For everyone that has read 8.1!, Here’s a refresher: It was Late February 2011, and I had spent the past 6 months looking for a lost teammate, when Damien and Phlegm talk me into joining the team on a mission. The mission was to save a bunch of hostages from Charlie Sheen, but as it turned out, it was a trap that Lady Gaga had set for me. She killed Raul, and then had her army of Monsters subdue me and attack the rest of Team Pugnsastics. We had narrowly escaped into the Awesomebus!, when Gaga jumped onto the roof.
OK, now that everyone is on the same page, enjoy this whirlwind of insanity that is Awesomesquad! Assemble!.
The Bus lurched forward and threw everyone into their seats. Over the sound of the revving engine, I heard the pounding of Lady Gaga’s horse hoof heels and the dragging of her tail on the roof of the Awesomebus!. Jessie made a sharp right turn that sent Damien and the Knifemaster spilling into the aisle and made me slam my head into the window. There was a loud banging overhead that sounded like Lady Gaga losing her balance. The sound came towards me, and when I looked out the window, I saw Gaga’s face staring back at me. My scream was accompanied by the screams of the rest of my team.
I and the rest of my team fell to the floor of the Awesomebus!, still screaming, and I watched as Lady Gaga’s head crashed through the window, showering me with the shards of glass.
“Baby,” Gaga joked as she looked down at me with her head through the broken window, “You and me could write a bad romance.”
“I don’t know about the romance part,” I snapped back at her as I pulled out a throwing knife, “but I absolutely agree that our story would be terrible.” I threw the my knife at Gaga’s face, but she ducked her head back out the window, causing me to miss her entirely. The knife clanged off the metal ceiling and ricocheted into the seat behind me.
“Hey! That hit me dick stain!” Everett’s voice cried.
“What did you just call me?!” I shouted back, partially impressed that he would say that to me.
Overhead, despite Jessie’s erratic driving which was causing everyone inside the bus to cling to the seats, Gaga’s hoof shoes could be heard stomping across the roof. Her stomps stopped at the center of the bus, and right as Jessie swerved the bus to dodge a pedestrian, Gaga’s dagger like tail plunged through the metal roof. We all screamed. The Knifemaster panicked. In an attempt to run for the door, he tripped over his own feet and fell on his face in the aisle. The tip of Gaga’s tail expanded, creating something resembling the hooks of our grappling hooks, and lodged itself in the metal ceiling.
The Knifemaster screamed a high pitch- eight year old girl scream, and flailed helplessly on the floor.
Standing up from the floor in front of my seat, still bracing myself on the seat in front of me, I yelled, “Knifemaster, stop screaming and get up.” Then, I commanded to the rest of my team, “Jessie, turn on our sirens so that people hear and see us coming.Knifemaster, and Criss, dislodge her tail.” I then looked at Everett and his bleeding arm and added, “What the shit happened to you?”
“YOU HIT ME WITH YOUR THROWING KNIFE,ASSHOLE!”
“Right,” I replied, “Well, my bad. Clean yourself up and then help Criss and the Knifemaster.
“What are you going to be doing,” Criss asked.
I walked towards him, pulled his communicator off of his wrist and put it on my own and said, “The same thing that I did last time: Giving Gaga what she wants.Damien and Series of Japanese Symbols, I need both of you to keep an eye on what’s going on in here and on top of the bus. ”
“But what if her tail attacks us?” The Knifemaster asked.
I pointed to Criss’s communicator and answered, “Damien or Series will let me know, and I will do something awful to distract her, like tackle her and start making out with her or something.”
Several “ews” escaped my teammates lips, but I held out my fist and said, “For Raul.”
A somber look befell my teammates faces. One at a time, they placed their hands on mine and repeated, “For Raul.” We held our hands there for a quiet second (well, quiet other than the screeching of the Awesomebus!’s tires, the blaring of it’s siren, or Lady Gaga’s feet stomping above our head), and when we let go, everyone did as I commanded. I grabbed some extra ammo from the ammunition trunk in the seat behind Jessie’s, and then exited through the door and swung myself onto the roof.
The wind made it hard for me to stand up straight, but it was better than trying to stand up on the side of the Awesomecopter! like I did the year before, so I managed to do it.
Lady Gaga stood at the other end of the Awesomebus!’s roof, unsurprised by the fact that I had climbed up to fight her, and through her smirk, she called over the sirens, “C’mon, baby. Take a bite of my bad girl meat.”
“You’re really not helping to dispel that rumor about you having a penis when you say things like that, you know,” I quipped back at her.
I was expecting her to say something back, but instead, she pounced. I dove and slid under her. I spun my body around and managed to stop myself before I reached the edge of the roof. I stood back up and squinted as the wind smacked my face. Through my peripheral vision, I saw the streets lined with gawkers and tourists- shooting at Gaga could possibly result in a civilian getting hurt. I wasn’t going to let that happen. We already lost Raul to this crazed alien, not to mention how many followers of hers that were either injured or dead because she told them to attack us, I wasn’t going to be responsible for any more casualties.
But before I could pull out my taser, the only nonlethal weapon that has worked on her in the past, she shrieked and began to whip her tail around. The several screams that I heard come from inside the Awesomebus! assured me that The Knifemaster and Criss had at least tried to remove her tail, and The Knifemaster’s panicked voice over Criss’s wrist communicator confirmed it. Knowing what I unfortunately had to do, I dove at Lady Gaga.
