“Scouts report that my son is holding off the enemy,” said the King to Portillo and In-N-Out as they guided their horses from a clearing into a lightly wooded forest. The army followed behind them in quick-step. “We’ll be on the field of battle within a matter of hours.”
“Little Caesar must know that we are getting close by now,” commented In-N-Out.
“I’m rather surprised he hasn’t tried anything to slow us down.”
“Yes,” the King mused. “I have wondered that myself.”
“He’s not stupid,” continued In-N-Out. “He won’t have left the rear of his army exposed.”
“Perhaps we are walking into a trap.”
“Sire,” piped up Portillo.
“All this foreshadowin’ is makin’ me nervous.”
The Burger King cracked a smile.
“I suppose we are laying it on rather thick, aren’t we?”
“All the same,” said In-N-Out, “it wouldn’t do to let…”
He was interrupted by an ominous rustling noise coming from the treetops above them.
“I suppose,” said the King dryly, looking upward, “that at this point it would be foolish to assume that that was an innocent rustling of leaves.”
Before anyone could respond, there came several shrieks from above, followed by several objects dropping down. The objects turned out to be a number of wild-eyed people. One landed on top of the King, causing his horse to rear in panic, knocking both men to the ground. A wiry woman with long, tangled hair managed to unseat In-N-Out from his mount. Another man made a grab for Portillo, but received a face full of Sonic instead. By now, many more screaming men and women had joined the fray, attacking the King’s army with unchecked ferocity.
In the midst of the confusion, Portillo ran to In-N-Out’s aid as the spy desperately struggled against the surprisingly strong woman. Portillo grabbed one of her arms and managed to pull it free from In-N-Out’s neck. Sonic, finished with mauling his opponent, joined the battle, sinking his teeth into one of the woman’s ankles. As she howled in pain, In-N-Out wrenched free of her grasp. Stepping back, he reached into his left sleeve and drew out a small spatula from a sheath strapped to his forearm. Expertly, he twirled the spatula in his hand.
“Who are these people?” Portillo shouted as he hurried to join In-N-Out’s side.
“Vegetarians,” In-N-Out replied. They’re vicious and take no prisoners. Here.” He quickly reached into one of his boots and pulled out yet another spatula. He tossed it to Portillo.
“How many of those do you have?” Portillo asked.
“How many do you need?”
The Burger King, brandishing a large silver spatula hurried forward. He looked disheveled, but his face was alight with the thrill of battle.
“Quite a spirited lot, aren’t they?” The King hollered as he pivoted to face a bearded man who was coming at him with a very large and pointy carrot. He deflected the carrot with a dull thud.
“Meat is murder!” Cried the man as he prepared to strike at the King again.
“And you plan to prove your point by killing me?” The King once again blocked the Vegetarian’s thrust.
“The world would be better off without you and your barbaric eating practices!” Their weapons clunked again. Although the King was a skilled fighter, his opponent seemed to be equal to the challenge. They continued to spar for some time.
“We’ve never bothered you,” shouted the King over the growing din of battle. “We leave you in peace. We even offer salads with our meals. Why do you persist in causing problems for us?”
“We will never be happy,” grunted the bearded man, “until the entire world is converted to Vegetarianism!”
“Our brother and sister animals will live in a world without fear of being eaten!” Shrieked the woman who had shaken off Sonic and was once again grappling with In-N-Out.
“And how do you propose,” In-N-Out said while banging the woman’s grasping wrist with his spatula, “to get this information out to animals who eat meat?”
Portillo and Sonic were now facing three Vegetarians, each armed with buckets of tofu cubes. The boy and his dog nimbly dodged their barrage of cursing and bean curds.
“Our wayward carnivore cousins are brainwashed!” Yelled one.
“They are corrupted! But we will show them the error of their ways and they will join us!” Shouted a second.
“Has anyone ever told you that you are all crazy?” Portillo hollered back as he swung his spatula and connected a tofu cube.
“What I really want to know,” the King said, still battling the bearded man, “is how Little Caesar convinced them to join their side.”
The bearded man barked with laughter and stepped back.
“That dim-witted meat-eater? He thinks that he has bought us off with promises of unlimited vegetable supplies and the creation of a line of specialty vegetarian pizzas.” The Vegetarians around the man guffawed. He continued. “We are allied to them only for as long as it takes to destroy you.”
“You seem awfully confident in yourselves,” replied the King.
“We have every reason to be,” laughed the wild-eyed woman. “Once our true allies accomplish their mission…”
“True allies?” Queried In-N-Out.
“They’ve been waiting for an opportunity to avenge themselves upon the Dairy Queen for a long time now…”
“The Hellthnutt tribe,” The King said solemnly.
The Vegetarians around him laughed.
“They should be approaching the White Castle very soon,” said the bearded man with a wicked grin. “Maybe you can defeat us, but then you’ll have to choose between two more enemies attacking at opposite ends of the kingdom. So yes,” he concluded, raising his weapon, “we are awfully confident.” With that, he charged the King.