Monday, April 14, 2008


Bill raised his hand and started jumping up and down, his desire to be the center of attention overriding his desire not to die.

“Me! Me! Pick me!” he said.

“Suit yourself,” said Josiah, now rushing toward Bill.

“No!” cried John, thinking quickly and tackling Josiah before he could get there. “Stay away from my friend, you monster!”

The two men struggled on the ground for a while. Despite his greatly augmented power, Josiah couldn’t seem to overcome John, who was fighting furiously for the life of his – wait a minute, did he say friend? Wow. His friend!

The fact that Jeannine was shouting encouragement might also have contributed to John’s extra strength, though probably not. Effects like that are often vastly overrated.

“If any of you guys have any ideas, now would be a great time to use them!” called John, desperately trying to keep Josiah pinned down.

“I’m picking up something with my psychic powers,” said Cyprus. “I know where we can find a magnet big enough to stop Josiah! But there’s no way we’ll be able to get there fast enough. Unless…”

“I’ve got it, Comrade!” yelled Mischa. “We’ll take Josiah’s helicopter.”

“Great idea!” agreed Cyprus. “I killed the pilot on my way in, just because. Come on!”

Mischa and Cyprus ran to Josiah’s helicopter, which was parked outside. They got in and hurried to where Cyprus’s clairvoyance had detected the magnet.

“I only hope we get there fast enough, Comrade!”

“We will, Mischa. I’m sure of it.”

Meanwhile, Bjorn and Ron had joined John in his quarrel against Josiah, and the three together managed to keep Josiah down. Magentabeard walked up to him, gun in hand, and prepared to fire another bullet right into the secretary’s face.

“It won’t work, Magentabeard!” yelled John. “His entire body is titanium; nothing can penetrate it.”

“Yarrgghh, I know what I’m doing, matey!” said Magentabeard, firing the gun.

The bullet hit Josiah in his left eye, blinding him. In his left eye.

“My left eye!” wailed Josiah, in excruciating pain. “That was my favorite eye! God dammit, I hate pirates!”

“If you’ll just hold still, I’ll shoot out the other, matey. There’s nothing like symmetry when it comes to blindness,” said Magentabeard, aiming his pistol once more.

“No thanks,” said Josiah, throwing Bjorn, Ron and John off him at once in a gigantic burst of strength. “I’d rather just kill you.”

He got to his feet again but tripped over Bill, who had decided to take a nap on the ground. Thus stunned, he was vulnerable to another assault from John and the remaining pirates.

They fought back and forth for nearly ten minutes, until Mischa and Cyprus returned, carrying the giant magnet. Where they’d obtained it was a mystery. The battle ended; Josiah was frozen. He had been paralyzed by the magnet.

“We did it!” cried Mischa. “We defeated Josiah!”

“We? Mischa, you’re the only one here who didn’t do anything,” said John. “You just went with Cyprus, for no reason at all. You should’ve been here helping us fight.”

“Oh, well when you put it that way, I guess my part in the whole quarrel was rather insignificant. But nonetheless, Josiah is defeated!” said Mischa.

“Damn right he is,” said Cyprus. “Let that be a lesson to you: never think about getting revenge on me! Because I’ll know, because I’m psychic.”

“I may not be able to move, but that doesn’t mean I’m finished. Oh no…you haven’t seen the last of Josiah Malum! I’ll be back, and then I’ll get my vengeance on all of you!”

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