She was so distracted with her tail that she wasn’t able to block me as I dove at her. I’m still not sure how, but I managed to tackle, Gaga’s thin yet impossibly heavy frame. We crashed down right behind the windshield, on top of the Awesomebus!’s siren lights, crushing them and silencing the siren. Sparks flew out from under Gaga, and she howled in pain. With one firm kick, she both knocked the wind out of me (again) and sent me flying towards the back of the bus. I slid, but this time I wasn’t so lucky, and fell off the back. I clung on to the edge of the Awesomebus!’s roof as I scrambled to find a proper foothold and get air back in my lungs. Lady Gaga’s sharp, jet black tail removed itself from the roof and wrapped around my waist. With a forceful tug, I was up in the air and face to face with an amused Lady Gaga.
“I know you’re mad about your friend,” she said as she looked deep into my eyes, “I want your lovin'; I want your revenge.”
I felt a burning just under my skin. My face went hot. I tried to control myself, but her even mentioning Raul made me clench my teeth with rage. My hands were free and clenched into fists. I could have hit her; she was within my reach, but I knew that’s what she wanted me to do. Instead, I spat in her open mouth.
She swallowed it, smiled, and said, “Baby, you’re sick.”
Her tail tightened around my body, squeezing the air out of my lungs. Then, she raised me up into the air and slammed me down into the roof of the Awesomebus!. Gaga slammed me down on the roof five times before I was able to free my Taser. I could taste the blood leaking out of my lower lip, and could feel it trickling from my nose. With one last flick of her tail, lady Gaga tossed me into the air and over her head. I landed on my back at the front of the Awesomebus! roof with my head against the windshield. My head hit the windshield hard, and for a second I my vision blurred to the point where I could only make out Gaga’s form above me.
She dropped down on me, pinning my legs to the roof with hers, lowered her mouth to my ear and whispered seductively, “You know that I want you. You know that I need you. I want it bad, bad, bad.”
Then, she stuck her long, snakelike tongue out of her mouth and ran it up and down my cheek. Jessie started to swerve the bus more erraticly, so Gaga’s tongue was sliding all over my face. From inside the Awesomebus!, I heard the panicked screams of my crew. I couldn’t see if Gaga’s tail was back inside the bus, but at that moment, I realized that my arms were against the cold metal roof. My cloak was covering the windshield.
“Ugh!,” I cried as I pushed her back and tried to sit up, “You’re right. I know that you want me, and honestly, I can’t blame you: I’m really fucking hot. Hell, you’re lucky that you don’t have to fight other women for me.”
“Oh, no,” she replied as she pushed me back down, “Only one hive is allowed to choose from their chosen planet. My Hive claimed this planet many Earth centuries ago.”
“I meant human women, fist of all,” I added, annoyed, “But that’s not even my point. What I’m trying to say is that I’m not ready for this kind of relationship. We can still be friends, though.”
The expression on her face hardened. Her hands, which were on my shoulders, tightened their grip to the point where her nails were digging into my skin through my cloak and protective vest. Into the rushing wind, and over the revving bus engine and the screams of terrified pedestrians, she roared, “I DON’T WANNA BE FRIENDS!!!”
Gaga slapped me hard across the cheek, and I felt her nails tear into my flesh. My blood warmed my icy cheeks as it poured out of my wounds. Then, she pinned both of my hands down and opened her mouth wide. She stuck out her tongue again. But this time, it was rigid and dagger-like. While keeping her head perfectly still, her tongue lunged at me. I was able to dodge her tongue’s stabs, but just barely.
There was a rush of unmuffled screaming to my right. I assumed that Jessie had opened his window. Or at least I would have if I wasn’t avoiding being stabbed by Lady Gaga’s tongue.
“Minigan, You’re cloak’s covering the windshield! I cannot see!” Jessie’s voice yelled at me.
“I’m kind of preoccupied at the moment Jessie!” I screamed back at Jessie, the panic in my voice being completely unintentional, “Use the windshield wipers or something!”
I heard the hum and squeaking of the windshield above my head as I dodged Gaga’s tongue once again.
“I still can’t see!” Jessie cried, “We need the siren to warn the pedestrians!”
“Well, the siren’s bloody broken, isn’t it?” Damien’s voice retorted, “So just get the fucking cape out of the way.”
“I’ve got an idea!” The Knifemaster’s voice shouted, “We’ll blast music! That will get people’s attention!”
“But you still need to get the cloak out of the way, Jessie! You’re gonna kill someone!” I heard Everett shout.
“I’m trying!” I heard Jessie shout back as he careened down the busy thoroughfare, ramming parked cars and narrowly missing pedestrians, “but the windshield wipers aren’t working!
I jerked my head to the right and Gaga’s tongue missed my face by an inch.
“That’s because you’re not trying to whisk away water, you idiot!” Damien’s voice screamed, “That’s Minigan’s cloak! Try something else!”
“Yeaaaaaah-aaaah aaah-eh-ah! It’s a Party in the USA!”
“TURN OFF THAT FUCKING SONG, KNIFEMASTER!” I roared as I dodged Gaga’s thin scaly tongue a second time.
