Of Brains and Other Organs of Some Repute
Part one"The Quantum Physicist,"
Written by Anna-mathe
All rights reserved, for I have none.
Dedicated to everyone who hates Yuli, likes Anubis, and loves . . . cheese.
"White Blaze! White Blaze, give it baaaaaack!" came the pathetic whine of young child.
Mia looked up and tried not to scream in agony as Yuli bounded into the kitchen.
"Mia!" he wailed. "White Blaze ate my sock!"
Ah. This was, at long last, the final straw.
"He ate your sock?!" Mia repeated, snapping around to face the little hooligan. "And how many times have I told you to keep your socks on your FEET?!"
Yuli looked up at her and began to bawl. Big time. The ultra waterworks.
Mia sighed and turned back to the bologna she had been frying when she'd been so rudely interrupted.
Yuli, noting that she wasn't giving way to sympathy in regards to his tears, tried a new tactic. Rather than simply bawling, he got down on the floor and threw a full kick-smack tantrum!
Mia gritted her teeth and ran through her yoga routine in her mind.
I am the tree . . . I am the tree . . .
Yet, tree though she may have been, her hand was itching dangerously toward her hot spatula. This child had gone for far too long without a good spanking . . .
Yuli, meanwhile, noting the that tantrum was likewise not getting him anywhere, considered biting Mia in the leg.
In the hall, White Blaze was considering how much he had enjoyed that sock, and was considering going for the entire foot while he was at it.
Fortunately for all parties involved, the doorbell took that moment to ring, dissuading all thoughts of personal injury from the three's minds.
Mia opened the door tentatively, receiving a sudden feeling of foreboding . . .
. . . only to be knocked flat on her back as the door swung open in her face!
Yuli promptly started screaming (MIA, MIA, MIA, MIIIIIIAAAAA!) and White Blaze promptly rushed over to her, licking her face until she was ready to gag from cat breath.
I am the tree . . . I am the #$%ing tree . . .
"White Blaze, get out of my face!" she yelled, the stress of a long and bad day finally coming to a boil.
The tiger skulked away, allowing her to sit up, wipe off her face, and blink up at her visitor, whom she could now see for the first time.
White Blaze looked back and growled.
Yuli actually shut up.
"Can I . . . help you?"
The visitor bowed. He was a quantum physicist, from the looks of him. Ah, we all know how evil quantum physicists are. In any case, he was short, skinny, gawky, had a long nose with glasses and a bald head, as well as piercing green eyes that made Mia queasy.
He threw a glance at White Blaze.
"Ah . . . could you call off your tiger?"
"You're a quantum physicist, aren't you?"
"Then you're out of luck. White Blaze hates quantum physicists. Erwin Schrodinger's 'cat in the box' theory really disagreed with him. He doesn't want to take the chance of dying due to a quantum event."
"I . . . see," replied the quantum physicist. "Well . . . first of all, let me introduce myself. I am a quantum physicist. My name is Roger the quantum physicist."
"Honored to meet you, Roger," Mia replied, dragging herself to her feet and forcing herself to act hospitable. "My name is Mia."
"Well . . . second of all, let me ask you this. Is this the house of . . . the Ronin Warriors?"
White Blaze licked something.
"It is," Mia confirmed. "They're not here right now. Can I take a message?"
"I'm afraid this is quite . . . urgent," Roger replied, setting his brief case on the floor with a certain air of stubbornness that made Mia's blood boil all over again. "I shall await their . . . return."
"What if I said they were on a quest to Dellroy, Ohio, and would not return for goodness only knows how long?!" she snapped.
Just then, the Ronin Warriors arrived, and Mia fought down the urge to throw them all into the lake.
"I didn't say they were," she insisted to Roger. "I just asked what if they were."
Roger raised an eyebrow.
"Hey, Mia! Hey, Yuli! Sup, White Blaze?" Ryo greeted, bounding in through the door. "Hey – what's up with the quantum physicist?"
Roger rearranged his glasses on his nose.
"Do you all have something . . . against quantum physicists?" he demanded.
Mia grumbled something about a senior term paper her first semester in Chemistry and went to make some tea.
"The reason I've come here, Ronin Warriors, is to . . . you are the Ronin Warriors, right?" Roger asked for clarification as Kento ate two Blimpie Subs at once.
