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It's Just A Game Mods ([personal profile] itsjustthemads) wrote in [community profile] itsjustagamerp2013-03-28 10:44 pm

Experiment #37 - Modelland - Chapter 9

Modelland - Chapter 9
By Tyra Banks

Zidane: [Apparently Zidane got there before the rest of them, because he’s seated in the front row, a box of popcorn in his hand - and the rest of the theatre is completely decked out in circus-themed insanity, from red and yellow swaths of fabric on the walls to streamers from the ceiling to stuffed animals of elephants, lions, zebras, and everything else one can think of piled in the seats. There’s also an old-fashioned popcorn cart in the corner, smelling of buttery goodness, with cotton candy on the side. He hasn’t had much of a chance for letting off steam lately, and it’s exploding now.] Hey guys! Pull up a seat, grab some popcorn - this one’s going to be wonderful.
Sora: [Wanders in, staring around at all of the circus trappings.] Hey...what’s up with all this stuff?
Zidane: You’ve seen the ones before this, right? [throws a kernel of popcorn in the air and catches it in his mouth.] This is going to be so weird that nothing we can do will top it. So we might as well go with it!
Minako: *and then Minako comes in wearing...well...this. Hair, make up and all* I’m not late, am I? I hope you don’t mind, I figured this riff needed a proper model.
Sora: least a circus should make it fun!
Zidane: POPCORN FOR EVERYONE! [Pulls an old-fashioned megaphone from under the seats in the next row, setting it in front of the group. For emergencies.]

Thousands of girls stampeded to the square all at once. Heels clacked. Dresses swished. Hairdos wobbled.

Sora: Toast burned.
Zidane: Wind blew.
Sora: Dogs barked.
Zidane: Cats meowed.
Minako: I yawned.

The T-DOD theme song boomed a pulsating beat.

Zidane: As opposed to a vaguely massaging beat.

There was one rule and one rule only: a girl must be walking in order to be chosen.

Sora: No swimming! That’s just not allowed!
Zidane: What about flying? Or jumping? Or jumping and flying?
Minako: And thus the massacre began!

Other than that, there was no prearranged runway on which the girls could walk,

Minako: Oh, this can only end in hilarity!...And chipped back vertebrae.

so everyone created invisible ones wherever they were standing.

Zidane: So they’re creating something they call a runway, on which they walk, while standing still. I feel like inventing Contradiction Bingo.
Minako: Its almost like there was no forethought or planning put into it or something!
Zidane: Chaos theory at its most glorious!

Violence was not encouraged

Minako: But it will be televised!

nor was it condemned, and some girls’ parents insisted on adding martial arts training to their walking lessons in preparation for the big day.

Sora: I guess black belts are always in fashion!
Zidane: And may the odds be ever in your favor!

T-DOD Square

Minako: T-DOD. What does that even stand for?

was an every-man-for-himself—or, more precisely, an every-girl-for-herself—event.

Sora: This is sounding less like some big discovery event for girls and more like Black Friday.
Minako: Hey! Rebecca Black is just a kid!
Zidane: Maybe she’s in there too, you never know.

Scores of girls marched down their own stretches of the square, paused, posed for the cameras (real and imaginary), and then turned around.

Sora: Oh great, I’m going to have “Too Sexy For My Shirt” stuck in my head this entire riffing!
Zidane: [Too bad! Yup he’s unbuttoning his vest.] I’m a model, you know what I mean, and I do my little turn on the catwalk~
Sora: ...[Gives in and joins in, singing] Oh the catwalk, yeeeah, on the catwalk...

Trains of walking girls intersected with others. One area behind Tookie was so crammed with street vendors, it bottlenecked into a slow, shuffling line.

Sora: Oh, I get it, they’re in line at a convention.
Minako: I hope they all took showers before they got there. *cringe*
Zidane: That’s what people make Con Kits for. [popcorns]

Some walkers had only enough space to take a few steps before they had to stop and turn. Tookie’s heart went out to a young girl in a ruffled pink dress who seemed way below the unofficial thirteen-year-old age requirement. She marched in place as if she were on a drill team.

Zidane: STEP-hut STEP-hut STEP-hut!
Sora: Let’s see those RUFFLES, LADIES!
Minako: Give me ten curlers, a pair of stiletos and move it, MOVE IT, MOVE IT!!
Zidane: ...[Can’t help it, nearly drops his popcorn as he starts doubling over laughing.] Oh gaia, the thought of Rusty saying that...!
Sora: Who’s Rusty?
Zidane: [still grinning and chuckling, wiping a tear out of his eye] A knight at home... the most stiff-backed guy I’ve ever met.

Riiiip. A girl stepped on the train of a walker a few feet from Tookie and tore the fabric right off the dress. Both girls fell forward into a heap. The walkers behind them stepped over their bodies and continued.

