"Oh my gosh, we're going to die!" a high-pitched masculine voice squeaked in the darkness.

"Dean, calm down, we must have faced situations like this a hundred times before. We're not going to die," an older man's snippy voice scolded.

"What are you talking about, Pop?" Dean whined. "The Monarch has been trying to kill you for as long as I can remember. What did you do to get him so mad at you, anyway? What made him decide he was going to dedicate his entire life to destroying Doctor Thaddeus Venture and anybody who's unlucky enough to get in the way?"

"How the hell should I know?" his father growled. "Maybe he hates the fact that when I was your age I was known as 'Rusty' Venture, the son of the most famous super-scientist and adventurer in history! Maybe I cut him off in traffic when I was late to a meeting one day! Why are you asking me? Do I have four-one-one tattooed on my forehead?"

"I wish Hank was here," his son whimpered.

"I wish Hank was here too," Doctor Venture grumbled, "stuck in a crappy deathtrap and being tortured by your constant whining instead of me. Now suck it up and let's find away out of this, can you do that for me?"

"Okay, Dad," Dean sniffed.

Thaddeus sighed. "How do I get myself into these situations anyway?"

Meanwhile in the control room of the Monarch's underground lair…

"What the hell happened to the power?" the costumed villain dressed a butterfly costume demanded in a high whiny voice. "Dammit, we never should have left the cocoon! I can't see my nose in front of my face!"

"Wow, with a nose like yours that's really something," a man's voice commented from the darkness.

"Who said that?" The Monarch seethed. "Was it you, Thirty-five? Or was it Number Fifteen? Dammit, I can't see a thing!"

"It wouldn't make much difference anyhow," said a deep voice that sounded like the television and radio host Larry King. "Everybody but the two of us is dressed in butterfly costumes that have masks. You wouldn't be able to tell who said it anyhow."

"At least I'd be able to execute the little dick!" Compared to last person who spoke, the Monarch's angry voice sounded extra high-pitched. "Honestly, sweetie-pie, if the henchmen going to be that disrespectful, while its dark one of them might try to feel you up!"

"No they wouldn't," the deep voice rasped with a slight New England accent. "The henchmen have too much respect for us, and would never…"

"Wow, when it's completely pitch black like this, Doctor Mrs. the Monarch sounds totally like a guy," a masculine voice said from somewhere in the room. "You'd never guess that she's a total hottie that she makes Megan Fox look ugly."

"Okay," Doctor Mrs. the Monarch scolded. "Which one of you boys said that? You know that the Monarch and I deserve your respect! You boys should be ashamed of yourselves!"

"No, you dicks should burn in Hell for saying such a thing about my wife and your co-ruler!" the Monarch seethed. "Somebody restore the power so I can kill one of you!"

As the Monarch fumed against his disrespectful minions, two figures wearing helmets with lanterns attached to them surveyed their work on a junction box in a concrete underground corridor.

"Well that should have cut the power, Henry," the large overweight man with the 'H' tattooed on his face said. "That should give us the time we need to rescue your father and your brother Dean."

"Gee whiz, how many times do I have to tell you? Call me Hank," a blonde teenage boy complained as he crossed his arms. "If Brock were here, he wouldn't need to cut the power to handle those guys. He wouldn't need guns either. He could take out the Monarch's goons armed only with a combat knife and a fighting spirit that could never die!"

"Yeah well the government hired me to keep you and your family alive," the burly tattooed man commented. "The OSI gave old Sergeant Hatred a second chance, and I for one am not going to blow it! Besides, they gave me a job that I can believe in! I just wasn't the villain I was ten years ago, Henry. I didn't believe in evil anymore. It just wasn't me. I can't blame my wife for leaving me."

"Golly, you aren't going to go on about your ex-wife again, are you?" Hank complained. "I heard enough about her the day Brock quit! Gee whiz, it's getting creepy."

"No I'm not!" Hatred growled indignantly at the boy. "The point I'm trying to make is not only did they wipe my slate clean, but they gave me a job I enjoy doing! Don't you understand, Henry?" the grizzled sergeant asked with a tear in his eye. "Protecting you and your brother is a job I can believe in! You're the grandsons of Jonas Venture for crying out loud! Your father is Rusty Venture! This is my chance to make things right!" He looked away and scowled. "I made a lot of mistakes in my day, Henry, not all of them had to do with quitting OSI and becoming a villain."

"Yeah, well you're still not half the bodyguard Brock was," Hank grumbled.

"Why don't ya stick a knife in my heart while you're at it?" Hatred shouted, his rough voice echoing in the dark corridor. He mimed pulling something out of his chest and pretended to hand it to the blonde teenager. "Here, I think this belongs to you."


