Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Turnabout Is. . . Harder Than It Looks

{In the upper floors of a high-rise building, sits the office of the head of Smile Time Alternative Solutions. They've had a rough go of it since the "animal stampede" scared off potential investors over six months ago. They've worked hard to rebuild consumer confidence, and this quarterly meeting is going to determine how they've done so far. The head of the company sits at the end of a large, solid, but otherwise unremarkable conference table. Her red hair is tied up in a conservative bun, her eyes looking out from behind a pair of small, rimless glasses worn strictly for effect. She wears a navy blue suit jacket and slacks, with seemingly bland, practical shoes. At the moment, she's trying to avoid strangling all her department heads, as they each feel they need more funding.}

Dr. Lakshmi: . . . and the progress is musically-induced crop growth has stalled with the major cutbacks to my department over the previous few months.

Dr. Povolosky: Da, and the Bio-Pyscho lab still has not been fully repaired after Pennington's abomination nearly destroyed it! I do not hef nearly enough wessels to go with my beakers!

UnCalvin: I've explained many times that with the loss of investor revenue stemming from the "incident", we had to focus on the projects that could provide. And Dr. Povolosky, you have never visited the lands of your grandparents, why are you speaking with that accent? Will you soon get moose and squirrel? {There's a distant, muffled noise: da, dada, dah, du du dun}

Dr. Povolosky: Er, sorry, Director. Just a little fun on April Fools' Day. Seriously though, the lab is still kind of a mess.

UnCalvin: I'm well aware of what day it is. I have a long trip to make either tomorrow or the next day, which is why I wanted to have the meeting now. {The same noise is heard, a little louder this time. Da dada dah, du du duun UnCalvin pauses, looking about in mild irritation.} I believe we have some good news on this front. Dr Schroeder?

Dr. Povolosky: {under his breath} What trip?

Dr. Lakshmi: {also whispered} I don't know. The boss makes it every year, and half the time comes back in a foul mood. It has something to do with that panda, and some 'blithering idiot'.

Dr. Schroeder: Yes, we were able to discover an artificial aphrodisiac we've branded "The Mood Is Right". we also discovered a compound to lower sex drive that also works as an appetite suppressant. It's going to be called "Not Tonight". And Dr. Smith just recently developed one that seems appropriate given the day.

Dr. Smith: Yes, it reacts to the presence of any of those body sprays to produce a smell like rotten eggs. We think it has a lot of promise among college kids trying to prank their, I believe "bros" is the vernacular. We're thinking of calling it "The Mood Is Flight", since that will make it easier to prank the intended target.

Mr. Jonas Masters, company accountant: Yes, all three products are proving quite popular. We've seen a 23% increase in revenue from those products alone. Not to mention our rapidly expanding polymers are drawing interest from law enforcement for crowd control. And the Holographic Laughing Dog Security Distraction is proving a hit as well.

UnCalvin: You see? With the increased revenue streams, especially those law enforcement contracts, we can raise funding for our more long term, experimental research. We can finish repairing the Bio-Psycho wing.

Captain Androzier: {watching from the corner} And improve the bathrooms? {That sound again, not louder but coming from higher up.}

UnCalvin: I still have to clear that sort of remodeling with Ms. Granglin, but I think she'll prove receptive if we can do it quietly enough none of the other tenants find out. {The sound is louder now, and getting closer. Da dada dah, du du duun} What is that?

Dr. Lakshmi: {kicking herself mentally for not leaving last fall} Uh, ma'am? {Points out the window.}

UnCalvin: {Turns to personal assistant} Call in an insurance claim. It's going to be filed as another disaster. Also, you should all seek cover.

{The jubilant attitude of only moments before is gone, replaced with a somber look of someone who has suffered a lot. As UnCalvin looks on, a black van with red trim comes smashing through the windows. The department heads, accountants, and assistants are hustled out the door by Androzier just ahead of the van slamming nosefirst into the doorway. UnCalvin catches just a glimpse of Clever Adolescent Panda, Deadpool, and Calvin hugging each other and screaming at the top of their lungs. The sound from earlier is emanating from inside the van. On the side of the van is a spraypainted picture of Deadpool, wielding a broadsword, riding a dragon, that has a panda's color scheme. The side door slides open, and the music is deafening. DA DADA DAH, DU DU DUUN! Look, it's supposed to be the A-Team theme, alright, I don't know how you spell it. The three heroes tumble out.}

Calvin: What the hell was that?

Clever Adolescent Panda (CAP): What?

Calvin: What do you mean what? Why did we just jump the van off the roof of a nearby building?! We were supposed to park and hang glide, or use zip lines or something! *Looks at Deadpool*

Deadpool: [Wow, this is nice carpet. Don't blame me. I'm not the one who put Makes-Brakes-Fail Lass behind the wheel. *looks at UnCalvin* Would you be offended if I stretched out on this nude?]

Everyone Else: YES!

Makes Brakes Fail Lass: I'm sorry! Usually I just make the ABS light come on, but the brakes are fine. This time they just stopped working!

Calvin: That is the worst secondary mutation for the lamest superpower ever.

Deadpool: [It's not so bad. You could have a spectacular career as a hitman. It would always look like an accident!]

Makes Brakes Fail Lass: I think I have to be in the car for it to work, though.

