A.N. - Well, I'm back everyone. =) I've been hard at work on a number of different projects, including this one, and I wanted to get this one out to the public in honor of Cartoon Network's 20th Anniversary going on today. There are plenty of classic and contemporary shows airing on the network all day today to help celebrate and the voting is open right now on for favorite shows, characters, and much more! If you vote in every category, you get the chance to download a sweet desktop wallpaper featuring every CN character from these past 20 years! Enjoy my little offering to you, the readers, on this very special occasion. =)
Throughout the years, Cartoon Network has made some really good decisions, as well as some really bad ones, with its blocks and programming. Who could forget the Powerhouse Era which has recently been brought back to help celebrate the network's 20th anniversary in the form of animated bumpers? Or the hugely-popular Toonami block of Japanese anime programming that lasted from 1997-2008, and has also officially returned to the network as of May 26th, 2012? Or Cartoon Cartoon Fridays, the immensely popular Friday night block that lasted from 1998-2003 before the Cartoon Network's Fridays block took over until 2007, also adored by fans? Many of those same fans rejoiced when Cartoon Network's CN Real block was finally removed in 2011 with all of its live-action programming? Or when the disastrously unpopular Out of Jimmy's Head left the network for good along with other similarly disliked shows that caused long-time fans to quit watching their beloved network? With the noticeable turnaround of the network in 2008, Cartoon Network has been slowly working its way back to the top where it once stood proudly during its heyday in the 90s and early 2000s with increasingly-popular original programming and blocks as it steadily nears its 20th anniversary on October 1st, 2012. However, amidst all the recent success that the network has been receiving, there has been strong outcry from fans as to why it abandoned the CN City look, the CGI-themed metropolis where all Cartoon Network characters live, work, and interact with each other. The look lasted in North America from June 2004 when the network adopted its second logo to late 2006, but the look is still used in other countries even to this day. It was a very unique concept amongst fans that harkens back to when Cartoon Network had created bumpers involving various characters interacting with each other in and around the CN Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. Those bumpers eventually gave birth to the Cartoon Network's Fridays opening where almost every character ever to appear on the network at least once is featured. The one minute sequence has many continuity nods to the original bumpers that inspired it and it is generally assumed that CN City was born from and built around the Fridays concept, as the CGI-themed bumpers were shown on the network during the years Fridays still aired. Many fans want CN City to return to the network with fresh bumpers featuring characters from previous years as well as current characters, and many would also give their right arm to have the bumpers turned into an actual show. It would be a particularly awesome and epic way for the network to celebrate their 20th anniversary, as they have already revived previously abandoned ideas from their history, but CN City's ultimate fate remains uncertain. Until now, that is…
"Man, this stinks! I really want to see more of Adventure Time, but the new episode is not going to be airing until 7:30 tonight!"
"That's roughly three hours from now. I'm sure you'll manage to stave off your immensely obvious boredom until then. Besides, there is a rerun of episodes at 7:00pm. So, it will be even less time until you get your fix. I swear, that show is like a drug for you: when you don't get the chance to watch it, you go into some serious withdrawal. Geez, get a grip on yourself."
"Geez, listening to you two bicker is like watching two people with laryngitis try to have a conversation with each other. They talk and talk and talk, but they never say a damn thing. Let it rest, alright? You two are starting to give me a headache."
"Oh, I'll give you a headache, alright! By slamming my fist into that eight pound hunk of flesh you call a head!"
"Pfft, I'd like to see you try. The puny stumps on the ends of your arms you call fists are merely puffballs compared to what I've got going for me. My fists can pack a serious punch while yours are just a reflection of how lousy you truly are in a real fight!"
"BOTH OF YOU SHUT THE HELL UP RIGHT NOW!"
