The Weekly Serial Adventures of The Red Rocket! (Episode 3: The Blue Torpedo Attacks -- Part 1)

It was a beautiful, cloudless day in Duckfeed Park. Cheerful people milled about in shorts and sunglasses, taking in a bit of the warm sunshine on a splendid Sunday afternoon. A handsome family enjoyed a picnic of Subway sandwiches near a copse of evergreen trees, a young couple and their two fuzzy-haired sons.

“Mom,” one the boys – the younger one – whined, “Chris ate one of my chips!”

“Did not, turd-face!” the second boy, presumably called Chris, argued adamantly.

“You did too, fart-sniffer! You took one of my Sunchips!”

The mother sighed. “Oh, for the love of God, Adam, does it really matter if he ate one of your chips? You’ve got a whole bag.”

Tears welled up in Adam’s eyes. “Yes, it does matter! I was gonna eat that chip! It was my favorite one out of the whole bag, Mom! The whole bag!”

“You picked a favorite chip?” Dad asked, his mouth full of meatball sub.

“Jack, don’t talk with your mouth open. Chris, give Adam one of your chips,” Mom delegated, taking a bite of her Turkey-Lite.

“No!” Chris stood angrily. “I don’t like Lays! I want another Sunchip!”

Dad sighed and gestured for Chris to sit. “Don’t yell! Sit down and finish the sandwich, Chris. Adam, apologize for eating the chip.”

“Dad, I didn’t—”

“Yes you did—oh, wait, here it is.” Chris retrieved a ruffled Sunchip, apparently his favorite, from the blanket and eyed it admiringly.

“Told you,” Adam said bitterly.

The family continued to munch hungrily on their hoagies, unaware of the shadowy, hulking form crouched among the shrubbery not thirty yards away. A pair of cold, pale-blue eyes watched, unblinking. The form shifted and stood, revealing itself to be the dark silhouette of a large, heavily muscled man.

Chris, chewing loudly on his favored baked crisp, noticed the shape first as it moved out of the shadow of the woods.

“Mom, look! I think it’s Red Rocket! See the shield?”

The man did indeed wield a shield (not unlike the handsome hero of justice, Red Rocket), but he was not whom the small boy suspected. This man was taller, broader … and his immense, muscled girth bore a severe menace, an intimidation. He strode from the woods, his cold eyes regarding the family with contempt. As the sunlight fell upon him, it became apparent that his latex suit was not the crimson of Red Rocket, but rather a deep, haunting blue.

He halted a few feet from the slightly surprised picnicking family, half-chewed sandwiches in their mouths. He looked down upon them as the sunlight glinted off the surface of his large, rounded shield, which bore the insignia of a blue torpedo.

“I am Blue Torpedo,” the terrifying man said in a deep, grating baritone, “Perpetuator of evil, doer of wrongs. I talk loudly during movies, take twenty minutes to order a coffee, text on my cell phone while I’m driving, harass and humiliate those who I find to be lesser than me. Yield to my awesome might or face the consequences!”

The family sat in stunned silence. A dill pickle plummeted from Adam’s mouth.

“So … you’re not the Red Rocket?” Chris asked quietly.

Blue Torpedo regarded little Chris with an unyielding hatred. “No, little boy … I am most certainly not that overstuffed, pompous vigilante! In fact, I dare him to show his ruggedly handsome face! I’ll lay my fists into him like a sack of potatoes!”

“So … do you know the Red Rocket?”

The Blue Torpedo roared in fury, knocking the hoagie out of Chris’ hand with a massive fist. The defenseless ham sandwich disappeared on the horizon.

“Hey, my sandwich!”

“You’re next, junior!” Blue bellowed.

“Not so fast, you sandwich-punching brute!” There was a streak of crimson, a flash of gleaming teeth and the Red Rocket leapt to defend the Sunchip-loving young man. “Your fight is with me, Torpedo.”

The villainous Torpedo grinned crookedly and rumbled deep within his barrel chest. “We meet at last, Rocket. I’ve heard so much about you. You’re paler than I expected.”

Rocket tensed. “You may cease with the petty insults, Torpedo. I’m here to end this before it starts.”

Torpedo shoved Rocket by the shoulder. The family gasped. Nobody touched Rocket. Nobody.

“You dare to lay a hand on me, miscreant?”

“I dare. And I dare again!”

He acted surprisingly quick – too quick for Rocket. His massive fist plowed into Rocket’s jaw, launching the startled hero into the air with the sheer force of the blow. He landed in a crumpled heap on the grass, not stirring.

“Rocket!” Chris cried.

“Go!” Rocket ordered from his prone position. “Get the hell out of here, you fools!”

“Yes, run along now,” Torpedo sneered, rubbing his knuckles. “Let Rocket and I finish this.”

The family didn’t hesitate. Gathering the remains of their waylaid picnic, they scampered off, throwing worried glances in the wounded Rocket’s direction. Torpedo laughed mercilessly and strode slowly towards Rocket, who groaned feebly from the grass.

“And here we have the mighty Red Rocket, felled by a single blow! This is priceless … simply priceless.”

“You underestimate me, Torpedo,” Rocket said, forcing strength into his voice. He stood shakily. “Shall we?”

Torpedo grinned and brought his shield to bear. “Oh, we shall.”

And the two combatants leapt forward.

Who is this Blue Torpedo? Will our brave hero overcome his awesome power, or will the mighty Red Rocket finally fall? Check back next weekend for the exciting second part of “The Blue Torpedo Attacks!”

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