Eclipse Star: Chapter 66
“No One Expects The Metallic Inquisition”
Recap: Last time, Hex-Duo robots poured out into the streets of Trillium City, firing on any and everything. But where were the good guys? Hundreds of miles north. That all changes today as the battle to reclaim Trillium City starts right…NOW!
-Everyone at the Northern Lodge is gearing up for the fight.
Lindsey: I knew you’d eventually come to your senses.
Chris: Don’t I always? (Slinging his new sword over his back).
Lindsey: Whoa, where’d you get that?
Chris: Cavern of Aloneness.
Kyle: Stronghold of Isolation!
Chris: Right, the Ice Temple.
Lindsey: (Walking away). You boys and your awesome adventures that you don’t invite me to…
Chris: Hey Jack.
Jack: What’s up?
Chris: (Pulling out the elbow blades he grabbed for Lindsey). Before we head out, could you give these to Lindz? I’ve got to go talk to Josh.
Jack: (Taking the elbow blades). Yeah, I’ll do that.
Chris: Thanks. (Runs out of the room, tapping Austin on the shoulder and nodding before he heads out).
Austin: Everyone set? We leave in three, alright?
-Lindsey walks up to Jack.
Lindsey: Jack, I know things haven’t been so great lately, and I just wanted to apologize.
Jack: It’s okay. I spent the past year trying to hold you back but, well, the legs.
Jack: So I won’t be there to hold you back from getting a fist to your face.
Lindsey: Heh, it’s inevitable in our line of work.
Jack: Hey, take these with you.
-Jack hands her the elbow blades.
Lindsey: Oh cool, what are they?
Jack: Elbow blades. They’re mainly a defensive weapon, but you can still do some major damage.
Lindsey: Thanks Jack!
-She kisses him for a moment.
Jack: Hey don’t thank me.
Lindsey: (Coy). Oh yeah? Who should I thank then?
Jack: On second thought, yeah, sure, thank me again.
Lindsey: You got it. (They continue kissing as the others finish preparing).
Chris: (Running up to Joshua). Josh? We’re about to head out.
Joshua: I know.
Chris: I’m sorry about this. I screwed up, didn’t I?
Joshua: You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t now and then, eh?
Chris: Yeah, I guess so.
Joshua: I can’t go with you.
Chris: I figured as much.
Joshua: But Grid and her group will be backing you up, so use them.
Chris: I’ll do that.
Joshua: And Chris? Be careful, okay?
Austin: Hey Chris! Time’s up, let’s go!
Chris: We’ll be back when this is over.
Joshua: I’ll see you then.
-Chris rejoins the others as they’re heading outside.
-A few of them wave to Joshua before taking off and flying south toward the city.
Chris: (Flying at the head of the pack). Okay, can everyone hear me?
Kyle: (Flying near the back). Speak up!
Chris: (Yelling). How ‘bout now?!
Leena: I’ll tell you later, just shut up right now.
Chris: I encountered this new model of robots not too long ago. Charles Robotics has a new annex in Brooksboro, built on top of my old house. We were there three months ago and more or less the rest of the landscape is the same. The building is huge with lower levels going way underground. I have no clue what the inner workings look like, but this building is one possible point where they’re originating. Glitch?
Chris: We need to know where you were created. That’ll be another point of access.
Glitch: The Charles Robotics facility I was manufactured at is located in the northeastern part of the city near the Lincoln Memorial Playhouse.
Chris: Half of us will need to go there. Are there any more factories?
Glitch: Several, down by the docks next to Jamestown.
Chris: Okay, so we send a group down to make a clean sweep. Give me an exact number of factories.
Glitch: At last count there were six, each roughly the size of a city block.
Grid: My team can take care of those.
Chris: Are you sure of that?
Grid: We’re stronger than you guys, so don’t worry about us. You guys focus on the main two headquarters.
Chris: Team one comes with me to Brooksboro, team two heads to the northeastern facility. Does it have a name, Glitch?
Glitch: Nope, just says ‘Charles Robotics’ on the facility’s building.
Chris: Is there a service network that connects all the robots?
Glitch: There should be a master shutdown code that we can send to all units. I know for sure it can be sent from the original building, but I know nothing about the Brooksboro plant.
Chris: Will that effect your systems as well?
Glitch: No, I’m hardwired completely differently.
Chris: Good, then I want you to hack into their systems with team two. Team two, who wants to lead it?
Lindsey: What? Just because he’s Derek he gets to lead the team? No way, I want in.
Chris: Derek, I want you in Brooksboro with me. It’s gonna take a lot of firepower to crack the basement levels and I don’t think I can do it alone.
Chris: Lindz, you’ve got that cool water ability, so you can slip around, right?
Lindsey: I suppose.
Chris: Good, anyone else know how to do that?
Kevin: I’m familiar with some water techniques, so I should be able to copy Lindsey’s move.
Chris: Good, Kevin, you’re with me, too. Also Willy, you know some tech stuff, right?
Willy: A little, but nothing like you’re gonna need.
Chris: (Pulls Jack’s ear bud from his pocket and tosses it to Willy). Here. Glitch, sync with that frequency. You two are going to be the only two in direct contact. If we get to a mainframe before your team, instruct Willy how to do it. Can you do that?
Glitch: Yeah, I think I can manage.
Chris: Good. Has anyone figured out Jack’s barrier technique yet?
Austin: Nah, he still refuses to teach us.
Chris: Fine. I’m talking Derek, Kevin, and Willy into the Brooksboro base while Glitch, Lindsey, and everyone else hits the main facility. If Lindsey is unreachable, Austin, you’re next in command.
Lindsey: So I’m team leader?
Chris: Team Two leader.
Lindsey: Team One. You can be Team Two.
Danny: Can we be the Stingrays?
Lindsey: No, we’re Team Number One!
Chris: Fine, Team One, get to the mainframe at all costs. My team will-
Kevin: Team Stingrays.
Chris: Sure, Team Stingrays.
Danny: We wanted to be the Stingrays!
Chris: Wait, what?
Chris: I don’t care, we’ll be trying the same thing. That way at least one of us should be successful.
Austin: And your grandma?
Chris: We don’t have time to look into that right now. Stay focused.
Derek: You stay focused. I’m not gonna be shaken up by your grandma.
Chris: Derek, shut up until I tell you to talk, alright?
Lindsey: Be careful, okay?
Chris: Same to you.
-The groups split as they fly to their various attack points.
-Meanwhile, the city is in heavy chaos with Hex-Duo robots marching the streets, causing massive amounts of damage. Civilians are freaking out everywhere.
-Near the Lincoln Memorial Playhouse a rather large concentration of Hex-Duo robots is herding humans into a central area.
-An energy blast flies down from the skies and blows a few robots apart.
-More energy blasts from Lindsey’s group begin raining down.
-The civilians begin cheering once they see the kids fly overhead.
Lindsey: Alright guys, you know the plan. Glitch? Where’s the facility?
Glitch: Up ahead.
Lindsey: Okay. Someone start clearing a path for us..
Kyle: Whoa whoa, we’re the clean-up crew?
Lindsey: We’re gonna need space to work!
Clinton: I’ve got this.
-Clinton lands in the middle of a robot crowd and starts aiming at various sections, systematically causing Hex-Duo robots to fire at him, miss, and hit each other.
Kyle: See, that’s a good strategy. Make the robots do all the work.
Lindsey: Let’s get through that front door!
-Meanwhile, Chris’ team makes it to Brooksboro.
Kevin: It doesn’t look as bad over here.
Willy: The city was the main goal though. No reason to hit the suburbs.
Chris: They know I know where this location is, so don’t be surprised when hundreds of robots swarm from seemingly nowhere.
Derek: That the building? (Motions to the large building in front of them).
Chris: Yup. Conspicuous, isn’t it?
Derek: Not even a little.
Chris: Derek, shall we knock?
Derek: With pleasure.
-Before they even land, Hex-Duo robots pour out from the front entrance and begin firing immediately.
-Derek charges a blast and swipes an opening in the front entrance.
Chris: Let’s do this fast guys.
-Lindsey’s group is still standing on the front of the Charles Robotics building with no way through. The group continues blasting at robots as they get closer.
Lindsey: Hey Glitch, any luck with that front door?
Glitch: (Futzing with the circuitry on the door panel). You won’t be able to blast this open, and the security has been vastly upgraded since I was last here.
Leena: So find a way already!
Glitch: Patience. Just gotta find the right opening in alternating current patterns…
Glitch: Got it. (A bzzt of electricity sharks from the panel and the doors begin opening).
Austin: Alright then, shall we enter?
Lindsey: Yes, please. Glitch, shut the door once we’re in.
Glitch: Can’t do that, the door’s broke.
Scott: Go, I’ll play bouncer.
Lindsey: You sure?
Scott: Well I’m sure as shit not gonna run around in a science facility listening to you give orders.
Lindsey: Fine. No one gets in.
Scott: Not until I’m dead anyway.
-Lindsey’s group rushes into the facility.
