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Random Access

INTO THE LION'S DEN

Friday, April 8, 1994

(Last week on "Random Access": Special Agent 23 and Crank Girl boarded a helicopter headed straight into the lion's den, the home of the nefarious Columbian drug lord Raphael. Their pilot is a man named Benny. He is not important to the story.)

"What do you mean, we're headed straight into the lion's den, the home of the nefarious Columbian drug lord Raphael?" Crank Girl exclaimed.

"What do you think I mean?" I replied. "I mean exactly that: we're headed straight into the lion's den, the home of the nefarious Columbian drug lord Raphael."

"But you can't take me straight into the lion's den, the home of the nefarious Columbian drug lord Raphael!" she moaned horribly. "I've got an entire suitcase full of prime Columbian powder, stolen right out of the lion's den, the home of the nefarious Columbian drug lord Raphael, and if we head back into the lion's den, the home of the nefarious Columbian drug lord Raphael, then I'm sure to wind up--"

"Lion food?" I offered.

"I'm sure to wind up dead!" she cried.

"You can't spend the rest of your life running from the nefarious Columbian drug lord Raphael," I told her. "Eventually, his men will find you, will drag you back to him, to his lion den and then, you'll wind up lion food. You may as well face him now, with me, Special Agent 23. Besides, I've got a score to settle with that old nefarious Columbian drug lord."

"If you look out the left side of the helicopter," our unimportant pilot Benny announced, "you'll see lots and lots of beautiful trees, and if you look out the right side, you'll see we're now beginning our descent into the lion's den, the home of the nefarious Columbian drug lord Raphael. On behalf of myself and the entire staff, we hope you enjoy your stay." He offered us two sets of those little plastic wings to pin to our shirts. That was pretty nice of him, I thought.

The helicopter landed smoothly, and we stepped out onto the landing pad. We were on top of a tremendously large and opulent mansion, in the middle of a secluded rain forest somewhere. Nasty looking fellows with big automatic weapons were everywhere. A very tall man with a black suit and mirrored sunglasses met us at the helipad.

"You must be Special Agent 23," the man said.

"And you must be Raphael," I replied, shaking his hand cordially.

"Indeed," he said. He turned his attention from me to Crank Girl, and said, "You must be Crank Girl."

She nodded, clasping the suitcase full of prime Columbian powder to her chest. "And you must be very angry."

He smiled, and replied, "You must be very frightened." He turned to me, and said, "You must be very hungry. Shall we step inside?"

He led the two of us into his tremendously large and opulent mansion, and I couldn't help but notice how fabulous the decoration was. "You must be very wealthy," I told him.

He laughed, and said, "You must be very jealous."

We entered a tremendously large and opulent dining room, replete with a tremendously large and opulent feast. As we sat down to eat, Raphael said, "You must be very curious about a few things."

I nodded wittily.

"Allow me to fill you in, Special Agent 23." With a deft stroke of his arm, he swept Crank Girl into a slow, lascivious embrace. The two of them turned toward me slowly, smiling, then laughing.

"You're such a fool, Scotto," Crank Girl said. "Do you honestly think we'd let you survive this trip?"

The big picture began to unfurl in front of me. I'd been set up, horribly set up, by a girl who could fake the hokey pokey as well as the best of them.

I turned to Crank Girl and said, "But what about your suitcase of prime Columbian powder?"

"It's baby powder," she replied, "and it will fetch a pretty penny on the black market, I assure you."

"So," I said, "what do you expect me to do?"

Raphael laughed loudly and said, "I expect you to die, Mr. Moore! I expect you to die!"

He punched a small control panel on the table next to him. The floor dropped out underneath my chair, and I fell suddenly into a long dark chasm. I landed on a giant spike. I was dead.

My soul wandered up to heaven, where I encountered St. Peter roller blading 'round the Pearly Gates. Before St. Peter could even begin checking my files, however, a welcome sight sailed into view: my old friend, the archangel Gabriel.

Unfortunately, Gabriel wasn't too pleased to see me. "You let them fire us. That was my career, do you understand? Get out of my sight!"

My soul was forced to wander down to hell. And of course, my old friend Satan was waiting for me, along with another old friend, good ol' Crank Boy. The two were drunk, and laughing like crazy.

"Do you think we're letting you join this party, after everything you did to us?" Satan shouted. "Get out of here!"

My soul was left with nowhere to go, and so it returned to my body. I pulled myself off the spike. Now, time to attend to the business at hand.

"Raphael," I muttered, "here I come..."

(Next week on "Random Access": Cooking tips!)



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