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Author Topic: Return Of The Son Of The EH Round Robin  (Read 11275 times)
MrWhat
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« Reply #45 on: August 23, 2004, 01:59:25 AM »

By now, Matthew had quite a large following of Mice Wearing Hats, Giant Sewer Rats, fan-servicey magical girls and demon gods.  All of them were dancing around him in a happy innocent round-the-maypole kind of way.

It should be noted that Giant Sewer Rats are not the most graceful of dancers-- to say nothing of fan-servicey magical girls who were still super-glued together.  In other words, there was quite a bit of bumping, jostling, and stumbling going on, in-between the happy innocent dancing.

The first effect of this clumsiness was painfully obvious to the entranced Mice Wearing Hats.  They were getting stomped on like never before.

The second effect became known to the still-entranced Ryoko.  She was actually a wonderful dancer, herself, but she finally got shoved off balance.  Sadly for Ryoko, she was shoved off-balance just as the Pan-Dimensional Pipe Parade passed a deep, deep chasm.

The entranced Ryoko fell back through an old rotting wooden fence bearing a warning sign, and plummeted into a deep, deep chasm.  She was too entranced (and exhausted from dancing) to fly.  Instead, she harmlessly (being a nigh-invulnerable True Demon God) fell away, in a Wile E. Coyote kind of way, to raise a tiny cloud of dust when she hit bottom.



The third effect became known to everyone when a Giant Sewer Rat stumbled into Matthew himself.  Matthew also stumbled in place-- and dropped his "Captain Bacon" action figure.

If there is an emotional force more powerful than the Pan-Dimensional Pipe Of Ka-Boom, it's the fondness that young otaku have for their action figures.

Matthew kneeled down, scooped up his beloved action figure (before a Giant Sewer Rat stomped on it), and pocketed it.  And then, the still-entranced Matthew raised the pipes to resume his Song O' Death.

But then, he frowned.  "Now let's see-- where was I?" he said to himself.  "I think it was the last verse-- or was it the next-to-last verse?  Or maybe it was that extended solo in the bridge between the sixth and seventh choruses?..."

The fatal flaw of the Pan-Dimensional Pipe of Ka-Boom was, of course, that it was activated with a new-age song.  And most new-age music is extremely repetitious.  And most new-age music is extremely repetitious.  And most new-age music is extremely repetitious.  If the user of the pipes is distracted, he's almost certain to lose his place, entranced or no.

And so it was that Matthew Zamfir Saved The World-- by saving his own Bacon.



Mike, Tom and Crow:  GAH AGAIN!!



The no-longer entranced Incredible Ishy looked down at her fan-servicey Sailor Mercury uniform, and Astounding Affy looked down at her corresponding fan-servicey Sailor Jupiter uniform.

Then, the two linked magical-girl priestesses looked at each other's costumes.

And then, they both sweat-dropped like nobody's business.

"Um, Afura?" said Ishiel.

"Yes?" said Afura.

"Let's never speak of this again."

"Yes," Afura agreed.  "Let's not."

Ishiel sighed.  "Still, no harm done.  But let's separate our lamps before anything else happens."

She held up the Semi-Fearsome (and unused) Lamp Of The Two Elements, and Afura plucked her wind lamp away from it.  And then, of course, a surge of feedback energy completely destroyed their clothes, leaving them both naked as treefish.

Ishiel sighed.  "Shoulda seen that one coming.  Hang on a minute..."

She frowned with concentration.  An aura of half-Phantom-Tribe energy enveloped the two nekkid women.  And then, when the light faded, they were both wearing really amazingly Cool Times Ten (and perfectly matching) Matrix outfits, courtesy of Ishiel's half-PT illusions.

Afura peeked over her ultra-cool eyeglasses at her special friend.  "Thanks, Ishiel!  So... now that we've survived the final climactic end-of-the-world battle, what should we do next?"

Ishiel winked.  "Let's do what all good little anime girls do at the end of every anime series."

Afura gasped with pleasant surprise.  "You mean--"

Ishiel grinned, and gently pulled at Afura's still-glued hand.  "We're goin' to Arliman!!"



Makoto and Ifurina stood in a small open "corner" of the minds-space than now imprisoned Kalia.

"Good work, Ifurina," said Makoto.  "We've saved the world again."

Ifurina smiled sadly.  "Thanks.  But what can we do now?  We're both still dead, after all.  Are we going to be trapped in this little corner of this dark empty place forever?"

Makoto smiled warmly.  "No, I don't think so.  You remember that The Other was going to use the power of the Palace Of Infinity to create new bodies for itself, before it found itself trapped here?"

Ifurina blinked.  "Um, yes?"

"Well, we should be able to borrow enough power to create two new bodies.  And we don't have to create them from scratch.  There's a vacant Kalia demon-god body for me, and we should be able to rejuvenate your demon-god body with its dormant nanites."

A sweet tear of pure joy trickled down Ifurina's cheek.  "Oh!" she cried.  "Katsy-Watsy's nanites are going to save me again?  If only he were still alive!"

Makoto pulled a face.  "Uh...  Katsy-Watsy?"

"Yes," Ifurina sniffed.  "Mr. Fred told me that he died."

Makoto raised an eyebrow.  "By any chance, was Mr. Fred wearing a blue suit with a red necktie?"

"Yes," Ifurina sniffed again.  "Do you know him?"

"Hoo boy.  Do I ever," Makoto said.  "But, more importantly, you know him too."

And then, Makoto leaned towards Ifurina, and whispered into her ear, explaining the relationship between Demon God Katsy-Watsy and Mr. Fred.

Ifurina blinked.  "Oh."

Then Ifurina got the picture.  "Oh!"

And then, Ifurina hugged Makoto in joy.  "Oh!  I can't wait to see Mr. Fred again!  But-- what should I say to him?"

Makoto smiled wryly.  "I've got an idea."  And he whispered in Ifurina's ear again.
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MrWhat
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« Reply #46 on: August 23, 2004, 01:59:54 AM »

The defeated Guide slowly lifted itself up from the ground.  All its enemies had been thrown clear by the blast triggered by Minagi's disembodied Boot To The Head, and they were only just recovering their wits as well.

The Guide's plans to destroy the entire multi-verse had come to naught, and the Creation Matrix was now well and truly busted.  It also found that, to its dismay, a large portion of its own circuitry had been burnt out.  In its currently wounded state, it was only able to see along six or seven axes of probability.

It was forced to confront the humiliation of existing through fewer dimensions than a fan-servicey ten-dimensional Yggdrasil goddess.

However, the Guide still controlled the Creterian Eye of God.  It might not be able to destroy the entire multi-verse, but it might still do a fair job of horsing up this dimension.  And after their amazingly well-coordinated attack, all its enemies were as dazed and confused as the Guide itself.

The Guide briefly paused to watch the dying Doctor gasp her last breath.  Well, at least that's gone according to plan, it thought.

And then, a pantry-shaped door in time and space suddenly opened in front of the Guide and the dying Doctor.  Ifurina, holding the now-departed Staff-chan in her hands, peeked out from the Fujisawas' kitchen.

Past-Ifurina screamed in terror.

The Guide slowly turned to face her, its eyes glowing like cigarettes, narrowing to the thinness of a knife-edge.  For a moment, she could tell it was experiencing something purer than confusion, followed by something less human than anger.  "You?" it hissed.  Its voice was horrible, so cold and sterile, like a scientist making a recording of his observations.  "Impossible," it continued in that horrific analytical voice, "I killed you.  I saw you die."

Ifurina clutched her staff close to her in fear.  Staff-chan was every bit as terrified.  He could barely see through the whirlwind of sand, but he could just about percieve what The Guide was holding in its talons: The Creation Matrix, spent and broken.  Somehow they both felt it as the Guide aimed the Creterian Eye of God at them.  

"Close the door!" shouted Staff-Chan.

Past-Ifurina stood in place, too scared to move.  The air around them began to feel warmer, and the sand seemed to slow down slightly.

"Ifurina!  CLOSE THE DOOR!!"

Past-Ifurina closed the door in time and space, an instant before the wounded Guide, holding the spent and broken Creation Matrix, directed the haywire Creterian Eye of God to fire on it.

Past-Ifurina didn't realize it yet, but what she had just done was about as Good as anything gets.

The haywire Creterian Eye Of God fired on a target that was no longer there.  Well, sort of.  Well, not really.

As it turned out, the haywire Creterian Eye Of God had gone so haywire that it couldn't hurt a dolphin-bear flea.  Instead, in a final blatant egregious moment of writerstakelibertiesmaticswriters, it fired a weak beam of seriously haywire energy squarely at the dying Doctor, and flooded her in an aura of warm golden light.

As the Creterian Eye Of God joined the long, long list of well and truly busted ancient technology in El-Hazard, the no-longer dying Doctor staggered to his feet.  His feet.

"*ack*" said the Guide.

The Doctor had become an irascible, brusque, and occasionally condescending and rude old man, with long white hair and a piercing glare, in a nondescript black jacket and slacks.

"*eep*" said the Guide.

Oddly enough, the Doctor's broken mop had also regenerated into an unbroken walking stick.

"*arg*" said the Guide.

The Fourteenth Doctor stood up, brushed at his clothing, and held his lapels proudly.  "Well, well.  That blast of energy seems to have somehow given me another set of regenerations.  Quite convenient, that."

