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Team Pantsu Parade

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"Once, Man lived in blissful ignorance upon our Garden of Eden -- we were but naked apes, amusing ourselves with scraping the surface of our Mother Earth, blind to the truth that existed beyond what our mere eyes could perceive. However, we grew proud, and we grew restless. In search of the truth, we pierced the dark depths of our world, plumbed its oceans with our machines, and turned electronic eyes to the heavens in search of the Fruit of Knowledge -- the grand prize we called the Truth.

 

However, as we now know, this might have been folly. We should have been content within our cradle, instead of climbing outwards, only to realize only that beyond the light of our feeble fires lay nothing but a boundless abyss. On the 31st of December of the year 1999, mankind finally realized it was not alone.

 

They came not from the heavens, or from the depths of our Earth. Instead, they came from within our minds, springing forth into existence fully-formed when the collective worries and fears of five billion souls finally reached a breaking point. They were the boogeymen, the proverbial monsters under our beds -- the things that had made mankind fear the embrace of night. On the first day, New York burned, its skyscrapers molten to glass by the first of these monsters. And on the second day, Detroit, Shanghai, Munich and Johannesburg followed. Our machines were worth nothing against them, the feeble chemical reactions fueling our guns and bombs mere annoyances against their ultimate defense, the Rejection Field. To slay the first, we paid the ultimate price, scorching our hinterlands with nuclear fire in desperate attempts to bring these creatures down. They were born of our fear, and our fear of them became their armor -- their Rejection Fields a manifestation of our inability to confront the darkness within us; a monument to our weakness. It seemed that they could not be stopped.

 

But then, a group of men and women, their existence hidden since ancient times, arose from the shadows in humanity's darkest hour. They had in their possession a secret that could end the sprees of destruction our enemy brought, a monster to fight monsters -- a hundred-meter war god cast in the form of man, with flesh of metal, sinew of woven diamond and a beating heart containing the blazing fires of a star. It was Gratuitous Mansex, the first of the Jagerbombers, and its first operation, watched by billions across a stunned and expectant planet, renewed hope for mankind's survival. Buoyed by their first success, its masters, the men and women of BIER, spread their efforts across the globe, establishing their Monolith Bases across the major cities of the world, their Jagerbombers standing ready to slay each of the enemy as they arrived-- towering armored titans to stand guard over the shaken remnants of humanity.

 

It has been 14 years since Gratuitous Mansex first tore a monster's pulsing heart from its ribcage, and the Tokyo Monolith stands ready to receive its newest addition-"

 

"Your internal monologue is leaking, Commander." A voice said, breaking the silence of the ominously-lit briefing room. It was a young girl of around fifteen years of age slouching in a chair, her short hair an unnatural shade of lilac and a pair of glasses perched on the bridge of her nose. She was dressed in the uniform of a nearby municipal middle school, and was currently leafing through a book, a rather tepid tale of an boy with unnatural talent at video games effortlessly slaughtering hordes of virtual enemies and somehow impressing the numerous females that seemed to be the majority demographic of the story's virtual world. 

 

The commander caught the glass balls he was juggling, and brushed a hand adorned with numerous rings through his feathered mane of blond hair. The heady,slightly cloying and strangely intimate smell of some overly-expensive musk-scented cologne permeated the room, and a gramophone on his desk spontaneously started turning, filling the air with the strains of an acoustic guitar melody. "Thank you for reminding me, Haruna-chan. My son should have arrived by now. Please show him in, if you don't mind..."

 

...

 

"The number you have dialed is not available. Please try again later." The phone line went dead, and Nigel Kurosawa sighed, putting the public phone down on its rack and stepping out of the booth. The streets were strangely empty, with not a soul in sight, and silence hung over the town like a veil, an unusual circumstance for a bustling metropolis like Tokyo.

 

He hadn't asked for this -- all of a sudden, he'd received a letter from his estranged father, asking him to come to Tokyo for something very important. That had confused Nigel greatly -- he hadn't seen his father in several years, and Uncle Dojima had always told him that he was working on some important business project overseas, and didn't have the time to come back and visit. Why would he need his son for a business project, anyway? The contents of the letter were even stranger. Father had enclosed within a letter a pair of blue-and-white striped panties, with a note saying: "These panties belong to the associate of mine who will be welcoming you. Its smell shall guide you to her." What the hell does that even mean, Father?! He'd brought the panties, just in case, but was slowly getting the feeling this was an elaborate practical joke.

 

Abruptly, he heard the rumble of thunder, and he peered up at the sky. There's not a cloud in the sky. Strange. Then, out of nowhere, the sky flashed crimson with some eldritch light, and he screamed as a little girl as a massive creature loomed into view in the skies above Tokyo. It was a doll-like thing in a red, frilly dress like that of some Gothic Lolita, and its face was a blank, eyeless mask, its featureless expanse only broken by a manic grin with far too many slightly-pointed teeth. Its overadorned dress swelled towards the hem, and was at least two hundred meters wide from one side to another -- and it dangled upside down, jerking erratically like a puppet with its strings broken, its dress drooping downwards to reveal a gigantic pair of floral-print bloomers. WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?! As he watched, paralyzed in fear and shock, its mouth opened, and a ball of purple light shot from its maw into a nearby Chinese restaurant, shaking the ground and obliterating the building, leaving nothing but drifting dust behind. Suddenly, Nigel realized just why the streets had been evacuated -- the BIER base must have evacuated the population, corralling them into shelters built expressly to protect from the abominations that plagued humanity. He truly had chosen the worst of possible times to answer his father's summons.

 

As another orb of destruction tore up the street behind him, a bespectacled girl in a school uniform nonchalantly strolled out from behind a back alley and tapped him on the shoulder. He turned around with a start, and the girl glanced at his face for a moment, and nodded. "I found you." she said in a flat monotone.

 

"Are these y-yours?" he ventured, pulling the panties out of his bag and holding them out. He didn't get a chance to say another word, however, as the girl bodily picked him up, slung him over her shoulder like a ragdoll and took off at a speed more often associated with the average sports car.

...

 

Several high-G turns, parkour maneuvers across collapsing buildings and hundred-foot leaps later, Haruna finally deposited Nigel in a quivering heap at the lobby of BIER HQ, a tastefully-decorated reception area ensconced within the featureless black edifice that made up the operations base of BIER -- home of the Jagerbombers. Finally, Nigel got to his feet, his face decidedly green. "Excuse me. I don't feel so well -- where's the toilet?" he managed, clutching at his head and wobbling unsteadily.

 

Haruna wordlessly helped him along a corridor into a bathroom, and waited at the outside for him to finish. It was a very nice bathroom -- instead of the sharp, animal stink of ammonia and disinfectant, someone had taken the trouble to place some floral-scented air fresheners to fill the air with a more pleasant scent, and the fixtures on the sinks and urinals gleamed as if they were brand-new.  He didn't have time to appreciate those, as he promptly staggered to the nearest sink and vomited up his breakfast. As he straightened out and prepared to leave, however, one of the toilet cubicle doors suddenly slammed open, revealing the Commander of BIER Tokyo, his father in the flesh, sitting on a toilet bowl with his pants around his ankles and a newspaper on his lap hiding anything inappropriate, to Nigel's great relief.

