Friday, August 15, 2008

031: Asylum to Remember

Should Captain Depresso let Player Two come?
Yes: 6 votes
No: 1 vote
Captain Depresso shrugged and said, "Why not?"

"Hurrah!" shouted Player Two, "Drinks on me, everyone!"

"On your tab, you mean, ribbit?" said the Loveland Frog, his froggy eyes filled with bitterness.

"Whatever," said Player Two, grabbing a random bottle of beer and chugging it, "Do either of you have a car or anything?"

"No," said Captain Depresso, pouring out his bottle of beer, much to the Loveland Frog's chagrin.

"I only use vehicles in times of extreme duress. It interferes with my tracking ability," said the Forgiver, refusing his bottle.

"We don't need to track anyone now. It's an asylum outside of Cleveland," said Player Two, "How hard could it be to find?"

"You're right! Onward to repentance!"

The Forgiver exited Loveland's with a flourish, Captain Depresso with his shoulders hunched and his eyes on the ground, and Player Two hastily grabbing his belongings.

Two weeks passed, and all three men were in desperate need of a shower and a shave. Captain Depresso had become even more miserable, and the Forgiver's tracking skills were the only thing keeping the trio alive in the wilderness. Unfortunately, he specialized in tracking people, and not animals, and Player Two was the only one willing to do any sort of hunting. Captain Depresso's self-centered sulk, however, made him a curiosity to the local wildlife. This saved time, in the long run, and all three men were eating parts of a squirrel, roasted on a spit with an acorn in its mouth.

"You know what? This is almost the worst part of my life so far," said Captain Depresso, looking forlornly at the squirrel and slowly becoming Captain Seething-With-Rage-and-a-Gnawing-Hunger, "That's saying a lot. What I want to know is, how did none of us realize that Cleveland is a major metropolitan area and is bound to have a pretty large outside of area. Especially since we all operate in major metropolitan areas. Now, if either of you were with the Neo-Bassets, I could kind of understand. They operate in a small town, after all, and outside of it is pretty limited, kind of. Also, they're in the country, so they'd know if there was an asylum anywhere near them. Also, they all have super-powers."

"I've kind of got super-powers," said Player Two, gnawing on a branch.

"You only have super-powers when some sort of supernatural entity is about, and I doubt any of them would be helpful right now."

"So I guess you two don't want to start a superhero trio, then?"

Captain Depresso had no superpowers, unless you counted nigh-limitless reserves of depression within his soul a super-power. However, at certain times, he could utilize a stare with the intensity of a thousand imploding stars, which did no damage but made it clear that if you kept talking then he would break his super-heroic oath of non-killing just to shut you up. Player Two got the message, and continued gnawing on his branch silently.

The Forgiver watched all of this with a concerned expression. He felt that, as the elder of the three, he was somehow responsible for the two young men. He had never seen Captain Depresso like this, except perhaps before his accident, but he had encountered members of the Paci Custodis before. Player Two's abilities were not to be discounted, especially since you were probably in trouble if they perked up. All in all, he thought that he should do something to diffuse the situation, and so he smiled and said, "Let's all start a sing-song!"

Perhaps it was providence that made the bulbous-headed flesh-eating midgets attack at that point, or perhaps it was just coincidence. Whichever one it was, the three men sprang into action, somewhat limited by malnutrition. All three were used to the lackluster sleeping arrangements they had encountered on this impromptu camping trip. Player Two quickly turned his branch into a club, and began whacking midgets while shouting various quotes from Nintendo games. The Forgiver, highly trained in most martial arts, was using his own body as a weapon, knocking out midgets left and right. Captain Depresso half-heartedly slapped at them as they came near.

"Captain Depresso! Use your rage!" shouted the Forgiver as he picked up one of the midgets and hurled it at another.

