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Posts Tagged ‘Mister Lucky’

An Unimportant Matter

Posted by meekrat on September 24, 2010

It was the early nineties, and Mister Lucky, famed member of the Basset Hound Brigade, found himself tied to a chair. He was quite surprised, as this sort of thing hadn’t happened in decades. Since he was a rookie, in fact, just starting out in the adventuring business. A cold shiver went up his spine as he realized that he was genuinely surprised by this turn of events. While to the world at large he was the Luckiest Man in the World, he was actually the smartest man who ever lived, and had long been able to extrapolate what would happen to him using his excessive intelligence. Surprise was something that no longer happened to him. As he tried to free himself from his bonds, he felt his finger brush against another finger, followed by a low groan. Another surprise. It was not a very good day.

Mister Lucky tried to turn to look at his fellow prisoner, but whoever tied him to the chair knew darn well that a knot had to be tied ungodly tight to trap Mister Lucky. He settled on whispering, “Hey there, I’m Mister Lucky, and today’s your lucky day, because I’m going to get us out of this mess! But wait, there’s more! When I find out who did this, I’ll kick his teeth in!”

He waited a few moments for the other prisoner to respond, and when he did, Mister Lucky instantly recognized the voice of Shoshy Raphael, “Not my lucky day if I’m stuck here with you.”

“Sure it is. You’re some Detroit councilman, you’re on the straight and narrow! It’s my job to save people like you, long as you don’t try to kill me first,” said Mister Lucky, “Now let’s see about getting out of here.”

A light went on, momentarily blinding Mister Lucky. He bet it did the same to Shoshy Raphael, and another groan confirmed this. As his eyes adjusted, he saw a figure standing in the shadows.

“You’re awake. Good. I was getting bored,” said the figure, “My name is unimportant, but my message is quite important.”

“Well then, Unimportant, give us the message and let us go on our way,” said Mister Lucky, smiling wryly.

“I’m not stupid,” said Unimportant, “For too long, you and your kind have been a cancer upon this world. Adventurers and costumed heroes and the like running around thinking they’re better than the average man. I’ve taken the liberty of reuniting the Basset Hound Brigade and Nantucket Dragon Group, or at least those I could find, and there’s quite the surprise waiting for all of you once you’re out of here.”

“What kind of surprise?” slurred Shoshy Raphael, probably coming off the effects of some sort of drug.

“If I told you, then it wouldn’t be a surprise, now would it?” said Unimportant, “In five minutes, I’m sure you’ll both be free. Then you’ll find out what the surprise is.”

The light went off and a door opened. Mister Lucky’s mind and hands began to race.

“He didn’t gloat,” said Mister Lucky.

“So,” said Shoshy Raphael.

“Villains gloat. It’s what they do,” Mister Lucky managed to free one of his hands and began work on the other, “So either he’s not a villain, or… I don’t know.”

Shoshy Raphael sat straight up, “You don’t know?”

“Why’s that so surprising,” said Mister Lucky, freeing his other hand and working on the other bonds, “I’m the World’s Luckiest Man, not the smartest one.”

Shoshy slouched, “Yes. Of course. Are you almost free?”

Mister Lucky stood up and began untying Shoshy Raphael, “Sure am! Sit tight, councilman, I’ll get you out of here in a jiffy.”

A minute and twenty seconds later, Shoshy Raphael stood up. Neither he nor Mister Lucky looked a day older than they had in the nineteen-twenties, owing their longevity and youthfulness to a mystical dragon ring and an immortality serum, respectively. Mister Lucky closed his eyes and turned on the light. The door was open, at once inviting and menacing.

“I’m not looking forward to this surprise,” spat Mister Lucky, making his way to the door regardless. He looked out and saw a dimly-lit warehouse, and not a very good one, either. There was a catwalk connecting several second-story rooms and an empty floor. No boxes at all. In addition to a normal door, there were two loading docks.

Shoshy Raphael joined him at the doorway and peeked out, holding his ivory cane in front of him, “No boxes? What is this world coming to?”

“I know,” said Mister Lucky, “Back in the good old days, you made sure there were boxes to buckle swashes off of and all that.”

“Remember the Charleston Death Ray,” asked Shoshy Raphael, “You almost didn’t make it out of that one.”

“I think that was your most fiendish plan,” said Mister Lucky, almost smiling.

Shoshy Raphael did smile, “Why is that? The casualties? The far-reaching implications of such a device?”

“Nope,” said Mister Lucky, “If it wasn’t for that, I think that stupid Charlie Charleston would never have shown up.”

“Ah, yes. Charlie. During the second Great War, we all joked that he was the true force behind Adolf Hitler,” said Shoshy Raphael, “Could you imagine it? A legion of Nazis dancing the Charleston across the battlefield? A race of Aryan Supermen who were exceptional at dancing that infernal dance.”

“I shudder to think,” said Mister Lucky, “Just because I’m all chummy with you right now doesn’t mean I like you. I still think you’re one of the worst eggs I’ve ever come across.”

“Of course. My hatred for you is matched only by my hatred for Edwin Cloudstar,” said Shoshy.

“Who? Never mind, let’s check the other rooms. See if our compatriots are in them,” said Mister Lucky.

A quick check of the rooms revealed the Amazing Rando tied to a chair with Vinny Fitzpatrick, Guerdon Trueblood shackled together with the Impossible Mister Frink, Guy Magistro chained to a wall with Jojo Jenkins by his side, and Simon McCockindale in a room with Dick Douglas. All had been visited by Unimportant.

“I can’t wait for the surprise,” said Vinny Fitzpatrick, “D’ya think it’s a party?”

“Nazi jewel thieves,” said Dick Douglas, “I’d bet your hat on it.”

Guy Magistro flicked his wrist and summoned his basket of magic eggs, “Don’t be daft. We’ve done nothing worth celebrating. More likely that fool means to kill us.”

As if on cue, a large television screen flipped down from the ceiling and the silhouetted Unimportant appeared on its screen. The collective members of the Basset Hound Brigade and Nantucket Dragon Group looked up and waited.

“By my estimates, you should all have escaped by now. Don’t bother looking for me, as I’ve been gone for several minutes, and I took measures to keep you from following me. Now, if you’ll look down, you’ll see two loading bay doors. If my instructions are followed, then they should be opening now,” said Unimportant. The doors did, in fact, open and ten men walked out of the trailers. The Bassets and Nantucket Dragon Group looked down upon them warily. Unimportant continued, “I scoured the Earth to find beings who were your polar opposites. Anti-Bassets and Anti-Dragons, if you wish. It’s my hope that you all kill each other, though I admit my hopes aren’t very high. Have at it, gentlemen.”

The screen ascended and the ten men stared up at the Basset Hound Brigade and Nantucket Dragon Group.

“It’s impossible for us to survive,” gasped Mister Frink.

“Anything’s possible,” said a hippie, among the men on the ground, “I can do what you do, Mister Frink. You can call me the possible Mister Harold.”

“I never liked hippies,” said Mister Frink, under his breath.

“There’s no chance you can beat us,” said Mister Lucky, “I mean, look at you? Are you supposed to be my guy?”

A hulking brute of a man dressed like Mister Lucky just stared, “I’m Mister Unlucky. We’re gonna kill you dead.”

“I like him,” said Shoshy Raphael with a grin, “Right to the point. Nantucket Dragon Group, it would appear that they’re one short, and I’m sure we’re all terribly busy, so why don’t we end this quickly?”

“It’s been years since we done that,” said Simon McCockindale, “You think he’s still around?”

“Of course,” said Guy Magistro, “He’s a demon.”

“True,” said Simon McCockindale.

“Fire,” said Shoshy Raphael, thrusting out his fist.

“Earth,” said Guy Magistro, doing the same.

“Air,” said Guerdon Trueblood.

“Water,” said the Amazing Rando.

“Energy,” said Simon McCockindale.

The five dragon rings each emitted a beam of energy, meeting in the center of the room and drilling into the ground. Moments later, in a flash of brimstone and fire, the demonic hobo Baggy Satan emerged.

“What’s all this, then?” he said, honestly confused. He looked around and realized what was happening, “You lot! Just the other day I was having a chat with me mate about you! How long’s it been?”

“Decades,” said Shoshy Raphael, “If you would, destroy all those men on the ground.”

Baggy Satan’s eyes glowed with happiness, “Truly? No pullin’ levers or makin’ bears out of pizza? Just straight up hellfire an’ brimstone?”

“Yes!” said Shoshy Raphael.

The men on the ground began to converse nervously, and then they all stepped back. The possible Mister Harold waved to the Basset Hound Brigade and Nantucket Dragon Group, “Sorry, fellas, but we quit. Come on, Mister Unlucky.”

The veins on Mister Unlucky’s neck throbbed, his eyes bulged, and his suit tore. He turned to the possible Mister Harold and growled at him, “No!” He ran at Baggy Satan and punched him into a wall, leaving an imprint. There was a collective gasp, “I don’t run!”

“We do,” said Mister Harold, “Good luck taking on ten men and a demon.”

With that, the Anti-Bassets and Anti-Dragons disbanded, leaving only Mister Unlucky to oppose the Nantucket Dragon Group and Basset Hound Brigade.

“I don’t run, neither,” said Baggy Satan, standing up and wiping the blood from the corner of his mouth, “Let’s see you do that again!”

Mister Unlucky cracked his knuckles and lumbered towards Baggy Satan, who lashed out with a flaming uppercut that threw Mister Unlucky into the air. He landed with a sickening crack, but immediately stood back up, tearing out a piece of the floor and hurling it at Baggy Satan. The demon countered it with a stream of hellfire, and then turned the fire on Mister Unlucky. He shielded his face from the fire and strode through it as if it were water, back-handing Baggy Satan once he reached him.

“Should we help?” said Vinny Fitzpatrick.

“Already on it,” said Mister Lucky, who took out a notebook, wrote something down, and slid the notebook into his pocket. Scant seconds later, a hundred Mister Luckys appeared in the warehouse and all of them swarmed Mister Unlucky. The brute easily threw them off and used several of them as weapons against Baggy Satan.

“He’s impossible to defeat,” said Mister Frink, whose words caused the large television to fall from the ceiling and crash upon Mister Unlucky, knocking him to the ground. Baggy Satan spat on him and vanished back into Hell and all the Mister Luckys dissolved into goo. The one true Mister Lucky made his way down and walked over to the fallen brute.

He checked for a pulse, “Oh my god. He’s still alive.”

“Quite a feat,” said Shoshy Raphael, “Now then, are we going to continue this little team-up or can we all go our separate ways?”

“We’re done here,” said Mister Lucky, nudging Mister Unlucky with his foot, “Be on the look-out, though. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of this Unimportant. Or Mister Unlucky.”

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I Don’t Give Adam

Posted by meekrat on September 23, 2010

It was a lovely spring day, seemingly like any other, and most of the city’s notable citizens were gathered at Central Park to celebrate the city’s upper crust, its most generous citizens. Among those gathered were Mister Lucky, the Impossible Mister Frink, and Dick Douglas, who had been invited by the mayor himself.

“There’s absolutely no reason for us to be here,” groaned Mister Lucky, looking at his pocket watch, “It’s a complete waste of our time, and I don’t like the fact that we left Jojo, the Little Spick, and Vinny Fitzgerald in charge of things. Who knows what trouble they’re getting into?”

“Yes, our unique talents do seem to be wasted here,” said Mister Frink, trying to deal with the situation with the legendary stiff upper lip of the Britons. He was not doing a very good job, and seemed to be on the verge of shouting at someone.

“This is the worst free play I’ve ever been to,” said Dick Douglas, reclining on the grass, “When are they going to stop just milling around and get to actually doing something?”

Mister Lucky put away his watch and was about to leave when a large blond man took the stage, “Look, that big fella’s about to say something!”

The man took the microphone and smiled at the crowd, the sun glinting off his perfect white teeth, “Hello, fellow philanthropists and people working for a better tomorrow! As many of you know, I’m Adam Supreme, and the mayor has asked me to say a few words on behalf of the Committee for a Better Tomorrow. In order for us to have a better tomorrow, we certainly have to work for it, and there are some in this fair city of ours who want nothing more than to upset the delicate balance we’ve achieved so far. This, my friends, is the worst form of injustice: trying to undo what others have worked so hard to achieve…”

“Blah blah blah,” said Dick, shaking his fist at Adam Supreme, “Won’t this guy ever shut up?”

“Don’t be so impolite,” said Mister Frink, who felt some sort of odd connection with Supreme, “I< for one, find him very charismatic."

"If you think he's so charismatic, why don't you marry him?" sneered Dick.

"Look up there!" whispered Mister Lucky, pointing to the tree line, "The sun's glinting off something in those branches! It looks like a gun!"

Mister Frink turned, "I do believe that assassin means to shoot Mister Supreme!"

"We have to act quickly," said Mister Lucky, glad to have something to do, "I'll go try and warn Supreme, you two go after the assassin!"

"Indeed!" said Mister Frink, sprinting towards the gun.

"Meh," said Dick, who lied down and put his hat over his face.

Mister Lucky grabbed his hat and threw it after Mister Frink, "Just do it, Dick!"

"Fine, fine," Dick grudgingly got up and stalked off after Mister Frink, picking up his hat on the way, "I'm going."

"We must hurry," Mister Frink ran back, grabbed Dick by the arm, and began running again, dragging the detective behind him, "If we don't make it to the tree line before the assassin shoots, then a man might fall this day!"

"Why don't we just shout at him," asked Dick, half-struggling against Mister Frink's vice-like grip.

"We want to capture him if we're able, and then question him, of course," said Mister Frink.

"Oh yeah, of course. So shouting is a no-go," said Dick, reaching into his coat for his gun, "What if I shoot him?"

Mister Frink turned to him and scowled, "I think it would serve us best if you would keep you mouth shut and kept running!"

"Fine, Mister Grump," muttered Dick, though he was nearly drowned out by the sound of a gunshot, "We're too late, anyway."

Mister Frink let go of Dick and kept running, "No, there's still a chance that we may be able to catch him, but I fear it's impossible for anyone to save Adam Supreme now!"

"I don't see why you're so worried," said Dick, slowing down to a casual saunter, "The guy seemed like kind of a self-righteous jerk."

Mister Frink shouted back to Dick, knowing that once the assassin's deed was done, the need for stealth was negligible, "He seemed like a good man to me, and I consider myself to be an excellent judge of character. Look, descending from the treetops! The assassin!"

"Eh, he's getting away. Oh well," Dick stopped to nudge a dead squirrel with his foot, "Let's go back, I think they had some food, and no one's going to be eating it since that Supreme guy got shot."

"No! I shall persevere!" screamed Mister Frink as he launched himself at the retreating assassin.

Dick stared in amazement as Mister Frink flew through the air, tackling the assassin with a heavy thud, "Jesus, you probably crushed that guy."

Mister Frink stood up, lifting up the assassin with one hand, "He is unharmed, except he appears to be a harlequin!"

"No, that's a clown," said Dick.

Mister Frink chose to ignore him, "This is positively bizarre."

***

As the gun went off, Adam Supreme stopped speaking and looked up, "What was that?"

Mister Lucky leapt onto the stage and shoved Adam Supreme to the ground, "Get down!"

As the two men fell to the ground, the bullet whizzed overhead. Adam Supreme looked at the hole it left in the backdrop, "I owe you my life."

Mister Lucky stood up and helped Adam Supreme up, "Just part of what the Basset Hound Brigade does, Mister Supreme."

"Please, call me Adam," said Adam Supreme, holding out his hand, "I'd like to invite you and the rest of the Bassets to my home for dinner. Just my way of saying thank you."

"Sure thing, Adam!" Mister Lucky grasped Adam's hand enthusiastically, "See you there!"

By this time, Dick Douglas and Mister Frink, clown assassin in tow, had made their way back to the stage. Adam Supreme and Mister Lucky watched them, and all the blood drained from the latter's face. Adam noticed, "What's wrong?"

"It's nothing," said Mister Lucky quietly, "We'll be by around seven."

Adam Supreme looked at him for a moment and then walked away as Mister Frink and Dick Douglas walked to the stage. Mister Lucky hopped down and Mister Frink tossed the clown down in front of him.

"We caught the assassin," said Mister Frink, immediately regretting stating the obvious.

"I see that," said Mister Lucky, unable to tear his bespectacled eyes from the clown, "We have to turn him over to the police, I guess."

"So he almost killed that Supreme guy," said Dick, leaning against the stage, "He should get a medal, not jail-time!"

"I won't hear you say an unkind word about Adam Supreme," said Mister Lucky, who had begun to feel the same odd connection with Supreme as Mister Frink felt, "He's invited all the Bassets over for dinner."

"Aw, shucks, do I have to go?" said Dick, pouting.

"We're all going," said Mister Lucky, "Even Jojo and the Little Spick."

"Aw nertz," said Dick, "Pardon my French, but you're a pain in the rear!"

"Not to interrupt, but the clown has gone quite limp," said Mister Frink, leaning over the assassin.

"Mister Lucky probably bored him to death talking about Supreme," said Dick.

"I'd say it's far more likely that he took a poison capsule after he got captured," said Mister Lucky, deep in thought, "It doesn't matter. Just toss the body somewhere, we have other things to worry about."

"More important than a suicidal assassin clown?" said Mister Frink, who couldn't believe the malarkey that was coming out of his mouth.

"Yes," said Mister Lucky.

"We really should find out who's behind it," said Mister Frink, "Or at least bury him."

"No, we don't," said Mister Lucky with the air of someone who was done with the conversation, "It's nothing for us to worry about."

"My keen detecting skills tell me something's bothering him," said Dick Douglas as Mister Lucky walked away.

Mister Frink watched him walk away and a deep sense of unease fell upon him, "Yes, but it's something he alone must face, I think. Let's get back to the Fox's Den. We must prepare for tonight. Whatever is happening, I doubt this clown is the end of it."

***

Around seven, the Basset Hound Brigade arrived at Adam Supreme's house, which was a mansion on the outskirts of the city.

"Golly!" said the Little Spick in awe, "I ain't never seen a house this big!"

"My granddaddy used to work at a house like this," said Jojo Jenkins, "Then he and his friends burned it down."

"Why'd they do that? Oh!" said Vinny Fitzpatrick.

"Well, it was during the war, and my granddaddy and his friends were just fed up with being treated like slaves," explained Jojo.

Vinny looked at him while still trying to look at the house, "They weren't?"

"No, they was," said Jojo darkly, "Until they burned the house down."

"Yeah, I know how he felt," said the Little Spick, "I burned down this one workhouse I used to live at. Best thing I ever did."

"Maddon! You two are the devil's own brand o' nuts," said Vinny.

"Enough chatter, you three," said Mister Lucky, walking past them and motioning for them to follow, "We have to be on our best behavior. That means no stealing. Any of you."

"I don't need to steal when they're givin' me stuff," said the Little Spick defensively.

"I wasn't necessarily talking to you, Little Spick," said Mister Lucky, turning his gaze upon Dick Douglas.

Dick grumbled, "You take one cup from a place and you get branded for life. I don't even want to be here. This Adam Supreme is bad news."

"You're the only one who thinks that," said Mister Frink, who had combed his beard for this occasion.

They reached the front door and before they knocked, Adam Supreme opened it, wearing an apron, "Hello, Bassets! Come on in, dinner will be ready soon. Until then, I've got a slight problem."

"Told you," said Dick, "He just wanted us to come over and fix his problem for him."

"Shut up, Dick," said Mister Lucky, "What's the problem?"

"Since I got home from the banquet, someone keeps shooting things at my house," said Adam, removing the apron, "Strange things."

"What sort of things?" said Mister Frink.

"Little people with pointed helmets," said Adam.

"Midget bullets?" said Dick, immediately scanning the skies for any sign of such a thing.

"Yes, I suppose you could call them that," said Adam, "You've gone all white again, Mister Lucky."

"I just need to get inside," croaked Mister Lucky, "That's all."

The team followed Adam inside, and the Little Spick looked at the splendor surrounding him, "Golly! It's even better on the inside! A man could eat like a king all his life with all this loot!"

Adam wagged a finger at him, "A man could also eat like a king by working hard and staying on the straight and narrow, young man. Earning your way in life is better than just surviving."

"Yeah, I guess so," said the Little Spick dejectedly.

"Of course, tonight you can eat your fill and more," Adam placed his hand on the Little Spick's shoulder, "All of you can!"

There was a knock on the door and Adam walked over and opened it. No one was there, save for a package. He picked it up, "I wonder what's inside."

"Don't open it," said Mister Lucky, "I think it's a very good idea not to open it."

"Don't be silly," said Adam, placing the box on a table, "What's the worse that could happen?"

"You should listen to the man," said a voice. Everyone turned as a man stepped out of the shadows, "He is known for his luck, after all."

Adam Supreme grabbed an umbrella from the stand by the door and held it in front of him, "Who the blazes are you?"

"Mister Lucky knows me all too well," said the man.

"I certainly do, PT Barnum!" said Mister Lucky, venom in his voice.

"But didn't you die years ago?" said Adam Supreme.

"That's just what I want the world to think," said PT Barnum, "I'm a master showman, after all, and all the world's my stage."

"Why is the owner of a circus trying to kill Adam Supreme?" said Mister Frink.

"I'll tell you why," said PT Barnum, pulling a telescoping baton from his belt. He pointed it to Mister Lucky, "It's all because of him!"

