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    The Alpha Trilogy

    THE

    EXCESS MEN

     

     

    CHAPTER ONE:

    Part I - Enter The Excess Men

    It is dusk on a cold, quiet February evening. Engulfed by a brown mist, a man walks slowly down the dark streets of The Capital City, unapologetically leering at every woman that passes by. At the intersection of Dorrance and Pine his phone begins to smoke – he knows the dire significance. The man answers - “Yes?” A pause, while a frantic voice on the other end screams hysterically at him.

    “I’m on my way,” he calmly says, slowly hanging up his phone as the voice continues to scream. He peels off his Corneliani black chalk stripe cashmere jacket with microsuede trim and tosses it into an alley. A look of concern comes over his face, his voice deepens. “There’s work to be done…..and I’m supposed to be at a wine tasting shortly. Drat!”  He dashes around the corner and ducks into a small, greasy diner. “Chili with a side of fried beans…and meat….any kind of meat.” He has begun his transformation into – Methane Man!

     

    In a basement south of Providence, exact location unknown, a man overindulges on cigarettes and coffee, watching TV continuously. He is into his fourteenth hour of a Bonanza marathon when his cell phone rings. The ringtone is that of a voice chiding, “You got a call douche bag. Pick it up.” - Trouble is at hand. He engages the phone without saying a word. It’s the screaming voice. As he listens intently, his face turns to anger. Suddenly he yells, “Oh, what the fuck!! Now? NOW? Oh, yeah, sure it’s not like I was doing anything.” He listens to the voice for a few seconds more. “Yeah. Yes. Uh-huh, I’M COMING!!.....Fuck you!” A genetic disorder has rendered him mentally susceptible to forced physical activity and social participation. When this pressure is unleashed his brain waves twist, his biology becomes irritating, and he becomes a real asshole. A man whose only pleasure comes from infuriating others. He becomes - Sarcasm!!!

     

    Similar calls go out to three other individuals. They come together in what is known as The Great Hall of Excess. In The Great Hall, converted out of an abandoned manufacturing facility in Olneyville, Methane Man and Sarcasm are joined by the other members of this elite team of Superzeroes.

     

    Consumption – the massive human mass who consumes mass consumptions. Nothing organic is too great for him to devour. Maintenance Man – the obsessive, compulsive repair man who can fix anything. He is highly skilled, but painfully detail oriented. And Captain Irrelevant. Five men dedicated to preserving and protecting…..something. They are The Excess Men – Men Who Do Something to Excess!

     

    The Superzeroes assemble in the MajestX Foyer, with its Sears couch and Cardi easy chair, surrounded by matching tables. No words are exchanged as they wait patiently for their leader. Maintenance Man is fixing a lamp shade, while Consumption empties the candy dishes. Suddenly a man comes out from around the corner (a kitchenette). He is drinking a scotch, smoking a cigar and riding on motorized green, cushioned chaise lounge with ATV tires. His outfit consists of khaki shorts, a Hawaiian shirt, sandals and oversized dark sunglasses. He is the man responsible for assembling this great core of Chumpions - the leader of the The Excess Men. He is Professor Exhausting!!

     

    The Professor parks the Express in the middle of the room and begins instructing everyone where he wants them positioned, “Okay, you - over there. A little more to the right, no – too far, you-sit, back, no left. Good. Stop….” Five minutes later, sufficiently satisfied with the set up, he briefs the team. “Men, a grave danger has befallen the Ocean State. Our intelligence suggests that some madman, some nut, some kook, some crackpot, some offbeat psychopath with an overactive…..”

    ”Alright already,” screams Sarcasm, “What did he do?”

    “This man has created a device that would replicate the Blizzard of ’78!!!” Two of the Zeroes gasp. Methane Man breaks wind. They all gasp. A series of “Geeez” and “Oh, God”s are muttered by the other Zeroes as they turn away.

    “Do we have any information on this person?” asks Methane Man.

    “Unfortunately, we know nothing about him,” The Professor responds. “Zilch, zip, nadda……..he will activate the device within the next few hours.”

    “How do you know that, Professor?” asks Consumption.

    “He sent me a text.”

    “If we only had some lead as to where to find him.” ponders Maintenance Man.

