FRIDAY NIGHT PARTY Gunge vote - Rouge v Sally - result
Written by Iron-K, unfortunately
As the "Applause" signs lit up above the audience to signal the start of the live broadcast, the lights in the studio fell, leaving just one beam of light directed at the curved back wall of the raised stage. To a chorus of cheers from the stands, the panel in the center glided slowly aside, revealing the show's white-haired avian presenter Rossi, both of his hands raised in the air as he stepped forwards on to the set.
"Good evening, everyone!" He called above the continuing noise as he moved forwards to the desk on the right hand side of the stage, and grasped the back of the swivel chair behind it, one hand still up to acknowledge the applause as he maneuvered around it and seated himself.
"All right..." He smiled as he waved the cheering down with one hand, straightening the stack of papers on the desk with the other. "Good evening and welcome to the first Friday Night Party of the new year... you know, I don't know why our stage crew keep putting these here, there's never anything on them - look..."
He held one of the sheets up to the audience and turned it over, showing it was blank, then crumpled it up and threw it behind him to a murmur of laughter. Pulling one side of his jacket aside, he reached into the inside pocket and pulled out a set of cards, which he thumped down on top of the remaining pieces of paper.
"So, I'm really looking forward to tonight's show - we're going to have Joanna Giles on the interview couch to talk about her newly released autobiography, Des Mauer telling us about his new show starting later in the year, Crisis Point..." He hesitated and made a show of looking over the papers again. "We've got a load of other people on as well, you've seen the guest list. I don't know, all my paper's blank."
He shook his head, running one hand over his head and brushing through his fluffed silvery hair. "Never mind, I'm sure the crew can patch this over with a better intro from one of the earlier shows, nobody would notice. First of all..." He laughed, and cleared his throat to start the sentence again. "First of all, to get us started, please welcome a pair that everyone should know by their first names alone - it's Rouge and Sally!"
He flung his hand out and the spotlight swung over to the side of the set. To another cheer from the audience, two figures stepped up into the lit area. The first was a short, white-headed curvaceous bat girl, wearing a black dress with cutouts that revealed the beige fur on her chest and tummy, and with striking blue eyeshadow that was revealed as she blinked in the light. Behind her, a slightly taller and slimmer ground squirrel with brown fur and short bright red hair emerged from the darkness, wearing blue knee boots with a skirt and matching blue jacket.
Rossi applauded along with the audience as he rose from his seat to greet them, stepping around the corner of the desk and putting his arms out, ducking down a little to hug the short bat girl and then the chipmunk in turn and giving greetings inaudible under the clapping from the audience. "Sit yourselves down and get comfortable..."
He moved back to his desk as the two girls seated themselves on the red couch that faced it from the left side of the stage. "Sally and Rouge, everyone," he said again as he sat down himself, leaning back in his seat. "I'm guessing everyone knows where they're from - if you don't, then I think it would take too long to explain to you..."
He grasped the lapels of his jacket and straightened it, budging the chair over to the edge of the desk to talk to them. "Welcome to the Friday Night Party, both of you - did you have a good new year?"
"Yeah," the bat girl replied, and the chipmunk girl nodded along with her.
"You've been taking a break since your last appearances, but you're both going to be in something later in the year, aren't you?"
Rossi looked down at his cards again to check his list of topics, and continued chatting and joking with them for a few minutes before flipping one card to the back of the pile and barely disguising a grin at what was on the next one.
"Now," he started, "I know you've had... some rivalries between each other on screen that we've just talked about, but do you get on in real life?"
"Kind of," the ground squirrel replied, smiling at her partner as she tilted a hand in front of her.
"No issues you want to settle or anything?" Rossi went on. Sally started answering again, but as he came to the end of the question, Rouge leaned forward and giggled as she clapped one hand on the squirrel's shoulder.
"Look at her - I think you've guessed what's coming!" He pointed at the face of the bat girl, who nodded as one camera operator at the front of the set swung around for a closeup of her impish grin. Turning his head, he called to the back wall of the set. "All right, let's bring it out..."
The lights dimmed a little as the show's theme music played from the speakers over the audience, and a panel at the back wall of the set slid aside. A cheer went up as what was behind it was revealed - the show's gunge tank, a six foot clear booth built to look like an antique phone box with an arched covered section at the top, mounted on a platform with a chair on either side. Right at the edge, a large lever jutted up from the platform's surface.
Rossi smiled at the guests' faces as they saw the booth revealed - Sally gasped and clasped her hands to her open mouth, shoulders shaking in nervous laughter, while Rouge's eyes visibly widened, a grin spreading on her face as she glanced at the audience and then back to the tank. As they watched it, distractedly applauding along with the audience, the whole platform moved forwards out of the backstage area, and came to a halt between the couch and Rossi's desk.
