Dragon Ball/Z/GT Fan Fiction / Akira Fan Fiction / Card Captor Sakura Fan Fiction / Cowboy Bebop Fan Fiction / Digimon Fan Fiction / El Hazard Fan Fiction / Gall Force Fan Fiction / Gundam Wing Fan Fiction / Macross Fan Fiction / Ranma 1/2 Fan Fiction / Sailor Moon Fan Fiction / Transformers Fan Fiction / Trigun Fan Fiction / Big O Fan Fiction / Medabots Fan Fiction ❯ Being Robster80 ❯ Climbing Memory Ladder ( Chapter 3 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]


The slamming of R80's bedroom door caught every 80 muse's attention. The clicks of several locks behind the door, alarming. The sounds of paper being ripped apart, heart-stopping and spine-chilling.

Ami stood very still in front of the door, as if frozen. The look R80 had given her before he went in his room frightened her: anger, regret, cold, and other negative emotions all blended together. What had caused him to turn so cold like that?

Almost every 80 muse was behind her now, silent just like her. They were also at a lost for R80's sudden mood swing. Sure, R80 had lost his temper in front of them before, but nothing like this latest one. They all wondered if it was wise to see if they could help their friend, or give him his space until he had calmed down.

"Let him be," Cell's voice echoed off the walls to stop Ami as she reached for the door handle. "We'd only made him even madder."

All eyes were on Cell now, with a possible hope that he had the answers they needed. Some noticed that he was clutching several papers in his hand, almost crushing them.

Ranma was the first to speak up. "Okay, Cell, what pissed him off this time?"

Cell took most of the papers in his hand and held them up to the group. A scowl was on his face. "The latest FF.net reviews... from those college classmates of Rob's about his certain fic's."

Veemon80 frowned heavily. He knew of Rob's so-called "friends" who discovered Robster80's file on www.Fanfiction.net, and they particularly took interest in his lemon fic's, or "porno" as they called it. This led to disturbing reviews in the past few weeks, and ugly AIM chats. "What did those buttheads say now?"

Cell started reading, spitting out the words as if he couldn't stomach them. He got as far as the third review. "This one's got his one classmate's actual name on it. It says 'How could you write porno? Have you no soul?!'"

Char snorted, crossing his arms. "Either they just love to tease him about it, or they're so blind by the fact that he wrote lemon fic's that they can't see that most of the readers enjoyed the PLOT more than the SEX."

"And someone told Rob in high school that once he was in college, he'd be associating with mature people," commented Piccolo before he rammed his fist into one of the nearby walls.

Cell nodded before holding up the last paper in his hand. "But this email came first before he got those emails about the reviews. It's from his parents."

TK suddenly felt sick in his stomach. A feeling he had years and years ago suddenly returned to him, which made him realize what cell was about to say. "Is it... what I think it is?"

Cell closed his eyes. "Nothing's final, but... his father is thinking of getting a divorce."

*************************************************** ****************************

Once his door was securely locked, Rob stumbled to his bed and sat down. He opened the drawer of his nightstand near his bed, revealing a stack of papers; fic ideas and rough drafts. He took the first three pages off from the top after he put the stack on his lap. Looking at the title, "Changing of the Guard," he slowly tore the pages into pieces and scattered them on the floor in front of him.

He took the next few pages. "Trigun/Cowboy Bebop crossover." He ripped it up.

"Love Hurts," his Digimon/Medabots fic: ripped apart as well.

The first chapter of "New Destiny - Book 3." Shredded.

Future ideas involving "BOYZ," "Resident Spider," "Cheaters," and other fic's. All of them ended up as confetti.

With each paper piece Rob tore up, a tear ran down his face. Each time a scrap hit the floor, his heart ached. He felt his will to write dying within himself. His imagination shrinking away to nothing.

The last story he found still in his lap, he took up the first page, and froze. It was his first movie script, the one he had to write up to 90-120 pages for his recently finished Screenwriting course at college. The other students, including the ones who currently hounded him for writing lemon fic's, helped urge him to write the script, which was based on a short story idea he put to paper for an early screenwriting assignment.

"They loved this," he choked, more tears falling. "They were hoping for a sequel. But they condemn me for writing fic's about a guy and girl taking love to a serious level..."

Reaching into the drawer again, he pulled out a lighter and flicked it on. After pulling his metallic wastebasket closer to him, he picked up the 97 page script in his other hand, then applied the lighter's flame to the one bottom corner. The pages were slowly starting to catch fire, feeding the starving flame. Once the script started to burn, Rob turned off the lighter and dumped the flaming papers in his hand into the wastebasket.

