[FFML] [spamfic][Excel Saga/Death Note] Quack Death Fanfic Excel Note

Nidoking nidoking042 at comcast.net
Sat Nov 8 18:32:58 PST 2008


For once, this fanfic was NOT inspired by D.B. Sommer's recent 
Azumanga/Death Note crossover. I was already working on this one by the 
time that came out. However, I have to give him credit for motivating me 
to get this written and published before someone else beat me to it. 
Thanks as always, D.B. Don't let the title fool you - this story is 
based on recent events in the Excel Saga manga, so fans of the anime 
version may be a little lost. The inspiration was, naturally, the first 
line of this story, and most of the writing time was trying to find a 
way to end it. As you'll see when you get there, I pretty much gave up 
on that. For this story, I think it still works. Given that, I hope you 
enjoy it.



Quack Death Fanfic Excel Note

     "This world..." said the man in the throne, standing up and 
thrusting an arm out in a grand gesture, "is corrupt!"
     "Yes, Lord Il Palazzo!" chorused the three women in front of him.
     "Our efforts thus far have been successful," said Il Palazzo, "but 
only to a certain degree. To truly correct the problems in this world, 
we must eliminate those problems at the source."
     "Understood!" shouted El Gala. "I will begin the hostile takeover 
and dissolution of our rival companies at once! Let no one stand before 
the might of ILL!"
     Il Palazzo sat down and pushed his glasses up on his nose. "Yes, 
well... while a corporate takeover is always welcome, that is not the 
plan I had in mind."
     "On second thought, cancel that appointment," Hyatt said into her 
cell phone.
     "Tell me, what is the source of true power?" riddled Il Palazzo.
     "Lord Il Palazzo!" El Gala shouted excitedly.
     Il Palazzo yanked forcefully on the rope, and the floor tile 
beneath El Gala swung downward, dropping her into a familiar pit. "This 
is not the time for meaningless flattery."
     "Of course not, Lord Il Palazzo!" El Gala's distant voice replied. 
"But you are the owner of a corporation, with incredible financial 
resources and political influence. Is that not power?"
     "It gives one a certain amount of control," agreed Il Palazzo. "But 
it is not TRUE power."
     Hyatt turned to the silent woman who stood between herself and the 
pit. "Senior Excel, do you know to what our lord is referring?"
     "Information," Excel said dryly.
     "Precisely," Il Palazzo agreed. "To conquer one's enemies, one must 
know one's enemies. Strengths, weaknesses, habits, resources, past 
scandals... all of these are necessary to prepare a working plan of attack."
     "I see what you mean," said El Gala, as she climbed out of the pit, 
her hair and clothes dripping orange goo.
     "But even before this, one must know WHO one's enemies are. And 
that is the task to which I shall set the three of you."
     "Roger, Lord Il Palazzo!" shouted El Gala, whipping a quick salute 
that nearly made her lose her grip on the tile. "I'll compile a report 
and have it to you by the end of -"
     Il Palazzo pulled the rope again, and the tile to which El Gala 
clung tilted, sending her sliding back into the depths. "I am not 
talking about corporate enemies. We must know the names of the common 
citizens, that we may better determine how to rule them."
     "Isn't there a national registry that would have that information?" 
asked Hyatt.
     "The one thing that cannot be stored in a computer database is 
humanity," said Il Palazzo. "No computer can understand the complex 
relationships and emotions that make up the human being. Computer 
records can be flawed, outdated, fabricated... no, we must have 
accurate, correct information. That is why you will set out on foot to 
retrieve it."
     "Shall we conduct a census, then?" asked Hyatt.
     "It requires a personal touch," said Il Palazzo. "You must see the 
people in their daily lives, observe their faces, and write their names 
in this notebook. The rest will be taken care of for you."
     "So, you just want us to ask everyone we see for their name and 
write it down?" asked El Gala, panting, as she once again hauled herself 
out of the floor.
     "You can write names from name tags, plaques, newspaper articles... 
as long as you can see the person's face nearby," explained Il Palazzo. 
