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Children are our future...

Mickey leveled his plasma cannon at Dusty. The now too-familiar whine began down in the barrel.

"Now," came the non-mousey voice from inside. "You will end your search or you will die here."

"Rather public place for an execution, isn't it?" Dusty asked, trying to cover Anita's mumbling of a spell. She could just stop the blast again... right?

"So what?" Morrigan asked, lapping up her ice cream. "Those are the best kind."

"There you are!" came a shrill voice aimed at them. Mickey and Pluto's character guard from the tunnel was marching towards them with five Security Officers in tow. "That's him! That's the guy that punched me and took my radio!"

A chuckle bubbled up from inside the Mickey suit and the nano-technology on Mickey's arm folded back in on itself until it was once more, just a simple costume. "I think you have other concerns."

"Crap," Dusty said as Anita finished her chanting. The guard and the officers froze in place.

"Awww..." Morrigan lamented.

"Oh, sh-" Mickey began before getting a gut punch from Dusty that sent him to the asphalt.

A 5 year old, walking with his mother nearby, stopped, clinging sadly to his mouse-ear balloon as his chin quivered at the sight.

"Muh... Muh..."

Anita saw it. Morrigan smiled at it. Dusty was too busy trying to pull the costume head off to notice the impending disaster. With a POP, Mickey's head came off.

The child wailed. "Mommyyyyyyyy!" Every mother in a ten mile radius turned toward the sound. Every park officer, every park guest, every creature of God great and small focused in on the helpless cry of the child, including Weirdbard.

A portal appeared just then and, in the split second it took for people to shift focus from the boy to the source of his anguish, he assumed his natural form, wrapped his four giant arms around Dusty, Anita, Mickey and Morrigan and yanked them into the portal with him. By the time the adults looked at the spot next to the open manhole cover, there was nothing there. ...a demonicus ex machina had whisked them away in the nick of time.

The child began to hyperventilate as his mother asked him what was wrong. He couldn't answer her, though. Instead, he silently stared in horror at the spot where he had seen his favorite toon and idol, Mickey Mouse, decapitated by the bare hands of the man in the fedora.

*****

"I understand that," Dusty said. "But I have to lay down a moral dissent on us taking prisoners and forcing them to lead us to the treasure. It's so... bad guy!"

"Now you begin to see," said the dark-skinned man on the bed. "Anyone seeking the fountain will always be the bad guy." He had been relieved of his costume with the secret weaponry and was now clad in a hotel bathrobe and surrounded by Anita, Morrigan, Reiko, Dusty and Weirdbard (back in his human form).

"Look," Anita said to him. "There is a cabal of evil wizards after the Fountain of Youth. We're trying to stop them!"

In a flash of silver sparkles, Sil appeared. "I was just on the other side of the door," she said. "But I SOOOO love this entrance better."

The man on the bed spoke patiently. "And how am I to know that you are, in fact, not the evil wizards that you speak of?"

"AAARRRRGGH!" Anita threw her hands up and sat down on the dresser.

"What would it take to convince you?" Wierdbard asked patiently. "We could use mind control or something if we wished, but we won't. We'd rather have your help."

"I cannot help you," he said. "I am responsible to a higher power."

"I'm a higher power," Morrigan offered.

"So am I," Sil chimed.

"Then you should have no trouble finding it on your own."

Reiko sucked her teeth and wished she had her pistol. "Maybe mind control wouldn't be such a bad idea."

"No," Dusty and Wierdbard said in unison.

"Well, here's what we should do," Sil said. "The baddies are looking for it and we're looking for it and we're all watching each other to see who turns up the next clue. If nothing else, we should all get back out there so as not to tip them off that we have..." she looked at the costume piled up in a corner of the room. "Mickey here."

"True enough," said Anita. "Dusty, you stay here and guard... I mean, keep our guest company."

"Me? But I have the next clue. I just have to decipher it. And what if you DO find something? I should be there!"

"And what if we run into some of these evil wizards? We don't need to be saving you while we’re fighting."

Dusty could only huff. "I bet they don't ALL have super powers."

The others looked around and nodded. Weirdbard opened a portal and they all went back to the park through it.

Mickey scooted up the bed until his back rested against the wall.

"You wanna watch TV or somethin'?" Dusty asked. "I think Justice League is on."

"No, thank you."

"You want a magazine or something? I've got Mad, The Weekly World News, Creative Screenwriting-"

"No thanks."

"I have a sketch pad with a few blank-"

"No."

"What? You'd rather meditate on the warrior ways of your people?"

