After a thorough search through my journal, I've managed to pluck the second half of Greg's report from New Zealand. Enjoy! -Tarq.
“We have to help them...” I turned to see my friend, whose face was in a contortion of pain of which words could not describe.
"Okay". Fitz turned to me, his eyes fixed on the shearing machines. "Go get the livestock, I'll take care of this sick experiment." He said, gesturing with his pistol. A grin crept up the side of my cheek. Good ol' Fitz. "Right you are boss." I whipped out my dark red revolver and headed for the sheep whilst Fitzwellington left to begin his search for the source of the clones and the monsters behind the operation.
I made my way towards the enslaved sheep, the steel stairs rattling underfoot as I hurried down them onto a long walkway. In a few minutes I was there, standing at the mouth of a huge khaki platform, ridden with hay and stray wool, the centre laced with laser fences which contained the innocent sheep. In the middle of the laser pen laid gargantuan metal gates which had been painted the blackest of blacks. The sheep could not have looked more antagonised. It was of vital importance I shut down those generators - anybody with a desire to clone is bad news.
* * *
I saw Gregory from across the cavern-like warehouse, a tiny, long haired spec in the distance. I turned my attention toward the vats. I could see some kind of tower in the centre of the complex, and the walkway from the lift led straight to it. I inhaled sharply through my left nostril, and advanced, my revolver in hand.
As I dashed down the walkway, I caught a glimpse of a large gathering of tall, pale blonde people below me. I soon realised they were the same as those l had seen in the local farming village, and they weren’t people, no - they were elves! Tall, bow wielding, sheep eating, pointy eared elves I tell you! ‘The ones in the village must have been mere look outs’ I thought to myself. As I looked away from the clones, which were unphased by my presence, I saw the control centre door approach me. The tower itself was very plain; the only real feature was the door and the large windows above it, almost like an air traffic control tower, but more boring. I reached forward, grabbed the handle and ripped the door wide open, sticking my silver sidearm through the passage. Two armed men looked at me, wearing stab vests, balaclavas, combat trousers and crocs. They aimed their customised MP7 submachine guns at me and yelled various cuss words and obscenities. My weapon already raised, I seized the advantage. 4 shots rang out inside the room, all from the six shooter I clutched. Two men now lay dead. They deserved it. They were wearing crocs.
I searched for some kind of information hub, or personal organiser, eventually finding a very elaborate office, inside it, a desk or rich ebony wood, and on it a computer. I hunched over the desk and raised the login screen, greeting me with ‘PASSWORD’ in large elaborate letters. I hammered the word AMAZING into the keys, as I had seen a sickening picture of the one and only Dr. Arsehole beside the keyboard. The password was almost too obvious. I was rewarded with a home screen and a satisfying ping, and looked at the most obvious starting point. I opened Dr. Arsehole’s inbox and scanned his emails, many of which were vanity sites and denied requests for several reality television shows. One, however, caught my attention. Upon opening it, the details of this program came pouring out. It explained that Dr. Arsehole was utilizing the cloning technology he had used in our earlier encounters (see The Mystery of Greggs for a recap) and was rebuilding his forces after we had given him a bloody good thrashing in our last encounter. He made use of his science and copious funding from an unnamed sponsor, who was said to be in the facility today. The reason for an army of elves however was revealed to be a meagre attempt to prove how amazing he was. I wasn’t convinced. Lord of the Rings ruined elves for me.
I saw a glimpse of a different email, entitled “Enigma”, but had no time to read it. With the new information, I headed out of the control centre and down a flight of stairs along the tower, straight for the source of the cloning. Running through the complex, I encountered a severe lack of guards on the way. Three and a half minutes of running led me to a small space being used as a sort of open plan lab. The walls were a collection of dull white panels, and many computers and surgical equipment were scattered across the room. In the centre, a large glass pod lay on slate tiles, resembling something much like a neon Pringles tube. Inside I saw I withered old elf, wearing a crown and blue silk robes. My hands danced on the keypad attached to this this pod, attempting to find a release code. Incidentally, I managed to hit the right button, causing the pod to rise up slowly and dramatically split open, resembling tearing flesh. The creature inside gave a rather aggravated yawn.
