Chapter 3: Hitching a Ride...WITH DOOM!
After spitting a wad of sludge on the sidewalk and grunting incoherently, the obese hotdog stand vendor pointed in the general direction with one sausage-like finger. I was worried about the condition of my rocket surfboard, so I decided to walk it.
I had taken about four steps when I began to hear the rapidly-approaching sound of squealing tires and gunfire. I turned to see a jet black Cadillac popping up onto the sidewalk and heading straight towards me. I dove for the street. The obese hotdog lord dove into a dumpster. The hotdog stand exploded, sending weiners and hotdog water flying everywhere.
Instead of running over me like I expected, the car pulled up next to me and stopped. As I approached the passenger side, ready to draw my sword at a moments notice, the tinted window began to roll down.
The driver was a woman. All woman. She had long black hair pulled tight into a pony tail. Her dress was this painted on black leather number; very short, showing off a pair of legs that went on for miles. Not literally, that would make her some kind of disproportioned giant freak.
"You are za Johnny detective?" she asked me in a thick, german-sounding accent.
"Uh...yeah. Close enough."
"Very good. Get in za car." She pressed a button and the door popped open.
"Wait a second here. I don't even know who you are lady. If you think I'm just gonna..." I would have finished the sentence, but a bullet whizzed past my face.
Speeding towards us was some kind of military humvee-looking thing flanked by motorcycles, one on each side. All three vehicles were shooting at us.
"Get in za car now!" the woman screamed.
I didn't have much of a choice. I threw my rocketboard in the back seat, jumped in, and we sped off with the trigger-happy mystery men in hot pursuit, their bullets randomly pinging off my mystery woman's car. I shouted something along the lines of "whoareyouwhoaretheyhowthewhatsit", but she seemed to be preoccupied with swerving in and out of traffic while firing blindly back at the pursuers.
Finally, she turned to me, "I have vital information about your case. The men shooting at us are goons for Apocalypse. They are vanting to keep me from getting za information to you. You understand now?"
"Very good. Now take my gun. Now take mine gun. We needs to get rid of the pursuers and your sword will not do at this distance."
I had heard everything I needed to hear. "Well, I guess I'll have to get closer then, won't I?"
I heard her ask me vat...I'm sorry...what I was talking about, but I had already climbed out the window and onto the roof of the speeding car by then.
The mystery woman must have been telling the truth about these guys being Apocalypse's goons, because they seemed to recognize me. The moment I turned to look at them, the two motorcyclist turned their shiny metal helmets towards each other, nodded, made some signal to the humvee driver and pulled back. The humvee began to speed up to ram us...which is exactly what I wanted.
I yelled to the woman, telling her to hold on tight. As the humvee roared closer, I braced myself, waiting for the right moment. When it got close enough, I leapt onto the humvee, smashing into the windshield. The windshield cracked under my mighty barbarian ribs, but it still hurt enough to knock the wind out of me. Even worse, although the windshield cracked, it didn't completely give in. So instead of flying into the vehicle like I had hoped, I was sent flying over the humvee's roof. I would have toppled off the back had I not pulled out my broadsword and jammed it through the roof at the last moment, giving me something to hold on to.
With the humvee swerving violently left and right trying to shake me off, I managed to pull myself back up the roof. Once I got right above the driver, I slashed the roof with my broadswoard. The screeching of steel on steel was excruciating, but trusty Excelsior cut through it like butter. Once I made a big enough cut, I grabbed the jagged edges and pulled back with all my mighty barbarian might, peeling the top open like a banana.
When I looked down into the vehicle, the first thing I noticed was the driver was wearing the same all-consuming shiny black helmet the motorcycle riders were. All three of their heads were matching opaque domes. The other thing I noticed was he had produced an uzi and was getting ready to fire. I tumbled backwards, landing on my back, just barely dodging the spray of his blind fire. Bullet-sized holes were popping up all over the roof and, to any onlooker I must have looked like an epileptic breakdancer as I dodged the fire.
Finally, with me splayed out on my back, holding on for dear life, the driver ran out of bullets and returned back to trying to buck me off. Thankful for no longer being shot at, I breathed a sigh of relief. And got punched in the face.
