The Anime-zing Race 2

Episode Ten

Author’s Notes

Somehow, after months of delays, this one's posted on time. Not sure I'll be able to say that about the finale in two weeks, but at least I got one episode finished on schedule. We are down to four teams, and I promise one of them will get eliminated this time! None of that unexpected non-elimination leg stuff. Anyway, last week I received a lot of positive response for a “reunion” style epilogue to this, but in order for that to happen, I need to hear what you want covered for that. So send comments, thoughts, or questions to me and if I get enough of them, I may consider it. The key word is “may,” as I've got another project in the works, my manga may be picking up again, and there's a certain f-ed up Digimon trilogy I need to wrap up.

Recap
Arumi: (VO) Last time, on the Video Girl Ai, Chobits, and Naruto legs of the Anime-zing Race…

(Shot of Jessie & Ayla climbing the steps in the Video World.)

Arumi: (VO) A false start leads to Jessie & Ayla using the Fast Forward despite Jessie's objections.

Jessie: (VO) Dark, mysterious, and just creepy in a way. Felt like we had no business being there.

(Shot of Touya struggling with his Persocon.)

Arumi: (VO) Touya's struggles during the Road Block led to a last place finish for he and Yukito.

Touya: (VO) I’m not somebody who understands girls, and I don’t know robots at all. A robot girl? Forget it.

(Shot of Yukito throwing shuriken on Naruto's Road Block.)

Arumi: (VO) But it was the second non-elimination leg, and the best friends from Tomoeda came from behind and edged out Jessie & Ayla at the Pit Stop.

(Shot of May & Max looking for the right Naruto.)

Arumi: (VO) May & Max, the youngest team in the race, hung in there until the very end, but struggled in the Road Block and were the eighth team eliminated.

(Rapid shots of the four remaining teams at various points in the race.)

Arumi: (VO) This leaves four teams in a push for the finals. Which three will make it all the way to the finish line? Find out tonight on the Scrapped Princess leg of the Anime-zing Race!


**** ANIME-ZING RACE ****
12 TEAMS OF 2:
TOUYA & YUKITO (Best Friends / Students- Cardcaptor Sakura)
KOJI & KOICHI (Twin Brothers- Digimon) {ELIMINATED}
JESSIE & AYLA (Rivals- Battle Athletes)
MAY & MAX (Siblings- Pokémon) {ELIMINATED}
SETA & KEITARO (Master & Apprentice- Love Hina) {ELIMINATED}
NABIKI & KASUMI (Sisters- Ranma ½) {ELIMINATED}
LINA & GOURRY (Traveling Companions- Slayers) {ELIMINATED}
YUKARI & MINAMO (Best Friends / Teachers- Azumanga Daioh)
NOBOYUKI & TENCHI (Father & Son- Tenchi Muyo)
MINATO & YUKINA (Sisters-In-Law- Nadesico) {ELIMINATED}
CHIHARU & YAMAZAKI (Classmates- Cardcaptor Sakura) {ELIMINATED}
YAMAKI & RILEY (Dating Co-Workers- Digimon) {ELIMINATED}

13 LEGS…
15 SERIES…
6 COUNTRIES, 6 DIMENSIONS, 3 PLANETS AND 2 SPACESHIPS…
**** THE ANIME-ZING RACE ****


Leg Eleven

(Shot of Hidden Leaf Village, nestled between forests and a cliff. Etched on the cliff are the faces of the four Hokage.)
Arumi: (VO) This is Konoha, the center of Fire Country in a world where ninjas are commonplace and visible in every aspect of life.

(Arumi is walking outside the tower)

Arumi: (VO) Faced with the difficult task of managing the ninja activity, the heads of Konoha do it here in Hokage Tower, the tenth Pit Stop in the race.

(Shot of Yukari & Minamo checking in.)

Arumi: (VO) Teams checked in for a mandatory rest period…

(Shot of Yukari, Noboyuki, and Tenchi eating ramen at a restaurant.)

Arumi: (VO) ...which lets them eat, sleep,

(Shot of Minamo hanging around with Hinata, with Jessie and Ayla nearby.)

Arumi: (VO) ...and mingle with the other teams.

(Arumi walks through the main road in town.)

Arumi: The four teams left have no idea where they are heading next. They'll need to figure out how to get to the next yellow-and-red route marker by solving clues found in sealed envelopes.

(Shot of Jessie kicking herself after Yukito beats her on the Pit Stop.)

Arumi: (VO) Will Jessie's loss to Yukito motivate her and Ayla, or prove to be their undoing?

(Shot of Noboyuki putting the marker on the wrong Naruto.)

Arumi: (VO) And will Noboyuki & Tenchi figure out how to escape last place?


(Shot of Touya & Yukito checking in.)

Arumi: (VO) Touya & Yukito were the first team to check in at 7:55 AM.

(The setting sun is creeping into the room.)

Arumi: (VO) So they'll be the first to depart at 7:55 PM.

(Yukito opens the clue.)
[TOUYA & YUKITO- Best Friends / Students- 1st to Depart- 7:55 PM]
Yukito: Head downstairs and break an illusionary technique to retrieve an oni. Use it to go to Manurin City in the continent of Dustvin.


(Rapid shots downstairs to an open room where a series of false doors, false ninjas, and false onis are scattered about randomly.)
Arumi: (VO) Teams must head to this room and overcome a series of complicated illusions to retrieve an oni.

(Shot of a small cottage in a little hamlet by a river.)

Arumi: (VO) Once they have it, they'll have to go to Manurin City in the continent of Dustvin and find the route marker outside the home of Shannon, Raquel, and Pacifica Casuul.


(Touya and Yukito run downstairs and are immediately immersed in the strange room. Much of the furniture in the room is changing on a whim. Touya closes his eyes and quickly walks straight ahead.)

Yukito: Find it Touya?

(Touya says nothing. He grabs a chair. The chair tries to jump away, but Touya has a firm grip on it. The chair turns into an oni.)

Touya: Outside. Now.

(The oni relents and Touya and Yukito take it outside to perform the ceremony.)

Touya: (VO) Last leg we were really paid off for our efforts. Now the trick is to keep it up. Jessie & Ayla aren't giving up any time soon.


(Jessie and Ayla read the clue carefully at the top of the tower.)
[JESSIE & AYLA- Rivals- 2nd to Depart- 8:01 PM]
Jessie: Head downstairs and break an illusionary technique to retrieve an oni. Use it to go to Manurin City in the continent of Dustvin.

Ayla: Let's go downstairs and see what they mean by illusionary technique.

(They do so.)

Ayla: Now we are really fired up. We had no lack of effort last leg, yet we were beaten on a very level playing field. We aren't going to give this up yet.


(The pair reach the wacky illusion room.)

Jessie: Lovely.

(They struggle to track anything down, as everything they pick up changes into something else. Finally, an oni appears. Jessie dives after it. She gets it, but it turns into a bell. She throws it away.)

Jessie: How much do you want to bet the guys did this in five seconds flat?


(Far, far away in the land of Dustvin, which to avoid spoilers we'll just say is a fantasy realm, Touya and Yukito arrive in the small riverside village.)

Yukito: What a nice little place.

Touya: Let's find this house.

(They ask around before finding the route marker. Touya runs up to it and grabs the clue.)

Touya: Rent a horse & wagon and go to the Big Bear Inn in the city of Taurus.


(Rapid shots to a much larger city in the mountains, and a small inn downtown. We turn things over to busty barmaid Winia Chester. Bang bang!)
Winia: (VO) Teams must rent a horse & wagon, the common land transportation of the day, and make a long trip to the city of Taurus. Once there, they will find the next route marker inside the Big Bear Inn.


(Back in the illusion room, Jessie is getting a little frustrated, running around the room, grabbing various things. Ayla is standing dead center, watching everything like a hawk. Jessie runs past one door, which begins to budge open. Ayla dashes at it, opens the door and grabs the oni.)

Ayla: Got it.

(Jessie stops and smiles.)

Jessie: A little unrefined, but it did the trick.

(They run outside.)

Jessie: (VO) We've found out that we certainly have weaknesses. And Touya and Yukito are doing a good bringing them out. This is going to be close until the end. I just have to pray we can make this interesting.


(They head outside and the oni goes through the routine. Jessie and Ayla stand in the center and shout.)

Jessie / Ayla: Kyu kyu noritsuge.


