The story so far: (TIMELINE 1)
Meta Ad Infinitum:
Johnny Zell. Episode 0 - [Decided Previous title sucked]
An armoured car whirled by the street corner, roaring motorcycles not
far behind it. On top of the leading cycle sat none other than Johnny
Zell, determined to capture the car and liberate its contents. The
armoured car took an implausibly sharp turn, losing most of the
motorcycling pirates. "Those money grubbing music industry lackeys aren't
getting away this time! Freedom Rockets activate!" Johnny Zell shouted.
the jets concealed in his shoes shot him into the air allowing him to
continue his now lone pursuit. "This had better be worth it, I just got
that bike" He murmured as he positioned himself on the roof of the
speeding van. He walked forward towards the driver's compartment,
taking the opportunity to draw one of his trusted laser pistols,
Freedom Fire. He slammed in the front window and grabbed the driver by
his collar. The driver tried to make him lose his grip by pulling the
emergency break, but Johnny Zell remained unfazed. "Surrender now and I
won't hurt you" Johnny warned as he released his grip on the driver.
Surely enough the driver emerged from the van with both hands in the
air. Johnny hopped down between him and the van, a job well done. Then
it hit him, "They never give up that easily, it must be a tra-" "Now!"
The driver bellowed, giving his signal. From the back emerged a
moustachioed man holding a hostage and a ray gun. Johnny Zell
recognized the hostage immediately "Kronnie! What do you want you
fiends?" he shouted at them as he redirected his aim at the captor.
"We were expecting you, Mr. Zell. I fear you will find the contents of
the van quite lacking." the man laughed as he strengthen his hold on
the hostage "As for the girl, we have no interest in her. It's you we
want, surrender and then we'll have no need to keep her hostage"
Johnny looked at the two distrustfully as he lowered his ray gun and
stepped away from the van "You'll never get away with this.” Both
the driver and the moustachioed man looked at Johnny and laughed,
"Who will stop us? The police? You know as well as I do that a court
would never rule against the music industry! Face it Mr. Zell you are
the only one who stands a chance against us!" Johnny smiled as well,
"You are not the only one who can set traps, Now Kronnie!" Kronnie
smiled back returning the signal; she lunged out of her captor's grasp
and grabbed something from her purse. Before the two realized what had
happened the van exploded behind them, Johnny already a good few feet
from the car made it to cover, the Music industry goons however were not
so lucky, barely managing to escape the explosion- they were
launched several feet and suffered through a landing that would knock
any normal man unconscious. The moustachioed man somehow managed to
retain consciousness but was unable to move, leaving him on the ground
only able to ask himself what had happened. Johnny obliged him, "You're
not the only one who saw this coming. Think you could’ve captured Kronnie
this long without me noticing? All I had to do was follow the plan and
wait for Kronnie to plant the explosives." He turned his head towards
Kronnie and winked, causing her to blush. —"I may be easily captured,
but I'm competent." Kronnie smiled, as she blurted out her catch
Johnny nodded turning his attention back towards the
mustachioed man, "As for the rest of the gang, they are headed towards
your headquarters, with their best agents out to trap me; I doubt
they'll have much trouble". "Curse you… Mr. Zell" The Moustachioed
managed to say before collapsing as well. Johnny looked at the now
unconscious man and noticed something in his pocket, a letter. Johnny
carefully removed it and read aloud, "Johnny Zell has proven to be
quite the thorn in our sides, blah, blah, blah, Will not tolerate him
any longer, yaddah yaddah, eliminate him. -D.C." Kronnie looked over in
shock, "As in Washington?!” Zell shook his head, "No, I've fought
Cheney's secret goons before. This isn't his style." He turned the
page over and noticed writing on the other side, "If you are reading
this my agent has failed. I will meet you in the Dock, by warehouse 34
at 8 PM for a final show down. Come alone. -D.C."
Johnny Zell. Episode 0.5 – A Challenge
Johnny Zell arrived exactly at 8, to find that his opponent had not
arrived, but after a note like that Johnny decided to wait ten minutes
later he caught a glimpse of a man in an oversized hat riding on
the back of a dinosaur. "You're late, D.C." Johnny said with a smile
as he readied his trusty laser guns, Hope Lightning and Freedom Fire.
"Call me Dresden Codak and be glad I showed up for your challenge at
all, Johnny Zell." replied the stranger in the awesome hat, "Now, shall
we begin?" "Let's." Johnny replied. Before he could blink, the Dresden
Codak and his dinosaur were on him. The oversized reptile opened his
jaw and lunged at Johnny. "Freedom Rockets activate!" Johnny shouted
out as he launched into the air leaving the dinosaur to bite the
concrete. He flew down, tackling Dresden to the ground. He got up and
aimed his gun, "Looks like I win Dresden. Now what's this all about?"
Dresden replied in an annoyed tone, "You're the one who should be
telling me. Provided you last that long." the dinosaur roared and
came at Zell again. "Prepare to be banished from this plane of
existence Johnny Zell!" Dresden shouted as he picked himself up.
"Don't be so sure, Dresden Codak, I still got a few tricks up my
sleeve. Quickly he fired off two volleys into the eyes of the dinosaur
blinding it, while narrowly ducking away from the jaws on
of the beast. "Ah! My arm!" he shouted as he realized he had over
estimated the time he had by less than a second, allowing the dinosaur
to scratch his arm and even drop one of his Hope Lightning. In
desperation he sent a shot in the way of Dresden Codak shooting a
whole clean through his hat. "Nooooo!" shouted Dresden as his hat flew
off his head. From inside the warehouse came a cry, "Now!!" Before either
knew what was happening countless black suited men emerged from hiding
and surround them. "FBI, You're both under arr-whaaa!?" The still
blinded dinosaur had begun moving again, but the movements were not
like before, they were completely uncontrolled. The agents panicked as the
dinosaur flailed wildly. Johnny grabbed Hope Lightning and realizing
there was little he could do left the FBI to battle it out with the
dinosaur. Instead he chased after Dresden who had already begun his
escape. He finally managed to catch up to with his former opponent,
"What happened there?" Johnny asked in a rare moment of genuine
confusion. "You damaged my action hat! Without it I have no control
over the Dinosaurs" Dresden replied in an annoyed tone "You know how
long it takes me to repair things?" "This whole thing was a set up,"
Johnny said aloud revealing his own declining patience "And we fell
for it." Dresden nodded in agreement. Both sides remained distrustful
of each other, creating a tension in the air that a chainsaw would
struggle to chip. Suddenly as they emerged into the streets a
television came on in an abandoned pawn shop. "Greetings, Mr. Zell and
Codak." the speaker of the voice was as unmistakable as the origin.
