(Continued from previous episode.)
The show opens with the T-1200 Fridgerator Tracking Cyborg and Ice Maker (currently in the form of Holbein, the recently deceased Freakishly Mutated Twentysomething Turtle) making its way through the maze of twisty sewer passages (all alike), eliminating any and all obstacles in its path without so much as an "ICE TO SEE YOU!": previously flushed alligators... claymation mice... Italian Plumbers trapped in the piping system... a wumpus... Orson Welles. All freeze and shatter to the ground with a truly awesome CGI effect. He appears to not exactly know his way, as he keeps having to drop objects in each room, in an attempt to map it out, before getting frustrated enough just to stop and allow his in-head wireless connection to look up Game FAQS.
Meanwhile, back in LANDSLIDE's sewer headquarters, Baronessy is engaged in conversation with the remaining nightmarish turtles, Dürer, Baldungand and Cranach, and their plague-ridden rodent, Schism-sensei. Looking over to Saerith Conner (currently demonstrating to Johnny her amazing skills in singing, billiards and falconry), Baronessy asks "So, what exactly is Arya's deal over there? Those technicolor dream-eyes are seriously creeping me out."
Schism arches what can only be assumed to be an eyebrow equivilant on his melted rodent race and speaks: "Saerith-Chan? By Kami, that is a situation that is not kawaii at all. She's been infected with the Esuena virus."
"The Esuena virus?"
"Yes, those are indeed the last three words I just said, you stupid, stupid gaijin. As the last survivor of an alternate dimension's ancient race of wizards, child services was pretty happy to dump her in Access-Mundi's testing grounds. I believe they were working on something called the ANGLE project."
"I heard of that... preparations for the rapture, wasn't it?"
"Hai, baka. The keikaku 1 was to use her skill in curing common status ailments whenever she wove her friggin' staff, into creating sort of a man-made spiritual cleanser."
"I see that it worked."
"Too well. They created a virus that feeds upon the imperfections of the soul, thus destroying them. The bakana eye colors and slurred speech are the most obvious symptoms, but soon her damashii will be Too Good for This Sinful Earth and depart her earthly shell."
"What happens then?"
"According to the Access-Mundi files we swiped when we broke her out, her corpse will re-animate and try to spread the virus. She'll be transformed into what A-M dubbed an 'Organ Ripper'... Apparently, she'll do Exactly What It Says on the Tin."
Baronessy's brow furrows. "Why not just kill her now, then?"
"We did not break her out of a controlled lab setting, filled with scientists working night and day seeking an answer to that very problem, just to let her become another victim! We shall all die horrible painful deaths before giving Access-Mundi that satisfaction!"
Baronessy again looks frustrated. "Look, I can appreciate that Hot Topic must've given you a bulk discount on Che Guevera T-Shirts, but as shadowy corporate-run omniscient conspiracies go, I have to say, I've seen worse."
"You must be blind, then. The city is changing around us. All the bars that have been transformed into churches. All the brothels now battered women shelters. All the child porn shops now regular porn shops. Something big is coming, and Access-Mundi is behind it... hopefully our 'Citywide Truck Bomb' project will be able to stop the conspiracy in their tracks."
Baronessy gives up. "Forget it, you pyschos... Punisher, we're out of here!"
Punisher, however, as the camera just now shows us, is in the corner making out with Saerith, under a singing chorus of cherubs. Baronessy storms over and starts pulling him to the exit, to Johnny's dismay
"No Baronessy! Despite meeting her fifteen minutes ago, I love her! She is the only one able to cure the rage and disillusionment in my heart! She has a pennant that acts as a portal to some kind of Rainbow Princess dimension where everyone's happier! Come on!"
"Look, Johnny. I'd love to let you and Luna continue to play your tonsil-hockey mini-game, but we're being paid to kill Kendo, and until that's done, I'd like to keep our side-quests to a minimum."
The mention of Punisher the Elder causes Cranach to perk up his ear analogues. "Kendo? Kendo I. Punisher? Our greatest benefactor in our illustrious struggle? The guy who bought us the Barcalounger and the Wii?"
"Yes?" Baronessy tentatively answers.