Minako: ...Oh my god, this is like the exact opposite of how a runway should be! How can a world that runs on modelling not know how to control their own recruitment drives!?
Zidane: Darwinism? Survival of the fittest? That or they’re taking bets on how many injuries come out of this and keep trying to pooch the results.
Minako: ...Or maybe the author just likes seeing cat fights.

Crash. The De La Crème white and cream blow-up tent went down as two brawling girls entered it. Oof. A girl who looked as if she had never walked in heels before stumbled, breaking the tips of both stilettos.

Sora: Stampede! In the gorge! TOOKIE’S DOWN THERE!
Minako: Tookie’s Dad: GOOD! She’s not mine anyways! *glug*
Zidane: And we’ve got two girls covered in cream. This is looking like the setup for the world’s weirdest porn.

Two girls got into a fight at the end of their makeshift catwalk, rolling to the ground. “Kenya, use the Gyaku Zuki move!” her mother screamed.

Minako: Egypt, Vulcan neck pinch that bitch!

“Reverse-punch the hairy hag! But watch your hair, sweetie!”

Sora: If Rarity was a drill sargeant.
Minako: Frankly, Rarity should just be put in charge of this army.
Sora: Gotta agree with that.
Zidane: Fashionable and lethal. Always a good combination.

Tookie wheeled around. The hairy hag was Abigail Goode, sideburns in full glory, faint mustache above her upper lip, unshaven leg hair coating her calves, underarm hair swaying in the wind,

Minako: Stereotypical lesbianism literally exploding from every other orifice.

and a DOWN WITH RAZORS! picket sign still in her hands.

Sora: *gasps* Xaldin, genderbent!
Zidane: This guy has something against shaving?
Sora: Considering his hair...yeah, I think so.

The girl she was fighting with tried out a karate move on her, but Abigail expertly evaded her blow.

Minako: Well, duh, have you ever actually tried to move in haute couture clothing? *demonstrates by trying to stand back up*

Tookie’s jealousy meter skyrocketed. Even Abigail was competing?

Sora: Now I want to see Abigail beat everyone at this thing and declare the country razor-free.
Minako: Not going to lie, I think that’s the best this book can hope for.
Zidane: No, the best would be a shocking swerve where it suddenly went into Apocalypse Now territory and everything got firebombed at the end.

She looked around some more. Actually, not only were eligible girls walking, but lots of other people were too.

Minako: *eyebrow twitch*

An elderly man on a power scooter shot a gap-toothed smile to the crowd as he steered his vehicle with his hands on his hips.

Minako: No wait, I changed my mind. I want this guy to win.
Sora: I’m picturing him as George Takei and this story just got so much better.
Minako & Zidane: Oh my.

Two down-on-their-luck women dressed in trash-bag dresses and beat-up sweat suits walked while pushing everything they owned in shopping carts, heckling every girl who passed. “Honey, you wish you had it like I do.”

Zidane: That one is not hyperbole.
Minako: Yeah, you all wish you had it like I do.

“Get back, spring chickens—age before beauty, ladies!” Tookie chuckled when she noticed that even some of the protesters ditched their RUN AWAY, DON’T WALK signs

Minako: And the Occupy Modelland movement died with a whimper.
Sora: Where are they supposed to be running to?...
Zidane: They’re following Lola.
Sora: Maybe then Tookie will get to a timeline where she escapes this story and gets to keep the money!
Minako: Or....just escapes this story.

and sashayed energetically while chanting, “Women, let’s walk! Smile for the cams! T-DOD, it rocks.

Minako: But what is it? How can it rock if we don’t know what it is?!

Crank the music, let’s jam!”

Zidane: [turns up the ubiquitous Circus Theme]

A few drunken boys from outside the gates got into the action, strutting next to the girls in exaggerated, long-legged lopes.

Sora: ...Are they the ‘Keep On Truckin’ guys or something?
Zidane: Oh my.

One guy snaked an arm around a girl’s waist, but she swatted him away.

Minako: Good.

The photographers and cameramen scrambled to catch every moment, projecting various images onto the screens next to the stage.

Minako: Epileptic seizures ensured that it would be played in slow motion in subsequent re-runs.

Thump, thump, thump. The music beat on. The largest screen showed the remaining time left for walking. Twelve minutes, twenty seconds.

Zidane: You know, aside from the silly violence and apparently incredibly pathetic need for people to be the center of attention, so far this chapter’s been pretty disappointingly normal.
Sora: You say things like that, and that’s right when it’ll get worse!
Zidane: [grins, pops another kernel in his mouth] I know.

“Go, Myrracle, go!” Mrs. De La Crème shouted. Myrracle had staggered a few feet away from the fallen tent and was standing there staring at the melee, eyes bugged, frozen in place.

Minako: In other words, she’s reacting like a normal human being would to this travesty.

“Don’t freeze up! Wake up, baby. You have to do this!”

