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This is Not Spinal Tap

Written by: Skynetmain

You can read part 1 of this story in Issue 33.

- - -

Later in the day. The camera is on Kyoro. He is sitting in GP-01 at the Area 51 Base.

Kyoro: Now?

Teph: From behind the camera. Yes. Just say a little about yourself.

Kyoro: Well... my parents died when I was very young.

Teph: From behind the camera. Maybe something a little more lighthearted.

Kyoro: To any of you perverts that I have seen looking at Rika, she is my fiancé, and I will kill anyone that looks at her funny.

Teph: From behind the camera. Lighter.

Kyoro: Same goes to all of you that ogle Princess Yamiko.

Teph: From behind the camera. A lot lighter.

Kyoro: Go Sox...


At the premiere. Everyone is looking at Kyoro.

Kyoro: I stand by what I say... Go Sox...

Area 51 Base. Teph is filming down an empty part of runway. No mobile suits, Valkryes, or any other vehicle is seen.

Teph: From behind the camera. This is the Federation’s most top secret facility. I am not allowed to film any of the goings on, but Aerith told me to tell you that guided tours are available. Contact Lieutenant Commander Jena O’Lin at 555-0158 ext. 7831. I just hope I get payed for that commercial.

Aerith: From behind the camera and way in the distance. How about I let you sleep indoors? Or would you prefer to be kicked out of the house for a night?

Teph: From behind the camera. Groans.

The shot goes black.


At the premiere.

Aerith: And I even let her have dinner, too.

Back at the Dojo, the camera is on Rika and Suratae fighting. Wu Fei, Kyoro, and Ayu are watching.

Teph: From behind the camera. Rika and Suratae always fight, usually over trivial matters. They are really good friends most of the time. Wu Fei, what is it this time?

Wu Fei: You know, the usual. Rika calls Suratae ‘hideous.’ Suratae yells. Rika corrects herself by saying ‘grotesque.’ The usual.

Ayu: Actually, Rika said that even though there are two younger girls, Suratae is still the shortest.

Wu Fei: Shortest and ugliest fac... Suratae kicks his face.

Suratae: Shut up!

The shot goes black.

The camera comes back on in Teph’s room. The camera is set on a low table, and Teph goes in front of the camera.

Teph: What Rika and Suratae are fighting about is the same thing they always fight about: they are arguing about who is better looking. She pulls out a data pad. This is a PADD that was given to us by a doctor. Rika had it made to put those arguments to rest. That lasted about a week. Holds the PADD up to the camera. Five figure outlines are seen. You can see it compares me, Rena, Rika, Suratae, and Ayu. I am tucked nicely in the middle for most of the stats, but as you can seen Rika and Suratae are usually at extremes. They are opposite in almost every category. What they fight mostly about is... facial features. Suratae is just jealous in my opinion. The only reason I take part in any of those arguments is because, well, I am a way better catch than Suratae. She thinks she is sooo much better. Ha! Die Idioten!


At the premiere. Suratae is mad. Very mad.

Suratae: Jealous! Idioten! Bakamono!

Suratae storms out.


Teph: But Suratae is not that bad, most of the time.

The camera goes black.

Ayu is sitting in her room. There is a pot of tea brewing behind her.

Teph: From behind the camera. Just say a little of yourself. Anything that comes to mind.

Ayu: Well, I am Ayu Khan. I am the last member of the Imperial family on Mystic Earth. My line contains Japanese, Chinese, Mongolian, Vietnamese, and Indian blood, but mostly Japanese since they were the ones that conquered Asia.

Teph: From behind the camera. Uh, maybe a little more about yourself.

Ayu: Oh, I like pandas. I like to eat pineapple. I am mostly of Japanese blood, but I grew up in China.

Teph: From behind the camera. Any goals? Or dreams?

Ayu: Well, last night I dreamt that I was locked in an ice cream factory. That was a good dream.

Teph turns off the camera.

The main hall is empty, except for Mariko setting a large table. Mariko notices Teph.

Mariko: Oh, hello. May I help you?

Teph: From behind the camera. Just filming you setting up for dinner. Say a little about yourself.

Mariko: Oh, okay. I am called Mariko-chan. Aerith created me to maintain the Dojo.

Teph: From behind the camera. For those that don’t know, the Dojo is inside a building and holo-emitters create the environment.

Mariko: I like the job. Aerith lets me do what I want. Shopping is hard, but Bryan helps out there.

Teph: From behind the camera. What’s for dinner tonight?

