Author's note; To be honest, I've never seen 'Snakes on a Plane'. My friend and I spun off the title because it seemed witty, and I expanded upon the idea to make it into a full story. Although I'm mainly writing this as its sole author, my friend has given me suggestions to put into the story, in which all credit for those ideas go to her.
Also, I am a shameless fan of pointless testosterone contests. You'll clearly see that, especially in this, the first chapter.
I don't own Clock Tower or Snakes on a Plane. Not selling for profit. I adore feedback.
Chapter 1 – "But I Thought You Said, . . ."
"I apologize, sir, but I'm afraid that you'll have to remove the gas mask before boarding the plane."
". . . What?" the Corroder gaped from behind his costume, staring down the flight attendant with an unseen quizzical expression upon him face; quizzical because, as he cast a glance over his shoulder, he observed the other four people accompanying him. His attention was caught by the largest of the group, a huge, heavy-set man whose face was disguised by a dark hood. Corroder turned back to the attendant and motioned to the large man with a subtle wave of his hand. "He's wearing a damn executioner's mask and you didn't have a problem with that."
"An executioner is an occupation, and we're not about to separate a man with an accessory used within the business area," the attendant shrugged her shoulders. Dismayed expression obscured by his costume, Corroder raised a brow and let out a frustrated huff through the filter. He leaned forward, adjusting himself directly in front of the woman's face, the lenses of the mask catching in the light. It was a deliberate attempt to frighten her, although, much to his continued discomposure, the attendant kept that perky, un-caring smile.
". . . You do know that, . . ." his nasally voice turned a more darker tone, irritated and flabbergasted by her reactions. ". . . A gas mask is used in the business area too, right? Here, I'll even provide you with some examples—sewer workers, soldiers, and policemen. Therefore, according to your little 'rules' I should be allowed to keep this on during the entire flight."
"And which out of those occupations do you belong to, sir?" was her immediate response. No break or hesitation, as if it were some mechanical reaction she had programmed into herself. By now she had returned flipping through stacks of paper, barely giving him any attention. With jaw dropped, Corroder merely stared at her.
". . . None of them," he replied after a long moment, and she looked up again. The way her features were displayed showed that she was shocked that he was still standing there, and she shrugged her shoulders nonchalantly.
"Then I'm sorry,"
"Ah! There you are, Johnny-boy!" his protest was cut short as an arm slung over one of his shoulders, his body rocked by the force. He let loose a shock-ridden gasp as he turned his head to observe the attacker—another man, garbed in a red, sleeveless vest, which opened down the middle so that his muscular torso appeared in plain view. The intruder's legs were barely covered by massively tight short-shorts of a khaki color, placing great emphasis upon the muscles there. His ebony-black hair was tied up in a ponytail, although he also wore a braid across his left shoulder, both things kept in place by red ribbon.
In generalization, he was fixed up quite flamboyantly; the only portions of his body even slightly obscured were his eyes. They were blocked by flashy, overdone sunglasses, which probably reflected light just as playfully as his real vision did. Yet despite all of this, the man was a starkly pale, his skin nearly white, and clashed with the colorful brightness of his attire. Corroder stood still a moment.
"What the hell are you wearing?" Corroder breathed, not exactly caught off guard by the appearance of him, but still a bit curious. The man giggled slightly, giving his companion another rough, buddy-buddy shake.
"Come on, John-John, it's only the newest, hottest tourist look around. I'm setting trends here—ladies and gentlemen will be gathering from far and wide to get a piece of this," the intruder backed off a bit, fully displaying his figure by stretching out his arms and turning to show the rest of the clothing. Flame designs burst from the back-center, and the man glanced over his shoulder, smiling deviously. ". . . I'm debating whether or not it would be a good idea to get an ear-stud or something. What do you think? Perhaps a tattoo?"
