"It's...what is it?" A spoon protruded from the bard's hand to poke the slimy green mass that had suddenly fixed itself to his plate.
"Bacon. Eat it."
Spoony Bard glanced despairingly at Lunaris and Merlin, both of whom were sweating profusely as they stared at their own breakfast of the same consistancy. Faetan loomed over all of them, wearing an apron that sported in big bloody letters, "Kiss the cook, and DIE!" No one seemed willing to take up her offer. Zero didn't look overly concerned, and was smirking smugly. He didn't need to eat to survive...he could consume things if he wanted to, but there was no way he was going to tell Faetan that. Otherwise he'd be forced to endure her cooking as well.
"But it's...it's toxic..." Spoony whimpered in protest.
"IT IS NOT!!" she exclaimed, a blood vessel popping out over her left temple. "It's delicious!"
"Its dissolve my plate," Lunaris pointed to the half-erroded dish.
"Gah...you let it get cold!" Faetan tsk'ed. "I'll get you some more, fresh off the barbecue."
Merlin sucked in his breath, shooting a worried look at Zero. As soon as Faetan disappeared into the kitchen, Lunaris instantly stuffed some of the bacon in his pockets...they'd been lined with an anti-acidic substance for certain fuel cells that he carried. Zero neatly zapped the smoldering and smoking plates, obliterating the so-called bacon into oblivion. He grinned, looking rather pleased with himself.
Faetan came back with a plate full of steaming nastiness.
"Um...Fae," Merl suggested with a polite smile, "it really isn't polite for us to just dig in. Ladies first." He gestured magnanimously towards the platter she carried.
Blinking, she looked at him for a moment, then at the platter. "Yeah, but...you guys are the guests."
An immediate chorus sprang up from those gathered at the table, stating that it was quite all right, they didn't mind a bit.
"If you insist," she shrugged, and speared a slimy green strip of...something that might have been bacon in a past life. Lunaris held his breath, Merlin winced, Spoony bit his lip, and Zero fussed over a small tangle in his hair. Faetan just smiled, chewing happily. "Best bacon I ever made. NOW EAT," she growled, her smile vanishing as the platter slammed on the table.
Suddenly...salvation!!! Lunaris caught a glimpse of an approaching figure outside, and leaped to his feet, rushing to the door in a flurry of yellow coat and silver hair. "Look!" he pointed. "It Macc!" He paused for a moment, twisting his mouth. "He riding some sorts pink horse."
"Pink horse?" Merlin peered over the top of Lunaris' head, squinting to try and make it out. "Couldn't be TD..."
"Thinking it is," Lunaris muttered with a slight frown.
Zero moved to open the door, stepping out onto the porch...secretly because he knew his hair looked much better in the glistening beams of dawn. "Ho, Macc! Have a nice visit with Kai?"
Macc just smiled, which was answer enough to suit everyone that knew him. "Guess who I found along the way," he slapped his kawaii pony's neck.
"@#$% it, Macc, you said you wouldn't tell!" the pony cursed.
"Well, I *wasn't*, but you just blew the whole story!"Macc threw his gloved hands up into the air.
"TD..." Merlin began, not quite sure where to start, "...you know that we were only joking by calling you a pony. Right?"
"You not has to take litrally," Lunaris added.
"I didn't take literally! I mean I didn't take IT literally!" he shook his mane in annoyance. "It was the Power Converter!"
"Breakfast?" Faetan offered, holding out a tray of cold 'bacon.'
Tenchimaru blanched to a surprising shade of white for one so pink. "Er...I can't digest anything but oats and carrots...horse stuff."
"Pony stuff," Spoony added.
Faetan's eyes swiveled to Macc. "You?"
"Ah, no thanks, just ate," he patted his stomach, and belched politely for added effect.
"Oh. Well, the leftovers won't keep," Faetan said sadly, dumping the plate in the bushes. The undergrowth squirmed and shriveled into a greasy black puddle, charring the ground where nothing would ever grow again.
"What about this Converter thing, what's up with that?" Merlin lifted his chin slightly, swaying the topic back to the matter at hand. "How did this happen?"
