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Dragoon Knight

Nonsense!

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While Howlin' Wolf growled out "Smokestack Lightning", plucking his worn guitar with gusto, an old steam locomotive chugged by behind him, thick black clouds pumping out of its chimney accompanied by sparkling golden sparks. The smoke drifted towards the old musician, long dead but back for BB King's last performance. It enveloped him, fixed him up right good - gave him a pair of cloudy black eyes, a new coaly coat on his skin and everything! Not far off, Shive was shaking his hips and tossing his hair. That old Indian flute music that he was always associated with bored him to hell, and a righteous old blues cat like Wolf was not to be missed. A great opportunity to boogie and let loose!

Wherever Shiva stomped his feet, flames would flare and scorch the earth beneath him, incinerating everything that they touched.

This was not good for Beedle, the ant who had been enjoying the massive dead black man's music. Now, he found himself in a life-or-death situation, fleeing from those feet! Those destructive blue feet... Scurrying away as fast as he could, Beedle realised it was no use. Shiva was becoming more excited, his stomping flame-feet more active, creating larger circles of destruction. And they were coming towards him! They would catch up with him at any moment. Beedle stopped, turned around. Grimly, he faced the coming destroyer of worlds with clenched mandibles.

stomp, fshhh, Stomp, Fshhh, STOMP, FSSHHH!, STOMP!, FFSSHHHHH! As the flames enveloped him, Beedle cried with every atom of his being; "DRAGOON KNIGHT! You blue basterd! [For he had mistaken Shiva for Dragoon Knight, both of them being blue] Vengeance will be miiiiiinnnne!"

Chuckling, Howlin' Wolf said: "It shore will, liddle man. Shoore will. Awooohoo! Smokestack lightning..."

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Super-speed, coffee mind, that's what Red was thinking while the birds chirped and the sun rose. Coffee yoga, right before the exams. Not like he cared about the exam... It was a real fuckup, no doubt about it. Yawning, he took another swig from the steaming mug. Holy caffeine blitz energy surged through him. The chillum had been carefully placed in the blue ashtray, its bowl containing the ashes of what had been changa, now fine grey remains giving off a slight orange glow. The lowrider was parked outside, its fusion reactor in idle mode but still strong enough to fry all electronics within 4 feet. Poor boys those businessmen, who walked by blabbering into their Blackberries, only to jump in fright as the machines fizzed and spat sparks, and then died a smoky death. Yes, they were damm surprised and those with even a hint of sixth sense had the feeling that it had something to do with the cherry-red convertible...

Meanwhile Red was oblivious to this. The coffee had acted as the key, the caffeine in it unlocking his neural pathways as only it could, allowing the full force of the changa to penetrate the seldom-accessed recesses of his mind. White light blinded him, white heat made him shake. All he saw was a vastness, undescribable. Slowly, it shrunk... Until a colossal mesa could be seen in the distance. It, too, was white, but a greyish sort of white – it was Red's grey matter. He zoomed in double-quick, he knew that both the changa and the coffee would only keep working for a little while longer, and he didn't have enough space-time to drink a brew. Short and sweet it would be. Gathering his will, Red summoned from the heavens – of course, any direction was as heavenly as the other in this world – but anyway he summoned from the heavens Star Wormwood, a rainbow laser that created a multi-coloured mist around it. Wormwood struck the mesa, and began to quickly envelope it. As it did, Red heard a sharp intake of breath... It was his body, reacting to the intrusion. But what an intrusion it was! Every atom of the mesa became a perfect diamond, reflecting all the other atoms, creating an infinitely complex structure... This was Red's brain. And he would utilise is as best as he knew. All the world's sounds and music came into his awareness – Beethoven right there beside the chirping of the birds and the rumbling of the jet bombers over Libya and the whale songs in the deep blue ocean. A bass beat then started drumming, slowly at first, picking up speed and intensity until Red's whole consciousness was rumbling with the ba-dump of his heart, the furnace of his existence, pumping Amazon rivers of blood through his mainlines and pipelines. The sound of the surf turned into constant static, clear white noise calming him down, reducing pressure, a release valve for the mind and body.

The brilliant mesa began to blur and fade, as consensus reality returned. The smell of cigarettes, the droopy ficus, that red table lamp. Hemingway stared at him from the closet door, black-and-white face glowing. Everything seemed correct, but it could all be improved! The chillum was the exact color dried clay should be – a light grey-brown. His maroon jacket, old and worn, lay on the bed. Red found himself back in his computer chair. He realised he hated the feeling of sitting on his ass all day. Now it was evening, but tomorrow was a whole new day. Climbing into bed, he switched on a thunderstorm and drifted off to the sounds of the dragons of the earth breathing.

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"This keeps happening, " Dragoon Knight's muffled voice said with more than a trace of despondency. "How is a man to get a decent dust tan around here?!"

"Pissflaps, " announced a suspiciously Yves-shaped mound, from the general location of the floor, where a pricesless ming vase-rug will have once laid yesterday. With an audible pfff, two arms shot out of a third mound of grey particulate matter. One of the hands was holding a calculator, which the other started furiously tapping on.

"Studies have shown that NO."

Dragoon Knight recognised Dirk's voice from behind the rapid calculation. "Which studies?"

