AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is something I've wanted to do for some time now. Technically, this story takes place roughly two years after Blues Brothers 2000, thus in the year 2000 if one wishes to use the films' release dates as markers. Elwood's around 47 years old here, and Jake's sort of 49, if one chooses to continue counting years after death.
The Blues Brothers and all related characters and indicia are copyright trademarks of Universal City Studios, all rights reserved. All other characters and indicia are mine. And now, sit back, relax, and enjoy the story.
"WE'RE ON A (REAL) MISSION FROM GOD......AGAIN"
It was a brisk October evening in Chicago. Inside the Sears Tower, the night watchman was leaning back in his seat at the front desk, reading the Tribune's sports page. It was incredible, the Cubs actually being in the World Series for once, and like the rest of Chicago, he'd caught the fever. Now if the goat's curse would just go away for once....
The sound of the front door being smashed open caught his attention. He looked up to see about two dozen guys in brown robes and hoods coming toward him. He jumped up and drew his gun. "What the hell do you guys want?" he demanded.
"This does not concern you, mortal," hissed the apparent leader of the group, a tall man wearing a demon mask over his face. He pointed the staff he was holding at the watchman and said something that he didn't understand. He did, however, understand what happened next: a bright blast of red light shot out of the staff and hit him clean in the chest, killing him instantly.
The leader of the group smiled at the heinous act he'd just committed. His name was Zildrohar—well, not really, but that was what the world was going to remember him by once he got through with it.
"Brothers," he rasped to his associates, "Our time draws nigh! Spread out and find the entrance to the portal!"
"Yes, Brother Zildrohar," his associates said monotonously and hustled for the elevators. Zildrohar climbed over the watchman's desk and placed the snake he'd been holding on the counter. "Rest yourself, Ophiuchus," he told it, "I must contact the master." He touched the screen with his staff, and seconds later, the most hideous face imaginable appeared on the monitors. "Status check!" it demanded.
"Everything is going according to plan, Master Satan," Zildrohar told him, "We have secured the building. The portal will be opened as requested, and soon the whole world will feel your wrath."
"Very good," the face said. Then it grew serious. "A word of caution, my slave. There is one who can bring this whole plan to ruin for us in that very city."
"Really?" Zildrohar frowned, "Who, master, might that be?"
Across town inside Joliet Prison, the prisoners were all huddled back in their cells for the night. The air was quiet, except for the lonely harmonica music coming out of C-12.......
Elwood Blues was depressed. He always got this way this time of year for two reasons. First off, it was exactly two years ago that the law had caught him again, and sent him here to the lonely confines of Joliet for the rest of his life, without the chance for parole. And secondly, as he'd learned the last time he'd gotten out, it was in October that his brother Jake had died long ago. The loss of him stung Elwood now more than ever, now that his band had washed up again, this time for good it seemed. Jake had been the glue that had held it together, he realized now, and no retooling would ever capture the magic of the blues the two of them had made so long ago.......
"Open C-12!" barked the voice of Warden Jim Suntzman outside. Suntzman, who bore a rather strong resemblance to Craig T. Nelson, had had a special dislike for Elwood since he'd been promoted to warden eighteen months ago, and had been rather harsh to him for seemingly no reason many a time. "Blues, on your feet, your attorney's here!" he ordered him now. He looked down and gave a rough kick to his pet German shepherd, who had almost tried to enter the cell. "How many times have I told you, Serpico, no going into cells!" he yelled at the dog, who cowered in fear.
Elwood had seen Suntzman kick the dog around all the time, and he was getting quite tired of it frankly. "Hey warden, don't treat your pets that way!" he protested, "It's so un-Christian!"
"My life is my business, Blues, so stay out of it!" Suntzman snarled. He turned down the hall and ordered, "Marvin, bring in Topton and Miss LaGrange." Moments later, the massive bulk of Elwood's cellmate, Rocky "The Mountain" Topton was shoved into the cell by Marvin the head guard, a featureless man born without a personality who was practically married to his rifle. Elwood had been quite unnerved by the threatening-looking Rocky when he'd learned they'd be sharing a cell, but he'd found out to his delight that Rocky not only was docile but also one of the Blues Brothers' last fans. He and his biker gang had been regular attendees at Blues Brother concerts back in the 70s and had eaten them up like they were dessert. But times had changed for the worst for Rocky too. Feeling he was too soft to lead them, his gang had framed him on multiple counts of rape and murder (at least that was what he told Elwood) and sent him up the river. He'd been sentenced to death row, and from the depressed look on his face now as he slid into his bunk, Elwood had a feeling that his cellmate's final parole hearing hadn't gone well.
