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The Garth Ennis Tribute Issue!
by Chad Imbroglio

"Now it's over I'm dead and I haven't
Done anything that I want
Or, I'm still alive
And there's nothing I want to do."
They Might Be Giants, Dead

Allen walked through the streets of Chicago. He knew that he really shouldn't be out in the open like this, being wanted by the police and all, but with all the rioting and partying going on he felt pretty secure. The cops had more to worry about than a rogue para-psychologist running amok tonight.

He passed by a couple of piss drunk guys in Bulls 3-Peat jackets and headed for the source of their piss drunkenness. The sign over the door read "Eddie's" and the door looked more like a cave entrance than a door. Not like Allen cared or anything. With any luck, he might just get himself killed in there.

"If I about eight inches taller, better looking, and had blonde hair," Allen thought to himself, "I'd look just like Jim Diocletian from Hellraker." It was fall and getting chilly, so Allen had donned his trench coat. He hadn't worn it in years, but he was in a trench coat kind of mood.

He walked through the doorway, also wishing that he smoked, and went right up to the bar. "A shot glass, a bottle of Absolute, and a pitcher of OJ," Allen said to the bartender.

"Gettin' yerself ready t' party?" the bartender asked as he procured Allen's requests.

"No, getting ready for a funeral," Allen replied.

Issac slowly opened his eyes. He was in the Sick Room along with Conflagation and the other wounded Colonists. According to Miranda, Issac's body went through a severe shock when Shiva shrank him. Being smacked with that telekinetic blast didn't help matters much either.

It wasn't like Issac was small or anything. He was still bonded with Nergal, but Nergal himself had been drained of much power. Issac had been reduced a mere 7'4" tall and probably wouldn't get back to 12' unless a world war broke out. He didn't really mind, though. It would have been pretty awkward to be 12' anyway.

Jimmy had come to visit some of his friends in the Sick room and was passing by Issac. "Jimmy," Issac said, "How's Threll doin'?"

Jimmy went over to Issac's bedside and said, "He's fine. I jus' hadda pound out a dent in 'is shoulder and give 'im a new paint job. He's been doin' much better then you."

"Glad to hear it. Oh, and have you seen Allen anywhere?"

Jimmy stopped to think for a second. "Nah. I haven't seen him since we got back. He jus' kinda disappeared."

Issac hadn't seen Allen since they had gotten back either. It worried him. Allen had taken Eldin's death pretty hard and there was no telling what he might do.

"Jimmy," Issac said, "I know everyone's busy around here, but could you talk to Danny about getting me some help? I think Allen might be getting himself into big trouble."

Allen slammed his fourth shot of vodka and grabbed his glass of OJ to chase with. He should have gone back to the Colony after talking with Free Spirit. He should be helping to prepare for Eric's funeral, as he was probably the closest thing to a priest they had.

Minister. Closest thing to a minister, not priest. Old habits die hard. He poured himself another shot.

Some thug in a leather jacket sat down next to Allen and looked at the progress Allen was making. "Hey, man. The world was just saved, not ended. Why you lookin' so piss poor?"

Allen gave the guy a glare that he thought would send demons howling. Unfortunately for Allen, he was more scary looking in his imagination than in real life.

"Geez, man," he muttered as got up and left, "I wuz jus' tryin' to be friendly..."

"Perhaps now would be a bad time to talk."

Allen spun about on his stool and looked at the newcomer who had spoken. Before him was the tall, dark figure of Javier Hugo. Allen felt a light go on in his heart. He imagined Eric's soul, while traveling to Heaven, passing by Tazakles on it's way to Hell.

Allen clumsily gestured to the empty stool next to him and said, "No, no, no! Talking to you is exactly what I need now."

Javier cautiously took the seat next to Allen and said, "I'm not sure you quite understand the situation, Allen..."

"Of coursh I understand!" Allen exclaimed. "Shince you're alive, Tashiskilees is biting the wa for all time. Barkeep! Get my pal here a drink! On me."

