Interesting read. I just have one concern/question. You wrote: "Galand was wearing a glove, so the punch had far more impact than it normally would've." What sort of glove are we talking about that would cause this?
Thanks! Hmmm... I should have said an armored glove. :3
I'm guessing you're not a big fan of Abe Lincoln. I really liked the Poe part, and it's now obvious where he got inspiration for "The Raven" from.
Actually, I like Lincoln. He's not my very favorite; perhaps top 6 (he loved America, that's for sure). This is just a totally irreverent farce using historical characters in bizarre situations.
I mean, Napoleon sure isn't portrayed in the best light, either, and he's my hero. I'm using stereotypes. I also like Wellington, but I portray him as a drunkard.
Oh, and if you like Poe, there'll be lots of him coming up:
"Well, fellers, did Marshal Galand bring you all here?" asked Lincoln.
Everyone raised their hands.
Napoleon stood up and raised his index finger and pointed at the others in a commanding fashion. "Now.. look here. Who put you in this cell? Galand?"
Everyone once again raised their hands.
"All right," the Corsican continued, "All right. Then, logically, there's no one to watch us in here. I say we break the door down! There's seven of us, I mean come on, how hard can it be?"
The others looked at each other, thinking about the suggestion, and nodded in agreement.
"Okay," said Napoleon, rubbing his hands together, "On my mark. 1! 2! 3!"
The other men grabbed FDR by the wheelchair handles and used him as a battering ram, rushing him toward the sturdy cell door. "But I don't want to use my wheelchair!"
"We're free!" exclaimed Wellington. "And it was all do to my great thinking."
Bonaparte grabbed him by the collar of his red coat and said, an inch from his face, "What do you mean? It was my idea to break down the door, Lord Lobsterback!"
"Ah, mate, but I was the one who rammed that ol' geezer righ' into the door, it was, Frenchified Frog" explained Wellington in his thick cockney accent.
"Can't argue with that logic," commented FDR, helping Lincoln try to bend his wheelchair back.
"Quite, y' geezer! This is between me an' Boney here!" Arthur pointed at him like a parent telling its child to shut up. He turned back to Napoleon. "We gotta ha'e a leader to get out o' here, and sure by devil isn't going to be you, my good chap."
"I can get us out of here," said Einstein quietly.
The other men looked at each other, slowly nodding.
Napoleon gave in. "Oui, he seems smart, so I'll make decisions jointly with him."
"I'm good with that," said FDR.
"I said! Quiet! Y' geezer! No one cares about the leader of your backwater colony!" yelled Wellington.
"Who are you calling a geezer, my boy? I should run you over with my chair for that!"
Einstein stepped in. "Qviet! Naow, ve have to tink tis through. I zay ve schtick togetter and use our kombined knowledge to get ze heck out of here. Vollow me, mein friends." The troupe of men fell in behind him. There were other cells, but they all seemed empty. Suddenly, their traveling came to a halt. In front of them was a hall with two stoic-looking guards.
Napoleon broke off from the group and crept quietly up behind one.
"Vive la France!" he screamed, tackling him. He grabbed the man's bizarre weapon and smacked him in the head with it. The other guard turned to knock him to the floor when the French officer pulled something on the stolen weapon. A huge blast of energy came out, knocking the other guard to the floor, unconscious. A prison riot stun gun. Bonaparte didn't know that, however, and looked at the weapon in awe.
Einstein gaped, "Zat vas amazing! Extraordinary!"
Even Wellington was shocked as Bonaparte hefted the weapon over his head victoriously. "Onward! Someone get the other gun!" cried the Frenchman.
Wellington scooped up the other stun gun and ran alongside Bonaparte.
The footsteps of more guards could be heard elsewhere in the prison. All the cells in this area were populated, but they looked like common criminals. Napoleon and Wellington fired away as guards poured out, all wearing bizarre body armor. The stunned men fell to the floor, providing the escapees with more stunners. Now, all of them had weapons, even FDR, who was being pushed along by Lincoln, who seemed to have idolized him since he heard FDR say he was president.
More guards hit the hard, tiled floor. Their clothing was some strange mottled mix of green, brown, and black, and looked much like foliage. The strange men kept showing up, only for the escapees to blast them down. Then, they approached a large metal door. Einstein read it carefully. "Armory. Williams Metal Industries. For more information call 1-800-878-901. Hmmph. I'll try. 1-800-878-901! Hello?! 1-800-878-901! Anyone here?!"
Napoleon put his palm over his face again in disbelief. "This is the most extraordinarily ignorant thing I've ever seen in my life."
