“Ecchh!” The disgusted noise rolls out of the mouth of the red headed woman. She pulls her sunglasses down with her index finger to rest on the middle of the bridge of her perfect nose and looks over the tops of the rims at the crowd that mills around in front of her. “You have GOT to be kidding me?” She asks in annoyed disbelief. “I so do not understand why we are here.”
“I know why I’M here.” Jenna responds, her usually sweet, lilting cadence now dripping with annoyance. “I don’t, however, have any idea why YOU’RE here.”
The Red Headed woman pushes her large heart shaped sunglasses back up rest against her face, still clearly not pleased with what she sees before her. ‘Well, I thought we were going to have some fun, since we were taking a break from that hillbilly haven of West Virginia and Mary Beth’s constant bitching. “
“No. I was going to get prepared for my match. I haven’t really trained in awhile and Santana thought it would be good if I readied myself for it. I’m not sure why you would come along with me.” Jenna answers her.
“I, like, told you already and shit. West Virginia is fucking stupid and I thought we could go have some fun. We don’t spend enough time together, Jenna. We should bond.” The red headed woman smiles at Jenna. The smile feels very insincere.
“We don’t spend a lot of time together because you’re mainly mean to me.” Jenna answers her.
“Well, whatever. We should be tighter. I thought a road trip away from The Hills Have Eyes would be fun. This is definitely not going to be any fun. I can’t believe what I’m seeing before me.”
“Yeah, well, I can’t believe I let you pick out my clothes and hair and makeup. I feel ridiculous.” Jenna moans. The red headed woman turns to her with her mouth agape, obviously offended.
“Shut UP! You look absolutely sick, bitch!” She says and smacks Jenna across the arm. The camera pulls back to show Jenna for the first time. It’s not exactly how she’s used to being seen.
“I look like a Kardashian.” Jenna grumbles. The red headed woman stomps her foot and turns to Jenna, angrily jutting out a finger.
“Oh, fuck you. You take that back right now. Those sluts work for Satan, okay? They have no taste and neither does he. That gauche fuck hasn’t had a decent design in like a hundred years. When’s the last time you saw him book a single runway during fashion week? NEVER. You know why? His last contribution to fashion was Crocs. Fucking CROCS! Don’t you dare insult me by comparing my fashion sense to his minions. When I dress up my bitches, my bitches look GOOD!” She accentuates her exclamation mark with a finger snap in the air above her head that is currently doing a sassy neck roll. Jenna just stares at her not understanding a word she’s saying. She shakes her head and sighs, walking forward into the spacious fields of Warren J Harding Public Park.
“C’mon, Red. Let’s just get this over with.” Jenna says over her shoulder as she passes the woman who clearly doesn’t want to follow her.
“I thought you said that Marquez woman was sending us to a club?” She shouts after Jenna.
“She did. We’re here.” Jenna answers without looking back.
“Um, HELLO! This is a park! Not a club! I know the difference, you know. There’s no bottle service in a park!”
Jenna reaches out her hand and points at a sign nailed to a tree as she passes it. The sign reads “The Followers of The Eye LARP Club.” The red headed woman throws back her head and groans loudly. She balls her fists and throws her arms to her side, instantly blinking out of existence from where she was standing and reappearing next to Jenna’s side. Jenna stops dead in her tracks, twisting her head around in all directions, nearly panicked.
“Are you Crazy?” Jenna shrieks at her. “Don’t do that kind of stuff here! Someone will see you!”
“So what?” She responds, obviously not seeing the problem.
“SO WHAT? We’re in public, that’s what! You can’t just let normal people see you teleport and use magic and that kind of stuff.” Jenna tells her quietly as she continues to look around, hoping no one saw her.
“These people are hardly normal. There’s a guy over there in a werewolf mask and assless chaps. Pretty sure they’d love to see some actual “magic” as you call it. Maybe I’ll turn one of them into a frog. That seems cliche enough. Or hey, how about some REAL magic and I turn one of them into an emotionally secure mature adult.” The red headed woman beings cackling loudly, having fully cracked herself up. She raises up her hands and begins making hex fingers at random passersby until Jenna grabs her hands and pushes them back down.