"*gah*" said the Guide.

"What!?" the Doctor snapped, in an irascible and brusque kind of way.  "There's precedent in the Doctor Who canon for this, you know."

"*ngh*" said the Guide.

"Well, never mind that," the Doctor said.  "It's time to take care of your infernal meddling, once and for all."

"Oh!?" the Guide said, its nearly-infinite machine patience finally at an end.  "And exactly how do you propose to do THAT!?  Wounded and disabled as I am, I am still more than capable of-- OUCH!!"

The Doctor had just begun to whack the Guide with his walking stick.

"HEY!!" the Guide yelled.  "Cut it out!!  That HURTS!!--  OUCH!!  OUCH!!  OUCH!!"

And so it was that the wounded and disabled Guide learned a lesson that Millie, Parnasse and Gan-chan had already learned from Master Splinter--  if there's one law that's even more inescapable than the law of Love Hina Punches, it's the law of Getting Whacked By Some Grouchy Old Fart With A Walking Stick.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2004, 02:03:03 AM by mrwhat » Logged
MrWhat
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« Reply #47 on: August 23, 2004, 02:07:19 AM »

It's over, thought Princess Myuun of Baron.  It's finally over.

She remained motionless and slumped over for some time, alone in the chamber that housed the interface of the Mantle of God.

Only... the interface was gone.  She hadn't yet opened her eyes, but she instinctively knew that it was gone.  The machinery and the circuitry around her had been broken beyond repair.  It was twisted, and in pieces, and deader than a twenty-year-old car battery in North Dakota in February.

And Myuun knew that she had... changed, too.  The twenty-three dimensional energies that had surged all around her, and over her, and through her, had forever changed her, too.

She scarcely dared open her eyes, for fear of finding herself mutated beyond all recognition.  She was thankful that she still lived, and that she still had a solid body, and that she hadn't been reduced to lifeless organic sludge, or burned to fine ash like a pedophile Phantom Triber.

But she felt... smaller.

Finally, after a moment that seemed to last for hours, she forced her eyes open, and held up her hands.  Well, she had to push back her sleeves first.  Her clothing seemed too big for her, now.

Thankfully, her hands were human, and they seemed to be female.  But they were even smaller, and more delicate, than before.  And they were still a bit on the pale side, but they were more pink than before.

She held up a lock of her long flowing hair, and found that it was now purple, instead of black.

She held her face in her hands, and felt a slightly raised diamond-shaped emblem in the center of her forehead.

And then, for some reason, she happened to think of the despicable Princess Fatora-- and her sweet little heart suddenly raced with... longing.

Oh no, she thought.  Not that.  Anything but that.



Myuun weakly staggered out of the ancient observatory of Baron... and found herself surrounded by wacky female ninjas.  They promptly glomped her, pushed her to the ground, and sat on her head.

But then, they picked her up again, and as one, they gasped.

"At last!" the leading ninja cried.  "We have fulfilled our final quest!  We can return to our mistresses Gatora and Hatora, and our new mistress Fatora!  For, at least, we have found the Third Alielle!  We have found a Calielle for our mistresses!!"

Oh crap!!, Myuun thought.

Although... on second thought...

Myuun slowly smiled to herself.  I still have my self-taught powers of mind control, she thought.  Perhaps I can use them to my advantage... and to my new sisters Alielle and Balielle's advantage, as well.  Perhaps I can repay Fatora for the "favors" she has bestowed upon me in the past.  With my new physiological attraction to Fatora, that possibility sounds quite enjoyable, indeed.

And it would be nice to take a break, she thought, after these past weeks of inscrutable actions to protect my beloved native kingdom of Gannan.  All work and no play makes a former inscrutable art-goth babe, and a current second-clone of a wacky lesbian side-kick, a dull girl.

And so it was that, as the wacky female ninjas bore Myuun/Calielle away, she began to exert her will over them.  Slowly, so slowly, one by one, their minds fell under her inscrutable control.

And when the ninjas brought their trophy to the seminary... well, Fatora, Gatora and Hatora never knew what hit 'em.  But, being the perverts that they all were, everyone enjoyed every minute of it.



Afura and Ishiel sat side-by-side in one of the Arliman baths.  They both sat against one wall of the bath, submerged in therapeutic mineral waters to their chins, staring forwards, with very, very embarrassed expressions on their faces.  They held each other's glued hands under hot water-- water which completely failed to weaken the still-fresh and insoluble glue whatsoever.

Of course, Muldoon priestesses bathed together regularly, both at the seminary, and during breaks from active service.  They cheerfully and innocently scrubbed each other's backs, and brushed each other's hair, without all the hang-ups that plague many other segments of human society, both in El-Hazard and in other worlds.

But, of course, Ishiel and Afura were a special case.  And before they had showered and bathed together, they had done something else together-- something that was even more private and intimate than showering and bathing together.

Ishiel finally breathed out, and relaxed a little.  "Well... that was... just... yikes."

"Yes," said Afura.  "Quite."

"I didn't think there was anything left unsaid or undone between us," said Ishiel.  "After all we've been through... when we were school-aged friends at the seminary... when we became mortal enemies... and then, when we reconciled, and became... uh, whatever it was that we became.  And then, when we wielded the Fairly Fearsome Lamp Of The Two Elements together, and glimpsed each other's souls..."

"Yes," Afura said again.  "But we've been stuck together for several hours now.  We should have realized that, sooner or later, we would both have to help each other go to the bathroom.  After all, they made a point of that in the Oh My Goddess! 'Hand In Hand' manga that the current writer is shamelessly plagiarising, yet again."

After a contemplative moment of silence, Ishiel turned to Afura.  "Well, anyway... there's something else that we need to work out between us.  Um, Afura?  Just before the Giant Sewer Rats attacked... when you said, uh, the 'L' word?  Did you mean it like, as in, uh..."

"Yes," Afura said quietly.  "I'm the only priestess who's immune to Makoto's haremic powers, you know.  I mean, no offense, but even you had a brief make-out session with him.  And the current writer is trying to write a more original alternate love-interest for me, in his stand-alone fan fiction... but, in the Round Robin, he's following the previous writers' lead, and using the usual reason for why I wouldn't be interested in Makoto... or any man..."

And then, Afura turned to Ishiel, in turn.  "So... now that I've confessed... that leaves your feelings.  And I know that you could, um, go either way... but..."

Afura's voice faded to a sad whisper.  "Do you think that you could be happy... with me?..."

Ishiel smiled wryly.  "Well, it's not as if I have a choice, for the next few days.  And you ain't no Demon God Yakage, but I think you might just do."

Afura and Ishiel exchanged another look that spoke volumes.  They squeezed each other's hands, under water, more tightly than ever.  And they began to slide closer together, and to turn to face each other...

And then, nothing happened.  It was partly because, while the current writer obviously enjoys writing innuendo-laden creepy experimental fan service, he also believes that the most private and intimate moments are best left to the imagination.

Nothing also happened because Shayla suddenly walked up, followed by Kauru.  They had both just come from the Arliman showers.  They both wore bath towels and carried little buckets with brushes and soaps.

"Hey!" Shayla said loudly, causing a startled Afura and Ishiel to jump in place.  "Is this bath reserved for Perverts Only, or is there room for a real priestess?"

Soopah-genius-Kauru frowned.  "Miss Shayla, the two states are not mutually exclusive.  It is entirely possible, and quite common in fact, for one to be both a genuine priestess and a genuine pervert-- YEEEK!!"

Kauru (and Shayla) yelped when, as one, Afura and Ishiel reached up with their free hands, grabbed Shayla and Kauru by an ankle each, and unceremoniously dragged them both into the bath.

And then, for the next hour or so, the four women forgot about all their troubles and concerns, as the four great priestesses of the four elements.  They even forgot all the little things that they constantly argued about.  Instead, they chatted about unimportant things, and scrubbed each others' backs, and brushed each others' hair.  They even drank a little sake, on the side.  In other words, they all had a wonderful and well-deserved bath together.

It was quite heart-warming, really.
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MrWhat
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« Reply #48 on: August 23, 2004, 02:14:13 AM »

Jinnai and his elite Bugrom troops marched along the path of the now-disbanded Pan-Dimensional Pipe Parade.  In their haste, they hadn't yet got to the point where they turned back to take a hovercraft.

They came to a halt, in sheer surprise, when Ifurina flew up to meet them.  She shrieked with joy, flew at Jinnai, glomped him and threw him to the ground.

As the Bugrom sweat-dropped, Jinnai stammered.  "Uh-- Miss Ifurina?  I'm, uh, glad to see you whole and well--"

Ifurina held a finger to his lips.  "Ah ah ah!  You've been a naughty, naughty Mr. Fred!  Or, should I say-- Katsy-Watsy?"

Before Jinnai could react to this, Ifurina pulled her finger away from Jinnai's lips-- and planted one on him.

It was the best kiss that Jinnai had hever shared.  Of course, being Jinnai, he hadn't had that many kisses.  But still, as Ifurina kissed him, he felt a wonderful warmth spread through his lips... his face... his whole body.

Ifurina sat up, and winked, in a rather un-Ifurina-like kind of way.  "That is for saving my life.  If you had only told me that it was you, I would have done it before now."

