Wait a minute.... It took a few days, but I got through digging through my codex and I *think* I found the REAL way Rev. Sheldon died.
"Drug lords my ass," Sheldon shouted over the roar of the stolen hummer's engine.
"That's the sixth time you've said that," Lilith barked back, wiping the sweat from her brow as she held the steering wheel with the other.
Sheldon ignored her. He picked up his binoculars and scanned the Somalian desert before him. Still no sign of Dobbstown IV was to be seen. If we don't find it soon, Sheldon thought grimly, there may not be a Dobbstown to find.
A moment later Sheldon caught a glimpse of a brackish lake some ways off, to the east.
"There it is," Sheldon said, pointing to his left. "Just like Maka Dudi told us."
Lilith wrenched the steering wheel counter-clockwise, and let the hummer carry them through the wasted land before them.
As they drove past the lake, Sheldon's demeanor soured further. There was no life anywhere around the lake, and likely none under the surface. Rings of minerals gave the lake a technicolor halo that was as foreboding as it was beautiful.
"This is Kansas in twenty years. This land was once fertile--but that was before industrialization started worldwide. It'll be the States' turn next."
Lilith took a sip from her sun-warmed canteen, blanched, and handed it to Sheldon. "One thing at a time, Shel. Let's get to Dobbstown, then we'll worry about Kansas."
After taking a sizable gulp of water Sheldon peered out through his binoculars again. The somewhat rough ride of the hummer made it tough to stay focused, so Sheldon scanned painstakingly.
Then he saw Dobbstown.
"You see something?" Lilith asked excitedly.
"Yeah." He handed the binoculars to Lilith, who stopped the hummer and climbed out for a better look.
She saw the fortress on top of a crag, a couple miles away. About the crag a large United Nations "peacekeeping" force had the fortress surrounded. There didn't seem to be any fighting right then, but the army looked bored and impatient, as if looking for the first opportunity to level Dobbstown.
"Shades of the Alamo, eh?" Sheldon said.
"I was thinking more of Mont Segur. There doesn't seem to be an easy way in, is there?"
"Maka said something about an entrance not too far from the lake, on its south side."
"Let's find it, then."
"Freeze, honky muthafukkas!"
Both Shel and Lil froze. Before turning to face the voice, they looked at one another. "Honky muthafukkas?" they mouthed to one another in puzzlement.
The runty assailiant was wearing a helmet with the S.L.A.K. jackboot painted on with whiteout fluid. He otherwise looked like a whitebread pinkboy tourist--discounting the pretty hunk of metal leveled at Sheldon's belly.
"Slack, soldier," Sheldon barked with authority. "Didn't your mommy tell you it's impolite to point guns at Overmen?" Sheldon opened his unbuttoned khaki shirt to reveal the lightning-pipe sigil tattoo of a S.L.A.K. batallion master.
The lackey dropped his gun an inch but otherwise kept his aim square at Sheldon's stomach.
Lilith began to laugh loudly. "Ah hell, boy, you sure are the ham. Knock off the crap, we don't have time to deal with your wussie macho postering."
When the soldier didn't move Lilith strode forwards. The gun's aim moved to her chest now.
"Freeze! Don't move! No further!"
Lilith wrenched the gun from the little man's hands and gave the full drill sargeant treatment.
"You worthless hemmerhoid punk, when we give you an order you damn well DO IT, or your ass will be cored and *packed*! Do you hear me, boy? DO, YOU, HEAR, ME?"
A meek "Yes, ma'am" eeked out.
"I AM NOT A MA'AM I AM YOUR GODDAMN MISTRESS I FUCK YOUR ASS WITH BIG DICKS WITH RED STRAPS AND NO LUBE I FEED TWENTY INCHES OF SHECOCK DOWN YOUR STINKY GULLET AND YOU SMILE YOU GOT THAT PINK BOY?"
"Fer cryin' out loud," Sheldon sighed. "Show some balls. We got a fight ahead." He took the gun from Lilith, who was still slicing down the miscreant before her. "Now, take us to Maka Dudi. We have a present for him."
"Yes, sir." The g-runt looked like he was going to cry, but he straightened out and hurried off to a hatch hidden behind one of the rocks.
