Chapter 16: Smooth Criminal
“There’s my ship! Take the captain’s exo suit. We’re going to crash this party like total studs.” The admiral quickly strapped into his exo suit, tightening various buckles and latches while a medley of LED lights blinked, relaying some random information which probably wasn’t important.
“What is this? It’s like my armor, except not really!” Lord Hawthorneberry had no bloody idea what he was doing.
“I’m going to switch the auto-formation flight system to sync with my unit because I don’t have time to teach you the aerial combat maneuvers. Once we’re back on the ship, I’ll deactivate the link and you’ll have full control again!” Admiral Nelson helped the vampire buckle up and ignite the sonic pulse jets.
“No! Yes! Maybe! I don’t know!” The vampire stammered nervously.
“OH CHRIST ALMIGHTY! I CAN SMELL MY EYEBALL BURNING!” John had avoided Captain Morgan’s beautifully crafted slice, but had unfortunately caught the return of his laser hook directly in his right eyeball.
“Hold still! Hold still!” Morgan gently swatted away his flailing arms as she searched for an “off” button.
“OW! YOU’RE MAKING IT WORSE!”
“I haven’t even touched it! Calm yourself, big guy!” She paused to smile at the poorly-timed innuendo she had just made.
“PULL IT OUT!”
“Stop it, man! I can’t do emergency field surgery with you making me laugh like that!”
“REALLY? THERE’S A LASER HOOK IN MY EYEBALL! IS THAT FUNNY TO YOU?”
“Yeah, kind of. I mean, it’s almost ironic that--” Ryssa snatched the steel handle on the hook and yanked enthusiastically.
The two bros landed side-by-side like they were sync--nevermind they literally were synchronized. Hold on, I’ll figure out a good metaphor for this. The two bros landed side-by-side, perfect ripples in a pond of--nope... I’ll try again. The two bros...something about a giraffe and an anaconda...with their spots? WAIT! I got it. Okay, here it goes. I’ll just start over in a new paragraph. Pretend this paragraph doesn’t exist. Stop reading this and skip to the next paragraph. Seriously! Next paragraph! This current paragraph is completely devoid of any helpful or necessary information for the progression of the story--unlike most of the paragraphs in this book (or at least some of them in the earlier chapters). Why didn’t I just delete this blatantly wasteful paragraph, you ask? Why are you still reading this paragraph? I even emphasized the start of the next paragraph in case you don’t know what exactly a paragraph is (I sure don’t) by double-spacing in between this paragraph and the next paragraph! Why am I trying to see how many times I can say “paragraph” in this paragraph before paragraph, paragraph, paragraph? I am paragraphically paragraphing paragraphs in a paragraphic paragraph. Why am I paragraphically paragraphing paragraphs in a paragraphic paragraph? F### you, that’s why.
The two bros landed side-by-side, perfect mirrors reflecting each other in an endless cycle. Their impact cracked the composite surface of the upper deck and produced a shockwave that pushed several sailors overboard into the waiting jaws of the many bloodthirsty blue whales waiting beneath the surface. They had been drawn to the bay by the ethereal screams of souls being stripped from their respective mortal bodies in a blaze of gory. No, that’s not a typo. There was gore galore as warriors were shredded, incinerated, decapitated, strangled, cuddled, devoured, ####### (you don’t want to know), impaled, smashed, mind-smashed, obliterated, vaporized, pew-pew-pewed, stabbed repeatedly, and poisoned slowly--statistic probability dictated, on average, three to five at the same time occurred per casualty (the most common cause of death was #######). In unison they rose, drawing their explosive, laser-shuriken-projecting, ultra railguns (ELSPUR).
“I love how these exo suits are designed to let our capes flow in the breeze!” remarked the delighted vampire as he watched the enemy seamen line up and prepare for battle.
