THE ANIMAZING RACE 3

So, to end…we go to a space age jungle, a place of a great thief…and a complete fantasy space…a fitting end.

* * * *

Well, ladies and gents, this is pretty much it. Over half a year of research, proof reading, Adam teaching me everything I needed to know about the Amazing Race, and worrying about meeting the deadlines, we come to the end of the race…quite literally.

It’s a nice way to end though, with three classically underrated series – the first from the creators of Nadesico, the second a certain series which got some recognition from my previous fic, and in the end…the show that began it all.

Stellvia: The story of Shipon and company upon the Space Station Stellvia is simply enough, to avoid and stop the Second Wave from happen, but who would have thought a group of kids, lead of Shima Katase and Kouta Oyayama would have saved the world rather than veteran Big 4 members Ken Austin, and the most misunderstood ‘evil bitch’ character since Izumi Himuro, Ayaka Machida? To say this anime is a lot of fun is an understatement, and for those with a romantic comedy bone in them, this is definitely in the vain of other classics as Nadesico and Tylor – though I’d say it’s more Azumanga Daioh meets Battle Athletes…

King of Bandit Jing: 13 episodes of Jing and his crow buddy Kir going through towns searching for various treasures to ‘steal.’ He’s called the Bandit King for obvious reason, not just for his ability to steal the pants off you, but the fact that he can steal your heart away with his handsome good looks (the crow Kir is actually the hentai of the duo of course…). His nature does not seem like a thief, kind and helpful and whilst the story isn’t much as above, it has a subtle charm and interest which makes this one of my most favourite under-appreciated series, which was capped off by Jing’s role in Murder Game 2.

Yami To Boushi Hon No Tabibito (The Story of the Darkness, the Hat, the Book and The Traveller): Hatsuki Azuma lived with her sister Hatsumi Azuma (not blood related – she just happened to have the same name) – but Hatsumi isn’t what she seems…a mute bishoujo with a healing smile, she says ‘goodbye’ rather than ‘goodnight’ in sign language on the eve of her 16th birthday. The moment the bell tolls 12…she vanishes. Hatsuki travels with Ken-chan, a little perverted parakeet, and then Lillith, Hatsumi’s supposed sister…who is know known as Eve. Apparently, Hatsumi is known another another name…Jiru…by two other people searching for her – Garuganchua and Ritsuko, two figures of Jiru’s past…and soon…all hell breaks loose.

I watched the first episode of this at Ayacon 2003 – and I was amazed by it. Not just with the music and artwork, but just from what the organisers said about it. ‘A show with two gay girls who travel the world where they meet more characters who even more homosexual. Much better than it sounds.’ Well, who can argue with a graphic like that? But the fact that this show had a decent story for what is, for all intents and purposes, a shoujo-ai show based from a H-game. (Yep, as twisted as it is, To Heart and Yamibou have something in common) Eve/Hatsumi/Jiru is such an intriguing character, and Hatsuki is the stoic female bishoujo warrior, who is scary and enchanting as ever. And Lillith is the annoying nymphomaniac…El Hazard hasn’t got anything about her! Oh, and Ken-chan rules. An Osakan perverted parakeet? How can you not love that?

I’ll save my thanks for later, as we start this two part leg, the part one belongs to Shipon-tachi, whilst the second part to belong to a thief and a god.

Look forward to it, and enjoy the finale!

* * * *

Lillith: Last time, on the Anime-zing Race…


(Shot of all twelve teams taking off into a plane…or in some cases a van…towards an island full of princesses…)

Lillith: Kicking off we went cross country tracking around an island, where 12 teams went walk about in more ways than one…

(Shot of Riku and Hale near the beginning of the race…)

Lillith: Some friendships remained strong and in the end, winners worthy…

(Shot of Oshige and Wakayoji with Akari and Hiroyuki, and a shot of the embarrassing moment between Chika and Sandora…)

Lillith: Some held on as friends…but failed as racers.

(Another shots of Sasuke and Shannon being not too happy with each other…)

Lillith: And whilst problems were there and thereabouts, it all meant nothing, as three teams survived whilst 9 teams didn’t…

(Rapid shots of each of the previous thirteen series.)

Lillith: The teams raced through thirteen very different animes, and along the way, nine teams fell by the wayside.

(Shot of a smiling Kei and Mizuho, along with Shirayuki, not nervous as they arrive at the Welcome House with Wataru…)


Lillith: Kei and Mizuho…

(Shot of a disappointed Kamahito and Nakahito arriving at the Kotobuki’s home…)


Lillith: Nakahito and Kamahito…

(Next is a slightly upset and very disappointed Ryo and Hiroki as they try not to disappoint Tohru Honda at the Sohma Family Home…)


Lillith: Ryo and Hiroki…

(Shot of Chika and Taeko, so close and yet so far, as they meet their fate at the Gochisu, where Ruru awaits.)


Lillith: Taeko and Chika…

(Shot of Pedro and Sandora, as knowing they’ve been defeated, slowly make their way to Miss Maturity Saga.)


Lillith: Pedro and Sandora…

(Shot of a disappointed adults team, Oshige and Wakayoji as they meet with Ursula in her forest cabin…)

Lillith: Oshige and Wakayoji…


(Shot of the graceful face of San, as the nerves of Akari and Hiroyuki are comforted by the realisation of their feelings for each other…)

Lillith: Akari and Hiroyuki…

(Shot of two assassins, really getting shafted at the worst possible leg…before getting cheered up by one of those rare occurances…Chacha getting her magic right…)

Lillith: Mirielle and Kirika…

(And lastly, Awayuki Town and the Awayuki mansion is the scene for the closest end to an AR race – however, this time their speed couldn’t save them as Naruto and Sasuke’s luck finally runs out…)

Lillith: Naruto and Sasuke…

(Shot as Lillith takes over the voice over…)

Lillith: Those 9 are losers – they’ve been shut down, buried and laughed at. Now- only three teams remain.

 

AWAYUKI MANSION, AWAYUKI TOWN

(Near the end…we get a neat montage of the Animazing Race 3, from the first leg, where Kei suffered a standstill causing them an early elimination, to Nakahito struggling on Para Para, with Ryo and Hiroki smiling as they land on the mat of the Sohma House…)

(…interactions between Chika and Sandora were quickly halted by Chika’s elimination at Ruru’s, before one non-elim leg later as the paper masters relieve Akari, no such luck on a sweet leg for Pedro and Sandora, and then old-school was not good for the oldest competitors in the Kiki leg. Next, after surviving some Italian chibi-assassins, Akari and Hiroyuki find love in the forests of Princess Mononoke before getting eliminated, and then Mirielle can’t understand the paranormal during some ninja skills…)

(…and finally, two ninjas meet the maker in the world of Pretear…now three teams remain…)

SHANNON AND RACQUEL – STEPSIBLINGS

1ST PLACE

(The stepsiblings to Pacifica Cascull, Shannon and Racquel saved their Fast Forward until the bitter end, and it has paid off. Slow starters in the race because of their unfamiliarity with the modern world, they got stronger during the race, culminating with a first place finish in the Read or Die TV leg. From then on, they were always in the upper half, feuding with Naruto and Sasuke on many an occasion on who was the stronger team, however, they proved to be the smarter team on the Pretear leg, and now start the final stage in pole position.)

HALE AND WEDA – MOTHER AND SON

2ND PLACE (19 MINUTES BEHIND SHANNON/RACQUEL)

(They don’t always get along, but their chemistry together made them impossible to hate. They’ve done well too, after a start which found them an opening in the Sister Princess leg, mother and son have surprised people with how well they done, starting with coming from the back of the pack in the Fruits Basket leg to snap into second in the Sensei No Ojikan/I My Me leg! Since then, they’ve been doing well, forced into using the Fast Forward on the Gunslinger Girl leg (ironically, a non-elimination leg, which double ironically, saved our third remaining team) – they still managed to maintain a steady position in the remaining legs, and find themselves 19 minutes behind Shannon and Racquel…and 13 minutes ahead of their rivals…)

RIKU AND RISA – TWIN SISTERS

3RD PLACE (13 MINUTES BEHIND HALE/WEDA)

(Riku and Risa were a real surprise. Like Hale and Weda, they seem to be polar opposites, but despite their physical differences, they’ve perserved and managed to be thinking well, culminating with a surprise first place finish in the Sensei/IMM leg after Naruto and Sasuke screwed up. They managed to hold on despite most of the other teams being strong up until the Gunslinger Girl leg, where physical difference played a part. However, they luckily avoided elimination thanks to it being a non-elim leg, and with a bit of luck and a Fast Forward, regained their spirit in the Princess Mononoke leg. Doing well ahead of the stronger Shannon/Racquel and Mirielle/Kirika in the Chacha leg, and Risa’s determination in the Pretear leg, they are still standing. A friendly rivalry has helped as well between them and Hale/Weda, in particular between Hale and Riku…)

(…but can either of them overtake Shannon and Racquel and win the Animazing Race 3?)

* * * *

(We cut to Himeno, introducing the last but one Pit Stop in the race…)

Himeno: This is the Pit Stop, the mandatory rest period for our final three teams to reflect on how well they’ve done, and knowing, they are just three legs away from winning half a million English pounds.

(Shot of Himeno, with a newly haired Tanaka (won’t last long…) watering the garden, and Hajime and Shin bugging him as usual. Himeno chuckles as she continues…)

Himeno: At this pit stop, the team can eat…

(A 5 star banquet is prepared for the guest by Natsume’s star chefs. All the teams are drooling, even Shannon’s restraint is removed for this buffet…though Himeno’s attempts to change their favourite ice creams flavours was denied…)

Himeno: …geez, can’t they realise just how adult a taste the kimchee/natto combo is? Oh vey…anyway, they eat…sleep…

(We see three specially prepare rooms, where at one stage around 4pm onwards, all the teams are having a few dreams…)

Himeno: …and enjoy the last time they can be at least, pretending to be civil…

(Actually, they mostly are. We catch Hale, Riku and Risa, working with Mawata on some pottery with Hajime and Shin, Racquel and Shannon speaking with Hayate and Sasame and comparing the powers they have, and Weda comparing vine vintage with Tanaka-san…I’m serious…)

Himeno: Teams must leave here, the Pit Stop, and travel to their next destination, at the allotted times that they arrived, but 12 hours later…

(Shot of Shannon and Racquel after their Fast Forward victory culminated in their 1st place finish…)

Himeno: Shannon and Racquel arrived here at 10.05am…

* * * *

(Cue night time, also Himeno isn’t around now as Lillith finally gets back her rightful spot as host…)

Lillith: …about time…(continuing)…so they will leave here at 10.05pm! Time to run busybodies, because it’s time for the Stellvia of the Universe leg!!!

* * * *

(Shannon and Racquel, first out of the blocks, grab the clue as they rip it open…)

Shannon: They aren’t too far behind, we need to take advantage of this lead now…

Racquel: Right!

(The mage and swordsman look through it…)

Shannon: We’re not pressured at being first. The two teams behind have to catch up to us, and that puts more pressure on them. As long as they can stay ahead, we can stay ahead. It’s up to them to push us to make sure we stay ahead…

Shannon: Head to Leafenia for a magicial detour…

Racquel: Is that a rhetorical clue?

Shannon: Beats me…

(Off camera, Himeno quickly explains…)

Himeno: Ahead is an opening to Leafenia, where the teams must travel to get to their next destination…or in this case…time…

(Shannon and Racquel move on, as they realise something unusual…right in front of them…)

Shannon: Why do I get this is what Hayate and Sasame were on about?

(A magical portal is open, where a servant is ready to welcome them…)

Racquel: Well, what have we got to lose?

Shannon: First place…

Racquel: Good point…but oh well…

(The two rush to the portal…as they enter, the servant removes her hood…)

(…Eve’s grin can penetrate mountains as Lillith curses her for stealing the spotlight…again…)

* * * *

LEAFENIA

(…inside the Leafe Knight world, we can see inside, Go and Kei are waiting for them…)

Go: Just head down south – that girl put some special measure for you guys, we aren’t really allowed to bend the rules like this!

(Shannon and Racquel follow instruction as they rush down…)

(…suddenly, almost like being in Guu’s stomach, the Leafenia magical town begins to swirl, blue and pink surrounds as the two get a headache..)

(…and then they exit…)

* * * *

(Welcome to Awayuki Town, circa 2395. The two land face first, in front of a route marker.)

Shannon: I’m confused…

Racquel: Less confusion, more action…

(They get the marker, the first real clue for this leg…)

Shannon: Head to Nazca, Peru and from there, get to the Space Station Stellvia.

Racquel: Peru?

* * * *

(Peru – of 2395 – very technologically advanced – and the only port where space shuttles travel to the Space Station Stellvia. And on board for our first host is Chiyo-chan’s future daughter…seriously. Child prodigy, pigtails and adorably cute – meet Rinna Kazamatsuri (there went my spell check again), a gifted pilot from the furthest foundation Ultima. With her weird shaped pigtails, she’s very distinctive and energetic, and with Shima as her rival, she has reason to be. This 13 year old genki girl is our first host for the day.)

Rinna: Teams must catch the space shuttle to the Space Station Stellvia, and find the route marker outside the office of the chairman of Stellvia, Richard James. There, they will get their next clue!

* * * *

Shannon: O.K…so we’ve got to head to Peru…in a time and space not known to us…from a town complete changed?

(Indeed, looking around, there is a lot of different things. Looks like it’s still Awayuki Town, but looks like the descendants of Himeno and Hayate have made a few technological edges…)

(…like the space cabs. They still scream ‘taxi’ at you, so Shannon and Racquel just shrug and raise their hands to hail one. It isn’t long before one stops…)

Taxi driver: Yes?

Racquel: How long until the nearest airport?

(The taxi driver looks puzzled…)

Taxi driver: Airport? We haven’t had those in the last 100 years since the first wave…we use the air shuttle now, lot faster and more protection against…

Shannon: Right, no planes. As if I didn’t have enough of these new terms on me…so where is the nearest place where we can catch on these air shuttles? And do they travel to far off other countries…like Peru?

Taxi driver: About…20 minutes – we’re looking at Tokyo Shuttle International…you can get anywhere from there…

(Shannon seems to pause…)

Shannon: That fast?

Taxi driver: Er…yeah – warp space technology…er, you are aware of it right?

Shannon: No…but who cares. That will do…

(The two head in, check their money (still Japanese yen) and make sure they’ve got enough to get there…and not without worry that two other teams will soon be making the trip as well…)

* * * *

10.24PM

(It’s late…it’s troublesome, but mother and son are raring to go…)

Weda: Leafenia dead ahead!

Hale: Don’t use the ‘d’ word…bad omen…

Weda: Poppycock Hale! Let’s roll!

(The two rush off into the portal, about to experience the same sort of time space continuum and weirdness that Shannon and Racquel…actually, forget it. Hale is pretty used to it being a frequent traveller of Guu’s stomach…)

(Inside, they meet Go and Kei, who wave them on…)

Hale: The fact that this isn’t lost on me is worrying…

Weda: Huh?

Hale: Never mind…head straight ahead!

(The purple waves circulate, as they head out of Leafenia 2005 and straight into Leafenia 2395…)

* * * *

Hale: Whoa…the future…

Weda: And we’re alive to see it…

(They get the route marker and read. After realising they have to go to Peru…)

Hale: What do we do? We are in the same town we were in a minute ago, but a fast forward to nearly 400 years?

Weda: Well, aside from the obvious…how different can it be?

Hale: Well, it’s late, we have to get to Peru, and we’re doing nothing…logic dictates an airport?

Weda: Logic yes…but…

(Shot of the road shines with vehicles they have no idea about…)

Weda: …let’s just hope for the best.

(The two scour the roads and eventually realise that there are still taxis, so they manage to get in one…)

Hale: …can you take us there?

Taxi driver: Sure kid, you must be strangers around here…not knowing about the main space shuttle…

Weda: Yeah, crazy us, we thought we were in the past and thinking airports were around…

Hale: Great use of tact mom…

Weda: (winks) Your mother knows all Hale!

Hale: That’s what I’m afraid of…

(As Weda gives her son a noogie…)

* * * *

TOKYO SHUTTLE INTERNATIONAL – 10.29PM (FORMERLY TOKYO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT)

(Shannon and Racquel head into the maze of this former airport, and have no idea what to do…)

Shannon: So…is it like finding a terminal and getting there?

Racquel: I guess…let’s start asking and searching…

(The two separate as they ask around how to reach a terminal to Peru with passers by, security guys and general workers. It’s surprisingly easy to their surprise to find Peru…considering it is a popular destination with young people, especially ones to prove themselves…)

Shannon: I guess this ‘Stellvia’ can only be accessed in Peru…

Racquel: Shannon!!!

(Racquel calls over as she find the terminal…it has a decent sized queue unfortunately, but luckily, as it is a popular visit, it may not be so bad as the terminal up until midnight depart every half an hour…)

(…unfortunately, it means they miss the 10.30pm, and now will be queueing for the 11.00pm…which may be enough time for two teams to catch up, including…)

* * * *

10.37PM

RIKU/RISA – TWIN SISTERS – LAST PLACE

(The Haradas now can depart for Leafenia, as they read the clue, say a quick goodbye to their new friends behind them, and begin to head into the unknown…)

Riku: This is it sis, we have to be on our complete A game here, you ready?

Risa: Ready as I’ll ever will be sis!

Riku: That’s what I want to hear, come on!

Riku: Don’t get me wrong, getting this far has been a dream for me, travelling the world, proving our skills, and surprising everyone. However, we want to win. Risa knows it, and I sure as heck know it. Getting this far and now at the back of the pack, we want to leapfrog over everyone and make notice. Now, we've got nothing to lose, and everything to gain!

(The two girls head into the portal, as they greet the handsome bishounen…Eve reveals herself and smiles.)

