The Rime of the Osakan Space Cadet

Book 4: Welcome to Plum

A/N: This was the second half of Book 2: Stars and Dunes. Now Osaka finds herself in a planet with no water and named after a fruit.

The desert lit up like a like a Christmas tree as a mysterious multicolored ball of light flashed and then waned almost instantly. In its place stood a frail figure staring out in befuddlement after a few coughing fits and a few pats to rid of the sand.

-Take Me to Heaven by Laibach plays-

Osaka found herself in a large sandy place. "Hey, Mini-Chiyo, is this a beach...?"

"I don't think we're in a beach, Miss Osaka." Chiyo was unsure of what they landed and or what to do next. "I think we're in a desert."

"Oh shoot, ah think we need to find some shelte'h o' we' crisps," Osaka lamented. She looked around to see if there was anything leading back to civilization. "Ol' ah seeh are sand everywhere except for some rocks that look real far away."

"What do we do now? We can't reach those rocks or will die of thirst." Mini-Chiyo was worried about her ward might make a brash decision and looked at where she stood-

She's already walking.

"Osaka! Wait!" She flew to her wandering friend.

"So, if ah can make it to them rocky mountains," she said with enthusiasm. "Ah can find ut cave ta sit oot this desert."

"But Osaka, we don't have water." Chiyo's statement echoed loudly through the expanse for a minute.

"Oh yeah..." Then she finally realized how hot it was. "Ah no! Ah'll be uh raisin in this heat." You only noticed after what Chiyo said.

Then they heard a thump-thump-thump sound in the air. They looked up and saw a helicopter! They've been saved.

"Hey, Chiyo! Look's like wee're gonna make it after all."

Mini-Chiyo's eyes went blank. "Osaka, I don't think they're friendly."

-Take Me To Heaven stops-

And a net was dropped on them, snaring them in and lifting them up. The helicopter squawked full of static, "Lit Club," declared Swagmaster, "the target has been captured! I repeat, target has been captured. Heading back home, out. Lolololololo!"

"We gotta take her back as soon as possible, Swag," said Chris, his co-pilot. "If we Gannondorf will have our asses."

"I think he wants your ass," Swag quipped. "Lolololol!"

"I swear to God, Swag..." And on and on Chris argued.

Back below. "Yo're reet, Chiyo. Dey certainly ain't." Osaka was bouncing up and down from the bottom of the helicopter as it went higher.

"Miss Osaka, what should we do?" her tiny little flying friend asked worriedly.

Osaka tapped her chin in thought, then her eyes went wide as the solution dawned to her. "Ah fig-yer that once we stop at whatever this came frum, we might hab a chance fer escape. In de mean time, ah can think of a few ideas." She had a face beaming with confidence and eyes just as wide as usual.

"Osaka, you're not a very good thinker," she pointed out the sad fact. "You don't get it together."

Osaka went sad. "Oh yeah~."

Just as they flew over the mountains, with Osaka marveling at them oblivious to her safety when a bang was heard.

Then she suddenly felt zero gravity and found herself falling to the rocks below while the chopper flew on. "Ah no! Not agaaaaainn...!" She disappeared down the blackness of a sinkhole in a perfect three-pointer. Stephen Curry approves.

-Goron City - The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time OST plays-

"Nao this is eh completely different turn o' events," Osaka mewed glumly as she dangled in the net, hanging from a hook in the cave, surrounded by strange figures in robes looking at her from below. "Man, ah dun think ah can take anymore of this skydivin.'"

"Same here," Mini-Chiyo agreed.

The space cadet scanned the cavern with her wide eyes. "Ah reckon we're in Afghanistan."

"What makes you say that?"

"These guys ar' covered in head-to-foot in robes an' we're in uh cave where they hide from them drones." Chiyo sweatdropped. That's not a very PC thing to say, Osaka.

"Is this the chosen one?" a cheery British voice rang out and the sea of robes parted away for one robed figure to waddling towards her.

