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Sunday, 13 November 2011

Nerdiest Superhero like EVER: Dainty Green Tree Frog Man (Pt3)

Above is a  visual representation of the totem animal of our favourite hero, but not necessarily the correct species.
Below is part three of the Dainty Green Tree Frog Man series.  If you haven't read the first two parts, then click here or here and stop being the nerdiest kid in class.  If you have read the first two parts, then you are probably the coolest person you know, and you are totally underground, and you should read on before the story becomes like so mainstream that it stops being cool and whatever and gives you Bieber Fever.

Back at the Dainty Green Tree Frog Hideout.

Stefan the hair dresser and Todd Grayson were deep in discussion, when suddenly the lime green phone in the middle of the garage began to ring.

‘Dainty Green Tree Frog Man,’ they said in unison as they jumped up from their seats and ran to the phone.

‘Hello Dainty Green Tree Frog Man,’ said Todd as he picked up the receiver.  ‘What’s going down?’

‘Todd, I know where The Lungfish Lair is… I’m on my way there now.’  There was a pause on the other end of the line.  ‘I think Joanne, the journalist, might be following me.  Can you stop her?  It could be quite dangerous.’

‘I’ll see what I can do,’ Todd said.  ‘Be careful.’

‘Aren’t I always?’

Kangaroo Point. Entrance to the abandoned bunker behind the hospital. Night time.

Dainty Green Tree Frog Man waded through the long grass towards the hidden bunker.  He pushed through the shrubbery and overhanging vines that had grown over the entrance, and carefully stooped inside.

Inside the bunker there was a series of stone passageways.  With his superhero instinct guiding him, and instructions scrawled on the wall by The Lungfish as reminders, Dainty Green Tree Frog Man was able to creep through the maze towards the main chamber. 

He stopped all of a sudden before turning the last corner.  He could hear The Lungfish in the next chamber.

The Lungfish sat at the back of the chamber on a throne made of coral, with a squirming, silvery-flashing fish in his scaly hand.  The walls of the chamber had been taken over by moss and seaweed, and in the middle of the stone floor there was a pool of water.  On closer inspection, the pool was very deep and seemed likely to be part of an underwater system that led to the Brisbane River.

‘So, that’s how The Lungfish has been able to escape my clutches so many times,’ whispered Dainty Green Tree Frog Man.

‘Do you know that lungfish eat frogs?’ said The Lungfish all of a sudden as he took a bite out of the raw fish in his hand.  ‘It is pretty daring for you little frog, to come into my lair like this.’

Dainty Green Tree Frog Man didn’t come out from the passageway.  He reasoned that The Lungfish could not see him.  ‘He must just be practicing a speech for next time we battle,’ Dainty Green Tree Frog Man thought.  Kind of like the speeches he himself practices in front of the bathroom mirror.

‘Come out Dainty Green Tree Frog Man.  I know you’re hiding there,’ said The Lungfish.  ‘I can smell your foul odor from here.’

Dainty Green Tree Frog Man eased out from behind the wall.

‘We meet again fish-brain,’ taunted the superhero in a very childish manner.

‘I see you worked out my haiku riddle.’

‘As always.’

‘Ah.  But have you worked out my genius master plan?’  The half-fish half-man sniggered.  ‘I didn’t think so.’

‘Whatever it is, it won’t work,’ replied Dainty Green Tree Frog Man.  ‘I won’t let you escape this time.’

‘Is that so?’ said the fishy man with an amused expression behind his mask.  ‘I have a newsflash for you, you puny amphibious loser, my ingenious plan will work.  I’d get you to tell your little journalist friend that newsflash, if I thought you’d ever see her again.’  The Lungfish’s shoulders began to bounce as he suppressed a string of giggles.

‘Newsflash,’ said Dainty Green Tree Frog man, desperately thinking on his feet for a rebuttal.  ‘Newsflash says I will… see her… again.’

‘Not likely, my friend.  You won’t be able to stop me this time.  I am so confident you won’t be able to stop me, in fact, I’ll tell you exactly what I’m going to do,’ The Lungfish mockingly retorted. 

This seemed a highly risky move by the super villain, but… I do digress.  Back to the story…

‘As you know, humans do not respect the animal world,’ started the villain.  ‘They do not respect me, and they do not respect you.  For a long time, I asked you to be my partner in crime, because you, like me, did not gain respect for the animal you represent.  But always you protected the humans that ruin our habitat.  Your betrayal of who you are makes you an even more sad being.’

‘Get to the point, Lungfish.’

‘That night on the CityCat, you sucked up the gas I used and handed it to the boys down the lab as evidence, yeah?’

‘They had never seen anything like it before.’