"We are," Sage replied, because he's wise.
"Well then . . . the reason I've come here is because I have received news which I believe would be of some importance to you."
"Hey, excuse me if I'm rude, but what would a quantum physicist know that we'd be interested in?" Rowen snapped, having also had to write that term paper and thus sharing a deep hatred for anyone in the quantum profession.
Roger rubbed his nose.
"Information regarding . . . the Evil Dynasty."
White Blaze ate a bug.
"Man, maybe no one ever told you, quantum dude, but we've already beaten the Evil Dynasty," he informed the visitor as he reached for the cheese tray. "Talpa and all his goons are either dead or converted. No threat."
Roger rubbed his bald head.
"What if I said that . . . Badamon's evil counterpart still lives?!"
White Blaze sniffed something.
"What are you talking about?" Ryo asked, aghast.
Roger took a deep breath.
"All forces of power have counterparts. Talpa had the Ancient. White Blaze had Black Blaze. Erwin Schrodinger had the cat in the box. All have a similar power, and seek roughly the same thing, but are at odds as to how to achieve it."
"Seeking the same thing? Talpa and the Ancient?" Rowen repeated with disbelief.
"They both sought the power of the Nine Armors, did they not? Except that Talpa wanted them for himself to conquer the world, and the Ancient wanted them to be wielded by you to destroy Talpa. They would not have been at odds if, somewhere along the line, they did not seek the same thing."
"So what about Erwin Schrodinger and that poor cat?" Mia demanded.
Roger was silent.
" . . . I'd rather not go there."
Kento bashed the table.
"What's up with all this crap about this Erwin guy?!"
"Erwin Schrodinger was a quantum physicist," Mia calmly explained. "He put forth a theory – if a cat is in a box, and the box is closed, then the cat could be either alive or dead due to a quantum event – or perhaps both. You won't know until you open the box. As long as you don't know, it could be either one."
Kento blinked blankly.
"Euh . . . wouldn't the cat know?"
"My point exactly!" Mia yelled, seconded heartily by Rowen.
Ryo scratched his head.
"Euh, guys, I think we should listen to what Roger here has to say. He's come a long way to talk to us, after all."
"That's right," Cye agreed. "Um . . . where did you say you were from again?"
"I . . . am from . . . Palermo, Ohio, future capital of the WORLD!"
White Blaze ate Yuli.
Ryo them cleared his throat and brought them all back to the subject.
"So, we've established counterparts," he reminded Roger. "What's this have to do with Badamon and the Dynasty?"
"Badamon had a counterpart . . . Fred. Both sought dominion over all departed humans – but while Badamon claimed the departed's souls, Fred instead claimed their brains."
"Ewwwwww!" was the general consensus. Roger held up a staying hand.
"As long as one held the other, there was little threat. Badamon could send the souls to do his bidding, but all they could do was to possess the bodies of others, or perhaps a shell, and operate without any real sense. They were rather stupid minions. Fred, now, Fred is a clever man . . . he is far advanced in genetic engineering, and is quite capable of restoring the bodies to the departed with the tissue from their brains. Without their souls, however, they were also rather useless minions. Now . . . now that Badamon is destroyed, however, the souls have returned to the still-living brains, and should he choose . . . he can resurrect the dead."
"Ewwwwww!" was the general consensus.
"Well, is that really so horrible? Those who have met wrongful deaths can be restored to their families and friends."
"You call yourself wise?! He has the brains of the likes of Sarenbo, Talpa himself, Richard Nixon – "
"Nixon?!" Rowen yelped. "Man, guys, we've gotta stop him before it's too late!"
"Where can we find this Fred, Roger?" Cye inquired calmly.
"To the north, there lies a cave – the cave of Caer Bannog, wherein, carved in mystic runes upon the very living rock, the last words of Ralph Waldo Emerson do make known the whereabouts of the most vile Fred."
"How do you know this stuff, quantum dude?" Kento wondered, bewildered.
Roger kicked the wall and scowled.
"I'm a quantum physicist, Ronin . . . Warrior! All quantum physicists can see into the other realms!"
Sage blinked wisely.
"Do you mean to say that you knew what was going on in the Dark Realm the whole time we were fighting them?"
"Then, like, why didn't you say anything then?!" Rowen yelled, grabbing Roger by the throat and shaking him in the air.
