Thursday, October 27
Continuity sucks. If something doesn't quite match up with what happened in the animated show, my answer is "That never happened," okay? Okay. Further, although I'm reading the transcripts now, I'm still unable to watch the show in it's animated glory, so my fics diverge from sometime after Season 2(except this one, which obviously occurs immediately after "Winner Takes All"), okay? Okay. Now, feel free to tell me what sucks, and I'll try to correct it.
Disclaimer: No claim to Teen Titans or anything related to it. I wrote the story, but I really don't have claim over that either. At least lemme know when you pilfer it, okay? Okay.
The Master of Games scanned the chamber around him--now all eight warriors had returned and were ready for battle. Robin had cheated him of his prizes. Robin tricked him. Robin had beaten him.
"I lose," The Master admitted. He fled the scene in a display of light and smoke, leaving his pendant to fall down to the stone floor. Without the defeated heroes to give him power, the necklace was ineffective--and anyway, who needs it? It was over. There was no way to beat Robin, and no other power worthy of...
Oh, wait...That was not quite true was it?
Later in the day, the Master of Games returned to find his chalice abandoned upon the floor. The idiot heroes simply left it to be retrieved by the awesome Master of Games! He would start anew, and pick fighters he could defeat this time! He would invite...girls!
Winner Takes All or Nothing to Lose.
Part 1: Getting Settled In
The necklace glowed warmly once more, and another blast of energy radiated from it, as the Master activated it to abduct his new challengers. The bewildered teens emerged from the haze.
"Welcome champions, all!" The Master of Games announced with undue pomp. The jewel materialized around his neck. This was going to be too easy. And then, maybe with this new power he could take back what Robin hoodwinked him of! "You are hereby invited to compete in the tournament of Heroines!"
Starfire looked around nervously. "Raven?"
"I have a bad feeling about this." Starfire cautioned.
"The Tournament of Heroines," the rejuvenated Master went on in manic fashion. "A friendly competition between the world's greatest young champions."
He pointed the girls out as he named them, his voice still booming like a carnival announcer: "Starfire: the soulful teen queen with the strength of a legion. Raven: the dark shadow of black magic and telekinesis. Terra--"
"I rock!" Terra interrupted him, and then laughed. "Sorry, I just love saying that, and your intros were kinda corny anyway."
The Master of Games glared down at her, flummoxed, "Do you mind?"
He hesitated. The girls eyed him patiently. A few moments of silence passed.
"Well?" Terra finally asked.
"You interrupted me." The great announcer grumbled. "Now I'm ill at ease. You've broking up my--"
Raven rolled her eyes, "Um, listen: I'm not interested in any tournament. We have some missing teammates to find."
"Beast Boy, Cyborg and Robin were just here!" the Master snapped. "They had a wonderful time, and there were lots of prizes."
"Prizes?" That got Terra's attention.
"We're not interested." Raven repeated.
Crap. Bringing that damn Raven was a mistake. She was never interested in anything. "Well, Missus Deputy Downer, you're going to miss out on all the uh..." --what did girls like?
"'Missus Deputy Downer?' You wit is staggering. Like fart jokes." Raven mused.
"...The cake...and um..." Maybe he should have thought this out first. He just naturally assumed they'd duke it out. Who doesn't like prizes?
"Cake?" Starfire bubbled. "Wonderful! There shall be cake!"
"Please let it be 'Death by Fudge.'" Terra prayed aloud.
"Yes!" The Master roared. "There shall be lots of death and fudge for all!"
Raven wrinkled her face up at the lunatic. "No. We can get junk food at home."
"But...er...what about staying in a modern castle furnished with the finest amenities?"
Raven was bored with this. "We have a modern castle furnished with the finest amenities."
"You got a hot tub?" Terra asked, totally ignoring Raven.
"Yes," Starfire agreed. "We do not have the hot tub."
Hot tubs? Is that what it took to get girls in his castle? "The finest. An open-air hot spring."
"Yo!" Terra nudged Raven, ignoring the annoyed look she got in response. "Why not? The boys did it. Fudge! Hot tub!"
"And a masseuse!" The Master added, seeing a trend. " An entire spa! Multiple-course meals prepared by a team of the greatest chefs in the dimension! An army of handsome servants at your leisure, a staggering library, suites of the finest luxury, and...er...coffee in the morning--"
"Hey!" Jinx yelled. "Are you ever going to get to introducing me?"
"Er...um...Jinx, the...ah...I'm sorry, Terra interrupted and--"
Jinx stomped and growled. Oh yes, that's it, the Master thought. Get angry, and crush these Titans so I can take their powers, then I can defeat Robin! Mwa ha ha--
His thoughts were overturned by the din of Starfire and Terra trying to convince Raven to invest time in this 'Tournament of Heroines'.
