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Daring Do and the Arrows of Marapore. feat Ziggy (MLPxJOJO)

By StarAnon
Created: 18th December 2020 06:15:05 PM

  1. Originally posted on October 4th, 2016 in the MLPxJOJO thread
  2.  
  3. >You are Ziggy S.  
  4. >At your age, you were accustomed to deal with clients asking for rushed jobs to deliver in a few hours, jerks who paid dimes for weeks spent on their requests, or even those who still owe you a fair amount of money for a job well done.
  5. >Normally you could identify them and turn them down politely, but from time to time came job offers that puzzled your mind.
  6. >The phone call you were having was one of those.
  7. >The ones you deemed as the “bizarre” kind.  
  8. “You want me to go where?”
  9. >”The Amazon Jungle,” replied your client as if he hadn’t said anything outrageous, “We want you to negotiate with Miss Yearling about her newest book.”
  10. “I think there must have been some kind of mistake. I’m a translator. What you are asking me to do is outside my area of expertise.”
  11. >you had only worked for this company a handful of times. They always paid you on time and provided easy access to their authors if you had to consult them.
  12. “Shouldn’t, I don’t know, an editor handle that?”
  13. >”Well, you see, Miss Yearling can be a bitc-'' he pauses trying to come up with a suitable term “I mean, a bit difficult to handle. She has rejected most of our editors and other staff members.”
  14. “I see, but why me?”
  15. >You have heard a bit about her, although you’ve never read her books.
  16. >”We believe an outside source may prove to be more effective. If she sees how relentless we are, she’d eventually give up and accept to let us publish her newest works.”
  17. >They are really desperate.
  18. “Still, I don’t think I would fare well in a jungle.”
  19. >”Oh no no no, you would be meeting her in a resort near the Amazon Jungle “
  20. >Why didn’t he say that first?
  21. > “A good source found out she will be there gathering info for her next book.”
  22. “I don’t know…”
  23. >”We will cover all expenses!” he interrupts you before you can finish the sentence “Please! We will pay you five no, ten times your regular fee.”
  24. “… If I get her to agree, can I have exclusive rights to translate her works?”
  25. >”Of course!”
  26. “You got yourself a deal then.”
  27. >After a few more minutes of talking, you agreed to take a plane ride the following day.
  28. >It has been a long time since you last travelled. But this was worth it.
  29. >If everything went right, you’d get work and money for a long time.
  30. >You look to your sofa were your cat, Mrs. Catswell, is currently resting.
  31. > You are going to need someone to look after her… and your house of course.
  32. “I wonder if Sonic Youth is available.”
  33.  
  34. >You are A.K. Yearling.
  35. >And right now you were drinking the best cocktail of your life.
  36. >It’s been a while since you’ve had time to drink.
  37. >Between writing books, answering fan mail, fighting with the editorial department and managing a double life, one has little time to sit back and enjoy life.
  38. >Sadly, this occasion wasn’t entirely for pleasure.
  39. >Dr. Quarry Jones, a colleague from the time you worked as a researcher at the National Archives for Mythical Artifacts and Anthropology, had contacted you a week ago.
  40. >After years of research, he had found clues about the location of the lost Arrows of Marapore.
  41. >Most scholars would believe those artifacts to be just myths, but you knew better.
  42. >Dr. Jones had spent his whole life studying them. Even at the cost of his family and tenure at the Pranceton University.
  43. >Such dedication wasn’t something to take lightly.
  44. >If he said he found them, then it had to be true.
  45. >You were supposed to meet with him and travel together, but by the time you were by his home someone had gotten to him first.
  46. > His body laid in a pool of blood, right in the middle of his plundered study.
  47. >Being in this line of work toughens you up, but some things still manage to shock you.
  48. >Losing a friend was one of them.  
  49. >This had become personal.
  50. >And whomever had done this was going to pay.
  51. >But first you needed to search for clues.
  52. >His home was destroyed, and all his work had been lost.
  53. >At least for those who hadn’t met him personally.
  54. >You took his head and stuck a finger in his right eye.
  55. >It took little effort to get the glass-eye out.
  56. >You remembered your time at the Archives and how he used to gross you out with this trick.
  57. >Inside his eye socket you found a note with the coordinates of the arrows.
  58. >You took a plane and travelled to the Flankara Resort, next to the Amazon Jungle.  
  59. >Which brings you right to this very moment.
  60.  
  61. >The resort, which in every other occasion would have been the best place for a vacation, was brimming all over with a menacing aura.
  62. >You had learnt from previous adventures to never trust anyone at all… with some exceptions, but that doesn’t matter right now.
  63. >Everyone in the resort could be responsible for Dr. Jones death.
  64. >A man in particular picks your attention.
  65. >He’s wearing a lame Hawaiian shirt with star patterns; a pair of sunglasses hangs from his shirt’s pocket, and has been looking at you repeatedly since you took a seat by the bar.
  66. > It’s like looking at someone disguised as a tourist.
  67. >Clearly someone who doesn’t know how to remain inconspicuous.
  68. >Unlike you of course.
  69.  
  70. >You are Ziggy, and boy do you love your shirt!
  71. >If you come to think about it, most people have a favorite thing.
  72. >A favorite shirt, a favorite hat, a favorite pair of shoes.
  73. >That one piece of clothing that you would always use like if it were a uniform.
  74. >Maybe Hawaiian shirts were your thing and you never knew about it until just now.
  75. >But you digress.
  76. >According to the info provided by your client, the woman sitting at the bar must be A.K. Yearling.
  77. >You’ve been looking at a picture of her, a scrap from a paper which shows her getting second place at a chili pepper eating competition, and sans the chili smeared in her face she was wearing the same clothes.
  78. >A purple shawl, a grey cloche and heavy red-framed spectacles.
  79. >Not the kind of clothes one would be wearing at a summer resort.  
  80. >Did she want to stand out? Because she isn’t discrete at all.
  81. >Whatever.
  82. >You’d like to drink some tropical juice, but business comes first.
  83. >You stand up and begin walking towards the bar.
  84.  
  85. >Just like you thought, he is coming to get you.
  86. >Well. Uncle Adventure didn’t raise no coward.
  87. >You were going to show him who he’s dealing with.
  88. > The Daring way.
  89. >He sits next to you and looks straight to your eyes.
  90. >”Miss Yearling, right?”
  91. “Who’s asking?”
  92. >”I was sent to see if we could come to an agreement on…”
  93. >You don’t let him finish.
  94. “Listen up big boy, I don’t care what your boss asked you to do. You are going to walk away and stay as far away from me as possible, or I’m going to kick your ass in ways you couldn’t even imagine.”
  95. > You take a sip from your drink.
  96. >That always made them ready to hit you.
  97. >But of course, that was part of your plan.
  98. >In your books you always waited for the villains to throw the first punch, only to grab them by the wrist and flip them over to a window or nearby furniture.
  99. >Critics may say it’s a cliché, but it always worked in real life.
  100. >Your move big guy.  
  101.  
  102. >Your client wasn’t lying.
  103. >She really was difficult to handle.
  104. “Big guy?”
  105. >She looks at you expectantly.
  106. “I’m not that much taller than you Miss.”
  107. >She gives you a serious look.
  108. >”That’s what bothered you?”
  109. >Maybe she wanted you to make one of those Bane jokes?
  110. >”What part of go away don’t you understand?”
  111. >Or maybe she didn’t.
  112. “Miss, I travelled a lot just to talk to you and…”
  113. >”So you just can’t resist looking at me huh?”
  114. >She combs her grayscale hair with her fingers and gives you a smug look.
  115. >Like if she were waiting for you to do something…
  116. >But what?
  117. >…
  118. >Oh… now you get it.
  119. “Are you hitting on me?”
  120.  
  121. >You do the mother of all spittakes.
  122. “What!?”
  123. >the idiot starts chuckling to himself.
  124. >”This happened to me once. You act tough, but only to test me and see if I have what it takes to stay. Well, I’m not going anywhere.”
  125. >Is this guy serious?
  126. “I’m not hitting on you, you moron. I want you to hit me!”
  127. >He raises his eyebrows.
  128. >Maybe he finally got it.
  129. >”Ok. How do I put this… “
  130. >He rubs his chin as if he were capable of rational thoughts.
  131. >”It may be the way you drink your cocktail, but I really think you have beautiful lips.”
  132. >You can feel your face getting hotter by the second.