"Ralph, I think you should shut-up," Corroder grumbled. "I'm having enough accessory issues as it is. I don't want to involve myself in your little game of 'dress-up-in-the-stupidest-most-attention-grabbing-attire-ever'."
"Accessory issues? . . .You mean fashion problems?" This earned a fake pout, and Ralph faced him again. Completely overlooking Corroder's mocking words, his voice broke out in a singsong tune, completely breaking the guise of false melancholy. "My Johnny Lies Over the Ocean, why didn't you just find me? Find me?"
Yet before he could properly answer, Ralph approached him and grabbed a portion of the fabric covering Corroder's right arm. Scissorman observed the cloth intently, his fingers taking in the texture, eyes skating over the appearance and overall mood of it. ". . . I mean, I can understand what you're talking about. I never really cared for this outfit of yours—it looks like something you'd wash radioactive, rust-covered plates with. Now that I think of it, you probably have, haven't you? Honestly, though, its not a lady pleaser. Which brings me to the fact that those boots and gloves are horrendously filthy—"
"—Shut up!" Corroder basically shouted, clenching his fists and wrenching himself away from the man. Though Ralph's pride obviously took no harm, as the man just laughed as the Corroder looked on in disgust. Folding his arms, the fool leaned back on a nearby wall, eyes dancing with a cheerful light.
"My, my, quite a temper we have today, hmm?" Ralph chided. "And despite your harsh words, I think I will still help you if you simply explain the situation."
"I don't think it's a case of whether I need your help," Corroder grumbled, making motions with his arms as he spoke, "its whether I want it or not."
"Excuse me, gentlemen," the voice of the female attendant interrupted them. They both sharply turned to face her, and her expression read as completely irritated that they were crowding her workspace. She set aside a pile of paperwork before giving them each a stern glare of equal dislike. "Please don't get the wrong idea, but I really do need you to relocate yourselves, . . . And you—"
She waved her hand at Corroder. "—Remove the mask and you may board the plane. Simple as that."
"Oh, so it's the mask that's the problem! I should have guessed!" Ralph exclaimed, his attention turning specifically to the costume piece that obscured Corroder's face. "John-boy, why give the charming lady such a difficult time? Though, come to think of it, I've never seen your face."
"I'm entitled to the privacy of my face, thank you very much."
"According to her rules, no you're not," the fool approached his companion once more, searching curiously into the two lenses. "Come on, show us. Don't make me take the silly thing off for you. I bet there is quite the charmer underneath it."
There was a long moment of all three of them staring the other two down, and the only sounds were of that of the people scurrying in the background and Corroder's breathing. Eventually, the man garbed in green let go a heavy sigh, and placed his two hands on the sides of his mask. Given a split second, he lifted upwards on the thing. Ralph hastily jumped back and the attendant froze, her eyes wide. Corroder narrowed his eyes. "Happy now?"
". . . On second thought, you should keep the mask on," they said simultaneously. The acid-man gladly obliged to their request and replaced it with a huff of relief.
"Hey, Ralph!" a female voice called out to the two men. In a hurry, a moving stack of bags and gift-boxes stumbled in their direction, and laughing, it halted beside them. Coco didn't respond, yet Ralph's expression visibly brightened, and he helped take a few bags into his arms, uncovering a girl underneath. She was as wildly dressed as the man assisting her; she was decorated from head to toe with expansive sets of necklaces, rings, and bracelets. "Brother, you've got to see all of these things I got—here, check this out!"
Without hesitation, she unloaded her arms to drop everything, and her hands went to a pocket upon her skirt. Fumbling with the contents, she retrieved what she was looking for and held it out to her sibling. He took it and looked it over—it was small and black, rectangular in shape, and had a variety of buttons all over it. On one side of the front was a lens-looking thing, and Ralph rubbed his thumb over the surface before looking up to give his sister a quizzical look.
