Music and Games OR In Which No Good Deed goes Unpunished
"He's late. Think he's okay?"
Hansen shrugged as he leaned back in the recliner. Leon was late. The world was round. Nothing new. At least he was able to get a few seconds of rest before his partner showed up and explained why Nate had to play understudy. It was odd though. The common room usually would not be the place to rest because very rarely was the common room empty. Even during peak crime times, the rooms on each floor would be packed with characters. Most of the time they were playing videogames or watching movies and sports. Some characters managed to read and often female characters found the common room a perfect place to gossip since the rooms were often loud with shouts, cheers, or boos. However, as Hansen scanned the room for his fellow head-shot guy, he realized he could count on one hand the number of people in the common room. One was a red/purple-haired anime character from Yu Yu Hakusho reading a book in the corner. Then there was Nate and himself. The TV was off and the moon shone in through the open window onto him and Nate.
Instead of picking a chair like a mature adult, Nate had collapsed into a beanie-bag. The scene was made even more amusing since the bag was hot pink. Unfortunately, the comedy was weakened by the fact that Nate looked like he had a few close calls at the firing range. The videogame character was covered in dust and grime with a few spots of blood to add to the effect of the tired treasure seeker or harassed firearm instructor.
Eventually, the red-haired anime left the room. Around the same time, Hansen realized music was playing. Funny, he didn't even know that the station played music in the rooms before. He doubted anyone knew that fact. He tilted his head slightly as the music reached the chorus before smiling.
"Hey Nate. They're playing your song."
Nate, who had just about to fall asleep, frowned as he open his eyes to stare at Hansen. He closed his eyes again as he listened to the sound. His eyes shot open and he glared at Hansen although there was a smirk on his face as he whined, "What is it with you and Leon saying that I need a job? I've got one babysitting you two."
Hansen smiled as the Offspring song continued to play. The joke started ages ago before Leon was declared an enforcer and Nate was taken off the raids unless he was playing understudy. The three had just been assigned together and knew nothing about each other. Thankfully, they managed to avoid the whole 'I'm a macho fictional guy and only make friends through violence' thing and got down to business right away. They found the author, kicked in the door, arrested him, scanned his computer, and took him to HQ. While reading through the files so they could use the information in court, the boys had found a file called "Characters Themes". As the title suggested, the file was a list of fictional characters and their 'themes' according to the author. Leon had two songs assigned to him as well as a band. Nate meanwhile had a band and a single song (although he shared the band with some guys named Ramna.) Hansen had been on the list but no theme had been included. Apparently, the author had been arrested before finding a song that matched Hansen. For the next two weeks, Leon was defined as emo, Nate as a free-loader, and Hansen as lucky. After the two weeks passed, the topic was rarely brought up again except at random moments when one of the boy's songs was playing.
The Offspring song finally faded into one by Harlequin and Nate leaned back into the beanie bag with a sigh of relief. "Give me five minutes to recharge and then we'll go looking for him. The guy is probably with his girlfriend and happy to finally have her cornered for once."
Hansen nodded and like Nate, he closed his eyes as he relaxed in the chair. However, if he considered the lyrics of Leon's second theme, he would have realized just how much danger his partner was in.
"It's now or never," Leon muttered as he studied the area he and Terry were trapped in. Large and disturbingly drawn anime eyes watched his and Terry's every movement. Darkness sealed the area between the eyes and made it impossible to run in any direction. The room they had been standing in had disappeared to be replaced with this 'Game World,' as Terry called it. Although Leon had only seen two Shadow Games (one on TV and the other in real life), he never saw anything like this. When Yami had announced the game, Leon had been expecting a game of cards, a test of greed, nothing that required being transported to this world especially since no enforcer was going to interfere. When Yami explained the rules, Leon was still confused.
The rules were simple. One gun. Six chambers. Four bullets. Two survivors. No one to interfere. If Yami was one of them, another game would begin. Basically, they were going to play Russian roulette. Again, it wasn't a game that required transport to this world. The only reason Leon could think of for the move was intimidation. In that case, Yami obviously wasn't the game master he was reputed to be. A survival horror character and a character whose inspiration was the night were not going to be put off by darkness and a few eyeballs. Even the random bursts of static from Leon's radio did nothing except make him feel a bit more at home. The only questions were where was the gun and bullets they would use for the game and when would it start?
Yami had been still since they arrived in this heart of darkness. The only hint the anime was still alive was the glowing gold pendant on his chain. He was waiting for something. What was it though? For a gun and bullets to fall from the sky? Or for another person to appear to play the game? Or was this another tactic to scare them?