  133. “Maybe we can go to a room…”
  134. >You can feel your anger rising.
  135. >”Have a few more drinks and then…
  136. >Don’t you dare keep talking.
  137. >“Talk business.”
  138. >He winks at you.
  139. >And then you lost it.
  140.  
  141. >Miss Yearling leaves her glass and stands up.
  142. >That wasn’t so hard.
  143. >Now you could go and convince her to work with the publisher.
  144. >Maybe you did have what it takes to negotiate.
  145. >She turns towards you.
  146. >Her teeth were clenched super hard.
  147. >Some veins were popping through her face.
  148. >She grabs the neck of your shirt and reels back her arm.
  149. >You don’t know what she is doing.
  150. >Hell, if you weren’t so sure that you had convinced her, you’d have thought she was going to punch your face.
  151. >Suddenly, the bar’s doors are opened with a kick.
  152. >This gets her attention.
  153. >You turn your head and see three men enter the room.
  154. >A burly man with a trilby, a skinny guy with big sunglasses and a fat man with thick red sideburns.
  155. >Behind them a fourth one enters. His hair was slicked back; he was wearing a white shirt and matching pants. And each finger had a ring with golden skulls.  
  156. >”Small world Daring Do.”
  157. >”Not big enough if I have to bump with you Caballeron.”
  158.  
  159. >This asshole.
  160. >It’s always this fucking asshole.
  161. >”Always with a witty remark.”
  162. >He laughs.
  163. “Sending new goons just to piss me off? I thought you were better that that.”
  164. >Caballeron looks at the idiot you were holding and raises just one thick eyebrow.
  165. >”I’ve never seen that simpleton in my life”.
  166. >Just as you… what?
  167. >You lift the fool up to eye level.
  168. “He isn’t your boss?”
  169. >”I don’t think so. He didn’t sound Hispanic in the phone.”
  170. >Caballeron coughs loudly.
  171. >”If both of you finished playing, I’d like Dr. Jones notes if you don’t mind.”
  172. >He knew about the notes?
  173. “So you were the one who killed him!”
  174. >Caballeron smirks.
  175. >”Just as cunning as ever! Not like that old fool.”
  176. >He has gone too far.
  177. >You drop the moron to the floor and pose furiously, pointing at Caballeron.
  178. “You are going to pay for your crimes.”
  179. >From below your shawl you take out a tommy gun and point at Caballeron.
  180. “This is war!”
  181.  
  182. >You are Ziggy, and you are trying to understand your current situation.
  183. >This Hispanic man came with his posse and taunted A.K Yearling.
  184. >So she pulled a tommy gun out of nowhere and declared war.
  185. >Also they mentioned a guy dying over some notes.
  186. >Weird.
  187. >If you piece these clues together there can only be one explanation…
  188. >these men are from another publishing company and want to force her to write for them.
  189. >But Yearling is a badass and will have none of that nonsense.
  190. >How dramatic.
  191. >The world of publishing is more complicated than you could have imagined.
  192. >You better calm everyone down before they do something they might regret.
  193. “OK, guys. Let’s be civil here.”
  194. >You stand up and walk right to the middle of the confrontation.
  195. >At this point most of the tourists and the barman had fled from the room.
  196. “I know our jobs are important, but that’s no reason to hurt anybody.”
  197. >Caballeron’s men (his editors?) pull out their guns.
  198. >Well, that escalated quickly.
  199. >You aren’t left with many options here.
  200. >And wouldn’t like to do anything to these people.
  201. >Their guns on the other hand…
  202.  
  203. >you are Daring Do and you don’t give a fuck about being civil right now.
  204. >And you couldn’t care less about the stupid fuck in front of you, not when Caballeron is just on the other side of the room.
  205. >His goons just pulled their weapons too.
  206. >This is it.
  207. >You pull the trigger.
  208. >And nothing happens.
  209. >Shit.
  210. >You keep trying but the result is the same.
  211. >This is bad.
  212. >You look up from your tommy gun.
  213. >Caballeron’s men also attempt to shoot, but their guns are jammed.
  214. >How could this happen?
  215. >”See guys, conveniently your weapons aren’t working, so I would take that as a sign to give up on the violence and talk.”
  216. >He turns his head around and looks at you.
  217. >”Is that right?”
  218. >He winks at you again.
  219. >Oh you are gonna fuck his stupid face so much.
  220. >You swing your tommy gun to his head.
  221. >But your attack doesn’t connect.
  222. >Your weapon is stuck midway, as if something heavy was holding it.
  223. >You try to apply more strength but it just won’t budge!
  224. >Suddenly your weapon gets crushed.
  225. >You are left with the barrel in your hand as the rest of the gun falls to the floor.
  226. >Caballeron looks dumbfounded.
  227. >”Could he be one of those?”
  228. >The fool looks down at the weapon.
  229. >”Well, that’s a waste”
  230.  
  231. >You have seen weird shit in your adventures.
  232. >You’ve seen an evil shaman ripping out the heart of men and then drowning them in lava.
  233. >You’ve seen a knight guarding a holy relic for over millennia.
  234. > You’ve seen people eaten by ants.
  235. >You survived an atom bomb inside a refrigerator, and you still call bullshit on that.
  236. >This was new.
  237. >But it had one thing in common with the other events.
  238. >It wouldn’t stop you.
  239. >You throw your shawl, your hat and glasses to the big guy in front of you.
  240. >He catches them, and before he could realize it you roundhouse kick him in the chin.
  241. >The sheer force of your kick sends him crashing to a window where he falls outside of the bar.
  242. >That will teach him to never flirt with you again.
  243. >”What are you waiting for? Get her!” screams Caballeron.
  244. > The henchmen take out knives from their coats and come charging at you.
  245. >You charge towards them and dropkick the glasses wearing guy who came from the middle.
  246. >Trillby man grabs you by the arm but you elbow his nose repeatedly until he lets you go.
  247. >The fat man attempts to shank you.
  248. >You punch him as hard as you can in the liver and his body bends forward in pain, then you get a firm hold from his shoulders and kick him in the face with the back of your boot five times.
  249. >He falls leaving a little pool of blood and teeth on the ground.
  250. >Caballeron starts to clap slowly while laughing.
  251. >”Always putting on such an amazing performance.”
  252. “It’s not over yet,” you say as you take out your whip from its holster in your pants.
  253. >”Of course not. I want to see how you deal with the punchline.”
  254. >At that moment ten more men came into the room.
  255. >”Kill her!”  
  256. >They start shooting at you.
  257. >You dive towards a table and flip it over to get some cover.
  258. >It isn’t going to last much.
  259. >Guess you’ll have to use plan B.
  260. >You take a grenade you had hidden in your helmet and throw it towards the group of men.
  261. >They panic and try to escape, but most of them bump into each other trying to cross the door.
  262. >You jump outside from a window as the bar explodes behind you.
  263. >You get up and dust off the few shards of glass from your vest.
  264. “Guess the show is over.”
  265.  
  266. >You run towards the resort’s parking lot.
  267. >You know Caballeron and his men will come after you.
  268. >They are as persistent as roaches.
  269. >Previous encounters with Caballeron have taught you a few things about how he works.
  270. >From your first encounter in Mareseilles, to the last time in Prancelona.
  271. >He looks for antiques to trade in the black market at astronomical prices.
  272. >He has plenty of men under his command and has no problem in sacrificing them to meet his goals.
  273. >But more importantly, most of his moves were calculated.
  274. >If he came in person to meet you at the resort, then he was prepared to have a way of escaping should things go wrong.
  275. >He asked you about Dr. Jones notes and took advantage of your rage to confirm you had them.
  276. >You were being played.
  277. > Most likely he has another way to get to the arrows…
  278. >or will wait until you find them and then snatch them from your hands.
  279. >Either way you had gained some time.
  280. >He would need time to regroup how many men he still has and follow you.
  281. >You could only hope to get to the arrows first.
  282. >You get on your jeep and drive towards the jungle as fast as you can.
  283. >You don’t notice the passenger sitting behind you.
  284. >”I don’t appreciate the kick, but I’m willing to forget about it if we could just work together.”
  285. >Shit.
  286. >You had forgotten about him.
  287.  
  288. >You are Ziggy and you are doing your best to not be pushed from the jeep.
  289. >” You fucker didn’t learn your lesson!” she says trying to push your face to the ground… while the jeep is still moving.
  290. >She does this with just one hand and driving with the other.