"We cannot rule a world full of faceless people."
     "Right, that makes sense," El Gala muttered sarcastically. "No, I 
get it, I get it!" she exclaimed frantically as Il Palazzo reached for 
the rope once again.
     Il Palazzo cleared his throat. "One more thing, and this is the 
most important part of the mission: Do not spend more than six minutes 
in any place. Move quickly, gather as many names as you can, and do not 
retrace your steps."
     "Why?" asked El Gala. "Six minutes won't be enough time to get many 
names. Shouldn't we -?"
     "Are you questioning my orders?"
     "NO, LORD IL PALAZZO!" the three girls chorused.
     "Excellent. Then come, take the notebook. Do not allow anything to 
happen to it. Do not allow anyone other than yourselves to see or touch 
it. And most importantly, if someone seems at risk of imminent death due 
to some cause, such as an unsafe driver at risk of a fatal accident or a 
citizen who works with dangerous tools, write that risk along with the 
name. The safety of our citizens must be a top priority, and we must 
note these dangers for our attention. Is that clear?"
     "YES, LORD IL PALAZZO!"
     El Gala meekly stepped forward and accepted the notebook. As she 
turned around to rejoin her comrades, something seemed strange about the 
situation, but she didn't want to investigate for fear of being dropped 
into the pit yet again. "Come on, let's get started," she said, striding 
briskly from the room at Excel's heels, with Hyatt doing her best to 
keep up.
     Once they had left the room, however, El Gala's mind returned to 
what she had seen, and her misgivings about the mission. Nothing added 
up. Spending no more than six minutes in any one place? What kind of 
directive was that? And what was with the writing on the cover of the 
book, anyway? Death Note... was it a brand name or a description of its 
purpose?
     "I think it's a mistranslation," said Hyatt. "The Japanese particle 
'desu' sounds like the English word 'death', so it's common to confuse 
the two."
     "Desu Note?" El Gala said aloud, sounding it out. "But what would 
that mean?"
     "'Desu' would be the very essence of existence," said Hyatt. "If 
you think about it, it's a very clever name."
     "But why six minutes?"
     Hyatt considered this. "Perhaps Lord Il Palazzo wants us to acquire 
the names of people from as wide a variety of backgrounds as possible. 
By focusing our search on breadth rather than depth, we ensure a rich 
mixture of people partaking in all parts of our culture. The strict time 
limit forces us to expand our search ever wider."
     "I suppose that makes sense..." El Gala peered again at the 
notebook, her misgivings not lessened much by Hyatt's theory. There was 
one more thing bothering her, though. "Did either of you notice that 
shadow behind Lord Il Palazzo's throne?"
     "Of course," replied Hyatt. "Haven't you?"
     "What do you mean, 'haven't I'?"
     "It's always been there," Hyatt explained. "I believe it's a 
metaphor representing Lord Il Palazzo's drive to control the world, as 
opposed to a kinder nature buried deep within."
     "I see," El Gala mumbled. But the logic very quickly soured in her 
mind. Wasn't a metaphor just a phrase of comparison? She shouldn't be 
able to see a metaphor, should she?
     "One normally can't hear thoughts, either," said Hyatt. "You just 
have a tendency to think very loudly. So perhaps the metaphor for Lord 
Il Palazzo's ambition is merely very solid."
     "Oh," said El Gala, once again feeling slightly ashamed of her 
openness.
*************************************************
     "Senior Excel? Senior Hyatt? I think you should see this!"
     Hyatt, feeling sick as usual, worm-crawled into the room and raised 
her head just enough to see the TV screen, where the reporter continued 
her special report. "... wave of strange deaths in the area. Police have 
been unable to speculate on how the deaths, mostly due to heart attacks, 
are related, but the pattern of the deaths has been called suspicious. 
The victims all died within about six minutes of each other, all in a 
single building, and the buildings form a path as follows through the 
downtown F City area."
     Excel sauntered disinterestedly into the room as the map appeared 
on the screen, with three colored lines representing the areas where the 
mysterious deaths had occurred on each of the past three days. "What's 
the problem?"
