"There it is!"
The senshi were gathered, fully transformed, outside the drawbridge of the castle that just happened to be conveniently located in the woods. But now that they had found the castle they didn't know exactly what to do. It's not like they could just go up and knock on the drawbridge.
"Hey! Open up! We want our cow!" Valerie yelled, pounding on the drawbridge.
"She doesn't understand the meaning of subtlety, does she?" Julie rolled her eyes.
"Well, it got their attention. Look!" Mallory waved to the people who had poked their heads over the high wall to see what was causing the commotion. "Down here!"
"Allo!" One of the castle's guards yelled down. "Who is eet?"
"It is Sailor Moo, and these are my fellow Senshi. There are many so I won't bother naming them all." Julie yelled back. "Whose castle is this?"
"This is the castle of my master, Guy de Schmith."
Julie made a face. "Okay. Well, will you tell your master that we are searching for a certain cow? It's white. Like milk."
"Uh, no. We do not have cows, you see." The castle guard turned to his fellow guard. "I told her we do not have one," he whispered. The other guard snickered.
"Are you quite sure you don't have one? May we come up and look?"
"Of course not!" The guard spat back. "You are American types-a!"
"Well, what are you, then?"
"I'm French! Why do you think I have this outrageous accent, you silly senshi?!"
"He's French," Valerie muttered. Evil bastards. "We should hurt them."
"If you're French, what are you doing in America?" Julie asked, ignoring Valerie's comment.
"None of your business!"
Julie was starting to get impatient. "If you do not assist us, we shall simply have to take your castle by force!"
"You do not frighten us, senshi pig-dogs! I don't want to talk to you anymore, you empty headed animal food trough wiper! I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!"
Mallory turned to Valerie. "Wait, are they talking about Niki?"
"No," Valerie replied. "Niki's mother's a hunchback, her father's a drunkard, her brother's a dwarf and her sister's a whore."
"Oh, right." Mallory thought about Niki's family for a moment. "I thought she didn't have a sister."
Meanwhile, the guard was still yelling at Julie. "Now, go away!" he commanded. "Or I shall taunt you a second time-a!"
"You know what," Julie said. "I've been more than reasonable. But now I'm pissed." She stood and put her hands on her hips. "Come, fellow senshi, we storm the castle!"
"Quickly!" The senshi heard the guard yell to his fellow guards. "Fetchez la vache!"
"Fetch the what?" Bob asked.
But before another word was spoken, from over the French castle wall flew a huge white cow. The senshi ran and leapt for cover, but one was a bit too slow. The cow came crashing to the ground.
It landed on Bob. And there was much rejoicing. (YEY!)
"Yey! We have the cow as white as milk!" Valerie clapped her hands. "And Bob's dead too! Oh joy!"
"I am not dead!" Bob yelled, her voice muffled because she was still underneath the cow. "I am, however, in a lot of pain. Will someone get it off me?"
"No! Don't do it!" Valerie screamed in protest.
"We can't just leave her there," Vanessa said as she and Special K tried to pull the cow off Bob. "Besides," she added in a whisper. "Just think of the poor cow's feelings, having to land uncomfortably on such an evil person."
"I see your point."
After Vanessa and Special K (with the help of Alexia and Valerie) successfully managed to get the cow off Bob, Mallory laid the hair as yellow as corn, the cape as red as blood, and the slipper as pure as gold on the ground.
"Hurry, Mallory!" Julie said. "Feed the talismans to the cow!"
One by one, Mallory began shoving the talismans into the cow's mouth. This was not an easy task. First the cape took several minutes to be completely devoured, and then the cow nearly choked on the slipper.
Finally, all that was left was the hair. The second the hair touched the cow's lips, its mouth began to foam, its eyes rolled back, and then the cow fell over. It was dead.
"Oh no!" Mallory panicked. "What do we do? This is bad!"