"I find all of this hard to believe, especially that," said Adam Supreme, "Besides, why would you attack me because of Mister Lucky?"

PT Barnum whipped his baton at a chair and it telescoped to it, wrapping around it, and the chair was pulled towards Barnum, who sat upon it, "It all started years ago, before Mister Lucky joined the Bassets, when he was just a man wandering around the country getting by on his luck. You know how he operates, don't you?"

"I certainly do," said Adam Supreme, "He's the World's Luckiest Man! Good luck happens all around him, and he uses that to perform good deeds."

"Yes, and as you know, a circus has no need for the world's luckiest man," said Barnum, "However, I happened upon Mister Lucky performing a feat of so-called luck and it got me to thinking that, perhaps, he wasn't the world's luckiest man!"

"Then what is he?" said Adam Supreme skeptically.

PT Barnum stood up and kicked the chair away, forcing it to flip through the air and land where it had originally sat, "The world's smartest man, which would be an attraction indeed! However, until he joined the Basset Hound Brigade, I was unable to find him and test my theory. Now, though, I had the happy circumstance to be performing in New Jersey and heard about the banquet in the park. It was the perfect chance to see if Lucky was, indeed, lucky."

"Hold on a second," said Dick Douglas, attempting to digest all this information.

"Yes?" said Barnum.

"The circus is in town?" said Dick.

"Yes," said Barnum, sidling up to Dick, "The famed Dick Douglas, no doubt acting dumb in order to lure me into a corner! It won't work."

"How the blazes is attacking Adam Supreme testing Mister Lucky?" said Mister Frink angrily.

"I don't expect anyone to understand my motives," said Barnum, "Except the world's smartest man! Do you understand why I did this?"

"What?" said Mister Lucky, "No? No! Of course not! I'm not smart, just really lucky!"

"I see," said PT Barnum as the front door opened behind him. He stepped through it, "Well then, I'm done here. Farewell."

The door shut and all was silent until Adam Supreme said, "That was relatively bizarre."

"I only got one question," said the Little Spick, "When are we gonna eat?"

Adam Supreme smiled and laughed, "Right away."

"I'll be along in a minute," said Mister Lucky, still staring at the door, "I need to wash my hands. No need to test my luck. Heh."

"Right you are," said Adam, "In fact, we should all wash our hands."

"Don't think you're off the hook, Supreme," hissed Dick Douglas, "I swear I will take you down one day."

Soon, Mister Lucky and Mister Frink were left alone in the foyer. "Now that we're alone, tell me. Are you the world's luckiest man, or the world's smartest man?"

"What do you think I am, Frinky?" said Mister Lucky weakly.

Mister Frink pondered this for a moment and nodded, "I see."

Adam Supreme returned, "It sure takes you fellas a long time to wash your hands!"

"Yeah, but they're washed now," said Mister Lucky, the weakness vanishing from his voice, "Let's go eat!"

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Article of Evidence

Posted by meekrat on September 22, 2010

At the Fox’s Den, headquarters of the world famous Basset Hound Brigade, the team was enjoying a rare night in when suddenly trouble stuck! In the form of a man knocking on the door! The first on the scene was Jojo Jenkins, gardener.

“Hello?” Jojo answered, but as he opened the door he was met with a flash of blinding light.

“Gee whiz, what a story!” said the light, though as it dimmed it revealed a short stocky man in a pork-pie hat with a “PRESS” ticket sticking out of its brim, “The Basset Hound Brigade keep a slave!”

Jojo stepped back nervously, raising his hands defensively, “Why you taking my picture? I never did no crime!”

Jojo’s cries did not go unheard, and the Impossible Mister Frink joined him at the doorway, “What’s going on here, Mister Jenkins?”

Jojo pointed to the reporter outside, “That man just took my picture!”

“A slave and one of our British oppressors? The Basset Hound Brigade is a regular house of sin,” exclaimed the reporter, snapping more pictures, “This is the story that’ll take me right to the top!”

“Oh dear,” sighed Mister Frink as he rolled up his sleeves and approached the newspaperman, “You must be a newspaperman. I believe our official policy is to turn you out upon your arse and wish you the best.”

“I’ve no doubt about that,” said the reporter, escaping Mister Frink’s grasp with the ease of one who had done so many times before, “What else do you have in there? Vampires? Automatons?”

The Little Spick, commander of the Orphan Freelance and member of the Basset Hound Brigade, chose that inopportune moment to join his compatriots at the doorway, “What’s goin’ on here?”

The reporter snapped more pictures, deftly moving so that he could see past Jojo and Mister Frink, “Why, hello there, son! I’m Arlo Flannery, newspaperman! What do you know about this Basset Hound Brigade?”

The Little Spick grinned and jammed his thumb into his chest proudly, “Why, I’m a bona-fide member!”

Arlo nodded, “What do your parents have to say about that?”

“Nothing, on account of me not havin’ any!” said the Little Spick, still grinning.

Arlo shot more pictures, “Child labor! Not only that, but minority child labor! I know we don’t have any laws against that sort of thing, this being the nineteen-twenties, but it’s still sensational! Off I go to make a name for myself by dragging yours through the mud! Farewell, gentlemen!” With that, Arlo Flannery tipped his hat and ran off.

Jojo turned to Mister Frink, “We’re in trouble, ain’t we?”

“Indubitably,” said Mister Frink solemnly, “We must alert the rest of the Bassets!”

***

In no time flat, the team was assembled in the study. Mister Lucky paced back and forth in front of a statue of the team’s founder, Horatio Chan, who was otherwise indisposed. Mister Frink stood against the wall, arms crossed, while the rest of the team lounged on various couches and chairs.

“I thought we had an agreement with the newspaper,” ranted Mister Lucky, waving his arms, “We keep providing the derring-do and they don’t try to pull stunts like this!”

“Faith and begorrah,” said Vinny Fitzpatrick, the team’s pilot, tears welling in his eyes, “What are we going to do?”

Mister Lucky slammed his fist on a nearby desk, “For one thing, it’s pretty clear to me that anyone with a skeleton in their closet is going to cause this guy to jump to some crazy conclusion. Which means that, god help us, Dick Douglas is our only hope.”

Vinny Fitzpatrick looked up in shock, “But Mister Lucky, what did you ever do that was wrong? You don’t got anything to worry about.”

Mister Lucky stared at Vinny and loosened his bow-tie, “Why, I was one of the founding members of the Orphan Freelance. That’s it. No other skeletons in my closet. Heh.”

“Sorry for bringing it up,” said Vinny, who remembered he was distraught and began almost crying once again.

“It’s all right, you didn’t know. No one did,” said Mister Lucky, tightening his bow-tie again, “Anyway, that’s why Dick’s our only hope. As far as I know, he’s the only one of us without any blemishes on his record. Well, not his personal record, anyway.”

“So I’m the only hope, huh?” said Dick Douglas, who had been reclining on a couch and forcing Jojo to stand, “Well then, I guess that I’m on the case! Uh, what am I doing again?”

“You have to track down this Arlo Flannery person and convince him not to do whatever he’s planning,” said Mister Lucky.

Dick stood up and walked to the door with a swagger, “Heh. Yeah, that’s right. This is a job only Dick Douglas can do, and the rest of your jokers better not forget it.”

After he left, Mister Lucky turned to the rest of the team, “While he’s keeping Arlo busy, let’s find a new headquarters and think up a new name for ourselves. In fact, we might as well try to think up pseudonyms, too.”

***

Dick Douglas wandered the streets, searching high and low for his quarry but also trying to find his office and remember exactly what he was supposed to be doing. After wandering around the city for half an hour, he finally found his office and sat down in his chair and leaned back, putting his feet on the desk.

“I remember when this office was haunted,” said Dick, reminiscing about the founding of the Basset Hound Brigade, “That was a mystery and a half, but I solved it, I did, and took down those Nazi jewel thieves! And I can solve this case! Whatever it is, no matter how many Nazis I have to take down. Huh. Maybe I should have written down what my case is…”

There was a knock at the door and Dick sat up, “Come in?”

The door creaked open, revealing Arlo Flannery, “I’m looking for a private eye to help me dig up some dirt on the Basset Hound Brigade.”

“So you came to the best,” said Dick, grinning like the Cheshire cat.

Arlo sat down in the chair opposite Dick’s desk and shook his head, “No, I came to the cheapest.”

Dick didn’t miss a beat, “That’s because I don’t want to deny anyone my keen detection skills. Who did you say you were?”

“The name is Flannery. Arlo Flannery,” the reporter held out his hand, “I’m a newspaperman and this story I’m working on is going to be my big break!”

Dick completely ignored Arlo’s hand, “What story is this?”

Arlo, nevertheless, kept it raised, “The one about the Basset Hound Brigade. You know, maybe I can find someone else.”

Dick continued ignoring Arlo’s hand, but went on the offensive, “Ah, no. I’m just being thorough. I need the money up front.”

Arlo’s hand finally went down, reaching into his pocket to get his money clip. He paged through the paltry amount of bills it contained, “I only have fifteen bucks. You see, this story is going to be — ”

Dick Douglas grabbed the money and shoved it into his own pocket, “Yes, yes. The thing about the Basset Hound Brigade. Fifteen bucks will do.”

“It’s all I have,” said Arlo, “That and this camera.”

“Huh. That’s a nice camera,” said Dick, reaching over and grabbing the camera. Since it was latched to Arlo’s neck, it wasn’t going without a fight, “I’ll take that, too.”

“I can’t give you my camera,” said Arlo, struggling against Dick, “I have pictures on it that I need for my story.”

Dick continued to pull, trying to free the camera from Arlo’s grasp, “Uh, I’ll give you the pictures. Just give me the camera and I’ll help you with your story.”

Arlo sighed and unlatched the camera, “All right. Fine. Here’s the camera. When will you give me the pictures?”

Dick began fiddling with any button or latch he could find on his new device, “Right now. How do I open it?”

“No! You’ll ruin my pictures! You’ll ruin — ” shouted Arlo, nearly leaping over the desk to save his photographs. He was too late, however, as Dick pushed a button and the back of the camera opened up, spilling out film, “– my pictures. You just ruined my pictures.”

“Did I? I never used a camera before,” Dick looked at the camera and tossed it on the ground, shattering its lens, “Oh well. It just so happens that I know where these Fox Hound Coalition fellows are holed up, and pardon my French, but they’re a pain in my rear. It’ll be a pleasure to help you take them down. I’ll even do it free of charge.”

Arlo stared at him, his face pale, “You just took my camera and all the money I have.”

“I mean from this point forward it’ll be free of charge,” said Dick, “Plus expenses, of course. Now let’s go, if we hurry we’ll be able to catch all of them. Including their ring-leader!”

The color returned to Arlo’s face and his eyes glistened, “You mean Mister Lucky? Golly, if I could just get an ounce of dirt on him, it’ll undo all the damage you’ve already done to my blossoming career! It’s a deal!”

Dick Douglas stood up and strode to the door, “Let’s go take down some Fox Hounds!”

Arlo stood up and followed him, “You mean Bassets?”

Dick opened the door and the pair walked out, “Whatever!”

***

Dick Douglas and Arlo Flannery stood in front of the Fox’s Den after wandering around the city for an hour and a half, consisting of Dick trying to remember where he was going and, once he remembered, where the place he was going was.

Arlo turned to Dick, “I was just here an hour ago.”

“Yeah?” said Dick, “Well, now we’re back here again, and this time we’ll bring down Mister Lucky. Hey, do you have a notebook I can borrow?”

Arlo stared at the detective, clutching his jacket close to his body, “I need my notebook. It has all the information I have on the Bassets so far, and I won’t be able to write down anything about Mister Lucky if I don’t have it. So I’d really rather not give you my notebook.”

Dick glared at him, “Listen, do you want me to solve this case?”

“Well, yes, but — ” stammered Arlo.

“Then give me the notebook!”

“Fine,” Arlo relented, pulling his notebook from his jacket and handing it over. He pulled out a pen, “Do you need this too?”

Dick grabbed the notebook and the pen, “I thought that went without saying.”

“Oh well,” said Arlo, rubbing his hands together with malevolent glee, “When I bring down Mister Lucky, it’ll more than make up for it!”

“All right. Knock on the door,” said Dick.

Arlo looked at Dick as if the detective had just told him to shoot the president, “Why?”

Dick smiled in what he hoped was a cunning way, “How else do you expect to get in?”

“I thought you had a way in!” said Arlo.

“Yes, knocking on the front door,” Dick pointed to the door, “It’s the perfect plan. They’ll never expect it.”

“If you say so,” said Arlo, who walked up the steps and knocked on the door.

It opened to reveal Jojo Jenkins, whose eyes bulged in surprise, “Hello? What you doing back here, Mister Douglas? Why’d you bring the newspaper man with you?”

Suspicions began to rise in Arlo’s mind, “What is he talking about?”

“Never you mind,” said Dick, pushing Arlo out of the way, “Let me in, Jojo. My client and I have business to attend to.”

“I don’t think that’s such a good idea, Mister Douglas,” said Jojo, standing his ground.

“As your employer, I demand you let me in or I’ll not feed you for a week!” said Dick.

Jojo thought about bringing up the fact that Dick rarely remembered to buy any groceries and so he and Jojo had to dine nearly exclusively at the Fox’s Den, but thought better of it, “If you say so, Mister Douglas.”

“Thanks, Jojo,” said Dick, entering the Fox’s Den. He turned to Arlo, “Follow me.”

The suspicions that had begun to rise had finished their ascent and were at the forefront of Arlo’s mind, “Wait, you’re that Dick Douglas?”

Dick stopped as if he had been stricken through the heart, “There’s more than one?” He regained his composure and continued walking, “They’re right through here.”

“So you’ve just been trying to trick me?” said Arlo, his face once again pale, his eyes sunken, looking for all the world as if someone had just shot his dog.

“No,” said Dick, “As I said, these Bassets are a pain in my rear. And they’re right through here!”
Dick swung a door open, revealing the Basset Hound Brigade, all of whom had changed their clothes. A set of fake IDs was sitting on the desk and someone had brought in a chalkboard and written down a list of locations with the heading “New Headquarters?”

Mister Lucky turned to the newcomers, dressed in a mortarboard and gown, “Dick? What the hell are you doing here?”

“I’m helping to bring you and this crooked organization down,” said Dick smugly, “Why are you all dressed like that?”

“We knew you’d screw up, but we never thought you’d outright betray us,” said Mister Lucky, trying to keep from panicking.

“Well, he decided to do what’s right, not what you say,” said Arlo, who actually had no idea what was going on but was going to make the most of it, “As well he should, since I gave him all my money, my camera, and my notebook! I have virtually no proof of your wrongdoing other than my word!”

Mister Lucky stared at Arlo, then at Dick, “Is this true? You took all his stuff?”

“I sure did,” said Dick, in the middle of tossing the notebook and pen into a fireplace.

“Did you mean to?” said Mister Lucky, “I mean, did you plan to take all of his stuff?”

“I certainly did,” said Dick.

“So, wait,” said Mister Lucky, taking off his mortarboard and scratching his head, “You took all the proof he had. And all his money.”

“That’s what I did,” said Dick.

“So you actually,” started Mister Lucky, trying to force the rest of the words through his mind and out his mouth, “Saved the Basset Hound Brigade?”

“Yeah, I guess I did,” said Dick, shoving the Little Spick off a couch and reclining upon it, “Maybe I planned it all along.”

“So you… you… what?” Mister Lucky sat down, “You actually did it? You saved the day?”

Arlo Flannery stood in front of Dick and removed his hat, “Dick Douglas, you’re the most cunning and devious man I’ve ever met. I take off my hat to you, and it’s clear that in any battle of wits, I’ll quickly lose to you. Any organization with you as a member must be top-notch do-gooders.”

“Yeah, that’s right, spread the word,” said Dick. Arlo nodded, put on his hat, and hurried out the door.

Mister Lucky turned to Mister Frink, “Did you have anything to do with this, Frinky?”

“No,” replied Mister Frink.

“I need to go lie down. This is just too much,” said Mister Lucky as he removed his gown and exited the room, “Good job, Dick. Good job saving the day.”

“Yep, I’m great,” said Dick Douglas.

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Terror at the Lion Drome

Posted by meekrat on September 21, 2010

The man known only as Death-Trap Devon, and also Devon Danger, and also Devon Smith, ran through the Lion Drome through the pouring rain. Every drop mingled with his panicked sweat and caressed his danger-hardened body, eventually being soaked up by his undergarments. This led to a slight squishy noise when he turned suddenly, but he was in far too much of a tizzy to care about things like funny noises. No, for Devon worked in a Lion Drome, and when there’s terror in a Lion Drome, even the strongest of men turn yellow. Not literally, of course. Metaphorically. Death-Trap Devon crashed into the offices of his boss, Cortez Montego, with the news that had him so panicked.

“Sir! Sir! All the lions are in a tizzy, make no mistake!” gasped Devon, trying to catch his breath, “I’ve no idea what’s gotten into them!”

Cortez Montego puffed his cheap cigar, the foul aroma of which filled the tiny office and nearly made Devon opt for the downpour outside. Montego put his feet atop his desk, soaking some safety violations that had been sitting there for months, “I know. They’ve been acting that way all week! Ever since we got that new lion from Darkest Africa.”

Devon knew the lion’s reputation well, and his face grew dark, “You mean that big fella? I heard some strange things about him from the trappers, sir.”

“So did I. Apparently, there was a smaller lion riding on top of him!” Montego began to chortle, which turned into a raking cough. Devon ran over and began patting him on the back, but Montego waved him off and continued, “A lion the natives called — ” There was a crash of thunder, ” — Leon Leopolous!”

Devon leaned against a file cabinet, “Maybe the big fella misses Leon?”

Montego sat up and slammed his fist on his desk, kicking up scraps of tobacco and a good helping of dust, “Don’t be silly, Devon! Lions don’t miss things! They’re just animals, and other than the noble donkey, animals don’t have feelings at all! In any case, maybe we’d better get someone to figure out what’s going on. Get me the foremost lionologist in the United States!”

“Uh, those don’t exist,” said Devon, softly.

“Then get me the Basset Hound Brigade!”

***

In the heart of New York sat the Fox’s Den, fabled headquarters of the Basset Hound Brigade. Though few of its members chose to reside there, it had enough trappings for a dozen men to live happily and in good health for decades. The headquarters was supposedly secreted behind a gentleman’s club, but there was also a side door which proclaimed the Fox’s Den to be the home of the Bassets. It was at this door that a mysterious figure now knocked. The knocking continued until the daring detective Dick Douglas answered the door.

“Hello?” he said, looking out the door. He was about to close it when he heard a noise which sounded remarkably like purring at his feet. He looked down to find what appeared to be a soaked hairy midget, “You’re a hairy little midget, aren’t you? We don’t serve your kind here, so why don’t you make like a freight train and go somewhere else?” The midget continued to purr, more forcefully, and Dick Douglas pulled out his sidearm, “Forceful little freak of nature, ain’t ya? Well, I’ve just got the thing for that!”

The sound of gunshots caused Mister Lucky running. He met Dick Douglas in the main hallway, “I heard gunshots! What’s going on here?”

Dick Douglas shot a priceless vase, “There’s some hairy little midget running around, Lucky, and I aim to put him out of my misery!”

“A hairy little midget?” Mister Lucky pinched the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes, “What?”

“That weren’t no midget, Mister Lucky!” said Dick’s gardener, Jojo Jenkins.

“Holy Christ!” shouted Dick, leaping back and aiming his gun at Jojo, “How long have you been here?”

Mister Lucky gently pressed his forefinger on the barrel of Dick’s gun, pointing it towards the floor, “What was it, then?”

“I think it was a dog or somethin’!” said Jojo, excited to be included, “Maybe some sort of cat!”

Mister Lucky peered down the hall, seeing nothing out of the ordinary, “Well, if it’s in here, then we have to find it — ”

“And shoot it!” finished Dick.

“No! Unless it attacks us, in which case blow its brains out,” said Mister Lucky, “Jojo, go to the Room of Science and bring me back Frinky’s new invention. Dick, you come with me. We’ve got to find that beast!”

“Yessir!” Jojo saluted and ran off.

“Pardon my French, Mister Lucky, but you’re a pain in the rear!” said Dick sourly.

“You wouldn’t think it’d be so easy for some wild animal to hide in here! Especially for this long, considering your detecting skills,” said Mister Lucky.

Dick Douglas aimed his gun down the hallway and noticed something he hadn’t before, “Oh my God! My sleeves have buttons on them!”

“Then again…” said Mister Lucky, who was unable to finish his thought as the hairy midget had entered the hallway, “That’s no dog! That’s a lion!”

“Stand back! I’ll shoot it!” said Dick, already aiming his gun at the lion’s forehead.

Mister Lucky pushed Dick’s arm down, “No, it’s not even attacking us.”

“Is this what you wanted?” said Jojo, coming out of nowhere and proffering a small metal box with a leather belt connected to it.

“It sure is!” said Mister Lucky, kneeling next to the lion and wrapping the belt around its neck, “Hold still, little guy. Let me get this on you. There we go!”

The box crackled to life and soon a low scratchy monotone was heard, “Mrrowhat is happening.”

“Dear God!” shouted Dick, running into the kitchen. He peeked around the corner, “That lion is a witch!”