Scott: (Stretching his arms). Alright, who wants to make the first cheap shot?
-Chris’ group, on the other hand, has made it into the main lobby of the annex but find themselves huddled for cover behind a fountain.
Derek: (In between shooting blasts at the robots). How do we get down to the lower levels?
Chris: There’s an elevator over there, but I have a sneaking feeling it’s not working right now.
Willy: They’ve got to have a stairwell somewhere.
Chris: I don’t think so. They don’t seem to care much about city regulations.
Willy: True, but where are all the robots coming from?
Chris: Good question…
Derek: They’re coming from back rooms is what it looks like.
Kevin: Maybe chutes pushing the robots up from the lower levels?
Chris: I bet that’s it.
Derek: So let’s find one ‘a these chutes and jam an explosive down it.
Chris: Destroying the building isn’t enough for this.
Derek: So then we destroy the elevator and fly down the shaft.
Chris: That might just work.
Derek: Then cover me while I do this!
-Derek runs out from behind cover, leaping into a robot and booting it into a few others.
-The elevator doors open and four more Hex-Duo come out blasting.
-Derek pulls out his sai and creates a sonic boom, throwing everyone and everything away from him.
-He runs into the elevator, hurling the broken robots out the door.
Derek: Going down.
-Derek tries punching through the bottom of the elevator but nothing happens.
Derek: Damnit! They reinforced the elevator, too!
Chris: Willy, can you hardwire an elevator?
Willy: No, but I’m gonna have to learn, aren’t I?
Chris: If it’s not too much trouble, could you?
-Back with Lindsey’s group, getting through the front few hallways has turned out to be the easy part as dozens of Hex-Duo are spilling out from deeper in the facility.
Lindsey: This isn’t good. We aren’t even making a dent in their numbers just shooting like this.
Clinton: The problem is they’ve got hundreds more being manufactured at this very moment. It does no good to destroy them since another will just pop up.
Kyle: At least they’re pretty easy to break. (Kyle smashes a robot apart with a simple punch).
Glitch: This isn’t right. Something feels off about this…
Glitch: Why would the robots be so simple to break?
Lindsey: If they had to make a ton, wouldn’t they have to cut costs and resources?
Glitch: Yes, but these are hardly stronger than the worker drones Charles had built way before my time. That doesn’t make sense.
Austin: I’d rather not question a blessing if I can help it.
Glitch: That’s just the thing. There’s bound to be stronger robots in here somewhere.
Kyle: Oh don’t say that. Whenever someone says something like that-
-A much larger Hex-Duo robot steps out and fires a beam at the group, dislodging them from their current position.
Kyle: See? That sort of thing happens.
-Lindsey runs forward and collides with the robot head-on. It doesn’t seem to be damaged from this attack.
-The robot grabs Lindsey and headbutts her.
-Lindsey kicks at the robot, but this still does nothing to damage it.
Leena: Lindz! I don’t think that’s working!
Kyle: Like she’s gonna listen to you.
Leena: Come on, we need to clear this room.
Kyle: You have a plan?
Leena: Pff, yeah, come over here.
-Kyle runs over to Leena. She stretches her hands out and creates an energy ball in each. She motions for Kyle to do the same.
-Kyle seems to catch on and also creates energy balls in his hands. Leena presses their energy together, then grabs it and pulls, running in the opposite direction.
-The energy is pulled into a long beam between the two as Leena runs towards Lindsey. Kyle gets the picture and starts running as well, keeping his distance.
-Robots are being ripped in half as they get clotheslined by the beam.
Leena: Lindz! Jump!
-Lindsey looks back and jumps, right as Leena and Kyle run past the stronger robot, hitting it with the energy rope. They struggle with it for a moment but tear it clean in two.
Austin: Well, looks like this won’t be so tough afterall.
Kyle: Nope, see, you’re not getting the rule of saying things like that.
-The strong robot’s upper half twitches and springs up. It grabs its lower half and reconnects it as some of the other weaker robots hobble over to it, still broken, but add their mass to it.
-The robot continues to rebuild itself, larger and stronger.
Austin: Okay, that might just complicate things.
-Chris’ group continues to stay huddled in the elevator as Willy attempts to hack the motherboard. Derek, Chris, and Kevin are blasting Hex-Duo robots when they can.
Willy: This is way more advanced than anything I’ve messed with at home.
Chris: Well, there’s bound to be a way to hack it.
Willy: (Tapping his earpiece). Glitch, I need some help here.
Glitch: Willy! There’s something you guys need to know!
-Derek blasts a robot but does a double take, squinting as the broken robots begin rebuilding into larger, better models.
Derek: Hey fearless leader, I’m seeing a potential problem here.
-Chris looks out to see the robots regrouping bigger and stronger.
Willy: Chris, Glitch says these new models are capable of-
Chris: Yeah, I think we’ve just seen the proof of concept.
-The robots in the lobby have formed into larger models that look similar to Hex-Duo 1, 4, and 8, though with more wires ands gears exposed.
-Lindsey’s group sees the same thing on a larger scale with dozens more Hex-Duo robots looking ready to attack.
Chris: Whose idea was it to help the city again?
To Be Continued…
Eclipse Star: Chapter 65
Recap: Last time, Joshua pitted the group against each other in a game of Hide n’ Sense, with Kyle technically coming out the victor (though Lindsey did in fact truly win). Directly after, Joshua had Chris power up to his max after everyone else did the same, showing them that the gap between their power and Chris’ has nearly closed. Derek, however, demonstrated that his own strength is far beyond Chris both previously and currently. As everyone wraps up the day, Chris decides not to inform them of Charles’ warning of an attack on the city.
-Chris, Derek, Austin, Danny, Willy, Kyle, and Kevin trek out to the woods with backpacks slung over their shoulders, intending to spend one Guy Night camping in the snow.
Kevin: Did you find out if your grandma was safe?
Chris: Yeah, I was told she got out of the house before Syrus even showed up, so as far as I know she’s safe but still somewhere where I don’t know where she is…or something like that.
Derek: Who told you that?
Chris: Just a neighbor near where her house was.
Derek: From what you say, it sounds like Jack just told you she was fine to calm you down.
Chris: I wouldn’t exactly say I’m calm, but I’m in no rush to bum around the city asking for questions.
Austin: I’m sure she’s fine. If she needs to stay hidden, then so be it. We’re all in the same boat here with Jack sending our parents off to who knows where. We’ll find them when this is all said and done, but if we go looking right now we’ll just put them at risk.
Chris: Right, exactly.
Derek: I still don’t like sitting on my hands like this.
Danny: We’re not sitting on our hands, Derek. We’re going camping!
Chris: Couldn’t convince the others to come with us?
Austin: Nah, they’re tired or girls or Jack, so we’ll just let them chill while we get a night away from it all.
Kyle: Could I point out that being this far north, we can’t be much more away from it all?
Kevin: How far do we want to go before setting camp?
Derek: Further. I’ll decide when it feels right.
Chris: Hey, no complaints here, as long as we’re not just going up and over the peak or something.
Austin: What, you’re not up for a little rock climbing?
Chris: No heights.
Willy: Uh, you can fly, right?
Willy: So what’s up with the whole heights thing?
Chris: I’ve just never particularly been a fan.
Derek: I’ll remember that next time I have to fight you. “Chris does not like heights.” Should come in handy.
Chris: You try rawking me through another building like that crap you pulled a while ago and I’ll punch your dick off.
Chris: That’s right. Not just punch, punch it off. With an uppercut that tears it off.
Derek: Gonna have to be a big uppercut.
Austin: Oh whatever, I’ve seen you in the locker room; you’re no bigger than everyone else.
Derek: You can’t judge off a shower-look. That doesn’t count.
Kyle: I gotta side with Derek here. The shower causes shrinkage.
Danny: Yeah, besides, you gotta let it…you know…
Chris: Danny, stop right there, because we don’t need to go any further. New topic.
Derek: So you and Lindsey.
Chris: Newer topic.
Austin: So Kyle and Leena.
Kyle: Hey whoa now, who said anything about Kyle and Leena? She’s totally a b-, uh, well, she’s, well you know.
Derek: Go ahead and say it Kyle. Say she’s a bitch. Go ahead, I dare you.
Kyle: Nah, that’s okay. Besides, that’s not important. Mostly, she doesn’t like me.
Kevin: Actually, I’ve heard her talking with Lindsey about you.
Kyle: Whoa really, seriously? Good stuff?
Kevin: Well not really anything specifically, just bringing your name up.
Austin: Oh ho, that’s good stuff. Girls don’t just name-drop without meaning to.
Willy: Yeah, I’ve got to agree. Every girl I’ve dated mentioned my name to Danny multiple times before I actually asked her out.
Danny: It was a good system while it lasted. I just, you know, wish they would have talked about me more…
Austin: That’s because the girls that liked you were talking to me.
Danny: They were? Why didn’t you tell me?
Austin: Because I didn’t think you’d like them. They were cheerleader types, real shallow and boring.
