“The world of the imagination is as old as we are. It has been humanity's constant companion with all of its fictional locations, like Mount Olympus and the gods, and since we first came down from the trees, basically. It seems very important, otherwise, we wouldn't have it” : Alan Moore
Far away from our reality, exits a world known as Fictionland. Well I say world, it’s more of a collective of universes themed around different forms of fiction. But I digress.
For many years, it has remained peaceful. Until now when a group of heartless evil villains have arisen and are determined to enslave the realm of fiction and all its inhabitants.
But fear not, gentle viewer. There is an obscure prophecy. It states that a legendary hero will arise and save them all. Or something to that effect. But enough beating around the bush, it’s time to start the story
It was a sunny day in Marzipan city and a young chef’s apprentice by the name of Chowder was making his way through the town to the market. He wasn’t much to look at, being a small purple cat bear rabbit thing. Nor was he particularly bright and was always forgetting key things. But he was willing to learn and was determined to make it as a master chef. It had been his dream since the day he was born. Which is why he’d become apprentice to Mung Daal of the Mung Daal catering company who had sent him down to market to obtain some Bombergranates.
As he entered the market, a big smile crossed his face. His old friend Gazpacho who ran the stand was still working there.
“Hey Gazpacho!” Chowder said as he approached the stand “What’s up?”
“Not a lot” replied Gazpacho “I tried painting, today”
Chowder raised an eyelid “How’d it go?”
Gazpacho looked around nervously “Well mother said I shouldn’t. She says it encourages evil thoughts”
“Oh” said Chowder, not really understanding how that worked “Well anyway, I need a bag of Bombergranates
Gazpacho brightened up at this request
“Oh sure!” he said, handing Chowder the bag. “That’ll be 5 dollops!”
Chowder handed Gazpacho the money, thanked him and walked away.
The streets of Marzipan city were full of characters as far as the eyes could see. Chowder pushed his way through the crowds. As he did, he heard a female voice say “Hi Chowder”
Chowder turned to his right and saw a pink rabbit girl standing there.
“I’m not your boyfriend!” he yelled
Ignoring him, she began to move closer.
“W…What are you doing Panini?” Chowder asked, sweating
“Well Chowder” replied Panini “You’ve got a big heavy load. I could help you carry it”
“N…no!” said Chowder “I can do it on my own”
“But Chowder” said Panini “We look so cute together,
Chowder screamed and ran off with Panini in hot pursuit
After running around for several minutes, Chowder came across a dirty alleyway. Without thinking, he ducked into the alley and hid behind one of the bins. Listening in, he could hear Panini outside the alley calling for him. He held his breath and hoped for the best. A few minutes later, Panini’s voice trailed off into the distance.
Chowder stepped out from behind the bins. He sighed with relief and began to walk away. Two seconds later, he tripped over something sticking out of the ground and found himself face down on the floor.
Picking himself up, Chowder looked down at the lump he’d tripped over
“Now who left that there? Seriously?” he said
He bent over to take a look at it. Most of the object was buried in the ground except for a small black dome shaped lump sticking out of the ground. Chowder, being the curious type, decided to get a better look at it. And hopefully return it to its rightful owner. So he put both hands on it and heaved with all his strength. A few seconds later, it popped out of the ground and left him sprawled on his back
After he’d got himself up, Chowder was able to get a look at the object. It appeared to be a completely black sphere made of glass. Its surface was completely smooth. Chowder licked it to see what it tasted like. Which turned out to be nothing. So he spat it back out completely disappointed.
“Hello!” he yelled “Did anyone loose a giant marble?”
He got no reply
Again nobody answered
“Great!” said Chowder pocketing the ball before heading back to the catering company.
The Mung Daal Catering Company was famous throughout Marzipan city for its cooking. Ran by legendary chef Mung Daal, it was at one point, considered the finest eatery in the city. Small wonder then, that Chowder was determined to make it as a chef there.
