Space-time was unhappy. Scratch that, it was livid, furious, raging. It didn't like people messing with it, but this...this was just crazy. All these people, being shuffled around like so many cards in a deck. And its buddy canon wasn't very happy either, but it rarely is in universes relating to fanfiction.
The Zoids universe was under attack this time, screeching and baring sharp little continuity-teeth to no avail as a good deal of its characters went missing...only to re-appear in a far stranger version of their home and in different places.
Those affected? Well, we had to have our hero. Good old Ban Freiheit, whose last name means freedom and whose first name is often spelled Van or sometimes Bang (confusing, no?), and his good friend Fine, Ancient Zoidian who forgot a lot of stuff and hit Krüger with a frying pan. Twice. And his buddies Irvine and Thomas, the latter of whom everyone tends to forget because his Zoid isn't cool enough or something...Karl, as well, Thomas' older brother, complete with that hat of his. What is a hero without his rival, too? Raven was there, much to the delight of many fangirls, along with Riese (not to the delight of most of the many fangirls), whose name has even more spelling variations that no one can ever agree upon. Oh, yeah, and Rudolph and Doctor D, but people forget them too. Aw.
Did we mention that they also had magically been transformed into students around high school age? No? Well, we just did back there. Whoever we is.
The first to arrive was Thomas, for some reason. Space-time rarely makes sense when it's upset. He found himself waking up in a classroom, of all places...complete with desks...and other students...and a teacher. A teacher asking him if he'd been paying attention.
Must be a dream.
"Erm...well, ma'am, I'm afraid I wasn't...feeling very well."
"That excuse isn't going to work with me, Thomas Richard Schwarz! I can tell you're perfectly fine...other than perhaps taking a little nap. Now. Again...the problem on page 32?" The teacher was a severe-looking lady, right out of TV shows or comics with overly strict teachers in them, down to the glasses, the ruler in hand, and the short stern-looking hair. When someone's hair alone is enough to make them look stern, you know you're in trouble.
Thomas gulped. In dreams like this it always was some impossibly hard to solve problem...either that, or the book turned into a large monster with sharp teeth and long serrated claws.
He looked down.
Well, it wasn't a monster with sharp teeth and long serrated claws. In fact, it was a really simple equation.
That wasn't the way the dream was supposed to go. Then again, this already was a bit different...he'd never gone to a larger school—they were still rather rare on Zi, what with there being very few large cities and the whole place getting torn up by war or rampaging Zoids. "57.4, ma'am."
"Very good. I wouldn't have wanted to have to send you out in the hall, like I did your brother."
Thomas then noticed the empty desk a few rows back. Huh? Why are Karl and I in the same class?
Karl was, for lack of better word, sulking. Like any person who thinks they're dreaming, he'd decided not to listen to things like a teacher telling him to take off his hat. It was his hat, darnit, and if he wanted to wear it in a dream, his subconscious wasn't going to tell him otherwise. Unfortunately, he'd been banished to the hall for the remainder of the math class—a big, sprawling hall, more suiting a military base, in his opinion. After several tries at pinching himself and receiving only a sore arm for his troubles, he'd resigned to setting and staring at the wall until he woke up.
"Looook! It's Karl Schwarz!" This squealed pronouncement was accompanied by a fit of annoying giggling. The Karl Schwarz in question turned to see a pair of girls staring at him, large eyes wide and decidedly vacant-looking. This wasn't good.
Thomas, still trying to stay alert, was also attempting to wake up with no success. He looked at the blackboard—more really easy math, boring...then there was the clock...and Karl's hat being waved through the door window. With a note on it, no less. 'Thomas, belp'. Well, I suppose that's supposed to be 'help'.
"Ma'am? Could I please have a hall pass?"
"Erm, yes, I do like Zoids." Karl made a show of stretching his arms in the air, hat and all. Thomas, you'd BETTER see that. "I have two of them."
"Oh, wow, that's so cooooool!" Well, if Thomas hadn't seen the hat, it was too late, as one of the girls was now clinging to his arm.
"Shouldn't you be in class?"
"Shouldn't you? Oh, wait, you must have been a bad boy."
The bad soap-opera-like dialogue was starting to melt Karl's brain. Figures. A dream about two girls chasing after me, and they'd have to be airheads. Scary airheads.
