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[CAMP-09] TCP: BS-01 Partners in Hiatus

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    [CAMP-09] TCP: BS-01 Partners in Hiatus

    Black Storm - Theodore Cyrus Page

    Following an escape from the animated world vaults, several former leaders join with Theodore Cyrus Page in his inherited business of Black Storm Movers.

    [CAMP_04] TCP: BS-01 Partners in Hiatus.
    By Darrel Vanwinkle (Lord Pouchlaw)

    Chapter One.

    Deep within the mists of cancelled animated TV shows
    The Hiatus Haven Bar and Grill; Animated Vault Land

    At a far back table sat a few animated former TV personalities playing cards and drinking cheap beer. Hunter, formerly of the Road Rovers; Razor; formerly of the Swat Kats; Throttle, formerly of the Biker Mice from Mars; Leonardo, formerly of the 1980s Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles; and Allo, formerly of the Dinosaucers. "I need two cards, Razor," said Hunter as he tossed two cards into the throw away pile. "Man... if I don't get a decent job soon, I am tempted to march myself directly into the gas chamber for the last mile. Hiring myself out as a security dog for ungrateful Warner executives is certainly not helping me to make ends meet with Colleen and our kids. My son Tracker is making sandwiches at a diner downtown and making very little doing it. The owner makes him wear plastic gloves while he prepares the food." He sighed. "Makes me sick to think that my son is having to support us both."

    Razor dealt two cards to the golden retriever. "I know what you mean, pal. I have to work part time in a small repairs shop for minimum wage. I miss the days of being an ex-enforcer. My son Cutter ran away from home when he saw that I couldn't afford to send him to college. I may join you in the gas chamber if things don't improve."

    "Try being a washed up dinosaur from outer space whom is stereotyped into a role so known that no one will hire you for any reason," said Allo with a sigh as he sipped his cheap beer. "We didn't even get a toy line. I have to beg on the streets. That gas chamber idea is starting to sound pretty good."

    Leonardo pitched in all five of his poker cards. "Deal me a new hand, will ya. With all the martial arts that Splinter taught us, you would think that we turtles would have been able to get a job teaching martial arts. Mikey was reduced toward advertising Turtle Soup. Donatello gets a small residual check for that one invention that he sold to Apple, but it isn't enough to support four turtles on. Raphael and Casey ended up in jail after they accidentally roughed up a cop. At least they are getting free room and board now."

    Throttle sighed as he pitched his cards back toward Razor. "I fold. I lost my tour guide job at the museum. Look at us, guys. We used to stand for something important and now... we are sulking and drinking like lazy bums. I don't know when the last time I had a decent bath was. Who are we kidding? No one wants to hire has-beens like us."

    At that moment, Jake the kangaroo mouse, formerly of Disney's Rescuers Down Under movie, bounded across the room and landed on their table. "Great news, govs. Ah got a 'ot tip for a job outside the vault. We can all go check out this opening together. Wildwing Flashblade is waiting for us outside in 'is ve'icle. Or 'ave yas given up already?"

    Razor stood up as he gathered up his cards and put them back into the package before pocketing them. "We have to check into this, guys. All other jobs are filled or are degrading to our former greatness. If it doesn't pan out, then its off to the gas chamber for the lot of us."

    Jake said, "That is pretty morbid, Razor. Ah know yas blokes are 'urting, but this opening just got announced only an 'our ago. We 'ave to act fast or else we might miss out on getting this job at all. Pretty please? Ah suck at making the sad puppy eyes, mates."

    The group headed toward the front of the bar where Razor deposited a quarter into the tip jar on the counter. "Thanks for letting us use the table in the back, Gadget. Wish us luck; we're going to see about snagging a decent job."

    And then the group piled into the back of the Migrator which was being piloted by the former Mighty Duck known as Wildwing Flashblade. Sitting in the passenger seat was the former Mobian head of the secret police, a skunk called Geoffrey St. John. Wildwing said, "The human hiring is asking for a combination of muscle, navigators, and planners. I am glad you former leaders are in this with us; we don't have permission to leave the vault which is why I am going to crash the gate doing ninety-eight as we escape."

    Razor buckled himself into a seat. "Reminds me of what T-Bone and I used to do in our show. We're with you, pal."

    Hunter spoke up at that point. "How is it that you still have use of the Migrator, Wildwing? I thought our old equipment was locked away in the animation garage."

    Wildwing grinned slyly. "I stole it, of course. Duke would be so proud of me."