Obama was speaking to them from the television set, "You have managed
to escape my little plan, congratulations. But we can get you. Oh yes,
we can. These little games of cat and mouse settle nothing, do they?
So let us settle it on and for all. Come to the Senate building, at
noon, one week from today. There will be a surprise there for you
Zell. And No Mr. Codak, you cannot have an extension on the deadline."
The two looked at each other then doubled back at the screen. Dresden
took another look at his hat, "It will take me at least a month to
repair it, and without it I am weak, but I have something that may
help you." He reached into the depths of his now charred hat and
pulled out a laser gun. "It is called the Feisty Flame. It's not the
most powerful thing you'll find, but it's easily concealed and has
helped me out of my fair share of pinches." He handed it to Johnny
"Just be sure to return it when we meet again." Johnny took the gun
and smiled at Dresden, "To settle our little grudge match, you mean?”
Dresden returned the smile as he faded back into the darkness of the
alleyway intent to make his own escape and casually replying "Of course”.
Meta Ad Infinitum:
Johnny Zell Episode 0.75 – Preparations
"Phones tapped. You know where to meet me."
Johnny Zell hung up. Obama's policy of nation wide phone tapping made
it dangerous to say anything more than that. He could only hope
everyone made it to the rendezvous point without doing anything
stupid. Before making his next call he looked around the room. They
have gotten Kronnie while he was fighting DC, though not without a fight.
However now some one was going to have to clean up the burn marks and
wreckage. But Johnny had more important things on his mind; again he
picked up the phone.
"Meet me at the rendezvous point."
"We never established one, am I afraid"
"Don't screw with me, Adin. You have the connections you need to find
“You know the specifications for this operation then, I trust?”
“Don’t underestimate me, Adin. They’re already sent.”
Again Johnny hung up the phone. It seems he wasn't the only one Obama
had tried to trap. The last two calls he made were the only successful
calls all night. He was running low on contacts and the deadline was
getting closer and closer. He realized that he had one advantage;
Obama had gone after many of Johnny's enemies as well. He knew of at
least one that had escaped capture thus far; Jomondo Guu. The only
question was how to contact him…
Johnny took to his back-up Motorcycle and sped down the road. It
wasn't guaranteed but it was worth a shot. It wasn't much but everyone
else was either captured, out of commission or helping this dark
Johnny Zell arrived at his destination and drawing his laser pistols, Hope Lightning and Freedom Fire, he kicked in the door. Several Scientologists looked up from their dark rituals at the mysterious intruder before retreating for cover. “Wha… What do you want? We’ve done nothing since our last encounter!” the unfortunate scientologist nearest Johnny murmured as he scrambled for better cover. “You are spreading intellectual dishonesty and irrationality. Normally that would be enough,” Johnny said as he looked down on the meager peon in disgust, “but this time, there are more important matters. Obama has made his move, and as much as my heroic instincts compel me not to, I must join together with your infamous leader, Jomondo Guu, to defeat a greater evil. Pass the message on to him.” The Scientologist nodded meekly and Johnny took his leave.
As Johnny returned to his bike, it began ringing. He casually put it on speaker, “This had better be important, Ossido.” Johnny said as he got on to his bike.
“Hello Sir. It is, I assure you.”
“What is it Ossido?”
“Washington, sir, it’s a trap.”
“I know, but my heroic code of Honor demands I go there anyway.”
“You have a plan then sir?”
“Of course, you have theirs?”
“Would I be calling you if I didn’t?”
“Good. You can send it to me?”
“Already have. Nothing else though, they are probably already on to me.”
“That’s fine. Did you follow my specifications?”
“As best I could sir.”
“Good enough, Thank you Ossido.”
“Goodbye Sir, it has been an Honor”
A crashing sound was heard through the speaker then the call disconnected. “What? Dammit, Ossido.” Johnny sighed for a moment then revved up the cycle. Kronnie was gone and now Dr. Ossido? Obama had gone too far. Johnny would have his vengeance.
Sometime later, Zell arrived at rendezvous point he had set up with Captain Hazard all those years ago. Surely enough, a massive airship appeared from above the clouds, signaling the arrival of Captain Hazard. He descended from the ship with a second trench coated figure, who could only have been Atem. They entered the house with not a word; they knew everything would come down to tomorrow. As they entered a voice echoed from the shadows, “What took you so long?” “Ah, Jomondo Guu” Johnny said as he took his seat “We can begin then. I believe you all know what you need to do for this operation.” Hazard and Atem nodded, while Jomondo remained obscured in the shadows. Atem looked at Johnny impatiently, “Your agent has taken care of my requests, Mr. Zell?” “Yes, yes,” an irritated Johnny replied before turning his attention to Captain Hazard, “You’ll be able be able to take care of transportation then?” Hazard let out a resounding laugh, “You know me better than to have to ask that question.” Just as Johnny turned toward the shadows to speak to Jomondo, a knocking sound came on the door. Each of them reached towards their weapon of choice as they prepared to defend themselves. “Come in!” Zell shouted at the door as he clenched his laser pistol tightly. The door opened up and Even Thorizon burst in, striking a heroic pose, with his Crimson Flame, “I am here to assist in this most noble undertaking!” Atem prepared the detonator in his left hand as Johnny motioned him to stop. Johnny turned towards Even and said “Perhaps we can find you a place in our plan after all.” “REALLY?” Even’s eyes lit up as Atem and Hazard gave each other a dark grin. Everything was coming right into place.