“Now isn’t really the time to argue music choices, Minigan!” He shouted back with I’m guessing a smirk on his stupid face.”
“JUST DO IT!” I shouted as I freed a hand from Gaga’s Herculean grip and punched her hard in the jaw. It had no effect, except making my knuckles sore.
“Oh baby,” she cooed with her long pointed tongue, “You’ve got me wonderin’ why I like it rough.”
“JESSIE, DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE CLOAK!”
“Na na na na na na na/ We’re gonna start a fight!”
“Minigan,” Jessie yelled to me, You need to move your cloak! I cannot see where I’m going!”
“Not that song, Knifemaster,” I heard Damien shout, “change it to ‘Fuck You’ at least.”
Criss shouted, “Why is the music the one thing that everyone is focused on, when our leader is fighting a shape shifting monster on the roof of a bus speeding down the streets of Hollywood?!?!”
“How do you even know that we’re in Hollywood?” Everett yelled as he reached outside the bus and tried to push my cloak out of the way with a broom.
“I see you drivin’ round town with the girl I love and I’m like, Fuck you (ooh, ooh, ooh!)”
“Because I have enough of a brain to look out the side windows to see where we’re going, unlike this sad excuse for a Jessie James descendant,” Criss quipped back.
“Hey!” Jessie shouted.
I screamed down into the hole in the roof, “Gaga’s still on top of me you di-“
Lady Gaga wrapped her fingers around my neck and forced my head down against the windshield. The sudden sting on the back of my head made me grunt a little. But the grunted ended up sounding more like a scream, because I could feel Lady Gaga’s fingers melt around my neck. Okay, ‘melt’ isn’t the right word. But I did feel as the bones of her fingers went soft on my throat and her human feeling skin turned cold and sticky. I felt the same feeling on both of my wrists somehow. Her (what I assume were) tentacle-fingers stretched and twisted around my neck and wrists, and slithered around my face. Her grip tightened, and I could feel my larynx pinch shut. Panicking, I did my best to buck Gaga off of me, but due to her impossible weight and boney structure, I merely squirmed like a mouse in the paws of a hungry cat. The world around me started to spin; I wasn’t sure if it was because of Gaga suffocating me or because Jessie’s insane blind driving. I opened my mouth and gasped for oxygen, fighting desperately to suck some of the precious gas down my windpipe. Then I felt Gaga’s sticky, slimy, tentacle-fingers slide in. Instinctively, I bit down. Hard. She let out a wild, angry shriek, and her tentacle-fingers released their literal stranglehold on my throat. Jessie made a sharp left turn, which threw Gaga off of me and almost off of the bus, and I gasped up lungfuls of sweet, sweet air. That was the happiest I had ever been to be breathing L.A. smog.
Unfortunately for me, that smog induced euphoria was short lived, as Lady Gaga was back on top of me in a flash. She grinned a very toothy grin as she said to me, “That’s right, show me your teeth.”
“Minigan, for the love of God, Move your cloak!”
“I CAN’T! I’M PINNED DOWN!”
Just then, Series of Japanese Symbols popped his head out from one of the windows and over the top of the bus. Instead of helping me like he should have been doing, he just yelled nonsense at us.
“What are you saying, goddamit?”
He shouted another bout of unintelligible garbage at me while Lady Gaga turned her head and listened to what he had to say.
After he was finished yelling and pointing ahead of us, Gaga turned to me, whipped her disheveled hair out of her face, and said, “He said that we’re headed right for that wall.”
“And how can you understand him,” I shouted, annoyed, at Lady Gaga.
“How can you not?” she replied in a serious tone.
“Why the fuck can every- wait a second, what wall?”
That question was immediately answered by Jessie driving the Awesomebus! through a wall. Within seconds, Lady Gaga was knocked off of me, and I just managed to raise my arms over my face before pieces of brick crashed down on top of me. I heard the terrified screams of the bystanders who were going about their normal business before we came barreling through the walls.
Jessie slammed on the breaks, and I went tumbling over the hood the Awesomebus! and onto the hard, polished floor. I rolled to a stop, but was back up on my feet almost immediately, even if the fall had disoriented me a little.
I looked around the room and realized that Lady Gaga was suspiciously absent. But my attention was soon focused on what was in the room. As it turns out, Jessie crashed the Awesomebus! into a concert hall and stopped it on the stage. In front of me, filling the seats of the auditorium were hundreds upon hundreds of men in tuxedos and women in dresses. At the front of the stage, a good twenty feet away from me, were a confused looking Anne Hathaway and a terrified and stiff looking James Franco. What the hell are they doing here? I asked myself, Aren’t they supposed to be hosting the- Oh God…
“Uh, guys?” I said into my wrist communicator as I stared into the crowd of well-dressed and attractive people, “I think we just crashed the Academy Awards.”
“Minigan,” Damien warned urgently, “Whatever you do, do not whip your dick out this time.”
“Fuck you, Damien.”
“Holy Tit- Nazis!,” The Knifemaster exclaimed through the wrist communicator, ” We’re at the Oscars?!”
The Knifemaster kicked through the door of the Awesomebus! And stepped out onto the stage. He excitedly looked out into the crowd of famous faces. After about a second or two of this, however, his shoulders dropped and he added disappointedly, “Oh, I’m already bored.”
