Disclaimer: "Up, up, and away! Or whatever the damn saying is."
Presented for your approval: the city of Bayville, New York. A peaceful town; a town like many of those that dot the American landscape. But this town is about to experience a day unlike any other...
"So that's two...no, three sesame chickens, one with fried rice and the other two with steamed, two orders of vegetarian chow mei fun, one of egg foo young, two orders of fried dumplings, one yam chicken, one cashew chicken, five combos extra spicy, and three appetizer samplers. Oh, and a litre of Pepsi, a litre of Cherry Coke, and five litres of Mountain Dew. Yeah. Deliver to the Xavier Institute. Yeah, we have an account. Oh, and can you add some curry rice to that? Great. And some of those dough balls. And eight orders of zodiac mochi. Yeah. Okay, ten minutes? Great. Say it's for the D&D tournament. No, thank you." Bobby hung up the phone and put away the menu that said "Golden Palace 24-hour Asian Takeout".
An all-day D&D tournament...hoo boy, it'd be fun. There was some of the food order taken care of. Groaning, he pulled out another menu. "Hi, Pizza Ranch1?"
Meanwhile, Jamie was walking down the sidewalk, carrying a box of Gobstoppers when he tripped over a rock. While he was concussed, a clone popped out. The clone took a deep breath.
"I LIVE AGAIN!!!!" The clone cried, grinning. He rummaged in his pockets. Fifty dollars. He dragged the real Jamie into a burlap sack, then to a local rent-a-storage place.
"How much to rent a small room for a day?"
"Excellent." He paid the man and got the key. "Twelve-hour limit my rear," Sparky said as he plopped the burlap sack into the storage unit, with some duct tape over the real Jamie's mouth for extra precaution." He locked the door, swallowed the key, and then walked off, a much happier person.
How to wreak havoc now? Well, he got busy. He released a pestilence of hamsters in city hall and then took over the local radio station, W-REK. It was easy to do...no one really used it anymore. And then he sent out the dreaded HAL signal. Everyone's speaker systems were now under his control. He grinned evilly. Oh, this was perfect.
"A redneck tree2 comesss out of the foresst and grinss evilly at you. Roll initiative," Caliban said from his position as DM. There were several games going on, and Caliban was known for his 733T DM-ing skills.
"I use my +7 Mace of Tormentous Doom," Callisto decided, rolling the dice. "A true warrior never backs down from an opponent, least of all a tree with a Deliverance fixation."
"I'm a cast a spell, yo," Todd said. "Fire should work."
"The tree evadess all damage and sssummonsss itss comradess, one of which takess Lyssander Greenbow hosstage."
"No way!" Lance said angrily. "Why my elf-ranger?"
"Becausse I'm the DM. And becausse you took the lassst slicce of ham and pineapple pizza. Now roll!"
All of a sudden, the computer stopped playing Kitty's specially-picked D&D mix and turned into a scratchy static which suddenly ceased.
"I'm your only friend, I'm not your only friend but I'm your little glowing friend but really I'm not actually your friend but I am..." came a voice. "Welcome to W-REK! I'm your host, Sparky! Today on W-REK: the secret lives of mutants! Their deepest, darkest secrets laid bare to all! Muahaha! But first, some Weird Al."
Everyone looked strangely at the speakers while "My Baby's In Love With Eddie Vedder" played.
"All those in favour of ignoring this and going back to D&D, say aye!"
Meanwhile, back in the radio station...
"First off, let's start with some reading. Ah, yes. Some poetry. This particular piece was written by a mister Evan Daniels, and addressed to a miss Callisto." He cleared his throat. "How shall I compare thee to a summer's day? If you were a day in a season, you wouldn't be summer. You're too fair for summer's brash heat. You'd be a cool autumn day, when the rain washes everything clean, and people stay inside and read in peace. But some, some people would venture outside in the rain, and they'd dance. And you and I would dance, and I'd kiss you in the rain." Sparky coughed. "It gets worse from there, folks. Evan Daniels is many things, but a poet is not one of them. So let's move to a diary instead. Ah, here's one! Rogue's!"
