Hero's Duty: Code Blue Commentary

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Music Playlist

All Around the World – ATC – Chapter 11 – Formula One Xtreme is nothing but fun and pop music and champagne. This track and its video inspired the non-existent game in the first place.

Blue – Eiffel 65 – Chapters 5 & 15 - CP's theme song, and something of theme for his game itself.

Doha – Mars Lasar – Chapter 6 – Lasar is a master of creating eerily beautiful tracks and blending them with mystical vocals. This piece strikes me as the lonely song C.P. sings to the perpetual twilight in the outer reaches of Code Blue. There will be some reference to this in my upcoming story "Midnight Bliss."

Eastern Dawn – Mars Lasar – Chapter 15 – Another haunting piece by Lasar, this one with a certain creepiness to it that's perfect for the quiet moments with the sleeping Calhoun before all Hell breaks out.

Edge of the Ocean – Ivy – Chapter 18 - A hopeful song for C.P.'s recovery from the incident.

Mambo #5 – Lou Bega – Chapter 19 – I had to finish the story on a positive note with a peppy song to go with it. C.P. might be the villain, but I adore him and all his quirks.

Obsession – Animotion – Chapter 16 – The lyrics are an unbelievably perfect match for C.P.'s desperate state when he comes to the end of his rope after kidnapping Calhoun.

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"Hero's Duty: Code Blue" is my first Wreck-It Ralph fanfic and it was both fun to write and a challenge to write. I'm particularly pleased with how nicely it unfolded and refolded in a well-manicured plot. And I'm so in love with the character of C.P. He's so interesting and has so many dimensions. Over the chapters, he goes from being a Target to Blue Calhoun's Friend to the Guy Who Wants Blue Calhoun to the Playboy to the Player to the Pansy to the Jerk to the Co-Conspirator to the Hopeless Romantic to the Villain to the Guy You Feel Sorry For. At times you wish you were him, and others you're glad you aren't. Sometimes you want to snuggle him and sometimes you want to find a Code Blue assault weapon and use it. The beautiful thing is that he never comes off as schizophrenic through all of his aspects.

At the time of writing I'd not found any other stories in this archive that had a sentient Cy-Bug as a character, so I felt this story was quite original. The premise of the Hero's Duty: Code Blue game is this: A game company comes up with a successful game, Hero's Duty, and there's demand for a Hero's Duty II. So the programmers put together a rehash of the same thing to save time, gave it an end boss, and changed the color scheme slightly to set it apart from the original. Calhoun and her men all have the same programming (which is why she can so easily pass for her older twin). The Stunt Doubles were created to give the player a bit more of an option in game control (sort of in the way that the game Samurai Shodown III had "slash" and "bust" versions of the characters that were more than just a palette swap).

All five of the Stunt Doubles have names and different characteristics for gameplay: Chen, Dekker, McMillen, Riley, and Wilbert. McMillen, the one Calhoun punched in Tapper's, was the first created, though he didn't have a name until I was writing later chapters. I always envision Wilbert as the Nerd from the Robot Chicken series.

Moving into the story itself:

The opening scene and the first Tapper's scene were some of the first written, and I can just hear the two Calhoun's talking to each other, and Blue Calhoun belittling the stunt doubles. The stunt doubles crack me up because they're so completely devoted to her even though she hates them for their one job as programmed.

I never realized quite how funny Ralph's line of: "What if they were naked? No wait, I didn't say that. What if...never mind" was until I was reading the story to my boyfriend and he would have done a spit-take if he'd been drinking. It's so innocent but exactly the sort of thing a guy would think of. And it's a bit of foreshadowing for chapters 9 & 10.

There've been many shows and stories in which a character is forced to confront himself or herself in some form or another. Sometimes they love each other (my favorite example: Patalliro from Patalliro!). Sometimes they hate each other (my favorite example: Rimmer from Red Dwarf). I decided to have the Hero Twins like each other and get along great together. It would just make the future betrayal all the more painful and it would give the characters a reason to get back together.

