Chapter Fourteen: At Least We Tried

 Charlie sat in the tree, looking out
over Pleasant Creek.

“It's not your fault Charlie.”
Belle tried to reason with him. “You tried to do the right thing,
it's not your fault that he got sick.”
“How do you know?” Charlie replied,
still staring at the creek.
“Because he was under stress despite
you, not because of you. Even if he was out fighting, the stress of
the battle would have triggered that heart attack. You heard him
wheezing the last time he fought Demon. The next battle would have
been his last.” Belle pointed out.
Charlie sighed. “Yeah, I guess
you're right. You always seem to be able to think things through.”
“Family gift.” Belle chuckled. She
hugged Charlie tightly.
“Thanks.” He murmured.
“You're welcome.” Belle replied.
heard TJ yelling down below.
“WHAT?” Belle shouted down.
Sammy yelled.
“SURE!” Charlie replied.
The pair quickly got their fishing gear
and headed out with TJ and Sammy to the fishing hole near Pleasant
Dam. The others were already there waiting for them.
Daniel, being the tactful leader that
he is, had made sure that Sapphire nor Charles were going to be
mentioned that afternoon.
“Guys, before you two go and get
Belle and Charlie, I'd like to talk to you guys about Charles.”
He'd said.
“About?” Sammy enquired.
“Try and keep the talk of Charles and
Sapphire to a minimum. Charlie already feels guilty about what
happened, this fishing trip is so we can all relax and recover from
our various injuries and injustices.” Daniel started moralising.
Sammy raised his hand.
“Very funny Sam.” Daniel glared at
“If Charlie brings it up-,”
“GO.” Daniel fumed while everyone
else laughed.
“I do feel for poor Charlie though,
it must be really tough.” Petunia sighed after the two boys had
“Tell me about it. Part of me is
glad none of my grand-parents give a damn about me.” Sunny cast her
line and settled down, having absolutely no intention of catching any
fish, and every intention of spending the day relaxing.
Tammy looked sadly at Sunny. The
bruises were becoming less frequent, but from the looks of things the
connections that Sunny had with her family weren't improving.
“You have Joe. He looks out for
you.” Petunia tried to lighten the mood.
“And you have us.” Daniel put a
hand on her shoulder.
“Thanks guys.” Sunny smiled at her
“My grand-parents are very much the
doting type. If they knew I was out crime-fighting, they'd report my
parents to child services.” Petunia told them.
“My grand-parents keep giving me
history books about all the old wars. They think I might find
something useful in them.” Daniel chuckled. “I guess they're
“HEY! Caught anything yet?!” They
heard TJ yelling.
“That was quick!” Daniel marvelled.
“Uncle Bill gave us a ride. He's off
to the restaurant at the moment.” Belle told them as she settled
down on the picnic rug. “He just lost an argument with Dad.”
“I wonder about your family
sometimes.” Sunny shook her head.
“So do a lot of people.” Charlie
laughed. “Dad was telling me back when HE was a kid that he used
to hear them fighting all the time.”
“It works for us.” Belle shrugged.
“They all love each other.”
“And that's what counts.” Petunia
“This is getting too sappy, can we
move on to the fish now?” TJ complained.
“Awww, doesn't TJ wanna admit he wuvs
his Mummy and Daddy?” Sunny teased.
“Oh rack off.” TJ snapped.
“Touchy.” Daniel laughed.
The two boys started wrestling, soon
joined by Charlie and Sammy while the girls laughed. The sun was
shining, the birds were singing, the fish were biting, and soon the
friends were starting to pull in a good haul.
“Uncle Bill WILL be pleased!” Belle
grinned as the ice box steadily filled up.
“Is he going to be able to use it
all?” Sammy asked, throwing back a small fish that would have been
illegal to eat.
“Yup, business is booming at the
moment, especially now with the crime rate dropping. People are more
likely to leave their homes to go out to dinner nowadays.” Belle
“It's great to know we've helped make
this city better.” Daniel stretched himself out.