"Dear Diary: I am so pissed off. People think that just because of my powers, I'm miss frigid and non-sexual. Pure crap. Why do you think I read so many romance novels? It lets me get off vicariously. But every time Todd walks in a room, or smiles at me, or does –anything-, all my self-control goes out the window. I just want to tackle him to the floor and have my wicked way with him. Repeatedly. I wouldn't care if people were watching, even. But no...all I have is the vibrator I got from Spencer's. And the thing takes six hours to recharge enough for two hours of use. Six freaking hours! Ugh! I swear, even if it means covering myself in latex or plastic wrap or something, I will not go another month without getting some! I'm a make Todd put his tongue to some good use..." There was a pause. "And it gets even more explicit after that. Let's try another diary...but first, some Phish."
Rogue blinked, blushed, and then continued playing. "I use my Search ability."
"You encounter a half-drunk orcish stripper. She immediately begins a striptease. Roll initiative."
"I'll use my greatsword!" Kurt decided, grinning.
"I'll summon an undead orc to lure the stripper off," Wanda decided. "And I get a +2 alignment bonus on my summoning. See?" She gave Kurt a pointed look. "There are advantages to playing Chaotic Evil, Mr. Lawful Order Paladin3."
"Quiet, Hexe. Else I will exact my revenge at a later date." He winked.
"Is that a promise?" Wanda grinned.
"Hmmn...Well, I'll just have to use my evil feminine wiles to enchant the brave paladin..."
"Oh for the love of Pete, quit the flirting and roll!" Pyro said, frustrated. "Or I will. My wizard casts a spell of Infernal Immolation."
After playing 'Round Room', Sparky decided to go mobile. He rigged up a portable transmitter harness that fit in his pocket and, armed with a radio and a large supply of Pocky, he set off around Bayville.
"Hello again. This is Sparky, and I'm live here at Mayhem Comics, Bayville's one-stop-shop for everything nerdy. And I'm here with these two lovely women. Ladies, introduce yourselves."
The first girl had messy brown hair, and was wearing a t-shirt that proudly proclaimed 'I went to Middle Earth and all I got was this crummy (One Ring graphic)4'. "Well, I'm Holland. And this is my lunch break right now...I work at the library, and I came to pick up the latest issue of 'Fables' before I grabbed some Taco Bell."
"And I'm M.A. Hinkle," the other girl introduced. "I work with Holland at the library, and she dragged me here, but I got a poster of Odd from Code Lyoko, so no worries."
"Ladies, how would you like to be on the radio?"
"SQUEE!" The girls exclaimed.
"Good, because you are. Now, how would you two hotties like to come back to the radio station with me? Answer yes or I'll sic a horde of hamsters on you."
"Erm, okay, we'll come," MA agreed.
"Not the hamsters! Evil...twitching...beady eyes..." Holland looked panic-stricken.
"I'll take that as a yes. Now, away to the Sparkymobile!"
"Sparkymobile?" MA raised an eyebrow. "Looks like a motorcycle to me. And your name isn't Logan."
"And that's relevant how?"
"I recognize that motorcycle," Holland piped up. "The guy who owns it, his name's Logan. He comes to the library a lot. And I know his motorcycle. Plus, the vanity licence plate? If your name's Sparky, how come the licence spells out 'LOGAN'?"
"I'll call it whatever I want, woman! Now have some Pocky and get on!"
Holland accepted the Pocky. It was rude to refuse offered food, and she was hungry. She got on behind MA and Sparky. "Are you sure you can drive this?"
"What kind of a question is that?" Sparky retorted, narrowly missing a tree.
"A valid one," MA pointed out. "Mailbox." Sparky swerved.
"Car!" Holland alerted.
It was like that all the way back to the radio station.
"So, what next, Sparky?" MA asked, once they got to the broadcasting booth.