  291. >You totally didn’t expect her to be this strong.
  292. >Also she is more fit than you expected.
  293. >The “grandma look” hid it extraordinarily.
  294. >You miss the glasses though.
  295. >Where were you going with this?
  296. >Ah right, your face is about to be scrapped at a high velocity.
  297. >You should be paying more attention.
  298. >”Answer me, why are you here? What are your intentions?”
  299. >Her hand keeps lowering your head towards the ground.
  300. >You don’t have much time.
  301. >You better give her the abridged version of why you are here.
  302. “My client sent me to help you out!”
  303. >She stops pushing your head.
  304. >She remains silent for a while.
  305.  
  306. >You are Daring Do.
  307. >And you are thinking hard about the man whose life was in your hands.
  308. >You were no stranger to interrogation, both giving it and receiving it.
  309. >So you were sure he wasn't lying.
  310. >Even so, what he said concerns you.
  311. >A third party knew about you and the arrows.
  312. >But they had sent him as an ally.
  313. >Most likely the Speedwagon Foundation.
  314. >After helping them protect the Holy Grail, they were indebted to you.
  315. >Also they have the largest information network in the world.
  316. >It wouldn’t surprise you if they found out about the arrows and your improvised crusade.
  317. >You pull him up from his hair and throw him into the jeep.
  318. >He latches to the seat as if his life depended on it.
  319. >Good.
  320. >That’ll teach him his place.
  321. “I believe you.”
  322. >He sighs relieved.
  323. “But don’t get the wrong idea. I work alone; you are just coming along for the ride.”
  324. >He looks at you skeptically.
  325. >”Really? “
  326. “What?”
  327. >”You never worked with someone else? I find that hard to believe.”
  328. “There have been exceptions, but they were experts on their fields. “
  329. >”I’m a translator. I could be helpful if you give me a chance.”
  330. >A translator? Maybe he could come in handy if you needed to decipher some hieroglyph.
  331. “We’ll see.”
  332. >He smiles at you.
  333. >”Good to see we are on the same page.”
  334. >He snickers.
  335. >”Get it? ‘Cause you are a writer.”
  336. >You are starting to regret not killing him.
  337. >”Ah! That reminds me, how should I call you?”
  338. “Daring Do is fine.”
  339. >”Ok, my name is…”
  340. “Your name is not important.”
  341. >He looks taken aback.
  342. >You don’t need to know his name.
  343. >You would hate to grow attached to him only for something bad to happen later.
  344. >And you knew the chances of that happening were really high.
  345.  
  346. >You are Not Important.
  347. >No, hold on. You are Ziggy!
  348. >It’s been a few hours since you took a ride with Daring Do.
  349. >You guess A.K. Yearling must be some pen name and this was her real name.
  350. >After all that’s how that man Caballeron called her.
  351. >According to her we were going to the lost pyramid of Marapore.
  352. >Which you already find kinda bizarre.
  353. >Who loses a pyramid?
  354. > Whatever.
  355. >Miss Do must be trying to find it to get material for a novel.
  356. >And we must be rushing there before the publishers get a hold of it and give it to another writer.
  357. >You try to chat with her, but she’s been standoffish the whole ride.
  358. >The sun starts to go down when the jeep stops abruptly.
  359. >Daring Do takes out some notes from her vest and looks around with a frustrated expression in her face.
  360. >”This makes no sense. The coordinates say the pyramid should be right here.”
  361. “Maybe someone found it already?”
  362. >She doesn’t acknowledge you.
  363. >”Did Dr. Jones make a mistake? No, that would be highly improbable.”
  364. >She keeps murmuring to herself.
  365. >Mmm.
  366. >Improbable, huh?
  367. >You could work with that.
  368.  
  369. >You are Daring Do.
  370. >Were the coordinates wrong all along?
  371. >Did Dr. Jones die for nothing?
  372. > This can’t be.
  373. >”Hey.”
  374. >This is all wrong!
  375. >You punch the steering wheel furiously.
  376. >”Calm down.”
  377. >You are hyperventilating.
  378. >Tears start forming in your eyes.
  379. >”HEY!”
  380. >His yell shakes you out of your funk.
  381. >You glare at him.
  382. >”It’s ok. I got this.”
  383. “What are you talking about?”
  384. >”Just wait and see.”
  385. >His expression changes.
  386. >For a moment he doesn’t look all that dumb.
  387. >He looks confident and determined.
  388. >”Start the jeep. We should be able to find it.”
  389. >You don’t get what he has in mind, but you start the jeep either way.
  390. >The wheels spin in place, but the jeep doesn’t move.
  391. >You keep accelerating.
  392. >And then you hear a crumble.
  393. >The earth below the jeep starts sinking rapidly.
  394. >You all fall down the newly formed hole into a black abyss.
  395.  
  396. >The jeep crashes loudly.
  397. >You slowly open your eyes.
  398. >You had fallen to a room made of stone blocks barely illuminated by light coming from the hole you made.
  399. >It wasn’t that big of a fall, but the jeep wasn’t going to take you anywhere.
  400. >You look at your… partner.
  401. >It’s weird even to think about it.
  402. >Especially seeing him wobbling in place.
  403. >”Should’ve braced for impact.” He says while falling from the side of the jeep.
  404. >You sigh.
  405. >You look at the back of the jeep, where you have a bag with your exploring equipment.
  406. >You calmly proceed to look for some flashlights.
  407. >To think you lost your cool a moment ago just because things didn’t go your way…
  408. >Dr. Jones death must have shocked you more than you gave it credit.
  409. >But this guy calms you down just by looking at your eyes and telling you it was going to be alright.
  410. >You throw one flashlight at him.
  411. “Let’s go.”
  412. >Perhaps you should thank him when all of this ends.
  413.  
  414. >You are Ziggy and you are following Daring Do through some dank catacombs.
  415. “I take it we are inside the pyramid?”
  416. >”Yes, although it is underground and upside down.”
  417. “Upside down?”
  418. >”The walls resemble the ones in the pyramids at Giza, but upside down.” She explains while flashing at the walls.
  419. “And the thing you are looking at is at the bottom?”
  420. >”Most likely.  If this is like any other dungeon I’ve been to, then it will also be guarded after a series of traps.”
  421. “Wow. Any chances there might be a mine cart sequence?”
  422. >She makes no comment to your joke.
  423. >Sigh.
  424. >You feed them gold and they shit you bronze.
  425. >She stops walking.
  426. >”Look at the ceiling.”
  427. “The one we are walking on?”
  428. >She points up with her flash light.
  429. >Ah, that ceiling.
  430. >Perspective is confusing if you are told you are somewhere upside down.
  431. >You look up.
  432. >There were spikes on it.
  433. “H-how did you know?”
  434. >”There are holes on the floor,” she points down while explaining. “they coincide with the spikes up there.”
  435. >”If we were to try and exit this room, they would have impaled us.”
  436. >That’s a horrible image you won’t be getting out of your mind for a while.
  437. “What do we do then?”
  438. >”Usually there is a switch or a lever in both the exit and the entrance of the room. They should deactivate the trap.”
  439. >”Go back to where we came from and wait for my signal.” She orders.
  440.  
  441. >Dang. This is some RE4 kind of dungeon.
  442. >If some “Las Plagas” monster appears you are out of here.
  443. >You reach the entrance of the room, and find a lever next to it.
  444. “I found a lever!” you yell at her.
  445. >”So did I!”
  446. >”On my mark we’ll pull them.”
  447. >”1”
  448. >”2”
  449. >”3!”
  450. >You pull the lever.
  451. >You hear the ceiling rumble.
  452. >Oh no.
  453. >Did you miss the timing?
  454. >Where you supposed to pull on three or after it?
  455. >You close your eyes.
  456. >The rumble stops.
  457. >You peek at your surroundings with one eye.
  458. >Nothing happened.
  459. >You give a big sigh.
  460. >You didn’t even notice you were holding your breath the whole time.
  461. >You go back to where Daring was waiting.
  462. >She looks at you with the smuggest grin you’ve seen.
  463. >”Scared?”
  464. “Scared and anxious! Do you not feel the same?”
  465. >”I’m undeniably, unquestionably, unstoppable,” she brags “These traps are for babies and won’t be a problem with me around.”
  466. >She opens the door to the next room.
  467. >A foul stench hits you right in the face.
  468. >From the corner of your eye you see a tiny spark ignite.
