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It's Just A Game Mods ([personal profile] itsjustthemads) wrote in [community profile] itsjustagamerp2012-10-20 12:32 pm

Experiment #29 - The Thirteenth - Chapter 2

The Thirteenth - Chapter 2
By L.A. Banks

Hands full, Riku walked into the theater. Luckily, Sasami was already there. “I brought snacks. I learned from last time.” He had a few bags of popcorn and some 20 fl oz sodas. “Got a preference? This could be long.”
“Me?” Sasami said, piping up in surprise. “Oh, no, as long as it’s good, I’ll take it! But... are you sure we can have some? I would think that there would be some sort of rules to this...”
“Don’t go insane watching this mess?” Riku shrugged, handing her a bag of popcorn and a Coke. “I haven’t heard of any. And what were we seeing again?”
“Oh, well... I guess that makes sense!” Sasami said, nodding. “As for what we’re seeing... something called ‘The Thirteenth’.”
“Hm,” Riku smirked, taking a seat. “Sounds like something we’ll have to tell Roxas all about.” Of course, his voice was laden with sarcasm. “Somehow I doubt it’ll be good luck for us.”
“A lot of these never are, I’d say...” Sasami said, shaking her head. This could be plenty painful.
“Guess we’ll find out. It’s starting.” He opened his Mountian Dew with a hiss and sat back, putting a foot against the back of the chair in front of him.

“Not without me it isn’t!” Zidane dropped from the ceiling into a chair next to the others, grabbing a can without looking at it and popping it open.

Riku just smirked, glad reinforcements had arrived.

. . .

“Oh, that’s just lovely!” Rider shouted, throwing up his hands as he walked to the other side of the living room. He looked at Damali and Carlos in disbelief. “On the advice of a flaky, several-thousand-year-old pearl oracle, who has had her bouts with personal issues,

Riku: Wait, as in the oracle IS a pearl? ...If she is I’d say THAT would be a personal issue.
Zidane: Huh, wonder how much that’d fetch in Treno.
Riku: Emotional pearls don’t go for much.

we’re supposed to leave a twenty-thousand-dollar watch on the coffee table as though this exclusive resort were a pawn shop,

Zidane: …This is going to be a long one. Running count. Two...

and then mist into a freaking cathedral in broad daylight--one that probably has tourists--

Zidane: Three...

and then hope to charter a yacht from some guy we have yet to meet

Zidane: Four...

with the goal to circumnavigate the goddamned Bermuda Triangle with a boatload of pregnant Guardians,

Zidane: Five, and may I say what the hell is going on here because I grew up in a theatre troupe and we’d consider this excessive.

and then try to work our way into Miami during U.S. martial law, praying we don’t get blown out of the water by a naval destroyer or the coast guard at the very least--in Miami, a port known to shoot smuggler ships on sight--do who can guess what’ll be waiting for us if we make it to shore with the Devil literally on our asses on the open seas...

Zidane: ...Six and seven. Uhhh... Hang on. *hops out of the chair and walks away briefly*
Sasami: But, what does this have to do with leaving a watch on the coffee table?
Riku: *Smirk* Only time will tell.
Sasami: *and she groans at that* Rikuuu!
Riku: What? It’s how you survive this stuff. *Pops some popcorn in his mouth*
Zidane: *comes back with a giant roll of butcher-crafts paper and a pack of sharpies* Yeah, you worry about that, I’m gonna go make a flowchart. I’ve heard of some elaborate schemes and pulled some off myself, but this is pushing it. *rips off a huge piece*
Riku: You’re braver than I am trying that.

All this during the end of days, when lady luck ain’t exactly been in our hip pocket. Maybe it’s me.”

Riku: Last I checked, Lady Luck only fit in your hip pocket if you only wanted a little luck.

Rider looked around at the team getting confirmation glances, and then settled his hard gaze on Carlos and Damali. “What did I miss? Did you two go out on the beach and smoke a joint to relieve the tension or something? Are you high?