"It's interesting, Jemima, but what does it do?" he blinked, handing the device back over to her. She giggled, fingers punching at a few buttons before holding the thing up to her face, pointing the lens towards him. She pressed her index finger down, and given a moment, the thing suddenly lit up in a second. Stunned by it, Ralph stepped backwards slightly while rubbing his eyes, almost stumbling into Corroder. ". . . Whoa! What was that?"
"You know, I'm not actually sure," Jemima giggled, pressing the button again, this time having the lens aimed towards Corroder. The light reflected upon the glass of his mask, and he, just as Ralph had done, backed up a bit in a blind confusion. The girl laughed again. "Its fun, though. I think the dude who was selling them called it a cell phone? It can take these things called photos, . . . we'll have to get you one and, . . . Oh, you should see this!"
Skipping over to her brother's side, Jemima actually 'flipped' part of the object upwards to reveal a whole new entire set of buttons, and she shoved the phone into her brother's hands. He turned the thing upside down, inquisitive, leaving his sister to giggle at his curiosity. After a moment of watching him stare at the thing from various angles, she pointed at the assortment of buttons that had numbers on them. "Just press those and you'll see what I'm talking about, you silly."
He gave her a look, as if he didn't quite understand, but then started punching away at the buttons with his thumb. Suddenly, as he gave a brief pause, the little device began to make a loud 'ringing' sound, and Ralph almost dropped the object in surprise. Yet Jemima motioned for him to calm down, nodding, to tell him that this was what she wanted to happen. After the third time of the noise, it stopped as suddenly as it had started, and instead another sound began to project from the thing;
". . . Hello?"
Ralph lifted the phone in front of his face. ". . . Hullo?"
"Who is this?" the voice responded. It was a deep, gruff voice, like a man's, and its tone was sleepy, as if it had just been disturbed from a nap. Ralph blinked, glanced at his sister, and then grinned from ear to ear.
"Ralph Burroughs," he provided confidently. "And my twin, Jemima Burroughs."
"That's nice, Mr. Burroughs—"
"No, please call me Ralph. Or, Master Ralph, . . . That one always rolls off the tongue better, don't you think?"
". . . Right, Mr. Burroughs, . . . Why the hell are you calling me?"
"Me? I wasn't calling you anything. I thought we were having a lovely chat," Ralph curled his lip, smile folding a little.
"Okay, seriously, I don't know who you are," the voice suddenly turned very serious and cold toned. "So either state your business or I'm hanging up."
"Well, if you must know, my sister and I work together in the dungeons of my Lord's massive estate. We're the executioners—top of the league torturers. Personally, I've killed around, . . ." Ralph pondered for a moment, mentally counting the victims, ". . . thirty-seven people. I remember them all too. You should have seen the one. He was spurting blood everywhere from anywhere on his body! But that's not important right now. My business as of current involves my small group of friends and me. We're own our way to– Uh, hullo? Hullo?"
The sound coming from the phone changed again, this time to just a flat static. Ralph glared at it, dumbfounded by the sudden switch, and then observed the screen of the thing.
". . . I wasn't calling him anything!" the jester protested at the object, absently smoothing his finger over the buttons. With a small pout on his lips, he continued to read the other words that the thing projected. Jemima had taken to glancing over his shoulder, also looking quite confounded at the small device.
"Hey, what is that word?" she asked, pointing at the screen.
"I 'unno. Though we'll soon find out, won't we?" Ralph giggled, pressing the button that initiated the command. The ringing noise amplified once more, and then, just as it had happened, the voice reappeared.
"Ah, its you again!"
". . . What?"
"Its me, Ralph Burroughs, remember? Master Ralph Burroughs of Burroughs Manor?"
"I thought I hung up on you."
"I'm not sure what that means, but at least now we can continue where we left off and—"
"No we can't, because I don't know you. I don't want to know you either, because you keep bothering me from my nap," the volume of the voice increased, ". . . furthermore, you're obviously insane or just completely stupid if you can't understand the phrases 'calling' or 'hanging up'. Really, those are just standards in society. So, Mr. Burroughs, it was not a pleasure to talk to you, and I just hope that you never call back again."
