Title: The Standoff At Fort Miranda
Genre: Humor
Spoilers: none
Challenge: couch, Sheldon & Penny
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1,200
Summary: The very dramatic, no-holds-barred laser tag battle for the living room, by a bunch of people who watch too much Firefly. - Mostly Big Bang Theory characters, bit of FF fusion.


The Standoff At Fort Miranda


"What is this place called again?" Penny asked over a mouthful of plain flour tortilla.

"Miranda," Sheldon whispered, and contracted his fingers over the shaft his gun. "I've said it twice already. And stop eating, we could be attacked any minute and you're consuming calories. We could die."

Rolling her eyes, Penny wrapped the second half of the tortilla in a napkin and shoved it into the pocket of her child-L-sized flak jacket. "Why did we name the fort after a girl? That's not how you do things. Like this girl or something? First Love?"

He was too busy to be horrified at how little she actually paid attention to all the things he told her day in and day out, primary of which was his unbreakable vow of devotion to science above all others. Sheldon dropped a corner of his mouth, peeked around the couch to scan the layout of the apartment entrance, and snapped, "It's named after a planet. Honestly, you watched the movie with us just eighteen months ago!"

"And we're the...Reaver team? Sounds like a creepy name. I like it."

"It's not just creepy, Penny, it means we symbolize the horrific blood-drinking spawn of lost space-colonists turned ravaging cannibals and here comes Howard!"

Before Sheldon could get his gun over from his side and around to defend the other end of the couch, a small but determined mechanical engineer was diving forward with a laser set on Penny, sacrificing himself for the kill shot. Sheldon spun on his knees, his head brushing the blanket ceiling, but he was too late. Howard's black and blue plastic weapon rose in the air, the musical score to Quake thundered in the background of the artificially darkened apartment, and Sheldon knew deep in his gut that the Alliance had won.

"Got him!" Penny snapped, and zapped Howard in the chest with her own custom-painted yellow and purple laser gun. The man's suit exploded in showy colors, like a Lite-Brite set, and his power of offense was locked down before he could get off a shot. Howard collapsed on the floor, gurgling and holding one palm against his plastic chest armor.

"All for nothing, all for nothing," he moaned. "I'm sorry guys. I'm so sorry."

Commander Kooth's voice carried from the kitchen, through the clamoring sound waves of the old video game soundtrack, toward the fallen comrade. " Lieutenant Wolvenfang, are you alive? Is the baby-eating space cannibal queen vanquished a last?"

"Your pal's dead!" Sheldon shouted, with a dramatic space-monster growl that impressed Penny, aspiring actor. "We shall violate his body, drink the marrow of his bones, and pillage his equipment!"

"Aaaarrrgh!" moaned Howard, far too loudly for a dead soldier. "And so, I die...!" His outstretched arm fell back to the wooden floor, barely missing Penny's leg, and only because she'd moved six inches backward in point-zero-zero-zero-zero-one seconds.

"Whoa," she said, then when she saw Sheldon reach over the 'unconscious' Lieutenant Wolvenfang and drag him into the draped shelter Fort Miranda, she yelped. He, meanwhile, was busy detaching Howard's gun and stealing his water bottle. "What are you doing?"

Sheldon looked at her like she was crazy, and maybe she was because this Tool soundtrack was creeping her the fuck out, and Howard was not very good at being dead, and there were still two enemy soldiers behind the island counter, lurking in Fort Ariel.

"I'm looting his body. Weren't you listening to what I just said?"

Penny squinted at the barely-keeping-from-giggling corpse. "But, Sheldon, he's not really--"

"Shush!" he snapped, and held up a gloved finger. "They're going to try again, any minute now. I know how Hotwater thinks. We need to dump the body behind the bookcase and re-double our ground barrier defenses. How many flour grenades do you have left?"

Penny looked the finger in her face, then at the face behind the finger. She looked down at her own weapon, her gear, and then back up at the full-grown man across from her, asking with perfect seriousness if she had any bags of flour to launch across his apartment. Despite herself, she was kind of turned on.

"Um, four." She licked her lips. "I dropped one when we were building the curta--Fort Miranda."

"Well, keep them on you. I'll dispose of this one; we can bake his innards with pigs' feet later."

Together they glanced at the corpse. The corpse's eyes were closed but had raised its middle finger in Sheldon's direction, apparently locked in rigor mortis that way.

Sheldon re-set his gear, breathed out, and made a decision. "Okay, I think you're ready for this." He held up a vile of what looked like grape Koolaid in a stoppered test tube, but from Penny's perspective, it could be anything. In truth, it was grape Koolaid, but his Queen needn't know that it was only a placebo.

"This is the Pax." He spoke the name with reverence. "If I should get killed, remember to take this. Drink it, then go for broke. It will send you into a blood rage like none you have known. Make sure you snarl a lot and growl, it helps the Pax break down quicker in your blood stream."

"Sheldon," Penny said, holding onto her purple and yellow laser gun and pressing the butt into her lap. He frowned in the darkness that blanketed Fort Miranda.

"I told you to call me Shelgrath the Gore-Fisted."

Penny launched forward, grabbed his face with her own black-gloved fists, and kissed the hell out of him.

"Gahhaahhhh!" he blurted, almost falling backward off his crouch stance.

"What? What happened?" said the corpse, which had quite miraculously regained motor function in its eyelids.

"Good luck," said Penny. She patted her warrior on the cheek. "You take care of the ground defenses and guard us against a stern attack; I'll make sure the Alliance troops are dead by the time you come back."

"He's only going four feet," said the corpse.

"You kissed me," said Sheldon.

"WHAT?" said Hotwater from across the landscape. The Quake score had dropped from thunderous drums to an eerie, sonorous drone, which made in-fort communication considerably less discrete than eighty seconds ago.

"Not bad, either." Penny waved him off. "Go, get to the outer wall, Shelgrathorus! Flour bombs, remember?"

"But, you kissed me."

"Are you a raving--"

"--Reaving--" supplied the corpse.

"--reaving space cannibal or aren't you? They're going to swarm us any second!"

"Penny, people don't kiss me."

"God, Sheldon, it was the heat of the moment. Let it go. This whole game was your idea and I was just starting to have fun, so let's do this already! I've got two bags of exploding flour that I really want to throw at Raj's head."

"Why me?" complained Commander Kooth (a stalwart and brave career soldier, Operative of the Alliance, who had no fear of talking to female baby-eating Reaver queens.)

"Because your British accent sucks!" shouted the corpse.

"I accept your logic," stated Shelgrath the Gore-Fisted. "Our victory over the Alliance milksops, who have never tasted the divine glory of mad human flesh, is paramount. All personal considerations will be tabled. But know that you are officially given one sanguine death strike."

Pennywise, Queen of the Reavers, whispered to the dead body. "What's a sanguine death strike?"

"Just a regular strike," it said. "He's getting back into game mode. You really did a number there. I'll fantasize about this moment long into my afterlife."

"Eww." She looked at her fellow space cannibal. "Fine, a sanguine death strike, one for me, whoopie. You wanna kill those guys or what?"

"On my mark. Go!"

And they went, and they battled, and it was glorious.