Danny: But hot?
Danny: Oh. Uh, thank you?
Willy: Soon as we get home Danny we’ll go find you someone to your liking.
Danny: Exceptionally hot?
Kevin: You know, there’s a lot more to women than just looks.
Derek: Yeah, you’ve got to be careful that they don’t have a personality or something. Ruined so many relationships when I learned she had a personality and mind of her own.
Kevin: No that’s, that’s not what I meant.
Chris: Oh come on, you’re telling me you guys don’t like girls with some personality?
Danny: We’re talking about boobs, right?
Kyle: Ooh, I agree, big personalities are a must.
Chris: Whatever, I’m with Kevin here.
Austin: Chris, dude, it’s just us guys up here.
Chris: Oh yeah. (Looks around). You seen how much Lindz nips up here? Holy jeez.
Kevin: (Facepalm). I don’t know how I fit in with you children.
Austin: So we’re back on the topic of Lindz, huh?
Chris: Nope, slight oversight, newerest topic. Anybody figured out how toowAAAH~!
-The ground under Chris’ feet suddenly gives out as he falls into a cavern.
Austin: Whoa, Chris!
-The others rush over to the hole and crowd around.
Austin: (Yelling in). Chris! Are you okay down there?!
Chris: (Yelling back up from a distance). Yeah, I’m okay!
Kevin: Chris! What can you see around you?!
Chris: Um, there’s some dude dressed like a candy cane down here.
Kyle: Whoa seriously?
Austin: Alright, Chris, we’ll get something to pull you out of the hole, alright?! (Looks around). Guys, help me find something.
-The others nod and begin looking as Derek rolls his eyes and floats down the hole after Chris.
Austin: Oh right, we have flight now.
-Everyone jumps down the hole and lands next to Chris. They take a look around before responding.
-The group finds themselves looking at a massive ice cavern completely lit up from light bouncing around all the ice crystals. The cavern seems to be endless in scope.
Kyle: It’s like some stronghold of isolation or something down here.
Austin: No kidding.
Chris: How far back does this go?
Austin: Beats me. (Shrugs). Well, let’s go check it out.
Chris: What? I thought we were camping.
Austin: We are. Spelunking is totally a part of camping. Now are you guys coming or what?
-Austin is already walking off by himself. Everyone else utters agreements and runs to catch up with him.
* * * * *
-Morning has hit as the group at the Lodge finally wakes up.
Lindsey: (Groggily coming down the stairs with Leena). Oy, I could use a lot more sleep right about now.
Leena: We totally should. I mean, it’s not like we have anything to do today.
Lindsey: Yeah, but then I’ll feel like we just wasted a whole morning.
Scott: (Walking in between them). Ladies, I’m glad I found you both in such good moods this morning because I have a proposition for you. You both seem to be great friends and that’s important for what I’m about to say.
Lindsey: Showers. That’s what we forgot.
Leena: Right. Long showers.
Scott: Hey, I’m down for whatever.
Jack: (Coming down the stairs). Scott, leave my girlfriend and my girlfriend’s friend alone, please.
Scott: Fine. Hey anyone seen that Grid chick lately? (Walks away).
* * * * *
-Back at the ice cavern, the group looks tired and their clothes have been torn in places.
Kyle: (Yawning). Dude, how long have we been searching?
Chris: Um, at this point? I lost track.
Kevin: I’d say by now it’s morning.
Austin: But man, wasn’t last night SWEET?!
Kyle: Yeah, that’s one adventure I’m not gonna forgot for a while.
Derek: For a while there even I thought we weren’t making it out alive.
Danny: Oh man, no one’s gonna believe us though!
Willy: That’s the shame of it. I guess they’ll never know what happened.
-Everyone looks at the camera and winks.
-They suddenly step into a room full of weaponry of all sorts. Swords, axes, blades, knives, and all forms of weapons shimmer the entire room, stuck into the walls.
Derek: What the hell is this stuff doing down here?
Austin: I have no clue, but AWESOME!
-Austin runs up to the wall and starts look it up and down.
Kevin: (Inspecting some swords). They had to be down here for years, but they don’t look rusty.
Chris: Maybe the ice preserved them?
Danny: Well I wanna take something back.
-Danny reaches for a halberd and gets a jolt that throws him across the room.
Danny: Oh ow.
Derek: What just happened?
Danny: I don’t know but I don’t want anything anymore.
Derek: Or maybe you’re just a pussy.
-Derek walks over to a really large battle-axe and gets the same sort of jolt that hit Danny, sending Derek across the room as well.
Willy: Maybe we shouldn’t touch these?
Chris: Yeah maybe…(Starts looking around the room, his eyes darting wildly).
Derek: What’s the point of a room full of weapons if you can’t use ‘em?! (Angrily smacks something else and gets thrown across the room once more).
Austin: Bummer. I guess it’ll just be one of those great mysteries.
Chris: Wait a minute. (Walks up to the wall and looks up a ways). That one.
Derek: What one?
Chris: That one’s different from the rest. (Points). Everything else is stuck into the walls point-first, that sword’s the only thing with the handle jammed into the wall.
Kyle: So go grab it if you’re so smart.
Derek: It’s pointed outward; he’ll slice his hand if he does that.
-Chris grabs an ice chunk and hits the sword, losing his balance in the process.
-He lands on his back with a thud. The sword comes loose and thunks right above his head.
-All the other weapons randomly fall off the wall and clatter around everyone.
Kyle: Wow, well that seemed to work.
-Chris picks up his new sword and looks it over a bit. It has a blue tint to it with a handle that’s hilt curves out on both sides.
-As he’s looking over his sword and everyone else is going about checking out weapons, four new people walk into the hall.
Iess: The hell are you guys doing here?
-Everyone stops for a second, curious as to what to do next.
Kyle: Were these…where these your private stash of weapons or something?
Job: No, they aren’t ours. I assume they’re for whoever wants them.
Grid: That’s a nice sword there, Chris.
Chris: Thanks, I guess.
Austin: You’ve got to give it a name.
Grid: Yeah he’s right, swords need a name. Make it a girl’s name.
Chris: Okay. I’ll call it…Rachel.
Derek: What is it with you and the fascination behind that name?
Kyle: Hey, least it’s not Lindsey? Eh?
Kyle: Now am I right or am I right?
Fox: I don’t mean to be a bother but I don’t advise staying here for long.
Derek: Why? What have you guys been doing?
Iess: Not your business, but he’s right, we should leave.
Austin: Alright guys, you heard the man. Grab some gear and let’s split.
-Chris looks over some weapons and picks up a pair of elbow blades that look similar to his new sword.
Derek: What’re those things?
Chris: Elbow blades.
Derek: I thought you had your sword.
Chris: I do. It’s just, well, Lindz would have really loved this, so I figured I’d grab her something nice.
Derek: What good can elbow blades do?
Chris: She’s Lindz; she’ll figure something cool.
Grid: Weapons as a girl gift? Really?
Chris: Lindz isn’t a girl; She’s Lindz.
Grid: Well, I bet she’ll like ‘em then.
Kyle: Girls like weapons? Oh man. (He looks around the floor for something cool and throws it into his backpack).
Iess: Let’s move.
* * * * *
-Back at the Lodge, the other group sits around the TV watching whatever’s on. Glitch is in charge of the remote.
Clinton: Turn back, that looked good.
Leena: There’s nothing good on.
Lindsey: Hold up, go back there. What was that?
-Glitch switches the channel back to see the news.
Jack: Channel 70 News?
Lindsey: I kind of like them.
Jack: Well, you’re special.
Lindsey: (Smiles). Don’t be a jerk.
-The news report starts with the two anchors looking disheveled and tired.
Diana: Good evening, I’m (cough), excuse me, I’m Diana Miranda.
Dave: And I’m Dave Trenton. This is tonight’s news.
Diana: Afternoon news.
Diana: Afternoon news. It’s not evening yet.
Dave: Holy crap, we do an afternoon newscast now?
Diana: I do every day, but you’re usually too drunk to get here on time.
Dave: Yeah, well, after that crazy shit we went through yesterday, I’m surprised you’re not drunk right now, too.
Diana: Dave! We’re going live! No cursing!
Dave: Hell damn fart, this is the news. (Shuffles papers). Trillium’s Central Mall is back open for regular business now, or at least the west half is. The east half is still under construction, so that means it’s not really worth wasting time shopping just yet.
Diana: Dave, Trillium Central Mall is one of our very, very few sponsors.
Dave: Oh, alright, go buy some expensive shit from the mall then.
Dave: In other news, Zanretha’s president suffered some controversy when we all learned he was messing around behind his wife’s back.
Dave: Right, allegedly. (Shakes his head and mouths “nope”).
Diana: President Giftavelli’s official statement was that the woman people saw him with in public is actually his assistant and not an adulteress. We would have the footage from the full interview, but our cameras were unfortunately, um, they’ve suffered some recent technical difficulties.
