Slow, Boring Day...?
Written by Kayorei
(*sighs* It's just another normal day with the Mercs on the Marauder...)
Hunter: Um... Don't you think the readers are getting tired of that opening scenario?
(Hey, don't look at me. I'm just reading the script. Blame the writer.)
Hunter: If you say so.
(In any case, there's really nothing of real note happening with the Mercs. Today, they just spend their time lounging around their spacecraft base, not a mission on their list. A really lazy day. Not sure why anyone would make an epilogue out of this...)
(A few members of the team have decided to do their lounging in the main computer room, ready to take on a new mission at a moment's notice. So one would think.)
Kayorei: Computer, any new missions yet?
Naoshi: Oh, don't you start that again.
Kayorei: Hey, I'm not that bored... yet. Oi, Narrator! Got a minute?
(Whoa, whoa. Don't bring me into this. I'm busy... You know, narrating?)
Kayorei: I'm just asking for a little insight on something to do.
(Hey, this isn't exactly my ideal scenario, either. Just wait until something comes up. This wouldn't be an epilogue if nothing came up. I thought Hunter already established that we're not supposed to be conversing.)
Naoshi: He has a point.
*Magnus enters the room*
Magnus: Hey, computer! Any new--
Naoshi and Kayorei: No, Magnus. No new mi--
*The three turn to the computer screen, which now displays a mail notice message.*
Iga: Ooh, we got something?
Naoshi: *jumps* Wha?! When did...?
*Naoshi looks behind him and spots the other four Mercenaries, who he was sure was on the other side of the ship not two seconds prior.*
Hunter: Come on, come on. Let's see what the message is.
Magnus: *opens the message* ... "You may already be a winner..."
Shinobu: Fmeh, just something that got past the spam filter...
Naoshi: *groans* False alar--
The Mercs: !
Magnus: *opens the message* ... Hey, it's a mission!
The other Mercs: *crowd around the screen*
Hunter: "Seven Mercenaries, my storehouse has been overrun by Metools and no one else seems to be able to get rid of them for good. If you're up for it, meet me at the coordinates listed at the end of this message; I'll give you further details when you arrive. Signed..." Geez, how do you pronounce this? "Tafem O. Rutemat?"
Magnus: Hah, what kind of name is that?
Naoshi: Who cares? It's a mission!
*The other Mercs voice their agreement and eagerly run off to the teleporter room.*
(Um... Wait, what? Hey, not even thinking about the lack of details on the mission or anything? This can't... Ah, for the love of... Let's see what's going on at this storehouse.)
*The Mercs teleport in, outside their destination.*
Shinobu: So, um... Anyone here? This place seems a bit deserted.
Iga: Well, I put in the exact coordinates that were given in the message.
Hunter: *points at the large building a short distance away* That looks like it could be the place. Let's go have a look.
(Inside the storehouse, the scene seems no different.)
Kayorei: Well, there are plenty of boxes everywhere...
Naoshi: *turning over an empty helmet on the floor* Not to mention Met hats.
Kayorei: ... but not a person in sight.
Falling star: Think it could be a trap or something?
Magnus: Pfft, who would set up a trap under the premise of an extermination mission?
Kayorei: You'd be surprised.
Magnus: It didn't even seem that urgent. You know how it goes, the more urgent the message is, the more likely it is that it could be a fake.
*As though on cue, a Metool with a glowing-marked helmet leaps from the top of a stack of boxes and lands on Magnus's head*
Magnus: *flails* Gah! Getitoffgetitoffgetitoff!
Glowing Metool: Muhahahaha! You guys totally fell for it! Mission request to exterminate Metools?! Hah! I got you so bad!
Iga: ... *smacks his forehead* Ugh. "Tafem O. Rutemat" is an anagram... "Team of Mettaur".
Hunter: The only thing you managed to get was lucky! Lucky that we were bored enough to accept ANY mission!
Kayorei: Wait a second, talking Metool?
Magnus: Isn't anyone going to get this darn Met off of my head?!
GM: Yeah, I can talk. And I can issue orders, too!
