Robert Wayne Stiles/"Original Story"
What Robert Wayne Stiles created next can only be described as an abortion of literature. In fact, Robert is so convinced that this 40 paged "original concept" would become the next Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey, he started planning on buying a BDSM leather house with a pagoda. Robb's story can be described best as an X-men ripoff with retarded, gay characters with superpowers and a Juno character.
A grey haired women is walking in an army reserve outside the city limits of Saltline, a ginger haired man in a medical gown tails after him. “What a dank, depressing place” she mutters, “this better not be where my taxes are going.” The man replies, “This is Saltine’s Public Safety facility, it’s mostly for veterans who have returned from the war. It’s not exactly vibrant but the quarters for living are decent.” “I’m not into flashy either” says the women “but this place smells like daisies and bad cologne.” The orange haired man blushes, “My apologies, that’s just the free sampling I got from a Swedish company. The type of flower it’s supposed to smell like is lilacs” he says wistfully. The women clench her jaw in disgust and glares at him, he than says nervously, “well this is the place he’s staying at. Joseph Giggs, one of the thousands on the disabilities list. Now I’ll have you know that personal injury fraud is very high these days among men who don’t want to fight with nuclear weapons and I don’t blame him.” As the man in the medical gown talks, a clanging sound in the background grows louder over his words until he stops and turns around.
A man with a large metal leg, much larger than his organic one is standing in front of them. The man has a shaved head with a piece of metal lodged into the side of his scalp. His face is stoic but unthreatening. “Mr. Giggs, I presume.” The women inquires, the man extends a hand and shakes both the women’s hand and the male nurses. “We have been waiting for you, come now.” She says to him. The man nods, and walks forward, the clanging sound starts up again as he limps forward. The nurse asks the women quietly, “Can he talk?” The women replies with an equal quietness “I’m afraid not, they cut out his tongue.”
The women’s Rolls Royce 2084 fitted with repulsor-lifts designed for keeping the vehicle above the ground, arrives at an iron gate. The driver( who is the male nurse) hits a button on top of the cars roof and an identification scanner rises beside the car. The scanner is molded exactly in the shape of the women’s hand and she reaches out and it fits in perfectly. “Mr. Giggs, this is only 1 of the two points of access to SPED, she explains to him. You are to be given a designation password in addition to a card key, without those you will have no means to exit the academy. “The gates to the academy open, “We are housing the future generation in this learning facility” she says proudly. The building is designed in a Victorian (possibly steampunk) style that looks ancient compared to the iron gates that protect it. The SPED academy has three stories and an observation deck as a fourth.
The three enter into a wide open foyer with a grand staircase descending in the center up to two doors. There are two hallways to the left and to the right of the staircase and the usual large chandelier hanging in above the entrance. The three silently proceed up the stairs, lead by the women, into the left door, down another large hallway and into another door at the end of the hallway. The three enter the into the women’s office. “Have a seat, Mr. Giggs. Percy,” she says to the male nurse “You are excused, oh and….” The nurse turns around nervously “do find better lotion.” “Will do ma’am.”
As soon as the door closes the women’s demeanor lightens up greatly “You look tense, Mr. Giggs, relax. Everyone thinks a headmaster must be an iron shrew to tame the chaos. I like to take advantage of that.” Giggs slouches a bit more in his chair to show that he’s relaxing. “Let’s not get too comfortable now” she retorts, “We had the choice of over 2,500 in the federal army reserve. I saw your record figured someone of your expertise would certainly manage the best and I couldn’t refuse.” Giggs looks at her, not believing what he is hearing. “The ones who survive without the essentials are always the best.” She removes her white gloves to reveal a metallic hand and unbuttons her shirt, Giggs winces when he sees this. “She brandishes an artificial metal, bullet proof box wearing an undershirt. “I too had a promising career; a drill sergeant that was cut short, if it wasn’t for this trophy of mine I’d still be there, training the best…”
She pauses “Dramatic silence” she says “Fortunately, Karma is not always so bitter, perseverance has its own rewards. The mutant outbreak of 2080, opened up SPED, Special Powers Education and Displinary academies for those with unique disabilities. Like you and me Giggs, these children can hardly have normal lives.” Giggs stares intensely “You and me know exactly how they feel and just as they gave me this job of maternity, I will give you the same chance in this school.” Giggs nods again, “Unlike you, however, whose metal leg is much too long and whose fingers are crude metal appendages , I got the deluxe treatment.” She grabs an Egg McMuffin from her lower core “Fresh from the lower abs Microwave. Want part of it?” Giggs shakes his head slightly nauseated. She than asks Giggs to turn the switch on her back rear for wireless internet capabilities. Giggs, still nauseated shakes his head no and she replies with a “Suit yourself” and then lights a cigarette with her finger.
“You’ll be a janitor by day…and night, but you’ll have much more experience than any of these young punks I’ve hired. It’s exactly the kind of help I need.” They hear a loud shriek coming from outside the office. The two rush outside to find a young orderly man on the floor in hysterics. Two of his fingers are seemingly burnt off. Giggs rushes to a medical kit and starts to attend the man. The headmaster screams not to worry about him and to go suppress the Fluoroantimonic acid mutate. The orderly carries on about why robots can’t be doing his job. Giggs mows down the hallway, dodging orderlies and teachers, his metal leg clanking loudly and catches up to a hooded figure, wearing a bandana over her mouth.
