“Can you believe it’s been eleven months since the Battle for Free Servitude?”
Peacefully plowing her fields of terrible-tasting seasonal carrots, Stephanie the server comments to her co-worker, Brian the Frequently Requested, about how quickly time has passed since the epic liberation from their oppressive managers.
“It’s hard to.” Brian replies. “It seems like only yesterday that we were waiting hours just to have our final checkouts run. Now we can run them ourselves, free and without the stress of having to ask fifteen times.”
“Aye,” Stephanie replies. “It is a glorious feeling, indeed.”
As the pair shuffle over to tend their crops of obligatory lunch chips that hardly anyone ever eats, they hear rushed footsteps approaching them in the distance. Laying down their spatula scythes, they squint their eyes to view the strong, burly cook who is frantically running toward them.
“Bobby!” Stephanie wails, catching him as he collapses into her arms. “What troubles you?”
“My friends!” He shouts, panting as he catches his breath. “I have just returned from the stenchy Lands of Waste Disposal just outside of our restaurant, disgustingly located where we all must linger in the morning for unreasonable lengths of time whilst we wait for the locked gates to open!”
“No wonder you have discarded lettuce on your shoes.” Brian quips.
“This is no time for jest, my friend.” Bobby wheezes. “For I have caught wind of treachery and deceit stirring in the West!”
Instantly understanding the gravity of the situation, Stephanie and Brian gasp.
“No!” They exclaim. “What treachery dost thou speak of?”
“It is Slug.” He responds. “I fear the Gods of Corporate have hired an outside consulting firm, who have used their magic to brainwash them into promoting him to the position of Local Manager – a position we Lenghornians fought so valiantly to eliminate!”
“Holy Rack of Ribs!” Stephanie shouts. “This is terrible news!”
“Whatever will we do?!” Brian asks.
“I know not.” Stephanie answers. “But alas, we must act. We cannot allow Slug to reforge the Chains of Meaningless Rules.”
Finally regaining his breath, Bobby removes his hands from his strong, firm quadriceps and stands up straight.
“My friends, I fear that reforging the Chains of Meanlingless Rules may be the least of our worries. For I also caught wind the Slug wields an item far more dangerous than they. One that doesn’t even take up valuable space in his inventory.”
“Blasphemy!” Brian asserts. “Nothing in the realm could be more oppressive than those Chains! Especially something that carries zero burden!”
“My friend,” Bobby says as he places a hand on his shoulders. “You must have forgotten the tales of old we were told long ago, back when we were but mere trainees.”
“What tales?” Stephanie asks, adding to the suspense.
“The tales of the Annual Review.” Bobby grimly replies. “You must have forgotten that the results of the Annual Review may be used as leverage to be rid of us as servers, once and for all!”
“Nay!” Stephanie screams, biting her nails. “I thought they were only conducted once in a generation!”
“That time, I fear, is upon us.” Bobby says. “Come, we must warn the others.” He says, grabbing the pair as he leads them toward the restaurant.
“We must make haste!”
Hurriedly rushing through the grassy hills overlooking of the House of Front, Stephanie and Brian are sweating from their long trek.
“I’m running as fast as I can!” Brian shouts at Stephanie.
As they finally make it to the peaceful village where the servers hang their aprons at night, the pair begins shouting in the middle of the cobblestone streets to warn them of the terrible news.
“My friends! You must awaken! There is trouble brewing in the West!” They yell, holding the wet floor cones that no one ever pays attention to over their mouths so they can project their voices.
One by one, the confused servers begin to exit their huts and wipe their tired eyes as the bright Moon shines down on them, illuminating their silhouettes along the dark street.
“Trouble brews on the Jessica West?” Johnny quietly asks.
“No! The actual West!” Brian replies.
“Stephanie? Brian?” Mark mutters, still trying to wake up. “What troubles you?”
“It’s Slug!” Stephanie whimpers. “He has forsaken us! The Gods of Corporate have promoted him to Local Manager, and his new position and power have clearly gone to his head! I fear he has hired a consulting firm to conduct the dreaded Annual Review!!”
“GASP!” The Lenghornians collectively breathe in disbelief.
“This can’t be!” Ashli, Queen of the House of Back shouts. “Slug pledged his allegiance to us, promising to never abuse his managerial powers!”
“I’m afraid it is so.” Brian sadly states. “Our trusted companion has been wooed by the powers of authority.”
“What ever will we do? We just gained our freedom no less than a year ago!” Pip, the petite host that everyone always secretly checks out exclaims.
“We will fight.” Mike says, darkly. “We cannot allow the progress we have made to be undone. “If we must besiege the Tower of Management again, then so be it!”
“But Mike!” Nela, the Bosnian server exclaims. “The last time we assaulted the tower we destroyed so many of the boots!”
“BOOTHS, my fair lady!” Mike says. “It is pronounced booths! Whenever shall you be rid of your cute, charming accent?”