(And next we have Yukari and Minamo. Yukari's a little disappointed that there isn't any money in the envelope.)
[YUKARI & MINAMO- Best Friends / Teachers- 3rd to Depart- 8:12 PM]
Minamo: From this point on, you will no longer receive any money.

Yukari: What did we do to deserve that??

Minamo: Don't know.

Yukari: Hope your boyfriends got the same treatment.

(They run downstairs.)

Yukari: It's been rough, and there always seems to be more crap thrown our way, but I think we've been doing a pretty good job getting past everything. We definitely can't look past this leg, but we definitely can see the finish line from here.


(In Dustvin, Touya and Yukito find a stable, with a few wagons and horses. They walk up to the stableman.)

Touya: We need a horse.

Stableman: Then I need money.

Touya: But we didn't get any money this leg.

Stableman: Is that my problem?

(Yukito walks up and shows the stablemen the money they have saved.)

Yukito: Do you take yen?

Stableman: Yen? What's that? A different kind of currency?

Yukito: Yes! It's very foreign and would make a wonderful conversation piece!

Stableman: How much?

Yukito: I'm sure we can spare two-thousand.

Stableman: 2,000?! You bet!!

(The exchange is made and the stableman hooks up a horse to a wagon. Yukito bids him farewell as they make their way out. On the road, they pass a young woman.)

Touya: Which way to Taurus?

Woman: Down that road, but it's a couple days away.

Touya: Thank you!

(They start moving.)

Touya: Do you really think it was a good idea to pay 2,000? By the look on his face, he would have probably settled for 1,000. Maybe even a 500 yen coin.

Yukito: Well, I doubt we're going to be needing it much anymore. Why not?

(They leave the town borders as Jessie and Ayla arrive at the Casuul house route marker.)

Yukito: We're not concerned about not getting more anymore money. I doubt there's going to be very many chances to spend it again unless we go back to Tokyo for some strange reason.


(Noboyuki and Tenchi walk out of the Hokage's office, Noboyuki a little apprehensive.)
[NOBOYUKI & TENCHI- Father & Son- Last to Depart- 8:16 PM]
Tenchi: So we don't get anymore money? What's the problem?

Noboyuki: Well, we don't have that much left.

Tenchi: If they're not giving us any, I'm sure we're not going to have to spend much.

Noboyuki: But what if they do?

Tenchi: We'll have to worry about it when we get there.

(They keep walking.)

Noboyuki: (VO) The money situation has quietly been worrying me for a little while now. I've been dealing with it myself, and not bothering Tenchi with it, and I think maybe we spend a little much on cabs and food than we should be.


(Yukari and Minamo are not really moving much in the search for an oni. They're too befuddled by the room to do anything.)

Yukari: I don't have a freaking clue about this.

Minamo: Lovely. We could just pick up stuff at random.

Yukari: That end table is moving. I'm leaving it alone.

Minamo: Would you rather have Noboyuki & Tenchi catch up to us?

(Yukari sighs, then frantically picks up anything she can. Nothing turns into an oni. Minamo quietly scans the room, picking up the occasional displaced log. Noboyuki & Tenchi do catch up, running in. Noboyuki quickly sweatdrops.)

Noboyuki: So that's what they mean.

Tenchi: Okay...

Noboyuki: Tenchi, I believe this is your department!

Tenchi: I believe it is too.

(Tenchi closes his eyes and concentrates before walking straight ahead. Yukari and Minamo stand up and watch him effortlessly walk up to the end table, open a drawer, and pull out an oni. The end table stops moving.)

Minamo: Told you it was the end table.

Yukari: No you didn't!

(Tenchi smiles and runs out with Noboyuki. Yukari and Minamo take a little longer but are eventually able to find it. They run out in time to see Noboyuki and Tenchi vanish to Dustvin.)

Yukari: Damn!


(Jessie and Ayla reach the stableman. He smiles.)

Jessie: How much is a horse and wagon?

Ayla: The more pertinent question is do you take Japanese yen?

Stableman: Well, I sold the last one to a couple guys for 2,000 yen?

Jessie: No problem. Ayla?

(Ayla hands the stableman the money and they get set up. Once they get on, Jessie turns to him.)

Jessie: Incidentally, that's a really good deal. Usually, these kinds of things run for about 5,000 yen.

Stableman: Really? See I don't know the exchange rates.

Jessie: Maybe you should keep that in mind in the future.

Stableman: Thanks! I will!

(Jessie and Ayla ride off.)

Ayla: What was that about?

Jessie: We can't be so concerned with Touya and Yukito to forget that we still have to screw over Noboyuki and Tenchi.

Ayla: Ah. I overheard Noboyuki say they were running low on money. But wasn't that a little underhanded?

Jessie: (smiling) Hey, it's true. Just passing on a quick tip.

Ayla: Won't Yukari and Minamo get charged extra too?

Jessie: They're cool. They've got the money.


(Noboyuki and Tenchi are at the route marker.)
[NOBOYUKI & TENCHI- Currently in 3rd Place]
Tenchi: Rent a horse & wagon and go to the Big Bear Inn in the city of Taurus.

Noboyuki: Oh shoot. How much do you think that will cost?

Tenchi: Let's get there and find out.

(Noboyuki pulls out his money envelope.)

Noboyuki: We only have 3,400 yen, 3 pounds, 2 rosthal, and an unusable money card from Furool.

Tenchi: Don't forget we might need money for food.

Noboyuki: Lovely.

(They run off to find the stables.)


(Meanwhile in the first wagon, Touya and Yukito are pulled over, asking for full directions from a man.)
[TOUYA & YUKITO- Currently in 1st Place]
Man: You won't hit another town before nightfall, but there's a few farms down the way

Touya: Where's the nearest town?

Man: Like I said, you won't be able to get there before morning. Best not to begin until morning. You're welcome to stay with my family tonight.

Touya: No thanks.

Yukito: We need to get moving. We can travel a little overnight.

(They leave the man be and start moving.)

Touya: So how far can we go?

Yukito: Given this light, I think I can make it another hour or two. Then we can camp.

Touya: What about food? We don't have all that much for breakfast.

(Yukito frowns.)

Yukito: Hadn't thought of that.

Touya: Yes you had. You just didn't want to bring it up.

Yukito: Let's go as far as we can tonight, leave as early as we can tomorrow, and then when we reach the next town in the morning we pig out.

Touya: Hope we can get that order to go...


(Noboyuki and Tenchi arrive at the stables.)

Noboyuki: How much for a horse and wagon?

Stableman: In yen? 5,000.

Noboyuki: (worried) You sure? 5,000?

Stableman: Yep.

Tenchi: Wait a minute! How do you know how much it is in yen? There's no possible way you have yen here!

Stableman: Yes, but some other foreigners were nice enough to give me an estimate.

(Noboyuki worriedly looks through the money envelope.)

Tenchi: Wait a minute- one of the other teams told you how much to charge?

Stableman: Yes. And that's what I intend to charge.

Noboyuki: It wasn't a pair of girls? One with blond hair and...

Stableman: That was her! The one that looked like the Providence Breaker!

(Noboyuki and Tenchi look at each other.)

Noboyuki / Tenchi: Providence Breaker??


(Jessie and Ayla pull up to a passer-by to get the lay of the land.)
[JESSIE & AYLA- Currently in 2nd Place]
Jessie: Excuse me, can you help us out?

(The woman takes a long look at Jessie.)

Woman: Um... uh...

Jessie: We're trying to get to Taurus.

Woman: (frightened) Oh in Mouser's name it's you!!

(She runs away. Jessie turns to Ayla.)

Jessie: That's the third one today. The hell's going on?

Ayla: (dry) Americans can't travel anywhere these days.

Jessie: This is very weird. You ask the next person.


(Back to Noboyuki and Tenchi. Noboyuki is walking away, totally lost.)

Tenchi: What is it? Let's just haggle with him or something.

Noboyuki: Don't you get it Tenchi? They did that on purpose! They know we're out of money and they're trying to make sure we don't get to the next route marker!

Tenchi: Dad, we have to do something! Let's just give them the rest of our money and see what happens. C'mon, the teachers are going to get ahead of us!

Noboyuki: I don't like not having any money at all.

Tenchi: Dad, if we're that desperate, then we have to do it if it means staying in this race.

Noboyuki: I guess.

(Noboyuki and Tenchi run back to the stables.)

Tenchi: I really doubt Jessie did that to intentionally throw us off. I mean, that was so long ago in the race, and there hasn't really been anything done against each other in so long. Jessie & Ayla seemed to have moved on to going after Touya & Yukito. Dad's just over-reacting like he always does.