"I'm not calling you anyth—!"
The static interrupted his complaint, but without hesitation, Ralph hit the redial button again.
"—We're going to America to go find this young girl, Alyssa Hamilton. Maybe you've heard of her? Well, my Lord Burroughs wants to kidnap her in order to tear out her heart and drink her blood, except its sort of difficult to do if she's in a different continent entirely, . . ." Ralph's face contorted into one of deep contemplation, ". . . Maybe I should start off the story differently—"
"Why the hell do you keep calling me? I never asked you to explain any of this! Really, if you don't stop, I'll be getting the authorities on your ass, . . ."
"—You see, we didn't think her mother would be smart enough to warn Alyssa a week before her fifteenth birthday—that whole blood-drinking thing doesn't work until that day. Also, we didn't think Alyssa would be smart enough to actually heed her mother's warning anyway, but it turns out that the young lady did, and she took a plane out of England as fast as she possibly could. So we've got to go after her, although its Chopper that actually has the whole plan of attack set up—"
"Chop what? You're letting a motorcycle tell you what to do?"
"No, you silly boy! He's a subordinate, just like me," Ralph's voice dropped to a whisper, "his actual name is Harold Powell, but I hate addressing him by that. Its this whole dominance thing, since everyone knows that I should be leader."
". . . So why are you taking orders from him?"
"Simple. Pissing him off by ignoring him is so much more fun. Though one day I'll—"
"Wait a minute, why am I still talking to you?"
"Because I'm so good at carrying conversations. Comes from years of practice in the manor and—"
"You two! Scissortwins!" at the sound of a new voice, Ralph quickly snapped the phone shut and glanced upwards. Though, seeing who it was who addressed them, Scissorman quickly threw on a smile, giving the device back to his sister. Jemima flipped it back open and snapped a quick photo of their guest.
A tall, muscular man stood at the same height as Ralph, their gazes locking in an instant. Yet while Ralph's expression was cheerful, the other man's was not. Also quite unlike Ralph, the man was garbed completely in black— tight leather clothing and chains covering his body. On his baldhead he wore a helmet with a couple of spikes protruding from the top of it, and on one side of his nose was a small, studded piercing.
"Chopper! We were just talking about you, my friend," Ralph greeted him smugly, bending over in a short bow. "And just so you know, that outfit looks wonderful on you."
"Off of it, Scissorman. You're just flattering yourself because you picked it out for me," Chopper frowned further.
"Is that it? Sometimes my wonderful sense of style surprises me so much that I forget that I'm the artist behind the masterpiece—its funny! For a moment there you scared me into thinking that you'd picked yourself something and actually had it turn out looking this good," the jester's dark eyes glittered, tone jeering in a sarcastic way.
"I look stupid," he growled back, his hand suddenly lashing out to grab the collar of Ralph's shirt. Chopper hauled the fool closer to him before continuing. "How is this 'fitting in'? For as long as we've waited, I haven't seen another person dressed like me. Be honest, Sci-sor-man, you made me up like this simply because you could."
"Aw, Chops, that hurts. Right here, . . ." Ralph put on the showman's act, placing his right hand near his heart and giving the area a gentle pat. He didn't even seem concerned about the fact that his leader could easily take a fist to his face, his voice as mocking as ever, merely increasing every time he spoke. ". . . Do you really think I would do something like that to you?"
"Do I even have to answer that?" Chopper shoved Ralph aside, causing the jester to cackle with unbearable glee.
"It helps you stand out!" Ralph exclaimed, spreading his arms wide. "Its wonderful. Spectacular. You're starting new trends, Chopper."
"Ralph," Chopper narrowed his eyes. "I am not you. I am not amused. So why don't you just take your sister and go find Sledgehammer?"
"Because," he replied, grinning, "that would be too easy."
