“I told you the engines needed cleaning!” Liam snapped at Lukas and Megumi.
“Okay, okay, so we were wrong!” growled Lukas. “Sue us!”
“You mingle with these idiots?!” snapped a voice that sounded like it was covered in saliva. The three turned to see an obese man with zits all over his face, his ears covered by a headset with a microphone on it, and was transported in a flying chair with packets of Doritos on the left and Mountain Dew bottles on the right.
“Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999, if I’m not mistaken,” muttered Megumi. “Where do you get off calling my engineers idiots?”
“Everyone beneath those in power is an idiot!” snapped Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999. “Why not?! They weren’t smart enough to seize power!”
“Yes, because hiding behind a computer screen is powerful,” dismissed Megumi.
“Watch it, lady!” snarled Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999. “You’re just begging to be humiliated by me! Ain’t that right, fellas?! Ah, here come the comments agreeing with me!”
“Do you ever leave that seat?” asked Liam.
“Or eat anything else?” continued Lukas. “Anything healthy?”
“Healthy shmealthy!” scoffed Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999. “I don’t need to take care of myself. My Mechanized Operations Manager does it for me, right while I’m in the heart of a sub-dwelling where I belong.”
“So, you live in M.O.M’s basement,” groaned Megumi. “Great, a basement troll that gives gamers like my husband a bad rap!”
“I’m a True Gamer!” shouted Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999. “Why should I hover here and suffer your slander?!”
“I’m a Kamen Rider and a Japanese woman who tells it like it is,” replied Megumi. “Unusual for most Japanese women. I thought my dossier said that.”
“I only concerned myself,” scoffed Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999, “with those M.O.M considered worth my time. Empress Mel! Bolt Boy! Ultragingana, now THERE would have been a fight! But no, who do I have? A Gamer of equal measure? No! Some knock-off Power Ranger!”
“There are many in Japan,” remarked Megumi, “that say Power Rangers are a knock-off of our Super Sentai. I take it, things haven’t been going so well for you?”
“You obviously read MY dossier,” Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999 replied with a voice he thought was a sexy purr, but sounded rather UN-sexy. “So, why dance around the issue?”
“Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999,” answered Megumi as she relayed what his dossier said about him. “Real name: Andrew Schwartz. Forced to hide after murdering his parents because he didn’t get the game he wanted. Now wanted for murder in every state, he hides away in an undisclosed location, scrambling his origin when livestreaming and seeing to it that various facial recognition programs, both computerized and live, are baffled. He enjoys his anonymity but it’s rapidly fading! Stop me if any of this is wrong.”
“The Master Wand,” snarled Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999, “will give me total control of the entire planet! I could get away with anything if I had it! And YOU, Lady, YOU are my first stepping stone!”
“Then how do you wish to contend with me?” asked Megumi as a smirk crossed her face.
“What is your video game knowledge level?” quizzed Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999.
“Moderate, at best,” admitted Megumi. “Never really liked Sony. Nintendo’s better.”
“I never liked Nintendo and prefer Sony, so you made it fair for both of us,” chuckled Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999. “A trivia contest. Each of us will ask a question about Sony or Nintendo. You ask me Nintendo based questions; I ask you Sony based ones. Whoever fails to answer correctly, or at all, is the loser! No other game companies may be brought in, no help, only three guesses per question.”
“Fine,” declared Megumi. “Our battlefield?”
“My lair,” answered Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999.
“The challenge has been set, the terms have been agreed upon, and the chance of victory is agreeable for both sides,” declared Verdutha’s voice. “Marrulem, the brown princess of Chizara and the land-animal leader, will be judging. In an hour, your fight begins! Prepare and make ready! Good luck!
“I will see you in an hour,” laughed Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999. He vanished in green light as he cackled.
“May the best gamer win,” Megumi declared.
“…Charming fellow,” muttered Lukas.
Arsha paced the Gateway room with anticipation. Her opponent had been selected for her first round and she was ready to meet him or her. “Captain, easy,” advised Bashoon. “You’re vibrating faster than a wild Wyvern.”
“I’m both nervous and excited,” explained Arsha. “Can’t wait to see who I’m fighting!” A woman then came in via a purple light. It wasn’t Moradelia. Rather, it was a woman in her mid-thirties and dressed in cargo pants and a hoodie while carrying a backpack.
“So, you’re my opponent in the first round,” chuckled the woman. “I gotta say, for someone so young, by your universe’s standards, you’ve seen a lot. At least, that’s what I read from your dossier.”
“Everyone needs to do some traveling at some point in their life,” replied Arsha. “You’re Vicky, right?”
“Vicky, professional wanderer, at your service,” confirmed the woman as she made a sweeping bow. “So, how do you want to settle who’s going up to the next round? I intend to use that wand to go anywhere I want.”
“How about a balancing act?” challenged Arsha. “I bet you my weakest tail can keep a stack of books balanced longer than your arms can.”
“Oh yeah?!” replied Vicky. “I’ll have you know, I balanced 39 foot high stacks at the library on my pinky! You’re on!”