"Raven," Starfire insisted. "There shall be cake!"
"And Fudge!" Terra added.
Raven grinned. Her eyes gave off a greedy luster. A hint of a blush tinted her pale cheeks. She brought her hands up and touched her pointer fingertips together in fidgety fashion. "A masseuse, you say?"
"I want to hear more about the prizes!" Jinx insisted.
"Magnificent prizes! And of course, the winner shall prove that she is the greatest young heroine--"
"Villain!" Jinx corrected. Why couldn't he get a word in edgewise around these girls?
"--And/or villain on Earth! However, any who do not whish to compete," And with that he risked a nervous glance at Raven. But no, she appeared set on a massage. "Need only say the word and I shall return you home at once."
"We're in," Raven confirmed immediately. Starfire and Terra smiled, nodding.
"You got cable?" Jinx asked.
"This is a modern castle furnished--" the Host began.
"I'm asking 'cause I can't go without Cartoon Network. There's this JLA cartoon--"
"There are many channels on the television." The Master assured her. By "many," he meant "eight." He would have to find out how much Comcast would rob him to keep Jinx happy for one freaking day!
"Okay, I'm in," she agreed.
"The challenge is accepted," the Games announcer went on in his Big Top manner. "The Tournament begins! Prepare for competition!"
"Wait, what, now?" Terra asked. "But we just got here!"
"You don't abduct a bunch of girls and expect them to just duke it out," Raven added. "We're not wild apes."
Terra nodded in agreement. "Yeah, I kinda wanna get settled in first. Kick back. Unpack."
"You did not bring anything to unpack!" the Master countered, snarling in frustration. What was wrong with these girls? Didn't they want to see who was the best? What did it take to convince them to smack each other around?
"Whose fault is that?" Raven pointed out.
"Yeah," Jinx added. "And watch the attitude."
"Jerk." Terra finished.
"Sorry." The man pleaded. "It's been a long day. And I just--"
"Oh, tell me about it!" Terra interjected. The Master of Games would come to learn that "tell me about it" meant "listen to me tell you about it." At the moment he was about to tell them how Robin had cheated, but Terra just kept going. " This morning, Beast Boy was crowing at something like five a.m.! He's cute and all--"
"What?" Raven wondered.
"--But he can be so annoying!"
"Indeed," Raven agreed.
Terra went on talking about her day, with various interpolations by the other girls. The Master nodded intermittently, wondering how the matches would turn out. With only four girls, there was no way he could be outmatched, should things turn sour. But the powers! Wow! These four would more than make up for the humiliation Robin had caused him. And then he could go and retrieve his other prizes! Imagine: to control earth, fire, and water! To posses objects through telekinesis, and using magic while becoming powerful animals, emitting blasts of sound and star bolts! And whatever power it was that allowed a little anorexic boy to kick over three tons of Cinderblock!
"I know! Raven's so lucky; I hate all this hair. I might just cut it." Terra went on.
"But your hair is so lovely Terra!" Starfire beamed.
"You just need to style it, is all." Jynx offered. "A special 'do, that's more original than the ol' 'bangs over one eye' routine."
Terra turned to Jynx, "I was thinking of braiding it. Have you seen 'Gone in Sixty Seconds'?"
"Uh, ladies," the host finally interjected. "What would it take to you to feel 'settled in'?"
"How about showing us to our rooms?" Raven offered.
Raven was unimpressed with her room(but damn, she was hard to please!), but Starfire, Terra, and Jynx were appreciative. Terra was most awed with the dimmer switches. The Master of Games grinned and preened, watching the ladies investigate the mini-fridges, jump on the beds, and try on the terrycloth bathrobes, while Starfire described everything as "significantly grand," or some other such thing.
"Um...excuse me," A light tap on his arm corresponded with the quiet voice. It was Jinx. When he looked down, she bit her lip and glanced away. Her face was reddening. "Um...your bath isn't really--how do you say--equipped for women. You're going to need to pick up some things. I don't know about anyone else here, but at least I'm gonna need--"
The Games Organizer furrowed his brow while staring down at the little girl. Females and their demands! "Hold on," he grumbled. A yellow legal pad materialized into his hand. "I'll take a list: it's the toothpaste, right? Robin and Speedy were playing with the toothpaste."
Jynx looked down at her feet. "Nooooo." She growled in frustration. "I mean female stuff."
The Master of Games blinked. "What sort of antiperspirant do you prefer?"
"Secret!" Terra shouted, head still inside her mini-fridge.
"The Old Spice!" Starfire threw in from inside her own room.
"Whatever!" Raven added, walking down the hall to explore the library.
"Bath and Body Works. The melon one." Jynx finally answered. "But that's not what I meant. You know..."
