Wednesday, 14 March 2012
Action Sue: Chapter 2
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The loud beeping of some sort of monitoring machine wakes me up. My entire body feels stiff, like I've been sleeping for days; it's been at least a few hours, since I can see the starry night sky through the window in my room. Jeevestron's hologram sits on a chair to the side of my bed, and he almost jumps out of it when he realizes I'm awake.
"Oh, Miss Luk!" Jeevestron says excitedly. "You're awake! How do you feel?"
"Ugh, stiff." I throw the covers to the side. One of the robots took the liberty of dressing me in my comfy pink pajamas, though they didn't fully button up the top. I'm beginning to think that at least one of my robots has developed a fetish for naked humans. I really hope it's not one of Seamus' maids, because that would be extremely awkward.
"It's to be expected. The sedative that those intruders used on you was extremely potent, and you took over four times the required dose." Jeevestron says. "You've been unconscious for one and a half days, and we were worried that you wouldn't wake up."
"Nah, I'm fine." I get up and start stretching. "I don't suppose you captured any of those ninjas, huh?"
"Unfortunately, all of the intruders took suicide capsules rather than letting themselves be captured." Jeevestron shakes his holographic head. "The only lead we have is their identical parting words..."
"'Long live the shinobi'. But who would send ninjas to kill me?" I wonder.
"You have made a few enemies here and there, Miss. Erick the Mad, Doctor Sorcerer, the King of Fish, shall I go on?" Jeevestron says smugly.
"No, it's fine. But they're all dead or imprisoned, right? Hmm... maybe the ninjas came here of their own accord, since I'm a possible hindrance to one of their plans."
"Perhaps. Shall I call a transport to the mainland?" Jeevestron asks.
"Yeah, that's probably a good idea. Actually, can you see if Seamus is busy? I haven't seen him for a while, and I have a couple of things I need to ask him anyways."
"I shall arrange a date, Miss." Jeevestron's hologram disappears, and he starts to fly away. "But first, a snack, perhaps?" he says cheekily as he hears my stomach growl rather audibly.
"Yeah. How about a cherry sundae?" I say. His red holoemitter 'nods', and he flies off.
I climb back into bed as I wait for my sundae. I still feel a bit groggy, but the ice cream should perk me right up. I briefly consider calling down to the kitchen and asking for something a bit healthier, but I think I can get away with it this time.
For around the past seven years, I've traveled around the world, learning a lot of things and fighting off various villains. But again, most of them are either dead or imprisoned. I suppose one of the imprisoned ones might have escaped and started an elaborate plan to take revenge, or someone might have resurrected one of the dead ones - resurrection does exist, both in tech and magic forms - but I dunno, ninjas don't seem like any of their styles.
And since when do ninjas exist in this world anyways? I've never faced them, and I've seen my fair share of stereotypical villainous minions. Robots? All sorts. Pirates? Both the old-school privateers and modern-day bastards. Nazis? Well, only once, and they were Neo-Nazis, so maybe they don't count. But ninjas? Not once. Then again, maybe that's a testament to their stealth abilities.
Regardless, there's almost certainly more ninjas out there, and I need to find out why they want to capture me. I guess I could've just, you know, let them capture me, but I would rather go to them on my terms, not theirs. And as soon as they start using dirty needles full of sedatives, I'm not about to just let them go.
One of my robot chefs comes into my room, holding a silver tray with a heaping bowl of vanilla ice cream, with chocolate syrup and cherry jam drizzled all over. They even stuck a maraschino cherry on top.
"It is good to see that you are okay, Miss." the robot says as he sets the tray on my lap.
"Thanks." I say. "And uh, you did a good job taking out those ninjas. I really appreciate you guys going beyond your parameters to help me out."
"We are programmed to serve, Miss." He bows and leaves, and I dig into my ice cream. Yeah, they're programmed to serve, but I still appreciate it nonetheless. He's one of the designated cooks, so he's not obligated to fight ninjas, but he did anyways. I think I'm gonna give them a raise.
The next day, I'm feeling 100% better. I'm a bit tired since I didn't sleep much during the night, but I can just have a nap on the way or something. Jet-lag always screws me up anyways, so I won't have any trouble sleeping when I have a chance.