Dave: Too bad, the real news stays quiet today. Johnny, how’s the weather out there?
Johnny: Well Dave, using the data I’ve collected from my weather balloons and a very reliable fortune cookie, I’d say there is a very good chance of precipitation. Also, “He who plans too far ahead plans his own funeral.” Now that’s a forecast if I ever heard one. Partly cloudy. Back to you guys.
Diana: Thank you, Johnny.
Johnny: Oh, and Sam has breaking news by the way.
Diana: He does?
Johnny: I just know these things.
Diana: Alright then, thank you again, Johnny.
Sam: Dave, Diana, are you there?
Diana: (Holding her earpiece). Oh, Sam, yes, we’re here.
Sam: I have some breaking news to report! Also, Frank fixed our camera.
Dave: Hey that’s good news.
Diana: Alright, we go live to Sam the Go-To Guy. Sam, where are you?
–Scene cuts to Sam standing in the middle of the city.
Sam: Hey everyone, it’s me, Sam, and I’m here on this random street in Trillium City.
Dave: Why Sam?
Sam: Because I have a really good feeling that some sort of news is about to happen.
Diana: (Defeated). Oh, I thought you had breaking news.
Sam: I do. I mean, I will, in just a few minutes. Uh, how are you guys doing?
Diana: Sam, we’re okay, but we’ll get back to you when something happens okay?
Sam: No wait, I’m totally serious here. Frank, tell them how serious I am.
Frank: (From behind the camera). No way dude, this is your thing. I just hold the camera.
Sam: Oh, well alright Dave, Diana, I’ll cut back to you guys in the studio I g-
-Things start rumbling and Sam drops his mic.
Sam: Oh no, no! Where’d it go?
Frank: Whoa, you see that guys?
-Dave and Diana in the studio squint at the small monitor they have, trying to get a good look at what Frank’s shooting.
-The group in the Lodge does the same thing.
Dave: The hell is that?
Sam: (Finding his mic and standing back up). Alright, I’m sorry for that. I’m not sure what could have-
Frank: Turn around dude.
-Sam turns around and sees an army of Hex-Duo robots marching down the street.
-The group at the Lodge freak out.
Lindsey: Jack! How?!
Jack: I don’t know.
Sam: Ladies and gentlemen it appears that there is an…army I suppose, of what may or may not be r-, Frank, do those look like robots?
Frank: Shit dude, this ain’t worth it.
-Frank drops the camera and bolts, letting the camera drop to a position where only Sam’s feet are shown.
-Sam bends down to get in the camera’s view.
Sam: Hey Dave, I think we’ve got another problem down here…
-The robots begin firing on the buildings.
Sam: AH! Dave! I might have to send it back to you guys in a minute here!
Dave: Sam, no, you’re staying out there, alright? Remain calm and don’t let them smash the-
-The robots advance and throw Sam out of the way, stomping the camera as they go.
Diana: It seems we’re experiencing some more technical difficulties, eh, hah. (Awkwardly laughing to herself).
Dave: (Getting up). Stall or something. Johnny, let’s go.
Johnny: (Excited). Scabbity-doobity!
-They take off as Diana looks nervously at the camera.
Diana: Uh, in other news…
-The station goes down.
Leena: Glitch, change to another station!
Glitch: I’m trying! It’s not on anywhere else! All the news stations are down!
-Glitch continues trying to click through but nothing’s coming up.
Jack: Damnit, they’re attacking the city but they don’t want to give any warning!
Clinton: Glitch, can you patch into hardware?
Glitch: Yeah, I did it a few months ago when the Octa Rangers challenged us.
Clinton: Can you patch in from here?
Leena: What good would that do?
Scott: Street cams, I see what you’re thinking. They’ve got them placed everywhere. Patch into the city’s DMV computers and you should have full vision of the city.
Jack: That’s a good idea.
Glitch: Yeah, I should be able to do that.
Lindsey: We need the others. Why aren’t they back?
Jack: Someone go get Josh.
Leena: I’m on it.
-She gets up and runs out of the room.
-Lindsey, too, jumps up and runs out the door.
Jack: Lindz! Where’re you going?!
-Lindsey runs out into the snow a ways and plants herself, cranking her Pulse energy as high as possible.
-The group out in the woods suddenly stops in their tracks.
Chris: Whoa, guys, something’s up.
Danny: That’s Lindsey!
Austin: Then let’s go!
-They take off at full speed and rush back to the Lodge.
Lindsey: C’mon guys…
Austin: Lindz! What’s up?!
-She stops charging her energy as the rest of the team shows up, the four irregulars included.
Derek: The hell are you so worried about?
Lindsey: Quick, come inside.
-She turns and runs into the Lodge. Everyone else follows.
-When they get to the TV room, Joshua is sitting next to everyone while Glitch continues messing with the TV inputs.
Glitch: We getting anything yet?
Scott: Nope. Still static.
Joshua: Willy, go help him, please.
Willy: Sure. What’re we trying to do?
Derek: And what’s happening.
Iess: They’re attacking, aren’t they?
Lindsey: How’d you know about the Hex-Duo coming back?
Kyle: They’re back?!
Austin: That’s impossible; Chris totaled ‘em.
Clinton: Apparently they built more.
Willy: Try it now.
Glitch: (His eyes go fuzzy for a second). Got it!
-The TV comes up now that Glitch is patched into the traffic cams. After switching between a couple, they see an army of Hex-Duo robots marching the streets, shooting at buildings as they go.
Grid: I don’t understand; this wasn’t supposed to happen so soon.
Fox: Apparently it is.
Derek: How do you guys know about this?
Fox: We’ve been monitoring Charles Robotics for some time now.
Lindsey: That where you’ve been?
Grid: More or less.
Kevin: What do we do?
-All eyes turn to Chris.
Derek: Excuse me?
Chris: We don’t do anything.
Lindsey: Chris, you can’t be serious.
Chris: Why? We’ve got a pretty good life up here free from all of this, so why should we give it up?
Austin: If they take Trillium, they take Zanretha.
Chris: So let them! What does it matter who sits in power? We’re still outlaws by all accounts.
Jack: That’s not true. The Legion was being controlled by Octavious but those ties have been severed.
Scott: How do you know that?
Fox: I can assure you, we’ve made sure The Legion is run from the inside once again.
Kyle: Well good for you, but does that mean they’re fighting robots in our place like they should be?
Kevin: We should be out there. They’re trying to draw us out. Isn’t it obvious? Octavious is angry and he wants us to fight again.
Chris: I’m not playing this game anymore. I’m done.
Austin: And what do we do? Just sit here?
Chris: I don’t rule you guys.
Iess: Yes, you do.
Chris: No, I don’t.
Lindsey: (Piecing things together). You knew this would happen, didn’t you?
Chris: Why do you say that?
Lindsey: When you came back, who did you say you talked to?
Chris: A neighbor.
Lindsey: Glitch, switch the patch to Chris’ street.
-The camera takes a few moments and shifts to show the Charles Robotics building, Hex-Duo robots pouring out into the streets.
Austin: (Almost in disbelief). You lied to us?
Chris: No! I didn’t lie to anyone!
Derek: You told us you didn’t find anything.
Chris: Charles gave me his word that my grandma was okay; that was all he said!
Derek: Wait a minute; you spoke with the head guy?
Chris: Very briefly.
Kevin: Chris, what happened? Please, we need to know.
Chris: He…I was attacked by a group of Hex-Duo robots before Charles offered us a way out. All we’d have to do was sit this week out and it’d all be over.
-Everyone seems astonished. Joshua stands up without saying a word, shaking his head, and leaves the room.
Lindsey: So what’s the point of everything we’ve done? Hmm? Has the last year been a total waste?
Chris: To me? Yeah, it has. I thought you wanted out just as badly as I did.
Lindsey: Not like this. Not this. (She motions to the traffic cams as Glitch cycles through them, showing attacks on every screen change).
Chris: I didn’t know it’d be this bad…
Iess: Well, it is.
Chris: I’m sorry…I just, I’m not the decision maker. Jack, if you say they go, then they’ll go.
Jack: I’m in no position to issue demands anymore. Not until my legs are healed.
Derek: Chris might still have a point.
Leena: Oh great, now he’s ready to give up?
Derek: Hey, I’m not giving up, but that’s an entire army of Hex-Duo out there. I say we let this run its course and strike when they aren’t expecting it. We head out right now and we’re doing exactly what they want.
Leena: Since when are you not impulsive?
Derek: Since they sent a whole army of robots when half a dozen nearly killed us.
Austin: That was months ago. We’re stronger now.
Clinton: Plus, we don’t even know if these are the same model. If they could have built an army to begin with, why didn’t they?
Willy: Maybe they didn’t have the plans worked out?
Glitch: No, it was the cost. The power cells in each Hex-Duo model set Octavious back millions, so they could only fund ten of us.
Austin: See? These aren’t the same robots.
Lindsey: Oh God. Stop the camera.
-Glitch stops cycling the camera, focusing on a lone figure slowly approaching the group marching down the street.