“I do not know!” Nela cries. “But we must make sure we do not harm the boots this time!”
“It is true.” Blake the Knowledgable says. “We must keep the booths in good condition for our patrons, or else the entire realm will be of no worth.”
“Aye.” Mark says. “Then it is decided! We shall protect the freedom we fought for by ousting Slug, the Recently Promoted! We will then intervene and stop the dreaded Annual Review!”
“Huzzah!” The Lenghornians cheer, collectively acknowledging that they’re in for another fight.
High atop the Tower of Management, Slug and Kelsey plot their sinister plan.
“Muahahaha!” Slug cackles. “The Lenghornians are so concerned about the consulting firm I have hired! Little do they know that the Annual Review is nothing but a cover for the REAL leverage to be rid of them – the Guest Satisfaction Survey!!! Muahahahahaha!!!”
“Yes,” Kelsey sneers. “The Guest Satisfaction Survey reveals ALL of their weaknesses!! Finally we will have an unbiased opinion of each and every one of our subordinates! Muahahaha!”
“It is so.” Slug says. “Once we have an unbiased opinion of our servers, we can then begin getting rid of those that do not add value to the restaurant. And we will finally know who among them people actually like and dislike! MUAHAHAHA!!!!”
“Yes, indeed.” Kelsey says. “But alas, this is sure to piss off many of our employees! For no one actually likes to hear the truth!”
“Nay.” Slug replies. “The truth is something that so many attempt to avoid. But fear not, for using the Guest Satisfaction Survey gives us the ability to pretend that we say the guests are wrong and unreasonable when we read them, when in reality we actually agree with most of what they say!”
“This is a sinister plot, indeed.” Kelsey says. “Clearly you have thought this through.”
“I have.” Slug says. “These servers shall besiege us, but will be greeted with an onslaught of truth that they cannot handle! MUAHAHAHAHA!!!!”
“But who will be revealed as good, and who will be revealed as bad?” Kelsey asks.
“It is uncertain, as of now.” Slug says. “But the next few days will be telling, of that I am sure.”
“Alas! It is my hope that this survey shall unite the servers, quelling their menial problems with each other and allowing them to actually get along without the need to gossip!”
“Yes,” Slug sneers. “They shall be united. Under MY rule! MUAHAHAHA!!!!!”
Deciding to reconvene in the morning after returning to their slumber, the Lenghornian servers regroup in their village’s town hall, located in the small breezeway just before the restrooms.
“Citizens!” Mike shouts, “Are we all present?”
“Ask Carly the Cute,” Chris, the Uplifter of Moods says. “She’s the one at the host stand with the roster.”
“Aye, you are correct.” Mike says, nodding his head. “Carly! Who among our esteemed co-workers is in absentia?!”
“It seems as if we’re all here.” The beautiful brunette says. “Except for Xavier the Unicorn. I haven’t seen him for days.”
“Alas,” Mark interjects. “I believe Xavier is still on his quest to refill his Bladder of Rejuvenation. It must have taken a lot out of him to resurrect me…no pun intended, of course.”
Suddenly, a loud gallop can be heard from the hillside as a majestic rainbow unicorn charges toward the group.
“My friends, I have returned! And behold, Alexis, Peaceful Witch of the Northlands has granted me a bladder upgrade!! I now carry the inventory space to bring TWO of our fallen back from beyond the veil!”
“Huzzah!” The Lenghornians exclaim in unison.
“Quickly!” Blake shouts. “Retrieve the remaining bodies from The Battle for Free Servitude so we can breathe life into two of them!”
“Uhhhh yeah…about dat.” Nader the Egyptian Swiftwalker says. “I sort of burned ‘zem.”
“But Nader! Why would you ever do such a thing?!” Asks Christina, the foxy food runner.
“I deed not mean to!” He replies. “I was burning ‘ze ice in the dink station because I accidentally broke ‘ze glasses in there. I did not realize we had dumped ‘ze bodies in to preserve ‘zem!”
“Holy Hawiian salmon!” Blake yells, slapping his palm on his forehead. “This is terrible news!”
“Actually,” Connee the Fairy says, shrugging her shoulders. “It’s really not that big a deal. I don’t even remember who all died anyway, to be honest.”
“True.” Blake says. “Connee is right. Back to the topic at hand!”
“Aye!” Mike says. “As I was saying, it is good we are all present. For there is a quest we must embark on if we are to besiege the Tower of Management again!”
“Please, tell us of this quest!” Pip the Pretty shouts.
“Alas,” Mike begins. “The ancient Scrolls of Used Server Pads speak of a pair of siege weapons, located in a land far to the East which will surely grant us victory against Slug and his minions.”
“You mean the icy Lands of the Chest?!” Ashli the Fairy asks. “But no one has returned from there alive since Grandfather Richard refilled the beer cooler ages ago! It must have been centuries since then!!”