But first, we're having company! Seamus called me during the night, and he's going to come and pick me up to take me to the mainland. He has a pretty comprehensive database on various factions throughout the world (it's a bit of a hobby of his - he's joked about writing a series of books about my adventures, but he'd probably get criticism for the blatant Mary Sue protagonist), so I'm going to check that out to see if there's anything about ninjas.
Today, my unlimited wardrobe produces my 'standard' outfit - a black tube top, black detached sleeves with gold trim at both ends, black bell-bottom pants, a white belt with a gold triangle-glasses buckle, and a black choker with a red ruby set in a gold oval on it. Not only does it show off my sexy shoulders and abs, but I can move and jump around if I need to. I've let my hair down today, since I don't expect to do much fighting, but I have a few hair-ties in my pocket just in case.
I hear the telltale thwapping sound as Seamus' helicopter lands behind my house. I open my bedroom window and look down as Seamus, dressed in his ultra-casual jeans and gray t-shirt step out, followed by a brown-haired person I don't recognize. Whoever it is, they look pretty girly, so I'm going to assume they're Seamus' girlfriend. Or maybe it's another one of his robots. I always pegged him as the kind of person who'd build a sexbot for the hell of it.
That is kind of surprising, though. In high school, Seamus never really showed any romantic interest in anyone. We went out for dinner and stuff all the time, but it was never really a 'date' - it was just friends going out to eat. I dated a bunch of people, though, and a couple of my boyfriends came over to his garage and watched us work on robots and stuff. They weren't really interested in that, and at least one of my boyfriends broke up with me because he thought I was cheating on him with Seamus, but I never viewed him romantically - he's just my friend.
On second thought, the brown-haired girl looks kind of masculine...
I throw open my door and run downstairs, whizzing by Jeevestron on the way. He remotely opens the back door as I burst right through it, sprinting through the sand and tackle-hugging Seamus. We both fall on the sand and roll around playfully, giggling like kids, while his +1 looks on with a combination of amusement and jealousy.
"Well, hello to you too." Seamus chuckles. "I didn't think you'd be that excited to see me. Getting sick of the robots?"
"Hell no! I've just gotta make sure you're still staying in shape!" I say. Seamus has a bit of blond stubble on his chin, which I think suits him; he looks rugged and manly, and he's grown out his hair a bit too. We get up off of the sand, and he walks over to grab his lost black baseball cap, noting the look on his friend's face.
"Uh, sorry." Seamus says, scratching the back of his head. "I uh-"
"No, I think it's cute." the person says, with a distinctly masculine voice. Yeah, that's definitely a dude - he's clean-shaven and very pretty, but he's got broad shoulders and a crotch bulge. Hmm...
"Oh! Luk, this is uh, Luke." Seamus says, introducing me to his friend. "He's my partner."
"Partner? As in-"
"Yeah." Seamus says. "I didn't really realize it until I met Luke, but it was love at first sight. I guess that's why we never really dated in high school, huh?"
Luke walks over and shakes my hand. "Hi, I'm Luke." Ooh, he has a sexy English accent. "It's so nice to meet you. Seamus has told me a lot about you."
"Cool." I say. So he's gay? I guess that doesn't surprise me. "Nice to meet you too. Come on in, the robots are about to make some breakfast."
"Awesome, I'm starving." Seamus grins, and we all step back into my house. Luke seems nice enough, though I guess I'm a bit jealous that I'm sharing him with another guy. Nah, that's not right. I'm just happy he found love in another person, and not a robot.
We all sit down at the table, and my robots serve us some freshly-squeezed orange juice. Luke orders a full English breakfast with some sort of tea, Seamus orders three scrambled eggs and bacon, and I order pancakes. The robots get right on it, and the kitchen soon smells of all sorts of fried things.
"So how do you like Mary and Sue?" Seamus asks. "I built them specially for a customer, but he didn't want them, so I figured they'd make a great gift."
"The robot maids? They're nice, but I wish that you would've given them proper face movement."
"That was one of the customer's requests." Seamus shrugs. "Whatever. At least he didn't ask for them to be anatomically-correct. I've done a few of those too, and man, those give me the jibblies."
"Funny, I always thought you were into robots." Luke says.
"No kidding." I say. "But I guess I can see why you're hesitant to build women."
"Nah, those orders were for male sexbots. But still, it just feels wrong on some level." Seamus says. "It almost feels like I'm cheating on Luke, you know?"