[To Be Continued in Episode 0.825 – Johnny Zell Strikes Back]
Meta Ad Infinitum:
The Stupendous Adventures of Johnny Zell: Episode 0.875: Roulette at the Capitol
Captain Hazard’s massive airship hovered over the Washington skies. 11:45.
The deadline was fast approaching, it was now or never. A rope was thrown
out the side of the airship, followed by a man climbing down. The hair
and clothing were unmistakable. It was Johnny Zell here to take down
In seconds he arrived on the ground and rushed towards his goal; The
White House. Suddenly, the Peace monument as well as the Grant and
Garfield Memorials began to rise. Within moments, they were towering
over the field displaying their true purpose; Laser Gun Turrets! The
man on the field sped up towards his goal but it was too late the
turrets had already locked on. Dancing around the beams of light, the
man brandished his blade and shouted "You shall not foil me: Evan
Thorison, in my plan to liberate the prisoners you hav- Owww!! That
hurt!" Suddenly explosions erupted below the turrets. Atem smiled with
satisfaction as he twirled the detonator as planned, "Excellent. It
worked." "You didn't have to wait so long" Captain Hazard said from
the helm. Atem's grin widened as he gave his reply, "Perhaps you are
correct Captain, but who's complaining?” The captain let out a
bellowing laugh before the two returned to the matter at hand. Evan,
now wig-less and with a slight limp returned to his mad dash towards
the Capitol building. Speeding up as he heard the ground rumble a
second time. There a cracking sound as the glass of the Botanic Garden
as a massive Venus flytrap rose from the building and the floor of the
seemingly shallow Capitol reflecting pool opened up allowing a massive
whale to emerge. But it was no ordinary whale, attached to the fins
and underbelly were Stilts! Its beady laser shooting eyes honed in on
Even as the Flytrap took aim at the airship. "Genetically modified
versions of Dionaea Muscipula and Balaena Mysticetus." Captain Hazard
said observing their attackers, "We should have seen this coming" Atem
nodded as he began pulling up the length of rope Evan had descended on,
"More of Cheney's projects that Obama took upon himself to continue, I
presume. You know what to do, then Captain Hazard?" Atem grabbed the
end of rope and looked over at the Captain who let out a sigh, "Let's
hope that little contraption you added works." The airship flew down
at the Flytrap, just as the fly trap bite down at the ship, Hazard
pressed a detonator, ejecting the flight deck from the balloon. Just as he
did this the balloon exploded. Moments later they were on the ground.
Fortunately thanks to Hazard's expert piloting, the altitude they
dropped was relatively small. "You alright there Adin?" Hazard said as
he picked himself up. "It worked! It actually worked!" Atem shouted as
he picked himself up. Hazard smiled and remarked, "You still owe me an
airship." The two laughed for a moment before realizing that Even's
situation had turned critical. He was cornered by a wall having
forgotten to take one of the roads, and the whale was fast
approaching. Atem held on to his end of the rope and made a mad dash
across the lawn, Hazard did likewise. The clumsy stilt system below
the whale gave out and it landed head first on the lawn. But out of no
where from the left and right of the lawn countless black suited man
emerged aiming their assault rifles at the three. The leader of the
agents rose from the bushes to gloat about his success "Ha! Your plan
is foiled Johnny Zell! We have captured… Wait! You're not Johnny
Zell", he looked at Even. A voice from the shadows emerged, "Do not
try to trick a trickster, the ones here have served their purpose: You
are too late."
Even and the agents looked at each other confused as Captain Hazard
and Atem gave each other a knowing smile. Hazard looked at his watch.
It was 12:00.
The moment Johnny burst into the Senate Chamber, his determined, steel-gray eyes saw just the scene he had feared to lay his eyes upon: The entire chamber was full of lurching senators making hissing sounds with their reptile tongues while their claw-like hands twitched in desire to tear asunder freedom and liberty itself, and in the middle of the chamber stood a giant pot full of boiling, liquid despair-acid. What terrified Johnny most, however, was the fact that hanging from the ceiling in a far too thin rope was the beautiful yet frail and easily captured girl Kronnie, who for some reason was dressed in a torn and tattered dress not leaving much to imagination.
"Help me, Johnny! I am frail and easily captured!" the beautiful girl screamed.
"You fiends!" Johnny gritted his teeth as sweat ran down his exposed, masculine chest. Lifting his two ray guns, Freedom Fire and Hope Lightning, he shouted with a a passion only unbendable will and love of liberty could create: "I swear on the graves of all those who have fought for freedom that your reign or evil ends here… Barack Obama!"
"Oh? You knew I was here, mister Zell?" Suddenly stepping out from the shadows, the handsome yet sinister face of the first mulatto president of the United States was twisted in a mocking smile. "It does not matter, for the lives of both you and the pretty girl here end today. Senator minions… change!"
"Yesss we caaaaahhn!" hissed the senators, who now began to transform into their true forms: That of the ancient Egyptian reptilian swamp-men who had once started oppressing humanity as "the Man"! Republican or Democrat, they all looked the same now that scales has replaced their oily skins and joyless rows of fangs their false smiles!
"I should have known so much evil could never be contained in human beings! Very well! Come one at the time or all at once, it does not matter! My blood boils with determination you could never understand, and in my chest beats a heart of yearning and hope! Today is the day I will prove that oppression and evil always lose when confronted with the true human spirit! Today is the day it ends! Today is the day you die!" Johnny's ray guns blazed as senator after senator fell down, but for every monster he killed, ten more descended on him!
