Christmas Saga 4: Tis the Season
Weiila landed on Galloway's front lawn, a small note in her hands. After a few minutes of nothing, she finally decided to try ringing the front door. When no one responded, she noticed the lack of any car in the driveway, but decided that they were probably in the garage where they belonged. As she was knocking on the metal garage door, however, Galloway finally stumbled out the front door, dressed in a pair of sweats and a blue t-shirt, his body barely managing to hold itself up. "Huh? Whatsit?"
"Come on!" shouted the angel. "You wanted my input on this plan of yours, didn't you?"
"...Weiila, it....is....THREE A.M!" shouted Galloway. "What do you want from me? I can barely fucking move right now!"
"WHO'S DOWN THERE?"
"It's just me, mom!" shouted Galloway.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING UP AT THIS HOUR?!"
"It's work, mom!" shouted Galloway. "I'll be gone in a minute!" He looked back at Weiila. "Next time you decide to forget about time zone differences, please warn me in advance."
The RPGC Task Force slept in their quiet seclusion...that is, until Starstorm barged into the bunker, shouting and banging things around in an intentional attempt to cause a ruckus. Finally, the six Task Force members stumbled out of bed, still in their night clothes. "...Huh?" said Heaven's Soldier. "What'dya want, Storm?"
"I've got a message from Weiila!" said Star. "She wants us to meet her at that old hotel from a couple of years ago!"
"You mean...that haunted place that isn't haunted anymore?" said Glenton.
"Huh...what...how?" mumbled kiro.
"You're too young to remember, kid," said Star. "All right, up and at 'em! She wants us in there on the jiffy!"
"...I swear, when this is over, I'm going to kill you..." said Mabatsekker.
The visions were always the same: at one moment, the young dragon prince was dancing about happily, playing in the city streets and palace grounds, learning from the countless ancient tomes in the great library, enjoying the sheer joy of life. Almost immediately, it would cut to finding his dead parents, their bodies sliced and mutilated almost beyond recognition. After these horrors, it would show his many fruitless attempts to discover the true murderer of his parents, the many wasted years of his life trying to bring the bastard to justice.
Suddenly, he awoke to find himself in a large bed, rain pouring outside the window. The room he was in was made of solid stone, and decorated only with a red rug and a armoir. Pulling himself away from the covers, he grabbed a nearby spear and opened the doorway.
A pair of guards stood in his way. "Sire, we cannot allow you to leave," said the guards. "You must wait to be taken to the healer."
"What are you talking about?!" said Xero. "I'll have you know that-"
Suddenly, he began to cough up spurts of blood. He looked at his side, and for the first time saw the massive wound, still slowly bleeding down his skin. "You were attacked on the road to RPGCity," said one guard. "You are currently in the Castle of Fanfiction. Mistress Weiila has left for RPG Town on urgent business, and King Valkyrie Esker is currently absent. Please, my lord, seat yourself and we shall help with your wound."
In a large skyscraper in downtown RPGCity, a sinister meeting began.
"And so, as you can see, they are ready."
"Yes, it's moving according to plan!"
"Soon, we will be raking in big profits, at the expense of these RPGCers! BWA HA HA!"
An hour later, the Task Force was assembled in front of the hotel. Signs of restoration were readily apparent; the walls were fully patched, the windows replaced, and a new paint job was slapped on. Galloway stood at the podium, an IV machine pumping pure caffine into his veins, seemingly bringing him up to normal. Weiila was seated next to him, while Starstorm was nowhere to be found.
"Ladies and gentlemen," said Galloway, "Weiila and I were discussing plans for a Christmas party this year, and decided to have the biggest bash the Internet has ever seen!"
"...And what would that be?" said GG Crono.
"We fixed up the hotel from three years ago!" said Galloway. "We plan to hold a massive Christmas party in there, for all of us!"
"You mean...all of RPGC?" said Darkness Beckons.
"No, I mean everyone," said Galloway. "We plan to invite everyone we have fought alongside with, everyone who aided us in battling the great evils of Naar and his many minions! Yes sir, this is going to be grand! Grander than grand! The coffee is beginning to take affect! My heart is about to literally explode! Oh God somebody help me!"
Weiila quickly snapped the IV out of Galloway, and the saiyan began to calm down. "Now, I just wanted to inform you first, since I was hoping you would serve as security on that day. We have no idea how many people are going to show up; we may have to use a few space-altering spells, in fact. That's why we need the best superhero team we can find! PLUS, I'll be giving everyone in RPGC presents afterwards!"
The Task Force looked amongst themselves, and then turned back to Galloway. "We'll think about it," said Heaven's Soldier.
Meanwhile, deep in space, a Spaceballs-sized ship cruised, picking up the near-dead remains of Jack T. Chick along the way...
The sun slowly rose over the small village, bringing a sense of life to the entire community. The residents began to wander the streets, tourists and travellers wandered the path that divided the buildings, and the only store in town became packed. Meanwhile, in the second floor of the inn, Valkyrie Esker awoke, her spear lying on the floor next to her. Once she was sure the coast was clear, she grabbed her beloved Gungnir, its point still polished despite lying on the dirty floor, threw on her armor, and made her way to the first floor.
Sir Percival was already waiting for her, sitting at a small table and sipping from a cup of tea. He was already in full armor, his sword at his side, his eyes locked on the former goddess. "Ah, though hast chosen to awaken thyself at long last?" asked Percival.