Ignoring his outburst, I looked out into the crowd of faces and TV cameras. In an instant, that sensation of excitement I felt when I fought Limbaugh and Maher on TV back in 2009 washed over me, filling me with a feeling importance. Confidently, I strode to the microphone, pushed Franco and Hathaway to the side, and announced, “Attention, ladies and gentlemen, I am leader of the group known as Awesomesquad!, and we are currently looking for Lady Gaga. She is actually an alien hell bent on kidnapping me and taking me off to her planet to help her repopulate her hive. I want to capture her before she captures me.” I paused for a moment to take in what I had just said, and then I continued, “OK, now that I’ve said it out loud, it sounds incredibly stupid, but I swear to you that it’s the truth.” The people in the crowd murmured to one another, not sure if I was an act or if I had actually crashed the Oscars, so I yelled, “I’m serious. She is a shape shifting monster and she needs to be stopped!” I looked to Anne Hathaway and asked, “Did you see her?”
She shook her head no. All the color had drained from her face, and I knew that it was because I was ruining her big night. But then I saw the envelope in her hand.
“What’s that one for?” I asked.
“Best Picture,” she replied quietly and without moving her lips much at all.
“Oh Sweet! Can I read it?!” I asked right before I snatched the envelope out of her hand. She looked around the room in confusion and almost in tears. Seeing this, I bowed to her and said, “Thank you for the honor, your Majesty. I’m sure everyone in Genovia is quite proud.”
This made her laugh, as well as some of the audience members, but everyone still seemed confused. But that didn’t really matter at the moment because I was selling this shit. My heart swelled. I understood why celebrities wanted the attention they recieved.
“Hey Min- er- Boss,” Coco Montoya’s voice rang through my wrist speaker and unfortunately, through the auditorium, “Try to get a sample of Hugh Jackman’s blood.” “I have some theories about how to replicate his healing abilities,” he added in such a way that I couldn’t help but be suspicious.
“Hugh Jackman doesn’t really have Wolverine’s regeneration capabilities, Coco. Be realistic.” I said into my wrist communicator and the microphone. I then looked to Mr. Jackman, who was grinning up at me from his seat, and reassured him, “I promise, Mr. Jackman, I will not be trying to steal any of your blood tonight. I don’t even have a vial to collect your totally not-mutant blood. I’m only here to announce the winner of the Best Picture, not take your blood.”
I was getting more laughs, but then the door to the Awesomebus! was kicked open again, and Damien and Everett stepped out and onto the stage.
They came up behind me and Damien asked in a whisper, “Minigan, what the hell are you doing?”
“I’m about to give the award for best picture,” I announce both to him and into the microphone.
“We just crashed a bus through the Kodak Theater, and you want hang around and hand out an Oscar?!” Everett shouted as his voice echoed through the concert hall.
Some more of the audience laughed.
I paused for a moment to look down at the envelope in my hand and then to Everett before I stated, “Yes.” Just about all of the audience laughed this time. They were beginning to think that this was all a part of the show, which was a fact that I could thankfully work in my favor. I raised the envelope and announced into the microphone, “And the winner is…”
But right as I was about to tear it, Franco grabbed onto my burnt and cut up wrist. I suppressed the overwhelming urge to punch him in the throat. Unflinching of my glare, Franco calmly stated, “That is Stephen Spielberg’s job.”
“That old fossil made an Indiana Jones movie with aliens in it!” The Knifemaster shouted, “That practically almost ruined the franchise! The only things we’ve ruined is a debate and, well, this building. We absolutely deserve this more!”
“No, I don’t think so.” Franco retorted as he reached for the envelope in my hand.
However, before he could reach it, The Knifemaster let out a furious roar and tackled him to the ground. James Franco and Anne Hathaway cried for help as the Knifemaster wrestled Franco into a submission hold and the audience came to life with laughter. Hathaway stood perfectly still, absolutely terrified that if she tried to escape, she would suffer the same fate as Franco, who was being sat on by a large man in tactical black clothing.
I turned back to the audience and repeated, “And the winner is…”
I opened the envelope. The King’s Speech. Fuck that. Inception was way better.
“Inception!” I cried out to the crowd.
The crowd erupted with applause, and a taken aback Christopher Nolan stood up and headed for the stage.
“Wait! He’s lying,” That damned Anne Hathaway called after looking over my shoulder at the envelope. “I’m so sorry, Mr. Nolan,” that stupid, honest woman apologized, “But the real winner is The King’s Speech.”
I pushed her out of the way of the microphone and lied, “Don’t listen to her. She went crazy after ‘Rachel Getting Married.’ Trust me, the winner is ‘Inception.”
“No!” Hathaway yelled, “It really is the King’s Speech. Why are you guys listening to him? He just crashed through the wall with a shoddily painted schoolbus!”
“None of this has been planned!” Franco painfully yelled from under the Knifemaster, “Anne is telling the truth!”
“Hey!” Brad Pitt yelled as he stood up from his seat in the crowd, “This is a respectable award show that honors the great works of art from the past year. You just can’t decide to choose a different winner!”
“Well, no one asked you, Benjamin Button,” I quipped to Pitt, “So sit back down and continue to grind your molars like you always do.”
