger on.
“Red, you’re not wearing any armor or weapons. Why did you jump on?”
“I don’t really know,” he says honestly, “ Sort of an impulse. Everyone else was doing it, and I didn’t think about it too hard.”
Jennifer’s face bloats with rage.
She throws Violet to the ground, releasing her from the chokehold. As the Bounty Hunter hack and heaves, the others get tossed off like ragdolls. Damselfly manages to land a little more gently as he tucks and rolls when he hits the ground. Black gets knocked slightly harder onto the cement; he shakes himself and regains composure immediately. Red slams into the Force Van and whelps.
“Oh wow. Really wish I hadn’t traded my armor and my gun away right about now.”
Damselfly shouts to him from across the garage floor.
“Yo, Red Dude,” he yells, “I don’t have time to explain, but check the glovebox!”
Red wonders how hard he hit the van. The glovebox? What could possibly be in the glove box that would be useful now?
“Just do it!” Damselfly shouts.
Jennifer kicks Damselfly square in the chest and the sidekick tumbles backwards. She moves to leap forward but a lasso drops over her head. Violet was back in the fight, and was trying to hold the Vampire in place. Jennifer gives one big tug on the other end of the rope and Violet is pulled off her feet and onto her face. Black runs to her aid and the two keep moving as the Vampire pounces once more.
Red turns away from the fight and hops inside the Force Van. He can hear the grunts and smacks of battle as he climbs over the driver’s seat. Underneath those noises he can still hear something in the glove compartment rattling like crazy. He takes a deep breath, grips the compartment lever, and pulls. It takes a second before he looks in.
“Huh,” he says, “What are you doing in there?”
There is an android inside the glove compartment. The compartment itself was relatively spacious, would make a fine home for a mouse or possibly a gerbil, but for an android it appeared somewhat cramped. This android was like a basketball in shape, if that basketball had half a tank tread spinning uselessly on its side. It was not wholly red, but still more red then purple. It had a single glowing eye on its central digital screen, which glares at him with more annoyance than true hate.
“Hello Force Warrior,” the android says. Its robotic voice is without intonation, but not without smarm.
“How can I be of assistance?”
“What are you doing in there?”
“What I have been doing depends,” she responds, “in part I have been using my remote radio override to steer the Force Van when the Black Force Warrior was driving around looking for me. I thought it would be beneficial to stop him from killing himself and others. But other than that I have been sitting in here, yelling from behind the glove compartment door, spinning my tread, and hoping to get your attention.”
“No,” Red says, “ I mean what are you doing in there, as in, why are you in there.”
“As I recall,” she informs a little too formally, “you put me in here last night to quote, ‘keeping me from getting lodged under a seat’. I was hoping you would retrieve me sooner, but I suppose expecting you to check your glovebox for a lost item within 24 hours of losing that item, is an unrealistic expectation on my part.”
“Yeah, I get it,”
“I also expected you to do it without somehow losing all your clothes, but again, it seemed that I was setting the bar a bit too high.”
Black flies into the windshield, hits with a crash, and cracks the glass. Red watches from inside as Black writhes on the hood of van and Violet and Jennifer fight on in the back of the garage. Even from behind the fractured glass it was clear that Violet was not winning.
“Ok, ok,” Red shouts in frustration, “we messed up, we were stupid, we should have looked here first. But we did try and look for you. Doesn’t that count for something?”
“Allow me to calculate…calculation complete. It counts for nothing.”
“Just shut up and help us!”
The android’s digital eye creates a digital eyebrow right above it for the purpose of exhibiting disbelief.
“Oh of course. Simply retrieve me from this glove compartment and perhaps you could throw me at your attackers. Or perhaps, if given the right opportunity, you could convince them to eat me, and hope that they choke to death.”
“Well can’t you do something you passive aggressive heap of scrap metal?”
The eye disappears and is replaced by a spinning pinwheel. She actually was calculating this time. Red looks out the window and sees that during his little spat with the hardware that the battle has come closer to being lost; Damselfly is face down on the pavement, Black is now pinned under a Camaro and Violet has been grabbed from behind by Jennifer, and is about to make another involuntary blood donation.
“Complete,” the android chirps. Red looks her way,
“I can do something, though you won’t like it.”