The answer is met with a series of Halberds, Spontoons and Hiebmesseres pointed in her and Johnny's direction by the sewer's inhabitants. "Well then... we certainly can't let you leave alive."
Johnny slowly backs away, his hands raised in front of him. "Look, 'nessy, the whole 'leaving' thing was really your baby. Maybe you should handle this."
It is at this moment that the T-1200 Fridgerator Cyborg (disguised as TV's Robert Patrick, disguised as Holbein) stalks through the sewer's entrance. Johnny seems pleased at the development.
"Dude, thank God you're back! Did you find that Bleu Cheese I asked for?"
A mechanical whirring accompanies the Cyborg's answer: "NO. I AM AFRAID YOU MUST MAKE DUE WITH COOL RANCH!" A stream of liquid Helium 3 crests across the room from the Fridgerator's arm cannon. Johnny barely ducks out of the way, letting the brunt of the stream to hit Baldungand. The momentum of the stream pushes the newly-minted Turtle-sicle to the ground, cracking it into a million pieces.
You are standing in the entry-way to LANDSLIDE Headquarters. Though your creator has been a supporter of them in the past, he has deemed that the elimination of PUNISHER takes priority. Rows of weapons hang on the western wall, just above a buffet table laden with various spiced proteins. A strange mixture of cots, steam-punk equipment, barrels of various explosive chemicals, and martial arts training aids fill the landscape, with the exception of the northwest corner, which is covered with unicorn and crying vampire posters, and the northeast corner, where a Barca-lounger is parked in front of a Nintendo Wii. The only exit is to the SOUTH.
A PUNISHER, a FEMALE-PUNISHER, a SPARKLY-WOMAN, an UPRIGHT PLAGUE RAT and two SAMURAI REPTILES stand near you.
Your Current Form Is: SAMURAI REPTILE
?> CHANGE FORM
?> TV'S ROBERT PATRICK
Your water-controlled body molds itself into TV'S ROBERT PATRICK.
UPRIGHT PLAGUE RAT responds: "Oh my God! Colonel Tom Ryan just killed Holbein!"
FEMALE-PUNISHER responds: "What would make Ray Cash do that?"
PUNISHER moves to protect SPARKLY-WOMAN.
SAMURAI REPTILE readies a SPONTOON.
SAMURAI REPTILE readies a HALBERD
?>ANNOUNCE MISSION AND BACKSTORY
"I AM FRIDGERATOR T-1200, THE LATEST MODEL OF THE WOOB-E LINE OF ICE MAKING, SANITATION AND ASSASSINATION CYBORGS! I HAVE COME TO DESTROY PUNISHER, HIS LOVE INTERESTS, HIS ASSOCIATES, AND EVERYONE IN A FIFTY FOOT RADIUS."
FEMALE-PUNISHER responds: "Another of your father's creations?"
PUNISHER responds: "No... I think we won this thing on Family Double Dare back in '92."
SPARKLY-WOMAN swoons dramatically.
UPRIGHT PLAGUE RAT moves to weapons cabinet and readies a SPACEBALLS THE FLAMETHROWER.
SAMURAI REPTILE attacks with SPONTOON.
SAMURAI REPTILE attacks with HALBERD.
?>KILL SAMURAI REPTILE
You shoot a stream of exploding ice cubes through the eye-sockets of the approaching SAMURAI REPTILE, killing him instantly. (+50 XP! You have found 34 GP and a Potion!)
You shoot a stream of exploding ice cubes through the eye-sockets of the approaching SAMURAI REPTILE, killing him instantly. (+50 XP! You have found 32 GP!)
SPARKLY-WOMAN responds: "Schism! Quick! Kill It with Fire!"
UPRIGHT PLAGUE RAT attacks with SPACEBALLS THE FLAMETHROWER
You are unable to defend against the SPACEBALLS THE FLAMETHROWER attack. The intense heat instantly changes your form.
Current Form: FRIDGER-VAPOR
FEMALE PUNISHER responds: "Did that actually kill it?"
PUNISHER responds: "No! I don't think phase transition even voids its warranty. Now it's just an evaporated sentient killing machine."