One of the motorcycle goons had climbed onto the roof when I wasn't looking and was now crouched above me, driving punch after punch into my face. I gotta say, for a small guy, he hit like a pro. He managed to get a good four or five shots in before I was able to react. I caught his fist in one hand and socked him with the other. I was just punching helmet, so it probably hurt him more than me, but it was enough to knock him off balance. I grabbed him by the shoulders, threw him onto his back and climbed over him. He tried to fight back, but it was just hopless flailing. He still had the helmet on, so I began to drive a series of blows into his chest. He would tough, it felt like punching a wall. There wasn't any fleshy give when I hit him, but after a barrage of punches, he finally went limp. Or so I though.
As soon as I let my guard down, the little bastard grabbed my head and gave me a thunderous headbutt. I toppled backwards, seeing stars and next thing I knew, I was dangling off the back of the humvee, holding on for dear life. The cheapshot prick stood over me, staring down at me. I couldn't see his face because of the helmet, but I could feel his evil smile.
Slowly, methodically, he lifted one foot, obviously to stamp my hands and send me flying off the back of the humvee. Smug prick.
Wait for it... Wait for it.... I told myself.
The boot stopped mid-lift. He held it there for a moment. Deliberately.
Wait for it...
It came crashing down.
In one lightning fast-movement, I pulled back my hand, grabbed his ankle, and yanked as hard as I could, sending him flying off the back and tumbling violently in the road as we sped away.
Then he exploded. That struck me as odd.
I pulled myself back onto the roof of the humvee and standing there, waiting for me was - goddammit - the other motorcyclist. As I stood back up to face him, he cracked his knuckles, trying to intimidate me. So I grabbed him by his neck, lifted him over my head, and spiked his shiny dome as hard as I could, driving his head through the humvee's roof. Then I pulled him out, flipped him right-side-up, and pulled him close.
"Where's Professor Apocalypse!?" I screamed into his face.
No response. I grabbed his helmet.
"Speak up, asshole! Where is he!?" I ripped his helmet off, getting ready to give him a good backhand.
He was a robot. Well that explains the helmets. I thought. And why that other guy exploded.
His metallic robo-teeth grinned at me stupidly. This thing couldn't give me any info even if it wanted to.
But as I stood there, trying to figure out what to do, it spoke. In a cartoonisly overexaggerated southern accent for some reason. "Well I'll be a tar-heeled, goat-fuckin', goat fucker! You done went an' compromised my disguise! Well I reckon I'll go ahead an' blow up now. If I were you, I'd head fer the hills! YEE-HAW!"
Disguise bots with self-destruct programming. Typical Professor Apocalypse fashion. He must know I'm on to him. But how? I started to ponder this, but then I realized I was holding a man-sized bomb, speeding down the road in a vehicle piloeted by another bomb. I'm getting sick of shit exploding all the damn time.
Deciding to kill two birds with one stone (or two robots with one explosion), I crammed the robot into the hole I had cut earlier. He fell through, landing upside down in the passenger seat. The driver seemed confused. I then grabbed my sword and started running to the back. As soon as I jumped from the vehicle, it exploded, making this the second time I found myself jumping from an explosion that would look awesome in slow motion in one day.
I landed, ducked, rolled, and skidded across the street. Thankfully the whole fight had scared any other drivers off, so no cars were nearby to run me over. I caught my breath and picked myself back up.
I hadn't even finished dusting myself off when the mystery woman pulled up beside me. The passenger side door opened and she looked at me with a grin on her face.
"You do good, Johnny detective. You get in car now. I give you important information."
I got in and we sped off. When we were well past the site of the explosion, I turned to her. "Take me to The Shady Underground."
She smiled, "This is part of your case, yes?"
"That and I need a drink or twelve. First though, I've got some questions for you."
"Why certainly darling." She said with a coy little laugh.
Who is this mystery woman, and how does she know about Johnny's case? Does she really have information, or is this another one of Professor Apocalypse's devious traps? Find out in the next awesome-packed chapter of SPACEDOOM: A Johnny Explosion Adventure!