We all scream for ice cream

You made not believe it, but there ARE still good people in the world. Consider this story. Supervillain activity was common, of course. Less common, but common enough to be worrying, were supervillain team-ups. In this case, the Liquidator and Quackerjack had decided that the best way to get these modern toys off the shelves and make room for the good old stuff was to take part in what Liquidator referred to as 'creating demand for supply'.

What he REALLY meant, of course, was 'flood all the toy and video game stores until their contents are floating down the main street'.

The Liquidator had flooded the city before. But Quackerjack had not developed many 'fun' water toys that he'd dearly wanted to test before.

Wind up sharks. Fun for the whole family!

Screaming citizens locked themselves into their cars as they tried to drive off in the rising water. Some just climbed on top of their cars and continued screaming as the water had risen far enough to float them and their vehicles away.

It was into this chaos that an ice cream truck man stepped in. As people stopped to stare in horror at the huge wave surging up the street, the door to the ice cream truck opened and they were hustled inside to make a speedy getaway.

A very speedy, and irresponsibly driven getaway. With all the bumping and falling about, it was no surprise that when the truck screeched to a halt, nobody really noticed their watches, wallets, and assorted jewellery missing as they stumbled out, mumbling their thanks.

Lilly was the last to make for the door. But because she liked to be polite, she turned to face the driver properly before doing so.

"Thank-"

A beat, a disbelieving stare.

"YOU?!"

    • Negaduck
      Negaduck

      The icecream man in question, nametagged Billespie, turned to eye her through a criminally thick fake moustache.

      "Not a worry, signorina," he said with what could have been a friendly smile on a far toothier planet.

      "'Elping people is what I do."

      Really, could she protest that?

      • Lilly Teal
        Lilly Teal

        Oh of course, that was completely who do you think you're fooling?!

        Stepping forward a little, though she wisely had the sense to keep some distance between them, she observed the mustachioed mallard narrowly.

        Is that a mask?! Who did he think he was fooling!

        Oh I don't know, he managed until you started paying attention.

        "Y... eeeeesssssss," she said slowly, backing or the door. "Absolutely. So kind."

        When someone is bad at lying, that usually means one can tell when they're trying to hide something even without a direct lie. And her current 'where is the nearest police station' expression was VERY loud.

        • Negaduck
          Negaduck

          What was even louder was the silent sliding of annoyance over his doubly disguised face. Despite the fact it was, you know, silent.

          Would it have killed her to play along?

          "You just had to start paying attention," spoken in his usual Negaduck huff. "Real smart, missy."

          As he turned back to the wheel, there was a CLANG as the auto-door shut and locked itself behind her, sealing Lilly inside. On the downside, with the city's most wanted criminal. On the up, with icecream.

          "You can stay here now until we rendezvous with the rest of those idiots."

          Pedal slammed back to the metal as they hooned off again, directly through the throng of citizens whom he had just 'saved'. The cops might not pay much notice to a girl gibbering about secret supervillains or a granny stuck in his fender, but certain vigilantes had annoyingly good hearing when it came to mid-scheme bust-ups. Better to pay it safe.

          • Lilly Teal
            Lilly Teal

            WAK was the highly undignified sound of a young woman being catapulted towards the back of an ice-cream truck, in a highly undignified manner.

            It might not have killed her to play along, but anything else might.

            "Wait, you can't just lock me in here!" A unnecessary statement, considering he already had. "And why an ice-cream truck! Why are you... deliberately not ruining ice-cream for everyone?"

            Ruining things everyone likes is kind of the point, right? So why are you masquerading as what could charitably be called one of the best-loved occupations in the city and NOT making it terrible?

            ... for everyone except me, obviously.

            • Negaduck
              Negaduck

              The fun of driving an icecream van was the ability to lure innocent kiddies into its path with mere music alone. Granted the kids had great reflexes and the van wasn't the most manoeuvrable in existence so actually hitting them was a challenge, but dang it, it was a challenge he enjoyed.

              Enough not to pay Lilly's squawking any attention.

              "The thing with henchmen," mused as hrrrrrrrhhhhhk they screeched sideways around a corner. "Is you have to take them out for some exercise regularly," urrrrrrrrrrkrk "-or they-" HHHHRRRRRHHH "-all over the carpet, you know?"

              Through the classic cart of fruit - bruised and selling cheap! - they crashed before speeding down the straight.

