Back at the penthouse
Big Boss: “Empire Harps!?”
Ms. Demeanor: “That’s what he said, Big Boss. Shortly after Krusher and I arrived at Berserko’s hideout to tell him that we got the strings needed to replace the strings he broke yesterday, we got word from Fix-it, the janitorial robot, that Berserko, along with his buddies, have left the hideout. He’s off to hold up the new Empire Harps place and get some unlikely string replacements for your violin.”
Big Boss: “(maahh) That’s the most idiotic slop I ever heard him cooked up to give the criminal world a bad name! Harp strings do not work on violins, see?”
Krusher: “Yeah, but tell that to Berserko. He doesn’t care. To him, a string is a string. What difference does it make?”
Big Boss: “(maahh) The difference is, Krusher, that he’s gonna be one very sorry nephew the moment I find that he wrecked those stringies for the sake of my violin. I swear if he ever lay one little finger, just one little finger of harm on any of those stringed beauties, I’m gonna hang him over the heads of every gator in the sewers! When I get my violin back, (mahh) I would like to have an orchestra of real high class ladies, including Nightshade, all playing harps as a accompaniment to my violin playing while I go do my first crooked concert at the Empire Convention Center, see? They must be unhurt and entirely in one piece. Is that clear?”
Ms. Demeanor and Rock Krusher: “Loud and clear, Boss.”
Krusher: “Ever consider playing one of those string-a-ma-jigs yourself, Boss?”
Big Boss: “I would’ve, Krusher, if I’m gentle enough for them. But ever since I was a Little Boss, I always wanted to play the violin. But, my Big Momma always wants me to play the piano, see? I’ve always hated playing those 88s, and still do! (Mahh) But unfortunately I had no choice but to go plink, plink, plink or else I’ll get paddled, paddled, paddled from my momma’s big board. (mahh) Now after all these years of wishin’ n’ hopin’, my childhood dream of being a violinist is just about to come true, only for that puddin’-brained nephew o’ mine to come along and blew it all sky high, turning this whole dream into one huge nightmare!! Hamstring Berserko and bring me back my violin. And while yer at it, if McBoomBoom’s caught, spring ’em out without fail.”
Ms. Demeanor and Rock Krusher: *saluting Big Boss* “You got it, Boss.”
With that the two crooks heads towards the double doors
Krusher: “Gee. I wish I could play an instrument like a violin or a harp.”
Ms. Demeanor: “Ha! You couldn’t even strike one simple note on a guitar even if you’ve tried.”
Krusher: “I did played the guitar in a punk rock band once. I used it as a sledgehammer to the floor.”
Big Boss: “(Mahh) I wonder how does that ‘Ol’ Yellow Ribbon ’round that Big Oak Tree’ song go.”
Meanwhile back at the circus hideout, LongArm and Mace attempts to escape the 2 robot Teddy bears by climbing up a tall ladder to reach the trapeze balcony above but one of the bears can climb, too.
LongArm: “Faster, Mace! Faster!”
Mace: “I’m climbing up as fast as I can, but I don’t think I can make it after all that runnin’ around.”
Teddy Bear: “ROAR!”
Mace: “YIKES! Wait up, partner!”
Mace catches up with LongArm as both C.O.P.S. make it onto the balcony with the bear following close behind.
LongArm: “Whew! We made it.”
Mace: “But not Teddy.”
Mace gives the ladder a good, gentle push.
Teddy: *toppling down* “Uh-Oh! RRRRAAAAAAOOOOOOOOOOWWWWW!!!!”
Down goes the ladder. “SMASH!” went the bear that were just about at the top of the ladder is now reduced to a pile of scrap metal.
Mace: “Awww! Poor Teddy’s gotta Boo Boo.”
LongArm: “You sure showed that Yogi who’s really smarter than the average bear.”
Mace: “Yeah! No bear’s gonna steal any pic-a-nic baskets while I’m around.”
Seeing his companion destroyed, the second teddy retreated..
LongArm: “Well what do you know! The other Teddy’s backing off.” *shouting down* “Hey, Grizzly! What’s the matter? Gettin’ unbearable for you to reach us? *laughing hysterically* HA HA HA Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.”
..only to comeback with a large chainsaw…
LongArm: “Ha Ha Ha Ha heh heh heh heh hehhehheh..heh.ooooo.”
..which he turns on..
LongArm: “Gulp! I take it back! Make that ‘gettin’ more easier for you to reach us!'”
..and proceeds to use it to saw down the trapeze poll to bring the C.O.P.S. down.
Mace: “What are we gonna do now, LongArm? The trapeze swings are way over on the other side of the gap and there’s no net down below to catch us from falling.”
LongArm: “My powercuffs would have been a big help here, but there’s only one thing wrong with it.”
Mace: “What’s that?”
LongArm: “I left it in the police car back at the parking lot of The Double Edge Store where we were captured and brought here by Berserko and his goons.”
Mace: “*groan* If I only remember my own ‘Teddy’. ”
LongArm: “What’s that?”