"That's allright," Javier said to the bartender. He turned to Allen and said, "Tazakles isn't dead."

Normally, that news would have cut through Allen like a knife. Because of his state, though, it just bludgeoned him like a club wrapped in a lemon. Consequently, it took several moments for him to pass out and fall off his stool.

It had been about ten minutes since Jimmy had gone to talk to Dan. Issac was a little worried that no one could be spared with all the clean up that was going on here. If worse came to worse he'd go himself even though Mirry said no activity for at least several more days, if not more.

Jimmy came back and said, "OK, I'm on the case. Danny traced Allen to a bar called Eddie's."

Issac was a little puzzled at this. "You're going? Aren't you rather vital when it comes to putting this place back together? And how did Danny locate Allen with his wards?"

Jimmy shrugged and replied, "Well, we're not really rebuilding. It's all tear down 'n packing while we prep t'leave. I'm not too necessary for that. As for the wards, guess Allen ain't puttin' any up at the moment."

"He's probably too snookered," Issac muttered. "Be good to him, Jimmy."

"No prob," Jimmy said as he turned to leave. "He'll be back 'fore ya' can say 'Fosters'!"

Allen gradually woke up, but everything was still dark. He began screaming, "Jesus! I've drunk myself blind!"

"Open your eyes, Allen."

Allen did as directed and took a good look at the dead man across the table from him. He then noticed his new surroundings. Javier had managed to have him dragged to a booth while he was out. "Neat trick for a ghost, draggin' me here," Allen murmered.

"I didn't do it," Javier said. "I talked some of the guys around me to help. Bad back, you know."

Allen looked around the table and noticed the absence of his drink. "Whirsh m'vodka?"

"You didn't need any more."

"You're dead. Y' don't undershtand the need for alcohol any more."

"Actually, I wish I could get the way you are right now."

Allen looked up at Javier with blood shot eyes and said in a flat voice, "Are you here to punish me for sending ya' to yer death?"

"No, my death was my own doing. I came to thank you for helping me end my life better than I had been living."

"Oh, so yer thankin me fer sending you to yer death? Well, you're very welcome. Anything else?"

Javier frowned. "Perhaps I did come at a bad time, but this was the only time for quite a while that you had your wards down so that I could find you. My power has diminished a little after death."

Allen's eyes widened with amazement. "You still have you powers? I've heard of ghosts with tekelinetic manifeshtashions but you've got yer telefafic ones. It must be kinda like being alive."

"Sort of." Javier's face became even more sullen. "But I weaken every day. It takes a great deal of power just to make myself visible like I am now. Every exertion drains me more, permanently."

"So your dying again..." Allen felt his stomach drop out from under him.

"Yes. So I guess I'm just going the rounds now, saying goodbye to everyone." Javier paused for a moment. "Oh, and Lori says 'Hi.' She wants you to write or visit soon because she's worried about you. Apparently your niece Rene figured out you were involved in the Shiva thing. And she doesn't hold secrets about you back from Lori."

Allen's eyes narrowed. "You and Lori certainly got along well..."

"Yeah, you're probably glad I'm dead now," Javier laughed. "You know, you should really give up the magic stuff. She'd take you back and your life would be much happier..."

"Whatever," Allen grumbled. "Now that you've haunted me, who'd next? Tazakles?"

Javier's face lit up like a lamp. "That's it! Thank you, Allen, I now know what to do for the rest of my existence! That bastard is never going to forget the day of my death..." Javier stood up to leave.

"Go get 'im, tiger," Allen shouted. "Make him piss his pants! Scare the shittin' bejeebies out of him! Kick his fu-"

"I will, I will," Javier said, already halfway through the wall. "And be safe, Allen. Remember my suggestion."

"Yeah, yeah. Suggestion." Allen said. He then stood up and wandered back towards the bar. "Now where the Hell did he put my bottle?"