(Yukari and Minamo reach the stables.)

Minamo: How much?

Stableman: 5,000.

Yukari: Jeez. Do we have that much?

Minamo: Yep. Might as well spend it. Doesn't look like we'll be getting many more opportunities to.

(Minamo hands over the money, they get a wagon, and are off as Noboyuki & Tenchi return.)

Noboyuki: Look, let's get something straight- we're in a race, and Jessie will do whatever it takes to try to sabotage us. She knows that we don't have enough money to pay you 5,000, and will do anything in her power to slow us down.

Stableman: You know what? If you would have said that a couple minutes ago I would have believed you. But a couple nice young ladies just paid 5,000 without any questions asked, so I don't think you have much of an argument.

Tenchi: We really don't have 5,000 yen though. Dad, what did you say we had? 3,400?

Noboyuki: Yeah. 3,400. Take it or leave it.

Stableman: In that case, I'll take it. I'm always willing to negotiate. Especially when it comes to foreign currency.

Tenchi: Thank you.

Noboyuki: All 3,400?

Stableman: That's what you said.

Noboyuki: Shoot...

(Noboyuki hands over all of the Japanese bills in his envelope. All that remains inside are some coins and British pounds from the London leg.)

Stableman: Okay then. Let's get you hooked up.

(They go into the stables. The guys get their horse hooked up to the wagon and they are off. Tenchi, however, is not happy.)

Noboyuki: I don't like this Tenchi. We are broke. Flat broke.

Tenchi: Did you hear what he said?

Noboyuki: He was willing to negotiate? That was a load of crock.

Tenchi: No. He said if we had mentioned that before Yukari & Minamo had gotten here, we probably could have done it for less. You were the one who walked away at first.

Noboyuki: I'm sorry! I was just so surprised that Jessie...

Tenchi: I don't want to hear about Jessie! In case you hadn't noticed, everybody's playing their own game, and the only time we do well is when we play ours. We can't be worried about who's screwing who over! If Jessie really did that intentionally, then more power to her. We deserve it anyway.

Noboyuki: But it could hurt our chances to win!

Tenchi: If she's playing like that, then fine. I'm just refusing to play that way. We need to stop worrying about Jessie or the teachers or how much money we have and get to Taurus as fast as we can. That's all that really matters.

(Noboyuki has no response, and silently continues leading the horse down the trail.)


(Nightfall hits pretty quickly. Minamo is getting tired up there. Yukari pokes her head out of the wagon.)
[YUKARI & MINAMO- Currently in 3rd Place]
Yukari: How far you planning to go tonight?

Minamo: Just until I get too tired. Or I can't see.

(Minamo yawns.)

Minamo: Crap.

Yukari: And I can't see.

Minamo: I miss high beams.

Yukari: Your car has high beams?

Minamo: Doesn't yours?

Yukari: No. It just has one setting. You know, the one with the little blue light on the dash? I guess if I got my left headlight to work it would do.

(Minamo sweatdrops.)

Minamo: Great. Not only am I tired, I won't be able to sleep with that thought running through my head.

Yukari: Keep on trucking, Nyamo!


(Neither Ayla nor Jessie are tired, but with no moonlight, the road is pitch black and their flashlights aren't doing much.)

Ayla: We're going uphill. Along a ridge even. I don't want to chance it when it's this dark.

Jessie: I hate to say it, but you're right. We'd be stupid to keep going. Let's find a place to pull over and get some rest.

(Fortunately, there is a little wayside on the hill, and Ayla directs the wagon there and pulls over. After taking care of the horses, Jessie and Ayla settle down inside the wagon.)

Jessie: At least it's nicer than the carriage.

Ayla: Yes. What time tomorrow?

Jessie: Shoot- I don't know what time it is now, so setting the alarm won't help.

Ayla: Crack of sunlight it is.

Jessie: Good call.

(They head to sleep, which seems to be a popular move as all three teams are seen camping along various spots on the road.)


----


(As soon as the sun comes up, everybody manages to get up- with two exceptions. Fortunately, those two exceptions are Yukari and Noboyuki, who are on separate teams and have punctual teammates that get up and start driving. Minamo has no issue whatsoever about letting Yukari sleep. With nobody to talk to, Minamo speaks directly to the camera as she drives.)
[YUKARI & MINAMO- Best Friends / Teachers- Currently in 3rd Place]
Minamo: Yukari's still asleep. I don't mind. I think I got a pretty good rest last night so I should be fresh today. I don't mind letting Yukari sleep in since she's never all that productive when she's tired anyway. She's at her best when she's rested, and even then I wouldn't want her navigating this ridge we're coming up to.


(Tenchi is also speaking directly to the camera.)
[NOBOYUKI & TENCHI- Father & Son- Currently in Last Place]
Tenchi: I mean, he's my Dad. What am I going to do? We both really want to do well, and being so close to the finals I guess we get a little antsy. Because everybody wants to get in. There's a lot of animosity between other teams. We don't get along with Jessie & Ayla, they and Touya & Yukito are going at it, nobody really knows what the teachers are thinking. It's crazy. So I don't blame Dad for thinking the others are out to get us. What I do have a problem with is him running scared every time it happens. Just because I want to run a clean race doesn't mean I won't respond when somebody goes after us. I'm not backing down. After everything we've been through, I want to get to the finals even more.


(Touya and Yukito are approaching a small town, which basically consists of an inn and a few houses. Yukito smiles.)
[TOUYA & YUKITO- Best Friends / Students- Currently in 1st Place]
Yukito: I'm sure we can get something to eat here.

Touya: Might as well stop for a little bit. Can't do anything on an empty stomach.

(They pull over and go inside. Touya shows the innkeeper the money envelope and after some careful negotiations, are able to get a light breakfast. They sit down.)

Yukito: (VO) Sometimes it all comes down to good hospitality. And in a place like this, honesty and a kind face can be more valuable than any money in your wallet.

(They are quickly served. Yukito begins devouring it.)

Touya: Good idea. Let's finish fast and get back on the road. Trust Jessie and Ayla to try to gain on us while we're eating.

(No response. Yukito's eating habits have nothing to do with strategy.)


(Speaking of Jessie and Ayla, they approach the same town.)
[JESSIE & AYLA- Rivals- Currently in 2nd Place]
Ayla: Jessie, do you think that's them parked at that inn?

(Jessie looks at the wagon. There aren't any discerning marks.)

Jessie: No way. They wouldn't be dumb enough to stop somewhere to eat.

Ayla: Same kind of wagon as ours.

Jessie: Same make and model doesn't mean same dealer.

Ayla: Perhaps we should just go ahead and see what place we're in when we hit Taurus.

Jessie: That works too.

(They keep going.)

Ayla: First place, second place, we had no idea. We may have passed Touya & Yukito, but I doubt they would stop for so long to eat. Times like this, we need to be concerned with our pace, and not what position we are in.


(Touya and Yukito leave the inn, both smiling, deeply appreciative of the innkeeper's hospitality. Yukito has a bag of snacks to eat on the road. They board the carriage and Touya immediately puts his game face on.)

Touya: I think we stayed too long. Let's go.

Yukito: Don't worry about it, Touya. We needed a break like that. So what if Jessie and Ayla pass us?

(Touya looks at Yukito, really bothered by the comment.)

Touya: That means everything right now.


(Rapid montage as the four teams cover a lot of territory very quickly. Soon, one of the teams nears the borders of Taurus. Jessie and Ayla reach a checkpoint and are forced to stop.)

Officer: Hello, ladies. Where are you off to?

Ayla: Taurus. We're in a race.

Officer: Lovely. We'd like you to leave your wagons here if you're heading into town.

Jessie: Why's that?

(The officer steps back a little at the sight of Jessie.)

Officer: Y... you... is that really... excuse me.

(The officer calls for backup.)

Jessie: What the hell is the holdup?

(The two officers approach again, the second one holding a rifle.)

Officer 2: Ma'am, could you step out of the vehicle?

(Jessie is a little surprised, but obeys. Ayla does as well.)

Jessie: What's going on?

Officer: A girl of your description is prophecied to destroy the world when she turns sixteen.

Jessie: That's it?! Jeez, a lot of people look like me.

Officer 2: How old are you?

Jessie: (unhappy) Um... sixteen.

Officer: Who is your god?

Jessie: Who is my god?? God! I'm a Christian!!

