Time for the rap! Singing parts are shown in script format as opposed to paragraph format like the rest of the story. I think most of the rest is self-explanatory.
Sorry I hadn't updated this in so long. Most of everything after SC's sneaky move eluded me until inspiration struck (and kept me up until 2:30 in the morning last night).
CHAPTER 5: Parappa vs. Joe Chin: Rigged Rap Battle!
(A semicircle gauge unfolds above the stage. The right side is red and has Joe's face on it. The left is yellow with Parappa's head. Each side has three lines on it before reaching the bottom. The needle is pointing straight up.)
(The background music for "Say 'I Gotta Believe!' (Funkyboard Remix)" plays over the amplifiers.)
Joe: Lemme hear ya say alright!
Parappa: Lemme hear ya say oh yeah!
Crowd: Oh yeah!
Joe: Now lemme hear ya say whatcha gonna do?
Crowd: Whatcha gonna do?
Parappa: I need to hear ya say you gotta believe!
Crowd: I gotta believe!
Joe: Alright, Parappa, Joe Chin is in the house
I am a dog, not a penguin or a mouse
I want Sunny for a loyal spouse
And I'll get 'er even if I hafta be a louse
Parappa: Name's Parappa as you can plainly see
My philosophy is I gotta believe
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
I'm the best rapper in the whole city
Joe: I've climbed every mountain that's known to man
I've swam every ocean as fast as I can
I drive a Cadillac, not a crummy sedan
My license plate's custom and it says I'm "THE MAN"
(The gauge's needle moves one line over towards Parappa's head because Joe's verse was fairly lame.)
Parappa: I never wear buttons, I got a cool hat
My girlfriend is a flower; my good friend is a cat
With all my buds, the times never fall flat
Come on, Joe, let's see you top that!
Joe: I don't need friends, I'm the biggest guy around
Just my bragging makes opponents go down
With the right bribe, my destiny is bound
With effort, Parappa, I'll run you out of town
(The gauge moves one more line towards Parappa. It's now halfway in yellow.)
Parappa: I wrecked my dad's car, made Sunny a cake
Sold stuff at a flea mart, took a potty break
Cooked those burgers, learned how to skate
Saved the world from noodles, I daresay that I'm great
(The needle moves one line towards Joe.)
Joe: My chains make chainsaws go faster than bulldozers
My products made me millions and are makin' more, zers
Don't do instruments, but I can still sing
Pretty soon I'll force you outta the ring!
(The needle moves back towards Parappa.)
Parappa: I can understand you're jealous and angry at me
I've had my bad moments, but know I am relieved
I got through them all with a little hard work
To be honest now, Joe, you're a bit of a jerk
You try to buy your way out of a bad deal
Just use elbow grease, don't reinvent the wheel
Expand your scopes, do all that you can do
Believe in yourself and you'll always come through!
(The needles moves toward Parappa again, and is now one notch from getting to the far left.)
While the crowd was cheering over Parappa's great line during the instrumental, SC was furious. "He's losing!" he breathed to himself. "One more bad line from Joe and the needle will hit the far left and he'll lose! I've invested too much in this scheme for it to fail me now!"
"I'm sorry, boss," Tamany breathed to SC as she continued to work the DJ mixer. "We'll just have to come up with a new plan."
"Not if I do this." After making sure the crowd was focused on the performers, SC moved behind the DJ booth and started pressing a few buttons.
"Sir, that's the trigger for the special mode that CD put in Joe," Tamany said.
"I know. I'm not proud to use it either, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and this is most definitely a desperate time." He looked at Parappa and took on an evil little smile as he finished keying in the code. "Let's see you rap past this, puppy…"
A strange chime echoed from the speakers, barely hidden under the music. When Joe heard it, he took on a crazed expression. And when he resumed rapping, he was going a mile a minute.
Joe: What's this energy now lotsa power in me now
Now don't go and have a cow my rappin' style makes you pow
Now your seeds you have to sow we all live in the here and now
Now prepare to take a bow before the great Joe Chin, yow!
Needless to say, the surprise in the sudden change of tempo threw Parappa off completely. He barely understood a word Joe had sung! And pretty soon he started to panic.
Parappa: Um, lala la. La la. Ah. Bla-lah. Rhino Feeder! AAAH!
As the needle moved to the right and Joe continued so fast he was barely understandable again, Sunny started to worry? "What happened?" she asked Katy over the crowd. "What happened to Parappa?"
"It's not Parappa, it's Joe!" Katy replied. "He started rapping so fast, Parappa can't keep up!"
"If this keeps up, I don't think Parappa's gonna make it," Lammy added. "He's really starting to sweat up there!"
Ma-san chattered something in her language while hopping and pointing at the stage.