WHAM! It was Thomas to the rescue for once, opening the door clean into one of the girls. He promptly started apologizing profusely, which had the desired effect of scaring them off. Poor Thomas, insulted even when he was the hero.
"How long do you think that pass is good for before she notices you're gone?" Karl said, shoving the paper with the note back in his pocket before replacing his hat. He wasn't in uniform other than that—neither was Thomas. Were they from our universe, they would have recognized their clothes as the fickle creature that is contemporary high-school fashion, but as it was, they just thought them a product of whatever twisted dream they were having.
"I don't know...why?"
"Because we're going to get to the bottom of this...dream, whatever is going on. Come on."
"But...oh, all right." With one last glance back to the door—figment of imagination or not, that math teacher was scary—Thomas followed Karl down the hall. He almost had to jog to keep pace, as Karl had slipped into a tense power-walk. Answers they would seek...but would they find them?
"You just had to go and insult him." Now, this was Rudolph's voice, but the speaker looked a bit different than Rudolph normally did. For one, he was older. For two, he was wearing a bunch of fancy clothes—not those suiting an emperor, but more someone in medieval times, or at least some caricature of them. He didn't know this, being from Zi, only that the collar itched.
Rudolph didn't normally hang out in dungeons with a 17-year-old version of Doctor D, either.
"Come on! I thought I—we—were dreaming back then. Who hasn't wanted to go up to a king and go "thptttthhhh"?"
"Well, you're no fun, then," Doctor D said, crossing his arms and leaning back against the rock wall. His hair amazingly looked the same, right down to the color, and other than a lack of wrinkles his face did too. Becoming younger hadn't done anything for his insanity, either. "Obviously, there's something very strange going on here. This is either some kind of mass hallucination—which I doubt, as we were in different places—or we've been transported through time."
"...isn't it more likely I'm dreaming and making you up?"
"I could say the same thing. Therefore, that can't be true," Doctor D continued, ignoring Rudolph's protests at his logic. "The time-travel theory is the most likely, unless someone is messing with all our minds. And I don't see Riese dreaming up this...eh he he, dreaming...now, do you?"
"No, I don't suppose so." Rudolph was skeptical, but he had to admit the theory made some sense. This was pretty realistic for a dream, anyway.
"So. Time to escape, then. If time is being manipulated, I want to see!"
Loud music blared through headphones, treating their user to a wonderful cacophony of crisp stereo sound, complete with bass boost. However, the same was not true for those surrounding the wearer of the miniature speakers—nay, they were left with the annoying tinny buzz that drives people listening to people listening to music crazy.
"Raven, turn that down. It already got us both in this 'detention'."
No response, other than Raven tapping his foot to the beat. He was having far too much fun, Riese thought. Raven had taken their change in age, location, and clothing in stride with a sort of apathetic shrug and a declaration that whatever was going on, he was going to enjoy it. To be fair, he hadn't had any sort of vacation in ages. But he was lucky—he was wearing black clothes and various spiked things, instead of the irritating clothes she'd received. Not that she wanted Raven to have shown up wearing a skirt...that probably would have put him in a rather cross mood.
A nearby kid turned to Raven, doubtless also bothered by the music. He was wearing a sports jersey that proclaimed him a member—or more likely a fan—of a team called the Fighting Iguans. Riese didn't say anything, despite seeing that the guy obviously wasn't as tough as he tried to look. It'd be far more amusing to see what Raven did. "Hey, punk...turn that junk down...what is it, some kinda rock—"
One loud SMACK! later, and the kid withdrew his complaint, plopping forward onto his desk, half-conscious. "Ow..."
Raven blew imaginary dust off the Discman before returning it to his jacket pocket. "Bach, actually."
"I didn't know you liked classical." Riese murmured, distracted by watching for signs that the teacher in charge had seen Raven's impromptu silencing of their classmate. It didn't look like it. The woman was thoroughly absorbed in a copy of a romance novel entitled "The Unfettered Love of Priscilla Golden-Hair", and probably could have been hit with the Discman herself and not noticed.
Ban was the least fortunate of the people to mysteriously appear. For being a hero translated into being a knight in shining armor, complete with a white horse.
He had learned that one: when you fall off your white horse because you have no idea how to ride one, it's really hard to get back up when also wearing shining armor and two: when the horse decides it would be fun to slobber on you, you then can't attempt to escape.
"Fine! Somebody! Hellllllp!"