“No, Dick, it’s just Frinky’s invention,” Mister Lucky stood up and placed his hand on the lion’s head, “It allows animals to communicate with man!”

The box crackled, “I have to come to ask assistance. My friend was abducted by white apes. I want to find him.”

“What a silly lion,” said Dick, emerging from the kitchen with a jar of honey and a spoon, “Here, have some honey.”

“No, Dick!” said Mister Lucky, but he was too late.

The lion’s tongue cautiously licked at the honey, and then began greedily lapping it up, “I like the taste of honey. On my tongue.”

There was another knock on the door and Dick dropped the jar of honey and ran to the door. Mister Lucky dove to the floor to catch the jar and watched in terror as Dick drew his sidearm, “I hope it’s someone I can shoot!” The door opened to reveal Death-Trap Devon, dressed in a white jumpsuit and carrying his helmet under his arm. Behind him, the rain pelted his motorbike. Dick holstered his weapon, “It’s not. Just some white guy.”

“Hello there, I came here…” started Devon, and then he noticed the lion, “Oh my God! It’s a lion!”

“Hey! I know him!” said Jojo, who had obtained a brush and was brushing the lion’s mane with love, “He’s Death-Trap Devon! He works at the local Lion Drome!”

“Hello there,” said Mister Lucky, stepping in front of the lion, “What brings you to the Fox’s Den?”

“Uh, actually, I came here to ask for help with one of our lions, but it seems you have lion problems of your own,” said Devon, pointing to the lion.

The lion sniffed the air and stood up, walking close to Devon and sniffing him, “The white ape. He has the scent of my friend on him. He has my friend. Give me back my friend.”

“Jesus Christ!” said Devon, stepping back, “You gave it the ability to talk?”

“We sure did, and today’s your lucky day, because we’re all going down to this Lion Drome of yours to get to the bottom of this,” said Mister Lucky.

“All right,” said Devon, putting on his helmet.

Mister Lucky smiled widely, almost malevolently, “But wait, there’s more! If we find out this Lion Drome is up to no good, then we’re going to shut it down!”

“Oh boy!” said Jojo, “I get to go on an adventure!”

Mister Lucky’s smile shrunk into a nervous one, “Uh, by everyone, I mean everyone but you.”

“Aw man,” said Jojo, kicking a prudently placed can, “I guess someone has to watch the house.”

“Also, the Lion Drome doesn’t allow coloreds,” said Devon, with a small apologetic smile.

“Oh,” said Jojo.

***

Dick Douglas, Mister Lucky, Death-Trap Devon, and the lion known as Leon Leopolous stood outside the mammoth Lion Drome. While its lights were off, one could tell even in the darkness that it was a wonder of the world.

“My God! It’s magnificent!” said Dick Douglas, looking up in awe.

“Oh yes. The nineteen-twenties truly are a time of wonder and decadence. Now then, Devon, show us what you need to show us!” said Mister Lucky.

“I smell my friend,” said Leon Leopolous, “My friend is here.”

“Sure thing, Mister Lucky,” said Devon nervously, “Just let me consult with my boss.” He ran off.

“He sure left in a hurry,” said Dick.

“Almost too much of a hurry. Oh well,” said Mister Lucky, placing his hand on Leon’s back, “Lead the way, Leon! The Basset Hound Brigade doesn’t need things like permission and cooperation to get the job done.”

Leon snorted and began walking, “He is this way.”

***

In Cortez Montego’s office, Montego spat out his coffee, “What do you mean you brought them here?”

Death-Trap Devon shifted nervously from foot to foot, “Isn’t that what you wanted me to do?”

“That was before I knew they had a lion with them, you nitwit,” said Montego, standing up and coming very close to slapping Devon, “Not only that, a talking lion!”

“I was thinking that maybe we could kidnap the lion and make it perform,” said Devon, unflinching, “A talking lion is pretty magnificent.”

Montego began pacing his office, “Don’t you get it? If that lion talks to the other lions, then the whole jig is up! Those are black-market lions!” There was another clap of thunder.

Devon was taken aback, “What?”

“We couldn’t afford lions the legit way, so we had to hire unsavory thugs to go to Africa and take the lions from their homes and families,” said Montego.

“I don’t get it,” said Devon, “Wouldn’t that cost the same thing as hiring legitimate trappers?”

“No, you fool!” said Montego, slapping Devon, “If that lion talks to the other lions, the jig is up! I need you to go take care of Lucky and Douglas! And the talking lion!”

“I most certainly won’t! I have no problems risking my life daily in death-defying stunts, but black market lions?” said Devon, stomping towards Montego and backing him into a corner, “Killing people? That, sir, is where I draw the line! Good day to you!”

“I thought you might say that,” said Montego slyly, “Oliver Aquarius!”

Devon stepped back, “Not him!”

“Yes me,” said a large bald man with especially dry skin, “What do you want me to do, boss?”

Montego dusted himself off and pointed at his other employee, “Grab Devon, and then take care of the Bassets and that talking lion.”

Aquarius nodded and grabbed Devon with his massive hands. Devon struggled, but was unable to free himself. Without the slightest hint of any sort of emotion, Aquarius said, “Right away, sir.”

***

Unaware of the goings-on elsewhere in the Lion Drome, the Bassets stood in front of the lion cage with Leon Leopolous.

“That’s a whole lot of lions,” said Dick, not for the first time.

“Is your friend in there, Leon?” said Mister Lucky, trying to ignore him.

Leon sniffed the air, “Yes.” A large lion looked up and walked over to the bars, and he and Leon began nuzzling.

“Are they queer lions or something?” said Dick Douglas.

“It’s not our place to judge, Dick,” said Mister Lucky, “I think lions do things differently, though. I mean, their bond is so strong that Leon found his way from Africa somehow and sought us out.”

“My friend tells me something,” said Leon, “He says that he and the others were taken from Darkest Africa badly.”

“What do you mean?” said Mister Lucky.

“Kidnapped,” said Leon as the thunder clapped overhead.

“That’s terrible, I think!” said Mister Lucky, driving his fist into his palm, “Well, we’ll just have to go set things right.”

“Danger behind you,” said Leon.

“Stupid lion,” said Oliver Aquarius, holding some rope and sacks in front of several other nameless thugs.

“Oh no! Shoot him!” said Mister Lucky.

“Right you are!” said Dick, grinning as he pulled out his gun and aimed at the brute’s head. He pulled the trigger, but the only thing the gun did was click. “Huh. Guess I used up the bullets.”

Mister Lucky stepped back and looked around for something he could use as a weapon, “Oh no!”

“Get them, boys!” said Aquarius, pointing at the trio.

Before they knew it, the Bassets were beaten and tied up in the middle of the Lion Drome’s main arena, a giant bowl-shaped track designed to allow men in motorbikes with lions in the sidecars to drive as fast as possible to the thrill of all. Nearby, Devon was tied to one of the Lion Drome’s motorbikes with Leon Leopolous in the sidecar.

“I can’t believe we lost so easily,” said Mister Lucky.

“I just wonder what they’re going to do with us,” said Dick.

“They’re going to kill us,” said Mister Lucky with a sigh, “They said that fifty times.”

“Oh. Sorry. I wasn’t paying attention,” said Dick.

Oliver Aquarius towered over his captives, “Not only that, but we’re going to kill you with each other! I’ve tied Devon up to his motorbike so that it’ll keep going until it reaches the very tip of the lion drome, at which point it will start going downwards, slowly building up speed with your lion friend in the motorbike’s sidecar. Then, when he reaches the absolute bottom, he will crash into you, killing you all in the process! And, just to make it seem like a suicide, I’m going to leave Douglas’s gun sitting right here on the ground within easy reach of you! It’s the perfect crime!”

“My God! He’s right!” said Dick, his voice rapt with appreciation for such a scheme, “What a mastermind!”

“Sorry, Bassets,” said Devon, “I didn’t know the world of Lion Dromes was such a dark and seedy place.”

“It’s okay, just let me figure out a way to get us out of this,” said Mister Lucky, “I am the World’s Luckiest Man, after all. Shouldn’t be too hard.”

“You can’t! And now I’ll retreat to a safe distance, as to not be collateral damage! See you in Hell!” Aquarius turned the key for Devon’s motorbike, bowed, and ran out of the arena.

“This is it, I guess!” said Devon as the motorbike began its ascent of doom, “I’m sorry you and your friend had to be dragged into this, Leon.”

“It is all right,” said Leon, remaining remarkably peaceful, “I forgive you.”

Devon gritted his teeth, “You do? Well, that gives me the strength to get us out of this! At least, some of us.”

“What do you mean,” said Leon.

“I know what you’re thinking, Devon, and don’t!” shouted Mister Lucky, “Better for all of us to die with honor than for one of us to die with honor and the rest of rest of us to go on to live long and happy lives!”

Dick’s brow furrowed, “Uh, wait — ”

Devon’s mind was made up, however, “No, this is what I have to do to atone for my sins.”

Mister Lucky sighed with relief, “We’ll remember you, Devon! You’re an honorary Basset!”

“Thanks, Mister Lucky! See if you can put that gun in my way!” screamed Devon, struggling to be heard over his motorbike’s engine.

Mister Lucky stuck out his leg and easily pushed the gun in front of where he knew Devon’s path lay, “Done!”

Devon turned to the lion in his sidecar, “Leon, I’m going to try to slow down. Can you jump out?”

Leon turned to him, “Yes. I am only being held here by centrifugal force and the fear of death.”

“All right then,” said Devon, closing his eyes, “Here we go.”

Using all his might and inner strength, Devon was able to relax his grip on the motorbike’s accelerator, allowing Leon Leopolous to easily leap off. As the bike continued to descend, it eventually hit the track and sped towards Mister Lucky and Dick Douglas. Once the front wheel hit the gun, the bike somersaulted into the air over the pair and landed on the ground, exploding on impact and taking Devon with it.

“Devon made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could live,” said Dick, sadly.

“Quick! Get us out of this ropes!” shouted Mister Lucky, turning towards Leon. Leon ran over and easily bit through them. Mister Lucky stood up and rubbed his wrists, “There we go! Now let’s go get Montego and Aquarius!” Somewhere in the Lion Drome, a gun ran off and Mister Lucky froze in his tracks, “Oh god. That came from Montego’s office.”

Dick Douglas squinted, “I can see the window from here. Poor bastard shot himself. Couldn’t live with the shame of what he did, I guess.”

Mister Lucky took off in a sprint, “Then let’s get after Aquarius!”

***

Back the lion cage, Oliver Aquarius stood at its door with an axe in each hand and a smile on his lips, “With the Basset Hound Brigade out of the way, I can kill all these lions! Then I’ll make a killing of another kind, on the meat black market! Selling lion meat! Ha!”

Two glowing eyes looked at him from the shadows, and Leon Leopolous emerged, snarling, “No you will not.” He leapt through the air and knocked Aquarius to the ground and began clawing at the man’s face and chest.

Mister Lucky ran out of the shadows, followed by Dick Douglas, and pulled Leon off of Aquarius, “That’s enough, Leon! I know you want to exact jungle justice upon him, but he’ll get his! In jail!”

Aquarius snarled and was about to sit up when Mister Lucky brought his foot down upon his chest. Aquarius spat at him, “I swear to you, I’ll spend my life trying to get revenge on all of you and your descendants! Especially you, talking lion!”

Mister Lucky smiled down at him, “Oh, put a sock in it. We stopped your evil scheme, and you’re going to jail for the maximum length of time. Several weeks!”

Dick Douglas stood in front of the open cage door, “Should I just let the lions go, then, so they can all go back to Africa? Only I sort of already did.”

“I will lead them back to our homeland,” said Leon as he began to claw the voice box off his neck. Mister Lucky began undoing the buckles, and Leon continued, “Thank you for what you have done, Bassets. We will never forget your heroism and courage.”

With that, Leon Leopolous ran after his lion brethren to lead them back to Africa. Dick Douglas and Mister Lucky stood and watched them leave, and waved to them. Mister Lucky smiled, “It was all in a day’s work for the Basset Hound Brigade!”

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Mister Lucky’s Off Day

Posted by meekrat on September 20, 2010

The sunlight poked through the curtains of the Impossible Mister Frink’s quarters, slowly engulfing the modest hotel suite he called home in a dank light. He grumbled to himself and rolled over, pulling his nightcap over his ears to block out a din coming from other room in the hotel. The whole situation was not to his liking, and he ached to return to his rooms at Oxford with the terrible beds and cobweb-infested windows. He could get a decent night’s sleep there, and he could be certain that any noise he heard could be quelled with the threat of expulsion or some sort of reading assignment. Yet, as a member of the Basset Hound Brigade, he was counted on to reside in New York, though he refused to stay at the Fox’s Den, the storied home of the Basset Hound Brigade.

The riotous din was growing closer, and suddenly Mister Frink’s bedroom door flew open, revealing the all too familiar face of Mister Lucky, upon which the unfamiliar look of fear had settled, “Wake up, Frinky! Wake up!”

Mister Frink attempted to roll over, but knew that there was no stopping Mister Lucky once he set his mind upon something and so he rolled onto his back and sat up, “What the devil? Mister Lucky, why are you in my private rooms?”

Mister Lucky smiled, completely failing to convey any sense of comfort or happiness, “Today’s your lucky day, Frinky! It’s our day off!”

Mister Frink’s brow furrowed, his mind already acting at peak efficiency despite being active for a meager amount of minutes, “We do not take holidays. We are adventurers and scholars!”

Despite his obvious fear, Mister Lucky cocked an eyebrow and managed a sly smile, “Would you say it’s impossible?”

Mister Frink folded his arms across his chest, “Yes! It’s quite impossible for us to take a day off!” Slowly, Mister Frink realized that he had activated his power to affect probability, which rendered the impossible quite possible indeed, “Oh, drat. I’ve done it again.”

Mister Lucky dug through Mister Frink’s closet and pulled out a suitcase, and then took it over to the wardrobe and began tossing various items in, “You sure have! What do you want to do with your day off?”

“I’d quite like to return to my slumber,” said Mister Frink, already reclining and shutting his eyes.

Mister Lucky stopped packing the suitcase and leapt atop the bed, grabbing Mister Frink by his lapels and pulling him up, panic dripping from his every word, “And waste your day off? We should go somewhere! Far, far away! For a very long time!” He laughed nervously, then leapt off the bed and resumed packing.

Sensing that his slumber was over for the time being, Mister Frink removed his covers and walked behind an oriental screen, a gift from an Oriental trader the Bassets had helped previously, “What are you blathering on about?”

Mister Lucky tossed Mister Frink a gray three-piece suit and sat down on the bed, “I got a message from the Nantucket Dragon Group. They’re going to set off a series of bombs in the city today and I don’t want to be here for that.”

Mister Frink emerged from behind the screen fully dressed and straightening his tie, “I’m surprised at your behavior! You are one of the foremost adventurers of this age, and here you are acting like a common coward! I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you’re addled, for some reason, but we not must turn our backs on this crisis! We must join up with Douglas and the rest and — ”

Mister Lucky slumped forward, removing his bowler hat and putting his forehead in his hands, “They’ve all been kidnapped, Frinky. Every last one. Even Jojo and the Little Spick, and some ancillary member we just inducted last night and who’ll probably be dead before this whole thing is over.”

Mister Frink froze momentarily, “We must save them, even if it seems impossible for us to do so!”

“Oh, damn it. Fine. Let’s go save our…” Mister Lucky ran a few words through his head, found one he was happy with, and continued, “Let’s go save our allies from the clutches of the Nantucket Dragon Group and avert a city-wide disaster.”

“Indeed! First, let us eat breakfast. One can’t operate properly without a full stomach, and I sense that your stomach is very empty indeed,” said Mister Frink, ringing the bell to summon room service.

Mister Lucky smiled pathetically and nodded, “Okay!”

***

In a warehouse across town, the rest of the Basset Hound Brigade was, indeed, in the clutches of the sinister Nantucket Dragon Group.

Vinny Fitzpatrick scowled at the Dragons, “You’ll never get away wit’ this!”

Shoshy Raphael, sleepy-eyed and sharply dressed in a white suit with a fur-lined coat draped across his shoulders, laughed once, “Oh, but I think we will! Just to show you how serious we are we have secured your newest member, Quick-Exit Quinton, to our deadly explosion apparatus!”

Dick Douglas began frothing at the mouth and fighting against his bonds, “You fiend! Let him go and take me instead!”

Vinny tried to turn to look at his detective compatriot but only managed to get his head half-way turned, “I’ve never seen you so worked up about anyone, Mister Dick!”

Dick Douglas stopped struggling for a moment and closed his eyes solemnly, bowing his head and gritting his teeth, “In the short time I’ve known him, he’s become like a brother to me.”

Shoshy Raphael tapped his ivory cane against the floor and smiled maniacally, “All the more reason to destroy him! Amazing Rando, are his bonds secure?”

“Hizzah!” The magician Amazing Rando waved his hands mystically and stroked his immaculate mustache, “Nothing up my sleeve, no slack in the bonds! Let’s make him disappear!”

Shoshy Raphael pointed towards a Cockney pick-pocket, “Is the power prepared, Simon?”

The pick-pocket nodded, “Cor! It sure is, or my name ain’t Simon McCockindale!”

Shoshy Raphael stared for a moment, and then cast his eyes downward, “Yes. Guerdon Trueblood and Guy Magistro, are your tasks complete?”

The Native American warrior Guerdon Trueblood nodded, his voice slowly reaching a crescendo, “As sure as the sun rises in the east and the white man took my land.”

A crazed-looking man in robes and holding a basket filled with colored eggs turned to Shoshy Raphael, “He shall know centuries of pain in moments!”

“Then let our powers combine to summon Baggy Satan,” said Shoshy Raphael, thrusting his ring-adorned fist towards the heavens, “Fire!”

Guy Magistro thrust his fist towards the heavens, “Earth!”

Guerdon Trueblood did the same, “Air!”

As did the Amazing Rando, “Water!”

Simon McCockindale was the final link in this chain of power, “Energy!”

Thin beams of multi-colored light emanated from the rings, arcing towards the sky and quickly descending and meeting in the center of the five members of the Nantucket Dragon Group. As the five beams met, a hellish rainbow drilled towards the Earth and in a flash of fire and brimstone a demonic hobo emerged.

“Blimey! What’s all this, then?” said Baggy Satan, waving his arms to escape the smoke. He recognized his surroundings and rolled his eyes, “Not you lot again.”

“Yes! Baggy Satan, pull the lever that will activate the machine to destroy Quick-Exit Quinton!” shouted Shoshy Raphael, pointing towards the explosion apparatus and a lever not five feet from Simon McCockindale.

Baggy Satan looked from Shoshy Raphael to the lever, and back, and back again, “Really? I could just blast ’em wit’ the ol’ hellfire, I could, or any number o’ creative and ‘orrifying t’ings.”

Shoshy Raphael replied, “The lever, Baggy Satan!”

Baggy Satan floated up to the lever, trying to ignore Simon McCockindale as he did so, “Whatever you say, guv’nar.”

Baggy Satan pulled the lever and the machine below him started slowly, rumbling softly, sounding somewhat like an oncoming train. The Basset Hound Brigade watched in terror as the Nantucket Dragon Group looked on with glee as Quick-Exit Quinton quickly tried to free himself from bondage. An escape artist by trade, he easily freed one of his hands and reached down to undo his feet. With each foot, the machine rumbled louder and more quickly, until Quick-Exit Quinton reached up to free his other hand. As he did so, an explosion erupted from the machine, engulfing Quinton and leaving behind nothing but a singed hand which tumbled into the bowels of the machine.

Dick Douglas screamed, “No! Quinton! You’ve killed him, you filthy bastards! You’ve killed him!”

Shoshy Raphael laughed, “He’s just the first! We shall kill every last one of you do-gooders, as our machine runs on the power of virtuous souls, and we shall use those virtue-laden souls to destroy the city!”

“You people are mad!” shouted Vinny Fitzpatrick.

“Only because that fool Mister Lucky isn’t here to witness my triumph!” said Shoshy Raphael, completely unaware that Mister Lucky was across town arguing with Mister Frink about toast.

Dick Douglas looked around and gestured to his African-American gardener and a young Hispanic man, “Too bad the Jojo and the Little Spick are knocked out. I’m sure they could use their native magicks to free themselves, and then us.”

Vinny Fitzpatrick attempted to glower at him, mouth agape, “That’s a bit racist, don’t ya think?”

Dick Douglas thought about this deeply for a moment, “We’re tied to a wall. How can we be racing?”

Shoshy Raphael giggled madly, “You are racing Douglas! To your deaths!”

A dirty child named Mugsy dropped from the ceiling, landing with a cat’s grace, followed by a baby, a young Brachiosaur, and several other children, “Not so fast! Orphan Freelance is on the case!”

Shoshy Raphael turned towards the new arrivals, his eyes bulging, “What? Urchins? What madness is this?”

“Go get ‘im, Babyface!” shouted Mugsy.

The baby simply sat there, “Goo.”

Mugsy beamed with pride, “We call him that on account of the fact that he’s a baby, with a face!”

“He’s just sitting there,” said the Amazing Rando, who was nevertheless too bewildered and fearful to approach the infant.

Mugsy just smiled, “Okay then, plan B! Brachiosaur?”