While Jynx fidgeted and mumbled, Terra walked up to her host, a ten-dollar bill between two fingers, "Yo. Think you can run out and pick me up some tampons?"
"Oh, thank God," Jynx breathed.
"What!" Who in Sam Hell did these girls think he was? He did not buy...such things! He was the Master of Games! A mighty warrior! "No! I shall not!"
"Aw, c'mon! Don't be a wuss!" Terra punched him in the gut, playfully.
She was calling him a wuss! He, a fighter, a renowned combatant! King of the Arena! The girl had some nerve!
Starfire stuck her head out from her room, wearing her bathrobe upon her head like a turban, "Yes. I anticipate that soon I, too, shall require use of the sanitary napkins. Please purchase some for me as well?"
He sighed. He knew when he was beaten. He looked down at his list so far: cable hookup, cake(fudge), masseuse, army of handsome servants, team of chefs, toothpaste, Secret, Old Spice, Bath and Body(melon), tampons. He stared at that last one. Tampons. Freaking tampons. He'd have to buy them. Himself. In public. Oh how he hated how this day had gone so far. The powers had better be magnificent!
The Master of Games grit his teeth. "I am going now. I shall return with your requested provisions, and then Round one will commence."
Enslaving the servants and cooks was simple. Finding the masseuse wasn't too hard (he just raided the Mediterranean--they made excellent servants). The food, the deodorant, the toothpaste, easy, easy, easy. Getting cable was his first obstacle so far.
"Um, yes. I'd like to sign up for you basic cable package."
The lady behind the desk totally ignored him. She was on the phone "with a customer," or so she claimed. "Yeah, I don't know what's up with Brad. He's been all Anti-social Asshole since last March. Omigod, you think Brad and Deanna broke up?"
"Um. Hello?" Was he invisible?
She shot him a nasty look, "One second sir," then turned back to the phone, "Oh some guy just walked in...No he can wait."
"Do you not see me on the phone?" And she promptly ignored him. There was nothing to do but wait. So he waited. He sat down. He read Psychology Today. Twice. Some article about how fems were better than guys in just about every aspect. When did that happen? The Master of Games could remember a time not too long ago where he and his fellow warriors were going to dominate the Universe--what happened with that? Not like he cared whether or not chicks were in the kitchen, he just wanted to pillage something--but now anything remotely masculine was referred to as "lizard brain." What the hell? Why he should--
"I said, 'what do you want, sir?'" This lady had such an attitude. If I didn't need this cable, Wench, the Master thought to himself, I'd destroy you and parade your carcass through the streets, tied to the tails of rabid hellhounds!
"Basic cable package, please." He gave her the routine information; ignoring the look she gave him when he listed his address as "Hell Dimension of the Arena of Games." Then he ignored the fact that she was doing far too much typing to account for. What was she really typing? Was she giving him the premium channels? Working on her book? Did she not know how to spell "Arena?" Or was she instant messaging the same wench she just got off the phone with?
He could see a reflection of the screen in a picture frame hung up behind the clerk. Turns out it was that last one. Talking to "HonE1999."
"Um, is there a way I could have somebody come by today?" Heaven forbid Jynx miss her Cartoon Network.
"Yes, somebody will be by between eight and five." It was already six. He pointed that out.
"Well, our guy was there, but there was no answer."
"B-but that's impossible! I was home the whole time!"
"I don't know what to tell you sir. Stay by the door tomorrow between the hours of eight and five."
"All day? I have things to do lady!"
"I'm sorry, I can't help you with that."
He started walking away in a fit, but, "Wait just a damn minute: I just ordered the cable today!"
"You're playing me!"
Saucy wench! After having verified that the cable was paid for (The Master of Games was quite selective regarding which crimes he committed), he abducted a cable guy. Screw propriety--he was lizard brained till he died.
So all that was left was...that. Yes. It was horrible. There was an entire aisle full of them in the nearby Short's Drug Store. He couldn't think, he was dizzy and his throat was dry and itchy. He ran to the nearest cashier for help.
"Um...excuse me," he tapped on the little woman's shoulder. "I am in need of your service."
The lady in the garish red Short's Drug Store vest cocked an eyebrow at his immaculate loincloth. Like she was any judge of attire! "Yeah. How can I help you?" She sounded like she already suspected him a pervert. The nerve!
"I must purchase some...female products."
"Oh pads?" She practically shouted. The hell was wrong with her? The Games Master glanced around to be sure nobody was listening. "You will lower your voice, Service Woman. And I'm not acquiring them for myself."
"Yeah, no kidding." She observed. "Aisle five."
He nodded. "Yes, I know. The problem is...well, I'm unsure as to which I'm supposed to obtain."
