The Incorporateds, Chapter 3 Media Rare By Charles Duncan Act 1 'The grand Finale' With the rescue of what turned out to be an entire planet's worth of viewers (having been shown on the continent's main pay-per-view sports network, which despite the few million orders rescinded by the criminal underground in Catica prime (the main super-continent on the world of Catica), the show STILL managed to be a sucess, and this time, thanks to a forethought of Halifax when approached by the company, sucessful for all those victims of Renegade's varied crime sprees over 40 years of mayhem. Still, what remained of the Incorporateds to prove their worth as possibly better defenders of a galaxy from the SCE's machinations more than the currently corrupt squadrons of the Catican Frontiersmen (who although thanks to Dranwell all wore armor indestructible save the very vulnerable joint sections, still weren't up to the job because of an innate corruptness Dranwell instituted in the ranks) was the inevitable bringing of Rynogoff for his slavery practices. But knowing Dranwell, who won the favoring of Rynogoff by being as equally ill-minded, could not let Rynogoff go without a fight. And so, Rynogoff's life as a fugitive not from justice (corrupt as it was in Catica's militia) but from the Incorporateds began in earnest. Speedster, in his small bedroom filled with the catican equivalents of what was special in his former and free earth life (such as a 4-ft 3-d rotavision field where he watched TV from at least half of the possible 360 angles to view the world from), his thoughts turned to the prescense of someone very unkind to him. Someone who was now commander of Catica's militia, but once was a very disturbed young individual on earth who bought him to just treat him badly. Named Worthless Hairball at the time, Speedster as a non-setinent, non-heroic ordinary canine was treated horribly, being constantly underfed and kicked in the butt for just doing it... on the floor. Fortuitously, a new young girl took pity on the dog once Drislen's state of mind got so warped he gave Speedster to the dog pound thinking the mutt was rabid (though the same could be better said of Drislen even at THAT time), gave him love and compassion and caring and an inbred disdain for all those who abuse animals. And enough food, which at first he ate so fast, what else could he be named but, 'Speedster?' A name that stuck with the young (and never again malnourished) puppy, even through an SCE attempt to evolve humanity enough to be able to compete with the SCE in sheer cruely granted the dog the same humanity of his new owner, which made them simply friends without price. A name that stuck with Speedster even as the Incorporateds were being evacuated from Earth by Wilson because of the government's confusion as to whether Casey and Speedster, who allied together after the disappearances of those they loved the most, were actually products of Earth.. or believe it or not, as the ATF people constantly reminded the two, Mars. A name that stuck with Speedster to this day, and most importantly, to the day that he had to face Dranwell and his evil before Rynogoff could even be brought to justice himself. Although Rynogoff heard from the words of SCE mandrill grunts that the Incorporateds were searching for him, armed now with enough evidence and testimony from both the still-uncorruptible forces of the Catican Frontier's most devoted and faithful-to-justice competitors, the Dogelian Justiceers, to be granted permission to make a 'citizen's arrest' (as the Dogelians so kindly call the activities of (super)heroes against villians) for Rynogoff. Rarely had anyone not wearing spandex and a mask completely concealing all identifying and-thusly-parent-bring-downfalling facial features been allowed to actually bring villains to justice. Without actually being a policebeing... or asking exorbitantly payment for the job. But, of course, Dranwell was determined to not have Rynogoff taken so easily by the Incorporateds, who's increased capacity to do good with the returned Halifax as part of the team could make the 'easy' part a reality. And so, he rushed to the aid of his fellow fiend when he heard from his corrupt soldiers the news... Act 2 'Feel the breeze' On the planet designated for SCE relaxation as Gilalizar*, in the city of Helamonster ** there was a light-bar-BAR *** was a bunch of odd SCE SCE soldiers in repose, and its vile barkeep named Srig, who had a license from the Emperor himself to be a mean jerk of his world. * A planet who's land-locked terrain was much like Earth's Easter Island, only the Sangurians made the dolmen... correction, dolMANDRILLS were all over the planet at intervals, each one commemorating the existence of a sangurian once he did enough evil to actually deserve a name for himself, and some real awful ones could have been granted by the survivors of his wrath and insensitivity and sexism and yes, even sheer stupidity. At one time, 256,000 were up all across the planet for those deserving names according to the emperor. Not any more, though. Those Dolmandrills are all mostly pavement now. ** The SCE named some planets this way to commemorate the butt-kicking they got when they tried even so much as landing on a planet of setinent and noble reptiles and snakes who were'nt having anything to do with such evil-mind sets and intents as the Sangurians were cursed with. *** Now, while whoever was above Rynogoff, the other three Regents who's massive dolems surrounded the city, and the other 256,000 SCE's below the Regents were ultimately responsible and truly blamable for the SCE's continued elusion and infraction of the law, Srig was its harmer of