Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Insert Cutesy-Sounding Dragon Name Here

"Hey, Shirley! Did you get that popcorn?" Ben yelled. He lay sprawled back across a couch in the Library Arcanium, a ridculously large plasma flat-screen TV on the wall opposite him

Shirley came trotting in, carrying a large bowl of popcorn. "Here." She said, handing it to Ben.

"Thanks." Ben took a kernel and popped it into his mouth. "Hrm... interesting butter you used."

"Oh, that wasn't butter, it was toxic nuclear waste."

"What?" Ben yelped, gagging.

"Oh, quit being such a baby." Shirley rolled her eyes. "It shouldn't affect you what will all the nuking you do."

Just then, an out of breath Tash stuck her head in the room.

"Hey, Ben!" She called. "I've got a new mission for you!"

"Aww... can't it wait?" Ben moaned. "My TV show was just about to start,,,"

Tash frowned. "What TV show?"

"Oh, just some nameless one that he couldn't bother to come up with just for the sake of this one-shot." Shirley said casually.

The Library began to shake violently. Tash had to grab the wall to remain standing up, and the TV haning on the wall slid to one side.

"ASTER!" Ben heard Adrian scream.

"It was Ben!" Tash called back.

"Oh. Sorry, Aster! ...BEN!"

"I didn't do anything!" Ben protested.

"Regardless," Tash said coolly. "We've got a mission for you. We've spotted Bella in the Dragon Drive fandom and I thought you might want a crack at her. Fourtnately we've found her early so she hasn't had a chance to do much mutilating or warping."

"But what about my TV show?" Ben whined.

"If you hurry, you can get back before it starts."

Ben shot a glance at the clock. He would have barely enough time.

"Fine." He growled, grabbing his plot-hole generator and firing. "Let's go, Shirley!" He shouted as he leapt through.

Tash glanced at Shirley. "He didn't take any of his tools, did he?"

Shirley shook her head, "Nope" before jumping in the hole after Ben.


Ben emerged from the plothole and looked around. He had to find Bella and get back fast, before his show started. Fourtnately, he had emerged right outside of Ryugujo, the building where the virtual reality game Dragon Drive was held. In the game, players would battle each other in virtual cities, using dragons modeled on their inner selves.

"I wonder what kind of dragon I'd get," Ben mused. "What do you think, Shirley?"

There was no response.

"Shirley?" Ben looked around. The Cliche Stick was nowhere in sight.

Ben shrugged She was problably out somewhere, pulling the ears off of bunny rabbits. It wasn't like she was ever any real help on missions.

He turned and entered Ryugujo and headed straight for the hidden entrance. On the outside, the bulding looked like a run-down candy store. But that was only a front for what went on inside. He entered the hidden elevator and it slid noiselessly down, delivering him to the underground game headquarters.

Ben stepped out into the true Ryugujo. The complex was easily the size of a shopping mall. All around, teenagers talked and laughed, showing off their dragon cards or watching ongoing battles on large TV screens.

Ben glanced at one of the screens himself, half expecting to see Bella fighting there. But then he remembered that Bella had entered the Fandom only recently, and had yet to do any warping, so it was unlikely she was battling yet. Speaking of which, he needed to register.

As he headed for the registration counter, he bumped into someone.

"Oh, sorry." He apologized.

"It's all right, I-YOU!"

Ben gaped at Bella.

"H-how'd you find me here?" Bella demanded. "I only just got here myself!"

Ben extended a hand pleadingly. "Oh, Bella," He crooned. "Don't you know that true love will always guide us to one another?"

"Oh, stop it!" Bella snapped, dropping into a combat stance,

Ben shook his head seriously. "I'd love to nuke you right here, but we both know this isn't the place. We'll settle this in the game."

Bella snorted. "Fine by me, but you'd better hurry," She held up her game cell phone, containing her dragon's card. "I've already registered."

Ben nodded grimly. The clock was ticking and his show would be starting any minute now. "Right."

He quickly filled out his forms and grabbed one of the game cell phones from the attendant, before rushing off to have his dragon chosen.

The choosing area was off to the side, and consisted of an enormous wall-screen where the chosen dragon would be selected, and a large futuristic chair. When a player sat in the chair, a leigon of computers would scan him, reading his physical attributes and inner strength, generating a personal dragon to fit.

Ben hurriedly sat in the chair and waited impatiently as the attendant initiated the sequence. Computers hummed as he was scanned, and seconds later a tech came over from one of the databanks.