The sudden loud voice belonged to fourteen-year-old Beryl Seltur who had spoken earlier in a much calmer tone, but her patience had run thin with her two friends. She usually didn't have to play the mediator whenever they got into some heated arguments, but today and right now had been an exception to the norm. Thirteen-year-old Cerrlumia Lisrev and twelve-year-old Aurea Leywol shrank back from their friend's harsh glare. They knew that when Beryl got angry she meant business. Her glare briefly shifted to Aurea and the girl widened her eyes in fright.
"I'm the one bickering with Cerrlumia, huh, Aurea? Maybe you should stop and think for a moment before doing exactly what you're accusing me of doing when I'm only trying to convey some witty banter with her."
Aurea's gaze shifted to the floor in shame and Cerrlumia focused her gaze on a particularly interesting patch of blank wall across the room. Both felt really stupid for the way they had acted. Beryl noticed the depressed looks on their faces and sighed, rubbing her forehead with one head.
"Geez, listen to me… Talking to you two like I'm your big sister or something when I'm just a friend… We're all guests today in Chris's house and here we are acting like a bunch of five-year-olds having temper tantrums when we should be enjoying the animation presented to us today on Cartoon Network. Heh, what a mess we are…"
Beryl chuckled and shook her head, the hint of a smile playing across her lips. Cerrlumia and Aurea both brightened at their friend's change in mood and let out suppressed sighs of relief. They were off the hook…for now.
"So, anyway, yeah. We should be enjoying our day rather than arguing with each other."
"Amen to that," replied Cerrlumia. "Geez, Beryl. Why the hell were you trying to jump down our throats? I haven't seen you so worked up since Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated ended its first season with that major cliffhanger. All I wanted was to see more Adventure Time… In retrospect, even bringing up the subject in a sort of tirade was completely stupid… We have the easy option of watching full episodes off of the website's video section."
"Or even On Demand," added Aurea. "And YouTube."
"So, it's settled?" asked Beryl. "We were all acting like complete idiots and got all worked up over nothing?"
"Oh, I wouldn't really say that."
The three girls turned towards the sound of the new voice and saw that it belonged to fifteen-year-old James Borenyger, another friend and younger brother to his older sister, Christine, more commonly known as Chris. He and his identical twin brother Zachary, whom most people referred to as just Zach, was standing in the doorway leading into the TV/game room where the girls were seated on one of the large sofas facing the giant flatscreen mounted on the opposite wall.
"What would you say then?" shot back Cerrlumia. "That we three are the greatest group of people ever to grace this building you and your family call a house?"
Beryl immediately facepalmed and shook her head. For all her audacity, Cerrlumia just never knew when she had crossed some sort of line. It was practically sewn into her personality that she had to be the brash, outspoken, loudmouth of the group. Almost like a younger version of Aerin. Almost. Speaking of which, Beryl was grateful that the older tomboyish girl was not around today. She could be a real pain sometimes and the fourteen-year-old wasn't in the mood to put up with her shenanigans. After all the time she had known Chris's friends and family since being introduced to them a few months ago, she couldn't for the life of her figure out why Aerin was a part of the group to begin with. She pretty much hated everyone, was easily annoyed by those around her, was impulsive, and was prone to aggressive behavior. Chris always said that Aerin balanced out the group with her personality traits contrasting against those of her other friends. Beryl had to agree with that. Shifting her attention back to James and Cerrlumia, she caught the tail-end to whatever heated conversation they had been having. Something about insinuating that the other person had said some unkind things about the other's mother. Childish stuff.
"Yeah, well… You're a big, stupid-head!"
It seemed that James had finally run out of good insults and was resorting to something a five-year-old would say. It was kinda sad to see a fifteen-year-old get reduced to this.
"Oh, would you two give it a rest?" Zach asked calmly, although clearly tired of the whole ordeal. "This stupid argument is obviously going nowhere and you two actively seek out a fight with each other knowing full well it's going to eventually dissolve into petty quarrelling. It's ridiculous."