"Not sure," Tenchimaru sighed, sitting down on his pleasantly plump pink posterior, his fluffy purple tail folding neatly around his hooves. "This floating...thing...just appeared and declared itself to be the Power Converter. Well, me being me, I kinda...sorta...threw some horse droppings at him and laughed. So he converted me into this...this abomination!!" Wide purple eyes filled with tears, threatening to spill out over Tenchimaru's thick lashes. "It's SICK, I tell you!" he slammed a hoof against the ground.
"Some new plot of Hiryuu's?" Merlin suggested.
"No, it not messing up engoud," Lunaris shook his head, and examined Tenchimaru scrutinizingly.
"Looks plenty messed up to me," Zero stated, raising an eyebrow, "but I see your point. This is the work of something else. Something far more insidious."
Spoony Bard looked concerned. "You look pleased about that."
Zero nodded quickly. "Oh, I am! I've been itching for a good fight lately, it's been WAY too quiet around here!"
"Speaking of which," Faetan frowned as she put aside her empty tray, "any of you guys seen an angry Scottish-type woman with extremely long red hair? She ran off some time last night, haven't seen her since."
One by one they shook their heads. Zero stiffened a little. "How long? Longer than mine?"
"Well...yeah, I guess so."
"It was red, and kinda seemed to move on its own... I don't know!" Faetan squawked, throwing her hands up. "I like both your hair!"
Tenchimaru looked annoyed for a pony. "WHY are we discussing hair when there's some sort of monster out there turning people into cutesy pink ponies?! @#$&!!!"
"Too right," Zero agreed, punching his fist into the flat of his other hand. "TD, you're with me and Spoony. Lun, you, Macc, and Merlin go off to see what happened to Faetan's friend--whatever her name is."
"Er...wouldn't Lunaris be more help against this Power Converter guy?" Spoony interjected. "He's got the firepower after all, I'm not so sure my patented Spoony Kick will do much good if he converts me into a pony."
Lunaris grinned. "Zero want firepower to his self."
"Er, well no...it's just that two big weapons buffs would be a bit much of an overkill, don't you think?"
"What should I draw, hmmmmm?" Hades turned towards Tannin, who was tied to a chair. "O art expert?"
"Your mom! Ohhhhhhh!" the fiery-tressed woman retorted, spitting on the floor. She was greatly desiring her cigar right about now. And a friggin' huge sword.
He shook his head. "I don't think so...besides I was spawned. Shows what YOU know," he sniffed, tossing his head. "I do believe that I shall draw...ME! Ah ha ha ha ha!"
"You would," Tannin grumbled under her breath, casting her gaze around the tacky bachelor's pad. All around the room, Hades had surrounded himself with his own drawings. Several were depictions of himself, though there were a few others...particularly concerning anime girls in sailor costumes.
Tannin didn't want to know.
Hades began searching through the drawers of his desk. His smirk slowly twisted into a frown, then a deep scowl as his movements became more violent. "Where is it... Where IS it?!" he demanded, dumping a box of pencils out on his desk and rummaging through them. With a howl of dismay, he turned the desk over and kicked the closest object out the window.
"Yip!" barked his poodle, the closest object.
"I can't make art WITHOUT it!!! ARGH! DEATH AND BLOOD!!!!"
Tannin stared passively. Finally her curiosity overcame her better sense. "Make art without what?"
"My super deluxe BisketChi brand charcoal artist's pencil!" He clutched at his dark hair, shrieking like a banshee. A glass jar shattered with the high-pitched frequency, and Tannin winced at a newly-acquired throbbing headache. Then abruptly he ceased. "Oh. There it is." He picked up a small yellow pencil.
"It's...just a pencil," Tannin lifted an eyebrow.
"Silence, infidel! It's a super deluxe BisketChi brand charcoal artist's pencil. There's a big difference."
Tannin peered at it. "And the difference would be...?"
"The brand. Duh." Perching on a stool, he hunched over a sheet of paper and began to draw, his tongue slightly protruding from the left corner of his mouth as he screwed up his face in concentration.
Tannin grumbled. "This sucks."
"Oh boy! My Little Ponies!" laughed Moogoon as she stuffed a chubby horse into her mouth. The woman-creature was enormous, roughly equalling the size of Godzilla in height. Nicknamed the 'two-thousand tons of terror' by her previous victims, she was truly something to be feared as she shoved another kawaii pony into her gaping maw.
"Quick! We must find the Rainbow of Light!" shrieked a flying blue pegasus. "Go get Maegan!"
"But Moogoon already here! What stupid yummy pony want?"