The character speaks in a very deep voice telling Giggs his insurance won’t cover this and that she is not paying his cybernetics bill. The hooded character pulls the bandana on her lips down and reveals two rows of teeth and a second mouth complete with a split in half tongue. The character’s second mouth projectile vomits and Giggs robotically catches it. The sulfur partially dissolves his hand as he catches it but he doesn't ’flinch, which catches the mutant by surprise and he proceeds to punch her in the head, causing her to whimper and collapse, revealing her round face and short brown hair. Giggs than updates his insurance to include fluoroantimonic acid attacks.
The headmistress and another orderly with a black goatee come up, the orderly applauding Giggs and offering to buy him a drink, “I always hated that little bitch” he says smirking. The headmaster threatens the orderly warning hjm that that kind of talk will get him fired and he WILL be fired if the mutate has a concussion. The headmaster tells Giggs “This is exactly the kind of help I need.” But she adds “Next time, try not to kill anyone or I’ll dock you a bit of his minimum wage. These children are my own just as the money is our own.”
The headmaster takes Giggs down to the living quarters he will be staying in. The room he’s staying in has a double bunk a single wooden dresser and a small table with a small coffee dispenser. There is a poster of two attractive lesbians in each other’s arms over the dresser, no doubt belonging to his roommate. The roommate in question is lounging on the top bunk. The headmaster shouts to the man “…Breaks over! You need to get this young man acquainted with the janitorial arts.” The man hops down and grabs his mop and starts twirling it like a bo-staff. The headmaster grabs it “I didn’t say martial. This is Joseph Giggs, he will be your roommate and your protégé for the time being. Instruct him as necessary and don’t be afraid to displace him.” Giggs looks at the headmaster like “What the fuck are you talking about.” “I trust you will both try your best. That is all.” The headmaster parades out.
The man is wearing a tank-top and has multiple piercings and tattoos. All his piercing are on the left side of his face, ear, chin, and eyebrow, all his tattoos are on the right side on his neck, shoulder and bicep. His light brown hair is fashionably messy and his face is thin. “Mrs. Mallard is such a battle axe today” his ADD suddenly changes his attention “Whoa holy shit dude your gorgeous.” The man comically assumes Gigg’s grave injuries are purely for fashion purposes. “How the hell are you a janitor, what modeling agency were you kicked out of anyway?” Giggs raises one eyebrow. “You are rockin’ that steampunk look and that piece of metal in your head, well that is gonna be a new piercing trend. Hey got any killer tats?” Giggs looks around for a second and then lifts up his shirt to reveal a tremendous stich traveling vertically up his body. “That is seriously gothic, man” Giggs than pulls out a package of crude replacement fingers to replace the ones that had previously melted off. The guy puts his hands over his mouth “Got any more awesome, chick magnet disfigurations?” Giggs sadly points to his head. “Man of few words, I like that! You’re edgy man, metal legs are so underground but you’re gonna lead a revolution.” Giggs looks around puzzled and fixes himself a cup of coffee. “Name’s Brody and I...”
Suddenly a buzzer goes off as Giggs tries to drink his coffee, he spills it a little and glares at the buzzer. “Oh that’s the FSE security bot, pesky little shitters. Whenever a member of the staff needs to report somewhere, the Fly Spy Eye sends a specific alarm to whoever they need. Sleep ain’t so good because of them and I see we got ourselves a food fight.” Brody pauses for a second, “I’m warning ya, Telekenesis and saucy Italian Wednesdays never mix.” He hands Giggs National Guard standard gear and he spins a mop and tosses it to Giggs as well as a protective metal shield. “Rack up.” Brody commands. He puts a black construction helmet on and turns a power cleaner. They head down to the cafeteria.
The two janitors enter the sliding iron door to the cafeteria in Saving Private Ryan style. Giggs and Brody run as food is being thrown in every which way in slow motion. Brody is barraged in the chest followed by a pie flying into his face, he screams, “WHEN DID WE START SERVING CREAM PIE ANYWAY?!”
A familiar figure scurries by Giggs behind him out of the iron door behind him and he decides to pursue. He blocks the figure from the corridor. She pulls down her hood to reveal the girl from last time with a welt on her head. She stares angrily at Giggs and Giggs narrows his eyes and the words “My nemesis” appear at the bottom of the screen. The girl cracks her neck and sneers at him “That old hag’s getting mighty cheap hiring a cripple to do her diry work. Well, guess what you conveniently fitting, minimum wage freak” she spits a hole in the wall to the right of her.” Giggs quickly runs to go clean it up, she snickers at him and throws out some incomprehensible, hipster insult “Haha you have as much zen as a headless yoga instructor!”
Giggs just stares dumbfounded, a “wat” look appears on his face and he blinks for a second. The girl laughs “Hah, that always distracts them!” and tries to run past him but Giggs snaps back to attention, “Except now you’re not distracted!” The girl mutters, realizing her mistake. Brody screams at Gibbs, “Rogue mutant?! Catch!” and he heaves the power washer at Giggs who deftly catches it with out stumbling. The girl charges at him again, launching acidic perspiration from her fingertips, the power washer hits the drops so hard they splatter all over the place. The washer also kicks up dust that the girl inhales, she starts to sneeze and Brody screams “She’s gonna napalm! Get down!” The girl sneezes firing a projectile glob of mucus as well as much smaller driblets that ignite when they enter the open air. With it being to late to duck, Guggs hoists up the power washer, revs it on high and redirects the blast into a painting of Mallard;s medieval ancestor, leaving a hole that completely dissolves the face. Mallard sticks her face through the wall and angrily yells for Janis, the girl and Giggs to get in her office.
Janis and Giggs both sit in chairs in the front of the administration office. Giggs sits dow-eyed with his legs crossed and holding the smoldering power mop, he is far too big for the chair. Mrs. Mallard crosses her hands and says “First matter of business, get rid of that burning thing Mr. Giggs, it stinks to high heavens.” Janis obnoxiously includes “Yeah, just like her incontinent husband.” Mrs. Mallard angerly shouts at Janis, “Yeah, if I had a husband!”
