The Dreamy, Daring, (And Somewhat Absurd) Adventures of Jonathan Cue: The Rumble in The Deep
I thought nothing of it when I first visited that Chinese restaurant with my family. I truly believed it was going to be a regular day for me; with no grand battles, epic romances or strange occurrences to pollute my otherwise regular days of lazing about in my underwear. Boy, was I mistaken (though I was not in my underwear).
It was after a particularly challenging bowl of wonton soup that I felt the urge to head to the bathroom and participate in the bi-or-so-daily ritual of the average male. Splendid! After that, the only matter left was to go and wash my hands and get back to my family where everything would be mildly normal.
BUT WAIT! It was during my intimate time with the soap that I heard it – a slight rumbling and creaking coming from the empty stall behind me. With a slight turn of my head (as I had forgotten that I could have just looked in the mirror) I saw the toilet shaking; a slight reverberation at first, which grew into a cacophony of rattling and vibration, the likes of which no bathroom had ever before seen… (except, perhaps, the one in Taco Bell) and I found myself horrified to be alone when it violently exploded, sending porcelain shrapnel abound, water spraying throughout the room, and a local giant squid sitting in its place.
“Inkfeet!” I called out, surprised to see my old ocean companion sitting in my 23rd favourite restaurant. “Cue!” he burbled back, his… facial…features?...twisting into a form of happiness and excitement… Maybe… You can never be too sure with squids.
“I’m so happy and ALSO excited to see you!” he exclaimed. (Note to self: Remove that last thought so I don’t look dumb).
“I’m happy to see you too, old friend, but it’s strange to find you here exploding toilets in a restaurant. I don’t suppose there’s any particular reason for it, is there?”
“As a matter of fact, there is!” he cried as he stretched out his noodle-y appendages to wrap around me; and I reminded myself how wonderful it was that I wasn’t a Japanese Schoolgirl.
“We’ve been looking everywhere for you, Cue. Me and the entire troop! It’s the Lobsters, Cue! The Lobsters have broken the peace treaty and attacked in full force upon our villages!”
“What!? But it was the Lobsters who suggested the treaty in the first place! It was by your grace that they were not wiped out entirely!”
“Yes indeed” he agreed, more serious now. “But as it turns out, they were just trying to buy time to rebuild their armies and lull us into a false sense of security. They have attacked our most important bases and disrupted our supply lines! I mean, I know we’ve been enemies for generations, and that they’ve done this before, and…um…they’ve told us they would…get vengeance…hm. You know, now that I think about it, we really should have seen this coming!”
“Yes your people should have. If only someone had prepared you for your foes’ rigorous and complex military strategy of simply asking you to stop kicking their asses, and agreeing not to do something and then doing it anyway. I suppose I could have been that someone, but I was too busy being utterly unconcerned with your way of life and ignoring you whenever you knocked on my door. Oh well, foresight is 20/20, Inkfeet, and it really do be like that sometimes. Yet have no fear! For I will help you drive back this menace and defeat them once and for all!”
“Oh thank you, thank you, Cue! I knew I could count on you to save the day!”
He bubbled delightedly and clapped his tentacles as we began to wiggle and perform our traditional battle cry for heroics and crustacean-oriented xenophobia. This was good bonding time, but it wasn’t good at helping us kill things; so I had to pop him the big question (Not that one though. My parents would never approve. Not because they’re intolerant toward squid-human relations, mind you, but because Inkfeet is only four years old, so that would be weird. And they also hate gays).
“So…um, how exactly do I get down to the ocean?” I inquired.
“Not a problem. Don’t even worry about it.” he mumbled before tightening his grip on me and tugging me toward the pipes with ease
Down and down I was dragged into the world of laid pipe; with long, thick towers surrounding and penetrating through the soft mounds of Gaia’s bosom. Like glorious holes they were, carrying batter or cream or whatever else a house’s sink system must be made to swallow down. With the shaking of these rods all around me along with my being roughly handled, it felt so much like having a train run over me that I had completely forgotten about the stark drop into icy cold ocean water, and failed to brace for it in any way. A failure that my testicles would not forget for some time.
