TITLE: Mr. Monarch Laments

AUTHOR: Mike Pulgoni, Prince of Wales

NOTES: How funny or unfunny you find this story is in direct correlation to your ability to successfully imagine The Monarch reading the lines in your head.

RATING: Call it a hard T

"So, I finally decide to settle down," The Monarch reflected.

The room maintained the sort of awkward silence common when people start insane rants in public.

"Oh, sure, I knew she'd been around a little," The Monarch continued. "I found out all about her history... she went out with that villain, worked Number Two for this one, posed for a few pictures when she was younger, her Mom likes me better... I knew about all that," he asserted. "And I was cool."

Probably everyone in the bar had heard evidence otherwise, but they just let it lie.

"I mean, I could live with her having a history, I could accept never sleeping with another woman... she was all I ever wanted, anyway," The Monarch confessed. "But why can't I have her and grind Venture's skull into powder? I mean, this time last year I was storming his compound with a swarm of blood-thirsty butterflies... and now I'm spending my nights in a bar in the suburbs, sitting next to the Guy From Depeche Mode and trying to get a buzz off domestic beer! She took away my reason for living!"

For his part, The Guy From Depeche Mode didn't seem to understand where The Monarch was coming from. "I don't understand what makes a man hate another man."

"Well, sometimes there's bad blood and you just never get over it or maybe there's some kind of unresolvable ideological difference or maybe they just rub you the wrong way and you aren't really sure why," The Monarch offered helpfully.

The Guy From Depeche Mode considered this for a few moments. "Actually, that makes a lot of sense," he admitted.

"The point is," The Monarch continued, "arching Doctor Venture was what gave my life meaning, but the second she asked me, I gave it up entirely."

There was an awkward pause.

"I mean, mostly," The Monarch conceded.

There was another awkward pause.

"I mean, it's not like she never fudged the truth about anything," he defended.

He turned to glance at the K-mart gothic man-snake passing out at his side.

"I mean, her Guild profile says she was a founding member of Veruca Salt," The Monarch mused. "Can you imagine that?"

"It does seem to conflict with the time-table," he concurred.

The Monarch nodded, and returned his attention to his drink.

Then turned right back to the man-snake. "Who the crap are you supposed to be, anyway?"

"Serpentine Industrial," the snake replied lamely. "See, I've got this pit and..."

"Sure, whatever," The Monarch brushed him off. "I'm just saying, I used to have a purpose, something to focus my energies on... now who am I supposed to deploy my vast army of disposable minions against?"

"The Guild could always assign you a new arch-nemesis," a multi-gendered Japanese Orson Welles look-a-like rationally advised.

"Oh, I'm sure that would feel incredibly rewarding," The Monarch snorted. "You do they have you arching?"

"Christian Science Ninja Team G," the other villain replied proudly. "Japan's third highest-ranked bird-themed Conservative action team."

"Uh-huh," The Monarch nodded. "And why are you arching them?"

And here the Japanese villain was stumped. "Um... because I was assigned to?"

"But did they hideously disfigure you? Did they humiliate you? Are they to blame for those bizarre flesh-balloons covering your body?" The Monarch demanded.

"You mean my breasticles?" the puffy hermaphrodite stuttered. "No, those were put there by my alien over-masters. And they say I'm beautiful."

"Oh, sure, I bet all the boys are just to nervous to ask you out," The Monarch sarcasted. "This is exactly the problem! What do you people expect to get from menacing someone you picked out of a catalogue!"

"Hey," The Guy From Depeche Mode whispered, getting right in The Monarch's face, "I don't know about you, but I happen to take David Bowie's commands pretty seriously."

"Oh, back off, Gore," The Monarch spat, pushing him away. "You haven't put out a decent album since 'Meat is Murder!'"

"That was the Smiths..." The Guy From Depeche Mode sighed. "Don't you know anything about music?"

"Oh, I know about music, all right," The Monarch screeched, hearing his music sting ringing through his head. "I know about the sweet, sweet music of screams, sobs, and spasms as a hated enemy breathes his last! I know the beautiful death march that will fill the air let wet kisses as Venture is finally lowered into the ground! The bittersweet symphony of murder as..."

At that point, the door swung open and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch walked in. "Sweetie, if you're going to get the grass cut before it gets dark, go better get started soon."

The Monarch deflated visibly as approached the love of his life. "All right, I was just having a drink with the fellas," he offered lamely.

"Well, it's nice that you're finally making new friends," Dr. Mrs. The Monarch smiled.

"Hey, can't we have the henchmen cut the grass," The Monarch mumbled as the door closed behind him.

"Remember what to 21's foot last time..."

--

Meanwhile, Brock punches guys.