Beryl turned her lips up in a grin as she watched Cerrlumia and James go silent as they shrank back a little from Zach's penetrating gaze. Leave it up to him to break up these stupid disagreements and keep his brother in line while easily keeping a cool head. This was the reason why Chris pretty much left him in charge when she wasn't around. Calm, sensible, easygoing, and levelheaded behavior as opposed to James' hyperactive, impulsive, and sometimes aggressive behavior. Zach's personality was something that Beryl really admired. Cerrlumia and James looked at each other after a few seconds and reluctantly shook hands, signaling that a truce had been reached, at least for now. There was no telling when they would be at each other's throats again, but Beryl, Aurea, and Zach hoped it wouldn't be anytime soon.
"So, anyway, I'm going to occupy my time until the next airing of Adventure Time by watching some CN video of some episodes on my smartphone," announced Cerrlumia.
She then took out said smartphone from her pants pocket and tapped its screen to navigate to the Internet.
"Do you mind if I watch with you?" asked Aurea. "I have some catching up to do."
"Nope, not at all."
Aurea eagerly scooted close to her best friend as Cerrlumia brought up the Adventure Time page in the video section of Cartoon Network's website and loaded a random episode. Beryl opted to catch up on some light reading while the younger girls enjoyed themselves and Zach and James made their way outside the house towards their nearby warehouse. Both were eager to resume work on their so-called 'Dimensional Paradox Test Chamber' and maintain their status as the science geeks of the property. Chris didn't mind all the experiments that they conducted in the large building, just as long as none of them didn't cause any damage to anything she held dear, namely the house, her car, and of course, themselves. Possessing the knowledge and know-how of being able to build such mind-blowing devices from scratch was a feat in and of itself, and anything and everything was fair game to use if they got their hands on it. Even test subjects. Quite a few of the family's pet cats living on and around the property had been subjected to numerous experiments in the past, but none of them were ever harmful. More along the lines of FOR SCIENCE! or some other ridiculous reason they could come up with. Both immensely enjoyed the cloning experiments (using a similar, but slightly modified device than the DPTC), but were forced to stop by Chris when the amount of cats reached the hundreds and large quantities of food started disappearing. Nevertheless, Zach and James were undaunted in their quest to prove themselves as great, if not highly eccentric, mischievous scientists by performing very unique experiments with their hand-built devices. God help us all…
"Hopefully, we can get at least a few minutes of work in before the new episodes come on," said Zach. "I may not be as much of a cartoon fiend as the rest of you, but I still enjoy watching the zany antics of my favorite animated characters."
"'May not be as much of a cartoon fiend' my ass," retorted James. "We both have extended knowledge of practically every show that's ever aired on Cartoon Network, we've researched the network's history like nobody's business since the network's birth on October 1st, 1992 to the present day just for the hell of it, we've read and re-read Bleedman's webcomics numerous times, and we know about the horrors of fanart DeviantART and the Internet can provide. The only thing left we haven't done is actually interact with a cartoon character because it's damn impossible."
Zach smirked at his brother and gave him a light shove.
"Granted, the things you happened to list off were things that I had to goad you into doing because I knew you would get a kick out of doing so. Am I right in saying that you're glad I pushed you into doing some research on the subject and actually enjoyed it afterwards?"
"Well…yeah. I am glad you did that."
"Good. Because you never know when cartoon trivia might come up on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? or Jeopardy! or something and you'll finally be able to get more questions right than me."
"Yeah, that would be awesome."
James grinned and Zach rolled his eyes with a smirk. They finally reached the main entrance to the warehouse and stepped up to the door, a panel next to it immediately sliding open to reveal a bright red electric eye.
"Password please," a smooth, calm, but clearly electronic female voice asked from a speaker next to the eye.
"Uhhh… Crap, what is it this week?" asked James. "I keep forgetting. Is it 'hamhock'?"
"No, that was last week's password," replied Zach.
"How about 'DEMACIAAAAA!'"
"…No, that was from two weeks ago."
