Tuesday, April 19, 2005

More Mortimer

After he had set his affairs in order and bid the Queen goodbye, Mortimer set about enacting his plan. He knew the first thing to do was go straight to the source - the mysterious man who had given him the avacado so many years ago. It had been almost 11 years ago that he had obtained the vegetable, knowing nothing of it's value except that he was to throw it in a time of great peril, but that he should beware the terrible price. Now he was hoping to obtain a little more info. He hopped on his flying gazelle Narrin and set off due East.
He'd recieved the avacado in the city of Merk Heeliott, a shady overgrown port town many miles from the royal seat at Higgansnorg. It was two days by cart, four days by Lizard-cart, and 4 hours by zeppelin, but Narrin hadn't won Ungulus magazine's "Fastest Steed" Award for nothing. She had him at the main gate in an hour, although the flight wasn't the most comfortable. He wiped the especially high-flying bugs from his mouth guard as Narrin trotted up to the main gate.
"Who goes there?" asked the guard, a large creature, likely not human judging by his height and the gruffness of his voice.
"A servant of her majesty."
"Her majesty's servants get no special treatment here. Business or pleasure?"
"27 gruck."
27 gruck was a ridiculous toll. Obviously the gatekeeper thought that because he had a fancy steed and outfit, he could charge a little more and pocket the extra. Mortimer was inside the guard tower with the hulking creature pinned to the wall in 7 seconds.
"I don't actually need to even go through the gate," he seethed, "My steed can fly. But because I'm a better man than you, I've got no problem paying the real toll, if you tell me now what it is."
"7 gruck," the guard muttered.
Mortimer hopped back on Narrinand rode through the gate, which he's gone ahead and opened himself from inside the tower, tossing the guard two coins as he went by.

Inside the city, Mortimer wasted no time making his way to one of the many taverns. This one had a picture of a black duck with a blue beak and yellow eyes. The name of the pub was "The Inverted Duck" but few of the patrons realized the colors were inverted or even knew what that meant. It was called the Black Duck or the Weird Duck around town. The owner had considered hanging the sign upside down to get the point across, but he knew the patrons wouldn't get that either. There were few enough intellectuals in Merk Heeliott.
Unfortunately for the intellectually starved pub-owner, Mortimer was not here to talk to him. He ordered a beer, more because it was what you did here then because he wanted one, and then walked straight to a table in the back. Sure enough, he was still there. A slightly creepy man in his late sixties, with a pointy beard, a large bald spot, and purple hair all around.
"I'm relieved to see you," said Mortimer, "I was really not expecting to find youi right where I left you 11 years ago."
The man did not look up at Mortimer, but stared straight forward.
"I told you about the price when I gave you the avacado. What more have we to discuss?"
"What's he going to do?"
THe man was silent. Mortimer pulled a kitchen knife from his belt, and opened his peanut-butter pouch. He dipped the knife in the peanut butter and put it to the man's forehead.
"You know what'll happen if I smear this on you," he said, "I don't want it any more than you do."
"You can't get rid of me with rodents. I'm not even here at all. But if you want to know about Franklin Pierce, go to the history books. That's where you'll find him."
And with that, the man was suddenly not there. THis would be harder then he'd hoped.
"Look!" came a voice from the next table, "He's got peanut butter!"
And suddenly the bar patrons were on him. He'd forgotten the value of peanut butter in these parts. Oh well, it had been a while since he'd been in a real brawl. He picked up a chair and got started.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Mortimer Lima Bean continued

Ok, to avoid complete confusion, go here. I'm going to pick up where Nathan left off. I know I should work on my real stories but I'm blocked pretty badly, and this seemed fun.

...I just hope your prepared to pay the price!"

That was ten years ago. President Pierce had saved the Queen, but Mortimer was still waiting for the price. It ate at him a little bit every day. He'd never told the Queen how he'd managed to fend off the guinea pigs; he could not bear her knowing that he, her constant unfailing protector had come that close to failing. That only a former president in an avocado had come between her and peanut-buttery rodent death.
But there wasn't time to think about that now, thought Mortimer as he tied his silver bowtie around the neck of his uncomfortable dress uniform. Now he needed to focus on protection for the ceremony. Now, the Queen and her daughter would both be flown ion on zeppelins for the beginning of the ceremony - or at least that's how it would appear. Only Mortimer, the zeppelin pilots and a few trusted officers knew there was nothing in those airships but recycled newspapers. The Queen and her daughter, however, would emerge up the trapdoors and through the doors of the zeppelins, and no one would be th wiser. But there was no way to protect them after that, when they were out in the open on the ceremonial platform. For that, Mortimer would have to rely on his instincts, his skilled team, and his deadeye shot with the marmalady.
Mortimer took up his place next to the platform. He looked out into the audience as each of his five underlings gave him the hi sign.
"Alright," he said into the microphone, "We are go for zeppelins. Right on schedule."
Immediately he saw the empty zeppelins rise over the horizon. Everything was going right. This would be easy. But what was that in the crowd? A face he hadn't seen in a long time! It couldn't be! And suddenly he disappeared behind a hot dog stand. But Mortimer knew what he had seen. It was the face of Franklin Pierce. The price, it seemed, was coming.

