[Continued from Part 6]
[Back on the SOL]
Gypsy: Why do you guys all look so sad?
Mike: I wish I were illiterate.
Tom: I wish Jim Theis were illiterate.
Crow: He's halfway there already.
Mike: Every time Jim describes someone as "staring blindly" I think, you're
Tom: I named the rat! You want to know what I named it? I named it Jim
Theis. And when Grignr pulped it I laughed and laughed and laughed--
Gypsy: I didn't hear anything.
Tom [glazed expression]: That's 'cause you don't live inside my head,
Crow: I'm not reading it now. For this brief moment, I'm free. But I
can't enjoy it. Because that light's gonna go on, and then it'll be story
sign, and I'll be back reading THE EYE OF ARGON, and how am I supposed to
enjoy myself with that hanging over my head?!
Crow: It's the end, I tell you! The end!
Mike: Where are we? Chapter Seven?
Crow: No, Mike.
Mike: Then where are we?
Crow: You want to know where we are? We're in Hell, Mike. We're in Hell.
> With wobbling knees and swimming head, the priest that had lapsed into
>an epileptic siezure rose unsteadily to his feet.
Tom: You mean we're supposed to have been keeping track of which of Grignr's
countless victims weren't really dead?
>While enacting his choking fit
Mike: --for "Rescue 911".
>in writhing agony, the shaman was overlooked by Grignr.
Crow: As was the big sign that said "CAUTION: Priests sprawled on floor
may not actually be dead."
>barbarian had mistaken the siezure for the death throes of the acolyte,
>allowing the priest to avoid his stinging blade.
Tom [Grignr]: So I messed up! Shut up!
>The sight that met the priests inflamed eyes
Mike: See, it's that Visine thing I was talking about.
>nearly served to sprawl him upon the floor once more.
>The sacrificial sat it grim, blood splattered silence all around him,
>broken only by the occasional yelps and howles of
Crow: --Alanis Morissette.
>his maimed and butchered fellows.
Mike: They wailed, "Get the Bactine! We need Bactine!"
>Above his head rose the hideous idol, its empty socket holding
>the shaman's ifurbished infuriated gaze. His eyes turned to a stoney glaze
Tom: I had that on a doughnut once. It wasn't very good.
>with the realization of the pillage and blasphemy. Due to his high
>succeptibility following the siezure, the priest was transformed into a
Crow: Jet plane? Cassette player?
Mike: He turned into Bob Dornan!
>bent soley upon reaking vengeance.
Tom: He's got the reeking part down already.
>With lips curled and
>quivering, a crust of foam dripping from them, the acolyte drew a long,
>wicked looking jewel hilted scimitar
Mike: But he got the perspective wrong and it just didn't look right.
>from his silver girdle and fled
>through the aperature in the ceiling uttering a faintly perceptible
Crow: Rhubarb, rhubarb, ceremonial rhubarb.
> -7 1/2-
Tom: By Federico Fellini.
> A sweeping scimitar swung towards Grignr's head
Crow: Whoa! That last part was all a big flashback?
Mike: Jim must've just finished watching "Reservoir Dogs" again.
>in a shadowed blur of
Tom: Jim decides that if he couldn't see it, he doesn't have to describe it.
>With Axe raised over his head, Grignr prepared to parry the blow,
Tom [Grignr]: Okay, the first thing I need is an enormous shield or
something. Have I got any cash on me?
>while gaping wideeyed in open mouthed perplexity.
Mike: It's a pretty safe bet he was drooling, too.
>Suddenly a sharp snap
>resounded behind the frothing shaman. The scimitar, halfway through its
>fatal sweep, dropped from a quivering nerveless hand, clattering harmlessly
>to the stoneage.
Crow [Pauly Shore]: Whoa! Major stoneage for the Wea-sel!
Mike: If you ever do that again it'll just be me and Servo, got it?
>Cutting his screech short with a bubbling, red mouthed
>gurgle, the lacerated acolyte staggered under the pressure of the released
Tom: Luckily, he was a majority shareholder in Curad and within moments
was good as new.
>After a moment of hopeless struggling, the shaman buckled,
>sprawling face down in a widening pool of bllod and entrails, his regal
>purple robe blending enhancingly
Crow: Enhancingly? Are you sure it didn't blend whimsicoracally?