Jinnai staggered to his feet-- and suddenly noticed that he was taller, and that his body had beefed up.  His hair had lengthened, and even his clothing had changed, his jacket now resembling a long-sleeved version of Ifurita's black coat.

"Welcome back, Katsy-Watsy," Ifurina said shyly.  "I just learned how to control those nanites better.  So, I asked them to make a copy of themselves, and I just put the copies back into your body.  I, um, hope that's okay with you--"

"Is that OKAY!?" the once-again bishounen Jinnai shouted.  "It's EXCELLENT!!  Now that we're both demon gods, we can finally conquer this world together!!--"

Jinnai jumped, expecting to take flight-- but instead, he fell flat on his face.

"Um, yeah," Ifurina said.  "About that?  Um, I've only given you immortality and a little extra strength with your drop-dead sexy body.  We've already had so many awful wars.  Let's not go start any more, 'kay?"

Jinnai sighed.  Well, he thought, there was plenty of time to convince the lovely but foolish girl that their destiny lay in victory and conquest.  "Very well, Ifurina.  At least I can take satisfaction in the defeat of Mizuhara--"

Ifurina smiled cheerfully.  "Oh yeah!  Mr. Makoto said to say hello.  He gave me the idea to turn you into my eternal love-slave-- er, I mean, my drop-dead sexy yet mostly-powerless demon-god boyfriend.  Anyway, you can thank him for all this--"

Jinnai raised his face to the sky, took a deep breath, and screamed like the lost and wandering spirit of a hapless South American immigrant construction worker with a sexy wife and adorable son from an experimental quack TV anime series recently released on Region 1 DVDs that, overall, wasn't nearly as good as everyone said it was.

"NOOOOO!!"



Fujisawa returned to Floristica, en route to the house that he shared with Miz and the baby on the far side of town.

The Bugrom were already rebuilding Floristica, yet again.  The failed and forgotten battles with the Mice Wearing Hats (and Giant Sewer Rats) were barely at an end, and yet, much of Floristica was already open for business.

Fujisawa entered a bakery shop, and breathed in deeply.  Oh, he thought.  It smells so good in here.

An attendant greeted him cheerfully.  "May I help you, sir?"

Fujisawa cut to the chase.  "Got a loaf of bread?"

The attendant turned and gestured to a long large shelf, fully stocked with freshly-baked breads of every kind known to El-Hazard.

Fujisawa grinned.  That bread looks, and smells, wonderful, he thought.  And after the fan-servicey welcome-home that Miz gave me last time, I can't wait to see what she'll do when I bring her some of this wonderful bread.



Just outside the Palace of Infinity, Ifurita and Wa Salli Alayhim embraced.

"I am so sorry that I destroyed your soul-mate," Wa Salli Alayhim said tearfully.

Ifurita smiled tearfully in response.  "Thank you... but this more than makes up for that."

Demon-god Makoto stood before them both.  With Kalia's hateful spirit sealed away forever, he had availed himself of the demon-god body that Yakage had begun and Peorth had completed, and that Kalia had briefly used.

As with Demon God Katsy-Watsy, he was a bit taller and beefier, now.  And, following Kalia's use of the demon-god body, Makoto's skin was a bit darker, and his hair had gone platinum-blond.  But he still had the same warm brown eyes, and the same sweet smile, that Ifurita loved so dearly.

"Oh, Salli," said Ifurita, as she brushed away tears of joy.  "Now, Makoto and I can be together forever, as two True Demon Gods."

Salli took Ifurita's hands, then reached out and took Makoto's hands.  She held their hands together.  "Go now.  Be happy.  I shall remain here, to guard the Palace of Infinity, until the damage done by the Ancients is finally repaired.  And then, perhaps I shall have earned my final rest."

And so it was that Makoto and Ifurita took their leave of the Palace of Infinity together.

Once again alone, Salli turned back to the sphere at the heart of the Palace of Infinity.  The darkness was gone from it.  It once again glowed with indescribable warm healing energies.

Perhaps there is such a thing as a happy ending, after all, Salli thought to herself.  At any rate, the current writer has certainly written a fine scene to end with.



Unfortunately, the current writer still had one more scene left.  And any Warm And Fuzzy Feelings from this scene would soon be forgotten.
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MrWhat
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« Reply #49 on: August 23, 2004, 02:21:00 AM »

OOC:  This is the last of NINE replies that I've just posted.  (Again, I wrote these at top speed, so please forgive any spelling, grammar and continuity errors.)  If you're reading the "most recent posts," please open this topic for The Rest Of The Story.



Ryoko stirred, blinked, pulled herself up to a sitting position, and rubbed at her poor head.

She looked around, and found herself sitting on the rough floor of a narrow chasm, surrounded on all sides by smooth vertical stone walls.  The only sunlight came from a thin crack of open sky, far above her.  The air was cold and clammy, and still as death, like the air sealed in a tomb.

Ryoko shuddered, despite herself.  Where the heck am I?, she thought.

As luck would have it, the warning sign that Ryoko had broken through had fallen into the chasm after her.  It had caught against a rough area on the chasm wall above her.  But at that moment, it swung free-- and bounced off Ryoko's head.  "OUCH!!"

She slowly sat up again, and rubbed at her poor head again, with one hand.  She picked up the sign with her other hand, and narrowed her demon-god eyes to read its message in the darkness.

Quote
DEAUX-DEAUX CHASM
Please do not continue past this sign!
(unless you wish to meet a horrible, horrible fate)
Have A Nice Day!


Swell, Ryoko thought.  I'm in Deaux-Deaux Chasm... and I'm literally in "deep doo-doo."  And what kind of a name is "Deaux-Deaux"!?  That's almost as stupid as naming a natural rock column "Great Googly Moogly"!

Well, she thought, I'm exhausted from all that... dancing?  And from the falling, too.  I don't have enough energy left to fly outta here, or to phase out, or even to climb out.  I'll just have to wait, and rest for an hour or two, until my body recharges itself.

I just hope nothing else happens.  I wouldn't have the energy to put up a fight...

Sadly for Ryoko, something else was about to happen.  This was the current writer's last scene, after all, and he had been saving the worst for last.

In fact, Ryoko was about to face the ultimate in creepy experimental fan service.  All that had gone before-- the contrived gratuitous nudity, the mud-wrestling, the straitjackets, the varnish and the super-glue-- all of that was a walk in a G-rated Disney-fied park, compared to what was in store for Ryoko.  It might very well be the creepiest and experimental-est fan service in all anime fandom.  (At least, the current writer hoped there wasn't anything "worse" out there.)

Ryoko had, in fact, just disturbed one of the most unspeakable horrors still extant in El-Hazard.  It had been crawling towards her, slowly but surely, all this time.  As it revealed itself to Ryoko's demon-god senses, she gasped, and shuddered again.  She fell back against one chasm wall, and fell into shadow.  She clutched at herself in the darkness, and she felt her stout demon-god heart pound.

The horror that now surrounded Ryoko on three sides, and towered over her tall as three men, was known only to a few local adventurous and open-minded women (all of whom were happy, relaxed and... satisfied, in a deeply, deeply disturbing kind of way) as... Squiggly.

Its longest tentacles slithered towards the weakened and vulnerable Ryoko.  They steamed with warmth in the clammy chasm air, and dripped with the requisite sticky semi-transparent goo.  They were instinctively positioned to slither all over Ryoko's shapely female figure, in a kind of way that's about as deeply disturbing as is humanly imaginable.

Ryoko hung her head and sighed sadly.  Why me?, she thought.  And why now?  Darn it, the Round Robin had got this far without any tentacle monsters!



OOC:  And with that lovely scene, I'm calling it quits.  Thanks to all for putting up with Teh Creepy Experimental Fan Service, and for letting me spew this pointless nonsense in general, while I was too busy to write anything more involved than drabbles on my own.

If enough people want to start another story-arc, or a whole new Round Robin, in the future, I'll jump back in, if I can.  But now, it's time for me to try to re-launch Hana Ni Arashi for the gazillionth time.
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0ne_man
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« Reply #50 on: September 15, 2004, 04:10:03 PM »

HI!
I'm new here and just reading the hole story and is really cool ^_^V
One question is this the end because its just suddenly  interrupted in the midlle of action and I'm waiting for next part, long time. Not seen any reply and just wondering if something will appear  ???  ;)
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MrWhat
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« Reply #51 on: September 18, 2004, 10:34:55 PM »

Quote
HI!
I'm new here and just reading the hole story and is really cool ^_^V
One question is this the end because its just suddenly  interrupted in the midlle of action and I'm waiting for next part, long time. Not seen any reply and just wondering if something will appear  ???  ;)

OOC:  As I look at this topic now, the fourth page and the last five replies seem to be "cut off."  But as I type this reply, all nine of my last replies are there, at the bottom of the "Reply" page.  The message board has had problems with its host server; I'll defer to Bob for news on that.

As far as the actual Round Robin, I haven't heard anything privately, from the other writers, so I assume its status is the same as before.  Rowan might post a few "epilogue" replies, but besides that, it's over.

I could come back to it "someday," myself... but that would have to be sometime next year, at the earliest.  I'm desperately trying to work on my own fan fiction projects, and my Real Life is just completely unsettled.  I just don't have time for this, now.

