Railroad to Heck!

by Great Neutral, Upright, Some BIG Guy, and Great Neutral's Chick of the Month


"Unnhhh!"

"I'm truly sorry sir, but we just don't wash strips of cloth here." The employee of Jack's Speedy Dry cleaners looked offended as he continued, "This is a high-class establishment we run here!"

"Unnhhh!" groaned Super Mummy, holding a bundle of rags in the employee's face.

"I don't care if that's your only extra super suit. We aren't going to do it."

 

° ° °

 

Patiently waiting outside, Nice Alice and Teleman sat eating ice cream. "Gee, vanilla ice cream sure is nice on a nice hot day like this."

Biteful at a time, Teleman used his telekinesis to raise the ice cream slowly to his mouth. He kept his eyes on Nice Alice. Watching her tongue rotate and swirl at the head of the cone, catching every drip before it could run down his... er, her cone.

The door swung open and Super Mummy stormed out. In his hands he still carried the extra super suit he had brought with him. "Unnhhh," he said with disgust.

"Aw, that's nice. It looks like new again."

"Unnhhh!"

"Oh, I can see you're happy too. How nice things are working out today." Nice Alice got up from her chair. "Where to next?"

Teleman stood and patted Super Mummy on the back while using his telepathy. "Don't worry ol' buddy. We can use soap and water when we get home."

"Unnhhh."

 

° ° °

 

"Whoo whooooo. Ha Ha Hawhooo!"

A figure in a conductor's hat set down a blood stained coal shovel. The real conductor's melon head lay bleeding on the floor of the choo choo's engine room. The train began to speed up.

"Whoo yah! I finally have a late 1800s Weimer, Model #812! Jet black!"

The Conductor liked talking to himself.

"Coal burning, single headlight, eight wheeled..."

 

° ° °

 

Eeee! Eeee! Eeee! Eeee! The Hero Corps Danger Alarm rang simultaneously on Teleman, Nice Alice, and Super Mummy's secret danger alert watch. A street passerby asked, "Hey, what's that sound?"

"Why it's our secret danger alert, silly." Nice Alice smiled and pulled up her sleeve for him to see the GHC alert wristwatch, from which a voice yelled out:

"Hey you stupid fucks! Where the hell are you?"

"Who's that?" -- the passerby.

"Who's that?" -- the watch.

"Unnhhh?" -- the mummy.

"Hmmm..." -- the telepathic, unintentionally projecting a scene of him and Nice Alice dancing in the sheets.

"Oh!" -- the nice one, not sure if this picture was nice or not. It made her feel kind of funny.

"All right, enough of this bullshit you fuckheads!" The voice from the watch screamed. "The Goddamned Conductor's at it again. He's stolen an antique train from Mid Pacific Train Company. Stop fucking around and go get that bastard!"

"Uh..."

"What? What, you pathetic, no good, fu --"

"Who's in charge?" asked Teleman excitedly. Generally, he didn't care to be leader of a mission, mostly because Dirk Daring or Greased Lightning or Bill were around, and people tended to listen to those with flair, dash, charisma. However, since it was just him with Super Mummy and Nice Alice...

"Nice Alice's in charge, you stupid loser! You couldn't lead a classroom of fucking five year olds to a picnic! You couldn't..."

"Who's that nasty man?" asked the passerby innocently.

"What? Who's that?" screamed the unrevealed Captain Dick.

"It's a completely unconnected, everyday citizen of the world!"

"A what? Fuck! I mean, oh shit..."

"Who is that?"

"That's Cap --"

"Cap!" screamed Captain Dick shrilly over the wristwatch. "I'm Cap, the uh, the Pen Cap Man! You want to talk to Captain Dick, do you? Well, uh, well. Hey, Captain Dick! Some good citizen wants to talk to you.."

Everyone looked at each other, wondering why Captain Dick was acting so weird.

"...Hello citizen!" boomed a very deep and masculine voice over the tiny speaker. "What can I do you for?"

"I didn't want to talk to you," said Passerby. "I know you're a busy, great man."

"Yes, well, okay. Okay team, go out and give it that Hero Corps go!"

"Yes sir!" cried the team. Except for Super Mummy, who said, predictably, "Unnhhh!"