Abe spotted a box on the wall that had some sort of strange red tube in it that had the word "EXTINGUISHER" printed on it. He had no idea what an extinguisher was, but, more importantly, there was an axe inside next to the red tube. "Awl right!" cheered Abe. "Somethin' I can understand!" He grabbed the axe and motioned for the others to step aside. He raised the axe and brought it down on the metal door. It made a large dent in it. He did it again. And again. And again. Finally, the door came tumbling down. "We are free from bondage! We are emancipated from these shackles!"
"We never wore shackles," said Bonaparte.
"I was using a... a... whatchoocallit, a homonym."
"Oh, okaaayyy. Onward, Citizen Abraham! Vive la Revolution (from prison)!"
The escapees bounded into the armory. A shocked unarmed mechanic stared at them. Abe grabbed the man by the collar and lifted him off the ground to eye level. "Look, friend, we here are escaping from pris'n. This here's the armory, leastaways that's what the door plumb says. Now, where're the weap... ons. Whoa." Abe gazed in awe at the lit-up suits of armor on the walls. They were beyond incredible.
The mechanic pointed at them. "Those are power suits. They're extremely powerful. Now, please don't hurt me, Mr. Lincoln!"
"Relax, friend, just show us how to get in those." Abe put the man down. Soon, all of them were wearing the power suits. FDR looked dejected, realizing he wouldn't be able to wear one.
The mechanic pushed his chair along. "Here, Mr. Roosevelt! You, too. You just think, and it'll do the walking for you."
FDR beamed as he was assisted into a suit and pulled the thick, glass helmet over his head. He pounded his armored hands together. He and the others were now twice the size and height of ordinary men.
"Alert! Alert! Crosstime prisoners escaping. Repeat, Crosstime prisoners escaping. All available personnel converge on the armory immediately," calmly instructed a voice over the intercom.
"I have no idea vat Crosstime iz, but let's do zis zing, ja?" Einstein led the armored historical figures out of the armory through a large door the mechanic had opened for them. They entered another room, this one containing a huge amount of oncoming guards. "Vat does zat button do? Oh! Ah-ha! It blows zem to kingdom come! Very useful." Einstein took over the front of the offense, while the others still struggled to operate their suits properly. Huge mounds of guards started gathering on the sides of the rooms, were the detonations of Einstein's explosives sent them flying from impact.
At last, FDR figured out his and started punching the the tiny guards high into the air. "Hail to the Chief, baby!" he cried as he kicked several more away who were trying to climb up his suit. The guards backed down when Napoleon and Poe demonstrated they had figured theirs out. They retreated to another part of the building.
A lone figure entered the room, wearing another power suit. They recognized the face.
"Galland, you scoundrel! What is all this? I demand to know!" demanded Napoleon.
"Stand down, Monsieur, and I'll explain."
"Do as he zays, gentlemen," ordered Einstein.
They all threw down their weapons and raised their glass helmets, awaiting an answer from the Marshal.
Galand sighed a sigh of relief. "Good. Now, listen carefully. You are on earth in the year 2400. Yes, you heard me right. 2400. But this is not any of your earths. You are from parallel universes. You see, I used Crosstime travel, which enables me to go back in time in any of your earths. So, I totally wiped you men from your histories. Einstein, yours will be a world where the atom bomb is not invented till the 1970's. Bonaparte, yours will be a world where Revolutionary France was defeated and the monarch rules forever. You also can speak English when you're in you're in your 20's, something certainly not correct in my history. Poe... I admit, I made a mistake. I'm not really familiar with you, and the Empress told me I was supposed to retrieve Ethan Allen, a warrior. I got your names confused. My apologies. Yours will be a world where Buck Rogers and Batman are delayed. Heh. Abraham Lincoln, yours will be a world where Douglas lets the Southern states secede. FDR, yours will be a world where the Second Great War is lost by the Allies. Wellington, yours will be a world where Napoleonic France rules all of Europe. Richtofen, yours will be a world without the famous Red Baron, and a man you were supposed to shoot down goes on to lead a fascist revolution in England."
Napoleon spoke first. "What?! You deprived me of my destiny?! I ought to shoot you right here, you dastard!"
"Relax, Monsieur Bonaparte, there are billions if not trillions of alternate Napoleon Bonapartes fulfilling your dreams. There are Napoleons that became lawyers, judges, doctors, even priests and ministers. There are Napoleons who are mentally off and there are some that are scientific geniuses. Some Napoleons died in the Revolution, others fled the country. Heck, there's one world where your brain was placed in a computer by Charles de Gaulle and you reign over a New French Empire as the immortal computer emperor."