Brachiosaur stepped forth, “Brachi!”

Mugsy pointed to the Bassets, “Go free the Basset Hound Brigade!”

The other orphan tugged on Mugsy’s sleeve, “What do you want us to do?”

Mugsy grinned, “Pillage and plunder, same as always! Crack all the safes, and make sure the Little Spick gets his cut or he’ll crack some skulls!”

“Right away!” The other orphan saluted and dashed off with several of his fellows.

Shoshy Raphael waved his arm theatrically, “Nantucket Dragon Group, kill the orphans! Every last one! We shall use their pure souls for our machine!”

Guerdon Trueblood raised his eyebrows, “Bear spirit thinks that’s rather harsh.”

Guy Magistro had no such qualms, however, and was chucking his magical eggs at the orphans as they ran about the warehouse over-turning boxes and making a general mess of things. As the eggs burst, unleashing various magical effects such as bursts of ice and fire, the orphans screamed and fell to the ground. However, Brachiosaur was finishing up his work.

“Brachi brachi!” he said, finishing removing Vinny Fitzpatrick’s bonds.

Vinny Fitzpatrick pat the young dinosaur on his head, “Thanks a load for untyin’ us. Let’s go get ’em, Dick! For Quinton!”

Dick Douglas looked up from rubbing the life back into his wrists, “For who?”

Vinny Fitzpatrick slapped his forehead, “Quinton. The man who said was like a brother to ya.”

Dick Douglas shrugged, “All right, but there’s six of them. The orphans skedaddled, and Jojo and the Little Spick are still lying around being useless. Lazy minorities!”

“They’re knocked out, Dick,” said Vinny, praying that history would understand Dick’s casual racism.

“Yeah, lazy. Anyway, there’s two of us and they have a giant machine to kill us with,” said Dick.

“I know it looks grim, but I think we can pull through!” said Vinny, striking his chest, “Just like Mister Lucky would!”

Dick Douglas looked thoughtful for a moment, “Huh, if that incompetent lout could pull through, then I can, too! Watch out, Nantucket Dragon Group, here we… er, where’d they go?”

Vinny looked around. The Nantucket Dragon Group were nowhere to be seen, nor was their machine, “I think they left while we was talkin’.”

Dick Douglas smiled and rubbed his hands together, “Great! Another case solved. Let’s go get us a drink.”

***

Elsewhere in the city, the Nantucket Dragon Group sat atop their incredibly slow-moving explosion apparatus as it made its way towards the center of the city. Amazing Rando attempted to practice his card tricks while Guy Magistro chucked his magic eggs at passer-by and laughing. Guerdon Trueblood stood with his arms folded, looking over the white man’s domain. Simon McCockindale sat with his legs dangling off the side of the apparatus, wondering if he should use his energy ring to increase the apparatus’s speed. He opted not to, as Shoshy Raphael was standing on the edge and gesturing out towards the city and ranting. Speeding up would no doubt cause him to fall off. Simon McCockindale’s monkey climbed on the outside of the machine while Baggy Satan hovered some distance behind.

“We shall take this apparatus to the very center of the city where we shall use its awesome power to destroy the centers of population,” he shouted, occasionally pointing at a pedestrian.

“Not to be cheeky, sir, but ain’t the whole city a center of population?” said Simon, listlessly waving his legs.

Shoshy Raphael turned to Simon, “That’s now what I meant and you know it.”

“I guess, sir,” said Simon, as he went back to his ponderings.

Shoshy Raphael pointed at the still-rising sun, “In any case, this shall be the first strike of the Nantucket Dragon Group’s war against the world!”

Several streets in front of them, a ghostly voice traveled on the wind, its sing-song cadence heard only by one man, “Here comes Mister Lucky, sad that he missed the handsome young boys…”

Mister Lucky scowled and whispered harshly, “Shut up, you!”

“I didn’t say anything,” said Mister Frink, frowning.

“Never mind, Frinky,” said Mister Lucky, “Here they come! Let’s go!”

Mister Lucky and Mister Frink stepped into the straight, causing the already nearly immobile explosion apparatus to become completely stationary. Shoshy Raphael looked down upon his enemies, “Oh, drat! It’s the rest of the Basset Hound Brigade. No matter, it’s still seven against two!”

The Nantucket Dragon Group descended from atop the explosion apparatus and took up a battle formation in front of the two members of the Basset Hound Brigade. Mister Lucky stood firm, “Too bad you’re facing off against the Luckiest Man in the World!”

Mister Frink stood two steps behind, “Even with your… ahem… luck, it’s impossible for us to triumph!”

“Just what I needed to hear, Frinky! Let’s have it!” said Mister Lucky, lashing out with a roundhouse punch.

It landed on the side of Simon McCockindale’s head, who cried out, “Oh no! I’ve been waylaid!” He slumped to the ground and his monkey dragged him away.

“A bit of fisticuffs, eh? Take this!” said Mister Frink, hitting Guy Magistro in the jaw with a right hook. The sorcerer fell to the ground in a slump. Mister Frink followed up by hitting the Amazing Rando with a right hook.

As the Amazing Rando fell, he said, “Now I see you, now I don’t, because I’m unconscious now!”

Mister Lucky found himself facing the man-mountain known as Guerdon Trueblood, and so he attempted to appeal to the Native American warrior’s better nature, “Your proud native American heritage can’t possibly agree with using innocent souls in a death machine, Trueblood!”

Trueblood looked down at him, “It does when they’re the souls of the white man.”

Mister Lucky smiled and wagged his finger, “In that case…”

A flowerpot fell from the sky and hit Guerdon Trueblood square in the head, knocking him unconscious.

“That flowerpot came out of nowhere,” said Shoshy Raphael, hissing.

“Did it?” said Mister Lucky with a wink, “It’s your turn, Shoshy! Give up and we’ll go easy on you!”

Shoshy Raphael stepped back, holding his ivory cane up as if to repel Mister Lucky, “Not so fast, Lucky! You forget that we have the power of Hell on our side! Baggy Satan, transport us back to our secret headquarters and destroy this machine! Farewell, Mister Lucky! We won’t meet again, because you’re going to die!”

Baggy Satan groaned and waved his hands, causing the Nantucket Dragon Group to vanish into thin air. Mister Lucky and Mister Frink braced themselves for the destruction of the explosion apparatus, but it simply fell apart.

“Well, that was a let-down,” said Mister Lucky.

“I believe they sought to have it explode. They should have given their demon more explicit instructions,” said Mister Frink.

“Well, then, I suppose today really is our lucky day!” said Mister Lucky, picking up a piece of the machine to examine.

“It will never be a lucky day so long as their evil roams the world,” said Mister Frink solemnly.

“Way to go, Captain Killjoy,” said Mister Lucky weakly.

“That’s not my name,” said Mister Frink haughtily, “You know my name.”

“Just… never mind,” said Mister Lucky, tossing the piece of machine to the ground and walking away, “I knew we should have just taken the day off.”

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MMM 2010: Epilog

Posted by meekrat on August 4, 2010

[In Detroit, Logan Keanu Solo and his group of Paci Custodis appear in their kitchen. Clarence Claybourne and Graves sit down and begin eating bowls of Frosted Flakes, while Shrugs takes his Mister Lucky scarecrow outside. Logan Keanu Solo stretches and goes to watch television, but Player One looks around for a few moments, and then runs up to his room. There is no one there, and he sits down on his bed, takes off his goggles, and begins to cry. Jimmy Swift comes to his door and knocks.]
Jimmy Swift: Hey. You all right?
Player One: Oh god. You’re hear to make fun of me or something, aren’t you?
[Jimmy Swift takes a chair, the only one not covered with video game paraphernalia, and sits on it.]
Jimmy Swift: Not this time. I mean, I spent a lot of time with Cowboy Santa and Elfie after my events were over, and then they just got ripped away from me. He was like a father to me in the short time I knew him. I’ll get over it, though. I have to. You, though, you lost your three closest friends, am I right?
Player One: Yeah. I didn’t even think to ask Player Three and Four where they are, and I know where Player Two is, but there’s no way I can get to Cleveland. I tried once, but I got as far as the bus depot before I had to turn back.
Jimmy Swift: The important thing is that you know they’re still there, and now all of you can look for each other together. Or something. You can find them, is what I’m saying.
Player One: You’re right. I’m going to actually make a plan and all that! Look out, world! Here I come!
Jimmy Swift: That’s the spirit! Now buck up and start planning!
Player One: Why don’t you always act like this?
Jimmy Swift: I don’t like it. And if you ever tell anyone about me doing this, I swear to God I’ll kill you myself.
Player One: Understood.

[In the seventies, the super-spy group known as CAST are having a mission briefing. Suddenly, Agent Man-In-Charge feels a cold shiver run down his spine.]
Agent Pheromone: What’s wrong, boss-man?
Agent Man-In-Charge: I feel as if someone just tore a version of me from the past, forced it to participate in inane competitions, and then finally used it to power a machine designed to channel the power from extra-dimensional entities into a fat little bear.
Agent Seven-In-One: Spooky. I just had the same feeling. What about you, Agent Villain?
[Agent Villain stands in the corner, cleaning his fingernails with his knife.]
Agent Villain: Hmm?
Agent Seven-In-One: Did you feel all those things?
[Agent Villain sheathes his knife and shrugs.]
Agent Villain: No. I didn’t feel a thing.

[Mike P, Owen Reilly, Ethan Crane, Pikapunk, Antwon, and Cinco de Mayo arrive on the god-head island. A dirty unshaven figure runs out of the woods, his clothes torn, carrying a sharpened stick.]
Mike P: JJ?
JJ: Oh thank god! Where have you guys been? There weren’t any heads, thank God, but still, you guys were gone for so long! Where were you?
Jerald: We’re not at liberty to discuss that with you. Who are you, anyway?
JJ: Who are you?
[Jerald and JJ scowl at each other. JJ stops as his eyes widen.]
JJ: Oh! Like an hour ago, a bunch of buildings just popped out of nowhere.
Mike P: That was supposed to happen, sort of.
JJ: Okay. So it’s not crazy island stuff?
Mike P: Not really. Are they nice?
JJ: I guess. Completely empty, but nice.
Ethan Crane: No televisions?
JJ: Not one. No furniture at all.
Mike P: Looks like we’ll be going shopping soon, then.
JJ: I’ll be footing the bill for that?
Mike P: You bet.

[Mister Lucky and the Archaic English Society arrive in front of the Spire.]
Mister Lucky: Good to be back home, I guess. What an adventure that was, wasn’t it?
Amorphous Blob: We died.
Mister Lucky: Sure did. Important thing is that we’re all back now. Me, you, Hamilton, Nick, Matt, and weird red creature.
Professor Nick: What was that last one?
Mister Lucky: Weird red creature.
Baco: Oh yes! I’ve finally found where I belong, among English majors! What a happy day indeed!
Mister Lucky: Were you… supposed to come back with us?
Baco: Oh, no. I think I was supposed to go with Mike P and his crew, but I hitched a ride with you lot instead.
Mister Lucky: You could do that?
Professor Nick: I wish I had known! I would have gone with that young lady with the napkins covering her naughty bits.
Mister Lucky: [sighing] You’re welcome to stay for a bit, I guess.
Baco: I have plenty of places I could go, and was planning on staying regardless of your permission. Now then, where’s your library? There’s a book I’ve been meaning to read…

[The Animajor and the Righteous Smidgen appear in the middle of rural America, along with Perverto.]
The Animajor: Why were we all sent here?
Righteous Smidgen: I think it’s because none of us were pulled from anywhere. We just showed up.
Perverto: Whatevs! Smell you later!
[Perverto leaves, plodding towards the sunrise. A farmer grazing his cattle in the surrounding fields sees Perverto, screams out something about an alien invasion, pushes over one of his cows, slices open its belly, and tries his best to hide inside.]
The Animajor: [turning to the Righteous Smidgen] So what will you do?
Righteous Smidgen: I think I’ll go visit the Paragon People. Perhaps they’ll let me stay with them for a bit, perhaps be on their team. What will you do?
The Animajor: I don’t want to be considered a villain. I’d like to be a hero, so I think I’ll work on that. At the very least, perhaps work my way up to anti-hero status. If you know where the Paragon People are located, I could possibly drop you off…
Righteous Smidgen: Captain Depresso said they were currently based in a town in Indiana. Woburn, I think he said.
The Animajor: All right. Off to Woburn, Indiana, then.
[The Animajor picks up the Righteous Smidgen, holds the diminutive hero in his hand, and away they go.]

[Back in Detroit, Shoshy Raphael enters city hall. The secretary looks up at him.]
Secretary: One moment please.
[The secretary looks down at the desk and concentrates on her work for only a few seconds before she realizes to whom she was speaking. She looks back up at Shoshy Raphael, smiling nervously.]
Secretary: Mister Raphael! We didn’t expect to see you back!
Shoshy Raphael: Obviously not. Now then, what’s occurred while I’ve been away?
Secretary: Crime went way down, which was good. So did super heroic activity, which should make you happy because I know you don’t appreciate the superheroes. The hospital opened their new wing, a new library opened, an older library burned down, and you were replaced.
Shoshy Raphael: Very good. I’ll be in my office if you need me.
[Shoshy Raphael takes three steps, stops, blinks, then turns suddenly to his secretary.]
Shoshy Raphael: I’ve been replaced?! You can’t replace me! I’m the mayor!
Secretary: “Were” the mayor. Sorry, Mister Raphael. Your successor, a Mister Hain —
Shoshy Raphael: [stroking his chin] Hain. Hain? The name doesn’t–wait, you mean the costume shop mogul? That “Mister Hain”?
Secretary: The costume shop mogul and new mayor of Detroit, Mister Raphael. Anyway, Mister Hain said there’s a room for you in his mansion should you need it.
Shoshy Raphael: Let me guess. His mansion is actually MY mansion.
Secretary: “Was” your mansion. Again, sorry, Mister Raphael. Oh, I almost forgot! Mister Hain also insisted that I hand this message to you personally.
Shoshy Raphael: [sighing] Well, I might as well take a look at it.
[The secretary hands over an envelope, sealed with the mayor’s wax stamp.]
Shoshy Raphael: [mumbling] Hain already has a mansion. No reason he needs two of them.
[Shoshy Raphael heads outside, opens the letter, and reads it over once, twice, and a third time.]
Shoshy Raphael: Hm. What an interesting offer, I must say. Almost makes being ousted from office worth it.
[With a grin, Shoshy Raphael folds the letter and places it into his pocket. Walking forward, Shoshy Raphael melts into the bustling crowds roaming the streets of downtown Detroit as the early morning sun rises into the daytime sky.]

