Friday, 22 February 2008

Mary Sue fic: Chapter Two.

Chapter 2.

“Right this way, Miss Akura.” Shipwreck held a heavy steel door open for the new recruit as she heaved one of her bags into the hall. “Hey, you two!” He whistled, and a pair of soldiers raced to his side. They look like grunts, thought Akura, and hoped that she wouldn't end up being one of them.

“Get these bags up to quarters A-D25.” The soldiers saluted and hauled the bags off, but not before they gazed at Akura with obvious delight. Once they had left, Shipwreck handed her a key.

“Here y'are, Miss. It's one of the finest boarding rooms we have here at the compound. You'll want to stay there, at least until you purchase a house or somethin'. But it's free here, and the company is great.”

“One of the finest boarding rooms?” she exclaimed, as he began to lead her down the hallways. “But I'm not even sure of where I rank yet!”

“Don't be silly. Trust me, Miss,” He stopped when they had reached a grand-looking door which had a gold plaque on it. “Our commander ain't gonna give you anything worse. I'll be seeing you soon, then,” Shipwreck flashed a grin at her and opened the door. “Don't worry too much.”

He left, and Akura proceeded towards the man sitting at his desk, evidently studying some papers. When she had gotten within about three meters of it, he spoke. “Ah... you must be the new recruit. Akura J'Mir Richards, if I'm correct?” He looked up at her, his handsome face studying hers. She was surprised at how young it was, in fact – she had expected someone much older. She wondered how this man had become the field commander of the Joes so quickly. He must have been surprised too, for he said: “You look a lot different from your photo. For one... I thought you were twenty.” He held up a sheet of paper. “Unless these records are wrong.”

“Oh, it's a common mistake.” she explained. “I look older than I really am. But no, I am twenty years old, commander-”

“Conrad Hauser. Everyone around here calls me Duke, though.”

“That's your codename, the ones that all the Joes have?”

“That's right.” He smiled. “I see you've been doing your research. Incidentally, are you aware that you have already been assigned a codename?”

His smile made her heart skip a beat or two, but she managed to answer him. “Y-yes. In fact, I chose the name myself.”

“Hm.” Duke leaned back in his chair. “Yes... in fact, I think I may have heard of you. You're The Death Bringer, aren't you?”

“Oh!” The use of her old title astonished her for a second, namely because she had not been called that for a long time. “Yes, sir. That is me.”

“You wiped out three squadrons single-handedly!”

“It's not something that I'm proud of, but yes, I did.”

He smiled again from behind his hands. “You'll be a wonderful addition to our team. I trust you're familiar with our mission statement?”

“Yes, sir. You aim to rid the world of Cobra in order to secure a safer, more tolerant future for the world.”

Duke had gotten up, and offered his hand to her. “Not 'you'. 'We', Akura. Or should I say... Athena.”

She grasped his hand, trying to fight any trace of a crush she had developed on the man while shaking it professionally. “Thank you, Duke. I look forward to working with G.I Joe.” As she turned to leave, however, she heard him clear his throat. “Yes, sir?”

“I didn't comment on this previously, but...” He strode towards her until they were no more than a foot apart. “You certainly have very unique eyes. I don't think I've ever seen anyone with two different coloured eyes.” Duke was staring into them now, which made Akura blush.

“I... I don't know why they're like that. But I'm glad you like them,” she added brightly. “I was afraid that you would refuse me because of them.”

“I'm not that kind of person, Akura. Neither are the rest of the Joes.” He glanced up at a clock on the wall. “Speaking of the others, their break begins about now. Perhaps you should go meet them all.”

*

After getting lost in the large military complex, Akura had finally found her way down to the recreation room. She was able to do so with the help of a soldier that was strolling past, who was only more than happy to show her the way. He was quite talkative, asking her what she would be doing with the Joes and what she thought of the weather. Even though she hadn't been around for long enough to answer those questions, thoroughly, she managed to make decent conversation with him and was complimented on how interesting she was. This puzzled Akura greatly, but she accepted it just the same.

