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Secret Revealed
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Chapter 9: The End is the Beginning

Despite its location on a Caribbean tropical island, the Carnival of the Damned was surprisingly cold.  Guybrush shivered, although it was more from fear than the chill.
“This doesn’t fill you with a sense of déjà vu and heat-palpitating horror?” he said to Crackers.  Crackers was busy searching the pie-throwing booth for any last traces of meringue.
“What? No, not at all. Then again, I’m a monkey.  The only thing that scares me is a banana shortage.”  Crackers kicked at a ragged heap littering the parkway.
“Dingy Dog™ left his costume behind when he joined Slappy Cromwell’s production of Anthony and Cleopiratra.” Guybrush picked it up to get a better look at his semi-nemesis.
“Gross! It sheds!” he cried, vainly trying to pull the smelly hairs from his jacket.
“It’s just like I remember.” Guybrush curled his lip in disgust.  “There’s the Captain’s Corkscrew, the Madly Rotating Buccaneer, the Plank Walk, and always my favorite, the kiddie rowboats.”  A faint breeze caught the bells lining the edge of the long abandoned Grog n’ Slurpee Hut, mixing a sense of terror and youthful excitement in the gravely frigid air.
“Good place for a movie huh?” said Crackers.
“Good place for a funeral.” Guybrush responded.
“Speaking of funerals, why don’t you help the poor undead skull trapped once more on a hard wooden shelf?”
Guybrush wheeled in surprise.
“Murray, what happened? I thought you had cool new powers.”
Murray grumbled.
“Apparently they were revocable.  I’ll say one thing for your sister, she really knows how to plot revenge. I’d let her join me in my quest for planetary domination, but she is going to DIE for putting me back on the shelf.”
“Cool, they left one of those wind-up LeChuck dolls behind.” Guybrush said as he set it on the ground.
“YOU’RE NOT LISTENING TO ME!” bellowed Murray. “No respect for the dead, that’s what.”
“Sorry Murray,” Guybrush said, “it’s just that I’m trying not to have a nervous breakdown about being in this place again. Third time is not the charm.”
Murray scrunched up his eye sockets.
“Say uh, Guybrush, you don’t suppose you might, well, that is to say, I-“
“Of course we’ll take you with us.”
“Good. You have no idea how embarrassing it is to threaten someone that you’re going to bite them from a shelf.”
Guybrush picked Murray up off the shelf.
“Hey there buddy, hold on. You got a little meringue around the edges.” He swiped the offending pastry cream off, and was about to pop it in his mouth when he thought better of it, and added it to his inventory.
Guybrush surveyed the park around him.
“Since we have that settled, what do we do now?”  As if on cue, the park sprung to life.  Not exactly life, more like an insatiable monkey who has had too many bananas, but is still reaching for another, vainly waving his hand in the air, weighed down by his own pathetic mass.  Crackers pulled on Guybrush’s arm, making him bend over to his height.
“I’m serious Guybrush. Whoever the narrator person is, I don’t think he’s on our side.”
Guybrush nodded.
“I’ve already realized that. But he’s not going to hurt us. He knows I’ve got cookies.”
“WITH NUTS!” roared Murray. “Say you wouldn’t be able to spare anymore would you?”
“Maybe after the game is over.” replied Guybrush.  The music swelled, oppressive, raucous, and intensively mind-numbing.
“Elevator Classics Three,” moaned Crackers. “They used to pipe this into the gear room to incite us in anger to pedal faster.”  Spotlights flashed, illuminating the door to the Mirrors n’ Mayhem Fun House.  There stood Elaine, gagged, bound, and rippingly enraged.  Suddenly she was yanked inside, but the doors remain open, like the jaws of the shark that knows its prey has no choice but to proceed.
“Have you ever considered that there might be other women in the Caribbean who would like to get to know the famous slayer of the undead?” Crackers proposed.
Guybrush frowned, shocked at the idea.
“I’m a married man!” he protested. “Besides, Elaine’s the only gal for me.”
“That was romantic,” grunted Murray.
