Master Blaster in "Dyawanfriwitha?" "I didn't think the Ultimate Ninja would've let you take a flight.thingee out," wReanna said, looking admiringly at her husband. Rob grinned and held up a hand, first and middle fingers crossed. "Ninj and I are like that," he boasted, refraining from adding that he was the thumb. What his wife and, more importantly, the ninja didn't know, he couldn't be beheaded for. "But why this all of a sudden?" "What? I can't do something nice once and a while?" wReanna looked at Rob with an eyebrow raised. "Honest. I just wanted to get away, just the two of us, go out and have a nice meal somewhere." wReanna continued to look at Rob, but quickly the look changed from one of scepticism to that of love. "Oh, Rob, it's not often we can just get away like this. The girls and I often talk about the sort of gestures we like guys to make, and this is certainly one. You know..." she added casually, "New Look Lass has been coming up with some new designs for nightware..." Rob's grin ratcheted up a few more notches. "Well, if you like, we could ditch dinner plans and head right back-" wReanna raised a hand. "First dinner, and then we'll see," she said sternly, but her eyes sparkled enticingly. Rob gave the flight.thingee an extra burst of thrust. Given the sub-orbital flight path he had programmed, he knew it shouldn't take too long to get to their destination, but suddenly his mind wasn't entirely on dinner any more. The flight.thingee arced gracefully through the air, and soon enough (although not according to some) it was headed back down and towards the target. "Where are we going, anyway?" wReanna asked, peering out through the windshield. Unfortunately, it was dusk she couldn't make any distinguishing features out. "There's a place I was told about. Has the most fantastic food ever created on the planet. Every bite is a taste explosion. We'll be there in a moment." wReanna gave another thoughtful look to her husband. This certainly wasn't his usual tactic. His usual idea of a good night was eating takeaway Chinese, watching Commando, and then, as it were, enjoying her until the morning. Which, she has to admit, wasn't exactly unpleasant for her, but every now and then something different was appreciated. As the flight.thingee landed, she subtly adjusted her simply gorgeous dress to show off another inch, and fussed with her wrap. Rob had chosen to go with a tuxedo, and she admired the lines that fitted him well... and snugly. With the flight.thingee locked down, Rob held out his arm, allowing wReanna to fold her arm around it, then led her down the small gangway. wReanna looked around, eager to espy the upper class restaurant they were undoubtedly destined for, but couldn't see it anywhere nearby. "Is it far?" "Just around the corner. I want you to get the full impact of seeing this place for the first time." wReanna felt a tingle of joy run through her, and they quickly stepped to the end of the block, and swung around the last building to see... wReanna spun to glare at Rob, saw he was staring raptly, and smacked him on his arm to get his attention. "You brought us here to go to THAT?" Rob turned to wReanna, genuinely surprised. "Yeah. I've heard that the cuisine is 'stupendously amazing'." Ignoring for the moment the fact that her husband had actually used the word 'stupendously', wReanna turned her head back to make sure they were looking at the same thing. "The Racoon City Waffle Hut?? I admit wasn't exactly expecting _Fettucini's_, but..." "What? It's a nice place!" Rob said, finding himself on the defensive. "Some place special for the two of us to share each other's company, away from the LNH..." wReanna sighed. She had to admit the concept of the outing was still appealing, even if the particular locale didn't live up to her expectations. And she would get to spend some time with her husband... Relinking her arm in his, she started walking again. "All right, let's go in. But next time, I choose the restaurant." Rob's grinned returned. Although he would never tell anyone, whenever his wife was angry with him, it cut right through him. Yes, it gave fire to her eyes, and her forcefulness was damn attractive, but he was happier when she was too. It was probably just his MacDaddy vibes messing with him. Inside the restaurant they paused to allow their eyes to adjust to the sudden brightness. Rob looked around, checking out what other people had ordered. wReanna was acutely aware of how dressed up they were compared to the jeans and t-shirts of those around them. And there was something else about the people that