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

“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

“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

“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

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

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

“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

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

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

“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.

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

“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

“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

“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

“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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