Unrelated Thing #1:  As I type this, the next Hana Ni Arashi update is 50% in the can.  I'll probably "release" parts 14-16 for preview while I work on part 17.  Part 17 is a nearly-continuous 3600-word action sequence, and that's going to be difficult to work out.

Unrelated Thing #2:  "Someday," I plan to recycle "Schrodinger's Cat Girl" from this thing, for an original anime parody.  I'm thinking, a brilliant graduate student suffers a tragic accident involving a finite improbable knowledge generator and a cup of coffee.  She gains amazing powers of Uncertainty, along with a disturbing predilection for fan-servicey cat-girl costumes.

Unrelated Thing #3:  Apparently, I ought to recycle the super-glue jokes too.  There's actually a market for that kind of thing.  YIKES!!
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Andrusi
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« Reply #52 on: September 26, 2004, 01:15:19 PM »

Thank goodness for the Reply summary.  Otherwise I never would have been able to see the ending.

Which was great, BTW.
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ANDRUSI

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0ne_man
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« Reply #53 on: October 13, 2004, 12:39:11 PM »

Quote

OOC:  As I look at this topic now, the fourth page and the last five replies seem to be "cut off."  But as I type this reply, all nine of my last replies are there, at the bottom of the "Reply" page.  The message board has had problems with its host server; I'll defer to Bob for news on that.

As far as the actual Round Robin, I haven't heard anything privately, from the other writers, so I assume its status is the same as before.  Rowan might post a few "epilogue" replies, but besides that, it's over.

I could come back to it "someday," myself... but that would have to be sometime next year, at the earliest.  I'm desperately trying to work on my own fan fiction projects, and my Real Life is just completely unsettled.  I just don't have time for this, now.


OK thx for clarification and YEAH!!! the ending was splendid   8)
« Last Edit: October 13, 2004, 01:04:35 PM by 0ne_man » Logged
rowan_a._seven
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« Reply #54 on: November 25, 2004, 03:39:31 PM »

Darkness.  As far as the eye could see, there was darkness.  Unending, unforgiving, unforgettable darkness.

And then there was light...

Wa Salli Alayhim, surrounded by a nimbus of glowing radiance, descended through the dreamscape, emotionless, cold eyes observing everything as she let her instincts guide her.  The darkness resisted, coagulating into an inky blackness that surrounded and slowed but was unable to stop.  

"Let me pass," the first demon goddess commanded, voice ancient beyond reckoning as her eyes narrowed in warning.  "I have unfinished business here."

Soundlessly, the darkness swirled and spun around Salli, becoming a mute whirlwind of frightening ferocity.  As the silent gusts futilely tried to tear her to shreds, Salli's lips curled downward in the smallest indication of a frown.  Slowly, gracefully, she extended an upraised arm, and a tiny globe of white light sparked into existence above her palm.  A second later it swelled into large, horizontal beam that gradually resolved itself into the shape of a staff.  Its light faded, and the first demon goddess reached out, grabbed the likeness of her War Key, and spun it around so that it stood vertically.  The gems embedded within the staff's frame simultaneously flashed a darkness darker than twilight, and the shadows of the dreamscape shuddered and receded.

Now unimpeded, Salli continued her controlled descent.  Falling for what may have been a short eternity or a sustained second, she eventually reached a body of water that seemed to stretch on endlessly.  Looking down at the ocean of bitter, icy tears, Salli saw a distorted, maddened, wailing reflection of herself.  Undaunted, the demon goddess closed her eyes and plunged feet-first into the liquid depths.  Salli noted without surprise that, although she was surrounded by water as she sank, she did not feel any wetness.

Finally, the demon goddess broke through the other side, and the ocean above her was now a scorched, storm cloud filled sky.  Below, an ancient, ruined city that once could've been a metropolis full of life but was now a dead wasteland awaited.  Her target at last in sight, Salli momentarily hesitated, knowing that this was her last chance to turn back and that she had the rest of her artificial life to deal with this matter.  The touch of a hateful, anguished wind against her frame reminded her why she'd come in the first place, though, and she strengthened her resolve.  Better to resolve this now than let old wounds fester any further.

With a thought, Salli lowered herself and landed unpretentiously within the ruin's main square.  Perched on the crumbling remains of an empty fountain, a dark-skinned, white-haired child wearing tattered rags opened her eyes.  The two figures gazed solemnly at each other, faces impassive, the dead silence broken only by the howling wind.

"Why have you come...sister?" the child finally asked, voice strangely tortured and empty at the same time.  "There's nothing left for you to do here."

Salli remained silent for a moment, calmly watching her youngest 'sibling' with an unreadable expression in her eyes.  Finally, after a pregnant moment, she spoke.  "You are mistaken, Kalia.  The Dollmaker still has a design for you."

"Oh you _must_ be joking!" Kalia exclaimed disbelievingly as she threw her head back and laughed brokenly.  The wind howled and raged.  "_Mother_ took my lives, denied me the peace of death, and turned me into the destructive monster you see before you.  What other torture could she want to put me through?"

"The Dollmaker knew of your suffering, Kalia," Salli explained gravely, unmoved by the shrieking, unforgiving gale that reverberated throughout the ruins, "and, in a moment of fleeting sanity, supplied me with instructions to give you what you deserve should the circumstances ever permit it.  I would not have bypassed the firewall and risked entrapment in here with you were it otherwise."

Kalia's laughter stopped, and a nearly hopeful look crossed her face as she stared at the first demon goddess.  "Are you going to kill me?"

"...No," Salli answered, raising her War Key and aiming it at the tortured soul.  "I'm here to give you life."

"Eh?" Kalia mumbled in confusion from where she was slumped over despondently, eyes widening and arms instinctively rising defensively as Salli's War Key glowed a brilliant white and emitted a single, solitary note that drowned out even the roaring wind and almost sounded like music.  "What do you me-AIEEEEEEEEEE!!!"

Salli bowed her head as Kalia's form dissolved into millions of tiny specks of multi-colored light and rose into the air.  The breeze, now masterless, diminished and disappeared, free at last from the chains of hatred that had endlessly perpetuated it.  Slowly, the ruins crumbled and dissipated, revealing the splendor of a baby universe.    

"May you find happiness in your second life, sister.  I'll be hoping for the best," Wa Salli Alayhim, first and last of the demon gods, said with a smile as she, too, disappeared and returned to her duties as Guardian of the Palace of Infinity.  "Peace be with you."

******

"Honoka, I'm home!" shouted a tall, olive-skinned man with short, neatly cut black hair and a friendly, contagious grin on his face as he entered the music store.  Scorebooks, sheet music, and assorted instruments lay in neatly organized aisles in the small, welcoming shop.  At the counter, a short, slender pink-haired woman looked up from her game of Petten and smiled warmly.

"Ginji(WARNING!  Scrolling past Kenji Oyamada will reveal spoilers!)!" Honoka cried happily, jumping over the counter and rushing into her husband's arms.  "How was work today, honey?"

"Marvelous, dear," Ginji replied with a chuckle, holding Honoka tenderly.  "Nobody even knew the secret military convoy drove through town.  How's business been here, by the way?"

"Excellent!" Honoka answered enthusiastically, adding proudly, "I finally sold our stock of El-Hazard OST CDs.  Our profits went up by 5%!"

The two lovers looked deeply into each other's eyes.

"Honoka..."

"Ginji..."

"This calls for a celebration!" the two exclaimed simultaneously with an energetic arm pump.  Stars and fireworks could almost be seen going off behind them.

KNOCK-KNOCK.

With unexpectedly fast reflexes, Ginji inclined his head towards the front door.  "We're open!" he announced, still smiling but with a carefree cautiousness entering his eyes.  Not hearing a response, Ginji strolled toward the entrance.  Honoka followed close behind.  A moment later, Ginji pulled the door open and faced whatever was awaiting him with confidence.  There was nobody on the other side.

"Eh?" the middle-aged man uttered, perplexed, as he stuck his head outside into the streets of the small desert town, noting without surprise that nobody seemed to be around.  There was supposed to be a sandstorm in a few hours, after all.

"Waaah!"

"Ah, how cute!" Honoka commented, peering around her husband's side and looking down at the baby infant that lay wrapped in a white blanket on their doorstep.  She eagerly reached for and picked up the child, playfully cooing at it.  "Do you think we can keep her, Ginji, at least until her guardians claim her?"

Ginji gazed intently at the dark-skinned, young girl.  From behind locks of white hair, intent, innocent eyes stared back.  Ginji found his heart melting.  "Of course, honey.  How could we do otherwise?  You do realize what this means, though, right?"

Honoka nodded her head gravely.  "Yes, dear, I do."

"Honoka..."

"Ginji..."

"This calls for an even _bigger_ celebration!" the married couple declared, closing the door and withdrawing to the housing section of their shop.  The reincarnated Kalia, free at last from her past, giggled and waved her chubby, baby fists joyously.

******

"So...peace has finally come to El-Hazard," Nahato mused darkly from the peak of a rocky mountain overlooking the country of Roshtaria.  In the distance, the gleaming, marble spires of the hastily repaired capital, Florestica, could be seen.  The vengeful youth clenched his right fist, angry eyes narrowing.  "Fools.  Do you think this changes anything?"

