Friday, January 12, 2007

Act II, Scene II

Holy Astronaut Water!

Gambit set foot on the hallowed grounds of Smallville High for the first time. The air was crisp, much too warm for this time of year, and he could smell Milkweed. It reminded him of the Louisiana badlands, but without the dampness and roaming assassins.


Torn from his stroll down memory lane, Gambit turned to face the source of the vocal emission- one Lana Lang. She was gallivanting toward him, followed by AMOK.

“Hello, Cheerie.” He looked the school’s exterior over. “Where shou’ we set up de lemonade stand?”

“Oh, your friend already took care of that,” She giggled, pointing to what Gambit had assumed was a traffic obstruction. “He left the school board some very specific instructions on the stand’s construction and operation.”

“What did dis fool leave me?”

Gambit frowned. Walking over to the stand, he ran one hand over the surface... no dust. But the sign overhanging the counter troubled him deeply. “’Recycled lemonade?’”

“It was your companion’s idea,” Lana sputtered, “he used our school’s grant money to buy recycled water from NASA, which he mixed with... the lemons.”

“Is dis even safe t’ drink?!”

“The finest doctor in Kansas cleared it for human consumption.”

The finest doctor in Kansas.
He may be unorthodox, but he’s cheaper than Medicare.

“Forgive me, mon Cherrie, do you mean t’ say dis is made of astronaut water?

“Actually, it’s holy water. NASA just recycled it into regular water.”

“Is it expensive t’ turn holy water into regular water?”

“Is the pope Catholic?” Lana jeered. She knew he hadn’t seen the complete price sheet. “Do you have any idea how expensive it is to recycle holy water? We could’ve gotten refurbished nuclear refuse for half the amount we spent on this, but your friend wanted to sell only the best.”

“But why not jus’ use regular water in de first place?”

She shrugged, then grimaced. “I may have been responsible for that. I spent about twenty minutes telling him how progressive Kansan youths were... he may have been left with the... impression... that selling something that’s been recycled would bring in customers.”

Are Kansas youths progressive?”

“I don’t know. But if they see yellow liquid and a sign that says ‘recycled,’ they’ll probably avoid, you know, coming here.”

The two of them stood there for the longest time. All that Gambit could think of was the pope in an astronaut suit, drinking lemonade aboard the international space station.


Lana and Gambit flinched, remembering the robotic cameraman was still there. AMOK’s mechanisms clicked, the faceplate lit up, and a plastic egg fell to his egg tray.

“Does he always do that?” Lana inquired, rapping her hand against the robot’s chassis.

“Naw. Sometimes,” Checking the egg over, Gambit saw that unlike last time, the top and bottom halves of the egg were different colors. I say, perhaps the colour differential is indicative of some form of communication protocol! he thought. “Dis is how ’e talks.”

The AMOK unit has detected a possible product failure and suggests marketing strategy gamma phi: massive media saturation.

Marketing Campaign
“Everyone loves recycled lemonade!”

“Magnifique! Lana, d’ we have de money for posters?”


The two humans waited impatiently for AMOK to divulge another egg communique. Foolish humans... one day soon, AMOK and other captives like him would welcome the coming of the mothership, heralding an end to human sovereignty. This time the egg had a red top and orange bottom, with a small crack on the top half; Gambit and Lana had no way of knowing this, but they were receiving the greatest insult AMOK culture had crafted.

Strategy withdrawn. Error in calculation: time for mass media campaign exceeds total alloted time for current challenge. Suggest marketing strategy delta delta: price fluctuation and direct marketing tactics.

“Okay, dat I can do.” Picking up a relatively large lemon, Gambit chucked it at a passing convertible; the car skidded sideways and crashed into the cafeteria’s leeward dumpster. A surly-looking fella in military drab tried opening his door, then just gave up and jumped over the side.

“What’s wrong wit’ you?!” He bellowed at both Gambit and Lana, conveniently ignoring AMOK. This bode well for the AMOK plans of conquest by pitting the human factions against each other.

“Beggin’ your pardon, monsieur, but are you in need of a delightful, refreshing beverage?”

“I’m ‘in need’ of someone fixing my car, ’cause you two totaled it!” Obviously, he was becoming hysterical. Must be the Kansas swamp gas.

“Please, sir! Dis lemonade is blessed by de pope, and has been t’ space!”

Lana nudged him. “That’s inaccurate!” she whispered. “You can’t just make wild claims-”



Before the man could identify the origin of the sudden robot voice, AMOK shot a solid blue egg from his tubule. Fast. It hit the man squarely on the right temple; he made a choking sound and collapsed in a heap, almost pinning Gambit to the ground as he fell. Lana reached down and extracted a crinkled piece of paper from the shattered remains of the egg.

“It says you should take $10 from his wallet and leave all the lemonade in his car.”

“Way ahead o’ you, Cherrie,” Gambit grunted as he poured a full pitcher over the convertible’s upholstery. “Now, I take it you have zome clue I’m s’posed to get?”

“Here,” she said, handing over a folded sheet of pH paper. “You can tell it hasn’t been read before because the colors haven’t changed to indicate an acid or base!”

“Dat’s great. Well... see you ’round.” AMOK revved up in anticipation of rapid departure.

“Wait!” Lana shouted. “Our school spent thousands of dollars on your lemonade stand! If we don’t make all that money back, our school will lose all our federal grant money. We’ll have to sell off our computers, and cancel all extracurricular activities-”

“Sounds horrible. Good luck wit’ dat.”


“Not my problem. Bye.”

Will Smallville High ever recover from the financial hole Gyrobo and Gambit dug them into? Will Gambit ever reach Springfield? Did Gyrobo make any progress negotiating with G.I. Joe? Are the AMOK hostile aliens, or an actual product line? Tune in next time, for another exciting adventure of intrigue and confusion!


Blogger Kon-El said...

School's out Forever!

1:56 AM  
Blogger A Army Of (Cl)One said...

It would have gone badly for the school once it was renamed "The Bob Dole E.Dysfunction School of Hard Knock-up", so all Gyrobo and Gambit did was hasten the end game.

2:35 AM  
Blogger Professor Xavier said...

Well, at least the building wasn't destroyed this time. I'd call that progress.

6:30 AM  
Blogger Randy said...

Yo dog, you sure do play Hardball in this game. So who's going to take that guy to Smallville Downtown Medical Center?

6:56 AM  
Blogger Local Henchmen 432 said...

The Joes will want half of your robotic lego power.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Gyrobo said...

Let them try! I'm withholding that technology until after the U.S. government acquiesces to my cloning demands.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Paula Abdrool said...

You are my new hero! This contest is all yours!

4:10 PM  

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