"Can it, knighty," said Val. She took a seat across from him. "So, you think it's safe to go back into RPGCity yet?"
"How long can thy scoundrel of a husband hold a grudge?" said Percival.
"Look, I didn't MEAN to call that catgirl a skank in front of him!" said Val. "It's usually something I say behind his back, the lousy cheating bastard!"
"...Verily, it should be safe at this very time to return," said Percival. He was obviously distressed at what Val had just said, but decided to brush it aside for the time being. "I have yet to secure mounts, but-"
"No horses this time!" said Val. "We're taking a bus. My ass is still sore from last time."
Xero slowly awoke to find himself back in the bed, Weiila sitting next to him. His wound was completely healed. "H-Huh?" he said.
"Xero, you were attacked," said Weiila. "Someone tried to kill you on your way here. Why did you even come here?"
Xero raised himself halfway out of bed. "Someone said they knew who was behind my parents' death. We were supposed to meet at the crossroads just outside the abandoned police station, but-"
"...Your contact is dead," said Weiila. "We found his body shortly after we found you. If he had anything on him, it was taken. He was already too dead to revive when I learned about him."
Xero looked blankly at the ceiling. "Please...I just want to be alone," he said.
Galloway wandered through the halls of the hotel, taking in the many familiar sights and memories. From being mobbed by regressed RPGCers, to being attacked by the Dark Five, to being stalked by police, to dragging a younger Val from the past into the future, to finding the Soul Reaver, to battling an evil ghost, and finally defeating an evil Santa Claus and hillbilly, every memory came flooding back. He couldn't have chosen a more appropriate place...
As he returned to the lobby, he heard the sound of a bus pulling up in front. He looked out the door, and saw Val and Percival step off, the bus vanishing in a trans-dimensional warp behind them. Both made their way through the door and into the lobby, while Galloway moved behind the desk. "Hello, good sirs. A room for two?"
"Har har har," snarled Val. "Alright, what's this all about?"
"We're...throwing a huge Christmas party," said Galloway. "Not that you care."
"In truth, thou words hath interested me," said Percival.
"Well, since I doubt anything bad's going to happen this year, I thought we should hold an interdimensional Christmas party in this hotel," said Galloway. "I hopefully have the Task Force on staff, and with Weiila's help, this should be a smash hit."
"...Actually, that sounds pretty cool," said Val. "Alright, for once, I'm in, as long as I don't have to get you another girlfriend!"
"Of course not!" said Galloway. All three shared a hearty laugh, although it was more nervous on Galloway's part.
Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. Sighing, Galloway opened the door, only to find a heavy filing cabinet placed there, a postal officer running away at the same time. As Galloway dragged the cabinet inside, he swore he felt something rummaging around inside. Val's eyes suddenly bulged, while Percival looked on in curiosity.
"Hey, look!" said Galloway. He pointed to some scribblings on the side. "'Abandon hope, all ye who open this cabinet. Open this and you shall no fury swifter or more horrifying than that which hell hast bestowed upon you.'"
"Very well then, do not open it," said Percival.
"Agreed," said Galloway. As he was stepping away, however, he slipped on the carpet. His hand grasped onto the cabinet handle, and the force of the fall cause the cabinet to open slightly. Something inside pushed the doorway the rest of the way open and leaped out...revealing itself to be the long mistreated Young Val. All three looked on in absolute confusion.
"Grrr!" she snarled, in a way that was more cute than threatening. "I'm back, bitches!"
Galloway grabbed the chibi and slammed her back into the filing cabinet. "I don't have time for this," he said. "I have to work the day shift at Wal-Mart. You guys coming?" Both shook their heads, and made their way towards RPG Town. Galloway, meanwhile, locked the front doors to the hotel, doubly trapping Young Val.
Galloway stood just inside the Wal-Mart, fake smiling and saying, "Happy holidays," to everyone that passed through the doorway. He didn't even notice the grey ninja sneaking around the back, next to the photo lab, watching his every moves. The saiyan's mind was instead preoccupied with how he loathed this place, wishing death upon it with every passing second. After being locked in overnight a few times, wishing for the store's destruction was only natural.
The ninja finished his observation, nodded with a sense of satisfaction, and vanished in a puff of smoke. Galloway, however, was still focused on wishing "Happy holidays" to the overweight, greasy women that dominated every aspect of these stores, the idiots who thought he knew if they had any Wiis or PlayStation 3s, and the general loudmouths who did nothing but complain about how horrid Wal-Mart was while spending all day in there.
(AND THUS ENDS OUR WAL-MART SLAMMING...FOR NOW.)
The ninja appeared in a massive, circled chamber. Five seats were filled with the usual mysterious figures, all of whom wore clothing similar to a cardinal's robe with a red hood. Only one figure refused to wear this. It was none other than Jack T. Chick, now with much of his face stitched up, his body augmented technologically. A sixth figure sat in a raised seat, dressed in a similar robe but with more ornate gold trimmings, and silver rings on every finger.
The ninja bowed, and the sixth figure stood. "Report your observations to us, Chameleon."
"We have located the one responsible for the deaths of the Goodwrights," said Chameleon. "He is indeed the one that destroyed Neo Galloway's space station. He was working as a greeter at Wal-Mart."
