The Starbucks at the End of Your Rope

Horsehockey V - Episode 20

It was another Friday night at a Starbucks Coffee joint in an ordinary, average midwestern American city.

A few minutes ago, six regulars walked in.

Sure, there seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary with Josh Burbank, his girlfriend Beth McCart, Scott Alan Childers (a.k.a. Scott Raymond Chen), his girlfriend Krissy Cobham, and cousins Sara and Jasper Hewitt to the other Starbucks regulars. They were known for their raucous laughter as they all gradually loaded up on coffee and baked goods, but otherwise, they were considered good folks. They never made trouble, and they always cleaned up after themselves when it was time to leave for the evening. Tonight, there was no reason to believe these six regulars would find themselves in the midst of something completely and utterly out of the ordinary.

Fifteen minutes after our heroes had settled into their usual corner table, the lights dimmed briefly, and flickered off and back on again. This got the attention of everyone in the store, but it was soon forgotten. "Huh, that was weird," mused Sara. "Did we not spend enough money here last week for the electricity bill to be paid?"
"I knew I should've gotten the mega-large coffee to go!" cracked Jasper.
"Jasper, man, you know how weird you get after you've overdosed on caffeine," says Josh calmly.

After speaking, Josh casually glances out one of the windows behind him, and he notices a Corvette painted up like a taxi. His eyebrows raise slightly as he notices the name of the owner of the car: Alabama's Friendly Corvette Taxi Service, 555-ALAX. A graphic to the left of the company name seemed to be depicting a werewolf of some sort.

"Hey Scott, did you bring along that movie you were gonna loan us?" Sara asks.
"Oh yeah," replies Scott. "Let me go get it, it's out in my car. Be right back!"

Scott casually strolls out of Starbucks to his car. After retrieving the DVD from the glove compartment, Scott happens to glance across the highway, in the direction of what were some very familiar landmarks: a large shopping center and two apartment complexes. What he saw caused him to do a double take.

Instead of the shopping center and apartments, Scott saw the largest Sam's Club he had ever seen before. It seemed to be glowing, and several lines of people were slowly filing into the entrance. Scott blinked several times, but his eyes were not deceiving him this time. "T-that wasn't there when we got here!" he whispers.

Running back inside, Scott noticed two elderly people push by him without excusing themselves on their way to the counter. He was so flustered by what he had seen outside, that it didn't occur to him that he had left the DVD on the roof of his car. "Umm, guys? Tell me that I'm not going crazy, please! Take a look outside the window and tell me that isn't the biggest Sam's Club you've ever seen where the Miracle Mile ought to be?"

Before any of his friends can answer, a skirmish breaks out at the front counter, as the elderly customers were now physically dragging the clerk across the counter, sending merchandise and other assorted goodies crashing to the floor. "Hey, Lenny!" cries the clerk. "Call 911! The damned Wilsons are here--yeowch!!"

The Wilsons have dropped the clerk head first onto the floor, and they begin kicking him while he lies slumped and semi-conscious on the cold floor. Every customer in Starbucks are now standing up, looking at the fight next to the front counter. Someone emerges from the back room, and tries to save his coworker, but Mr. Wilson drops him with one wicked looking right cross.

Back to our heroes: "Guys? What the hell's going on here?" asks Krissy, who isn't used to the weirdness that seems to follow her other friends around.
"Look at him!" says Beth, pointing to the weird looking character rushing into the front door. This weirdo was dressed in a wifebeater, boxer shorts, a Miami beach towel pinned around his neck like a cape, black knee socks, and two mismatched shoes.
"Never fear, people!" the man crows. "I, Captain Giggles, have come to save everyone!" And then, he falls to the floor giggling hysterically.

Moments later, a body is thrown violently through one of the large plate glass windows at the front of the store, sending many customers running for cover. The person is alive, but he's cut up pretty badly, and are those hundred dollar bills on the floor, lying along with the broken glass and the drops of blood?

"Hey, look!" whispers Jasper.
"Yeah, it's him! Steve Thomas! What the hell is he doing here?" asks Scott.
"I don't know, and I'm not sure I want to know why he made that kind of entrance tonight," replies Josh.

