His name is Horst Bock-Pilsner Malevo and he’s the maddest scientist alive. Right now he’s at a picnic with some of history’s greatest villains, Hitler, Nero, Aaron Levitz and the recently arrived three armed Ultimate Woman, Mary Lu Retina.
“Welcome Mary Lu, I was hoping Paragon would be foolish enough to send you here. We have much to discuss,” said Malevo. He rose to greet the Ultimate Woman, mainly to avoid the finger sandwiches Hitler was attempting to throw at Aaron Levitz.
“Hitler throws like a girl,” commented Mary Lu. “Anyway, what on earth would I want to discuss with a worm like you, Malevo?”
“If you think Hitler cannot throw, you should see Stalin. For a man who claims to have invented baseball, even I can throw better than him and you have got my good arm. First, though, I do not think we are on Earth anymore. Second, I invented the Jas Rswert, the device Paragon used to send you here and lastly I am not a worm,” raged the demented doctor.
“This is your good arm?” sneered Mary Lu, while using her natural limbs to hold up her limp third arm, which was still clad in Malevo’s labcoat. “It’s practically useless, a wet noodle. What’s this Jas Rswert I keep hearing about anyway? And you’re right, it’s insulting to worms to call you one.”
“Of course my arm is useless. You did not attach it correctly. Of course you would need the Jas Rswert to do that. It is a device I invented for the Collective to replace my Ultimate Marble. Fortunately, the Collective and I parted ways before I turned it over to them. Unfortunately Paragon managed to steal it from me. The self-righteous nincompoop does not know its power, but apparently he is beginning to master its intricacies if he warped you here with it. With the Ultimate Marble you can still defeat him, but you’ll need my help to counter the Jas Rswert. In the spirit of cooperation, I will have the grace to ignore that worm comment.”
At this point the conspirators were interrupted by a shrill scream from the former Roman Emperor, as nearby Hitler and Aaron Levitz were attempting to clean the egg salad out of Levitz’ eye.
“Why is that fat guy trying to eat Nero? He could at least have waited until he was dead,” wondered the Ultimate Woman. “You created the Ultimate Marble?” she asked, holding up the object in question, “Why didn’t you call it the Ultimate Super-Ball?”
Malevo glanced around in disgust at what this pleasant picnic had deteriorated into. “That is Idi Amin. I gather his fishing trip was unsuccessful. We are all dead here until we manage to leave this realm, Nero just cannot stand the sight of his own blood. And I had reasons for calling it the Ultimate Marble, namely it annoyed the Collective no end. Now are we in this together?”
“But you’re evil.”
“No, the Collective just wanted you to believe that, but all I did was work at cross purposes with them, much like you.”
“Well okay, I’ll let you help me kill Dirk, and then I’ll kill you.”
“You are so generous. Oh, can I have my arm back?”
“You ask a lot,” muttered Mary Lu as she popped Malevo’s slightly fetid arm out from between her ribs. Suddenly her eyes lit up like a little kid espying an unwatched cookie jar. “I’ve always wanted to do this. What better way for a girl to spend her Friday night.”
Thwack! Smack! Thump! Crack! Splut!
“Ewwwwwwwwwwww,” cringed the Ultimate Woman
“hhhrrrrrrrrrrgh,” gasped Malevo.
Whack! Crump! Bap! Thwang! Ploop!
On a distant asteroid two menacing figures and one complete goobus were locked in heated negotiations. “Then we’re agreed,” whispered the smaller of the menacing silhouettes. “Next Tuesday, we strike in Brussels.”
“In space, no one can hear you whisper,” commented the goobus.
“Shut up!!!” screamed the first. “In space no one can hear me rip your head off and use it as an intergalactic basketball.”
Meanwhile the larger of the menacing figures had been paging through a tablet sized organizer with metallic fingertips the size of large kitchen appliances. “No good. Spurgo is conquesting Biekman’s World Tuesday. Perhaps such an insignificant species as the humans can wait until following Tuesday.”
“No!” wailed the first, “We must strike now while the minions of the Collective are still in disarray.”
The goobus spoke again. “Now kids, there’s no rush. The chances of Paragon, Mary Lu, and Malevo playing well together are nil. So let’s take our time and make sure we do it right.”
“Pen-Ultimate man or not, you’re worthless to this operation, Reeves. Don’t forget it,” snapped the other man while jamming his finger in Reeves’ face.
“Spurgo agrees with both.”
“What!” both men chimed as they turned to look up at Spurgo’s shin.
His name is Horst Bock-Pilsner Malevo and he’s the only mad scientist ever beaten to within an inch of his life with his own arm. As he came to the first thing he noticed was Mary Lu ripping the nails off the fingers of his severed arm. The second thing he noticed was that she had already removed them from his remaining arm. “Why did you do that? And where are we?” he inquired testily.
“I broke one of my nails carrying you here. We’re at the King Albert Hotel in Belgium.”
