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Old 06-11-2010, 05:16 PM   #2   [permalink]
Hardcover
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Join Date: 3 Jul 2009
Location: The Id
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Spoiler:
“Oh, yes.” Lorne admitted, “Good work, Katjia.”

Katjia rolled her eyes at him.

Amber got up and went to the front to give her presentation, passing the Farrell twins as she did.

“Not bad for a pair of mongrels.” She sneered snidely.

She suddenly jumped back as the twins both growled and bared their teeth at her. Giving them wide berth, she continued up to the front, casting another apprehensive glance at the twins. She gave a derisive snort and stepped up to the front of the classroom, where several Werx had moved her project into position, covered by a large canvas tarp.

She cleared her throat and spoke, “For my latest invention, I decided to take a route rarely traveled before: Why duplicate the limited use of mammalian limbs? My new robot is designed to be as versatile and functional as possible, compacting a wide variety of functions with a simple, pragmatic design. I give you: The Multi Function Tiffenbot 2000!”

At a rather pompous gesture from Amber, the Werx pulled the sheet off of her creation and revealed it in all its metallic glory: The robot consisted of a large slightly oblong rounded main body that was highly polished and glinted in the morning sun. The globe sat on top of a round pivot out of with two large HD cameras faced forward, moving back and forth on gyros. Along the left side of the globe, a small exhaust funnel pointed out at diagonal angle.

Underneath the pivot, a series of eight gyros mounted an equal number of long metal tentacles, that seemed to house small doors in their tips. Amber pressed a button on the small remote control she carried, and a low groan was heard as the robot powered, raising it tentacles as if at attention.

Tapping her clipboard enthusiastically, Miss Gojira exclaimed, “Oh, that’s a beautiful octopus robot, Miss Tiffendale.”

Amber bristled at the comment, “It’s NOT an octopus. It’s a Multi Function Tiffenbot!”

“It’s got eight tentacles.” Miss Gojira offered.

“It’s NOT an octopus!” Amber insisted.

“Okay, whatever you say.” Miss Gojira said, waving her off.

Katjia rested her hands on her chin and muttered, “It looks like an octopus to me.”

Rapidly pressing buttons, Amber made the robot move forward and into the city. With a rapid manipulation of the controls, the Tiffenbot lurched forward as the targets appeared. With a loud clack, each of the tentacles opened at the tops and revealed various weapons hidden within. Waving the tentacles with deadly accuracy, the Tiffenbot sent bullets, missiles, lasers, metal whips and other items at each target at once. Within seconds, all targets had been leveled.

There was a collective round of gasps from the class at the Tiffenbot’s effectiveness. Amber chuckled to herself, narrowing her eyes. She punched a few more buttons and the Tiffenbot moved forward with smooth motions. As soon as it got close, the weapons in the tentacles retracted and other tools began to pop out with a series of metallic clicks. The Tiffenbot began moving it’s tentacles around rapidly, and to the surprise of all, began to rebuild the demolished buildings, working fast and rapidly, it’s tentacles a blur of motion.

It took less then a minute for the structures to be completely rebuilt from the ground up, and when it was done, you would swear nothing had happened to them. When its task was completed, the Tiffenbot simply went back to its “attention” pose, awaiting further instruction. Amber gave a haughty smile at the class.

“As you can see, the Multi Function Tiffenbot not only can destroy, but repair as well, and there is no end to its abilities with its unique design by me.” She announced, “And as such, I feel is just one of the best that can be achieved with current technology.”

Despite the snotty wrap up, the class couldn’t help but be impressed by the display put on by the Tiffenbot. There was a round of applause, even if some of it was slightly reluctant.

Even Nadjia had to say, “Wow, that’s an awesome octopus!”

Amber turned and glared at her, “It’s NOT an octopus!”

Nadjia shrugged, “It looks like an octopus to me.”

Apparently, the Tiffenbot’s resemblance to an octopus had been some sort of contention the whole time that she was building it, because she became infuriated by Nadjia’s insistence that it looked like one. Truth be told, Nadjia was not the only one who couldn’t help but see a cephalopod in the round bulbous body and eight long tentacles.

“That’s because you’re an uncivilized idiot!” Amber retorted, “Go back to your goddamn jungle, mongrel.”

“Humph!” Nadjia folded her arms over her chest, “Beats being a snotty little stuck up skank.”

Amber gritted her teeth, “You’re just jealous because my robot can mop the floors with yours.”

Now Katjia was in on this, “Yeah, in your dreams, Amber.”

Years of life in the wild had left the twins with almost remarkable intuition, so they knew what was coming, and had already powered on the Kalkegan before Amber furiously sent the Tiffenbot at them in a rage. The Kalkegan leapt forward and plowed into the Tiffenbot in a preemptive strike with a screech of metal on metal. The two robots flew back into the fake city, tearing through buildings and reducing them to rubble before splitting apart and squaring off.

