A/N: Alright, muchachos, get set for the finale to the hot and furious "The Life Before the Party". Read on as the J-Team square off in what is bound to be the biggest battle in JCA fanfic history! (Or better yet, in the Extremo Luchadore's writing history.)
JCA is owned by Kids WB and Sony. Now let's leap onto the main event, as only literary luchadores can!
The Life Before the Party
Finale-Chapter XV: Reliance
"Kasahara?! O-Origami?!" Jackie stopped short of his breath, scrambling his body backward with his hands. Jackie was put back to his senses when Necrosis' revolver poked sternly into his messy raven hair. The archaeologist can only watch in terrible awe as the sphere within the minute dome folded into a crumbly paper man, standing 6 feet and riddled with more folds and ruffles than any piece of paper Jackie had ever disposed into a wastebasket.
The paper man attempted to put one pointy foot onto the floor, but the foot wrinkled and almost sank the entire figure down, had he not thrown himself back to his smooth table. His face resembled a rectangular raisin, pruned and seemingly aged. But the upper folds creased down to the center, unveiling cold, furious eyebrows atop of unseen eyes.
"Yes, Mr. Chan…", Origami wavered in his speaking. "That is correct….I am the Higher Order…and I need the Horse Talisman…more than ever."
"What happened to you? You were not like this when you were in prison," queried Jackie, generously sympathetic with his captor's bizarre condition.
"It was because of the prison that I ended up like this," growled Kasahara, as he straightened his flat form back up every few seconds. "You see, Chan Jackie Chan…I once thought the magical scroll that bestowed me this power had not one limit. But like any paper…it could not last long. Over the years, it had begun to depend on my body for stability…even before we had first met. I am becoming one with the scroll, and without the talisman…the scroll will consume me…and time will eventually consume it as well."
"I see….", spoke Jackie with a curious fist supporting the chin. "But how did you know about the talisman? Why did you send Necrosis and Kenzo to harm us all?"
"Forgive me for this long narrative, Chan….I broke out of prison with the trusted aid of Necrosis, Kenzo, and the Dark Hand….the former two of which I had made contacts with….to help steal from rare art galleries around the world."
"So that's why those gringos robbed the museums!" deduced Paco from afar.
"Yes," added Viper with a glare of contempt. "Kasahara needed money for this mass operation. He no longer had the muscle to snare a painting or two, but at least he knew who to steal the art and where to sell them."
"Correct, Viper lady," said Origami. "With the funds held in a private account, I promised to pay the Dark Hand to search the Horse Talisman, which they knew could heal all alien forces within…. I wasn't actually going to pay them, so I had Kenzo and Xu Lin to follow their ways." Origami shook his head softly, as if in mockery. "You know..little boy…Xu Lin was quite the strong child….She put up a strong fight….before crumpling into a pathetic beast!"
The terraces echoed with a cacophony of laughter from the cloaked cohorts of the Higher Order.
"Arr!" yelled Paco with rage. "Xu Lin is a strong girl all the way, which is more than what I could say of you…you spineless pendejo!"
"OOOOHH!" the villainous crowd remarked at the strong words.
Paco was about to leap over the barrier when the guards tried to swing their rifles onto the boy's skull. El Toro Fuerte pushed the menaces away and crossed his arms over Paco's writhing body, not hesitating to freeze as the rifles steered towards his bulky noggin.
"Be a true luchadore, Paco," whispered El Toro down to his blithe pupil. "There is no use arguing with these cowardly fools. They know not any shame. Let my words hurt them for you."
Paco subsided his anger, allowing his superior to handle the situation as he had vowed, for El Toro never broke promises.
"How dare you use a child on your selfish quest, fold-up man!" El Toro taunted. "What did she ever do to you to deserve this?"
"I'll tell you what she did….She was close…to Chan Jackie Chan! Were it not for him, I would not have suffered as I have now…It was his fault that so many of my days were wasted away in dreadful nothingness….And as long as anyone keeps him alive…they will suffer so with him!"
"You are just mad," Viper scathed as she stood up next to El Toro, the guards following her. "Necrosis said you wanted Jackie alive. I sense hypocrisy here."
"But this is a special time," Origami shook his withered head. "I wanted all of you alive so that you will face your end and at once see my new beginning! Dr. Necrosis!"
On cue, the doctor gathered a remote control from his scarlet pockets, and pinpointed it in the direction of an orbital cannon, looming above a vat of the underground bay.
"If I must survive, the powers of the Horse Talisman will be taken beyond the reach of simple men! Dr. Necrosis will use this cannon to blend its powers into my body. By the time you are gone, I will have complete control over this body, and wield the forces of the scroll forever."
"Do not forget to pay us," said Necrosis. "Rebuilding my Necropolis will certainly be beneficial to your cause."
"Screw your cause," said Kenzo. "Bout time I try and get my diploma. The remaining 10 million to me, tax free, remember?"
"How can I not?" promised Origami, who looked back at Chan. "….And now that that's all been spoken, Chan….let me end by saying you will have the honor of being my first victim. Think of it….At least you will not suffer as much as everyone else will."
