Dr. Von Wicked
Princess of Cute
Jimmy: (Loud, exaggerated sigh)
Narr: Jimmy Kovacs sat at one end of a table in Conference Room 3, his nose
buried in several books. Something told the rest of the Flashpack, who were
breaking the fast, that Jimmy was frustrated with something.
Jimmy: (repeat of sigh)
Drallus: (obligated to ask) Is something bothering you, Jimmy?
Jimmy: It’s this report I have to do on supervillains. I can’t
pick a topic.
Molly: Can it be anything?
Jimmy: Well, it has to be on some sort of common thread that has linked a
significant number of villains. But in all these books all I can find is location
or ancestry, and those are really obvious links.
Narr: Molly and Keane exchanged knowing looks.
Keane: You’re using the wrong books.
Molly: I think Slotter might have one you could use.
Slotter: Me? Why me? Keane’s the one with the 6-mile long bookshelf.
Max: Yes, but you’re the Time Turner of the group, Jill.
Slotter: So? (beat) Ohhhhhh! Good call! I’ll be right back.
Jimmy: I’m assuming when Jill gets back she’ll be able to give
me a clue?
Drallus: More than one, even.
Slotter: Here you go, Jimbo.
Jimmy: The Hajile? (say ha-JEE-lay)
Slotter: It’s pronounced “HA-zhilay.” The most major happening
in time turning history.
Max: In supervillain history.
Molly: In -682 there was a small group of six powerful supervillains who
were constantly competing against each other.
Keane: One of them, Mal Hajile, had a certain…quality to his voice
that enticed super heroes and other good people to believe and trust him.
Because of this he was more able to defeat good and promote evil than the
other villains. Natural selection, survival of the evilest.
Max: The other villains were jealous. One of them, John McEvilpants, stole
his voice from him.
Furtrace: But Voice Pilfers are common among villains, so once John had stolen
his voice, he was immediately robbed of it too. It was a vicious cycle.
Slotter: In order to try and hold on to the voice long enough, a villain
would steal it and immediately teleport to another time or place, usually
both. They eventually caught up with each other, but it enabled the villains
to hold onto the voice long enough to do some damage.
Max: A voice is a damageable entity, though. It only remains whole for so
long. So after a while it started to break down and villains were only stealing
a partial voice from each other. This happened until they couldn’t take
the voice from each other anymore, and everyone had a part of the voice permanently.
Slotter: This long war of voice stealing was called the Hajile, after Mal,
and that voice quality is known as the Hajile quality.
Drallus: Every villain descended from those six has the Hajile quality.
Jimmy: That must be so many villains!
Keane: The odds of a villain having the Hajile quality are 83%.
Jimmy: Wow, I never noticed that a lot of the villains we fight sound alike.
Guess I’m less observant than I thought I was.
Max: Don’t be hard on yourself, Jimmy. Sometimes you don’t notice
these things until you know about them.
Furtrace: I bet you’ll notice it from now on, though.
Jimmy: So if this is such a big thing, why isn’t it in any of my textbooks?
Molly: Well… those are high school textbooks. This is usually reserved
for more advanced studies. People who learn about the Hajile too early in
their studies tend to rely on voice identification to find bad guys, and for
a while this backlashed and lots of innocent people were killed.
Max: It’s a major part of villain history, but it’s information
to be respected.
Drallus: You’re pretty mature for your age, so we’re comfortable
sharing this with you. Not to mention it’ll make a pretty impressive
Slotter: That book has everything you need to know, including voice samples
and stuff. Check it out!
Jimmy: Hmmm, let’s see. Dr. Vortex?
Dr. Vortex: (evil laugh) Slip into my vortex of slime, superheroes! (evil
Jimmy: Cool! Who else is there? Let’s see…Corporal
Corporal Contradiction: Nice try, Emperor Envy, but this is check and mate!
Now I shall plunge you into the abyss of eternal life!
Jimmy: Hmmm….ooh, here’s one we know!
Von Wicked: Hey, let go of my necktie! You will pay for this!
Max: Oh, Von Wicked.
Jimmy: Gosh, Jill, I can’t thank you enough! Thanks everyone, it means
a lot to know you trust me with this.
Narrator: Just as Jimmy was settling in to do some research for his paper,
the Conference Room Monitor lit up and a sort of deformed alligator-like being
appeared on the screen.
Elgore: Flashpack! This is Elgore, Chancellor of Remingtonia. We have a grave
situation and require your assistance.
Max: Max Thornfield of the Flashpack, Chancellor. Pleased to make your acquaintance.
What is your situation?
Elgore: Our prince has taken a… wife who is ruining operations on our
planet. How soon can you get here?
Narr: Max glanced at Keane, who was busy on her videophone.