    “Well, he likes to eat at Angelo’s on the Hill,” informs their Leader.

    Methane Man looks surprised as he curiously inquires. “He wrote that in the text?”

    “No, he called me.” The Professor explains. “He’s there every weekday, 6 PM; in the new section of the restaurant…..we were discussing dining.”

    The Zeroes look quizzical upon The Professor’s insight as he continues. “Other than that he’s a complete mystery to me.”

    Sarcasm cautiously and cynically asks, “Did you get a name?”

    “No, but I did get a good stock tip.”

     

    It is a Friday and nearly 6:30 PM. Based on The Professors intel, the team anticipates the evil doer will be at Angelo’s. There is no time to waste. “Let’s go Zeroes,” calls out Maintenance Man. 

    Sarcasm looks at Methane Man, “Should we bring Irrelevant?”

    “Who? Oh, uhhhhhhhhh………..sure. Why not?” Sarcasm whacks Captain Irrelevant on the shoulder to prod him.

     

    As the Zeroes race off to The Expired – the high powered hearse that serves as their transportation -The Professor offers some words of advice. “Pay attention out there you fools. Keep your head in what you’re doing. Don’t fuck it up like you guys did in the case of the Coffee Milk Conspiracy. Are you listening to me? Don’t forget your fucking training…. Maintenance Man, put the damn trade magazines away. Consumption – see if you can devour some breath mints, or a case of toothpaste. Your breath smells like a herd of bulls. I HEARD THAT SARCASM!!!”

     

    Part II - Nibbles

    At Angelo’s a man in a white suit sits in the back at a table near a window. The Zeroes know this is their man because no one goes to Angelo’s in a white suit. As not to cause a stir with their Superzero presence, the team decides to confront the man through the window. Maintenance Man declares he will remove the window at the frame, thus catching the reprobate off guard. But he takes too long in deciding on just the right tools, and drawing up blueprints, so Methane Man just opens the window.

    The man is startled. “Who are you? What are you doing?...And what’s with those crazy outfits? Is that guy wearing overalls and a cape?”

    Sarcasm snarls, “Never mind what we’re……”

    “Are you wearing spandex…..and is that a drawing on your chest of a hand giving the finger?”

    The man laughs, until Methane Man gives him a small puff. He gags.

    “You want more?” snarls the Man of Odor.

    The suspect cringes, “God, no!!”

    “Start talking White Suit. We want the device.”

    “You don’t understand.” He tries to explain, “I am not the man you want. I am the man you seek to find the man you want.”

    “What the fuck did you say?” snides Sarcasm, as he flicks the tip of White Suit’s nose. “Go ahead douche bag, keep talking in circles – see what happens. You better start speaking Little Rhody or I’m gonna have that mass of flesh over there eat your leg.” Consumption pulls out his personalized Vera Wang knife and fork from their holsters. White Suit shivers in terror as the Human Disposal takes a bite out of the window frame. Terror-struck, he tries to run, but Maintenance Man has built a fence around his table, and was in the process of installing shelves.

    White Suit composes himself and gives in. “I do not possess the device, but I know who it is you are looking for. You see, he sent me here to meet you. He knew someone was coming to find him, and dispatched me to deliver a message. I don’t think he anticipated his pursuers to be so....flamboyant.”

    “You little turd.” snarls Methane Man, as he is held back by Sarcasm.

    “Gentlemen, please,” teases White Suit, a grin on his face. “Without me you can’t find my employer, and you’ll have gotten all dolled up for nothing.”

    “AARRRGGGHHH!!!” growls Maintenance Man. “Let me rip his nose off with my Reed aluminum pipe wrench!”

    Just then, Captain Irrelevant arrives.

    White Suit continues with his message, snickering briefly at Irrelevant’s slightly baggy, pale gray, full-bodied leotard with no markings and no accent of any kind. “My retainer simply wants Nibbles.” The Zeroes look perplexed.

    “What is Nibbles?” inquires Maintenance Man.

    “Nibbles Woodaway. I believe you natives refer to it as the Big-Blue-Bug?”

    “Is he shittin’ us?” asks Sarcasm of his fellow Chumpions.