"The Arawaks were peaceful people. They were farmers and fisherman. It was the Spaniards who brought war to them. And slavery. And extinction."

Dusty cracked open the mini fridge and took out a bottle of water. "Fishing poles were no match for swords?"

Mickey laughed. "There were no poles in those days. Men hunted with spears. But they were never raised against the Spaniards. They claimed to come peacefully. They offered us trade and women."

"The slavery."

"No. Women were revered by the Arawaks. They have the power of life and they were scarce among our people. There were times that it got so bad, the men would sail across the sea to steal women and bring them back. For only they could keep our tribes alive."

"Yeah, I dig chicks, too."

"We did more than dig chicks, silly white man. While men were our politicians and Butuous, our spiritual leaders, only a woman could become Caciques."

"...Queen?"

"Chieftain. Typically, you think in a Euro-centric style."

Dusty took a large gulp of the cool water as information clicked and a plan formed. "You're right. I was thinking like some kind of Celtic or Viking. Warrior cultures led by men."

"Precisely why we, in our wisdom, elevated women to the position of power."

"But she had to be controlled by the men. I mean they were more numerous, they were the politicians and the priests."

"You miss the point entirely. Even they respected the women for their power over life. Life must come before death, which was the power wielded by men. They caught the fish and slaughtered the farm animals. When we were attacked, our spears became our weapons. But, as you noted, once the deception of the Spanish was apparent, they were of little use there. We had been deceived and the women that we loved so dearly could not be defended..."

"You talk like you were there."

"My blood was there. Were it not for a few escapees, I would not be here today entertaining you with this story."

"Actually, I dig anthropology, on a purely scholarly level, almost as much as I dig chicks. This is fascinating stuff. And since we're not going anywhere..." he drank more water.

"I am pleased by your willingness to learn," Mickey said. "But do not think that I am going to help you find the fountain."

"Hey, man, that's other people's problem now."

"In that case, I will need one of those water bottles."

Dusty smiled. "What if we both switch to the little bottles under the bar?"

"Just water, please."

"...sure."

As Dusty reached into the fridge, he heard a familiar voice bounce between his ears.

"Get anything out of him yet?" Sil asked telepathically.

"Only that I've been decoding wrong," Dusty thought back. "There's no math involved."

"Oh. Well, that's a plus. ...hahahahahahah!"

Dusty groaned inwardly. "I think Bard's pun penchant is contagious. How can I contact you when I learn more?"

"I'll just tune in every once in a while... whoops! Gotta go!"

And gone she was. Dusty handed the bottle to Mickey. "So, let's talk about the villages. By the water, if they were fishermen, right?"

A polite knock popped at the door. A deep bass voice happily rolled out "Room Service!"

Dusty looked at Mickey. Mickey just shook his head sadly. Of COURSE he hadn't ordered room service. Whose room was this anyway? Bard's? Sil's? Not his. Whoever it was must have forgotten that they ordered.

Dusty peeked through the peephole and saw only a wide, muscled chest straining the starched uniform shirt of the hotel staff. Typically tropical waiter, Dusty thought as he unlocked the door. Working out all the time hoping to get with the tourist gals... not a bad idea really.

The door flew in and hit Dusty in the forehead, knocking him to the floor. A hulking brute of a man stood over him. Clean shaven, square jaw, impossibly buff.

"Gaston?"

A quick boot to the jaw sent Dusty sliding across the carpet and crashing into the entertainment center.

"AAAGH! Rug burn!"

Gaston quickly found Mickey, taking cover on the far side of the bed. "Come with me if you value your life," the hunter boomed.

"I don't think so," said Mickey. "You may be one of the evil wizards."

Gaston laughed and picked Dusty up by the neck. "Do I look like a wizard? Would a wizard have to do this to his enemies?" He punched Dusty in the stomach. "Or this?" He threw Dusty across the other bed to crash into a picture frame. They both fell to the floor.

"I'm no wizard," Gaston continued. "But I know a few who will be very angry if I don't bring you back to them right now!" He dove across the bed, tackling Mickey and sending them both crashing through the window of the hotel room.

Dusty clambered over the beds and looked out, ignoring the blood pouring from a gash in his forehead and the aches doubling him over.

The two had fallen fourteen stories from The Magic Kingdom Regency Luxury Deluxe Ritz Carlton and landed with a thunderous splash in the swimming pool.

"Lethal Weapon 2," Dusty thought. "Lethal Weapon 2" and he jumped out after them.