Keane: It’s legit, Max. My readings indicate a radical drop in weapons
production coming from their direction.
Max: We’ll be there immediately.
Elgore: You will need to teleport to my exact location.
Elgore: And every member of your Pack should be equipped with ear plugs,
just in case.
Keane: I just need his coordinates.
Narr: Exactly two minutes and 47 seconds later, the Flashpack found themselves
in a soundproof underground chamber on the planet of Remingtonia, the universe’s
number one producer of anti-villain weaponry, with its chancellor.
Elgore: Thank you for joining me in such a timely fashion, Flashpack. Please,
accompany me to the next room where I will offer you refreshments and give
you your briefing.
Max: Thank you for your hospitality, Chancellor. What is your situation?
Elgore: Our Prince, Floutus, has taken a new wife, Snuggle-Puss.
Drallus: Snuggle-Puss? What kind of name is that?
Elgore: She is half Fluffy Bunninian, half Poodlekin. From the Planet Cute.
Keane: Sounds pretty terrifying.
Elgore: It’s worse than you’d imagine. She can’t stop baby-talking
to all of Floutus’s workers.
Jimmy: And that’s offending the macho sensibilities your planet cultivates
in its inhabitants?
Elgore: Close, young man. The largest producer of weaponry in the universe
depends on a certain level of testosterone for innovation and creation. But
our men are not offended. They have…(shudder) succumbed to the cuteness.
See for yourselves. But put your ear plugs in.
Narr: Elgore flipped a switch on a monitor and The Flashpack watched dumbfounded.
Sure enough, everywhere they looked were piles of hideous metal-clad deformed
gator-beings snuggling, cuddling, and otherwise being affectionate. Eventually,
in flipping around the planet, they came upon scenes of a fluffy young puppy-faced
woman in a frilly pink dress wandering among the Remingtonians. What they
could not hear, thankfully, was her horrible cuddley-wuddley voice.
Princess of Cute: Aww, what snuggly-wuggly wittle awwy-gators! Who’s
the cutest? Yes you are! Yes you are! You know you are!
Elgore: (loudly) You can take your ear plugs out now. (normal) I’ve
turned off the monitor. You understand the gravity of the situation now, yes?
Slotter: Your planet is virtually zapped of testosterone and so your workers
have stopped producing anti-villain weapons.
Molly: Without which the villains have the chance to make a big move against
heroes and innocent people.
Elgore: To top it off, Remingtonia used to produce evil weapons early in
its history. Those are sealed in a vault deep under ground. But if this continues
the planet will only hold evil weapons. Without anything to stop them, villains
may get a hold of them and be able to do more damage.
Drallus: So we need to somehow stop the Princess of Cute from having this
affect on the workers.
Molly: This is going to be difficult. We’ll probably need to get near
her, but we’ll be at a disadvantage if we can’t hear what’s
going on around us. Chancellor, is there a way we can get by without wearing
Elgore: No one has been able to resist the Cuteness of her baby talk. Why
do you think I’m hiding out in a soundproof chamber?
Jimmy: (getting an idea) Say, Chancellor. Do you have a list of the evil
weapons you have stored here?
Elgore: Well yes… but what would you want with them? They are highly
Jimmy: Just trust me. I think I know how to get to the Princess of Cute.
Elgore: Very well. Guard, please give the young man our list of evil weapons.
Jimmy: Just as I suspected. Max, take a look at this.
Max: Hmm. I know what you’re thinking, Jimmy, and it would definitely
work, but I don’t think we should be using evil weapons. Dark magic
is nothing to toy with.
Molly: Depends on the weapon. What are you looking at?
Jimmy: A Voice Pilfer. We could steal the Princess’s voice so she couldn’t
affect the planet anymore.
Keane: I’m afraid that’s a little short-sighted, Jimmy. She wouldn’t
be able to affect any more beings, but all of these Remingtonians are deeply
in touch with their cuddly-wuddly selves.
Slotter: Hey Furtrace, got anything in your spell book that would make the
Furtrace: I fink I can come up with somefing.
Max: Molly, how do you feel about using a Voice Pilfer?
Molly: It’s a pretty common weapon, Max, I don’t think it would
be booby-trapped or anything. Let’s at least take a look at it.
Slotter: Actually, Max, the Voice Pilfer was originally invented by a Neutral
Weapons Artist. It’s very difficult to infuse it with evil magic. It’s
only considered an evil weapon because villains are usually the ones to use
Max: Alright, well, assuming this works, we’ll take her voice from
her in order to approach her, and then turn her sad.
Drallus: Can’t we just CRUSH her?
Max: That’s Plan B, Drallus. Let’s see what happens if we just
change her mood first. But, you know, be ready to kick some ass and all that.