Eve: …(heavy breathing whispering…)

* * * *

Riku: …who said time travel was difficult?

Risa: Yeah, it’s not like we haven’t done anything like that before…

Riku: Though I don’t think we’re talking mystery paintings here…

(The two look around in the Futurama that is 2395, as they look confused…but after reading the route marker…)

Risa: Right, how different is travel then?

Riku: Well…er…

(A flying air car passes by…)

Risa: …alright, I’ll shut up now.

Riku: They must have a taxi or something…

(Risa checks her money whilst Riku hollers for a cab. They are a tad unlucky, as it take a few moments for anyone to notice them (two 14 year olds hailing for a cab must be more unusual compared to the other two teams with an adult in them…yes, Weda qualifies as an adult despite how she acts…) but suddenly, someone pulls up…)

(…and they get the same blank looks as the other teams with the obvious request…)

Riku: …so no airports, so what does take us to another countries?

Taxt driver: Kid, the shuttles, don’t you know that at your age?

(Riku begins to lose a little temper, but Risa puts a hand on her sister’s knee and nods…)

Risa: (sweetly) Oh sir, could you be so kind as to take us to a shuttle port or whatever it is, as we need to meet our new family in Peru pretty please?

Driver: Oh sure young lady!

(Risa sits down smug, as Riku wonders if Risa is a delinquent in disguise…)

* * * *

10.45PM

(…at the shuttle port, Shannon and Racquel have got their tickets, and are instructed to wait in the shuttle disc. The two are happy with this, as it means that any opposing teams can’t see them.)

(It’s almost like they are sitting in desks as they enter this flying saucer like contraption to head over to South America.)

Shannon: I would say stranger things have happened…

Racquel: Nice relaxing trip right?

Shannon: Not really…I just didn’t realise how much I wanted to win this now…I feel for the others, but I don’t want to see Hale, Weda, Riku and Risa on this trip…or for the remainder of the race if possible, at least until we’ve confirmed that we’ve won…

Racquel: Shannon?

Shannon: Come on Racquel, let’s get comfy. A certain blonde bubble-head wants us to be back, and if we do this, we’ll be back in a much easier lifestyle…

(Racquel clutches her stepbrother’s hand as they wait and hope…)

(…well, wait definitely, as our Jungle favourites exit their ‘taxi’ and after managing to fork out the cash, the two are amazed at the huge Millenium Dome like ‘airport’ (only nowhere near as empty…^_^), but before they can be too amazed, they have to go in…)

Hale: It’s hell. Nearly 11pm at night, and this is busier than a Pokute and banana buffet…

Weda: Well, let’s not stand here and hang around, let’s find out somewhere to get to Peru and fast…

Hale: Yeah, let’s see if we can find that…or find Shannon-nii and Racquel-nee…or both…

Weda: Well, let’s see…

(Near them, the two see a wall map and after pressing it a couple of time, enlarged version of the location show – there is then shown as a voice activation of where to go…)

Weda: O.K…Peru?

(A square opening at the farther north-west area of the shuttle port shows the Peru ports, and the main one which has a gleaming ‘STELLVIA TRAVELLERS’ at it, shows Nazca, Peru marked…)

Weda: Hale-kun, commencing running!

Hale: Mission activated!

(The two tonzura…)

* * * *

10.50pm

Hale: I hate to say this…but I don’t want Riku-san here…we need every advantage we can get…

(Shot of Hale and Weda, with their tickets, about to be directed into the shuttle, where Racquel and Shannon don’t realise they are about to be joined…)

Weda: Hale wants to win right?

Hale: (smiles) He sure does.

(He clutches his mom’s hand as they get directly into the darkened shuttle launch, resembling more of a space simulator. They don’t see Shannon and Racquel, who seem to be trying to get a few shut eyes…but Weda’s voice soon gives them away…)


Weda: Wow…this is cool…

(You can see Shannon’s eyes twitch, but he remains quiet…)

(Hale and Weda park their rears near the back, unsure what they have to do other than wait…)

* * * *

10.56PM

(…which is something Riku and Risa certainly aren’t doing…)

Riku: O.K, so we’re here…we need to find a port to Nazca, Peru…

Risa: It’s kinda remote isn’t it?

Riku: There must be a reason why that specifically…we find it, we find out…

Risa: Right…

(In the corner where Racquel and Shannon, along with Hale and Weda successfully found it, the queue is becoming smaller, as they are about to announce no more flights to the 11pm trip to Nazca, Peru…)

Riku: So…Peru…Peru….

(Riku and Risa use the age old tactic of asking people for directions, and an elderly couple manage to give them the correct answer to get to Nazca, where they rush as fast as possible…)

* * * *

11.00PM

Announcer: Attention, ladies and gentlemen, the 11pm space shuttle towards Nazca, Peru: home to the location to head to Space Station Stellvia, has now been commencing. Please hold onto your seat pads and enjoy your flight.

(Hale and Weda look to the side…where they are two empty seats…)

Hale: They didn’t make it…

Weda: Sad Hale-kun?

Hale: I guess…I wanted it so all of us managed to get there at the same time…I feel we’ll meet them again once we get there, but…

Racquel: …you just want it to be even at the end right?

(Hale nearly leaps out of his skin as Racquel smiles, with a tin of coloured items in a jar…)

Hale: R-R-Racquel-nee, where did you come from?

Racquel: Oh, just at the front!

(Shannon is still at the front, his eyes closed…)

Weda: Well, Riku-chan and Risa-chan aren’t here…

Racquel: Yes…oh well…want one?

(The Portugese coloured candies, a personal favourite of a famous resident from Japan who helped save the Second Wave, are offered to the Jungle Natives. The two take one and smile…)

Hale: Let’s try and get some rest mom…we’ll need it to beat those two…

Weda: Hai!!!

(Racquel stumbles over to the front and joins her stepbrother…)

Shannon: So…just the two teams huh?

Racquel: Yeah…at this moment, we’ve just got to get ahead of Hale-kun and Weda-san…

Shannon: And you’d think that would be easy…

(Shannon turns around as Hale eats the candy, with Weda jokingly proding his stomach. Shannon sighs with a small smile.)

Shannon: …but family bonds are always the strongest.

* * * *

11.08AM

(…tell that to the Harada family.)

Riku: …crap.

Risa: You’ve said that 5 times.

Riku: Six.

(The two have their ticket to the next shuttle at 11.30pm, but know that Hale-tachi and Shannon-tachi have got ahead of them. They can take heart that there are only half an hour behind…but any time behind is a risk at this stage of the race…)

* * * *

(We fast forward to when Riku and Risa take off in the shuttle…the trip is a mere 6 hours in the shuttle, as we quickly alternate between the three teams in the shuttles…all of them trying to sleep a little, as the chairs become deck like beds – the wonder of space age technology – with two teams half an hour ahead of one team, who can take advantage…or will that advantage even matter when they get to Peru?)

* * * *

NAZCA PERU, STELLVIA BASED SHUTTLE STATION

5.05AM

(It’s 5 in the morning. The teams head for the warm climate to South America, specifically Nazca, Peru. This small former mountain town has become the location of the launch pad for budding young Ora-Avis pilots, following in the path of their idols, perhaps one of the legendary Big 4, or the talented young rookies that saved the world, Kouta Otayama and Shima Katase? Either way, the only thing two teams know is…)

Hale: (yawns) Where’s my toothbrush?

Shannon: You’d think I’d be used to getting up early…

Weda: …and I’m not even hungover…

(…they’re tired…)

(Racquel is the only one looking genki, which gives Team Scrapped a slight advantage, as Shannon manages to pull away compared to the looking like dead Hale and Weda. The Stellvia station launch is about a 1km ahead of them as they parade from the shuttle port and have to climb down some dusty hills and mountain range. Not the best surface for an early morning travel…)

Shannon: We need to get some distance…

Racquel: Right…

(Hale and Weda are a few metres behind them, as the two try and catch up.)

Weda: We could probably be stalled anyway…if it’s early, then we could be waiting for the next port…

Hale: I know…but Riku and Risa weren’t too far behind us, and they aren’t here now…I’m not risking anything…come on mom!

Hale: Hai hai…

(The two are slower than Shannon and Racquel, on account of Hale being much younger and nowhere near as strong. Weda is probably the fastest of the three climbing, but she has to wait for Hale to catch up occassionally, as the tired youngster struggles down, making Shannon and Racquel begin to pull further…)

Shannon: …come on Racquel, don’t look up…

Racquel: I thought it was ‘don’t look down…’

Shannon: In case, it’s up – I don’t want to see how far they are behind us…let’s just go!

(The stoic swordsman has his emotions raging up – adreneline or wanting of victory? Or both…)

(At about 5.20am, Shannon and Racquel have navigated the first real drive of rocks, and now have to get down some hills, it’s a bit easier, but the danger of slipping is still there, so the two don’t risk trying to extend their lead…)

* * * *

5.39AM

(…by the time Riku and Risa have arrived, Shannon and Racquel have made it down. The fact that Riku and Risa can see them gives them hope…)

(…until they look down.)

Riku: Mountains…didn’t enjoy the climbing last time…

Risa: It was kinda a good charm for you though…

Riku: (blushing) Well…

(Riku see Hale just stepping down some hills. She doesn’t call – not wanting to distract him – as she realises they have to now climb down this terrain…)

Riku: Sis, you O.K?

(Risa seems very nervous…she was never fond of mountain climbing before, and whilst it is down rather than up, and whilst she isn’t scared of heights, the fear of losing may be what is holding her up…)

Risa: Yeah…we’ve got no choice right?

Riku: Come on, it’s not too bad, just nice and slow right?

(Riku slowly drags herself down. It isn’t as risky as it looks, but Risa is still nervous. The younger Harada moves to the right to avoid falling on Riku (just in case) as she slowly descends as well…)

(At the bottom, Hale drops off the second to last hill, as Weda keeps one eye on Racquel and Shannon beginning to jog, and another eye on her son.)

Hale: O.K…that’s it!

(They are about 500 metres behind Shannon and Racquel, as Hale seems disappointed…)

Hale: Sorry mom, you could have overtaken them but…

(Weda raises her hand in anger…)

(…and pats Hale on the head.)

Weda: What are you talking about you silly boy? We’re a team right – it wouldn’t be right if I couldn’t wait for you! Now, let’s go kick those guys rears in shall we?

(Hale smiles)

Hale: Right!

(Hale and Weda run, as for a moment, Hale hears something…he turns, looks up…but Weda grabs his hand before he can stop. Hale shrugs before continuing…)

* * * *

5.50AM

Riku: …come on sis!

(Riku has made it to the hill side in good time, but Risa is quite a slowpoke, and is only half way through the mountains. Riku seems to be the most awake of the teams, whilst Risa looks like she’s dying. But the younger Harada doesn’t want to give up, as she slowly climbing…)

Risa: This is just like Phantom Thief training…come on…

(As Risa struggles, Shannon and Racquel poke their heads inside the terminals of the Stellvia Station, as they look at the times…)

Shannon: One at 6am…hurry, before Hale and Weda can make it…

5.54AM

(Indeed, Hale and Weda are still running into the Peruvian desert, as they nearly collapse by the time they make it inside. Weda grabs her purse…)

Weda: Drinks?

Hale: If you can find anything this early…yeah…I’ll go search for the trip…

(Weda nods as Shannon and Racquel, are fortunate as this is the first trip to Stellvia for the day, and there aren’t as many in the queue, they are ready and rolling, as they get their tickets in time before they close the terminal. They are directed into the shuttle launch, as they relax…)

Shannon: And here we go again…but this time, I think we’ll be alone…

Racquel: A shame…

Shannon: You actually mean it don’t you?

Racquel: Why not? Hale-kun is sweet, wouldn’t you like him as your brother?

Shannon: Hmmm…or maybe Riku as a sister…maybe better than the one we’ve got…

Racquel: Shannon…

(Shannon turns and gives a rare grin…)

Shannon: Joking.

(Racquel breathes a sigh of relief but stiffles a chuckle. Meanwhile, Hale is trying to find where to go, which isn’t hard with the glaring ‘STELLVIA’ banner hanging outside three terminals, however, he’s sleep deprives and thirsty. Finally, as Weda gets a couple of drinks, he sees where to go…)

Hale: Yosha!

(He goes to the first…but is sadly informed that the first one just closed shop at 6am. Hale does the Pedro look of shock, as whilst they don’t speak Japanese, it’s obviously what they are saying…he has to check on the screens when the next one is due…)

Hale: 6.20am…

Weda: We blew it?

Hale: Yeah…Shannon-nii and Racquel-nee got the earlier one…

Weda: Damn.

Weda: Little things can cause problems – now we’re suffering slightly. We love the Haradas, but we don’t want to see them until around 6.21am…

(The Jungle duo begin to get their tickets for the 6.20am shuttle flight, as back at the mountains…)

* * * *

6.00AM

(Shot of Riku and Risa guiding themselves down the hills…Riku ahead of course, but Risa seems to be gathering more confidence as she climbs…)

Riku: That’s the spirit!

Risa: I need plenty of that, that’s for sure!

(Riku measures herself down, as they still have to get to the space station, and they will most likely have to run as whilst they don’t know about the times when they have to go, they will need every chance to catch up that they can…)

Risa: Do you think they’re already too far ahead?

Riku: Never give up…especially at this early hour…

Risa: (yawning) Thanks for reminding me…

(Risa nearly slips as she says that, but she recovers her footing…Riku continues at her own pace, as she is forced to wait for her sister, but secretly, looks a little proud of her…)

Riku: Come on sis!

(The two continue to finalise the gruelling traverse down…)

* * * *

…as Hale and Weda wait with nervousness…

6.13AM

Hale: Come on, let’s go…and hope that we can stay ahead of them…

(The announcement overhead for the next space flight out to Stellvia was announced, so that’s a good thing for Hale and Weda, as this makes it unlikely that the girls will make it…)

(…but never say never in AR3…)

* * * *

6.15AM

Riku: There it is!

(Riku is grabbing her sister’s hand as the exhausted pair are outside the station, where space station Stellvia awaits…but have they made it?)

Riku: O.K, where to go?

(Risa looks around, and sees a ‘STELLVIA’ sign ahead – they seem fortunate, as there is no one in the queue. Risa runs over…)

Risa: When’s the next flight to Stellvia?

Receptionist: Oh sorry dearie, one is just about to go out in 5 minutes – we’re just closing up…

Risa: No!

(Risa begins her near famous waterworks trick – her face is pure innocence…O.K, we don’t believe that, but the receptionist seems to be falling for it…)

Risa: We have to get there as quick as possibly…otherwise…well…

(Risa does her little actress act, as the receptionist looks nervously around to see if her supervisors are around…)

Receptionist: Well…

(Riku joins her as Risa continues her act…)

Risa: Pleasssseeee?

(Finally, she succumbs…)

Receptionist: O.K, but just this once…quickly, down there and use this code to get in as an emergency…just sign here…

Risa: T-thank you miss! Come on Riku!

Riku: Er…right.

Riku: She scares me…this race has become bad for her I’ve decided…

(Riku and Risa run down the large hall and pathway, where the space shuttle is ready and waiting. A guard is there as well, and stops them momentarily, but a quick Risa action and mention they’ve got ‘special permission’ with a code manages to hold him off (as Riku sweatdrops) as the Haradas enter the shuttle…)

(…much to Hale and Weda’s shock…)

Hale: Nani?

Risa: Ha, can’t get away from us that easily!

Riku: Sorry…she needs her medication…

(It’s a catch 22 for the two teams, as whilst happy to see each other as friends, Hale and Weda as competitors were hoping to create some distance as Shannon and Racquel already have, whilst Riku and Risa were hoping to catch up. Needless to say which of the two teams were happier…)

Weda: How did they do that? With literally a minute to spare, they caught up and managed to get on the same shuttle as us – that means the pressure for us to keep ahead and try to catch up with Shannon and Racquel has doubled!

Riku: Risa really went to the well for us there, and we know we are at least tied with Hale-kun and Weda, but Shannon and Racquel are ahead. So we’ve still got a lot of work to do before we can create a history in racing…

(The Harada and the mother/son team begin their morning trip to Stellvia – a 3 hour journey to this planetary station – one which Shannon and Racquel are just ahead of and going to enjoy the delights a bit before…)

* * * *

9.00AM – SPACE STATION STELLVIA

(Shannon and Racquel land on the doorstep of the greatest space station in the solar system. The ‘Welcome to Stellvia’ fireworks blast off as Shannon and Racquel are a bit in awe of this huge space station, a combined combat system, observatory, school, gym, shopping mart, inside dome world and astrologers paradise.)

Shannon: I never thought ANYTHING could surprise me now…but…

Racquel: Let’s stop being surprised – we’re ahead now, let’s keep it that way.

(Dead ahead in the large red carpet pathway into the main area of Stellvia, a.k.a. the school, the route marker is dead ahead. Shannon and Racquel wait no more time and get to it, they rip at it.)

Shannon: Find the office of Richard James.

* * * *

(Outside his office, headmaster Michio Orihara introduce the leg, as ajar, we can see two elderly men play chess. He introduces this part of the leg…)

Michio: Teams must navigate this large maze of rooms, dorms and offices to find the office of the chairman of the Space Academy on the Stellvia, Richard James. When they find his office, they will get their next clue.

(Inside, a medium sized, slightly overweight eldery man, Richard James look at the chest set. Richard makes a move…)

Richard: Checkmate.

(The second man, tall with grey hair and a red suit, Carl Hitter, snarls…)

Carl: Do…

Richard: No do overs.

(Carl sweatdrops…)

* * * *

Shannon: So, we need to find the office in there?

Racquel: Well, if he’s important, someone will know, so let’s go find him!