I mention the Beholder, the big green eyeball monster that appears throughout the Wreck-It Ralph movie, most notably at Bad-Anon. Did you notice he's holding four cups of coffee? Although most sources put him as being from the game Eye of the Beholder I have him coming from the fictional game of Dragon Kingdom which is featured in a partial WIR story that I might complete someday. Dragon Kingdom is loosely based on the Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow Over Mystara game, which my brother and I will sometimes drag out and play for hours. (For you Lloyd: "Gratuitous Elf Shot!")

In the scene where C.P. takes Calhoun out to see the outer areas of Code Blue, there is something very "Nausicaa, Valley of Wind" about it. This was the first manga I fell in love with, and this was way back before most of my readers were born I suspect, back in the late 80's and early 90's

When you get to C.P.'s apartment, don't you just wish you were him? And no one squicked out about him touching Calhoun (at least no one told me they did), which really is pretty strange if you start thinking about it. And she starts to think it's strange, but the strong drinks he's serving her convince her otherwise. As said in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales: "A woman in her cups has no defense." By the way, his little bottle flip trick at the bar is basically a version of his brutal one-shot attack that he uses in the final battle.

I stumbled into Robert Sheckley's story of duplication and a possible outcome while halfway through writing this. And I thought: "Wow, this is so appropriate to what's happening in my story!" Felix is much like Dritche 1 who has great goals and noble dreams and a "why can't we all just get along" opinion. Think about it though, if there were two or three or twenty-five identical game consoles sitting in an arcade, you'd get lots of duplicate characters running around.

Finish Line and Formula One Xtreme are the two other racing games mentioned in this story besides "Sugar Rush". Finish Line is visible in the WIR movie when the Moppet Girl calls over Litwak to draw his attention to the presumed broken Fix-It Felix, Jr. game after Ralph's gone Turbo. This game will play a part in my upcoming story "Avenging Angel." F1X is my own creation and is actually based off of one of my favorite music videos. I still laugh about how I made everyone all party-happy...and champagne obsessed. It's a very lighthearted world, sort of a Sugar Rush aimed at older teens and adults.

Chapters 13 & 14 are my favorite chapters, because they've got some really cool Vanellope moments, some fun moments with the Stunt Doubles, armor, and Felix being a hero again. I love the conversations—Vanellope and Felix in the yellow car, Felix and the Stunt Doubles as he's finishing dressing, Vanellope and Ralph in the pyramid, and Felix and Blue Calhoun in the pyramid. I was worried there would be some negative feedback about Felix kissing Blue Calhoun (and him being fully aware that she's Blue Calhoun, as opposed to the night before when he had no clue), but no rabid Hero's Cuties shippers showed up at my door with pitchforks and torches. The more you read the story though and put yourself into Felix's place, the more his actions there make sense. He loves his wife, but he loves the Calhoun character. Again, he's Dritche 1. And he knows what makes her tick. He kisses her and then immediately makes it clear why he's there fighting in the pyramid.

"Heav'n has no Rage, like Love to Hatred turn'd, Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn'd." - William Congreve, from The Mourning Bride, Act III, Scene 2, 1697

C.P. = CentiPede I had his final form in mind long before writing, and didn't realize this coincidence until I began typing out the chapter. C.P. was just always short for Cy-Bug Prime.

As I wrote the Ralph & C.P. chapter, it became so obvious that there were all these parallels between the two that I'd not realized before, and it gave me all the more reinforcement for Ralph being the one in the scene. (Kudos to the anonymous reviewer who noticed that of all the people who showed up for the final fight, Ralph was missing from the list.)

I made Kohut's speech, a variant of Calhoun's, a little less demeaning to the men. He's not trying to intimidate anyone or prove anything.

The final scene, in which C.P. is entertaining some of the ladies from Niceland, was actually one of the first written. It was written as a parallel to the attempted seduction of Calhoun, to reinforce C.P.'s desire for human women, and to have C.P. back into the swing of things.

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Hero's Duty: Code Blue – The Bloopers Reel

All your favorite moments from Code Blue warped and twisted for cheap laughs!

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"Don't say anything more." Calhoun kissed him, pushing somewhat to slide him down into the water in her arms. Pausing a moment, she grinned and fumbled around trying to find the lost bar of soap with a free hand.

