1686: The Masked Man and the Girl – Oneshot

Title: The Masked Man and the Girl
Author: Lunaiasu
Media: Video Game
Topic: EarthBound
Genre: Friendship/Fantasy
URL: The Masked Man and the Girl
Critiqued by TacoMagic

Hey there, patrons!  Since I just got back from a vacation and am in the process of digging myself out of a large pile of things that built up while I was away, this week we’re going to tackle a small, terrible little one-shot I dug up out of the Earthbound section of FF.net.

The summary pretty much speaks for itself, so let’s start there.

Lura is taken from her home near Tazmily Village to serve the needs of New Pork City. However, things don’t go exactly to the Pigmasks’ plans…

The reason this speaks for itself is that there is no “Lura” in any of the Earthbound games, let alone Mother 3, the one that has Tazmily Village in it.  Yes, patrons, we’ve got an OC on our hands as the featured character.  And given that Lura is only one letter off from the first four letters of the author’s moniker, well, you can pretty much see where this is going.

So let’s sink our teeth into this thing!

Lura looked over at the stranger.

Strange, I don’t see MrGuyMan anywhere in the character list.

Who-no, what-was he?

My money is still on MrGuyMan.  Probably an uncredited cameo appearance.

He jerked his head to look at her, and in doing so he revealed a bright flash of orange hair.

So, uh, where is this hair if it only shows up when he jerks his hea-

*Porno music blasts over the intercom system*

I should have known better.

The sight was soon gone.

Dude’s got no stamina.  Has a quick head jerk and it’s all back in his pants.

The one eyebrow visible was orange too and was furrowed in a scowl that only showed in his eyebrow and his one emerald-green, almond-shaped eye.

*ALARM BLARES*

Oh dammit all!  Darkwraiths, prepare the-

*Dennis strolls into the room*

Oh, never mind, it’s just Dennis.

“Should I feel insulted by that slight?”

Possibly.  Hey, I thought you were working on that speech thing.

“It’s a work in progress that we’re working on.  Small baby steps.”

I see.  So, why are you here, I thought you transferred?

“They left me in the on-call rotation because they forgot to remove me from on-call.  So, here I am.   I don’t have any of my gear, so I don’t know what to do without my gear.”

Wanna sit in?

*Dennis quickly skims the fic.*

“Not particularly, no.”

Fair enough.  You could always grab some Dimetrodon cookies from the kitchen.

“Yes, I think I will, yes.”

*Dennis strolls back out*

Odd fellow.

The other was hidden by a nearly opaque visor that hung over his right eyebrow down to the lower right lobe of his nose.

Dude, that is seriously not how you visor.

Her lower right leg tensed as it often did when she got the sense that someone was about to make a scathing remark.

Lower right leg?  How many legs does this girl have!?

I mean, I suppose we didn’t get any description so she could be some kind of cephalopod.

Also, muscle contraction prior to getting insulted is a terrible superpower.  Not the worst we’ve seen in the Library, but definitely lower 10% of superpowers.

Instead he looked away after glaring at her, and she looked away too with cheeks hot.

I guess that ability comes and goes.  Or is tricked by erections.

As much as she wanted to move, she couldn’t with these shackles on her.

These ones here, or these on the table?

Her leg relaxed, and as she did so she lowly hummed “Inescapeable”.

For crap’s sake!  I’ve had enough nonsensical references for one lifetime!  All authors everywhere, STAHP!

He looked at her with such a confused expression she stopped humming at once and laughed so hard her body shook.

Of course he’s confused!  You’re humming a tune that you couldn’t possibly know!

And now he’s even more confused since you’re acting like a lunatic.

“So who are you anyway?” she asked after she had gotten a hold of herself.

He’s mystery!  He’s brooding!  He’s danger!  He’s the badboy that your parents don’t want you dating.  He’s…. SirDudeFellow!

Well that explains why I didn’t see MrGuyMan in the character list.

His expression turned stony again, and he looked away.

There’s the broodiness, right on cue.

She could swear she saw a blush appear on his face

Of course, he’s being overcome by the Suefluence.  The first symptom of the parasitic infection is the blood rushing to the head as the body desperately tries to feed more oxygen to the brain as it’s dying.

as fast as a flash of lightning, only this one turned the white sky red instead of white on black.

Woof, lightning blushes.  That means the body has already given up on the brain and is trying to drain the blood away from the head in an effort to isolate the failed organ.

“That’s the Commander,” the white-coated-pig-faced!- man behind her snarled.