"What's a computer?" asked a bewildered Bonaparte.
"Not important. You'll learn soon enough. And for all of your information, I was only keeping you in that cell for a few hours. I was going to let you out. You didn't need to shoot up my facility."
"Vat did you vant us for?" inquired Einstein.
"I want you to help us. In 2020 we experienced a cataclysmic war with China, known as the Nuclear War. It sent us back hundreds of years. We're finally making progress technologically, but we still have enemies and the world is still fractured into tiny nation-states. You are in the Empire of New England, ruled over by our glorious Empress Lenore I, long may she reign. This is Brookburg Castle, formerly known to Einstein and FDR here as Brooklyn, New York, New York, USA. We've been independent since 2100, when Emperor William I led us in the Reconquista of New England, where we pushed out our long-time enemy The Horde. The Horde consists of barbarians and murderous rabble. We're now pushing the various Horde sects and clans out of our territory for the final time. However, we have a new threat: the tyrannical Carolina Confederation. It started in 2305, when President Vincent Fawkes banded the former US states of North and South Carolina together in a union. We've slowly been dividing the east coast of North America between each other. Now, the old capital city of Washington is the disputed boundary. We have information that there is more in Washington than meets the eye. We need that city, friends. So, I can arrange some classes so you'll fully understand our history. After that, you can decide whether to help us or not. You won't be forced. You're not slaves or prisoners. And before you ask, no I can't go back in time in my earth to prevent the Nuclear War; it's Crosstime travel, not a time machine. What say you?"
Ever so slowly, the shocked men in the power suits nodded and asked for someone to help get them out.
Edgar Allen Poe felt dejected when he learned he was taken by mistake and not because he was a great mind. Well, yes, he always felt dejected, but that's beside the point. He felt really, really dejected, especially now, when it finally soaked in he wouldn't, and couldn't, return to his own world. To get his mind off his dejectedness, he dragged his sad self to the Brookburg Castle Library with the others to study up on this earth's history. The bloody story of this universe made him feel really, really, really, dejected and depressed. Apparently, on this world they had gone from light bulbs to atomic bombs in no time at all. Millions had died. It was so terribly overwhelming.
Einstein was the one who had most quickly adapted to being abducted and seemed to think it was just fascinating. “But why us, Marshal Galand? If there are so many alternates, why pick just us seven?”
“We did not,” sighed Galand. “We want to get a 'version' of every famous leader and figure we can to help fix this world. However, we are experiencing problems with our Crosstime machine. It was a miracle I managed to get you people on time. That, by the way, is why I punched you, Mister Poe; I was under a time limit before the machine broke down. Our top scientists are working on fixing it as we speak. Now, if there are no further questions, you may all browse the library as you please. You'll need as much information as you can get under your belts before we have you start assisting us. Have a nice day.”
Napoleon read for a good half hour before “going to get a drink.” He, like all the others, was wearing something called a corduroy jumpsuit. It was comfortable, if a bit silly looking. He didn't have to worry about people recognizing him; evidently, the Napoleon of this earth had been killed during the Revolution, hence, he was not famous. It rather bothered him, though, that by total accident he could marry one of his other self's own great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, etc, etc, grandchildren. In fact, it was extremely bizarre.
He saw a door that said “Security Only.”
He grinned and popped inside when no one was looking. He had been given something called a “flashlight” by Galand. It looked like a black tube with a flameless candle inside behind some mysterious material called “plastic.” He had no idea how it worked, he only knew it did. He turned it on and looked around for something to get into or look at. There was some sort of tall metal cabinet with three drawers in one corner. He saw it had a lock on it. He merely took a medal he kept in his pocket out and used the pin to force it open. It contained some sort of papers with large red stamps on them along with pictures of people and identifications. He grew bored looking at them and didn't know what they were, so he put them back. He unlocked the next drawer. It had interesting-looking old red books in them many hundreds of pages thick. He opened them, intrigued that the knowledge inside was kept under lock and key. He flipped through the first pages of one volume.
Lots of them.
A whole heck of a lot.
He gasped in wide-eyed horror as he read the execution reasons: supporting democracy, protesting government-set wages in horrible sweatshop factories, “aiding and abetting” people who were pro-democracy, even aiding and abetting those who aided and abetted people who supported democracy or reform. It was incredible and disgusting to a Son of the Revolution like Napoleon.
And the door opened.