Felix squeaked. "That's not the soap you're grabbing!" he gasped.

"I said don't say anything more," she whispered, kissing him again.

"But it's really awkward when you're grabbing my foot like that! And it tickles!"

Calhoun snickered. "And here all the readers thought I was grabbing something else."

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"Wait, so there's a Cy-Bug character in Code Blue?" asked Felix.

"Yep. Something else, eh?" answered Blue Calhoun.

Calhoun quickly drank the rest of her rootbeer. "How do you manage not to shoot him...off-duty?"

"We don't. Poor guy's got more holes in him than a piece of Swiss cheese pinned to an archery target."

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The four sat down amongst the lollipops and watched the race, the two Calhouns snickering and whispering to each other all through. Ralph kept feeling the hair on the back of his neck prickle.

"You know what they say about a guy with big hands?" whispered one Calhoun suggestively to the other.

"No, what's that?" came the response with feigned innocence.

"Big gloves!"

The two fell over with laughter and Ralph heaved a sigh.

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Blue Calhoun ran through the train and hit the button to open the far door. "C.P.! C.P.? Are you okay?" she called from the other platform.

From the serviceway four blue compound lights rose. "I'm not dead yet!" came the timid and tinny voice of the Cy-Bug Prime.

"C.P., are you all right?"

He crawled out of the dark passage, oily blue blood dripping like paint from several bullet holes around his eyes and mouth. "I'm getting better!"

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For Umbreon:

Noticing Calhoun watching, C.P. called to her. "Hey, c'mere. Watch this." He grabbed another bottle from the glass shelves behind him and placed it on its side to keep it from rolling off. Calhoun swaggered over and sat on one of the barstools. C.P. put his claw at the neck of the bottle and gave it a strong enough tap to start it spinning. Then he brought his claw down sharply onto the neck, which flipped it up into the air. The bottle somersaulted upwards, and on coming down it dropped behind him on the floor and shattered. "Um...uh...let me try that again."

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There came the feeling of being tugged in twenty different directions at once, the sound of flipping buckles and catches, the sudden bracing weightlessness of losing her armor, and the whirring of a rapidly moving Cy-Bug. And suddenly it all ceased, and Calhoun opened her eyes. There, scattered in a pile about her was her heavy hi-tech suit, except for her shoes and calf-armor which still sat on the coffee table. She now stood in just her bra and a pair of men's tighty-whities.

"Ta-da~" C.P. cheered, and then he looked confusedly at her. "Um...why are you wearing men's underwear?" C.P. asked.

She glared. "Look, I haven't gotten to laundry for a couple weeks and I ran out of panties, so I just grabbed some of Felix's this morning.

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Calhoun left C.P. outside of Niceland and ran inside. Not bothering to wait for the elevator, she ran up the fourteen half-flights of stairs to Felix's place, burst into the apartment, and went crashing into the bedroom.

Startled by the noise, Blue Calhoun and Gene sat up in bed, gasping at the intruder.

"You!" Calhoun spat. "You set me up so…um...wait...where's Felix."

"Next door. You're in the wrong apartment," scolded Gene.

Calhoun looked around the room and discovered Gene was completely right. And then she stared at the two. "Seriously, Sarge. Him?"

"Hey, I just wanted to find out why they call him 'Big Gene.'"

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"But I don't have any confidence," sobbed Felix, wringing his cap in his hands. "Not after this."

"Then let's go find your confidence," said Traci cheerfully.

"We'll take him to see the Wizard! He can get Felix's confidence back!" exclaimed Joey.

"This will be the best Wreck-It Ralph/Wizard of Oz crossover fic ever!" chirped Sarah.

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"I'm going to pass you, Joey," Felix announced over the intercom, effortlessly coming up close on the other racer's tail. The car seemed to be propelled by testosterone-laced rocket fuel.

"Just try it, Fix-It," came the response.

Suddenly a red and white car zoomed across the track in front of Felix, cutting him off and breaking his concentration. "Turbotastic!" shouted the driver.

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When the victory party finally wound down, Larry and Felix sat at the bar watching the girls dance and Joey flirt with the NPCs. You look like a new man, Felix," he stated.