"I thought you might want to see this before we put it up on the monitor." He murmured to the attendant, handing her a readout.

The attendadnt took one look at the paper and her eyebrows nearly shot off her face.

"Is this-?" She asked the tech who shrugged and nodded.

"Okay, then..." She handed Ben his dragon's card. "We'll be putting your dragon up on the monitor so you can-"

"No thanks!" Ben grabbed his card and dashed off.

"But-!" The attendant called after him, but it was too late, Ben was lost to the crowd. She turned back as the image came up on the screen.

"What kind of dragon is that?" She murmured to herself.


Ben raced towards the game area, spotting Bella waiting for him amidst the crowd. The game's staging area looked very similar to the place where players had their dragon's chosen, except for the fact that there were several chairs stationed around a large screen, except for just one. While playing Dragon Drive, the chairs would upload the players mind into the game's virtual world.

Bella was tapping her foot impatiently, but Ben held up a finger. "Hold on!"

He called the game's operator and had a few words with her before heading back over to Bella.

"OK, I've set it up so that it'll be one-on-one."

Bella nodded. "No need for anyone else to get in the way."

Ben smirked. "A Sue not wanting someone else to do her dirty work, that's a first." They made their way down into the staging area.

"I'm just doing it myself because I want the job done right." Bella said icily as they sat down in the VR chairs across from each other.

Ben glanced at the clock on his cell phone. Allowing for commercials, if he hurried, he might be able to make it back before the show got too started. He quickly inserted his dragon's card into his game mobile as the game started, not even bothering to look at his dragon.

The chair's helmet-like dome descended over his head, light's flashed the surface, as the computers that ran the game fired up.

Ben had a sudden sensation of being rapidly dragged forward. With a flash, Ryugujo vanished and he found himself in an abandoned city.

He quickly turned, assessing his surroundings, he was standing on the sidewalk of a large street. Skyscrapers towered overhead and shopfronts dotted the street.
This was all standard for a Dragon Drive game, but one thing nagged at Ben. He turned completely around as it hit him. His dragon was nowhere to be seen. When the game started, the player and dragon always started with or at least near each other, but now his seemed to have vanished.

Ben groaned. First Shirley and now his dragon. How was he supposed to fight Bella now?

He started forward, but Bella emerged from a side street, riding on a 10-foot high dragon covered in white fur.

She laughed mockingly. "What, no dragon? You're even more pathetic than I thought! This should make it easy to annihialate you! Dinner is served, Tiamat!"

The white-furred dragon roared and lunged forward.

Ben leapt back and quickly judged the distance. Bella and Tiamat were about half a block away, he would have just enough time.

He raised an arm and pointed straight at the charging dragon.

"Don't mess with Nukes!" He roared. But Bella just laughed.

"Tiamat! Sphere of Silence!"

As the nuke fell into sight, Tiamat raised her head and spat an orange globe at the warhead.

The bubble absorbed the explosive and both fell to the ground. As it his the pavement, the warhead detonated, emmitting a bright flash which blinded Ben. When he looked again, both bubble and nuke had vanished, leaving no trace or sign of damage.

"What the-?" Ben exclaimed. Bella laughed again. "That was a little trick I made sure my dragon had programmed in! I couldn't have you dropping things on my head all battle, so now with this technique, your little firecracker attack is worthless!"

Ben growled and ran. He could hear Bella's mocking laughter and the sounds of Tiamat's pursuit behind.

No Shirley, No dragon and now no nukes! And my coffee attack wouldn't even faze a dragon that big! I'm screwed, I'm screwed, I'M SCREWED!

Ben ducked and weaved down various alley's and side streets, but Bella and Tiamat kept right on his tail.

"That's right, run like the coward you are!" Bella yelled after Ben as he turned down a street.

"Why do you insist on pursuing me?" Bella demanded as Tiamat sent a fireball blazing past Ben's ear. He ducked his head and kept on running.

"I haven't been able to even set foot in a fandom for at least a month without you coming to harass me! Why can't you just leave me alone?"

"I told you, it's because I love you, Bella!" Ben yelled over his shoulder as he ducked beneath a fire escape in an alley.

He glanced back just in time to see Tiamat smash straight through the metal structure and continue after.

"Oh, don't give me that!" Bella spat as Ben dashed around a corner, back on to a main street. "I've had it with you, and now I'm going to crush you once and for all!"