Minako: Yes, do it because skin-deep beauty is all that matters! *slowly and subtly turning red under all her white makeup*
Sora: okay there, Minako?

“Yeah, Myrracle. You can do this. Come on!” Tookie urged, holding her sister by her arms and staring into her eyes, trying to spark a connection. “Dance in your spirit, but not with your body,” she repeated over and over.

Sora: What...does...that...mean?
Zidane: It means you must FEEL the RHYTHM in your SOUL! [leaps out of his chair, throwing his popcorn up in the air and ignoring the snack-shower, landing on the tips of his toes and starting to “parade” around. Also assuming a ridiculous French accent.] Zhee muzeek, szhe is life, and love, and sun and JHOY! You must GEEF yourself to eet, to feel in yhour BONES zhe deep, pulsing RHYTHM OF LIFE!
Minako: *covered in popcorn*
Sora: *also covered in popcorn* ...That’s some rhythm.

Then she turned Myrracle around, placed Myrracle’s hands on her hips, and whispered in her ear: “Left, then right, then left, then right …”

Minako: No no no, first you go A, then B, then A, then C...
Sora: I thought it was up up, down down, left right, left right, B, A, select start?
Minako: Not if you’re doing the Blood Code.

Myrracle suddenly broke out of her trance and began to follow Tookie’s instructions.

Zidane: Oooh, reverse hypnotism!

Tookie jumped out of the way to watch her sister. Halfway down her imaginary runway, Myrracle began to wiggle her hips and shake her shoulders to the infectious music that swelled over the sounds of the crowd.

Minako: ...You know, I’m beginning to think that the author just wanted to play Mad Libs and someone mistook it for an actual story. Or maybe...who wrote this? Was it the Atlanta Nights dude?
Sora: Some model person, I think?
Minako: ...No. No, a real model wouldn’t write a story like this. A real model would know better! Hang on, let me ask the Mads. MADS??

“Don’t dance!” Mrs. De La Crème bellowed, giving Myrracle a pinch. “If you sway one more time, you’ll get way worse than a little pinch!

Minako: *that red flush on her cheeks is becoming more pronounced*
Zidane: ...Want a drink?
Minako: *in a very uncharacteristically cold - or at least serious - voice* I’m fine.

If I have to beat the last pas de bourrée out of you, I will! Now walk, walk, walk like an Intoxibella!”

Sora: ...Walk like a drunken Twilight character? What?
Zidane: Don’t lie, that would’ve made that story so much better.
Sora: I guess that’s true.

Myrracle snapped back to focus. Her arms swung gently. She thrust her hips forward, as she’d learned to do in hours upon hours of walking class.

Sora: ...These people have serious issues if they need classes to learn how to walk.
Zidane: ...Actually, considering that all these girls are trying to stand out from the crowd, you’d think being graceful and dancer-like would be a good idea and at least get you some attention. If there’s an obvious difference in you, people usually notice it. [Glances behind him at his tail.]

She reached the end of her catwalk and came face to face with Abigail Goode. Both girls vied for the same spot to pose. Myrracle stuck out her pointy elbows, bumped her hip, and shoved Abigail hard out of the space.

Minako: Oh. Oh no. No. You did not-
Zidane: Oh yes she did. [Z-shaped finersnap]
Minako: *eyes are narrowing now...*

Abigail teetered over in her high shoes, hit her head on the footrest of the old man’s motorized scooter, and passed out cold.

Sora: ABIGAIL, NOOO! She was the best one next to Takei!
Minako: Well, at least Takei will run Myrracle over now, right?...Right??
Zidane: Oh, my.

Almost immediately a siren sounded and Tookie heard someone yell, “Girl down! Girl down!”

Zidane: ...Not gonna lie, I keep reading “Tookie” as “Takei” now. I’m finding it makes the imagery much more enjoyable. [grinning his butt off]
Sora: He’ll get Abigail to the medical bay!
Zidane: But damnit Sora, he’s a navigator, not a doctor!

Myrracle posed for a long three seconds, then raised a shoulder and swirled back around. There was a don’t mess with me girl unless you want to get hurt expression on her face

Minako: Which masked the oh my god what am I doing I want to die fear in her eyes...

as she strutted back toward Tookie and her family.

“That’s my Myrracle!” Mrs. De La Crème jumped up and down and clapped. “Claim what is ours, baby!”

Minako: *eyes narrowing more, face almost purple, she’s starting to look legitimately pissed*

“Uh, I know you, right?”

Sora: Myrracle doesn’t know her own mom?
Minako: Well, Tookie didn’t know her real dad, so I guess its even.

Tookie turned and nearly jumped out of her skin. Standing next to her was Theophilus Lovelaces.

Zidane: That was anticlimactic. Even if that name is ridiculous.
Minako: Theo: Don’t mind me, I’m just passing through on my way to Hogwarts.

His eyes glistened in the LaDorno sun.