"Of course," said the second figure. "What better place for such an insensitive person to work than Wal-Mart."
"But...what are we to do?" said the third figure. "We could destroy him right now..."
"No," said the sixth figure. "He is our link with RPGC. We can manipulate him to our advantage. And what of our search for Mr. T?"
"Hosting a new reality show," said Jack T. Chick. "He will be captured soon."
"We have suffered much, my friends," said the sixth figure, "but soon, the world will be as it should be! We will be the lords of a new realm, free from the corruption of acceptance and tolerance! All of existance shall bow to us AND our master!"
Now safely back at his Parent's House of Solitude, and freed from the evils of the blue vest, Galloway made his way to his room, closed and locked the doors and windows, checked for bugging devices, and quickly called up a familiar, and yet non-familiar number. "Hello, TrkJac? What? What the hell, Dave! I- Alright, I admit, that's a nice con. Look, I need two of your boys to do some christmas party inviting. Yes, I know it's a small job, but...it does involve that other dimension. You know, the one that thinks we're all a bunch of nutjobs or villains. All right, I'll send over your payment AND instructions right away."
A HALF HOUR LATER, AT THE RIGHTEOUS PROTECTORS OF GOOD CAUSES (aka RPGC...2)
-OmegaFlareX and Arac stood in front of the massive castle, its large door closed and barred to them. The two simply looked around as the portal behind them closed, taking a purple ninja along with it.
The two knocked on the door, and a small latch was drawn back, revealing a set of eyes. "How can I help you?"
Now relieved that they could talk normally, Arac stepped forward, holding a Christmas card. "We represent the other RPGC. We were wanting to invite you to a Christmas party back in our dimension."
He slid the card through the small peephole. The eyes on the other side closed. "We'll think about it. We'll call that other Wilfredo when we make up our mind." With that, the latch slammed shut, and the two opened another portal, stepping through without even a moment's hesitation...
Arac and OmegaFlareX exited to find themselves standing in a small, octogonal chamber, with each side showing a set of metal bars. There were skeletons and corpses everywhere, and pools of water filled small crevices in the ground. "What the hell?" said Omega. "We're supposed to be back at RPGC!"
"Not today," said a voice. With that, three ninjas, dressed in purple, white, and grey emerged, quickly entering a combat position...
Galloway slowly approached Weiila, Digipad in hand. The two simply looked at each other for several seconds. "Are you sure you want to do this?" said Weiila.
"Well, they ARE our kids," said Galloway. "If we go forward at the same rate of time as always, they SHOULD be at adulthood. Besides, it's always nice to see an old, impotent Starstorm, as opposed to a young, impotent Starstorm."
"Trust me, he's probably longer than you," said Weiila. With that cruel jab at Galloway's manhood, the two activated the machine, jumping into the future.
"...So, we're fighting ninjas now?" said Arac.
"Seems that way," said Omega. "There's three of them, so by the proportional laws of ninja physics, this should be a simple battle. Let's go!"
The two entered their own combat positions, with Arac raising his fists and Omega raising his katana. The two sides entered a tense standoff, with neither side seeming to budge. Finally, Arac broke the tense situation by jumping in with a kick towards the center purple ninja. To his surprise, the ninja completely disolved into water, while the other two flipped to the side. The very second he landed, the water reformed behind him, returned to its ninja form, and roundhoused Arac.
Omega, meanwhile, charged at the grey ninja, who drew a sword out of absolutely nowhere and blocked his attack. The two entered a brief sword battle, until the grey ninja's outfit took on a blue color. The ninja drew his hands back and threw a ball of ice, which instantly covered Omega in ice. An instant later, the ninja sheathed his sword, assumed a crane stance, and unleashed a six-hit combo on Omega, shattering the ice with the first blow.
Arac recovered and pulled a three-piece rod out of his backpack. He turned to face the purple ninja, but his adversary had vanished, along with the white ninja. As he began to run towards the grey ninja, something slammed into his face. He looked around in confusion, but saw nothing. A blow to his back followed, which was in turn followed by something lifting him into the air and tossing him like a limp rag. As he slammed against the stone wall of the dungeon, he saw the white ninja appear in a puff of smoke, as the purple ninja returned from his liquid state.
Omega managed to knock the grey ninja aside long enough to regain his katana, but the ninja changed to a green color and threw an incredibly slow-moving ball of green energy. Sighing at the stupidity of the attack, he jumped over the projectile...just as the ninja removed his mask and spat out a lob of acid. The burning projectile hit Omega with enough force to send him flying backwards, right into the previous projectile. Upon contact, the projectile popped, causing a shockwave that sent Omega flying forward, right into the waiting foot of the ninja.
Arac made one final attempt at an attack, as the purple ninja drew a pair of daggers and entered a ritualistic combat stance. Even as the young warrior approached, the ninja stabbed him in both hips and, raising the palms of his hands, fired a jet of water, knocking Arac to the ground. Omega, meanwhile, managed to sneak a flat-edged attack against the grey ninja's head, but the white ninja jumped behind him and made some motions in the air, releasing a strange black smoke right on top of Omega. As the warrior tried to fight off the gas, the grey ninja turned red and raised his hand, causing a green energy to appear around Omega, lift him into the air, and slam him into the ground.