souls and its amoral lack of backbone. Whenever a SCE had bright feelings about how nice it would be to surrender and become productive instead of destructive towards the galaxy, Srig would have a talk with them and nasty again would their lives become. Whenever retribution was fast coming toward some brainless henchbeing who'd made too many enemies among the Justiceers, Srig would stuff their faces with Light-bars and make them realize it was okay... the SCE wanted the henchbeing put through hell as well. But, it was OKAY. And, also, Srig convinced those who had agressive tendencies to take more Light-bars, beat up his fellow SCE'S in the bar, then beat up some innocents out of a hyper-sober rage. Yes, foul old Srig. A listening fiend when you needed one most of all... But on one particular day, the bar was full of woe, and not some caused by its attendants. Word of the Incorporated's just necessary need to confront Rynogoff with his crimes, and to bring him in to Justice, was being murmured through its patrons. Patrons who are in the heights of sobriety mentioning such things would ordinarily worry a bartender with the talk about who'd be next should the Incorporateds suceed, but they were paying customers and any cash old Srig could get (to pay for reincarnation as a very young Srig, an avoidance of being sent to Heck for his ill deeds and an uppage of rank to allow himself more of the take going through his hands) was more than welcome. What WASN'T so welcome, however, was the unconsolable Rynogoff, shattered now mentally for the first time in his many lifetimes. "Would you care", said the gruff-sounding and demented Srig, "to have another? You might get some higher rank for your evilly increasing your bar tab to unpayability." "Don't you UNDERSTAND? I CANNOT GO HIGHER!", said Rynogoff with perfect reasoning of the situation. "The Emperor Kingston and Major Domos, his second-in command, Will not allow It because they are Immortal and they made it illegal to suceed them too many millenia ago! But, when the Incorporateds extradite me into Catican Frontier Space and those truly devoted to justice put me in whatever they decide I deserve, and there just might be no more zombie-slaves to help the SCE along in its pursuit of actually doing work, I certainly will go LOWER in the SCE... If i'm allowed to be broken out and reinstated AT ALL!" "Then again...", thought Srig, "Maybe he doesn't need MORE!" "And do you know what's worst about all this? Wilson, who has ventured to many a planet in search of me since I fled San Green when my fellow SCE officers amongst the ruins of my slaver operation couldn't offer me anything more vile to do to him than just END his LIFE, has followed me like a blood-seeking vulture. And his two, nay, THREE new allies with him. Simply knocked on doors of prominent SCE warlords asking them, "Where is Rynogoff? We'd like him to come to his trials and his Justice, and we want to possess from you some information on where he Is-Is." And on every world that the Warlords lived on, they gave little and properly attacked the Incorporateds, tragically resulting in not just the inevitable downfall of the Warlord...." Here, he paused as he broke a Light-bar in half, chewed it just enough not to choke, and looked even more cognizant than necessary... then resumed with .... "But... this is the worst. When the Incorporateds found out during the fight to save themselves, that the warlord had taken the planet by force and were actually making life for its conquered victims miserable and degrading by imprisoning some, The Incorporateds had this awful thought. What if they decided that taking the Warlord in for questioning by the authorities wasn't enough?" "And they ended up freeing the people held hostage by the warlord, bringing some peace and decency to the world, and contacted the Dogelian Justiceers to the world to clean up the abraded-up-mess the Incorporateds left behind of the SCE base there.... I hope NOT?" "You... hoped wrong.", said Rynogoff, as his concerns finally got the best of him and he just kept looking back and forth, waiting for the inevitable. Srig sighed at this sudden shocking turn of events, as the Incorporateds had grown from mere threat to illegal activists to near-world savers as well. And all within just 6 weeks of the defeat of Renegade and the return of the true, heroic Halifax. Just then, someone very dark-souled, evil, and quite welcome came through the door, with the sudden hushes of the hyper-sober patrons proving quite deafening. "I couldn't help but hear outside the problems you have been having with the Incorporateds taking their spreading good across this chump galaxy, Rynogoff. And I promise you, you will be taken to saftey... which I will ensure." Rynogoff then smiled, relieved at the sight of one of his closest and most recent allies in the war against GOODNESS. Someone that, despite his apparent station in life, was surprisingly as welcome as any SCE in that bar. Someone called... Commander Dranwell Drislan. Who actually got the best reception of anyone who ever entered that place, EVER. Act 3 'The Power' "Rynogoff, you're in miserable shape and too cognizant of reality to do yourself good." "I wouldn't be driven to sobriety, Commander, if the Incorporateds weren't so determined to take me off to meet Justice." "Sangurians, listen about. As most of the civilians under my 'control' do not know, and many of the lesser 4,096,000 grunts under all yours know as little, that the SCE and Catican Frontier has, while occasionally fighting up to keep appearances, has actually formed some alliances to make all of the beings, not just some on opposing sides, in this galaxy SUFFER. And, on