With a sudden burst of daylight, Inkfeet and I were shot out of the pipes and flung headlong into the only semblance of proper hygiene I’ve had in months. It was horrific. I’d never be let back into the Smash Tournament now. But I would not be deterred! I had a mission, and I am a hero, with duties I must perform no matter the sacrifice. Plus, I had already been dropped here and couldn’t make it back without my squid, so...
I rose to the surface and sputtered salt and crude oil out of my mouth as my friend waited for me to situate myself. “How exactly did you get us to the gulf of the ocean through sewer pipes, Inkeet? And how did you get past the waste-treatment plant anyway?”.
At this, he beamed. “That’s the secret, Cue. There never was any waste treatment plant. They’re all cover-ups to collect gamer-girl bathwater; everything else just gets dumped haphazardly. I know for a fact that every single KFC bone you’ve ever flushed down the toilet has polluted the feeding ground of your local shrimp population”.
“So THAT’S why shrimp taste so delicious!” I exclaimed.
“That’s right. But please stop swallowing the chicken breasts whole, it can’t possibly be healthy and it’s just weird”. He was right, of course, but he also wasn’t my mother and couldn’t tell me what to do. And besides, we had more pressing matters at hand.
“That was a fun trip and all, but I still can’t breathe underwater” I pointed out as I coughed up things I would rather not think about.
“Ha! And do you think I’d drag you here unprepared like I did last time? Have no fear, my solid friend! For I have brought a potion of great lung capacity to remedy just such an issue!” and then Inkfeet reached down into other places I would rather not think about and pulled out a potion of murky pink.
“Ah! Wonderful! You’re always so well prepar-so that’s a potion of water-breathing, right?”
“It will allow you to traverse the ocean with ease of air in your lungs!”
“Yeah!…through breathing under water, right?”
“Your lung capacity will be fantastic, Cue”
“So it’s NOT water-breathing! I’m not going to be able to breathe at all! Just hold my breath for super-duper long”
“Yes!” he declared with enthusiasm as he grabbed hold of me and jammed it into my mouth (frankly I’m surprised I don’t have shellshock or something from all this ludicrous nonsense, but hey, it’s a living).
With every gulp I felt my lungs expand and harden as if they were made of wood; and as I began breathing it seemed as if my entire body was expanding to accommodate them, as I don’t think I am quite so fat normally as I was at that moment. “Well? Is it working?” he asked with concern as I suddenly felt more like an experiment than a tactical ally, but I answered his question by taking a deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep breath, deeper than Kim Kardashian herself must have taken when she decided to make herself famous, and giving my squidly friend a solid thumbs up. He gave a thunderous applause with all nine tentacles in response, and before any more conversation could be had, he once again reached out and squeezed me with his suckers before dragging me down under the depths of the ocean toward the home of the Squid People.
“Cue! You’ve finally arrived!” Chief Squiddly called out as I entered his court.
“Indeed, Your Majesty. I would have been here sooner, but it took a bit to adjust to constantly drowning at a very slow pace”
“No need to justify your cowardice, my friend. We’re just happy you’re here! Surely Inkfeet has already explained the situation, yes?”
“Yes, that’s correct”
“Then you’ll be lucky enough to hear it a second time! The Lobsters struck us by surprise when they attacked our supply ports and trade routes; without them, we will be unable to satisfy the Japanese’s insatiable lust for tentacle hentai. Our economy will stagnate, and the Japanese will no longer be able to avoid having sex. Their nationalistic population will rise, and it’ll only be a matter of time before they successfully resurrect Emperor Hirohito. Only small bands of our people are defending the routes, and we do not have much more time before those defenses fall”
“Can’t you just move them? The routes, I mean. We’re under water, it’s not exactly as if you’re lacking in choice of mobility”
“Anyways, the point is that we are suffering gravely and require your assistance to push back this threat”
“Why are you guys even in this situation? I left a literal strategy guide with historical examples as reference for ways to style on your foe”
“And we tried to use them! We took quite a liking to the tactics of one Hannibal Barca, but all our elephants kept dying”
“OF COURSE THEY DID!”
“Nobody considered that our enemy would have counter-elephant submarines”
“We spent our entire war chest purchasing anti-counter-elephant submarines”
“But we never expected for our enemy to combat our anti-counter-elephant submarines by just hucking regular elephants at them. We couldn’t do shit”
“The Lobsters have a very capable commander among their number, Cue. That is why we need you”.