She slipped in quietly, not wanting to turn too many heads. The recreation room had a homey, pleasant feel to it. She could see a large brick fireplace in the middle of the back wall which had a large pile of wood beside it. After all, it was Autumn. She wondered if they needed any assistance gathering wood.

There were several arcade game machines lined up against the wall, along with a dartboard, a bookshelf and a bar. Its presence amused her and she thought, I bet it's the most popular feature. The thing that caught her eye though, was the pool table in the middle of the room which several people were congregated around. Among them was a red-haired woman who couldn't be much older than she was. The woman was talking to a burly, African-American man and she must have said something funny, for the both laughed uproariously at the same time. Once their laughter died down, she took the opportunity to come out of her corner by the door and approach them.

“I don't mean to interrupt your conversation, but I just wanted to introduce myself. I'm Akura, and I've just joined G.I Joe.”

The man and the woman looked at each other before turning to her and smiling. “Oh yeah,” the woman said, “Our commander said something about a new member earlier last week. I'm Shana, and this is Marvin,” The man raised a hand and grinned cheerfully. “But we're known as Scarlett and Roadblock respectively. What about you, Akura? Is that your... uh...”

“Oh, it's my real name. I've chosen a codename already, though: Athena.”

“That's a pretty cool name,” said Roadblock. “Where are you from, Athena?”

Akura noticed that they immediately started using her codename instead of her real name; but this probably came from being in a special forces group for so long. Accepting that she would most likely not be known by any other name while she was here, she answered, “I'm from Boston. I was in the national army for three years before I got selected by the military officials to come over here. Before all this happened I lived in a remote beachside community...”

A sick feeling, like a turning in her stomach suddenly washed over her and she breathed deeply, but it wouldn't go away. In fact, it felt just like a tidal wave...

Thankfully, Scarlett noticed this almost instantly and wrapped her arm around the younger woman's shoulder, guiding her to the bathroom. But Akura controlled herself and soon drew out of her hunched position, her hands rubbing her face swiftly before mumbling, “Sorry... it's just something that happens occasionally.”

“You sure you're ok?” Roadblock placed his hand on Akura's back, nodding at Scarlett to get a glass of water from the bar. “You really didn't look so flash just then.”

“Yes... thank you... I'm fine.” She gave an appreciative yet shakey smile, taking the drink from Scarlett in both hands and sipping lightly.

“I see you've become acquainted with each other.” Someone at the door said. All three of them recognised who it was, but Scarlett was the first to speak.

“Duke! I didn't know you had some time off today.” Her tone was full of amorous intent and Akura's heart sank. Duke and Scarlett were in a relationship. This was confirmed when Duke gave Scarlett a quick wink, one that the new recruit's keen gaze noticed.

“In theory, I don't, Scarlett. I have to finalise some administrative issues with Athena here.”

“Ah. That's true.” Scarlett turned to Akura and shook her hand. “It was nice meeting you, Athena. I'll be looking forward to working with you.”

“As will I,” added Roadblock. “See you around, Athena!”

Duke led Akura away from the recreation room. “I told you they were good people.”

“Of course. I was wrong to doubt you, Duke.” She felt shame well up inside of her.

“Don't worry about it, Athena. I've done questionable things before. It's alright to doubt – but I'd like you to trust me on the battlefield. That's the most important thing.”

She nodded, knowing exactly what he meant. Trust on the battlefield... of course it was important.

However, could she learn to trust her new colleagues off the battlefield? As of now, she could. But don't be too trusting, Akura... remember last time? How could she forget the last time she was betrayed so horribly, that it had shattered her for years on end?

But she had to stay positive. It was the only way she could show her strength.

---

Don't expect more of this soon. When I posted the first chapter, I actually had this one all done, but now that I've posted this, I haven't got chapter three. Don't hold your breath.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

In celebration



Hope your Valentine Day is better than Starscream's!

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

An exploration of Fanfiction.Net: Part 1

The other day, I decided to take a gander over to Fanfiction.net and see how much had changed. Despite the fact that I have been posting fanfiction, I haven't explored the categories lately.