"Johnny, look out!" the girl hanging from the ceiling meekly said as a cowardly senator tried to sneak up on Johnny from behind. Without even looking Johnny shot the beast in the face, rewarding Kronnie with a wink and a manly smile, making her blush.
While Johnny was fighting like a lion, there was no chance that he could manage to defeat all senators as they attacked in wave after wave. However, defeating them all was not his objective. All he wanted was for the insidious Obama's attention to be on him and not on the lever that when turned would make the love of Johnny's life fall into the acid below her. Seeing his chance, Johnny shouted: "Freedom rockets activate!" Immediately the hidden rockets in Johnny's boots ignited, and Johnny flew like a cannonball towards the suspended Kronnie!
"Damnation! But now you can say goodbye to your pretty girlfriend, fool!" Obama said as he turned the lever and Kronnie fell towards her doom, screaming! But her screams stopped the moment she felt Johnny's strong arms grasp her, taking her upwards, away from the terrible acid! They were out of danger, floating in the middle of the Senate Chamber as the president and his reptilian minions fumed with rage.
But now, Johnny and Kronnie witnessed a terrifying transformation! President Obama's features was distorted as he twitched and shrank, becoming something far uglier than a mere reptilian swamp-man! Indeed, Barack Obama was turning into his true form, which was…
"Richard Nixon!" Johnny gasped. Kronnie covered her mouth in terror.
"That's right! Hah! Did you think the world could get rid of me that easily? For years I have plotted to take over the world, and I won't let you stand in my way! I suggest you look at the belt your girl has around her waist, foolish fool!"
As Johnny did so, he could see that while it looked like the belt Kronnie ordinarily wore, it was instead…
"A bomb!" Johnny could feel a cold chill run up his spine. Had his hotheadedness put the love of his life in mortal danger?
"That's right! And I have the detonator right here!" Nixon held up a small remote control in his right hand. "So I suggest you put the girl down, drop your guns and come to me so I can torture you painfully to death while she watches! Then I will let her go! Hah! Hah!" the evil president cackled.
"How do I know you will let her go?" Johnny asked with a furrowed brow.
"You don't! But your heroic code of honor demands that you go along with my demands anyway!" Nixon's answer was as unsatisfying as it was evil.
"Curse my heroic code of honor! Very well, I will do as you say!" Johnny said, his head hanging in shame.
"Johnny, no!" said Kronnie's weak voice.
"It's the only way, Kronnie. You must have a chance to survive, even if I die." Johnny's voice was determined but without passion.
"But how will I go on without you?" the beautiful girl asked, tears in her eyes.
"I'm sorry Kronnie. I have failed you." Having said this, he put Kronnie down, threw his ray guns on the floor and slowly walked up to Nixon. He tried to keep Kronnie's pleas out of his mind as he clenched his fists, restraining himself so he would not do anything rash.
"Hah! Hah! You fool! Now I will torture you… by making you see your love explode!" the shape-shifting president said, licking his mouth perversely.
"Nixon! No! Your promised!" Johnny shouted, his eyes wide open in fear.
"I'm evil!" Nixon simply stated. "And now…" he continued as he raised his right hand, which held the detonator, into the air…
Suddenly, a ray tore through Nixon's lower arm, separating his hand from his upper arm.
"My arm! For the love of God, my arm! What…" the president screamed in pain as his blood stained the Senate Chamber floor and Johnny caught his hand. They then both looked at Kronnie, who in her right hand held Johnny's secret third ray gun, Feisty Flame, which he had managed to give Kronnie while Nixon was gloating. In her left hand she held a screwdriver, which she used to remove the bomb-belt now that the one-handed president no longer held the detonator. "I may be frail and easily captured, but I'm still competent!" she happily said. "That's my girl!" Johnny said with a smile directed at her, making her blush.
"It looks like evil has tainted your brain, villain! Did you really think I would just throw away my weapons without a plan? Who the hell do you think I am?!" Johnny shouted, turning towards Nixon who sat on the floor, trying to stop the blood flow with his left hand.
"I am… not finished… yet! There are still… so many… evil deeds to… commit!" Nixon wheezed, turning back into Barack Obama while his reptilian minions turned back into senators. "No-one will ever believe you! I am Barack Obama! I am loved! I am handsome! I will kill you with a rusty spoon on the front steps of the Capitol, and the people of America will cheer me on!" the still crippled president said with an increasingly insane voice.
"Perhaps. Perhaps not. You see, you aren't the only one with a detonator." Johny said, pressing a button on his belt buckle. Immediately, several deafening explosions could be heard!
"Wh-what was that?" Obama stuttered, the fear in his voice and eyes obvious.
"I believe that was the sound of the south wing exploding." Johnny calmly said. "Today is the day tyranny ends. Today is the day you die. Today is the day freedom begins."
Johnny ignited his rocket boots and swiftly picked up Kronnie, who handed him one of his ray guns. Using it to blast a hole through a window, Johnny flew out of the Capitol as the explosions moved towards the north wing. He could hear president Obama scream something. Johnny's answer was simply:
"Happy fourth of July, mister president."
As Johnny flew towards the sky with Kronnie hugging him tightly, the last of the Capitol, the last of the evil swamp-men and the last president of the United States were destroyed in a sea of fire. At that moment, the sky lit up as the people of Washington launched countless fireworks in celebration of their new freedom. It was a good day in the life of Johnny Zell.
Meta Ad Infinitum:
Johnny Zell vs. The Troublesome Totalitarian Twins
Johnny Zell emerged triumphantly from the armored car, another successful blow against Big Biz. This one had been particularly elusive, managing to elude him for almost two hours. He was going to have to apologize to Kronnie for missing their dinner date. Suddenly from the shadows Johnny caught a glimpse of something moving in a near by alley way. Johnny moved in closer to see what it was. A ticking noise. Johnny dived for cover. As if from no where mechanical spiders lunged at him. Without a moments hesitation Johnny drew his trusty laser pistols, Freedom Fire and Hope Lightning. In moments there were explosions scattered across the sky. As the last spider landed on the ground Johnny delivered a powerful kick sending it back into the alley it came from.
