Mr. Nice Guy 8
In the not too distant future…
On the outskirts of Eden Prairie, Minnesota
It was nearly ten o'clock at night as the cab hurled its way through the murky night. The driver glanced back at his only passenger: An old man who demanded to be taken to the old Gismonic Institute. The driver almost said no, but the hundred-dollar bill the old man waved at him changed his mind.
"I don't know why anybody would want to came out to this dump old man, but hey, it's your money." The driver said, trying to get some kind of information out of the old man. The man simply bunched up under his coat and said nothing. "Well," the driver said, oblivious to the old man's indifference. "I think it's a shame about what happened to this joint, but I guess they had to pull out of this place, what with all those monsters, giants and crazed robots always escaping." The old man bolted up and grabbed the door handle. "Let me off here." The cab screeched to a halt as the driver looked back. "Are you crazy? Look, there's nothing out here but the old Gizmonic building, and I don't think" The old man dropped a thick wad of fifty dollar bills into the front seat. "That I should questioning your judgment. Have a good night sir." The driver said without skipping a beat. He spun his cab around and burned rubber as the old man barely exited the backseat in time. Turning the collar of his coat up, the man began to walk towards the deserted building.
The building itself, perhaps in some bizarre stroke of humor on the designer's part, looked a giant 'G', Most of it's windows were gone, and the few planes of glass that were left gave the building a smile that most hockey players would envy. The old man grinned as he turned the knob on the door to the main lobby. The door swung open with a hideous scream of protest as the man walked into the shambles of what used to be a wide-open space, meant to inspire both awe and fear in the visitors. A few desks and overturned chairs littered the area as the man walked slowly past them. "Hmm, now what this place needs a good janitor" the man thought aloud, his voice echoing throughout the building. Off in the distant, he could have sworn he heard the sound of owls in flight. "Oops, must have spooked them. Heh, I should really stop talking to myself, but why ruin a perfectly good habit?"
Turning a corner, the man saw a battered desk and the moldy remains of what could have been a sandwich. Cobwebs smothered everything in sight, but the old man kept walking. Stopping near the desk, the man looked down at the grimy nameplate that was balanced near the edge of the desk. "Ms. Jones, you really should take better care of your personal items." Gently pushing the nameplate back onto the desk, a smiled played out over the man's face. "It's funny, after those attacks by superheroes, giant monsters, and other insanity, who would have thought that this place would get taken out by the IRS? Oh well, that's where bad management will get you." Walking over to a door marked 'SUB-LEVEL' the man reached into his pocket and pulled out a shiny plastic card. Sliding the card across the door, the man was rewarded by a loud mechanical hiss, and the door slowly up into the wall. The stairwell beyond the door smelled of stale air, but at least it was free of the dust that had managed to consume the rest of the building. Walking over to a wall, the man placed his hand across a scanner and whispered: "Deep 13". The wall opened up to revel a posh elevator, complete with oak paneling and brass fittings around the buttons. There was no sign of decay, and the faint scent of lemon hovered in the air. "Hmm, I guess Jerry and Sylvia have been keeping themselves busy." The man thought as he entered the elevator and pressed the giant red button marked with a '13'. The elevator started with a lurch, and began a slow trek down. After several seconds, the elevator car stopped, and the door opened with a 'ding' to revel…darkness. The man stepped out of the elevator and immediately the area was flooded with light. The room was gigantic, and boxes were pilled up everywhere. The room gave the impression that someone was either moving in, or moving out in a hurry.
The man sighed and walked over to a nearby computer terminal. He pulled a sheet off of the monitor and slowly eased himself into a nearby chair. "Hmm, now where did those tapes get to?" The man wondered aloud. As he began to shift through the clutter on the desktop, the old man thought about his present location. He knew he wasn't leaving there alive, yet somehow that thought seemed to comfort him. "I couldn't think a better place." He whispered as he grabbed a nearby disc and shoved it into the computer terminal. The monitor flared to life and on the screen, a strange scene began to play out as the old man slumped back in the chair.
"But He used those special parts/ to make his robot friends"
Joel Robinson was not doing very well at the moment. It had only been a few weeks since he was kidnapped by his employers and shot into space. But that really wasn't what was bothering him. To combat the loneliness (and help him deal with the bad movies the Mads sent up) he had built some robots. The first one, Cambot, was hovering behind him as his next robot, Crow, was standing off in the corner sulking. If a robot with a fixed expression could sulk, of course, but the principal was the same. Joel, meanwhile, was hunched over his workbench with either another robot, or a gumball machine that someone had a grudge against. "Look Crow, we all have to stick together in there, ok? If we lose it, then the Mads will take over the world. And we can't let that happen, alright?" Crow (or Crow T. Robot, if one was feeling formal) whined and scratched what would have been his right toe on the metal floor decks of the satellite. "Alright Joel, alright, I just think that Beeper's a little too high strung, that's all."
Joel sighed again and continued his work on the robot. "I just don't understand it. The Green Slime was bad, but why did Beeper's head explode like that? Well, maybe he'll be able to explain when" And in a flash of sparks, the robot began to talk. "I likes a spot 'o honey in me morning tea!" The gumball machine shaped robot said in an oddly high-pitched voice. "Joel, that isn't a good sign, is it?" Crow said nervously. Joel fiddled about inside Beeper's head before jumping up as a yellow light began to flash. "Well, looks like this will have to wait. The Mads are calling."
The much too cheerful face of Dr. Clayton Forrester filled the view screen. "Hello my rat soup eaters. Ready for another movie? Well I don't care, because" Looking past Crow, the good Mad doctor saw Joel working on the comatose Beeper. "What are you doing? Wait…is one of your tinker toys broken?" Without waiting for a confirmation, the doctor began to dance a jig around the lab before breaking down into his EVIL LAUGH. "MWHAHAHAHA! Yes, I did it! One down, three to go! I'm the god, I'm the god!"
Had the crew of the satellite been characters in a Japanese comic book, they all undoubtedly would have giant beads of sweat appearing on the backs of their heads.
Dr. Forrester went on, unabated by the silence from the captives in space. "YES! "The Green Slime" did it, didn't it? Larry! Quick, get Disney on the phone! We'll cram this baby so far down the public's throat that everyone will be BEGGING to put me in charge! MWHAHAHAHAHA!
