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Pioneers Chapter 11 Main Chapters Act II

An Epilogue
In which the author abandons his good sense and heretofore coherent style
And Puts Himself In the story instead of sticking to Third Person Omniscient

Act I

In the habitat of the penal colony on the planet Loki, Plath says, "All right, who's going to go mine some ice today?"

There is a sullen silence.

Plath is annoyed. She exclaims, "What is this, kindergarden? You gather the ice, you put the ice in the machine, and you get to drink the water you need to survive! If you don't help gather the ice, then you don't get to-"

An irritated mutineer grouses, "All right! Just stop that horrible screeching." The irritated person goes to the airlock and begins to pull on a spacesuit.

Plath screeches, "Screeching? Who's screeching?" Plath goes on and on while everyone in the habitat attempts to ignore her.

Now for a much more pleasant scene, though it makes no more sense than the last: the Sanada residence. It has been decorated for a party. Most of the cast is sitting around in the living room.

Dr. Sanada says, "Let's begin this Epilogue."

Mitsuki S. says, "We ended the main story inconclusively again?"

Yayoi replies, "Apparently so. But that can be a good thing. After all, now people are free to use their imaginations to create their own ending, the one that would please them best."

Mitsuki S. counters, "But once again, we didn't address the main question: who gets Kazuki?"

Mrs. Nanjyoin suggests, "Well, why don't we let that be part of what the readers imagine?"

Mitsuki S. is adamant: "I'm not going to leave Kazuki up to them. We've got to get this settled."

Kazuki is aggrieved, "Stop talking about me like I'm not in the room! Why don't I decide myself?"

The bodyguard trio enters the room.

Mitsuki R. looks at them. "Where's my sister and her husband? They won't want to miss this."

Mits enters the room and apologizes, "We're very sorry for making you all wait. Kent's going to be a little longer. He's trying to reverse some weird charges on our credit card. Something about four orders from a floral shop."

Kazuki glares at the bodyguard trio. The bodyguard trio guiltily glares at each other.

Alice whispers defensively, "I ordered them in Kazuki's name! I knew we shouldn't have used that shop, they're always getting things wrong."

Mena whispers back, "You mixed up yours and Ms. Mitsuki's purses again, didn't you?"

Alice is still whispering defensively, "They look very alike! And no one ever checks the name on a credit card when they assume it's theirs!"

Now for another scene: the front walk of the Sanada home.

Kent Slade catches sight of Stetson, Hino, and Takei: he calls out, "Hey! How have you all been doing!"

All together, they call back, "Just fine!"

Hino jokes, "What is this, an otaku character convention?" All four of them laugh.

Stetson addresses the audience and says, "I suppose I should explain for our viewers at home that an otaku character is one that a fan made up for a fanfiction, rather than one that already existed within the official work."

Slade whispers, "Who is he talking to?"

Takei shrugs, "He likes to pretend he's on television sometimes."

Stetson returns to the group.

Slade says, "Well, I know you guys were handling security at the spaceship launch site, but I've been so busy making the spaceship I haven't heard what else you've been up to!"

Takei tells him, "Ever since all the universes came together, we decided to pool all of our security knowledge and make an enterprise out of it. We became private security contractors, and Dr. Rara was nice enough to give us a lot of his business. That's why we were chosen to head up security at the launch site."

Hino apologetically inquires, "Look, Slade, no hard feelings about taking you prisoner back in Chapter 6 of RaRa Army, right?"

Slade informs them, "None at all. I mean, in the long run, it was good for me. I mean, the Author couldn't figure out any other way to get me into the pilot seat of a robot, and piloting can be pretty fun. And, I never got to tell you this, all that time in the tent I was thinking, 'If I were Hino, I wouldn't believe a word I was saying.'"

They shake hands.

Slade comments, "Well, I guess we better get on over to the house. The party's gonna be starting soon."

At the Sanada house, Takei, Hino, and Stetson are starting on the buffet prepared for the party. Slade has joined the others in the living room.

Dr. Warai says good humoredly, "We started without you Slade, hope you don't mind."

Slade replies with mock anger, "You're just trying to make me late again." He next calmly asks, "So, what'd I miss?"