"All studies."

"That seems unlikely."

"Aheheheh..." Yves interjected, each letter becoming a wizard of some renown.

Dragoon Knight sat up, dust flowing off of him like dust flowing off a person who had just sat up after having lots of dust on them while they were lying down on a floor for quite a while, possibly a number of years, but recently having had a brief conversation with two other people.

"DON'T GET ANY IDEAS, " said God.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, " said A the Wizard.

"HAVEN'T I HEARD OF YOU?"

A was not forthcoming, choosing instead to reply to God with "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! AAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!", before rotating precisely 54.6 degrees along the X, Y and Z axes, then flying over that way somewhere.

"Magic, Magic E!" exclaimed an exuberantly excited E.

"Wasn't there another one of you?" Dragoon Knight asked, because.

"Consonants can't be wizards, " Dragoon Knight replied.

"Wait, what?" he asked himself.

"Five, " was the only reply.

"YOU'RE NOT BUGGERING ABOUT WITH REALITY AGAIN."

"I resent the implication that we-" Dragoon Knight began.

"IF I SEE YOU SO MUCH AS LOOK AT A MARKER PEN OR A T-SHIRT, I SWEAR I WILL WRITE A WHOLE NEW NEW TESTAMENT."

"That seems a little excessi-"

"IT SHALL BE CALLED THE TESTAMENT OF PAIN."

"Well that's-"

"DO YOU KNOW WHAT WILL BE IN IT?"

"Pain?"

"PAIN."

"I think we get-"

"THE PAIN WILL BE HAPPENING TO YOU."

"Yes?"

"YES."

"How much pain are we-"

Dragoon Knight's tower exploded. Again. Seriously, how many times is that now? Even I don't know, and I typed this shit.

"MORE THAN THAT."

"Understood, " acknowledged Dragoon Knight, currently upside-down in a thing.

"This is sloppy work, " Dante criticised.

"Why must everything I own explode?" asked the upside-down one.

"Oh I think we both know the answer to that."

"Samuel Clemens."

"Gesundheit."

"Why am I in a thing?"

"Because your tower exploded, " Dante answered, pointing out the obvious, completely ruining the epic game of hide and seek that it had been playing for something approaching fifteen years.

"Twin becomes twine with me!" said E, waving his wand.

"Nah, " Dante declared, causing a minor rip in reality, through which stepped the dreaded Twine Twins.

"WHAT. WHAT WAS THAT? I HEARD SOMETHING."

"No you didn't."

"I'M SURE I HEARD REALITY RIPPING ASUNDER."

"That was this adorable kitten."

"THAT IS A METRIC TON OF FIRE BADGERS."

"That is... inconvenient, to say the least, " Dante acceded, trying not to think too hard about holding aloft his flaming cargo.

"WHERE DID YOU EVEN GET THOSE?"

"We are the dreaded Twine Twins! And we're here to-" the pair announced, before being cut short by a bolt of lightning that reduced them to ashes.

"QUIET."

"The hour is approaching, " Dirk reminded everyone from his position astride the Sun.

"Is there even a point to this?" Dante asked, watching Dragoon Knight running around in circles in a vain attempt to dislodge himself from the thing. "An underlying logic or direction for what we're doing?"

"Hell to the no, " Yves said, because he was now Dragoon Knight, and Yves was stuck in a thing, which was quickly discovering that it was stuck on Yves. "I make this crap up as I go along."

"Sloppy, " chided the wielder of badgers.

"You weren't here at the beginning!" Dragoon Knight reprimanded with a dismissive wave, which despite its negativity, was actually a nega-tsunami.

"Now you're just making things up. What the Belgium is a nega-tsunami?"

"It's time for TIME, " said an unknown sixth party in a dimension completely unrelated to this one, or indeed any other. As is proper, it had devastating effects on the ming vase-rug. No longer simply a stupid excuse for a plot point thought up several paragraphs ago in an attempt to be funny, it became sentient and able to make rational decisions. It was astounded to find that it had innate knowledge of Pi to 60 trillion digits, but was more alarmed to discover that - despite all of this - it was on fire.

"Don't put your badgers there; my vase-rug cost cash value 0.0001p!" Dragoon Knight cried, still riding the wave across the plains of Britain.

"WHY MUST YOU UNMAKE ALL I HAVE WROUGHT?" God blared from on high, but not quite as high as Dirk, who was now skipping across Alpha Centauri.

"Fear not, " Dragoon Knight said with a reassuring smile. "Yves has planned for this very eventuality. This exact sequence of events has been foretold for centuries. Yves, if you please."

Obliging, Yves tried to remove his mask to reveal that he was actually Orange McGrinsmile, but since he was not actually wearing a mask, succeeded only in removing his face.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, sir, " the aide reported.

"Excellent, " said the real Orange McGrinsmile, who had been posing as H the Wizard since the beginning. He grinned, then smiled, then ate everything in one chomp.

The Tower was back (again). Everyone was back in Dragoon Knight's office (again). Several new friends had been made this day. Orange McGrinsmile lurked in a corner, ominous in his tanned glory.

Exactly five seconds later, the universe caught on to the fact that a metric ton of fire badgers would not fit in the office.

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