"Sorry to disappoint you sirs, but it wasn't the movie. I just decided to give Beeper a slight over haul, that's all" Joel said, crossing his fingers and hoping that the Mad scientist's down below bought his story
"So, the movie didn't cause him to flip out? Well darn." Dr. Forrester snapped his fingers and started to pace around the lab. "Larry, cancel the call, but" He turned to grin at the janitor and his robots, "Prepare to send up those other films I picked out" But the high pitched voice of Dr. Larry Erhart came back from one of the numerous sub-labs in Deep 13. "Sorry Clay, but the sender's down. It'll take at least 2 days to get it fixed."
"What!" Dr. Forrester turned to the crew of the SOL and glowered at them. "Well Space Family Robinson, it's looks like you've won a slight reprieve. Don't celebrate yet though. When we get the sender back up and running, you'll wish you just went crazy!" With a melodramatic flourish, he pressed a button on the control panel and killed the transmission feed.
"So Joel, I guess this means we have the weekend off?" Crow asked as Joel turned away from the view screen. "Well, I think it's really Tuesday right now, so we don't technically get the 'weekend' off. I" but whatever the skinny janitor was going to say was lost when the lights went out, and the ship tilted like a drunken wrestler, tossing the crew around like rag-dolls
The hum of the emergency lights was the first sensation Joel was aware of. Opening his eyes, he saw that most of the room was still in decent condition. Beeper was still intact on the table, and most of the tools were there too. "Gypsy, what's our status?"
"Joel, I think you had better get down to the loading bay". Gypsy's voice said from the ship's intercom. "We have company!" Joel looked puzzled and made his way to the bay of the ship. "Company? Who the heck would be out here?" Stopping only to pick up a metal pipe ('just in case the visitors aren't that friendly' he thought) Joel ran down to the bay.
Crow and Gypsy were already there, Crow with a bucket over his net and a black plastic pistol tapped to his claw. "Alright, stay frosty men! Don't fire till you see the whites of their eyes! And any other military slang you can think of!" Crow barked to no one in particular. "Crow, put that toy down, they might be friendly" Joel said, gently placing the metal pipe behind a crate. "Would you two put a sock in it? The other ship has somehow managed to bring itself about, and they are attempting to board us!" Gypsy hissed at the two men (well, one real man and one robot with a male mind). A loud banging noise, following by the sound of the outer hull doors being forced open quieted everyone. "Gypsy, kill the lights!" Joel whispered. Suddenly, the room was engulfed in darkness. The inner hull door opened, and the light from the other ship flooded the bay. Two figures stepped out of the light. The light silhouetted them perfectly. Joel could see that they were humanoid, and that they weren't armed, or at least not armed with weapon that Joel would recognize. Their features were completely covered by the spacesuits they were wearing. The suits looked similar to the ones used by NASA, but they had a more military feel to them. "Guys, I think it's ok…" Joel said before Crow ran out to the strangers, with the plastic gun still tapped to his hand. One of creatures whipped what looked like a yo-yo and flicked it near Crow. Crow's claw exploded and the two beings took cover behind some crates marked "Hamdingers". "Wait, we mean you no harm!" Joel yelled. The two beings had what looked like hair dryers pointed at them, and Joel had no plans on being killed by such silly looking weapons. The two beings, their weapons stilled trained on Joel, slowly walked out from behind their cover. The one nearest to Joel fiddled with a few buttons on the suit's chest plate, and the helmet slowly retracted with a hiss of a hydraulic system.
Expecting something with tentacles, or perhaps some kind of jellied creature, Joel was rather surprised to see a very human female with aqua colored hair looking back at him.
A little while later
"So let me get this straight: You're a detective, both from outer space and the future, and you and your partner got sucked through a wormhole into the past, and you had no idea that there were any ships this large in Earth's orbit, so that's why you crashed into us?" Joel said, not really believing half of the things he just said. The woman with aqua hair ("Kiyone"! Joel chastised himself for not remembering her name sooner) was seated across from him, sipping on some coffee while her partner Mihoshi wandered around the ship. Kiyone looked up at Joel and put her mug down. "Yes, that's pretty much it. Mihoshi's mission was to track down a space pirate that was seen in this area. I was sent to make sure she got here safely. Something went wrong with our engines, and a hole was ripped open in space." Before any other words could be exchanged, the sound of Mihosi's wailing filled the corridor; along with the sound of something very large being put into a shape it wasn't meant to be put into.
Rushing out of the room, Joel and Kiyone were greeted with the sight of Crow streaking past, followed by Mihoshi. "I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry!" the blond woman wailed. Sighing heavily, Kiyone turned to follow her partner when she was knocked down a purple blur. "Gypsy! What's going on here?" Joel asked as the purple robot stopped and turned around. Gypsy lowered her head until her single eye was glaring directly into Kiyone's face. "Your butterfingers of a partner dropped something into Beeper's main circuits! He's going nuts down there, and while those two other cowards are running around like decapitated poultry, I'm the only one who's going to do anything about it! Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to find a chainsaw."
Joel looked at Kiyone's puzzled expression. "Don't worry, this kind of thing happens more often than you think." Helping the detective to her feet, the two looked down the hall, towards the source of the panic.
Joel had seen a lot of things in his short time in space. Bad movies can be surprisingly good in preparing one for the little oddities life often throws one's way. But nothing even out of Ed Wood's alcohol fueled nightmares could have prepared him for what he was seeing. Beeper was at the moment bouncing around the room, while a strange pink cube that was imbedded in his chest played off key pop songs.
"Joel, that device is my partner's cube." Kiyone whispered, a hint of fear creeping into her voice. "Ok, and what the heck does it do?" Joel answered, still watching Beeper gad about to something that Hall & Oates would have been embarrassed to perform. "It's device that helps Mihoshi when she can't quite remember every little detail. It also acts a teleport, a disguise unit," "Sort of a jack of all trades in a box, right?" Kiyone looked at Joel, her expression unreadable. "Well… yeah, something like that." "Great, so how do we get it out of Beeper?" Kiyone pulled her yo-yo like device out of her pocket. "Like this!" With a flick of her wrist, the device flew through the air and hit the cube directly in its center. The cube gave off an almost blindingly bright light, then it's light fizzled and it fell from Beeper's chest and hit the floor with a dull thud.
Beeper gently floated to the floor; smoke slowly rising from his chest plate. "Oww… hey what happened? Joel, who is this lady? And come I can speak instead of beep in binary?" Beeper asked from the floor. Joel couldn't help but crack a smile at his creation. "Beeper, it's a long story."
