Saturday, January 30, 2010

Leashing a Killer

"So, wait, now," I said. "You mean Clan Platypus actually stopped a guy that was tryin to kill everyone in the universe dead? Ain't that a little counterproductive to their plan?"

"Actually not," Alistair answered. "If you'll recall, Clan Platypus is attempting to make everyone their slaves. The whole 'killing everyone' thing is just an unfortunate byproduct of their means of slavery."

"Then why'd this Morihito guy or whatever hook up with them ninjas?"

"Hatayama," the ghost army replied.

"That ain't an answer," I kindly pointed out to them.

"Nevertheless, it is his actual name. Morihito was a universally famous chef and the inventor of the Mojito. He Spanishized his family name in order to make the drink seem more tropical. Sadly, he died in a muddler duel."

"I don't see how that's in any way relevant to the proceedins," I told them.

"It's not," they admitted, "but it's an interesting story."

"Well," I allowed, "be that as it may, hows bout we just skip over that one right now and you tell me what I need to know to defeat these ninjas. I mean, jeez, we been at this for what seems like hours now and you still ain't mentioned nothin about no staff or anythin, which is what you said all this was about in the first place."

They defended themselves, "Yes, yes, we're getting to that."

"I wish you would."

"We are."

"Good," I stated.


We eyed each other a bit. I gotta be honest. After standin out here in the middle of nowhere on a dark planet talkin to a bunch of ghosts for this long, I was startin to get a mite fed up with this whole thing. I figured maybe we could send this ghost army after the ninjas and bore them all to death. I mean, seriously, how long does it take to tell a simple story? Guy's family gets killed, he kills some giant fishes, sits for a long time, vows to kill everyone in the universe. Bam. Done. See how easy that was? But, I guess if you been dead and trapped in a bottle for a hundred years or so, and you're prolly gonna disincoporate right after finishin the story, you might just stretch the thing out, too.

"Can we go now?" they asked.

"Yeah, sure," I grunted, "go on ahead."

"Thank you. After his announcement, Tetsuo began fulfilling his vow, one person at a time. He snuck in late at night and murdered whole villages, slaughtering all the people, pets and livestock. He would even burn out all the ant hills and squish all the weevils. The people of the universe were living under a shroud of fear, never knowing who or when Tetsuo would strike.

"Then one night, he attacked a village on Quark, the planet of the scientists. He thought he would, just like always, sneak in quietly, eradicate all the life forms and then make himself an omelet from whatever the people had in their fridges. However, he didn't take into account that scientists generally keep different hours than other people and he walked right in on a meeting of mathematicians and discussing population models.

"This discussion was relevant to his current task, so he stopped and listened. In that meeting, he learned that his quest to kill all life in the universe by himself was a losing proposition. In fact, for every life form he eliminated, two were born somewhere in the universe to replace it. At that rate, he was falling behind in his mission daily. So he slunk off and thought of another plan."

I interrupted, "You mean to say he didn't kill them math guys?"

"Oh no, he killed them," they countered. "As a matter of fact, he killed them slowly and painfully, torturing all of their math secrets out of them. I hear the desire to die in those men became so strong that it shattered glass."


"Yeah," they sighed. "That was not a man you wanted to deal with."

"I spose not."

"So, Tetsuo needed a larger group to help him do his work. He tried various assassin's guilds and mercenary armies, but they all wanted too much money and they had to be micromanaged. In the end, they were really just more hassle than they were worth. Tetsuo needed to find an evil organization with a ready army and another income stream. He asked around wherever he went. Well, to be honest, he tortured for information, but when you're the most feared man in the universe, they're pretty much the same thing. A little torture here, a little torture there, and he found himself on Clan Platypus' door.

"They agreed to a partnership right away, seeing the potential in this killer. But they had no interest in eliminating their customers just for the sake of eliminating. Sure, if the customer owed them five dollars or was talking a bit too loudly during a Clan member's favorite movie then, sure, they'd go ahead and kill them. But to kill someone to set them free from pain? That was simply unthinkable. So they needed a method of control.

"They offered money and power, but Tetsuo wasn't at all interested. Wine and women held no sway over him. Even the chance to own his own pizza chain didn't entice him. Then they turned to science. In fact, this is when Clan Platypus began experimenting with FTL travel for the first time. They built and launched a fleet of ships to travel at above-light-speed in every direction on a secret quest. They knew that they were sending most of these people into certain death but, again, these guys are super-evil, as you know."

"I do," I confirmed.

"It turns out that the Clan had unlocked the same secret that the army of Pats now crawling over this planet has. That is, that in an infinite universe, everything that can possibly happen is happening all the time somewhere. That meant that a copy of Tetsuo's wife was around somewhere, and it would just take some serious searching to find her.

"The clan sent thousands upon thousands of ships over two decades. Most never came back. The ones that did rarely had good news. There were two special ships, though. One came back entirely covered in grape jelly and without any crew of any kind. It's still quite the mystery. The second came back, after an absence of only 5 years, carrying a copy of Tetsuo's wife, Suki.

"And it was his wife, in every way. When he first saw her, Tetsuo cried like a baby. Then he cried like a slightly happier baby. Day by day, he cried less and less. He began to believe that the past millennia were all a horrible dream and that he was finally being allowed to wake up. For a year after he was reunited with his Suki, he hardly killed anyone. There was Xynok, but that whole planet had it coming and no one blamed Tetsuo for wanting to kill everyone on it.

"Before that year was out, Suki was pregnant and Tetsuo was becoming a regular family man. He'd been moved up to middle management and was angling to get his own office. Clan Platypus thought they had reigned in their secret weapon. But the arrival of the child signaled the beginning of the end for Tetsuo Hatayama."

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