    “About the name, or that he actually wants it?” retorts Methane Man, who then focuses on the informant.”Who do you work for?”

    The scoundrel ignores the King of Stench. “It is to be delivered to the warehouse on West Exchange Street by 9PM tonight – that is, oh (looking at his watch) roughly two hours from now. He will activate the device precisely ONE minute later if you fail to deliver. Might I suggest you dress a little bit more……grown up?”

    Consumption moves in close to whisper, “If I even licked you, you’d lose twenty pounds.”  White Suit stares at The Mass, understanding there was no exaggeration to his statement, and issues a dire caution of his own to the Zeroes. “Gentlemen, I feel it fair to warn you. This is not a man to be toyed with. He would have no regrets about activating the device and allowing it to run for a week. Not only that, but he has placed his life savings in various stocks for snow removal equipment; everything from shovels to payloaders. He looks to make a mint.”

    “Oh, yeah – sure,“ says Sarcasm. “He wants the Bug, but he seems to have his heart set on recreating the Blizzard of ’78 for financial gain. How do we know he won’t activate it anyway?”

    “You don’t,” White Suit mocks, “You don’t – HA HAHAHAHAHA, ugh, (cough)…ohhhh, what’s that smell?” Sarcasm gives a thumbs up to Methane Man, who denies it was he. The Zeroes look confused.

    “Sorry guys,” says Consumption shyly. “I belched. (he whispers) I ate a Taco Bell for lunch.”

    The Zeroes nail the window shut, leaving White Suit fenced in with nothing more than a footstool and a rocking horse that Maintenance Man had fashioned out of his table and chair.

     

    The Superzeroes radio The Professor to report in on the exchange at Angelo’s. “I was just getting ready to contact you,” says their leader. “Look for a guy in a white suit, but from what I hear he may be just a mole.” Methane Man lets out a moan, as Consumption thanks The Professor. Maintenance Man briefs him on the encounter with the White Suit messenger.

    “Why would anyone want the Big Blue Bug?” asks Professor Exhausting.

    “We have no fuckin' idea,” says a frustrated Sarcasm. “I think he’s busting our balls. And I’ll tell ya, if he is, I’m going to insult him real bad!”

    “Yeah….that should scare him straight,” says The Professor under his breath. The leader then addresses the team. “Well? What the fuck. You gonna stand there all night? Get your fingers out of your asses, get that fucking termite and deliver the Goddamn thing.”

     

    In a flash The Excess Men are racing to the Big Blue Bug to remove it from its perch. In order to not endanger the Ocean State icon, Maintenance Man decides to build a real size replica. He informs the team of his plan. “Have you lost your mind?!!” screams an acerbic Sarcasm. “Oh, yeah, let’s make a whole fuckin’ swarm of them. We have just under two hours. What, did you just wake up? That crazy motherfucker is waiting for this thing.”

    “Just…….undo the bolts, will ya?” pleads Methane Man.

    Maintenance Man grumbles under his breath, “Hacks.” In a flicker of light the Handy Hero removes the bolts with his nuclear powered Stanley R2100 ratchet. The Zeroes hoist the Insect onto the roof of The Expired, and head for West Exchange Street to meet the demented villain. 

     

    Part III - The Blizzard

    Upon arriving at the warehouse and after casing the perimeter, the team stealthily enters the large, open facility, and lurks in the shadows to observe. Off to the side in the light is a contraption of sorts. A monstrous machine made from a Volkswagen Thing, an assortment of leaf blowers, and parts from a dozen old restaurant style ice maker. It must certainly be The Blizzard of ’78. A huge pipe runs from its top and extends to the building's highest point. From its exhaust on the roof flakes of snow are starting to increasingly billow out. It is powering up to a peak that will unleash blizzard conditions. Through the windows our Zeroes can start to see snow outside. “I hate snow,” whispers Sarcasm.

     

    They hear someone slowly walking from the far end of the building, also in shadow and only recognizable as a human form. A man’s voice calls out from the other end. “Are you here on business?” The Zeroes are silent.

    “I know you're there. I can smell you. “

    Sarcasm smirks at Methane Man who gestures contritely.

    “Are you the guy who invented the Blizzard of 78’ machine?” asks Consumption.

    “That is precisely correct my friend. I am – The Inventor!”