Jackie looked at him solemnly. "Now I understand, Kasahara. I understand why you suffer so…I understand the measures you took….and I do believe you need to be healed by the talisman. No one should be as you are…." Then the archaeologist raised an unfamiliar scowl. "But if you will use the talisman only so that you can renew your violence, then I can not allow it."
"Speak as you will, Chan Jackie Chan, but when there are supplements stirred into the pot, you'd take the chance as well."
"Not quite. Ancient proverb; do not take more than what is necessary," Jackie retorted.
"Still belonging in the past, are you, Chan? You should've stayed there."
In the subterranean cavern, several guards were listlessly playing trump cards on a fragile crate.
"What cha got?"
"4 queens and 10 kings!"
"What?! You can't be serious!"
"Well, why don't YOU bring your deck of Jokers next time!"
"Wuzzat?!" The guards tripped over the crate, ruining their cheap game, and flanked over the post to whip submachine guns into the bubbling waters below. The bay swished in white foam that died out back into the spooky blue dimension beneath.
"A perpetrator?" a guard wiped the sweat off the palm wrapping his weapon.
"Nah, lookie there," another pointed up to the cavern ceiling, where clouds of dust swooped down to meet the natural deluge. "It must have been a stalactite."
"Is that a giant insect?"
"Wake up and smell my @$$, you moron. Stalactite! Think of the 'c' as in 'ceiling'. It was just a rocky horn above the ceiling."
"You think a bug was in it?"
"I'm…not sure…." The guard noticeably circled behind him.
The cavern suddenly roared as thundering footsteps stepped onto the deck. The guards raised their guns before the barrels snapped off like dry twigs from the intense swiftness of goliath hands.
From behind the now visible presence of the giant android, a guard frantically loaded a KBR into his launcher, slapping the rocket indelicately because it couldn't slide in immediately, and because his sweat-laden hands kept slipping on the greasy cocking-handle.
The android turned and laid one flat, metal tread down on the deck, catapulting a wooden board with ease. Standing on that board, the rocket-packing guard almost took to the stratosphere had he not struck the coarse cavern ceiling, before screaming as he was sent splashing onto the dark, imposing waters. It was far too clear what had struck off the stalactite. The guards cowered into the corner of stacked crates, regretting that they wanted to know that.
The android stepped closer to them, and grabbed them all in a bear hug, straining them roughly so they wouldn't scream. Then, its sleepy eye formation clicked open wide, as in urgency, before booming with relentless potency.
"I need only to ask this once. WHERE IS JACKIE CHAN?"
Necrosis carried a box bearing the good luck emblems of China, which was quite a sickening irony considering what kind of luck it could mean for Chan, his friends, and even the world. The doctor flipped open a lid amongst the dominion of electronics, opened the box, and laid the talisman perfectly onto the octagonal space.
Chan laid stuck in a box, his head the only apparatus sticking out. His mind was still shaken by the revelation that Origami, flimsy and all, still had the power to own such a malignant faction, and if the paper fold-up man was to become even stronger, what would that make the faction then? Jackie's anxieties retreated as the ominous voice of Origami arrived.
"Why don't you speak? Not satisfied enough of having the front row seat, of having the first privilege to die?"
Chan spoke nothing, his eyes were closed as if in focus of someone unseen in his mind.
Origami frowned contemptuously as the henchmen marched down towards the sphere, and bowed graciously to bade their master for the new fate he was to have.
Far off, on the higher edges of the domain, Kenzo and his band of men were keeping El Toro Fuerte, Viper, and Paco distant from providing the archaeologist needy assists.
"I don't want Senor Jackie to be helpless", frowned Paco, turning to his two elders.
"Neither do I," replied Viper, watching a barrage of gun barrels directed at them from the uppermost grid. "But if we try to help him now, who's going to help us?"
"It's up to Jackie now, to stop Origami. I hope he does so in one piece," said El Toro Fuerte, clenching the safety bars with such unsteadiness that they already bent under the pressure of his knuckles.
Necrosis rubbed his callous hands with aplomb, bent them back and forth to elicit cracklings from his time-worn bones, and like a man enthusiastically starting on a piano lesson, he set his hands onto the foremost control pad of the machine and lightly tapped in the appropriate keys.
Like a dissonant symphony, what began as low vibrations of the omnipresent machinery gave way to deafening waves of apathetic screeches. The only apparent strands of marvel from this symphony were strands of teal blue light, which converged within the cannon's core, releasing a single laser diving through the crevice in Origami's sphere.
Enveloped by the blue light, Origami's entire form became shrouded in contrasting black.
Jackie squinted and bent his face away from the sight, but stopped when a clamorous gasp arose out of the sphere.
"This power…" Origami proclaimed in cold eagerness. "It feels like I am young again…!" The form wobbled on two legs, but the legs visibly straightened back in moments.
"Is everything presently all right, Kasahara?" queried Necrosis in a pair of light-refracting goggles.
"Whatever you do, do not stop the machine!" Origami bellowed, bluntly pointing a finger at Necrosis. Much to Chan's horror, the finger was alternating both in a paper form and a fleshed-out human form, though at this time, Origami didn't care whether the archaeologist saw the transformation or not. "I must have every amount of this power," he continued. "Drain away the talisman to its end, if it must be, but I must have more!"