Several embarrassing minutes later, Ban had been freed from the shining armor, and the white horse shooed away. This left one problem.
"Man, I can't go walking around in my underwear."
"Don't worry...I'm sure someone around here has some clothes you can borrow." Fine seemed quite optimistic for being in such an odd environment. Then again, she had clothes, Ban reasoned. Overly fancy clothes, but still.
The pair wandered for some distance, being rather slowed by Fine both wearing a dress and being stopped by various cute fluffy animals that were frolicking around her.
"Awww, look, a bunny! Isn't he cute, Ban?"
"I bet he's nice and warm...all that soft fur...we should have kept the horse. At least then we wouldn't be walking and I wouldn't be freezing."
"Cheer up, I think I see a building."
Ban squinted. "Ah, looks like it says...locker room? Huh?" Jogging ahead, Ban and Fine soon got to the front of a worn-down looking building. Tired hinges clung to an ancient wooden door, barely keeping their hold. Contrary to this was a sign: all shiny chrome and black paint, it proclaimed "LOCKER ROOM" in bold letters. Ban had been correct, as little sense as it made.
"Do we go in, you think?" Fine peered around his shoulder at the door.
"Well, of course!"
Ban opened the door with a confident hand, and to Fine's surprise, it didn't fall down. It didn't even emit so much as a creak or groan of protest, swiveling smoothly even though it was off center.
To both of their surprise, the room inside was anything but the inside of a hut.
"I still don't understand how to play this game."
"Ah, you're just mad I beat you."
If the reader had been paying attention, they would know who the two persons speaking had to be, as there were no others left. That's not to say that they couldn't be random extras, but that wouldn't fit well with the previous segments showing what happened to people, and transitions and themes are important in writing.
Therefore, these people had to be Irvine and Moonbay. And since guys are stereotypically good with sports and it's thus funny to have them be beaten by girls, Irvine was the former of the two speakers, and Moonbay the latter.
"I still don't understand how to play this game." Irvine attempted to spin a basketball on his finger, failing miserably. Fighting and other mercenary jobs he could handle—it seemed playing sports was not among these.
"Ah, you're just mad that I beat...you...woah. Déjà vu."
A now somewhat confused-by-long-narrative-interruptions-in-trains-of-thought Irvine and Moonbay trudged into the hallway that led to the locker rooms. Their journey was interrupted by a series of screams consisting of things like "AIIIIEEE!" and "get out of here, PERVERT!". This was immediately followed by Ban being slung out of the girl's locker room and into Irvine's shoulder.
"Ouch! Hey! It's not my fault the weird door led into there!"
"...I assume there's some good reason you're wandering around the girls' locker room in Blade Liger-print shorts?" Moonbay looked angry, and Ban took a step back out of easy reach before replying.
"Yeah, but they wouldn't listen to me. You see, I showed up in this field thingie, and there was a horse, and I had armor on, but I fell over and couldn't get up until I took it off, then there was this shed with a door that led in there...and then they attacked me and threw me into your shoulder, and I hurt my head..."
"That would explain a lot of things," Irvine said, rubbing the aforementioned shoulder. "You have a hard head. And you're crazy. Besides, how could a door in a shed lead to a locker room?"
"For one," Moonbay said, "it'd have to be bigger on the inside than the outside, and we all know that's impossible."
"Any more impossible than us all showing up here!?"
Opening the locker room door, Fine came to her friend's defense. "He's not delirious...unless we both are. There's something NOT right going on here...and my goodness, Ban, you're bleeding!"
Ban looked at his arm, poked it, and inspected the tip of his finger. "Nah, that's lipstick. I think one of 'em tried to stab me with it...say, do you have any spare clothes?"
After Ban had borrowed Irvine's gym uniform, the group of four was left wondering what to do. They argued for a while, Irvine attempted to strangle Ban like he had when Ban was a lot shorter than him and failed, Moonbay yelled at both of them, and Fine angsted. With an efficiency that made even some politicians look quick, they finally decided on a plan.
They would meet up in the cafeteria after the end of next period, and see if anyone else they knew was stuck there. Either way, they would then try to get unstuck.
No one had any idea how they could possibly go about doing this...or where their Zoids could have gone.
Jesters strolled out into the king's throne room—a pair of jesters that looked quite like Rudolph and Doctor D in disguise. But nobody ever sees through disguises. They were hoping to just walk on by, but things are never that easy either.