(The two officers confer for awhile, then approach Jessie.)

Officer: Please back away from your wagon and put your hands on that tree.

Jessie: Oh, God...

Officer 2: We'll have none of that now!

Ayla: Is this just because she has blond hair?

Officer: We mustn't take a chance when it comes to locating the Scrapped Princess.

Jessie: That's profiling!!

(No luck. Jessie is searched for belongings, getting angrier every moment. Ayla heads to her bag in the wagon.)

Jessie: Man... if we lose any places because of this, I am seriously going to...

(The officers back away and look at Jessie suspiciously. Jessie shies away, a little nervous.)

Jessie: Um... have very harsh words with your supervisor.

(Ayla walks up to the officers with a passport.)

Ayla: Excuse me. Here's Jessie's passport, which should show that she is no threat to you.

(An officer looks through it.)

Officer: New York? I've never heard of any of these places.

Officer 2: How do we know this isn't phony?

(Ayla hands them a few more pieces of identification, which finally seems to appease the officers.)

Ayla: Trust me, officers, Jessie is not a threat to the planet.

Officer: I suppose you've made your point. But you have to go in on foot. No horses past this point.

Ayla: Thank you.

Officer 2: Have a nice day, ladies.

(Jessie and Ayla walk away, Jessie a little angry.)

Jessie: Jeez, what a world we live in- everyone thinks it'll be the blond Christian Americans that bring down society.

Ayla: I'm not going to comment. Let's just find this route marker.

(They rush through town at breakneck speed, until happening on the Big Bear Inn, and the route marker intside. Ayla takes it.)

Ayla: Detour. Power or Money.


(Winia is walking through the streets of Taurus.)
Winia: A Detour is a choice between two tasks, each with its own pros and cons. In this Detour, teams have to choose between Power and Money.

(Rapid shots to a church, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Inside, skilled magician and part-time airhead Raquel Casuul is practicing her spells.)

Winia: (VO) In Power, teams will have to find this obscure church, located almost a half-mile outside of town. Once they do find it, they will be at the mercy of Raquel Casuul's holy magic. Raquel is normally pretty good at her blessings, but they do turn into a curse now and then. Whatever the case, the teams will have to do very little once they find the church.

(Shot of a bakery in town, and perennial Soopy-kun model Leo Scorpse in a goofy green dinosaur costume.)

Winia: (VO) In Money, teams won't have to go far at all- just to a bakery in town. However, they will have to work for the bakery offering free samples of bread, with one person on the team dressed as the bakery's mascot Soopy-kun. Teams will not receive their next clue until every bread roll is given away.


(Ayla reads through the clue and shakes her head.)

Ayla: Power. Definitely power.

(Jessie glances at the clue.)

Jessie: Definitely. We just need to find this church?

Ayla: Apparently so.

(They run out.)


(Touya and Yukito have no problems passing through the checkpoint and getting to the route marker.)
[TOUYA & YUKITO- 2nd at Detour]
Yukito: Detour- Power or Money.

Touya: Details, please.

Yukito: Trust ourselves to blind faith a mile away or work a stupid job here.

(Yukito smiles.)

Touya: Stupid job?

Yukito: That's your specialty.

(The two run out.)


(Yukari and Minamo reach the checkpoint and park their wagon. Minamo smiles at the officers.)

Minamo: Gentlemen.

Officer: Ladies. Welcome to Taurus.

Minamo: Thank you!

(They run in and get to the route marker.)
[YUKARI & MINAMO- 3rd at Detour]
Minamo: Basically, we either have to find a church a mile away or give away bread right here.

Yukari: Which one is less work?

Minamo: Well... Money is less walking.

Yukari: That works.


(Touya and Yukito reach the bread area. The noble-to-a-fault Leo shows them the ridiculous costume.)

Yukito: Touya. You've had to wear bad costumes at work right?

Touya: I didn't realize this job required experience.

(Yukito picks up the head and puts it on Touya. Yukito smiles.)

Yukito: It looks better on you.

Touya: You haven't tried it on yet.

(Yukito helps Touya put the rest of the outfit on. Fortunately, it fits Touya pretty well. Leo hands Yukito the basket.)

Leo: Remember, you can only give away one roll to a person unless they ask for more themselves.

Touya: How does wearing this stupid thing help us give away bread?

Leo: (offended) Soopy-kun is a world-renowned bread mascot! Everybody wants bread from Soopy-kun!

(A mother and her daughter are walking down the street. Touya steps in front of them. The young girl starts bawling and leads her mother away from Touya. Touya turns to Leo.)

Leo: Or maybe the bakery owner has no sense of promotion. I'm not one to question it.

(Touya shakes his head. Yukito smiles and manages to pass out a lone roll to a woman.)

Touya: This could take awhile.


(Noboyuki and Tenchi arrive, on foot, at the Big Bear Inn.)
[NOBOYUKI & TENCHI- Last at Detour]
Noboyuki: Passing out bread is really close, but that's probably a lot of work.

Tenchi: If it's faster...

Noboyuki: I don't know. Sitting through a magic spell is a piece of cake. But we don't how much bread we'd have to give away.

Tenchi: So let's do the magic.

Noboyuki: Agreed.


(Jessie and Ayla are jogging down a road out of town, but Ayla slows to a walk. Jessie is forced to slow down as well.)

Jessie: What's the hold up?

Ayla: Are you sure this is the right way?

Jessie: That's what that lady told us.

Ayla: We've gone more than a mile. If this is the right way, we'd have been there by now.

Jessie: Are you saying they lied to us?

Ayla: That or we got lost. But considering how you're going to destroy the world and all...

Jessie: Stop it. That's not funny.

Ayla: No. Especially not to the woman that gave us the directions.

(Jessie looks back at the town and starts storming back.)

Jessie: That little...

Ayla: Hold on. Let's check the map first. No sense going back into town if the church is on this side of it.

(Ayla stops and takes up some serious time looking at the map. Jessie begins to get impatient.)

Jessie: Could you hurry it up?

Ayla: I just want to make sure where we are before we do anything rash.

(Jessie is forced to wait until Ayla starts walking off the path.)

Ayla: It should be this way.

Jessie: After all that, it better be.


(Yukari and Minamo arrive at the bakery. Yukito has not been able to give too much away, and Touya is not really happy in his costume.)

Yukari: That's Soopy-kun?

Minamo: You wear it. I'll deal with giving the bread away.

(As Yukari gets dressed up, Minamo talks to Yukito.)

Minamo: How's it going?

Yukito: It's a little slow. It seems that nobody's really interested in taking bread from a dinosaur and his friend.

Minamo: I suppose it'll get even worse with two teams too.

Yukito: Why don't we take different sides of the store? If we spread out, we won't be as likely to bump into each other.

(Minamo smiles.)

Minamo: Good idea.

(Minamo goes to tell Yukari and they head off to another side of the store. Meanwhile, Touya walks up to Yukito and takes Soopy's head off.)

Touya: I can't breathe in that stupid thing.

Yukito: We still have a ways to go, however. But look at it this way- Yukari and Minamo are just beginning.

Touya: And with them starting, that's more people hawking bread. I think we should switch.

Yukito: Are you sure? I don't think this is so bad.

Touya: You aren't the one in the dinosaur get-up.

Yukito: I don't know... switching is a big risk... and the church is supposed to be pretty far out of town.

Touya: You can eat the bread on the way.

Yukito: We're off!

(Touya ditches the costume and they leave, taking the bread with them. After getting the teachers squared away, Leo returns to check on them, only finding a Soopy-kun costume.)

Leo: What the?? Where'd they go??

(Touya and Yukito are off. Yukito is snacking on the bread rolls. Even Touya takes a couple.)

Touya: (VO) It was ridiculously hot in that costume. And at the rate we were going, I could have been stuck in there another hour. I didn't care how far away that church was. It was clearly the better option.


----


(Jessie and Ayla are taking the long way through the woods to the church, but they do see it in a clearing.)

Ayla: There it is.

Jessie: Awesome. Good read Ayla. Hope we didn't lose too much...

Ayla: Jessie... look.

(Ayla points to a distant path. Noboyuki and Tenchi are approaching the church, apparently having found the right way.)

Jessie: Shoot. We've got to beat them there.

(Jessie and Ayla run through the brush and sprint for the church. Noboyuki and Tenchi notice, obviously.)

Tenchi: What the? C'mon, Dad!