    “And you invented this….this tool of destruction.” scolds Maintenance Man. “Using industrial design and mechanical engineering to create a machine of havoc! It’s sacrilege.”

    “Well, yeah, I guess, if you want to look at it that way.” The dark figure responds. “You seem to have some issues there.”

    “We have brought you the Big Blue Bug,“ declares Maintenance Man shoving it into the light. “And in better shape than before. I fixed his wing.” Sarcasm rolls his eyes, and Methane Man shakes his head. 

    “That was……kind of you,” The Inventor says curiously. “Please, step into the light so I can see my deliverers.”

    Our Zeroes emerge from the shadows

    The Inventor’s eyebrows raise, “Are…are you kidding me? Holy shit! What is with the crazy get ups?”

    The Zeroes put their hands on their hips and in unison announce, “We are The Excess Men – Men Who Do Something to Excess!”

    There is a pause.

    “What?!!” The Inventor says, half-laughing. “You gotta be fucking kidding me, right? I mean….Holy shit – your symbol is a clothespin on a nose?”

    “Never mind that,” says Methane Man. “We know you’ve been speaking to Professor Exhausting.”

    “Yeah, that’s right. The guy in the fuckin’ chair on wheels. He’s a whack job! You guys are with him? Aw, hell I should’ve guessed.”

    Just then, Captain Irrelevant arrives. “We are The Excess Men – men….who…..” Methane Man quickly sidles over to The Captain, and whispers slowly and distinctly, “No, we’re uh……we’re past that. See, we’ve met this guy, and he appears to be the, uh, main villain and we’re negotiating with him now.” Captain Irrelevant nods.

    “Look boys, I’m sorry to disappoint you.” The Inventor says smugly. “Obviously from the way you’re dressed you’ve been looking forward to this moment for some time. But you can’t stop me. I’ve already activated it. The wheels are in motion!!!”

    "But we’re early. We brought you the Bug,” exclaims Maintenance Man.

    “I know, I feel bad about that. I never really wanted it. I didn’t think you’d actually bring it.”

    “What the fuck,” yells Sarcasm. “I knew it, I knew it…..Well, we have you, you little numbfuck. You’re going to the state pen. Step out from the shadows or we’re coming in for you.”

    “Not so fast trick or treaters,” taunts the villain. “I wouldn’t come here without an escape plan, would I?” Suddenly The Inventor pulls a control box from his pocket. “Look out the window boys. It’s starting to snow. HAHAHAHAHA!!” He presses a button and falls through a trap door and down a slide, which leads to his escape. The building, electronically controlled, seals up in a steel frame around our Zeroes.

    “We’re trapped, and he got away,” barks an angry Maintenance Man. “Where’s my Tibone titanium hammer with contoured grip?!!” The Hardware Extraordinaire pounds at the walls, while Consumption tries to eat a steel door. “Oh, great,“ says Sarcasm sarcastically. “We should get out of here around……….fall? Ooooh, I have nail clippers. I’ll see if I can tunnel out.” 

    A voice from the background suggests, “Why don’t we ignite Methane Man’s gas and use it as a blow torch?” Consumption looks puzzled, as does Sarcasm.

    “Who said that?” asks Methane Man. “Oh, it’s you Captain Irrelevant. Forgot you were there. Uhhhhh, good idea CI……let’s go with it.” And with a mighty heave the Reek Doctor lets loose upon a door. Sarcasm tosses a match to ignite the deadly compound. Within seconds the door is reduced to molten metal, along with two cars parked on the street outside.

     

    The snow is getting heavy. It has to be stopped. Sarcasm looks at Consumption and Methane Man. “If you can eat as much snow as you can - and you can melt the snow with your……..you know, ‘intestinal abilities’, I think you two can keep it contained.  Maintenance Man, see if you can shut down the device. I’ll contact the Professor and find out if he has any new information.”

    The team springs into action. Consumption pulls a packet of Dels mix from his condiments fanny pack and attacks the snow; stopping only to pee, which aids in melting more snow. Methane Man liquefies the snow to near flood conditions with his wicked wind. Maintenance Man is taking his mandatory break as dictated by the catering truck pulling up. Union rule, Section XIV, Article Thirty-Seven.