The restored Phantom Triber, his acutely embarrassing demon god transformation having worn off when he used the last of his power to perform the incredible Boot to the Head technique, smirked dangerously.  "Though the humans and the Bugrom have ceased their conflict and the nations of this world have united in harmony, the past has not changed.  The millennia are still tainted by the blood of my ostracized race, and their tortured spirits cry out for revenge!  Revenge against those who dragged us into this dimension against our will!  Revenge against those who cast us into the darkness!  Revenge against those who oppressed us for countless centuries!  I, Nahato, Prince of the Throne of Deep Shadows and last of my race, do solemnly swear in the name of the Phantom Tribe and the shadows we've come to cherish that I _will_ avenge my people at any cost!"

The blue-skinned child let loose a fearsome chuckle as dark storm clouds gathered and, the weather of El-Hazard being particularly responsive to theatrics, hurled a bolt of lightning from the heavens that struck the ground behind Nahato, lending the young lord a fearsome and crackling silhouette.  "Enjoy your tranquility while you can, humans.  Mark my words, it won't last."

The sound of clapping interrupted the gravity of the moment, and with a roll of his eyes Nahato turned around to face his last surviving servant, the Demon Goddess Minagi.

"That was...beautiful, Master Nahato.  Simply beautiful," Minagi spoke, tears welling up in her eyes as she slowly and reverently approached the youth.  "And I, although only a lowly servant, pledge to follow you no matter how difficult and dark the road you travel becomes.  From this day until the day I die, I will always be at your si-aaaaiiiiihhhh!"

CRASH!

Nahato sweatdropped as the demon goddess tripped on a rock and fell, breaking into several pieces upon impact with the hard ground.  With a sigh, he walked over to his servitor and began trying to put her back together again.  "Before we do anything else, though, we're first going to find a way to ensure that you can go five minutes without falling part!" the Phantom Triber vowed with a snarl, Minagi's detached head expressing its thanks with a sheepish nod.

******

"Idiots," Yume muttered as she eliminated a particularly irritating loose end through her computer that will be mentioned later, watching a screen showing the determined Nahato marching off into the distance with Minagi's assorted various parts in a rucksack on his back.  "The Secret Ancient Weapon that's so Much More Powerful than the Eye of God it's Terrifying so Take That Roshtaria is to the south_west_, not the southeast!  And for that matter, who comes up with these silly names anyway?  Didn't the Ancients have _any_ taste at all?"

With a disapproving sigh, Yume swiveled her hover chair around and faced her guest.  Behind her, a beautiful tree that almost touched the sky proudly stretched its branches across the land, its marvelous foliage providing a kaleidoscope of color.  Further in the distance, the sun was high in the sky and shining down on a teaming metropolis.  Grass and plants so green it almost hurt to look at them sprouted wherever possible, and numerous birds sang of their happiness as they flew.  Creteria was a healthy, restored world again.

Thinking of this and much more, Yume let her frown turn into a triumphant grin.  "The entire multi-verse is once again safe...well, as safe as a multi-verse can be when dangers from numerous dimensions and sub-dimensions actively threaten its stability on a regular basis, but, regardless, the probability of existence surviving to see another day has risen to a high of 51%!"  She shrugged good-naturedly.  "...Okay, perhaps that isn't the most optimistic news, but on the bright side we didn't have to initiate my all-purpose, ludicrously brilliant, and product of pure super-genius Plan B!"

"Gah," Peorth murmured, eyes wide and pupils dilated as she lay reclined in a matching hover chair, a vacant look on her face.

Yume rolled her eyes.  "Honestly, I expect more enthusiasm from a 9th dimensional entity who just witnessed the universe being saved.  Besides, I'd think you'd be _grateful_ that I was able to persuade Heaven's Personnel Office to send you here to spend some 'quality' time with your daughter, Bizen."

"Gah," Peorth replied dully, mouth seemingly permanently fixed in a silent 'O' of unspeakable trauma.

The furry, cat-like genius leaned back in her chair and chuckled.  "What?  Don't tell me you've spent the last ten thousand years powerless, naked, and searching for a marble in an infinitely vast ocean of chocolate pudding-GAH!"

With terrifying speed, Peorth lurched forward and grabbed Yume by the neck, eyes glowing with holy intensity.  "DON'T GIVE THE AUTHOR MORE IDEAS!!!"

"Gah...sss-sure tha-thing, Pe-ack-orth.  Just...let *wheeze* go of my *cough* n-n-neck first.  You're *hack* cho-choking me!" Yume pleaded, struggling in vain against Peorth's superhuman, frantic strength.  The disappearance of the goddess' French accent made the situation even more worrying in the genius' mind.  "A-all's well that *cough* ends well, ri-*ack*-ight?  Um...Hishima, Yakage, a little *wheeze* help here please!"

As the two demon gods emerged and tried to loosen Peorth's grip, Bizen sweatdropped.  When she'd heard her mother was coming to visit, this really wasn't what she'd expected.  

******
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rowan_a._seven
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« Reply #55 on: November 25, 2004, 03:43:47 PM »

Elsewhere, in Creteria's past...

Chabil was going to die.

This simple, irrefutable fact filled the farmer's mind as he fell from the sky, abolishing his fear and replacing it with an eerie calmness.  After all, what difference did his life or death make in the long run?  He was a simple farmer and caretaker of the land.  It would be child's play for Creteria to replace him with an eager, impoverished urban youth, and it's not like he'd be missed.

The seconds stretched into an eternity as his...what?  Livelihood?  Home?  Prison?  ...faded into the distance.  Moments of Chabil's tranquil but still rough life passed before his eyes, and, with an acceptance born of inevitably, he prepared to meet his end.  However, as the young man's descent continued he noticed a golden ray of sunlight, and suddenly a flood of new, joyous memories washed over him, memories that centered on one, important, cherished person.

"...Rune..."

It was so insignificant in the long run.  People died all the time, and countless love stories ended in tragedy.  What reason was there to expect a different, happier outcome for the two of them?  Still, even as these thoughts raced through his mind, Chabil was overcome by the overpowering desire to survive, and the farmer clenched his fists in determination.  Even if death was inevitable, he wasn't going to give up.  Not while there was still something..._anything_ he could do.

"Ancients, hear me!  Please, let me live and see my precious Rune again!" Chabil pleaded with the heavens, voice wracked with sobs, as the ground rose up to swallow him.  "I love her and want to be with her!  Please, if you have any compassion at all, reunite us and let us be together!  Please!"

Fortunately for him, Yume had somehow learned of his plight and, detesting frustrating loose ends that make little sense, had decided to take action.  Her intervention in the future complete, a portal opened below Chabil.  The farmer disappeared within its mysterious, dark depths, and then, as quickly as it appeared, the gateway closed.  Simultaneously, in the world known as El-Hazard where the future of the entire multiverse had just been saved, a portal opened several yards above the ground and released the confused but grateful Creterian.

"Thank you!" Chabil shouted gladly, not knowing what had saved him but just happy to still be alive.  A moment later he landed gently in a body of water.  Rising to the surface, his survivor's grin disappeared as opened his eyes and saw the countenances of four _very_ angry and _very_ naked elemental priestesses and numerous junior priestesses and clergy surrounding him.  Well, all right, the blue-haired one looked more surprised than anything else, but as for the rest...

Chabil's screams of pain echoed throughout the Spring of Arliman, and it wasn't until several long, painful minutes later that he was able to explain himself.  It took him even longer to convince them that he was who he claimed to be, but, finally, Chabil was reunited with Rune Venus, and one of the most irritating mysteries of the El-Hazard series concluded with a happy ending.


******

Faraway, on a planet known as Earth and in a country called Japan, a young girl woke up and was greeted by the silence of a large, empty apartment.  With a disappointed sigh, she forced herself to leave her warm bed, knowing that there would be no loving, motherly smile to welcome her and no strong but gentle fatherly arms to embrace her.  Her mother was too busy with work to spend much time around the house, and her father...she didn't even know where he was.

"I'm lonely," Amano Misao muttered, looking at herself in a full-length mirror and watching her reflection dully stare back at her, surrounded by all the toys and comforts a child could want but which were utterly meaningless without somebody to share them with.  A coughing fit suddenly wracked her body, and it was all the fragile youth could do to hold back the tears that threatened to fall, though whether the cause was physical, emotional, or some combination of the two she could not tell.

"Caw!  Caw!"

With her first true smile of the day, Misao raised her head and searched for the source of the noise.  Her eyes immediately darted to the window where an elegant, purple avian was flapping its wings and gazing meaningfully at her.  The bird's eyes indicated a deep intelligence and hidden sadness that belied its form.

"Birdie...," the child murmured happily, rising and walking over to the window which she opened without hesitation.  Taking this as an invitation, the creature flew into the apartment and perched on Misao's left shoulder, giving the girl's cheek an affectionate rub with its beak.  Misao chuckled softly.

"You always know when I need a friend, don't you birdie?" Misao commented affectionately, adding a moment later in a much quieter, sadder tone, "I don't know what I'd do without you and Sasami."

^Oh Misao...^ the bird thought glumly, overcome with guilt as he watched the raven-haired girl's innocent, unsuspecting face.  ^I wish you...please, forgive me.^

Reluctantly, the purple avian leapt off Misao's shoulder and locked gazes with her.  The child, confused at first by the intensity she saw in the bird's eyes, soon froze as pain flooded her head.  Her scream was cut short as golden light enveloped her, and when the glow faded the blonde-haired, leather clad Pixy Misa stood in Misao's place.