“I fear you are correct, Ashli. For the chest is protected by many obstacles, such as the treacherous Shelfs of Sweet Potatoes and the boiling-hot Steamer of Soups. But alas, we have no choice, for we must obtain these weapons to triumph over evil!” Mike asserts.
Nervously looking around, the servers glance at one another, wondering which brave hero will volunteer for the deadly mission. Finally, after several minutes of silence, one courageous man steps forth.
“Fear not, my friends! For I shall accept this quest for the good of the realm!”
“Oh Bobby!” The female servers woo. “You are so brave!”
“It is but my duty.” He says. “Mike, tell me of these weapons you speak!”
Looking up at him, Mike’s face slowly fades into a smile. “Bobby, my friend.” He says with a hand on his shoulder. “You must retrieve the legendary Crouton Catapult and Battering Ham!! Slug’s defenses will be no match for the power of these beautiful instruments of death!”
“Then it is decided!” Bobby shouts, lacing up his apron armor. “Alas, where is my faithful steed?!”
“I am here, my love!” Norman the valiant steed says, approaching him. “But we must make haste! If we are to reach the Icy Lands of the Chest in time to stop Slug, you must ride me long and hard all the way until we reach the East!”
“But of course! I shall ride you longer and harder than ever before! Come, we must depart!!” Bobby the Strong says, aggressively riding Norman into the sunrise.
“HUZZAH!!!!” The Lenghornians loudly cheer.
“Thank you my love. That was the best ride you’ve ever granted me.”
Unsaddling his beautiful steed Norman, Bobby the Bold unsheathes his steak knife, preparing to scale the glacial mountains littering the Chest of Ice. Making sure he’s packed the long rope of cloth napkins he fastened together, he begins his treacherous ascent to find the fabled siege weapons.
“Be careful my knight!” Norman neighs as he departs.
Slowly turning around with a look of courage he blows a kiss to his mate.
“I will, my sweet. Just remember to have sandwiches prepared upon my return, for I fear this will be an exhausting journey.”
“Of course, anything for you.” She says, brandishing several honey loaves of bread to begin preparing their delicious sandwiches.
Turning back to the glaciers, Bobby bravely treks forward. As he nears the apex of the first mountain, he sees the first obstacle he must overcome. Before him is a steep canyon with the next glacier hundreds of meters away. In between the two bodies of land lies several racks of frozen sweet potatoes, surely his only way to safely make it across.
Alright, he thinks to himself. Here goes nothing.
Gallantly leaping ahead, he lands on the first rack safely. Gradually leaping to the next rack, and then the next, he reaches the final sweet potatoes just before the next mountain. Realizing this jump is further than any before, he consolidates his inventory into a giant burlap sack, chucking it across to the land ahead. Taking a few steps back, he sprints forward and launches himself to the ledge, narrowly missing his target. Grasping the ledge with his right hand, he reaches into his pocket with his left, uncorking a large, red draught of strength, temporarily boosting his already muscled arms. Easily pulling himself up, he looks back down to the cavern below.
That was a close one, he thinks. I wonder what’s next.
Making his way forward, he eventually sees his next challenge – the boiling hot Steamer of Soups. The path beyond is a straight one, but the door to the soups seems to open periodically, blasting the path with piping hot steam, capable of instantly melting him into a pile of bones should he be caught in its midst. Hanging back for several minutes, he learns the pattern of blasts, quickly running past just as a burst of steam catches him on his burly buttcheeks. Looking back to make sure the mist didn’t melt his slightly skidmarked undergarments, he wipes the sweat from his brow.
Well, that was easier than I expected.
Just as he hoists his pack over his shoulder, he hears something crinkle from the cliffs above him.
No! He thinks. I knew it couldn’t be that easy!
Seeing a massive plastic bag of boiling hot tomato basil soup above him, he sprints ahead as the spaghettio-tasting liquid pours down, melting the ice behind him.
Phew! No wonder no one likes that stuff.
Collecting his thoughts, Bobby again treks forward, at last reaching the enormous chest of ice he’s been looking for. Seeing a conviently placed ice scoop laying nearby, he leaps into the chest and begins to chuck aside massive heaps of ice in hopes of unearthing the legendary items he seeks. Finally getting to the bottom, he sees them. Two brilliantly crafted weapons of war, right there before his own eyes. Quickly fastening his rope of cloth napkins around the devices, he hoists them out, looking down from the cliff behind the chest.
Well that sure worked out well. “Hey Norman!” He shouts. “Look up here!”
Realizing his quest had taken him straight to the top of the mountain he’d originally ridden up to, he begins lowering the siege engines down to his faithful steed. Tying the rope to one of the legs of the chest, he climbs down himself, attaching his loot to an empty chariot the pair had pulled along with them.
“What do you think, my love? Pretty impressive, huh?”
Just before she can answer and hand him his sandwich, Norman’s eyes light up.
“Bobby, my dear! Behind you!!!”
“Huh?” He asks in bewilderment.
