Although this story mentions real persons, corporations, TV shows and places, it is purely a work of fiction for personal enjoyment. The story does NOT describe real events and should NOT be taken to accurately portray any real entity mentioned. In keeping with its fictional nature, the events and activities described in the story may not be legal, ethical or safe. This site does NOT endorse or recommend their enactment.
By the way, the largest skips (like the one the Gunge Truck is modified from) have a capacity of 18 cubic metres. That’s 18 000 litres or just under 4000 British gallons. I don’t know if anyone was wondering that, but I figured it’d add to the enjoyment of this chapter.
Episode 2 is in the works. I said before that it was going to be talent show contestants vs. judges but I’m postponing that one for a while – a suggestion of guitarists vs. bassists in off-topic was too good a theme for me to pass up!
In the studio a large track had been set up with various contraptions along it. At one end the blue team were standing, cleaned up from the games and still barefoot. There were also four gunge tanks set up in a row, with a member of the red team sat in each one. Hayley was stood next to a fifth one across from them.“It’s almost the point of the show where the blue team to face their punishment in the Gunge Truck but first we’ve got a bit of space to fill in there,” Hayley grinned as she introduced the show’s bonus round, of sorts. “To help us fill it, we’re going to choose an audience member who decided to pay for a front-row ticket. That person is… Ticket holder 62241!”
From the audience, a Japanese girl walked onstage. She had long straight hair dyed bright red, deep brown eyes and a somewhat petite build. She was wearing a black t-shirt, denim jean shorts and blue Converse trainers. She smiled sweetly as she walked up to Hayley.
“Welcome to the show. Tell us, what’s your name and where are you from?” Hayley asked as she held the microphone to the girl’s face.
The girl took a quick breath. “My name is Tsubaki Kotobuki, I’m 20 years old and I’m originally from Tokyo but I live in Leeds.”
“Cool. You feel like helping us out by playing a little trivia game?” Hayley asked as Tsubaki nodded enthusiastically. “Alrighty then! Johnathan, tell us the rules.”
Johnathan cleared his throat and in the manner of some kind of umpire, read the rule sheet in front of him. “In this game the winning team from the games, who in this case are the Metal Maidens, each get to ask the player, Tsubaki, a question about themselves. For each question she gets right, she gets a prize hand-picked by the person who asked the question, who will also get a showering of gunge. However each one she gets wrong will give Tsubaki herself a showering of gunge. At the end you will get a chance to play for our star prize. If you accept and win you’ll also get to send someone from the metal team, someone from the audience or Hayley into the Gunge Truck. If you lose you’ll have to go in the Gunge Truck yourself. All clear?”
Tsubaki nodded again. “Yeah, makes sense.”
“Then let’s play!”
Tsubaki took her shoes off and clambered onto the stool in the empty gunge tank, eager to start the game. The first member of the red team to ask their question was Simone. “After Roy Khan left the band Kamelot, I joined them as a touring vocalist for a while. What was the name of the album we were promoting?” she asked.
Tsubaki thought about it for a while. “I think the newest album at that time was… Hmm… Poetry for the Poisoned,” she decided. “That’s what I’m going with.”
Simone clapped. “Correct. For winning I will give you two VIP tickets for any show on Epica’s next tour.”
Hayley chuckled. “That’s not all though. Since your question wasn’t hard enough for Tsubaki, you’re gonna get gunged!”
Simone sighed and leaned back slightly, positioning her head directly underneath the hatch in the top of the gunge tank. The hatch opened, dumping a payload of cold green gunge on Simone’s head. Her once-pristine red hair already had an unkempt appearance from the multiple bombardments of whipped cream, milkshake, gunge and most of all water from the inter-round showers and now was a sticky mess once again. It clung to her neck, shoulders and chest as the gunge ran down her body, making a puddle on her lap. She wiped some of it from her face and let out a little giggle. “Good luck with the rest of the questions!” she smiled.