"Je suis de retour, mes amis!" the magical girl exclaimed joyously, striking a pose as she painfully abused the French language.  She winked playfully at the bird.  "Miss me, Rumiya?"

Rumiya landed on the floor and sighed.  "This isn't the time to be so light-hearted, Misa.  My sis is none too pleased after having to bail both of us out of the afterlife."  He whimpered.  "She's making me fill out all the Yggdrasil second chance forms by myself!"

Misa leaned down and smirked in Rumiya's face.  "C'est la vie, Rumiya.  Besides, you _know_ you enjoyed it."

Blushing, Rumiya raised his wings defensively.  "I'm too young for that kind of stuff!  ...Anyway, Ramia wants you to summon a very powerful monster and succeed this time.  Otherwise..."  He let the sentence trail off ominously, knowing full well that that if he returned home after another failure his precious big sister was going to beat him up again.

"Est ce tout?" Misa wondered, cutely tapping her right index finger against her right cheek as she thought up a fiendish, mischievous plan.  It didn't take long.  With a triumphant cry, she marched off determinedly towards the apartment's cupboards.  Flying closely behind her, Rumiya had to dodge several miscellaneous, thrown kitchen items as the magical girl quickly rummaged through assorted purchases.  He paled noticeably when he saw what his mistress was after.

"Oh no, you can't possibly mean to...Even after everything we've been through?" Rumiya asked incredulously, ever the voice of reason in this magical partnership.

"But of course, mon ami!" Misa retorted, turning around with a huge smile on her face and a bag of instant oatmeal in her hands.  Her expression momentarily darkened.  "Za entire world 'alt feel za pain and embarrassment I suffered!  Oh, and I'll make Pretty Sammy bawl like a baby too!" she added as a matter of routine, walking back over to the window that Misao had opened earlier.

"Calling..."

She raised her magical cane above her head and spun it.  Flashy pyrotechnics burst into existence around her as she threw the oatmeal out the window.

"Mystics!"

A brilliant beam of magical light erupted from the baton and zapped the oatmeal as it fell.  For a moment nothing happened, but seconds before the bag landed it was annihilated in an explosion of oatmeal that flooded the street.  Pulsing with unnatural life, the viscous but hearty breakfast food retracted inward and grew in height, expanding until it rivaled the Stay-Puft Marshmellow Man.  Slowly, the giant column of oatmeal took shape, first forming arms, then legs, and gradually resolving into a porridge likeness of Mara that probably would've mortified the demoness if she'd been around.  Rumiya sweatdropped.

"Voyez!  Mon masterpiece!" Pixy Misa shouted passionately, eyes burning with wicked delight.  "Soon, my monster shall defeat zat _pest_ Pretty Sammy, and I'll become the new star!  Go, Love-Love Monster Oats-and-Raisons Girl!  Créez le chaos!  Mwhahahaha!  Hohohoho!"

Responding to her master's maniacal but still cute laughter, Love-Love Monster Oats-and-Raisons Girl let loose a terrifying roar that reverberated throughout Tokyo.  Much to her surprise, though, somebody...or rather _something_ answered back.

Reluctantly, Pixy Misa, Rumiya, and Oats-and-Raisons Girl turned and sighted the sleek, harsh visage of a reptilian leviathan approaching them, casually destroying every building and obstacle in its path.  Ancient, angry eyes embodying the fury of desecrated nature and atomic annihilation glared at the magical soldiers.  Godzilla, the nuclear dragon, had accepted their challenge.

"Pourquoi?!!" Misa wailed furiously, seeing her brilliantly evil plans fall apart before her eyes.  Shaking her head, she clenched her fists and glowered.  "Rumiya, remind me what I normally do in situations like this?"

"Run away and read manga," the transformed boy answered honestly, holding up a wing to protect himself against Misa's possible wrath.  Instead, though, the magical girl's attitude did a 180 degree rotation.

"C'est exact!" Misa said with a grin, nonchalantly shutting the window and closing the curtains before cheerfully ambling off to Misao's room to enjoy herself.  Outside, Oats-and-Raisons Girl and Godzilla battled each other, leveling large portions of the city in the process.  Hearing this and seeing his mistress' total lack of concern, Rumiya sweatdropped.

"Some things never change," he mumbled, belatedly flying after Pixy Misa in the weak hope of persuading her to actually do _something_ to save Tokyo while there was still a Tokyo left to save.

******

"Hmm...good work, Kiyone," Chief Rail Claymore complimented the constable as he read her daily report, handsome features marked by a youthful, reassuring smile.  "And don't worry about unknowingly arresting the Muldoon Priestesses.  _Nobody_ is above the law, after all, and I'd have done the same thing in your position.  ...Well, maybe I'd take more photographs for _strictly_ documentary purposes, but that's an unimportant matter," he concluded, reluctantly taking his eyes off the pictures of the jailed priestesses.

"Thank you, sir.  I try my best," Kiyone answered graciously, standing at attention and making a point of ignoring her boss' not so carefully hidden lasciviousness.  It wouldn't do to offend the one person who had the power to send her out of this forsaken backwater of a town, after all.

A contemplative look crossed Rail's face as his eyes studiously examined the officer before him with uncharacteristic seriousness on his part.  Kiyone felt her heartbeat accelerate as she wondered what was going through her superior's mind and desperately hoping it wasn't what she'd come to expect.  For once, she wasn't disappointed.

"...Kiyone, you do more than try your best.  You _are_ the best," Rail finally spoke, expression grave.  "That is why I can think of no one better to perform this next assignment.  Tell me, detective, are you aware of the recent abductions of several young, beautiful women in the local area?"

Eager to display her knowledge, Kiyone nodded her head.  "Yes sir.  In the past two weeks nine women, predominantly teenagers, have disappeared from their homes at night without a trace and with no signs of struggle.  There have been no leads, but it is hoped that the abductees are still alive because no dead bodies have turned up yet.  The fact that no ransom demands have been made, though, is worrying."

"Excellent.  You've made me more certain than ever that you're the right woman for this job," Rail complimented her, slightly disappointed not to see her blush from his praise.  He supposed he'd just have to try harder later...after business, of course.  "Anyway, there has been a 'breakthrough' of sorts in this case.  Through a confidential source-"  Rail silently thanked the blue dolphin-bears and their awareness of anything perverted that people would pay to see.  "-it has been learned that a secret cult is behind the kidnappings, and that its unknown, mysterious leaders are brainwashing these women into becoming totally obedient slaves obsessed with pleasing their 'masters' and lacking any free will whatsoever.  I can only _imagine_ what terrible things the cult's masters have planned."

"I'm sure you can," Kiyone muttered sarcastically under her breath.  Louder, she asked, "That's horrible, sir.  What do you want me to do about it?"

Rail leaned forward in his chair and steepled his fingers together, looking as solemn as he could possibly be.  "It is only because I have such faith in your skills that I'm even contemplating sending you on such a dangerous mission, constable, and I'd understand perfectly if you chose to decline.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to infiltrate the cult, learn its inner workings, and identify its leaders.  After that, either report back to me or arrest them, but whatever you do don't compromise your cover.  It is _imperative_ that the cult doesn't suspect we're on to them and take even greater steps to hide themselves.  You are authorized to use _any_ means necessary to accomplish your tasks."

"I'll do it, sir," Kiyone answered after only a moment's hesitation, fists clenched in determination to succeed, prove her worth, and _finally_ get that promotion she wanted.  "I promise to do whatever I can to rescue the kidnapped girls and bring the cultists to justice."

"Wonderful, Kiyone.  I knew I could count on you," Rail replied happily, leaning back.  "However, because of the importance of this case, you'll need a partner."

"But-" Kiyone complained, face going pale as she remembered the horror of her last partner.

Rail shook his head and interrupted her.  "No buts, detective.  Now, I know you must still be hurting from the mysterious disappearance of Mihoshi-"  Kiyone did her best to look innocent.  "-but on an assignment of this magnitude you'll need all the help you can get."

A knock was heard at the door to Rail's office, and the chief nodded his head.  "That must be her.  Come in!"

The door opened, and a young woman with deep blue eyes and golden blonde hair wearing a form-fitting police uniform entered the room and cheerfully saluted.  A dragon hand puppet covered one hand, and closely following the newcomer was a wolfhound.

"Parvsys Alayhim and Idel reporting for duty, sir!"    

Kiyone shuddered, disturbed by the apparent similarities between Parvsys and Mihoshi.  Seeking confirmation of what she already dreaded as truth, she turned to face Rail.  "She's my new partner?"

"No," Rail answered with a smirk, destroying Kiyone's suddenly soaring hopes with his next statement.  "The dog's your new partner.  She's your trainee."

"Ruff," Hector barked, wagging his tail.

Kiyone screamed silently.

******
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« Reply #56 on: November 25, 2004, 03:52:07 PM »

Dr. Semimad walked casually through the streets of Roshtaria, keeping a polite distance between himself and the assorted passersby and watching with interest as Florestica was repaired -- once again -- at virtually warp speed by dutiful bugrom workers, assisted in some of the more complex, artistic tasks by skilled human civic engineers.  A fascinating fusion of bugrom and human architecture was taking place before his very eyes, and had other matters not required his attention the good doctor would've loved to sit down and take notes.  