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MMM 2010 Finale: Interlude

Posted by meekrat on August 2, 2010

[Meanwhile, on the air submarine…]
Doctor Derangemo: We’re going to crash! Hahahaha!! Isn’t this FUN?!
Captain Zimball: No, this shit ain’t fun at all! The hell’s goin’ on out there?!
[Diamond Destiny grips for Captain Zimball’s crotch, but Captain Zimball moves fast enough to avoid her errant hand.]
Captain Zimball: Damn, girl, shit ain’t right. We about to die!
Diamond Destiny: I don’t care! I’ve never had a black man before, and I won’t die without experiencing the joys of one!
Captain Zimball: I ain’t never had a white girl before, neither…
[Neither really caring or knowing that the other one is lying, Captain Zimball looks deep into Diamond Destiny’s glittering green eyes, and she into his dark brown eyes. Without warning, the air submarine dives as Captain Zimball and Diamond Destiny meet in a lusty embrace. Doctor Derangemo stands by and watches for a moment as the two strip naked before him. Doctor Derangemo‘s expression goes from disgusted to blank, then his eyes light up.]
Doctor Derangemo: That reminds me! I need to clean the oven! Off to the kitchen!
[As Doctor Derangemo leaves, Agent Villain slides in, the shadows covering his movement. He pulls a gun from the holster at his side and screws the silencer into the barrel. Two pulls of the trigger later, Captain Zimball and Diamond Destiny are dead, theirs becoming the ultimate story of coitus interruptus. Agent Villain walks over to the ship’s console, kicking the bodies as he goes, and sits down. Immediately, he takes control of the weapons and starts pushing buttons. The ship’s lasers blast away bits and pieces of Baggy Jesus O’Malley the Jew‘s gray matter, causing more chaos outside. Agent Villain chuckles to himself as he imagines the sweet destruction that will ensue as a result of his machinations — that is, he imagines this until a familiar voice calls from behind him.]
Mister Lucky: I knew I’d find you here, Agent Villain. Time to put and end to your evil once and for all!
[Earlier…]
Loveland Frog: So, uh, what’ll you have? Ribbit.
[At the center of the chaos stands a small pub built with scrap metal, stray boulders, and wooden planks left over from the ill-fated war a few rounds ago. Bottles of alcohol adorn the shelf, each lifted from Deity Guy’s liquor closet. Behind the counter stands the Loveland Frog, his once-pristine tuxedo now ripped and tattered as a result of minor quakes and cave-ins due to the violence outside. Sitting at the splintered wooden tables are the stripper-turned-thief Diamond Destiny, the members of the bar-hopping super team known as Danger Force, Tom and Brendan Phillipson, and the mad scientist Doctor Derangemo. Standing at the counter is Captain Zimball, freelance sea captain, zombie hunter extraordinaire, and member of the Astounding Superhero Syndicate.]
Captain Zimball: Rum.
[The most calm and collected member of Danger Force, J-Mike, approaches the counter quietly — his scars, tattoos, army camoflauge pants, and leather jacket painting him as a complete bad ass. After the Loveland Frog gives Captain Zimball his drink, Captain Zimball takes a seat at a table near the Philipsons and Diamond Destiny. Captain Zimball looks at Diamond Destiny, catches her eye, and winks as he holds up his drink, smiling. Diamond Destiny huffs, pouting her lips, and turns her head away to look at the Danger Force: the suave and alluring member, T-Bone; the ruggedly handsome and charismatic R-Man; the persuasive and intellectually intense J-Jeff; the massive, muscular giant called Chops; and, at the counter, the bad boy bad ass known as J-Mike. Doctor Derangemo sips absently at his ginger ale, his mind occupied with an electronic Sudoku puzzler. Captain Zimball smirks to himself, shakes his head, takes a swig of his rum, and listens to the conversations.]
Tom Phillipson: No, dude, you don’t understand. The Holocaust didn’t happen.
Brendan Phillipson: I respectfully disagree.
Loveland Frog: And what can I —
J-Mike: Yeah, heya, Kermit. Listen, I’m gonna need a rum and coke. Hold the fucking ice, though. That shit bruises the alcohol, you know?
[J-Jeff, overhearing the conversation behind him, turns away from his Danger Force comrades and speaks, the alcohol in his blood pushing his ability to argue his point elegantly beyond what is normally considered human.]
J-Jeff: Wait, wait, wait. Hold on. What the fuck do you mean? Of course the Holocaust happened.
Tom Phillipson: Nuh uh. Didn’t happen.
J-Jeff: [turning his chair to face Tom] Bullshit. Explain.
[The Loveland Frog turns his back to J-Mike and mixes his drink.]
Loveland Frog: That’ll be two dollars, ribbit.
J-Mike: [pulling out his checkbook] Two bucks? You better make a damn good drink, Frenchy. Take a check?
Loveland Frog: No. Cash only.
[Brendan Phillipson throws his hands up in the air and gets up from the table. He approaches the counter. Back at the Danger Force table, T-Bone slides his tongue in and out of his mouth, insinuating cunilingus in the direction of Diamond Destiny. R-Man chugs Russian Stout after Russian Stout in an attempt to gain clarity through inebriation. Chops shovels handful upon handful of crab legs into his mouth. Tom Phillipson continues to argue with J-Jeff.]
Tom Phillipson: Like, it’s so obvious. Remember all the videos of the Holocaust?
J-Jeff: Of course I do. That shit’s been burned into my mind. I couldn’t forget it if I wanted.
Tom Phillipson: Well, notice how no one was dancing around when they were rescued?
J-Jeff: Uh, yeah. Yeah, I do.
Tom Phillipson: If the Holocaust happened, why weren’t the victims celebrating?
[If J-Jeff’s eyes shot lasers, his glare would bore a hole into Tom Phillipson’s skull.]
J-Jeff: That’s the dumbest fucking thing I’ve ever heard.
Tom Phillipson: No need to be profane, dude. If you disagree, be respectful —
J-Jeff: No, fuck that, and fuck you. You know why no one was celebrating? Because they hadn’t fucking eaten in three years, that’s why!
Tom Phillipson: That’s not true, though. It’s on record that they were fed sawdust and stuff.
[Brendan Phillipson taps the counter impatiently with his two golden presidential dollars.]
Brendan Phillipson: Ahem.
J-Mike: Cash only? What the fuck?
Loveland Frog: Yes, cash only. We’re on the verge of apocalypse. Ribbit. Checks and credit are no good here.
J-Mike: I don’t fucking believe this.
Brendan Phillipson: AHEM.
J-Mike: [turning to Brendan Phillipson] What the fuck do you want, freckles?
Brendan Phillipson: Hey, don’t be so defensive.
J-Mike: Defensive? I’ll show you defensive.
[J-Mike grabs an empty beer bottle from the counter and breaks it over Brendan Phillipson’s head. The freckled conspiracy theorist falls to the ground, his head pouring blood and his eyes welling with tears. J-Mike takes the two gold dollars left behind and slides them to a now nervous Loveland Frog.]
J-Mike: Here’s your two fucking dollars. Where’s my God damned rum and coke?
[Back at the tables, Captain Zimball closes his eyes and imagines he’s somewhere else. Doctor Derangemo mouths false obscenities such as “tiddlywinks” in anger at his electronic sudoku puzzle. Diamond Destiny and T-Bone embrace as Diamond Destiny picks T-Bone’s pockets. R-Man and Chops laugh at the argument between J-Jeff and Tom Phillipson.]
J-Jeff: Sawdust? SAWDUST? You little fucking prick, I should turn you inside-out for even thinking that sawdust is a part of a balanced fucking diet.
Tom Phillipson: Okay, you know what? You’re really not playing nice, here, so I’m just going to get up and walk away.
[Tom Phillipson leaves the table and walks across the room to the bathroom. After about a minute, J-Jeff, with a look of determination on his face, follows Tom Phillipson into the bathroom. As the door swings, all that can be heard is J-Jeff screaming “The Jews!” Back at the counter, the Loveland Frog takes the money and hands J-Mike his rum and coke. J-Mike takes one sip, then spits it out in Loveland Frog’s face. J-Mike’s face grows red, and his tattoos seem to writhe on his body. He grabs Loveland Frog by the collar of his tuxedo and pulls the amphibian’s face close to his.]
J-Mike: THERE’S ICE IN THIS!
[J-Mike drops the Loveland Frog and, jerking his arm back, launches a powerful right hook into the face of the bipedal cryptid, felling him instantly. J-Mike pours the contents of the glass onto the Loveland Frog, then throws the empty glass against the wall. As if on cue, the door to the bar swings open, and all patrons stare at the doorway. In steps the black-clad Agent Villain, his eye scanning the premises. It fixes on Doctor Derangemo. Agent Villain turns around and speaks to a shadow-covered figure standing in the doorway behind him.]
Agent Villain: He’s here. Care to do the honors?
[All eyes in the bar are on Agent Villain as he steps through the door. The color drains from the faces of all the patrons except Doctor Derangemo as the shadow-covered figure follows, the light of the bar revealing the brown-suited form of Mister Lucky.]
Mister Lucky: Doctor Derangemo, we need your help — to save the world!
Doctor Derangemo: [grinning wildly and placing his puzzle on the table] This is about the monster outside, isn’t it?
Mister Lucky: I’m afraid so. And what we need is —
Doctor Derangemo: Why, of course! It’s obvious, isn‘t it? You need me to lead you to my most wondrous invention yet!
Mister Lucky: If you want to call it that, sure.
[Tom Phillipson approaches Mister Lucky.]
Tom Phillipson: Uh, you’re supposed to be dead.
Mister Lucky: Supposed to be, but I’m not. Anyway —
Brendan Phillipson: [on the ground, working through the tears] No, you’re dead. There was a funeral and everything.
Mister Lucky: I know, I was there. Anyway —
Tom Phillipson: How are you alive right now?
Mister Lucky: Look, I don’t have time to explain, okay?
Agent Villain: It was a clone. The coward makes clones of himself so he doesn’t have to face his own mortality.
Mister Lucky: Oh, that’s great. Thanks for revealing my secret — about the clones, anyway. I‘m not afraid of dying.
Agent Villain: Really? Is that why you disabled Lamp Prime’s atomic bomb in Round Two? Because you’re not afraid of death?
Mister Lucky: Graves and Vinny are both idiots. You know that. They would have killed everyone!
Agent Villain: I almost forgot that you also took a peek at your funeral. Afraid no one would show up? Or maybe you were hoping that your estranged son would show up, perhaps? Pathetic.
Mister Lucky: That was morbid curiosity. And you can leave Lucky Charms out of this, you jerk. But wait, there’s more! You’re a hypocrite!
Agent Villain: What?
Mister Lucky: It’s true, and you know it! You yourself are afraid of death! That’s why you deserted the armies of The Stupid!
Agent Villain: Ridiculous. I saw that The Stupid’s plan would ultimately fail, so I betrayed him by giving plans for his Coliseum to Deity Guy and Lamp Prime.
Mister Lucky: Nice story. You’ve probably been telling yourself variations of it since that bunker incident in Berlin, haven’t you?
Agent Villain: [pulling a knife from a sheath at his side] For someone who fears oblivion, you seem to have quite the death wish. And I have no problem granting that wish — a second time.
Mister Lucky: [putting his fists up] Make no mistake, Agent Villain — though you’re welcomed to help, I don’t need you. So if you want to settle our score right here and right now, I’m more than willing to oblige you.
[Captain Zimball, unable to listen to the bickering anymore, stands up and puts himself between the two champions.]
Captain Zimball: The fightin’ can wait. Ya’ll said something’ about savin’ the world?
[Doctor Derangemo jumps to his feet and springs forward, landing in front of Captain Zimball like a Warner Brothers cartoon character.]
Doctor Derangemo: Oh, yes! Yes, yes, yes! Saving the world — with my machine! The world’s first and only air submarine! Come, let’s have a look at it!
[Doctor Derangemo runs to the door of the bathroom and into it. Captain Zimball, Mister Lucky, and Agent Villain follow him into the bathroom. A bit dazed from her dry-humping session with T-Bone and noticing Mister Lucky, Diamond Destiny follows the others into the bathroom. Doctor Derangemo enters the third stall on the left and, once the others are present, pushes the flushing mechanism. The ceiling opens and several human-sized tubes drop from the ceiling, surrounding each. Like a capsule in an office mailroom, the human cargo is then sucked up and into the tubes. Through twists and around turns they fly, each fluidly moving through the system with minimal trouble — the only exception being Diamond Destiny, whose buxom chest occasionally causes her to get stuck. At journey’s end, each is deposited in the windowed cockpit of a large vessel. Though nauseous, each passenger — save Diamond Destiny — rises to their feet and can’t help but marvel at the workmanship and ingenuity of this madman’s ship.]
Doctor Derangemo: [Throwing his arms out] Gentlemen, I welcome you to the most marvelous ship you’ve ever seen… the air submarine!
Mister Lucky: Wow. It’s, uh, pretty great. Hey, where are we?
Doctor Derangemo: My lab, of course!
Mister Lucky: Castle Valerium?
Doctor Derangemo: No, no, my boy. My lab — in this dimension! It was my belief that when the war began, we would be stuck in this dimension for quite some time. Thus, I used my dimensional transference ray to, well, transfer some of my stuff from our dimension to this one.
Agent Villain: [looking at the panels] Hm. Not quite a submarine. More like a stealth jet.
Doctor Derangemo: Nonsense! It’s a submarine — that flies through the air! And is equipped with lasers! Just like a submarine!
Agent Villain: [after a pause] As I said.
[Doctor Derangemo grins maniacally, then shifts his expression to that of depression as he looks around the room.]
Doctor Derangemo: Oh, no. This won’t do at all.
Mister Lucky: What is it?
Doctor Derangemo: Tampon-Bot is gone! Destroyed in the chaos, no doubt. Why, who will fly the ship?
Captain Zimball: Look, I don’t know nothin’ about savin’ the world, and I don’t know nothin’ about no air submarines — but one thing I do know is that I can captain anything based on nautical tech and that there’s a giant… whatever that thing is out there, tearin’ my friends apart. If you need someone to captain this boat, I’m your guy.
[Diamond Destiny slowly and graugily gets up, her breasts jiggling as she does.]
Diamond Destiny: Oh, I don’t feel so good…
[All turn around immediately to face her.]
Captain Zimball: Who let the lady on my ship?
Diamond Destiny: Huh? What lady?
Captain Zimball: I ain’t flyin’ this thing if there’s a lady onboard. It’s bad luck.
Mister Lucky: Don’t be silly. That’s an old superstition, and besides, you’ve got Mister Lucky onboard — the luckiest man in the world!
Diamond Destiny: [holding her head and stumbling towards Mister Lucky] Speaking of getting lucky… for five dollars, I’ll show you how lucky you are that I came, Mister. See what I did there? [giggles lightly, sounding as though intoxicated, and falls into Mister Lucky’s arms.]
Agent Villain: Heh. Go get her, loverboy.
Mister Lucky: [dropping Diamond Destiny and grabbing the wallet that she just pilfered from his pocket] Uh heh, wow. That’s, uh, a great offer, but we need to get underway.
Doctor Derangemo: Good, then it’s settled! Let’s go save the world!
[Captain Zimball sits at the captain’s chair and grabs hold of the nautical wheel, spinning it.]
Captain Zimball: Still think it’s bad juju to have a woman onboard…
[Massive flames spray out of the back and underside of the vessel as Captain Zimball pushes a large red button in the center of the wheel. Above them, the hanger doors open and the firelight of chaos and destruction greets the passengers through the windows of the cockpit. As they rise into the air, they see the giant, monstrous form of Baggy Jesus O’Malley the Jew in the distance. With the push of the large blue button on the wheel, the ship’s cloaking device activates, making the ship itself and all inside invisible.]
Captain Zimball: [turning around to face the others] So, what’s the plan?
[Doctor Derangemo steps forward to a panel on the lower deck. After punching in a sequence of numbers, he presses a flashing green button an fires a small rocket at the monster. In the distance, a miniscule puff of smoke can be seen.]
Doctor Derangemo: That should buy us some time. Now, if you gentlemen would kindly fill us in on the details…?
[Meanwhile, down below, Talia Andreos, Doctor Derangemo‘s lab assistant, notices a sparkle out of the corner of her eye.]
Talia Andreos: What in the…
[As she squints, she can make out a white figure flying through the air at supersonic speeds. Within seconds, she recognizes the form and grabs Gerald’s sleeve, pulling on it vigorously.]
Talia Andreos: [pointing, excited] Look, up in the sky!
Gerald: That’s really old, and really played out.
Talia Andreos: [smacking Gerald on the back of the head] No, dipstick, seriously. Look up in the sky.
[Gerald looks up and sees the figure. Immediately, his heart soars and he can’t help but smile.]
Gerald: It’s him! It’s Free Comic Book Day Man!
[Through the sky he darts like a streak of white lightning, plummeting on the straight and narrow and slamming into Baggy Jesus O’Malley the Jew‘s shoulder. The monster lets out a pained roar as Free Comic Book Day Man punches his way into the wound and digs out a small rocket containing some copies of Free Comic Book Day issues of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch Trials”. Below, the crowd cheers — but the cheers turn to gasps of horror as the giant monster slams Free Comic Book Day Man into the ground with his humongous fist, grinding the pavement before pulling away. Horrified, Talia Andreos runs up to Free Comic Book Day Man’s limp, lifeless body. Holding him by the shoulder, she cries out in rage and frustration as she lifts his head to her chest. The rage and frustration quickly turns to pain and agony, however, as Free Comic Book Day Man’s yellow acidic blood burns through Talia Andreos’s clothes and skin, leaving in its place a limp, lifeless, deformed corpse.]
Mister Lucky: Thanks to some research on my part —
Agent Villain: Research? You mean the information I gave you, right?
Mister Lucky: That, and the research I did on my own which confirms that your information is correct —
Agent Villain: Of course it’s correct.
Mister Lucky: Look, gentlemen, the embodiments have gone mad. This thing — this Baggy Jesus O’Malley the Jew, as they call it — is itself from a different dimension.
Agent Villain: Supposedly, it was chosen because the embodiments felt it held within the fabric of its existence the essences of our entire universe —
Mister Lucky: The essences of a bear, a monkey, a Jesus, a Jew, a homosexual, a robot, a leprechaun, a Purple Lamp, and a hobo. Did I miss anything?
Agent Villain: It doesn’t really matter.
Mister Lucky: Baggy Jesus O’Malley the Jew was meant to be the final challenge for the champions of each bracket.
Agent Villain: In order to make the creature seem more powerful, Deity Guy commissioned a machine to be built.
Doctor Derangemo: A machine that captures ghosts and turns them into energy!
Agent Villain: Yes.
Mister Lucky: How do you know that?
Agent Villain: Since you, heh, did your research, you should know.
Mister Lucky: Oh, right. Derangemo built that machine, too.
[Doctor Derangemo smiles proudly as everyone else stares at him with annoyance.]
Agent Villain: The power upgrade to the creature was supposed to stop there. But, as their thirst for vengeance against each other and, later, against their own champions grew, the embodiments surmised that perhaps the creature could be made even more powerful by giving it their own powers.
Captain Zimball: But if what you said is true, Baggy Jesus O’Leary —
Mister Lucky: O’Malley.
Captain Zimball: Yeah, he still shouldn’t be rampaging, since the fight was s’posed to be fake.
Agent Villain: Heh. You have The Stupid to thank for that one.
Mister Lucky: He tricked the Righteous Smidgeon, a superhero that can shrink to atomic levels, into invading the creature’s brain and running amok.
Agent Villain: The result of his meddling is what you see outside.
Diamond Destiny: [twirling some chewing gum on her finger] So, why don’t the embodiments take their powers back? Or something?
Mister Lucky: A surprisingly good question. We believe that, once they give the power away, it must either return to them naturally or it must be given back to them willingly.
Agent Villain: That’s why we must kill the creature at all costs.
Mister Lucky: No! We talked about this! Violence isn’t in the creature’s nature, Agent Villain! I mean, it saved Gerald and Bahige from the Paci Custodis in the first round. It’s normally peaceful or, at the very least, somewhat benign. So no killing. What we need to do is get the Righteous Smidgen out of its head. Once we do that, its other-dimensional brain will be allowed to heal naturally.
Captain Zimball: Then what’re we waitin’ for? Let’s go in there and pick him up!
Doctor Derangemo: Yes! We’ll enter through the ear canal and ride through his body, like in “Fantastic Voyage”! Oh, how I love that movie!
Mister Lucky: That’s precisely the plan. Zimball, can you get us in there?
Captain Zimball: The wheel ain’t that responsive, but what we gotta lose?
Mister Lucky: That’s the spirit!
[Captain Zimball navigates the air submarine towards Baggy Jesus O’Malley the Jew‘s ear, the monster seemingly unaware of the soon-to-be invasive ship.]
Captain Zimball: Damn thing keeps moving!
Doctor Derangemo: Push the green button!
[Captain Zimball does so, and smooth jazz plays through the ship’s speakers.]
Captain Zimball: What the hell is this supposed to do?
Doctor Derangemo: Nothing. I just felt that we could do with some music.
Captain Zimball: Whatever. You got shields on this thing?
Doctor Derangemo: Push the green button!
Captain Zimball: I just pushed the damn green button!
Doctor Derangemo: Yes! Push it again!
[Captain Zimball sighs and pushes the button again. The jazz turns to house techno, the lights dim, and a strobe light descends from the ceiling. On the outside of the air submarine, shields are raised and a small HUD appears to show shield integrity.]
Captain Zimball: That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout!
[With newfound confidence, Captain Zimball flies directly into Baggy Jesus O’Malley the Jew‘s ear canal. Once they are safely inside, Mister Lucky and Doctor Derangemo stand to each side of Captain Zimball to study this magnificent sight.]
Doctor Derangemo: Oh my! It’s filled with incredibly old pizza!
Mister Lucky: How bizarre.
Captain Zimball: You two ladies quit gabbin’ and tell me how to get to the brain.
Doctor Derangemo: Second star to the right, and straight on ’til morning!
Captain Zimball: The hell?
Mister Lucky: No, I think he’s right. Look!
[Mister Lucky points outside and there are several dozen pizza stars floating within Baggy Jesus O’Malley the Jew. Captain Zimball navigates for whatever pizza star could be considered the second to the right, and continues straight. As he navigates through them, he deftly steers around chunks of ancient pizza until hitting another smaller canal, one which is free of debris. He slows the air submarine down and as the exterior becomes dark, a light appears in the distance.]
Doctor Derangemo: See? Darkness, and then light! Night, and then morning!
Captain Zimball: Whatever you say, you crazy-ass cracker.
[They head towards the light, eventually popping out in the cavity which houses Baggy Jesus O’Malley the Jew‘s now giant brain. Mister Lucky and Doctor Derangemo stare out the window until one of them sees a figure stomping around.]
Mister Lucky: There! Set her down!
[Captain Zimball complies, not landing on the brain, but hovering above it.]
Mister Lucky: You got anything in this tub for us to go down there?
Doctor Derangemo: No. Why would I? It’s an air submarine. Feel free to use the sound system, if you like.
Mister Lucky: Will it work through fluids?
Doctor Derangemo: Didn’t you hear me? It’s an air submarine!
Mister Lucky: So there’s no fluid out there? Only air?
Doctor Derangemo: Of course!
[Mister Lucky takes a moment to process this, something which is altogether new and unpleasant for him. He shakes his head quickly and goes to the door.]
Mister Lucky: Okay! Villain, Derangemo, you’re coming with me!
Agent Villain: The great Mister Lucky, asking help from his greatest enemy and a mad scientist.
Doctor Derangemo: I’m not mad! Slightly peeved, perhaps, but not mad!
Agent Villain: The point stands.
Mister Lucky: I don’t need you for anything, but I also don’t trust you one bit. Now come on! How do we get down there?
[Doctor Derangemo pulls a chain hanging from the ceiling, and a hatch opens up on the floor. A curvy slide unfolds downward.]
Doctor Derangemo: Me first!
[Doctor Derangemo slides down the slide.]
Mister Lucky: I’d say age before beauty, but I’ve got you beat in both. So why don’t you go next so you don’t stab me in the back on the way down?
Agent Villain: How do you know I won’t kill you when you slide down?
Mister Lucky: You’re right. Think fast!
[Mister Lucky tackles Agent Villain and the pair grapple as they slide down. When they hit gray matter, Mister Lucky stands up and jumps away from Agent Villain. Agent Villain stands up and sneers at Mister Lucky, brushing himself off.]
Agent Villain: A lucky strike.
Mister Lucky: Petulence doesn’t become you. Now come on, we’ve got a giant rampaging monster to stop!
[The three trek over to the Righteous Smidgen, a task which takes nearly twenty minutes due to Mister Lucky’s continual need to make sure Agent Villain isn’t trying anything and the need to make sure Doctor Derangemo stays on task. Mister Lucky walks up with his hands help upward, all the while the Righteous Smidgen is attacking the brain.]
Mister Lucky: Hey there!
Righteous Smidgen: What? Who are you?
Mister Lucky: That’s not important right now! What is important is that you’re putting the lives of dozens, maybe even hundreds, of people at risk!
Righteous Smidgen: I don’t believe you. The Stupid said that I had to do this to stop this creature from killing everyone.
Mister Lucky: No, that’s not right at all! The Stupid is an evil, evil being! The Embodiment of Evil, in fact! You can’t trust him any farther than you can throw him!
Righteous Smidgen: Still don’t believe you. The only people here who have earned my trust are the Animajor and the Stupid. Maybe Shoshy Raphael, but only because he seems to like the Animajor. Not you, whoever you are.
Mister Lucky: Really? You trust those guys but not me? What’s wrong with you?!
Righteous Smidgen: Nothing. Just doing what I think is right.
Mister Lucky: Well, it’s not right! In fact, Shoshy Raphael is out there right now trying to make sure that this hellbeast doesn’t kill anymore people!
[The Righteous Smidgen pauses for a moment.]
Righteous Smidgen: Is the Animajor all right?
Mister Lucky: Not gonna lie, he’s probably dead by now.
Righteous Smidgen: Oh no. What have —
Doctor Derangemo: Are you going to be done soon, Mister Lucky?
Mister Lucky: Yes, hold your horses!
Righteous Smidgen: Hold on, Mister Lucky? My father told me about you! You helped the Paragon People a few times, right? You even tried to join them with some lame superhero identity.
Mister Lucky: Oh, God. Yes. Yes! That was me!
Righteous Smidgen: And then, after the war, you took on the identity of Professor Merciless and attacked the world again and again and again, requiring the Paragon People to stop you every single time!
[Agent Villain smirks.]
Agent Villain: Why, Mister Lucky, I had no idea.
Mister Lucky: It needed to be done! How do you know about that, though? Your pop vanished before then!
Righteous Smidgen: The Stupid told me. Why should I trust someone I know to be a super-villain?
Mister Lucky: Oh, for the love of —
Righteous Smidgen: Don’t bother finishing that thought.
Mister Lucky: You try and talk some sense into the kid, Villain!
Righteous Smidgen: Agent Villain? I’ve only heard good things about you.
[Agent Villain grits his teeth at the revelation.]
Mister Lucky: Yes! So please, tell him all the stuff is true about him causing this thing to kill everyone!
Agent Villain: [Half-heartedly] Hey, uh, Righteous Smidgen? It’s all true. [to Mister Lucky] There. Happy now?
Mister Lucky: Almost.
Righteous Smidgen: Well, I have no reason to doubt the word of Agent Villain. Let’s go.
Mister Lucky: Now I’m happy. Come on, let’s blow this pop stand!
[The quartet head back to the ship. Meanwhile, Barry, He Who is Death, is on his way to the tournament.]
Barry: God. So late. So freaking late. It’s all that stupid horse’s fault. Azrael’s going to kill me.
[Barry pauses for a moment and thinks about his last statement, then lets out one loud ha. He looks around him and sees the ebbing and flowing of the realm between life and death.]
Barry: Damn traffic. Why is it so busy here? Going to be so late. Wait a second.
[Barry looks over and sees a figure in a black hooded robe sitting at a table. A line is forming in front of the table. There are several robots in the line, including Tampon-Bot and Perverto.]
Tampon-Bot: I thought I’d be happy dying, but I’m not.
Perverto: Where are the naked angels?
Fake Fred: Next!
Tampon-Bot: That would be me.
Fake Fred: Okay, Barn, off you go.
[Tampon-Bot disappears into Limbo. Fake Fred ticks the name off his list.]
Fake Fred: Next!
Perverto: L-O-L! The great Perverto will be mourned by many!
Fake Fred: Sure thing, Barn.
[Perverto vanishes into Limbo, and Fake Fred ticks the name off his list.]
Barry: I’ve seen enough.
[Barry marches over to the table and seizes the list, only to notice that every single name is some variation of Barney. Fake Fred looks up at him.]
Fake Fred: Why’d you take my list, Bernie? I need that or Osama’s going to be mad at me.
Barry: You’re not a reaper! You shouldn’t be doing this!
Fake Fred: Just doing my job, Boffo. Need to get enough to hit capacity.
Barry: No, it’s not your job! It’s my job! Besides, you’ve been accepting robot souls! We don’t do robot souls, there’s a whole other thing for robots!
Fake Fred: Gee, Barney, you need to calm down.
Barry: [Looking over the paperwork] My name’s not Barney! It’s Barry! And I will not calm down, especially when you’ve apparently been sending everyone to Limbo, which isn’t bad, but it’s not great! They’ll just be back here in an hour wondering what to do.
Fake Fred: It’s my first day, Binky.
Barry: It’s also your last day! Now then, where are you on this list… wait a second. You’re not on this list. You’re not even dead!
Fake Fred: Nope.
Barry: Then get out!
[Barry points at Fake Fred, who vanishes in a bluish flame, returning to the world of the living. The table vanishes as well, but Barry still has his list. Sure enough, all those who Fake Fred sent to Limbo begin to reappear.]
Barry: At least his mess won’t be that hard to fix.
Fake Fred: That sure is good news, Bartholomew.
[Barry slowly turns to see Fake Fred standing before him. Barry looks at his list and the names are starting to correct themselves, with every new name being an actual name. The newest name, however, is Fake Fred. Barry groans.]
Barry: This is going to be the longest shift ever.
[Back at the air submarine, the quartet have boarded and entered the ship’s kitchen.]
Mister Lucky: …and that’s when I found Villain and Derangemo and we set out to stop you from messing with Baggy Jesus O’Malley.
Righteous Smidgen: It doesn’t seem to have done much good.
Mister Lucky: Derangemo said it’d take a little while for his mind to heal. Anyway —
[Suddenly, a shockwave hits the ship.]
Captain Zimball: What the hell was that?
Mister Lucky: We should get to the cockpit!
Diamond Destiny: I’d like to get to your cockipit, loverboy.
Mister Lucky: Given the current circumstances, that’s highly inappropriate.
Doctor Derangemo: Far be it from me to be the voice of reason, but less flirting and more moving, everyone! My precious ship is at stake!
Agent Villain: Right. Uh, me and the Smidgen will be right along.
Mister Lucky: Well, okay. Hurry up, though.
[Mister Lucky, Diamond Destiny, Captain Zimball, and Doctor Derangemo all head towards the cockpit. After they’ve all gone, Agent Villain pulls out a knife.]
Agent Villain: One last thing, Smidgen.
Righteous Smidgen: What’s that?
[Agent Villain smiles. In the cockpit, Doctor Derangemo looks out the window.]
Doctor Derangemo: It would appear that Baggy Jesus O’Malley has transformed into some sort of giant goo monster!
Captain Zimball: So what? We in a submarine.
Doctor Derangemo: Haven’t you listened to a word I said?! It’s an air submarine! It can’t survive in this sort of atmosphere for long! The hull integrity is already being compromised!
Captain Zimball: Well, shit. We’re sinking to the bottom, here.
[As the various challengers outside attack the monstrous form of Baggy Jesus O’Malley the Jew, the shockwaves are magnified through his gelatinous form, each one causing the ship to rock more and more violently. Doctor Derangemo stands and sways with the ship, humming quietly.]
Mister Lucky: Where’s Villain and Smidgen?
Diamond Destiny: Why do you care about those two when I’m… [Diamond Destiny slinks up to Mister Lucky and grabs his bowtie.] right… [she pulls on the bow-tie, causing her nose to touch Mister Lucky’s.] here?
[Mister Lucky stands up, his bow-tie snapping off. He pulls another one from his jacket pocket and ties it as he exits the cockpit.]
Mister Lucky: I’m going to go check on them! Something rotten is going on!
[As Mister Lucky leaves, Diamond Destiny crosses her arms and puts out her lips in a pout. Her eyes glance over Doctor Derangemo momentarily, but then settle upon Captain Zimball, valiantly trying to stabalize the air submarine. She takes a deep breath and walks over, sitting beside him. He flashes her a quick, worried smile. Mister Lucky enters the kitchen and sees the Righteous Smidgen lying on the ground, a knife in his throat. He pulls the knife out and sighs heavily. In the cockpit, other more supposedly sexy things are happening.]
Doctor Derangemo: We’re going to crash! Hahahaha!! Isn’t this FUN?!
Captain Zimball: No, this shit ain’t fun at all! The hell’s goin’ on out there?!
[Diamond Destiny grips for Captain Zimball’s crotch, but Captain Zimball moves fast enough to avoid her errant hand.]
Captain Zimball: Damn, girl, shit ain’t right. We about to die!
Diamond Destiny: I don’t care! I’ve never had a black man before, and I won’t die without experiencing the joys of one!
Captain Zimball: I ain’t never had a white girl before, neither…
[Neither really caring or knowing that the other one is lying, Captain Zimball looks deep into Diamond Destiny’s glittering green eyes, and she into his dark brown eyes. Without warning, the air submarine dives as Captain Zimball and Diamond Destiny meet in a lusty embrace. Doctor Derangemo stands by and watches for a moment as the two strip naked before him. Doctor Derangemo‘s expression goes from disgusted to blank, then his eyes light up.]
Doctor Derangemo: That reminds me! I need to clean the oven! Off to the kitchen!
[As Doctor Derangemo leaves, he passes an irate Mister Lucky in the hallway, holding a bloody knife. Doctor Derangemo thinks for a moment about what he should think about this, but then remembers that the over needs cleaning. When he reaches the kitchen, he ignores the lifeless body of the Righteous Smidgen and goes right for the stove, only to laugh heartily.]
Doctor Derangemo: Silly me! I forgot the oven was self-cleaning! I’ll go see what Charles and Kraven are up to!
[As Doctor Derangemo goes to follow Mister Lucky, the latter hears the sounds of lasers. Mister Lucky scowls and begins to run, stopping himself before he enters the cockpit, and he walks in silently, and leans agains the wall nonchalantly.]
Mister Lucky: I knew I’d find you here, Agent Villain. Time to put and end to your evil once and for all!
Agent Villain: Man against man, eh? Or are you another clone? Do you even know?
Mister Lucky: I’m the real deal! You forgot this in the kitchen, by the way!
[Mister Lucky throws the knife and it whizzes through the air, right past Agent Villain’s head. Agent Villain doesn’t even flinch, only reaching over and taking the knife, wiping the blood off on Captain Zimball’s discarded coat, and placing it back in its sheath. Mister Lucky stands at the doorway, with Doctor Derangemo standing behind him.]
Doctor Derangemo: Oh, goody! This should be a sight!
[Mister Lucky and Agent Villain walk calmly towards each other, and when they meet in the center of the cockpit, Agent Villain lashes out with a right hook. Mister Lucky blocks, smiles, and jabs at Agent Villain. This move is also blocked, but immediately followed by another quick jab from Mister Lucky. Agent Villain catches his fist and attempts to bring his elbow down upon Mister Lucky’s arm in an attempt to break it. Mister Lucky responds by punching him directly in the face. Agent Villain staggers back, fresh blood trickling from his nose.]
Doctor Derangemo: Boring!
[Agent Villain uses one of the cockpit’s chairs to launch himself at Mister Lucky, who attempts to dodge but is taken down. Agent Villain turns and starts to pummel Mister Lucky, taking his bowler hat and smashing it upon his face, breaking the hat and the glasses in the process. Mister Lucky uses an old martial arts move taught to him by the monks of Uhld to fling Agent Villain against the wall. Both combatants quickly get to their feet. Mister Lucky tosses aside the bowler hat and broken glasses.]
Mister Lucky: You did me a favor there. I hate that hat.
Doctor Derangemo: I’ve seen more violence at the ballet!
[Agent Villain doesn’t respond, instead leaping on top of the table and jumping off of it with a roundhouse kick. Mister Lucky catches his foot in mid-kick and slams Agent Villain against one of the ship’s consoles. Sparks fly from the console.]
Agent Villain: So you’re farsighted then?
Mister Lucky: You honestly think I would make myself immortal but leave my eyesight as less than perfect?
Doctor Derangemo: Oh dear, has this suddenly become “The View”?
[Agent Villain shrugs, and Mister Lucky runs at him, leaping at him, fist ready to punch. Agent Villain easily sidesteps this and Mister Lucky’s fist sinks into the circuitry. Agent Villain steps behind him and begins smashing Mister Lucky’s face into the console. After doing this half a dozen times, Mister Lucky’s face is cut and bleeding, his nose broken, his eyes swollen. Agent Villain, meanwhile, has only a bloodied nose.]
Mister Lucky: Little help, Derangemo?
Agent Villain: The only thing he’ll be helping with is getting rid of your body!
[Agent Villain takes out his knife and tries to stab Mister Lucky in the back, but Doctor Derangemo, after giving it some thought, pulls out an odd-looking gun and points it at the two brawlers. He pulls the trigger, letting loose a blinding flash of light and horrible disorienting noise. Agent Villain plunges his knife into the console and grabs his ears, while Mister Lucky uses the opportunity to free himself from the console and gain higher ground, thin trickles of blood coming from his ears and nose. After his ears have stopped ringing, Agent Villain turns to Mister Lucky, completely forgetting about his knife, and lets loose a primal scream, launching himself at Mister Lucky. As Agent Villain leaps, Doctor Derangemo pulls the trigger again and again, laughing all the while, marveling at the Hiroshima shadows being left on the walls of the air submarine, which is still being bombarded with shockwaves from the outside. The stream of blood from Mister Lucky’s ears has gone from a trickle to a stream, but he powers through, dodging Agent Villain’s attacks and looking around, trying to find something to give him an edge. Suddenly, Agent Villain realizes that he could easily keep the upper hand if he did one thing, and in one smooth movement he pulls out his gun and shoots Doctor Derangemo, who continues laughing and shooting his gun for a few moments until he realizes that he’s been shot.]
Doctor Derangemo: Oh dear.
[Doctor Derangemo falls to the ground and Agent Villain allows himself a small smile. He turns to Mister Lucky, who should have been by the console, but Mister Lucky swings from a beam in the ceiling, knocking Agent Villain on the console. The spy initially begins to laugh, as this ploy is obviously the last desperate chance of a dying man. However, he then feels a sharp pain tear into his back. Mister Lucky stands in front of him.]
Mister Lucky: You keep leaving your knife lying around, Villain. This way, you’ll never lose it again.
[Agent Villain looks down and sees the sharp, thin point of his knife sticking through his stomach. He is initially shocked, but then smiles and starts to laugh maniacally, his skin drying out and hair becoming stringy, almost like cobwebs. Soon, no more sound comes from Agent Villain’s withered body, now looking like it’s been a corpse for a very long time. As the head slumps over, an earpiece falls out of its ear. Mister Lucky picks it up.]
Mister Lucky: Should have known he’d send a clone. Looks like you got the last laugh this time, Villain.
[Mister Lucky coughs up some blood and sits down in the cockpit. Outside, he sees Shoshy Raphael, Baggy Satan, and Edwin Cloudstar flying upwards, Edwin Cloudstar carrying a Purple Lamp bomb. He knows that, between the injuries sustained during the fight and this new development, he doesn’t have long to live.]
Mister Lucky: Glad Derangemo brought the Atlantean gun. Really came through in the end there, Doc.
[As Mister Lucky salutes Doctor Derangemo‘s body, he notices that his own hand is rapidly becoming dried and withered. His unswollen eye goes wide.]
Mister Lucky: I’m a clone? But… but for how long? Dear God, for how long — !
[Mister Lucky’s now dried and withered body slumps over onto the console. Soon after, his body is unceremoniously pushed out of the chair by Doctor Derangemo, sparks flying from his chest.]
Doctor Derangemo: Tsk tsk. Clones are so unreliable, but robot doubles —
[In Castle Valerium, the real Doctor Derangemo sits at a table, eating a sandwich and sitting at what appears to be a heavily modified Virtual Boy, wearing a headset with microphone.]
Doctor Derangemo: — robot doubles will last forever if you take care of them. Sadly, your time has come.
[The robot Doctor Derangemo takes the wheel of the air submarine and pilots a direct course towards Baggy Jesus O’Mally the Jew’s damaged brain. As the ship moves forward, Doctor Derangemo pushes a set of colored lights in a sequence, not unlike the game “Simon”, and the self-destruct sequence is activated. As the air submarine reaches the brain, so does Edwin Cloudstar, and the ship self-destructs as the Purple Lamp bomb goes off. With this final act, the ship cauterizes the brain’s wounds, and coupled with the explosion of the Purple Lamp bomb, puts Baggy Jesus O’Malley the Jew on the fast track to recovery. Will it be enough to stop the rampaging giant from destroying the rest of the challengers? Tune in tomorrow to find out.]