  469. >As Daring entered the room, you saw the tiniest trail of fire go rapidly from the wall at the entrance towards the end of the hall.
  470. “Watch out!”
  471. >You pull Daring from her vest and take cover.
  472. >Almost at the same time, a wall of fire emerged from the hall into the room you were.
  473. >The fire blazes for a while.
  474. >You were at a safe distance, but still could feel your skin singe a little from the heat.
  475. >Both of you cough while trying to breathe what little oxygen was left.
  476. >”How did you know about that trap?”
  477. “I saw that in a movie. A methane deposit with a lighter at the entrance.”
  478. >”Yeah, well… at least you are proving to be useful.” She says turning away from you.
  479.  
  480. >You are Daring Do and, although you don’t want to admit it, you are glad this guy came with you.
  481. > After walking past the (now scorched) “methane trap hallway”, you descended to another big room, although this one was lit with three torches lined on each wall.”
  482. >The room has its whole floor covered in tiles.
  483. >Each with a different animal carved in them.
  484. “This whole room is based on a Mayan sanctuary.”
  485. >”Inside a pyramid.”
  486. “Yeah. The floor is booby trapped. One wrong step and we will activate it.”
  487. >”I can see the exit on the other side,” he looks at you pleadingly “You know how to get there, right?”
  488. >You examine each tile.
  489. >There is one with a porcupine, probably more spikes.
  490. >Another one has a tiger holding a scimitar in its maw, there must be some kind of blades hidden on the tile ready to cut your feet.
  491. >There’s also one with snakes… definitely not touching those.
  492. >The one that stands out the most has a little unicorn with wings. It is the only mythical creature, and the one with least copies of it in the room.
  493. >Bingo.
  494. >”Step only one the alicorn tiles and we should be fine.”
  495. >You begin hopping on the tiles.
  496. >”You just made that word up.”
  497. >Of course you didn’t.
  498. >In every dungeon you’ve been there always was an alicorn depicted in one way or another.
  499. >It was a factor repeated in every ancient culture, as if they adored the same divinity.
  500. >You are half way through the room.
  501. >You look back to see how your partner is faring.
  502. >A little behind you, but ok.
  503. >You keep on hopping.
  504. >The alicorn tiles are getting farther and farther.
  505. >Good thing you were on top physical condition.
  506. >You reach the exit while doing a flip over some trapped tiles.
  507. >10.0 score for you.
  508. >Your partner looks at you and the spaces between your last jump.
  509. >”I don’t think I can jump that far.”
  510. >Your fears exactly.
  511. >He is a big guy, but doesn’t look nimble.
  512. >He rubs his forehead.
  513. >”I hope this works.”
  514. >He leaps as far as he can.
  515. >And lands on a snake tile.
  516. >Shit, why did it have to be snakes?
  517. >The tile sinks, and four vipers fall from the ceiling on top of him.
  518. >He holds them terrified…
  519. >And then places them on the floor one by one.
  520. >He makes a short hop and lands next to you.
  521. >”The snakes were dead.”
  522. >What.
  523. >”I guess no one fed them since they made the trap.”
  524. >Talk about dumb luck.
  525.  
  526. >You descend to another room.
  527. >This one was fairly empty.
  528. >Except for a stone tablet with some strange symbols carved on it right in the middle.
  529. >Behind it, there are a dozen doors.
  530. “Ok, your turn now.”
  531. >”What?”
  532. “You are a “translator”, right? Read what the stone tablet says and point the way towards the arrows.”
  533. >He gives you a worried look.
  534. “You can do it, right?”
  535. >”Of course I can! I’m the best translator in the world!” he responds confidently, but you notice a few beads of sweat forming on his face.
  536. >He walks to the tablet and begins to read.
  537. >”Uuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhh.”
  538. >You wait.
  539. >And wait.
  540. >”Uuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhh.”
  541. >For fucks sake.
  542. “Are you done?”
  543. >”Don’t rush me! I just… I just need to use my glasses.”
  544. >He motions putting on some glasses.
  545. >But his pair of glasses was still hanging from his shirt.
  546. >They were sunglasses, but still, the whole thing was weird as fuck.
  547. > He moves from the tablet and begins to look at each door.
  548. >”Not that one, neither that one, those two are connected, definitely not those…” he mumbles.
  549. >”I found it! It’s the third one from the right!” he says while posing and pointing at the door.
  550. > And then he wobbles in place and falls butt first to the ground.
  551. >You rush towards him.
  552. “Are you ok?”
  553. >”Ouch, I landed right on my keys.”
  554. >You help him get up.
  555. >He looks kind of dizzy.
  556. “Can you walk?”
  557. >”Yeah, just let me wait for the room to stop spinning and we can go.”
  558. >You wait for a little while and then proceed through the door he pointed.
  559.  
  560. “I need to know.”
  561. >”Hmm?”
  562. “At the resort, while you were there none of the guns were able to shoot.”
  563. >”How convenient, right?”
  564. “Then in the jungle, you knew exactly where the pyramid was hidden.”
  565. >”That was more like, being at the right place at the right moment.”
  566. “Also with the snakes?”
  567. >”Yup! It was scary nonetheless.”
  568. “And just now, you didn’t translate shit.”
  569. >He avoids your gaze embarrassed.
  570. “You acted dumb and looked at each door, like if you knew what was behind each one! And then you fell right on your ass.”
  571. >”That much information is overwhelming; it makes my head spin if I use it for too long.”
  572. “So you admit it then.”
  573. >He looks at you.
  574. “You are a psychic!”
  575. >He smiles.
  576. >”I guess that’s one way of seeing it.”
  577. >This is incredible” Like something out of your books!
  578. >”I could do these things since I was a kid.”
  579. “I’d love to hear more about it when all of this is over.”
  580. >”I’ll hold you to it.” He says grinning.
  581.  
  582. >Finally, you reach the biggest room so far.
  583. >It was reminiscent of an Aztec sacrifice chamber, with a huge altar at the end of the room and two rows of pillars leading to it.
  584. >And you could see them perfectly, resting at the top of the altar, the six Arrows of Marapore!
  585. “There they are! Now we just need to…”
  586. >But you don’t finish your sentence.
  587. >You heard the click of a gun behind you.
  588. >”Many thanks Daring Do.”
  589. >It is Caballeron, like always just at the worst possible time.
  590. >”As you’ve probably surmised, our earlier search for this treasure was… unsuccessful. How kind of you to find it for us.”
  591. >Both you and your partner raise your hands.
  592. “Can you do something with your powers?” you whisper to him.
  593. >”I’d rather not hurt anybody,” He says.
  594. “Are you kidding me!?”
  595. >”I may think of something, buy me some time.”
  596. >Buying time, huh?
  597. >Your enemies always loved to gloat about how smart they were.
  598. >Let’s see if you can still trick them.
  599. “I get how you found the pyramid thanks to us, but how did you get past the traps?”
  600. >Caballeron chuckles.
  601. >”It isn’t hard at all if you have the right guide.”
  602. >>”One that spent his whole life studying the arrows and the place they were hidden at.”
  603. >That voice.
  604. >It couldn’t be.
  605. >You slowly turn around, scared of what, no of whom you might see.
  606. >There they are, Caballeron and a handful of his henchmen.
  607. >And there also is…
  608. “Dr. Jones?”
  609.  
  610. >You are Ziggy, and for the second time today, a bunch of guns were pointed at you.
  611. >Good thing you didn’t drink or you’d be pissing everywhere right now.
  612. >Also, this old man appeared and Daring was freaking out.
  613. >”But I saw you! You were dead!” she screams at the old man.
  614. >”It was all an elaborate ruse Daring Do,” he begins to explain. “I needed the help from Caballeron, and he would only accept if it meant putting you in danger.”
  615. >So this old man is working with Caballeron?
  616. >”I was given a powerful drug that lowered my heart beat enough to simulate death, add some fake blood and it was real enough to fool you.”
  617. >”I don’t get it, why go this far? Only for those arrows?!” Daring asks lividly.
  618. >”I have no need for the arrows,” says Dr. Jones “If you want to know the truth, follow me.”
  619. >He walks away to a door on the side of the room.
  620. >”Don’t forget your part of the deal.” Says Caballeron to the Doctor.
  621. >”Of course not. The arrows are all yours.”
  622. >Daring begins walking towards Doctor Jones.
  623. “Wait, I’m going with you.”