The avian put his hands on the surface in front of him and rose from his chair, extending one arm towards the booth and the other towards the two girls on the couch. "If you'd both like to step over here, don't be shy..."
The two of them looked at each other, exchanging nervous glances, and then got up off the couch together. The bat girl led the way as Rossi waved them over to the tank, with Sally walking behind, holding the bat's right hand in front of her. He followed them and took the squirrel girl's other hand, guiding her up on to the platform and to the left seat while Rouge squirmed into the seat on the right.
"You know what this thing is, don't you?" the avian said, stepping to the side of the platform as the two girls both looked up at the ceiling of the tank between them - the end of a wide pipe was just visible jutting down into the booth. Sally glanced at him and nodded. "Yes, it's become pretty infamous over the last few weeks - but we'll be doing things a little differently tonight! One of you is going to stay nice and dry, but the other is going to find themselves in there at the end of the show."
He moved up on to the platform, putting his arm behind the squirrel's chair. "Sally, you've had issues with machines on screen before, what are your first thoughts on this one?"
The squirrel girl looked the booth up and down again, tapping her hands on her knees and tossing a strand of red hair out of her face. "It's... kind of different from what I'm used to!" she said.
"I thought it might be... and this time it's our audience who's going to decide if you escape!" He straightened up and addressed the audience. "If you want to see the beautiful Sally get it, dial our number and 001."
Sally shuddered a little, still not taking her eyes off the tank. "Come on, don't let me down, everyone..." she said with a glance at the audience as Rossi dashed around to the other side.
"Or if you want to put Rouge in there..." he started, and looked down to see her wriggling her toes out of her shoes. "Don't worry, you're going to have a while yet - feeling nervous that people might be more inclined to put you in there?"
"Yeah," the bat girl immediately nodded.
"Well, is there anything you'd like to say that you think might help you send the squirrel girl in and keep you and that lovely dress out of there yourself?"
Sally leaned forwards on her hands with a slight smile on her face, watching intently from the other side as Rouge thought for a few moments, opening and closing her mouth. "I'm prettier?" she eventually suggested with a shrug, then her shoulders shook in laughter at the jeers from the audience.
Rossi chuckled in response. "Well, I think you've just done more damage to your case than I ever could! Sally, I'd relax if I were you... if you want to see Rouge in the gunge tank, it's our number and 002."
He spun around and walked back to his desk again. "Good luck to both of you - you know that if it were up to me I'd keep you both out of there..." His face cracked into a smile at the chorus of disbelief from the audience. "All right, here are the numbers again - let's send them off for now!"
As he sat down, he clapped his hands together to start the applause again as the back of the set opened up, and both girls jumped a little as the platform started moving them backwards again. Rouge looked over her shoulder as they moved towards the opening, while Sally kept facing the audience, waving a little and fiddling with her hair with her other hand as she looked up once again at the spout in the ceiling.
"Remember, it's your votes that decide their fate - we'll keep you updated on the calls throughout the show, and in forty minutes we'll find out who you want to save and who's going in the gunge tank..." He glanced over his shoulder as the booth was finally covered by the stage panel again. "We'll be right back."
"Welcome back!" Rossi was seated at his desk again after the final advert break, and the gunge tank platform had been brought out behind him, with the two girls seated on either side of the booth. "Our first two guests are back, and it's finally the moment they've been dreading, because it's time to see who you voted into the tank..."
He sprang up from the seat and spun around, taking a couple of steps towards the platform. "Sorry to keep you waiting - are you all right over there, Sally?" he asked first.
"Kind of," the squirrel replied, a nervous smile on her lips. The bat girl opposite her looked over at her expression, then faced the front again, skimming her bare feet against the floor as she swung them back and forwards.
"I can tell you're anxious, Rouge..." The avian cleared his throat as she nodded. "And I don't blame you, sitting next to that thing - that dress of yours could be about to get a splash of color..."
The white bat grinned sheepishly, wriggling her shoulders up the way in a shudder and looking down at herself.
"But to find out who's getting it, here are the final results - you two can watch them on the camera monitor over there..." Rossi pointed behind him and to his left, and the two girls' heads turned, with Rouge putting both hands on the arm of her seat and leaning forward a little to see, as the displays over the audience faded to show a blank bar chart with views of both their faces from the cameras in front of them. "Computer, show us how the nation voted..."