SPARKLY-WOMAN responds: "So where is it now?"
?>INVADE ORIFICE OF UPRIGHT PLAGUE RAT
You drift over to UPRIGHT PLAGUE RAT and are inhaled through his snout. He immediately begins coughing on your forced pulmonary congestion.
PUNISHER responds: "Probably in Schism's lungs."
FEMALE PUNISHER dives under buffet table.
?> CHANGE FORM TO TV'S ROBERT PATRICK
Your water-controlled body morphs itself into the shape of TV'S ROBERT PATRICK.
The transformation causes the UPRIGHT PLAGUE RAT to be TELE FRAGGED all over the room. (+75 XP)
SPARKLY-WOMAN responds: "Ew."
PUNISHER responds: "Baronessy! Keep him occupied! I've got an idea!"
PUNISHER is dashing towards you!
FEMALE PUNISHER readies BOTTLE OF DAVE'S INSANITY SAUCE (taken from buffet).
?> KILL PUNISHER
Sensing your attack, PUNISHER jumps over you with a clearly unnecessary back flip, landing next to several chemical barrels. You shoot several molecule-sharp icicles at him, but they miss him and embed themselves precariously in the ceiling.
SPARKLY-WOMAN dramatically swoons (again).
PUNISHER searches through the chemical barrels.
FEMALE PUNISHER attacks with BOTTLE OF DAVE'S INSANITY SAUCE
The bottle of freakishly hot sauce shatters against your ice hard defense. However, the 180,000 Scoville sauce is quickly absorbed into your bio-circuits, overheating them. You stumble as your various cyborg senses attempt to regain equillibrium, your sinus-cavities imploding. In retrospect, you probably shouldn't have dropped the bleu cheese and celery.
FEMALE PUNISHER responds: "I guess his cybernetic-organs don't have the Capsaic-ity for Hot Wing Sauce, Johnny."
PUNISHER responds: "Nor, let's hope, for basic science... I think I've found the barrel I need!"
PUNISHER readies CHEMICAL BARREL
Your sinuses clear, and your core systems return to normal temperatures.
FEMALE PUNISHER responds "Now, Johnny!"
SPARKLY-WOMAN cowers in fear.
PUNISHER throws CHEMICAL BARREL.
?> SHOOT BARREL
Poor move, homeboy! That barrel was full of refined sodium, and before you can say "2Na + 2H2O -> 2NaOH + H2", you find yourself coated with it. The water-based aspects of your body quickly begin dissipating into a combination of caustic liquids, and highly flammable hydrogen. Though your near-absolute zero body temperature prevents fires from breaking out, brother, it ain't pretty.
PUNISHER responds: "You'd better lye low, fella."
FEMALE PUNISHER responds: "That's what you get for replacing David Duchovny!"
You are in a twisting sewer-corridor. Light emanates from an entrance to the north. The tunnel continues to the south.
You hear a voice coming from the room to the north. "All right, Nessy, when I say to, kill the lights!"
You are melting, melting. What a world.
?> STOP DROP AND ROLL
Suddenly the light to the north switches off. It is pitch black.
You hear a voice coming from the room to the north: "Guys, quick!... put on this Apple-Cinnamon-Scented Spray Grue-Repellant!"
?> WHAT IS A GRUE?
The grue is a sinister, lurking presence in the dark places of the earth. Its favorite diet is Fridgerators, but its insatiable appetite is tempered by its fear of light. No grue has ever been seen by the light of day, and few have survived its fearsome jaws to tell the tale.
And it has just started to devour you. If it's any consolation, it almost choked on your exoskeleton, and the lye gave it heartburn for quite some time.
Would you like your possessions identified?
?> OH, SHUT UP
The scene refocuses on Saerith Connor, her ever-changing eyes gazing over the remains of LANDSLIDE Headquarters:
"Well, you managed to defeat that cyborg abomination... But at what cost, I ask you? At what cost?"
"Four mutated Turtles and that diseased Rat thing, I tell you. Four mutated turtles and that diseased Rat thing."
"I was being rhetorically angsty, Baronessy."
Johnny stands up from the crushed buffet table he had been mouthing a silent prayer for, and turns to Saerith.
