Huddled in a blanket with a cold wind flapping her tent walls, Sally sipped cautiously at a hot mug of coffee while she read her email. Short messages from various groups of her rebels were scanned, answered and deleted; then she raised an incredulous eyebrow at what appeared to be a spam mail advertising cheap medication. “Viagra?” she muttered. “Viagra hasn’t been used for over a century... and what’s this doing on my secure account?!” Then the badly spelled words blinked and vanished, replaced briefly by a dancing chibi-Deathscythe, and a new email appeared.
----- message begins -----
TO: "Doctor Spock" [firstname.lastname@example.org]
FROM: "Death and Destruction" [email@example.com]
SENT: 30 March AC196, 2125:32
MESSAGE: Magical Girl
What’s up, Doc?
Quatre said you patched him up a couple of weeks ago, thanks for that!
In appreciation for your kind and selfless act, we searched the ‘net for an appropriate ‘list’ for you. I wanted to send the ‘Mad Scientist’ one, but Heero vetoed it. So we settled on this one. If you would please answer the comments, we’d be eternally grateful!
Oh! And can you CC them to Treize (Evil_Overlord@tyranny.com), Zechs (Henchman@tyranny.com), Wufei (Empress@tyranny.com), and Noin (Evil_Daughter@tyranny.com) as well as to Quatre and Trowa? You know their email addresses. And don’t worry about being tracked by your reply. We’ve buried things so deep that it could take even Heero years to find you.
Duo and Heero
----- message ends -----
[Sally Po wrote:] Duo, Heero,
I see you've been watching 20th century AD anime on your down time again. Even worse, (or is that better?) you've corrupted Heero. I suppose I have to compliment you on that.
While I was tending to Quatre, he explained this mad email game you’re playing, and let me read what was done so far. While I still can’t believe you’ve involved Kushrenada , Merquise and Noin, I have to give you credit – the answers are quite amusing.
When I received this email, I was almost afraid. But now I have to thank you for involving me. It was fun, and killed time on a cold, lonely evening.
Enjoy the replies, gentlemen, and put me on your list to get any further madness!
If I Ever Become a Magical Girl:
1. I will find out if there is a less revealing transformation sequence.
[Sally Po wrote:] My figure isn't that bad, is it? I mean, I know you two would rather look at each other, but I'd like to think I look pretty good.
2. In the same vein, I will discover if there are other clothing options besides a mini-skirt, as those tend to be drafty.
[Sally Po wrote:] BDUs are much more practical - I can hide more weapons on me that way.
3. I will invest in a good pair of sneakers, so as to reduce the possibility of a twisted ankle due to my boots/high heels/sandals.
[Sally Po wrote:] Combat boots beat those high heels any day. Don't think I could walk in heels, really. I've never tried, to be honest.
4. If I see anything even remotely resembling tentacles on the monster I'm fighting, I will immediately remove myself from its striking range, and resort to large firearms.
[Sally Po wrote:] Do you think Heero would loan me Wing?
5. If I have any attack sequence of more than two words and single gesture, I will work to shorten that. If I cannot, I will begin using alternate methods of attacking, such as really big guns.
[Sally Po wrote:] Wouldn't it be cool if I could give an enemy the finger, and that would be it? Apart from that, I suppose a personal dragon claw or a buster rifle would be pretty nice.
6. If the villain has a sudden change of heart, I will immediately take him to an anonymous hotel room and watch over him. Either he's faking it and will attempt to betray me, at which point I will kill him; or he's serious, at which point his former colleagues will attempt to kill him. In either case, I will be certain to pump him for information.
[Sally Po wrote:] If the villain looks at all like Treize… heck, yeah, I'll take him to the hotel with me! 'Pump' him for information, indeed! I might not just watch… Sorry, Wufei, Zechs, but he is devastatingly handsome!
7. If my magical sidekick has a nasty habit of forgetting important information until it's too late to act upon, I will insist upon some kind of memory classes.
[Sally Po wrote:] Nonsense - I'll just find a new sidekick, one with a real brain. Why would I want a bubblehead as my second-in-command?
8. If I have a protector who swoops in, interrupts my fight with the monster just for a motivational speech, and then leaves me without helping in any other way, I will dump him and look for a protector that will fight at my side.
