The Gundam Beauty Pageant|
by Charon the Sabercat
The little bit of the Dark Axis I don't know how to write, and they get a whole chapter. Interpret it however you want, I know what I wrote.
Time to do the Dark Axis. I'd like to mention that the only reason I don't write them more often is because I don't know how. I need practice. A lot of it. Here it goes.
Chapter 42 - Chapter 43 - Chapter 44
The Gundam Beauty Pageant|
43. Into the Woods
Zapper Zaku joyously skipped through the trees. YES, HE SKIPPED. When someone, even Zapper Zaku, feels totally devoid of any negative emotion, they skip. And a skipping were-mech-dog is a sight to see.
Zapper couldn't feel better about his life right now. Running free through the forest, rain gently misting through the overgrowth, the welcoming smell of fresh grass, and the anticipation of the warm flesh of a deer or rabbit was enough to make him laugh out loud. He bounced off of tree trunks happily, tail wagging and mecha-tongue lolling out of his mouth.
His ears twitched. Couldn't be! He stumbled to a stop, unable to make a quick stop in the mud. That sounded like Melady.
“Zapper? ZAPPER, WHERE ARE YOU?!”
Hey, it was Melady! “Organic! Over here!”
He turned around and started trotting the other way. Melady had decided to join him after all! Awesome! Hey, his den was nearby; he could show Melady his bone collection, they could go deer hunting together, they could do anything! Zapper's chest fluttered happily. He'd finally have a buddy out here in the wild! This was turning out to be an okay night!
He snuck down the side of a hill, coming up upon his den. He came around the back way-
There, nestled in his favorite hemlock bush below him, were Gunpanzer and Britainmaru. They were resting on their bellies, facing the center of his den. Gunpanzer had a huge compound bow cocked over his shoulder. Britainmaru had his gun at the ready, stroking the barrel nervously.
Zapper ducked under a shrub, watching them intently. What were they doing here? This was his forest, not theirs! And why did they have guns?!
Something rustled from the other side of his den. Zapper gasped, but in doing so, he picked up a scent. Melady!
Gunpanzer and Britainmaru tensed up. “Ready!”
They were gonna shoot her!
Zapper stood up and roared, making the forest around him shake. Melady stumbled into the den just in time for Gunpanzer to stand straight up, stretching his bowstring. “Stay still, dog!”
“Leave him alone!” Melady screamed. She reached for her weapon sack-
But Zapper tore down from his hiding spot and rammed into Gunpanzer, knocking him to the ground. Britainmaru pointed his gun directly at Zapper's face; the mech-dog whipped his tail and flung the tiny Gundam into a tree.
Or rather, past the tree. As Britainmaru continued to soar into the air, SilverBellsAbove spotted him through a hole in the canopy. “What the-? Is that Genkimaru?”
Britainmaru (who does looking surprisingly like Genkimaru from a distance) began to fall back to Earth, and SilverBellsAbove rushed to the landing site.
“Zapper!” Melady ran forward as Zapper hopped off of Gunpanzer's chest (he had fallen so hard he was stuck in the mud).
“What are they doing here?!” Zapper shouted. Melady didn't answer him right away; she grabbed his ears and hugged his head first. Something felt strange; his head almost seemed bigger.
With a final grunt of exertion, Melady pulled away. “They're hunting mech-dogs, and you're the mech-dog!”
“What?!” Zapper stepped back, his back paws hitting the top of Gunpanzer's head.
“Come on, we have to get you back inside!” She held out her hand.
“No!” Zapper jumped back again, turning to the right to avoid Gunpanzer. “I'm not done yet!”
“Zapper, don't be a baby!” Melady arm's snapped to her sides angrily, and her hands flared. “Now, come on!”
He lunged forward angrily. “You can't tell me what to do, organic! This is my territory, and I'm not leaving it!”
Tell him, probably not, she thought, but I sure as hell can make him. She grabbed his ear again, ready to pull him back to the compound-
And he WAS getting bigger. Where her fingertips once reached her second knuckle now only met her first, and his ears were slowly growing under her fist.
Zapper snapped his neck, throwing an unprepared Melady onto the ground.
Charon's computer made the “tong” noise of death. The sabercat jumped to her feet and sped-walked to the computer. Mel looked up from the movie she was watching. “What happened?”
Charon went, “Uh oh.”
Melanie was now interested enough to pause. “Why uh oh?”