occasion, when one of either side is harrased by good-doers seeking REAL justice, then the other side shall help to prevent that, as my predecessor and the immortal Emperor Kingston has long ago agreed." "And thus, as the Incorporateds are causing too much freedom in their pursuit of Rynogoff, I've taken it upon myself and the corrupt Frontier to pursue the Incorporateds as much as possible, and to try to protect the targets for Justice they select." "And, Commander..", said Srig, "You came here to help one of THE SCE escape from heroic idiots like these Incorporateds? Will vile wonders never fail to begin?" "It will be a wonder, barkeep, if the Incorporateds even touch Rynogoff with one finger... While I help Rynogoff escape the Incorporated's wrath." "How, then, could you achieve that?", said Rynogoff, still looking in back of his shoulders. "Even with all the armor you have on, I doubt it'd last long after all the minor contudes the Incorporateds would have to bring to you just to get to me." "I can show you.... All.", and with that, the Commander clenched his fist and pointed it at a pile of sticks left behind by a SCE under the table, having become so sober and cognizant the sensory overload put him into a deep semi-comatic stupor. All the sticks lifted off the table, made a single file towards the fist, and shattered upon impact. "Neat trick", said a surprised Srig. "It is a part of the armor I wear as Commander of the Frontier... an armor so charged by the very negative spirits of those who wore it before, that it more than simply provides defense but TORMENT-DRIVEN offense, in a way that its owner doesn't have to move much to cause much pain. It can simply draw its attackers toward itself, causing them to hit the armor like a brick wall and cause them to lose their consciousness too quick to register. A armor more than sufficient to protect its wearer... or anyone else its wearer feels the need to protect." "I hope it can, Commander.", said Rynogoff. "Because with the way the Incorporateds seem to be evolving their 'operating mode' to better compete with the evil that tries to defend itself against them... I just have my doubts. Especially if they can ever manage to consider yourself just as evil as we are!" "Do not worry yourself in that manner, Rynogoff. For now, I shall sneak you aboard my ship, to personally deliver you to safety. And, with due speed, before the Incorporateds can even get another Warlord or even one simple grunt to tell of your existence near here." "Or even sooner", thought Rynogoff as he and the Commander left the bar through the back door, but not before the Commander granted Srig 10,000 credits of misappropriated Frontier defense funds to ensure his silence. And, with that, the two left towards the city center, both having a sense of being fugitive. Five minutes later, someone else knocked at the door, and quickly pushed it open as the exact moral opposite of the Commander stepped in to the bar. Someone named Casey. A cat who'd suffered intense evolutionary spasms for a day at the hands of the SCE's ground transport exhaust (even more toxic and radioactive than that of an ordinary nuclear reactor) and resented the SCE's incompassion towards nature. And he was quite hot on the tail of Rynogoff, closer than even Rynogoff could imagine. Not just Casey entered the bar through the door, but someone else came up through the floor. A certain someone named Halifax, who could 'fax' himself nearly any place in just about any world. And, having just faxed in a bar full of hyper-sober patrons may have not been the wisest thing to do in the world. But, nethertheless, the fighting skills of the two were enough to deal with the mayhem that soon ensued, just after Casey demanded... 'Has anybody seen a Rhino come in through here the past 24 hours?'" Act 4 'Great Storm' Imagine next what must have happened, as an enraged and hyper-sober crowd began to get up and run to the counter, where Srig had kept their weapons in check to keep too many brawls from occuring between its hyper-sober patrons (who might, upon extreme clarity of mind, realized just how evil and threatening each other was.) Of course, most of the crowd in the large bar rushed to the center where Halifax had emerged. And still others began running for the back door. But Casey appparently wasn't in too much danger despite the crowds aiming for his destruction. His tail made him a lot safer, as it converted to pure force and lashed out at the coming SCE grunts, warlords and sub-regents. The tail, upon impact with each SCE it contacted, exploded in a flash of force that sent the SCE'S flying back to the wall, slumping upon impact. And, with Halifax's ability to fax himself as well as others, he was more than able to escape from under the crowd coming towards him. And, then, Halifax's arm came out from a interdimensional gateway and pulled up one of the grunts who wasn't looking up in time. More mandrills looked up into the ceiling of where the fellow grunt went up, only to be knocked down by the grunt falling on them from who knows where on the planet, and then Halifax fell on them all feet-first, after apparently gaining a lot of speed from falling from wherever he was. Halifax said it was from the sky some 5,000 feet above him. I'm not going to argue with that. The blow made the mandrills all go to dreamland quick and sharp, as others came forth to challenge. Srig was just about to send notice to the leader of the base to call the mandrills living in Helamonser to arms to defend his bar, when he realized that, due to his many profitable lifetimes of bar ownership, he also owned Helamonser HIMSELF and practically led it HIMSELF. And, as