"B-b-b-because, we could see it, but couldn't say for certain until you went there! A quantum event may have occurred! Things are not what they seem – they are never what they seem . . . "
And Roger the quantum physicist suddenly transfigured into a rock.
The Ronin Warriors, Mia, and White Blaze blinked at the rock in confusion.
"Ronin Warriors," Ryo said after a long silence, "to arms!"
"According to the map on my grandfather's computer, the cave should be just ahead," Mia declared, pulling her jeep over and stopping on the side of the road. "You guys go on ahead – I think I'm going to stay here."
The five blinked at her.
"Stay here, Mia? But . . . " Ryo was confused. "Usually we have to argue and argue to keep you away from all the battles and stuff. What's up?"
She glowered at them.
"I'm having a certain problem which leaves me not wanting to go trompsing around through forests and caves!"
"Ah. Okay – sorry. We'll be back soon, Mia."
"Good luck, Ronin Warriors. The world is counting on you once again."
They shut the doors and began to forge ahead.
"What sort of problem is she having?" Kento asked, completely confused.
Rowen hit him in the head with a tree branch which was laying conveniently nearby.
" . . . all right, I can take a hint . . . "
"Look!" Cye cried, pointing forward.
The all looked.
"Dude – is that - ?" Kento gaped.
"The Cave of Caer Bannog. Just like the quantum physicist said."
"May the spirit of the quantum physicist see us through this quest alive," Sage sighed reverently.
"NO!" Rowen snapped. "The Ancient One was okay, Anubis was tolerable, but I'm not going for the spirit of the quantum physicist!"
Ryo shook his head.
"Chill, you guys, just chill, would you?"
The five crept carefully into the cave, Sage leading because he'd brought a flashlight. That just proves once and for all that he is, indeed, wise.
"Look! Mystic Runes!" Cye exclaimed, pointing at some Mystic Runes.
They gathered around the Runes with apprehension.
"The last words of Ralph Waldo Emerson . . . " Cye murmured under his breath.
"Get over it!" Kento snapped. "Transcendentalism was the worst literary movement in history!"
"I don't care if it's transcendentalism or quantum physics – I'm sick of listening to you guys complain!" Sage bellowed.
The other four looked at him in shock, and he quickly affected a "wise" pose.
"It's unwise to complain," he explained with great dignity.
Blinking but not saying anything, the other four turned back to the Runes.
"What does it say?" Rowen asked. "I can't read Transcendentalist."
"It says," deciphered Ryo, "that Fred of the Brain is currently employed at our local McDonalds, where smiling faces are always welcomed." He blinked. "Those fools – they've hired a madman!"
"It's our job to stop him, bro!" Kento quickly said, jumping to his feet. "C'mon! Let's get going! Maybe we can get some free food out of this mess!"
They hurried back to the car and quickly filled Mia in. She was aghast.
"But . . . I just ate at McDonalds this morning! I had hot cakes and a hash brown, with two helpings of apple juice! Their apple juice is actually quite excellent – "
"Just drive, Mia, okay?" Ryo suggested, growing annoyed with keeping everyone on task in this story. "Just drive."
The five stormed into McDonalds with an aura of great power and dignity, making customers freeze and gawk right in the middle of supersizing their value meals.
"C-c-c-can I help you?" inquired a jittery cashier at the sight of these five armed men.
Ryo planted a hand firmly on the countertop.
"We've come . . . to see the manager."
The jittery cashier shakily pointed them in the direction of the manager's office – the door that said "Manager's Office." They entered.
The manager looked up with startled recognition as they entered, closing the door behind them.
"Ronin Warriors!" he hissed. "Who sent you?"
Kento fixed him with a hard glare.
"We were sent by . . . the Transcendentalist!"
The manager squeezed his eyes closed in agony and pushed a button on his desk.
The five warriors fell, astonished, through a trap door which suddenly opened beneath them, dropping quickly into the darkness below.
Mia, during the meanwhile, ordered herself some fries and a milkshake.
"Everyone okay?" Sage asked as he picked himself up from the impact.
Groans replied. Yeah, they were pretty much normal.
"Yoooooouuuuu," whispered an eerie voice from all around them, and the five warriors looked around with befuddlement, not seeing the source of the voice itself. "You have come . . . . . . . to visit me?"