Sora: What’s that? Did someone sponsor the sun?
Zidane: Yes. Blue Sun. And Fruity Oaty Bars.
Sora: Sunny D, too?

He was seeing her, actually seeing her. His eyes focused right on hers. His words were meant for her. Tookie tried to smile, but she had a feeling her mouth made more of a grimace.

Zidane: My mouth is not mine to control! AAAAAAH!

“You’re not participating?” Theophilus asked, gesturing to the crowd.

Minako: Tookie: Why? Do I actually look like I have a death wish?

Tookie opened her mouth but couldn’t speak. She was dying to say, Really? Me? Have you lost your mind? But instead a cross between a yelp, a sneeze, and a burp came out.

Sora: ...Finding a way to do that is my new life goal.
Zidane: There’s plenty of soda in that cart back there!
Sora: Okay! [Takes one and starts chugging]

“Good for you.” Theophilus indicated the candidates in the square. “This is a little crazy.”

Minako: Thank you, Mr. Understatement.
Zidane: It’s like if someone decided to host a massive competition and then forgot to make any rules for it OH WAIT.

They both turned to Zarpessa Zarionneaux,

Minako: played by guest star David Bowie!
Zidane: That would be freaking awesome.

who strutted confidently right over an open manhole that three girls had just fallen into.

Sora: It’s like a comedy of errors, with 98% errors.
Zidane: I’m choosing to believe that was a deliberate act of sabotage by the sewer workers.

Her long, straight auburn hair streamed behind her. Her skin glistened in the sun.

Minako: Her eyes rolled in the back of her head.

She wore a bright yellow dress that seemed electrified, with matching yellow shoes.

Minako: Yellow...she is wearing yellow...*pissed off alert at Yell--wait no, Orange*
Zidane: Her dress shoots lightning. So... Zarpessa, daughter of Zeus?
Sora: Maybe she’s cosplaying Pikachu.

Tookie assumed it was the ensemble Lizzie had mentioned the other day, the one she and Zarpessa had fought over at the clothing dump.

Zidane: Wait a minute, are all these girls wearing-

“She even makes trash look beautiful,” Tookie murmured.

Zidane: ...They really are wearing trash. Wow. And they’re not concerned about bugs or diseases or anything?
Sora: One man’s trash is another man’s...weird outfit.
Minako: *taking deeeep, deeeeeeep breaths*

“Hmm?” Theophilus glanced at her in surprise.

“Oh, nothing.” It pained her that her very first conversation with Theophilus was about Zarpessa.

Minako: I’d do the same if Ziggy Stardust was walking by. I’m surprised no one in a three-block radius is convulsing from the unadulterated awesome!
Zidane: It could only be more awesome if he was singing Dance Magic Dance.
Minako: ...Oh my~

She considered telling Theophilus about Zarpessa’s Dumpster digging, but then she clamped her mouth shut. No matter how much she envied Zarpessa, exposing something that awful was just too mean.

Minako: Why would that be mean? She found a matching ensemble and its clearly working to her advantage. It doesn’t matter where you found it that isn’t the point...*taking another deeeeeeeep breath*
Sora: *scoots away from Minako a little nervously*
Zidane: [side-eyes the girl, reaching for a couple of water bottles if they become necessary]

“What’s your name, anyway?” Theophilus asked, looking at Tookie again.

Tookie gaped at him. He wanted to know her name?

Sora: Most people in this universe just want to know her waist size! [rolls his eyes]
Zidane: That seems sadly likely so far.
Minako: *eyetwitch eyetwitch*

Her mouth tried to form the words. She felt Theophilus’s TOOKE button in her hip pocket.

Suddenly a piercing voice rose above the din. “Theophilus!”

Sora: *tries to yelp the name, and ends up sneezing and burping at the same time* HEY! It worked!
Zidane: Oh, my!

Zarpessa’s voice.

Minako: And when Ziggy talks, you just shut your mouth.

“I’d better go.” Theophilus tipped an imaginary hat to Tookie. Then he whirled around and marched toward his beloved.

Zidane: See, HE’S a dancer!

“Seven minutes left!” Mayor Rump bellowed.

Zidane: We have a talking butt. WE HAVE REACHED THE SINGULARITY.
Minako: Well, this story was kind of assinine already.
Sora: I guess this means he’s always talking out of his ass!
Zidane: At least that means he’s always an intentional jackass!

A blinding neon-yellow flash filled the sky. The clouds vanished. The sun disappeared. Someone screamed.

Minako: The apocalypse! YAAAAAAY!
Zidane: No, don’t rejoice! That way only leads to Left Behind!
Minako: I will take my chances!

Everyone shaded their eyes or ducked their heads. Even the walkers paused for a moment and squinted upward. Another whoosh boomed through the air. “The Scouts!”

Minako: Senshi.
Zidane: Bless you.
Sora: *raises hands* Cookies for everyone!

a voice bellowed. “They’re here!”

