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The Recollection Of Crankshaft

Chapter 7

As I stood there, I felt like I was somehow detached from the events, and I took a moment to look over everyone else. Each of the rangers were cold and emotionless. And that Pinkal one was just confusing the cheesers out of me. Let me tell you, looking menacing in pink of all colors, is rather difficult, but this guy did an absurdly good job of it. The whole time, I was less afraid of the other RAmars shooting me down with their guns, as I was afraid of that guy smacking me around with that Love Rappy. I could just see it. The other RAmars are shooting at me, I'm running through the woods, and this guy just drops down out of nowhere with this Love Rappy and just pounds the snot out of me.

I looked at Fender. The expression on his face was one of worry and caution. His lips curled in a failed smile, the upper lip having a slight bend toward one of his nostrils. The sweat hadn't started to bead yet, but I could tell that he was dreading this, as he was most certainly trying to keep his cool, and was definitely worried about whether or not Dragoon would make good on his assignment.

Laya seemed worried as well, but not as much as Fender was. Laya had this strange expression of being able to take care of herself, but yet recognizing that she had a worthy adversary. This kind of threw me off though, because I always looked at her as just a short woman that taught a class at the college.

Dragoon, on the other hand, was fairly unemotional at this. Of course, when your entire face is made from a number of metal plates, I suppose it would be difficult to express a facial expression. I suppose that this is what made it so amusing to me, in retrospect, when Dragoon, with his unchanging expression, approached the Greenill RAmar, and leaned down over him.

The RAmar first looked up. Evidently only seeing the android's collar, he then bent backward a bit to see his face. Due to the helmet, I couldn't tell what he was considering at this point. I mostly couldn't see what was on his face, though I assume that he was probably thinking about Laya in a bikini. This is what I was thinking about at the time, at least.

On the other hand, he could've been thinking about how absurdly large Dragoon is. Then thinking either about how easily he'd lose his balance, or how much Dragoon's immense weight would hurt, if it were to be applied to his spleen. I would imagine that this would be a position that one would not want to sleep in. Can you imagine that? "Hey, Dragoon, I'm going to go to bed now." "Okay, I'll be there to stand on your spleen in just a second." How silly!

So Dragoon stood over the RAmar, then lifted his finger up, and poked him in the forehead. The tension was growing among the RAmars, and it was indeed growing with us. Now the beads of sweat started to form on Fender's forehead. No one was prepared when Dragoon suddenly jumped and stuck his chest out to yell, "EVIL MEN!" and after a sufficient pause he continued with, "I WANT TO KIIIIIIIILLLLLL YOOOOOOUUUUU!! DIE-DIE-DIE-DIE-DIE-DIE-DIE!!"

No one was prepared for this. Especially the RAmars. While Fender, Laya and I were falling backward, the RAmars jumped, and a couple of them fell off of the platform we were on, down to the floor below. The Pinkal RAmar, however, stayed calm for some reason, and rallied the troops. Swinging his big pink Rappy around by the feet, he yelled to the others, "Com'on yall! Let's get it to it!" and while Dragoon was doing his dance of death, this RAmar just walked up to him, and smacked him over the head with the Rappy.

This startled Dragoon, as he'd never been hit with a Rappy before. Let alone, a Love Rappy. For an instant, he seemed perplexed. For the next instant, he seemed to be moving. Following that, he seemed to be removing the Love Rappy from the RAmar's hand, and beating him down with it. If pillows were big, pink, and had beaks, and squirt blood all over the place when they hit RAmars, Dragoon's assault-assault of the RAmar very much would've resembled a tremendously one-sided pillow fight.

Before I knew what else had happened, the Rappy was somehow embedded in a distant wall, and the Pinkal RAmar was being lobbed at the greater portion of the group, which still remained on top of the platform on which we stood, or stumbled as the case may be. This all occurred in the time it took the RAmars to re-orient themselves after Dragoon's outburst, which indeed, the Rappy beating occurred quite quickly.

On further recollection, the blood that squirt may very well have been the RAmar's. The group in any case, had lost another two of the RAmars to the edge of the platform, making a total of five RAmars below, and five RAmars on top.

The five RAmars below, however, were putting themselves on top of things. In a manner of speaking. The three that had fallen initially were on the run for the teleporter pad back up to the top of the platform. Meanwhile, Dragoon was proceeding to attack the RAmars.