(Shannon and Racquel move inside, wary that they are sure not too long, two other teams will be trying to find him as well…)

* * * *

9.05am

(5 minutes inside the Space Academy and Shannon and Racquel seem to be completely lost. They haven’t found any students either, as classes seem to have started, and there was no reception (that they could see – it was actually outside, they just barged in) so they are lost.)

Shannon: There has to be…

(…Shannon pops his head outside, seeing reception, and then trying to make heads or tails of this new technology…it isn’t too long before he figures out how to bring the maps up of Stellvia (they are written in English though which doesn’t help). Racquel steps outside and begins speaking to the receptionist…)

Racquel: Excuse me, do you know where…

Shannon: …this must be it…

(Shannon presses the screen which zooms in the various rooms, before making out a Richard James room – on the lower floors. As Shannon looks round, Racquel steps back inside…)

Racquel: Shannon, I know…

Shannon: …where it is.

(The two pause…before realise the stupidness and begin running…)

Shannon: I could have done that at the beginning, but inside the building, lost it for a moment, and didn't know where to go. Racquel asked the receptionist – simple, yet we didn’t think of it at first. At least I know how to use these darn maps…Zelfris would have had problems getting through this, never mind myself…

* * * *

9.15AM

Shannon: This must be it…

(Following the map in his mind and Racquel’s instruction from the receptionist, they’ve made it, and find his office – the route marker is outside it. The door is open as Carl is playing Richard again at chess, Michio inside mildly amused at their antics – Shannon sweatdrops before taking the next clue…)

Shannon: Detour…

Racquel: We’re getting there…

Shannon: …Joust or Jigsaw.

* * * *

(Ever lovable dorky-sensei Jinrai Shirogane is our next host for this leg – tall and in his mid thirties, he’s the classroom instructor for Shima and her friends, and also the man that orchestrated how to stop the Second Wave with his pet robot project, Infi. He’s certainly a teacher who sees himself in some of his students, as he gets to introduce the next part of this leg…)

Shirogane: Teams must make the choice between two tests – both with their own pros and cons.

(Shot of the Ora-Avis loading dock, where some are loading up with a medieval like joust weapon. A tall dark faced woman with silver hair is ordering instructions to some students as they set up the Ora-Avis, the Bianca versions. Shirogane continues…)

Shirogane: In Joust, the teams must pilot an Ora-Avis machine with aid from instructor Leila Barthes and face off against a computer AI opponent, using the recorded skills of one of 6 talented students…they need to pass them once and reach the other side. If they are good, they can blitz through, but if they are bad, they can feel like a tumble dryer…

(Cut of Shirogane inside the classroom, as students are typing things on a workstation…)

Shirogane: In Jigsaw, the teams must complete a basic computer orientated puzzle which is documentary for any student on the Space Station Stellvia. It’s not very strenuous, but getting used to the system and completing the puzzle may take a bit longer…

* * * *

Shannon: Machines huh?

Racquel: Well, jousting seems your thing?

Shannon: Do I look like a medieval knight…actually don’t answer that…let’s do Joust anyway – it’s the quicker of the two and it’s not like either of us have taken a bump or two in the years…

(Team Scrapped Princess now have the main problem…to find it. They look inside, and ask Michio where it is.)

Michio: It’s on the upper floor, just follow the signs…at my age, it’s hard to remember my own name…

Richard: Checkmate…

Carl: Best out of 15…

(The two (wisely) leave the room and begin searching…)

* * * *

(…whilst two other teams soon begin searching for Richard as they land on the space station dock.)

9.20AM

Hale: That was so uncomfortable…we wanted to say things to each other, like good luck, but neither of us wanted to, because we both knew how we wanted to win.

(The two teams rush ahead, Hale and Weda just getting ahead of the Haradas as they get the route marker clue first…)

Hale: So…we have to find…

Riku: …this Richard James?

Weda: CHARGE!

(Weda indeed she does as she and Hale get ahead before the Haradas can start, but it isn’t long before the girls are following them…)

* * * *

9.24AM

(Shannon and Racquel make it to the Jousting Arena so to speak, where in two long arched space gateways, Ora-Avis machines get ready to be launched. Leila Barthes is there as well, because they have to be ready to actually pilot one of these…)

Leila: O.K, so the main shot is to auto-pilot, but you need to navigate past the AI machine yourselves – and to do so, you need to use the button on the right like so…

(Shannon listens as Racquel checks out the machine…)

Racquel: Not quite like the horse and cart we’re used to…

Leila: PAY ATTENTION!

(Racquel scoots over as Shannon sweatdrops…)

Leila: So, use the thruster to navigate forward, and use those button to move the joust up, left, down or right. The AI machine will be based on test skills we’ve taken from 6 of our best pilots, so you won’t have an easy time. So, choose which one…

(6 Large machines are shown opposite. These are the bigger and more powerful Katie Ora-avis machines, instead of the standard Biancas that Shannon and Racquel will be using. As for the AIS, they’ve been inducted with the data of 6 top students, 4 top prep students (Shima Katase, Yayoi Fujisawa, Kouta Otoyama and Rinna Kazamatsuri. The other two are based from Big 4 students Ayaka Machida and Kent Austin, and are more powerful than the prep students – will they get lucky in their picks? In order of skill and difficulty, there isn’t much difference between the four prep students, but the difference will show if they pick either of the Big 4…)

Shannon: O.K, we’ll take this one…

(They pick the 4th one on the right – though they don’t know it, they’ve picked the Ora-Avis with the stats of Yayoi Fujisawa – the former top prep student a year before Shima came…but then unfortunate events happened to her…just behind Shima in this year, she is nonetheless a very talented pilot, and Lightning Joust has some certain memories of her…both good and bad…)

Leila: Suit them up!

(Shannon and Racquel now have to change…)

* * * *

Shannon: This is so embarrassing…

Racquel: I quite like it…

Shannon: I’m sure you do…

(Shannon is dressed in a blue and white outfit, standard for males – you’d think he’d be used to it considering his normal clothing. Racquel is dressed in the trademark orange outfits that the prep girls wear – and the boys helping out are getting their moneys worth…)

Shannon: O.K…now what?

Leila: Step in…and the opposing Ora-Avis will move – you just have to get past this…

Shannon: With all this prep work, I’m worried how long the other one would have taken now…

(The two step into their Bianca as they await for AI-Katie/Yayoi to be launched. The joust pole is attached as Shannon and Racquel know that it will hover automatically – they need to move it though.)

Shannon: Right, let’s go…

(The two begin to rush forward…)

* * * *

Riku: Thank you!

(Riku and Risa don’t go for the charge approach that Hale and Weda do…in fact, they calmly asked where to go at reception as soon as they got the clue. Hale and Weda on the other hand…)

Hale: Right…

Weda: Left?

(The two are trying to use Weda’s decent English reading skills to good use by following the signs – however they’ve been following facilities…and there are a lot of signs for them – they mean to look for faculties. So Weda’s English isn’t that good…)

Weda: We’ve found the toilets at least…

Hale: Crap…where?

(Hale slams his fist on the wall…and the wall comes alive…)

Hale: Huh?

(The ‘wall’ turns out to be another automatic map. Hale looks at it…)

Hale: Mom, can you read this?

(Hale and Weda begin looking round…as meanwhile…)

* * * *

Shannon: KYYYYYYAAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!

(A powerful rush of blood rushes as ‘Yayoi’ defends Shannon and Racquel forward thrust – the Katie is much larger and obviously more experienced even in AI mode, making it much more difficult for Shannon and Racquel to navigate. However, the Bianca’s small size has it’s advantages in trying to avoid it, and an AI can’t predict every single move thrown out so Shannon and Racquel reverse as they prepare to glide by the Katie, with probably more grace and speed than Jojo and Dai-chan could…^_^)

Racquel: To the left!

(The Katie fakes left as Shannon and Racquel, rather impressively, go into a spin. They swivel by the side and scrap the outside of the tunnel. However, it’s enough to just get past the Katie as it isn’t allowed to track back after the Bianca has got past. Shannon and Racquel cruise to the finish line.)

Shannon: That…wasn’t so bad…

Racquel: Of course…

(Both escape, just lightly bruised as Leila sees if they are O.K. The two confirm in the affirmative as Leila smiles.)

Leila: Well done, you deserve this.

(Shannon and Racquel are handed the next clue, as they open it.)

Shannon: Recover from phsyical or mental stress from that last detour at the hands of our school nurse, Ren Renge.

Racquel: Guess it’s to the nurses office then!

(The two rush off as we cut to…)

* * * *

(…our stereotypical bishoujo nurse who everyone wants to be healed by, the beautiful Ren Renge, who has hair similar to Mirielle but teal pink like in colour and more curly, she is our next host for the leg.)

Ren: Teams will have to find my office on Stellvia, which isn’t registered on any of the maps. They’ll have to find their way around or insist on the helps on some of the student criteria. It is here, where they’ll have to find their next clue…

* * * *

(As Shannon and Racquel head for the next stage, Riku and Risa head for the first one…)

RIKU/RISA – TWIN SISTERS

9.30AM - 2ND PLACE

Risa: Here it is!

(The doors are closed now so the chess game inside isn’t been documented…though the result is the same anyway. Risa takes the clue…)

Risa: Detour. Joust or Jigsaw.

(The two girls look through their options, with neither one really making an impression…however, they go for speed rather than smarts, as they head for the jousting arena.)

Riku: Shouldn’t be too hard…

(Riku looks at a map opposite the office and presses it – the technology again astounded them as Riku presses buttons to find the location of the Ora-Avis launching pads. It isn’t too hard to find as Riku keeps it to memory…)

Riku: O.K…O.K…let’s go…

(Riku grabs Risa’s hand as Risa just let’s Riku lead…can they catch up, or will Hale and Weda do so?)

* * * *

Shannon: So, we have to find this Ren girl?

Racquel: Nurse’s office…nurse’s office…

(The two look around the floor, and it’s not exactly an easy place to find when you don’t know what you are doing…)

Shannon: O.K…where’s that map?

(Nearly going down a route to the VR Training facility, the two look through a map, but it doesn’t seem it’s specific to anywhere. All hope fading, they begin to look for anyone students who may be able to help…)

* * * *

Riku: So…we have to dress…like that?

9.34AM

(Inside the launching alley, the two girls, who are quite similar in age to many of the students, not to mention they are both quite cute, are attracting a bit of attention from the student body…until one glare from Leila silences them…)

Risa: My idol!!!

Riku: (sweatdrops) Anyways…

(Shot of Riku and Risa dressed in their orange outfits, ready to launch…though they are both understandably nervous, they need to catch up…)

Leila: So which AI do you wish to pick?

(Random, but it’s not going to be good no matter who the Haradas pick – it’s going to be tough. Risa presses the button of faith…)

(The third one on the left moves, as unknowingly, the Haradas have picked Rinna’s stats. The genius prodigy is the one they would have least likely to picked to be honest considering her skill is considered the highest of the rookies. Can they handle the Katie?)

Risa: O.K…so…

Riku: Just listen to what Leila does…

(They begin instruction…)

* * * *

9.38AM

Risa: I’m so nervous…

Riku: Yeah…

(The Haradas get ready to launch their Aest…I mean their Ora-Avis, as they are getting prepared for battle, as Shannon and Racquel begin preparing to finally getting closer…)

* * * *

Shannon: Right…so the facility members are on this floor?

Receptionist: That’s right!

(After failing to catch any morning students playing hooky, the two went into the main entrance again and back to reception. There, they finally get a detailed explanation of where to go – on the main floor, to go down left and continue for a while before you reach a blue corridor with about 10 different doors for the facility members which don’t actually work on Stellvia based on the machinery. Ren is very popular with the students and fellow facility members though, so it shouldn’t be hard to find her office…they hope…)

Shannon: O.K, thanks.

(The two continue on, as they hope they can still maintain their lead…)

* * * *

9.40AM

Riku: Charge!

(The Haradas vs. Rinna-chan: FIGHT!!! O.K, so it’s not really Rinna-chan, but the AI is almost as good. Riku and Risa don’t have as easy a time of handing the Ora-Avis like Shannon and Racquel do…)

Riku: Dang it!

(…as being repelled back and sent into a spin shows. Upside down, both girls are in an uncompromising situation…)

Riku: It’s like back in the broken car again…

Risa: Let’s get back up…

(The Haradas motion themselve to hover back up, as the auto pilot and their own sheer will make it upright…however, two others may be joining them…)

* * * *

(Hale and Weda have finally made it to Richard James’ office, as they take the route marker and read it…)

Hale: Detour, Joust or Jigsaw…which is faster?

(A quick read and they realise it’s Joust, so they go…but as they do…)

Weda: Hale!

(Weda spots the map, which Riku left on revealing where it is. Weda smiles…)

Weda: O.K, this way Hale!

(Hale follows his mom, as being lost in a jungle isn’t that new, but being lost in a mechanical one is…let’s hope they can get through this…)

* * * *

9.43AM

Riku: Down!

(Riku ducks under another super quick charge from ‘Rinna’. Riku is getting the hang of it as she maneovers as best as she can – after realising force wasn’t going to work against the more powerful Katie, evasive manoeuvres seems to be working better…)

Risa: Down to the left, duck!

(They nearly get repelled back again, but a swift rise of the nose sends the Ora-Avis OVER the Katie, and the two girls push forward to get by the AI machine, and successfully complete the detour.)

Riku: Man, what a rush!

(The two girls escape their machine, as Leila congratulates them…)

Leila: Tough work girls?

Risa: Just a tad…

Leila: O.K…here’s…

Hale: (distant) This must be it mom!

Risa: Crap…they’re not that far…

Leila: …well, you’d best begin running then – better get ready to suit them up…

Riku: O.K…thanks!

(The two run off, just as Hale and Weda emerge, so out of sight – the two girls read the next clue…)

Risa: So we’ve got to find the school nurse right?

* * * *

(…which is just what Shannon and Racquel have done…)

Ren: Ah, my first patients I assume…

Shannon: If by patients, you mean ‘teams rushing around this place like chickens without heads’ then yeah.

Racquel: Ignore him, he’s cranky.

Shannon: Thanks.

Ren: Oh, maybe my bedwarming technique will liven him up…

(Shannon’s stoicness turns into boggle eyes hearing that, as Ren and Racquel have a giggle at Shannon’s reaction…)

Shannon: Urm…anyway…

Ren: Right, right, you want the clue? On the desk…

(The two nab the envelope before Ren can embarrass Shannon any further…)

Shannon: Road Block. This person must find an unusual couple…

Racquel: The Haradas or Hale-kun and Weda-san?

Shannon: I don’t think they mean them…

* * * *

(Indeed – we cut to our favourite hyper-active space case, Arisa Glenworth – an average student but the best friend of Shipon (on a decision basis – O.K, you’re my best friend!) – she’s very genki, with spikey red-brown hair – she’s our next host on this Stellvia leg…)

Arisa: For this road block, the teams must navigate the Stellvia, and look for one of three couples who are…quite close…shall we say…however, let’s say that opposites can attract…

(Arisa chuckles before continuing…)

Arisa: They can rely on luck on find one of the rooms or ask for help from the students around, myself included – once they find one of the three pairs, they will get their next clue!

* * * *

Shannon: Unusual couples? Leo and Pacifica, or Chris and Winia?

Racquel: You have no romantic heart do you?

Shannon: (sighs) Don’t remind me…

Racquel: I’ll do it then – let’s find some romance!

(Shannon groans as Racquel takes the clue and steps outside the nurse’s officer…where Shannon won’t have a chance against Ren’s needle…)

Racquel: So where am I going?

* * * *

9.48AM

(…Hale and Weda, back at the Joust, have dressed up and picked their random Katie. (This time the girls go gaga over Hale in his uniform, but Weda decides not to loan him out this time) Unfortunately, they’ve picked Ayaka’s, one of the Big Four…and she’s very tough. She hates rivals, and she always goes for the win, as poor Yayoi and Shima have found out in the past. However, one thing Ayaka or this AI have accounted for…)

Hale: The enemy is in sight…CHARGE!!!

(…Hale’s mad gaming skills…)

Weda: Come on Hale, beat the crap out of it!

(Indeed, Hale is focusing on just getting past it, smashing, ducking and dodging as best as he can. Ayaka-AI always has the advantage, but Hale’s skills are definitely making an impact as he tries all of his Fox McCloud manoeuvres to get past Ayaka…whilst Riku and Risa make their impressions of last seasons winners Ayla and Jessie in terms of running…)

* * * *

9.50AM

Riku: So where is it?

Risa: No luck here…

(Suddenly, Risa catches a glimpse of a student walking by. Risa calls out to him…)

Risa: Hey there, where’s the nurse office?

(Unfortunately…or fortunately(?) it’s Pierre Takida, decent student, flaky playboy. As he sees Risa, he flicks back his teal hair…)

Pierre: Well, another lady met by my charm?

Riku: Ignore Risa…

(But Risa doesn’t…she in fact goes along with it…in trademark Risa style…)

Risa: (teary eyed) I’m sorry…my sister needs an injection to remove anger shots…could you please, pwetty please tell me where the nurse’s office?

(Pierre is taken aback (he’s not used to someone actually responding to his advances, poor schmuck), and nervously replies…)

Pierre: Er…s-sure…it’s down this way…

Risa: (sneaky smile to Riku before returning to her damsel in distress act) And we’re in a hurry as we’ll need to make it to a few other places as well – could you help us there as well?

Pierre: Well…I have to get back to class…

(Cue the sparkles around Risa pretty face with the pleading puppy dog eyes – yep, he’s doomed…)

* * * *

Pierre: This way ladies!

Riku: I’ll kill you after this race for saying that…

Risa: …hey, it got us where we wanted!

(The two run as Racquel is very lost…she needs to find where the dorms are, as the sisters head to the nurse’s office, she decides to head back outside where they found out where Ren was…)

* * * *

9.52AM

Hale: Yosha! Game over!