  624. >”No.” she says. “This is personal, don’t interfere.”
  625. >And then she leaves, leaving you alone with Caballeron and his editors.
  626. >”Don’t try anything funny,” he says as he walks past you towards the altar with the arrows, “I know what you are.”
  627. “…a translator?”
  628. >”Don’t play dumb with me!”
  629. >You are surrounded by his henchmen.
  630. >”I learned about your kind a long time ago.”
  631. >He begins to climb the stairs to the altar.
  632. >”For years I dreamed about harnessing that power, and now it is possible.”
  633. >He grabs one of the arrows.
  634. “To get my own STAND!”
  635.  
  636. >You are Daring Do.
  637. >You’ve been following Dr. Jones for three more floors.
  638. >They were also heavily trapped, but with the Doctor’s help you bypassed them with no effort.
  639. “Aren’t you going to tell me why you are doing this?”
  640. >The Doctor keeps walking.
  641. >”If I recall correctly it all began around forty years ago. I was young and was beginning to work in the Archives. I was assigned to work on the reports that a mineral excavation team made in Greenland. “
  642. >”They had found a meteor that crashed fifty thousand years ago. The reports talked about an unknown virus dormant inside the meteor, probably waiting to annihilate human life, but that wasn’t the interesting part.”
  643. >”I compared the pictures attached to the report with previous researches, and noticed that some fragments of the meteor had been taken years prior to this excavation. Those were six triangular fragments.”
  644. “The Arrows of Marapore.”
  645. >”Exactly. The items of legend that were said to choose those who were worthy of brandishing the powers of the gods.”
  646. >”Of course, no one was willing to fund my research based on an old legend. So I spent all those years obsessing over my own investigation, but the price to pay was too much.”
  647. >”I lost my reputation and credibility. I even lost my own family, my wife left me and my own children grew up with no father. To this day I still don’t know what my grandchildren even look like.”
  648. >”I came to hate the arrows, but I was too stubborn to abandon my research after everything I lost.”
  649. >”It was only a few weeks ago that I managed to get conclusive results on their location and the place in which they were kept, but I had become too old to get there by myself and too poor to pay someone else to do it for me. That’s when Caballeron contacted me.”
  650.  
  651. >He opens the door to a new floor.
  652. >An intense heat wave collides with your whole being.
  653. >The room looks more like the inside of a cave with its ceiling covered by various iron chains hanging randomly.
  654. >It has an asterisk shaped rock platform suspended over a lake of magma and right in the middle lies a chest made of rock.
  655. >”Caballeron offered to take me to the pyramid in exchange for the arrows and taking your life.”
  656. “And after all that you’ve been through you are just letting him get the arrows?”
  657. >”Make no mistake, Caballeron’s greed is unfathomable. He is probably the man who wants them the most in the world. Besides, he told me of something far more interesting to me than those arrows.”
  658. >Dr. Jones walks to the chest and mustering all his strength manages to slide its cover off.
  659. >From inside the chest he takes out a stone mask.
  660. >It has slanted eyes, full lips and fangs resting on the bottom lip.
  661. >You can really put it into words, but just seeing it alerts you of imminent danger.
  662. “What is that thing?”
  663. >”It is a new opportunity in life that’s what it is.”
  664. >He looks at you with a concerned face.
  665. >”I know part of the deal was to kill you, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The time you spent at the archives may be the only time that someone treated me with respect. And I’ve come to consider you a friend. If we both use this mask, then we could transcend humanity together. What do you say?”
  666. “Doctor Jones, I don’t know what you think that mask is going to do, but it won’t give you back the things you lost.”
  667. >You get closer to him.
  668. “Let’s leave this place, as friends like you just said.”
  669. >Jones looks down and closes his eyes.
  670. >”I expected that answer. You’ve always treated me kindly.”
  671. >He pushes you.
  672. >You take some steps back.
  673. >”But I reject that kindness”.
  674. >He puts on the mask and takes a knife from his pocket.
  675. >”And I reject my humanity!”
  676.  
  677. >He stabs his own hand and smears his blood on the mask.
  678. >From the mask’s edges stone tendrils emerge and pierce his skull and brain.
  679. >His body falls on his knees and then drops face down to the platform.
  680. >That old fool.
  681. >Lost his life to a torture device.
  682. >Caballeron must have taken advantage of him to get the arrows for himself.
  683. >You should get back to him and set things straight.
  684. >You turn around and head for the room exit, but you stop.
  685. >There is a sound coming from the Doctor’s corpse.
  686. >It almost sounds like…
  687. >”Uryyyy.”
  688. >You look back to where the sound came, but there is nothing there.
  689. >Not even the corpse.
  690. “What the fuck?”
  691. >Then your survival instinct kicks in.
  692. >You dive forward and roll up to the stone chest.
  693. >Behind you, hanging upside down from one of the chains in the ceiling was Doctor Jones.
  694. >The mask falls from his face and sinks in the magma.
  695. >His face is twisted in a furious expression.
  696. >Fangs protrude from his mouth, just like the face in the stone mask.
  697. >He has blood on his fingers which now resemble sharp claws.
  698. >It is only now that you notice the stinging pain in your back.
  699. >That monster managed to cut you.
  700. >The blood slowly begins to be absorbed by the tip of his claws.
  701. >He smiles wickedly.
  702. >The wounds on his head heal, his muscles grow and he even begins to look younger.
  703. “Doctor Jones? What the hell happened to you?”
  704. >He looks at you.
  705. >”More. I need more blood!”
  706. >And with an inhuman speed jumps from the chain and lunges at you.
  707.  
  708. A little while back…
  709.  
  710. >You are Ziggy, and there is something off about this whole thing.
  711. “Hold on. You are telling me that you did all of this, not to get the publishing rights of a novel, but to get a stand?”
  712. >Caballeron looks at you with disdain.
  713. >”Of course I did it to get a stand! Don’t you even understand the situation you are in?”
  714. >Things suddenly take another context with this new information.
  715. “Ok, my bad. I totally misread the situation, but still you can’t deny that it is equally dumb.”
  716. >”What did you say!?”
  717. “Doing all of this just to get powers is super dumb. I mean, who even does that?”
  718. >You can see how Caballeron’s pupils shrink.
  719. >”Super dum- Don’t you even know the power with which you are blessed? How it makes you better than every other man!?”
  720. >He is getting very distressed.
  721. “Mr. Caballeron, I think you got the wrong ide…”
  722. >”That’s DOCTOR Caballeron to you! This is a dog eat dog world, so you have to do everything you can to get ahead!”
  723. “But you already have a job finding treasures, and apparently a doctorate, you don’t need a stand to get ahead from anybody.”
  724. >He is getting even more pissed.
  725. “I mean, I have a stand and that doesn`t make me better than any other…”
  726. >”ENOUGH!”
  727. >He takes one of the arrows.
  728. >”I’ve been craving this power ever since I found out about them, I’ve prepared for this moment more than anybody. I’m the one most suited to be pierced by the arrow!”
  729. >With no hesitation he stabs his chest with the arrow.
  730.  
  731. >His body begins to convulse, he grits his teeth and coughs a faint red mist through them.
  732. >He seems to be in a lot of pain.
  733. >He stops moving.
  734. >And then you see it.
  735. >There is a blue aura surrounding him.
  736. >”Even with all that mental preparation, it still takes this much spiritual strength.” He says while gasping for air.
  737. >”But I made it, here is my stand.”
  738. >A big figure begins to tower behind him.
  739. >It looks like a giant blue dog with ape-like forelimbs with golden bracelets.
  740. >Its face is elongated and it has eyes over its nose at the end of its snout.
  741. > It also has a long monkey-like tail with a hand on its end.
  742. “An animal stand?”
  743. >”Yes this is my very own [Def Leppard]!”
  744. >This is bad.
  745. >He just got his stand and it already materializes so clearly.
  746. >He must be really strong.
  747. >Caballeron looks at his stand with wonder, making it move its limbs one by one.
  748. >”It really feels like it is an extension of my mind. Now for a test run.”
  749. >He begins to walk down the altar, his grin becoming wider with each step.
  750. >He comes close to one of his henchmen, and punches him with his stand right in the chest.
  751. >The henchman goes flying to a pillar, hits his head and passes out.
  752. “What was that for!?”
  753. >”It’s strong enough to send a grown man flying but not enough to kill him. Next is…”
  754.  
  755. >He looks over to another henchman.