As Steve moans in pain as he still lies on the floor, a crowd of his former peers in high school, led by his three mortal enemies, the dim-witted jock named Bob Simon, a star basketball player called Jeff Mason, and an obnoxious pothead named Erich, enter Starbucks. Steve had long left his tough life growing up in one of the wealthiest cities in Maryland, and had been living in Minnesota for nearly ten years, living off a couple hundred million dollars. It was unclear what had brought Steve to town...or why his old high school enemies chose to follow him here just to get their hands on him. The only sound that could be heard was Captain Giggles laughing hysterically. Even the Wilsons had briefly stopped their assaults to see what the hell had just happened.

"P-please! Leave me alone! I didn't do nothing!" moaned Steve from the floor.
"You think we didn't see those comments you made on MySpace?" Mason yelled.
"We don't tolerate that kind of shit, rich boy!" adds Erich. "Just because you took your parents' money and ran off to Minnesota doesn't mean you can keep talking shit about us!"
"My lawyers are gonna hear about this!" cried Steve.
"Forget your damn lawyers, asshole!" snaps Simon. "Just get up and fight like a man! I've been waitin' nearly ten years to finally kick your fucking ass once and for all, fag!"

Mr. Wilson assists Simon, Mason, and two other unidentified former classmates in picking Steve up from the floor. From there, they viciously throw him into an opposite corner, and Steve crashes headlong into some tables and chairs with one hell of a racket. The unexpected arrival of Steve at their table sent a party of seven customers scurrying out the front door as quickly as they could go. Captain Giggles laughed even harder than before.

Sensing something was wrong, Scott and Krissy, Josh, and Jasper all bolted from their table, leaving Sara and Beth behind. "Guys!" says Sara.

One of the local television stations had gone live with some serious chaos downtown. Josh shoved his way towards the TV, trying hard to ignore the ruckus behind him, largely instigated by the Wilsons and the enemies of Steve Thomas. There was a large dragon rampaging through the central business district, just a few miles away from where our heroes were standing right now! On Fox 4 News:
Bob, what's going on? Is that really a dragon downtown?
Yes, your eyes do not deceive you. We have to stress, this is not a drill nor a hoax! This is an extraordinarily dangerous situation, and the local emergency crews have either been incapacitated or completely overwhelmed by the dragon. We strongly suggest that anyone within three miles of downtown St. James evacuate NOW. This is extremely dangerous right now, and with the reports of a gigantic mutant rabbit in the eastern suburbs, the frequent reports of a large unidentified flying object hovering over the north side, and the unexplained appearance of what seems to be a gigantic Sam's Club along U.S. Highway 2 that has seemingly replaced a good portion of the Miracle Mile, with hundreds of people missing as of now, please take caution in exiting the city!

"U.S. Highway 2?" asks a surprised Josh. "That's ridiculous! That's state highway 42 out there! U.S. 2 shouldn't be running anywhere near here! Hey, who's--"
Bob, what is happening behind you?
My god, there are people in costumes attacking the dragon! Please, somebody! Get those people away from that creature! If those swords and weapons they're waving around are just props, they're going to do little good against that creature!

Josh's eyebrows raise as he recognizes some of the people attacking the dragon. "That's Lord Fred!" he whispers. "He's got Astra, Sir Toby, Sir Josh, Velus, and Andrea Croix with him! Well, if anything, they could handle that dragon a lot more better than cops and firemen!"

Turning the channel to NewsChannel 8, Josh finds helicopter coverage of Rabbitzilla rampaging through the eastern suburbs. Floodlights swoop back and forth, illuminating the path the beast has taken. Occasionally, an unfortunate group of residents find themselves scrambling to get out of the way.

We are live in West Paris covering what has been dubbed "Rabbitzilla" as it is tearing a path of destruction through the eastern suburbs, having originated somewhere on the northeast side of the city of Independence. Preliminary reports are already reporting sixteen people dead, and dozens injured after this gigantic rabbit attacked a supermarket in Rochester Falls. Please, if you are in the area, evacuate quickly and safe--

Suddenly, NewsChannel 8's signal dissolves to a snowy pattern, and a sinister looking man in front of a large control panel appears on the screen, with several more people standing or kneeling to his side.