Captain Depresso thought for a moment. He had an image to keep up, but the only people out here were a fellow super-hero, a Paci Custodis, and a bunch of flesh-eating bulbous-headed midgets. Not only that, but he had not always been Captain Depresso. He had once been a rich, well-rounded, happy person and that had been taken away from him so dramatically that it had launched him into a constant state of mid-level depression. He was also quite hungry, and needed to hit something badly. Since the Forgiver was his friend and Player Two was his ally, that left the midgets.

He lashed out with a fist, remembering how it felt to actually fight crime instead of sulking at it, and taking out a midget. He laughed, and said, "Take that, you melon-head!" He felt the old repartee come back to him, as well. The trio fought valiantly for some time, but soon the twin threats of exhaustion and the sheer number of melon-heads doomed them. One by one, they fell, each fully expecting to be some melon-head's dinner. Instead, like ants picking up a ham, each man was carried away to an ominous building on a hill, silhouetted against the moon, surrounded by ornate wrought-iron gates.

Why yes, that IS the asylum they were headed to.

They woke up, strapped to tables with various medical tubes poking into them. The melon-heads were caged, and a tall thin man in a lab coat stood with his back to them, staring out the window at the forests surrounding the asylum.

"Wha hoppened?" said Captain Depresso, noticing that he had been left in his so-called costume. None of this bode very well.

He heard a sigh from both sides.

"Now he's going to monologue," said Player Two.

"Of course he is, he's the Red Scare!" said the Forgiver.

The man turned around, revealing a right arm which was a giant crab-claw and a bearded face. He snapped the claw, and smiled a sinister smile.

"Indeed I am," he said.

"Who?" said Player Two. Captain Depresso groaned.

The Red Scare stormed over to Player Two, but began pacing back and forth and waving his arms around while he spoke. "I am the Red Scare, you insolent whelp! Once upon a time, I fought the forces of both the Basset Hound Brigade and CAST, but it was my opus that proved to be my undoing. After yet another defeat at the hands of the agents of CAST, I turned my attentions to benevolence, to the protection of the United States of America, a land which I hold so dear that I began constructing a massive brick wall around it. Yet, once I completed the wall at the Mexican border, a small green creature and his companions confounded me by exploding and destroying my beautiful wall. At this point, I went mad and made my way north in pursuit of this creature and committing random minor atrocities in my wake. Eventually, however, I was stopped in my pursuit by that infernal Moonman Marauder and his so-called pal, Scoop Griswald. How I hate them! I was imprisoned here, alongside other so-called mad scientists and super-villains under the pretense that no one would think of looking for us in Ohio. It was mere child's play to take over this asylum and turn it over to a new goal: the capture and brainwashing of various super-beings! Soon, I shall have an army with which to take over Ohio, and then the world!" He began to laugh maniacally.

All three men were silent, and the Red Scare put his open claw to the Forgiver's throat.

"Say it!" he commanded, "Say it!"

"Say what?" said the Forgiver, trying not to swallow.

"Call me a fiend and tell me I'll never get away with it!"

"All right. You'll never get away with it, you fiend!"

"Ah, like audio ambrosia. The green creature never called me a fiend, either. Someday I shall find him and make him pay for his insolence."

"How many soldiers do you have? Also, what the hell are those things?" said Player Two, motioning to the melon-heads.

"None, alas. It's quite hard to get heroes and the more powerful class of super-villain admitted to an asylum, regrettably. However, I have the Player One and the Shrugs, and they led you three to me. A plan emerges like Venus on the half-shell! A thing of simple beauty, oh yes! Using you three as bait, I can gather more and more super-beings, each none the wiser about the true goings-on at this asylum! Glorious!"

"Fine, but what the hell are those things?"

"They were already here. Some sort of experiment, I think. Quite useful, and actually very easy to train. I wish I stumbled upon them years ago."

"At this point, I would like to say that the Paci Custodis are not allowed to tangle with super-villains, so you should just let me go," said Player Two.

"It's too late for that," said the Forgiver, "In fact, I'd wager we'll all in this pretty deep."

"I have a question," said Captain Depresso, "What happened to the super-villains here?"