-The robots stop momentarily.
Chris: (He finally looks at the screen). Grandma…?
Jack: Can you give us audio?
-Everyone in the room remains silent.
-Barbara continues walking slowly up to the Hex-Duo robots.
-One of them steps forward.
Barbara: (Sorrowful). Charles, tell me you’re not behind this.
Hex-Duo Robot: (Speaking in Charles’ voice). Barb, you’re not supposed to be here!
Barbara: Stop this. Stop this! It’s not worth it! I’m not worth this!
Hex-Duo Robot: I only have override command for another thirty seconds, Barb, please, get out of here!
-The Hex-Duo robot steps forward and grabs Barbara by the shoulders, pleading with her.
Hex-Duo Robot: (Equally sorrowful). I can’t stop Octavious. This is his final push and I can’t stop it.
Barbara: You have to try.
Hex-Duo Robot: I can’t. I’m so sorry…
-The robot seems to power down, dropping to its knees.
-It stands back up, speaking in a normal robotic voice again.
Hex-Duo Robot: Primary functions reinstated.
-The army of Hex-Duo immediately begins advancing on Barbara, gun-arms drawn.
-They begin firing energy blasts at Barbara, enveloping her in a continuous explosion.
-Chris’ legs start to give out as Austin and Kyle catch him.
Austin: Come on man, stay with us.
-The smoke clears as Barbara remains standing. She looks around while the robots seem confused, unsure why she isn’t dead.
-The camera goes instantly goes dead as Barbara does…something.
Lindsey: Chris, what do we do?
-Once more, all eyes are on Chris.
Chris: We go to war.
To Be Continued…
The Saga of the Wandering Samurai
By Chris Pranger
Episode the First
Setting: A man dressed as a samurai is standing in front of his mother and father as he is waiting to board an airplane.
Father: Son, you do not have to do this.
Mother: Yes, please, stay.
Samurai: No, I have a place I must be, and it is not here.
Mother: You shall always have a place here though.
Samurai: Yes, but my soul would be restless. As the bird learns to fly, he must search for the wind’s current and be set free from his bonds. You taught me that, father.
Father: Yes, I did, didn’t I…?
Samurai: I will not disgrace you. (Bows). I must go. The wind currents are strong. (He runs to airplane, looks back at his parents who are both looking quite sad, then enters before it flies away).
* * * * *
Setting: University of Oregon campus. The Samurai walks into the campus carrying his belongings, which are not much. He looks up at the building he will be staying at, a dorm, and keeps walking.
* * * * *
Setting: A dorm room with one side of the room already decorated and one side bare. The Samurai opens the door and walks in, looks around, and sets his belongings down on the desk next to the window.
Ethan: (A goofy-looking fellow steps into the room wearing a trench coat and a baseball cap. He speaks with a somewhat British accent, though not heavy). ‘Ello then. You must be my new roommate!
Samurai: (Very solemn about everything, he is still making up his mind about this Ethan fellow). Yes.
Ethan: Hey, cool sword!
Samurai: (Still very solemn). Yes.
Ethan: Well the name’s Ethan. (Holds his hand out for a handshake. The Samurai looks at it and does nothing). Right…um…do you have any hobbies?
Ethan: Are you gonna tell me what they are?
Ethan: Should I have tried bowing instead of shaking your hand?
Ethan: Can I still try?
Ethan: (Bows deeply). Did it work?
Ethan: Oh, well then, why don’t I show you around campus a bit?
Samurai: Hm. (Nods).
* * * * *
Setting: Food area of the campus.
Ethan: So this’ll be where you get most of your meals. We’ve got just about every type of food you’d ever need here. We’re talking sandwiches, burritos, smoothies…and sandwiches.
Samurai: You already said sandwiches.
Ethan: Very important the sandwich.
Samurai: Where would I go to find decent sushi?
Ethan: Japan maybe? (The Samurai gives him a very dirty look). Hah, a joke, only a joke! (Looks around). Perhaps…maybe you could assemble sushi from other things?
Samurai: Disgraceful. Sushi must be hand-prepared only by the finest and most capable hands.
Ethan: And your hands aren’t worthy?
Samurai: (Shoots Ethan a deadly glare). I excel at many activities, though sushi preparation is not one of them, regrettably.
Ethan: Can’t win ‘em all I guess. Huh? Am I right? (Starts laughing and nudges the Samurai). Haha…ha…(Stops after getting another death-glare). Okay, let’s move on.
* * * * *
Setting: Basement. The two walk into the laundry area.
Ethan: And here we have the laundry space where you’ll wash all those delicates of yours. Those are machine washable, right? (Points at the Samurai’s garb).
Samurai: I do not trust machines.
Ethan: (Really not sure if he’s gonna get stabbed in the middle of the night or not). Neither do I…?
Samurai: Good, then we have some common ground.
Ethan: (Excited at a positive statement). Yeah! Hate machines! Fighting robots are tricky. Ever fought a robot?
Samurai: (Stern). Are you mocking me?
Ethan: No! No no, never! Why would I mock you?!
Samurai: Robots are no laughing matter. There is always the constant threat that they’ll appear from nowhere and strike.
Ethan: I know, I know! I didn’t mean to disrespect! I’ll be more careful when talking about robots!
Samurai: (Still stone faced). I was kidding.
Ethan: Oh… Let’s keep going…
* * * * *
Setting: Outside the fitness center.
Ethan: And here we have the gym, where you’ll be able to work out to your heart’s content. (The Samurai finally smiles). Aha! So he does have a human heart in there! (The Samurai gives him a sharp look). And it’s gone again…
Sebastian: (A man with a rapier at his side slams the Samurai in the shoulder as he walks by. Speaks with a slight French accent). What? A samurai? On this campus?
Samurai: (Intensely hateful look). I believe you bumped into me, sir.
Sebastian: Hrmph, you’d best watch where you’re walking, samurai. (Gives him a massively insulting, dirty look as he walks away, laughing).
Ethan: Hey, don’t worry about that guy. He thinks he’s the big man on campus. Fencer-type. His name’s Sebastian.
Ethan: Hey, I still don’t know your name.
Samurai: I am…the Samurai.
End of Episode 1
Episode the Second
Setting: Sidewalk on campus. It is raining and the Samurai is walking alone. He reaches to his side, looking as if he’s about to draw his sword, but he pulls out a parasol instead as he calmly walks along.
* * * * *
Setting: Typical discussion section classroom. As the GTF is talking we see Ethan sitting at a desk doodling wildly, Sebastian sitting rigid with a scheming look in his eyes, (rapier still as his side), and the Samurai calmly listening to the GTF, among other students, one of which is a Viking.
GTF: (Holding a book about Confucius). So, after reading these chapters about Confucius, what are our thoughts? (Looks around the room). Um…Sebastian?
Sebastian: (Arrogant and rude). Clearly, it was obvious that his teachings would fall apart upon being applied to the real world since his teachings were considered utter madness and only a fool would follow such dribblings. (Fires a glance at the Samurai to see how he reacts, which is of course with contained outrage).
GTF: Well, I wouldn’t exactly reject his teachings so quickly myself, but let’s see what some other people think. (Looks around the room again). Ethan, care to join us?
Ethan: (Looks up from his doodling as it becomes apparent that he didn’t actually read all of the reading). Huh? Oh, right, Confucius. (Stands up). So, I thought…that…Confucius, or “CooFu” as I lovingly refer to him, was a brilliant philosopher that had many, many ideas that are so complex and numerous that only the most enlightened of people could even hope to fathom the basic principles of said teachings.
Sebastian: So I suppose that means you’re disqualified…
Ethan: (Gives Sebastian a dirty look). And furthermore, I myself do not believe that I could do justice to such a great man, a man who took a dream and made it a reality in his world and the next. A man greater than words can describe. I rest my case.
GTF: Ethan, you didn’t read the book, didn’t you?
Ethan: No I did not. (Sits down).
GTF: Right…I figured about as much. (Sighs). Does anyone have anything good to say about the reading? (Points to the Samurai). You. Um…(Looks at her syllabus). Samurai. Do you have anything to add to this thrilling discussion?
Samurai: If I may, I believe my wisdom would best be related through haiku.
GTF: Sure, knock yourself out.
Samurai: Domo. (Stands up and bows to the GTF. He pulls out a piece of paper and clears his throat). Silence drapes the land, deeply honoring the sky, purity gives thanks. (Sits down again).
GTF: (Confused as she nods her head, trying to understand). Okay…yeah, sure, I can see that.
Ethan: (Mouth wide open, he seems about to cry). That was so deep and heartfelt! Why don’t you ever show this side when I philosophize?!
Sebastian: (Disgusted). What in the hell did all of that mean? That was utter nonsense!
Samurai: (About to snap). It is from deep within my soul.
Sebastian: Leave it to a samurai to take such ridiculous trash and make it filthier.
Samurai: (Leaps up with his katana drawn, tip at Sebastian’s throat). You lie! (Spoken in Japanese).