Next was Angela. “This one’s easy! I wasn’t the first vocalist for Arch Enemy. Who was?”
Tsubaki’s expression went blank before a name popped into her head suddenly. “It’s Johan…” she said before mumbling something that nobody else could make out.
“Johan who?” Angela teased.
Tsubaki looked at the ground. “Johan who was in the band before you were. I don’t know his last name,” she quietly confessed. She put her hands at the sides of her face, hoping to shield her face from the gunge.
“It’s Johan Liiva,” Angela said, enjoying the fact that Tsubaki was shielding herself from the oncoming sludge torrent. “You would have won a signed guitar from me and the boys in the band if you’d got that right, by the way.”
“Sorry Tsubaki, but on top of that you won’t be going home clean today,” Hayley teased as thick, green gunge fell on the hapless contestant.
Tsubaki squealed as it ran through her hair and down the back of her t-shirt, making her sit up quickly. Much like with Simone, a puddle of gunge had formed in Tsubaki’s lap which she brushed away with her hand. The green liquid ran down Tsubaki’s legs and between her toes, making her giggle a little bit. “Aha ha! That stuff feels so weird! But yeah, next?”
Maria asked her question. “Back in 2005, we released the first In This Moment demos onto MySpace. One of the tracks was a cover of a Slayer song, but which Slayer song?”
Oh dear. Tsubaki wasn’t very clued-in on In This Moment’s early work. “It’s probably not going to be something obvious like… I dunno, Angel of Death or Raining Blood. But I have no idea otherwise so… Screw it, Raining Blood. Final answer.”
Maria looked at Tsubaki sympathetically. “Aww, and this awesome merch bundle we lined up will have to go on eBay now! It was Postmortem.” Tsubaki mildly cussed quietly as red gunge was heaped upon her from the second tank. She was more welcoming of it this time, even if it was even colder than the first lot. She raised her arms and gave the metal horns gesture as it splattered over her head. “Suddenly I don’t mind if I lose the gamble,” she smiled from underneath the goo.
Cristina chuckled. “You need to answer my question first. I get a lot of complements from fans about different things, but what do I like being complemented about the most?”
“That’s a kinda conceited question,” Tsubaki thought. Still, it was something she knew the answer to. “You’re a singer, so I’m going to say it’s your voice,” she deduced.
“That’s right!” Cristina said. “Now, the guys and I also prepared a merchandise bundle, which you can have.”
“Sweet, thanks!” Tsubaki smiled as Cristina looked up at the blue sludge that was dripping from the top of the tank. Suddenly it burst into a torrent which engulfed the Italian singer, completely covering her.
“Well done Tsubaki. You won Simone’s tickets and Cristina’s merch bundle, but you can risk those for our star prize and the chance to send someone to the Gunge Truck. Just remember that if you lose you lose everything and have to go to the Gunge Truck yourself,” Hayley explained. “Johnathan, tell us about the star prize.”
“It’s a week-long trip for you and three friends to Lake Erie in America, home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As well as a visit to the museum there you’ll also get to spend a time diving in the lake for shipwrecks, trying out various watersports and visiting the local towns. Will you be leaving here on a plane to the USA or will you be leaving on the bus and covered in gunge?”
“So audience, what should she do?” Hayley called out.
As was the usual from such an audience, there was a deafening cry of “GAMBLE! GAMBLE!” which Tsubaki rolled her eyes at. She knew what she was going to do, however.
The studio lights turned an ominous red and a single spotlight illuminated the slimy Tsubaki as Hayley asked a question. “My question is about me and Paramore. Name three video games that our song Misery Business appeared in.”
Tsubaki thought about it hard. “Err… I know it was in one of the Guitar Hero games since you appeared in it yourself. I remember it being in Saints Row 2 as well and Rock Band 3 too… Which Guitar Hero was it though…”
“Are you going to pass?” Hayley asked.