"Oh, they're still here, as well as many garden-variety psychopaths. All in all, I'm quite well off, but there's nothing like the psychological edge of pitting one's erstwhile allies against each other. Indeed, my scheme shall have a magnificent pay-off, the stuff of legends!"

"This really blows. I mean, seriously. Also, I thought we had to save Player One so we could help him save some other guy? That other guy is probably dead by now. Ah, and wouldn't someone have come looking for us by now?"

"They probably are, and they'll just use our various tracking devices to find us, most likely, and once they find out what they're up against, if they haven't already, why, you'll have quite a fight on your hands, Red Scare," said the Forgiver.

"Yeah, I have two jobs, and one of them is bound to be looking for me!" said Player Two, "One of those jobs includes a bunch of monsters, by the way. You're in for some SFB, Red Scare."

"Ha! You expect me to fall for that? You three are expendable!" said the Red Scare.

"Expendable like those little strings you used to get in action figures," said Player Two, "You'd throw them away and find out later how much you needed them. We're like that."

"Captain Depresso, can't Fadeaway become invisible and intangible? He could sneak in here without any effort!" said Forgiver.

"Yeah, he could," said Captain Depresso, "Maybe Clyde is just using our minds as a listening device, too. Perhaps this whole thing was planned from the start, just to catch you off-guard and put an end to your evil scheme, Red Scare."

"You're just trying to frighten me. Also, that metaphor was awfully forced."

"OH MY GOD LOOK OUT THE WINDOW!" said the Forgiver with such force and surprise that everyone looked out the window. He quickly slipped out of his shackles and tore the tubes from his arm, and grabbed something heavy-looking from a table. He used this to hit the Red Scare in the back of his head, and the super-villain slumped to the ground. The Forgiver looked at his companions and smiled, saying, "Good job keeping him talking while I undid my bonds. Let's lock him up and alert someone to the goings-on here."

"Don't you have to make him apologize?" said Captain Depresso.

As the Forgiver spoke, he undid the shackles of Captain Depresso and Player Two, "Young man, I have been stuck out in the woods for two weeks with little food and very little hygiene. I am dirty, hungry, tired, bearded, and on of those melon-heads took a chunk of meat from my leg. I'll come back and get my apology after a good meal, a good night's sleep, a nice hot shower, and a shave. Also, with about three dozen other super-heroes so we can get this place back up to snuff. Let's find Player One and Shrugs, and get the heck out of there."

As Captain Depresso and the Forgiver left the room to search for Player One and Shrugs, Player Two saw a laptop lying underneath a table. He picked it up, turned it on, and uploaded the room directory. He recognized some of the names, but kept searching until he found Player One and Shrugs. Before he turned the laptop off and told his companions of this news, he opened the laptop's Internet browser and, after looking some things up, he sent out an email. Neglecting to turn off the laptop, he hurried after the two super-heroes to free Player One and Shrugs.


The Forgiver, being rich, was able to afford several hotel rooms where Players One and Two, Shrugs, Captain Depresso, and the Forgiver spent listless several days recuperating. Players One and Two, who had not seen each other in years, were overjoyed to be reunited and spent most of the time playing video games on the hotel's television. After forcibly separating the pair from it and making them shower and shave, the Forgiver held a meeting.

"From here, the only two people who really need to go are Player One and Shrugs. I figure we're in deep enough trouble as it is, so it won't hurt if the rest of us tag along to provide some support. If you two want to, of course," said the Forgiver.

"I'm game," said Player Two, "That was a pun."

"No it wasn't," said the Forgiver, "How about you, Captain Depresso?"

"Yeah, sure, why not?" said Captain Depresso, who had defaulted to his normal mindset.

"Will you have us?" said the Forgiver.

"Let Shrugs and me think it over for a minute," said Player One, "Or until I kick Player Two's butt at Super Smash Brothers again."

"So you'll be thinking about it forever?" said Player Two with a smirk.

"Shut up!" said Player One.
Should Player One and Shrugs join forces with Player Two, the Forgiver, and Captain Depresso?

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