"It died?" Vanessa squinted at the cow that was on its back with its four legs sticking straight up in the air and its tongue hanging out of its mouth. "Was it supposed to die?"
"It was not supposed to die."
The senshi turned in surprise at the familiar voice and saw a girl wearing a purple senshi outfit and carrying a large, ornate staff-like thing.
"I know you!" Valerie said. "You're the girl I saw before AND you're Sailor Chocolate! I thought your voice sounded mystical and disembodied!
"Yes, I am Chocolate," she replied. "And yes, I am the Senshi of Time, and no I can not actually tell time, so drop it." She peered down at the cow. "This creature died because one of the talismans you fed it was impure."
"Impure . . . you mean, not real?"
"Exactly, Sailor Unico. I believe it was the hair."
"Ah ha!" Valerie pointed an accusing finger at Bob. "I knew you were too stupid to be a natural blonde! You use bleach!" DUM DUM DUM.
For several minutes while the sane senshi were trying to figure out what to do with the cow, Valerie was chasing Bob, attempting to beat her over the head with her improvised stick (Chocolate's staff). When Bob finally collapsed from exhaustion, just as Valerie was about to give her a good whack, Chocolate rescued her stolen staff.
"Let me get this straight," Vanessa said, after an agreement on how to go about getting the pail with the original cow dead was reached. "I'll transform into a white cow, swallow a piece of Special K's hair because it's not bleached, and then the pail will appear?"
Julie shrugged. "Well, if it doesn't, we're screwed."
"Do I have to ingest any of the other talismans?"
Chocolate shook her head. "Don't think so. I could be wrong."
"Regardless of what happens," Alexia said. "We appreciate your help, Chocolate. By the way, do you have another name?"
"While I am in your world posing as a student, you may call me Eva."
Vanessa transformed. "Okay," the cow said. "Feed me!"
Mallory shoved the hair into Vanessa the cow's mouth. Everyone watched in total silence as Vanessa chewed and swallowed. There was a long pause. And then, before their very eyes, the original cow transformed into a large silver milk pail.
"Ta da!" Vanessa the human said excitedly while the others remained too stunned to speak. "We did it! The Holy Milk Pail has come!"
Valerie's eyes lit up as she reached for the pail. "Ohhh! Shiny!"
"Don't touch it!" Julie pushed Valerie away from the pail and picked it up. It was heavier than she expected it to be and she almost dropped it. "This pail is mine and unless I say so, no one touches it. Do I make myself clear?" The other senshi nodded.
Bob started to mutter something about Julie being a selfish b*tch but when she saw the threatening glares from the other senshi she closed her mouth and said nothing.
"Well," Julie said brightly, "now that we've got the pail, we should continue on our journey to save Niki."
Eva stepped forward and held out a jeweled armband. "Before we go, put this on," she said. "That way you won't have to carry that heavy thing around all the time."
Julie shot the armband a suspicious look. "What's it do?"
"When you wear it, the pail will be kept inside. When it's needed during battle, the pail will magically appear again. As long as you wear the armband, the pail will be safe."
"If you say so." Reluctantly, Julie took the armband from Eva and slipped it on her wrist. The jeweled part that covered her hand lit up suddenly, and with a whoosh, the pail was sucked into the glowing armband. "Cool."
Valerie's eyes lit up as she reached for Julie's armband. "Ohhh! Glowy!"
Julie slapped Valerie's hand aside. "No touch! Same rules as pail apply." Sighing, Valerie turned her attention to Eva and a plan formed in that sneaky little mind of hers.
"Aren't you just so smart!" Valerie gushed, giving Eva a friendly punch. "We're so lucky to have you here! I mean, we would be just completely lost without you to guide us and to give us talismans and glowing armbands."
Eva rubbed her shoulder where a bruise was already starting to form thanks to Valerie's friendly punch. "Thanks . . . I think." When she saw Valerie grinning in a stupid and eager sort of way, she rolled her eyes. "Okay, what do you want?"
"Let me borrow your stick."