Helping the red robot up, Joel and Kiyone walked out of the room, failing to notice that a small chunk of the cube had been broken off by the attack. The chunk began to give off a pink light and it began to grow into a familiar shape…
In what would be considered the main dinning room:
"Well, now that that particular crisis is over, what are you two going to do?" Joel asked the two detectives sitting across from him. "Well, I'm not sure Mr. Robinson. Um, 'Gypsy', is it? She said that was looking into the space distortion that our ship came out of." Mihoshi answered as Kiyone stared down into her coffee cup.
Down the hall
The chunk had formed itself into the most recent thing it had come in contact with. In this case, it was the form of Beeper. The thing was and yet wasn't Beeper floated down the hall, its thought's in turmoil.
"I. I am. I, what the hell am I anyway?" Turning a corner, it picked the sound of voices. Desiring input, the creature floated towards the sounds.
Crow and the newly restored Beeper entered the dinning hall. "Well Joel, what are we doing about our guests? How can Beeper talk, I thought you could only beep?" Crow asked as he sat down on a nearby stool. Beeper simply hovered over the table.
An uncomfortable silence settled over the room. Joel trying to say something to the only human ("and the only real female" he thought) company he had seen since his employers had shanghaied him and launched him into a low orbit.
While Joel was trying desperately to come up with something to say, a strange noise filled the hallway outside the door.
"What's that?" Kiyone asked as her hand gripped her gun. "I'm not sure," Joel said as he and the bots quickly ducked behind the table.
A slight knocking on the door rapidly became a loud knocking. Kiyone and Mihoshi had both their guns out and trained on the door. "Joel, are you sure that isn't one of your robots?" Kiyone asked. "I'm sure. Crow and Beeper are here, and Gypsy and Cambot are both lacking in any kind of appendages. I don't who or what could be making that noise."
Joel's question was answered when the door opened and the cause of the noise floated into the room. "Holy Hannah!" Crow exclaimed. Beeper turned towards the door, and to him, it was like looking into a mirror. "Geeze, I'm huge!" Beeper said.
But just at that exact moment, Gypsy slithered into the room. "Guys, that hole in space has just opened up again! Oh, I see Beeper's gotten a clone. Oh well, I just that I'd let you know that there is a chance for us to escape or get sucked into a cosmic drainpipe." With that statement, the one-eyed purple (but not a people eater) robot exited the room as the crew continued to stare at the new arrival.
Later, in Joel's room
"Well, what are we going to do?" Kiyone asked as she sat down on the rumpled cot that Joel called a bed. "I'm not sure. You're from the future, right? Do you know if I get out of here?" Kiyone fidgeted as she looked at him. "Well, I'm not sure if I can tell you that." Joel sighed and sat down next to her. "That's ok I guess. I mean, if you told me, it might screw up the future, right? Besides, if I left, Dr. Forrester might do something horrible to the bots" Kiyone looked like she was having an internal struggle, as she looked at Joel. "Joel, I'm going to tell you something. You…you do escape. I can't say when, or how, but you make it out." Joel stared at the woman. "I do? That's good to know I guess. I don't suppose you're going to give me any hints?" Kiyone just shook her head. "Well, there is something I've been wanting to do ever since I first heard about you…" And suddenly, she leaned over and kissed him.
Their lips were connected for what seemed an eternity. But after an infinity or two of having a beautiful woman kissing him passionately, Joel broke away. "Kiyone, what is this all about?" Kiyone smiled as her hand traced a pattern across Joel's chest. "Joel, I can't explain everything. So just shut up and kiss me." And with those brilliant words, Joel conceded defeat and returned the police officer from outer space's romantic advances.
10 hours later (or what would be considered 'morning')
Gypsy was busy pushing plates filled with giant steaming piles of RAM chips around the table in the mess hall when Joel and Kiyone walked in. "Well, look what the cat dragged in!" Crow chirped as he pecked his RAM chips.
Joel and Kiyone blushed and sat down near each other. The second Beeper floated into the room, followed by the original. "Ok, I've come to a decision." Joel said as the rest of the crew looked at him. "Mihoshi and Kiyone will go back through the hole." Does this mean you're leaving us?" Beeper asked. Everything seemed to slow down as Joel looked at everyone before replaying. "No. I'm going to stay here. I can't leave you guys, besides, we can't let Forrester trick anybody else on to this ship, can we?" The bots happily shouted out a big 'no!' "Right, but I think I should send someone back, just in case nobody believes Kiyone or Mihoshi. Beeper?" The first Beeper looked at Joel, as he seemed to be dabbing his dome with a napkin. "I know that those bad movies have been hardest on you. So, I think it would be a good idea if you left with them, to tell the world of what's going on up here. We'll keep your copy so Dr. F won't suspect anything." After a few seconds of stunned silence, Beeper floated up to Joel, and patted his creator on the shoulder. "Joel, I don't know what to say." Joel placed his hand on the red robot's dome. "You don't have to say anything little buddy. Just remember, I'll always be with you. Now who wants some more RAM chips?"
The old man sighed as he took the disc out of the computer. "Hmm, I always thought there was something odd when Beeper changed his name. Well, now that mystery is solved. Although, I always wondered what Joel went through when he escaped the satellite?" Idly running his fingers across the desktop, the old man slowly drifted off to sleep.
Joel looked around. Earth, it was so hard to believe that after all those years, he was back on Earth. Of course, it would have been nicer if he had landed near a city (or at least near a payphone) but those things were trivial. He was home now, and there were many things to do. Turning his attention back to the escape pod, Joel tried to pry open the hatch to get to the engine. Not having any tools, this was rather difficult. But as Joel strained himself trying to pry the hatch off, he thought he heard a clicking noise. His efforts were rewarded when the voice of Dr. Erhart started to come out of a previously unseen speaker. "Hi! If you're hearing this, then I guess you found the escape pod. Joel (if that is still you), you might be asking why we put an escape pod onboard the SOL. Well, we're mad scientists, do you really need a reason? I hope this finds you in good health, whoever you are. But sadly, all things must end. That's why we installed a self-destruction device on board. You have five seconds to run and make peace with your deities."
Joel looked at the pod and sighed. "Looks like my luck still hasn't changed." Turning, Joel ran as fast as he could. Fortunately, there was a nearby ditch. Unfortunately, Joel didn't see said ditch until he ran right into it. The pod exploded silently, and left no trace of its existence. Slowly sitting up, Joel looked around at the desert landscape. "I hope that fills up the action quota from here on out."