His expression grew more serious, though, as he finally found the object of his search.  Standing on the corner of a recently paved street, wearing a tie-dyed shirt and jeans that looked like they'd seen better days, and looking very confused and dazed was Ifurita-3.  Knowing that he only had a short window of time in which to act, Dr. Semimad took a deep, calming breath and approached his patient.  It was time to conclude her therapy.

"Hello, Ifurita.  You look well...well, better than you did when I first met you, at any rate.  Mind telling me what you're up to right now?" Dr. Semimad asked, voice warm and reassuring as he neared the troubled demon goddess.

Ifurita-3 appeared startled as she noticed Dr. Semimad, berating herself for letting her guard down to such a great degree.  "I'm _fine_, doctor," she replied hastily, unconsciously taking a step back and wanting to retreat inside herself to escape this bothersome, frustrating world.

"...No, you're not," Dr. Semimad declared, slowing his advance but not stopping.  He chuckled deprecatingly.  "For millennia, you were a merciless agent of death and destruction.  The number of people who've died at your hands must be incalculable.  After that, utter solitude was your life, with no friends, no family, no one at all.  Finally, you left your isolated sanctuary and fell in love, only to lose your beloved to, essentially, a more mature version of yourself.  Next came infestation at the hands of parasitical insects, and then more personality permutations than I care to count.  No, you're not fine at all."

"S-so?" Ifurita-3 asked nervously, founding the therapist's tone unsettling as he caustically analyzed her painful life.  "None of that matters anymore!  I've decided to live the rest of my life without any cares and troubles and do whatever I want!  I'm going to live day by day and enjoy myself!  So leave me alone!"

Dr. Semimad shook his head as he stopped a few feet in front of the wary demon goddess.  "I can't do that, Ifurita.  Even if I wasn't your psychologist, it would be wrong for me to let you commit such a tremendous mistake."

"A _mistake_?  You're calling this a _mistake_?!  Doctor, thinking I could ever fit in and lead a normal life was the mistake!  Putting up with your and Dr. Schtalubaugh's attempts to 'cure' me was a mistake!  This is _not_ a mistake!  It's my _own_ decision and I won't let anything dissuade me!" Ifurita-3 retorted, a nearly frantic tinge to her voice as she raised her key staff in warning.

"Pathetic," Dr. Semimad countered, unperturbed and unintimidated...or at least pretending not to be.  "What you're doing is giving up and retreating.  You'll never overcome your problems if you don't face them.  More than that, you won't even be a part of this world.  _Look_ around you, Ifurita.  See that family over there?  In the past month their house has been destroyed over five times, and three siblings are still missing in action from the recent spat of wars.  See that married couple there?  Do you have any idea what struggles and tribulations they had to overcome to finally be together?  I can't understand what you've been through, but I do know that you're not the only one who's suffered and suffered terribly at that.  These people, though, have found the strength to deal with their pain, continue on with their lives, and find happiness.  Although the trauma you've suffered is doubtlessly greater than theirs, if give up now you'll never even have a _chance_ of finding the happiness that might be in store for you.  Now, do you want to take a venture and see what the future holds or retreat into your isolation where nothing, neither good nor bad, happy or sad, can possibly reach you?"          

"...You're right, Dr. Semimad," Ifurita-3 spoke, voice overcome with emotion as she lowered her key staff.  "I...I don't want to go back to the way my life used to be, even if it means I wouldn't have to put up with any more sorrow.  I want to find my own happiness in this world.  More than that, I want to help other people find their happiness."

Dr. Semimad, who'd been nodding his head and silently congratulating himself, suddenly froze.  "Wait, Ifurita, remember that healing is a process-"

"Yes, I'm going to help people!" Ifurita-3 decided, eyes blazing with determination and body more animated than it had been since...well, probably her night with Makoto.  "I'm going to work to make sure that nobody else has to experience what I've been through!  More than that, I want to ensure that people can enjoy life as much as possible!  This existence is too short for so many to put up with so much unnecessary grief and trouble!  The smiles and thanks of those I help will be my reward!"

"Ifurita, please, don't do anything drastic!  Remember-"  Dr. Semimad trailed off and politely averted his eyes as Ifurita-3's clothes remade themselves.  When he next looked at her, he was pleasantly surprised to see that she hadn't transformed into a magical girl.

"I'm going to law school to become a civil rights lawyer!" Ifurita-3 announced proudly, now wearing a sharp business suit and carrying a sleek, black briefcase.  "I'll defend the poor and underprivileged in court and strive to protect them against any who would try to take advantage of them!  I'll work for the good and betterment of all creatures!"

"Ifurita, are you about this?  Caution is-"  

Ifurita-3 threw her arms around and hugged Dr. Semimad, silencing him.  "Thank you, doctor, and give Dr. Schtalubaugh's and Empress Diva my thanks too.  I wouldn't be who I am today if it weren't for you three and the concern you showed for me.  Take care of yourself, and remember to enjoy life.  It's such a precious thing."

With that, Ifurita-3 stepped back, waved good-bye, and flew away in search of a law school that would accent a millennia-old demon goddess with no formal education.

Dr. Semimad watched as his former patient grew more distant and continued to look up even when she'd become less than a speck in the sky.  Finally, when he was certain she was gone, he broke forth with maniacal laughter worthy of his ancestors and almost equal to OAV1 Jinnai.        

"And _that_ is why I'm the Minister of Highly Unusual but Strangely Effective Tortures!" he exulted, cackling madly at this success.  Granted, Ifurita-3 still wasn't completely stable, but with a little luck and a lot of determination on her part odds were she'd be fine.

Realizing that people were beginning to stare at him oddly, Dr. Semimad ceased his mad laughter, coughed, dusted himself off, and nonchalantly headed home where his wife and daughters awaited him.  After everything that had happened recently, he wanted nothing more than to be close to his family and tell them how much he loved them.

******

The newly rejuvenated doctor whistled as he opened the door to his TARDIS and prepared to leave this world and time.  Despite a few setbacks here and there, his mission had been a success and he had a new set of regenerations to reward him for his troubles.  It had been an eventful, worthwhile trip, he decided, stepping into his home.

"Meow," Jinnistacia said by way of greeting, stretching as she awoke from her peaceful nap.  The doctor blinked as the demon goddess pranced around his TARDIS, never fully appearing to be somewhere but not quite everywhere either.

"I'm sorry, but I'm afraid that I must ask you to leave, my dear," Dr. Who apologized as he attempted to grab Jinnistacia and usher her out the door.  "I simply can't-Don't pull that lever!"

Completely ignoring the time lord, Jinnistacia pulled the lever.  In its usual manner, the TARDIS disappeared, and Dr. Who, with a new sidekick in tow, was once again hurtling through time and space.

******

Fortunately for the content rating of this round robin, Dall arrived in Ura-ohki just in the nick of time to save Ryoko from Squiggly's pleasurable tentacles.  

"Hiya!" Dall shouted, heroically leaping off one of the armor cat clone ship's many spires with sword extended.  Squiggly, intelligent enough to know when a fan-servicey insertion had run its length, sidestepped Dall's lunge and crawled away back to its dwelling where, perhaps, other victims awaited for its return, but that's for the reader to decide.

"Ow!  Ryo...Ryoko, de-de-dear, a-a-are you aa...alright?" Dall asked through teeth gritted in pain as he pulled himself up from his harsh landing.  Despite his self-inflicted injuries, he forced himself to crawl over to the also pretty much immobile demon goddess.

"I'm fine, Dall, now that I'm saved from that incredibly embarrassing fate," Ryoko spoke gratefully, summoning the strength to hug her master.  Her expression suddenly became sly.  "Although...I do feel kind of sorry for that squiggly...thing.  Oh, if only there was a lonely, beautiful alien princess to keep it company...an alien princess with purple hair, a snobbish attitude, and-"

The Aeka fanclub sent the current writer a threatening email at this point, and he, remembering what they did to a certain other round robin contributor, wisely decided to abandon this train of thought.

"Anyway, Dall, let's go home," Ryoko suggested, voice weak.  "I need a serious recharge, but _afterwards_ I want to show you just how thankful I _am_."

Dall blushed but soon realized there was a problem.  "Um...Ryoko, now probably isn't the best time to mention this, but..."

"Yes, honey?" Ryoko asked curiously, eyes narrowing as she wondered what dared to potentially ruin her fantasy.

"I...um...think I broke one of my legs," Dall confessed awkwardly, hoping Ryoko wouldn't think any less of him for this.

Much to his relief, the demon goddess smiled in companiable amusement.  "Oh Dall..._whatever_ am I going to _do_ with you?  I suppose I'll just have to _think_ of a few things, now, won't I?" she commented mirthfully.

Ura-ohki, meanwhile, had grown tired of waiting for the demon goddess and alien prince to extricate themselves from the crevice and decided to bring them onboard using a tractor beam.  When that was accomplished, he released a joyful miya and headed home.

And everybody lived happily ever after.

*******

"LET ME OUT OF HERE!!!" Mara screamed furiously at the top of her infernal lungs, still trapped in the realm of endless oatmeal.  Unfortunately for her, Urd heard her and had no plans of letting her out anytime soon, probably because she was so busy rolling on the floor laughing.

******

...All right, maybe not everybody.

...
...
...
...

I forgot about Groucho, didn't I?  