“It was the Mary Sue inhibitor.”
Melanie, bless her heart, was still a bit dim. “Mary Sue…”
“I installed it before the fic,” Charon explained. “Whenever anyone from our world tries to use their author-ly powers inappropriately, the Mary Sue inhibitor stops them. It's like a pop-up blocker, except with, you know, Mary-Sue-ness.”
“So what's wrong?”
“SDGundamaniacs know better than to use inappropriate Mary-Sue powers,” Charon said with a hint of worry. “They only use it if they have to, and I can only think of one reason they'd have to-”
Melady gasped. She should've taken Zapper down in an instant! What happe-
STUPID MARY SUE INHIBITOR! The one time she needed the stupid powers, and Charon turns them off!
Zapper Zaku, who was now the size of a buffalo, stood of Melady and growled. “You can't make me go!”
There was a sound of metal groaning, then a burst of earth; Gunpanzer was free! The gigantic Gundam whipped his bow back into place. “Stay still, varmint!”
Zapper roared and ran into the cover of the woods, leaving the two behind. Gunpanzer raced after him, Melady following.
The happy mood Zapper had been in had completely disappeared. The nerve of them! Invading his turf! This was his forest! He got here first! Now, not only were they invading it, they were trying to kill him! (He was a little too involved in running away to see the irony of the situation.)
Melady sprinted after Zapper Zaku, following the increasingly large path of bent and broken trees. “Zapper, slow down!” Gunpanzer zoomed past her at full speed. She gasped. “ZAPPER, SPEED UP!”
Britainmaru hopped out of a tree and onto Gunpanzer's shoulder, this finger over the trigger of his gun. “Keep going, Gunny my friend, I've got him on auto-target!”
Zapper's strides became larger and larger as his body grew with his anger. Horrible invaders! Spineless cowards! Attacking him on home soil! Not fair! NOT FAIR!
His eye snapped to one side. He spotted something gray through the trees.
“Come on, Zapper…”
Grappler's fists were clenched in anger. He'd been searching for hours, his feet were wet, he smelled like (UGH!) TREES, and there was still no sign of Zapper.
But he couldn't make himself stop searching. Zapper was still lost, and he was still his friend. He had to search.
“Don't do this to me…”
Killer popped out of a hemlock bush, immediately attaching herself to Grappler. “I couldn't find him anywhere. Grappler, what if they already got him?”
“Don't say that!” He cuddled her to his chest, patting her back. “You're gonna make me worry.”
“He's probably already dead,” Killer whimpered. “He's probably on his way to having his head mounted on a piece of wood…”
“Killer, don't…” The image flashed through his mind before he could stop it; Zapper being violently gutted, chopped into pieces and nailed to a board. He held onto Killer tighter.
A black shadow fell over the two, the darkness only broken by a single glowing eye.
“KILLER!” Grappler threw Killer out of the way of the shadow and shot his arm-missile at the eye-
And then remembered it was Zapper. “Shit.”
Zapper took the missile directly in the eye and jumped back into Gunpanzer, who just barely stopped himself from falling on top of Melady. The were-mecha roared again and ran away, cringing in pain.
Killer was just recovering from being shoved when Grappler grabbed her arm again. “Come on, we got `im!” He pulled her after him, following the path Zapper was leaving behind. Melady bounced past the confused Gunpanzer and Britainmaru.
“Damn it!” she yelled, running after Grappler and Killer, “How do I keep winding up behind him?! ZAPPER! Damn it…”
Zapper was now running blindly into nowhere, letting branches and tree trunks break over his head. His mind was slowly disappearing into his animal instincts; all that was going through his mind right now was the fact that Grappler Gouf had just shot him in the eye. He growled, infuriated that Grappler, his friend, had even thought about hurting him!
Zapper's foot went down a step. He dug his back claws into the ground and just barely saved himself from going over a cliff. He did manage to dunk his head underwater, which was just enough to get back his vision. He sat down for a moment, trying to get his senses back. He was shaking uncontrollably. Why was he shaking? He couldn't think enough to ask himself. Grappler had shot him in the eye! How dare he!
The smell of flowers caught his attention. He lolled his head over his shoulder. There were two other things sharing the cliff with him, one things with glowing eyes…
He recognized that set of eyes. Captain Gundam.