Screams and scrambling cleared out of the pool below him as he lost control of his arms and they flailed helplessly over his head. He watched the water rush up to meet him as though he could pick where he was landing. He was just glad the deep end was close to the hotel. He hit the water and, almost immediately, the bottom of the pool with his butt and his feet at the same time. He'd seen Gaston jumping out, towing Mickey, and immediately pushed up towards the surface to give chase.



*****

You're watching... The Disney World Information Channel. Where you'll find-

BEEP BEEP BEEP...

BEEP BEEP BEEP...

This is the Emergency Broadcast System. Whenever there is an emergency in your area, tune in to this channel for information. We now go a live feed from local news channel WWOD Action 14 News.

"This is Rod Russels outside the Disney World Magic Kingdom where, apparently, total chaos has erupted. You see behind me here pillars of thick, black smoke filling the sky over the theme park as guests are evacuated and police begin to fit themselves with riot gear. Let's see if we can talk to one of these- Officer! Hey, Officer! Can you tell us what's going on?"

"Apparently, there's some sort of gang violence going on. JESUS CHRIST! What was that?"

"It looked like a lightning bolt, to me!"

"No shit, Sherlock! Where the hell did these kids get lightning?"

"Hey! You're on live television! You can't say shit!"

"Then get the fuck out of my face! Lock and load, boys! It looks pretty deep in there! CHAAAARRRGE!"

"There you have it, folks! It's pretty deep in there! At this moment there are, obviously, no real details and... hey! Do you see that? Get a shot of that! There's a flying woman toppling the Disney water tower! It's like a super hero! Oh my god! She's flooding the park to put out the fires! Brilliant! Oh dear! It's washed over the officers and out here to the parking lot! Run! Run! Get outta the way!"

FZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZTTT!

This is the Emergency Broadcast System. Stay tuned for further details.

*****

Dusty could barely see Gaston. Even weighed down as he was with the struggling Mickey, he was outpacing the golf cart Dusty had commandeered. As they approached the steaming remnants of the Magic Kingdom, Gaston leaped over a waterlogged news crew and headed for a far corner of the parking lot. As park guests tried desperately to drive away, Dusty wove between them, keeping Gaston in sight.

Gaston finally ducked out of the parking lot and up the entry ramp for MGM Studios. Several officers were telling him to stop, that the park was in lockdown and even trying to restrain him, but the big guy knocked them aside easily and leaped over the turnstile.

"Cheap ass," Dusty mumbled as he jumped out of the golf cart and ran after him. The guards tried to reach out for him, too, but Dusty stayed in the path Gaston cleared through them and was closing the distance fast.

Gaston weaved and ducked between people and around rides and other attractions. The smell of fried funnel cakes tugged at Dusty, but he pressed onward. Finally, Gaston jumped a fence and disappeared. Hopping onto a trash can and following him over, Dusty caught sight of him disappearing into a door marked "Employees Only". He ran inside, but pulled up short. It was dark in here and he creeped along as his eyes adjusted.

Squish, went his shoes. Squish, squish... He took them off quickly so as not to give away his position. His socks went with them. In fact, he thought, he should get out of these wet clothes altogether. But what would he...

His hand ran along a light switch and he immediately flipped it. Rows of big, round lights lit up mirrors along one wall with makeup covered counters on front of them. He was definitely in a green room for one of the park shows. And the costumes on that rack... oh, YEAH, BABY!

*****

Sure he was only five and SURE his mommy still didn't believe him, but the little boy knew what he'd seen. That man in this Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular was not the hero he was being made out to be. He'd killed Mickey Mouse. And he would pay dearly for that.

For about the fourth time in the show, the set changed. The inside of the pyramid folded away to reveal a flat desert terrain with an odd-shaped airplane on it. There was some sort of shouting from backstage. Maybe Indiana got caught by the moving set and got crushed? Mwahahahaaaa... But soon enough a man skittered out on stage. He seemed surprised to find himself there and the bathrobe-clad man on his shoulder was busy trying to make sure the robe didn't reveal too much to the audience. Then, Indiana Jones came running out on the stage. Two of them, actually, and one of them had a girl with him. They, too, seemed surprised to be on stage- with the big guy, at least.

Then, there was a big bald guy! This was going to get confusing very quickly. All the kid could think, though, was that he hoped the big guys won...

*****

Gaston jumped deftly up to the cockpit of the plane and slung Mickey into it. He dropped the canopy down and twisted the metal lock with his bare hand. Mickey was trapped.