Naturally, being the gamefag I am, the first category I went to was 'Games'. I just skimmed down the list and noticed with shock and surprise that the Devil May Cry category now has 1,536 fanfics. With the very recent release of DMC4, expect the number to double. I remember about three or four years back when I wrote/submitted DMC stuff, there were only a couple of hundred fanfics. And now, BOOM. It's one of those fandoms where you can tell that 95% is slash, 3% is Mary-Sue and the remaining 2% is... general stuff. Romance, action, Dante being a cockhead and the like.

This is the same case with American McGee's Alice. When I submitted my piece for that game, there were about 20 fanfics. It's since ballooned into 252. I dunno, maybe everyone's gearing up for the movie?

Oblivion has 374 fanfics, which is basically a resemblence of how many people can be assed writing out their character's journey. Noteable fanfic is: 'I dont know what to do when he makes me sad' by DuRiechstSoGut98.

A MARY SUE FOR VICENTE? It's very likely. It also portrays Marie Antoinetta as a giggling idiot who enjoys makeup and all that other woman jazz. I always thought the Dark Brotherhood were more serious. Going around and being tough. Killing people while they sleep and whatnot. I'm serious, I could really spork this fanfic.

It weirds me out that the category of Solitaire (21) has almost as many fanfics as Killer7 (24) does (and yes, I'm still the sole contributor of Killer7 on FF.Net. To be fair, everyone plays Solitaire while pretty much no-one played Killer7. On the flip-side, how the fuck do you write Solitaire fanfiction?

While on the topic of slash fanfiction, I wish to state my confusion at the lack of slash in the Gears of War category. I mean, come on. Big, muscley men? Three women in the entire game? Sure, it may not appeal to the majority (ie. about 95%) of slash authors/artists, due to the fact that they are not skinny, beautiful men, but I can't be the only one. If I am, looks like I'll have to take things into my own hands.

Incidentally, guess which fandom has the most fanfics? Kingdom Hearts takes the prize home once again! But don't worry, FFVII! You're just a little over ten thousand away! Remember, you FFVII fans, don't rest until you hit that mark!

More insight into this AMAZING CULTURAL CENTER soon, maybe.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

It's a Mary Sue fic.

Today I post something of a parody.

You see, in the world of fangirlism and fanboyism (although not restricted to), one will often come across an original character in fanfiction who displays an unrealistic, clich├ęd personality. That is, she is beautiful, kind, seductive, powerful and talented, amongst other things. This, boys and girls, is a Mary Sue. They are usually the result of an over-obsessed fan wishing that they could be in their fandom of choice and more often that not, a result of the fan desiring a romantic relationship with their favourite character. Back in the day, I used to write Mary Sue fics. Like, real ones. This was when I was totally obsessed with Duo Maxwell from Gundam Wing. Surprisingly, I never did the same (I think) with Sanzo from Saiyuki, even though I was about ten times more infatuated with him. Anyway, this Mary Sue parody. The fandom I’m writing for is G.I Joe, because it’s freaking awesome. Although if this was a serious MS fic (HAW HAW, OXYMORON) I probably wouldn’t pair my retarded character up with any of the ones that my MS has relationships with. Seriously. I don’t actually have a secret crush on Duke. I’d go for Zartan or something. The basic plotline and character of my Mary Sue was decided by the Mary Sue litmus test which, in theory, should be used the other way around. You write your plot and character first and then use the test to see if she/he’s a Sue. I haven’t done a full tally yet, but the last time I checked, she was on about 160 points. Note that you only need 70 points to be considered a MS. One of the criteria to score a whopping 20 points is to use a variation of your name. Real name, online name, whatever. So those who knew me back in the day when I used the screen name Akura (and I still use it on occasion) will groan and slap their heads. You’ll discover the rest of the horror yourself, if you choose to press on. As for why I’m writing this? I DID IT FOR THE LULZ.

Onto the fanfic.

---

Chapter 1.

She stood on the deck of the ship, the small waves dipping and curving along its edge. The cool, salty sea air brushed lightly against her golden skin and caused her long, dark, blue-black hair to sweep against her face. It was a very lovely face – one that was shaped like a heart and had nary a blemish. Her sharp eyes, shrouded with their long lashes, flickered over the military base ahead. It was G.I Joe's base; her new place of occupation. A small smile of excitement caused her full, red lips to curve upwards.