“I don’t see you being the hero of any love-interest LucasArts™ adventure games.”
“It’s a bias market. It’s all about the body these days.”
“Well,” Guybrush said hesitantly, “I’m going in. You two don’t have to.  After all, it’s my fluffernut that needs rescuing.”
Crackers patted Guybrush on the arm.  It was as high as he could reach anyway.
“We’re in this together pal.  I’m not free of this demonic nightmare until you are.”
“And I!” chorused Murray, “REVENGE WILL BE SWEET ON THE HEADS OF THE UNFORTUNATE WHO STAND DEFIANTLY IN OUR PATH!  She’s really gonna pay this time.”
Guybrush peeped through the doors. A dozen twisted images of himself peeped back.
“Hey, I look good with a little extra weight.” Crackers said.
“Look at me! Look at me!” Murray yipped, “I’m HUGE!”
“I’m going to go out and come back in through the emergency exit.” Crackers said. “We’ll cut off your sister from any means of escape.”
“I’m going to go with him,” Murray suggested. “I don’t want to be in your hands in case you have to do that sword-fighting thing.”
“If I’m going to be carrying him, you’d better take my pepper.” Crackers said as he handed a small vile to Guybrush.
“Why in the name of all things clean and dear do you have pepper?” Guybrush demanded.
Crackers looked hurt.
“I don’t have any mace, and those tunnels can be a dangerous place for a young and attractive primate.”
Guybrush ventured forth, accompanied by an army of identical seekers.   Elaine was there, and then there, and then Guybrush hit the wall.  After succeeding at nothing but a bruised face, Guybrush took the action option and slashed at the wooden framework that held the mirrors in place.  The walls came tumbling down.  Elaine stood propped against the wall, and Guybrush threw aside the broken fragments in his haste to reach her.
“Nnmm! Dnn gumm dun mhmm!”
Guybrush stopped.
“What did you say?”
“Dnn gumm dun mhmm!”
“Honey, I can’t hear you with that gag over your mouth. Hang on, I’m coming.”
Despite Elaine’s further protestations, Guybrush vaulted onto the top of the fallen mirrors, only to tumble into a pit of clockwork gears and machinery.  From the top of the pit, Guybrush heard the sassy tones of his malevolent sibling.
“I think was she was trying to say was, ‘Don’t come to me!’”
“My bad,” answered Guybrush, “I really should brush up on my Muffled, Gagged and  Illegible Languages.”
“Only if you think that’s going to help you in the afterlife.” sneered Dimweed.
“Does this mean I can’t know the Secret of Monkey Island™?”
“You’re a moron Guybrush. That whole ‘gates of hell’ thing pretty much covered it. But you were stupid enough to fall for the bait, and the old make-someone-disappear-with-a-flash-of-light trick really worked to my benefit, eh?”
Guybrush rubbed his head with his hand.
“Yeah, so how did you do all those keen tricks?”
Dimweed scornfully glared at him through narrow eyes.
“You ARE a moron.  I got this great book at the Phatt Island Library,” she whipped it out from her inventory.  “’How to get ahead in curses and malicious parlor tricks.’ And then I met Murray.”
“I don’t remember that book at the library!” cried Guybrush.
Dimweed smirked.
“I took the card from the catalogue case after I likewise didn’t check it out.”
“Book thief!”
“Pretentious Pirate wannabe!”
“Okay, you know what? I have had just about enough of this. How come you hate me as much as you obviously do? I never broke your Junior Ultra Soldier Commando Assault Vehicle™.” Guybrush vehemently objected.
Dimweed shook her head impatiently.
“You didn’t have to. You were just, you.  Everyone always knew Coren slash Alabaster or whatever he decided his name was-“
“Yeah, what’s his name.”
“Shut up. They knew he was going to turn out bad, so you were their new hope for the family line.  It was always, ‘Oh look at little Guybrush holding the chicky. He had such good table manners. Little Guybrush is going to be a flooring inspector.’  All I ever got was a pat on the head and a lolly to keep me quiet.” She paused for effect. “Well I’m not quiet anymore. And by defeating you, you who took on LeChuck, I will be the best. I don’t need some gateway to Hell to empower myself.