[Sally Po wrote:] The day I need a protector is the day I join a nunnery… and that’ll never happen.
9. No matter how ridiculous the villain may seem, I will give him/her/it my full respect until proven otherwise.
[Sally Po wrote:] Even if he has a rose fetish?
10. Attacking from behind is NOT the act of a coward. It's the act of a magical girl who wishes to minimize fights.
[Sally Po wrote:] And it’s good strategy. Honourable combat is all well and good… but a sneak attack gets the job done quicker.
11. If an ally speaks only in riddles, I will give him/her the chance to speak clearly. If he or she refuses, I will find new allies.
[Sally Po wrote:] We don't call it 'riddles.' We call it talking in code, and I think it's saved all our asses a few times over, wouldn't you all agree?
12. If an ally claims to know the future, I will tell him or her to quit speaking nonsense, and quote Yoda if I have to.
[Sally Po wrote:] Okay, I see I undertook this challenge without all the information needed… Who or what is Yoda?
13. If I discover other magical girls, I will force them to learn such strategies as ambushes, flanking manoeuvres, rear guards, and catching opponents in a crossfire.
[Sally Po wrote:] You mean teach a bunch of civvies how to be soldiers? Are you sure I can't just recruit you pilots to my cause? I'm sure we could come up with a uniform you'd look good in… In fact, I think you'd look good in almost anything I put you in.
14. If my enemy consistently uses the same tactics over and over, I will use that predictability to plan an attack to kill that enemy.
[Sally Po wrote:] Can we say 'obvious?'
15. If I discover that I am reborn from a previous time, I will not be surprised by what my past self was like.
[Sally Po wrote:] But it would be nice if it were someone like a queen, or filthy rich debutante or something. Especially if I’ve established a trust fund for my future self.
16. If an enemy stops to gloat, I will take that as the opportunity it is and kill him/her/it.
[Sally Po wrote:] According to what I've seen about you, Treize, I'll never catch you gloating outside the bedroom and, to be honest, if I were in the bedroom with you, I doubt I'd be trying to kill you.
17. If my enemies consistently use minions that shout out random attack phrases right before striking, I will learn to dodge at those shouts.
[Sally Po wrote:] Actually, I will train my whole team to open fire just as they open their mouths to yell. Save us from hearing anything stupid like 'paisley gold star of happiness attack!'
18. I will NOT make any speeches about "love," "justice," or any other foolishness until AFTER I've defeated my enemy.
[Sally Po wrote:] I will NOT make any speeches about ‘love’, ‘justice’, or any other such nonsense at all! And... Chang... are you paying attention?
19. If my enemy is revealed to be a human, highly-placed or otherwise, I will remember that he or she is undoubtedly attempting to destroy or take over the planet and that professional assassins exist for a reason.
[Sally Po wrote:] Heh. Why bother getting my own hands dirty, right?
20. I will deliberately walk into walls, gorge myself while eating, and make a general fool of myself, so as to surprise my enemies when I show competence in battle.
[Sally Po wrote:] Too late, you already know I'm competent, or I wouldn't be on Lady Une's short list of political targets. I consider that something of an honour, to tell you the truth.
21. If possible, I will create attacks that require no words, so as to surprise my enemy when I kill him/her/it with it.
[Sally Po wrote:] Knives in the back are a good start.
22. If my magical animal sidekick has any weapons/powerups/useful magical devices, I will insist upon getting them immediately, and not wait until my enemies are stronger than me.
[Sally Po wrote:] I’ve always wanted a ferret…
23. I will NOT save my most powerful attack until after the monster is weakened by my friends. Instead, I will use it at the beginning of the fight, in the hopes of making the fight a short one.
[Sally Po wrote:] Sure - I'll send in the Gundams first if I can ever convince them to join me, and send my guys in to mop up the leftovers. Boys, you really are magnificent, you know that, right?
24. If I come to possess an artefact of great power that can aid me in defeating evil, I will use it as often as possible, without raising a serious threat to myself.
[Sally Po wrote:] Depends on the item. The ends don't always justify the means. I will never employ mobile dolls!