"Uhm, so, here's the plan then." Nice Alice looked to see how well her teammates reacted to her in a command position. She couldn't tell so she just continued anyway, "Teleman, I want you to teleport us to The Conductor."

"I can't. I don't even know where he is."

Nearby, on the ever present news bulletin in the window of any appliance store:

"This just in! The Conductor is traveling south on the track to the mountains. We have a chopper following him bringing us this live footage."

The TV switched to stock footage of a train innocently chugging down some random railroad.

Nice Alice looked to Teleman. "Well?"

"What, are you trying to be commanding?" pouted Teleman. He wasn't going for this shit. Hell, he could be a TV repair man if he wanted to be.

"Uh, well..."

Alice looked around her. Super Mummy, Teleman, Passerby, the man behind the counter at the appliance store, the barber in the barber shop, the freckle-faced buck-toothed kid who's hair was being cut, the homeless man down the street taking a whiz against Wells Fargo and crying out "I whiz on you, Capitalism!" -- all eyes were on her (to the homeless dude's detriment), wondering what was going to happen next. Could Nice Alice be commanding?

Yes, thought Nice Alice, I can be commanding! Her eyebrows knit together, a stern look came to her face and she looked Teleman in the eye, "You will take us to that train immediately!"

"Okay, okay, geez. I was just doin' the obligatory challenge to situational change of command." Teleman looked sheepish as the four of them disappeared.

 

° ° °

 

And re-appeared. Somewhere.

"There was never a change of command! Ever! I was appointed commander!"

"Unnhhh?"

"Yeah, where are we?" asked the Passerby. He was a man, by the way, very ordinary.

Soon the three began to sense where it was they were now.

But they where wrong. IT WASN'T WHAT THEY HAD BEGUN TO SENSE.

It was, however, dark.

"Jesus, it's so dark!'

"Do not say Jesus! It's not polite and this not about religion anyway."

"I'm Methodist, myself," informed Passerby.

"Unnhhh."

"You know what Super Mummy?" asked Teleman telepathically. "Nice Alice is acting kinda bitchy."

"Unnhhh." thought Super Mummy back.

"So where are we Teleman?" Nice Alice was starting to lose her patients.

"So you're a nurse?" asked Passerby. "Wow, I was gonna be a nurse, but I switched majors. A lot. Finally ended up being a waiter. But you know what? I like being a waiter. I always have cash in my pocket and..."

"I think we're on the train, Supreme Commander Of All She Surveys," snapped Teleman.

"Why do you think that?"

"Cuz of all the chugga chuggas and whoo whoooooos," sang out Teleman sassily.

"Okay." Nice Alice looked around hoping a plan would come to mind. It was dark, but a plan still came to mind. "Okay Super Mummy, could you please break a hole in the ceiling so we can fly out onto the roof?"

"Unnhhh."

"What?"

"Unnhhh!"

"Now that was not nice, Super Mummy! I simply asked a question and then you go and get all mean on me! I think, I think I'm gonna cry....boo hoo hoooo!"

"Unnhhh."

"That's okay Super Mummy. We're still friends."

"Hey," began Passerby excitedly, "how about we try a door or something! I think I found the knob here!"

"Mmmooooo!"

"Oops, I have a funny feeling that wasn't the doorknob after all."

"Hey something just brushed against me!"

"Unnhhh."

"It's smells kinda like, you know, cows or something."

"Eewww! I think I just stepped in something... Teleman, did you teleport us to the right train?"

"Uh, I guess..."

"Oh, Teleman," sighed Nice Alice, "what are we going to do with you?"

"Unnhhh!!!"

"Now Super Mummy, you're going to have to calm down. You're only going to make a not so nice situation worse." Nice Alice sat down to think. Splat! A warm ooze squished underneath her.

CRACK! A light beamed through a gaping hole in the roof. The silhouette of Super Mummy appeared, bent over the hole looking down. "Unnhhh."

"Hey, now that's finally getting something done. We've been in this thing in the dark for so long I think we've lost track of what we're supposed to be doing."

"What do you mean we, pale face?" screamed Teleman. "You're just a snot nosed stranger who's about as exciting as Bill and you don't even belong on this mission!"

"Hey! Well, so? And at least Bill makes people think he's mysterious, unlike you. They shouldn't call you Teleman. No way, they should call you Teleboring!"

"You big shit!" screamed Teleman, lunging for Passerby.