Slowly turning around, a massive white troll leaps down from the cliffs above them.
“Not so fast!!” The troll grunts. “Those weapons are MINE!”
Wielding his steak knife, Bobby bravely steps in front of his booty.
“I don’t think so, Valerie! Just because the Gods of Corporate banished you here ages ago doesn’t mean these weapons belong to you!”
“We will see about that!” Valerie the Attractive Troll shouts. “Yah!!”
Charging forward, Valerie attempts to knock Bobby down with her brute force. Cleverly rolling aside, Bobby the Bold heaves his steak knife directly into her shapely buns, all the way until it breaches her trolly T spot.
“Noooo!!!!” She cries, falling over in defeat. “But I was beginning to enjoy tha….ahhhhhhh.” She moans as her spirit returns to the veil.
“My hero!!” Norman neighs, bowing down so Bobby can mount her.
“Alas!” He shouts. “Back to our companions! We have a battle to plan.”
Gallop gallop gallop
The evening after Bobby the Brave’s bold quest to obtain the legendary siege weapons, the servers are out tending their crops, peacefully awaiting his return.
“Do you hear something?” Christina asks Chris, as she hoes her crops of garlic grilled corn.
“I believe I do!” Chris responds, looking up and down at the Elvira outfit she’s wearing.
“Alas! It is Bobby!! He hath returned!!” Christina shouts, dropping the hoe.
“My friends!” Bobby shouts. “I have returned with the fabled siege weapons of old!”
Behind him, an enormous Battering Ham and Crouton Catapult can be seen, being toted by his faithful steed Norman.
Pant pant pant.
“My Lord Bobby, I’ve never been ridden so hard in my life!”
“Tis true, my lass, but lo! We are here!!”
“Huzzah!” The Lenghornians shout.
Flying into the middle of the field, Connee, Queen of the House of Front has the servers reconvene to present their new weapons of war.
“Servers!” She shouts. “Your champion hath returned with the fabled weapons of yesteryear!! Behold! The legendary Crouton Catapult and its destructive companion, The Battering Ham!!”
As Connee screams these inspiring words, Blake rolls out the enormous wooden wheeled pig to show to the Lenghornians. It’s the server equivalent of a battering ram (duh), and has a metal nose that’s surely capable of destroying any door put before it. Shaped like a pig, the servers hope the irony of having their gates knocked down by a piece of bacon will put the managers in their rightful place.
Slowly rolling behind the Battering Ham, the Crouton Catapult is being pulled by Xavier the Unicorn, who’s bladder has been upgraded to save THREE fallen servers.
“Don’t forget the Catapult, my friends!” He neighs, shoving his unicorn horn up Chris’s butt, making sure he makes haste.
“Huzzah!” The Lenghornians cheer. “Now we have the equipment to oust our oppressors!!”
Deep, deep in the Tower of Management, there remains a sliver of silver that can be used to reforge the Chains of Meaningless Rules.
And reforged they shall be.
“Kelsey! Come see what I have in store for our server subordinates!” Slug shouts, his voice echoing across the stone walls of the Tower of Management.
Holding a scroll of guest satisfaction surveys, Slug reveals the low score that some of the servers have received.
“Behold, Missprissy274@gmail.com says that Emily the Nice Buns failed to bring bread to her table in a timely manner! Surely this will serve as leverage in our attempts to oust her.” He says, creepily rubbing his hands together.
“You are right, Slug.” Kelsey sneers. “Her buns can only get her so far. At a certain point we must consider her true value as a server!”
“Yes, indeed.” Slug replies. “But alas, those are some hot crossed buns.”
“Hot crossed buns or not, we must focus on servability if we are to prevail! Do not let your Slugly desires cloud your judgment of the Lenghornians!” Kelsey shouts, obviously annoyed at Slug’s acknowledgment of Emily’s nice buns.
“Lo, you are right my dear.” Slug says, shaking his head. “I cannot allow her to use her Bun magic on me, as she has many men before. Thank you for your wisdom, my dear Kelsey.”
“Of course.” Kelsey says. “Now, we have important issues to discuss.”
“Then let us discuss them!” Slug shouts.
“Yes,” Kelsey says. “Discuss them we shall. I fear that the servers are incapable of handling a table of ten by themselves. We must pass a Declaration that states any party of 9 or more shall be split between TWO servers!”
“But Kelsey! What if that ends up complicating things?! Surely our servers are capable enough to handle such parties alone! For we do not hire Those Without Brains! After all, it might become confusing for the customers to deal with two servers, especially when they ask for extra ranch! They always assume the other server will obtain it and it ends up getting forgotten! And these errors always end up in us having to comp a meal!”
“It matters not, my dear Slug.” Kelsey says. “For this edict has been passed down by the reforging of the Chains of Meaningless Rules! Parties shall be split whether it makes sense or not!!”
“The Chains have been reforged?!” Slug asks.
