Joan sighed with relief once she saw Dendrite completely healed thanks to Black River, who had been treating her with his water. While he had been doing that, she remained in the cockpit of the aircraft with the pilot, who had landed the plane in an open clearing at a rather small airport. Dendrite had entered just a minute ago, right as rain, and thanked Joan for getting her help so quickly.
"It was what I had to do," Joan said to the younger woman, "and I would never leave you to suffer. That's not the way I lead."
"Well, thanks again, Joan. You too, River." Dendrite said to her teammates.
Black River smiled under his mask, but then realized he hadn't been told how Dendrite got hurt in the first place.
"So what happened?" He asked.
"Well," Dendrite answered, "Crann Bethadh and I saved this guy from someone dressed as a squirrel...and then this powered man called Sulphus showed up and got the drop on me."
"Don't feel bad," the pilot piped in, "At least you don't help crazy old men try to do stupid crap for moolah!"
The three looked at her coldly.
"You're not helping." Joan said.
"Whatever," the woman said back as she got up from the controls, "I'm going to go use the ladies' room in the airport.
The woman walked out and the Gavel continued their conversation.
"I've never heard of this Sulphus guy. He must be new." Black River said to them.
"Probably. I better call Beatdown and see if they got anything out of him yet." Joan replied.
Joan pulled out her communications device and called Beatdown, who didn't pick up. There was a reason for that.
Beatdown and Crann Bethadh were running down a road outside of the town they had been in, in pursuit of a truck that had been spotted by the local police department. It resembled the one from before and was the only vehicle speeding down the barren, illkept thoroughfare. It was the only lead that they had.
"Beatdown, do you think this is the truck that took Sulphus?" Crann asked as they tried to keep pace with the vehicle.
"No way of knowing until we catch it! Of course it isn't like it stopped for us..." Beatdown replied.
The truck began to pull ahead further from the two. Crann Bethadh decided it was time to use her powers to deal with it and noticed that there was an abandoned bucket of muddy water on the side of the road not far ahead of them. She made the water to gush out of the bucket and make impact with the truck's windshield, smearing it with mud. The large black lorry than screeched to a halt, since the driver wanted to avoid crashing due to their ubscured vision. The two stopped running and began to move in. Crann turned to Beatdown and quickly laid out a plan.
"Beatdown, go confront the driver at the front. I'll keep the back blocked."
"Good idea!" Beatdown said back.
Crann Bethadh noticed a large dead tree they had passed while they were running and used her powers to lift it from its roots and levitate it firmly into the backdoors of the large vehicle, blocking it from being opened should the men from before be there and try to bust out. While she did that, Beatdown dashed to the front, where he saw a chubby young Latino man in an orange-brown flannel shirt and worn out jeans stepping out with a sponge in his hand. Beatdown grabbed the man by the wrist and pinned him to the side of the truck.
"Why didn't you stop?! Are the men in the truck?" Beatdown asked aggressively.
The man began to sputter and weep, clearly confused at what was happening to him. Beatdown calmed a bit and released the man from his grip.
"Don't freak out. I'm just doing my job." Beatdown said.
"I am too! Please don't hurt me. I have kids. I'm just a trucker, I swear. I was delivering a haul of-"
"Desks!" Crann Bethadh called out.
Beatdown ran to the back of the truck, the worried driver following after him. Crann stood at the back of the truck, which she had opened after she realized no one was inside due to her empathy, and pointed at the inside of the delivery truck, where Beatdown looked to see many, many boxes with pictures of school desks on them.
"This is just stuff from 'Brent & Son's School Supply' that was meant for a high school not far from here." The trucker explained.
Beatdown slapped himself in the face and groaned.
"Dammit! We got the wrong truck!" He said angrily, upset at the turn of events.
Crann Bethadh turned to the man and smiled awkwardly at him before leading Beatdown away.
"Sorry about this! Have a nice day!" She called back.
After leaving, Beatdown finally noticed his device was ringing and answered. The sun was setting down.
A flea market was abuzz with the noise of people and their voices, the fun of the events, and all the tasks they were doing about the area. Today was a special day. The sun was shining above and at the center of the whole field the market was set in was a stage, where the many men, women, and children gathered to listen to those who were set to come out from behind the curtain. The red silk curtains opened to reveal a man who walked up to a microphone at the front of the stage. It was Nomed Nellaf, the mayor of Brawndale, who was dressed in his signature outfit; a tailcoat over a vest, striped pants, a monocle, a top hat, and a big sash that read 'Mayor'. His big white mustache grew out over his mask.
"Good Morrow, my citizens of the settlement of Brawndale! It be-eth quite a thing of time or stuff since the disaster that had taken thine school from us or whatever. The money today shall be given-eth to the cause of thou education locale's rebuilding! And now I present thee our musical act; Ronnie's Good Morning Band!"
Mayor Nellaf walked back to the side of the and watched as the singers he had hired came out to perform for everyone. The band consisted of two young boys and two young girls. The first girl was dressed as a large brown sausage. The first boy was dressed as a poached egg. The second boy was dressed as a piece of buttered toast. Lastly, the second girl was dressed as a plate of hash browns. The children smiled cutely at the audience as music began to play on the record player behind the stage curtains. Then, all in delightful harmony, they began to sing:
"Yeah, I like it when girls stop by in the winter
Do you remember, do you remember
When we met that winter?
NSYNC had a bunch of hits
Korean food makes it hard to pick
And I think it's phat when the girls roll out
For the winter, for the winter
I like girls that smell like eucalyptus and fish
I'd spend my night with her if I had one wish
But she's been gone since that winter, since that winter
Rocksteady, limonana, prim-and-proper
Met you one winter when it all boiled over
You're the best broad who ever did it with me
Morgan Freeman was on The Electric Company
When you stepped on that ship, you played a clarinet
People misquoted Marie Antoinette
Call me Guy Fawkes cause I'll fight for eighty years for you, baby
Those pants you wore didn't make you look lazy
Now you doing your own thang and dat totes rad
Got in a British taxi and never looked back
Played with me all winter, then went back home
An anime girl with a saxophone
Gave me a hickey, but now we ain't speakin'
The mouse named Mickey worked as a steamboat shipman
When I met you I said my named was Trish
You a girl who smells like eucalyptus and fish..."
Suddenly, a huge shadow appeared over the market and the people began to scream and run as a large ring in the sky began to lower towards them. A man pointed at it as he fled.
"Good Grief! It's the Giant Flea-Market-Eating Flea Collar!!!" He yelled out.
"It devoured a flea market in Manitoba last month...Run!!!" A woman yelled to him as she also ran.
"Look, it's the milkman!" A third man yelled.
Arachnid threw bottles of milk at the Giant Flea-Market-Eating Flea Collar. The vitamin D of the milk caused it to explode all across the flea market. The people stopped panicking and picked up Arachnid, cheering him on as their savior. The mayor watched in horror as the people began to chant something.
"Arachnid for Mayor! Arachnid for Mayor! Arachnid for Mayor!!!"
Fallen Demon then woke up. He was in a very dark room in a bed. Another person was in it with him. He turned on a lamp next to the bed and it lit up the room, revealing his bedmate to be the woman who had charged up at him in the street. She was in her underwear and was awake and looking at a piece of paper. Empty beer bottles littered the floor of a motel room. He fell out of the bed and muttered his first thought to himself.