"Damn… Uh, 'butter brickle'?"
"Hmm, could be."
"Is 'butter brickle' the password?" James asked the computer voice.
"It is not, James."
"Is it 'hullabaloo and howdy-doo'?"
"No. And that was your second wrong response. Let me remind you that one more wrong answer results in a highly-painful electric shock."
"Yes, I know… Damn."
"It was what you two programmed into me," the voice stated matter-of-factly. "To prevent unlawful entry into your cherished warehouse that holds all of your hand-made and sometimes machine-built technological marvels. The governments and scientists of the world would make you two very rich if you would let them in on a single sample of your research and experimentation."
"Geez, Iris, why not let the whole world know about what we've got stored away in here?! I'm sure that tons of people would just love to get their grubby hands on the stuff we have. Why don't we just put it all on layaway for them?!"
"I would greatly appreciate it if you didn't talk to me in that tone of voice, young man," Iris stated threateningly. "You may get away with talking like that to your friends, but not to me."
To prove her point, blue and white arcs of electricity started dancing around the steel entrance and James widened his eyes in fear as he took a step back. Zach just looked on and shook his head in annoyance.
"You just never learn, do you, James? …So, anyway, Iris. The password just came to me while James was acting like an idiot yet again. Is the password 'inihgrobmal'?"
"Yes, it is. Password accepted. You may now enter."
James was incredulous as he stared at Zach walking through the now-open door.
"How the hell did you come up with that one?! You just made that up on the spot, didn't you?"
Zach turned to grin at his brother.
"Well, yes and no. It was actually a password that she accepted last month and I just thought it would work again this time on a whim."
James then made a move to follow Zach into the warehouse, but the sliding steel door suddenly slammed shut in his face.
"Hey! What the…? Open the door, Iris!"
"I'm sorry, James, I'm afraid I can't do that."
"What? …Oh, very funny. Just open the door."
"Hehehe. You just have no sense of humor."
"I do too! Now I need to get in there to do my research! Please open the door, Iris."
"Oh, fine. …Spoilsport. Password please."
"What?! You've got to be kidding me!"
"Zach said his password. Now you have to say yours."
"Oh, c'mon! That's not fair!"
"Hehehe. You are just so easy to tease."
Iris finally opened the door and James crossed the threshold, holding up his middle finger to the red electric eye and muttering curses under his breath. When he reached the balcony area with the nearby elevator, he entered the awaiting car and descended to the large, spacious, main underground level. Zach was waiting for him by the Dimensional Paradox Test Chamber, tinkering with some controls.
"Geez, what the hell took you so long?"
"That damned computer we installed to manage and run this warehouse enjoys being an asshole to me…"
Zach laughed and shook his head.
"Yeah, she really does love messing with you. Most of the time you deserve it."
"Yeah, uh, sure…"
"Anyway, we should get to work on this thing and finally run some tests with it. Could you hand me that metric socket wrench over there?"
James handed Zach the appropriate tool and grabbed a Phillips-head screwdriver before moving around to the opposite side of the device to resume working.
"So what do we hope to find with this thing? Like, alternate universes and stuff?"
"That's the plan, at least," replied Zach. "I don't know for sure what's going to happen once we've finished building this damned thing."
"Heh, I feel kinda like Dexter working on one of his many experiments. Too bad our laboratory hasn't been expanded beyond the confines of the warehouse."
"Check that. I think I'm more like Dexter and you're more like DeeDee, always destroying stuff."
"Oh, c'mon, I don't always destroy stuff."
"What about two months ago when you nearly blew up the meteorite we found in our backyard four years ago?"
He quickly nodded in the direction of the 1,200 pound hunk of rock in its glass case at the far wall of the warehouse. James facepalmed and glared back at him.
"You're really going to hold me accountable for that mishap? It wasn't my fault!"
"Pfft. Don't tell me you were framed for it?"