He turned to me, “You miserable fuck! I’ll tear you kidneys out through your eardrums!”
I was shocked at the profanity. “I say! That’s quite enough of that chappy! My name is Sir Fitzwellington Tikka Massala, I was sent here to help you”
“Oh,” said the elf, much quieter. “Sorry about that.” Rolling my eyes, I questioned the fairy tale being.
“Who the hell are you then, and how’d you end up here?”
The strange being stepped out from the now upright pod, and gave an elaborate stretch. Scratching his backside, he began - “Name’s Randy. Elf king, as you may have guessed.”
I hadn’t. “As to why I’m here, well, a few days ago, I was at my manor, lovely place, sits right by a waterfall in a little valley. Anyway, these blokes wearing crocs came into my home with guns and took me by force to come here! They poked and prodded me, taking tissue samples, blood samples, stool samples...
“That’s enough detail, thanks.” I interrupted. “What can we do about the clones?” The king scratched his head with very long nails and said something about a large dish down the hall that controlled mind probes they implanted in the clones. I nodded,
“Then we shall start there.” I offered a hand to the weary old regent, and helped him out of the pod. We then ran for the dish he had mentioned further down the facility with great haste. Before we were even half way, a klaxon was blaring in the warehouse, spotlights glowing all along the watchtowers. At the base of the dish stood two rather scared security guards either side of a platform, looking in every direction except toward myself and the Elven monarch. I popped two rounds into their backs, and another few into their croc wearing feet as they hit the ground. We promptly dashed up the long ramp they had stood by, creating an almighty racket as we ran up the metal stairs. The top of this platform greeted us with many flashing lights. Several dials and buttons lay along a long and complex desk which sat behind the gargantuan humming dish. Clueless, I flicked the nearest and biggest switch I could find, hoping it would deactivate the dish and liberate the flamboyant bowmen. Upon the act of flicking the aforementioned switch, the humming quickly died down, and I began to hear several shouts and shrieks from elves and men alike throughout the huge facility. I smiled. The responsibility lied with Sir Gregory now.
* * *
I made several attempts to release the colossal black gates, but to no avail. The gates behaved as though they were set in stone. Aggravated, I smashed a closed fist into the metalwork, cursing. As I glanced around the facility, desperately thinking of a way to release the sheep, I saw Fitzwellington fighting the security forces in the distance with a collection of the various blonde warriors. I chuckled. Fitz always knows how to start a riot.
Then the idea hit me - uprising. Take a leaf out of Tikka Massala’s book and tear down the establishment. As brilliant a plan as it was, I struggled to think of a logical way to instil rebellion amongst these fluffy slaves without needing my last resort. I just couldn’t crack this puzzle. I didn’t want to do it, but I saw no other way. Swallowing, I holstered my revolver and reluctantly stood in front of the gates. My glasses strained my eyes and thus distracted me. With help from my fingers they slid off my face and hit the floor, the left lens cracking on impact. With my eyes shut, I still noticed the red glow of my hair, pulsating with my concentration. I stood strong and began my attempts to enter the minds of these sheep. I forced a message:
‘Brothers, you have been taken from your home and shunned into boxes like slaves, powerless and hopeless, but hear me now. A day may come, when the courage of sheep fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship - but it is not this day. This day we fight! By all that you hold dear, on this good earth, I bid you stand, flocks of the east!’
With my final words, I collapsed from the strain. Never before had I invaded the minds of so many, and probably never would again. I felt as if I had been shouting to the high heavens, but had made no such sound. With weakened arms and laboured breathing, I lifted myself from the dusty ground, doubtful of my psychic message. I was rewarded by seeing the sheep thrashing against the gate, which visibly strained with each pulsating collision. A smile crept on my face, my heart filled with a will to win; A will to fight. Soon, the gates succumbed to the strain and flew open. A sheep approached me as the many others scattered, tearing down anything they could find. The Ram looked me in the eye, and a voice whispered, ‘This day will forever be yours to remember.’ and the sheep rejoined his flock. I whipped the trusty sidearm out of my jacket and I made my way towards Fitz as the hammer gave a satisfying click.