"Well, thanks to them, my writing days are over. If they can only see me as a writer of porno, then why bother convincing them that my other fic's outshine my lemons by far?"

Defeated, Rob shifted his body and laid out on his bed. The wastebasket's contents still burned, giving a small glow in the slowly darkening room. The smoke coming out of the basket was quickly sucked out the nearby open window, never reaching the smoke detector hanging on the ceiling on the other side of the room.

Rob let out a heavy sigh as he closed his eyes. "The ML and the other fanfic authors I chat with are going to hate me for my early retirement. ...Especially since I only said I was taking a break from writing in that email I sent all of them."

"You haven't changed one bit, Robbie."

Rob's eyes flew open at the new voice in the room. It was a very familiar voice he had not heard in years, not since the 1980's.

"When things don't go your way, you go and quit. I had hoped you had grown out of such behavior."

Rob sat up, and frantically looked about the room. "Who's there?! And how the hell did you get in here?!"

"Tsk, tsk, tsk! Such language! Remember, I'm from a children's show."

Suddenly, a blur of blue and red caught Rob's eye on his bed. He looked down to his hand and gasped. Standing near his hand was an elf-like creature with blue skin, snowy beard, and red pants with matching hat. The shocked author blinked several times. "A... a Smurf?!?!"

The creature nodded and smiled. "Correct! Papa Smurf, to be exact. It's been many years since we saw each other last, my young friend. Ever since NBC cancelled my show sometime before they gave up showing Saturday morning cartoons."

"No way! I... I-I must be dreaming!"

Papa Smurf patted Rob's hand gently. "You're just shocked, that's all. This isn't a dream, although you have your subconscious and your imagination to thank for me being here.

"You see, Robbie... may I still call you that? Anyway, deep in your mind, your subconscious stored all of your childhood memories, especially those related to cartoons of the 1980's and early 90's. We cartoon characters you grew up with and loved remained there, ready to come out when you least expected to remind you of old times. Of course, it took some reruns of our shows to jog your memory along, like 'The Transformers' airing on Sci-Fi Channel, for example.

"Now, when you created this world for your anime muses and such, your subconscious created a space for us older cartoons to live in. We have been watching you from our place, sometimes reading a few of your fanfics. In time, some of us hoped to come and see you, maybe even ask if we could live here in Dimension 80 with you."

Rob frowned. "Then why didn't any of you come to me, then? All this time, you never bothered to-!"

Papa Smurf held up his hands in defense. "Please! You were so busy and happy with all of your current muses that we felt by going to you, we'd be intruding. Besides, we had all the time in the world to seek you out. And after all, juggling college and fanfics wasn't easy for you, was it?"

It was then Rob fell back onto the bed. The impact nearly sent Papa Smurf flying off, if he hadn't jumped at the right time. "I take it you know about my recent troubles, then?"

"Yes, that's mostly why I'm here. I'm sorry to hear about your father thinking of divorcing your mother. Though I can't help with that, I am here to talk about those classmates of yours, and your rash decision to stop writing."

"Forget it, pops! My mind is made up. I dug my grave and now I'll lie in it."

These words made Papa Smurf think hard about the situation. Rob was stubborn as ever, and trying to reach him would be near impossible. "Well, before you settle into your grave, perhaps you'd grant me one wish: come visit a place that will make you feel young again."

Rob glanced at the Smurf. "If I agree, will you leave me alone?"

"Smurf's honor."

Heaving a loud sigh, Rob moved to get off the bed, taking the aged Smurf into his hand. "Okay, how do we get there? I don't feel like facing my muses and friends right now-."

Papa Smurf cut him off by waving his fingers at a spot on the ceiling and chanting a spell.

"Step by step,
One by one,
Higher and higher.

"Step by step,
Rung by rung,
Climbing up the ladder!"

There was a small flash of light before a hole opened up in the ceiling spot Papa Smurf had pointed at, and a long ladder slowly came down from the hole. It kept going until the bottom touched the floor and rested there.

"What is that?"

"That, Rob, is the ladder that leads up and into Memory Attic, home to your old favorite characters. Some of us even nicknamed it 'Jacob's Ladder,' after the song from Huey Lewis and the News."

Startled by all of this, Rob was frozen in place. First he is visited by an olden Hanna-Barbera character, and now there was a hole in the ceiling of his room with a long ladder coming out of it. It was getting a little too weird for him.

"Well, what are we waiting for? You're expected by everyone up there, so don't keep them waiting."

Regaining his composure, Rob stepped up and began to climb the ladder steps. He did it slowly, still unsure of all this. Soon, he was through the hole and climbing up into a vast void of white, similar to that of the Room of Spirit and Time.

"You should fire the decorator for this attic," Rob said, trying to calm down through snappy banter.