“Stop it! People are starting to look at us.” Jenna pleads.
“Duh. That’s because we look like normal, gorgeous women. They’re, like, trying to figure out why I’m not dressed like Slave Leia.” She cackles again, blowing a kiss at barbarian with a shield that’s clearly made from a Pizza Hut box.
“Please, Red. Just be be nice and don’t use any magic. We’re just here to observe and maybe talk to a couple of them.”
“Jenna, these people believe in magic. They probably think they’re casting magic themselves all of the time. LARPers are just a step above Juggalos but I’d bet you have to explain how magnets work to them too.” She smiles evilly. Jenna doesn’t smile back.
“Red pleeeaaase. Don’t cause trouble. I just want a nice quiet day.” Jenna presses her palms together in front of Red, pleading with her. Red rolls her eyes.
“Whatevs. Fine. I’ll be nice for now. You used to be more fun. Mary Beth is having a bad influence on you. That girl has a stick lodged so firmly in her ass she might as well be a lollipop. But stop calling me Red. Why are you calling me that?”
“Because you won’t tell me your name. I have to call you something.” Jenna answers her, thinking to herself that the answer is obvious.
“Mary Beth has been calling me Miranda. Why can’t you just call me that?”
“Because that’s not your name.” Jenna says matter of factly.
Red groans and rolls her eyes again. “Look, if I told you my name, it would kill you. It’s an ancient language that, like, holds immense power and reverberates on a frequency that can’t be comprehended by the human mind. Speaking it would instantly cause every cell in your body to explode on a subatomic level. It’s super badass and you would so totes love it, but you do not want me to do it. Trust me.”
Jenna looks at her with great confusion furrowing her brow. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Why do you always talk like you’re a God or something?”
Red just stares back at Jenna without making an expression at all. “Would you care for me to explain the concept of magnets to you?” She finally says.
“Okay. So I’m just going to call you Red, then. We’re in agreement?” Jenna responds, still looking somewhat confused.
“Fine. Can you just do whatever it is we’re here to do so we can hit up a spa or something? If I don’t get a coconut water and a pedi soon, I’m going to unleash a plague. What are you here for, anyway?”
“Well, I have to fight Nilli Cola this week and Ms. Marquez thought I could learn a lot about how she thinks by coming here and watching these LARPers interact. She said Nilli is just like these people. Not sure how, but we’ll figure it out.” Jenna says as she looks around at the various costumed people, her eyes focusing against her will on a morbidly obese man who is completely naked and covered head to toe in blue paint. “Oh my. What’s he supposed to be?” Jenna asks.
“He’s a pervert.” Red answers her and then begins to smirk. “Jenna, honey, I think I know why Marquez sent you here. She, like, totally thinks Nilli is a phony, I think. She’s comparing her to these weirdos.”
“You think? Why would she think that?” Jenna asks, scrunching up her face.
“Well, when Decay is filled with monster hunters, alien investigators, a guy that hunts fictional characters, a witch, mutants, a mad scientist and Marquez herself playing footsies with the Illuminati, you’d think Nilli wouldn’t stand out as a being a phony. She’s not even the only time traveler.” Red says, trailing off as she becomes bored talking about Decay TV. She makes an ice cold can of Diet Coke appear in her hand, then makes a straw appear in it that she begins sipping off of.
“Yeah. There ARE two time travelers.” Jenna says and nods her head slowly. “How does that work? If Nilli and Io are both from the future, wouldn’t they be from the same fucture? They’re stories aren’t even close to matching up.”
“Please, honey. Don’t even get me started.” Red says in between sips of soda. “That whole space time continuum is my biggest mistake. It just gives me a headache. I invented it and even I don’t understand that convoluted shit. I cant even.”
“You invented time? Huh?” Jenna says, tilting her head to the side like a confused dog.
Red caresses Jenna’s cheek and smiles. “Don’t strain yourself, girlfriend. Let’s just wade into the shallow end of the gene pool here and you’ll get it eventually.”