              There, in the distance, a solitary toddler, summoned by the siren-like song of desserts, stood with her cute as a cute button arms outstretched towards the fast-closing vehicle. So conditioned by the reward of treats, not for a moment did she consider that the approaching blur could be a harbinger of doom rather than chocolate-dipped deliciousness.

              Negaduck grinned.

              And planted his foot onto the accelerator.

              What an easy twenty points this would be!  

              • Lilly Teal
                Lilly Teal

                "AAAAAAAAAAAAH!"

                There was a fairly constantly level of pained cries from the back of the truck as Lilly kept slamming into one wall or the other before she could get a secure grip on anything, and the final gunning of the acceleration sent her flying into the locked back doors. Again.

                Groaning, she dragged herself back to her feet. And then the sight of the road in front of them caused the AAAAAAH to resurface, with considerably more urgency.

                At least there was no more turning. Nothing could send her off balance as she lunged forward along the length of the van and threw herself at the steering wheel.

                It wasn't the biggest impact, but it was impact enough, and the van skidded crazily on two wheels as it swerved, juuuuust ruffling the toddler's hair as one of the raised wheels whizzed by closely overhead.

                "Stop trying to run children over!" I take it back! You're definitely trying to traumatise anyone who likes ice-cream!

                • Negaduck
                  Negaduck

                  Like snatching a bone from a very growly dog, Negaduck snarled and fought her attempt to snatch away his fun. 

                  The combination of interference, however, and overcorrection saw them wheel wildly down a few more streets. Finally, thanks to someone knocking the handbrake, they screeched into a spin...

                  ... only to stop with a bump against the side of the road, perfectly parallel parked. 

                  How about that. 

                  After a moment to recover from what could have been a much worse collision, the villain stood, peeled off his moustache, and loomed over his unwitting accomplice.

                  Just in case she had forgotten she was trapped in a vehicle with a notorious psychopath, whom she had the gumption to displease.

                  "Haven't you ever heard of killing time?"

                  He needed that destruction, blast it. It was a fix, an addiction, a hunger that drove him faster than any out of control icecream van. And she had gone and removed his outlet...

                  Still, a murmur as he closed in.

                  "If it wasn't for that portal..."

                  Rational brain trying to convince homicidal brain. Come on, why throw away an entire dimension of sadistic pleasures for one measly murder? Where was the logic in that?

                  Bah, logic smogic. 

                  • Lilly Teal
                    Lilly Teal

                    Killing time, not killing children!

                    "Ah..." scooting backwards, she tried to find a wall that she could use scramble back to her feet. Without turning around. Don't take your eyes off the wild animal.

                    "L-listen." As if he would. Backing up further, frantically racking her mind for some excuse. "You're supposed to be incognito, right? Who doesn't do reckless driving in St. Canard, that's... that's fine. Smash into whatever you like."

                    Sure, let's just call it 'reckless'.

                    "But. But!" Trying to get one of the seats between them somehow. "If you actually hit someone, there might be witnesses who report it, and then the police will want to ask questions. And then there isn't the point of a cover?"

                    Right?

                    Please?

                    Are you telling me you sincerely believe your henchmen will be sensible enough to preserve your cover if the police drop by to ask a few questions?

                    • Negaduck
                      Negaduck

                      Are you telling me you sincerely believe your current company has the patience to maintain cover for longer than strictly necessary? Or a single utterance of the 'B' word (bunny, we're talking about bunnies here, folks).

                      "You think I, the single greatest criminal mastermind to blight this city, can't handle the fuzz?!"

                      Oh great, let's add a dash of indignation to that bloodthirst.

                      "An entire mob of irritating interferences couldn't stop Negaduck!"

                      To be fair, mob justice had caught him on a number of occasions, but he was Negaduck, and a little thing like technicalities couldn't stop him either.

                      What did though was a rat-a-tat-tat on the van's serving window. 

                      "About time..." Preparing to redirect the ranting at his ever-disappointing cohorts, without a second thought, he flipped open the hatch. 

                      "Now listen here you whiny, useless blockhea--"

                      Trailing off as it became apparent he wasn't talking to the Four. No, it was something far far worse.

                      • Lilly Teal
                        Lilly Teal

                        Bright eyes and rosy cheeks beamed up at him. It looked almost exactly like the toddler they'd barely avoided running over, though it didn't seem possible that she could have caught up with them so fast.

                        And yet here she was.

                        "Hi!" she chirped merrily "Ice cream please!"