Tsubaki shook her head, sending a few drops of gunge flying at the walls of the tank. “No no! I think it was called Guitar Hero World Tour. That, Saints Row 2 and Rock Band 3!”
“You’re right!” Hayley declared. “You could also have said NHL 08 or Lips. Congratulations on winning! Have you decided who you’re going to send to the Gunge Truck?”
Tsubaki thought for a moment. “It’s between a few people. I’d noticed that Maria’s been really lucky with the gunge so far. Sending her to the Gunge Truck would balance it out a bit. I also came with my friend Ginny. She’s my band’s singer and is a bit cocky and could probably be taken down a peg. But, like I said earlier, I wouldn’t mind going in myself. Can I even nominate myself?” Tsubaki giggled.
There was a brief silence in the studio; nobody had been prepared to deal with this particular scenario. A message from the producer came through, which Hayley read. “The producer has said that since it’s the first show we’re going to let you and one other person of your choice ride in the Gunge Truck. So, who’s it going to be?”
“It’s gonna be Ginny,” Tsubaki decided.
As she said that a girl in the audience stood up. She was a busty girl wearing a pair of tight-fitting jeans and a white tank top. She had green eyes, long brown dreadlocks and a small tribal tattoo on her right shoulder. She delicately walked barefoot down to the stage. “You owe me for this so badly,” she said in a mock-angry tone.
“Trip to Lake Erie do ya?” Tsubaki asked as she hugged Ginny, smearing some of her gunge on her. Ginny said nothing and walked with Tsubaki over to where the Gunge Truck was set up along with a ladder leading up into the truck and the blue team waiting to get in. Instead of the t-shirts and shorts they were wearing before they were now wearing blue bikinis. The six girls each climbed the ladder and sat on the benches in the gunge truck, the slime in the bottom reaching their ankles. On the front bench were Taylor on the truck’s left, Ke$ha in the middle and Nicola on the right. Behind them from left to right were Tsubaki, Ginny and Jessie.
Taylor was looking rather defeated, putting on a brave smile as the truck started to move. Ke$ha was more eager than the others and started cheering and shouting things like “hell yeah” and “come on” as the truck lumbered along. Nicola was a little embarrassed at how little she was wearing compared to Tsubaki and Ginny but found Ke$ha’s bravado amusing and helped her to relax as the frigid goo sloshed around her feet. Tsubaki was looking past Taylor with anticipation of the various methods of mess that were planned for them. By contrast Ginny was truly focused on the current contents of the truck and how cold they were. She was trying to sit with her feet out of the gunge but couldn’t really put them anywhere so they just hovered, dripping. Jessie was rather at-ease with the whole situation.
The truck soon stopped at a bridge where Cristina was waiting with a table of six desserts. She was still dripping with gunk from the tank. “Remember the first game? How it was diner-themed? Well, I’m here serving up food for you guys,” Cristina said as she threw the first one, a lemon meringue pie, at Taylor. It landed neatly on her chest, not really exploding with meringue and lemon until Ke$ha pressed it against Taylor’s skin. It was forced all over, between her breasts, covering them and running down her stomach.
Next was a strawberry cheesecake which Ke$ha took to the face, smearing strawberry sauce and soft cheese on her face. The base also shattered sending biscuit crumbs into her hair and vicinity of where she was sat.
Next a banoffee cream pie headed straight for Nicola, which splattered across her face and masked her already pale complexion with some brown toffee and whipped cream. It had even gotten into her hair a little.
Jessie was the fourth one to take a dessert from Cristina, getting a key lime pie over the top of her head. It seeped its contents into Jessie’s dark hair, contrasting vividly with it. She didn’t seem to mind, however. Her hair had already taken a lot of punishment today and was only going to get more.
Ginny was hit squarely in the face with an open-topped cherry pie. She removed the crust and wiped her eyes, letting most of the cherry filling just drip away while licking her lips.