As he walked in he was greeted by the sounds and smells of kitchen work and food being prepared. At the end of the kitchen, a blue elderly man with a big moustache was preparing food next to Schnitzel, a rock man who also worked at the cafe. The blue man looked up from his work and saw Chowder entering with a sack
“Chowder, my boy!” he said “Did you get the bombergranites?”
“Sure did Mung!” replied Chowder, opening the sack a little
“Great” replied Mung “Let’s get started!”
A few seconds later, the trio had gathered around the cooking table and had got all the ingrediants ready
“Now listen carefully!” said Mung “Bombergranites are extremely dangerous! One false move could demolish the entire building!. So be careful!”
“What was that?” asked Chowder who then dropped a bombergranite he’d been fiddling with.
Mung got as far as “No-“ before the Bombergranite exploded in a terrific blast which took out the windows and was almost certainly heard at least 5 miles away
Chowder blinked twice as the dust from the explosion settled
“Sorry Mung” he said
“It’s ok Chowder” said Mung, in a way that didn’t suggest it was ok
Later that evening, Mung was tucking Chowder into bed. Both of them were completely drained from the day’s events.
“Mung?” said Chowder “Do you think I’ll ever be a great chef?”
“Of course” said Mung “I’ve every faith that you’ll succeed”
“It’s just that I mess up. A lot” said Chowder “And you get mad”
“Hey don’t worry about it” said Mung
“Really?” said Chowder, brightening up
“Sure” said Mung “Everyone makes mistakes. They’re only a problem if you don’t learn from them”
“And I always try to learn from my mistakes. Well good night”
“Good night” said Mung. He then walked out the room and closed the door.
As soon as Mung had left, Chowder switched on his bedroom light, waking up Kimchi (his pet stink cloud)
“Hey Kimchi!” said Chowder, causing Kimchi to let out several flatulence-like noises in annoyance
“Sorry for waking you up” said Chowder “But I thought you’d wanna see what I found today”
Chowder then jumped off the bed, went over to his clothes draw and opened it. He rummaged through the draw and pulled out the giant marble thing from earlier.
“Check it out!” said Chowder, holding up the marble for all to see. Kimchi let out a surprised flatulence sound.
“Yeah it is pretty impressive” said Chowder “I bet it’s worth loads and I’ll be able to buy all the thrice cream I want and I…”
He then pressed a part of the marble which made a clicking noise.
As Chowder bent down to see what he’d done, a beam of light shot out of the orb temporarily blinding him. When he opened his eyes, there were two men in the room.
The men looked about thirtyish. One of them had a beard, a brown hat and jacket, a white shirt and a red tie. The other had glasses, a white shirt and black hair
“Hello I’m the Nostalgia Critic” said the man in the hat
“And I’m a nerd” said the man in the white shirt.
Chowder squinted at the two men.
“Hi I’m Chowder” he said, greeting the two of them.
The two men turned to face him. As soon as they saw him, they both sighed
“You gotta be kidding me!” said the Nerd
“Now let’s not jump to conclusions” said the Critic “Looks aren’t everything”
“Excuse me?” said Chowder “What do you mean ‘Legendary Hero?’ I’m just a chef”
The Nerd let out another sigh
“Well that’s just great!” said the nerd “Our hero, destined to save the whole of reality itself is a chef!”
“Why you gotta be so mean?” asked Chowder
“Sorry” said the Critic “I forgot to mention. He’s the Angry Video Game Nerd”
“Damn straight!” said the Nerd
“So who are you guys anyway?” replied Chowder. He reached out to touch the Critic’s leg only to find his hand went straight through.
“Don’t bother touching us” said the Critic “We’re not really here”
“Oh no!” said Chowder “That Clabbage cobbler I had last night’s repeating on me. I knew Mung was right when he said I shouldn’t eat clabbage more than three days before its expiry date!”