"This will end now!" screamed Nice Alice nicely.

Suddenly everyone calmed down, the effect of Nice Alice's power felt by man, woman and cow alike.

"Hey, you know what, Alice? You know what?" began Teleman, snuggling up to Passerby.

"You're power's just like, like, like... weed," finished Passerby, pulling Teleman closer.

Satisfied with her accomplishment, Nice Alice looked up to Super Mummy so as to get back to the problem at hand. Just as she caught sight of his glimmering crown, that famous purple billowing cape, and his all too familiar noble stature, WHACK!! The train car went dark again. In shock she sat silently. All she could hear was the hollow sound of a train passing through a tunnel. "Ah, uhm, guys."

"Mmmoooo."

"Okay, you idiots, I know there's no cows in this car, so why don't you stop the mooing Teleman!" Geez, Nice Alice thought, now I know what Captain Phallic must go through dealing with these dufuses.

And then it struck her.

I was almost mean!

"We were just playing, Nice Alice," complained Teleman, looking sheepish.

"Yeah," finished Passerby.

"..." said Super Mummy.

"Hey, where's Super Mummy?"

"Who?"

"Super Mummy, where is he?"

"Oh, uh, hmm. I don't know."

"You, you, you bonehead," Nice Alice almost screamed. "You're just about as useful as Bill and a lot less interesting!"

Oh God I Was Mean!

Whump!

As the train emerged from the tunnel and light once again filled the car, Teleman contemplated why he was so unexciting. Maybe it's the uniform. I guess I could improve on a silver jumpsuit with Teleman written diagonally across the chest.

Then he saw Alice, who had fainted and laid sprawled across the floor of the car.

Oh man, who's gonna take charge now? thought Teleman. Super Mummy? I think he hit the side of the mountain when we went through the tunnel. No, that only leaves one person...

"Captain Dick!" Teleman cried into his watch communicator, "Sir, everyone but me has been overwhelmed." Now for the most important line. I have to get it right. "I will now command, uh, assume now it. Oh, shoot fruit..."

"The hell you will, you pathetic piece of shit! Is that stranger guy still with you?"

"Yeah but..."

"He's in command! At least until Nice Alice or Super Mummy are functional again! Do you understand!"

"But he's not even a part of the Corps..." whined Teleman.

"DO YOU UNDERSTAND YOU PATHETIC FUCK!" screamed the Captain.

"Yes sir."

"Yah! All right! This is it! My big chance to be someone! To make good in this world of evil! To -- huh what?" Teleman had been tapping on his shoulder for the last half hour. "What the hell do you want?" Nice Alice's power had obviously worn off. "This is my turn to lead this group. So just sit back and shut up! Where was I?"

"In the cattle car still," said Teleman sarcastically. "Hey, pay attention, the Captain's still talking."

"Hey, you listening to me," screamed Dick. "Listen up, new fuck! You're code name now is, uh, The Stranger, I guess. Now, I can't help you right now, I've got all this paperwork for somebody to do, you see, but I have full faith in your fucking abilities, so show the world how the Corps is worth the effort of putting up with, despite all our bungling and mishaps. Now, report your status and location."

"We're on a cattle car and moving in some direction."

"Right. That Teleman could never get a handle on teleportation, that stupid fuck! Oh sure, he knows how to do it, he just can't get it right. Idiot!"

"Hey..."

"Okay, I'm sending Carlotta Everyday to bring you guys back here. Then you'll start over, once we locate exactly where The Conductor is. Do you think you're up to the job of holding still until Carlotta arrives in a few seconds, Stranger?"

"I'll do my best, sir."

 

° ° °

 

"Ha Ha Ha! Haawhooo!" screamed The Conductor, as he raced his prize to his secret hideout.

 

° ° °

 

Carlotta Everyday found Super Mummy implanted into the side of the mountain, the rest of the task force on a train headed for Mexico, then brought the group to Hero Corps headquarters after lecturing them on the uses of daisies in the manufacture of world peace.

"Yeah, whatever Carlotta," said Teleman, unhappy that a girl was better than him in something that had the "tele" prefix.

They were teleported to Captain Dick's office.

