Spyro straightened his pose. It's true. He was nervous. Sure, he was the top of the top around here, the original legend. He'd had cameras shoved in his face many times before, but that was different. They were mostly personal interviews. Never before had he been a judge on the panel of the most popular reality TV show in Interverse history!
He glanced over at his co-star, Ember, who was having a last-minute polishing-up from her PR, Zoe.
Ember seemed to catch on to Spyro's anxiety. "It's alright," she told him reassuringly, "They all love you, just be yourself."
Spyro nodded, but inside he still felt as anxious as before. Ember had already been a judge for a season and had learned all the tricks. He glanced to his left, where Gnasty Gnorc, a legend amongst the fans with his catchphrase "I don't like it!", was adjusting his silver suit of armour.
From the auditorium, Spyro could hear his friend and host, Sparx the dragonfly, warming up the audience. His high-pitched voice echoed above the racket of the cheering fans and the energetic music that filled the stage.
"We have a very excited bunch of hopeful contestants waiting in the lobby," Sparx announced in his usual cheerful manner, "If they impress us, they'll be put through to the semi-finals! If they don't...what do we do, audience?"
"ERADICATE THE UNDESIRABLE!" Came the enthusiastic response of the cheering crowd. They loved Sparx's shooting gag.
Sparx's remarkably feminine laugh added to the din before he raised his voice to announce the arrival of the judges:
"Ladies and Gentledragons! Please welcome the Spyro's Got Talent judges! Gnasty, Ember and Spyro!"
The theme tune began to blast through the auditorium. Ember and Gnasty instinctively walked through the open doors that lead through the crowd-seating-area and down to the panel, smiling and blowing kisses at their adoring fans. Spyro, however, was a little more hesitant, momentarily freaking out from the sudden uproar of cheers, whistles and whatever other noises of approval were erupting from god-knows how many different species there were here. After a quick shove from Trish, one of Zoe's fairy friends and Spyro's PR, he made a less-than-graceful trot down the path to the panel, grinning at his screaming fans.
When everyone was seated and the cheers had more-or-less died down, Sparx continued with the usual routine, asking the judges what they're hoping for this season. It was the same every year. They wanted to see a new shining star in the constellation of fame and glory. But the audience loved it nonetheless.
Then Sparx turned to Spyro. He did this with every new judge.
"So, Spyro, buddy, you're looking fine as usual!" He remarked.
Spyro went along with it, this was Sparx after all, "Are you flirting with me?" He asked teasingly, with his best sarcastic grin.
Sparx's voice dropped an octave, but still remained as audible and remarkably high-pitched as ever, "Hey, I'm Sparx the Dragonfly!" He giggled, "I can flirt with whoever I please!"
This sparked a great deal of whoops and wolf-whistles from the ladies and gentledragons in the audience.
Sparx continued this little interview for another 2 minutes, asking Spyro what it was like to be selected as a judge, who was his latest love interest and so on.
After five minutes the first contestant frolicked excitedly onto the stage, receiving an applause of welcome from the audience. Spyro recognised the character as Bianca the rabbit! Oh shit. He liked her. Hopefully she'd be good enough to avoid any mean remarks from him or his co-stars.
"Hello there!" Ember's naturally warm and girlish voice silenced the crowd as she spoke to Bianca, "Would you like to introduce yourself to the audience?"
"My name's Bianca," Bianca's deeper, tomboyish voice muffled slightly in the microphone which she was holding a little too close to her mouth.
"Hi Bianca, what are you going to do for us today?" Ember replied.
"I'll be dancing the dance of my people!" Bianca replied, a little more enthusiastically than before, which made the audience giggle amongst themselves.
Spyro rolled his eyes discretely. The contestants always had to play up the comedy. It annoyed him a little.
Ember continued her girly act, smiling at Bianca. "Well, I'm sure it'll be a delight! When you're ready."
