Chapter 2: Police at Mackerel Don’s is not an Uncommon Sight
Mackerel Don’s is an infamous/famous chain of stores where you put stuff in your mouth and optionally chewing it, swallow. Now, you may be wondering why it wasn’t described as a fast food chain, as you the astute reader must surely have reasoned it was. There’s a small story that’ll explain this.
You see, for some perverse reason there was a guy, out of pity, he is often referred to as Mr. X, this guy, he loved Mackerel Don’s. He loved their Don Humps, their Don sticks, their Don Shakes, their Don Coffs, their Don Dons, anything Mackerel Don, he’d eat it. When he died, it was discovered that the inside of Mr. X’s home was filled with Mackerel Don’s memorabilia. The love he had for that smug evil looking fish mascot of Mackerel Don’s was something that took one’s breath and previous meal away!
Did you notice? He died. People generally do, but in Mr. X’s case, what he loved most was what killed him. You see, Mr. X exclusively ate Mackerel Don’s products, and thus he starved to death. It is said that he even died on premises in a Mackerel Don’s, A double decker Don Hump clutched in his hands.
There was, understandably, some outrage about this matter, but when people tried to take down Mackerel Don’s the true face of evil was revealed. You see, not once, ever, did Mackerel Don’s claim to sell food. Not once did they advertise as such, and hidden here and there, were statements saying as much. The Mackerel Don’s Corporation washed their hands of the matter. It wasn’t after all their fault that the man didn’t eat any food.
After that, some people tried to tackle Mackerel Don’s on the issue of health. This then led to another terrifying reality. Apart from making you feel full, and debatably being tasty… the ‘tasty consumable items’ of Mackerel Don’s did not do anything to the body, as far as anyone could tell. Of course while the eyes of law found the items to be terrifyingly void of anything, people would have anecdotal accounts of grim bowel related fates from ‘eating’ at Mackerel Don’s. Sadly nobody was ever able to link the events together. Correlation not being causation and all that.
What mostly keeps them in business is people who are deluded about it being food, and… dieters. You see, since the food adds no weight other than what it takes up before being digested, it is quite popular among people dieting or otherwise trying to have less actual food. Such people tend not to be as worried about terrible bowel fates either, after all, that’d just be more weight lost.
Given the murky reputation of this entity and the sheer quantity of conspiracy theories and legitimately creepy incidents that weren’t fever dreams, it wasn’t that surprising that there was a police car floating outside the Giant Neon Fish signed place.
Outside the steely oval with red and blue lights that was the car, there was a figure of metal with similarly flashing red and blue eyes. Police in neon red and blue lettering was in the back of this golem. Yes, it was one of the remote controlled police golems. The face of the golem was a fierce wrathful beast, and the feet and hands were clawed. It was constructed in such away that it could be put on a person, either as an exosuit or an imprisoning-suit. Hovering behind it was a black globe, a recording familiar.
The golem was taking paper-notes, because after a few disastrous incidents, the Meyrian Enforcers made sure to have physical, non-magical copies of everything. Everything. They’d become a little bit neurotic about the matter.
Kneeling before the police golem was a handcuffed person in Mackerel Don’s uniform. Apart from not having a tail, it wasn’t clear what manner of being that this person was. There was a silvery veil that had been placed over the perp’s head, standard issue identity obscurer.
Off to the side of this was a wooden panelled noodle-cart. It was also a car, though not as capable at going fast as the police car. It wasn’t floating and inside there was a mummified looking old lizard demi-human. The cart hard a big sign on it that read ‘Forbidden Noodles’.
The old man was cleaning up his cart.
Squatting, knees huddled together and finishing up the slurping of some noodles were a pair of lizard-girls. You could have sworn they were twins, but the pair though they looked similar and had the same clothes, were not blood related.
Both had the same dark-red scales, like a blood red apple. Long slender tails and delicate snouts that were more adorable than they were beautiful. The only difference was in their eyes. One had orange eyes, the other golden. As lizardkin standards go, they were merely pretty teenage girls though.
All of their clothes really did match. Black low-heel ankle boots with many silvery knobs on the heels. Thick grey stockings that had sparkly bits. Dainty black cloth gloves that had a wide cuff. A green dress whose frills were lined with that characteristic Smogpolis neon. To top off the outfit, they both had brown leather hooded cloaks in a style not dissimilar to Picky’s, except theirs had lovely silver neon flowers on them.
Even their familiars were the same, a vaguely dopey looking sloth-like being. It did not have the claws of a sloth though, and it had a duck-like beak. They were very fluffy, and the fluff was very pink. The familiars could be told apart by their eyes, which matched their owners.