“You're not going to get all sappy
again are you?” TJ groaned, lifting a rather large fish into the
ice box. “I don't think we're going to fit much more in guys.”
“I'll call Uncle Bill and we'll get
the load to the restaurant. Nothing like fresh fish to go with your
chips!” Belles stomach began rumbling.
“You think Bill will let us have
some?” Sammy looked hopefully at the catch.
“He'll have to, won't he?” Petunia
was also starting to water at the mouth.
Soon Bill arrived to pick up the load,
and not long after that the friends were digging in to freshly cooked
“This is delicious.” Sunny wolfed
down another mouthful of her fish stir-fry.
“Unbelieveable.” Petunia helped
herself to another fish ball.
Sammy and Tammy were content with their
fish and chips (battered and crumbed respectively) while Daniel,
Charlie and TJ enjoyed their fish in a spaghetti marinara. Belle was
making her way through a fish salad.
“It wouldn't be right to sell all
these fish and not let you guys have some.” Bill looked out of the
kitchen and smiled at the feasting heroes. Already people were
starting to forward in, tempted by the delicious smells and the sight
of the food. The sun was setting over Lake Pleasant, and the whole
atmosphere was brilliant.
Charlie looked around the table. He
wished his grand-father was there with them. Every time he'd been to
visit the old man in the past week, the conversation had been frosty
at best.
Charles Howzat didn't have much time
The children had just finished their
meal and were about to start thinking about dessert when the sirens
“On a Saturday?!” Sunny groaned.
She'd been looking forward to some cheesecake to wash down the fish
“Let's go – discreetely!” Daniel
advised. They all thanked Bill for the meal, and shot out of the
back door to get changed into their gear.
Like Master Revolver, Mobster Marion
thought it was a good idea to have a celebration when she got
released from gaol.
Her celebration however had been a bit
more lawful. A nice party in her gated mansion hurt no one.
Until the Death Valley Gang arrived and
all-out war had started, endangering the nearby populace.
“Just concentrate on getting people
out of here!” Giggles said to Chuckles.
“Right!” Chuckles nodded. He
ducked underneath a barrage of bullets, heading into a nearby home
while Giggles helped a family out of the top-storey window of their
home. They took them to the end of a nearby cul-de-sac where they
would be safe, and where Lady Luck could look them over for any
The heroes were going okay until
Mobster Marion sent out her bayonet squadron. It was a lot more
difficult for the heroes to go unnoticed, especially when both
Mobster Marion and Master Revolver declared them targets too.
“WHY did we get involved in this?!”
Sir Dark yelped as he dodged another bullet.
“Because innocent lives and nobility
and because we're freaking insane!” Sir Lionheart replied, nearly
getting skewered with a bayonet.
“How many people left?”
“Too many!”
Sir Hyper ran screaming from one of the
bayonets, while Lady Courage tried fighting fire with fire and was
taking on two of the Gangsters.
“This is insane! I've seen skirmishes
between the DVG and Mob before, but this is beyond that!” Giggles
hid with Chuckles behind a house.
“Do you think this has anything to do
with that Mobster helicopter saving Revolver last week?” Chuckles
“It could very well do. Maybe
Revolver took it as an insult.” Giggles replied, sticking her head
out to check what was going on. She fired the Lucky Seven Gun at the
feet of a few goons, trying to get them away from Lady Courage and
Sir Hyper.
“This is way out of our league!”
Sir Hyper yelped as he hid with the others.
“Where are Sir Lionheart and Sir
Dark?” Lady Courage asked frantically.
“They're stuck over there with those
people. They can't get them out of to the cul-de-sac without getting
them killed!” Giggles groaned.
“We could provide a distraction.”
Chuckles piped up.
“NO.” Giggles flattened his
suggestion. “We'd get killed instantly, and then those poor
innocents would get polished off. There simply wouldn't be enough
“If they get distracted, then we've
got to try.” Chuckles pointed out.
