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Narr: Sorry, there is no comic for today due to the fact that the Y2K bug has caused the pencil I use to lock-up when I try to draw with it. I am working very hard to get the pencil to paper despite the bug, but it is a long huge uphill battle. This is not... I repeat.. is NOT a cheap trick to get out of doing the comic for today so I might spend New Year's Eve and Day with friends and family. How mean of you to think of such a thing! Narr: Good golly, I just realized I haven't checked to make sure my pink pearl eraser is y2k compatible! Narr: A trendy club in L.A.: Anon 1: Three hours until the New Year! Anon 2: It's already 2000 on the east coast. Sam: Two women! Yes! You da man! Sam: Yeargh! My head! Anon 1: What's wrong, Sammy? Anon 2: Yah! Sam: Reargh! Anon 1: Eeek! Anon 3: What the hell was that!?! Anon 4: Oh my god! Anon 5: Help! Stone Johnson: And the celebration has gone off without trouble. As we head into the new millenium, we'd like to applaud the winner of our voter's choice award for the greatest movie of the entire millenium: "Pokťmon: The first movie". Sam: My head! Stone Johnson: There is still time to vote for the most influential person of the millenium. The contenders are Britney Spears, Nostradamus, Will Smith, Michaelangelo (the turtle), and Pikachu! We now present to you the ultimate rock anthem which has stood the test of time, Kid Rock's "Bawitadaba!" I'm Stone Johnson. Stone Johnson: Wait! This just in, a special report from Times Square by field report Qwirky Waltons. Qwirky? Qwirky Waltons: Hi Stone! While the New Years festivities seem to have gone off without a hitch, the police refuse to comment on the comatose body being moved to an ambulance unit outside of One Times Square. It has been learned that the word "Torg" is written on a tag inside the jacket of the unidentified man. Sam: Torg? Qwirky Waltons: To compound the myster, two revelers from the crowd have also been taken out on stretchers. Again, no reports of any criminal activity. Nothing to explain why they would just fall into a coma. Now three people out of a crowd of two million is not enough to indicate a biological agent released in a terrorist attack on New York... Qwirky Waltons: ... Or is it? Sam: ZoŽ's in trouble! I've got to get home! Qwirky Waltons: I'm Qwirky Waltons for Nifty News 50: When the world descends into panic, we lead the way. Narr: Connecticut: Anon 6: What is it? What's wrong? Mrs. Cobbler: I can't wake Jaya up! She won't wake up! Dial 911! Narr: Somewhere underground: Dr. Schlock: Yeargh! Dr. Schlock: It's begin! And before it's done a million people will die! Narr: ZoŽ and Gwynn's apartment: Kiki: Gwynn? Anybody home? Bun-Bun fell asleep and Aylee is acting weird! Should we call for help? Kiki: Gwynn?!? Narr: Back underground: Dr. Schlock: I don't believe it! I'm infected! It's not possible! I've had no contact with the outside world since... Narr: June 1999 Dr. Schlock: That ferret looks familiar... One of Dr. Crabtree's test subjects? Impossible. Stop trying to scare yourself, old man, you're paranoid enough as it is. Dr. Schlock: The ferret! The ferret will kill us all! Mr. Green: Who the hell is shouting down there? Who is in my basement? Mr. Green: Honey, get my gun. The old kook is trying to steal our survival gear again. Dr. Schlock: Right neighbourly of you, Green. I'll just head back to my lab the way I came! Dr. Schlock: Hello? Kiki: Help! Help! Something's happened to my friends! Kiki: Hey I know you! You're Dr. Scholo... Schlough... Dr. Schlock: I know you! You're the escaped lab animal in dire need of a dissection! Kiki: Don't hurt me! I'll be good! Sam: You wouldn't be planning on hurting my ferret, would you? Dr. Schlock: Don't hurt me! I'll be good! Kiki: Sam! Yay! Dr. Schlock: What in god's name are you? Sam: I'm a vampire! Sam: Oh wait, that's supposed to be a secret. I mean "umpire!" I'm an umpire! Dr. Schlock: Umpire. Got it. Sam: Now tell me what's going on or I'll drink your blood! Sam: I mean, "flink your mud"! Sam: Is "flink" a word? Kiki: Oh, I like it very much! Dr. Schlock: This reanimated imbecile of a corpse is standing between me and the salvation of... Sam: I'm trying to scan your mind, man. Could you think with smaller words? Dr. Schlock: I'm from the future, an alternate timeline now, and I've seen this disease first hand. The disease hit during the height of our war with the demon, just after the start of the year 2000, which is where it got the nickname "The Y2K Bug". An inane yet profound nickname as it turns out. Over a million people died. We thought the disease was part the demon's plan of world dominance, but after some research, we found the disease had nothing to do with the demon at all. Dr. Schlock: We created a vaccine of sorts, but it was too late to help anyone. The disease had run its course. We knew what it was, but we never new why it was. We never knew the reason for it, and we never knew the source. Dr. Schlock: This is what we did know. Something infected a couple dozen people with a disease that caused the to fall into a coma that lasted a week or so. Those infected awoke as carriers themselves, but the disease had changed its modus operandi entirely. Instead of inducing comas, it simply spread, and spread, and spread. Within 48 hours, a million people were infected, and 48 hours after that, they were all dead. Dr. Schlock: I'm infected now, and would be in a come if not for the vaccine we created in the future, but I have no idea how save I'll be when the disease hits phase 2 in a week. But now... now that I know the cause, I may be able to stop a grim history from taking place. Sam: ? Kiki: ? Dr. Schlock: Friends all got big-bad-sicky-sicky! No wakey-wakey! Me save! Me stop big-bad sicky-sicky! Sam: Ohhhh! Kiki: Ohhhh! Dr. Schlock: Hi! I'm Kiki! I'm nice but I don't know I'm carrying a sickness that'll make all my friends like Riff and ZoŽ fall asleep! Dr. Schlock: Hi Kiki! I'm your friend Sam! Since I'm a vampire, the sickness only gave me a mild headache, but ZoŽ's in trouble and I love her so I'm here to help! Dr. Schlock: Hello, I'm Dr. Schlock. I'm a genius from the future where they made me Kiki-disease-proof (mostly). If you do everything I tell you to, I can save your friends and a million others from being dead! Dr. Schlock: Yay Dr. Schlock! Dissect me if you need to! Dr. Schlock: I'll do whatever you say without question! Dr. Schlock: You guys get the picture? Sam: You've got my walk all wrong. If you're gonna do the Sam-puppet, you've gotta move smooth, man! Kiki: Oooh! There's a cartoon on tv! Dr. Schlock: Kiki, everyone you've come in contact with is now in a coma. They could die of starvation or worse if we don't get them to my lab. Is there anyone else who would be alone and infected besides Gwynn? Sam: What about ZoŽ? She's in a hospital. Will they remember to feed her? Dr. Schlock: Hospitals are ok too, Sam. Still, I'd like to get hold of ZoŽ, Torg and Riff for observation. Kiki: Ooh! Oooh! Aylee and Bun-Bun! They need help! Narr: Torg's apartment... Kiki: Bun-Bun's asleep like everyone else, and Aylee just balled up! Dr. Schlock: It's a cocoon, Kiki! Riff told me about her. She's an alien in the process of changing form. Dr. Schlock: I'm so excited! An opportunity to sample alien DNA and an opportunity to squash a helpless Bun-Bun with a sledge-hammer! Lucky day of days! Dr. Schlock: So, Mr. Comatose-Bun-Bun, it's been a long time since you took my eye, and since I first dreamed of having you helpless before me. Say hi to Mr. Cordless-Hand-Drill! Dr. Schlock: eep! Dr. Schlock: I thought Bun-Bun was in a coma! Kiki: Naw, just hungover. He had a lot to drink New-Year's eve! Dr. Schlock: I'm such a moron, of course the virus would only affect humans! Now he knows I threatened him! I'm a dead man! Sam: I'm sure if Bun-Bun noticed, you'd be dead already. Kiki: The bullets are just his way of saying "keep it down, I've got a hang-over"! Narr: Dr. Schlock's lab, January 3rd, 2000: Dr. Schlock: Kiki! For the hundredth time, you have to try to remember what happened to you with Dr. Crabtree. Kiki: Dr. Crabtree!?!? Kiki: Nooooooooooo Sam: Leave her alone. Dr. Schlock: Sam, I need you to do something for me. ZoŽ, Torg, and Riff are all being kept in a highly secure hospital under very heavy guard. It's very important that we get them here before they hit phase 2 or they'll die! It's very dangerous and will take careful and thoughtful planning... Sam: Say no more! Sam's on the ball and king of 'em all! Bun-Bun: Neat trick, Doc. You mention ZoŽ-in-trouble to Sam and you get him out of you hair for a while. He might actually rescue the. Vampires are unstoppable if you're not prepared. Bun-Bun: I like the idea of a controllable virus which can take out nerd-boys but have no effect on me. Any idea how I could gain control of some? Dr. Schlock: I'm not sure I'd tell you if I knew. Bun-Bun: How about you start by telling me the truth about the virus? Dr. Schlock: I did tell you the truth. Bun-Bun: Repeat the part about Dr. Crabtree again. Dr. Schlock: We've been over this! Dr. Joseph Crabtree was an associate of mine who was trying to create a controllable strain of the type PT109 flu virus. He was driven like no-one I've ever seen. A year before my first encounter with you, he left the company to join the military. The bio-weapons department, I believe. Bun-Bun: And you have absolutely no idea how to find him. Dr. Schlock: I'm from the future, Bun-Bun. I haven't seen Joseph in over forty years. Feel free to try and find him if you think you can. Bun-Bun: That's right, you're from the future, meaning the younger you is still around. Maybe his memory would be a little more fresh. Do you know his phone number? Dr. Schlock: In my version of January 3rd, 2000, the demon is already causing great turmoil. I'm running for my life there! In this version of the present, I have no idea how to contact the young me. Bun-Bun: Then what's this message on his answering machine? Dr. Schlock: Dr. Irving Schlock, I know you know this voice. I can't talk long, this call might be traced. Do not talk to anyone about your work in 1997, and especially about Dr. Crabtree. Wait by the payphone on the corner of... Bun-Bun: Bla, bla, bla. Gee, that sure sounded like you, Irving! Dr. Schlock: Where did you get that machine?!? Bun-Bun: Funny thing is, even before your call, your younger self still didn't recognize the name Joseph Crabtree. He did know a Dr. "Catherine" Crabtree though! He worked in the lab next to hers in 1997. One of her test subjects was a ferret named Kiki, and she was very concerned when she found out Kiki was loose, and her work had nothing to do with the flu, or viruses. Not at all. Dr. Schlock: I... I made Joseph up, I admit it! But what have you done with him... Me? I must speak with him! Bun-Bun: Sure thing Doc, he's right here! Hey Kiki! Look! It's a young Dr. Schlock! Dr. Schlock: mphfmfmphf! Kiki: Hi! I'm Kiki! You look familiar! Dr. Schlock: No! Dr. Schlock: Kiki! Get away from him! Everyone you come into contact with falls into a coma! Kiki: I'm sorry! Dr. Schlock: You did that on purpose! Now phase 2 will kill me! Bun-Bun: I already know where Dr. Catherine Crabtree is, and you know what her little backfired experiment will do and how to exploit it. I'm the only key to the past, you're the only key to the future. I think an information exchange is in order. Narr: Welcome to Pete is Dying week with your host, Shirt-Guy Tom! Tom: Hiya folks! Shirt-Guy Tom here! Tom: Well, as you may know by now, Pete ahs the bubonic plague, and can't draw the strip... Pete: Man, this sucks! Tom: This was supposed to be a comfy blanket, but my wife says it looks like he s lumpy with maggots. Tom: So I figured, "Hey, now's my chance to take over the comic, and find all those billions in Sluggy income that Pete's been hiding away." Tom: By the time Pete recovers - if he recovers - I'll have them all in the palm of my hand! Narr: Vast pile of gold Tom: So prepare yourselves for some truly quality humor and artwork this week! Tom: None of that boring, every-day, run-of-the-mill Sluggy that you have had to put up with all along! This will be the week that Sluggy really comes into its own! Tom: But heck, I won't make you wait for Tuesday! Let's start right now. Tom: So, this horse walks in Narr: Pete is Dying week ...continues with your host, Shirt-Guy Tom! Torg: Well, the regular cast are all sick. But, thanks to the wonders of technology, we can bring them back digitally, and you won't notice a thing! Riff: How many Vulcans does it take to screw in a light bulb? ZoŽ: How many? Riff: Approximately 1.00000 Torg: That was supposed to be funny?!? Riff: Let me check my notes. Kiki: Ooh! I liked it! Stone Johnson: This is Stone Johson. Despite rumors that both Pete and Tom-The-Shirt-Guy have fallen into mysterious comas, Sluggy Freelance somehow continues. Qwirky Waltons has the story... Qwirky Waltons: Stone, in this time of crisis, somehow enemies have joined forces to find a replacement artist at this critical time. Dr. Schlock, can you give us any details? Dr. Schlock: We had budget limits and union issues, but through my professional connections I was able to find us an inexpensive candidate who met the qualifications for a comic-strip artist! Narr: Editor's note: Yes, Pete is still sick. Today's comic courtesy of Mike Scandizzo. Bun-Bun: Draw faster, monkey-boy! Dr. Schlock: Eee Eee Aaii Aaii Aaiiiiii! Sam: Ooo Ahh AHHHH! Dr. Schlock: I don't think I like the primitive direction this artist is taking. Sam: Now he's got us biting the furniture. Hurry back, Pete Narr: Editor's note: Yes, Pete is still sick. Today's comic courtesy of Mike Scandizzo. Narr: With Pete and even Shirt-Guy Tom in a coma, Sluggy's valiant animals friends strive desperately to find a way to save the strip... Kiki: Come on, Bun-Bun! We need to find an artist! Bun-Bun: Shaddup and move over, tube-rat. You're blocking Baywatch. Narr: All around the world, millions of loyal fans are lost, crying out in vain for their daily comic, which never comes... Ned: Hey, whatever happened to that web-slug thing? Bun-Bun: Shut up and move over, Ned. You're blocking my sun. Narr: What can be done? Narr: With Pete gone, what talented author can be found to replace the comatose Pete? Narr: "Cat's just can't be trusted," said Torg. Narr: Pete is Dying week ...resumes with your host, Shirt-Guy Tom! Narr: Somewhere deep in the bowels of New Jersey, Shirt-Guy Tom awakens from a coma... Tom: Ha! As if a little nap could stop me! Now I can continue with my plan to take over Sluggy Freelance! Narr: Unfortunately, not being trained in true super-villianism, Shirt-Guy Tom reverts to his roots. Tom: That's it! Product placement, everywhere! I'll be rich! Narr: Pile of Tom's unsold shirts Narr: And so, with frightening speed, Shirt-Guy Tom whips up som prototypes. Narr: Riff... Riff: What the @#%$? Narr: Ayle... Aylee: I'm pretty! Narr: ZoŽ:... ZoŽ: Since when do I wear a skirt? Narr: Bun-Bun... Bun-Bun: You die for this, shirt-boy! Narr: Substitute Freelance by the Sluggy Freelance Fans Tom: Well, Sunday's rolled around, and Pete is still sick. Narr: Rather than subject you to many panels of my drawing, I decided to showcase some "Get Well" cards from faithfull sluggites. Narr: This one comes courtesy of Scot C. Riff: O.K., Pete, this will either fix you right up, or create a radioactive crater nine miles across. Let me check my notes... Scot C.: Get Well Soon! Narr: This next once comes from Gigi P., along with the comment: "Ack! Stick figure week was never this bad!" Bun-Bun: Hey, nerd boy! You better hope you get better soon or I'll have to come and motivate you. Bun-Bun: So hurry up, will ya? I need alfalfa hay. Narr: And a tiny note from me... Tom: Get better, Pete! I promise not to beat you at "magic" anymore! Narr: And, just for fun, some of the e-mail quotes I received from Sluggy fans this past week. Kevin: Your drawing is fine; it's your jokes that suck! Lars: Hey, while Pete is sick: BRING BACK OASIS! Carlen: Your artwork stuns me! How can it be possible that you aren't doing shows in New York galleries? Ben: Hey, I can finish Monday's joke: This horse walks into a bar. The bartender looks at him Tom's mom: Why don't you ever call? And would it kill you to write a letter? Jux: Bad artwork? What bad artwork? Pete: You did what?!? yourfriend@x.net: Make $$$ fast! This is not spam! John: I'm tasting metal, and seeing spots! Your cartooning is so bad, I think it's caused me to have a stroke! Tom: Go, man-eating turtles! Narr: Finally, the Basking Ridge sluggites write: Basking Ridge Sluggites: Pete, Hey, we know you're sick, we're just sorry you're ill. All of the Sluggites in Basking Ridge, NJ want to wish you a great big Get Well Soon. Narr: Here's their card: Torg: Hey! Bun-Bun! We got a fruit basket! Wanna read the card? Pete: Dear guys, sorry, I won't be able to draw the strip this week. I've got the flu. So, I'm going to leave things in the capable hands of Tom the Shirt Guy. Don't worry, I'll be back soon. Torg: Who's it from? What'd it say? Bun-Bun: Pete's sick this week. ZoŽ: So Bun-Bun beat your ass because Pete's sick this week??? Torg: Let's just say that the prospect of another stick figure week doesn't exactly tickle him pink. Basking Ridge Sluggites: Get well soon Pete! Love Narr: And now, in the hope that Pete will be better by Monday, here's a quick recap of our previously-interrupted story! Narr: Sam is on his way to rescue the comatose Torg, Riff, and ZoŽ from the hospital. Narr: Dr. Schlock is about to reveal the truth about Kiki's virus: the fact that it has nothing to do with the flu ata ll. Narr: ... he is only doing this in exchange for Dr. Crabtree's address, which only Bun-Bun knows. Narr: Dr. Crabtree is the doctor who performed unknown experiments on Kiki when she was in the animal testing lab, and whose name causes Kiki to panic. Narr: And for the world, time is running out! Narr: The security maintained around Torg, ZoŽ, and Riff's hospital rooms are no match for a vampire with super human strength, immunity to bullets, the ability to mesmerize on sight, and some really nice threads! Narr: But just when everything seems to be going smooth as Sam at singles night, the entire plan is threatened, for even a vampire like Sam can be caught off guard. Sam: Whoa! Babe-nurse! Sam: Hey, baby. I'm supposed to be rescuing my friends, but you are so fine I'm willing to let the whole world wait while me an you... Anon 1: Get lost! Narr: Catastrophe averted, the rest of the rescue goes off without a hitch. Sam: Mission Samcomplished! Sam: I rescued 'em! Dr. Schlock: Good job, Sam. Put them with the others, we've got to talk. Bun-Bun: Yeah, the doc is gonna tell us the truth about Kiki's virus. Dr. Schlock: Not a virs, not bacteria, they are called "nanites". Microscopic robots designed to move and function within a human body. That's what Dr. Crabtree was working on. That's what Kiki's body produces. That's what you friends and myself are infected with. Bun-Bun: Why the tall tale about Kiki delivering a plague? Dr. Schlock: It was just to make it easier for you to understand, bt what I told you is still true. In a few days the nanite "virus" will mutate into a plague that will kill multitudes. Bun-Bun: But microscopic robots don't mutate, do they? They follow orders. So who's gonna change their orders from "put 'em to sleep" to "multiply, spread and kill"? Dr. Schlock: The only one I know who can answer that is Dr. Crabtree. Bun-Bun: Well, let's go get her. Sam: ? Kiki: ? Dr. Schlock: Kiki's got cooties! Sam: Ohhh. Kiki: I do not! Narr: Dr. Crabtree's house: Sam: Crabtree's gone. Looks to me like she split a while ago. Dr. Schlock: Without her luggage or clothes? Kiki: Ooooh! Bun-Bun: I just checked with my sources. She just vanished a couple of months ago, no trace. Dr. Schlock: No sign of a struggle, nothing seems mising... Very odd. Dr. Schlock: She may be gone, but her computer should have all the information we need. Sam: Ouuuugh! Bun-Bun: Yeaaaaah! Dr. Schlock: Good god! Dr. Schlock: Naked-guy wallpaper. Sam: Curse my vampire eyes. Sam: So, what were you doing in that experimental lab while Kiki was being experimented on? You worked on nanites too? Dr. Schlock: What? No... no-no. I was in the cosmetic testing department. Eyeliner was my specialty! Sam: Eyeliner. Dr. Schlock: Yes, I know it sounds beneath me, but later on I moved to temporal sciences and inflatable technology. Sam: Inflatable... You mean "blow-up dolls"? Dr. Schlock: It wasn't just blow-up dolls! That stereotype has been haunting my colleagues since inflatable technology began! Sam: Hey, man, I ain't judging you! I'm sure you looked lovely... Wearing eyeliner... Dating blow-up dolls... Dr. Schlock: When Sam thinks you're stupid and pathetic, it's "life reevaluation time"! Dr. Schlock: I was right! The nanites were programmed to do nothing! They just integrated themselves into the neural pathways... It's a bit sketchy how, but here's the kicker. For microscopic machines, memory is expensive real estate, so she only used the old 6-digit date. Dr. Schlock: The nanites were more susceptible to the Y2K bug than an 80's mainframe! It wasn't deemed a problem since Kiki was isolated and wasn't to survive this far, but you set her free, so as soon as all the buggers internal clocks rolled over... Bam! Dr. Schlock: In the future I was vaccinated with nanites of my own which protect me, but for everyone else who was exposed shut down with them. Instant coma! Dr. Schlock: That's only half the story, but Dr. Crabtree has all the useful stuff password protected. Bun-Bun: How do we find her password? Dr. Schlock: We must pray that Kiki has seen her use it, or heard her say it. Our only hope lies in the mind of Kiki. Bun-Bun: No, seriously. Kiki: Hi! I'm Kiki! Bun-Bun: How's the plan to bribe the info out of Kiki going? Dr. Schlock: Look, Kiki! I'll give you this whole magic marker set if you just tell me what you remember about being Dr. Crabtree's test subject! Kiki: Nope! Don't wanna! Sam: No good, but at least it's working out better than the hypnosis plan. Dr. Schlock: Kiki, for the hundredth time, you're supposed to look at the watch, not attack the watch! Bun-Bun: I'm going to watch tv. Let me know when you guys are ready to try the cuisinart plan. Sam: Don't go there, man! Dr. Schlock: We must know what happened to Kiki during her stay with Dr. Crabtree. I've hooked her mind into a computer-simulated reality complete with sentient software versions of her friends. Maybe they can get her to remember. Sam: You have the technology to do that? Dr. Schlock: Technically? No. But we need it to do a lame "Matrix" parody so we'll just overlook that part. Narr: Sluggy Freelance presents Kiki in The Quatrix Kiki: Torg? ZoŽ? Riff! You're ok! But you were sick and asleep! Riff: Not here, Kiki. Nothing can hurt me here. Riff: I'll show you. Pick up that missile launcher and shoot me. Kiki: No! Riff: Do it! Kiki: I don't want to! Riff: Look how shiny the button is! Kiki: Oooh! Kiki: What have I done? Riff: I'm fine, Kiki. Riff: This is called a "respawn point." It's where we go when we die here. Riff: See those numbers up there? You get a point for each one of us you kill, as do we. Kiki: Ooooh! Riff: Now... Let's play! Kiki: Help! Riff: Fight back, Kiki! Kiki: Eeek! ZoŽ: Dodge this. Kiki: Poor Torg. ZoŽ: Ha! Yes! I got one! I got a point! ZoŽ is on the board! Kiki: Stop! Torg: Gang up on ZoŽ! Kiki: No! Leave her alone! Kiki: Stop! Riff: I was right! She is the one! She can bend the Quatrix to her will! ZoŽ: How do you know she's the one? Riff: She replaced all our weapons with "play-bites" Kiki: I'm winning! Riff: How do you like it here Kiki? In this world? Kiki: It's neat and fun! Riff: You don't remember the real world at all, do you? Kiki: Real world? What do you mean? Riff: This is your last chance, after this there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, the story ends and we go back to play-bite death-matching. You take the red pill, and I tell you the truth about... Riff: Hey! Kiki?!?! No! Riff: ZoŽ, she ate both pills! ZoŽ: Sigh. Don't worry. It's Kiki. You'd have to explain it to her twice anyway. Riff: Kiki, the Quatrix is a world where you don't have to sleep or eat or die, but it is a prison of a world pulled over your eyes to hide you from the real world. I had a real cool real-world-module to illustrate my words, but I lost it. Kiki: The "real world"? Where seven strangers allow their lives to be taped? Riff: Anyway, the only way for you to go home is to remember what happened to you while you were with Dr. Crabtree. Kiki: I don't wanna remember! I can't! Riff: That's why I thought teaching you tai-chi might help focus your mind, but that mod is missing too. As is the ice-cream sundae I wanted to bribe you with. ZoŽ: Oh, I took the sundae. I didn't know you needed it, but I haven't been able to eat it, since I can't find the spoon. Kiki: There is no spoon. Riff: Speaking of eating sundaes, Kiki, I wanted to point out that since you don't have to eat here, that means you don't have to do those messes behind the couch, either. ZoŽ: Speaking of "behind the couch", I found the spoon, the real-world-mod and the tai-chi-mod, and Kiki, that is gross! Kiki: It wasn't me! Riff: Maybe we'll do kung-fu instead. Riff: No, Kiki, this is not a pyjama party. This is a kung-fu add-on for the Quatrix. Here we will train your mind to focus, and try out some neat cheat-codes. Now, try to hit me, but... Kiki: That was fun! How you hit me! Riff: Kiki, I wasn't finished. What I wanted to say was, it might seem easy enough to hit me, but I know the secrets of the Quatrix. Riff: So, when I tell you to "hit me", you might... Riff: ... you might find it's not as easy as you think! Let me finish what I'm saying before you hit... Riff: Yeouch! Riff: Kiki! Kiki: Play-bite, not hit. ZoŽ: Don't you guys want to play? Riff: Naw, ever since Kiki replaced our weapons with play-bites, capture-the-flag just isn't fun anymore! Torg: anda fibahglaf flah-fol ihg magging my toung ish!