Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sylar's Mission

Sylar just read off my challenge. I looked at the ugly hat thing. It was my turn to draw.

I reached in and pulled out a little paper square with some scribbling on it. "Well, this can't be right," I said. I read the challenge outloud, "Eat Mr. Bennet's brain."

"Yay!" Sylar cheered. "You picked it..uh, I mean, oopsie! How'd that get in there?"

Jon seemed annoyed. "Okay, you guys," he said, "I'll overlook these sabotage attempts, as long as you promise not to play fair in the actual challenge. Draw again, Noah."

I pulled out another paper. It was much bigger than the last one and unrolled like a scroll. "Let's see," I started. "You are going on a scavenger hunt for the items of past contestants." It included a list:
  • Koma's Thong
  • West's Spy Binoculars
  • Xavier's Appendix
  • Ciera's Third Grade English Teacher
  • Erifia's Lekku Band
  • Nepharia's Stilettos
  • Kon-El's Courage
  • Hotstuff's Coffee Maker
  • Gyrobo's Nuts
  • Merlyn's Landspeeder

"Great!" Jon said. "Now get to it."

"Hold on," I put my hand up to his face. "There's more." I read the last sentence on the paper. "Disney villains will be competing against you in this scavenger hunt, and they don't always play nice."

Jon looked at me to see if I was done. I just nodded.

"Alrighty, then," he said. "Go!"

Bennet's Challenge

So there we were, Bennet, Jon and I, all standing around a hat. I was ready to draw a challenge for Mr. Glasses. I reached in, and pulled out a piece of paper.

"Kill Sylar," I read the challenge aloud.

"How'd that get in there?" Mr. Glasses laughed nervously, and then shrugged. "Oh well," he said, pulling out his gun and aiming it at me.

Jon the Introglockenspeil shook his head. "Eliminating gladiators is my job. Draw another challenge, Sylar."

Mr. Glasses pouted and lowered his gun as I pulled another challenge from the hat, and read it to my enemy:

"The planet Mongo is in trouble again. The band Queen, with their new frontman, Flash Gordon, were on the planet recording their new theme song when they were captured by the Emperor Ming. You must travel to Mongo and rescue the band."

Putting down the piece of paper, I looked at Mr. Glasses, and laughed.

Now, for him to draw for my challenge...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Final Challenge

The challenge has been cast. The gauntlet thrown down. Many have been called, few have answered and only two remain. On the planet Hacknor... On Fire Island D, brave contestants will compete. Who will falter? Who will thrive? Who will be

This is it ladies and gentlemen, the final challenge, the final countdown, the final of the final, the toughest challenge yet.

Two men (er sorta, I guess) have battled their way to get to this very spot right now. These two have overcome obstacles and trials and have persevered where others have fallen.

Will the winner be the "lady" or the paper tiger?

In this hat is your final challenge.

(We got it cheap at an estate sale. Some old dude who ran a school for wizards died and it was everything must go. As my esteemed colleague Henchman might say “Haw haw.”)

Draw a piece of paper from the hat and see what your final challenge will be.

Oh yes, by the way, like last year you are drawing for your opponent. So draw the paper and see what his challenge will be.

Sylar and Bennet, post your challenge when you draw it.

All contestants as well as judges will be judging the final round.

That is all.

Last Gladiator Standing III was brought to you in part The Mullet of Atlantis.

The Mullet of Atlantis is in fine bookstores everywhere.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Challenge 10, the Vote

The challenge has been cast. The gauntlet thrown down. Many have been called, few have answered. On the planet Hacknor... On Fire Island D, brave contestants will compete. Who will falter? Who will thrive? Who will be

Down to the last three.

But only two shall go on.

You can feel the excitement in the air.

Like some sort of physical thing that's literally in the air that you can actually touch.

And it's exciting.

Like remember when Lucy was the only one who could see Aslan and her brothers and sister didn't believe her at first?

They were all like "You cracked, Lucy, and that ain't straight."

And then they did see Aslan and Lucy's all like "Told ja!"