As Ben ran, his breath slowlu began to grow ragged and his legs turned to stone. He was a sprinter, he wasn't conditioned for long distance running like this! Finally he turned down a final alley and found a brick wall waiting for him.

He turned, just in time to see Bella come tearing around the corner. She stopped just a few feet in front of Ben.

"I've got you now!" She panted. "Tiamat! Reign of Fire!" The white dragon inhaled deeply.

Oh, man, I didn't want to have to do this! Ben gritted his teeth, shoved an earbud into his ear and jabbed a button on his MP3.

Tiamat released a barrage of mini fireballs, each exploding as they hit the ground.

Bella laughed triumphantly, urging her dragon on. Tiamat kept up the attack for several seconds before cutting it off.

"There's no way he could've survived that." Bella hissed, peering through the smoke.

"Wa-wanna bet?" Ben's voice sounded through the smoke, sounding winded.


The smoke cleared, revealing Ben exhausted, sweaty, singed and midly burned, but for the most part fine. Miraculously, not one of the fireballs had hit their target. Dozens of small holes peppered the ground around his feet.

"Impossible!" Bella seethed. "Is this another one of your powers?"

"Not a power," Ben panted. "A skill." He held up one of his earbuds. Instead of the usual heavy metal, now an energetic dance beat blasted from it.

"It's a dance move to be precise. I call it the fast-step, simply because it defies all description, though some of my friends have likened it to a full-body seizure."

Sweat poured from Ben's brow as he continued. "I can dodge just about anything while I do the fast-step, the only restrictions are I can't move from one place and it take a lot of energy out of me."

He slumped to the ground, gasping for air. "And I mean A LOT!"

Bella snorted. "Regardless, you're exhausted now, so stand still and let me annihilate you!"

Tiamat raised a giant paw to swat Ben like an ant. He closed his eyes, waiting for the impact. At that split second, a huge crash sounded behind Ben, and the alley wall behind him crumbled like cardboard. Bella stared as a massive shadow fell over the two fighters.

Ben turned slowly, then whirled back around when he saw what it was.


Shirley stood nearly 20 feet tall, her claws had grown to the size of a small car and two large leaves had sprouted from her back, acting as wings.

"Miss me?" she asked Ben.

"Where were you fifteen minutes ago?" he demanded.

"Hey, YOU try going from a size 3 shoe to a size Hulk in no time flat!"

Ben scowled. "Do you even wear shoes? You don't have any legs."

Shirley shrugged. "Yeah, I wear shoes, so?"

Ben shook his head. "Nevermind..."

He scampered up a mound of rubble and taking advantage of the knots and whorls on Shirley's bark, climbed onto her back.

"Ok, Bella," He smirked. "Let's dance!"

Bella snarled and Tiamat inhaled to unleash a blast of fire. Shirley just rolled her eyes and slapped the two open handed. As a general rule, getting hit with a palm the size of a dump-truck is never a fun experence.
Bella and her dragon were sent tumbling head over heels and crashed through a glass storefront across the way.

"All right!" Ben cheered, Shirley leered and moved forward.

Tiamat burst from the ruined store, Bella still clinging to her back and looking very angry.

"Attack!" Bella screeched, pointing at Shirley.

"Get close to her!" Ben commanded.

Shirley dashed towards them as Tiamat released a stream of fireballs from her jaws. Each impacted against Shirley, flaring up, then dying out, leaving scorch marks on the giant stick.

By now Shirley was right infront of Tiamat. "Thanks for the ride!" Ben called.

He jumped from Shirley's back and landed on Tiamat. The dragon lurched from the sudden weight and both Bella and Ben were spilled onto the pavement.

Ben scrambled to his feet first. He grabbed Bella's wrist.

"Bella Francine Carolyn Michelle Tracy Hannah Anna Paula Jenny Darline Karen Ginger Aubrey the Fourth, you are under arrest for-" Ben's hand went down to his waist, reaching for his Prohibitor, then he realized he left it back in the library. He groaned. This was not his day.

Suddenly, Bella's heel shot up, catching him in the chin and snapping his head back.

He stumbled back, clutching his mouth as Bella jumped to her feet and ran for Tiamat.

Both Tiamat and Shirley were still fighting. Tiamat had several long deep gashes down her flank and Shirley was dotted with burns and scorch marks, a few small fires even flickered in places on her bark.

"Shirley! Stop her!" Ben called.

Shirley turned and caught sight of the Sue, she raised a large, clawed hand, reaching to grab the Sue, but Tiamat intervened.

