Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Astonishing Adventures of Action Steve! This Episode: "The Plan"

    Lounatic walked into the nondescript warehouse near Hula Bay that served as The Original Mr. E-vil Elli Manalo's base of operations. The Original Mr. E-vil greeted him in a voice that nearly shook the rafters. "Louis 'Lounatik' Nguyen! How are you?" the tone was somewhere between suspicion, sincerity and mockery. Lounatic knew this was a sign the man was annoyed. Lounatic didn't really care.

    "Hello Mr. E-vil. You wanted to see me?" Lounatic replied.

    "Indeed I did! I wanted to know if you had time in your busy schedule for our little plan." The words, "busy schedule" were delivered with almost pure mockery, and just a dash of suspicion. The "Our" that The Original Mr. E-vil Elli Manalo was referring to was the rest of his gang. Lounatic knew how likely it was they had contributed to the plan. "Action Steve has been fired from his job," The Original Mr. E-vil Elli Manalo continued, "and I'm not sure when he'll get another one. The time has, once again, come for us to search for his secret hideout."

    Not this again, thought Lounatic unhappily. He remembered the last time. It had taken months to locate just where one of the secret hatchways Action Steve used to launch from his lair in his flying car. Once one of the men found it they had inadvertently triggered an alarm. He reported that the world seemed to shimmer around them for a moment and then the hatch was sealed up. Days of investigation revealed that the hatch had been sealed with concrete, and unless they wanted to get a crew of men with heavy equipment at the site, not the sort of thing a criminal who wants to avoid attention would do, they wouldn't be able to discover where it had lead. They'd tried finding another hatchway with the same result. Only this time the men at the scene had been teleported to the Hulaville police station. It was clear Action Steve had very powerful friends. But Lounatic was still convinced the man was not a threat, and he said so.

    "Not a threat eh? You weren't able to best him in combat when last we met. We lost a lot of our gang and had to run away!"

    It was true, Action Steve was a better fighter than Lounatic, but what did that matter? Action Steve dressed in a flashy costume and he fought very obvious villains in other flashy costumes. All one had to do to avoid him was to not wear a mask! Lounatic knew there was no point in saying this. Instead he asked, "What did you have in mind sir?"

    "Our problem has been that we always look at the surface," The Original Mr. E-vil Elli Manalo replied. "I'm betting that's where the security is strongest. Instead we need to go underground and search for unusual features. I'm betting a newly built tunnel will stick out among the old sewer drains like a sore thumb. We'll search the entire sewer, one section at a time. We won't spread out like before. We'll have our entire team down there, in each location, looking for alarms and this magical shimmering the men have talked about. We'll bring everything we need to defeat Action Steve. We'll be ready."

    Actually, it was a good plan, and perfect for Lounatic's purposes. He might even try it himself once The Original Mr. E-vil Elli Manalo was finally of the way. Action Steve was not a threat, but he could be a nuisance. "Good idea sir," Lounatic replied. "May I help with organizing the search plan?" The Original Mr. E-vil Elli Manalo nodded happily. Louis liked the plan. That was good. Louis was as smart as he thought he was, but, Mr. E-vil thought to himself, nowhere near as clever. No doubt his second in command, Louis 'Lounatik' Nguyen, was planning to ambush him in the sewers. He remembered when he was second in command like Louis was now. It was good to have ambition, and treachery keeps the wits sharp.

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