A blonde girl ran out and released a rainbow out of her locket. It began to swirl around Moogoon. "Don't! Go away!" she bellowed as she took several swipes at it. Then she got tired of swiping, so she gulped it down. All the ponies squealed.
"Duh, Grundels help! Grundels good!" said a couple of ugly gray beasts. Moogoon popped them into her mouth.
"Mmmmmm! Grundels are good! Yum yum yum! Moogoon eat big pink castle!" GULP! Again, the ponies squealed. So Moogoon stepped on them. A colorful puddle oozed out from beneath her foot. "Oh boy! Pony pancake!" Moogoon gulped it down and began stomping away. Suddenly the Flutter Ponies appeared and began showering magic dust at Moogoon.
"Ah--ah--ah--ACHOOOOOO!" All the ponies got drenched in the flying mucus and saliva, and fell right down Moogoon's throat. "Tastes just like chicken! Ah hah hah!" Then, after all the My Little Ponies were eaten, she began tromping off to search for more precious food...
No matter what the time of day happened to be, The Drunken Monkey Tavern always seemed to be in the same smoke-filled state of raucous laughter and rowdy piano music. Barmaids flirted, beer was spilled, and every now and then a fight would break out much to the dismay of the frazzled barkeep.
"This is where I met up with her," Faetan said as she stepped inside, her eyes scanning over the crowd for any tell-tale signs of the bright red hair Tannin sported. Merlin and Macc entered at the same time with Lunaris bringing up the rear. Shooting a nervous glance at the piano to make certain that it was staying on the ground where it obviously belonged, Merlin moved inside further.
Faetan frowned, glancing around. "Split up."
"Roger roger," echoed Merlin, as the four branched out to begin searching. Lunaris went to speak to the piano player...as Merlin was adamantly refusing to go anywhere near the thing...Faetan spoke with the barkeep, Macc got himself instantly involved in a loud card game with his quick wit and humor. Merlin did the hovering, keeping silent with his ears pricked for any news.
After several minutes of this kind of activity, the four grouped together on the front steps. Merlin insisted. "All right," Faetan spoke up, one hand on her hip. "Anything unusual?"
Merlin nodded. "Some animal rights activists were throwing a fit over finding some poodle with a sprained paw. Mentioned a severe punting was involved."
"A very large order was placed with BisketChi brand art supplies," Macc told them. "And I won 500 pistoles from him. Heh heh heh!"
"Pistols?" Lunaris straightened with interest.
"No, no, pistoles...old French currency, they're using it in Balsalm right now."
Faetan stiffened. "That's where Tannin is from, she mentioned it to me last night."
"And who do we know that is obsessed with over-priced artist's utensils?" Macc folded his arms, lifting an eyebrow.
"It Hades," Lunaris nodded sagely.
"Figured he had to be involved," Faetan snarled. "We just need some sort of evidence."
"No, it Hades!" Lunaris stated again. "Semone watch his take off bundle with red hairy girl."
Faetan blinked. "Well. Sounds like evidence enough if there's a witness. I think we've got a skull to crack, gentlem--"
"Shhhh!" Merlin hissed, his eyes wide as he glanced around him with an even more nervous look on his face. The others paused, frowning slightly. "Listen..."
There was a long period of silence.
"What is it?" Macc asked. "I don't hear anything!"
"The piano stopped playing," Merlin sucked in his breath.
Immediately everyone dove for cover just as Merlin was the unfortunate benefactor of a plummeting piano.
Only the promise of a crisp, juicy apple had persuaded Tenchimaru to allow Spoony a free ride on his back. Zero preferred hovering, since it kept anyone from stepping on his hair. They left town, heading out on a long ribbon of highway over the vast sweeping fields of Rendezvous. It was late afternoon, and Tenchimaru complained about a sore hoof before too long. This produced no sympathy, sadly, and rather tended to produce snickering from Zero and Spoony both.
"I deserve another apple for this," he grumbled. Spoony complied, being as he was rather enjoying the ride so far.
Another hour passed uneventfully.
"Rendezvous is a big place," Zero sighed. "This Power Converter guy could be absolutely anywhere."
"He was around here somewhere, I just can't recall the exact location," Tenchimaru sighed, his flanks quivering as a fly buzzed around. It was swatted promptly with his tail.
"What did it look like?" Spoony asked, scanning the trees as Tenchimaru trotted along. "How big?"