SCE's began demanding their arms to shoot the intruders from behind the bar, someone ELSE came up from behind SRIG very quickly and pointed a cyborg arm with a sonic-pitched loudspeaker at him, demanding him not to call. This was Wilson, current and only temporary leader of the Incorporateds, and he'd used the initial distraction to sneak up behind Srig before anyone else could have the chance to sneak up from behind his friends, still engaged in a now-winning battle as the SCE's in the bar realized that they couldn't now use weapons and punching wasn't being very effective. So, now they were throwing chairs weakly, and finally, all realized Srig was being held in check by Wilson. So, the fight stopped, with Casey grabbing and stopping a chair in midflight with his tail, it now encircling and holding it like a snake crossed with a bolt of lightening, and Halifax 'faxing' his miner-glove-covered fists forward to one of those who still managed to have a gun on him... and making the SCE nap upon explosive impact. Wilson then spoke, as Halifax's fists de-faxed and reappeared attached to his arms, from where seconds before, he'd gated them at the wrist and simply sent the gate with the fists protruding forwards toward the SCE before a good shot could be fired from the SCE's weapon.... "I have great beliefs my friend Casey wants to know where Ryno's gone. The last people we met at the starport told us he was staggering this way. We wasn't very hospitable towards them, but we could be towards you if you'd just know where Ryno is NOW?" "Out", said a nameless grunt who cautiously approached the bar, fearing that if he resumed hostilities now, Srig'd be taken away and no-one would serve him any more sobering light-bars anymore. Or, if someone did replace him, would be a lot less compassionate to patrons who forgot to pay bar tabs with illegal take from many a criminal caper. "And we aren't going to tell you where he's gone to now without a FIGHT." "What do you think you've been through?", said Halifax as he slowly turned to keep the SCE's at bay, each of them suddenly realizing that there may be something worse than someone BRINGING you to MEET his fists... someone's fists leaving HIM to BEAT you. "A picnic?" Wilson continued, "Don't start us fighting needlessly again, You'll get plenty of that from your legal staff once you're inevitably tried for your crimes. You can spill the beans, or I can have my other friend Speedster run in here and break EVERY SHOP FIXTURE in half a minute and cost you plenty of ill-gotten now. A demonstration of what we're capable of doing, however, could make you reconsider telling us where Rynogoff should be now. Believe me, ask all those Warlords we decided to bring to their downfall on the way HERE. Casey..." "You do not have to tell me. I am telepathetic... after.. all..." And, with a sour grimace from saying yet another messed-up piece of lingua, Casey's still-empowered, still-encircling-the-chair tail crushed the chair, recycling it into wooden toothpicks in mere heartbeats... with a few of the small ones sticking themselves in Casey back, actually making him feel better due to the bizarre way they landed in proper accupunturing areas. And, then, the same nameless grunt then sputtered stupidly, "Out.. the BACK door. But I warn you, I'ts not going to do you much good. It'll do you EVIL, in fact. For he went with the Commander." All of them thought for a minute on what this meant. The Incorporateds simply thought of the Commander as a despicable being, but actually one in cahoots to continue the war with the SCE's or aid those who was SUPPOSED to be his enemy .... That was way too low. "Do you know who the Commander is?," said the grunt after a moment's silence. "Obviously they know More than ever... Squealer!", said a voice just coming out of the little Mandrill's bathroom, who'd heard it all. A booming voice that could be Renegade's, but it was hard to tell with the foot-thick methcrete walls surrounding it not for protection, but for guaranteed PRIVACY... "Thanks more than anything. You avoided a ton of back bruises this day, but know if you ever do something reported to the cops, If they can't carry you to justice WE'd be glad to help. Now, we'll leave here, but don't go too far off. We could always need someone to inform us of SCE fallacies now and then. Halifax, take us to the back door." And so, all three gated out of the bar, freeing Srig who became a nervous wreck, not HELPED any by the fact he, too, occasionally binged on the light-bars far more sobering than mere coffee. The SCE's still standing rushed towards the back door, but saw no trace of the three Incorporateds.. just the other who wasn't with the three. And, the SCE's were frozen in shock as a Single poodle, named Speedster for two reasons (the new, kinder name given by a kinder owner, and the sheer fact he was well, MORE than worthy of such a namesake), kept them at bay simply with a plunger that was glowing. "Did they say WHICH back door they were coming out of?", said Speedster as a horrid ruckus began arousing the city which arose to a new morning. Act 5 "Barred for life" Srig, relieved that the Incorporateds were out of his bar, began to alert the SCE media hounds from just outside the base to broadcast all this, to warn the personel that the Incorporateds were here to bring Rynogoff to justice. As you might have realized, not all dictatorships rely on shock troops to keep the justice when a sickening dose of anti-PR will do. No, the SCE was a lot more origional than that, for shock troops could only torture those who opposed their atttacks physically. The media hounds (a group of giant orangutans loyal to the SCE cause) could