Scherzo 1 – Who?
In the Central Hospital of downtown Oasis City, Hassan the Elf was awakening from his ordeal. Maggie the Knife sat by his bed with little Artran hanging out at the foot of the bed.
“He’s awake, Mommy!” announced Artran.
“So he is,” said the red-haired beauty, reaching over to brush a lock of hair out of Hassan’s eyes. “Welcome back little one.”
In a very soft-spoken voice Hassan said, “I am one hundred and four years old. I have had fourteen wives and seven hundred children in my time. I may look young, but I’m not exactly a child.”
“My, my!” said Maggie in the tone of an indulgent parent. “You are quite the little man!”
“Do I get Daddy?” Artran asked of his mother.
“Please. Tell him the Peri is awake.”
“Right away!” Artran tore out of the hospital room as if it were on fire.
“So tell me,” said the elf softly, “will I be kept around for my intellect, or will you do away with me now that I am crippled?”
“Ooh, how you talk! You’ve been liberated by the Pinwheel Corsairs of Tron Blastarr. We intend to let you decide your own fate. Tron is planning to pay for an artificial leg for you.”
“Why would a corsair leader help a poor Peri slave?” Hassan’s eyes were large and filled with tears. He couldn’t believe his sudden good luck.
“We Blastarrs believe that all races and individuals have worth. It’s what has made us so unpopular with the Galtorr Imperium.”
At that moment the room filled with an unnatural pinkish light. By the wall opposite the bed a really old-style phone booth materialized out of thin air. One creature was inside, a middle-aged human with shaggy gray hair and a large nose. He also had bags under his eyes as if from excessive fatigue. And he carried an umbrella under one arm. He opened the phone booth and stepped out.
“Who are you?” asked Maggie, staring.
“Exactly! You can call me Doctor Hooey, or just… Doctor. I’m a Time Knight from the planet Gallagos. This is not a phone box; it is my TimeShip, the Star Wars. It’s really much more impressive than it looks.”
At that moment, Tron and the King of Killers arrived to greet the awakened Peri.
“What is going on here?” demanded the scar-faced boss.
“Er… I was just telling your wife, Maggie, I believe, that I am a Time Knight of Gallagos. I come from long, long ago and far, far away to find you, Tron.”
“What? How do you know my name?”
“I told you. I am a Time Knight of Gallagos. This telephone box is my TimeShip, the Star Wars.”
“No. I mean, what are you doing here? How do you know who I am?”
“I’m not an agent of the late Count Nefaria, if that’s what you fear. I came here because King Ryan Beowulf of the Time Knights sent me here to find you and do the things the record books said were done in the proper timeline. We have a pyramid to look into and some Imperial secrets to steal.”
“What is this record book you speak of? And what PYRAMID?”
“I’m a Time Knight! I know things that haven’t happened yet… and things that once happened that nobody else alive today knows about. I travel through time, forwards and backwards, and I know it’s all very confusing! It gives me a headache to think about it too.”
“What is a Time Knight?” asked Artran, staring out from behind his father’s leg. “And why do you have those golden question marks on your old, tweedy suit?”
“Ah, you ask good questions, boy! No wonder you become so famous if you manage to live past the age of thirteen! A Time Knight…” Here Dr. Hooey had to pause to take a breath as all the oxygen in his brain was used up. “…is an adventurer and hero who travels through time, correcting anything that has gone, or might go wrong with the stream of time.”
“Wow,” said Hassan softly. “You talk funny!”
Artran snickered. Tron himself began to smile.
“Oh, I’m not the worst one, believe me. Of all the Time Knights, Dr. Emmit Brown talks the fastest. Sir H.G. Wells has a funny English accent. Sir Emerald Man is an original Galtorrian and speaks with a snaky lisp. No, I’m not the worst one.”
“So what is this nonsense about a pyramid?” asked Tron, sounding more exasperated than he looked.
“It’s the reason I have come. If we don’t go and look into that pyramid, then your New Star League will never be formed. You will never become the Grand Admiral of Outpost, and Ged Aero will never become the successor to Shan as the White Spider!”
“So, you better lead the way!” said Tron.
“You know,” said Hooey, “Master Hassan has to be there as well, along with your friend Mr. Killer.”
“Are you ready to travel, elf?” asked Tron.
“You can’t!” said Maggie. “The boy just woke up from a coma!”
“I will do anything you ask of me,” said Hassan sincerely to Tron. “You have helped this lowly one in a way that can never be repaid, except by never-ending service. It is my duty.”
Tron smiled at the elf. He was almost truly handsome when he smiled, in spite of the nasty scar through his eye. Hassan felt blessed to have such a brave and generous man as his new lord and master.