Joe, a Typical Hero of the Future: The Torture Chamber

Joe found himself lying down when he finally came to. He propped himself up and looked around the room he found himself in. He immediately recognized this room as a torture chamber. The room's ambient lighting, the comfortable-looking chairs and the couch on which he was lying, the small fire burning on the other side of the room (for sticking prisoners in, Joe thought) and a cup full of a steaming, brown, non-alcoholic fluid (which Joe knew to be some sort of mind-weakening drug) on the table next to him gave that fact away.

Joe noticed two other entities in the room sitting in the chairs. He took a closer look at them. To Joe they appeared to be members of the species of Evil Emkriagions, the most evil humanoid species in the entire galaxy. Joe rubbed his eyes and looked again. Even worse! These two entities were Joe's parents! Whoever wanted to torture me couldn't have found two better interrogators, thought Joe.

"Care for a cup of tea, dear? There's one on the table next to you", Joe's mother said. Joe gritted his teeth and shook his head. They won't get any information out of me, Joe thought.

"Well, son, we've really missed you all these years. I suppose you've missed us too", Joe's father said.

"No... no... no... no... no... no... you're not getting any information from me!" Joe replied.

"So, how have you been doing lately?", Joe's mother said.

Joe had yet another thought, so setting a world's record for thinking by a Typical Hero of the Future. What if they weren't trying to interrogate me after all, he thought, what if they're really trying to engage me in conversation? What a horrible possibility!

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGH!" screamed Joe. His heart rate had doubled and he was having trouble breathing, which wasn't too surprising considering how long he had been screaming for.

"He hasn't lost his conversational touch", Joe's mother remarked to Joe's father. He nodded, and then spoke to Joe again.

"Son, you remember how on Earth there used to be such a problem with where to put our garbage?", and without waiting for the inevitable response from Joe, continued. "Well, they've completely solved that problem. We just send it all to Earth's major television networks, who then proceed to permeate the minds of Earth's citizenry with it. No garbage dumps required anymore."


"Are you alright, dear?", Joe's mother said.

Taking deep breaths, Joe, with an incredible amount of effort, managed both to keep himself from passing out and sort of managed to climb back on the couch again. "Ahhh... ahhhh.... uh.... uh...", Joe said. I'm really going to have to focus if I'm going to survive this, he thought. So, he started focusing.

"Mumble glurble marble glonk", Joe's father said. Actually, Joe's father almost certainly didn't say "mumble glurble marble glonk", but that's what Joe heard. Joe had finally managed to tune his parents out, a technique he had perfected by the time he turned fourteen years old but hadn't practiced in a while.

"Glarble burble mangle mumble", said Joe's mother.

"Uh-huh", Joe replied.

"Mumble mumble yamble biorgk", Joe's father said.

"Yeah, yeah, okay", said Joe.

"Mumble mumble mumble mumble mumble mumble mumble mumble mumble", said one of Joe's parents. Joe wasn't sure which one it was anymore.

"Sure. Whatever", Joe replied.

After several further minutes of edifying conversation caused by Joe's self-inflicted delirium, Joe's parents left the room. This is my chance to escape, thought Joe. He looked around the room. The only promising exit appeared to be a high window above the couch. He stood on the couch and was barely able to reach the window. He found that the window wasn't the sort that opened, so he tried banging, without success, on the window in an attempt to break it. After a while, he decided he needed something to break it with. So, not considering the consequences of his actions, he climbed under the couch and unscrewed one of the couch's legs.

"Ouch!", the couch screamed, and, now having fewer legs than are typically required for a couch to stand up, promptly fell on Joe.

"Ouch!", Joe said. After spending some time thinking about how much he was hurting, he threw the couch off of him and scurried out from under it.

"What's all that noise down there?" called a voice that sounded very much like Joe's mother.

"Nothing, everything's okay", Joe yelled in return. He then jumped back onto the couch in order to hit the window with the leg of the couch. Unfortunately Joe was now unable to reach, the couch being much shorter than it had previously been. Undaunted, Joe threw the table on top of the couch, spilling the tea, which was still hot because it had been sitting in a cup made out of the hyper-insulating material Insulatorion, onto himself, burning himself badly. After about four commercials (a commercial is an ancient Bonanzan time unit approximately equal to thirty Earth seconds) of banging the window with the couch leg, Joe finally broke the window.

Joe climbed onto the window sill and looked out. He found himself about three stories off of the ground. Looking down, he saw some of the Pricklygrass that was native to Bonanza. Jumping down would be suicidal. He looked up and saw an antenna a few feet above him. He jumped and grabbed onto the antenna. After spending some time dangling, Joe climbed onto the antenna and then went to the end of the antenna. From this point he was able to jump onto a tree branch.

Unfortunately for Joe, the tree branch was reaching through an incredibly tall chain link fence, leaving Joe unable to climb onto the main tree trunk from the branch. So, he started climbing the fence before his hands signalled to Joe that there was barbed wire at the top of the fence. Joe then climbed sideways to a section of fence not topped off by barbed wire and climbed onto the other side of the fence.

On this side of the fence, there was only a large lake below Joe. Fortunately, there was a tall bridge that stopped abruptly several feet in front of Joe. While ordinary people would find jumping onto such a bridge impossible, it was no problem for a Typical Hero of the Future. Having walked along the top of the bridge for a few hundred feet, Joe then suddenly discovered that it abruptly ended in the middle of the lake. There was nothing to do but climb down the bridge and swim. If you've been paying attention for the previous few paragraphs, you would immediately be able to guess what Joe did.

Having swum only a few feet, Joe noticed a large, ominous-looking fin in the water. This fin belonged to the dreaded Porakehanalatroweygreofur beast. This beast had the reputation of suddenly attacking people without warning. Even if you tried to warn people, it didn't help, because before you were able to say "Porakehanalatroweygreofur beast!", you were likely already the Porakehanalatroweygreofur beast's dinner.

Fortunately, Joe didn't know the name of this animal, thus saving himself several precious seconds. His escape plan had failed. There was nothing for Joe to do but climb back to the top of the bridge, jump onto the fence, climb over it to the other side, climb down to a tree branch sticking out of it, jump from there onto an antenna attached to the building from where Joe had just escaped, jump down to a broken window, and climb back into that window. Joe was disgusted. His best chance of escape had been foiled.

Joe decided that it was time for the dangerous backup plan. Since his first, easier had already failed, who knew what would happen with the riskier backup plan? After much pondering and seven coin tosses, Joe decided to put his plan into action. He walked out the living room door, through another room and then through an unlocked door that led to a hallway. He then descended a few flights of stairs and exited through a door that led to the outside world. Running down the street, he passed a fence, a tree growing in a large lake, an ancient bridge, and a marine beast with a really long name that won't be repeated here.

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