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What Does It Mean, Anyway?

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This story is No. 14 in the series "The Great Scooby Scavenger Hunt". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Just out of curiosity, I checked all of the twenty-six. Nine can be printed in three, seven in one, another seven in two, and three are unfortunately unable to be done except in four strokes: E, M, and W. No. 13 of August Fic-A-Day.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Literature > Action > Zorro(Current Donor)ManchesterFR1511,617021,27613 Aug 1213 Aug 12Yes
Disclaimer: I own nothing. All Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters and Zorro characters are the property of their original owners.

That night, it was very quiet in the soldiers’ barracks.

The adobe structure on the outskirts of the tiny village having a far grander name than it seemingly deserved was normally full of the inhabitants’ cheerful chatter with each other after dark, involving the events of the day as these men performed their usual martial duties. Not that there were very many military tasks to be done around the place known as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reyna de Los Angeles de Porciúncula. Daily, the contented soldiers blessed the saints over being sent to the sleepiest posting in all Mexico. The Indios were docile, the weather was perfect, and the local senoritas definitely liked a man in uniform.

Best of all, whenever they got bored, a certain avenger of injustice would show up and engage the small group of lower-ranking soldiers in a genuinely enjoyable round of chases, hunts, and bloodless affrays. Their black-clad adversary never actually hurt any of them, save for an occasional punch in the face. Frankly, they’d one and all been hit harder in various tavern brawls. This unknown foe also refrained from fatally wielding his superb weapon directly against his opponents, save for the numerous instances of a very flamboyant gesture upon anything within reach.

In turn, the soldiers soon came to a secret agreement amongst themselves. They at once developed remarkably bad aim whenever forced to fire their muskets at a costumed enemy wearing garments dyed in shades of deepest midnight. After all, why should their fun be spoiled so quickly? Not to mention how satisfying it was to see their commandante irately gnash his teeth at the amazing escapes of a taunting nemesis, often due to his subordinates’ utter lack of skill with their firearms. Even more amusing was that Captain Monastario, despite all his cunning, never seemed to realize how much accuracy it required to shatter with their bullets every single flowerpot, bottle, dining plate, and other breakable objects next to a fleeing hero.

Speaking of their beloved leader, the subdued soldiers resting in their barracks continued to shoot wary looks at the closed door leading to El Capitan’s office at the far end of the building. All there knew inside, their superior was sullenly working his way through a wine bottle, his already-aching head wrapped in a necessary bandage. Undoubtedly the next morning, Captain Monastario would wake up in a truly vile temper over the failure of his latest plan and take it out on anyone within range. Eh, that was part of a peasant’s life and it remained much better than having to perform backbreaking labor in the fields under a blazing sun.

In truth, it’d been a fine ruse, as everybody agreed. They’d trapped their quarry in the town’s cantina an hour before sunset. Surrounded at one corner of the main room, with no possible way to avoid capture, a man in black had been held at bay. The soldiers having their muskets ready and feeling a bit saddened at the long-feared end to their pleasant diversion moved aside for Captain Monastario to strut forward and face his arch-enemy. The usual triumphant speech had only started being delivered by the commandante, loudly enough to be heard by all his audience. Which at that time included the others at the far side of the cantina, consisting of the innkeeper, a few of the town’s residents, and two strangers.

These latter individuals were a pair of young women having come to town earlier today, and then entering the cantina a few minutes before. One of these females was fair and with brunette hair, well dressed but not excessively. Her companion, a Negress unquestionably the other’s duenna, was naturally more modestly attired. Nobody had given them a further moment’s notice. Not when the place was then flooded with soldiers about to at last seize hold of an eagerly-sought outlaw.

Until things then started to become most strange. For instance, the blanca had casually picked up her clay mug off the cantina table where she’d been sitting, and then hurled this cup with astonishing force across the room straight at Captain Monastario’s head. Making a direct strike, the mug had promptly shattered, and their commanding officer limply collapsed face-down onto the dirt floor, remaining unconscious until it was all over.