Bonaparte prepared for a battle but soon realized it was his aviator friend; he and Richthofen were equally flamboyant and charismatic, so they had become fast friends. The Baron walked over. “What are you doing, Herr Bonaparte?” Napoleon shoved the book at the flier and let it speak for him. “This is unbelievable! They were going to use us to abet them in spreading their tyranny! Disgusting animals!” he cried, reading the pages.
And the door opened again.
Lots of them.
A whole heck of a lot.
“Get them! Who left the door unlocked? They have read the Red Books! They must not be able to tell!” commanded a guard who bore a sergeant's crest on his cap. Whistles were blown and the guards took out their weapons.
The Baron grabbed a pistol from off a nearby desk and fired several shots at the oncoming Imperial goons. He hit his marks as several of the attackers fell dead.
Bonaparte couldn't find a weapon on hand so he raised his hands fisticuffs style. “Bob and weave. Bob and weave. Right hook! Left cross! Uppercut! And down you go, monsieur!” he cheered as he sent one guard flailing helplessly to the floor with a broken nose and a missing tooth. He grabbed the man's nightstick and went to town with his German comrade. The general and baron staved off the attackers until the last one dashed off to get more men. Napoleon aimed carefully, using his math skills and projectile know-how to judge the perfect moment to throw. He threw it, shattering the man's spine just below the skull. He pickpocketed the man's belt for a pistol and grabbed a few clips of ammo. He had gone straight to the artillery and weapon section of the library earlier, and now had a working knowledge of this earth's firearms. He knew they worked and how to load and fire, but he was a little fuzzy on how they worked and what they were made of. They heard more and more booted feet rushing down flights of stairs and barely had time to join up with the other abductees, who had no idea what was going on.
The Baron took the lead at this point and shot their way to a garage. “Here! Das auto! It can't be much different and I'm sure I can drive it,” he jubilantly exclaimed, pointing at a plain black van. “Get in! Get in! Herr Einstein, you're up front with me.”
“I get to ride schotgun?!”
“Er... ja? Get in!” The Baron was thrilled to see the keys in the ignition. He started it up and tried to figure it out. “Okay, uh, this is the rever- NO IT'S THE ACCELERATOR! Mein himmel, this is more different than I thought... Okay, this is the accelerator and this stick thing is the... Oh, ja, I got this now. Off we go into das wild blue yonder!” The van sped out the open garage and onto the extremely smoothly-paved road outside. The castle was beautiful on the outside, but they all knew its dark secrets now.
“Oh, by Truman's glasses this is exciting, my boys! Running from backstabbing genocidal timetravellers in a parallel universe with famous people from other parallel universes!” remarked a seemingly thrilled FDR.
Wellington ran his hands through his hair, making sure it was in place. “And then there's Poe.”
“Hey!” moaned the depressed fiction writer at the back of the van.
Wellington ignored him. “I do say I've had enough excitement for now... y' ol' geezer.”
FDR grinned. “Why, I haven't done anything this exciting since I paralyzed myself while sneaking out on Eleanor! Or... was it when Cousin Teddy threw me down a flight of stairs for doing it? Oh, well, anyway, this is very exciting.”
“I think they'll be chasing us anytime now,” warned a serious Napoleon.
“Nein,” the Baron gave a negative. “I made sure to rig their petrol to blow up. Any second now.”
A huge explosion blew fire and pillars of smoke into the air behind them.
The Baron looked smug. “And there it is, mein herr.”
FDR looked like was about to fall out of his chair. “By Hoover's dam, this is downright enjoyable, my boys!”
The gang of leaders and geniuses (and Poe) drove onward, trying to find a way to totally escape. As Richthofen scouted the countryside as he awkwardly steered the horseless carriage, Einstein fiddled with the buttons on the dash. He was enraptured. “Oh! Vat does zis do? Oh! It's a radio!”
“Hello out there in Radioland, this is Dogman Joe, you can call me DJ, and coming up next on the Imperial Music Station is a classic from before our forefathers turned each other to pieces of radioactive paste. So, here's Party Rock Anthem!” Everyone screamed as the bizarre music boomed through the vehicle's speakers.
The baron cursed in German, nearly swerving off the road and crashing in a ravine. He slammed the off button. “What. Was. That. What creature on earth, any earth, could make that... that... screeching?!”
Wellington rubbed his ears, expecting to find blood. “Satan himself, that's who!”
“I rather liked it,” said Poe quietly.
“No one cares, Poe, no one cares,” grunted Wellington. “Y' want t' listen to that barbaric screaming do it when you're not wi' us.”
Abe had no comment, instead looking out the window, bewildered by all that was happening.