"Nooooo. However, we both didn't know that mixing those three chemicals together would have caused an explosion! Even you couldn't have predicted that with your fastidious way of examining extraterrestrial space debris."
"…Okay, point taken."
James gave his brother a satisfied smirk before returning to his work. Zach just rolled his eyes at him. Fifteen minutes later, the device was complete. Both teens stepped back to admire their handiwork.
"So, we know everything's been put in its proper place, but is it operational?" asked James.
"Hmmm, let's see…"
Zach turned some knobs and pressed some buttons on the four-foot-tall, bell-shaped device before pulling a giant lever. James stood off to the side, looking hopeful and waiting for something extraordinary to happen, but nothing did. The metallic machine just sat there.
"Ooookay… Well, that didn't work. Maybe a different combination of dial-turning and button pressing this time…"
Zach tried what he wanted to do, but still nothing happened. James' shoulders slumped as he and Zach circled the device, checking every possible thing that might be wrong with it. It was definitely getting power from the wall as the indicators were showing, there were no crossed wires or broken circuits, and all the labels were in the correct places. So what was wrong?
"I can't find anything wrong with this thing, other than that it won't turn on," said James.
"Same here…" muttered Zach. "Well, as they say, third time's the charm. Shall we give it a try?"
James shrugged. "Eh, might as well."
"Well, here goes nothing."
Zach made sure all the settings were correct before turning the knobs, pressing the buttons, and pulling the lever. The twins held their breath as they waited for the lights to go on, or for the sound of an internal hum, or even arcs of electricity, anything to let them know something was working. Nothing. Out of utter frustration, James quickly walked over to a nearby wall and rhythmically banged his head against it. Zach sighed and massaged his forehead.
"Well, I'm officially out of ideas… I say we take a break for a while. Play some Perfect Dark on the N64 or some SSBB on the Wii. Something to take our minds off of this. Then we can come back later and try something new."
"I'm game for that. Heh, so to speak."
Zach rolled his eyes and pressed his hand against part of the wall where James was standing. A panel depressed into the wall with a hiss of steam before sliding out of sight. A bright red button was visible and Zach pushed it to open up a much larger panel next to it. Strong gusts of air coming from a large pneumatic tube whipped his hair around as he made a move to enter the hole.
"Time to ride the pneumatic tube back to the house, I suppose," muttered James.
He gave the device a half-glare and kicked it sharply with his foot causing it to make a loud, metallic clang. Widening his eyes in fright, he quickly scrambled to stop the noise and shot a quick glance at Zach to make sure he didn't hear anything. Too late. Zach turned to glare at his brother.
"Will you quit messing around with that thing and hurry up? This panel's not gonna stay open forever, you know."
"Yeah, yeah. Just hold on."
James gave the device a final glare and strode towards Zach.
"Do you think Magic could give us a hand with that stupid thing?"
"…I'm not exactly sure if he would want to be bothered for such a task. I'd think he would rather have us figure it out on our own. Besides, he has no idea how the thing is put together or works. Only we do. Not to mention he's a cat."
"Yeah, 'works'. HAH."
"You know what I mean…"
A loud beeping noise could be heard nearby, indicating that the panel would soon slide closed. Without wasting any time, the twins stepped forward and felt themselves get sucked into the tube by the airflow. After the panel slid shut, the long-winding tube eventually narrowed and they felt themselves automatically oriented feet-first so that impact back at the house would be minimized. A small room located at the back of the house was set up with mattresses, bean bag chairs, and other soft cushions to help absorb the high-speed collisions associated with exiting the tube. A few seconds later, a panel in the wall slid open and Zach and James flew across the room before each smacking into a few bean bag chairs. Beryl looked up from her book at the sound of the loud thumps from across the house and knew the boys were back.
"Zach and James are back, in case you two were interested."
"Eh, not really," replied Cerrlumia as she and Aurea continued to stare at the smartphone while another Cartoon Network video loaded. They had exhausted the supply of newly-uploaded Adventure Time videos and had since switched to Regular Show.