(Tenchi starts sprinting as well. After freaking out for a moment, Noboyuki follows suit. Because he got a good jump, Tenchi reaches the entrance first and stands in front of the door. Jessie and Ayla beat Noboyuki by a hair.)

Jessie: Let us in.

Tenchi: We were here first, we're going first.

Jessie: We beat Noboyuki, so we were here first. Let us in.

(Tenchi and Jessie are caught in a stare down. Noboyuki joins the fray as both teams square off once more. No words are shared for a long time, with Jessie getting more intense by the moment. Tenchi is not moving from the door, but Noboyuki is certainly starting to back away. Suddenly, the door opens. Tenchi is knocked aside, but quickly recovers and puts an arm in the doorway to make sure Jessie doesn't get through. Raquel is on the other side and looks at the dueling teams.)

Raquel: Whoever's first can come in whenever you're ready.

(No response.)

Raquel: Um... I'll wait inside.

(Raquel shuts the door.)

Tenchi: We... we're going first.

Jessie: Forget it, Tenchi. Ayla and I were both here before you and your dad were both here. We win. Let us inside.

Noboyuki: Um, Tenchi, you'd better let them inside. They, um... have a point.

(Tenchi sighs and stands aside. Jessie and Ayla run inside. Tenchi waits for them to leave earshot.)

Tenchi: What was that about?

Noboyuki: I didn't like the way they were staring at us.

Tenchi: Too bad! Dad, we've got to catch up to these teams! We had just as much right to go first as they did. We can't back down so easily.

Noboyuki: I know, I know... it's just that...

Tenchi: You're scared of them. That's the problem.

Noboyuki: Why? Aren't you scared of them? They're... they're...

Tenchi: They're two very good competitors and we need to take advantage of every opportunity we have to move ahead in the race. We had a big chance right there and you let it slip away too easily.

Noboyuki: It's not like they would have just let you go first.

Tenchi: You don't know that. But we can't back down that easily! Now we're stuck waiting for them to finish. And no idea how long that will take.


(Jessie and Ayla follow Raquel to a rotunda in the church. The place is dimly lit by candles, creating an appropriate mood for magic.)

Jessie: How long will this take?

Raquel: Not very.

Ayla: What will you be doing?

Raquel: Just a basic blessing. They want the church to stay standing this time.

Ayla: Everybody says Jessie's going to destroy the world. So will this still work?

(Raquel looks at Jessie and laughs.)

Raquel: They think you're... oh my... you're not who they say you are. You're not cute enough.

(Ayla turns away for a moment. Jessie looks at her angrily.)

Jessie: What??

Ayla: Just be glad I'm a humorless Russian.

Raquel: Shall we get started?

(Raquel directs Ayla and Jessie to opposite ends of a circle on the floor. She stands in the center and holds her hands out.)

Raquel: Come forth, holy blessing!

(A white bubble engulfs the three. Jessie and Ayla are forced to close their eyes at the brightness of the spell. Soon, it dissipates, and the two are left a little dazed.)

Raquel: And that's it!

(They fall over. Raquel frowns.)

Raquel: Hmm... not used to this, are you?

(Raquel wakes Jessie up. She is a still thoroughly whacked.)

Raquel: How are you feeling?

Jessie: I love everybody.

Raquel: Don't worry. It'll wear off soon.

(Jessie slowly gets to her feet as Raquel checks on Ayla. As Ayla gets up, Raquel gives her the clue. Ayla joins Jessie. They smile briefly. Raquel snaps her fingers and they both suddenly put their game faces on. Ayla opens the clue.)

Ayla: Take your wagon to Giat and sign up for one of two gigas to Leinwan.

Jessie: Hey, Raquel, a little help with the translation?


(Rapid wagon shots to a shoreline, where a large watercraft is docked. For the explanation, we turn to Zefiris, who is essentially Lain Iwakura in a Final Fantasy game. Which means she looks nothing like Lain Iwakura.)
Zefiris: (VO) Teams must go back to their wagon and find the way to Giat. Along the shoreline, they will find a harbor, where they can sign up for one of two gigas, watercraft that will take them to the continent of Leinwan. Each giga can take only two teams and they leave a half-hour apart.


(Yukari and Minamo are still hawking their wares, with little luck. Yukari has taken to waving Soopy-kun's arms around and singing to garnish attention.)

Yukari: (singing) Let's get down tonight... come on!

Minamo: That seems to be scaring people more than it's getting them to sample our bread.

(Minamo manages to corner someone down and gets them to accept a roll, but her basket is still half-full. Yukari sits down.)

Yukari: If Chiyo was in this stupid thing, we'd have sold out already.

Minamo: If Chiyo was in that stupid thing, we'd never find her again.

Yukari: But we'd be done!

(Minamo gives the basket to Yukari.)

Minamo: Keep trying. I'm going to see how the boys are doing.

(Yukari gets up and starts dancing again, handing people bread as she does so. Minamo heads to the other side of the street, where Touya and Yukito were. Instead, it's just Leo, wearing the lower half of the Soopy-kun costume.)

Minamo: Did those two finish already?

Leo: No! They just left. And they took the bread with them! There is no justice for thieves.

Minamo: They did the other one??

Leo: I guess so.

Minamo: Shoot...

(Minamo runs back to tell Yukari, but Yukari is in the middle of her routine. Since she seems to be having more luck drawing a crowd, Minamo lets her work instead of interrupting.)

Minamo: (to herself) Yukari... we could be in some trouble here.


(Touya and Yukito are running through the woods, down an unmarked path. They come to a junction. Touya tosses a bread roll on the ground.)

Yukito: You dropped one.

Touya: Just making sure we remember the way back.

Yukito: Traditionally you're only supposed to use crumbs. Waste not, want not!

Touya: Are you still hungry?

(Yukito keeps munching on rolls as they near the church.)


(Noboyuki and Tenchi have no trouble going through their spell, and Noboyuki quickly claims the clue Raquel hands over.)
[NOBOYUKI & TENCHI- Father & Son- Currently in 2nd Place]
Noboyuki: Take your wagon to Giat and sign up for one of two gigas to Leinwan.

(Noboyuki turns to Raquel.)

Raquel: Head down the road a ways and sign up to sail across the sea.

Noboyuki: Thank you!

(The two run out. They run past Touya and Yukito. Yukito turns back and notes where the Masaki men run off to.)

Yukito: Looks like they're heading back into town. Hope they don't eat your roll!


(Jessie and Ayla quickly get back to their wagon. The patrolling officers watch them nervously, but allow them to hit the road once more. Ayla already has a map pulled out.)
[JESSIE & AYLA- Rivals- Currently in 1st Place]
Ayla: We have a ways to go. It may be nightfall before we get there.

Jessie: No stopping though. We may be ahead of Noboyuki but considering how long we were off-track, Touya & Yukito are probably a mile ahead of us.

Ayla: We may even be behind the teachers.

(Jessie beckons the horses to go faster, and they respond quite well.)


(Touya and Yukito finish up the ceremony, get their clue, and run out.)
[TOUYA & YUKITO- Best Friends / Students- Currently in 3rd Place]
Yukito: Yep. Back to our wagons outside town.

Touya: Think we have to go through town to get there?

Yukito: Probably not. Hold on...

(Yukito pulls out his map and reads it mid-stride.)

Yukito: Just make sure we don't get lost. Check for the bread roll.

(Touya spots it and runs down the appropriate path.)

Touya: Found it. We're going the right way.

Yukito: Did you pick it up?

Touya: You must be joking.

(Yukito puts the map away and smiles.)

Yukito: I am. We should be able to take the next right and go around town to the wagon.


(Noboyuki and Tenchi go through town, and end up forced to navigate the crowded, winding streets of the town to get to the outskirts. They still manage to beat Touya & Yukito however. They get to their wagons and head out. Tenchi checks his map.)

Tenchi: Okay. Looks like we'll get there tonight.

Noboyuki: No stopping, right?

Tenchi: Right. We need to be one of the first two teams and we know we're behind Jessie & Ayla and ahead of Touya & Yukito.

Noboyuki: I didn't see Yukari and Nyamo anywhere.

Tenchi: Then we have no idea.


(Seemingly right behind them, Touya and Yukito emerge from their path. They manage to catch a glimpse of a wagon down the road a bit.)

Yukito: We're right behind them!

Touya: Way to go, Yuki. Now we just have to catch up to them.

(Touya and Yukito hop into the wagon and get their horses going, but not at full speed.)

Touya: Can't we go faster?

