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42. Bank

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“A bank robbery?” Davy said, worried. “Are you sure we want to intervene?”

“Why not?” Olivia asked. “I’m a superhero. I can take a handful of bank-robbing turds.”

“Yeah,” Steve added. “I recently became an expert in Muay Thai boxing. Besides, I have my Ember Sack of Unrelenting Sorrow. It’ll work on those guys.” Steve growled under his breath, “It has to work on somebody…”

“I think it could be fun,” Connie chimed in. “We can show everyone how heroic we are.”

Olivia sidled up next to Davy. “Besides, you got your golf club, which is pretty dope.”

Davy pulled out the golf club. It had served him well so far. “All right,” he relented. “We just need to be careful.”

Olivia nodded in agreement. She looked back at the bank. It looked like almost all the people had cleared out, leaving the front entrance to be relatively open. “Okay, on my signal, we’re going to charge the front entrance. That should catch them by surprise.”

“Is that really the best way to get in there?” Davy asked.

“Probably not,” Olivia answered. “But it will look really cool. And they’re just bank robbers, we’ll be fine.”

Olivia spread her arms apart like a bird about to take flight. “Okay, one, two, three, go!”

Her body extended like an elastic band and she launched herself towards the bank entrance. The other three followed suit. They burst through the front doors and Davy got his first look at his adversaries.

A group of four people stood in front of them. Two men and two women. The men were wearing gray suits. The women were adorned in gray skirts and blouses. They would look like 1920’s gangsters if it weren’t for their strange helmets.

They looked like animal heads that covered their entire faces, except for their eyes. A lion, a wolf, a reindeer, and a squid. All four of them were holding tommy guns and burlap sacks with dollar signs on them.

The woman in the wolf helmet was jittering excitedly. “Attica! Attica!” she repeated.

The reindeer man took a step forward. “The Grumblegator said you might show up,” he sneered. “Let me just say how thrilled I am to finally meet the Steward and his stupid friends.”

“Who are you?” Davy asked. Was this the league Lady Gut Possum spoke about?

“And now we get to introduce themselves!” the reindeer man gloated. “Splendid!”

He stood up straight and spread his arms apart. “Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair,” he scowled. “For we are the Iron League of Reference Humor!”

He looked at his cronies behind him an gestures at them. They scrambled and stood next to the reindeer man in a line. They all raised their hands   in the air and chanted.

“Iron League Roll Call!”

“Boss Stag!” shouted Boss Stag.

“Boss Squid!” shouted Boss Squid.

“Boss Lion!” shouted Boss Lion.

“CROOOOOOOOOOOW!” shouted Boss Wolf.

They ended their chant in different dynamic action poses.

Davy was dumbfounded. Was this really who he was going to have to deal with. It seemed like a step down from the morbid apocalyptic insanity of Mother Martyr.

Steve dropped his arms. “Iron League?” he said. “Why Iron?”

Boss Lion broke from her action pose. “Well, don’t look at me,” she said. “I voted for Indigo.”

“I voted for Justice!” Boss Wolf added.

“I voted for Kodos,” Boss Squid added.

Boss Stag jumped out of his pose, a fire in his eyes. “No no no, you idiots!” he yelled. “We all agreed that Iron League was the coolest name and that is what we’re going to stick with!”

“But why create a group centered on reference humor?” Connie asked. “Surely a group of intelligent individuals such as yourselves would consider devoting yourself to something more, well, substantial.”

Boss Stag groaned. “Ugh, I just gave my big speech on why reference humor rules to these guys earlier today.”

“The speech was a beautiful tropical fish,” Boss Lion interjected.

“Thank you, Boss Lion,” said Boss Stag. “Anyway, I don’t want to do the whole speech again. Let’s just do the short version.” He looked at Boss Squid. “Hey, give me something. Why do we like reference humor?”

Boss Squid stumbled. “Um, it really ties the room together?”

“Close enough,” Boss Stag responded. He looked back at Davy. “We like reference humor, because it really ties the room together.”

Davy still didn’t understand anything in front of him. “But why are you with the Grumblegator?” he asked.

Boss Stag crossed his arms and chuckled. “There’s a time and place for everything,” he chortled. “But not now.”

Olivia was getting tired of standing there. “Okay, you like reference humor,” she said. “But you’re allied with the Grumblegator, and you’re robbing a bank. Prepare to face the gut punch of justice!”

The Iron League began to laugh.

“Oh really?” wheezed Boss Stag. “The four of you are going to stop us? One of you has a golf club!” He looked at Davy. “What are you going to do, Arnold Palmer? Make us refreshing drinks comprising of equal parts iced tea and lemonade?” He turned to his cohorts. “Get it!?” he giggled. “Because I called him Arnold Palmer!”

Olivia raised her hands into fists. “Nobody insults my friend,” she scowled. “You should have thought twice before riling up a group with a superhero.”

Boss Stag pulled a remote control out of his pocket. “Yeah, you have a superhero,” he said. “And we have this.”

He pressed a button on the remote control. A silver, stereotypical gangster car flew through the glass door behind Davy and landed on Olivia, flattening her. It drove in front of the Iron League and came to a stop. Boss Stag looked at his compatriots. “Get in losers, we’re going shopping,” he said. The four bank robbers climbed into the car, which turned back towards the door and began to speed away.

Just before the car sped out of the bank, a window rolled down.  Boss Wolf appeared and stuck her head out the window.

“Hey Malkovich, think fast!” she yelled as she pelted Davy in the head with a beer can.

As Davy rubbed his head and Olivia stumbled back to her feet, Connie looked at the rest of the group with a smile. “All things considered,” she said. “I think that went pretty well. Good team effort.”


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