The Gundam Beauty Pageant|
by Charon the Sabercat
I had to start this chapter over; I started it in Houston and then mailed the wrong document to myself, oy…
Chapter 33 - Chapter 34 - Chapter 35
The Gundam Beauty Pageant|
34. The next round? No.
The Gundams had gathered in the break room to discuss the passing of the Crocodile Hunter, for lack of anything better to talk about. They bunched around the television, grabbing pillows, beanbags, and wooden chairs to sit on when the Dark Axis took over the chairs and sofa.
Destroyer Dom, who took up most of the right half, occupied the bulk of the sofa. Grappler and Killer stretched themselves across the second half, snuggled into each other comfortably. Zapper sat in the armchair closest to Grappler, sitting on his hip with his feet tucked under him. Sazabi fit in the armchair closest to Destroyer like a hen fits into a nest, with most of him hanging over the sides of the armrests. Madnug stretched across the back of the sofa like a cat, resting his head in his hand and his arm on his hip.
The Gundams were randomly scattered over the floor. Gundiver and Captain were sitting near Dom's feet. Guneagle and Maxine rested their backs against each other. Zero and Deathscythe each hovered above the sofa and armchairs (they felt like powerful overseers, and it was hard for them to not laugh).
Baku and Aneko had built themselves a fort/bed out of pillows and lounged with their weight on their arms. They looked oddly similar to a pair of sunning lions. Daishogun stood to the right of Sazabi, fanning himself calmly, with Kibaomaru sitting at his feet. Cobramaru lurked in a back corner holding Hoshiko in his lap.
Gundiver was especially despondent; like one could imagine, he was a huge fan of the Crocodile Hunter. Gundiver shook his head in amazement. “Who would've imagined it?”
Grappler immediately raised his hand, keeping one arm around Killer. “I could!”
“Shut up!” Gundiver snapped, a rare flash of anger burning in his eyes. “It was a rhetorical question!”
“Look, the guy worked with venomous snakes and crocodiles!” Grappler shot back, sitting up more attentively than before. Killer and Destroyer Dom scooted out of them way of his pointing accusing claw. “You can't tell me at some point you didn't think he was gonna die during one of his shows!”
Talgeese, who was sitting backwards on a beanbag not facing the group, tossed his hand in the air and made wild swinging gestures as he talked. “Hell, I thought he was going to die every show! That's what made me watch the show!”
“Shut up!” Gundiver took a breath that threatened to choke him. Captain held out an arm and took Gundiver into his chest, patting his back.
“Please, gentlemen,” Captain pleaded. “You're upsetting Gundiver.”
Zapper growled. “Hey, if anything, you should be impressed with him. He's the only organics I've ever respected. Guy made a living out of jumping on alligators' backs. I mean, that's a set of Gundanium balls if there ever was one!”
The Dark Axis and Talgeese laughed in agreement. Aneko and Baku blanched and “Ew!”ed in unison.
Captain decided to intervene. “I am surprised that he died, not how he died.”
Zero shook his head. “No, I'm surprised how he died, as well. He knew how to handle animals. This shouldn't have happened.”
Madnug nodded. “It was a freak accident.”
Dom rubbed his chin. “Dom thought it would be crocodile.”
“I know, a stingray!” Guneagle shouted in disbelief.
“I read on the Wikipedia that he's only the 17th person in the word to die from a stingray attack,” said Maxine.
Gundiver squeaked in despair again. Captain pulled him closer and rubbed his back gently. “It's okay, it's okay. It was his time to go.”
“Humans shouldn't be doing things like the Crocodile Hunter was, anyway,” Maxine stated with a hint of disdain.
The Daishogun's attention piqued. “Hmm. And why is that, fair maiden?”
“Because humans are so…” She grunted in concentration. “What's the word?”
Daishogun shrugged. “Fragile?”
Zapper chuckled. “Weak?”
She snapped her fingers, finally having the answer. “Inferior!”
The room gasped in amazement, then was coldly silent.
Then Dom threw his hands in the air. “THANK YOU!”
