All Aboard the Mystery Train
‘At last, we are come unto the Twylight City…’ quoth the Stranger. ‘I have only heard of this place, but I am told that there is a train that doth run from here unto places even deeper in this realm where no shadow falleth…’
In front of the station was an ancient-looking black steam locomotive marked No. 86. For to Scoot it looked as if it didst belong on a lonely winter night run, rolling thru a blizzard-swept dark forest.
‘Good,’ quoth Casey, as he didst step aboard the Mystery Train. ‘Let us get going.’
And so the Dudes didst take the last train out of town, boarding the Mystery Train and walking among its dimly-lit cars.
Yet the views didst perpetually change when they didst look out the windows, and they didst feel as if they were the first to ride this mysterious train in ages.
And it came to pass that the Dudes didst ride the Red-Eye Express even deeper into the realm of The Man.
And they didst arrive in a town so small, thou wouldst miss it on the highway if thou blinked.
And so Scoot and Richard didst go unto a garage and didst temper the HellRazor, and the Stranger didst lend his psychic powers to balance the HellRazor’s energy harmonics, and maketh it more powerful than before.
And Scoot didst hold the New and Improved HellRazor over his head in accordance with the Thirty-Seventh Commandment.
‘Groovy,’ quoth he.
And that was when They came unto town, for They were all of one mind and didst not have any use for individuality. And They were led by Shmiles Shmowen the Damned, for in his broken state, his mind was the brain-dead source of all of Them.
‘Holy fuck-suckers!’ cried Nori. ‘I knew Shmiles Shmowen was damned, but…’
And They didst attack the town, assimilating people by biting them in the ass. And in this way They didst assimilate the people, for a time had come when nobody was real, and They were legion upon the earth.
‘Hark! How terrible!’ cried the Stranger. ‘What hath The Man done to them?’
For the Dudes were surrounded by an army of people who didst shuffle around with the groping hands and glazed eyes of brain-dead zombies, muttering hollow phrases from TV commercials.
‘These people,’ quoth Nori, ‘have not the brains the Gods gave a fucking Casey!’
‘Come with us. Join Us…’ quoth Shmiles. ‘There is no use resisting. Wouldn’t ye like to be a Pepper, too?’
‘Ha! Biteth my shiny metal ass!’ cried RJ.
‘No!’ quoth Scoot, ‘for these poor people art under the curse of The Man. We must find some other way to fight this.’
‘Aye,’ quoth Richard. ‘Much as I hate to sayeth, ’tis not their fault. But how shalt we defeat an army of hostages?’
‘Behold! For the Sons and Daughters of Zion art upon thee!’ cried Shmiles. ‘Resistance is futile! Thou canst not defeat Us!’
‘…For We are many!’ chanted They.
And it came to pass that Scoot was pursued by Evil-Cam, which didst hunt him through forest and field, and he didst escape it atop a flatbed truck trailer.
‘I am mad as hell, and I am not gonna taketh it anymore!’ cried Scoot. ‘This evil hath chased me thru five fucking books! Now, who’s with me?’
And the Dudes issued forth a mighty battle cry, and they didst beat up Evil-Cam, and didst sent it away yiping.
‘But what about Them, ye dumbasses?’ quoth Nori.
‘Zoom! Zoom! Zoom!’ sang They in a monotonous voice. ‘Special low interest rates available. Our prices art low, low, low! Everything must go! Shoppeth smart… Shoppeth S-Mart.’
‘I believe ’twould be my turn,’ quoth Dirty Uncle Orty as he didst sling his Gothic Axe. ‘Stand aside and let a pro show thee how ’tis done!’
And he didst don the Mulambo Mask of Muntu and didst come in the spirit of Uhuru and Ushindani, and the Dudes didst become Pocket-Poodle and the Pig-Stinging Jellyfish, and it was a very good name for a band. (props Dave Berry)
And it came to pass that the Pig-Stinging Jellyfish didst play a kickass punk rock show, and didst teach the people to defend themselves.
And They didst remember to be who They am, and didst kick out the jams with them.
‘Nnooo!’ cried Shmiles Shmowen the Damned. ‘We hath 0.9% APR on approved credit!… And free pendant keychains …Buh! Buh!’
And so the Dudes didst take the Skeleton Key from Shmiles Shmowen’s twitching hand.
And after traveling the world in their Endless Highway Tour, which didst have t-shirts with destinations writ front and back, and up and down the sleeves, the Dudes didst at last stumble upon another Spooky Door.
‘Guard thee the Spooky Door, RJ,’ quoth Scoot, ‘and watch over the Skeleton Key well.’
And so it came to pass that RJ didst keep watch over the Skeleton Key and the Spooky Door, and the Dudes didst pass through.