also torture others mentally with barbs about social lives, personal activities and annoying habits. And threaten to let the world know. And he could hear them off in the distance, thundering from their bunkers outside town where their propaganda to keep the SCE in line was written.. and they took turns sleeping and spying in on each other to keep their skills in practice. Immediately, they came inside and started looking at the wreck inside, taking notes while others used their long arms to write it all down. Several were carrying guns, and some carried cameras, and some of those who's coverage of planetary takeovers by the SCE gave them just as much ranking as the warlords who took the worlds over in the first place. A rowdy and inquisitive bunch if anyone had ever known, and of them all, J'hof was the most agressive inquisitor and their temporary leader. Ordering his temporary (with the competition in the media hounds or DEATH PRESS as the orangutans in the SCE's media corp are called, temporary was a good and necessary description of what they were) troops to arm cameras and guns in the bar, their NORMAL procedures began as soon as the sirens went off that was the regular wake up call. "I am warning you, Srig, if you are telling the truth about this I will only PUNCH you in the HEART once. And if you lie, You'll be punched THREE TIMES! You really have witnessed first hand an INTRUSION of said Incorporateds in your bar? Tell me or else you HURT." See? "Would I have called you if I didn't?" "Usually", said Srig, as the cameras rolled. "Well, this time I HAVE." "And they were going after Rynogoff? HERE? Why didn't you try twisting their heads off in this manner?..." And, he NEARLY demonstrated the technique with Srig, causing him to fall behind the bar with a sprained neck... "Well... the Cyborg one came behind me and made me blab about the fact Rynogoff was here. And then they split, leaving this place a mess without so much as a tip or bribe.... Speaking of which, here's 200 claim papers for misappropriated goods. Leave me alone and ... its.... UGH!" "The THREE HUNDRED!", said J'hof as he made his promise good, with only one more just because J'hof was EVIL. Hey, he was evil, but he at least kept to the gist of his word. "Now, all of you. Go from grunt smallhouse to Warlord's grandhouse to smash Incorporateds and aid Rynogoff in his escape. We've got to bring the news for the emperor's viewing tonight of the Incorporated's fall for their anti-crimes against the SCE, even if WE have to make it OURSELVES! And, anyone who fails to get tape of it, will suffer both S'RIG'S and the INCORPORATED'S FATE!" "And what of Rynogoff?", said one of the more measly ones in the back. "And Dranwell? Didn't Srig say in his ethiscreen call the Commander was already involved in all this?" With that, J'hof decked him. "Don't bother getting tape of those two. The emperor has heard too much of the Incorporateds already, and he cares little about any news other than that of the Incorporated's downfall!" "What did you say?", said the pile on the bar floor. "Don't bother... Tape the two OTHERS..., What, can't you understand SANGURIAN?" "I'm not fully conscious right now. Hard... to...." And with that, dreamland set in. But, apparently, the rest understood, as they went out the back door to go after the Incorporateds... and thanks to a genuine misunderstanding, DRANWELL and RYNOGOFF. Of course, Speedster was still at the door, keeping those at bay from leaving by using his great "martial artist" skill with his plunger and his great power of high speed. Some of the more foolish were slumped from being stung by the cumulation of two hundred quick taps of a plunger's business end. Speedster, however, knew he should leave soon. For at that time, a pack of rabid, armed REPORTERS were shoving those still in front away, and they almost trampled the poor little poodle in their haste to scour the city. Speedster and the victims of his 'bezerk' and mindless method of attack then, shall we say, engaged in a contest to see who would stir first. Of course, being thankfully blessed with speedy recovery from injuries (even stampeding) as well as speedy attacks allowed him to win, and Speedster thought in the air to the Incorporateds all that Srig spilled NOW, with some anger on his part. For knowing that the sleaze Dranwell was helping a SCE regent escape the court-deciding-the-fate-bit, made Speedster feel REALLY Bezerk. "I do not believe all this", thought back Casey who at the time was ringing the door to a Warlord's manor somewhere south of the town center, "Dranwell is actually helping the SCE and the Frontier... prolong THIS WAR?" "Smells like a lot of collusion that STINKS like air spray, Casey. They've obviously decided running each other into the ground as a TEAM seems much better than doing it solo." "Well.. of all the...," thought Wilson, who at the time himself was at the port, checking up on Rynogoff's trail, and not at all surprised some SCE were mentioning both RYNOGOFF and DRANWELL were involved in a mutual escape, which he discovered while questioning the newly deaf with sign language, which the SCE grunts fortuitously had been learning in just such an emergency. Not for after their injuries to their hearing... but DURING the interrogation that followed so no other injuries could be inflicted should Wilson go over the edge again and revert to the semi-cruel bounty hunter thank the goodness of the universe he USED to be. "Apparently not all the universe is into good and kindness as I THOUGHT." "It's not all evil yet, Wilson. Not if I can help it. Be more receptive"... (similiar to 'Listen up' for those that only TALK),..."the press is out to flatten us, so keep a look out for them and stall their intentions as much as possible...." "Hold it..Flatten US? The PRESS?", thought Casey. incredulous at Speedster's wild patterns of thinking. "Believe me, the PRESS will be trying to get us! EVEN Literally! I'm not joking, could I show the claw marks on my shirt as PROOF?"