"What was that?!" said Kenzo, having heard a cord too harmonious to fit in with the workings of the machine. The guards all placed their eyes on the source of the sound, before gazing at a floating android, its legs whirring with fans beneath its soles, its arms raised up in battle.
"Riddle him!" Kenzo rashly ordered as he and the men expended thousands of bullets from atop the corridor. El Toro Fuerte grabbed Paco and Viper and they rolled right under the helter-skelter of the gun-toting cohorts, closing their ears and eyes at the searing fury above.
Trails of smoke and bullets lunged at the 13th Gear, but not a single assault from the cohorts sent it crashing down. Kenzo clicked on the trigger of the shotgun furiously, and seeing the uselessness of the arm, he threw it onto the 13th Gear.
The Gear grabbed the shotgun, and bowed down to Kenzo in a mock gesture of gratitude. With that, it zoomed blindingly down onto the energy machine, and hammered the weapon down on the machine's core, the talisman soaring out from the sudden collision.
"NO!" yelled Origami as the laser blinked listlessly, and faltered.
Necrosis gasped, turned and grabbed for his pea-shooting revolver, until the 13th Gear rose in front of him, froze him stiff with fright…and thrust two fingers onto his comparatively wretched head.
"Ark! Uhh…" the Doctor groaned as he crumpled down the stairs leading to his masterpiece.
"I have always wanted to do that," the Gear spoke amusingly, as it grabbed the falling Horse Talisman and stored it in a convenient space in the left hand.
"Tohru?" Chan spoke, aware of the voice behind the android.
"That is I, Chan," the 13th Gear replied as it paced towards Chan's box, and ripped it wide open into two halves. "Kepler and the rest of our friends are safe inside," Tohru spoke through the robot.
"Hi, Jackie," came Jade's voice from the speaker right below the Gear's eyes.
"Hello, Jade," Jackie smiled, and then his eyes bulged in alarm. "Jade?! You can not be here, this place is too dangerous!"
"That's what I thought…until they blew our apartment!"
"Wha-?! How did they-"
"Talk later!" Jade replied, and that signaled Jackie to turn and see what he hadn't seen.
The orb encasing Origami sprang shear lengths of paper-thin blades, which were cutting diagonally across ever diameter of the glass. As the orb collapsed into fragments, an enraged Kasahara crept from the debris, and this time, his human face, elognated with its triangular hooks of ink-black hair, was visibly contorted with an urge to destroy no less than Jackie Chan. Origami swung his arms, ready to extend them to choke the life out of Chan, but instead his hands flew off and became monstrous shurikens, four-cornered throwing blades, hurtling at Jackie and the 13th Gear.
Jackie yelled and darted himself towards the fallen energy machine, but the Gear couldn't react fast enough, as a shuriken nicked through the circuits on the right end of its midsection. Tohru grunted uneasily as the Gear momentarily collapsed onto the floor, its hands supporting it from a total crash.
Origami's eyes widened at the work he had done, and seemingly spoke at his modified arm, which was regenerating his hand. "All the money in the world……never could do this….I'll treasure this gift forever! Unfortunately, for you….", he focused on the Gear, "you won't! HIIII-YAH!" he whirled another shuriken at the 13th Gear.
Tohru desperately grabbed one half of the prison box and shielded the shuriken, but one pointy end still managed to stick through the shield, stabbing the Gear's left hand and sending the Horse Talisman out of the periphery. The talisman whipped across the air, and landed right on the floor below where El Toro Fuerte, Viper, and Paco were.
"Kenzo! My Order! Stop them immediately! The talisman's in their reach!" Origami ordered.
"I don't know," Kenzo crossed his arms and shifted slightly away. "How 'bout you double my reward for this?"
"The deal is done! Now DO IT!!"
"Fine, you stinking 'Odor'."
"The Horse Talisman!" said El Toro Fuerte in alert. "We need it, Paco, to heal Xu Lin and get out of this place!"
Paco nodded, grabbed the guard bars, and somersaulted himself into the lower level. He landed with a slight thud on the back, but as a young luchadore, he still needed practice. Rubbing his back, he snatched the talisman and looked up at his friends. "El Toro Fuerte! Viper Lady! What must I do?"
"Run, my pupil!" replied El Toro, flexing his shoulders.
"We'll handle this," added Viper, seeing the masked cohorts of the Order running down the stairs. "Now!"
At the command, El Toro stomped onto the stairs, and immediately, it collapsed and sank an army of men, screeching down to their level. The mess of broken bodies was unbelievable.
"There is a reason why Paco calls me the best," El Toro smiled to Viper.
"Don't count on that just yet," Viper observed as another legion of cohorts descended onto her level by using the pile of their downed running buddies as the new staircase.
"Sorry," conceded El Toro to Viper, as the two readied to duel like they hadn't dueled in ever.
Jackie lobbed a monkey wrench to take away Origami's focus on the 13th Gear, and what a shot it was, as it thrust the paper fold-up man's unwary and flimsy form out into the debris of glass.
