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Zero's Last Stand

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CONTENT WARNING: MODERATE LANGUAGE

(Against a scrolling red background with the Ugly NI, '70s style JuGo, and NHK logo, Takashi Edwards says "This is Public TV For Isuten, on viewer-supported JOTO-TV and JOIT-TV." PUBLIC TV FOR ISUTEN flips in, written in Kanji, along with the Ugly NI and '70s style JuGo.)

"WHO WRITES THIS CRAP!?"

Zero is about to teleport from Mansonia with nobody looking as he delivers this classic phrase.

He then continues, "I mean, I know the writer made Lady Marilyn more impatient with me and yet had her give me enough time to put together a foolproof plan to annihilate the Cures after Golden Week ends, but still!"

He remembers that Lady Marilyn had met with him about two weeks earlier. She had said, "I'm very disappointed in you, Zero. Pretty Cure is now at full strength."

And he had said, "Just give me some more time, and I'll come up with a foolproof plan over the holidays to execute toward the end of the week after."

And she had said, "Very well. I have faith in your plan, whatever it happens to be. Just don't let me down, or there'll be hell to pay."

Zero then says to himself, "Goodbye, Ramirez. I hope this won't be my last stand and that I get to see you again."

Zero then teleports himself out of Mansonia and into Isuten, confident his plan will work.

This could be the end of Pretty Cure. Please, Pretty Cure, send that villain to hell where he belongs, and don't die in the process!


(OP: "Hopscotch of Love" by Lovely and Wild Angels)


Today's episode
"Zero's Last Stand"


Thursday afternoon. School is letting out. Sakura is walking home with Shugo, who she is leading back to her house.

Sakura says, "Ah, what a day! Pigs flew, and Pistols N Flowers still hasn't released any new material since who-knows-when!"

Shugo says, "Maybe they're still reeling from the abrupt line-up change?"

Sakura says, "Come to think of it, three of its members did leave the band."

Then Kato shows up behind Sakura. Sneaking up on her, he prepares to whack her.

Sakura looks behind her, having gotten a strange feeling, and recognizes him as he assaults her. She screams.

The force of the blow knocks her onto the ground.


Sakura finds herself standing on the site of the former Karlix building in the forest bordering Oriyama and Isuten.

Suddenly, she sees Zero appearing before her. "You!"

"Surprised?" Zero asks.

Sakura says, "Not really. I did say you Mansonian types would appear again on Planet Earth when pigs flew."

"And?"

Sakura says, "The pigs did indeed fly, all right. And now Kato Warando assaulted me for no damn reason at all. Did you possess him?"

"Possess?" Zero says. "I only possess non-living beings."

"CONFESS, YOU DAMN FOOL!"

"Confession would imply penitence," Zero says. "I merely regret his accidental involvement in my diabolical plan to destroy you and your friends."

Sakura looks him in the eye, flips him off, and says, "So you did possess him. That explains everything. HAVE AT YOU, YA PUNK!"


Before she can do anything, Sakura finds herself enveloped in a white light and lying on a hospital bed.

The nurse attending to her says, "She stirred."

Sakura asks, "Has Kato Warando been exorcised?"

The nurse says, "Yes. Backslash hit him in the head with his guitar and took him to the local exorcist, who removed the demon from his body."

Sakura asks, "How's he doing?"

The nurse says, "He's doing quite well and doesn't remember anything from his possession onward."

Sakura takes her school uniform, puts it back on, and says, "Thanks for helping me get better!"

Then she leaves.


Sakura then meets up with Shugo, who is lying on the ground. Sakura asks, "What the hell happened to you?"

Shugo says, "Some guy who dresses up as a miner and wears a burlap sack over his head assaulted me."

Sakura says, "I knew it. That vision... Zero's back!"

"How very astute of you, Sakura Cobain."

Sakura looks up and sees Zero standing there. "And just what the hell did you do to Shugo?"

Zero says, "Just beat her senseless."

Sakura snarls under clenched teeth, "This is UNFORGIVABLE!"

Rocky and Poppy show up with Rizuka, Isuzu, and Taiko in tow. Rocky says, "Transform! NOW!"

The girls shout, "Pretty Cure Musical Transmutation, GO!"