"I feel like a new man. I feel a little woozy too."

"Think you're ready to tell the missus what's in your heart?"

"I think so." Felix went to stand up and wobbled and fell off of his stool. "I think I've had too much champagne too," he moaned from the floor.

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Calhoun left C.P. outside of Niceland and ran inside. Not bothering to wait for the elevator, she ran up the fourteen half-flights of stairs to Felix's place, burst into the apartment, and went crashing into the bedroom.

Startled by the noise, Blue Calhoun and Felix gasped at the intruder.

"You!" Calhoun spat. "You set me up so…um..."

Both Felix and Blue Calhoun were wearing painting overalls and the furniture and carpet were all draped with plastic sheeting. Blue Calhoun was working a long handled paint roller over the ceiling while Felix was taping the windows and door frames. "Tammy, you ruined the surprise," he whined.

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"Hey, why don't you take that car home for a few days. Just keep it parked where the players can't see it," suggested Larry.

"What would I do with a race car in Fix-It Felix, Jr.?" questioned Felix.

"It doesn't have to be a formula one car. Melkus has a few other designs he can change it to." Larry called up to the computer. "Yo! Melkus! Give Felix's car a new look...something he can park in his driveway and make every guy in the neighborhood green with envy."

The yellow rocket was still parked at the center of the party, and suddenly it flashed with light and transformed, just as it had for each new track he took it to. Only this time it took the shape of a 1976 Ford Pinto. There were laughs and pointing fingers.

"There you go, Fix-It. Take it home and..." Larry was laughing too hard to finish his line.

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Vanellope put the trophy back down and sat back against the leather upholstery of the yellow roadster. Her kart smelled delicious, of baked treats and frosting and candy. This one smelled artificial and inedible, but of power and exhilaration, which intrigued her inexplicably.

They tore into Code Blue's terminal, the wheels screeching as Felix spun the wheel to avoid the fruit cart, but it was too late. The yellow car toppled the fruit cart and apples and oranges and a selection of other produce went bouncing and scattering all over the station.

"Why is there a fruit cart in Code Blue?" Felix demanded. "This is like some cheap movie."

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Calhoun left C.P. outside of Niceland and ran inside. Not bothering to wait for the elevator, she ran up the fourteen half-flights of stairs to Felix's place, burst into the apartment, and went crashing into the bedroom.

She burst in to find not just Blue Calhoun and Felix there, but all of their friends as well. "Surprise! Happy Birthday Calhoun!" they all shouted.

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"Here, you'd better take this, and be ready to use it." Riley reached down to his holster and pulled his pistol from it. "Careful...it's got an eager trigger."

Vanellope took the weapon, needing both hands to manage it, and she grinned wickedly as she looked through the sights.

Felix stamped his foot. "Not only are you taking her in with us, but you just gave a nine-year-old a gun," gasped Felix.

"That's just my appearance," she snorted and stuck out her tongue at him. Suddenly the pistol went off and a dead pigeon plummeted to the ground in their midst. "Oops!" giggled Vanellope.

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The sounds of cannonfire and screaming Cy-Bugs all around them, they floated frozen in their own little world for a moment, eyes locked together, oblivious to the battle raging just a few arm's length away.

"I wish I could kiss you again. You're such a great guy," she sighed. "I can't though. Not now."

"In that case, I'll kiss you." Felix grabbed her shoulders and as he moved to push his lips against Blue Calhoun's, she hit the switch for the faceplate control and her visor snapped closed. Felix ended up smooching the orange tinted plastic.

Blue Calhoun fell over laughing when Felix realized that her lips weren't what he was kissing. "I'm sorry, but oh jeeze...I just could not resist doing that," she wheezed.

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Calhoun left C.P. outside of Niceland and ran inside. Not bothering to wait for the elevator, she ran up the fourteen half-flights of stairs to Felix's place, burst into the apartment, and went crashing into the bedroom.

Startled by the noise, Ralph, Cammy, and Chun-Li sat up in bed, gasping at the intruder.

"You!" Calhoun spat. "You set me up so…um...Ralph? What are you doing here?"

