This pastiche/affectionate parody of anime (and other) cliches/tropes started life as a bit of backstory for a character in an RPG that never got off the ground. Otaku Bill, Fr4gm4st3r, Bob the Mighty and Jack Daisuke Brain-Harvester-1000 the Third are also based on character concepts from said RPG (the former two dreamt up by me, the latter by the co-creator).
The story can also be found at my FictionPress page.
When they say that you can find absolutely anything by walking down an alley in Chaos City, they are exaggerating. There are some things that are too big to fit in alleys, or would try to eat them. However, it is true to say that Chaos City is almost certainly the most varied, the most unpredictable, the most exciting and the most downright weird place in all the cosmos. It owes this exalted status almost entirely to its unique location: at a nexus between (allegedly) every other world in the multiverse. The city's immense highways, built by an unknown hand, wind in every direction into the clouds that surround it as it floats through its otherwise empty corner of reality. Each road leads to a different world. (Unfortunately, some of them lead to rather inconvenient locations in particular worlds, like the bottoms of oceans or airless asteroids. This is taken by some to mean that there are roads better left untravelled, and by others to mean that the cosmos does not concern itself unduly with the convenience of humanoids.)
It would also be an exaggeration to say that you can find every sort of humanoid individual in Chaos City, for there are as many kinds of people as there are people. However, it is a fact that Chaos City's population is the most diverse of any city in existence. In its streets and arcades, almost any conceivable combination of skin colour, hairstyle and fashion can be seen, high technology is bartered alongside magic, and beings of legend, myth and pop-culture rub shoulders with one another (in fact, quite often they do considerably more than rub shoulders).
These are their stories.
Magical Girl Academy Blues
A Tale of Chaos City
“Go! Go! Go!” Otaku Bill tried to run faster down the forest trail while maintaining concentration on the magic maintaining the small Wall-E robot carrying the adamantium crate that all this fuss was about. Behind him he heard the unpleasant sounds of razor-edged ribbon slicing through flesh as Princess Lovecraft (as she very much disliked to be called) fought off the latest wave of pursuers.
In the clearing where the Van (black and red, blocky, “helluva fast” according to its previous owner) was parked, the other employees of Chaos Rush Interdimensional Deliveries were alert, poised and ready to defend their co-workers and their precious cargo.
“Huh? What? Brains!” exclaimed Jack Daisuke Brain-Harvester-1000 The Third, pirate ninja zombie cyborg lawyer extraordinaire, as he pulled his conical hat from over his face to see what had interrupted his nap. He was greeted by the sight of Bill huffing and puffing his way into the clearing, trenchcoat flying behind him and his “Magical Girls Like To Do It On Lamp Posts” T-shirt plastered less than appealingly to his chest with sweat.
“lolwut?!” The faceless power-armoured form of Fragmaster (Fr4gm4st3r, to be exact, but good luck pronouncing that) looked up from a game of Half-Quaking Doom: Combat Devolved.
“The client...forgot to mention...forest...infested with Fair Folk!” Bill gasped for breath as he hauled his overweight bulk to a halt.
“lol camperz” Fragmaster produced an oversized shotgun from nowhere.
“You said it, Frag. Brains.” Jack flexed his titanium-alloy arms to deploy his arsenal of throwing weapons.
“Fire up the Van so we can get out of here once everyone's aboard, Bob!”
“Fire up the Van, who?” demanded the disembodied voice of the team's employer from the driver's compartment.
Bill sighed. “Fire up the Van, Bob The Mighty.”
“That's better.” The side door slid open and the robot tossed the crate of starberry wine into the Van before dissolving as Bill recovered its energy to form a purple-bladed lightsabre for himself. Moments later, Hotaru Armitage, reluctantly a.k.a. Princess Lovecraft, ran at full tilt into the clearing. The void-black minidress that formed her battle costume had been half unravelled for extra weaponry, leaving her c`lad mainly in dark gauze with her modesty precariously preserved by the forest of prehensile ribbons that coiled and waved protectively around her. The sight was mildly distracting to Jack (who was, naturally, mostly dead) and completely distracting to Bill, who fell squarely within the target demographic intended by her creators when they engineered her human form from a carefully selected Japanese schoolgirl. She was short and petite - easily the lightest of the group - with clear, pale golden skin and an adolescent gawkiness to her slender limbs even at twenty years old. Her features - huge, wide violet eyes, a button nose and an expressive mouth - were made to be similarly youthful and cutely endearing, even at moments of stress like, say, the present one.
“Thanks for the help, Bill,” she snarled. "A little warning that you were going to just keep running and leave me knee-deep in phagh-gluigh glitter fairies would have been appreciated."
Their attempts to mould her personality to match had been rather less successful. "Sweet", "bubbly" and "playful" were not adjectives that generally came within half a mile of Hotaru Armitage, unless they wanted to be beaten to within an inch of their lives and sent howling for their mothers.
"And here was me not wanting to deprive you of the fun of slicing and dicing them, Your Worshipfulness!"
"I told you not to call me that. Lch'gluigh!" She spun on the spot, parrying a thrown katana that whirred out of the trees - the Fair Folk of the Glitter Trail, while notoriously unpredictable, depraved and savage, are not known for their tactical acumen. They burst into the clearing, a seemingly infinite horde of sparkly, weapon-wielding, stylishly dressed beautiful people.
“Give us the starberries!” trilled a particularly luminous young thing. “We're pretty!”
“no wai” Fragmaster's first shot turned the speaker's torso into a red mist, even as Jack put sharp objects through the foreheads of two other Fair Folk. The two kept up a stream of fire, Hotaru and Bill deflecting incoming projectiles and eviscerating anyone who got too close. The Chaos Rush employees retreated in formation towards the Van.