The girls transform simultaneously. The whole thing lasts about half a minute.

"The musical genius with a voice that carries beyond all distances, I am Cure Nirvana!"

"The pulsating rhythmical remedy to the universal Mansonian problem, I am Cure Stradlin!"

"The bilingual rebel against Mansonia, I am Cure Hendrix!"

"The classically trained musician who adapts herself to rock music, I am Cure Burton!"

"The deadly drummer angel, I am Cure Roadie!"

The girls then shout, "THIS! IS! PRETTY CURE!"

Cure Nirvana shouts in Zero's direction, "TONIGHT! WE DINE! IN HELL!"

"Clever words," Zero says, "but you're no Leonidas."

"Better not underestimate girl power," Cure Nirvana says, "because it'll bite you in the ass!"

As Cure Nirvana lunges at the Candle Jack look-alike, he jumps out of the screen and... OH GOD NOT THE FIST!

Anyway, by the time the girls are out of the screen and in my room, Zero is gone. Cure Hendrix asks, "Where did that punk Zero run off to?"

Beaten and bruised, I say, "He left through the window."

Pretty Cure jumps out of the window, heads out of the suburb, and runs down the road, chasing Zero all the way to the next traffic light.

Zero sees them coming and, shouting, "Time to go all over town!", teleports away.

Cure Stradlin asks, "Where did that punk Zero run off to?"

Poppy says, "If my Super Senses are correct, he's probably headed for the mall."

The girls then teleport after Zero.


Once the girls are inside the mall, they head for the Hot Topic store. Cure Stradlin says, "Wow... this looks just like the one in Isuten."

Cure Nirvana says, "That's because the author based Isuten loosely on his hometown."

"Uh, guys," Cure Hendrix says. "Zero escaped through the fourth wall, which couldn't even protect the author, and Poppy said he's in the mall, so he's in the mall."

"And believe me, sister, her Super Senses were right on the money."

Cure Hendrix takes one look inside the Hot Topic store and sees Zero. "You!"

Cure Stradlin says, "Why does he always seem to like Hot Topic?"

Zero says, "You'll have to go faster than that to catch up with me!" Then he teleports away.

Poppy says, "To the theatre!"

The girls then teleport.


(Eyecatch 1: Rizuka and Shugo are jamming when Sakura runs past them and grabs the microphone. The PCHM logo appears in the bottom-left corner.)

(Eyecatch 2: The camera goes between Isuzu on her bass and Taiko in her drum kit and stops when Sakura with the microphone is in view. The PCHM logo appears in the bottom-left corner.)


Once Zero appears outside the Regal theatre, he barges past the box office ("Hey! You have to pay for a ticket!" "Shut up, buster!") and into an auditorium.

He then pulls out his .44 Magnum and fires randomly. The scene got so bad that when the girls managed to catch up with him, it was such a hellhole that Cure Hendrix had no choice but to shout "Fire!"

At this the panicked audience hurries to the exits, the danger being not a fire but being fired at by a madman with a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world.

And he had nearly blown their heads clean off. At this point, if you're one of the panicked patrons, you're probably asking yourself, "Do I feel lucky?"

Enough about Dirty Harry. (And no, that wasn't the movie playing in the theatre, in case you were wondering.)

As soon as the auditorium's empty, Cure Nirvana starts menacingly (for lack of a better word) toward Zero, snarling behind clenched teeth, "You're going to pay for possessing Kato Warando, Candle Jack!"

Before she knows it, she's slipping on a banana peel. "Jesus H. Christ!" she exclaims loudly as she lands on her butt.

Cure Roadie says, "Mercy Maud!" That's probably the closest she had ever come to swearing, except for that one time when she saw that Isuten Junior High had been vandalized, when she actually said the F word.

Cure Nirvana gets back up, but by the time she does, Zero had teleported again, and Poppy sensed that he had gone to the park.

So that's where the Cures teleport to.


The park is peaceful. Hundreds of people having a good time and/or relaxing. For example, a kid eating ice cream (hey, it's getting close to summer).

And then there's a couple of parents giving their kids a balloon. Oh, and here's my favorite: a romantic stroll down the path.

Suddenly, the quietude is interrupted by a flash.

Zero has come.

And he's bringing terror with him.