"Citizens of Earth!" the man yells. "My name is Grand Moff Grand Moff, commander of a starship called the Taun Taun. I am demanding your complete and unconditional surrender. My ship is over one of your major population centers as I speak, and I will reduce it to a smoking crater if my demands are not met. Kindly do not waste any time by destroying yourselves, like my minions are observing right now--"

Josh barely has time to recognize Grand Moff Grand Moff and some of his inner circle standing behind him (Bill and Rayna, Lt. Commander Owatta Goosiam, Darth Timmy, One Stan and Skeeter Hotentots) before having to duck out of a way from a thrown chair courtesy of Mrs. Wilson, who decided to take out the last remaining Starbucks clerk. Both clerk and television are knocked out of commission. Crawling into a space after clearing away some unnecessary stock, Josh discovers that he's not the only person inside the cabinet. He opens his cell phone up to shine a light on the face of the person sharing the space with him, revealing a rugged face with a handlebar mustache.

" that you--?" asks Josh.
"Yes, it is I, El Goodo," the mysterious man says. El Goodo is a mystical cowboy figure who mysteriously appears once every few years to aid those folks like Josh or Scott. How he was summoned to this particular Starbucks was a mystery...and he wasn't going to tell the reasons why.
"So, what can we do for you tonight?"
"Joshua, my boy...a great and mysterious force has broken out after being dormant for the past five years. Purely by coincidence were you and your friends present here when the force finally surfaced. I'm sure that you know exactly what I'm talking about."
"No! You don't can't be! Are you serious?"
"Yes, Joshua. I'm very serious."

Scott and Krissy run behind the dumpster. They slump down next to it, breathing heavily.
"Scott, what the hell's going on? Who are those old people beating everyone up? Why did that guy get thrown through the window?" Krissy asks.
"I-I don't know, baby," Scott gasps for breath. "If this is what I'm thinking it is, this could be bad. I-I've got my phone, I need to make a..."
The phone rings.
"Call? Holy crap, that's Bill Murray!" Scott quickly answers, "Say Bill, what's new?"
"Scott, baby! What the hell's going on in your town right now? It's on channels 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 and cable at home!"
"Oh man, I wish I knew what the hell's going on. All I know is, there's some riot at the Starbucks me, Krissy and my friends are at, there's some big spaceship to the north, a dragon attacking downtown, and Rabbitzilla's also rampaging through the 'burbs!"
"I hate to tell you this, Scott, but I think I know what's going on. I know you're not gonna like it, but you need to listen to what I'm about to tell you..."

Krissy and Scott exchange worried glances.

"Okay, Bill, what's up?"


Scott screams in pain as an unseen force removes his cell phone from his hand, and sends it smashing into the asphalt faster than anyone could blink. "My fucking hand!" he screams. "What the fuck was that?!"
"Scott! Who is that?!" screams Krissy, pointing up.

Brian the Whipping Boy, from the hypothetical Addventure Game #9383, stood before him, with his Cyber Whip in one hand, and his other notable weapon, a frighteningly advanced micro computer called "Fred", attached to his utility belt. "Fred" aids Brian in his quests, and it usually tries to act as his conscience whenever Brian finds himself tempted to give into his psychotic and masochistic tendencies.

Brian, I urge you, leave the girl alone.

"Fred, that vixen is aiding one of my two greatest enemies," Brian says, never taking an eye off of either Scott or Krissy. "She's getting the same treatment as Scott."

As Krissy buries her face into Scott's shoulder, she bursts into tears.

Brian, the girl is simply a person who, as they would say in the old days, "is in the wrong place at the wrong time". It can also be argued that Scott Childers is also in that same situation--

"Fred! Enough! Ten years is long enough! Now, I, Brian the Whipping Boy, will have my final revenge!"

Brian raises his right arm to prepare the Cyber Whip. The whip crackles with energy...

