A Rocketman Story
By John Pirillo
A Rocketman Story
By John Pirillo
Harry struggled against the maglocks that kept him chained to the wall. Jet watched him from across the cell, straining against his own as well. Finally, they both stopped.
"Well if that doesn't take the cake." Jet finally said in a blast of exhaustion and frustration.
Both men had been strung up to the wall now for two days without food or water. Their pants were soiled and stinking and their arms hurt like hell as well. Their wrists and hands were going number. Their legs were about to buckle, which meant they would probably collapse, causing their wrists to dislocate and the loss of both hands.
"Yeah. War stinks." Harry cursed. "And so do we?"
"Well, the way I see it, pal, is that if the Nazis don't turn us into Zombies to kill our friends, then these Eastern Faction crazies going to rip our skin off to see what makes us tick."
"Or both." Harry added.
"You had to say that, didn't you? Didn't you!." Jet shot back.
"Hey! Someone's gotta keep up our spirits!"
"War is still hell."
"And it stinks!" Harry said sniffing the air in a comical manner.
"Now, now Harry. Just look at it as a little manly fragrance to pass the time away with."
"This is serious." Harry insisted.
"And it's never not been?"
Harry sighed, and then looked to the solid wall that opened up to allow their captors inside. "What do you think they want from us?"
"Maybe a chocolate malted and fries."
Harry laughed despite himself. "Jet!"
"Yeah man. Thinking. Thinking." Shakes his head. "Nope. No thoughts. You?"
Before Harry could reply the door in the wall slid open, revealing a very beautiful oriental woman clad in a doctor's smock. Her hands were covered in gloves.
"This don't look good, Harry." Jet said, eyeing the gloves.
"Losing your touch with the ladies, Jet?"
"In this case I'll make an exception." Jet quipped, again his eyes not leaving those gloved hands. Finally, he looked up. "I hope those gloves have got useful purposes...like letting us out of our prison, feeding us, arming us."
The oriental woman neither smiled, nor responded. She came into the room, plucked a thermometer from her smock, stuck it in Harry's mouth, then went to the other side of the room and did the same with Jet.
Jet smiled at her. "My favorite flavor. None."
Her eyes flickered for a moment, but she still said nothing. She left the room.
Harry looked over at Jet. "I think your charm is making headway."
"Yeah. Like an airplane crash."
They both laughed.
Several minutes later the door opened again and the same oriental woman entered the room, plucked the thermometers out, made a note of their temperatures, and then exited again.
"What the hell?" Jet asked no one in particular.
"You have to admit, it does help pass the time between getting nowhere fast and possibly being tortured next."
Jet perked up. "You think?"
Harry didn't respond. He didn't want to think about it. He knew what kind of tortures the Orientals on his own timeline had used during World War Two; he could only imagine what the ones in this crazy cocked up would do.
The door opened again a large man, also in a doctor's smock entered. He was glancing at a notepad in his hands. He was escorted by what appeared to be Samurai, except that instead of swords they carried these wicked looking rods with barbed tips that emitted sparks every now and then.
Jet swallowed. The torture was about to begin.
The large man gestured to Jet.
The guards headed for him.
"Don't worry, pal. I'll be there with you when the time comes."
Jet looked back at Harry as he was removed from the maglocks. "You're kidding? Right? Right?"
As the guards walked past Harry, he suddenly jerked his entire body upwards, straining against the maglocks with his hands to hold on, and kicked the nearest Samurai Guard. It swung around and shoved its rod at Harry, who managed to dodge the blow to his chest. The rod glanced across his shoulder and struck the maglocks over Harry's head, emitting a shower of sparks.
Harry slumped against the wall.
"Damn! Harry! Harry!" Jet cried out as the Samurai Guard gave Harry a second blast from his rod in his back, then grunted happily and followed the first guard and the large man out. The doors closed.
Harry's body hung on the maglocks for what seemed like forever, but then a strange thing occurred. A smile slid across his lips.
Jet was hauled into a large warehouse with an open door at the opposite end, where Japanese Soldiers were marching. Rows of odd looking tanks lined opposite walls. The tanks cannon all appeared similar to the rods the guards carried. He was marched to a large table where his and Harry's jump suits lay stretched out. A scientist with a Nazi band on his right upper arm, with its red deadhead on it, looked up from his examination of the suits.