D tells him conspiratorially, "We were waiting on you: we're going to decide who gets Kazuki!"

Slade laughs, "Wouldn't have missed that for the world!"

Ayuko comments, "I haven't been able to shake the feeling, Slade, that you're just wish fulfillment for the author."

Dr. Hayase doesn't understand her. "Wish fulfillment?"

Dr. Sanada does understand. "Oh, I get what you mean. Like how he gets to pilot robots and marries Mitsuki Rara and stuff."

Dr. Warai points out, "A twin sister of Mitsuki Rara."

Dr. Rara remembers, "I'll never remember why we named both of the twins Mitsuki Rara. That was one confusing childhood for them and us. I'd call, 'Mitsuki,' and three people would show up."

Dr. Warai doesn't get this. "Three?"

Mitsuki Sanada explains, "I'd come running because Uncle Rara never bothered to say whether he wanted me or my cousins!"

Mitsuki R. elaborates, "We were never sure either, it was easier for both of us to come."

Slade notes good-humoredly, "If it is wish fulfillment, I'm not complaining! It worked out for me! I married a nice girl, got to have one story where I was the protagonist, had an epic battle with the good guy, and even after giving him some solid blows, got the enemy conversion treatment so we're best buddies now! Not every character has wish fulfillment work out like that for them."

Yayoi agrees, "True. Some authors use a fanfiction to kill the characters they don't like. You were very fortunate indeed."

Mitsuki S. recalls, "That reminds me, that author was being pretty pushy, making my death the beginning of the series."

Ayuko nods. "I agree. On the one hand, our tragic deaths were rather touching, but on the other hand, it seemed to be expressing a wish that we were both dead."

The Author, though unseen, replies in a thunderous voice, "Now that's a distortion! I just had that in there so we wouldn't have too many Mitsukis and to give Slade a different entry into the world of robots than what Kazuki had! You were always alive in the synthesis world, weren't you? If I hated you, I would have killed you off there too. I mentioned your continued existence in the author's note, and I even started off the interlude immediately following the news of your death with proof that you were both still alive!"

Dr. Warai skeptically thinks aloud, "Yeah, but if you actually put time and effort into it, you could've found another way the same effects could've been done, right?"

The Author, though unseen, in a thunderous and petulant voice declares, "Write your own fanfiction then, Mr. Smartypants!"

Dr. Warai notes with dissapointment, "Not only was that incredibly childish and a failure to answer my question, it was also incredibly dated slang to boot. I'm glad you didn't using anything like that in the actual story, you know?"

The Author, though unseen, snickers in a thunderous voice.

Dr. Warai is angrily amazed. "That is unfair! You used your creative license to add dated and overused slang to the end of my sentence! Gee whiz!"

The Author, still unseen, laughs heartily in a thunderous voice.

Dr. Warai shouts, "Cut that out!"

Author, continuing in unseenness, laughs maniacally and thunderously.

The jewelry store manager enters, with the hapless jewelry store saleswoman in tow. The saleswoman, remembering her experiences from Interlude 12, would rather not be anywhere near Ayuko, while the manager only wants to get close to her.

The Manager begins fawning over Ayuko, "I wonder why it is that Mitsuki Rara always is the love interest? For Slade and for Kazuki?"

Yayoi stiffly contends, "There are other candidates for Kazuki's love interests."

D brightly points out, "Lots of them!"

Akane wonders aloud, "Who are you two, and what are you doing in our house?"

The Saleswoman, pointing to the Manager, hurriedly clarifies, "I'm not with her!"

The Saleswoman quickly flees to the buffet.

The Manager goes on, "I just heard that there was going to be a big party for the whole cast of the fanfiction here, and I just knew I had to be here to help Mrs. Rara in any way possible." She says unctuously, "I'm not surprised the boys always like your daughter-"

Yayoi again points out, "They like some other women too-"

Kumu stirs herself from D's lap and walks over to Mitsuki Rara.

Kumu speaks, "Why is it that you betrayed your poor mother and myself? Why do the guys always like you and not me? Kazuki Yotsuga destroyed the parallel world. Men are evil, they are so destructive. They're the enemy, the enemy, the enemy, the enemy, the enemy..."

Ryla is confused: "Didn't we do this gag already?"