“What! No!” said The Nerd
“Let me explain” said the Critic “We are the guardians of your world”
“What, just the two of you?” said Chowder
“No!” said the Critic “There are several of us. We’re just the two guys in charge”
“Yeah!” said the Nerd “We’ve been watching your world since the dawn of time”
“All the time?” said Chowder
“All the time” replied the Critic
Chowder thought for a second
“Even when I pee?”
The Critic and the Nerd both jumped up at this line
“Goddamnit! said the Critic “Will you stay focused!”
“Sorry” said Chowder, shrinking down
“Anyway” said the Nerd “Can we continue?”
“The world as you know it will soon come to an end-”
Chowder burst into tears
“Oh man! And there was so much I wanted to do!”
“Oh for crying out loud! This is the legendary hero who’ll save us all!!!” said the Nerd, intercut with several words that Chowder didn’t expect a wise ancient guardian to use
“Okay just calm down!” said the Critic
“T-that’s easy for you to say” said Chowder between sobs
“If you’d let me finish” said the Critic “What I was saying was that you can prevent it!”
“Me!!!” said Chowder
“Yep” said the Nerd “We’re sending someone to meet you tomorrow”
“Who is he?” asked Chowder
“You’ll know him when you see him” said the Nerd
“So what do I do?” asked Chowder
“For now, just wait until he arrives.”
“Thanks” replied Chowder. He turned to go back to bed
“And another thing” said the Nerd “Be careful. There are nasty people after you. Keep your eyes peeled or you’ll probably die a horrible death”
“What!” said Chowder
“So goodnight” said the two of them in unison.
The light vanished leaving Chowder alone in the darkness of his room.
Several miles away, a man said “Oh my god!”
He was in some sort of void with nothing around him. Not even a floor. He tried to remember where he’d ended up. The last thing he could remember was falling asleep in his bed in New York City.
He turned to see a figure in front of him. The darkness of the void made it hard to make out the figure’s features
“Who the hell are you?” he asked
“That’s not important” replied the figure
“Well what is?”
“That you listen very carefully. In a moment you will find yourself in another realm. You must find a person known as Chowder. For reference he looks like this”
A small figure appeared in front of him. The man chuckled. It looked like a child’s stuffed toy wearing a purple hat
“You seriously expect me to find this thing?”
“Of course” replied the figure “If you don’t, everything you know and love will be wiped out”
“Woah woah woah” said the man “Wiped out by who?”
“All will be explained shortly” said the figure
As soon as he finished speaking, several other figures appeared around him.
“What the hell are you doing?” said the man
“Hold still” replied the figure “This won’t hurt a bit”
A blinding flash filled the man’s vision. When his eyes cleared, he looked around. And gasped.
The next morning, Chowder woke up and got himself ready. He then went downstairs to the kitchens to get ready for the day’s orders. When he opened the door, he saw that Mung and Schnitzel were already hard at work.
“Morning Chowder” said Mung, as Chowder entered the room “Sleep well?”
“Yeah pretty much” replied Chowder
“That’s great” said Mung. He then noticed that Chowder was looking concerned
“Hey is something wrong?” Mung asked
“Well… There is one thing, but it’s a bit silly”
“Don’t worry about it my boy” said Mung “A problem shared is a problem halved”
“Well…” said Chowder “Ok”
Chowder let out a sigh before telling Mung about how he’d seen the two men and what they’d told him. When he finished, Mung looked at him confused
“Well that’s a bit of a mouthful there”
Schnitzel then commented on how Chowder was probably crazy. Although to you and me it would have sounded like a series of Raddas.
“Of course he’s not crazy!” said Mung. He turned back to Chowder
“You probably just had a dream. You’ve been working really hard recently, so it’s only natural”
“I guess” said Chowder
“Now” said Mung “Let’s get to work”
As Chowder started work on that day’s orders, he thought about what Mung said. Surely it must have been a dream. He’d had some weird dreams recently such as one where he grew up and married Marzipan. There’s no way he could be a hero. He was just an apprentice chef. He shook his head and got back to work. Yeah. There was no ancient nerd guardians, no evil villain and no…
“Crystal!” yelled Chowder. He looked round to see Mung and Schnitzel staring at him.
