Authors' Forward

Alright, we're finally posting! Sorry for the delay, but due to the holidays, and some RL issues, we suffered some delays. Thankfully, they weren't, obviously, fatal delays for the Fannies, but they happened nonetheless. For transparency's sake, the delay is due to the lack of time the new Fannies Committee had in preparing the Fifth Annual Fannies, setting up who was doing what, and finally, the actual act of writing without a clear, defined story to follow.

For the Fifth Annual Fannies, we chose a slightly different format from years past, with up to three categories per presentation chapter, no excerpts from the nominee fictions, a limited 'live' audience and somewhat limited audience interaction from the winners during their acceptance speech. That said, the Sixth Annual Fannies should be, for the most part, back to the original format we're all familiar with, that being each category dedicated to one award, and each nominee having a chance to present excerpts from each story.

Also, unlike in years past, we will present the Fannies over the course of several days. This has manifold benefits, most important in our opinion is to give everyone a chance to read each given chapter.

And now, without further adieu, here's chapter one of the Fifth Annual Fannies, dedicated fondly to the memory of cpneb and Commander Argus...

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A pair of headlights belonging to a early 2000's Ford Explorer cut through the snowy Colorado night, illuminating the front of a dilapidated warehouse on Middleton's northeast side. The building, while run down, seemed to be structurally sound. It was also fairly large, as far as Middleton warehouses went, being over two hundred feet on its front side, almost five hundred along its length, and forty-five feet high at the top of its moderately sloped roof.

The SUV parked next to a pair of sensible four door sedans and an expensive looking Lexus in the parking lot, and a figure stepped from the passenger side and into the snowfall that was steadily blanketing Middleton. After activating the vehicle's remote start to keep the car running, the driver followed, shaking his head and taking a long drag from his cigarette sized cigar as his clear brown eyes surveyed the old warehouse.

The deep brown eyes of his companion shared in his surveillance, then narrowed as a bit of wind blew in from the northwest, the chill of the Colorado winter cutting through the warm, if eclectic clothing he wore. Pulling his heavy woolen greatcoat closer about himself, he struck out towards the warehouse, his thoroughly modern hiking boots and the cuffs of the heavy cotton dress slacks quickly caking with snow.

"C'mon," the strikingly feminine voice grated, his eyes flashing as he looked upon his companion, "Let's get this over with so I can go home and get warm!"

"I told you to wear another layer or two, Kit," Kgs-wy's voice chuckled as Kitpup sniffled and pulled a handkerchief from one of his greatcoat's inner pockets, "Or to talk Neo into coming along to keep you warm. She is from the Midwest, and should be used to this kinda weather…"

"Hey, you always complain about the cold, why are you so nonchalant now?" Kit snapped back after wiping his nose clear.

"'Cause I'm a facetious pain in the rear, and will sometimes complain just to complain?" he chuckled. "Kinda like you are right now."

"Whatever..." Kit muttered, turning the collar of his greatcoat up as another blast of wind brought heavy flakes of snow blowing past them.

"Heh..." Kgs grunted, shrugging his coat more comfortably about himself. Unlike his companion, he wore simple jeans, steel toed hiking boots, a polo t-shirt, a moderately heavy jacket, and a wool stocking cap. Despite the glare from the younger author, he leaned in close, his voice resonating deeply as his voice dropped to just above a whisper, "Still, though, it will get cold in a bit, the wind's only going to get worse later…"

"Jerkface! I'm being serious, here!" the younger author said tersely, managing to keep his voice steady despite the blushing grin tugging at the corners of his mouth "I do not call two below zero Fahrenheit with wind and snow anything but cold! So c'mon, finish that thing and get inside, everyone else is already here…"

Kit sniffled again and groaned, grabbing his handkerchief and wiped futilely at his nose. Mentally cursing himself for leaving his fiancée behind to help with the Fannies vote count, he opened the employee entrance door and strode into the musty smelling warehouse.

