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GetMeOffTheMoonRockman PMTRRL
Fan Fiction by aarond
A Different Place: Chapter 24 - Dantz and Barrel Go to Jail, Part II

"All right!" Dantz said as his skeeball fell into the fifty-point circle. 240 points so far, and he still had three balls left! Okay, so Quackard had been right: he hadn't met any girls whatsoever at the arcade. That didn't matter, because he was still having a good time. Meeting girls hadn't been the first thing on his mind when he'd come to town, anyway. Dantz picked up another polished wooden ball and cast it up the sloped ramp.

"Ehhh..." This one fizzled out and fell into the ten-point hoop. That was a little embarrassing. Dantz loaded up and fired again. Thirty points. His final shot went into the fifty-point ring again, leaving him with a total of 330 points for this game. Dantz gathered his prize tickets from the slot and shoved them into his pocket. He thought he had almost two hundred tickets now, surely more than enough to get Roll a present from the redemption counter. Whistling, Dantz sauntered over to the counter, looking at the available prizes. Maybe a stuffed purple bunny? Or a poster featuring Dr. Wily? No, she'd probably prefer that soldering set on the lower counter.

"How much is that?" Dantz pointed to the soldering tools, removing his tickets from his pocket and putting them in order.

The big arcade attendant belched, scratching his five o'clock shadow, and pushed his long brown hair out of his face. "Three thousand tickets."

"Glaall!" Dantz gulped. He guessed that was out of the question. "So, how much for the Dr. Wily poster?"

The attendant turned around, exposing Dantz to a mop of greasy, tangled hair. Had this guy showered in the last week? Dantz didn't think so. "That's twenty-four hundred," the attendant read.

"Okay, how's about the purple bunny?"

"Fifteen hundred."

Geez, why did they even have this counter, anyway? No one could redeem enough tickets for anything without breaking into one of the machines. "What can I get for two hundred tickets?"

The attendant scanned the entire display. "Ummm, let's see. Some fake vampire teeth, wax lips, a yo-yo, a black spider ring, and a Zetsabre."

Dantz pursed his lips. "I'll take the yo-yo. No wait, the wax lips. No, the Zetsabre. No, the yo-yo! No, wait, the Zetsabre! Yeah, the Zetsabre."

"You sure?"

"Yeah," Dantz said. He took the very realistic-looking toy sword from the clerk. It was battery-powered, and when it was switched on, it glowed blue and made a whoosh-ing sound. Dantz experimentally tried the switch. Hey, it worked! He could hardly believe that batteries came included for two hundred tickets. Evidently he'd gotten the best deal possible out of the arcade redemption counter. He slid the fake sword into one of his belt loops and left the arcade.

Maybe Roll would want to do something with it, although Dantz admitted he didn't know how good of a present a toy sword would be for a fourteen-year-old girl. Dantz started whistling again as he walked down the Quarrwump City street. He still had ten minutes to make his lunch meeting with Quackard.

Dantz arrived at the Happy Times Hamburger Stand with five minutes to spare. There were a few tables scattered around outside for those who wanted to eat their lunch in the temperate Quarrwump Island climate---supposedly, it never got above seventy degrees or below fifty here---and as Dantz walked through the glass door, he saw there was also a counter fitted with bar stools opposite the grill. The smells were very tempting, but Dantz stepped back outside and decided to linger a little longer to let his Birdbot friend arrive before eating.

Fifteen minutes later, Dantz's stomach decided he couldn't wait to eat any longer. Dantz went back inside, ordered a cheeseburger with mustard, lettuce, and onion, and after a few more agonizing minutes, took his freshly-made sandwich outside so he could wait at one of the tables for Quackard.

The first bite was so good Dantz almost fell out of his chair. "Ohhhh," he said, mouth full. He chewed it some more, then said, "Ahhh!" He had to set the sandwich down for a minute to properly enjoy the taste. "Ooooooh!" he moaned, noticing from of the corner of his mind that some buzzing noise was coming from a building just down the street, but that wasn't important right now, because this was the best hamburger he'd ever tasted!

Before Dantz could take another bite, he saw Quackard dashing up the sidewalk towards him. "Hey, Quackard!" he yelled. "You've got to try one of these! They're unbelievable!"

The Birdbot squawked angrily as it rushed towards Dantz's seat, carrying a large cloth sack over one of his shoulders.

"Hey!" Dantz shouted, grabbing Quackard by the shoulder. The Birdbot struggled against the Digger's grasp, but to no avail. "What's the hurry, pal? I thought we were meeting here for lunch."

"Let go of me, punk---eerk!" Quackard sounded angrier and nastier than usual. As he gyrated under Dantz's strong grip, the sack opened slightly, and a couple of small refractors fell out.

"Looks like you cleaned up at the casino, bud," Dantz said, picking up the refractors and putting them back into the sack. "Why don't you take a load off? I'll go get your burger for you."

All of a sudden, Quackard pulled a gun on the Digger. "What are you, psycho? Keh! You'd better let go of me, right now, or I'll let you have it! Errrrrrerrrrhhh!"