"Well you picked a fine time to fuck up a mission, you pathetic... oh, never mind, you're not worth the effort of killer dialogue. Nice Alice, you are officially relieved of command. It's a good thing we found a born leader in The Stranger. Maybe I'll train you for second in command. He'll take command for the rest of the mission. We will test you for powers later. Now we need to take out the Conductor. Carlotta will take you there. Okay you fucks?"

"Uhm, I think I need a uniform..."

"Fuck, you just join and now you're demanding things like uniforms. Next you'll want food and stuff. Fuck. Well here..." Captain Dick reached into a drawer and pulled a latex pink uniform with a white daisy silhouette. "This belonged to The Daisy, but then he died in the Gobi Campaign. It'll have to do for now."

"The Daisy?" breathed everyone, except for Super Mummy, thinking of Carlotta's lecture. Oh man.

Without warning, they were suddenly on a train again. It was not dark this time. In fact, it was rather light and windy. Very windy. Carlotta had transported them onto the back of a flat-car, right behind the engine. It was also very hard to keep from falling off the rapidly moving train; especially for The Stranger, who, half naked, was hopping on one leg while trying to get his other leg into his costume.

"Damn."

The Conductor looked at the heroes with an evil grin, "Ha Ha Hawhooo! You heroes are real stupid, ya know that?" At that moment the train couple released. The flat car slowly fell behind as the engine sped away.

"What'll we do?" Nice Alice began to panic. "He's getting away again!"

In the distance she could see The Conductor shaking his fists and faintly hear, "You'll never catch me! Whoo whooooo! "

"Wait. I have an idea!" shouted The Stranger. "Why doesn't Super Mummy tie part of his leg to the end of the car and use his super flying ability. By flying at warp speed we'll be able to catch up to The Conductor in no time!"

"That's a lame idea!" screamed Nice Alice, who immediately fainted, realizing she was being mean again.

"Oh man," yelled The Stranger over the wind. "Everything is falling apart again!"

"Do you want me to take over!" yelled Teleman.

"Uh, no!"

"Do you want me to telekinetically pull the train closer to us so we can jump over and grab The Conductor and finish this mission!"

"Uh, no!"

"Do you want me to telepathically invade the twisted fiend's mind and shut him down mentally?"

"Uh, no. No, I don't think so!"

"How about I..."

"Look, just shut up! I'm not going to use any of your suggestions so just clam up before you leave me no choice but to call the mission off!"

Carlotta Everyday stepped between the two arguing heroes. They hadn't even noticed that she'd come with them. It looked like she was about to speak, so Teleman covered his ears.

"I did take us to him now, if you would be liking it then?" Carlotta asked The Stranger.

"That's it! I said no suggestions. The mission's canceled! We're going back to base."

Teleman started to object. Somehow he had heard what was being said over the deafening rush of the wind through his covered ears. "You can't do that! Its never been done before. We can't do anything unless there is some sort of precedent. Now, if you wanted to call it 'surrendering' instead of 'canceling the mission', then that would be fine."

"Dammit! What did I say? No suggestions! Now we can't even quit!"

By this time the train had nearly come to a stop. Luckily they just happened to be cresting the top of an enormous hill. So actually, as their adventure looked doomed, the car started speeding down the track in an all new direction.

"Unnhhh!" cried Super Mummy, pointing up into the sky. A news chopper was chopping around in the air.

"Wow! We're on TV!" screeched Teleman. "I bet they're using telecommunication systems!"

"HI MOM!!!" screamed the whole team, waving up at the cameras. Except for Super Mummy, who didn't. But he waved.

 

° ° °

 

"Those pathetic fuckheads!" screamed Captain Dick. "They're letting the villain get away while they're making fucking fools of themselves on national television. Jesus, The Stranger's half naked. And waving! Great, just fucking great!"

"Can I change the channel now?" asked Bill.

 

° ° °

 

Meanwhile, back at the train, the flat-car was traveling much faster than the heroes had realized. With a loud crash, the car collided with the engine.

Whomp. Whomp. Whomp. Whomp.

Four superheroes smacked into the rear of the engine as well, in full view of one hundred million Americans.

"Unnhhh," declared Super Mummy.

"Unnhhh," the others replied.

"Whoo whoooo! I have you now!" The Conductor looked up at the news crew in the chopper above, "Are you getting all this? I'm The Conductor you know. That's C-O-N-D-U-C-T-O-R." Up ahead the track switched. "Whoo whoooo! I bet you didn't know I could do that."

