Terry The Turtle, moving with considerably more grace and speed than the average member of his species, moved towards the door of the abandoned storage locker in the abandoned storage locker warehouse that he shared with his companion in endeavours. On two legs rather than four, so that he resembled a bald, green-skinned human in a shell, he moved towards the closed, silver door of the locker and knocked on it with one of his “hands”.
“Bessie!” he shouted. “Open the door!”
Slowly, the mechanism of the door opened, revealing Terry’s companion, a white furred greyhound, on her hind legs like Terry, who had just pushed the button inside of the locker in order to open the door. He entered the locker, and then she cautiously pressed it so that it closed behind him.
“This better be good!” she warned him. “I had a hard time sleeping last night, after….”
“Never mind that!” he snapped. “You’re supposed to be my assistant, remember? The deal we made when we escaped…”
“I have a life outside of you!” she countered.
Terry and Bessie were both mutants, creatures with capabilities beyond those of the normal members of their species, capabilities that had emerged as a result of their exploitation as lab animals in a nearby university from which they had escaped. Terry had advanced strength, speed and intelligence, while Bessie possessed the speed of a supersonic jet and agility to match. As part of an informal pact that they had made upon escaping their confinement, they agreed to fight crime and other social ills together- though what they did with their off hours was their own business, as Bessie was now reminding Terry. He liked to think of himself as the senior partner, though Bessie was quick to remind him otherwise.
“Fine!” Terry resumed speaking. “We have an actual problem now, so I would appreciate your help here!”
“What is it?” Bessie asked.
“What’ s she doing this time?”
“She’s got a watermelon on her, and….”
“DON’T LAUGH! This is SERIOUS work, Bessie…”
“Okay, okay! But a watermelon?”
“It’s about as average a watermelon as we are an average turtle and dog!”
“She’s somehow managed to insert a bomb into the rind without disturbing the pulp or seeds.”
“Boy! For a meth head, she sure is smart!”
“Let’s not stand here indulging in personalities, Bessie! Let’s stop her before she actually tries to throw that watermelon at something!”
Bessie got down on all fours, and, after re-opening the locker door, Terry proceeded to get on her back, as if she were a racehorse and he were her jockey. Completing this illusion was the fact that Terry habitually used a branch on Bessie’s backside like a jockey’s whip, to make her go faster. As if going faster than the speed of sound, her top speed, was somehow possible.
As she often did, Bessie yelped painfully when Terry struck her with the branch, which she did now.
“MUSH!” he shouted, carried away with himself.
“I swear to God…” Bessie growled at him, “if you so much as even try that again…”
“Sorry!” he said, as he threw the stick away.
“Just hang on!” she told him. “You have enough trouble staying on me as it is, without bringing that damn branch into it!”
She floated away easily down the road, leaving a path of flaming tracks in the ground behind her.
Hattie Malatti, a former sex worker who had somehow managed to survive the explosion of a nuclear power plant by becoming radioactive herself, stood angrily facing the increasing cowed police force of the city. Clad in black fishnets and red spandex, with her black hair hanging angrily over her white skin, she growled viciously at the assembled company, who were afraid to approach her. If she so much as touched any of them- or did anything beyond that- she would obliterate them all. Both she and they knew that perfectly well, and the added factor of the watermelon-bomb she was cradling in her arms added an additional level of tension to the stalemate at hand.
“Try and stop me, pigs!” Hattie snapped, revealing a voice and a mouth decayed and rotting as the rest of her due to her addiction to both crystal methamphetamine and filter tip cigarettes. But the police, as much as they put up a brave front, knew that stopping her was an impossible. They knew full well that only Terry The Turtle and Bessie The Greyhound were made of stern enough stuff to approach Hattie Malatti without threat of severe injury or death to themselves.
Fortunately, our heroes, in a blast of fire and wind, promptly made their appearance directly in front of Hattie, and the police now found that they could relax, for once. Terry and Bessie would soon have things sorted out!
“Hah!” Hattie snorted. “If it ain’t my old reptile buddy- and his faithful steed!”
“You did not just call me that!” Bessie growled, but Terry waived her silent as he jumped off her back.
“Give me the watermelon, Hattie!” he demanded of that worthy.
“NEVER!” she shot back. “The thing’s MINE, Turtle, and you ain’t gettin’ NONE of it!”
“Don’t be difficult!” Terry said. “You know perfectly well that Bessie and I can kick your ass easily- even without touching you!”
“Why ya think I got the damn BOMB in the first place?” Hattie growled. “This is the only way I can stop you without you hurting me! THE ONLY DAMN WAY, hear?”
“No, it isn’t!” Terry countered. “You know perfectly well that there’s all sorts of counselling that you can get to deal with the abuse you suffered- and for all the OTHER addictions you seem to have!”
“I ain’t got no addictions!” Hattie said dismissively.
“That’s your problem- right there!” Terry responded pointedly. “DENIAL! If you could just get past that…”
“DAMN YOU!” Hattie Malatti growled defiantly.
And, before Terry, Bessie, or anyone else could do anything, Hattie Malatti gripped her watermelon-bomb like a football, and shot it directly at Terry’s head.
“NO!” Bessie shouted.
Moving quickly into action, the greyhound leaped into the increasingly narrowing breach that was coming to exist between Terry and the bomb. Within seconds, the watermelon smashed and spattered itself on her pristine white coat, and Bessie, with a yelp, landed painfully on the ground.
“BESSIE!” Terry shouted. “Are you hurt?”
“Never mind me!” she snapped. “The BOMB! Get the bomb and throw it away, idiot!”
“But isn’t the bomb…?”
“It’s OVER THERE!” Bessie pointed to a small black object, covered in watermelon seeds and pulp, that was lying kitty corner from where she lay. “Get rid of it before Malatti gets her paws on it again!” Even now, the villain was coming towards it, intending to gain back her advantage.
Terry knew what he had to do. He did not waste a second doing it, either. He ran towards the bomb, and picked it up, using his advanced mutant strength. Like a shot putter, he held it up, parallel to his head, and then let it go. It soared across the downtown corridor and into the riverfront nearby, displacing water from the river onto the land as it exploded harmlessly.
Terry now turned to a defeated Hattie Malatti, realizing her best efforts had now just been halted.
“It’s over, Hattie!” he said with finality. “You gonna give yourself up, or what?”
“WHAT!” she snapped, and, before he could make another move, she had disappeared down one of the labyrinthine alleys of the city, out of his grasp, again. He went to pursue her, but Bessie, recovering and knowing better, blocked his path.
“Never mind her, Terry!” she said. “We can get her next time!”
“What next time?” Terry said. “This is a one-shot story!”
“THIS IS A ONE –SHOT STORY?” one of the police suddenly realized. “That means that, now that we’ve reached the denouement, the world IS GOING TO COME TO AN END ANY MOMENT NOW!”
And, en masse, the police ran screaming down the opposite end of the street from where Hattie Malatti had just disappeared, leaving Terry and Bessie standing alone in the street.
“Was it something we said?” Terry asked.
Bessie just shrugged. And then the world ended.