     

    Back in The Great Hall of Excess, Professor Exhausting is browsing the ExAnnals. A large archive populated with a potpourri of magazines, salacious paperbacks, telephone books from every state and numerous foreign countries, and an extensive porn movie section. He is trying to decide between Facials for Dummies, and Orgy on the Orient Express when the Exphone rings. “What’s going on…..you found him?….he didn’t want the bug?!….The Inventor? What kind of a goofy name is…..he trapped you?!!....oh my God, you’re so fucking stupid.…..get your shit together….yeah, I got some new info, not that you cumwads would know what to do with it. He’s leaving ahead of the storm….He’s in the city of Wark at TF Green……that’s all I know……..his plane leaves in ten minutes…….he sent me an email!!!…..You’ll never get to him now. You guys have fucked it all up….again. How many times have you trained on the five-step, three point entry plan – it’s standard procedure, but NO, you march on in like a whore into a Greek sauna and go and get yourselves fucked up the ass. Captured!! I can’t belie……hello? HELLO? What the fuck!!!!!”

     

    Sarcasm updates the other Zeroes. “The Professor says he’s on his way to Green Airport. He leaves in a matter of minutes.”

    “We’ll never get there in time.” says Consumption dejectedly. “We can’t stop him, and we can’t stop the machine”

    “We don’t want to stop the machine,” Maintenance Man slyly quips.

    “Have you lost your mind?” bellows Sarcasm.

    “No!” declares Maintenance Man, running to the device. ”I can’t shut this thing down, but I think I can direct it. If I can aim it towards Wark and the airport maybe we can delay the flight.”

    “That’s a great idea.”

    “Who said that?” asks Sarcasm. Consumption quickly scopes the room.

    “Who cares,” screams Methane Man. “Do it Double M.”

    Maintenance Man responds to his Brother in Excess. “You got it M Squared.”

    And with a powerful thrust he puts The Thing in drive and turns on the ice maker.  Pulling knobs and turning on blowers at astounding speed, he manipulates the horrific contraption until suddenly, he stops. “I have it focused on the airport, but it isn’t up to full power.” He turns and looks concerned at his fellow Chumpions. “It’s not strong enough yet. It can’t reach.”

    “I think I can help,” says Methane Man smoothly. “Where’s the main reactor on this baby.”

    “You better be careful,” warns Sarcasm. “That’s a powerful machine. If that thing backs up on you, you’re gonna feel like Frosty’s bitch.”

    “Thanks for bringing that to my attention,” smirks the Raunch Launcher. “I think I can handle it, but I will need to power up for this one.” To gain extra thrust Methane Man ingests some power from his protein pouch – hard boiled eggs and jerky. All fueled up he provides an extra surge for the main reactor. The other Zeroes watch Maintenance Man for a positive indication as he monitors the machine's power. “It’s working,” he yells, as a pained looked comes over his face. “Though, the snow smells nasty.”

    Sarcasm contacts The Professor to check on flight changes at Green.

    The Professor delivers the good news to the Zeroes on speaker phone. “Confirmed. All flights are grounded. The Inventor’s going nowhere, nowhere I tell you. He’s stuck at the airport. We’ve got him cornered like a rat. Oh wait…… he’s apparently rented a Jeep.”

    “What the fuck!!” screams Sarcasm. “Why is all your information always behind?”

    “Hang on,” instructs The Professor keying into The Excessory, the Professor’s brain interactive super nano-computer. It is concealed in his dark sunglasses, and controlled by small switches at the temples. “I’ve hacked into his Blackberry. He’s at the mall.”

    “How…..certain are you?” asks Sarcasm.

    “No doubt about it,” says the leader. “I’m sending you his coordinates now. You should be able to track him right where he stands. Be careful. There’s a lot of people at the mall. Methane Man, control yourself - you could kill somebody. Consumption, keep out of the food court!”

    The Zeroes take off, tracking the villain by the coordinates, leaving behind the speakerphone as The Professor continues to address them. “And pay attention this time will ya. Obviously this guy is smarter than all of you combined. Not that that’s completely out of the question, no doubt. You’re not exactly rocket scientists…are you listening……….”

