It’s time for more news from our beloved Dr. Typhon Garlic!
The upshot of it is that he was robbed by thieves who made some pancakes for him: venison flapjacks à la mode, to be exact. Typhon also had a long, heated discussion with Invinciman. Some bad stuff has been going on in the West’s south that Dr. Garlic felt he should have been notified about sooner, so he’s more than a little annoyed at Invinciman.
So, last post you read (you did read that last post, didn’t you?) that Dr. Garlic had been enrichenment-a-fied by a cave of gold. He, Zhonn, and Nob together managed to loot the entire cave of all its treasure, making them all very, very rich!
Dr. Garlic, not having brought his car, ended up having to drag his share of treasure back to Convergence Point on a sledge. Zhonn Anderson gave him some beef jerky to eat on the way back. It was slow going for Dr. Garlic, but he’s now back in town.
One evening as he was setting up camp, he encountered two fellows who decided to join him for supper. When Typhon asked where they were from, the younger one began, “We’re from … uh …”
“Canadia!” the older one blurted out. The first one scoffed, as if to say “Seriously?”, but he kept his mouth closed. “Yep, we’re just a couple of hosers, eh Bric-” here he was interrupted by a elbow to the stomach, “I … I mean, Bill. Yeah, Bill and I are just a couple of hosers from Canadia.”
“Bill” then asked, “What exactly are you doing out here by yourself with all this gold? There’s robbers round these parts, you know.” (The extreme irony of that last statement will soon become apparent.) Before Dr. Garlic could answer, the other said, “Say, what’s that you’re eating there?”
“Well, Zhonn said it’s jerky meat,” replied Typhon, “but I have yet to see it move.”
“Shoo, they don’t call it that ’cause it moves! They call it jerky because … uh, why do they call it that, Brick-” another elbow to the stomach, “Uh, Bill. I meant Bill. Why do they call it that, Bill?”
“I don’t know, Freddie. What I do know is that us Canadia-ists could care less for beef jerky. In Canadia, we eat venison! And Freddie here makes the gnarliest venison flapjacks à la mode with maple syrup that you’ve ever seen!” Then “Freddie,” without asking Dr. Garlic whether or not he wanted such flapjacks, got up to fetch his frying pan.
While he was away, Dr. Garlic asked “Bill” why he was wearing jail clothes. “These aren’t jail clothes!” he exclaimed a little too indignantly, “Why, this is my palace guard outfit! I guard the royal palace with these. Did you know that all good Canadia-ists send donations of money to their Queen?”
Just as Dr. Garlic was about to respond, “Freddie” returned. “I’ve got my griddle!” he announced. “And I put the … special non-stick oil on.” He winked to “Bill” quite obviously. “So, one order of venison flapjacks coming right up! How do you like your flapjacks, rare, or well-done?” he asked Typhon.
“Oh, well, I actually didn’t want any-” Dr. Garlic began.
“Shore you do,” interrupted “Freddie.” “Bill” added, “It’s rude to refuse food from Canadia-ists, you know.” Thus they tricked Dr. Garlic into eating (nearly raw) drugged deer patties with sour cream and maple sap on top. He promptly fell asleep, and when he awoke, about a third of his treasure was gone.
To make it worse, it rained all of the next day. And it was not any normal rainstorm. This storm was beyond anything Typhon had ever seen. The storm had pitch-black thunderclouds which blocked out any pretense of a sun behind them. There were rolls of thunder so loud that it seemed to Typhon just the thought of them could make one go deaf.
And what lightning! The lightning came in intensely hot bolts of purple (yes, purple!) lightning that demolished whatever they struck. The cave he took shelter in nearly caved in twice, but fortunately Dr. Garlic, through constant toil, was able to prevent them both. (I suppose it’s understandable he did not take any photographs for proof.)
Strangest of all, he thought he saw a figure walking amongst the mountain peaks, and though he could not be sure, he thought that he heard evil laughter through his mostly deafened ears. (The deafness, of course, was temporary.)