     "The news report says that people have been dying in groups," El 
Gala recapped, "and it's been happening in the same places where we've 
been writing names in Lord Il Palazzo's notebook."
     "So?"
     "It happens in each building just after we've left."
     "Shame we keep missing it," said Excel, scratching her stomach.
     "Look at the newspaper article!" shouted El Gala, shoving the paper 
into her senior's face. "It lists all the people who have died, and how 
they died. Then compare that to what we've written in the notebook!"
     Excel stared at each document briefly. "I don't see a connection."
     "THEY'RE THE SAME LISTS!"
     "No they're not," said Excel. "Most of the ones in the paper are 
heart attacks. We didn't write 'heart attack' that many times."
     "Well, the ones that don't match our notebook are all heart 
attacks," El Gala explained. "And if we wrote anything next to those 
people, it was something that wouldn't happen right then. Lung cancer 
for smokers, subway accidents miles from the nearest station... and the 
last half of yesterday's list is all heart attacks, during the period 
when you got bored and started writing ridiculous things like 'impaled 
by a walrus' or 'ballooning accident'. Except the guy who actually had a 
pole dancing accident in the grocery store."
     "So we were really good at guessing how people would die when we 
took it seriously," said Excel. "Lord Il Palazzo will be pleased."
     "How AND when?" asked El Gala. "Don't you think it's strange that 
everyone whose name we wrote down died shortly thereafter?"
     "I might point out that it makes the list a bit useless to Lord Il 
Palazzo," Hyatt observed. "All of the people whose names we wrote down 
are dead."
     "Don't you get it?" cried El Gala, pointing to the cover of the 
notebook. "Death Note! I don't think this is a coincidence at all. I 
think the people whose names we wrote died BECAUSE we wrote their names. 
And they died of whatever we wrote they would die of, unless it was 
impossible, in which case it became a heart attack!"
     "So you think Lord Il Palazzo gave us a magic notebook and sent us 
out to kill people?"
     "YES!" shouted El Gala, relieved that someone finally understood 
her point.
     "There's no such thing as magic," said Excel. "You're crazy."
     "Then how do you explain what's happening?" asked El Gala. "If we 
gave this notebook to the police, they'd arrest us on the spot!"
     "Which is why Lord Il Palazzo told us not to show it to anyone," 
Excel reminded her. "What, you want proof it doesn't do squat?"
     "How would you prove that?" El Gala asked skeptically.
     "Simple." Excel handed the notebook and her pen to Hyatt. "You know 
my real name, right? Write it down."
     El Gala goggled. "You're going to use it on yourself?"
     "Why not? It's just ink and paper. It can't kill me."
     "But Senior Excel..."
     "Write it," snapped Excel.
     Hyatt obediently opened the notebook and began to write.
     "You know her real name?" asked El Gala.
     "Oh, yes," said Hyatt with a smile. "Yours also. Lord Il Palazzo 
trusts me with all his secrets."
     "That's not really his secret to give away, is it?" asked El Gala, 
suddenly frightened of what might happen if Hyatt wrote her name in the 
notebook as well.
     "Don't forget to put 'heart attack' next to it," ordered Excel. 
"This has to be official."
     "It's done," said Hyatt, closing the notebook and handing it back 
to Excel.
     "All right," said Excel, looking at her watch. "Six minutes, right?"
     "Probably a little bit longer than that," El Gala said nervously. 
"We never saw anyone die as we were leaving the buildings."
     "Okay, call it seven," said Excel. "Time to read the business 
section." She opened the newspaper and began to read.
     "I can't believe you're treating this so lightly!" shouted El Gala. 
"You could die!"
     "ILL has a vice president," said Excel, pointing at Hyatt with her 
thumb. "She can take over for me."
     "That's not what I'm concerned about! What about the fragility of 
human life? The ephemeral nature of the soul-body bond? The proximity of 
the far bank of the Styx?"
     "We can make a profit off those, too," said Excel. "The market for 
bonds is pretty good right now."
     "You're not paying attention to me at all, are you?" asked El Gala, 
peering over the top of the newspaper.