The white-furred dragon dashed forward, catching Shirley in the knees and knocking her over.

Bella scrambled back on to Tiamat and turned towards Ben, intending to strike.

Shirley jumped to her feet, looking annoyed. She raised a hand, intending to crush both Sue and dragon beneath it when the ground began to rumble.

All had to struggle to keep their balance. "What's going on?" Bella demanded.

A massive golden dragon erupted from the ground several blocks away, knocking skyscrapers aside like toys and roaring. It stood several stories high, light glinting off it's scales.

"Oh, snap." Ben muttered.

"What is that?" Bella asked.

"That would be an unmanned Dragon. Occasionally the game moderators toss them in as an NPC to mix things up. You get double XP if you beat them." Ben muttered

"But they're also ridculously strong." Shirley commented.

Ben nodded. "Quite."

Bella snorted. "I doubt it, no dragon is a match for my Tiamat! Attack!"

Tiamat opened it's jaws and fired a blazing stream once again. The fire impacted against the golden dragon's hide and dissapated harmlessly. The dragon swung around to face them.

"Nice going, now you've just marked us all as lizard dinner." Shirley said to Bella.

Bella snorted. "You stay here and don't go anywhere. I'll mop this loser up and be back for you!"

Ben shrugged, leaning against an electric pole. "Fine by me!"

"You're just going to let her go?" Shirley asked.

"She'll be back," Ben said confidently. "And with any luck, she'll be so weakened by that golden lizard it'll be easy to take her down."

As they watched, Bella and Tiamat charged the golden beast and leapt at it. The dragon raised a clawed hand and swatted the Sue away like an annoying gnat.

Ben laughed. "It's deja vu all over again, huh?"

Shirley shot a glance at him. "You do know that if we weren't on a mission I'd get you for that."

Ben shrugged. "Yeah."

Just then, the dragon turned and caught sight of them. It started forward, the earth shaking from it's footseteps.

"Oh, boy," Ben muttered. "Shirley..."

"I'm on it!" The Cliche Stick beared her fangs. "This'll be fun!"

Shirley charged the dragon, claws ready to tear it apart like tissue paper,but as she did so the dragon opened it's jaws and prepared to loose a stream of fire at the Cliche Stick.

Just then, Tiamat came barreling in from the side, leaping onto the dragon , digging in with her claws. The golden dragon roared in pain and the firestream went wide.

Shirley reared back and sprinted back to Ben. Bella and Tiamat were still bravely digging into the enraged dragon's hide, causing it to thrash about wildly. Several more buildings were destroyed or smashed from the dragon's fury.

"Bella!" Ben roared.

The emerald haired Sue looked over and ben wildly motioned them over. Bella barked a command, Tiamat disengaged from the golden dragon and rushed over to where Ben and Shirley were waiting. The four of them fell back, regrouping at a safe distance.

Tiamat was wounded, with several angry red welts and deep cuts still oozing blood visible through her white fur.

"What was that supposed to be?" Shirley demanded. "I thought you were supposed to be a perfect, all-powerful Mary-Sue!"

"I am!" Bella hissed. "That thing is just really really strong."

"I don't think we can take that thing on alone." Ben said, sizing up the unmanned dragon. He turned to Bella. "What do you say we put our fight on hold for now and joing forces?"

Bella groaned. "Fine. What do you suggest?"

"How about a surprise attack?" Ben suggested. "You've shown that that has some merit. One of us distracts the dragon, while the other slips behind it and mounts an attack."

"Fine," Bella conceded, climbing onto Tiamat's back, being careful to avoid her wounds. "But you're gonna be the decoy."

Ben shrugged. "Any objections, Shirley?"

The muse shook her head.

"Send up a fireball when you're in position!" Ben called after Bella as she moved off. The Sue didn't reply.

The seconds ticked by as Ben and Shirley waited. In the meantime, the golden dragon was amusing itself by pulverising the remaining skyscrapers.

"Say, is Josha from The World Ends With You fandom still looking for someone to remodel the Dead Gods Pad?" Ben asked.

"I think so," Shirley replied. "Why?

Ben shrugged. "I was thinking that after this is over, we might reccomend him to Joshua." Ben nodded towards the rampaging dragon.

Shirley watched as the dragon collapsed a building iwth a single swipe. "He does have good technique." She observed.

"Mmmm." Ben nodded.

Just then several fireballs shot into the sky from a street behind the other dragon.

"That's our cue! C'mon, Shirley!"