Standing up and dusting himself off, Joel took in the landscape. The area was almost completely flat, with nothing but dirt off in the distance. "Well, it looks like I have a long walk ahead of me." And so with little fanfare, Joel started off towards the horizon.
Several hours later
Joel sat down near a small boulder and wiped the sweat and grime off of his forehead. "I wonder where I am. The satellite was over Australia, so I might be somewhere in the outback. Ok, I have a general idea where I might be, but I have no food, no map, and no clue where to go. I have to rescue the bots, but how can I convince anyone where I was for the past five years?" And, as if in answer to his question, Joel heard a sound he never thought he would hear again: the sound of a motorcycle. Jumping up and ignoring the pain that shot through his feet, Joel franticly looked around, trying to see the source of the noise. Over the horizon, Joel saw the familiar glare of a single headlight. Frantically waving his arms, Joel's prayers were answered when the bike and its rider rode over to him and stopped. The man riding the cycle wasn't wearing a helmet, which allowed Joel to get a clear look at the man's face.
A pair of sunglasses covered the man's eyes. His features were vaguely oriental, and long oily black hair dangled down his brow. Strangely, there didn't seem to be any dust at all on the man, as his leather jacket seemed to be completely spotless. A large guitar was hung over his back. Looking right into Joel's eyes, the man spoke something in Japanese. Joel's hopes for a quick rescue were dashed as he tried desperately to remember what little of the language he learned from Crow's tapes. "Um, hello, do you understand English?" Joel asked, in extremely poor Japanese. The man grinned and replied in English (although with a heavy accent) "Sure thing. Need a lift?" But before Joel could answer, the man shook his head. "Sorry, no room. But my brothers will be by in a little while." And as if in answer, another sound filled the air: the sound of a car. "Just tell them I said it was ok to ride with them." And with that, the man rode off. "Wait!" Joel cried, "Who are you?" The man spun his motorcycle around and stared directly at Joel. "Guitar Wolf" And with that statement, the man rode off towards the setting sun.
Joel was shaken out of the moment by the sound of another vehicle bearing down on him. The unmistakable sound of a 1975 Mustang filled the air as the car drove up to Joel. The front seat of the car only had two passengers; both of them dressed the same as the man on the motorcycle and looking nearly identical. The driver of the car looked at Joel and spoke. "Get in". Joel, not wanting to waste any chance of getting to civilization climbed into the back seat, and wedged himself between a guitar case and some drums.
After riding for what seemed hours, Joel was jostled from his sleep when the car lurched to a stop. Looking around, Joel saw that the motorcycle rider had stopped directly in front of the car. Joel also noticed that they were now in a town, but judging by the darkened street lamps and garbage piled up everywhere, there was the impression that something foul had happened. The two men in the front seat looked at each other, than at Joel. "Stay here" the driver said as he and the other man exited the car. The two men walked up to the man known only as 'Guitar Wolf' and seemed to be in a conference with him. After a few minutes discussion, the three men walked back to the car. Joel climbed out of the backseat as Guitar Wolf spoke. "We need to split. Your destiny must walk a different path than ours Joel Robinson. But keep the faith. Believe in yourself! Believe in Rock & Roll!" The man reached into his jacket and pulled out a small whistle. "Here. Use it only in emergencies." Before Joel could say anything, Guitar Wolf and the other two men had already driven away. "Hey wait a minute! You can't leave me here!" Joel yelled at the rapidly disappearing forms.
After a few minutes of standing in the darkened town, Joel looked towards the heavens. "Now this is just getting repetitive." Looking down the block, Joel saw the only building in town that had its lights on: an old movie theater. "Why not? The way my luck's been running, the only thing playing is probably "The Head That Wouldn't Die". So, with nary a shrug of his shoulders, he made his way towards the theater like a ship towards a lighthouse, or some other kind of nautical metaphor. Walking past the ticket booth, Joel saw no movie advertised on the marquee. "Just well. Maybe I'll find a phone inside." He noticed that the doors were unlocked, and that only a few lights inside the lobby were working, giving the whole place a kind of avarnt garde/techno thriller feel. Hearing the shuffle of feet ahead of him, Joel called out into the darkness. "Hello? Is there anybody there?" Silence, then a voice croaked out "Ticket?" Joel paused for a second before answering. "No, I don't have a ticket. I just need to use your phone." "No ticket!" The voice screamed. Suddenly, dozens of voices joined the first one, all of them screaming "No ticket!" One of the speakers stepped into the light, and Joel realized he had just jumped from the frying pan and into the fire. The figure before him was a man, but a man with massive sores around his face. Blood and God only knew what else dripped from a large hole in his stomach as he shuffled his way towards Joel. "No ticket!" He screamed as his rancid hands reached for Joel.
"Aw darn." Joel sighed as he turned around and prepared to run like hell towards the exit. But as he turned, he saw his hopes dashed as more of the zombies had somehow snuck past him, and they had blocked the entrance. Looking around frantically, Joel saw what he hoped was his salvation. The only door not currently blocked by the living dead was the doorway the movie theater itself. "I hope they have an emergency exit!" Joel said to himself as he ran like a madman towards the door. Hitting it hard, Joel quickly turned around and braced himself against it. "Ok, I'm trapped in a movie theater with zombies, and I have no way to contact help." But as soon as the words left Joel's mouth, the projector turned on, and soon the theater was in the light glow of the sliver screen.
The scene being played on the screen was that of an old farmhouse. A man, dressed in grimy overalls walked into the camera's point of view and turned around. "So, someone doesn't have a ticket? Well, it wouldn't have mattered, those things will kill anyone, ticket or not." Joel looked around the theater in confusion. "Are you talking to me?" Joel asked aloud. The man in the film grinned as leaned up against a table. "Well, who else? Name's the Garbage Man. I take out the trash. All the monsters from all the movies that have been shown got loose. I'm the only one who can kill them, but I'm stuck in here." Joel looked at the screen in wonder, trying to ignore the pounding the door was taking. "Well, how do I get you out?" Joel asked. The Garbage Man shrugged his shoulders. "Well, the best plan I can think of is to destroy the projector. It's hidden in a room upstairs. The markings on the walls should help you, but it's the zombies you have to watch out for. They're dangerous but slow." Joel didn't find that bit of news as very reassuring as he readied himself to run. Looking over his shoulder, he saw the man in film wink at him. Figuring that was as about as close as he was going to get as a good sign, Joel kicked open the door and ran like hell. True to the man's word, the zombies were a slow moving bunch. Looking around, Joel saw a sign leading up a flight of stairs saying: 'employees only'. Stopping only to pick up a fire extinguisher, Joel made his way up the stairs. Swinging the extinguisher around like a war club, Joel swatted the lone zombie standing in his way. Heading up towards the landing, Joel saw more zombies milling around. But fate (or perhaps some other power) intervened, and Joel saw a door marked 'projectionist booth' down on his right. But fate has ways of being both cruel and kind, and this was hardly an exception. A portly zombie was standing in front of the door, a fire ax in his rotting hand.
