Stupid planet smacked me in the head.
I guess that I should count myself lucky that it was Venus. Imagine Jupiter flying at my head. Or Saturn with those rings.
It’s still pretty stupid.
Though I have to admit that I don’t expect much more from a group of people who seem to like wearing long sleeves and short pants for their outfits. I don’t care what century you’re from, that just looks bad. The irony that I’m wearing something like that myself is not lost on me.
I took the model of the planet and looked at what was written on it.
As in, Topeka Kansas?
Well, once again I suppose it could have been worse like Blüdhaven or New York -- all the crazies hang out in New York. I guess I’ll just hang out there and relax for a week. It’s Kansas for the Queen’s sake, what could go wrong?
Famous last words, right?
I flew the Pegasus Elite to Philip Billard Municipal Airport and was met at the terminal by the mayor himself.
“Good morning, welcome to our fair city,” he said while shaking my hand very politician-like. “I am Mayor Wilkins and I am very, very glad to have you joining us for this week.”
“Sure,” I mumbled back. “Glad to be here.”
“Unfortunately, I have to say that you may find your stay rather uneventful,” the mayor shrugged. “We do like it quiet around here. No riffraff allowed as they say, ha ha.”
“Yeah, well I don’t mind quiet. Really.” Somehow I doubted that it was going to be this way, but wouldn’t it be nice if it was?
“Well well, if it isn’t Topeka’s favorite son!” the mayor proclaimed happily as an unusual looking man walked past. “Flabber how are you doing?”
“I am well,” the man replied. “I just got back from a weekend in Tahoe and boy are my arms tired! Wait.”
“Ha ha, oh Flabber you slay me,” Wilkins nearly fell over with laughter. “Say, I want to introduce you to Topeka’s newest super hero, Jan the Intergalactic Aviator!”
“Pleased to meet you,” I shook his hand while looking his face up and down.
“Likewise,” he smiled warmly. “Please excuse the makeup. I host a popular children’s show here and am now on my way to a grocery store opening.”
“Wow, sounds like fun,” I answered with a little dryness.
“Yeah, the good folks here can’t get enough of me,” he chuckled back. “Such is the fate I have chosen for myself.”
“Indeed,” I nodded.
“Aw, don’t let this guy get to you,” the mayor laughed. “He’s got the best show in the tri-county area. Everyone loves him. Really, really loves him.”
“Yep, that’s me,” Flabber smiled wanly. “Say Jan, may I have a word with you in private? You know children’s show host to super hero?”
“Sure, why not,” I shrugged. And joined him a few paces away from the smiling mayor.
“I wouldn’t trust the mayor if I were you,” Flabber said to me in a hushed tone.
“Let’s just say that there’s more to Mayor Wilkins than meets the eye,” Flabber said mysteriously.
“Oh, is he a Transformer or something?”
“What? No, no,” Flabber let out a long breath. “Look, I would just keep on my toes if I were you. That’s all I’m saying, OK?”
“Sure, whatever you say.” I wanted to dismiss the clown’s warning, but something about it stuck to me. I couldn’t figure out what it was though.
“And when you get a chance, ask the mayor what happened to the mayor before him.” Flabber strolled away whistling a tune to himself.
“Allrightee then, ready to go?” Wilkins said suddenly at my side.
“Yeah, sure,” I answered. “Say mayor, what happened to the mayor before you?”
“Nelson Linseed?” the mayor looked surprised, but he didn’t have any problem with what he said next. “Unfortunately, he was torn in two by werewolves.”
“Werewolves?” I gasped.
“That’s right,” Wilkins nodded. “In fact, they were a mercenary gang of werewolves from England.”
“You mean they were—”
“That’s right; they were the Werewolves of London. They came all the way from Zevon Warren. You should have seen poor Nelson when those monsters got through ripping him in half, why he became a Half Nelson, ha ha, get it? Oh that’s such a horrible joke.”
“You’re right, it was,” I said grimly.
Maybe Flabber was right, there is more to this mayor and his little burg than meets the eye after all.