… fuel supply exploded with tremendous force! Protagonist McHero shielded his eyes against the blast with his mighty forearm, standing perched at the tip of the flying machine like a figurehead carved into the prow of a ship, and cried in his masculine baritone: “look out, Doc!”
Behind him, Dr. Brilliant Sidekick turned, caught sight of the roiling cloud of smoke and debris hurtling toward them, and had only just enough time to fall to the floor. He lay there, giant wooden gears turning to his left, exhaust ports belching forth their black fumes to his right, praying that the damage to this, his dearest invention, would not be too great. If they lost the flying machine, how could he and Protagonist ever go on their globe-spanning adventures, putting a stop to EvilCorp’s actions wherever they might be? The ship shuddered and groaned below him, buffeted by the air currents the explosion had generated.
“She’s breaking up!” wailed Sidekick, risking a glimpse up at McHero and receiving for his efforts a face full of soot and tiny metal filings that he knew would take days to pluck completely from his skin.
“She’ll hold.” McHero seemed impervious to the blast, still standing at the flying machine’s pointed bow, his unruly blonde curls billowing in the warm air currents. He was looking out now through the last threads of smoke. Below them, the twisted wreckage of the EvilCorp battlestation had crashed into the ocean, leaving a flaming slick of chemicals which already stretched more than a mile wide. Surely, the body of their nemesis was down there somewhere. Surely, Lord Unkillable Villain had not escaped them yet again.
“That was some explosion!” Sidekick ventured, standing up and making a futile attempt to brush the dirt from his white lab coat. McHero said nothing, only stared out into the darkening sky. Clouds gathered at the horizon as if chasing the setting sun, drawing their pink and orange colors from it like fluffy vampires.
Sidekick tried again. “We’d surely have been done for this time, without the help of that mysterious and sexy Deus ExMachina, eh Protagonist?”
“Yes,” McHero grunted, obviously still absorbed in thought. “Done for.”
“What is it, Protagonist?” Sidekick asked, and McHero pointed to a tiny spec of black against the purple-blue line of mountains on the distant horizon. After a moment, Sidekick realized what it was he was looking at, and groaned. “No!”
McHero nodded. “That’s right, it’s Villain. Lord Unkillable Villain; he’s escaped me again.”
“It seems like every time …” Professor Sidekick began, but let the sentence trail, its forlorn conclusion obvious. McHero only stood, jaw clenched shut, staring out into the sunset.
Just then the …
* * *