(Shot of a panting Hale and Weda getting through their Joust leg as Leila helps the two out…)

Leila: Wow, you handled a big 4 Katie – I’m impressed…

Hale: Yeah…well…I’ll stick to Final Link Ocean 7 thanks…

Leila: O.K…anyway…

(Leila hands them their clue…)

Weda: (looking through) O.K…we’ve got to find the nurse’s office…

Hale: A nurse…not a doctor?

Weda: Yep!

(Hale breathes a sigh of relief…)

Weda: Come on, we’re behind now, let’s catch up!

Hale: Will do!

(The confidence going back in the mother/son duo, they begin searching for Ren…)

* * * *

9.55am

Racquel: …so to find a couple, they would be in the dorms?

Receptionist: Yeah, first floor, go through the elevator…

Racquel: Thanks!

(Racquel has lost a bit of time, but still ahead of the other two teams, though Riku and Risa are catching up…)

Pierre: Ah, mademoiselle Ren, how I missed thee…

Ren: (sweetly) Really? Let’s see if I can ‘miss’ you…

(Pierre gulps as Ren fiddles with a few throwing darts – the Haradas try hard not to chuckle…and fail miserably…)

Ren: O.K girls, there it is!

(Risa moves forward and takes the clue…)

Riku: What next?

Risa: Road Block…this person must find an unusual couple…

(They both look blank…)

Riku: Which is more unusual…you and Dark…

Risa: …or you and Niwa-kun?

(A quick pause…)

Riku: (hands it to Risa) Yours.

Risa: Damn you…

(But suddenly she’s back to sweet as Pierre freezes…)

Risa: Oh Pierre….

* * * *

(Racquel is up on the elevator, looking through the dorms. She needs to find one which has an unusual couple – however…)

Racquel: How many are there?

(Looking at the map, the dorms are worse than Maison Ikkoku, Love Hina and Negima all put together…they are huge, and could probably be a small town in their own right. With over 300 dorm rooms, not to mention the upper stairs where a lot of the guys like the Big 4 rest…they have to find one of 3 rooms…and Racquel doesn’t have a clue where to start…)

Racquel: Well…I guess I’ll start searching…

* * * *

9.59AM

(Shannon is being quiet as Riku feels a bit uncomfortable in the silence…Risa has already dragged Pierre away…)

Pierre: An unusual couple? Any couple that isn’t with me is unusual…

Risa: So…you’re not much help here…any of your friends a pair which surprises me…

Pierre: Hmmm…not that I know of…I’d say Shima and Kouta are well matched…

(Ironically, that’s one of the three couples on the Stellvia which they have to find, so Pierre has quickly led Risa down a blind alley…)

(…but is it the same for Hale and Weda?)

* * * *

10.00AM

Hale: We appreciate it Dai-chan!

(Looks like these two have picked up a stowaway as well, Masaru Odawara, a black haired young man who is pretty normal as far as Shima-tachi goes, but is excellent at hacking into the Stellvia’s mainframe and gets on well with Jojo. Keep that in mind…)

Masaru: Please, I get that enough from my friends…

(…and the fact that everyone calls him Dai-chan for some unknown reason…shame Emiko isn’t racing for this leg, she would have had a field day…)

Weda: O.K Dai-chan!

(As poor underappreciated Dai-chan helps the two after he came back from the toilet to find the nurses office…Racquel gets a little help…)

* * * *

Arisa: Wah, you scared me!

(Arisa was popping out of her room when Racquel was busy knocking (and failing) to find a couple. Arisa sees the lost member…)

Arisa: Ah, you in the race?

Racquel: Ah, you know?

Arisa: Sure, and how are you doing?

Racquel: Well…I’m trying to find an ‘unusual couple’ but I don’t know where to begin…

(Arisa hides a knowing grin…)

Arisa: Really? Maybe I can help…

Racquel: How?

* * * *

(One exchange of Stellvian dollars later, Arisa navigates to a specific room.)

Arisa: (knocking on the door) Knock knock!

Female voice: If you’re a boy stay there, if you’re a girl come right in!

Arisa: (chuckles) Shipon, you’ve been stealing my material again!

(A giggle from the other side is interrupted by a male voice…)

Male voice: Shima-chan, do we have company?

Arisa: Not quite Kouta!

(The door opens, revealing our hero and heroine of the series – and classified as an unusual couple on the grounds of how they became a couple (to be blunt, Kouta is quiet and can’t directly tell Shima he likes her…so he just kisses her. And it actually works…^_^)

Arisa: There we go, and some pocket money to boot!

(…a handsome young man with short black hair, a plain smile and mysterious eyes, Kouta Otayama, the person who along with Shima managed to pilot the Infi and stop the Second Wave…)

(…and of course, we have the Shipon herself, Shima Katase. Shipon is her nickname given by Arisa, our emotional heroine can be very egoistic or very depressed at the turn of the hat, her Akari Kanzaki like hairstyle with the long pigtails with the orange suit and the embarrassed and cute smile.)

Shima: Ah…um…

Kouta: Welcome.

Racquel: Oh, welcome!

Shima: Are you here for the clue?

Racquel: Yes please, if you won’t mind.

Shima: Okay dokay!

(Shima fumbled around in her candy jar and drags the clue out. Racquel smiles…)

Racquel: You two are a cute couple.

(Shima blushes, Kouta just smiles. Arisa chuckles as Racquel leaves, with a smile on her face…)

(…now she has to head back to the nurse’s office…)

* * * *

(…where Hale and Weda have now made it…)

10.04AM

Riku: I hate this…

(Shannon remains quiet, nothing needs to be said as Hale and Weda get the clue from Ren…)

Hale: …this person must find an unusual couple…

(Hale looks at his mother and groans…)

Hale: …aside from mom and that wretch of a doctor called my father…

(Hale gets the clue…)

Hale: I’ll do it mom…I think I’ll need to get to unusual…(turns to Masaru)…Dai-chan, any unusual couples around?

(Masaru thinks…and then smiles…)

Masaru: Well…they’ve been keep it kinda quiet, but I wonder…

Hale: Anything will do!

Masaru: Well, no harm trying!!! Come on Hale!

Hale: Right!

(The two young men head off, Dai-chan leading the way as Hale hopes they can catch up…)

* * * *

10.05AM

Risa: So…where else can we find someone?

Pierre: Well, we’re pretty much on the main floor…but where would we find one?

Risa: Uh oh…I think someone did…

(Shot of Racquel right in front of Risa, as she’s navigating back through this dorm maze…she laughs nervously…before running past Risa.)

Risa: Crud…and we were catching up as well…let’s keep looking…

* * * *

10.10AM

(Shot of Hale and Masaru rushing up the dorms, as Masaru turns a first left unlike the other two which went straight ahead…)

Hale: …so, you think you’re best friend may be part of this?

Masaru: Yeah, call it a hunch, but ever since she blubbed up about whilst she failed to pilot her Bianca right, he was the one that was cheering her up…and considering their differences, they’ve got together so well since then, and I’m sure Arisa said something about this…so maybe…

(The two continue on around this labyrinth…)

* * * *

10.12AM

(Outside Ren’s office, Racquel makes it back…)

Shannon: Looks like they are catching us up Racquel…

Racquel: Sorry!

Shannon: Never mind…what now?

(They open the clue…)

Racquel: Head to the northern most floor and find the Pit Stop, located by Infinity.

Shannon: Instructions, let’s go!

* * * *

(Shot of Eve and Lillith, Eve in the bright orange outfit, and Lillith in the darker regular students outfit worn by the Big 4 and their ilk. Looks like they get to nearly end the race by hosting the last but one leg…)

Lillith: Infinity, or Infi for short, is this giant robot which helped stop the Second Wave.

(They are in the high command of the school, where it’s no sports cellar, it’s the area where all emergency parts used for the Biancas in case of war are used. Stored here is the infamous Infi, and where this Pit Stop is located…)

Lillith: It is here where they will get their last Pit Stop before the finale of the race…

(Lillith sighs)

Lillith: About time *pyun pyun* we got a leg to host – all those others have been stealing my spotlight – I tell you, what’s the point of us being here if we’re not going to host…aside from the last leg of course…

(Eve is quiet…of course…but she seems to emit a bit more sadness…)

* * * *

Shannon: Well…

Racquel: …going up?

(The two head straight ahead and press the button to head to the very top of Stellvia. As they do, the uncomfortable silence between Weda and Riku is nearly unbearable…)

* * * *

Risa: Gah!

(…and speaking of unbearable, Risa is getting frustrated in trying to find an unusual couple. Pierre isn’t really helping at all…until…)

Pierre: Wah, the only thing unusual really is that Yayoi hasn’t fallen for me…

Risa: Who is this Yayoi?

Pierre: A call that has been rejecting me…an older girl with glasses…she’s very mature and pretty, but for some reason now she seems to be Ayaka-sama’s favourite…

Risa: Well…you know that you’ve…

(She pauses…)

Risa: Ayaka?

Pierre: Yes, she’s the hot-shot of the Big 4, and she and Yayoi seem to be together a lot…

(Risa puts 2 and 2 together…and makes a hell of a lot more than 4…)

Risa: Call me crazy…but Pierre…do you know where either this Yayoi or Ayaka’s dorms are?

Pierre: Well…Ayaka-sama’s dorms are on the upper floor of the dorms, that’s where all the officals, include the Big 4 are…

Risa: O.K, we’ll go there first…

Pierre: But why?

Risa: Call it a hunch…

(The two run, as Pierre wonders what the heck is going on…)

* * * *

(…but Hale already seems to know what is going on.)

Masaru: O.K, here’s goes…

(They are outside a room as Hale knocks on the door…)

Hale: Um…hello?

Young male voice: Yeah?

Hale: Um…is this where you can get a clue from the race?

Male voice: Depends…if you’re going to Bermuda for the next leg, take me with you!

(A quiet female laugh is heard as the boy breathes out…)

Male voice: That’s the reaction I love…

Quiet female voice: I know, thanks.

Male voice: Yeah sure, come on in!

(Hale enters…as does Masaru…)

Male voice: Dai?

Masaru: Gomen Jojo!

Male voice: Well…cat’s out of the bag…

(Hale seems to be…surprised…to say the least. The male voice belonged to Joy Jones, a pilot who is quite short, only Rinna is shorter (and she’s 4 years younger) – he’s a poor student, but he’s very likeable, friendly and energetic. His dark blue hair and tanned face give him a rebellious look, but he’s a very nice kid…)

(…next to him, is the Sakaki of the group. She has to be 6 to 8 inches taller than Jojo, and looks a little intimidating. Long brunette hair flowing to her back, her orange uniform is overshadowed by her long legs – Yayoi’s roomates and Jojo’s surprising girlfriend, the stoic but lovely Akira Kayama at your service.)

Jojo: Well, it wasn’t really a secret but…

Masaru: It’s O.K…

(Hale snaps out of his surprise, as Jojo leaps up – actually, Jojo could be someone Hale looks like in a few years – but he’s intimidated/amazed/in awe of Akira. Akira blushes slightly at the attention…)

Hale: Beautiful…

(…now she’s really blushes as Jojo chuckles.)

Jojo: The man here has good taste! See Akira-chan, you are beautiful!

(Akira blushes again…)

Akira: Thank you.

Jojo: Anyway, here you go!

(Jojo gives Hale the clue, as he nods, and slowly leaves – thanking the trio. Masaru decides to stay behind to interrogate Jojo, with poor Akira embarrassed all the way…)

* * * *

Pierre: I tell you, it’s pointless – why would…

Risa: When you come from a circle where your sister’s boyfriend seems to be the pick for all the girls at school to put into a shounen-ai comic with the high school heart-throb you pick up on these things…

Pierre: Hey, wait…are you saying…

(Pierre laughs…)

Pierre: Now Risa-san, I know you are getting frustrated, but seriously, Yayoi-chan isn’t…

Risa: Here we are!

(Outside Ayaka Machida’s room, Risa knocks the door…)

Charming female voice: Hello there?

Risa: Excuse me….is this where I can get a clue?

Same voice: Right, just a minute!

(The door opens, as the lovely megane-girl (glasses) Yayoi Fujisawa emerges. Mature and bright, she’s second only to Shima in terms of skill of the rookies, and probably would have been the rookie of the year a year before, as she’s a year older and retrying…but unfortunately things didn’t turn out too well for Yayoi…)

?????: Who is it Yayoi?

(…because of this girl. Tall, proud, calm and gentle on the outside, this is Ayaka Machida, the youngest of the Big 4. She put so much effort into getting so far, that she gets jealous way too easily of the naturally skilled students such as Shima and Yayoi – and whilst Shima was lucky in their altrication, Yayoi wasn’t. However, things seem to have changed now…)

Yayoi: Ah, it’s someone for that race…

Ayaka: Ah right, well, would we define unusual?

Yayoi: I guess in some eyes…but…

Ayaka: Ah well…

Yayoi: It’s O.K, you know I forgive you!

Ayaka: (clutching Yayoi’s hand) Yayoi…

(Whilst Risa doesn’t mind this, Pierre’s eyes widen in shock. Suddenly, the poor boy faints…)

Yayoi: Huh? (shakes her head) Oh boy…

Risa: Don’t mind him, he’s in denial. Anyway…

Ayaka: Just one second…

(Ayaka gets the clue and hands it to Risa, who smiles…)

Risa: Look like in the future the barriers are broken more easily. Good on you girls.

(Yayoi and Ayaka nod, as Risa runs back, stepping over Pierre, as Yayoi/Ayaka figure out which rug to sweep him under…)

* * * *

10.20AM

STELLVIA BASE, INFI LOCATION

(Shannon and Racquel make it to the main base, as the giant robot Infinity lies there, as Lillith and Eve await them. The Scrapped Princess duo step on the ‘UCCHA NO STELLVIA’ mat as Lillith smiles…)

Lillith: HA, my disguise fooled you!

Shannon: Not in the slightest.

*chiku chiku*

Lillith: Fine you pair of kill joys, at least pretend to be happy, because Shannon and Racquel, you pair are the first team to arrive at the last Pit Stop!

Shannon: We dropped a little, but still holding the front.

Racquel: That’s right, now we need to keep at it for just a little longer…

Shannon: …that’s my intent.

(Racquel smiles…)

Racquel: Mine too.

* * * *

10.28AM

(With one team finished, it’s a real race for second place, as Hale and Risa are both showing running through the dorm corridors, and down the lift or stairs (stairs for Hale, lift for Risa) as they have to get back to Ren’s office to collect their partner…)

* * * *

Weda: …it’s too quiet!

Riku: I know…but what can we say now? And no, don’t say ‘come back home with us…’

Weda: Nuts…

(Suddenly, someone pokes their head round the corner…)

(…and Weda is all smiles….)

Weda: You did it!

(Hale is out of breath but happy…)

Hale: O.K, let’s g…

(He pauses as he sees Riku, looking disappointed…he coughs, and quickly pulls him mother out of there…)

Hale: Dammit…

(The two read the clue, and head over to the elevator…)

* * * *

10.32AM

Riku: What happened?

Risa: That Pierre led me in the wrong direction – I got lucky in finding it in the end otherwise we’d be in deep doodoo…

Riku: O.K, so let’s try and catch up now, they weren’t too far ahead…

Risa: …so we’re back on the elevator, top floor though…

(Riku and Risa nod as they run…)

Riku: What a disappointment – we were catching up so well, but then some bad luck and a bad Road Block for Risa. We have to now really do something to show what we can do…)

* * * *

10.36AM

INFI

(Hale and Weda quicken up the pace as they hit the mat, feeling a bit better now they’ve got back into second, though still 16 minutes behind Shannon and Racquel…)

Lillith: And they’ve navigated the space jungle, well done!

Weda: We’ll save the celebrations after we come from behind…

Hale: …we hope.

Weda: Ah, you sourpuss!

Lillith: Anyway, Hale and Weda, you are team number two…

Weda: We got back into second, but we’re still not first. We must recifty that in the next leg or bust…

Hale: …yes, because it’s the last leg mom.

Weda: I know it you baka!

(Hale chuckles as Weda chases after her silly son…)

* * * *

10.43AM

(…Riku and Risa are slower getting there, but it just means the inevitable…)

Lillith: And here we have two major slowpokes!

Risa/Riku: SHUT UP!

Lillith: Wah, scary…

(After recovering, Lillith speaks…)

Lillith: Riku and Risa, you guys are last – but because we’re nice and everything, you aren’t eliminated – we’ve got one more leg to go, and we prefer to have it as a three team thing anyway…

Risa: Yeah, yeah…sorry sis…

Riku: It’s O.K…we’ll just kick rear in the end…we’ve got out of bad predicaments before…and we can do it again…

Risa: Let’s hope…

(We take a moment to pause here, as the last leg will commence within 12 hrs…with Hale and Weda 16 minutes behind Shannon and Racquel, and Riku and Risa 23 minutes behind. Can either of these two come from behind to defeat the favourites now of Shannon and Racquel? Stay tuned…)

* * * *

12 hours later…

 

* * * *

Lillith: The last Pit Stop of the race…the teams have been resting in the dorms of the willing student body for the last 12 hours, where they have eaten their last good meal…

(Shot of the 6 teams in the cafeteria, side by side in the queue, a real uncomfortable silence between them…)

Lillith: …slept in a comfy bed for the last time…

(Shot of all three teams in empty dorms, catching on what sleep they can before their late night rendez-vous to the end of the race…)

Lillith: …and, as just seen, mingle with the inhabitants…although it seems between each other, there is very little conversation now…and why not? After all, it’s the end of the race – all three teams are ready to win a prize of half a million British pounds…

(Lillith pauses to breathe…)

Lillith: …so which of these three teams will make it? The leaders, Shannon and Racquel from Scrapped Princess? The mother and son team, Hale and Weda from Jungle Its…er…um…Jungle Guu?

