This week’s assignment for The League:
Who would you take in an 80′s character fantasy draft? Your team’s goal will be to defeat a shady conglomerate of Russian businessmen and their team of hired ninjas. It’s go time.
I skipped most of the obvious candidates for this assignment. He-Man, Snake Eyes, the Thundercats – any of these guys could eat a bunch of ninjas for breakfast, so there didn’t seem to be much fun in that. Instead, I decided to put together a sort of heist group using talented but not necessarily super-powered cartoon characters from the 1980s.
The scene: the Russian port city of Vladivostok, July 15, 1988, 10:40pm local time.
A hot, damp, drizzly day. Misty rain sticks to everything, as if the entire world is sweating.
Two small figures stand outside a huge, dark warehouse. One wears a black trenchcoat and hat that covers his entire body and face, while the other is dressed in typical dockworker clothing.
“What if this goes wrong?” says the dockworker, revealing a teenaged voice.
“Boss has a contingency plan,” says the other, revealing an equally young voice. “But we’ve got to do this. I’ve been after these bad dudes since they took over half of Brighton Beach in Brooklyn. It’s payback time.”
While the dockworker keeps an eye on the deserted street, the trenchcoated figure approaches a small, innocuous looking box attached to the side of the building. He pries it open carefully, revealing a nest of wires. After much consideration, he snips two wires. After a tense moment, with no obvious result, he gives the A-OK sign to his partner – with three green fingers.
The young dockworker nods and whispers something into a walkie-talkie. On the roof, a tiny figure in white scampers across the black tiles. Handling a screwdriver as a human would hold a crowbar, he pries up a panel that, had the security alarm not been disabled, would have set klaxons blaring throughout the warehouse.
He slips inside and into the ductwork. Ten minutes later, the single back door to the warehouse clicks as it unlocks.
Two figures – one enormously tall, the other surprisingly short and holding a briefcase – are waiting outside the door. As they pass through, Danger Mouse hops on the big one’s shoulder.
“Let’s make this quick,” says the short one.
“I don’t like this, Boss,” says the big one.
“Quiet,” the boss growls. “And don’t worry. I’ve got a contingency plan.”
All of them know the risks: at any time, they could be swarmed with the best-trained ninjas the Russian mafia had to offer.
Just as they near the office they’re looking for, the Boss stops them with a hand and gestures around the corner. A Russian Ninja is pacing nearby, guarding the area. The Boss gestures to the big one, who nods.
Just as the Russian Ninja nears the corner, the big fellow reaches out, grabs him and puts him into a sleeper hold. Within seconds he’s unconscious.
“Good work,” says the Boss. They follow him into the office. After a quick examination of the room, the short one notices an odd panel on the wall.
Mr. T grabs the edges. Veins stand out on his biceps as he strains, but finally the panel comes off with a loud pop. All three of them startle, but there’s no immediate swarm of ninjas.
Inside the wall is a small safe. Danger Mouse slips off Mr. T’s shoulder and moves to the safe. Putting his large, sensitive ear to the side, he spins the dials for a few minutes while Mr. T and the Boss keep an anxious eye out.
Finally there’s a click, and the Boss grins as the safe door swings open, revealing a pile of documents. He opens the briefcase and quickly fills it.
Mr. T chuckles a bit. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you smile before, Boss.”
“Yeah, well, there’s not usually much to smile about.”
Grumpy Bear, Mr. T and Danger Mouse quickly head out of the office. Just as they round the corner toward the back door, a dozen Russian Ninjas leap out of the shadows.
“Aw, crap,” Grumpy Bear mutters.
Mr. T starts tossing Russians around while Grumpy Bear charges toward the exit, dodging ninjato blades and shuriken. Suddenly Donatello appears at the back door and joins the fight, quickly dispatching the ninjas with his superior skill.
“Brett!” Grumpy Bear shouts at the one dressed like a young dockworker, who is hanging just outside the door. “Time to go!”
Brett nods and pulls out a device created for him by Donatello, a portable miniature heat ray. He aims it at his chest. A few seconds later, he begins to transform.
Grumpy Bear, Mr. T, Danger Mouse and Donatello quickly pile into Turbo Teen, with Mr. T at the wheel. “Get us out of here!” Grumpy Bear shouts. The car peels out just as more ninjas descend upon them from nearby rooftops.
“Head toward the docks,” says Grumpy Bear. “We’ve got to make it to the plane.”
Suddenly a pair of helicopters appear out of nowhere. “Uh oh,” says Danger Mouse. “Looks like our Russian Mafia has friends in high places in the government…”
Bullets spray from the marksman on the helicopters as Turbo Teen speeds toward the area along the dock where they’d parked their VTOL. “Ouch!” he screeches as a bullet tears through his chassis.
Just as they reach the docks, a third helicopter appears out of nowhere while dozens of more ninjas pour out of the shadows toward them.
“This ain’t good,” says Mr. T as they pile out of Turbo Teen. Donatello opens his toolkit and sprays the car with a blast of liquid nitrogen, and within seconds Brett is back in human form, holding his calf where a bullet wound is visible.
As they scramble into the VTOL, Donatello says, “I don’t think we’re gonna get out of here alive, Boss.”
Grumpy Bear stops just outside the door to the VTOL and pulls out a small remote control with a single, big red button.
“What’s that?” Donatello asks.
“The contingency plan.” Grumpy Bear presses the button.
Suddenly, just as the helicopters are bearing down on the VTOL and the ninjas are about to reach them, the water just outside the dock begins to boil, then explodes. A living mountain emits a roar to split the heavens.
As the helicopters begin a panicked retreat, a tongue of flame issued from Godzilla’s mouth and destroyed them.
“Let’s get out of here,” says Grumpy Bear as Godzilla goes to work on the remaining enemies. The Care Bear gives the monster a little salute as the VTOL lifts off and heads out into the sky.
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