The Return of the Indestructible Girl – Or, this is why we play

Friends, THIS is why we play our geeky games. My son posted the following on his blog after our second Marvel Super Hero Roleplaying session. I’d link to it, but it’s friends only, so he let me republish it here.

Table-top RPGs are really fun. You get to make a character and interact with a fictional world in a way that feels like a book or a movie, but with others, and you can do it again and again. And one of the best parts is that, when something hilarious happens, everyone at the table laughs uncontrollably at it together.

My dad, my sister, and I, were playing a Marvel Super-hero RPG, and this little bit happened. I was laughing the whole time, because my stupid plan was working, and I thought it was funny enough to share. So I wrote it. Also because I really. Really don’t want to forget this. Ever. Because it’s hilarious.

I should also note: everything here is as accurate as I could get it. Also, for reference, Sydney is my character, Janey is my sister’s, and my dad’s hasn’t come in just yet.

“Hi,” Janey said as she walked up to the table and sat down. The shy, awkward girl had been the one to solve the riddle of the “Balrog’s lair” note, but had been hesitant to check it out alone. She always looked a little worried, but especially so today.

“Morning,” Sydney greeted her with a wave. “Want to order something? You can order whatever you want, it’ll be on me today.”

“Oh… Okay.” Janey gave a slightly raised eyebrow. “Are you sure it’s okay to get whatever I want? Like… Anything?”

Sydney smiled and nodded, “you can’t possibly eat more than me.”
While they had been talking a busboy had come over, a fairly tall and muscular young man who also worked as a bouncer during the little restaurant’s Metal Nights. Before he could ask what Janey would like he was beset by her rapid-fire order. “A smoothie, a brownie, some fries, and-”

Sydney failed to catch the rest as she had to turn her head and stifle a laugh. Maybe it was possible for someone to eat almost as much as she did. Then again, her increased metabolism made that hard.

She scanned the restaurant. The person they were supposed to meet up with here was supposedly a big guy in a suit. There were a few that matched that description, however, which made it difficult to make the first move, as Sydney had planned.

She had always wanted to do the spy movie thing, where someone got called to a meeting by a mysterious individual only to sit at the person’s table and start with their name. Alas, she wasn’t nearly clever enough to find out the person’s name, let alone which one of the possibilities here was the right one.

“By the way,” the busboy broke her thought and drew both her and Janey’s attention. He looked to Janey. “Vince, from Gothmog, wanted to see you. He’s out back, getting ready for the concert. He. Said it was supposed to be private, though.” He gave a glance to Sydney, who knew exactly what he meant by that, but only met with with a smile. He waited for a response.

“Oh, can you just wait for me here, then?” Janey asked her new friend in a strange tone of voice and with a remarkably awkward attempt at a wink, which she aborted halfway through.

Most people would have just been confused. Sydney, however, noticed a similarity between this and something she and her friend Ahria did sometimes when they were both still in showbiz. Ahria would say to “wait for me out back,” in a menacing tone, which was her silly way of saying she’d be there in a few minutes, usually as soon as she could ditch the producer or the media who were pestering. Thus, she somehow managed to understand.

The busboy, on the other hand, didn’t seem to notice anything at all, and left the table.

Sydney nodded toward the back of the restaurant. There was a stage with curtains drawn, and a little doorway to go backstage. She had been in this place for Metal Nights before, and had been backstage at some pretty big venues, but never at this one. So instead of trying to lead the way, she figured the guitar player of Traumahawk, who had opened for Gothmog in this place before, would know where she was headed better.

“Sh-Should we just go? Right now?” Janey asked, obviously not sure what she ought to do.

“Don’t see why not,” Sydney said with a shrug. She stood and waited for her friend to show the way. As they walked she caught a slightly annoyed glance from the busboy, meeting it with a smile and a wave. She was used to those sorts of looks from Ahria’s body-guards, who still didn’t seem to understand why they were told there was no need to follow into whatever place she and Sydney decided to go to. After all, Sydney kept the fact that she was entirely immune to harm secret. It only ever got raised eyebrows until it was demonstrated, and when it was demonstrated she didn’t get left alone.

Janey went back-stage and looked around. There was no one there, just instruments and amps. “He must be outside,” she observed. She walked to the other side of the small back-stage room and pushed open a heavy loading-dock door. “Ah, hello,” she said to someone Sydney couldn’t see.

“Janey, long time no see,” a man’s voice said. It must have been Vince.
Janey extended her hand, and suddenly there was a zapping noise. The air smelled like electricity, and Sydney stepped forward to catch her friend as she fell backward, unconscious.