Riku: The writer probably was.

Big Mike didn’t say a word, just crossed the room and slapped Rider five after Yonnie pounded his fist.

Sasami: Slapping him sounds like a good idea...
Riku: My thoughts exactly. Maybe Mike needs help.
Zidane: Mike always needs help. And a few good lessons in what’s toxic.

“Look,” Carlos said, his voice tight and urgent as he glanced around the team. “This ain’t up for negotiation. We don’t have a lotta options, given where we landed. You wanna take a shortcut through the Triangle on a wing and a prayer, hoping we don’t get sucked into a black hellhole?

Zidane: That’s not as bad as you think it is, as long as you dodge in time.
Riku: *Quietly and doubiously* You have experience with that?

You wanna risk the lives of four pregnant Guardian sisters?”

“Five,” Tara said quietly.

Riku: Oooooh... Someone’s in for it.
Zidane: Bets on how long until he’s exploding about it? I’m guessing five minutes until the shock wears off enough.

Stunned speechless, Rider simply looked at her.

All eyes went to Tara, but Damali looked down at her sand-crusted bare feet. Carlos dragged his fingers across his scalp in agitation. The Neterus glimpsed each other.

Sasami: The what?
Riku: No clue, and I don’t think I want to know.
Zidane: *tilting his head sideways* I keep reading that as “Neuters” but I don’t think that’s what they were going for with all this talk about babies.

Their secret was finally out. Just as Damali was about to offer an explanation, Val pushed off the edge of the sofa she’d been leaning against.

“Six,” Val whispered.

Zidane: Babies for everyone! You get a baby, and you get a baby, and you- well, you don’t get a baby, but everyone else!
Riku: *Popcorn.gif, literally* Baby confetti.

Carlos and Damali shared another look.

Sasami: Isn’t this where things turn ugly... I’ve heard bad things about these sorts of events.
Riku: You’re assuming it’s not ugly already.

“Woah, woah, woah,” Yonnie said, slowly pushing off the wall, his line of vision fixed on Valkyrie. “Talk to me. My ass is dead--I’m just a vamp with an undefined reprieve. Whatchu talkin’ about six, ma?”

Riku: Man, Beat talks more normally than this.
Zidane: *just... staring at that* ...What language is that supposed to be? And how many people are in this room?

“Five?” Rider said so quietly that the group left Val to ricochet and focus on him. He stared at Tara. “Baby, you were dead for forty years...I mean...something’s wrong with the math here...I’m damned near--”

“Angels don’t lie!” Tara shrieked, and then hugged herself and turned away.

Riku: ...Waaaaaait. So we have back alley vampires and pregnant angels? *He turns around to look and see if there’s anyone or anything else in the theater.* I think I made a wrong turn and now the story’s sense is in the middle of nowhere...
Sasami: ...I think I wasn’t supposed to come here, now.
Riku: Ditto.
Zidane: If I wanted to go to a literary land that made no sense I’d go find the phantom tollbooth.

Rider immediately crossed the room, trying to gather her in her arms. “Hey, hey, easy...I was just--”

“Is that all you had to say to me, Jack Rider--that I was dead for forty years?” Bitter tears streamed down Tara’s face as she hauled off and slapped him hard enough to make his lip bleed.

Sasami: *as Rider* No... well, maybe.
Riku: So wait, don’t you have to be alive to have kids?
Sasami: ...zombie kids?
Riku: That wouldn’t grow up? Eternity with a screaming baby.

Two tense seconds passed; not one Guardian moved. Then all of a sudden Rider burst out laughing and hugged Tara up off her feet until she started laughing with him.

Zidane: Jeez, mood whiplash much?
Riku: Can’t we go back to the slapping?

“Our asses are in a world of shit now,” Rider said, laughing, finally putting her down.

Riku: That’s what happens when you forget to put the seat down.

“Okay, I’m in for a penny, in for a pound.” He staggered around in a circle, intermittently chuckling and becoming morose.

