Chapter 73:



“Woah, they’re still out cold.”

Frankie’s weak eyes rested ajar at Spider Hood’s face below her as she was lifted up by his Clifford mechanism. Too tired to feel startled, she let herself be sat down by the inventor, and nudged her sister to wake up.

“Hnn… gmorning.” Katie buzzed.

“We slept through the freaking roller coasters…”

“We did…? Oh…”

“You slept through the party, I think that’s more impressive.” Spider bragged.

“You got anything left to eat…?” Frankie asked groggily.

“Yeah. Go take your pick, most people crashed.”

Frankie slugged over to a nearby table laden with crumbs and stains. She took a handful of chips and shoved it in her mouth. Katie followed shortly behind, taking one of the last slices of cake.

“Taste good?” Spider asked.

“Yeah.” Frankie admitted. He tossed them both some pills.

“And there’s your actual nutrition, if you want it. Might need it, with how Hatter’s hyping up today’s mission…”

“Kinda can’t believe he wants us to do another already…” Frankie swallowed the vitamin substitute and checked to make sure nobody’d swiped her cash while she was asleep. “…But I’ll do it, if it means more money.”

“Yeah.” He nodded, expecting as much. “You know, I didn’t think you had it in you. Doing what you did to Bozo… takes some drive.”

“Really…? You’ve been here a lot longer than me. Is that so crazy?”

“Well… I’m not really here because I’ve got any stake in this. And I don’t need the money like you seem to, either.”

“So why the hell are you here?”


“Now, don’t discourage our rookies, Spider.” Hatter greeted, appearing from nowhere. By the looks of it, he either hadn’t slept, or if he did, didn’t bother taking his mask off to do it.

“Sorry boss. Not my intent.”

“Yes, I understand. Well, we’d better wake the rest of the gang in a few minutes. I’m all ready for my presentation.”

“You work fast, boss.”

“Haven’t I told you to stop calling me “boss?”

“A couple times. I just enjoy it.”

“Is that so… to each their own, I suppose.”

Hatter swiftly left to finalize his plans. Shortly, everyone was stolen from their sleep. The hung-over, barely conscious crowd all loyally assembled to listen to their leader speak that afternoon.

“My glorious fellow villains.” He splendidly addressed the militia. “Today is the day Venge City falls.”

A light cheer was heard from those with the energy.

“How will we do it?” One of the sleepier ones sloppily asked with a half-raised hand.

“By destroying this park’s star attraction, and leaving the city a shell of its former self.”

Some people started to wake up at the sound of these words.

“Missile Man- the ride- will be completely disabled, rendered useless by our Villainous Legion.”

A low chatter from the lucid members.

“But- I love that ride!” A now wide-eyed minion protested.

“As did I…” he tipped his hat over his eyes. “But this is precisely why the park, and everything Bozo has will die in its absence. There will be no more hope for a park owner unable to defend the city’s most popular attraction.”

Even Kyrie was taken aback, nearly speaking over her first in command. “But sir- at that point, there might be no hope for the park period.”

“Correct. If this mission succeeds… the park itself may likely fall to bankruptcy. I believe that this is necessary so that the brand, the one I used to know- can recover. With new Bozo usurped for his incompetence and new leadership appointed, not only will a fire be lit under the behinds of the foolish people in charge, but they will be forced to make changes and reconsider their properties. This is our best chance at a fresh start for our heroes on the page.”

All but one member of the crowd cheered.

Jumping up and down, feeding off the energy without quite understanding the entire context, Katie looked down to see her.

She stopped.

“Is something wrong, Frankie?”

Hatter cleared his throat.

“Any questions, my sinister alliance?” He offered.

“Yeah!” One from the front answered. “How’re we gonna disable one of the sky coasters? Don’t those run above all the buildings and all that? And the Missile Man one’s like, the biggest of ‘em all!”

“We’ll blow it to pieces. Aiming for the operating mechanisms, but anything we destroy will be for the better. It’ll be a dangerous operation for everyone involved- that’s for sure. For anyone else, it would be unthinkable. But we are villains.”

Steward McOy