 

"Hello, son." The air suddenly seemed to sparkle, and the top two buttons on his father's too-tight shirt abruptly came undone. "I regret this sudden reunion, but we have little time given the circumstances. A Scary Monster is destroying Tokyo -- we need you to pilot our Jagerbomber -- Production Unit 003, Pineapple Espresso."

 

"What."

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Pineapple Espresso.

 

Nigel Kurosawa was visibly nervous as he descended into the depths of the facility in a cargo lift with his father. He turned to the androgynous, pixie-man that had brought him into this world. Jareth Kurosawa, he had never been incredibly present in Nigel's life. Nigel's mother Sarah had always spoken of him with both disdain and wonder. At times she would call him a king, and other times she referred to him as a goblin. He never quite understood his mother, in truth he felt she had a fairly severe mental disorder resulting in paranoid delusion. None the less he feared he knew nothing of the man who stood next to him. 

 

As the elevator stopped there was a loud, metallic clanging noise. The doors hissed open and Nigel and Jareth stepped out into a huge warehouse. Everywhere Nigel looked there were people busying themselves with various work. Engineers and technicians were wandering about ticking boxes and tightening screw in order to ensure that the scene looked busy and that important stuff was happening. Nigel looked skywards, marvelling at the towering, metal giant that stood before them. 

 

The Jagerbomber was collosal in size. It's entire body was covered in thick sheets of metal plating, sprayed a brilliant yellow colour, with rich, brown detailings. The arms were bulky and complex looking, fitted with various compartments, each fully stocked with missiles and anti aircraft weapons. It's head was large, and heavily fortified, looking like a cross between a sentry turret and a nuclear silo. Of course, the real marvel of this machine was what Nigel could not take his eyes off. 

 

"Ah, yes..." Jareth said with a proud smile, "The cockpit!"

 

Nigel's gaze was locked on the large protrusion that stood proud, strong and unyielding, bursting out from the Jagerbomber's crotch. This was it. This was the Jagerbomber known as Pineapple Espresso. He could not believe his eyes. Could his father really expect him to pilot such a thing. On his own?

 

"No, not on your own." Jareth said as he patted his son's shoulder. Can he read minds!?

 

"Fear not, my son." Jareth reassured, as he ran his fingers through his hair, staring off into the distance. "Pineapple Espresso is modelled off of one of the greatest jagerbombers to ever exist, Gratuitous Mansex." 

 

Nigel was in awe. He was no expert on these matters, but even he had heard of Gratuitous Mansex. 

 

"You know, it was piloted by 3 people." Jareth continued. "We have two of the best pilots in this business. You've already met Haruna. She controls the left brain. Then there is Belle, she controls the right brain. But we need you, Nigel! Someone must control the all important third brain, otherwise known as the crotch!"

 

Nigel gasped in shock. "M-me!? You want me to be the crotch!?"

 

"Exactly! Did I stutter?" Jareth exclaimed with a confident smile. "You are the one, Nigel. You are the only one who can pilot the crotch of this Jagerbomber. It is the reason you were born!"

 

"What!?" Nigel cried, turning to face his other, his expression contorted with rage and confusion. But as he faced his father, he saw tears streaming down the face of the man, big, gushing, manly tears. His father looked at him with glowing pride, sniffing to keep the snot from dripping down on to his lip. "Father! What do you mean!?"

 

"I knew this day would come, Nigel!" Jareth roared. "You're the babe with the power!"

"Power?" 

"The power of voodoo!"

"Who-do!?"

"YOU DO!"

 

"I'm confused." Nigel admitted flatly. Jareth patted his son's shoulder assuringly. 

"So am I, son....so am I..." he confessed. "Never worry! Run off to get suited up in the changing room. We have no time for a training montage so you're just going to have to wing it!"

"O-okay..." Nigel stammered as Jareth hurried him along. He left the hangar and walked quickly through a network of corridors, following the signs for the changing rooms. After only a few minutes he found the room and immediately barged in through the door. He paused in the doorway, frozen in panic. 

 

There in front of him was a semi-naked woman. Halfway through putting her clothes on, Nigel had caught her with her pants, well, up. But the pants she wore, now those were a sight. 

"B-b-bloomers!?" Nigel gasped. He did not have time to react. The girl, flushed with embarrassment, went at a sprint. Her foot collided with his face and sent him crashing back into the corridor, the changing room door slamming shut behind him. Nigel pulled himself off the ground and gingerly stroked his bruised face. He wandered off to find another changing room, one that was a bit quieter. 

 

And before long Nigel had finally changed into the skin-tight spandex suit he was required to wear. He noted that it made his package bulge out. How unpleasant. He had often wondered if it were possible to perhaps tuck the hideous bulge in between his legs, in order to hide it from the word. However he was too afraid to try it. As he ascended the lift into the cockpit of Pineapple Express, his mind wandered back to the changing room. Those bloomers, he could not stop thinking of them. They were a bit dated, but still they were panties, of sorts. He was reminded of the panties his father had gifted him. Did they really belong to Haruna. 

 

Nigel wondered if, perhaps, the panties were meant for him. They looked to be his size. He was a boy though! It was not his place to where panties. Was it? He felt confused. Why was he thinking about wearing panties at this crucial moment? Why was he thinking of their cute patterns, their tight fit, the comforting restriction they applied to his package. He shook his head. Get your mind out of the gutter, Nigel!

 

K-SHING! HSSSSSSSS!

 

The doors to the elevator opened. Nigel stepped into the cockpit to be greeted by his comrades Haruna and...B-b-bloomers!? It was her! The girl from the changing room. The one in the bloomers. Nigel's face flushed a bright shade of pink. He looked around the cockpit awkwardly. What was he to do? He hoped she wouldn't dropkick him again. 

 

"Uh...hi" he said nervously. "I'm Nigel Kurosawa."

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"B-belle."

 

The masculine girl mumbled her greeting in reply, taking care to avoid locking eyes with her new co-pilot. She was also fitted in a body hugging spandex suit along with Haruna, who has already acknowledged Nigel's presence with a crisp nod. 

 

"THE FATE OF TOKYO LIES IN YOUR HANDS AND CROTCHES." Jareth boomed behind them, a second emotional tear rolling down his scruffy cheek. He raised a calloused hand and slammed it on Nigel's shoulder, using the chance to draw him closer. "Embrace your destiny, my son. Embrace the pantsu."

 

"Wha-"

 

Before Nigel even had a chance to response to his father's cryptic messages, Haruna has already slipped a sleek looking helmet over his head, eager to break off the conversation. "We should be moving soon, Commander." The petite pilot stated simply, picking Nigel up and slinging him over her shoulder like a sack of potatoes again. "Scary Monster Dollface won't be waiting for us."

 

"Indeed."

 

After a moment of hesitation, Commander Jareth relented, stepping back and allowing the elevator doors to slide shut, sealing the three pilots in their cockpits. The three pilots have a city to save. Who was he to hold up their duty with his meaningless, borderline inappropriate drivel?

 

---

 

'Unfortunate' was the only word that could be used to describe Nigel's situation. An unassuming young man who's suddenly burdened with this ridiculous duty by his estranged father, being forced to pilot a Jagerbomber blind, and now-

 

"Don't lose focus, Nigel!"

 

Belle yelled, side stepping the purple laser the grinning doll shot out from her mouth. Unphased, the doll whirled around and re-positioned it's mouth again, her floral bloomers flapping seductively in the draft. Despite previously chiding Nigel for indulging in his daydreams, Belle found herself thinking back to the exchange she had with Nigel in the changing rooms. The deep secret that she has been hiding her entire life, the treasure she has been protecting under her copious layers of binding and wife-beaters, the -

 

"BLOOMERSSSSSS!"