  756. >”You! Get over here!” he screams to the one standing the farthest.
  757. >As he gets closer, [Def Leppard] moves towards him until it stops.
  758. >”So it has a range of five meters, let’s see how strong it is at this distance.”
  759. >You can’t stand this anymore.
  760. >You focus your will into your hand and generate a tiny yellow star.
  761. >You throw it at the henchman and it hits him on the leg.
  762. “Hey! Look at me!”
  763. > [Def Leppard] throws a punch at him, but the henchman stopped just right outside his range to point its gun at you.
  764. >Caballeron looks at you.
  765. >”So that is your stand.”
  766. “Listen, I know you must be really hyped about getting that pooch, but you can’t just go around punching people!”
  767. >”Really? Then how else am I going to check my stand’s abilities?”
  768. >He smirks.
  769. >”Unless you want to try fighting me with your stand. After all, stand users attract each other, so one must be ready to battle at any time.”
  770. >He just keeps on talking nonsense.
  771. “Even if that were the case, you aren’t going to fight just because someone else is a stand user.”
  772. >But more importantly…
  773. “And don’t attack your men just to see how strong you are! I know you people can’t see what’s going on, but don’t just stand there and receive orders blindly.”
  774. >”These men are mercenaries. I’ve hired them specifically because they are trained to never disobey rules,” he gets closer to the henchman pointing his gun at you. “Which is why those who do disobey should be punished.”
  775. > [Def Leppard] reaches for the mercenary’s head and snaps his neck.
  776.  
  777. “No way…”
  778. >”Now… whatever your name is, for every second you decide not to fight I’m going to keep on killing my men.”
  779. >You thought he was just power hungry, but this man is insane!
  780. >”One.”
  781. >He pulls out a gun and points at another man.
  782. >You dash at him while focusing your will in your hand.
  783. >You throw a black star at his gun, but [Def Leppard] gets in your way and catches it.
  784. >Caballeron turns around and shoots you in the chest.
  785. >but you keep on running.
  786. >you punch him in the face, effectively knocking him to the ground and then you kick his gun away.
  787. >”How? I just shot you.
  788. >It is then that both of you notice a pair of ghostly arms crossed over your chest.
  789. >They had stopped the bullet.
  790. >” [Def Leppard]!”
  791. >His stand lunges at you.
  792. >You block his attack and slide a few feet back by the impact.
  793. >Caballeron gets back up on his feet.
  794. >”So your stand is quite durable, no, it wasn’t only that. My attack got weaker!”
  795. >[Def Leppard] looks at his hands and sees a black star imprinted on it.
  796. “I knew you were going to attack me with your stand, so I charged that black star with a negative probability. From now on, the probability of your attacks being at full strength has dropped. You’ve been jinxed!”
  797. >Caballeron scowls.
  798. >”So that’s what your stand can do. And you even predicted I was going to shoot you, you must have experienced many battles before.”
  799. >Of course you haven’t.
  800. >That was just a gamble you took and got lucky with.
  801. >But you aren’t going to tell him that.
  802.  
  803. “Well, you almost got me with that bluff about killing your own men.”
  804. >”Who said I was bluffing?”
  805. > He inhales deeply.
  806. >”Everyone! Kill yourselves!”
  807. >>”YES SIR!”
  808. >The mercenaries put their guns on their heads and pull the trigger.
  809. >You hear the collective bangs all around you.
  810. >And then their bodies hit the floor.
  811. >You are speechless.
  812. >”Daring Do would have something witty to say, but your expression is priceless.”
  813. “Why? I really don’t get it. Why would you tell them to do it?”
  814. >Caballeron looks at you like if the answer were obvious.
  815. >”Because I can.”
  816. >[Def Leppard] places two fingers in his mouth and whistles loudly.
  817. >”Now, let me show you another trick of mine.”
  818. >All around you, the fallen mercenaries begin to stand up.
  819. “What is going on?”
  820. >One of the mercenaries grabs you by the back, while another one crawls to your leg.
  821. >”It is my [Def Leppard] ability. I can reanimate dead bodies and have them do my bidding.”
  822. >More... zombies (you were right it got just like RE4) come towards you.
  823. >You try to get away, but their grip is too strong.
  824. >”Don’t even bother, those bodies don’t have any unconscious limitation and also feel no pain. They are several times stronger than a regular man.”
  825. >They keep getting closer and closer.
  826. >”Now, kill him.”
  827. >All of them jump and dogpile on you.
  828. >You can feel how your body is punched, twisted and bitten all over.
  829. >Caballeron just stands there with his arms crossed.
  830. >”I wonder what would happen if I control the body of a stand user. Ha ha ha, ha ha ha, ha ha ha!”
  831. >He keeps cackling to himself relishing the moment of winning his first stand battle.
  832. >And then a zombie flies back over his head.
  833.  
  834. >Caballeron is shocked.
  835. >Another zombie goes out flying away, crashing with a wall.
  836. >And another.
  837. >And another.
  838. >And another!
  839. >There are zombies flying everywhere!
  840. >Finally, the zombie dog pile is scattered all over the room, with you standing right where it once was, covered in a bright pink aura.
  841. >You are bitten and hurt all over, but your face is daring, your eyes full of resolve and that scares the shit out of Caballeron.
  842. “Fine, if it is a fight you want, then a fight you’ll get.”
  843. [STARMAN]!”
  844. >Floating next to you is a thin androgynous being, dressed in a skintight striped suit and red platform boots.
  845. >It has bright red glossy hair, and its skin is dark but with little white shining specs sprinkled all over.
  846. >Its face has no mouth, and his eyes were covered by a pair of star shaped sunglasses, but one could easily see a red lightning tattoo extending from his hairline over his right eye.
  847. >And of course, it was posing.
  848. >”That weakling blew away all of my zombies?”
  849. >[Def Leppard] whistles again and the zombies come back towards you.
  850. “You know what really pisses me off?”
  851. >[Starman] uppercuts a zombie and its head rockets up to the ceiling.
  852. “You knew that these men would do anything you wanted.”
  853. >Two zombies come behind you, but [Starman] impales them with a back kick and proceeds to remove his foot upwards cutting them in half.
  854. “And still you made them kill themselves…”
  855. >[Starman] rips the arm of a zombie and bats its head into the face of another one.
  856. “Only to control their bodies!?”
  857. >[Starman] kicks a zombie in the kneecaps breaking its legs, and after it falls proceeds to suplex it, destroying its head.
  858. “That is the most silly and redundant way of using your powers!”
  859. >[Starman] grabs the last two zombies and smashes their heads together.
  860. >There are limbs, brains and blood everywhere.
  861. >Caballeron is trembling.
  862.  
  863. >”Such power, and you even figured that without their heads they can’t be called back by my stand.”
  864. “…Sure.”
  865. >You totally didn’t know that.
  866. >You just thought that since they were zombies they would stop without their heads.
  867. >Videogames taught you well.
  868. >Caballeron gets closer.
  869. >”But still, I noticed something too. Your stand may be stronger, but its movements aren’t that different from a normal human being. My [Def Leppard] is faster!”
  870. >He shoots his stand towards you.
  871. >[Def Leppard] throws a barrage of punches .
  872. >[Starman] brings up his arms to block the attack.
  873. >You can feel the weight of those punches in your arms, but you only need to hold on for a few more seconds.
  874. >[Def Leppard] does a big swing, and [Starman] takes advantage of it.
  875. >He ducks under it and with a kick swipes [Def Leppard] who falls on its back.
  876. >”Impossible!”
  877. >Caballeron looks at his hands, they were marked by a bunch of black stars.
  878. [Starman] is made of the very same probability stars I shoot. Each attack you made sealed your destiny.”
  879. >Your stand grabs him by the legs and begins to spin.
  880. >Using the momentum he throws [Def Leppard] back at Caballeron.
  881. >They both fall towards the base of the altar.
  882. >His stand begins to fade.
  883.  
  884. >”This isn’t how it was supposed to go. I was going to rule the world!”
  885. “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you. You can’t rule the world just by having a stand.”
  886. >”B-but if I had more power…”
  887. “Dude, I defeated you and I’m not even all that powerful. There must be hundreds of more abstract and stronger stands out there.”
  888. >”SHUT UP! I only need more power!”
  889. >You both hear a metallic clink fall from the altar next to Caballeron.
  890. >It was an arrowhead.
