[color=#008080;][font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"]And now, without further adieu, almost ten years after the release of the original film, and three years and some four-hundred-and-fifty posts after the original posting, I present, for your pleasure, the eighteenth and final chapter of Glatorian of Bara Magna: Curse of the Grey Crystal![/color][/font]
Chapter 18: The Execution
Strakk's luck finally seemed to have failed him as he stood on the wooden platform, the tickler's feather at the ready. There was a pair of ropes meant to suspend his hands, hanging from a beam above him. It was about ten o'clock in the morning, and the people of Port Tajun had come to see the tickling to death of the infamous glatorian.
Uh, Mr. Gerbinski?
The novelization doesn't contain all of the dialogue and stuff. I feel that it's important to get all of the dialouge from the film right in this one scene.
Fine, kid. Just start playing it on Windows Media Player.
Yes sir! Thank goodness I own this movie!
"Strakk Gukko," said the announcer, "be it known that you have been charged with glatoriany on the high seas..."
"Captain, captain Strakk Gukko," muttered Strakk as he listened to the announcer and the beat of the Skrall soldier's drums.
"...and other crimes against the crown, said crimes being numerous in quantity, and sinister in nature. Also, you're kind of a 1erk." As the announcer continued to read through his cards, Gresh made his way through the audience. He had a plan, of sorts. Also, he was rocking an awesome helmet, with a feather stuck in it.
Meanwhile, Kiina, Governor Raanu Swath, and Commodore Branar stood in the audience, watching. Kiina said to her father, "This is wrong."
Governor Swath replied, "Commodore Branar is bound by the law, as are we all."
The announcer continued to list off Strakk's crimes. "Glatoriany, impersonating an officer of the Imperial Skrall Navy, impersonating an officer of the Jungle Tribe Navy, impersonating a cleric of the Church of Roxtus-" Strakk chuckled at this one with fond remembrance. "-kidnapping, arson, sailing under false colors, depravity, general lawlessness, and littering."
Mirtug and Mulroy had an excellent view of the execution, right up on the walls. As they were watching the event, a cave shrike suddenly perched on top of the flag pole that Mulroy was holding. What it did next is both distasteful and against the rules of the forum to type about. Gresh saw the cave shrike, and recognized it as Tarduk's. He then went back to where Kiina, her father, and Branar were standing.
"You are thus condemned to be tickled until dead," said the announcer, finishing. "May Mata Nui have mercy on your soul."
Gresh said to the three people before him. "Governor Swath. Commodore. Kiina." He then turned to address Kiina specifically, saying, "I should have told you every day from the moment I left you- I'm addicted to garlic, but not on popcorn. Err, that is, I, um, love you."
Kiina was speechless, as were Branar and the Governor. "You need serious help, lad," said Governor Swath. "If I knew you were addicted to garlic, I totally would be more charitable toward you." But by this time, Gresh was dashing towards the platform, and the tickler was binding Strakk's arms so that armpit was bare. The tempo of the drums increased, and the tickler readied his feather.
Seeing what Gresh planned to do, Branar called out to his men, "Skrall!" But then, Kiina gasped, saying, "I can't breathe!" and fell backwards. Branar and her father rushed to her side, fearing that she had passed out again. But she was only faking it, and shot her head straight up when she saw the tickler about to start his dirty deed on Strakk.
Suddenly, Gresh wipped out a spare ice axe and hurled it into the side of the platform. Before the tickler could get to Strakk's armpit, Gresh hopped up onto the platform and started fighting the tickler with his jungle shield. "Hammerspace, people!" he called out. He cut the tickler's feather, and then the tickler took an axe from... somewhere, and began fighting with Gresh.
As they were fighting, the tickler accidentally cut Strakk's ropes, freeing the glatorian. Gresh pushed the tickler into the crowd, where Branar and his men were coming from.
Strakk, in the meantime, had tripped and fallen over the side of the platform, and was balancing on the ice axe jutting out of the side of the platform. He managed to hop off, and, thinking quickly, grabbed the severed and loosened ropes.
Gresh's stunt double somersault jumped off of the platform, and the real Gresh quickly ran back in to grab the rope with Strakk grabbing the other end. They used the rope to trip up the charging guards, and and the beat them off. But just as it seemed they were free, several more guards came and surrounded him, Branar at their head.