 

The woman let out a primal yell, as if a beast has just awoken within the depths of Belle's manly heart. Pineapple espresso lunged at the Scary Monster in response, eager to rip the article of clothing off of the monstrosity. Dollface twirled around the relatively bulky Jagerbomber, cackling noises escaping from her grinning maw. Another swing; another miss. Both titans were now locked in a deadly cat-and-mouse exchange, practically leveling the cityscape as Pineapple Expresso stomped around in it's blind rage.

 

"Belle!" Haruna called out, desperately fighting for control. "Calm down, Belle!"

 

Warning lights were already flashing within the cockpit, alerting the pilots to the amount of damage the Jagerbomber has already sustained. Nigel could only sit in a mixture of fear and awe as he bathed in the pulsing red lights. Is this the end? Dying in a robot crotch?

 

"Use the Cannon Caffè, Nigel. I'll disengage myself for a while." Haruna's words cut through his thoughts, pulling Nigel back into reality. The... Cannon Caffè?  "The huge brown button in front of you, Nigel."

 

"Oh."

 

With a simple push, Pineapple Espresso's crotch lifted and extended itself, metal parts and plates folding away to reveal the deadly plasma cannon hidden in its titanium appendage. The cockpit blinked an alarm as Cannon Caffè started charging up, counting down the seconds till it's ready to be fired. 5 seconds to go.

 

Haruna, in the meantime, was in a battle of her own. In her hand was her co-pilot's favourite tootsie pop, also known in the corporation as Belle's ultimate pacifier. 

 

"BELLE! Look at me!" She yelled again, pushing the candy as close to Belle's face as she can manage. Pineapple Espresso has stopped moving due to both the left and right brain's lack of input, as both female pilots got into a struggle of their own. Dollface naturally took the chance and rained attacks down on it, firing off beam after purple beam into the Jagerbomber.

 

"2 seconds!" Nigel screeched over the warning alarms as the robot shuddered under a fresh attack again. "I DON'T THINK OUR DEFENSES ARE GOING TO HOLD UP!"

 

"AIM AND FIRE IT!"

 

The man did exactly just that, tugging on his joystick and centering his HUD's cross-hair on the monstrosity just as Haruna stuffed the tootsie pop into Belle's open mouth. A blindingly white light blasted away from Pineapple Espresso's crotch, punching a massive hole through the grinning doll with forces so strong, it could put an atomic bomb to shame. Dollface disintegrated under the intense beam, laughing her way into nothingness. Scary Monsters were truly a force to be reckoned with. After a moment of silence, Haruna pushed herself back into position and spoke into the microphone placed in her helmet.

 

"Commander Jareth. Scary Monster 001... has been exterminated."

 

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A few minutes later, the team had gathered in Commander Kurosawa's ominously-lit briefing room. Nigel briefly wondered what the strange, arcane-looking diagram inscribed across the bare granite floor was -- exactly what did his father do in his day job, anyway? It was a mystery for the ages.

"Excellent work as usual, Haruna. I knew I could count on you," Jareth said, juggling three glass balls in his hand for no adequately explained reason.

"Yay." she replied in a complete monotone. She didn't sound terribly convincing.

"As for you, son," he said, a single tear running down his cheek, "That was a beautiful performance. I knew it was the right call to make you the crotch of this glorious machine. You truly wielded that Cannon Caffe as though it were your own, son!" Nigel didn't know whether to feel pleased or disturbed by that compliment -- while it was a rare honor to be recognized as a worthy Jagerbomber pilot, the fact remained that he was controlling a giant robot crotch.

"As for you, Belle... Your outburst during the battle can't be easily overlooked. If not for Nigel's superb crotch-piloting, all of you would have been killed just now." His smile turned into a frown, and he waved his hand towards Haruna and Nigel. "The two of you can leave now. I need to speak to Belle for a minute."

Belle gulped as the two departed. While the Commander was an amicable man from first impressions, being alone with him was a spectacularly unnerving experience...

...

The Commander's Office was located deep in the bowels of The Place Where The Sun Never Shines, the BIER staff's unofficial name for the heavily-fortified central sanctum of BIER-Tokyo. It seemed that the only access to his office required one to take an unnecessarily long flight of escalators -- Nigel and Haruna had been riding this one for almost a minute, and the ascent showed no signs of stopping.

"So... uh..." Nigel started hesitantly. He always found it rather hard to speak to girls of his age -- and a girl who barely said a word outside a Jagerbomber and could toss him like a ragdoll was a spectacularly difficult one to approach in conversation. "What do you like doing when you're not piloting?"

"Books." She pulled a book out of her bag and held it out -- the cover depicted a single incredibly generic-looking teenage boy surrounded by a posse of girls with spectacularly differentiated and unique hairstyles and costume designs. Judging from the background of the picture, giant robots were involved. Somehow.

"Uh... I like books too..." Nigel cringed internally. He knew he wasn't good with conversations with the fairer sex, but this was a massive faux pas even he couldn't have ignored. This was the exact antithesis of suave, the sort of thing that would have made James Bond silently sob into his vodka martini and hold a Walther to his temple.

An awkward silence descended, and Nigel shuffled down a couple of steps on the escalator so he wouldn't have to look the girl face to face. They remained silent that way for a few moments.

Then, something miraculous happened. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a draft blew, and it caught Haruna's skirt, the hem lifting in glorious slow-motion. Nigel suddenly felt blood rush to his head, his heart pounding rapidly in his chest as if it were attempting a drum-solo rendition of a Dragonforce song. He felt beads of sweat roll down his forehead, and his breath caught in his chest. What is this glorious feeling? Is this... love?

And then, her skirt flipped all the way up, and Nigel beheld... nothing. She wasn't even wearing panties -- but where a normal girl would have had certain anatomical features, Nigel beheld unmarked, doll-like smoothness. Then, he noticed the subtle seams where her legs joined to her torso, and the occasional tiny rivet embedded in her skin -- skin too smooth, too unblemished to possibly be real...

The draft ceased, and her skirt flapped back down. Haruna didn't seem to notice, and the silent elevator ride continued unabated. Nigel should have been more shocked upon his strange discovery, or perhaps guilty but secretly gleeful, but all he felt deep inside was a strange, crushing disappointment. Why did he feel this way?

...

Jareth had just sent Belle off after a lecture about the importance of keeping one's composure in battle. Seriously, that girl is cutting years off my life with her shenanigans. She's a genius in battle, and her synchronization ratios are flawless, but without Haruna to keep her in check, we might have died several times over by now. Contrary to what anime says, going berserk and trying to eat the enemy's face isn't a valid way of defeating Scary Monsters.

Then, the phone upon his desk, and he picked it up with immaculately manicured fingers. "Yes, this is Kurosawa speaking. What is it?"

"BIER-Geneva just sent a communique, commander," his operations director, a relatively young woman with an inordinate fondness for skunky American beer, reported over the line. "They've reached 100% completion on their fourth-generation Jagerbomber project. They've only got room for a single Jagerbomber, so as we speak, Production Unit 002 is being prepared for shipping to Japan."