What a brat, huh?

That's almost as bad as if someone was stringing you along and not telling you who got voted out.

Kind of annoying, huh?

Well what are you gonna do?

Scroll down I guess.

West, you are not the Last Gladiator Standing, goodbye.

Which is too bad, 'cuz all the girls were way hot for you. For real, I read it online. That flying stalker bit is tres sexy.

Stay tuned for the next challenge.

Last Gladiator Standing III was brought to you today by Hacknor Ham.

Hacknor Ham, now with flavor crystals!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Challenge 10, the Decision

The challenge has been cast. The gauntlet thrown down. Many have been called, few have answered. On the planet Hacknor... On Fire Island D, brave contestants will compete. Who will falter? Who will thrive? Who will be

Congratulations Sylar, you are the winner of Challenge 10.

As votes from Bennet and West will cancel each other out, it's all on you.

Send in your vote for elimination.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The challenge has been cast. The gauntlet thrown down. Many have been called, few have answered. On the planet Hacknor... On Fire Island D, brave contestants will compete. Who will falter? Who will thrive? Who will be

All contestants are invited to vote on the winner of the challenge.

Will it be West, who duked it our with Wonder Girl?

Will it be Sylar, who duked it out with the Stairmaster?

Will it be Bennet, who duked it out with Bone Grinder's lost faculties?

(shrugs) I dunno

Get me your vote by 7:00 central on Sunday.

The winner get immunity, the other two get to sweat.

Ch. 10: West vs. 'Roid Rage

After receiving our challenges, I was forced into the company of the beefy luchador Giant Swell.

“Uh, hi. I’m West. I, uh, guess you’re supposed to teach me how to be a Gladiator.”

He stared at me for a moment, then stabbed me in the face with a syringe full of a performance-enhancing drug.
“Weenie-boy get strong,” he grunted, then dragged me into the hold of a spaceship reeking of sweat and beef jerky. “We go to Earth. You too wussy to be Gladiator of Intergalaxy. Gladiator of America good nuff for little you.”

I rubbed my face and pulled the broken needle out from under my skin. “We don’t have to take a ship, though. We could just—“ My words were choked off as Giant Swell put me in a headlock and poured a protein shake down my throat.

“We take flying gym. You work out. Get strong. Be good Gladiator.”

Those next few days were the hardest of my life as I bench-pressed, push-upped, chin-upped, squatted, injected, protein-packed and carbo-loaded every muscle in my body, but by the time we hit Earth’s orbit, I was still as scrawny as ever.

“Can I stop now?” I groaned as I gasped and panted on the floor of the gym, having toppled backwards over a medicine ball.

“Yes. Stop. Eat raw egg before we land.”

I did, then puked all over the ships controls during a turbulent entry into Earth’s atmosphere, making Giant Swell panic as the spaceship’s steering short-circuited. We crashed a few miles south of San Diego.

Giant Swell strapped weights to my arms and legs and forced me to run through the desert while he sat on my shoulders. I thought my back was going to break and I tried to get him off me by flying, but every time I lifted even an inch of the ground, he put me in a choke hold and said, “Be good or voted off you go.”

The stench of his beef jerky breath still lurks in my nostrils. God help me.

We got to the US border when ICE agents in an SUV stopped in front of us, guns drawn.

“You aliens?”

“Hell yes!” I answered. “I’m West Rosen, alien god and king of the night sky, keeper of the ultimate destiny, friend to supermodels, and fourth place winner of Sylar’s Bachelor.”

“Leave ‘im,” the other ICE agent barked. “They don’t make um that dorky on the other side. Take the big one, though. That’s a mask of a foreigner for sure, and we can’t afford another incident like the Ron Paul convention.”

I tried to make a break for it, but they shot Giant Swell with seven elephant tranquilizers and loaded him onto their SUV, and Swell had me too weighed down to fight. As they sped away, I sat in the blistering desert and cried. I was sure to have lost the challenge now.

