PREVIOUSLY: The 2nd Challenge was revealed: to woo your hosts and the crowd! Who will succeed? We start with Banality Man and Ambrosia.
Banality Man: OK… well, here’s the illusion room. I’m not… not really sure how this thing works. Um… “Open Sesame”? “Abracadabra”? “Go-go gadget movie theater”?
[The last words make Ambrosia chuckle. She still didn’t really know what a movie theater was, but the phrase sounded cute to her.]
Banality Man: Maybe I need to find a remote and turn it to HDMI 4? Can that dark swordsman turn this illusion room on for me?
[At the mention of the dark swordsman, Onyx stands at the doorway, almost perfectly on cue.]
Onyx: Address the room and tell it what you want. There is also a silver panel in the lower left corner of the room. If you place your hand on it and think about what you want, the room will bring it to life.
Banality Man: Ooh, touchscreen controls! I’ll try that.
[Banality Man places his hand on the silver panel and thinks about Captain America: Civil War. A giant screen shows a shirtless Captain America punching things. (Banality Man has never seen the movie before, so this must be how he imagines it in his head.)]
Banality Man: Looks like it’s starting. Ambrosia, you want me to see if this magic room can make anything to eat?
[There’s a man not only punching things but he’s shirtless. At this sudden appearance, Ambrosia can’t help but gasp. Banality Man’s question scarcely manages to drag her out of her stupor.]
[She swerves her gaze towards him, her fingers interlacing and her cheeks warming in a blush.]
Ambrosia: Ah…i-if you like. It has the capability, certainly.
Banality Man: Great! Uh, hey, Room? Could I please get a steak… um… a steak… and maybe a third steak to eat? And whatever Ambrosia wants too.
[In a flash, three floating steaks appear in front of Banality Man. On the other hand, the room interprets Ambrosia’s reaction to the movie to mean that she wants a blindfold. A black silk one materializes over her eyes.]
Ambrosia: Oh my!
[She touches the cloth with both hands before tugging it off with her right. She takes a moment to regard it incredulously.]
Ambrosia: Thank you very much, dear Room, but I have no need of a blindfold.
[Just like that, the item vanishes into thin air. Banality Man begins eating.]
Banality Man: Wait! Pause the movie. I was eating my steak and thinking of America, when a thought occurred to me. Room, is it possible for you to bring Abraham Lincoln here? Shirt optional, top hat not. Sorry, Ambrosia, I know this is supposed to be a date, but I just wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I didn’t take this opportunity to meet Honest Abe. Room, can you resurrect him?
[Lo and behold! A shirtless Abraham Lincoln with a top hat appears in the room. ]
[Ambrosia averts her gaze, an uncertain smile on her lips.]
Banality Man: Mr. Lincoln, I just wanted to say I’m a big fan of your work. Every time I use the penny, I shed a little tear because you’re no longer with us.
[Abraham Lincoln is too shocked to speak. He stares wide-eyed around the room.]
Banality Man: Oh, right, where are my manners? Mr. Lincoln, this is Ms. Ambrosia, and Ms. Ambrosia, this is Mr. Log Cabin Emancipator himself—Abraham “Honest Abe” Lincoln.
[With some effort, Ambrosia manages to pull her gaze back towards Abraham Lincoln. For a second, she considers asking the room to give him a shirt, but her clan’s courtesy dictated that she at least bow first.]
Ambrosia: I-It’s a pleasure , Sir Abraham Honest Abe Lincoln. I’ve never met anyone whose occupation involved freeing log cabins. To tell you the truth, I’ve never really known that log cabins were in need of emancipation.
[Abraham Lincoln’s eyes are still full of fear. He doesn’t understand why he is here or who these people are. He makes the sign of the cross and kneels in prayer, his hands shaking.
Meanwhile, Banality Man’s eyes are full of tears.]
