Friday, January 20, 2006

The Man Who Never Lost...

High up in the hills of the Snowy (I wonder if Remi would have named them Milou) Mountains (paradox??), the Count paced his corridors, his ears strained trying to catch a sound of the end of the Countess’ screams (now how does he expect to hear the end of a scream??) which would indicate a child was born. He poured himself another mug of Maggi tomato ketchup (the company’s latest product for vegan vampires) and waited eagerly. He did not have to wait long, for at the stroke of midnight, a son was born. This young lad was immediately fussed upon by all, and considering the fact that the household had waited half a millennium for the kid (and skewered millions of subjects in that interval; you see, not eating meat or drinking blood does not necessarily mean not spilling it, and the blood was useful in family feasts to keep distant relatives, especially the evil ScoreFang from the Northern Fortress happy), this was no surprise. The kid’s naming ceremony was celebrated lavishly, with none other than ScoreFang doing the honors. The lad was named as Batman the Long-Overdue, for reasons already specified. Now this ScoreFang guy (his name is self-explanatory) was one of the oldest surviving vampires, and it was he who created the first Blood Bank. He loved preying on young women, and it is his exploits which due to the social class of his victims have become famous on celluloid. He despised the vegan Count, and he wished for Batman to become something better in life (or death, depending on whether you are good or evil). So he took the lad under his wing (quite literally, for he turned into a bat before he did it) and flew him to his fortress to train him.

Now ScoreFang developed one great weakness, and it was that he hated seeing Batman losing. Whenever this happened, he either drank the winner’s blood (which was convenient, for he allowed Batman to mix with humans from the long-suffering settlement which still remained under the shadow of his home) or he blew the winner’s head off (which was again convenient, for he used this only on himself, and he loved seeing the atoms of his brain flying apart and then coming back together, drawn to each other by the magical force of the Undead). Now it would be worthwhile to discuss how he could see when his eyes and his brain were reduced to mere atoms floating in the air, but I digress. It is an interesting topic though, and anyone desiring to know more can e-mail ScoreFang himself at Needless to say, please wear an iron collar when you sleep at night.

Batman grew up winning every event and competition in sight (accompanied by a waitlist for the obituary column for the state newspaper). And it all went to his head. He grew up to be an investment banker in ScoreFang’s firm, and a damn good one he was too. He had such high confidence levels that he soon started winning everything in sight, even without the help of his mentor. He started his own betting agency, and he always made a profit, for he never lost. And then one day he was challenged. At the Transylvanian Snooker Championships, a rookie came out of nowhere (not another warp!!) and defeated the top seed in the first round. Batman suffered heavy losses, and his pride was shaken. He challenged the rookie to win the contest. The rookie was one of those adventure seeking guys who never shies from a contest. He accepted. And he promptly won the next round hands down. Batman’s aides panicked. He won the third round. Batman’s aides tore their hair out. He won the quarters. They bit their nails off. He won the semis. They did something pretty gross to themselves.

The night of the final dawned (paradox for sure this time, because it was a new moon). The rookie faced off against the second seed for the best of nine frames. Batman sat in the stands. He had bet that the rookie would not win, and he had heavy odds against himself. He smiled, looking relaxed. The rookie won the first frame. He won the second. And the third. And the fourth. Batman signaled to his aides and walked out. The rookie was on the path to victory. He was three strokes away. Two. One. He bent over the table, aiming for the black ball. His hand moved back. His eyes narrowed as they focused on his target. And then the building blew up as the bombs detonated in the basement. Batman had won again!!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Feline Wars Episode VI - The Return of the Mobai

“The time has come,” muttered Pasht to herself for the umpteenth time as she watched the two men talking from behind her veil. Now this veil was actually multi-dimensional, because Pasht’s disguise as a vegetable seller was her main veil (to prevent mortals shrieking and prostrating on their knees on witnessing divinity) and the superficial veil was the yashmak which all women in the country wore. The two men were approaching her now. The one on the right was tall, wore a white cap and had a rose pinned onto his vest coat. The other man was shorter, dressed in uniform, and looked like he owned the place (which, in fact, he did). As the men passed her, she said, in a soft but audible voice, “Go to the Sphinx, O great leaders, and you will find a weapon to unleash the power of the third world.” And with these enigmatic words, she vanished (to gasps and screams from the crowd, and to a look of utter bewilderment on the faces of the two men).

Well, the two men had concluded their business for the day, so they decided to go check out the Sphinx anyway. As they neared it, they saw that the Sphinx was smiling down upon them, with unmistakable happiness visible in every line (actually every brick) of the weathered face. And then she spoke with a clear voice (in ancient Egyptian, not translated until much later). And then the Sphinx smiled at them (rather seductively, I might add), and smote the ground with her paws. And a gaping hole opened up, and a small treasure chest was revealed (this can be attributed to the long struggle in the centuries past, which made Pasht so paranoid she wanted the original temple to be preserved just in case the new ones were overcome by evil). And when the chest was opened, the two men saw a book that told them what had to be done (actually it was meant to be an e-book, but the war ended a little sooner than the paranoid Pasht had expected, and making an e-book using the computing machines of the day would have required a forklift).

The military man then said, “Friend, I have a lot of worries here. My friends think I am weak and my enemies think I am gullible. The once persecuted are threatening to steal my waterway. My brothers think I am the one who shall betray them. My people swim for a quarter of the year and die of thirst the rest of the time. So you better do all this stuff in your country.” To which the other man replied, “This is not a question of your choice. Did you not hear the poem? The temples are destined to be in my country. And so it shall be.”

In due course, the man returned home and began work on the temples. Six there were, though only three he built then. The fourth came later, and later the fifth, and very recently the sixth. And the Mobai were born again, and spread across the world, acting as the pillars of society.

Not until much later were the words of the Sphinx made available to the public (and even this was made possible only due to the amazing invention of buttons, which now enabled curious pressmen who loved imitating angry bees to snoop on unsuspecting people and prove their dishonesty). In one such case, the victim bought his way out of the pit he had dug for himself by giving the original translated manuscript to the press. And even then, such a revelation did the manuscript cause in the editor’s chamber (reportedly, the editor plucked all his hair out and then started yelling about how he shall embrace a religion and be an atheist no more). The words are reprinted below:

Conquered lie all the evils that time did bring

But that winter is over and now has come the spring

After centuries of sorrow and years of great pain

The Mobai temple shall now rise once again

Six there shall be, in a land far far away

Very soon now they shall see the light of day

In a land where the fabric of freedom is not frayed

Where a prince once with lion cubs played

In the city of fearless bunnies the first shall rise

And one in the city of joy shall then arise

The ancient town of boiled beans shall the third see

In the city named after a famous brother, the fourth shall be

The fifth shall see the blue sea and also the green hill

Sound like ‘not outside’, the sixth one will

More may arise later, only time will tell

But rejoice, for it is now the end of the dark spell.

The deserving shall be sacrificed once every year

They shall be trained to face anything and know no fear

The Mobai shall reawaken, but with a new name

Prime vowels shall vanish, and the rest shall attain fame

To Pasht will be dedicated the holy sacrifice

Every year shall see a fresh unwelcome surprise

The survivors will be rare, on the back will they get a pat

And the process shall henceforth be known as the ***.”

Epilogue: The Mobai are still going strong. The sacrifice is now harder than ever. Pasht’s wildest dreams have come true. When last seen, she was sunbathing on B.E.A.C.H. ®, all caution thrown to the winds. Evil has given up the fight and is now searching for less powerful enemies to attack. End of story.