The two bars on the chart began to fill a little at a time, each speeding up and slowing down at random, and Rossi spoke louder against the increasing noise of the studio audience, who cheered them on as they raced each other towards the other side of the screen.
"We've received 33 thousand calls from people who wanted to see either of you gunged this evening, and this is how they were split up - who's it going to be, Sally or Rouge..."
Both of the girls watched intently, their expressions changing from delight to dread as each bar faltered or shot ahead past the other one, the noise from the audience increasing as Sally's leapt forwards and reached towards the end of the screen. The squirrel held her hands to her mouth as she watched it slow down on the last couple of inches, Rouge's bar creeping up to draw almost level with it. The bat girl's mouth fell open, and she disguised it with a call of encouragement to Sally's bar, just as her own suddenly lit up as it filled the length of the screen. Her shout of encouragement became a squeak of surprise, and with a helpless laugh she stretched forwards to look over at her opponent, who was shaking her head with relief, leading the applause from the audience.
"Rouge!" Rossi called her name as he hopped up on to the platform and stood to the side of the bat girl's chair. Slowly, she straightened up again, breathing out resignedly and twisting in the seat to look up at him. The avian smiled, and put his hand around her back, rubbing up and down a little.
"Come on, did you ever think you were going to escape this?" He came round to the front and extended his hand towards her.
The white bat girl sighed, running her hand over her head. "No, I guess not," she answered as she picked herself up, allowing herself to be led over to the gunge tank. As she looked down at her cutout dress, tugging it a little with her free hand, Rossi reached towards the handle and tugged the waist-height door open.
Another cheer rose up from the onlookers as the avian gave Rouge a gentle push on the back to encourage her into the gunge tank. Her shoulders shook a little as she took a tentative step inside, shivering as she looked up at the mechanism above her. Sally watched intently from her chair, not disguising a wide grin.
"Hey, don't revel in it too much!" Rossi called out over his shoulder, stepping aside as the bat girl wriggled into the plastic seat. "We had a really close vote, and Sally looked like she was in trouble for a long time this evening..." As she gripped the chair's arms, Rouge's eyes were still fixed on the spout looming over her head, then she looked back at Rossi as he spoke to her again. "Although I have to say, Rouge, I do think you deserve it..."
The bat girl cringed down, closing her eyes but nodding a little as her anxious expression broke into a nervous grin. Rossi shut the booth's door and spun around to face the watching squirrel.
"Sally, it was nearly you in here - do you want to come over and throw the switch on Rouge?"
"Sure," she answered, getting up quickly and walking across the front of the booth to the lever.
Rossi chuckled at her enthusiasm. "Well, it looks like she has a mean side after all... that or you're really relieved that it's not you in there!"
"A little of both," she smiled, stepping around the lever to face the tank and putting one hand on the handle. The bat girl looked from the squirrel's face down to the lever, then back out to the audience again, moving her hands distractedly up to straighten the front of her dress as she looked down at herself.
"I can't wait to see what happens to that," Rossi said, prompting a laugh from the stands as he indicated down at it. Rouge gave a sly grin and clasped her hands across the exposed fur through the cutouts over the middle of her chest and tummy, then returned them to the arms of the seat, rubbing them back and forth a little as she bounced anxiously.
Sally, her hand still on the lever, watched Rossi as he stepped to the other side of the tank. "But just before it does, I want to thank all our guests from this evening once again..." He called their names out, and nodded as he waited for the applause to die down. "And we especially want to thank these two for going through this, so now please give them a big send off - Rouge and Sally!"
Rossi clapped his hands together, prompting a cheer from the stands in front of them, and as he pointed over at the switch, the squirrel girl delightedly tugged hard on it. Suddenly, an industrial siren blared over the noise from the audience, making Rouge jump and close her eyes, a moment before four streams of glutinous purple gunge sprayed down at her from the top corners of the tank.
The bat girl jumped as the front two streams splashed into her face, her hands shooting up to clasp over her forehead and defend herself as a curtain of the purple goo dripped down on to her chest. She squeaked through her grin, which was just visible underneath the wave of purple gloop splattering outwards from her head, as she wriggled against the slime pouring on to her head and shoulders. As she squirmed down further, the streams played back and forth a little, coating the outsides of her arms and making her hunch her shoulders as the back streams splashed across them. Fingers of the purple stuff crept around her neck and slithered down into her dress.
Running a hand over her slippery head as the streams parted a little, the front ones pouring into her lap and splashing outwards to the front and sides, Rouge wiped at her eyes and blinked them open, then opened her mouth in a screech as the pumps next to her feet started and the tank began to fill with bright green foam from the bottom up. She wriggled her toes as the stuff rapidly bubbled up over her bare feet, looking down at it as she flicked her ears to spray some of the dripping gunge off them just before the streams of purple came inwards again to splash across her head.