*jumps to the floor*
Magnus: About time...
GM: Okay, guys! Commence operation! Attack!
*The Mercenaries brace for the ambush... that never comes. The Metool looks around, bewildered.*
GM: *grumblemutters* Useless, all of them... OI! FORM UP!
*At the command, the room is suddenly filled with dozens of Metools, all lining up in neat lines in front of the group.*
GM: Alright, you slackers... What went wrong out there?
*some beeps and meeps from the crowd*
GM: You... didn't know what the plan was?! You didn't want to risk getting the big guys angry?! You just didn't want to?!!!
The Mercs: *exchanging glances and shrugging*
GM: Fine... then I guess I'm gonna have to take matters into my own boots. *hits Naoshi with an energy bullet*
Naoshi: *raises an eyebrow and casually returns fire with an energy wave using the power charged from the hit*
GM: *gets hit and flies back into the crowd* Gah! Oh, that's it... it's on now! Come on, guys! We can take 'em!
*The Metools exchange glances, then leave the scene.*
GM: Augh! Fine, I guess I'll just leave this to my secret weapon! You haven't seen the last of me! *blows a whistle, then runs away*
*Again, the Mercs brace for impact. Again, nothing happens.*
Hunter: Huh. That was easier than expected.
(Then, out of the ceiling drops a giant Sniper Joe made of boxes... *flipping pages* Uh... guh... what... What is this?! This makes no sense! What kind of epilogue is this supposed to be?!)
Magnus: A total curbstomp?
(No, no, no... Augh, what is wrong with you people...?!)
Shinobu: Is... our Narrator having a nervous breakdown?
(YES I AM! I can't keep doing this crap...! I quit! You're on your own!)
Magnus: Um... You don't really mean that, do you?
Falling star: Huh. Well then, I guess that's it for this ep, then. Time to head back home.
Kayorei: But we're stuck here without the Narrator!
Naoshi: What? Why can't we leave? It's not like we can't move or anything.
Kayorei: Yeah, we can leave and all, but then we'll effectively vanish from the picture unless we come back here to this spot, and at least one of us has to be here at all times. It's in the contract!
Kayorei: *pulls out a piece of paper* Yeah, you didn't read it?
Naoshi: Does anyone ever read contracts before signing them?
Kayorei: It's not even the fine print!
Hunter: Whatever, just tell us what it says.
Kayorei: Alright, let's see... ah, here we go!
"... Any acting member of The Plot may choose to allow himself to display awareness of his position in a work of fiction (hereafter 'break the fourth wall') at any time. However, if The Seven Mercenaries or any other party within The Plot breaks the fourth wall without first being prompted by an outside influence, said party is to relenquish all control of The Plot and the focus of The Plot to The Narrator until the act of breaking the fourth wall has been rectified. Acts of breaking the fourth wall include making mention of outside influence such as Readers and The Narrator, interacting with an outside influence, and reading this Contract in the middle of an Epilogue."
Falling star: ... I didn't get a word of that.
Kayorei: Simply put, if we just up and strike a conversation with the Narrator or something for no reason, we surrender our ability to move the focus and the plot to the Narrator!
Shinobu: So we can't make our own "Meanwhile, back at the Marauder" things?
Kayorei: Nope. We can't even get a "Ten minutes later". Or a "The End", for that matter! We were the last ones to be focused on before the Narrator bailed on us, so it'd be in our hands to shift the focus to someone else...
Iga: Or it would be if we didn't start talking about the readers.
Kayorei: *nods* The only way any plot's going to go on here is if someone who hasn't broken the fourth wall yet this epilogue comes in here and makes something happen. And even if that does come up, we won't be able to do anything influential because we can't move the plot anymore. We are no longer important. For anything to happen, we'd need a Convenient Plot Device™ that only the Narrator can provide.
Hunter: *pauses for a moment* So all this amounts to is NPC banter. Without the Narrator, all we can do is stall until someone else can do something about the plot.
Magnus: Ugh, back to square one.