Ben clambered up onto the Cliche Stick's back and with a growl, Shirley charged forward.

The dragon turned, saw them coming and fired a barrage of fireballs, which Shirley easily dodged.

Looking over the golden dragon's shoulder, Ben could see Bella mounted on Tiamat, charging. Mentally, Ben urged her on faster.

Suddenly, Shirley tripped on a peice of rubble and everything went to hell.

Shirley stumbled, and Ben was sent flying off her back, landing on his back on the pavement, the wind knocked out of him.

A stream of fire jetted forth from the dragon's mouth, striking Shirley head on, instantly setting the Cliche Stick ablaze.

"Shirley!" Ben screamed in terror, fearing the worst.

"Settle down, Ben!" Shirley snapped, recovering from her fall, still on fire. She shot Ben a look. "You honestly think a little head like this is gonna hurt me?"

Bella and Tiamat were still grimly hanging onto the now infuriated gold dragon, slashing with claws and unleashing bursts of fire for all they were worth. With one collossal heave, the golden dragon cast them off and they crashed to the ground and slid over to Ben and Shirley.

"We can't beat it alone!" Ben gasped as he struggled to his feet, Bella and Tiamat doing the same.

"We've all got to hit it at the same time with everything we've got! All of us!"

Bella's eyes widened. "But I don't have any powers other than Tiamat in this fandom!"

"Oh, don't give me that!" Ben snapped. "You're a Mary-Sue! I know you've gotta have some kind of ridculous power stashed away somewhere!"

"Fine." Bella growled, her eyes glowing green and an emerald glow surrounding her fists.

"You ready, Shirley?" Ben asked.

"You bet." Shirley said, still ablaze, gathering a ball of fire in her hand.

The ground began to shake as the dragon started towards them.

"Now!" Ben roared, pointing at the approaching dragon. "Don't mess with nukes!"

Two blasts of fire, a beam of green energy and a thermo-nuclear warhead all struck the dragon simeltaneously. Such was the force of the blow that the dragon became a golden blur as it was blasted backwards straight through the remaining intact buildings, smashing them to ruins. When it finally came to rest, it's form flickered and wavered for a moment before fading from sight.

"We did it." Bella panted in releif.

"Yeah." Ben agreed, sinking to his knees in exhaustion.

Shirley gave herself a single violent shake, blowing out the flames that engulfed her and Tiamat started licking her wounds.

Ben looked up at Bella from where he knelt on the ruined pavement.

"I don't think either of us have the energy to to continue this fight, so why don't we call this a draw and walk away peacefully?"

Bella nodded grimly in agreement, there was a sudden flash, a jerk and the VR helmets shot off their heads and they were jolted back into Ryugujo.

All around them players buzzed with excitement as they discussed the battle they had witnessed on the game viewing screens.

Ben and Bella got up from their chairs slowly. The injuries they sustained in the game may've not manifested in the real world, but they were bone tired and mentally exhausted nonetheless.

Bella looked at Ben, She looked as though she were about to say something, but she shook her head instead and vanished through a plothole.

Ben chuckled and finally glanced down at his dragon card, depicting Shirley crouching, ready to strike. He glanced up ath the clock. He had completely missed his TV show.

Ben sighed and shook his head as he vanished through a plothole of his own.


Ben lay on his back, sprawled across the floor in the TV room in the Library Arcanium. Shirley, now back to normal size, lay on the couch, flipping through the TV guide.

"Y'know, Shirley, I've been thinking about something." Ben said, rolling over.

"Mmm?" Shirley asked distractedly.

"The system in Dragon Drice generates a dragon to fit the players inner self or soul, right?"


"And I ended up with you. So what does that say about me? Inside, am I nothing but a monster who loves nothing but inflicting unnessecary pain on people?"

"Hey, Ben?" Shirley asked, interrupting his ramblings. She held up the TV Guide. "This was the show you were wanting to see, right?"

Ben glanced at the magazine. "Yeah, so?"

"It was on last night."

Ben paled. "You mean I went throught all of that for nothing?"

"Looks like it."



Drake and Tyler looked up at the scream. The two of them were hidden snugly between two bookshelves, gorging themselves on stolen cookies.

"You think Adrian found out we got past his rocket-powered guillotine?" Tyler asked nervously.

"I don't know." Drake said. "But either way, we better finish off these Oreos fast!"

Tyler nodded and both returned to quickly stuffing their faces.

No comments:

Post a Comment