Miss Gojiria squealed with delight, speaking into her new microphone, “Oh, it looks like we have a death match here, ladies and gentlemen. In one corner we have the Farrell twins and their Dual Kalkagean, and in the other corner, we have Amber’s Multi Function Tiffenbot octopus thing.”

“It’s not an octopus.” Amber growled.

“Let’s get ready to rumble!” Miss Gojiria cried, excited beyond measure by this new development.

The metal tentacles streaked out and tried to grab and crush the Kalkagean. The other robot moved easily and dodged the blow sending its whip tail out at its opponent. The Tiffenbot skillfully beat the whip off and tried to follow up with a laser blast but the twins had already moved their creation out of range. The Kalkagean ran at them jerking left and right, dodging the laser blasts until it was too close. The Tiffenbot raised its tentacles and swung them at the Kalkagean with attacked with its claws.

Abandoning the exchange of fire, the two robots began to grapple with each other, exchanging blows back and forth, each one by turns gaining and loosing ground while their controller frantically hammered buttons on the control box. The clanging sound of metal crashing against metal filled the outdoor classroom as the titanic struggle gained steam, both robots pounding on each other with a furious determination, fueled by the endless energy of pissed off angst ridden teenage girls.

Sounding like a ringside announcer at a wrestling match, Miss Gojira kept up a blow by blow announcement, “Good left hook from the Kalkagean, but the blocked by the Tiffenbot!”

The Tiffenbot began to throw its tentacles at the Kalkagean furiously. The Twins blocked the blow but the Kalkagean was being driven further and further backwards loosing ground until it teetered dangerously close to the edge of the school’s moat.

“The Kalkagean is backed up to the shore!” Miss Gojira squealed, “Is this the end.”

Amber fired off one massive punch to the Kalkagean, shoving the robot over the edge and towards the water. Just as she thought she had them, however, the other robot reached out and grabbed hers, pulling the Tiffenbot down with it. For a split second, the two machines wavered on the edge of the moat, and the they both went over, hitting the water with a tremendous splash that sprayed the class with droplets of liquid.

“Both combatants have plunged into the moat!” Miss Gojira announced, “Is this the end?”

For a while, nothing happened, the water was still and quiet. And then, both robots broke the surface, still locked in their battle. Swept along by the water, they moved down the stream, trading blows with each other in furious conflict, seeming almost possessed by the irate rage of their controllers.

Eager to see the rest, the class followed the two robots along the banks, with Miss Gojira gleefully keeping up her commentary.

Just before the bridge that sat in front of the main entrance to the school, the robots reached shore and crawled up onto dry land still grappling with one another, much to the surprise of the students standing out front. People went scattering for cover as the two machines locked in combat with each other. Mud splashed and caked the bottoms of the robots as they crossed the banks, hammering on each other with tireless fury.

Circling each other in as they exchanged blows, the robots sent the sounds of grinding metal on metal up into the air. They circled the fountain out front as their limbs flew at each other so quickly it became a blur to the human eye. In their fierce combat the creations almost seemed to come alive on their own, rather then being controlled by their creators as they pounded each other with reckless abandon.

The class surrounded each other them and followed them, talking amongst themselves and laying odds on which one would win. The robots crashed through the main entrance to school, pulling the doors off their hinges.

Gortcha appeared in the main hall almost instantly. He strolled forward angrily, his metal chest puffed out in indignation.

“All right ya’ punks.” He glowered, “What have you gotten into this time? You don’t wanna go messing with Gortcha today, or I’ll whip your asses but good.”

The two robots came bursting through the doors, locked in mortal combat with each other, their limps furiously lashing at each other with an almost hateful embrace of violence. Rolling forward without a hint of stopping, Gortcha screamed the minute he saw them, dodging out of the way and then running back down the hallway screaming in panic.

“Waaaaaahhhhhh!!!! I don’t wanna die! Help me!” He cried like a little girl.

Other students went running out of the front hall while Miss Gojiria’s students followed Amber and the Twins inside. The two creations battled it out, metal and gear symbols of the three girl’s animosity towards each other. Loud pounding and clanging filled the room with deafening intensity as each party tried to defeat the other, combat escalating furiously in and almost insane competition of irritation.

In the end, the final blows came in a manner worthy of a Warner Brothers cartoon. The Kalkagean lurched one arm and got in a devastating blow to the Tiffenbot’s head, crunching into the metal and penetrating deep into the cranial circuitry. Just before it went down, the Tiffenbot threw a tentacle and neat eviscerated the Kalkagean’s chest, ripping its power supply to shreds.

