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Restarting an old comic of mine: The Unlikely Heroes!

Discussion in 'The Story Board' started by Planeteer, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. Planeteer

    Planeteer Member

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    Centuries from now, the Earth has become a lifeless husk due to a combination of too much pollution and gravitational disturbances caused by a runaway comet, hurtling between Earth and the moon.  (I got that from "Thundarr the Barbarian". :D)
    Fortunately, we had sent spaceships to colonize other worlds.  This is the story of one of those worlds.
    The planet Ultima (so-named for being the planet reached by the last spaceship) was a world with an electromagnetic field so powerful, it had shorted out the ship's navigational systems, causing them to crash.  Fortunately, there were no casualties, and it was learned that human brainwaves could interact with the field, enabling feats like telepathy, telekinesis, and even manipulation of matter.  This was discovered to be the result of "psi-stones," crystals capable of synchronizing with human brains.  This resulted in the rise of a technology similar to magic.


    A flare of white light flashed on the planet's surface.  Standing in the middle of this flareup was a man.  As the light dimmed, the man blinked his eyes.
    These "eyes" were in fact red cybernetic lenses, affording him enhanced visual acuity. He was clad in a fashion similar to a cowboy, the clothes covering his cybernetic arms and legs.
    A red sky was overhead, but the sun's position told him it was high noon, not sunrise or sunset.  He was on a plain of blue grass.  Appearing before him was a walled city.
    "This ain't Fort Worth," he grunted in his Texan accent as he surveyed the landscape.  "Where the hell am I?"
    He decided to walk toward the city.  Standing at the gate were two guards.  Deadeye didn't recognize the historical period of the armor.  It looked to be carved out of stone, with small chips of some kind of crystal embedded in it.  Each guard was armed, not with a sword, firearm or even club, but with a thin, wand-like stick of crystal.
    "Halt!" shouted one of the guards.  "State your name and business!"
    "At least you fellers speak English," muttered the cowboy.  Aloud, he stated, "The handle's Abernathy Carmichael III...though I think that name sounds a little fruity, if you don't mind my usin' that kinda lingo.  My friends call me Deadeye."  He pointed at the red lenses that were his eyes.  "Three guesses why."
    The guards turned to each other and muttered excitedly.  Deadeye heard something about a "time before".  He then said, "As for my business, well...right now I'm a-gonna enter yer fancy town afore it rains, or somethin'."
    "You'll turn your weapons over to us immediately," said the second guard.
    "Ain't nobody touches Ol' Betsy but me," growled Deadeye, reaching for what looked like an old-style derringer.  In reality it was a modified quantum disintegrator, a weapon that fired a burst of energy capable of severing atomic bonds and transmuting whatever it touched to dust.
    "Refusal to comply will not be accepted," warned the first guard, wielding his gleaming wand.
    "Your pointy stick don't impress me none," growled Deadeye defiantly.  Seeing a nearby boulder, he asked, "What say I point this here quantum disintegrator at that there rock and pull this here trigger?"
    He did so.  The disintegrator's "chamber" crackled with electricity -- and energy flowed out.  Deadeye dropped the weapon like a hot potato as it crumbled into powder!
    The guards began to chuckle.  "Oh, it disintegrated, all right!" shouted one as the chuckling swelled to uproarious laughter.
    Damn lousy time to have a malfunction, thought a disgruntled Deadeye.
    As the guards regained their composure, one of them pointed his wand at the rock and said, "Watch this."  He shouted a few unintelligible syllables, and a bolt of lightning leaped from the wand to the boulder.  The boulder exploded, shattering into pieces!
    "Was something like that supposed to happen?" asked the guard nonchalantly.
    "Show off," muttered his partner.
    Deadeye gaped in disbelief.  "No way..."