 “Say, uh, I really don’t mean to be rude, [“No, you never do,” growled Dimweed] but the walls down here seem to be closing in.  Could we finish this discussion somewhere else? Like over a steaming and caustic mug of grog?”  Dimweed’s eyes glowed with a vicious intensity.
“You don’t seem to understand Guybrush. You’re going to die.  This pit of gears and clockworks is my own creation.  I call it The Dreadnought.  As the sides get closer and closer, you will eventually get caught in it, and ripped into little Guybrush jigsaw puzzle pieces.  Then I will throw you in the dunk tank behind me, which I have filled with primordial polyphosphorustide potassium enzymes.”
“What?” said Guybrush.
“Basically it’s an evil glow in the dark banana puree. I got it out of one of LeChuck’s unpublished cookbooks. His soufflés were to die for. But anyway, then I’ll piece you back together to be my slave, forever and ever, and you can cringe with each new island I invade and subdue.”
“No wonder you teamed up with Murray, “whistled Guybrush, “you really are a terrifying villain.”  Dimweed cackled and roared with maniacal and quite frankly obnoxious laughter, while Guybrush tried to figure out how to stop the walls of the compactor.  Well, actually, he had two problems. The first was to stop the infernal machine, the other was to defeat his sister. Retrieving the love bomb from his pocket, Guybrush cracked open the operator’s hatch, and added a few things: Crackers’ vial of pepper, the meringue from Murray’s shelf, the random smelly hairs from the Dingy Dog™ costume, the leftover bottle of Squeaky Clean™, just for kicks.  He tossed the reconfigured explosive up to his sister.
“Have a grenade you big jerk!” he hollered.
Dimweed howled with laughter.
“You didn’t even pull the pin you moron!” She looked down just in time to see Guybrush thrust the memento rock from the Cannibal Village Resort straight into the largest gear. “Here’s something to remember me by!” he grunted.
 With a painful shriek, the mechanisms stopped, then trembled in their grindings, shaking the building with the pent-up stress. Unable to keep her balance amongst the broken pieces of wall still littering the floor, Dimweed weebled and wobbled back and forth, the modified love bomb in hand, until she disappeared from Guybrush’s sight, followed by the satisfying sound of a soft gooey splash.  The ceiling glowed for an instant as it reflected the brilliance of an explosion, then all fell dark.
A hand reached down to help Guybrush from his clockwork prison.
“Elaine,” he said, “What happened?” Together they peered into the dunk tank.  Crouched on the pool’s floor sat a young girl, who suspiciously glanced around her from time to time, not noticing her two appraisers.
Elaine shook her head.
“The banana ooze evaporated when the bomb reacted with it. But that doesn’t explain why she’s a child.”
“I guess it made the anti-sleeping draught in the love bomb work backwards.  And after all, this is the Carnival of the Damned. Not to mention the Squeaky Clean™.”  Elaine turned suddenly to Guybrush.
“What’s going to happen if the love bomb kicks in?” she demanded.
“Uhhhh…..” Guybrush stammered.
“Hey guys, what are you doing here? Boy is it good to be back on the Monkey Island atoll.” Herman Toothrot called from across the dunk tank.  Guybrush and Elaine frantically tried to silence him, but to no avail.
“Yeah, well, the cannibals let me come back, and it’s about time, because Madame Xima was really getting to be a handful.  I think I lost her at Puerto Pollo. She’s still predicting good beach days for all the retired pirates.”
Dimweed’s four year old head shot up, fixated on Herman. Her arms stretched out from her frail little body.
“Daddy!” she cried penitently.
Herman’s gaze shot downward.
“Say, um, you two wouldn’t know where this child came from would you? And why is she referring to me in the paternal sense?”
Elaine clapped her hand over Guybrush’s mouth.
“No idea, Herman.”  Herman tried to convince Dimweed of their nonrelations while Guybrush pleaded with Elaine.