    Hunter then broke the fourth wall with a smile as he commented, "I would not have predicted this." Then he fastened his seat belt. Allo was seated on the floor where Grin would normally sit. Throttle was sitting in Nosedive's usual seat. Leonardo sat in Duke's bucket seat and then he strapped himself in.

    The streets were barren at that hour as Wildwing put the pedal to the metal as he picked up speed heading straight for the barricade that would lead out into the real world. Aside from the minor road block at the animated vault tunnel, they didn't even have any guards at the blockade as Wildwing announced, "Brace yourselves! We're busting out of here! Here we go!"


    As the Migrator broke out into the real world, it transformed from its cartoon equivalent into its real world counterpart. As Wildwing hung a sharp left on to the highway, in the back floor boards of the Migrator, the 1970s version of Bugs Bunny sat up from where he had been sleeping, as he said, "Where we going, doc?"

    Razor and Hunter both turned to look at the bunny as Razor said, "The Warner execs will freak out if you go missing, Bugs. We are escaping to go look for a job in the real world. Promise not to tell your bosses and you can come with us." Bugs Bunny said, "I am the 1960s and 1970s version of the rabbit. I last worked during the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner show. When the 80s era started, the execs drew and animated a new version of me and then they retired me into the vault. The newest version got to be in the Loony Toons movies."

    End of Chapter One.

    Chapter Two.

    Boston Harbor Warehouse District; Southeast Division
    South Boston, Massachusetts, USA

    "Hey Page!" exclaimed a dock worker that Theodore Cyrus Page knew. "Your old man left you this run down warehouse business, did he? Are you going to sell it to the corporate swine that tried to get your old man to sell before he died?"

    Theodore made a dopey grin. "They only tried to buy dad out because he was running an identical business to the one they were running. My plan is to convert this place into a different kind of business that the corporate dock owners wouldn't feel threatened over having here. I inherited this place and if my idea goes down the toilet through my own mistakes, then I'll contact the corporation myself. I am sure they would be thrilled to get the land this business sits on. But they have to let me louse it all up first. Otherwise, they will find me worse to deal with than my father had been. When I get riled, the black storm thunders in the darkened night. In other words, I am a fighter. It takes a lot to scare me into selling something that I want to work at. And I'm not afraid to get the law involved."

    As he had been loudly saying his piece, three of the corporate owners had been about to come around the corner to pitch the buy-out offer to the son of the hold-out bastard. "Hear that, my friends. He wants to change the business into something else entirely. His old man would be rolling in his grave if he heard his son talking this way. What's the plan?" The second dock owner said, "Why don't we approach him anyway and ask what kind of business he plans on running. And if it sounds even a tiny bit similar to what we do, then our old buddy Matches can remove this eye sore from the dock front over night." The third business owner paled. "Can't we just be nice to the kid? He doesn't want to run a storage dock warehouse like we operate; he has a different plan. Let's find out what his plan is first."

    The dock worker then said, "You better get your business face on, Page... here they come to pitch another offer. I got to get back to work." And he quickly departed back to the ship he had been unloading.

    As the three approached the young black man with black curly hair, brown eyes and light milk chocolate African-American skin. He wore blue jeans, a white long-sleeved shirt, work boots and over his torso, he wore a motorcycle jacket with the words Black Storm written on the back above the artwork of a nasty looking storm over the open sea. He turned to regard their approach as he smiled and said, "I am the new owner of this property gentlemen. Name's Theodore Cyrus Page; also known in the Light-Weight Boxing circuit as 'The Black Storm'. How can I help you today?"

    The three stopped as they were startled by that introduction. They had heard of 'The Black Storm' but they did not know it was the son of the man they had difficulties with. The first businessman said, "We own the nearby Storage Dock Warehouses. Your old man was threatening to cut into our customers which is why we originally wanted him to either move his business or sell out to our kind offer. He refused and continued to attack our livelihoods. As long as you don't do as your old man had been doing, we would be inclined to let you stay. As we were arriving, we heard you tell that dock worker that you had another idea in mind for your inherited business. Mind letting us know what you plan on doing here, if you please?"

    Theodore knew that they might back off if his business was different from theirs. "I plan on operating a privately owned moving company and the moving truck would be parked inside the warehouse. I am also going to have a private boxing ring in there where I can practice for upcoming big boxing matches. I am a hefty competitor in the sport. Only one boxer ever scared me; and that was 'The Hook' from the Heavy-Weight boxing circuit. He told me to stay in my own division and we could be on friendly terms; later that night, some gamblers tried to get him and several others to throw a match just so they could win big bucks when the boxers lost their matches. The police found the gamblers hanging by a hook ripped through their pants over one of the docks to the North. I know not to cross 'The Hook'."