Minako: ...What. You mean they weren’t there before!? *very tightly clenching the armrests to the point of causing them to crack*
Zidane: [Adds duck tape to the pile of Minako-rage supplies.]

Scouts? Where? Tookie stood on her tiptoes, her heart beating like mad.

Sora: Next the Heavy will show up!

People stepped back from a nearby lamppost that had started to vibrate, staring at it with a mix of wonder and terror.

Zidane: World’s. Largest. Sex toy.

The lamppost began to lengthen, like a long telescoping pole. Snap!

Minako: You just got Scout’d. *Bill & Ted’s guitar riff*

It broke apart and reassembled as a slender, mysterious-looking woman in a black metallic jumpsuit. Her head glowed as if it contained a lightbulb.

Minako: Transformers 5: Just Porn It Already.
Zidane: Transformers 5: The Real Doll Comes.
Sora: Transformers 5: Things Can’t Blow Up Fast Enough.

“A Scout!” Tookie whispered. She’d never seen one in person before.

Sora: Of course not! They’re...LAMPPOSTS IN DISGUISE! *Family Feud ding*
Zidane: MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE! *Family Feud ding*
Minako: ...Uh...Shia LaBeouf! *Family Feud buzzer*

The Scout’s head began to blink, as if warning people that something amazing was about to happen.

Zidane: It was going to invent fire!
Sora: Maybe it’s just warning them that she’s about to make a left turn.
Zidane: But it’s not giving the proper arm signal!

Then the woman marched to a thin girl with cheekbones so sharp they could slice a melon in half, and tapped her arm.

Minako: Oh, I get it now. This was Rob Liefeld’s doing.

The girl clutched her chest in disbelief.

Minako: Girl: But my ribcage! Its not big enough to handle this!

The Scout took her hand, and the bright light of her cranium flashed like lightning. And then … poof! They were gone, and the lamppost was back where it had always been.

Zidane: We-are-the-lampposts. Lower-your-will-and-prepare-to-be-assimilated. As-if-you-weren’t-already.

“Oh, my baby!” the girl’s mother cried, running up to the lamppost, hugging it tightly and covering it with kisses.

Zidane: Clearly she’s a superstar! [thrusts both hands in the air]
Minako: TMI!!

“My baby, my baby, my baby! First-draft pick!”

Zidane: First-draft pick for the Pittsburgh Steelers! Whooo!

More gasps and screams rose in the crowd as the huge clock in the square ticked past the six-minute mark. Suddenly, Scouts from Modelland were everywhere.

Minako: And in the name of the-

An asteroid rocketed to earth, throwing up chunks of marble all around the square and causing nearby runway walkers to flee in hysterics.

Sora: Oh no, someone started playing Sburb!
Zidane: And here I thought it was the Rhombulans and they were objecting to all the loud music.

A stunning Scout emerged from the rubble, with skin that seemed to be made of rough stone. She wore a bathing suit ensemble that appeared to be made of rocks.

Sora: She’s gonna be real weak to grass and water types.
Zidane: Oh god oh god - Neverending Story 3 flashback!
Minako: Give it credit, Zidane, at least Jack Black tried.

She tapped a tall, long-haired girl in a plain, dingy cotton dress. The dress wasn’t nearly as fancy as most of the outfits the other girls were wearing, and its front was wet with tears.

Zidane: She cries waterfalls.

When the girl looked up and saw the Scout, her jaw dropped.

“Are you sure you have to pick me?” the girl whimpered incredulously.

A pointy-chinned competitor in a poufy-sleeved dress and studded boots pushed to the front. “Pick me, she doesn’t want it!”

Sora: Choose door number three!

The plainly dressed girl’s mother tugged the Scout’s arm. “No, my Desperada does want it!

Minako: ......come to your senses.........

Please take her! I don’t have the money to feed her anymore.”

Minako: ...… *the parts of the armrests that she was clutching? Yeah, they’ve just been crushed under her tightening grip*
Sora: *scoots away more*
Zidane: Wow. That’s like selling your child into slavery!

The Scout nodded and grabbed the sobbing girl’s hand, and they both disappeared into a hole in the ground. Immediately, all the broken marble flew into the sky, reassembled, and then dropped right back to exactly where it’d been before the disruption.

Sora: At this point it’s just a Monty Python sketch.
Zidane: The Spanish Inquisition would only make this better.

The clock edged past the five-minutes-left mark. The shopping cart of one of the homeless women flew from her hands and rolled wildly around the square.

Sora: Even the cart wants to get out of this story!
Zidane: It’s okay, TAKEI WILL RESCUE IT! AND US!

Girls near the cart ran away screaming. The cart flipped forward, and old food and tattered clothes spilled to the ground. A Scout in a dress with rips in all the right places materialized from beneath the decrepit belongings. She strutted to the middle of the square and stopped in front of a raven-haired girl who was wearing a dress with an enormous bustle. The girl’s mother, who was clad in a muumuu, held out her own arm. “You want … me?”