“We’ll balance a foot tall stack on our respective limbs and have to balance ourselves on a rope,” elaborated Arsha. “Whoever keeps the stack straight longest or stays on the rope is the winner.”
“Deal!” agreed Vicky. “Our battlefield?”
“Why don’t you pick?” suggested Arsha.
“All right, the old circus tent in my hometown!” declared Vicky.
“Very well,” confirmed Arsha.
“The challenge has been set, the terms have been agreed upon, and the chance of victory is agreeable for both sides,” declared Moradelia’s voice. “Vioazira, the blue-violet princess of Chizara and the sea-animal leader, will be judging. Tomorrow, your fight begins! Prepare and make ready! Good luck!” Vicky then vanished in purple light.
“I look forward to it!” chuckled Arsha.
Optimus awaited his opponent’s appearance on the Promenade. He had a bat’leth in his hand and looked around. He then became aware of a flash of pink light as a red-skinned woman about his size approached him. She dressed in a gold trimmed gi and wore her hair in a short and curled style. She looked like a stereotypical demon with hooves for feet, a pointed tail, powerful looking wings, and a pair of curved horns on her head. She also carried a bat’leth and approached Optimus in a friendly manner. “I understand you are my opponent,” she greeted as she stuck her hand out for a handshake. “Optimus Prime, correct?”
“That’s me,” confirmed Optimus as he shook her hand. “You’re the Great Demoness, Alfalna, right?”
“I am,” answered the woman. “Eager to try out your bat’leth skills?”
“I wanted to see how much of your blood is Klingon,” replied Optimus.
“A very Klingon answer,” chuckled Alfalna. “How shall victory be decided?”
“The loser will have to be sprawled on the ground without their bat’leth,” answered Optimus.
“And our battlefield?” asked Alfalna.
“Lady’s choice,” replied Optimus.
“Very well, the Golden Palace’s Courtyard,” decided Alfalna.
“The question then become ‘when’,” mused Optimus.
“The challenge has been set, the terms have been agreed upon, and the chance of victory is agreeable for both sides,” declared Rosadera’s voice. “Amartonadii, the yellow princess of Chizara and the health leader, will be judging. Tomorrow, your fight begins! Prepare and make ready! Good luck!”
“Optimus, Qapla’!” (Klingon for Success!) bid Alfalna.
“Qapla’!” returned Optimus. Alfalna then vanished in a flash of pink light.
“All personnel, this is POmega,” called the Portal Operator. “Megumi’s fight is beginning. Please find your seats and make sure you are comfortable.”
“Ark, this is Optimus! One to beam to the bridge!” Optimus faded from Vorton and arrived on the Ark’s bridge. The Autobots were ALL there! Adding Optimus to the mix almost caused some shoving. Once everyone seated themselves, Optimus got out his bag of Energon Munchies as the viewscreen displayed a dimly lit room littered with Dorito bags and Mountain Dew bottles. Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999 clapped his hands twice and the mess was cleared away.
“Have to make things neat for the ladies,” he remarked to Megumi as she sniffed the air.
“Is that…stale pizza I’m smelling?” she gagged.
“Women. Never let a guy win,” muttered Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999.
“Oh, I hope she beats him for that!” hissed Bashoon as everyone on the Endeavor’s bridge crew got a good view.
“If I may be a little selfish,” muttered Arsha, “I’m glad it’s not me facing him.” A third woman then appeared in brown light. She was heavy-set and wore a ballgown of brown. Her sleeves were disconnected and she wore a hairpiece of three brown flowers at the right of her hair.
“I am Marrulem, the brown princess of Chizara and the land animal leader,” introduced the woman to a floating camera. “The combatants are ready for their first bout! Representing Universe 4-P-0-C-4-L-Y-P-T-1-C-G-4-M-3-R-5, we have Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999 with home turf advantage! Representing her new home of 8-3-Y-0-N-D-C-1-T-Y and a permanent student of that universe’s leading educational institute, heck, the MULTIVERSE’S leading educational institute, we have Megumi Hishikawa! The fight will be a trivia battle! Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999 will be asking Megumi questions about Sony while Megumi will be asking questions about Nintendo. Each participant shall have a maximum of three guesses per question. Whoever fails to answer correctly or at all is the loser. No outside help may be used and each may ONLY ask questions about Nintendo or Sony, no other game companies. Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999, are you ready?”
“Ready as always!” chuckled Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999.
“Megumi Hishikawa,” asked Marrulem, “are you ready?”
“I’m ready,” confirmed Megumi.
“Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999, as we are in your home universe,” called Marrulem, “you will ask the first question. Begin!”
“Where does Sony get its name?” asked Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999.
“Easy, from the Latin word Sonus, meaning sound,” answered Megumi.
“And Megumi scores her first point!” cheered Marrulem.
“My turn,” declared Megumi. “What was Mario’s original name in the original Donkey Kong?”
