The Report at Last!

Men at Work?

Boys at Play!

Your Humble Scribe at Work?

The Manchoo Fooie surveyed the rolling hills stretched out in the morning splendor beneath his Fortress of Doom. Joining him in his morning cup of Lapsang Soochong this fine day was our redoubtable hero, Sir Peter de Gee. As the Manchoo’s unwilling (or was that unwitting?) guest lo these many months, Sir Peter had come to a realization that he was in the presence of not just a scion of evil, but perhaps the ultimate manifestation of cunning and deviltry to grace the planet since Bealzibub was a puppy! Would that he could escape his chains and warn the world of the mouldering menace at hand.

In the Manchoo’s employ currently are many of the foulest dregs of the South Asian docksides but perhaps the worst of the bunch are Fooie’s three captains of crime – Lip Fatt, supernumerary par excellance and the Manchoo’s oldest confederate; Count Wladziu Numnutzki, disgraced shirt-tail relation to the Romanov’s and all-around double/triple agent; and “The Fez” – ex right-hand man to Gruenstrasse Cidney until that unfortunate incident involving a fake lead pigeon (or was it some kind of bird of prey?) These three would be the headmen of the Manchoo’s malevalent minions charged with keeping any rescue attempts for Sir Peter at bay.

As fate would have it this day, Lip Fatt and the Manchoo’s personal guard were scattered about the near bastions of the hilltop fortress. Count Numnutzki and his Trotzki Tongers were spending some free time enjoying the comforts of the Temple of the Jade Gerbil (especially the excellent gong-stylings of Cheech “Mondo-Mallet” Chong ). Meanwhile The Fez and his crew were holed up at the FooFoo Pavilion deep within the Forest Prime-Evil from where he kept in constant contact with his spy-in-the-sky, “One O’Clock Wong” and his burping Bleriot. Such were the forces arrayed across the countryside ready to do battle with any newly-dispatched Rescue Mission.

And so it was that on this fine sunny morn that the Forces of Goodness and Light should arrive on the scene to effect the release of our hearty hero. From dockside in the little fishing village of Gung Pow came the intrepid French Marines under the watchful eye of Major Gaston LePew in company with an elegant bit of French farce. Newly arrived in the Far East was the latest from the laboratories of Louie Pasture et fils – the vaunted Gallic Aural Earwig. Glistening in the morning mist, the Earwig, when fired, would emit a tremendous sub-sonic blast which when encountered by mere human flesh would cause the target to flee the field in abject terror! Unfortunately, the aiming mechanism had not been at the top of the priority list at the factory and only the winds of fortune could predict just where the sound field would fall! Being possibly as dangerous to the shooter as the shootee, the job of actually firing the device was given to Corporal Puneshmenté, low man on the company totem.

Downtown Gung Pow

More Main Street

The far right flank of the field would be the perview of the staunch German Seebattalion. Coming into the fray from overland, the Germans, commanded by Fregattenkapitan Friedrich Pfannekuchen, were to be assisted by the newest bit of Prussian pedantry, Monstrodamus – the mechanical man of metal. Nothing elegant here, Monstro’s forte was beating the stuffings out of anything within reach! Too bad that the motive power for the metal marvel was borrowed from the Wurtemburg Washing-Machine Werke. It would prove to be the weak link in the German plan, causing them to be late for the dance.

Pulling up to the commercial docks on the eastern (left-center of the field) fringes of Gung Pow came the might of the US Navy under the steady hand of Lt. Max Power. Besides a company of sea-hardened tars, the Naval detachment had at their disposal one of the newest Locomobile Gatling Carriages. This mighty midget carried a two-man crew in relative safety behind a quarter-inch of solid steel! Nothing could stop its’ tracked advance – or so our hearties thought.

Rounding out our band of good-fellas, the far left flank of the fray would be the responsibility of the mighty Portuguese Colonial Commandos under the control of Capitán Juarez Waldo. Being new to the colonial game and humane to a fault, the Portuguese brought along their Electro Stun-Cannon (causing nought but short term unconsciousness to its’ victims) to assist in their forthcoming assault. And thus the dice of chance would be tossed to the four winds as our assembled combatants began the fray.