Bianca hesitated for a few seconds before signalling to the stagehands to switch on the music she had selected. A few seconds passed before the sudden ghastly racket of Whip my hair back and forth boomed through the auditorium. Everyone's reaction to it was somewhat similar. A combination of "OH FUCK" and "OH, GOD NO!". Well, everyone say Bianca. She had undone the bow that tied back her thick blonde hair into a ponytail, and was swishing her head from side to side in an uncoordinated, messy manner. Her long, cream ears looked pretty hilarious lashing around.
The audience began their chant of "OFF! OFF! OFF!", and Bianca, now looking disheartened, left the stage. Spyro sighed with relief. He didn't have to slag her off about being absolutely crap.
He glanced over at Ember, who had her head in her paws.
"They're always like this, aren't they?" He asked, knowing the answer.
Ember turned her rose-coloured head in his direction. A half-heartened smile on her lips.
The day had been tedious. Spyro was sitting in the judge's lounge for the best part of half an hour. Ember and Zoe were gorging themselves off the stack of sweets that stood on the vanity counter, while simultaneously catching up on all the latest gossip. Spyro wondered how girls did it. He could never talk and eat at the same time, never mind at a near impossible speed!
"Hey, Spyro buddy!" The unmistakably high-pitched voice of Sparx appeared to his right.
"Hey Sparx." Spyro replied, not as wholeheartedly.
"So, what do you think?" Sparx asked, grinning madly as usual.
"Well..." Spyro wanted to be honest. The 50 or so performances he'd just witnessed were so damn terrible they'd haunt him at Halloween. There was one of the Glimmer Lizards, named Terry, who sung a horrible reprise to "Soul Sister", and one which stood out in particular; a fat, pink Gnorc trying to do a River Dance. Yes, it was pretty hilarious to begin with, but after a while the masses of fat jiggling around like a sack full of oil was enough to make anyone vomit.
"It takes some getting used to." He said to Sparx, "I'm really not one for slagging off the public."
Sparx gave Spyro a friendly nudge. "Oh come on! You did it all the time in your movies! What about in, ooh, what was that one called? We were in it together...Gateway to Glimmer! That one! Yeah, you wouldn't stop calling Ripto a dork!"
"That was acting Sparx! I'm not like that normally." Spyro retorted.
"Oh come on!" Sparx persisted, that silly grin still on his face, "Remember when you would charge into all those flocks of sheep just for laughs!"
A small grin appeared on Spyro's face. "Yeah, I remember that!" The two of them had, off set, often chased flocks of the creatures, occasionally killing one or two. Sparx would gobble up the butterfly that magically materialised after the sheep was killed, and Spyro would just enjoy the thrill of it. It was great fun, and it so turned out that the cameradragon had filmed them doing it, and the director added it into the final cut of the movie.
"Great stuff!" Sparx said with a laugh. "'Ey, so I'll meet you at the pub after the show, alright?"
"Alright." Spyro said, giving his friend a friendly shove as he settled back down on the sofa.
The hooded character handed over his passport and his boarding card to the Portal attendant. He had been waiting in the queue for the Interverse Portal for an hour and was getting impatient, as were the creatures behind him.
"Okay, sir." Said the Portal attendant; a fairy with blue hair. It said Freezia on her nametag. "Have a nice trip!"
Freezia handed back the passport and boarding card to the hooded character. He nooded his head in thanks and walked into the large hall which contained the Interverse Portal. It was enormous, about as tall as an ash tree. Most portals stood, at most, 8 feet tall. But this portal needed to be big; it was a portal that transported a subject to a completely different Universe.
A tall, blue and purple dragon stood to the right of the Portal glanced over at the hooded character, squinting as if suspicious. The hooded character looked at the dragon's nametag: Cyril.
After a few moments, Cyril nodded at the hooded character and raised a paw to the Portal. He was allowed to pass through.
A grin of satisfaction spread across the hooded character's face. He nodded to Cyril, who placed his paw back onto the ground as he waited for the next traveller, and then walked straight into the Portal.
It was a weird sensation, almost like water and wind passing through every molecule in your body. It felt refreshing.
"Almost there, Spyro. " He said to himself. "I'm coming for you."