"When will this eva' stop, Chiyo-chan?"

"The flying and falling around or the chosen one thing?"

She looked at Chiyo-chan. "Can' it be both?"

Then the figure stopped below Osaka and lowered his hood. It was Michael Rosen!

"Sorry for leaving you hanging up there," he said amicably, decked out like Obi-Wan. "You had us all in a worry." Somewhere the spirit of Sayori cried at yet another bulli.

"Michael Rosen, dun implant ale-yen eggs en meh," she begged as she struggled inside. Naturally, her attempts were adorable and her subpar fitness meant she couldn't wiggle for long.

"No, no, no, no, Osaka. No one' planting anything in you," he placated. "You're among friends."

"If yeh're friends wai am ah still hangin'?"

"Oh, sorry about that." Michael then called out, "Oi, Sakaki. Be a good dearie and help her down." So Sakaki streaked out of her robes into the air and smoothly cut the duo free of the net with a swipe of her knife. She did a three-point landing while the duo landed on comfy chairs.

"Greetings, Osaka, and welcome to our sietch," said a large black dude.

"Oh, hullo, there Terry Crews," greeted Osaka. "Mah mom likes yer work."

"In the real world I'm an actor but here in the dreamworld, I'm the chieftain of this sietch. Welcome to Terryown."

Osaka regarded Rosen. "An' yew, Misteh Rosen, wat are yew doin' here?"

"I'm the guy who predicted your coming which will herald the end of Monika's rule." He clicked his tongue.

"Cannae be anyone else?" she asked uneasily.

Michael shook his head. "Nope."

"Ah was 'fraid yeh might say that." Her hopes of mistaken identity were dashed.

"But first we must make sure you are the real Osaka," said Sakaki, who Osaka noticed for the first time wore a thick skin-hugging black suit.

"Wait, there's another meh? An' ah thought you wen' oot naked, Miss Sakaki." The tall girl blushed.

"You can never be too careful these days," Michael noted. "Especially when you're up against Monika."

"Why fight her if she's that powuh-full?" She couldn't quite understand the logic of fighting against someone with Thanos's powers.

Everyone frowned. "She can do things to you that wished never happened," Rosen said glumly. "Take me, for instance, for instance. I was a respected children's book author and poet and I didn't mind the memes until-" His voice turned distorted, "- Moan-knickers shoved me-meS-aboot-me- IN-to my-HEAD! every night -in my dreams, I see you, I feel you~- and took- all -of my-coffee!"

-Goron City stops-

She was initially startled by the outburst. "Ah yeah, Medic said sum'thin aboot Monika bendin' reality." Her stomach grumbled. "Man, ah'm hungry."

"Du are not wrong, Osaka," said Medic, wearing the same black suit as Sakaki beneath his robes.

"Hiya, Medic. What brings yah here?"

"Oh, nothing wrong except zat Monika invaded Gmod World." He went very blue. "She took back ze Pen! Ve are doomed!" He fled to his room in the cave and cried like a little girl.

"Looks like yer plan to defeat her's uh bust," Osaka said gloomily. "She's gonna plant memes en every'won's heads."

Then Spy walked in, still in his custom-made suit. "I think not, Osaka. She has wider ambitions with her Pen. And it is right here on this planet she made her plans for..." His eyes squinted. "That Special Day."

The whole cave felt a chill and everyone gasped and murmured with horror what could possibly be Monika's next evil move.

"Very few whispers and barely a few clues except for a slip by her chief scientist. He mentioned something interesting, Monika is pursuing new research. He claims what they're doing in Baracus is the missing piece, a weapon to surpass Metal Gear."

More dramatic chills.

"Why dun wei ole have tea?" Osaka suggested. "Nuthin' lifts the day like tea as mah mum used ta sey."

"That's a great idea, Miss Osaka!" Chiyo chimed in agreement.