* Narr: * "and the fiberglass flagpole is making my tongue itch!" Riff: I'm going to take Kiki to see the Oracle. ZoŽ: So Kiki can learn her future? Do you really think that will help her remember the past? Riff: The future and the past are merely directions on the same road. ZoŽ: Wow, that's really deep. You really thought about this! Riff: Hold on, incoming call! Riff: Hello? Torg: Hey, Riff! Did you dump Kiki off with the Oracle so we can go back to death-matching? ZoŽ: "Deathmatching"? So that's what this is all about? Riff: Sometimes, to be deep, we must act shallow! Torg: Hey, have you guys been getting big phone bills too? Kiki: You're the Oracle? You look just like my friend, Jaya! I miss her! Jaya: I hate giving bad news to good ferrets, but I see much anguish in your immediate future. Kiki: "Anguish"? What's that? Jaya: Don't worry about it too much, Kiki. That part will end quick, but I'm glad you like Jaya, you're going to see her soon. After that, you're going to come face to face with Tuffy again! Kiki: Tuffy?!? Kiki: Tuffy is dead! Kiki: Tuffy! Noooo! Sam: "Tuffy"? Who is Tuffy? Dr. Schlock: "Tuffy" is the password! We're in! Dr. Crabtree: Blast! That psycho Crabtree hit all the real important stuff behind another password! Kiki, you have to tell us everything you can remember, it's our only hope! Kiki: I'll... I'll try! Kiki: A long time ago I met Tuffy. Kiki: Hi! I'm Kiki! Tuffy: Hi! I'm Tuffy! Kiki: Oooh! Someone's coming to feed us! I want to say hi! Anon 1: Shhh! Don't talk to Dr. Crabtree! She hates it. It confuses her. Anon 2: We can talk more later! Kiki: Tuffy and I were always together, and one day we moved! Kiki: Tuffy? Why did they move us to this new cage? It's scary! Tuffy: Last time I was here, I had a friend named Burro, before you came. The doctor came for him, and he never came back! I couldn't find him! Tuffy: If the doctor comes for me, will you find me, Kiki? Kiki: Sure I will! You're my best friend. Kiki: Then, that night, bad things happened. Kiki: No! Tuffy: Kiki? Kiki: Leave me alone! Tuffy: Kiki! You've come back! Kiki: Hi Tuffy! I don't feel good. Kiki: Tuffy? What's wrong? Kiki: Somebody help Tuffy! Dr. Crabtree: Damn it all! Another dead ferret. The nanites are supposed to feed analytical data to the machine, not kill the subject! Anon 3: We need to see progress, Dr. Crabtree, and on human subjects. Dr. Crabtree: I think I can get you human integration by deadline. Human analysis is the puzzle. Kiki: Aren't you going to help Tuffy? Kiki: Then, after more test, I met a new friend! Bun-Bun: Attention all you tuberats, toiled drinkers, rabbits, cats and dung flingers! The exit is that way. Let's clear the cages in an orderly fashion 'cause I fashion to stuff them with orderlies! Bun-Bun: Hey, looks like they put you in the special cage! Keep your head down. Kiki: Oh thank you so... Kiki: Hey! Thank you! You're nice! Anon 2: Hey Kiki, let's get out of here! Kiki: And I never went back. Poor Tuffy! Sam: If I ever find that Dr. Crabtree, I'm going to rip her in two! Sam: Unless she's a babe or something. Then I'd be really stern with her, you know, afterwards. Narr: Dr. Schlock combines the information on Dr. Crabtree's computer with Kiki's story... Dr. Schlock: Now it all makes sense. Crabtree was trying to design nanites to keep medical tabs on the population and feed the data to a central location. The "forces that be" would know exactly which people were using what drugs, eating what foods, and carrying what illnesses, and we would never even know we were infected with the program. Dr. Schlock: That's a mind-blower even for a paranoid old coot like me! Well, the experiment was a failure, the nanites were destroying their hosts while trying to spread and analyze. So she took a step back and focused on getting the nanites to integrate. "Y2K" caused the nanites to shut down, and the integration caused the comas. In two days, a weekly maintenance system will automatically reboot them, but on their original "spread and analyze" setting. That's when everyone starts dying as if from a "plague". Dr. Schlock: You need me to use the puppets to explain this, don't you? Sam: My head's been hurting since I met you. Just tell me what we need to do to save ZoŽ! Dr. Schlock: Without that second password, we can't do anything but sit back and watch the world end. Sam: Hey, aren't chicks supposed to get desperate right before the world ends? Sam: Oh wat, no. It was only if I was the "last man on earth". That's not the same as the "end of the world". Dr. Schlock: 'fraid not. Narr: Jan 5th, 2000. 40 hours left. Bun-Bun: Hey Doc, how's your left pinky feel? Dr. Schlock: Fine. Why? Bun-Bun: No reason. Dr. Schlock: We can't possibly find the names of all of Dr. Crabtree's test animals. We're never going to find that password in time! Bun-Bun: How about the little toe on your right foot? Dr. Schlock: Fine. Dr. Schlock: Bun-Bun, you do realize that the future I came from diverged from this one almost a year ago? Anything you do to that younger version of me won't effect me at all. Bun-Bun: You're the dullest "man from the future" ever! I'll have to do it to you directly. Dr. Schlock: Come to think of it, my pinky and toe are starting to hurt! Dr. Schlock: Kiki's asleep, Sam's buried somewhere, and Bun-Bun is busy tormenting the comatose younger me from this timeline. Nobody seems to care that in another 24 hours, the nanites are going to start causing us to die! "Us" meaning me! Dr. Schlock: All I need to do is discover where the orders to the nanites are initiated, and that information is trapped behind this damn password, and the only clue we have for that is that Crabtree used names of her test animals as passwords. Bun-Bun: Hey, you seen the staple-gun anywhere? Dr. Schlock: And the only name we have is "Burro". Although why would she want to name a ferret after a small donkey? Bun-Bun: "Burrow" means "underground lair", not "small donkey". Dr. Schlock: Well, yes, if you want to spell it that way... Dr. Schlock: That's it!!! Dr. Schlock: It was "Borough" which means region! We're in! We have full access to all the information, and background, and lookey here! A detailed list of all her test animals including...! Bun-Bun: Hey, Borough wasn't a ferret at all! He was a... Dr. Schlock: ... A small donkey. It makes my head hurt. Bun-Bun: Whatever. Where's the staple-gun, baldy? Narr: January 6th, 2000. 15 hours left. Dr. Schlock: This is it! What we've been looking for! This very machine is the machine that initiates the whole disaster tomorrow morning! But it could take all night to figure out hot to change the orders to the nanites from "reboot on start-up mode" to "disengage", and we only have hours left. Dr. Schlock: But if this computer were to stop working, say, because of an accident... That would mean Riff and everyone Kiki has come into contact with would eventually die in their comas. Kiki would be a danger to humanity and need to be put to sleep. However, I would survive! Not only that, but I'd save a million lives! A true unsung hero. Or I could stay up all night trying to figure all this crap out. Dr. Schlock: Oopsey! Accident! Up, up, and away! Anon 1: Tonight on Spin-Cycle Affair, you'll hear the stories the big news stations don't cover! The strange "Y2K-comas" still has doctors baffled. Victims include Jaya Cobbler, the young girl from Connecticut... Kiki: Jaya? I knew I'd see her soon! What's wrong with Jaya? Bun-Bun: She ran into you, tube-rat! Kiki: She's sick because of me? Like Tuffy was sick... died... She's sick? Everyone's... Bun-Bun: No Kiki, she's dead. Tuffy's dead. Jaya's dead. Riff, Torg, ZoŽ, Gwynn, everyone you meet, everyone you run into, all dead. It's inevitable now, at least that's what the Doc said before he split. Kiki: It's all my fault! I never want to hurt anybody ever again! Bun-Bun: Well then, try not to run into anybody while you run through the middle of town during rush-hour! Bun-Bun: Dumb-ass. Sam: So, you let Kiki go running off into this snow storm? Stand back, bunny, Sam is about to give you a piece of his mind! Bun-Bun: Left my tweezers in my other fur, snagglepuss! But if I were you, I'd be more concerned about Schlock. He finished his work and split. Saved the day with hours to spare. Sam: ZoŽ's out of her coma? Bun-Bun: Nope. Everyone's still stuck in comas, and Kiki is stuck causing people to fall into comas, we just avoided the highly contagious plague of death. Sam: Not enough! Not cool! Sam: But, what about Kiki? I... Bun-Bun: Dr. Schlock is the only one who can set things right, and right about now he's on the run. I only know where he's going to be tonight, so you snag him now, or say bye-bye to the gang. Sam: Why would you tell me this? Bun-Bun: A trade. I tell you where Schlock is, you do me a favor. I could use someone with your "unique" abilities. Sam: You need a date? I mean, I gots the human chicks, but bunny-girls ain't my scene, man! Unless you mean those playboy bunnies. Mmmm-mmm! Bun-Bun: It makes my head hurt. Narr: Torg's apartment: Bun-Bun: For my help, you agree to do anything I ask? Anything at all? Sam: Yeah, but only one "anything", then we're even. Let's get on with it. Bun-Bun: I've been keeping an ear on the Doc, he tends to think out-loud. He could have finished the job and had the nanites disengage from their hosts, and Kiki... Sam: Enough with the "nanites"! Sam: How am I supposed to save everyone when I don't even understand what the Doc's talking about half the time? Bun-Bun: You don't need to understand him, you just need to know that he can fix everything, and if you scare him enough, he'll do it. Bun-Bun: I overheard him making reservations for his "get away". You'll find him at this address, and you'll need a gun. Sam: Sam don't need no guns. Bun-Bun: Trust me. Sam: Hey, does this motel have those triple-X channels? Sam: Not that I need those channels. I mean, I'm sort of a walking "XXX" channel! For example, there was this one time, where this chick, man-o-man she was out to here, and not fakies, cause I can tell. Anyway, her and her friend were drunk off their cans and hanging in the park whe... Bun-Bun: Do me a favor and get lost already! Sheesh! Sam: Huh? All right, man, favor done. Not as bad as I thought. Guess we're even. Later. Bun-Bun: Holy $#!%, I think I just got out-smarted by Sam. Narr: The Nifty 9 Motel... Sam: Schlock, you're coming with me and putting things right. Dr. Schlock: Sam! Bun-Bun once said vampires are unstoppable if you aren't prepared. The inverse is also true. Dr. Schlock: I've got crosses and holy-water, UV rays and wooden stakes. Plus you can't even come in unless I unvite you, so that pretty much renders you powerless. So go run along Sam, go play with your ferret. Dr. Schlock: Yeargh! My leg! You shot my leg! Sam: Can I come in? Narr: Dr. Crabtree's pad: Dr. Schlock: I'm a big wuss, you know! You could have just threatened me with the gun! Sam: I'm going to project into your mind exactly what I'm going to do to you if you don't make everything right by dawn! Dr. Schlock: eep! Dr. Schlock: Back-ups! Crabtree always was a back-up freak! Why, here are the backup disks I need! I should be able to handle this stuff from my lab computers! No problem! Narr: Dr. Schlock's lab: 5 hours 'till dawn. Dr. Schlock: I only have 5 hours, and Sam is watching me like a hawk! Narr: 4.999 hours 'till dawn. Dr. Schlock: I guess I'll just have to get to work, dammit. Narr: 15 minutes 'till dawn. Dr. Schlock: I got it! Rebooting nanites now! Sam: Hey, if Kiki is, like, part of these "nanites", is shutting them down going to hurt her? Dr. Schlock: Maybe, but it's too late. I just rebooted the nanites and commanded them to disengage and shut down. It's over. Sam: How long should it take them to recover? Riff: Die, you ...ugh undead ...uff... creature of the night! Dr. Schlock: Not long. Riff: As soon as I break this chair leg into a sharp wooden stake, I'll... I'll... Torg: Hey Sam. Need coffee. Sam: Hey, Torg! Long time no see! Riff: Ooof! Why am I so weak! ZoŽ: Sam? Sam: ZoŽ! Hey! Look, sorry about all that vamp stuff that went down before, but I'm my own Sam-pire now, so don't worry! In fact I saved all you guys! Riff: And where am I? Riff: And who dressed my funny? Sam: Don't look at Sam, man! I don't do dress-ups! Narr: January 7th, 2000. Despite Sam's deft explanation of the events transpiring last week, there are always some residual questions. ZoŽ: What the heck are you talking about? Torg: Is "un-coma-fied" a word? Dr. Schlock: Why are my pinkies and toes broken, and why am I stapled to my cot? Riff: Where is Kiki? Now! Sam: I'll tell you all about it. Kiki: Don't come near me! Bun-Bun says I'll make you sick and die! Sam: Not me, Kiki. I'm going to take you home. Kiki: Sam? Kiki: No, I have to find Jaya! Bun-Bun says she's dead and she can't be dead. Help me find her? She's in a hospital in "Connedicut". Sam: I'll fly as fast as I can. Kiki: Sam, I'm cold. I don't feel good. Sam: I'm sorry, Kiki. Sam's not as warm as he used to be, but we'll find the hospital soon. Sam: After I drop you off, I'm going to give Bun-Bun a piece of my mind. Kiki: Don't hurt Bun-Bun, he's my friend! Sam: We'll see about that. ZoŽ: Poor Kiki! Riff: I'm off to Connecticut. See you guys. Torg: So then you went to confront Bun-Bun, and found the Doc gone? Sam: Yeah! I forget about hurting you! Bun-Bun: Bring it on, teeth. Sam: Bun-Bun, since you helped me get the Doc back on the case, I'm willing to let things slide. You had best hope that Kiki's ok. Bun-Bun: Jeepers, I'm all scared and crap! Sam: Well with me mad, who wouldn't be? Sam: As for you, man, I don't get you. I thought we were friends. As I remember it, this is the second time I've saved your butt, and you're still trying to act all slayer-cool. You've been taking care of Kiki, so I'll give you a pass too, but she was my ferret first. Watch yourself. Sam: Go make sure she's ok, I gotta race the sun. Torg: Wow, you don't seem as grossed out by Sam as you used to be. ZoŽ: I guess I'm not! Sam: Yes! Sam's da man! Torg: Whoa! Vampire-ears! ZoŽ: I mean, he still makes me want to barf, just not as much. Sam: Still in ear-shot... Just moving out of ear-shot... Narr: A hostpial in Connecticut, January 7th. Morning. Anon 1: I'm glad to see you've gotten some rest, Mrs. Cobbler. We need you to fill out some more forms today. Mrs. Cobbler: I wouldn't mind leaving my daughter's side to fill out forms if these tests were doing any good at all, but they aren't! Mrs. Cobbler: There's a giant rat on my daughter! Help! Anon 1: Oh, my! Jaya: Mom? Mrs. Cobbler: Jaya!!!! Mrs. Cobbler: Oh, baby! Oh my god, baby! You're all right! Jaya: Mom? What's Kiki doing here? Mrs. Cobbler: What, honey? Jaya: Kiki! Kiki? Jaya: Make them bring Kiki back! Make them bring Kiki back! Mrs. Cobbler: Honey, the orderlies had to take it, it was dead. The poor thing. Jaya: No! Not Kiki! Mrs. Cobbler: Honey, I know it's hard, but please listen. That poor ferret couldn't have been the ferret you played with two summers ago. Jaya: It was! It was Kiki! Narr: A few hours later, after Jaya's parents leave to run errands and fill out more hospital forms: Jaya: Kiki... Kiki... Kiki: Hiya! Why are you crying? Jaya; Kiki?!? Mom said you were dead! Kiki: Naw, I was just playing dead! Jaya: Playing dead? Kiki: Your mom called me a giant rat! When that happens, people try to hit me in the head with a broom or something, unless I play dead! Then they leave me alone and let me play in the garbage! Jaya: Cool! Kiki: I learned it from Torg! He plays dead when he wants Bun-Bun to stop playing with him. Jaya: I'm so glad you're ok! Kiki: I'm glad you're ok! I'm sorry Jaya, it's all my fault you got sick? Jaya: You meant for me to get sick? Kiki: No! Jaya: Then it can't be your fault. That wouldn't make sense. Kiki: Really? Jaya: Really! I've missed you! Jaya: Hide! Someone's coming! Mrs. Cobbler: Jaya! Hi, honey. I've talked it over with your father, and we've decided... well... Mr. Cobbler: Surprise! Jaya: For me? Mr. Cobbler: All for you, baby. We have to talk with your doctors some more, but we'll leave you two to get acquainted. Jaya: Yay! I've got my own ferret to play with! What should I name him? Kiki: Tuffy. Jaya: "Tuffy"? I like it! Tuffy the ferret! Kiki, where are you going? Kiki: Now that you're ok I have to make sure my other friends are ok. Jaya: Bye-bye, Kiki! Visit me soon! Kiki: Riff? Kiki: Riff! Riff: Hey, Kiki! Kiki: Riff, you're ok! Is everyone else ok? Riff: Everyone's fine, Kiki. Let's go home. Kiki: How did you find me, Riff? Riff: Don't worry about it, Kiki. Kiki: It was Sam, right? Riff: Don't worry about it. Kiki: You and Sam are friends now? Riff: Why don't you take a nap, you look tired. Narr: It has been a long journey for Kiki. She has traveled into the eye of the storm, and come face to face with the demons of her past, she has made peace with the dead and sought redemption for other's crimes, and she has come out the other side, alive, with the knowledge that she has friends who love her and will find her when the nightmares come for her, as she would find them. Narr: By the way, Tuffy-2 turns out to be a mean biter... Jaya: Ow!!! Mom!!!!!!!!!!!!! Narr: ... but that's a story for another time. Narr: Epilogue: Young/Old Dr. Schlock: Yup, still January 7th, late evening: an evening in the park. Dr. Schlock: So that's all that happened, Dr. Crabtree. They never learned anything about us. Dr. Crabtree: This is very dangerous, Irving. Any fact you missed, omitted, or forgotten may put our plans in jeopardy. Dr. Crabtree: The only way I can know for sure is to eat your brain! Dr. Schlock: Catherine! No! You need meeeeeeyyyyaaarrrrgh! Dr. Crabtree: Well, Irving, you did tell me everything. Still, just to be on the safe side, I'll have to track down all those involved, starting with the alternate-future version of yourself! Dr. Schlock: And to think, I came to the past to simplify my life. Narr: Epilogue 2: Aylee: Riff: Hey Torg! Torg: Hey Riff! How's Kiki? Riff: Fine. Staring at my screen-saver. Riff: So, Aylee's still cocooned? Torg: Yeah, her changes can happen instantly or take months, so who knows when she'll be out. Why do you look worried? Riff: Lets assume the story we put together from Sam, Bun-Bun, and Kiki is true. Aylee supposedly changes form when her environment changes to some degree, and she went into a cocoon the moment we all went into a coma. Torg: And? Riff: For that to have happened, the nanites must have integrated into her system! But the nanites were designed to integrate into humans! Some parts of her inner workings must have been... becoming... human. Torg: Weird! What's your point? Riff: I don't know, but it's really darn mysterious. Torg: Oooh! Maybe she'll come out as a babe! Narr: Epilogue 3: Torg and Riff: Torg: Remember way back at the beginning of January when we spent the first week of the year 2000 in a coma? Riff: I remember it like it was last week. Torg: Anywho, I never thanked you for launching me onto the New Years eve ball and almost killing me. Riff: You lived. Besides, I've toned down the power on the power-stilts. Now they work like a charm! Riff: Owie! Torg: You all right? Riff: Woah, I never knew my floor was in this much need of a vacuuming! Narr: Epilogue 4: Bun-Bun: Bun-Bun: Remember this chess board? Back when Berk was running around and Gwynn was all demon-possessed? It was a symbol of my ability to manipulate people, and in the end, who got manipulated? Me. Bun-Bun: And this time, me all pitting people against each other trying to find some use for those nanites? No good. I try to play the "you owe me on" game with Sam and he jerks me around. Bun-Bun: Well that is it! No more manipulation crap. No more subtlety. From now on, I just kick ass! Torg: Hi, Bun-Bun! Bun-Bun: Hey, nerd-boy! I got you a gift, it's behind you! Torg: Behind me? Where? Bun-Bun: Ok, so a little of both couldn't hurt. Narr: Epilogue 5: Gwynn: Gwynn: There I was, in a coma, again! You'd think I'd get some special treatment, but it was like I wasn't even there. Gwynn: All month, they either ignore me or treat me like I'm going to attack them. What do I have to do to get them to notice me? Torg: Behind me? Where? Torg: Whoa! Gwynn: Pervert! Narr: Epilogue 6: ZoŽ: ZoŽ: Let's see, I spent summer vacation in the past fighting a demon. I spent winter break in a coma. I can't wait to see what spring break has in store for me. I've been blaming myself for my lousy grades, but maybe I'm just too tired from my "time off" to work as hard as I need to. ZoŽ: At least nothing weird has happened to me in the last few weeks, and I haven't hung out with Torg and Riff, and I've been avoiding Gwynn for the last few weeks. I wonder if there's a connection. Wait! It all makes sense! ZoŽ: Hi, Torg! I... ZoŽ: Like, for example, I'm absolutely positive that if I walked into that room, I'd end up with my head stuck in the floor. Riff: My head's killing me! It hurts to get your skull punched through a ceiling. Torg: Tell me about it! Getting knocked through the wall wouldn't have jurt so bad if there weren't bathroom tiles on the other side. I was in so much pain, I almost didn't notice Perky naked. Riff: Torg, I told you to cut that out! Torg: What? Look, I know it bugs you that I saw your ex-girlfriend naked, and I stopped gloating. Now it's like I can't even say the name "Gwynn" without you getting mad. Torg: Oh, I called her "Perky" instead of Gwynn again, didn't I? Riff: This is not funny, Torg. Torg: I don't know what's got you so upset, you guys aren't even dating anymore. But I'll take the high road and stop ribbing you about it. Torg: Speaking of "ribs", that girl has got to eat something. Riff: Grrrrr... Torg: Look, as far as I'm concerned, I paid my dues for the view since she whapped me over the head a jillion times! Of course it could have been worse, she could have used one of those sharp-bristled back-brushes. The loofah was much softer, but that's it. I'll stop. Won't say another word on it. Kiki: Hey Torg! What's up? Torg: Riff's naked girlfriend beat me with her loofah! Kiki: Why did Riff just punch you? Torg: Partly because I was out of line. Mostly because I don't think he knows what a "loofah" is. Gwynn: Technically I used a "mesh-bath-sponge", not a loofah. Torg: eep. Torg: How long have you been listening, Gwynn? Gwynn: The name is "Perky". Narr: The Dimension of Pain... Reakk: I'm so bored, Psyk. I'm bored of being bored! Psyk: Well, it's been some time since we've had a mortal soul to play with. Torg was the last as I recall. Reakk: Recall? Haven't you seen the billboards around here? Sometimes I wonder if we're ever going to have new souls to torment! Psyk: Why don't you ask the Squeekybobo ball? Reakk: Squeekybobo ball, will we ever have new souls to torment? Squeekybobo: Stop shaking me! I'm Mr. Squeekybobo dammit! I was Santa's head elf in life, and in death I'm a mean trans-dimensional soul and I ever get out of this sphere you imprisoned me in (for failing to kill Torg last Halloween), I'm gonna getcha' all, dammit! Reakk: He never answers my questions. Psyk: He's really only good at recapping. Maybe he would make a better kick-ball? Squeekybobo: Our sources say no! Narr: THe Dimension of Pain's first annual "Kick the Squeekybobo Ball" competition: Psyk: Reakk! Go long, I say! Squeekybobo: You bastards! Reakk: I got it! Reakk: Yeaaaah! Anon 1: So, is this a foul? Anon 2: If Reakk is gone forever, I might consider it a score! Psyk: Difficult to rule on. Normally we'd ask the Squeekybobo ball to judge on this kind of occurence. Squeekybobo: Hey, idiots! "play it where it lies" and get me the hell out of here! Squeekybobo: What's taking those nimrods so long? Reakk: We fell pretty far. I always wondered what was down here. Squeekybobo: Pretty boring if you ask... Eep! Reakk: Huh? Dragon of Annoyia #1: Roar! Squeekybobo: Face to face with a creature that big, and you poke it in the eye?!? Reakk: It was just so much eyeball, how could I resist? Psyk: It arose where Reakk had fallen, its wings a whirlwind, spanning the horizon of all that is pain. Psyk: Tooth and nail like iron, hide and tail like stone. The colossus needed no wings to tower above us, and we were all humbled in its presence. This was an elder dragon. Psyk: And all we demons rejoiced, for an elder dragon of elder time had returned, no doubt to help us torment the innocent with righteous agony. Psyk: That is what we thought before it turned our way with an angry eye. Without pause, it unleashed its breath on us, covering us in wretched... uh... Psyk: ... um, flowers. Lord Horribus: Flowers? Reakk unleashed a flower-breathing dragon?!? Osp: The horror! Narr: As the flower-breathing dragon continues its assault on the demons, they turn to Lord Horribus for action. Narr: Dimension of Pain command center: Psyk: Lord Horribus, we just go word. The town of Bruisvile has fallen to the dragon. Lord Horribus: First Painton, then Achendale, then Bruisvile... Reakk: It looks like the next village hit will be the village of Ouchus Lord Horribus: You know what to do. Joe The Bookie: Listen, pally, a bet of 1,000 thorns on Ouchus will only get you a one thorn return with the current odds. You're not the only one who can connect the dots on a map y'know! Reakk: Dammit! Psk: Lord Horribus, I found the answers you seek in a tome from our ancient library. The flower breathing dragon is one of the "three dragons of annoyia". During the elder dragon wars, there three exasperated both good and evil, and a powerful wizard imprisoned them by sending their minds to another place, leaving their bodies to eternal slumber here. Osp: It's an old sleeping dragon Psyk: Now, it is known that the mind and body pull towards each other no matter how great the separation. My theory is that Mr. Squeekbobo, being a transdimensional soul, acted like a magent. He increased the pull of mind and body greater than the old wizards could withstand. Isp: The Squeekybobo ball wakes dragons. Bla, bla, bla. Psyk: What are you doing? Osp: Lord Horribus ordered us to give an unbiased synopsis of your report. Isp: 'cause you're a bigmout! Psyk: My Lord, I really an trying to be as concise as possible, but the greatest tools can be found in the smallest details. Osp: Likes to hear himself talk. Isp: And he's got flowers growing ot of his butt! Narr: The dragon's assault on the demon villages is horrible to behold. Narr: Clouds of pollen billow into the air. Narr: Brave warriors once covered in thorns are now covered in flowers. Anon 1: She hates me! She hates me not! Narr: Where once mighty creatures lumbered, now they frolic. Narr: Most disheartening are the sounds of demon-children crying. Crying at the realization that they smell all nice n' flowery. Narr: And in the middle of this all, Reakk and Mr. Squeekybobo seek shelter. Reakk: The daisies are right on us! I'll kick you to safety, Mr. Squeekybobo ball! Squeekybobo: You