Production Unit 002. Erudite Penetration. The first of the Second Generation Jagerbombers, Erudite Penetration was a machine with an impeccable mission record, with a full 19 Scary Monster kills under its belt. It was a fine machine, far more agile than Gratuitous Mansex or even Pineapple Espresso were, but it lacked their ace in the hole -- the Crotch Pilot Unit. Its pair of pilots operated well even without one, but Jareth felt there was something quite lacking with their performances -- some limitation of the two-pilot system that would forever hold it back from its full potential.

"Excellent," Jareth said, brushing his hand through his hair. "At least I won't have to worry about my girls getting us all killed from some hidden psychosis again. Tell the pilots to get ready to welcome their new teammates."

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Nigel had found himself outside of the BIER headquarters on this afternoon. He sat on the rooftop of the building that hid their base, staring out into the vast wasteland of Tokyo. It was strange without all of the people around, the silence was eerie. The only noise was a strange rattling that was quite pleasant to the ears. Cicadas were common in Japanese summertime, and the building he stood on happened to be opposite a large woodland park, which he felt seemed awfully convenient for this scene, but he could not understand why. Still he was thankful for the gentle chittering that saved him from the otherwise deafening silence. 

 

So much had happened, and it was all so fast. A few days ago he was just a simple boy with no prospects, and now he was a Jaegerbomber pilot carrying the heavy burden of saving Tokyo from the approaching menace. Not to mention he had experienced his first sight of a girls pants, although they were bloomers unfortunately. Still that was nothing compared to the bare, harsh truth of Haruna's androgynous nether region. Nothing could have prepared him for that. 

 

An hour or so later Nigel was called back in to the base. When he reached the Hangar he was shocked to find another Jaegerbomber stationed next to Pineapple Espresso. This glorious Jagerbomber looked much sleeker and shinier, and didn't seem so cumbersome with the lack of a giant crotch pod for the pilots to use. This was the famous Erudite Penetration, a shimmering marvel in the world of Jaegerbombers. Nigel suddenly felt unconfident, could this collosal machine truly match up to Pineapple Espresso?

 

"Nigel, my boy!" cried Jareth as he motioned for Nigel to join him with Haruna and Belle. Standing next to them were two enormous, muscular figures. They had wide, chiselled features, thick jaws and the most spectacular pouting faces Nigel had ever seen. The men looked at him, both of their faces fixed in a permanent scowl. 

"Nigel! These are the pilots of Erudite Penetration! Please give them a warm welcome! They are Joseph Joestar and-"

 

"It is I, Dio!" Dio, the blonde, declared angrily. "What a sorry excuse for a Jaegerbomber Pilot! Is this the best you have to offer, Jareth!?"

"Mr Brando, this is my son, Nigel!" Jareth replied proudly. "And with him is Haruna and Belle. Together they make the finest pilot team we have to offer. Only yesterday my son showed his prowess with the amazing Cannon Caffe! He truly is a master of Crotch-Piloting!"

 

"We will see about that!" Dio replied with a scowl. "I dare say I could handle that Jeagerbombers crotch with my hands tied behind my back!" Nigel looked confused at the statement. 

"But how would you use the controls?" Nigel asked, "W-would...would you use your...mouth?"

"The great Dio Brando could easily pilot a crotch with his mouth!" Dio declared. "I'll show you, brat! Next time a Scary Monster strikes, Erudite Penetration will be the Jaegerbomber to steal the victory!"

 

In a display of convenient plot progression, the alarms began to sound. An announcement rang out through the hangar. 

 

"Commander! Two Scary Monsters have appeared! One of them appears to be a giant Dung Beetle in black latex bondage gear! The other is....It's just a giant black ball!! It's falling out of orbit!"

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Jareth raised a hand majestically, calling for calm. The alarms immediately ceased, allowing the Commander to project his manly baritone voice across the base. With an exaggerated tilt of his head, he looked up at the monitors hooked up on the walls, displaying footage of the two Monsters approaching Tokyo. The first intruder, a dung beetle bounded in latex and other bondage themed gear, has already started causing mayhem in the already downtrodden Tokyo. Using his two feelers as whips, the beetle easily smacked whatever's left of the buildings down, slowly making his way to the inner areas of the city.
 
"Fear not; my sweets. Erudite Penetration will whip the naughty beetle into submission. As for the black ball... I was going to use this time to explain my new strategies to you, Nigel, but seeing how we're short on time once again... We have no choice but to let Operation Atlas COMMENCE!"
 
"But what is Oper-"
 
Nigel began his usual questioning, but was quickly shut down by the two burly pilots. "Just catch the damn ball, you dolt." Dio moved to assume a half squatting position with his two arms stretched out behind him, as if he was supporting a heavy weight on his upper back. "Do this. Channel the power of the legends." A technician from the platforms above took the initiative to beam BIER Headquarters' spotlight on Dio as he struck his pose, allowing the people to examine his every curve and bulge in more detail.
 
"Oooh!"  Joseph tittered, admiring his co-pilot's perfect form. "More! Such perkiness!"
 
"Indeed," Commander Jareth nodded elaborately, confirming Dio's words. Another tear rolled down his face for the nth time as he continued issuing his orders. "Just catch the damn ball, my son.  Don't mind my constant crying. I'm merely suffering from a fatal case of tear duct blockage. NOW GO, PILOTS. FULFILL YOUR DESTINY."
 
---
 
Joseph and Dio exchanged a customary bro fist as they each strapped themselves into the cockpit of Erudite Penetration. The pilots threw a couple of warm-up punches as their purple and blue mech powered up, inciting a flurry of oohs and ahhs from the onlookers as they gazed from the docking platforms. With a fabulous stride, they began swaggering out of the hangar, with Pineapple Espresso in tow. Their confidence certainly knew no bounds.
 
As Pineapple Espresso stumbled away to find the optimal position to catch the flaming black ball with, Erudite Penetration, in turn, gazed upon the over-sized dung beetle in disregard.  If Pineapple Espresso was going to play Atlas, Erudite Penetration was also going to emulate another legend of their own. Dio lifted Erudite Penetration's hand, brushing its thumb against its nose in a cocky fashion before lowering itself into a stance and waving the beetle over in a taunting manner. Joseph let out a howl through the microphone for good measure, earning another round of swooning from the onlookers in BIER headquarters as they gazed upon the duo's magnificent display.
 
Dung beetle, however, was not amused. The Scary Monster whipped his head back and forth, thrashing his dual feeler-whips into the direction of Erudite Penetration as his many legs scuttled towards the mech. Dio and Joseph responded the same way most people will respond when faced with a bug; they stomped it. The dung beetle weaved in and out of their crushing stomps with ease, its tight latex suit gleaming mockingly in the sunlight as it lashed out, one of it's stubby feelers finally catching Erudite Penetration's foot. The blue and purple mech went down, slamming into the ground as it lost its balance.
 
"No!" Dio yelled, thumping the ground in frustration. "I will not stand for such an ungraceful defeat!"
 
Hell no you won't. A faint voice suddenly echoed in Erudite Penetration's cockpit. I didn't allow you to fight in my likeness just to see you get whipped by some stupid, stinking beetle.
 
"What-"
 
"LOOK AT THE SKY, BROSEPH!"
 
The clouds has parted right above the fallen mech, allowing a thick ray of sunlight to shine upon its scuffed up metal body. Feeling their sense of deja vu increase, they looked up even further, noticing a faint outline of a familiar figure forming on a particularly large cloud. B-Bruce...?
 
BE WATER, MY FRIEND.
 
