It was the most wonderful time of the year.
Pulling into the underbelly of the venue with his 18-wheeler, Sodom proudly showed his pass to the security guard before driving into the garage and parking his vehicle. The echoes of his truck's horn sent a ripple through the garage that made everyone there jump in shock before he opened the door and hopped down onto the floor. He knew it was a cruel thing to do with the acoustics of the garage being what they were, but he couldn't help but be a little bit mischievous. Events such as these made him feel young again.
"(An apple fell on my foot and I farted rainbows!)"
Using his favorite Japanese phrase to describe his feeling of elation, Sodom unfolded his paper fan and gently blew his origami butterflies into the air. For today's occasion, he dressed in his finest samurai armor, with his twin sai sitting at his hip. For months upon months throughout the year, his brother-in-arms Rolento would ridicule and berate him at almost every turn for drowning in his so-called vices rather than focus on the development of their new utopia. He couldn't possibly understand what this event meant to him, how Sodom held it in the same prestige as Rolento held the values of a perfect military nation.
Perhaps one day he would, but for now, Sodom had arrived to become the savior of the largest anime convention in the Western Hemisphere. The powers-that-be at Bandai and Capcom had joined forces once again to bring him BamComiCon, and Sodom had just arrived with what was sure to be the flagship event of this year's festivities. "Lessee...judging from your license plate," the security guard stepped away from the back of the truck and walked over to Sodom just as he put his fan back near his hip, "you're here with the hug pillows, right?"
"Correct, aniki, "Sodom said with a smile that couldn't be hid even with his blue samurai helmet, the brightness of his voice clearly evident. "10,000 dakimakura, equally divided in half by boys and girls! They've been looking forward to this con so much, that on the way here I heard them talking excitedly amongst themselves! I know that everyone here will become good friends with them!"
"...yeeeahhh, I'm sure they will," the security nodded his head before rolling his eyes and handing Sodom his clipboard. "Anyway, sign right here and then you can open up the truck where our volunteers will take it from there."
Sodom quickly scribbled the hiragana for his name before skipping over to the back of his trailer and unlatching the many locks that kept his cargo secure. With dramatic flair, he swung the doors open to reveal his cargo...which included one lithe young lady who pounced out of the trailer and landed gracefully on Sodom's shoulder. The security guard jumped up in shock and put his hand on his side arm, but Sodom didn't seem shocked at all. In fact, Sodom spun around with the woman still on his shoulder, and together they stuck out their hand in a V sign.
The two otaku drew out the letter as long as they could before the young lady hopped down and bowed her head to the security officer. "GOMEN," she apologized before giving the guard a playful wink, "but what's say you and I make up for it over dinner, eh?"
The security guard gave the teenage girl the once-over and decided that he didn't want anything to do with her. It certainly wasn't because she wasn't attractive, as her athletic figure was shown off exceptionally in her ninja-themed cosplay with the hips of her pants cut out to give her viewers a teasing doubt if she was wearing panties or not. Indeed, she seemed to be dressed the part of the stereotypical seductive kunoichi in anime who used her curves and beauty to attract victims and fanboys alike.
But the security guard was not so shallow as to fall for someone simply because she dressed that way and tried to come off as promiscuous. By taking it upon herself to travel to the venue inside of a trailer filled with hug pillows, and then vaulting out to give a cliche peace sign, she had proven herself as just one of the many, many otakus that would be polluting his city this weekend. If the guard had his way, the event would have been cancelled or moved someplace else, because the amount of nearly-deviant weirdness made him question the direction society had gone.
On the bright side, at least it wasn't the S&M convention that he had to work with the month prior.
As the security guard walked away to bring the volunteers over to unload the cargo, Sodom turned to Ibuki and helped her down so that she was now sitting on his shoulder rather than standing on it. "Ibuki-chan," Sodom said playfully as they made their way to the entrance of the convention. "You look so kawaii today! My kokoro goes doki-doki when I think about how you agreed to come with me!"
"Oh, come on, Uncle Sodom! You know that I'm going to jump at a chance to meet some cool boys, and who's cooler than all of those ikemen guests they've got this year," Ibuki hummed. "Besides, if it doesn't work out, I can just say I was roleplaying! I get to have all of the fun of a relationship with none of the guilt and baggage! Big Ws all around!"