25. I will learn how to properly use said artefacts before anything else.
[Sally Po wrote:] See my answer above.
26. I will NEVER trust a villain's word. There's a reason why he/she is the villain, after all.
[Sally Po wrote:] Sorry, Treize, but I have to agree with this one. Unless you'd like to try and convince me like you 'convinced' Wufei, that is.
27. If my enemy asks if I could find it in my heart to let him or her go, I will say, "Yes," then turn and walk away. When my enemy attempts to shoot me in the back, my allies will kill him.
[Sally Po wrote:] Of course, this plan only works if I have allies. How much will I have to pay you boys for an alliance?
28. I will not announce my attacks. If I must, I will use attack phrases that are totally unlike the attack. "Beautiful Love Heart Attack," for example, will produce some kind of magical napalm.
[Sally Po wrote:] I prefer phrases such as ‘Die scum’ or ‘Eat this’.
29. In the event that I have a choice between my team-mates and completing the mission, I will both remember that if I do not complete the mission, my friends will undoubtedly die anyways, and that they knew the risks when they signed up.
[Sally Po wrote:] I will never leave a man down. Rest assured of that. I will accomplish my mission, though. We are soldiers, that is what we do.
30. I will ensure my magical uniform has protective properties. If it is unable to favourably compare to a bulletproof vest, I will get rid of it and find a new magical uniform.
[Sally Po wrote:] Kevlar body armour is my friend.
31. Just because someone *can* destroy the world, doesn't mean that they will. I will keep this in mind when my allies have frightening powers.
[Sally Po wrote:] Point in fact: Heero Yuy.
32. If several members of my group have weapons/special accessories, I will discover if the rest of my group should have something as well.
[Sally Po wrote:] Do Wing, Deathscythe, Heavyarms, Sandrock and Shenlong count? If so, can I have my own Gundam?
33. I will not try to defy prophecy, as that never works. Rather, I will find a way to manipulate said prophecy to my favour.
[Sally Po wrote:] That’s right up there with ‘Murphy’s Law’.
34. I will remember that cheating is defined by the winners and will use every under-handed, dirty, or otherwise cheap trick in the book in order to ensure winning the fight.
[Sally Po wrote:] Duo, can I borrow your copy of “Underhanded, Dirty Cheating for Dummies’?
35. If the villain takes a hostage, I will mourn for said hostage, then act to avenge their deaths. Any promises the villain makes in regard to the hostage will be regarded as the lies they most likely are.
[Sally Po wrote:] I would trust your word, Treize, but Lady Une is a very different matter. I cannot trust that woman.
36. If performing an attack leaves me immobilized or unable to defend myself, I will make sure my team-mates know about this, and are able to give me cover while I initiate it.
[Sally Po wrote:] I say again - that should be obvious, shouldn't it?
37. If my One, True Love is captured by the other side and brainwashed to fight against me, I will not hold back against him, as I know he would not want me to be hurt because of him.
[Sally Po wrote:] Irrelevant comment. I don't have a 'One True Love'… unless you're volunteering, Duo? (Don't get your panties in a twist, Heero. It's just a joke.)
38. If I have a magical device capable of driving the evil out of people, I will use it on the evil minions. At worst, it will do nothing, and I will have to kill them. At best, it will work on them, and they will turn to my side.
[Sally Po wrote:] This war would be much simpler if I believed you to be evil, Treize and Zechs. The thing that makes you so dangerous is that you believe yourselves to be acting for the best. If I had a magical device that could make you see it my way and end this mess once and for all, I'd use it in a heartbeat.
39. If said device can also remove a person's humanity, making them happy zombies, I will try to find a way to remove that feature.
[Sally Po wrote:] Uh, no zombies. No thanks. Even happy ones - zombies are creepy.
40. I will remember that while magically charged attacks are good, magically charged ammunition (especially fired from automatic weapons) is better in many, many cases.
[Sally Po wrote:] And if you can’t get ‘magical’ ammo – armour piercing and exploding rounds are the next best thing!
41. I will make all of my allies take at least rudimentary first aid.
[Sally Po wrote:] I think they've already taken it. Trowa must have, or Heero wouldn't look half as good right now as he does.