With that final sentence, everything went back to normal.  Bruce-cloud has dissipated, and the sun rays were covered up once again by the low hanging clouds. The two pilots were left in a state of disbelief, trying to process the sudden overload of information. "Did we just imagine that, Dio?" Joseph asked his copilot hesitantly, rubbing his head in wonder. Erudite Penetration did the same movement. "Be water..." Dio, however, was caught up on interpreting Bruce-cloud's words instead. "Be water! THAT'S IT! WE BUST THE WATER PIPES!"
 
"I... I don't think he means that, bro..." Joseph tried to dissuade Dio, but the blond man was having none of it. Erudite Penetration's right fist retracted to reveal a cannon similar in shape to Pineapple Espresso. With a loud blast, he fired off Erudite Penetration's Double Penetrating Jet Spurter Cannon towards the ground, causing the water pipes underground to rupture and spurt up, flooding the lands above. Undeterred, the dung beetle scuttled against the water resistance; it's speed visibly slowed down due to the reduced friction and sheer force of the water. Raising its left arm this time round, the mech deployed a large taser-like device, and slammed it right into the flooded streets of Tokyo. The city glowed blue for a moment, electricity arcing in every direction. The mech slowly staggered to it's feet amid the lights, raising the beetle's smoking body up high in victory.
 
Dung beetle was no more.

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 The second Scary Monster, tentatively designated 8-Ball for its featureless black appearance, was starting to reenter the atmosphere. The world's attention had been completely turned on it -- from an array of scientific and surveillance satellites from every scientific and intelligence organization across the globe, to monitoring stations scattered across the planet's surface scanning it across every wavelength of the electromagnetic spectrum, and even the rapt, awestruck gazes of thousands of amateur astronomers peering skywards with their telescopes. 

 

"250 kilometers and closing! 8-Ball is projected to impact the Shibuya area in T minus sixty seconds!" A young woman shouted frantically from her workstation, which was currently filled with a scrolling tapestry of near-indecipherable figures and charts.

 

"Impact damage projections please, Bridge Bunny #1." Jareth replied, clasping his hands before his mouth. He wasn't being rude or anything -- if one had bothered to check the Human Resources roster, the excitable young woman's name really was listed with the title of Bridge Bunny #1. Shouting out ominous-sounding technobabble when Scary Monsters got close was an essential duty that did require the best of the best to perform -- Bridge Bunny #1 had indeed gone to MIT on a scholarship, graduating as valedictorian of her year. Commander Jareth would have accepted no lesser mind for such an important duty.

 

"Preliminary measurements suggest that 8-Ball has a mass of approximately 20 million tons. At its final impact speed, the impact is projected to have the energy equivalent of 50 megatons of TNT!" Bridge Bunny #1 gasped, eliciting a gasp of horror from the assembled mission control crew.

 

"I never scored well on physics," Nigel's voice crackled over the intercom. "How much is that?"

 

"The same as the largest nuclear bomb ever detonated." Belle's voice cut in.

 

"Uh... that sounds bad. Can Pineapple Espresso even catch something that big?" Nigel replied hesitantly.

 

"I wouldn't trust any ordinary Jagerbomber to accomplish this," Jareth said, a single tear rolling down his cheek, "But you're a crotch pilot. You can make the impossible possible, son."

 

"Trust the Commander," Haruna said expressionlessly. "Commence Operation Atlas."

 

"I still don't know what Operation Atlas issssssss-" Nigel screamed, only to be cut off as the Jagerbomber launched itself towards the projected landing point close to the speed of sound.

 

...

 

"8-Ball is at 40 kilometers and closing! T minus 10 seconds to impact!"

 

The 8-Ball loomed over Tokyo as it approached, casting a shadow half a mile wide. Despite Pineapple Espresso being a full three hundred feet tall, as large as the average skyscraper, Nigel still felt very small in comparison. Tessellating hexagonal patterns flashed across the ball's featureless, perfectly smooth surface, a sign of its Rejection Field absorbing the star-hot temperatures 8-Ball's passage through the upper atmosphere was creating. Somehow, Pineapple Espresso was going to have to catch that massive thing... while Jareth had faith in him, Nigel was getting the nagging feeling that they'd picked a fight they couldn't have won. His teammates seemed pumped up, though -- their synchronization rates were already sky-high, and rising.

 

"T minus 5 seconds..." Pineapple Espresso slammed its fists together, then raised its hands upwards, preparing to catch the 8-Ball when it hit...

 

But then, just a second before impact, 8-Ball's shape changed. The featureless black shell around it evaporated abruptly as it seemingly unfurled itself into its full form -- what looked like a gigantic pair of blue-and-white striped panties five kilometers wide. The panties collided with Pineapple Espresso's outstretched hands with a thunderous crash, and crackling arcs of energy began coruscating around the giant mech's fists as it projected its own power to contend against the Monster's own Rejection Field. The two were locked in a stalemate for a second, the two opposing forces failing to make headway against each other...

 

Then, Nigel's cockpit turned red as warning lights blinked to life all around him and a klaxon began blaring. "Something's gone wrong!" Belle yelled desperately. She turned to look back at Haruna, who had seemingly gone completely stiff, her eyes glazed over and unfocused. "Haruna's gone unresponsive! Her synchronization level's going haywire! Neural link contamination imminient-" her voice was abruptly cut off as Nigel felt himself get sucked into a dream...

 

Back in BIER HQ, Jareth put a palm to his face. Why did his pilots have the strangest psychoses?

 

...

 

Nigel looked around him -- everything seemed strangely unsaturated, as if the world's color had run in the wash. He was in the living room of a traditional Japanese house, a screen door open to the yard outside. It was sunny outside, and standing in the yard was a clothes rack festooned with various items of clothing. A woman was merrily hanging up more pairs of clothes to dry while singing a familiar song Nigel recognized from his childhood:

 

If I can get one wish  
To come true right now, I want a pair of wings 
Please grant me white wings 
On my back like a bird
 
In this huge sky I wanna 
Spread my wings and fly 
Towards the free sky without any sadness 
I wanna flap my wings   
And go
 
The woman's face -- and her voice -- seemed strangely familiar to Nigel. Then, he heard a noise behind him and realized he wasn't alone in the living room -- sitting there was a little girl of around six years of age, with a very unruly, and very familiar head of tousled purple hair. Finally, what he saw before him started to make sense. He'd been told earlier that the Jagerbomber worked by synchronizing the minds of the pilots so they could collectively handle the strain of controlling such a behemoth -- what he was seeing now was one of Haruna's memories, a side effect of whatever malfunction had just happened in the synchronization system.
 
But why this memory? What did this idyllic childhood scene have to do with the life-or-death battle raging now? 
 
As he watched, the woman outside -- presumably Haruna's mother -- hung up a pair of blue-and-white striped panties on the clothes rack.
 
Then, there was a rumble, and the world went white.
 
The next thing he knew, he saw flames and rubble around him -- the house had collapsed from some kind of explosion. Looming above him was a huge, geometrical shape floating in the air -- he'd remembered that shape from his textbooks. It was Scary Monster D20, which had devastated the Yokohama area nine years prior before its rampage was put to an end by the Jagerbomber Splendorous Defenestration. The yard had been scorched, nothing but blackened earth remaining where a perfectly-manicured lawn once stood, and there was no trace of Haruna's mother... save for a single pair of blue-and-white striped panties, scorched around the edges and soaked red by blood. Then, he saw the younger Haruna -- she was partially buried under the ruins of the house, with only her head sticking out of the rubble. Her face was dirty with soot and blood, and tears were flowing freely from her eyes. She opened her mouth, and screamed.
 