It wasn't going to work, Leon swore to himself. The rules were simple and no amount of fear could change them. You picked up the gun, put it to your head (blocking fan fiction flashbacks while doing so), pull the trigger, and pray. No one was allowed to interfere and no one would. Only two would live while one would die. Simple. Waiting for the game to start wasn't going to change anything. Leon wouldn't start worrying until he had the weapon in his hand. He was a game character. Death happened often, you moved on.
'Except those checkpoints and save files don't apply here,' a little voice reminded him of a fact he tried to ignore daily. This time, the voice added something new, 'And your weapons automatically have the bullet in the firing chamber.'
Leon swallowed, trying to ignore the face his mouth had gone dry. Crap. He had forgotten about that. That must have been why Yami had picked Russian roulette. It would be an easy way to pick off Leon leaving him free to play a different game with Terry. Damn it. His best advantage had just changed into a fatal hindrance. It didn't matter what weapon Yami used because the moment Leon touched it, his reality would 'overwrite' the reality of the weapon. After it was removed from his dead body, the reality of the weapon would return to normal. No one could explain the odd phenomenon that only appeared with videogame characters just as no one could explain why one videogame character had suddenly snapped and shot herself with a real world weapon instead of one from her own world. While the weapon was in her hand, everyone assumed she had shot herself with her own weapon. However, the moment the weapon was removed, it lost its computer generated look and larger than allowable ammo capacity. The same would happen to him.
Yami was still silent and Leon saw the logic of the move and the hesitation to start the game. Neither he nor Terry had agreed to the game. In order for the game to start, they had to consent to it. If they were still at the station, Leon would never agree to the game where he was sure to die. However, the only way to leave the Game World was to start and finish the game. By transporting them, Yami had them trapped.
'He isn't the King of Games for nothing,' Leon silently admitted. He glanced at the anime character. His eyes shifted to the shadows and then to his hands that would soon be the cause of his demise. 'It had to end sometime but at least Capcom didn't plan this one.' He closed his hands into a fist and raised his head. "You're on," the videogame character said.
The world changed once again and Leon had to admit he was thankful to see the walls of the station. Now to lose the game and get it over with. The first second passed. Yami closed his eyes but hadn't moved. No weapon appeared in his hand for them to play the game with. A second second passed. Terry shifted from foot to foot, no doubt impatient for the story to move on. Leon didn't dare take his eyes from Yami, knowing full well the anime would start the game when he pleased. There was no point getting worried. A third second passed and Yami opened his eyes. He lifted his hand and held it palm outstretched in Leon's direction.
Normally, when Leon passed his weapon to someone, he had to be holding it in his hand before he could do anything with it. However, when Yami held out his hand, the rules changed. Leon's shotgun remained in his hands. His inventory remained closed and inaccessible unless he paused for a moment. However, when Yami lifted his hand, Leon felt a shiver travel over his body. It was as if someone had ripped a piece of his code away. It didn't hurt per say but the feeling was sickening. Without checking, he knew his magnum; a weapon called the broken butterfly, had vanished from his inventory. However, he still wanted to be sure.
He forced himself to close his eyes and pause. To the world where a shadow game was waiting to start, no time passed. To a player of Resident Evil 4, a new menu would appear on their screen when they selected to view their inventory. They would see a large box on the left and a model of Leon on the right that would change depending upon on what weapon he had equipped. It was different for Leon. When asked, he would tell the questioner that he saw nothing like that menu when he decided to view his inventory. If asked what he saw, Leon would shrug and be unable to explain. Now, he unequipped his shotgun and decided against equipping another weapon. It wouldn't help him. What he wanted was time to think and the pause in the real world was all that he needed but he wanted to check something first.
As expected, the broken butterfly was gone. Its space empty. So it was the same weapon and not just a fake to mess with him and shake his confidence. Of course it didn't really matter but it was a little unnerving for someone to be able to mess with his code like that. More than a few non-videogame thief characters had complained that it took a videogame to steal from a videogame since there were all sorts of coding rules for removing things from inventories. However, Yami, an anime character who wasn't known to be a thief had managed to steal his unequipped weapon. Why? How?
It didn't matter but it would be nice to go to his grave knowing how and why. No time was passing so he could waste all the time he wanted. Hell, he could stay like this forever and avoid the shadow game completely. Couldn't he? He didn't know. That didn't matter. He wasn't going to try it. Better to get it over and done with. Besides, there might be some way out. He might not be the first one to shoot their heads off. With the weapon in Yami's hands, it would become a normal weapon, albeit an anime styled one since it wasn't originally from the real world. At that point the game would be fair and he would be happy—? Would he be okay with sitting back and watching someone shot their heads off? The rules said he couldn't interfere with the choice to fire the weapon or not but could he stand there? Maybe.