"It's good thing I watched all those Romero flicks!" Joel thought as he based the zombie's head in with the extinguisher. The head lurched to one side, but the body didn't move. Dropping the extinguisher, Joel wretched the axe out of the dead man's hands and attacked the door. The lock gave way with out any effort, and Joel quickly jumped into the room and closed the door behind him. In front of him was a running projector, and off to the side was a skeleton, dressed in the tattered remains of what could have been an usher's uniform. Whoever the person was, they had died on their feet. The body was slumped down into the corner. Joel carefully stepped over it, and was rewarded when the body decided that now was the perfect time to wake up. "Employees only!" it screeched as it wrapped itself around Joel's legs. With one swing of the ax, the zombie's head sailed away from the torso. With a final spasm, the body twitched and laid still.
Turning his attention away from the animated corpse and to the running projector, Joel lifted the ax up and brought it down onto the machine. With a loud roar, the machine spurted and black smoke started to fill the small room. The film began to uncoil and rap around Joel's feet and he brought the ax down again and again. Sparks started to fly and the film stock began to burn as Joel continued his assault. After each strike, Joel's arms felt heavier and heavier. Dropping the ax and covering his face, Joel stumbled from the smoke filed room. But once he entered the hallway again, he realized that maybe a little smoke inhalation wasn't so bad, especially when compared to hordes of the undead staring back at you. "Well guys, I tried. I hope you remember me the next time you watch something by Coleman Francis." Joel said as one of the zombies began walking towards him.
But as the creature's cold dead hand gripped him, Joel heard a slight whizzing sound race by him. Opening his eyes, Joel could see the zombie's hand was still on him, but the rest of the creature was no longer attached to the appendage. Looking towards the source of his salvation, Joel was shocked to see the Garbage Man standing down the hall. "Thanks pal, I owe you one!" Joel excitably said as he lifted the ax. "Forget it." The man replied as he lifted what looked like several shotguns that had been wielded together and pointed towards the group of zombies. "Just duck, this thing has a heck of a range." The rest of whatever the man said was lost as the strange weapon went off. A loud ringing replaced everything else, but Joel could see that most of the zombies had fallen to the blast. Looking over at the strange man who walked off of a movie screen, Joel stood up and asked as his hearing gradually returned. "Ok, now what?" The Garbage Man smiled and holstered his gun. "Well, I think if we stop the projectors from running that might cause the zombies to vanish. Or it will just cause more property damage. Either way I'm cool with what happens." Can't really argue with that train of thought, can I? Joel thought as the two of them began their trek into the hell known as a 'multiplex'. "By the way, how many theaters are in here?" Joel asked as he swung the ax down into the face of a rotting corpse that had a popcorn bucket shoved into its mouth. "About fifty I think" The Garbage Man replied as his multi-barreled shotgun cleared the hall. Joel just looked at the man. "Great."
Several hours later
"Wow, that had to be the most violent thing I've ever been through." Joel said as he tried to clean himself of all the entrails that had managed to affix themselves to his person. The Garbage Man just nodded his head as he wiped his shotgun clean. "So…" Joel said, trying to lighting up the mood. "What happens now?" The Garbage Man looked confused as he put the gun down. "I don't know. The monsters are all dead. Normally by this point I'm in another film, fighting the monsters, so what now?" Joel, not really able to come up with any ideas, just sat down and looked off into the rays of the rising sun. "Well, I still have to find a way to rescue my friends. Do you want to come with me?" The Garbage Man shifted his gaze over from the carnage to the sight of the open road. "I don't know. I've spent so much time fighting, I'm not sure if I can do anything else." Holstering his weapons, the Garbage Man started walking down the road. "I'm sorry, but I don't think I could be any help in your quest. But if you ever need me to fight any monsters or zombies, use this to call me." Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a remote control and tossed it to Joel. "Use this to call me if you ever need my aid."
And as the Garbage Man walked off, Joel could only sit amid the rubble of the theater and think to himself "Boy, things have gotten stranger since I left the satellite."
The old man awoke with a snort. "I say; I just had the strangest vision. Oh well, I'm sure Joel didn't go through too much hardship before he got that Hot Fish stand/spaceship." Glancing down, the old man spied a lone disc that had fallen to the floor. Picking it up and placing it in the computer, the old man settled back in for another show.
"They took a temp by the name of Mike"
Frank was scared. Now, this was hardly an unusual experience for him, as he spent most of the day being tortured, killed, maimed, and brought back to life again by Dr. F, but this time he felt a cold twinge of fear shot up his spine that maybe the good doctor wouldn't be so forgiving this time. The main cause of his concern was that Joel Robinson, who up until a few seconds ago was held captive onboard the ironically named 'Satellite of Love', had escaped. Of course, the day itself had going rather poorly, so that latest development was hardly an exception. Dr. F had insisted on getting a temp to help with the big mad scientist audit was going to happen, so Frank's spirits went from down to hidden under the bedrock type down.
As the water in Dr. F's shower shut off, Frank tried desperately to come up with some kind of an excuse; something to say that might lessen his punishment. The temp (some guy named Mike something or other, Frank didn't know the guy's name and at the moment his could care less) walked over to him and showed a clipboard under his nose. "I finished clearing out that box of spare heads, could you sign my timesheet?" Frank spurted as Dr. F came walking out of the shower, his wiry body clad in a bright green robe. "Ah, there's nothing quite like a fresh shower to brighten your day." The sweat on Frank's forehead could have turned the Sahara into a waterslide park. Yes, it was that damn sweaty. Trying desperately to come up with something to say that hopefully postpone any kind of torturous scientific experiments being performed on him, Frank managed to say, "That's nice. Oh and by the way Joel kinda escaped from the SOL" under his breath. Tragically, Dr. F DID hear that, and acted in the appropriate manner. "What! This ruins my experiment! How can I ever face the mad scientist community ever again?" Just as Frank was contemplating a slow and painful death, a heavenly voice cut through the desperation in the room like a chainsaw through water. "Hey, which one of you guys is going to sign to sign my timesheet?" Slowly Dr. F and Frank looked at the unsuspecting temp, and a grin spread across both their faces. "Say Mike. What size jumpsuit do you wear?" Dr. Forrester asked as he stalked his way over to the temp in such a way that man should have had the common sense to run away from the scientist. But before Mike could answer, he felt a sharp pain to the back of his head. Before the world began to fade away into nothingness, Mike could have sworn he heard the two men laughing…
The world slowly returned to Mike in a gray haze. Opening his eyes, Mike saw nothing but gray. Slowly, he sat up and got a better look at his surroundings. The room was small, and he was sitting on a cot, which aside from it, there didn't seem to be any other furniture in the room. Standing to his feet, Mike heard the sound of something clicking on metal just outside the door. Moving towards the door, he could hear the sound of voices talking.
