Flash Fiction Month 2016, Day 7
Captain Redundancy stood atop of the building he was on top of, staring out across the city that occupied his field of vision, and so much of his time. There was a light on the horizon. A light that grew ever brighter, ever closer, as destiny approached.
“Is there no other way?” came the question from his side.
Captain Redundancy watched the approaching light with steely eyes of steel. “No, my heroic friend. There can be no more talk. The time for diplomacy has long since passed.”
“Right-o. I’ll be off, then.” Doctor Diplomacy tipped his cap at the other superheroes assembled on the rooftop. “Best of luck, chaps.”
“And I also wish you the best of luck to you too.” Captain Redundancy’s gaze did not waver from the light. The sound of helicopter blades cut through the night air. The heroes watched and listened.
The craft arrived, loomed overhead for a moment, and then descended. It was the dreaded gigglecopter. With an infantile chuckle of mirth, the door swung downwards, forming a makeshift staircase, and its pilot descended.
“Doctor Baby,” growled Captain Redundancy, eyeing his nemesis.
“Captain Redundancy,” growled Doctor Baby. He didn’t really have the voice to make it work.
Further nefarious figures clambered from the gigglecopter to stand beside Doctor Baby on the rooftop. First came the Doctor’s henchman, Goon. Then the vile Human Fly, the dastardy X-Ray Ted, and a cavalcade of calamitous comrades. But worst was the small figure who stepped forth last.
“How could you do this, Tautology Boy?” cried Captain Redundancy. “You were my sidekick for so long! Why would you join the very foes we struggled against together?”
“It is what it is,” shouted Tautology Boy. “If you are not with me, you are against me!”
“Then it’s settled,” said Captain Caulk, hefting his legendary sealant shooter. “This ends tonight.”
A silence fell across the rooftop. A dramatic silence. A silence that said more than a thousand words, and also put far less pressure on the animator, since it involved no lip-syncing.
At last, at some unheard, invisible signal that had never been agreed upon and yet all understood, the two massed bands of superpeople rushed forward to do mighty battle in an awe-inspiring struggle between noble good and hideous evil.
“Wait!” shouted a voice from the crowd.
Captain Redundancy smiled. Doctor Diplomacy had returned.
“I’ve come to join the fight,” he said. “But before we begin, I think we should agree on some ground rules.”
There were murmurs from both sides.
“What are you proposing?” demanded X-Ray Ted. He was confident that he could see through any subterfuge.
“First of all, no weapons of mass destruction.”
This was met with a general rumbling of agreement.
“Drat,” spat Doctor Baby, chucking his tactical baby bomb back into the gigglecopter. “Well in that case, no lethal superpowers. I’m looking at you, Lance Corporal Laser-eyes!”
Lance Corporal Laser-eyes stared at his shoes, inadvertently vapourising the laces.
“Well if Laser-eyes can’t shoot lasers, I don’t think anybody should be shooting corrosive vomit either!” suggested Broccoli Man.
“Bzzzzzzzzzzzt!” grumped the Human Fly, greatly put out by this.
“These are all very worthwhile points, and I think both sides make a good case,” said Doctor Diplomacy, diplomatically. “Perhaps we should be writing them down. Does anybody have a pen?”
“Yo!” Ensign Here retrieved one from his bandolier.
“Thank you.” Doctor Diplomacy got his diplomatic notebook out of his diplomatic bag. “Please, continue.”
“Well if I have to keep my eyes shut for this whole thing,” said Lance Corporal Laser-eyes, “that’s going to be quite a disadvantage. I think anyone with eye-related superpowers should have to shut their eyes too. I’m looking at you, X-Ray Ted!”
“Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!” said X-Ray Ted. “I know! Ow!”
“And wear a blindfold!
“A lead blindfold!”
“Going back a bit,” said Doctor Diplomacy, “if nobody’s allowed to shoot lasers or vomit, I don’t think they should be shooting sealant either.” He glared at his arch-nemesis, the heroic Captain Caulk.
“Fine by me.” Captain Caulk set down his sealant shooter. “I could mop the floor with you even with my bare hands…and re-grout it even with my bare feet!”
“Also,” put in Fop Cop, “while we’re at it, maybe no punches to the face?”
“Hm, yes.” Captain Caulk stroked his chiselled jaw.
Image was important to superhero and supervillain alike. Fop Cop’s suggestion went down well.
“In fact,” said Fop Cop, “it might be easier just to say no striking with a closed fist at all?”
This went down less well but, as Doctor Diplomacy explained, it was the easiest way to enforce the no face-punching amendment to terms of the engagement.
“So we’re all in agreement, then?” he asked, as the pre-battle proceedings came to a close.
“I agree with the things that were suggested, as they are things with which I agree.”
“What Tautology Boy said!”
“Alright, then.” Doctor Diplomacy returned his diplomatic notebook to his diplomatic bag, and Ensign Here’s pen to Ensign Here. “Prepare to do furious battle!”
And with that, the slap-fight to determine the fate of the city commenced.