Gah!  We do not use the SDQF to sneak up on people, young man!  Er, pig.  Er, man.

“Commander of what?” she replied insolently, and this earned her a sharp thwack to the side of her head.

Uh, it’s not counted as insolence if it’s a valid question!  Eliza, add it to the list!

Oh, right, wrong author.

The Commander turned his head and looked to her. “Leave her be,” he said softly to the Pigface. She widened her dark blue eyes in surprise.

You may want to just kill him now and usurp his position.  He’s been completely taken over by the parasite.

His voice was a little bit rusty.

This is why I gargle Rustoleum brand Chrome Rust-Reformer every morning!  Keep that voice so bright you could see yourself in it!

Did he never talk at all?

Uh, yes he didn’t?  No, he did?  I hate answering questions phrased that way.

If that was true, it was flattering that he was talking for her.

Isn’t it a little early in the fic to be staring in on the Stockholm Syndrome?  Usually the badfics wait at least three chapters.

Her mouth went dry as she looked over him.

Let’s see here, symptoms include muscle spasms, dry mouth, bouts of dementia…

*Quickly Googles*

Huh, she has a potassium shortage.  Somebody get that that girl a banana!

*Porno music blares over the intercom system*

Well shit.

He was hardly out of boyhood, and strong, and-

Oof, binary Suefluence.  I feel really bad for good old Pigface.

What was that on his arm?!

stelarcportrait

It’s really rude to stare, lady.

“It’s my cannon,” he said, looking at her.

For crap’s sake, this is supposed to be an Earthbound fic!  What the hell is this kid doing with a Mega Buster!?

That green eye was like a child’s.

Which makes sense. He is still a boy and all.

At the youngest, she would say he was thirteen, maybe fourteen.

Which is definitely somebody I would pick to hold the title of commander.  Then again, this organization is run by Porky Minch, and he isn’t really well known for his brilliance.

Innocence taken, she noted, but for what?

Who took the innocence from what now? Did you just skip a page or something, author?

“How long have you had it?” she asked, trying not to let her voice tremble.

Well, if he just took the innocence, probably no more than a few minutes.

“As long as I can remember.”

So, if he’s had the innocence that long, how did you know that he took it? Maybe it’s just his.

Remember. The word was circling in her mind like an owl to its hollow as the Pigface unshackled her from the thing they were riding in to his arm.

Woof!  Could you try cramming just a little more into that sentence?  It wasn’t nearly as confusing as I know you could make it.

“Move and I’ll kill you,” he snarled when he shackled her to his arm.

So you took her out of the vehicle just to stand there?  Yup, definitely a Pig Mask.

The Commander stayed silent and walked with them, though keeping his eyes to his boots.

Uh, dudes, she’s moving.  Aren’t you supposed to be doing something right now?

A great, yet disturbing, sight greeted her as they walked past a sign titled New Pork City: Population: 189.

Uh, do you want to unpack why that’s a great and disturbing sight?  If this is after New Pork City vaporized, then that’s quite a few people living in the crater.  If this is before the explosion, than that’s nowhere near what the population actually should be.

Granted, the actual sign is “Welcomidos to New Pork City” so maybe the great/disturbing thing is that it’s the wrong sign?

Many lights blinded her, and she shut her eyes tightly.

I guess that means we’ll never be told why the sight of the population sign was so terrigreat.  Who’s surprised?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Bueller?

The Pigface noted, and cuffed her on the side of her head.

You will stare at the lights or so help me!

Her eyes jolted open. Suddenly the lights turned off, revealing the bright shine of the full moon.

Guess the city has an off switch.

“Sit,” the Pigface commanded. She did so, and he removed the shackle from his arm.

He’s going to escape!  Quick, stop him!

Wait…

“You will be subjected to sleep at night, underneath the full moon.

What torture.  Is she also going to be allowed only one pillow?

Every half hour there will be a shriek, and you must rise, repeating your name while you march.

What the hell is the point of that?

Follow the path of the moon while you do so.

Okay, now what the hell is that?

What the hell is supposed to be going on here!?  Author, I keep saying it but it needs to be said again: Being vague isn’t the same as being profound!

She stared at him. Moon blinking, only with humans.

Hang on a second, it does this sometimes.

*Taco whacks the moon and it stops blinking*

There.  It’s never been quite the same since it got that bad case of humans.

Ingenious.

I’m sure the author thought so.  Shame about that whole disconnect with reality thing.

The Pigface turned on his heel and walked away. The Commander followed him, but looked back. “Bye,” she said softly.