Banality Man: I’m sorry to get like this, Mr. Lincoln, but seeing you alive is just such an emotional experience. What happened to you was one of the most unjust things in the history of justice. I only wish I’d been there to stop that bullet…
[Banality Man weeps harder.]
Banality Man: And to think that when we leave this room, you’ll be gone again! There are so many evil things from history I can’t punch. I can’t punch away all the evil in the world today!
[Banality Man wipes away his tears.]
Banality Man: I’m sorry, Ambrosia. I’m sorry, Mr. Lincoln. I’m not usually so emotional, but I think I need some time to collect my thoughts.
[Banality Man goes to leave.]
Ambrosia: Sir Banality Man –
[Watching Banality Man’s retreating back, Ambrosia lets out a small sigh before bowing to Abraham Lincoln.]
Ambrosia: I’m very sorry about this, Sir Abraham Honest Abe Lincoln. Dear room, please return him back.
[The illusion of Abraham Lincoln vanishes at once, but Ambrosia continues staring at the spot where he last was.]
Arsenik: It’s rare to see you wearing such an unguarded expression.
[At the sound of his voice, Ambrosia’s shoulders rise up and she turns to see him standing at the doorway. She hurries to assume her usual bright expression.]
Ambrosia: Oh, Sir Arsenik, I didn’t see you there!
[He approaches her, an apologetic smile turning up the corners of his mouth.]
Arsenik: I hope you know it isn’t your fault the courtship ended the way it did.
Ambrosia: I just feel horrible about seeing Sir Banality Man cry…perhaps, I should have stopped him from seeing his friend. If I had known he would react this way…
Arsenik: But you didn’t, so please don’t think any further on it. Now, I can see there’s no reason to ask for your rating. I can already tell how you feel about this date.
Ambrosia: Ah, but…but he is an…interesting man?
Arsenik: Why is there a question mark at the end of that?
Ambrosia: He is an interesting man. That much, you cannot deny.
Arsenik: Very well, Miss Ambrosia. Please tell me how you would measure your level of interest in him, then.
Ambrosia: I would say that he deserves…2 – 2 and a half stars?
Arsenik: All right, 2 and a half stars. You’re very kind. Now, we’ll leave the rest to the audience. In the meantime, let us rejoin the others, shall we? Unless you’d like more time to yourself.
Ambrosia: No, no, there’s no need. I believe it’s only Sir Banality Man who does…
Arsenik: You know, I’m actually intrigued by this so-called movie theater. I’d like to see what other films are available here. If I might be so bold, I was hoping you might accompany me.
Ambrosia: It would be my pleasure, Sir Arsenik. But aren’t we due back at –
Wildfire: Oi. What’s taking you two so long? Are you eating each other’s faces or what?
Arsenik: Such wonderful timing, Valkyrie. We were in need of a comedian.
Wildfire: Oh, I know. You’re so boring you need me to liven up your date. You must have forgotten that you aren’t the one taking part in the Love Challenge.
Arsenik: I had only forgotten just how much you hate being left out. I understand you’re lonely without me, but if you want my attention, all you have to do is ask like any proper adult.
Wildfire: Huh. So, you not only have a big mouth but a big head, too? You’re the gift that just keeps on giving, aren’t you?
Arsenik: You say that, but every time I turn around, there you are. If you would like to prove me wrong, then I would suggest leaving me alone.
[Wildfire snatches up Ambrosia’s arm and begins to head for the doorway with her in tow.]
Wildfire: Come on, Ambrosia. This greedy pig wants the whole room to himself.
[Arsenik shakes his head and chuckles to himself. He has to follow them out, and he knows what the Valkyrie will say when he does. However, he meant it when he said that she had wonderful timing.
Just before they left, he noticed that Ambrosia had finally broken into a smile.]
Date’s interest: 2 and a 1/2
Date’s satisfaction: 1
Banality Man’s overall score for this challenge is 3 and a 1/2. But don’t count him out just yet! If you liked him, get ready to vote for him at the end of this Love Challenge. You can help him to come out a winner.