This is followed by awkward silence except for Giggs lumbering around attempting to get a bucket for the dissolving mop. Mallard and Janis glare at each other hatefully as Giggs loudly unwraps a peppermint that’s in a bowl on a file cabinet. Then he runs to go sit down. “Second matter of business, Miss Snod, the prestigious institution of SPED is meant to be a positive learning environment, I do not know how anyone can be positive with you and all your shenanigans. I know your parents, Janis, wonderful folks who had to scrape together every bit of money for you to go here and your brother is even helping you pay off your student loans.” She pauses to glare at Janis “A pause for contemplation…Have you checked your privilege for it is of upmost importance. Listen, I try to be everyone’s friend at this academy as well as their mentor. I understand what you’re going through, even if you don’t think I do. You and I may not be on the best terms at all but… Janis rudely interrupts “Hah, We don’t have any terms at all.”
Mallards expression quickly changes from that of forced compassion and concern to her true feelings about the matter. “I’m going to quit with this concerned mother bullcrap and talk to you the way you do.” “Now you’re talking.” Janis smirks. “You are a spoiled, overprivildged she-witch that is going to be thrown in 24/7 solitary confinement if you keep acting up. You’re already on discliplinary probation, cross me and you’ll get so much education shoved down your skinny little neck you’ll grow little angel wings and finally be atoned for all the people you’ve irritated, you ugly vermin.”
Janis angrily snorts a bit of chemical steam out her nose. “And please leave Mr. Giggs out of all your little tantrums, that’s certainly NOT what I pay him for. You may wait outside, Miss Snod.” Janis wordlessly gets up and leaves. Upon seeing the flushed anger in Janis’ face and her brown hair standing up like a cats. Mrs. Mallard takes a deep breath, “Whoo that felt good. I knew they never bought the “I’m-trying-to-help-them bullcrap”, I’m a drill sergeant for ever-loving sake. Mr. Giggs, I know you’ve gone through a lot of non-janitor work but would you please escort her back to room 7A?” Giggs affirms her, stands up and leaves.
—A phrase Robb hears everytime he tries to take someone to the cave
“Hey Jhan, have you become a Quarantined, yet?” Brody asks, carefully jumping out from behind a chrome ficus. “Hah, no strait jackets required for me just yet but this tin plated asshole put me damn close to it.” She replies with a casually smug tone. “You don’t need to mop up my piss and spoon feed me just yet, I’m fairly continent but he (points to Giggs) thinks he can just wail on me and turn me into the iron duck lady. How do you think I got this frickin bruise.” Brody just stands aghast trying to piece together the cryptic gibberish Janis is saying to him, “You are very lucky I speak both South Dakotanease and hipster, lady… Giggs is just doing his job, my job, we can’t get paid otherwise.” “Oh you think you can pound me for a quick dollar? Listen loud and clear, tin ears, you WON’T fuck with me again or I’ll turn you into a steel waffle maker.” Brody sighs, “Please calm down, Giggs; I must apologize this overly hormonal, acid spitting mutant head case is my sister. Don’t mind her, like all annoying bumble bees she’s got a remarkably short attention span.”
Janis suddenly cracks a smile. “And I guess that makes this well-adjusted, art school drop-out, metrosexual, slack jawed trash is my brother.” They look at each other and burst out laughing, “In this family we like to hurt each other’s feelings” Brody says. “Hey, it’s better than actual therapy” Janis adds “Even if that metrosexual comment was a bit low.” Brody mutters, “Listen if you go to your room and let me and Giggs get done with our work in the lunch room, I’ll take you out on this town. I know how much you hate it here.” Janis seems to lose all of her piranha-like bite, “You don’t mean that really” she asks, almost starry eyed. “Sure, be a good little lady and meet us at our room in the next hour. Janis quickly scurries off with a quick “See ya.” Giggs looks at Brody whose somewhat smug “Kids, sometimes you gotta let them have what they want” Brody quips twirling his mop. A cut to the two standing in mounds of tomato sauce on both the floor and the ceiling. There is a look of displeasure on Brody’s face. The words “LONG HAIRED JANITOR IS BI” are scrawled on the wall.
Precisely 48 minutes later, the two janitors stumble with sauce stained clothes back to their bunk. To their surprise stands not only Janis but two other adolescents. One is tall and thin, the other is more heavy set and stocky. Laurel and Hardy comparisons aside, one is a young boy with a sunny complex with hair of pure yellow, the other is a girl with sandy blond hair and a light tan, Valley girl standard. Both are clad in school uniforms that are standard from the school. Brody is not perplexed about this.
“Hope? Nick? You know I got nothing against you guys but don’t let Janis talk you into stuff that will get you expelled.” The wholesome boy smiles innocently, “Before you say anything else, please let these us kids live a little, Brody, Hope has spent this whole week preparing for that big assessment on Monday and she needs to relax!” Janis folds her arms and mutters “Yeah, plus the Iron Duck makes us mail at permission slips back home to Oregon before we’d be allowed to even step outside. Can’t wait for that bitch to put a restriction on walking.” Brody makes a constipated expression, imagining his job at stake, Janis sees this and playfully grabs him by the shoulder.