"MOTHER!!!!"
 
Then, memories started flashing past him like a whirlwind. He saw a sterile operating theater, and smelt blood and disinfectant in the air. He heard the sounds of machines whirring and a bone saw slowly cutting into a burned, shattered limb. He saw Haruna swaddled in bandages -- her entire body from the head downwards replaced by smooth, black metal and carbon fiber. He saw her again, now several years older, wordlessly slamming fists of steel into a punching bag until it burst at the seams. And through the synchronization link, he felt pain. He felt sorrow, but mostly, he felt fear -- she'd done a good job in hiding it from him in their time in the cockpit together, but just like him, she was just another scared teenager, scarred for life and thrown into a war against enemies she could never understand.
 
The final piece of the puzzle clicked into place for Nigel. It all made sense now -- why she acted as she did, why nothing but bare artificial skin lay beneath her skirt, and most importantly, why her emotions had suddenly gone haywire. The Monster was preying upon her fears -- digging up the ghosts of the past by taking a form that brought back all these bad memories.
 
He realized what he had to do.
 
"HARUNA! LISTEN!" He screamed, hoping she could somehow hear him. "I know this is hard for you, but you can't run away any more! You can't hide and close your eyes, hoping the nightmare will end! The monster is preying on your fear; using it as a weapon against you! But you can't let that fear rule you -- you have to accept it! You have to turn it against your enemy! You mustn't live in fear of panties any more! Panties are your enemy, and you won't back down!" His voice rose to a scream. "YOU MUST HAVE YOUR REVENGE! YOU MUST MAKE PANTIES PAY FOR EVERYTHING THEY'VE DONE! YOU MUST DESTROY THEM, AND LEAVE NOTHING BEHIND!"
 
Then, a familiar, monotonous voice suddenly replied. "Understood."
 
Every light in the cockpit suddenly flashed blue.
 
...
 
"Pineapple Espresso has reestablished contact with the Left Brain! Pilot Ise's vitals have returned to normal!" Bridge Bunny #1 shouted excitedly. "Synchronization has reached 100% and rising!!"
 
"I knew you could do it, son," Jareth smiled, tears running down his face in a torrent. Pineapple Espresso, previously forced down onto its knees by the Scary Monster's sheer size, had stood up tall and erect again, slowly but surely pushing the giant pair of panties upwards.
 
"Panties." Haruna's voice suddenly echoed over the speakers. It didn't sound anything like what she usually did, though -- it was very different.
 
She sounded angry.
 
"PANTIES." She growled again. 
 
"SYNCHRONIZATION LEVEL AT 200... NO, IT'S UP TO 300... SYNCHRONIZATION HAS RISEN TO 400%!!" Bridge Bunny #1 yelled, before promptly fainting. 
 
"PANTIESSSSSSS!!!!" Suddenly, the massive tower-shaped helmet of Pineapple Espresso split open at the sides, revealing its true face beneath -- an intimidating, saurian-looking helmet with a crest like the ones on a samurai's kabuto rising from its sloped forehead. Six  eyes suddenly opened upon the newly-revealed face, each of them ablaze with blue light, and then, its massive jaw burst open, revealing three rows of shark-like teeth. Pineapple Espresso roared, and the massive containers upon its forearms unfolded, revealing a veritable arsenal of missiles within. Every single missile within simultaneously fired, engulfing both the mech and the Scary Monster in a titanic explosion. When the smoke cleared, Pineapple Espresso's hands were no longer pushing against the crackling Rejection Field of the Scary Monster -- they had punched straight through the Monster's ultimate defence, and the colossus was now clenching blue-and-white fabric in its titanic hands.
 
The beast roared again, and in a single motion, tore the massive pair of panties into half. Then, Tokyo glowed like a giant beacon as the entire mass of Scary Monster 8-Ball disintegrated into light.
 
The Double Event had been repelled.

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Meanwhile back at the Hangar, trouble was afoot. The base was on full alert. Code red. Defcon 1. The world was, apparently, crumbling beneath their feet. Screams of terror could be heard from the office of Commander Jareth Kurosawa. Behind it's closed doors, the dear Commander was in a fight for his life. His form slumped against the large mirror, his strained eyes flitting around his very form. His expression was one of shock as he stared at the horror in the mirror. His hair was perfect, as always, but the mascara around his eyes was smeared down his face from the monsoon of tears that had poured from them. His beautiful, pearl-like complexion was gone. He stood there, his face scarred with a hideous boon. On the end of his nose was a bright, shining, pulsating pimple. 

 

"WHAT IS THIS!?" he screamed to no one in particular. "I HAVE BEEN AFFLICTED WITH A DEATH CURSE!" 

"Commander, please calm down." one of the bridge bunnies had entered his office. "It's just a pimple."

"THIS IS THE END OF DAAAAAAAAAYS!" he wept, collapsing in a heap on the floor. "I have nothing to live for...my life is over."

"Please don't be such a baby, sir." the bridge bunny sighed as she bent over the Commander and inspected his face. "I'll just pop it."

 

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" the cry could be heard for miles around. 

 

"Why are you squirming!?" Bridge Bunny asked, trying to wrestle to Commander to the ground to keep him still. 

"You'll scar my face, you evil witch!" He replied fearfully. 

"It will heal in time. Just trust me!" she protested. 

"ABSOLUTELY NOT!" he roared, "You know...your eyes can be so cruel!"

"My...my eyes!?" Bridge Bunny asked hesitantly. 

"Yes...you look like you're enjoying this. Are you a sadist?"

 

"i'm not a sadist!" Bridge Bunny yelled. "Just hold still. It will be all over in a minute!"

"Liar! It will be with me forever!" Jareth cried, "If I had thought you would betray me like this I would have hung you over the Bog of Eternal Stench!"

"I think you're having delusions again, sir..." Bridge Bunny sighed. 

 


 

 

Finally young Nigel had returned from his latest adventure against the Scary Monsters. He entered his father's office alongside Belle, Haruna, Dio and Joseph. What he saw before him was a great contraptions with straps and buckles to tie someone down. Inside the contraption was Jareth, pinned down and tied up, unable to move. 

"At last! My son is here!" He cried thankfully, "There is a mutiny! These witches are trying to end my life!"

"Wh-what!?" Nigel gasped. He turned to the group of bridge bunnies accusingly. "Is this true!?"

 

"Not at all." One of them replied. "The commander has a pimple. He just won't let us pop it!"

"Oh...is that all?" Nigel asked with a raised brow. 

"THEY HAVE CURSED ME, MY SON!" Jareth protested. "DO NOT TRUST THEIR CALMING WORDS!"

 

"This is unacceptable!" remarked Dio. "Don't you idiots know that if you pop it, it will leave a scar!"

"Have you tried Benzoyl peroxide?" Joseph asked. 

"Idiot!" Dio responded. "Everyone knows that you use salicylic acid!"

"No I heard you use toothpaste." Belle added. 

 

"THEY'RE TRYING TO KILL ME!" Jareth's cries could be heard among the discussion. 

 

"Is this for real?" Nigel asked, shaking his head. "Why don't we just try all three methods and see what works?"