As my tears evaporated in the heat, I took the weights off my arms and legs and vowed to soldier on. I would fly to LA, compete in and win American Gladiators, and make Giant Swell proud.

Something was amiss in Los Angeles, though. Buildings burned, bricks were thrown through windows, and teenagers ran through the streets shouting. My cell phone rang.

“Rosen! Do you know how much I had to pay my lawyers to get Giant Swell out of the custody of your planet’s barbaric immigration agents? Too much! You owe me big time, bucko!”

“Who is this?”

“J’onn Sinew Nu, and if you had bothered to meet me you would have known that, you two-bit wannabe punk! I own you; don’t you forget that! Now, to pay me back, you need to fix the situation in LA. Superboy’s little fanclub, the ‘Cult of Kon-El’ or whatever, are pretty cheesed off about you booting off their teen idol. Hence, the riot. So no more reality shows: no Real World, no Big Brother, and no American Gladiators. So if you wanna prove yourself, kid, you’ve got to find his fanclub president, a chesty blonde called Wonder Girl. You’ll know what to do.”

The cell phone flew out of my hand as I tripped over a golden rope.

“I assume you’re Wonder Girl?” I said, looking up at what was indeed a chesty blonde.

“You want to be a Gladiator, punk? Well fight me, then. I’ll smash you into a pulp and avenge Kon-El.” She flew into me and punched me in the stomach. I puked up the rest of the raw egg.

“Jeez,” I said, wiping my mouth. “This is worse than the reaction when David Cook won American Idol.”

Wonder Girl put out the fires in the buildings around us, and then turned back to me. “Meet me in the Bottled City of Kandor at noon tomorrow.” She handed me a Q-tip. “This will be your weapon.”

At the Fortress of Solitude, where the Bottled City of Kandor was held, some dude named Atom Man shrunk me, Wonder Girl, and all those crazy fans so we could fit inside. The Q-tip I held could actually be used to push someone over, and I focused on all the training Giant Swell had given me as I made my way through that miniature Xanadu.

“They took my Kon-El from the battle, so now we take the battle to them!” Wonder Girl announced to the cheering crowd before turning to me. “Your journey ends now, Rosen,” she spat.

I charged. She blocked. I thrusted. She parried. Back and forth we went until I realized that Wonder Girl had a secret weapon: she had used the Q-tip before shrinking down, and I was stuck to the floor in her earwax. I struggled to escape. I strained harder and harder, until all the steroids that Giant Swell had pumped into me kicked in, and my muscles ballooned outward. The exponential growth of my muscles cancelled out being shrunk by Atom Man, and the Bottled City of Kandor shattered around me.

I collapsed under the weight of my expanding musculature as the Cult of Kon-El fled screaming.

When I awoke in the hospital on Hacknor the next day, J’onn Sinew Nu and Giant Swell stood by my, now normal-sized, side.

“Well, kid,” Sinew Nu said, “the Pay-Per-View from the Kandor fight managed to take in just enough to pay for Giant Swell’s legal bills, but don’t think this makes you IGEs cash cow. Now it’s off to the accountants for me to count my money!”

Giant Swell beamed at me, swelling with pride. “That’ll do, wuss. That’ll do.”

Mission Ten: Walking the Talk

"So, I was thinking about making some paper sales here on Hacknor. Are you up for it, old man?"

"Old man? I tell you when I was fourteen we didn't need paper. The world was our burrito, and we made every minute of our lives count toward something. That's what it means to be an Intergalactic Gladiator, you know? Four hours in the gym every day and a confidentiality agreement. Yes, sir, lots of secrets in the gladiatoring business. I remember walking in on Ol' Tipper McDunn during his acne-cream application. Of course, back then acne had no cure. And why should it? Pimples are the signs of a stressed body. If you're not stressin', you ain't livin'."

I could tell this was going to be an exciting challenge.

"You know, back in my day this gladiator business was dangerous! There were no helmets or safety nets or steroids, and racism was still allowed. Those were the good ol' days and the first time I lost my brain."