“You won’t like it at all,” she says.
“Really, just do it, I’m begging you.”
“I’m only repeat myself to emphasize that I’m telling you in advance that you won’t like it, not in the slightest, and that it would be entirely unfair of you to lock me in a cabinet or perhaps an ice-box as punishment for something which I told you that you would not like.”
“I swear on my mother’s grave that I will not lock you in an ice-box, NOW JUST DO IT!”
“Fine,” she says, annoyed at his tone, “but don’t complain to me afterwards when I clearly told you so. Please step out of the vehicle now.”
The engine roars on, the lights light, and the tires begin to viciously spin. The pedal sinks to the floor and Red does not step out; he instead jumps from the driver’s door and onto the ground.
Jennifer’s fangs just barely touch the flesh of Violet’s neck when they get caught in the headlights. The horn blares as the van charges. Violet snaps her head back quickly, slamming Jennifer right in the nose. The distraction gives her an opening; she breaks the hold, springs upward and over, back-flipping over the Vampire and out of the path of the speeding van. The vehicle collides with Jennifer, punting her a few feet back.
The van keeps going, then whips around to make another pass. Jennifer is already back up. Red rushes to Violet’s side.
“We’re going to want to get out of their way.”
“Yeah, you ain’t whistlin’ Dixie, son.”
As they flee, Jennifer and the van stare off, both remaining still, despite the mighty revs coming from the Force Van’s engine block.
“You think that was funny,” Jennifer asks, “you think I won’t tear that thing to shreds!”
She glares into the tinted window, looking at where in her mind a driver might be seated. The van revs twice, loudly, and in quick succession, as an answer to her question. Jennifer runs forward, the van slams into 1st gear, and they charge like opposing warriors in an anime, getting closer and closer, till,
The van fishtails at the last moment, swerving from a head on impact to a side swipe. The panel door opens itself; Jennifer’s momentum pushes her in towards the open van door, getting her caught like a trout. The vampire collides with the back wall of the van, sending her fist through its side. She regains her awareness just as the door again magically closes itself behind her.
The van begins to charge off in another direction. Jennifer rips her hand from the paneling, leaving a jagged gap in its side, and gradually finds her balance in the back of the moving vehicle. She grabs a hold of the driver’s seat, hoping to disembowel anyone sitting there. To her displeasure, she finds no one there who could receive a disemboweling. Instead the only thing to greet her is a small, reddish colored, metallic orb with half a pair of tank treads on its side.
“I’m sincerely sorry about this,” the android says, “because I know you won’t like this at all. I’m just telling you in advance.”
The doors unanimously click to lock.
“I’d advise you to buckle in,” it continues, “but it seems there aren’t any seatbelts. It’s just as well, really. They wouldn’t have helped much.”
Jennifer quickly looks out the blackened windshield to see where they were going. She could just barely make out the rail ringing the outside of the garage, and the night sky beyond it. This lasted for about a second; after that she saw the van crash through the rail, and then all she could see was the night sky.
That lasted less then a second, at which point the van tipped, and she could see the ground. The ground then got very close, very fast.
Posted 21 March 2013 - 12:03 AM
Violet tips her hat up and grins.
“All right, well, that was unexpected. Quite a display actually. Though we best get down there to check it out.”
“Why,” her sidekick asks, “I mean, it’s been a long day with all the kidnapping, and vampire fights, and naked guys. Can’t we just assume that she died in the crash and leave it at that?”
Violet shakes her head disapprovingly.
“Tsk, tsk. Tell me son, do you remember bounty hunter rule number eight?”
“Rule number eight. Yes.”
“That when you assume, you make an ass out of you and me.”
“And what shouldn’t a trainee bounty hunter do to his sensei?”
“Make her an ass?”
She smiles as claps him on the back, forcing a small cough out of him.
“You see,” she says, “you are getting better at this. Not good, per se, but better.”
She whips her lasso around a pillar of the parking garage and ties a thick knot around the base. She grabs Damselfly and then jumps off the edge to rappel down the building’s side. The Force Warriors can hear the clack of her boots tapping against the wall as she goes down. The tapping gets softer and softer till they can’t hear it anymore.