“Just a second Mung!” said Chowder “I’ll prove to you it wasn’t a dream”
Chowder then disappeared through the back door
At the front desk of the restaurant, Mung’s wife, Truffles was working on the accounts when the door opened. A large man who looked extremely out of place in Marzipan City walked in. He was wearing dark sunglasses and a leather jacket walked in. He also appeared to be wearing a gun.
“Can I help you?” asked Truffles
“Chowder” replied the man in an extremely flat monotonous voice
“He’s in the kitchen” said Truffles
She turned to the kitchen door behind her and started to yell “Chowder!” when the man pushed past her
“Hey!” she yelled “That’s employees only!”
As the figure walked into the kitchen, the first thing he said was “Chowder”
“Erm… he’s just gone upstairs” said Mung when Chowder suddenly burst into the room holding the crystal
“Hey Mung!” yelled Chowder
The figure then drew a gun and aimed it at Chowder.
“What the-!” said Chowder. He then jumped to avoid a laser blast which struck the area where he’d been standing a few seconds ago.
As the figure took aim to fire for a second time, Chowder knew he only had seconds to react. He couldn’t run out the usual way as the figure was guarding it. Nor could he run upstairs as he’d be trapped.
In a split second, Chowder leaped towards the window. As soon as he hit it, it shattered and fell on to the floor. Chowder felt the laser blast fly past his head as he sailed past the window frame and landed into the street.
The figure turned and made his way outside. Mung and Schnitzel just stared in shock.
“What just happened?” asked Mung
Shnitzel made a few radda noises and pointed. On the floor was the crystal that Chowder had brought down.
Chowder picked himself up from the pavement. All around him were pieces of broken glass and confused bystanders.
“Run for your lives!” he shouted “There’s a mean guy after us and-!”
He was interrupted by a laser blast shooting past his head. Without hesitation he ran down the street screaming.
Fleeing down the street, Chowder could feel his heart pumping. When he looked round again, the man was taking aim. Chowder dived onto the ground and the shot narrowly missed him. He picked himself up and carried on running as fast as his legs could carry him.
A few seconds later he arrived at a road crossing. Without thinking he ran into the road without looking. A snail car (the primary mode of transportation in Marzipan city) swerved past him honking its horn. Chowder screamed. But he couldn’t stop now, so he just closed his eyes and continued running.
Behind him, Chowder could hear the sounds of the man getting closer. This was followed by the sound of a truck horn getting closer. Chowder screamed and ran faster then he’d ever ran. He then felt a truck whoosh by him.
Chowder stopped to catch his breath. He couldn’t see the man through the cars. He sighed with relief. But his relief was cut short when a laser bolt blasted through a passing truck.
Chowder sighed again and began to run.
The other man was still exploring the town. He’d been unable to locate the Chowder he’d been told to find. He was getting frustrated, due in no small part the difficulty of navigating a surreal cartoon town, let alone finding a single resident. He cursed loudly and was about to give up when he heard something screaming. He turned and saw the very person he was looking for run down a street into an alley. This was followed by a figure in a black leather jacket and sunglasses walked down the street into the same alley.
As Chowder ran into the alley, he screeched to a halt. The end of the alley was blocked by a brick wall.
“No!” Chowder yelled. He turned to run only to be met with the sight of the strange burly man blocking the exit. As the burly man took aim, Chowder cowered on the floor and wished for some spare underpants.
“Hey you!” yelled a voice.
As the burly man turned round, a shot rang out. Chowder screamed. The Burly man fell down with a bullet hole in his head.
Chowder looked up to see another strange man standing over him. He was balding, fairly beefy and was carrying a gun.
“Who are you?” asked Chowder
“Name’s John Mcclane” replied the man “And you’re Chowder?”
“That’s me” said Chowder who then ran up to Mcclane and hugged his leg
“Thank you so much!” said Chowder. Then it dawned on him
“How do you know my name?”