“FINALLY!” Grappler roared. “A Gundam that FAQin' agrees with us!”
“M-Maxine!” Zero gasped, covering his mouth. “Y-you can't mean that!”
Maxine tossed her head indignantly, eyes closed. “I can, and I do.” Maxine leaned back onto Guneagle. “Humans are frail, whiny, demanding, and weak. The only thing a human can do better than a Gundam is swim, and-“ She laughed a bit. “We Neotopians are working on that.”
She cast a probing glance at the amazed Gundiver, who immediately averted his eyes.
“I will admit,” Aneko finally spoke, “Humans are kind of…” She shivered. “Disgusting.”
“They're SOFT!” Baku cried out in surprise.
Aneko whined back, “But they squish when you touch them!”
“I don't find human softness offensive at all!” Zero curtly replied. “I rather enjoy it, actually…”
This comment gained him several odd stares. He blushed and looked at his feet. “Forget I said that…”
“You have to admit, though,” Maxine explained, “Humans are incredibly weak and dependent upon our protection. Isn't that right, Captain?”
Captain shook like he was struck by lightning. He could feel his muscles tightening and his circuits running cold. “What do you mean?”
“That human boy!” Maxine seemed surprised that he wasn't following her; her hands drifted to her face. “You know, your pet?”
The entire room exploded in laughter. Even Zero and Bakunetsumaru laughed, if not as cold-heartedly as the others. Captain blushed bright red.
Eventually the laughter descended into a round of applause for Maxine's comment. Kibaomaru murmured to himself. “His pet… oh, shimatta, that's funny…”
The Neotopian Gundamess smiled proudly and nodded. “I'm right, aren't I? And another things, humans are whiny and demanding, aren't they?”
Her eyes went directly to Zero. It was his turn to jump. “Well, I, uh, hold nothing but the purest of respect and love for my princess, but, I, uh… oh…” He moaned, uncertain.
Zero sunk to the floor in defeat. “The Princess is a brat. Her father is an adult brat. The entire royal family is a bunch of brats!”
Maxine nodded again. “I'm right again.” She leaned back on Guneagle, who was sweating with excitement. “Above all else, though, humans are ugly.”
Nobody gasped in shock. Captain looked around the room, hoping for at least a shocked look from someone. Zero was hiding in shame behind Sazabi's chair, and Deathscythe's eyes couldn't be seen.
“There's nothing as beautiful as a Gundam in all his glory, is there?”
The Gundams shook their heads.
“What about us?!” Grappler snapped.
“Uh… right.” Maxine tossed her head again. “Anyway… what we were talking about before this?”
Charon entered the room through the back door. “Hey, guys, did you know it was raining outside?”
The Gundams looked up from their pit and shook their heads. Bakunetsumaru piped, “Nope.”
The sabercat's ears lowered a little. “Did you know Gunpanzer and Britainmaru are outside with Melady's bottomless weapon sack raving about how they're going to hunt mechdogs?”
It was silent, but they shook their heads again. Kibaomaru rubbed his chin. “I was wondering where Britainmaru went.”
“Did you know that Melady has just written herself another bottomless weapon sack and is about to blow you all into kingdom come for letting them get a hold of her first one?”
Silence again, but this one was deadly.
“Oh, SHIT!” Sazabi screamed, “THAT'S what we were doing!”
The Gundams rushed to the back door and ran outside to rescue themselves- I mean, Britainmaru and Gunpanzer from Melady's wrath.
All but one.
Charon called after the Gundams. “Hey, we're puttin' the next contest on hold, okay?!” She skipped to the conversation pit to clean up the beanbags and spotted Captain. “Hey, are you okay?”
Captain didn't answer her. His Soul Drive was aching. He touched his faceplate; underneath, his human mouth and nose rested unused since his brief encounter with Maxine. Did other Gundams really hate humans that much? We they really that weak? That cowardly? That… ugly? He covered his face with his hands. It only made sense. If they were ugly… he was ugly too.
Dedicated to and mostly about Steve Irwin, may he rest in peace.|
Chapter 33 - Chapter 34 - Chapter 35