     Excel's eyes met El Gala's.
     ...
     ...
     ...
     She returned to her reading.
     "Fine, then!" said El Gala, turning and storming into the kitchen. 
"It's your life on the line, not mine!"
     "Shall I write your name as well, Miss El Gala?" offered Hyatt.
     "NO!"
     "At least we'd all go out together," said Excel. "Four minutes left."
     El Gala could hear her heart beating, so rapidly that she began to 
worry she would have a heart attack without the assistance of the 
notebook. The seconds ticked past, and sweat began to roll down her 
forehead. She clutched at her chest. Had Hyatt written the wrong name in 
her confusion? Or was it a secret agreement between her seniors to 
conspire to remove her and make it look like an accident? Was she, El 
Gala, about to die?
     "No," Hyatt said from the next room, "I'm quite sure the name I 
wrote was -"
     A hacking cough interrupted Hyatt before she could divulge which 
name she'd written down, followed by gasping breaths and a strangulated 
gurgle.
     "Senior Excel!" screamed El Gala, racing back into the living room. 
Excel stared lifelessly up at her, limply holding the blood-soaked 
newspaper in a cold, clammy hand. She had been so young, so powerful, so 
impetuous...
     "Don't write me off, dummy," said Excel. She reached down and 
lifted Hyatt's lifeless body from the pool of her blood. "She's the one 
who died here, not me."
     "But then -"
     "But nothing," said Excel, delivering Hyatt a powerful backhand 
across the face.
     Hyatt sputtered and awoke. "Senior Excel... I'm glad to see you 
survived."
     "Whatever," said Excel, letting her drop back to the floor. "Go get 
yourself cleaned up."
     El Gala stared at the notebook, lying just beyond the edge of the 
pool of blood... or rather, in a small peninsula of untouched carpet, as 
if the blood had carefully oozed around it rather than stain its pages. 
"Then I suppose it must be just an ordinary notebook." Either that, or 
it was simply impossible for such a thing to kill Senior Excel, however 
potent it might otherwise be.
*************************************************
     "Have you seen the news today, Teriha?" asked Umi as she entered 
the room, her face buried in the newspaper. "Some weird deaths in F City 
- lots of heart attacks, lots of accidents, but all in the same place at 
the same time. Think maybe there's a shinigami on the loose?" She 
chuckled at her joke, but quickly stopped as she heard her amnesiac 
roommate's reaction to the story. The redhead was lying on her bed, 
gasping frantically. "Teriha?"
     "Can't... breathe!" croaked Teriha. "Chest... hurts..."
     Umi dropped the newspaper. "That's not funny!"
     Teriha reached toward the ceiling lamp with one hand. "I'm coming, 
Esther!"
     "What are you talking about? Who's Esther?"
     "No idea... seemed like... right thing... to say..."
     Umi bent over Teriha, who was sweating so profusely that her 
mattress was turning into a waterbed. "Hang on! I'll call the professor!"
     Teriha's vision swam, and she felt as if the floor had opened 
beneath her, leaving her in freefall. Somehow, it was a comforting 
feeling. Familiar. She looked up into the bright light. The silhouette 
of a person was leaning over her, looking down on her, and she knew its 
name. "Lord... Il... Pala..."
     Her arm fell to her side, and the light in her eyes went out as if 
someone had clapped twice.
*************************************************
     "Something... has to be done about this!" Dr. Kabapu slammed his 
hands down on the table.
     "Isn't that a job for the police?" asked Misaki. "The police who 
are currently investigating the deaths?"
     "The police can't find HIM! I KNOW he's responsible for it! I just 
know!"
     Aye, alluz the saim'un, loike 'ers nain else whuz kin commit 
croimes, said Sumiyoshi.
     "And what makes you think that same guy is responsible for this?" 
asked Watanabe.
     "It's OBVIOUS!" shouted Dr. Kabapu as if it were true. "What's 
happening is absolutely impossible. There's no way any man, woman, or 
child could kill people and leave no trace of their actions."