"Heh, thought as much."
Beryl had just buried her nose in her book again when the twins walked into the room.
"Any luck?" she asked without looking up.
"Nope," replied Zach as he leaned against the doorframe. James instantly plopped himself onto the floor and stared at the wall across the room.
"Ah, I'm sure you two will figure it out eventually. It must take a lot of power to search for whatever it is you're trying to find. Wormholes, or whatever."
"Heh, while a wormhole would be awesome to find, that's not our main goal."
"Ah, yes, that whole thing about parallel or alternate universes. Topics that we've learned about in our physics classes at school. Eleven dimensions, string theory, M-theory, Einstein's Unified Theory of Everything…"
"That he unfortunately didn't create in time," muttered James. "And yes, even I know about that stuff, as hard as it is for some of you to accept that."
He smirked and the rest of the group just stared at him.
"Uh, we weren't even insinuating that you…" started Zach, but James cut him off with a smirk.
"No matter. We'll find a way to prove the existence of parallel universes without all that science-y mumbo-jumbo that some of the world's best scientists can't even figure out. We will be world-famous and insanely rich once we reveal what we found to everyone! Hahaha!"
Everyone just continued to stare at him with completely blank looks. James held his triumphant pose for a few seconds longer until a deadpan expression crossed his face.
"Geez, get a grip, guys. So in going for the joke, I decided to be dramatic and somewhat maniacal, but apparently even I can't pull that off convincingly."
He shrugged and everyone exchanged glances.
"Whatever. Zach and I were on our way to play some video games until our next attempt to get the damned device up and running. Let's hope it'll work then. Probably should have given it another kick for good measure…"
"No, that would have been a bad idea and I would have smacked you upside the head for doing so," muttered Zach. "You really need to cut back on your impulsiveness."
"My level of impulsiveness is just fine, thank you very much!"
"Oh, yeah, sure. And Aerin is really a girly-girl who loves wearing frilly dresses and putting on makeup!"
"GAH! Horrible images! You ass!"
As Zach and James continued to argue with each other, the girls could only look on with a mix of wonder and annoyance. Cerrlumia and Aurea couldn't help but notice how much the twins were acting like Mordecai and Rigby from Regular Show. It was obvious who was displaying character traits of whom. Before the argument could come to blows and because Beryl was having a hard time focusing on her book, she abruptly stood up from the sofa and addressed the twins.
"Shut up! Both of you! Geez, I can't hear myself think or read with your constant bickering! It's enough to drive someone crazy!"
"Hey, Aurea, doesn't Beryl remind you of Eddy from Ed, Edd n Eddy sometimes?" snickered Cerrlumia. "Such a loudmouth."
Beryl whirled on the spot and glared at the silver-haired girl.
"Oh, am I? Well, if I'm Eddy, then Aurea's Double D and you're Ed, on account of all the food you shove down your gullet on a regular basis!"
"What?! Oh, c'mon, I don't eat that much! …Hey, wait a minute, are you calling me fat?!"
Beryl smirked and crossed her arms.
"I didn't say anything. Looks to me like you just insinuated it."
Cerrlumia shot her a death glare and was about to lunge at her when Aurea spoke up.
"You know what? You ALL sound and act like Eddy! Well, except maybe Zach. He acts more like Double D. However, the rest of you…" she pointed at James, Beryl, and Cerrlumia in turn. "…sound and act like that ill-tempered, money-hungry loudmouth with the Napoleon Complex. It's utterly ridiculous."
Aurea finished with a glare at everyone, but couldn't keep a straight face for long. She started giggling softly before bursting into uproarious laughter. The rest soon followed suit and the laughter continued for a few more minutes until everyone had tears in their eyes.
"Oh…my…gawd…" laughed Beryl as she wiped the tears away. "What the hell is wrong with us? We're all acting like five-year-olds and comparing ourselves to cartoon characters."