Jenna shrugs and begins walking towards a trio of costumed players who look like they are in charge as they are meeting with other players, handing out fliers and pointing people into various directions. One is a woman in chainmail and large pointed ears. Her makeup is flamboyant and her Nerf bow and arrows have been customized into a dragon-like appearance. Next to her is a man with a skeletal face and clawed hands. His clothing is tattered and stained with dirt and blood. The final man, who seems to be the game master is dressed in Victorian Era clothing with various metallic, clumsily designed robotic attachments.
“Let’s talk to them. They look like they can explain all of this to us.” Jenna says. “Now, I get what she is. She’s supposed to be an elven archer. And I get what that guys is. he’s a zombie or a ghoul or something like that. But what’s that guy in the fancy clothes and top hat supposed to be?”
“Well, see the loathsome handlebar mustache and the goggles that serve absolutely no purpose? That would make him a Steampunk.” Red answers her, trying to suppress her case of the giggles.
“What’s a Steampunk?” Jenna asks and most of society wishes they didn’t know the answer to that question either.
“Well, I suppose the easy answer is that they’re like what would happen if you crossed a Goth and a Trekkie and let Lena Dunham write them. They’re like the even less cool, more obnoxious version of a hipster nerd, if that’s even possible. Or to put it another way, Steampunks exist so that Goths have someone to make fun of.” Red answers her. Jenna is still confused.
“Okay, but I still don’t get the goggles. What’s with the goggles?”
“They don’t even know the answer to that, Jenna. They just know they have to have them.” Red takes her last sip off of her Diet Coke and throws the empty can over her shoulder. It bounces off of the head of a man in tattered cowboy clothing before clattering on the ground. He looks down at it with great confusion, batting it around on the ground a bit before picking it up. Clutching it in his fist, he thrusts it skyward and begins shouting to all in ear shot.
“BEHOLD BROTHERS AND SISTERS! THE SKY LORDS HAVE SENT US A MESSAGE! A WARNING FOR ONE OF OUR OWN! THEY SAY TEE KOH-KAY WILL DIE! THE METAL CYLINDER DECLARES IT IN WRITING! DIE TEE KOH-KAY!”
A woman wearing armor made from old computer keyboards runs over to him, wailing in a thick, horribly fake southern accent. “But, I ahm Tee Koh-Kay! Mercy me, what evah will ah do?”
Red turns to them and sneers. “It’s a fucking Diet Coke can. What kind of idiot game are you playing when you, like, name yourself after products and shit? At least pronounce it right. Your name is Coke, honey. It’s an easy fucking word to say. Why would everyone suddenly start saying things phonetically after an apocalypse. It doesn’t make any sense in any narrative. Fuck.”
The two LARPers turn towards her, obviously shocked and angry by the OOC behavior they just witnessed. The radioactive cowboy raises his arm, pointing at Red and Jenna as he shouts. “HERETICS! TIME WITCHES! LIARS!”
“Whatever, dork.” Red says, dismissing him with a flick of her wrist.
“Please, just leave them alone.” Jenna pleads. “Think of this as going bird watching. We just observe them in their natural habitat and don’t disturb them.”
“Birds are fucking stupid and watching them is lame. When I see birds, I unleash snakes on them. Or a swarm of hornets. Or bigger birds with two heads. Can we do something like that?” Red asks, perking up.
“No!” Jenna says firmly, if somewhat whiny.
“Jenna, I gave you domain. Pick up a fucking Bible sometimes. I put a lot of work into it.”
“Domain is for animals. Not people.” Jenna corrects her.
“Whatever. I don’t see the difference here. You said it yourself. This is nerd watching.” Red mutters, already disinterested.
“I said BIRD watching…And you did not write the Bible. Stop it.” Jenna says to her, obviously annoyed.
“Oh, you have no problem believing that your best friend is a pot growing witch, your boss is part of an organization that controls the world and your “boyfriend” is actually heterosexual and that he once fought a man who can talk to Frankenstein and Moby Dick, but it’s completely out of the question that I’m God. Whatevs. Hey, where is your own personal Andy Cohen, anyway? You want me to teleport him into this little soiree? I bet I could have some fun with him.” Red responds snarkily. Jenna immediately spins around, jamming a finger in her face and snarling.
