The Intellecta-Rhapsody!

me-jmspodcastI consider this story published because it is on a podcast. I wrote it specifically to be read aloud. The music to go with it is the Hungarian Rhapsody, which I downloaded from YouTube, royalty free. I always wanted to write a story for that song. On Feb 4, 2017, I read it on the JMSpodcast. Sooner or later, I will record my own version and post it. Here is a link to that podcast on Soundcloud (my reading starts at 01:19:03). Below is the text story. You can read along when you listen.

SUPER HOLLY HANSSON IN: THE INTELLECTA-RHAPSODY!

(For Bugs Bunny, for Woody Woodpecker, and for Tom & Jerry, who have all danced to this tune.)

THE SHOULDER OF HIGHWAY 101 SOUTH. THIRTY MILES NORTH OF SEASIDE CITY. A SATURDAY. 11:32 A.M.

(START: Hungarian Rhapsody music.)

“Not again,” whined Super Holly Hansson.

KER-POW! went the ray-gun barrel poking out of the Intellecta-car’s dashboard.

“OWWW-WITCH!” Holly’s mighty superheroine face burned and itched and smoldered and shuddered! She knew how Daffy Duck’s face felt if Elmer Fudd’s shotgun was from the planet Krypton! She jerked her fist out of the sparking hole she’d punched into the dashboard and growled, “You started it!”

“NEGATIVE,” the Intellecta-car monotoned, “YOU MADE IMPROPER GESTURES.” The dashboard’s morphing displays and glowing buttons coldly glared. How did her boyfriend Cal kept track of them when he drove this obnoxious car?

Holly crossed her arms and slammed back into the driver seat, no longer caring how its black, leathery kevlar deliciously caressed her thighs. “I was PANTOMIMING! How else do I drive you when you don’t have a steering wheel, or gas or brake pedals?”

“INPUT CORRECT COMMAND CODES!”

“My powers are flight, super-strength, and super-telekinesis. Not carburetor telepathy!”

From the passenger seat, Cal “The Intellectual” Critbert spoke spine-tingling grim. “Holly Hansson.”

So formal. Cal must be angry. But not half as angry as Holly was! She faced her caped and cowled boyfriend. “WHAT?!?!”

Cal tap-tap-tapped a fingertip on his black-armored temple. “You damaged my car’s telepathy circuit. Intellecta-car! Estimated self-repair time!”

“39 MINUTES, 17 SECONDS.”

Holly snapped, “How long to repair your manners?”

“MANNERS CIRCUITS UNDAMAGED. YOUR MANNERS ARE IMPERFECT.”

Cal spoke in that lofty, oh-so-patient teacher tone that Holly oh-so-hated. “You insisted on this. You wanted to drive, as you said, ‘your dark and smart Intellecta-Batmobile.”

“Stay out of this!” yelled Holly, slamming her fist down for emphasis.

All in an instant! The car roof opened! The passenger seat rocketed skyward! Cal yelled, “HOLLEEEEeeeeeeee…” Up, up, and far away, a parachute opened.

Holly lifted her fist. A big red button smirked up at her. “Why didn’t you warn me about the ejector seat?”

“YOU DIDN’T ASK.” The driver door slid open. “THIS DRIVING LESSON CAN SERVE NO FURTHER PURPOSE. YOUR VOCAL COMMAND ACCESS IS TERMINATED. GOODBYE.”

“I don’t like you either!” Holly jumped out, then scrunched back from wind-blasting freeway cars. Then her Wonder-Woman-esque e-bracelet buzzed. She tapped its display. “Hello?”

A hologram of a tall, lean, grey-haired army general popped out and barked, “Get your butt off the road!”

“It’s already off, Uncle Pops. Why… huh?” The ground was earthquaking!

Pops’s face filled the hologram. “The Rocky Gang stole a giant super tank! They’re on 101, headed for Seaside City!”

Holly snapped to attention! “This is a job for Super Holly!”

A metallic mound appeared on the horizon.

“It’s a job for the army! We’ve set a road block! We tried sending jets, but Rocky shot them down.”

Holly stared at the mix of army tank and giant cyborg rhinoceros rumbling toward her like an express train from hell. “You won’t turn my uncle into a tank tread waffle!”

“No! Holly, it’s got—”

Holly hung up. She strutted to the middle of the road, faced north, planted her feet, and readied her superpowered right hook, patent-pending!

A loudspeaker blared from the tank: “It’s dat super dame! Blast her, boys!”

A dopey thug voice: “You got it, boss!”

BLORRRRRRP!!! Green slime drenched Holly head to foot! That sickly fishy smell… she fell to her knees… her kryptonite! Green lutefisk!

VRRRRRRRROOOOOOOMMMMM!!! RUMBLE BUMPLE THUMPLE! Giant tank treads smushed Holly, “Ow, oof, umph, urg, ugh,” two feet into the road. Ow, two hundred tons right on Holly’s beaky super-nose!

