Welcome to Flash Pulp, special episode eleven.
Tonight we present, A Spectacular Failure.
This week’s episodes are brought to you by Phoenix Fraser the Crime Fighting Dog.
Flash Pulp is an experiment in broadcasting fresh pulp stories in the modern age – three to ten minutes of fiction brought to you Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.
Tonight, we step briefly away from the Kar’Wickian web that is the Flash Pulp universe, and, instead, take a moment to return to a world of superpowered turmoil. (With special thanks to Nuchtchas!)
Flash Pulp SE11 – A Spectacular Failure
From atop his ratcheting mountain of gears, Lord Brakmore tightened his grip upon the handle which would rouse his ghastly machinery into life.
On the ground below, a battered Sergeant Spectacular was quickly finding himself with few options.
His entrance had been met by an unexpected barrage of steam-powered missiles – an upgrade to Brakmore’s gothically styled alpine retreat, installed since Specatular’s last intrusion – and, though his Spectacu-jet had taken the brunt of the attack, his parachute descent had given the lord’s clockwork apes an ample opportunity to calculate his landing point.
It was insult immediately preceding injury that they’d greeted him first with the thrown muck of their congealing oil-pans.
“You can kill me, Brakmore,” said Spectacular, pushing his words through clenched teeth, “but someone will avenge me – it may be Ms. Deathenstein, or Fillmore Flapjack, or the Swallow, but I know, in my heart of hearts, that The Integrity Society can not fail.”
“Oh, is that soooooo?” replied Brakmore.
Though the Sergeant understood the necessity of discourse between hero and nemesis, he could not stand how the Victorian dandy so often ended his sentences with upturned inflection, as if he were asking a question.
“Move back my minions, and let our valiant prisoner have some air?” said the waistcoated villain.
It was then that Spectacular recalled the cellphone, which his girlfriend, Alexis, had forced him to purchase and secrete within his battle helmet.
“There is no stopping me?” continued the fop, “With the the gravitatator refocused upon the lunar surface, the tidal actions will begin the excruciating process of – what are you doing?”
The Sergeant had set his thumb to his head wear, only to be caught mid-motion.
“Nothing,” he replied.
“No, seriously, what are you doing? Have you learned to throw your helmet? Or – no, wait you must have a device hidden within?”
“I’m just, uh, sweaty.”
“Minions! Remove his millinery!”
“Sir,” bellowed a wheeled ape, “I believe the archaic term millinery only applies to female headwear, and my scanners do not detect a womanly form within their two-mile maximum.”
Brakmore frowned at his guard captain.
As Spectacular’s chinstrap was roughly undone by metallic simian fingers, his iPhone dropped to the cobblestones – only to be retrieved, and crushed, by one of his robotic captors.
“Now,” said the lead scoundrel, with a white-gloved hand once again resting on the ornate lever, “all will bow down before my -”
There was a gunshot, and Brakmore turned, as if startled. Beneath his vest, his crisp white shirt blossomed with crimson.
Behind him stood a man of medium height, and slightly paunchy build. The embroidered name tag on his overalls read ‘Sal,’ and, in his right fist, he held a Beretta.
“How?” asked the dying lord.
“You think we’re gonna let you walk off with three-hundred mill in security tech and not leave a friggin key hidden under the mat?” replied the newcomer. “All you jerks is the same, buying on credit and sayin’ you’ll cover it with the next job.
“We got six-a you deadbeats on the list at the moment. You figure the boys at head office are gonna ask me to pop Mister Millionaire, or The Gold Plated Maestro? Hell, we’re out at least a cold billion if we drop either of ‘em. No, you got just enough in the game to make a good example.”
Sal holstered his pistol on his crowded workman’s tool-belt. “Anyhow, you didn’t want to get shot, you shoulda paid us.”
Brakmore, at that point, was too dead to hear.
“C’mon,” said the bill collector, to the chromed primates, “override code ‘Big Bananas.’ Let’s go, ya mooks.”
As the verbally reprogrammed gorillas rolled past their fallen former-master, Sergeant Spectacular rose to his feet. Within moments he was alone with the rapidly cooling body of his nemesis.
His sigh echoed throughout the great hall as he picked up his helmet and dusted it off.
It was a long walk home.
Flash Pulp is presented by http://skinner.fm, and is released under the Canadian Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 License.
Text and audio commentaries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org – but be aware that it may appear in the FlashCast.
– and thanks to you, for reading. If you enjoyed the story, tell your friends.