“But hey did you hear Joe Rito just opened a club joint called Freakshows. They don’t care if you’re from Mallard’s circus as long as you’re paying.” Brody sighs, “Alright. As long as the rounds are on Giggs!” Giggs looks shocked and points to himself, “Haha Giggs, I’m kidding. I need to welcome you to the fold, it’s all on me and heck, maybe we could stop at the Urbane Threads store and get you decked out too, Mr. Fashion Model.” Janis snidely interjects “Don’t push your luck, this guy is crazy…even by my standards.” She looks at him, “Don’t think I don’t see you standing over there, Standly Stan.”Nick stares at Giggs and friendly launches a hand at him, Giggs raises his own to shake it, “Hello sir, my name is Nick, it’s a real pleasure to meet a friend of Brody’s” He does a military Stonecutter salute that involves and Giggs follows accordingly, “Ah a military man, just like my father. I noticed your pin” He then turns to face Hope, “And this is Hope, owner of all that is cute and awesome.”And smart.” adds Hope with a small smile, Nick makes a grand posturing “and how could I forget! Oh! How I’d kill for her grades, granted it wasn’t her!” Hope giggles, “I’ve heard all sorts of horror stories from Janis about you, Mr. Giggs but you look like you’re pretty Ok for a child beating psycho cyborg.” Giggs lets out a sound that sounds like a sad laugh and shakes his head. Janis, “Why do you always make those sounds Giggles? Got something on your tongue?” Giggs just shrugs and starts fiddling with his fingers that aren’t screwed in properly.
Brody walks the group over to a wall in the corner of Hallway 4#, “Ooh, what’s this ‘Under normal circumstances this door is to be locked at all times, decreed by Old Man Mallard.” “Well Janis, the place you’re trying so hard to get sent down to like it’s the Kool Kid’s Klub.” Brody replies. The group walk through the dark, dimly lit hall in the basement.” “There’s an exit down here?” inquires Hope, “Yeah, the only one with ID scanners or FSE bots, I use it for take-out mostly. There are many doors to the left and right of the doors, each one has a Hand-Identification Scanner next to it and an electrified lock. Janis looks at one, and narrows her eyes and looks at her hand, the same numbers on the door are scratched on her hand. The hallway is like a funnel and ends in an exit hatch that leads the group outside the gates and above ground. The hatch leads them behind the school and the out at the back gate, the stormy weather outside and the thick clouds above cast a grey shadow over everything. “Ok what’s the address, Janis? I need my chocolate parfait before I remember I just helped break a bunch of dangerous mutants out of their boarding school.” “Cool it, pops, it’s just a block down from here and you can get all the sissy drinks you want.”
The bouncer of the club looks like a science-experiment gone wrong. With a lobster claw for one hand and an alligator claw for the other, he wears a sleeveless leather jacket to show them off. With the exception of this, he is a young man with a slicked back pompadour and a few stiches fix a large gouge in his mouth. “I’ll b-b-be Janis and her entourage” he says welcoming in a stuttering but street smart tone. He and Janis give each other a warm hug, “I ain’t see you in months, Kyle Chimera but you better than last time I saw you, plus your own pulling your weight.” Brody whispers to Giggs, “Ex-boyfriend, I think... Kid ran away after a month of SPED.” “I’m holding dis job down mighty nice, I says gotta find your calling! So you got our new flier? At Freakshows, we got a little discount, show your ti-ti-titalent and get in free.”
Janis, being the wry devil she is pulls out three balls, look, nuclear fallout has improved my coordination. She starts juggling, her eyes following the circular motion of the ball. Kyle lets out a belly laugh and hits it with his lobster claw. “You get points fo originality.” She catches the balls and puts them away while pulling a can out of her backpack labeled “Antifreeze: Diethylene Glycol. “Aw you know what I can do, Kyle hun, just didn’t want to wreck your floors.” Kyle still looks amused and lets out a laughing growl, “Fair enough.”
Nick is next and “Guess I’m next. Faint of heart, please look away.” Hope grins all of a sudden and smacks him on the ass. An embarrassing bulge appears in the front of his khakis. He then proceeds to pick up an ATM machine with a single hand. “Looks like something out of a bad comedy show but I’ll take it.” Nick laughs and puts the machine down. Kyle looks at the Hope. “You’re next little lady.” Hope hands him a ten dollar bill. “Here, she says.” Kyle looks at concerned like and he adds “Oh it can’t be worse than what I just saw.” Hope shoots back quickly ,”No thank you.” “Ok, alright, whose next. “ Brody steps forward, Janis quickly tosses him, her backpack “Ok, what you’re going to see is mindblowing telepathic teleportation, Kyle, come closer.” The hulking man steps forward. “Stare at me closely, right between the eyes. Look! This ten dollar bill was behind your eyes! Whoo! Telepathy!” Kyle snatches the $10 right out of his hand, “Thank you, you may proceed with the entering now. W-w-who’s last?” (INSERT GIGGS TALENT HERE_
There are large crowds on the dance floor, the humans and the mutants are virtually indistinguishable and resemble dark shadows outside of the dance floor lights. Hope’s eyes widen and she starts having interspacing flashbacks with her junior prom, also featured in a club with a dance floor and rave lights. Hope is in a silver gown with a banner wrapped around her ‘Junior Prom Queen’ it says. She is dancing with a tall junior in a white tuxedo and a veil of shadows. These flashbacks fade through with Hope’s vision of the dance floor where she envisions herself. Sweat is now dripping down her head. “I shouldn’t have come here” is her reply.
“How fey, Hope, you’ve always struck me as that crazy raver type once you’re unleashed.” Janis quips, “Yeah you can’t feel have as bad as me” Brody laughs painfully, eyeing the bar, Giggs gives her a thumbs up and Hugh lowers his head to gaze into her eyes, “So are you going to entrance me?” he softly croons to her, she flashes her eyes back up to him with a guilty express. She grabs his hands “Ok.” Nick all of a sudden sweeps her up and all of a sudden her expression changes from nervous to carefree and she starts to dance her problems away. “Forbidden passion,” Janis says “Ain’t that cute.” “Now about that mudslide, Joseph, can you please buy the first round?” He pushes Giggs over to the bar “The sooner I lose consciousness the better.” Janis smiles and heads out to join her friends on the dance floor.