He begins firing at the innocent bystanders. You'd think he had wasted his bullets firing at panicked moviegoers, but no... he had to go and carry a gun with bottomless magazines!

Before he can kill anyone, though, the Cures show up in record time. The young woman sees this and says, "Hey, Bob! Look! Pretty Cure... in the park!"

"Don't be silly, Alice," Bob says. "They come from a fanfic."

"Yeah," Alice says, "but for some reason they managed to escape into our world!"

Zero fires at Alice, but Cure Hendrix dives between the two and appears to collapse.

Bob checks to see if Hendrix is all right. Taking a closer look, he sees a bullet in Hendrix's hand... and no blood!

Hendrix then gets up and attacks him. Coming to her senses almost immediately, she's rightfully shocked and says, "Oh! I'm sorry. Are you hurt?"

"No," Bob says. "I'm just a bit stunned, is all. After all, I never dreamed I'd meet Pretty Cure in real life."

Then Zero claps his hands and says, "Well done, Cure Hendrix. I see you managed to save another innocent life."

Cure Nirvana asks her, "What if he really did shoot at you instead of that young woman?"

Hendrix smiles and says, "I suppose I'd have to catch the bullet, wouldn't I?"

Nirvana says, "You just did."

Zero shoots Nirvana in the head just as soon as she had finished speaking.

However, Nirvana just stood standing at that spot. "You forget, Zero," she says triumphantly, "that as Cures, we are MADE! OF! IRON!"

Zero takes out a flamethrower and says, "Time to melt you to slag!"

Cure Stradlin then shoots fire from her finger, and Zero takes a step backward. Stradlin herself is amazed, saying, "Do you know. I never thought a Cure would be able to shoot fire from her finger."

Then Stradlin, aiming her finger at Zero, shouts, "YOU! ARE! SLAG!"

She shoots fire from her finger.

Zero only has time to say, "It can't be! She can shoot fire from her ha--" before she incinerates him. He drops his flamethrower and his .44 Magnum and runs several yards before burning to death.

Cure Burton picks up the flamethrower, and Cure Hendrix picks up the .44 Magnum, saying to it, "From now on, you've got a new master. Serve me well, just as you had served that piece of toast."

The Cures take one last look at the burning mass (and Cure Nirvana says in its direction, "Welcome to Hell") before teleporting away.


The Cures are back at my place. I ask them, "Can't you stay the night?"

Cure Nirvana says, "Sorry, pal, but our place is there." She then points to the screen.

I say, "I'll keep writing about your exploits."

Cure Nirvana smiles and says, "Thanks."

Then, one by one, the Cures step back into the screen.

I say to myself, "I can't believe it. What a day this has been. I mean, some miner dude attacks me, and then these girls save an entire park from that guy. What a day."


The Cures are back where they had left off, in the middle of the street. Rocky says, "You did well, girls."

Cure Nirvana says, "Thanks."

Rocky notices Cure Hendrix's new weapon and says, "I hope you're not going to bring it to school. Not ever."

Cure Hendrix says, "Don't worry about it. I won't touch it outside of battle or the shooting range my mom sometimes uses out back."

Cure Burton says, "It's mighty impractical for you to have to go all the way back home to pick up your new gun."

Cure Hendrix says, "You forget that we can teleport."

"Oh."


That Saturday, Sakura and her father go to see The Wizard of Oz as presented by the Isuten Junior High drama club.

As the play concludes, everyone applauds as music flourishes.

Sakura says, "Way to go, Shugo!"

As the curtain closes, Shugo winks at Sakura.

Sakura says to her father, "I saw several drama club productions on DVD, but I never actually went to one up close and personal until now."

Tamaki says, "Well, now you know what it's like."

An iris out starts but then pauses as Sakura winks before it completes its course.


(ED: "Raw and Wild" by Lovely and Wild Angels)


(Next episode preview)
SAKURA: Girls, I've been assaulted again.
ISUZU: Kato again, wasn't it?
SAKURA: No. You might not believe me, but... it was a zombie wearing only a linen cloth around its waist.
SHUGO: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
SAKURA: Time to investigate.
SHUGO: Right.
SAKURA: First stop: Death Wish Mortuary! Next episode: "The Wild Devil, Ramirez"! We're coming live and loaded!

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