The Gundam Beauty Pageant|
by Charon the Sabercat
Madnug goes a little nuts during his gauntlet.
Chapter 22 - Chapter 23 - Chapter 24
The Gundam Beauty Pageant|
23. Madnug's Gauntlet
"Everybody, hurry up, hurry up, hurry up! Everybody, in the seats! Don- don't push! Don't push, I'll get Mel in here! I'll get Mel- wait a minute." (Charon leaned over and hugged Zero.) "Haven't gotten to do that yet, excuse me. Hurry up, in the seat! In the seat! Get your seat in the seat! Come on, just two more of these, and you'll be done. Hurry up, everybody! Don't make me kicks your butts- don't make m-" (Charon gave Sazabi a soft prod on the butt with her foot, a horrible excuse for a kick.) "I kicked your butt, now get inside. Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up, HURRY UP! I have an announcement. Thank you... thank you. Thank you, everybody."
After the Gundams were seated, Charon stood at the front of the room and waved the mechas silent. "Okay, everybody, I'm sorry to say that my friend Mel will not be joining us for the rest of the pageant. She needs to head home and-" (her tone shifted sarcastically) "-play Final Fantasy XI before they cancel her account-"
Mel ran past the door with a suitcase in one hand and a Gameboy in the other. "I'M COMING, CERONT!"
The men were more than a little confused. Charon sighed hopelessly and continued.
"So, instead, we're bringing in another Mel to replace her."
"A replacement Mel?" Grappler laughed. "Oh, that's great! What idiotic, game-addict, anti-social organ-sack are you bri-"
The door flew open with a BANG! The Gundams took a few seconds to register the intruder-
Black jacket. Black boots. Blank pants. Red racing stripes. Blonde hair. Green eyes that slowly changed to an evil red.
She was registered with a group scream. "MELADY!"
Melady, sometimes known as Mel, smiled evilly. "That's right, nut buckets, and I'm here to stay! Now, where do I sit?"
"Hey, Mel! Can I call you Mel?" Charon didn't wait for an answer, simply shook Melady's hand and pointed her towards her seat next to Zapper. She grappled him and growled, "We're gonna have fun together!"
Zapper choked what could have been a scream and swung his arm, attempting to push Melady away. "Get away from me, flesh tube!"
Melady scoffed and pulled an anvil out of her pocket, dropping it on Zapper's head. Charon immediately rushed forward, holding a knitting needle threateningly. "Hold it! Hold it! Mel, what did I tell you about the bottomless sack-o-weapons?"
Mel answered, sounding justified. "Don't use it in case it's absolutely necessary!"
Charon slapped her forehead. "Was flattening Zapper into a pancake absolutely necessary?"
Dom pulled the anvil off of the ground, exposing the tiny, circular, and mostly flat Zapper Zaku underneath. He wheezed, "Inflate... me..."
Charon took the anvil from Dom with a bit of difficulty and somehow dropped it back into Melady's pocket. "Please, Mel, don't use the bottomless bag-o-weapons unless somebody is about to kill somebody else, okay?"
Melady pondered... and eventually sighed, slamming her back into the chair. "Fine..."
Charon shook her head. They were off to a bad start. She spotted the still-flat Zapper. "Somebody inflate him!"
The Dark Axis bots all looked at Grappler. Grappler looked at them, Killer, and Zapper sporadically before finally yelling, "Oh, come ON!"
Grappler got on his knees and leaned over Zapper, took a deep breathe, and blew into his mouthpiece. There was a second where nothing happened, but Zapper instantaneously inflated back to his normal size quickly.
Melady fell backwards in her chair, hearts drifting up from her head. "Grappy Zappy slash-y..."
Zapper, of course, did not feel the same way. He batted his mouthpiece, disgusted. "When was the last time you cleaned your grill, man?! Nachos..."
Grappler discreetly whispered to Talgeese. "Next time, you're getting it." He then blanched, hiding behind Killer Kath was quickly as possible.
Melady regained her composure and rubbed her hands together. "I'm gonna enjoy this fic."
"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Most Talented competition! Our contestants, to prove their skill and number of abilities, will run through a gauntlet of my design! There is no particular scoring system, although contestants will be judged on speed and grace. Any trips or long hesitations will be taken into consideration.
"Today's first contestant is Madnug, to celebrate the induction of new stagehand and faithful Gundamaniac, Melady. Say hi, Mel!"
"As a scientific genius, he will be running through an obstacle course which will test his brain as well as his trigger finger! For the safety and comfort of the audience members, the course will be seperated from the viewing area by night vision, two way glass. Bathrooms are on the left, snack bar on the right, 3-D glasses available on request with an extra 50 cent charge.
"Please sit back and enjoy the show. Turn on all cell phones, please. Dispose of trash at the appropriate receptecles. No smoking, please."
"And that's it?"
"Hey, can I do the one for the next chapter?"
"Oh, sure!" (click)
Madnug was still waiting for the door to open, fingers drumming impatiently on his beam rifle. His soul drive was pounding with some emotion he didn't (want to) recognize, but he ignored it and targeted the starter door with his eyepiece. "Just one shot, and I'd be out of here-"
The door behind him opened. Before he could react, a pair of human arms were around him.
One shot, one shot- But Madnug didn't get the chance to shoot Shute. Captain had pulled his human friend off of the black Gundam and was apologizing. "I'm sorry, Madnug. I know you can't like that."
"We just came to wish you good luck!" Shute chirped.