“I got told by some weird shadowy guys. Next thing I know I’m here and…”
A click and a whirr came from the burly man. He then stood up and said “Chowder”
“Run” said Mcclane
As the two of them ran down the street again, Mcclane had an idea. He ran into the road, causing a Snail car to stop.
“Watch it buddy!” yelled the driver.
Mcclane grabbed Chowder, ran over to the car, opened the door and threw the driver out.
“Sorry” said Mcclane “It’s a matter of life and death”
He turned to the dashboard
“Now how do you drive this thing?”
“Well…” said Chowder “Mung usually turns the little key and-“
A laserblast shot through the back windshield and blasted through the front
“Hurry!” yelled Chowder
“I’m trying ok!” said Mcclane.
The snailcar then started up and the two of them shot off down the street. Chowder looked behind him and saw the burly man disappearing into the distance.
As Chowder and Mcclane vanished down the end of the street, the burly man ran into the middle of road causing a Snail truck to stop. He then flung the door open, tore the driver from his seat and sped off after Chowder and Mcclane.
Speeding through the streets of Marzipan city, Chowder assumed they were safe. Until a truck horn sounded from behind them.
Mcclane looked out the wing mirror and swore loudly. Chowder looked out and saw a Snail Truck following them. He squinted and saw that the Burly man was driving it.
“Hang on!” said Mcclane “This is gonna call for some serious driving like a maniac!”
He made a sharp turn that flung Chowder across his seat. Only his seatbelt stopped him from slamming into the door
Chowder pulled himself up and stared out the window. Mcclane was swerving all over the road. He narrowly missed an oncoming car causing Chowder to scream
“Don’t worry!” said Mcclane “We’re nearly there”
“Don’t worry!!!” said Chowder “We’re being chased by an evil guy who wants to kill us and I’m trapped in a car with the most dangerous driver ever! How am I not supposed to worry!!!”
“Relax” said Mcclane “We’re here”
Chowder looked out of the window and saw the edge of the city. The city was held up several feet in the air by some giant dude (Chowder had never really been good at geography)
“We’re trapped!” said Chowder. Then he realised Mcclane was heading towards the edge
“What are you doing!” said Chowder
“Relax” said Mcclane “I have a plan”
As the Snail car got closer, Chowder covered his eyes in fright. Then the car swung round flinging him across the seat again. Chowder could see the truck getting closer.
“Undo your belt!” said Mcclane
Chowder did so
“Now when I say Jump, We jump” yelled Mcclane sending the car towards the truck
As they got closer, Chowder could feel the sweat running down his face. Then when they were barely a few feet away from the truck, Mcclane yelled “Jump!”
Without thinking, Chowder hurled himself from the car. The truck slammed into it and carried on past them.
Inside the truck, the man was frantically trying to stop. Unfortunately the breaks had failed due to the truck being pushed beyond its limits during the chase.
Mcclane and Chowder watched as the truck shot over the cliff and disappeared from view. A few seconds later, they heard an enormous boom
“Yippee Ki Yay” said Mcclane, followed by a word that indicated the man was a fornicator of matriarchs. He turned to Chowder
“So what’s the deal with you anyway? Why are you so special?”
“I dunno” replied Chowder. He told Mcclane about the crystal thing he’d found and about the two men who’d appeared in his room.
“That’s a pretty cool story” replied Mcclane “So where’s the crystal”
Chowder searched his pockets, but couldn’t find anything
“Aw man. I must’ve dropped it at the company”
“Company?” said Mcclane
“Yeah it’s where I work” said Chowder “Come. I’ll show you”
Chowder then set off for the catering company with Mcclane following him
A few minutes later, they arrived and went inside. When they got into the kitchen, Chowder opened the door
“Hi Mung-“ he started to say, then stopped. Inside the room were the Critic and the Nerd
“What’s going on?” asked Chowder
“They told us everything” said Mung
“Please! Come in!” said the Critic.
Chowder entered the kitchen
“There’s another guy with you!” said the Nerd “Hey!” he yelled “Get in here!”