"Medium size...I don't really remember too much about him, because he was rather skinny and pasty-looking. You know, the type that deserves to be pelted with horse turds." He snorted. "I was only trying to comply, after all!"
"I don't think Power Converter appreciated your efforts," Zero glanced down at him, then shielded his eyes with his hand as he scouted the area.
"So I noticed," Tenchimaru sniffed, resisting the urge to begin eating the sweet, delicious green grass.
As he gazed upon the luscious cool grass, however, his urge was swiftly quelled. A knot of uneasiness formed in the pit of his stomach as he saw a familiar pair of white boots touching down. Pale blue eyes peered hatefully at Tenchimaru from within a pasty, pallid face, set off with a tousled mop of blondish hair.
"Oh...NO...it's the...it's the...!"
Zero and Spoony turned their heads instantly, freezing as they gazed upon the form of none other than...
"POWER CONVERTER!" the figure whine, throwing skinny arms into the air.
Before Zero could bring his blaster arm to...well, arms...a wave of dark energy suddenly engulfed him. He howled as he felt his body twisting, contorting...and somewhere over the rush of sound that threatened to deafen him, he heard Spoony Bard gasp in horror.
Gravel. He felt gravel beneath him. Cold, slightly damp, and it was getting in his mane.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" Zero bellowed, rearing up on his back legs to paw at the air with his hooves.
Merlin rubbed at his throbbing head, wincing painfully.
"You...you sure you're okay?" Faetan asked, her brow knitting with concern.
"Hm?" he blinked, glancing over at her. "Oh yes, I'm all right, Fae. Happens all the time, you know."
"Yeah, but...it still hurts, doesn't it?"
He nodded mutely, trying not to think about it too much. Besides, his head was killing him, so thinking was the last thing he wanted to do right now.
Walking behind them, Lunaris was demonstrating to Macc the new and wondrous capabilities of his McMissile Launcher.
"...sesame seed buns?"
Faetan didn't pay too much attention to them, still frowning slightly. "How long has this been going on?"
"Since puberty... Shot up like a weed in height. Who knows how tall I might have been otherwise, so maybe it's a mixed blessing."
"If you say so," Faetan shook her head.
Lurking in the bushes nearby, Hiryuu cackled eeeeevilly and rapidly tapped his fingertips together. "Just a few more steps, my thorny rose, and you shall be in my clutches!"
Jiharn cleared his throat. "Well actually..."
"Silence! I must concentrate on my moment of victory!"
"But boss! We set up the nets over THERE!"
Hiryuu fumed in silence for a moment. "WHAT?!" he exploded. "I *told* you to put it on the path, not in the middle of the briar patch! They'll never GO in the briar patch!" He raised his arms in vexation, whacking Jiharn in the face and sending him tumbling down the hill.
"But booossssssss!!!" Thumpity whumpity whumpity whumpity THUMP-- "Ack! A boulder!" Whumpity whumpity whumpity SPLUD.
"Splud?" Jiharn questioned, blinking as his reeling senses slowly came into focus. He felt something moist and slimy covering his hands, and looked down to see that he had landed in a mud-filled pigpen. "Hey! That was pretty comfortable!" he exclaimed.
A large, pig's behind lowered itself to sit upon his head.
"Urk--! That's not!"
"JIHARN YOU FOOL!" Hiryuu bellowed from the top of the hill. "Stop messing around! Ha...'mess'ing...that was pretty good..."
"Yes boss, on my way boss!" Jiharn squirmed his way free, toting his mud-covered self up the hill. So happy was he to see Hiryuu, that he let out a squeal and hugged him fiercely. And thus, sharing the love AND the mud.
Hiryuu's eyes bulged. "GAH! Look what you've done you fool!"
Arms flailing as he shouted a loud 'wheeeeeeee!', Jiharn finally crashed into a 200-year-old lemon tree, knocking it to the ground. Lemons and stars circled his brow as he sat up, his eyes swirling in dizziness. "Ugh...ow..." Then he stood up, brushing at his knees and the seat of his mud-stained trousers.
Macc, in the meantime, felt a great disturbance in the Force. He whirled around, eyes wide. "That was a lemon tree!"