(Eve shakes her head as Lillith pouts before continuing…)

Lillith: Or the surprise team of the twin sisters, Riku and Risa from DN Angel?

(Lillith smiles, bobs her tongue at her sister, and continues)

Lillith: The last part of the Animazing Race – 3rd edition begins now!

* * * *

(Shot of the leaders, Shannon and Racquel now back at Infi, to be handed their next clue…)

Lillith: Shannon and Racquel arrived here first at 10.20AM…

(Shot of the green sky outside dulled a bit, an announcement about night shift on duty, and various lights out for sleep.)

Lillith: …so they will leave at 10.20PM.

(Shannon and Racquel both look fine, but inside, they are feeling the butterflies in their stomach. Can they hold it together?)

Lillith: Let the combined leg of a bandit king and…

(Lillith squeaks…)

Lillith: …doesn’t it make you excited to see HER again Eve?

(Eve of course doesn’t say anything…but her eyes moisten…)

Lillith: Bah, you’re no fun. Let the Bandit Jing/Yami To Boushi Hon No Tabibito leg begin!

* * * *

10.20PM – INFI

SHANNON AND RACQUEL – 1ST PLACE (16 MINUTES AHEAD OF HALE/WEDA, 23 MINUTES AHEAD OF RIKU/RISA)

Shannon: O.K, let’s end this.

(Shannon grabs the clue and looks through it…)

Shannon: Head through Infi and find a black hole where you must go over to the Capital of Thieves.

(They look ahead at the giant robot as Lillith looks at Eve…)

Lillith: (quietly) Sis…

* * * *

(We cut to a deserted land, as a large skeleton truck drives by. A skeleton whips the horse in front of him…)

Skeleton: I…

(Dramatic pause…)

Skeleton: I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS FANFIC!

(A motorcycle slams into it as the skeleton flies into the distance.)

Skeleton: SEE YA!

(After repeating the joke from the first episode of Jing, we see our first host, Postino, a motorcyclist who has the ability to deliver anything to anyone, anywhere. A close friend of Jing, he’s our first host.)

Postino: Teams must exist from their futuristic journey and return to the present, where they must travel to the Capital of Thieves. At the entrance, they will find their next clue…

(Postino drives ahead as we cut back to our stepsibling duo…)

* * * *

Shannon: …so somewhere in this thing…is a portal or whatever to head over?

Racquel: Let us know when you find it!

Shannon: When I find it?

Racquel: Oops…sorry…when I find it…

(Racquel finds it inside the pod where Shima and Kouta saved the world. It’s a tight fit when Shannon enters, but the two vanish into thin air as Eve looks on…)

* * * *

Shannon: …these lands never get any smoother.

(Racquel and Shannon have been dropped in the desert. Their money is gold coins, not probably too good considering where they have to go, but they shrug, dust themselves off and look ahead.)

Shannon: O.K, the capital of thieves…

(They look around, with nothing but sand and darkness to greet them. They see a cactus sign which has an inaccurate picture of the Bandit King, Jing and another picture of an arrow pointing ‘CAPITAL OF THIEVES, THIS WAY!’)

(They look ahead…nothing but sand. And despite the night sky, it’s still quite warm…)

Shannon: Well, we start moving now, and hope that we can get a lift…

Racquel: O.K!

(No luck yet, though the Capital of Thieves is a spot where carriages travel to test their luck, and with the recent dictator Cognac now being shafted, less violence shows there…though it’s still quite dangerous, something all the teams will have to consider…)

* * * *

10.30PM

Shannon: Nothing but darkness and sand…

Racquel: Are we going in the right direction?

Shannon: I can’t tell…

(In the distance, there is a sound of a motorbike – Postino can offer a special service to the racers…if they offer something in return.)

(However, as he drives up to see…a carriage comes by…)

(…a tall blonde woman stops as Racquel waves. The woman is carrying on the back of the carriage a lot of cute white creatures, who looks like cream puffs. But they are a tad more dangerous…)

Izzarra: Howdy there strangers…what you guys doing out in the desert this late at night?

Shannon: We need to get to the Capital of Thieves – we’re on a journey and we need to do something there…

Izzarra: Well, that’s where I’m headin’ – gotta use these little guys for a protection service – considering how problematic that place is…

(The little guys, the Por Vora, all chirp cutely as Racquel smiles…)

Racquel: How cute!

Izzarra: They are miss…

(We see Izzarra ‘pet’ Por Vora resting on her head…)

Izzarra: …but if they get agitated, watch out. They give a bit of a bang…

Shannon: Bang?

Izzarra: Just be wary strangers. Anyway, for a couple of gold coins, I’ll be happy to give you guys a lift.

(Shannon and Racquel discuss it, look at their coin count, 10 of them…and nod.)

Shannon: At this stage, it’s worth it.

(Shannon pays up, and the two hop on, Izzarra gets her horses to move, as the Por Vora in the back begin to sing. Shannon sweatdrops…)

Shannon: Maybe it isn’t worth it….

* * * *

10.36PM

(Shot of our favourite Jungle team getting the thumbs up to start to move…they quickly head up to Infi…)

HALE AND WEDA (2ND PLACE – 9 MINUTES AHEAD OF RIKU/RISA)

Weda: Hale…you watch that giant robot anime – where do they keep their portals?

Hale: Usually somewhere outside the giant robot…god is having a joke with us…

(Eve comes close to sneezing, but manages to hold it in…)

Weda: O.K, so…

(Hale’s smaller body navigates through the nooks and crannies of the robot, before seeing the auspicious black hole…)

Hale: (sweatdrops) Mom, I think I’ve found it…

(The mother squeezes her way through as she sees the portal. Clutching her son’s hand, the two squeeze through…)

* * * *

(…and find themselves in total darkness – warm and isolated, aside from the beautiful night sky surrounding the desert.)

Hale: Oh dear…

Weda: I need a drink already…

Hale: Let’s get moving…

(The two begin to do so, as a motorcyclist heads in their direction…)

* * * *

(…but Shannon and Racquel maintain the edge as they make it to the Capital of Thieves.)

SHANNON/RACQUEL – CAPITAL OF THIEVES

Azzaria: Well, see ya guys – these guys are ready to scare the heebie jeebies out of anyone who even looks at me wrong…

(Shannon and Racquel nod as the girl and the Por Vora head off into the town, as they overlook it, the route marker is staring right at them…)

Shannon: O.K, what have we got?

(They get the route marker, and it’s…)

Shannon: Detour. Diamonds or Hearts…

* * * *

(Standing on top of the former Cognac hideout, is the illustratious and infamous King of Bandits, Jing. A handsome young thief with Cloud Strife hair (except dark), a yellow jacket, and a gentle smile, he’s hardly the stereotypical image for a thief. He’s our anti-hero, our heartthrob and our host, all in one.)

Jing: Teams must get through a detour, each with it’s own pros and cons. Here, they must choose between Diamonds and Hearts.

(Shot of the various rabble in the Capital, drunken jester, dirty thieves, guys with heads the size of marble carvings, extras from One Piece, and other scalliwags and scum. Jing looks down on them (literally) as he explains the detour.)

Jing: In Diamonds, the teams must successfully steal a jewel or item from any of the marked thieves inside the capital – they are clearly marked with a number on them, and hard to miss. Whilst they can get away with it quite quick, it can be quite dangerous…and whilst I can help them when necessary…I may forbid the ‘no-violence’ rule for this leg…

(In the local tavern, the Dragon Pow, another person who failed to find the gold he had looted (because it was looted by someone else) is thrown out of the tavern. Jing sweatdrops before continuing…)

Jing: In Hearts, my partner in crime and best buddy Kir will be overseeing his eyes on the many girls I’ve come across during my time as a thief. The teams have to get the girls to relinquish the clue…but they need to be very charming and persuasive. Longer winded, but less hazardous to your health.

(Jing pauses…)

Jing: Oh…and one more thing…

* * * *

Shannon: …I suggest that you guys put ANYTHING you have valuable in one of the clock locks next to the route marker. Otherwise you could be having to do a lot more chasing around…

Racquel: I guess that’s why it’s called the capital of thieves…

Shannon: O.k, late and night, and a lot of bandits around…

Racquel: …sounds like our normal work really?

Shannon: Yeah…and been a while since I got to really use my muscles…let’s catch us a clue…and rumble a thief…

(At the ‘thief’ word, half the people below them look up. Jing sweatdrops looking at the mage and swordsman…)

Jing: A LITTLE HINT, EVERYONE IS A THIEF HERE!!!

(Shannon follows the sweatdrops as he and Racquel track down into the capital…)

Shannon: We’ve still got a good advantage, but we don’t know when we could lose that – with it being late, we could be stopped in getting out of here, the others could catch up, or we might have real problems with the detour. However, we are half way there…just a little further to go…

* * * *

10.38PM

Postello: …I’ve give you a lift guys on one condition…

(Hale and Weda meet Postello, as his Kino’s Journey like motorcycle stops in front of mother and son. However, Postello always has a condition…)

Postello: …if you can deliver something to me to a location that I’ve never been before, then I will give you a lift…

Weda: Seriously?

Hale: Hmmm…

(The two think, and almost at the same time…)

Hale/Weda: Hey, how about…

* * * *

Hale: …I guess I don’t need it for the moment.

(Hale gives his gameboy away, as Weda marks it down to ‘THE JUNGLE’ via ‘JUNGLE AIR to CABIN 5 – HALE, WEDA AND GUU. Postino is very surprised and smiles.)

Postino: I’ve travelled to jungles, but never just ‘The Jungle’. There’s a place called that?

Hale: Yeah, lived there for the 10 years of my life, just make sure if you see a small..er…girl…with light blue hair and a dead like expression, run like the wind.

Weda: Hmmm…why you say that?

(Hale sweatdrops as Postino smiles. His attached cycle cart, usually used for deliveries, is open for Hale and Weda to hop aboard…)

Postino: Hop in guys.

(Hale and Weda do so, as they look ahead…seeing if they can catch up with Shannon and Racquel, and also hope that Riku and Risa stay behind…)

* * * *

10.40PM

(…but Shannon and Racquel are making sure that doesn’t happen…)

Shannon: O.K…so a tag is there…

(They’ve spotted their victim, and been hounded them. They’ve twice almost been mugged themselves, and both times Shannon has casually tripped over the offenders.)

(They realise the tag has a jewel on it, which is actually the clue – so they have to steal it…and Shannon’s ingenious plan…)

Shannon: I never thought I’d actually ask for this, but it worked in that Stellvia place so…

Racquel: My my…

(Once again, it’s Racquel the waitress – as she bounces ahead of the thief, a smallish guy with a punk hair cut and a grey face…)

Racquel: Excuse me, would you like a free sample of…

Thief: Luv, everything’s free here…we’re thieves!

Racquel: Oh my, is that right? I’m a baka!

(Racquel mock hits her on the head, as a few other thieves notice the attractive waitress. As they crowd around her, Shannon casually removes the clue from the thief. He nods over to waitress….)

Shannon: Use a spell!

Racquel: Can I?

(Somewhere, Jing, Chromus and Adam Pulver wonder if she should…then they see the thieves leering at Racquel.)

All: Kill them.

Racquel: (smiles) You guys are so sweet…

(Spirit of the flames…dance.)

* * * *

Shannon: O.K, that was a bad idea…

Racquel: At least I got to stretch out…

(An old witch woman pokes the charcoaled carcasses of 5 unlucky thieves…)

Shannon: Let’s see what we’ve got to do…

(Shannon opens the clue as the end is drawing nearer and nearer…)

Shannon: Head to the south gate and prepare to enter the world of the darkness, the hat, the book and the traveller.

* * * *

(Outside the gates of the Capital of Thieves is a young lady covered in red. This is Jing Girl Fino, the fourth Jing girl that we see. Outside the gate is a giant oil painting of a giant castle, in a horror like atmosphere. Fino explains.)

Fino: Teams must make it to this oil painting, where through the power of my red paint, they will be able to travel to the world of the darkness, the hat, the book and the traveller. There, they must travel to the castle of Garaganchua. It is there, where they will find their next clue…but…

(Fino looks at the painting, shimmering in the night sky…)

Fino: The power used to transport the travellers happens every 2 hours, so the next opportunity to do so is at midnight.

* * * *

Racquel: So, we need to move…

Shannon: I think we’ve seen every form of travel in every known world to man…

Racquel: Actually, I see it quite ironic.

Shannon: Huh?

Racquel: So, to end…we go to a space age jungle, a place of a great thief…and a complete fantasy space…a fitting end.

Shannon: When you look at it like that…I guess you’re right.

Racquel: Let’s go.

(The two leave, excitement in their feet as they prepare to move to the last stretch of their race…whilst a certain pair of twins begin their beginning of the end…)

 

10.44PM – RIKU/RISA (INFINITY)

(Last, but certainly not least, Riku and Risa, the twins, get the clue and immediately run towards Infi…)

Riku: I don’t care how tired you are now sis, we are going a top speed and then some, so don’t let me down!

Risa: Likewise!

(The Haradas scour Infi for the portal as quick as possible. As they do that, Lillith and Eve nod and begin to vanish. The Haradas don’t notice as they search the giant robot…)

Riku: O.K, where is it?

(The two search a few moments more before Risa finds it…)

Risa: Riku, down here!

(Riku crawls down to where Risa is as they spot the portal, which again, swallows them up…)

* * * *

(…as the darkness surrounds them, it then reappears in the form of a starry sky, as butts hit sand and complaints are quick drowned out by the fact that they…)

Riku: …have to find this capital and fast!

(The two begin to run, as they hope for some transport – as a coach approaches and Postino thinks it’s time for another shift…)

* * * *

Hale: Thanks Postino!

Postino: Later.

(He rushes off as Weda gulps…)

Weda: He could pick up the Haradas if they are here…

Hale: It doesn’t matter what he does or what they do at the moment mom, what matter is that we are behind Shannon and Racquel, as us behind Shannon and Racquel means we don’t win…so…

(Hale gets the route marker…)

Hale: This isn’t good…

(Weda also looks through it, looks a little apprehensive, then she looks at Hale, and smiles…)

Weda: Let’s do hearts!

Hale: Hearts? It’s the slower one…

Weda: Don’t worry, I’ve got an idea!

(They deposit their valuables in the second clock, as Hale looks confused, but Weda grabs her son’s hand and they are away…)

* * * *

Riku: …so we can’t get a lift unless…

Postino: Sorry ladies.

(It seems that Riku and Risa don’t have the same luck as Hale and Weda…Risa is trying desperately to see if she can think of an address to one of Dark’s portals, but before she can, Postino drives away. Riku follows in his direction, but he’s soon out of sight…)

Riku: Come on Risa.

Risa: Why?

Riku: Either we wait and hope, or we start moving. And just hope we can get on something else…come on…

(Risa pouts, as the sand in her shoes are bothering her, but she begins to move, and prays that a) they are going in the right direction and b) someone will pick them up…)

* * * *

10.50PM

CAPITAL OF THIEVES – SOUTHGATE

Shannon: You mean…

Fino: I’m afraid so. It will be 1 hour and 10 minutes before the gods that be will let you inside.

Racquel: That means we could all be here for the end…dramatic twist?

Shannon: Cheap if you ask me…

Racquel: Well, we can’t complain. Let’s just sit down and hope that they won’t get here in time…

(Shannon does so, as he looks behind, whether he is seeing a blue haired mother and son, or two girls with the same faces but completely different hairstyles and personalities…)

* * * *

DRAGON POW – 10.54PM

(It’s taken a while, but Hale and Weda are outside the Dragon Pow…)

Hale: Nice place…

Weda: Well, I need a cold brew…

Hale: Not this time mom! We’ve got this ‘plan’ of yours and…

(We cut to see Hale dressed up in some upper class attire, decked with a white shirt, black bow tie and blue pants. He looks extremely out of place in this city of thieves, and needless to say, he is both embarrassed and nervous…)

Hale: …I can’t say how this is going to work!!!

Weda: Just trust me.

(Weda grabs her son’s hand and they go inside the bar, as there are three girls inside – three pretty waitress girls who would be out of place in a bar like this, because they are the picture of innocence…)

Rose: HEY, SHUT THE HELL UP!!!

(…but Rose is scary. She’s tough enough to avoid the crap dealt in this type of bar, enough to avoid the other two girls, the long haired blunette Cidre, and the innocent looking (similar to Karen from Sister Princess and Madoka from Getbackers in appearance) Mirabelle, her cute brown braids not getting in the way…of Kir hitting on her…)

Kir: Mirabelle, Mi amore!!!

(Mirabelle just giggles, it seems they are used to it. Oh, let’s introduce Kir, everyone’s favourite wise cracking crow – yep, we’ve got a perverted parakeet to come, but now we have the pervert crow…actually, if Brock were a pokemon, he’d probably be something like Kir. Kir spots Weda in…)

Kir: Jungle fever baby!

(Kir flies towards Weda and is smacked into Weda’s open palm…)

Kir: (choking) Nice grip lady, er…you wouldn’t be one of these racers huh?

Weda: That’s right, now be a good birdie and buzz off – we need to charm a clue from one of these ladies?

Kir: Yeah, but you’re a girl – how are you going to do it?

(Weda lifts Hale up)

Weda: With my secret weapon!!! Isn’t he cute?

Hale: I’m am so regret…

Mirabelle: KAWAII!

Cidre: Wow, he’s a sweetie!

Rose: Ah, I love kids!

(The entire bar, including old bandit Vodka in the corner facefaults…)

Hale: Now now ladies, only one please, we need a clue from one of you ladies, so…

Rose: Sorry sugar, not going to be that easy – he has to go through a charm test….so…Mira-chan, you wanna do it?

(Mirabelle nods as she gets a piece of paper. Hale gulps as Mirabelle begins asking questions…)

Mirabelle: Question one – what would you give a girl on a first date?