Naoshi: This is going to make for one boooooring epilogue...
Hunter: I suppose we should try to make the most of the situation.
Magnus: Sounds good to me. *starts gathering Met helmets*
Falling star and Kayorei: *follow Magnus*
Shinobu: Or come up with a solution... Hey, you hired the Narrator for the position. Can't you just appoint one of us to be a substitute?
Hunter: If it was possible, I already would have offered. We can only cross the fourth wall verbally mid-ep. The Narrator can't come here, we can't go there.
Iga: What about...? No, that wouldn't work. Or...? No. No, that's not happening.
Naoshi: Meh. If we're not coming up with anything new, wake me when something happens. *lies down and goes to sleep*
Falling star, carrying Met hats to Magnus: So what are you going to do with these, anyway?
Magnus: I'm making a fort. Don't you know? It'll be invincible since it's made of Met hats. *takes hats from Falling star and stacks them*
Falling star: ... Right...
Kayorei: There's... surprisingly little descriptive detail in our actions since we were "demoted". Have you noticed? *drops a Met hat*
Magnus: Huh? *picks up the hat* Guess not. Anything wrong with that?
Kayorei: I'm not sure. Shouldn't be, but it just bugs me. It's all amounting to pure dialogue here. I think I'll take a break from hat gathering.
Falling star: Suit yourself.
Iga: *stares at Hunter*
Hunter: *stares at Shinobu*
Shinobu: *stares at Iga*
Iga: You know there's no point in a staring contest. We're robots, we don't necessarily have to blink.
Hunter: It's stalled us this long, why stop?
Iga, glaring at Naoshi: Because someone keeps snoring and messing up our collective concentration.
Shinobu: Back on the "we're robots" argument, how is he snoring, anyway?
Falling star: *approaches Hunter, Iga, and Shinobu* Guys, check out what I found. *holds up a deck of cards* It was in one of the Met hats. You want?
Hunter: Sure. Hey, Naoshi. *nudges Naoshi* Wake up.
Naoshi: Mmmaaa, wha? Something happen?
Hunter: No. We just found a deck of cards and figured we might as well ask.
Naoshi: Meh. *goes back to sleep*
Hunter: Guess it's the three of us. Who's up for War? That's a nice time killer.
Iga and Shinobu: That'll work.
The three: *play cards for a while*
Kayorei: Plays cards... drops hat... stares at Hunter... *throws a rock*
Rock: *hits the wall*
Magnus: *sets another hat on his "fort* Finished!
Kayorei: Have we lost our onomatopoeas, too...? *shoots a Ballade Cracker at the stack of Met hats*
Magnus's Hat Fort: *explodes*
Magnus: What was that for, Kay?! You have any idea how long it took me to stack those just right?!
Kayorei: Fifty-three minutes, nineteen seconds... I counted.
Kayorei: Everyone else got the good stuff to do.
Shinobu: Ugh, this is going nowhere... How much longer do we have to deal with this...?
*With a loud crash, an enormous Met hat-wearing Sniper Joe-like mecha plows through the wall opposite the seven!*
Naoshi, half-asleep: Nnn... I thought the Kool-Aid Man ran off with the Hoff last season... *spots the mech* Holy crap, that's not the Kool-Aid Man!
Hunter: I didn't do this.
Kayorei: It's a still-important character!
Magnus: Ah, salvation, thy name is...
*GM hops to the ground at the feet of the mech.*
GM: Hahah! I told you you'd be seeing me again!
Magnus: Glowy Met?
Hunter: This must be his secret weapon!
GM, climbing back into the mech: Got that right! You may have made a fool of me before, but this time will be distinctly different! I'm going to get some respect by the end of this epilogue even if it kills me!
Falling star: ...
Naoshi: ... NOOOOOO!!!
Shinobu: There went our chance at closure...!
GM: What are you going on about? I haven't even started yet.
Falling star: You... you broke the fourth wall! We were counting on you to move the plot to somewhere where this can end without the Narrator's help, but now you gave up your plot control to the Narrator that just quit! *sobs*
GM: Whatever. On that topic, I'll gladly break you, too!