"Ah. A little entertainment? A song and dance, or perchance some poetry for your king?"
Whispering back and forth, the pair got into a huddle and tried to figure out what to do. "Poetry? I can't write poetry off the top of my head!"
"Well, we're not singing," Doctor D said. "I sing like a dying Storch. Follow my lead?"
Well, there once was a king from the great town of somethinghereshire,
Bold and brave, strong and true, in battle he never did tire
Wearing armor, a shield, a crest of gold and orange
He...er...to you, Rudolph!
"There's nothing that rhymes with orange! Thanks a lot."
He...uh...not to be outdone at cooking either, made a mean bowl of porridge?
His horse was fast and shiny and brown,
Riding out to conquer enemy towns...
"The horse is conquering towns? And porridge doesn't rhyme with orang—OW!" Doctor D was silenced by Rudolph discreetly kicking him in the shin. Luckily for them both, the king thought the bad poetry was intentional...and funny.
"Good show! Now, how about some music? A lyre, fetch me a lyre!"
"Right away!" The pair ran out of the room, leaving the king alone to point out that the lyre was right on the wall over there.
Everyone's paths eventually converged in the more modern of the two time periods after many hilarious escapades not shown here for time's sake—although they may be available on the special two-DVD box set, coming to retail stores near you this November. Their instincts led them to that mecca of high school social interaction...yes, the lunchroom. Filled with students, it took them a while to finally get together. They'd ended up using hair (be it pointy or blue) to find each other, and now sat at a table, staring at the dubious food that they'd been given.
Of all their various transformations, Doctor D's was the most noticed.
"I'm surprised you aren't all happy to be young again." Karl poked some sort of odd vegetable with a fork—was it a lima bean? He hoped it was a lima bean.
"No! It's no fun!" Doctor D said, punctuating his words by stabbing one of the hopefully-a-lima-beans. The thing responded by squishing in half, which hadn't quite been his intent. "Everyone expects you to make sense when you're young, and to act responsible, and do your chores, blah blah blah. When you're old, you can act as crazy as you want, and people just say 'oh, he's old'!" Laughing, he abandoned the beans in favor of a dish composed of odd noodle-like things.
"He's right, you know. And then they won't let you do anything!" said Rudolph. The younger—well, formerly younger—member of the little group wasn't even touching the food, hungry as he was. He'd been in the middle of a nice breakfast, too. He wanted his pancakes back, not this...whatever it was. "At least I'm tall now!"
Rudolph was tall—taller than almost everyone else. He still managed to keep the cute-little-kid look, though, so he was still finding it hard to get people take him seriously. That wasn't fair. Sure, it was good for getting people to do what you wanted. That, he'd agree on. Too bad it hadn't gotten him better food.
Silence continued for a little longer, as Fine idly fiddled with a packet of salt, and Thomas tried to build a tower of the things. Finally, someone—mainly, Moonbay—spoke up. "We need another plan."
"Yes, yes, and food," she said, contemplating elbowing Irvine but deciding against it for fear of knocking over what he was eating. Goodness knows she didn't want it near her. "There's got to be a way out of this thing. And an explanation as to why my favorite shirt has been replaced by one with 'kawaii princess' on it. What was the designer of this universe thinking?"
"I don't think they were thinking." A certain raven-haired individual (guess who! No, not Karl...sarcasm, that's not nice, you know), also not touching the food, batted away a salt packet that had fallen from Thomas' growing tower with careful aim. "Or they borrowed Ban's brain, and he hasn't noticed yet."
Ban swatted the salt packet back. "Hey!" This led into an exchange of insults and a game of air hockey-like hit-the-salt-packet.
"Could we forgo the bickering for the moment, gentlemen?" Riese said. Why did she put up with these people? It was much less of a pain being evil...but if she were evil again, her conscience would never shut up. Stupid thing. Don't roast Ban to a crisp, don't send the little blue bugs after him and his friends. Picky, picky. It probably wasn't very sane to talk to one's self like this, but who was going to tell her otherwise?
"Only if you'll stop with the lengthy internal monologues that make the rest of us get stuck sitting here." Ignoring how odd her last statement had sounded, Moonbay attempted to use the silence to regain control of the conversation. "Like I said, we need a plan."