(Hale is frozen – he’s only 10 after all…and this isn’t quite like a ‘Who gets Weda?’ game again…but…)

Hale: Um…a bunny doll?

Mirabelle: Awww…how sweet!

Rose: Heh, innocence thou name is Hale-kun…

Mirabelle: Next question…

* * * *

10.55PM

(…still in the desert, Riku and Risa are really struggling to get through, and aren’t even sure where to go. They haven’t had any luck with transport, and Risa is slowing ever so much down…)

Riku: Come on…

Risa: No more…we need to rest, and we have to…

Riku: Well, unless you want to lose here…hey wait…

(Riku spots some stars thinning out ahead. Riku moves ahead and sees…)

Riku: It’s just ahead! If we can just get a bit more energy we can be there in 5 minutes!

Risa: No…oh crap…

(Riku runs over and grabs her sisters hand…)

Riku: Run now, or you’re getting a piggy back…

(Risa grunts, but nods. She is dragged up by her elder by 10 minutes sister, as the Haradas struggle through the bad luck of the sand…)

* * * *

11.00PM

Hale: …and that one, on the cheek – not too forward but enough sweetness to make sure you’re interested!

Mirabelle: Well…girls?

Rose: Ah, what the hell!

Cidre: I agree…

(All three girls lean over and kiss Hale on the cheek…the poor boy’s heart nearly explodes as the heat raises to his face. Weda laugh, Kir says ‘lucky bastard’ and Mirabelle gives him the clue.)

Weda: Let’s go!

(She drags Hale out, who is slowly coming out of stunned…)

Hale: Uh…how long did it take?

Weda: Longer than I expected…come on let’s not be a slowpoke!

Hale: But you was…

(Hale pauses…)

Hale: …was she worried?

Weda: Hale, come on!!!

Hale: (snaps out of it) HAI!

(Weda tells him what’s on the clue as the two rush out…)

* * * *

(…and two more rush in.)

11.02PM

Riku: Diamonds or Hearts…

(An exhausted Risa locks up their valuables as Riku reads the clues. As soon as Risa hears thievery, she’s interested…)

Risa: Time for Phantom Thief Risa to take action!

Riku: You are kidding…

Risa: Well, it’s the quicker of the two, plus we get to use what we’ve been taught!

Riku: WE’VE BEEN TAUGHT NOTHING!

Risa: Well…let’s do it anyway!

Riku: I’m not going to comment on this madness…but she’s right, it’s the quicker, and I don’t see us charming our way into first place at the moment…

(Begrudgingly, Riku follows Risa as Jing keeps a watchful eye on them…)

* * * *

Riku: …so we have to steal a clue from a thieves back?

Risa: Not a problem for Phantom Thief Risa…

(A shot of an intimidating looking brute as he walk into a statue, and smashes THROUGH it…)

Risa: …is what I’d like to say, but this isn’t quite going to be easy is it?

(The Haradas look through the legions of thieves, some of them looking at the Haradas like easy prey, Riku watches around like a hawk…)

Riku: Sis, this isn’t good…

(She notices she’s alone…)

Riku: Aw crap!

(Risa has spotted a thief with a clue, but the problem is, she is quite small compared to the guy…)

(…who then lurches over, giving her easy chance.)

Risa: Chance!

(Risa sneakily jumps to grab the clue as her graceful figure…lands splat on the ground…)

Risa: Owwwieeee…

(The thief looks over her…)

Thief: Hey, what were you doing?! Trying to steal from me?

(Half a dozen look in his direction…)

Risa: Um…well…

Thief: Nobody steals from me and gets away with it, not even cute little young ‘uns like you!

Risa: This isn’t supposed to happen!

(Riku runs forward as the thief launches himself at Risa. Riku, out of instinct, runs forward aiming a fist at the mug of the thief…)

(…who is sent 20 feet flying.)

Riku: Whoa, didn’t know I was that strong!!!

Jing: You weren’t…but you’ve got energy.

(Jing smiles as his foot returns from when it was imbedded into the thieves’ skull. Risa swoons immediately as Riku sighs with relief.)

Riku: Thank you sir.

Jing: (bowing) You’re welcome ladies. But I best advise you of looking for your targets and work together – it’s dangerous here, and I can’t be saving you all the time. Not everyone here is that big…think.

(Jing vanishes into the trees as Riku looks around…)

(…there’s a smaller thief with a punk rock hair cut. Riku grabs a formerly scared, now currently star struck Risa and goes over.)

Riku: Keep that face…

(Riku literally throws Risa into the thief, as the two stumble to the ground…)

Risa: Ow, ow, ow…

Punk thief: Hey watch it love, that hurt!

Risa: Oh, I’m sorry…

Punk thief: Gah, nothing worth on her…bah.

(The thief stand up and grunts, as Risa also grunts…at Riku.)

Risa: What did you do that for?

(Riku smiles…as she holds the clue in her hand.)

Riku: Yoink! Guess I’d be the better bride of a Phantom Thief huh?

(Risa pouts…but then smiles.)

Risa: I didn’t know you were THAT far ahead with Niwa-kun…

(Now it’s Riku to get embarrassed…before Risa can get an advantage though, she tears the clue open…)

Riku: Head to the south gate and prepare to enter the world of the darkness, the hat, the book and the traveller.

* * * *

11.10PM

Hale: …so this is how they want to play it?

(Shot of Hale and Weda, who have now joined up with Shannon and Racquel on the edge of town, where Fino has explained what has happened, as neither team now will have an advantage…)

Shannon: So, unless Riku and Risa can’t make it before 12, then for the end, we are all level.

Racquel: As it should be I guess…

Weda: Wah…

Hale: Mom…

Weda: I guess…just means that we are going to be so on edge now until that gate opens…

(Weda takes a hankerchief out of her pocket…)


Weda: Hold still Hale…

Hale: Eh? What are you doing?

Weda: Wiping off the bit of lipstick from your face…don’t want Riku to see you like that do we?

Hale: That’s not even funny now!!!

(Racquel tries hard to stiffle her laughter as Shannon sighs…)

Shannon: How can they be so relaxed?

Hale: Trust me Shannon-nii, compared to what I usually have to deal with on a daily basis, anything can be seen as relaxing…

Shannon: I won’t delve into it.

Weda: What do you mean Hale?

Hale: If I told you…you wouldn’t believe me.

(The two teams wait, trying to make idle chatter, knowing that the end is near and they are going to be as close as can be…especially when…)

* * * *

11.19pm

Riku: …and so we all come.

(The Haradas see what they have to deal with, a beautiful girl outside a giant painting – with two teams already staying there…)

Risa: At least we know we can still win this…

Riku: (nods) Yep – that’s the good thing…the bad thing is it will make them more determined…

(Shot of Weda and Racquel greeting the girls, as Shannon practices some sword play (with a stick, though he probably could steal a sword if he wanted to) as Hale sees the girls and smiles…)

Hale: It is going to be a duel to the death…

(Riku waves Hale over, and after a while, Shannon also joins them – as the three teams have a quick talk…)

* * * *

11.30PM

Hale: We can relax now, but at the same time, we can’t get rid of our nerves…

Shannon: In half an hour, we are going to be going for victory, all 6 of us…and nothing here will matter.

Risa: Right – so we might as well get the good lucks and well dones out of the way know, before we turn into blood letting, snarling beasts with only victory on mind…

Riku: Of course, if you saw blood you would have passed out, so it doesn’t apply to you…

Risa: It was a figure of speech sis!

Riku: (sarcastic) Oh no, really?

Racquel: You two get along so well!

Riku/Risa: WE DO NOT!

Weda: So how is it you made it this far if you didn’t get along?

Risa: Er….

Riku: Well…um…

Hale: Because they love each other mom – in the end, despite any differences in characters, the three teams that worked the best together, no matter what the circumstances, whether by skill, strength, speed or luck, we made it here.

Shannon: He’s right, and those rules will bound us in half an hour as well – so I think I can safely say that let’s see who the best team is.

Weda: My thoughts exactly.

(The team have a silent nod, as they have the most antagonising half an hour ever…)

* * * *

MIDNIGHT

(The bell strikes twelve. Three teams wait as Fino nods as the paint swirls in a psychadelic way, the forms of red turn circular as the three teams gulp. Hale grabs his mother’s hand as the teams nervously approach it…)

Fino: You may enter.

(Without a pause, three teams jump into the painting.)

* * * *

(And arrive at the path of a spooky castle. Not the best way to start the final leg, but the teams spot the route marker straight ahead. Shannon is the first to react as he and Racquel get ahead of Hale and Weda, and get the first clue.)

Shannon: Get to the top of the tower and get your next clue from the one called Garuganchua.

* * * *

(Inside the castle, we see a tall, slightly vampiric looking man, who is dancing around the top of the holy grail of the castle. This is Garuganchua, the man who many years ago, had the blood of Eve spilled onto him after he wanted Eve to be all his. (Watch the show to learn more) Because of this, he is now immortal…but still dances around like a prat. Still, he’s amusing, and he’s also a powerful wizard as well. He is our first host for this final leg of the race.)

Garuganchua: Oh, the great travellers of the dark and the hat must ascend to the great heights of this castle where they must gather the clue from one’s self before continuing on to an even more treacherous path to find their next clue. Now…

(Garuganchua takes a bite of brocolli, and grumbles saying ‘can’t eat it raw’ before we return back to our teams…)

* * * *

Shannon: Time for more physical work, you ready Racquel?

Racquel: Yep!

(The two run off ahead as Hale and Weda are the next to get the clue and go through it. They don’t bother looking too far ahead as it’s pretty obvious where they need to go so they begin running. Riku and Risa quickly look through as well…)

Risa: Onwards and upwards dear sis!

Riku: Can you manage?

Risa: Like I have a choice – come on!

Riku: That’s the spirit!

(Sisters run as the adult strength of the stepsiblings gives them an increasing lead over Hale and Weda, who are slightly ahead of Riku and Risa…)

* * * *

GARUGANCHUA’S TOWER

(Shannon and Racquel navigated the tough path, which looks like it’s going to fall, they have to slow down to navigate some of the crooked edges, fortunately, the other teams will have to do this as well, as Shannon looks ahead…)

Shannon: What a way to end it…

Racquel: Just a bit further…

12.11PM

(The stepsiblings see the castle entrance where three troll guards are waiting…er…sleeping…(one of them saying a word ‘Oudozi’ in his sleep). Shannon and Racquel sneak past them as they open the large doors to the castle.)

Shannon: I guess we have to find this guy then…

Racquel: Well, let’s move…

(As the stepsiblings go in, Hale and Weda cross the last corner…)

Hale: They’ve gone in mom, come on!

Weda: Hold your chocobos young squire!

(The mother/son duo jump across before rushing in the now open doors, as the twin sisters drag behind, mainly because of some of the cracks and Risa getting nervous. It’s a couple of minutes behind Hale and Weda before they get to the end…)

Risa: Sorry…

Riku: Doesn’t matter now, you can apologise after we win this…

Risa: (smiles) Thanks sis.

(Riku smiles as the sisters run into the building, hot on the trails of the two teams ahead…)

* * * *

SHANNON/RACQUEL – 1ST PLACE

Shannon: We need to get faster, we need to hold the lead from now – come on Racquel!

Racquel: All right…wow Shannon, didn’t know you could get so excited…

Shannon: Neither did I…

(The two continue upwards and onwards as the case spirals and they witness the magical energies surrounded them, Racquel in particular picks this up…)

Racquel: It’s like the light is guiding us towards victory…

Hale: (lower down) Don’t be so sure Racquel-nee!

Shannon: (sighs) Figures this would echo – come on!

(Racquel chuckles as the two increase their pace – but Hale and Weda are no slouches either, as Weda jogs up the stairs…)

HALE/WEDA – 2ND PLACE

Hale: Winwinwinwinwinwinwinwinwin…

Weda: Man Hale, you are really going for it!

Hale: It’s just show I can say to ‘dad’ "HA!"

Weda: (chuckles) I’m amazed you brought it back up – after all, it’s been a while now since we’ve been back home…

(Hale NEARLY freezes up, but fortunately the pressure of winning the race manages to break up the pressure of realising that after this leg they will be returning back to the Jungle where Guu is, and makes him speed up. Weda matches suit, hoping Hale doesn’t get too tired – after all, it’s midnight and they are running full tilt. And these stairs seem neverending…)

(A bit further down, and who couldn’t hear the talking, Riku and Risa start their running.)

RIKU/RISA – 3RD PLACE

Riku: So…sis…can we handle this?

Risa: Once again, is it like I have a choice?

Riku: You don’t…the only choice you have is how we are splitting the money when we win…

Risa: My, you’re confident…

Riku: At this stage, confidence is the only thing going for me apart from adreneline…and the fact that we’ll be home after this as well…

Risa: You miss him don’t you?

(Riku continuing running as she is silent for a moment…)

Riku: Yeah, I can’t wait to see him.

Risa: He’ll be proud no matter what, and you know that sis.

(Riku wipes a tear from her eyes as she smiles.)

Riku: Thanks sis.

(The two begin their ascent up the stairs and hope they manage to catch up…)

* * * *

12.20AM

(Shannon and Racquel are the first up there, but the long stairs have obviously tired them out. Still, they manage to walk over to the being at the top of the stairs, ballet dancing across a blue screen of light with two spouting waterfalls next to him. He pauses, does a spiral and bows towards the two visitors.)

Garuganchua: Welcome, you must be the first two to arrive at my abode…

Shannon: We…wish…it was slightly less exhausting circumstances…

Garuganchua: Never mind the details – find the clue there.

(The two go onto the table – but there isn’t a route marker. Instead, there are three books, one red, one yellow, and one blue. And…)

Shannon: These the clues…

Racquel: Shannon, they’re locked.

Shannon: Damn.

(They notice all the keys on the side, all the same colour as they realise they need to open the book to find the next clue. Racquel quickly starts key searching as they beginning to try and open the book, because they now that anything that slows them down is an incentive for the others to be quicker…)

Racquel: Hale and Weda weren’t too far behind, we need to be quick…

Shannon: Damn keys…

(Shannon gets through a few before the voice of Weda echoes through the halls…)

Weda: Most…exercise…ever…

Hale: No…this…whole…race…has…been…one…big…exercise…

Garuganchua: Ah, more visitors!

Hale: Sir…could you be kind…to give us the clue…

Garuganchua: Sure, though you have to open it first…

(Hale and Weda spy Shannon and Racquel going through keys, they look at the two books on there, and add 2 and 2 together to make 5.)

Hale: Mom?

Weda: Right!

(Hale and Weda rush over to the locked books, as Hale begins picking out keys, and then throws them to his mom who tries to unlock it. After a few moments, Shannon finally gets the right one.)

Shannon: Got it!

(As the key unlocks, the book opens in a flash of light…Shannon closes his eyes as they can’t see what’s in the book. Suddenly, an eerie voice calls…)

???: Put your trust together in the book…

Shannon: Huh? Who was that?

Racquel: You heard that as well?

Shannon: I guess…that means….

(The two nod as Shannon puts his hand on the book. Racquel puts her hand on top of Shannon’s…)

(…and they vanish.)

Weda: Holy crap!

Hale: Ignore it mom, it’s part of the game – now come on!

(The two continue to try and find their lock…)

* * * *

(…as we see Shannon and Racquel in a new area – the Great Library. Here, the crystalized images surrounding the massive spectral of books would even give Yomiko Readman a surprise. Here, we find a small little sprite shooting fireworks off and causing god knows mischief. This is little Kogechibi – and our chibified host for this final part.)

(But first…)

Shannon: Now where are we?

Racquel: I think near the end.

Shannon: And now…

(In front of them, three light envelopes are above a balcony. Shannon runs and gets one of them as he gingerly opens it.)

Shannon: Oh…this is it.

Racquel: Why?

Shannon: Road Block. This person must find a special person.

* * * *

(Back to Kogechibi – this chibi sprite with a witches hat and cloak explains as best as he…er, she…er, it…can.)

Kogechibi: This is the Road Block where one person must finish their journey. To complete it, hidden inside the hidden Library, there are a number of books where Lillith and Eve travelled in various worlds, they must find two books to match a part of a pendant that they will get. However, whilst they can one part from any of the worlds, the second pendant is only from one world.

(A quick window opens and we see a gorgeous girl having a midnight snack. She has long stringy black hair, wearing a sailor fuku, her skirt quite long, and most distinctively, a bandage around her right thigh and ankle. Kogechibi explains…)

Kogechibi: What the teams don’t know is that they must find this girl, Hatsuki Azuma, to get the final piece to the race. This book will be different as the majority of the worlds have a Lillith sticker on, this one will have an Eve sticker – signifying their last journey…though they won’t know that. Once they do, they will be transported where the last part of the race awaits them…the run to the finish.

* * * *

Shannon: I’ll do it – we’ve got to keep ahead knowing we are only a bit ahead the other teams now…

Racquel: Right!

(Shannon escapes as he begins searching…)

* * * *

Weda: Got it!

(Mother and son have found their key just as Riku and Risa head in for the route marker…)

Risa: Shannon and Racquel aren’t here…

Weda: …and we won’t be in a moment girls, sorry!

(Hale opens the book and they put their hands together just as Shannon and Racquel did…within moments, they are outta there. Riku gulps…)

Riku: Not good…

Garuganchua: Please ladies, the last step in time doesn’t mean it’s the end of time…

Risa: Actually, it would…I think…

Garuganchua: Stop confusing me young lady…

(They decide to cut this argument quickly considering what the girls need to do. After reaching the final book, and the mess of keys – they gulp…)

Riku: O.K, speed time, come on sis!

Risa: Right!

(The two begin searching…)

* * * *

(…as do Hale and Weda as they get the route marker, we see Shannon looking for some books. There are 6 Lillith books and just the one Eve book, which is located on the highest floor. There is one Lillith book on each of the floors other than the top so it is almost like finding a needle in a haystack.)