Abruptly, a light turned on, and as the Ronins squinted in the sudden brightness, the figure of a little Chinese guy stood before them with a toothy grin.
"I am much honored – get very few visitors," he greeted.
Ryo glanced at the others, then back to this strange little man.
"Um . . . we're looking for a guy named Fred who collects the still-living brains of recently-killed people," he said.
"Ah – that would be me. Have you come to visit me?"
"No . . . actually, we've come to defeat you and brutally maim you until you surrender."
"Ah. So sad. Well, now I must kill you all."
And Chinese Fred raised his hands.
"I call upon the vast power of the Brains! GOOEY, GOOEY, GOOEY!"
Kento punched him in the head, and he died.
"Way to go, Kento," Ryo applauded, as the Warrior of Justice looked from his hand to the dead Chinese guy in shock. "Now, let's take a good look around down here."
"But . . . that was so easy . . . darn it, I wanted to kick some Dynasty tail! Not punch out some little Chinese guy in McDonalds!"
"Deal with it, Kento," Rowen encouraged. "We've got other work to do. Who knows to what end Fred may have already put his evil devices to work?"
"Over here, guys!" Sage called.
They followed his voice into another room – this one filled with great holding tanks with labels. One such read – "Revivification Test, No. 1."
"Would it really be wise to open it and look?" Sage wondered aloud.
"Who cares?" Kento replied brightly, reaching past his peer and swinging open the door to reveal - - -
The horrible, hideous, EVIL form of - - -
"I am not a crook!"
"AAAHHH!" they yelled. "It's Richard Nixon!"
"ARROW SHOCK WAAAAAAVE!" Rowen screamed, pelting the vile creature until he died again.
For a long moment, the warriors stood still, shaking from the horror they had just witnessed.
"I don't think we should open the others just yet," Cye said in a trembling voice after a long moment of silence. "I frankly don't think I'm up to it."
"None of us are, buddy," Kento replied quickly. "Let's, uh, move on."
They continued to search the evil laboratory of the Dark Chinese until Ryo made the next discovery (other than rats and burger grease).
He entered what looked from the outside to be a small closet, only to find a great mass of machinery inside, humming loudly and vibrating.
Virtue . . .
Ryo squinted. There was a power here, one that seemed to be reaching out inadvertently to his own.
He took a careful step forward, Wildfire Swords ready for just about anything to come jumping out, and jumped nearly three miles when there came a DING not unlike that of an oven timer.
The humming and vibrating stopped. A computer screen on the side of the machine popped to life. Without thinking, Ryo stepped over to it.
Process completed, it read. Process successful. Testing phase complete. Ready to proceed onto next phase: conquest of Cleveland.
Ryo shook his head – this guy had been deranged indeed.
The computer abruptly dinged again.
WARNING: Vital signs fading. Suggested action: remove subject and administer medical aid.
Ryo glanced at a great enclosed tube in the center of the machine.
That must be where Fred popped out his recreations of those dead people. I wonder . . . well, looks like this one's going to be dead again. I guess it's as it should be.
But again that tugging on his power came to him.
Virtue . . .
And he took a step toward the tube.
"Ryo!" came a yell – the other four had arrived.
"It might be a trap!" Sage warned.
"But – it's calling to me," Ryo replied.
"But – what if it's evil?!" Kento wailed.
"What if it's not? It's the mind, body, and soul of a human being, and it needs our help."
"And if it's not human?" Sage inquired severely.
"Then we have Kento or Rowen or whoever else decides to throw a fit kill it again."
And he resolutely walked over to the tube and, pressing a button marked OPEN (see, Sage isn't the only one who's wise), he opened to door to reveal the unconscious body within.
Ryo gasped and fell over.
The others, cramming around to look, also gasped and fell over.
Rowen was the first to regain his composure.
"Crap!" he yelled. "How did he get in here?!"
"Who cares?!" Ryo snapped, jumping to his feet. "You heard the computer – he needs medical attention before he dies again!"
And he grabbed up the body and charged out of the room, leaping up through the hole back into the manager's office and high-tailing it to Mia's jeep, the others following in confused bewilderment.
For the man in question was none other than –
Anubis, Former Dark Warlord of Cruelty!
Bum bum BUUUUUUUUM!