“Yes.” Kelsey sneers. “And this time they are molded with an unbreakable adhesive. We have poured veggie butter over the links of the chain, allowing it to coagulate and mold into a bond stronger than ever before!! Muahahahahaha!!!”
“Incredible.” Slug says in awe. “You are a brilliant schemer indeed.” He adds, bowing before her. “I look forward to returning the servers to their rightful place.”
Cackling together, Slug and Kelsey retreat into the Tower to begin plotting their other schemes.
“Um, excuse me?” Asks Norman the Steed, looking up at Bobby with a grimace.
“Apologies, my love.” Bobby the Brave says. “For I meant Woah, please. As in Woah! We have arrived at our destination.”
Unsaddling his faithful steed, Bobby the Brave has arrived at the one place that will make certain that the Crouton Catapult and Battering Ham will be unstoppable: Cedric the Blacksmith’s.
As the pair approaches the stone bastions of Cedric’s keep, the smell of the legendary Keep’s Kush seeps through the open veins of his stone and mortar walls. The thick, grey mist can be seen wriggling it’s way out of the open windows littering the side of the edifice.
“My dear, breathe not the seepings of the Keep’s Kush, for it will render you useless.” Bobby says to his steed. “The bards tell of Cedric’s concoctions in their songs. They have the ability to make one forget entirely their task at hand, making them instead burst out in laughter at the most menial of things. Beware, my love.”
Nodding in acknowledgment, Norman carefully approaches the vast wooden door of Cedric’s keep. Being careful to tiptoe around the misty clouds of Kush smoke, the two bang on the front door, hoping to catch the blacksmiths attention. After several seconds of nothingness, Bobby becomes impatient, looking at the open window to the right of the wooden door, shouting inside.
“CEDRIC! IT IS I, BOBBY THE BRAVE!! WE REQUIRE YOUR ASSISTANCE IN STRENGTHENING THESE LEGENDARY SEIGE WEAPONS!!”
Waiting for a response, Bobby and Norman stand at the front door, motionless. Its clear that no one has heard their call. Bobby tries once more.
“CEDRIC!!!! WE ARE IN NEED OF YOUR HELP!!!! PLE-”
Out of nowhere, an incredibly relaxed, smiling face looks down at them from the open second floor window, interrupting Bobby.
“You need sumthin?”
Grinning, Bobby the Brave ties his steed to the post outside, then makes his way into Cedric’s keep.
“My friend! It has been ages since I last enjoyed your botanical offerings!” Bobby shouts as he climbs the stairs to join Cedric.
“Ages? Far too long my brotha. Bring it in, let’s get you right.” Cedric says, handing Bobby an enormous oblong, white paper with something green rolled on the inside.
“Alas!” Bobby shouts. “I would love to partake in your Keep’s Kush, but I have pressing matters to which I must attend!”
“Well dayum.” Cedric says. “What needs attending to?”
“The siege weapons I have stationed outside. I must use your forge to strengthen them. With the combined strength of your forge’s upgrades and the legendary forces still within, the Battering Ham and Crouton Catapult will be more than enough to destroy Slug’s oppressive regime. I have been told that he is attempting to corrupt poor Kelsey, and we must not allow that. We must oust him!!”
“You need to use my forge? You can forge allllllll you want, my brotha.” Cedric says, his eyes half open in a state of elation that only Keep Kush can provide.
“Many thanks, my friend.” Bobby says, making his way down to Cedric’s forge.
As Bobby reaches the bellows of Cedric’s Keep, he makes his way to the back of the room. Nestled in the corner is a large wooden door leading to the exterior of the keep, giving him access to the siege weapons he has brought with him. Opening the door, he hurries out to lead Norman and the weapons into the forge below.
“Hold it still, my love!” Bobby shouts, as he hammers into the nose of the Battering Ham.
Hours upon hours go by, until Bobby is drenched in sweat and unable to hammer anymore. Stepping back and viewing his work, he smiles at the gleaming steel tip of the Battering Ham and strengthened Crouton Catapult, which now is more like a T-Bone Trebuchet.
“Yes.” Bobby says, oozing with happiness. “These weapons will surely destroy anything Slug decides to put up. Quickly my love, back to the Lenghornians!”
Mounting Norman, Bobby makes his way back to the server village after thanking Cedric the blacksmith for his services.
“What news from the West?”
Back in the Tower of Management, Kelsey asks Slug what his minions have discovered about the servers’ recent activities.”
“The simple-minded slaves think they are one step ahead of us. Fools!” Slug says, cackling to himself. “My faithful flying informants saw them uncovering the Battering Ham and Crouton Catapult of old! But they are weak, outdated machines. They will be no match for my strengthened walls!”
“Flying informants?” Kelsey asks. “However did your brainless cooks gain the ability of flight?”
“Twas easy, my dear Kelsey. I merely sewed chicken wings to their weak, spineless backs! They can now travel with haste wherever I bid! Muahahaha!!”