"Well, that's nice," I replied trying to end the conversation. Unfortunately, I came to find that to be an impossibility with Bone Grinder.

"Sure thing, Skipper. I can tell you all about it," he went on. "It was a legendary matchup: me versus some other guy. I knocked his lights out. Then, in the darkness, he managed to hit me on the head with a newspaper or something. I could feel my brain shake loose, then the man threw cats at me. My allergies acted up and I went into a sneezing fit. Every sneeze caused a piece of my brain to fly out my nose. I don't much care for nose jobs. What do they need employment for anyway? Saving up for a larger septum? I say they can find employment on some other planet. Pluto is a disappointment!"

"That's a lovely story about your brain falling out your nose and all, but..."

"Oh, yeah, my brain. I had to get a transplant, you know. They were fresh out of usable brains, so I got an overgrown cauliflower. Some reports suggest they're even better at thinking than brains are!"

Bone Grinder continued talking to me about taco toppings, which I believe he was using as a metaphor for cleaning a windshield.

Since he was going to go on talking nonsense, I thought I might as well make the most of it. "Come on, Bone. Follow me."

"Sure, I'll follow you, but I ain't joining no cult. Three years ago I was attacked my Mormons. 'Bout lost my life, if it weren't for my accuracy with a salad fork...."

A long, long cab ride later, we arrived at Williams Arena where Ron Paul was having his counter-convention. Perfect, I thought. Bone Grinder will fit right in here. I patted Bone on the back and said, "Have fun, I'm going to the little boys' room."

"You damn pedophile!" he replied, "Not that there's anything wrong with it...." But before he could go of on a tangent, Ron Paul took the podium.

"Greetings my fellow patriots," he began. Bone Grinder turned away from me and listened to Paul go on. "We are here today because the Republican Party has failed us! They insist on legislating morality. No where in the Constitution does it say that we have to pay taxes, or that we can't murder each other, or that everyone is entitled to free health care. Hell, it doesn't even provide protection for minors from sexual predators!"

Boney G, as his Gangsta name would be, was entranced. I slowly snuck away as Ron Paul continued his Family No-Values speech.

A much shorter cab ride later I arrived at the Titty Twister.

And no, it wasn't for personal reasons. I was looking for someone. Someone who ate brains and loved having their titties twisted.

A couple of Mexican tough guys stopped me as I entered.

"Where you headin', SeƱor Glasses?" the short one asked.

"Inside. Are you going to stop me?"

"Me?" He laughed. "No. My friend Nacho will do that."

The caped gordo jumped out at me and annouced, "NachOooOoooocooOoOOooOOOO!"

I pulled my gun and shot him three times. As he fell onto the ground, the other guys stared at me. I pushed them out of the way and walked inside.

There, at the bar, I saw a suspicious-looking Ninja.

I walked up to the man and asked, "Have you seen a cross-dressing brain-eater around here?"

"Lolz, like no way silly!" he giggled. "What would I be doing in a strip bar?"

"You're right," I said and walked away. I was wrong, Sylar wasn't here, so my plans of sabotage were of no use.

As I headed to the exit, the Mexican tough guys came inside. "Hey! That Gringo killed Nacho!" They pointed at me.

The entire audience fell silent and stared at me. Then, the Mexican Ninja said, "Oh, nos! Not Nacho, my plump little wrestling buddy!" He ripped off his ninja-apparel to reveal his true identity.

"Get Mr. Glasses, lolz!" he ordered.

The booze-filled and angry Mexicans jumped from their seats and charged at me. I emptied my gun into the crowd and fought my way to the exit.

Where was an Intergalactic Gladiator when you needed one?

I ran all the way back to the convention with the muy angry mob chasing close behind.

"There is no freedom if we lock terrorists up without rights!" I could hear from inside. "They deserve to live the American Dream just like any other religious nut."

I kicked the door open and found Bone Grinder. "You've gotta do something! There's a mob heading this way. We're going to have to fight them!"