bastard! Squeekybobo: Great! @#$%! Now what? Reakk: The dragon kidnapped Mr. Squeekybobo ball! Narr: Later, at the D.O.P. command centre: Lord Horribus: Now, why would the dragon kidnap the Squeekybobo ball? Psyk: It was Mr. Squeekybobo's presence that woke the dragon. Maybe he wants to free his other two brothers. Lord Horribus: One dragon of Annoyia is bad enough, but three? Reakk: Maybe we should summon the demon king to save us! Lord Horribus: He left instructions to not be disturbed. Psyk: I have found the solution in another tome of dragon lore! Lord Horribus: "Demons are from hell, dragons are from heck". Psyk: It has a whole chapter on driving the dragon from your lands through understanding each other! Lord Horribus: Bah, Psyk, we need no help from a book! I have already taken action to solve your problem, not by attacking the dragon, but by attacking the flowers themselves! Lord Horribus: How goes "Operation Stinky", lieutenant? Anon 2: The plan where we all simultaneously defecate on the flowers, Lord Horribus? I'm afraid it's made the flowers stronger, sir. Lord Horribus: Curse this insidious foe. Lord Horribus: Fine, Psyk, we'll play it your way. But we'll have to find the dragon's den first. Osp: He just moved into the cave next door. Lord Horribus: Next door?!? Osp: We sent a "welcome to the neighborhood" committee. Isp: He ate them. Lord Horribus: Um... dragon... I am Lord Borribus, and I'm not a victim, but I am your friend. Listen while I communicate to your inner child, and when I'm finished I want you to say "I am listening and will consider what you say: thank you for being honest". Lord Horribus: When you breathe flowers all over the kingdom it makes me sad, because of my allergies to pollen and... Lord Horribus: What a stupid plan! Let's just go in there and kill the big lizard! "A-choo!" Psyk: Don't fall down the circular stairwell of rage, my lord! Cound to ten, look him in the eye, and say "what you did hurt my feelings in a real and meaningful way, and..." Psyk: I come in peace, oh most noble dragon! I bow to you in utter respect, oh great and powerful wyrm! We... Reakk: You called the dragon a worm? Psyk: "Wyrm" is a respectful term for a dragon! Medieval english in origin, I believe. Reakk: Somebody should have told that to the dragon. Reakk: Eeek! Reakk: He ain't buying it! Reakk: Hey, if he did think I was a virgin maiden, what would have happened next? Psyk: Moving on to method 4!!! Osp: Er-a!, pass me up a bee-a, hee-a! Isp: I'm, er-a, woobly! Er-a! Osp: Er-a, er-a! Isp: Er-a! Who spiked the clam chowd-a? Isp: Er-a, hi there miss! Er-a, belch, er-a! Here's my phone numb-a Osp: Whoa, er-a, look out below!!! Osp: We were supposed to be Ted Kennedy on stilts at a frat party! Isp: He didn't even try to guess! Psyk: There's a difference between riddles and improvisational stand-up. Narr: Angered by their continuous antics, the dragon takes flight to destroy the demons from the air. Lord Horribus: You're our only hope, Reakk! "Achoo!" Psyk: Here, Reakk, take my demon spear and good luck. Reakk: Hey! How am I supposed to kill the dragon if he is way up there? Reakk: And what's that catapult for? Psyk: It's not a catapult. It's a ride! Reakk: What kind of ride? Psyk: It's a "kill the dragon" ride. Psyk: Unless I miscalculate the trajectory, then it's the oops-go-splat ride. Reakk: Oops-go-splat! Oops-go-splat! Lord Horribus: How's the trajectory to land Reakk on the dragon's back? Psyk: Oops. Lord Horribus: Wow! Flower-breathing dragons have glass snouts! Osp: A poser with posies! Lord Horribus: Achoo! Isp: Who knew! Narr: And the Flower-Breathing Dragon of Annoyia fled from the land. Without the dragons presence or the nurturing rays of the sun to sustain the flowers, they quickly withered to nothingness. The Squeekybobo Ball was rescued, the demons rejoiced, and all was back to normal in the Dimension of Pain. Reakk: Hey Psyk! What are you doing? Psyk: I'm recording our encounter with the dragon, noting things like the irony of your fall from the heavens being cushioned by the flowers we were fighting against. Reakk: Where it says that my body "smashed" against the dragon's nose, you should replace "smashed" with "boinked". Psyk: "Boinked"? Reakk: Yeah, everybody heard the big audible "boink" when I nailed it! Anon 1: We feel that we can use the word "boink" to help identify Reakk. Help him stand apart from the other dragon slayers. Psyk: Who is he? Reakk: He's my bard! I've become quite talked about since defeating the dragon and figured I needed a bard to chronicle my adventure. Anon 1: Oooooo Anon 1: Th' flower-breathing dragon came and plunged us into daisies. Even old Lord Horribus's allergies left him hazy. The demons cried "who'd save us", as if anybody could, but Reakk, he boinked that dragon, and boy, he boinked him good. Anon 1: Reakk the dragon boinker, he boinks them all the time! Reakk the dragon boinker, he's got boinking on his mind! Ya want yer sheep and chickens boinked? Most any man will do, but Reakk the dragon boinker he's a boinker through and through! Anon 1: The second stanza is most of the way done, I just need to find a word that rhymes with "bass-boinker." Reakk: Oh Squeekybobo ball, will the song "Reakk the dragon boinker" be a big hit? Squeekybobo: ^%$#@! Stop the $%#ing shaking all the time already! @#$%! Rescued from one big idiot just to be imprisoned by a bunch of little ones! @#$%! Reakk: Well, I'm bored again. Psyk: Yes. That dragon almost destroyed us, but for the first time in years I wasn't bored! Reakk: Hey, wasn't there supposed to be two more dragons of annoyia? Psyk: And the Squeekybobo ball is the key!!! Narr: The Dimension of Pain's first annual Kick-The-Squeekybobo-Ball-Dragon-Quest: Psyk: There's a random crack in the earth! Let's kick him down there! Anon 1: Reakk likes to kick his balls, he kicks them real high. The only thing he likes better is to grab them from the sky... Isp: Did he just sing the words "this guy"? Squeekybobo: I'm gonna kill you! @#$%! I'm gonna kill you all! Narr: And that is the way it ends... for now. K'Z'K: Hi Gwynn! Didn't see you on last night. Where were you? Gwynn: Hi Kenny! ZoŽ and I hung out at the bar. It was fun! K'Z'K: I thought ZoŽ didn't like you. Gwynn: Well, she was mad at me for hiding the fact that I still have demonic powers in me. Plus she acted like I was going to turn into a demon or something. We're getting along better since I promised to stop using them. K'Z'K: You told her that you stopped using your powers? Gwynn: Busted. Gotta go. K'Z'K: Levitating again, huh? K'Z'K: So, you in the "dog house" with ZoŽ? Gwynn: Again. You know, I'm getting sick of this. No job, no friends, no social life! K'Z'K: ... Gwynn: Um... no offense, I didn't mean you, when I said "no friends". K'Z'K: No offense taken. :) So you were possessed by a demon once, and now you've got some demonic powers left over. If I were you I'd just tell ZoŽ, Riff and all of them to take you as you are, demonic powers and all, or get lost. Gwynn: This is ZoŽ's apartment, so I'd be the one who'd have to get lost. But is that what you told your friends and family? K'Z'K: Exactly. Gwynn: Did it work? K'Z'K: Yeah, that's why I have to spend every night chatting with you! K'Z'K: No offense! :) Gwynn: No comment. K'Z'K: You seem to want to fix your relationships with ZoŽ and Riff, but you hardly mention Torg. Gwynn: He's just one of those guys, you know? Riff and Torg hang out all the time. Who do you think turned Riff against me in the first place? I bet you anything Torg is badmouthing me right now. Torg: Well, since beer is made of barley, if you got drunk and fell asleep in a jacuzzi, would you wake up "haggis"? Riff: Are we going to spend another eveing commenting on Scottish cuisine? Torg: That's one can of worms that I don't want to open. Hey, "can of worms"! Is that Scottish cuisine? Riff: Don't you know? I thought you were part scottish. Torg: I'm mostly viking. Riff: Now they knew how to eat! Riff: Hey ZoŽ! What are you doing at the bar? Torg: I bet she's waiting for Dex to show up! Riff: Dex? ZoŽ's college friend? The one she has a crush on? ZoŽ: Would you please keep your voice down? Maybe I'm just here to get away from Gwynn. Torg: What's up with that? I thought you and her were best friends. ZoŽ: I promised Gwynn I wouldn't tell the guys that she's still dabbling in magic. They would flip! ZoŽ: It has to do with "feminine problems". Torg: Eeeeooooooouuuuuh! Riff: Next subject. Torg: How about Gwynn! A little violence, anyone? ZoŽ: Well, she scares me! Riff: You? I used to date her! Gwynn: I have officially given up one ZoŽ. No more hiding from my magic. You said you could teach me to refine my powers, so what's lesson one? K'Z'K: What if I told you I've figured out a way to teach you more complicated magic while not only rekindling your relationships with your friends but also getting them to accept you for who you are? Gwynn: I'd give you a big kiss! K'Z'K: Deal! :) Two words; Love Potion. Gwynn: Love potion? K'Z'K: I'll teach you to make up a batch! You'll learn the basics of potions, and more! K'Z'K: Use some to make Dex fall for ZoŽ. She'll not only appreciate your friendship, but she'll appreciate your magic powers. No more need to hide stuff from her. Gwynn: And I use it to make Riff fall back in love with me? K'Z'K: Exactly. K'Z'K: Don't know what to do about Torg, though. Gwynn: Oh, I'll just use it on him to make him fall in love with his pet rabbit, Bun-Bun. K'Z'K: Remind me to never piss you off. Gwynn: One sip will light heart in the gloom to those whose eyes meet in the room. Love waxing with potion consumed and waning with the highest moon. Gwynn: Kenny, real quick, I just need to double check. I stir counter-clockwise after the batwing but before the toad wart, right? K'Z'K: Exactly, but don't leave that potion unattended too long, love potions are notoriously unstable. Gwynn: ZoŽ! What are you doing? ZoŽ: Just seeing what you're making. Gwynn: It's... um... soup! ZoŽ: "Eye of Newt." Gwynn: The supermarket was out of bouillon cubes? Gwynn: Here are your drinks! A diet coke for ZoŽ and a long island ice tea for Dex. Dex: Thank you, Gwynn! And I must say, that's a stunning outfit! Gwynn: Thank you, kind sir. ZoŽ: Thank you kind sir! Dex: Thanks for the notes! I'm so lucky to know I can count on you to take them for me when I ditch class! Well, gotta run. ZoŽ: No problem. Dex: ZoŽ... you're beautiful! ZoŽ: Dex? Are you all right? Dex: No, I... I feel a bit nauseous... Gotta run! Dex: See ya soon! ZoŽ: Gwynn, what the hell was that? Did you put some spell on Dex? Was that the "soup" you were making last night? Gwynn: Yup! A love potion in his drink. One sip, and a look at you and pow! ZoŽ: Are you insane? You think I want Dex to fall in love with me because you twisted his brain? Gwynn: It's not permanent. My entire batch of love potion will wear off at the apex of the full moon tomorrow night. Gwynn: But the beautiful thing is it gets weaker as it goes so by the time it wears off, any actual feelings he has will surface to replace them. He'll never even notice the transition! Dex: Hi ZoŽ! I'm sorry, I forgot a book, but while I'm here, I was wondering if you'd like to go out tomorrow night or something. ZoŽ: Dex, I don't know... Gwynn: She'd love to! Dex: Great. I'll pick you up at six! ZoŽ: Six, isn't that a bit early? And what about the book you forgot? Dex: I can't wait any longer, and, what book? Gwynn: Don't think of it as a "brain twist", think of it more like helping him see something that's just too obvious for his slow male mind to understand. ZoŽ: Like training wheels for relationships? Gwynn: Exactly. ZoŽ-Devil: Go for it! If this is the only way to get Dex to notice you, so be it! You know how stupid guys are! ZoŽ-Angel: Well, not sure if I like it, but guys are stupid. Can't argue there. ZoŽ: I have nothing to wear. Gwynn: And only today and tomorrow to shop! Let's move it, sister! Riff: So, ZoŽ's got a big date with Dex tonight. Torg: That's the scoop. I thought we'd hit the bar, see what lovely ladies are lurking! Riff: Can't tonight. Going over to ZoŽ-n-Gwynn's to watch some movies. Torg: You? Alone with Gwynn? You guys going to have some big heart-to-heart? Riff: No way! You think I'd go hang out with Gwynn alone? ZoŽ will be there and... Riff: ZoŽ's on a date. Riff: You know, I was fully aware of both facts, I just never put them together until now. Torg: I do that all the time. For example, tonight is when I'm supposed to clean Bun-Bun's litter box, but I won't associate that with tonight-tonight until I'm already at the bar! ZoŽ: Dex, where are we going tonight? Dex: It's such a beautiful night, I thought we should go for a walk in the park. Of course that would be after we grab a bite to eat. I was thinking, "Le Snootier". ZoŽ: I'm finally going on a date with Dex! Ok, so I feel a little guilty about using Gwynn's love potion on him, but she said the effects would be subtle. Dex: I love ZoŽ so much, I can hardly contain myself! I love her enough to die for her! I love her enough... to kill! ZoŽ: I'm not dressed for "Le Snootier". Maybe someplace more relaxed? Dex: I know this out of the way place that serves really good food. ZoŽ: That sounds perfect! ZoŽ: Don't be silly, ZoŽ, this is a night to have fun, not to worry. Dex: Kill-kill murder kill stabity stab-stab stab kill Gwynn: Perfect! When Riff comes by, he'll never know the punch I've concocted is 75% punch, 25% rum, and just a hint of magic love potion! Gwynn: As soon as he takes a sip of this, he'll fall in love with the next person he sees! Kiki: This punch smells funny! Bun-Bun: Smells like rum! Only one way to be sure. Gwynn: And since I'm the only other one here, that person will be me! Gwynn: Bun-Bun!?!? Get out of there! Bun-Bun: Anything for you, toots of my dreams! Gwynn: Oh dear god no. Bun-Bun: I've never meant "hubba hubba" as much as I do when I use it on you, babe! This is love! Gwynn: Hey! Bun-Bun: But there are some things more important than love, like rolling you for dough to play the ponies. See you at the track, toots! Kiki: You're so lucky! Gwynn: Wow! Bun-Bun was acting pretty intense, there. Thank god the love potion is weakening over time instead of strengthening. Boy, that would be bad! ZoŽ: For the last time, I told you to get your hands off me! Dex: ZoŽ! I'm sorry! I don't know what's come over me! I'm so in love with you I can't control myself! Dex: Wait! Dex: I love you so much that, in a panic, I just rammed my head through the canvas top of my car and am now stuck! Please don't run from me! ZoŽ: Oh, I'm not running from you. I'm looking for blunt object big enough to pitch your skull across the park like a golf abll! Dex: Oh, thank god! Gwynn: Riff! Here you are at the bar! I thought you were coming by my place! Riff: I dunno. Torg said he was heading out to the bar for tequila shots, so I thought I'd just... Riff: I didn't think it was a big deal! Gwynn: I made punch! Torg: That's cool! Normally she makes a fist, and the punch comes later! Gwynn: Grrrr Torg: My spider-sense is telling me to walk away very quickly! Gwynn: Two shots of tequila, Crystal! Crystal: Coming right up, Gwynn! Gwynn: Now that Torg's gone off, it's just me and Riff. Once he tries some of my love potion and looks me in the eye, he'll be mine! Gwynn: Here we are. Sorry I took so long! Torg: No prob. Gwynn: Torg?!? Torg: Her, there's not enough shots for all three of us! Gwynn: Where's Riff? Torg: I don't know, I thought he was with you! Gwynn: Torg, wait here and don't touch nothing! Gwynn: Riff! There you are! Riff: Sorry, I went looking for Torg and got comfortable. Riff: Hey, that's my shot! Gwynn: Oh, here! I was going to throw it in your face, but what the hell. You take that shot and look me in the eye and tell me in the eye and tell me you don't feel anything for me and I'll leave! Gwynn: Look at me! Riff: You're getting weird, Gwynn. Riff: Besides, it's Crystal that I love! Crystal: Say what? Gwynn: No! No! No! You were supposed to look at me! Riff: Away from me, you harlot! Crystal: That's it! I'm on break. Riff: Crystal! Wait! This woman means nothing to me! Torg: Crystal! What are you doing out from behind the bar? Crystal: It's just been one of those nights, Torg. It's a full moon tonight! Torg: Well, have a seat. This time I'll play bartender. Tell me what's wrong. Torg: Whoah... smooth! So... Torg: Gmuphmmph! Riff: Keep your hands off my woman, you back-stabber! Torg: Hmph? Muphgmbphjgupnbh? Riff: Yes, Torg, I am in love with Crystal, and if you were my friend you would have known better than to try and steal her from me. Torg: Gmeeuph! Muphigm! Riff: There's really nothing going on between you two? Crystal: Not with you sticking your gun in my man's face! When I get my shotgun from behind the bar, you are going to see what happens when you mess with the man I love! Torg: Gnummph! Riff: Grrr Riff: I can't even leave your side long enough to pull the trigger, my love! Torg: Whew! Torg: Help! Crystal: Come back, my love! Riff: Crystal, come back! You're so dead, Torg! Gwynn: What the hell is going on? This love potion isn't working right at all! It's making people nuts! But, it worked fine on Dex! Dex: I knew you wouldn't brain me with that log! ZoŽ: Only because it's not your fault, Dex. I'm saving the braining for Gwynn! Gwynn: Well, at least I should be happy that I managed to get through this mess unscathed. Bun-Bun: I missed you so much, I left the track for you, toots! Give me some sugar, baby! Torg: Riff, I have an idea! How about not killing me? Riff: I have no choice, with you using the woman I love like this! Torg: Me? Use Crystal? Torg: What a great idea! Torg: Crystal, if you really love me, you'd throw yourself at Riff to allow me to escape! Crystal: Anything! Crstal: Torg, my love! Riff: Crys, my love! Dex: ZoŽ, my love! Torg: Hi, ZoŽ! How's the date going? ZoŽ: Smashing. Gwynn: Bun-Bun, please... I like you and everything... I didn't mean for you to drink the love potion... Just please don't hurt me! Bun-Bun: I wouldn't dream of hurting you. You're my woman now! You just let me know what you want, and I will make it happen. Till then, it's backrub time! Gwynn: But... amazing! Everyone else on the love potion is getting all aggressive, physical, and jealous! It's bringing out the evil side of love in them, but the good side of love in you? Bun-Bun: Naw, these lightweights just can't hold their evil. Bun-Bun: So are you going to give me the backrub, or should I be getting more... "affectionate"? Gwynn: Backrubs! Right away, Bun-Bun! Bun-Bun: And then you can make me a sandwich, four-eyes! Narr: ZoŽ and Torg manage to elude their pursuers in the park. Taking shelter behind a bush, ZoŽ takes the opportunity to explain how Gwynn used magic powers to create a somewhat quirky love potion. Torg: Look, ZoŽ, I'm not too happy about Gwynn dabbling in magic again, especially with the fear of her turning demonic on you or something, but right now I'm more concerned with figuring out why Crystal, Riff, and Dex are all in love and all acting nuts! Narr: ZoŽ explains the effects of the love potion. She also explains that Gwynn used the potion on Dex. Torg: Look, ZoŽ, I know you're having problems with Dex, but right now I'm concerned with... Narr: ZoŽ explains that Gwynn might have used the potion on other people, possibly Riff and Crystal. Torg: Look, ZoŽ... Narr: Gwynn used the potion on Crystal and Riff. Torg: Ohhhh! Narr: Sheesh. Torg: I can handle Dex, Riff is my concern since he's got the laser cannon. So, we bait Crystal up in the tree using the Torg-doll I made. Her fear of heights should trap her, and Riff will stay by her side. Torg: Then we should be safe to find Gwynn and make her put things right. ZoŽ: Through any means necessary! Torg: He... He killed me. Riff: Yes! Torg is dead! Torg is dead! Torg: Why that little... Give me that club! Torg: You son of a...! Torg: ZoŽ, next time you grab a log to use as a weapon, try to pick a less rotted and hollow one. ZoŽ: But the solid ones are so heavy! Narr: Leah Nicole Abrams, Born 3/21/00 Pete: I'm a Dad! And since my daughter's birth got in the way of me finishing the comic for Sunday, I figured I'd just put a picture of her up to distract you all from the fact that I didn't finish the Sunday. Sure, one might consider this exploiting her, but hey, she's already four days old! It's not like she's one, or two days or something. OK, so it might be in poor taste to use Leah to market Shirt-guy Tom's new baby-clothes ine (at about $327.54 per "Onesie", it's a steal!), but I solemnly promise to never exploit my baby daughter for my commercial gain ever again! Narr: This promise is brought to you by our sponsor: Narr: Leah Nicole Abrams, the Official Web Comic Baby says: Leah: Goo goo! Buy more Sluggy Freelance merchandise! Goo! Narr: Brought to you by the Coalition to Exploit Babies. Narr: Meanwhile... Narr: Elsewhere... Narr: Backstage... Anon 1: Uh-oh. David Allen: What do you mean, missing??! Pete: Gone! Apparently kidnapped, though no one's gotten a ransom note yet. Pere: I don't know what's happening, but I do know we're hosed. No cast, no strip! David Allen: Do you know what'll happen to us if we tell the Sluggites that we're taking the strip on hiatus again? I'm just getting the stitches out from the last time you goofed off for a week... Pete: I wasn't goofing off! I was sick!!! David Allen: Yeah, right, whatever... Look, we're just going to have to round up some actors, stick them in costume, give them the script, and hope nobody notices. Pete: But where are going to find a whole cast on such short notice? David Allen: Piece of cake! There are plenty of unemployed actors out there dying for work. David Allen: Piece of cake! There are plenty of unemployed actors out there dying for work. Anon 1: Dibs on Torgo!! Anon 2: That's Torg, you dweeb! Anon 3: Do you think they have any singing parts? Narr: Meanwhile, in another comic strip... Bruno: Good news, Fiona! Bruno: The characters from some loser comic strip called Sluggy Freelance have gone missing! They're looking for replacements, and I've been asked to play someone named "Torg"! Bruno: Obviously, Messrs Allen and Abrams are looking for someone with brains, brawn, and dazzling charisma to play the leading man! After all, they said I'd be perfect for the role! Fiona: May I see the script? Fiona: Synopsis: This week's story starts with Bun-Bun, in an inexplicable fit of rage, stuffing Torg's head into a toilet, where he remains all week... Bruno: Though I wonder why they asked me how long I can hold my breath? Narr: Elsewhere... David Allen: I know you guys are new around here, but it's time you pulled your own weight. Report to headquarters immediately. Anon 1: But Mr. Allen, we're pretty deep in some involved story lines here-- David Allen: No excuses. All other projects are on hold indefinitely. Report to wardrobe. Anon 2: Where do you think you're going? We've got unresolved plot lines, character development, and a 2000 hour C++ project to finish... Anon 3: Chief, remember that contract we signed with Plan Nine...? Anon 4: Sign! Anon 2: Yes, m-my master... Anon 3: Didn't it say "virgin sacrifice?" Anon 2: Oh... er, yeah... (gulp!) Anon 5: Tag! You're the virgin! Anon 1: Am not! Anon 1: What's coming in over the fax, Gav? Gav: It's from David, my publisher, about a temp job. I kinda blew through my student loans by the third of the month again. Anon 1: It's an acting job... "Riff: A madcap inventor with no visible pupils, a blonde ponytail, and a long coat. Usually tinkers with laser cannons and giant robots while drinking beer with computer nerd friend, Torg... Anon 1: ...constantly on the run from friends bent-on-world-domination pet, a switchblade-weilding minilop... Gav: Is it catered? Anon 1: Uh... yes. Gav: My god! It's the part I was born to play! Anon 1: Read it again! Gav: No! You read it again! Gav: Ka-click! Lyndie: Uncle Ralph! What are you doing in dad's sock drawer? Ralph: Who's that? We're in the middle of a gag! Lyndie: It's our publisher! David Allen: Get Kevin and Kell over to "Sluggy" right away! Lyndie: Sorry, they're not here today. It's just me, Coney and Ralph! David Allen: Crud. Okay, you'll do. Hurry! Ralph: Whew, at least that job has to be safer than this one. Lyndie: Sorry, Mr. Allen, Kevin and Kell are away. Coney, Ralph and I are the only ones available to fill in on "Sluggy." David Allen: Darn! David Allen: Kevin would've been perfect for Riff! Oh, well... we'll have to hold an open audition for his role. David Allen: Hello, casting? I'm gonna need a cattle call! Anon 2: Yo? David Allen: Gotta remember not to be so dang literal with this strip... Snoopy: Joe Riff! Anon 1: Ulp! Anon 2: You need to see some I.D.? Why, let me check my notes! Get it?? Anon 3: Sigh! How often will I hear that today? Anon 4: You're perfect for the part! You're hired! Anon 5: Actually, I was just looking for the bathroom... David Allen: How's the casting going, Pete? Pete: Not too bad, except for Kiki and Bun Bun. I can find substitutes for everyone except them. David Allen: I'll take care of casting Bun Bun. Say, how about that sluggite who was in San Diego as Kiki? What's her name... Oh, yeah! Poinging girl! Pete: We tried. The international human rights tribunal said it would arrest us for war crimes if we feed a human that much caffeine and sugar. David Allen: Well, I guess we'll just have to get an animation studio to add Kiki into the scenes. Pete: Cool! I'll call Pixar and Disney -- David Allen: Yeah, right. Get real. We can't afford that kind of money. You'll have to make do with your existing budget. Pete: But -- David Allen: No "buts," get crackin'! David Allen: Yes, Tom? What do you want? Tom: I'm here to audition for the role of Pete! David Allen: Uh, Tom, we're not auditioning for the role of Pete. He's not missing, and even if he were, you're not nearly nifty enough for the part. Besides, don't you have some Quatrix shirts to churn out? Tom: Grrr... David Allen: Geez... I wonder if I can still get that job as Darth Vader's executive assistant... Well, at tleast things seem to be coming together in a professional manner... Narr: Some time later... Miss Throckmorton: THe dailies for the Kiki animation sequence are in, Mr. Allen. David Allen: So soon? Quick, pop them in the VCR and let's have a look. Eric Cartman: Bad ferret! Bad! Stan Marsh: Oh my god! You killed Kiki! Kyle Broflovski: You bastard! David Allen: Miss Throckmorton, fetch my rusty dental instruments... Miss Throckmorton: Y-yes, sir... Fiona: Boss, come out from behind the couch! Bruno: No!! Fiona: Boss, look at this as a tremendous opportunity to boost the ratings for our strip! If you do a good job as Torg, maybe sluggites will become regular Bruno viewers, and -- Bruno: Screw 'em!! Bruno: 'Tis not worth the indignity, the humiliation! 