All was shining brightly in New Popolisville with the citizens being citizenly and the trains conducting in a timely fashion and the pigeons in the park with bowels full of bread and The Hidden Jewel being heisted.
"Listen here (grabs his ear) you pathetic jeweler and give me all you _____!" simpered Sad Sac. "Look, the MAN, I knows I need those _____ or else . . ." A diamond the size of his broken dream caught Sad's eye. "How much does that cost? Is it hollow?"
Sad Sac pointed the unloaded gun into the jeweler's face while pressing the other gun, the loaded one, harder and into his very own head. The jeweler gave up and parted with _____ without hesitation and hoped they would do this pitiful man some good.
"Cry for help and we'll both be SORRY!" and with that Sad Sac meekly limped through the front door and hit the street sobbing. He silently slumped on the edge of the curb and waited to be arrested.
This is how every day in New Popolisville began, with Sad Sac getting away in broad daylight.
The League of Headquarters:
- The Fortune 5 featuring Detective Worth
- Team Loner
- The Super-Sensibles featuring Drunk Punk
- Agents of the Statement
- The Beautiful Beasts
- The Landlords featuring the Custodian from the Bureau of Bureaucracy and a Faceless Robot
- The Power of Our Minute Friends
- The Extra Men with Suzy Seashells and her Adoring Fans
- Et Cetera Etc. and the Wrest
Everyone was at the Super Jamboree over in Popolisville and Solid-Dude had nothing better to do so he was incorrectly filling out some forms that a Faceless Robot had left on a Faceless Robot's desk. Solid-Dude knew this created a Möbius strip out of the red tape but took an unseen joy from the following frustration that a certain Faceless Robot would experience. Correctly filing the forms away he thought that he goodn't help himself if he didn't do just one more thing.
LATER THAT AFTERNOON
A Faceless Robot rolled into the upper offices of the Fortune 5 and demanded, well dehumanded, mostly dehumanized the receptionist, who was, of course, the Secret Secretary in disguise, "I MUST SEE SIR WARD REWARD" it clicker'd and clack'd.
The Secret Secretary smiled, adjusted her face mask, politely offered a Faceless Robot to have a seat, took one quick phone call and walked through the Golden Doors, after opening the Pearly Gates and paying a small entry fee. Clicker'd and clacker'd and clicker'd and clickery clackety cloot! She came back looking slightly pale, a trick she had picked up from a hunk of a monk, took one quick phone call and politely offered a Faceless Robot to have a small entry fee and it click'd and clack'd its way inside.
Sir Reward was still at the Super Jamboree but thankfully Corporal COPulent and Detective Rich Worth were sitting across from one another at a long and narrow ProfiTable. They were talking about money. A Faceless Robot rumbled in and said "I KNEAD HELP" clicking its clips like clappity clap, "HELP" clap. Clap. CLAP! Detective Worth looked at the robot and wondered what this machine would need now, the clapping steadily becoming steadier and steadier, wait, not quite "need" - it almost sounded like it CLAP! was CLAP! with CLAP! a CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!
A Faceless Robot stopped clapping. A Faceless Robot stopped. A Faceless Robot? The Detective rose from his position, loosing change from his pockets to let them nestle deep within his lucky chair. In the stillness of that moment as Detective Worth went to aid the robot, he remembered his debt to Sir Reward for all the old man had done for him and how the old man would call him Worthy when they golfed together on the greens. Literally made of money, these greens, ". . . holes so fancy you'll want to invest all your balls in 'em, hey 'ole Worthy."
"Worth! Is it functional?" stated Corporal COPulent as he rose from his chair, crafted by a très cheery sage from an aged cherry tree, his uniform, the finest silk from the rarest blue-blooded silkworms dating back to the Sing Dynasty, his belt and holster were the kindest given leather from a kindly virgin doe, boots worn by the original Capitol COPulent, his gun, exactly wordless. "Is there a reset button?" he said while assessing the machine's head and taking his ancient baton out and tapping the metal arm. "Is there a problem?"
Tap. Tap. Tap. The Corporal almost called for backup. He wouldn't need it. This time. Besides, he figured, Worth was with him.
The Detective looked at the Corporal. "Call for backup. This goodn't get any worse."
OVER IN POPOLISVILLE
Thank the GOD that Worth isn't here, Sister Mercy Mary winfully prayed as things got much worse. The Jamboree was in full swing and the organizers were happy to have her there and she was happy to be there doing the majority of the worklord. Mary prayed for Worth. For Reward. For success and nothing less. She recalled last years event and how peaceful everything was, how good she was. The Sister slammed her cross into the alien/demon hybrid and crucifixed it while holyelling the WORD at a pack of demon/alien hybrids.
"Watch out!" Mary knelt and sang the WORD while holding her rose beads and miraculously saved the Son of Reason of the Super-Sensibles against an alien/demon/unicorn hybrid. "You should be more careful Son." and she kissed him on the forehead, prayed for Reason and asked for strength. All hell had broken loose. "Where are you Reward?" and Sister Mercy Mary prayed once more.
Detective Worth had called for an autopsy by an Autopsychic and a lifeless metal robot lay on a lifeless metal table in a lifeless metal morgue. Worth held a silver nickel in his hand, a gift from Sir Reward for solving the Case of the Missing Writer's Block. This was just before he joined the Fortune 5 and was working the ART District beat for the New Popolisville Police Department. The Autopsychic cut through the robot's faceless head and Worth thought he smelt burnt toast. Sir Reward needed a replacement since the False Pariah didn't work out and you can't very well call it the Fortune 4, now can you? The number four is fantastic but five is just lucky.
The autopsy continued as most of the robotic insides were now outsides and Corporal COPulent investigated the investments in his vestments and straightened his tie, which was the colour of forgotten coffee, a gift from Reward for a job well done. The old man had told the Corporal, "You're best when honest and that's the true test of a hero."
The autopsy was now complete and Worth peered over all the contents and fell even silently, mouth slightly turned as his eyes locked onto a copy of a book called The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes written by a man named Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He picked the book up, noticed that the third story entitled "A Case of Identity" was missing and Detective Worth wondered how exactly this came to be inside a Faceless Robot.
TO BE CONTINUED