‘Exactly.’  The Lungfish paused as he squeezed out of his coral throne.  ‘Because I made it myself, and that night on the CityCat, was just a test.’

‘I sucked it up before it hurt anyone.’

‘Aren’t you just the Citizen of the Year?’ he said dryly.  The Lungfish put a chubby cigar in between his yellowing teeth.  ‘But not hurting anyone?  That is where you are wrong, Dainty Green Tree Frog Man.

‘The boys down the lab, have you seen them recently?’

‘No.  What did you do to them?’

‘Nothing.  They decided to test my mixture, didn’t realise how potent it was.  Now they are swimming with the fishes.’  The Lungfish gave an exaggerated cackle.

‘You killed them.’

‘No, better.  My gas turns people into Queensland Lungfish.’

‘You wouldn’t.’

‘Why not?  I am a mad, eccentric super villain who knows no limits.’  The Lungfish raised his arms in the air dramatically.  ‘I am going to change every man, woman and child into Queensland Lungfish.  No one will be spared.  The entire world will be populated with lungfish. 

‘They would not listen to our pleas to save the animals of the world.  But they will listen now, and they will understand.  Swim a mile in a fish’s flippers and see things in their perspective, hey?’

‘Well, if nothing else, you are a big dreamer, fish-face.’

‘And tonight, at Riverfire, as the last fireworks go up,’ said The Lungfish between his teeth, which were beginning to rattle like a machine-gun as he got more excited, ‘my special gas will be released into the air, and thousands of people will be turned into fish…’

‘And have to squirm to the water,’ Dainty Green Tree Frog Man said, finishing off what The Lungfish was saying.  ‘Not if I can help it.’

‘I haven’t forgotten you, Dainty Green Tree Frog Man,’ smirked the stocky fiend.  ‘I have something special for you.  It seems you have a certain resistance to my gas, or otherwise you would not have been able to activate your little toy and save the day.’

A blue boulder, with chains suspending it from the ceiling, was slowly lowered to the ground.  The boulder began to glow as it came near Dainty Green Tree Frog Man, and the man in lime green fell to the ground clutching his head.

‘Stop it.  I can’t stand it,’ cried Dainty Green Tree Frog Man as the veins in his head and neck began to swell.

‘I call it Brisbanite,’ started the villain.  ‘It has similar properties to Kryptonite, but I found it in the Brisbane River, not on the planet Krypton.  And, as I suspected, you become helpless when you come in contact with it.’  The Lungfish squealed in ecstasy, and then in short quick bouts, convulsed with laughter.  ‘Goodbye Dainty Green Tree Frog Man.  I’m sorry I can’t be there for your death, there are going to be a lot of fish-out-of-water that I’m going to have to rescue.  I could be a superhero after all.’

As The Lungfish disappeared into the waterhole in his lair, Dainty Green Tree Frog Man’s eyes rolled back in his head.  Would this be the end for our fearless hero?  Would the firework-lovers of Brisbane be mutated into lungfish?

The answer to both those questions is ‘yes’.  Well, it would have been ‘yes’ if not for an extraordinary occurrence that could only happen in a comic-book-like story.

Suddenly, two figures raced through the entrance to the chamber.  Dainty Green Tree Frog Man quickly turned to see both of them racing towards him.  One was female with slow-motion-flowing auburn hair, and the other was a male without a neck.

The female wore lime green PJs and lime green slippers.  The male wore an akubra hat with corks dangling from it, a scarf over the bottom half of his face, a Brisbane Broncos jersey, and maroon thongs.

‘We’ve come to save you Dainty Green Tree Frog Man,’ said the male superhero in a familiar voice.

‘Who are you?’ croaked Dainty Green Tree Frog Man in reply.

‘I am Captain Brisbane,’ said this new male superhero, putting a fist to his chest.

‘And I,’ said the female superhero, ‘am Dainty Green Tree Frog Girl.  Although I prefer to be called “Litoria gracilenta Girl”.’

‘Do I know either of you?’ said the man in green.

‘Peter,’ said Captain Brisbane as he took off the scarf, ‘it’s us.’

‘Todd,’ exclaimed Dainty Green Tree Frog Man.  But although the girl in PJs didn’t have anything over her face, he didn’t recognise her.  ‘But who’s…’

‘Joanne Gardner.  The journalist you dated.’

‘Oh, I didn’t recognise you.  You’re not…’

‘Not wearing glasses.’

‘Yeah, and your hair is different.’

‘Thanks to Stefan.  Great disguises, hey?  We had to make them at the last minute, and all I had that was lime green was my PJs.  The only problem is that without glasses I can’t really see so I keep bumping into walls.’

‘So she knows who I am?’ asked Dainty Green Tree Frog Man.

