SMART MAN RECOVERED FROM HIS ORDEAL SOMEWHAT LATER AS HE COWERED IN A REMOTE CORNER OF THE SCHOOL.
"Terrible though his story may be," he said to himself, "it doesn't give him the right to steal people's brains."
AND SO, WITH THE STEELY RESOLVE THAT SEPARATES THE SUPERHEROES FROM THE HEROES, SMART MAN BUILT UP THE COURAGE AND DETERMINATION TO HUNT DOWN THE MASKED IMBECILE ONCE AGAIN AND THWART HIS ABHORRENT PLAN. MEANWHILE....
The Masked Imbecile scowled deeply as he stepped outside and dumped Miss Sally unceremoniously on the ground. He wasn't sure what irked him more: that a self-appointed crusader was seeking to foil his plans or that this crusader was an idiot.
"Where is that malignant tumor of mine?" Neuron muttered, searching the school grounds for the approach of his indecorous companion.
Just as he spoke, Noddle rode into view atop their pride and joy, their terrible pillar of persecution. It towered into view as it ascended the hill, a daunting metallic menace projecting skyward above the buildings around it. The few pedestrians nearby fled, screaming in terror. Neuron grinned coldly.
MEANWHILE, OUR HEROES SMART MAN AND SIDEKICK MAN WERE REUNITED IN THE HALLWAY JUST OUTSIDE THE FUNCTION HALL. SMART MAN TOLD SIDEKICK MAN ALL ABOUT THE HORRORS HE HAD WITNESSED, AND SIDEKICK MAN WAS PETRIFIED.
"But we must be courageous!" Smart Man urged, encouraging himself as much as his companion.
Just then, an earthshattering crash sounded from the function hall, followed by wails of agony. Smart Man dashed into the room, Sidekick Man in tow, and the sight stopped them in their tracks.
The roof was gone. Plaster and glass and metal scraps were everywhere, still settling into place. People were huddling under tables, in corners, and shielding their heads within their hands. Smart Man peered up into the dim haze of the morning, and he saw the end of the largest baseball bat he had ever seen, hovering over the hall. Purple lightning crackled at the tip. Riding atop it, proud and defiant, was The Masked Imbecile. With -- oh no! -- Miss Sally Sconce, held at knife point, by his side.
"Good morning, everyone!" The Masked Imbecile called to the cowering masses beneath him. "Professors, lend me your brains!" The bat plunged suddenly downward, crushing through a chunk of wall, and conked Professor Ludwig Pericranium on the skull. Purple lightning sucked at his head, and the professor convulsed in place, finally toppling over in a daze.
"Welcome to stupidity, professor!" The Masked Imbecile gloated. "Ha ha ha ha ha!!"
"You'll never get away with this!...Dude!" Smart Man blurted out.
"Ah, Smart Man," The Masked Imbecile said, turning to his challenger. "How would you like to be the next victim of my power?"
"Never!" Smart Man shouted.
"Don't speak too hastily," The Masked Imbecile said menacingly. "You'll cooperate, or Miss Sally gets it." He jerked her forward, placed her dangerously close to the edge, and held a gleaming blade at her throat.
Smart Man turned to Sidekick Man to confer with him.
"We'll have to be careful how we handle this," Smart Man said, in hushed tones. "One wrong move, and the dear object of my enamoration will bite the big one."
"Ok, Smart Man. What do you want me to do?"
"Hmmm," Smart Man considered. "Maybe you should slip outside, undetected, and find where the controls to this machine are. Sneak in and sabotage it. I, meanwhile, will endeavor to drive our enemy to distraction by offering up myself as bait."
"Right. Good luck." Sidekick Man slipped back down the hallway and was gone.
"Well, Smart Man?" The Masked Imbecile pressed. "Are you my next victim, or does Miss Sally's gullet get intimate with the edge of my blade?"
"Fer sure, cheesewipe," Smart Man spat. "Like, take it easy and stuff, man." Smart Man held his hands before him, palms open, and sauntered into the middle of the room. "Bring it on."
"That's better," The Masked Imbecile grunted. "Step right underneath me. Do it quickly!"
Wordlessly, Smart Man moved closer still, until he stood directly beneath the hulking, very intimidating machine. Purple lightning licked lovingly over its sleek surface.
"Strike, Noddle!" he heard The Masked Imbecile order, and the bat plummeted toward him. Nimbly, Smart Man skipped aside, then doubled back and grabbed hold as the bat ascended back into the air. The sudden motion loosened Neuron's hold of Miss Sally. In moments, Smart Man was dangling precariously in the air, and he clawed desperately for a more secure hold. He found it in The Masked Imbecile's leg and hoisted himself to safety before the other could react.
"Traitor!" The Masked Imbecile shrieked and lunged for his enemy, bowling over Miss Sally in the process. He and Smart Man went down in a tangle, while Miss Sally started rolling down the length of the bat.
MEANWHILE, AS THE DEADLY TUSSLE BETWEEN THE FORCES OF SMARTS AND STUPIDITY TOOK PLACE ON THE DUMBSDAY WEAPON, SIDEKICK MAN WAS WORKING BEHIND ENEMY LINES. HE SNUCK OUTSIDE, CIRCLED AROUND, AND SAW THAT THE GIANT BASEBALL BAT WAS MOUNTED TO THE BED OF A LARGE TRUCK. A SCABBY RAPSCALLION -- NODDLE BUNGLEDRIP! -- WAS AT ITS BASE, OPERATING AN ARRAY OF SWITCHES AND LEVERS.
Sidekick Man quickly assessed the situation. The Masked Imbecile was just barely visible over what was remaining of the nearest wall. Other than the mutant codger kid at the controls, there did not seem to be anyone else. Very well, then, Sidekick Man thought. I'll just have to take this human quagmire down.
He snuck around behind Noddle, crept up cautiously, then leapt upon him, limbs flailing in all directions. "Got you!" he said, just before absorbing a gloppy blow to the cheek.
"I'll bop you on the head!!" Noddle Bungledrip howled, repelling Sidekick Man's attacks and initiating many of his own. "You'll die for this!" he slobbered viciously.
Nicolas and Noddle exchanged blows, swerved this way and that, and slammed up against the base of the bat and its controls. The bat swung wildly out of control. Sidekick Man kicked at Noddle's noodle, but Noddle nodded out of the way. Punches, blocks, kicks, and parries were exchanged with furious vigor. Then Noddle spied an opening and went for it. He connected a punch to Sidekick Man's gut and sent him sprawling backward. Hate seething in his eyes, he bore down on Sidekick Man, grasping hold of his purple scarf and pulling it tight. Sidekick Man choked and turned very much the color of his scarf. He clawed desperately at Noddle's face and hands, but all to no avail.
Suddenly, the bound and gagged body of Miss Sally Sconce, half rolling, half falling, landed right on top of Noddle Bungledrip, wrenching him away from Sidekick Man and bowling him over on the truck bed.
The Dumbsday Weapon smashed through walls, soared high, and smacked into the ground. It shuddered and groaned, and then it started to break apart.