    After Deadeye entered the city, he looked around.  Everything seemed to indicate a medieval level of technology: clothing, architecture, and so forth.  The only difference was that the same kind of stone that made the guards' armor was everywhere, in much the same places where iron and steel should be.
    "I'm definitely in the wrong era," he muttered.  He looked in a window.
    "When will you get a job?" a woman was complaining to her husband.
    "Ah, shut it and make me a sandwich," snapped the man.
    Deadeye gritted his teeth.  It was a common scene back in his time.  Any second now, they'd start hitting each other.
    But instead, the woman smiled.  "You know," she said, "I'm hungry, too."  So she concentrated on the spot next to her.
    A glowing shape appeared out of thin air!  "Go make me a mushroom sandwich," she commanded it.
    "We got any mooncow left?" the man asked.
    "And a mooncow sandwich," the woman ordered.  The ethereal shape nodded, and flowed into the kitchen.
    Deadeye could hardly believe his eyes (but then again, most people had trouble believing eyes like those).  "Holy hannah, she's conjured a demon!" he screamed in horror.  He raced down the street.  "It's black magic -- voodoo!  Get me outta here!"
    If he hadn't been scared silly, he'd have realized the irony of a more technically sophisticated man acting like a superstitious fool in a medieval-seeming society that seemed to take the supernatural for granted.
     
  2. Planeteer

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    A semi-catatonic, mumbling Deadeye was dragged into the local palace.  There was more of that weird crystal-chipped stone everywhere.  He was ultimately hauled to the throne room.  Sitting on the throne was a plump, balding king who wore the stereotypical crown and cape, but otherwise was dressed in a casual fashion with jeans, sneakers, and a T-shirt saying "No Fat Chicks."  Standing at the steps that led to the throne was another pair of guards and a powerfully built, redhaired man who looked like he stepped out of a barbarian novel, dressed in a fur loincloth and sandals, wearing a belt with what looked like a sword in a scabbard.
    "This planet, or wherever, gets weirder and weirder," Deadeye muttered when he saw the king.
    "Who is this?" asked the king.
    "An outlander who calls himself Deadeye, sir," said one of the guards.  Deadeye couldn't remember which one he was.
    The barbarian wandered over to Deadeye, and gave the cowboy-clad cyborg a look-over.  "Hmmm...not only is he an outlander," he noted in a deep voice, "he can't seem to decide what time he's from either."
    The comment hit Deadeye's ears as an insult, angering him back to sanity.  "Hey, you should talk, mister!  Your whole damned world looks like something out of the Dark Ages...only with genuine witchcraft or something!"
    "You really are from a different time," noted the king.  "Otherwise, you'd have heard about us."
    "And who the hell are 'us'?" Deadeye demanded to know.
    "You, my friend, are on the planet Ultima, a colony world of Earth!" announced the king.  "Although we lost our spacefaring technology in the crash, we have ironically discovered a new kind of technology so advanced it resembles magic!  By the way, I'm Larry Larson, king of this colony.  My servants call me 'Your Highness', but you can call me 'King Larry'."
    "Colony?  Spacefar..." Deadeye could hardly believe his ears (an easier feat than believing his eyes); the last he checked, those weren't invented yet.  Finally, he scowled.  "Figures...damn time machine malfunctioned!"
    "Time machine?" said King Larry.  "Hmm...I seem to remember experiments in time travel being conducted around 2102."
    "Your memory's perfect," grunted Deadeye cynically.  "That was the year I left.  I was supposed to go back to the year 1885.  Instead, space and time got so screwed up I'm here instead.  Figures," he finished with a spit.
    "Hey, hey!  Watch where you're spitting!" shouted King Larry.
    "Anytime you're ready to get back to me," said the barbarian impatiently.
    "Oh, yes, sorry," said Larry.  "This is Maito," he introduced with a gesture.  "He's in for -- literally -- upsetting an applecart."
    "Pay good money for just one lousy Ultimaean apple," grunted Maito.  "Not on my friggin' watch!  Back in the forest, you just hadda pluck 'em from the tree, was all."
    "We on trial or something?" asked Deadeye.
    "Not exactly," said King Larry.  "We're still busy trying to set up a law system.  Tell you what: I'll send you guys on a quest.  If you succeed, Maito goes free and we'll see what we can do for you in return."
    "What's the quest?" Deadeye wanted to know.
    King Larry produced a crystal.  He held it up and squinted.  He looked like he was concentrating on something.  Then the crystal glowed, and a glowing mist emerged from it.  The ethereal force formed into the shape of a young woman, dressed in jewels and a silken gown like a fairy tale princess.
    "This is my daughter," said King Larry.  "Scintilla Larson.  She was kidnapped recently."
    "Kidnapped, huh?" Deadeye asked.  "By whom?"
    "Malkor," King Larry stated in a hate-filled growl.  The mist reformed, this time becoming a man in plate armor and a black cloak.  From what could be seen in the cloak's shadows, the face was pale, and had some sort of scarring.
    "Don't look like the kinda face I'll forget," Deadeye commented.