"Hey!" Marian yelled. "That's MY blocking!"

"You guys have to get out of here!" Dusty yelled to Indy and Marian.

"Hey, that's my other costume!" Indy said.

"I needed some clothes. Now trust me! Get out of here!" Dusty crumpled to the ground. The bald Nazi stood over him.

"We're not going anywhere. This show will be my big break and nobody's stopping me!"

There was some taped dialogue playing over the speakers, so nobody could hear what they were saying. Gaston guffawed at Dusty.

"Looks like I won't have to stick around after all!"

The Nazi thunked his fist into Gaston's jaw, which did nothing more than turn Gaston's head sideways. He grabbed the Nazi by the throat and punched him repeatedly in the face, beating him into unconsciousness.

Dusty was up on his feet by then. "See what I mean?" he said to Indy. "You don't want him to do that to your pretty little actor faces, do you?"

Indy and Marian turned to run and were met by the stage manager in her blacks and headset. "Keep going!" she hissed.

Indy just punched her and led Marian offstage.

Dusty turned back to Gaston just in time to duck a mighty fist. The propellers on the plane started up and Dusty dove for the chock blocks under the plane's wheels.

A cheer went up from the crowd- probably more for them getting back into a semblance of the script than anything else. Dusty hoped Gaston had never seen "Raiders".

Mickey was beating on the cockpit as the plane began to turn, blowing something up and then knocking over a canister full of liquid. Gaston swung and missed several more times, becoming furious at Dusty's dodging.

Soon enough, Dusty found himself with his back to a spinning propeller, so he jumped up and took a swing at Gaston... and connected! Gaston's lip blossomed red. Dusty couldn't believe it, even as Gaston punched him square in the nose. Dusty's legs wobbled and he dropped. Gaston stepped closer and Dusty got some sand up into his eyes. So far, so good. He rolled close to the plane and got behind the propeller.

Gaston recovered quickly and he, too, walked around the propeller, stalking Dusty. Mickey banged on the cockpit and pointed at the spilled liquid. It was working its way towards the flaming remnants of whatever had been in those boxes.

Dusty took a swing at Gaston, who was strong, yeah, but awfully slow to dodge Dusty's quicker (if far less effective) punches. "Wait a minute," he thought. "This isn't real. This is all staged. The plane won't really blow up and Mickey won't REALLY be incinerated."

Gaston punched him in the nose again. Water blurred his vision and Dusty could feel the other propeller sucking the hat off his head behind him. Real or not, this had to end soon. Dusty kicked Gaston in the nuts.

The hunter's eyes rolled up in his head and he doubled over, baring his teeth. He squeaked "You dirty little..."

Dusty socked him in the jaw. Again. Again. Again. Blood! Again! Go for the eyes! Go for the eyes!

Gaston freed up one hand from its nursing position at his crotch and reached for Dusty. The adventurer dodged the clumsy grab easily and pounded Gaston's nose. Left! Right! Left! Right! Left, left! Right, right! He did that rolling punch thing that Robin Williams did in Popeye the Movie and ended it all with a haymaker uppercut right to Gaston's jaw.

The crowd cheered as Gaston rose into the air, but, instead of toppling over, he lingered at his full height. Now way up out of Dusty's reach, Gaston shook his head and attempted to focus down on Dusty.

A hush fell over the crowd. Some little boy yelled in triumph. What was his problem?

Dusty swiftly kicked Gaston in the nuts again. When he doubled over, Dusty hauled WAY back and tried to knock some of Gaston's teeth out. No teeth came out, but Gaston did stumble backwards- right into the propeller. Dusty barely got his back turned before blood sprayed everywhere and shrieks of horror erupted from the audience.

*****

It couldn't be! First, his hero, Mickey, and now his favorite villain, Gaston? Who was this Indiana Jones and why was he killing all of this child's favorite Disney characters? What hell was this? What punishment? Worse even than eating vegetables!

His mommy grabbed him up and stampeded out of the amphitheater with the rest of the families. The kid watched as the fedora-man kicked in the canopy of the plane, freeing the dark skinned man and they both ran off the set as the plane exploded in a huge ball of fire.

Too bad those bad men had missed that, he thought.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
mystra
May. 27th, 2003 09:05 pm (UTC)
roflmao
I'm worshiping you.
I'll be building your shrine next to Hellbelle.


It'll be full of neon lights that street will..
dustyfedora
May. 28th, 2003 09:28 am (UTC)
Re: roflmao
Sweet! A goddess building a shrine to ME!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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