The four of them sat glumly in the empty ice cream parlor. It was about seven in the evening on a Friday night. Davy was somewhat surprised to see the Very Dairy Ice Cream Factory was desolate except for them at this hour. But more than that, he was sore.
All four of them has essentially been gut punched into the horizon, yet no one had suffered more that bruises and stiff muscles. What kind of bizarre cartoon physics were they dealing with against the Iron League?
Davy silently took a bite of his Franklin Del-Mango RooseveltTM ice cream. Whatever they were doing, it wasn’t working.
“So that didn’t go great,” he said to the rest of the group. “Any ideas on what to do next?”
Connie held a wide smile as she took a spoonful of her Float Like a Buttermilk, Sting Like a BeeTM ice cream. “I think we did okay. You guys are pretty savvy; I’m sure you can think of something.”
Davy looked to Steve who was scarfing down his Seize the Cocoa Beans of ProductionTM ice cream. “How about you?” he asked.
Steve stopped eating for a second. “I think we should go at them again,” he replied. “I can probably take them. I actually probably could have done it last time, but I just got distracted.”
“What did you get distracted by?” Davy asked flatly. “Before you got punched into the sky?”
Steve thought for a moment. “World hunger,” he finally said.
“You were distracted at that moment in the middle of a fight by world hunger?” Davy responded.
“Yes, it’s very sad,” Steve said.
Davy didn’t reply. He looked at Olivia who had barely touched her You Can Have It Any Flavor So Long as It’s Black LicoriceTM ice cream. She was poking it with her spoon.
“They beat me twice,” she muttered. “Even Mother Martyr only got me once.”
Steve lowered his spoon. “Can’t you just get big again?” he asked. “Grow a bunch of mouths and eat them like last time?”
Olivia sighed. “It’s not that easy,” she said. “It takes just about everything I’ve got to do that. I don’t know if I’ve got the strength to do it again so soon. Besides they might just randomly pull out crazy explosion powers from some movie and still take me down.” She laughed wearily. “I also figured that fight with Mother Martyr would be the only time I’d need to do it. It just seemed so climactic. And cool.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Davy said. He turned to the rest of the group. “There’s got to be some way to beat those guys.”
“Maybe we just need to avoid facing them head-on,” Connie added. “Olivia’s right. They seem like they can pull whatever abilities they need out of a hat. Any confrontation is going to end with them surprising us. But they’re getting their power from somewhere. Maybe we find the source of their power and incapacitate them.”
“And how do we know we won’t run into them anyway and get pummeled again?” Steve asked. “There’s, uh, a chance I might get distracted by world hunger again.”
Davy shook his head. “We need to approach this from a new angle,” he sighed. He pointed to the entrance of the Ice Cream Factory. “It’s not like the solution is going to just walk through that door.”
At that moment, Lady Gut Possum walked through the front door. She looked around at the empty ice cream parlor with muted abhorrence.
“I told him we need to remain inconspicuous…” she muttered.
She approached the table the group was sitting at. With a look of concern, she said, “You haven’t recovered the artifact yet.”
“Just a small delay,” Connie replied. “We’ve got this, no problem.”
Davy cleared his throat. “Um, it seems like the Iron League of Reference Humor is tougher than we thought.”
“Indeed,” Lady Gut Possum replied. “It appears we all underestimated the Grumblegator’s current associates.”
“You didn’t think they would be this bad?” Olivia asked.
“Of course not,” Lady Gut Possum answered. “Have you seen them? They’re four nerds who wear animal masks. I certainly did not expect them to possess the strength they demonstrated against you.”
“So what do you want us to do,” Steve interjected, taking a heaping bite of his ice cream.
Lady Gut Possum’s eyes went wide seeing Steve take that bite. She noticed the rest of the group was also ravenously consuming ice cream as they conversed with her.
“What are you doing?” she asked in a somewhat raised voice. “Why are you eating that?”
“Because no trip to Sangre Dios is complete without a visit to the Very Dairy Ice Cream Factory,” the four of them chanted back in a simultaneous monotone.
Lady Gut Possum looked worried. “What did you just say?” she asked.
“Huh?” Davy said blankly.
“Just now,” Lady Gut Possum replied. “The four of you together.”
“I don’t remember saying anything,” Olivia responded.
“Yeah,” Steve chimed. “I was just enjoying this delicious ice cream, one of one hundred twenty-two flavors from the Very Dairy Ice Cream Factory.”
Lady Gut Possum shook her head. “He did it, didn’t he?” she grumbled to herself. “I told him not to, but he did it anyway.”
She looked at Davy and the rest of the group. “Come on, get up,” she said sternly. “You need to come with me.” She snatched Connie’s spoon out of her left hand as she was about to take another bite of her ice cream. “And no more of this ice cream.”
Davy stood up out of his chair. “What’s going on?” he asked.
Lady Gut Possum ignored Davy as she moved to behind the counter. Davy only just then realized there was no one else working back there. Lady Gut Possum began fiddling around with the cash register, pressing the buttons almost randomly. “One of these has got to do it,” she mumbled to herself. She finally pressed the button she was seemingly looking for. “Yes, that’s it,” she exclaimed.
Davy saw a door materialize on the wall behind Lady Gut Possum. It looked suspiciously similar to that door that appeared in front of Davy in the law library.
Lady Gut Possum Opened the door, revealing an elevator on the other side.
Davy restated his question. “Where are we going?”
“Lady Gut Possum beckoned them into the elevator. “We are going to have a chat with the owner of this establishment,” she answered. “It just so happens that he may be able to help you with your problem.” She continued to speak as they piled into the elevator. “Which is good for him, because I am this close to killing him.”