"It was?" Jiharn blinked, then turned around to gasp in horror. "It WAS!!! Oh no! Poor little fruits!" He fell to his knees, sobbing, and pawing at the ground with his hands to begin work on a shallow grave, placing a lemon inside. "You died before your time, sweet little lemon. Rest in peace."
Macc, however, was less distraught than he was ANGRY. "Knocking down lemon trees, you villain?" he thrust his finger at Jiharn. "That makes me...furious..."
Lunaris took a step back. So did Faetan and Merlin. Normally Macc was a great guy, a real kidder. But if you messed with his lemons...then heaven help you.
"Jiharn! Jiharn, stop burying those lemons! What on earth are you doing?!" Hiryuu squawked, apparently oblivious of the dangers of Furious Macc Maverick.
"I'm a fruitarian!" Jiharn sobbed, tears streaking down his cheeks. "It wasn't their time to die!"
Macc, by this time, was pulsing with energy.
"They're not ALIVE! They're just a bunch of stupid lemons!"
"Eep!" Lunaris dived behind a rock to duck and cover.
"MEGID!!!!" Macc thrust his hand up in the air as tendrils of fire pooled together, growing into an immense ball of heat and light.
Hiryuu had ceased yelling at Jiharn, the two of them both turning to stare wide-eyed at the ball of fire.
"GRAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!" The megid attack flew from Macc's outstretched palm, smashing into the lemon tree. Splinters and charred lemons flew everywhere, leaving a gaping hole in the ground.
"Too bad we're blasting off again that would've made a nice graaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave!" Jiharn howled as he and Hiryuu disappeared into a little gleam in the sky.
Macc stood, panting for breath. His fists quaked in fury, and he couldn't find any way to calm himself down. He beheld the smoking remains of the lemon tree...or rather, the black burned pit in the ground where the lemon tree once was. "What have I...what have I done...?"
Merlin brushed a bit of blackened rind from his shoulder. "Macc? You okay?"
Frozen, the reploid barely heard Merlin, nor felt the tall man's hand on his shoulder. "I...couldn't save them..." Suddenly he shook off Merlin's hand, his jet thrusters propelling him rapidly away from the scene before anyone could stop him.
"Macc! Comes back!" Lunaris called out, starting to run after him.
"No, Lun...let him go. Just let him go," Merlin said sadly, a dramatic wind stirring the folds of his cloak.
"Curse that reploid!" Hiryuu slammed his fist through a fiberglass door (that was just perfect for punching because it shattered in a most satisfying manner with no damage to his fist). "ALL of those reploids are nothing but trouble! Especially that feisty little Zero whose hair is NOT better than mine!" he gave his ice-blue locks a flick to emphasize the point.
Jiharn set about installing a new fiberglass door. "Yup, those reploids always foil your beautiful plans, boss."
"There's just no way to defeat them!" he punched his fists together, irritated. "No, no, Jiharn, move that more to the left."
"Right-o, boss! Too bad we don't have a reploid of our own, huh boss?"
"Yes, a real shame--" Hiryuu straightened. "Brilliance! BRILLIANCE! My pores exude with brilliance!" He snatched Jiharn up by the lapels of his coat. "Do you know what I am thinking?"
"Does it involve cookies and salamanders?"
"What the-- NO!"
"Then I don't know, boss!"
"Why, we'll get our OWN reploid! Yes! Yes yes, my stalwart companion, we will fight them with the very weapons they adore! We shall--" He paused, then sniffed. "GAH! You smell like you've rolled about in a pigpen!"
"Close, boss, I wallowed!"
Hiryuu made a noise of disgust, releasing Jiharn and stepping back to elude the terrible aroma. "Shower. Now."
Jiharn blinked. "But boss...you're dirty too!"
"GAH!" Hiryuu exclaimed again, realizing that this was true after Jiharn had hugged him.
"We'd best take a shower together. It's more economical that way, boss."
"Crap. Crap. Crappa! Crap," Hades drolled almost tonelessly as he flipped through Tannin's sketchbook.
She glared hotly at him, wishing not for the first time that her gaze could cause his skull to spontaneously combust. "Now I *know* you're lying."
"Am not," he sniffed, turning another page. She could've sworn she saw his eyebrow lift in quiet appreciation. His lips, however, disagreed. "More crap."
"Heh." He thumbed his nose, closing the sketchbook and setting it aside. His eyes remained on her face with a very disturbing sort of smile. "You look like crap too."