"No," Eva replied quickly. "And it's not a stick, it's a staff, thank you very much."
"But I really need it!"
"To give Bob a good hard whack."
"I am not going to lend you my staff so you can use it in a pointless act of violence."
"But it's not pointless!" Valerie whined. "Come on! She's been asking for it all day! If I can't hit her, then you should! It'll be fun, I promise."
"No, and that's final!" Eva sighed. "If I ever resort to using this staff to hit people over the head, believe me, you're gonna be the one on the receiving end."
Not long after continuing their quest, the senshi, (even after discovering the French castle), were shocked when they came across a deep ravine, right smack in the middle of the woods. A single wooden bridge stretched thirty feet across the gorge. On the other side of the crevasse stood a mysterious man.
"I don't get it," Vanessa said, "how can there be a ravine here? I mean, isn't Loserville only, like, ten feet above sea level? It doesn't make any sense."
"Neither did the French castle," Special K pointed out. "Maybe we've transported into another dimension. With all these random portals popping up, we could have easily walked through one without even realizing it."
Eva shook her head. "We haven't transported into another dimension. Even in your world I am able to feel the time change when we go through portals. That ravine has always been here." She shrugged. "I guess nobody noticed."
"Look!" Julie said, pointing to the mysterious man standing on the other side of the crevasse. "There's the old man from scene twenty-four!"
"No!" Mallory said, "it's Erick the deranged wizard!"
"Well, then what's he doing here?"
"He is the keeper of the Bridge of Death," Mallory explained. "He asks each traveler five questions--"
"Three questions," Valerie corrected.
"Three questions," Mallory continued. "He who answers the five questions--"
"Three questions may cross in safety."
"What if you get a question wrong?" Bob asked.
"Then you are cast into the Gorge of Eternal Peril."
Julie frowned. "Well, who's going to answer the questions?"
"Hey, B*tch," Valerie said, referring to Bob. "Why don't you go? That way, when you die, we can all rejoice."
"I've got a better idea," Bob said, glaring at Valerie. "Why doesn't Alexia go? After all, being from the future, she probably knows way more than we do."
Alexia nodded. "Yes, I will go." While the others held their breath in anticipation and prayed for her safe crossing, she approached the bridge keeper. They prayed not because they were worried about her but because they were worried about themselves. If she couldn't answer the questions, they were doomed.
"Stop!" the bridge keeper cried. "Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see."
"Ask me the questions, bridge keeper," Alexia said. "I am not afraid."
"What . . . is your name?"
"My name is Alexia. Sometimes it's Alex."
"What . . . is your quest?"
"To use the Holy Milk Pail to destroy the great Pharaoh 130."
"What . . . is your favourite colour?"
Erick stepped aside so Alexia could pass. "Right. Off you go."
Alexia looked surprise as she crossed the bridge in safety. "Oh, thank you. Thank you very much!"
From the other side of the Gorge of Eternal Peril, the senshi cheered.
"That's easy!" Bob said as she walked up to the bridge keeper. "Ask me the questions, bridge keeper. I am not afraid."
"What . . . is your name?"
"My name is Bob." The bridge keeper snickered. Bob glared.
"What . . . is your quest?"
"To use the Holy Milk Pail to destroy the great Pharaoh 130."
"What . . . is the colour of your skirt?"
"Oh, come on!" Valerie groaned. "That's way too easy. Ask her a harder one."
Bob looked down and stared at her bright orange skirt, a confused look on her face. She considered the possible answers for a long moment. "Um . . . purple?"
"Wrong!" the bridge keeper yelled. Bob's eyes widened in fear as an invisible force hauled her from the bridge and tossed her over the side. The senshi watched as she fell, screaming, into the gorge and vanished from view.
And there was much rejoicing. (YEY!)
"Wow, I can't believe she's gone," Valerie said as she and the other senshi peered over the side of the crevasse where Bob had fallen to her death. "I mean, it's like this great shadow hanging over me has lifted. I feel happy. I feel free!"