"Elwood, I've got some bad news on your parole hearing," came the voice of his attorney as she squeezed her way into the cell. Latifah LaGrange had been Elwood's attorney for the last fourteen months. A high- class black woman with the most expensive of outfits, Latifah seemed genuinely concerned about Elwood's well being, compared to all his previous attorneys, who'd only represented him for the money they could get off such a high profile prisoner. As such, Elwood had started feeling a sort of attraction toward her, deeper than he'd ever felt for another woman. "What's gone wrong with it now?" he asked her, reaching through the cell bars to give Serpico the dog a reassuring pat on the head when Suntzman wasn't looking. Serpico gave his hand a loving lick.
"The judge turned down our request to have it moved up to next month, so the latest you can be brought up now would be next March," Latifah told him. "I'm sorry Elwood, but they just think you're too much of a menace to warrant early parole, even for good behavior."
"Well what about the angle we said we'd go after, where the cops blew the charges out of proportion to frame me?" Elwood inquired.
"I tried that, but I'm fighting an uphill battle with it," Latifah sighed. "We don't have any proof, and we'll need it if we want to get them with that."
"Well good luck lady, because there's no way you'll be able to prove any of that," Marvin sniggered.
"Hey watch yourself, Barney Fife!" Latifah shot at him, "Judging by the conditions of this cellblock, I could easily nail you and your boss here for maltreatment of prisoners. You don't give them enough.......!"
Okay sweetheart, you've said all you need to say, now beat it," Suntzman told her, jerking his finger down the hallway. Latifah glared at him, looking like she'd be happy to take him on outside the courtroom, but shook her head and told Elwood, "I'll be back in on Sunday. See if you can think of anything else we haven't thought of."
"Right," Elwood said. As she turned to leave, he asked, "Say Latifah, how's it goin' findin' out where the band's gone to? They still ain't visited since they locked me in here."
"Nope," Latifah told him, "I've searched through the phone book but haven't found anything on them yet."
"Well keep tryin'," Elwood gave her a half-hearted thumbs up.
"Okay, close C-12," Suntzman yelled down the corridor. He dragged his dog off by the collar, whimpering all the way. Elwood turned to Rocky. "So, how'd it go for you?" he asked, half knowing what the answer would be.
"They turned me down, Elwood," Rocky said in a barely audible voice. He turned and faced the wall. "They're going to sign my death warrant next week," he continued, "I've got a date with the lethal injection chamber in 60 days."
"That's a shame," Elwood said, whistling at the predicament of his cellmate, "And besides, it's costing them so much to do that, too."
"Elwood," Rocky said, far away, "Have you ever wished you could live your life over again and get it right?"
"Every day of my life," Elwood said, feeling miserable himself now, "I wonder what would have happened if Jake had lived all the time. If we'd just taken the money Glabman gave us at the Palace Hotel and split. If we'd have a strong agent and family to back us up." He sighed a very deep sigh. "But it's no good fantasizin' about what could have been," he continued. "The past's all gone now, and as much as I'd like another chance to get it right, it ain't gonna happen, because there's no......"
Just then, there was a blinding light above them. Elwood squinted up at it, wishing he had his dark glasses handy. "What the hell!?" he exclaimed. The light slowly took on human dimensions. Descending toward them on shining wings was.......
"CURTIS!!??" Elwood exclaimed in awe.
"Elwood!" his former father figure exclaimed once he landed on solid ground. The dead janitor leaned right through the cell's bars and gave Elwood a big hug, oblivious to the fact he went right through the musician.
"Uh, Elwood, what's going on?" Rocky asked, a little concerned to be seeing a dead person.
"Rock, I'd like ya to meet Curtis, he was the janitor at the orphanage Jake and me grew up in, and Cabel's dad," Elwood told him. Then he looked hesitantly at Curtis. "Uh, this is really you, ain't it? My mind ain't playin' tricks on me, because I know you're dead.
"Oh I'm dead all right, Elwood, but I'm very real," Curtis told him, giving him a strong pat on the pat.
"Then what brings you here?"
"Elwood, I'm here to ask you to assist in a vitally important mission to save the world," Curtis was now solemn. He sat down on the bunk between Elwood and Rocky. "There's been a serious breach by allies of Hell, and unless we do something fast, the world's going to end horribly."
"Uh Curtis, could you say that again in English?" Elwood asked him.
"I guess I should start from the beginning," Curtis said. "About two hundred years ago, the Chicago area was the headquarters for a group of Satan worshippers known for their brutal tactics that called themselves Heretics Conglomerated. They would stand over their Dark Pit in the woods and release demons from Hell to rain down terror on innocent people living nearby. After a while, this got to be too much for the people, so they petitioned the Vatican for assistance. The Holy See sent them the Saint Francis de Sales Relic, a fabulous icon with amazing holy powers. And so, the night it arrived, the town priest, Father Solomon Delaney, came in disguise to the Heretics' latest meeting, at which point they were going to unleash Satan himself from the Fiery Pit. Just before the Evil One could breach the surface, Father Delaney invoked the power of the relic and sent him back to Hell. The police arrived shortly thereafter and most of the Heretics were hanged shortly thereafter."
"Uh, nice story, Curtis, but what does it have to do with me?" Elwood was confused now.
