Collision Course II: The Awful Truth About Egobossler
(a short story inspired by Wendy's supplied information)
several bits borrowed from Alara, Donna and Ennien and snippets snatched from Wendy's report. Gomen nasai. ^_^>
Ken Washio gently laid his son down into the cot as the child fidgeted sleepily. He smiled: Kamui Washio had his eyes, but his mother's jet-black hair. "Easy, Kamui, easy. Time for bed." Kamui snuggled into his pillow as Ken tucked him in, and the two-month-old promptly fell asleep.
It had been nearly a year since the last Collision, when the Kagaku Ninjatai, G-Force '78 and G-Force '86 banded together to deal with the Eagle Riders. The Eagle Riders were quiet now that production was over: they did relatively little work compared to Ken, who worked 205 episodes, or the other two teams having worked on 85 episodes each. Hunter and his crew only had 65 to work on, and were now lying low. It was just as well. He and Jun got married not long after that, and had Baby Kamui later on. From what he'd last heard, Ace and Aggie were engaged, and Mark and Princess were still trying to finalize their own wedding plans.
Tonight was an annual gathering of the Tatsunoko Team, October 1st. Some of the main cast of Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman were here in Nambu's mansion to celebrate their 'birthday', though the attendance was still missing a number of people. Nambu-hakase was kind enough to take some time to convert one of the rooms into a nursery for Kamui, leaving Ken and Jun quite at ease to enjoy themselves tonight.
Slowly, Ken shut the door to the nursery and moved back to the stairs, where an explosion of laughter suddenly erupted from below, louder and heartier than anything he'd ever heard before. He groaned... any time now...
"Thanks a lot, you guys!" Ken yelled. "You woke the baby!"
Jun came running up the stairs, a wide grin on her face: obviously, whatever that was funny just now was still funny now. "Sorry, Ken. C'mon." Together they went back into the nursery where Kamui was now wide awake and howling. Jun giggled. "He's got your voice."
Ken rolled his eyes. "What was so funny down there, anyway?" he asked as he picked his son back up from the cot, cradling him. "Sounded like a circus down there."
Jun could not stiffle her giggles. "Oh, Katse just brought along the most hilarious party favor."
"Not that tape recording she made of our performance in 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show'? I thought I burned the last of those tapes." When Kamui refused to quiet down, he handed him to Jun.
"No, something worse," she said as she cradled her son.
"Umm... those two insane lab rats that tried to take over hir part in the show?"
Jun giggled again. Ken was getting wired. "No. Funnier."
Ken blinked. "What could be worse than our version of 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' and funnier than Pinky and The Brain?"
"Well actually 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' wasn't *that* bad..."
"You weren't the one in the bed with Katse. You probably wouldn't have married me if you knew what went on there," he said, his cheeks coloring slightly.
She smiled and leaned over to kiss him. "I would've married you anyway."
Jun looked down at Kamui, and he had at last calmed enough to sleep again. She handed him to Ken and Ken gingerly rested him back in the cot, tucking him in a second time. Unable to control himself, he sighed deeply.
"He's beautiful, neh?" Jun said, hugging Ken.
"Should be. You're his mother." He sighed again.
Then Jun pulled away and grabbed him arm, dragging him out of the room. "C'mon, we rewound that aprt so you can see it."
Ken shut the door and followed her to the stairs. "So it *is* a tape. Okay. Of what?"
When Ken reached the party area where Joe and Jinpei had set up the home movie theater system, he tried not to let his jaw drop in surprise, but it fell loose anyway.
Popcorn was strewn all over the floor from the tipped-over bowl. There was a streak stain along the carpet where Joe had spat out his beer, and another splatter of liquid on the wall where Ryu had spat out his. Jinpei still had his head buried between the cushions, shaking with laughter while Katse giggled like a little girl in a much calmer fashion. Sosai X would not stop blinking in and out, a sort of defect in laughing for him. The sight that surprised Ken the most was Nambu laughing and still banging his head on the table.
"I must have missed something big," Ken said quietly.
Joe looked up at last from his seat, the stupidest, widest grin you can imagine on his face, and said, "Ken, c'mere. Have a seat. You gotta see this."
Ryu chuckled. "Hey, Katse, where the heck d'you get all this stuff?"
"I have my resources," s/he said, taking a sip of her drink. "I have lots of contacts."
"So what is it?" Ken asked as he opened a can of beer for himself.
Jinpei at last came up for air and wanted to be the one to enlighten Ken. "It's an episode of the Eagle Riders."