“You are a wise schemer indeed, my friend.” Kelsey says with admiration. “You will make a fine ruler once we rid ourselves of those weak-minded subordinates.”
“With you by my side, we can achieve anything!” Slug cackles.
“Tis true. But do not mistake my partnership for romance, my liege. For I am betrothed to the spirit of our fallen Local Manager.” Kelsey tells him with a sparkle in her eye.
“What is this you say?!” Slug exclaims. “The ghost of Slobert hath returned?”
“It is true, my dear.” Kelsey replies. “Ben the Bro has defected from the servers, as they have ousted him from their village for ignoring his side work. They would no longer bear the burden of performing his responsibilities whilst he spent time leaning on the wall sending ravens to innocent teenage girls he attempts to prey upon. He came to me with ancient wisdom stolen from the fairies, Connee and Ashley. I was able to use this stolen knowledge to raise my dear Slobert from the dead.”
“Lo! This is unfortunate, as I planned to crown you my Queen and perform unspeakable actions with you in my Keep’s chambers. But news of Slobert’s return is good, indeed. Perhaps I can use his ghostly apparition to strike fear into the Lenghornians hearts. They will surely bow to my will once they see I have spirits in my command.”
“A brilliant idea, my lord.” Kelsey cackles. “Come! I will lead you to my bedchambers where I have Slobert tucked away. We will inform him of our plans and unleash him upon the weaklings. They will never know what hit them.” She adds with a sinister smile.
“Yes. Come, my lady.” Slug says, winking at her to emphasize the dirty pun he just made.
Making haste for Kelsey’s bedchamber, an eerie wind blows to the West, foreshadowing the gloom they are about to release upon the village.
“Behold! Cedric the Everhigh has strengthened our siege weapons of old!”
Returning to the village of servers, Bobby and Norman haul the Battering Ham and Crouton Catapult into the center of the town square.
“At last! They hath returned!” Pip the Well-Bodied cries in excitement. “Come servers, let us greet our champions!”
As the servers emerge from their (drinking) straw huts, they jump and cheer in excitement at the duo’s arrival. All joining in the square, Bobby unfastens the siege weapons from Norman’s shapely backside.
“With these, Slug’s forces will be outmatched with ease.” He says with a confident grin.
As the servers gather round to observe the two massive objects, a group of dark, ominously grey clouds blocks out the sun, casting a dark shadow over the village.
“Hmm,” Ashley the Fairy quietly says. “Strange weather approaches.” She says, squinting her eyes at the darkness.
“Strange weather, indeed.” Connee adds.
“Friends, let us not allow harmless clouds to rain on our parade! No pun intended, of course. For we have finally gained what we require to end Slug’s reign once and for all!” Bobby says cheerfully, putting his arms around the visibly frightened fairies.
“Huzzah!” The servers shout in unison.
As the villagers continue to admire their newly acquired weapons of war, a black mist manifests from the group of clouds, silently creeping toward the Earth. Distracted by their weapons, the mist takes the form of Slobert, the Local Manager who fell during the epic Battle of the Servers.
“My love! Behind you!” Norman the Steed shouts at her champion.
His eyes lighting up in fear, Bobby the Brave slowly turns to face the disgusting figure that has taken shape behind him. In one fell swoop, Slobert the Oppressor lunges forward, enveloping Bobby with his foul-smelling, black mist, sucking the life out of him. The servers gasp in horror as Bobby falls to the ground, pale and decrepit.
“NOOOOOO!!!!” Norman wails.
Approaching from the East, a flock of brainless cooks swoop over the village to admire the work that Slobert has done. Diving toward the servers, the villagers duck in fear as they franticly scatter to avoid the chicken winged minions.
“Teeheeheehee!!” The cooks cackle with high-pitched, obnoxious laughter. “You are all next!” They shout, flying away to report the success to Slug the Smelly.
As the gravely black figure ascends back into the clouds, the sky clears – casting a bright ray of light upon the decaying body of Bobby the Recently Departed.
As the servers gather around him in horror, Connee the fairy kneels down before him, attempting to spread her magical fairy dust to reanimate his lifeless corpse.
“Please, my friend,” Norman pleads. “You must save him!”
“Alas, my dear, I fear it is too late. Slobert’s magic is far too powerful.”
Collapsing in tears, Norman the Steed runs off toward the hills in the East in a fit of rage, clearly toward the Tower of Management to avenge her fallen hero.
“Norman! Come back!” Xavier the rainbow-laden Unicorn shouts after her. “I shall use my Urine of Revitalization to bring Bobby back from beyond the void!!”
Refusing to heed his directions, Norman speeds up, far out of sight of the servers.
“Alas, my friends,” Xavier says assuredly, “behold the power of my urine.”
Kneeling over Bobby’s body, Xavier squats down to allow his strawberry-scented stream to flow into the champion’s mouth. After stepping back to await his return from the void, Xavier grimaces in apprehension.
