Citobor (Walter Jid story #17)

“What would you like?” asks Bert.

“A slice of pepperoni for me,” I say, “A slice of mushroom for Joey, and a cheese slice for our pal Tom.”

“Sure, Walter!” exclaims Bert.

But before Joey, Tom, and I can get our pizzas, yellow light flashes all over us.

“Run!” screams Tom and he runs out of the restaurant.

The light stops flashing, and Joey and I see we are in a room, made out of metal.

How did we get here?  Well, it’s been six months since we returned to Mr. Blinn.  We still haven’t heard from Johnny, but we went to Bert’s Pizza Palace to get some pizzas.  Before we could get them, we ended up in a metal room.

“Welcome to Citobor!” shouts a voice.

Now the light has completely ceased.  In this metal room I see a red-bearded short man.  This is Hank Jabbo once again, not EOP9!  Wait…it’s really George Hiltrus.

“As I said before, fawks, welcome to the jolly land of Citobor.  No, wait, we already killed EOP9, but sadly we couldn’t find Professor Metalworks.”

“How’d you get here?” Joey asks Hiltrus.

“We were abducted by EOP9 here.  Now, for…”

“Are McNommer and Jumguts with you?” I ask the enemy of Johnny Lurg.

“Yes, they are.  But not Fred.  He died while we were battling EOP9.  What a jolly land we’re in!  Wait, I just remembered.  I mean…”

Wow.  George Hiltrus has finally snapped.  He’s gone mad.

“Oh yes, I got a head injury in the war…or was it a battle!?  Oh yeah, I remember.  Free pizza!  No, that’s not right.  Oh yeah, I’m supposed to kill you.  I already got Ramut in prison, but I haven’t beated Johnny Lurg yet.  Yes, killing you.  Go to my…er…violence room  There you’ll have fun battling Max Mc…no, what’s his name…Larry!  Larry Jumguts!  Let them into the violence room, ZWORT3!”

A small, cheaply-built robot guides us to a bloodstained steel room.

“Beep beep,” beeps the droid.  A six-foot tall mustached man is in front of Joey and me.  He is holding a silver sword.

“Jid W, Jid J, I am going to terminate you!” Larry Jumguts roars.

“Can we have swords, too?” asks Joey Jid.

“Arrgh.  Max!” calls the tall man.

Another man, with messy brown hair and an earring comes out of the door to the “violence room.”

Here are your swords, Larry,” shouts Max McNommer.

“Thanks, Max,” says Larry, grabbing the swords out of Max’s clean hands.      “One for Jid J, and one for Jid W,” says Larry, handing the silver swords to Joey and me.  “Now to fight!”

Max walks out of the room.

I’ve never had any experience with swords, except for the time when silver swords fell of Citobor’s throne room’s ceiling, if you can call that an “experience.”  But it looks like Larry Jumguts has.  I hit Larry in the chest with my sword.  Next, Joey hits him in the leg. Then I take his sword away, so he can’t strike.  Larry is really a coward, so he runs away, but Joey trips him.  The bigger you are, the harder you fall.  Larry is knocked out.  That was too easy!

Joey and I walk out of the “violence room.”

“How did you…er…do it?” asks a baffled Hiltrus.

“It was easy, George,” I laugh.  “He was a coward.”

“No, he wasn’t,” breathes Hiltrus.  If my best crony couldn’t hold you, maybe I can.  ZWORT3!”

The little droid beeps.

“Why’d I call him?  I meant, I’m doomed.  No, that’s not right.  Pass the swords!”

Joey is carefully holding both swords.  He hands them to the villain.

“Thank you, Joey!” says George Hiltrus.  “Now, I’d like to beat you.  He waves his swords in the Citoborick air.

“Not so fast, Jabbo!” yells a voice.  It is Max McNommer!  He shoves Hiltrus into the outside of the jail cell.  I can see an old man with grey hair and glasses in the jail.  It’s Frank Ramut!

“George Hiltrus!” shouts Max.  “Don’t kill my…my…friends.  Surrender now!”

“I surrender!” babbles the old fool, Hiltrus, not Ramut.  There are too many old fools around here.

“Then let’s put you in the Hamsterizer,” laughs Max.  He drags the crazy old man into another room, probably Metalworks’ invention room.  We don’t see Max McNommer or George Hiltrus for a while, but then, Max comes out holding a red-furred little hamster.

“Is that Hiltrus?” asks Joey.

“Of course it is,” giggles Max.  “I put him in the Hamsterizer and now he’s a hamster for punishment.”

Max takes the hamster to the edge of the jail.  “I need a key,” he mumbles to himself.  “Joey or Walt!  One of you push a button on the Transportation Device!”

“I’ve got a button,” says Frank Ramut.  He slips Willy Jib’s black button through the bars of the cell.

“Thanks, old man,” replies Max.  Before Joey or I can stop him, Max McNommer pushes the small button and summons…Johnny Lurg!  The hamster is terrified of the bright light and crawls into a mouse hole.  We never see Hiltrus again.

“Where am I?” asks Johnny Lurg.  “Wait.  This is even better than Plinus!  Walter!”

“Hi, Johnny,” I say awkwardly.  I’m just not used to Johnny now.

“So, who’s the President of the United States?” asks Johnny.

“Calvin Eddino.”

“I thought it was Iglooface Ibbydorfic or Snizzwiggle Snozzrabbit,” laughs Johnny.  “Good grief!  We’d better call the rest of the Plinusians.  There was no war, you see.  Rebmun’s okay.  Udlikrop’s okay.  Everyone else is okay.  Everyone else!  I’ll need that black button you’re holding, kid!”

Max gives Johnny the button, which Johnny eagerly presses 20, no, 25, no, 30 times!

For once, the button works.  29 Plinusians fill up the room after a few red flashes.  But Citem is nowhere in sight.  In his place is a dusty old backpack.  Wait!  That’s my backpack I left on a rock in Hawaii!

“Push the button one more time,” I order Max.  Joey grins.

“OK, Walter, one more alien!”  Max pushes the button, only to summon the POF spacecraft.  An escape!

“Thanks for the Plinusians, by the way,” thanks King Johnny, “and you’re welcome to go now.

Joey, Max, and I get into the POF spacecraft, but we need Citem, the pilot!

“Ul get Citem!” shouts Ip, or Etarip, if you will.  “No, Dexim can drive it.”

Dexim, one of the yellow spotted Plinusians goes into the front seat of the silvery spacecraft.

As we go up, the spacecraft crashes into the room’s roof.  “Bye, Johnny!” I yell to the four-fingered man on Citobor.  I may never see Johnny again.

A few hours later, Dexim and the rest of us reach Earth.  We land in front of my house.  Tom is there!

“Why did you chicken out?” I ask my good friend.

“Citobor was coming back to get me!  But I remember an old man I shared a cell with.  His name was Alexander.  Alexander Metalworks.”

So that was the “bozo” that Tom Taggo told me about.  The man in my dream I bet was Professor Metalworks himself.


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