“What the hell?” Sydney looked out the door just in time to see a coat vanishing around the corner and out of view. She heard foot-steps from inside a van with Gothmog’s logo on the side. They sounded heavy. Like they were wearing two hundred pound backpacks, or something. But something about them was familiar, and it drew a sigh. “The chew-toys again,” Sydney mumbled.

The chew-toys, as she unaffectionately called them, had tried to kidnap Ahria only a few days ago. They had resulted in a smear-campaign on Sydney, calling her a disturbed child-star pulling a publicity stunt, which was absurd on more levels than one, not least of which because she had left showbiz altogether in order to get out of the spotlight and avoid any kind of attention. It had also caused Janey plenty of headache, since she had heroically turned into an elephant to fight off the rubber-men, and the news was now obsessed with the identity of the Elephant Girl, which they didn’t know.

The rubber-men moved toward the door, and Sydney realized she was going to have to fight. Her mind clicked into punchy-mode, and she forgot she had an eight shot revolver, a replica of a gun used in one of Ahria’s movies which Sydney had done the stunts for, in a shoulder holster. Three of the ten opponents grabbed the door to open it further, since it had began to drift closed, and Sydney grabbed the horizontal bar to try and pull it shut. It wasn’t going to work. She was stronger than the average person, even some people who were into weight-lifting couldn’t outdo her, but she wasn’t stronger than three of those things.

Quickly reversing her strategy, Sydney thought that perhaps she could use the door to knock these things over, thus getting them to let go. So she kicked the door with all her might. It flew open, sending one rubber-man tumbling, but the other two hung on. She then punched one of the rubber-man’s fingers, trying to knock them away from the door. The rubber-man proved to be just as weird as they seemed, fingers squishing almost pancake flat, but showing no sign of damage.

“Ew,” Sydney mumbled. She had been on all sorts of movie sets, so this wasn’t as unnerving to her as it may have been to most people. Add to that the fact that she was almost never too surprised to simply move on, and it was only a very minor distraction to realize that these things didn’t have bones. “Hey! Someone just got Tazed back here!” she shouted over her shoulder, figuring that when someone came running it would be plenty obvious that the men trying to pry the door open were the offenders here. If she wasn’t strong enough to hold the door closed on her own, she’d get help.

One of the rubber-men, the one who had been knocked down, grabbed her right leg. She finally remembered her gun and decided now was as good a time as any. She drew it and placed the barrel right against the rubber-man’s head before pulling the trigger. A contact shot was devastating, and if these things were destroy-able, that ought to do it. Anyone else would have had to worry about hitting their own foot shooting straight down like that, but Sydney was indestructible. The bullet would just bounce off her foot. Granted, it might force her to buy a new pair of shoes, but that was the last thought in her mind during a fight.

The gun went off with a sound louder than a normal forty five, the result of Sydney custom loading her rounds with a higher power than normal. But despite having prepared herself for weird pink rubber-goop, or some horror-movie-esque blood-bag shenanigans, what she got actually resulted in a raised eyebrow. What she got was a whole lot of nothing. The bullet had pushed straight down, and the expanding gasses behind it went into the rubber-man’s head, but instead of exploding it like a melon hit with a sledgehammer, it caused a bit of pink rubber to spit out the thing’s chin, hitting the ground with a remarkably gummy-worm like appearance, even if it was pink, rather than fun rainbow colors.

“Oi!” Sydney complained, putting another bullet into the irritating creature holding her leg, and getting the same result. “Fine then, old fashioned it is!” She tossed the gun aside, ensuring that the opponents wouldn’t get it. They were rather stupid, it would seem, but she didn’t want to risk learning weather they could use weapons or not.

Evaluating her situation as quickly as possible, Sydney decided a new goal. Closing the door would still be ideal, but with her leg and a rubber-man attached to it both in the way, it didn’t seem likely. So instead she should make sure they couldn’t get in. To that end she grabbed the handle of the door, pushing it outward to open it further before jerking it back in, finally managing to break the grip of the two rubber men holding it. She saw the rest crowding behind and gave a sigh. There was only one way to keep them from grabbing the door again. Move the door.

Sydney pulled the door closed as hard and fast as she could, slamming it into the rubber-man holding her leg. When it did nothing she began to get truly irritated, and so repeated the motion. And repeated it again. And again. “Get! Off! My! Damn! Leg! Stupid! Chew-toy!” she shouted between hits. Each one would have probably hospitalized any normal creature, even the toughest. But the rubber-men were clearly not normal, nor did they have any bones to speak of, so nothing was happening to it. As she continued to slam the door on it it crawled into the room, the final slam causing the door to hit Sydney’s leg instead of the opponent. Thanks to her indestructibility, Sydney only rolled her eyes.