“Can’t we just keep her for a leetle while?”
“And that wouldn’t be worse than a mother-in-law.” Elaine sarcastically remarked.
“But she’s family.
“And she’ll probably go back to being an adult if she leaves the island.  And I’m NOT moving here, so don’t even say it. Tripartite governor is hard enough. I don’t want some neighboring cannibal coming over to borrow a pinch of salt.”
Guybrush’s eyes reflected that his feelings were a trifle bit hurt.
“Well I don’t exactly want to build a summer home here either. So what do you want to do?”
Both slowly turned to look at Herman, who was now trying to pry young Dimweed from her death-grip on his ankle.
“Hey! Leggo my leg! If you just aren’t the cutest little rascal that ever was. Boy if I ever get around to having kids, I’d love one just like you.”
Elaine and Guybrush turned back to each other, nodding in agreement.
“You know Herman,” said Guybrush truthfully, “it’s really too bad that she has no parents.”
“That so?”
“And cannibals like her in a really non diner-to-dinner kind of way.”
“That so.”
“And she’s got your nose.”
“That’s so.”
“But you really shouldn’t bring her around the museum.”
Herman grimaced, embarrassment ringing from his facial features.
“Well, that’s not too hard, cause um, remember when I found that weird note in your pocket? Remember how we put that kitchenette complete with gas stove in the back of the gift shop? I uh, left the gas on. The museum burned down.”
Guybrush sighed heavily.
“Okay. I can deal with that I guess.  Just as long as this little girl has somewhere to live.”
He walked around the edge of the empty dunk tank.
“And I’ll come visit. Often.” He squatted down next to Dimweed who vehemently glared at him. “Here you go, have a cookie.”
Dimweed snatched it ravenously, and seconds later crumbs were flying in all directions.
“Hey, you didn’t say please.” Guybrush reproached. Dimweed wiped her mouth off with the back of her hand.
“Bite me.”
“Then again, once in a while is enough of a visit.” Herman walked off, Dimweed trundling happily along behind.  Guybrush turned to Elaine.
“So where did Crackers go after he untied you?”
“The monkey of course,” Guybrush answered, puzzled.
Elaine studied him quizzically.
“I untied myself. You should know that by now. After all, I do it practically every game.”
“HELP ME!” came a muffled voice.  Guybrush dug Murray out from the shattered walls.
“Murray, what happened to Crackers?”
“If I had had any, I’d have eaten them. I’m NEVER standing guard again. Nor SITTING guard as well.”
Guybrush threw up his hands in despair.
“Crackers. The monkey. The one who was carrying you.”
Murray too, regarded Guybrush with mild surprise.
“It think somebody needs a vacation.”
“Really?” Guybrush sighed. “Am I that obvious?”
Murray scowled.
“Not you, you senseless scrap of pirate-wannabe refuse! ME! I’M SUFFERING HERE!” he howled.
Guybrush sighed, picking him up.
“C’mon Murray. I’ll buy you a snowcone.”
“I want a merry cone!”
“But it’s not Christmas.”
“It should be. I’LL DECK THEIR HALLS.”
And off they strode, the hero Guybrush, his lady fair Elaine, and Murray, who fervently declared destruction and ruin to any who crossed the path between them and the setting sun.  And as for the outstanding narrator, whose work will never be outdone in style, or excellence, or yes? What do you want? How did you get in here?!
Crackers angrily faced the narrator.
“I say you have some explaining to do.  Why did you write me out of the ending?”
You worked better as a figment of Guybrush’s imagination.
“I don’t think so. You’re going down, you soliloquizing sea dog.  Get back here!”
And so Guybrush and Elaine walked off towards the sunset, fortunately reaching a rental boat establishment before they sauntered into the ocean.  The narrator headed in the opposite direction, pursued by an irate and dangerous monkey.  The Caribbean faded as the sun drifted over the horizon, deep shadows blanketing the islands in its cradle, one less menace threatening its soothing shores. One less villain, at least for now.

The End.

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