The invincible armour
Popo: Awesoooome!! The fights, the characters, the twists…I love kung fu tales, especially with those white-haired villains. (Face stern, fingers clawed) Now tell me, who is the master of the Eagle claw, the most feared of all the styles in all the world?
Partijama: Minister Cheng…
Popo (Sputters): What? No, no, no, my friend, you need to get with the program.
Partijama: Which program would that be, Razz?
Popo: Why, the one in my head of course.
Popo: You were supposed to say “me,” I mean, “you”…“me”…ahh, you know what I mean. (Hands raised) I, Razz Popo, am the master of-
Lazlo: Jabber-jabber and…bibble-babble.
Popo: Well, that was less than flattering.
Lazlo: As is the one to whom it is directed.
Popo (cackles): Ah, Lazlo, you’re such a kidder.
Partijama: I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at eggs the same again.
Popo: You said it, buddy. The first time was a hoot; the second, probably more of a howl.
Lazlo (shivers): Oh, don’t remind me. I can just see it now, Minister Cheng pulls his eggs up, gets whacked in the head by that miserable General Chow, the eggs come back down and…uugghh…
Popo: You do know that General Chow is the star, right?
Lazlo: Bah! He’s miserable! How dare he eagle claw the eggs of another.
Shattered shells, a-a-and spilled gooey innards…hmph, utterly disrespectful.
Popo: Poor fiend couldn’t recover after that secret kung fu technique.
Partijama: Minister Cheng’s face actually turned blue, not that anyone would blame him. He looked a bit like you then, Razz. You know, he sort of dresses like you too.
Popo: To a less marvellous degree, of course. I liked his cape at the end; really nice touch that. I liked his Iron Armour a lot more. Wow, just imagine, making your whole body – well, except for one spot – impervious to injury by controlling your breath.
Lazlo: Hmph, he spent ten years shifting his weak spot and still got caught out. Still, I have to admit, that was one very talented Bombastykan – mastering the eggs, Eagle Claw and Iron Armour.
Popo: Admire him do you, Lazlo?
Lazlo: Well, he displayed some of the ambition, resourcefulness and dedication of a Laquan noble; as did his brother who spent fifty years trying to surpass him in the ways of the Eagle claw…what determination, what commitment. They’d have made fine minions.
Popo: In that case, good riddens.
Partijama: I liked Chow and Shen.
They were as fantastically skilled as they were just. I liked the boy who taught Chow the Iron Finger, and his sister too, she had a kind heart.
Popo: They came at the right time in the end too, to tell Chow how to beat Cheng’s Armour. Even the Finger wasn’t doing much against him. (Leaps from sofa and adopts the stance) Hey, look at me, I have the Iron Armour…heehahaaa. Partijama, have Dysko punch me with great force in the chest.
Partijama: Since our first meeting you’ve had a number of dubious ideas, Razz, this is yet another.
Lazlo: Oh, come now, Partijama, don’t be such a kill-joy, I say let the fool…uh, the bard, have his fun. His technique looks solid, I think it’ll hold.
Popo: Why thank you, Lazlo.
Lazlo (smirking): You’re quite welcome.
Partijama: (Sighs) Well, okay.
(A silver automaton rises from a newly-formed portal in the floor nearby and approaches Popo with the poise and grace of a dancer)
Popo: Give us a three-count, comrades.
Partijama/Lazlo: Three (Popo tenses), two (he releases a hissing breath), one!
(Dysko cocks his arm and drives his fist against Popo’s chest. Popo goes flying like a spear, rolls, and slides past some little janbots. He lies spread-eagled, eyes wide, mouth open)
Popo (in a croak): Thank you, Dysko.
Dysko: You’re welcome, Razz.
Lazlo: So, your chest was your weak point, eh, Popo?
Popo (stunned, bemused expression): Apparently…if only someone had been kind enough to inform me…uuuggghhh…