For a moment they just stand there, peering over the side at their smoldering vehicle in silence. The smoke was beginning to rise to their level but they didn’t move. Black nods and says ‘Mmhmmm’ without moving his lips. Red replies in kind, then breathes out loudly. There’s about to be another moment of silence, but it get’s interrupted.
“You know what I was thinking?” Red asks.
“That perhaps this isn’t over yet.”
“Exactly,” Red says, “that perhaps this isn’t over yet. And you know why?”
“Because nobody’s lost an eye yet.”
“Nobody has lost an eye, that’s exactly right.”
They keep peering over the side and see Violet and Damselfly approach the smoking wreckage of their van. Violet goes in first.
“I mean it would be one thing if someone had lost an eye,” Red adds, “I mean that’s all I expect. I’m not a masochist, I don’t want everyone to lose an eye, and I don’t want anyone to lose both eyes. I don’t even really want anyone to lose one eye, I just expect it.”
“Of course,” Black says, “because in the van I said, ‘Does someone have to lose an eye before it feels right?’, thereby foreshadowing that in the near future one of us would lose an eye. And because no one has lost one yet, that would only mean that this isn’t over yet, and that this is the point where we believe that this is over, and are shocked to find that we are wrong. I mean just take Bounty Hunter Girl.”
He points to Violet who is cautiously approaching the smoking van. She quickly pulls the door open and kneels inside.
“She’s exploring the van because she thinks this is over,” he says, “but if it’s not, then Vampire chick is going to jump out with a ‘you thought that could kill me’ speech, recommence battle, and in that battle one of us will lose an eye.”
Violet re-emerges from the van, and Jennifer comes with her. Violet is dragging her under the armpits and lays the motionless vampire on the ground nearby. Car crashes must not be one of the approved ways of killing a vampire, because then Violet begins to tie the villain up rather then just leaving her there. While she’s still alive, there is no big speech, no second battle, and it does appear to all be over. The Force Warriors ponder this. Red strokes his chin.
“You know what else,” he says, “we never unraveled the whole mystery.”
“No,” he says, “We never figured out what happened last night after you got arrested and I left the Pragmatist. We never figured out what our memory about the limo meant. We never even found out how the kid knew that Maroon was in the Force Van all along.”
“Why does that matter now,” Black asks, “We already found Maroon. We got what we wanted.”
“I know, but doesn’t it just seem too rushed to you, too lazy?”
Black keeps watching Jennifer until he’s convinced that she’s not going anywhere. Once convinced, he turns back to Red.
“I don’t know, just sort of incomplete. Like there was supposed to be something more. Another chapter between where we are now and where it’s all over. A part where we discover the rest of the mystery. But that part got lost, or was too hard, and somehow out of laziness it was skipped, and here we are at the end when we don’t quite deserve it.”
They think on this for a moment.
“I wouldn’t quite say that,” Black eventually replies, “it’s not like we fast-forwarded through any of it. We don’t know this missing stuff because we don’t know it. There’s not really anything we can do about it now. Sometimes things just end, you know, and I think for us this may just be it. We are left with no more crazy coincidences or clues which guide us from one action to the next. We’re done, we’ve run out of stuff.”
Red nods. He looks down and watches the scene below to see if something new had exploded or if perhaps Jennifer had called in some sort of back-up to help her escape. She hadn’t. Damselfly waves up at him.
“Ok, so maybe this is the end,” Red says while waving back, “but is there really nothing left to do?”
"I think so” Black says, "I think we're done. Now we just go back to the way we were before this whole thing started."
“Good,” Red says, “because if things go back to normal, then I get to keep both my eyes.”
And that is more or less what happened.
Posted 21 March 2013 - 12:14 AM
Posted 22 March 2013 - 02:57 PM
Posted 24 March 2013 - 04:42 PM
Don't feel like you have to read the whole thing before commenting. It might seem less daunting if you just read one section at a time. I'm particularly interested in how the first section at the Pragmatist came across.
Posted 25 March 2013 - 11:42 PM
Haha, Finally finished.
To be honest, if the story wasn't so light hearted I would be critical of how unorganized it seemed to be. It seemed like things were mentioned and then quickly forgotten in several areas. But, with the whole story being so comical it kind of worked out, especially with the ending being what it was. I did like it. I bet it was fun to write until you needed an ending.
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