Author note: This story takes place within the game continuity of Fix-It Felix Jr. and not the movie "Wreck-it Ralph." Disney still owns all the characters therein, except Tom.
This can't be the right guy.
Mayor Gene stood dumbfounded at the front desk of "Fix-it Felix and Son's Repair Services", staring at the awkward looking young man who had answered the bell. He had come here looking for the legendary Fix-it Felix, the greatest handyman known throughout the Tri-State area. Instead he was looking at a lanky, stick of a man, barely older then college aged, with scrawny arms that looked as if he'd barely lifted a hammer in his life.
"May I help you, sir?" The youth asked again with a cheerful, yet polite smile.
Gene cleared his throat and got right to business.
"We're here to speak with Fix-it Felix."
The young man's smile faded and his eyes cast down to his gloved hands. He twiddled his fingers nervously, the brim of his work cap now hiding his face.
"Um, He's…not with us…" He answered quietly. He lifted his head and met with Gene's stern and disapproving glare. Gulping, he tugged the collar of his work shirt and continued. "But, I'm his son. Fix-it Felix Junior, Sir." He performed a quick salute, his smile returning. "Maybe I can help."
Gene was silently looking him over. He hadn't come here for a Junior, not with the crisis he was facing.
"I don't think…" He started before suddenly being interrupted.
"Maybe he can." The man Gene had come in with finally spoke. Gene turned to his companion, a construction worker who until now had been completely silent. The young Felix hadn't even noticed him as the Mayor's presence had dominated the room from the moment he had walked in.
"Tom," Gene whispered to his friend, "He's a kid."
"He's a Fix-it," The yellow vested man corrected. "We should at least see what he can do."
Felix smiled at the offer, puffing out his puny chest with pride.
"Well, I may not be my Pop sir, but he taught me everything I know."
Gene looked between Felix Jr.'s dopy, hopeful smile and his short friend's serious expression. He sighed.
"Okay, fine." He resigned and turned back to the boy. "We need someone to take on, well…" he carefully chose his words "what could be a long term project."
"Oh. Okay." Felix nodded, gesturing for these potential clients to step into his office and take a seat. Gene did not sit, but continued speaking.
"You see, I'm the Mayor of a little town called Niceland. We just finished construction on our first, of what should be many, small, economical apartment buildings."
"Well, Congratulations." Felix interrupted cheerfully. The Mayor's expression however, was anything but matching.
"We've hit a snag in our plans though." Gene continued, a tinge of annoyance in his voice. "Something's holding up continuing construction in the area, and scaring away potential residents."
"A snag?" Felix sat up straight in his chair, cocking his head quizzically.
"Vandalism." Tom answered.
"Vandalism? Devastation is more like it!" Gene strongly corrected him. "Wanton destruction, that's what it is!" He turned to Felix with an angry glare. "That heathen's set back construction prospects for months!"
"Heathen?" Felix questioned.
"Ralph." Said Tom.
"Wreck-it Ralph!" Gene expanded, as if the additional part of the name would give Felix any more clarity to the situation. "We showed him the paperwork. Imminent Domain. We own the land!"
"Ralph's convinced the land's still his." Tom added.
Felix frowned, feeling very out of the loop.
"He doesn't own anything!" Gene continued ranting, "He's squatting on our land! And living in that stump does not mean the land is his."
"Stump, sir?" Felix tried desperately to make sense of all this.
"We moved his stump." Tom replied. "That's when this whole mess started."
"And now every night it's the same thing; 'My stump!', 'My land!', 'I'm gonna wreck it!'" Gene finished, letting himself catch his breath.
Felix placed his head in his hands and shook it slowly, letting all the information sink in. From what he could gather, the Niceland Apartments were under attack by the previous land owner, some wayward fellow named Ralph.
"Jiminy-Jaminy," he muttered before looking up, "Sounds like one doozy of a misunderstanding you have there. But, wouldn't the police…"
"The police are afraid of him!" Gene cut him off. "He's already scared off the police, several prospective and current Niceland residents, and all of the construction crew except Tom here."
"I drive the bulldozer." Tom added.
"They're all scared, and for good reason." Gene continued. "Wreck-it Ralph is more monster than man."
"He's nine feet tall. Has a bad temper."
"He leaves a path of destruction everywhere he goes."
"He probably weighs a ton, and I doubt he ever bathes."
"And those hands! They're bigger then his HEAD! He's a freak of nature!"
"He's a force of nature."
"And that is why we came here." Gene concluded, wandering around to the back of the desk and placing an arm around Felix's shoulder, ignoring the now petrified look on the young man's face. "We need Fix-it Felix to clean up the mess that Ralph makes every night. Once Ralph sees that we're not backing down, He'll give up and find someplace else to terrorize."