It was a quite moderately popular form of mechanical assistant, but was thought of as being a bit childish.
These girls seemed oblivious to the policeman and his criminal, as they blissfully slurped their noodles.
It was this scene that the brothers three walked into.
“Uh, what in the world happened here? Oh, hey, hello Old Zangr!” Picky Babbled.
Old Zangr smiled, balled up the cloth he was using, tied it to keep its form and beaned Picky on the head with it.
“Jojo, Ruin, you girls ok?” Luca worried.
“Gah” Picky went as he was hit.
“We’re fine Luca thanks” Ruin, the orange eyed-girl mumbled.
Ruin wasn’t of course her real name. She had picked up the nickname for two reasons. The first was that she was a bit of a klutz, the second was that when she and Jojo were even younger, they found themselves being stalked. After a series of unlikely events, Hauru Visshal accidentally unmanned the stalker and became forever after a girl called Ruin.
“What happened this time? Spill it Sis” Gaddy said to the golden eyed girl, Jojo.
While Ruin and Jojo weren’t related, Gaddy and Jossejo Mimassh certainly were.
“Big bro!” Jossejo’s face lit up, but then she instantly set to pouting.
“Hey, Big Bro, why can’t you sound a bit more worried about me? Aren’t me and Ruin two delicate little girls? Right Ruin?”
“Um, ah well… you see…” Ruin mumbled.
“If it had been something worrying you’d have called my familiar”
“Big bro is heartless Ruin, I pity the girl who ends up with him”
“Maybe only a little heartless” whispered Ruin.
“You going to tell us or not?” Gaddy repeated.
“Fiiine, but get Picky to beg first”
“Your continued sacrifice of your dignity will be remembered.” Luca said.
“The things I do… right!”
Picky fell to his knees.
“Oh sweet ladies whose scales are like the uncut rubies of midnight, whose appearances belie your natures, who wouldn’t fail to resist your charms, won’t you relent and tell us mere men the tale of what happened here?”
Jojo clapped her hands together happily as Picky got up and dusted his legs off.
“Yes! Picky, you might be creepy a lot of the time, but you at least know what kind of flowery words a girl likes!”
“Um…” Ruin didn’t have the courage to tell Jojo about the double negative, or that uncut rubies are generally not thought of as being as pretty as cut ones. She didn’t want to see Jojo explode.
The policeman’s criminal was trying hard not to snigger though. Gaddy’s pokerface had always been good, and as for Luca, he was as clueless as Jojo.
“Right, story. Now.” Gaddy demanded.
He was, truthfully, a tiny bit worried.
“Cheh, buzzkill brother. Ok, so like, me and Ruin need to eat, but we couldn’t decide where to eat”
“Total failure…” Ruin muttered.
“So, the curse took hold of us and we found ourselves before Don’s. You know, just as we were about to go in, Old Zangr spots us”
“Saved from bad fate” Ruin explained.
“He wouldn’t let us go in, and whipped up some noodles for free, for our own good”
“So, like we were eating our noodles, and customers began to gather around Old Zang”
“Big crowd…” Ruin affirmed.
“Next thing we know, this woman comes charging out from Don’s, wearing the uniform and she starts slapping the noodle boxes out of everyone’s hands.”
“Lost ours…” Ruin said sadly.
“So, the police arrived around the time she started attacking Old Zangr’s cart”
“Crazy” Ruin emphasized.
“When everything was mostly dealt with, Old Zangr did us up some fresh noodles”
At that moment Old Zangr spoke up.
“I had to after they let me witness a woman pick a fist-fight with my faithful cart”
“Well, thanks for taking care of my little sis and her friend Mr. Zangr” Gaddy said.
“Yeah, don’t forget you can come by the Gym any time you need anything” Luca said.
“Ha, Old Zangr, is welcome at all gyms, all the time boy. Well I better get going, got to find some hungry drunks. You kids be careful, I’ve heard there’s been more of that vile Mandible group about the city lately”
They waved as Zangr’s cart started up and floated away. After Gaddy thanked the officer controlling the police golem, that left with the criminal Mackerel Don employee.
“Say, why’d she snap like that?” Picky wondered.
“Beats me, It’s Mackerel Don’s, could have been anything” Luca shrugged.
“We’d best get going ourselves, we don’t want to be late for the concert!”
“Flambirdge! I’ll snap if I miss it! Wooo!” Jojo shouted.
“Woo” Ruin cheered quietly.