"I'm the one that's supposed to say things like that," Ban protested. His complaint went unheard, as everyone else started talking about plan-y sorts of things.
"This whole thing is like one big cliché," Doctor D said, "and the way clichéd stories usually end when they have nowhere else to go is with something really improbable, something that comes out of nowhere."
"He's right," Rudolph chimed in. "They're always doing things like that in books."
Riese nodded, having read a good many herself. Hey, you had to do something while sitting being evil and honing psychic powers.
Everyone sat for a while, the inane chatter in the background forming a dull background hum of teen babble and angst. Raven fiddled with one of the spikey things he was wearing around his wrists until he got bored enough to break the silence. "So, what, do we all wander around until we run into something improbable enough to be a way out?"
He'd meant it sarcastically, but Doctor D nodded. "Sounds like a fine plan to me. Let's go, everyone!" He waltzed away for the lunchroom doors, leaving his tray. The others followed, Ban still annoyed about not being the one doing the planning or the getting everyone into actioning. Irvine flung the lunchroom doors open...revealing a large courtyard. Not just any courtyard, mind—this one was a large outdoor one designed for jousting and other events. There were even a few birds flying by, chirping happily.
"Uh...it was a hallway when we came in." Thomas rubbed the back of his head. "Ack, our clothes! They've gone...fluffy!"
Indeed, for they were back in a medieval setting...and their clothes had morphed to match. No one noticed their sudden arrival, or the lunchroom doors leading back into the cafeteria. They hung there, a bizarre portal between times and universes, just waiting to give you a headache if you looked at them too long.
"Wahey! What brings you here, oh kind sirs and fair ladies? Is there a dragon you have need of slaying? Someone in need of rescuing, or a noble knight to marry?" A young man in full armor on a dark steed saluted them, the horse sniffing Ban and licking his hair. He probably still smelled of white stallion.
It seemed they were also in the middle of the jousting field. Luckily, the knights hadn't started the knocking off horses and charging bit, and they were spared a skewering or stomping on.
"Well, yeah. I'm just a regular damsel in distress, here." Riese's words dripped with sarcasm, so much so that one might want to chase after them with a metaphorical towel.
Not one to miss out on the fun, Moonbay joined in. "Oh, help, save usssss! Yeah, sure!"
The resident knights-in-shining-armor, on the other hand (as well as nearly every male in the vicinity) seemed immune to the subtleties of the spoken word, however, and the pair was soon surrounded.
"I'll save you, fair maidens!"
"No, no! I saw her first, I want to save her! Oh beautiful one with flowing...erm...blue hair."
WHAM! First one and then more loud thuds echoed, punctuated by the occasional yelling about how help, the little blue beasties were after me. At the end of it all, the pair stood in front of a good-sized group of pummeled annoying would-be rescuers, Moonbay brandishing a frying pan (where had that come from?) and Riese merely grinning, her eyes glowing faintly.
"Now, do you believe us when we say we don't need rescuing?" Irvine watched amused as Moonbay waved the pan around—he'd learned pretty quickly not to try and "rescue" her if she didn't honestly need rescuing. And that Riese woman seemed as though she could take care of herself too.
A weakened chorus of affirmatives came from the mob. One of the armored ones lay on his back like a turtle, waving his arms in the air idly. Armor wasn't so nifty and shiny as it looked, he was finding out. Then again, damsels in distress were also turning out to not be all they were cracked up to be. That one seemed like a witch, or something. She'd summoned up a horde of insects—that was a rather witchy thing to do, wasn't it? Nasty, pinchy insects...the kind that liked to bite him on the nose.
"Well. Come on, then. Let's get going." Ban, still trying to keep up his role as unofficial leader of their little band, waved everyone forward. "We've got to figure a way outta here."
So, they continued. They strolled though the increasingly fragmented hallways, Thomas watching in surprise as someone strolled by with a cell phone only to have it turn into a chicken, and as lockers morphed into grain bins and back again. To say nothing of his clothes—this was really quite disorienting.
"It's best not to think about it," Karl said, pacing tensely beside his brother. "It'll only give you headaches." Like Thomas's communicator-thingie, Karl's hat was the only thing that stayed consistent. His current outfit was an old-style uniform that was vaguely reminiscent of an Imperial dress one, sporting a crimson and gold crest of a Saber Tiger-like feline across the front. It didn't stay long. The next time Thomas looked, his brother was wearing the same Tiger design, this time modernized on a basketball sweatshirt.