Leon blinked and found time moving once more in the real world. The anime's hand closed around the weapon and lowered the weapon so it pointed to the ground in front of him. Yami withdrew a box of bullets from his pocket and placed four bullets into the weapon.
It wasn't possi— 'No,' Leon thought as he saw anime spin the barrel. 'Don't go down that path of stereotypical anime villain. If you do that, you'll lose. (Not that you aren't going to lose anyways.) It shouldn't be possible but it has happen so deal with it now.' The weapon was in Yami's hands. It hadn't changed. It still looked like the computer generated weapon found in Resident Evil 4. An old style revolver, far more powerful than his handgun and able to headshot in one shot. And it would still fire a bullet regardless of where Yami had placed the physical bullets. Great. As if he wasn't already dead enough with his code overwriting reality. The game was far from fair now since the weapon would kill Leon or Terry without a chance. Yami must have known and planned for it. Damn it. Now what? There was no way to warn Terry and no way to get out the game. The only thing he could do now was hope he was handed the weapon first. Then he could save Terry from the fate of having his brains spread over the floor.
Leon glanced in the teen's direction to see he was shifting from foot to foot again.
"Well?" the teenager demanded. "Are we going to get on with it or not?"
Yami did not smile or hold the weapon for Leon to take as Leon had expected him to. Instead he said, "It is only fair I test myself first." The anime then raised the weapon to point at his temple. The weapon remained unchanged.
He didn't know about the automatic firing.
Before Leon could think about what affect his actions would have, he was shouting. "Don't shoot! The weapon will fire automatically!"
The anime stared at him. Leon would have thought it was out of confusion but the eyes of the anime character appeared to have no emotion.
Terry's confusion was more obvious as he turned to face Leon. The white squares that repressed his eyes on his mask wide. "Why are you telling him?"
Why? Maybe because the anime character had no idea what he was doing. Or maybe because he wanted the bullet for himself. Maybe Leon had a death wish and just wanted to die and pass into oblivion and get away from the clone Ada, the enforcers, and the hell of this world. Or maybe because he was a good man who didn't really want to see anyone die regardless of the chances of winning.
There was no time for an answer. A strange drawing of an eye had appeared on Yami's forehead. The room suddenly became dark once more and the only light was from the yellow glow of the anime's pendant and the eye on his forehead. A strong wind came from out of nowhere and tore at Leon and Terry causing them to raise their arms to protect themselves. Leon didn't remember this from any of the short shadow battles he had seen but he could guess what was coming next.
Yami did not need to guess what was going to happen. He knew and had known since the moment he had taken the weapon from the videogame character. It annoyed him slightly that the thief had been right. The one-time cop had been unable to let even a person of the enemy team take a bullet to the head unaware of the true chances of the game. Just as planned, the videogame had interfered with his choice. All that was left was the consequences of his act.
He released the firearm and let it drop to the ground, uncaring if the weapon fired in the process. Raising his arm, he pointed at the two males. The words came easy to his lips although he was aware the Japanese would fly over the videogame's head. Something else he could blame his creators for. Maybe if he hadn't been programmed as a cop he wouldn't be facing this punishment game. Meanwhile the change from Dan Green to Megumi Ogata would confuse the cartoon character.
"The yami no game is over." A small smile appeared on Yami's face as the darkness grew and began crawling up the legs of the characters before him. They did not notice due to the growing intensity of the golden light from his pendant. Soon they would be devoured by the darkness and reminded of why the FCPD existed. At that point, their darker nature would recover and destroy their light. Like Yugi.
The smile vanished and a frown replaced it. "You have interfered with my choice."
"He did it to save your life, baka!" Terry shouted, his voice also changed to match the language he was speaking in. Leon was silent.
"The Door of Darkness has opened. Say hello to your nightmares."
Before either character could react, the darkness jumped from their backs and fell over their heads like a blanket. Both forms fell to the ground, their eyes open but unseeing as they relived their first night in this world. The glow from Yami's pendant faded and the room returned to normal. Perhaps this time they wouldn't wake from the effect of the stories.
"Never have I ever… stolen a car."
Nate wasn't sure if he was thankful or resentful as he swallowed the tenth shot of the night. It sure made things easier to play this stupid game but he really was starting to wonder about the romance novel character's motives. She was watching Hansen a little too closely. Still Hansen was a grown man, able to fend for himself even without his partner. Plus the guy was basically sober. Stupid guy having only one game and no background info.
"Never have I ever taken drugs," an anime character muttered as she glanced around the room.
"Willing?" asked Nate at the same time Hansen asked, "For recreation or for life saving use?"
The girl blushed and shook her head as she whispered, "At all."
