Sunday, August 19, 2007
The Big Blockadeski
Setting: the H.M.S. Exquisite. Rainbow Girl drags a sober and visibly healthier (if still chunky) Storm Boy down a metal corridor.
Rainbow Girl: We've had some terrible news. Brigadier Blockade is in seclusion in the port side of the ship.
She presses a button, and two heavy wooden doors slide open to reveal Blockade Boy's latest cabin, formerly the crew's lounge. In a corner, Weight Wizard dozes nudely on a liobear-skin rug. Nearby, Cootie the cat contentedly grooms herself. And Blockade Boy himself sits dejectedly on an ottoman, facing a crackling atomic fire which emits little black Kirby-esque bubbles in lieu of smoke. A somber, dirge-like rendition of "Hair of the Dog" reverberates through the room.
Rainbow Girl (softly): Brigadier Blockade.
Blockade Boy waves Storm Boy inside without looking at him.
Blockade Boy: It's funny. I can look back on a life of blogging, costumes bettered, deadlines overcome. I've accomplished more than most pirates-slash-fashion designers, and without the use of organic legs. What... what makes a hero, Storm Boy?
Storm Boy: Myke.
Blockade Boy: Huh?
Storm Boy: My real name is Myke Chypurz, wow, I can't believe I've never told you be-
Blockade Boy: Yeah, I'm not calling you that. But the "hero" stuff. Is it... is it being prepared to do the right thing? No matter the price? Isn't that what makes a hero?
Storm Boy: That and some kick-ass spiky shoulder pads.
Blockade Boy: You're hopelessly tacky, but perhaps you're right. Maybe I'm just not "kewl" enough.
Storm Boy (laughs nervously): Uh-huh. You have a purple beard and metal legs, which practically makes you an official X-Men character, so I really don't think that's your problem.
He thumps on his uniform pocket.
Storm Boy: Mind if I eat a protein bar?
Blockade Boy: Next Top Hero.
Blockade Boy turns to face Storm Boy. In the flickering light of the atomic fire, glistening tears roll down his cheeks and disappear forever within his thick Donegal beard.
Storm Boy: 'Scuse me?
Blockade Boy: Next Top Hero. The internet "reality show" for super-heroes. I got voted off. In a freakin' landslide. What am I, Hate Face?! GODDAMN! ...Are you surprised at my tears, Storm Boy?
Storm Boy: More like alarmed and a little squicked-out, but okay...
Blockade Boy: Amadan men also cry... Amadan men also cry!
He clears his throat, which sounds like a waterlogged outboard motor.
Blockade Boy: I received the news just a little while ago.
He hands Storm Boy a print-out of an image from an ancient Earth computer screen.
Storm Boy: Well, that blows.
Blockade Boy: Rainbow Girl will fill you in on the details.
He turns away and stares into the atomic fire once more. Rainbow Girl taps Storm Boy on the shoulder and leads him out of the room. Storm Boy speaks over his shoulder to Blockade Boy as he exits.
Storm Boy: No, I'm good, you don't have to... I don't-- why do I need to know any details?!
Out of Blockade Boy's cabin, Storm Boy tears the wrapper off a protein bar and devours it.
Storm Boy (crumbs spilling from his mouth): What in space was that all about?
Rainbow Girl: Oh, he's had me drag everybody in there. First Tusker, and then I had to cart Plant Lad's zombie carcass in to see him, and now you. It all goes in order of rank.
Storm Boy: I'm outranked by Plant Lad?! He's the ship's figurehead! He does absolutely nothing at all...
Rainbow Girl smiles wryly, one eyebrow raised.
Storm Boy: ...and I do less than nothing. Got it.
Rainbow Girl: Thanks for not making me say it myself. But here's the main thing you need to know: the Brigadier will be holed up in there feeling sorry for himself for quite some time. I can't see him snapping out of it until Thursday at the earliest. That means no marching--
Storm Boy: Thank God.
Rainbow Girl --and no piracy and certainly no blogging.
Storm Boy: No blogging? Say, in the meantime, could I maybe post some of my poems?
Rainbow Girl: Absolutely not.
Storm Boy: Says Blockade Boy or you?
Rainbow Girl: Does it really matter? And think hard before you answer me.
Storm Boy (cowed): ...No.
Rainbow Girl: Good kid. Now get out of here.
Blockade Boy's hoarse, whining bellow is carried through the dense wooden doors.
Blockade Boy: Rainbow girl? ...RAINBOW GIRL?! Can you make me another Orando Sling? Weight Wizard doesn't know how to do it right...
Rainbow Girl (mutters): I swear to God, if he doesn't stop this shit by Thursday I'm going to stop it for him...