A voice that sounded strangely like Dr. Forrester's spoke: "So, who do you think this guy is?" "I think he's that nice young man that helped Joel escape" a strange feminine voice warbled. "Oh. You mean that goofy guy in the temp outfit?"
Hearing enough, Mike pushed open the door to greet whatever was on the other side. And he was rather surprised to see the robots he saw earlier looking back at him. "Umm…hi?" he asked slowly. At which point the gold robot stepped forward and shouted: "bow down before me human!" Mike sighed as he ran his fingers through his hair. "Crow! This is our guest-no playing god, got it?" The large purple robot that seemed to consist of just a giant head and a long snake like body spoke. The robot named Crow shrugged his shoulders (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) and walked off. "Don't mind him, he's just upset that Joel left. I'm Gypsy by the way" "Mike, Mike Nelson." Mike answered as he slumped against the wall and tried to gather his thoughts.
Meanwhile, back at Deep 13
Frank was busy doing what he normally did, such as trying to avoid getting killed and or yelled at by Dr. F. A pounding at the door startled him. Rushing to the large entranceway, he quickly entered the proper code. The door swiveled open with a hiss, and much to Frank's surprise, there was no one there. "Down here flesh slug!" A loud belligerent voice screamed from the floor.
Looking down, Frank saw a large purple mass covering the floor. Two eyeballs looked back at him, and a gaping black hole with teeth spoke. "I seek the human known as 'Mike'. Bring him to me, or your planet will suffer!" Frank sighed as he stepped towards the Umbilicus. "Well, I'm not sure what Dr. F would say, but he told me not to bother him." Opening the door on the device, Frank made a sweeping gesture around the portal. "Follow this tube straight up. Oh, and don't tell anyone about this, my boss is kind of mad at me enough as it is."
The mass crawled (actually, it was more of a combination of rolling/sliding, but who's going to notice?) up the Umbilicus. Frank closed the door and hit the button, sending the creature from another world straight up to the satellite.
Meanwhile, onboard the aforementioned satellite
Mike was busy trying to comprehend what exactly had just happened to him. "Ok, so I've been sent up here because of that other guy escaped, and I'm suppose to watch bad movies until I insane so that a mad scientist down on Earth can take over the world?" Gypsy nodded her head in agreement. "More or less, yup." "And Joel took the only escape pod, nobody knows I'm up here, and my only link to the Earth is through Deep 13?" the gold robot called Crow stepped forward and spoke "That pretty much covers it, yeah." "And I'll never see my family or anyone I care about ever again?" Mike continued, his voice near breaking. Another robot entered, one that was mostly red and bared more than a passing resemblance to a gumball machine with arms. "Oh, a new guy. Probably going through the whole 'woe is me, I'll never see my family again' shtick, right? Name's Servo, Tom Servo."
Mike just stared at the latest arrival before doing the first sensible thing he had done since he arrived-he fainted.
Several hours later
Mike woke up again to a gray haze. Looking a round the room, he sighed as he stared at the ceiling. "Ok Mike old boy, you've been in tight spots before, just think of something."
After several minutes of sitting and staring at the walls, Mike came to a conclusion. "Ok, I have no idea what's going on." But before any further profound statements could be reached, an ear-splitting scream shattered the silence.
Near the main control room and the theater
Mike rushed in the room, only to stop in his tracks at the sight before him: a large gelatinous creature covered the floor, with the two robots (Tom and Crow, right? He thought) cowering on the table as a set of multicolored lights blinked.
"Mike! Help us!" screamed Crow as the creature's tentacles poked around near the bot's golden leg.
Stepping forward, Mike cleared his throat, which caused the creature to stop its rampage. "Um, excuse me, I was wandering what exactly you were doing here?" Mike asked polity as the creatures' eyestalks focused in on him.
"I seek the flesh slug known as 'Mike,'" the creature bellowed. Mike looked at the animate pile of space vomit and replied, "What do you want with me?"
If there were ever a time to lie, it had just passed. The creature's eyestalks bobbed up and down and its mouth turned into something that might have been a smile. "So, I have found you at last! Prepare yourself human!" And with that the creature slithered towards Mike. "What are you talking about?" Mike shouted as he ran away with the slime that moved like a drunken samurai close behind him. "I will have revenge for my brother that you took away human!" it bellowed after the fleeing form of Mike.
As Mike rounded the corner, he stopped. "Wait, 'the brother you took away?' What's he talking about? I never saw anything like that in my life!" Turning around, Mike started walking back towards the monster.
The alien moved towards Mike, tentacles forming out of its slime-covered body. "So, you will not run? Good, it saves me time. Now human, prepare to go to your respective afterlife!" Mike looked down at the slimy death from the stars and spoke quietly "I think you have me mistaken for someone else." One of the creature's eyestalks moved in closer and studied Mike's face. "Well I'll be damned. I'm very sorry about this flesh slug. The human down below told me that you were the same Mike I sought. My apologies." The creature spoke as it slid its way back towards the Umbilicus.
Mike stared at the slimy creature before turning back towards the bots. "Does this kind of thing happen often?" he asked as the two robots came towards him. "You'd be surprised" Tom replied.
Back down on Earth
"Frank!" Dr. Forrester screamed as he stepped out of his lab. When he failed to hear anything, the mad scientist stomped his way towards the main room, where he saw his beleaguered assistant gripping the ceiling while a giant puddle of purple goop was screaming obscenities at him. Sighing, the now justly mad scientist turned around and made his way back towards one of the inner labs. "Frank, when you get finished playing, provided you don't die screaming, can you send that film up to the new guy? I want to make sure we won't have the same problem we had with Joel."