  891. >”Ha ha, I knew it, it can feel my desperation! I truly am the one chosen by the arrow!”.
  892. >He grabs it and stabs his hand.
  893. >Just like the first time, his body convulses and he screams in pain.
  894. >He seems to be taking it much worse.
  895. >When the pain stops, he slowly stands up.
  896. >He looks as if he hadn’t slept in days; his eyes are bloodshot and is sweating an awful lot.
  897. >”Huf-Now, I can finally kill you.”
  898. >He is panting a lot.
  899. >He calls [Def Leppard] again and sends it your way.
  900. >You notice that neither he nor his stand is marked by your stars.
  901. >Did the arrow take them away?
  902. >[Starman] blocks his attacks.
  903. >He just doesn’t learn.
  904. >You just have to wait it out and…
  905. >[Starman] grabs you and throws you away from the battle.
  906. >Why did he do that?
  907. >You then realize, [Def Leppard]’s hand-tail was holding your shirt.
  908. >He drops it and it lands with a loud thud.
  909. >Your shirt was made of pure gold.
  910. “A new power!”
  911. >You call back your stand.
  912. >Caballeron is laughing.
  913. >”The arrow grants the thing one needs the most. And now I have a way of dealing with your stars.”
  914.  
  915. >You see how [Def Leppard] touches the black stars on his hands with his tail.
  916. >They become solid gold and fall to the ground.
  917. >“This is my new ability [Rock of Ages]!”
  918. >[Def Leppard] and Caballeron come at you.
  919. >With just one touch of that tail you are finished.
  920. >But you are not going to give him the chance.
  921. >You call out [Starman] and engage them in a fight.
  922. >[Starman] throws some punches, but [Def Leppard] dodges them and counters with his tail aiming right at its head.
  923. >You jump on the back of your stand and it manages to duck under it just in time.
  924. >It gives you a boost as you lounge towards [Def Leppard], it tries to attack you, but you get pulled away by your stand.
  925. >[Starman] uses the momentum generated by pulling you away and dropkick [Def Leppard].
  926. >”How are you doing this!?”
  927. “I’ve had [Starman] since I was a kid, it may be a manifestation of my will or whatever, but to me he is an ally who always has my back. And that goes for me too.”
  928. >”Damn you!”
  929. >Caballeron’s aura gets bigger.
  930. >[Def Leppard] begins to jump from pillar to pillar, with Caballeron floating behind him due to his extended aura.
  931. >He lunges at you, but you sidestep out of the way.
  932. >He keeps coming, increasing its speed until it's nothing but a blur.
  933. >Again.
  934. >And Again.
  935. >Each time you dodge its attacks.
  936. >”How is it even possible! No human should be able to predict movements at this speed!”
  937. “I’m not predicting anything.”
  938. >You point at your forehead.
  939. >You had placed a yellow star there.
  940. “They may not work on you, but they can still affect me. While I’m like this I can always be at the right place at the right moment.”
  941. >You continue dodging his attacks.
  942. >”SHIT! SHIT! SHIT!”
  943. >He is losing it.
  944. >He increases his speed.
  945. >He begins to jump and bounce all around the room.
  946. >You can see how he leaves dents in the walls only for the sound to come after him.
  947. >And with it, sudden booms of air.
  948. >He is becoming faster than sound!?
  949. >Even though he doesn’t hit, the booms begin to pelter you from every side, and the bursts off sound are slowly leaving you dizzy.
  950. >You don’t really know if you could keep up much longer.
  951. >[Def Leppard] dashes at your back at full speed.
  952. >And crashes head-on with a big solid star.
  953. >His snout, and Caballeron’s face, get pushed into their skulls.
  954. >They drop to the ground.
  955. >”You bastard still had such a trick under your sleeve.” He says while spitting blood and some teeth.
  956. >It’s really impressive how he doesn’t pass out after that crash.
  957. “Honestly, I didn’t know I could make them this big, or even solid for that matter. I guess I managed to do it after getting pushed so much.”
  958. >[Def Leppard] tries to attack you with its tail-hand, but it isn’t even that fast.
  959. >[Starman] grabs the tail and cuts it at the base with a clean chop.
  960. >Caballeron’s screams fill the room.
  961. >His stand disappears.
  962. >He can’t move.
  963. >That last attack must have rendered him paraplegic.
  964. >You could finish him right now.
  965. >You walk closer to him.
  966. >But…
  967. >Deep in your mind you remember… “Her”.
  968. >She was evil, but changed after she was offered a second chance.
  969. >She inspired you to believe that everyone deserves a second chance.
  970. >Could even trash like this guy be offered that privilege?
  971.  
  972. >You stand next to Caballeron.
  973. >His pitiful self reduced to a quivering mess and a paralyzed half.
  974. “Listen, I don't think the things you did today should be forgiven.  All those deaths were because of you. “
  975. >You clench your fist super hard.
  976. >This is more difficult than you thought.
  977. “I should put you down.”
  978. >You inhale a lot of air.
  979. >You hold it.
  980. >And then exhale it.
  981. “But I won’t.”
  982. >Caballeron’s body stops trembling.
  983. “I know nothing about you, what led you to be this way, and it really wouldn’t be my place to judge you. But someone once taught me that everyone deserves a second chance to be a better person.”
  984. >Caballeron’s eyes begin to water.
  985. “Maybe now is a good time to rethink what you’ve done and see if it was worth it after all.”
  986. >You start moving away from him.
  987. “I’ll go see how Daring is doing. When I get back I’ll take you to a doctor on the surface.”
  988. >You continue moving.
  989. >”Y-y-y”
  990. >Does he want to say something to you?
  991. >”Yooooouu bastard.”
  992. >You stop and look back at him.
  993. >”How dare you tell me what to do. I’ll show you. I’ll show you all.”
  994. >There is something in his hands.
  995. >On each hand, there is an arrowhead!
  996. >He still had more!?
  997. “Wait! Don’t do it!”
  998. >But it was too late.
  999. >He had already pierced each hand.
  1000.  
  1001. >Caballeron’s body stands still.
  1002. >Nothing happened.
  1003. >No convulsing, no spasms, no bleeding.
  1004. >You approach his body and turn him around carefully.
  1005. >He has no pupils.
  1006. >His body is cold and there is no heartbeat.
  1007. >He is dead.
  1008. >Maybe his body couldn’t handle more pressure from the arrows?
  1009. >Even though you offered him a second chance.
  1010. >In spite of his ambition, all the bloodshed and the lives that were lost.
  1011. >It And it was all for nothing.
  1012. >This is the worst.
  1013. >”Ha ha ha.”
  1014. >Someone is laughing?
  1015. >You look behind you.
  1016. [Def Leppard]?”
  1017. >There it was.
  1018. >Standing on its hind legs, clapping his monkey hands.
  1019. >”So that meat bag died as he lived, greedy until the end.”
  1020. >This makes no sense.
  1021. “How can you? What is even?”
  1022. >Calm down. Think carefully what you say.
  1023. “How come you are still here?”
  1024. >[Def Leppard] grins.
  1025. >”I’ve become free, that’s what happened”
  1026. >Free?
  1027. >”Thanks to the arrows I’m no longer bound to that idiot. Now I can do as I please without some lesser being telling me what to do.”
  1028. >You look closer to him.
  1029. >There is no aura.
  1030. >He is no vision whatsoever.
  1031. >He has a solid body.
  1032. “So you became a real boy. What now?”
  1033. >”Now I dispose of every last one of you humans, starting with you.”
  1034. >You look back to Caballeron.
  1035. >His body was slowly turning into dust.
  1036. “I understand.”
  1037. >You call out [Starman].
  1038. “You are a monster and a threat. I’ll stop you without holding back.”
  1039. >[Def Leppard] growls.
  1040. >”I have more power than when I was bound to that shit. You stand no chance against me. Throw as many punches as you want, none are strong enough to hurt me.”
  1041. >He gets on all fours and runs towards you.
  1042. “I said I won’t hold back anymore.”
  1043. >[Starman]’s fist clenches, probability bending to his will.
  1044. “And we just need one punch.”
  1045.  
  1046. And now back to Daring.
  1047.  
  1048. >You are Daring Do.
  1049. >And this is the end.
  1050. >You’ve tried every last one of your tricks.
  1051. >And that monster still doesn’t die.
  1052. >Punches and kicks did nothing.
  1053. >It was like beating a wall of flesh.
