One Last Stop
“You ever wonder why we’re here?”
“Oh… okay then.”
“Why did you ask that?”
“What else am I supposed to ask? We’ve been sitting out here forever.”
“That’s because it’s Halloween.”
“It was Halloween like three weeks ago, dude.”
“…oh. Wait, why are we even sitting out here then?”
The two Matoran both face palmed and stood to their feet, simultaneously turning to the building behind them and opening the doors – or they tried, at least. Unfortunately, the doors were locked up tight.
“It’s locked,” said one, stating the obvious.
“No way, Takua. I hadn’t noticed,” the other said. “How can you go right from metaphysical questions about our existence to noting that an obviously locked door is locked?”
“I was just saying,” Takua muttered. “Geez, Mazeka. No need to get your mask all twisted up.”
“I’m confused now,” Mazeka said, flopping back into his former position. “If it’s not Halloween, and the Diner has been locked up all this time, why did we even come here?”
“You came here the same reason I did,” a new voice said.
Takua gave up on his attempts to force the doors to the Diner open, stealing the opportunity to lunge upon Jaller and wrap him up in a crushing bear hug.
“Jaller, you’re back!”
Takua obliged, and Jaller promptly collapsed to the pavement, gasping for breath and clutching his chest, mumbling indiscriminately about something being broken. Mazeka rolled his eyes and kicked at the Ta-Matoran, sending him tumbling backwards with a thud.
“So why are we here, Jaller?” Mazeka asked, ignoring the various complaints emanating from Jaller’s mouth.
“Because of him,” Jaller responded.
“Who? Vultraz?” Takua asked.
Jaller gave a laugh laced with sarcasm. “No, Takua… I wish it was Vultraz. No, I mean the big guy.”
“iBrow,” Mazeka muttered.
“iBrow.” Jaller said.
“Why, what’s happened?” Takua asked.
To this, Jaller did not respond. Both Mazeka and Takua glanced at each other questioningly, but surprisingly neither could find the will to ask the question again. So there the three Matoran waited – Jaller huddle on the sidewalk, Mazeka sitting against the wall, and Takua standing by the locked doors. There they stayed, each one unusually still and silent, until a new voice spoke, alerting them to a new arrival.
“I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the last scene is here, should I?”
“Vultraz!” Takua said, stepping away from the doors. “You’re here! Now we can all go inside!”
The shadow Matoran glanced at the building, his gaze drifting up from the doors to the dark sign reading “Vultraz’s Diner” and back down to the windows, through which the dark insides of the Diner could be seen. After several long moments, he turned his gaze back to Takua and shook his head.
“What do you mean?” Takua asked. “It’s your diner – why can’t we get in?”
“I-” Vultraz fell silent as his voice cracked, “I don’t have a key anymore.”
“Who does?” Jaller asked, glancing up from the ground.
Vultraz shrugged. “Nobody, I guess. The shop’s been closed.”
“Everything?” Mazeka asked.
Vultraz nodded and Mazeka glanced away off into the distance, sighing.
“So,” the Ko-Matoran said, “everything out there… it’s not really there anymore, is it? We just perceive it as being there because we can’t understand that it’s not.”
Jaller and Takua glanced to Vultraz for confirmation, but the shadow Matoran shrugged, having no answer. The black and silver clad Matoran that materialized before them all did have an answer, though – and it was an answer he gave.
“You are correct.”
“iBrow.” Vultraz growled.
“That’s my name – don’t you go wearing it out,” the Matoran flashed with a grin.
“So this is it?” Takua asked, “we’re all that’s left? Just the four of us and the Diner?”
The Narrator nodded and Vultraz snorted in derision. Mazeka glanced at Vultraz and it was clear he agreed with the Diner’s owner.
“How fitting,” Vultraz said sarcastically. “Of course you would kill us off last.”
“I prefer not to look at it as killing you off,” iBrow said softly.
“How else do we look at it?” Mazeka snapped.
“I think of it as letting you go.”
“I bet you do,” Vultraz snorted.
iBrow’s eyes flashed dangerously, shutting the Matoran up as he spoke again.
“I’ve visited a lot of characters over the past several weeks,” the Narrator said. “Saying goodbye to every single one of them. Maybe you should think about why I saved you guys for last.”
“Because we’re awesome!” Takua responded. “I knew it!”