We fought our way back up through the dark grey sub facility. Bullets danced in my fingers, sliding themselves into the revolver’s chamber. Fitz laid down suppressive fire as I reloaded from behind and overturned table, his gunfire cracking through the air. The elves and sheep advanced down the long metal corridor, showing no mercy to their captors. Many of the Doctor’s soldiers dropped like rag dolls, the rest fleeing the carnage. Fire and twisted metal littered the square steel corridors.
Fitz and I made a beeline for the stairs leading to the facility’s surface, pursuing the Doctor and his mysterious sponsor whilst the sheep and elf forces tore down the facility under the instruction of King Randy. The winding staircase soon turned into the front company EweRam Inc. as we chased the two fiends. The chase took us through reception and outside to a large concrete courtyard.
A helicopter lied in wait on a large helipad right in the centre of the featureless courtyard. By now we had caught up with the criminals, and we attempted to end the chase as they ran skittishly for the aircraft. Fitz successfully tackled the unknown man, but I failed to reach Dr. Arsehole. I can’t let him escape. I raised my gun and aimed. “It’s all over, you arrogant prick!” He stopped, turned, and snarled through a sinister grin. “Hardly.” Before I could make any sense of this, he began to run again. “No! Stop!” I screamed. Before I could pull the trigger, a huge impact from behind threw me to the floor, winding me. Wheezing, I was flipped over to face the stranger in allegiance with Arsehole. His face was obscured by a light, but I couldn’t see the source. He wore a black suit made from course fabric, a single diamond stud stopping his disgusting tie falling onto me. He growled in my face, his reeking of tobacco. He spoke with a Nigerian accent, a voice cold as ice, and dark like tinted glass. His words sent unforgettable shivers down my aching spine.
“I know what you are. I know what happened to you over the ocean. I know what happened to you on that missile....”
“I know your secret.”
Before I could respond, the stranger leap away from me and jumped into the helicopter. I did nothing, too shocked to move or even breathe. Fitz approached me, anxious.
“Bloody hell, son...!” He lifted me up. “You alright?”
We watched the chopper slowly lift into the air. Fitz raised his weapon and tried to put a bullet or two into the thing, but the only thing shot down were his spirits as the pistol gave a futile click. We simply stood and watched our villainous counterparts drifting into the horizon, speechless and defeated.
“Well,” began Fitz, “They got away. The bastards got away, again. And we have nothing to follow them with. Again.”
I showed him a card I clutched in my hands, still staring at my enemy with empty eyes. “I took this from that creep when he straddled me. Looks like a business card.” Fitz inspected it. It bore the words ‘Seize The World’ on one side, and an address to a place in Prague on the other.
“A lead?” My partner queried.
“A lead.” I replied. I continued to gaze into the distance.
“Before he ran, he said something to me....”
“Did he? The way he was knelt, I thought he was trying to lick your face.” Fitz said as he slid the card into his pocket, his eyebrow cocked.
“Thankfully not. But he said he knew about what happened with the missile from Subway HQ. He said he knows what I am, that he knows my secret” I brushed the dust from my jacket. “We have to find him Fitz, he’s the only thing that can possibly give me the answers I need.”
My partner furrowed his brow. “What about Arsehole?”
I turned to my comrade, flicked out a reserve pair of glasses, and answered him as I put on my spectacles. “If I’ve learned anything about Dr. Arsehole, it’s that he feels secure around power. That strange man is full of it. And if we find him......”
“.......The bastard won’t be far.”
Gripping stuff! Greg's pursuit of the illusive sponsor continues in some of his more recent reports.One Love. -Tarq.