He charged against the Greenill RAmar, as he seemed to be the leader of the pack. I assume that was his logic. Or it could've been because he was the only one standing. Dragoon stopped in front of the Greenill RAmar, smacked him upside the head, kicked him in the shin, and while distracted by that, he proceeded to pick him up by the ankles, and shake him out like some deranged woolen rug. The kind you just kinda toss on the floor, because it might conceivably be decorative, or maybe just so that people step on that and get it all filthy and not clean instead of your absurdly expensive carpet that you paid too much for, and could've gotten a discount on, had you been only 30 years older. Personally, I was waiting for Dragoon to hang him up, and beat him with a racket, carpet-beating thing. Smack. Smack. POW!

When the other three RAmars returned to the platform from the teleporter, the Greenill RAmar became a weapon. Albeit, in my observations, anything in Dragoon's hands, or on his body, or in the same general vicinity as him, may potentially become a weapon. Dragoon seems to have a talent for hurting things in a most severe and absurdly effective fashion.

For example. I could have sworn that I saw that Greenill RAmar's head bend backward when he smacked into the Purplenum RAmar. And I don't just mean, like, looking up kinda position. I mean like, he was banging the back of his head between his shoulder blades. Which, with a helmet like that, I was rather impressed.

For the next few moments, I watched these color-coded RAmars get pounded-- err, smacked-- err, profoundly hurt, or um, yeah, something like that, by Dragoon the Pain Inflictor. Meanwhile, Fender was snagging the disc from the ground, Laya was watching Dragoon and making excited punching motions, and I was ogling at the combat, wondering why they hadn't died yet. Indeed, these fellows seemed to be mortality-impaired! Like being mentally impaired, I think, but like, instead of being unable to think, you're unable to lose your life.

People who lose their life intrigue me. Do you think they're just wandering around looking for it? People think they're going, "WOOOO!!!" and "AhhhH!!" and "BOOO!!" but they're actually saying, "What the heck? I just had it a moment ago, where the heck did I put that thing?" What if they found it? "Oh! Here it is!" Dust it off... Spit shine it, and stuff it back in their pocket. Would that make this individual alive again? I can just see someone being upset after finding their life, going home, and finding that their apartment has been rented out to someone else. They'd be like, "Hey! That was my apartment! All my stuff was in there!" Then, without hesitation, the collection of beer cans and burger wrappers must be started over. There was more to this tangent, but Laya hit me. Hard.

So, yeah, these things took a beating, and kept on ticking. So I yelled. I yelled, "Hey!" And then I yelled, "These guys, they're on PCP or something!" And then I yelled again, "Dragoon, how many times have you broken Pinkie's neck? And that bird! There's something wrong with that bird! That bird ain't right!" At which point, Fender grabbed me, put his hand over my mouth, and rushed me for the teleporter.

"Let's just get out of here, and let Dragoon handle these guys, shall we?" Fender suggested.

To which, I replied, "So, what're we gonna do now?" I stumbled a couple of times, going through the teleporter with Fender and Laya.

"Run, you idiot!"

"Oh, well, that makes sense," I said, and we ran.

When we ran passed the fray, the RAmars diverted their attention from Dragoon, who was drastically beating his fists into one of them on the ground, screaming, "WHY!!! WON'T!!! YOU!! DIIIIIIIIIEEEEE!!!!!"

This RAmar was convulsing, I do believe. The others saw us running away with the disc, and following an astute order from the Viridia RAmar, they began jumping down to us, and following us. Seeing his crowd leaving him, Dragoon grabbed his broken and pulped Viridia RAmar, and followed them. Looking back, I was able to see Dragoon doing this, and I happened to notice that he was dragging this RAmar, in very much the same way that a puppy drags a large new toy in its mouth, when it's proud to be destroying something.

We ran through hallways for a distance, but were soon confronted with a room full of baddies that wanted to fight. With Dragoon dealing with the RAmars, our room-clearing machine was preoccupied. We stopped, and Dragoon and the RAmars seemed to roll by in a mobile skirmish. Fender looked at the Dimenians and Delsabers over his oddly colored 3D goggles. "Hmm... This... This is not good, Crankshaft."

To which, I aptly replied, "This is about as desirable as closing your head in a nuclear mini-fridge. Yes, very bad, indeed." I grunted after this, and nodded, while posing in a semi-dramatic fashion. Fender just looked at me, as though he were oblivious to what I was saying, and I snorted in return.

As the monsters approached, Laya seemed to be getting frustrated, or maybe even a little bit nervous. She started hurling fireballs at the monsters, repelling them back decently. They kept coming though, and she started becoming subtly more desperate. I heard her, under her breath, saying, "Foie! Foie! Foie!" as she shot these fireballs off, and but before long, she ceased tossing fireballs. Fender and I looked at each other, then looked back at her.