"Right, right, I'm comin'…" Kgs-wy muttered in a mockingly put upon tone, before he dropped his finished smoke into the ash stand next to the main employee door, stamping the snow off of his boots and pants legs much like Kit was.

Kgs unzipped his coat and let it hang loosely off of his shoulders, while Kit was unlimbering himself from his greatcoat. The younger man finally freed himself of the encumbering but warm coat, revealing a Victorian style men's vest over a stylish, finely checkered dress shirt, and a thin, black with fine white polka-dotted tie.

"There you are!" Pojko called out, enthusiastically waving them over to the obviously warm office. Kgs chuckled at the man's extra casual dress of blue jeans, a heavy black shirt and sneakers. A sensible, warm jacket was hanging over the back of his chair, which he had tilted back slightly from the table.

"About time…" MaceEcam groused, his voice emanating in a strange mix of whiney and menacing from the folds of his black cloak. His comment, instead of inspiring the fear its dark tone should have, earned an exaggerated roll of the eyes from Kit and a chuckle from Kgs. "I still don't get why, exactly, we have to do this again?"

"Because," Clarence d'Whitt said smoothly, "It was what you stipulated in your contract. Something about not wanting to be forced to sell either by remote or if you were out party-…"

"Oh, yeah, I forgot about that…" Mace said contritely while self-consciously scratching the back of his neck, "Anyway, shall we, Mr. Dee Wit?"

"It's pronounced 'do we', Mr. Ecam. And, yes, of course, Sir." Clarence agreed with a nod to Mace and a surprisingly honest smile before turning and nodding at Kit, "Ma'am-…"

"Sir!" Kit, Mace, Kgs and Pojko all interrupted with varying degrees of annoyance and humor in their tones. Even Kit managed a long suffering smile at the lawyer's unintentional faux pas.

"You didn't get the email, did you?" Kgs asked in a dry tone, earning a chuckle from Pojko and an elbow to the ribs from Kit.

"As a matter of fact, I don't think I did…" Clarence said with a raised eyebrow, looking at Kit in the eye. Shrugging after a moment of study, he turned back to the conference table and the documents strewn about its surface, "In any event, here's the documents outlining and making fully legal the verbal and earlier written agreement made between the founder and former owner, president, and CEO of MaceCo Research, Development and Distribution Enterprises, L.L.C. , or MaceCo, for short, MaceEcam, to Kitian lon Faolan.

"Okay…" Kit and Mace said somberly.

Clarence nodded and shuffled the papers into neat piles as he continued, "You both need to sign here, here, here, initial here, here, and here, and apply your thumbprint to the scanner pad for digital confirmation as to your identity. Kitian, you will need to sign on each line for the position within MaceCo on these sheets here, and notate whether the position you're taking will be permanent or temporary. As well, we have contracts for anyone you're placing in an executive position, and we will write up any contracts needed for new contract based positions at any point in the future."

"Wow, this is more annoying than I thought it would be…" Mace mumbled, earning a derisive snort from Kit and Kgs, "What?"

"Heh, you think this is bad, you should try probates…" Kgs answered, shaking his head, "So far, the thumbprint is the only thing that would've added any potential complexity to the ones I've been involved with…"

"Okay," Kit said as he finished reading the first document and began signing it, "Thank you for having a section explaining the legalese in plain language."

"There's a reason we're considered the most honest lawyers in Colorado, Mr. lon Faolan!" Clarence chirped happily.

"That's nearly a first in my experience…" Kgs muttered under his voice, earning a chuckle from Poj and Clarence, a roll of the eyes from Kit, and an ironic headshake from Mace.

"Well, I'm done." Mace said with a sigh.

"Me too." Kit agreed with a nod, finalizing his takeover of MaceCo.

"Can we go now?" Mace pleaded, only for his face to fall as Clarence shook his head.