... thought Speedster back as well. "No, Speedster, don't. We probably don't have the time.", thought Wilson, as he continued in sign language the requests for the SCE's knoledge of Dranwell's planned whereabouts with the organic hand, while making a threatening gesture with the INORGANIC one. "As soon as we get anything on Dranwell and Rynogoff, you go get him. Believe me, I understand what somebody can go through when he's been used most of his... early life." "And I won't, of course, care about the fact Dranwell can draw someone to his fists like a car to a brick wall, save in reverse, and Rynogoff could gore me with his mean old wart on his pointed head." "If you do care and they do you in... can I have your room," said Casey, who was still waiting for the Warlord to come out of the shower for his questioning, and his pummeling if he even tried A LITTLE to use force to kill his questioner. "Only if they do you in first, pal." "Yeah, RIGHT!".. said Casey. And with that, a dramatic chase began for the next sevem minutes as Speedster, given a general direction by Wilson from some very nervous and deaf SCEs pointing vigorously in fear of WORSE, used his canine instincts (what was left after extreme evolution) to chase Rynogoff and Dranwell down. Almost as dramatic as what happened in June 1994, on the LA freeway on Earth... only shorter and more humorously treated, almost satirically. A chase that would end in what no other hero, villian or in-between mental case could possibly have achieved in the entire history of the Commandership of the Catican Frontier... "Do you think we should let Halifax know of these events? He isn't as privy to telepathy as we are." thought Wilson to Casey, as Casey first.. 1) heard the door open with a grumbling SCE warlord complaining about strangers knocking at that particular time of the world's scheduled existence, then as follows: 2) waited for the gunfire and stuck his foot out, 3) tripped the warlord who ran out the door wearing his underwear, and 4) jumped on top of the warlord, putting the lit end of his force tail to the warlord's cheek as a brief warning... 5) realized what he was doing wasn't necessary anymore and left into the night, hearing the distant calls of mad reporters calling his name.... 6) with the famous look of brain misfiring he's now famous for... and, finally, 7) saw Halifax emerge from the ground, with a few SCE's trying to bring him back down from wherever he came from, then fax back with the mining-glove-enhanced-fist beating back the SCE opposition.... 8) which, of course, looked like a bunch of HUGE orangutans with notepads AND clenched fists... 9) all within 1 minute. "I think he's already got the message," thought Casey. Climax 'The Chase is ON!' "I feel grateful that I should have a true friend in the Frontier who is out for my interests. Glad, that you'd actually HATE the INCORPORATEDS more than I do!", said Rynogoff, in a small house slightly reminiscent of a Styrofoam cup somewhere on the outskirts of town, where Ryno and Dranwell were planning their escape to freedom from relentless redemption. But then, most of the SCE's architecture was similar in shape to styrofoam cups, not due to expediency of construction but thanks in part to one of the nuttier and cornier warlord's beliefs that if their lives were ever made into a live-action movie, they could save a LOT on set designs alone just by raiding a senior prom or two. And from one of the windows, Dranwell watched tensely as he kept bringing stolen vases and objects to his fists in order to shatter them in preparation for any offense from any pursuers. Dranwell replied, "I hope that will mean a lot more credits and misappropriations from the SCE for my help in your evading Justice this day." "That, and my gratitude." "The stolen goods and credits will do. Are you worried that the Incorporateds will take you to the courts of Dogelia (not to Catican courts, I bribe them TOO much for justice to really be carried out quick there) to be judged?" "Not with your powers. I feel better and much less prone to panic since you brought me here." And then he looked around wildlly, still fearing something coming from the floor to get him because something definently COULD have. "The dark powers infesting this armor... driven by the madness of its former wearers over centuries, no, MILLENIA of lies and mischief are more than sufficient to deal with anybody who dares interfere in your continued freedom. I doubt that anyone can dare face me down..." And, then, all of a sudden, he looked out of his window and, followed by a brief blur of power, looking him right in the eyes, was... SPEEDSTER. "You! You abusive.... jerk! Have Rynogoff come out here alone, Or I'll come in and give you a whole lot of grievances!" "eep." "What is going on", said Rynogoff as he nibbled on an light bar to keep himself alert, and he too said eep. "Now. Either you let Rynogoff come to his trial, or you, 'Commander'....who probably stole your post just like you stole me from my mother nearly a decade ago... and don't think evolving and gaining setinece made me forget that along with all the lousy grooming, kicking, and CHOPPING OFF MY TAIL you put me through.. Can face THIS." And with that, Speedster lifted and pointed his plunger at Dranwell with the air of a threat towards him. Dranwell quietly said to Rynogoff,"Do me a