"Not all the Heretics were captured that night, Elwood," Curtis told him, "a few slunk off into the wilderness to continue the movement. Using their dark powers, they destroyed the Saint Francis de Sales Relic before it could be sent back to Rome and scattered its pieces to all the corners of the country. And even as we speak now, the current members of the group are planning to fulfill their ancestors' wishes and introduce this world to the devil."
"So what am I supposed to do about this from in here, Curtis?" Elwood asked him.
"We need to recover the pieces of the Saint Francis de Sales Relic immediately, or when the lunar eclipse on Halloween night occurs, this world will become just another extension of Hell," Curtis said.
"But why me?" Elwood protested, "Why not get the pope to do it?"
"As the sole surviving descendent of Solomon Delaney, it is your destiny to do it," Curtis explained. "Now I'm seeing to it that a heavenly agent is assigned to you to handle this assignment, but ultimately it's in your hands. You said you wanted a second chance, and here's God's way of granting that wish for you."
"Yeah but Curtis, why......?" Elwood started to say, but Curtis disappeared in a blur before he could finish. The next thing Elwood knew, he could hear the other prisoners yelling, "RIOT! RIOT! RIOT!" Jerking his head toward the hall, he saw them pouring out of their cells, possessed looks on their faces. He also noticed that his own cell door was now open.
"So Elwood, do the dead visit you a lot when I'm not awake?" Rocky's voice cut in. His cellmate was looking a little shaken at having seen an angel, but now seemed reenergized from when he'd first been brought into the cell a few minutes ago.
"Nope, this is the first time, Rock," Elwood said. He looked out down the open corridor. Maybe he'd just been hallucinating, but then again, Curtis had always been straight up with him before. He thought for a minute about the proposal that had been given to him, and in a moment came to a decision.
"Well," he announced, "if I'm the only one who can save the world, I guess I'd better get crackin' then, since it's just fourteen days to Halloween."
"Hold up, Elwood," Rocky said suddenly, "if you're going out there, I'd like to come too."
"Well, all good and well, Rock, but what couldja possibly do?" Elwood had to ask.
"You forget, Elwood, that I'm a man who wants redemption as well," Rocky began, "And like the guy said, I think, Hell will take over the world, and I'm not going to spend........."
"Okay, okay, you made your point," Elwood interrupted him. "Come on then, before the guards get wise to all this."
"...and the atmosphere is charged here at the Weiss Ballroom where Republican gubernatorial candidate Burton Mercer will be delivering his address to the Lake Michigan dockworkers union," the TV announcer was saying. "Mercer, who trails incumbent Governor George Haroldson by 25 points entering the final stretch of the campaign trail, will be looking for some last-minute oomph to get his campaign rolling again after the fiasco at the steel mill last week."
"Come on, Burt, let's take this baby home," Suntzman said, reclining back in his office chair. He and Mercer went back a long way to when they were serving together as parole officers for the Illinois Department of Corrections. Indeed, it was through Mercer's influence in his current position as DOC Chairman that Suntzman had ended up as Joliet warden. Mercer had promised him that if he won, he'd make him Attorney General with broad powers.
Just then one of the guards stuck his head in through the door. "Uh, sir, hope I'm not disturbing you, but we've got a riot in Cellblock C," he said meekly.
"What!?" Suntzman bolted upright, "How did this happen? What the hell are they rioting about?"
"I don't know, but they look pretty volatile," the guard admitted.
"All right, I'll be right over," Suntzman got up and picked up the megaphone from behind his desk. "No no, you stay put!" he shouted at Serpico the dog as it rose to follow him, "I can handle this without you!" He stamped on its tail cruelly to get his point across before storming out. He left the door open though, and the dog, after apparently weighing its options for a moment, got up and hustled out the door in the opposite direction.
In Cellblock C, Suntzman strode up to where the riot was taking place. They were pouring into the cafeteria area, continuing to chant, "RIOT! RIOT! RIOT!" at the top of their lungs. "Let me give them an ultimatum first," he told the other guards nearby, who had their rifles cocked and ready to fire. He raised the megaphone to his lips as he walked up to the railing overlooking the cafeteria. "Now hear this!" he barked down at the prisoners, "You have till three to get back to your cells, or you get a thunderstorm of lead unleashed on you! One, two........!"
But before he could give the signal to open fire, the prisoners abruptly stopped and shuffled slowly back to their cells. Suntzman frowned. "What the hell was that all about?" he asked no one in particular.
"Maybe it was the chili we served tonight at dinner," one guard theorized.
Just then Marvin came running up. "Sir, we can't find Blues or Topton!" he gasped breathlessly.
"What do you mean you can't find them!?" Suntzman bellowed.
"They're not in their cells, and we can't find them in the mob," Marvin explained.
Suntzman put his hand to his head. Of the two prisoners he least wanted to see escaping, Elwood and Rocky were at the top of his list. "Well, don't just stand there, men!" he shouted at the guards, "Spread out and find them, now!"