    Later, Deadeye and Maito were introduced to their mounts, which looked like velociraptors with camel-like humps.
    "I was expectin' horses," muttered Deadeye, "but nothin' on this planet surprises me anymore."  They got on their mounts and rode off.
     
  3. Planeteer

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    Deadeye decided to make conversation on the way to Malkor's hideout.  "So, 'Might-O'...whaddya think of that Princess Scintilla?  Sweet piece of ass, huh?"
    "I wouldn't know," said Maito.  "She's not my type."
    "Suit yourself," said Deadeye, shrugging his shoulders.


    They finally reached Malkor's lair: a mountain whose most prominent feature was a cave that looked like a skull.  
    "Is that some kind of natural formation," Deadeye wondered, "or is it carved that way?"
    Maito shrugged.  "Either way, it's kind of corny.  Besides, it's got no bearing on this situation."
    "You're right," conceded Deadeye.  "They'll be expecting a direct approach through the mouth..."
    "So I say we approach through the nostrils," Maito suggested.
    "Good plan if you can get up there," decided Deadeye.  He dug into the side of the mountain with his bionic fingers.  Maito scrabbled up like a mountain goat.


    Eventually, they made their way to the nostrils and climbed in.  They had crawled twelve feet when the small cave ended and they found themselves in what felt like a ventilation shaft.
    "Now I know how a TV dinner feels," quipped Deadeye.  He turned to Maito and grinned.  "That's a line from a movie.  You know which one?"
    "I was born here on Ultima," Maito confessed.  "I never even learned what a 'movie' was, much less a 'TV dinner'."
    "Just makin' conversation," said Deadeye.
    A sweet, musky scent filled the air.  "You smell that?" Maito asked.
    "Smells like a cathouse I visited once," Deadeye commented.  Then he saw light coming from a nearby vent grille.  "Let's check it out," he suggested.  The two men crawled toward the light and gazed through the grille.
    They looked into a room with a lot of women lying on cushions.  They looked like they were covered with gold bodypaint, with flecks and grains of glowing crystal.
    Deadeye grinned.  "Oh, my God, it's a flamin' harem..." he said in an excited whisper.
    Maito sighed and rolled his eyes.  "Why do they always gotta have a harem?" he groaned.
    "I'll unscrew these and we can try to sneak in."  Deadeye reached over and unscrewed the nuts keeping the grille in place.  Unfortunately, his attempts to hold the grille in place carefully met with failure, and the grille fell with a crash.
    The women turned toward the sound, and saw the two men.  They seemed to react with curiosity rather than fear.
    "Sorry about that," Deadeye said.  "You ain't gonna raise an alarm or nothin', are you?"
    The women giggled as they watched Deadeye, and then Maito, slide out of the vent.  One of them walked up to Deadeye, looking like an electroplated statue come to life.  "The Master is not home right now," she said.  "Perhaps you gentlemen would care for refreshment and entertainment?"
    "You ladies know where a Princess Scintilla may be?" asked Maito in a business-like tone.
    "I'll see if the Master's brought any new girls," said the woman.  "Meanwhile, why don't you relax?"
    Deadeye shrugged, then relaxed on a cushion.  A grumbling Maito also sat down, stiff and straight up.
    The remaining five women clapped their hands, and music began to play.  They began a slow, sensuous, undulating dance, the light of the torch fires gleaming off their curvaceous, golden bodies...glittering in a scale-like pattern off the lattice of crystals that seemed to bind the gold together...turning the light into a rainbow-like pattern of colors...Deadeye was so fascinated by the effect, he didn't hear Maito screaming at him to...
    "Wake up, you jerk!  They're HYPNOTIZING you!!"
    A heavy blow came aside his head, a slap intended from Maito to snap his partner back to his senses.  Unfortunately, Maito forgot his own strength, and the blow had the opposite effect, knocking Deadeye unconscious.