“Why are we here?”
“I used your credit card,” she replied, tossing him his arm back after enclosing his fingernails in the fist.
“No, no, no, why are we in Belgium? Wait, you charged this on my Visa?”
“I tracked Paragon and the Ultimate Twerps here. No, I put the honeymoon suite on your American Express. I maxxed your Visa out on our stopover in Paris.” With that she stood up to model the low necklined body dress that even one as aesthetically blind as Malevo had to admit went well with her platinum blond hair. “Since I’m going to kill you, you won’t need them anyway.”
“How-how long was I out?” stammered Malevo.
“Only about two hours,” the Ultimate Woman ruefully replied.
“Then why does the calendar say it is Tuesday?” came the smug retort.
“The Belchies are weird. They drive on the wrong side of the road. One of them hit me as I was carrying you across the street. I wadded up his car into a ball and rolled him into the river. Besides, I’m always in Belgium on Tuesdays. Sheesh, whatta rube.”
“They are not Belchies, they are Flemish.”
“Belch, Flem, it’s all something disgusting that comes from your throat. Speaking of disgusting, take a shower and wash that arm. I’ll not have you making me look bad while I kill Paragon. Oh and Aaron Levitz is locked in the closet. He wants to ask whether your egg salad contains any contact poison. Apparently he still has some in his eye.”
As Malevo grabbed a cashmere towel and headed towards the bathroom he thought aloud, “Egg salad? No, the only potentially harmful ingredient I can think of is toluene, but it just sits in your liver forever. No one really knows what it does.”
“Wow Dad, now I see why we had to come to Belgium for you to answer our questions.”
“That’s right, Tito, and this place is only open on Tuesdays.” Dirk had just taken his Ultimate Offspring to the Collective’s Ultimate Library and through the use of the Ultimate View-Master they had browsed the prophecies concerning the Ultimate Menace and snickered at the records of the Collectives original choice for life as Paragon, the Ultimate Man. As for their mother…
“Well if Mary Lu really is your mother like she claimed, she’s rotting in the realm of the damned right now.”
“You mean you don’t know for sure?” groaned Tina.
“Part of being the Ultimate Lover included being the Ultimate Cad. I was gone before she woke up the next morning. No note either.”
“But if she’s really our mother, why does she keep trying to kill us?” pined Tito.
“She probably heard one too many blonde jokes and flipped her lid.” suggested Dirk.
Tina whacked her father upside the head.
“Can we visit Amsterdam next? I hear they have the ultimate red light district,” pleaded Tito.
Tina, of course, whacked him upside the head.
“Tina, don’t whack your brother. You’ll give him brain damage… if you haven’t already.” Tito lay on the ground twitching as if on a bad acid trip. Dirk threw the Ultimate Kid’s body over his shoulder and continued walking and thinking out loud. “I’ve got to figure out how to use the Jas Rswert if I’m going to continue as Paragon. Especially if Mary Lu ever finds her way out of perdition. I know I can fly just by carrying it, but what else can it do?”
At this moment a body plunged from the sky and plowed into the pavement directly in front of Dirk.
A short time ago:
His name is Horst Bock-Pilsner Malevo and right now he wishes he wasn’t alive. Trying to put clothes on with only one arm, he discovered, was no easy task. The difficulty was compounded by the horse laughs let out by the Ultimate Woman each time he fell on his face. Eventually he gave up trying to tie his shoes.
“So you said it is only Tuesday in Belgium?” Malevo asked to draw attention away from his Underoos.
“No stupid, I said it’s always Tuesday in Belgium.”
“But you said you are in Belgium every Tuesday.”
“No, because it always is Tuesday in Belgium, whenever I’m in Belgium, it must be Tuesday,” came the condescending reply.
“I give up. How did you escape that picnic anyway?”
“You know that boatman guy?”
“Yeah that’s him. Anyway I clubbed him senseless with your arm and swiped his boat.”
“I wish you would stop doing that,” Malevo said, eyeing his detached arm a little warily. “Where did we make landfall at?”
“Hoboken, New Jersey.”
“I always suspected as much. Say, where’s Aaron Levitz?”
“Oh Blobbo? I lifted his credit cards and kicked him out. He was just happy for another shot at life without Ferdinand Marcos pushing him around all the time. Are you dressed yet? Good! It’s time to go kill the Ultimate Man.” With those words Mary Lu threw open the 17th century stained glass windows, shattering them against the sides of the hotel. She then stepped up onto the window sill and launched herself towards the heavens.
Malevo paused for a moment to whimper as he watched his credit rating plunge with the colored glass into the courtyard. He then muttered, “You are mine now, I do not care whose daughter you are,” and sprinted off down the stairs pumping his lone arm furiously.