Hale: Road Block – this person must find a special person.

Weda: Considering what Shannon is doing…I’ll do it.

Hale: You O.K for it mom?

Weda: Yep! Watch your mom win the gold!

(Hale smiles)

Hale: Go for it mom!

(Weda gives her son the thumbs up as she begins searching. Hale joins Racquel-nee as the two nervously – Weda begins to climb to the top floor and begins to start there, whilst Shannon went for the bottom floor…and Shannon strikes lucky.)

Shannon: Let’s see…all this eerie energy…

(After a literal stab in the dark around, Shannon begins to navigate the lower paths better, before seeing a book glow yellow similar to their own clues in the corner. He removes it and sees it’s a Lillith tagged book…)

Shannon: Do I need Racquel here?

(He opens the book as it envelops him with light…Shannon manages to get out a ‘I guess not’ before vanishing…)

* * * *

Risa: O.K, we got it!

(The twins manage to find the right key as they now are transported as the three way dance continues to be anyone’s game…)

* * * *

(With the Haradas spotting Hale and Shannon sitting down, not speaking and obviously very tense, the Haradas spot the route marker and begin to get a move on…)

Risa: What we got?

Riku: Road Block – This person must find a special person.

Risa: I’d say that fits you perfectly sis.

Riku: Risa…

Risa: We need speed now, and I hate to admit it, but I’m no match for you there – so go out there, and grab us the win!

Riku: Right!

(Riku grabs the clue and decides to stay on the same floor and look for a book, which was pretty smart. Upstairs, however…)

Weda: Dammit, where is it?

(Various glows have lead her down false alleys, but suddenly, she gets a rather ethereal white light beckoning to her like a firefly. She nervously approaches it…)

???: Not yet…

Weda: Huh?

???: Not yet…

(Weda is unsure where that voice is coming from…but steps away from the book. She thinks…)

Weda: I wonder…

(With that, Weda drops down the stairs with a Jungle leap and begins searching the next floor, keeping an eye where that light is…)

* * * *

(We are now in snow covered Siberia, where Shannon has been found outside a train ready to depart. The conductor is a tanned, very feminine, young man who seems to travel worlds just as frequently as the cast of Abenobashi. This is Aya, our time-link between words so to speak. He’s in full conductors gear as Shannon steadies himself…)

Aya: Hey, we’re getting on, this is the chance to step up the pace for the race!

Shannon: You sure not kidding…

Aya: Sir, what you are looking for is somewhere on this train, I wish you good luck…

(Shannon nods as he steps from the cold into the relatively warm train where a lot of businessmen are sitting down, minding their own business.)

Shannon: So what I’m searching is here…

(Shannon begins looking for the train – needing to find something which links with the clue. He goes through a number of doors linking to coaches on the train, before he hits a jackpot.)

Shannon: Excuse me…

(A very different looking passenger is on board. First of all, it’s a female. Second of all, she has striking blue hair dangling around her hair, and third, despite wearing a male outfit, her large chest isn’t fooling anyone (a trick which failed in Yamibou after she was attacked…but she kicked some serious rear in the end). This is Russian agent Youko Sumeragi, martial arts expert and the first of many travellers that Hatsuki befriends during her search for Hatsumi.)

Youko: Ah, young man – I’ve been expecting you.

Shannon: Can you give me what I’m looking for?

Youko: I believe so. A young lady with blonde hair gave me some items which she said that ‘three people’ may be looking for. I sensed you may be one of these?

Shannon: Yes, I believe so.

Youko: Very well.

(Youko takes out of her pocket what appears to be a locket. She puts it into Shannon’s hand. Shannon looks at it – there are two picture frames in the locket – one blank and one with light engulfing the side.)

Youko: Once you find the second half to that, the truth will become clear. But the second half is much more difficult to find than the first.

Shannon: Very well. And thank you.

Youko: You are welcome. To get back, put your hand over the missing part of the locket.

(Shannon does so, and he vanishes…)

* * * *

(…as Shannon reappears in the library, Riku manages to find a Lillith book before Weda does…)

Risa: (shouting) Riku, you’re ahead of Weda now, but Shannon just got back – you can do it!

Hale: (shouting) Mom, look for the clearest light – that’s where they seem to be!!!

(Weda seems to be looking a bit more bouncy though, as Riku grabs the book. Shannon looks at the locket, puts it in his pocket and goes up a floor to search for a second book. Riku vanishes as Weda continues searching…)

* * * *

Riku: …Wow.

(Riku has found herself on a beach – quite different from Shannon, as she looks on as the shallow waves make her want to relax, but knowing there is a job to do, looks ahead on the beach…)

(…and finds an unusual sight. A little girl chasing a tiger on the beach, as a spike haired blunette looks on. The little girl is the never aging Mika (who asks a certain parakeet what are the things that Hatsuki and Lillith have in front of their chest…^_^) whilst the elder girl is actually a forgotten demon separated from Lillith (and holds a rather large grudge because of it) – her name is Seiren.)

Riku: O.K…

(The child and tiger stop momentarily, as Riku wonders if she is in danger, but Mika puts a hand on the tiger’s head and he purrs affectionally.)

Mika: It’s O.K, she’s one of our friends! She’s hear to make her dreams come true…

Seiren: She’s just one of those people here sent by that spawn Lillith for their own selfish desire Mika-sama, and that we…

Mika: Seiren, please don’t be mean…

Serien: Gack, not the puppy-dog, anything but the puppy-dog…

(Mika turns back to Riku…)

Mika: You’re like Hatsuki-san right? You’re searching for someone special?

Riku: Yes…

Mika: You have a nice face…and a nice heart…

(Mika cuddles up to Riku…)

Mika: You’re nice…you deserve this.

(Glowing in Mika’s hands, the item Riku is searching for appears. The locket falls in Riku’s hands…)

Riku: Thank you…

Mika: …Mika.

Riku: Mika-chan…is that O.K?

(Mika nods…as Riku sees the light of one side and the dark of the other.)

Mika: Direct yourself back to the darkness…

(But we interrupt there, as back in the library…)

* * * *

Weda: Here we are!

Hale: (screaming) Come on mom!

(Weda opens the book, as we see Shannon finally realising there is only one per floor…though of course, he doesn’t know that it may be the right one he is looking for…)

(Weda vanishes…)

* * * *

(…and is not quite close to home, but the atmosphere seems similar…)

Weda: O.K…

(Shot of what appears to be where cavemen and women ruled. And again, we spot Aya sneaking around…or trying to…)

Weda: HEY!

(Aya freezes…turn slowly…)

Aya: Er…yeah?

Weda: Have you got something which I need?

(Aya looks nervous, but just points down to what appears to be a small temple of sorts. Weda can hear various chants in there, as she runs over. Aya again sneakily moves away as Weda has a good look inside…)

(…where we see a number of people bowing and chanting in front of a fire, where a carving of a girl is shown (it is in fact Hatsuki) who they seem to revere/worship as God. And in the middle is another tanned large breasted bishoujo (you sense this is a fanservice show, which it is in a way…), with Mihoshi like hair but black. This is Quill, the young lady who Hatsuki saves from being a sacrifice. She has an annoying habit of repeating her name several times…)

Quill: Oh!

(Quill bounces over to Weda)

Weda: Er yeah?

Quill: Let me introduce myself, my name is Quill, and you seem to be looking for something! Have you travelled from the world of the gods?

Weda: I…guess so…

Quill: Right! Then…

(Quill goes over to the fire where she seems to put her hand inside – Weda cringes but Quill seems unharmed. She removes her hand from the fire and brings out the locket.)

Quill: The fire brightens it, but the darkness will return you back to solitude. Look for the other half of the light.

Weda: Got’cha.

Quill: Oh by the way, let me introduce myself…my name is…

(Too late – Weda already got the gist of it and has vanished…)

* * * *

Risa: …you just like kids don’t you?!

Riku: What can I say?!

(Riku is now back as she has been looking for another clue, however on the floor below them, Shannon has got a book.)

Shannon: Got it!

Racquel: Go for it!

Riku: No sis!

(As Shannon is about to travel, Weda returns. Hale is getting nervous, but Weda looks around…)

Weda: O.K then…

(Weda rushes to the top floor where she found that other clue previously. Shannon vanishes as Riku doesn’t notice what the elder woman is doing…)

* * * *

(We see Shannon in something that he should feel right at home…a Kenshin-esque world, Edo style swordsplay and samurai – as he can hear the clash of swords in the distance.)

Shannon: O.K…now…

(He begins searching…and two chirpy Osakan accents greet him…one from our token cat girl of course, a female samurai cat girl with magic entities as well – the red haired young lady is Meirin…)

Meirin: (Osakan accent) Ah, we have got visitors ya know?

(…and for every Boke, there is a Tsukomi – and we welcome the world’s most perverted parakeet, or manjuu bun, or lump of cholesterol, or whatever poor unfortunate name that Lillith, Hatsuki or the character of the day labels him this week. Welcome to the chubby little parakeet known as Ken-chan!)

Ken-chan: Aw man – not quite what I expected…

Meirin: …you mean what you hoped?

Ken-chan: Ah, you got me!

(Meirin gets a small paper harisen and whaps Ken-chan with it, as Shannon resists the urge to sweatdrop.)

Shannon: Excuse me, I’m looking for…

Meirin: Ah right, we know the drill – right, just bare me for a moment!

Ken-chan: But you’re a cat – not a bear!

(Another thwap (deservingly so) and Meirin goes down and removes…)

(…a locket.)

Shannon: Huh?

Meirin: There we go!

Shannon: I’ve already got one – does that match with this?

(Shannon shows the light he’s got in his locket, as Meirin shakes her head…)

Meirin: No – the light for the other side is different – you need to find a different world – the only one with Eve’s light shining around.

Ken-chan: In other words, find Hatsuki-neechan’s world and complete your trip there – it’s in a book that’s different to the others…

(Shannon nearly drops the locket…)

Shannon: Crap!

(He transports back to the Library…)

* * * *

(…where Weda has located the book on the top floor (it seemed to move from before – most likely to confuse everyone) and before Shannon can see it, Weda vanishes. However, someone else saw it…)

Racquel: You done Shannon?

Shannon: No, I need to find one particular world, apparently these books aren’t the right ones…

Riku: (overhearing) What?

Shannon: Crap…

Racquel: Hmmm…then when Weda went to the top…

Shannon: Huh?

(Racquel points up there, as Shannon and Riku look up. Risa looks nervous as Hale, who WAS nervous now seems to have some hope…)

Hale: Mom, did you…

* * * *

(She sure did Hale. She is outside a rainy night sky where the Azuma mansion is holding, as Weda takes a moment to reflect…)

Weda: Kinda reminds me of the day I left home…but this time, I’m coming home with glory…I hope…

(Weda clutches the locket as they headed towards the house and knocks on the door. To her surprise, it opens slightly…)

(As Weda enters, we can hear someone else speaking very quietly…)

???: Hatsuki-chan…

* * * *

Weda: Hello?

(Weda is inside the mansion, where there are lamps on everywhere, but no sign of where to go. Weda gulps a bit…)

Weda: Where is this clue?

???????: Excuse me?

(Weda nearly jumps out of her skin, as Hatsuki is still up, in her dark pink pyjamas – looks like she just got out of the shower, her nice figure showing rather well (Weda seems jealous…^_^) but suddenly…)

Hatsuki: You have that?

(Weda lifts up the locket, as Hatsuki goes over to Weda…)

Hatsuki: You have…Hatsumi’s scent…

Weda: Huh?

(Before Weda can react, Hatsuki hugs her. A couple of tears escape the younger woman’s eyes…)

Hatsuki: Please…for your special person…and for mine…

(Weda seems confused, but soon, a glow from Hatsuki comes out – the Souma blood flows as her power envelopes the Jungle woman. Instead of being freaked out, Weda seems to embrace it – as Hatsuki’s tears continue. Eventually, the flow of power stops…)

(…and Weda now has a locket with two pictures, carved by light. Weda smiles, and stops to wipe a tear herself.)

Weda: Thank you.

Hatsuki: No, the pleasure is mine. Now…

(Hatsuki takes Weda’s hand and puts hers on top. With that, Weda vanishes, as Hatsuki remains alone…)

Hatsuki: (to herself) I can still feel you…you are watching me…this is your way to try to make sure I know you’re out there…

(Somewhere at the end of the race, a faint whimper echoes…)

* * * *

Weda: Hale, WE’VE GOT IT!

(As soon as she steps out, she realises that Riku and Shannon are already up there, realising her error.)

Weda: Crap! Hale, get up here!

(Weda looks at the locket, which has formed the light of two people…Hale and herself. As Hale joins her…)

Hale: Mom…

(As they look at it, the light goes again…as Hale and Weda step forward as Riku (on the higher floor) gets to the clue before Shannon. Hale and Weda recover after the light, which now reveals the clue…)

Weda: Congratulations, you have completed the Road Block! Move to the wall opposite and use the locket on the wall marks to find the Kitsune Demon Tamamon Omae. There, your last stage of the journey begins…

Hale: Come on mom!

(Weda doesn’t need to be asked twice, as the two rush and see the wall. Riku realises time is off the essence and quickly gets inside the Eve book, quickly followed by Shannon…can they catch up?)

* * * *

Weda: O.K, fit in here….

(The light of the locket remains as they fit it in the wall mark, and a mysterious path way opens them, which added another staircase. Hale and Weda begin running…as do two other teams…)

* * * *

(Shot of Riku and Shannon neck and neck, Riku managing to keep up with Shannon surprisingly as they notice the slightly ajar door of the Azuma mansion…)

Riku: Nothing personal Shannon!

Shannon: Likewise…

(The two burst in, where they see Hatsuki crouched down, praying by the looks of things. She opens her eyes as the older man Shannon and the younger lady Riku stare at her…)

Hatsuki: Oh sorry…

Shannon: That’s O.K, but…

Hatsuki: I know, I know…let’s see…

(She goes over to both of them…)

Hatsuki: You have Hatsumi’s scent as well…

Riku: Hatsumi?

Hatsuki: (nods) I guess considering the urgency…

(Hatsuki grabs both their hands and embraces them. Again, they are quite surprised but once the light emits from her body, the two seem to relax. It seems Hatsuki has a calming effect despite her look and nature…)

(…it isn’t long before their lockets have shone brightly…and they realise the meaning of the Road Block…)

Shannon: Thank you.

Riku: Yes, thank you…

Hatsuki: You’re welcome. Now…

(Hatsuki does the same with returning them, as Hale and Weda…)

* * * *

Hale: …so our special person was…each other?

Weda: It was…I think it shows considering how we got this far…and I think it’s shown what we are capable of when we are on the same page…thank you Hale…

(Hale tries to avoid smiling or crying…)

Hale: No thanks yet mom, we can win this now, so let’s do it!

(The two are at the top of the stairs as they open the traditional Japanese sliding doors…)

(…and meet a sake drinking fox demon. Along with her is another Aya, and also a petite young lady with Mimi-like pink hair – a former princess before tragedy hit her, she is Mau, formerly known as Mariel-Hime, whilst the drunk fox demon is Tamamon Omae, but as we’re near the end of the race, I’m referring her to as Tama.)

Tama: Ah guests, you have arrived at the end of the road right?

Hale: We believe so…

Tama: Ah wonderful! Mau, if you could be so kind and direct them to the last part of the journey?

Mau: Yes master.

(Mau opens a door – not the one that leads into nothingness and a repeat joke where the three trolls at the beginning of the leg continue to fall – where there is one more crystal staircase. The two are tired, but adreneline and victory are what is needed…)

Weda: One more time Hale, are you ready?

Hale: Let’s go mom!

(The two link hands as they begin to run…)

* * * *

Shannon: Come on Racquel!

Racquel: Top speed?

Shannon: We don’t have a choice now, we just need to hope that Hale and Weda tire out or there is another obstacle slowing them down…

(As the locket of Shannon and Racquel fits in to their entrance, Riku is crying slightly after realising what the Road Block meant…)

Risa: See sis, we made a great team!

Riku: I know…it just made me realise it…

Risa: Well, we can still do it…come on!

Riku: Right!

(Shannon and Racquel get inside first, before Riku and Risa follow…)

* * * *

(….but is it for nought?)

(Shot of Hale and Weda running up the crystal staircase, occassionally looking behind to see if anyone is following. No, but there are people ahead…)

Mizuho: Hey there!

Weda: Long time no see!

(Kei and Mizuho are with Wataru and Shirayuki as they wave past, Hale and Weda realising they are close to the end, and whatever tiredness they have is being put on hold…)

Hale: No stopping mom!

Weda: I know!

(Shot of Nakahito, Kamahito along with Ran just a bit ahead…)

Ran: Oh come on, can you use your powers on Naka-teach just a little please – you know, just to slightly change my grades?

Kamahito: I told you, we don’t use our powers like that…

Ran: Oh come on, don’t be a square!

Nakahito: Oh boy…

(Hale and Weda run past them, and get a wave from the next time, Ryo and Hiroki along with Tohru Honda, eating some onigiri.)

Ryo: Catch!

Hiroki: Don’t hit it back!

(The two catch an onigiri each as they take a bite for energy and continue on…before meeting…)

Chika: Go go Hale-kun!

Taeko: Do your best Weda-san!

Mika: Hmmm…beer tastes quite well when in an alternative universe!

Taeko: Indeed!

Hibiki: This seems so wrong…

(Taeko and Mika are indulging in beer, Hibiki is being their chaparone and Chika is in full cheerleader mode. Hale blushes as Weda almost teases him, but now isn’t the time…)

* * * *

Shannon: Through there?

Tama: Yes, the other two went up there a few minutes ago, so they may have got tired, so there is still a chance…

Racquel: Come on!