"Then why are you rubbing my knee?" she snarled, her bound ankle twitching in futile involuntary kicks that, had she not been tied to the chair, most likely would have knocked off his head.
"I'm not rubbing your knee," he denied as he leaned in ever closer, insinuating that his mouth was about to meet hers.
Disgust roiled in her guts. "If you put your filthy mouth on mine, I'll bite your lips off. Don't think I won't, I'm incredibly STRONG!" And she would have flexed if she'd been able. Cursed chair.
"I'm not gonna kiss you," he sniffed, his tone indicating that it was the furthest thing from his mind. But again, his lips disagreed.
Tannin sucked her lips into her teeth, her entire face contorting in disgust as she leaned further and further back. Hades advanced further and further.
And her chair fell over.
Hades scoffed. And scoffed some more, just to make sure she knew he held her in no regard whatsoever, though he reached down to gently sit her upright again.
"Now...where were we..."
"BLECH!" Tannin made a disgruntled noise of abhorrence as he leaned in close again...
"Hold it right THERE!" Merlin boomed, bursting into the apartment. Lunaris and Faetan moved in to back him up.
"Yeah, schtop it!" intoned the furious black-haired female.
"You gonna dies!" Lunaris hoisted his McMissile Launcher, smiling happily as it caught a glint of sunlight to make it gleam attractively. "I ... THE LAW!" Ka-click! went the weapon.
Hades took a few steps towards the trio, still standing in front of Tannin (who was still trying very hard to make his head blow up with her earnest glare), his fists punched egotistically into his sides. "Ha! You dare to threaten me, Emperor Hades! You do not know my POWER!"
Lunaris cursed under his breath. He couldn't shoot at Hades while Tannin was in the line of fire. ~It too risked...~
"Oh I'm sure we know your so-called 'power,'" Faetan sneered, hooking her fingers in the annoying quotes motion. "And frankly we're not impressed."
"Hmph," Hades snorted, giving his head a vain little toss. "Then it is time you learned, infidels." He thrust his fist into the air, which was clutching some odd little rod, or pen...it was hard to tell. But it looked very gay, whatever it was.
"What's he doing?" Merlin frowned, immediately thrusting out his arms to keep Lunaris and Faetan back...and also accomplishing a very nice flourish of his burgundy cloak for added effect. "Stay back..."
"HADES POWER!!!" the crazed artist shouted. Suddenly his apartment faded away into a rushing cinematic flow of pink bubbles, stars, hearts, and other kawaii Japanese anime symbols. Mystical crappy music began to play in a mixture of a fanfare and a happy little jig.
"NOOOO!" Lunaris shouted. "He transforming! Cover...you...eeeeyyyyeeeessss..." Soon they were all transfixed by Hades' transformation. No matter how much it burned.
His body turned into a sparkling silhouette with only his blinking eyes visible as he twirled around, spiraling and prancing. His body contorted sickeningly as he bent a leg behind his head and did a back handspring. A trail of little pink hearts fluttered in his wake.
"AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!" Faetan screamed, her eyes burning. "Make it stop! It's too much!"
The horrible horrible transformation continued. Ribbons encircled Hades' gallavanting outline, conforming into...
"A fuku?!" Merlin exclaimed, feeling his stomach do a few back handsprings of its own.
"No need for profanity," Hades shook his finger as he suddenly struck a dramatic pose, a short skirt swirling about his bare, hairy legs. His feet were stuffed into a pair of red pumps, and he wore the traditional skimpy sailor costume that Sailor Moon and her comrades sported.
Blinded and nauseated, the would-be rescuers fell to the floor, clutching at their abdomens and dry heaving. Hades' pet poodle (which had found its way back into the apartment) had rolled over on the floor with 'X' eyes, whimpering and barfing.
"Oh the humanity!" Merlin cried.
"Death to mine eyes!" Lunaris howled, covering them with his hands. He'd tried doing so early on in the transformation, but hadn't quite made it in time. But he'd looked away earlier than the others...if only he had a few more minutes...!
Tannin, who had a clear view of the backside, had already passed out despite her constitution of steel. It was simply too much for any human to bear.
"Now...to finish you all off. Ah ha ha ha ha ha," Sailor Hades laughed triumphantly, striding forward.
Unable to see, Faetan could still hear the steady clicks of his high heels on the apartment floor. And she thought to herself, how unfair and terribly wrong it was for him to have mastered the art of walking in pumps when she herself struggled so much to keep her balance in the wretched things...
