--Chapter Three: Darjeeling
(The Toronto City Police Commissioner is sitting at his office desk, yelling into his phone’s intercom. A pink iMac has replaced his normal computer.)
Commissioner: WHAT THE HELL IS THIS, BERTHA? When I said we needed new computers to replace the Windows 95 crap, I didn’t mean I wanted PINK IMACS! Who ordered these?
Bertha: (almost monotone, over the speaker) These used to belong to a local elementary school. They donated their old supply when their new computers came in, and the government said it’d be better to recycle.
Commissioner: Are you telling me that the state gives elementary schools priority over Toronto’s Finest?
Bertha: That’s what you get for voting a liberal in office.
Commissioner: Oh, now don’t even get me started on politics…
Bertha: (nonchalant) I know, I know. It raises your blood pressure. However, there’s a bit of good news.
Commissioner: I’m listening.
Bertha: Because a lot of the police officers have already been complaining about the new computers, the mayor said we’ll get new ones in three weeks or so, and he promised they’d be Windows. In the meantime, we’ll just have to use these ones, I guess.
Commissioner: What happened to the older ones?
Bertha: They were donated to some kindergarten program the city library’s doing.
Commissioner: (sigh) Whatever. Just as long as all the confidential reports and stuff were erased.
Bertha: Yeah, Dave took care of that.
Commissioner: Good. Anything else you’d like to tell me this morning?
Bertha: Pants Man sent an email and said he’d be in to see you soon. He didn’t specify an appointment time, though.
Commissioner: Okay. I’ll go tell the guys about the computers and be back in five minutes.
Bertha: Sounds like a good idea. They’re all waiting outside the office for an explanation.
Commissioner: (stands up) Crap...
The Commissioner walked out of the office, passed Bertha’s secretary desk—she looked up over the rim of her glasses and gave him a smirk as he strode by—and finally, out into the hall.
Fifty police officers crowded the small space, all of them talking amongst themselves until they noticed the Commissioner.
“Okay, everyone. I guess you’re all wondering about the new computers.”
Various words to the affirmative greeted this statement.
“We’re getting new ones in a few weeks. Right now, we’ll all just have to work with the iMacs.”
There were several groans, until one random voice shouted, “Can I keep the pink computer when the new ones come? I kinda like it...”
Answered the Commissioner, “Shut up, Julian. And no.”
A few minutes later, the Commissioner was back at his desk, mumbling to himself and turning the computer on. It took him a while to get used to the new interface, but eventually he got to his email. There was a message from pantspantsrevolution at coldmail.com, which contained a .zip file of 15KB.
The Commissioner raised an eyebrow. “Only fifteen kilobytes? Hmph, must be losing weight...”
He downloaded and unzipped the file, whence a tiny sprite of Pants Man appeared on his screen. The Commissioner turned on his speakers.
Pants Man looked around. “Love what you’ve done with the place. New mac?”
“Yeah. So what’s the news?”
Pants man leaped out of the screen, flew over the Commissioner’s shoulder, and landed next to the back wall. He straightened his cape and turned around.
“You’ve gotta show me how you do that,” said the Commissioner.
Pants Man looked at the computer and laughed. “Ha! Nice color choice, Chief.” Then he took a hint at the groan response and moved to the other side of the desk.
“I came here because Krug is missing, and I’d like to run a general search of the Toronto area. But keep it discreet, okay?”
“Missing? Krug? Pants Man...” His voice was rising in volume, but he lowered it to emphasize his point: “I told you that monster was too unpredictable.”
“Relax, it’s just a sleepwalking thing. He got up in the middle of the night and left. At any moment, he could just come back, for all I know. Or he could be lost somewhere. I thought you should know, of course, but really... it’s not like he’s going to go on another killing spree anytime soon.”
(Krug sits back in a swivel chair in front of the mainframe computer. All of the vats in the room are bubbling. Krug is reading a book titled, Recipe for Diabolical Monstrosities, by Dr. Daniel Doe. Krug flips a page.)
Krug: This book is fascinating. Directions for making whole Krug in here!
Computer: Yes, that was kind of the point.
Krug: Wait... Master wrote here, “I think this is all that is necessary, but I cannot help but think I’m missing an ingredient.” What does that mean?
Computer: Probably means he didn’t include sanity.
Krug: Ah. Well, that make sense.
(An egg timer goes off on a table next to the vats below.)
Krug: Coolies! Krug army almost done, ready for last stir!
(He runs to the regular lab and searches through the cupboards.)
Krug: One last thing necessary: Fur Powder, for that furry cuddliness Krug so know and love.
(The bottles in the cupboard are labeled, “Mercury,” “Spooge,” “Chicken Pox,” “Fur Powder,” and “The Missing Ingredient.”)
Krug: (picks up the last two on the list) Hmm...
He put Fur Powder in every vat and stirred well. Then, in the last vat, he added a handful of The Missing Ingredient. He would only put it in this one for now... just to see if it turned out differently.
After two more hours of preparation, the egg timer dinged for the last time that day.
“Okay, it is time!” he shouted to the computer. “Drain the vats!”
The steaming liquid lowered in all of the vats and eventually disappeared. In the middle of each one, all that remained was a very small, wet, but nonetheless unmistakable Krug, lying so still as to be lifeless.
“Give them the injection of life!”
Amid a loud whir of machinery, thirty syringes lowered on mechanical arms from the ceiling. Each one fine tuned itself to match up with a Krug, and when the whole thing was over with, the arms retracted themselves into the ceiling.
Eventually, all of the monsters stood up and looked around themselves, confused. Krug noticed that the one that had been given The Missing Ingredient looked no different from the rest.
Granted, each one looked a little unique, if only because their fur appeared in different colors. Some were blue, some were yellow, some were green... but interestingly enough, none were red, like the original Krug. The Missing Ingredient one was the only purple monster in the room.
Krug addressed his minions from his perch on the catwalk, and they all looked up at him to listen.
“Greetings, fellow monsters! You are all my creations, and I am Krug, your King!”
Instantly, every monster chanted in unison, “Krug is now King! Krug is now King!” Well... almost every monster chanted. The purple one just looked confused. Krug decided to ignore this for the second.
“We will train for a great mission, and we will kill all the fleshy ones! Fleshy Ones bad! But they tasty to eat.”
The chant rose up again. “We kill Fleshy Ones!” Again, the purple one abstained from the chorus.
Krug: Why Purple One no answer?
(All the monsters look in the corner at Purple.)
Purple: (British accent) Oh, I just find this rather barbaric, really. You are saying we should eat the flesh of living beings... Isn’t that cruel? Why don’t we discuss this over a nice spot of tomato soup and Darjeeling, hmm?
Krug: (squints) This no son of mine... (checks the label on The Missing Ingredient jar). Oh, no wonder; this is artificial sweetener... (walks back toward mainframe computer).
Purple: Well now, I honestly don’t see why you should disown me for speaking common sense. Tsk tsk, old chap; don’t count it against a li’l guy like me that I got heart. All I’m saying is, we monsters have a grand opportunity to help all lifeforms exist in harmony and peace, and—
(Krug presses a button on the computer. A flame shoots up in Purple’s vat, and the next moment, he’s nowhere to be seen.)
Krug: So what are we going to do?
Monsters: Kill Fleshy Ones!
Krug: And who is your King?
Monsters: Krug! Krug! Krug is now King!
Krug smiled. If there were four greater words in any language, he did not know them.