"That sounds sensible." Joseph said with a nod. 

"You fools dare to oppose I, Dio!?" Dio snarled. "That's enough. ZA WARUDO!"

 

Everything stopped. Nigel had no idea what had happened. However one moment Dio had been at his side, the next thing he knew Jareth had been removed from his shackles and was lying on the ground, with Dio straddling him, applying Bezoyl peroxide cream to his nose. 

 

"Wh-what the hell!?" Nigel gasped. 

"Hold you tongue, twit!" Dio spat, "It is done. Jareth's pimple is no more."

"You're my hero..." Jareth sighed from under Dio. Apparently, the world had been saved. 

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Belle Elleb leaned against her propped up pillow, silently thumbing through her book, intent on squeezing in another few chapters before calling it a night. Her reading schedule has been compromised over the last couple of days, with all the sudden Monster rampages and zit growths and whatnot. It has been a year since Belle was transferred from her home country over to Tokyo, in a bid to help Japan out with their Monster infestation. As she was instructed to pack lightly, the pilot only managed to squeeze in a book to bring with her on her journey. It has served well as a reminder of her life in Sweden.

 

---

 

"Belle! Wake up and have your blood pancakes!"

 

"Mooooom... You know I hate eating blood pancakes..."

 

"Well, it's the only Swedish cuisine I'm aware of. We don't have any other choice but to eat this for the rest of our lives."

 

As the young Belle obediently sat down and chewed on her rubbery breakfast, her mother set down the last of her freshly washed dishes on the dish rack and turned from the sink, facing her daughter with a thoughtful look hanging on her face. Belle's almost of age now. It's probably time to ...

 

"Belle, it's probably time for us to pass down the family heirloom."

 

Papa Elleb stepped through the kitchen doorway at the exact same moment, catching his wife's smile for a moment before setting a heavy, ornate wooden box down in front of Belle. As his daughter finished up the last of her pancakes, he slowly lifted the cover off the box, allowing her to steal a peek at the contents lying inside. A pair of pink, fluffy bloomers was carefully placed inside, with a carved family seal laid on top to weigh the fabric down. 

 

"Bloomers. Passed down from my Great-great-grandmother, to my great grandmother, then my grandmother, and eventually me. Don't worry, I haven't worn it. I prefer the sensation of airing ou-"

 

"Too much information, dear!" Belle's mother suddenly cut in.

 

"I- I haven't worn it. Your grandmother didn't manage to give us a sister, so it ended up dropping into my possession. But don't get me wrong, I'm more than honoured to take responsibility for it! A responsibility... that I now must pass onto you, my child. Wear it with pride."

 

"But... but. The ongoing trends are featuring G-strings now, father!"

 

Both parents chuckled a little at her reply. 

 

"You'll understand soon enough, Belle." Her mother reassured her daughter, hiking up her dress a little to allow Belle to catch a glimpse of her bloomers underneath. "The Elleb heritage is worth so much more than those fleeting fashion trends on your weekly magazines..."

 

---

 

As the now grown-up Belle drifted even deeper into dreamland, her book slowly slipped out of her grasp and tumbled off, catching the corner of her nightdress and yanking it up as the book continued it's descent to the floor. Belle's half exposed bloomers continued swaying mysteriously in the wind, providing her warmth and comfort in the most intimate way possible. Who knew a simple pair of vintage underwear could mean so much to a person? 

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It had been several months since the Double Event had been repelled. While attacks on other cities throughout the world had continued unabated, in fact increasing in intensity in certain hot spots, for the first time in ages, Tokyo was peaceful. In fact, people had started forgetting the ever-present threat of the Scary Monsters despite the BIER Monolith's ominous, looming presence, a constant reminder that the battle was not won, and had resumed day-to-day life like how things were before the Emergence. It seemed that the dramatic defeat of not one, but two Scary Monsters had quelled the fears of the people, and the fear in their hearts remained subdued -- insufficient to summon one of the Monsters.

However, the calm worried Jareth Kurosawa, commander of BIER-Tokyo. This complacency would breed unpreparedness in time... and it was only a matter of time before the other shoe dropped.

...

I remember the first time I saw a Jagerbomber in person.

I was out playing in the backyard -- Uncle Dojima had tied a plank with two ropes to the old tree in the backyard, and though it was but a rudimentary plaything, it brought me plenty of joy -- when he pushed me hard, when I reached the apex of the swing's graceful arc, I could almost imagine I was flying.

The Scary Monster had come without warning -- no disturbed animals, no ominous rumbling on the horizon. Just the sky flashing crimson briefly, and a huge monster like a giant, armored crab suddenly appearing from thin air, looming over the buildings of our rural structure -- we must have appeared like ants to that strange creature. And the way it behaved had suggested as much -- it simply walked in a straight line towards Tokyo, completely heedless of the roads, power lines and houses that stood in its way. It didn't seem to attack us, but just the swathe of destruction it left as its twelve legs pounded into the ground below. I remember staring slack-jawed at it, feeling a mixture of both awe and horror. It looked like nothing could have stopped that behemoth on its single-minded march.

But then, I heard a rhythmic rumble, like the march of a giant -- and indeed, I wasn't completely off the mark. A huge shape had appeared over a nearby hill -- a titanic yellow-and-brown machine in the form of a man, its head resembling a colossal conning tower of a submarine. With surprising grace for its size, it leaped at the crab, and the earth shook as its fist collided with the strange force-field surrounding the Monster. However, the machine was undeterred, and continued to pummel the crab with one titanic blow after another, while simultaneously weaving and dodging out of the way of the Monster's snapping claws.

Finally, the titan deployed its trump card -- grabbing both the Monster's pincers with its two massive hands, it thrust its pelvis outwards, the huge protrusion upon its groin unfurling to reveal a massive cannon. There was a terrible roar as the the weapon discharged, blasting straight through the Demon's shield and tearing a large hole in its carapace. Then, with the groan of tortured metal under strain, the machine pulled at the creature's pincers, and with a single heave, tore both of the crab's forearms right off.

Now, I know that machine's name -- Pineapple Espresso, 4th of the Jagerbombers to be built. Little did I know I would someday pilot that very same machine...

The sound of klaxons blaring awoke Nigel with a start. Blearily, he looked around him, only to see his father Jareth standing at the foot of his bed.

"What's going on, Dad?" he shouted.

"It's finally happened as I feared. We're under attack by a Scary Monster again."

"It'd be two on one. That won't end that badly, would it?"

"This is the strongest one we've ever seen. We've had to give it a 9.0 on the Nagai Scale -- that's never happened before. Hurry, we've got to scramble Pineapple Espresso before it's too late."

Jareth broke into a sprint towards the hangar, with Nigel following close behind.

...

"UNIT 003! PINEAPPLE ESPRESSO!! LAUNCHING!" The three pilots echoed as the Jagerbomber strode purposefully into the huge elevator that would take it up to the surface. Immediately after, Nigel felt the force of acceleration glue him to his seat as the Jagerbomber shot upwards, ascending four hundred feet within two seconds. Moments later, a second elevator engaged, sending up the purple-and-blue bulk of Erudite Penetration to support them.