"I thought we might have to endure some manner of ill-conceived escape attempt," said Branar to Gresh. "But not from you. I can't believe you had the brains, or rather, lack thereof, to pull a stunt like that."
"When I returned to Port Tajun," said Governor Swath, who was standing behind Branar, "I granted you clemency. And this is how you thank me? By throwing in your lot with him?" While the Governor was bristling, Kiina made her way to their location. "He's a glatorian!" he said.
"And a good man!" said Gresh as he dropped a sword he had pinched from one of the guards. "Never mind the fact that he steals and kills for a living." He cleared his throat and continued, "At any rate, if all I have achieved here is that the hangman will earn two pairs of... boots, I guess, instead of one, then so be it. At least my conscience will be clear... somehow."
Branar scowled heavily, though you wouldn't know, because he was wearing a helmet. "You forget your place, Tesner," he said, almost snarling.
Gresh responded, saying, "It's right here. Between you and Strakk."
Kiina came forward and stood next to Gresh, and said to Branar, "As is mine. Never mind the fact that our friend is a convicted murderer and armed robber."
"Kiina!" said Governor Swath in shock. He then said to the troops, "Lower your weapons." When they didn't at first, he said, "For goodness sake, put them down!" The Skrall lowered their weapons, carefully keeping an ear out for conflicting orders from Branar.
Branar was slightly shocked, and said to Kiina, his voice quivering, "So this is where your heart truly lies then?"
Kiina was silent for a few seconds, and then she said, "It is. As if you didn't know."
Branar looked rather sad at that moment. Strakk noticed him. He then walked around to Governor Swath and said, "Well, I'm actually feeling rather good about this." He then stuck his face in front of Governor Swath's and said, "I believe we've all arrived at a very special place, eh?" Governor Swath almost fainted at Strakk's bad breath. "Spiritually," he continued, "ecumenically, grammatically." The soldiers and the Governor gawked at Strakk's audacity. Strakk then went to Branar, and said to him, "I want you to know, I was rooting for you. Know that." Branar also gawked. Then he said to Kiina, "Kiina... it never would have worked between us. I'm sorry." Kiina joined the gawking squad. "Gresh," he said, lastly, before going up to the parapet. "Nice helmet."
Gresh looked up at his helmet and smiled. The soldiers moved towards Strakk as he stood up on the battlements and prepared a final speech. "This is the day you will always remember as the day you almost-" Strakk then proceeded to trip over backwards off of the parapet, falling into the sea. Branar and the soldiers rushed to the edge, to see what Strakk's fate was. They saw him falling down the cliff into the water, where he was somehow not killed or stunned instantly by the impact.
"Idiot," said Stronius pompously. "He has nowhere to go but back to the feather."
"Look out below!" came a cry from on high (hey, that rhymes!). Everyone looked to the horizon, and saw, to their astonishment, the Grey Crystal coming around the coastline. Strakk saw it too, and with a smile, began to swim toward his ship.
Everyone became full on Toa of Gawking for a few seconds, before Stronius broke the silence by saying to Branar, who was standing next to him, "What's your plan of action?" When the commodore did not reply, he said, "Sir?"
Governor Swath then chose that moment to speak up, saying, "Perhaps, under some circumstances, when good can be achieved through an act of glatoriany, glatoriany itself might be the right course? As if that somehow makes sense?"
Branar smiled, and the turned about, saying, "Mr. Tesner!"
Kiina, worried, grabbed Gresh's hand, who turned to her and said, "I will accept the consequences of my admittedly dumb actions." He then turned to face Commodore Branar.
Branar raised his blade between him and Gresh, and said, "This is a beautiful sword. I would expect the man who made it to show the same care and devotion in every aspect of his life."
After another few seconds of silence, Gresh said to Branar, "Thank you."
As Branar and his troops began to walk away, the flabbergasted Stronius said him, "Commodore! What about Gukko?"
Branar turned and said, "Oh, I think we can afford to give him one day's head start, never mind that being a pretty blatant breach of my duty, go U.D.D. and all that." And with that, he walked away.
As soon as the troops were gone, Governor Swath turned to Gresh and Kiina and said to them, "Well, this is the path you've chosen, is it?" Kiina looked at Gresh romantically. "After all," said the Governor, "he is a blacksmith."
"No," said Kiina, taking off Gresh's helmet. "He's a glatorian." Then she leaned in and kissed Gresh, thinking, What a difference having an unguarded mouth port on my helmet makes!