Deadpool: [Well then you could have a brief, but spectacular career as a hitman, and leave your loved ones set for life.]

UnCalvin: Before my security comes and futilely tries to subdue all of you, what are you doing here?

Calvin: *rises to his feet* I'm sick of waiting for you to come strolling in however many days after April Fools you like, to pull off your latest attempt at whatever, you're doing. I'm not explaining to my bosses why someone showed up and trashed half the cars in the parking lot with their jet! This time, the joke will be on you, and so will the repair bills! Deadpool, unleash. . . THE PIE CANNON! *gestures dramatically with much fist clenching and arm waves*

CAP: It's hard to take that seriously when you're in a cowboy print shirt with shiny buttons, a leather sleeveless vest, and the little cossack hat.

Calvin: I thought it would make a statement.

Deadpool: *wiping dirt smudge off his van mural* [If the statement was, "You're a blind idiot," mission accomplished.]

UnCalvin: Indeed, you need suitable attire such as THIS! {UnCalvin pulls a thread hanging from the jacket, which causes the tail to unfurl and the sleeves to fall off entirely, turning it into a bitchin' cape.}

CAP: Wow, that is nice.

Calvin: Damn, I need to get an awesome cape.

UnCalvin: And observe, these seemingly bland and sensible work pumps when in fact *rolls up pants legs*

Calvin: Pirate boots?! Aw damn, where'd you get those?!

Deadpool: *gawking over Calvin's shoulder* [I'm even more turned on by you than usual! Can I be your first mate? And by mate. . .]

Calvin: Would you just fire the damn cannon?! And don't stand so close to me when you start talking like that.

Deadpool: *hefting bazooka* [OK, but this seems a little extreme for a prank. . .] *points it right past Calvin's head*

CAP: Wade, wait, that's not the right. . .

Deadpool: [Can't hear you over the sounds of beautiful violence yet to happen!]

{The rocket is fired. Calvin squawks in surprise as the missile hurtles towards UnCalvin, who calmly leaps and deflects with a kick. There goes another wall.}

Calvin: Aaah, my one good ear!

CAP: Wade, that wasn't the pie cannon!

Deadpool: [Sure it was! It fires a 3.14 inch projectile!]

CAP: Wrong pie!

Calvin: What are you saying? Why did Wade fire an actual bazooka next to my ear?!

Deadpool: [Oh, right, the gag weapon. Sorry, I kind of go to kill right off the bat these days. Got it.]

{Wade turns and draws the larger novelty cannon from the depths of the van. As he turns to face UnCalvin again, his target tosses a small stress relief toy under his feet. As Wade steps on it, it makes a squeaky sound, right before its surface erupts in spines which stab into Deadpool's foot. Wade falls backwards, triggering the cannon, which fires its pie at the ceiling, only to have it ricochet and smash into UnCalvin's chair, driving it back into the far wall.}

UnCalvin: *inspecting the pie remains* A lemon pie? Without meringue? I'm insulted.

CAP: You know there's no way to maintain any sort of semi-solid topping on a rocket fired pastry projectile.

UnCalvin: Incorrect. You merely have to spackle it on like mortar or cement, then fire it at the sufficient velocity the heat causes it to resume a more liquid state.

CAP: Really?

UnCalvin: Well, you have to stand at least 73 meters away from the target, or else there isn't sufficient travel time for the altering of its state.

Calvin: How the heck do you figure things like that out?

UnCalvin: We have great office parties.

Deadpool: *a little forlorn* [Can I come to the next one?]

{As UnCalvin considers the request, CAP and Calvin share a look. Calvin slowly slides over next to UnCalvin.}

Calvin: *whispering* He's having kind of a rough go of it lately. Family troubles, lost a voice in his head. We brought him along to have some fun, lift his spirits. *UnCalvin's face turns sympathetic. Also mildly confused*

UnCalvin: Certainly Wade, though you have to leave your weapons at the door. But I imagine you have all sorts of unusual ideas we could help make a reality.

Deadpool: *visibly cheered* [Really? Do you think you could make musical food?]

UnCalvin: We're doing quite a lot of research into music and food. Not in that direction historically, but I'm certain people would like meals that came with their own music.

CAP: *ambles over next to Calvin* So, good enough?

Calvin: *surveys the destruction of the office* Yeah, good enough. OK, Makes Brakes Fail Lass, pull that thing into the hallway, and we'll try to drive it back out of here. Somehow.

Makes Brakes Fail Lass: I think it's stuck!

Deadpool: [I'll push, and you gun it! My heart is soaring with the power of friendship, which I'm pretty sure makes me stronger than the Hulk.]

CAP: Uh, Wade. . .

{Deadpool may or may not have been stronger than the Hulk, but once the van broke the rest of the way through the doors, there was no stopping it. Because, you know, the brakes mysteriously failed. Which was to bad for the string quartet in the break room across the hall. UnCalvin had to cut back on most of the opulence after the setbacks last year, but had held on to one nice break room, as a refuge and reminder of the way things would be later. Now there's just the sound of panicked musicians and broken instruments.}

UnCalvin: Oh nooooo.

Deadpool: [Hey, fancy cheeses!]

CAP: Time to flee?

Calvin: Absolutely.


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