It was a dark and stormy night in Miami, and inside a smoke filled room, Handsome Dan jabbed his fingers at the United States Constitution, challenging the gathered scholars and decision makers to find a section that prohibited the State of West Virginia Islands to exist. They just shook their heads, grimaced, and tried to eat pizza so they had an excuse to not respond to his Wall of Logic.
But outside, the real story surfaced, quite literaly, as Mike Gravel walked ashore, and was finally able to light a cigar off of HELL BREAKER, whose flame flashed upwards to meet the flashing lightning, like two confused men in trench coats. He took a big drag off of the cigar, and realized it was a piece of kelp, not a cigar. The acrid fumes enraged him, and he let the swirl of HELL BREAKER smash a child's sandcastle. With each moment that he held the cursed sword, his rage grew, so much that he only felt a moment of remorse for smashing a sand castle, but the sword whispered in his ear that the child had gone home for the night and the sandcastle would be washed away anyway, so why worry? These are the lies that cursed swords insinuate into our consciousness, to slowly but surely destroy our morale and moral.
He walked towards the shore, his eyes shining dimly. He has the staggering walk of someone who had just walked over 100 miles along the bottom of the ocean floor, which probably meant his underwear was full of strange crustaceans.
Was his original plan darkened in his mind, by the cursed blade? Or was it just twisted? Or had he planned the whole thing, all along, down to the sand fleas now burrowing deep into his beard? Perhaps we will never know. All we know is that his wrath was building up so much that he swung his sword and hit a garbage can, causing some minor cosmetic damage.
Meanwhile, across town, Handsome Dan was in the middle of a half hour long speech on the topic of MILLER v. STANDARD NUT MARGARINE CO. OF FLORIDA, 284 U.S. 498 (1932) , the Supreme Court decision that had broken the back of the anti-margarine forces, and which apparently, in the smoke, pizza and sleep-deprivation soaked motel conference room, was directly relevant to his plans for the anschluss of West Virgina and the Virgin Islands. The collected bureaucrats eyelids were lolling like a group of stoned college students looking at genderswapped pictured of the cast of Gilligan's Island. Soon, where his Wall of Logic had failed, and even his exquisitely parted plastic hair, which of course the bureaucrats were old hands at shiny hair and weren't impressed, the lateness of the hour might indeed triumph, even as a figure staggered towards the hotel through the dark streets of Miami, stabbing discarded aluminum cans, even ones that could be recycled, if they have can deposit in Florida, which I don't know if they do.
But while the rage and the conspiracy built, a third figure entered the drama, stepping cloaked and staffed through the midnight roads, and he stepped in front of Mike Gravel, and disclaimed:
“What dost thou doest?”
Mike Gravel to the Edge of Panic: Chapter 4 --+-- Mike Gravel to the Edge of Panic: Chapter 5