“You’re hot and mysterious so obviously you aren’t evil despite being involved in capturing me and making me visit the moon or whatever.”

He mouthed the word back to her, and left. But he looked back again.

And saw nothing because he already left.

He couldn’t sleep.

Shit, dude, at least wait until you get home before you try to pass out.  You’re in the middle of pining for the Sue, sleep later!

Rolling over, he retracted his cannon so it wouldn’t hurt his side.

Wait, did he just drop down in the hall?  Man, they are really not about being comfortable in New Pork.

You also might want to take that cannon off while you sleep; you’re gonna shoot your nadges off the first time you have a nightmare.

He stared at the black wall, remembering how in the day it was a navy blue, but at night it was black.

Sadly, this is the most thrilling sentence we’ve had in the fic thus far.

The thought of the color blue triggered his memory.

Nope, it’s too easy.  I see you trying to bait me, fic.

Large blue eyes filled with laughter.

Thanks, fic, I needed that mental image.

And then, even farther, a pair of deep brown filled with love.

Ah yes, the forgotten Trajik Past™, I was wondering when that would show up.  We’re gonna fill up the Sue bingo card.

A shriek, blood. The color red.

Pants, a totem pole, purple. The wallaby.

He shut his real eye tightly, trying to fight it away.

That’s not how you fight your eye away.  Get a fork, bro.

Dark green scales. Pain.

A photocopier.  The Bronx.

The silver flash of a knife, bouncing with a ching off those scales.

The sound of pretentious prose, the purple of words on the page.

His eye snapped open, and he rolled, putting both his legs over the side of the bed. His hips, torso, and head was still on the bed.

So that puts both arms and everything below the waist off the bed.  That’s one hell of a contortionist act, kid.  I think you’re in the wrong line of work.

He looked at the ceiling. Glowing white.

Apparently you can turn off the city, but not the ceiling.  This is a weird town.

newporkcity

All right, fine, it IS indeed a weird town.

A small, musical voice drifted from the heat vent. “Shame, on me,” it sang, ” na na na na, na na na naa.” He listened closely.

Authors, your insistence in including pop culture in your writing is not clever.  It is garbage in written form. STAHP!

Anyway, at this point the Sue just regurgitates the lyrics to I Wanna Go by Britney Spears.  It’s stupid that it’s in the fic, not to mention the song is an auto-tuned wreck to begin with, so we’re skipping it.  But hey, at least this fic didn’t sully a good song.

Eventually the singing stops when:

Evidently someone had been woken up by the singing, and called a Pigmask to deal with it.

Epic Applause

Finally!  Thank you, Pigface!

“Come on, girl, come along, now…”

And thank you for using the comma of address!

Then a scream as the girl fought and lost as the Pigmask called for backup. “NO! NO, DON’T YOU DARE T-TAKE-” The scream faded away.

So she waited until NOW to put up a fight?  Yup, that’s totally how people work.  Nope, no problem here.  No sir.

And then a louder scream as someone put a syringe in her arm and pressed down the plunger.

How the hell did SirDudeFellow hear her getting an injection through a circulation duct!?

Wait, wouldn’t giving her some kind of sedative kinda ruin their whole schedule of sleeping for thirty minutes and then walking around repeating your own name?

Anyway, with that, the fic mercifully ends.  It was abandoned almost four years ago and it was the only fic posted by the author, so it looks like we will be spared any further continuation.

Until next week, patrons!

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5 Comments on “1686: The Masked Man and the Girl – Oneshot”

  1. BatJamags says:

    She could swear she saw a blush appear on his face

    WHY?! WHY?! WHAT ABOUT THIS INTERACTION IS MAKIN-

    *Tranquilized*

  2. BatJamags says:

    That green eye was like a child’s.

    Yes, author, children’s eyes are visibly different from adults’.

    Kane: And much more useful for occult rituals, as well.

    What is it with you and eyes?

    Kane: I don’t make the rules.

  3. BatJamags says:

    Pants, a totem pole, purple. The wallaby.

    Waffles!

  4. LightLitAflame says:

    …Well, there go my last traces of optimism towards fanfics. I mean, come on Suethor, the Masked Man is friggin’ twelve! Well, and extremely brainwashed, but that’s besides the point.

    Just, ah, one thing: I’m pretty sure that when the Masked Man thinks of brown eyes in that poorly written…dream sequence, I think? I think that’s supposed to be Hinawa he’s thinking about. The blue eyes definitely are the Sue’s, though, which makes me seethe.


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