From the Story Arc: In the Service of the Revolutionary Tradition

Previous Story in the Arc: Interview with the Lancet by Communard (Wednesday, September 15, 2004)

Next Story in the Arc: OOPH by Communard (Tuesday, April 26, 2005)

(posted Tuesday, April 05, 2005)

Balthazar entered the underground laboratory cautiously. Last week's
amputation was still fresh in his mind. He liked his new slice-o-matic
prosthesis but wasn't in any hurry to repeat the experience. Shekky
was working a tissue sample with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch. He
waved at Balthazar, "Hey boss, can I take a smack break?" The juicer
chief nodded, "You've earned it, tap a vein for me while you're at it."

Indeed, the boys had earned it. Balthazar reflected on the events of
the past months. Communard's capture had cost them dearly. The frog
had maimed dozens of his men, and his mental powers had turned another
dozen into slobbering idiots. Had it been worth it? Balthazar rubbed
his new prosthesis, removed a 12 volt battery from a secret compartment
and licked the contacts absent-mindedly.

He went deeper into the laboratory. Pistonhead and a group of tankers
were standing guard outside the vault. It had taken the Freaks three
weeks to get the vault perfected. It was made out of vanadium laced
with plutonium. Other protective measures were need too: each of the
freaks standing guard wore a carefully made aluminum foil hat and
welder's goggles.

"How is the Communard sample today?"
Pistonhead shrugged his metal shoulders. "See for yourself Balthazar,
I don't think it will cost you another arm."

Balthazar tapped a 14 digit code into the vault panel then stepped back
and waited for the decompression cycle to finish. A klaxon sounded and
the vault door swung inward. He repeated the process for the second
vault door and entered a dimly lit space filled with orange vapor from
a supradine/malox humidifier. A raised box occupied the middle of the
room. Balthazar took a deep breath and looked into the box. A four
month old infant slept quietly amidst white blankets. "Wake up little
one," Balthazar whispered, "time for your morning bottle."