“You okay, man?” Shabazz asked, going up to Rider to land a hand on his shoulder and to get him to stop walking in a circle.

Zidane: Damnit, I need another flowchart now *goes rummaging for the butcher paper and sharpies again* Lesson one in effective writing - don’t overload the scene with characters just because you can!
Riku: Overload. Imminent plot explosion in 3, 2, 1...

Rider just shook his head. “No. Actually, I’m having a nervous fucking breakdown, if you don’t mind. How are we supposed to defend all of humanity against the forces of the Ultimate Evil and not be scared shitless that something could happen to the most precious thing on the planet?”

Sasami: ...the same way every other hero does it - one step at a time!
Riku: That plus a lot of cursing.

“Wow...oh, wow,” Yonnie repeatedly muttered, nibbling his jaw.

Zidane: ...He’s chewing on his own jaw. How many mouths does he have?

“This is deep...I’m dead, yo. Maybe it’s, you know, psychosomatic, baby...not that I’m not down with it, if that’s what’s up, but I just never though, I mean...we be getting it in, but I’m not able to like...yo, C, you know what I’m saying, here, bro--you’ve got a heartbeat, I don’ how is this possible? You sure we ain’t got double-crossed?”

Sasami: ...did you catch any of that?
Riku: ...Some of that thanks to Beat, but I think this guy would even make Beat scratch his head.
Zidane: This guy is a horrible combination of a hippie and a wannabe gangsta. And I thought Quina was bad.

Yonnie went to Val as huge tears of disappointment welled in her eyes. “Baby, listen, for real, now...I am a dead man walking. If you’re pregnant, this could be the darkside seeding you, somehow, you know.”

Riku: *Slowly makes a disgusted face.*
Zidane: What’s up with that look?
Riku: *Sinking into chair a little bit.* Darkside Heartless. This isn’t a nice mental image.

He looked at Carlos and then Damali as worried glanced passed around the group. “They do foul shit like that from where I’m from.”

“I can scan her,” Damali offered, but Carlos blocked her path.

Sasami: EW!
Riku: ...I doubt I want to know.

“Uh-uh...that’s a job for the Queens. If something’s inhabited her,” Carlos said carefully, “We need to just be sure it’s not contagious.”

Riku: Pregnancy is contagious? Riiight.
Zidane: Maybe it’s a face-hugger? Those are contagious, sort of

Yonnie closed his eyes and wrapped his arms around Val, kissing the top of her head. “We’ll get it out of you if it ain’t right, okay, boo. Carlos is right...but I’ma be with you no matter what.”

Zidane: You fail at reassurance.

“It’s not evil,” Val shot back, trying to wrest herself out of Yonnie’s hold.

“Baby, how do you know?” he murmured, cupping her cheek with his hand. “I can’t make life; I can only take life like I am now.”

Riku: In a world with pregnant angels? I seriously doubt that.

“Uriel told me,” Val said in a quavering voice, her eyes filling with tears as she wrapped her arms around herself and lifted her chin. “The Neteru born must have seven Guardians for protection--ours plus Ayana, the new mother-seer, makes seven, Yolando. It’s part of the prophecy.”

Riku: The *what*-born?
Sasami: Mother-seer? Guardians? ...are they making a Super Sentai team of angel babies?
Riku: Imagine that daycare.
Zidane: No thanks.

Marlene rushed forward and gently grabbed Val buy the arms as the team suddenly looked at Damali. “What’s the full prophecy the angel told you, honey? Talk to us.”

Val nodded. “What Damali is carrying has the power, when fully matured, to stop the one-third destruction of humankind foretold in Revelation.

Riku: Is this a baby or a super-weapon?
Zidane: ...Uhhhhhhh...

If this progeny is born and can reach maturity, then the one-third population wipeout can possibly be averted.