Hope and Nick are both adept dancers and draw attention quickly. Hugh dances like a gentleman with subtle grace and avoiding any obscene postures which seems to have to have a magnetizing effect on Hope who follows right along. The revivalist dancing seems to bring a keen interest among three people in particular. Two young men and a women keenly watch the couple as they lay their stake on the dance floor. The first, most notably has large, eyepatch over his eyes, that shines darker than his skin. His name is embroided on it .”Trailblazer” “You know this new batch? I got a real good feeling about them,” Trailblazer says to his cohorts. “Notice the way you can practically see this lady glow, she’s ripe for the picken.” The second man, who is wearing a grey leisure suit with a gold necklace, replies slightly annoyed “I ain’t the one with four eyes buddy, I know heat signatures come standard to you but I can’t that shit.” “Heat’s my name so it’s pretty funny that I have to tell you to cool it, Lightning Rod. You see that girl betcha my paycheck she’s one of them”
Meanwhile, Giggs and Brody are standing at the bar. “The worst part of the night is not over yet, Joseph. I still have one more trial to suffer for that pure chocolate-y elixir. There is a certain emasculation that comes with ordering this, almighty taste sensation but believe me, it’s completely worth it.” Brody takes a deep breath and proceeds to the counter with his best ‘tough guy’ expression and speak in an unnaturally gruff voice. “Gimme two of your best bottles of Mudslide cocktail, shaken not stirred with lotsa milk….PLEASE.” The female bartender gives Brody a funny look and then makes a high bitched shriek of a laugh. “Do you boys want that with or without crazy straws?” Cut to Giggs and Brody walking with bibs and their drinks are embedded with swirly pink straws, whipped cream and colorful sprinkles. .. A skimpily dressed girl with a bottle of 50% proof vodka walks by and giggles “What a pussy.” Giggs smiles and Brody turns red. “Oh and don’t tell me you weren’t expecting lots of female attention.”
Both Hope and Nick continue to dance in an impassioned style that leaves them both oblivious to their surroundings, save from each other. Janis dances awkwardly too and is the first to notice Lightning Rod, the second man, swagger over to the couple. He smirks and loudly cuts in between the two “That’s a mighty nice dime piece kid, but I think an older, more knowledgeable man could treat her better.” Before Nick can even utter a word, Lightning Rod swivels at an inhuman speed and trips him. Nick falls face first. One of his miniature tazers on the palm short circuits and a short shock illuminates the room. Lightning Rod glares up at Hope while snickering “So what kind of freak show powers do you have to make my head spin cutie?” Wires shoot furiously out of his hands and seize her. Lightning Rod moves in close, bends over and plants a kiss her on the lips. Hope suddenly enters a neurotic state and starts gasping for air almost as if she’s suffocating in an airless vacuum chamber. Lightning Rod backs away all of a sudden, his wires still tied around Hope’s arms, his eyes bulge as all of a sudden, Hope’s arms start to swell, followed by her gut and her head. Expanding in the fashion of an airbag, her limbs shoot up filling up the whole dance floor and shooting people off in all directions.
Lightning Rod, getting the full blow of her inflation, flies into the two man, tall table Giggs and Brody are sitting at, knocking Brody’s bottle of beloved chocolate mudslide onto the floor. Brody cries out loud, “I can’t believe this, my only escape from my sins! Do you even know how much money you spent on this Giggs? Giggs eyes him and holds up the tab and hands it to him. “Oh you’re so cold man.” Lightning Rod attempts to stand up but slips on the mudslide and falls into a conveniently placed Janitor supply cart causing a wet floor sign to flip out and expand on the floor next to the spill. He stands up again grumbling and runs towards the now bloated-up-to-the-ceiling Hope. Giggs and Brody look at the insuring scene and Brody exclaims, “Wow, what is that a pro-wrestler or something?” Giggs hands him one of his contacts from off the floor, “Is that…Hope?! Never seen her do that before…”
Hope has deflated a little and looks less like an human pufferfish and more like the greatest female weightlifter in the world, with humungous arms and an enormous gut. Hope is crying hysterically as everyone clears the dance floor to observe this mammoth.. Nick stands up and then he sees Hope who looks fatter than him “Excuse my language, but hot damn.” The guy with the glasses runs in front of him and Nick grabs him throwing him into the ceiling. “We just hit the freak jackpot.” Lightning Rod says standing right by Nick before tazering him with the wires in his hand causing him to collapse. Janis notices Lightning Rod quickly charging at Hope and fires acidic perspiration out of her fingertips that hits the running pimp like fellow in the face. He clutches his face in agony and proceeds to fall over again; this time tripping over Hugh and begins shrieking and writhing on the floor.
The girl who was with TrailBlazer and Lightning Rod, with notably curly brunette hair that sticks up and eyes that are a pale shade of pink stares at Janis and suddenly she feels the air compress around her as the girl strides up to her silently. The girl looks at her and then breaks into a friendly smile, “Hi I’m Screw Loose, I couldn’t help but notice what excellent powers you have. What’s your name…?” “Stay away from me!” Janis screams in retort, “I can spew liquid death, it’ll rot your insides out.” The girl does even bat an eyelash and stares with the creepy smile fixated on her face, “That’s cool. I can just awaken the chaos that sleeps in your mind” The girl flicks her hand and a small screw lands in Janis’ forehead. Janis screams “What the hell did you do. Everything’s dark!” The girl smiles “Don’t worry be happy, it’s only temporary. 1..2..3. Goodnight!” She flicks her hand downward on an imaginary cognitive switch and Janis falls backwards.