Sebastian: (Sneers and laughs). Hah, so quick to anger, yet so sloppy in execution. (Quickly draws his rapier, knocks the Samurai’s katana out of the way, and stands up with the tip of his rapier at the Samurai’s throat, all in one swift motion). Tisk tisk, such a disappointment.
GTF: (Not really acting as if this is out of place). Alright everyone, calm down. We’re all a bit confused as to what Confucius meant, so let’s all put our various weapons away, sit down, and talk this out so that we learn something today instead of stab each other in the throats.
Samurai: (Puts his katana away and bows to the GTF). Sumimasen. (Sits down).
Sebastian: (Puts his rapier away). Hmh. I don’t have to listen to this rubbish all day. I have better things to do. (Waves his hand and walks away. As he turns, we can all see that the Haiku the Samurai wrote is taped to his back somehow. The Samurai smiles. Ethan starts laughing along with everyone else).
End of Episode 2
Episode the Third
Setting: The Samurai’s dorm room. He is sitting very calmly on the floor with his katana leaning against the wall and his legs crossed. He seems to be meditating. There is an entire sequence involving the Samurai going through the tea ritual, about to drink his tea. Just as he is about to do so, Ethan walks into the room.
Ethan: (Flings the door open, bumping into the Samurai and causing him to spill his tea). Hey Samurai! Finished with classes for the day? (Looks down and sees what a terrible mistake he’s made). Oh no.
Samurai: (Slowly looks up at Ethan). You have brought disgrace upon us both.
Ethan: No. No no. No I did not mean!
Samurai: (Slowly gets up and grabs his katana). We must settle this for the sake of honor.
Ethan: (Becoming frantic). Or, ooooor, we could just forget this ever happened and go on with our lives living. How about that? (The Samurai says nothing but maintains his cold stare). Okay, we’ll try that. (Ethan exits the room for a second and then reenters with a big grin on his face). Hi! How are you? (The Samurai does not move in the least). You’re going to kill me, aren’t you?
Samurai: Come. (Grabs Ethan by the shoulder).
Ethan: But, but… (Whimpers).
* * * * *
Setting: Courtyard of the dorms. The Samurai is standing on one side with his Katana drawn and ready. Ethan is on the other side whimpering and in tears while holding an umbrella.
Ethan: So no undos?
Ethan: No backsies?
Ethan: But I don’t want to die!
Samurai: Death is nothing more than a new stage of life.
Ethan: Don’t fortune cookie me right now! I need forgiveness, not fortune cookie advice!
Samurai: Then let us commence.
Ethan: Wait! (Thinks for a second). Tranquility comes from…the sharing of forgiveness! (Eyes shift around). Or something like that!
Samurai: Forgiveness cannot be given lightly, for only when saved for the truly needy does it gain meaning.
Ethan: (Still frantic for something good to say). But…the branch that does not bend is nothing more than a stick!
Samurai: And yet the branch that breaks can never be mended.
Ethan: Don’t you know about the Prodigal Son?! The Good Samaritan?! Anything that Jesus ever said?! He was aaaalllll about forgiveness! Turn the other cheek and so forth!
Samurai: (Thinks to himself, searching for a good response). Yes but I’m Buddhist.
Ethan: Ah come on!
Samurai: Prepare yourself. (Bows. Ethan does the same, although very worriedly. The two just stare at each other silently. Ethan whimpers again. The Samurai shushes him. After enough time, the Samurai runs at Ethan yelling. In a flash, the Samurai rushes up and quickly slaps Ethan gently on the cheek. Ethan is dumbfounded).
Samurai: (Smiles and sheaths his sword). Your debt has been paid. (Walks away. Ethan is left baffled and speechless).
Sebastian: (Leaning against a tree nearby). Hmh, pansy.
Ethan: Yeah, well…! You’re…! Meh. (Waves him off).
End of Episode 3
Episode the Fourth
Setting: On the lawn in the middle of campus. The Samurai and Ethan are walking together around the lawn. There are a few booths set up for various fraternities and sororities that are rushing.
Ethan: (We pick up this conversation mid-sentence as it is apparent that Ethan has been the only one talking). So that’s why it would make complete sense for you and I to go to a costume party dressed as Abbot and Costello.
Samurai: (Nods). Hmh.
Ethan: No no, seriously, put some thought into that. It’s either that or we go as the Hardy Boys. You do know who the Hardy Boys are, correct?
Ethan: Haven’t a clue, eh? Hahaha, “clue”? (Begins laughing at his own joke). You get it? (Stops laughing. The Samurai is dead serious). You’re right, why would you get that joke if you didn’t know who the Hardy Boys were? My bad. (They keep walking).
Frat Sponsor: Hey you two fine gentlemen there.
Ethan: (Confusedly points to himself). Us two?
Frat Sponsor: Yes you two. Are you looking for direction in your lives?
Samurai: We are always looking for the correct path to take.
Frat Sponsor: Fantastic! And do you find yourself constantly trying to better your community?
Ethan: Well, I do make sure to never take notes in class, thus saving precious paper from being wasted.
Frat Sponsor: Gentlemen, allow me to “cut to the chase” as they say in Hollywood. Our fraternity is looking for individuals just like yourselves to add to our already growing community.
Ethan: What frat are you a part of.
Frat Sponsor: Ahem, that’s “fraternity”, and I am part of Zeta Theta Phi.
Ethan: I’ve never heard of it.
Frat Sponsor: We’re new. In fact, we’re so new, we just started last week. So can I persuade you two to sign up? (Holds up a clipboard with very few names signed).
Samurai: How is your family growing if you have only three signatures on this board?
Ethan: (Thinks to himself). M’yes…he’s right. This sounds like a scam to me.
Frat Sponsor: (Shifty eyes). What? What’re you talkin’ about? Ain’t no scam here, nope, none.
Samurai: (Quickly pulls his katana out). Hiya! (Slices the clipboard in half).
Frat Sponsor: RAHR! (Spins around and reveals himself to be a ninja in disguise. He instantly throws down a smoke bomb and disappears).
Ethan: So he was a ninja!
Samurai: Hmh, I hate ninjas. (Puts his katana away and the two keep walking). So these “Hardy Boys”, who are they?
Ethan: Oh, well they’re two teenagers, not unlike you and I, and they-(Suddenly Sebastian yells at them from another booth).
Sebastian: (He and two others dressed basically like him, with rapiers at their sides as well, are standing at a booth). No surprise that I find you two out here looking for a place that’ll accept you as members.
Samurai: We are merely enjoying a walk on a calm afternoon; we mean no harm.
Ethan: Yeah, and we’re not interested in frats anyways. We were just gonna live together off campus next year. (The Samurai looks over at Ethan, very confused). We’ll talk more later…
Sebastian: Hah, as if any respectable fraternity would want you two as members in the first place.
Ethan: Hey, any fraternity would want us! Even some sororities have been asking for us to pledge! You’re just bitter because you’re stuck in a loser frat!
Sebastian: How dare you! (The other two draw their rapiers, but Sebastian stops them). No, these two aren’t worth our time.
Ethan: That’s right we aren’t! Wait…(He’s confused himself again).
Sorority Sponsor: (Walks up to the Samurai and Ethan holding fliers). Hi there! My name’s Sheryl!
Samurai: (Swoons). Sheryl…
Sheryl: Some of the Greek houses are getting together to hold a get-together and I think it’d be great if you two could come.
Ethan: (Takes a flier). A party, eh? (Turns to Sebastian to taunt him). Yeah we’ll come! And we’ll become the lives of the party, just you wait and see!
Sebastian: (Not impressed). Hah.
Sheryl: Great! I’ll see you both there! (Runs off).
Ethan: (The samurai is smiling and still swooning). Yeah, we’ll show them, eh? (Looks at the Samurai, then off at Sheryl, then at the Samurai). Huh? What’s all this then?
(“To Be Continued…” shows up as the episode ends).
End of Episode 4
Episode the Fifth
Setting: A typical fraternity-style kegger party. Ethan and the Samurai walk up to the front door and prepare themselves to enter.
Ethan: (He’s still dressed as usual in his cap and trench coat. He looks down at the flier to check his directions). Well, this looks like it’s the place. You ready to show them how great we are?
Samurai: (Still solemn, as usual). I am.
Ethan: Good, that’s the kind of can-do attitude that we’ve got to have going into this thing! Away we go! (They walk up to the door. Music and noise can already be heard coming from the party. They ring the doorbell).
Sheryl: (Answers the door). Hey, you two ended up coming after all! I’m so glad! (Looks the samurai up and down and smiles). Hey, cool sword! Did you get it at Excalibur’s?
Samurai: (Also smiles). This sword was forged by the Masimune family many generations ago.
Sheryl: Cool? (Turns to Ethan for an explanation).
Ethan: Just go along with it; he’s kinda into the whole culture and everything.
Sheryl: Hey, no complaints here, samurai are hot.
Samurai: (He swoons and turns to Ethan). Haha, samurai are hot.