Felix blinked at him, wide-eyed with shock. He could only muster out a single
The Mayor's composure had returned, as if they had been talking about something as mundane as the weather.
"I'm sure someone with a talent like your dad's could keep up with our Ralph. So, when do you think your old man will be returning?"
Felix lowered his head again, softly pulling away from Gene and standing.
"I'm sorry." His voice was quiet. "I think you misunderstood me. When I said my Pop wasn't here…" he removed his cap and held it to his chest, his blue eyes moist with forming tears. "I'm afraid he's…passed on."
"What?! When?" Gene spouted in disbelief.
"It was recent, sir." Felix's voice wavered, "His ticker, it…was something that couldn't be fixed…" He trailed off, trying not to burst into tears in front of these men. "I do miss him something awful though…" It was all too much to bear. This request to fix an entire apartment building while avoiding some sort of man-beast was the largest task anyone had asked for since his father's passing. Usually after telling the client his father was gone and receiving their condolences, he'd take on the job himself with a minimum of heartbreak that he could keep contained. But the enormity of this particular task and the obvious need these poor people were in, the lack of the old man's guidance weighed heavily on him. He covered his eyes with his forearm to soak up the tears flowing down his face.
Gene rolled his eyes. Great, our last hope is dead, and we're left with his crybaby son. He looked again at the boy, who was doing his best to compose himself. Gene decided with a sigh that he shouldn't be so insensitive. The kid just lost his father, after all.
"Look, Kid. We're sorry for your loss." He crossed his arms and huffed out a short breath. "It's our loss too. Without Fix-it Felix and his Magic Hammer, we're sunk."
The younger Felix wiped his eyes and replaced his cap. He then reached for something on his tool belt.
"You mean this hammer?"
Gene looked down at the shimmering tool the young man held. The mythical Magic Hammer, the mysterious relic said to have the ability to fix anything ever broken, to repair even the most irreparable damage with a single strike.
"You…you have it." The Mayor stammered, mesmerized by the glimmering, golden tool.
Felix grasped the Hammer loosely in his hand.
"Yes sir, my Pop, he bequeathed it to me." He held it close to his chest, his eyes getting misty again. "It was his dying wish that I use it to carry on the family business."
Gene took the opportunity to spring into action; this was the prize he had been searching for, the solution to his problems.
"Well, what better way to fulfill your late father's dream then by taking on such an important responsibility?" He placed his arm again around Felix's shoulder. "You'll be helping out a lot of desperate people, give them hope. This is your chance to shine."
Felix stared at the Hammer, thinking it over.
"Golly, I would like to help. It just sounds like an awful big job, and my skills don't hold a candle to my Pop."
"What better way to gain experience then? It will be a lot of steady work." Gene urged him with a warm smile. "We're even willing to put you up in one of our best apartments, rent free. That includes utilities."
Felix's eyes widened.
"Jeepers, that's mighty generous of you."
"All you'd have to do is perform the usual maintenance. Leaky pipes, drafty windows, creaky doors…and whatever structural damage Ralph occasionally causes." Gene caught Felix's expression falter at the mention of the menace. "Oh! Don't you worry about Ralph, he hasn't actually hurt anyone…yet…but you can think of him as job security. And besides, once he sees your work, he'd be crazy to stick around for long anyway."
"Well, if I'd just be fixing what he breaks…" The handyman mulled it over hesitantly.
"And you'd be coming to work for the nicest little place in the tri-state area."
"At least, that's what the bill-board says." Said Tom. Gene flashed him an angered look before turning back to Felix.
"It will be once we have you on board, my boy. Here's my card, in case you still need to think it over. Although, how could the son of Fix-It Felix turn down such a great opportunity to help those in need?"
Gene passed Felix a small white card embossed with the words, "Mayor Gene, Mayor of Niceland."
"We could have some made up for you too, if you'd like."
"Yeah, I mean, I'll think about it." Felix pocketed the card and shook the shorter man's hand with a smile.
"Of course," Gene said confidently. "This means I can return to Niceland and let all those wonderful residents, in dire need of a handyman, that there is a Fix-It considering coming to work for us."
Felix gazed down at the Hammer again, looking more certain than before. Tom stood up, rolling his eyes at how Gene was working this kid over so slickly.
"So, I'll be expecting a call from you soon then?"
"Oh, yes sir!" Felix nodded, looking up with a grin, trying his best to still look professional, despite his previous emotional outburst. "And you have a mighty fine day."
They shook hands again and Gene headed out the door, Tom following. Once Felix had escorted them from the building, Tom turned to Gene and asked,
"I thought you weren't going to go for a Junior."
Gene only flashed Tom a wide smile.
"Junior, Senior, who cares? He has the Hammer. That's all that matters."
[To be continued]