"Gyah!" a thickly accented voice came out from the darkness, "Be Karful vere hyu ist kickin zose monstrozitiez!" Johnny Zell aimed his laser pistols at the source of the voice, "Who are you?" "Ist ov leetle importancez, Herr Zell" The voice came out, "Vat matterz ist zat only vun ov us ist leavin alive."
The cloaked man lunged head first at Johnny from the ally. Followed by two others. "Big mistake!" Johnny smirked, shooting Freedom Fire right at their leader's head.
"Yaaaargh" The leader of the cloaked men shouted as he held his hands over his eyes, revealing his sharpened teeth… "You demanded a fight to the death," Johnny said as he blasted the other two with, "My heroic code of honour no longer demands that I restrain myself."
"Ist ze light" One of them shouted, still blinded on the ground, "Ve haf done our vork, retreat!" Suddenly the three disappeared into poofs of smoke and bats emerged.
"Vampires," Johnny said aloud to himself before looking at the clothes
they left behind, "…Nazi Vampires."
Johnny returned to his pirate headquarters, Liberty Base, to find it completely empty. He hurried to Kronnie's room. Inside a frame he found a note:
It looks like there are robots and vampires, judging by insignia they
are probably National Socialists. They have a rocket outside, I doubt
though they could get out of orbit with it. They are demanding that I
come with them or will get me themselves along with our comrades. The
others will look for you as soon as they leave.
P.S. Dinner date will probably have to be postponed.//
"Those dastardly fascists!" Johnny shouted, "Now where am I going to get transportation to outer space!?"
Johnny stood in the halls for a moment pondering, leaning up against the wall. He felt Feisty Flame pressing into his back from its hidden compartment. "DC! Of course!" He exclaimed as he drew the gun from its compartment, "But how can I contact him…?" Absent mindedly Johnny opened up the compartment and out slipped a note.
For rematch, call number on the other side of this note
Johnny flipped the page and surely enough on the other side the number was listed. Johnny rushed to the phone and punched in the number. The phone rang on the other end.
"Hello, this is DC leave a message after the tone."
The messaging machine. No luck.
"Dammit" Johnny said just as he was about to hang up the phone. "Hello?" The voice came through from the other side more clearly.
"DC? This is Johnny. I need you help."
"Johnny Zell? Help you? You do realize what you've done, don't you?"
"Look, I'm sorry about the hat. I thought it-"
"It's a massive turf war. The big four may not have been the nicest
guys but they kept the balance of power. And you just send their strongest member into hiding."
"Yeah, well I just got caught in it."
"Congratulations. If that's all, the batteries in my hat phone are running low and I've got other things to-"
"First, I know as well as you do you action hat is not battery
powered. And more importantly, listen; Nazis took Kronnie to the moon.
I don't need anything more than transportation."
"Nazis?” the voice on the other side sighed, "Fine. I'll see what I can do for you."
"There goes plan A" Johnny sighed, "What does that leave for plan B?"
Suddenly a black circle opened up in wall beside him. Johnny smiled at
the pleasant surprise before stepping in.
DC was sitting there waiting for him. The rest of the area was hard to describe, there were twisted ruins golems everywhere in the massive fields.
"This is a universe on the edge of reality. Transportation is easier here. Just walk back through the same portal. Keep in mind; I'm not doing this for you."
"Will do.' Johnny replied with a smile before returning into the portal.
Next thing he knew he was on some sort of retro-future building.
"Johnny!" Kronnie's voice rung out of a dreary cell. Johnny rushed
"Not so fast, Herr Zell" two childish voices said in perfect monotone
chorus, "We will not let you free her so easily"
Johnny turned around and found a pair of twins in matching suits hovering above him by use of jet pack. Between them there was what
looked like a brain in a vat hovering through use of its own jet pack.
"Release Kronnie! It's me you want." Johnny shouted at them.
"So self-centered Herr Zell, but we fear you are incorrect. While you may have interrupted a few minor activities, you are of little interest. You see Kronnie's skills will be instrumental in reconstructing the Reich as the Fuhrer's brain here."
"Reconstructing the Reich? Never seen that tried before. Now tell me
who our are!"
"This base was constructed by the Luftwaffe when it became apparent we were losing ground to the Soviets. The Fuhrer had a body double fake his dead then retreated here."
The twins broke their chorus for a moment, the right one spoke, "I am
Strasbourg Stein, I designed the Robots that are about to kill you" the left one followed shortly after, "I am Brussels Bruno, the creator of the magnificent creatures that will soon feast upon your flesh.”
“As for the comment on our creativity Herr Zell, you will find that we have been more successful than you may have suspected on first glance. Look for your self.”
The twins pointed at the wall in unison, Johnny looked at the swastikas that littered them. They were not the standard Nazi emblem, something was different. The field of Red had been replaced with blue, and each swastika was now surrounded by thirteen stars.
“I should have known!” shouted Johnny Zell as the two doors opened releasing a massive assortment of Robots and Mythological Creatures, “You may have taken Europe but I’ll never let you have Kronnie!”
Outnumbered and outgunned with no cover, Johnny Zell knew that rescuing Kronnie took priority over all else. He fired off both laser pistols as he ran towards the cell. Thinking quickly, he kicked a bar and shouted “Freedom Rockets! Activate!” the flames from his right shoe melted the bar instantly while the rocket on his left launched him upwards. Enough of the bar was melted to give Kronnie a way through but they were still surrounded. Johnny handed Kronnie the Feisty Flame and the two began firing in at the hoard, using the chassis of the larger fallen Robots for cover, but they needed a distraction. A mechanical spider lunged over the cover at them. “Perfect” Johnny thought, He grabbed the spider and lunged it just as it was about to explode.