Jackie rolled and saw the 13th Gear holding one arm. "Tohru, will you be okay?"
"I've lost an arm. At least it is not my own. But I think I can manage."
"Argh! What susceptibility!"
"Dr. Kepler?" said Tohru, alarmed at the voice. "What is happening?"
"Our residential circuitry is going haywire. It is best that you output our programming back into the authentic world, else our presence will be eradicated!"
"I don't!" added Jackie in frustration. "Who else is in the programming?"
"You'll see when I remove them," the 13th Gear boomed as he threw down the shielding panel. Gasp! "Chan, watch out!"
"Huh? Bwah!" Chan bent his neck backward as a long papery tendril almost speared right at his face. The 13th Gear grabbed Chan and flew upward to evade Origami's reach, and it quickly landed on the farthest corner, near the bay.
"Forgive me for this," Tohru said as he pushed a button, and then, the rings encircling the robot's waist lit up, and materializing out of them were Jade, Kepler, Xu Lin, and Mama Tohru.
"Waah!" said Jackie. "Why do Xu Lin and Mama Tohru have to come up here?!"
"Helloo, Jackie!" Jade reminded him. "Xu Lin needs the Horse Talisman to keep herself from becoming the wendi-girl, and you know Mama Tohru never wants her son to be in danger…all alone."
"Urr!" Jackie scrunched his face, trying to configure the absurdity of it all. "Okay, okay. But first I need to find the Horse Talisman."
"Don't need to, senor Jackie, for I have found it!" Paco ran towards the group, and his eyes caught on Xu Lin.
"Paco?" smiled the little girl.
"Oh!" he hugged her tightly for the first time in many a day. "I am so sorry for leaving you alone."
"Well, I'm sorry that you're sorry for leaving me alone," Xu Lin sobbed.
"Then, I'm sorry that you're sorry that I'm sorry for leaving me alone," Paco said.
"Oh, no Paco. Don't feel that way. Because I'm sorry-"
"XU LIN!" Jackie and Jade yelled at them.
"Oh, sorry," Xu Lin shyly apologized as Paco gave the Horse Talisman on her palm. With that, the talisman flashed and Xu Lin held her own, almost teetering onto her side, until Paco caught her. They smiled at one another.
"Eck!" Jade mumbled to herself. "How gross…"
"You wouldn't think so if you were in love, Jade," Paco replied to her mumble, as he gave a quick peck on his girlfriend's cheek."
"Love, heh!" said Jade. "I can live without it, right, Jackie?"
"Well," Jackie began slowly. "It is best that I not see you that way, Jade."
"Ooooh! Is there nobody who can agree with me?!"
"Let's not talk about your future. Tohru," Jackie addressed to him as Xu Lin handed him the talisman, so that he could hand it to the sumo in the mech, "Take the Horse Talisman and heal your robot. That way, you could take us all in and get out of here."
As he did so, Jackie's hand was wrapped by Origami's coarse arm, and then, the archaeologist was thrust with the Horse Talisman still clutched in his hand. Origami, noticing what Jackie possessed, grabbed the talisman with his free arm, and then sent Jackie speeding onto his head, which was forming into a huge spike.
Jackie screamed, until an enormous thud shook the floor, and the bound of the paper fold-up man grew listless, dropping Jackie down. The Chan Man saw that where once stood Origami was nothing but a huge boulder.
"Huh?" he looked up and saw El Toro Fuerte and Viper up on the 5th floor, raising their thumbs in triumph at the spectacle. Jackie took the talisman and put it up to his back pocket, and raised his thumb up to his partners as well.
But the boulder itself rumbled loudly, and more tendrils latched onto it, with Origami pulling up the hefty weight. Not a single bit of his face was marred by the colossal stone. Jackie gasped.
"Have you not forgotten? PAPER BEATS ROCK!" Kasahara screamed temperamentally, as the boulder came crashing onto where El Toro and Viper stood. The luchadore and ex-thief lost balance and tumbled through the lower two floors, rendering them unconscious.
Kenzo and the Order crouched down to avoid the careening sheets of metal on their level. The young Yokanawa stood straight up. "Alright, slag the lower ones down!"
The Order quickly ricocheted off of the lower levels and right into Jade and the rest of the J-Team.
"What is this? More roaches to squish flat?" said Mama Tohru nonchalantly.
"Stay away, mommy. I will protect them for you," the 13th Gear spoke, its fists quivering in readiness.
"Tohru," said Jade. "You've got to help Jackie. He's all alone."
"But the Order…"
"They ran out of their shells, T-Man. They're not going to be that much trouble."
"Hmm.." the Gear turned at the marching band of Order, wielding nothing but karate yelps and lightning-fast hands and feet. He looked at Mama Tohru and Jade. "I'll give you all a head start."
Tohru drove one lever hard, and in synchronization, the 13th Gear smashed its workable fist down to the floor, rippling a quake towards the Order. The force sent many of the men flying like dummies as tiles of the floor shot upward, as if demons had been awakened to the world above.
"Good luck," the Gear said as it zoomed in the direction of the struggling Jackie Chan and Origami.
"Ready for the next step, little lamb?" Mama Tohru resumed to her crane stance.
