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"Late Night Smackdown"
Sarah Palin sat in her office in the governor's mansion, going through a stack of memos awaiting her signature. It was after dinner, but the sky was still light and the snow-capped mountains visible from her office window gleamed in the rays of the summer sun.
Willow's voice came over the intercom. "Hey, Mom."
Sarah pressed the speaker button. "Hi, sweetie. What's up?"
"I just finished washing the dishes and Dad's putting Trig to bed. Are you going to be out soon so we can put on the movie?"
Sarah glanced at the clock hanging on the wall next to the moose head. It was 7:40.
"I'm almost finished. What movie did you pick?"
"The Incredibles. It's about a family of super-heroes."
"Sounds like fun. I'll be there in a few minutes."
The telephone on her desk rang. She picked it up.
"Speaking ... No, I haven't. Why?" She rolled her eyes. "What did he say this time?"
Listening, her jaw dropped and her eyes grew wide. "He said what?"
She reached for the remote control and pointed it at the television mounted in the corner. Then she remembered -- it was still early evening here in Juneau. "Late Night" wouldn't be on the air locally for several more hours.
She spoke into the telephone. "Can you send it to my laptop? I have to see this for myself."
Moments later, David Letterman was flashing his gap-toothed grin from the screen of her laptop.
" ... one awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game -- during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez ... "
Sarah's face burned as the studio audience roared with laughter, but she spoke calmly into the telephone. "Yes, I got it. Thank you ... No comment at the moment. I'll have a statement ready later ... All right. Good-bye."
"Aargh!" Growling with suppressed fury, she slammed the receiver back into the cradle. The telephone shattered under the impact, fragments of plastic and electronic innards flew in all directions, as she rose to her feet.
There was a tap at the door. "Sarah?" It was her husband's voice. "Is everything all right?"
She took a deep breath. "Everything's fine, Todd. I'll be out there in a few minutes. There's something I have to take care of first."
She stood scowling for a moment. "You can say what you like about me, Mr. Letterman," she muttered. "But nobody talks like that about my daughter!"
Slowly, deliberately, she took off her glasses and set them on her desk. Reaching behind her head, she removed her barrette and shook her auburn hair loose about her shoulders. Buttons flew every which way as she tore her blouse open, revealing a snug blue garment underneath ...
Moments later, Sarah Palin stood transformed. Not bad for a hockey mom with five kids, she thought, glancing in the mirror behind her desk. Super-muscles did wonders to counteract the effects of gravity. "Slutty flight attendant," indeed!
The skylight sprang open as she leapt through the ceiling, and snapped shut behind her as she soared into the evening sky.
Soon she was flying along the jet stream, oblivious to the powerful, frigid winds that howled past her, tugging at her cape and tousling her hair. Twenty thousand feet below, the prairies of the Midwest rushed along in her wake. The sky grew darker as she rocketed eastward, and the cities of the Atlantic seaboard stood out like clusters of diamonds against the black velvet of night.
Sarah narrowed her eyes, penetrating the darkness with her super-vision as she focussed on Manhattan ... Broadway ... the Ed Sullivan Theater ... Her x-ray vision revealed the studio where "Late Night" was being broadcast. Dave's monologue was over; he was sitting behind his desk, leering at Megan Fox as she talked about her new movie.
Alighting on the roof of the theater, in front of the shed that housed the elevator mechanism, Sarah grasped the door handle and gave it a tug. Metal groaned in protest, locks snapped and hinges popped, as she ripped the heavy door out of its frame. She flung it aside like a candy wrapper and stepped into the shed, slipping between the chains and cables and descending the long dark shaft ...
She paused, hovering in the pitch darkness one floor above the studio. Reaching out, she inserted her fingertips between the panels of the elevator door, then drew her arms apart, forcing the door open. She stepped out into a control room, sweeping past startled technicians seated at their monitors and consoles, until she came to a spot that her x-ray vision revealed was directly above the center of the stage.
She lifted her right foot a few inches, then brought it down -- hard.
A startled murmur ran through the studio audience as chunks of plaster and rebar rained onto the stage amid a cloud of dust. Dave and his guest turned to stare goggle-eyed as Sarah slowly descended through the hole in the ceiling and hovered, hands on hips, several feet above the mound of debris. The audience gasped. Dave stood open-mouthed, letting his gaze run up Sarah's red calf-length boots and her short red skirt -- along the snug blue top that hugged every contour of her torso and arms -- and finally come to rest on the red-and-yellow "S" emlazoned across her proud chest.
For a moment he was speechless. But thirty years in show business had taught him to think on his feet. This must be a prank -- one of the surprises that his staff sometimes sprang on him. He looked closely at the blue-and-red-garbed figure hovering above the stage. What was holding her up like that -- wires? And was that Tina Fey? Wow! he thought, eyeing the woman's toned arms appreciatively. I didn't know Tina was so buff. She must really work out ...
