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February 18, 2012 / milesandhisfavorites

Darkhands Rising: Mobster Menace

It had been a couple of months since my epic adventure in the Muppet universe, and things were finally starting to settle down.  School started, and life went back to normal-or so I thought.  Two days after Halloween, I was doing homework in my room, when the book of Muppet history started to glow.  The last time that happened, I had nearly been killed at least a dozen times.  So, while I was eager to meet up with Mildred and Kermit again, I was also a little bit nervous as to what would happen.  As it turned out, I had a good reason to be nervous.

I grabbed the book, and opened it.  Sure enough, the yellowed parchment pages were empty.  But as soon as I touched the cover,  I was floating through a misty green haze.  Then, I was sitting on a bench by the memorial fountain in Brownstone Park.  Mildred was there, waiting for me.  “Glad you’re here,” she said.  “We’ve got work to do.  Let’s get to the airport.”  Before I could say a word, we were in a 1967 Buick Sport Wagon, rolling through the crowded city streets.  Muppet City, it seemed, had gone back to normal, ever since the Darkhands had launched a brutal assault on the place.  We pulled up in front of the Swinefleet Command Building, and walked into the spacious lobby, where someone was waiting for us.  Dressed in the familiar uniform of the Swinefleet commanders was what seemed to be a well-groomed Shi Tzu dog, albeit one that was six feet tall and walked on its hind legs.  I turned to Mildred.

“Um, what’s a dog doing in a Swinefleet uniform?”

“Oh, he’s the pilot that’s going to take us to Dog City.  There’s been some recent Darkhand activity there, and Kermit asked me to check it out.  Don’t worry.  Even though he’s the only dog in the fleet, Commander Kibblewuss is a good flyer.”

Kibblewuss nodded and barked.  He led us up the stairwell, and into the enormous hangar where, on my very first adventure, I had fought Ultragorgon and lived to tell the tale.  We boarded what looked like a cross between a patriot missile and a helicopter.  The interior of the craft reminded me of an economy class airplane.  Seated in the plane were Philo, Gunge, and a few felt people that I suspected were bodyguards.  All of them were carrying various laser and Diamond Dart weapons.  We sat down next to Gunge.  He looked at his Diamond Dart automatic nervously.

“I really don’t think we should have come here, Mildred.  Bugsy’ll find out.”

Mildred wasn’t worried.

“He won’t.”

“Oh, he will, all right.”

“But… what if he doesn’t?”

“Oh, he will all right.”

“But what if he doesn’t?”

“Oh, he will all right.”

This went on for the next three hours or so, before we touched down in Dog City Airport, which wasn’t anything more than an airstrip, a couple of small tin hangars, and a lone wind sock.  Then, we rode in an old-fashioned taxi into the city.  My mouth hung open.  In my adventures, I had been to an underground metropolis, an endless casino, and even an inter-dimensional desert, but Dog City was almost normal.  It looked like something out of 1930s New York, only everybody was a dog, like Commander Kibblewuss.  We pulled up in front of a rusty motel, and got ourselves a room.  After unpacking, Mildred sat down on a bed, sending a storm of dust into the hall.  She frowned.

“I just don’t get it.”

I sat down beside her, and said “Don’t get what?”

“What all this Darkhand activity is about.  Non-dogs need a special permit to enter the city, and there are very few dog villains.  Gunge mentioned Bugsy Them, but he’s been in the cooler since the 80’s.  Him and the rest of his partners in crime.”

“So he’s broken out?”

“That’s the only logical explanation.  Now we better get some sleep.  We have a long day of investigating tomorrow.”

I lay down on the bed next to Mildred’s, and was quickly dozing.  I woke up to see a pistol in my face.  I looked up, to see a very angry bulldog in a pinstriped zoot suit and matching fedora.  Bugsy Them, notorious gangster.  He had a rap sheet like the Encyclopedia Britannica, and was so evil, they printed the same newspaper article about him every day (you just filled in the crime).

“Give me one reason I shouldn’t shoot you.”

I had a mental panic attack, then rapped my fist three times against the bed’s headboard.  Philo, Gunge, and the other bodyguards woke up, and instantly drew their weapons and started shouting.  It was like a scene from Tintin In America mixed with the Westminster Dog Show.  Bugsy clicked his claws together, and the closet doors burst open, flying off their hinges.  Standing amongst Mildred’s overcoat and Philo’s bulletproof vest was a poodle in a poodle skirt and a pit bull in knickerbockers.  Both of them were holding tommy guns.  Everybody hit the floor a moment before the two henchmen started shooting.  One of the bodyguards slid a laser pistol across the floor.  I grabbed it, and quickly shot three blasts at Bugsy.  The insidious bulldog blocked it with his hat, and shot back at me.  I just barely dodged it, and the lead bullet that gun fired lodged itself in the mattress, so on top of the gunfire and yelling, there was the pitiful squeeee of deflating beds.

That’s when I noticed that there was a window that led onto the street.  I shot the glass, and it instantly shattered.  Gunge scurried (well, he was a rat, giant or not) up the wall and jumped outside.  The showdown kept on going for two minutes, until with an ear-piercing screech, Gunge drove the taxi through the wall, flattening Bugsy’s two minions, but not the big man himself.  Gunge stuck his head out the window, and shouted “Get in!”  We boarded the vehicle, and burned rubber through the streets of Dog City.  I heard a rumbling noise behind us, and checked the rear view mirror.  Sure enough, Bugsy was following in a Ford Model A.  He stuck a Thompson submachine gun out the window and started shooting, which pierced the windows and nearly flattened one of our tires.  I responded with a flurry of laser blasts, each one burning the metal car, but not destroying it.

We pulled to a stop at the docks, and everyone got out.  We leveled our weapons at Bugsy’s vehicle, and prepared to fire.  Bugsy got out, with his hands up.  “Hold your fire!” he shouted.  Then, a sleazy-looking pub down the street, right behind Bugsy, was suddenly plugged with bullets.  I swiveled around, looking out at the ocean, and saw what could have passed for an old movie camera, the kind with two huge film reels on top, mounted on a steel pillar.  Standing behind the camera was a German shepherd wearing a striped shirt, green suspenders, and baggy jeans.  He was holding the camera, and bullets were spewing out of the lens.  Mildred gasped.  “That’s a C-48 Truereel Turret gun.  They were banned in 1972 when… well, long story.  Point is, those things are fast and accurate, and they can store more ammo than any Truereel gun to date.  Duck!”  At this point, we were ducking and rolling to avoid bullets, while Bugsy just stood there and laughed.  Big mistake.  A stray bullet lodged itself in his hat, causing him to stumble backwards.  I took the opportunity to shoot Bugsy three times in the feet with my laser pistol.  He howled (literally) with pain, and accidentally stepped off the pier, into the water.  Bugsy Them was caught.

Half an hour later, I was looking at a human-sized bulldog in a soaked zoot suit, wrapped in fishing nets and seaweed, being hauled away in an old-fashioned cop car.  Philo and Gunge climbed onto the pier, also soaking wet, given that they had just pulled a canine mobster out of the ocean.  Mildred looked at me, and before I knew it, a green vortex had appeared behind me.  I looked down, and saw that my hands and feet were turning into what looked like sand.  A millisecond later, I had been sucked through the vortex, and was now sitting on the side of my bed.  I shook my head, bewildered.  It seemed as if I was in for a whole new string of adventures.

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