by Shadowfax

"Chardonnay, please," said the young man at the table. He had a laptop terminal
at his side, next to a plate with a sandwich on it, which he kept flipping over
and examining minutely. He was a regular here at the Café Cybernaut, but then
again he was also the owner and founder, so that was not so unusual, really. At
a nearby table, all his female suitors were sitting adjusting their makeup and
undergarments so that they might impress him if he looked their way. He never
did; he paid other people to do that. He didn't have time for such silliness...
reading alt.food.recipes took up enough of his already far too valuable time.
And so the little minxes wasted all their efforts to get their grab at the
famous Worm King of San Francisco.

I think it's about time I told you a little bit about our dear friend Wibble,
or the Worm King, as he is popularly known. You see, in about 1998 or so, the
fishing market was getting itself into trouble, as there was a horrible
shortage of bait (that being most popularly worms, of course), and in fact many
families starved to death due to the fish shortage. But one young pioneering
scientist had come up with an idea (philosophers and historians will argue that
a mega-dose of steroids actually gave him the ability to think of this idea,
however, that will be a debate until the end of time and I won't go into it
here), and what he did is he created something which he "based on the Star Trek
Universal Translator, only it talks only to worms."

In essence, he created a tiny black box with a microphone, a speaker, and
a button, and it let you talk to worms. So all he did is sold it to a bunch of
con-men for a healthy price, and they went about their work conning worms out
of their little hiding places and the fish market was booming again. Soon
Wibble was known across the world, and WibbleCo was a household word across the
globe. Tykes in Tokyo, Beijing, and Atlanta alike played with toy WibbleCo
trucks and rubber worms. Meanwhile, in his private jet, Wibble himself tooled
about the world finding sandwiches and cricket farms, and in fact pioneered the
Juerrgen Olivski Cricket Mating Research Center in Helsinki, although he denies
it to this day.

But, I digress.

The reason we find the great golden-haired Wibble in his restaurant this day is
that he has picked one of the starry-eyed little starlets from his surrounding
tables to mingle with. You'd not believe me if I told you that this is
something people can and have been murdered over.

As he saw her out of the corner of his eye, approaching the table, he flipped
his sandwich suavely. She nearly swooned. She managed, barely, to sit in the
chair the waiter had pulled out for her, and gazed longingly into her
dream-man's eyes.

Minutes passed. She didn't mind.

He had finished eating his sandwich in fact (not a short process, let me tell
you) before he deemed her coherent enough to chat with.

"So then, what is your name, anyway?" asked he, having forgotten that minor
detail already.

She looked shocked that he would even care. For a moment she looked as if she
couldn't even remember it herself before she managed a dazed, "Karen. But you
can call me Slave."

"Fine, slave. Would you care for a half-glass of wine? I'm afraid I can't
finish it." She raised the glass to her lips in a kind of worship.

He merely smiled and plotted for later in the evening.

The limousine cruised silently through the city streets under the harvest moon,
carrying the famous Worm King and the woman he had ensnared on his hook this
night. He liked to watch them wriggle and struggle before he finished them off
at the end of the night. But we won't get into that until later if you don't

He liked to play games, too.

"If I were to ask you to take your dress off, would you?" he said.

"Well, sure, I guess," she replied. He snorted.

"Please do so."

She wriggled rather too efficiently out of the dress, which disappointed him in
a way, but he gathered the result was quite the same.

"And your undergarments of course as well."

So she (too) swiftly flung them off as well.

"Don't forget your jewelry."

Off it came.

He had however by this time gotten quite bored with this rather pitiful and
predictable creature, and told his chauffer, the ever trusty Roger, to pull
over to the side and remove the young lady from the vehicle, after injecting
her with the usual memory erasing drug he kept a stock of in the glove
compartment. So it was that the papers reported another in a string of
unclothed women wandering the city not remembering what they had been doing the
night before.

As they drove away, Wibble got into the front seat with Roger, and sighed. "Why
do they always bore me so, my friend?"

Roger could only sit in awe of his employer, and said "Well, sir, if they bore
you, I'm sure I could find a way to entertain them at least for a little

"No, no, my dear lad. Be happy with the magazines I bought you. Now, now, then,
I need someone who will give me more of a challenge than these shaven
chimpanzees I keep ending up with. Do let Shad know and have him get on the
hunt right away..."

So it was that the already overworked research director, Shad, now had this
additional task to do, and so in vengeance, he rigged the computers so that the
boss got what he wanted in such a way so that he'd regret it...

In fact, it was only the very next week that the system returned the answer it
had been hunting for for an entire seven days (which is an awfully long time
for a computer to take to do *anything* if it's not run by Case Western Reserve
University!), and that answer was the address and phone number and a photo-
graphic image of a girl by the name of Kristen, far away in the state of Ohio.
So a team of mercenaries was dispatched to retrieve her to Wibble, and in the
middle of the night, amidst random screams and protests, she was abducted and
shoved into a rather smelly black van with California license plates. Even the
trained mercenaries didn't see the little face of her neighbor Harold poking
out his window with a pen and paper to jot down their plates, (he had been
watching her undress for bed) but he won't matter until much much much later,
and so we won't bother about that just yet.