Ken blinked. "So?"
"*So* it's one of the unsyndicated ones. I didn't get to steal this one when I snuck in there last year during the Collision," Joe said.
Ken turned around to still see Nambu banging his head on the table. "Umm... is he going to be okay?" he asked, thumbing at Nambu.
Katse laughed. "Too much sake and this video would do that to you." S/he snapped hir fingers. "Joe, darling, run the tape again."
Joe burst out laughing again. Ken drew back. "I c-can't... I swear, Katse.. I'll blow a circuit if you make me watch it again..."
"Oh fer chrissakes, gimme the remote already," Jinpei said, snatching the remote back. He was grinning ferociously; Ken was almost afraid to find out what exactly it was.
"Y'know, I really thought we fixed those guys. Even Hunter's stopped calling me, Mark and Ace," he said.
Jun sat down next to him. "No, no, it's not them this time. But what you're going to see is the explanation for tonight's lack of attendace."
Ken took a look around. There was his entire team and Nambu, Katse and Sosai, Anderson was in the kitchen and Pandora was snickering next to Nambu, trying to get him to stop banging his head on the table despite the fact she was enjoying it. Her daughter Sammie was asleep on the couch in the next room, and Kamo was playing poker with Mechandor and Kempler in the back.
Who were missing?
"Tape's running!" Jinpei hollered. And Ken forgot to think about who was not here at the party.
The ending of Gatchaman II. Starring Mallanox. "Well, here's something. They actually showed her death?" Ken asked.
"Nononononono..." Ryu said. 'Keep watching."
Mallanox got into a nice long soliloquoy about how beautiful the Earth was from atop a flowery hill, not much different from what Gel Sadra -- [That's right... she's not here] -- had done, only not as lengthy or as corny. Ken wondered if Dr. Aikens had died too, because when Mallanox fell into the field of flowers and shrunk back into who was known as Nancy Aikens, the light did shine down from the sky.
Ken heard Ryu giggle again. "So Aikens is dead?"
Joe snerked. "No, listen."
Ken listened. Beer nearly came out of his nose when he heard Cybercon's voice come from the sky. "Nani?"
And so Cybercon said, "I'm afraid your little transformation into Mallanox wasn't effective enough, so I'm going to change you again, little Nancy, into something much more sinister than before. And because you like to laugh so much, I'm going to name you... HAPPY BOY! HAAAAAAA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA..."
And Count Egobossler appeared on the screen.
"PPPFFFTTTTT!!!" Beer shot out of Ken's mouth as he began a spasm of contagious laughter, choking and howling at the same time. Joe exploded, as did Ryu, Jinpei and Jun, and the earlier calmer Katse had hir head in the sofa, beating it with hir fist, cackling like the loon s/he was. Pandora was now banging her head onthe table because Nambu had completely fallen off his chair.
Ken laughed so hard he slid off the couch and fell to the floor, holding his sides because they hurt, and he was so afraid that he would have a heart attack and die. Jun wiped her eyes, then bent down to wipe his, before he managed to speak again. "E-Egobossler i-is H-Happy Boy? HAPPY BOY? AAAAAHAHAHAA!!"
Joe gasped for air, still snerking. "Why d'you think they're not here? They knew Katse had the tape!"
Ken didn't hear. In the midst of hs laughter, he was still repeating the name Happy Boy. "<heek> I swear, if I were Hunter, I couldn't possibly say it without killing myself laughing. <gasp>"
Jinpei whipped up a white tablecloth, wrapped it around his shoulders and stood on the table. "Beware, Happy Boy! For I am the White Shadow that Slips Because He's Laughing So Hard!" And he fell off the table laughing.
By that time Katse had laughed so hard s/he'd passed out, and the rest of the Kagaku Ninjatai were flat on their backs laughing. Nambu was already unconscious from his repeated head-banging, Pandora was catching up with him.
Somewhere in the hoo-hah, there was a howling cry from the nursery.
"Oops," Ken managed, out of breath. He crawled up to a sitting position and tried to stand. He barely made it. "I'll go get him."
Joe snickered. "I wonder why Kamui's crying?"
Ryu caught on. "Yeah. Nothing's wrong."
Katse woke up again and managed to catch up. "Maybe he's upset?"
"He shouldn't be," Jun said before collapsing into giggles again.
Ken was at the stairs already, trying very hard not to fall down.
"Why shouldn't he be?" Joe asked.
All: "Because he's a HAPPY BOY!!!"
And Ken slipped on the stairs and fell face down, laughing.