'Tis downright degrading, what those bastiches are asking me to do, in order to play Torg! Fiona: But boss... Bruno: I'll wear the damn wig, alright? But I draw the line at clipping off my mustache! Fiona: But you can grow i back later... David Allen: Hey, Pete! Good news! I found someone to play Bun Bun! Pete: You're talking about a 3-d person playing Bun Bun, not an animated character? David Allen: Don't mention animation to me. I'm still getting death threats from the Kiki fans on the staff. No, this person is absolutely perfect for the role. Pete: I dunno. It takes a special person to play Bun Bun. Pete: He's the personification of self-centred amorality, and at the same time, cute without being annoying. David Allen: Trust me, Pete... This perosn has all these qualities in spades... Anon 1: Heh heh... Narr: Riff's lab Gav: Wojamma! Look at this place!! Gav: Laser cannons! Robots! Miniature ornithopters! Laser cannons! Wooden stake launchers! *Gasp* *Wheeze* Gav: You could cause some serious damage here! Gav: Twice as much once you find the time machine! Gav: Scientific rubbish! Don't be ridiculous! Gav: You tell him, Gav! H.P.: Chief? H.P. here. Where's that chick you got to play Bun Bun? We're burning daylight here. David Allen: The deal's off. H.P.: Off?! It can't be off! I'm all blocked out to shoot her scenes today! I thought you said she was perfect for the part, an absolute cinch to play a power-hungry, manipulative, but cute rabbit! David Allen: Well, it's off, just the same. H.P.: Why, sir? David Allen: Let's just say she was a little too perfect for the role... David Allen: As long as Coney's here, she could try out for "Bun-Bun." Lyndie: No way! She's an infant! It's much too dangerous for her to carry a switch-blade! David Allen: Then how can she help our project? Lyndie: Well... Lyndie: That's one less "Riff" you have to audition... Bruno: Well lizard, have you finished the script changes I gave you? Fiona: Yes, boss! Torg now has a mustache! I hope you realize I am compromising Pete's artistic vision by changing his character! Bruno: Bah, the guy's too busy changin' diapers these days to care! Besides, this "Torg" character could use a makeover! H.P.: Okay, places people, places! H.P.: Action!! Bruno: So, ZoŽ, what do you think of my new look? Fiona: I forgot to mention that in the rewritten scene, ZoŽ's really mad at you! Ki: Eeewwww!! The glue pulled some skin off! Bruno: Whimper!! H.P.: Action!! Tyler: The flux agitator! A complex device that, at the touch of a button, will -- H.P.: Uh, wrong button, Tyler... Tyler: Dammit! Lost my remaining eye!! H.P.: In the interests of safety and cleaning costs, you'll be acting out this scene with a more... ah... "benign" prop. Gav: Yeah, I was fiddling with the agitator earlier... Why? Gav: An electric toothbrush? Well okay but you know, I could get 200% more dental sanitization with the simple addition of five kilos of fissile material, better energy conduits, a flux agit... H.P.: No improvising! Narr: Minutes later... H.P.: It's too bad... That was pretty much perfect. H.P.: Okay, let's try this again... Fooker... Fooker: A doggie squeak toy? H.P.: Action! Ki: Fooker! Are you okay? Fooker: Squeak Anon 2: Oh, this is going well... H.P.: Bring in the next "Riff" and "Gwynn"... Anon 3: Uh... these clothes don't exactly fit. Ki: And my hair is singed! H.P.: You! Pincushion! Do the scene! ... and you, mouthless! Get a wig and a new costume! Ralph: Ready for my closeup, H.P.! H.P.: Okay, Ralph. Just don't touch anything more dangerous than your toes! Anon 3: Uncle Ralph! Are you okay? Ralph: Roly Rit! Ki: Excuse me. The only wig I could find is red. Ki: How can I be ZoŽ with this wig?? The girl is a brunette! Anon 4: Don't worry about it, dear! Sluggy is in color only on Sundays! Nobody will notice! Ki: Uh, why does it feel so crispy inside? Anon 4: Don't ask, dear! Now, slip into this dress, and I'll do your hair and makeup! Narr: Meanwhile... Anon 5: Tow minutes Mr. Bunkleyutz! Fiona: Boss? What have you --? Bruno: I found some more fashionable threads in wardrobe! Bruno: You like? Bruno: Now this is a manly outfit! The wenches will not be able to resist my charms now! Fiona: You don't read this strip much, do you boss? Narr: Back on the set... Anon 6: Sir, we gotta stop filming while the carpenters repair the explosion damage! H.P.: Sigh! Great! Mr. Allen hears about this, I'm up the creek! H.P.: Tell you what: take the cast out to the parking lot... H.P.: They can rehearse their scenes out there until the repairs are complete. Fooker: Anyone else having dťjŗ vu...? H.P.: What do you mean, cancel all filming??!! I've already shot a week's worth of film! David Allen: No arguments! Just scrap it. New orders are on the way. David Allen: I want the whole group out searching for the Sluggy cast. Money and material is no object. Just find them! H.P.: I thought we were just going to let the substitutes run the show until the Sluggy cast could be found. What's wrong with that plan? David Allen: Trust me... circumstances dictate a new strategy... Anon 1: Can anybody tell me why we're out in the middle of nowhere, 500 miles from the last palce the "Sluggy" cast was seen??? Anon 2: Shut up and don't buck the formula. Narr: The gang seeks the aid of a gypsy fortune teller. Madame Ripov: Welcome, children! I am Madame Ripov! I know all, I see all! Fooker: Can you help us find the cast of Sluggy Freelance? Madame Ripov: For that, we must phone the Psychic Pals Network! It will cost you ^8.99 per minute? Fooker: Yoiks!! Wh-where will we get that kind of money??? Lyndie: Relax, Fooker! Bruno stole our publisher's credit card! We'll use that! Ralph: Rate riney rine?? Narr: The call is placed, and the question asked... Dogbert: Ask again in 24 hours... Bruno: Should we call back tomorrow? Dogbert: Of course not! Please hold for a day! Narr: Magic eight ball Fooker: Whatever it is we're looking for, we have to do something to show it who's boss... that we belong here! Tom: Roarrrr! Fooker: Something besides marking territory. Ralph: Rorry. Narr: While Bruno is searching the castle... Adrienne Barbeau: Excuse me, sir? Bruno: Huh? Adrienne Barbeau: Hi, I'm TV's Adrienne Barbeau! I happen to have some extremely important information for you regarding the disappearance of the Sluggy cast! Now listen carefully... Adrienna Barbeau: Fir[...] [...]ou h[...] [...]id th[...] [...]m is[...] [...]oŽ, an[...] [...]g! Al[...] [...]or plan [...]o! Got it? Bruno: Wow, she's beautiful! Would she go out with a man like me? Dare I ask her? Nay, I'd better not! But I may never get this chance again... Ki: So, what did Ms. Barbeau have to tell you, Bruno? Bruno: Bah, nothing! 'Twas just a gratuitous celebrity cameo cooked up by the writers! Bruno: All right, gang! Let's split up and look for clues. Ki and I will check down the hall, while the rest of you check upstairs. Fooker: Say, Lyndie... every wonder why Fred and Daphne always go one way while the rest of the gang goes the other? Bruno: Heh heh... Lyndie: It's just so they won't overlook anything, I'm sure... Ki: If you want to keep your hand, get if off my butt now! Lyndie: Okay, guys! Pay attention! When the monster opens the door he'll frighten the day trader who will think the market has crashed and go on a shooting spree... Lyndie: ...he[...] elian gr[...] [...]ez's grandm[...] [...]els onto [...] his sam [...] [...]son's toupee [...] on fire, ca[...] [...]ing Janet R[...]o's whip col[...] [...]tion, we'll [...] him! Brain: ... and they call my plans contrived... Tom: Roarrrrr! Tom: Huh? Tom: Wait-- Lyndie: ... or, we could wait for the monster to trip over two lab mice, and then bean him with a blunt wooden object! Fiona: Looks like I arrived just in time! Fiona: Okah, let's see who's behind this nefarious plot! Fooker: Reakk from the Dimension of Pain? Ki: Reakk from the Dimension of Pain? Bruno: Reakk from the Dimension of Pain? Lyndie: Reakk from the Dimension of Pain? Fiona: No, wait! There's another mask! Fooker: Dr. Schlock?? Ki: Dr. Schlock?? Bruno: Dr. Schlock?? Lyndie: Dr. Schlock?? Fiona: No, wait! There's another mask! Fooker: Vice-president Al Gore?? Ki: Vice-president Al Gore?? Bruno: Vice-president Al Gore?? Lyndie: Vice-president Al Gore?? Fiona: Not quite... Fooker: Brilliant but mentall disturbed physicist Mikolai Tesla??? Ki: Brilliant but mentall disturbed physicist Mikolai Tesla??? Bruno: Brilliant but mentall disturbed physicist Mikolai Tesla??? Lyndie: Brilliant but mentall disturbed physicist Mikolai Tesla??? Fiona: Yeah, right!! Fooker: Kindly old Mrs. Appleby???? Ki: Kindly old Mrs. Appleby???? Bruno: Kindly old Mrs. Appleby???? Lyndie: Kindly old Mrs. Appleby???? Fiona: Jeez, this joke is gettin' old!! Fooker: Stick figure shirt-guy Tom????? Ki: Stick figure shirt-guy Tom????? Bruno: Stick figure shirt-guy Tom????? Lyndie: Stick figure shirt-guy Tom????? Tom: Thank god you got those masks off! I couldn't breathe!! Fooker: But, Tom... Why did you do it?! Tom: Because I wanted to take over the strip from Pete! Iwanted the accolades, the money, the babes, the fame. I would launch a new comic: Stick Figure Shirt Guy Tom Freelance! Ki: Do you really expect us to believe that? Tom: Well... Tom: Actually, it's just that I wanted help making more Quatrix shirts... Bruno: Bah! This is nonsense! Can't you see this is obviously yet another mask? Tom: Hurk! Bruno: Ah-- Tom: Eep! Bruno: Ha... Pete: Aaaiiieeee! Pete: That does it... No more fish tacos before bed... Crystal: Leave Torg alone! Dex: ZoŽ! Gwynn: Dun-dun, please, I have to go down there! Everybody's trying to kill each other and it's all my fault! Bun-Bun: Nope! It's too dangerous, and you're almost as important to me as me! Don't make me break your legs to keep you from walking down there. Gwynn: I... I just don't want Riff to die! Bun-Bun: Then he won't. Riff: Torg, I'm sorry to have to blast your head off with this laser cannon, but that's the only way Crystal will notice me. Torg: Mugguffugguff! * Narr: * Translation: But won't she hate you for killing me? Riff: She'll learn to love me with you gone. Goodbye, my friend. ZoŽ: Riff, no! This is all Gwynn's fault! She made this love potion and it's making you all nuts! Riff: Gwynn did this? She's using magic again? Bun-Bun: Don't be bad mouthing my woman, babe or I'm gonna have to hurt you on principle. Dex: Get your hands off of her! Bun-Bun: Get lost, junior. Big boys playing here. Riff: Bun-Bun, let's leave ZoŽ out of this, and stick to the important stuff. Riff: Like killing Torg. Crystal: So, the only way for my true love, Torg, to be safe is to kill your sorry ass! Bun-Bun: Can't let that happen, ma'am. See, my woman wants Riff alive, and that pretty much means I want Riff alive, so blow. Bun-Bun: Hmmm. Guess it'd be ok to kill everyone but Riff... Riff: Drop the knife or I'll skin yoy for earmuffs! Dex: That's why ZoŽ doesn't love me! I'm the only one here without a weapon! Dex: Snag! Love will prevail! Riff: Hey! Dex: Who wants to die for my love first? Riff: Omnitaser-supreme! ZoŽ: We come all the way home and Gwynn isn't even here. How long before they track us down? Torg: We should have some time before they even come to. Riff never did get the settings on his taser right. Punch? Narr: Unbeknownst to Torg, punch is loaded with love potion. Torg: Wow, it's amazing that something as harmless as a little love potion would be so dangerous. Gwynn: No! Don't look at anyone! That punch you drank was spiked with the love potion! You will fall in love with the next person you look at! Thank god I got here in time! Torg: Eep! ZoŽ: Oh no! Kiki: Oooh! Are you playing hide-and-go-seek? Gwynn: Kiki, what are you doing with my potion-vial? Kiki: You dropped it in the bar when you were wrestling with Riff so I wanted to give it back to you, but on the way I saw some ducks at the duck pond and they looked thirsty so I gave them a drink and then they wanted to play tag, and I'm it... Oooh! Here they come! ZoŽ: Gee, what could be more fun than spending my weekend listening to ducks in heat with my eyes closed? Riff: My love! Crystal: My love! Bun-Bun: My love! Dex: My love! Torg: Running for our lives through the ducks in heat with our eyes closed. Torg: ZoŽ? You still have your eyes closed? ZoŽ: Hell yes! I don't want to become one of those love-sick lunatics! Torg: We managed to get away from them, I can barely hear the ducks. Any idea where we are? ZoŽ: Well, we're definitely outside. I just hope we don't stumble out into the middle of a highway or something. Torg: This is stupid. We can take a peek around. As long as we don't look at anybody, the love potion won't affect us. ZoŽ: Ok, Torg, we'll just take a careful glance around. You look right, I'll look left. ZoŽ: No, your other right. Gwynn: It's all right. You two can relax. Torg: Huh? What? ZoŽ: Hu..uh... what? Gwynn: I said it's all right. The full moon has reached its apex, and the love potion wore off. ZoŽ: Everyone's back to normal? Gwynn: Yeah, it wore off right after you two ran off. They're a bit confused. Lucky for me, they don't seem to remember anything. Crystal: My head is killing me. Does anyone remember what happened after the tequila shots? Riff: Let's see. We're charred, we've all got twigs in our hair, and we're covered in ducks. Bun-Bun: I vote we all go home and never speak of this again. Gwynn: Look, Torg, I'm really sorry about all this, but please don't tell Riff or any of the others about the love potion. They don't remember anything, and I think it's better that way. Gwynn: What? I didn't mean to do anything wrong! Don't look so smug! Gwynn: I don't see what the big deal is. When everything's said and done, that love potion had absolutely no effect on anything or anyone. Torg: Want to go out to dinner tomorrow night? ZoŽ: I'd love to. Gwynn: I just don't understand why the love potion turned everyone into psychopaths. K'Z'K: Sounds to me like you mixed the potion with alcohol when you served it. That tends to really mess with it. Could that have happened? Gwynn: Anyway, everyone's mind went blank after the potion wore off, so I'm safe for a little while. I just know for sure Torg is going to tell Riff what happened. He just can't keep his big mouth shut! K'Z'K: Maybe I have a little spell that'll keep it shut for him! Gwynn: How would it work? K'Z'K: Every time he'd try to say something important to him, like "Gwynn is an evil witch", he'd make an ass of himself instead. Automagically! Gwynn: Could the spell make him think he's an ass? K'Z'K: You are an evil witch! Gwynn: You realize when I said "ass" I meant "donkey", right? Kiki: Oooh! Are you going to smooch on your date tonight? Torg: That's the question isn't it. To smooch, or not to smooch? Kiki: Are you gonna smooch? Are you gonna smooch? Bun-Bun: If either of you lame-os use the word "smooch" one more time I'm gonna yank your jawbones out! Torg: Sheesh, what a grumpy bunny. Bun-Bun: Kiki, you've been chattering about this date all damn day, so I'm going to break it down for you to shup you up. Bun-Bun: Torg likes ZoŽ, but somewhere in the back of his empty head he's scared. He knows if he makes romantic moves on her, everything will change, with no going back. They wouldn't be friends anymore. Sure, they might be something better than friends, but they might be something worse. Bun-Bun: So, no, they are not gonna "smooch", tube-rat. Kiki: How do you know? Bun-Bun: Because he is a nerd-boy. I'm out-of-town for a few days. See ya! Sparky: I, again, apologize for keeping you waiting, but I wanted to make sure we have enough dishes for you to wash to cover the bill. We have created quite a mountain of them for you. It's rather breathtaking. Torg: Look, Sparky, I didn't mean to skip out on the check last time... Sparky: Oh, my, yes. You must have spotted the "trash-signal" in the sky. Off to fight crime in the "trash-mobile". ZoŽ: Don't worry, I have a credit card. Sparky: This meal is "on the house" if you can explain why a woman of your obvious quality would be seen with the likes of "Cletus" here. ZoŽ: I'm a quality piece of meat, huh? How do you know I'm quality? You haven't checked my teeth yet. Torg: Ooooooh! Sparky: My apologies, madam! I meant no... Torg: Ha-hah! Is your face red! Well, ok, it's actually still pale. ZoŽ: He seems to really like you! Torg: I think I've developed quite the reputation here! ZoŽ: Is this where you bring all your high-quality dates? Torg: You know me! I'm quite the ladies man! Torg: Why is my heart racing? It's just ZoŽ! It's just a date with ZoŽ. No big deal. Bun-Bun: He's scared. He knows if he makes romantic moves on her, everything will change, with no going back. They wouldn't be friends anymore. Sure, they might be something better than friends, but they might be something worse. Torg: Bun-Bun's right. Whether tonight, or a month down the road, I'm going to screw this relationship up. I always do. Maybe it's for the best that this never turns serious at all. ZoŽ: Torg? Are you alright? You just sort-of zoned out there. Torg: I'm sorry. I was just thinking and my brain derailed. ZoŽ: That's all right. Torg: But ZoŽ seems really happy to be here with me. I can't remember the last time she looked so... God, she's pretty. Bun-Bun: So, no, they are not gonna "smooch", tube-rat. Kiki: How do you know? Bun-Bun: Because he is a nerd-boy. I'm out-of-town for a few days. See ya! Torg: Screw Bun-Bun. Maybe I'm just thinking too hard about it all. Maybe it's time I let everything ride and just lean over and give ZoŽ a big... Oasis: Torgy, I missed you so much! Torg: Oasis! I didn't think I'd ever see you again! ZoŽ: "Torgy"? Oasis: Who is that? Torg: She's just some boring, dumpy chick. Nothing compared to you, babe! ZoŽ: What?!? Torg, what the hell is going... Torg; Come on, babe! Lets go someplace a little more private! Oasis: Tee-hee! Torg: I hope ZoŽ is all right. That kick looked like it had to hurt! But if I didn't get Oasis away from her, and if Oasis found out ZoŽ and I were on a date, she'd have literally torn ZoŽ's head off! Torg: Wait a minute! Just because Oasis is a gymnastic martial-arts assassin killer-robot that's been programmed to be madly in love with me doesn't mean she'd kill anyone I liked out of jealousy! Did I just let ZoŽ get hurt for no reason? Oasis: What kind of cone would you like, Torgy? Torg: Chocolate. I love chocolate ice-cream! Anon 1: Good lord, she's killing the chocolate ice-cream! I didn't even know you could kill chocolate ice-cream! Torg: Never mind. Torg: I think I finally lost her! Oasis: Why do you keep running from me? It's because you love someone else, isn't it? When I find that someone, I'll rip her into teeny tiny pieces! Torg: Oasis, we can't build a relationship on suspicion. If you love someone, let them go, and they will return to you. Oasis: Torgy, there is only one thing in this world that will allow me to let you out of my sight. Torg: Trust? Oasis, No, rope! Gwynn: Hey, ZoŽ! How'd you date go? Gwynn: ZoŽ? Are you crying? Narr: Meanwhile... Torg: With all the escape attempts and stuff, I never asked how you survived the explosion! Oasis: I... I don't remember the explosion. I just woke up outside the burning base. Maybe the boom caused me to black out and threw me to safety. Oasis: All I knew was Steve was gone, and you were still alive, somewhere. My only clue was the corvette was missing. I would stop at nothing to find you. Torg: Hey! It was you who reported the car stolen! I was almost thrown in prison thanks to you! Oasis: I've been watching that restaurant every night since October for you to come back to the scene of the crime. So who's worse off? Torg: The one being kidnapped! Oasis: Our first fight! Can we make up now? Torg: Eyes on the road! Torg: Oasis, we can't just keep driving forever. I'm starting to get tired. Oasis: Hey! Look at that billboard! Oasis: Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Torg: God, please let it be how cute porcupines are. Narr: Alternate punchline: "Sure, Brain! But how are we going to find lederhosen at a time like this?" Narr: Don't ask! Anon 1: Welcome to the Pharaoh's Tomb and Pocono Resort! Tonight is ten plagues night, with awards for the best frog and locust costumes! And don't miss our lounge act with Verne Troyer and Darva Conger in "Who Wants To Marry A Mini-Me!" Torg: Terrific Anon 2: I see you've picked the spitting camel suite, complete with wine glass shaped jacuzzi, swimming pool, sauna... Torg: We have our own pool and jacuzzi? Torg: Let's go see our room, hun! I could use some relax-time! Anon 2: Normally they wait until they get to a room before tying each other up. Anon 1: That's so sweet! Anon 2: What? Anon 1: She signed them up to get married in the Lion-Pit-Chapel this weekend! It's refreshing to see a groom who's more excited than the bride! Narr: Previous to ZoŽ and Torg's date... Gwynn: Ok, Kenny, I've got everything needed. You're sure this spell will work right? K'Z'K: Torg will be unable to tell anyone about your magic powers, or anything else important to him, until you cancel the spell in person. Torg: Oasis is off grabbing food. I could try to make a break for it. Who am I kidding, she'd nab me in a minute. If I prove to Oasis that she's a robot, it might distract her enough for me to get away. But the truth might crush her. For some reason I don't want to do that. Gwynn: And low this curse upon be sent, when need to speak enlightenment. In place of secrets yet unlent, bray the donkey's word not meant. Torg: Gwynn only wanted to date me to make Riff jealous. Crystal only loved me because of Gwynn's love potion. Oasis only loves me because she was programmed to. Even Valerie. She only loved me because she thought I was a reincarnation of her husband. Nobody ever cared about me for me. Torg: ZoŽ. How could I be so stupid? Right in front of my face the whole time. I have to tell her how I feel! Gwynn: This spell will be perfect! Any time Torg tries to spill the beans, he'll think he's a jackass. How fitting! Torg: ZoŽ, I have to tell you something very important! Hee hee! Haw! Haw haw! Hee Haw ZoŽ: You treat me like dirt on our "date" and then you call to laugh in my face? You go to hell! Torg: Hee haw! Hee haw hee haw! Hee haw! Oasis: Torgy? What's wrong? Torg: What the heck just happened? Oasis: Look at your ears! Torg: What's happening to me? Oasis: We'll need to fix that before the wedding photos! Torg: Wedding... ...photos? Oasis: Surprise! We're getting married! Torg: Good god! Whether it crushes her or not, I must tell her she's a robot now! Torg: Oasis! You're Hee haw hee haw! Hee haw! Hee haw! Oasis: I knew you'd be excited! Torg: Not only am I being forced to marry a psycho-killer-robot, now I'm turning into a donkey. I'm going to need some help. Riff: Hey Torg! I heard you're out on a date with ZoŽ. Not sure when that happened, but, anyway, what are you two up to? Torg: We're at the Pharaoh's Tomb and Pocono Resort! Riff: You took ZoŽ to a Pocono resort on your first date? Torg: I'm not with ZoŽ, but that's not what's important! What's important is hee haw hee haw! Torg: Hee haw! Riff: So, you met some new chick and headed straight out to some love-shack and are now making animals sounds to me over the phone. Riff: Eewww! Riff: Gwynn, have you heard from ZoŽ? Torg called me, acting all weird. Gwynn: I've heard from ZoŽ, all right. She comes home crying, with a black and blue-mark the size of your foot on her face, and won't even tell me what happened. You see Torg, you tell him he best not come near us ever again! Riff: Torg wouldn't hurt ZoŽ. Something is definitely wrong. Do you have any maps of the Pocono mountains? I may need to find a resort. Gwynn: Sure, I'll go find it. Oh, by the way, this mail got sent to us by mistake. Riff: I've been selected as a Diablo 2 beta tester! Gwynn: Riff? Didn't you need this map? Riff? Riff: Torg? Am I in the right room? Torg: Riff! Thank god you tracked me down! Riff: Aaaaaaaaah! Riff: Good god, man! If you're going to sit in the wine-glass-shaped jacuzzi, wear swim trunks! Holy pressed ham! I need to wash my eyeballs! Torg: Riff, I got problems. Riff: Torg, why the long face? Torg: Remember Oasis, the killer-robot that was ordered to love me but blew up in a massive explosion with her creator? Riff: I was supposed to believe that? I thought it was "make up a big fat lie" day! Torg: Does that mean you're not secretly dating Britney Spears? Torg: What a rip off. Anyway, read this. Riff: "Oasis survived the explosion, and hunted me down. She's kidnapped me and is forcing me to marry her, and on top of it all, I'm turning into a donkey. This transformation seems to occur whenever I try to explain something like this to anyone, which is why I've written this down..." Riff: Hey, man, I'd love to read this an all, but it's, like, twelve pages, and I've got Christina Aguilera waiting for me in the truck. Riff: If what you wrote is true, we should make a break for it while this "Oasis" is out shopping for a wedding dress. Torg: Good idea. I'm really starting to go stir crazy here! What took you so long to get here, anyway? Riff: I got selected as a Diablo 2 beta tester? Torg: And you still came for me? You're a good friend. Riff: And I brought it with me on the laptop! Torg: Good friend?!? You're my best friend!!! Riff: Shouldn't we get out of here before the crazy assassin-robot comes back? Torg: Whoa! Check out the cans on the amazon! Torg: Riff? Meet Oasis. Riff: Humina-humina-humina... Torg: Sure beats your robot, huh? Riff: I'm too distracted to even respond to that question. Oasis: Don't let me interrupt you, "Riff"! You were saying how you want to take Torg away from me on our wedding eve and you think I'm a robot? Riff: Just calm down, ma'am. Whatever you are, I'm pretty confident I'll be able to pull out my laser... Riff: ...cannon before you can... Wow, you are fast. Never mind. Torg: If I don't ask her to leave Riff alone now, she'll kill him! Boy, this would be a bad time to start thinking I'm a donkey again! Torg: Hee haw hee haw Oasis: Look at my poor Torgy! You made him upset! Riff: I... um... er... Oasis: Die! Riff: Gotta think fast or Oasis will skewer me! Options:
1)
Don't kill me! That dress makes you look huge in the hips!