Sasami: Super-weapon.
Riku: Or super-cheesy.
Zidane: Or a potential for corruption to destroy even more of existence. Power can do that, after all. *looking just a tad uncomfortable*
Riku: *Is about to ask about Zidane’s look, but chances are that would be better for later.*

This will help tip the scales towards the balance of Light. Every one of these children must be a part of the new team.”

Riku: In how many years? Unless you plan to chuck babies at the bad guys...
Sasami: They better not!
Riku: Given this story?
Zidane: You never know, maybe they grow really fast... *still a bit uncomfortable*

A tiny squeal rang out in the room as the pearl in Damali’s grasp fought to speak without water.

Zidane: …*throws up his hands* Okay, I give up.
Riku: So it really was a pearl. No wonder it had issues.

“Dip the oracle under tap water or something,” Marlene commanded, eyes frantic.

J.L. rushed forward with the ice bucket, sloshing melted ice water, and offering it to Damali, who just stared at him. Carlos reached back, feeling for the wall to lean against with a thud.

“Dunk the pearl,” Carlos said in a raspy voice. “I thought we weren’t supposed to tell anybody yet...just dunk the pearl.”


A high-pitched squeal wafted up from the bucket as soon as the necklace hit the water. “I was just bursting to tell. The Queens said I couldn’t--not until Uriel made other announcements! So, now it’s official. Congratulations, everybody!”

Riku: Congratulated by a calcium deposit. Me? I’m waiting for my bones to throw me a party.

Damali yanked the necklace out of the water and simply stared at the rivulets cascading down her forearm.

“Oh...shit...” Jose bent over, hands on knees, and began to hyperventilate.

Riku: Get him a paper bag before he passes out. ...No, nevermind, that may not be bad.

“Like, what does this mean?” Berkfield asked quickly, his gaze furtive and haunted. “Like what are we gonna do, all this at risk and down a Neteru? Anybody hearing me?”

Zidane: Did we just miss a section? It feels like we just missed a section. A is not logically leading to B right no- Okay wait A hasn’t logically led to B ALL CHAPTER.
Sasami: I think we skipped B and headed straight for I.

“It has to be all right,” Marjorie said, wringing her hands as she spoke. “There must be a plan.”

“Don’t freak, people,” Shabazz warned, taking temporary command of the team.

Riku: Telling people not to panic counts as commanding, then saying please and thank you must be royal decree.

His dark, intense gaze swept the room, his regal African features set hard in his dark ebony face as a blue static charge ran down his dreadlocks and then connected to the charge running down Marlene’s long, silver dreadlocks.

Riku: I thought we were talking about vampires, not Pikachus.
Sasami: That or he’s got a fork in the electric socket.

“You saw how crazy strong C got in Detroit when Drac came after Damali and the team, right?”

Sasami: No.
Riku: Thankfully.
Zidane: I’ll drink to that. *raises his soda*

He waited until shoulders began to relax. “I don’t know what the plan is yet, but I know I’ve lived through enough bullshit to know there is a plan.”

Zidane: Never heard the Indiana Jones method of planning?

Marlene swept her arms around the group.

Riku: The broom wasn’t available.

“We’ve got, for all intents and purposes, two sets of grandparents here--me and Shabazz, Marjorie and Berkfield. Between the four of us, we’ve got the skills of two seers, a strong veteran tactical, sharpshooter, aikido master, healer, and stoneworker...

Sasami: One of these six does not belong here!
Riku: They’re missing the underwater basket-weaver.

practically an entire squad, just from us. We represent the four cardinal points now.

Zidane: What about the four bluebird points?
Riku: I think they deserve pigeon.

Plus, every man on this squad that’s a father-to-be is still a viable warrior--and is probably more insane now than ever before. Every who’s carrying is still a force to be reckoned with, Ashe. So let’s not get our heads all twisted, like

Zidane: In the Exorcist!

Shabazz said--not yet. We’ve got months before we have to worry about all that.”

“Ashe,” Inez said. “But I have to get to my momma and my baby.”