He landed a direct hit on the jar knocking it out of the sky. “The Fuhrer’s brain must be preserved!” The twins shouted in chorus as the rushed towards it on their jet packs “Defensive Positions! Project the brain at all costs! You may walk away this time, Herr Zell, but our next encounter will prove decisive.”
Johnny was tempted to end it once and for all by going after the brain, but Kronnie held him back. They both knew that there was little chance of success let alone survival if he attacked now. The Twins were right, they could settle this later.
Johnny and Kronnie rushed towards the hanger, it seemed most of the guards had retreated to wherever they had taken the Fuhrer’s brain, and what remained behind provided little resistance. After a brief “chat” with one of the guards, they grabbed the first workable rocket they saw, the V134 and punched in the access codes, opening the hanger’s gate.
“This encounter may have ended in a stalemate, but next time…” Johnny said as he took off in the rocket, “Freedom will triumph.”
Johnny Zell slammed the hospital door open, cocking his guns, Freedom Fire and Hope Lighting, at the white donned figure standing menacingly beside the bed that contained Kronnie. He posed dramatically to the scene… but something was wrong- he could feel it.
"I came as quickly as I cou-"
He stopped in mid-sentence as the man in the white lab coat held up his hand.
"It's a [s]Boy[/s]girl."
He stood confused, and glanced at Kronnie. She sat propped up in the hospital bed, smiling and holding a small bundle of blankets out to him. Realization dawned over the heroic Johnny Zell as he gently took the bundle from her, setting down his trumpet-shaped guns on the table beside the bed.
A small face sleepily stared back at his, topped off by wispy dark turquoise hair. The hardened expression on Johnny's face that had gotten him through so many fights started to crack. Kronnie rubbed her eyes and the tired circles that had formed around them, smiling again.
"What will we name [s]him[/s]her?"
Johnny held the child- no, his child- up to the ceiling.
"We shall name [s]him[/s]her Elithrion, and she shall-"
Evan Thorizon slammed the hospital door open, swinging his sword, Crimson Boundary, at the bundle of towels that Johnny Zell held to the ceiling. A few strands of sea-green hair floated to the ground.
"No worries, Johnny Zell, I am Evan Thorizon, and I have come to help you!"
He smiled handsomely at the multitude of people, who all stared with fixed expressions of horror at the small bundle. Evan saw their expressions and smiled more broadly.
"There is no more need to be fearful, good people! Evan Thorizon has saved the day!"
He waved his sword around a bit more in what he thought was a heroic fashion. He noticed the look of pure rage spreading over Johnny's face, and laughed.
"No need to feel jealous, Johnny, we all took a part in this conquest!"
His smile started to fade as he took a closer look at the bundle Johnny was holding.
"Oh- ah- heh heh- erm… i-is that y-your baby, J-Johnny?"
He shakily put his sword back in its scabbard, and started to slowly back away as he talked.
"Cause- y'see- y'know- I thought- y'know-"
Johnny handed the newborn Elithrion to the doctor, and picked up his guns from the table. Evan Thorizon needed no more prompting, and dashed out of the door.
The whole suddenly bursted into laughter- even the doctor chuckled a bit to himself- as he fled. Kronnie smiled up to her heroic husband.
"Oh, Johnny, everything's back to normal!"
"A ha ha haha ha ha ha hahaha!"
The morning sun shined its first rays on Johnny Zell's home - or rather, on the mountain containing his secret base, the Freedom Fortress. Sitting in his Freedom Kitchen reading his morning blogs (Johnny Zell didn't trust the mainstream media of the Man) over a cup of tea, Johnny Zell felt at ease. The world was still a place of oppression and unreasonable copyright laws and there were still many evil villains in need of asskicking, but he had finally managed to settle down somewhat with his beautiful and competent (yet frail and easily captured) wife Kronnie and his teenage daughter Ellie, who combined her mother's beauty with her father's fighting spirit. In a few years he would be able to pass on some of the responsibility of fighting evil in all its forms to his offspring… but he was still needed and his daughter was still in need of training. Perhaps…
Johnny's thoughts were interrupted by his daughter's shouting.
Johnny stood up from his chair with the power and grace of an puma who refused to be oppressed, drawing forth his ray guns Freedom Fire and Hope Lightning from his pink bathrobe. "I'm coming, Ellie!"
A few unfettered leaps and a kicked-in door later, Johnny stood in his daughter's room with his ray guns still drawn.
"Where is the trouble? Was it oppressing you? Did you shoot it? Do you want me to shoot it?" he said, the flame of his spirit burning in his eyes.
"Dad, did you really have to kick in my door again? It wasn't even locked." Ellie said, the annoyance in her eyes almost as obvious as her father's fiery spirit.
"There was no time for fiddling around with doorknobs! The power of freedom will not slow down to operate simple mechanisms!" Johnny explained, still looking around for something oppressive to shoot.
"Right, right. Anyway, I don't think you can just shoot this problem. Look here!" Ellie pointed at her computer screen, where the window of a BitTorrent client could be seen. "Do you see what I see?"
"Gasp and gasp again! No-one is seeding your pornography!" Johnny said, his voice full of incredulity. Everyone knew the Internet was full of people who truly believed that sharing was caring, how could this be the case?
"Exactly! And it's not only the porn! Nobody is seeding anything anymore! Nobody!" Ellie exclaimed.
"An entire population overflowing with a willingness to participate in a culture of sharing and freedom suddenly turns miserly? This potentially perilous penuriousness can only come from one source!"
"Do you mean…"
"But let us not jump to conclusions! To the Freedom Computer!" Johhny pointed dramatically at the roof.
"Dad, I have my computer right here." Ellie gestured towards the computer that had just failed to give her porn.
"Oh, of course. Open up the open source oppression-locating program! My network of evil-detecting sensors around the world should have noticed something."
After they had both looked on the world map that appeared on screen for a few minutes, they were certain that Johnny's suspicion had indeed been correct.