"Ralph! Move it, or else you're going to know exactly what it feels like to go through the propeller of a high-speed jet while it's in motion," the leader of the subordinates growled, snagging the other man by the sleeve and shoving him in the direction that he wanted him to go.
This time, Ralph didn't even let slip another comment, finding it too difficult to be able to, his breathe occupied by laughter. Making a dismissive motion with a hand, the jester glanced at his sister, speaking to her with a smile kissing every word with mocking joy. ". . . Dear sister, I beckon thee to walk with me, since it is the thing the almighty Chopper does command of us! For it is well known across the land that what he doth speak be law, and woe to those who betray and forsake him!"
Catching on to her brother's game, she came up beside him, her laughter to match the strength of his. In glee she repeated her sibling's words. "Woe to those who betray and forsake him!"
Chopper and Corroder watched them leave, both giving the impression of being slightly relieved at the departure of their unfortunate comrades. It wasn't until the twins had vanished completely into the crowds that Chopper finally turned to his companion, scowling underneath the shadow of his helmet.
"Looks like he didn't get to you," the leader commented, remarking upon the fact that Corroder was still dressed in his usual attire.
"He almost did, . . ." the man shrugged in response, now moving his attention to glaring at the various packages that Jemima had left strewn at his feet. "Although, how did Scissorfreak convince you to even consider letting him help you?"
Chopper narrowed his gaze. "I'm not even going to answer that, . . . now, where did you get all of this stuff?"
"Its not mine. Scissorwoman got it, although I'm not sure where from. She sort of just paraded over here with it all in her arms and, . . ." Corroder skimmed through the contents of one of the bags and ending up pulling out a piece of lingerie. He hurriedly stuffed it back. ". . . We can question her later when they come back with Robert."
"They aren't going to come back with Robert."
Corroder glanced curiously up at Chopper. "What? Didn't you just, . . . ?"
"Yes, I told them to go find him," Chopper explained. "Yet I set them off in the wrong direction. I already know where Robert is, and told him to join us once I had gotten rid of the twins, . . ."
". . . They are pesky, aren't they?" a gruff voice appeared from behind them, but neither of the two men flinched. The two of them casually turned, casting an upward glance at their newest guest. It was the same man from before; the one who adorned an executioner's hood. He stood tall over the both of them, arms crossed, his twisted lips offering the makings of a devilish smirk.
"Obviously. Too bad we can't do this without them, . . . not to mention getting Burroughs thoroughly pissed at us for abandoning his 'precious Scissortwins' at an airport in a time period that they are definitely not familiar with, . . ." Chopper waved his hand dismissively, getting annoyed that each and every conversation somehow wove its way into connection with the twins—with Ralph. Even the thought of the flamboyantly clad man made his skin crawl with anxiety to take an axe to the Scissorman's throat. ". . . Anyway, let's get back to actual business here. Robert, is everything packed and being boarded onto our flight?"
"As we speak," Sledgehammer confirmed.
"Including our weapons?"
The leader nodded his approval, reaching into the pocket of his leather pants, removing some slips of paper from within. Without a word, he handed each of them a slip.
". . . Don't lose these. We need them to get onto the plane—at least, to get onto the plane legally. Normally it wouldn't be an issue, but Burroughs specifically instructed that we try not to draw too much attention—"
"Too late for that," Corroder interrupted. Chopper shot him a look before continuing.
"—As I was saying, . . . We don't want authorities to grow overly suspicious of us, so we're just going to have to board as everyone else does. Hopefully by blending in as best as we can, we'll do okay until we finally reach The United States. We can worry about what happens afterwards when we get to that point."
"Just so I've got everything straight, . . ." Sledgehammer started, ". . . Where exactly is our final destination? Wasn't it something like Kokomo?"
"Robert, Kokomo is a city in central India. So its no where near where Miss Hamilton is headed," Corroder corrected, looking to Chopper for validation of his statement. With a sigh, Chopper continued the explanation.