"No, now we need Mr's Pojko and Kgs to step over to the scanners here," Clarence chuckled again as he pointed to a complex looking scanner and computer setup, with 'WadeTech' lettering etched into the equipment, "So we can confirm that they haven't been coerced via technological means. We also need them to witness everything, as well as sign these binding agreements attesting to the veracity of the scans, and confirming that that they were not coerced into said signing via other means…"

The scanning and various checks took over a half hour, and the signing another fifteen minutes. By the end of it all, Mace was antsy while Kit was bored and had a twitching eye that promised violence if things didn't hurry along. Finally Kgs and Pojko finished up the signing, and Clarence announced with a smile, "Alright, we're finished! Now, Mr. Ecam has promised me a dinner at Le Chateau to get this done post haste, so we'll be going."

"Here." Mace said as he pulled a large attaché case from under his chair, "These are the keys to the safety deposit boxes with various plans, as well as the key cards, keys, and passwords for all of my lairs, research centers, factories, storage lockers, and warehouses. The rest, of course, was delivered to your new offices this morning…"

"Right, right, get going you two…" Kit said with a shake of his head. "Kgs, you and Poj want to go get the computers here up and running so we can check what we have available, and if any of it'll help with the Fannies?"

"Right…" the older man said with a grunt, walking to the desk opposite where the scanning equipment was standing. "Oh, this'll take a while!" he said, sharing a significant glance with Pojko as they sat on two of the insanely comfortable computer chairs. The sound of the decade old computer booting up was followed by dark mutterings from the Kgs as he read the type of CPU and the amount of RAM the computer indicated in its BIOS boot-up screen.

"Great." Kit muttered, settling into the other chair. After several minutes, the computer had finally loaded its OS and the database of the warehouse's content. "Oh, God, this is one of his combination workshops and failure/'no current use storage warehouses!"

"Yes, he seems to have believed in consolidation... That said, check this out!" Pojko said triumphantly, "Portable, small scale holo-stages! We might not have to pay so much extra to fly people in and to rent out the Middleton Clarion's Convention Hall on short notice after all!"

"Oh?" Kit said with a raised eyebrow while making notes on a Nintendo DS with battered blue armor, quickly understanding Kgs' intent, "Oh, indeed… If they work…"

"Well, worst case scenario, Wade offered to help us out, so…" Kgs said, as he, Pojko and Kit began to make plans and phone calls to set things into motion.

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Two Toe Bengy, a Royal Bengal Tiger, was a magnificent specimen of his species. He stood almost four feet at the shoulder, and weighed in at over six-hundred pounds, a near record size tiger. The former pet of one Senor Senior, Junior, he was fearless and had a nearly insatiable appetite. He was, quite possibly, the most dangerous inhabitant of Isla Senior, as the bones of several once heavily armed henchmen around what he considered his lagoon could attest.

And on this beautiful Mediterranean morning, he was running for his life form the horrible cacophony behind him. The high pitched caterwauling was piercing, driving down into the base of the poor tiger's very being. Finally he had reached the beach, and stared forlornly out into the Mediterranean Sea, his gaze lingering longingly on the birds lucky enough to have a way to escape. He envied them, to be able to escape the torture he was suffering through.

The sound was horrible enough that he never noticed the other animals gathered around the same area he was perched, animals that would normally be terrified to be so close to him almost crowding him off of his perch in their own attempts to get away.

Further inland, towards Senior Manor, the caterwauling intensified but became more distinct, sounding like very off key, horrible singing. Several henchmen were down, twitching every time the singing reached a brief crescendo, or a particular off key note emanated from the source. Others wandered around dazed from the aural assault, wincing as the sound penetrated gunshot rated earplugs. Yet more lounged about listlessly, their noise-canceling headphones barely protecting them from the sound.