“Er, let’s see…”muttered Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999. “Er, OH! Jumpman!” Megumi winced.
“Now both are tied with one correct answer each,” announced Marrulem.
“What were the circumstances that brought about the PlayStation?” asked Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999. Megumi gulped. She thought hard, not wanting to resort to guessing. “…Someone doesn’t know,” chuckled Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999 darkly.
“Hang on!” protested Megumi. She then thought back and remembered seeing the After Academy Game Magazine of two months ago as it was talking about the PlayStation. She then mentally flipped the pages and found it! “Nintendo once asked Sony to develop an add-on that would play discs for its video games consoles. After the partnership collapsed, Sony decided to make its personal console, enter the PlayStation!” Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999 slammed his fist onto his chair’s armrest in frustration.
“That’s two for Megumi!” called Marrulem on the viewscreen. The Vortex Riders breathed a sigh of relief.
“That’s my girl!” cheered Emily.
“Your girl?!” protested Richard.
“It’s your turn,” Marrulem directed Megumi.
“The first release of Mario Kart,” began Megumi, “had an ending that was controversial to America. What was so controversial?” Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999 started wracking his brains
“Come on, think!” he snarled to himself. “What’s so controversial to Americans that the Japanese don’t?!”
“Plenty of things, really,” remarked Megumi.
“…Oooo, damn it, I gotta guess!” groaned Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999. “Er…alcoholic victory drink!”
“…Damn,” sighed Megumi. Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999 cheered.
“Knew it all along!” he boasted.
“Sure,” mumbled Marrulem under her breath. “Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999, your question?”
“How many PlayStation consoles were sold in 1998?” asked Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999. This was a puzzler as bad as Megumi’s.
“Come on, come on, come on!” she groaned. “…Agh, no good! I need to guess!”
“Let’s hear them,” chuckled Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999.
“20 thousand!” guessed Megumi.
“Nope,” replied Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999.
“Er, er, er, 90 billion!” theorized Megumi.
“Strike 2!” laughed Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999. Megumi then started muttering to herself.
“90 thousand, 80 trillion, 50 million,” she whimpered.
“What was that?!” yelped Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999. Megumi then realized why he was so afraid.
“In 1998, 50 million PlayStations were sold!” declared Megumi with a grin! Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999 roared in frustration.
“Your turn!” he snarled.
“All right, since you posed the numbers question, here’s a history question,” replied Megumi. “What did Nintendo originally manufacture in its early days in the latter half of the 19th century?”
“…It can’t be THAT old!” snapped Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999. “No game company is!”
“Nintendo is about as old as any company when it comes to games,” replied Megumi. “However, it was founded on September 23, 1889, long before even a computer was thought up. Again I repeat, what did it manufacture during its early days?”
“That…that can’t…I mean, it was always…I need to guess!” declared Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999.
“Guess away,” conceded Megumi.
“Pottery kits!” guessed Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999.
“Try again,” refuted Megumi.
“Erm, ah, fans!” gulped Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999.
“Nope. Last guess,” chuckled Megumi. Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999 was flustered. He wracked his brains for an answer. This lasted over a minute. “Come on, we both have busy schedules,” urged Megumi. Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999 spluttered and hissed in frustration for a minute more.
“Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999, your guess, now!” demanded Marrulem.
“Silk or wooden toys!” called Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999.
“That was two guesses in one,” remarked Marrulem.
“Oh, allow him that,” insisted Megumi.
“Are you sure?” asked Marrulem. Megumi nodded. “All right. It didn’t help him anyways. Both are wrong.”
“WHAT?!” wailed Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999.
“Nintendo originally produced cards called Hanafuda,” chuckled Megumi. “they were used for a variety of games. I’d go further, but it looks like you’re not interested.” That was an understatement. Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999 was reduced to a frothing mess of rage.
“This contest is over!” cheered Marrulem. “The winner is Megumi Hishikawa! Megumi, you will be returned to your home. Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999, though you have suffered a defeat, know that it only brings as much dishonor as you feel necessary. Would you care for an interview with Blancalmarem and Nemengra?”
“Forget it!” snarled Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999. “This whole thing was rigged! Mark my words, Megumi Hishikawa, you’ll rue the day you crossed Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999!”
“We’ll see,” scoffed Megumi. “Bye-bye!” She and Marrulem faded in brown light and returned to Vorton. Everyone cheered her on her victory!
“An excellent move!” cheered Arsha when she and her crew approached the crowd. The Autobots joined in the throng as well.
“Drinks are on me!” called Megumi.
“Oh, just you wait!” ranted Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999. “When I get my hands on you, I’ll make you call me Da…!” That was when it all fell apart. Law Enforcement broke into his sanctuary.
“Andrew Schwartz, you’re under arrest!” snarled the Officer.
“HOW DID YOU…?!” wailed Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999.
“It wasn’t that hard when people gave noise complaints and you shut down M.O.M!” replied the Officer as he yanked the basement troll out of his chair. Ub3r_g4m3r_likesjak21999 was no more and Andrew Schwartz was taken to prison.