On a sticky Brisbane night, the CityCat ferry glided past New Farm Park; its twelve passengers watching the shoreline pass, unaware of what was lurking in the waters below. For just under the surface of the water, a dark, sinister character slithered after the ferry.
The CityCat jolted to a stop. A pungent, putrid, fishy smell assaulted the air. The passengers and captain looked about frantically. And when the culprit appeared, their eyes widened and mouths dropped comically. There, rising from the Brisbane River, was the most feared super-villain this fine city had ever let escape from prison.
‘It’s The Lungfish,’ one woman cried, as she clutched her baby.
‘I could never have imagined something so… disgusting,’ proclaimed another woman putting her hand over her mouth.
The Lungfish wore a maroon wetsuit, crimson boots, and a crimson gas mask. He pulled himself up onto the ferry with his flipper-like arms.
‘Beware citizens of Brisbane, for I have had enough of your environmental negligence and ignorance,’ cackled The Lungfish. ‘When my evil, unassailable plan goes ahead without disruption, it shall be the “Human Brisbanian” who will be endangered.’ He bellowed with laughter, but the passengers did not share in his amusement.
Suddenly, a big curling letter ‘F’ was illuminated onto the clouds from the city’s Skyneedle.
‘Look, we’re saved,’ yelled a man gaily as he pointed to the symbol in the sky.
‘Damn it! The captain must’ve contacted Stefan the hair dresser, the owner of the Skyneedle and close friend to my arch enemy,’ growled The Lungfish, explaining parts of the story that the reader might not understand the significance to. ‘This means I’ll have to skip my usual spiel about caring for the environment and introduced species, and just release the bloody poisonous gas.’
‘Not if I can help it, Lung-face,’ came a soft, high-pitched voice from behind The Lungfish. The Lungfish swiveled around.
‘Look, he’s here,’ called one of the passengers. ‘It’s Dainty Green Tree Frog Man.’
‘Yes,’ came the voice, ‘but I prefer to be called “Litoria gracilenta Man”. It’s my scientific name: a little more Latin and a little less vulnerable and pretty.’
Dainty Green Tree Frog Man, or “Litoria gracilenta Man” as only he called himself, stood for justice, freedom, democracy, barbeques on Sundays, beach cricket, drinking locally produced beers, metro-sexual men’s rights, and the Brisbane way. He wore a lime green lycra suit, big yellow goggles, a plastic utility belt, a lime green beach towel around his neck like a cape, and a lime green bathing cap.
‘Nice of you to hop on in, Dainty Green Tree Frog Man,’ sniggered The Lungfish. ‘But I’m afraid frog soup is on the menu tonight.’ Slowly, a brown gas began to envelope the boat. ‘Sweet dreams, Dainty Green Tree Frog Man.’
‘That’s “Litoria gracilenta Man”,’ choked the lime green superhero after The Lungfish. If only – I – could – get enough – strength – to follow him – then – I – could – find out – where – The Lungfish Lair – is, thought Dainty Green Tree Frog Man.
Splash. Lungfish disappeared into the sluggish river while Dainty Green Tree Frog Man and the passengers of the CityCat fell to the ferry’s floor and desperately struggled for oxygen.
‘Never fear law-abiding citizens, my “anti-poisonous-gas-vacuum” will save us,’ announced the hero in green as he weakly pulled a machine from his utility belt. He fiddled with the dials on the machine, and the gas suddenly dispersed.
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