"You better help us on this, Mama Tohru, unless you're a shepherd who cries wolf," said Jade teasingly.
"Hmmph. I'll show you how this shepherd leads a herd."
Soon, the first few members of the Order ran up. Mama Tohru leapt up to her foes with an outreached fist. But upon contact, she changed direction and raised one leg to hit the first man's chest, bounced off to headbutt the other, and while in air, somersaulted vertically to ax a kick onto a third's masked noodle. All three men laid unconscious in what looked like a second.
"Impressive, though at the rate of their mobility, we will be inefficacious to maintain momentum in minutes", said a worried Kepler.
"Kepler, if you're scared about a little fighting, just say so and you can stay in the farthest back," suggested Jade, as she marked a red sneaker on another member.
"Yeh, they gringos are not so tough," said Paco, who twirled Xu Lin rapidly and let her feet sweep away the Order like dust.
"A worthy notion," replied Kepler as he ran off where the enemies had not tread, but that's when he met face to face with Kenzo Yokanawa, the KBR launcher locked and loaded. "Ah. What dubious atrocity!"
Kenzo growled and pointed the launcher promptly into Kepler, who ducked down, as a KBR screeched deafeningly into the center of the struggle. Kepler gasped as the area behind him was engulfed in smoke, fire, and silence.
"Yahh!" screamed Jade as she leapt off the ground-bound cloud and laid a foot onto Kenzo's belly, causing him to lose the launcher right in front of Kepler.
The doctor tried to hold the KBR launcher for use, but its fiery touch impelled him to discard it into the bay.
Jade then leapt onto the doctor's shoulder for another serving of boot to the Yokanawa, but this time, the gangster was ready. He grabbed Jade's neck and threw her face first to the floor. She coughed and wheezed in pain, losing focus as to where she was right now.
"You!" said Paco as he, Xu Lin, and Mama Tohru came rushing in simultaneously to give Kenzo a piece of his own medicine, times three.
Kenzo yawned, and pushed an elbow forcefully at Paco's center, raised the fist upward to Xu Lin's face, and took the other hand to hold Mama Tohru's chin and drop her backwards onto Jade.
Kepler swirled his face around, recognizing that he remained the only conscious member of the J-Team, outside of Jackie and Tohru. One thing was for certain, he was all alone against Kenzo, the burning smoke blanketing both of them as if there would be no way out.
Kenzo smiled and fiercely darted a super-kick to Kepler's chin. Kepler crumpled, and whimpered as if a tooth had fallen off, but tensed his burly self back up, and aimlessly swung an uppercut without even looking. The fist smashed Kenzo and actually dropped him on his seat. Kepler sweated in pints at the action he had done.
Kenzo rose up, noticed a trickle coming out of his mouth, wiping the trickle to notice the red hue on his hand, and he dashed forward into the doctor. He shot out two fists, and Kepler ducked onto them, only to crouch into a rising leg that sent his head arching onto the tiles, flashing stars orbiting around his head.
As Kepler gagged and wiped the tears of pain pouring from his eyes, he heard Kenzo swinging a switchblade like a helicopter would swing its gyros.
"You're a sight that sores eyes, you know that? You may not last long, but you won't be seeing long before that."
Kepler grabbed a rock lying on the ground and threw it, striking the center rim of Kenzo's spectacles. The shot took Kenzo by surprise, and the gangster reflexively straightened up his glasses. Dr. Kepler capitalized on the delay by confiscating the glasses and casting them away in a careless speed. The moment the faint sound of breaking glass pierced both their ears, Kenzo and Kepler knew their tides were turned.
Kenzo angrily swung his hands and feet with murderous intent, but Kepler was able to back away from the attacks, now that the gangster lost his focus. The grunts and swings didn't encourage any words from the doctor, and that made it all the more maddening. As the now vague form of Kepler stood before him, Kenzo labored in his respiring, his eyes blood shot from all the smoke and the inward ire that struck him. He could not exactly see Kepler, who was smiling at him and shaking his head in indifference.
Kenzo roared with all the air he consciously had left in him, readying a massive switchblade slice as he sped to Kepler.
"You are quite the ignoramus," said Kepler quietly.
"Arrrr!" Kenzo swayed the lethal offense onto the doctor. Within moments, Kepler retreated down to the floor, and Kenzo's swing, having gone wrong, caused the gangster to unintentionally turn his back to the doctor, and toss away the switchblade! With that, Kepler resumed standing position, wrapped both his arms around Kenzo's waist, and with all his courage, circled sloppily across the smoky air and dropped the gangster's head and neck right on the deck. The lights of Kenzo Yokanawa were finally busted out.
"Idiot, to you," Kepler finished as he straightened his dusty lab coat.
"Ohh!" said Jade, holding up her head. "What happened?"
"Did we lose yet?" moaned Paco somewhere in the smoke.
"How can we lose?" came out Mama Tohru. "I can still play shepherd once more!"
"Oh, dear," said Kepler as he gazed up above him. "I don't conjecture shepherds could extend to the ceiling."
Jackie leapt over the steal beams supporting the dome as Origami gave chase with blade-shaped paper arms ready to layer the archaeologist.