"I don't. Need. Your. Help." Shute opened his mouth to respond, but Madnug cut him off. "I don't need you to cheer for me. I don't need your compassion, your support, or any other human emotion you can throw at me. Now, Go. Away."
The smile wavered for only a second, but he immediately bounced back. "I know you don't need it. But do you want it?"
"I-" and he stopped. He couldn't finish. He couldn't even think of why he couldn't finish, but the words just stuck in his throat.
"We'll be cheering for you, Madnug."
Captain leaned over and hugged Madnug briefly. Shute gave Madnug another hug before bouncing away with Captain.
Red light. Time to go.
"Okay, Madnug, look for a pink light. Step towards it, and you'll start."
He couldn't see anything. The entire space was pitch black; any sort of light could not be seen. He clicked on his eyepiece, allowing his night vision to take over. Everything became visible, if a little more green.
Madnug checked the floor. It was an incredibly small platform, big enough for mabye him and a Zako, but nothing more. All it would take was two steps, and he would plummet into the bottomless pit.
A pink light sparked out from the darkness. He kicked off from the platform, firing his rockets.
"And Madnug is outta there! This is the puzzle section of the gauntlet; he-"
The pink light began to move to the right as Madnug moved towards it. With a twitch of his soul drive, he had frozen the light and blasted it with his beam rifle, sending glass shards falling into the abyss.
"Um... never mind, he's got it."
Another light, this one green, appeared out of the darkness above Madnug's head. It zigzagged randomly in the air, but was quickly stopped by Madnug's computer jammer and blasted.
Two lights flashed on at once, each on an opposite side of the room. Madnug put away his eyepiece and, from somewhere, pulled out twin beam rifles. His body flashed twice with some inner light, and the lightbulbs were stuck in place, vibrating wildly.
BANG! Falling shards.
"Madnug seems to be taking the gauntlet lightly. Maybe this challenge is a little too easy."
The lights flashed one again, six at a time, and began zooming around the room like dragonflies. Madnug targetted and shot each light as he saw them, but as soon as he blasted one, two more appeared in its place. It was obvious it was going to take more than simple shooting to get rid of them this time.
Experiment. He shot one light, and the shards from the bulb hit and shattered two other lights.
"Perfect." Missiles shot out from under his flight boosters, hitting the largest clusters of lights and sending the shards into the remaining lights. The room plunged back into darkness, and Madnug landed on the tiny platform light as a feather. He could hear the cheers of the audience from the walls; he almost blushed, and his soul drive burned uncomfortably.
"And Madnug has passed the puzzle test! Now, for the harder part; The Strength Test!"
Madnug sneered. He knew this situation all too well. Humans, and most organics, had a different idea of what heavy was than Gundams. Charon would shoot him something the weight of a small car, he would toss it aside like a ragdoll, everyone would cheer, end of story.
A huge block of... metal... something! It blasted diagonally from the roof in a shower of sheet rock and light bulb ends and hit Madnug like an incoming train! The Gundam was immediately forced to his knees, straining to keep the weight from crushing him.
"HA! Not as easy as you thought, huh, Madnug?"
"Woah! Hey, take it easy on him!"
"Relax, Mel, it won't kill him. If he can't push it off of him, the gauntlet will stop, and he'll be disqualified."
The giant beam kept pushing against Madnug; he couldn't keep up with it. He began to slip towards the edge.
"What if he falls off the edge?!"
"Oh... then he falls."
His heel lost its footing; he was about to fall. Panic began to seize his systems, making it harder to keep pushing. Madnug flinched in terror.
"Come on, Madnug!"
Madnug's eyes opened. "Sazabi?"
Sazabi was standing up in two seats, one foot in each chair. "COME ON, MADNUG, YOU'RE MADE OF TOUGHER STUFF THAN THIS!"
"Give 'em Dell, Madnug!" Zapper shouted, shaking a tub of popcorn at the glass.
The other Dark Axis bots began to scream bloody murder, yelling for Madnug to buckle down and win.
"Come on, Madnug!"
"Finish this! You're not a wimp! Do it!"
"Mad-nug! Mad-nug! Mad-nug!"
Captain and Shute shared a glance and held hands. Captain silently whispered. "We know you can do it, Madnug."
Shute nodded, whispering back. "We believe in you..."
Madnug began to feel a wave of power surging up through his arms, a strength he had never felt before. His eyes and hands began to glow...
"WOAH! Do you see that?!"
"He can't be!"
"Can't be wha-"
"Ladies and gentlemen, I think Madnug has just activated his soul drive!"
A red energy burst from Madnug's body, surrounding him like fire. His eyes shined blood red.
"That can't be good."
Madnug growled, and that growl grew into a roar. He dug his fingers into the middle of the beam, which bent under his hands like butter. With indescribable power, Madnug ripped the metal beam in two, flinging the two Gundamusai-sized pieces into the black.
The lights came back like a swarm of bees, zooming around the circumference of the room without stopping. The guns snapped back into Madnug's hand, and he unleashed an endless volley of bullets into the room. The soul drive powered his gun enough to release several bullets at once, each one plunging into the middle of the target with dead accuracy. The red bolts of energy shot out of Madnug's hands faster than the eye could see, turning the black Gundam into a glowing red orb.
And all at once, it was dark again. Madnug stopped glowing; the lights were all gone. Everything was dark.
"And... um... Madnug... is done..."
Man.. Madnug... is tough... Only one chapter left for the Most Talented... Thanks again to Melady for being in the fic in place of Mel.|
Chapter 22 - Chapter 23 - Chapter 24