...suddenly an unseen force crashes into Brian at high speed, sending him spiraling across the parking lot. Quickly getting back to his feet, Brian faces his other greatest enemy. From out of nowhere, a loud trumpet fanfare blares, followed by a bold and disembodied announcer's voice announcing "Here comes Captain Continuity!"

The good Captain lands gracefully in the parking lot. He looks really good for a hero that had largely been missing in action since late 2002. Tonight, he didn't have to worry about fixing any problems affecting the time stream (and temporarily getting transformed into a small animal as a penalty for using those powers), but he still was relishing the chance to have it out with Brian the Whipping Boy for the first time in a long, long time.

"Captain Continuity, I presume?" asks Brian.
"Yes, Brian. Give yourself a gold star for that deduction," replies Captain Continuity. "Now, I think we have some unsettled business, if I'm not mistaken."
"That's the smartest thing I've ever heard you say!" retorts Brian.
Brian, please be careful.

Captain Continuity and Brian the Whipping Boy both take to the skies, and quickly begin hitting one another with blows hard enough to level mountains. While the sounds of the fight echo down to the ground beneath them, Scott and Krissy quickly make their getaway. The only other sounds we can hear is Bill Murray's voice emitting from the remains of Scott's cellular phone:
"Scott? Talk to me baby! Please tell me you didn't fall victim to it already! SCOTT!!"

Jasper had handled the outbreak of chaos in the Starbucks (and in the entire St. James-Independence metroplex) in an uncharacteristic manner: like he knew exactly what was causing it all. He had left his startled cousin Sara and Beth behind at their table and ran straight into the office. He needed to find a computer with internet access, so he could confirm his suspicions about what exactly was happening.

The office, to his surprise, was occupied. Why was one girl lying on the floor happily chatting away to what seemed to be the light fixtures on the ceiling? And why, if this "Tammy" was a Blockbuster employee, was she doing in the office of a Starbucks anyway?

"...and after that, me and my friends--"
"That's 'my friends and I', young lady," Jasper corrects her.
"Oh, whatever!" snaps Tammy, turning her attention back to the tiny invisible people living on the ceiling that only she knows exist. "Anyway, me and my friends drove over to the mall, where we spent all of the credit on our parents' credit cards getting all sorts of new stuff! I got the new Fall Out Boy CD and some bitchin' flip-flops, and Candy got some totally awesome low cut jeans that she can show off her tattoos with! No, she doesn't have a 'tramp stamp!' Only total hoes have those!"

Jasper is quickly distracted by the somewhat heavy set man snoring away on the couch with his back turned to the action inside the office. After turning the man over on his back, Jasper discovers that the sleepy guy on the sofa is none other than narcoleptic Starbucks employee Mike Cain! Not wanting to disturb his power nap, Jasper carefully removes Mike's glasses, setting them on a bookshelf above the sofa. He also pulls his last Breathe-Rite nasal strip out of his shirt pocket, and applies it to Mike's nose. But before Jasper could make his way to the computer, he is distracted by the farmer who just walked into the office.

"Oh no, not you!" groans Jasper.
I can count t' three real good. Wanna hear it? One... two...four... two...five... six...four...

Ah, yes. The inevitable return of severely retarded Georgia peanut farmer Hector Arthur "Heck" Parking Brake flusters Jasper, as he struggles to find his way onto the internet. Before he could start typing in what could lead him to discover the information he desperately needs, Heck takes the lamp from the desk, and quickly shoves it up his own ass!

"Wh--JESUS CHRIST, idiot! Take that lamp out of your rectum immediately! Don't you know how much damage that could do?"
What's a wreckedtom? Two... four...five...
"The lamp, Heck! The lamp is in your rectum! Get it out of there now before you get electrocuted!"
I ain't got nuthin' in mah wreckedtom! I put that lamp up mah butt! One... two...four... nine...

An impatient Jasper stands up, and quickly directs Heck out of the office, and onto the main sales floor. He sits back down, and begins typing. Jasper quickly finds himself so engrossed in his quest online that he doesn't notice the hands with the blood red nail polish grasping his shoulders, nor does he notice the heavy breathing on his neck...until he catches Jules the Vampyre moving in for a hefty bite.