Giggs and Brody see this and start running towards them. “Yo, stay away from her you filthy, degenerated, buck toothed, transvestite whore! Don’t you lay a hand on her or I’ll kill you where you stand!” Screw Loose looks at him, crouched over Janis “But I’m kneeling!” she yells back honestly. Brody raises a fist, and a gunshot is fired at the girl. Screwloose slows it down fast enough to catch it between her teeth and swallow it whole. “You made me miss my pilotees class for this?!” Ms. Mallard walks up furiously.
“You have a metal gut, I don’t see why that’s necessary.” Brody quickly asides. “Silence, Brody, there is no time for your special brand of malarkey.” TB yells “Oh, I guess it’s a comedy show now, Wrinkled Old Hag Live.” His two comrades walk up to join him in jeering at Mallard, LR is busy pressing ice cubes against the burns Janis left on his face but quickly drops them and quickly proceeds to drop his pants insanely quick in front of Mallard. “Boss sends his regards!” Mallard says nothing and silently fires another shot at him, he barely dodges it and almost loses his balance. “That Shriveled fart missed it’s sponge bath!”
Mallard pulls Giggs aside, “Hustle up, Mr. Giggs, at the count of 4 you’re going to get those children out of here.” Giggs gives the affirmative and quickly stands up. “Listen hear the three of you.” Mallard demands with conviction. “At the count of three, you’re going to put your hands behind your back and lie on the floor. This place is surrounded with Saltline’s finest waiting for any of you criminals to make a false move. Come quietly or don’t come at ALL.”
“Aw, old man’s going to give me a spanking and a time out!” LR sneers. “Ooh, I’d like that” TrailBlazer adds.” “1.” Both of the thugs laugh, “2” The thugs look at each other, “Hold on a second.” Live Wire asks Heat Seeker nervously. “What’s she going to do.” HS is quiet. “2 and two thirds” Trailblazer quietly is clutching a shot glass and sips it. “What did she say” bellows LR, pseudo stupidly “I don’t think I heard that old fart.” He looks at Screw Loose who is staring over at Janis on the floor, not even paying attention. “4” “What?!” screams LR. Giggs is now standing behind them.
“What the…” He scoops up the unconscious Nick on one shoulder, he then sees Screw Loose levitating Janis above the ground. He throws a punch at her but she simply unscrews three of his fingers and scatters them across the room and the other two thugs move in to protect her. Giggs quickly runs and picks up Hope. “Cripples is quick but can he beat the speed of light.” LR laughs at his little joke and shoots two snake-like wires out of the palms of his hands across the room to corner him. Giggs quickly observes the wires that block his path, grab a ceiling tile that has been shaken loose, springs up in the air and as a result, sends a large chunk of the ceiling crashing on the two wires.. “He definitely thought faster than the speed of sound- your mouth.” TB mutters. TB quickly rips out the wires of a rave light that has fallen causing sparks to fly out. TB then quickly manipulates the sparks causing them to home in on Mallard, Giggs and Brody. Giggs is running back with Hugh and Hope on his back and ducks down as the sparks fly over his head and land on Mallard and Brody’s clothes. The characters naturally have to swat at their incinerating clothes but aside from tearing their clothes , the attack is generally harmless. “Adios everyone and have a fine night” TB hollers loudly, he then slams down loudly on a spotlight that fell out of the ceiling (along with the ceiling) and it starts to catch a blaze and smoulder. TB spreads his arms and suddenly a veil of smoke envelopes everyone and everything. People are running everywhere to escape the flames and Mallard, Brody and Giggs (with the two unconscious kids in tow) are pushed outside by the thick blanket of smog.
“Who *hack* were those people and why did they kidnap my sister, Mallard?! *cough* *choke*” demands Brody nearly asphyxiated by the fumes. His shirt is torn and for once, there is a look of delirium on his face “Collect yourself mentally... Brody” Mallard mutters, straightening up her tattered uniform. “You don’t understand, my sister has enough social issues with people who DON’T kidnap her.” Brody wails. Nick sits up, still bleeding but strangely tuned to the conversation “They looked exactly like the kind of mutants that give us a bad name.”
“The two young men were part of a scientific experiment that I had supervised, I have no idea who the women is” the words flow out of Mallard slowly but in a seamless fashion. “They were volunteers to become artificial mutants, they were fitted with nanobots and all kinds of machinery but I’ll spare you all the scientific crap” “They’re phonies?” Nick interjects” “You could say that, anyway and I was halfway done training them to become Government Troopers but someone offered to pay them higher. Fortunately for you, I may know who this is. NOW, WHERE DID YOU EVER THINK GOING OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL GROUNDS WAS EVER A GOOD IDEA, MR, SNOD?“ “You don’t think I know that that it’s my fault. Giggs, IT is all my fault! If I hadn’t taken her outside the school this never would have happened! I listened to a stupid 18 year old and endangered a lot of lives. Now my sister is going to be sold or dissected or… Mallard slaps him with her metal hand “For God’s sake, Brody, own up to it but don’t cry about it. You know I’d consider firing you if you DID have any promise. But listen up, fortunately, I know personally these thugs are exceptionally greedy and would do anything for money which fortunately the school has plenty of. Don’t even contact your parents about this.”