The opening strains of our little playlet were to be sung by the probing Portuguese as they approached the lair of Count Nummie and his troop. Trading shots with the insurgents, the Portugee came out on the short end due to not having their sights adjusted properly. (At least that’s their story and they’re stickin’ to it!) The Chinese muskets out shot our poor Euros but thankfully there were a lot fewer of them than Lisbonians. Seeing the outcome of this first volley, Capitán Waldo ordered his Stun-Cannon forward and cranked off a salvo. Here at least the Portuguese were successful as those few Tongers that were caught out in the open were laid prone – some for longer than others. This allowed the Portuguese to approach and let off another round of fire while the upright Chinese were still in process of reloading. This time the Portuguese were a bit more on target and a couple of the Count’s followers found their exit visas stamped permanently!

This prompted the Count to crank up his own bit of devilment in the form of a huge mechanical scorpion-shaped killing machine! Scorpio, as we will call it, clanked forward into the midst of a group of unsuspecting Commandos; and, grabbing two of them in its’ metal claws, proceeded to squish the life out of them. Seeing this occur caused Waldo a bit of a pause and he decided to try to clobber the beast by running over it with his Steaming Cannon. The metal monster proved much too agile for such a ploy, but at least Waldo gave his troops time to regroup at a spot away from the Scorpio.

The Outskirts of Town

Welcome to Gung Pow!

The Stun-Cannon now decided to wheeze to a halt as it ran out of steam and it took some time for its’ minders to build up pressure and resume the fight. And so the Portuguese Colonials were forced into hand to hand with the Count and his followers. To the strains of the jazzy gong-bashing of Chong and his mellophonious Gong, the melee became a dusty brawl that would continue for the remainder of the battle. Now and again the Scorpio would pick off an unsuspecting Commando but for the most part the fray was purely mano-a-mano. Never far from the edges of the fray, the Manchoo kept his personal guard ready to intervene if needed. And this came to pass as the brouhaha was winding down with the Portuguese gaining a slim advantage. Not for long though, for as soon as it became obvious that the Count was about to succumb, the Fooie fanatics stormed to his assistance and applied the coup-de-gras to the flower of Portuguese chivalry. Nary an Iberian was left upright when the haze finally settled. Last seen, the Electro Stun-Cannon was now flying the personal banner of the evil Manchoo.

Off on the near right of the field, the French Marines were having a bit of a slog getting free of the outskirts of Gung Pow. Showing typical Gallic flair, Major LePew kept his forces tightly bunched around the protective flanks of the mighty Aural Earwig. This made the advance less than stellar since the Earwig was being somewhat persnickity in it’s movements! Ever so slowly the Marines pushed onwards and finally burst free of the shacks and stalls of the marketplace. Once freed of these constraints, Major LePew dashed ahead towards the ominous FooFoo Pavilion totally oblivious of the dangers which awaited him. When he least expected it, the multitude under the capable hand of the Fez poured out of the pavilion towards LePew with murderous intentions.

Noticing some movement out of the corner of his eye, LePew halted his headlong rush before he got himself into a truly dire strait. Quickly advancing to the rear, the Major called hurriedly for the Aural Earwig to be prepped for fire. Carefully adjusting the fire controls with the heel of his boot, Cpl. Puneshmenté covered his eyes and gingerly pushed the fire button. After what seemed an eternity, the machine wheezed, coughed, sputtered and burped before letting forth with a blast of low frequency sonic mayhem. Somehow the Earwig actually managed to be close to hitting what it was aimed at! In the blink of an eye (or the tweak of an ear) the Fezniks scattered to the four winds. Only one poor sot became crazed enough to charge headlong into the waiting bayonets of the French Marines and he was dispatched straight away. This bolstered the Froggy morale to such an extent that they were certain of an easy victory over the Manchoo – wadda bunch a’ maroons!