Rouge spluttered and shook her head, sending a lick of purple gunge out of the front of the tank and making the avian and squirrel step back a little as the thick liquid splatted on to the platform. She gripped the arms of the seat and twisted to the side to get her head out of the downpour, leaning back as the streams parted again to slop across her arms, becoming just drizzles pouring down into the corners of the tank. Slowly opening her eyes as the bright slime dripped across them and settling back into the chair, she looked back looked down at the rising foam, her mouth opening in another prolonged squeak as it engulfed her tummy and kept creeping upwards. The hooter sounded again, and she moved her eyes to the ceiling, just before screwing up her face again as there was an audible click of a valve opening and a wide downpour of mixed blue and yellow gunge flooded down on to her head.
A chorus of whoops and whistles rose above the cheer from the onlookers as the heavy gunge spewed crazily outwards from the squirming bat girl, painting the walls of the booth around her. After a moment, the opaque slop settled to form a smooth umbrella shape that twitched as she shook her head, flopping down into the foam and sending specks of the stuff flying upwards, the two colors mixing into a murky green as the stuff splashed over her shoulders and down the front of her dress. The top of the dome dipped down slightly as Rouge hunched a little further down in the seat, the crest of a slow wave of gunge visible behind her as it spewed out from her back.
As the glutinous downpour from the ceiling eased off a little, the slimy bat girl turned her head back up to face out of the tank, a sickly grin on her face as the mixed colors of gunge dripped across it. She blinked to keep her eyes clear as the thinning column of slime poured down on to her, still glooping outwards in a small splash from the top of her head before splattering down the sides of her face and on to her shoulders. The foam bubbled up over her chest and began slowly spilling over the door of the booth, breaking off as it fell and splatted on to the platform in front of it. Wriggling up away from it, she shrieked out loud again, but with the corners of her open mouth turned up in a shocked smile, as a wave of gloop slumped forwards down over her face.
As the klaxon gave one last long blare to signal the end of the gunging, Rouge shook the worst of the slop away from her eyes and blinked again as she looked out at the others, flicking her sloppy flattened ears as the last remnants of the gunge dripped from the edges of the pipe on to her and drizzled from the tips of her ears. Sally was almost doubled over in laughter, her hands on her knees as she watched her opponent squirming in the messy gunge tank.
Rossi continued his applause, smiling as Rouge picked her foam and gunge coated hands out of the green bath. She wriggled as she hauled one shoulder of her soaked dress back into place before running her hands over her head, streaking the blue and yellow mixture across it.
"How does the prize for winning the vote feel?" the avian leaned slightly closer to ask, his hand on the side of the booth. The gungy bat girl sighed, shaking her head.
"I'd have preferred the cash alternative..." she said with a grimace. As laughter came up from the onlookers, she looked uselessly down at the bubbling green foam she was submerged in, then tried to push it down a little with her messy hands, squeaking as the surface closed over them.
Rossi moved back to put his arm around the squirrel girl, who was watching her mucky opponent with some amusement. "You know, I think our set department's getting better... glad it isn't you in there, Sally?"
"Oh, yes," she laughed as Rouge wriggled aside to dodge another spurt of drips from the nozzle on the ceiling. She batted at her head again, sliding the gunge off and flicking it down into the foam.
"Want to be gracious in victory and offer your opponent your own commiserations?"
With a pat on the back by way of encouragement from the avian, Sally tiptoed forwards over the splatter of gunge that had spilled over the front of the tank. The bat girl gave a malicious grin as she approached, collecting another handful of gunge from her head, and the squirrel squeaked as she splashed it out of the tank towards her.
"No," she shook her head, and laughed a little as Rouge dipped her hand into the foam, trying to throw some out at her. The clump of foam stopped as soon as it had left the tank and drifted down to splat in a blob just in front of it.
Rossi came forwards in Sally's place as she retreated. "Okay, Rouge, the cameras are off and your embarrassment on national TV is over - we'll get you out of there and down to the showers, all right?"
"Sounds great," the dripping bat girl replied, raising her slippery fingers up again to accept a towel handed to her by an approaching stagehand and closing her eyes before burying her face in it, rubbing it around to clear the slime off. Rossi straightened up as he tapped on the side of the tank.
"We're definitely doing this again next week..."
The first Friday Night party gunge vote was between two very famous furry women, and it quickly became my most viewed submission! The eventual winner went in the tank by the force of just one vote :)