Back in the present
The old man chuckled as the disk finished playing. "Ah, good times." Looking around the room, the old man spotted a familiar object poking out from a nearby crate. "Why, it's a Tank-Top!"
Walking over to the crate, the old man carefully removed what appeared to be the turret of a tank that someone had cut off and fitted with suspenders. Looking down, the old man sighed as he took in the slightly dented metal. "I remember this; fully functional as both beachwear and antipersonnel armament. Good times, good times in deed." Placing the invention back on the ground, the old man saw an old beta video propped up against the crate, with the initials 'MV' scribbled on the front of it.
Wordlessly, the old man picked up the tape and glanced around the lab until he spotted a dust covered TV with the appropriate device hooked up. Walking with as much speed as his old body could muster, the old man wiped the screen clean and slid the tape into the slot.
All things being considered, there is always someone is going to be worse off than you.
This was not exactly the most helpful thing that sprang to Joel's mind, but it was a start. After Beeper's departure, Joel still made it through the year somehow. The movies were still bad, of course, but Joel and his robots could handle it. The complete lack of human interaction except for a mad scientist was the real pisser though.
Joel sighed as he chewed on a grape. The bridge was clean, Gypsy was busy piloting the satellite, Crow and Tom were off doing some kind of practical joke, and he was left on the bridge tinkering with some bits and pieces.
Suddenly, the lights (better known as the 'Mad Light') started to blink. The yellow light in the center started to blink, but as Joel reached over to tap it, he heard a soft feminine voice speak: "Commercial sign now".
Spinning around, Joel searched the bridge in search of the voice's speaker. Not seeing anyone, he tapped the light that enabled him to communicate with the mad doctor.
Down in Deep 13
"Hello Joel, I trust your ready with the invention exchange?" Dr. Forrester said as he grinned into the view screen
"Well Doctor Forrester, I had a question first…"
"Whatever Joel and the Ways-Outs. Our invention this week is something that is going to revolutionize the world! It will make me a god among men! It even makes a pretty darn good cup of coffee!"
"Um, sir? You didn't send anyone else up here without me knowing, did you?"
Joel's statement stopped the mad doctor's voice in mid rant.
"What did you say?"
"I said I heard a voice that I've never heard before"
"So you're hearings things?" Dr. Forrester said, disappointment evident in his voice. "Well…I hope hoped something more dramatic, like incoherent rambling or perhaps having a interest in renaming everything French. I guess hearing voices is a step in the right direction though. Are you feeling anything else?"
Joel nervously picked up his invention and placed it on the table. "No, not really. Any chance of you bringing me home now?"
Dr. Forrester grinned and patted his latest invention as his loyal sidekick/lab assistant/human test subject TV's Frank strolled in. Well, not so much strolled as ran screaming as what could be described as moving mass of liquid metal lurched after him. Shooting an impatient look at the rapidly retreating form of Frank, Dr. Forrester sighed as he put the invention under the table. "It looks like I'll have to cancel the experiment this time; at least until I get my invention back under control. So until then, choke on these stories I found!"
As the familiar red lights began to flash, Joel hurried towards the doors as Crow and Tom joined him. As he entered the first door to the theater, Joel shot a final glance back at the bridge before entering.
After the movie had ended, Joel shambled off towards his room. Kicking his sneakers off, Joel collapsed onto the cot and went to sleep. As he lay there, he heard that familiar feminine voice speak again. "Who are you?" the voice asked.
Jumping up, Joel looked around the room franticly. "Who said that?" he half spoke/half shouted. When the only reply he got was silence, Joel slumped down onto the cot, his face in his hands. "Is Dr. F right? Are those films finally getting to me?" "You know, talking to yourself is perfectly natural; it's only when you start having conversations with yourself is when its time to seek help." The voice said. "Ok, I know I didn't dream that!" Joel said as he stood up and looked around. "Crow? Tom? Guys if this is one of your jokes I got it, ok?"
After a few seconds of silence, the voice responded again. "Oh, you mean those robots that go into the theater with you. No, I'm afraid I'm quite real." Joel continued looking a round the room, trying to find something to prove the voice was being broadcast from somewhere. "Alright, I give up. What are you?"
The voice became silent at Joel's question. Just before he was ready to write the thing off as a bad movie influenced delusion, the voice spoke again. "I…I have no idea. I think I'm just a voice."
Joel mulled over the info he had been given. "Do you have a name?" The voice remained silent, but after a few more seconds Joel heard a whispered 'no'. "Well, how about Magic Voice?" the voice was silent again, but she quickly responded with a resounding "Yes!"
Back in the present
The Old man looked away from the monitor screen, and he felt his face had become wet. Silently standing up, he walked over to a nearby tarp and wiped the tears away. "Damn."
Suddenly, the old man picked up his chair and threw it into the TV. "Damn it! I never meant for that happen!" Collapsing to the floor, the old man stared at the broken monitor. "Look at me then, so full of piss and vinegar. I was going to rule the world! Now look at me; I'm sitting here reliving old memories like it's some kind of reunion show."
Slowly rising to his feet, the old man walked over to another desk and started to rummage around in one of the drawers. "I'm sorry things didn't work out like I had hoped, but who can predict how any experiments will end?"
Glancing over to a small picture frame, the old man gently wiped away several years' worth of dust from the glass. The picture showed two men: one tall, skinny and wearing a lime green labcoat; the other man was shorter, with light blond hair and a black jumpsuit.
Staring into the photo, the man slowly traced over the picture with his finger. "I never thought it would end like this. I wanted things to be different; going out on top! I was going to change the world-show all those fools how to do it right!" Dropping the picture, the old man walked over towards the smashed TV and gazed down at it. "Am I sorry about this? Heh, I suppose so; at least to a certain extent. I would have preferred to go out on top, but I suppose it's fitting that it all ends here."
A violent hacking cough seized the old man, and he struggled to stay upright. His vision blurred, but after a few seconds it returned to normal.
Walking over to another TV screen, the old man spied another tape, one with the words 'Christmas ending-not to be seen by anyone'. "Hmm, I always wondering how that adventure ended" he thought as he placed the tape inside the VCR
After several hours, mostly involving masked legend El Santo beat the stuffing out a man wearing flesh toned body stocking with muscles spray painted on it, several dozen clones of Santa Claus being shot gunned to death by the Garbage Man, and Mike Nelson fighting his way out of a chicken costume, the old man spoke. "I can certainly understand why this was never meant to be shown, that was horrible!"