"Oh, what a lovely idea!" Michael agreed. "I'll get the chocolate cake, the plum pudding, the cherry pies, and the TINNED-PEACH-SYRUP! WHAT A DRINK!"

So everyone had delicious tea but poor Osaka couldn't get any chocolate cake but there was some delicious cherry pie.

"Ah see Mario and friends in hee're," she noted as she watched Mario harassing the staff for Spaghetti, Toad running around in a sugar rush, and Princess Peach tipsy from all the liquor she downed.

"Well, Osaka," said Michael Rosen as he served tea. "Things have been getting a little wonky as of late. Monika has conquered the Mushroom Kingdom. She has overrun it with her army of Fortniters." Then he turned on his flatscreen TV to see Battle Buses flying over the castle as Fortniters glided out of their special ed transports to fight on land.

"How she use those fellahs fer ah'n armee?" Osaka took another cuppa.

"Of course," said Michael in a mixture of suprise and annoyance. "I'm amazed how she actually manage to scrape them together into a workable fighting force."

Now we see the conduct of the battle to the beat of Joywave's Destruction. Some of the kiddies glided straight into pike squares of the Toads, impaled like the idiots they were while some Toads were playing Duck Hunt with them with their rifles from the parapets. Some slammed into the castle walls while others landed safely and began shooting up and hacking up Toads to their hearts' content, like a typical Fortnite match. Some player in a default girl model was running-and-shotgunning Toads like crazy before taking a gold coin to the face. Now several Fortnite players were building battlements and climbing structures to enter the castle, something that would have made Vauban proud if it wasn't for the fact that it was done by sugar-hyped, attention-deficit man-children.

"Fight! Launch the cannons!" The Toads fired their cannons on the siege works of the Fortnutters and onto the Battle Buses, blowing some out of the sky, some with Fortnutters still inside, crashing onto their comrades below. Now they're sandwiches, being grilled by burning bus. A Fortnutter took a cannonball to the face and now his head was rolling on the grass.

Toad pike-and-shot tried to contain the the invasion with the morons who play kiddy Quake/Bob-the-Builder simulator, but they were too fast and too random though those qualities worked against them like sprinting into spears or getting ventilated by Toad fire. Then the kiddies broke them up with rocket fire but Toads mow them down with their own weapons. And on and on the kiddy deathmatch continued. As this ass-tastic battle royale continued, a stirring speech!

"We won't let those fuckers take this and!" Captain Toad roared. "Isn't that right, Toad!"

"RIGHT!" shouted back his company, moments before they were decimated by Fortnutters. As the morons on high-fructose corn syrup and Redbull were bunnyhopping and teabagging his dead troops, Captain Toad did one badass thing to avenge his Toads.

"LAUNCH THE NUKES!" he shrieked into the radio. And a jet bomber (how did the Mushroom Kingdom have freakin' jet?) flew out of a cave and headed for Princess Peach's castle. It dropped the bomb, leveling the entire place, wiping out the castle with the Fortnutters and the entire Toad garrison.

He shut off the flatscreen and with it the Fortnite theme. Osaka blinked. "Man, that wus a mighty fine mess. No wonduh Kagura called Fortnite a kiddy game."

"Well, I call it a win since I get to see Fortnutless kids get vaporized." Rosen smiled with delight.

Princess Peach walked in, drunk on Demoman's finest Scrumpy, slurred, "Iiii'llll beee fiiinee righttt heeeerrree."

"Hiya, Princess Peach," greeted Osaka, "so-ray aboot yer house."

"Iiiii'mm hoooomelesss." She dropped her face on the ground.

"Man, she took it bahd," noted the space cadet.

"It only gets worse from there unless we put a stop to her," Crews said gravely. "We all took refuge to this planet, hoping she wouldn't find us." Meanwhile, Mario was "playing" with the spaghetti in the background.

"Turns out," Rosen added, "she has set up her base of operations here because of its resource."

"Issit oil?" she asked.