"Considering you pay more attention to your robots than you do to me, maybe I should be more suspicious." Luke laughs.
"You're one to talk." Seamus says. "You should see this guy, Luk. He has a garage full of cars, and he never drives any of 'em! I say, if you're gonna put that much effort into building something, it should be more than a trophy!"
"That's completely different." Luke protests.
"Sure sure." Seamus chuckles.
"Ah, Master Seamus!" Jeevestron hovers over, and his hologram bows to his creator. "How have you been?"
"Oh, Jeevestron! Good to see you too." Seamus says. "I've been good. How's Luk been treating you?"
“She is rash and impertinent as usual, but it is to be expected. I need at least some excitement in my life." Jeevestron says. "And how about this gentleman?"
"I'm Luke. Nice to meet you." Luke says. "Seamus talks about you all the time. He sounds like a proud father boasting about his son."
"Indeed." Jeevestron remarks.
"Uh, Jeevestron?" I say. "You know you're always welcome to go back to Globobot, right? I mean, if you don't want to babysit me anymore, I'm not holding you back or anything, right?"
"Babysit?" Seamus chuckles. "That does seem like a bit of a low job for an advanced EC."
"No no, Miss Luk. I stay with you because I quite enjoy this job." Jeevestron says. "Though I will admit, perhaps 'babysitting' is more accurate than one might think..."
"Yeah yeah." I say dismissively, and we all laugh a bit. I know he doesn't mean that maliciously; sure, he's technically my butler, but we treat each other like an old married couple. If he wanted to actually insult me, I'd know.
The chefs serve breakfast, and we all dig in while making small talk between bites. As it turns out, Luke is Seamus' personal pilot, and he's quite the gearhead. He rebuilds and restores all sorts of old cars, and he has a pretty good collection of them. So they're both into hardware, just in different fields.
There's an innuendo in that somewhere.
Once we're done eating, the chefs serve more orange juice for me and Seamus, and more tea for Luke.
"So, wanna go swimming?" I ask.
"Actually, we're supposed to be back in Miami by 4 PM." Luke says.
"Yeah, I'm a bit concerned about this ninja thing." Seamus says. "I don't think my database has anything about ninjas, but I think time's of the essence here regardless."
"Sure, works for me." I say. One of the robot maids (did he seriously name them Mary and Sue?) clunks noisily down the stairs, holding two suitcases and a carry-on bag. "I was going to say I need to pack first, but it looks like that's taken care of. I guess we can leave right away."
"Sounds good." Seamus gets up, draining the last of his juice while patting his stomach. "Damn that was good. I can't remember the last time I had a good breakfast."
"Will your house be okay?” Luke asks. "If there are ninjas after you, couldn't they strike while you're away?"
"Nah, the robots have that covered." I say. "You should've seen them the other day. And I think the ninjas are after me, not my stuff, so I’m not worried. What about your place? Do you guys do regular ninja checks?”
"We just got it sprayed last week." Seamus jokes. "Alright folks, let’s mosey.”
The three of us, followed by the maid, all walk out to the helicopter in the back. I must say, it does look pretty impressive; it's a dull gun-metal gray, plastered with the Globobot logo all over, and I spot some presumably-working machine guns and missiles on the wings. I don't know why a civilian chopper would have weapons, or if that's even legal, but maybe this isn't a civilian transport? They've been talking about taking military contracts and making robot soldiers...
The maid throws my luggage in the back as we all climb into the cockpit. Seamus hands me a headset as the chopper engines start to warm up, and we all wave to Jeevestron and the rest of the 'bots standing on the beach. Luke flips a few switches and pulls back on the controls, and the chopper lifts into the sky.
"What do you think?" Luke says proudly. "I call this baby the Ace Custom. I built about half of it myself."
"It's pretty nice." I say. "But do you really need machine guns?"
"Huh?" Luke seems confused. "It's a civilian chopper. I don't have any weapons on it."
"Oh. I must've seen something else, then." I say. I could swear those were machine guns, but then again, I don't know much about helicopters. Whatever.
As we fly above the endless ocean, we make small talk here and there, but it doesn't take long before I start to feel sleepy. I tell the boys that I'm gonna have a nap, and despite the roaring engines and whirring blades, I lean back and fall asleep.