“Don’t you dare talk bad about Jaime! Leave him out of this! You and Mary Beth don’t understand that he’s trying to help all of us, but I do. Don’t bring it up again or so help me, I’m going to knock your block off. Friends or not, I’ll do it. Now let’s go talk to those three, you be nice and don’t cause any more trouble. Got it?”
Red looks at Jenna’s angry face and tries her best not to laugh. Finally, she shrugs and says. “Fine. I’ll be good. For now.”
“Good.” Jenna says and turns back around, stopping towards the three game masters.
“I have to say, I so totes appreciate the big balls on you. I LOVE it. Granted, five-thousand years ago, when I was more hot tempered, I totally would have turned you into a pillar of salt or covered you in boils or something like that, but I’m sooooo more mellow now. I like you, Jenna. We’re gonna be besties and shit.” Red says as she follows Jenna, now skipping as she walks.
As Jenna and Red approach the trio of LARPers, they can here the Steampunk dor…er…player, giving orders to the other two and a few other people dressed as various things. They hear a woman dressed as….who knows? Something that doesn’t wear a lot of clothes. Anyway, they hear the woman refer to the man as Lord Roddy Bottom.
“Oh, my most benevolent curator of curios, Lord Roddy Bottom. Where are myself and my Fae of The Wastelands to take our positions in the battle realm?” The barely dressed woman asks him. Jenna notices the tiny nylon wings attached to her back for the first time. To be fair, the wings are bigger than any other article of clothing on her body.
“My dear Island Breeze, Queen of the Aero Sol Tribe of Glade Woods. Take your fairy sisters to the far shack of resting beyond the fields of balls of volley. There you will stage you camp and prepare for the coming War.” Lord Roddy Bottom says this in grandiose fashion, acting out each syllable as if he were performing Shakespeare. The fairy Queen, who had seemed so into her roll a moment early now seems not as pleased. She slumps her shoulders and sneers at him.
“Are you serious, Jordan? We get the Rest Room fort, again? You know they still haven’t fixed the backed up septic tank. It’s fucking gross.” She says to him and the other costumed revelers quickly turn away from the scene, pretending this isn’t happening.
“OOC, Lindsay! Really not cool. I’m docking you power points.” Lord Roddy Bottom says to her sternly. She looks even more angry, before closing her eyes and taking a deep breath. She raises her hand and then slowly slides it down past her face, getting back into character.
“Of course, my Lord. We have our wands of freshness to combat the spells of the septic serpents.” Lindsay says, raising what normal people would refer to as a can of Air Freshener. Her’s is a can of Glade. Island Breeze, of course. “Come, my sisters. Apple Cinnamon, Fresh Linen, Mango Madness…let us go prepare for battle.” And with that, Island Breeze and her fairy sisters flit away into the woods.
“Oh…my…God, Jenna. You can’t expect me not to be a bitch. This is what I live for. I feel Old Testament bitchery in me just waiting to get out.” Red whispers to Jenna.
“No.” Jenna responds sternly.
“Honey…It’s my will.” Red insists.
“I said, No.” Jenna says more sternly.
“Fine. This is your show. We’ll play it your way. I’m guessing ten minutes of talking to these people and you’ll be seeing it my way.” Red smiles innocently as they walk up to Lord Roddy Bottom and his two assistants. He turns to face them as they approach, his expression a level of charmless arrogance that makes Jamison Whitlock’s look like the face of innocence.
“What do we have here? Do I see new travelers to the realm before me? Huzzah, for the newbies!” Lord Roddy Bottom exclaims, raising his techno cane into the air. All other LARPers within earshot exclaim HUZZAH! in unison. “Now tell me, from what far away land have you come to our find fields of Austin in the Tex-As?”
“Well-” Jenna starts to speak, but is quickly cut off.
“NO! Let me guess, for my powers of mystic knowledge are legendary.” Lord Roddy Bottom says, once again moving his arms around theatrically as he speaks. “Are you the Vampiress warriors from the realm of Portlandia?”
“Umm…..no.” Jenna says, already completely confused by what the man in the silly clothing is saying.
“No. Of course not. You do not bear arms, not do you bear the sigil of the city of the rose. Ah, you must be Indie Witches of the land of Bon a’Roo. Have you come to do battle with our realm, unleashing your monkeys from the Arctic and your dragons of Imagine?”