Yukito: Not yet. It's not a sprint, Touya!

Touya: No, but it should be a gallop.


(Finally, after splitting the task of giving away the bread, Yukari and Minamo finally finish. Satisfied with their work, Leo hands Minamo the clue as Yukari ditches the costume.)
Minamo: Take your wagon to Giat and sign up for one of two gigas to Leinwan.

(Yukari hands Leo the costume.)

Leo: Oh, you can take this with if you want.

Yukari: And why would we want to do that?

Leo: Why not?

(Despite the compelling argument, Yukari and Minamo decide to leave without Soopy-kun.)


(With all four teams on the road once again, we move ahead and the sun moves down. At a small harbor well outside of any town, two large watercraft are docked. One is substantially larger and more impressive. Manning a table nearby is yet another perceived yuri couple- rebels Zenith and Eirote. The first wagon pulls over a hill. No off-screen change in position today- it's Jessie & Ayla. They are not letting up on the speed.)

Jessie: Ayla, take care of parking while I run out and sign in.

Ayla: Here's hoping...

(Ayla swings around and drops Jessie off as close as they can get to the dock. Jessie gets off and jogs up to the signs. Eirote smiles.)

Eirote: Welcome.

Zenith: First ones here. Way to go.

Jessie: Really??

(Jessie checks the sheets. There are no other teams. She signs up herself and Ayla.)
[JESSIE & AYLA- 1st Team on Giga 1]
Jessie: You're kidding me, right? After all that?

(Ayla approaches, having tied up the horses.)

Ayla: We're on the first boat?

Jessie: We're the first one's here!

Ayla: Wow.

(They high-five, amazed by their position.)

Jessie: (VO) We really weren't expecting to be the first ones signed up for the boat. After being mistaken for this Scrapped Princess and losing our way, and that face-off with Tenchi, I'm amazed somebody didn't get ahead of us.


(Noboyuki and Tenchi are nearing the sea, but they hear a wagon behind them. Since Tenchi has the reins, Noboyuki turns around. Touya and Yukito are making their move to pass.)

Noboyuki: Crap! It's Touya and Yukito! They've caught up.

Tenchi: Must go faster!

(Tenchi gets the horses to accelerate, but Touya and Yukito are able to gain ground by the time he does. The road is wide enough, so Touya makes a move to pass. They end up side by side approaching the hill. Noboyuki looks over.)

Noboyuki: We've gotta move!

Tenchi: I'm working on it!

Touya: C'mon Yuki... keep it up, we're getting past them.

Noboyuki: Not a chance, Touya!

(They continue neck-and-neck down the hill at break-neck speeds. They remain even. Tenchi points straight ahead at the table.)

Tenchi: Right there, Dad!

Noboyuki: Get me close and I'll make a run for it.

Tenchi: But!

(A move by Yukito to push ahead forces Tenchi to drop the subject and respond, forcing the horses to go even faster. Touya notices the same thing as Tenchi.)

Touya: Just pull right up there, Yuki. I'll handle the rest.

(Noboyuki and Tenchi are on the inside track, so they are narrowly closer to the dock. As soon as he deems it advantageous, Noboyuki bounds off and sprints to the table.)

Tenchi: Dad!

Yukito: He's going!

Touya: So am I!

(Touya leaps off and quickly follows. Yukito and Tenchi both stop and cheer on their teammates.)

Tenchi: C'mon, Dad! He's catching up!

Yukito: Please do Touya!

(Touya is rapidly gaining on Noboyuki as they sprint down the dock to the table. The athletic student catches up to and passes the middle age man, and gets to the table by two lengths.)

Zenith: You win!

(Touya signs up himself and Yukito.)
[TOUYA & YUKITO- 2nd Team on Giga 1]
Touya: That was too close...

(From the shore, Yukito smiles brightly. Tenchi frowns and shakes his head.)

Tenchi: (muttering) I could have gotten closer. You left too early...

(Noboyuki signs up third, really unhappy with himself.)
[NOBOYUKI & TENCHI- 1st Team on Giga 2]
Noboyuki: Shoot...

(He heads back to his extremely unhappy son. Tenchi begins to explain how he could have gone a little farther before jumping. Noboyuki nods, but it doesn't make Tenchi any happier.)

Noboyuki: (VO) I made a lot of mistakes this time around. It's just not my day. We could have had an easy ticket to the finals, but because of me we're fighting to stay alive once more. I guess Tenchi has good reason to be angry with me.


----


(The sun is coming up in whatever world they're in. Shot of the first giga skidding across the sea. Above them, Zefiris is watching them, before she turns to the camera.)
Zefiris: The four teams are on one of two gigas departing a half-hour apart.

(On the large and cool Skid, Zenith is piloting while Jessie & Ayla and Touya & Yukito enjoy the view. They seem to be having an enjoyable conversation.)

Zefiris: (VO) On the main vessel, the Skid, are Jessie & Ayla and Touya & Yukito.

(Well behind them, on a nameless flank ship, Eirote is piloting while Noboyuki & Tenchi and Yukari & Minamo are nervously waiting for it to land.)

Zefiris: (VO) Behind them are Noboyuki & Tenchi and Yukari & Minamo.

(Shot of their destination, Leinwan's busy capital city of Sauer.)

Zefiris: (VO) Teams will find their next route marker as soon as they arrive at the capital of Leinwan- Sauer.


(On the second ship, the two teams are understandably nervous.)

Minamo: We should have switched Detours.

Yukari: Don't sweat it. We'll just have to beat these two one more time.

Minamo: Yeah, but I'd rather not be in this situation. I was hoping we could save our energy for the last leg.

Yukari: Well, no looking past this leg. It's us versus them now.

Minamo: Yep. Gotta be ready for anything.

(Yukari and Minamo high-five.)


(Meanwhile, Tenchi is still unhappy.)

Tenchi: I can't believe we blew it like that.

Noboyuki: It's all my fault, Tenchi. I should have let you run. You're faster.

Tenchi: Pretty big hole you dug us into. Question is how are we going to get out of it.

Noboyuki: We'll find a way, Tenchi. We always do.

(Tenchi nods.)

Tenchi: Get out the rope. Time to start climbing.


(On the first boat, Zenith points out the first sight of Leinwan.)

Zenith: Land ho!

(Jessie, Ayla, Touya, and Yukito stand up as the Skid pulls into harbor. Both of the teams line up at the door and wait to be let out. Zenith smiles.)

Zenith: Ready... set...

(Zenith fakes once, startling the four. Then she opens the door.)

Zenith: Go!

(The four dash down the ramp and down the dock to the awaiting route marker. Touya gets there first, moments ahead of the other three. Jessie takes the clue for the Battle Athletes delegation.)

Touya: Find the marketplace in the center of town.

Jessie: The route marker is at an artist's kiosk.


(Rapid shots to a marketplace district of Sauer. It's a wide open area, but it's particularly crowded at this time of day. Shannon Casuul explains.)
Shannon: (VO) Teams must find this marketplace near the center of the residental district in Sauer.

(Shot of an old guy at his kiosk, drawing a young girl's portrait.)

Shannon: The route marker they're looking for is in front of an artist's kiosks along one of the streets.


(Touya and Yukito get a good first jump and mix into the crowd immediately. Yukito turns to one passer-by.)

Yukito: Which way to the marketplace?

(The passer-by points down a street.)

Yukito: Thank you!

(They hustle down that way. Jessie and Ayla follow, but Ayla is slower running through the crowd, so they are slowed down. Touya and Yukito have no trouble staying ahead. They start looking down streets, hoping to catch a glimpse of the route marker. Yukito points.)

Yukito: There it is!

(They run down. Behind them Jessie sees them turn.)

Jessie: They're turning in there. C'mon.

Ayla: Right behind you.


(Touya and Yukito see the table and claim the first envelope.)
[TOUYA & YUKITO- 1st at Road Block]
Touya: Road Block. This person must be able to see hidden beauty.

Yukito: I'll do it.

Touya: I suppose you're a master of hidden beauty.

(Yukito laughs.)

Yukito: Yue just said he's glad you noticed.

(Yukito opens the card and sees a sheet of drawing paper inside.)


(In front of a swirling, surreal, tripped-out Squaresoft background, a pair of hands opens the Road Block envelope.)
Shannon: (VO) A Road Block is a task that only one person may perform.

(Shot of the artist, drawing the face of a really ugly-looking girl, with a fat face and unkempt blond hair, on his easel.)

