The scene: The future! In the middle of the massive desert known to future people as The Wasteland (because I just thought of it and it sounds cool, that’s why) sits a massive structure lit by neon. It’s…
All sorts of mutants, freaks and geeks converge here to indulge in that oldest of great American traditions: Consumerism. Even now, Low Commander is pulling Doktor Zymm’s RV into the parking lot (which is home to a wide variety of vehicles, from supercharged monster trucks to a wagon drawn by two mule-sized beetles) as the other DFOers (Beerguyrob, Brocky, Rikki-Tikki-Deadly and Lord Revisisle) and the two Detectives (Top and Hardboiled) look out the windows in awe.
Brocky: This place is yuuuge! Like, it’s a small city!
Low Commander: Technically, it does cross two time zones…
Hardboiled Cop: Good lord! How does something like this even happen?
Flashback to: The In-N-Out across the street from the DFO clubhouse. Well, the former In-N-Out, actually, as workers are even now taking down the store’s sign. Inside, the foreman is eating a Diggler’s Donut while talking with the Iguana Clerk.
Foreman (chewing): So, we’re takin’ the sign down.
Iguana Clerk looks up from a cease & desist order from In-N-Out Burger. Which evidently exists. And no, I had no idea. And yes, someone (Ballsofsteelandfury) could have told me about it.
Iguana Clerk: Thbppt.
Foreman: Right. So, yer the new owner?
Iguana Clerk: Thbppt.
Foreman: Right. Well, ya got any idea what you want the new sign to say?
Iguana Clerk (nodding): Thbppt.
Cut to: The future again. The DFOers and detectives are entering the massive Iguana Mart, making their way through people, mutated animals and insects, clones, aliens and a plethora of other life forms of indeterminate origin.
Rikki-Tikki-Deadly: This is the biggest collection of weirdos I’ve ever seen in one place…and I went to a GWAR concert once!
Top Detective: Easy with that kind of talk, mister. Sure, a lot of these people look different than you or me, but underneath the fur, the feathers, the scales, the chitin, the slime or the exoskeleton, we’re all pretty much the same.
A humanoid with a giant eye for a head wanders by the group.
Beerguyrob: I don’t like the way that guy was eyeballing me.
Hardboiled Detective: Why, this place is a madhouse!
Low Commander: On a good day. OK, guys, this place can get kind of dicey at times so no one go wandering off.
Beerguyrob: Good call. I’ll make sure to tell Rikki that…when I find him.
Low Commander: Oh, for frek’s sake! We’ve been here for two minutes and we’ve lost Rikki already?
Brocky (racing off into the crowd): I think I see him! Be right back, guys!
Low Commander: Brocky, no…! Beerguyrob, you stay here with everyone and I’ll find Rikki and Brocky, okay? Rob…?
Low Commander looks back to see Top Detective standing by himself.
Low Commander: What the…?
Top Detective: Your friends saw that ‘Free Beer’ sign and made a beeline for it. My partner went along to keep an eye on them.
Low Commander: Well at least we know where they are…
Top Detective: Sure. Tying one on. Bellying up to the bar. Doing the twelve-ounce curl.
Low Commander (edging away): Okay…
Top Detective: Hitting the sauce. Popping a frosty.
Low Commander (escaping into the crowd): Right…
Top Detective: Do I like the occasional drink? Sure. I’m of legal age, and sometimes a cold beer goes a long way towards easing a man of the day’s tensions. When you’ve seen the things I’ve seen, a beer begins to look pretty darn good at the end of the day. But it’s when it starts looking good earlier and earlier that trouble begins. And trouble is one thing a good cop doesn’t need. Not for himself, not for his partner, and not for his department.
Around Top Detective a small but attentive crowd has gathered. As he ends his spiel, they break into a round of applause.
Octopoid Audience Member: Tell us what you think about pepperoni!
Top Detective: Pepperoni? I can take it or leave it. Sure, on a pizza it’s great. But take it off that pizza and what do you have? Little discs of meat, that’s what. Putting it on a sandwich is just plain nonsense, mister, especially if you have access to salami or bologna…
Cut to: Rikki-Tikki-Deadly, wandering around the store. He finds a clerk who is holding a screaming child by the hand.
Clerk (into the intercom): We have a lost child. If you are missing your screaming spawn, please come to the service desk on aisle…
A gelatinous green glob passing by casually engulfs the screaming child and continues sliding on by.
Clerk (into the intercom): Never mind. He’s been claimed.
Rikki-Tikki-Deadly (to the clerk): Um, excuse me. I was wondering where I might find the…ah, legal, y’know….um…
Clerk: Marijuana is in section four, aisle twenty, sir.
Rikki-Tikki-Deadly (running off): Woo-hoo!!!
Clerk (pointing the other way): It’s in the other direction, sir.
Rikki-Tikki-Deadly (running past in the right direction): Woo-hoo!!!
Cut to: Lord Revisisle, Beerguyrob and Hardboiled Detective at the bar. Several empty pitchers sit in front of them and they’re happily buzzed.
Lord Revisisle: I have to say, beer really makes the whole shopping experience better.
Beerguyrob (burping): That’s why I always hit the cooler first thing when I go grocery shopping.
Hardboiled Detective: You know what would go great with these beers?
Lord Revisisle: More beers?
Hardboiled Detective: Well, sure…but also peanuts.
Beerguyrob waves a hand at the blue-skinned sexually ambiguous bartender.
Beerguyrob: Hey…buddy? Miss…? Eh, whatever. You got any snacks to go with the beer?
The bartender reaches under a bar and pulls out a box labeled ‘Super Yummy Snacky Chips.’
Lord Revisisle (popping one into his mouth and crunching happily): Oh, I say…!
Beerguyrob (grabbing a handful): Lemme try one…
Hardboiled Detective (also crunching happily): These are impossibly good! What are they made of?
Beerguyrob (crunching and looking at the box): No idea. I guess ingredients went out of style somewhere along the way.
Hardboiled Detective: No ingredients? Say…you don’t think…
Lord Revisisle: What?
Hardboiled Detective: It’s people, isn’t it? Super Yummy Snacky Chips are made of people!!!
Lord Revisisle and Beerguyrob pause momentarily, then begin crunching again.
Beerguyrob: I mean…could be.
Lord Revisisle: Sure. This is the future, after all. Maybe people are a delicacy here.
Hardboiled Detective (grabbing another handful of chips): When in Rome…
A gelatinous green glob with a startlingly small skeleton inside of it slides up to the bar next to Beerguyrob. Beerguyrob gives it a nod and then gestures at the bartender for a new pitcher.
Bartender: You guys want to settle up on these first?
Beerguyrob: Settle up on what? That big flashing sign says ‘Free Beer.’
Bartender: That’s right. Free beer, singular. The first one’s free, but past that…well, you three have worked up quite the bill.
Lord Revisisle: Ah, well… That’s a bit of a problem. You see, we’re a bit shy of local currency…
Bartender (sighing): That is a problem. As a matter of fact, we call that a real Crudjaw.
Beerguyrob: A Crudjaw…?
Bartender (calling out): Hey, Crudjaw!
In response a yuuuge figure steps out of the back room. He’s built like the Mountain from Game of Thrones had a baby with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the baby ate them both with a side order of steroids. He also has a metal arm with a big-ass mace on the end, because 1) That’s frickin’ cool, and 2) I already drew it.
Crudjaw: Is there a problem here?
Lord Revisisle (holding up the box of snacks protectively): Um… Super Yummy Snacky Chip…?
To be continued…