"Huh? The MC?" Katy asked. She took a look. "Look at SC, Sunny. He's grinning like a Cheshire Cat."
"An evil Cheshire Cat," Sunny corrected upon noticing.
There was a large moan from the audience as the needle reached the midway point again.
"We don't have much time," Katy addressed the others. "I suspect foul play, and that MC has something to do with it. Sunny, Lammy, you two stay here and keep cheering Parappa on. Ma-san and I will sneak backstage and find out what's going on."
"All right," Sunny replied, "but be careful."
"We will!" Katy said as she and Ma-san headed around the stage and out of the crowd.
Making sure no one was watching, they headed to the side of the large stage. Strangely, there was no one blocking the side stairs leading behind the frame. The hallway between the frame around the stage was rather narrow, only about a yard wide. SC and Tamany were clearly visible, standing behind the DJ booth. Joe's large body blocked Parappa from view. Trying their best to remain quiet, Katy and Ma-san crept up the stairs and flattened themselves against the inside of the frame, slipping between it and the opened main curtain.
Footsteps were audible over the music and the singers. "Keep going, Joe," SC's voice sounded, growing ever closer to the hiding cat and mouse. He seemed to be talking to himself. "There's no way you'll lose now."
Katy decided to go forward and pulled the curtain away. SC was right in front of them. "And what makes you so sure of that?" she asked in an accusing tone.
"Whoa! Where'd you come from?!" SC said as he hopped back. "I don't recall ordering a cat and mouse act for the closing entertainment!"
"You know why we're here, MC SC," Katy continued. "You did something to Joe during this training so that he would win without a doubt. You rigged the contest!"
"If I did, so what?" SC replied, arms crossed. "You can't prove I did anything."
"Oh yeah?" Katy countered. "I may not be an expert on rap, but I know no one could rap as fast as Joe is right now. Not without some artificial support."
"…Clever little cat aren't you?" SC said after a short pause, glaring at the blue feline. "Joe couldn't carry a melody in a bathtub, so I had him listen to a training self-hypnosis CD. And I might have inserted a few suggestions of my own for a little all-in rage mode when he heard a certain chime play over the amps."
Katy was satisfied… until she realized it was all too easy. "Why did you tell me your plan just now?"
SC's upset grimace quickly shifted to an evil toothy grin. "Because it's not like you're going to be telling anybody else."
Katy's eyes widened a moment later once her brain realized what he meant. "MA-SAN, RUN!!"
The mouse chirped an affirmation as she ran for the stairs and back into the crowd. At the same time, SC dashed behind Katy faster than she could see and quickly had an arm around her torso, pinning her arms to the side, and his other hand covering her mouth. Katy tried to break loose, but he blocked her every attempt.
"I have experience with these kinds of situations, my little kitten," SC said, saying the last three words with a hint of adoration that Katy found frightenly creepy. "There's no use trying to escape. And even if you could, it's not like anyone could hear you over the amps. I've had my eye on you for a while I was spying on Parappa last week, and I have special plans for you…"
Meanwhile, on the other side of the curtain, Parappa was plummeting fast. The tables had turned quickly and soon it was Joe that was one bad line from Parappa away from winning. Since Joe had gone wild, Parappa had trouble forming coherent sentences, and the score was beginning to show his trouble.
What'll I do? he thought. What CAN I do?
"Go Parappa, you can do it! Turn it back around!" Sunny's cheer came from the crowd.
How that line had managed to separate itself from the crowd, he didn't know, but that sparked something in Parappa. This wasn't about his reputation, not anymore. If he failed, Joe Chin would take away Sunny.
And he couldn't let that happen.
A verse he had heard before came into his mind at that point. It was fast enough to give fast-talkin' Joe some serious trouble. He really didn't want to use it given he had heard it on a kid's show, but at this point he needed to give it all.
After another of Joe's impossibly fast lines, it was Parappa's turn again. Now or never! I gotta believe!
Parappa: If you want a big hat, we got that!
If you need a tube of glue, we got that too!
A twenty-gallon wok, well they're in stock!
And if you need refrigerators
To keep extra mashed potatoes
Or a giant air compressor
To blow fruit flies off your dresser
Or a dehydrated strudel
Or a nose ring for your poodle…
The crowd had grown hushed as Parappa went at high speed sounding like a bad TV commercial. Even Joe was watching in some form of shock. Had they not been so mesmerized by the performance, they would've found the needle was actually moving away from Joe's face.
Parappa: If you need a rubber hose, oh we got those!
A rhododendron tree, well we got three!
A wrap-around deck, that we gotta check!
