Gregg wanted to add nothing to his bio, except for his recent win in the Mr. Universe pageant. Congratulate him, won't you? That is, after you read his story.
Androids, Ninjas, Floss: A Memoir
By Gregg Podolski
By Gregg Podolski
“Why won’t you just die?” she screamed. On the word “die,” she leapt off the plateau. I didn’t have the strength to go another round, so I quickly scrambled inside the cave, looking over my shoulder the entire time. That proved to be kind of a stupid way to run, as it caused me to completely fall off the ledge waiting just inside the cave mouth. I landed on a hunk of stone about ten feet across, which wouldn’t have been so bad had the hunk of stone not been floating on a river of molten lava at the time.
“Ah, shit,” I said, expertly assessing my situation. Just then Miss Davis landed beside me, rocking the stone so hard I almost fell off. Her eyes burned red in their dark sockets, and the exposed metal of her skull glowed orange from the heat of the lava. We had reached the final act of our battle. Both of us could feel it. There was only one possible way this could end.
I reached into the waistband of my robe (we were both dressed like monks now, for some reason), pulled out my lightsaber, and pressed the button on the hilt. The blue blade burst forth with that oh-so-familiar sound, the one that makes geeks everywhere orgasm when they hear it. Miss Davis did the same, her blade glowing red.
We stood facing each either, neither willing to make the first move, neither sure what to say. How did you encapsulate a moment such as this? How did you put into words the climax of a struggle as magnificent, as epic as ours had been? You couldn’t. So I was forced to settle for the next best thing.
“Hey George,” I called, turning towards the shore of the molten river on which we floated. There, seated in a canvas director’s chair, George Lucas was absent-mindedly carving bits of dialogue from a pile of logs.
“Toss me a line, would ya!” I shouted. Barely looking up, he reached into the box next to him and threw a finished line my way. I caught it, and read it to Miss Davis aloud:
“Miss Davis, prepare to meet thy destiny!” I raised my lightsaber then stopped. “Wait, really? ‘Prepare to meet thy destiny?’” I looked over at Lucas, who was paying me no attention whatsoever. “That’s the best you could come up with? What happened, ‘Prepare to meet thy doom’ already taken? Do you even give a shit about what your characters say?”
Without bothering to look up from his whittling, Lucas called out, “Listen, just do the scene and try not to fuck it up, okay? I’d like to get it in one take so I can tinker with some of the green-screen effects.”
“You know people go for more than just the special effects, right? Story kind of counts for something, too.”
“Oh, and don’t forget to strike at least three memorable poses. We need one for the action figure, one for the DVD cover, and one for the novelization jacket.”
“You’re a tool, dude.”
Our lightsabers clashed, the blades forming an X in the space between us. In the background, over the hiss of the lava, a choir sang “Duel of the Fates,” the echoes of our lightsabers coinciding perfectly with the peaks in the music. (This entire scene actually reads better if you have that music going, so if you don’t know it by heart, I’d suggest searching for it on youtube and cranking it while you finish the chapter. Trust me, it makes a difference).
I parried and thrust, but Miss Davis was too quick. She countered every one of my moves. Before long, she’d forced me to the edge of our little stone raft. I held her back by sheer force of will, her lightsaber blade pushing against mine, inching ever closer to my face.
“How could you, Miss Davis?” I said. “You were the chosen one! It was said that you would destroy the Sith, not join them! Bring balance to the Force, not leave it in darkness!”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Miss Davis asked.
“I know, it’s bad, right? It’s more stuff George gave me to say.”
“That’s impossible. Nobody’s that tone deaf to the way people really talk. They don’t even talk like that in comic books anymore.”
“Don’t tell me. Look, it’s what he gave me, I swear.” I held up another line of dialogue, this one carved out of a flimsy piece of plywood, and she glanced at it just long enough for me to knock her off balance with a solid shove. She reeled backwards but never came close to falling. As she charged for another attack, this one no doubt fatal, I sprung backwards off the raft, flipped in mid air, and landed on a small hill on the shore. Miss Davis glared at me angrily, her red eyes burning even brighter, gauging the distance between her and I.
“It’s over Miss Davis,” I said, lowering my lightsaber. “I have the high ground.”
“You underestimate my--oh, fuck this,” she said, tossing her line into the lava. Then she leapt at me, lightsaber extended. I swatted her away easily with my blade. The arm holding her lightsaber fell harmlessly to the ground, no longer encumbered by its connection to her body.
“No!” she screamed. As she bent to pick up the weapon with her other hand, I swung my blade downward and lopped her head off at the shoulders. Sparks flew from the tangle of severed wires and her skull rolled down the slope until it came to rest at the bank of the boiling river. Her body flopped to the ground, flailing aimlessly for its CPU. Finally, it ran out of auxiliary power and lay still. I retracted my weapon and walked up to the fallen head of my enemy.
“You can’t win, Gregg,” it was saying, its voice broken and full of static. “If you strike me down I shall become more powerful than you can possibly--“
I kicked it into the lava before it could finish. For a moment, I simply stood where I was, catching my breath, allowing my mind to comprehend all that had just happened. When I finally gathered the strength to make my way out of the cave, I first stopped by Lucas’s chair and slipped a piece of paper into his shirt pocket.
“What’s this?” he asked.
“Quentin Tarantino’s number. Trust me, you need it.” Then I exited the cave.