    "Oops," said Maito as Deadeye slumped to the ground.
    "The winner and new champeen," one of the dancers joked.  They all burst out laughing.
    "Why, you evil *****es, I'll tear you in half!" screamed Maito.  He lunged for one of the gilded women, who looked familiar for some reason, and threw a punch.  She moved like a cobra, dodging the blow.  Then she grabbed his wrist and elbow and pulled him forward along with his momentum.  She then grabbed his shoulder and back, pushing him.  The combined effect had him go flying into a pillar, which he slammed into face-first with a loud CRACK.
    Maito reeled, pulling his bloodied face away.  He noticed that the spot where his head had smashed into the pillar had cracked.  Tougher than I thought, he mused.  Wiping blood from his eyes, he lunged at the dancer again...who spin-kicked him in the head, boxed his ears, and punched him twice in the jaw, all in the same second.  As Maito fell forward, the world turning black, his last thoughts were, Jeez, beaten by a harem girl.  This never happens to Conan...

     
  4. Planeteer

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    A powerful stench woke Deadeye up sometime later.  "Ughh...what's that smell?" he complained, gagging.
    "A little chemical re-invention of Malkor's," said a feminine, soft but business-like tone.  "I think it used to be called 'smelling salts'.  Normally, I just slap the prisoners awake, but considering you've been bashed upside the head already, I thought I'd show some mercy."
    "Prisoners?" asked Deadeye.  He looked and saw that his cybernetic limbs had somehow fallen off.  Standing above them was Maito.  His arms looked like his hands were stuck in a wall. 
    The speaker was the golden woman who defeated Maito.  There was something familiar about her that he still couldn't place.
    Deadeye solved the mystery for him.  "Hey...you're nekkid, gold-plated and not smilin', but...you look a hell of a lot like Princess Scintilla."
    "Yeah, well, that's because I am Scintilla," she explained.
    "But...we came to rescue you!" said Deadeye, incredulously.  "Why are you doing this?"
    "Isn't it obvious?" snapped Maito.  "She's been brainwashed."
    "'Rescue'?  'Brainwashed'?" asked Scintilla.  Her eyes narrowed to slits.  "I'm going to go get Malkor, and then you're going to tell me what other lies my father told you."
    While she was gone, Deadeye.  "Now's our chance to escape.  Can you break the chains with your iron thews or something?"
    "This isn't a heroic fantasy story...something I've had to face for the past fifteen minutes," Maito said glumly.  " Invincible heroes don't exist.  These shackles are part of the wall, and I can't get any leverage."
    "An' that li'l polecat cut off my arms an' legs," grunted Deadeye.
    "Were they cybernetic or something?" asked Maito.  "'Cause what really happened was, those things rusted off.  There's some kinda chemical in the air that speeds up the rusting process here on Ultima.  That's why the ventilation system had to be made out of plastic; I could tell from the smell."
    So that's what happened to my disintegrator, Deadeye realized.  Trying once again to make conversation, he said, "You think we'll at least live to hear the part where the villain explains his whole plan?"
    "Like I just told you," sighed Maito, "this isn't a fantasy story.  In the real world,  the bad guys, especially the smart ones, kill the hero while they have the chance."  Then he blinked, and would have snapped his fingers if he could.  "Wait...that means we should be dead by now."
    "Right," agreed Deadeye.  "Something stinks about this, and it ain't the damn smellin' salts."
    Just then, Scintilla came back with a dark-robed figure.  "Malkor, I presume?" asked Maito.
    "Indeed I am," said the dark-robed figure in an cultured voice.
    He pulled back his hood.  Deadeye and Maito wished he hadn't.  The right half of the face would've been handsome if it wasn't so pale and diseased-looking.  The left half looked even worse.  The nose was missing, leaving only the holes in the skull.  Skin and hair had been pulled away, leaving rotting muscle.  There was enough left to convey emotion, but for the most part it looked like a skull.  Even the left ear was missing.  Deadeye turned his head and threw up.  Maito gasped in shock.
    "Forgive me," said Malkor, drawing the hood back over his head.  "I sometimes forget the effect my appearance has...especially on newcomers."
    "What...the hell...happened?" Deadeye managed to gasp out.
    Malkor and Scintilla turned to each other.  "Want me to tell them?" asked Scintilla.
    "You're the slave," said Malkor in the tone most people use to say, "You're the boss."
    Scintilla began her story...


    It all happened last year.