At this point, she was just gasping for breath, like someone who's just done something physically exhausting for a while. Then she squeezed a comment between breaths, saying, "Now that I'm warmed up..." This was followed by her standing in a tense stance, and four huge fireballs forming in front of her. She closed her eyes as sweat dripped from her forehead, and when she looked up, she shouted, "FLAELI!!!" With this outburst, the huge fireballs burst outward, with great flaming glory.

They whooshed through the room, each one impacting in the center of clusters of Dimenians and Delsabers, and as they hit, they went BOOOOOOOM! Really big-like! Just Boom! And the monsters went flying. Some splattered against the ceiling, some were squooshed where they were, and others were smeared across the floor. It was glorious. Fender and I had to brace from the shockwave. It was one of the coolest things I'd ever seen.

One of the other coolest things I've ever seen, was the time when I found an old Meseta coin from before the electronic currency revolution, and having nothing better to do with it, threw it into a magnetic matter combustion chamber, and forgot to close the door before turning it on. All of the pretty colors. It melted into a cluster of shiny sparks, and an odd smelling gas. I still get woozy and goofy when I think about it.

So, Laya cleared the room at great physical expense, while Dragoon tangled with the men in black, that wanted to take away our disc full of contraband information. When Laya collapsed, Fender and I picked her up, and ran to the next room. The RAmars lead Dragoon after us.

This next room began with a huge, horse-guy-thing charging at us. With a yelp, we indeliberately tossed Laya back into the hallway connecting this room and the previous room, and split up. Before long, however, we found the horsy to be spontaneously beat to death with a pair of RAmars in Dragoon's possession. He stood there, spinning them around like nunchukus, making a "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!" sound, with a varying pitch throughout the pronunciation. With a low, "Huuuwaaahh..." sound, Dragoon jumped back at the RAmars, with rangers a-blazing.

Then I happened to notice something. This room appeared to be a bridge. A bridge over an engine room! Then I narrowly dodged a Dimenian's sword-like arm, and ran to a place that would be temporarily safe. Then I shouted to Fender, "FENDERER!!!" Hee hee, I called him Fenderer.

Anyway, he shouted, "What!?" As he tossed a couple of Foies at some encroaching upon his person.

I yelled back, observing the electric current freeing itself from the top turbine, down to the bottom turbine. What I yelled was, "This room has a HUGE Protonic Combustion Engine! And it's at a LOW idle! This is a ship!!" At this point I dodged another Dimenian and moved again, and yelled further, "They aren't supposed to be able to work safely at this size!! I have an idea!"

I ran to him, pulled him aside and told him all about the gravitic lethality of a large-scale Protonic Combustion Engine. We ran out into the hallway, and while Fender yelled at Dragoon to drop a freeze trap to freeze the RAmars, and quickly run out of the room, I shook Laya awake, and even reached into her pocket, pulled out a bottle of Trifluid, and dumped it down her throat. She awoke with a smack in my face. Dragoon arrived, and the RAmars were frozen.

"Laya!" I shouted at her. "Joo! Joo must doo-doo that voo-doo that joo-doo soooo well!"

She looked at me and said, "What?!"

Then I pointed at the turbines. "Zap that thing! Like, really really hard! You've gotta overload it! Then we've gotta get outta here... Fast! Yeah..."

Laya rubbed her head, and squinted. Fender cast Ryuker, and generated a 'pipe up to Pioneer 2, which would be our heroic path of escapage. We would flee the destruction through the pipe! The gravity spike shall set us freeee!

So, Laya prepped herself. A few Zonde bolts flew between her hands, she sweat, held her hands up, and screamed, "TANDLE!" With her yell, I did a happy dance, and an electric bolt that far exceeded any blast of Zonde I've ever conceived of, ripped through the air, like a big lightning boltish thing, which, indeed, it was. The current in the turbines swelled, the Protonic combustion increased, and the ice holding the RAmars shattered. The ground shook underneath us, and all the Dimenians and RAmars started succumbing to their own increasing weight. We started feeling it too, but we chose to shoot up the Telepipe instead, dragging the fainting Laya along with us.

Back on Pioneer 2, the Telepipe collapsed behind us. Presumably by the increased gravity we just caused in the Ruins. Before Fender and I brought Laya to the hospital, Dragoon collected some meager pay from Fender, then said something about meeting some friends on the Viridia deck, before digging his fingers into a wall, and dragging himself up the side of it. Fender and I looked at each other, shrugged, then took Laya to the hospital to be treated. Still, there was more adventuring yet to come.

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