Dantz laughed. "Hey," he said, "be careful with that thing, huh? Makes it looked like you just robbed a bank or something."

"Keh-keh!" called the Birdbot. "Man, your parents must be REAL proud of you, huh? Maybe I oughta just shoot and do the whole world a favor. Nah, no time." He finally shook himself free of Dantz's grasp and started running away from the Digger.

Where was Quackard going, anyway? Dantz leapt out of his chair and started following after the Birdbot, remembering to grab his absolutely wonderful hamburger off the table first. "Wait up, Quackard! Can I borrow some of your winnings? I want to try and win Roll a present at the arcade!"

The Birdbot squawked. "Get away from me, you freak! I'm tryin' to make a getaway, here!"

Dantz continued chasing after his friend, accidentally plowing into a woman doing some shopping in the town square. "Sorry!" he yelled as he recovered and ran off. That was close. He'd nearly dropped the hamburger.

Going against his better judgement, but with his appetite, Dantz tried to take another bite of his sandwich on the run. This did not work well, as while his attention was on the food, he slammed into a street sign he didn't notice, losing both his mouthful of sandwich and his balance, as he tripped over the Birdbot he was chasing.

"What's your problem?" said the Birdbot. "What did I ever do to you? Keh."

"Quackard," Dantz said, "this game has gone on long enough. Now are you going to go back and have lunch with me, or not?"

"No, I'm not going to have lunch with you! Errrrrrgggggg! And if you follow me any more, I'm gonna have to plug you, see? So, back off!" The Birdbot gave Dantz a dirty glare and ran off into an alleyway.

What was up with Quackard today? Dantz shook his head in disbelief and tried to trace his steps back to the snack bar. "Barrel!" he said, recogizing the old Digger at a nearby coffee house. "Have you seen Quackard around?"

"Hi, Dantz," said Barrel. "Haven't seen him, sorry."

"No problem," Dantz said nonchalantly. "Hey, do you want to join me for lunch? These burgers are AWESOME!" Barrel agreed, so the two Diggers headed back for the Happy Times Hamburger Stand. As they got there, Dantz saw that Quackard had beaten him back. The Birdbot was sitting impatiently at one of the tables.

"Where have you been?" demanded the Birdbot. "I got here a little late, too, but you're about half an hour late. Keh-keh-keh! I heard the burgers here are great."

"How did you get back here so fast?" demanded Dantz. Hmm, that was odd, some sirens were going off. He saw the flash of police lights get closer and closer.

Quackard shivered a little bit. "Sorry, old habit. I know they're not coming to arrest me, anymore, but sometimes I still think---" He stopped short as the Quarrwump City Police bounded out of their cruisers, surrounded the snack bar, and slapped a pair of handcuffs on his wings. "Waaaack! What's going on here?"

"You're under arrest for robbing the Second Quarrwump Bank," said the police sergeant. He then began reading Quackard his rights. "You're a robot, so you have no rights. Just shut up and come along peacefully."

Dantz spoke up before Quackard's temper could come into play. "What are you doing? Quackard wouldn't rob any bank---"

"He must be an accomplice!" shouted another policeman. He brought out his nightstick and hit Dantz on the head.

"Ow!" said Dantz.

"He's resisting!" said a third officer, rushing in to help the others safely arrest the suspect, mainly by whacking him with their batons.

"Now, just a second," said Barrel calmly to to the police sergeant. "I can vouch for both these boys. First of all, neither one of them has the brains to mastermind a bank robbery, and even if they did, they wouldn't have done it---"

"He just said he's the mastermind behind the heist!" shouted the sergeant, forcing Barrel around and slapping another set of cuffs on the old Digger. Then, after Dantz had been properly subdued, the sergeant read both the humans their rights: "You both have the right to remain silent, and you'd better, or else we'll have to wail on you with our nightsticks again. You have the right to an attorney, but only a corrupt one who is paid off by the state to lose your case for you. Do you understand your rights? If not, too bad."

Dantz and Barrel were forced into the backseat of a police cruiser with Quackard tossed in on Dantz's lap.

"...all I'm saying is, it's not the same thing when you say the word 'honk' as when you actually honk."

"Yes, it is," Quackard said, pouting. That in itself was impressive for someone without lips.

"Ohhhhh," Dantz moaned. "I wanted to finish my hammmburger. It was SO good."

"Errrrerrrrhlll! Will you shut up about the hamburger!?! We're being accused of a felony, here!" Quackard leapt up on Dantz's chest, grabbing the Digger by the ears. "I didn't rob no banks, got it?! I'm not taking the fall for this! Keh-keh-keh-keh-keh-keh!" He began slapping Dantz with his wings.

Dantz caught the Birdbot's wing. "Oh, I guess it was some other Birdbot running around with a sack of stolen money!"

"That's what I keep telling you!"

Dantz and Quackard both began slapping one another. Then, Quackard wrapped his wings around the Digger's neck. "Stop that," Dantz choked, and he punched the Birdbot in the stomach.

Barrel sighed and crossed his arms, studying at the ceiling hopefully. "Roll," he said quietly, "you'd better get us out of here before I kill these two."

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