     

    Part IV - The Inventor's Plan

    The Zeroes arrive at the mall. Only a few vehicles sit in the huge parking lot. The team enters the massive structure. It is quiet. The mall is empty. There are no people.

    “Something’s wrong here,” observes Maintenance Man, his voice growing with concern. “It’s Friday night and after 8 pm and there is no one here. This evil madman has somehow….eliminated hundreds of people, maybe thousands! We don’t know how many more he has…!!!”

    Consumption draws close to Maintenance Man. “Uh, Double M, this is the Rhode Island mall.”

    “Oooooh…..okay.”

    “So how do we find this nutcase?” asks Sarcasm.

    A figure steps out behind our Zeroes from the doorway of the old Radio Shack. “What did you assholes do to my machine? This fucking blizzard smells like shit.”

    The Zeroes recognize the voice to be that of The Inventor, as they turn to see the evil genius’ face for the first time. He is a tall, thin bookish man, with round, thick glasses. His bland suit giving the look of a grade school teacher at a private boy’s academy from the 1950’s.

    “You escaped my trap,” the Inventor says. “Very impressive. And you managed to ground my flight. Apparently you do have some talent to go with those outfits…….You ruined my plans. I was going to Tahiti, you know”

    “Too bad. We’re on to you, Inventor,” says Consumption confidently, “and you won’t trick us this time. We’re way ahead of you.”

    Just then Captain Irrelevant arrives.

    “I don’t get it,” says Maintenance Man. “None of this makes any sense. You’re asking for bugs, you’re creating snowstorms, you trap us in a warehouse, you’re sending decoys to meet us at restaurants, you’re spilling with The Professor everything you plan to do……sort of. What is it you want?”

    “I want you, gentlemen. You see, my plan all along was to create the Blizzard and reap a fortune from the stocks. The machine was nearly complete. I needed just a few more hours, and it seemed nothing could stop me. But then I heard about an elite team of warriors assembled to preserve and protect….You know, that’s the only thing I couldn’t find out. What exactly do you preserve and protect?”

    “Well,” says Consumption hesitantly. “We haven’t quite finished that part of our credo…..yet.”

    “Be that as it may,” continues The Inventor, “It was brought to my attention that your little group here existed. I was very concerned that you might get in the way and fuck up my plans. Turns out you’re just a bunch of fuck ups.”

    The Zeroes look dismayed at each other, as The Inventor resumes his explanation. “However, I didn’t know that at the time and couldn’t take the chance. It seemed wise to keep you busy, learn about you, and, should the opportunity present itself, eliminate you in the process. I had to lure you out somehow – meet you on my own terms, and your Professor was the perfect dupe; beyond perfect, actually. That’s how I got you to the warehouse. That’s how I trapped you. And with hidden cameras I observed your escape.”

    “You were watching us that whole time?” inquires Consumption.

    “Yes, my well-gorged friend. It was very enlightening. I was able to prepare for your…hidden talents, shall I say, in case I had to deal with you again. And look, here we are. Hey, wise-ass, catch.“

    The Inventor tosses something to Sarcasm. “What is this thing?”

    “It’s a Cupie Doll I enhanced with a spell. It’s guaranteed to make you feel all warm and fuzzy,” grins The Inventor.

    A teeny smile comes to Sarcasm’s face as he stares at the doll and gets doe-eyed.”Awwwwww!!” coos the Dean of Mean. “Wookie, wookie!” Sarcasm is rendered completely non-confrontational and whispers to Consumption, “I love you.” Consumption looks curiously at him and replies, “Uhhh, yeah……thanks.”

     

    The Inventor focuses on Maintenance Man. “Is that a new tool belt, Mr. Goodwrench?” Maintenance Man looks down to find his tool belt is merely a rope with a pair of scissors and a garlic press hanging off of it.

    “Is this what you’re looking for,” taunts The Inventor, holding Maintenance Man’s Legendary Belt of Vila. “I grabbed it when you took your break and switched them. Maybe I look familiar? I was the guy driving the catering truck. By the way, thank you for your generous tip, you cheap bastard. Here’s a tip for you – watch your step. The grate that you’re standing on is a giant magnet. No concern for your friends here, but it should have an effect on your Rodgers heat treated steel work boots.” Maintenance Man tries to move, but is held down by the giant magnet.