Jenna looks at Lord Roddy Bottom who is managing to smile both eagerly and smugly. She then turns to Red, obviously, completely lost as to what is going on.
“What the hell is he talking about, Red?” Jenna asks her companion who is trying hard to suppress her devilish smile. She steps in front of Jenna, arching her back to stick out her chest, knowing that is all the magic she needs.
“Let me handle this, honey.” Red tells her before turning to address the game master. “Yo, dip of shit. I am the most powerful mage in all of this realm or any other. You may call me Goddess Scarlet, master of the Book of Revelations. This is my bodyguard, Jenna the Barbarian. We are from the far away land of Whoop a Nigga’s ass and you, my dear boy, are making us home sick.”
Lord Roddy Bottom looks a little confused himself now. Possibly a little scared. Probably a little aroused. Before he can figure it out himself, Jenna steps forward and extends her hand.
“Hi. I’m Jenna. You can call me Catfish, if you like. We’re not really here to fight. We’re more here to watch.”
Lord Roddy Bottom takes her hand, happy for a chance to get back into character. He shakes it lightly before reaching down and kissing it. “Enchanté, my delightful warrior Princess and welcome to our realm. Although I would love to see you join in on our quests and our battles today, I am always happy to allow envoys from the other Guilds to come and observe. I must ask you though, what is this Cat Fish?”
He looks at Jenna, puzzled. Jenna is puzzled that he is puzzled. Red is puzzled as to why they are here instead of running a VIP lounge in Manhattan out of vodka.
“Um. It’s just a nickname I’ve had since I was a kid. I’m from Louisiana. There’s a lot of catfish down there.” Jenna smiles sweetly, if nervously.
Lord Roddy Bottom frowns at her, theatrically, of course. “What is this Cat Fish, that you speak of? What sort of beast is part cat and part fish? It’s madness. Madness, indeed.”
“Um….what?” Jenna asks him. She begins looking around, wondering if she is on a hidden camera prank show. Red has already hit her limit on goofballery and doesn’t want to play any longer.
“What the fuck is that?” She snaps at him. “What sort of a beast is part cat and part fish? Did you really just ask that shit? Why would you say something that stupid? Your character knows how to build steampunk shit, but you don’t know what a fucking catfish is?”
Lord Roddy Bottom is immediately flustered, throwing up his hands and waggling his fingers. “TIME FREEZE SPELL! CONE OF SILENCE SPELL!”
The rest of his entourage immediately places their fingers in their ears and then stand motionless as if they were frozen. Lord Roddy Bottom begins speaking to Red and Jenna once again, trying to be polite but obviously still upset.
“Ladies, I don’t know what your rules are where you LARP at, but I require that you cast a time freeze spell and/or a cone of silence spell before speaking OOC. Are we all in agreement with that?” he asks them. Red, of course is not cool with this.
“Uh, dude. We’re, like, trying to get to the bottom of what sort of game world is so retarded that you don’t know what a fucking catfish is.” Red says, sneering at him.
“This is a post apocalyptic world. There are no catfish here. No one knows what it is.” He says back to her, just as snippy.
“Uh, so, your apocalypse people know what a cat is?” Red ask flippantly.
“Yeah. We have cats.” Lord Bottom answers.
“And you have fish? You, like, know what fish are and shit?”
“Yes. Of course we have fish.” he answers her smugly as if he were talking to a child.
“So, cats survived your apocalypse and fish survived your apocalypse, but somehow shitty, mud eating catfish, who are like the fucking cockroaches of fish didn’t survive and not only does no one have any recollection of their existence, you can’t even grasp the basic concept that fucking fish are named after other things besides fish? That’s fucking retarded.” Red tells him in her bitchiest, Mean Girls voice.
“Well…I mean….you have to admit, it sounds like a monster, sort of.” Lord Bottom stammers.
“No, fuck face, it sounds like a fish. I mean, what sort of fish are still alive in your apocalypse world? Which ones?” Red presses on.
“Um…uh…I don’t know….fish.” he answers as he begins looking around him for help, but not finding it as his friends are frozen and deaf in the game world.