“I’m not awesome, though,” Jaller pointed out.
“Sure you are!” Takua countered. “You killed ALMIGHTY, saved Vultraz here, managed to survive that Tahu vs. Tahu comedy by being the only character smart enough to actually leave the House….”
[color=#000000;][font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“Takua is right,” Mazeka put in. “Jaller, you got the good end of the stick, bro.”
[color=#000000;][font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]“You guys are more awesome, though.” Jaller said.
“How?” Mazeka asked. “I got backstabbed by Radiak, forgotten in Tahu vs. Tahu… well, I mean, I was alive up until the end and all, and I guess… okay fine, I am pretty awesome.”
“And you, Takua…” Jaller said, turning to the other Ta-Matoran, “you became one of the most popular characters and played a huge role in Tahu vs. Tahu here. Heck, you even saved Vultraz too!”
“For ten seconds,” Vultraz muttered.
“Well, yeah… but still.” Jaller countered.
“There aren’t many other characters I’ve created that did as many different things as you four,” iBrow said, “and none of them originated in my very first comedy. That is why it’s you four at the end – not Tahu Mata, not Pridak, not Nex or Makuta, not Vertak or Breez or Furno or Rocka. That’s why Icarax, Bitil, Krika, Zaktan – none of them are here. It’s just you four and me.”
The four Matoran fell silent at his words, each mulling it over. After a moment, Jaller slowly stood to his feet, brushing himself off before turning to iBrow.
“I suppose I should say thanks,” the Ta-Matoran said.
“You don’t need to.”
Jaller turned to the others, giving them a small wave. Takua waved back in response and Mazeka nodded, but Vultraz remained still. Shrugging, Jaller turned to go.
“See you guys on the other side.”
The Ta-Matoran walked away down the street. As he did so, he slowly faded away, until he could be seen no longer. iBrow waited a moment after he was gone before turning to the others.
“Well?” he prompted.
“I guess it would be a shame if Jaller had to arrive all by himself,” Mazeka mused aloud. “What do you say, Takua? Are you coming?”
“Dude, who else is going to ask me all those metaphysical questions I can’t answer?”
Takua grinned. “I don’t suppose you could find anyone else to state the obvious either, could you?”
“Actually, I could.” Mazeka said flatly. “Look man, just come on. At least this way if iBrow is sending us to our dooms, we won’t be screaming in agony for all of eternity by ourselves.”
Takua pondered the thought for a few seconds before nodding enthusiastically. “Alright, let’s go!”
With that said, Takua bounced away down the street, beginning to fade away much like Jaller had. Mazeka remained behind a moment, turning to Vultraz and glancing at him questioningly. The shadow Matoran shook his head and Mazeka sighed, shrugging and heading off after Takua. After a moment iBrow and Vultraz were left alone standing outside the Diner, staring at each other.
“You know,” iBrow began, speaking at last, “you do have to leave eventually, or you will dissolve away and never exist again.”
“And who gets to decide that?” Vultraz asked. “You?”
“No, not anymore.” iBrow said. “I chose to end it all, yeah, but I can’t control it anymore.”
“Why?” Vultraz asked. “Why did you have to end it? Why couldn’t you just keep going?!”
iBrow sighed. “To be honest Vultraz… I’m not quite sure myself. I’ve lost interest, I’ve lost the time, I’ve lost the energy, the passion, the power. All of it is gone. All I have left is you guys… and it was high time I let you go as well.”
Vultraz looked away, punching the doors to the Diner, trembling. He shut his eyes tightly, willing his inner turmoil to remain where it was.
“I know it sucks,” iBrow said softly, “and I know you’re upset.”
Vultraz turned back to the Narrator – nearly letting out a gasp of shock at what he saw. iBrow looked as bad as he felt. Maybe he could forgive the Narrator – no, his friend – after all.
“I guess we know each other inside and out, eh?” the shadow Matoran asked.
iBrow smiled ruefully. “I guess so – but hey, look on the bright side.”
“The bright side?” Vultraz asked.
iBrow nodded, pulling something out and tossing it to Vultraz, who caught it expertly with one hand and glanced at it – the object was a plastic spoon. He glanced up with a grin as iBrow spoke again.
“Now you get to start again, old pal,” iBrow said. “So you’re gonna go, and you’re gonna have an even better time. And you know what? Now I won’t be there dictating your actions. I’ll be right there beside you. As a friend should be.”