"Oh, this isn't the attic. It's up a little further. Oh, and don't look down when we get to the top!"

"Gee, thanks."

**************************************************** ***************************

Groucho stormed back and forth in front of the door, puffing smoke from his cigar. "It's too quiet in there," he said. "Harpo makes more noise than that, and he's supposed to be deaf and dumb!"

Chico, who was trying to peek through the door's keyhole, nodded in agreement. "Yes, and it seems-a the boss has plugged up hisself in dere pretty good. Even left the key in-a the keyhole."

Veemon80, who had been watching the two for minutes now, said, "Good, because if he caught you peeking in on him, you'd be rigid-like when he got through with you. ...Depending on when he got out of there."

Chico ignored the Digimon. He pressed his ear to the door in a hard attempt to listen to anything inside the room. Finally, he pulled away. "It's-a no use. Maybe he's-a take a nap?"

Groucho kept on pacing. "No chance of that, we'd hear him snoring if he was asleep." He faced V80. "Okay, shorty... what now?"

"We may have to do the unthinkable... break the door down."

Groucho looked at Chico. "You heard him. Go get Harpo and the Stooges! We'll get Rob out, by hook or crook!"

***************************************************** **************************

Rob started to go a little faster after seeing the top of the ladder leading out another hole. "Well, the alps have nothing on this ladder, I'll say that much."

Papa Smurf nodded. "Getting down is the easy part, if you have gloves and good breaks. Getting up is the hard part, especially for a Smurf."

A metallic voice from through the hole caught the two's attention. "Papa Smurf, is that you?"

Papa called up, but tried not to do so in Rob's ear. "Yes, it is! I've brought him with me, too!"

Soon, a long, red and gray metallic arm reached down from the hole, extending it's hand. "Take hold," the voice called again. "And I'll pull you up!"

Rob started to reach upward for the hand, but stopped. His curiosity had gotten the better of him, and he looked down. They were so high up, the hole at the bottom leading to Rob's room was unable to be seen. Fear gripped him. "Uh, guys? I'M LOOKING DOWN!"

"Oh for crying out loud! Hang on, I'll get ya!"

The robotic hand extended somewhat until it grabbed Rob by his arm and proceeded to pull him and Papa Smurf up through the hatch. Once on solid ground again, Rob breathed a little more easy. "To think, I once climbed up a wooden playhouse at an amusement park without fear when I was younger. Boy, was mom mad at me when I climbed down."

Papa Smurf hopped down from Rob's shoulder, dusting himself off. "I did warn you to not look down. Lucky for you, Ironhide was waiting for us here at the top."

Rob's head snapped up at the name. "Ironhide? The Transformer Ironhide?!"

"You bet, little buddy," a red robot with the front of a mini-van for a chest beamed. "And I ain't that Beast Wars elephant robot they slapped my name on, that's for sure."

Just then, Ironhide turned and yelled out to the not-so-dark blackness. "He's here, you guys! Rob's finally here!"

The room seem to light up with numerous eyes, at first. There were white eyes, blue eyes, red, yellow, cat eyes, even eyes without pupils. They all seem to stare at R80, but with familiarity and comfort. Then came the footsteps: soft and small, or big and loud, some even metallic.

That was also when the room started to light up, and Rob began to see other familiar forms of his favorite cartoon characters: the Smurfs, the Transformers, the ThunderCats, Captain N and his gang, Dirk the Daring, the Masters of the Universe, G.I. Joe, and many others. Each one greeted the author warmly, treating him like an old friend or relative who had not visited in years. Handshakes were made, greetings and a few hugs were exchanged, and Rob was in the middle of it all. It was starting to make him feel that he was drowning in it all, but he didn't mind. He was drowning the best way: in old memories of his youth.

"TV just hasn't been the same without you guys," Rob said once he estimated he had met everyone in the place. "Although, Cartoon Network has been trying to bring back all of you one way or another."

He tried to explain about how Cartoon Network had started as a channel that took older shows from the 60's to the 80's and brought them back to TV. He even went as far as telling about the Toonami block and the second Cartoon Network channel dubbed Boomerang, which was the new home for Hanna-Barbera cartoons from the 1960's up till the late 80's.

Several characters, like the Transformers and ThunderCats, were astonished about their revivals through Toonami, DVDs, or comic books. Others, like the Ewoks, were shocked when Rob revealed to them about Star Wars episodes 1 - 3.

Hours seemed to fly by as stories were exchanged, questions were asked, and memories explored. Finally, Papa Smurf cleared his throat.

"I do hate to interrupt, but there is still an important matter at hand. Rob, do you still plan to give up writing?"