“Fish? Fucking fish, loser? That’s what you call them? All of them. Fish. They’re just fish?”
“Uh…yeah. I mean, it makes sense. We’re like sort of primitive now. We don’t have a name for every sort of fish.” He tries to convince both Red and himself.
“No, it’s fucking retarded and a cop out. I’m pretty sure you just made it up right now, didn’t you?” She grills him, jabbing a finger in his chest.
“Well…okay, yeah. It’s kind of what we do. Just go with it.” he says as he starts to sweat.
“Yeah? How did cats survive the apocalypse if catfish didn’t. How did other fish survive but not catfish? How are you so dumb that you can’t look at a catfish and know it’s a fish while seeing it’s resemblance to a cat, JUST LIKE THE ORIGINAL PRIMITIVE DOUCHE WAD THAT NAMED THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE? This apocalypse let’s cats and all fish except catfish survive, but it kills catfish and common sense? Are you fucking kidding me?” Red rants at him.
“Lady, I don’t fucking know, okay? I just know we have cats because a lot of cat ladies play with us and there’s a koi pond in the middle of the park so we have to acknowledge that fish exist. Give me a fucking break, okay?” Lord Bottom’s voice is now shaky and cracking. Red is shaking her head and pacing, trying to talk herself into keeping her word to Jenna. Jenna, meanwhile, has slowly raised her hand into the air and is smiling sheepishly at Lord Bottom. He’s removed his hat and is furiously rubbing his sweaty head, frustrated and upset by the line of questioning that he wasn’t prepared to answer. He tries to ignore Jenna, but finds he can’t as she begins to bounce on the balls of her feet and wave her arm vigorously. He finally sighs and acknowledges her.
“Yes…Jenna the Barbarian. What do you want to say?” he asks, not really wanting to know.
“Um, so tell me about your game world. You said there is an apocalypse? What happened?” Jenna asks him sweetly.
Lord Roddy Bottom looks at her suspiciously, but surprised. “You….really want to know? You’re honestly interested?”
“Yeah. It sounds fascinating and sort of cool. I used to play World of Warcraft before I joined Deacy TV. Role Playing games are neat.” Jenna says and smiles brightly. Lord Bottom smiles back, happy that at least Jenna might be persuaded to join their guild.
“Well, this is the world after a zombie apocalypse has wiped out most of the population and driven society back into the dark ages, so to speak.” He says proudly.
“So, it takes place in the modern world?” Jenna asks.
“No. It’s far in the future.”
“But, it’s like the past?” Jenna asks.
“Yes. We’ve forgotten what the modern world was like. It’s like the old west. There’s no technology left. Make sense?” Lord Bottom smiles proudly.
“No.” Jenna says. “If technology is gone and no one understands it, what are you supposed to be?”
“Um, well, I’m a junker scientist. I collect artifacts from the past and turn them into low tech versions of modern machinery.” He smiles proudly, once again. Jenna frowns.
“Okay, so zombies and steampunk, which sort of works together if I want to shut off my brain like I’m watching a Transformers movie, but I saw werewolves and you asked if we were vampires?” Jenna asks him, drifting back towards confusion.
“Um…well…the other supernaturals have sprung up too. Not just the zombies.” He answers her, if less convincingly.
“Okay. But this lady next to you is clearly a Middle Earth elf and I’ve seen a lot of other D&D types, as well. What’s that all about?” Jenna looks at him quizzically and a little less patient.
“Well…uh…there’s a sort of….dimension rift…..I guess…and these people are bleeding into our realm too….maybe.” He answers even less convincingly.
“Yeah, okay, but why are the fairies named after air freshener and using cans of Glade as weapons?” Jenna is now completely frowning as if she’s trying to solve the square root of WTF.
“Well….like I said….this is the future after the apocalypse so people find relics from modern society and name themselves after it.” He answers, now sounding as if he wants Jenna to convince him that what he’s saying is actually making sense because it doesn’t actually make sense to him.
“Like calling yourself Vanilla “Nilli” Cola?” Jenna asks drolly, now frowning and no longer buying the bullshit. “You purposely act stupid about things that even a caveman could figure out?”