What a world, what a world...
Sailor Hades laughed again. "Fools! No human can ever behold the greatness of my power and survive!"
"The greatness of your cross-dressing," Faetan grumbled irritably, still blinking as she desperately wished for her sight to return.
Merlin had staggered to his feet. "No...you must kill me to get to them," he stated firmly, squaring his shoulders.
"So be it...jerk."
WHACK!!! Sailor Hades was thrown back into his desk, causing a very large dent in the fake wood as he slumped dizzily to the floor. "No! It's impossible! No human can withstand the power--"
"Gaydom," Faetan interjected with a snarl in his general direction.
"--of SAILOR HADES!!!!" he bellowed, shaking his glove-covered fists in the air.
Then he paused...and knew why he had failed.
Standing there was Spoony Bard, on all four hooves. Indeed, no human COULD withstand the power/gaydom of Sailor Hades. But a My Little Pony was very much immune.
Galloping into the room came Tenchimaru and Zero, both glaring in a very kawaii way at Sailor Hades.
Struggling to his feet, he brushed off his fuku and hairy legs before thrusting his finger at the ponies. "You will pay for this, my little pretties! Bring on your pathetic and wimpy 'spoony kick'...you spoony pony! Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha! My dodging abilities are too good!"
Ka-click! Hades stopped laughing, and realized too late that Lunaris had recovered his vision.
Whump splud ZOOOMMMMM!!!!! "Noooooooooooo...!" he cried, jetting out of the city limits. "I'm sandwiched in two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun!!!! Curse you Lunaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrriiiiiiiisssss...!"
And he was gone.
"Try to dodge dat, @#$&%$#!" Lunaris blew the smoke and special sauce from his McMissile Launcher, giving it a little twirl before setting it on his shoulder.
Jiharn gazed fondly at the sleeping Hiryuu. His boss had worn himself out in the creation of Charlemagne, who would soon be Macc's counterpart. But one thing disturbed Jiharn...the personality profile just wasn't enough like Macc's to be really competitive. He'd work on that.
Creeping over to the table, he began making a few modifications on the unfinished reploid.
"Has to like lemons...yes, can't forget that. 'Twas lemons that caused that burning searing fire of death!" Bip beep bop, went the cheap computer as the information was inputted. "Too serious...has to loosen up a bit..." Bip beep bop! "And this should go...and this...and this..."
Hiryuu slept peacefully, dreaming of the day soon to come when he and Faetan would frolic through a field of poppies. "Poppies..." he muttered in his sleep.
"Puppies?" Jiharn turned faintly towards Hiryuu...he was answered only by a snore. Oh well. 'Puppies' was soon part of Charlemagne's programming.
Bip beep bop!
Slowly, Merlin and Faetan rose to their feet as their vision slowly and steadily returned to them.
"Wow, that was a close one," Merlin breathed a sigh of relief. "I thought we'd been blinded for--"
PONG!!!! He became the target of a random piano.
[At this point, the author apologizes for the bad sound effects, but as Macc is in charge of that department and has fled the scene earlier on, DEAL WITH IT!!!]
"Stop dinking around!" Zero prodded Merlin's limp hand with his hoof. "We have to get out of here now! Power Converter is right behind us!"
Lunaris blinked. He looked at Tenchimaru for a long moment, recognizing him. But the other two... "Spoony? And Zero? You ponies?!" He choked... then burst into laughter, clutching at his sides. "Bwoh ha ha ha ha ha ha! That funny! That rich!"
"Shut it," Spoony grumbled as he chewed apart the ropes that bound the unconscious Tannin. "He got Zero right from the get-go, and me in the middle of my Spoony Kick. I tell ya, the guy's a real menace!"
"Not like Sailor GAY-deez, snerk!" Faetan snorted cheerfully as she put Tannin's arm around her shoulders and hoisted her up. "Let's get going, we need to formulate a plan."
"OhhHhhHHhhHhHh!!!!" came a shrill whiny voice that caused everyone to tremble in their boots/horseshoes with terror. "I wanna go down to Hashi station and pick up some POWER CONVERTERS!!!"
Poof! Tannin and Faetan dropped to the ground, suddenly transformed into ponies. Faetan looked absolutely sick to her pony stomach.