With both warriors, defeated the ninjas moved in for the kill, as a voice in the distance shouted, "Finish them!" As the purple ninja raised a knife to Arac's throat, and the white ninja's hands clasped onto the sides of Omega's head, another voice rang out. "No, you fools! These are the wrong ones! We need them alive. Return them to RPGC at once!"
Cursing their misfotune, the ninjas threw both through a nearby portal, which closed behind them.
Arac and Omega fell through a wall, almost completely destroying it. As they looked around in absolute agony, they saw themselves lying in a living room of some sort. Wilfredo Martinez and a teenager were sitting at a table, on which sat a chess set. "Did you hear something, uncle?" asked the girl.
"No, Nel," said Wil. "That wall's always been collapsing, ever since Mabat ran a chopper through it. Juuuuuust ignore it."
"There's two guys lying on the floor," said Nel.
Wil finally turned, jumping from his seat and running to help the two as best he could. Meanwhile, Nel quickly exchanged his queen and one of his rooks, placing him in check.
MEANWHILE, IN THE YEAR 2031...
Galloway and Weiila appeared on a cliffside, overlooking a vast valley. The two looked around in confusion, but saw no way off the cliffs; all edges simply led to death. "Well, this is just dandy!" shouted Galloway. "Now what?"
"Uh...we both fly, remember?" said Weiila.
Galloway's face flushed in embarassment. "Oh...right." As he walked to the edge in preperation to leap, something charged right into him, tackling him to the ground. Before he could get a look at his attacker, Galloway kneed the figure in the chest and threw him aside. He entered a combat stance as the figure, a being clad entirely in black with two points around the ears, continued to attack. The saiyan blocked every attack, and responded with a ki blast to the chest. As his attacker fell back, Galloway leaped into the air, kicking the figure in the face. Their attacker now flat on the floor, Galloway lifted him to his knees and removed the mask...
Revealing the face of a catboy, looking almost exactly like Starstorm. "Star?" said Weiila.
Galloway released his grip, allowing the catboy to stand. "No mom, it's me!" Weiila just looked blankly. "Kerr!" Weiila's blank stare continued. "Your son!"
"OH!" said Weiila. "You mean my perverted future son that trains under Galloway for some reason!"
"Not anymore, unfortunately," said Kerr. "He vanished just before we could finish the last techniques. Said something about conquering his...fate or something. What are you doing here with...Galloway?"
"We're the past ones," said Galloway. "You know, the young and vigorous ones. We were just inviting you to a christmas party in the past, in an old hotel."
"...Sounds interesting," said Kerr. "Maria and I'll be there for sure."
Galloway looked around. "Speaking of which, where is Maria?"
"I don't know," said Kerr. "She was supposed to be behind me, but-"
Suddenly, Galloway's neckhairs stood on end. "Oh...god, no," he muttered.
"What is it?" asked Weiila.
"...We have trouble," said Galloway.
Suddenly, a young girl in kagonite armor fell from the sky, landing with a thud on the ground. As she tried to raise herself, a grey ninja teleported onto the cliffside, locking his glowing green eyes on Galloway.
The evil council watched as a cage was lowered from the ceiling, revealing a struggling Mr. T. "Ah," said the fifth figure, "at last we have captured the elusive Mr. T."
"Where th' heck am I?" said Mr. T
"You're in our lair, accursed 1980s pop icon," said the lead figure. "It was simply a matter of poisoning your lunch milk with a few drops of our patented sleeping drugs, and our allies were able to cart you all the way back here."
"Let's finish him now!" shouted Jack T. Chick.
"No!" said the lead figure. "We need him alive. Deposit him in the dungeons! We must now concentrate on destroying d Galloway, or at least keeping him from RPGC long enough to strike." The cage was lifted back into the ceiling, and the council returned to their meeting.
Galloway raced to the girl, who was quite obviously Maria, now only a short time from reaching legal adulthood. She struggled to move, but her body was battered beyond belief. The ninja continued to lock his eyes on Galloway, as the saiyan rose to do the same. "All right, who the hell are you?"
"Wait a minute," said Weiila. "I remember you! You're Chameleon, aren't you?"
"Ah, the angel," said the ninja. "How unfortunate you had to be involved in this mess. I must ensure that Galloway dies for his crimes."
"What crimes?" said Galloway.
"You'll know soon enough," said the ninja. He entered a crane stance, while Galloway entered his own stance. The two looked at each other for what seemed like an eternity, neither side willing to move. Finally, the ninja struck first, unleashing a series of kicks in Galloway's direction. Galloway blocked each attack, and responded with a kick to the head, which the ninja blocked easily. The two jumped back, and Galloway fired an energy beam. Chameleon flipped to the side, his outfit turning purple as he did so.
Suddenly, a bolt of lightning surged from the sky, striking right into Galloway. The saiyan fell to his knees in agony, but managed to lift himself as the figure's outfit turned black. Chameleon pulled out a number of shuriken and let them fly; Galloway managed to dodge most of the projectiles, but the last struck his left shoulder, severing something important. Cursing under his breath, Galloway threw a Gallo-beam, but the ninja teleported behind him and uppercutted him into the air.
As Galloway fell, the ninja jumped up after him, intercepting his trajectory and letting loose a series of punches and kicks. Galloway managed to block most, but the last struck under his collapsing defense and sent him falling back. The moment the ninja landed, his outfit turning yellow as he fell, he threw a rope-attached spear into Galloway's body and dragged him back to the ground. The saiyan lay on the ground, unmoving.