“Yes! Exactly! You’re getting it.” Lord Bottom exclaims, once again excited and thinking Jenna is on board. “That greaser guy over there is named Ford Fairlane and he thinks a car is a cow and the toilet paper mummy is named Pharaoh Char-Min and he thinks he can be resurrected after he dies if he is covered in poo and flushed down the swirling time well of the Tidy Bowl. You’re getting it now.”
“Sooooo…what about those guys over there.” Jenna points over to a small army of soldiers in intimidating formation dressed as Gingerbread Men.
Lord Roddy Bottom finally hangs his head in shame and sighs. “Look, none of us could agree on what sort of theme we wanted our game world to have so we sort of just threw it all into a pile and blamed it on an apocalypse, okay. Zombies are trendy, so they’re the main cause. Just go with the rest of it, okay? Please?”
Jenna scratches her head and looks at Lord Bottom, no longer confused, but just annoyed. “This is really, really, super, completely stupid. Red, we’re done here. I understand why Santana wanted me to come here and I understand why this applies to Nilli Cola.”
“You see the light, honey? Praise me.” Red says, waving her arms in the air.
“Yes. Nilli comes from a world where rational thought doesn’t exist and dumb behavior doesn’t “happen” because of necessity or innocence. It happens because a make believe line of thinking and acting like a neanderthal makes for an easy excuse to cover up your lack of logic and narrative sense.” Jenna says with great confidence, if somewhat robotically.
Red smiles. “Wow. That was all sorts of awesome sauce. It’s almost like I made my thoughts come out of your mouth.”
“Cool. What just happened again? I wasn’t paying attention.” Jenna says, smiling enthusiastically.
“Don’t worry about it. You just said it was time to party.” Red says as she steps up, cracking her knuckles.
“I did? Why don’t I remember that?” Jenna asks in her most adorable of voices.
“Well, actually Marquez said it. She just called and said you’re actually here to train for you match by fighting all of these losers. Remember?” Red asks her as she stretches from side to side, trying to get limber.
“No. I don’t.” Jenna asks, confused once again. Red snaps her fingers and Jenna’s expression changes.
“I mean, yes. Yes I do remember.” Jenna grits her teeth and growls as she balls her hands into fists. “Let’s take out these Nilli people.”
Red smiles and walks out into the center of the field where most of the LARPers are still gathered, awaiting official word that the game has begun. She knocks Lord Bottom to his ass as she passes.
“Okay…Listen up, you primitive screw heads!” Red shouts to the crowd. “We’re going straight to all out war today and magic is the name of the game. You’re all going to be wielding it. Does that excite you all?”
The crowd yells YEAH!
“I can’t hear you pussies! I Said ARE YOU EXCITED TO ALL USE MAGIC!” Red yells and the crowd now roars back at her.
“That’s better. I know you dorks, are like, tired of being dorks and you’re all ready to be champions. WE’RE GOING TO BE CHAMPIONS TODAY! DO YOU FEEL ME?” Red yells, now completely working the crowd.
“Cool. So here we go, fuckers. It’s show time. It’s WAR TIME! IT’S MAGIC TIME!”
The crowd roars and cheers, not noticing that Red is swirling her arms and speaking in a language that is not known by human ears and unlike whatever bullshit Klingon or Elvish languages they speak in, this one actually has power. Jenna watches in surprise as a red mist fills the park and swirls around everyone in attendance. Slowly, the zombies turn into actual zombies. Werewolves and vampires become actual werewolves and vampires. People change into faeries and elves and orcs and dwarves. Steampunk Iron Man is now functional. Predator is now a real alien. The Gingerbread man army is now…well….they’re probably fucked, but at least the have real weapons now. Everyone has real weapons. Everyone is actually who they pretend and desire to be. It is temporarily a moment of mutual wish fulfillment.
And then human nature sets in.
“KILL THEM ALL!” someone yells and war begins.
Jenna looks towards Red, now clutching a broadsword in each hand and feeling blood lust nip at her psyche that she doesn’t want to feel. “What did you do?” Jenna asks her.
Red simply shrugs and “Oops?” is her only response as armies charge from all direction and war begins.