"It must be super sugoi, to meet all of those aniki you read in your idol books," Sodom agreed as they finally reached the elevator. Carefully kneeling down so that Ibuki could step onto the shaft, Sodom walked in and pressed the button to the main door. "As for myself, there's going to be SHI gravure idols in attendance! They'll be so happy when I show them the kabuki dances I made just for them! Then we can go to the karaoke bar a few blocks down and we'll sing about samurai and ninjas and a better time!"
Both Ibuki and Sodom had dreams of meeting their idols, both figuratively and literally, and perhaps taking one of them back to their hotel room for a more intimate meeting. In that respect, they had become fast friends while living together in Rolento's military nation, and Sodom had become something of a big brother figure to the young Ibuki. Like Sodom, Ibuki was relentlessly hounded by Rolento for her interest in idol books and DVDs, and even forbid Ibuki to spend the nation's funding on them. To that end, Sodom would take the funds clandestinely and buy them for Ibuki as gifts, forging a friendship that was held together by their vices.
As the door closed, Sodom and Ibuki giggled to themselves in an almost supernatural connection, thinking about the wonderful time they were sure to have at BamComiCon.
The Artist's Alley
Sodom and Ibuki agreed to go their separate ways and meet up back at their hotel, where they made a vow to take back at least one of their idols using the ancient ninja secrets of seductin and persuasion refined through the centuries of Ibuki's clan. What Sodom didn't realize is that Ibuki was actually quite unskilled in these secrets as she secretly became horribly embarassed when it came time to get past the first couple of steps, but ignorance was bliss. Besides, Sodom would no doubt charm his gravure goddesses with his sharp wit and honed muscles.
"SUPER MASSIVE GLOMP!"
In fact, it seemed that as soon as Sodom walked down the escalator of the main floor and to the lower levels that consisted of the artist alley, his sharp wit and honed muscles attracted a female quicker than even he was expecting. No sooner than he stepped away from the escalator, a young woman with long blonde pigtails jumped on Sodom's back and caused him to stumble forwards in surprise. "NANNY," he exclaimed before reaching behind him and tossing the attacker forward. Sodom was at one time one of the most physically imposing members of the infamous Mad Gear gang, and always welcomed a challenge from any opponent.
From the looks of things, his opponent would be someone capable. Even though she had been tossed what had to have been twenty feet away, the unknown woman gracefully landed on his feet and hands...or paws, given the rather unique composition of her pink fur jacket. The woman was of a lithe build, much like Ibuki, wearing a black-and-pink strapped skirt to go along her headphones around her head.
"HIIII," she waved both her pawed hands at Sodom before winking at him. "You've been glomped! Now you have to glomp five people back in the next five minutes or you'll be cursed by watching Naruto...DUBBED. FOREVER."
"FOREVER!? I-YAAAAAH!" Sodom cried before rapidly turning his head from left to right, looking for new targets. "I accept your challenge, stranger! ITSA GLOMP DA ZE!"
With a panicked shrill, Sodom rushed towards the nearest convention patron and wrapped them in a crushing embrace. Once again, Sodom was far stronger than the average human being, his body being a mass of chiseled muscles made functionalized for martial arts through many years of training and stretching. Even something as outwards harmless as a glomp could, and did, cause great pain and damage to whoever was unlucky enough to be caught in his grip.
With a powerful squeeze, Sodom gave the unlucky patron a hug, lifting him into the air as he would crush his enemies in the ring back when he was a professional wrestler. Although the squeeze was only a couple of seconds long, the victim let out a gasp for air as he was let go and dropped to the ground so that Sodom could find more people to spread the glomping to. To Sodom's dismay, he was only able to glomp the one pour soul, as any other prospects quickly scattered about the artist's alley in fear of getting crushed.
"(My breasts have been lacerated with orange peels)," he cried in agony before falling to his knees. "Now I am doomed to watch Naruto in the most disgusting of languages...ENGLISH! Oh, what bitter irony is this, to be cursed to watch an anime not in its native tongue...to listen to it being butchered by the vile Western influence!" Tears welled up in his eyes, streaming down his mask as his sniffled. "What shame...how can I return home with this mark of defeat?"