In the soundproofed lair command center; a beautiful, teal eyed brunette wearing a stylish two-piece bathing suit sat staring daggers at the other occupant of the room. That occupant was wearing an expensively tailored pair of swim trunks, revealing the body of a surprisingly fit older gentleman. He felt the glare upon him and turned the comfortable captain's chair in the center of the command center from the screen showing his son practicing his singing to look at his daughter-in-law. After she had his attention, Bonnie Senior seethed at her father-in-law in a strained tone, "Why, exactly, did you tell Junior that he might be offered a chance to sing at the Fannies? They'll never invite us back if he does!"

"I'm truly sorry, my dear Bonnie," Señor Senior, Sr. winced contritely, "It is just that he seemed so… Despondent that his music career had not taken off that I thought they may be willing to give him a chance… I even offered to compensate the Fannies Committee if they could find a way to squeeze him in…"

"Oh, great!" Bonnie muttered sarcastically, "So they might just let him sing?"

"They…" Senior said softly, before both of the room's occupants winced as a particularly powerful crescendo pierced even the sound proofed walls of the command center, "They may indeed…"

"We have to do something…" Bonnie muttered despondently. She was eternally grateful for Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable for hooking her up with Junior, she truly was. But the thought of how they, and the Fannies Committee might react to the horrific singing of her husband was something she preferred not to think on too deeply.

"I may have a solution?" Senior said with a wan smile as Junior had apparently decided to take a break from singing. "It will require him to stay here for a bit longer, so he may be a trifle late for the ceremonies. However, it should improve his voice to the point of tolerance, perhaps even greatness…"

"The MaceCo Crooner Ray?" Bonnie asked, "Don't forget, father, MaceCo items tend to have severe side effects…"

"Well, with the new management," Senior said with an almost diabolical grin, "They may have, or may be able to fix, those horrible side effects!" The old man paused, and rubbed his chin for a moment, "Or at least make them temporary…"

"But what good will Junior singing successfully at the Fannies do?" Bonnie asked, unsure if her thoughts on the matter would match her father-in-law's ideas.

The old man didn't disappoint her, as he stood and spread his arms grandly about him, "If they have, Junior's singing career will only be the very first step! It would be only a matter of time after that before we will be able to make our move, and take over the recording industry! The Fannies, being as notable as they are, will be the perfect launch pad fo-…"

His rant, while perfectly timed and executed perfectly, was cut short by a renewed, even more powerful belting out of Señor Senior, Jr.'s singing. He and Bonnie winced once again, and he leaned close to her, whispering conspiratorially despite the noise likely drawing out even the most sensitive of listening devices. "Perhaps, my dear, you should prepare to leave during his next round of singing? The pilots say that his voice manages, somehow, to disrupt even shielded, military specification electronics…"

Bonnie merely nodded and made her way towards the living area of Senior Manor, grabbing the ever so efficient electronic noise reducers on her way out the door.

Fifteen nautical miles northwest of Isla Senior, a mixed flight of F-35 Lightening II Joint Strike Fighters wearing United States Air Force markings and French Air Force Dassault Mirage 2000-5 Mk. 2 flew in a holding pattern. The craft was attached to NATO command, and had originally been performing live ammunition practice runs on a deserted island just inside the French border against inoperable Lowardian assault crawlers.

Now they were tasked to investigate the multi-billionaire, possibly former supervillain and the possibility that he was testing a nefarious jamming technology. Captain Gerald Metcalf, known by his callsign 'Foxbat', keyed the microphone in his flight mask and called out to Capitaine Nicolas Lavelle, "Hey, Nicky-boy, we're gettin' hit again… From the way it sounds, I think it might be Old Man Senior's kid singing again…"

"I must concur, mon ami," Nicolas replied in his heavily accented English, "But I haff to wonder, do hyu think zat zey know w'at it is doing to our systems?"

"I don't think Junior cares," Gerald griped, "And if the old man's smart, he's holed up where the sound won't reach him…"

"Zat would be zee smart sing to do!" Nicolas agreed sagely, "At any rate, whee have a boming run to finish! And if hyu are zerious about my zister, hyu know we have to finish zee run by 0900 hours, non?"