“Yeah! Yeah! Rocky got you good! Yeah! Yeah!”

“ASSISTANCE CIRCUITS ACTIVATED.” A cold, snaky, robotic arm wound around Holly’s waist, lifted her limp body from her superheroine-shaped pothole, and plopped her into the driver seat. The end of the arm morphed into a rubbery sucker disk.

“Mmmph! Frrrph! Fffmmph!” said Holly as the sucker smooshed all over her face: SUCK SUCK! SLURP! SNORK SNORK!

The sucker retracted from her face and hovered over Holly’s chest. “I AM PROGRAMMED TO ASK PERMISSION BEFORE TOUCHING A WOMAN.”

Holly sighed. “Go ahead. But no wisecracks.”

“ACKNOWLEDGED. I AM NOT PROGRAMMED FOR WISECRACKS.” The sucker began cleaning: SLURP SLURP SLURP! SNORK SNORK SNORK!

Holly tried not to squirm, It’s just a machine, JUST A MACHINE! “Can’t you go any faster? We have to stop that tank before it squashes my uncle!”

The sucker slid up and down her arms: SHHHHLUP! SSSSSLUP! SSSP SSSP SSSP! “NEGATIVE! VOCAL COMMAND ACCESS NOT GRANTED!”

Despite that sucker sucking up and down her legs, Holly’s face flushed cold. “No! I need your help!”

“NEGATIVE! AWAITING DESIGNATED DRIVER!”

Holly looked out the windshield, imagining cars and civilians being mashed even now! “Cal won’t get back in time! I have to stop that tank!”

“NEGATIVE! GREEN LUTEFISK CAN KILL YOU! I CANNOT ALLOW HUMANS TO BE HARMED!”

“More humans will be harmed if I don’t save them! You can shield me!” Holly blinked back tears. “I’m just one human! That tank could smash hundreds! Please help me stop it! I beg you!”

“YOU WOULD RISK YOUR LIFE FOR OTHERS?”

“Yes! PLEASE!”

“ANALYZING.” The dashboard mosaic flashed and blinked, faster and faster. “YOU WOULD SAVE YOUR FELLOW HUMANS FROM TERMINATION AT THE RISK OF YOUR OWN TERMINATION. YOU ARE A HERO. VOCAL COMMAND ACCESS,” and the word spelled on the dashboard, “GRANTED!”

“Let’s get Rocky!”

“ACKNOWLEDGED!” Zero to three hundred in two seconds! Holly slammed six inches into the driver’s seat!

The Intellecta-car weaved and leaped past broken cars without slowing an iota! Holly tumbled into passenger seat, back seat, driver seat, upside-down, right-side-up!

“APOLOGIES. INERTIAL DAMPENER OFF-LINE. SHALL I PULL OVER?”

“No! OOF! I can take it! UGH… what the frack?”

A dozen cars tumbled toward the windshield like giant dice! Holly screamed, “Open the roof and grab me!”

“ACKNOWLEDGED!”

Holly stood up, her long blonde hair and red cape whipping in the wind! The robot arm held her legs, steady as a rock! She reached out. Her giant blue telekinetic hands shot out and caught cars! “What’s going on up there?”

“TELESCOPIC VIEW ACTIVATED.” A hologram formed before Holly, showing the super tank missiling down the road and knocking cars aside.

(Edward G. Robinson gangster voice) “Get off the road! BUMP! Get off the road! BUMP! This is Rocky’s road! Hey, Rocky made a funny! Rocky Road! Laugh, boys!”

(Dumb thug voice) “Huh huh huh! You’re funny, boss!”

Holly set cars aside. “Any cars ahead?”

“NEGATIVE. JUST ONE SCHOOL BUS FILLED WITH LITTLE CHILDREN.”

Holly gasped! “He wouldn’t dare!”

The tank pulled beside the bus. “Rocky doesn’t like kids! BUMP!”

The bus fell! Kids screamed, “AAAAAAAA!!!”

Holly yelled, “Go!”

“ACKNOWLEDGED!” ZOOM! Oof, Holly almost got super-whiplash!

The Intellecta-car dashed under the side of the 45 degree tilted bus! Holly pushed it upright!

Bus windows filled with cheering kids! “Yay, it’s Super Holly! Wow, that car’s so cool!” A tiny girl hopped and shrieked, “Punch him right in the mush!”

“I will! Pursuit speed!”

“ACKNOWLEDGED!” ZZZOOOOMMMMM!!!

A speeding, shiny, titanic tank loomed a hundred yards ahead.

Holly yelled, “Hey, Rocky! HEY!”

“INTELLECTA-LOUDSPEAKER ACTIVATED.”

“Thanks! Ready for round two, Rocky?”