Crews shook his head. "Nah, close but no cigar."

"Ah don' smoke," she pointed out. "Smokin's bad."

"It's an expression," he related to her. "Like winning a prize."

"Ah don' see how kids are s'pose to smoke cigars, seein' that they're tew young for that."

"Anyway, it's not oil that she's after," Michael butted in. "It's spice."

Osaka felt like a trap door was sprung beneath her. She gulped. "W-wai would she need ole that spice fer?"

Michael refilled his cup. "It's what fuels her ability to cross new realities and subjugate them to her whims. Now that she's reunited with the Pen, she has even bigger plans."

"Uh, is it to give herself cancer on de digestive linin'?" She guessed as best as she could.

"No," Rosen deadpanned.

"Ta mono-polize commercial production o' spice n' get rich oot of the profits, witch she will use to fund her army?" That one made much more sense to her. And us.

"Eh, no," he deadpanned again. "You don't seem to like spice, do you?"

"Ah can't take spicy food!" she cried in response.

"Well, you're gonna have suck it up," Crews told her. "For the test is about to come."

A metal door slid upward, revealing an ominous cloaked figure. Osaka froze in terror. "H-hey, y'all. It's de Grim Reaper... Hey..." And everyone had fled and left her in the dining chamber to face the music. "Hey, that's not nice."

"Well, well, well, if it isn't the space cadet," the figure finally spoke.

She faced the figure. "Uh... hello?"

It walked in, or rather floated to the table. "I am here to test you." It was a girl's voice. "Are you the chosen one?"

"Hey, that voice sounds familiar...," she said to herself, unperturbed by the figure's vibes.

"I don't have all day, knowing you," she said impatiently. "Are you or are you not?"

Osaka didn't know whether she should runaway from the scary hooded girl or try and answer her correctly. "Every'won keeps callin' meh that."

"We shall see..." she whispered audbily.

Then it hit her! "Yomi, is that yew?"

The figure was startled. "Crap! Osaka, you ruined my moment!" she snapped, annoyed, taking off her hood.

"Ah finally got to see yah at last," she said in a smile. "Ah was wonderin' when you'll show up."

"I'm the one who gives you the test, that's what I showed up," she replied in annoyance. She then revealed a dinner trolley with a covered tray. Osaka felt unease at looking at the mystery dish. Ah wonder if it's French snails or frog legs in there...

"Ready for dinner?" Yomi asked sweetly.

"Hmm, dinner came too early since ah had tea," she pointed out.

"Shame, you won't get chocolate cake," Yomi mused, her face with mock sadness.

"Did someone say chocolate cake!?" Michael said excitedly from behind the other door. "Let me at!" This was followed by muffled scuffling, grunting and shouting with stuff like "Michael, calm down!" and "I want my cake!," etc.

Osaka mused as she weighed her concern of eating another meal right after tea and getting cake. She looked up, eyes wide in anticipation. "Issit chocolate cake under the cover?"

Yomi deadpanned, "Uh, no." Then she lit up, "But you get chocolate cake if you eat the mystery meal."

"That seems like it's rig'd 'gainst meh," she questioned skeptically. "But ah'll take it, seems like uh fehr trade as long as it's not yucky."

Yomi had a devious grin. "It's pain."

"Oh boy, it's French." Osaka congratulated herself for knowing what's French for bread.

Chiyo looked at her friend skeptically. "I don't think that's what Yomi meant, Miss Osaka."

She laid the meal in front of her with aplomb. "Here you go, Osaka." She lifted the tray in revelation.

Osaka's smile turned upside down as she saw the truth. Yomi announced, "Today is our special spicy platter, consisting of one order each of mapo doufu, spicy buffalo wings, red-hot jambalaya, jjampong, tom yum soup, with kimchi, deviled eggs, and and chili on the side. Bon appetit!"