Elgore: I’m afraid I can only let two people into the Arsenal at a
Max: Molly and I will go. The rest of you think about the second half of
the plan. We’ll be back soon.
Narr: A short time later, Max and Molly found themselves accompanied by a
host of security guards deep in the Evil Weapons Arsenal. One guard had brought
them a Voice Pilfer.
Molly: Well, it looks like Slotter was right. I’m no magic user, so
we should have Furtrace look it over. But it is comfortable in my hands. The
only thing I’m worried about is its range.
Max: Well there’s no way to test that.
Molly: Well…there is.
Max: Oh no. You are not stealing my voice.
Molly: I’d give it right back! It’s not like this is rocket science.
There’s a button that says “pilfer” and a button that says “expel.” How
hard can it be?
Max: I still don’t trust this thing, Neutral Weapons Artist or no.
Molly: Look, Max, either we test it before we use it on the Princess, or
we risk missing her and maybe getting hurt.
Max: Molly, this is really dangerous though, and I’m the leader of-
Narr: But before Max knew it, despite his protests, Molly had run to the
other side of the room, set the Voice Pilfer on “pilfer” and pulled
the trigger. Max was completely unable to speak, and there was kind of a purpleish
glow around the Pilfer.
Molly: Awesome, it worked! This is certainly enough distance to put between
us and the Princess. What’s that? I don’t understand your gestures,
Max. (beat) Oh, you want your voice back. Duh. Okay, here goes. (beat) Okay,
Max, you can talk now. Max? You…you can’t talk now can you? Um,
maybe we should go back with the others so someone can help me figure out
how to work this. Yeah, let’s go back. Now. But you first.
Drallus: Took you guys long enough.
Keane: What’s wrong, Max, you look upset.
Slotter: Uh, Molly? Why is Max not talking and making strangling motions
Molly: Well, we have good news and bad news. The good news is the Voice Pilfer
works. The bad news is I can’t figure out how to give his voice back
and he can’t really talk right now.
Furtrace: (maniacal laugh)
Elgore: I could take you to see Elder Astro, who I’m sure could tell
you, but that would put us all at risk for unwittingly running into the Princess
of Cute. I recommend taking care of her first, then we’ll deal with
Mr. Thornfield’s voice.
Molly: Alright, gang, I think we’ve got to do this. Max, you’ll…deal
with that, right? Okay, okay, we’ll hurry it up.
Slotter: Okay, so the plan is that we will steal the Princess’s voice,
and then Furtrace, being the cute furry one of the group, will go distract
her. When she gets close enough, he will put a sad spell on her.
Furtrace: (grumbling) I hate being the bait.
Molly: Okay. Chancellor, take us to the surface. Flashpack!
All but Max: Flashpack!
Narr: Once on the surface, the ‘Pack saw what could only be described
as a big cloud of Pepto Bismal floating at them, humming a song.
Princess: (hums a happy song, and then softly as though
in the distance) Oh, what cutey-wutey gator-fluffies! You are all the cutest-
Narr: But with expert aim, Molly fired the Voice Pilfer and took the Princess’s
voice right from her. She twirled around, panicking, her fluffy skirt poofing
out, until she was stopped by the site of a tiny furry cat man looking at
her with big eyes. Approaching him to pet him, she heard a quick-
Furtrace: (cat noises)
Narr: And fell to the ground sobbing silently.
Keane: Molly, I have some info on my VP I think might help. Go right up to
her and aim the Pilfer in her mouth.
Princess: (fading in to sobs)
Furtrace: First spell I could find. An emo spell.
Slotter: So she’s going to descend into some permanent adolescent whiny
Furtrace: Pretty much.
Drallus: That’s better than an ass-kicking!
Molly: Hate to ruin the celebration, guys, but maybe we should try this on
Max before he kills me. Here goes nothing.
Max: (fading in, angry) Don’t you EVER do something like that again
without my permission! (beat) That said, good job, Flashpack. I think.
Chancellor: Flashpack, you did it! Look, the workers around her are already
becoming agitated at her whining and crying! They’ll be back in no time.
I can’t thank you enough!
Worker 1: Stop that godsawful whining!
Worker 2: Can’t we make a weapon to just shut her up?
Jimmy: Hey- I just noticed, the Princess of Cute has the
Max: Ah ah ah, Jimmy! Keep it under your hat! That's priviledged
Keane: Hate to interrupt this lovefest, but my infoglasses says our monitor
is going off on the Marvin II. I’m afraid we have to take our leave,
Narr: Who is calling the Flashpack? What villain will they take on next?
The answers to these questions will only lead the Flashpack into trouble in
next week’s episode of Epic Echoes: “Of Death.”