Sora: ...To join the army!
Zidane: Or maybe the navy! Where you can sail the seven seas!
Minako: Or maybe the Coast Guard, where you can search for devil fish!

With a slight, tired, oh how the old ones always do this roll of her eyes, the Scout touched the daughter’s shoulder instead.

Zidane: Oh right, because beauty ends at twenty-two. EVERYONE knows that. [eyeroll]
Minako: ........

“Oh!” the mother squealed. “Well, of course, of course!” She enveloped her daughter in her arms and cooed how proud she was of her and then let go. But as the Scout and the daughter descended into the worn clothes and rotten food within the cart, there was the tiniest look of disappointment on the mother’s face.

Minako: *starting to shake. Pissed off Level We Don’t Even Know Anymore*
Sora: *finishes off the rest of his popcorn and pulls the popcorn bucket over his head like a helmet*
Zidane: [Adds a fire extinguisher to the pile.]

“Three minutes, fifty seconds!” Mayor Rump announced from his VIP perch.

Zidane: The butt is back in town again.

Myrracle strutted on, posing and turning. Mrs. De La Crème bit her nails. Mr. De La Crème paced back and forth.

Eruptions occurred all over the square.

Minako: Tommy Lee Jones: Good. *walks off*

The reporters swiveled their cameras and microphones, trying to keep up with the mayhem.

Sora: They’ll have better luck keeping up with a government coup at this point!

Walkers to the left, right, front, and back bumped into Myrracle. She walked two steps, posed, turned, and walked again. Even Zarpessa was losing space, walking in a tight circle near the strange obelisks.

Zidane: [cues up Thus Spake Zarathustra] We need an animal thigh bone to throw in slow-motion.
Minako: Yami no Yuugi: Kaiba! You just activated my TRAP CARD!

“Tookie, climb up here so your sister has more room to walk!”

Minako: ..... *teeth are starting to clench*

Mr. De La Crème commanded behind her. Tookie turned and saw her parents and Brian standing on the roof of the wildest car she had ever seen: a blinged-out golden low-rider with a pavé roof and hubcaps that spun in place, even when the car wasn’t moving.

Zidane: Drives like shit, though.
Sora: ‘Pimp My Ride,’ NO!

The gaudy and glam automobile was parked on a piece of marble that had a huge crack down the middle that looked, strangely, like a question mark.

Zidane: So all of this is going on and the weird thing is that a crack in the pavement looks like a question mark?
Sora: I don’t know either, street. I just don’t know.
Minako: Its the Riddler’s car, you guys.

Tookie dutifully climbed onto the shiny bumper. Mrs. De La Crème anxiously compared the time on her watch to the time on the huge clock in the center of the square. Worry marred her wrinkled face. “We still have time,” she murmured. “A miracle will happen for The Myrracle. I just know it.”

Minako: .........*little puffs of smoke start huffing from her nostrils*
Zidane: [And a first aid kit.]

More flashes filled the sky. More Scouts appeared. The candidates walked hungrily.

Minako: To Golden Corral! *she’s really trying not to flip, really, really....really trying...*
Sora: They’ve all heard that it’s Prince Spaghetti Night!

Dozens of fights broke out, and at least six girls lay on the marble ground, nursing their wounds. As Tookie made her way up the trunk of the car, a strange vibrating sensation tickled her feet. Bzzz.

What was that?

Sora: Riddler left a hand buzzer by his car?
Minako: Well, not to spoil anything, but those are tentacles and you should leave.
Zidane: Maybe she doesn’t want to.
Minako: ........oh my......

“One minute left!” Mayor Rump called. Hundreds of people began to count down. Fifty-nine, fifty-eight …

Zidane: We’re gonna cut this right down to the wire, aren’t we?

Bzzz. Bzzz. Tookie looked down and gasped. A strip of the diamond-encrusted roof of the car had transformed into a thick layer of brilliant fabric. As she watched, even more of the roof disappeared and reappeared as cloth. The fabric looked as if it were being spontaneously woven by a giant loom. “Whoa,” she whispered.

Sora: Thank you, Keanu Reeves.

Mrs. De La Crème noticed the fabric too. She kneeled down to within an inch of the strange material and then bounced back up. “It’s a Scout!” She jumped off the roof. “Myrracle, it’s a Scout!”

Zidane: Hate to tell you this, lady, but That’s Not the Daughter It Is Looking For.

Brian was right behind her. He shook Myrracle by the shoulders. “It’s a Scout, doofus!”

“Where?” Myrracle halted midpose.

“On the roof of the car!”


Myrracle pushed past girls in her way and scuttled over to the vehicle.

Thousands of crowd members were now counting down the seconds.