“Mate,” Damien whispered harshly into my ear, “He produced Kick Ass. Do you want to destroy my chance at working on Kick Ass 2?
I laughed at the idea of that movie getting a sequel (and told Damien so) and then looked back down at Pitt. To my surprise, he did as he was told, sat back down and angrily ground his molars. However, his outburst emboldened Hathaway, who pushed her way back to the microphone.”
“Security!” She shrieked, her eyes wide with panic and probably crazy, “Stop these me-aaaahhhhh!”
Without warning, The Knifemaster jumped to his feet and shot his Taser at Hathaway. The electric probes shot from his gun and into her stomach, causing the respected actress to crash to the floor in a convulsing mess.
“What the shit, Knifemaster?”I yelled at my obviously crazed second in command.
“What?” he answered, “You wanted to give out the award.”
Angry protests rang out from the crowd. Christopher Nolan and the rest of the cast of Inception slouched down in their seats. I guessed it was because they were on our side.
“This is dastardly!” George Clooney yelled from the aisle, ‘You are monsters!”
“I promise you that Anne Hathaway is fine,” I announced over their protests, “My idiotic cohort here just gets a little over excited is all.”
“Not that!” Clooney shouted back, “How could you attempt to disgrace such an important and historical event as the Academy Awards?!”
“You heard me!” Clooney snapped back, “You have no right to choose the winner of the Best Picture Award!”
“You know what,” Damien interjected to Clooney, much to my surprise, “You can piss off, Bat-Nipples.” Then, noticing my shock from under my hood, he whispered, “It’s OK, no one outside of Hollywood other than middle aged women like him anyway.”
Then, Criss, Series of Japanese Symbols, and, in an act of total stupidity, Jessie rushed out of the bus to see what was going on. Well, shit. I looked back to the crowd and found Sandra Bullock seething in her seat.
“Well, We’re leaving now.” I shouted over the crowd’s protests, “Have a good-“
“JESSIE JAMES, I’M GONNA KILL YOU” Sandra Bullock roared as she jumped from her seat and into the aisle. She ran (as fast as she could considering her heels) towards the stage, and a mob of angry A- listers followed.
I backed up and joined my team at the center of the stage. Frantically, Everett pulled out several smoke-and-flash bombs, and threw them at each of the stairs that lead up to the stage. Each bomb exploded and sent up a curtain of smoke that concealed the stage from the audience. Then, just as the bombs are supposed to, several bright flashing lights shot up through the smoke and blinded anyone unfortunate enough to be nearby. I heard several screams and thuds, which told me that the smoke-and-flash bombs had blinded some celebrities enough to make them tumble back down the stairs, hopefully taking several other celebrities with them.
“What the bloody hell were you thinking, Jessie and Criss?!” Damien scolded, “You both know you’re recognizeable. And Jessie, you knew damn well that your ex-wife was going to be here. Why would you even think to step out of the bus?!”
“I thought I could help!” Jessie cried back.
“You’re only job is to drive!” Damien snapped, “How exactly were you going to help us by leaving the bus?!”
“Hey” I shouted at Team Pugnastics as I saw the first few celebrities come through the smoke, “Let’s just get out of here alive. Then we can chastise Jessie for being an idiot.”
My team agreed, and rushed to the bus. They all managed to get inside safely, but as soon as I reached the door, a strong hand grabbed me by the shoulder and threw me backwards. I landed hard on my back several yards away from the Awesomebus!. I reached for my grappling gun so that I could shoot it at the bus, but a well-polished shoe kicked it out of my hand.
“I don’t think so.” George Clooney said as he squinted down at me, “I know your tricks, cloaked man. I’ve read the news about you, I watched you fight that monster Limbaugh, but most importantly, I’ve played Batman before.”
“Then you should be expecting this!” A female voice shouted from behind Clooney.
I heard a faint clicking sound, and then a much louder clicking sound. From behind Clooney, I watched as the hook to my grappling hook shot up into the air and snagged itself on the rafters. After about a second, Clooney shot up into the air, ass first, with the gun firmly attached to his belt.
I looked down from where Clooney was screaming and swinging in the rafters, to the face of my rescuer, and saw that it was Ellen Page. She reached out her hand, grabbed mine, and quickly pulled me to my feet.
“Thank you, Miss Page,” I said in partial shock that a celebrity would be good hearted enough to actually save me (Jessie and Criss don’t count as celebrities because they’re a mechanic and a magician, respectively).
“Call me Ellen,” she replied with her crooked smirk, “Besides, you tried to make a movie that I was in win the Best Picture Oscar. That makes you a hero in my book.”
“Well, I really thought it was the best picture,” I said modestly, “But I totally agree with you about me being a hero, because I am.”
She laughed, but her laugh was cut short by a growing roar coming from behind her. Her eyes grew wide with fear, and she dove out of the way. Page’s small frame was replaced by the monstrous Hugh Jackman, who was charging at me with what were obviously dinner knives lodged between his fingers.
Jackman roared, “WOLVERINE!!!” and began to take swipes at me. I narrowly dodged each swipe by either jumping backwards or rolling under his swinging arms.
“Ellen!” I cried as I ducked under one of Jackman’s swipes and punched him in the stomach. It did nothing. “Help!”