     "And your guy isn't a man?" ventured Misaki.
     "He's a MADMAN!" Dr. Kabapu loomed over the table, the fire in his 
eyes casting a long, zigzag mustache shadow on the smooth surface. 
Flecks of spit dripped from his mouth as he continued to froth. "And how 
many madmen do you know of in this city?"
     Ainly the wun, Sumiyoshi replied as expressionlessly as ever.
     "Well, I can see you're not going to be so easily convinced," said 
Dr. Kabapu, calming down. "I'd think it a fool suggestion too, if I 
didn't know Il Palazzo like I do. You can scoff!" He paused to see if 
anyone would take him up on his offer, but even the younger Ropponmatsu 
remained completely stoic. "Be that as it may, I know no sane person 
would trust me, so I've taken matters into my own hands." As he turned 
to open the conference room door, everyone scoffed, even the elder 
Ropponmatsu. "Please come in, Doctor." He turned again, beckoning Dr. 
Shioji into the room.
     "I hope you all appreciate the lengths I'm going to here," said Dr. 
Shioji, adjusting his glasses. "You know how much I hate this sort of 
work, and the police have been investigating me closely ever since that 
girl died in my house last week. It makes it very difficult to get 
anything done. If I hadn't already completed the reconstruction of the 
Ropponmatsu unit, I wouldn't have bothered."
     "We're all grateful for your efforts, Doctor," said Dr. Kabapu, 
gesturing to his underlings, who were engaged in a five-way game of 
table football. "So, did you bring your new prototype? Which one was it, 
number twelve?"
     "Please," groaned Dr. Shioji. "Don't dehumanize my machines by 
referring to them by numbers."
     "Ah, sorry," said Dr. Kabapu. "What do you call it, then? And where 
is it?"
     "It's been here in the room the whole time," said Dr. Shioji, 
crossing the room in a few strides and spinning a chair around. It had 
been facing the window, but they now saw Iwata squatting in it, his bare 
feet on the seat, hunkered so low that he couldn't be seen from behind. 
"This is the new Iwata, version L."
     Everyone stared at Iwata, but he didn't seem perturbed by the 
sudden attention. He stared back, his eyes wider than usual, seeming to 
protrude slightly from the sockets, and his fingers tented in front of him.
     "Are you feeling okay?" asked Watanabe.
     Iwata's eyes slowly swiveled to focus on Watanabe. For a long time, 
he remained that way, unblinking. When he finally spoke, his voice was 
slow and quiet. "People are dying out there, in our city. We must bring 
the perpetrator to justice. That is our task."
     The elder Ropponmatsu stared at him uneasily. "What have you done 
to him?"
     "I've reprogrammed him to devote most of his processing power to 
intelligence," explained Dr. Shioji, "making him the ultimate analytical 
mind. As you can see, that represented a significant change from his 
original personality. However, this configuration will make him the 
perfect detective - the best chance to figure out the clues and track 
down the criminal or criminals responsible for the recent murders."
     "Why Iwata?" asked Misaki. "Why not one of the Ropponmatsus?"
     Dr. Shioji pushed his glasses up again, catching the light. "I'd 
never ruin a creation I liked."
     "Can you put Iwacchi back to normal when you're done with him?" 
asked the younger Ropponmatsu.
     "This is normal from now on," said Iwata, catching everyone by 
surprise. "I have a higher calling now, and I intend to live up to it. 
Every minute we delay, someone is out there killing more innocent people."
     "And you think you can find him?" Dr. Kabapu asked eagerly.
     "No," Iwata said coldly. "I KNOW I can find him."
     "Finally!" cheered Dr. Kabapu. "What do you need from us? Whatever 
it is, we'll fit it into our budget somehow!"
     "I need as many video monitors as you can find," said Iwata, 
chewing a thumbnail. "And the security camera footage from all the 
buildings where the deaths took place."
     "You think whoever did it was there in person?" asked the elder 
Ropponmatsu.