“Right there beside me,” Vultraz murmured.
“So what do you say?” iBrow asked, beckoning down the street. “Are you gonna go rock a bigger, better world, or what?”
Vultraz glanced back down at the plastic spoon, realizing all it stood for. His mind was made and he clutched the spoon tightly.
“Like Tohu I wouldn’t,” he retorted.
iBrow grinned. “That is the snarky Vultraz I know.”
Vultraz smiled back. “Let’s get started.”
It was different here.
Not as many gags, not so many unbelievable occurrences.
What it was… was a relief.
Of course, Vultraz would always look back on the Comedy days with a lens of nostalgia – who wouldn’t? They were pretty awesome, after all. But now, his best friends weren’t dropping dead due to stupid things or evil villains each day. He wasn’t in one dimension one day and a different reality the next.
His new restaurant wasn’t quite like the Diner – it never would be – it was different. But, Vultraz reasoned, maybe different was good.
“Hey there, young scalliwag!” an ancient voice called.
Vultraz glanced up from his list of things to do, noticing Turaga Vakama hobbling towards him. He waved to the Turaga in welcome.
“Whatchu got fer me today?” the Turaga wheezed, stopping at the counter before Vultraz.
“I’ve got coffee,” the Matoran said. “Medium with two sugars and one cream?”
“You bet,” the Turaga muttered, accepting the mug offered to him. “Delicious coffee! Thanks, my lad. Don’t know what I’d do without you.”
Vultraz smiled. “You’d probably get your coffee from someone else, I imagine.”
“Probably.” The Turaga grunted, hobbling away.
Vultraz sighed, staring around at all of the customers enjoying his cuisine, being served by some of his oldest friends.
Maybe he could concede a victory to iBrow – maybe this wasn’t so bad.
There was just one thing left to do – after all, he couldn’t keep his customers waiting too long.
So here it is - my final comedy. It happily acknowledges the fact that there wasn't a Halloween Special this year - mostly because this is the Halloween Special, as well as my last comedy. It went through several different stages - at first it was going to be an apocalypse scenario with all of my comedies together; then it was going to be a collection of oneshots starring the same (brand new) cast, then it was going to star select characters from each comedy of mine sailing the seas with Tronameg at the end of the world. [/font]
Needless to say, I felt like this version fits what I wanted this to be best.
In iBrow's rambling series of names I included several characters from Vultraz's Diner, Tahu vs. Tahu, and How to Be a Hero - see if you can guess which comedy each character mentioned is from. I enjoyed listing off the various accomplishments of Jaller, Mazeka and Takua - Vultraz was left out simply because I could spend 2000 words listing off everything he's done alone. Besides, he's Vultraz - that in and of itself is enough.
It felt fitting to return to the Diner one last time to end it off, and with characters that originated there. Takua is the single exception, as he debuted in The Hilarious Misadventures of Vultraz in 2010; however, he fit the cast like a glove and was right by Vultraz's side during Tahu vs. Tahu - and besides that, Takua has an important role to play in my next BZP project (more on that later). It's up to you guys what you think the plastic spoon represents at the end. For me, it was simply giving Vultraz what I took away back at the end of 2010, when TvT began; which is to say, everything he has lacked since. He hasn't had the plastic spoon in a long time, and the last time he did, it was broken.
And for those of you who get the ending scene between Vultraz and Turaga Vakama - you're awesome. Anybody who read the original Vultraz's Diner in 2009 or The New Vultraz's Diner in 2010 knows that I would end each chapter with Vultraz (or someone else) calling for the next customer as often as possible, as well as the next chapter. Here, Vultraz finally does that again, but of course only after Turaga Vakama arrives to get his coffee - which, in essence, is the very first comedy scene I ever wrote.
Full circle and blah blah blah. How fitting, right?
Anyway - as of this point in time, this is the final comedy I will write, but hopefully one series of mine will continue to expand a bit. But I do have an epic to tease you guys for, though I wouldn't expect it for quite some time:
And I'll leave you to speculate on what that could mean as I take my leave. Thanks guys. I probably wouldn't be writing nearly as much if I hadn't been writing here, so at least now I have a career path.
Edited by Freelancer Tex, Jan 26 2014 - 02:01 PM.