    “That does it.” says Methane Man, rubbing his stomach. “Enough of your bullshit – take this.”

    The Inventor pulls a small contraption from his pocket. “Do you like this?” he says. “A little invention of mine that I just created. I call it the Evermatch. It simulates lighting and extinguishing a match every few seconds.” Methane Man’s eyes widen as The Inventor turns on the Evermatch negating the Zero’s power.

    “You Devil!!” yells Consumption, heading toward The Inventor with a hungry look.

    “Hang on there, fat boy,” the menace says enticingly, reaching into an envelope he had concealed. “What’s this? A gift certificate to the all you can eat buffet at Foxwoods? Oooooh, you want it? Here, go ahead, take it. Go have a ball.”

    Consumption shakes, quivers, “No, I must stop you….I must save the team.”

    “Did I mention this pass is for an exclusive seating? You’d be the only one in the place.”

    Consumption’s stomach growls like a pride of lions, and drool begins to dribble from his lips. His tearing eyes look crazed as he grabs the certificate and heads for the door.

    “Ha!! And there they are,” The Inventor laughingly proclaims to the heavens, raising his arms in triumph, and then glancing across the Zeroes. “The best this shitty little state can muster up to save them. A group of losers dressed up for a Sci-Fi convention. Nothing more than some weekend men’s club wasting their time playing vigilan…….”

    Suddenly there is an eerie thud. The Inventor falls to the ground nearly unconscious and immobilized. He groans, slowly pushes up onto his elbows and looks back.

    Standing behind him with a pipe is Captain Irrelevant.

    “Holy fuckin’ shit,” The Inventor moans. “I forgot all about you. Have you been here the whole time? (he turns to the other Zeroes) Jesus Christ, you ought to put a fucking bell around his neck.”

    The Captain smashes the Evermatch with the pipe, and tosses Maintenance Man his tool belt, which he uses to demagnetize himself. Methane Man sends a puff at Consumption to bring him out of his trance, then snatches the free buffet pass from him.

    “Ewwww, wook at da cute wittle man,” giggles Sarcasm, sitting on the floor in the corner. Maintenance Man grabs the Cupie Doll and hands it to Consumption. “Eat this thing, will ya? He’s making me queasy.” Consumption gobbles it up effortlessly as Sarcasm, stunned momentarily, snaps out of it. “Oh God, I hate myself!!”

    Maintenance Man ties up The Inventor with super industrial duct tape, as Sarcasm notifies the local police. “The device is still going,” yells Consumption. “We have to get back and find a way to shut it down.”

    The Excess Men race back to the warehouse, where the machine running full power is unleashing a devastatingly nauseating storm. The team tries to stop it, but with all their powers cannot find a way to terminate the contraption. Maintenance Man attempts again to shut it down, but time is wasting as he gets caught up in reading the manual. Methane Man makes an effort to melt it with a colon firebomb, but the Inventor has it fireproofed. Consumption can’t ingest it, and Sarcasm can only kick it and call it names. “Fucking piece of shit….OWWWW!!!”

    The Professor still on speakerphone continues to yell at the Zeroes. He offers a suggestion. “Hey douchebags, here’s an idea. Pull the fucking plug out of the wall!! You can do that, can’t you – you fucking stupid cocksuckers. You could have done that after the flights shut down. Now we have three feet of this disgusting brown snow. For Christ’s sake, people are shoveling with gas masks. Can’t you clowns handle anything? You’d lose your nuts if they weren’t in a bag. I’ll have you working in the simulator twenty-four, seven, you dumb mothe….”

    Sarcasm hangs up the phone, walks over and unplugs the machine. It shuts down completely.

    “Hmm, that worked well,” says Maintenance Man.

    “Yes, very effective,” remarks Methane Man.

    “We’ve saved the Ocean State,” says Consumption, “apart from power outages, downed utility lines, man hours needed for repairs, the cost of salt and massive overtime for the snow removal crews. Our work is done for now. But when we are needed we will heed the call, because we are -” The team proclaims in unison, “The Excess Men – Men Who Do Something to Excess!”

     

    Just then Captain Irrelevant arrives.

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