Mariko: The usual. Sukiyaki for Suratae and Kyoro. Burgers for Aerith, Aaron, and Selina. Chicken dumplings in duck sauce for Wu Fei....

Teph: From behind the camera. Really! All of that.

Mariko: No, you should know by now that I don’t personalize meals. I just made a lot of everything. It is not like most of them notice what they are eating, until it is halfway down their throats.


The camera is filming from in Teph’s lap. Everyone is eating noisily. Everyone is grabbing things at random. There is a lot of fast chopstick action as Suratae, Wu Fei, and Kyoro battle over food. Ayu and Bryan are the only ones eating sanely. Rika and Aerith are seen choking down large portions all at once. Half of the table is cleared in minutes. Teph has barely eaten a plateful. Rika and Aerith start fighting over a piece of chicken. Selina makes a play for the food, but Aerith catches her. Ayu sneaks the chicken away and slips it onto Rika’s plate. Aerith swipes the chicken before Rika can notice. It is gone by the time Rika and Selina notice what happened. Teph turns of the camera.


At the premiere. Rika and Selina are glaring at Aerith.

Aerith: ~Busted.~

Rika: So that is what happened.

Selina: The truth comes out.

Aerith: Well, uh, er, Ayu help me out. You were involved too.

Ayu: If my involvement worked, you would be glaring at Rika.

Nighttime. Teph is sitting outside her room looking at the forest in the back. She is in her pajamas with a towel over her shoulders.

Rena: From behind the camera. Penny for your thoughts.

Teph: Make it twenty credits, and turn off the camera.

Rena: From behind the camera. No to both.

Teph: Turns. Do it. I am only supposed to film important stuff.

Rena: From behind the camera. This is important. It shows how to get under your skin.

Teph takes off the towel and spins it. She whips it at Rena. It catches Rena’s leg and pulls her down. Rika catches the camera and trains it on Rena and Teph. They are rolling around trying to choke each other. They roll off the deck. Aerith drops off the roof and pulls them apart.

Aerith: Rika, medium shot.

Rika adjusts the shot to have Aerith, Teph, and Rena in frame.

Aerith: You two are acting at least half your age. Grow up. Rena, Teph only filmed you once, and by accident. Teph, don’t let that camera out of your sight if you don’t want Rena to get her hands on it. Cut.

Rika turns off the camera.

The shot is from the door to Rena and Teph’s room. They are making their beds. Lucky for Teph, her shirt goes below her knees.

Teph: It is your fault. Aerith would not be mad if you didn’t get my camera.

Rena: If you didn’t leave it out...

Teph: If you didn’t freak out when you walked in...

Rena blind sides Teph with a pillow. Teph goes down quickly.

Rena: Where’s the camera?

The camera drops there is the sound of someone fleeing. Rena runs out the door. Only her feet are seen.

Rena: Damn it, Rika!

Rena turns off the camera.

The next morning. Teph and Rena are eating silently. Rika is sleeping on everyone’s backpacks. Teph reaches for her glass of juice. Rena taps the table. Teph slides the juice in front of Rena. The glass falls over, but the juice flows right into Teph’s lap.

Teph: Verflu’chen Sie! Draws her sword.

Rena: Yuanyi yinmo! Draws her sword.

Suratae: From behind the camera. And thus another day begins.

Teph, Rena: To Suratae. Turn that off!

The shot goes black.

The camera is on Wu Fei. He is in the back of a transport.

Wu Fei: I am Chang Wu Fei. My father is a powerful businessman in Southern China, based out of Nanjing. I am engaged to Yamiko Suratae. I am the first Chinese person to be engaged to a member of Japanese royalty. I do not know if I am lucky.

Teph: From behind the camera. Stupid Daoist...

Wu Fei: What?

Teph: From behind the camera. Not you. Rena.

Wu Fei: I am not offended. I don’t believe in Daoism. Confucius is way better than Lao-Tse.

Teph: From behind the camera. He’s all right.

Suratae: Yeah, but Jimmu is the best.

Wu Fei: Baichi.

Suratae: Baka.

Teph: From behind the camera. What a loving couple.

Teph turns off the camera.

The camera was a shot of a tree trunk and a branch. Teph sits on the branch, back to the trunk.

Teph: Rena is a jerk. I tried to be nice, but she is mean. I mean, come on! She is from the Digital World! Why should she be afraid of a camera?


At the premiere.

Rena: You told!

Teph: I was mad.

Rena: Well, if you really forgot how to edit, I’ll get my revenge.