The anger resurfaced in him. Captain Gundam. That idiot had ruined him! He couldn't remember how or why; all he knew was that Captain had ruined him, and that he needed to die…
He thundered forward. Captain met eyes with him and pushed the other Gundam out of the way. Zapper took the now-helpless Gundam by the throat and held him over his head.
“You die…” he thought he said. It came out as more of a rumble.
Then everything was bright for two seconds. Bright and loud. Zapper barely registered the huge amount of energy pursing through him, other than the fact he couldn't see or hear for a few seconds. When he did regain his sight, the other Gundam was gone and Captain's eyes weren't glowing anymore.
“Graaaaa!” Zapper threw Captain over the cliff into the water. Stupid! Now he couldn't even kill his own prey in his own forest!
A bolt of electricity shot his shoulder, folding over his body like water, but it wasn't lightning. It was a bullet. He moved his head right into the path of another five oncoming energy blast, which simply passed over him like water.
Britainmaru felt the fear paralyze him as Zapper realized what had shot him. By now, the mech-dog was at least a whole Gundam taller than Gunpanzer. And now that enormous dog was taking step by slow step towards him. “Oh no… oh no, oh no, ooooh no- Gunny!”
Grappler stumbled out of a bush, spotting Zapper standing over Britainmaru. “Zapper, stop!”
The monster's giant head snapped around to face Grappler; with a gulp, the psuedo-Gundam held out his hands.
“Hey… Zapper, you know me, right? Come on, I'm your buddy here, it's okay-”
He stepped forward. Zapper barked at him, several rows of teeth shooting out of his jaw in the process. Grappler backed up.
“Ideservedthat.” Grappler spat out without realizing it. He thought for a moment. “I did deserve that.”
Killer and Melady peeked out of the bush, watching the two Dark Axis mecha. Zapper's ears twitched, and Britainmaru was forgotten. Grappler and Zapper were all that existed at that point.
“I did deserve it,” Grappler repeated. “I ignored you… I know I did. It's hard when you've got a new girl, you know-”
Zapper rumbled threateningly. Grappler backed up a step, which made Zapper stop. “I guess you don't. Never mind. I wouldn't have done it if I knew what I was doing.”
He kept his hands held in front of him, and Zapper slowly began to relax. Grappler took a step forward. Zapper didn't bark.
“That was kind of a shitty thing I did,” Grappler admitted. “I didn't just ignore you, I ignored everybody. I mean, everybody else had other friends… But you didn't have anyone else to go to, did you?”
Zapper moaned and lowered his head.
“Yeah…” Grappler nodded. “I know how it can be sometimes. When you make that knew friend-” (He kind of choked at the mention of the word.) “-it's exciting. It's addictive. It's…”
Zapper lowered his head even more. Grappler came a little closer; he could now reached out and touch Zapper's nose if he stretched his arm. “It's kind of the same thing I went through with you, Zapper.”
The mech-dog lifted his head back; his eye was quivering. “Aroooo….”
“Yeah, I know…”
Grappler opened his arms; Zapper softly placed his gigantic head in Grappler's chest. The two stood there for a while like that. There was no talking, no crying, not even a pat on the head. They just stood.
Grappler finally scratched Zapper's ear. “I get lonely too.”
Killer nearly gagged. “Ew! Disgusting!” She heard swooning next to her. “What the Dell?”
Melady, somehow, had fallen into the anime-girl romantic pose, with hearts flying around her head and a pink background flowing behind her. “Grappy Zappy slashy…”
“Knock it off!”
With a dog-ish sniff, Zapper took his head off of Grappler and smiled, showing all three rows of teeth. He was back to “normal” size, the one Melady had first seen, and his tail was happily wagging.
Zapper screamed, ballooning to the size of a tank in seconds. Grappler jumped back in alarm-
THERE WAS AN ARROW STICKING OUT OF HIS CHEST!
Gunpanzer appeared from the forest, pumping his fist. “YES!”
With one final gasp, Zapper fell onto his side, shrinking and shrinking back into normal form, and then more…
Until he was Zapper Zaku, Dark Axis bot. Gunpanzer and Britainmaru stared.
“Oh…” Britainmaru blushed. “I-I-I guess he was actually Zapper…”
“YOU KILLED HIM, YOU BASTARD!”
Grappler whipped out his battle axe and grappled Gunpanzer's throat.
“OH MY GOD!”
Grappler whipped around. Zapper was standing up, nonchalantly plucking the arrow out of his chest. He smiled innocently at Grappler.
He was buried in a hug the next second.