2)
Don't kill me! I'm Torg's best man!
Think! Think! Think!... Riff: Don't kill me! I'm Torg's best man! Oasis: Oh! Torgy didn't tell me you were coming! It's great to meet you! Torg: Hee haw hee haw hee haw hee haw Oasis: Don't worry about Torg, he'll snap out of it soon. Riff: Oh no! Then you better hide! He can't see you in your wedding dress before the wedding, it's bad luck! Oasis: Eek! Torg: It happened again, didn't it. Riff: Let's just get out of here, I have a plan! Oasis: Ta-da! No more wedding dress to worry about! And you guys aren't going anywhere. Riff: Uh... Torg: So your plan was to just sit here and let her tie us up? Riff: Not originally, but, I didn't expect her to counter my plan with nakedness! Torg: Remember, she's a creation of an evil scientist, so don't get enthralled! Riff: So, you guys have been here one night, did you guys... um... uh... Oasis: No! No hanky panky until we're married! Now you two stay here, and enough of the "evil scientist" talk. I've got to go rent your tuxes! Riff: What kind of scientist would make a robot look like that and instill her with puritan views? Torg: An evil scientist. Try to keep up here. Riff: I wonder if she's fully biologically functional. Torg: Either that or she's full of sharp jagged metal parts and... Riff: Yeaaaahh! Question withdrawn! Torg: Hello? Yes? Torg: Honey? That was the minister from the Lions-Pit chapel. He says we can't get married until you provide them valid ID and fill out some forms! Riff: Well, that's that. Since she's a robot, she doesn't have ID and can't legally marry you. Hell, the very fact that she's a robot makes it impossible. Oasis: I'll be back in a minute, dear! I have to go have a talk with the management here. Torg: I think she'll work it out. Riff: I wish there was some way we could signal for help or something. Torg: We're tied up, there's nothing we can do but sit here and be bored. Riff: Wait a minute! That phone! I think we can knock the receiver off! Torg: If you can dial with your nose, I can talk into the receiver! Torg: Hello, my name is Ms. Topolis, first name, Mia. I was paged by somebody at this bar. Crystal: Listen up, everybody! Does anyone want Mia Topolis? Who wants Mia Topolis? Anon 1: We do! Anon 2: We do! Anon 3: Ha ha Crystal: You again? When I get my hands on you crank-calling kids, I'm going to rip you into little pieces! Torg: Ha-hah! Riff: Ha-hah! Riff: Hello, Gwynn? We need halp, and fast! Gwynn: What's wrong now? Riff: We're tied up, there's a crazy robot after Torg, he's turning into a donkey... Lots of stuff. Gwynn: Wait... Torg is literally turning into a donkey? Riff: Yeah, it gets worse every time he tries to say something important. Gwynn: At least that part of the spell worked right! Riff: So he writes it down. Gwynn: D'oh! Torg: I showed Riff everything I wrote but that first one. That was too personal, so I stuffed it in my wa... Hey! Where's my wallet? Narr: Meanwhile, at the chapel... Oasis: Look, I told you I don't have any I.D., but this is my Torgy's I.D., so you better marry us and... What's this note? Oasis: Grrrrr... Gwynn: What kind of stuff did Torg write down? Riff: I dunno! Stuff! The crazy robot's a little more on my mind than Torg's memos! Gwynn: What stuff Riff! Tell me! Riff: Some important stuff about ZoŽ, trying to protect her from the robot, trying to warn me about the robot, warning me to drop the chalupa. What do you want from me? Gwynn: Did... Did her write anything down about me? Riff: No, why? Gwynn: No reason. Riff: Hey, never mind on the "help" thing, Gwynn! Torg managed to saw through the ropes using one of the resort's complimentary saltines. Gwynn: ZoŽ? I... ZoŽ: I don't care who was on the phone. I'm going out. Later. Gwynn: ...I think I screwed up big time. Riff: Ok, this is getting nuts, Torg! Quit playing the Diablo 2 demo and let's make a break for my truck! Torg: I'm hypnotized by this game! The sounds of structures crashing and people screaming are so real, and I'm only in the "new character screen"! Riff: There are no sounds of crashing and screaming in the "new character screen"! That's what I'm trying to tell you! It looks like Oasis is burning the whole resort down! Torg: Wow! Those effects are pretty darn good too! Torg: Hey! I found a unique item on the first level! What're the chances of that? Riff: Close to the chances of us making it out of here alive. Torg: You think we should run, huh? Riff: Right after we get that item identified! Torg: I'm going to get you back for this humiliation. Right after I get that carrot! Riff: It's the only way to get you away from the Diablo 2 demo. We've got to get to the truck before Oasis catches us. Torg: Crap! She's right behind us! And the road to the highway is blocked by flaming rubble! We're not going to make it! Riff: Don't worry, it's what's in the truck that'll save us. Torg: You mean the "celebrity hairstyle" magazine in the back seat? Riff: No, not the "celebrity hairstyle magazine in the back seat, the big robot! The big robot over there! Torg: Your hair has been looking shinier and fuller lately! Don't think I haven't noticed! Riff: Gwynn must have left it back there a long time ago! Look at the robot! Oasis: Torgy. Riff: Oasis, to get Torg you're going to have to go through Super Robot Mark 2. Torg: "Mark 2"? Where was I for Mark 1? Riff: You don't remember it? Back around Easter? Torg: You mean the Easter a few days ago, or the one a year ago? Riff: Um, sort of. Two years ago. Torg: Wow. Riff: Hmmm. Torg: So this one's all new, updated, and... Riff: I slapped a new gun on the old one. Riff: Let's see her dodge my new weapon, the most horrible weapon ever created! Kiki: Hi! Torg: Oh my god! It is horrible! Riff: Kiki!?! What are you doing in there? Kiki: I was playing with your robot and I fell asleep! Riff: What did you do with the weapon that was there? Kiki: I ate it. Torg: She ate it? Riff: It was "Twinkie" based. Never mind. Kiki: Oh, hi Oasis! And... Ooooh! Buttons! Torg: Aaaaaah! Riff: Aaaaaah! Narr: The next morning: Torg: Where is she? Kiki: I thought you said Oasis was coming to visit! Riff: My theory is either she couldn't track us, or she realized my robot is too tough for her. In any case, let's head home. Riff: New theory. She tracked us down and spent all night setting traps for us. Torg: A clue! Trip wire! Torg: Oasis's booby-traps crunched up the robot pretty bad, but it's still salvageable! Riff: Unless the core got damaged, causing it to blowup. Kiki: Oooh! I see spots! Riff: Ha! Oasis fell for my trap! The robot was merely bait to lure her close enough for me to zap her with my laser cannon! Torg: Wow, really? Good plan! You had me fooled! Torg: I mean, it looked like making that robot took a lot of work! Riff: Years of planning and research! Torg: Hey! I just used the word "booby" in a serious sentence! Riff: Sob! Torg: The robot blew up an hour ago, so what is Oasis waiting for? Riff: Torg, come here a minute and keep your voice down! Torg: Why doesn't she come for us? The waiting is driving me crazy! Riff: That's what she's trying to do. Riff: She's waiting while we fray around the edges. The good news is the only reason she would bother with the head games would be if she still considered us a threat to her, and that means we can use that fear against her. Torg: You think she's afraid of your laser cannon? Riff: She's afraid of something, and that's the important part. What other reason could there be? Oasis: I can't believe Donna and David are finally getting married! Oasis: Honk Narr: Note to all men (and some women): Final episode of "90210". Narr: In a dark and secluded part of the wooded Pocono mountains, a laptop sits, seemingly alone. Torg: So, when Oasis goes for the laptop, she'll fall into the pit I dug, and then we'll have beaten her at her own game. Riff: I think using a video game for bait is a stupid idea. Kiki: I think it's a great idea! The laptop is all sparkly and stuff! How long do we have to wait here? Torg: Don't know, but while we wait, maybe I can just finish one more level! Riff: The full version of "Thief 2"! Kiki: Ooooh! Hi, Oasis! Torg: Riff? I fell in my pit again! Riff: Uh... What hit me? Riff: Aaaah!! Who dressed me funny? Anon 1: Calm down, son. I'm the minister from the resort and... Riff: Aaaaah!! Kiki: Look Riff! I'm the maid of honour! Riff: Aaaaah!! Torg: Relax! I'm the one being forced to get married! Riff: Oh, thank god! Narr: A thousand days of Sluggy Freelance! Narr: To celebrate our thousandth comic today, we invite you to a special wedding. Narr: You are cordially invited to the marriage of Oasis, Robotic Gymnastic Assassin and Torg the Man-Donkey. Narr: On the mountainous field just a few miles from the blazing ruins that were once a Quaint Pocono Mountains Resort. Festivities to follow on the jagged rocks below! B.Y.O.B* Narr: *Bring Your Own Blood-type-for-transfusions Narr: (Bet you didn't see this coming a thousand comics ago!) Torg: Oasis, you're not supposed to throw the bouquet until after the wedding. Riff: Still, I'm impressed with the precision required to take that bird out of the sky with it. Torg: She only does a few things, but she does them well. Anon 1: Can we get on with this? Please!?! Anon 1: We are gathered here today to join Torg and Oasis in holy matrimony; which is an honorable estate, not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently. Plus, the bride has knives and isn't afraid to use them, so lets all be careful with this next part. Anon 1: If anyone can show just cause why the may not be lawfully joined together, let them speak now or forever hold their peace. Riff: Because she didn't provide you with the credentials the state requires for marriage. Anon 1: Besides that. Riff: Because she's a robot. Oasis: I am not! Anon 1: Besides that. Kiki: Oooh! Ooooh! Because he's a half-donkey monster! Anon 1: Besides that. Oasis: Yaaaaah! Riff: mphmff mphmff* Kiki: Mffmphm!** Narr: *Hubba hubba!
**Your dress tastes bad. Anon 1: Ahem... If anyone can show just cause why they may not... Torg: Sigh. Who cares, but how about "I don't love you". Oasis: I know! I found this in your wallet! Torg: Uh-oh. Oasis: But it doesn't matter because I love you! sniff I love you enought to make our... sniff... our marriage... sob... work... Anon 1: Maybe we should take a few minutes for you to compose yourself... Oasis: Finish the ceremony! Anon 1: Let us skip the whole "just cause" part and move on to the uplifting vows. Gywnn: Torg? Gwynn: Torg? Gwynn: Torg? Are you around here? Gwynn: To-org? Oasis: ZoŽ! K'Z'K: Since Oasis didn't know what ZoŽ looked like (she had never been formally introduced when they met), she concluded this woman emergin from the forest must be ZoŽ, and nothing would stop her death. Gwynn: Tooooorg! Skippy: Gwynn? How did she get there, Kenny? And why didn't Torg just tell Oasis that it's not ZoŽ? K'Z'K: One question at a time, Skip! I'm telling this story. Torg knew the only way to save Gwynn's life was to tell Oasis that it wasn't ZoŽ, or at least warn Gwynn of the danger, and when he tried to warn and inform, poof, instant donkey! K'Z'K: Gwynn cast the donkey-spell on Torg to keep him silent, for her benefit, and in the end, it lead to her detriment. That is irony. Next question? Skippy: Ok, Kenny! I'll buy the tuxes, but where did Oasis get a ferret-size maid-of-honor dress on short notice? K'Z'K: Shut up, Skip. Skippy: Kenny, how did Gwynn find Torg, Riff, and Kiki? K'Z'K: Once Gwynn got to the resort, she knew enough magic to use Torg's hair (left over from previous spells) to fashion a "Torg-compass". It lead her through the woods right to the ill-fated wedding ceremony. How she got to the resort involved a fortunate coincidence. Gwynn: I was wrong. I misjudged Torg, and now he's cursed. Kenny said I have to cancel the curse in person, and I would... if I only had the slightest clue how to find them. Riff got off the phone too quickly, it wasn't my fault! What am I supposed to do? Ask around if anyone's seen a man-donkey? My only clue is that they're at some quaint Pocono Mountains Resort. Qwirky Waltons: Qwirky Waltons, here, live from Pharaoh's Tomb Resort which is now ablaze. No one is sure the cause of the destruction, but fire fighters are trying to keep the blaze from spreading to the surrounding woods of this "quaint Pocono Mountains Resort". Gwynn: Yawn! Qwirky Waltons: The only thing stranger than the panic stricken blaze of Verne Troyer and Darva Conger streaking across the burning ruins like a roman candle, was this shot of a costumed beauty chasing what can only be described as a man-donkey! Qwirky Waltons: Yes, it was definitely a man-donkey. Gwynn: All right! All right! I'm going! K'Z'K: Where was I? Oh yes, Oasis on the move to slaughter the unsuspecting Gwynn, while Torg "gallops" in to warn her of the danger, a warning she can't understand. Gwynn: Torg?!? This is worse than I thought! Torg: Hee haw K'Z'K: With the element of surprise on Oasis's side, Gwynn never had a chance. Gwynn: Don't worry, I can fix this in a jiffy! K'Z'K: Oasis moved like a silent dancer. The first stab-wound was but a lead-in for the killing blow to arrive a split second later. K'Z'K: But Oasis was also caught off guard, Torg using his donkey-form to its best offensive use. K'Z'K: That's when things got interesting. Gwynn: My clothes are ripped and covered in blodd. Gwynn: Do you know how expensive this blouse is? Oasis: Torgy? Why are you leaving? Torg: Oasis's wedding is ruined, knives are flying, Gwynn's pupils have ominously vanished and she's having clothes-issues... There are just so many reasons to run for my life, I'm having trouble settling on just one! Riff: You did it, Kiki! You chewed through the ropes to free us! But how did you get your gag off? Kiki: I ate the gag 'cause I was hungry! Kiki: I chewed through the ropes cause I was hungry too! Riff: That's great! Good Kiki. Let's go save people! Kiki: Some people cry at weddings! I eat! Anon 1: Sure, just leave the minister tied up. Anon 1: Dear God! Kiki: Pretty! Riff: This isn't good. Narr: At the resort at the base of the mountain: Anon 1: We got the fire under control, and saved some of the resort. Good work, men. Anon 2: Chief! The mountain-top! By the cliff! Anon 3: Oh, man! K'Z'K: As the flames subsided, trees were shattered and the earth rose up. It was a whirlwind peppered with spears of wood and bullets of rock propelled with enough force to kill. Torg barely made it out of the crossed paths of Oasis and Gwynn's rage. K'Z'K: It was a surprise that Oasis lasted as long as she did. K'Z'K: It was like her battle with Riff's robot. Oasis was unable to get through Gwynn's defenses, so was left with nothing but to dodge the attacks and look for a way out. K'Z'K: But she zigged when she should have zagged. Torg: She's... She's not a robot? Torg: She's not a robot! Oasis: I... told... you... Gwynn: Torg, the whole donkey-thing was my fault. Torg: You? What's up with that? Gwynn: I'm really sorry for everything and... Riff: You demon bastard. Torg: You killed Gwynn? Riff: She wasn't Gwynn, Torg. Gwynn can't float and use forces of nature to kill. She must have been a demon the whole time. Torg: But I can't believe you just killed her! Riff: She's not dead, I had the laser cannon set to stun. I'm going to try to exorcize the demon to save Gwynn if I can. Torg: I didn't know that the laser cannon had a "stun" setting! Riff: Never tried it before. Riff: So what if Oasis was human? She was still the same psycho-assassin! One of us could have been killed! Or worse, married! You don't have feelings for her...? Torg: You don't understand. She wasn't a robot. That means she was a brainwashed victim. A poor girl who had her life ripped from her by a mad-man. It just makes it somehow more tragic. I almost wish I could see her again. Riff: A dynamic character with an ability to survive certain death, and a questionable death scene leaving no corpse? Face it, we'll never see her again! Torg: So, what do we do now? Riff: Oh no! Torg, I almost forgot! Oasis grabbed the karaoke machine from the resort to use at your wedding! It was loaded with "Air Supply" tapes! Torg: So? We'll just bury it where it will trouble humanity no more. Why the panic? Riff: Kiki? Near a karaoke machine? With the minister tied up? Torg: Aaah! I hope we're not too late! Anon 1: I know this is a test of my faith, and no matter how many times she sings that song... Kiki: I'm all out of love! I'm so lost without you,... Anon 1: Aw, hell! I give! Make it stop! Kiki: Ooooh! Riff: Quiet, Kiki! I'm about to attempt an exorcism on Gwynn, and it's not an easy task. You have to try your best to not disturb me. Riff: Demon possession must be tough for you to understand. It's like it's not really Gwynn, but a demon impersonating her. We need to get the demon out if we're going to get Gwynn back. That's what an exorcism is. Riff: Since the demon is very powerful and very mean and evil, we have to do it while she's still unconscious over there... Riff: She's gone! Kiki: Nope! She's been standing behind you the whole time, but I didn't want to disturb you. Kiki: Riff says you're just impersonating Gwynn, and you're doing such a good job! That's exactly how Gwynn always looks at Riff! Do me next! Do me next! Pleeeeez? Gwynn: After everything I've tried to do to reach out and help all of you, you think I'd have earned some trust or friendship, but you, who meant the most to me, you shoot me in the back? Gwynn: Kenny was right, I should have just been straight with you. Yes, I have magic powers left over from when I was possessed. I've tried hiding from them, and then just keeping them hidden from you guys, but I'm done hiding them. It's part of who I am. Can you accept me for who I am, Riff? Or not? Gwynn: Goodbye. Kiki: I'm all out of love! I'm so lost without you,... Riff: Bad Kiki! No karaoke in the house. Torg: Hey, you. ZoŽ: Hey. Torg: I'm really sorry about you getting kicked, and all. I tried to call you and explain what was going on, but... ZoŽ: It's all right. Gwynn told me some, Riff told me the rest. ZoŽ: How you got that "Oasis" woman away from me to protect me, and how Gwynn's bungled spells got in the way of you trying to fix things. I wanted to thank you for that. ZoŽ: That was some story. Oasis versus Riff's robot, you turning into a donkey, coming this close to getting married, Gwynn's magic spazzing-out, blasting Oasis off a cliff... Then the story started getting really surreal. ZoŽ: Did you know Riff's laser cannon had a "stun" setting? Torg: No! I'm surprised the switch didn't rust over by now! Torg: I'm glad you're all right! ZoŽ: I'm glad you are too! Torg: Well, if my memory serves me correctly, I think I owe you a dinner! ZoŽ: Torg... About that... I've thought a lot about it and I think we should stay friends. I value your friendship too much. I've got to help Gwynn pack. Kiki: I'm all out of love! I'm so lost without you,... Kiki: I know you were right, believing for so long,... Torg: I know you were right, believing for so long,... Riff: Where's Gwynn? I've got to talk to her! ZoŽ: She's gone. She packed up and left. I'm sorry Riff. Riff: Where? Where is she?!? ZoŽ: She didn't say. I don't know! Riff: I... She can't... I was too late. I wanted to give her this. ZoŽ: Oh, Riff! Torg: Wow, that's the smallest hypodermic needle I've ever seen! Riff: But it carries enough knock-out juice to drop an elephant! ZoŽ: Run, Gwynn, run! Torg: So, Gwynn left because Riff thinks she's possessed by a demon, and wouldn't let it alone? ZoŽ: She said she met someone named Kenny online and is going to start a new life with him. Torg: An online romance? Those can be scary! Torg: Didn't you say your modem was busted? That's why you had to use the computer at the school? How was she chatting with him? ZoŽ: She must have used some other computer. Hmmm... But I thought she said she was home when she met him online. Torg: Wow, look at that! Gwynn and Kenny's conversations! Is that a chat-log? ZoŽ: No, it's a text document! Torg: She's been having an online romance with herself? That's scary! ZoŽ: "Hi Gwynn, my name is Kenny! Gwynn is a pretty name! And since the "y" is only sometimes a vowel, you could say your name has no vowels at all!" ZoŽ: Oh my god. Torg: You're right! That is the scariest pick-up line I've ever heard! Torg: What's wrong? ZoŽ: This "Kenny" turns Gwynn against us and towards using her powers, and comments that her name has no vowels! Torg, think! Torg: But there is no Kenny! It was all in Gwynn's head! ...Oh! ...Oh no. Riff was right! Kizke. Torg: Maybe it's not too late! Do you know where she went? ZoŽ: No! She didn't tell me, and I didn't ask, because... I wanted her gone. What have I done? K'Z'K: And we have reached the time for the recap and summation. K'Z'K: A long time ago I ripped Gwynn's soul from her, and took it with me when I was sent to the past. K'Z'K: When I was destroyed by that infuriating ZoŽ, all the souls I had collected were similarly ripped from me. Some, like Gwynn, took parts of me back with them. Gwynn got a sentient part. K'Z'K: And I've been trying to rebuild my strength ever since. Skippy: You must be powerful, Kenny! You can actually regenerate yourself from only a small piece! K'Z'K: It was not easy! The more she used my powers the stronger I became, but both her and I had to be careful of discovery, so it took much time and patience. I hate patience! K'Z'K: After a while I was able to exert minor control over her perception. Using a trick with automatic writing, I was able to make her think she was chatting with someone online when she was actually typing for both of us. K'Z'K: I played the role of a kindred spirit who had also been left with residual powers after possession. I started encouraging her to use her powers more, and giving her ineffectual spells to drive a wedge between the people she loved and the people who loved her. K'Z'K: But this "Oasis" was an amazing stroke of good fortune! The rage and power she unleashed out of Gwynn was enough for me to start really driving her decisions! K'Z'K: Now that I've gotten her away from her friends, it should be no time before I'll start feeling myself again, and be able to come back and extract my revenge on Riffy, Torg, and ZoŽ! Skippy: That is a great story, Kenny! All kinds of good fortune! And I guess the final one is that Gwynn would happen to sit next to the only other demon-possessed person on the train, allowing us to exchange stories! K'Z'K: And what is your story, Skip? Skippy: Bob, here, got a unique Bazooka-Joe comic with his gum. A printing error caused the words of the comic to blur into the exact wording of runes of evil power. Skippy: When he read the comic out loud (because he didn't get it), poof! I possessed him. Good story, huh, Kenny? K'Z'K: Ah, that's a good story too, Skip, but please, let's not call each other by our falsenames. My truename is K'Z'K! Skippy: My truename is "Skippy"! K'Z'K: Skippy the demon. Skippy: Yep! K'Z'K: And you hide your truename by calling yourself Skip. I like it. Skippy: Hey! "K'Z'K"? K'Z'K the Voweless? K'Z'K the Soul Collector? You're one of the big ones! Weren't you supposed to enslave and destroy the world? K'Z'K: I will. Narr: Fin. Bun-Bun: Hey nerd-boy! Why so glum? Torg: Gwynn's been gone for weeks, and Riff has just about given up looking for her. She's got a demon inside her that's gonna destroy the world. Bun-Bun: Yeah, her and every other woman. Speaking of which, how'd that date with ZoŽ go? Torg: It didn't. Let's just leave it at that. Bun-Bun: Seems like she's hanging out with Dex from school a lot more these days. Torg: Why are you so interested in my life, Bun-Bun? Bun-Bun: I'm not, I'm just keeping a list of "things that makes nerd-boy glum" for future reference. Torg: You might as well put on the list the fact that Aylee's been in her cocoon for so long! Aylee: You think it's bad for you, you should have seen it from the inside! Torg: Aylee? Did you say something? Aylee: Sigh. I'm sorry, I haven't been talkative lately. I'm sort of depressed about my new form. Torg: I'm sure it's not that bad! When will you be out of your cocoon so I can see it? Aylee: I am out of my cocoon! This is my new form! Aylee: Sigh. Bun-Bun: Ick! Nerd-boy-cooties. Torg: I'm sorry I freaked out when I saw you Aylee. I don't know what I expected you to look like, but... Aylee: You didn't think I'd be this ugly. Torg: I didn't say that! I was hoping a nice drive on a beautiful day would cheer you up, but I guess it's not working. Aylee: I know you mean well, Torg, but I just don't feel good! I look ugly, I'm all stressed out, and I haven't eaten in months! Besides, I can't see above the glove compartment. Torg: Look, I need to use this rest-stop. I'll be back in a minute, to take you home. Torg: Holy cow! It's the Rolling Stones! What are the chances of running into the Rolling Stones at a highway rest-stop? Aylee: Torg, I'm sorry! I'm so famished that I need to eat someone now! Hopefully the next person I find won't be missed. Aylee: Rar! Torg: Aylee!?!? Torg: Nooooo! Run, Keith Richards! Runnnnn! Torg: Riff, we've got a problem! I was taking Aylee for a