Lilith and Shel returned to the hummer and grabbed their packs, the canteens, the tape recorder unit, a videocamera, and a heavy steel case Sheldon hauled over to the hatch. As Lilith started down the hatch, Sheldon smiled impishly at her.
"Master Sargeant Janor von Fraumench," he said quietly.
"Fuck you, too." Then she was gone, and Sheldon followed her down.
The shaft led down to a well-lit underground tunnel. Lilith and Sheldon marveled at how thoughtfully designed the tunnel seemed--conduits bleneded into the corners, lights rested in niches so the warm, soft glow blossomed upwards like incandescent lillies. Only the occasional crude graffiti detracted from the strength and grace of the tunnel.
"Fucking waste of talent, pouring design like this into a hole in the ground." Sheldon wasn't really disgusted, but the thought did strike him as ironic.
An electric jeep waited a few yards down the tunnel. Lilith had the foot soldier drive, and leaned back in her seat luxuriously. Sheldon slouched in his seat and draped an arm and a leg across the back, leaving just enough room for his case on the right. The three rolled down towards the light at the far end of the tunnel. Occasionally Sheldon was inspired by the motor's noise and the cool, mood-lit tunnel and would speak in a goofy po'bucker voice: "I'm going to Disneyland!" The soldier laughed every time; Lilith giggled heartily at first but was old by the third iteration. She endured.
The first thing Sheldon noticed was the forest of habafropzipulops stretching in front of them, thriving under the African sun as if the plants were native and not taken from cold Tibet. The stalks were thick and hearty; when dried they might have made excellent walking sticks. Abundant leaves sprouted from the stalks, and the air was fragranced by the plants' flowers. Just being this close to so much frappie was enough in its own right to take Sheldon a notch higher.
Lilith took a leaf in her hand and rubbed the surface with her thumb before inhaling its aroma.
"Praise "Bob", is this what I think it is?"
"It's a new strain we've been working on," the grunt said cockily as if he himself had been doing the crossbreeding. "We call it 'Death Frappie 999', and it's the real reason those Conspiracy goons are outside the walls."
"You like my plants, friends?"
Lilith looked up first. "Maka, is that you, you bleeding orifice of a cornhole?"
"Sweetie!" Maka Dudi gave Lilith a warm hug which was rewarded in kind.
"It's been a while, Maka," Sheldon said, pumping the Pope of Africa's fist.
"Well, I'd invite you all to my suite for a taste of the Death Frappie, but we've got a few visitors." Maka seemed genuinely worried. And for good reason, Lilith decided.
"We were arguing over whether this situation resembled The Alamo or Mont Segur," Lilith jokingly said.
"It looks more like Canadiru from where I stand," Maka said grimly. "If we didn't live in the desert those troops outside would have cut off all the power, water, and communications. Since we're in the desert already we don't have those luxuries to worry about. Still, we're just waiting for the massacre."
"Loser," Sheldon snorted as he lifted the steel case onto the trunk of the jeep. "Just for that you won't get to play with my toy." He fumbled with the latches and popped the case open. Inside rested a glass tube with an intricate mass of wiring and capacitors on one end. "It's a prototype, but it works. It works damn good."
"What is a Bobyon Phase Cannon, exactly?" Maka changed from grim to inquisitive.
"Remember my telling you about The Laine Corporation experimenting with phasing Bobyon radiation in an attempt to turn humans into Yetinsyn artificially?"
"Yes, and you told me the subjects died."
"Most of them did, yes. Their bodies mutated so rapidly their weak bodies couldn't take the strain. Kind of like a very sudden kind of cancer. Well, needless to say, if it's toxic it can be a weapon. So The Laine Corporation tried to sell the idea to the military complex, and that's where this prototype came in."
"Do they know you have this phase cannon?"
"They probably do now, and I am sure they'll try to hunt me down in time. But I got enough time to show you how this thing works."
A mortar round landed just inside the walls of the compound, blasting one of the troopers into a rain of flesh and gore.
"No you don't," Maka shouted as he ran towards the middle of the compound. Sheldon and Lilith followed fast behind him. They ran into a mud hut that Maka used as an office. Maka reached under his desk and grabbed a rifle.