Brody is slightly uneased but cracks a faint smile “Thank you, Ms. Mallard. I don’t care about about what they say about you.” Mallard narrows her eyes and stares at him direct, “Just remember that all ransom gets tacked onto your family’s Student Loans.” Brody suddenly drops to his knees “Suddenly I care about all those things they said about you.” Mallard replies amusedly “Don’t worry, that’s what I’m hear for.” The group walk back to the SPED Academy, Giggs helping Nick stand, and balancing Hope on his other shoulder. Brody mutters to Giggs, “Next, she’ll want me to pay for the bad guy’s Aspirin too.”
Cut to the thugs’s one room shack in Mountain County. Lightning Rod is sitting in a chair with bandages strewn across his face. He groans when he sees his reflection in his hand mirror. Janis is sitting in chair with LR’s power wires tying her waste to the chair just coming back into consciousness. “Who are you people?” LR looks over and mutters a quick shut up. “Where am I anyway?” “No we’re not doing this, bitch.” “What are we going to with me?” “Other than cut out of your tongue?!” LR screams at her. “Why are you asking me all these questions?” Janis replies curiously, yet smug as hell. LR drops his mirror and it shatters on the floor.
Hope wakes up in the infirmary and is awaken by a sleeping Nick’s shoulder massages. She looks over him to see the empty single bed next to theirs. She slides out and walks over to one of the windows at the edge of the room. She leans on the heater and pushes it open and scans along the coast line. She watches a boat disembark on a voyage and bob up and down over and over in the red sky morning. She watches it go over a giant wave, and disappear into the horizon. She squints, to try and sea the land all the way across the ocean. It looks almost as if it’s getting closer, a hand falls on her shoulder and she freaks out a bit.
“Good morning, baby, I brought us some breakfast” he says with a casual smile and a yawn, “I hope you didn’t mind, even when it sleeps, my body can’t get enough of you.” She looks at him with a sad expression “No. You helped me sleep after that. She gives him a kiss and ge vkysges a kuttke and smiles, “You know how Janis is, silly little girl.” “She’s older than both of us and we’re the babysitters.” Nick tries to cheer her up “Yep. 19 going on 11.” Hope signs and suddenly looks right at Nick “How much of me did you see last night?” “Well, I saw the girl who hypnotized me just like the very first night we met. A dazzling dancer and truthfully, I haven’t had that much fun since then, I…” Hope interrupts him, eyes open and a bit bloodshot. “You’re lying. You didn’t just see me, you saw that thing!” Nick grabs hold of her hand. “No…it’s not like that. What I saw was…” They’re interrupted by the sound of someone falling and they both turn around to look.
Brody is on the floor angry. “Who the heck left this egg salad sandwich on the floor.” Brody stands up and Giggs quickly picks up the sandwich and throws it in his the garbage. “Mornin guys” Brody greets them cheerfully, “Are you doing alright?” Nick looks sad “I’m doing well, well, other than my sandwich.” “How’s the Queen of Indie doing?” Hope asks bitchfully. Brody looks at her quizzically “You mean Janis? Those freaks from last night kidnapped her and I let them.” “Serves her right” Hope replies snidely. “Yeah, I agree,” Brody adds “She’s got to learn …” Brody gets cut off by a panicked Hope prone to bi-polar inflections, “Oh I hope they’re not torturing her! What if they’re scientists working for the government?” “Well Mallard says she does have some connections with them. Maybe all we have to do is wait?” Brody asks calmly. Hope is still in concerned mode. “What if they’re the dreaded STONECUTTERS?” They want to kill anyone effected by nuclear fallout, chemical mutations or cybernetic limb replacements.” Giggs raises an eyebrow. Brody is not impressed by Hope’s claim. “Everyone knows that but the stonecutters like everyone else need money and Mallard is definitely the riches person in Saltline. She’s brided plenty of people not to sue her for Janis’ behavior. Seriously women, don’t pop your nerves over this.” Hope looks at Brody angrily. “I’m SO glad you’re not my brother” Brody looks a bit hurt by this.
In the one room country shack, Lightning Rod and Screw Loose are sitting at a table and Heat Seeker is frying sausages in a pan with hand while being completely devoid of a shirt. “Thanks for cooking for us! I’m so hungry!“ Screw Loose says enthusiastically. Lightning Rod looks at Heat Seeker, a bit jealous of SL’s complements and raises his voice to point out something important “Well, guess who bought those sausages from a local farmer…” Both TB and SL glare at him silently, “er… I mean robbed a local farmer at gun point and got ahold of those juicy sausages.” “How kinds of you!” SL exclaims. Heat Seeker flips the sausages onto their plates. “Hey what about me” Janis hollers at them. “You have to feed your hostages too!” “Feed the monkey will ya Screwy?” SL levitates a sausage on a metal plate over to Janis. She bite “Holy SHIZM dis is HOT! She spits the sausage on the floor, it dissolves into the floor and it explodes into flames. TB closes his hand and the fire extinguishes. “I’m sorry it was hot, I actually wanted to eat it” Janis starts blowing on the floating plate of sausages. “Can’t you at least warn someone when food is hot. I mean, follow the kidnappers code of conduct will ya?” SL tips the levitating plate semi-sideways causes the rest of the sausage to slide into Janis’ mouth. Heat Seeker mutters quietly, “I’m now regretting us not grabbing that human balloon girl.”