Way off in the distance, the strains of the Preussens’ Gloria could just be made out over the sounds of the battle. The Germans were advancing! Ever soooo slowly, but they were advancing. Fregattenkapitan Pfannekuchen had just about decided to leave the mighty mechanical beast behind when, lo and behold, it decided to get its’ collective gears in order. With a screeching wail, Monstrodamus took its’ first baby step forward – then another – and before you could whistle Gotterdammerung, it was off to the races! Once more, starched collars crisp and creases sharp, the vaunted Seebattalion was headed towards its’ destiny.

The Navy Prepares to Off-Load!

The Laskars Help Unload

With the FooFoo Forest looming in front, Pfannekuchen decided on a swing to his left. Now that he had finally gotten the Monstro going, he didn’t want to chance a breakdown by flailing away through the woods. This was most fortuitous as it brought him into almost immediate contact with some of the Fezzies that were fleeing the effects of the French Earwig! Licking their chops, the battle-hardened Seebattalion made but short work of the few Chinese to confront them and they continued apace.

While all this was transpiring, back towards the battles’ center, the might of the US Navy had made its’ way out of the port and onto the field. With the Gatling Carriage anchoring the center, the tars smartly spread out into a gleaming white firing line. Advancing slowly, the Navy was all but daring the Manchoo’s minions to come at them. But little did they expect what Fooie had in store for them!

In the distance it looked as though the sky was shimmering in the heat. Would that it were just a mirage caused by the weather! Quickly the shimmering began to grow in size as it approached the long white line. There was no sound to be heard – even the birds were silenced as the unseen menace came forth -- for that was exactly what was unleashed, something that only the mind of supreme evil could have summoned. Before any could have reacted, the unseen shimmer enveloped the metal enclosure of the Gatling Carriage and without a whisper, the two man crew had been immobilized! Then just as swiftly as it had come, the mysterious wave vanished.

Such was the method of the Manchoo’s most insidious weapon, a true creature of the mind, The Unseen! Swift in it’s attack and devastating in its’ effect, the mighty Gatling Carriage had been silenced before the crew had any chance to react. Try as they might, the crew could not be revived. Only days later, when safely back aboard ship did the men regain consciousness. And even then, they had no recollection of what had happened to them!

Seeing the ease with which their enemy was able to attack them brought our sea-going heroes up short. Not only could he seemingly attack at will, he could do so without exposing himself to danger! This might not be so easy after all – but orders are orders, so tightening their web-gear they advanced.

Back over with the Frenchies, things weren’t going even this well! Having gathered his forces back together, the Fez once again set out to test the level of French morale. This time, when called upon, the Earwig decided to prove that the quality of Parisian technology left just a bit to be desired. Several times the device just sat there and hissed as Cpl. Puneshmenté bashed the firing button. When it finally did decide to blast out another portion of sonic insanity, the beam was so far off target that only 3 finches and a punch-drunk squirrel left for locations unknown! And to make matters worse, the device immediately split a seam and wheezed into permanent quietude! So much for mechanical assistance, now it was up to Major LePew and his steady (?) troops to deal with the Fezzites.

Temple of the Jade Gerbil

Fortress Fooie!

Amidst the ever-retreating dust cloud, all that could be made out was a smaller and smaller blue blot surrounded by flashing blades. By the time they got back to the docks of Gung Pow, only 3 Marines were seen beside their mustachioed commander. Giving his all to protect the remaining flower of French valor, Major LePew ordered his men back onto the boat as he stood staunchly on the dock facing the onrushing horde. When a salt breeze cleared the docks of their dusty mantle, all that remained of our Gallic grandee was a broken saber and a neatly curled and waxed moustache. Vive LePew!

Filling the gap in the line of goodness left by the departing French, the strutting Germans pressed forward into the remnants of the Fez-force. Again, Bavarian bravado (ably assisted by their metal behemoth) would crush the Chinese multitude until none remained upright. The Fgkpt. and his men – flesh and iron - were unstoppable – or so they thought.

