Season 1 - Episode 1
"What's wrong with you?"
I shook my head in woe at the profound ignorance of my fellow man.
'Really? You have ten years of awesomeness to choose from and you pick something from the zero of this decade?'
The man in front of me frowned for a moment, baffled that someone had just spoke words to him. He squinted as if in pain, still not quite believing that this conversation was happening, but he growled a response all the same.
'Kid, two thousand is like this whole Sector's origin story, it started everything: Crouching Tiger, first live-action X-Men, Gladiator, the lot. Now take off your clothes.'
I started taking off my clothes and kicked them over to a big red X. The impending nudity of one of the participants however, did not mean the end of the argument.
'No,' I insisted, while I dropped my pants. 'Any year that has Battlefield Earth in it plummets straight down to awful, dragging every other movie of that year with it as an accomplice, no matter how high their thetan level is. And! That's even before we get into the rod-lust of Dungeons & Dragons, or the full-woo of Mission: Impossible II.'
Copiously naked now, I crossed my arms and nodded to confirm that the argument could end, an outrageous wrong heroically put right. The man in front of me though was still in denial that the argument was even happening. He looked around seeking help in handling this impetuous - and outrageously handsome - ginger youth before him. The man took a calming breath.
'Step into the circle,' he said finally. I obeyed and raised an eyebrow as I saw my clothes get incinerated over on the big red X. I was standing on a big green circle, which was way safer, right? Well, all the green ring did was fly up and give me a good probing with some laser beams, into my every nook and cranny - especially up my cranny - but no obliteration yet. When the scan was finished I heard a "bing" of success, but could also hear the other man muttering, 'Fellowship was two thousand, you little punk.'
'No!' I shouted, and pointed my finger at the moron. The moron pointed a sword back at me, and upon closer inspection (having it levelled right in front of my face was pretty close) I could see the sword was also a shotgun. Shotgun-sword, awesome! Keeping the grin from my face, I needed to stay serious. 'Fellowship was two thousand and one, you Sam-tard! And that year was even worse! Can you honestly believe that anyone in the world willingly consented to watch Mariah Carey Glitter or Freddy getting fingered?'
The man in front of me - a War Enforcer, dressed in Gladiator armour - looked down to make sure he really was holding the fully lethal and loaded shotgun-sword at my face, and then shrugged quite alarmingly. It was alarming because to me it looked like the shrug of a man who just decided he had no other option than to shoot this hot piece of ginger ass standing in front of him. And they were allowed to shoot me too, because I entered their funking city, so I was under their funking laws. A very small piece of me had always known there was almost a certain likelihood of my smart mouth getting my dumb head blown off in the first few minutes of this city. But people didn't come to this city to hide who they were, they came here to be whoever they wanted to be, in fact, whoever they unequivocally needed to be; and I needed to be a jerk.
Rescue came from the next checkpoint down, in a similar see-through cube where another bored War Enforcer had been listening in.
'What year would you pick so, smartass?'
I tried to look down to the other War Enforce, but the one in front still had his sword-gun pointed at me. I swatted it out of the way with a tut.
'For the worst? Where do you even start? The pearls that emanate forth from Ben Affleck's Gigli and J-Lo's gobble completely turkey two thousand and three, but... gun to my head?' I stopped to smile at the gladiator standing in front of me, who obligingly pointed his weapon back to my head, 'well I'd probably have to go with two thousand and seven. Spiderman 3 really just jazzed all over that poor year, even Bumblebee pissing on Jesus from Big Lebowski couldn't redeem it.' I nodded at the gladiator again, 'Golden Compass was that year too, and you definitely have the look of an idiot who liked that, right?'
Why, Randy? Why are you antagonising the man who wants to kill you? I frowned away my unwanted common sense almost as quickly as it started. I was a man of conviction and idiots needed to be told that they were idiots, otherwise, how would they ever know? It's not like they'd have the smarts to figure it out on their own.
'You do know I could shoot your balls off right now, don't you? I don't even need a reason. This is a Black Zone, no rules.'
Black Zone? I filed that information away to be looked into later. Even if later meant my last words as these douches finally stopped flirting about it and got on with killing me already. I took a breath to calm myself and really hoped I didn't say that last bit out loud. I needed to keep reminding myself that this city was different, that saying the wrong thing really was going to get me killed here. The other War Enforcer in the next cube down seemed to want a solution to the argument first. He was dressed in a Two-Face suit from Batman, with one part as a rotted monster and the other side of his face as the Joker. The guy looked pretty cool, but his next sentence made me want to impale myself on the gladiator's sword.
'Two thousand and eight is the best, right kid? Dark Knight; end of.'