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Empire on Ice #27: The Empire on Ice Skaters: The Cocoa No-No Caper, Part 2

This week! The Empire on Ice Skaters have reached Doctor Silence von Kablooey's Tower of Treachery, but it's really, really tall. And before they can even get the chance to climb it, they're going to have to deal with Silence's best—and not-so-best—goons. It's "The Cocoa No-No Caper, Part 2."

[Gliding gracefully across the snowy city, the Empire on Ice Skaters arrive eventually at Doctor Silence von Kablooey's Tower of Treachery. Silver under the snowy clouds, it looks like a gigantic icicle turned upside-down, reaching up toward the sky. It is easily half a mile tall, and at its base it is as big around as Disneyland. Galavar looks up at the sight of it, and sighs.]

Galavar: I'm really not looking forward to this.

Gregor: Maybe she's installed an elevator since last week.

DeLatia: Somehow I doubt it.

Celeste: We'll just skate our way up like we always do!

[As they approach the front entrance the Black brothers appear, wearing bully-esque looking, beefy ice skates, and obnoxious leather jackets with spikes on them. Afiach is with them, but she isn't dressed to menace. Her ice skates have musical clefs on them, and on her shirt is the Hang In There Cat.]

Grieve: Well, well, Brother, if it isn't the Empire on Ice Skaters!

Grave: When will they ever learn?!

Galavar: What are you talking about? We beat you every single week, and then go up there and arrest your boss.

Grave: Maybe you should have thought of that before coming here! Let's show them, Brother!

Grieve: Only too delighted, Brother.

Jemis: Wait a minute, what's this? What are you doing here, Afiach?

DeLatia: Yeah, why are you hanging out with these losers?

Grave: We're not losers! We're just victory disabled.

Afiach: Oh, I…joined them? I'm sorry. You know…it's, erm…it's nothing personal.

Galavar: But we invited you to join our team!

Gregor: And clearly the presence of the Black Brothers on any team indicates what side you shouldn't pick.

Afiach: [Apologetically.] It's just that…well…I don't actually like ice skating very much at all, and I really like chocolate.

Grave: And boy do we have a lot of it!

[Grave and Grieve each pull out a handful of assorted chocolates and rudely eat them all at once, mouths open and smacking their lips.]

Grieve: Mmrf. Where's yours, again?

Celeste: There's none left in the shops. =(

Grieve: Oh, that's right. Because we have all of it!

DeLatia: I've had enough of your crap, Black Brothers! [She revs up on her skates.] Afiach, you'd better get out of the way, or we'll show you too.

Grave: Show us what?

Gregor: Our superior figure skating!

DeLatia: And another royal flush!

Grieve: Ack! Let's not talk about that. [To the others.] Attack!

Galavar: Empire on Ice Skaters, battle formations!

Grieve: Black Brothers Double Cross Attack!

[Grieve and Grave speed up and skate out the shape of an X, disrupting the Empire on Ice Skaters' own formations.]

Judges: 7.0 | 7.6 | 7.2 | 7.2 | 7.9

Grave: Yeah! That's the best we've done all week.

Jemis: Team Spirit Loop Jump!

[Jemis performs a loop jump and etches out the emblem of the Empire on Ice Skaters on the ice.]

Judges: 6.4 | 6.1 | 6.0 | 6.3 | 6.4

Jemis: What?! Come on, that's style right there!

Gregor: Triple Spin Reverse Twist!

[Gregor executes an elegant maneuver that catches the Black Brothers off guard and causes them to retreat slightly.]

Grave: Gah!

Judges: 7.0 | 6.4 | 7.8 | 6.6 | 6.6

Grieve: 7.8, really?

Gregor: I'll take it.

Grieve: No, you'll take this! Evil Henchgoons Ultimate Onslaught Spin!

[Grieve and Grave join arms and begin spinning around faster and faster, then let go and unleash a devastating pair of spin jumps.]

[The Empire on Ice Skaters are dazed and demoralized.]