drive, and Aylee's been, like, starving since she got out of her cocoon. Then we ran into Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones at a rest-stop. Riff: Aylee ate Keith Richards?!? Torg: No! That's the point! Aylee only chewed on him for a bit, then spit him out! Riff, that means she doesn't eat meat anymore, but she's going to starve if I don't find her some food! Riff: You aren't worried about Keith Richards being chewed up? Torg: Naw, he doesn't seem to know what's happened to him, and he looks about the same, but I think Aylee is stoned and has the munchies! Aylee: E.T. in the sky-iy, with di-i-iamonds...! Torg: What am I going to feed her if she doesn't eat people anymore? Riff: Maybe Keith Richards isn't the best test-subject for that. Torg: Riff? Got another problem. I wanted to make sure Aylee couldn't eat people anymore, so I brought her to this big picnic rally thingy. Riff: You took Aylee to an event so you could feed people to her? Torg: Don't worry, it was a [insert name of political group you oppose here] rally. Riff: Oh! That's different. Nobody'd miss them! Torg: Problem is she wouldn't eat anybody! All she ate was potato chips, french fries, and potato salad! So what am I supposed to feed her? Riff: Torg, the answer is as obvious as [insert aforementioned political group's primary objective here] is stupid! What do all those foods have in common? Torg: MSG? Salt? Roughly 4% insect parts? Plastics? That's it! Plastics! Riff: Nope! It appears Aylee is hungry for potatoes now! Riff: Of course! Well, we may be in luck since [insert name of aforementioned political group's leader here] is here and [he/she] is a potato-head! Narr: Yes, for biting controversial no-holds-barred political satire, look no further than Sluggy Freelance! We're not afraid to take a stand, we swear to [insert your deity here]. Torg: Riff! You were right about the potatoes. Aylee's been eating sack after sack of them! She's still depressed about her form, so I managed to get a Spuddy-Buddy doll from that "Potato Pals" tv show! What are you up to? Riff: I just bought a personal fission reactor, but the cooling unit's busted on it so I have it chilling in the fridge till I figure out how to call tech support. Torg: Hey! A power outage! Torg: Hey-hey! My Spuddy-Buddy's eyeballs glow in the dark! Riff: Hey-hey-hey! That alarm means my "Mini Fission Comrade" is going to have meltdown so all our eyeballs can glow! Torg: Aylee? How are you feeling? Hope the power-outage didn't scare you! I brought you a present! Torg: Aylee? Torg: Wow, Spuddy-Buddy! Aylee can fly! That's the coolest thing ever! That other form must have been some kind of secondary cocoon! Jeez, I'm glad I don't have to keep pretending to like that big ugle lima-bean-brain-looking... Aylee: Torg? I'm hungry again! Torg: Yeaaaah! Save yourself, Spuddy-Buddy! Torg: Aylee? I'm sorry for running from you with my arms flailing! You just caught me off guard. Aylee: It's ok, Torg. I think I finally understand. When I came out of my cocoon looking like this, I felt terrible! It's like my whole body was tied in a big knot that kept getting tighter. When I was full, I burst free of the knot and felt wonderful! Now I feel all tied up again. Aylee: I realized that you weren't responding to the way I looked, you were responding empathically, to the way I felt. That shows we really have a connection, beyond... Torg: Is it ok if I face this way while we talk? You're... um... oozing abit. Aylee: Just give me the dumb plush potato. Jamey: Hi! I'm Jamey from Mini Fission Comrade Inc.! Can I interest you in an all-weather tote and babushka to carry your "Mini Fiss... Riff: You've kept me on hold so long, I only have ten minutes left before my "Mini Fission Comrade" goes nuclear! Jamey: Calm down, sir! The "Mini Fission Comrade" is deactivation friendly! Simply hold the reactor with the "Mini Fission Comrade" logo on top and start unscrewing the upper casing starting with the upper left hand screw, moving clockwise and removing each screw completely. It is very important that you remove the screws in order. Riff: Why does it matter what order I remove them in? It's a reactor, not a bomb! Jamey: Now sir, what's really the difference between a personal fission reactor and a refurbished old Soviet Union black-market suitcase-nuke? Riff: One doesn't have to be unscrewed clockwise to avoid blowing up! Jamey: Did I say "clockwise"? Sorry, my goof, I meant counterclockwise. I'm sort-of new at reading russian. Jamey: Now that the wires are exposed, just clip the red wire, and you're done! Riff: All five wires are yellow. Jamey: Oh! You're lucky! You got one of the limited edition "Mellow Yellow" reactors! They're a collectors item! Riff: Hey MacGyver, can we speed this up? I've got 3 minutes before everything in a ten mile radius gets vaporized! Jamey: Clip the canary yellow wire. Be careful not to confuse it with the lemon yellow wire. Riff: They're all the exact same color, dammit! Jamey: I understand your inconvenience, sir, but you must realize that yellow wires are cheaper, and that allowed us to pass that savings on to you, the valued customer! Are you within 20 miles of us? Riff: Yes. Jamey: Please hold while I switch to the car-phone in our get-away car. Riff: Torg? I'm trying to deactivate a nuclear bomb and have 5 wires to chose from. Pick a number from 1 to 5. Torg: Um... 2. No, 4! Riff: Thanks! Riff: Thanks again for the number, Torg! It was the right wire. Torg: That's the coolest nuclear explosion I've ever seen in a made for tv movie! Bun-Bun: What's this movie called again? ZoŽ: "A Misleading Segue". Torg: Have you had enough to eat, Aylee? Aylee: I think so! Torg: Riff, wait until you see what Aylee turns into! It's so cool! Riff: No time for that now, Torg! That power outage was not an accident. We've got a saboteur! Riff: Even though the power outage only lasted a short time, my reactor almost "be-wooped" itself into a meltdown! Like it was rigged to blow! But at the same time the power failed, someone was able to bypass my battery-powered security system and tamper with my computer. The saboteur wiped my hard drive to cover his trail! Aylee: Ta-da! Riff: Or it could be that Aylee's turned into an electromagnetic pulse generator. ZoŽ: I had a great time! Dex: Can I walk your to your door? ZoŽ: That's ok, Dex. No need. Dex: You afraid your friends Torg and Riff will see you with me? They don't seem to like me too much. ZoŽ: They just haven't gotten to know you yet, but they will. Dex: I was hoping you'd invite me in. ZoŽ: Not on the first date, but I'll give you this! ZoŽ: All the lights are out? Did we have another freak power outage? Riff: I thought Aylee had emitted an E.M.P., but I might have to update my thoery since it appears you've just been electrocuted. Let me check my notes. Kiki: Oooh! ZoŽ's smooching! Riff: We know Aylee changes forms when immersed in a changed environment. This change began as a direct result of being exposed to those nanites six months ago. What better defense against microscopic machines than a biological E.M.P.? Riff: E.M.P. stands for electromagnetic... Torg: This has got to be, like the third time ZoŽ's tried dating Dex, why they heck would I be so bothered this time? I mean besides falling madly in... Riff: Yoý Torg! Torg: Huh? I'm sorry, Riff. Just zoned out there. Riff: Aylee's become an E.M.P. generator. She powers up in that ugly-mode and releases it when bursting into dragon-mode. An electromagnetic pulse disrupts any kind of electrical systems, shutting down, damaging, and possibly even destroying anything with a circuit in it. That means any device in my lab could potentially go screwy and put everyone for miles around us in jeopardy! Torg: Even the toaster oven? Riff: Especially the toaster oven! Torg: You want me and Aylee to move out? Riff: I don't need to tell you how dangerous it is having Aylee releasing electromagnetic pulses underneath my apartment! It could randomly cause me to be annoyed! Or kill thousands of people! Or both! Torg: Maybe you shouldn't have such dangerous stuff in your apartment! Riff: Hey, I don't tell you how to live your life! Aylee: I think my metabolism was up from being in the cocoon so long, but I don't think I'll be switching modes as often anymore! And I could just hop off some place when I feel the change coming! Riff: The radius of the pulse seemed limited to our apartments. If you can keep away, like out in the field or something, when releasing the E.M.P., that would work. Besides, I guess we've all been magnetically wiped, so the damage's been done. Torg: "Magnetically wiped"? Riff: The electromagnetic pulse wiped everyhting that could be erased with a magnet. Narr: The vast and lasting effects of the E.M.P.s sink in over the next couple hours. Riff: Michael Jackson's "Thriller", and all my classic 80's cassettes gone like the 80's never existed!?! Torg: Sure, my hard drive got erased, but I'm not worried, thanks to my monthly CD-ROM backups! ZoŽ: Where's my term paper? Riff: I'm actually kind of relieved! Torg: You have been making those monthly backups, right, secretary-of-mine? Aylee: Um, I've been in a cocoon the last six months! Torg: D'oh! ZoŽ: Where's my term paper? Where's my operating system?!? Torg: That really bites! In a split second all of our video tapes cassettes, hard drives, floppies... All destroyed. Riff: You're not even going to be able to use your credit cards anymore. Bun-Bun: Keep it down, you dweebs! Nothing's on the tube so I'm going to relive some of those classic first season episodes of Baywatch. Boy, you just can't find that stuff anymore. ZoŽ: Don't you guys knock? And have you been messing with my computer? Torg: I'll explain it to you while you pack. Just what you can grab in sixty seconds! Bun-Bun: Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Aylee: I'm sorry I ruined all your tapes and computers! Torg: We know you didn't mean it, Aylee! Except for Bun-Bun, of course. Aylee: It was all my fault that his Baywatch tapes got erased. Why do we all have to hide from him? Torg: Let's just say it's better for all of us to steer clear of him until he cools off and will listen to reason. ZoŽ: So what do we do until then? Just drive around on random roads all night? How will you know when Bun-Bun's calmed down? ZoŽ: Riff? ZoŽ: Riff, what are you staring at? Riff: He's not calmed down yet. Torg: Must go faster! Must go faster! Torg: Well, we finally lost Bun-Bun, but no telling how long that will last! Riff: Tough to figure out our next move since our credit cards don't work and we're low on cash! ZoŽ: You guys should consider coming with me! A bunch of my college-friends are going on a little "retreat". Bun-Bun'd never find us and it's free. Torg: Thanks for the invite, ZoŽ, but there's no room for a giant EMP-generating dragon there. ZoŽ: Ok, I'll just need to borrow some change so I can call Dex. Torg: Dex?!? He's going to be there with you!?! ZoŽ: He's in charge of it. Even got the college to pay for it! Torg: Well, we don't want to bunch up too much or we'll become a bigger target! ZoŽ and I will head to the retreat, you guys go that-a-way! Off you go! Torg: ZoŽ's had a crush on Dex for son long now, I don't even know why I'm trying to get between them! I mean, besides the fact that the jerk's not good enough for her. So here I am about to go on a trip with Dex and a bunch of his friends. His turf. I don't stand a chance. Dex: Hey, "Torg", right? ZoŽ: Torg, you've met Dex. This is Fay. Fay: We met, like a year ago. ZoŽ: There's a bunch more I want you to meet! Torg: But I have an ace up my sleeve. I have a friend at this college, and have secretly invited him along. I might have a chance of pulling this off with a friend to watch my back! Torg: And here he comes now, right on schedule! Now, to feign surprise... Torg: Bert! What are you doing here? Bert: You called me and asked me to come! Said you wanted me to "wash your back"! Torg: Argh... Plans... falling... apart... Distract... with small talk before we look stupid... Torg: Hey, everybody! Bert does paintings of crotches! Bert: My world is a crotch! Narr: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, divided into two tribes, left on an untamed tropical island, with a million bucks going to the last to remain? Welcome to... Narr: PETA Castaways Narr: Can they survive for weeks without civilization on a tropical island? Might we hint that one of them might become desparate enough to eat *gasp* meat? Might we try to make everything you see as artificially dramatic as possible? Might a bear [blank] in the woods? Narr: Castaway Profiles: Narr: Tofu Tribe: "Butch" Ex-Navy Seal. Quit because of the military's flagrant use of the word "Seal". Butch: If anybody eats an animal, they're a bad person. If I eat a bad person, it's only to save the hundreds of animals they would eventually eat. Lots of yummy looking bad people around here. Narr: Castaway Profiles: Narr: Tofu Tribe: "Clickea" Professional Protestor from Long Island. Clickea: Like, my new best friend "Treep-Top" thought that, like, when we were going to be "roughing it" it meant we'd have to get our groceries delivered from a supermarket instead of an organic vegetable stand! I'm like, "duh, Tree-Top! We're survivalists! We have to hike to the supermarket!" Narr: Live: Pavlov Tribe... Anon 1: Look, guys! We don't have to worry about food! Look at the bush of pretty red berries I found! Anon 2: I love "Berry-Berry Hawaiian-C juice pouches!(tm)" Anon 3: Hurray! Anon 4: Hurray! Anon 5: Hurray! Anon 6: Hurray! Anon 7: Hurray! Anon 8: Hurray! Narr: Last time on PETA Castaways: Narr: The Tofu Tribe had to vote somebody off the island due to the entire Pavlov Tribe being wiped out by the poison-berry incident. Don: It's unanimous, we've voted Butch off, because "Butch" is short for "Butcher". Anon 1: Shame, shame, shame,... Anon 2: Shame, shame, shame,... Anon 3: Shame, shame, shame,... Anon 4: Shame, shame, shame,... Butch: I blame my sickly meat-eating parents. Narr: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, divided into two tribes, left on an untamed tropical island, with a million bucks going to the last to remain? Welcome to... Narr: PETA Castaways Narr: Can they survive for weeks on a tropical island, with only one luxury item apiece? Might we hint that one will be digested alive by a red snake? Might we, the network execs, put our own grandmothers on an island for a million bucks? Hold everything! I just got a great idea for next season! Narr: Castaway Profiles: Narr: Tofu Tribe: "Tree-Top" Professional Arteeest of Thought Tree-Top: People thought I was stupid for choosing a bucket of red paint as my one luxury item. They thought, "who would be wearing fur on an uncivilized island?" But boy, they stopped laughing when Don showed up wearing that snake-skin body suit! Narr: File footage: Tree-Top: Shame on you, Don! You murderous turncoat! Don: Help! It's swallowing my brain out my ears! Narr: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, divided into two tribes, left on an untamed tropical island, with a million bucks going to the last to remain? Welcome to... Narr: PETA Castaways Narr: We've made it to the end! And the last of the Tofu Tribe is beaten off the island (for trying to destroy the Turkey Sandwiches set aside for the film-crew), leaving only one survivor, a man named P‚tť! Narr: But this victory is not without controversy! When a Wild Boar was found living in a cave near Tofu Tribe, P‚tť was the first to offer it vegetables as a sign of peave and love. When he emerged from the cave, he seemed to have renewed vigor and energy, leading some to speculate that he had eaten the boar, a move that would totally disqualify him!!! Narr: File footage: Narr: So we await the results of a polygraph test with bated breath! P‚tť: I did not and have not ever eaten boar! Now give me the million bucks! Anon 1: He's telling the truth! Anon 2: Hurray! Narr: "P‚tť" has won the million dollars! Thank you all for wat6ching, and tune in next week when we premiere the all new, "A rabbi, a minister, and a priest are in a lifeboat" Survivor! Check your local listings! Torg: Here I am, wedged into this van with a bunch of strangers, heading god knows where. All because I can't stand ZoŽ dating Dex. Maybe I should just leave them alone. Torg: Look at the bright side. At least I'm wedged between two chicks! And ZoŽ and I will be safe here. I hope Riff and company are safe from Bun-Bun too! Riff: Oh, crap! Bun-Bun: You didn't think I'd just track you down to the nearest potato farm? Bun-Bun: You're all dead meat! Kiki: Hi, Bun-Bun! Aylee: I'm not going to make it! Riff: Just hang on, Aylee! Aylee: I can't wait! I feel like I'm going to burst, Riff! Riff: Don't you release that electromagnetic pulse! Don't you... Riff: Dammit! Bun-Bun: What the hell is happening? Why am I slowing down? Riff: The E.M.P's shutting down the power steering and brakes! I've got no brakes! Kiki: Up ahead! Pretty cliffs! Riff: Cliffs. Again. I hate cliffs! Kiki: This is cool! Riff: Cool? This rules! Bun-Bun: Aylee can fly? Why doesn't anybody ever tell me these things!?!? Bun-Bun: I'm going to hunt you all down if it takes forever! I'm going to be the freaking Terminator on your collective butts! I will never stop! Never! Never! Bun-Bun: Oops! Gotta run! I got a "narrator" gig for the next storyline! Bun-Bun: Hello. Welcome to Bun-Bun's Theatre of Whores. Bun-Bun: Oh, wait, I misread this. It says Theater of "Horrors", not "Whores". Bun-Bun: Ok, so this story just got 400% less interesting. Bun-Bun: Our story begins with the Traipsey brothers, known warlocks, living in a cabin in the woods just south of Wispydale. Jim Traipsey: You drank the last of the milk? I need that for my coffee tomorrow! Jon Traipsey: Sorry if my osteoporosis is getting in the way of your happy mornings! Just have it without milk. Jim Traipsey: I can't, Jon Traipsey! Jon Traipsey: Then don't have coffee, Jim Traipsey! Jim Traipsey: I must, Jon Traipsey! Jon Traipsey: Shhh! I hear The Evil approaching. Bun-Bun: Sheesh! You know what's evil? That last exchange of dialogue! You know what? Keep the money and take my name off the marquee, I'm off to find them whores. Jim Traipsey: The Evil! It approaches! Jon Traipsey: Goddamn The Evil! It always approaches in the middle of dinner. Jim Traipsey: You make it sound like The Evil comes by all the time. Why, I haven't seen The Evil in years. I'm rather looking forward to it. Jon Traipsey: You would, Jim Traipsey. You know, I don't think The Evil is a good influence of you. Jim Traipsey: You're my brother, not my mother, and I can socialize with whomever I choose! Jim Traipsey: Yippy skippy! I missed you, The Evil! Jon Traipsey: Like I don't know what's going to happen. The Evil's going to reduce you to a spray of blood and gore, and you're going to come running back to me. "Please, Jon, take me back! Take me back!" Jim Traipsey: Yeargh!!!!! Jon Traipsey: Well, I was half right. Jon Traipsey: The Journal of Jon Trapsiey, 6/28/2000 Jon Traipsey: The Evil has returned. We had entrusted the Glees with the task of holding The Evil at bay, but now The Evil has returned, and my brother Jim Traipsey is dead. If you are reading this, then I am dead as well. So I charge you with the task of stopping The Evil. Jon Traipsey: To defeat The Evil, you must keep your wits about you and your eyes peeled. The Evil is.... Jon Traipsey: Yeargh!!!!! Narr: Pieces of his brain around him, Narr: Graphic depiction of peeled eyeballs. Jon Traipsey: .... sarcastic. Ha, ha, very funny, The Evil Narr: The following night: Anon 1: Rah! Rah! Rah! Billy Ray, it's such a beautiful night, why do you want to stay in the car? Just to "neck?" Billy-Bob says that you were necking with Billie-Sue last night, but I didn't believe him! Anon 1: Billy-Ray!?! Is that a hickey?!? You did go to the dance with Billie-Sue! Take me home right now! Anon 1: Aw! You bought me a kitten to make up with me! Ok, I'll take you back! The Evil: Mew. Anon 1: Eeeeyaaa! Help!!! Noooo!!!!! Dr. Haught-Sheik: Well, Sherrif Bugahf, these kids were killed by a series of tiny bites, possibly rats. We won't know for sure until the results come back from that testing-place-thingy in the city. If there is something causing the rats to swarm and attack people, we're going to have to quarantine the area! Sherrif Bugahf: In the middle of tourist season? Are you out of your mind, Dr. Hot-Chick? I'm not shutting down this town in the middle of tourist season! Dr. Haught-Sheik: The name is "Dr. Haught-Sheik", and the only touristy things here are the log cabins you rent for $45 a week! Hell, I'll cover your losses! Sherrif Bugahf: It's the principle of the matter! You fancy "city doctors" wouldn't understand things like that. Dr. Haught-Sheik: This isn't about your principles, it's about keeping innocent young adults from getting nibbled to death by rats! Dr. Haught-Sheik: And second, I've lived in this town my whole life! Sherrif Bugahf: Don't confuse me with the facts! I didn't get to be Sheriff of this town by listening to reason, I done it by being annoyingly stubborn about the bad judgment calls I make! Anon 1: Only a few miles to the cabin! Anon 2: I'm so excited, guys! A whole week relaxing, away from all the stress at college! Cindy: Whoa! Look at that bloody pile of guts! ZoŽ: Oh gross! What was it? Smit: Must have been a deer, that's all. Anon 3: Yes, it must have been a deer. Only a deer. Anon 4: Sheriff Deer was murdered! Hit by a truck and left by the side of the road! We must avenge him, Deputy Deer! Deptuy Deer: Not in this storyline, but someday! Max: I'm Max! That's short for "Maximum Chuggage" 'cause I'm the master at the inverted-keg-lap! And this is Fay! I'm not sure what "Fay" is short for. Fay: My sudden desire to "Fay"-d into nothingness? Max: That's Smit, the man with the van. He knows more about cars than anybody I know. He owns about ten of them, all kinds. Yup, he's rich! And that's Cindy! Not much more to her than what you see, but who needs more, eh? Max: That guy over there is Dex! He's my best-bud. I'd die for that guy! And that girl on his arm is ZoŽ. They just hooked up, but it won't last. It takes a special girl to win the heart of the Dex-man! Max: Speaking of which, that's Angela! She's been dating Dex on and off for years! She normally gets all jealous when Dex dates other women, but this time it looks like she might be trying to make him jealous by pretending to be interested in ZoŽ's friend, Torg! Max: Now, I don't know Torg, but he seems like a dork, plus he invited that weird guy, Bert. He's always complaining about what is or ain't "art". Bert's so weird, we wouldn't let him in the van. He has to drive behind us on his stupid moped. Max: Then again, Bert's only slightly weirder than that chick over there. Don't know her real name, but we call her "Flaky". Flaky knits more than my grandmother and thinks she's psychic. Don't have to be psychic to know why she's hanging out with Reggie! He's the man to see if you want to get happy, if you know what I mean, and I know you do! Mr. Glee: When I said "who the hell do you kids think you are!?!" I wasn't expecting a damn answer! Mrs. Glee: Oh, don't mind my husband. Mr. Glee is just a bit grumpy! I'm Mrs. Glee, but you can call me "plot device to determine setting". Mr. Glee: Dag-nabit! Mrs. Glee: Welcome to Wispydale! Where are you kids staying? Max: We rented one of them Wispydale cabins, ma'am! Mrs. Glee: Lovely! Be sure to say hi to your neighbors, the Traipsey brothers! They're about a mile south of you! Bun-Bun: Is a kitten going to spell doom for these kids? Is Mrs. Glee just a plot device? Will I put up with doing the narration for this story? The only things you can be sure of, are that there is evil loose in Wispydale, and that this comic won't wrap with a punchline. Bun-Bun: This just in: so the polish guy says "I saw the 7 o'clock news too, but I didn't think he'd jump again at 11." Bun-Bun: I stand corrected. Dex: Well, what do you think of the cabin, guys? Anon 1: It's great, Dex! Reggie: Dude! Torg: We've got two rooms of bunks. I guess one's for the guys and one's for the girls? Cindy: There's a second floor loft for whoever wants to sneak away from the chaperones! Wink, wink! Fay: All we have is a crappy wood stove, and a half-working fridge. ZoŽ: It'll do as long as we can run into town for food. Dex: I did spring extra to get the cabin with running water and a fully functioning bathroom with shower! Or I should say, our college has graciously paid for this "study-retreat"! Max: And even sprung for the beer! Bert: You, sir, are a cad, using student funds to finance your collegiate playground! Dex: Aren't you the guy who used student funds to buy a thousand pairs of underwear to build that giant crotch-sculpture? Bert: But that was art! Max: Boy, he's a little testy! Narr: That evening, around the campfire: Bert: Who's up for a ghost story? Reggie: I just made up this really cool ghost story! Dex: Nobody tells ghost stories better than me! Cindy: Dex, you always hog the spotlight! Go for it, Reggie! Reggie: This is the story called... um... The Fourth of July Slasher! One day, this scientist dude decided that cloning George Washington from his teeth would be a cool thing to do for the fourth of July! Reggie: But he didn't know that George Washington's teeth were made of wood, so he accidentally created a wooden George Washington! Reggie: Only this wooden George Washington was evil! Like, as revenge for the cherry tree? He'd cut down people? And then, like, lie about it? Reggie: And then he stole the land from the wooden indians, man! Reggie: And when he got pissed, he'd sprout these leaves that were major-funky when you smoked 'em. Reggie: Dude, what were we talking about? Narr: This has been another great moment in Fourth of July horror. thank, and happy Fourth! Narr: Later that night... Dex: I've just been a fool for not appreciating you sooner, ZoŽ! ZoŽ: Oh, Dex! Torg: Don't mind me, just getting a glass of water! Dex: Torg, dammit! That's the fifteenth time you've interrupted us! ZoŽ: Dex, calm down! Dex: He's doing this on purpose, ZoŽ! He's doing this on purpose! I swear he's trying to break us up! ZoŽ: Torg's not jealous, Dex! When you've been friends with Torg long enough, you expect him to walk in at the wrong moment. Angela: Torg, are you trying to break up Dex and ZoŽ? Torg: Yup! Angela: Sounds fun! Can I help? Should I walk in on them next time? Torg: No need yet, Angela! I already have a backup! Bert: Fornicators! Narr: The following evening: Torg: Angela, I'm out of ideas! What's our next move to break up Dex and ZoŽ? Angela: Not sure, Torg, but if we work closely tonight we should come up with something! Dex: Well, I guess we'll be left alone tonight, since Torg's making out with Angela! ZoŽ: Angela and Torg? ZoŽ: Angela and Torg? They're all wrong for each other! Torg's not into girls like Angela!!! Dex: Dammit! ZoŽ: Angela and Torg, huh? Dr. Haught-Sheik: Records of Dr. Haught-Sheik, July 7th, 2000. We found another body today. This time of a drifter hiking through our woods. He was decapitated, disemboweled, and "chewed up" in general. Dr. Haught-Sheik: What I thought at first was a swarm of rats or some yet-unidentified animal, I now believe is something far more frightening. Dr. Haught-Sheik: I can't put my finger on the exact reason. Call it a hunch. But I believe this creature may be showing signs of intelligence. Max: Dex-man! How's it hanging? Dex: Max, I want you to get Torg and his friend Bert away from the cabin and away from Angela tonight. The combo of them is crimping my style big time with ZoŽ, and tonight's the night! Max: Dex-man, how am I supposed to do that? Torg and Angela just hooked up! He ain't gonna want to keep away from her. Dex: Max, you have to use "the call"! I'll make sure I'm conveniently out of the way at the time. Max: "The call"? But... but what about Smit? And Reggie? Max: Casualties of war, my friend, and this is a war I'm fighting. Max: You're right. It's the only way. Max: "Guys night out!" "Free beer!" "Guys night out!" "Free beer!" Torg: Yes! Reggie: Dude! Smit: I'm in! Bert: Down with women! Dex: Well it looks like my bros have left me behind. Guess I'll just have to relax with all you beautiful women! Cindy: You're one beautiful lady short tonight, Dex! I've got a date! ZoŽ: So, Dex, would you rather spend your night in a drunken stupor with a bunch of neanderthals, tripping over logs and belching at each other? Max: Torg, man, you're pretty cool! *Belch!