So it was that after the chloroform wore off a bit, we find Kristen tied hand
and foot in the back of that rather odoriferous vehicle with a bunch of dirty
sweaty men. Normally one of Wibble's targets might have enjoyed this scenario,
but remember this one had been selected due to being quite different from the
rest of them. In fact, we are about to see such a story that you had best go
get some refreshments and use the restroom *now* as I'm sure you won't want to
tear yourself away later on. Now, then, let's go on with my grand tale.

Wibble in fact was awaiting her now enroute to Paris, and they dropped her off
in an in-air docking procedure which only truly insane pilots might try to
attempt, but then, Wibble was careful to only hire people of a less stable
mentality than himself. Roger and Shad were true examples of this. In any case,
he usually ended up with women of a much lower mental standing as he as well,
but no no, Shad had taken care of that. Wibble knew as soon as they dumped her
onto the plane that he had perhaps bitten off more than he could chew in this
case. Roger just stared. Shad chuckled quite quietly at his work. The pilot
almost crashed, before saying "Ow Cindy I wasnt staring at her butt!" He went
back to squinting out the front window of the plane trying to figure out which
way to go. The little red-haired girl seated next to him put her club away and
went back to watching him.

Randomly we heard another "Ow" or five at different times from the pilot's
cabin, followed each time by something along the lines of "Hey, I wasn't
looking at her!" or "Hey, I didn't let him see me naked!" or even the cryptic
"Hey, I didn't touch your lipstick, that was Heather's!" That last unstrategic
one earned him yet another strike from the club. (I wanted to get those out of
the way now so I don't have to bother you with them all later on.)

But, on with the story.

Kristen picked herself up off the floor, and dusted off her wrinkled nightgown
(for of course that's what she'd been wearing at the time), and looked straight
at the famous Wibble, who she had never heard of, Ohio not being a large
fishing state. He asked her his usual question, that being the one about taking
off all your clothes, underwear, and jewelry at his bidding, and she said
something like "Sha right, rich boy." He perked up then at this, and for the
first time in years, he smelled that which he had so long ago forgotten the
pleasure of: *challenge*.

The cabin grew quiet as the crew slowly realized the import of what was
happening in front of them. One by one they wandered off to their own cabins
and left the master to his work. Roger of course assumed his position in the
bathroom next to his cleverly concealed peephole, and the pilot switched on the
video surveillance system as per usual order. But this time they all sensed
they were witnessing history in the making.

As soon as they were alone in the cabin, the two looked each other up and down.

In the mind of Wibble we see what he finds to be the most attractive woman he's
ever met... someone who won't bend to his will like Gumby, who in fact has no
idea who he is. He gazed up and down (repeatedly if you must know) and thanked
God or Shad or whoever applied to the gratitude.

In the mind of Kristen we see that she really just sees a wimpy, scrawny little
brat with a lot of money and altogether too bad an attitude for his own good.
In fact, she'd rather have the chauffer than this overblown Rockefeller
wannabe. But she wasn't going to let the chauffer know that, if you know what
I mean.

Wibble picked up the small remote control that he always kept somewhere near
him and pushed a smallish button in the corner of it. The doors at either end
of the cabin slid shut and they were locked inside this little room, fifty
thousand feet in the air, with a fleet of in-flight refueling jets at this
man's disposal. Theoretically, they could fly forever and not have to land
until one of the engines exploded. Or something like that.

Kristen sat down across from this brat prince and did something no one had done
in as long as he could remember. She reached across, took his little remote
control, and unceremoniously threw it out a window she managed to wrench open
a little.

Needless to say, our little kingpin was quite shocked. He dropped to his knees
and proposed on the spot. This time she opened the window all the way and
instead of tossing the remote out, she tossed *him* out.

Luckily for her (and him) he had a compact-o-chute on under his smoking jacket,
which he calmly opened on a count of ten. He landed in the Indian Ocean, on the
upper deck of a large aircraft carrier which had been redirected in the search
for more worms. It bore his insignia on the side, crudely covering the original
insignia of the now defunct U.S. Navy.

Once they got him safely back to California, he found Kristen sitting in his
office at home, awaiting him. She said that she would marry him under the
condition that he destroy all the WibbleTalks in the world, and did it soon.
But why? he asked. That was really all he had... without the WibbleTalk, he had
nothing, and was nothing. She said, just do it.

So, god help him, he did. It took him only 3 days actually, to systematically
find and destroy every registered WibbleTalk in the world, and then to destroy
the original plans which he kept in his safe. He asked again of her, why he had
to do this?

"Well, I like fish... but I don't like to eat them, I just want them to live
a happy life. Also, I'd only marry you if you were willing to give up your
kingdom *for* me, not give it up *to* me..."

That didn't make a bit of sense to him, but he thought she was cute so he
married her anyway.

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