Zidane: Yep, right to the wire.

Forty-five, forty-four …

Another row of fabric emerged. Then another, then another. Myrracle shrieked. “A Scout, Creamy! A Scout!”

Zidane: A weird combination of mechanics and lightbulbs, Orange Filling!
Sora: Not like we haven’t known this for the past FIVE PARAGRAPHS or anything!

Mr. De La Crème grabbed Myrracle from the square and pulled her toward the car. “Everything we’ve strived for.

Zidane: [extra bandages]

It’s all coming true, baby!”

Zidane: [let’s add a straightjacket just in case]
Sora: *huddling under the popcorn bucket*

Thirty-nine, thirty-eight …

Sora: Who do we appreciate!
Zidane: Not this author!

Tons of girls ran for the gaudy car, clamoring for the attention of the soon-to-appear Scout. Tookie surveyed the crowd, noticing how many people were watching the De La Crème family on the roof. Jealous girls, rabid mothers … even Theophilus was in the back of the crowd, looking amused. But strangely, he wasn’t staring at Myrracle, as most of the mob was. His eyes were locked on Tookie. Her stomach flipped over.

Minako: Yeah, I’m sure hers wasn’t the only one. *urp but oh if looks could kill*
Sora: Ick, that’s gonna leave her with heartburn.

“Tookie!” Mrs. De La Crème grabbed Tookie’s ankle. “Get down from the hood! Myrracle needs her space! This is her moment!”

Minako: NO....*URGE TO KILL RISING...*
Zidane: [drops his popcorn bucket over his own head]

“Uh …” Tookie stared at the ground. The area around the car teemed with so many girls now, she was kind of trapped.

Zidane: Oh come on, CROWD SURFING!

Furthermore, Myrracle wasn’t able to climb atop the roof to greet the Scout properly. This is Myrracle’s moment, Tookie thought.

Minako: *she wants to make a quip but its obvious she’s about one second away fro-*
Sora: She’s on the Myrracle Mile!
Minako: *...crisis temporarily averted...*
Zidane: With extra creamy Myrracle Whip!

She had to help her.

Zidane: At least there’s some form of sisterly bond here, that’s not so bad.

“Come on, Myrracle!” Tookie called.

Minako: Myrracle: Neigh, I say! I’m working for Mel Brooks! *maybe she’s calming down now*

She reached out her hand for Myrracle to grab. It took all of Tookie’s strength to pull Myrracle and her twenty-pound dress onto the hood. Once she was up, Myrracle pushed Tookie out of the way, nearly knocking her to the ground.

Zidane: Oh... Okay, no, that was just her being a doormat.

“I’m here!” Myrracle cried. She stood in the center of the hood, hands in the air, her chin thrust high. “Da-tahhhh!”

Sora: Put your hands in the air and wave ‘em like you just don’t care!
Zidane: -SUDDEN REVELATION! The others we’ve seen picked up haven’t been punching other people in the face to get it, they’ve all been surprised! So clearly these weird transformers aren’t looking for total brats! SO DON’T BEHAVE LIKE ONE!
Minako: *oh...well, ok, Zidane ranted, maybe she could survive without-*

“Tookie, for the love of God, get off the roof!” Mrs. De La Crème screeched. “Give Myrracle room!”

But Tookie didn’t want to move. She wanted to see this happen to Myrracle firsthand. The roof had finished its diamond-to-fabric transformation. There was a slight pause, and Tookie felt the world around her go silent. And then the whole roof began to tremble.

Sora: I guess diamonds aren’t a car’s best friend.

Suddenly, the fabric split violently in the very center, knocking Myrracle off the roof. She fell to the ground almost as if in slow motion.

Sora: *whispering* KING!

“Nooooooo!” Mrs. De La Crème wailed.

Zidane: Oh wow, nice prediction, Sora! [holds out hand for a high-five]
Sora: [high-fives him]
Minako: /Vader

Tookie’s father pushed Brian out of the way to catch his daughter. Tiers of tulle billowed into his face. Myrracle’s legs kicked into the air.

Sora: Hope she doesn’t have any swords stuck onto her dress!
Zidane: Why would she have swords stuck on her dress? I don’t think these people know what a sword is.
Sora: Remember? In an earlier chapter, that guy circus jumped onto a sword! On his eye!
Zidane: Ohhhhhhhh, right! [beat] They still don’t know how to use one properly, though.
Sora: That’s a given.
Minako: I know how to use a sword...*very strange and scary gleam in her eyes*

“Get back up there, Myrracle!” Mr. De La Crème screamed, shoving a shoe back onto Myrracle’s bare foot. He pushed her up on the hood.

Minako: *SNAP* GRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGH!!! THAT DOES IT!! *suddenly stands up despite her ensemble and RIPS CLOTHING OFF...*
Sora & Zidane: OH MY!