Stunned, Governor Swath ran over to Branar and said, "Commodore! Arrest that man! He's a glatorian!"
* * *
Meanwhile, Strakk had swam several hundred feet, somehow not drowning, being weighed down with all his clothes and armor, to the Grey Crystal. There, he was hauled aboard by the crew, Kirbold dangling from the hauling rope. As Strakk came aboard, he noticed that there were a lot more crew members than when he'd last seen the ship.
Tarix came up to him and said, "We did some hiring."
Strakk looked up to him and said, "Not that I'm unthankful for the rescue or anything, but I thought you were supposed to stick to the code."
Tarix smiled, and said, "We figured they were more actual... guidelines. Heh heh." He offered his hand to Strakk, who accepted it, and was helped up.
Tarduk gave Strakk his hat, and Strakk smiled and said, "Thank you," before putting it on.
X, didn't he already have a helmet?
Nevermind that gag, Mr. Gerbinski. It's old now, and we're almost done, so who cares, really?
"Captain Gukko," said ManAria, putting a coat around Strakk's shoulders. "The Grey Crystal is yours."
Strakk still seemed a little sad. ManAria said to him, "Why so sad?"
Strakk said, "Well, I kind of miss the Barricade, and this ship, well, it's kind of a dump. It's got holes in its sails, holes in the sides, heck, until a day or two ago, it had holes in it's men."
"Ah, cheer up," said ManAria, smiling. "The Grey Crystal has unlimited wireless internet access with Netflix."
"On deck, you scallywags!" shouted Strakk, immediately puckering up. "Random nautical jargon! Yeah, that's it!" he shouted, as the crew scrambled to obey his commands. He comfortably settled next to the wheel and said to himself, "Now bring me that horizon." He then pulled out his compass that didn't point north, and began singing to himself, "Duh duh duh... and really bad eggs. Drink up my hearties, yo ho..."
"DRINK UP ME HEARTIES YO HO, YO HO!" came a bellowing voice from behind Strakk, scaring him half to death. He turned around, to see nobody.
"Hi, Strakk!" said Nobody, waving.
"You?!" said Strakk, cursing his awful luck. "What are you doing on my ship?"
"They didn't have enough extras to play glatorian, so they borrowed me from the soldier group," said the mild mannered wraith.
"Oh, brilliant," said Strakk, rolling his eyes. "Thank you, X-Ray. Thank. You! At least we could have stopped by McKyry's first!"
THE END (Cue epic music)
In front of a computer far far away from Bara Magna, the being known on BZPower.com as X-Ray leaned back in his chair, and said to Strakk, Gresh, Kiina, and the others, "Well, we're finally done." Everyone breathed a sigh of relief, saying to each other, "Finally, at last, etc."
"So," said X-Ray once everyone was done expressing their relief, "how about a sequel?" This proposal was met by everyone saying, "Oh, please! Not again! You can't be serious, etc."
"What would you call it?" said Vore Gerbinski, leaning back in an overstuffed chair, stroking a white cat.
"Okay, how about 'Red Man's Chest?'" said X-Ray excitedly. "It would star Malum as Davy Jones, and Tia Dalma could a Sister of the Skrall, and-"
This second announcement was meant with a hail of criticism. "That title sounds sooo racist!" said Kiina.
"I'm sorry, X," said Gerbinski, "but the other Pirates of the Caribbean movies have too many characters for us to parody, and they're not as fun and friendly, or rather, any good, as the first one anyway."
"One of these days," said X-Ray, "I'll make a serious movie about what the golden age of piracy was really like. I mean, seriously, these movies are glorifying as heroes people who steal and kill for a living! It just doesn't make any darn sense!"
"Well, cheer up, X," said Strakk, patting X-Ray on the shoulder. "At least we're out of comedies to finish. Now you can go back to writing your dumb epic, and..." He noted a gleaming in X-Ray's eyes, and said, "Oh no, you have more stuff to torture us with, don't you?"
X-Ray said, "As a matter of fact, I do." He then let out an evil chuckle.
The End (For real this time)
[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"][color=#008080;]So, what do you guys think? After three years, was it worth reading? Do you eagerly wait for a sequel? I don't plan on doing one, but hey, I could change my mind. Comment below and tell me your thoughts! I crave criticism of almost any kind![/color][/font]
[font="'trebuchet ms', helvetica, sans-serif;"][color=#008080;] X-Ray [/color][/font]