One Hundred and Eleven: New Management

Sammy was still down in the dumps a few days later when he and Sunny sat on the dam wall talking about how they were going to lead the Knights in the face of current developments.

“You're really bummed out about Dan huh?” Sunny asked as the sun set behind them.

“It's dumb, I know, but I've looked up to him for as long as I can remember. I have three older brothers and yet they're nothing compared to Dan.” Sammy told her.

“Well, your brothers ARE fifteen years older than you.” Sunny pointed out. “Anyway, Dan'll be back before you know it.”

Sammy wasn't so sure.

“Anyway, we're now the temporary leaders of the Noble Knights of the Last Order. We need a game plan.” Sunny continued.

“What's wrong with going on as we have been?” Sammy asked. “There was nothing wrong with Dans leadership!”

“No, there wasn't, but we're not Dan. We need to go our own way and forge our own path.”

“Didn't you say Dan would be back before we knew it? We don't want to be changing too much if he's going to return.”

“We have to leave the Knights in a good state, and we can't do that if we're too busy trying to be something we're not!”

Both of them glared at each other.

“Darn it Daryl!” Chuckles unsheathed the Lions Claw Blade and rushed to stop his long-time enemy from selling any more drugs.

“Back off Chuckles.” Crusader Daryl drew his shotgun out and aimed it at Chuckles. Almost immediately he felt the Lucky Seven Gun at his back.

Today in Pleasantville, Daryl had decided to try and beat the Haunted Maze Troupe at their own game. Still smarting from his fathers dismissal, he had found an overseas supplier who made cheap drugs. Daryl had refined them into gummy lollies, which he was now selling in bags outside of the high school.

“You guys are really trying to kill my entrepreneur spirit today, aren't you?” Daryl threw a baggie of powder at Giggles, fogging up her helmet. Chuckles only just got there in time to stop him from shooting Giggles in the chest.

“Leave him to me!”

Chuckles jumped out of the way just in time to dodge a baseball bat blow that was aiming for Crusader Daryl. Lady Courage was ready to attack and put her brother away.

“Courage, back up, he's got a gun!” Chuckles tried to stop her.

“COURAGE GET DOWN!” The group heard Sir Hyper cry. Thankfully Lady Courage listened and ducked, as Daryl fired off his shotgun, removing a few of her hairs.

Sir Hyper ran up to the situation as Giggles picked Daryl up and flew him into a nearby tree, making him drop his shotgun in the process. “PUT ME DOWN YOU WENCH!” Daryl screamed as Giggles tossed him into the branches. His shirt got hooked on a rather large branch, and the Crusader was stuck.

“Well THAT was annoying.” Giggles landed next to Chuckles. “Lady Courage, I get that you don't like y…Crusader Daryl…but what was THAT all about?!”

Lady Courage gritted her teeth and said nothing.

“She's just trying to stamp herself all over Sir Lionhearts Knights.” Sir Hyper grumbled.

“That has nothing to do with it!” Lady Courage screeched.

Chuckles and Giggles flinched.

“It has EVERYTHING to do with it! You don't have my back at all!” Sir Hyper yelled back.

“This is more awkward than the time great-Aunt Helga came over and told us all where she was going that night.” Giggles whispered to Chuckles, who wasn't so sure about that assessment (it was VERY awkward, great-Aunt Helga has ZERO filter).

“Well YOU didn't get here in time, and SOMEONE had to help Chuckles and Giggles!” Lady Courage fired back.

“Chuckles and Giggles were fine!” Sir Hyper dismissed her.

“Please don't drag us into this. In fact, I think I'd rather fall into the Lake.” Chuckles nudged Giggles.

“Right, we're GONE!” Giggles quickly picked up Chuckles and flew off, for once not landing in the Lake.

“You're just jealous that I was Sir Lionhearts best friend and YOU were just some forgotten bimbo!” Sir Hyper went for the jugular.