“First order of business, as soon as we can get to the States, suga,” Big Mike assured her. “But we can’t be brining Mom and boo through no crazy energy distortions.”

Riku: *Mock confusion* So... You DO want to bring them through. ...I think having kids is making them crazier.

Inez nodded and leaned against his huge, six-foot-eight, tree-trunk frame, which made her seem even shorter.

Riku: And they forgot to mention Mike’s a vampire ent.
Sasami: This fanfic gets crazier and crazier.
Riku: This is fanfic?
Sasami: You mean it’s not?
Riku: If it is I want to see the source material. Because as is this is a trainwreck.

“I just wanna know how all this happened at the same time?” Berkfield said, wiping the perspiration away from his bald scalp.

Sasami: Synchronized pregnancies?
Riku: Olympic sport?
Zidane: The committee votes down the proposal as absolutely ridiculous and not suitable for broadcast on network television.

Shabazz smiled. “C’mon, man. It ain’t been that long since you got some--you know how the birds and the bees work.”

Riku: *Sarcasticly* Bees pollinate flowers then go home and do a little dance. Seriously, are we going there?
Zidane: Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeell... *shit-eating grin*

“That’s not what I mean!” Berkfield yelled, growing peevish. “I mean the timing.”

Riku: Checked the watch on the coffee table?

“Communal living,” Marlene said in a cheerful voice, unfazed by Berkfield’s tone.

Sasami: Oh, it’s Pinkie Pie!
Riku: ...What?
Sasami: *she points to the phrase again* See? Cheerful voice and unfazed by panicked tones! Pinkie Pie!
Riku: ...Point.
Zidane: ...I don’t think Pinkie would talk about orgies. Because that’s what it sounds like.

“Fertile women who live in the same home, same tribe, all cycle around the same time...all the children born within a community like that are normally conceived and born around the same time.

Riku: *Looks at Sasami* ...Um. Really?
Sasami: ...I... don’t think Pinkie would go that far, then... she’s a party person. Not, um... this. *she grins sheepishly*
Riku: No, not Pinkie Pie. I mean... Girls...? *Oh dear, he didn’t expect this to be educational.*
Sasami: O-Oh, um... ah... *VERY sheepishly* I... don’t know much about that. *Oh, NOW she’s really uncomfortable.*
Riku: ...Because if so, then on the SOL... *And a look of disgust washes over him as his brain slowly but surely breaks.*
Zidane: ...You’ve seriously never noticed that before? We didn’t have that many girls in Tantalus but it was always obvious that was what was going on.
Riku: I don’t think about... THAT. Excuse me for expecting a bad story instead of health class! *Looks a little sick*

Lots of cousins. This is life still happening, even in the darkest moments in history. The human spirit will prevail, no matter what. These children will all need one another.” Her tone sobered as she looked around the room. “And in a family like this, if one or both parents don’t make it--which is a reality we have to be at the ready to always deal with--that child will not go parentless. We will raise all of them like the village we are. Ashe.”

Sasami: ...and?
Riku: *Still looking creeped out.*

Murmurs of Ashe filled the room as each Guardian couple fell quiet to contemplate Marlene’s and Shabazz’s words.

Zidane: Why are you saying her name? It’s a nice name, but it’s her name!
Sasami: Maybe they’re all named Ashe?

Rider went to the mini-bar, opened the door, and just stared at the selections. Yonnie followed him, and then materialized a pack of red Marlboros

Riku: Can I get some more popcorn over here while you’re materializing?

in his hand, pulled out a cigarette for himself, and offered one to Rider without lighting either one. Both men simply stood shoulder to shoulder dragging on their unlit butts, smelling the tobacco while lost in their own thoughts.

Riku: Unlit cigarettes. Are they trying to avoid cancer or something?
Sasami: I think they forgot the lighting up step.
Zidane: Maybe they’re trying not to damage the babies with the smoke, but that’s more considerate than I expect them to be.