Everyone else stood there frozen in absolute shock at such an unexpected occurrence. The next person to move was the first woman’s companion, who then stepped up off the table bench shared with her charge, to stand atop this large furniture. Right after, this Negress had somehow leapt through the air all the way from the table to land next to their captive. Afterwards, Corporal Ramirez (who was among the few of their company still able to walk) wobblingly paced out the distance this woman had soared across the room. With the wreckage of the cantina around him, the non-commissioned officer declared in the name of God that what they’d just seen had been completely impossible.

Yet, their disbelieving gazes had all watched the flying woman descend in a swirl of skirts to stand by a stunned male dressed in clothing as dark as his rescuer’s skin. Who herself then reached out to grab that man’s shoulders and pull him into such a passionate kiss it caused a dazed hero to release his ready grip upon a weapon, allowing this to fall to the cantina floor. Eventually taking her lush mouth away from the masked champion showing eyes as wide as saucers past the strip of black cloth covering his face, the Negress had then blurringly stooped to snatch up the discarded weapon.

Upright again and facing each and every one of them, an insane woman spoke through teeth flashing white in a savage grin, “Who’s first?” All while bringing up in salute an one-of-a-kind rapier worth a king’s ransom.

Touching at their numerous bruises, the entire group of soldiers in the barracks glumly recollected the end result: a whole roomful of groaning, defeated men lying scattered around in the debris of a formerly intact drinking spot. With their leader just waking up to utter catastrophe. Topped off by the really bad news of no sign whatsoever of a man and two women who’d been the cause of this latest disaster.

There was also the awkward matter of what’d happened to Sergeant Garcia--

As if the very thought of this corpulent NCO had summoned him, that man waddled through the door at the other end of the barracks leading to the outside latrines. Holding in his pudgy hands a bundle of cloth, Garcia appeared to have slightly recovered from his recent horrifying experience. The sergeant’s unshaven face was still very pale, but he looked much more relieved. This mood of lessened anxiety made Corporal Ramirez risk asking with real concern, “You all right then, sergeant?”

The normally affable Garcia glowered at a subordinate dangerously close to insubordination, but he recognized the question had genuine worry in it. In turn, the overweight man gruffly replied, “Si, Ramirez. Whoever that bruja was, she’s as good with a blade as our regular opponent. There wasn’t a single scratch.”

Ears pricked up all over the barracks at this last bit of news. While one or two of them had directly seen it and quickly told the other soldiers of what they’d witnessed, Sergeant Garcia had scuttled off too quickly to their quarters with his hands clapped over the damages for the rest to have their own chance. Still, now that he was here and seemingly in a much better temper…

Eager faces peered at Sergeant Garcia, who at first looked startled, and then truly grumpy. Even so, he instantly realized unless his troops got a peek, rumors of what was there would definitely thrive, lessening his authority among them. No, better to just get it all over with, no matter how ridiculous it was.

Giving a vast sigh, the sergeant standing there in his spare trousers shook out the bundle of cloth he held. This displayed to all there what had previously been the lower part of his uniform, a set of pants with the massive seat of this expertly slashed with a rapier’s tip to produce upon the sliced material a very large single initial. To be specific, the letter ‘R’.

At the same time about a mile or two away in the uninhabited wilderness during the last fading light of day, Dawn Summers was impatiently waiting in the middle of an ancient California coastal oak grove. Glancing around, her ire only increased at the sardonic thought that a few centuries from now, there’d certainly be a Los Angeles McDonald’s right at this very spot. Finally deciding enough was enough, the Key yelled in total exasperation at the gleeful figure dancing among the gnarled oaks, slashing and stabbing at imaginary enemies with the rapier in her right hand.

“Will you come on, Rona! You carved your name on every tree in sight after Don Diego handed it over to you and then rode away on his horse, so get back here! It’s time we left, and I’m getting really ticked off just hanging around with Willow’s book, waiting for you to put Zorro’s sword in there!”

Author's Note: This story is based on the 1957 Walt Disney Productions television series, not the books. However, I was automatically directed to put it in this category, if you must know. Regardless, I wrote it with the following people in mind: Guy Williams as Don Diego/Zorro, Britt Lomond as Captain Monastario, and Henry Calvin as Sergeant Garcia (long may his girth increase). Enjoy!

The End

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