"Ladies and gentlemen," he announced with a grin, gesturing toward his unexpected guest. "It looks like Sarah Palin has dropped in for a visit!" A ripple of laughter rose from the audience. People sat back in their seats, breathing a sigh of relief. It was just a gag.
But Sarah was not laughing. Her eyes flashed indignantly as she strode toward Dave's desk, her cape billowing dramatically behind her. She stood glaring at the flabbergasted host, who sank meekly back into his chair. Megan Fox had slid cautiously to the far end of the sofa, eyeing Sarah with wide, frightened eyes.
"How dare you?" Sarah demanded. "You ought to be ashamed of yourself -- talking that way about a fourteen-year-old girl. Attack me all you like, Mr. Letterman; make all the jokes you please about me -- but leave my family alone! Of all the crude ... sophomoric ... sexist ... "
She brought the palm of her hand down on the desk. The legs snapped and the desk dropped to the floor with a heavy whump! There was a sprinkling of laughter and applause from the audience, but most of the spectators were exchanging uneasy glances. This didn't seem like a skit. The woman's anger sounded too real, her indignation too genuine ...
Dave sat gaping up at Sarah. Sweat ran down his forehead, shining in the glare of the stage lights. Megan Fox was crouching behind the sofa, peering timidly over its upholstered back.
Sarah pressed harder against the desktop. It splintered ... then cracked ... then buckled, its two halves collapsing inward. Reaching across the V-shaped gap, Sarah seized Dave by the front of his shirt and dragged him, yelping in protest, to the center of the stage.
The murmur of the audience had grown to a frightened roar. Sarah held up a hand for silence. Dangling Dave at the end of an outstretched arm, she said:
"And now, the top ten reasons you don't want to make me angry. Number ten ... "
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My idea was that each contribution would consist of one "reason" plus an appropriate display of some super-power.
If collectively you guys come up with ten "reasons," I'll post an epilogue -- and an illustration I've commissioned.
(And please, people, keep the story on track. If you want Super Megan Fox, go write yoiur own story.)
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Sarah strolled over to the guest couch, passing by the two frozen stage hands.
"Don't worry folks, they'll be fine" she said. "It's a nice break from the heat, right?"
There was a few chuckles from the still stunned crowd.
"It was hot today, 89 and insufferable...like Regis." Dave said, adjusting his collar.
"Hey, no more jokes" Sarah tersely replied. Utilizing her previous experience in beauty pageants, she did a quarter turn and faced the camera. The super governor flexed her free arm, showing off an impressive bicep before placing her hand under the couch and lifting it into the air. She gave the crowd a quick wink and smile as she went from balancing it with the palm of her hand to just the index finger. The crowd "oohed" at this show of strength.
Sarah adjusted her grip again as she flipped the couch in the air, catching it on its side before launching the piece of furniture through the ceiling of the Ed Sullivan theater. Video would later catch the couch making a splash landing in the Hudson river.
Megan Fox ran across the stage from the falling debris, taking refuge near the equipment of the night's musical guest Wilco (performing songs from their new release, Wilco (the Album).
Once again Sarah flexed her right leg, some people in the public gasped and murmured under their breath at the sight of her leg super-muscles flexing.
Dave was about to make a joke, or maybe only a wolf whistle, but was smart enough to stop himself.
The tip of Sarah's red boot went down like a sledgehammer causing a small sonic boom that shocked the peoples of the first two rows. The entire theatre rocked for a second, cracks appeared in the floor and some pieces of the already damaged roof felt off, only to be incinerated by the super-governor heat vision a few meter over the audience heads. Outside some water-pipes exploded and a manhole cover was fired, like a mortar shell towards the East river.
Sarah' super earing picked the sound of the cast-iron disk flying through the air, but a quick scan with the x-rays shows that there was no sensible target on the trajectory of the improptu bullet. '...nevertheless I must be a little more careful...' she thought before bringing her attention back to Dave.
"And number six..."
Dave immediately put his hands up and ducked his head, fearing he'd be the target of the super-powered politician but Sarah strolled over to the near wall of the set and balled up her fist, tensing the muscles in her arm. It was like a wrecking ball as the sound of cracking plaster, wood, and finally brick filled the air.
She pulled her arm out, dust covering her up to her elbow. She blew it off and the camera zoomed in as she inspected her hand. There was no cuts, not even as scratch and her fingernails were still perfectly manicured.
Despite my "retirement," I will write the epilogue I promised (and post an illustration) once the countown is complete. Consider it "grandfathered."
Smiling at the camers she placed her hands on her hips, trusted her chest out and started inhaling, at the same time, the guests and a the less stunned part of the audience decided to try a quick escape.