A few hours later, I wake up in the back of a car, bound and gagged. Okay, that's different. But wait, how the hell did that happen? Presumably, I should have been woken up at some point during the transfer to wherever this is, right? The sky outside is dark, so it's either night or we're in a tunnel, I can't tell. The man in the passenger seat, dressed in full-body black clothing, looks back and notices I'm awake.
"She's awake." he says to the driver in perfect English. I kinda suspected him to speak in Japanese, considering that ninjas are pretty much a Japanese thing, but whatever. At least I can understand them. "You, girl. You are wanted by the leader of the Clan of Plain Sight."
"Mhhphhm!" I complain through the gag. The ninja turns to his buddy and says something in Japanese, and the driver nods. The passenger reaches back and tugs the gag out of my mouth. "Seriously! If you really wanted to talk to me, you could've just asked!"
"Based on our information, you would have resisted either way." the ninja says. That's not true! Well... okay, maybe a bit. But if they'd explained why they wanted to talk to me, I probably would've gone with them.
"Okay, whatever. What happened to Luke and Seamus?" I ask.
"They are fine. We replaced their transport helicopter with a similar model of our own, which we redirected mid-flight against their will. But they have been sent home without harm. Our only interest is in you."
"Our Snake Lying In Wait poison has a delayed effect." the other ninja chips in. "It was only supposed to knock you out a day after injection, but due to our agents being incompetent, it knocked you out immediately. It was fortunate that the delayed effect was itself delayed."
"Yeah, and you used dirty needles on me too. I'm serious, I'm going to sue your asses if I get some sort of disease."
"Do not worry. Even our incompetent agents know the Ninja Sterilization technique." the passenger ninja says. Really? They're going there? They're just going to make up special ninja techniques that couldn't possibly exist? Then again, I know a few people who can use magic, so that's probably what it is. It better be.
"Okay, fine. So where are we going? Your hidden ninja fortress or something?"
Sure enough, we exit the tunnel into a forested area, where an old-school fortress rises above the trees. I'd comment about how it's not very stealthy, but then again, these guys are presumably the Clan of Plain Sight, so maybe they're actually really smart. We head down the paved road toward the fortress, passing a whole bunch of cars with similarly-dressed ninja drivers.
"Do you guys have any idea why your leader wants to talk to me?" I ask.
"That is none of our concern. We are the fingers of the Ninja King's hand, and we do not question his orders."
"The... Ninja King?"
"Correct. Our Clan is led by the twenty-first descendant of the original founder, with a lineage and succession rites roughly equal to a monarchy. Hence the Ninja King." the ninja explains. I guess it makes sense, but seriously, Ninja King. Couldn't they go with something more traditional, like 'kage' or 'daimyo'? Sure, it's cliché, but they're better than Ninja King.
The castle gates open up as we get close, and we pull up in the castle courtyard. Once we stop, the passenger ninja gets out, and he holds a sword to my throat as he unbuckles me.
"Get out." he orders. Since my feet are still bound, I awkwardly shuffle out of the back of the car. I glance at my feet a couple of times, and the ninja gets the hint; he quickly slices the ropes with a single stroke, just long enough for him to take the sword off of my throat. Just long enough for me to make my move.
I kneel down and leg-sweep the ninja, causing him to lose his balance and fall over. The ninja driver, hearing the shout of pain from his friend, runs over to check on us; I jump up and headbutt him in the jaw, knocking him right out. My hands are still bound, but I can take care of that. My right hand erupts in a red blaze, reducing the ropes to cinders in a few seconds.
Yeah, when I said I knew a few people who could use magic, I was including myself in that. Though, to be fair, I don't know much - my magical ability is mostly limited to conjuring small amounts of fire, ice and lightning - so I prefer using them to augment my martial arts abilities, rather than replacing them outright.
The main castle gates open up, and around a dozen ninjas each armed with swords run right at me. A couple of them start tossing kunai at me, but my expert dodging ability allows me to catch a few of them and toss them right back, taking out at least one of them before it can cross swords with me. I gather as much moisture out of the air as I can and flash-freeze it around my arms and legs, forming bracers on my forearms and spiked greaves on my legs. Yeah, those will do.