  1054. >His strength was leagues above what a normal human could do.
  1055. >Each punch or kick he threw was able to break part of the stone platform you were both in.
  1056. >If your calculation were right each punch should have a pressure above 600kg/cm2.
  1057. >You filled him with lead from the guns you still had left hidden on your vest, but they only slowed him down a little.
  1058. >Shit, you even stuck a grenade in his mouth.
  1059. >That seemed to hurt him, but with each swipe he got on you he recovered almost instantly.
  1060. >Not only that, he became stronger.
  1061. >You’ve been dodging him while hanging from chain to chain with your whip.
  1062. >But just now he shot his fangs and ripped your precious whip to pieces.
  1063. >Which leads you to your current situation.
  1064. >You are cornered, hurt all over and out of tricks.
  1065. >Not even a miracle can save you.
  1066. >The monster closes on you.
  1067. >”Wryyyyyyy.”
  1068. >That’s all it says.
  1069. >Whatever it means it will be the last thing you will hear.
  1070.  
  1071. >You think of all the adventures you had so far.
  1072. >You discovered treasures, ancient civilizations, stopped villains, had a successful academic career, and you also were a bestselling novelist.
  1073. >You shouldn’t have any regrets.
  1074. >You really shouldn’t…
  1075. >Then, why can’t you stop thinking about failing to save Doctor Jones.
  1076. >Or leaving that fool behind with Caballeron.
  1077. >Your temper took the worst of you.
  1078. >And now you are going to pay the price.
  1079. >You hear a loud crash.
  1080. >And then another.
  1081. >The monster also seems to notice.
  1082. >It's getting closer.
  1083. >Followed by a sharp howl of pain.
  1084. >The roof of the cave breaks!
  1085. >A giant doglike creature crashes on top of the vampire.
  1086. >Even the platform beneath them crumbles.
  1087. >Both monsters fall to the melting magma.
  1088. >The hound sinks unmoving.
  1089. >The vampire trashes around for a few seconds, but is no match for the heat of melting rocks.
  1090. >You stand on the last piece of platform left.
  1091. >”Hey! Can you hear me?”
  1092. >You look up.
  1093. >It was that guy… the translator.
  1094. >”Hold on! I’ll go and get you!”
  1095. >You sigh.
  1096. >You guess miracles can still happen.
  1097.  
  1098. >You are both out of the pyramid.
  1099. >It took some time; what with this big oaf carrying you all the way back despite your protests.
  1100. >but he did kinda save you, so you will let it pass.
  1101. >Luckily, all the traps were already disabled.
  1102. >On the way out of the pyramid you asked him to retrieve your backpack from the remains of the jeep.
  1103. >And now you were out.
  1104. >The hole in which you fell was surrounded by Caballeron’s men vehicles.
  1105. >He must have been pretty confident everything was going to be according to plan to left no one guarding them.
  1106. >You both get in a boogie car and leave.
  1107. >”Those cuts look deep. I’ll get you to a hospital in no time.” He says as he drives.
  1108. “No need for that.”
  1109. >You pull a little box from the backpack labeled “Zombie Horse”.
  1110. >From within it you pull out some string and begin to sew your injuries.
  1111. >It didn’t take long for them to begin healing.
  1112. >”Whaaa.”
  1113. >Ha ha. You always feel the need to brag a little with this guy.
  1114. “A gift from the Kingdom of Naples. Never go out without it.”
  1115. >”Magic string… you are full of surprises.”
  1116. >Look who’s talking.
  1117. “What happened to Caballeron and their men?”
  1118. >He looks somber for a second.
  1119. >”They are in a better place now.”
  1120. >That’s all he says.
  1121. >Let’s leave it at that.
  1122. >”What happened to that Doctor Jones?”
  1123. >…
  1124. ”He is also in a better place.”
  1125. >He nods.
  1126.  
  1127. >You both keep silent for a few good minutes.
  1128. >”I know what is like to lose a friend. This may not mean much to you, but it helps remembering them for what they meant to you instead of how they went away.”
  1129. >…
  1130. >You clean some tears from your eyes.
  1131. >”Thanks”
  1132. >Shit you are a softie today.
  1133. >Let’s change the subject.
  1134. “What’s your name?”
  1135. >He looks away from the road to look at your eyes.
  1136. >”Ziggy Stardust.”
  1137. >...
  1138. “No, really. What’s your name?”
  1139. >”I just told you. I’m Ziggy.”
  1140. “Pfft. That’s a dumb name.”
  1141. >”No it's not!” he replies flustered.
  1142. >Just like that the foul mood is gone.
  1143. “Well, since you’ve been a good boy for this whole adventure, I’m willing to do anything you want in return.”
  1144. >His face freezes.
  1145. >”A-a-anything?”
  1146. >You love messing with his head.
  1147. “Anything, big guy.”
  1148. >You give him your bedroom eyes.
  1149. “You’ve earned it.”
  1150. >”Then… “
  1151. >Now he gives you bedroom eyes.
  1152. >”Could you give the publishing rights for your next book to “Little, Brown and Company”?”
  1153. >…
  1154. >…
  1155. >…
  1156.  
  1157. “You aren’t from the SpeedWagon Foundation.”
  1158. >”The what now?“
  1159. >The nonexistent mood is killed.
  1160. >”They sent me to negotiate with you ‘cause no editor could come to an agreement’.”
  1161. >You cover your face with your hands.
  1162. >This is the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever felt.
  1163. “Yes, sure. Just don’t tell this to anyone.”
  1164. >”All right!”
  1165. >He fist bumps.
  1166. >But then a flash of worry hits him and he looks at you concerned.
  1167. >”There was magma in that cave, right?
  1168. “Yeah.”
  1169. >”And I threw him covered in black stars.”
  1170. “What are you talking about?”
  1171. >From behind you, you both hear the earth roar with a thunderous boom.
  1172. >A geyser of lava was shot several feet to the air.
  1173. >Most of the jungle begins to set on fire.
  1174. >”... You know how to keep a secret, right?”
  1175. >Man, fuck this guy.
  1176. “Another day, another dungeon.”
  1177. >”That’s a good line! You should use it in your books.”
  1178. >…
  1179. >Seriously, fuck this guy.
  1180.  
  1181. >You are Ziggy and you are on a plane back to Canterlot.
  1182. >This was a bizarre trip.
  1183. >But you did it.
  1184. >You closed the deal.
  1185. >And all it took was facing mercenaries, fighting monsters and burning down the Amazon jungle.
  1186. >…
  1187. >somewhere in your mind you have the nagging feeling that you were the bad guy in all of this.
  1188. >you better play some tunes in your walkman and forget about it.
  1189. >Much better.
  1190. >You pull out a signed copy of “Daring Do and the Quest for the Sapphire Stone.”
  1191. >A.K. Yearling was really adamant on you reading it.
  1192. >You put on your reading glasses and open the book.
  1193. >You chuckle a little to yourself.
  1194. “I’ve heard about self-insert, but this is next level.”
  1195.  
  1196.  
  1197. BONUS TRACK
  1198.  
  1199. >A young girl with light-blue hair is talking through a cell phone.
  1200. >”Hello, boss? Yes, this is Snow Drop.”
  1201. >”I don’t really know the details, but they say everything on the ruins was lost.”
  1202. >”Yeah, we expected Caballeron to try and betray us, but he may have gotten farther than what we expected.”
  1203. >”Well, I didn’t see myself, of course, but it must have been pretty strong.”
  1204. >”Hold on, they are telling me something.”
  1205. >”That’s fantastic! Boss, the team managed to retrieve one of the arrows!”
  1206. >”It wasn’t a total loss after all.”
  1207. >”What do we do now?”
  1208. >”That far? Ok. See you later boss.”
  1209. >She hangs the phone.
  1210. >”Listen up boys! We are going to Venice to look for the Red Stone of Aja!”
  1211. >She announces cheerfully, even though her squad had been standing right behind her the whole time. .
  1212.  
  1213. TO BE CONTINUED …
MLPxJOJO Daring Do JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Action Comedy Ziggy Stardust

CMC's Stand Consultation Agency: Case 1 (MLPxJOJO)

by StarAnon

SUPER STORY MODE (MLPxJOJO)

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TWIST AND SHOUT (MLPxJOJO)

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[ME, MYSELF & I] (MLPxJOJO)

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ASB! Or “There is a STAND on my soup!” (MLPxJOJO)

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