The 13th Gear rushed and attempted to sock the back of Origami's noggin with 50 pounds of titanium. Origami somehow noticed, and folded his head into a flat hand that grabbed the 13th Gear's hand and threw the android up at the ceiling.
Tohru grunted as the crash jarred his sumo body, and then he observed the eyes of the 13th Gear were covered in viscous mud. Realizing that the Gear broke a support that led to the soft grounds of the rain forest above, Tohru activated the wind-shield wipers and took timing to jab the arms into the leaking ceiling. But the Gear's leg fans were shot off as paper arrows pierced into them. Tohru raised his own feet in impulse as the lower controls had been lost.
Then, Origami coiled an arm around the Gear, which was helplessly whipping its arms, turned his other arm into goliath shurikens, and shot them on all the extremities. The dynamism sent the Gear crashing back side down to the floor from over 200 feet. The J-Team had to drag the unconscious Order out so they wouldn't become human pancakes from the Gear's powerhouse fall.
Origami smiled, amused at his work, and then saw Jackie swinging a 10-foot steel pipe like a ninja staff.
The archaeologist swiftly slashed the pipe onto Origami's hands, tattering them into frail pieces. Origami yelled, though in stupefaction, not pain. He lashed out a quick slap of the arm onto Chan's face, forcing Chan to spin out behind a vertical support beam.
Jackie sighed, and then looked at the reflection on the beam, seeing Origami's hands were taking time to reconstitute to their offensive arrangement. At the same time, he saw the pulleys that had carried the technology Necrosis intended for Kasahara. Jackie momentarily held up the Horse Talisman, activated its healing powers, was refreshed of all deep bruises and was ready to leap back into the fray.
With his round, rubber shoes, Jackie put both his feet on the vertical beam, stood there for a split second, and hanged onto a pulley with his right hand. He swung rearward to the beam behind, compressed his legs flat like those of a frog, and leapt across the smoky air before releasing the pulley, permitting gravity to send the foreign object whirring a bulls-eye onto Origami's face. The hook stabbed onto Origami's face and left him resembling a hanged man, but of course, he was still too lively to be such an individual.
Landing belly first onto the beam, Jackie regained his breath and continued moving on with the skirmish as he bounced off the beam several times and sent the remaining pulleys onto Origami's way. Soon, Origami resembled a 7-foot paper puppet that seemed angry at some unknown ventriloquist. He narrowly countered with a shuriken that zipped past Jackie but struck the corner of the support beam, causing the beam to slide down into the ground below.
Jackie, his heart beating as if it wanting to leave the cage that was his body, scrambled down the falling beam in short-term velocities rivaling a regular automobile. His eyes were pulled to the rim by the air slamming onto his face, and his clothes became sagged along with everything else. Jackie closed his eyes and let one final stride before soaring 20 feet across and grasping his arms onto the energy cannon, the only solid object to hold from the said height.
Gasping like he had finished a country-wide marathon, Jackie let out a small eep as Origami swirled around the beams and transformed into a spiky sphere. Jackie ran down the cannon as Kasahara's juggernaut form rolled down the cannon and what else remained of the machine that gave the infamous thief his new lease on life.
Jackie leapt and ran in panic until his face collided with the flat, upright foot of the downed 13th Gear. Jackie slumped down to the floor, holding his jaw for he had accidentally bit his tongue. The ache was quickly overruled by apprehension as Origami jumped on top of the machine debris, revealing his hugely satisfied human face, chuckling at Jackie for draining away all his strength while his had barely needed to be tapped.
"You see, now, how useless it is to resist, Chan Jackie Chan? The Horse Talisman has given me more than enough of its due. Your group may have stopped my Order cold, but I am more than enough for any team to handle. My Order will rise again, and the world will be ours!"
"You….huff....huff…..dream too much.." Jackie stood up reluctantly, his arms shivering in agony.
"And you don't dream enough," Origami spoke, taking all the time in the world for Chan to drift away in his hurt.
Chan fell backwards on the 13th Gear, and felt the frustrated pounds of Tohru, who could not get the android back into shape with the shurikens pinned on its arms and legs. Chan then had the brightest bulb lit in his life.
"But I am not done for," Chan smiled weakly as he stood himself onto the Gear's rotund belly. "I can still handle another beating or two. How about it?" While speaking this, the archaeologist bowed his face, put both his arms behind, took the talisman out of his pocket, and slid it beneath his long leg-khakis.
"Well?" Jackie mocked at Origami as he thrust his hands in the air, punching at nothingness and hopping his legs back and forth like a kickboxer anticipating his competitor's next maneuver.
"I don't even have to lock in close combat to destroy you," Kasahara haughtily raised both his arms and delicately modified them into cross-bows, with 5 arrows set to kill this flea of a foe.
"I am glad that the talisman has given you such powerful weapons," Jackie jeered cheerfully, and as he hopped, the talisman fell off of one leg onto surface of the 13th Gear. He then stopped his hopping, and gently pressed one foot down on the talisman to hide it……and activate it.
"Why have you suddenly lost your mind, Chan?" laughed Origami. "You know I have the best weapons of them all!"