"I think we're getting close to the source of the time disturbances. Or whatever you want to call this." Also sporting a sweatshirt—his was a Shield Liger—Doctor D paused. "Hey, you know, this thing's pretty comfy. Remind me to find one when we get back."
Doctor D's rambling was interrupted as they stepped out onto the floor of the gym, and the speakers came alive with sound. First a horrible series of pings—like a school announcement system gone wrong—and then a voice. A deep, sinister one that no one could quite place through all the feedback and fuzz.
"Well, I see my original evil plan has failed. After I died, you see, something of my consciousness was drawn here, leaving me able to manipulate this realm outside space-time and canon. I had intended to trap you all here, driving you insane in a world of clichés, cheesy romance, and lack of Zoids. But it seems you've figured at least that much out. But..." the voice continued, still too muffled and echoy to be identified, "I still do have one last trick up my sleeve."
The floor around them split apart, the crack in it widening progressively into a crevice, a chasm...and then the whole thing broke apart. Appearing in a shower of dirt and cement, a strange Zoid clawed itself out of the earth. What once had been the gym floor was now a torn mess, occupied by a huge purple-and-black dinosaur. Gold trim glittered in the flickering overhead lights, and the creature roared.
"What is that?" Ban and company stared at the oddity, which twitched its tail in annoyance at not being recognized. Ban, the first one to speak, tried again. "Hey, who are you? What is that Zoid?"
"Fufufu...fool, don't you know? Now, come on, surely you people have had your history lessons...or surely you haven't forgotten your past?" The Zoid turned towards Riese as its pilot spoke the last sentence, a far more familiar voice echoing in a bad set of external speakers.
"Hiltz!" Fine gasped. "You're supposed to be...dead!"
"...obviously." Riese rolled her eyes, ignoring Thomas, who was now glaring at her. "And I believe that's a Godkaiser...been a while since I've seen any Zoids like that one."
Rudolph started snickering, much to the surprise of the others. And then Doctor D started laughing as well...and Riese, too, as if she'd finally gotten some inside joke.
"...I don't get it." Ban blinked, and Raven shrugged.
"Hehehe...don't you see, we were talking about how stuff like this always ends with a deus ex machina." Doctor D was quite amused by all this.
"...a god in the machine." Riese finished.
"Don't bother. I doubt they'd appreciate such things."
"Prozen! What are you doing here?" The group turned to face where Ban had been yelling. Indeed, there stood a younger version of another of their supposed-to-be-dead foes. He still had his long hair, antenna-bangs and all, although he was wearing what seemed to be a football jersey and shorts.
"Not one word about the clo—" His voice squeaked for a second, and Prozen coughed and cleared his throat before continuing in his usual ominous tone. "Hiltz, did you have to make it a high school? Really, did you have to?"
"Hmph...well, I think I'll be good for a second to spite you, then, and tell them how to fix it." The former wannabe-emperor reached out for a large red button on the Godkaiser's knee. No one had noticed it until then, despite the blinking "Do Not Press" sign.
"Oh no you don't." The dinosaur sidestepped, the cockpit opened, and Hiltz jumped out, shoving Prozen aside. He, too, looked younger. Everyone seemed to freeze, staring at him.
"Heh, he's short." Riese chuckled. Indeed, Hiltz was quite short—and his hair looked fluffier, almost like—
"—an afro!" Ban couldn't keep from laughing any longer either. "Disco Hiltz!"
"I think he's shorter than I used to be...I am...er." The older-Rudolph leaned forward. "Yep."
Hiltz was fuming. Normally the composed sort of villain, there were a few things that really annoyed him. Bad writing, incompetent lackeys...and, apparently, being reminded of his former height. "Geh...I'm not squeaky, at least, like Günther-mousie over there."
"Don't call me that, Hiltz-chan..."
A fight soon broke out between the pair, leaving the rest of the room's occupants decidedly confused. Former villains usually don't tend to be brought back from the dead only to end up in petty fights, after all...especially not ones involving fisticuffs and much yelling of curses in obscure languages.
"Um...maybe we should press the button?" Moonbay suggested, reaching out for the Godkaiser.
"Oh no you don't, yo—GAK!" Hiltz had tried to stop her, only to be grabbed in a headlock from behind. He responded by stomping on Prozen's foot. Prozen yelped and called him something quite impolite in Finnish. Moonbay sighed and pressed the button.