‘I filled her in on the way here,’ said Todd.

‘We were worried about you, and figured Brisbane needed more than one superhero to fight crime,’ added Joanne.

‘Well, get me out of here.  My legs have stopped working,’ Dainty Green Tree Frog Man said with some urgency.

The two friends grabbed him from either side and took him out the way they came in.

‘Where are we going, Peter?’ asked Todd.

‘The river.  He’s planned an attack for Riverfire,’ answered Dainty Green Tree Frog Man.

By the Brisbane River.  In a crowd.  Just before the fireworks starts.

The three heroes pushed through the crowd looking for The Lungfish.  Suddenly, the ground began to shake and a noise like explosions reverberated through the crowd.  Everyone looked up and pointed at the sky.

‘The F1-11s,’ someone said, as what looked like a fiery comet blazed across the sky.

‘Do you think he is up in the plane?’ asked Todd.

‘No, I don’t think so Captain Brisbane,’ replied Dainty Green Tree Frog Man.  ‘He likes to keep close to the river.  And it is unlikely he could get a license to fly those highly complex aircrafts, even in a very fictional setting like this book.’  He nodded at the river.  ‘We need to push to the front.’

In the sky, fireworks burst into greens, pinks, yellows, reds, blues and oranges.  The crowd, transfixed by the explosions of colour in the night's sky, ooh-ed and ahh-ed.

The three heroes pushed to the front, to the displeasure of the crowd, and then hurried across the bank, silhouetted in the pyrotechnics.

‘Do you think he is somewhere here on the bank?’ asked Joanne.

‘He could well be,’ said Dainty Green Tree Frog Man.  ‘But my superhero instincts tell me, he is here.’  Suddenly, the superhero in lime green plunged his hands into the Brisbane River.

The water splashed and bubbled, but with super-human strength, he pulled the fishy villain out of the water.  The Lungfish’s body clenched in the shock of being plucked out of water, and with a wild swing, punched Dainty Green Tree Frog Man.  Dainty Green Tree Frog Man dropped him.

The Lungfish crashed onto the wooden planks of the bikeway, but quickly leapt onto his feet to land another punch on the scrawny man in green.  Dainty Green Tree Frog Man staggered to the ground. 

The Lungfish disappeared into the crowd.  Dainty Green Tree Frog Girl and Captain Brisbane leapt into action, and began to chase him.

‘There is only one way to catch a fish… bait,’ Dainty Green Tree Frog Man said aloud, although his voice was drowned out by the fireworks above.  And as the fireworks built to a crescendo, our favourite superhero’s mind raced.

All of a sudden, a smile crept to the edges of his face.  He quickly pushed through the crowd towards the refurbished State Library.  He unclipped a machine from his plastic utility belt.

‘This should do,’ he said as he activated the machine.  ‘My Dainty Green Tree Frog fish-odor creator.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier?’

As the stench of dead fish filled the air, people began to groan and back away from Dainty Green Tree Frog Man.

‘What is that awful smell?’ spluttered one man.

‘That’s rank,’ said another holding his nose.

‘Johnny, have you got wind again, darling?’ said a mother to her son.

But one person in the crowd was not backing up.  He was violently shoving through the crowd towards it.  The Lungfish could not resist the tasty smell coming from the Dainty Green Tree Frog fish-odor creator.

‘It seems, Lungfish,’ said Dainty Green Tree Frog Man as his two accomplices grabbed his flippers and hand-cuffed them to each other, ‘that in fact, I have out smarted you.’

Middle of Queen Street Mall. Middle of the next day.

Two wart-covered hands picked up The Courier Mail.  Their owner scoffed at the front cover.  The front cover had a large picture of Brisbane’s three superheroes handcuffing The Lungfish, with the headline ‘More fireworks than expected’.  The story was written by the distinguished journalist Joanne Gardner.

Brisbane was blessed to have Dainty Green Tree Frog Man,’ said the boy behind the counter of the newsagent to the man with the warty hands.  ‘And now we have Dainty Green Tree Frog Girl and Captain Brisbane to boot.  I feel so safe coming home late at night.  Don’t you, Mister?’

The boy’s accent and diction was perhaps more at home in an Oliver Twist high school play, than in a newsagent on the Queen Street Mall, Brisbane.  But, I’m just telling it how it was.

The man with wart-covered hands lowered the newspaper, and stared at the boy with two large yellow eyes.

‘Evil will prevail, son.  Mark my words,’ croaked the man with warty hands and strange yellow eyes.

‘Who are you?’ said the boy as he stumbled backwards into the wall behind him.

‘Doctor Toad,’ said the man simply as he threw the newspaper at the boy.  ‘Dainty Green Tree Frog Man’s worst nightmare.’

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