Sebastian: (Sebastian walks into the doorframe from inside the party and hugs Sheryl). Hello dear. Come back to the party. (Sees Ethan and the Samurai). Oh, I didn’t see you two there. (The Samurai has instantly changed his attitude to pissed off). I wasn’t aware that they’d let just anyone into this party. (Snubs his nose at the two and walks away).
Sheryl: Don’t mind him; he thinks I’m into him or something. (Whispers to the two). I’m totally not by the way. (Back to normal voice). Come on inside already! (They all walk inside). Help yourselves to any food or drinks you want. If you need me I’ll be off talking with my sorority sisters in the main room. (Walks off).
Ethan: So, go follow her.
Ethan: She’s totally into you and you obviously dig her.
Samurai: (Becomes flustered and annoyed). Hmh, such outrageousness.
Frat Boy: (Walks up to the two holding a few brews). Hey boys, you looking for something good to drink?
Samurai: Have you any sake?
Frat Boy: Is that brewed in Wisconsin? (Samurai glares at him). Whatever. (Turns to Ethan). What about you bro?
Ethan: Nah, I don’t drink.
Frat Boy: Psh, yeah right. What are you, lame?
Ethan: No, I’m sober.
Frat Boy: Whatever. (Walks off).
Ethan: I’m starting to get a bad vibe about this place…
Samurai: (Looking around, cautious). Hmm…you too can sense the shift in nature?
Ethan: For the sake of agreement, yes, I can sense all sorts of random hoo-ha coming from nature. To keep it simple, I’ll define said hoo-ha as “juju.” I sense bad juju.
Samurai: Ah, I may know where the source is… (Points off towards Sebastian and a grouping of his frat brothers doing keg-stands in the middle of the room).
Ethan: Frat boys…
Samurai: They’re like unsuccessful ninjas.
Ethan: (Surprised). Was that a joke?
Sebastian: (Getting trashed). Wooo! That’s how we do it boys! (Looks over and sees Ethan and the Samurai). Oh my, why don’t you two come try this? Oh yes, that’s right, you don’t drink! Hahaha! (The other frat boys also start laughing).
Ethan: At least we’re not a bunch of drunken Chads!
Sebastian: What?! (Pissed). Big words coming from the poorest excuse of a man on campus! Tell me, how many women have you actually spoken to this year, or ever for that matter? (More laughter).
Ethan: Why you-! (Readies to attack).
Samurai: (Holds his hand up to stop Ethan from advancing further). No. Save your ki. You shall need it for the proper moment.
Ethan: You’re right. Come on. We’re about to become the lives of the party in the bestest way possible. (Grabs the Samurai’s arm and drags him to the main room where everyone’s dancing. A song has just ended. He announces to the room). And now, for your entertainment, we are about to break it down! (He waits a few seconds for the music to cue up).
Sheryl: You guys dance? That’s so cool!
Ethan: Do we dance? Hah, just you wait and see. (What we are about to witness is one awesome dance-off).
Sebastian: (Storms into the middle of the crowd where Ethan and the Samurai have gathered). What’s this? You expect a samurai to know how to dance? Hah!
Samurai: Shall we dansu? (Looks to Ethan, they both nod in unison. The music begins and the Samurai starts with very traditional Noh- and Kabuki-style dances).
Sebastian: Hah, don’t make me laugh. (Shoots back with his own dance style, a graceful almost-tango).
Ethan: Oh please. Show him how it’s done! (The Samurai busts out some serious moves at this point, and after another round of Sebastian dancing back, Ethan jumps into the mix and he and the Samurai totally shut Sebastian down with some killer moves).
(The whole room is chanting “Sa-mu-rai! Sa-mu-rai!”).
Sebastian: Unbelievable! (Runs from the room upon realizing that he’s been served).
(The room keeps chanting “Sa-mu-rai! Sa-mu-rai!” as the Samurai and Ethan continue dancing while the episode fades out).
End of Episode Five
Episode the Sixth
Setting: We find our hero the Samurai at a beach of all places, carefully walking on the sand with his katana at his side and a note in his hand.
Samurai: (The Samurai looks down and reads the note. It says “Meet me at the beach, if you so dare.”). Hmh? (His posture changes as he straightens up, his eyes shifting to a noise he’s heard behind him. He puts his hands at the ready to draw his sword and quickly turns his head to see behind him).
Sebastian: (Standing casually, one hand resting on his rapier ready to draw it if need be, the other hand holding a similar note). The Samurai? What are you doing here?
Samurai: (Unsure of what to make of this). This is not a challenge set up by you?
Sebastian: No, if I were to humiliate you it would be in a much more public location.
Samurai: (Sees the note that Sebastian has). We have been issued the same challenge. (Loosens his stance and turns completely around to face Sebastian, showing him his note).
Sebastian: Something isn’t right about all of this…
Samurai: It seems we have a mutual foe.
Sebastian: Yes. Someone lured us here for one reason or another. My apologies, but I’d rather you just leave and let me take care of the situation unhindered.
Samurai: My honor is at stake as much as your pride.
Sebastian: So what do you intend we do?
Samurai: That I do not know.
Ninja: (His voice is heard out of frame). So, you have both come.
Samurai: (Both Sebastian and The Samurai turn to see the ninja, although they seem unworried and more annoyed). Ninja…
Sebastian: I should have figured about as much.
Ninja: Sonic-boom-no-jutsu! (The ninja screeches at the two of them, knocking them both back a fair distance). Have you had enough? (Samurai and Sebastian look at each other and then back at the ninja). Fine then. Sonic-boom-no-jutsu!
–Sebastian and The Samurai both roll-dodge to the side, coming together to give a roundhouse-elbow to the ninja at the same time, clocking the ninja in his face and knocking him back.
Ninja: Gah! Very tricky, but I have more tricks. Lunar-eclipse-no-jutsu! (The area flashes as the moon rises and the sun sets). Aha! Now darkness has risen! A ninja’s strength is at its peak during the evening hours!
Sebastian: I hate ninja trickery. (Draws his rapier). Leave Samurai, you won’t be needed.
Ninja: Hahahaha, Shadow-Clone-no-jutsu! (Seems to split into many ninjas. They surround The Samurai and Sebastian).
Samurai: (Draws his katana). I have a feeling I may be needed after all.
Sebastian: Just stay out of my way. (He goes into his fencer stance as a ninja rushes him, only to be parried and knocked away).
Samurai: And to you the same. (A ninja begins sneaking up behind him, The Samurai casually stabs behind it without looking, dispatching the ninja easily).
-More ninjas make to attack as the two prepare in new stances.
-Sebastian ducks under a ninja’s punch, coming up and catching it in the chin, then stabs through the ninja, swinging the ninja around to act as a shield while another ninja jumps to attack, only managing to get impaled on Sebastian’s blade as well.
-Sebastian tries to pull his rapier free but finds it stuck as a ninja comes from behind him.
-Sebastian reacts by leaning back while grabbing the ninja’s arm, breaking it by bringing his elbow down onto it, then leaps up and kicks the ninja in the face.
-As another ninja runs up, Sebastian pulls his rapier free, slashing the ninja’s throat in the same motion.
-The Samurai takes a wide stance as he cuts a ninja’s foot from underneath him, getting low to the ground. He kicks at another ninja’s ankle, breaking it and forcing the ninja to buckle and fall down to a knee.
-The Samurai knees the ninja in the face, swinging his katana wide upon landing back on both feet. He runs directly at one ninja, slashing upward and throwing it back while another two ninjas move in from behind and from the front.
-He goes back and forth parrying dagger strikes before kicking backwards into a ninja’s stomach.
-As the ninja bends forward The Samurai rolls over it back-to-back, swinging his katana with him, slashing with another upward arc that sends the ninja spinning into the air and onto a number of other ninjas.
Sebastian: How long do you think you’ll be able to keep up, Samurai? (Turns back around to swagger at The Samurai as a ninja begins coming up behind him).
Samurai: (Turns to face Sebastian’s comment, seeing the ninja sneaking up). Behind! (Instantly moves in front of Sebastian while pulling out a smaller dagger and stabbing the ninja behind Sebastian’s head).
Sebastian: (He’s stunned and then instantly angry, pushing The Samurai away from him). I don’t believe I asked for your assistance. (Sees an advancing enemy coming up behind The Samurai. Sebastian panics, quickly rushing The Samurai and stabbing around him at the ninja).
Samurai: (Stunned to be getting help from Sebastian). You helped me?
Sebastian: Don’t get the wrong idea. The only way for you to meet your rightful destruction is at the end of my rapier or my biting wit. I won’t have a filthy ninja do this for me.
-The Samurai nods in agreement and the fight resumes, with The Samurai smashing a ninja on the top of the head with both hands while Sebastian grabs a ninja by the collar and punches it dead in the face.
-Sebastian and the Samurai turn toward each other and rush, with The Samurai leaping over Sebastian, slashing as Sebastian ducks under, stabbing on his way up. They turn around then swing their swords around and stab behind, once more offing two more ninjas.