“Uriel told me, too,” Tara murmured thickly, finally breaking the silence in the room as the she drew in deep breaths looking out the glass doors towards the unending blue sea.

She pushed a strand of her dark brown hair behind her ear and turned her face toward a shaft of sunlight that bathed her beautiful Native American features in tones of gold.

Zidane: Lose the purple, you were actually doing pretty well at that before this.

“My womb was dead for four decades,

Riku: Uuuuuuugh.

but was needed...I am needed and what grows within me is needed.

Sasami: ...really? Mmmn! *still uncomfortable.*
Riku: Can we go now?

I’m not dead anymore. I’m alive.”

Zidane: *cues music*
Riku: Wait... If she’s alive, she can’t be an angel. Which means she CAN lie. *As Tara* Just kidding everyone!

Tara looked at Yonnie. “You might be alive, too...when’s the last time you cut yourself to see if you bled red blood? The Light works quietly, subtly, and when we least expect it.”

Riku: That last part at least is true.

“I ain’t been cut since D.C....everything healed the moment we came through the Light and we got dropped here.”

Riku: Prick. Your. Finger. It’s not that hard.
Zidane: *in a falsetto whine* But that takes effort and I don’t wannaaaaaa.

Yonnie stared at Tara for what felt like a long time and then opened his palm. Guardians gathered around him, craning to see the results of his test. With a shaking forefinger he willed forward a razor-sharp vampire fingernail and sliced into his palm.

Zidane: Knives are just so passe.

Thick, red blood oozed to the surface, painting his palm crimson. Yonnie clutched his chest like a man having a heart attack

Sasami: Is it the big one?
Riku: We’re not that lucky.

and staggered backward until he crashed into the dining-room table. Val caught him under an arm before he fell, and then pressed her fingers against his jugular.

Zidane: Don’t save him from smashing his head just to kill him anyway!

“You’re warm,” Val murmured in awe. “For the last couple of days and nights you’ve been burning up...and I just thought it was your body trying to regenerate from internal injuries.”

Sasami: ...sounds like he was on fire...
Riku: Brings new meaning to the term, “internal combustion.”

Then suddenly she snatched her hand back and pressed it to her heart, beginning to sob. “You have a pulse.”

Zidane: Okay, someone not being dead is an emotional moment, yes, but you all suck at conveying emotions.
Sasami: Well, they WERE dead a moment ago...

“Oh, shit...” Yonnie wheezed, tightly closing his eyes. “When? I didn’t even feel it/”

Riku: Who ever notices their pulse unless they’re in pain, out of breath or full of adrenaline?

“You had a better transition from the darkside to the Light than I did, bro,”

Riku: Sadly, I can feel for him there.
Zidane: Same, at a remove.

Carlos said, going up to Yonnie to pull him into a warrior’s embrace. “Welcome to the Light, man. And congratulations on the kid.”

Riku: ...If going to the light gets you a free kid, I need to go tell Xehanort I’m sorry.

Yonnie opened his eyes and then burst out laughing, hugging Carlos back hard. “Damn, man! Like...we did it! We gonna be dads? Oh, shit! Me, too?”

Zidane: Yes. You managed to have sex. Congratulations on fulfilling your genetic imperatives.

“So, what in God’s name do we do now?” Rider said quietly, still staring at the bar.

Tara wrenched her gaze away from the ocean and stared at Rider. “We take the path the Neterus have set.”

Riku: My path is to my room and to try not to think about what I learned today. *Tosses back the last of the Mountain Dew as if it were liquor.*
Sasami: And I’m going back to my room and pretend that I didn’t see this... I wish Mr. Eagle was around this time, he would of helped out a lot.
Zidane: And I’m going back to my room and see about trimming down my own cast list. Sheesh, if there was ever a way to show how not to handle large groups...
Riku: And if all the girls seem mad at me all at once in the future, at least I know it probably isn’t me... *Gets up and heads out, looking a little disturbed.*