>with the swirling streams of crimson.
> "Mrifk! I thought I had killed the last of those dogs;" muttered
>Grignr in a half apathetic state.
Mike: He doesn't even care enough to be fully apathetic.
> "Nay Grignr. You doubtless grew careless while giving vent to your
Crow [falsetto]: Or maybe you're just not very bright.
>But let us not tarry any long lest we over tax the
Tom: --voters and they kick us out of Congress.
>paths leading to freedom will soon be barred. The wretch's crys must
>certainly have attracted unwanted attention," the wench mused.
Mike [Grignr]: I thought I told you not to muse here.
> "By what direction shall we pursue our flight?"
> "Up that stair and down the corridor
Crow [3rd grader]: Up yer butt an' around the corner!
>a short distance is the concealed
>enterance to a tunnel seldom used by others than the prince, and known to
>few others save the palace's royalty.
Tom: That would be the prince and the, uh, the prince.
>It is used mainly by the prince when he wishes to take
Mike: --a leak.
Crow: Mike! And you get all over me for saying "Gas"?
Mike: Mine was clever. Yours was just crude.
>leave of the palace in secret. It is not always in the
>Prince's best interests to leave his chateau in public view.
Tom: That's why he makes sure to put a big dropcloth over it every time
he goes anywhere so no one'll know it's there.
>under heavy guard he is often assaulted by hurtling stones and rotting
Crow: In fact, the townspeople carry rotting fruit with them everywhere
they go just in case they happen to see the prince.
>The commoners have little love for him." lectured the nerelady!
Tom: Hey, Jim, can you keep it down?
> "It is amazing that they would ever have left a pig like him become
Mike: Oh, it's not that amazing. Even Bob Dornan manages to get himself
elected every two years.
>I should imagine that his people would rise up and crucify
>him like the dog he is."
Tom: As I'm sure you know, crucifixion is the #2 cause of death in dogs
> "Alas, Grignr, it is not as simple as all that.
Crow [falsetto]: But you are.
>His soldiers are well
>paid by him. So long as he keeps their wages up they will carry out his
Mike: I guess that makes sense... that's their =job=.
>The crude impliments of the commonfolk would never stand up
>under an onslaught of forged blades and protective armor;
Crow: That's why we gotta get our cities pumping out more lightbulbs so
we can get Mechanized Infantry!
>they would be
>going to their own slaughter," stated Carthena to a confused, but angered
Mike [Grignr]: I don't understand what you're saying, but I'm pretty sure
it pisses me off.
>as they topped the stairway.
> "Yet how can they bear to live under such oppression? I would sooner
>die beneath the sword than live under such a dog's command."
Tom: This must be Jim Theis's idea of subtle political subtext.
>as the pair stalked down the hall in the direction opposite that in which
>Grignr had come.
Crow: That's good. If they'd gone the other way they would've slipped
Mike: You just lost your waffle-iron privileges.
> "But all men are not of the same mold that you are born of,
Tom: They're born of bread mold, while Grignr's more a bleu cheese kind
>they choose to live as they are so as to save their filthy necks
Mike: Wisk does a brisk business in Noregolia. These people have got
ring around the collar like you wouldn't believe!
>from the chopping block."
Crow: The fools! Why, they're passing up an ideal opportunity to explore
the wonders of sweet, sweet death! Choose death! This message brought
to you by the Death Council.
>Returned Carthena in a disgusted tone as she cast an
>appiesed glance towards the stalwart figure at her side whose left arm was
>wound dextrously about her slim waist;
Tom: Jeez, what are her measurements? 56-14-35?
>his slowly waning torch casting
>their images in intermingling wisps as it dangled from his left hand.
> Presently Carthena came upon the panel, concealed amonst the other
>granite slabs and discernable only by
>the burned out cresset above it. "As
>I push the cresset aside push the panel inwards." Catrhena motioned to the
>panel she was refering to and twisted the cresset in a counterclockwise
Mike: --didn't realize she'd been talking to him, and blew the whole thing.
>braced his right shoulder against the walling,
>concentrating the force of his bulk against it. The slab gradually swung
>inward with a slight grating sound.