They emerged onto the streets of Tokyo to find the city a disaster zone. Buildings were collapsed and burning all around, and the roads were beginning to flood with water, courtesy of several massive gashes torn into the earth and through the city's municipal water supply. Standing amid the havoc was the Scary Monster -- a huge humanoid shape the size of a Jagerbomber. It appeared like a pale, pasty man, almost completely naked... save for two pairs of panties, one too-tight one covering its groin, and another blue-and-white one stretched over his face. Nigel shuddered -- somehow, the smoldering gaze of that Scary Monster's too-human eyes from the holes of the panties it wore on its head seemed to bore into his soul and expose the weakness within. He felt like a mere child now, even when within the mighty form of his Jagerbomber. None of the previous Monsters have made me feel this way! What's going on?!

"Boy, your synchronization ratio is slipping," Haruna observed. "Stay focused."

The strange monster's foot stamped down, crushing a building that was once a middle school beneath it. "THEY WERE JUST KIDS!" Joseph screamed through the intercom, Erudite Penetration suddenly striking a pose. Unbidden, Haruna moved the machine, such that both machines were posing together with some strange synchronicity. "ESPRESSO! YOU STAY BACK!" he continued. "I'LL TAKE CARE OF THIS... OR I WON'T BE ABLE TO LIVE!!" Erudite Penetration bounded towards the monster, striking at it with a flying kick.

"We should help him," Haruna murmured. The two titans were trading blows now, the earth shaking with every punch and kick.

"Dio would rather die first." Belle replied. "His pride is too great, he wouldn't want us stealing his thunder."

"At least we must be ready, then. Boy, charge the Cannon Caffe." Haruna stated.

"I can't..." Nigel's voice was little more than a whisper.

"What?" Belle shouted agitatedly. Pineapple Espresso wobbled as Erudite Penetration and the Monster traded punches, both simultaneously striking each other straight in the jaw with another ground-shaking impact.

"It... it won't respond to me now... the power gauge's refusing to go up..." he murmured desperately.

"You've got to work it harder!" Belle exclaimed.

"I... I don't know why! It just isn't working out!" Nigel blurted out exasperatedly.

"MUDAMUDAMUDAMUDAMUDA!" Dio shouted over the comms as he pummeled the enemy with a flurry of punches. The titan reeled back from the impact, its knees beginning to wobble. "Here's our chance! LET'S FINISH THIS!" both pilots screamed in unison as they charged, the Jagerbomber's arms unfurling to reveal their internal weapons. "SUNLIGHT YELLOW-"

Then. just before Erudite Penetration could discharge its taser into the creature's face, the Monster abruptly side-stepped -- its staggering had been a feint to draw the two over-confident pilots into making a reckless mistake; a gambit that had been pulled off without a hitch. With a single swift motion, the creature swept the Jagerbomber's feet out from underneath it with a swift low kick, sending it crashing to the ground with an impact that made the whole of Tokyo shudder. The two pilots tried desperately to fight back, the cannon in its arm firing wildly into the Monster looming over it. However, the blasts merely glanced off the concentric orange octagons forming in front of the Monster -- a Rejection Field, powerful enough to block even the force of an atomic bomb.

The Monster raised its foot, and brought it down upon the chest of the fallen Jagerbomber.

A huge explosion lit up Tokyo, and Erudite Penetration was no more.

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That bastard!

 

Nigel couldn't believe it. Erudite Penetration was gone. Just like that the world had lost the great heroes Dio Brando and Joseph Joestar. Nigel's eyes were filled with a clear liquid that was probably tears or something. His world was crumbling around him. Pineapple Espresso's cockpit was flashing red. Warning sirens were blaring in Nigel's ears. But what could he do? He was nothing compared to the great pilots of Erudite Penetration. If they couldn't win then how could he possibly stand a chance. 

 

"Nigel! You have to get it together!" Belle called out to him. He only stared blankly ahead of himself. 

 

"Boy, activate the Cannon Caffe, now!" Haruna cried urgently. However it felt like she was miles away. Nigel's were locked with that of the Scary Monster, the panties on it's head, he just couldn't look away. 

 

Hey, boy!

 

"Who me!?" Nigel gasped. Belle looked confused. 

 

"Who is he talking to?" She asked. 

 

"Beats me." Haruna replied. 

 

Do you want to wear me? Do you boy?

 

"I don't....Who are you!?" Nigel roared at the mysterious voice. "Where are you!?"

 

I'm in your pocket, of course!

 

Nigel's eyes widened as he came to the realisation. He slowly reached into his right pocket. He felt the soft fabric and gulped. Slowly he pulled the material from his pocket. There, in his hands, was the pair of navy and white striped panties. The ones he had been given on that fateful day, a gift from his father. He stared at them, wide-eyed. 

 

Do you know the answer now, boy!? the voice thundered in his mind, Do you want to wear me!?

 

"YES!" Nigel roared. "I do! I do want to wear panties!"

 

Nigel held the panties aloft and grinned confidently, filled with joy and relief. Haruna and Belle looked confused. 

"I...I admit it!" Nigel continued. "I have always wanted to wear girl's panties! I was just so ashamed...but...but I'm not any more!"

 

"His synchronization ratio is raising." Haruna said. 

 

"It's...It's insane. His synchronization ratio...it's...it's..." Belle stammered. 

 

"IT'S OVER NINE THOUSAAAAAAAAAAND!" Jareth yelled over the radio. 

 

"Father!" Nigel cried. "I've finally realised it. This is my destiny! To wear panties! That is the person I truly am!"

 

"I'm so proud of you, son!" Jareth said with a hint of a sniff. He was probably crying. 

 

"Boy, The Cannon Caffe!" Haruna ordered. "You can do it now!"

 

"This one is for Erudite Penetration!" Nigel roared, pulling the panties over his head like a mask, making sure the crotch line was perfectly aligned with his nose. "ACTIVATE CANNON CAFFE: PENETRATION....MAXIMUUUUUUUUUM!"

 

Suddenly Pineapple Espresso lurched forward, striking a dazzling pose, before bringing it's arms back, clenching it's fist. In one fluid motion it thrust it's hips out, performing the most perfect crotch thrust motion ever seen. The Cannon from it's crotch let rip, crashing into the Scary Monster and sending it crashing backwards. 

 

"NOT YET!" Nigel screamed. "CAFFE COMBO!"

 

Again and again Pineapple Espresso thrusted forward, beams of raw energy launching out from it's crotch with every thrust. Before long the Scary Monster could stand it no more. It let out an almighty roar. And so too did the pilots of Pineapple Espresso, as one final beam of energy shot from the Jaegerbomber's crotch, engulfing the entire area in an explosive mushroom cloud. 

 


 

"NO!" Jareth cried as he ran out of the HQ building and on to the streets of Tokyo. He gazed out at the clouds of nuclear smog ahead of them. "There's no way they made it out of that alive. My girls...my son!" Jareth fell to his knees, his fabulous hair falling limp and entirely lacking in volume. His eye liner had run down his face. In one night he had lost the two greatest Jaegerbombers in Japan, the greatest pilots, and his only son. He had nothing more to live for. Suddenly he heard a crunch. He looked up to the horizon, his eyes suddenly filled with hope and sparkle. 

 

Through the smoke came the metallic form of a Jaegerbomber. The striking yellow paint job was hard to miss. There was no mistaking it. Pineapple Espresso had emerged, damaged but still functioning. Inside the cockpit the pilots high fived each other on a job well done. And Nigel took a deep breath in, the air filtering through the crotch of the panties on his head. He grinned wildly, but nobody could see it through his panties. With new resolve he was ready. No, they were ready, for the next great adventure. 

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