"I want you two to help me make fun of some people. Here, read these scripts."
Holland looked at hers. "The Three Temptations of Kitty Pryde?"
"Yeah. MA, you're Kitty. Try to sound as much like a valley girl as possible. Holland, you're the guys. Think of this as reader's theatre."
The girls read the scripts aloud as a run-through. "Like, got it!" MA chirped. "Oh, God, somebody please kill me...I sound like a twit."
"At least you aren't playing...wait a sec, I know these guys! I'm not making fun of them! Kurt Wagner's a good customer! Always brings stuff back on time, has good taste in music...And Lance Alvers...well, he does like Led Zepplin, which is good in my books. And this last guy...MA, doesn't he sound like the guy who we once had to restrain because he had a hissy fit while reading The Tempest5?"
MA looked at the script. "Yep, that's the guy."
"You two will perform, or I'll unleash the hamsters."
Holland squeaked. "Meep."
"And we are live in...five...four...three...two...and go!"
"Like, I'm Kitty Pryde. And I'm like, a totally ditzy valley girl. And there are these like, two guys who love me, but which one am I gonna choose? The fuzzy elf Kurt Wagner or the bad-boy guitarist Lance Alvers? Like, this is sooo hard." MA paused. "Wait, I like, have an idea! I'll like, make the boys fight for my love, all gladiator style!"
"I'm gonna bury you in a mudslide, Wagner," 'Lance' growled.
"As you say in America, neener neener neener!" 'Kurt' taunted in a horribly fake German accent.
"Get back here, you idiot! I'm going to shove that tail of yours so far up your –bleep- that you'll choke on it!"
"Why don't you cut it with the snappy retorts and fight?" Holland was arguing with herself, which was not an unusual occurrence. The difference this time was that she was pretending to be two different people, instead of her usual, weird self.
"Like, hello there, handsome," 'Kitty' purred. "What's your name?"
"C-Caliban," 'he' squeaked.
"What the hell?!?" 'Kurt' and 'Lance' exclaimed.
"Like, sorry guys, but I like, am totally head over heels for this handsome guy...Lance, go date Amara. She like, totally has the hots for you, you know? And Kurt? Like, same thing with you and Wanda."
"Aaaand, CUT!" Sparky exclaimed with glee. "This was a story inspired by true-life events. Except Kitty Pryde is even ditzier in real life. And now, the Beatles with their number one hit song, "She Loves You Yeah, Yeah, Yeah."
Kitty was incensed. "Heck with this...I'm going to murder that little bugger. Who's with me?" Evan, Callisto, Rogue, Todd, Lance, Kurt, and Caliban raised their hands. "Anybody else?"
"Can we at least finish this bit first?" St. John asked. "I want to defeat this thing. Then we can go."
Kitty sighed. "All right, fine. But then we kill the bugger, savvy?"
Back at the radio station, Sparky was interviewing the girls. "So, both of you are mutants? What're your powers? Do you have codenames?"
"Well," Holland spoke first. "I'm a shapeshifter. Name an animal, I can shift into it. I also have heightened senses. And I'm extremely uncoordinated in my natural form. My codename's Skittercat!"
"And I'm Skysong," MA stated. "Plant-manipulating and stuph. And sarcasm."
"Super-sarcasm!" Holland pointed out. "It's not just sarcasm!"
"Holland, you're acting like a five-year-old. Again. 6"
"So, ladies, want to read aloud some horrible love poetry?"
"We don't have to pretend we wrote it, right?"
"No, just read it aloud." Sparky handed them the papers. "And, action!"
"Oh, come to me, come to me, come to me," MA read in a decidedly unsexy newscaster-ish voice. "Come, my dark Persephone. My celestial Hestia, my violent goddess. I long for the touch of your lips, of your whips, of the pain and pleasure you give to me. I am your dark Hades, your Neptune, your earthbound lover. Amara, te amo. Love, Lance." MA grimaced.