Iga: We're already broken...
GM: I mean physically! *fires a laser at the Mercs*
The Mercs: *scatter*
GM: Wow... so nondescriptive.
Shinobu: We've been dealing with the same thing for the past hour...
Kayorei: Heh heh... yeah... This storehouse has become our gray prison... And now you're stuck here with us in this void of the nondescript... forever and ever and ever... *gives a psychotic grin*
Hunter: I don't know what's creeping me out more; the overuse of the ellipsis or the "gray prison" bit.
Falling star: Snap out of it, we actually have something to do now! *points at GM's mech*
GM: About time I got some acknowledgement. *fires more lasers*
The Mercs: *dodge and counterattack*
GM: *mech gets hit* Hah! Now who's the ineffective one?! Your attacks didn't even scratch the paint! *fires more lasers*
Hunter: Ugh, he's right! None of our attacks did anything to it! *dodges more lasers*
Naoshi: Maybe it just needs a different approach! *jumps and attacks*
GM's Mech: *swats Naoshi out of the air*
Naoshi: *lands in boxes* Gah!
GM: It's pointless! You'll never be able to find my mech's weak spot!
Naoshi, standing: ... It wouldn't happen to be that glowy part I spotted on the top of its head, would it?
GM: ... DAMN IT! Well, it doesn't matter, you guys couldn't even hope to get close! *sweeps the ground with lasers*
The Mercs: *get hit and fly backward*
Magnus: Geez, this guy shouldn't be so tough... Hey, Nosh! Think we could shoot it?
Naoshi: Don't call me "Nosh". And no, the glowy's flush with the top of its head. We need to hit it from above.
Falling star: Indoors? That thing's head is too close to the ceiling!
The Mercs: *scatter*
Kayorei, trembling: Attacks... scatter... fires lasers... Gah, this lack of detail is driving me crazy!
Iga: Get a hold of yourself! *shakes Kayorei*
Kayorei: I don't know how much longer I can take this... *slumps*
Magnus: I think I have an idea! Maybe if we come through the ceiling on the other side...
Falling star: Can't leave, remember?
GM: Just accept it! You can't win!
Hunter: You're still lucky, you know that? Lucky we're all bound by contract and the Narrator's gone!
GM: Excuuuuuuses! Now, I'm gonna finish this!
*GM's Mech opens a hatch on its chest and reveals its now-charging main weapon...*
Kayorei, sitting up straight: A... a detailed account of our doom...?! It can't be...!
(And then, as though on cue, a Convenient Plot Device™ falls from the sky, smashing the ceiling and crashing into the mech's head, apparently hitting a sensitive spot. The mech's weapon stops charging and the now-powerless rig collapses, various small robots fleeing out of hatches opening along its body, including GM himself.)
GM: Agh, you lucky jerks! I won't forget this! *runs away with the other small robots in tow*
The Mercs: Narrator!
(Yeah, ha ha. I'm back. I couldn't exactly leave you guys hanging like that!)
Shinobu: But... I thought you quit for good!
(Well, I originally did. Then, I found out that the script I had was some joke script made from a couple of the author's silly ideas put together... I felt bad about it, so I came back to apologize... and I guess it was a good thing that I did!)
Hunter: You came back out of the goodness of your heart? I'm touched, but that's not really like you. *pauses* No one else was hiring?
(No one that didn't require a fifty-mile commute through four centuries and the bad part of town. Besides, the jobs I did find just didn't quite compare to this one.)
Kayorei: Great to have you back, Narrator. But Convenient Plot Device™? Seriously.
(So says the one who used it first. You dropped me a Chekhov's Gun, what else was I supposed to do with it?)
Falling star: Well, what's done is done. I say we finally head back home and get a real break from all this action.
Naoshi: Yeah. Come on, Narrator. Tell us those magical words we've been longing to hear...
(Uh... I love you?)
Naoshi: *groans* Not those words...
Magnus: We're looking for something a little shorter.
(Heh. I think I know where you're going.)