Jimmy pulled up in one of the Colony's pickups, right behind Allen's station wagon. He could see the dungeon entrance for Eddie's. He could already feel that this was going to be yet another experience to remember, right next to saving the civilized world.

First of all, Jimmy had forgotten his fake ID. With any luck they weren't carding at the door. Also, Allen was probably drunk, and Jimmy could just picture that. He kinda liked Allen, being a fellow tinkerer, only of another kind. Considering Allen's general pattern of behavior, he couldn't wait to see him plastered.

As Jimmy walked towards the bar, he could hear some yelling and screaming coming from inside. Trouble. Jimmy began to run.

When he got to the door he was a little too stunned by the sight to do anything immediately. Everyone was gathered around in a circle, as if watching a fight. There was only Allen in the middle, though, a bottle in one hand. He had the look of a caged animal about him.

"You don't friggin' believe me?!" Allen shouted. "I'm tellin' ya, Shiva ain't dead! That body they found was a student of mine. I killed 'im for God's sake!"

Jimmy nudged himself forward into the crowd a bit more. It was time to grab Allen and run. It was just then that he felt a strong hand grab onto his shoulder. "Hey, kid," a gruff voice said, "where d'ya think yer going? Lemme see some ID." Jimmy groaned and turned to face the bouncer from Hell. More trouble, great.

In the meantime, Allen had been pouring the contents of his bottle in a circle about him screaming, "I'll effin' show ya, I will! I'll show ya!" He then pulled out his lighter and ignited the circle about him. People began to scream and run away.

"FUCKIN' BEJESUS!" The bouncer screamed as he let Jimmy go and ran towards Allen. Jimmy brushed his shoulder off and chased after the bouncer.

"Shiva! Shiva, come here you rat-bastard! IA! IA! Friggin' IA and all that shit!" Allen had his arms outstretched and crying to the ceiling. The bouncer jumped through the narrow wall of flame and grabbed Allen by the collar. "What is you fucking problem?! You stupid asshole!"

Jimmy grabbed a fire extinguisher from the hands of a nearby worker and leapt into the ring of fire. He smashed the bouncer in the base of the skull with it, knocking him unconscious. Jimmy then put out a section of the fire ring with the extinguisher and dragged the bouncer and Allen outside to safety. Fortunately, everyone around him was running for their lives and didn't take much notice.

Putting Allen over his shoulder, Jimmy ran towards his car and tossed Allen into the back seat. "Mon, you're kinda disappointing when drunk," he said out loud as he started the car up and began to drive away.

"...the celebration in downtown Chicago tended to be on peaceful side, thankfully. The only casualty was the bar Eddie's, which was burned down by Allen Covenant, who is wanted in Phoenix for the destruction of a Dynamax lab..."

Danny flipped the local morning news off and looked at Allen like a disappointed father. Allen was in his bed, recuperating from a massive hangover. All he could manage was a hurtful moan.

"I can't believe you went and did that last night, Allen," Danny said. "You're almost twenty years older than me yet you act like a irresponsible teenager. By exposing yourself like that you've put yourself and the Colony at risk."

Allen moaned again.

"Do you have anything to say for yourself?"

Allen reached away from his bed over to his trench coat. Out of one of the pockets he produced a cellular phone. "I...found my phone...."

Danny exhaled in a frustrated manner. He never made any parents go through this, so why did he? He left Allen's room. They'd talk later.

In the meantime, Allen continued to play with his phone. It was important that he found it. He and Issac would be needing some money soon and Allen was constantly getting offers over this line to do Omega investigative work. It was mostly criminals and the like who called him, but right now he was willing to look into anything. To get some cash and to get back into the flow of things.

Before he fell back asleep, he thought about how much he wished Billy Moulder was there. He had a unbelievable urge to make a joke about the hair of the dog that bit him.

Next Issue:
The Tick (yes!yes!yes!) guest writes!
Read Issue #3 of RAPIDFIRE to catch the fun!
Lots of Exlamation points!!!

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