"Oh, no way am I reading this," Holland grimaced. "Too explicit...I don't even think you can –say- half these words on radio! I'm not Howard Stern!" She made gagging noises. "Listen, Mr. McCoy, I like you and all, I mean, it's cool to find an adult to debate opera with, but seriously, this Ororo girl of yours, she's got some kinky tastes, and you know what? Poetry isn't the best way to express exactly what she wants to do to you, in detail. And Ororo? Well, on one hand, you should be commended for how many erotic uses of duct tape you mention. And on the other hand, I have different fingers." She laughed. "No, seriously. Please, either hide the poetry better or don't write it? For the sake of my brain, which now desires large amounts of bleach."
Back at the Institute, Hank, who was at the moment rolling two d10, was the recipient of several glares, a few smirks, and one high-five (from Ray, who was promptly smacked in the head by Scaleface). Evan looked like he was having a seizure. "You...and my Aunt..." He blinked repeatedly. "GAH! BAD MENTAL IMAGE!" He curled up in a foetal position, rocking back and forth. "Must...get...brain...bleach..."
Callisto stood up. "I say we storm the damn place and get the bugger off the air." She raised her bo staff in the air. "WHO'S WITH ME?"
There was a unanimous shout of assent. D&D forgotten, the mutants rose and headed out of the Institute, commandeering any and all available vehicles. Sparky was going down.
"You know, I've always wanted to ride a giraffe," Sparky said, grinning at Holland.
"And I've always wanted to marry Johnny Depp. And both our desires ain't gonna happen. Ever."
Sparky pouted, then turned to MA. "Have you ever seen Little Shop of Horrors?"
Sparky grinned evilly. MA shook her head. "Oh, hell no. If I were to make a killer plant – not that I would – I wouldn't let –you- use it. "
"Even if I paid you?"
"A country when I take over the world?"
"I want Australia."
"Can't...already promised. How about Brazil? Be Queen of the Amazon?"
"Nah...tempting, but no."
And that's when the mob of mutants broke down the radio station door
"You're going back," Forge said decisively, his arm transformed into a giant laser blaster. "This won't hurt...much."
"NOOOOOOO!" Sparky screamed, trying to dodge, but Forge's aim was true, and verily, it was groovy. And it was totally psychedelic when Sparky exploded into a little pile of coloured motes, which floated around a bit.
"Now, where's the real Jamie?" Evan wondered.
"There's a reciept for a day's rental at a storage locker..." Scott said, picking up the piece of paper. "To the Scottmobile!"
Everyone stared at him. Crickets chirped.
"I mean, let's go get in my car."
About half the mob followed. Rogue, staying behind, looked at the two girls, who were a bit confused. "So he conned you two inta it?"
"He threatened us with hamsters," MA explained. Holland blanched and shrieked.
"Do not mention the beady-eyed fuzzy claw-y things of evil!"
Rogue just stared.
"You get used to it," MA explained.
"Well, it ain't no weirder than Wanda's fear of turkeys...or Forge's fear of bunnies...or Pyro's fear of tube socks. And it definitely ain't weirder than Pietro's fear of blueberries."
"Like I said, it's weird."
"Works for me," Holland said, back to well, whatever passed as 'normal' when it came to her, anyway. "Wanna go grab some Thai? Child's Play is playing down at the Varsity..."
"Aw, hell, why not?"
And the three girls walked off into the afternoon sun.
The End...or is it????
Thanks to MA (aka Skysong for letting me add in the cameo)
1 THE. BEST. PIZZA. EVER. Gotta try it.
2 Redneck tree D&D sheet provided by RK Milholland of Running joke. In D&D, some friends of mine made a campaign, and all the characters were D&D-ized X-Men. Wanda was a Chaotic Evil Sorceress, and Kurt was a Lawful Order Paladin. And they had a thing for each other. Much oddness ensued.
4 I own this shirt.
5 Another running joke.
6 Direct quote from Skysong.