"AAAAGH," Sodom screamed in abject terror as the unknown woman pounced upon him again. "Haven't you done enough!? Leave me, you are victorious! The defeated must be left alone...forever alone…"
The stranger playfully nibbled on one of the hooks of Sodom's helmet, vocalizing the act accordingly. After a few more noms, Sodom realized that she was trying to be friendly, and reached over to ruffle her hair. "Gomen nasai, strange neko woman," Sodom said quietly as he stood up, with the stranger still wrapped around his back. "I...have shamed my ancestors with this defeat. The code of the samurai says that any challenge failed must be met with a severe penalty."
"...let's go commission something kawaii," she suggested cheerfully.
Sodom nodded his head in agreement and walked over to one of the artist tables with the cat lady in tow. He had come down to the artist's alley for that very purpose, but had lost sight of it due to the excitement of her challenge. He promised himself internally that he would pass the next challenge with flying colors, but for now he had to pay the penalty of carrying her around on his back. He was hoping to commission his piece in private, but such was the way of the defeated.
Sodom gazed longingly at the artist's portfolio for an inappropriate amount of time before the artist cleared her throat and brought him to her attention. "Do you see anything you like," the woman said with a polite smile before pushing forward her business card. "Prints are $10, and if you want a commission, I have the prices listed here on my card."
Sodom's eyes lit up as he looked at the business card, which featured a chibified caricature of the artist next to the prices. "This is so kawaii," he hummed in a sing-song voice before looking back to the artist. "And is says here that you do comic pages! That is ka-koi!"
"I have a limit of five pages per client at a time," the artist replied. "I won't be able to finish it this weekend, but give me your e-mail and I can send them to you as attachments when I'm done with them!"
"Of course," Sodom nodded his head before handing the girl on his back the card. "You see, I wrote this really cool fanfic about how myself and Felicia traveled to Japan and destroyed a ninja conclave being run by the resurrected Oda Nobunaga, and then after that we sang at a karaoke bar and had sake! This will be so cool!"
"Can you condense it to five pages or less?"
"Hmmm...I think so," Sodom nodded his head before scribbling his e-mail address down on one of the back of the cards and handing to the artist. "Here is my e-mail. I'll forward you the commission info as soon as I can!"
"'ilovehellokittygirls...sounds good," the artist nodded her head before shaking Sodom's hand and turning to the cat girl still latched onto his back. "How about you, ma'am? Anything you'd like?"
"...do you do yaoi?" the stranger asked expectantly.
"I do," the artist nodded her head before pulling out a different binder from the one that had been sitting on the table. "I keep this one hidden for obvious reasons, but since you asked, take a look at what I've got."
The catgirl reached over Sodom's shoulder to flip through the book, and her eyes lit up instantly. "This is...KAKOI," she shrieked with enough volume that other people stopped to take notice as her rapidly flipping through the pages. "So much ecchi...beautiful, beautiful ecchi! How much more ecchi can you make this? I have a bit of a commission idea that I think you'd be perfect for!"
"That's what I'm here for," the artist smiled. "Just send it in the e-mail on my business card and I'll get back to you. In the meantime, would you like any prints?"
"I'll take twenty," the catgirl hummed as she reached into her jacket and pulled out her wallet. "Here you go!"
Once business had concluded, Sodom reached behind his back and propped the catgirl up on his shoulder before walking around the rest of the artist's alley. "So, what did you commission, strange neko woman? Don't worry, a samurai judges only by their peer's actions rather than their words!"
"Ooooh...nothing much," the woman replied as she finished texting her e-mail to the address on the business card. Tapping Sodom on the shoulder and pointing to the artist table they had just went to, the duo turned to see the artist take out her phone and look at the text she had received, and recoil in disgust after a few seconds of browsing. When she looked up from her phone to see that Sodom and his duo were still nearby watching her, the catgirl waved playfully as if nothing was wrong. "I asked how ecchi she could make it, so I figured I'd throw in some furry action in there too...aaaand maybe a few other things."
"...I am Sodom, the great Nippon Warrior," Sodom formally introduced himself, realizing he had never exchanged names with his conqueror. "What shall I call you, other than "strange neko woman?'"
"Lucky Chloe, Sodom-san," Lucky bowed her head as Sodom bowed his. "Let's go watch some anime!"
Sodom gasped in horror before Lucky remembered the glomping game she played with him, and quickly corrected herself. "I mean, with subs! Of course I mean subs! I wouldn't really wish dubs upon anyone!" After breathing a sigh of relief, Sodom kept Lucky propped up on his shoulder as they walked to the escalator and headed towards the viewing room.
(continued next post)