(The two run, but behind…Riku is getting tired, yes, I said Riku…not Risa. It seems everything she done has finally catching up, and she’s slowing down as they approach the door…)

Riku: Dammit!

Risa: Sis…don’t worry…

Riku: But…

Risa: (clutching Riku’s hand) Let’s go…

(Riku is ready to cry, but doesn’t want her sister to see the tears. He fights on bravely, as Shannon and Racquel see if they can catch up…)

* * * *

Weda: You holding up Hale?

Hale: (a bit out of breath) Yeah…I’ll rest after we’ve won…I just need some more energy…

Shannon: (distant) Hey there guys.

Kei: (more distant) You aren’t far behind…you can still do it!

Hale: That will do!

(The two troll up the stairs at an increased pace, now bumping into…)

Sandora: Senor Hale! Senorita Weda!

Pedro: Go on my friends! Onto the path of victory!

Saga: Good luck!

Nancy: Go go!

(Pedro has Sandora on one arm and Saga on the other, Nancy on the sidelines clapping and whilst they can’t see her (apart from Saga of course), a certain sugar fairy is chanting ‘GO FOR IT! GO FOR IT! WAFFO!) as Hale and Weda ascent to victory draws nearer, despite the fact they can hear Shannon and Racquel in the distance…they keep going, drowning out any further conversation…)

Oshige: Hale-kun, ganbatte!

Wakayoji: You’re nearly there…

Ursula: Go for it and we have some good bread for you guys at the end, you’ll need it!

(The Pop Idol Managers along with the artist clap their way as Hale seems to be gritting his teeth with all this climbing, but steadies himself...)

* * * *

Tama: Through there ladies.

(Riku and Risa open the door, disappointed….especially after seeing more stairs.)

Risa: We’re not going to make it are we?

Riku: I’m sorry sis…

Risa: Don’t be sorry! At the start of the race, we were polar opposites, and I say we still am now…

(Risa breathes)

Risa: …but despite that, look how far we’ve got! Look who we’ve beaten, two priests, two baseball stars, two assassins and two ninjas just to name a few! We should be proud we’ve done this…and…

Riku: …and…

(Shot of Risa crying, but happily…)

Risa: …and I can safely say I’m glad you’re my big sister. So don’t be disappointed, and don’t make me chew you out, you’re supposed to be the mature one right?

(Riku begins to cry as well, but shakes it off and grabs her sister’s hand.)

Riku: Let’s go sis!

* * * *

(Shannon and Racquel have just met up with Ryo and Hiroki and are hurrying as best as they can, but in the distance, they hear…)

Hale: (distant) Akari-chan!

Akari: (distant) Nearly there guys…

Hiroyuki: Ah. Just don’t trip…

Henrietta: Triela says ‘I knew you could do it!’

Hale: (embarrassed) Henrietta-chan….

(We can’t hear her, but San’s eyes seem to guide them on. Shannon is desperately trying to catch up but…)

Shannon: I don’t think we can catch up now…because of Weda getting to the right book before any of us could.

Racquel: Always hope, Shannon…you should know that more than anyone.

Shannon: Yes…but in this case…the light is fading…

Racquel: Well…you can’t say we weren’t there until the end at least…

Shannon: (Smiles) Sure.

(The two continue on…)

* * * *

(…but Hale and Weda surely can’t be denied now.)

Chacha: (cheerleader mode) Hurray! Hurray! Ha-le-kun! Hurray! Hurray! We-da-san!

Mirielle: And we had to stand this?

(Kirika smiles slightly as Hale and Weda pass them by – both are exhausted, but adrenaline and the light of victory is guiding them…)

(…finally, the last team comes into view.)

Naruto: Wow, so you guys got ahead then?!

Himeno: Well done!

(Sasuke is quiet as usual, but edges a glance ahead. As Naruto and Himeno all out cheer, the last few steps beckon.)

(And a double door of light appears. In front of the light, Shima and Jing await with two large swords…Shima is having trouble lifting it, but the two do so.)

Shima: Your swords have crossed paths many time during this race…

Jing: …but for getting this far, you’ve broken that boundary and proved yourself worthy. Now go in there and get your reward.

(Hale clutches his mom’s hand and they step in…)

* * * *

(The near holy atmosphere of the pathway, with just a singular blue light guiding them towards the angel ahead. This girl is wearing the same hat that Lillith has been wearing, the giant hat with the eye in the middle…)

Weda: Is…that Lillith?

Hale: No…it’s…

(As they gather closer, they can clearly see whilst the hair colour is the same, that’s it. The hair is long, thin and the face, angelic, peaceful…familiar…)

Hale: Eve?

(The bishoujo goddess, also known as Hatsumi and Jiru (Jill) – searched by Lillith because of her selfish ways, searched by Ritsuko and specifically Garuganchua after believing she was dead but instead her blood made them immortal, and searched by Hatsuki being the only person she truly loved…to all of them, up until the end, she never uttered a word.)

(And now, like then…right at the end, she will enlighten Hale and Weda…)

Eve: Hale…

Hale: Huh?

Eve: Weda…

Weda: Oh my…

(Eve smiles her ‘hanyan’ smile…the two are in shock that she spoke, but more so about her next line…)

Eve: You have travelled islands, cities, new countries, new times, conquered magic, guns, paper, blades – through taxis, cars, planes, spaceships, you’ve have conquered many hardships. So now…

(Deep breath…and finally…)

Eve: …congratulations, you have won the Animazing Race.

(Suddenly, the darkness goes into light as a ‘CONGRATULATIONS’ sign is posted up. Lillith now appears, pouting as usual…)

Lillith: Even at the end, like always, you stole the show sis…

Eve: I’m sorry onee-chan, but seeking out the path…and seeing Hatsuki-chan again…

Lillith: Right, right…

(Lillith notices the dumbstruck look on Hale and Weda’s face…)

Lillith: Isn’t this the part when you guys celebrate realising you’ve won?

(Hale drops down to his knees…)

Hale: We…we….we did it…

Weda: WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!

(Weda picks up her son and engulfs him in a bear hug. Hale seems crushed, but he’s laughing at the same time, hugging his mom. Shima and Jing are the first to join them inside, as Hale cries his heart out in joy. Weda puts him down and wipes her own tears…)

Weda: I don’t believe it! We did it – mother and son, together on a journey, and we beat 11 other teams to get this far!

Hale: How did we do it mom?

Weda: Because we became a team, and we developed as a team – we rule Hale, and this proves it!

Hale: MOM!

(The two laugh as does Shipon, as just a bit further back…)

* * * *

(A bit awkward as Shannon and Racquel pass by Naruto and Sasuke, but Sasuke utters ‘ well done’ to which Shannon utters back ‘thanks.’ The two warriors step ahead at the open doors…)

Shannon: Looks like we were too late.

Racquel: Still nothing to be sneezed at right?

Shannon: Hey, gives us something to tell Pacifica right?

Racquel: And for her to make fun at you.

Shannon: Thanks…why am I always the one picked on?

(The two step into the room, where Hale and Weda already have a cup of punch (non-alcoholic…for the moment) as Eve steps forward as Shannon and Racquel approach. Shannon bows towards Eve, who bows back.)

Eve: Shannon…and Racquel…

(…and Shannon nearly faints.)

Shannon: She can speak?

Lillith: Trust me, we get that reaction every time…

(Eve giggles before finishing…)

Eve: …you are team number two.

Shannon: Not quite…but still…

(He sees Hale come over to them, Weda talking with Jing…)

Hale: Shannon-ni, Racquel-nee…well done, and well…sorry…

(Shannon chuckles and ruffles Hale’s hair…)

Shannon: Nothing to apologise for, you got there ahead of us, and that’s all that matters…

Racquel: Congratulations, Hale-kun!

Hale: Right!

(Hale then looks at the opened doors as he waits outside…fortunately, it isn’t too long a wait before…)

* * * *

Riku: …that was nice.

Risa: We didn’t need to rush, and nice to see everyone else again.

Riku: And so…

(Shot of Hale and Weda, with Shannon and Racquel smiling at them. Riku and Risa are now all smiles as they approach Eve…)

Eve: Riku and Risa…

(…and they faint as well.)

Lillith: Geez, you’ve kept this act for the whole race…and you guys shouldn’t really be shocked as simple as this compared to what you’ve seen throughout?

Risa: Sorry…I think it’s just an added shock to everything we have seen…

Lillith: Whatever…

Eve: …you are team number three.

(They aren’t last, they are team number three. Riku surveys the two teams…)

Riku: Who got the win?

(Shannon and Racquel push Hale and Weda ahead…)

Shannon: These two.

Weda: Eh heh…sorry?

Hale: Riku-san…Risa-san…I’ve had a great time getting here, and winning is great…but you guys really made it a lot of fun…and for that I’m thankful.

Riku: (beaming smile) Same here Hale-kun, same here. And congratulations!

(Risa hugs Weda before hugging Hale, Riku follows suit, but in Hale’s case, adds a little kiss on his cheek. Hale blushes like a tomato as the on-running joke of the show ends like that.)

(A massive applause outside greets all three teams, as all 9 teams eliminated have joined on the entryway to congratulate them. Kei and Mizuko, Kamahito and Nakahito, Ryo and Hiroki, Taeko and Chika, Pedro and Sandora, Oshige and Wakayoji, Akari and Hiroyuki, Mirielle and Kirika and finally Naruto and Sasuke.)

Weda: Hey guys, you joining us!

Hiroyuki: Sure…let’s go Akari!

Akari: (blushing as Hiroyuki grabs her hand) Um…s-sure Hiroyuki-chan…

(Seeing that, cheeky Chika gets an idea…)

Chika: Hey Sandora-oniichan, let’s go!

(Chika grabs Sandora’s hand, as Sandora blusters out as Lillith and Eve set up a photograph. Pedro and his new friend Saga just wave him on, as Sandora flusters his way through…)

Sandora: P-Papa…

Pedro: Go Sandora, I won’t tell your mother!

Saga: Hmmm…I hope my mom is seeing this…

(Sasuke steps up to speak to Shannon…)

Sasuke: Whether we like you or not, you played your game to the strongest out there…and we lost because of it.

Shannon: Agreed. However, that doesn’t mean I like you…

Sasuke: I know.

(Naruto seems a little uncomfortable by this, but a very rare idea comes into his head. He whispers to Chacha…)

Chacha: Ha! Come on out…dressings!

(Naruto is getting hungry again…or is he?)

(The next thing we see is Shannon and Sasuke…in flower dresses?)

Shannon/Sasuke: WHAT THE HE…

Chacha: Heh, guess that didn’t work out quite well…

Naruto: (trying to speak whilst laughing) No…that…worked…perfectly…

Riku: Heh, what a way to end.

Hale: I know…I’ll miss it. And you guys too.

Riku: Well…as long as the Jungle has e-mail…

Hale: Heh.

(Risa comes over and wraps her arms around Hale and Riku)

Risa: Come on guys! We’ve got a photo to take and then we get to enjoy this night! We lost the fight, but hey, win the party right?

Riku: I think that’s not right…but what the hell…

Weda: Hey, lovebirds!

(Kei, Mizuko, Ryo, Hiroki, Akari and Hiroyuki all look up. Weda sweatdrops…)

Weda: Ah…doesn’t work here…nuts…

(Hale laughs as his mom wraps an arm around her son…as the two move to the front, where Lillith presents them with their cheque for £500,000. So…)

* * * *

(A shot of the photo from left to right…)

Back row: Pedro with Saga on his shoulders, Hiroki and Ryo (with Hiroki with an arm around Ganmo-chan), Mizuho and Kei in an embrace, with Wataru next to them, Shannon, Ursula, Mirielle with Kirika, Oshige with Wakayoji and Himeno.

Middle row: Naruto, Sasuke, Ran, Kamahito, Weda with a trophy, Riku and Risa, Racquel in front of Shannon, Jing (with Kir perched on his shoulder) and Hiroyuki and Akari with Hiroyuki’s arm around Akari.

Bottom row: Chacha, Anita, Sandora, Chika, Hale with a winner’s smile, Henrietta, Shirayuki, Nakahito, Tohru and finally Shima.

* * * *

(A parting shot of Eve congratulating the victorious Hale and Weda, as they will head back to the jungle, half a million pounds richer…and whilst for Hale returning to the jungle may be a feat in it’s self, at least there is some comfort for him. A lot richer, and a lot closer to his mother…)

(…let’s see how long that lasts.)

* * * *

THE END

* * * *

And…it’s bloody done!

How exhausting was this? Well…let’s say I know how Adam felt during the whole AR2 and AR1 problems and how. And the fact he’s contemplating another one? Mad fool…

But seriously, it was a lot of work, and to be honest, glad that it’s over. Whilst several things changed, my final three teams were set – and my winner as well – from day one. And I can’t think of a better team than Hale and Weda.

Jungle Guu – what a series to say the least. Deluxe and Final kinda ruined it slightly, but the original series was among the best I have seen overall in my mass amount of series I’ve watched. Hale is the most over-stressed poor schmuck I have seen – and he’s only 10..he has a mother who has a diesel for a liver as far as alcohol goes, but at the same time, you don’t want to mess with her. At times totally ditzy, and at others, totally awesome. She can kick ass, and does show over-protection to her son…of course most of the time because he’s the one that does all the chores. ^_^ And of course, the fact that Guu soon joins their family…well, the less said about that the better, but I’m sure after AR1 you’ve got the general idea…

 

One of the running gags in the fic was Hale getting extremely embarrassed about a) his mom or b) a cute girl. No, he’s not the new Brock – but he has a really sweet crush on his classmate Mari (who in turn has some…interesting…ideas in their relationship, which is explored a bit more in Deluxe…^_^) so, considering the amount of young ladies in the whole series (Triela in particular was the perfect catalyst to poor Hale) it was a goldmine. However, his relationship with Riku was strictly platonic, and not to be read into – these two have to suffer with a partner who could be quite unpredicatable.

So to summarise - Hale and Guu is schedule for December 27th, so any leftover Xmas money – GET IT!

Speaking of Riku and Risa, how many predicted they would get that far? We established earlier that Risa was a real weak point, but unlike other teams that have one strong member (like Taeko and Chika, though ironically the younger member was the stronger), Risa was a real challenge because she can develop so well and improve herself as she goes on the journey. Riku was established as a well developed individual, with brains, strength, speed and looks. Risa on the other hand is pretty much universally hated by most people (why do you think they put Mio in the anime? They needed someone that the fans could hate more that Risa…^_^) – I, on the other hand, felt by the end of the series, she had grown up, and that was the effect I was looking for in the fic. And by the end, the two were an effective team.

Shannon and Racquel –no really development here, they were damn strong to start with. It took them a while to get started, but once they were, they managed to stay near the top – the rivalry with Sasuke and Naruto was my only real attempt to add some heat or hatred in the series – probably one think I could have advanced upon, but looking at my cast, there were very few teams who I could have thought could have legittingly hated each other, Ryo and Hiroki didn’t last so no jealously factor, Akari being Akari avoided any of Hiroyuki’s angst to really be a problem, so have the two stoic guys (Sasuke and Shannon) being the main enemies seemed to fit. Though Racquel’s ditzyness may have stopped that…but yes, recommend Scrapped Princess for any fans of Slayers of Final Fantasy…and Pacifica is the greatest spoiled brat ever – combined with other great blondes recently like Tina Foster, Jessie Gurtland, Arisa Uotani, Layla Hamilton, the awesome Rosette Christopher, and the lovely Ringo Seto (ah, Ringo-chan!) maybe I’ll stop being a blunette fan…

.

..

Nah…

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed it – I will revert to being my usual murderous self along with my first non reality fic in a while – after a long choice between a few series, which included Azumanga Daioh, Naruto, Princess Nine (Adam beat me to this one) Battle Athletes and Angelic Layer, I decided to coincidence with one of my friend’s new Kaleido Star fansite, to work on a Kaleido Star fanfic. Look for it and if you want to remain on the mailing list to join in the MG3 competition, just let me or Adam know – though I can tell you that this year will be a lot more intense, as I have 12 people alone from the fanfiction panel at Ayacon entering so this could be quite a large competition…

And once more, thanks to my beta reader, AR Co-ordinator, author, friend and rival Adam Pulver for getting me through this, helping me out whenever possible, verbally chewing me out when needed be when I screwed up or getting tired, and making sure that no stalkers came after me…and perhaps most thankful, keeping the anti Ai Yori Aoshi comments to a minimum.

And so, the last thing…what was it…ah yes.

The winner!

It was literally in the end between two people, Fetch and Ironfrost. And Ironfrost would have won...if he had filled in the character poll on the last ep.

Seriously – it’s worth 5 points, and he didn’t do it, and by 2 points, Fetch won!!!

However, as I know Ironfrost, and on Sunday 27th August, he left the UK to go to China to be with his girlfriend – so he got a copy of Full Moon wo Sagashite (all 52 eps) as his prize which he would have won if he had done the post…

…so Fetch, who chose Naruto as his prize where I should be able to get the first 50 episodes for him, though may take a while unless I can cajole one of my Naruto obsessed friends to lend me all their episodes (believe it or not – I only really started watching Naruto after episode 100 – I know enough from fellow friends, Naruto fans and spoilers as well as the manga) – plus I have to send it over to New England, so if Fetch gives me his details about his address so I can send them off, then he gets to enjoy the delights of Naruto, Sakura and Saskue, along with Kakashi.

Actually, forget that…just Naruto and Kakashi, the other two suck. (I await Sasuke fangirls to lynch me with yaoi paddles…) If he can get the episodes later after episode 50, enjoy Shikamaru, Jiriya and Neji, but before them, the awesomeness of Rock Lee and Gai, and the adorable Hinata Hyuuga hopefully will suffice. And of course, the lovely Temari…and the awesome Gaara.

And with that, I finally end this! Thank you all!