    I'd been hearing so much about a program of my father's called the Shining Knights.  So I went to him and said, "Daddy, I want to join the Order of the Shining Knights."
    He stared at me.  "What?" he said.  "But...but sweetie-pie, that's no place for a little girl."
    Naturally, that hit my ears like a load of sexist tripe.  So, like a lot of 16-year-old kids, I went to my room and sulked.  Also like a lot of 16-year-olds, I decided to sneak out of the house.  I tied a bunch of bedsheets and curtains together into a rope and tried to climb down the wall.
    It didn't work all that well.  First off, the rope stopped about halfway down; second of all, the rope came undone just as I was hanging there.  If there hadn't been a pile of manure, this wouldn't have ended well.
    I got up from the manure heap and snuck into a peasant's yard.  Since I needed a change of clothes anyway, I went ahead with phase two.  I stole a peasant boy's clothes, left a small stack of psi-chips as compensation, and exchanged clothes.  It helped that I had fairly short hair at the time.
    I changed just in time.  A patrolling Shining Knight was coming towards the house.  I asked him, "Please, kind sir, could you point me to the Shining Knights recruiting center?"  He pointed westward, and I walked off.
    What felt like a mile later, I was breathing heavily, and my feet were killing me.  I finally reached the freaking center.  After stopping to rest, I walked up to the recruiting officer and said, "I'd like to join the Shining Knights, please."
    "Name?" he asked.
    "Larry Scint," I made up.  That was easy.
    "Gender?"
    "Male."  That was easy, too.
    "Age?"
    I decided that it was safe to be honest.  "Sixteen," I said truthfully.  Then, "Well, sixteen-and-a-half, anyway."
    He made a "tsk"-ing sound.  "Oh, I'm afraid we can't use you," he said.  "You have to be over eighteen to get in."
    As I absorbed that, the line about "No place for a little girl" came back to haunt me.
    A little girl.  As in, "Not a woman yet."
    Daddy was referring to my age.
    "...I see," was all I could say.  I sighed and walked off.
    Of course, when I turned a corner, I saw a window.  I decided it couldn't hurt to look in and see what I could...and hope for the day when I'd be part of it.
    Many peasant men (and women, I now saw) were in a room facing a stage with a podium.  An armored woman was standing before them.
    "Ladies and gentlemen," she announced, "you are about to become an elite fighting force.  Behold!"  She held up a vial of green glowing liquid.  "This is the mystic potion our alchemists have developed that will bestow invulnerability to you!"
    A Shining Knight came out holding a box.  He started passing around vials of the green liquid.
    "This stuff will make us invincible?" asked a member of the crowd.
    "Easiest boot camp ever," said his friend.
    I wondered if the actual training would start after this part.
    "Drink your potions!" the armored woman commanded.
    They all drained their potions.  "So," said one, "how do we gotta wait for -- GLURKK!!"
    One by one, they all began to convulse and spasm, green froth foaming their lips, eyes bulging with shock, pain and terror.  They all fell to the ground, their flesh turning green with this poison.
    A second passed.  Then, one of the corpses rose up with a moan, and another.  To my horror, I realized that all these people had been poisoned and reanimated as zombies!
    "Yes!  Yes!" she crowed.  "Rise up, zombie slaves of COMMANDER EVILLA!"
    Lightning flashed and thunder boomed as she said this.  At first, I thought I was watching a play or something.  Then the rain began to fall on my skin.
    I trudged home, horrified by what I had seen.  Even when I returned to the palace, I was too numb with shock to notice my exhaustion.
    My father greeted me at the palace.  "Where have you been?" he demanded to know.
    "Daddy!  Daddy!" I exclaimed to him.  "It's the Shining Knights!  They're horrible, undead zombies!"
    And then he said the worst thing ever.  "Yes, dear, I know.  Daddy's magic potion is doing its job."
    "We've got to stop it!  We -- "  And that's when my brain clamped down on what he was saying.  "What?  You mean, you know all this?  You planned it?  How could you?"
    "Well, remember when you were little, and had the chicken pox?  I figured death was something like that: the only way to become immune to it was to get it."
    If I hadn't been so emotionally stunned, I might have laughed at such an idiotic plan.  Instead, I saw red and lunged at him, throttling him.  It took three guards to pull me off.  Then, one of them must have stunned me with a warhammer or something, because the next thing I knew I was waking up in a field far from the city's walls.  There was a note pinned to my shirt.  It read, formally, that I had been exiled from the kingdom.  Less formally stated was a message, probably handwritten by a guard, that simply added, "AND STAY OUT!"