DeLatia: Aaah!

Jemis: Oof!

Gregor: Damn it!

Judges: 8.7 | 8.6 | 8.7 | 9.0 | 8.7

Grieve: Ha hah! We've got you now, Empire on Ice Skaters!

Grave: Let's see you beat that!

Galavar: Empire on Ice Skaters, join forces! Hyper Mega Assemble!

[Another radical sequence ensues, with thematic backgrounds behind each character as they power up.]

Gregor: Lutz Jump Loop Jump Reverse Rotational Lift!

Jemis: Toe Jump Triple Jump Twizzle Upright Spin!

DeLatia: Edge Jump Axel Jump Besti Squat Backflip!

Galavar: Waltz Jump Walley Jump Free Leg Fan Spiral!

Celeste: Dance Jump Double Jump Sheep Jump Shoot the Duck Lunge Hydroblading Split Twist Stag Leap Haircutter Pancake Spin Leg Wrap Choctaw Turn Backward Outside Death Spiral I-Spin Figure Eight Pivot!

Galavar: By our powers combined, we are…

Empire on Ice Skaters: THE EMPIRE ON ICE SKATERS!!!

Galavar: Empire on Ice Gold Medal Gotcha, go!

[The Empire on Ice Skaters execute their signature move. The Black Brothers are convincingly defeated and thrown on their butts.]

Grieve: Noooo!

Grave: Aieeee!

Judges: 10.0 | 10.0 | 10.0 | 10.0 | 11.0

Grieve: We always lose!

Grave: Why, Brother?!

[The police show up and take them away.]

[The Empire on Ice Skaters skate up to Afiach.]

Galavar: Well?

Afiach: Um…I quit?

Galavar: That's more like it. Remember, gentle citizen! A life of crime may be tempting, but only if you haven't tasted it firsthand.

Gregor: Go home and practice your music. That's where you really belong.

Afiach: All right! And I'll sign up to do some community service too.

Jemis: That's the spirit!

DeLatia: Do you have the key to the tower?

Afiach: Sure. [She hands them the key.]

Galavar: Let's do this! Empire on Ice Skaters, onward!

* * *

Four hours later…

[The Empire on Ice Skaters are inside the tower, climbing a hopelessly long spiral ramp covered in ice. Along the seemingly endless shaft, there is no sight either of the bottom or the top of the tower. Except for Celeste, they're all sweating heavily, and creeping along at a slow crawl from their exhaustion.]

Jemis: One of these days…*gasp*

DeLatia: Yeah?

Jemis: One of these days…I'm gonna have a heart attack climbing this damn tower.

Celeste: Heart attack…or heart extravaganza?!

Jemis: Oh go fiddle yourself.

Gregor: I think…*gasp*…I think I see the top. There's a light. A shining light. *heave* An angelic chorus, calling me home.

Galavar: No, you're just passing out and hallucinating…*pant*…at the same time.

Jemis: God dammit, I swear, this time I'll buy Silence a damn elevator myself.

Gregor: Well, look at it this way. *cough* If we live to the top…we…can…

[Gregor faints.]

DeLatia: Oh, good. I hate being the first one.

[DeLatia faints.]

Jemis: *gasp* Five-minute break?

Galavar: *pant* Sure.

[Jemis faints. Galavar slumps down.]

Celeste: You silly geese! Well, I'm not going to let my heart rate get down. I'll just be doing star jumps until you're all ready to keep going.

[She begins the jumping jacks.]

Celeste: And—one and two and three and one and one and two and three and two and…

NARRATOR: Things are looking up for our humbled heroes…and up and up and up! Will they triumphantly transcend to Doctor Silence von Kablooey's treacherously tall tower top before Valentine's Day goes thither, or will it be more like Labor Day for our tenuously trudging and altogether too tuckered-out team? Tune in next week to the Empire on Ice Skaters for the continuation of "The Cocoa No-No Caper": Same Imperial time! Same Imperial channel!

O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!