Hank Venture

Dean Venture

Doctor Thaddeus Venture

Sergeant Hatred

In the darkened control room, the Monarch's voice could be heard. "I can't believe that the power went out. I locked Doctor Venture in the room that we turned into a giant microwave. All I had to do was mock him over the loudspeaker, get my gloating in, and when I ran out of things to say hit the switch and we'd all get to watch him and his son fry! So what happens? I put him and his offspring into the microwave room, give him some of my best material, hit the switch and… nothing! Worse than nothing, a complete power blackout! I tell you; once the flying cocoon is repaired we're going back to the cocoon and never looking back! You guys made me look like a complete ass in front of my archfoe there!"

"Now honey, it's not as bad as it looks," the bass voice of his lovely wife assured him. "Doctor Venture doesn't know the power went out. For all he knows this is part of your ingenious death trap."

"I already told him that he and his wimpy son would cook to death from the inside out!" the Monarch complained. "It would be death from within, just like in the movie Alien! Their internal organs would fry inside of their bodies without very much change on the outside just like the way a caterpillar turns into a butterfly in a cocoon! I spent a lot time working on this death! It combines the butterfly theme with the radiation theme that he inherited from his atomic age father! It wasn't supposed to be like this and he knows it!"

"I don't see how dying in a giant microwave has anything to do with a butterfly," a voice called out.

"Number Thirty-five, I know that was you!" the Monarch cried out. "As soon as the lights come back on, your ass is mine! You're living on borrowed time, Thirty-five!"

"Calm down, sweetie," his deep voiced wife rumbled. "For all Doctor Venture knows this is psychological torture. He and his boy don't know when the other shoe is going to drop. And the darkness works into the whole cocoon-chrysalis thing. It's not as bad as it looks."

"Well it looks like the Batmobile ran out of gas inside of a coal mine," the Monarch grumbled. "Where are Twenty-one and Twenty-four? How come those two idiots haven't got the power on yet?"

"Here I am, sir," an awkward voice squeaked.

"Good, why don't you and Ray Romano go change the fuses and see if you can restore the power?" the Monarch ordered. "That way you two don't have to be here when I rip Number Thirty-five's lungs out."

"Uh, that may be difficult sir," Twenty-one's voice stammered.

"What?" the Monarch asked irritably. "What's wrong with you jerks? I don't have to make another death threat, do I?"

"Uh, Monarch, if you remember, the last time we assaulted the Venture Compound, Henchman Twenty-four… died…" Twenty-one said sadly.

"One of you died?" the Monarch gasped in disbelief. "But you two idiots never die! Why else do you think I keep you around for? You two were just about indestructible! Why if this was a TV show, you two morons would be regular characters!"

"Everybody dies once, Honey," his wife shrugged her perfect and sensuous shoulders, but since the lights were out and the underground lair didn't have any windows nobody could really tell.

"Well this is just great!" the Monarch declared sarcastically. "You two losers were my best men! Now the team has been broken up! Even with his Swedish murder machine gone AWOL, it was a miracle that without Twenty-four you morons could capture Doctor Venture in the first place! Oh well, I suppose I should be happy that I've got my archfoe locked up in an airtight room. He'll probably suffocate."

"That's the spirit!" a voice called out.

"Number Twenty-five, you just made the list," the Monarch told him.

Inside the sealed room that was designed to spell their doom, Dean burst into tears. "I don't want to die, Dad!"

"I don't want to die either, Dean," he father said tiredly. "Although living for once would be nice change," he added bitterly.

"Dad, how are we going to get out of this?" he asked his father.

"I don't know; let me think," Doctor Venture muttered. "Got it! Now here's what I'm going to do, Dean," Thaddeus Venture said with uncharacteristic confidence. "The locking mechanism is based on a reverse magnetic theorem. All I have to do is pry off the panel next to the door and fiddle with the machinery until the door opens up. I figure that there's enough juice in the capacitor to get this door open if I ask it nicely so don't distract me, okay?"

"But, Dad, it's pitch black!" Dean squeaked. "How are you going to get the door open if you can't see what you're doing?"

"I'll just have to try, won't I son?" Thaddeus Venture replied, successfully mixing care and condescension. "I'm going to have to go by touch so I'll need to concentrate. Dean, I need you to be absolutely quiet all right? No sobbing, no whining, and no asking me questions. I don't know how much time we have before the Monarch does something to us so our survival depends on you being perfectly quiet, okay?"

"Okay Dad!" the boy chirped hopefully. "You just work on the lock. Don't worry, you won't even know I'm here!"