Chameleon turned to the panicing Weiila and Kerr. "It is done. Any moment now, history will-" Suddenly, Galloway hand grabbed the ninjas foot and threw him into the air, followed by the saiyan drawing his katana and running the ninja through the back. As he did so, he felt something fall out of his pocket, but ignored the clattering.
"All right, you grey SOB," said Galloway, "who the hell do you-" Suddenly, his foot struck some kind of switch, and both were lifted into the air, surrounded by a green field of energy. Within a second, both completely vanished, leaving only a broken Digipad behind. Weiila stared ahead blankly, unable to comprehend what just happened.
Galloway landed in a field just outside of the Castle of Fanfiction. His sword was still covered in blood, but his victim had vanished completely. Cursing his misfortune, he slowly rose to his feet, wiped his blade on the grass, and began to stumble to the castle.
He turned to see an obviously regal figure staring at him. "Who the hell are you?"
"My name's Bahamut Xero," said the figure. "You must be d Galloway. We met a few times."
"Oh...yeah," said Galloway. "What are you doing here?"
"I was attacked on this road," said Xero. "I was hoping to discover more about my attacker, but so far am coming up empty."
'I see," said Galloway. He looked at the ninja star still embedded in his shoulder. "Well, I wish you well. Personally, I-"
Suddenly, the dragon king's eyes locked onto the ninja star. He held up a black piece of metal, resembling a point similar to the shuriken. "Wait...could it be...whatever attacked you must have attacked me!"
Arac and Omega were placed on Wil's couch, their bodies covered in bandages, slings, casts, and everything else imaginable in the context of a first aid night school course. "Since when did you know first aid?" asked Arac.
"You don't spend much of your life as a superhero and planeswalker without learning a few survival tips," said Wil. "Alright, you said you were attacked by...ninjas?"
"A purple one, a white one, and one that kept changing colors," said Omega.
Wil suddenly took a step back. "This purple ninja...did it say what its name was?"
"No, but he had the ability to turn himself into water and shoot it out his hands," said Arac.
"...Rain," growled Wil.
"...Huh?" asked Nel.
"Nelimar, I'm taking these two back to RPGC," said Wil. "I can't take you with me on this mission."
"No buts, Nel!" shouted Wil. "This is too dangerous to have you along! This bastard nearly killed Crotanks two years ago, and worked with two other ninjas to nearly destroy RPGC! We have to prepare for a full-force attack!"
Nelimar was taken aback at the force of Wil's shouting, a side she had never seen before. Grabbing her stuff, she quickly made her way home, while Wil waited for Arac and Omega to heal enough to make their way to RPGC. He could only hope nothing else had happened while this was going on...
Val and Percival returned to the hotel, only to find Galloway already there, continuing to set up things for the party. "Hey, fagface!" said Val.
"Not in the mood," said Galloway. "Weiila's trapped in the future."
The two looked at each other in confusion, then back at Galloway. "WHAT?!" they said in unison.
"I'm sure she'll be fine," said Galloway. "She's probably relaxing and chilling even as we speak. In the meantime, I need some volunteers to invite the next group of partyguests." Both stood completely silent for several minutes. "All right, I'll send Gemini."
In a large skyscraper, an evil group met again...
"The last of our targets have been captured."
"Very good. And what of the silver masked man?"
"We managed to lose him."
"Good! Make sure none of them escape!"
"DAMN YOU! If it manages to make contact..."
Weiila continued to stare at the digipad, her eyes practically tearing. "Wh-What the hell happened?"
"It doesn't look totally destroyed," said Kerr. "I guess we could get it fixed with parts from our digipad."
"I...guess that'll work," said Weiila. "But now what?"
"You can't stay with Kerr, in case you running into his mom results in a temporal distortion capable of destroying all of existance," said Maria. "I guess she can stay with mom and I. How about it, Miss Weilla? Just promise you won't kill him when you get back!"
"Don't worry," said Weiila, her voice skipping and uneven. "In fact, I'm going to give him a big snuggly-huggly! And squeeze him. And squeeze. And squeeze...and squeeze...and squeeze!"
A few hours later, the company of Galloway, Val and Percival finally finished clearing out a third of the rooms in the hotel, making the beds, fixing the holes in the walls, installing furniture where there was once none, and trying to keep Young Val inside her filing cabinet. After this first leg of work was completed, the three took seats in the lounge area, Galloway and Val taking two odd-colored chairs while Percival sat on the love seat. "Why the...hell...did we do this...again?" gasped Val.
"Because...I...paid...you," gasped Galloway.
"Verily...you have...no excuse...for your...exhaustion..." gasped Percival.
Galloway finally regained himself. "You were the one that HAD to go up and down stairs IN FULL PLATE MAIL ARMOR! Do you even take that off when you bathe!"
"Of course!" gasped Percival. "But I always keep it near. Any manner of thief or beggar would gladly seek to take ahold of these arms."
"Did you ever send your brother out?" said Val.
"Yeah, he should be back in a few," said Galloway. "I just hope..."
As if in answer, a portal opened in the ceiling directly between the three, and Gemini came tumbling out, his body battered and bruised, his left eye practically sored closed. The frost clinging to his clothes, accompanied by the electrical burns to his face, confirmed the involvement of the ninja he had encountered before, and possibly others.