"Ah, I see you have accepted our invitation to join us." The scientist said. He nodded to the large man and he walked off. The two guards fell back from Jet, who began rubbing his wrists to bring life into them again. He hadn't had a chance in the grip of the guards.
"I wasn't invited." Jet said, his voice growling and low.
"Come now. Surely you can appreciate a bit of humor in light of what we could alternatively choose to do?"
"You mean like hanging me on a wall and torturing me?"
"Oh no, that would be too uncivilized."
The scientist gestured to the right and then Jet saw the silent men and women in uniform that stood at perfect attention. Their faces rigid and immobile, fists clenched against their hips. They wore Nazi armbands.
"Zombies!" Jet uttered, the horror of what he was seeing gripping his heart and soul.
"Ah. I see you have fond memories of the good old days."
"How could you know...?"
The scientist came closer to Jet and looked into his eyes. "Do you not recognize the one who made you?"
Jet's horror grew even more. "Doctor Zombie"
Doctor Zombie smiled at Jet. "Oh, I'm so much more than that!"
Jet actually managed to shake off both his guards for a moment as he rushed the Doctor, but their reactions were faster than his and they snapped him back against them again, locking their hand tightly about his arms.
The Doctor smiled. Their grips relaxed.
Jet tensed, ready to spring again for the Doctor, but decided to see if a better moment should arise.
"Yes. A curious name your fellow zombies named me and one I've grown affectionate of. And I have never forgotten you, Jet. You always were the one that got away. Both figuratively and literally in the end. I look forward to inspecting your brain to see how that happened." He clapped his hands.
The guards gripped Jet by his arms again. He tried to shake them off, but was too weak to do so. Their strength was immense.
"I see you have noticed the superior strength of my new generation." The scientist said.
"You're mad." Jet swore. "No good will ever come of this!"
"Oh, but it already has. I expect you to talk excitedly about these..." He pointed to the jump suits. "And very loudly."
One of the guards quite unexpectedly broke Jet's left pinkie.
Jet screamed in pain.
"Am I making myself quite clear, Jet?"
"But how, how did he know to..." Jet uttered despite his growing pain.
The scientist tapped his head. "Here. I have found a way to connect myself to all my creations."
And upon those words every single zombie in the lineups turned and saluted the scientists with a Nazi goosestep to boot.
"Damn!" Jet muttered, a smile coming to his lips. "Busby Berkeley could sure use these guys!"
Jet screamed even louder when his left pinkie was broken.
"What the hell you do that for, man?" Jet hollered.
The scientist tapped his head. "Because I can. Now, shall we talk as peace loving men, or shall we continue our little game of sticks and stones."
The scientist started to smile and then grimaced and made a very, very ugly face as his forehead sprouted a blossom of red. He tumbled to the concrete floor and lay there unmoving.
Jet broke away from the guards, expecting them to stop him, but they were frozen in place. Alarms began to ring.
Harry came running from behind a tank, tossing a Japanese rifle to the ground as he dashed Jet's way. "Suit up!" He screamed.
Jet didn't wait for another invitation. He hurriedly buttoned up as Harry scrambled to do his own. Both men finished as the troops arrived. A barrage of bullets zinged about them. They didn't wait for further encouragement.
"Rockets away!" Harry hollered.
"You got it!" Jet cried out.
Both men ran towards the exit, where the massive doors were beginning to close with a loud groaning sound. They leaped into the air and their rockets cut in and propelled them faster and faster towards the diminishing exit opening.
Soldiers outside were running to cover the exit, firing at them as they came closer.
"Ever had a close shave before, Jet."
"Yeah...every day with you!" Jet cursed.
Then both men in perfect sync turned as one sideways and shot out the closing door exit, making it just in the nick of time. The soldiers outside spun around and aimed their weapons at the fleeing men, firing round after round.
"Ow!" Jet cried out as they shot over the encampment and the vast warehouse they had been held captive in.
"Where you shot, Jet?"
"My damn pinkies, they're both broken and I forgot that and tried to use them."
"Next time, use your middle finger." Harry joked.
Jet did. But not on his controls.
The two rocket men shot upwards and safely into the high clouds overhead.