With a furrowed brow, Ellie started: "No doubt about it. Strong hate-waves are coming from this satellite, causing people around the world to become uncharitable and stingy. And the satellite is owned by…"
"… one of the Four, the leaders of the oppressive conspiracy known as the Man… Big Biz, the secret master of all evil corporations!" Johnny finished.
"So… does this mean I get to go into space? We are smashing that satellite, right?" Ellie said with a hopeful voice. It had been months since she had a good excuse to use the family spaceship her mother had built.
"Young lady," Johnny said with a suddenly stern voice, "do I have to remind you that you aren't allowed to use the Freedom Falcon until you have learned to be more stealthy? Last time I lent you the keys you ended up being tailed by Flying Fascist Rodent Saucers! Your mother and I had to gas Nazi rats crawling through the plumbing for weeks!"
"Yeah, but it gave mom a good excuse to use her new Irony Detector, right?" Ellie said, trying her best to look innocent. "Pleeease? I've trained lots and become a much better pilot, I promise!"
"I don't know…" Johnny stroked his chin. "Ask you mother."
"Yay! Victory!" Ellie giggled and ran out of the room towards her parents bedroom, where Kronnie most likely still slept undisturbed by her family's planned heroics. While there were many differences between Ellie and her father, he could still see that in her burned the fire that could create reality out of hope and destroy evil with pure will. She would make a fine champion of freedom.
"Well… I guess I had better get out of this bathrobe and into my space clothes!" Johnny said to himself, running towards the Freedom Hangar.
Meanwhile… in Johnny's and Kronnie's Freedom Bedroom: "Moom, come ooon!"
"Honey, I just woke up and I haven't had my coffee yet, could you please refrain from activating demanding daughter-mode until I feel ready to open my eyes?" Kronnie could be heard mumbling through the pillow she held over her face. She had never been a morning person.
"But if you just say 'yes' I promise I'll go and get you a cup of coffee! Pleeease?" Ellie said while bending over her mother.
"I don't know… ask your father." was mumbled.
Ellie rolled her eyes. "I'm gonna go put on my space clothes and go into space, jump out of bed and yell 'no' to disagree!"
"Thanks mom! Bye!" Ellie's smile beamed as she skipped out of the room, leaving her mother to smile quietly at her daughter's inability to ever accept defeat.
In the Freedom Hangar, Johnny was preparing the Freedom Falcon for its journey into Low Earth Orbit. Johnny hadn't used it since his last battle against the Teleporting Totalitarianism Twins, Brussels Bruno and Strasbourg Stein, and while he was eager to destroy evil in space, Johnny had to make sure the twins hadn't used their Hegemony technology to mess up any of the ship's systems. He wished Kronnie could help him since aerospace engineering was one of her area of expertise, but he could never bring himself to wake her up when she was asleep with that cute sleeping face of hers.
"Dad, I'm ready!" Ellie said, walking into the hangar chewing on some toast.
"So mom gave you her permission to come with me?" Johnny asked, not looking up from his beeping General Diagnostics Thingy.
"Well, kind of. And dad?" Ellie asked with a skeptical look on her face, "Are you really gonna wear that?"
"What are you talking about? These are my space clothes!" Johnny said, looking up when he was content with the amount of beeps coming from the GDT.
"It's a man-corset, dad." Ellie said, her skeptical look remaining on her face.
"Something can be both a man-corset and space clothes! No contradiction at all!" Johnny defended himself.
"But it's all skimpy and black and latex-y! And your nipples are showing!" Ellie continued.
"No they aren't! They are protected by my flowing Lady Godiva-hair!" Johnny explained while puffing up his chest. "And your clothes aren't exactly modest either, miss Skintight-Catsuit-For-No-Good-Reason! Are you going to star in a Joel Schumacher movie or something?" Johnny teased.
"Nuh-uh. See? No plastic nipples." Ellie said, smiling a bit when it became obvious her dad was kidding around.
"Plastic nipples? Heh. That reminds me of this outfit your mother wore back in…"
"Okay, that'll be enough of that." said a blushing Kronnie, who walked into the hangar with a coffee cup in one hand and her toolbox in the other.
"Good morning, honey!" Johnny exclaimed, trying to restrain himself from grinning too much. "Me and Ellie are going to fly into space, destroy a likely heavily armed tool of tyrannous corporate greed, most likely kill a bunch of faceless goons and survive a poorly thought-out trap of some sort. We'll try to be home in time for lunch."
"'k. Don't you want me to do those adjustments to the ray cannon we talked about first?" Kronnie asked, still sounding sleepy.
"There's no time! This very moment, there are millions of people around the world affected by an inhuman stinginess that has crippled the culture of free information and sharing I have fought to defend for decades! True heroes must act first, tweak their weapons of mass liberation later!" Johnny explained, pointing dramatically in the general direction of Big Biz's satellite. "Daughter! To me! Another journey begins, another battle is waiting, another victory must be ours before lunch!"
"Like, I have a name." Ellie sighed, climbing into the cockpit after her dad.
Kronnie smiled a peaceful smile as she waved her husband and daughter off, knowing they would come back with more stories of action and adventure. She, on the other hand, had many boring chores ahead of her: Feeding the magnetic alligator from the Genghis 4-dimension, reprogramming the time-warping microwave oven, giving the automated laser cannon defense system instructions in accordance to this week's estimated threat levels - a woman's work was never done.
"Maybe I could sleep another hour." she said, finishing her sentence with a yawn.
The years passed as little Ellie Zell grew up. She went to school, and then college, trying to follow her father's footsteps in battling crime and tyranny, while adding some of her mother's temperance. At the same time, humanity grew and prospered under Johnny Zell's watchful eye. Wherever the forces of villainy and oppression reared their ugly heads, he was there to stop them. No one was a match for him - not Options, the Destroyer of Choice; not Psychovore, the Eater of Dreams; not Monochre the Colourless; even Strange Person the Inscrutable finally bent beneath the might of Freedom //and //Hope.