******

Groucho, face red and upper left appendage linked with a smiling Kauru's, escorted her to the grand reopening of Nanami's restaurant.  In front of them, a happy Chibi-Deva pranced around, wide eyes taking everything in with wonder.  The purple bugrom warrior still wasn't entirely certain why he'd asked the water priestess out to dinner and was even less sure why she'd agreed, but, looking at her out of the corner of one of his simple eyes, he found himself hoping that she'd agree to a second outing in the near future.

And almost everybody (at least the main characters, at any rate) lived happily ever after.

Probably.




Happy Thanksgiving everybody.  It has been a pleasure working with all of you.
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d.t.
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« Reply #57 on: November 27, 2004, 09:45:58 PM »

[SOL]
Crow [making yawning sounds and moving toward exit]:  Well, that wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  Close though.
Mike:  Um... I don't think it's over.  It's still going, see?
Tom:  Couldn't we just pretend?




The Past

As the portal he and Marid had stepped through closed, Dao examined the small object he held in his hand.  It still astounded him just how long it had taken to collect all the information needed to build it.  All the more reason to get to work, he supposed, looking at the rows and rows of empty shelves that made up Stores.

Of course, before he could start his work he would have to give the deceptively small object to a certain someone.


 



The Present

How the little creatures hated cleaning, hated being whooshed at, attacked by, swept by the broom and mop!  The mop swept the dust and rubble, and scurrying segmented creatures scuttled out of the way and into a corner, hoping they would not be revealed.  The mop swept over the surface of the Mantle of God, raising, falling, swirling in perfect mystic tranquility.  Stanley Spadowski, that stupid, wacky, reemployed janitor cleaned the Mantle. He had cleaned down the stairs of Baron's largest observatory, and had cleaned through a number of secret passages, and into that very secret chamber that held the Mantle called the Mantle of God.  He cleaned the great metal ribbons that lined the room's walls and served as the circuits of the very powerful machine, and he cleaned the throne in the room's center that served as its interface.  So absorbed was he in the act of cleaning, that he completely failed to register the way the Mantle occasionally sparked, or the strange flickering shadows in the room's corners.

For a brief period of time the Mantle had held the personality and drive of Myunn, the knowledge and cunning of The Ancients, and the genocidal madness of Kalia.  And now it was empty, apparently broken after the final battle.  A kind author would suggest that the occasional Myunn-shaped shadows seen in the Mantle's chamber were evidence that it had been badly damaged when Myunn last used it.  Of course, one might also suggest that this indicated Makoto and his company might have more adventures waiting for them in the future.  But it would take a crueler author than this to actually say such a thing.  Better to focus on the image of Stanley, happily mopping away.

     
 



The Past



"Well, worry no more!"  Mara held up a small silver pendant on a short necklace.  "With The Charm[/color], all your problems are solved!"

     
 



The Present

In the swirling sands outside the Palace of Infinity, the shattered vestiges of The Guide glinted malevolently under the scorching sun.  It had been a disc, it had been a bird.  It had been the night sky, it had been an explosion.  It had been shattered into a million fragments.  

A strong wind gusted out of nowhere, neatly scooping up the remnants.  Though the desert had seemed dead before, there was no mistaking that a hush had suddenly come over the landscape, as if reality itself was holding its breath, and the sands themselves had stopped to bear witness to what was happening.

The splintered parts of The Guide hung above the ground, and then it was as if the air bled onto them.  Darkness oozed from nowhere and congealed on the shards of The Guide, piecing the horrible thing together again.  Its eyes were at once the color of burning embers and fresh-spilled blood, and behind them...

Both inside and outside of our dimension, facets of the Guide surveyed the battleground where it had so spectacularly failed.  It maintained the cool bearing of a Grand Chessmaster surveying how the pieces had finally landed in an interesting game.

The Guide had been programmed with but one task: to prevent any Time Lords from entering this dimension.  Its soul purpose was to fulfill its programming and achieve this task.  But the Time Lords could travel through time and space with remarkable skill.  The surest way to eliminate them from the equation was to destroy all realities, all dimensions, all time.  It made sense, if you looked at it just right.  Mistakes had clearly been made, but the ultimate goal of its plan, The Guide decided, was still the best way to fulfill its programming.  It would simply have to change other parts.  The Ancients had been sure that Mizuhara Makoto and the Demon Goddess Ifurita were of supreme importance in this universe.  And sure enough, The Guide calculated that removing those two greatly increased the chances of deleting existence itself.

The Guide was aware of every action they made, was aware or every molecule in their bodies as Wa Salli Alayhim took Ifurita's hands, then reached out and took Makoto's hands.  It felt every quark and meson in them as Makoto and Ifurita took their leave of the Palace of Infinity.  It knew their thoughts as the two embraced, high in the night sky, finally truly together and free from fear.  It understood that this was, in the top ten happiest moments in any reality, a very good candidate for the number one slot.  

The Guide had just decided to kill them when it noticed something lying in the sands that it was not supremely aware of.  It could only see this object, in a mere two dimensions.  This was far more troubling than everything that had come before, or, rather, The Guide somehow knew that everything that had come before was tied into this object.

And then The Guide was aware of something else that had not registered on its sensors until now: a hole was opening in the air behind it, and tachyons all but spewed from it.  A time rift, realized The Guide, like the tears opened by the Eye of God.

The Demon Goddess Ifurita stepped out of the portal, surveying the landscape before locking her gaze on The Guide.  Despite all she had seen in her life (which, this being an Ifurita from the future, was far longer than one might expect), her hand raised to her mouth as if she was nauseous.  The Guide was by far the most bizarre thing she had ever seen in her long life, and also the most evil.  Bleak magnetism poured from it, drowning her senses.  Meeting its gaze was like having a blast of red-hot air lance through her soul.  She was filled with the pure knowledge that something was very, very wrong in the world, and that The Guide was that something.

The Guide felt that the Tachyons were coming from Ifurita, and contemplated the meaning.  "Of course," it said in a voice like sharp crystal, "the Eye is as much time machine as anything else, and you had gained its power.  What was your plan?  To ambush me through time?  To confuse me?  To find me at my weakest?  Such futility.  Cloud my senses.  Destroy me.  Bury me under improbability.  It does not matter.  I am probability, I will not be denied."

"Yes," replied Ifurita with a scowl, "there is no weapon greater than a probability machine."  Sunlight glinted off the object that The Guide had been staring at before Ifurita's arrival, illuminating the writing carved into it.  The fact that nobody had noticed the words carved upon The Charm before might be seen as highly unlikely, even insulting to the reader's intelligence.   But it was not so unlikely as to be impossible.  It was simply a matter of probability.

It was the most soothing handwriting in the history of everything, and it proclaimed, in every language that ever existed: "No Worries At All".

Something Good would come of this.  The Best Thing Ever, in fact.

As The Charm became a magnificent blue Manta Ray, hovering above the ground, the Guide Mark II finally realized what it was looking at.  "The Guide Mark III".

And then two more demon gods stepped from the time portal, each about a head shorter than Ifurita, one male, one female.  The male, it should be noted, had four arms, and was speaking even as he stepped through the portal.  "Correct.  Of course it takes us a very long time to complete the data needed to build another probability machine.  Aunt Ifurita is going to have to transport Marid and me far back in time if we're going to get it all done.  I know it's a paradox, I try not to think about it.  But since we can travel through time, we're also able to go back and build the Mark III before you're built.  You were built with no filters, but we had filters waiting for you.  Everything you saw we wanted you to see.  You were in checkmate before you even existed."

"We owned you," added Ifurita helpfully.

"What now?" asked the Mark II.  It had never felt this uncertain before.

"Now, you end," answered the Mark III.  For a moment the Mark II was whole once more, able to see along all of probability, its perception of the future crystal clear.

The Mark III did something that would take all of math to explain, and then both Guides were no more.  

Jinnai Marid stretched languidly, now disinterested, as the young Dao Narcis adjusted his glasses.  He was looking forward to the millenia of solitude and order needed to sort and stockpile the data for building the third Guide.  But there was something bothering him.  "Did we really need to see this?" he asked, "You're going to have to bring us back through time again now anyway.  Wouldn't it have been safer just to bring us far back into the past, and never have us meet The Guide at all?  We weren't needed here."

"Maybe," replied Ifurita, "But as my husband said-"

"-Sometimes you just have to forget the risks," finished Mizuhara, stepping from the portal with a smile.  In his pocket was The Charm[/color].  He had finished building it only moments earlier, and would soon be dropping it off in the past.  He warmly held Ifurita close, and then the two of them stared up at the night sky.  Far far in the distance, high among the clouds and stars, they could see two much younger lovers embrace.  "Happy anniversary," the older Makoto whispered, squeezing his wife.  Ifurita smiled.  In the top ten happiest moments in any reality, this was another good candidate for first place.


 



And that might be the conclusion, but probably wasn't.  Because some stories end, but others just keep going, and dare you to play along.      
« Last Edit: December 25, 2004, 03:43:28 PM by d.t. » Logged

"You're going to dump me, your childhood friend, for a little chippie with a precocious set of melons?!" -Nanami
d.t.
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« Reply #58 on: December 25, 2004, 03:37:42 PM »

Happy Christmas all!   ^_^V
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"You're going to dump me, your childhood friend, for a little chippie with a precocious set of melons?!" -Nanami
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