Madoka was back in the inhibitor room, and
was joined by Sayaka. They had noticed Sniper's camcorder still attached by a black cord to the primary inhibitor, and watched the video that was left on the viewscreen. The two
girls noticed that once Sniper had started filming, his camcorder had caught a glimpse of someone who seemed to show some disdain on her face as she dropped the Eyelander sword to
the ground before the camera panned over to the striped sword.
Sayaka said, "What's her deal, anyway? She really pisses me off."
"I wonder," asked Madoka, "is she really a bad person?"
The signal scrambled on the inhibitor. A retro racetrack appeared on the viewscreen. There were hills in the distance under an orange sky,
and the track was surrounded by an area of dirt with right-angle boundaries made of flat squares of vibrant colors. Sniper had just gotten off his go-kart after crossing the
finish line, while Scout had stopped his kart at the round curve just before it.
"What the--?" said Scout. "Could've sworn I had that...."
Sniper laughed in joy and said, "Bloody brilliant."
Just then, the voice of another spacesuit-wearing protester was heard. "Uhhhhh, yeah?" he jeered. "Good for you."
As this signal scramble sent the racetrack briefly into a corrupt destabilization, one of Sniper's wheels suddenly popped off of Sniper's
kart. At that moment, another song played, but this time it blared out loud across the racetrack.
My tire went thump, thump, thump
Across the street, street, street
Suddenly, all four of Scout's wheels popped off of his kart.
"Aah!" yelped Scout in surprise.
The song continued to play out loud.
Better fix that tire, right away, ay, ay, ay, ay
"What?" yelled Sayaka. She gently pushed Madoka aside and slapped her hand on the inhibitor's frontal column.
A short scramble burst turned the viewscreen black and prompted a song fragment to play through the white music box with short-corded
earphones that lay beside the destroyed Inhibitor 2.
In the Bahamas
In his pajamas
Sayaka slapped the inhibitor again.
Bananas in pajamas
Are coming down the stairs
Ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring
Pew pew POW!
The three bright flashes of an incoming time-screw teleport threw something into the area behind Madoka and Sayaka. Madoka turned around, and
saw an early-2000s gray cell phone attached to a banana with rubber bands and wires. It was literally a "bananaphone".
"Oh come on," said Madoka brightly. "You can't be serious. You're joking, right?"
Sayaka looked back at the inhibitor's screen and slapped the machine once more.
I like-a the way that you boppity-bop with your mouth
Two men appeared on the viewscreen. One of them, nicknamed Italy, had short brown hair with a curl on the left side of his head and wore a
blue military uniform. The other, named Natsu, had short spiky pink hair and a red bird-like symbol near his right shoulder, and appeared to be wearing a long black waistcoat and
a cross-patterned white scarf. Italy seemed to be somewhat surprised, while Natsu shook his head in disbelief for a moment before he recovered.
"Thanks, but I'll be just fine," said Natsu confidently.
The signals scrambled and displayed a vibrant rainbow racetrack floating in space. The racetrack was made of the same vibrant colored blocks
as the ones that formed the other track's boundary. Two young girls, one shorter than the other, were having a conversation. The short girl, Vanellope von Schweetz, stood near the
checkered finish line of the rainbow track. Vanellope had black hair in a ponytail and tiny candy pieces littered in her hair, and wore a green hoodie and a brown paper-cup-like
skirt. She held a palm-sized cherry with a stem in her right hand.
The taller girl, Lumina, sat on the edge of the track next to Vanellope, while dangling her legs playfully. Lumina had pink hair tied into a
ponytail that lay against her left shoulder, and wore a black Gothic-style dress with a pendant hanging from her collar.
"Well, how come you're not in your own game?" asked Vanellope.
"If you ask me," replied Lumina, "you're the one who doesn't belong."
"Yeah, I'm from the Sugar Rush game."
Out of the corner of her eye, Vanellope noticed Scout's wheel-less go-kart slide quickly past them and fall off the edge of the rainbow
Pew pew POW!
A teleport with three bright flashes quickly returned the cart near the edge it had fallen off. However, it had also brought the
spacesuit-wearing protester who had just taunted Engineer.
"Stupid teleports!" spoke the protester. "I told the mistress boss not to fish them out of the aeiou!" He noticed Vanellope and Lumina,
turned toward them, and began to shout his disdain. "And you! You girls are too bratty to be tolerated, ever!"
Lumina turned her head slightly and began to frown. But Vanellope already dealt with being targeted by verbal insults back when she was a
disconnected glitch, so she was not fazed by the spacesuit man one bit. In a pixelated flash, Vanellope glitch-teleported on top of the man's helmet while still holding her
"Hello!" said Vanellope with a smirk. She raised her hand, causing the stem to light up like a fuse, and flung the cherry down at the
spacesuit man's feet.
The cherry was actually a cherry bomb, an item from Vanellope's racing game, Sugar Rush. It set off a quick flash that threw the
protester off the track with an artificial yell. Vanellope then appeared a short distance away from the explosion's area and turned around.
"Ha-ha!" cheered Vanellope as she raised her fist to the air.
A time-screw teleport far below the floating rainbow track sent the falling protester away. Lumina looked over the edge, and then turned
"It's not surprising, though," Lumina said with a slight frown.
A sudden world pixelation caused Vanellope to quickly assume a teenager's body, which was taller than the body she had been in moments
before. It was a side effect of game-jumping into a world connected to inhibitor machines that had been tampered with. Vanellope looked down at her outfit.
"Whoa, this look's a winner," said Vanellope cheerfully, before breaking into a giggle.
Lumina didn't understand why Vanellope seemed proud of looking like a teenage version of her short self. "Come on, don't you get it?" asked
Lumina. "I know you haven't changed."
"Aww, what are you, nuts?" replied Vanellope with a shrug. She took a quick look around for anyone else at the rainbow track, but saw no one
else. Then, Vanellope asked Lumina, "Hey, do you think you could do my hair like yours? Because yours is beauteous."
Lumina couldn't help but stifle a giggle with her hand to her mouth.
Chapter 3 >