    The third businessman said, "A moving company needs employees, Mr. Page. Where are you going to get them?"

    Theodore replied, "I've already got an advertisement posted in California; the only criteria I asked for was anyone with a combination of muscle, navigation skill, and planning skill. I also mentioned that I didn't care if they were out of work Cartoon characters as long as they didn't have a criminal record. I may not get anyone to join me and if that ends up being the case, then you can expect me to call your main offices to let you know of the business' sale price. If you don't want it at that point, I make the sale offer to the public. You surely don't want newbies coming in to louse up your businesses by trying to do as my old man had been doing, do you?"

    The three backed off at that point. "We'll be watching to see how your business fares, Mr. Page. Just don't do as your old man did and we can all get along." And they quickly departed as if someone had cast the diarrhea magic spell on them.

    Theodore got out some paint and some brushes as he began to paint the old warehouse building black with dark purple eaves and the borders around the windows and doors were painted in gold and silver. When the paint dried, he worked on the company sign to place on the building facing the street. It was the exact same logo that his leather motorcycle jacket had on its back. The lettering over the sign read 'Black Storm' and the letters under the sign read 'Movers'. Then on a readable plaque under the the word 'Movers' he had the slogan. Affordable furniture and equipment movers; We care about our customers. The plaque was in phosphorous white with black lettering. He wanted the sign and the plaque to glow in the dark.

    The next day, a truck company delivered Theodore's new moving van truck to the business undergoing repairs. Theodore knew he was going to need some help to not only repair this building but to run the business. He hadn't placed the new business ad in the Boston papers as yet since he wanted employees on hand first or he would be caught with his pants down when the customers contacted him about his helping them move. Barely getting the new logo on the black moving van to advertise the business when they were out and about, he heard a vehicle pull up in front of the security doors of the old warehouse. He went over and opened the normal door to see whom drove up to his new business. That's when his breath caught in his throat as he saw the Migrator parked there and Wildwing Flashblade getting out.

    Wildwing said, "Are you Theodore Page? The man hiring muscle, navigators and planners? I and my friends would like to apply to work for you. You'd be getting me, Jake the kangaroo rat, Hunter, Leonardo, Razor, Throttle and Allo. Can't get more muscular than him. And to answer your phone in the office, 60s/70s Bugs Bunny. He and Jake said they would enjoy being your in office secretarial and filing cabinet clerks. We need work badly, Mister. We've been rotting away in the studio vaults doing odd jobs to make ends meet. We are rather desperate to do any kind of job at all. And may I park the Migrator inside your warehouse? We'll need room and board as well. Please say yes; a few of us can do the sad puppy eyes. I know Hunter can."

    Theodore smiled. "I never expected to get the leaders of your teams to answer my ad I placed in California the last time I was out there to attend my old man's funeral. I inherited this warehouse business and I wanted to change the type of business this place would become."

    He then went over and opened the security garage doors to reveal a second parking spot next to the new moving van. "Back the migrator in here; I don't have an automatic device for turning your vehicle around to drive straight out later. As for room and board, you guys will have to help me to convert a few rooms into apartments for not only myself but for you guys as well. My old apartment in uptown Boston is not the best place to live. In fact, the first test of the moving truck would be to move my belongings from my old place into the business here. You guys can call this a test outing. Move everything without damages and you're all hired. Once we're all living here at the business, I'll contact the Boston newspapers and place my business ad in their papers to show that I am open for business."

    Theodore smiled. "And one more thing, as my employees, you guys will get the employee uniforms that matches what I am wearing right now. Along with the logo jacket in your sizes. On the side, I am the Light-Weight Boxing champion known as 'The Black Storm'."

    Wildwing smiled. "We've seen your matches on TV. We never thought Theodore Page was 'The Black Storm'. Well, let me get the migrator inside the Warehouse and then we can get out to stretch our legs. After that, we work on the apartments. And then, the test move."

    He got back inside the migrator and pulled away from the building to turn the vehicle around to back it carefully inside the warehouse parking garage. Once he was inside, Theodore closed the security door to that garage. Then everyone got out of the migrator.

    Bugs Bunny said, "Craft the apartments inside the business and then, I'll furnish them using a little something I borrowed from the prop department." He then pulled out the magic wand he had mastered using way back in the early days when he filmed his shorts with the witch.

    End of Chapter Two.