“Thank you! It nearly tripled the R&D cost, but, in the end, it would be silly not to have cape-accessibility features,” responded the admiral gleefully. “Prepare to die, you ugly swine! I’m taking my ship back!” He grinned as his ELSPUR beeped three times, warbled, and whistled twice, indicating that it had finished converting sunlight to plasmic crystaline big science words heliomechanical detonation accelerant and then 3D-printing 47 sets of explosive edges, the maximum capacity of the weapon’s integrated magazine. It was a familiar sound and it was quite welcome to his ears. Then, he heard a sound he did not know. He could have sworn that one of the massive, homicidal blue whales was extremely pleased with the feast and was now singing an incredibly high-pitched opera song of gratitude, but through some mystical device that translated vocal patterns expressing happiness into vocal patterns expressing the most gut-wrenching, unfathomable pain.
“How was I supposed to know it was barbed? It’s not like you’ll ever get to use this eye again anyways! I’m sorry!” The captain tried to comfort the man as she struggled to figure out what to do with John’s eyeball which was now hanging by a damaged optic nerve and still thoroughly skewered by the hook.
“PUT IT BACK IN ME! PLEASE! OH GOD! PUT IT BACK IN ME!”
“Ha--” she hastily covered her mouth and then cringed when she saw that the man’s blood was all over her hand. “I’m sorry, that one was just bad.” She tenderly wiped the blood off her face with her sleeve. “I’ll put it back in you, but only after you tell me where the pope is!”
“Okay, fine! He’s under us! Now put it back in!”
“Yes!” The wounded man began to laugh wickedly. “He’s coming to destroy you all!”
“What? You’re totes tripping out from the trauma. Pull yourself together!”
“No! Look over the railing into the water!”
Captain Morgan lost her patience and brought the hook through the man’s neck, the eyeball now burrowing into his jugular trailed by the stretched bloody tissue still attached to the inside of his head. She twisted her hips, launched the fisherman overboard, and waited for the sound of the hungry blue whales devouring the tasty morsel, but it never came. She hesitated and tentatively approached the side of the ship, confused and alarmed.
“Turns out, this isn’t your ship! This is the Flying Wombat, one of the enemy ships!” The vampire coughed as he climbed out of the flaming cabin through the smashed opening where the window probably was at one point.
“Oh thank the seventeen blood spirits of Vkjhasdargl! We straight-up wrecked this thing. They totally ripped off our design though. This is pretty much the exact same ship except crappier material and less awesomeness.” Admiral Nelson switched his ELSPUR to its self-maintenance/cooldown mode and surveyed the extensive damage to the body of the enemy vessel. “The only thing they have that we don’t is the sonic napalm rifles, but i’m pretty sure they just re-purposed the rainbow napalm missiles.”
“I’m honestly surprised that we’re still above water. We are literally standing on a floating pile of debris.”
“Wow. They must have used really cheap material! Alright, let’s blast off and hit the next ship!” The admiral re-synchronized the exo suits and the two launched into the sky.
“Is it just me, or is the bay a lot more shallow and white at the bottom than usual?” The vampire questioned his sobriety as he hurtled through the air, trying to light a smoke.
“Is it just me, or is it moving closer to the surface?”
The waters stirred and the ships near the center of the large white mass began to separate and drift away from each other as the object began to break the surface. It was nearly 300 yards long and distinctly whale-shaped. Everything about it gave reason to believe it was, indeed, a whale, but yet it was obviously not a whale. It didn’t give off a whale vibe. It gave off a vibe closer to that of a turkey or a porcupine. The giant impostor whale suddenly thrashed, destroying several nearby ships without even a hint of effort and launching the remains across the ocean.
Captain Morgan clung to the railing as chunks of the surrounding enemy ships rained from the sky, melting and exploding as safety systems reached catastrophic levels of failure. She tightened her grip as the tidal wave threatened to flip the Lazy Orca onto her belly. An enemy sailor hit the deck near her feet and splattered into a sludge puddle of goo. Another hit the deck rolling and slid to a stop near the main mast. He smiled for a brief moment, thrilled to have been saved by such a delightfully unexpected miracle. The moment was indubitably quite brief as some sort of mangled laser weapon followed the exact same trajectory and landing as the sailor.