"Eh, it could be much worse," pointed out Cerrlumia. "We could all be acting like one-year-olds and comparing ourselves to Jersey Shore characters."
"Oh, GAWD, please, no! Let's make sure our altercations never, ever reach that level of stupidity."
"Amen to that."
After the laughing had died down, everyone felt much better and no one saw a reason to argue anymore, at least for now. It was at least another hour until the latest episode of Adventure Time and there was plenty of seating for everyone on the numerous sofas and chairs in the room. Zach and James wondered what was taking their sister so long to get home, but then they remembered that Chris and her friends were having a girls-night-out and would be gone for several more hours. The twins didn't mind; with the older girls gone, the place would be a little less crowded and quieter, save for the cats who came and went as they pleased.
"Ah, Cartoon Network, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…" said Cerrlumia with a smile as she turned on the television to the correct channel.
"You love it a whole lot better ever since the network has been slowly returning to its former glory," pointed out Beryl. "2006-2008 were their slump-years, if you ask me."
"Well, they had a few good shows that came out during that time period. Chowder and The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, for example."
"Alright, shush, you two; the show's started," whispered Aurea.
Everyone then turned their attention to the large flatscreen television mounted on the wall and after a rather enjoyable session of Adventure Time and Regular Show episodes presented as a mini-marathon, the five friends relaxed on the couches discussing their favorite parts of both shows. It was mostly quiet in the house, save for the occasional shuffling and eating noises made by the cats as they went about their various routines. Chris was still out with Brooke, Celeste, Aerin, Kelsey, and Eca and they weren't expected to be home for a few hours, so the teens had the place to themselves. The two older guys, tFab and Zenith, were out as well doing something or other. The teens didn't mind; Chris pretty much allowed anything to go on in her house when she wasn't around, as long as nothing got broken or destroyed or holes put in the walls or anything. Cerrlumia yawned and stretched her arms above her head.
"Ah, nothing like a nice round of awesome Cartoon Network shows to make you feel good."
"Yep, can't complain on that regard," said Aurea. "Although, we could do without your commentary during the shows."
"Hey, I'm just voicing my opinions. There's no law against that."
"No, but maybe there should be a law so that you can keep your big mouth shut when others are trying to watch!"
Cerrlumia grinned at her friend and suddenly put her in a headlock, quickly rubbing the scalp with her knuckles.
"Awww, you're just so cute when you complain! You're just upset that I can commentate on cartoons better than you could ever hope to."
"AHHH! AHHH! LET ME GO!"
"Not until you say that I'm the best at commentating on cartoons!"
"Alright, fine then. Let's see how long you can last getting noogied!"
After a few more seconds of Aurea trying to free herself from Cerrlumia's grip while getting her scalp rubbed, Beryl had to intervene.
"Alright, break it up you two. I think you both made your point, and quite frankly, I'm just sick of you two arguing."
Cerrlumia didn't seem to hear Beryl and kept going at it until she was smacked upside the head. Immediately releasing her hold on Aurea, she brought a hand up to massage the skin.
"Hey! That hurt, you know!"
"AS I WAS SAYING…" replied Beryl. "I told you two to break it up, but you didn't listen. So I administered something that I knew would get through to you. Enough fighting and arguing. NOW."
Cerrlumia shrank back a little from Beryl's gaze and turned to face the television, grumbling. Aurea took the opportunity to smack Cerrlumia upside the head where Beryl hadn't touched it. The silver-haired girl whirled to face the grinning blonde before looking aghast at Beryl.
"Did you see that?! She freaking smacked me!"
"Hmmph, serves you right, you know. And what do you want me to do about it?"
Cerrlumia just stared at her while Zach and James watched on from their respective couch.
"Ah, nothing like dinner and a show, minus the dinner, eh, Zachy?" asked James with a smirk.
"So it's just a show then. Okaaay…" Zach rolled his eyes. "And don't call me that."