Looking around the room, the old man suddenly felt very cold. Standing up, the old man heard a familiar voice coming from the shadows; then he felt a very familiar pair of arms wrapping around his torso and squeezing him tight as he was lifted straight up. "Clay-sama!" A soft, yet borderline insane female voice shouted.
Struggling to turn around, the old man saw a sight that brought back many, many memories-most of them of them bad. Clutching him in a bear hug was none other than the mad one herself: Chibi-Hiroyuki. "Chibi, it's been a while"
Dropping him like a soiled dishrag, the young woman (who hadn't aged so much as a day he noted) skipped over to a nearby table and hopped up on it. "Clay-sama, we need to talk," She said as she traced a pattern in the scratched up wood. "Yes, I suppose we do. What about?"
At this, the madness slowly faded in the woman's eyes, to be replaced with what, sadness? Clayton Forrester couldn't tell what exactly. "Clay, turn around." She said.
Slowly, he did, and he was someone surprised to see himself still sitting in the chair, his head resting on his chest.
"I guess this means I'm dead?"
Turning around again, he faced the leather-clad woman. "Well, I guess you've come to take me to Hell, right?"
With smirk, Chibi-Hiroyuki shook her head. "No, not quite. Clay-sama, you have been a right royal bastard, of that there is no doubt; and yet you do show some sympathy of your crime. If it wasn't for you, all those stories would have been forgotten, and what about all the things Joel and Mike have done? Without you, it never would have been possible."
"Hmm, you know, I never thought of it like that. But since I'm no longer among the living, where am I suppose to go?"
With a gentle nod, the woman stood up and took Clayton's hand in her own. "It's long journey Clay, and you will have to trust me. But I promise, everything will work out."
Slowly, the two of them started to walk. Clay wasn't sure exactly when they left the confines of Deep 13 and got onto the road, but he wasn't feeling too inquisitive. "Where are we going?" he asked as the sun slowly began to rise over the horizon. "Someplace you'll like" was the only answer he got every time he asked.
After an intermediate amount of time, Clay found himself standing in front of an old-fashioned movie theater. Looking past the box office, he was quite shocked to see several familiar faces looking at him. "Joel? Mike?"
The two men (neither of whom had aged a day) looked at the old man. "Hey Dr. F!" Joel smiled warmly as he took the older man's hand and led him into the theater. Looking around, Clayton saw that it was only him and Chibi-Hiroyuki in the theater; no one else. "Enjoy the matinee sir" Joel whispered as the lights began to dim and the sound of the projector whirling to life filled the place with sound. Chibi-Hiroyuki wrapped her arm around his and placed her head on his shoulder as the screen flared to life. "Say, what's playing anyway?" Chibi-Hiroyuki smiled and whispered softly into his ear "every movie you've ever shown."
After letting that statement sink in for a few seconds, Clayton realized something. "I'm in Hell, aren't I?"
Chibi-Hiroyuki gave his arms a little squeeze and shook her head. "Not quite Clay-sama. Just think of it as a date." She whispered as the soft glow from the screen began to fill the theater and the opening credits began to play
In the not too distant future, next Sunday A.D.
There was a Joel, not too different from you or me
He worked at Gizmonic Institute
Just another face in a red jumpsuit
He did a good job cleaning up the place, but his boss didn't like him so they shot him into space!
As the song continued, Clayton found himself signing along with the song
We'll send him cheesy movies, the worst we can find (lala)
He'll have sit and watch them all and we'll monitor his mind (lala)
Now keep in mind Joel can't control when the movies begin or end (lala)
Because he used those special parts, to make his robot friends
ROBOT ROLL CALL
If you're wondering how he eats and breathes, and other science facts (lala)
Just repeat to yourself it's just a show, and you should really just relax!
Here on Mystery Science Theater 3000!
As the guitar twang faded, Dr. Clayton Forrester, formally of the Gizmonic Institute, formerly the head cheese in a experiment to drive a normal man insane by forcing him to watch the worst films ever made, shrugged his shoulders and returned the affections of the woman beside him.
(Feel free to hum Love Theme from MST3K as you read this)
The good stuff
Man, what a ride it's been, huh? I started this series a while, and I haven't had a single regret about doing this series (except maybe that Christmas Special-that was rather lousy now that I think about it). How did it all begin you ask? Well, at first I wanted to do something horrid, something so bad that it would get Mistied and posted over at Shinji's Vault of Anime Misties. The end result of that was Mr. Nice Guy (I wanted to call it No More Mr. Nice Guy, but there was already a series called that; a Due South Lemon series I think) and lo and behold…I got some positive feedback. Yes, my 'rotten' little story actually made some people laugh. I can't put into words how I felt when I read my first review. SL, honey, the steak dinner is on me! But I digress, as that left me with one big question, what to do for an encore? So I rushed Mr. Nice Guy 2 into development, which like most sequels was simply a rehash of the first plot, only with more violence; and so on and so on, all the way through parts 3,4,5,6,7 and now 8. Is this the end? Maybe-at least the end of Mr. Nice Guy. I'll still write, of course, and I might even do some MST3K stories, but as for this series, it's over. Before I go I would like to thank two very special people
SL Watson-for my first review. You have been a good friend and muse to me for a while now. There's nothing more I can add other than this-thanks
Jaimelee Rocket-for being there when I wrote some crazy stuff, and for letting me abuse and use her avatars.
And now, the bad
I know, I know. I didn't him at all this time, but I think it's time to right some wrongs here. I admit, I read some (mistied) version of your work. And I was less than impressed. Do I like your works now? Not really, but I think it's time just to move and stop hating people I've never meet.
Wow. Like SJ, I've never read your original, but damn. I mean, a freaking cat? But, you did seem to be putting your soul into it, and for that there should be some thanks. You're a crazy little bastard, but even I know when to end a joke.
I just realized something. If I spend the next pages writing notes toe very one I've offended, then this thing it going to be at least 79 pages long. So I'd better stick with the big stuff
I'm sorry I've not kept in touch.
You know readers (provided you're still there) I wanted to use Jolt's creation Samantha Jones in the first NG. But he said no, so I didn't. Looking back, should I have just went ahead anyway and used her, damn the consequences? No, I don't think so. Although I'm still waiting for that group mistie of Mr. Nice Guy 1 man.
And to everyone else that I didn't mention, I'm sorry. This has been one hell of kick for me, and I hope, over the last few years, that at least one of one has gotten at least something resembling a laugh from all this.
"Don't be sad, don't be sad at all"