she couldn't quite put her finger on... Reaching the ordering counter, they were greeted with the glazed stare of a long-time minimum wager earner. "HellocanItakyorordrplse?" she monotoned. Scanning the pictures, Rob said "Er, yes, I'd like the... Waffle Palooza... with a side of waffle dips... and a jug of... waffle juice, thanks." The drone tapped buttons on the console. "Dyawanfriwitha?" Rob shrugged. "Yeah, sure, why not?" The drone finished typing, then turned to wReanna. Aware of the feeling of grease already coating her skin, wReanna said, "I'll take a... green waffle... the low sodium waffle slivers... and a low-cal, fat free, no salt, dethickened thinned non-gelatinous, pickle empty glass of life juice, please." More buttons were hit, finishing with 'water'. "Dyawanfriwitha?" the drone said flatly. "I didn't ask for fries," wReanna pointed out. She received a slow-blinking stare, and clarified "No." As the order was processed in what passed for the kitchen, wReanna peered around again, still feeling something was off, and not just the probable lack of hygiene. The people around her seemed normal enough, eating and talking... although, as she stared, she couldn't actually see anyone talking. Mouths were just opening and closing to eat more food, but no actual conversations were taking place. Yet, she could hear murmurings. She couldn't, admittedly, make any actual words out, but... And then there was the eating. People took a bite of food, chewed, swallowed, then went back for another bite. Almost mechanically. There weren't any signs the people actually enjoyed their meals, just the same blank glazed looks on their faces as the girl serving them. Almost as if... "Herisyurordrsirhavnicedaycomagin." Rob picked up the tray, and nudged his wife. "Come on, honey. I see a free table over there," he indicated with a nod of his head. Distracted, wReanna followed him as he led the way to the booth, and helped to distribute the plates. Rob drooled contemplating the food before him, then decided to start with his favourite. Grabbing a handful of fries, he raised them to his mouth... and then a hand clamped on his arm, making him close his mouth on empty air. "What?" he snapped, immediately frustrated by fries-deprivation. "Rob," wReanna hissed. "Something is very wrong here. These people are drugged." Rob finally looked at the other patrons. "What? They're eating food. Look fine to me." "But it's the way they are eating food. It's wrong." Rob frowned, but turned to stare at their next-booth neighbours. There were many reasons they had made it as a couple, and one of which was that while she did state the obvious, he didn't always see the obvious. Finally, he became aware of the mechanical eating process, and the odd disconcert between hearing conversation but not actually seeing anyone talk. He sighed, and pushed his waffle away. "And I'm hungry, too," he pouted. "Hey, perhaps the fries are fine?" "It's the fries I'm most suspicious of," wReanna said. "Not everyone ordered the same meal, but everyone is having fries." "Oh, man! They drugged the fries? That's going too far." wReanna blinked and then Rob was holding a 12-guage shotgun. "It's time to... um... little help?" "Er... lose a little weight?" wReanna offered. Seeing Rob's shocked look, she added "What?" Rob shook his head, now wasn't the time to discuss that particular comment, but soon... "No, it's time to clean up this joint." "Shouldn't we help these people first? And I'm sure they already have cleaning staff." Unfortunately the "obvious" meaning of metaphors weren't usually the useful ones. "Yes, okay. Now it's time to help these people. Is there any particular gun you'd like?" "I doubt we'll be needing any guns. Whatever's going on here shouldn't pose any problems for us... oh, cute!" wReanna finished as Rob held up a pink snub-nosed pistol for her. As she took it, she gave Rob a Look. "Now, this isn't..." "Don't worry. Rubber bullets all around." Sliding out of the booth, the pair strode to the middle of the restaurant, and posed. "Listen up, people! I am Master Blaster and this is Sister State-the-Obvious. We've uncovered a serious problem with drugged food here that we will put a stop to at once!" As great as speech was (or was not, as the case may be), no-one took any notice of them. Even the drones behind the counter didn't register them. "People, listen up!" Master Blaster shouted again, considering the effect a blast into the ceiling would give. "There is a serious problem here! Come on, people! Don't mess with us! We're with the LNH!" That did get a reaction. As