The room turned dark, lit up by the radioactive glow of the spicy food for Osaka. It's right out of the eye-ball soup scene from Temple of Doom. "Yomi, this es jus' too much for meh!" she pleaded desperately. "Ah can't handle it at all."

The meganeko looked disappointed. "Oh Osaka~." She then took a plate of black forest cake and sprinkled it with kirschwasser. "No chocolate cake for you." She lit up an oven lighter near the cake.

"Hey, dun burn de cake," Osaka pleaded. "It didden do nothin' wrong." Meanwhile, Mike can be heard muffling in outrage of hurting a perfectly good chocolate cake, his meme infestation threatening to spill out, then silenced by a whack to the head. "Wai are yew doin' this?"

"To see if you can get it together," she replied devilishly. "Your awareness may be powerful enough to control your instincts. Your instinct would be to run for the 5-gallon Evian at the water cooler." She pointed to the cooler at the room's corner. "If you do so, no cake for you. You will feel... a tingling... there! Now, the tingling becomes burning. Heat upon heat upon heat."

"Isn't that hau spice-y food werks?" She noted the obvious.

"Uh, yeah. Now get it together and you'll have your cake," she said rapidly with a smile. She clicked a stop watch on.

Osaka looked sullenly at her feast and with a deep breath took her first spoon, beginning an epic journey.

Thirty seconds later...

-Freedom Radio (STALKER: Clear Sky OST) plays-

Yomi sat there with satisfaction. "Whoa, I didn't expect you to hold out that long." Osaka was sweating uncomfortably as she swallowed yet another spoonful of proverbial red hot lava.

"Eeeyyy Yommii, caaan aaahh haaaabbb ah glass o' water?" she begged through her burning mouth, slurring.

"Uh, no," she said coolly. "Not until you finish dinner."

"You can do it, Osaka!" Mini-Chiyo cheered. "I believe in you."

With that Osaka remained determined, chanting her ever famous litany, Get it together, get it together, get it together, get it together... Now her face turned red and steam was coming out of her ears. Osaka shook like a tea kettle from every bite of Yomi's red-hot value meal.

Yomi looked at the stopwatch again, smiling sadistically. "A minute and twenty seconds, you're doing great!" In Osaka's mind: Get it together, get it together, get it together, get it together... while being chased by a jalapeƱo pepper biker gang to the tune of Metal Gear's Red Alert. Get it together, get it together, get it... TOGETHER! CHIYO!

Yomi was shocked as Osaka painfully finished the last bite from her meal, her ears now whistling. "Three minutes already? You really did get it together. Wanna drink?" Osaka nodded faster than Noddy, redder than a tomato and the floor is flooded in eight inches from sweat. "Okay, pick a cooler." She displayed grape soda, ginger ale, a Perrier bottle, and wine.

"MAH MOUTH'S ON FIRE!" she screamed like a lamb with a Welshman as her mouth was spewing flame, flaming the table to ashes. She bolted for the drinks took the Perrier bottle.

"Wait! Don't drink that-!" Too late! Osaka glugged the whole thing in seconds. BURRRRRRRRRPPPP! She let a stream of fire that plasma-fried the ceiling.

"Ah feel much better noooooow~," she relaxed. "Man, that Perrier has hit the spot."

Yomi looked rather uneasy. "Uh, that was the Water of Life, Osaka."

"Issit a fancy water brand frohm France?"

She winced. "No, that's a mystical elixir for expanding the mind." Osaka's eyes were widening. "It's actually a mix of vodka, soju, Pocari Sweat and Gatorade."

Ayumu let loose a wide smile. "No wondur ah feel sooo looooooooopy~..."

Before Osaka blacked out, Yukari spazzed in. "Anybody see my cocktail mixers?" She lost consciousness.

-End theme- Jaunty Gumption by Kevin Macleod-

A/N: Now I took inspiration from from David Lynch's Dune movie. Underrated cult classic that divides fans of Frank Herbert's works.

Up next, will the sleeper be awakened?

To be concluded - for real.