Browncoat Zone - Chapter Three: The Journey
Monday, August 30, 2004

From the Journal of Succatash...


Continued from Chapter Two ------------------------------

“Hang on, Static, this is going to be a bumpy ride!” I shouted over the noise. I lowered the visor on my helmet and sped quickly down the street towards Maniac’s house.

My scooter roared loudly as I darted through the back streets of the city. Traffic slowly thinned as I approached the outskirts of town. When I reached the familiar giant oak tree, I suddenly slammed on my brakes. The scooter skidded violently, and I swerved sharply onto an obscure dirt road. I ducked my head as thick branches banged and scraped against my helmet.

“Hold on, Static! We’re almost there!” I cried. The unconscious little warrior bounced wildly in the basket of my scooter. In the distance, I spied the old bridge and the faint glow of Maniac’s house.

Maniac lived across the canal at the edge of town, in a rundown ranch he won in a poker game. He spent his time building model airplanes and fiddling with gadgets. I was one of his few friends. Not many people could understand Maniac’s strange sense of humor, or tolerate his clever practical jokes.

I sped along the dirt road and approached the canal. To my astonishment, the bridge seemed to be moving. I blinked my eyes, and then swore. Maniac was raising the drawbridge! I opened the throttle and my scooter shot forward. I gulped in fear as I realized I would never make it in time.

“Maniac!” I shouted in vain. “Lower the bridge! Lower the bridge! This isn’t funny!” It was too late to stop. Seconds later, my scooter reached the ramp and shot into the air. I screamed wildly as I flew over the canal. To make matters worse, I could hear the sound of a trumpet blaring a few notes of Dixie, just like on the Dukes of Hazzard.

“God damn you, Maniac!” I shouted. Despite my fear, I landed smoothly on the other side of the bridge and rode on. I felt a wave of exhilaration, which quickly turned to anger as I realized Maniac had almost killed me. Gritting my teeth in rage, I turned into Maniac’s driveway and prepared to give him a piece of my mind.

Maniac was waiting on his front porch. He held a trumpet in his hand, and as I skidded to a halt, he raised it to his lips and once again played the Dixie theme.

I whipped off my helmet and approached him angrily. “Put that trumpet away, Maniac! What the hell…“

“That was SO COOL!” Maniac interrupted, jumping up and down. “I videotaped the whole thing!”

“You almost killed me!” I cried.

“Tash, I knew you could do it,” replied Maniac with a wave of his hand.

“You’re an asshole,” I muttered. Reluctantly, I asked, “Uh, you videotaped it?”

Maniac grinned. “I’ve always said that you’re the best scooter rider in town. That was awesome!”

“Yeah, I was pretty good,” I admitted with a smile. “Let’s go watch the tape. I must have jumped over fifty feet!”

“Actually, 39 feet, 4 inches.” Maniac replied with a crazy grin. “But who’s counting?” He glanced towards my scooter and his smile suddenly faded. “Perhaps, we should help Static,” he said in a low voice.

In the excitement, I had momentarily forgotten about my dying friend. I felt a twinge of guilt as I ran back to my scooter. I loosened the straps and carefully lifted Static’s unconscious body out of the basket. He was very pale and barely breathing.

I looked at Maniac and asked anxiously, “Can you help him?”

“Bring him inside,” he replied, curtly.

Maniac’s house was cluttered with televisions and computer monitors and strange contraptions. An impressive assortment of model airplanes hung from the ceiling and overloaded the shelves.

We cleared away some space on a nearby table, and I gently laid Static’s limp body onto a soft cloth. Maniac carefully removed Static’s helmet and jetpack. He stared thoughtfully at the punctured jetpack and slowly ran his fingertips over the beak holes.

Suddenly, Maniac turned away and cursed. “Damn! I swore I would never go back to this!”

“What are you talking about?” I asked, bewildered.

Maniac ignored my question. Instead, he handed me a small syringe. “Feed this to Static,” he ordered. The vial was filled with some kind of strange, thick purple fluid.

Maniac turned away with a look of intense concentration. He pulled out his miniature tools and went to work. I watched in amazement. Maniac’s hands were a blur as repaired Static’s jetpack and helmet.

I lifted Static’s head and awkwardly squirted the bright purple goo into his small mouth. I cleared my throat and asked, “Maniac? What about Static? Shouldn’t he see a doctor or something?”

“He’ll be fine,” Maniac answered calmly. “Trust me, Tash. As you already know, if we call the authorities, Static will end up in some kind of museum or government laboratory.”

“Yeah, I know,” I said, “but maybe it’s worth it, to save his life.”

Maniac raised an eyebrow and put down his tools. He turned and faced me, speaking with authority, “Tash. Listen to me. Static’s species is very resilient. The potion you just fed him will speed up the healing process. He’ll be fine in a few hours. Trust me, we just have to wait.” Maniac suddenly threw back his head and laughed wildly.

I took a step backward, and demanded, "You're crazy! How do you know so much about Static and his species?”

Maniac smiled mysteriously, and said nothing. He picked up his tools and went back to work, chuckling under his breath.

I turned towards Static and nervously lit a cigarette. He lay unconscious on the table, pale and barely breathing. Purple goo slowly dribbled down his chin.

------ Continue to Chapter Four


Tuesday, August 31, 2004 3:54 PM


I am immortalized. This is great Tash. Very funny.


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