Fifteen, fourteen, thirteen …

The tear in the fabric grew wider, until a human-sized hole appeared.

Sailor Venus: *..well, ok, she didn’t transform, but she did make a very spot-on replica of her sailor soldier uniform just in case and wore it under her couture* And out from the depths of this bejeweled bullcrap, emerged ME!! The soldier of love and beauty can no longer stand watching this degrading scene without saying something from deep within my heart! *pose!*
Zidane: -You’re not making any sense. [completely seriously]

And then a nearly naked woman emerged from the center of the tear and rose into the sky. She had long limbs and golden skin and wore shiny necklaces strategically placed over her chest and lower half.

Sora: I...I don’t think those count as necklaces.
Venus: The least of this story’s problems!
Zidane: I think I’d like them if I knew that that was a real woman and not an automaton.

A gem-encrusted veil covered her face.

Tookie gasped.

The Scout’s hair blew in its own wind.

Sora: Can you paint with all the colors of my own wiiiind~?

Her arms stretched wide. Her fingers gripped the very ends of the piece of fabric that had materialized on the roof of the car. It seemed as though the fabric had grown from her fingers, an extension of her body itself.

Sora: This is like something out of a Tarsin movie!
Zidane: You had to bring that one up didn’t you.

“Wow,” Myrracle whispered. Tookie couldn’t agree more.

Zidane: She gets the prettiest one. Of course she gets the prettiest one.

Fireworks began to explode in the air, the sparkles showing the numbers as they counted down.

Six, five, four …

Sora: Sheesh, those are some well-timed fireworks!

The Scout looked at the De La Crèmes and nodded majestically, looking both strong and feminine at the same time.

Sora: Because feminine is not strong on its own. [sighs]

“Please take her!” Mrs. De La Crème gushed.

“We would be honored!” Mr. De La Crème cried.

Venus: NO! No, this isn’t an honor! This is a disgrace and you are disgraceful parents and Modelland is a disgrace to modeling! Modeling is about more than just attacking others and belittling others or forcing others to live out dreams they don’t have any choice in pursuing! (Zidane: Minako-) It’s not simply about superficial ideals of what is and isn’t a woman! Its about being a confident woman who isn’t afraid to be an inspiration to others, its about working with others to accomplish an art form and style on which the human body regardless of shape is the canvas upon which colors and patterns are draped! (Zidane: Minako-) It’s about femininity as an ideal that should be open to everyone, that should be accessible to everyone, about the love of beauty on a person for its own sake! THIS IS NOT MODELING! And in the name of planet Venus, the goddess of love and all other models everywhere I--
Zidane: That’s it! [douses Minako with his water bottles]
Sora: [dumps a bucket of water on Minako too]
Venus: *sputters* ACK! Guys!
Sora: We’re just trying to calm you down a bit!
Zidane: You’re going to burst everything into flame at this rate. Great for more popcorn, not for our health.
Venus: Sorry...*deep breath* But I really needed to get that off my chest. Being a model and all back home a model and idol, you know...but I’m good now!
Sora: *eyebrow raise* Uhhh...riiiight.
Venus: ...Uh...ok, aside from Sora, I’m only a-
Zidane: Minako... it’s obvious you’re not telling us something. You know we don’t care, right? We’re all oddballs up here.
Minako: ...Am I seriously that obvious?
Sora: The sudden costume change was a bit of a tip-off.
Zidane: A few too many reversals of things you’ve said in the past, too. [picks up a cotton candy cone and pulls off a handful, offering her the rest of the cone] Here, just for you, from your fellow oddball.
Minako: ...I...huh. I need to work on that. *takes the cotton candy* Thanks.
Zidane: Let’s wrap this up, people!

Three, two …

Zidane: Of course. Last second. Had to be the last second. Stupid tropes.

And then the Scout reached out her long, slender, radiantly decorated hand and beckoned.

Minako: Scout: Has anyone ever told you you’re pretty handsome for a meat-bag~?

To Tookie.

Sora: *as the Scout* PULL MY FINGER!
Minako: Tookie: Oh my~!
Zidane: SO! [quickly munches the rest of his cotton candy] What have we learned this time? Aside from Minako liking sudden costume changes.
Minako: ...Well, I learned that the new corporate T-DOD just doesn’t compare to the old underground T-DOD. They really sold out their sound when they signed to Interscope.
Sora: I learned that in this universe meteors can just reverse themselves back up into the atmosphere and no one finds that odd!
Zidane: I learned that trash-diving produces the most elegant clothing without regards to basic sanitation!
Minako: I learned that there is such a thing as having too many Schicks out of shape.
Sora: I learned that the instant you turn twenty-three you become wrinky, decrepit and least if you’re a woman. Otherwise you become a butt.
Zidane: And I think we all learned that there is, in fact, one high god above all. [pause]
All: TAKEEEEIIIII! *Vulcan V-hands abound and TOS music plays as they exit*