Posted in March Meekrat Madness 2010 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Routinus Interruptus

Posted by whovian1999 on July 31, 2010

The massive grandfather clock marked the ten o’clock hour with raucous chimes. As was his daily ritual, Mister Lucky sat in the kitchen of the Spire, paper in hand, and coffee in cup. By the china cabinet, Roderick Hamilton — retired Paci Custodis monster hunter and the Spire’s current British butler — stood like a Buckingham Palace guard, his face expressionless as he kept watch over Mister Lucky’s routine.

“You know, it’s nothing but bad news anymore,” said Mister Lucky. He shook his head as he placed the newspaper on the flimsy kitchen table.

“Yes, sir,” replied Hamilton, stoic as ever.

“I mean, take a look at this cover story. ‘Happily married couple opens publishing company after twenty years of dreaming, needs help of amateur writers to make dream fully come true.’ Makes me sick.” Mister Lucky took a long, deep sip of his coffee.

“With all due respect, sir,” spoke Hamilton, “that sounds like a bit of positive news.”

Mister Lucky took another long sip. “Normally it would be. Once upon a time, I fell in love with a teacher at a university not far from here. Once upon a time, she rejected me and ran off with a colleague of mine. Once upon a time, they got married twenty years ago and are now opening a publishing company together. The end.”

“A harrowing story, sir,” replied Hamilton.

“The rejection still hurts, Roddy. I swore that they’d get theirs, and seeing this in the paper? It’s a slap in the face. It’s a reminder of the one — or two — that got away. Literally. From my vengeance.” Mister Lucky sighed and picked up his mug. He closed his eyes, tipped his head back and drank, feeling the warm liquid ebb down the back of his throat. When he was done, he opened his eyes and almost dropped his cup, for before him stood Amorphous Blob and Professor Nick, both grinning at him like jackanapes and holding pages in their hands.

Mister Lucky nervously placed his mug on the table. “Boys. Uh, good morning. You do realize it’s morning, right? Not quite noon? What’re you doing up and in the kitchen this early?”

Professor Nick was the first to speak. “We just couldn’t wait, Mr. Lucky!”

Amorphous Blob chimed in next. “We were up all night writing!” He thrust his pages at Mister Lucky, who failed to catch them and instead opted to stare at them as they fell to the floor.

“That’s, uh, that’s great, boys. But why come tell me…so early in the morning?”

“Because we wanted you to check them over for us!” said Professor Nick, his chubby form shaking with excitement. “Here, please read mine first! I think you’ll enjoy it. It’s an essay about a great work of literature that’s often overlooked by the educational elite. The internet babes should love it!”

Mister Lucky reached out a trembling hand and took the pages from Nick. “All right. Sure.” He glanced at Hamilton, who returned a sympathetic look. “Let’s see what you’ve got, Nick.”

***

Slaughter-House Five: An Award-Worthy Essay Deserving of Publishment in Your Esteemed Journal

By Professor Nick

Good morning, gentlemen. I say “good morning” because I assume you’ve received this splendid essay in the morning and are, likewise, perusing it during the morning hours of the day on which it was received or a day much like it thereafter. If this is not the case, please note that my “good morning” may just as well be received as “good afternoon”, “good evening”, or “good night”, if the reader just so happens to take his work home to read it there. Regardless, I extend a healthy and hearty “good variable time of the day” to whomever may be reading this. With the pleasantries out of the way, I take us into the work at large: an essay about the novel by author Kurt Vonnegut entitled Slaughter-House Five. To say that this essay has a thesis would be a gross inconsistency, for it has not one thesis, but more than one thesis — the plural, which happens to be “thesises”. That is what makes this an award-worthy essay, as the title suggests.

But before getting to that, the author would like to address in third person an issue that will no doubt plague the reader. The author of this essay is, indeed, a professor of English at an accredited university. The reader no doubt wonders which university The author says to the reader now that the author is, first and foremost, on an extended, indefinite sabbatical and therefore refuses vehemently to discuss work. The very real fear also exists that, if the author were to reveal the name of the university that employs him, said university would become so inundated with applications that said university would cease to be known as “accredited”. Thus, the university shall remain unnamed. Rest assured that it is an accredited university, though, and because of this fact, the author is not simply writing an essay to this literary magazine in an attempt to earn this particular magazine’s contractual royalty of three-hundred dollars from the printing of this essay in both next month’s issue and any other issue thereafter. Rest also assured that the author will meet the declared requirement of an essay numbering no less than one thousand one hundred words as stated by the magazine’s open submission policy.

But, you, dear reader, aren’t here for information on the author of this essay. No, you’re here for an essay concerning the author Kurt Vonnegut’s work entitled Slaughter-House Five. In order to truly understand the work, one must first look at the work as it stands in book form. My particular copy, a recent printing, has a brown covered adorned with a dark red “V” behind the words of the title. One can only assume that the “V” stands for “victory”, as Slaughter-House Five is a victory for author Kurt Vonnegut in the realm of literature.

But just what makes Kurt’s work so wonderful, deep, and rich with literary flavor? Look no further than the title, dear reader. Slaughter-House Five as a title immediately conjures mental images of the wonderland of meat that is a slaughterhouse. Cows, pigs, chickens, and cheese all gather in this house of slaughter to fill our bellies with deliciously delectable delicacies, dear reader. Thus, we can gather from the title that the book is truly about one of these magical buildings. From the word “five”, we can, on the surface, surmise that the aforementioned slaughterhouse is the fifth slaughterhouse in a string of slaughterhouses. But there are so many more meanings to the word “five”. For instance, in economic theory, there are five nickels in every quarter. Numerology teaches us that there are five days in a week. Geology shows us that five lines create a hexagon. The possibilities are endless.

And what of the characters and the plot? Well, fear not, dear reader, for I refuse to spoil any of the book for you by talking at length about plot. To rob you, the reader, of such an opportunity to enjoy this book would be an act so criminal that to do such a thing would and should cause me to be locked away for a very long time. So, I instead turn to the summary on the back of the book to help me give a spoiler-free analysis.

Kurt Vonnegut’s tale of slaughterhouses in sequences of five would not be complete without the inclusion of a character known as Billy Pilgrim. Indeed, Vonnegut’s immortal Billy Pilgrim proves that one doesn’t need to be Billy Shakespeare in order to write great works such as Omelet, MacDuck, or Othello — the last of which remains to this day the single most confusing board game I‘ve ever played, even if the immoral bard was commissioned to write the instruction manual by Parker Brothers. Indeed, Kurt Vonnegut is not Shakespeare at all, yet his novel entitled Slaughter-House Five is possibly the best written work in modern history. But back to Billy Pilgrim.

Just who is Billy Pilgrim? This is a question best answered not by using the text, but rather by looking into the history of the name itself. As we all know, pilgrims are people who left Europe in order to discover the United States. These brave adventurers, known far and wide for their love of turkey, mashed potatoes, muskets, and dark hats and coats, became crestfallen when they instead discovered the West Indies during their many voyages. They decided to return home to their families once they received word that the Indians had made peace with them, and thus the first Thanksgiving was born. And, indeed, we, too, should remember to give thanks for Kurt Vonnegut and his fantastic novel. That, I believe, is one of Kurt’s messages.

Though the book is certainly very, very good, it is not without its flaws. One such flaw that I can find is that it’s much too short. My particular edition is only a couple hundred pages. Kurt Vonnegut is such a talented writer that he could have written a couple hundred pages more and I would have been just as riveted as I was when I read the shortened, actual version. This is a small gripe, however.

In conclusion, this very, very, very, very deep work is both filled with depth and filled with meaning. From the plot to the memorable character that is Bill Pillsbury, Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughter-House Five remains one of the best novels of our age. So good is it that accolades detailing how good Slaughter-House Five is can fill a one thousand one hundred word essay — which is a very long essay. This author highly recommends it. With that, I conclude my essay.