"You sure know your weapons," said Chan. "But do your weapons know…YOU!" Chan leapt to the side of the 13th Gear, and on cue, Tohru thrust the Gear into action. With the arms healed, the giant shurikens fell onto the robot's hands, and quickly the 13th Gear crossed its arms and then hurled both shurikens simultaneously, with a strength twice that of Origami.
Origami took shock at the flying stars used against him, and foolishly aimed at the stars to destroy them. He dropped his jaw helplessly when he discovered too late that the shurikens weren't meant to target him.
They were targetting the leaking ceiling.
Skewering the dome's edges in deep gaps, the shurikens detonated in force, sending piles of saturated mud and rain water onto the paper fold-up man. Origami spat at the mud overlapping his human face and wiped his face, before he saw the weakened cannon disintegrate, and succumb to the puddle he stood on.
"NOOO!" Origami bade as he knew what was about to occur.
In a second, the cannon's scattered sparks became screeching, roaring snakes of electricity clambering across the sudden deluge. The bolts zipped onto Origami, feeding him with excessive jolts of power. Power was now overwhelming for Mr. Kasahara.
"AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!" Origami screamed in ear-splitting mayhem, his eyes bulging as if they were about to fly off their sockets, his hair burning to crisps.
Jackie solemnly walked toward the tortured Origami, pointed a steel pipe with accuracy in mind, and speared it onto Origami's chest, careening the paper fold-up man out of the pool of death and back to a world hardly familiar to him, the world of mercy.
The burned Origami exhaled one more conscious gasp, and closed his eyes to unwilling sleep.
Jackie sighed the loudest sigh in his life as he grabbed the stunned culprit of the entire conspiracy, and folded him in halves, until what became of Origami now was a pint-size square no larger than Chan's own palm.
The 13th Gear walked up to Jackie and opened a ring for him to detain the once-ominous Origami into the digital plane. Once the loading was complete, the sides of the Gear's helmet were thrown open, and Tohru's face became visible.
"Ahh," said Tohru, eyes closed in relaxation. "It is over, Chan."
"Yes, it is," smiled Jackie as he put a comforting hand on the Gear's shoulder. "You've saved our lives twice this week, and even though you started out with a bad foot, you never had a wrong one."
"I can't go wrong when I have my friends," replied Tohru.
"Speaking of which," said Jackie, "let's go help them out. I think we all deserve the Horse Talisman after so long."
"Helloo! Time for all of you to wake up! We have a big day ahead of us!" yelled Uncle as he rocked Jackie's head on the bedroom of Uncle's Rare Finds.
"Ow! Okay, Uncle, please be calm," Jackie pulled out the sheets, and jumped readily onto his slippers. He was followed by his niece Jade, who was still holding her head.
"Ohh! Why do I feel so whacked out after being healed?" Jade bemoaned, as she washed her face on the sink.
"It's just we don't have enough sleep," Jackie yawned and outstretched his arms, almost pushing away Jade.
"You tell me. I had to finish the homework 2 hours ago. Ohhh.."
"Oh well, I don't think the Horse Talisman can do anything about sleep. I guess I will just have to return the talisman back to-"
"Jackie!" Uncle called to his nephew. "Kepler has brought along a friend, a very old one. I think you may want to meet him."
The confused Jackie and Jade went down the stairs, and their faces opened wide in enjoyment at the person next to Kepler.
"Captain Black!" cheered Jade.
"Hello, Jackie. Hello, Jade. I may not have fully recovered, but at least I won't spend my life laying down!" vowed Captain Black, who, while still blindfolded, walked carefully with the aid of a cane. "I've heard from Kepler the news about the 13th Gear. Good news is, my superiors at Section 13 will not charge the scientist for any wrong usage of the weapon. I'll make sure that the Gear won't be used again for a very long time."
"That it should," Jackie nodded in agreement. "What about Kasahara?"
"Origami is being locked up in a digital file at Section 13's new locale. There will be no chance anyone will encrypt him from it. The rest of the Order, including Necrosis and Kenzo 'Skinny' Yokanawa, are all in maximum prision pending trials on numerous accounts. This time, Kenzo will be tasting the same justice as the rest of his family. Congratulations, Jackie. I would shake your hand, but um, uh…"
"Oh, don't worry, I will shake it for you," Jackie said as he caringly slapped his palm onto Black's.
"Um, Jackie, something wrong with your hand?" Black queried at the odd feeling on the palm.
"Not at all," Jackie smiled as a flash appeared out of the clasped hands.
Black gasped and dropped his cane. Kepler was about to speak when Black willingly removed the blindfold, and his emerald eyes shone in their normal luster again. "Hah hah!" Black ululated.
Jackie showed the palm, and the Horse Talisman was situated there. "I think this horsey wants to be back in your home," he said as he gave the talisman to Dr. Kepler, who smiled and nodded complacently.
"Come on, Black, Kepler. We're going to be having a big, big breakfast here, and Uncle's got rid of the roaches," said Jade, excitedly holding Black's arm.
"Roaches?" said a disturbed Black.