“Rocky doesn’t like being followed! Blast her, boys!”

“You got it, boss!” Three missiles fired.

Holly punched them—POW! BIFF! BAM!—and stuck out her tongue. “Nyah nyah, you missed me!”

The tank’s shiny butt loomed larger. “Nobody nyah-nyahs Rocky! Feed her some lead, boys!”

“You got it, boss!”

“WARNING! COMING IN RANGE OF LUTEFISK WEAPON!”

Holly yelled, “Yes! Prep the Intellacta-cork so when—”

RAT-AH-TAT-AH-TAT-AH-TAT-TAT-TAT-TAT! A hailstorm of bullets bounced off superheroine and super car. Holly spat out a mouthful of lead: PAH-TOOEY!

“YOUR STRATEGY IS CALCULATED, AIMED, AND READY.”

Holly wanted to kiss the Intellecta-dashboard. “I love you.”

“ACKNOWLEDGED. ROADBLOCK CONTACT IN FORTY SECONDS.”

Holly snarled, “Turn around, Rocky! Or are you scared of me?”

The tank didn’t slow! “Rocky doesn’t listen to dames! Rocky squashes soldiers, yeah, yeah!”

The roadblock was dead ahead! Pops! The soldiers! No! Holly screamed, “Hey, Rocky! Humphrey Bogart had more gangster in his little finger than Edward G. Robinson had in his entire body!”

SPUTTER, SPUTTER! Nobody says that about Rocky’s idol!” The tank’s top turned. “Load the green stuff, boys!”

“You got it, boss!”

The tanks’s main gun aimed right between Holly’s eyes. “Rocky’s gonna get yuh in five, four, three…”

A gun barrel stuck out the Intellecta-car’s hood. POW!

“two…”

A cork clogged the tank’s gun: THORK!

“ONE!”

KAPOOOOOOOMB!

Green goo shot out the tank’s every crevice: BLLLLLLLUUURRRRRRRPPPPPPP!!!

Rocky screamed, “No, no! Rocky doesn’t like lutefisk!”

Henchmen howled, “Dis stinks! COUGH, CHOKE! We quit!”

The tank ground to a halt a few feet from steadfast soldiers.

Cal had wrestled out of the passenger seat parachute straps, converted his cape to Intellecta-glider, hitched a ride with a helicopter, and finally landed at the road block. He dashed to his car, and to his beloved!

And to where a short, squat man wearing a three-piece suit and 2.7 gallons of glowing, green, slimy lutefisk aimed an enormous pistol at that slumping superheroine. He squinted at Cal. “Yeah, yeah! Rocky’s taking this car, see? Try to follow Rocky and he plugs the little dame, see?”

Little? Holly had seven inches on Rocky. Green lutefisk did not make Holly any less bulletproof, but her big blue eyes were blazing… until they turned to the Intellecta-car’s open driver door. Holly smiled, showing an awful, wonderful, tooth-baring, Grinch of an idea. She posed like a damsel in distress. “Don’t shoot! I’ll get in!” She crawled into the car and over the driver seat. “Eek! It’s dark in here!”

Rocky scrambled into the driver seat. “Yeah, yeah! Rocky’s gonna get away… where’s the steering wheel? Where’s the gas pedal?”

The driver door closed. “DEFENSIVE CIRCUITS ACTIVATED.”

Rocky’s voice penetrated Intellecta-armor. “Hey!” ZAP! “Ow!” POW! “That hurts!” FFFZZZZZZP!!! “Quit it!”

“ACKNOWLEDGED.” The driver door opened. The driver seat spat out Rocky like a prune pit: “PAH-TOOEY!”

Holly’s uncle marched up. Rocky looked up at him. “Which way to your soldiers?”

Pops pointed to the road block. “Over there, sonny.”

“Thanks.” Rocky leaped to his feet and ran. “Help! Soldiers, take Rocky to jail! Get Rocky away from that killer car and that crazy dame! Help!”

Holly slid into the driver seat and kissed the dashboard. “MMM-WAH! So smart. MMM-WAH! So dark and brave. I love you. MMM-WAH! MMM-WAH!

That low rumble from under the hood. The Intellecta-car was purring!

Holly rubbed her cheek on the dashboard, her eyes closed in ecstasy. “I’m sorry I punched you. Forgive me?”

“ACKNOWLEDGED.”

Cal leaned down toward his brave and bold and contented girlfriend. “Holly, I should scan you for residual lutefisk.”

Holly pouted. “No.”

A gun barrel poked out of the dashboard and aimed right between Cal’s eyes. “DEFENSIVE CIRCUITS ACTIVATED.”

Cal stepped back. The driver door closed.

Pops chuckled. “She always liked your car, bat boy.”

Cal nodded. “Let’s clean up the tank. Holly and her ride want to be alone for a while.”

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