“No, the beginning definitely needs something,” The Almighty Z said, scanning over the haphazard piles of multicolored papers spilling across the coffee table, the grey rug, and the purple sofas around where Jake and she sat on the floor of her sitting room. “Something...dramatic that says ‘You’re going down’ right away.”
“What do you normally do?” Jake asked, tossing a pile of rejected idea papers off to his side, causing the pile to skid out across even more of the floor. They were brainstorming ideas for how to go about their upcoming attack on the Great Alliance. They had gathered lots of ideas and were trying different combinations of them to form a strategy, but so far nothing much more than a huge mess had come from their efforts.
“Ominous glowing ring of drones approaching from the horizon...drones falling from the sky, a loud marching line taking out everything in it’s path...crazed mobs closing in from every direction...I don’t know, lots of things.”
“Hmm” he replied intelligently. She began to fold a green paper with ‘devil cake’ scrawled on it in quick, messy letters into a paper airplane. She’d rejected the preposterous idea of using cake as a weapon. How could cake in itself possibly be destructive? Jake watched her deft fingers intently as they turned the flat sheet into a long, sleek plane.
“That’s a plane?” He asked, a teasing tone to his voice.
“No, it’s a flower,” Z replied. “Of course it’s a plane.”
“Anyone could make a plane better than that,” he said, laughing a little bit.
“Oh yeah?” Z replied, knowing that this was obviously a challenge.
She figured they could use a break. “Okay, we each get to build one plane, and we’ll race them in the hall in five minutes,” she suggested, smiling wickedly. She’d had years of past boredom to perfect her paper airplane folding technique, so obviously, Jake stood no chance.
“Fine,” he said. “You have to use that one, though.”
“I was going to anyway.”
He blinked at her and picked up a violently blue paper with ‘Thundercloud of ZORG shooting laser lightning’ in The Almighty Z’s spiky hand.
“Really?” he asked, laughing as he showed her what it said.
“It was a viable option,” she said, running her fingers through her hair. “Plus, I had to get the bad ideas out to make way for the good ones.”
“But still, why would you do that?” He was still laughing at her, and she found herself struggling to not laugh too.
She’d already pointed out that she agreed it was a bad idea, but she played along anyway. “Why not?”
“Uh, because there’s no reason to?”
“Why not?” She repeated, and Jake gave her a look that clearly implied she had the maturity of a six year old, and she couldn’t help it; she cracked a smile.
“Okay, yeah, consider this vetoed,” Jake said, starting to fold the paper into a short, fat plane.
“Pfft, that’s not going to go anywhere,” Z said, seeing what he was making. He ignored this, so Z stood up and went out into the hall.
“ZOK!” She yelled.
“I am here,” he replied, but, looking around, Z could not see him.
“Specify,” she said, highly confused. “You’d better not be invisible and just hiding from me.”
“I am currently visible to the human eye. My planetary coordinates are 5.7853 degrees north by-”
“-No, no no, what do you think I have a full coordinate map of the planet as it happens to be today in my head? Sheesh, ZOK, how far from you are me? Do you need your locational circuits remotely calibrated or something?” She kept looking around.
“All systems are functioning normally. My current location is 5.5 feet from the current location of the Almighty Z.”
“What?” Z looked around again, then up, to find ZOK innocently standing on the ceiling, hanging down like a chandelier. She laughed, “Why are you up there?”
Behind her, Jake laughed. She looked to see him leaning against the doorframe, amused.
“I told him that the ceiling was the floor,” he said, grinning. “April fools!”
Z gave him a glare. “We don’t celebrate that here.”
“You’re no fun,” he said, not taking her glare seriously.
“I’m about to win a paper airplane contest against you, in my huge castle, on my planet that happens to be striped today, while we really should be coming up with an attack strategy to beat a bunch of multicolored space hedgehogs with some little geometricly shaped robots that are constantly on both a sugar and caffeine high and you’re telling me I’m not fun just because I don’t celebrate all of the screwed up holidays that aren’t even really holidays but actually traditions that are celebrated on my home planet?” She expertly threw her airplane down the long hall and it soared for three full seconds before gliding down and sliding across the shiny floor before coming to a smooth stop.
“Fair point,” Jake said, throwing his plane. It gracefully floated, did a loop-de-loop, and crashed into a wall before falling to the ground three feet away.
“And look at that! I won,” Z grinned as she went to retrieve her still perfectly undamaged plane.
“I guess, but could your plane do a loop-de-loop?”
“Maybe if I told it to act like a drunk butterfly,” Z countered, walking back into the sitting room.
“Maybe I should tell ZOK to act like a drunk butterfly like I told him to stand on the ceiling,” Jake replied, following. ZOK watched them leave the hall silently from his upside-down position. Jake gave him a thumbs up, and the robot blinked in response.
“I think you wouldn’t dare,” the Almighty Z replied, missing all of this.
“I think I might under the right circumstances,” Jake said, though, let’s face it, he probably wouldn’t have.
Z knew this, so she didn’t push it. “I think we should get back to planning that attack,” she said, surveying the room, which looked like a bit like an oversize confetti egg with eight and a half by eleven inch pieces of rainbow confetti had recently exploded.
He nodded. “Where were we?”
“The beginning. Luckily for us, though, I have an idea,” the Queen said, rubbing her hands together like an evil overlord, even though she wasn’t an evil overlord, she was just a normal teenage queen who ruled over her own army of whimsical robots and crushed her enemies.
Jake raised his eyebrows and Z explained. When she was done, he thought for a moment.
“It still needs something, I think...” he said thoughtfully. Zee waited as he pondered, and the thought came to him a minute later. “I know, battle music.”