But if you need a window scraper
And a gross of toilet paper
Or a ratchet set and pliers
And surround sound amplifiers
And a solar turkey chopper
Or a padded gopher bopper
Flannel shirts for looking grungy
And some rope for goin' bungee-
Suddenly, the music stopped and a fanfare played over the speakers. Parappa looked up and saw that his verse had carried the needle all the way back to the far left just before a spotlight shone down on his eyes and blinded him again. He shook his head to get his eyes back to normal and looked out at the crowd as they started cheering. "Parap-pa! Parap-pa! Parap-pa! Parap-pa!" they chanted.
Once his brain realized that he had won, he grinned and waved to the crowd. "You gotta do what?" he called into the microphone.
"I gotta believe!!" the crowd cheered in unison.
Sunny climbed up on the stage. "You won, Parappa! You won!" she cried happily as she threw herself into his arms, causing him to drop his mic on the stage.
"I did, didn't I?" he replied playfully as he hugged her.
Lammy and Ma-san quickly clambered onto the stage to join them. "Parappa! You gotta hear this!"
"What is it, Lammy?" the dog asked as he released Sunny from the hug.
"Katy and Ma-san snuck backstage during the song and only Ma-san came back!" Lammy quickly explained. "And she confirmed a hunch Katy had! That fox guy that talked before the song tried to use hypnosis or something to rig the concert so you would lose! That's why Joe was rapping so fast during the last bit!"
That reminded Parappa of something. "Joe!" He moved around his friends and looked at Joe, who was sitting on the stage rubbing his forehead with his hand.
"Ugh… what happened?" Parappa could faintly hear him say. "Last I remember I was rapping and losing and this chime played…"
"He doesn't remember anything about the last part of the concert," Parappa concluded.
"Joe was just one of that fox's pawns," Lammy supposed. "I think he might have been trying to ruin your reputation as a rapper, Parappa."
"Maybe," the dog replied. "But if that's the case, why does he want to ruin my career? And why did he take Katy? …And where'd the DJ go?"
Before anyone could look at the DJ booth to see that Tamany was indeed missing, it was forcibly ripped from the stage.
The crowd started to panic, scream, and scatter when what looked like an open-roofed pickup truck floating on a cushion of air emerged from the side of the stage. Attached to a hook behind it was a four-wheeled kart holding the DJ booth and part of the stage floor. In the pickup's seats were SC at the wheel and Tamany in the passenger seat. In the truck bed was Katy, tied up with sturdy rope and a length of sky-blue cloth for a gag around her mouth.
As for the stage, with a good chunk of the floor missing the structure started to collapse. It was when a particularly large spotlight fell not two feet from Parappa and Sunny before the heroes started to evacuate. Ma-san paused only long enough to throw Joe Chin off the stage, knocking the already dazed dog out, before hopping off herself and making some distance. The entire stage and backdrop collapsed into a large pile of scrap wood.
With the stage no longer a distraction, SC addressed the heroes (by now the crowd had pretty much disappeared). "Good job beating my unwitting lackey. Too bad you couldn't save everyone." With that, he revved up the motor and floored the acceleration pedal. "Later, puppy!" The truck shot off like a rocket, turning sharply around a corner before hitting a speed bump and flying over a car on one side of the blocked intersection before hitting road and dashing out of sight.
"Come back here with our singer!" Lammy cried as she ran after them for a few steps, shaking her fist. Ma-san did the same, albeit with a bit of cursing thrown in.
"We gotta save Katy!" Parappa declared.
"What about the destroyed stage?" Sunny pointed out.
"We don't have the time to worry about that right now!" the small dog replied. "That fox is too much of a trickster for anybody else to take down. There has to be a clue around here somewhere…"
A few sounds from Ma-san; she was carrying what looked like a record.
"She said this fell from the DJ booth when the truck made that turn," Lammy translated.
Parappa took the record and looked at the label. It was various shades of purple with a psychedelic 60's theme. The center was dominated by a mushroom with a skull emblem on its cap. Around the edge in large 60s-looking letters were the words…
"'Game Over Records?'" Parappa read with some confusion in his voice.
"Game Over Records?" Lammy asked Ma-san. "Isn't that that new record store that opened a few weeks ago?"
Ma-san nodded and chirped affirmatively.
"Wait, you know this place?" Sunny asked.
"Ma-san, Katy, and I saw it one time when we were taking the long way around to the studio," the lamb explained. "The strange thing is, from what I could tell, it wasn't built, like by a construction crew. It just appeared in an empty lot one day. No one could explain how it got there. …Hey, come to think of it, SC and Tamany left in the direction of that shop!"
"Sounds like a good place to start," Parappa decided. "All right, everyone, let's go rescue Katy!"
"YEAH!" the others shouted as they hurried out of the intersection and after the truck.
At that point, PJ woke up. "Huh? Is the concert over yet? I'm hungry."