***

“Now do mine!” shouted Amorphous Blob, who floated forward and slammed his document onto the table the instant Mister Lucky had finished with Professor Nick’s essay. “It’s an excerpt of my memoirs — or, as they say in France, ‘memoirs’.”

Mister Lucky blinked, lifted his glasses, and rubbed his eyes. “But — but I haven’t recovered from Nick’s yet!”

Professor Nick’s pudgy face beamed. “It had that much of an impact?”

“I didn’t say — ”

“Mine is about my illustrious lifestyle!” interrupted Blob. “Unlike Nick’s failure of a paper, my work will bring a tear to the eye and a lady to my bedroom.”

Mister Lucky adjusted his glasses, shot Hamilton and uncomfortable glance, and looked at the sheet of paper before him. “I’ve no doubt that your paper will do the former, Blob. All right, let’s get this over with.”

***

My Time Is Now: Memoirs of a Blob

By Amorphous Blob

An Excerpt

By this time, my mother Martha had fully recovered from her late-night liaison five fortnights prior (that’s ten weeks or two and a half months for those who can’t tell time) and was planning her wedding to my foster father, a man by the name of George Washington. Martha and George were very much in love and, growing up in the prim and proper setting of colonial America, held very old-fashioned values. That’s why it came as a surprise to them both when Martha found out from her gynecologist, the infamous Doc Holiday, that she was with child.

“But how can this be?” asked my mother, shocked.

“Do you really want me to explain it to you?” Doc Holiday replied, posing his own question.

“I mean that I’m a virgin,” said my mother, “and as a virgin, it is impossible for me to be pregnant.”

My mother, sensing Doc Holiday’s disbelief, explained the process by which a human female may become impregnated by a human male. Horrified, Doc Holiday immediately questioned Martha as to the circumstances under which she may have become pregnant, which she promptly explained. By now the reader knows all about the fateful night that Uncle Sam, the spirit of the United States, yankee-doodled inside of my mother with his ephemeral penis and patriotic seed — so I shall not repeat that sequence here. It will shock and awe the reader to know, however, that when my mother’s hymen was inspected by Doc Holiday, he indeed found it to be broken. Knowing that forces greater than himself were at work, Doc Holiday agreed to keep the sacred pregnancy a secret. George Washington, likewise, agreed to keep Martha’s secret. This is significant, reader, because although it was within George Washington’s legal right to beat Martha within an inch of her life for carrying a national spirit’s progeny, my foster father knew that the very nature of the child within my mother Martha’s womb was rife with greatness. He was also a part of a diabolical cabal called the “Freemasons”, and saw Martha’s child as the means by which to conjure Satan and usher in the new Satanic order.

So it came to pass that Martha grew fat and emotional with the pregnancy, and finally the time came to have the child. Being a woman with eclectic taste, Martha wanted to have her child in a location befitting the auspicious birth. Thinking only of his fiancée (they were as yet unmarried because my mother did not want to look pregnant in her wedding dress) and of his evil lord and master Lucifer, George rented a white stallion and, with Martha, they both rode off into the desert in search of Las Vegas. The desert, as many now know, is quite devoid of water. It is important to note that back in the early nineteen forties, though, science was not as advanced as it is today, so such facts were not yet known. As can be expected, the nights were long and the days were hot as the desert sun beat down on Martha and George. But the white stallion led them onward, guiding the couple through sand storms, floods, and hurricanes. Just why or how the stallion achieved this is unknown, though some historians now speculate that the horse may have been Uncle Sam in the form of a stallion — or Satan in the form of Uncle Sam taking the shape of a horse.

Whether Uncle Sam or Satan or just a horse, the stallion eventually delivered the couple to the outskirts of Las Vegas — and just in time. My mother’s water broke as dusk fell, and George was left with no choice but to deliver the child himself inside of the barn where Billy the Kid was shot. Though my foster father could find no bed, it was a known scientific truth of the time that hay covered in goat spittle created suitable bedding, so George did the best he could for his Martha by feeding some hay to goats, then forming a makeshift mattress with the leftovers. After making Martha comfortable, George and Martha waited for the baby to arrive. While waiting, George Washington looked up into the sky and noticed that a blinking star — what astronomers now know as Algol — hung low in the sky over the little barn. Some American mythology states that George Washington mistook the star for the body of Belial himself, and only then did he decide to found the United States. Mythology to some, but I tell you now — it is fact.

The night was soon filled with intense labor until about three o’clock on the morning of July 25, when the magnificent creature that is me was born. I was named Amorphous Blob, Blob being the maiden name of my foster father’s mother. Mere hours after my glorious birth, three wise men from the American frontier appeared. Readers may recognize their names as being synonymous with the American Revolution: Strom Thurmond, Ric Flair, and Mother Theresa. Each carried an exquisite gift. The wise men told us that they were sent by Uncle Sam to welcome his son to Earth and that they could find his son by following the winking star. Upon seeing me, the three were taken aback with such awe and majesty that they laid before me gifts of gold, cash, and credit. The star above twinkled and went dark, obviously in a show of good faith and gratitude. The star was pleased, and so was I.

***

Mister Lucky stared at the paper for a moment, looked up at the stoic Hamilton, then at the two man-children before him.

“So, how good was it?” posed Amorphous Blob.

“You liked mine better, didn‘t you?” asked Professor Nick with a grin, shaking the spire with his girth as he hopped around like an obese rabbit with Down’s Syndrome.

“Obviously, Mister Lucky likes mine more,” said Amorphous Blob as he pushed Professor Nick to the ground while the overweight educator was in mid-leap. “Did you see how his mouth dropped when he looked at mine?” The half-moon glasses sitting upon the writhing goo of his face twitched slightly.

Professor Nick rolled on the floor like a turtle on its shell. Nick grabbed the side of the kitchen table, only succeeding in tipping it over as opposed to pulling himself up. “But Mister Lucky’s eyebrow cocked while reading through my masterfully written essay,” said Professor Nick through clenched teeth as he attempted in vain to tear off his clothes, now stained with the boiling contents of the pot of coffee that sat upon the kitchen table.

Mister Lucky closed his eyes, lowered his head, and placed his thumb and index finger to the bridge of his nose. He inhaled sharply, and exhaled in a long, drawn-out sigh. Suddenly, he held out his hand and turned to Professor Nick. “You — ” Nick grabbed Mister Lucky’s hand and pulled, to which Mister Lucky responded by drawing his hand back. “Don’t touch me,” snapped Mister Lucky, “and don’t interrupt. You wrote — gosh, there are no words. You, uh, certainly wrote something the likes of which I‘ve never read before!”

Professor Nick’s face lit up. He turned to Blob. “See? I wrote something original!”

Mister Lucky then turned to Amorphous Blob. “And you,” Mister Lucky shouted with a maniacal grin on his face and poking Blob’s goo with his bony finger, “you wrote an abominaton — or, as the French would say, ‘abomination’!”

Amorphous Blob’s goo wrinkled and wiggled. “It…it was that good?!” Blob screeched. Like Nick before him, Blob jumped around the room, squishing and leaving a trail of moisture as he went.

Mister Lucky once again placed his fingers to the bridge of his nose and sighed. As Blob and Nick — now upright — celebrated by smashing glass vases against the floor, Mister Lucky sincerely wished to be elsewhere. He wagered Hamilton felt the same way, though the butler said nothing as he followed the two with a dustpan and brush. Mister Lucky absent-mindedly tossed his depressed gaze to the newspaper that lay on the floor and stared at the headline he had read prior to Nick and Blob’s intrusion on his morning routine. Suddenly, like a brick to the testicles, an idea came to Mister Lucky.

“Boys, stop for a minute.”

The two man-children stopped their celebratory destruction and looked at Mister Lucky with blank, vapid expressions.

Mister Lucky cleared his throat, adjusted his bowtie, and stood up from his chair. He stepped over broken glass and put his arms around both Blob and Nick, being careful not to actually touch either of them. “Have you two thought of publishing these, uh, unique works?”

Amorphous Blob and Professor Nick looked at each other, then back at Mister Lucky. In unison, they replied with an unsure “Yes.”

Mister Lucky smiled. “Well, today’s your lucky day! See, I know of a swell publishing company that’s accepting submissions right now!” Mister Lucky looked back at Hamilton and was greeted with a disapproving glance. Ignoring it, Mister Lucky continued. “But wait, there’s more! Even if they don’t accept your work the first time, I think you should continue submitting work after work to them! Without me checking it over!”

Professor Nick struggled to turn his head backwards so that he could look at Mister Lucky, but to no avail. “You mean, our writing has evolved to such a point of quality that we can write and submit without your approval?”

“That’s exactly what I mean,” said Mister Lucky, his voice slightly cracking. “Now run off to your rooms and keep writing. You mustn’t keep your public waiting! And don‘t worry about submitting your stuff to the publisher. I‘ll make out the envelope and get it into the mail today.”

Amorphous Blob and Professor Nick walked to the doorway, turned to look at Mister Lucky and Hamilton, then turned to each other.

“Oh, the internet babes will love me!” exclaimed Professor Nick as he sprinted down the hall.

“Not if they fall in love with me first!” shouted Blob, who floated close behind.

Mister Lucky sighed once again and walked to his chair. Hamilton picked up the table and disappeared into the kitchen with the coffee pot. A moment later, the butler returned, placed a new mug on the table, and poured Mister Lucky some of the scolding black liquid.

“Sir, if I may speak freely — ”

Mister Lucky held up his hand. “You don’t have to say it, Roddy.” He took a sip of his coffee and continued. “But the fact of the matter is that I killed two, maybe even three birds with one stone today, and it isn’t even noon yet.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Petty as it may seem, I promised they’d get theirs — and I’ll take my victories where I can get them.”

Hamilton bowed in acknowledgement and stepped back to his position near the china cabinet as Mister Lucky flipped through the pages of the newspaper. It had indeed been a productive day thus far — and it wasn’t even noon yet.

Posted in Fiction | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Three Gentlemen and the Spire

Posted by meekrat on July 12, 2010

Amorphous Blob and Professor Nick walked down the street. Truthfully, they didn’t walk. Amorphous Blob slithered, nodding to the other pedestrians and frightening at least one man working a hot dog cart. Professor Nick clutched a letter to his chest, nervously looking back and forth, trying to make it seem like he wasn’t afraid at all. Blob turned to Nick, or at least the half-moon glasses that were stuck into the area that was probably Blob’s face did, and a voice emanated from his gelatinous form.

“Who’s the letter for again?” asked Blob, nodding at a passing cat. The cat arched his back and hissed, then darted into an alleyway.

Professor Nick coughed and held out the letter, quickly pulling it back towards his body. “LeVar Burton.”

“Explain to me why again,” said Blob, as a gaggle of schoolchildren stopped in their tracks and watched him pass.

“He does a program called ‘Reading Rainbow’ which features children’s books. My letter details why he should do a similar program featuring adult literature. Perhaps some of the more racy material. I’m sure one of the cable stations would pick it up.”

Blob looked down for a minute, somehow managing to convey worry with his featureless face. “That does sound like a pretty decent idea.”

Nick grinned stupidly. “I know! I got the idea late last night, after turning on the a cable station whose programming supposedly had to do with books. If the material they were showing ever knew the beauty of a printed page, I’d be very surprised. Quite ribald, you know! So after the program, which I of course watched all of just in case it eventually had to do with literature, I wrote this letter and set out to mail it.”

“It must be important. I mean, you could have sent an e-mail, or put the letter in a closer mailbox.”

Professor Nick stopped in his tracks, his hands going limply to his sides but still tightly grasping the letter. He turned slowly towards a nearby mailbox and quickly walked to it and deposited the letter. He turned and raised a single finger, but before he could boast about his great achievement of mailing the letter, a man emerged from the alleyway carrying a worn book and a stopped-up bottle of ink. He wore a ruff around his neck.

“Pardon me, good sir,” said the man. “Might you be able to spare some change?”

Professor Nick jumped and turned quickly while Blob watched in amusement.

“You see, good fellow,” the homeless Elizabethan continued in spite of his frightened audience, “I’m on holiday and I’ve been forcibly evicted from my vacation boxcar by an accursed parakeet the size of a fully grown man, and while I’ll be able to sneak back onto it before it leaves, I must wait for near a week. To be honest, I’m rather shocked the brutish cryptid followed me all the way here.”

Professor Nick, entirely dumbfounded at being accosted by a hobo, simply stared at the man. Amorphous Blob, made of sterner stuff, slithered towards the pair and leaned in more closely to look at the man.

“I recognize him,” said Blob.

“I need only some change to get me through this week,” continued the man.

“Who is he, then?” posited Nick, turning from the hobo.

“He’s on the cover of that book of yours. The one you use to keep the papers on your desk from blowing all over the place,” said Blob.

Professor Nick’s brow furrowed with the effort of remembrance, and slowly realized who Blob was talking about. “You mean William Shakespeare?”

“Yes!” cried Blob. “A little motley, maybe, but that’s him!”

“Is this true?” asked Nick, turning to the hobo.

The homeless stranger sighed. “Some have called me motley, to be sure, and still others have called me Shakespeare. If you would be so kind as to give me some change, I’d be most grateful.”

“Nonsense!” exclaimed Professor Nick. “I had a feeling that today would be a momentous day for the Archaic English Society, and indeed it is! You see, I knew that if we traveled far enough to deliver my letter, we would find something worth our while! And indeed we have, for we have found the immoral bard, William Shakespeare!”

“That’s ‘immortal’, you ninny,” corrected Blob.

“Whatever!” snapped Nick. “The fact still remains that we have found him!”

Shakespeare frowned. “I’m afraid that — ”

“We have to take him back to the Spire,” interrupted Amorphous Blob. “We’re the Archaic English Society. We have to.”

Shakespeare pondered this and nodded. “Indeed, though I stress that I must return to my boxcar by week’s end.”

“Boxcar must mean writing,” said Professor Nick out loud to Amorphous Blob. He turned back to Motley Shakespeare. “You can write as much as you want, back in the Spire.”

With that, the trio began walking back to their home.

*

The Spire stood in the middle of a clearing in the middle of a wooded area, a medieval tower in the middle of a modern day metropolis. Within it was the world’s best kept secret, a library which rivaled that of ancient Alexandria. However, it was terribly unorganized, and those that lived within its walls hadn’t done anything to remedy this in years, perhaps decades. Currently, three of its residents stood in its main hall, standing over a broken urn.

“I don’t even know how old that thing was,” said a tall thin man in a brown tweed suit. “It’s been here for years and you break it like it was some knick-knack from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. How did you even break it?”

A gangly youth in a Purple Lamp t-shirt looked down at his shoes and mumbled something.

“What was that?”

“I said I was pretending to be Purple Lamp, Mister Lucky, and I broke the urn.”

“Very good, Matt. Well, not good, but you know. Honest. That’s important. Right, Hamilton?”

Hamilton, an elderly butler, said simply, “Certainly, sir.”

“Go fetch Matt a broom and dustpan so he can sweep up this once priceless masterpiece. If you’re feeling industrious, help him glue it back together. It may be useless now, but we can at least make it look halfway decent again.”

“Very good, sir,” Hamilton nodded. “Come along, young Master Omley.”

As Hamilton led Matt away, Mister Lucky turned towards the front door and sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose, “I swear, dealing with the Nantucket Dragon Group was easier than dealing with these yahoos day-in and day-out. Which reminds me, I haven’t seen the two biggest yahoos all day. That can only mean trouble.”

As if on cue, the front door opened, and Professor Nick and Amorphous Blob entered. Mister Lucky quickly ducked behind a pedestal and looked into a well-polished shield that he had carefully placed shortly after arriving at the Spire — well before the days of Professor Nick and Professor Blob. Mister Lucky ruminated on the Archaic English Society’s uncanny ability to draw trouble to itself like flies to honey and he sighed. With a heavy heart, he watched as the pair looked around with what they obviously thought was finesse, and brought in a third party. It took Mister Lucky only a moment to see the figure’s resemblance to Shakespeare, and only a moment more to realize it was a hobo moderately well-known as Motley Shakespeare. Another moment allowed him to realize that Professor Nick and Amorphous Blob had obviously thought this was somehow the real deal, but that was all right, because another moment allowed Mister Lucky to come up with a plan of attack. He waited until Blob, Nick, and Motley Shakespeare walked into the hall before stepping behind them.

“Hey there, boys, I see you brought us a guest,” said Mister Lucky.

All three stopped in their tracks, but to their credit, Nick and Blob quickly regained their composure.

“Look who we found, Mister Lucky!” exclaimed Nick, spinning Motley Shakespeare around.

“I see you found Shakespeare,” said Mister Lucky, who had decided to do nothing about this.

Motley Shakespeare frowned. “I’m not — ”

“Of course you’re Shakespeare, and I’m sure Blob and Nick wouldn’t mind letting you use their spare room until your train leaves,” said Mister Lucky, winking to Motley Shakespeare.

Motley Shakespeare opened his mouth to say something, but upon seeing Mister Lucky’s wink and hearing his offer, decided that discretion would be the better part of valor — and so would sleeping in an actual bed. Amorphous Blob and Professor Nick also opened their mouths to say something, but unlike Motley Shakespeare, allowed words to spew forth.

“That’s our room for ladies!” cried Professor Nick.

“Yeah, what about our multitude of lady callers?” agreed Amorphous Blob.

“We can’t possibly have lady company if we don’t have a spare room!” added Nick.

They continued on like this for nearly half an hour, all the while Mister Lucky smirked at them. Motley Shakespeare watched the man withstand the bombardment of angry outcries, and a small smile slowly crossed his face.

“They doth protest too much about ladies,” said Motley Shakespeare.

Blob and Nick stopped for a moment, looked at him, and then continued their protests. Mister Lucky had had enough, however, and raised a hand.

“Now, boys, I won’t hear anything more on the subject. Motley Shakespeare is staying in your room, and that’s final. Ah, here’s Matt and Hamilton. Look, we have a guest! It’s Shakespeare!”

Matt Omley’s face flashed with recognition, a sight not often witnessed by many. “One time I read that the story where Purple Lamp’s uncle tried to kill him was based on one of your plays, Mister Shakespeare! But then Big Yellow showed up and tried to kill him, too, but then Purple Lamp was all like, ‘No one is dying here today!’ and he stopped Big Yellow and his uncle but then Big Yellow killed his uncle anyway, so Big Yellow killed himself, but his uncle wasn’t really dead, and Big Yellow wasn’t really dead either, but kept demanding a pound of flesh. Oh, and then Purple Lamp fought some witches. I don’t remember the name of the play.”

“I do,” said Professor Nick, “‘West Side Story’, I believe!”

“Don’t be stupid,” scoffed Amorphous Blob. “It was ‘Waiting for Godot’, obviously.”

Mister Lucky and Hamilton stared at the three other members of the Archaic English Society, both quickly deciding not to get involved. One thing was troubling Mister Lucky, though.

“What took you and Matt so long to come back?” asked Mister Lucky. “And why don’t you have a broom?”

Displeasure swept Hamilton as he related the story. “When we went to the basement, Master Omley started reenacting another of his comic book fantasies. Needless to say, the kitchen is now quite a mess. It will take me until dinner to set right.”

“What about the urn?” said Mister Lucky.

“With all due respect,” replied Hamilton, “I am less concerned about the urn and more concerned about the fact that all my pots and pans are strewn about the kitchen. The urn will remain broken until then.”

Mister Lucky nodded. “Good point. Sorry about that. After dinner, bring up that dustpan and broom. Matt needs to clean up his mess.”

Hamilton bowed slightly. “Certainly, Mister Lucky, and while I have no doubt that I need not point this out, our guest has vanished.”

Hamilton walked back to his kitchen, and Mister Lucky turned. The Archaic English Society was still arguing about what play the Purple Lamp story referenced. Sure enough, Motley Shakespeare was nowhere to be seen. Mister Lucky let out a heavy sigh.

“You could ask the man himself,” said Mister Lucky.

“Yes, yes, I was just about to suggest that,” said Professor Nick. “Now then, Mister Shakespeare, which play… hold on, where is he?”

“Go find him, boys,” instructed Mister Lucky. “If you don’t find him before dinner, no dessert for you.”

Professor Nick, Amorphous Blob, and Matt Omley all stopped and turned to Mister Lucky, their lips quivering.

“You mean… no pie?” asked Matt Omley, on the verge of tears. “But I need pie.”

“We all need our pie,” said Professor Nick. “We must find our friend, the beloved bard! Onward, men!”

Mister Lucky watched as the Archaic English Society tromped off to find the hobo.

*

“If you were the immortal bard, Nick, where would be the first place you’d go?” asked Professor Nick, who had donned a pith helmet and obtained a magnifying glass. He had been unable to find his deerskin cap and did not know that Amorphous Blob had burned it months before.

Matt Omley tapped his foot and looked at the ceiling. “I’d go to a bard cage.”

“You idiot,” said Amorphous Blob, “why would he go to a cage? That’s just dumb.”

“Now, now, we all know Matt is dumb, but let’s stick to task,” said Professor Nick, ever the voice of reason. “Pie is at stake!”

Amorphous Blob conceded. “Right. Right. Pie. From the way he smelled, I’d go to the bathroom and take a shower.”

