There's only one way to defeat a villain...
|The bright light batted at my eyelids like a cat playing with a ball of yarn. I peeked open one groggy eye. Big mistake. As a professor of sciency stuff I can tell you for a fact that if you don't open your eyes, the boogeyman can't get you. It's the same with aliens. Like a fool, I made the mistake of opening both of my eyes. The tractor beam locked onto my retinas and sucked me out of my bed with a sound that reminded me of a Pringles lid popping off. I grunted as I was dumped onto the floor of a spaceship.
"Nice pajamas," came a manly snort.
I stood and brushed the wrinkles out of my Dr. Who p.j. bottoms, taking the moment of silence to inspect my prison-mate.
"You a nurse?" I asked, pointing at his purple and green polka-dotted scrubs.
"Do I look like a nurse to you?" he sneered.
"Yes," I sneered back, "Otherwise I wouldn't have said so."
"Oh. Well, for your information I'm not a nurse. I'm a famous doctor," He stuck out a hand, "Doctor Orderly, MD."
"Professor Van Der' Built," I countered, ignoring his hand, "And I've never heard of you."
Doctor crossed his arms over his chest and pouted while I took a short walk around our room. The walls were smooth and shiny. I leaned forward and gave one of the surfaces a lick.
"Stainless steel," I murmured, smacking my lips.
"Ew," Doctor grimaced, "Do you know how many germs you just ingested? For heaven's sake, man, who knows where this spaceship has been?"
"I had my flu shot yesterday," I assured him, "I'm sure I'll be fine."
After another circuit around the room I shrugged my shoulders and sighed. "In your professional opinion, how much do you thing the probing will hurt?"
Doctor's face turned beet red. "How should I know? I'm not in the business of probing people!"
I wiggled my eyebrows at him. "Sure, sure. If you say so..."
My arms flew up into the air as the floor under our feet suddenly disappeared. We landed in a tangle of arms and legs on a layer of pillows.
"Hello, boys," chirped a sultry voice. My heart drummed against my chest as I waded out from the sea of cushions only to come face-to-face with a bird-woman. The feathers that covered her body fluttered as she gave a dainty bow.
"Miss Vixen Mia Fixins, at your service."
"Ah, I'd been hoping for some service," I tapped my bearded chin. "I'd like a steak and three eggs, hash browns, and a cup of coffee. Black."
Vixen ruffled her feathers. "You've been brought here because the evil Emperor Mingingless has recently become enamored with a ritual on Earth." She pressed one clawed toe against a button near the door and waited while the computer read her print. The door whooshed open and Vixen gestured for us to follow her out.
"Ah," I nodded solemnly. "National Kite Flying Day, right? Does this Meaningless guy need some pointers? 'Cause I ranked second place in the Kite Flying Competition of 2016..."
"No," Vixen said. "He's interested in Valentine's Day. He learned that on that glorious day the people of Earth rip out the hearts of their enemies and present it as an offering to a potential mate."
Doctor coughed. "Um, that's not quite..."
I stuck out my bare foot and tripped the good Doctor before his tongue got both of our hearts ripped out.
"Sooooo...?" I prompted. Doctor glared at me as Vixen pulled him back to his feet with one feathered hand.
"You two have been chosen to find a heart for the evil Emperor Mingingless to present to his favorite gal. Specifically, a heart from one of the Rock Men in the Dwayne Johnson Mountains."
"Why doesn't the Emperor go himself?" Doctor asked as we paused outside a golden door. "Wouldn't the, uh, heart mean more if he obtains it himself?"
Vixen snorted, "He's evil, not stupid. The Rock Men have a four-eyed, winged Guardian blocking the cave's entrance. It's too powerful for Mingingless to get past."
Another toe-scan gave Vixen access to the next room. Doctor whistled at a collection of pointy weapons plastered over the walls while I lifted a three-headed battle axe from its perch and nearly fell to the floor from the weight of it.
"So one of you will have to offer yourself as a sacrifice to the Guardian while the other fetches the heart."
"Not it!" I cried, dropping the axe to the floor.
"I...I can't do this..." Doctor whimpered.
I rolled my eyes."Dude, this isn't brain surgery. You just sprinkle yourself with some salt and pepper, walk up to the Guardian, and let him eat you while I sneak into the caves. Easy-peasy!"
Doctor stomped his foot. "Damn it, Van, I'm a doctor, not an entrée!"
I stuffed my hands in my pajama pants pockets. "Fine. Looks like the brainiac needs to save the day again," I grumbled, pulling an envelope from my pocket and slapping it into Doctor's hand.
"Glitter," I grinned.
"You sleep...with glitter?"
Doctor squeezed his eyes shut. "Ooookay. And how will this help?"
I leaned in close and whispered, "They say one envelope of this stuff will bring your greatest enemy to their knees!"
A third toe scan had us marching toward a throne where a black feathered man sat preening. I snatched the envelope from Doctor's hand, fell to one knee, and held the envelope aloft.
"Emperor Meaningless, I presume?"
The bird-man scowled. "It's the evil Emperor Mingingless," he corrected. He snatched the envelope from my grasp and clawed it open, spilling glitter over his black feathers.
"Noooooo!" he shrieked. Dancing away from the flecks, he tripped over my foot and fell out the open window to his death.
"Let that be a lesson to you," I winked at Doctor. "Glitter. Never leave Earth without it."