I stood for a long time, absorbing all this, listening, thinking, considering our options. We had no money, with few supplies, and nowhere near enough troops to properly coordinate an assault. On top of this, we were fighting against foes of far greater number, able to take resources from greater swaths of land, with an unknown amount of income to spare, and against a commander of incredible skill and acumen. Indeed, against such odds there was only one plan I could think of that would ensure victory.
“So anyways, that’s why I’m joining you” I explained to the Lobster Commander a few hours later.
“That’s incredible, Cue! And you say they’re now just right for the taking?”
“That’s correct, Your Lordship. All they have thought to do is go on the defensive. If you break through their line and charge straight into the castle, you can take their Chief and be back before tea-time next day”
“Haha! Glorious! Glorious! I heard you were pretty crafty; I’m glad to see you chose to be on the winning side”
“Not as glad as I am, Your Lordship”.
While I was off doing other things for the next few hours, don’t mind me, the Lobsters went ahead and broke through to the Squid’s capital city, and eventually into their castle. They slew a few guards, cracked open a few barrels of alcohol, and went ahead looking up and down throughout the castle for Chief Squiddly and, besides his racy self-portraits, found nothing of him. Mostly because he was currently escaping.
The Lobsters who were not in the castle having a very good time gave chase, and after a very benny-hill themed pursuit, found that it wasn’t Chief Squiddly at all! But a severed tentacle. In all this, seeing how cowardly the Chief was, and how easily they took the capital anyways, they could not help to laugh.
But not for long! An instant later an explosion rang out, collapsing the entire Squid Castle on top of the invaders. Now none of the Lobsters were having a good time. Those who had chased the Chief’s tentacle suddenly found themselves surrounded, both on the outside and the inside. “Wait, we’re surrounded on the inside too?” asked the Lobsters, breaking the narrative. “Yes,” I told them. “Look back at the tentacle”. They did. It had a gun.
Just like that, half the Lobster’s largest force had been killed, and the other half had been successfully captured. Further still, through the use of the squid’s camouflage and regeneration abilities, they were able to ambush and take down many of the superior Lobster forces harassing their supply lines, thus successfully rebuilding the war-time economy and Japanese relations. The Lobsters had lost all tactical advantage and were now on perfectly equal fighting terms with the Squids. We were ready to take the war to them, and win.
“So anyways, that’s why you’re winning now” I explained to Chief Squiddly a few hours later.
“That’s incredible, Cue! And you say they’re now just right for the taking?”
“That’s correct, Your Lordship. The Lobsters are scrambling to consolidate control over their territories. If you push the advantage and raid straight into their lands, we can attack the Lobster Commander directly and be back before tea-time next day”
“Haha! Glorious! Glorious! I heard you were pretty crafty; I’m glad to see you chose to be on the winning side”
“Bitch I am the winning side”.
Despite this, the Squid Council was hesitant. They had beaten the invader out of their lands and crippled their ability to fight for a few months, which is, like, a super long time if you’re lazy and also don’t think far ahead. They could probably call a peace treaty by now, and were eager to get to rebuilding their own forces and capital, so, they asked, what reason do I have to urge total conquest?
“Do you remember when I said I was off doing other things for the next few hours?”
“So what I was doing was going around to all the people the Lobsters weren’t so friendly toward during their hostile take-over and promising them huge tracts of land and wealth if they sided with you guys and fought back. Which they are. So if you don’t follow through, you’re going to have to give them what I promised out of your own pockets rather than those of the beaten Lobsters. So really it’s in your own best interests to listen to my urging”.
You would not believe how much everyone freaked out. Shouting, banging, yelling, clamoring, all sorts of things began happening, all toward me, very fast, very aggressively. Words like ‘warmonger’ were thrown around, questions as to my allegiance, my integrity, how could I do this to my supposed allies. It was only Inkfeet at the very back who got what I was going for. Only he understood that I actually just totally hated the taste of Lobster, and thus wanted them to suffer. He and he alone rose up in my defense, calming his peers and assuring them of my plan of action (“You do have a plan, right?” “Oh yeah, totally”), and forcing them all to sit and listen.
“So…What’s the plan?” they asked.