“Woah, what!” Janey sat up as she came to. She looked around herself in confusion for a second, and noticing only the rubber-man and her friend, leaped into action. She transformed into a lion and pounced, grabbing the chew-toy-head of the rubber-man between crushing jaws. It made a sad squeaking noise, but the rubber-man didn’t stop. He began to flail uselessly.

Sydney laughed at the pathetic squeaking noise as she turned her back to the doors and hooked her arms down into each of the horizontal handles, using herself as a door-bar. If the rubber-men got in now, it would mean they literally ripped the heavy metal doors off their hinges. Sydney was literally unbreakable, so it was pretty certain no one was getting in through it as long as she was there.

“What the hell!” the busboy shouted as he came into the room. All things considered, even Sydney had to admit it was a strange scene. One woman using herself as a door-bar while the door shook violently. A lion attacking some man who was flailing against it, still upright. And a big ol’ revolver on the floor. The man picked up the gun.

“Wait, the lion is my friend!” Sydney shouted. “The lion is my friend!” she repeated.

“W-What!” The busboy stood for a second, gun pointed at the lion in confusion. His expression screamed words like a voice never could, such as why the fuck is a lion mauling a guy okay right now?

Janey realized the danger she was in and transformed into a mouse, disappearing toward a corner.

“What!” the busboy shouted even louder. “What the hell!”

Sydney sighed as the rubber-man, once again free to do as it liked, turned to her and stepped forward. “I told you!” she began. The first fist-fall bounced her head off the door and back into the rubber knuckles. It was annoying, because of the movement, but it was impossible for it to actually harm her.

“The lion!” she said before the second hit. “Is!” Punch. “My!” Punch. “Friend!”

“Holy shit!” The busboy shouted. With every hit, Sydney’s head bounced off the heavy door with a loud thunk.

His mind was fast, if not particularly flexible, and it allowed him to react quickly. Sydney was almost kneeling, using her arms as a door-bar, and so the standing rubber-man had his torso in a position where through-shots wouldn’t hit Sydney. The busboy pulled the trigger six times, using the remaining six shots of the two-of-a-kind revolver within only a few seconds. He let out a confused and frightened shout as he realized not one bullet had even left a hole, despite all hitting home.

Of course, he may not have known they all hit home, but Sydney had to be mildly impressed as she had been able to hear every last bullet ping against the door above her head. Between punches she even had just enough time to verify that all the shots had been within six inches of each-other. Granted this was at less than three meters, but that was still impressive in a stressful situation like this one. Stressful for the busboy, not for her. She was just mildly irritated that she couldn’t punch this rubber-man back.

Suddenly there was a shout as a large man in a suit came charging into the room, ramming his shoulder into the rubber-man and causing it to squish between himself and Sydney, slamming into the doors with such force that they bent with a loud slamming, creaking noise. Sydney, of course, was not hurt in the least. But she still let out a little “oof.”

The new arrival and the rubber man both bounced away onto the floor, and Janey, noticing the gun was out of bullets and she was mostly safe, turned from mouse to hippo. She had hidden under an amp, which stayed on her back as she transformed into a larger animal, sliding off onto the floor with a crash only when she started to move. She trotted over and opened her monstrous maw, clamping it down on the rubber-man such that only the arms and legs were sticking out.

If the lion’s bite had caused a sad squeak, the hippo’s caused more of a depressing squishing and whoopee-cushion noise. The pounding on the door quickly stopped, and the rubber-man in the hippo’s jaw mostly gave up. There was nothing it could have done in that position.

“Thank you,” Sydney said to the two who had appeared during the altercation. She could hardly call it a fight in her mind, it had been too ridiculous for that description. “I’m Sydney, by the way,” she introduced herself to the man who had come charging in.

“Nice to meet you,” he said, offering a hand for a handshake which Sydney accepted, still acting as a door-bar at the same time.

“I can lock the door,” the busboy said, gesturing for Sydney to stand aside.
“Well… That was weird.” Sydney picked up her gun and holstered it. She would have to stay for the police report, since she was the owner of the gun which had gone off eight times, but Janey didn’t need her identity revealed. Thus, Sydney gave her friend a nod. “You can just. Like. Head out. If you like.”

Janey nodded back, still in hippo form, then opened her mouth and dropped the finally motionless rubber-man before turning into a mouse again and scuttling away.

“What the hell just happened,” the busboy mumbled, holding his head.

“A hippo bit a human-shaped chew toy,” Sydney explained, feeling somehow like that description of the final events of the altercation was not particularly helpful.

Next: An origin story!

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