Startled, Teddy stops sawing, drops the chainsaw, and begin looking about.
BANG! BANG! BANG!
Mace: “What the heck’s that loud noise we’re hearing?”
LongArm: “I don’t know, but I think it’s coming from the arena door entrance. Look!”
BANG!! BANG!! BANG!!
Down goes the arena door to reveal Hardtop, Bowser, Barricade, who was the one knocking down the door with his MULE device, and Blitz who stormed into the arena to confront what’s ahead of them.
LongArm: “Bowser, Blitz, Hardtop, Barricade!”
Mace: “And my ‘Teddy’! Yay!! *clapping*”
Hardtop: “Mace, LongArm! Where are you, guys?”
Mace: “Up here!”
Hardtop: *looking up* “LongArm, Mace. Are you both alright?”
Mace: “We’re alright now thanks to you guys.”
Barricade: “Hang in there. We’ll get you guys down in a jiffy.”
C.O.P.S. on the ground: *spotting the robot Teddy* “YIKES!”
Instantly the C.O.P.S. team, Barricade, Bowser, Hardtop, and Blitz back away from the giant Teddy who approach them in an very aggressive matter.
Barricade: “Listen, Hardtop. I’ll take care of this crooked Kodiak. You go find a trampoline for Mace and LongArm to land on after they jump off from the balcony.”
Hardtop: “Right, Barricade.”
Hardtop leaves to find a trampoline while Barricade bravely step forward to confront the Teddy with his MULE device.
Barricade: *thrusting his MULE at teddy* “Back, Teddy, back! Back in your cage where you belong!”
Aggressively Teddy roared back at Barricade, swiping his claws at Barricade’s MULE.
Bowser: “That’s it, Barricade! Make like a lion tamer and show that big bear who’s the real ringmaster under the big top!”
Bowser notices a large empty cage near the entrance to the robot animal tent.
“Say, that cage over there gives me an idea.”
With that, Bowser races to the cage as Barricade made Teddy back away from the trapeze pole at least until the bear destroys the mule in one big swipe of his paws.
Barricade: “Oh no! My MULE’s broke!”
Barricade: “Uh oh! Now I’ll have to back off before I get swiped by those menacing claws! Yeow!” *turns around and runs*
Teddy chases Barricade all over the arena until he dives into a clown barrel to hide from him. Teddy grabs the barrel and proceeds to squeeze the barrel to crush Barricade inside.
Barricade: *being squeezed* “Help! Heeeelllllp! Somebody, heeeelllllp!!”
Bowser: “Uh oh! Barricade will really get a big bear hug unless we act fast. Blitz, give Barricade a helping hand in taming that grizzly.”
Blitz: “Arf! Arf!” *runs off to help Barricade*
Teddy continues to bear hug the barrel with Barricade inside until Blitz lunges forward to confront him head on, barking and growling defensively at him. Teddy roars back and throws the barrel at Blitz to attack him. But Blitz skillfully dodge the barrel and jumps on his face, causing Teddy to flail and fumble about before tumbling over and crashing into a stack of crates. Teddy lay among the crates dazed as Blitz helps Barricade out of the barrel.
Barricade: *petting Blitz* “Thanks, Blitz. You saved my life.”
Blitz: “Arf! Arf!” *licks Barricade*
Barricade: *chuckles* “Ok! Ok! You can stop now. I think I got enough dog kisses for one day.”
Blitz: “Arf! Arf!”
Blitz look to find Bowser next to a large cage.
Bowser: “Here, boy! See if you can lure the bear into this cage here so we can trap him inside.”
Blitz races forward and snaps his jaws on Teddy’s leg like a mouse trap. Teddy snaps out, roars in pain, and became enraged. Blitz runs away, leaving Teddy to struggle himself free from the pile of crates. Then, he looks about to find Blitz gone. He search the arena for Blitz until he finds what appears to be Blitz sitting inside of the large cage. Growling viciously, Teddy lunges into the cage and starts squeezing the daylights out of… a stuffed dog toy. Then Teddy hears the real Blitz barking outside of the cage to get his attention and realizes what he was “hugging.” But it was too late for him to do anything about it. Blitz and Bowser both slam the cage doors shut, locking Teddy inside.
Bowser: “Good boy, Blitz! Teddy is now incarcerated.”
Teddy: *startled* “Yipes!” *timidly backs into the corner of the cage*
Bowser: “Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha! Looks like Teddy’s now acting a lot like the toy’s namesake, eh Blitz?”
Blitz: “Arf Arf!”
Bowser: “But there’s one thing I need to ask you, Blitz. Where did you find that stuff doll that looks a lot like you?”
Blitz leads Bowser to a game room located near the big top’s main lobby where Bower finds a large broken-down crane machine filled with stuffed toys, including another Blitz look-a-like doll.