42. If a friend starts to date or care about a villain, I will present logical, comprehensive data as to the villain's true nature. Videotapes, pictures, pie charts, and other easily understood factors will be included.
[Sally Po wrote:] Chang? Are you busy next week?
43. Just because an enemy appears to be defeated does not mean he/she is. I will remain on my guard until I'm absolutely sure they can't squeeze out one final attack.
[Sally Po wrote:] Yeah. Never lean over the ‘body’ until you KNOW (from a distance) that they’re dead. That’s the first thing you learn from horror films.
44. If my most powerful ability might destroy the world when used, I will research less risky methods of mass destruction.
[Sally Po wrote:] How about we skip the whole 'mass destruction' bit? I'm out to save people, not kill them.
45. I will create an attack that is silent, invisible, or in some other manner hard to detect until it strikes the target.
[Sally Po wrote:] And if I can’t come up with one, I’m sure the Master of Stealth would help, wouldn’t you, Duo?
46. I will NOT seal away an evil opponent, leaving it free to escape and make trouble for my children. Instead, I kill it.
[Sally Po wrote:] Yes, we all know doctors are supposed to revere life... but never underestimate the woman protecting her young!
47. If I am unable to kill the opponent, merely seal them, then I will seal them, and then kill them while they're helpless.
[Sally Po wrote:] While this goes against the doctor in me, the terrorist agrees.
48. If a villain begs for mercy, I will remember how much mercy they have shown themselves to be capable of, and show them the same amount.
[Sally Po wrote:] You have too much finesse to ever beg for mercy, Treize. One of the benefits of having an enemy I can respect.
49. I will never assume an enemy has just one minion. Instead, I will assume there are many minions and plan accordingly.
[Sally Po wrote:] In other words - never assume that you're facing only one battalion? Good advice!
50. No matter how ridiculous our opponents look, I will assume they are incredibly dangerous and act accordingly.
[Sally Po wrote:] Zechs, my dear man, you do realise that mask looks just a little ridiculous, don’t you? Not that it would cause me to underestimate you or anything…
51. I will NEVER rely on any device to transform into my magical persona.
[Sally Po wrote:] Definitely NOT! The way I have to move around at a moment’s notice, I’d probably lose the damn thing!
52. If I must rely on a device, I will never reveal it. Instead, I will hide it somewhere about my body and use a large, flashy object to provide my enemies with something to try and steal.
[Sally Po wrote:] Unfortunately, it's hard to hide a mobile suit. Or a sniper rifle.
53. If I invade the villain's base, on my way out I will steal anything that looks even remotely magical and not nailed down. If I cannot steal it, I will use my magical powers to destroy it.
[Sally Po wrote:] I’d amend that last bit to ‘If I cannot steal it, I will call in Duo to do it for me’.
54. The near-magical powers of plastic explosives will not be overlooked.
[Sally Po wrote:] C-4 is our friend.
55. If my enemy starts a long, drawn-out attack sequence, I will kill him/her while he/she is still preparing it, not wait until AFTER it is cast.
[Sally Po wrote:] Why would I wait, to begin with? Silly idea.
56. If my daughter from the future appears suddenly, I will investigate her claims. DNA testing, a quiz about the immediate future, and personal questions about me that my daughter should know will all be included.
[Sally Po wrote:] Terrorist = paranoid. Enough said. I wouldn’t trust my own mother if she suddenly appeared out of nowhere...
57. If my daughter from the future is proven to be my daughter, and is INDESCRIBABLY annoying, I will investigate possible methods of birth control immediately.
[Sally Po wrote:] LOL! Poor Wufei... you’d have to deal with TWO infuriating onnas then! But the idea has merit – I’m not sure I could deal with another one just like me!
58. I will remember that I am a Magical GIRL, and that kicking the male villain in the groin repeatedly is a perfectly valid way to fight.
[Sally Po wrote:] Let’s not be sexist here. Duo, I specifically remember you telling me how you got into a certain base by ‘relocating the moronic guard’s testicles’ with your knee…
59. If my most powerful attack takes a large amount of time to cast or strike, I will fix those faults. If I cannot fix it, I will develop a different attack.