"We can't rejoice yet," Julie reminded her. "We still have to get past the bridge keeper."
Mallory nodded in agreement. "Julie's right, only we can't afford to lose any one else. We can't play by his rules anymore. We have to outsmart the bridge keeper at his own game. And I think I know what to do."
Breathing deeply, Mallory approached the bridge keeper.
"Stop!" he cried. "Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see."
"Ask me the questions, bridge keeper. I am not afraid."
"What . . . is your name?"
"My name is Mallory Leigh."
"What . . . is your quest?"
"To use the Holy Milk Pail to destroy the great Pharaoh 130."
"What . . . is the colour of a giraffe's tongue?"
"Damn! So you've seen that episode of Salute Your Shorts too, hm?" The bridge keeper stepped aside. "Very well, you may pass."
"Not so fast," Mallory said. "I have a question for you."
"Oh? Well, what is it?"
"Is a zebra black with white stripes or white with black stripes?"
Erick the deranged wizard frowned. "I don't know that!" As soon as the words were out of his mouth, he was tossed head first into the Gorge of Eternal Peril. The bridge was now open for all to pass.
"Good thinking! There was no way he could have answered that question since absolutely no one knows for sure," Julie said as she congratulated Mallory on her victory. "I couldn't have done it better myself. Well, actually, I could have, but you did just fine."
"Wow, Mal!" Valerie gushed. "You're so smart! You must be--"
"I don't have a stick or a staff," Mallory said, cutting her off. "And besides, Bob's dead. So don't bother."
"Oh, right. Damn."
Not long after once again continuing their quest, the senshi came upon a clearing in the woods. In the middle of the clearing, they noticed a shining blue line suspended several feet off the ground, stretching for two yards in the air.
Special K approached the floating line. She looked at it closely. It was just a line. It appeared to have no purpose. Pointing it out, she turned to the others. "It's just a line. It appears to have no purpose. " Of course, everyone else already knew that.
"No, wait!" Mallory snapped her fingers as a realization dawned on her. "It's not just a line, it's really the two-dimensional entrance to the B*tches' super, secret, underground laboratory!" When everyone else stared dumbly at her, she shrugged. "Right?"
"What on earth are you talking about?" a bewildered Julie asked.
"I saw this on TV once!" Mallory said as she began climbing a small rock pile near the floating line. "You have to look at the entrance from above in order to see more than just a line," she explained. Now several feet above the line, she leaned over to get a good look at it. "You see? It's --" She frowned. "Just a line." Mallory climbed back down. "Never mind, I was only kidding."
Before Julie could insult Mallory by informing her that she had just done a very Niki-ish thing, a movement in the bushes outlying the field caught her eye. Someone was hiding in them, watching the senshi. She turned Valerie. "Are we all accounted for?"
"Yep," she replied. "We're all here except for Niki who's kidnaped, and Bob who's dead." She chuckled. "Bob's dead, got to love the sound of that."
"I thought so." We have a spy, do we? Well, I'll just have to show them! Julie thought as she walked slowly towards the bushes, trying to make it look like she was unaware of the peeping-tom's presence.
The bushes stirred slightly as though someone were trying to back out of them, without drawing the attention of the senshi. You won't get away that easily! "Hold it right there!" Julie, yelled, pointing to the hidden intruder. "Show yourself!"
Obediently, a head, followed shortly by a neck, upper torso, and arms, rose from the bushes. The senshi, not wanting to give the spy a chance to run away, quickly formed a circle around their new prisoner of war, blocking any means of escape.
"Mrs. Baysh!" Mallory yelled in surprise (and fear) when the familiar (and evil) figure of the teacher stepped forth from behind the bushes. "Aha! I knew you were a B*tch!"
"A b*tch! A b*tch! We've found a b*tch!" Valerie chanted happily, clapping her hands together. "Oh boy! Let's kill her!"