As he left the hotel, Malevo could just make out Mary Lu circling the Belgian sky like a vulture in the Mojave. Realizing it would take her some time to find even someone who disregarded the art of concealment as much as Dirk Darringer did, Malevo set off to gather what he needed. Mingling with a crowd of tourists he spied his quarry in the hands of a ten year old boy. Without a second thought he grabbed it and ran.
“Ay Caramba,” cried the boy, “Hey Homer, that one armed man stole my homework.”
“Quiet boy, I’m not stupid enough to fall for that one again. Now try and behave yourself when we get to the brewery. Mmmmmmmmm beeeeer.”
“Suit yourself, man.”
With some difficulty, actually a lot of difficulty, Malevo managed to mold the crayon marred sheets into a workable projectile. He then paused to take one of the fingernails out of the fist of his disembodied arm and attach it to the nose of his paper weapon with chewing gum scraped from the underside of a table at an outdoor cafe. He followed Mary Lu about the city until she swooped down for a closer view and then launched his creation. As he was using his right arm, lift off was a little shaky, but then the contraption caught a breeze and began its unsteady rise towards its target. As the Ultimate Woman reached the nadir of her dive and began to pull up, Malevo’s fingernail struck her between the 2nd and 3rd thoracic vertebrae. She plunged like a rock, striking the pavement, face first, about 100 meters from the gloating scientist. She then rebounded about 20 meters into the air.
“I had no idea she would bounce that high,” Malevo thought. “She must have landed on the Ultimate Marble.” As if to test the terrifying technologist’s hypothesis, Mary Lu landed on her back and came to a rest. It was then that Malevo noticed Paragon and the Ultimate Twerps just beyond Mary Lu. “Oh this is too rich, just too rich,” he chortled before striding down the street to greet his next victims.
“Is she dead, Doc?” queried a slightly nauseated Paragon a short time later as Malevo examined the inert body of the Ultimate Woman.
“No, just unconscious,” replied Malevo, who took the opportunity to palm the Ultimate Marble from Mary Lu’s amulet. “Maybe you should tie her up since I have only one arm.”
Paragon proceeded to bind Mary Lu’s wrists and ankles with the Ultimate Fishing Line. “I see that you got the other one back from Mary Lu. Why don’t you give it a decent burial?”
“You do not want to know what I had to go through to get it back. As to disposing of it… I know you’ll never give me the Jas Rswert back, but could you use it to reattach my arm?” Malevo knew he was on the verge of begging.
“Are you sure that’s wise?” asked Tina, taking a break from spoon feeding her twin. Malevo glowered at her.
“Well, Tina, he did stop Mary Lu’s rampage, so yeah Doc, if you’ll walk me through it. Can you believe we just met some guy wandering the street with egg salad in his eye, whose credit cards she had swiped and he was happy about it?!?!”
“Well he’s definitely better off than he was before. Start with this chant: ‘Tobola tobola, rokk s’in wyne’.”
“Tobola tobola, rokk s’in wyne.”
“Tropelet saj trewsr.”
“Tropelet saj trewsr.”
“Good, good, now do a handstand and a backflip. Now wink your left eye.”
Paragon finished the instructions, with a pause to make sure he winked the correct eye and watched as a pillar of smoke swallowed Malevo. Before the smoke even began to clear Malevo’s annoying cackle emanated from within. Dirk then noticed he was holding fingernails instead of the Jas Rswert. Malevo stepped out of the smoke and opened the slightly green hand of his newly reattached arm, displaying the little device he had so long sought. “Well Paragon this is endgame for you and the Ultimate Brats! Tuesday, Belgium. Tomorrow the world!”
His name is Horst Bock-Pilsner Malevo and he’s the maddest scientist alive. Now he possesses the means to conquestor the world.
Marc, I wish I could say I’m sorry about the mess I’m leaving you… but I’m not.
That said have fun with it and if you want ignore the backup story go ahead I just had too many good titles.
Next issue: Chapter 9: A Farewell to Arms (and a few legs) by Marc “The Jazz” Singer
Yes, that sound you hear is Papa Hemingway doing 6000 rpm. Plus Tito, the Ultimate Kid battles his new speech impediment in the backup feature “Dain Bramage”.
Semi-Obligatory Author’s Ramblings: Lessee, it’s been a little over 24 hours and what do I have, the return of Spurgo, the emergence of Malevo, the fall of Mary Lu, and the rescue of fellow author Aaron Levitz from eternal damnation (minus his credit cards). And not only that but the answers to the questions posed in Augie’s chapter are contained herein, but its up to you to find them. Actually I have to admit I plotted much of this during the week-and-a-half gap created by Augie’s nefarious newsreader.
I would like to thank all the previous authors for providing me with all this wonderful ammunition, especially Augie and Scott Cederlund for the perfect setup. Whether I misfired or not is left to your discretion.
Now Marc is stuck with not one but two goofy titles to deal with. I just had too many to pick only one. Hopefully he will find he has as much freedom as I did.
Still wondering where all this came from…