“Well isn't this a mess?” Said a
booming voice that caused a temporary lull in the battle.
“Come on!” Chuckles grabbed
Giggles, who was furious. Damn the Improbability Clause!
“So, you're Demon.” Master Revolver
stepped forward from the group of Death Valley Gangsters, approaching
the newcomer who had walked calmly into the fray. “You're the one
who's been keeping the pests busy for us.”
“I don't approve of their meddling in
things that children should stay out of.” Demon replied. “You'll
understand I'm sure.”
“What do you want?!” Yelled Mobster
Marion from one of the mansion windows.
“I want back up. I want to know I
can count on the two most powerful fighting forces in Pleasantville
to back me when I take on the Pleasantville Council.” Demon stated.
“Whatever.” Master Revolver rolled
his eyes. “Get lost freak.”
“Do NOT mess with me Revolver. I
will kill you if I must.” Demon warned.
“I'd like to see you try.” Master
Revolver smirked, snapping his fingers. Four of the Death Valley
Gangsters surrounded him, protecting their master.
“Hmm.” Demon smiled his sick
Meanwhile, the heroes had almost gotten
the last of the unintended hostages out of the danger area and back
to Lady Luck.
“Almost there! Keep moving!” Sir
Lionheart hissed, trying to keep the small crowd inconspicuous.
“Don't you “hmm” me. Show some
respect for the most feared criminal in the city!” Master Revolver
Loud laughter was heard from the
mansion. Mobster Marion couldn't help herself after hearing that
last declaration!
“Shut up Marion!” Master Revolver
Meanwhile, the plan had worked. The
hostages were free and the heroes were safe.
“I am NEVER doing anything like that
again!” Sir Dark flopped onto the ground, head pounding.
“That was far too close for comfort.”
Sir Lionheart agreed. “If it wasn't for the Improbability Clause
we'd be in huge trouble.”
Giggles pouted.
“Yeah.” Chuckles wiped his brow.
He looked back towards where the battle had been. “Oh NO!”
Sapphire had arrived and was standing
close to where the battle had been.
“Grandpa no, you've just recovered
from your heart attack!” Chuckles groaned.
He ran towards the old man, who was
heading towards the battle armed with two knives.
Giggles ran after them, trying to get
the Backpack to work. She pulled out the Lucky Seven Gun, hoping she
wouldn't have to use it.
“Well look who else has arrived.
Hello Sapphire.” Demon sneered as the old hero walked slowly
towards them.
Chuckles screamed.
“So that's why the rat has your arm
thingies.” Demon looked down his nose at Chuckles.
Master Revolver backed off. He didn't
want any part of this battle. He'd done what he wanted to do, and
that was to put the Mobsters of Misneach on notice.
“I'll settle with you later Marion!”
He roared.
“Up yours too sunshine!” Was the
polite reply.
“Have fun with the old man.”
Master Revolver sneered at Demon, before taking his small army and
Sapphire attacked first, but the heart
attack plus his bad hips had slowed him down significantly. Demon
dodged far too easily, and shoved Sapphire to the ground.
“GRANDPA!” Screamed Chuckles, but
it was far too late. Demon stomped on one of Sapphires frail wrists,
breaking it easily. With the knife that had come loose from the old
mans hand, he stabbed his prey squarely in the chest.
Finally the Backpack was going to
behave! Giggles flew furiously towards Demon, ready to belt the
living daylights out of the man. Demon ducked her first swoop,
before throwing his boomerang after her. It clipped her arm, but she
couldn't feel the pain over her fury. One boot to the chest had him
sprawled on the ground
Realising that fighting Chuckles and
Giggles alone was a bad idea, Demon quickly set off one of his smoke
bombs and escaped.
“GRANDPA!” Chuckles was still
screaming. He fell to his knees next to his beloved grand-father.
Sapphire looked up at his grand-son.
“At least…we were willing to try.”
The howls of pain from his devastated
grand-son echoed hauntingly through the night.

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