The first couple of ninjas swing right at me, but I block both slashes simultaneously with my ice bracers. A third ninja stabs at me from behind his buddies, but I jump upwards, kick both of the front ninjas in the head and blast the third with a bolt of lightning. A fourth ninja grabs my leg and tries to throw me around, but I grab his shoulders and leap-frog over him, kicking a fifth in the face.
The fourth ninja grabs my neck from behind, but I grab his arms and throw him; he's unable to maintain his grip, and he goes flying into another couple of ninjas. I barely step to the right as another ninja tries to stab me, though the blade of his sword grazes my stomach and draws blood. Bad move, buddy. I grab the edge of his sword and pump some electricity into it, shocking the ninja and dropping him.
Now it's my turn to take the initiative. I run right at one of the ninjas. He lets out a loud shout and runs at me in some sort of game of chicken. He thinks he has the advantage since he's armed, but at the last second, I crouch and slide right through his legs, repeating my crotch-punch move from before. He drops to the ground crying.
I instantly jump to my feet, but I somehow don't notice the fist flying right at my face; I try invoking my probability manipulation, but it fails, and he decks me right in the jaw. I land flat on my back, and the ninjas surround me, all pointing their swords at various parts of my body.
"Get up." One of the ninjas beckons me to get up, and I obey. As a token gesture, I melt the ice bracers and greaves, and put my hands behind my head - while conjuring a fireball in my palm. The lead ninja, who's wearing a gold headband over his black cowl, doesn't see it coming.
The rest of the ninjas immediately try to end me with their various pointy implements, but I jump up and blast as many of them as I can with flamethrower-like bursts from my hands. Unfortunately for me, I don't have ice greaves to protect myself with this time, and a couple of said pointy implements go right through both of my legs, just above my feet.
My injured feet can't hold my weight, so I instantly crumple to the ground as soon as I land. The remaining ninjas all kneel down and hold their swords directly above my vital arteries, while one of them binds my hands and feet in fire-resistant cloth.
"Try and escape again, and we won't hesitate to injure you further." one of the ninjas warns. He stuffs another gag in my mouth, and another ninja applies some sort of ointment to the gaping wounds in my legs. It burns like a bitch, and the gag barely dampens my screams as I lash out at the ninjas; but one of them runs the very surface of his blade across my throat, drawing blood, and I stop thrashing.
Two of the ninjas grab my arms and legs and take me into the castle, seemingly making sure to do it as painfully as possible. That ointment seems to have stopped the bleeding from my wounds, but they still hurt like hell, and my muffled screams probably wake up everyone in the fortress.
They take me into the dungeon and throw me into a cell, taking extra care to cuff my arms. I try standing up, but my leg wounds, despite feeling better, still can't support my weight, so I fall on my ass.
"Don't worry." the ninja standing guard outside of my cell says. "Our Phoenix Tear salve can heal almost any wound, up to missing limbs and organs. There won't be any permanent damage, but it'll take a few days to fully heal."
I call him various obscenities through my gag, but he just ignores me. I try whipping a fireball or a few sparks at him, but I can't even conjure up a snowflake; I guess these cuffs dampen my magic or something. Okay then. I have one last resort.
Someone, come save me.
I invoke as much of my probability manipulation as I can, since it's a pretty big request with a lot of variables.
Somebody, anybody... I invoke it again, though not quite as strong this time. I really hate playing the distressed damsel, but really, I’d take anything at this point. The ninja looks at me for a moment.
"What are you doing?" he asks. I can only see his eyes, but he looks somewhat confused, like he'd heard something on the wind. Weird. Nobody's shown awareness of my probability manipulation before, but then again, I just invoked two big requests, so maybe that's some sort of karmic backlash?
Well, nobody's coming to my rescue. That figures. Then again, even my special Sue powers can't just conjure a deus ex machina on the spot. The best I can hope for is that Luke or Seamus or someone gets a bad feeling and a vague idea of where I am, and they call up a bunch of robots to come save me.
That's the best scenario, mind. Otherwise, I could be stuck in this dungeon for a very long time, depending on what these ninjas want from me...
Okay, seriously. First I end up drugged, then kidnapped, then injured and thrown in a dungeon. I'm a Sue, for heaven's sake. Shouldn't I be able to end a chapter on my own terms? I swear, if I'm still stuck here by the end of next chapter, I am going to be very, very upset.
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