Shannon: (VO) In this Road Block, that person will receive an artist's rendition of the Scrapped Princess, a girl who, according to legend, will destroy the world when she turns sixteen.

(Overhead shot of the marketplace as Shannon clears the bile from his throat.)

Shannon: (VO) Using the portrait, that person must find this girl somewhere in the crowded Sauer marketplace in order to get the next clue.

(Shot of Shannon standing with cute little Pacifica, who only shares a few vague features with the girl in the portrait. However, those features are distinct from most of the others in the marketplace.)

Shannon: The catch is that the girl is actually Pacifica here, who wouldn't hurt a fly.

Pacifica: Unless it bugged me. Then it goes smack.

Shannon: (annoyed) Say hi, Pacifica.

(Pacifica smiles brightly for the camera.)

Pacifica: Hi everybody!


(Jessie and Ayla reach the Road Block as Yukito takes a good look at the picture and dashes forward.)
[JESSIE & AYLA- Rivals- 2nd at Road Block]
Jessie: Road Block. Guess it's your turn, isn't it?

Ayla: Let's see it.

(Ayla opens the envelope and pulls out the picture. After reading the instructions, she takes a good look at the ugly mug on the picture. Despite herself, she snickers.)

Jessie: What? Who's that?

Ayla: You.

(Before Jessie can say anything, Ayla runs out into the fray. Jessie shrugs and steps back, joining Touya on a bench.)

Jessie: I hate waiting.

Touya: No kidding. Wish we could at least watch.

Jessie: This'll be really bad for the other boat.

Touya: So, who's making the finals besides us?

(Jessie smiles at Touya.)

Jessie: Does it really matter?

(Touya smiles.)

Touya: No.


(Yukito is looking around rapidly for anybody that remotely matches the picture.)

Yukito: (VO) I knew that the picture wasn't going to match the girl exactly, since it said we were looking for hidden beauty. But there were so many people there that it was still tough to find anybody close to the description.


(Ayla meanwhile, is also having a hard time.)

Ayla: Let's see... looks like Jessie but cuter. Not that that's difficult.

(Ayla continues looking.)

Ayla: After all of the delays we had because of Jessie being mistaken for this figure, I think it paid off in the end because we knew how easy it was for people to distort the image of this person. I really felt sorry for that girl for having to go through this her entire life.


(Meanwhile, the second giga is docking. Noboyuki & Tenchi and Yukari & Minamo are waiting. The door opens. Noboyuki & Tenchi wins the race to the route marker. Tenchi takes it.)

Noboyuki: Read it as we're running!

(Minamo takes the clue and opens it as she runs.)

Minamo: Marketplace. Let's ask people.

Yukari: But they're getting ahead!

Minamo: But they don't know where they're going!

(Minamo asks somebody, and stops to get clear directions.)


(Tenchi opens the clue as well.)

Tenchi: Find the marketplace in the center of town. The route marker is at an artist's kiosk.

Noboyuki: Okay!

(Noboyuki taps someone on the shoulder.)

Noboyuki: Which way to the artist in the marketplace.

Someone: Um... that way, I think!

Noboyuki: Thanks!

(They run off quickly, not stopping to confirm the directions.)


(While Yukito wonders around, apparently lost, Ayla notices a lock of blond hair in the distance and runs straight at it. She reaches Pacifica and bows before her.)

Ayla: Are you Pacifica?

Pacifica: Yep! How'd you figure it out with that bad picture?

Ayla: I knew you couldn't be that ugly.

Pacifica: I guess that's a compliment...

(Pacifica hands over the clue. Ayla takes it and runs back. She passes Yukito on the way. Ayla hides the clue from view.)

Yukito: Any luck?

(Ayla says nothing, and runs back.)


(Touya and Jessie are both standing in the street, eagerly waiting for their teammates. A few people are pointing at Jessie, murmuring, and running away as soon as Jessie looks at them. Jessie shakes her head.)

Jessie: I've been getting that all this leg.

(Touya reaches into his bag and grabs a discarded clue and a marker. Using a blank side, he writes something on it and hands it to Jessie. Jessie frowns and looks at the crudely-constructed “I AM *NOT* THE SCRAPPED PRINCESS” sign.)

Jessie: (spiteful) Thank you.

Touya: (smirking) Just trying to help.

(They see somebody running at them the the crowd.)

Touya: Someone's coming. C'mon Yuki...

(Ayla emerges, holding the clue in her hands. Jessie pumps a fist.)

Jessie: Yes!!

(Ayla arrives, and hands the clue to Jessie before stopping to catch her breath.)

Jessie: Way to hunt her down Ayla!

(Touya is a little miffed as the two get out of earshot before opening the envelope.)

Jessie: Go to the next Pit Stop- the Castle Sauer.


(Rapid shots to a large castle taking up the center of town.)
Satoshi: (VO) Teams must find the Castle Sauer in the center of town. This super-neat castle is the eleventh Pit Stop in the race. The last team to arrive here will be eliminated.


(Yukito backtracks the route Ayla came through and finds Pacifica.)

Yukito: Are you who I'm looking for?

Pacifica: Yep! Want a clue?

(Pacifica hands Yukito the clue and he runs back to Touya. Touya is a little unhappy, but hides it.)

Yukito: Did Ayla finish already?

Touya: Yeah.

Yukito: It looked like she was hiding the clue from me. I figured something was up.

Touya: Well, let's just get to the Pit Stop.

(They read the clue and start running.)

Touya: I didn't think we were going to lose this one. There was nothing physical about this one at all, and Yukito has eyes like a hawk. Now we're the ones getting fired up to do better.


(Because they actually listened closely to their direction-giver, Yukari and Minamo reach the Road Block next.)
[YUKARI & MINAMO- Best Friends / Teachers- 3rd at Road Block]
Minamo: Road Block. I'll do it.

Yukari: You sure?

(Minamo opens the envelope and takes out the picture.)

Minamo: Yep.

Yukari: Stop chatting and get 'er done then!

(Minamo runs off.)


(Noboyuki and Tenchi reach the marketplace through a different route and are forced to backtrack through to find the artist's kiosk. They do, and are dismayed to see Yukari waiting. Tenchi quickly grabs the route marker.)
[NOBOYUKI & TENCHI- Father & Son- Last at Road Block]
Tenchi: Road Block.

Noboyuki: Will you let me do it?

Tenchi: I don't know. This hasn't been your leg.

Noboyuki: I know! That's why I want to do it! It's my leg to win or lose. I don't want you kicking yourself if we get eliminated because of my mistakes.

(Tenchi sighs.)

Tenchi: Okay. Good luck, Dad.

(Noboyuki opens the clue envelope.)

Noboyuki: Find the Scrapped Princess using this artist renditioning. Hoo...

(He runs into the crowd. Tenchi steps back and joins Yukari, who is nervously waiting.)

Tenchi: Mind if I join you?

(Yukari doesn't respond.)

Yukari: C'mon Nyamo, this one's all yours.


(At the drawbridge in front of the Castle Sauer, Satoshi and Obstinate Arrow member Chris Armalite are waiting for the first team. On the route marker, in large green letters, is “SCRAPPED PRINCESS,” with “SAUER” above it in small white letters. Jessie and Ayla run up to the mat.)

Chris: Welcome to...

(Chris eyes Jessie, and reaches for his sword. Jessie pulls out Touya's sign. Satoshi laughs and puts a hand in front of Chris.)

Satoshi: Don't sweat it Chris. I know her- she's cool.

(Satoshi clears his throat.)

Satoshi: Jessie and Ayla? You're team number one.

(Jessie smiles brightly and knocks fists with Ayla.)

Jessie: After everything we went through, hearing that makes me one happy Providence Breaker.

(Jessie turns to Ayla.)

Jessie: So what does she really look like?

Ayla: Raquel's right. She's cuter.


(Minamo is eagerly looking for Pacifica. She doesn't seem to be having any luck.)

Minamo: (VO) My heart was just pounding as I was looking for this girl. I mean, everything we had been through came down to this moment. I don't think I had ever been under so much pressure in my life.


(Noboyuki is also looking around, then stops and looks at the picture closely.)

Noboyuki: (VO) There was only one thing on my mind- I can't let down Tenchi. I've done a lot of stupid things in this race, but I knew if I could get us through this and into the finals, it would all turn out all right.


(Touya and Yukito check in. Yukito smiles, but Touya is a little unhappy.)