one, every person in the restaurant turned their heads to look at the two heroes, opened their mouths, and screamed. Although, given the ear-splitting pitch and horrendous volume, the word 'screeched' would be apt. (And the overall effect was even worse considering that not everyone had empty mouths at the time.) Master Blaster and Sister State-the-Obvious clapped their hands to their ears, without dropping their guns in the process. "The name 'LNH' set them off!" Sister State-the-Obvious yelled over the din. Fortunately, the screeching stopped. Unfortunately, the people started moving. Slowly, they manoeuvred their way out of the booths, limbs jerking crazily as they bent to tasks not used for eating. Men and woman, kids of all ages, all stumbled onto the floor and began lurching towards the pair in the middle. "Oh, crap!" Master Blaster swore. "They're zombies!" "Zombies? Perhaps they're just lame." "Frickin' lame zombies is what they are, all right." Taking aim at the nearest patron, Master Blaster unloaded his shotgun right in the man's chest. He collapsed backwards, falling in an ungainly heap on the floor. But as soon as he stopped moving from the shot, he started moving from the drugs, and clambered to his feet to start slouching towards Master Blaster again. "Rubber bullets ain't gonna cut it, love," Master Blaster said, the shotgun in his hands glowing momentarily. "There's only one way to deal with zombies!" He raised the gun and took a bead on the approaching man's head... and then the shotgun was snatched from his hands. Hands gripped his head, and then he found himself face to face with his wife. "Rob, they aren't dead. They are just drugged," she hissed at him. At that moment, the zombies moaned. It started as a low sound that rose to a load roar before tailing off in an odd hiss. But Rob didn't notice. He was too busy staring into wReanna's eyes. Impulsively, he grabbed her and kissed her hard. She melted into him, but all too soon broke the kiss. "We have to get to work," she reminded him gently. Master Blaster formed two Baretta's and started spraying the crowd around him. Sister State-the-Obvious winced, but saw that although they were being knocked back, the bullets were rubber and not causing permanent damage. She turned away when she saw a little boy with a maniacal grin on his face get beaned in the head and fall backwards. "Get behind the counter," Master Blaster said, concentrating on keeping them back. "Find out what's going on. And call in the LNH!" Sister State-the-Obvious and turned to the counter. Behind it, she saw three workers, all who stood there staring blankly. She couldn't tell if they were drugged or just numb from work, but hopefully they wouldn't get in her way. She took three quick steps to jump and... ...stumbled and nearly fell. Her dress and high-heeled shoes were more suited to fine dining than heroic duties. There was only one thing to do. Master Blaster's head snapped around at the sound of tearing clothing (which was a sound, admittedly, he had heard often...), and he was in time to see Sister State-the-Obvious as she cleared the counter, her dress flapping around her legs, and his keen eyes picked out... Oh yeah, tonight was gonna be something special... Sister State-the-Obvious landed in a crouched position, and rose carefully. The workers around her didn't seem to be reacting to her presence, so she set off into the depths of the restaurant kitchen, her gun at the ready. Immediately she was enveloped in waves of grease and steam. Peering, she could make out waffle grills and mixing stations. A dark shadow loomed in the gloom, and Sister State-the-Obvious raised her gun in readiness. A manager lurched out at her, moaning loudly. As the moan wound down, Sister State-the-Obvious could see the manager's lips change shape, forming part of a word. "Ot"? "Ooot?" "Oat"? Was it the oats? They used drugged oats in the fries?? With only a minor twinge of guilt (he was a Waffle Hut manager after all), Sister State-the-Obvious fired her gun, put him down for now. Moving on, she found the chipper, and started looking for culprits. Although she couldn't find any oats, she did come across a jar of "Mind Control Fat ". Blinking at this amazing find, Sister State-the-Obvious stood there for just a fraction too long... Sister State-the-Obvious' scream cut into Master Blaster's soul, but he covered his reaction with bare-faced bravado. "Honey, are you all right back there?" Not receiving an immediate response, he spun away from the oncoming masses, ran and leapt over the counter, performing a perfectly executed