"Jasper...your blood will keep me alive!" Jules whispers.
"Ummm, hi", says a visably nervous Jasper. "Can this wait until I figure out what's going on outside? I'd love for you to bite me since you're very attractive and all, but there's some serious shit happening out there."
"You know deep down what's going on, Jasper," coos Jules. "That's why I'm here right now. That's why that idiot trying to count to three is outside."

Jasper raises his eyebrows as it slowly dawns on him. "So, heh heh...did you try to get some blood from Mike Cain over there?"
"I tried. He has very small veins. We are going out for Midori sours whenever he wakes up, though."
"And vicodin, too?"
"Funny, Jasper!"

Sara and Beth still found themselved in one corner of the Starbucks, having been left behind after Jasper's sudden epiphany, Josh's continued quest to discover what the hell was going on, and who knew what was up with Scott and Krissy. The sounds of the Wilsons attacking whoever else had been unlucky to be caught in the store, Captain Giggles laughing hysterically, Tammy's ongoing conversation with the tiny invisible people on the ceiling, and Heck's ongoing efforts to count to three filled the air.

"Why the hell did they just leave us here?" asks Sara. "How do they expect us to defend ourselves?"
"Josh can be pretty thoughtless sometimes," replies Beth. "But with all of the crazy shit happening right now, I almost can't blame him for running off like that. I mean, I would want to find out more about it, too."
"Well, maybe we should've run off when they did!"
"Yeah, I wonder why we didn't go myself."

As the girls watch Steve Thomas trying to fight back in the distance, they are suddenly accosted by a rather feisty Grandma Moses. "Give your grandma a kiss!" she lisps as she leaves red lipstick prints on the cheeks of Sara and Beth.
"You're not my granny!" Sara yells.
"Don't be bashful! Give Granny a big hug and a kiss!"
"Will you stop?" Beth demands.

Suddenly, Eddie Berkowitz emerges from the mens' room, in his best outfit, which is slightly less tackier than a leisure suit from the 1970s. He immediately strolls up to Beth, Sara, and Grandma Moses. "Man, isn't that Josh Burbank a loser, huh?"
"Excuse me?!" Beth snaps. "I'm his girlfriend, asshole!"
"Whatever, honey. Say, you girls look like you want a damned good time with the ol' Berkowitz! Get out of this store, and into my pants, 'cause we're goin' dancin'!"

Grandma Moses quickly grabs onto Eddie. "Give your grandma a big hug and a kiss!"
"Yo, yo, yo, lady! I don't dig girls that old!"
"Come on, we'd better hide," says Beth, as she leads Sara into the ladies' room. However, their seemingly ideal hiding place is ruined almost immediately upon opening the door, and seeing two eight-year-old twin brothers bickering loudly next to the sinks:

"Joe, Mom says we weren't supposed to come in here!" Kenny argues.
"So what? You're just gonna tattle on her again, like you always do!" retorts Joe.
"I was not! I only followed you in here to get you out of here!" answers Kenny.
"You came in here 'cause you're a GIRL! A gross, icky girl! Kenny's a giiirl! Kenny's a giiirrrllll!"
"Shut up, Joe! Nobody likes you!"
"I know you are, but what am I, boogerbutt?"
"Joe, Mom said never to call me boogerbutt again, or she was gonna kill you!"
"Boogerbutt, boogerbutt, Kenny's got a boogerbutt! Boogerbutt, boogerbutt, booger booger boogerbutt! Kenny is a boogerbutt! Booger booger boogerbutt!!"

"Why are these two kids in here anyway?" Sara asks Beth.
"You're asking me the reasons why two kids whose favorite word seems to be 'boogerbutt' are in the ladies' room, Sara? How would I know?"

Before Sara could answer, the bathroom door swings wide open as a tired, older woman storms in, making a beeline for Kenny and Joe.
"Oh, hey Mom!" Joe says, suddenly looking nervous.
"Mom, Kenny keeps calling me boog--whoa!!"

The boys' mom grabs both of them by the wrist, and begins to lead them out of the ladies' washroom. Sara and Beth exchange a surprised look before deciding to follow them out. They make their way outside, where they see a very tired and angry mother literally throw Kenny and Joe onto the roof of Starbucks!