The giant fake whale spit out a car-sized metal capsule which zipped through the air and embedded into the spot where the laser weapon and the now-super-dead sailor had come to rest. The doors on the capsule swung out like scissor doors on a fancy car that I won’t be able afford until I’m either 90 or a movie star. Steam rolled out and a ramp lowered down to the deck. After a brief moment of silence, a tall, dark, menacing figure descended down the ramp, the furious winds tugging at his abyss-black cape. There was a crackling hiss and a red glow as the edge of an ornate rapier lit up.
“Ha! Pope Vader!” Morgan laughed as she drew her sword and activate the laser edge.
“Yes! I am the Holy Father!” he said in a voice which sounded like Mufasa if Mufasa was an evil cyborg.
“I can’t even... okay, let’s just fight... this is too funny.”
“No. THIS is funny!” The pope pointed at the giant fake whale.
It opened its jaws wide and let the water of the bay pour in, dragging the Lazy Orca inside. Morgan turned and spun her sword, charging at the robopope. A shadow crept across the ship and the watercraft disappeared inside the giant artificial sea creature. The pope easily deflected her first strike and returned a series of counters. The darkness grew stronger as the whale began to close its mouth, blocking out the sun. Soon, the only light came from the two glowing red blades dancing with each other in the solid, murky blackness.
Lord Hawthorneberry and Admiral Nelson hovered above the giant Moby Dick-looking object plotting their next move. Nelson was grinning proudly as he turned and spoke to his comrade. “See! My ship was the only one that didn’t get totally wrecked by that giant whale thing. High quality engineering and design right there!”
“It did just get swallowed whole though...”
“That is a slight problem.”
“I’m pretty sure I saw your girlfriend fighting some robot dude on it.”
“She’s not my girlfriend... and wow, you have great eyesight! Is that a vampire thing?”
“I wish I had eyesight as good as yours. I’m ridiculously colorblind! Reds, purples, and blues all look the same to me." He paused for a quick moment. "Oh! Also, I totally only have one working eye.”
“Oh! That sucks, bro. I just saw her with the enhanced optic option thing in my exo’s heads-up display.”
“Yeah! It’s that second little button behind the earpiece.”
“Oh sweet!” The admiral zoomed in and out, toying with the tech. “I didn’t even know we had this! I wonder what this button does...”
“Wait! Which button! Is it--OH HELL YEAH! X-RAY!”
“What? No way! Which button was that?”
“That’s the thermal button.”
“No it does x-ray for me!”
“Morgan gave herself x-ray?”
“She was staring at me once and I joked about her using x-ray vision to check out my hot bod and she said she hadn’t figured out x-ray tech yet! That pervy little liar!”
“You two are so gay for each other. Let’s go save your princess!” The vampire disconnected the flight system sync and dive-bombed towards the giant white whale.
“I--No! Stop! How did you learn so f--dammit!” The admiral dove and followed the vampire down to the whale. “Do you even have a plan?”
The two landed in rapid succession and that’s when it happened. What happened, you might ask? Nothing. Nothing happened. Neither had anything remotely close to a plan. The vampire sighed and sat down. Nelson stood idly by for a few moments before conforming and plopping down next to his friend. For nearly fifteen minutes, they sat in total stillness, only imagining what was happening in the belly of the beast while they waited for the outcome. Then, something happened. An oddly displaced voice like a ghost or a honeybee with an itty-bitty megaphone came over the sound of the waves, seagulls, and whatever else makes noise in a bay full of trashed ships, artificial whales, regular whales (although, technically, they were mutant blue whales with full sets of teeth as opposed to baleen mouths) and dead bodies.
“WE’RE GOING TO KICK YOUR PALE WHITE ASS! WE’RE GOING TO TEACH YOU WHY IT’S A BAD IDEA TO STEAL OUR FOOD LIKE SOME SORT OF SMOOTH CRIMINAL WITHOUT A COOL HAT AND SEXY DANCE MOVES!”
Another voice joined the first.
“THAT’S RIGHT, POSER! GET READY TO DIE SLOWLY AND PAINFULLY! WE’RE GOING TO EAT YOU, PUKE YOU UP, AND THEN EAT YOU AGAIN! TWICE!”
The silence returned.
Haha. Nope! Still silent.