[Sally Po wrote:] To hell with magical attacks. Just give me a Glock – or a big bomb. Bombs are good.
60. Whenever I hear a prophecy, I will try to figure out all the possible alternate interpretations rather than just going with the obvious one.
[Sally Po wrote:] Heck, compared to some of the medical texts I’ve studied, any prophecy will be a piece of cake!
61. I will NEVER de-transform unless I am certain it is safe.
[Sally Po wrote:] Damn straight. That’s as stupid as taking off your flak jacket in the middle of a fire fight.
62. I will not forgo my weaker, faster attacks in favour of my slower, more powerful attacks.
[Sally Po wrote:] Sometimes quantity IS better than quality.
63. If I must seal an opponent, I will ensure that they are sealed in a location that is as difficult to reach as possible, ensuring that they will not be released by accident/too early.
[Sally Po wrote:] Say, sealed in a gundanium capsule and shot into the sun?
64. If I must seal away an opponent, I will make sure ALL my children know about it. Not just the ones that I think will have to deal with it.
[Sally Po wrote:] What is all the talk of children? Are you boys volunteering for the role of gene donor? *snicker*
65. Not all of my allies have to be magical girls. There is something to be said for allies carrying assault weapons.
[Sally Po wrote:] Or very large and powerful mobile suits.
66. If I get a magical advisor who constantly advises me to be more like my last life and doesn't give useful advice for the fighting in this one, I will stop listening to her and try to get another advisor. Preferably one who used to be a warrior.
[Sally Po wrote:] Preferably Heero or Wufei. Sorry, Duo. While I realise you’re just as intelligent as they are, I just know your advice would involve insults and comic routines…
67. Since I know that a well-developed intellect is my greatest weapon, I will study all material given to me by my teachers thoroughly. I will also intensely study materials not assigned to me in school.
[Sally Po wrote:] Been there, done that, got the doctorate.
68. Even though I have studied intensively, I will score badly on ALL tests. By doing so, other people will assume I am a bubble-headed moron. And you know what they say about assumptions.
[Sally Po wrote:] Evil badguys underestimating me is a VERY GOOD thing! Helps me to survive longer.
69. Any new students or other people my age that I meet will be closely observed. They are likely to be Masked Protectors (particularly if we constantly argue), other Magical Girls, or Villains in Disguise.
[Sally Po wrote:] The way you guys transfer between cover stories… I'll keep this one in mind.
70. I will be PRO-active, not RE-active.
[Sally Po wrote:] Definitely. It’s much more fun to watch the enemy scramble after we’ve cut loose on their asses rather than have them do it to us.
71. If one or a few of my presumed allies spends the whole series acting pretty much like the villains, I will remember that when they attempt to beg for forgiveness. After all, how trustworthy were they before?
[Sally Po wrote:] Whole series? I’m a terrorist. Does paranoia ring a bell? I’d have their throats cut by the second episode!
72. I will use my powers and influence to acquire wealth, status and political power. I will then use that to crush any organized villains when they show up, thus sparing myself, my allies and innocent bystanders the hazards of combat.
[Sally Po wrote:] I like the sound of wealth. I can just see myself relaxing on a pristine beach, sipping tropical drinks, surrounded by well-built, gorgeous men, all catering to my every need… And HIRING people to save the world.
73. I will tell a few friends or family my secret identity so that they can make excuses for me when fighting requires me to miss school or work.
[Sally Po wrote:] I can just see it, now - Sally Po, doctor by day, Defender of the Free World by night… would work if I had a normal day job. Terrorist by day, terrorist by night doesn't have the same effect.
74. I will wear a mask.
[Sally Po wrote:] I always wondered how Superman and Wonder Woman were never recognised…
75. I will fight in different uniforms. Hopefully, my enemies will think there are several different heroes out there. If necessary, I will cross-dress.
[Sally Po wrote:] I already wear BDU’s, fatigues… in order to cross-dress would I need to get tacky evening gowns?
76. I will hit on the villain. It will confuse him/her, and might even get him/her to change sides. If the villain is the same sex as me, it will probably creep them out. If not, then the original plan still applies.
[Sally Po wrote:] This is worth giving a try… So, Kushrenada, how does a quiet weekend for two at a tropical paradise sound?