All Amber and the Twins could do was stare in shock as their robots keeled over in a useless shower of sparks and smoke. Werx filed into the room and quickly began repairing the damage as the girls stared at what had happened, speechless.

Behind them, Miss Gojira was bouncing up and down like a kid in a candy store. Completely unconcerned that her tiny 1960s Star Trek dress had ridden up over hips, and revealed to the class that she was wearing red panties with the words “I love Nimoy” written on the back.



Krystal was sitting in her dorm room putting together a list of things she needed for her next project. She was barely able to concentrate; the prospect of finally having her girl’s night out was just too distracting. She tried to calm herself; after all she didn’t want to go in having too big of and expectation for the night and let herself get bitterly disappointed. But the idea had been brewing in her head for some time now, and it was almost impossible for her not to get excited at the prospect of finally having it.

She smiled a little; her time with her friends: It was the antithesis to her previous life of solitude and manipulation. All her life, she had heard people talking about the value of friendship; but she’d never understood it. Sure, she knew the importance of making contacts and alliances, but Cristobel had never really understood the real value of good friends. Except for his friendship with Kevin.

She felt that now familiar warm flow over her body at the thought of her friend. She’d long since stopped trying to stop it when it came, even though it was a very good bet that there was no future for them. It inevitably led to bouts of sadness and frustration, but often she felt that the brief euphoria of fantasy was worth it. She chuckled and kicked herself; she was being foolish and romantic. There was no way she and Kevin could be . . . was there?

She got up, slipping the list into the pocket of her uniform, and moved towards the door. He head was dizzy with both thoughts of Kevin and tonight’s festivities. She had her head in the clouds to such an extent, that she didn’t notice that Jetson was in the room until she had stepped on one of the squid’s tentacles. She didn’t realize what it was at first, only that she had stepped on something soft and squishy, until she heard the cephalopod yelp in pain and alarm.

“Ouch!” Jetson called, “Medical assistance needed!”

Krystal quickly moved her foot, looking down apologetically, “I’m sorry, Jetson, I didn’t see you there.”

“Unacceptable, Krystal!” Jetson waved his tentacles indignantly, “Revenge shall be mine!”

“What? Jetson . . .” Krystal began.

But Jetson had already scurried off towards the bathroom, “When you least expect it: Expect it.”

“I said I was sorry.” Krystal called after him, miffed by his attitude.

She chuckled a little at her self; she was apologizing to calamari. Still, it seemed that Jetson had been agitated lately, and she wondered what the cause was. Zippy’s devotion to her pet had a certain endearing infectious quality to it, and Krystal thought she would probably feel bad if anything ever happened to the little guy.

She slung a large bag over he shoulder and made her way out of the dorm room and down the hallway, moving out into the central chamber which was always crowded with people. She was heading for the supply room to pick up some of the stuff she needed for her project. As usual, the central shaft was pandemonium as students on all the levels ran this way or that in middle of various experiments. Krystal pushed her way through the crowd, heading for the lift. As she made her way forward, she was surprised by the sudden appearance of Rick Millhouse as he approached her.

She’s barely known Rick when she was a guy; he’d always been that boy who always followed Charity around. After becoming Krystal, she’d talked to him probably once. She knew he was Charity’s boyfriend now, but none of the old groupies had anything to do with her these days, and it was almost like they were from another life. It was a bit of a surprise the Rick actually came up and talked to her.

“Hey, Cristo . . . ah, I’m sorry, Krystal?” He started.

“Hey, Rick. What’s up?” She asked, unconsciously giving him a gender neutral greeting.

“I was just wondering if you’ve seen Charity anywhere.” He asked her, “Or if you know where she is?”

Krystal shook her head, “Sorry, I haven’t seen her.”

Rick ran a hand through his hair, “She didn’t come to any of her classes this morning, and she’s not in her dorm room. You don’t know what’s going on?”

Again, Krystal shook her head in the negative, “I’d like to help, Rick, but Charity hasn’t spoken to me at all since . . . this.”

She waved her hands down, gesturing at her female body. Rick nodded in understanding.

“She’s not answering her phone either.” Rick moaned, “I’m worried about her.”

“I haven’t seen her, sorry.”

Rick thanked her and moved off. Krystal continued, thinking about the conversation. Rick had really looked worried about Charity. She wondered, almost playfully, if Kevin would get that worried if she disappeared. The thought made her smile a little as she moved to the platform.

Suddenly, she was confronted by Jetson right before her. Before she could even register what he was doing, the squid took aim with his funnel and sent a blast of warm air out of it’s body and up in Krystal’s direction. She felt a gust of air against her bare legs and her hair flew back, billowing out behind her with the force of the blow.

Too her shock, she realized that her skirt had also been blown up around her chest, completely exposing the cutesy pink and white panties she was wearing underneath. They even had a small heart on the front. She cried out as the whole area took a gander, more then a few camera phones clicking.