“Frag, switch weapons and cover us!” Bill shouted over the din of battle as he reached the running board.
“killing spree” Fragmaster's shotgun morphed into a flamethrower, which almost emptied the clearing in a stinking orange blaze. Fair Folk collapsed to the ground or ran in circles as they burned, shrieking about how bad this was for their complexions. Giving Frag a thumbs up, Bill clambered into the Van's cargo compartment. Jack vaulted impatiently over him.
“Oh, Azathoth,” Hotaru cursed, looking up just as Fragmaster's fuel tank ran dry. “They're coming from above!” More Fair Folk, these ones with shimmering rainbow wings, began descending into the clearing.
“This is a bug hunt, man,” Bill grinned, as he produced a truly colossal machine gun. “A bug hunt! Game over man, game over!”
“stfu noob” Fragmaster grabbed a glowing power-up that had for some reason appeared among the charred bodies, and drew a pair of pistols gangsta style. The flying horde ducked and weaved around the rain of bullets, a ki blast from Jack hurling back the others running into the clearing in a heap.
“They're on the roof!” Hotaru finished doing something unspeakable to the orifices of a particularly tenacious Fair One who had been trying to claw his way into the cab. She jumped lightly on top of the Van to clear away the shrieking creatures pounding on the metal, which unfortunately exposed the others to arrows from the treeline.
“Ow! Brains!” Jack tossed a smoke bomb in front of them to provide some cover.
“This is really-” A hurricane of shredded feathers whirled outward from the top of the Van “-starting to-” Very small pieces of winged Fair Folk rained down among the feathers. “-piss me off!” Several dozen more, Hotaru's ribbons wrapped around them, were lowered to the ground and promptly dissolved into goo. She dropped back to the floor of the clearing, hunched over, her skin rippling and her ribbons turning from black to sickly green, weeping some nameless fluid.
“Oh, crap. You made her angry, sparklies!” Bill yelled. “You won't like her when she's angry.”
“Seriously, you won't. Brains.”
“lol quad damage”
“SHUT. UP.” Hotaru's voice had turned hollow and inhuman, eldritch harmonies singing down the listeners' spines. The grass at her feet withered and turned black, and those looking directly at her grimaced and turned away as a terrible, blasphemous shape superimposed itself over her in increasingly frequent flashes. Before the transformation could be completed, however, she marshalled her entire arsenal, the last vestiges of which tore from her body as outright pale-green tentacles covered with impossibly sharp teeth. A blizzard of her impossibly extended limbs tore through the clearing, and every last one of the Fair Folk that had not wisely fled was chewed to pieces.
The forest fell deathly silent, the only sound that of drops of blood settling to the leaves and earth, and the laboured breathing of the world's scariest magical girl. Her form settled back to familiar humanity, the deadly tentacles once again innocuous-looking black ribbons sprouting from her spine.
“What a senseless waste of human life,” Bill commented cheerfully, surveying the carpet of sparkly corpses covering the ground, before turning his gaze to the more pleasant back-side view of his comrade's now-uncovered figure.
“Fair Folk aren't human, you idiot.”
“Shut up, you know I have to get the quotes exact or I don't get any energy back. Speaking of which, I see London, I see France-”
“If anyone's looking this way when I turn round, I really will limit-break,” Hotaru said conversationally, cutting him off. Knowing all too well the consequences of pushing her too far, Jack, Bill and Fragmaster hastily looked away. When she hopped into the Van, she was decently clad again, or as much so as a magical girl whose costume was designed by a committee of perverts could be. Most of the deadly ribbons had woven themselves back into her tunic, with a few wrapping around her limbs in criss-cross patterns or knotting into cute little bows.
"lol evac" Frag made a power-assisted leap through the door and slammed it shut.
"Yeah, let's get out of here, Bob - the Mighty. And nuke the site from orbit; it's the only way to be sure."
"Not gonna happen, Bill." The Van's helluva powerful engines started, and it lifted smoothly away from the benighted clearing, making for the portal on the planet's moon.
"You okay? Brains." Jack finished stowing the cargo on the pallet in the centre of the compartment, while the magical girl-slash-eldritch horror slumped in one of the wall seats.
"I'll live." Pale and exhausted, Hotaru irritably shoved her singularity-black hair (grown to waist-length at some point in her transformation cycle) away from her face and began twisting it into a ponytail. "I came close to a real breakdown there. I haven't lost control that badly since I was at the Magical Girl Academy."
"Wait, there's an academy for magical girls in the city?!" Bill exclaimed, his eyes lighting up (literally, he had been watching old Stargate episodes recently).
"Not any more."
"What happened to it? Brains."
"Me." Hotaru stretched her semi-covered legs out in front of her (Bill took a good look, Jack coughed up part of his lung, and Frag...completely ignored the sight), leaned back, and closed her eyes.
"Oh, come on, you can't leave it at that! Tell us all about it...especially the transformation sequences. It is relevant to my interests."
"lame d00d" Frag whapped Bill on the back of the head, which knocked him to the floor.
"I'm curious too. Brains," Jack agreed.
Her eyes snapped open again. "Fine. You want to know about the Magical Girl Academy? I'll tell you about the Magical Girl Academy."
"Sweet!" Bill cheered as he levered himself up.
"stfu n00b" said Frag, prodding him with an adamantium boot.
TO BE CONTINUED...
2 posts • Page 1 of 1
This reminds me of the movie Time Bandits, where all the boy's toys were incorporated into the story.
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