She knew that the ship would be reaching the dock shortly and gave a sigh in her soft, melodic voice. This attracted the attention of one of the ship's crew, a young lad by the name of Nathan, who bounded over. “What's up, Miss Akura?”

Sighing again, she leaned over the railing. “Nathan, what if... what if they don't like me?”

Nathan seemed puzzled. “What makes you say that?”

“Don't you think I may seem a little... odd to them?”

“Odd?”

“My eyes,” she said sadly, lifting her head. “They may think I'm a mutant of some sort.”

“Nah!” The boy laughed. “Trust me, Miss Akura, they're good people. They ain't gonna shun you for somethin' like that. 'Sides,” he added bashfully, “I think your eyes are real pretty.”

Akura smiled gratefully. “Thank you, Nathan. Your kind words have made me feel better.”

“It's no problem! But now, let me go grab your stuff.” The boy raced off as Akura watched him do so. She always had a knack for getting other people to do things for her, regardless of whether she wanted them to or not. She just hoped that her new workmates would not fall under that same spell. She needed independence. But her main cause for concern was that her co-workers might place themselves in danger for her sake. It had been this way all her life, ever since she had left the orphanage. Certainly, she had grown much stronger since the time she spent there, but perhaps there was still a kind of sadness about her that made others want to help her? Whatever it was, she hoped it was not pity. She couldn't stand the thought of being pitied. For despite her past, she wanted to let everyone around her know that she was just as strong as any of them.

*

Duke stood in his office, staring at the files he had been sent two or three weeks ago. Most of them were the standard administration files and what-not, but there was one that was particularly interesting. It was a notification of transferral or in other words, the profile of a young woman who had been recommended by the government. Running his eyes down the details, he noticed that she had previously employed by the national army, which did not necessarily mean that her skills were wonderful. But if the government had taken notice of her, she had to be a decent soldier.

Not to mention that she wasn't that bad a looker.

Just then, the door to his office opened and Shipwreck walked in. “You wanted to see me, Duke?”

“Yeah, I did. Apparently we've got a new recruit arriving today.”

“Oh, I get it.” Shipwreck folded his arms. “You want me to go get him from the port?”

“Oh come on. It's not as though the port's miles and miles away. It'll give you a chance to go out, smell the sea and what have you. Besides,” Duke pushed the photo that was included with the other files towards him. “She looks like your type.”

Snatching the photo up in his hands, Shipwreck squinted at it for a few seconds before looking back up at his commander. “Is it April Fools' or what?”

“Nope, no jokes.” Duke smiled, clapping the marine on his back. “You'd better hurry, though. Her ship arrives any minute now.”

*

Akura stood at the port with Nathan, her luggage piled neatly beside her.

“It's been fifteen minutes, Nathan. Suppose they aren't actually coming to pick me up?”

As soon as she said those words, a jeep drove up with Shipwreck inside it. He leapt out in an obvious attempt to impress her. He succeeded, with the young woman, obviously amazed, smiling.

“You must be the new arrival, am I right?”

“Th-that's right.”

“I'm Shipwreck, miss.” He hoisted one of her bags up onto his shoulders and began loading them into the jeep. “And what's your name?”

“My name's Akura. Akura J'Mir Richards.”

“Whoa. Nice name! A nice name for a beautiful lady,” he winked at her, and she blushed slightly. Of course, she was used to people complimenting her on her looks, especially men, but there was part of her that always felt slightly embarassed. She was wondering though, if Shipwreck had noticed.

“And hey, those are really nice eyes you've got there.”

She looked up at him in surprise. “You truly think so?”

“I mean it! It's not everyday you see a cute babe with different coloured eyes, right?” He had taken her hand, and was leading her towards the jeep. He smiled kindly and opened the door for her. She got in gracefully, still holding onto his hand. As the jeep began to move, she looked back at Nathan, who waved at her. She waved back before turning around and once she had done so, felt as though an old chapter of her life had closed.

However, another was just beginning.

---

More faggotry to come.