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Empire on Ice #29: The Empire on Ice Skaters: The Cocoa No-No Caper, Part 4

Last time, on The Empire on Ice Skaters: Our ice-skating superheroes have courageously confronted that misanthropic mogul of mischief, Doctor Silence von Kablooey, craven kidnapper of all the Valentine's Day chocolates in Joshalonia. When last we looked in on things, Doctor von Kablooey had just revealed her harebrained scheme to make winter last all year round. But will she succeed? It's time for…"The Cocoa No-No Caper, Part 4"!

Silence: You'll never succeed, Empire on Ice Idiots. The chocolate is mine, and with it the mastery of time itself! So long as there's no Valentine's Day chocolate in stores, there's no way to know that Valentine's Day is coming up. Right?

Galavar: Right.

Silence: Now, I know you put all your skill points into figure skating rather than actual brains, but I think that even you Empire on Ice Simpletons can answer me this one: What's the last holiday stuff that was in stores?

Galavar: The Christmas things.

Silence: Precisely! And so it is in the minds of the people. As long as Christmas is over and Valentine's Day isn't here yet, we're all going to be stuck in the interim. Right?

Celeste: Oh my god, she's right! No!

Galavar: That's…that's devil's food.

Gregor: Don't you mean "diabolical"? As in, "That's diabolical"?

Galavar: Not on this occasion!

[Meanwhile, Gregor is still buried to his hips in the pile of assorted cherry cordials that Silence had dropped on him, and the red ooze is still running down his head and body. He looks decidedly grumpy, and all the more-so because of the Empire on Ice Skater's signature bad puns.]

Silence: Think of it! Everlasting January!!! A world of winter and ice! Muah ha ha *gasp* ha hah!

Galavar: Not so fast, Doctor von Kablooey! It just so happens that yesterday we finished shipping out the last of our annual Empire on Ice Skaters Junior Merit Scout Wall Calendars! People will be able to count the days manually.

Silence: [Pulling out a calendar with a goofy picture of Galavar on the front.] You mean this Junior Merit Scout wall calendar? [She looks at it.] It's not a bad picture, really. It brings out your veins and wrinkles quite nicely. But even so, you can't expect that I'd allow you to spread your propaganda among the general public so easily, now can you? I've confiscated the shipments!

Galavar: Gasp!

Silence: And my calendographers have already replaced them with elaborate facsimiles. The counterfeits are perfect in every detail. No one will ever suspect they're fakes. Oh, but there is one, little difference, of course.

Celeste: No!

Silence: That's right! There's only January. Twelve months of January, back to back to back, and then it'll be January 2016. Winter forever!

Jemis: Even you wouldn't be so low!

Gregor: [Grumbling and with rolling eyes.] Even lower than the temperature outside.

Galavar: But…but…how did you account for the fact that twelve months of January is more than 365 days?

DeLatia: [To Galavar.] Not now, Galavar. [To Silence.] Listen, you cream puff criminal—

Silence: Ooh, not bad. Not quite chocolate-themed, but let's say it's a chocolate cream—

DeLatia: You're going to give back the candy right now or we're going to fudge you up!

Silence: Better, better.

Gregor: [Aside.] I beg to differ.

Celeste: You can't take away spring, Doctor von Kablooey. Think of all the little flowers that'll never grow, and the little bunnies who'll never get to come out of their frozen dens.

Silence: Not my problem.

Celeste: But—

Silence: And, of course, there's the other reason. Look around you! Millions upon millions of pounds of assorted chocolates! Fudges, truffles, nougats, and chews—everything our ancestors ever dreamed of! And it's all mine.

[She eats a chocolate.]

Silence: I've stolen the hot seasons of the year, and all of these goodies you see around me…well, you might say that they're the cherry on top.

[She grins at Gregor, who has a cherry oozing down the top of his head.]

Galavar: Enough of this! Silence! Return the chocolates, and the wall calendars, and I'll buy you an air conditioner.

Jemis: No, Galavar! Don't do it. We can't let people think that doing evil can lead to a positive outcome.

Galavar: Jemis, I must. Sometimes, for the sake of a saner, warmer society…and for the bunnies—

Celeste: SQUEE!!

Galavar: —we have to compromise. How about it, Doctor?

Silence: Pft. Will you also pay the electric bill on my two million square foot tower?

Galavar: No.

Silence: Then no deal! I'm sorry to be so…bittersweet about it, but, you know, a little bird once told me that if we don't make a future for ourselves someone else will do it for us. Well, this year is my year.

Galavar: Enough of this!

[Galavar suddenly swoops forward, executing a number of dazzlingly impressive, Olympic-caliber figure-skating moves. He stops just a couple paces in front of her.]

Galavar: Admit it. My figure skating is better than yours. You're in no condition to compete.

[Silence grins mischievously, then yawns and pats her oversized, chocolate-fed belly.]

Silence: Quite right. I never beat you at those stupid ice skating moves even when I was thinner. But that's your game, not mine.

Celeste: Ice skating belongs to everyone.

Silence: Ordinarily, these little exchanges go thus: I'll commit a flagrant criminal act, you'll find me, and you'll defeat me, because you Empire on Ice Braggarts are better skaters than I am. What a useless skill! Who spends all their time ice skating, anyway?! And then I'll go to jail, which is absolutely no fun at all. Well, this time I'm not going to skate against you.

Gregor: What?!

DeLatia: That's preposterous!

Jemis: How are we supposed to resolve our dispute without ice skating?

Silence: Easy. You surrender, and, if you ask me nicely, I'll give you a Whitman's Sampler on your way out.

DeLatia: You've gone too far this time, von Kablooey! We're taking back these chocolates and restoring the year!

[DeLatia flourishes, unleashing some of her skating moves, and lands beside Galavar. Silence looks at her and laughs.]

Silence: I think not. I hate summer, far too much to give it back by losing to you in a fair fight.

Galavar: Be that as it may, you're just one person, and in civil society we can't always have our way.

Silence: Oh, I don't think there's anything civil about my Multitronic Mangling Machine!—which is what you're in for if you try and stop me. Go on. I dare you. I think you'll find that you're skating on…rather thin ice. Muah ha ha ha hah!

[Silence burps and pops a chocolate. Then she snaps her fingers, and a gigantic mechanical monstrosity two stories tall lumbers into view from behind a hill of chocolates. The Empire on Ice Skaters look at each other in utter confusion.]

Celeste: "Mangling" machine?

Gregor: V-violence?

DeLatia: Solving our problems with brute force?

Jemis: In what bizarre alternate universe does a civilized person even consider that?

[With a few heavy gasps, Silence adjusts her great candy-coated bulk in her throne, reclining jauntily. Then she eats more chocolates, this time an indulgent handful.]

Silence: [Mouth full.] So you see, I'm not going to skate with you today. And, therein, you have no power to defeat me. Sorry to say it, but you're shooting Empire on Ice Blanks. You can either surrender peacefully, or be crushed by the marvel of modern machinery.

[The Multitronic Mangling Machine lumbers menacingly toward the Empire on Ice Skaters, who look at each other in a mixture of horror and confusion.]

NARRATOR: No ice skating? Have our heroes finally met their match? Has Doctor Silence von Kablooey devilishly devised the most perfectly perfidious plan that even the Empire on Ice Skaters can't foil it? And is a world where immense mechanical monstrosities solve problems with sheer violence in store? Has Valentine's Day been lost forever? Can Doctor von Kablooey really eat that many chocolates? Tune in next week for the exciting conclusion of "The Cocoa No-No Caper": Same Imperial time! Same Imperial channel!

O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!