Space-time screeched in pain again as canon was restored, brilliant light in shades of Prussian blue and mauve filling the room before it all went green. Space-time was also sick of it going either white or black, and was trying something different. Unable to piece together everything perfectly, it did its best.
"What the hell was that?" Irvine rubbed his head, sitting up around what looked like a large dining table. Must be in the Emperor's palace-thing, then, he mused, and I was two days' travel away before this all started. So it hadn't been a dream?
As if answering his question, Moonbay pulled herself up in the chair next to him. "Uhhh...if it was a dream, it was one messed-up trippy one. I assume you mean the high school and the medieval things...and Hiltz?"
"Where ARE we?" It was Karl this time, dusting off his hat and unflattening it, for he had landed upside-down, unlike Thomas. Taking his brother's offered hand, he stood shakily up, nearly falling over before he got his bearings. "Ouch. Why do we always manage to hurt our heads, anyway? I need some ice."
Riese appeared from who-knows-where, along with an annoyed-looking Ban. "Where'd Raven go?"
"Over here." He was stuck on top of a statue of an Orudios, presumably having fallen there. Fine was offering to get him down, but he'd declined, being stubborn. Rudolph was there then, too, probably late due to the space-time continuum having more to fix in his respect. "Aw, I'm short again."
"And I'm old again! Whee hee hee!" No one needed to look to know that Doctor D had arrived. The only question was...had Hiltz and Prozen re-appeared too?
"Traitor! Trying to help them! Take THAT! Not so easy to beat me up when I'm taller!"
This was followed by a loud crash and what sounded like Prozen yelling in Russian while hopping on one foot on top of something expensive and broken. Then, another crash...before the door at the end of the hall went flying off its hinges. Mainly, because Hiltz had been thrown into it.
"You two, STOP BREAKING MY STUFF!" Rudolph was trying to look angry and scary, but the closest he could get was angry and rather cute, with his eyes all wide and adorable-looking. This could be quite inconvenient at times, but this time, it worked in his favor.
"Sorry. We'll stop...assuming Prozen here is willing to move his elbow and stop jabbing me in the eye."
The two antagonists stood up, looking a bit worse for wear. They both tried not to show it, smoothing out clothes and attempting to look as dignified ominous villains should. It failed, but who was counting?
Raven had apparently gotten off the stone Orudios, and now offered his insight into how best to deal with the situation. "I say we pretend this all never happened."
Surprisingly, Ban agreed. "It's all so silly anyway. But what about them? We can't let them go!" He pointed towards Hiltz and Prozen as he said this, the latter of whom had wandered over to the table and was eating some of the bread from one of the baskets, while Rudolph shot him death glares that ended up looking more cutesy than anything else.
"But what if they agreed to not trouble us? You let Raven go." Fine pointed that out often, it seemed...then again, she always was the forgiving type.
"He'd stopped being evil!"
"I helped you," Prozen said, in between mouthfuls of bread. "Besides, I wouldn't mind disappearing. I've always wanted to buy an island somewhere...that and rule the Empire, but that one's not going to happen while you're around." He turned to look at Rudolph, who responded with another death glare. The kid got it right this time, but to his dismay Prozen had already turned away.
So, a vote was taken. After much deliberation, the group ended up deciding that they would indeed never speak of this again unless all parties were willing (fat chance, Irvine had chimed in), and that they'd all close their eyes, count to ten, and give Hiltz and Prozen a chance to leave. So long as they didn't do anything evil after that, they'd be fine. Ban made it quite clear that any breaking of the latter half of the agreement would result in much chopping of their Zoids with Blade Liger blades and other unpleasant things.
"Okay, then...everyone ready?"
"One...two..." Both villains sprinted away, Hiltz calling for Ambient as he went, Prozen heading for the nearby rent-a-Zoid.
"It's like hide-and-go-seek!" Rudolph was trying not to laugh at the sheer absurdity of it all, and not doing a very good job.
"I love that game!"
"Oh, be quiet, Doctor D." Annoyed, Irvine wished he could uncover his eyes. He didn't trust the pair, and judging by the mumbling from Raven's direction, he didn't either. But they'd been outvoted...
Karl hissed under his breath, lifting a hand to steady the ice pack now on his head. "It wasn't my idea either."