“I think they mean you” said Chowder, looking at Mcclane
Mcclane entered. Schnitzel let out several Radda’s
“What did he say?” asked Mcclane
“He wants to know who you are and what you’re doing here” replied Mung
“I’m John Mcclane” said Mcclane “I just got told that I had to help your friend out here, then I find myself in this weird city and here I am”
“That’s right” said the Critic “You are the guy who’ll help Chowder save the whole of reality”
“Oh really” said Mcclane, raising an eyebrow “From who or what exactly”
“From Loki” said the Critic.
An ominous silence fell throughout the room. Finally Mcclane broke the silence
“Who the hell’s that?”
“Only one of the nastiest bastards, this side of the universe” said the Nerd
“Yeah” said the Critic “For years he’s tried to take over the world and failed. Now he’s set his sights on the entire multiverse”
“So he’s gathered together a ton of likeminded guys” continued the nerd “and is slowly conquering the lands of the universe, one by one”
“So where does Chowder come into this?” asked Mcclane
“Well…” said the Critic “For as long as we can remember, we’ve been preparing for this day”
“So why don’t you stop him?” asked Mcclane
“Yeah” said Chowder “You’re all powerful”
“Because” said the Critic “We can’t influence this world from the outside. We can send stuff in, like the crystal, but we’re unable to do anything about outside actions”
"Well how did you teleport Mcclane here?" asked Chowder
"We were able to combine our powers together" replied the Critic "But actions like that take a lot of energy. Which is why we can't teleport you guys again without potentially blowing a hole in the universe"
“So anyway” said the Nerd turning to Chowder “You and Mcclane must stop him”
“No way!” said Chowder with tears in his eyes “I can’t”
“You must!” said the Critic “You alone are the only hope for the whole of this world”
“May I have a second?” asked Mung.
As Chowder sobbed into his hands, he felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked up to see Mung standing over him, smiling. Chowder stopped sobbing
“You can do it Chowder” said Mung “You’ve done some brilliant things while working for me. A good chef knows that he can achieve any task, as long as he works hard and believes in himself”
“Besides” said Mcclane “I’m going with you”
“Really?” said Chowder
“Yeah” said Mcclane who then turned to the Critic and the Nerd
“What should we do first?”
“Find the Doctor” said the Critic
“Why?” asked Chowder “Are we sick?”
“No!” replied the Nerd “He’s one of an ancient race known as Time Lords. They use things called TARDIS’S to travel through time and space. And you’ll need to be able to do that”
“So where do we find him?” asked Mcclane
“He usually hangs around a place called Totter's Yard in London, England” said the Critic “To get there, you’ll need to find a warp pipe”
“Sounds like a plan” said Mcclane “Where’s the nearest one?”
“Unfortunately there’s no warp pipes in Marzipan city” said the Nerd “The nearest one’s in a town called Elmore. Once you’ve found it and travelled to the Mushroom Kingdom, you’ll have to find the one that leads to England”
“So let’s go already” said Chowder
A few hours later, Chowder and Mcclane had packed supplies for their journey and were being seen off by Mung, Schnitzel and Truffles
“Are you sure you’ve got everything” said Mung
“Yeah” replied Chowder “We’ve got enough food between us to keep us going for ages”
“Good” said Mung. He then put his hands on Chowder’s shoulders
“Good luck” Mung said “And if I don’t see you again, I just want you to know that you are the best apprentice I’ve ever had”
Chowder sniffed “Really?”
“Really” replied Mung
“Well” said Mcclane “Let’s go.”
Chowder pressed the button on the crystal and the familiar faces of the Critic and the Nerd appeared
“How do we get to Elmore?” asked Chowder
“It’s simple” replied the Critic “Just climb down from Marzipan city and head south and you should get there”
“Well then, let’s go!” said Mcclane
“Goodbye Mung” said Chowder as he and Mcclane left the company for what Chowder hoped wouldn’t be the last time