favor as it will prolong your freedom." "What, you need to be bribed more?", said Rynogoff in astonishment. "Climb on my back." "You're SICK!" "Yes. But do so anyway, or that dog just might do something to me I'll finally regret." "What about ME? Don't you CARE?" "10...9...8...", said Speedster. With feelings of regret, Rynogoff did climb on Dranwell's back, and Dranwell used another aspect of the armor's dark power... to break through the window and FLEE.. Quickly! "I take that as a NO.", Speedster said, as he gathered himself up from the impact and followed in pursuit RAPIDLY. Some of the Death Press, those orangutang guardians of the public mistrust (especially towards each other) as well as its only sanctioned reporters, came towards the place where Dranwell and Rynogoff began to escape. As any reporter must do (even pyscho ones who pummel their sources and themselves as well) they reported it live on the Ethiscreens across Sangurian space. No doubt Emperor Kingston would know of this. Unfortunately for the Catican frontier, some transmissions managed to slip through, perhaps by fate ... and the fact the one who could block them (Renegade) was not busy blocking them and was currently sitting in a teleport-proof cell somewhere. And slipped they did right to the TV networks of Catica, Dogelia, and the other worlds in the Catican Frontier as the Commander carried Rynogoff away from a justly annoyed Speedster. Something that Inevitably, everyone turned on. Colonists. Insane People. Ordinary Citizens. Even the presidar of Catica itself, along with her daughter. And both fuming at this shocking turn of events, then cheering on as they saw Speedster go after the twosome. And, so did a lot of other beings... (Of course, the SCE cheered Ryno and Dranwell, but booed Speedster, being evil-natured.) Halfway through the run, Rynogoff mentioned to Dranwell... "You know, it's odd that a Sangurian and a Frontiersman could ever do something so evil and wrong, so much better than those that do it alone... doesn't it frighten you that perhaps one day, those of the SCE and the Frontier might one day find peace achieved easier... if both worked for it?" "You know what yourself?",said Dranwell. "Hmmnnn..." "YOU'RE SICKER THAN I AM!!!!" Anticlimax 'Turn the news on, ma, the dog is chasing the monkey and the banana-brain!' The Universe watched inevitably as Speedster continued his pursuit, made a little longer by the fact that Dranwell's dark armor increased Dranwell's speed as well. But, only to about a Mile per minute, while Speedster followed close behind. Dranwell was obviously straining to keep away, realizing no power could possibly match up against a dog scorned. Both, of course, were oblivious to the fact the Death Press was taking all this down. And, as they ran, several SCE stopped what they were doing (especially some who bashed Halifax as he struggled to evade the blows of determined Death Press reporters, a mistake that punched their tickets in for a nice, relaxing streak of unconsciousness.) And, simply watched. And cheered, too. As Dranwell watched, he was amazed just how many SCEs were coming out to watch and cheer, as mile after mile, he carried Rynogoff on his back towards the spaceport... and freedom. Mile after mile, through corridor after corridor, Speedster kept up as Dranwell tried so hard to shake his pursuer. But Speedster was relentless in his pursuit, going into a berzerk chase mode that few could possibly avoid... a battle of sheer thought without subconscious interference. And, while his subconscious was working to make sure Rynogoff didn't lose the body of Speedster, Speedster's mind rested comfortably in the background, already contemplating the one, quick way to ensure no interference once Dranwell stopped running. That took less than five seconds, but the chase took seven minutes until Dranwell, upset by the pursuit, decided to fight back, but at the Spaceport which he was now nearing. The galaxy watched further as the climax became apparent, when Dranwell crossed through to the Skystrip where many a SCE vulture-ship was parked, as well as one Catican Frontier Skyship was parked farther off. But Speedster's excessive stamina was too great for Dranwell to simply run into the ship, so Dranwell dropped Rynogoff off at the vulture-ship provided for him, and Rynogoff headed into the ship, running now himself in an attempt to make the ship lift off... before Speedster could go after Rynogoff. And there, Dranwell made his stand, before the... INEVITABLE... Happened. Dranwell then said to Speedster... "You have more grievances with me I'm sure you'd like to air out. Like, for how I once ordered your girl-friend killed on national TV once her 1st anniversary cooking show began airing by the Houston Mafia. Or how I once asked you to fetch a stick, and you got sick when you realized it was your own tail, perserved in fromaldahyde. Or how...." "Save it. You should now step aside.. before I.. GO... BERZERK... ON.... YOUR..." "You follow your own advice. My power can deal with you and your ilk. And anything else, if it further interferes with Rynogoff's escape." "Give me a sample. I'd just love to see you fail right NOW." "Who is the failure?", said Dranwell, as he pointed his fist towards Speedster. Nothing in the world kept Speedster from hitting the fist, not even the attempt by Speedster in midflight to focus some of his power towards stopping Dranwell.. Literally. Speedster crumpled to the ground, as Dranwell fell on top. But Dranwell didn't count on Speedster now possessing great healing ability as well as speed, for Speedster soon charged forth from underneath within one second, got above Dranwell and mule-kicked