I explained it all; every point of action, every major troop movement, every ambush, every battle-plan, every single step, accounting for both the movements of our allies and the counterattacks from our enemies. No contingency was left unchecked, no detail left unsaid, mostly because I explained it all in three words: “We rush ‘em”.
They did not seem impressed.
“Cue, that’s suicide” Chief Squiddly declared matter-of-factly. His counselors chimed in too, “They’re going to be expecting that! And they excel in frontal assaults anyways! We’ll never win!”
“Fear not, my friends,” I assured them “For I have the perfect idea for how to deal with their preparations”.
They waited with bated breath, and explained the strategy we’d use, the greatest strategy I had ever yet seen:
“You know how I just said we’ll rush ‘em?”
“Well we’re going to tell them…that we’re not gonna do that.”
Murmurs went back and forth from beak to ear.
They all leaned close.
“We’re gonna do it anyway”.
They went absolutely nuts. They were clamoring all over again, but this time to congratulate me, to raise me up and declare me the living incarnation of Sun Tzu, and hailing me as The Rightful King of The World, as well as the smartest person ever, with a really huge dick. It’s true, that’s exactly what they said. I would know. I was there.
“That’s so crazy it just might work!” Chief Squiddly proclaimed, rubbing his slippery, plotting hands together much like a fly may do. Or a happy merchant. Or yourself when you purposefully put glue on your hands just to peel it off later. No judgement. Feels cool. “Thank you, Your Lordship. Don’t worry guys. If real, true warfare is anything like Counter-Strike: GO, then this is going to work perfectly”.
And it is, so it did.
By day’s end we had rounded up all the available defenders of the Squid Kingdom and were briefing them on what to do. Amazingly, incredibly, I actually had to coach them on this plan MORE than once. Seven times to be exact. I’d tell you that you’d be astonished at how awful people are at listening to basic strategy, and how often they need to be wrangled like an angry orangutan to be made to do ANYTHING half effectively, but if you’ve ever been in real, true warfare, OR played Counter-Strike GO, you wouldn’t be. You’d know exactly what I’m talking about.
(If you do play any semblance of online FPS’s and still don’t know what I’m talking about, chances are you are the angry orangutan and I hate you. You messed up so much you actually got onto the leaderboard for the enemy team. How’d you even do that. You absolute buffoon. You complete can of half-baked beans. When the day of reckoning comes I swear to cowboy christ you’re gonna get raptured straight into hell. Anyway, back to the story…)
Surprisingly, our troops kept order. On our way to the battle site we were going to lead small strikes and guerrilla attacks against the Lobsters in order to rescue other teams and platoons that had been stranded and detached from the main force, as well as to help relieve some pressure off our allies. Of course, the Lobsters couldn’t attack our supply line this way anyways, as they would be too concerned about our strike force reaching their base while their force was away. Plus, the Squid capital had already been destroyed; what was there left to defend? Their much larger force would chase us around and inevitably be slowed due to the bulk, allowing us to break through smaller lines, rescue our men, and report back with minimal casualties to prepare for the final encounter. Shivaji Maharaj would have been proud, I’m sure.
Of course, that’s just how it worked in theory…
And how it worked in practice too, it seemed! Rescuing much more of our troops and collecting enough supplies to mount a larger attack against the Lobster forces. Damn I’m good.
With everything taken care of, we marched up to the top of our reef set up camp, looking over the enemy’s base as they looked back at us, and prepared for the climactic battle at dawn (Which could be at, like, any time because we were under water and I couldn’t tell where the sun was. Do you even know how far I was below the surface? No visible light even got that low. I couldn’t see shit).
I called all the captains back to where my military tent used to be, before it floated away, so we could discuss the impending clash, or more specifically, the most pressing matter weighing on my mind: “So this time we’re gonna kill them for good, right?”.
There was hesitant nodding before one spoke up “Ah…yes! We will defeat them here. Right”.
“Well yeah, obviously, but I mean we’re really gonna drive it home this time, right? Like, ‘Remember, No Russian’ style, you know what I’m saying?”.
There was a confused murmur before the lady-squid in the back spoke up “No, Cue, I don’t think we do know. What do you mean?”