Again, all eyes were on Rob, but this time he felt very uncomfortable. His throat ran dry, preventing him from speaking.

"You're worried about those jerks at college," a smaller and younger Smurf in a yellow t-shirt said. "Aren't you?"

Rob hung his head. "You guessed it, Snappy."

Decompose, the huge, undead Inhumanoid, let out a snarl. "Immature scum is what they are, nothing more!"

"I agree," Panthro chimed in. "Okay, so you wrote several fic's for mature audiences, and accidentally let these guys stumble on it. Well, it's not your fault they can't appreciate the plot of the fic rather than the content or rating."

Starscream also voiced his opinions. "Frankly, they can go to Hades for all we care! You have a bunch of people on that website who not only like your fic's, NC-17 or not, and they greatly outnumber these jerks."

"Who do you want to please more," Optimus Prime started to ask. "The people who enjoy your fic's, or these college associates teasing you? Frankly, I think we all know the obvious answer to that."

The wizened Autobot placed a hand on Rob's shoulder. "You once dreamt of being a cartoonist, and then changed that dream into becoming a writer for comic books. What will you become if you throw your dream away over meaningless squabble?"

Rob just stood there, thinking really hard.

******************************************************* ************************

Arch and Happyman stormed their way past the 80 Crew. Having just heard the news, both of them came rushing down to see if they could talk sense into their friend.

The door to R80's bedroom was terribly smudged. Apparently, the Stooges tried to ram the door down with Curly's head, but it didn't work. "I don't get it," Larry said, dumbfounded. "Use a saw or pipe or pickaxe on Curly's head and you ruin it, and it can't even make a dent in this door!"

"One side," Happyman said, drawing a large gun from his trench coat. "I'll blast the door down!"

"Tried that," Beelzemon said, holding up his melted guns. "Still didn't work."

Ed sulked on the floor. "Too bad door not locked by computer. Edward could hack into it."

Just then, the sound of a lock clicking caused a long hush over the crowd. Everyone froze as the door slowly opened, and then all eyes went wide open as several robotic heads came out of the door.

"Who throw party and no invite me Grimlock?"

"Big crowd out here."

"Some of these guys look very weird!"

"To them we must look weird, Blitzwing."

"Hey, make room, will ya?"

The familiar voice caused the robots to part. Robster80 stepped out through the opening and looked out at his muses and two fellow authors/otakus. "So... any mail for me while I was gone?"

Groucho spoke up first, though he still looked shocked. "I take it you're okay now, since you're using one of my jokes?"

"Well, somewhat. Arch, Happy, who invited you guys over?"

Arch shrugged. "Well, we heard a friend was in need, so we came to see what we could do to help. Uh, why are there Transformers in your room?"

"Well... they... they were too nervous to use the front door, so they sneaked into my room."

One by one, the Transformers facevaulted. All except for Optimus Prime, who said, "It was something like that, yeah. We came to see if we could join up with you guys."

"The more the merrier," came another voice, but this time from the 80 Crew. The muses stepped aside until the Transformers from "robots in Disguise," led by Black Convoy* came up to the door. Black Convoy held out his hand. "I was wondering when you and the other old-school 'bots would show up... big brother."

*I prefer to use his Japanese name instead of the dubbed name Fox Kids gave him.

Optimus shook hands with Black Convoy, and thus began a large exchange of greetings between the 80 crew and the older Transformers.

During all of this, Robster80 looked into his room. He noticed his stack of fic's neatly piled on his bed, undamaged and untouched. He smiled warmly. [Thanks, Papa Smurf. Thank all of you. I'll be waiting for you as long as it takes.]

***************************************************** **************************

From their hidden corner of the room, Papa Smurf and Snappy watched as Rob and the Transformers went out to face the others. They overheard someone comment on how the older Transformers resembled mobile suits in a way, and then looked at Rob as a smile bearing a creative idea in his mind.

"Looks like he'll be okay from here on," Snappy beamed.

Papa Smurf chuckled. "As long as his friends back him up, he'll get better."

"I wish we could go join them, Papa Smurf."

"Not yet, Snappy. Someday, we will. But until then, somebody must take care of the attic and all who dwell there. Our time will come very soon..."

The end.

Some of this stuff was true. My dad was thinking of getting a divorce, but now things seemed to have calmed down some. As for those college associates of mine, they did find out about me being a fic writer, and left some very disturbing, and painful, reviews for some of my fic's. for now, I'm over it, but I hope it never happens again.

I want to thank all my friends both online and offline for supporting me in these past times. Special thanks go to my friends on PRAORPOARI, and the fellow authors of Fanfiction.net. Well, now that this is out of the way, I can post this and that other chapter I had finished before all this happened.

Ja ne for now!