- bobby rich
Flashback to Irhana, 1938, Part II: Showdown at Question Saloon (no "the," please!)
There is a sudden commotion at the door. SS Oberst Klaus Unterlisch, who has been at Irhana's German embassy this past week, has stormed into Question with his two bodyguards and several soldiers. "Cover the bodyguard," he orders, "and those three men by the bar. They are the Adventure Team."
Immediately the King's bodyguard, Adnan Azim rises with his scimitar, but King Okello cries, "No, Adnan. No need to risk your life with your wife present."
"I assure you these men will not do us any harm," he says to Adnan's wife.
"They had better not," she fumes, "or Adnan will clean crockery for a week!"
"Indeed we will not harm anyone," Unterlisch says, "As long as you, King Okello, join me to announce that Irhana has thrown in its lot with the Fuhrer."
"Your port is strategically placed. If you will work with me on this, no one here will be harmed. If you do not..."
"What the hell are you doing?" cries Desta M'boweh angrily. "This is lunch! Armed disruptions are for after dinner!"
"I don't think," Doug says, "the king's much in the mood to do anything you want, Unterlisch."
"I suggest you jes' walk away," agrees Dusty, over his shoulder.
"Well, he can have a beer first, right?" Ted says. "Maybe buy us all a round? He's really messed up the mood."
"After all," Doug continues, "if you look up and to your right, you'll see that Brent Oswald, the greatest marksman in the world, has you right in his sights."
Unterlisch is nonplussed, but tries to hide it. "Even Oswald can't hit all of us. We'll machine gun all of you down."
"You think so?" Brent says quietly.
There's a moment of quiet while the Nazis are distracted...
...during which, moving so quickly that those on the stage who observe it do not even have time to blink, Dusty has drawn his two 1860 Colt Navy cap and ball revolvers and gotten a bead on their "captors.'
The Nazis are stunned. Unterlisch is furious with himself for letting this get out of hand. He'd been acting without proper authority to do this. That was why he'd wanted to capture the king with as little fight as possible. Seizing this port peaceably would be such a feather in his cap! He thought it would be so easy--the people are so primitive! Now he is at risk of losing his status with the Nazi regime--and his life!
His greatest hope are the two guards at the door. But at that very moment, Morrie emerges from the shadows to take them completely out of the picture.
The guards had been Unterlisch's last hope. Now he and his men face a man with a--sheathed sword?
Morrie stares Unterlisch right in the eye. "I will never waste my blade's edge on dishonorable men," he tells him coldly.
King Okello Masoze is politely seating Adnan's wife. A mark of kingship in Irhana is humility--which is why Okello Masoze dresses as a shepherd and listens to jazz at lunch with the people. "As you can see, we've anticipated your every move, Oberst Unterlisch. You were quite clever. You knew that our military was out in force to fight pirates so you've also planned an invasion to secure your position. No doubt you're placing all your hopes on that invasion force even now."
"Wha--how do you know--" Unterlisch stammers.
"You know those pirates the army was after?" Doug tells him.
"Turns out it was a Nazi sub complete with a small invasion force! Say hello to the captain and the engineer!"
"They caught us by surprise, Herr Oberst!" the engineer begins. "Shut up, Hans!" The captain tells him.
"Well, looks like the two of us weren't much help," Satsumi complains to Ted.
"We get plenty of action," Ted replies. "It's nice to give the other guys a chance."
"Humph," Satsumi replies.
"You believe you've bested us, eh, Crane? You and this black king. Well, you have won this battle."
"But we are the master race," Unterlisch sneers, "and you dark skinned apes and the mongrel obscene mixed races in this country will be crushed by Aryan superiority!"
"I think Jesse Owens already put the lie to Aryan superiority at the '36 Olympics, Unterlisch," King Okello Masoze says.
"Man, that was exhausting, right Morrie? I could use a cold beer!"
"Why are you so exhausted, Doug? You didn't do a damn thing but look at your watch."
"Didn't want to wrinkle the suit," Doug shrugs.
"Well, it is a nice suit," Morrie admits.
"Well, here's something you can do," the bartender says. "Help me clean up the mess YOU made!"
"Well, fellows, I thank you for entertaining US for a change," Desta says wrily. "But now let's get back to the music!"
"Oh my," says Achmed Falmed, the king's advisor. "This has been quite upsetting! A plot to kidnap the King and take over the country! I wish you'd told me! I believe I'd better get to the office at once and...."
"I don't think so, Achmed." The King's voice--and Adnan's scimitar--stop him in his tracks.
"Turns out that we've had a spy in the palace for some time now--a spy we've known about for a year. We fed you some false information and things turned out for the best. But no thanks to you. You have betrayed me and your country, you jackal."
"Death will be slow," Adnan whispers in Achmed's trembling ear.
"Adnan, get him out of my sight! And tell the German embassy they have 24 hours to leave! How convenient there's already a Nazi submarine handy!"
"You have been right all along, Doug," King Okello tells him somberly. "I hoped it wasn't true. The Nazi war in Europe will soon engulf this continent, too."
"You'll be ready, your Majesty," Doug says.