"That's my boy," Doctor Venture said quietly. He reached into his pocket and took out his car keys. He clicked his keys together to make little metallic sounds. "Okay, I think I found some relays so be perfectly silent." Thaddeus continued to play with his keys while he breathed a sigh of relief since he didn't have to hear his son's whining any more.

Crawling through the maintenance ducts, Hank Venture and Sergeant Hatred paused to check their transponder locators.

"Man! They sure don't build these maintenance ducts for plus size people, do they Henry?" Hatred said in his rough, exuberant voice to the teenage adventurer.

"For the last time, it's Hank," the boy moaned.

"Hey, don't get on my case, Henry is your name," a wounded Sergeant Hatred justified. "It's not my fault that's the name your daddy gave yuh."

"Dad calls me Hank all the time," the boy said defensively. "Gee whiz, 'Henry' is such a wimpy first name. I can change my name if I want to."

"Don't do it, son," the former villain warned. "That never works out."

"Henry Jones Junior changed his name to Indiana," the boy said childishly. "He went on to have a successful career as an archeologist at Marshall College and wrote the book on being a scientist adventurer. He was my grandfather's archeology professor."

"La de da, boy," Hatred retorted sarcastically. "Show biz types always change their names. Half of them can't keep a marriage together and other half dies of drug abuse. You've got too much potential son. Don't do it. That's how it starts."

"Did your dad name you 'Hatred'?" Hank asked impudently.

"'Haine' is French for 'Hatred', Henry," the grizzled sergeant sighed. "When I learned that, I didn't want some dumb Frog name. Wasn't American enough so deep inside my head I changed it. That was way before I became a villain. Are you going to make all the mistakes I did, son?"

This gave Hank the ammunition he needed to go on the attack. "Well, golly, it sounds like you sure do make a lot of mistakes," he said as he crossed his arms and looked away. "Brock didn't make as many mistakes as you do."

"Jesus Christ, throw me a bone why don't yuh!" Hatred exclaimed. "I didn't make Samson go away, he did that on his own! I'm trying to make things right, can't you see that? Or do you think I should just get drunk and let you and your family die?"

"Brock could hold his liquor," Hank said stubbornly.

"Dammit!" the Monarch howled as he made his way through the darkness. "I nearly broke my neck!"

"I know," Henchman Twenty-one nodded. "We've got to be more careful. We nearly killed ourselves going down these stairs."

"If everybody else wasn't a bunch of new guys, they could find their way through here in total darkness themselves, but don't worry Sweetie, you still got us," Doctor Mrs. the Monarch assured him.

"Thanks, cupcake," the Monarch sighed gratefully. "You know, now that Brock Sampson quit, it might actually be worth our time to train the henchmen. Before, they died so fast, it wasn't worth it."

"Yeah," Twenty-one sniffed. "I know…"

"What?" the Monarch asked. "Are you going to cry? It's been almost a year since Twenty-four died for crying out loud!"

"I-I'm n-not going to cry," Twenty-one lied. "I've seen a lot of my fellow henchmen fall in battle. I can take it."

"Aw, but Twenty-four was different," Doctor Mrs. the Monarch said as gently as her deep gravelly voice would allow. "He survived long enough for you two to form an attachment didn't he? I don't blame you for still mourning for him."

"Well I do!" the Monarch sneered. "It's a total pain in the ass having my best man sit around crying his eyes out all day!"

"Really?" Twenty-one asked him in awe. "I'm your best man?"

"Aw crap, did I say that out loud?" the Monarch mentally kicked himself. "Yeah, you are…" He admitted ruefully. "You can be kind of a putz sometimes, but let's face it, there's no one more loyal or capable. And it really kills me to say that…"

"Look Twenty-one, we are here for you," the Monarch's wife assured him. "We can't always show it because of the whole evil mastermind thing, but I just want you to know that we have your back. Isn't that right sweetie?"

"Yes…" the Monarch's said as he crossed his arms and rolled his eyes.

"Thanks," said a grateful Twenty-one. "I want you to know that this is the best job I ever had. No matter how much it's cost me, I wouldn't trade it for anything!"

"Why don't we have a group hug, Darling?" Doctor Mrs. the Monarch suggested. "All for one and one for all and all that?"

"All right…" the Monarch whined childishly. "Dammit, I'm just no good at stuff like this!"

In the darkness of the Monarch's death trap, Dean lost all hope.

"Dad, it's not working," he sighed. "It's just not fair! I didn't want any of this! All I wanted to be is a normal teenager with my own room and nobody trying to kill me all the time!"