dive roll to rise to his feet, all of which was only slightly marred by the ripping sound from the seat of his pants. Damn, now the rental place would charge him more... unless he turned WikiBoy into a clothes mender! Sweet! Thus energised, he shot the worker drones in a burst of enthusiasm, and headed into the kitchen. Guns at the ready, he sniffed the air. Ah, just a hint to the right of "Obvious" by Calvin Klein. Moving in that direction, he saw several bodies writhing in the steam before him, and he loosed off two precisely targeted rounds. Drones fell away, and then Sister State-the-Obvious collapsed out of the steam, into his arms. "Hey, honey, you miss me?" "Oh, Rob, it was terrible..." Keeping the attackers at bay with continual gun firings, Master Blaster hugged Sister State-the-Obvious, enjoying her warmth. "Don't worry. I'll keep the zombies back." "No, it's worse than that. They aren't zombies. They're moaning... at first I thought it was 'oats', like they were using drugged oats, but that isn't it at all. They're not saying 'oat', they're saying 'vote'!" "The dead have risen and are voting? They're Republicans, right?" Sister State-the-Obvious sighed, exasperation overriding her fear. "They are *not* dead. They're drugged and they're ready to vote!" "So... is this like some plan we've just uncovered where Hex Luthor is trying to influence people with drugs to re-elect him for a third term, even though that's forbidden by the Loonited States Constitution?" Sister State-the-Obvious blinked. "Um, I'm not sure..." she said hesitantly. "If... you like..." "That's nearly enough to make me want to vote!" "We are still in this Waffle Hut surrounded by voters with no sign of escape," Sister State-the-Obvious pointed out. "What? Oh that. Now that we're back here, we can get out easily enough. Here, take these," Master Blaster said, handing his guns to Sister State-the-Obvious. Looking at a side wall, he concentrated, and a small, compact, rather futuristic pistol appeared in his hand. He raised, pointed, and squeezed the trigger... There was an almighty explosion as the entire wall before them disintegrated into clouds of dust. "Wow. That's really impressive," Sister State-the-Obvious said. "That wasn't me..." Master Blaster admitted. "Oh. I wondered why you didn't simply use the back door." "There's a back door?" By then enough of the dust had settled to reveal a dozen dark clothed figures with guns running into the kitchen. Most of them streamed past the pair, but one of them stopped before them. "Sir? Ma'am? Are you okay?" the figure asked, her voice slightly muffled by the mask she wore. "If you could come this way, please?" Taking Sister State-the-Obvious' arm, she started guiding them out of the kitchen, and for the moment they were too confused to stop her. Outside, after taking a grateful breath of clean air, they paused by a large truck. Master Blaster could now recognise the signs that informed him that this woman belonged to the National Girl Scouts Associations. If they were involved, then whatever was going on here was important. "We were sent in to contain this area. Don't worry. We'll make sure they are helped. You can return to the LNH now." "But, we found evidence that..." Sister State-the-Obvious started. "We know exactly what's happening, ma'am. If you could leave it to us, we'll make sure everything is taken care of." Leaving them by the truck, the woman darted back inside. "I'm not sure..." Sister State-the-Obvious began. Master Blaster wrapped an arm around her shoulders. "If they're involved, we're safer out here. Come on, we need get back to the LNH. I think Ultimate Ninja would like to hear about this." Meanwhile, in a bunker far away, a phone is picked up. "Sorry, sir. Too much zombie, not enough vote. We'll have to try again." "Be careful. There are enough superheroes in Racoon City already. I do not want anything else to be uncovered." "We˙˙ve got a Final Solution ready, sir, just in case." "Make sure you don't leave it too late. I want nothing of this to get out... until we're ready." "Don't worry, sir. No-one will be to resist this..." Authors Notes: I had the idea of "President Evil" long ago, but I doubt this idea was restricted to only a few brilliant minds. And then I saw the President Evil series, and thought I might tie into that... but didn't want to deal with all those Random Heroes. So, how much of this ties into that series (or more recent gorilla related activities), and how much Master Blaster's theory is what's really going on... I'm going to leave to others to decide.Back to the Index.