The Army: Italy Chimera Family!
by Casey Moriarty
“Behold the turtle. It makes progress only when it sticks its neck out.”
– James Bryant Conant
“There is a new enemy: freaks of nature who interfere with our business. You are my eyes and ears. Find them! Together we will punish these creatures, these… turtles.”
Well, True Believers, congratulations on making it this far. If you’ve been following our tale to this point – and I know you have – you are aware that Shark Horse, once a Native American man by the name of Joseph Sigo, has slaughtered an entire facility full of the Nazis that created him. While that part came easy, he has discovered that he had actually become addicted to the blood of the Third Reich survivors – meaning that for him to live, the Reich would have to return! Wary of this thought, Shark Horse hemmed and hawed until he found himself face to face with the Mario Brothers (and not the ones you’re thinking of), each of them descendants of important figures during World War Two. With World War II having continued as a secret war for decades and Mario Emanuel III as his only ally, Shark Horse is forced into an uneasy alliance with… well, with something that he does not yet understand….
“What in the name of the Buddha’s Holy Butthole are you talking about, Mario?” Shark Horse demanded, his voice still the high-pitched rage-whinny of an icthyous equine.
“You-a heard-a me,” said the Plumber, “My-a brothers to the cause will-a aid you. But-a you must seek-a them your-a self-a. I cannot-a interfere-a. And so, to the depths-a of-a the-a sewer-a must-a you-a journey-a!”
The Italian Plumber pointed into the empty blackness of the underground sewer pit that lay below the Nazi facility. Joseph – Shark Horse – knew what he needed to do. And so he ventured into the blackness, seeking the so-called “Italian Brothers Turned-A Chimera Ninjas” that would help him strike down the powerful modern-day incarnations of both Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. While these historical characters were known to be all-destroying mass-murderers, Shark Horse did not fear them. For why fear anything when you are a – and pardon my French – motherfuckin’ Shark Horse? The fabled Shark Horse had an indestructible body, with skin as thick as that of the Sharkiest Shark and speed rivaling that of the Horsiest Horse. So it was without any healthy trepidation that he ventured into the illimitable blackness of the sewer that Mario had commanded him to visit.
Sharks do not have the greatest vision; neither do horses. Neither, for that matter, do men. And while Shark Horse was the sad amalgam of all three species, he had no special visual acuity either. He did, however, have the hearing of a horse, the electro-magnetic senses of a shark, and the reason of a man. As such, he felt an unusual tingling – my Shark Horse sense is tingling – in the darkness despite not being able to visually comprehend the happenings about him.
It was then that he felt a painful thwack against his grey and thickened skin. After that, he felt another thwack, and he turned to deal with the problem – yet he could not see. His Shark sense was buzzing busily and he heard a great swooshing in his horse’s ears; yet he could not figure out what the source of the unholy din was. Suddenly, his thick and sharp grey skin was penetrated by something sharp – he knew because of the pain – and he lunged ineffectually at the source of the pain. Then, immediately, in his head he felt pain again as cold metal slashed across his sharky brow. He lunged in that direction, but again to no avail. Whatever he was hunting was quicker than him – faster, smarter, more skilled. No, it couldn’t be! No! He was the Shark Horse, he was- THWACK, THWUCK, STAB, WHACK, BONK!
“Cowabunga, dudes,” came a voice from the blackness, “What do you think this thing is?”
“I dunno, Mike,” a deeper voice came, “Let’s see if we can’t-”
“Kill it!” an angry voice interrupted “Stab its fishy face off!”
“Hey, guys, it’s obviously some kind of anthropo-equi-icthyous being,” a fourth creature declared, “This is kinda unknown to science, maybe we should -”
“Shut the shell up, Don. You too, Raph,” came that second voice again, “I’m the boss here. We question this being. We find out what it is and where it came from.”‘
Shark Horse, for his part, was dizzy and tired. Yet as far as he could tell, he was lying on his back, hog-tied. He hadn’t imagined a being as powerful as himself could receive such a beating. For all his strength, Shark Horse was unskilled; and these beings, whatever they were, were very skilled.
In an instant, a weak light illuminated the dark sewer. One of the four beings clutched a flashlight. In the rancid dimness, Shark Horse could make out the shapes of these cruel beings; and they were not human. Oh, their forms were vaguely anthropic; and yet they were something else. Something altogether more… reptilian. Each of them would have looked exactly the same but for the color-coded masks they wore. In the dim light of the electric torch that one of them carried, Shark Horse noted that there were four different masks… one wore blue; one purple; one orange; and one red. And now the one clad in red was lunging at Shark Horse, a gleaming sai in his scaly, three-fingered hand.
“Who do you work for, bitch?” the red-masqued creature was demanding, “Is it the Nazis? You workin’ for the goddamn Nazis?”
Shark Horse struggled to answer… he felt his strength leaving him… he hadn’t eaten a Nazi in a long time, and he smelled no new Nazi blood around him. These creatures, whatever else they may be, were not part of the new SS.
“I’m… not… a Nazi,” Shark Horse wheezed. The Red-Masqued Chimera kicked him.