The ceremony went off without a hitch after that, although Mortimer's mind was elsewhere. He was there to meet the Queen as she dived off the ceremonial platform and swam the royal channel into the palace, her daughter hanging onto her ankle with her ceremonial snorkel on her face.
As she climbed out of the water, safely inside the palace, Mortimer ushered them into a small room, handed the two monarchs their royal towels and obediently turned his back. They didn't question his continued presence; the queen trusted him implicitly by now.
"Very well done, Mortimer," the queen said in her elegant accent, "Although I DO wish I could actually ride the zeppelin like we did in the old days."
"Indeed!" agreed her daughter.
"I do apologize, your majesties, but your safety is of the utmost importance to me. This you know."
"Of course."
"My liege," he asked, his voice trembling.
"Yes?" The Queen was confused; she wasn't used to his speaking when not spoken to outside of times of crisis.
"You know my right hand, Milly Carrot?"
"The skinny girl with the big hair?!?" asked the princess, the distaste oozing out of her voice, "Oh, and you can turn around Morty. We're decent."
"Yes, your royalness that's the one," he said, not turning around.
"Do go on," The queen said.
"Well, you know I have been in the service of the crown my whole life, like my father before me."
"Well, my family has collectively 2 decades of unused vacation time, due to our unwavering steadfast defense of your person."
The Queen gasped.
"Mortimer! You can't be planning to actually USE it!?!"
"Well not all of it!" he said quickly, "I just need a few weeks! And Milly's quite good!"
"What do YOU need a vacation for?" asked the princess, "You don't have any family or anything."
Mortimer turned around at last, addressing his queen and ignoring her uppity teenage successor. "Your majesty, I have reason to believe I may actually be endangering you with my presence. Someone out there may want me dead, and I must deal with it. To protect you I must do this as far from you as I can. So I will be taking as much "vacation" as I need to sort this out, effective next week, if it pleases your majesty."
The Queen was silent for several seconds.
"You're sure the girl will be alright?"
"She's very good, my liege."
"Try not to be gone too long, Mortimer. I feel much safer when you're around."
"I'll be as fast as I possibly can, your majesty. May I take your wet clothes?"
She gave them to him, neatly folded and her daughter followed suit with a randomly crumpled white dress. Obediently carrying the soaked garments, Mortimer followed the Queen and her daughter to their rooms. In a week he would leave his post for the first time anyone in his family had ever done so. He had to do it to save the queen, but it still felt so wrong. And what would Pierce do when he caught up with him? Only time would tell.

So I promised I wouldn't start another story, but the fact that technically Nate started it makes a convenient loophole, eh?

Saturday, April 02, 2005

April Fools!

It would be a lot easier to pull April Fools pranks if any of you checked the site without being prodded into it. I have no idea if I fooled anyone or not. But now I'm telling you, that last entry was actually written by my identical twin in part of an April Fool's Day exchange. I wrote the latest chapter of the story formerly known as revival over at CSG. I hope you were all sufficiently fooled. Now, I'm really not sure if I want to make this canonical or not, so I want to hear what you think. Should I let Nathan's silly entry be part of the story, or go on as if it never happened?

Friday, April 01, 2005

Do I Dare Remember? - Chapter 3

When he woke up, he was being shaken by Helen.
"Teddy, wake up!" she said, "The store is being robbed!"
For some inexplicable reason, he walked downstairs. That's when he remembered he was a veritable killing machine.
He jumped at the two robbers, and before they could get off a shot he had them both on the floor, with one knee in each of them pointing their own guns at them. Amazing what the body remembers, he thought again. I guess that answers the specialized knowledge question.
Helen and Myron were dumfounded. They just stood there, trying to comprehend what they'd just seen. He realized if the police came in now, he'd have no way to explain how he took down the robbers so fast. He had to think quickly.
He shot both robbers. Then he shot Myron and Helen. It made him a little sad, since they'd been so nice and all, but it seemed like the right thing to do. He remembered now that he'd done a lot of killing innocent people.
As he was on his way out, the police showed up. He killed them too.
He suddenly remembered that his girlfriend had been named Cecilia.
"Halt there!" yelled a voice. He turned to see a hulking, hairy creature with tusks and a proboscis wearing a mauve spandex outfit and a navy blue cape. "You may have defeated the local police," It said, in it's rumbling voice, "But you're no match for the Mauve Mammoth!"
He remembered that the Mauve Mammoth was a famed defender of peace and justice, but not where he had encountered him before.
Suddenly a look of recognition passed the Mammoth's face, though it was difficult to discern. "Bronze Ninja?" he said, "Why no outfit?"
At the sound of his name, the Bronze Ninja remembered exactly who he was - and who wasx responsible for his memory loss.
"Sorry, Mauve," he said, "But I have an appointment with one Captain Cauliflower.
He remembered that he could fly and flew off towards the governor's mansion. It felt good.