"I never met a mob I didn't kill, or for that matter wasn't a part of. The 60s was a good time for mobs. We used to start off with a game of Naked Twister, but one thing led to another and before we knew it we were out in force demanding the right to consensual dung battles."

Before Bone Grinder could finish his delightful story, Cheech and his gang burst in.

"Hey, what is the meaning of this?" Ron Paul asked from his podium.

The Mexican glared up at him. "Look muchachos, it's a pro-choicer."

This seemed to cause the mob to forget about me as they broke out in utter madness attacking all of the convention goers with machetes and sharpened taco shells.

"Hmmm....maybe they were right about that border fence after all," Ron Paul said as he ducked under the podium.

I looked at Bone Grinder and said, "Well, here's you're chance to be a real gladiator again!"

"Why the Hell are you still talking?" he asked. "There's a fight going on! Save the chit chat for later." And with that he let out a piercing battle cry as he flailed his bony appendages about, knocking Latinos and Libertarians alike unconscious.

I joined in on the fray.

It was a long and tough battle, but with Bone Grinder on our side, we had the upper hand. Soon, the borachos were racing back to their strip joint.

Ron Paul stood back up at the podium and motioned to Bone Grinder. "Come on up here. You saved this convention and protected our Constitution with your excessive violence. Let's hear a few words from our freedom fighter!"

Bone Grinder made his way up to the podium.

Oh, brother...

"Thank you," he began. "I don't fight freedom because it's easy. I fight freedom because my dad left when I was seven. I never drank any of that Sprite crap, though. I'm a 7-Up guy, always been one. Sometimes I drink water, but that's just because it's easily accessible. I had to build my own well once. It was during the drought of ought three. Vultures were disintegrating in mid-air from the heat. I got myself a stick and started digging. I almost made it to China, which is pretty good considering I wasn't on Earth at the time. But there was no reason I couldn't hold hands with the woman I loved. The church frowned on it, but that's their problem. I say, if you spend a buck seventy on a couple of burgers and the drive in, you're entitled to some hand action...."

A couple of days later, he finished and the challenge finally came to an end.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Don't Steal My Thunder

I sat with my new friend, the gladiator, Thunder Thighs, and painted my toe nails with her.

"Omigod, that shade of pink looks like, soooo good on you!" I said to Thunder Thighs.

"Thanks, Sylar. I hope it impresses Jon."

"Jon the Introglockenspeil?"

"Yes, I've got a thing for him. I want to wrap my thunderous thighs around him. He's one sexy gladiator."

"Hehe," I giggled. "A crush on Introglockenspeil? That's a hilarious joke!"

"I'm not joking," she replied coldly.

"Oh, uh, how do you like the food?" I asked, changing the subject.

Thunder Thighs took a bite of the homemade dish I brought her. "This is really good. What is it?"

"It's brains!" I said, smacking my lips.

Thunder Thighs stared at me for a moment, and then started laughing. "Oh Sylar, you're such a jokester."

I giggled, and said, "I know!" Then I scratched my head. "What am I joking about?"

"That we're eating brains."

"Oh yeah," I responded. Thunder Thighs seemed to be insane. Eating brains is no laughing matter. Oh well. "Hey, wanna go to the gym so we can work off the weight we packed on from these brains?" I asked her.

Her eyes grew wide. "The gym?" she asked. "The place of evil and despair? You wish to fight evil with me? Very well. But, we will not work off any weight."

"But I'm getting love handles!" I shouted in protest as we walked out the door.

We arrived at the gym. It looked homey.

Stepping inside, I noticed that the gym was full of hot boys! "Omigod," I said in a moment of sudden revelation, "this gym is full of hot boys!"

"Hot boys?" Thunder Thigh asked, as she looked around. "I see no flab, no rolls, no double or triple chins. Where is this hotness you speak of? All I see is fitness, the epitome of all evil." Suddenly, she saw something, on on her face came a look of total fear. "Good God...the Sit and Be Fitters!"

"Who are they?" I asked.