Teph: Sighs. I like it here. Not up the tree, but here with Rika and the others. Back in Germany, all the other girls were perverts. Most of the teachers were good at busting them, but some were too harsh. One thing I miss is the fresh air. This city life is too congested. If Rika or Aerith weren’t around to guide me, I’d get lost constantly. Rena is even a good guide. She knows this city like the back of her hand. I am lucky to have nice friends.

Rika: From below. Teph, hurry up, or you’ll be late!

Teph: Coming!

She gets up, but slips and falls. Her hand catches the branch. A flash is seen and the camera falls. The camera stops before hitting ground. Teph lands and sheaves her sword.

Kyoro: From behind the camera. Almost made nine.

Kyoro turns off the camera.

Rena is sitting in her room. She looks upset.

Teph: From behind the camera. Yet me start by apologizing, and...

Rena: Teph wets her bed!

Teph: From behind the camera. No I don’t!

Rena: And she sucks her thumb, and cries consistently, and...

Teph: Dummkopf! Tackles Rena.

Teph starts pulling Rena’s hair. Rena grabs a pillow and starts beating Teph with it. Feathers fill the room. When the feathers clear, Rena and Teph both have their swords drawn. They both swing at once, but the room is so small the blades get stuck in the walls. The door opens.

Aerith: From behind the camera. That is it! Rena sit! Rena sits. Teph sit! Teph sits. Swords! Teph and Rena hand over the swords. Now, Rena, you will say a few words about yourself for Teph’s project. If you say one bad thing...

Rena: Looking down. I am Rena. I am a master of the Shaolin school of T’ai Chi Quan and of Daoist Geomancy. I was one of Rika’s first friends and vice versa. I travel between the Tien Shan in China and San Francisco on a regular basis. Anyone interested in the Shaolin school or Daoism should visit the Tien Shan. The masters love guests.

Aerith: From behind the camera. Was that so hard?

Rena: No.

Aerith: From behind the camera. Teph?

Teph: She started it, but thanks for ending it. Just like the war, right?

Aerith: From behind the camera. I’ll talk about that later.

Aerith turns off the camera.

Teph is sitting at the ‘Universal Shrine.’ She has an offering of wine and olives out for Zeus and a beer and a slice of roast lamb for Odin.

Teph: This is the ‘Universal Shrine.’ It supposedly can be set to any deity. Normally, I make offerings to my ancestors, but today I fell that I should go to higher powers.

Ayu: From behind the camera. Any god?

Teph: Yes.

Ayu: From behind the camera. Even the semi-divine?

Teph: I guess so?

Ayu: From behind the camera. Does that mean we can make offerings to Suratae? Or myself?

Teph: Uh...

Rena walks up to the shrine.

Rena: Quietly.Sorry.

Teph: What?

Rena: Sorry that I was a jerk and ruined your film.

Teph: Kein Probleme.

Rena: Thanks. Walks out of shot. Quietly. Baichi

Teph: Quietly.Dummkopf

Ayu: From behind the camera. Anger is not good. You two should really stop fighting.

Teph: Whose side are you on?

Ayu: From behind the camera. The same side Aerith and Rika are on: peace.

Teph: Hippie.

Ayu turns off the camera.

Nighttime. Aerith is sitting on the roof in her sleep wear.

Aerith: Ask away, o’ wise interviewer.

Aerith: No, I don’t think I mean interviewee.

Aerith: She’s the one asking the questions right?

Aerith: Knock that off! Don’t trick me!

Teph: From behind the camera. Let’s start by proving that you are not insane or hopped up.

Aerith: I am perfectly normal. Sort of. At least JHM says I am fit enough to run the Turks.

Aerith: Yes, she said it with a straight face. You were there.

Teph: From behind the camera. Uh, you wanted to talk about the war.

Aerith: Oh yeah. That war would have been better if it weren’t for my dad. He screwed up big time. There wouldn’t have been a war if he were more sensitive to other nations. In a few days, the Federation’s UISS reps are going to Coruscant for a meeting. Watch the news, I will give updates.

Aerith: Yes, I will only tell the non-classified stuff.

Aerith: Shut up. You are the crazy one. You snore too.

Teph: From behind the camera. She really isn’t crazy.

Teph turns off the camera.


At the premiere.

Aerith: Am not.

Aerith: ~Are too.~

Aerith: Am not.

Aerith: ~Are too.~

Skynetmain advises you to only film every aspect of your life if you have a contract with YouTube.

Nessa's brain melted away reading this. But I'm not crazy.


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