The Service Woman (her nametag said "Tammy." Who the hell names their brood "Tammy?")? exhaled loudly like he was getting on her nerves. If she only knew about his day. But if he even began to tell her about it, she'd only say "oh, tell me about it," and proceed to go on about how her boyfriend--
"What, exactly, are you having trouble with sir?"
"Which variety do you think young ladies would find preferable?"
"Kotex?" Tammy shrugged, not giving a damn.
"But...are youth into the ones with wings? What--what size would be most appropriate for a female of about these dimensions?" He gauged with his left hand about high tall Starfire was, and then used both hands to describe her width (plus--she would argue--about thirty pounds). He continued his questions. "And regarding...regarding the intensity of--oh God, strike me--flow. Do young ladies start out 'heavy' and get lighter as they get older, or...um...is it proportional to weight or something?"
And on his question went. For once today, a female didn't interrupt him. How he wished she would shut him up and just give him the embarrassing answers. Instead, she let him talk. And the more he did, the more embarrassed he got. The more embarrassed he got, the more he found he couldn't shut up.
"Just how many should I purchase? Does one last the entire peri--time, or is it like once an hour, or something? Do you throw them in the washer and reuse them? Are there designer brands that are popular these days? What exactly is this douche thing for? Do girls need that?" On, and on and on.
Finally she just said, "Just by as many of as many different kinds as you can." Oh. Okay. Why not? Comcast had already raped his plunder trove($60 per month for the next half-year!). He filled two shopping carts with all manner of the brightly color packages, trying desperately to ignore the stares from other shoppers. He didn't want the prizes. It wasn't worth this. He just wanted to murder Robin for forcing the almighty Master of Games into such degradation.
After ignoring Tammy's look at checkout, he swiped his card. "Will that be all?" she had the nerve to ask.
Why not? He was already humiliated as all hell. "Also, a copy of 'Jugs'..."
Finally, he ended up on the couch checking out his new cable hookup (one hundred-plus channels--including "Jewelry TV," because you can't go to a store and friggin' window shop anymore). The girls were all enjoying the cooking of the Europeans frou-frous.
"Um, excuse me." Starfire this time. The Master's jaws ground together fiercely. He swore--if she was about to bring up some inane female problem--
"My favorite program, 'World of Fungus' is coming on."
"I was wondering if I could watch?"
"I'm watching TV," he explained.
"But, you are just clicking," Star mused.
"No I'm not. I'm just watching everything at once."
Star looking disbelieving and perplexed. "But if that were true, you would know what was on the channel thirty-nine that you just changed from so rapidly."
"'Married With Children.' Pilot episode. Last time I past that channel, they were at the part where Al and Peg meet their new neighbors, Steve and Marcy for the first time. Al's not too happy about missing the Bulls game for something so pointless."
"Wow." Star beamed, too impressed. "That is some extraordinary ability you have. The channel seven?"
"'X-Men.' It's toward the end of the Dark Phoenix Saga. The X-Men are facing off with the alien Lilandra's elite guards to decide the fate of the Phoenix-gone-mad."
"The channel twenty?"
He had almost forgot what was on that one (What? He didn't keep a TV guide in his head dammit!), so he had to speed up his clicking to get a glimpse of the program. "'Total Request Live'. They're shooting in Cancun. Number Nine was some song about rear ends. So was Number Six. And Four."
Starfire was thoroughly amazed. "Your ability to click and see the programs is the most awe-inspiring power I have witnessed in my lifetime."
The Master preened. Imagine! She regarded him hitting the "channel up" button on the remote rapidly a special ability! He didn't have to abduct someone for that power, that was for sure--it was all him! "'World of Fungus,' eh?"
"Let's check it out, I guess..."
The fungus show wasn't bad. There was no killing or swearing, which was disappointing, but fungus was far more interesting than the Master of Games had previously given it credit for. After the fungus thing, Jynx got to see her Justice League program, and the Master suggested Round One commence.
"Raven versus Terra!" he shouted dramatically. "Jynx versus--"
"Um, what are you doing?" Raven asked, irritated.
"Announcing the first round of matches. You have settled in, you have enjoyed your TV and the cake. Now it is time to do battle."
Various looks of disgust from the girls. "Can you believe this guy?" Jynx asked, hooking a thumb in his direction.
"What? What did I do?"
Terra rolled her eyes. "Guy, it's getting pretty dang late for all that. Besides, we just got here. We haven't tried the hot tub. We're still checking out the place."
"You do not have any phones." Starfire pointed out. "I should contact Robin and the others, so they do not worry."
"And a fight isn't really a good way to end the day," Raven pointed out. "Why can't we take it easy the rest of the night?"
Oh balls. Whatever. No point in arguing was there? "Do what you like; I don't care. But the battles commence first thing in the morning!"
The Master of Games took his issue of "Jugs," (rolled up so the girls couldn't see what was in his hand)and went to bed.
To be continued...