"Pick, pick, pick, welcome to my life, Dean," Thaddeus Venture said heartlessly. "I said the same thing when I was your age. 'I just want to be normal' I said, 'It's too hard having maniacs trying to kill me' I said, 'I don't want to be a Venture anymore' I said. Do you really think I haven't heard all of this stuff before? My entire childhood was a living hell and Generation X wanted to be me because they were safe at home getting radiation poisoning from the boob-tube! I was probably the only boy in the western world who got Posttraumatic Stress Disorder before the age of fifteen! I didn't want this life either! But my father, no… He had to be great Doctor Venture didn't he? He didn't give a rat's ass about the effect it was having on his own flesh and blood, his son who trusted him and…"

For a moment all was silent in the death chamber.

"Omigod!" Doctor Venture exclaimed. "What have I become? I'm doing the same thing to you that my father did to me, aren't I? I've become as big of an ass as he did, haven't I? Nobody deserves to be subject to this kind of hell! And I'm doing it to my own son, my God… Maybe Dad didn't know better, but I don't have that excuse! I just stink! No wonder the Monarch is trying to off me all the time, it's what I deserve, isn't it?"

"No… Dad…" Dean stammered as he reached out to find him. "This isn't your fault. You always tried to be a good guy, remember?"

"No I didn't," Doctor Venture sighed petulantly. "I just passed myself off as that because I inherited the family business. But you really believe in that stuff, don't you Dean? You believe in the whole 'solving mysteries and making the world better with super science' bull don't you son? Okay, maybe I screwed up, but it's not too late to make it better."

"What do you mean, Pop?" his son asked innocently as he grasped his father's arm.

"I can try to change," Thaddeus told him as he put his hands on his son's shoulders. "I won't be perfect, I'll probably still be a real jerk, but I'll be a lot better than that unfeeling animal you've had to put up with for the last twenty years."

"I'm only sixteen, Pop," the boy told him.

"Whatever, the point is that I'm going to do my best to stop ignoring you," Doctor Venture said as he tried to look his son in the eye while blinded by total darkness. "I'm going to try to be more supportive. I'll make a real effort to keep you out of harm's way. I probably can't save you from the curse of being a Venture, but I can try to reverse some of the damage."

The tearful Dean Venture could barely speak. "Dad… I…"

"Dean, you and your brother still believe in that dream my father did," Thaddeus explained. "Maybe your father is a failure, but you don't have to be. You've got the brains, and your brother wants to be Brock. Maybe in the future the two of you can rebuild Venture Industries and put our family on the map again."

"But Dad… I cant…!"

"You don't have to if you don't want to son," Thaddeus assured him. "You can become a dentist and live in a small town if you want to. All I want to do is give you the opportunity to become whoever you want to be. If we get out of this, things are going to be different. I'm going to stop screwing you up and give you a chance to be Dean for a while. Who knows? I'll bet we'll both like him better than that jerk of a grandfather who died before you met him. Maybe we'll even get to like your father too."

"I already like my father," Dean sniffed as they embraced.

Suddenly there was the sound of tearing metal and light came through a hole in the wall.

"Hey, Doc! Are you in there?" Sergeant Hatred asked in his slightly hyperactive voice. "Sorry about not using the laser drill, but we couldn't get it to work! You know I really don't think that you finished it; you've got a lot of unfinished stuff around the Venture Compound. Not be a nag or anything, but you really ought to work on some of that stuff. If you got just half of the inventions at the compound working it would really be cool!"

"Dad! Dean!" Hank's called out. "Are you guys all right?"

"We're fine, Hank!" Doctor Venture called out as he hugged a smiling and tearful Dean. "As a matter of fact we're better than we used to be. When we get back home, things will be different from now on!"

Dark Day for the Venture Brothers

By Galaxy 1001D


James Urbaniak

Doctor Venture

Henchman 25

Christopher McCulloch

Hank Venture

Henchman 21

The Monarch

Sergeant Hatred

Michael Sinterniklaas

Dean Venture

Doc Hammer

Doctor Mrs. the Monarch

Henchman 34

"The Venture Brothers" and all related characters are © World Leaders Entertainment and distributed by Adult Swim, and were created by Jackson Publick. This story has been written solely for entertainment and not for profit. The views expressed herein do not necessarily express the opinions of World Leaders Entertainment, Adult Swim, the author, or this website.

Weeks later, Doctor Venture and his sons shone flashlights on the stone wall covered in faded Egyptian hieroglyphics. Venomous asps were pushing through holes in the wall to enter the room.

"Man!" shouted Sergeant Hatred. "If anybody would have told me that I was going to be trapped in underneath the great pyramid in an underground chamber filling with poisonous snakes a year ago I would have thought they were full of it!"

"Brock would have gotten us out here by now," Hank complained.

"Pop, I don't want to die!" Dean protested.

"Tell it to someone who cares, Dean," His father said coldly.