Krystal turned beet red as she franticly shoved her skirt down, “Eeeeeeekkkkk!”



The storage room she’d gone to, one of many in the school, was empty at this time of day, so Krystal had no trouble going around and finding the items she needed. Ticking them off on her list, she moved around, slipping what she needed into the bag she’d brought. This wasn’t exactly a high profile project, but it was a point of pride with Krystal that she never did a half assed job. For everything she attempted, she used her whole ass, or she didn’t do it.

She grabbed another item, stuffing it in the bag. She didn’t admit it to anyone, but she’d always found these storage rooms pretty creepy when she was alone in them. Something about the low light and the shadows cast on the wall; it always made her feel a tad uneasy. If she stayed in here long enough, her mind began to play tricks on her. She shivered a little but moved on deeper into the room heading after the last item.

When she first heard the sobbing, she was sure it was her imagination again. But as the sounds persisted, she began to realize it wasn’t; somebody was in here with her, somebody crying. For a split second, Krystal thought it was a ghost. She quickly chided herself for jumping to such an unscientific conclusion. She followed the sounds of the sobs deeper into the storage room, trying to pinpoint their source.

The thought occurred to her that it might be Charity; maybe something had happened to her and she’d been hiding out here all day. Hell, maybe she was just still upset about having the word ‘thief’ burned on her face from Zippy’s booby trap. It was hard not to snicker at that thought. But when she turned the corner and spied the figure curled up on the floor, she could see that it was not Charity at all.

To her utter surprise, it was Miss Piranha.

She sat on the floor, curled up with her legs pulled up to her chest, tears flowing down her cheeks, smearing the excessive mascara and eyeliner she always wore. Her eyes were squeezed shut her body shook with the sobs as she cried and moaned despondently. It took Krystal back for a second; she’d never seen Miss Piranha like this before. She was usually so peppy and upbeat.

Cautiously, Krystal approached her teacher, “Miss Piranha?”

Miss Piranha gasped a little as she was discovered; she looked up at Krystal, an almost guilty expression on her face as being caught in such a vulnerable moment. She stared up at her, moisture still flowing down her face. She attempted a weak smile, with no success.

“Oh, Krystal . . . I’m sorry.” She tried to wipe away the tears but fresh ones replaced them.

“Miss Piranha, are you alright?” Krystal asked her.

She kicked herself as soon as she’d said it; anyone could see that Miss Piranha was far from alright. It was almost frightening to see the always jovial and exuberant teacher reduced to this much misery; as if there was suddenly something very wrong with the world.

Miss Piranha again tried and failed to smile, “Oh, I’m fine. I’m just having a cry.”

There was a small, very uncomfortable silence, and then Miss Piranha broke down. Her face sank and she buried her face in her hands, sobs wracking her body as she cried loudly and desolately.

“Oh, I’m not alright! I’m not alright!” She cried wretchedly, her tears spilling out from between her fingers.

Staring down at her teacher, Krystal was at a loss over what could have driven Miss Piranha of all people to such despondency. Was it a man who dumped her? Or had she been reprimanded or fired?

Krystal knelt down next to her, “Miss Piranha? What happened?”

For a long time, the teacher didn’t say anything, simply cried, finally, she turned and looked at Krystal, a heart rending hopelessness in her eyes. Her lips quivered, and she seemed to be debating whether she should answer. She looked down at the floor, sniffling softly.

“I . . . got my medical tests back at the beginning of the week.” She said.

Again there was a pause, Krystal’s heart hammered in her chest. She almost didn’t want to hear this. Medical tests? This didn’t sound good.

Miss Piranha looked back at her, her eyes filled with despair, “I have bone cancer. I . . . I’m dying.”

Her first reaction was a flood of denial; her mind flatly refusing to believe what she had just been told. In fact, a flare of anger rose in her; infuriating her that Miss Piranha would play such a cruel trick on her. But looking into her eyes, the disbelief fell away at the agonized, fearful gaze. Suddenly it was like the floor had opened up beneath her and Krystal was sucked down into a pit of never ending darkness.

It felt like Krystal had been slapped in the face. Fear and pain clawed at her stomach as the news sank in. Miss Piranha, dying? It felt like the most unnatural thing in the world; not Miss Piranha, who was always so full of life. Although as Cristobel, she’d though of her as a ridiculous waste of a teacher; she grown to really appreciate her as Krystal. Much like she’d been with Zippy, Miss Piranha had been the one teacher who had been the most approachable and the most supportive of her since her transgender surgery. The thought of loosing her, of being without that bubbling support, it horrified Krystal. More then that, she realized she thought of Miss Piranha as a friend, not just an instructor; as important to her these days as Zippy and the rest of the Shark Tank Guild.
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