77. I will start an aggressive merchandising campaign. I will use the majority of the funds thus earned to help hunt down the villain. A very large bounty on his/her skull should help a bit.
[Sally Po wrote:] Good idea. Then I could relax a lot more. Quatre, you know business. Could you give me a hand getting started?
78. I will earmark a significant portion of those funds to be placed in a safe place. I'll need something to live on after the villain is dead, after all.
[Sally Po wrote:] Exactly. I do have to fund my retirement paradise and hunky eye candy somehow.
79. If one of my allies has a computer that is light-years beyond current tech, I will use and abuse that computer. Hacking into the Pentagon to classify our enemy as a serious national threat is a perfectly valid tactic, after all.
[Sally Po wrote:] Heero, sweetie, may I borrow your computer? And perhaps you?
80. Said computer will also help us live a little more independently. After all, taking money away from criminals is justice. And college is expensive.
[Sally Po wrote:] Grad school is even more expensive, especially since I won’t have the military putting me through it.
81. If I am destined to rule the world, I will still make sure to finish my education and build up a large nest-egg. Destiny never says how something is supposed to happen, after all.
[Sally Po wrote:] Guys, I’m a doctor. I’ve already finished my education, and with the fees I could charge...
82. I will not limit myself to one form of attack. For instance, if my powers are primarily magical, I will research technological alternatives. Or if my powers are primarily ranged attacks, I will seek melee and hand to hand training.
[Sally Po wrote:] I don’t think you need to point this out to me, since I’m more than willing to use any weapons handy. Maybe show it to Barton? He does have a problem with ammunition, after all, and when he’s out, all he has is that wimpy knife.
83. I will do the unexpected.
[Sally Po wrote:] Good philosophy. No one expected me to ‘rescue’ Sandrock, did they? But it worked!
84. If the unexpected doesn't work, I'll attempt the impossible.
[Sally Po wrote:] Ha! Nothing is impossible. Heero proved that by surviving his self-destruction. I still haven’t figured that one out. Sorry, Duo, I know that still upsets you, but the whole thing still gives me hope.
85. I will not pay attention to odds.
[Sally Po wrote:] If I paid any attention to odds, I’d never have gotten in to this. I’d have a nice quiet practice in some small rural community... and you lot would probably be stomping all over it.
86. When in doubt, kill it.
[Sally Po wrote:] I had serious doubts about Chang, and he’s still alive. And let’s not mention Heero...
Sally hit ‘send’ and shut her computer down, chuckling quietly to herself. “I bet I’ll be getting some responses to that; Chang will certainly have a thing or two to say. Good thing Duo buried my real address! I wonder who else is going to be getting these lists?” She thought for a moment, then smirked. “I’ve heard Duo complain about his Doctor often enough – I bet that’s who’ll be getting the Mad Scientist one!”
An annoying beeping sound woke Sally the next morning. She grimaced and stretched tired, cold muscles, glaring out at the sunlight beyond the tent flaps.
Grumbling about morning people and early emails, she switched on her computer.
----- message begins -----
TO: "Doctor Spock" [firstname.lastname@example.org]
FROM: "Rosey-Boy" [Evil_Overlord@tyranny.com]
SENT: 31 March AC196, 0532:27
MESSAGE: RE: Magical Girl
My Dear Doctor Po,
I would be most humbly glad to extend you an invitation to my holdings near Barcelona. As you say so eloquently, a romantic get-away with one's enemy can be most enjoyable. At least Wufei agrees most wholeheartedly.
Kindly send me your location, and I will send a plane for you.
----- message ends -----
Sally blinked hard. Twice. Not only had he responded, but he was flirting with her?! She shook her head, but couldn't hold it back – she began laughing until her sides hurt.
"Ma'am! Are you alright?!" a worried-sounding voice called from outside her tent. She could see at least two people standing outside.
Sally wiped at her face, still wheezing slightly. "Fine – I'm fine. I'll be right out, I promise."
Grinning, she pulled the computer into her lap and began typing furiously, giggling all the while: "A plane. Right! In your dreams, Your Excellency. Or at least, in my dreams…"
Gundam Wing II
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