Power Converter levitated into the room, hovering over the still and unconscious form of Hades' poodle (who still had 'X' eyes). Tenchimaru shuddered violently, backtrotting from Power Converter's advancing, wimpy form. "No...no more! So weak!"
With a whinnying snarl, Faetan lowered her head and charged at Power Converter. He stuck out a pasty white palm, sending her hurtling backwards to smash through the wall.
"Vile...fiend...!" Merlin uttered weakly from beneath the piano.
Power Converter didn't laugh egotistically as most villains did. He didn't laugh at all. He didn't even cop a smile! Instead, he whined louder. "You don't understand my mission! You don't understand ANYTHING!" He sobbed heartily, raising a finger. The squashed Merlin became a squashed green and purple pony.
"Why me...?" he whinnied pitifully.
Lunaris crouched slightly, cursing his McMissile Launcher. It needed reloading. Now he was the only non-pony left in the room...it was all up to him. Of course, this wasn't a problem. He was Lunaris! Being equipped with ultra-powerful weapons was his specialty! He reached into his pockets to withdraw his sniper pistol...and yelped when he encountered something slimy instead. The bacon! Faetan's bacon had dissolved it completely!!! ~NO! This can't be!!~
Power Converter's head swiveled around instantly, and Lunaris suddenly wished he hadn't yelped so loudly. Now he was the last target.
But wait...! An idea suddenly took firm hold in his mind...
"NooOooOooOo!!!" Power Converter whined shrilly. "Where's Threepio when you need him! OHhhhhHhhHH....I'll just take care of you myself!"
"You does that!" Lunaris grinned as he slowly withdrew his hand from his pocket.
Power Converter looked disturbed, seeing a sudden 'flash' come into Lunaris' eyes. "What's that flashing?!"
Suddenly a green glob of 'something' came hurtling through the air. "POWER CONVERTERS!" the wretched being shrieked...but nothing happened. It sailed forward relentlessly, almost having a mind of its own...and latched onto his face.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!! GET IT OFF GET IT OFF GET IT OFF!" he fell over backwards, his bird-like hands scrabbling at his face.
Faetan's bacon made quick work of Power Converter. And the floor. And the cement foundation. Finally there was just a smoking black hole remaining...where, of course, nothing would ever grow again.
A magical, golden glow slowly enveloped the ponies. Their forms shifted and molded, bringing them back into their human forms!
"Yayyyyyyy!" Tenchimaru squealed, pointing his fingers into the air. "I'm not a pony anymore! Hooray!"
Faetan crawled out of her demolished hole, shaking the plaster from her hair. "Well done, Lun! Couldn't have done it without you!"
"It nothing," he smiled humbly, shaking Spoony's hand as Zero stretched his arms, glad to have his normal body (and hair) back again.
Tannin awoke with a mild groan, her amber eyes fluttering slowly as she came to. Sitting on her elbow with one hand to her head, she uttered another groan. "Ugh...what happened? Last thing I remember was some horrible chibi transformation..." Her voice trailed off as her eyes fixated on Zero's long, shining, golden hair protruding from his helmet. "Abulzah..." she drooled, staring.
Faetan blinked...looking at Tannin...looking at Zero. Then she smirked. "Now that THAT'S over with...let's go get a drink!"
Everyone else quickly agreed, except for Tannin who was still eyeing Zero's hair with no small amount of idolization. They frolicked into the sunset...
...and then hastily returned with a hint of chagrin to move the piano off of Merlin.
THEN they frolicked into the sunset, to get plastered and stupid, because who knows what future torments awaited?
"Pet da puppies, George!"
Hiryuu rubbed deeply at his temples, suffering a massive headache after beating Jiharn silly. Not that he wasn't already silly to begin with...
"For the last TIME, Charlemagne... I want you to seek and destroy this man!" he held up a picture of Macc Maverick. "And THIS man too!" he added, Zero's photograph lifted.
"--I wanna pet da puppies, George!"
"NO!" Hiryuu snapped, shredding up the photos into bite-sized pieces. "No puppies for you until you seek and destroy Zero and Macc Maverick!!!"
Charlemagne's lower lip trembled. "You're the worst father ever! I hate you!" He fled into his bedroom and shut the door, sobbing loudly and playing his Yanni albums at maximum volume.
Hiryuu cursed beneath his breath. Some adjustments would have to be made...