“Oh REAL mature, go straight for petty insults instead of trying to sort out the issue at hand!” Lady Courage fired back.

“Do you ever wonder if we made the right call putting both of them in charge?” TJ asked as he sat with Tammy and Petunia at the tip. Sunny and Sammy were both still screaming at each other a few feet away.

“I mean, on paper it's a good idea, and Dan does need a break…” Petunia sighed loudly.

“Does it HAVE to be both of them though?” Tammy muttered, getting very annoyed with the state of things.

TJ blinked, and then got up.

“You're right Tammy! Sunny and Sammy don't have to be leaders at all!” He grinned.

“I didn't QUITE say that…” Tammy started.

“Sunny, Sammy, you've tried being the leaders of the Noble Knights of the Last Order, and, quite frankly, you both suck.” TJ steamrolled on, ignoring the dark looks he was getting from Sunny and Sammy. “I think it's time I had a go.”

“Wait up buttercup.” Petunia stood up. “Why shouldn't it be ME that gets a go first?”

“Because I'm a cop-,” TJ started.

“I'M A NURSE.” Petunia interrupted.

“Who says you're replacing us anyway?!” Sunny snapped.

“Yeah!” Sammy piped up. “Who says I wouldn't be a good enough leader by myself?!”

“You'd be woeful, that's what!” Sunny rounded on him.

As the squabbling continued, Belle and Charlie showed up. They were already wary after the argument before, but the screeching and screaming they heard coming from the tip made them seriously consider turning around and leaving.

“Someone has to go in there and say something. The Knights can't go on like this.” Belle pointed out.

“Does that someone HAVE to be us though? Can't we just get Dan back?” Charlie groaned.

“Honestly, I wouldn't trust Dan not to make things worse.” Belle said. “So get your big boy pants on, we're going in.”

“Oh boy…” Charlie groaned as the pair headed into the fray.

“Hi guys! You know we could hear you several light years away, right?” Belle walked up to the bickering Knights. “You're still having a leadership issue?”

“Well if THESE idiots would focus on the real issues instead of trying to stamp their authority we'd be quite fine.” Tammy grumbled.

“Look, all of you have your issues that would make you lousy leaders.” Belle said.

“But so did Dan, and he did a great job until…” Charlie trailed off. The idea of Daniel being a murderer crossed his mind again, but he pushed it back down.

“So if you were willing to accept faults in Dan, you need to accept faults in each other.” Belle finished.

The Knights all looked at each other.

And the bickering continued.

“Anyone would think they were talking cricket!” Charlie groaned.

“With your economy? I wouldn't be talking.” Belle muttered.

“Says you with the longest ducking streak on the planet!” Charlie fired back.

They would have continued, except the Knights were starting to drown them out.

“Look, we'll discuss batting averages later. OI!” Belle picked up an old pipe and banged it hard on a nearby washing machine, scaring everyone into silence.

“Well, at least you're all quiet.” Charlie commented.

“Now, surely you can sort this out like adults. I mean, you were all happy for Sammy and Sunny to take over at the beginning.” Belle said.

“Until THEY started fighting.” Petunia sulked.

“Only because SHE wanted to change everything on Dan!” Sammy fired, pointing at Sunny.

“Everyone needs innovation!” Sunny fired back.

“ENOUGH!” Belle and Charlie yelled.

“Sammy, SOME innovation is needed. ESPECIALLY because of what happened to Dan.” Charlie said. “That being said, you can innovate and still keep true to how Dan ran things. It doesn't have to be either or.”

“You two could work great together.” Belle added. “You just have to meet halfway.”

There was silence as everyone pondered what had been said.

Then the yelling started again.

“Wanna go get ice cream? Uncle Bill is experimenting with new flavours before starting up his ice cream bar.” Belle asked, defeated.

“Yeah, sure.” Charlie sighed.

They left the Knights to argue until well into the night.

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