MEANWHILE, SMART MAN AND THE MASKED IMBECILE WERE ENGAGED IN FURIOUS COMBAT, HIGH IN THE AIR!
"I'll grind you to pieces!" The Masked Imbecile spat, clenching Smart Man around the neck.
"I'll whup your posterior, boy!" Smart Man retorted, lurching to the side as the Dumbsday Weapon careened to the side and smashed through a section of wall.
The Masked Imbecile lost his grip and rolled near the edge. Smart Man leapt after him, bearing down with all his strength. The Masked Imbecile threw him off, and Smart Man found himself dangling three stories high as the bat swung back and forth.
"I'll suck so much of your brains out, you'll be stupid even in a world of idiots!" The Masked Imbecile raged. He swung a punch at the helpless Smart Man, but just then the bat plummeted downward, and Smart Man was thrown out of the way. The Masked Imbecile's punch connected with the bat. "Ow!" he screamed, recoiling in pain. "I stubbed my toe!"
Smart Man, through no fault of his own, flipped over in mid-air and landed on The Masked Imbecile. "Oof!" they said in unison. Then the bat hit the ground, and they went flying again. Smart Man crash landed in the bushes, and The Masked Imbecile flew off the end of the bat.
The weapon crackled, and the harsh grinding of failing machinery rang out. Purple lightning snapped in all directions, and blue sparks shot up and showered back down. A sharp peal sounded, and suddenly purple lightning sprayed out of the bat. It enveloped The Masked Imbecile, overwhelmed his cries of agony, and tore mercilessly into his head.
"Noooooooooo..." The Masked Imbecile cried, panicked and desperately seeking to escape.
But it was no use. The purple lightning held his head fast like a magnet. The bat pitched and whined and abruptly exploded.
SIDEKICK MAN HAD TIED UP NODDLE BUNGLEDRIP AFTER MISS SALLY HAD KNOCKED HIM UNCONSCIOUS. BUT HE DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO RESCUE MISS SALLY BEFORE THE BAT EXPLODED. WHEN THE MACHINE BROKE APART, SCATTERING SHARDS OF METAL IN ALL DIRECTIONS, SIDEKICK MAN TORE THROUGH THE WRECKAGE TO FIND HER!
He found her unconscious at the base of the bat, or at least what remained of it.
"Miss Sally?" Sidekick Man said as he worked at her bonds. Smart Man, more than a little dizzy, stumbled over to help.
"Thank goodness that's over," Miss Sally said when her gag was removed. "So Neuron Shortstop wanted to steal people's intelligence. If I have correctly surmised the way this machine works, you should be able to reverse the operation by taking those green energy tubes inside that case, polarizing them with strong magnetic fields and high temperatures, then aiming the north end at the people's retinas and breaking them open. If my guess is right, though, lost memories won't return for a couple days while the brains' neural pathways open up again."
"Miss Sally!" Smart Man exclaimed. "When did you become smart?"
"Just now, of course," Miss Sally replied as she shed the remainder of the ropes around her wrists and stood. "For every action, there's an opposite and equal reaction. On one end of the machine, intelligence is sucked. On this end of it, intelligence is spewed."
"It is, rather," Miss Sally said. "And now that I see how important intelligence is, I know now what a terrible thing it is to steal it. From now on, Simon, I'm your partner in your crusades for cognitive justice. I'll be Smart Woman!"
"How did you know I was--"
"I'm smart now, remember?"
Their conversation was interrupted by a painful groan. "I've never seen a baseball bat that big before," Neuron Shortstop said as he was just regaining consciousness. "Hey, how come my head hurts if I bash it into the concrete really hard?"
AND SO IT WAS THAT THE FORCES OF IMBECILITY WERE REBUFFED AND INTELLIGENCE WAS RESTORED TO THE HAPLESS CITIZENS OF NUGA CITY. NEURON SHORTSTOP WAS COMMITTED TO AN ASYLUM FOR THE CRIMINALLY INSANE, WHILE HIS COHORT NODDLE BUNGLEDRIP DISAPPEARED MYSTERIOUSLY IN THE WRECKAGE OF THE DUMBSDAY WEAPON AND WAS NEVER SEEN AGAIN UNTIL THE NEXT TIME HE SHOWED UP.
"I'll get you, Smart Man!" Neuron Shortstop raged constantly, every day and every night from within his padded cell. "Someday, somehow, I will get you!"
AND SO IT BEGAN.
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