Up until now, the Fez’ “eye-in-the-sky” was nowhere to be seen. One O’Clock Wong had been having nothing but trouble keeping his Bleary-oh aloft. First it was the fuel mixture, then it was the rudder pedals, then the flaps, until finally the exhaust manifold let out with a blast of flame that nearly engulfed the entire craft! It may not have sounded like a well-oiled machine but at least it was aloft. At last Wong could begin crissing and crossing the field dropping his aerial bomblets. Twice he overflew the gathered Germans and twice Wong (being somewhat cross-eyed) dropped his missiles off-target. Whether it was his cracked glasses or a gust of wind (that was his take on it), poor Wong never even wrinkled a German uniform! And to make a sad story even sadder, as Wong loosed his second grenade, the Bleriot belched its’ last and did a glorious swan-dive into the South China Sea. The last we saw of him, One O’Clock Wong was lighting a stogie with the fuse of his last bomblet and giving a smart salute as he headed out to sea.

Long View Towards Foo Pavilion

By the Beautiful Sea!

By now one would have thought that the battle was winding down into a final assault of the Fooie’s Fortress of Doom, but such was not the case at all. Having spent the time til now in cover, the Fooies headman, Lipp Fatt brought forth both his two-legged followers as well as his furry, four-legged ones. That’s right, there were more dastardly doings afoot! At Lipp’s beck and call were the foulest of the Shanghai sewers, Rizzo-the giant rat of Borneo and his flea-bitten horde, the Rat-Pack! Out of the ground they came like a flea encrusted wave, heading straight for the US Navy. Surrounding several tars, they overran the poor sots and left little in their wake but a couple of pea-caps and a half-eaten boot before they were finally beaten back.

Shaken by the fuzzy assault, Max Power had all he could handle keeping his men advancing. But advance they did – straight into the glaive-wielding forces of the evil Fatt. Although the seamen had picked off several of the tongers with gunfire, the evil spearmen were undaunted. The melee was bloody beyond belief with both sides taking severe losses. And when the fanatics did back off to regroup, back came Rizzo for another round of chomping! Amazingly, even under this constant attack, the US Navy did itself proud and never wavered.

Again and again the onslaught continued – first the four-legs, then the two – it was relentless! But finally, the Navy prevailed and the Fooies were sent packing. The heavily depleted patrol gave a cheer and began regrouping for the march up the hill and the Fooie Fortress. But Max had not seen the approaching Germans and the look on the face of Fgtkpt. Pfannekuchen.

Many years ago, in another place, Max had met the German commander’s family under less than ideal circumstances. Being the fun-loving sea-goer that he was, Max had been smitten by a buxom freulein and given her the thrill of her lifetime. Then, as oft happens with men of the sea, duty called and Max took back to his ship leaving a heart-broken lass on shore. There she was comforted by her older brother who vowed to avenge his sister’s slighted honor! And now the opportunity presented itself.

Looks Like a Landing Strip to Me!

Another Look at the Gerbil Joint

Seeing who was in command of the Naval detachment, Pfannekuchen marched briskly forward until he was face to face with Max whereupon he deftly whacked Max across the brow with his swagger stick in challenge to an affair of honor. Being somewhat thick, Max wasn’t immediately certain just what had happened so he promptly belted Pfannekuchen, flooring the starched Fregattenkapitan.

This response so enraged the German that he demanded immediate satisfaction and called for his seconds. Max, still somewhat awash in confusion yelled out for CPO Snarkey who responded smartly. The chief, having been around the block as well as the world, caught the jist of the matter in time to hand his commander a fully loaded .45 as the German began pacing to the rear. The light finally began glowing over Max’s head and he chambered a round just as Pfannekuchen turned and lowered his Luger.

When the smoke cleared (figuratively, that is) both officers were hors d’combat, having nailed each other in one unmentionable organ or another – the German having aimed purposefully but Max because he was a miserable shot! Dragging their seriously wounded leaders off the field, both squads decided against any further action for this day.

And so it was that our suave man-about-the-world was seen bravely waving to the departing forces while he was trussed across the bonnet of the Manchoo Fooies mighty Morgan 3-wheeler as the Manchoo did a victory lap or two around the field of battle.

Buck up Sir Petey, the forces of Good will keep trying to snatch you from the Master of Evil until success is theirs!

Fooie's View of the Scene

Submitted for your edification by:
Foggy DeLenz , Photographer Extraordinaire!
Phineas Phlogg , Wordsmith Par Excellance!



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