"Ehh!" said Uncle with firm confidence. "Those little demons could not last long when I hired the pest control. Bill is big, but whatever. All of you will be having the party at Uncle's Rare Finds. There is no better place love home!"
"That's no place like home!" whispered Jackie. Whap! "Ow!"
"Today is a party day, so don't be a party pooper!"
"Speak for yourself, billy goat!" came up Mama Tohru from the front door. "If Jackie doesn't want to poop on your time, then you don't poop on mine!"
"Oooh!" Uncle said. "Alright, giant roach, just for this day, because you saved Jackie and my assistant!"
"Of course I would rescue your assistant," Mama Tohru replied, as Tohru appeared, "especially if he is MY WONDERFUL BOY!" She nuzzled her cheek onto her son with great pride.
"Tohru, you can walk again," said Black.
"It was not just I alone who made that possible. I am thankful for everyone who helped along the way."
"And that includes me, El Toro Fuerte and Xu Lin, the Torrential Trio of the luchadores!" said Paco with raised arms as he and his two additional partners arrived by the door.
"Senor Paco," said Xu Lin, "it's hard to believe it has become this day. It seems like a dream."
"It is real, and that makes it better," said Paco as he kissed her for the umpteenth time.
"Ayah!" exclaimed Uncle. "I will not allow the-"
"Unnn-cle!" teased Jade. "You did allow Mama Tohru in, and El Toro did help the J-Team."
"Oooh! I will allow him in, but only because you are my nephew's niece."
"Thank you, Uncle of Jackie!" praised El Toro with a massive grin. Whap! "Oh!"
"One more thing! Do not congratulate me!"
"Looking back, this team's not that dysfunctional at all," added Viper with an amused smile. "And I guess this party's going to be no less different."
"Oh, no, it won't," said Jackie as he held Viper's hands. "It's going to be better, because what can not stop us will make us better."
"Agreed," said Viper as she hugged Jackie back in reply. "So, where will we be going for the big party?"
"Those and many other questions will be answered after breakfast! Come now, everyone, and let me serve a tasty dish!" said Uncle ecstatically.
Soon, all the members of the J-Team, Jackie, Jade, Tohru, El Toro Fuerte, Mama Tohru, Paco, Xu Lin, Viper, Dr. Kepler, and Captain Angus Black held their forks and twirled at Uncle's dishes of noodles, enveloping the noodles to quell their famished states.
"Mmm!" said Jackie. "This is the best dish of noodles I have ever eaten, Uncle! You must teach me how to cook like you do."
"Eh!" Uncle said, proudly twirling a big dish for himself. "It is never hard to cook mealworms, and they are very high in protein too!"
Everyone swelled their eyes distressingly at each other, and turned to Uncle, as their bulbous mouths grew ready to…
Well, to make a clean ending, let's say that as great as the life before the party was, the team hoped the life after the party would be better.
A/N: Wowie! That was the longest piece of fiction I have written in my writing history! Tajeri Lynn wants to grant mucho thanks to Lil' Spleef, Shadowcell, NocturneD, and all those other writers and readers who've made this debut the success it has become. Thank you for being such faithful amigos!
Now, for all of you who have waited, here now is the EXTREMO VOTE 2002! This here will determine the next 3 fics I will work on over the next few months. (The remaining two may be written later.) RULES: post the votes in order from first to third, by the letter they represent, in your review. (If, e.g., you want choice A as your first choice, write A first, and follow up with the next choices.)
Pick your choices carefully! This election will also appear at the end of "SBTW", so if you vote here, do not revote on the other fic.
The Choices Are
TAKATO WONG- (Digimon 03)- Imagine a Japan where the obsession over a television show has molded a chaotic society filled with gangsters dressed as their digimon characters, and a mysterious, fanged being fuels the chaos to his will. Imagine too, a boy without a loyal creature, without friends and without family, with the exception of a family who will need his abilities and put them to the test…to save what's left of the dystopian country….
GENMA HIRYUMUSHA- (JCA)- What if you once belonged not in a different time, but a different dimension? When a parallel world is resurrected in Jackie's world of San Francisco, Jackie learns of a deadly soul enveloping a familiar creature. He learns too, that he was once the samurai Jadonosuke, and now must fulfill the warrior's destiny to find the force that will help him defeat the foe named Genma Hiryumusha.
SOULS BETWEEN THE WALLS 2: DIGITAL CORE- (The Zeta Project)- Could this be the most controversial ZP fic in mind? One is all cells, the other all machine. But a bizarre offer will drive their lives to a new, untouchable level.
SAY UNCLE- (JCA)- Uncle loses his memory, leading to a wild chain of events that will test the patience of the J-Team and Valmont's Enforcers.
SOUL & SIGHT- (JCA)- Did you think I was going to leave the original cast of "Souls Between the Walls" behind? Another helping of the characters fighting on, enduring on, and, oh yes, getting it on more than before. "Soul & Sight" will also feature a bitter horror dimension added to its fantastic eroticism.
That's all for now, all you literary luchadores. I will now leap off from the world of Fanfiction.Net. I vow to meet you amigos again. Enjoy your Easter Vacation, and so will I. Adios!
Tajeri Lynn the Extremo Luchadore