"I am not a b*tch!" Mrs. Baysh protested. Yeah. Right.
"How do you know she's a b*tch?" Julie asked. Being the kind-hearted soul she was, she didn't want to attack the woman if she was only an innocent bystander. Yeah. Right.
"She looks like one!" Mallory yelled.
Julie crossed her arms menacingly and took a good look at the teacher. Nodding, she turned to the others. "Tell me, what do we do with B*tches?"
"Burn them!" Valerie yelled. "Burn them!" The others stared at her. She grinned sheepishly. "Oh right, we haven't actually burned any of them yet. Sorry, just got a bit carried away."
"You know what?" Julie said. "If she is a b*tch, I'm thinking that she deserves a more painful death. I mean, burning her alive just seems too humane."
"Oh! I know! Build a bridge out of her!" Eva suggested. Even Valerie shot Eva a funny look. She shrugged. "Or not."
Vanessa handed Julie a duck. "Here is a duck. Use this duck."
"For the inhumane death of course. Duh."
Julie tossed the duck aside. "Right, anyway, as I was saying." She turned back to the B*tch but was surprised to see that she had vanished. "Oh, damn! We scared her off! And I didn't even have a chance to torture her for information! That is so not fair."
"She couldn't have gone far in such a short while," Special K mused. "I suggest you gather together a search party and go looking for her."
"Right. Mallory, Valerie, come with me," Julie commanded. And they were off.
Meanwhile, in the B*tches' super, secret, underground laboratory, Niki was beginning to realize that being a Messiah had its advantages.
"So, you're saying I can tell you to do anything I want, and you'd do it?" Niki repeated for what seemed like the hundredth time. She wanted to make sure that what she heard was true. I could have a lot of fun with this, she thought to herself.
"That is right," Caroline said. "After all, you are the Messiah of Sleep. Myself and the other B*tches are merely your humble servants. Whatever you wish, we will gladly do, in your so holy name." She bowed.
Niki grinned. "So, anything I want?"
"Of course." Caroline raised an eyebrow. "Did you have anything particular in mind for myself and your other followers?"
Niki's grin broadened into a wicked smile. "I'm thinking, song and dance number."
"I beg your pardon?" Caroline frowned. "Did you say, song and dance?"
"Don't worry! It will be fun," Niki reassured the unhappy ex-president. In her mind, an elaborate plan was already forming. Oh yes, this will be lots of fun. "I think it's time you and the others sing me praises. Fosse style."
Back in the woods, Julie went forth in search of the B*tch who had escaped accompanied by two of her least favorite ex-freshmen. She was beginning to regret having brought them along.
Valerie, who was getting tired of walking in silence, decided it was time to sing a song. She was quite proud of the song because she had made it up herself. (Actually, she had stolen it from a well-known Monty Python comedy and had only changed up the words a bit). Here's how it goes.
"Bravely bold Julie walked forth to find the B*tch.
She was not afraid to die, O brave Julie.
She was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways,
Brave, brave, brave, brave, Julie!
She was not in the least bit scared to be mashed into a pulp,
Or to have her eyes gorged out and her elbows broken,
To have her kneecaps split and her body burned away
And her limbs all hacked and mangled, brave Julie!
Her head smashed in and her heart cut out
And her liver removed and her bowels unplugged
And her nostrils raped and her bottom burned off
"That is quite enough!" Julie yelled in annoyance, cutting short Valerie's song. "Really! I don't see how anyone else could be as obnoxious as you!"
"Well, there is Bob," Mallory reminded Julie in Valerie's defense.
"That's true. Let me rephrase that." She cleared her throat. "Really! I don't see how anyone else, except Bob, could be as obnoxious as you!" She stormed off.
Valerie shrugged innocently. "What? It was just a song."
"Yes, but perhaps you might want to reconsider some of the more . . . graphicverses," Mallory suggested.
