The original, 4-page short story version of


Copyright © 1981 by Roger M. Wilcox. All rights reserved.
(writing on this story began 31-January-1981)

The original draft was written on a mechanical typewriter, with no right margin. All spellings, punctuation, capitalizations, juvenile Japanese stereotypes, etc. are as in the original.

You have been warned.

Whew! Was I ever glad to get my black belt in Judo, Karate, and Tempura just before I got mugged in a dark alley 3 minutes later! At least now I would have some protection against the forces of baddies and no-goodnicks. Little did I realize that my newly acquired black belt was going to save the entire west coast shipping industry (no, I wasn't going to tie the boats to the docks with it!).

As I was walking down by the docks one day, doing the usual martial arts-type of things like demolishing condemned buildings (and a few that weren't condemned — or buildings, for that matter), I came across a suspicious looking character. I could tell he was suspicious-looking because he was walking very cautiously, wearing a ski mask, and carrying a 44-magnum (along with the usual assortment of chains and crowbars). I decided to follow him, because I could see he had Japanese eyes behind the ski mask.

Wait a minute! Hadn't I seen him before? Of course — the last time I was down at that dock, about 2 days ago. Could he be a smuggler — I'd seen him get on a ship that was leaving last time, and now he was going on another one! I had to see where he was going.

Too late. He'd already gone on board the SS. Japanese, and the ship had already left the harbor (I know — I should've rephrased that line! But you get the idea.). With a name like the SS Japanese, it took me almost an hour to figure out its destination. Probably Japan.

Strange, though; the ship he'd left on was the SS Japan, and that hadn't been seen in the harbor since. Tomorrow, I must catch this weirdough. After all, the sixteenth commandment states, "Thou shalt not smuggle if thou art a Japanese wearing a ski mask."!

The next day was a very muggy day (I subdued four muggers (all at once)). Evidently, the SS Japanese was one of those new nuclear powered ships, because 1) The weirdo was back already, and 2) He was now glow-in-the-dark. And now, he was going to board a third ship! The SS Jap.

Quickly, I ran over to him, and forced him to the ground. "Rah! Yow! Kai!" I kyaied, as I was chopping him to pieces. Before I dealt the final blow, however, I asked, "You're a smuggler, aren't you (I hope!)?"

"Yeah! Dat's Light!", the Small Japanese fortunately replied.

"Well, then, what are you smuggling??? I've seen you down here leaving on two ships (and about to go on a third), and each time you haven't had anything with you! Tell me what you're smuggling!"


"Well, that would explain a lot of this mystery."

"But not only the ships, I sell their crew as slaves."

"... And that explains the rest of the mystery! I've got to get to Japan!"

"Well, I'm going that way. Want to ride a smuggled ship?"

"Oh, shut up!" With that, I went on to get a ship ticket. Whoa, no! I'm not gonna let a-nother ship get into Japanese hands. I know — I'd take a row boat!

Three years later, I arrived on the shore of Japan. Since I had rented the boat, that came to $131,490, excluding the trip back. Atsa very xpensive boat! Nevertheless, I had to find the ship smuggling industry before I ran out of typing paper and/or ink ribbons.

After walking along the Japanese coast for awhile, examining the destruction from Godzilla, Monster Q, Giant Robot, and the A-bomb Little Boy, I finally came upon a major dock, crammed with Japanese and American ships. This had to be the ship smuggling industry, or else why would the producer waste all that money on a good shipping-dock set?

I walked up to the mock-up shipyard, ready to uncover the smuggling ring with either my bare hands, or with some help from the hands of a bear. Just in case, I was armed with a few ancient oriental and not-so-ancient-oriental weapons. As I approached the docks, I passed a pile of manure, ladened with a placque reading, "Here lie the remains of Lilliota (yecch!) Lotusblossom. May she roast in peace."

My arrival was greeted by a confused maniac who happened to be master of one of those weird martial arts. Not a very enthusiastic greeting, but still better than one by the IRS. At least he wasn't a sumo wrestler, who are so fat that instead of doing the special K pinch, they do the special K grab. With both hands.

"O-o-o-a, Tao!" shouted the confused maniac, whose name just happened to be Oh-Tao.

"Hold it!" I shouted back. "I warn you, I'm armed with midday charles'!"

"Midday Charles'? Say what?"

"Noon-chucks, you idiot! Nun-chakus!!"

With that, I proceeded to pull out the weapon(s) I'd just mentioned, and beat the attacker to a bloody pulp.

I bent down and looked at his dog tag. His name was "Yoko Oh-NO! — Shao-Lin". I figured he was a Shao-Lin, 'cause he knew how to walk like a Shao-Lin, talk like a Shao-Lin, and to all sorts of Shao-Lin things.

It was then I noticed that he wasn't the only guard of the shipping yard. As I was bent over his body, I heard mumbling, and shuffling foot steps in the ships behind me. When I turned around, I was the center of attention of five hundred shōgun warriors, and I don't mean those Mazinga dolls!

ME: Oh, my god! I'm doomed! What could possibly save me now?!
STRANGE DIVINE VOICES: Flash! ...... Gor-don!!

Yes! Flash Gordon was flying down from the sky on his rocket cycle, now armed with four big blaster guns. He immediately began firing upon the hapless Ninjae, killing rows & rows of them without showing any blood on their part. Then I joined into the battle.

Reaching into the drawer of weapons I had brought along, I pulled out a light sabre, and started slicing the Ninjae in half, and for some strange reason the light sabre's beamlike blade was so hot that it sealed off the enemies' blood vessels as fast as it slew them, showing no blood, of course.

After blasting about 400 of the ninjae into nothingness, Flash had to leave to play a football game or something like that. After all, I had subdued about a hundred of them myself!

My mistake — I had subdued 99 of them. The last one stood standing (that's a nice way to stood) on a nearby hill, weilding a longsword, and not saying anything. In other words, he was the Last Silent Swordsman, whose name was Quai-Chang Tim.

He ran over to me, and began swinging. I parried the first blow with ease, but he seemed to be a whole lot more skillful at this type of thing than the rest of the Samurais, shōgun warriors, ninjae, or whatever they were. Swing after swing I gave with my lightsabre, but my blows were as easily parried as his first, and they were getting tougher by the swing. I had to distract him.

Me: Hey! Look over there!
QCT: Oh, no! You no get me so easily!
ME: Damn it! I thought I could fool you, Changy boy.

And as he became enraged, he raised his sword high above his head as slowly and shakingly as possible. Seeing my opportunity, I quickly thrust my light sabre through his abdomen, rendering him nearly lifeless. In a few short seconds (what other kind of seconds are there?), he had been rended completely. The shipyard was mine.

I had conquered the badguys, and in a few minutes had all the ships back to their rightful owners. Every part, except female crew members.

— Finn —

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