"Felix said he was going over to Formula One Xtreme tonight and told me that I could use his place." The two women beside him were scowling. "Do you mind?"

Calhoun turned a bright red and she apologetically ducked out.

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Reaching the door that entered into the End Boss' chamber, the place the players battled C.P. for possession of Blue Calhoun, where now the team would be battling for possession of Felix's Calhoun, they rested and prepared their weapons.

"All right, ladies," Blue Calhoun addressed them. "Inside we're going up against the Cy-Bug Prime, and I will warn you now that he does not fight nice. C.P.'s got a move that will one-shot a guy even at full health, and you don't want to be on the receiving end of it."

The group got into formation and Blue Calhoun punched the large button on the door that flashed in neon.

The massive metal doors slid open to reveal the population of Litwak's Arcade, who all in unison shouted "Surprise! Happy Birthday, Felix!"

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C.P. reached down and primped her hair, arranging her bangs beneath the headpiece, hoping she would regain consciousness soon, knowing that he couldn't keep her hidden forever. He needed her to wake up soon so he could work on winning her heart before the others interfered. It would be difficult, made especially so by the fact that she was married to the little handyman.

Then he got out a hairbrush and started to brush her blond tresses. Unsatisfied, he brought out a curling iron and began curling her hair. Next he pulled out a cosmetics kit and touched up her make-up, adding a little more eye-shadow and then some lipstick. "Oh, and just look at these nails," he said as he pulled off her gloves, at which point he began to give her a manicure.

One of Calhoun's eyes opened. "Are you done yet? You were just supposed to primp my bangs."

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For SgtTJCalhoun64 and two other fans:

"Honey, wake up." Felix shook her arm again. "Tammy?" A rush of panic suddenly seized him deep inside. Had C.P. done something to her? What if she didn't revive? "Tammy, wake up!" He tapped her cheek repeatedly trying to get a response.

"Here. Watch a pro wake up a girl," said Dekker as he swaggered up.

"Of course!" exclaimed Blue Calhoun, snapping her fingers. "It's only the kiss of the stunt doubles that wakes me up after C.P.'s captured me."

Everyone watched breathlessly as the stunt double pressed his lips to hers, except Felix, who had his eye on Blue Calhoun.

As Calhoun's eyelids began to flutter Dekker quickly pushed her into Felix's arms.

Felix meanwhile was busy winking at and flirting with Blue Calhoun. At least if Tammy didn't wake up, he'd have a back-up. And he was so busy that he completely missed Dekker's hand-off and the luckless Calhoun rolled down the metal slab and ended up in a hydrangea bush.

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"You've got the candy girl though," said C.P..

Ralph laughed. "Yeah right. Everyone says that but there's no romance there. We're just close friends. You should read some of the fanfiction about us though. They keep putting us together in these 'jawbreaker' romances, and they always try to find a way to make her older or me younger."

"Seriously?"

"She always seems to get an upgrade to her Code and then she and I fall shyly head over heels for her. And then we hop into bed and loose our virginities to each other."

"You're a virgin?" he stammered.

"Heck no. I've been sleeping with Mary in Niceland for years. No one's ever caught on that it takes her three hours to take her trash over to the dump."

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For Dixie Darlin:

Calhoun left C.P. outside of Niceland and ran inside. Not bothering to wait for the elevator, she ran up the fourteen half-flights of stairs to Felix's place, burst into the apartment, and went crashing into the bedroom.

Startled by the noise, Felix and Turbo sat up in bed, gasping at the intruder.

"You!" Calhoun spat. "You set me up so…um...uh...whoa..."

Calhoun stepped out, shutting the door quickly behind her. "I didn't just see that."

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For Robert Sheckley:

C.P. popped open the oversized bottle of champagne and quickly filled the three glasses on his tray. Then he brought them over to the couch where his guests were seated and presented the champagne.

"Ooh! Real champagne!" giggled Anna 184 taking one of the flutes.

"Really! We never had anything this nice in our colony!" Anna 87 gushed as she took hers.

"Where did you get it Mr...Mr. Prime?" asked Anna 422.

"Please, C.P. to my friends..."

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