Richthofen steered the van onto a winding country road. It was now midday, and they still did not have any trouble yet. "Gentlemen, I think we need to find some food. Check around back there and see if you can come up with anything."
The other men began looking in various compartments for anything to eat. Wellington noticed a small handle in the middle of the floor. "Wai' up, chaps! What's this?" He pulled on it and it lifted off. Inside were guns. Lots of them.
FDR recognized one. "That heavily resembles a Thompson gun, though more advanced. That one I don't know, and that one is a belt-fed. Finally, something I can grasp."
Napoleon inspected the belt-fed. "I read about this in the library. I know how it works and how you load it. I claim it."
Wellington checked out the Thompson and used another thing Galand had passed out. A pen. He inked "English Bulldog" on it and put the cartridges under his belt on his jumpsuit.
"Heads up, mein friends," the Red Baron warned, "We got problems. A roadblock. We can't turn around without them chasing us. Calm and cool. If they try to get in the back for weapons inspection or to see if we're wanted, open fire. Remember, calm and cool."
The group bit its nails as the van came to a halt in front of the red-and- yellow-striped roadblock. A guard with flashlight-club and a notebook came out of the guard hut and walked over to the driver's window. "Hello, there. Can I see your driver's license and ID?"
"Uh. Um. Heh, uh, you see..." stammered Richthofen. "Uh." Suddenly, he whipped out his pistol and shot the man between the eyes. Other guards rushed the van from behind and opened the doors.
"Vive la France!" and "For King and Country" were the last things they heard as bullets flew like a swarm of bees. The Baron had some red stick in his hand he had stolen from the garage earlier. He got out of the van and sneaked through some bushes with the other three. Several guards inside the hut were firing blindly out the windows, cursing their heads off. Richthofen slammed himself against the wall next to the door. He carefully used a cigarette lighter that had been in his pocket when he was abducted to light the fuse. "Cover me!" The aviator threw the stick of explosives into the hut. He heard screaming and more cussing coming from inside. He walked away from the hut slowly, as the guards had stopped firing. He pulled a cigarette from his chest pocket and stuck it the corner of his mouth. He lit it and took a long, slow puff.
He walked leisurely back to the van, smoking his cigarette, aviator cap pushed back on his head. He jumped back in the van and started it back up. Lincoln had already run out and gathered the dead soldiers' weapons. All of the others stared in awe at the Baron.
"That was the most epic thing I've ever seen, my boy," complimented FDR.
The Baron blew a smoke ring and put a new cartridge in his pistol. "All in a day's work, mein herr."
The van came to a halt in front of a service station. The old building looked like it was free of military personnel so they decided it was safe.
"Hawt dawg," cheered Abe, "We're gonna get some vittles!" He was first to enter. Napoleon, the Baron, and Abe realized they had no money, so they realized they had to what they had to do. Abe kicked the door open and held his rifle out in front of him. "Feller's gotta do what a feller's gotta do! Everyone, down on the ground!"
The terrified storekeepers put their hands over their heads and stared at the armed men.
Napoleon held the minigun threateningly. "He said: Down on the ground, messieurs! We don't want any problems, just some food."
The Baron waved his pistol at the snack cakes and potato crisps on the top shelf. "Those, the cakes and potatoes, all of them! Come on, make it snappy." The storekeeper did as asked and Abe put them in a sack. "Now, all of your water. All of it. And any cash you have. Now." Again, the shocked storekeepers did as told and sighed in relief as the robbers headed out. "It was a pleasure, gentlemen. Sorry for any inconvenience," said the Baron as he bowed. "Now, gentlemen, off we go into the wild blue yonder once again. And I wouldn't tell anyone about this, or... we'll find out! Jawohl, we find out."
Lincoln stared at him for a moment before Napoleon elbowed him to agree. "Oh, er, yessir, we will plumb find out, so don't ya'll try nothin'! I'm warnin' y'."
The three men sprinted back to the van at top speed and chucked the bag of food in the back. They passed the food around as they drove off.
"Oh, by Hitler's mustache, it's wonderful to get some food. I was beginning to think we'd have to eat the ammunition!" he joked.
"Or we could just eat Poe," grinned Wellington, mouth stuffed with cake and crumbs spilling everywhere. "I just wish we had some whiskey, but this water will do." Wellington reached for a cake at the same time as Napoleon, and engaged in a hand-smack fight over who would get it.
The Baron put his face in his palm. "Stop acting like children, please? Danke schoen." Napoleon and Wellington stopped, reluctantly. "Now, please, let's try to figure out where we should go, all right?"
*The van is clearly an A-Team reference*