* Torg: *Belch*! We're, like, belching at each other! Bert: I have smelt this puddle of beer and am buzzed, I tell you! Buzzed! Smit: Sorry, guys, it's been fun, but I got a date! Angela: Do you know when Torg will be back? ZoŽ: When he comes-to, most likely. Flaky: "One will never come-to again. One will never return. We shall join the dead, one at a time, and all our souls shall burn". Dex: There "Flaky" goes again! Fay: Flaky? Did you get a premonition? Flaky: No. Goth fortune cookie. Dex: Mine says, "Just die, you big dumb jerk!" Anybody want to trade? ZoŽ: This is the last time we order goth-chinese-take-out! Who wants my "angst-fried rice"? Flaky: The "wurld-so-dum" is pretty good! Fay: Dibs on the "General Tso Whut"! Cindy: Finally alone! Smit: Yeah, baby! Cindy: I don't know about you, but Flaky's giving me the creeps, and with all of us college kids out in the woods tonight, I almost feel like I'm in some weird low budget slasher flick! Smit: God, I hope not! The black guy always dies in those! Cindy: Well, what about me? I'm the obviously promiscuous one who'd get axed right after my topless scene! Smit: Yeah, I'd probably go out with some stupid-ass punchline like "I'd lose my head if it wasn't attached to my neck!" Cindy: Yeah, then your head would land in my lap, causing me to go screeching through the woods yelling stuff like... Cindy: Look out! Kitten! The Evil: Mew. Cindy: Smit? Are you all right? Smit: Yeah. Thank god for seat-belts. Smit: So, about that topless scene... Cindy: Smit? You just totaled your van. Maybe you should quit while you're ahead! Cindy: Eeeeeaaaaaaaa! Cindy: Eeeeeaaaaaaaa! Cindy: Eeeeeaaaaaaaa! The Evil: Mew. Bun-Bun: Hi! I'm supposed to be narrating this thing, but I really don't have too much to add. Oh, I would like to commend the creator of this sunday strip, it's the first one to really scare me. It's scary how badly we telegraphed that punchline. Here's to hoping for that topless scene. Cindy: Eeeeeee! Cindy: Help me! Cindy: Anyone! Cindy: Please! Torg: Dude! I know she tripped twenty times over the last 5 yards, but that was cold! Max: Couldn't help myself! Cindy: Eeeeeee! Cindy: Smit's dead... The van's trashed! It's after me! Torg: What's after you? Cindy: The kitten! Max: Dude! I always wanted to see Cindy topless! Torg: Aaaah! Quick! Do you know CPR?!? The Evil: Mew. Max: Sorry about that "topless" comment. Poor taste, I know. Speaking of things that taste poorly... Torg: Keep your "CPR" jokes to yourself. The Evil: Mew. Max: We finally lost it! Torg: That was no ordinary kitten! We're all gonna die! Max: Man, we've got to get to the cabin. Torg: But the van is toast! We're stuck! Max: Get a grip, Torg-man! Torg: Huff! Puff! Huff! Puff! Relaxxxxxx..... Bert: Wazzup!?!? Max: Aaaaah! Torg: Aaaaah! Max: God dammit, Bert! Torg: Bert! You scared the heck out of me! Bert: You think I'm scary? Have you heard Reggie's appreciation for the art of Dali? Reggie: Wait! Did you mean Dolly as in "dolls"? Or as in "Dolly Parton"? Narr: After Torg and Max inform Bert and Reggie of the killer slasher kitten, a course of action is chosen. Torg: Ok, let's all split up and go for help! Max: We're all heading for the cabin anyway, why the hell would we want to split up? Torg: Hey, you're right! That does sound stupid! It just seemed like the right thing to do in this situation. Bert: Bah! Dex: Care to join me in the loft? ZoŽ: Dex, you spend so much time talking about Torg, are you sure you don't want him up there with you? Dex: As long as Torg doesn't burst in the cabin screaming, I promise you he'll be the last thing on our minds. Torg: They're dead! Cindy and Smit are dead! Everyone!!! Dex: I'm going to kick Torg's ass! ZoŽ: Torg's covered in blood! This isn't a joke! ZoŽ: Torg! What is it? Angela: What happened? Flaky: Cindy and Smit are dead? The Evil: Mew. Torg: It was the kitten that killed them! Keep away from the kitten! ZoŽ: Feel free to kick Torg's butt now. Dex: Grrrr Torg: Everyone keep back. Just back away from the kitten slowly! Dex: Torg, do you really expect us to believe this kitten kills people? Dex: Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! The Evil: Mew. Bun-Bun: Face to face with the horrors of a supernaturally powerful kitten of evil, only the solidarity of our heroes will save the day. The die is cast, together they will stand, divided they will fall. Bert: Yeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Max: Yeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Torg: Yeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaah! ZoŽ: Yeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Dex: Yeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Angela: Yeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Fay: Yeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Dex: help... me... The Evil: Mew. Bun-Bun: Those poor, poor bastards. ZoŽ: My god, what is that thing? Torg: Where did it go? Fay: Its after Angela! Max: Get out of its reach, Angela! Climb that tree! Hurry! Max: What? Cats can't climb trees! Max: Oh wait, that's dog! The Evil: Mew. Bun-Bun: While it's true, kittens can climb trees, they can't always climb down! The Evil: Mew? ZoŽ: I think it's stuck! Angela: I think I sprained my ankle! Dex: ...guys? ...help? Max: Dex-man! Angela: He's going into shock! ZoŽ: He's dying! Max: We've got to get him to a doctor! But all we have is Bert's moped! Flaky: We need to reach a phone to call an ambulance! Fay: That general store must have a phone! Torg: We're there! We'll be back in a flash with help! ZoŽ: He's convulsing! Fay: Strap him to the table in the cabin! Angela: Elevate his legs! Max: Get me 10 cc's of Budweiser, stat! Bun-Bun: So... I guess that ends this comic... Bun-Bun: Well, since we have the extra space, here's an outtake from the cutting room flor; one of the punchlines that didn't make it. Dex: Aaaaaaaaaaargh! ZoŽ: I said check his pockets for a cell-phone. Max: I distinctly heard you say the words "the socket"! Bun-Bun: Yeesh! Thank god we cut that joke out! Dr. Haught-Sheik: Sherrif, you say you just found the Traipsey brothers killed in their home? Then why are we headed to the general store? Sherrif Bugahf: I think I know what's behind all the killings. Something the Traipseys' called "The Evil", Dr. Hot-Chick. Dr. Haught-Sheik: That's Dr. Haught-Shiek! Sherrif Bugahf: And the people to tell you about it are Mr. and Mrs. Glee from the general store. Max: There sure was a lot of first aid supplies for your average cabin in the woods. Angela: I'm just glad they had a crutch! ZoŽ: Dex still needs help! Fay: Torg and Bert should be at the general store by now. Torg: Shouldn't we be at the general store by now? Bert: We're not lost! Dr. Haught-Sheik: Fine, be all secretive. Hey, why did we take my car? Sherrif Bugahf: My deputy took our only squad car out and I never heard from him again? Dr. Haught-Sheik: The Evil got him? Sherrif Bugahf: Nope! Turned my radio off! Dex: A...Angela? ZoŽ: Grrrrrr Max: What a vacation! Smit and Cindy are dead, my best bud Dex is dying, and I've been running around all night with a rock stuck in my shoe! Fay: Reggie!?! Flaky: What? Fay: Oh no! It got Reggie! Max: Wait a minute! If the kitten is up in the tree, how did Reggie's head get planted in the cupboard? Max: Unless the real killer is one of us! Fay: I just checked, and it's still stuck in that tree, and as long as it's stuck in that tree, we're safe! Max: Not if the real killer is in this room! It could even be you, Fay! ZoŽ: Fay!?! No!!! Max: Well, maybe not Fay. Max: Ok, I have another theory on what could be helping the kitten kill people. The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. ZoŽ: Oh my god, there's more of them! Angela: Kittens! Max: Barricade the door! Dex: uh...? Dex: ...Guys? ...Guys! Dex: Guys! The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. Max: Sorry man! Had to snap the legs off the table before we could flip it around. Dex: *whimper* Dr. Haught-Sheik: Look, sheriff, I don't know what this "evil" is, but people are dying out here. If you want me to ask the Glees, let's just walk into the general store and ask them! Ken Bugahf: No, we can't. Dr. Haught-Sheik: Why not? Ken Bugahf: Because we're being hunted. Dr. Haught-Sheik: Oh god. Ken Bugahf: From the bushes straight ahead... It's all right. Dr. Haught-Sheik: The hell it is. Ken Bugahf: Run! Towards the store. I've got her. Go! Now! The Evil: Mew. Ken Bugahf: Clever girl Ken Bugahf: Yeaaarg!!!!!!!! Mr. Glee: Freeze! Sneaking in the back door of my store, eh? Torg: Sorry, mister! We didn't know what door it was! We need to use your phone! Mr. Glee: Why should I letcha? Torg: My friends,... some are dead... but some are hurt! I need a doctor! Dr. Haught-Sheik: I'm a doctor! Mr. Glee: Dag-nabit! Why the hell's my store grand damn station all of the sudden? Dr. Haught-Sheik: I'm sorry to intrude, Mr. Glee, but the sheriff sent me here to talk with you two. Mrs. Glee: She says the Traipseys are dead, dear! And that The Evil is loose! Mr. Glee: The Evil ain't loose! We been done seeing to that for decades! Torg: If you don't think evil is loose around here, you should have seen that kitten! Mr. Glee; Kitten? That's impossible! I've gotta talk to the sheriff! Dr. Haught-Sheik: Well, last I checked, there's a couple of pieces of him on your front lawn. Mr. Glee: I just need an ear to talk to him. Did you see an ear, dag-nabit?!? Dr. Haught-Sheik: Crotchety and creepy. I've got to move out of this town. Bun-Bun: In a panicked rush, the few survivors doarded up the door and windows of the cabin, while the kittens lounged outside. Dex seemed to regain his wits and his strength, even if only from a burst of adrenaline. Without a word, he marched to his bunk-room where his luggage was kept. While ZoŽ tended to Angela's sprained ankle, Max finished boarding the last window. Max: That's it. The perimeter is locked up tight. We're safe. ZoŽ It doesn't make any sense. You know how quick those kittens are. Why would they let us board them out? Dex: We just monopolized on their mistake. ZoŽ: Dex? Flaky: Dex?! Where di you get those guns? Dex: Packed the. Thought Max and I'd do a little hunting! Max: Dex-man! You were going to surprise me! Flaky: Those weapons aren't legal for hunting! They're not even legal! Max: I think they're perfect for hunting kittens. ZoŽ: Well, I've got to admit, I feel safer now. So why do you look so scared, Angela? Angela: What you said about it not making sense for the kittens to leave us alone... What if they were waiting for us to box ourselves in? The Evil: Mew. ZoŽ: Everyone, back away from the front door. Max: It's game time, Dex-man! The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. Flaky: Sounds like they're twenty feet away, that way. The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. Flaky: Fifteen feet. Flaky: Ten feet! Max: That's impossible! That's inside the cabin! The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. Flaky: Five. Max: The loft? Dex: Arrrgh! The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. Dex: You want some? Huh? Take that! You want some too? The Evil: Mew. ZoŽ: Dex! Angela: Dex! Dex: Yeaaaah! The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. Flaky: Up here! In the loft! Kittens can't climb ladders! Angela: Flaky, we can't! They've turned the ladder into a scratching post! The Evil: Mew. Max: I can make the jump! The Evil: Mew. Angela: Poor Dex. Max: Poor us! We're dead. The Evil: Mew. Flaky: I hope this works! Angela: Flaky, it's working! The kittens are playing with the balls of yarn and ignoring us! ZoŽ: Ok, they're occupied, but playing too close to the rifle, and it'll take time and a crowbar to pry the boards off the door or windows! Angela: The bathroom! Angela: Max ran in here ahead of us and locked the door! ZoŽ: Max, you back-stabbing bastard! Unlock this door! Angela: He locked us out here to die! They're getting bored of the yarn! ZoŽ: Max, you coward! Max: Sorry, I've had to go for hours! Wow, you chicks really do always go in pairs! You can borrow my Reader's Digest if you want but don't lose my bookmark! Mr. Glee: Words of the Glees, command to the weak! Listen, oh Bugahf, listen and speak! Dr. Haught-Sheik: I don't know what's more disgusting, foraging for the sheriff's tongue, ears, and various other parts, or Mr. Glee nailing them to the floor so he can communicate with the dead! Bert: I found his crotch! Dr. Haught-Sheik: Ok, that guy wins for the most disgusting. And would you quit pacing? Torg: There's more than one kitten! We have to get back to my friends! And I'm not exactly sure I want to know what news the dead would have for the living! Ken Bugahf: Aieyaieyaieyaaaaaa Torg: Oh, this bodes well for life-after-death! Mr. Glee: Yer standin' on his tongue! You horn-fried dung-beetle! Torg: Gah! Eeew! Ken Bugahf: Good lord, what's that guy been walking through? Bleah! Bleck! Ken Bugahf: Why have you called me back from the land of the dead, Mr. Glee? Torg: We called you back to find out the truth behind these kittens, and a way to stop them! Mr. Glee: Pipe down, sonny! Mrs. Glee: You don't need to ask the sheriff about that! Mr. Glee and myself can tell you all about the kittens! Dr. Haught-Sheik: That's right! The sheriff sent me here to ask you about it! Torg: They why the hell did we waste time making contact with this guy? Mr. Glee: Humph! Ken Bugahf: You want me to fix another parking ticket for you, don't you. Mr. Glee: The front of the video store is a dang stupid place to put a fire hydrant, dag-nabit! Flaky: It looks like most of the kittens have grouped around the bathroom door! Are you guys ok? The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. ZoŽ: We're fine! The kittens are keeping away from the water. We're safe as long as we stay in the shower stall. Angela: Are we going to have to stay here forever? This is a nightmare! Max: For me, personally, sharing a shower with two beautiful women pretty much completes my life long dream! ZoŽ: Fay deserved better than to die like that! We all do! Angela: The way they took Dex's arm! Then they chose him to die! They're just playing with us now! Torg and Bert would have been back by now if... if......... ZoŽ: Don't you even say Torg's dead! Don't you say it! Angela: I don't want to die! Max: Hey Flaky, things are getting emotional here! You're psychic! How about predicting a happy future for us? Flaky: I can't see beyond my own fate! And my own fate is... Nooooooooooooo! God! Nooooooooooooo Max: *sigh*. Very uplifting, Flaky! There, there, you two. Everything's going to be all right! ZoŽ: Max, get you hands off our butts. Max: Well there goes the old "vulnerable chicks are easy" theory! Torg: We're going back for my friends. Are you coming or not, Dr. Hot-Cheeks? Dr. Haught-Sheik: The name is Dr. Haught-Sheik! Mr. Glee: I'm through fooling around. Unless you want F.E.M.A., the National Guard, and every big-shot I can muster breathing down you necks, you better just tell me what the hell is going on with these kittens! The short version! Mr. Glee: The kittens are the children of the Devil. Me and a bunch of my fellow Satan-worshippers tend to 'em. And now some imposter kittens are attackin' people to get Satan's kids in trouble, and I aims ta know why! Mrs. Glee: Poor little kids of Satan! Dr. Haught-Sheik: Ok, let's try the long version. Mr. Glee: The Devil walks our world now and then, always searchin' for his perfect mate. The one ta sire his son, who'll subjugate the world. It was about fifty dang years ago that he came callin' 'round Wispydale. Mr. Glee: We'd get together every Tuesday and Thursday for our satanic cult meetings, mainly an excuse to drink beer, go bowling, and sacrifice small critters. Anon 1: "The Satanic Five" are cheating again! I used to be the best bowler in the state! Then they sprayed me in the eyes with goat's blood and now I see dead people! Jon Traipsey: Oh, wonk, wonk, wonk! Anon 2: I haven't been able to pick up a spare since developing these open sores on my back! Jim Traipsey: I forsee a strike! Yippy skippy! Ken Bugahf: Thanks to Devil worshipping, the regional bowling trophy will be ours! Mr. Glee: Mrs. Glee, could ya get us another round of beers and two live chickens? Mrs. Glee: Yes, Mr. Glee! Mr. Glee: We would not have believed the Devil himself would pay us a visit, but he gave us signs of his comin'. Undeniable, horrible signs. Mrs. Glee: Dear, I have the mark of Satan's concubine on my forehead! He'll be coming for me so that I might sire his son! Mr. Glee: Dag-nabit! Torg: You used to say "dag-nabit" as a greaser in the fifties? Mrs. Glee: I think Mr. Glee was born crotchety, young man! Mr. Glee: Ya want ta hear this story or what!?! Bert: Did someone say "crotch"? Mr. Glee: That night he came to our door. I was face to face with the Devil himself. It was as if the shadows themselves rushed to his side and clinged to him like drunk bimbos at one of those new-fangled heavy metal concerts! Damn Devil-music! Mr. Glee: He didn't seem ta take to our initial attempts to please him. Mrs. Glee: Deviled eggs? Satan: God, I hate those. Mr. Glee: But, after a few drinks, he loosened up a bit. Satan: Yeah, I sire a new kid or two every hundred years or so, but none of them are the right one, you know! It is like you mortal humans are not strong enough! Excellent jello-mold, Jon! Jon Traipsey: The secret's in the mold! Jim Traipsey: Humans are overrated! I like my cat, "Snuggles" better than any human! Ken Bugahf: Yeah, Devil! Why don't you try siring a son with the cat? Satan: Oh, yes. That is really going to happen. Jim Traipsey: A feline child of Satan! Cats are devious predators as it is! Mix that with pure evil and even I am daunted! Mr. Glee: And a cat'd provide ya with a litter! A whole army ta subjugate the world! Satan: Devious, you say? An army. Hmmm. Ken Bugahf: Plus they come with sharp teeth and claws! Ar! I'm Satan-Cat! The earth is my litter box... from hell! Satan: You guys! Quit goofing! Mr. Glee: The party continued and got rowdier into the night. I only have one vague memory. There was the chanting... and the dare! Ken Bugahf: Cat! Jon Traipsey: Cat! Jim Traipsey: Cat! Mr. Glee: Cat! Satan: Oh, do not you guys dare me, for I will do it! Mr. Glee: I dare ya! Satan: Oh, you are in trouble now, because I am going to! Mr. Glee: Double-dog dare you! Satan: Oh boy, are you in trouble! Oh man! Mr. Glee: Not sure what happened that night, but the whole dark ritual with Mrs. Glee was cancelled the next day, and the Devil called us forth. I think our souls would've been dammed on the spot, 'cept for the Devil's embarrassment. Satan: And now my charge to you, foolish people of Wispydale, my new children are useless to me... Jim Traipsey: Children????? What children? Satan: I do not wish to talk about it. Mrs. Glee: How was the party last night, Satan? Satan: I do not wish to talk about it. Satan: My children are useless to me, but will be a blight on any who cross their paths when they are born. If you do not appease them... say, with a saucer of milk each night? ...The kittens will come out to play, and none of you will escape alive! Jon Traipsey: "Give the kittens milk or we die?" That's it? I'm a little disappointed! Satan: Cut me some slack! I am hungover and just... I do not wish to talk about it. Mr. Glee: Then, he grabbed two aspirins, a cup of Joe, and headed off, and we never saw him again, or Joe. Joe: Halp! Torg; What ever happened to your poor cat, Snuggles? Mr. Glee: Poor cat? Way I hears it, it was her who dumped him! For an ad executive from the Meow-Mix commercials. I don't think the Devil ever got over that one. Mr. Glee: So that's the story. A short time later the kittens were born. There were six plus six plus six of them, and Jim Traipsey named the whole litter "The Evil", after his mother. And we've been taking care of them ever since. Mr. Glee: So you see, that's why Satan's kittens cannot be responsible for all the killings! Not a night goes by that my wife and I don't put out saucers of milk for them, as per Satan's request. Mrs. Glee: And they're healthier since it's not real milk! Mr. Glee: What?!? Mrs. Glee: I just switched us to soy-milk last week! Totally non-dairy! Mrs. Glee: Alicia Silverstone recommends it! Mr. Glee: Dag-double-nabit. Mr. Glee: Why, Mrs. Glee?!? Why did you switch our milk for that soy-milk crap? Mrs. Glee; For your blood pressure, dear! The Evil: Mew. Dr. Haught-Sheik: You cut back on sodium for blood pressure. Mrs. Glee: I always mix those up! Where'd Mr. Glee go? Torg: Wow! His blood was under quite a lot of pressure! Torg: Everyone, run for it! I'll hold it off with this two-by-four! The Evil: Mew. Bert: Torg! No! That's not one of the Children-of-Satan kittnes! That's my pet kitten! Torg: Oh! Torg: Oh, boy do I feel lousy! Bert: Wait a minute! No, I'm wrong, Titian wouldn't eat me like this. Torg: Nooo! Get off Bert! Bert: Though I detest Jackson Pollock, I am the art! Torg: Bad kitty! Give me my crudely fashioned weapon back! The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. Torg: What happened? Dr. Haught-Sheik: Calm down. We're safe int he freezer room of the store. Torg: ...Bert? Dr. Haught-Sheik: Bert's alive, but not for long. His legs look like swiss-cheese and he's lost a lot of blood. Torg: What about Mrs. Glee? Dr. Haught-Sheik: I managed to stop the bleeding, but I don't think she's going to make it. Torg: Are you sure you're ok? Dr. Haught-Sheik: Look! I'm getting a bit stressed out here. Talk to the hand! Torg: Bert and I were as good as dead, but then the kitten decided to target poor Mrs. Glee... and it gave you enough time to drag us both into the freezer-room? It doesn't make sense. Dr. Haught-Sheik: Remember the story