Tsubaki was the last one to take a dessert and ended up being hit in the chest with an ice cream cake. It melted on contact with her skin, making her shiver as it worked its way down her top – both inside and out of it. She quickly removed her shirt and dropped it in the gunge behind her. Ginny, having wiped some of the cherry from her face, gave Tsubaki an odd look. “I felt a bit overdressed anyway, compared to the others,” Tsubaki said as the Gunge Truck started moving again.
“You all look like you need to have a bath run for you. Good thing the pipes got fixed in round 2,” the slimy Simone said as the truck stopped underneath a set of nozzles. As well as two large, wide ones right above the benches, there were also four small ones above the corners of the truck. Simone flicked a switch and the corner ones started filling the truck with more gunge. The level of it rose slowly, teasingly as the occupants were showered with bitter red gunge, a vivid contrast to the green in the truck. Taylor was looking down at the rising gunge in the bottom and managed to obscure most of her face whereas Ke$ha raised her arms up and let it fall on her. Ginny opened her top up and let the gunge run down her body while the others used the gunge as an aid to get rid some of the desserts they had been hit with. The red shower lasted only a few seconds and was over before the green had topped up. It eventually stopped when the passengers’ legs were beneath the gunge.
The truck’s next stop was at a walkway where Hayley and Maria were waiting with some kind of backpack. Attached to it was a hose. “Remember in round three where there was that all whipped cream and a hill that shot frosting at you?” Maria asked.
“We kinda combined the two ideas,” Hayley answered as the two girls turned the hoses on, forcing whipped cream out of them. “I’ll take the back row, you have the front row,” she said to Maria.
Maria aimed her hose straight downwards, writing a sketchy M on Ke$ha’s stomach, which Ke$ha proceeded to rub over her slimy body. She also tried to draw a smiley face on Taylor’s face, but it didn’t really work. Rather, it didn’t work in the way she intended as it did make Taylor laugh as it gently tickled her. For the first time all day she was visibly having fun. Next Maria sprayed cream all over Nicola, leaving streaks of it in her hair, on her face and on her body.
Hayley wasn’t as artistically inclined with the cream sprayer as Maria was, instead spraying Tsubaki, Ginny and Jessie with it playfully and evenly, getting cream everywhere in the back of the truck. She then stepped to the side a little and sprayed Maria. “Sorry, but Tsubaki had a point – you’ve been way to clean so far!”
Maria screamed as she got hit and returned fire. “I’ve got messy in every game. You only got your feet messy in round 2 and went away totally clean in round 1!” she retorted. The truck pulled away as Maria and Hayley used up the last of their cream on each other, both getting cream all over their now barely recognisable selves.
The final part of the punishment was upon them and Angela was ready to deliver it. “The final game used a slope. Well I’m going to turn the truck into a slope,” she said as it made its final stop. A large empty pool had been set up next to the truck’s stopping point. Angela pulled a large metal lever towards her and the truck began to tilt to the left and the wall of it tilted upwards. The six people inside began to slide out along with all the gunge in the truck, ending up in one big messy pile in the pool.
Hayley walked over to the pool, still covered in cream as the six women all stood up and walked over to the edge. “So Tsubaki, you were the only one who actually wanted to be there. How was that for you?”
Tsubaki laughed at Hayley’s observation. “That was fun. Very cold though.”
“Is there any chance of revenge, Ginny?” Hayley asked.
Ginny moved some of her ruined dreadlocks out of her face. “Honestly if it was me in that situation then I’d have probably gunged Tsubaki anyway and not joined her. We’ll settle this in our own time.”
“Blue team, any last comments?” Hayley asked, moving the microphone down the line of women.
Jessie shivered as she spoke into the mic. “Just that we want to wish the reds good luck with the final,” she answered.
“It’s nice to see the pop team have a bit more respect for the rockers,” Hayley smiled sweetly into the camera. “However, the red team have still got one last challenge ahead of them. Come back in a few minutes to see what awaits them in The Finale.”