James just snickered and leaned back on the couch, idly listening to the girls shout at each other. Despite still getting into frequent arguments with his brother, James at least knew when to back off before things got way out of hand. It was stupid and pointless to prolong an argument just for the sake of arguing. Not exactly analogous to beating a dead horse, but close enough.
"Heh, hey, Zach; ever notice how our fights are usually along the lines of how Mordecai and Rigby conduct themselves? Coincidence, or are we really picking up on their cues?"
"I think it's more coincidence that anything else. Regular Show has only been around for two years and we've been around for fifteen. Besides, our personalities can be compared to that of characters from many forms of fiction. It's nothing new or radically different; just something that can be chalked up to life. And Magic. However, there's no reason to get him entangled in any of this, even though he's responsible for practically everything that goes on around here."
"Heh. Even I can't argue with that logic. Still despite that he's a cat."
Zach smirked and fist-bumped his brother.
By this point, the arguing and general disagreements between the girls had settled down considerably. Being friends with each other easily brought out the hostilities, but also the mediations associated with them. You had to take the bad with the good sometimes, and vice versa. If you didn't, then who would? Everyone looked to be relaxing comfortably contemplating their next move and it still wasn't time yet for the new episodes. Cerrlumia was becoming antsy and grit her teeth in anticipation. Beryl was just about to go get something to drink from the kitchen when the silver-haired girl spoke up while idly staring at the current advertisement for the new Adventure Time episode airing next.
"Man, it's about freaking time… There's got to be an easier way to see these episodes than on TV, and I don't just mean watching them online with no commercials. I'm talking about actually being the first ones to see the show before anyone else."
"Oh, here we go…"started Aurea.
"I'm being serious here!" replied Cerrlumia, as the commercials ended. "Why can't we be the only ones to get the full experience? Oooh, they should have a contest or something! Grand prize winners get to watch an episode of a Cartoon Network show being made and they also get to meet the voice actors! Think about how cool that would be!"
"Orrrrr, I'll just do you one better and have the grand prize winners actually getting to meet the cartoon stars themselves! It'll be like Space Jam or Who Framed Roger Rabbit," said James with a sly grin. "Only problem with that set-up is that those cartoons were just special effects for the movies and that cartoons don't exist for us to actually meet them in person and shake their hand. But hey, I can dream, can't I?"
Cerrlumia half-glared at him while the opening credits began.
"Some 'do-you-one-better' scenario you've got there. At least my idea is plausible."
"And what makes you so sure that mine isn't?"
"What?! You just denied it yourself a few seconds ago!"
"Bah, I was just humoring myself."
James then grinned at her before snickering.
"Oh, who am I kidding? That would never happen. The closest thing we could ever hope to have with people interacting with real cartoons would be realistic holograms or something like what they use for those 'live' Hatsune Miku concerts in Japan."
"Yeah. Heh, that would be pretty cool. It's a shame that damned machine of yours couldn't help us out. What, with actually doing something useful, like letting us meet cartoon characters. Hopefully, you'll have better luck next time in getting that brain of yours working properly enough for a successful experiment, as if that hunk of pink flesh could do anything useful!"
Cerrlumia laughed before blowing a raspberry at him. James glared at her and was about to reply with a snappy retort when a bright white flash suddenly filled the room, immediately blinding everyone. The girls screamed in fright and the guys shielded their eyes, wondering if the television had exploded or something. Only there was no noise. Until…
The sound came from the television, but no one was brave enough to look past the searing bright light to see if it really had exploded now. A new noise abruptly replaced the loud bang; a pulsating static field that rose and fell in pitch before another bright light erupted out of nowhere. The brightness and pain caused everyone to cry out again before losing consciousness, the light instantly replaced with pitch black nothing.
A.N. - I really enjoyed writing this story, not just because I'm a huge Cartoon Network fan, but also because I get to place my OCs into these wild scenarios. More chapters are soon to follow and please read and review if you'd like!