"We'll start it off from the fact that Alyssa boarded a plane, . . ." he responded. "She's on her way to a state called Colorado. That's where her father's parents live."
"Phillip's parents? I assumed they kicked off long ago."
"Well, apparently, they didn't. In all actuality, they are alive and wealthy, . . . they only 'lost contact' with the rest of the Hamilton line for getting their son involved in such nonsense. He must have told them about Nancy's inane ramblings about Rooders and Subordinates, and they immediately labeled her as insane, and would have nothing more to do with her or anyone on that side of the family. Especially after he died," Chopper took a moment to laugh, probably enjoying the thought of how Alyssa's father had perished. "Alyssa must have begged on her knees for them to take her back into their oh-so-loving arms."
"Excuse me, sir! Madame! Please get down from there!" a panicked voice caught all of their attentions, each of them turning in the direction of the commotion. Around a tall water fountain a thicker crowd of people had grouped, their heads craned back to look near the top of the thing. The three of them squinted their eyes, a bit too far back to make anything out clear enough to distinguish what was actually going on. To their horror, or at least, to their displeasure, two very familiar voices called out in response.
"Hey, hey! Jemima, look at the silly man telling us what to do."
"Oh, I see him! Smile, good sir, for the cellphone!"
Chopped shoved his way through the amount of people that had accumulated to see the twins up on top of the fountain; a fountain shaped like a flying bird that allowed plenty of space for two people to stand without getting drenched. Standing on the head of it, smiling across the width of his face was Ralph. The Scissorman's eyes gleamed with amusement, staring in the direction of a man dressed in uniform, obviously the one who'd been yelling at them to remove themselves from off the fountain. Jemima stood not to far off from her brother, peeking out from behind a wing, holding her cellphone and snapping photos almost constantly at all of the people looking back at them.
A pent up frustration built behind Chopper's next words, fed up with the antics. Pushing further through the crowd, he made his way to the fountain edge, his eyes burning with fury at the disobedient twins. "Scissorman, Scissorwoman! Get down here now!"
"Chopper!" Ralph replied cheerfully over the sounds of the fountain water, obviously overlooking the fact that he had just been given a direct order. To prove this, the jester gave a light wave, smirking in the fact that he knew he was pissing his leader off. "So delightful for you to come fetch us! Sorry about forgetting to retrieve dear Robert, even though Jemima and I are quite certain that entire routine of yours was just an act for us to go away."
"Don't lie to us either!" Jemima scolded, though her voice remained happy and delighted at the attention they were receiving.
"Silly Chopper who thought we wouldn't notice, hmm?" Ralph finished, leaning his back against the edge of one of the wings, placing his sunglasses on, white teeth gleaming in the light. "Silly, simple, Harold Powell."
Chopper felt his fists absently clench. ". . . Come down here and say that to my face, Ralph Burroughs."
The atmosphere went noticeably still at the sounding of a challenge, bystanders averting their gaze between the two men, both of whom merely stared each other down. Though the moment didn't sustain itself long. After about a minute of dead silence, except from the occasional oblivious person passing through, Ralph took a few steps forward upon the head of the bird, until he was standing at the very edge of it, removing the sunglasses once more. His scowling lips soon transformed back into their normal smile, . . . and the Scissorman bowed at his adversary.
In a fluid motion, Ralph leaped into the air, tossing away the glasses as he did. That simply vanished into a cloud of confetti as he spiraled in the air, the rest of his attire changing as he did. Ruffles of white appeared at his collar, and a flame colored vest replaced the red shirt he'd been wearing moments before. Jeans magically shaped themselves into tights, and his shoes grew into knee-high boots.
By the time Ralph had landed feet first in the water, his outfit had transformed in its entirety.
"Oh, Highly Esteemed Leader of the Subordinates, the strongest of us all, . . ." Ralph teased while beckoning Chopper to join him. ". . . Show me then. Show me why I should listen to you."