Tom: It reminded him of Pavement's last album.
>Carthena stooped beneath Grignr's
>corded arms and crawled upon all fours into the passage beyond. Grignr
>followed after easing the slab back into place.
> Winding before the pair was a dark musty tunnel,
Crow [falsetto]: I know there's some Lysol around here somewhere!
>spider webs from it ceiling to wall and an oozing, sickly slime running
>lazily upon its floor. Hanging from the chipped wall upon GrignR's right
>side was a half mouldered corpse, its grey flacking arms held in place by
Mike: --a guard, whose job was to stand there day and night and hold the
corpse's arms there.
>rusted iron manacles. Carthena flinched back into Grignr's arms
Crow [Grignr]: All right! His untimely demise equals some major action
for the Grigmeister!
>of the leering set in an ugly distorted grimmace; staring horribly
Mike: And blindly. Don't forget blindly.
>from hollow gaping sockets.
> "This alcove must also be used by Agaphim as a torture chamber.
Tom: Or maybe as a breakfast nook.
>I wonder how many
Crow [falsetto]: --roads must a man walk down?
Mike: I know, but I'm not going to tell you.
>of his enemies have disappeared into these haunts never to
>be heard from again," pondered the hulking brute.
Crow: Even Jim's turned against Grignr!
> "Let us flee before we are also caught within Agaphim's ghastly
>clutches. The exit from this tunnel cannot be very far from here!"
Tom: I guess that depends on whether you consider 7,927 miles "far."
>Carthena with a slight sob to her voice, as she sagged in Grignr's
> "Aye; It will be best to be finished with this corridor as soon as it
>is possible. But why do you flinch from the sight of death so?
Crow: Why, little is as beautiful as sweet, sweet death! This message
brought to you by the Death Council.
Mike: Oh, dear God. It actually bothers me that "Mrifk" has been
misspelled. I need help.
>You have seen much death this day without exhibiting such emotions."
Tom: But not as much death as she'd have seen by watching a comparable
amount of TV.
>Exclaimed Grignr as he led her trembling form along the dingy confines.
> "---The man hanging from the wall was Doyanta.
Crow [Grignr]: Doyanta?? NO! NOOOOOOO!!! ...uh, who's Doyanta?
>He had committed the
>folly of showing affections for me in front of Agaphim --- he never meant
>any harm by his actions!"
Crow [falsetto]: I mean, he sorta did -- that's what the whips and chains
were for -- but that's fun harm, not harm harm!
>At this Carthena broke into
Mike: --maniacal laughter!
>a slow steady whimpering,
Tom: Slow and steady wins the race, you know.
Crow: That's Jim Theis's philosophy on pacing stories, anyway.
>chokking her voice with gasping sobs. "There was never
>anything between us
Crow: --except a thin layer of latex--
>yet Agaphim did this to him! The beast! May the
>demons of Hell's deepest haunts claw away at his wretched flesh for this
>merciless act!" she prayed.
Tom: I'm guessing she's a Quaker, maybe?
Mike: Seems like more of a Unitarian to me.
> "I detect that you felt more for this fellow than you wish to let on
Mike: When I think of deep psychological insight, I think of three names:
Freud; Jung; Grignr.
>but enough of this, We can talk of such matters
Tom: You mean Family Matters?
Crow: Yeah! Mike, quick, do your Urkel!
Mike: Maybe after the story.
>after we are once more free to
Tom [singing]: --be you and meeeeee!
>do so." With this Grignr lifted the grieved female to her feet and
>strode onward down the corridor, supporting the bulk of her weight with his
>surging left arm.
> Presently a dim light was perceptibly filtering into the tunnel,
>casting a dim reddish hue
Tom: Oh, no! They've been down there so long that the sun has gone into
its red giant phase and is about to swallow the earth!
Crow: Not even Superman can save us now!
>upon the moldy wall of the passage's grim
>confines. Carthena had ceased her whimpering and partially regained her
>composure. "The tunnel's end must be nearing. Rays of sunlight are
>beginning to seep into ..."
Mike [falsetto]: What's that burning sensation? I feel... oh, that's
right! Now I remember! I'm a vampire! Aieee...
[Concluded in Part 8]