“I though that’s how they always smelled in those days,” said Nick.

“In those days, yes,” replied Blob, “but he probably sensed that most of us are refined gentlemen. He sensed the need for cleanliness.”

Matt opened a door he was standing next to, stuck his head inside, and pulled it back out. “No Shakespeare in here.”

“Well, there goes that theory,” said Nick. “Perhaps we should check another bathroom?”

“If he wasn’t in that bathroom, then I really don’t think he’d be in another,” said Blob.

“Perhaps the library?” posited Nick.

“Maybe,” conceded Blob after a few moments of consideration.

“To the library!”

Professor Nick led the charge, and the trio made their way to the library. Upon opening the door, the three were assaulted by the acrid odor of dust on yellowing book paper. The room itself was a veritable labyrinth filled with books upon bookshelves, very few of which were in any sort of order, each one looking to be exactly as the last, extending endlessly in all directions. The only landmark in this library, a small shelf with several long-boxes filled with Purple Lamp comics upon it, sat across from the trio.

“We should be careful in here,” said Professor Nick. “Remember Harry?”

The other two looked down mournfully, and Blob said, “Poor Harry. He never had a chance.”

“In one Purple Lamp story,” began Matt, his perpetually blank face holding his trademark blank expression, “he had to fight Big Yellow in a giant maze, but Big Yellow made it so he couldn’t fly, and he kept trying to find out what to do, so he made a giant ball of string with his lamp and used it to find his way.”

“The universe must be ending,” said Blob, surprised. “You two have both had decent ideas today, though the only problem with Matt’s is that we don’t have a ball of yarn or anything. What do we use for a trail?”

“Purple Lamp would know what to do,” said Matt.

The eyes of Blob and Nick met, and slowly settled upon the long-boxes. Matt followed their gaze and a look of horror fell upon his face.

“We can’t!” screeched Matt. He ran to the boxes and threw his arms around one. “It’s Purple Lamp!”

“Don’t be so selfish,” snapped Blob. “If the plan works, then you can just pick them up on the way back. It’ll work out fine.”

“I guess so,” said Matt, allowing his arms to drop from the box.

“Excellent,” said Professor Nick. He was already holding one of the long-boxes. “Matt, get another!”

Matt begrudgingly did so, and the trio set off into the shelves. Up and down they walked, weaving between them, slowly making their way deeper and deeper into the library. Some time later, Professor Nick, terribly sweaty and out-of-breath, held out his hand and bent over.

“Stop for a moment, lads.” he said, between gasps. “How’s your box holding up, Matt?”

“It’s still full,” said Matt, happily. “I still have all my comics!”

“That’s good,” said Nick. Then, the cold hand of harsh realization gripped him. “Hold on, it’s still full?”

“Yep.”

Nick’s face twisted into a mask of sheer terror. Amorphous Blob deflated slightly.

“You were supposed to put the comics on the ground so we could find our way back,” stated Nick, his voice quivering weakly.

“I know,” said Matt.

“Then why didn’t you?” said Nick, his voice gaining in volume and steadiness. “For the love of God, why didn’t you?!”

“I didn’t want to,” said Matt matter-of-factly.

“We’re going to end up like Harry,” sobbed Blob. “Like poor, poor Harry!”

As Matt slowly began to realize the error of his ways, he sat down upon the dust-covered floor and rocked back-and-forth, hugging his knees. “I don’t want to be like Harry. Oh, no. I don’t want to be like Harry!”

“I don’t want to miss pie!” cried Blob.

“All because of Shakespeare,” Nick rasped between clenched teeth. “All because of Shakespeare.”

“Yes?” called Motley Shakespeare, coming out from between two rows.

“You’ve doomed us all!” shouted Nick, poking Motley Shakespeare in the chest. “We’re all going to end up like Harry!”

“I know not this Harry, but I saw the labyrinthine nature of this library and took measures,” said Motley Shakespeare, pointing to a smudge of ink on a shelf.

“You’ve saved us all!” shouted Nick, hugging Motley Shakespeare. “We’re not going to end up like Harry! And, furthermore, we’re going to get pie!”

Motley Shakespeare’s eyes widened. “Pie?”

“Yes,” replied Blob dreamily. “Wonderful pie.”

*

A week later, Matt glued the final pieces of the urn back together under Hamilton’s approving gaze. Motley Shakespeare, with a bindle, stood in the main hall with Mister Lucky, Professor Nick, and Amorphous Blob.

“I must thank you again for your kindness,” said Motley Shakespeare. “This past week has been not unlike the serendipity of — ”

“Stop it with the flowery language,” said Blob. “Just stop it and leave!”

“Yes!” agreed Nick vehemently. “I’ve had more than enough of you as well, Shakespeare! You and your language and your using our lady room. Get out of here!”

Motley Shakespeare looked at them and blinked, watching as they stomped off. Professor Nick punched and re-broke the urn on his way out, causing Hamilton to close his eyes for a brief moment and sigh. Mister Lucky placed his hand upon Motley Shakespeare’s shoulder.

“Don’t worry about them,” Mister Lucky reassured. “They get into these moods.”

“I worry not. I just thank you for your kindness. Now I must off, to regain my boxcar!”

Mister Lucky handed Motley Shakespeare a towel. “You should always know where your towel is. Besides, did you know you can make a parakeet fall asleep by putting something over its cage? Useful information, I think.”

Motley Shakespeare took this in and nodded, putting the towel in his bindle as he walked out. Mister Lucky sighed and looked back at the Society, allowing a small smile to cross his face. Then he heard something crashing, and shuddered. There was never a dull moment for the Archaic English Society.

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MMM Event #57: Resolution

Posted by meekrat on June 8, 2010

View the intro here.

Mister Lucky: What’s your game this time, Agent Villain?
[Agent Villain, while in his fighting stance, slides a knife from a small scabbard at his side. He grips the handle of the knife — a pure gold cobra’s head encrusted with rubies for eyes — in his black gloved hand and waves it menacingly.]
Agent Villain: This is no game, Lucky…
[Agent Villain presses the button of a remote control that’s attached to his belt. A loud rumble and the sound of sandstone scraping against sandstone fills the room. Mister Lucky looks up and sees that the ceiling, covered in metal spikes, has begun to descend.]
Agent Villain: …but I won’t deny that killing you will be fun.
Mister Lucky: Tough talk, Agent Villain. Let’s see if you can back it up!
[Mister Lucky launches himself forward and dives at Agent Villain with a right hook. Agent Villain blocks with his elbow and thrusts his own fist upward into Mister Lucky’s abdomen. Mister Lucky rears back in pain, and Agent Villain forward with his knife, attempting to catch Mister Lucky in the stomach. Mister Lucky blocks the knife by pulling his knee up, placing him in the perfect position to crane-kick Agent Villain in the face. The kick hits Agent Villain squarely in the jaw, knocking him to the ground. Agent Villain looks up at the ceiling, then at the ridges in the pillars. Instantly he notices that the ceiling is descending faster than initially anticipated. For the merest instant, a look approximating panic creeps over Agent Villain’s face. Mister Lucky takes note and looks up at the ceiling himself.]
Mister Lucky: Problem?
[Agent Villain looks back at Mister Lucky and sneers. From his position on the ground, Agent Villain is able to swing his leg into the back of Mister Lucky’s knees, causing them to buckle. Mister Lucky falls to the ground hard on his stomach. Agent Villain leaps up and kicks Mister Lucky in the stomach, causing Mister Lucky to roll over. He places his foot on Mister Lucky‘s neck.]
Agent Villain: Only for you, I’m afraid.
[Through the back, Toddo enters the room. He looks up at the now-rapidly falling ceiling, then at the melee occurring before him. Toddo ducks behind a sandstone pillar as Mister Lucky punches Agent Villain in the shin, causing him to pull his foot from Mister Lucky’s neck. Mister Lucky coughs and gasps for air, then rolls backwards and assumes a fighting position once more. Agent Villain assumes his original fighting stance.]
Mister Lucky: It’s the ceiling isn’t it? It’s coming down faster than you thought it would.
Agent Villain: A mere malfunction — though how, I’m not certain. The programming was perfect. Regardless, it won’t matter much longer, will it? Not for you —
[The dust resulting from the scraping sandstone causes Toddo to sneeze. Both Agent Villain and Mister Lucky turn towards the pillar behind which Toddo is hiding as Toddo steps out and, noticing the two looking at him, smiles sheepishly. Agent Villain sees his opportunity.]
Agent Villain: No one likes an eavesdropper, especially one wearing a ridiculous elf-hat.
Mister Lucky: Toddo! Get out of here! Now!
[Toddo does not process Mister Lucky’s words as he is distracted by the glint the sees in his peripheral vision. Toddo turns to Agent Villain just in time to see the knife leave Agent Villain’s hand. Time seems to slow for Toddo as the cobra-handled blade follows its trajectory, the point heading right for Toddo’s head. By the time Toddo realizes that his life was ever in danger, he sees the prone form of Mister Lucky lying before him in a pool of blood, the dagger sticking out of his chest. And by the time he realizes that Mister Lucky jumped in front of the blade to save his life, Toddo’s eyes are filled with tears.]
Toddo: Mister Lucky!
Agent Villain: Looks like his luck ran out.
[Mister Lucky pushes himself up on one knee, wobbling the whole way. Blood trickles form the corner of his mouth. He struggles to speak.]
Mister Lucky: I’m… I’m not done for… yet. We… finish this… today.
[Agent Villain grins at Mister Lucky like a cougar ready to eat its next meal.]
Agent Villain: Very well. I’ve never been one to deny a dying man his final wish.
[Outside the remainder of Cinco de Mayo and Thomas Iavi are joined by Lamp Prime and the Stupid.]
Lamp Prime: Hey, guys. How’s it going?
Thomas Iavi: I think we ran into a bit of a snag.
The Stupid: Haha, I’m sure you have! I saw the robot being taken away from here. Snag indeed!
[Their conversation is interrupted by crash of the ceiling slamming into the floor. Dust spews forth from the openings in the room, making the area surrounding the end of the corridor hard to see.]
Lamp Prime: What was that?
The Stupid: That was the sound of one of my champions performing his task perfectly.
Lamp Prime: What?
[Toddo’s silhouette can be seen through the dust cloud. As he walks forward, his sobs become more and more audible.]
Jerald: Toddo! [to the Stupid, angry] I swear, if he’s been harmed —
The Stupid: Don’t make threats you know you can’t back up, old man.
[Jerald grunts in frustration and runs to Toddo, who is covered in dust and crying.]
Jerald: What’s the matter, my boy? Are you okay?
Toddo: [between sobs] I’m fine, but Mister Lucky — he… he got stabbed trying to save me!
[The Stupid grins wide at this news.]
Toddo: [still sobbing] And the spiked ceiling kept falling faster and faster, and… and Agent Villain said something about a malfunction!
[The Stupid’s grin fades.]
Toddo: They were both still inside when I ran out! Mister Lucky was hurt real bad, Jerald! I think Agent Villain tried to save him, but they both got caught in the room!
[Toddo cries and hides his face in Jerald’s sleeve. Charlotte and Glob the Blob walk up to them and attempt to help comfort Toddo.]
Lamp Prime: [to the Stupid] Good job, genius. Now two of our best contenders are dead!
The Stupid: Don’t blame me. You heard the child. Something went awry.
Lamp Prime: Something went…? It’s a little worse than that! I mean, no one was supposed to DIE during this!
Iavi: What about all the innocent normals that’ve been killed as a result of Deity Guy’s events involving Free Comic Book Day Man?
The Stupid: That’s a good point. Also, killing people kind of fits with what most of my guys do.
Lamp Prime: Ugh! Fine! I guess people WERE supposed to die, but not anyone who actually MATTERS! God, this is depressing!
[From the side entrance, Charlie Charleston dances into the arena and up to the Stupid.]
Charlie Charleston: [smiling stupidly] I overheard you fellas talkin’ about Agent Villain. He got a raw deal. Anyway, I guess that means I win, huh?
The Stupid: Uh… no, actually.
Lamp Prime: Yeah. At least, not yet.
[The smile fades from Charlie Charleston’s face and transforms into a scowl. He stops dancing and stares at the embodiments. There is a moment of silence before he speaks, taking care to properly enunciate every word.]
Charlie Charleston: What do you mean, “not yet”?
Lamp Prime: Something about this seems a little… off.
The Stupid: Agent Villain apparently mentioned that there was a malfunction before he and Mister Lucky were crushed beneath the falling spiked ceiling. It seems as though someone may have tampered with the mechanism.
Lamp Prime: Either way, there will need to be an investigation.
[Charlie Charleston breathes heavily with anger as steam escapes from his ears. His face becomes a bright red before he opens his mouth to speak.]
Charlie Charleston: An investigation? An investigation?! Why does there need to be an investigation?! I’ll solve the mystery for you! I tampered with the ceiling! I’m responsible for the deaths of Mister Lucky and Agent Villain! [punches himself in the chest] Me!
Lamp Prime: [laughing] That’s what we love about you, Charlie. You’re always such a kidder.
The Stupid: You actually want us to believe that you sabotaged the event? That’s a good one. Even so, the investigation stands.
Charlie Charleston: [pulls off his hat and throws it to the ground] That tears it! I mean, I entertain you like some sort of clown, I dance for your amusement, I tamper with the spiked ceiling, and I win the event — and this is the thanks I get?! An investigation?! I’m so angry right now, I could… I could… why, I could dance the Charleston!
[Charlie Charleston stomps as he dances, his song escaping through clenched teeth.]
Charlie Charleston: Charleston, Charleston, I’m so doggone angry!
[Lamp Prime and The Stupid look at each other, and then at Charlie Charleston.]
The Stupid: Are you, uh, feeling all right? You seem a little perturbed.
Charlie Charleston: [stops dancing and thrusts his finger in The Stupid’s face] You’re darn right I’m perturbed! But you know what? It isn’t gonna matter for much longer! See, I’m gonna claim the win for this event, whether you sanction it or not! [whistles] Boys, come on in!
[From the back entrance comes a procession of men in black hooded robes. Their features are obfuscated by their hoods, making them look like copies of each other, except for the leader who wears a latex Charlie Charleston mask and a brown bowler hat. Four at a time in a horizontal line they shuffle into the arena, dancing the Charleston slowly, lead by their leader in a slow chant of, “Charleston, Charleston.” They fall in line behind Charlie Charleston and stop, standing in silence.]
Lamp Prime: Uh, that’s great, Charlie. It’s good to see that you actually have some friends —
Charlie Charleston: Shut up! These aren’t my friends! These are my cult! They’re the Cult of Charlie Charleston and they’re a group of Swedish people who live in Ohio! They worship me like a god! They even put up some sort of interweb thing about me.
Iavi: A web page on the internet?
Charlie Charleston: Don’t get smart with me, Iavi!
The Stupid: This is all well-and-good, Charlie, but it’s not going to change the investigation.
Charlie Charleston: Oh no? Show ‘em, boys!
[On Charlie Charleston’s command, each of the robed cultists pull out an automatic machine gun, cock it, and aim at the embodiments, Iavi, and the members of Cinco de Mayo. Jerald looks up and immediately steps in front of the other members of Cinco de Mayo as best he can.]
The Stupid: Whoa, whoa.
Lamp Prime: Let’s not do anything we might regret, Charlie.
Charlie Charleston: I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. There are no regrets here.
Jerald: Have you gone mad?
Charlie Charleston: Mad? I’m the sanest I’ve ever been! There are enough bullets in these guns to make you fellas dance the Charleston for a good long time! And with Mister Lucky and Agent Villain dead, I’ll finally get the respect I deserve!
[At that moment, the lights in the arena dim and turn off, bathing the area in complete darkness. With a heavy click, a spotlight turns on from overhead, illuminating Charlie Charleston in a yellow corona. An ear-splitting hiss comes over the speaker system, followed by a gruff, hard voice.]
Agent Villain: [over the speakers] I’m afraid the rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated — though I can’t say the same for Mister Lucky. He remains in the afterlife, with my dagger in his chest and my spike ceiling piercing his body — regardless of your tampering with my equipment.
Charlie Charleston: Wha — ?
Agent Villain: [over the speakers] Surprised? Of course you are. You greatly underestimated me, Charleston. That mistake will cost you your life.
Charlie Charleston: Oh yeah? You talk big, Agent Villain, but you’re alone! You’ll never be able to stop my cultists from killing you!
Agent Villain: [over the speakers] While I considered a stealth attack from behind, I realized after killing your back row that, eventually, one of your cultists would notice me and likely kill me on the spot.
[Several cultists turn around to look at the back row. True to Agent Villain’s claim, each of the four cultists holding up the rear line the ground, their throats slit from ear to ear and their guns still clenched in their cold dead hands.]
Agent Villain: [over the speakers] Then it hit me. Why face you when I can call upon your most hated adversary?
[Charlie Charleston shakes his head and looks at his cultists nervously. Sweat forms on his forehead as his eyes dart around.]
Charlie Charleston: Y — You wouldn’t! You’re bluffing!
Agent Villain: [over the speakers] You don’t believe me? You should. All I have to do is call his name. All I have to do is say “Charleston Hate Imp” and he’ll appear.
[Charlie Charleston goes pale as a portal ringed with fire opens in the ground at the center of the arena. The cultists look at each other and drop their weapons as they turn towards the door, doing the Charleston as fast as they can in an attempt to escape. Charlie Charleston joins them in their dance of futility as the Charleston Hate Imp, a creature made of pure hatred born from the collected loathing of all creatures in the universe for Charlie Charleston, rises forth from the flaming hole in the ground. The Imp’s piggish soot-covered face contorts in a look of unbridled rage as he lets out a scream that carries the cries of a thousand orphaned infants upon it. In his stubby claw, the Imp carries a small red pitchfork. The Imp flies forward, zooming through the crowd. With every point of his pitchfork, another cultist bursts into flames and explodes in a bloody mass of bones and charred flesh. Jerald covers the eyes of Toddo and Charlotte while himself looking away from the massacre. Iavi and Glob the Blob turn away in kind. Lamp Prime and the Stupid watch intently. In the face of the carnage, the mask-wearing leader of the cult breaks from the dance towards the door and runs to it instead, throwing it open and sliding through. A second cultist follows him through and locks the door behind him. Several other cultists make for the door in the same fashion, but cry out in panic as they discover that the door is closed to them. The Imp shows them no mercy and they, too, explode. Once the Imp finishes with the cultists still remaining in the room, he sets his sights on Charlie Charleston himself. Pointing his pitchfork at the dancing fool, the Charleston Hate Imp sends a special death Charlie Charleston’s way. Though Charlie Charleston bursts into flames like the others, he does not immediately explode. Instead, he continues to dance, unable to stop and roll to the ground while the intense flames cause his skin to blister and pop. Charlie Charleston screams in agony as the fire licks at his flesh, then his muscle. Once his muscle is all but seared away completely, his charred, fleshless skeleton continues to dance faster and faster, until the speed of the dance causes his skeleton to explode. His grisly work finished, the Charleston Hate Imp flies back over to his portal and dives in, the fiery hole closing behind him. The lights turn on to reveal a mangled mass of human wreckage littering the arena.]
The Stupid: Well! That was entertaining.
Iavi: [walking out the front entrance] I’m not cleaning this up.
[Out in the hallway, the leader of the cult runs towards an exit. He pulls hard on the handle, which doesn’t budge. He looks to the side and sees a flickering electronic panel. The second escaped cultist runs up behind him.]
Cultist: We have to get out of here.
Cult Leader: Damn door’s locked. Looks to be a code. Run down the hall to the other exit and see if it’s opened. I’ll work with this door in the meantime. [turns around to look at the control panel] Either way, don’t worry. We’ll get home somehow.
Cultist: Other door. Right. Oh, one thing before I go. I need to correct you on one thing.
Cult Leader: [pressing buttons on the panel] Oh yeah? What’s that?
[The cultist lowers his hood and taps the leader on the shoulder. The leader turns around. His eyes widen through his Charlie Charleston mask at the sight of Agent Villain’s face.]
Agent Villain: Only one of us will make it home.
Cult Leader: How —
Agent Villain: No one likes a cheater.
[Agent Villain thrusts his arm forward, slicing through his robe with a bowie knife and stabbing the leader in the stomach. He twists the knife three-hundred sixty degrees as he speaks.]
Agent Villain: You know, I’m lucky that Charlie Charleston is so stupid. Well, I should probably say “was” at this point, shouldn’t I? His idiocy made it easy to pre-record a message because I could anticipate each and every one of his responses. It was also pretty easy to kill one of you and steal your robes while you were busy concentrating on the Charleston Hate Imp.
[Agent Villain turns the blade upward and pulls, opening a cavity in the leader’s stomach. The leader gurgles as black blood escapes the hole in his abdomen. His intestines follow his blood in escaping their fleshy prison.]
Agent Villain: Tsk, tsk. Did you drop something? [grinning] You know, Lucky had the same look in his eyes when I killed him. It wasn’t the pain. He just couldn’t believe it was happening to him.
[The leader’s eyes become glassy as he gurgles a death rattle.]
Agent Villain: Aw, leaving for Hell so soon? That’s all right. [kicks the body away from his knife] I’ll see you there eventually.
[Agent Villain turns around and walks back towards the arena, cleaning his knife on his cultist’s robe as he walks.]

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