Satoshi: Touya and Yukito? You're team number two.

Touya: Score an upset for the Amazons.

Satoshi: Hey, you're in the finals. That's all that matters, right?

Touya: That just means the battle's not over yet.


(Noboyuki burns the image in the picture into his head.)

Noboyuki: Hidden beauty, huh?

(He walks carefully through the streets, until he comes across a cute little blond in the corner. He smiles and walks up to Pacifica.)

Noboyuki: Hi. I think I'm looking for you.

(Pacifica smiles and hands him the clue. Noboyuki starts running.)


(Moments later, Minamo sees Noboyuki running back from that spot. Using her gym teacher abilities, she hustles down to find Pacifica and get the clue, then hustles back to Yukari just as fast.)


(At the entrance, both Yukari and Tenchi are waiting nervously. No smiles on either of their faces this time.)

Tenchi: C'mon Dad...

Yukari: C'mon Nyamo...

(Someone emerges... Noboyuki, waving the clue. Tenchi's face lights up.)

Tenchi: Yeah!! You did it!

(Tenchi tries to hug Noboyuki, but Noboyuki waves him off.)

Noboyuki: Get the bags, this isn't over yet!

(Tenchi does so as Noboyuki opens the clue.)

Noboyuki: We're heading to the castle. Let's go.

Tenchi: Can you go full speed?

Noboyuki: Let's hope so.

(They take off. In the din, Yukari watches them, suddenly shattered. She squats down and punches the ground.)

Yukari: No...

(Minamo emerges a couple minutes later.)

Minamo: I got it.

Yukari: (upset) They're gone...

(Minamo grabs Yukari by the collar and hoists her up.)

Minamo: Then we've got to motor. We are not letting this end now!

(They get their bags and floor it through the streets.)


(Down the road, Noboyuki starts to tire. Tenchi stops and leads him along.)

Tenchi: Come on Dad, we've got to keep going!

(As much as he's huffing. Noboyuki presses on.)


(Same story with the teachers as Yukari is starting to slow. Minamo does not look back.)

Minamo: If you slow down, it's over! If you speed up, we've got a shot. Your call.

(Yukari screams and starts sprinting.)

Minamo: 'Atta girl.


(Heavy montage between the two until finally, somebody steps up to the gate of the castle. Chris bows.)

Chris: Welcome to Sauer.

Satoshi: Noboyuki and Tenchi?

(Noboyuki is completely out of breath, but Tenchi holds him upright to face his verdict.)

Satoshi: You are team number three.

(Noboyuki smiles, despite his lack of breath. Tenchi hugs him.)

Satoshi: Congratulations, you have made it to the finals.

(Tenchi is still smiling.)

Tenchi: You know, for everything we've been through, and all the ups and downs we've had, just to see Dad's determination this leg, and the way he forced himself to step up to account for his mistakes and keep us alive... that's why I'm so happy to have him here with me.

Noboyuki: And this isn't over yet. Jessie and Ayla better watch their back.


(Unfortunately, for every winner, there must be a loser, and an exhausted Yukari and Minamo jog up to the finish line.)

Satoshi: Yukari and Minamo?

(Yukari raises her arms above her head. Minamo looks on sadly.)

Yukari: Please?

Satoshi: You are the last team to arrive.

(Yukari's head falls backwards and she's left staring at the sky.)

Satoshi: As a result, you've been eliminated from the race.

(Minamo shakes her head. Tears are starting to fall.)

Minamo: So close... so damn close...

Satoshi: I think it's safe to say you ran a great race, guys.

Minamo: Yeah. But it just hurts coming so close to the end.

Yukari: Dammit!!

(Minamo pats Yukari on the back. Satoshi can only look on sadly.)

Yukari: (VO) I think this has to rank as one of the most painful moments of my life. We really thought we had a shot at this. We seemed to be doing everything right, and suddenly we find out we got nothing. Yeah, we got really far, but in the end- no barbecue for us.

Minamo: What could we have done? To come all this way and find out we just weren't good enough? I guess we made a few bad decisions here and there, but... this is going to take awhile to get over. To come so close to greatness, then lose it by a misstep. I guess I just wasn't ready for this to end yet. Because after all the things we were able to do, and all the places we were able to see, I guess we realized that we haven't done as much with our lives as we should have.

Yukari: I'm sure in the end, we're going to look back at this and say it was the greatest experience in our lives. We just wanted it to last just a little bit longer... and maybe with a happy ending to go with it. That would have been sweet.

(They slowly and sadly walk off into the distance, away from the castle.)


(To turn things back around, Satoshi and Arumi are now standing on the Pit Stop mat in front of the castle.)

Satoshi: And with that, three teams remain.

Arumi: Next time, it's a race for the finish line on the two-hour finale of The Anime-zing Race!

(Shot of Jessie and Ayla rescuing the submerged weight doll in Nekomi.)
Satoshi: (VO) Will Jessie and Ayla be able to stave off their fierce competition and retain the lead?

Jessie: Everything before this was practice. Now it's real. Everybody's focused, and everybody wants it just as much as we do. We're not underestimating anybody. Because it's the finish line or bust now.


(Shot of Touya and Yukito taking out Satoshi after Satoshi in the neural sim.)
Arumi: (VO) Will Touya and Yukito topple their rivals one last time?

Touya: The rivalry between Jessie and Ayla and us didn't come about by accident. They are ridiculously good. So are we. So it's going to be down to the wire between us.


(Shot of Noboyuki and Tenchi riding the paper airplane.)
Satoshi: (VO) Or will Noboyuki and Tenchi overcome their issues and come from behind?

Tenchi: I don't think they can afford to ignore us now. We're here for a reason. After everything, we're not afraid of the other teams anymore. But we can make them afraid of us.


(Back to Sasshi and Arumi.)
Arumi: After going through twelve series, there's three left to decide everything!

Satoshi: Haibane Renmei... Revolutionary Girl Utena...

Arumi: And let's not forget a little something called Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi.

Satoshi: One team will come out on top! Who will it be? Find out on the season finale of The Anime-zing Race!

(Satoshi smiles, then steps back and looks at Arumi.)

Satoshi: This is why I love next episode previews.


End of Episode Ten


Author's Notes
Yes, I know. Yukari and Minamo would have been the perfect winners. But it never fails that the final elimination always takes out one of the most popular teams. To date- Kevin & Drew, Oswold & Danny, Derek & Drew, Jon & Al, Linda & Karen, Ash & Brock. The wondertwins didn't exactly float my boat (and if they ever did, they'd probably miss a route marker on the way), but everybody loved these teams!! It's a strange thing that some of the most popular teams are always eliminated right before the finale. As for the teachers, they were almost too good a choice to win, and them doing so would perhaps seem a bit forced (they're my favorite team too). I definitely tried to give them a fair share of the plotlines, but I never set them up to be winners.

On that note, this particular final three makes things really interesting. Mostly because you look at each of the teams, point to them, and go “there's no way he's letting *them* win!” There are a few unwritten rules in writing these reality ports. The lingering question here is which one I'm going to break.

In the same tradition of Gundam Wing, Excel Saga, and Bastard, many of the names in Scrapped Princess share a theme. But instead of numbers, hotels, and metal bands (Mega Death!!), this seemingly innocent series has guns. Lots and lots of guns. Although Winia Chester is the only one in the episode that stands out (unless you're in the NRA and picked out the significance of the names Casuul, Manurin, Mauser, Taurus, Giat, Sauer, and Armalite), I didn't include the characters Browning, Barrett, or Cz (or any of the Peacemakers for that matter). Thank Mauser Rally and Minnie May didn't get cast.

Final Fantasy Lain? Scrapped Princess feels an awful lot like a Squaresoft game, especially with the combination of pastoral times and technology. Given her dual-personalities, and the fact that we aren't quite sure exactly what she is (even though it's explained many times), Zefiris definitely fits the bill. She also has a lot of dialogue that makes you wish you could scroll through by pressing the O button.

Yukari's belting of “Let's Get Down” is a clear reference to the DDR Project 2 music video compilation, where the song and Azumanga Daioh combined for one of the best videos in the thing. Because of that video, “Let's Get Down” is my favorite 1st Mix DDR song. 'Cause the badder the brother the badder the butter be.

Next Time on The Anime-zing Race:
* Noboyuki & Tenchi try to make their mark as the other two teams battle each other.
* Communication problems arise in a world where foreigners are not permitted to speak.
* And what's a finale without a good old-fashioned car chase?