“Like, the Lobsters, your sworn foes. This time we’re gonna just wipe them out completely, right? Really just go biblical on them. Happy as Vlad Tepes in a shish-kabob shop, the whole nine yards”.
The Captains looked at one another like a dog that really does not want to lick that peanut butter before one spoke up, “Um, we don’t mean to be rude, Cue. We have always valued your assistance and friendship, but…I’m sure it’s nothing. I’m sure it’s just a simple misunderstanding, but it really sounds like-”
“I’m not though”
“Of course you’re not! Of course! You would never! But it really sounds like…like you’re encouraging genocide”.
I was appalled. Simply disgusted. “What!? No! Of course not! I would never do such a thing! I just mean like you’ve been through this whole song and dance before. You beat up the Lobsters, they swear vengeance, they wreak their vengeance, you guys disturb my underwear-lazing time, I’m just trying to propose a more, ah, final solution!”
“Cue, I’m gonna be honest with you, it really sounds like you’re advocating genocide here”.
For all the best intentions, these fellows just weren’t getting it. I had to pull the big guns and destroy their liberal notions with facts and logic. “Guys, gals, folks, squid…don’t worry. I’ve read the U.N definitions for what counts as proper genocide, and this falls nowhere near close. Indeed, you must remember, gentle cephalopods…” I told as I wrapped my arms around their squishy shoulders “It’s only recorded as genocide if you lose”.
“Cue is right!” one of them suddenly shouted, “We’ve lived too long in fear of the Lobsters! It’s time we ended this once and for all!” and behind that rallying cry stood their conviction, along with as my inevitable rise to riches in the stock market for Lobster.
The morning came, and our forces were ready for battle. Armed with willpower, many, many spears, and ink, the Squids had come to reclaim their lost…I’m not sure really. I guess they didn’t have to stay if they didn’t want to. I mean, they’re aquatic, right? Surely there’s plenty of room. I honestly don’t know why they were all willing to lay down life and limb to begin with; but ah, no time to ponder such things; I had a totally not genocide to perpetuate.
However, right before we could march up and face our fearsome-clawed foe, Chief Squiddly pulled me aside. “Cue, I just wanted to ask you for one last favour before we enter the battle, a battle which could very well be our last.”
“We wanted you to understand the gravity of the situation and how much we appreciate your assistance, and so…we want you to give The Speech”
The Speech. Surely, I couldn’t turn down a favour from such a good friend even if I had no idea what such a speech was actually supposed to consist of. What sways the hearts and minds of Squid? What words could I utter that would drive them to greater heights of being absolutely off-the-wall bananas?
I took the time to think about that while they stood, gathered before me, for like an hour. So many sons, brothers, daughters, and sisters, under me in their slimy little gatherings, looking up at me to inspire and instil within them the motivation to carry on and win despite all odds, and couldn’t think of anything, so I just decided to recite the entire Ram Ranch script from memory.
There was a grand silence that took over the army as they looked up in awe, tears (or just extra water flowing by) in their eyes for, likely, a variety of different reasons. Even Chief Squiddly himself was speechless at my performance and could only pat my back. “Beautiful, Cue. Absolutely beautiful. Nobody has such a way of describing their experiences as you do.”
“Wait, no, that’s not what I-”
“Now then!” he called, raising his many arms “TO VICTORY!”.
As it turns out, you can’t exactly ‘charge’ underwater. You can only kinda swim/paddle your way towards the enemy. It doesn’t look intimidating in the slightest; HOWEVER! That still did not stop us from kicking lobster ass. Truly, it was an epic battle; with much blood and ink spilled and sharks pulled in on both sides. Aquaman would certainly not have been happy with these shenanigans.
Unfortunately, I cannot tell you how the battle was in detail (Though I’m told it was very interesting, with lots of screaming, crying, canon firing, cannon firing, Canon(tm) firing, a food fight, no-clipping, a baptism, and an entire Russian Folk Music festival, all perpetuated by three clams in a trench coat who have since been uninvited from every aquatic facebook group). I cannot tell you how it was because I missed most of it, as I was too busy fighting the enemy leader himself. I vividly remember how I ran up the back of a whale and leapt at the Lobster Commander with all the fury a thirty seven year old boy could muster, only to be caught halfway through by a strong wave, and pushed back as he jumped at me with outstretched claws.