All seemed like smooth sailing for humanity under the protection of its greatest hero, Johnny Zell. With success came fame and wealth. He was wildly popular, cheers erupted and parades formed spontaneously at the mere sight of his jetpack blazing in the sky. And he loved his fans, why, just that afternoon he had agreed to hold an interview with a plucky young reporter who went by the pseudonym Distortion.
Johnny boosted up to the height of the rooftops and saw that the city clock saying it was time for him to go to the meeting. He had said that he'd bring Ellie along, but she had a Protoheroics 823 exam to study for for college, so Distortion would just have to do with just him present. Turning the jetpack to maximum burn, Johnny Zell blasted off towards the small café where he had agreed to have lunch with the reporter.
As he walked through the door and looked around, Johnny Zell's keen senses told him something was afoot, but he couldn't quite place what. In a corner, he saw a man waving at him, and made his made his way over to sit beside him.
"You must be Distortion."
"Yes, that's me!" The man replied, after a little too long a pause, and then chuckled quietly. "I'm your biggest fan, Mr. Zell, if it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be where I am today."
"Thank you. Ensuring the success of humanity and protecting my loved ones is what I do. And I'm the best at what I do."
"I notice that Ellie didn't come here with you?" The man noted, his eyebrows furrowing slightly. "I was //so //hoping to meet her. Well, no matter, I suppose I can deal with her after I've taken care of you." This time the chuckle was louder, more sinister.
"What do you mean 'deal'! Who are you anyway‽" Johnny Zell demanded, jumping up from his seat, his hands already grasping Freedom Fire and Hope Lightning.
"I wouldn't bother with that if I were you, Johnny Zell. I've been planning this for a long time," the man's voice was taking on an otherworldy quality, not rising up from within his lungs, but coming from the entirety of the surrounding building. "For years now, even decades, I've been watching you remove those naïve fools one by one, removing all my competition. Thanks to your help, humanity has grown complacent, it relies on you too much. I need only kill you and the world is mine!"
"I'll never let that happen, fiend! Now back away before it's too late and I will bring you to jail without a ray gun hole in your chest!"
"Oh, shoot all you like. This boy has served his purpose. I think I'll let you see the true face of your unmaker before I send you to hell!" With that, Distortion's body collapsed like a rag, and above him hovered a flimsy, evanescent apparition, glowing slightly. "You see, you can never defeat me, for I am the Ghost! I am invincible! I am no one! I am everyone! I am the collective mind of all that has evil! Now, attack, my minions!"
Suddenly, Johnny Zell realised what had troubled him before - there was no parade on the street outside. No one had broken down in tears of joy when he entered. Then, all the other clients and the staff members got up and shifted before his very eyes. The smooth human skin peeled away, to be replaced by cracking decay. Bones protruded from their thin blackened skin.
"Nixon? Cheney? Obama? You fool, I was behind them all!" The Ghost cackled as his minions rushed forward, while more swarmed into the street from all directions.
"By the power of freedom, hope, and love, I will not be defeated!" Screamed Johnny Zell as he caught the first attacker in the chest with a blast from his ray gun. His practised hands twitched from one to the next, stopping some in their tracks as they stared dumbly at the hole where their chests had been, blowing the heads entirely off others. He had to concentrate with all he had on the front of the café. The ghouls had broken in the windows and were climbing over each other to get at him. Whirling from side to side, creating piles of bodies in front, he never saw the ghoul that had snuck through the back entrance. It lunged at him, and would have succeeded, would have grasped the hero's still-beating heart in its outstretched claws, were it not for the young Distortion who jumped in its way just in the nick of time.
Looking behind him, Johnny Zell screamed a terrifying "NO!" as both Freedom and Hope blasted the treacherous ghoul, reducing it to a pile of steaming entrails. "Distortion, don't you die on me!"
The man just smiled vaguely. "You know… I really was… your greatest fan." With the words said, his head lolled aside, and he lay there dead, the smile of happiness still on his face.
"Can't even protect your fans, can you, Johnny Zell?" The Ghost's voice could be heard from somewhere.
"I have failed him, but I will not let you have humanity, Ghost!"
With rage in his eyes, Zell turned on the assaulting mindless ghouls. With the power of his feelings radiating from him, Freedom and Hope blazed brighter than ever, piercing a dozen of the vile undead at once. Johnny advanced slowly, his guns finding the target time and time again, the shrieks of ghouls even outside the store piercing the air. All fell back before his righteous rage, a wave of black being pushed back by twin streams of pure white light.
"Never shall the forces of oppression triumph while I still live!"
At this shout even the remaining ghouls seemed to see their doom blazing in the hero's eyes, and fled for their lives, leaving bodies piled three layers thick in the street.
"Ghost, you may have fled, but I will find you, and when I do, you will wish that you were never unborn! I swear, I will do whatever it takes to get you. I will track down your villainous relatives if I must, and they will tell me exactly where you are. For Distortion's death you will pay with everything you have!"
The hero raged, unable to find a target for his anger, and then a soft voice whispered in his ear: "Why, you don't have to look all that far, I think. No, not very far at all."
"What‽ Where are you?"
"Why, inside you. Everything went just according to plan - your rage let me enter, and now it's just a matter of time before I take control. Who better to use to take over humanity than their beloved hero, Johnny Zell?" The maniacal laughter was growing louder and louder in the hero's ear. He reached for his ray gun, determined to stop the Ghost the only way he could.
"What's this? No, I don't think so." The voice came a little louder and clearer in his head. His hand struggled to move, and then unclenched, dropping the gun to the ground.
In an instant, his left hand tapped his belt. He had started a transmission to his daughter.
"Ellie… I hope you can hear me… this is very important… take the time machine… you must return to the past… stop the Ghost before it's too late."
To be continued!