Dozens of cubic meters of compressed air filled her lungs and her chest started swelling drammaticly. All the cameras started zooming on the 'S' crest as it strecthed thinner and thinner, it was almost possible to hear the sound of her costume fabric begging for mercy. Suddenly she stopped, she kept the air in for a second or to tog give the cameramen time to focus on her lips, then made them in a 'O'.
Dave had just the time to mutter a "Oh no..." under his breath before Sarah's started blowing. In the enclosed space of the theatre the wind started rebound along the walls and quickly became a mini tornado.
Megan was just a step from the emergancy door when the wind shut it closed, after a second she was swept from the floor and sent screaming thorugh the air.
Only those few thing that were welded to the floor were immune to the little hurricane. The fixed cameras continued to roll clearly showing Sarah's face, from the expression it was obvious how easy this feat was for her, like if she was blowing the dust from a table.
After a minute of the crazy rollercoaster, Sarah started slowing the wind and in a few moments she deposited all her victims to the ground. Carefully not to exit form the cameras' fields of vision she proudly strode through the studio and put Dave back to his feet.
Beaming him a 100 watts smile she continued.
"Now, about number four..."
Super Sarah inhaled a little causing her ample chest to expand, although not nearly as much as the last demonstration of her lung capacity. She then let out a piercing scream. The audience scrambled to cover their ears as some of the glass fixtures began to shatter.
The exterior windows of the building that housed the theater suffered the same fate as shards of glass rained down onto the sidewalk. Thankfully, those areas were blocked off during the taping of the show for a stunt that was to be performed by freestyle motorcross/rally car driver/daredevil Travis Pastrana. The nearby parked cars also had their windows broken as numerous alarms shrilled loudly.
A camera panned over to the dangling Dave, fingers in his ears, and zoomed in, showing the cracked lenses in his trademark round framed glasses.
"What"? Dave asked in a loud voice, his ears still ringing. Sarah, looking perturbed at him, shouted.
She knelt, but was careful not to show her panties to the cameras, she didn't want to be the subject of the next week gossip for showing her undergarments on TV. She dug her fingers through the layers of material and lifted it over her head, causing the remains of Dave's desk and the guests chairs to fall to the floor. She had to be very careful not to to smash right through it given the relative low strength and little weight of the material.
She continued keeping her voice high to be heared by her half-deafened public. For the sake of the audience she decided to put a little more show than necessary, she purportedly flaunted her biceps while starting to pull her hands apart.
A long criss crossed crack started to forming in the piece scenography. Splinters fired in every direction. A few hit Sarah, but obviously failed to produce even the slightest impression on her, including the one hitting her left eye.
With a sickeining groan the platform was ripped in two pieces. Sarah swinged them high for a moment, before smashing them together like to slices of toasted bread and lining them against a wall.
Dave was back to his feet, so the sonic boom effect was subsiding, and Sarah resumed a more normal tone of voice.
Sarah walked slowly and regally towards the emergency door that Megan had tried to escape through a few seconds earlier, the eyes of every person and camera in the theatre following her apprehensively. When she reached the door, she pushed her chest at it.
Gasps from the audience were clearly audible as Sarah’s chest reached the door and instead of yielding began to push through it. Sarah kept walking towards the door and pushing it with her chest until finally the door gave up the fight, flying outwards off of its hinges.
Sarah quickly collected the door and brought it back to demonstrate her point. The door was completely mangled but there were clearly two perfect dimples to show where all the damage had started.
“And finally,” Sarah said, a huge smile on her face as she looked around the audience and then an even wider grin as she looked at Dave, “we come to number one ...”
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Sarah sighed loudly, like mother facing a rebellious child, and disappeared in a red and blue streak. Dave was about to reach a door when a blur of movement blocked his way and he smashed face first in Sarah's unyielding body. She picked him up by the collar of his pinstripped jacket and placed him in the chair.
Crossing her arms across the 'S' shield on her chest she finbished her little lecture.
"As I was saying, the number one reason is that I usually discharge my fury and frustration on objects." She picked up a piece of the destroyed desk and crushed it to sawdust with just a casual movement of her fingers. "But there are times, rare and far between them, when I'm so pissed off that I can't help myself and then I do this kind of things to people."
Dave looked to her with eye wide with amazement and terror, from his point of view she looked miles tall and the aura of power she exeuded only added to the powerful effect.
Smiling with condescension Sarah patted him on the head, "I hope this little accident will help us to understand each other a little better."
Then she turned and walked under the hole of her entrance, "Now if you'll excuse me, I have a family and some paperwork to go back to." She started lifting from the floor with the hems of her shirt and cape flapping slightly, when she was about to meters from the floor she suddenly accelerated and left the Ed Sullivan theatre through the roof, after minute a red streak headed north zipped over the Midwest while a multiple loud sonic booms followed seconds later.
