The Weekly Serial Adventures of The Red Rocket! (Episode 4: The Blue Torpedo Attacks! -- Part 2)

The Red Rocket, bloodied and beaten, hit the grass with a groan. His heavily-muscled body was giving out on him; his smile was no longer gleaming. His crimson suit, stained and tattered, no longer shone with the brilliance of a daily trip to the drycleaners. His left eye was swollen shut, his perfectly cropped hair was disheveled and escaping in tufts from his ever-important mask of concealment.

Sweat glistened on his tanned skin, but it was not the “good sweat” one works up on an afternoon jog or a few miles on the stationary-bike; no, this was the perspiration of sickly exhaustion. The iron Rocket shield, which had for so long defended Red from harm, lay dented and scuffed a few yards away. Rocket coughed, tasting blood as he squinted at the looming shape eclipsing the sun above him.

The vile, the powerful, the wicked, the slightly insane and always aggressive Blue Torpedo.

He laughed mirthlessly and cracked his neck with a quick arch of his shoulders. He was impervious to blows, resistant to pain. He was a hulking monstrosity of a man, as broad as he was tall and as powerful as he was merciless. He bent down beside the fallen hero and placed a heavy, massive hand on Red’s chest.

“And so we have it, Red Rocket. Your demise! And how very sweet it is; oh, how very sweet. Like candy, Rocket – like deliciously sweet candy, the most sugary, fattening, sweetest candy you’ve ever tasted.” He paused a moment, reviewing his previous statement and, upon nodding in approval of said statement, continued with his analogy. “So you see, Rocket, you’re death here in this park is, for me, like eating a tasty candied treat. Do you understand?”

Rocket spit blood into Torpedo’s face. “I get the picture, you hulking monstrosity!” he groaned, straining against the increasing pressure of Torpedo’s hand on his chest. “Now get on with it – kill me already so you can go eat your damn candy.”

Torpedo smiled cheerlessly and stood. “Very well, Rocket. With your death, I shall roam free, doing as a I please. Nobody will have the guts to tell me I’m talking too loud on my cell phone, or that I’m standing on their child.”

“Standing on their child?” Rocket queried.

“It’s a long story involving a grocery store display and clumsy eight-year-old. I’d tell it to you, but I’m afraid I’m quite busy ending your life.”

Rocket tensed his aching muscles, a thousand bruises and cuts searing with pain as he flexed. Torpedo turned his gaze to the sky, his wide, chiseled face splitting into a sick grin.

“It was so easy, Rocket. You hardly landed a single blow upon me. Clearly, I am your better. Justice is naught, my friend. Annoying assholes reign supreme. You stand for patience and courteousness? Well, I support self-importance and being a jackass in line at the bank! The world will crumble under me, and all because Rocket couldn’t land a punch in the park. It’s so very sad.”

Rocket sighed. “Would you just get on with it? You flap your mouth too much.”

“Apologies, Rocket. Yes, we must continue.” Torpedo raised his gleaming shield into the air, preparing to bring it down and end the life of the red-suited hero. “It’s been fun, of course. Farewell.”

What happened next is still unclear to most. Many believe that Rocket willed his own shield to his hands, deflecting the blow and gaining the upper hand in a fight that was, apparently, already won. Still others persist that Rocket caught the shield between his hands with a dexterous agility rivaling that of a snake, providing him an opportunistic comeback and a weapon to boot. But the real events are thus:

Rocket brought his leg up swiftly, sinking his left boot squarely into Torpedo’s groin. The large man’s face went deathly white and expressionless. His eyes darkened slightly as his shield slipped from his hands. Rocket caught the falling shield and rolled to the right as Torpedo teetered. With a slight, guttural moan, the villainous Torpedo plummeted to the earth, crashing to the ground in a pain that can only be described as “monolithic.”

Rocket stood, wiping blood from his nose. He willed himself to stand tall, stand strong. He took a deep breath, let it out in a purifying sigh, and brought the heavy iron shield to a meeting with the back of Torpedo’s skull. The accompanying sound was not unlike a giant gong and Torpedo lost consciousness almost immediately. The blinding pain in his crotch subsided with unconsciousness as he lay helpless in the park grass.

Rocket dropped the shield to the grass beside Torpedo and stood victorious – beaten, weakened … but, nonetheless, victorious.


Chris, the young fellow with the love of Sunchips, scampered towards the conquering hero, a wide smile dominating his boyish face.

“Yes, hello there,” Rocket groaned. “Chris, was it?”

Chris appeared elated that Rocket knew his name. “Yes, sir! Chris it is!”

“No ‘sir,’ please, son. Call me Rocket.”

“Ok, Mr. Rocket, sir –“ he caught himself. “I mean, you know, Rocket.”

Rocket smiled slightly, which was more painful than he had anticipated. “Your family is safe, I hope, Chris?”

“Yes, of course, Rocket. We’re perfectly fine. Gee, though, what a fight! You really took a wailing, huh?”

Rocket frowned slightly, which also hurt considerably. “Yes, indeed it was, Billy.”

“Chris, sir.”

“Chris, right. What I said.”

“Yes, well … could I bother you for a autograph, Rocket?”

Rocket had the brief urge to lift the child into the air and hurl him into a cloud, but ultimately decided against it. He was in more pain than he’d ever experienced, but his fans needed him. They needed to know he was OK (though he clearly wasn’t).

“Sure, kid, why not.”

“Oh, wow, Rocket! Thank you so much!” He presented a black-and-white photograph of the Rocket, taken a few years prior, standing tall and proud atop a brick building, his shield gleaming almost as bright as his pearly whites, and a sharpie.

“Ah, a good one, indeed. One of my favorite shots.” He hastily signed the thing and handed it back to Chris.

“Oh, boy! Wait ‘till the guys on eBay see this!”


“Ha! Just kidding!” He was not.

Rocket smiled nonetheless. And, leaving a shamed and injured (and most likely infertile) Blue Torpedo unconscious in the grass, Rocket and Chris walked off into the sunset – Chris back to his loving family and Rocket to the nearest emergency room.

He survived the vicious assault of the Blue Torpedo this time around, but what will happen when the Red Rocket faces off against him once more? Will our fallen hero recover from his near-fatal wounds? Will Chris get a good price off that autographed photo on eBay? Find the answers to these questions and more in the exciting next episode of "The Weekly Serial Adventures of the Red Rocket!"

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