Bowser: “Wow! These toys must have come from Babydoll Toys, one of the best toy manufacturers in Empire City. About 2 months ago, Berserko and Turbo Tu-Tone broke into the warehouse area of the factory and stole a large collection of stuffed toys and brought them to their hideout where they hid a lot of stolen valuables inside in an attempt to smuggle the stolen items to another country. Thankfully we hunted them down and collar the crooks. But we only uncovered most of what they stole. Thanks to you, buddy, looks like we uncovered the rest.”
While Bowser and Blitz look at the stolen toys and valuables they uncovered, Hardtop brought in the trampoline and helped Barricade position the trampoline right under Mace and LongArm. Then, at the count of 3, both C.O.P.S. jump off the balcony and land safely on the trampoline.
Barricade: “Nice landing, you guys.”
LongArm: *gets off the trampoline to shake Barricade’s hand* “Thanks, Barricade.”
Barricade: “Don’t mentioned it, friend.”
Hardtop: Um, looking for ‘Teddy’, Sarge? *shows Mace his “Teddy”*
Mace: “My Teddy!” *seizing his Teddy* “Oh, how I really, really, really really, really, really miss you so.” *smooches his bazooka repeatedly while hugging it*
Hardtop: *laughs* “You sure are a big boy at heart, Mace. You’re probably the only person I know who can handle a bazooka the same way a kid handles his favorite stuffed toy.”
Bowser: *approaching his team mates* “Ah, speaking of stuffed toys! Look what Blitz and I have found in the game room over near the lobby.”
Instantly the C.O.P.S. team raced to the game room and saw the rest of the stolen loot that was robbed from Babydoll Toys including a large elephant doll stuffed with $50,000 in cold hard cash.
Barricade: “Whoa, you guys sure did hit the jackpot. We’ve been looking all over for rest of this stuff for 2 months now. How did you ever manage to find them?”
Bowser: “A little decoy trick Blitz pulled is all that it took to take care of that robot bear and uncover the rest of the stolen goods here.”
Hardtop: “Boy, whoever heard of a toy animal stuffed with priceless pearls worth $3,400. And look at this.”
HardTop shows a stuffed angel doll with a small harp in hand.
LongArm: “That little angel doll is cute. I like that gold harp he has in his hands.”
Bowser: “Yeah. Especially when it’s made out of the thin gold plates the crooks stole from a depository one time.”
Mace: “Hey! Speaking of harps, we gotta get outta here and stop Berserko and his clowns before they reach Empire Harps and the bank across from it and pillage them both.”
Hardtop: “Why is he doing that, Mace?”
Mace: “Because he plans to rob both the two places of money and some harp strings so he can use them as violin string replacement.”
Hardtop: “Violin strings?”
LongArm: “Yep. Believe it or not, Berserko wants to steal some harp strings so he can replace the strings he carelessly broke while screeching away at the violin.”
Hardtop: “That’s stupid! Harp strings will never work on a violin.”
Barricade: “I know, but it’s gonna take more than just talk to convince Berserko of this, knowing how absent-minded he is. But that’s not all we need to be concerned about. Bulletproof plans to head over Empire Harps in a matter of 10 minutes to check out the place and all the harps inside. Bulletproof wants to play the harp and wishes to get one from the new store. If Berserko strikes at that place before he does, then–”
Fix-it: “He will have no harp to play.”
LongArm: “Hey! Who said that?”
Fix-it: “I have.”
The team turns to see Fix-it, the robot janitor who have just entered the game room.
Fix-it: “And that’ll be too bad for him. He may have to suffer the loss of havin’ a chance to play upon any string thing. But that’s not all he going to lose in this game of chance, you know.”
With that remark, Fix-it reaches for a button on an arcade machine and press it.
C.O.P.S.: *getting zapped by a beam coming from the arcade machine* “Hey! – What the? – What is this? – Arf! Arf! – Hey! Let us go! – Why you..” *becomes absorb into the machine*
Fix-it: “Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha! I just love playing “Cop Killer.” Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!”
Fix-it inserts a coin into the machine and press the start button. The arcade screen flashes to reveal a rundown, shoddy neighborhood where the C.O.P.S. team, under the control of the strange machine, is forced to appear and run in front of the screen so they can get shot by Fix-it who arms himself with the arcade machine’s laser-light pistol.
Hardtop: “You’ll never get away w-!”
LongArm: “Freeze! Your under arr!”
Blitz: “Bark! Bark! Bark!”
Mace: “Stop, thief!”
Fix-it: “HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!! Take that, you scummy, scurrying flatfoots! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!”
Is the C.O.P.S. finished? Will the C.O.P.S. team survive and find a way out of this deadly game of target practice and escape from the circus hideout in time to stop Berserko in his tracks? Or are they forever doomed to help Fix-it break the high score record and win free games on “Cop Killer”, a virtual game known to force its video victims, made up of ECPD police officers, to meet their doom at the hands of a violent cyber-crook who mans the controls of the machine’s literal laser-zapper light gun?
Tune in to the next part of the harp story and find out!
*to be continued*