"VAL!" shouted Galloway. "Get a fucking hospital, NOW!" Val quickly complied, while Percival helped Galloway place Gemini on the love seat and try to dress his wounds as best they could.
Black pizza vans surveyed the streets of RPGC, incospicuous radar dishes placed on their car roofs. Although there were an unusual amount of pizza vans when compared to RPGCity's population, most considered them simply family coming home for the holidays, and went along their merry way.
Suddenly, two of the vans stopped in front of a garbage can-filled alleyway, with only a single dumpster to break the monotony. Several men in black suits and with black gloves and ties emerged from the vehicles, .44 millimeter guns hidden in their jackets. They approached a singled out trash can, where something shook inside.
As they drew closer, a voice called out from behind. "Hold it!"
The men turned, and saw Lex staring at them, his hands closed in tight fists. "I don't know who you are, but you're obviously up to no good. Leave now!"
The men in black laughed the threat off, and reached for their guns, only to have a double katana figure leap between them, slicing each in their gun-drawing arm. One still managed to raise his weapon, only to have it shot out of his hand with a well-aimed shot from a sniper rifle. The RPGC Task Force reassembled behind Lex, having successfully taken down a bunch of men in black.
The foolish men ran for their pizza vans and drove off in a hurry. "Who were those guys?" asked kiro.
"Brock Corporation goons," said Glenton. "That blasted place runs about half the news channels in RPGCity, along with nearly all of the newspapers, and are responsible for that trashy RPGC Task Force TV Special from last year."
"Still better than a play," said GG Crono. "How do you know so much, by the way?"
"I helped them get where they were," said Glenton. "I helped them blackmail every government official, as well as helped them eliminate their rivals. The bastards backstabbed me, tried to have me killed."
"Nice exposition," said Heaven's Soldier. "And what are YOU doing here, Lex?"
"Trying to save whoever was in that trash can," said Lex. "They obviously wanted it very badly."
The Task Force (plus Lex) approached the can, GG Crono using his katana to hook onto the lid's handle. They opened the can...and could not believe what they saw staring back at them...
Rain, Smoke and Chameleon returned to the mysterious council. "This had better be good," said the lead figure.
"We are confused," said Rain. "Why are we striking at the rest of RPGC?"
"Our goal is to isolate all of RPGC," said the lead figure. "Once that is done, we may proceed with the destruction of Galloway, and everyone he holds dear."
Galloway slowly stepped out of the hospital, Val holding her arm over his shoulder. "Look, the doctor said your brother will be all right," said Val. "Let's just head back to the hotel for now and-"
Percival exited the hospital just as Galloway began talking. "Val, Percival, can you continue setting up the hotel for a while. I have an invintation to give out."
"...All right," said Val. "I'm sure we can handle it."
Galloway slowly stepped away from the two and flew off, in the direction of Alberta. "That was very uncommonly altruistic of you," said Percival. "What design do you have?"
"Nothing evil," said Val. "The guy's had enough problems this Christmas; until things pick up a bit, I guess I can afford to show a little weakness."
Meanwhile, in the RPGC countryside, a large portal suddenly opened, and a small car raced through, carrying two passangers. The first was looked keenly similar to Wilfredo Martinez, only about two decades younger. The second was a rather well-built man, dressed in a silver wrestling mask, silver tights, and a glittering cape. They continued to race down the back roads, the former staring at a small radar device built into the car. Finally, a large signal began to go off, and they turned onto the main road towards RPGCity.
Galloway landed with a heavy thud next to the warehouse, half-expecting a mob of crazed Canadians to start charging towards him at a moment's notice. Once he was relatively sure everything was safe, he stepped into the warehouse...and was immediately slammed in the face with a half-dozen eggs, followed by the remaining half-dozen being dropped from the ceiling. Once he was sure the running egg yolks and shells wouldn't destroy his sight, he wiped the goo from his face, and saw a bunch of laughing hybrids.
Trisha stepped out of the crowd, still chuckling. "Come on, Galloway! We spent the last five weeks planning that out! Have a sense of humor!"
"...And how did it end in your plans?" grumbled Galloway.
"You got pissed and killed us all," said Trisha.
"Sorry to dissapoint, but I won't follow your plan," he said. Trisha was silently thankful her subtle manipulation had worked. "Anyway, I'm here on behalf of the RPGC Informal Holiday Comittee, inviting you to the biggest Christmas bash the Internet has ever seen." A half-hearted fan fare erupted in the background. "It's on Christmas Eve, and it'll be at the abandoned hotel in RPG Town."
"...You don't sound too happy about it," said Trisha.
"Let's just say a lot's been happening," said Galloway. "Someone's been hunting everyone I know and/or love for a while, nearly killing them or trapping them in the future, and now-"
"You're worried about me?" asked Trisha. The other hybrids quickly excused themselves.
"Well...yeah," said Galloway. "We're not going out anymore, but-"
Trisha kissed Galloway on the cheek, causing the saiyan to have a sudden heart attack. A few minutes later, he rose back to life, calming down the alarmed Trisha. "All right, I still love you and all, but please stop kissing me on that cheek. Must be a sore spot or something." With that, he stepped out of the warehouse, leaving a confused and bewildered Trisha staring out the doorway.