"You don't have to say anything Johnny. While I am sure that I have opened your eyes to a whole new world of love and understanding, I know that your destiny lies in your ultimate confrontation with your father... a journey that I can not accompany you on, for you fear for my safety and virtue."
"Well... That and the fact you seem pretty useless combat-wise anywa-"
"So go, Johnny! Go and confront your destiny! But here... take my pennant with you," continues Saerith, removing the Orphan's Plot Trinket from around her neck. "Wear it and think of me, and the day when all your problems with the world are through, and maybe, just maybe, we can find a way [[My Little Rainbow Princess Pretty Moon Shortcake to return to my home dimension... together."
Johnny takes the glimmering pennant, and grudgingly puts it on, knowing all the while that the colored stone makes him look only slightly less of a tool than if he had gone with the Shell Necklace look.
"I want that too, Saerith... But Now I Must Go and face my father-slash-destiny... Could you tell me the easiest way to get to the Kendo Trade Center?"
"Certainly, my love. About a mile the south, there is a secret-passage way that connects our sewer passages to the city's Untergrundbahn. If you hop on the Red Line, it should take you straight to the station at the towers' base."
"Thank you for all your help, Saerith... I'm sure that you and Cyd will be able to start LANDSLIDE anew." And with a Kissing Discretion Shot that focuses largely on Baronessy's disgusted reaction, she and Johnny leave with an Unflinching Walk down the sewer corridor.
"Johnny?" asks Baronessy, with a tone that could be construed as either jealous or disinterested, depending on your shipping preferences. "Did you actually mean all the things that... well, that Saerith said for you?"
"Hmm? Well, yes and no, I guess. I mean, she's a nice girl and I wouldn't mind if it was the start of something nice, but I've been around this tainted orb long enough to know that any time some girl gives me an Anguished Declaration of Love, she's going to be gruesomely killed, like, five minutes later... I've learned to cope."
"Seriously. I set my watch to it."
As if on cue, the camera jump-cuts to a view of Saerith now inexplicably kneeling in prayer beneath the set of slowly-melting razor-sharp icicles the Fridgerator shot into the ceiling minutes earlier. They are clearly about to drop, as if guided by the occult hand of a White Hair, Black Heart boy, with the eventual result of what most lateral-thinking-puzzle lovers would call the perfect crime. The details of an internet poll concerning Saerith's fate flash on the screen, suggesting that at least one PunNessy shipper is a fairly dedicated script-kiddie.
Fortunately, the camera cuts away as the loud, inevitable SQUELCH noise emanates from the soundtrack. Johnny looks up from his Timex.
The scene moves to an establishing shot of Access-Mundi plaza, and zooms into the plush office of Big Bad candidate, Rahlchard Stroak, currently in heated conversation over a video-phone with a very large, very bearded, and very British man.
"I grow weary of waiting for Edger and his underlings to finish a job that should have been completed months ago... It has lead to the death of both my nephew and my patience. Nothing must hinder ARE's activation. Kendo Punisher must die, and soon."
"RIGHT, BOSS! HIS LIFE WILL BE OVER FASTER THAN YOUR PARENTS HAVING SEX"
Rahlchard blanches at the image of repressed childhood memory that just entered his mind.
"What the hell, man?! If you're going to be talking in a larger font size, you need to stop saying things like that."
Stroark sighs. "In any case, I have provided you with all your requested materials..."
"THE SUBWAY TRAIN, THE CARGO OF HIGHLY VOLATILE MEDICAL SUPPLIES, THE TRACTOR-TRAILER, THE MICROWAVE EMITTER, THE CASE OF NITROGLYCERIN TRACK-GREASE... IT WILL BE A MAGNIFICENT DEATH FOR HIM."
"One other thing, though."
"Our tracking systems have just come back online. Kendo's son, Johnny, is heading with his female friend to your subway. Make sure he board the train you will be using"
"PERFECT! IT WILL BE EASY TO KILL 2GIRLS WITH 1CUP."
"... Seriously, Dude, Not Funny!. This is why you don't get invited to parties."
To Be Continued in I've Been Working on Character Derail-Road.