Ellen, still sitting on the ground, but was slowly scooting away. Realizing that she wasn’t moving fast enough got back up and started to run away. “Sorry,” she called back, “But I’ve gotta pick my battles, you know!”
“But you picked this battle! You just hung George Clooney from the rafters!”
“Clooney is an easy fight,” she yelled back, “I bet his next girlfriend will be able to kick his ass. Besides, I might work with Hugh again in the future!” and with that, she disappeared into the backstage area.
Jackman took another swing at me, and this time I did a back flip to dodge it. When I landed we were several feet away from each other. Taking a chance, I charged. Hugh widened his stance and opened his arms so that he could swing at me as soon as I was close enough. To his surprise, however, I dropped to the floor and slid between his legs. Then his legs came crashing in around me and pushed the air out of my lungs. Hugh threw a knife riddled punch down at me. Without any hesitation, I pulled my serrated knife from its ankle sheath and stabbed Hugh right in his hand. He jumped back, dropped the knives and let out a pained scream.
“You stabbed me, you bastard!” he cried as he clutched his bleeding hand.
“You were about to stab me, dick hole!” I shouted back.
And then I saw it, despite how he was feet away from me, and despite how he was clutching his hand, I still watched in horror and amazement as his hand healed. Just like fucking Wolverine.
“You’ve gotta be shitting me.”
I got up, much faster that I thought possible, and with the bloody knife still in my hand, ran back towards the Awesomebus!. It was surrounded. My team was inside shooting celebrities with their remaining tranquilizer darts. Pulling out my own, I shot at the mob of A-list celebrities. I emptied what was left in the magazine into the crowd, and managed to take out Gwenyth Paltrow, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Meryl Streep, and Mark Wahlberg.
I jumped onto the back of the Awesomebus! and yelled through the smashed window, “Drive!”
Jessie threw the gear into reverse and hit the gas. Instantly, my face was rubbing the cold steel armor plating on the back of the bus. From the speakers inside the bus came “Party Poison” from My Chemical Romance for some reason. Careful not to lose my grip, I spun around and yelled for the stage hands and miscellaneous celebrities to get out of the path. Halle Berry was one such celebrity, who managed to run out of the gaping hole the Awesomebus! had created and dove off to the side, despite wearing high heeled shoes and a very fluffy and delicate looking light pink dress.
“This ain’t a Party!/ Get off the dance floor/ You wanna get down/ Here comes the gang war…”
“I’m sorry about that, Miss Berry!” I called to her as Jessie backed the Awesomebus out of the building, made it turn sharply, and then threw it in drive and floored it again. As we sped off, I called back to her, “By the way, you look phenominal tonight!”
“So keep your cars and your dogs and your famous friends…”
It was not well lit in that alleyway, but I’m pretty sure she smiled at me. Awesome.
The Awesomebus! sped through the alleyway and under a building adjoining the Dolby Theater, and then made a sharp right onto a main road. I turned back around and yelled in to Everett, “Take this knife from me and put it in a sterile bag. Coco wants to experiment on that blood.”
“You actually stabbed Hugh Jackman!?” Everett cried which made everyone turn around and look at me.
“You stabbed him?!” Damien shouted angrily.
“How is it possible for you to stab him and not be murdered?!” Everett asked.
“How is it even possible that you were able to stab him in the first place?”Criss added.
Series of Japanese symbols said something. I think it might have been another question.
“Because,” The Knifemaster answered in awe, “Minigan’s a total badass.”
“Exactly,” I added as I handed the bloody knife through the window, over the cage of bound and squirming Lady Gaga followers, and to Everett.
He put it in an evidence bag that we had left over from the Awesomecopter! crash and stowed it into the trunk. I breathed a sigh of relief; this fight was over. It wasn’t a win for us, what with us losing Raul, but we did manage to capture three of Lady Gaga’s monsters, so now we could at least try and find a way to cure them. Plus, I was able to get some of Hugh Jackman’s magic healing blood, so we might never have to deal with another loss again. So long, thrill of the fight!
Jessie turned off the music and pulled me out of my thoughts by calling, “We’ve got a problem. The LAPD has been notified of our mishap at the Dolby Theater tonight, and are now looking for us.”
And just like that, my feeling of relief was gone. In the distance, I could hear the police sirens growing louder. I climbed over the shards of broken glass still attached to the window frame, and jumped over the cage. Once I had landed in the aisle, I ran to the front of the Awesomebus! and to Jessie’s side.
“GMZ is working on locating the nearest police vehicles,” he said to me without taking his focus off the road. He then pointed to our GPS system and continued, “He’ll upload their locations as soon as he gets them, but for now we’ll need to keep an eye out for police cars as we make our getaway.”
I turned back to my tired and beaten group of fighters. This was the first time that I was able to get a good look at any of them since we escaped Lady Gaga’s ambush. Everett’s lips was swollen and bloody, Damien had several long scratches going down his forearms and across his face, The Knifemaster had blood trickling down around his ear from somewhere on the side of his head, and Series of Japanese Symbols had a swollen eye, a bloody nose, and several bruises on his forearms and neck. Each of them wore a worn look upon their faces, probably from the loss of Raul.
I could hear the sirens grow louder and I knew we were running out of time. “Guys,” I said, pulling them out of their thoughts, “We need to keep an eye out for the LAPD because of what happened at the Oscars tonight. Chances are they’re not happy with us crashing the Oscars and then incapacitating many prominent Hollywood actors.”
