An excerpt from Percival’s story, The Fool of Koolbeneckerhoffen, follows. There are a couple things you should know: One, AMOK is a company run by two men, Circumflex and Yedar (also known as Deary and ^), that specializes in in genetic mutation of the strangest kind, called Mutations to the Supernatural, or Mut Sups (pronounced “Mutt Soups”). Believe it or not, I had not read any of the Hunger Games trilogy at the time I wrote this. Gologer, his wife, his son and his son’s tailball team are helping Percival in this battle. I, Liam, am the correspondent alluded to. The battle is in the valley of Koolbeneckerhoffen, split in half by the International Date Line. Enjoy!
The battle was brilliantly planned, and even more brilliantly executed. I had the dragons set up camp at the end of a grassy field, with the International Date Line at our backs. At about three o’clock, Gologer went out and taunted the enemy. I can’t believe some of the things he did. All the while, his wife was shouting to him, something about there being children present. He paid no heed. Then, once the enemy galvanized themselves and rose to the bait, Gologer flew back to our lines and headed our own charge. The dragons flew overhead and dropped boulders on the foul minions of AMOK. The Mutt Soups were simply horrified at their losses. Then they began to win. One by one, the dragons dropped to the ground, fighting on level ground with the Mutt Soups. Well, not exactly level ground– there was a slight incline. But that’s beside the point. The dragons retreated, and the nefarious beasts followed. Of course, the dragons got a good head start, since the Mutt Soups had to form a committee and decide whether or not to follow our forces. The dragons, meanwhile, had sheltered behind a rocky tor on the other side of the International Date Line. This made it tomorrow for them, allowing them to lick their wounds in the aftermath of the battle. The Mutt Soups followed eventually, and at about 10:00 found our hiding place, where they proceeded to stamp their feet and politely request that we join them in pitched battle. We, just as politely, told them that the battle was already over, and that the dragons had won as one. The Mutt Soups sat down where they were and scratched their heads, which were already almost bald from all the head-scratching that had come out of the committee meeting. They reviewed the evidence and decided that it was true. We had spray-painted the walls red and put an imitation Mutt Soup skull on the floor. As you can see, we had had all of this prearranged to suit us. Now, having decided that we were telling the truth, the Mutt Soups trudged back to the previous battle ground. At a signal from me, the adolescent tailball team followed them and fell upon them, quite literally, just after they crossed the IDL. At least half the Mutt Soups were killed. Then the tailball team flew back in silence as the remaining Mutt Soups formed another committee to decide who should be on the committee to decide who should be on the committee to go back to the rocky tor and ask “What’s it all about, Alfie?” Unfortunately, they realized too late that none of us were named Alfie, and so just asked “What’s it all about?” To this we replied the same reply that we had replied earlier: the battle was over; they had lost. At this, the Mutt Soups once again left to the right, to be followed once again by the tailball players. This time, all of the Mutt Soups were destroyed. Somehow, Circumflex and Yedar heard of this event and sent out the EarthWyrm to investigate. He put on his plaid ear-flapped travelling cap and stuck his pipe in his mouth and went out underground, disguised as the infamous Sherlock Holmes. This fooled no one, since the EarthWyrm is actually a giant, pale worm with a drooling mouth. Wearing a hat. And holding a quickly dissolving pipe between its lips. Anyway, this EarthWyrm was dispatched to root us out, quite literally. Well, we dispatched him too: We had prepared for this eventuality and had rigged land minds underground, deep enough underground that only the EarthWyrm and two species of prairie dog could trigger it. These took large patches off of the EarthWyrm’s hideous body. It screamed with discomfort. It was a horrible sound. But the fact that it was coming from such a horrible creature was not the cause of its horribleness– it was because the EarthWyrm even screamed in a British accent. I had not thought this possible, but it happened. Then, fleeing to the surface, the EarthWyrm gave full vent to his pain. This allowed Gologer and his cousins to track him down. They pulled him up from the earth and dropped him into the sea, where he disintegrated like a bunch of dis-integral parts. We had won a victory over AMOK! To show this, we sent Mrs. Gologer over to AMOK’s leaders to invite them to a cordial party, where cordial would be served. They came, and it was at the rocky tor that we met for the first time. Circumflex and Yedar are actually Deary and ^. I also recognized them as Bob Upandoun and Al Takyatacort, but that’s not important now. They, being in tomorrow, saw that we had indeed won the battle, and conceded the deeds for their property and experimental equipment to me. I locked it in that magnetically-sealed, triply locked, atomtight vault I call my shirt pocket. Then I took them into custody and took them to court, where they were tried for attempted world-domination and found them
with gills, sorry, guilty. Of course, the Koolbeneckerhoffenian court is the most efficient in the world– whatever you’re charged with, you’re guilty of. I sent the dragons home with a handshake, a smile, and a large side of beef (in the case of the three cousins and the tailball team). AMOK had reached its end. Now I head to Siberia for a nice, relaxing vacation. At least, that’s what the travel agent told me. Sayonara for now!