                        Lilly had almost gotten completely under the passenger seat to try and escape Negaduck's impending wrath, but the sound of a sweet little child walking directly INTO Negaduck's impending wrath made her stick her head out again, eyes wide.

                        "I want triple mint ripple!"

                        • Negaduck
                          Negaduck

                          She wasn't the only one momentarily stunned into silence. That did look like the same child. What was with this town and freakishly indestructible brats? 

                          "We're closed, kid!" he snapped, snapping closed the hatch.

                          Except the handle of a pogo-stick was jammed in, preventing its locking.

                          Voices. A dozen or more tiny voices started to squeal outside like pint-sized protestors.

                          "Icecream!"

                          "ICECREAM!"

                          "I wan' a waffle wone!"

                          "CHOCOLATE!"

                          "DIPPING NUTS!"

                          "SPRINKLES!"

                          Holding the hatch down with all his might, the cornered crook had his hands full already when tiny clawing grabbing hands squeezed through the gap, vicious dairy-dazed zombies. 

                          The van began to shake. The doors rattled. Fists and fingerprints streaked the windshield. 

                          Leaving Negaduck to stare at Lilly through a mixture of disbelief and sheer terror.

                          What kind of operation in addiction were these icecream pendlers running!?

                           

                          • Lilly Teal
                            Lilly Teal

                            Well who asked you to go undercover like this!

                            She stared back at him a moment, unsettled by this weird sense of bonding in their shared disbelief and sheer terror. But they couldn't just stay here staring, or they'd overturn the van. Scrambling out from under the seat, she slid over to him.

                            "Open the hatch, or we'll never get out of this," she whispered hastily. "They're not going to leave."

                            Ducking a little, she peered through the crack the pogo stick had created. "Sorry darlings! Yes, ice-cream?" she said with a bright and significantly brittle smile.

                            "ICE-"

                            "YES WE HEARD."

                            Well that came out a little loud. The rosy cheeked girl went silent in shock at having a voice raised at her, however kind it was.

                            "Quickgettheicecreamtubsopenwherearethecones."

                            • Negaduck
                              Negaduck

                              "Why do every time I see you we get surrounded by a swarm of shrieklings?" Every time was a bit of a stretch, but once was one time too many in his book. "Who are you, the Pied Pauper?"

                              All the same, he had released the hatch to heft soft serve mix into the lid of the machine. Fortunately it was already on, thanks to a certain toymaker toying around with it earlier. Two flavours, delicious creamy vanilla, and.. green. 

                              "Now how does this..." Flipping a random switch, and not noticing that stupid bow tie had come too close to a vent, lead to one thing: being tugged into a cooling fan by the collar.

                              WHIRRRRRR!

                              "BWAAAAHHHH!!"

                              Pay no attention to the explosion of cloth-based confetti, kids. Everything is just peachy.

                              • Lilly Teal
                                Lilly Teal

                                "Waffle cone? Right. Okay. Sprinkles?"

                                "These aren't sprinkles!" They look more like shredded bits of bow-tie, lady!

                                Lilly paused, staring down at the sprinkles container. It did indeed contain bits of cloth. But where could it have come fro-

                                Turning around was the first clue, as the cloth-based confetti was still raining down gently. "Ah! One moment kids."

                                She tried to cross the space as fast as possible, in case even one moment was too much for them to wait, and tried to get Negaduck back upright. "Are you okay? Listen if I hand you the cones can you just put the ice-cream in... in... why, why is one of them neon green what IS that?"

                                "Green?"

                                "Ice cream isn't green!"

                                "Wait. If it IS green that means-"

                                "NEW FLAVOUR."

                                "I WANT THE GREEN ICE CREAM."

                                "ME TOO."

                                "WITH CHOCOLATE AND NUTS."

                                "SPRINKLES."

                                Clang clang, rattle bang.

                                • Negaduck
                                  Negaduck

                                  Pulling away from Lilly - help, who needs it, as if he couldn't handle a little face shredding - the ice dealing imposter regained his cool composure. 

                                  "It's pistachio."

                                  Ah dur. 

                                  "Kids have good taste."

                                  Handing over a completed cone without cloth confetti, he added, "What'd you think I'd be feeding them, mutating radioactive sludge?"

                                  Actually, that wasn't a bad idea. Imagine hordes of Cronenberged kiddies swarming the town, the citizens being unable to shoot their own spawn, the chaos, the terror..!

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