"Mom, wait! Whooooaaaaa!"
"Mom, we can explain! Stoooopppp!!"

Their mother gives Sara and Beth a very stern look. "Look, I'm having a really hard day, and they're not helping any. Brian the Whipping Boy just blew up our van trying to kill that Scott Childers guy. So, keep your comments to yourself, okay? I'm not in the mood for this anymore!"

In yet another corner of the Starbucks, the one relatively unscathed from all of the chaos going on inside and out, the legendary Bruce sat with his boyfriend, Scott Michael Chen (not to be confused with the original Scott). For a long time, Bruce treated Scott like nothing more than a handy sex slave whenever the need suited him, but their relationship had dramatically improved in the past several months. Bruce finally began to appreciate Scott for the person he is, and Scott was grateful that all of the affection and effort he had been giving Bruce was now being returned, and all of his love and passion for Bruce wasn't going to waste. Bruce and Scott snuggled while sitting at their usual table, next to a utility door painted dark green. They paid no mind to the insanity happening right in front of them.

Scott just happened to glance up at the utility door, and it was glowing...silver? "Whoa! Hey Bruce, look at that?"
"Look at what, the door? Whaaa? That wasn't silver a minute ago! Something's weird around here. If that door takes us to the Reality Nexus, we're in trouble!"
"Oh god, I don't wanna go there!"

Suddenly, that door swings open, and four people step out of it: one man, a kid, and two women.

"This doesn't look like Addventure Game #4 to me! But I would recognize it, since I am the main character of that one after all!" the man boldly declares.
"Who are you?" asks Bruce.
"My name is Punch Babies, the legendary top character of the even more legendary Addventure Game #4. This is my sidekick, the lovable twelve-year-old Potsie Malph!"
"Aw, nose nuggets!" Potsie jokes, showing off as if he was on cue.
"These girls are Felicity and Mandy from an old extendable story that's not Addventure!"
"Umm, hey?" says Mandy.
"How are you? Not bad, I hope, 'cause I'm kind of miserable right now," replies Felicity.
"Not as miserable as I am getting stuck with you!" retorts Mandy.
"Shut up, ho!"
"NOW NOW, girls! This is no time to be fighting!" Punch Babies declares.
"Come on, cat fight! Cat fight!" Potsie cheers.

After several minutes of backstory, where it's revealed that longtime rivals Felicity and Mandy discovered that they had an eternal mental connection that survived the demise of the extendable story they once were part of, and how they needed to cooperate to survive, even if they couldn't stand each other at first. Punch Babies discovered them, and he had promised them that they could finally go home if they accompanied him and Potsie Malph in their quest to find the lost Addventure Game #4, and that he could also break their mental bond when the time came. Punch spent a lot of time trying to keep the peace between the two women, with Potsie trying to encourage them into fighting, or even making out. After they explain their situation, Felicity and Mandy extend an invitation for Bruce and Scott M. Chen to join their quest.

"Absolutely," agrees Bruce.
"Yeah, I'm in the mood for adventure myself. Come on baby, let's go downtown!"
"Very good!" says Punch Babies. "Now, follow me through that door, 'cause we've got some walking to do!"

Punch Babies opens the door, and leads his companions through the silver door. Another Starbucks employee notices Bruce and Scott M. Chen exiting the door, and he tries to stop them. "Hey wait! You can't go in there, it's private property back there!"

The door slams shut, then turns back to its original dark green color.