“Then what are you? An Italian Fascist? You work for Luigi Mussolini?” here the Red One kicked him again, two more times, “Well, bitch? Do you?”
“No,” Shark Horse whinnied, “I’m… a friend.”
“Like shell you are!” The Red Chimera began to kick harder and faster; until he was quickly restrained by the others that could only be his brothers.
“Raph, calm down,” the one in the orange was saying.
“Suck my carapace, Mike,” Raph answered.
“I… am a friend,” Shark Horse was trying to say, now weakened from the beating and from the recent lack of Nazi blood, “I… was sent here by Mario. Mario Emmanuel III… I am against the Nazis, too… I wouldn’t of come here other… otherwise…”
“Uh, you mean you wouldn’t have come here otherwise,” said the one in the purple, somewhat condescendingly.
Was he being…
Did it matter?
Was the one in the purple…
Shark Horse, before he had time to contemplate the semantics, had broken free of his bonds and lunged for the purple chimera, quickly sinking his dozens of teeth into the creature’s scaly flesh. He was prevented from biting the being fully in half by a thick shell that surrounded its body… yet the blood seeped through anyway… and it tasted… so… good.
“Grammar Nazi… GOOD ENOUGH!” Shark Horse whinney-bellowed.
Shark Horse felt strength again; and now he was flinging the bloody purple-clad chimera into the muck of the sewer. The creature’s three brothers were quick to defend their comrade; each held a different weapon that they lunged at Shark Horse with. The orange one was striking him repeatedly with nunchucks; the red one thrust its sais into his thick and horselike flesh. With a mighty kick, Shark Horse had bashed the Orange One (Mike?) off into the darkness; he then used a mighty headbutt to knock the Red One (Raph?) down. But as he prepared to attack the blue one, the gleam of a Katana swooshed four times before his eyes; and Joseph “Shark Horse” Sigo fell crippled. The blue chimera had swiftly severed his tendons. He could not move.
“You are temporarily crippled. With the power you seem to draw from my brother’s blood, you will heal soon enough. I am Leonardo,” said the Chimera with the blue mask, “Clearly the blood is your strength. But it can also be your weakness. We harbor a similar addiction to the first food we consumed upon being chimerized. In our case, it is pizza. But we have learned to control our hunger to a certain extent. It seems you seek the blood of Nazis… and while my brother can be a grammar Nazi at times, he is not actually a National Socialist. None of us are. In fact we fight against it with every fiber of our beings. And you have great strength, whatever you are. Yet you are untrained… Unskilled. You have no idea how to utilize your own power. Who was it that sent you?”
“M… Mario,” said Shark Horse through the pain, “Mario Emmanuel III.”
“Heh,” said Leonardo, “A friend of ours, but a poor communicator. You see, we, perhaps like you, were created by the Reich to serve evil. But we fought against it! Nevertheless, World War II continues as a shadow-war to this day. And the four of us alone can do little to prevent it. If you are who you say you are, will you help us? Will you fight against the Nazis, and the Italian Fascists? To protect the cause of democracy and all that is good in the world?”
“Yes,” said Shark Horse without hesitation.
“Good,” said Leonardo, looking about the sewer as his brothers recovered from the fight, “But we have our work cut out for us. For you see, while Joseph Mengele expected you to help bring back the Reich; while Luigi Mussolini believed we’d be the rebirth of Italian Fascism; yet another superpower has reintroduced itself. Japan has reentered the war. Will you help?”
Shark Horse was forcing himself to his hoofed feet – he was already healing nicely from the wounds Leonardo had inflicted with his Katana – “Yes.”
“Good,” said Leonardo, “But you will require training. For while you are strong, you have no true clue what you are doing. You have much physical power, but when you face the true strength of the New Axis, you will die. Unless we train you in the arts of Ninjitsu. You will learn to become a walking shadow: as silent as you are strong. You will learn to curb your hunger for the blood of grammar Nazis. And you will kill many fascists. But you must learn along the way! To the Turtle-Plane!”
“Where are we going?” asked Shark Horse.
“As I said, Japan has reentered this war,” said Leonardo, “So it should go without saying that we are headed to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. They have attacked it once again. And despite your strength and our skills, we may not survive this.”
“Have they bombed it once again?” Shark Horse asked anxiously.
“Hah! That’s so 1941,” said Mike.
“Yeah, you really are an idiot,” said Raph.
“That isn’t nice,” said the one in the purple, “I’m Don, by the way. But what my brothers mean to say is that in this age of atomic weapons and genetic engineering, conventional explosives are indeed outdated.”
“Say it in English, turtle!” Shark Horse demanded.
“Do you think they would need to send the five of us if it were only bombs?” said Leonardo, “No… it’s far worse. You see, in Pearl Harbor, they have deployed… a Kaiju.”
“What’s a Kaiju?” Shark Horse asked, a little nervously.
“Oh,” Leonardo shrugged as he lead the group to the secret area where rested the Turtle-Plane, “You’ll see.”
Find out how a Shark Horse fights a Kaiju in our next chapter, entitled: Shit! A Kaiju!