McEdifice Returns by Timothy the Talking Cat and Straw Puppy ©Timothy the Talking Cat and Straw Puppy. McEdifice™ Timothy the Talking Cat and Straw Puppy. All rights reserved. Patent pending. Also, we put this whole chapter in an envelope and mailed it to the Pope but we deliberately used the wrong address so it came back to us which means our copyright claim is recognised by the Vatican and the Post Office.
McEdifice was still recovering from having punched himself out of a hallucination, staggered onward to Outlaw’s Gulch, the infamous hideout of the Treerat Gang against who he had sworn revenge for what was now a multitude of crimes. To wit:
- Shooting at his head
- Killing Chuck the Pony (don’t worry he isn’t really dead)
- Sabotaging Simon the Bicycle (sadly Simon is definitely dead – also we decided to call him ‘Simon’ so you knew which bicycle we were talking about)
- Putting hallucinogenic drugs on the handlebars of the bike
- Being all round bad people
Oh, those miscreants were in for a heap of trouble once McEdifice got their hands on them! This was going to be a showdown of epic proportions! A gunfight of some significant magnitude! A veritable brouhaha of brutality and bruises. A Toccata and fugue of Bach-like proportions where violence is the organ keys and McEdifice would be pulling out all the stops. (Nice one SP!)
McEdifice stepped through the entrance to Outlaw’s Gulch with a brazen swagger, knowing that his very appearance would intimidate the feeble willed outlaws.
“Come out and meet my vengeance!” shouted McEdifice.
But the only sound was the echo of his cry.
“They’re all gone McEdifice,” said a snide and yet familiar voice.
With reflexes so quick that the nerve impulses in his nerves probably go like faster than lightning, McEdifice whipped around lightning fast with his laser pistol ready to spurt lightning at the intruder behind him.
There was nobody there.
“Over here, you stupid ass.” said the snide voice.
McEdifice looked up and then left and right.
“In the tree. For goodness sake. It is RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU.”
McEdifice turned back to the centre of the gulch where stood an old oak tree. On a branch sat a man in full dress uniform of the Intergalactic Space Navy Marine Corp.
“Well, well, well,” said McEdifice, “if it isn’t Commander Clench, my old nemesis. I thought I told you never to set foot again on the Grassland Planet of Steppe.”
“Well yes, you did but as I explained at the time, I’m free to go anywhere I like and also I outrank you and also I have an orbiting space-dreadnought directly above us that could wipe you off the face of the planet before you could even grimace at me in a way I didn’t like.” explained Commander Clench.
“Well, I told you then that I was never going back. I’m officially retired.”
“Your choice McEdifice but I’ve some bad news for you. If you want those Treerat boys then they’ve already left the planet.”
“War has returned to the Galaxy McEdifice. The massed armada of the evil Space Vampires is claiming huge tracts of space. The Intergalactic Space Army has conscripted every lowlife, miscreant, outlaw, ner-do-well, street punk and tax account into a desperate rag-tag yet elite army of the meanest, nastiest and most financially prudent scum-of-the-earth battalion you never imagined. This ‘bad battalion’ as we have named them will form the vanguard of an assault on the space vampires followed by more conventional (and better groomed) forces.”
“That means nothing to me Clench. My mission is vengeance not another one of your endless wars. No, not even the looming threat of my ultimate enemy – the insidious space vampires – is enough to sway me from my course of avenging Chuck and Simon.”
“Actually Chuck is fine.”
“I won’t fall for your lies again Clench.”
“Have it your way, but the only way you can kill those Treerat Boys is to shoot your way through the Intergalactic Space Army, killing brave soldiers intent on defending the galaxy from evil space vampires. Oh, I know you McEdifice, better than you know yourself.”
“Damn you Clench. What is it that you want from me?”
“Mainly to humiliate you and make you look stupid. To that end, here is a once only offer. If you join the Intergalactic Space Army then you will have the right under the military code of settling debts of honour via the ancient tradition of a duel. Your course is simple: join the army, make your way to the front, challenge the Treerat Boys in turn to duels. And, of course, while you are out there KILL SOME SPACE VAMPIRES.”
“Grrrrr. DAMN YOU CLENCH! OK, you give me no choice. If Major Commander McEdifice needs to take to the field of battle one more time then I’ll do just that.”
“Minor correction: that would be PRIVATE McEdifice. Your rank was for the Space Navy Marines. You’ll need to join the ARMY. It’s back to boot camp for you McEdifice!”