“Impossible!” He shouts. “It appears that my urine is not strong enough to undo that foul phantom’s magic either!”
Stepping back in remorse, the servers gasp as they realize their leader is lost to them for all eternity.
“What are we going to do now?” Rachael the Hot Host innocently asks, kneeling down in defeat.
“We fight.” Stephanie the Slant Eyed bravely says, stepping forward to take the lead. Bending down to grasp the steak knife the Bobby wielded, she points it toward the East, signaling the battle that is surely to come.
“Huzzah!” The servers shout, their spirits lifted by Stephanie’s courage.
Lifting Bobby’s corpse to begin the burial proceedings, the servers collectively carry him towards the fabled Hill of Bodies, whose soil contains the remains of their most revered ancestors – paying him the respects he so rightfully has earned.
Approaching from the Western hills, the chicken-winged brainless cooks fly toward Slug’s Keep, nestled not far beyond his castle walls and the Tower of Management. Swooping in through an open stone window, they perch themselves on top of the banisters overlooking his bedchamber.
“My liege,” one of the cooks screeches. “Our quest is complete! Bobby the Burly has been felled, and is no more!”
“Exxxxcellent.” Slug sneers as he creepily rubs his hands together, staring out the window to the West. “Now the servers have no champion, and will surely crumble under their lack of leadership! Muahahaha!!”
Overhearing the sinister cackle from the Keep’s common area, Kelsey the Betrothed ascends the spiral staircase leading to Slug’s chamber.
“My lord,” she says. “I have caught wind of our victory from my dear Slobert. He has returned bearing news of Bobby’s return to beyond the void.”
“It is true, my dear whom I have a crush on but fear the repercussion of pursuing said crush. Bobby the Buttface has been ousted.”
“Wait, what?” Kelsey asks, caught off guard at Slug’s nonchalantly inserted statement.
“Silence!” Slug shouts, waving a dismissive hand. “See that you tend to Slobert, as I am sure his spirit is tired from his recent journey.”
“But my liege, I do not believe spirits are capable of experiencing fatigue! They have no body, after all.”
“Tend to him anyway!” Slug shouts again, raising his voice. “I must be left to my thoughts.” He grunts, jealously glancing at the small locket containing a portrait of Kelsey and her betrothed hanging from her necklace.
“Of course, my lord.” Kelsey sighs, bowing her head before exiting the room.
Turning to face the window again, Slug puts his hands behind his back as he stares back out toward the Western hills. Desperately wanting to enjoy the recent victory against the servers, he can’t help but picture his Slugly arms grasping the wonderful waist for which he so dearly longs. Just as his daydreams begin to reach a more sinister point, he notices a small figure manifest from beyond the hills. Squinting his eyes to better focus on the figure, he reaches to the table beside him to grab the conveniently placed monocular he has stashed for instances such as this. Stretching the monocle to its full length, he raises it to his eye to observe the approaching silhouette. To his horror, the lone figure gradually becomes dozens as he witnesses Stephanie the Sweet leading a battalion of servers toward the castle. Toted behind them are two enormous siege weapons, the likes of which he has never seen.
“Kelsey!” He shrieks, sprinting up the spiral staircase. “Quickly! To arms! Raise the alarm! The castle is under attack!!” He screams again, frantically flailing his arms around like a wacky inflatable tube-man.
As the brainless cooks obey the order and make their way toward the battlements, they begin arming the catapults and trebuchets. Slug, still flailing, retreats to his armory to adorn his apron breastplate and oven mitt gauntlets.
Taking a deep breath as finishes strapping them on, he draws a deep breath to prepare for what is to come.
“The battle is upon us.” He says to himself, calmly looking into a mirror at his Slugly reflection.
Entering the armory after overseeing the castle’s battle preparations, Kelsey slowly walks toward Slug, refastening his apron as she stands behind him.
“Lead us to victory, my Lord.” She whispers into his ear.
Stepping away from her to curb the tension in his loins felt from her close proximity, Slug turns to face her.
“But of course, my dear.” He says with a smug look of arrogance. “I will not fail. Unlike certain other local managers in the past, I am not a lesser man. The bards will sing songs of my greatness for ages to come.” He adds, clearly referring to Kelsey’s betrothed.
Opting to avoid the debate Kelsey decides to stroke Slug’s ego, hoping her encouragement will strengthen his resolve for the approaching battle.
“Of course, my liege. Your greatness is unparalleled.”
Taking one final deep breath, Slug looks toward the door.
“Come. Let us put a swift end to Stephanie the Squinted and her pathetic companions. I will end this war once and for all.”
Heading toward the battlements, Slug lets Kelsey walk ahead so as to observe her shapely buns.
Little does he know what lies ahead.
“Servers! Notch your Silver Arrows of Ware! Fairies! Load croutons!!”