"Hey now!" screamed The Stranger, shaking his fist in utter frustration at the disappearing engine. Unlike the others, he wasn't stuck to the back of the engine.

"Hey Carlllloootttttaaaaa!"

Teleman dug his fingernails deeper into the metal of the train engine. He just hoped the others could hold on as well.

"Unnhhh." Super Mummy once again decided it was time for him to act and save what was left of this story. He fell from the back of the train, only he didn't hit the ground, he fell through a hole and entered the realm of the dead.

"Unnhhh." For some reason, the door to the Land of the Dead seemed to be closed. He couldn't get in.

Super Mummy re-entered reality. Only this time, he reappeared next to The Conductor, who was busy shoveling coal into the engine. He looked up in surprise.

"Whoo Whoo?"

"Unnhhh!" cried Super Mummy victoriously, bopping The Conductor on top of the head with his mongo fist.

The Conductor dropped like a sack.

Super Mummy smiled a victorious smile. He and the Galactic Hero Corps had won. But, the victory was not as complete as he thought. There was something that Super Mummy didn't know; The Conductor had taken on an apprentice on this last excursion.

Suddenly, Young Conductor Lad leaped out of a secluded compartment, and pushed Super Mummy out the door of the train. Super Mummy's bandages got hung up on the couple as he was dragged and bounced behind on the tracks.

"Die, you big mummy!" laughed Young Conductor Lad as he searched for something to cut the bandages and leave Super Mummy flailing behind. As he searched, The Conductor began to move.

"Whoo Whoo," he mumbled as he began to get to his feet.

"Whoo Whoo," agreed Young Conductor Lad.

Just then, Nice Alice and Teleman scrambled into the engine. "Freeze," screamed Teleman with utter authority since The Stranger was nowhere around.

"All right! Enough!" Nice Alice let loose her power at full strength, or at least what she thought was full strength. Anyhow, it worked. The Conductor and his sidekick were affected. Even the folks in the news copter were feeling much nicer. The pilot felt maybe the news crew was being a bit nosy so he turned the chopper around. Nice Alice continued, "You know stealing isn't right, Mister Conductor."

"You are right, Nice Alice. I know I must pay for my crime. Whoo Whoooo."

"Daddy!"

"Not now Young Conductor Lad..."

"But Daddy, you said we could go on the Skunk Train in Marin County, California -- world famous among train enthusiasts, as you know -- after this train heist."

"I don't want to break any promises, son, but it doesn't look as if were gonna make it today."

Young Conductor Lad began to cry.

"Oh, now, I don't know about that..." began Nice Alice.

"Forget it!" cried Teleman, taking charge. "You're going to jail, and your little kid too."

"I guess he's right," said Young Conductor Lad. "We did do wrong, so we must go to jail."

Nice Alice began to feel sorry for them. "Well, maybe if you promise to never steal another train, we could let you go."

"Gee, that would be grand of you," said The Conductor. "We promise, we'd never do it again."

"What the hell are you talking about?" cried Teleman. "They're criminals."

"But they're willing to be good citizens. We must give them another chance." Nice Alice smiled sweetly and gave Teleman a gentle nudge with her nice power.

"Nice try, Alice. Get it? Nice try," Teleman ribbed Nice Alice, "I've gotta take you boys in!"

The Stranger materialized through the door, Carlotta at his side. "I said no fucking suggestions, dammit! Now I'm gonna have to let these guys go!"

"Ah, but..."

"Shut up Teleman, before you force me to give them a million bucks."

"I wouldn't give us a million bucks," said The Conductor.

"Dammit! No fucking suggestions! How many times...oh, screw it. Here, take it," said The Stranger, pulling out a fat wad of money. "Take it and get out of here now!"

"Sure! See ya! Whooo Whoooooo!" screamed The Conductor as he grabbed Young Conductor Lad and jumped out of the train.

 

° ° °

 

Later that night, well after the train had been taken back to its original owner, Super Mummy sat alone in his room washing his super suit. A knock came at the door. "Unnhhh."

Nice Alice walked in and gave him a queer look, "I thought you had that thing dry cleaned today?"

"Unnhhh!"

"Oh."

THE END!
 

Copyright © 1995 No Apologies! Press

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