Hope is sitting at a desk in a class. A young dark haired female teacher is standing at the front of the classes “The concept of subhumans; mutants, homunculus, and other products of deviated genetics has long captivated the human mind. 19th and 20th century writers and scientists have long speculated the advent of these modern days marvels with well, with Marvel and DC and literature of all kinds. The most common of beliefs was that in just another nuclear war or two, you wonder would appear” the teacher continues into this long monologue while Hope zones out, starts thinking about Janis and begins chewing on the side of her fingernail. The words of Janis echo through her head, “I don’t have many who I can rely on, so thanks for standing by me all this time.” Hope hears her own voice saying “Sisters help each other no matter what.” Hope closes her eyes and grimaces. Suddenly the door is kicked open by Giggs and Brody who make a very dramatic entrance. Brody hops a bit, his foot throbbing from kicking the door with his toes. “Next time, the guy with the metal leg has to kick the door.”
“Ahem… Hope Matherson” He reads off a supposedly professional slip of paper. “Is required for an… emergency. The young teacher frowns at them “Now what could the janitorial staff possibly need Hope for?!” Brody stutters, Giggs nudges him and makes the letters “VO” with his hand. “Oh V.O…yeah, Hope Matherson is part of Voluntears for Fear, a new empathy program Ms. Mallard designed for students to learn of the true toils and hardships we Janitors go through at a school where half the kids are telekinetic…frea…scary people.” Brody ignores how half the kids eyes are glowing pink and pencils are lifting off the desks, poised to aim at him.
The teacher is not impressed and looks at them with one eyebrow raised and a wrinkled brow. She then looks at the class, “Anyone else in Voluntears for Fears?” A young scraggy looking girl with long brunette hair and slightly hair arms raises her hand” “Oh that’s me too!” she says excitedly and follows Hope. Brody looks a bit confused when he sees the other but he says “Ok Janiteers! It is sloppy Ruski Thursday in the cafeteria and unit lunch for the psychopatTB, uh...telepatTB is next. Let’s move out. Janiteers HO!
Outside the class room, Nick is propped up against the wall. Hope gently embraces him. “I think I know why you guys are doing this” Nick replies, “Ssh, we’re taking you out for ice cream to make you feel better!” “Are you bleeping kidding me?! We don’t even know if Janis has been killed, trafficked or used for science. Nick quickly moves his hands to shush her, “Baby, baby! Shhhh! That’s our cover story, of course we’re going to save her!” Hope looks slightly flushed and annoyed, but remains quiet. Brody turns to the young girl who stares eagerly at him “And why are you here?” She lifts up her bangs to reveal two more eyes above her standard two. “You’re cute” she replies. Brody sceams a bit but then calms himself and folds his hands “A reason as good as any but remember this is a search and rescue mission.” “Oh who?” “My sister Janis” The girl smiles “I like Janis! She lets me eat any of the flies in her room! We girlfriends” she says with a slightly sassy voice. “Good kid, I like your… um… appetite!” Brody says.
Janis, who is still tied to a chair by electric cables has turned pale and is sweating and moaning. “You ever have that feeling that something tearing at you from the inside out?” she groans. Lightning Rod crosses his arms and barks at Janis “Kid if you’re trying that Pregnacy routine, I won’t buy it…AGAIN…” She gasps painfully.
Heat Seeker walks in and yells at Lightning Rod “What the hell is wrong with her?” “She’s faking some kind of sickness, I told her you could sell me a bridge and a river first.” “Faking?!” Heat Seeker exclaims “Her body temperature is highly and it smells like raw sewage and daisies in here.” What?” Lightning Rod responds not believing his ears, “I can’t smell anything” he yells making a muffled sniffing sound through the bandage on his nose. Heat Seeker sticks his head out the window and calls “Screwy!” Screw Loose jogs by with two 5 pound sticks clutched in her hand. “Hey Jerry, whatsamatter?” “First, call me by my real name” he mutters “Hey Heat Seeker, whatsamatter?” “Better, now come inside we have an emergency with the girl.” “Alright, guess fitness can weight” she says disappointedly, dropping her weights. “You guys can wait here.”
“Oh what’s wrong with her?” SL says concerned-like and peering at Janis. Janis is unconscious but makes an exorcist sound that sounds like gagging on vomit. “Oh dear” Did I feed her too much sausage. Janis throws up hald a sausage that has eyes and shuffles around. “Convinced now something’s up, eh, Lightning Rod” TB tells LR but LR has fainted at the sight of the anthropomorphic sausage. “Aww! What a cute little baybee!” SL exclaims with big shimmery eyes “I’m gonna call him Count Montresor and raise him to be so evil!
“It’s reconnaissance time” Brodly exclaimed. “And that means through the deep dark dungeon underneath this school!” Hope reser
Janis is placed in bed. “In my bed?” Lightning Rod whines ”It’s best she rest while we found out what’s wrong with her and we can’t just take her to the emergency room.” LR thinks for a second, “Or can we” he says with the proverbial imaginary light fixture over his head. “Like that overhead lamp, I stole at the local homegoods store!” SL remarks, sounding proud of her deed. “I didn’t notice it until now but how about we get the doc to make a house call. We’ll just phone in and say, our (LR points to Screw Loose and himself) ‘daughter is too ill to get out of bed!” “Holy snarf! I love that idea!”Screw Loose says in reply “You can be the mommy, I can be the daddy and Jerry, he can be our homeless nephew who stays at home and blows all our money toys intended for prepubescent girls.” LR stutters a bit “Yeah, except shouldn’t you be the wife? I mean I like your idea but we don’t have the clothes for it (Thankfully).” “Nonsense” SL exclaims “I have all kinds of disguises packed for all kinds of evil. You never know when this girl’s gonna meet the sinister mastermind of all her dreams!” LR blushes “Hehe it’s no problem, baby!” SL looks at him and replies in her best deep voice “Honey it’s time to get into your night gown!” She holds up a polka dotted blouse. LR breathes out and TB hits him on the back and grins. “Atta boy!”
Robert Wayne Stiles/"Original Story" is part of a series on
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