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JKIJ and Moomin Monkeh: You both did a fantastic job with your contributions
I really enjoyed this short interactive story (maybe that's something that should be done more often) so thanks Argo for starting it up and everyone who added to it or commented on it.
Now, where's our prize?
I was thinking of re-arranging the contributions, seeing if they might work better in a different order, but I think they're fine as is.
I'll post the epilogue later today, but I presume the "prize" you're looking for is the artwork I commissioned. The artist hasn't finished it yet, but as soon as he sends me a scan of the finished drawing, I'll pass it along to admin.
Thanks again! Now this is the kind of response that makes writing well worth the time and effort.
Anon - Awesome work on your four additions to the story
Thanks, but it was your additions that gave me the impulse to wrote them. So my thanks to you.
And I admit I wasn't too sure about the last one, so if there is anyone out there willing to criticize, please let me know.
I really enjoyed this short interactive story (maybe that's something that should be done more often)
That's can be a good idea, but to keep things under control we should set some kind of limit to the number of successive contributions.
Now, where's our prize?
I don't know about the others, but for me the prize is the epilogue.
" -- joke got a bigger reaction than he expected when Governor Palin herself literally crashed the live broadcast of -- "
" -- Letterman, shaken and contrite, issued this apology before announcing that he was taking an indefinite leave of absence from -- "
" -- has not returned our calls, but a spokesperson for the Governor informs us that Ms. Palin will be holding a press conference -- "
Sighing, Todd Palin pressed the "off" button.
"Well," he said ruefully, "I guess your secret is out. And on national television, no less."
"You were awesome, Mom!" said Piper.
"Yeah," Willow chimed in. "Way to go, Mom!"
Sarah gave the girls a hug. "Thanks, girls. Now listen. Mommy lost her temper. I shouldn't have done that, but what Mr. Letterman said about Willow -- well, let's just say it was very, very mean. But I want you to remember that I didn't hurt anybody -- "
" -- much -- and I'm going to fix everything I broke."
"So," said Willow, glancing slyly at her mother, "does this mean that Bristol and Piper and me can start using our super-powers in public, too?"
Sarah shook her head. "Nice try, sweetie, but no. Bristols's too busy with her baby, and as for you and Piper -- you'll still have to wait until you're eighteen."
Willow pouted. "Awww ... "
"Mommy," said Piper, "how come Bristol and Willow and me have super-powers but Track doesn't?"
"We talked about that, sweetie. Remember how I told you that boys and girls are different? Well, you have super-powers like me because you're a girl, and your brother doesn't because he's a boy. And someday, when you're a mommy, your daughters will have super-powers, too."
"Cool!" said Piper.
"Yes," said Todd hastily. "But that won't be for a long time -- right?"
The telephone rang.
Todd frowned. "I thought Roz was holding our calls for the rest of the evening."
"It must be something important." Sarah stood up, brushing popcorn crumbs from her red miniskirt as she went over to the telephone.
"Hello ... Oh! Good evening, Mr. President."
Piper and Willow turned round on the sofa, staring at their mother with wide eyes and open mouths.
"Mm-hm ... Mm-hm ... Let me check." Turning slightly, she narrowed her eyes, gazing at something far beyond the walls of the governor's mansion. "Yes, I see it ... Don't worry, Mr. President -- I'll take care of it right away ... Not at all. Happy to help."
She hung up.
"Trouble?" her husband asked.
She sighed. "You-know-who just launched a missile toward Hawaii."
Leaning over, she gave each of her daughters a kiss on the forehead. "Mommy has to take care of something. Piper, time for bed. Willow, you can stay up another hour. I love you."
She walked up to the french windows and stepped out onto the balcony. Stars were twinkling overhead, but twilight lingered on the western horizon. Todd had followed her outside. She turned and kissed him on the cheek.
"This might take a while," she said. "Don't wait up."
"Okay, but don't be too long. You've got that press conference tomorrow."
She made a face. "Don't remind me. I'd rather face a dozen nuclear missiles than a room full of reporters."
Springing lightly off the balcony, she hovered for a moment to get her bearings, then flew westward, rocketing faster and faster across the glittering expanse of the Pacific Ocean.
Now I wonder how the press conference will go. Perhaps Sarah has some sort of Super-Hypnotism tha twill let her make it far easier on herself ...
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JKIJ, it looks like you're a long-time member, first-time poster. I'm glad this little project drew you out of the shadows of lurkerdom. Don't be a stranger!
Thank YOU! I'll combine my original post, the contributors' additions, and the epilogue into one document, and when the illustration arrives I'll send the whole package to the StoryBank.
I'll be looking forward to this, I tried to do somehting like that with the first TF4000 story, but it was too long, and written in too many different styles to be easily reduced to a single, miles long, text document.
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