“They should be thanking us because we actually made the Oscars watchable this year,” Everett said with a slight smirk.
This made the other members of the team chuckle a little, including (surprisingly) Damien, who added while chuckling, “I cannot believe you told Brad Pitt to sit back down and grind his molars.”
“I can’t believe you called George Clooney, ‘Bat-Nipples,’” I replied with a grin. We all laughed out loud at this. Unfortunately, our laughter was cut short by the howling of police sirens and the flash of Red and blue lights.
Jessie nervously called back to us, “Uh, guys, they found us!”
“How did they even find us?!” The Knifemaster cried out.
“Because we’re in a major U.S. city and driving around in an armor covered modified school bus with Awesomesquad! painted down the side.” Damien snapped, “How do you bloody think?”
“Ok, calm down,” I said firmly to Damien. To the rest of the group, I announced, “Alright, we’ve always known that this scenario could be a likely outcome of what we do. That’s why we’ve always planned for this. So everyone, get to your stations.”
Everyone did as I told. Everett rushed up to our supplies trunk and pulled out as many of the flash and smoke bombs as he could handle, and carefully walked to the back of the bus with them. Series of Japanese Symbols did the same. The Knifemaster, after Everett and Series had passed, hurried to the front of the bus and got on the phone to talk to Team Prevention. Criss and Damien grabbed paintball guns from the trunk and then joined Everett and Series in the back.
Satisfied with my team’s calm response (especially considering how some of them panicked when Gaga had stuck her tail through the roof), I turned back around to Jessie and asked, “Where are we, and how many of them are on our tail.”
“We’re on the Hollywood Freeway headed north, and so far only two.”
“We’re on the what?!”
“OK we’re not really on the Hollywood Freeway, we’re actually just next to it,” he replied as he pointed out the window, “We actually on Cahuenga Boulevard. Don’t worry- I’ve got a plan.”
“You better.” I stated, “Because barreling down a freeway is stupid when the cops are on your tail.”
“Trust me,” he answered with a confident grin. He then called to the entire team, “Hold on, everybody, we’re about to make some very sharp turns!”
Jessie kept his promise. Almost immediately, he hit the brakes and turned the bus to the right. We were then on a sloped road, and Jessie drove straight through at a stop sign, causing a car to swerve out of our way. He made another sharp right and floored it across the overpass. The Knifemaster was so preoccupied with the argument he was having on the phone that he nearly fell out of his chair. Jessie then ran another damn stop sign (making another driver honk angrily at us) and turned left onto a winding one lane road on the side of the Hollywood hills.”
“You’re taking us on Mulholland Drive, you idiot?!?!” I screamed as I saw the street sign, “I’d rather us be on the Hollywood Freeway! A mountain road that goes on forever isn’t exactly the smartest place to out run the cops when you’re driving a fucking bus Jessie!”
“Trust me.” Jessie answered, “This is going to work.”
“Don’t call me a crazy asshole, Phlegm,” The Knifemaster shouted into the phone, “I told you, Mom and Dad don’t watch the Oscars, so they’ll never know it was me!”
“BUT YOU GUYS CAUSED SUCH A SCENE THAT THERE IS NO WAY YOU WON’T BE ON THE NEWS TOMORROW YOU MORON!” I heard Phlegm shout through the phone, “AND YOU KNOW FULL DAMN WELL THAT THEY WATCH THAT!”
The engine of the Awesomebus whined as we sped up the hillside. I looked out the side mirrors. We had four cops chasing us now. Shit. The four members of Team Pugnastics waited silently in the back, holding until I gave them the go ahead to drop the smoke bombs and fire the paintball guns. But I couldn’t do that until GMZ is able to redirect the cops and give us an escape route.
I grabbed the phone from the Knifemaster and said to Phlegm, “Phlegm, I know you’re pissed right now, but you need to either calm down or leave the Watch Tower because we need to get the LAPD off of our tail.”
Phlegm growled, but obeyed, and the next voice I heard was GMZ’s.
“Okay,” he said with a sigh of relief, “I posted on the forums of 4chan the radio line that the LAPD uses and a request to throw them off of your trail. All you need to do is lose the ones that are following you, and get to Multiview drive. From there, you can get back on the Hollywood freeway and head north back to Base. But you’re still a few miles away, and according to my map, you still have to pass three streets that cops can show up on, so be on the lookout.”
“Thanks GMZ,” I said before I hung up and relayed the information given to me to Jessie. I then turned back to Everett, Series, Criss, and Damien and called, “Let’em rip!”
Damien and Criss began firing their paintball guns at the the front two police car winshields. The screeching of the tires told me that the paintballs were obscuring the drivers’s sight. Looking through the side mirror, I could see that they had fallen behind. I then watched as Everett and Criss threw two smoke bombs each into the road. Almost instantly, a wall of fog formed thick enough to hide the us from the police.
“Jessie, hit it!” I commanded.
As if he had been waiting to do this his entire life, Jessie pressed the little green button on the steering wheel. There came a clanking sound from the back of the bus, which was followed by a couple of seconds of light clinking of tiny pieces of metal hitting pavement, and then followed by the same clanking sound. Back out the side window, I saw a bar of shimmering pavement rush away from us. Now in the distance, the cop cars had made it through the smoke and were now speeding back up to catch us. That was a bad idea. As soon as they ran over that shimmery strip of pavement, their tires exploded and sparks erupted from the front wheel wells. Both leading cars swerved to a stop, and the following cars crashed into their rears.