As Galloway prepared to take off, he heard a slight rustling coming from some nearby trees. He looked to his left, and saw a black shape suddenly appear in one of the trees. Before he could even process what was happening, he jumped in front of Trisha, just as three shuriken struck him in the right shoulder, close to Trisha's head level. Growling in pain, he watched as the obvious ninja leaped from the trees, changing from one color to another in rapid succession.
Galloway pulled the shuriken from his arm. "What the hell do you want?!" he growled.
"Stand aside, and you will not die yet," said the ninja.
Suddenly, a car pulled up behind the two, and two men, one looking like a young Wilfredo Martinez and the other like a mexican wrestler, jumped out without even bothering to open their doors. The ninja stared in absolute confusion at the procession of events, as the wrestler crouched into a grappling position and prepared to attack. Finally deciding that he was out of his league, his costume turned black and he vanished in a puff of black smoke.
MEANWHILE, BENEATH MONKEY ISLAND- I MEAN, INSIDE A SKYSCRAPER...
"You mean we failed again?
"Unfortunately, yes. And to make things worse, Santo has managed to cross over to this dimension. We are in great danger."
"Don't lose yourselves, gentlemen! We still have most of the subjects! We will proceed as planned."
The Santo-mobile raced its way across the hills leading to the Task Force's headquarter, the young Wilfredo Martinez and the wrestler driving, while Galloway and Trisha sat in the back seat, unable to believe how slow this car moved in comparison to even the large trucks the hybrids used. After what seemed like an eternity, but was really only six hours, the Santo-mobile pulled up in front of a large metal doorway.
"This is the place," said Galloway. Everyone exited the vehicle and made their way to the door. "Knowing these guys, they've changed the locks since I left." A keyboard popped up from the side of the doorway, and Galloway entered the same piece as in "Close Encounters." The door opened, revealing the Task Force in the middle of a meeting of some sort.
The six turned their eyes to Galloway as he entered, uttering surprise at the sight of the wrestler. "What's going on here?" asked Heaven's Soldier.
"A lot," said Galloway. He motioned to the young Wil and mexican wrestler. "These two are-"
Suddenly, a garotte reached from the ceiling, looped around Galloway's neck, and dragged him into the darkness above. The sound of combat followed, which ended when Galloway was sent flying into the hard ground, a chibified Glenton landing next to him, holding a knife to his throat. Trisha looked at the spectacle, and then at the adult Glenton, who was rather openly wishing his pint-sized counterpart on. The young Wil slammed the chibi Glenton into the air with a Aero spell, and caught him by the coat with his staff.
Galloway slowly rose from the floor, rubbing his throat. "Okay, as I was saying-"
"What did you do this time?" asked kiro.
"WHAT?!" said Galloway. "I did nothing! These are all from another dimension!"
"Actually," said the young Wil, "the reason most of us are chibis are because someone found the blueprints for a time reversal ray from another dimension. They built it, zapped most of us, and would have taken over RPGC if the machine hadn't exploded. I wonder who would build such a-"
"MOVING ON!" said Galloway. "We have a BIG problem..."
"Indeed," said the wrestler. "We have tracked the kidnappers to this dimension, but lost their trail. While searching for them, we received a codec signal similar to a child that has been missing for some time. When we located the source, we found d Galloway fighting a ninja, who fled when we approached. We explained the problem, and these two showed us to here."
"You came to the right place," said Heaven's Soldier. "We're the RPGC Task Force, RPGC's premiere superhero team. And you are-?"
"El Santo," said the wrestler. "And this is my friend, Wilfredo Martinez."
"A pleasure," said the young Wil.
Meanwhile, in the deep future, Weiila and Maria landed in front of a small house in a bustling village. The front door was wide open, as a young man angrily stormed out of the building. He nodded half-heartedly towards Maria and continued along his way. Maria let out a deep sigh. "Another fight with mom, I guess," she said.
She led Weiila into the house, which now looked like a tornado had torn through it. Walls were punched through; the floor was uprooted; furniture was crushed into pieces; the ceiling was covered in blood stains; and several weapons were bloodied and lying about. Val emerged from one corner, quickly healing her wounds. "Ah, Maria! What a lovely surprise!"
"...Since when has it been a surprise?" said Maria.
"Oh yeah, you live with us now," said Val. She looked at Weiila. "Let me guess; time travel mishap?"
"How'd you know?" said Maria.
"Kid, I'm not too old to remember that far back," said Val. Maria slapped herself. "Well, she can stay in your room; I need the guest room for one of my old husbands."
Maria rolled her eyes, and showed Weiila to the back of the house, where her small room was situated. It was a simple place, with only a small bed and a bookshelf next to a full closet. A pair of hookswords were placed on the bookstand, small charms attached to the handles. "So...nice room," said Weiila.
"Yeah," said Maria. "Sooooo...how's about looking at the Digipad?"
Val and Percival made their way back to the hotel, carrying several boxes of christmas decorations. As they set them down on the front desk, Val sighed, "I hope Galloway does not take too long."
Bahamut Xero reluctantly left the Castle of Fanfiction and began on the long walk back to his home, cursing his misfortune at being unable to locate any information about the deaths of his parents. The sun was beginning to set, the sky sickly pale in color, with storm clouds beginning to gather. It seemed his march home would be an even longer one than usual...