After managing to make their way out of the Starbucks, our heroes found their way to the relative calmness of the space between Scott and Beth's cars out in the parking lot. Their Friday night plans had clearly been shot to hell. However, Scott, Krissy, Josh, Beth, Sara and Jasper had more pressing issues on their minds, namely what the hell was going on, and why they were seemingly caught in the middle of it. Noise filled the air, from explosions off in the distance, the sound of emergency sirens coming from all directions, the battle between Brian the Whipping Boy and Captain Continuity raging above their heads, and of course, all of the chaos emitting from inside and around the Starbucks.
"Oh god, why tonight?" asked Beth.
"What was up with that retarded farmer dude who couldn't even count to three?" asked Krissy.
"Guys, something's truly screwed up," says Jasper. "I don't think that Grand Moff Grand Moff would've ever came back unless..."
Five other pairs of eyebrows raise up.
"Or those elderly idiots coming back to kick peoples' asses unless..." adds Josh.
"Or that gigantic Sam's Club," adds Scott.
"Or that Amish whore across the highway," adds Beth.
" loser brother Donnie making out with my ex Dale Arbuck in that car over there!" whimpers Sara, pointing. We see Dale and Donnie making out furiously in a Chevrolet HHR as the windows began to steam over. It doesn't take long for the car to start a-rockin'.

Then, everyone fell silent, and Sara starts to choke back tears.

"G-guys," Jasper stammers. "It's back. Horsehockey is back. And we're caught in the middle of it."
"What the hell is Horsehockey? Scott, why is this happening to us?" asks Krissy.
"It's a long story, Krissy. All we can do is ride it out for the time being." replies Scott.
"Well, fuck," says Beth. "I think we need some help if we're gonna get through this again!"

Suddenly, a short man dressed in paint-splattered overalls, a painter's hat, a droopy mustache and a permanent smile emerges from the shadows. "Someone ask for me?" he asks. "My name is Help!"
"Stick with us, buddy," says Josh, taking Help by the hand. "You're on our side now!"
"I'll be happy to, assist you," smiles Help.

Across the street, we see the people who evacuated Starbucks after the assault on Steve Thomas took out the tables they were sitting at. Sharp-eyed readers might recognize them as the main characters from the Unending BE Addventure. They are:

Jim Harper.
Jim's girlfriend Sharon Faraday.
Jim's sister Edith.
Jim's best friend forever Rick Wainwright III.
Rick's date, a cutie named Samantha Long.
Two mutual friends of everyone: Robin Foster, a 19 year old girl, and her best friend from college, Billy Young.

"Okay, I don't know what the hell's going on around here, but if this is what happens in that town every night, then they can have it!" snaps Rick.
"What was up with those guys attacking that other guy?" asks Edith.
"I just wonder why they had to throw him into our table," muses Sharon.
"Okay guys, seriously," says Jim, gesturing for everyone's attention. "Apparently, there's some real chaos happening here tonight, so we'd better find a place to hide, for a lack of better terms, until everything blows over. Since I see a bunch of people filing into that Sam's Club, that may be our best choice for right now."
"We may as well, right?" asks Billy.

The seven of them quietly get up and make their way into America's Volume Dealer along with the hundreds of other people, after passing by Katrina the Amish Whore, who crudely propositions everyone. Suddenly, they hear a deep voice emitting from somewhere in the facility:

Welcome, my new friends. Emperor Galveston welcomes you all to the Sam's Club Lost, the new army that will help me conquer the multiverse!

  1. Scott, Josh, Sara, Jasper, Krissy, Beth and Help head west down the highway.
  2. Scott, Josh, Sara, Jasper, Krissy, Beth and Help head east down the highway.
  3. Scott, Josh, Sara, Jasper, Krissy, Beth and Help head towards the Sam's Club.
  4. Scott, Josh, Sara, Jasper, Krissy, Beth and Help head back into the Starbucks.
  5. Join Lord Fred and company downtown as they battle the dragon.
  6. Follow Punch Babies and his friends as they search for Addventure Game #4.
  7. Join Jim, Sharon, Rick, and their friends inside the Sam's Club.
  8. Stay with the aerial battle between Captain Continuity and Brian the Whipping Boy.
  9. Kenny and Joe both fall off the roof of the Starbucks, hurting themselves seriously.
  10. Join the adventures aboard the Taun Taun with Grand Moff Grand Moff and the rest of his bumbling crew of idiots.
  11. Meanwhile, far, far away, in a place removed both in space and in time...
  12. Meanwhile, in a featureless void...
  13. At the same time all this is happening, two local musicians sit at home watching the news...
  14. Horace, Tower Services Director, stares at the flashing error message on his screen. "Shit," he says. "It's happening again."

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6/3/2019 12:54:39 PM

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