"Lilith, do me a favor." Maka picked up a bundle and pressed it into her arms. "This package is chock full of seeds for Death Frappie 999. Make sure it gets out."
"Out? How do you expect me to get out?"
"The way you came in, maybe?"
"Boss!" yelled the first soldier, panting laboriously as he reached the door.
"They found the hummer outside, and I think they're looking for the hatch right now."
"God damn it, we're going to have to secure the tunnel. Get ten men and stay near the end of the tunnel. If *anything* moves, plaster it."
"That was decisive," Lilith said encouragingly.
"We're in trouble now," Maka pouted. "We may not make it out of here after all."
That's when Sheldon spotted the motorcycle.
"I got an idea," he said hurredly.
The shelling was gradual over the next few minutes, as if the UN forces outside were only baiting the SubGenii inside into retaliating. Everyone worked rapidly to set up things as Sheldon described--a half-bushel of Death Frappie was reaped and lashed to the body of the motorcycle. Lilith stuffed the frop seeds and extra guns and ammo into her pack while Sheldon conferred with Maka.
"You ready?" Sheldon said to Lilith as she climbed onto the motorcycle.
"I'm *not* Evel Kneivel," she agitated.
"Good thing--you don't need a broken neck."
"Sure I won't catch on fire?"
"This stuff's still wet--lots of smoke, but it should be OK."
Lilith shook her head then pushed her head into the helmet. "You're crazier than I am."
"Survive this, Shel."
"You too, Lil. God, aren't we getting maudlin? The Time of PeE is here, and it's time to party!"
Lilith rolled her eyes. Sure it is.
The bike rolled gracefully to the far end of the compound, where a pair of soldiers waited with torches. As Lilith revved the bike's engine the soldiers lit the frop sticking out behind the bike. Thick clouds of frappie smoke rolled about Lilith and her ride. She inhaled a good lungful for fortification.
Sheldon climbed to the top of the wall and stayed low, the Bobyon Phase Cannon under his arm. Maka joined him and both watched the UN troops getting closer to the fort.
"NOW!" Sheldon screamed as the troops hunkered down behind a dune.
Lilith throttled the bike, and it leaped forward, leaving a trail of smoke behind her. She hit the ramp easily and stayed right on the middle all the way up to the top of the wall, then went soaring with a banshee's scream. The troops below dropped their jaws and nearly dropped their guns as well as the bike landed roughly on the baked ground. Liltih quickly gained control again, spun about, and took off to the southeast.
Then the soldiers raised their guns.
Sheldon hit the contact on the gun, and the hot glass tube rang deeply as the first pulse surged forward.
Most of the guards near the front got hit directly. In moments their heads swelled like melons. Eyes rolled back in skulls, bowels loosened, screams bellowed. Their feet also swelled, and in many cases the boots' seams broke from the pressure, revealing softball sized lumps in the soles of their feet. Instead of the Overman's grin, their bloated heads took on the grimace of unbearable pain. Many died just from the agony, while the rest simply writhed until their own bodies' defense mechanisms turned on themselves and attacked the nervous system.
Some of the troops also transformed, but instead of suffering they laughed hysterically. They turned on their fellow soldiers, firing rounds from their automatic weapons just high enough to miss. Panic and chaos ensued. The artifical Overmen then scattered.
"I thought that all the subjects died," Maka said.
"For those that are already Yetinsyn, the beam of a properly phased Bobyon pulse actually accellerates Overmanhood. But on a human--"
Sheldon fired another pulse into the army below.
"Look!" Maka pointed excitedly at a transport loading up the last of a truckful of soldiers, then roaring off in Lilith's direction.
"I'll peg them!" Sheldon pointed the phase cannon at the transport.
A bullet struck Sheldon under the left armpit. He fell backwards, nearly dropping the phase cannon off the edge of the wall.
"Sheldon!" Maka quickly pulled the phase cannon back onto the wall. The wound had gone through both sides of Sheldon's chest, letting blood pour into his lungs.
"Or kill me," Sheldon gasped, turning the phase cannon onto himself and giving himself a blast at close range.
But Bobyon rays only work on live bodies.
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Original file name: The Death of Rev. Sheldon 4
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