Ugh. Not even the best alcoholic beverage tasted good on the eleventh shot and the FCPD never had the good stuff. Sooner or later, Nate was going to have to switch to water again or quit. Actually quitting sounded really good right about now but that Roxy Rocket from Batman TAS would handcuff him to the chair again. No way to leave until the girl was drunk under the table and that had better be soon. Still, at least Hansen had taken a shot on that last one. Now he just had to think of something creative.
"Never have I ever," Nate paused as his mind scrambled for something. Not had a sequel. Nope. Used that already. Flew a helicopter. Nope. Hansen wasn't the one flying in his game. Been infected by some weird parasite. That weird girl had already used that one. Worked for the government? Yeah. Sure. Why not.
He grinned as Hansen took a shot. Just like Leon to miss the fun. Actually, where was Leon? He should have been back by now. Nate paused as he took another shot. Stupid motion comics, making him drink. So where was Leon? The guy went to a meeting ages ago. Hansen and Nate had gone looking for him but didn't find him. Nate was able to avoid a shot (Thank you for checkpoints!) and he continued trying to piece together how the game had started. Hansen and he were waiting for Leon, right? And the girls suggested the game? That didn't seem right. Why would he and Hansen agree to play in the first place?
Nate closed his eyes and pretended to have a headache. It wasn't much of an act since the bar of the station was filled with shouting and blasting music. Okay. They were looking for Leon. Check. They stopped in the bar? No. They were dragged into the bar. Okay good. Now what? They were forced to sit down. He vaguely remembered handcuffs. Good. Now what? Uh… Nothing. He couldn't remember the game starting. Or when the anime character arrived. Or when the romance character arrived— Oh crap! It was a set up! Roxy was probably the muscle and the romance character was probably some sick siren or something!
It was Hansen's turn to speak but Nate shot up from his seat like a bullet from a pistol. Before the girls could say a word, he shouted, "Never have I ever brainwashed two guys into leaving their partner stranded!"
The change in the romance character was instantly and Nate realized too late his drink had gone flying when he jumped up. Okay then. Something else he couldn't say the next time he played this game. Once had he ever splashed a weird vampire like chick with alcohol. Now it was time to make an exit.
He didn't even have time to think as the chick jumped at him. Just as she was about to claw his eyes out, she was suddenly knocked out of the air.
"Always getting into trouble, huh?" Leon asked as he glanced in the girls' direction. Instantly, the women disappeared from the scene leaving the three men.
"Well, duh," Nate replied with a grin on his face. He wasn't smiling a second later when Leon turned the gun on him and Hansen.
"Then you should have seen this coming. You're both under arrest."
A/N: Originally, I said I hate this chapter because every time I thought I was going somewhere it crashed into a wall and then got ran over by a gas/oil tanker and exploded. Now, I have to admit, I have a small soft spot for it. I guess it's like dealing with kids. You want to blow up at them when they don't work with you but you love them (hopefully) when they behave. Anyways, after a really long wait, the update.
Redo will be better. Mystery readers might have an idea what will happen in the redo from clues dropped earlier in the story but it would take a mind reader to put the pieces together correctly. And I'm going to stop there before I get too cocky and one of my muses decides to take me down a few pegs while I finish off this chapter.
P.S I have no idea who the romance novel character is or who the anime character is.
Disclaimer: I do not own Resident Evil, Batman Beyond, Yu-Gi-Oh, Static Shock.
Batman Beyond – A cartoon series. Fun fact, this show featured a robot who was able to impersonate any person for military purposes. The robot, named Zeta, decided he didn't want to kill anymore and went AWOL. Zeta then received his own show called "The Zeta Project". The reason why I bring this up is because Zeta helped give me the idea for my story "To be Human" which is a Resident Evil fan fiction.
Batman the Animated Series (Roxy Rocket) – a cartoon series. Roxy was a stunt actor who began obsessed with taking risks. As paraphrased or quoted, "the danger of the work became more important than the work itself."
Resident Evil – A videogame series. Another fun fact, Leon has been 'killed' off once for real in the series and was almost killed off twice. The two near misses were in Code Veronica where he was originally going to join Claire Redfield and in an old version of Resident Evil 4. Thankfully, Capcom (the game's creators) reconsidered. Also, all the resident evil games with spoken dialogue (games on the PS, GameCube, X-Box) have never been dubbed into Japanese. Instead they have Japanese subtitles while the characters speak in whatever language they do in the English releases. This is why Yami thinks Leon doesn't know Japanese. (However, Yami forgot about Resident Evil Gaiden.)
Static Shock – A comic book and cartoon series.
Yu-Gi-Oh! – A manga and anime series. Yami is one twisted guy and shadow games are a pain to write.