"They are the henchmen of my arch-nemesis. Evil seniors of doom who exercise while sitting down! That must mean that he must be here." She pointed her finger towards the back of the gym as she saw him. "The Stair Master!"

"Mwahaha," the Stair Master cackled evilly. "Greetings, Thunder Thighs. I see you've walked right into my trap."

"What trap? We came here voluntarily. You didn't lure us here," she responded.

"It's a figure of speech!" he shouted. "Sit and Be Fitters, kill them!"


"What'd he say?"

"Get who?"

"Where are they?"

The Stair Master shook his head in disgust. "They're behind you," he informed them.

"Eh?" one responded. "Well, give us a few minutes to turn our chairs around to face them, then we'll attack."

As the old people slowly turned their chairs, Thunder Thighs sprung into action. "Thunder Thighs, activate!" she shouted as she slapped the flab of her legs together. What resulted was a thunderous sound of thunder that shook through the whole gym. The Sit and Be Fitters all fell over.

"Help," one pleaded, "we've fallen down and we can't get up!"

"Don't worry," another added, "I've got Life Alert!"

While the seniors were trying to figure out how to work their Life Alert alarms, Thunder Thighs charged the Stair Master. She lept in the air, ready to slap together her thighs again and destroy her enemy. But before she could, the Stair Master grabbed her! He forced her onto his stairs, and held her there as he activated them, forcing her into stair-walking exercise!

"No!" Thunder Thighs wailed. "Exercise is my one weakness! My'll get toned! My power of thunder won't work without my flab!"

"Haha, yes, feel the burn!" the Stair Master responded evilly.

Now, it was all going to come down to me. I knew I couldn't just kill the Stair Master. If I did, he might go out of control, and destroy Thunder Thighs' flab forever. No, I'd have to handle this situation delicately...

I shoved Thunder Thighs off the stairs and got on myself. I threw her some leftover brains and ordered her to eat it to regain the strength of her flab as I began exercising.

"What's this?" the Stair Master said. "Are you sacrificing yourself for her? A noble venture, but you shall regret it when you see the shapely, toned butt that I give you!"

"Ooooh, really? I've always wanted a toned butt!" I responded with delight.

"Wait a minute," the Stair Master said with fear in his voice. "Are you using me...for good?"

"Heck yeah!"

"NOOoooOOoocoOOoOO! Being used for good is my only weakness! How did you know?!" And suddenly, the Stair Master exploded.

"NOOoOOOocoOooOO!" I shouted, "my butt isn't toned yet!"

Pouting, I helped Thunder Thighs to her feet. We walked away from the gym, victorious.

"Sylar," she began, "you saved my life. You know what it is to be a true gladiator."

"Hey, thanks! But I have one question. Can I see what you look like under your mask?"

"I owe my life to you. Of course I will reveal my secret."

And with that, she pulled off her mask.

No wonder she wore one.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Challenge 10

The challenge has been cast. The gauntlet thrown down. Many have been called, few have answered. On the planet Hacknor... On Fire Island D, brave contestants will compete. Who will falter? Who will thrive? Who will be

It’s down to the Final Three, Gladiators. Congratulations on making it this far.

There is just this one thing though.

I don’t think you three really fully understand and appreciate what it’s like to be a contestant in the Intergalactic Gladiator Entertainment.

That’s why I’m assigning each of you to tag along with a gladiator for a week so you can see how it’s done.

West, you get to hang with the Giant Swell.

Sylar, you will accompany Thunder Thighs.

Bennett are to tag along with Bone Grinder. OK, technically he’s not a combatant any more as he’s retired and all and of course, he’s not quite all there upstairs. But he needs the money and we figured he was here the last two years, so why not feature him once more.

Who knows what excitement you’ll face while with these Gladiators, maybe you’ll help fight thir arch enemies or even get to wash out their trunks. It’ll be an exciting few days though, that’s for sure.

And in an interesting twist, all of the competitors from Last Gladiator Standing III are going to judge. That’s right, everyone you kicked out now has a say in who will be the final two.

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