Mr. Glee told us? I think we're just play-time for the kittens, but the Glees were business, and that kitten didn't make it quick for Mrs. Glee. Torg: Well, with the Traipseys, the Glees and the sheriff all dead, are you sure we're safe in here? Dr. Haught-Sheik: Yeah, unless kittens have learned how to open doors! Torg: You did not just say that. The Evil: Mew. ZoŽ: Flaky, it seems to be working. Clogging up the drain is slowly flooding the cabin giving us room to move around. Max: Why do you bother talking to her? It's like she went into shock after seeing her future. Like we all don't know we're going to die. ZoŽ: Max, why don't you just... oh no. ZoŽ: No! No! No! ZoŽ: The kittens are shredding the cabin itself! Hitting all the support beams! Max: They're bringing the whole cabin down to get us! Angela: Get the boards off the bathroom window! Max: Go! Go! Max: I can't fit. Too damn big. Go, Angela, this place is about to... Angela: Max! Max: Well, somebody up there likes me! Angela: Aaaa! I put weight on my ankle! ZoŽ: Angela! I'm coming! The Evil: Mew. Max: Angela! Freeze! It can't see you if you don't move! No wait, that's a T-Rex. The Evil: Rrrrrrrrr Torg: Bad kitty! The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Hssss! ZoŽ: Torg! You're alive! Torg: ZoŽ, I'll explain everything soon but you have to trust me! The Evil: Hssss! The Evil: Rarrr! Max: Guys? The water main broke so I'm soaked and safe, but I'm pinned! Narr: Toy ping-pong-ball gun loaded with catnip-toys. Torg: Max, come towards us fast and now! I'll cover you! Torg: Gee, thought they'd travel farther. Max, run the other way really quickly! Max: I'll stay in the water, thanks! Bun-Bun: After retrieving Max, the four fought back the tide of killer kittens with their squirt-bottles. Effective, but temporary. Only the cat-nip toys gave the four time to breathe. Max: These water bottles are keeping them back, but pissing them off! So, what's the scoop? What happened to you and that other tall guy? Torg: First things first. I have a plan to take care of the kittens, but I need us all together. Where's everybody else? ZoŽ: We're all that's left. Torg: ZoŽ, I'm sorry about your friends... and Dex. ZoŽ: Dex... I miss him so much! Angela: You miss him? I've been with him since we were kids! We were soul-mates! Max: You flighty chicks! Dex was my best friend! Does any of you know what it means to lose your best friend? Torg: What, did I miss the invitation to Dex-Love-Fest 2000? Torg: Um... Lookout! Satanic kittens! Angela: Grrr Max: Grrr ZoŽ: Grrr Torg: Come in, Whip-Her-Well! This is Albatross to Whip-Her-Well! Looks like we've got a full litter box coming to dinner! Dr. Haught-Sheik: Roger, Albatross! I'll set the table! And by the way, my code name is "Whippoorwill"! It's a bird! Torg: Ok, people! Quick version is the kittens are the cursed offspring of Satan and if they don't get a saucer of milk each night they start killing people, and one of them had us pinned in the freezer room. Torg: It's a general store! It's got to have milk! Dr. Haught-Sheik: Mrs. Glee replaced all the milk with soy-milk! Not that they'd keep it in the freezer anyway! Torg: Well, think of something!!!! Dr. Haught-Sheik: Ice-cream! The Evil: Mew. Torg: Of course! That's dairy! It might work! Dr. Haught-Sheik: Actually I was thinking if I'm about to die I'd go off my diet! Torg: Well, if we're going to die, how about sex? Dr. Haught-Sheik: Let's try the ice-cream. Torg: It's working! He likes it! Dr. Haught-Sheik: Do you know how unhealthy it is to give ice-cream to a cat? Dr. Haught-Sheik: Ok, I'll tolerate cruelty to satanic cats. Torg: The kitten immediately became psasive and friendly. A quick change of clothes from the fashion department and a quick stop at the excellently stocked pet section of the store and I had everything I needed to keep safe from a random kitten attack, and here I am. Torg: We didn't know where all the other kittens were, but now that we've got them all, I've radioed ahead and Dr. Hot-Chick is preparing enough ice-cream for these guys just south of us, so we keep moving and we'll be fine. ZoŽ: What about Bert? Torg: First thing we did was call an ambulance for Bert. They gave him only one chance for survival. Anon 1: We need to airlift this man to New York for a crotch-transplant. ZoŽ: Ok, there's the car and the Doc, here's the ice cream, and here comes the kittens. Now what? Torg: Watch and be amazed as the kittens become magically docile! ZoŽ: Maybe they don't see the ice-cream? Angela: Maybe they're just dramatically pausing to mess with our heads? Torg: Eat the ice-cream, kittens! Eat the ice-cream! Bun-Bun: Will the kittens eat the ice-cream and become subdued happy kittens? Will they rip our heroes* to smithereens? Can you hardly wait to find out? Boy-o-boy I sure can't! Seesh, who writes this crap? Narr: *Technically to Bun-Bun, the kittens are the heroes, but according to him, "hey, it's a paycheck". Max: This whole trip is for the birds. The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. Torg: So, that's it. The end of the kittens. ZoŽ: What happens when they don't get their milk tomorrow? Angela: It's the curse! One of us has to stay and feed them each night! Dr. Haught-Sheik: Bull<bleep>! I put in a call to the authorities, and of course they think I'm nuts, but they'll send some people out to investigate. I'm sure they'll figure out I was telling the truth after the kittens go through the first twenty or so investigators. Max: I vote we conveniently forget about responsibility, look the other way, and run for our lives! Anyone else in the mood for flapjacks? Torg: Thanks for the lift. We can call a cab from the Glees' store. Dr. Haught-Sheik: I'm just glad it's finally over! ZoŽ: Unles there are more kittens? Torg: Sixteen in the woods, one in the store, and one in the tree, that's eighteen! Angela: No... No! With the kittens all around us, I didn't think it was important, but the first kitten got out of the tree! Don't know if it fell or climbed down or... Dr. Haught-Sheik: Yah! Torg: Dr. Hoochie! Noooo! The Evil: Mew. Hsssssss. ZoŽ: Where's the last of the ice-cream? Torg: In the car. ZoŽ: The kitten is between us and the car. Torg: I'm aware of that. The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Reaar. Max: That's it! Eat sneaker, rat! The Evil: Raeer. Max: You little... Yearggghh! ZoŽ: Go, Torg! Go! ZoŽ: Max gave his life for us! Torg: Kicking a kitten... A grown man punting a kitten who was looking the other way... It was the bravest thing I've ever seen. Bun-Bun: ZoŽ and Torg met up with some friends and rode off into the sunset, with a whole lot of forgetting ahead of them. Bun-Bun: Angela would not forget, and wound up in a mental institution. Doctors are hopeful. She's decided to buy herself a dog as soon as she gets out. A big dog. Bun-Bun: Speaking of doctors, Bert made history! The first man to receive a crotch transplant from a baboon donor. The doctors are still waiting to see if his body will reject it. Bert: Now that's something. Bun-Bun: And myself, I'm just glad to be done with this crap! But I only have one more panel to do, so here it goes. Bun-Bun: Investigators come to Wispydale, find nothing, and write-off the missing Dr. Haught-Sheik as a kook. And that concludes our little tale... or does it? Anon 1: Another order of milk! Sign here! Anon 1: Hey, I saw your picture in the paper! Weren't you the only survivor back when one of old sheriff Bugahf's cabins collapsed? Flaky: Yes, I survived, thanks to my new friends, and now I run the general store. Anon 1: Well, you've doubled your milk order from the previous owners. I guess business must be picking up in this little town. Flaky: I feel safer stocking up. Besides, I'm expecting company. The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. Narr: The End? The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. The Evil: Mew. Narr: Sluggy Freelance Presents
A Bun-Bun Production
Kitten
Cast:
Kitten 1............ Michael Madsen
Kitten 2............ Claudi Black
Kitten 3............ Michael McManus
Kitten 4............ William Hootkins
Kitten 5............ Alyson Harrigan
Kitten 6............ Alex Winter
Kitten 7............ Billy Worth
Kitten 8............ Rumiko Takahashi
Kitten 9............ Steve Jackson
Kitten 10........... David Allen Narr: You've been watching "Kitten" See this movie again at 3. Narr: Next on OnSnore! Bert Benigni in Crotch is Beautiful Narr: OnSnore! Narr: Kitten
Cast:
Kitten 1............ Michael Madsen
Kitten 2............ Claudi Black
Kitten 3............ Michael McManus
Kitten 4............ William Hootkins
Kitten 5............ Alyson Harrigan
Kitten 6............ Alex Winter
Kitten 7............ Billy Worth
Kitten 8............ Rumiko Takahashi
Kitten 9............ Steve Jackson
Kitten 10........... David Allen
Kitten 11........... Tracy Hickman
Kitten 12........... Margaret Weiss
Kitten 13........... Maria [...]
Kitten 14........... [...]
Kitten 15........... [...]
Riff: Gee, ZoŽ! Sorry your boyfriend got eaten by kittens! Torg: It's funny when he says it! Torg: My story? You want to know my story? My name is Torg, and my friends and I are on the run for a crime we didn't commit. We are being chased... no,... hunted, by one of the most maliciously evil forces alive. Bun-Bun: I will find them. Anon 1: Aw! What a cute bunny! Torg: We were once nice normal people, just like you! But being on the run has made us cold and dangerous. The light in us has dimmed to gray. Do not trust me, senorita. Anon 2: Your blender drinks, senor. ZoŽ: Where's Torg with the pina coladas? Riff: Hope he's not milking the "on the run" thing again. Torg: While we were in Wispydale, you guys spent a week in hiding out ina furniture store? Riff: We just walked around for a week suggesting to the salesmen that we were just about ready to decide on a bedroom set. They couldn't afford to risk kicking us out. Torg: Well, I'm glad you had your cell phone on you when ZoŽ and I called for that pick-up. Riff: Yeah, I forgot I had it! I would have chucked it earlier,... too easy for Bun-Bun to trace, but you were also lucky that it survived all of Aylee's "electromagnetic pulsing". Riff: In any case, it's much cooler to be in a Caribbean bungalow instead of a furniture store. While I was there, I felt like Bun-Bun was just one step behind us. Anon 1: Those people you described? They left a couple of days ago. Did you know the chest you're seated on is made of solid oak, hand crafted by Mennonites? Bun-Bun: Interesting... Hm... It is very nice... If I really tried, how much of you do you think I could stuff in one of the drawers? Anon 1: Look at the cute bunny! Do I get to keep you too if I buy the recliner? Bun-Bun: ...meboo deewabu booma... Anon 1: What was that, little guy? Bun-Bun: I said get out of the way, you're blocking the tv! Anon 1: OoOoAghhh Anon 1: Dat's a cardboard sambple tv! Id's nod real! Bun-Bun: And you're talking to a rabbit, so who do you think's got the "good grip-handles" on reality? Torg: We could really use a fourth for poker. ZoŽ: Eeeeyaaa! ZoŽ: You guys! Quick! There's a giant bug in my bedroom! Riff: Is there wax in your antennae? I said "jacks or better to open"! How many times am I going to have to redeal? Anon 1: Klik klik? Riff: Where's the big bug? I'm up for another game of five-card draw? Torg: I... I don't know, but I think I might have squished him. I haven't had the heart to check! Riff: Well, you got him, but on the bright side, it looks like the bastard was cheating. Narr: Record player playing island music. ZoŽ: Hey, how are you guys paying for all this? Torg: I thought Riff was going to pay for this! Riff: I thought it was Kiki's turn to pick up the tab! ZoŽ: You know what? Just this once, I'm going to forget I asked. Riff: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah! Yahoo! Riff: Tiny, sperical thimble jellyfish of the Caribbean! Ow, ow, ow! Bun-Bun: My little buddy grahammy, the Neebler elf. How's the cookie-making business? Grahammy: Bun-Bun?!? I don't know nuthin'!!! Bun-Bun: Calm down, Grahammy. I'm just looking for some missing associates of mine. Grahammy: Bun-Bun, you can't be here! Management doesn't like the way you disrupt the workers when you come by! Bun-Bun: "Disrupt"? Is that the new term for running some mouthy elves through the cookie-press? Grahammy: They hired muscle! Cavity-Creep: I make holes in teeth! Grahammy: He used to work as a "cavity-creep" for a toothpaste commercial, but a kind-of fitting catch-phrase for a cookie company, eh? Hee hee? Cavity-Creep: I make holes in bunnies! Bun-Bun: Listen up, cavity creep! You swing that pick at me one more time, you'll have a brush with death! Cavity-Creep: Toothpaste? That only work in commercial! Haw haw! Cavity-Creep: Yeargh! Anon 1: Straight through the eye-socket and into the brain with a tube of toothpaste! Anon 2: The horror! I didn't know the Cavity-Creep had a brain! Anon 3: Actually after this gig he was going for his doctorate. Bun-Bun: Like I said, Grahammy, if you find out anything I should know, you know where to find me. Catch you cookie-wusses later. Aylee: Hi! I'm from bungalow #5. I was sent to pick up two pitchers of... um... uh "mai tia"... "tais". Yeah. Aylee: Wow! You sure are quick! Oh, and could you put it on our tab? Aylee: Thank you! Anon 1: Do not eat me, chupacabra! Aylee: Do not eat me, senorita! Aylee: Boy they sure have strange greetings around here! Kiki: Bun-Bun has his own strange greeting! His goes "your money or your life"! Aylee: I'll have to try that one next time! Torg: Wasting away again inside-a-comic-strip, looking for my-y lost punchline-of-thought... Some people claim that the cartoonist's to blame ba-da-naw** it's allll Bun-Bun's fault!* Narr: *Sung to the tune of Jimmy Buffet's "Margaritaville" Narr: ** "But I know" Kiki: What are they doing? Aylee: Torg's doing karaoke while ZoŽ's hula-dancing and Riff is vandalizing the wall. I'm not sure but I think it's called "too many mai tais". Narr: The next morning... Riff: Ohhh... My head. You hung-over too? ZoŽ: Yup. What about you, Torg? Torg: Eeeyaaaa! Riff: Aaaaa! Keep it donw Torg! ZoŽ: Eayyaaah! Quit yelling! Torg: My head! Errrgh! Would you both shut up? Torg: Shhhhhh... Riff: Shhhhhh... ZoŽ: Shhhhhh... Torg: I just had this horrible dream that Bun-Bun is coming for us! Grahammy: Bun-Bun? It's Grahammy. You said to let you know if I knew anything. I know something. Bun-Bun: What do you know? Narr: To be continued... Bun-Bun: The info Grahammy told me had nothing to do with Torg and the rest directly, but he gave me the key to finding them. Bun-Bun: See, Santa Claus and I have been having this feud a ways back. I blew up his workship, he sent a killer robot after me, bla, bla, bla. Bun-Bun: In the end he launched his fat butt into orbit to keep out of my reach. Well he's back, and from the sound of it, he's really lost it. Bun-Bun: Various groups of elves who used to work for him have abandoned him. Word is even Mrs. Claus left him Bun-Bun: Now you have to understand something about the power of old Chris Cringle. You might think of him as a toy-maker extraordinaire, or the man who brings joy to so many children on Christmas. Not even close. Most of his power is in the information trade. Bun-Bun: I mean, hey, he has to judge you naughty or nice, right? Wouldn't want him to judge you wrong, would you? So he has to stick his jolly red nose into every single person's business. Nice. Big Brother's belly shaking like a bowl full of jelly. Bun-Bun: He's got scores of teams of "black ops" elves all over the world using superb computers, black helicopters, satellites, metworks, every tool at his vast disposal. All for keeping tabs on you, and you go and reward him with cookies and milk. Bun-Bun: So Grahammy tells me that a local outpost of these info-gathering black-ops elves have gone rogue. Bun-Bun: A group of elves keeping tabs on everyone. Just what I need. Anon 1: We can't work for you! You're the top of the naughty list, Bun-Bun! You're the devil incarnate! You're worse than the devil! You're... Bun-Bun: Bun-Bun's Black Op Elves are now open for business. Bun-Bun: You're going to help me find some people. Squishydodo: We may have gone our separate way from Santa but we're not going to betray him. Bun-Bun: I'm not after Santa. Here's a list of who I'm looking for. Anon 2: We're data collectors here! We judge people naughty or nice after the fact! To capture them requires the ability to anticipate their moves, and that's a skill we don't have! Bun-Bun: What does my balled up fist tell you? Anon 2: You're going to hit me? Bun-Bun: See! That wasn't so hard! Now for lesson two... Squishydodo: No need, I'm getting the hang of this "anticipating" thing. Squishydodo: We're only one rogue outpost. This won't be as easy as you think. Bun-Bun: If it takes you turning over every rock on this earth, they will be found, and when you find them, that's when my life's work truly begins. If you thought I had it in for Santa, wait until you see what I do to them. Squishydodo: What on earth did these poor people do to deserve all this? Bun-Bun: They erased my extensive collection of Baywatch tapes. Squishydodo: Those bastards! Bun-Bun: Quit moanin' and break out the choppers. Bun-Bun: Ok, Squishydodo, what do you have for me? Squishydodo: We've tracked ZoŽ and Torg to a small town called Wispydale. We have a team there right now. Squishydodo: Red team two, switch to live audio feed now. Anon 1: They're all dead! It's hell on earth! The Evil has come for me! Yeeeeeah! Bun-Bun: Torg and ZoŽ are there? Squishydodo: No, we got confirmation of them leaving Wispydale from their friend, Angela. Whatever happened in Wispydale drove her insane, so she wasn't much more help. Bun-Bun: Well, if you know they've left, why did you send a team in? Squishydodo: Two teams. The last one to find out why the first one disappeared! Should I send another team in to catalog what happened to red teams one and two? Bun-Bun: I just love it when you waste my time! Squishydodo: Good news, Bun-Bun! Wispydale doesn't see much phone activity, so a phone call from there to a cell phone caught our attention. Squishydodo: The cell phone belongs to Riff! But he discarded the phone after the call. We tracked it back to a furniture store where witnesses confirm he was accompanied by Aylee and Kiki! Squishydodo: And who should arrive shortly after they leave... but you! It doesn't make sense, you showing up in the same place as the people you were supposed to be chasing only a short time after they leave, unless you're working with them! Squishydodo: Wait a minute! No, it does make sense if you're chasing them. Sorry, new at this deductive reasoning. Bun-Bun: So, all you know for sure is that we have not found them yet. Remember what I said about wasting my time? Squishydodo: It wasn't a waste of time! I got this solid oak chest! It was hand-crafted by Mennonites! Bun-Bun: Squishydodo, could you take down some shorthand on my plan to break your other three limbs if you don't show me results? Oh wait, you can't! Squishydodo: We're only half as resourcefull since we broke off from Santa's group. We still have one open line into NorthPoleCentral. They're a lot more efficient and have more data, but I don't have the password to access it! Bun-Bun: Who does? Squishydodo: The code master and the chief engineer. Bun-Bun: Well, get me the code master! Squishydodo: He was the first elf you punched out the top floor window. Bun-Bun: Well, get the chief engineer! Squishydodo: He was the second elf. Bun-Bun: Dammit! Have maintenance move my office to the first floor. Squishydodo: You had maintenance decommissioned with a pair of pliers. Squishydodo: Bun-Bun, we have a breakthrough. We've determined not only how your videotapes got erased, but who did it! By analyzing old spy satellite feed from the time of the erasure, mixed with data you've given us, we've reached the following conclusions on Aylee's food cycles. Her "lima bean mode" is a form where her wings wrap around her body, limiting movement, as a response to hunger. Eating potatoes charges her body until she's forced to release the energy as an electromagnetic pulse, or E.M.P., allowing her to enter "dragon mode". Here she can fly, until she becomes hungry again. It is the E.M.P. which erased your tapes! Squishydodo: And before you accuse me of wasting time, Bun-Bun, by cross referencing a satellite data on E.M.P. occurences with an increased economic demand for potatoes, we should have their exact location in no time! Anon 1: That's wonderful, Squishy! Anon 2: No way he'll break your other arm! Squishydodo: Sigh. All right, send him in. Slappyhoho: We've isolated the top 10% of calculated possible locations for the targets based on potato-consumption over unusual E.M.P. occurences. Now we have to go over each location manually. Squishydodo: Wait! Go back to satellite 302! There! Slappyhoho: It's moving out of range, Squishydodo! Squishydodo: Quick! Zoom and enhance the image! Slappyhoho: Enhancing! Slappyhoho: The specifi address is printing out now. It's a resort in the caribbean. Squishydodo: We found them! I've got to tell Bun-Bun! Bun-Bun: Look what I found in the National Inkquirer. Squishydodo: "Chupacabra photographed at this resort in the caribbean. 'She liked mai tais' said one local". Bun-Bun: You can read the article on the chopper, let's move it out! Squishydodo: *Sigh* Squishydodo: According to the locals, we just missed them, and they skipped out on the check. Bun-Bun: We just missed them? You guys had to stop on the way for fast food! Squintyhoyo: We were all hungry, plus we got a free toy maggot doll with our kiddie-meals! Slappyhoho: What maggot doll? That's not a doll! Squintyhoyo: Eww! Bun-Bun: I'll feed all of you to the maggots if we don't find them now! Squishydodo: We'll try, but we're down to 50% pesonnel. Bun-Bun: We just got here. How did we lose half our teams? Squishydodo: They didn't wait fifteen minutes after eating to go swimming. Anon 1: Cramp! Anon 2: Cramp! Anon 3: Medic! Anon 4: Marco. Anon 5: Polo. Anon 6: Cramp! Bun-Bun: They can't have gone far. Gold teams, you have the airports and border crossings. Red team 4, take the sea. If they're hiding under a piece of driftwood, I want to know about it. Bun-Bun: Blue team 2 take a gunship out. You are authorized to shoot down all unauthorized dragon-looking alien punks! Bun-Bun: And I want everyone else combing the jungle. They will not escape. They will not get through. Bun-Bun: Squintyhoyo, set up a temporary outpost here, and keep home-base on the satellite feeds! If there is a blip on the E.M.P. scale I want to know before it happens. Squintyhoyo: Aye aye, capn'! Bun-Bun: Slappyhoho, get me two cups of coffee, black, some timothy hay, and a box of jelly donuts. It's gonna be a long night. Slappyhoho: Yes sir!! Squishydodo, start number-crunching and give me your best guess for their next move. Squishydodo: Already underway. I theorize their lack of funds may cause them to rely on friends. What are your opinions on these? Bun-Bun: They don't know where Gwynn is, and I don't think she wants to be found. Bun-Bun: They're too smart to hide with Sam. Bun-Bun: Shlocky's too smart to let them hide with him. Squishydodo: I pulled the file on Dr. Schlock and was hoping you could clarify a discrepancy. We have him listed as dead, but we have positively identified this as being him. Bun-Bun: Old Doc Schlock is from an alternate future timeline. Squishydodo: I hate alternate timelines. They make for messy bookkeeping. Bun-Bun: So young Doc Schlock bit the bullet, eh? Squishydodo: His brain was eaten. Bun-Bun: Yeesh, what a way to go! Last time I saw him was during the Kiki-virus. Squishydodo: "Kiki virus?" Bun-Bun: Long story short version is Dr. Crabtree was testing microscopic robots called nanites on Kiki. Y2K screwed up the nanites, and made everybody except me, Sam, and old Doc Schlock fall into comas. Schlock made everybody better. The end. Squishydodo: "Dr. Crabtree"? Bun-Bun: Yeah, never did find her. Narr: Inflatable spacecraft in orbit, one week ago. Irving Schlock: Why don't you give up, Crabtree! You're never going to find me! Catherine Crabtree: Why, Irving. Do you know how close I am? Irving Schlock: I know your body is so full of nanites that they're the only things holding the organic bits together. Catherine Crabtree: What I am is stronger, faster, smarter, in all areas improved. Irving Schlock: Let's not forget malleable. I remember how you squeezed through that tiny air vent in Vegas, and how you can remotely run machines, and how you eat people's brains to process and absorb their knowledge. You say you're "improved", I say you're a freak. Catherine Crabtree: I am the future. Irving Schlock: But you're wrong when you say "smarter". The computers in your head have made you flat out predictable. How do you think I've managed to keep ahead of you? Catherine Crabtree: I am behind you. Irving Schlock: Oh well. Always wanted to have my brain eaten. Catherine Crabtree: Damn! Another decoy! Irving Schlock: Sorry to burst your bubble, Crabby! Heh heh! Inflatable technology humor.