The Gundam Beauty Pageant|
by Charon the Sabercat
Not really. I'm just establishing Madnug's subplot, furthering Captain's, referencing Zapper's, and strengthing Zero's. Tricky fish.
This one is three subplots in one: Captain's, Zero's, and the often-ignored Madnug's. This is happening concurrently with the last chapter.
Chapter 35 - Chapter 36 - Chapter 37
The Gundam Beauty Pageant|
36. Four-for-one deal, for a limited time only!
Madnug was resting in the Dark Axis break room, playing Alice and trying to ignore the cooing lovebirds (Grappler and Killer) on the sofa. He was wrapped up in trying to kill the Mad Hatter when he felt something big behind his shoulder.
“…picking out a Thermos for you- Madnug, get up.”
Madnug leaned forward farther, sucked into his game. “I'll save after the boss battle, and then you can have it.”
Madnug was quickly hoisted into the air by his neck, choking him. Sazabi growled in Madnug's ear. “What I have to tell you is more important than some stupid game. Now pa-”
“Hey, lug nuts!”
The two mechas glared at Grappler, who was sprawled on the sofa and under Killer Kath. The blue robot growled. “A little private time, please?”
Sazabi carried Madnug (still choking in his grip) into the next room and slammed the door behind him. “Spam minions. You die once, and you don't get any respect.”
With a clash of metal, Madnug was thrown against the bedroom wall. He was quickly on his feet, but couldn't say anything before Sazabi began talking.
“Madnug, we've been doing nothing for long enough. I've figured out that this `beauty pageant' could be the perfect opportunity to fulfill one of our most important goals.”
Madnug was confused, but interested. “The revival of General Zeong?”
“That is the Dark Axis goal,” Sazabi corrected. His eye gleamed menacing. “I mean our most important goal.” The towering mecha leaned forward. “The destruction of Captain Gundam.”
The black Gundam gasped and clenched his fists, quivering with excitement. “Are you sure?”
“Everyone's defenses are down,” Sazabi murmured assuredly. “Wrapped up in the forced comraderie that comes with living in tight spaces. But there will be a point where we break. Where we will long longer be able to stand each other's company. The Gundams will get antsy. Tempers will flare. Anger will rise. And if one Gundam is killed in the fray…”
The realization from Madnug was signaled with a gasp. “They'll have no idea who to blame.”
“So they'll blame each other.” Sazabi's voice became dramatically lower. “They will hate each other. They will fight each other. They will kill each other. It's already happening in Ark with the snake Gundam and the samurai. All we need to do is speed it along. Or, rather, all you need to do…”
Madnug grasped his gun in anticipation. “When do I kill him?”
“As soon as you can,” Sazabi hissed. “No time like the present. He's in the baths.”
Zero walked by the stall of the hot tubs and paused, holding out his arm to stop Aneko. The samurai musha grunted. “Zero-SAN! We are going to miss the end of the movie!”
“Hang on…” Zero peeked his head into the stall, and through the steam and clouded water he could just make out the top of Captain's head. “Captain, is that you?”
Captain's eyes rose out from the water and looked at Zero, then sunk back under again.
“Captain?” Aneko peeked her head out just underneath Zero's. “Is that the handsome one?”
The knight sighed. “Yes.”
Aneko looked up. “Not that you are not handsome too, Zero-san.”
He decided to get off the subject. “He looks upset.”
“Really?” Aneko looked for Captain, but saw only the top of his head. “He looks submerged, all right. Let us go cheer him up, then! CAPTAIN!”
Without warning, Zero was suddenly being dragged into the stall by the shoulder behind a Gundamess with a mission. Aneko dragged him to where he was just behind Captain and put him down next to her. “Mr. Captain Gundam-san! We are here to cheer you up! Now get up!”
Captain's head rose out of the water again, facing away from them. He gave them a despairing look over his shoulder, pleading to be left alone. Zero saw his friends face and moaned, feeling pity well up in his soul stone. “Captain, what's wrong?”
The Neotopian didn't answer, simply putting his head up to his eyes back into the mineral-rich water. The silence was killing Zero; he could almost sense the misery coming from his silent friend.
“Hey…” Aneko leaned over to try and see Captain's face, resting her hands on the edge of the bath. “Come on… you are making me worry, Captain-san, please stop.”