    "As for myself," began Malkor:


    I was one of those poor saps.  The potion burned like fire, causing my guts to seize up, my veins to be full of glass, my heart to stop.  As I began to black out, I could feel my spirit rising from my corpse.  Floating above me were the spirits of all the people Commander Evilla had just murdered.  Apparently, all that mass death, combined with Ultimaean technology involving minds and psychic energies, was jamming the doors to the afterlife.  Seeing my zombified corpse rise, I decided to re-inhabit it.  Now the only sentient zombie, I deserted my 'company' at the first chance I got, and then set up this little organization to gain my vengeance.  Scintilla caught wind of this, and joined up.  The funny part was, she wound up getting all her warrior training in a harem!


    "Don't remind me," groused Maito.
    "So," Scintilla concluded, "you guys with or against us?"
            Deadeye and Maito turned to each other...
     
  5. Planeteer

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    They returned with Scintilla in tow, still gold-plated, her arms bound in rope.  Malkor was also with them, his head severed.  Many people were massed on either side of the "victory parade".
    A scowling King Larry met them outside the palace.  Two Shining Knights and Commander Evilla flanked him.  As Deadeye pulled Scintilla up, King Larry sneered at his daughter and demanded, "Well, what have you to say for yourself, young lady?"
    Scintilla answered by leaping into the air and kicking with both legs.  Each foot smashed into the helmet of a Shining Knight, knocking the faceplate off -- and revealing the green-gray face of a zombie!
    "Behold!" Scintilla triumphantly shouted to the startled crowd.  "The true nature of the 'heroes' whose praises you've been singing!"
    "So, you were tellin' the truth," Deadeye snarled at Scintilla.  He walked right up to King Larry and sneered, "What was the ******* deal here, you sum*****?"
    "Isn't it obvious?" King Larry asked.  "I need the zombies to climb a golden ladder to the sun so that they can puke up the magic marmalade!"
    Deadeye's face twisted in confusion.  "Golden ladder...to the sun?  Magic marmalade?
    "I've been communicating telepathically with the leprechauns on the moon," King Larry explained.  "The sun blocks their view of the other planets.  So, once the zombies puke up enough marmalade to put out the sun, the leprechauns will give me the keys to unlock the gate to the rainbow bridge that leads to Candyland!  Once there, I'll be elected Queen of the Potato People!  And hey, presto -- WORLD DOMINATION!!"
    "It's a little late for an insanity plea..." began Scintilla.
    "PINK HEARTS!!" screamed King Larry.  "ORANGE STARS!!  YELLOW MOONS!!  GREEN CLOVERS!!  BLUE DIAMONDS!!  PURPLE HORSESHOES!!"  His royal garb changed into a multi-colored clown outfit.
    "By your colors combined," he announced, "I am CAPTAIN CLOWN!!"  To the confused eyes of the onlookers, he began to sing and dance.  (Ed. note: If you've seen Batman on Drugs, you have a good idea of what it looked like.)
    "What the...this guy's nuts!" shouted Deadeye.
    "Yeah," confessed Commander Evilla embarrassedly.  "In his defense, such as it is, it wasn't power that made him crazy, it was the stress of running the kingdom."
    Malkor's eyes widened in disbelief.  "I wanted revenge on a moron?!"
    "What about your part in this?" Scintilla demanded of Commander Evilla.  
    "Ahh, acting like an evil megalomaniac was the only thing preserving what sanity I've got left," snarked Evilla.
    "And that justifies poisoning all the poor people and, and turning them into slaves?"
    "Well, it's not like we can eat them," said Evilla in an apologetic but defensive tone.
    Scintilla facepalmed.  "You two idiots are peas in a pod."  She turned to the assembled throng and said, "You people can do what you want to them."
    The people, peasant and noble alike, took her advice and started throwing tomatoes, mud, dung, and everything else they could get their hands on at Larry and Evilla.  Several people left to get ropes, firewood, and sharp objects.
    "Before you lynch him," said Scintilla, loud enough to get everyone to shut up and listen, "remember, he's my father."
    "You want us to show mercy?" someone asked.
    "Sort of," Scintilla explained.  "First, we'll coronate me Queen, and I'll appoint whoever wants the job Royal Executioner, so they can at least murder King Larry legally."
    "While they're lynching His Royal Stupidity," asked Malkor, "could someone put me back on my body?"
    Deadeye picked up Malkor's head and pressed it against his neck.  The two pieces of spinal column fused together, and Malkor, king-to-be of Ultima, stood up.
    And here's where we roll the credits...


    THE END
     

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