Well, he made it the rest of the way to Convergence Point without incident, but was quite upset and shaken when he arrived. He greeted Nob and Zhonn with a gruff “Howdy” as he dragged his (considerably lightened) sledge to the town bank. He then purchased a safety deposit box there to store his gold until he needed it.
On his way back to his motel, he encountered Invinciman. I’ll let Dr. Garlic relate the rest:
After depositing the remainder (Grrr…) of my share of the treasure at the bank, I decided to head back to my motel. On the way, I saw Invinciman and demanded to speak with him.
He tried to make some lame excuse about needing to do a report, but being quite grumpy still, I shouted, “No, Dan, you have some explaining to do! First I’m captured by some ‘Emperor of the Dark Lands’, then I’m robbed by bamboozling bandits, and I nearly get killed by a thunderstorm of purple lightning afterward?
“The report can wait: your friend can’t. If there’s anyone who knows what in the worlds is going on here, it’s you.”
Dan gave in and accompanied me back to the saloon (I’m starting to think that liquor shipment isn’t ever going to come, but again, that helps keep Quarrelsome Bert less rowdy), where he told me everything I wanted to know. Except … he didn’t know anything about the thieves, but how can I blame him for that?
Below are Dan’s words, as best as I can remember them.
“Dr. Onion, I haven’t been very open with you, and I hope you’ll forgive me for that. Nothing should come before my friendship with you, not even the space-time continuum. It can figure itself out.
“No, I should have told you these things before, and I can’t tell you how much I regret that not doing so led to you being captured by the Emperor. I’m sorry I wasn’t there to rescue you with the others.
“By the way, you’re probably wondering about the Emperor of the Dark Lands, and rightly so. In a way, his rise to power may turn out to be defeat. This ‘Emperor’ is not from our universe, and neither is he from the Aether universe.
“This may give you a clue as to his universe of origin: He was originally a stromling. Although the Nexus force attempted to cut off their universe from all others to prevent the Maelstrom from leaving, they were several seconds too late.
“The ‘Emperor’ had already left, in digital form. Fortunately the rest of the Maelstrom was contained, because even the single stromling who escaped has already wrought immense destruction. He spent many months in the Aether-Net, until he found his way out: the defibrolator.
“Yes, Dr. Thyme, the defibrolator. The Emperor used its power to create a physical body for himself. This in fact happened merely seconds before you escaped your program form, and is the reason that the portal to the defibrolator was open in the first place.”
Invinciman then gave me the below picture of the newly-created Emperor of the Dark Lands, who was actually present in the video of my escape from the Aether-Net! See him in the bottom-right corner?
Invinciman/Dan continued, “So this is what I meant by ‘his rise to power may turn out to be his defeat’: When he escaped the Aether-Net, so did you, and I have a strong feeling that you may turn out to be his downfall. Now don’t act so surprised, Dr. Pepper, you’re more important than you think.
“Anyway, the Emperor of the Dark Lands has rounded up a bunch of undead scaries for minions. We–that is, S.H.I.E.L.D. and I–don’t know what he’s after. It’s not even clear whether he’s got his own agenda now or if he’s still aiding the Maelstrom.
“As for the storm you encountered, and the figure walking on the mountain peaks, I knew the Emperor had lightning powers, but I had no idea he was capable of what you have just described.
“And now I’ve got to revise that report of mine. This little stromling has certainly been underestimated, and we’ll need to keep two eyes out for him. Dr. Salt, I hope you’ll forgive me for not telling you all this sooner.”
“By the way, Dan, my name is Typhon Garlic.”
“Oh, so it is. Have I been messing that up the whole time?” I nodded. “Gee, sorry about that, Wendy. I’ll try to remember better from now on.”
Well, that’s it for today, kids! Be sure to leave your thoughts below.
Edit: You might need to reload the page to see the spruce-ups.
See ya’ll next post!