The bus erupted with cheers. It actually worked! Escaping might be easier than we thought!
And then I heard the familiar whirring of the roto-blades of a helicopter. Shit. The street around the speeding Awesomebus! was illuminated by an overhead spot light.
An echoing voice from the helicopter rang out in the would-be silent night, “You in the armored bus: Stop! You are evading the police and resisting arrest. If you stop now, we will not use excessive force to arrest you.”
I doubted that. Jessie took a sharp left bend fast, and the squeal of the Awesomebus!’s tires echoed into the night. Then, three more police cars appeared, joining the helicopter in the chase. Jessie, Damien, Everett, Series, and Jessie did their thing, and were able to stop those police cruisers as well. I looked at the GPS map and was not relieved. There was another road coming up soon, and another one right after that. I doubted we had enough smoke bombs to make through those two intersections, let alone the rest of the way to Multiview Drive, which was still about one long, winding mile away. Not to mention we still had two intersections left to cross after these two.
Making a quick decision, I commanded to Damien, Criss, Series, and Everett to stand down. We passed the next road. I commanded to Jessie to release more of the tire shredders. He obeyed. Luckily for us, no police cars pulled out behind us that time.
“Jessie,” I announced, “I need you to do that at every intersection. That will keep the cops from following us. Now we just need to get rid of the helicopter.”
“I’ve got an idea for that!” Jessie replied excitedly. At least he was enjoying this. “The cloaking device Everett and I worked on. It won’t work for cars chasing us, because they’ll be too close, but for a helicopter, it might just make them lose us. All we need is to make them lose sight of us…”
We passed the second intersection and Jessie dropped more tire shredders. A cop car pulled out behind us, but was almost instantly stopped because of the Jessie’s trap.
“Smoke bombs!” The Knifemaster interjected, “If we throw the smoke bombs out the front of the bus, we can drive through the smoke, turn on the cloaking device, and then slow down or stop or something, and then the-“
“helicopter will be expecting us to be going the same speed and they will lose us!” I added, “Brilliant! Everett, Series, bring the rest of the smoke bombs up to the front and help the Knifemaster and I throw them out in front of the bus!”
They both looked confused, but they obeyed, and as soon as they made it to the front, I explained the plan. We each took two smoke bombs, and together we threw them out the windows and infront of the bus. The bombs exploded into a plume of smoke, and Jessie slammed on the breaks. The flood light passed over us, just as planned, and Jessie hit a button on the dashboard. I didn’t hear anything that indicated a change, but Jessie started driving again, so I assumed that it worked.
“Knifemaster,” Jessie commanded in a hushed tone, call up Team Prevention and see if anyone on 4chan is helping to redirect the police.”
“And get bitched at again? No thanks.”
“Knifemaster!” I snapped.
He handed the phone to me and smiled.
I scowled at him, put the phone up to my ear and asked, “Did the forum thing work, GMZ?”
“Sort of,” he replied cautiously, “Mostly people are using it to troll the LAPD, but there are some people that are sending cops on wild goose chases. There are still a few police cars in your area, though, so be cautious.”
“OK, just let us know if anything new develops,” I said to him.
“You do the same.”
We were going the speed limit now, about thirty miles an hour, and pulling up to a stop sign. I looked out the window and saw the Helicopter circling nearby, so I knew that we could still be caught. Jessie stopped, drove through the intersection without incident, and then released more tire shredders. Within a minute, we had made it to Multiview Drive. Jessie, in a feat of surprising brilliance, turned the Awesomebus! onto Multiview, then backed up so that we were facing the direction we came, and released more tire shredders to throw any lingering police off our trail. We made it through the neighborhood and onto the freeway without incident, and made our way back to the Awesomebase!.
[An Hour Earlier]
Halle Berry sat smiling at Minigan as he complemented her as he and his cohorts sped off. Many of her fellow movie stars rushed out of the gaping hole in the wall and tried to chase the bus down, but it was too late: they were gone. Halle’s smile instantly faded.
“I’m going to call the police! Steven Speilberg shouted, “How dare they steal the limelight from me!”
Halle ignored him, got up, and began to walk up the alley way. She made it to the first building and turned sharply around the corner. Instantly, she was met by a towering figure in a black cloak.
“Did you plant the tracking device?” a cold sounding voice from under the cloak asked.
“Yes,” Berry answered as she morphed back into Lady Gaga, “I attached it to the back of Minigan’s cloak when I had my hands around his neck, right before that buffoon of a driver of his drove through the wall.”
“Good. They will lead us right to their base.”
“But remember what we promised,” Gaga warned, “I want Minigan. I don’t care what you do with the others, but the boy is mine.”
“Of course,” the voice replied, “Such a fighter as Minigan belongs with you.”
“That boy is a monster,” Gaga swooned.
Gaga couldn’t tell, but the man under the cloak scowled. “Right,” he said, “Well, I’ll find something to do with the others, but the only one I’m really after is their weapons maker: Everett Bradford.”
The End… For Now…
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