Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The C.W.A. of Dr. Z. Smith: Episode #64: Autumn

Last Week as you recall… 
 There was the screams of three people, all falling from a great height,
 The crash of what turned out to be ceramic tile,
 And the squeal of failed metal lattice.

And then there was silence. 

-=fig. 398: a soft landing=-
Dr. Smith was the first to wake. 
  "AARRGH!" he said, for Dr. Smith falling from great heights, while not anything new, never got any less painful.
"ALRIGHT!  SO WHO ELSE IS ALIVE?"  Dr. Smith yelled, while wincing in pain.
  "What happened?"  Capt. Brown grumbled.
   "We fell through the sidewalk."  Teresa answered, straightening out her back with a grimace.   
     Capt. Brown nodded, this made sense. "Well…Legopolis is built on the shoddiest foundations I have ever seen.  The ranks of Captains before me did not care about safety, just profit.  I wouldn't be surprised if they had affixed that grating with bubblegum and made the tiles of rice paper if it saved them a dollar."  
  Dr. Smith stood, rubbing his head. "They made the tiles of ceramic, not any sort of paper…  Oh no, poor thing." 
  "I'm fine, just a little sewer-y." Teresa said, blushing slightly.
   "What?  No look at my hat!  It's ruined!"  It was ruined, crushed and completely soaked in the only well of clean water, it had lost its shape and most of its band, and was now a shadow of it's former glorious self.  
   "Oh." Teresa said quietly,  insulted that she was less important than a hat. 
 They were now again in the Undercity, the maze of tunnels and sewers that run underneath the grand City Of Legopolis, far above them a small light gleamed;  The hole they had caused and then fallen through.  Dr. Smith glared at the square of light, far above. 

-=fig. 399: far above=-
  "Thing is," He said, "we should have died.  Not that I'm looking a gifted horse in the mouth but the three stories we fell, plus however far down this is, we should be dead." 
 Capt. Brown was looking at the way they had come too, but his mind was filled with one thought;   
  "That's a public safety hazard."
  "It's a shaft is what it is. " Dr. Smith said. 
It was then that the room started filling with water.
Brigadier Black gave out a pirate yell. 
 Not only because of the all-over pain, but it was how always he always woke up.

-=fig. 400: brigadier black, former pirate=-

Brigadier Black stretched.  "AAARGH!" He yelled again, for no real reason.  As it turned out his ears were still in shock after the blast and he couldn't hear a thing.  He looked around for his team, and found most of them on an adjoining roof.   Most of the Legopolis City rooftop Police Department had landed safely, some had died, and the rest were hanging onto the sides of buildings with their hooks, waiting to be rescued.  Capt. Brown, Brigadier Black's immediate superior, Was nowhere to be seen.  It was then that Brigadier Black noticed that the Capitol Building, which he had been standing on not moments before, was riddled with holes and on fire.  Entrance was…impossible.  The Brigadier removed his cap in Capt. Brown's memory, recited a quick yet morbid traditional Irish poem, shed a small tear at it's poignancy, and assumed full control of the L.C.R.P.D.
  However, The Brigadier did not believe the Capt. Brown was dead for one second.
   Company Policy required a poem and a tear at the presumed death of an officer.
 Brigadier Black refused to believe that Capt. Brown was dead because he had a record of 'dying' on a semi-weekly basis, it always turned out that he was just missing.  Or damaged.  Permanently Scarred, that sort of thing.  
   The Brigadier, being deafened, didn't hear the French Plane. 
  It strafed the roof with a hood mounted rifle, and came around for another go. 
Brigadier Black Grabbed the nearest semi-automatic weapon he could find.

-=fig. 401: gun ho=-

The Plane wasn't going very fast, so it was easy to hit, and being a bi-plane it came apart once the support struts were gone.  It spiraled out of control and over the cliff {Legopolis, being built on a plateau, was circumscribed by cliffs} and disappeared into the low-level fog that surrounded the city.  Then it started to rain. 
Water poured in from the giant tubes at the sides of the tunnel, Dr. Smith with a bemused expression stuck his finger in the water as everyone scrambled for 'dry'  'ground' 
  Dr. Smith stuck his finger in his mouth, "Rain Water." He proclaimed. "Interesting.  All the rain-drains in the city must come to this spot.  No wonder there's a 'shaft' here, with all this water damage."
 It was then that he noticed it was up to his knees already.
  "Oh."  He said with surprise.
 "Get up here!" Teresa said, extending her hand. 
  "Thanks."  He said, clambering onto the fallen metal lattice. 
  "How did you know it's rain water?" 
  "It tastes different.  And it's raining."  
   They all looked up, it was in fact raining.  They hadn't noticed before, But now that they did it was obvious.   Conversation was all but impossible now because of all the noise.   Dr. Smith knew where they were.  It was now as obvious as the rain, "WE NEED TO GO THIRTY FEET THAT WAY!"  He yelled over the roar of the rain.
   Everyone looked at him.
 "THAT"S A SOLID WALL!"  Yelled Capt. Brown.
  "YES!  IT IS!"  Dr. Smith yelled back, "BUT THERE'S A HATCH RIGHT THERE!"   It was just Feet above Capt. Brown's Head, so he braced himself in the rapidly rising water, And Teresa {being the lightest} climbed on his shoulders.   She smelled of apricots. 
 Teresa wrangled at the hatch, it seemed to be rusted shut.  As it turns out, the hinges were quite a bit more rusted than was really necessary and the entire hatch came off in Teresa's hands. 
  The hatch coming off came as a surprise to all of them, and Teresa fell back, taking Capt. Brown with her.
    Dr. Smith wordlessly scaled the nine feet to the hatch and crawled through.
 It was quite a bit drier in the tunnel, but still wetter than one would hope for.   Dr. Smith walked thirty feet, then hung a sharp left.
  Then he remembered about his teammates.
They were treading water now, Teresa was hanging onto a smallish brown suitcase which was aiding her floatation quite a bit.  "COME ON!" Dr. Smith yelled at them, annoyed they were mucking about.  "THE CURRENT'S AGAINST US, ZACHARY"  Capt. Brown yelled.   The enormous water pressure had finally unblocked what ever was blocking the relief drains, and the water had reached an equilibrium, but the current was heading away from the hatch, at a speed roughly equal to the fastest swim either Capt. Brown or Teresa could do.  Dr. Smith sighed, but no one could hear him over the roar of the water.   "TOSS ME THE SUITCASE!" he yelled, Teresa did so, Dr. Smith rummaged in the Suitcase until he found what he was looking for.
  He tossed the long, thick rope the Capt. Brown, who caught it, grabbed Teresa's hand, and reeled them in, one-handed.
-=fig. 402: creepy door #1=-

"So…where are we?" asked Teresa,  They had reached their destination.
"My back door." Dr. Smith answered, surprised.  
 "Of course the creepy door belongs to you.  Why would I think otherwise?"  Teresa's voice was laced with irony and sarcasm, the two vocal inflections that Dr. Smith had never picked up on. 
  "Yeah isn't it great?" You could hear the joy in Dr. Smith's voice.

-=Best Regards=-

Sir Jacob D. Fredrickson Esq.
Chief Executive Officer of Early Bird Industries, Inc.