"Y'got that right," Gerald called back, before switching to the operations frequency, "This is Eagle Flight 1-1-3, confirming it's a false alarm, just Señor Senior, Jr. singing again. We're returning to the prior ops plan, and will be starting our attack run in approximately fifteen minutes, repeat, one five minutes…"

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"You what?" Kit exploded at Pojko, FuzenNinja and Neo the Saiyan Angel, all of whom cringed at the volume his voice had attained in MaceCo's penthouse office. "Do you have any idea what that man could do to the equipment if he really starts belting out his horrible balla-…"

"We need the money, Kit!" Pojko protested sharply, his voice strident.

"Yup!" Neo agreed, pulling a PDA out of a cleverly concealed pocket in her stylish off white and amethyst dress for Kit to look at, while Fuzen leaned on her shoulder to look at it, "We're down to less than a hundredth of our starting capital, and we have at least two weeks before anything brings in any cashflow…"

"Not to mention that the Fannies start tomorrow or Saturday!" Fuzen added with a cute pout, "We need as much as we can get!"

"But what about HenchCo?" Kit asked, before Kgs' laughing grunt from the balcony stopped him, "What?"

"Well," Kgs said before drawing from his cigar. He leaned forward and opened the sliding door a bit more than it was so he didn't have to raise his voice too much. Blowing a bluish stream of smoke from his mouth, he continued in a serious tone, "Here's the rundown of the emails we got earlier while we were getting everything signed over: HenchCo refuses to make any monetary loans, nor give us any personnel or equipment loans or purchases on credit, until we can improve MaceCo's name… And while we got most of Mace's old loans paid off with our starting capital, for the same reasons as HenchCo's refusal we can't get a loan from pretty much any bank. We can't even get a loan from the Georgetown-Leipzig Bank & Trust, despite the assistance you and Neo's relationship provides with them!"

"But…" Kit protested, almost tearful in his desperation to avoid the inevitable, "His singing…"

"No worries!" Poj exclaimed, tapping a few keys on the computer he was sitting at, drawing Kit's attention to the screen, "Considering how this impacts the Fannies, I spoke to Kgs and Neo earlier, and if we divert all of MaceCo's researchers to the Crooner Ray, and fix the rather… Disturbing side effects… We should be able to make Junior's singing at least tolerable, and make the Fannies a lot easier to put on in the future with the promised trust from Señor Senior, Sr.! And if he is able to pick up a career from the Crooner Ray, Triple-S promised to make the trust even larger…"

"Oh, great…" Kit muttered, slapping his face, "So my first act as the legal head of MaceCo is to authorize something that'll make the muscle bound idiot's future singing career happen?"

"Pretty much!" Kgs chuckled, taking another long drag on his cigar, "Look at the bright side, babe… At least you won't have to dip too deeply into MaceCo's funds each year for the Fannies, as Poj pointed out… We just have to hope that Triple-S happens to be right and he can keep SSJ at the island long enough he's delayed 'til the time comes to close the show… God forbid he comes along in the middle and tries to put on a halftime show before the ray's ready…"

"Kgs..." Kit said with a sigh, "I have the funny feeling you're foreshadowing again."

"I'm..." Kgs started, then slumped his shoulders in a somewhat defeated manner, "I just tempted fate again, didn't I?"

"Not again!" everyone else in the room groused, while Kgs shrugged and turned to look out upon Middleton's rebuilt downtown, chuckling a stream of smoke out of his mouth as everyone else laughed at the long running joke...

Authors' notes

And so passes Chapter 1! We plan on uploading one or two chapters with every upload, and will be posting every two days starting today. We hope everyone enjoys what we have planned for this year's Fannies, and hope to see everyone watching and enjoying for the years to come! Until next time, enjoy, and keep up the reading!