"Guys! Guys!" Julie yelled excitedly, running back to where the other two stood. "Guess what!" Without waiting for them to reply (because she feared the strange and pointless things they just might guess), Julie continued. "I've found the entrance to the super, secret, underground laboratory!"
"Here?" Mallory said doubtfully. "In the woods? In Loserville? Not far from a French castle?" She paused. "Wait a minute! Isn't it supposed to be in Nakodish?"
"Well, yes, but, um, we won't worry about that. Come!" Julie said. "We must find the other senshi and bring them to the entrance to the B*tches super, secret, underground laboratory, that is in the woods of Loserville, not far from a French castle."
And that is how it came to pass that the Sailor Senshi, minus Niki and Bob, but accompanied by a rather fine white cow (which they had somehow managed to revive between it dying and Julie finding the entrance to the super, secret, underground laboratory), found themselves staring up at a huge door that loomed before them.
"So, what do we do now?" Vanessa asked. "I scouted out the place and everything looks okay. Are we going to go in?"
"Eventually, but we can't all go through the window," Valerie said. "It's not too small for a cat to squeeze through, but it'd probably be too small for us. Especially Bob." She sighed. "Oh right, I keep forgetting. Making fun of her just isn't as fun when she's dead."
Special K studied the door closely. "It opens from the inside out so there's no way we could force our way in."
"Do you think it requires a password?" Eva suggested.
"Oh! Oh! I know!" Mallory jumped up. "What's the elvish word for 'friend'?"
"Because that's the password! Duh."
Valerie rolled her eyes. "Mal, that was in a book. This is real life. Stop being moronic. You're starting to sound like Niki. Or Bob. Damn."
"I've had enough of the both of you!" Julie yelled. "Now, I'm gonna say it once and I don't want to have to say it again. Valerie, stop insulting people. Mallory, stop reading."
Alexia, who hadn't said anything in a while, decided to speak up. "If there is a password, it's either a word or a phrase that has some sort of meaning to Niki. Like something she likes or would normally say."
"That's easy," Special K said. "Mr. Walrus." Nothing happened.
"Pooky? Drosselmeyer? Bullet?" Vanessa suggested, one after the other. There was no response.
"Sleeping?" Eva said.
"Eating?" Julie wondered.
"God (the sweatshirt)?" Alexia guessed.
"Mrs. Deatrich?" Valerie chuckled. "Ha ha. Only kidding."
One after another, the senshi named all of the many things Niki was obsessed with in some way, but still the doors remained shut. Until--
Mallory snapped her fingers. "Of course! Why didn't I see this earlier?" She stood before the great door. "Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp!"
The doors opened.
"Are we ready?" Niki asked the dozen people who stood before her in various starting positions. Each person was wearing white gloves and a bowler hat. "When I do the countdown, you start. Okay?" They nodded. "And a 5, 6, 7, 8--"
"We're the ones who serve Niki.
We dance whene'er we're icky.
We do routines and chorus scenes.
With footwork very tricky.
We dine well here in Nakodish.
We eat ham and jam and rotten fish.
We're the ones who serve Niki.
Our shows are formidable.
But many times we're given rhymes
That are quite unsingable.
We're Fosse mad in Nakodish.
To live in Steamboat's what we wish.
In war we're tough and able,
Between our quests we sequin vests
And impersonate Clark Gable.
It's a busy life in Nakodish.
I like to watch the satellite dish."
The music ended. Niki clapped her hands with delight. "Wonderful! Outstanding! Tony winning material! Now, once more from the top."
"Well, on second thought," Valerie said as the far off sounds of the attempted musical reached her ears through the open doorway. "Let's not go to the super, secret, underground laboratory. It is a silly place."
"No!" Julie said. "I'm the leader, and what I say goes. We will rescue Niki from the clutches of Caroline St. Ramen or die trying. Or, if Niki dies, then we'll just go home. Either way, we are NOT turning back now. We are going through that door and we are going to face what our friend has become!"
And so, they did.