Quick Disclaimer: I do not own these characters or the world they inhabit. They were created by the fabulous people at Zombie Orpheus for their equally fabulous RPG, Masters of the Metaverse! Be sure to tune in to Twitch.TV/zombieorpheus every Monday at 6PM PST to see more!
It really was delicious cherry pie. Vega, Magical Space Princess Blackstar, spooned another mouthful and savored the burst of flavor. It was just the thing she needed, especially after what had happened. The rest of Magical Space Princess Galaxy Force 5 had paired off after band practice, hoping to prepare with research and military drills for the coming confrontation with Queen Lorrianna, but Vega had wanted some time alone. She was still unsettled from the events of the morning or afternoon, it was hard to tell after being in a time bubble. She had told the others that she was hungry and had disembarked from the Sparkleprise.
Vega sighed and glanced around Joe’s Diner. Checkers and Clarence P. Clarence were sitting off to the side. They didn’t appear to be playing a game of checkers but every once in a while Checkers would call out “King me!” and Clarence would adjust his tin foil hat at him. There were also the same assortment of aliens, creatures, and oddly enhanced humanoids that had been there when Galaxy Force 5 had first arrived. In addition there was now a small group of knights, men and women, who had turned up and were fine tuning their crystal blades over turkey club sandwiches. Hollywood was no where in sight, having disappeared soon after delivering Vega’s pie. There was a great crash from inside the kitchen and a several plates of pancakes appeared on the window ledge. They nearly knocked over the three bowls of French onion soup that were already resting there, along with a plate of chicken and waffles.
The door to the diner swung open and Vega turned to look. Elliana, Magical Space Princess Fabulon, waved happily and approached before Vega had time to try to slide quietly under the table. She plopped down onto the booth and bounced there for a few moments, smiling happily.
“Oh my God, I love these booths! Do you think we could get some installed onboard?” Elliana asked.
“Um, I don’t know. You could ask Hollywood I guess, if you can find him” answered Vega.
“Sorry the booths are proprietary, exclusive to Joe and Joe’s Diner.” Hollywood had appeared from the ether and now stood next to the table, “Can I get you anything else?”
“Strawberry milkshake and fries, please.” said Elliana, giving him her best magical space princess smile.
“You got it.”
Hollywood retreated back to the kitchen and began doling out plates of pancakes. Vega and Elliana sat in silence for a time.
“So. You were in Glitter Stain?” asked Elliana.
“Yeah. Yeah, I was. It was great, I would have kept on doing it except I got my keepstone and then-“
“Oh yeah, no I totally get it.” said Elliana, munching on a fry.
“Where did those fries…never mind.” Vega turned back to her pie.
“Look, I completely get it if you don’t want to answer, but I just feel like I need to ask you something.” Elliana looked hesitant.
Vega raised her eyes and inclined her head, “What?”
“Well, so earlier when Ricci and Zelenia wanted to use one of our questions to ask about your secret? I feel like maybe you were upset about that. I’m pretty good at recognizing and naming emotions, so I wanted to see if you were, you know, okay and whatever.”
Vega stared momentarily at her sparkle sister and then slowly put down her fork, swallowing her mouthful of pie as she did so. Crossing her arms, she regarded Elliana in all her pink sparkle glory and came to a decision.
“Fine. I was upset about that, sure. I mean, I didn’t really appreciate being pressured into sharing something that I wasn’t ready to. I’m glad that we didn’t use our last question for that purpose, there are a lot more important things to ask about, so it all worked out.”
“And are you okay now?”
Vega leaned back in the booth and studied the tabletop, “Yeah, I guess. I mean if I’m not now then I will be. It’s just…I just thought that you guys trusted me more than that. I’ve tried to be a better leader than Galaxia at least.”
“Oh no, you totally are!” Elliana leaned forward emphatically, “You are so much better than Galaxia! Like, you don’t make fun of our hair or our blade work, you haven’t stolen any sparkle snacks from us, and you super let Chad live instead of just stabbing him for being a boy. You are way better than Galaxia!”
“Let me ask you this”, Vega leaned forward as well, “Have I ever lied to you or any of the Sparkle Sisters the way Galaxia used to?”
“Oh no way! She used to lie a lot! Remember when she told you that you needed to use your katana to pierce the fusion engine of that star raider’s ship and it totally burned off all your hair? Or when she said that you needed to speak only in haikus to the Eternal Astral Sloth? Or when she-“
“The point is” Vega interrupted, “That I have worked really hard to be a good leader and I just thought we had built more trust than that. I don’t like being ganged up on, I don’t like being ambushed, and I don’t like being told what to do.”
Elliana nodded silently, sipping her milkshake as she did so.
Vega sighed and slumped back again, “Why do you think I started Glitter Stain in the first place? Do you really think that Blackstar is a great place to form a rock band?”
“No?” answered Elliana.
“No. On Blackstar its all about precision, discipline, honor, and chain of command. You’e supposed to do what you’re told as efficiently as possible. There is no time to rock on Blackstar. I never wanted to be the angry, stompy princess.”
“Really? But you’re so good at it.”
“Well, yeah. I mean, I’m good at it here with you guys. But back home? To my mother I’m the Blackstar equivalent of, well, you.”
Elliana looked surprised, “Should I be insulted? I feel like I should be insulted.”
Vega shrugged, “Probably. I wanted to be a good fighter, I wanted to be a great leader, I wanted to make Blackstar and my family proud. But I also wanted to rock out, to pour out my heart in a song to a crowd of people and have them love it, because they all feel it too and know exactly what I’m trying to say. Honestly, when I got my keepstone and had to leave I think that my mother was relieved.”
Vega poked at her piece of pie with her fork.
“I know that it isn’t easy to accept, the fact that I have a tiny secret from the rest of you. But I think Hollywood was right when he said that sparkle sisters are different from sparkle friends because sparkle sisters trust each other even when its hard. So, I’m just asking for a little trust. I promise you, if and when I think that I can tell you I will.”
Elliana nodded, “Okay. I can do that sparkle sister, I can trust you. Just tell me one thing.”
“Does it have anything to do with us? With Magical Space Princess Galaxy Force 5?”
Vega leaned close and looked Elliana right in the eye, “I promise you, it has nothing to do with you girls.”
“Awesome!” Elliana straightened up and grinned, “I feel so much better now. I’m going to go take a bubble bath before we go rock out. I’ll see you later!”
Vega nodded and waved as Elliana exited the diner.
Hollywood was behind her, leaning on the back of the booth.
“Hey, I told her the truth.” said Vega, “It has nothing to do with the girls.”
“Very true” Hollywood nodded, “Not exactly truthful but very true.”
Vega turned and squinted at him appraisingly, “Who are you anyway? Really?”
“Hollywood, I told you. Work for Joe? We met a little while ago? You guys performed a really, amazingly awful song?”
“Uh huh.” Vega smirked at him, “But no one is who they really are in Hollywood.”
He smiled, “Another slice of pie?”
“Sure why not?”
After all, it really was delicious cherry pie.