Originally Published Online January 2015
I hold on to unfinished and unused drafts of stories. This is the original version of ‘San Japanic Attack!’ with El Lobo Rojo cast as a hero. It was completed, but thinking back, I did the rewrite because I felt Rojo being a jerk was more believable if he was a villain. Upon further review, it works either way. Left on the cutting-room floor was a hero named ‘Mister Fabulous.’ Yeah.
It was a pleasant Friday at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. San Japan was once again in full swing: Attendees walked about the main hall, artists and craftspeople offered their works for sale in their booths, mock combatants swung at each other with foam swords and cosplayers stopped and posed for pictures.
However, one statuesque woman with straight dark hair shunned any and all attendees who tried to compliment her or take her photograph. She wore a purple unitard that was covered with white numbers, and a black cape. The woman walked to the center of the hall, cleared her throat and proclaimed to the crowd in a loud voice: “ATTENTION, PEOPLE OF SAN JAPAN! I AM THE DIE MISTRESS! GIVE ME ALL OF YOUR MONEY OR THIS GAME IS GOING TO BE OVER!!”
A group of people congregated around the Die Mistress after she made her announcement. Her ultimatum was followed by a brief moment of silence, and then the crowd began to applaud. This was not the reaction the Mistress had expected to receive; she stared back dumbfounded at the attendees, some of whom had congregated in front of her to take her picture with their cell phones and cameras.
Thinking that her tone had not been forceful enough, the Die Mistress prepared to repeat her ultimatum, but she was interrupted by another speaker.
“HALT, EVILDOER! El Lobo Rojo is here to put a stop to you!” a loud male voice tinged with a Latin accent cried from the main entrance. Everyone turned to look at the source of the voice: a six-foot tall muscular anthropomorphic wolf with red fur. El Lobo Rojo started running towards the Die Mistress. The crowd that had gathered around the Die Mistress parted to let him through.
He stopped about twenty feet away from the Die Mistress and pointed an accusatory finger at her. “Whatever evil you have planned for this joyous gathering, I, El Lobo Rojo, will put a stop to it, you mad woman!” He said with authority.
The Die Mistress looked over the red wolf that stood before her. A look of disdain immediately came over her. She let out a loud sigh and motioned at him with her hand.
“What? El Loco Roh…Joe?” She said, mockingly. “Just who are you? Where is the Union of Heroes?”
“They’re in space fighting off an alien invasion.” The wolf said matter-of-factly.
“What about The Randomizer?”
“His arch-enemy, The Logician, is in town.”
“Oh my God, I can’t believe this…Yo-Yo Master?!”
“He’s getting his hair done.”
Frustrated, the Die Mistress threw her hands up in the air. “Well, that’s just great! All of the real heroes are busy and I get stuck with a furry with delusions of grandeur.”
The wolf let out a brief growl before speaking, “Hey! I’ll have you know that I am more than hero enough to take you down, lady!” He took a closer look at the Die Mistress’ outfit and let out a scoff of his own. “And just what are you supposed to be with all of those numbers on your super suit? An evil math teacher?”
That was enough for the Die Mistress. She made a fist with her right hand and it began to glow purple. “I am your end, furball. YOU HAVE JUST FAILED YOUR SAVING THROW!” she yelled, furiously throwing something at the hero with her right hand.
El Lobo Rojo instinctively raised his paws to deflect the incoming attack. A pair of green twenty-sided dice flew out of the Mistress’ hand and landed on the floor between them. The wolf maintained his stance for a moment, then leaned forward and sniffed. The room went quiet.
After a few awkward moments of silence, El Lobo Rojo spoke: “That’s IT? Aren’t they going to explode or let out sleeping gas or turn into monsters or something?”
The Mistress started to blush with embarrassment. “No. They’re supposed to be bigger. I haven’t completely gotten the hang of my powers yet.”
“Powers? Seriously? What kind of lame power is throwing dice? If you they come up seven do you have to surrender?” El Lobo Rojo said sarcastically. He began laughing and some of the people in the crowd began to laugh with him. “Enough games, lady. You’re coming with me.” He said before starting to walk towards the Die Mistress.
The Die Mistress started backing away, quickly making throwing motions towards the ground with her hands as she did so. More dice flew out of her hands and scattered around on the floor. Unimpressed, the wolf continued to advance, but before he could reach the Mistress, he stepped on a four-sided die. He yelped in pain and fell to the ground, letting out a second yelp as he landed directly on top of some dice.
The Die Mistress stopped retreating and taunted the fallen wolf: “You really are a ‘bad’ dog, aren’t you? I can see why you got left behind by the real heroes.”
“You’re just lucky I don’t wear shoes, lady.” The wolf angrily shot back as he slowly picked himself up off the floor, being careful to avoid the many dice now scattered on the floor. The Mistress began to laugh, angering him further.
“Shut up! How about you make some fuzzy dice for my CAR, eh?” He hissed after getting back up on his feet.
“So what is your super power, licking yourself?” shouted back the Mistress.
“Shouldn’t you be in a casino serving drinks?”
“Shouldn’t you be humping somebody’s leg?”
The bemused crowd looked on as the hero and villain stood in front of each other and continued to shout insults back and forth.
In the crowd, a bald man in his early thirties wearing a blue t-shirt that said “Con Boss” on its front talked with a large man sporting sunglasses and a yellow t-shirt that said “SECURITY” in bold black letters on the back. Several other security staff members wearing identical shirts stood behind them.”What’s going on here?”
“You know as much as I do, Dave. These two jokers came in and started making a scene.” The large man replied.
“Well, I don’t see any badges, so they gotta go. You know what to do.” Dave said.
“My pleasure, boss. Hold these for a moment, would you?” The large man said as he took off his sunglasses and handed them to Dave. “Let’s take out the trash, people!” He enthusiastically said to the other staff members.
“SECURITY!!” He yelled as the security staff rushed the bickering pair.
A small crowd had gathered outside of the convention center as the Die Mistress and El Lobo Rojo stood outside wearing handcuffs, surrounded by San Antonio Police officers. Dave and a man in a white and orange costume spoke with a police captain. Attached to the costumed man’s belt were yo-yos of all colors, shapes, and sizes.
“This dog-thing is one of yours, you say?” The captain asked Yo-Yo Master.
“Yes, Captain, he’s with the Union of Heroes. Red’s a little, shall we say, unseasoned, but a few extra days of monitor duty should settle him down.” The hero replied. He then turned to El Lobo Rojo.
“And what do you have to say for yourself, Red? You’ve been a BAD wolf person! No treat for you!” he scolded.
El Lobo Rojo looked away from Yo-Yo Master and let out a whine as the handcuffs were removed from his wrists.
Dave watched the scene unfold and said to nobody in particular: “Villians…yeah. I might need to reconsider ‘giant monsters’ as our theme for next year.”