Pointing her steak knife toward the castle, Stephanie the Strong commands her legion of servers. Closing in on the walls protecting Slug’s domain and the Tower of Management, the Lenghornians have sliced through his outer defenses like a hot knife through butter. Darkening the sky with their silver arrows of ware, the hail of forks and knives falls upon the brainless cooks with impunity, ripping them to pieces. Massive croutons being launched by fairies Connee and Ashley are pummeling his walls, delivering the shock and awe anticipated by the improvements of Cedric the Everhigh.
“Behold!” Stephanie shouts, pointing her steak knife toward the tattered walls of Slug’s Keep, “the castle is falling!!”
“Quickly! We must scale the walls!” Mark the Rhythmic Resurrected says as he approaches a spot of the wall that has been destroyed by one of the large, garlic-laced croutons. “Where is Emily the Well-Bunned?!”
Suddenly, a break in the servers battalion reveals itself as a shapely woman walks forward, laying down before the wall.
Emily the Well Bunned has joined the fray, using her best ASSets to the Lenghornians advantage.
“Swiftly Lenghornians! We must use these buns to bounce ourselves over Slug’s defenses! We shall soon gain entry to his Keep!” Mark shouts, getting a running start before trampolining over the wall by jumping on Emily’s bouncy buns.
“Huzzah!” The other Lengnorians shout as they follow suit, bouncing themselves over the walls. Finally, approaching the massive wooden door to Slug’s Keep, Stephanie the Server stands atop the Battering Ham, ready to oust the oppressive manager before them.
“Slug!!” Stephanie shouts. “You are defeated! We have yet again washed away the Chains of Meaningless Rules!”
Peering down at the Lenghornians from his window, Slug shrieks as he makes a last ditch effort to defend his castle.
“Never!! For I still command the spirit of Slobert!” He shouts, beckoning the shadowed ghost of the local manager to attack.
“Neigh!!” Xavier the Unicorn screams. Using his teeth to lift a cover off of the wagon the unicorn has been pulling, Cedric the Everhigh suddenly leaps out with his bloodshot, baggy eyes and points his enormous Lenghornian Water Bong at the misty spirit. Just as it descends toward Stephanie the Strong, Cedric puts the bull shaped bong to his mouth and deeply inhales, sucking in the mist containing the spirit of Slobert, blowing him out in a puff of black, ghostly goodness – assuring his return to beyond the veil.
“NOOOO!!!!” Kelsey screams, entering the battle. “My love!!”
Dragging Slug out of his keep, Kelsey passionately holds Slug’s hand, seemingly wanting to plead for a compromise. Ever the level-headed one, she seems to practice wisdom well beyond her years.
Slowly looking up toward the emboldened faces of the oppressed Lenghornians, Kelsey takes a deep breath. For years she’s looked over them, making their schedules, cashing them out, and listening to their problems. She’s beginning to realize how important they all really are to her and how much they mean…but suddenly, out of nowhere…
A massive garlic crouton can be seen on the horizon, launched by the legendary Crouton Catapult. As the enormous body of bread blocks the sun and blackens the sky, the pleading faces of Kelsey and Slug fade into faces of fear as it lands on top of them, crushing their bodies and sending their souls beyond the void.
“Oops.” Ashlee the Fairy says. “Must’ve forgotten to announce the halt.”
Flying back over the battlefield, she begins shouting at the faithful soldiers. “Servers, victory! Slug is no more!! You can stop with the croutons.” She adds with a laugh, peering back at Slugs garlicky crushed corpse.
“Alas!” Connee the Fairy asserts. “This humorously launched crouton has prevented any last words from Slug and his loyal companion. Perhaps it is for the best!”
“It is so!” Ashlee shouts, holding her wand before her.
“Lenghornians! Regroup in the town square. There is much to be discussed.”
Making their way toward the square, the Lenghornians happily begin singing songs of the battles before.
“Weelllllllll weeeee, fought for our soldiers,
And launched crouton boulders,
And freed our fair ladies,
And now we serve on our own!
Buuuutt wheeeen we sip on our Foldgers,
And put out the smoulders,
We knew it’d be easy,
And now we serve on our own!”
Back in the server village, Stephanie the Strong is standing on a table, ale in hand, singing songs that the bards have written in their memory. The epic battles that the servers have persevered through show just how strong the bonds between the villagers really are. They’ve shed blood, sweat, and extra ranch for one another, and will never forget the sacrifices they’ve all been forced to share.
As the Lenghornians gather in the village tavern, they all join in on the song Stephanie is leading…
“Aaaaand weeee smoked Sloberts Ghost,
With Cedric’s bong we will boast,
Then we found a unicorn,
And now we serve on our own!
Aaaaand we found a big ham,
Then we gave Slug a slam,
And cab ribs taste like spam,
And now we serve on our own!
Theeeeeeeeen Kelsey came along
And she tried to make calm
But got hit by croutons
And now we serve on our own!
Nowwwwww weeeee do what we want
Just like we all thought
And when they ask for our boss we say
We serve on our own!!!!”
….or is it?