(Indeed we did, back when Ayuko and Kumu were discussing in Chapter 8 of RaRa Army whether to make Slade a pilot. The Author just wanted to do it again!)

Kazuki realizes, "Hey, wait a minute, Kumu's a dog now! How are we understanding her talk?"

Kumu barks back, "...the enemy, the enemy, the enemy..."

Dr. Warai notes, "None of what Kumu just said, or any part of this epilogue, makes any sense, which makes it the perfect end to the fanfiction. Like, totally!"

Dr. Warai claps his hand to his mouth, aggravated, while the Author, unseen, laughs.

Kumu barks, "...the enemy, the enemy..."

Kazuki decides this may be the only chance to ask, "Kumu, why do you keep biting me, but you've always liked Kent?"

Slade, also curious, adds his voice. "Yeah, I've wondered about that too."

Kumu doesn't seem to have heard them: she still barks, "...the enemy, the enemy..."

The doorbell rings. Kumu, frustrated, leaves the room. D answers the door and is surprised to see Mr. Kamikochi and his mother. Mr. Kamikochi smiles.

Kamikochi's Mom says to D, "Why, darling, you're adorable! Are you Ms. Schwael's little sister?"

D replies courteously, "No, ma'am. I suppose you are both here for the epilogue party?"

Kamikochi's Mom trills, "That is indeed why we've come. Oh, you're so precious, your mother must be so proud of you." She and her son accompany D inside. "I know I'm certainly proud of my son here. He's simply a master of all sorts of sports. Why hello, Ms. Schwael, Mrs. Nanjyoin, Cmdr. Sanada!"

They reach the living room. Yayoi is worried but tries to keep a neutral expression. Mrs. Nanjyoin is surprised but pleased. There is an interminable round of introductions. Kamikochi's mother and he himself sit down.

Mrs. Nanjyoin states, "I'm sure we're all very glad that you could make it to the epilogue."

Yayoi says for the sake of making conversation, "It must've been hard finding a nearby airstrip for your jet."

Kamikochi's Mom agrees, "Oh yes, it was. My son always says the Internet is a wonderful thing, but it was a little bit hard to land our private jet on the fanfiction here. I'm telling you, I'll just never get used to flying by instruments!"

She laughs heartily. To cover Ayuko's condescending snicker, Mrs. Nanjyoin, Mitsuki Sanada, and Yayoi suddenly burst into gales of laughter. Everyone in the room, except Kamikochi, looks in shock at Mrs. Nanjyoin not being totally composed. Sunlight reflects off of Kamikochi's teeth, still visible because he hasn't ceased grinning since the door.

Kamikochi's Mom continues her bizarre tale, "Of course, my son does know where to buy the best jets, and we made it here in one piece, as you can see." She turns to Yayoi, "You know dear, my son still hasn't found anyone, and is still very interested in-"

Kumu chooses this moment to walk into the room.

Kumu barks up a new subject, "The forces of technology are of particular interest to me. I still cannot comprehend why D has abandoned them."

Kamikochi's Mom, in shock, wonders, "Did your dog just talk?"

Akane helpfully, and fully conscious of the ridiculousness of the situation, explains, "She may just be barking intelligibly."

Kamikochi's Mom hasn't had any experience with this dog. "Barking intelligibly? You, you don't mean to say this dog is as smart as a human? How could that be possible?"

D tells her, "Both of us actually were sleeping inside an artifact for many years. Kumu used to be a small red ball, and I used to be bioroid that didn't have human emotions."

Mitsuki S. decides to explain further, "That was all before Kazuki merged the worlds together for the first time."

Kamikochi's mother blanches, while Kamikochi flops stiffly out of his seat, a smile still plastered on his face.

Slade screams in panic, "Aah! We've been talking to a dead body!"

Dr. Sanada says in an aside to the audience, "This brings back so many memories." To Kamikochi's Mom, he says, "All right, I guess we'll do it like last time. I'll take the left side and, er, Rara, you take the right."

The two men proceed to drag Kamikochi back to the limo, with Kamikochi's mother following them. Yayoi tries not to look relieved.

D offers the comment, "I think this means the party is going very well or very badly."

Chapter 11 Main Chapters Act II