him to the ground. Then, as Dranwell tried to get up from the impact, Speedster sent some of the power runoff in a single blast that slowed Dranwells movement's 10 fold from his plunger. Something new Speedster had just thought of doing, but not in a regular, calm mode of thought. And did. Dranwell was now flabbergasted, and demanded of Speedster, "Now what? Do you think that paralyzing me like this will allow you to CONQUER me? My armor is greater than YOU! It's even more Alive than you can imagine, possessed as it is! And together, you shall STILL FAIL thanks to me and the ARMOR!" "Then, Dranwell, you jerk... It'll just have to come off." "How?" "QUICKLY." And so, it came off, as Speedster then used some speeding power to tear with berzerk speed each and every piece of the armor, flinging it far off so fast it couldn't have time to pull itself back together... without a lot of help. And, with one minute gone, the armor became recycled into junk. And Dranwell, thinking his armor was still on due to the stasis stopping him from even thinking, stood up angrily. "Now... You will pay, dog. I should have put you to sleep myself, instead of alllowing your departed 'NICE' owner to pick you up and be so nice to you it made me SICK." "Pay with what, Jerk? CREDIT?" And then, Dranwell looked down, as he saw himself wearing little save a shirt and boxer SHORTS.... "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA", cried Dranwell in one long continuous scream, as he ran after his broken armor to try to confort it in its hour of need. And Speedster looked back, said, "Another time, Jerk.", as he went up into the ship proper. Meanwhile, Rynogoff was about to take off, finally setting the pre-launch controls to get him away from Dranwell, when suddenly J'hof sneaked behind him and began his interview of the escaping fugitive. With a smack. "What are YOU doing here, fool? I'm getting out of here, away from that crazed poodle, and I DON'T NEED PASSENGERS!" "I just want to interview you for the late news. Tell the universe... How does it feel to be on your way to freedom?" Speedster came from behind them and surprised them with a plunger pointed at their heads, shifting rapidly between them to ensure neither of them entered any launch, escape or self-destruct commands into the ship's guidance systems.... "Can you wait until I'm actually GOTTEN there!?!?!?" "How did you find me?", demanded Rynogoff of J'hof as both were led out of the ship, where Halifax, Casey and Wilson awaited them to take Rynogoff to an orbiting Dogelian prisoner transport where Rynogoff would be tried and convicted REALLY SOON. "It wasn't hard. Your escape, tragically, was taped by my forces as a Mistake in my ordering them." "TAPED?" "Yes, I'm afraid. And, sent to all the SCE's ethivisions all across this Galaxy." "Did it reach anyone... Else?" "Yes. EVERYONE." "You..Son of a... Cloning Machine! You take THIS!", and Rynogoff prepared to swing at J'hof, with J'hof swinging back, as all was being taped by an orbiting camera doing so inside the ship. Speedster then used his power of paralyzing others to stop the SCE's and put them in stasis for a while. "Can't the Media and the average citizen just get along?", commented Speedster as he pushed the two down the ramp like statues, pausing only to 'recycle' the following camera as well. Finale 'Tape THIS!' Dranwell, noticing Speedster's glare, was disgusted as he was being led off, with Speedster watching as all were now aboard the prisoner ship. He held all the pieces of the dark armor, seemingly now audible and whispering to Dranwell its pains and agonies of simply being taken apart... as far as the insane Dranwell's damaged mind could make itself claim to hear. "Your sorrow will be soon, Speedster, for this insulting VICTORY you have over me. But mark my words, as soon as I find a good armorer to repair ...this, I will track you and YOUR friends down and bring ruination on you all, for all time!" "Just one thing, ignoble JERK...." "Yes?" "PPPPPPPTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!", said Speedster simply and to the point, as he grinned from ear to ear, having yet again avenged the loss of his true love.... in his own way. Wilson then boarded his ship via Halifax, and asked Speedster if he was ready to leave once Casey, Halifax and Speedster boarded properly as well. "Do you think, personally, that Dranwell can really convince his fellow troops to hunt us down... simply because we REALLY seek Justice?" "After that televised embarassment with the Galaxy watching? If Dranwell STILL has any credibility to have such power to make us suffer after this, I WILL be extremely SURPRISED. As for the Dogelians, I heard from their chief Justiceer Carnell that they were considering letting us help in their quest to rid the universe of the SCE threat.... thanks to our willingness to actually help them for free instead of pay like too many bounty hunters out there." "Glad to hear someone's on our side. We could sure use some of that now that the SCE probably'll be really throwing the bigger guns at us to keep themselves from seeing justice they DESERVE." "Good job, Speedster. I hope one day, your potential will prove as great as mine is now... to defend this galaxy against the SCE and the evil that pervades it." "Wasn't Casey going to have that honor?" "I'm having my doubts about that right now. But don't tell Casey. He'll be upset." "You mean, more than he usually is about his OWN life's tragedies?" "I FELT THAT!", thought Casey, as both turned their heads upward to the nearby Neverrest.. and a very large galaxy awaiting a better future... like it or NOT!
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