One day, the Seaside King was bored. He’d just had his bimonthly haircut, and felt like he ought to do something to enjoy himself. Should he wreak havoc on the world? No, he did that last week. Nerdland needed some time to recover. Maybe he should mess up time and space? No, he’d had enough of that. What he needed right now, he reflected, was a game of chess with Gumpy 2.0. They always livened up these lazy days. But alas, Gumpy was always off fighting wars with STFU and taking new lands for himself these days. Whatever should he do to pass the time?
Then it hit him.
“Ow!” shouted the Seaside King, “What the hell was that?”
Then he had an idea. He would create a new race. After all, he hadn’t created a race for so long, he had almost forgotten what it felt like. Yes, that was the thing to do. But what kind of race should he create? Should it be another aquatic bird, like the geese and the ducks? Yes, that could work. It could be big and white, elegant and beautiful. It would be mute, only making a sound before it dies. It would be called… a bigwhitebird!
It was at this point that the Seaside King realised that this idea sucked.
“Perkins!” he called, “Perkins! Come here at once, you infernal butler!”
“Perkins, I need your advice. What new race should I create?”
“How about a cloud, Sir? It could run around like a cloud, and give off poisonous fumes when it wished.”
“It’s brilliant, Perkins! It’s cool, amusing, random, and it might just be the greatest thing ever!”
“Better than penicillin, Sir?”
“Far better, Perkins. In fact, I’m so pleased, I’m giving you the rest of the day off.”
And so the Seaside King unleashed 300 Clouds into the centre of Mingerland, where they ran amok, spreading happiness and laughter wherever they went. Then they got captured and got experimented on. In fact, they were the spotlight of the scientific world, which so far extended to three mad sheep in Mingerland, one goose on board the zeppelin city and Miss Southall. It started its own brand of science, which they called ‘chemistry’, and had to do with making poisons and explosives and other crazy shit out of random liquids. Anyway, these tests brought back shocking results. It turned out that the substance from which these clouds were made could be carefully split to produce a potion which, on drinking, spontaneously changes a person’s gender.
As soon as the news got out, every transvestite in the world wanted some potion, and so started hunting Clouds on a kill-on-sight basis. They even formed their own transvestite union, SLUT (the Super Lady Union of Terror [against clouds]). The 2,000 worldwide members of SLUT went on random Cloudhunts all the time, and kept on capturing Clouds until there were only 63 left in the world. The leader of SLUT, who called himself Lady Voldemort, organised an enormous hunt designed to seek out these last 63 and use them for potion. This hunt was called the Big International Total Cloud Hunt (BITCH). Unfortunately, it failed. Not one Cloud was found. All the members of SLUT blamed Lady Voldemort, and killed him. Then they all got frustrated and started drinking each other’s blood.
The Seaside King looked at what had happened.
“Best…idea…EVER! Perkins, you can have tomorrow morning off as well.”
“Thank you, Sir, but I still think penicillin is better.”
Five years after the BITCH, a bear and a goose are sitting on the grass outside a hairdresser’s. They have both just had their bimonthly haircut, and are in the mood for a game of bowls. As they play, they talk about times past, and quests of long ago.
“So what did the Neo-Romans give you to eat when you were on their zeppelin city?” asks Ham, “I’ve heard they were very good cooks.”
“Oh, all sorts really,” replies Sheila, “the dormice were particularly good.”
“They sound quite good hosts. You wouldn’t think they were holding you hostage, would you?”
“Well, I didn’t know I was a hostage until they actually told me. I thought they just wanted to host a party.”
“And to think we all got worried about you, and--” but Ham is cut off mid-sentence. On account of the sudden sensation of flying through space blindly. He finds he can’t see or speak or do anything really. He wonders why this might be. Maybe he is being kidnapped by very good assassins. Ah, who knows?
Then suddenly he finds himself with all his normal senses back. He looks around. He appears to be in some sort of corridor. What IS going on? Find out… after the break.
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“What IS going on?” asks Sheila, who turns out to be sitting next to Ham, in the corridor. The place is very finely furnished, looks like it could be fit for a King.
“GASP!” shouts Ham loudly, “We must be in the Badgerking’s palace!”
“Who’s the Badgerking?” asks Sheila
“That’s what the King of Mingerland is supposed to be called. It was in the opening post of Quest #1, stupid!”
“Oh, right. Sorry. So, where shall we go?”
“To the bedroom!”
“How do you know where the bedroom is?”
“Umm… shut up! Now let’s go.”
So they both walk around the corner where they meet an old woman in a cardigan. “Ah, you must be the King’s friends. He’s been expecting you. Go up to his bedroom. It’s McDonald’s again tonight, I’m afraid. What do you two want?”
“Veggie burger meal, extra wheat and strawberry milkshake.”
“Same with a coke.”
“Okay, go right up.”
Ham and Sheila walk up the stairs, noticing that a banister is hanging off the wall by one screw.
“Bloody hell, this place has gone to pot since I last came here,” comments Ham.
When they reach the Badgerking’s room they walk in to find the King sitting on a chair playing on his X-Box.
“Oh wow, you got an X-Box?” says Ham.
“Yeah, it’s quite good. I got it for days when I can’t play outside.”
“Man,” whispers Sheila to Ham, “he’s getting worse. Was that his mum downstairs?”
“Yeah,” whispers Ham, “she’s come to live with him. Anyway, Sire,” he raises his voice, “why are we here?”
“I needed you for something. Did you like the teleporter?”
“How did you afford that?” asks Sheila, “I thought Mingerland was behind on technology.”
“Budget rises,” says the King, “we got it by franchising your quest group. You’re now called the terrible ten. There are T-shirts and everything.”
“Lovely. Anyway, why are we here?”
“Well, I assume you remember the whole thing with SLUT? It was all over the papers. Anyway, before Lady Voldemort died he-- oh, I forgot! Did you give Mum you food orders?”
“Yes!” shouts Ham, “Get on with it!”
“Okay, before Lady Voldemort died, he buried his enormous treasure hoard of Cloud juice somewhere. This is worth billions of tokens, and could really help Mingerland in the rush for land which is happening at the moment. So far it’s really mostly FUSoG and STFU fighting it out, but if we find this treasure, we could expand enormously and become the mighty nation we once were before the split
. So, we need the Terrible Ten to try to find it.”
“Don’t call us the Terrible Ten, you dick. Whereabouts do we think the treasure is?”
“Well, we know it’s somewhere in Nerdland. We have rumours it’s in a big hole filled in with piles of yoghurt sauce. So far Nerdland’s been completely neutral to the Ducks, FUSoG, STFU, and pretty much everything that’s not to do with Yu-Gi-Oh or the Internet.”
“What’s the Internet?” asks Ham
“Oh, it’s a new feature on my X-Box. You can play people miles away. They call it X-Box Live.”
“Wow. So when are the others getting here?” asks Sheila
“Oh, they should arrive any minute. In the meantime, how about three-player Halo?”