-The Samurai crouches, allowing Sebastian to hop onto his shoulders. The Samurai stands up again, turning to hack at more ninjas.
-Sebastian keeps his balance while taking swipes downward with his rapier and making small kicks, stunning the ninjas long enough for The Samurai to dispatch them properly.
-Sebastian hops onto a ninja’s head, stomping it in the head and sending it to the ground. Sebastian twirls and stomps on the ninja’s chest.
-The Samurai sweeps a ninja’s feet with a kick, knocking it down. He then stabs downward into its chest, pinning it to the ground, before then kicking the ninja in the head, breaking its neck.
-The Samurai and Sebastian look to each other again before The Samurai tosses his katana to Sebastian who catches it and kicks his foot up to The Samurai. The Samurai grabs it and starts swinging Sebastian around in wide circles, moving around as ninjas are destroyed left and right.
-Finally, The Samurai lets go, hurling Sebastian into the air. At the height of his decent, he spins downward into a power-bomb onto one last ninja. He stands up as The Samurai pulls his katana from the fallen ninja.
Sebastian: (The last of the ninja defeated, Sebastian and The Samurai nod to each other. Sebastian turns to face the head ninja). Is that the last of your tricks ninja?
Ninja: I have but one more. (Snaps his fingers. Two more ninja come out from behind him, one with Ethan tied up and the other with Sheryl tied up).
Both Sebastian and Samurai: Sheryl!
Ethan: Hey, and Ethan too!
Samurai: What do you want of us?!
Ninja: I want you two to duel to the death. If the Samurai wins, the girl will die. If the fencer wins, the boy shall die.
Sebastian: You bastard!
Ninja: Hahahahahaha! (Throws down a smoke bomb). Spectator-no-jutsu! (Instantly a stage appears, erupting from the sand, complete with a crowd of ninjas standing around from the sides, watching and cheering. Spotlights are one the two in the center). Hahaha! Begin!
To Be Continued…
End of Episode 6
Episode the Final
Setting: Samurai and Sebastian are in center stage with spotlights around them, a crowd of ninjas is standing around watching. A head ninja stands above all, with two other ninjas standing next to him, one holding Sheryl captive and the other holding Ethan.
Ninja: You two must fight to the death! If the Samurai wins, the girl dies. If the fencer wins, the boy dies. Begin now!
Samurai: (Still has his sword out, unsure of what to do). What do we do?
Sebastian: You just die! (Leaps at The Samurai, his choice being a much easier one. He stabs at The Samurai, to which The Samurai sidesteps out of the way).
Samurai: No! We must not play his game!
Sebastian: I have no qualms with both the reject and you dying if it means Sheryl lives. I have a rather easy choice in the matter, wouldn’t you agree? (Swipes at The Samurai, who ducks under the attack. He swipes low, The Samurai jumps over. He swipes again and this time The Samurai blocks the attack with his katana. The two struggle against the other).
Samurai: There must be another way…
Sebastian: But I’m getting what I want; why would I need another way? (Cheaply kicks The Samurai in the stomach and leaps at him. The Samurai rolls away, getting a kick to the side of the head as he rises).
Ethan: Don’t worry about me buddy! I’m okay with whatever you choose to do! (Turns to Sheryl). No hard feelings when he wins and saves me, right?
Sheryl: This is barbaric!
Ninja: (Laughing manically). Yes! Hahaha, yes! Fight! Fight!
Ethan: Are you totally one-dimensional or something, ‘cause you don’t seem to have much depth dude.
Ninja: (Turns to Ethan). Silence-no-jutsu! (A handkerchief appears and wraps itself around Ethan’s mouth). Hahaha!
Sheryl: You keep yelling “no-jutsu” after stuff, but I don’t think you know what that means.
Ninja: It means something in ninja!
Sheryl: No, it’s just a corny line from a silly anime.
Ninja: Erm…shut-up-no-jutsu! (Crosses his arms in a huff and continues watching the match).
-Sebastian runs at The Samurai, who’s obviously not fighting to his potential, and the two go at it. The Samurai keeps frantically dodging around Sebastian’s swishes, parrying the attacks but never countering.
Sebastian: I’m not going to be merciful forever! This is your end!
-Sebastian swats The Samurai on the left shoulder, stunning his arm.
-The Samurai responds by slamming Sebastian in the head with the hilt of his katana. While Sebastian is stumbling, The Samurai kicks the rapier from his hands.
-Recovering quickly, Sebastian grabs The Samurai by the collar of his armor and pulls his face into Sebastian’s elbow. Sebastian then grabs The Samurai’s katana from him, swinging it and slicing The Samurai’s leg. He goes down.
-Sebastian swings the katana directly down at The Samurai’s head, who closes his eyes and looks straight down, reacting by catching the blade over his head.
Sebastian: What?! (Struggling to push the katana down). It’s not humanly possible to do that! It was proven to be a myth! It’s all about physics!
Samurai: I was never one to enjoy physics.
-The Samurai shifts the weight of the blade sideways, forcing Sebastian to slash the katana down into the dirt and fall off balance towards The Samurai, who rises to his feet while headbutting Sebastian.
-Sebastian lets go of the katana and stumbles backwards, stepping on his rapier. Once he realizes what he’s stepped on, he kicks the rapier into the air, catching it and taking a roundhouse swing at The Samurai, missing just barely.
-He does another roundhouse, tossing his rapier into the air right in front of his face. The Samurai is caught in the chest with a solid kick as Sebastian spins again, catching his rapier and swishing across The Samurai’s chest, leaving a mark.
-As he moves in to make the kill, The Samurai leaps to the side, allowing Sebastian to miss. The Samurai finishes by coming down on Sebastian’s noggin with his elbow. Sebastian is knocked senseless. As he’s falling he quickly rolls to his feet a few yards away, still ready to fight.
Samurai: Stop! We need a plan!
Sebastian: You need to die! (Tosses his rapier away and rushes The Samurai. He trips The Samurai and leaps on top of him, grabbing the smaller dagger from The Samurai’s side and thrusting it down at The Samurai, only to have The Samurai grab his arm and attempt to stop this from happening).
Sheryl: Enough! (Slams her head backwards into her captor’s face. She then hops into the air, pulling her restrained hands under her so that they’re in front, then reaches over her head, grabs the ninja, and hurls it over her).
Ethan: (Grabs the handkerchief with his teeth and removes it). That was tight! (Sheryl decks the ninja holding Ethan captive, knocking it out cold). Well done. So how about you and I…
Sheryl: (Turns to the action taking place on the ground floor). Samurai!
Ethan: Whatever; that’s cool.
Samurai: Enough indeed. (Sees that both Sheryl and Ethan are safe, instantly revitalizing him and putting passion into his eyes. The Samurai continues to hold Sebastian’s wrist with one hand, bringing the other hand up into Sebastian’s stomach. He then kicks up and throws Sebastian over his head and onto his back. The Samurai leaps up and is on top of Sebastian, picking up his katana again and pointing the tip at Sebastian’s throat).
Sebastian: (Calm despite his situation). Right then. Do with me as you will.
Samurai: (Stares at Sebastian, ready to finish him off, yet pulls back and sheaths his sword, walking away). No good would come from it.
Sebastian: (Stands up and brushes himself off). Always honorable, even till the end. How predictable. (Picks up his rapier and rushes The Samurai once more head-on with his rapier straightforward, about to catch him unsuspecting).
Samurai: (Turns around and thrusts his hand out). HAIKU!
–Time seems to stop as cherry blossoms appear from nowhere along with another giant image of The Samurai’s upper torso behind the real Samurai, calmly reciting a poem: “My enemy strikes; His blade and soul are feeble; I grow stronger still.”
-Sebastian is stopped instantly, his rapier crumpling like foil against a wall, before throwing him back, disarmed and shamed at last.
Ethan: (Runs into the fray). How did you do that?!
Samurai: Family secret.
Sheryl: (Also running down to the ground level. She instantly hugs The Samurai). You’re alright!
Samurai: (Blushes and smiles). As are you.
Ninja: (Clapping). Wonderful! Wonderful! (Walks down to the ground level). Congratulations my boy! You have won the Dean’s Scholarship!
Samurai: I have…I have what? (The Ninja pulls off his mask, revealing himself to be the Dean of the college).
Sheryl and Ethan: The Dean of the school?!
Ninja: Congratulations! (The crowd is cheering).
Sebastian: (Still on the ground, dizzy, and now even more angry). But…I was supposed to win that scholarship! My entire future was depending on it! It was fate!
Samurai: (Smiles and points at Sebastian). Looks like you’ve been eating misfortune cookies. (The Samurai throws his head back and belts out a hearty laugh, along with Ethan, Sheryl, and the Dean/Ninja. The scene pulls back and begins to fade away).
Sheryl: Haha, oh Samurai. (Smiles and kisses his cheek).
Samurai: Hahaha, I made a funny!
End of Saga the First