Nothing. If anything, Captain lowered his face even farther to where the steaming water was touching the bottoms of his eyes.
“Captain…” Zero floated over the water, leaning to about where Aneko was but on the other side of the depressed Gundam. “Please…”
He finally looked at him… with his human face. Captain cupped his hand around the other side so Aneko couldn't see. Zero almost gasped. “Oh…”
“Oh?” Aneko tried to lean over farther. “What is `oh'? Zero-san, tell me what you `oh'ed about!”
Zero hopped back onto dry ground. “Captain's upset over the human discussion.”
“About why we don't like the-”
Zero quickly turned to Aneko. “Shh!”
The woman scowled, but stayed quiet. Mostly. “Why would we be upset about that?”
Zero didn't answer right away. With a moan, he turned to Captain, who returned the pained look and didn't move. “Captain… he's… Captain,” (he was addressing him now), “You might have to show her.”
Captain's faceplate snapped shut and he sank back into the water.
“Show me what?” Aneko was turning red with anger. “What just made that noise? Zero-san!”
Zero chose to ignore the raving for now. “Captain… I'm sorry for what we said. I know you are sensitive about your face.”
“What about his face?”
“But we would never say that about you.” Zero stretched out his hand. “Please…”
Captain was still for a long time, soaking in the water. Zero waited patiently. Aneko did not. She tapped her foot and grunted, coughed, groaned, anything that would get either of the Gundam's attention so she could see what was wrong and get back to her movie.
With another loud snap and a second's hesitation, Captain turned to face Aneko and showed her his human face.
Her hands flew in front of her mouth, as if to make sure her Gundam face was still there. “He is half human!”
Captain's eyes wavered uncertainly, somewhere between shocked and emotionally crushed. Half human?
“Aneko, no!” Zero nearly screamed.
She must have not heard him, for the next question out of her mouth was, “Can I touch it?”
Captain found himself nodding. Within a few broad strides, Aneko was directly in front of Captain with her fingers on his cheeks. She gave him a few soft pokes on both sides of his face (he didn't squish, and she inwardly sighed with relief), ran a long finger down the bridge of his nose, and began rubbing his cheeks with the tops of the middle of her fingers.
For Captain, the feeling was welcome. The metal covering on his face was extremely thin, and his wires and circuits were exceptionally delicate and sensitive to even the slightest touch. Each stroke sent a smooth wave of pleasure through his face. As she rubbed, the melancholy that had settled in his chest began to melt away. He even dared to smile.
“Well… it is a human face… but I think it looks good on you, Captain.” She released him with a playful tap that sent a bolt of pain through his jaw. “Oh, I'm sorry!”
“You see, my friend?” said Zero with a smile. “You worry too much.”
Bakunetsumaru screamed from the next room. “ANEKO, WHERE ARE YOU?! YOU'RE MISSING THE MOVIE!”
“Shimatta!” Aneko dashed out of the bath stall and, from the sound of it, crashed into Zapper Zaku. Within a few seconds, though, Zapper was marching past the stall angry and pompous as ever while Aneko's footsteps quickly disappeared.
Zero laughed. With a final wave to his relieved friend, Zero drifted after Aneko.
Captain smiled and drained the bathtub, getting dressed as he thought. Half human? That wasn't too bad, he supposed. Aneko seemed to approve of it, and she hated humans herself. Maybe he wasn't ugly. No, of course he wasn't. What a silly thing to think. He had won the Most Sexy award. People loved him.
After he was fully dressed, he spotted a mirror in the back corner. He stepped up to look at his human face-
CRASH! The window shattered!
Madnug cursed from the rafters and put his rifle away. “Spam it. It was his reflection…”
Captain jumped back against the opposite wall, his soul drive pounding and breathing heavily. He was wrong. He was wrong! He was ugly! His face shattered a mirror! He ran to the only safe place he could think of; the Neotopia room.
Yeah, I'm giving Captain hell, but the lower they drop, the higher they bounce back. Zapper's subplot will be next. I'll try and fit Melady into it, too.|
I got a cool new screensaver! It looks like drops of water are hitting the inside of the screen, and thunder crashes, and it's so cool! I love the Internet! Ha ha ha!
Chapter 35 - Chapter 36 - Chapter 37