I had just enough time to catch his claws with my spear before they reached me, and though I saved my head, he broke my only weapon. In retrospect it probably wasn’t the best idea to run into a warzone with only one weapon, but hey, they were only man-sized lobsters; I expected it to be easier than this.
There we stood, eye to stalk, glaring at eachother with brutal intent; but while I’m sure I was stronger than he was, it was an issue of being able to land a punch at all, as I was a fat man and he was a lobster and we were in the middle of the ocean, so I doubt mobility would be the ace up my sleeve here. I tried to intimidate him by tying on my Yellow Karate Belt, but when I looked up, he was also tying on his Judan Kickboxing belt. In that moment I knew I was fucked.
He darted through the water, fast as a methhead, whipping me with his tail and throwing me off balance before coming again with a drop-heel octamerous kick. I figured it would have been bad news for me to get my skull crushed at that time, so I decided the best thing I could do was dodge and block. All I could do was focus my energy into defense and hope that he would tire out before I did, which, considering I was a fat man. And he was a lobster. And we were in the middle of the ocean. Wasn’t likely.
I was quickly running out of energy, time, and options; and needed to think of something fast. It was only after having the same rib broken for the fourth time that I got an idea, but I needed to buy myself a few precious seconds. Back to back I needed time, time to work my magic, time to think about how I was going to buy that time, and time to cry about having my ass kicked so hard. But just then, by that turn of phrase, I was reminded of something in my past, a move I used to practice on my mother, for I knew it was the only possible thing I could do. The Lobster Commander was coming in again with a hurricane kick, and I knew it was now or never. I quieted my mind, focused my body, tightened my butt-cheeks in a slowing passage of time as he got closer and closer, and right at the height of the maneuver, I reached out, grabbed his claw, flipped myself over to his back, grappled his waist, and straight up suplexed that son of a bitch.
It was a slow-motion affair. He wasn’t hurt at all, considering I just sort of tossed him around in a back-flipping throw into open water. He was just really confused. But this bought me the time I needed to do the OTHER only possible thing I could do… Summoning up a power deep within some area of my soul that would probably go into a ‘bad touch’ booklet, I brought forth a torrent of energy before I began chanting; an ancient chant, taught to me by ancient gods for just such an occasion, when a certain crustacean foe would be too powerful and may need to be knocked down a peg. The Lobster Commander had no idea what I was doing, confusing him further. He took it as an opening and charged once more, but this time I was ready for him; letting it loose, I sucked him into a whirlwind of water before completely turning the powerful flow into...
Delicious, savoury butter.
And not the crappy fake kind, I mean the real kind you would spread on French loafs when you want to impress your date, but only plan on seeing her once.
As everyone knows, Lobsters are absolutely delicious with butter, and so it surprised nobody, least of all the Lobster Commander, when the mercenary sharks suddenly turned and charged at their old leader. It was a gory sight, and though he tried to put up a fight, between being whirled around in butter and attacked on all sides, it…well, looked exactly like you would expect it to. Very hilarious.
Eventually there was not a single part of him left, and the other Lobster forces that remained had either surrendered after the death of their leader (we shall send them to the Gulags later), or had escaped deep into the further depths of the ocean where all sorts of horrors lay. We may seem them converted into abominations in later chapters. Who knows. Either way, I believe the Squids had won their absolute victory and have lived in peace for generations ever since. I had probably shaken more hands that day than most people in a life-time, all nine of them for each squid, and had graciously accepted both a medal, a ride back to the surface (wherein I got the bends), and a life-time’s supply of Fish And Chips for my efforts.
My good friend Inkfeet accompanied me back as my personal escort, and though we knew we would see eachother again, it was still a tearful goodbye (I also felt bad because he lost one of his arms during the battle. Not a GREAT loss, I know, but still, it’s the thought that counts…At least I THINK it was Inkfeet anyways. They really do all look alike, so sue me). As I popped up back through the sewer pipe into that now decimated Chinese bathroom, the only thing I could think about was how exactly I was going to explain the exploding toilets and soaking, ripped clothes, and cracked bones to my family without looking more like a serial bomber than I already do.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, concludes the story of how I, Jonathan Cue, single-handedly made the price of Lobster skyrocket all across the west coast.
submitted by JonathanCue