     "I traced the locations and times of the deaths on a map," said 
Iwata, reaching into a back pocket and pulling out the map in question, 
covered with incomprehensible doodles. "The pattern matches that of 
someone walking from place to place, spending about six minutes in each 
location before moving on. Probably two or three people, judging by the 
walking speed. They would be walking slowly, carrying on conversations, 
and making bathroom stops more frequently than a single person would."
     "It could just be one elderly person," Watanabe suggested. "Dr. 
Kabapu would fit that pattern these days."
     "An elderly person in some of these places would have attracted 
attention," said Iwata, pointing to the map. "This karaoke bar is a 
popular hangout for high school and college students. The survivors 
would have remembered seeing someone older at the time of the deaths."
     "Or maybe they'd be really freaked out by all their friends having 
sudden heart attacks and being mauled by wild dogs," said Misaki.
     Iwata pulled at his bottom lip with his index finger. "That's 
possible. But I'd still like to begin by investigating the videos. If 
there is a common link, I'll find it."
     "Here you go!" said the younger Ropponmatsu enthusiastically, 
placing the last monitor on top of the stack she'd made across one wall 
of the room. She extracted a thin wire from beneath her skirt and 
plugged it into a device at the corner of the bank of monitors, turning 
the static in the screens instantly into an array of images of the 
insides of stores.
     "That's my girl!" said Dr. Shioji, rubbing her head.
     "Thank you," said Iwata, carefully plucking a sugar cube from the 
pyramid on the table between his thumb and forefinger, staring at it 
critically, then holding it above his open mouth and letting it fall in.
     "Is there anything else we can get you?" asked Dr. Kabapu, rubbing 
his hands in anticipation.
     "Do you have any very strong coffee?" asked Iwata. "I expect the 
nights to be long until we catch this criminal."
     "You don't sleep," Dr. Shioji reminded him. "And you can't drink 
coffee. It would rust your insides."
     "Ah," said Iwata. He basked in the glow of the monitors. "Just more 
sugar, then. Lots more sugar." He ate two more cubes at once. "Soon, 
mysterious killer, we will meet face to face."
*************************************************
     "Come for me, then!" shouted Il Palazzo, standing before his throne 
and raising his arms as if conducting an invisible orchestra. "We shall 
see who is the greater man, and the world will be mine at last!"
     "You're not talking to me, are you?" asked the deep, ethereal voice 
from behind the throne.
     "You're ruining my moment," hissed Il Palazzo out of the corner of 
his mouth.
     "Sorry."
     Silence fell, as they both waited to see if the dramatic tension 
would return. It didn't.
     "You know, you could have just killed your rival with the Death 
Note and saved yourself a lot of trouble," the shinigami pointed out.
     "I didn't ask for your opinion," Il Palazzo said curtly.
     "I know, but I had to say it anyway. It's a shinigami thing."
     "Why don't you go bother my underlings for a while?" suggested Il 
Palazzo.
     "They're not as much fun as you, big guy! I need someone I can wind 
up properly. Someone who takes everything way too seriously, like you."
     Il Palazzo's eyebrows twitched. "Did you just call me 'big guy'?"
     "Would you prefer 'Daddy-O'? 'Chief'? 'Most Grand Honorable Bighead'?"
     Il Palazzo reflexively yanked on the rope.
     The shinigami looked down at the hole that had opened in the floor. 
"Oh. Was I supposed to fall down there? I'm really no good at punchlines."
     "Just to make sure... if I renounce ownership of the book, I never 
have to see or hear you again, correct?"
     "Well, yeah," said the shinigami, sounding hurt. "But then you'd 
forget everything that happened while you owned it, which would pretty 
much ruin your plan for taking over the world, wouldn't it?"
     "I'm beginning to consider that a small price to pay," said Il Palazzo.
     "And then you just know one of those girls is going to find out 
your real name and write it down for some reason, and you know what 
happens then...."
     "One more word, and I'll never give you another pear again."
     "Awwwww!" whined the shinigami, contorting into an impossible shape 
at the very idea of having to give up its favorite food. "You're no fun."
     "On that, at least, I'm happy to agree."


-- 
Weiler's Law: Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do 
it himself.

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