He turned to the small figure, sitting beneath a large oak tree. It was a young woman, wearing a pair of blue jeans and a t-shirt with the slogan, "I'm not opinionated, I'm just right." A hat covered her head, revealing only a few tiny pieces of blue hair. Xero gave the child a hard, cold stare. "How can I help you?"
"I...was wondering if you could get me to RPGC," she said. "I was trying to travel over there, but some ninjas kicked me out to here during the travel."
"...Those ninjas are becoming QUITE the nuisance," grumbled Xero. "No, I am not headed for RPGC just yet. I am going back to my home city."
"...Can I go with you, then?" asked the girl. "I don't know where I am, and-"
"Very well," said Xero. "What is your name, girl?"
"Kairi, sir," said the girl. She slowly walked next to the dragon king, and the two set out for the kingdom.
The Task Force sat at the meeting table, listening to the young Wil and Santo further explain the situation. Galloway emerged from the kitchen, carrying a tray of cookies and hot tea.
"...And since this dimension has had dealings with ours," said young Wil, "we were hoping we would find some allies here."
"You have nothing to worry about," said Heaven's Soldier. "We will gladly assist you in any way we can. Don't you agree, Galloway?"
"Who said I was going to disagree?" asked Galloway. "All we have to do is break into a heavily fortified building, rescue some kids, and get out! We've been in worse!"
"...For once, I agree," said GG Crono.
"Uh...we used to agree all the time," said Galloway. The hard stare he got from the Task Force told him to shut up.
"ANYWAY, we need to get some intelligence," said Mabat. "kiro, use your skills on the kid! We need to know everything he knows, and unfortunately he's inherited Glenton's closemouthed tendancies." Kiro gave a quick salute and walked into the former lab, carrying the chibi PC Glenton in tow. "Glenton, your job is to scout out the building. Locate every possible weak point in that security system; we're leaving nothing to chance!" Glenton grabbed his gear and headed off. "And now...Galloway, go off and do something!" Grumbling, Galloway headed off.
Wil, Arac and Omega landed in the middle of RPGCity, deep within a small alley. "...All right, let's head for the Task Force," said Wil. "They should-"
"Why go to them?" asked Arac.
"Because there's no RPGCPD anymore," said Wil.
"Why not?" asked Omega.
"Because Poke couldn't keep it up by himself," said Wil.
"Why not?" asked Arac.
"HOW SHOULD I KNOW?!" shouted Wil. "I didn't expect this kind of...Spanish Inquisition!"
A blare of music emerged from absolutely nowhere, and three British guys in nice red uniforms leaped from behind a back restraunt door. The lead figure, clad in a nice red hat, shouted, "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!"
As Galloway started down the streets of downtown RPGCity, Trisha walking behind him, he heard the sound of fighting from a nearby alleyway. At first, he thought about simply ignoring the noise, but curiosity finally pressured him into checking out the ruckus. As he looked down the alley, he realized his curiosity had tried to kill him yet again...
Just as a shuriken passed above his head, cutting off a lock of his spiked hair. The perpetrator of the attack, yet another ninja, vanished into the shadows just as quickly as he had appeared, leaving only a confused Galloway and Trisha.
Wil, Arac and Omega continued to walk down towards the RPGC Task Force, their encounter with the Spanish Inquisition long since over. "That Colonel fell sure was nice," said Omega.
"Who knew telling someone they were too silly would take them out?" asked Arac.
"I did," said Wil. "Used it on Bob the Destroyer back in '87. Last I heard, he had reformed and started his own PBS show."
Suddenly, enormous trucks raced down the streets, stopping at various corners. Within minutes, burly workers had jumped from the cabs and opened the backs, unleashing thousands of metric tons of snow upon RPGCity. Wil, Arac and Omega stared in absolute confusion at the sheer ridiculousness of the sight.
"...Now that I think about it, this DOES explain a lot," said Arac.
Xero and Kairi stood at the base of a large mountain, stretching far into the sky. On top, they could barely make out a massive walled city. "How are we getting up there?" asked Kairi.
Xero walked to a small hole in the base of the mountain and reached inside. He fumbled around for a few seconds, before a loud clicking was heart. Almost instantly, the ground they were standing on began to rise into the air, with no immediate means of propolsion visible. Kairi watched in amazement, while Xero simply stood emotionless. Within a manner of minutes, the platform reached the massive brown gates of the ancient walled city. The two passed through the gates without incident, while the platform returned to the earth it had spawned from.
"...How'd we do that?" asked Kairi.
"I had that installed for special guests and myself," said Xero. "Tourists and mercenaries have to climb up the mountainside. Nobody that lives in the city can leave without my permission."
The streets were packed with people, rushing from one stand to another. The stands themselves were packed with various goods, ranging from foods unknown to anyone else in RPGC to ancient antiques and collectibles. The people were primarily taller than those seen in RPGC, although not as imposing as Xero himself, and wore full-body clothing for the most part. The buildings were as ancient as the city; many were possibly standing for several hundred years.
"...Nice place you have," said Kairi.
"Yes, it is," said Xero. "But under my father-"
Two guards rushed up to Xero. "Your highness! Someone has broken into the palace! He has slaughtered over twenty of our standing guards and demands to speak with you!"
Xero's face twisted with rage. "Very well. I will handle this monster personally."