Dag Plastic, MEGA-SPY! (Episode 14)
It is 1942. The shadow of the Axis darkens all of Europe, and the Allies face their darkest hour. There’s quite a bit of darkness everywhere, metaphorical darkness of course, a symbolic image of uncertainty, fear and oppression, not literal darkness, which still only occurs at night, in acceptable proportions to the daytime. Still, things are bad, and at night they’re even worse, thanks to the compounding of metaphorical darkness with actual darkness, which can be very scary and confusing. But a ray of hope shines out in this darkness, both figuratively and sometimes literally, an ordinary man turned extraordinary by science, an average Joe turned Allied secret weapon, a champion of freedom and goodness pledged to right wrongs and wring necks! His name? Be patient, you’ll find out soon.
In a freak accident at Dr. Farthing’s lab, a mild-mannered brush salesman was exposed to mysterious L-rays, which gave him chameleon-like powers of disguise and a fervent desire to defend America and her allies. Aided by the plucky and beautiful journalist Friday Pert and government-issue sidekick Johnny the Boy, he now fights the forces of evil, German and otherwise, as
DAG PLASTIC, MEGA-SPY!
PREVIOUSLY ON DAG PLASTIC, MEGA-SPY!:
Dag and Friday infiltrated the secret Belgian headquarters of MAUVE, the shadowy counter-intelligence organization responsible for eliminating dozens of American spies, only to be discovered by MAUVE’s leader Frottage and his agents. Frottage captured Friday and sealed Dag in an experimental rocket… target: London! While Dag sought his escape, the rocket exploded on the launchpad! HOW COULD HE POSSIBLY HAVE SURVIVED!?
Episode 14: The Devil’s Maw!
Fresh from liberating a motorcycle from the nearest Nazi motor pool, Johnny the Boy drives up just in time to see the MAUVE rocket transform into a screaming tower of flame!
JOHNNY: Jeepers! I hope Dag and Friday weren’t anywhere near that!
Then Johnny notices something thrown clear of the rocket’s burning wreckage… the smoldering body of Dag Plastic!
Johnny rushes to Dag and turns him over. Though his clothes are ripped and smoking, Dag himself is free of burns and visible injuries. A wave of panic grips Johnny as he attempts to revive his fallen mentor and chum.
JOHNNY: C’mon, Dag, snap out of it! I can’t make it out of occupied Belgium by myself!
Despite Johnny’s expert face-slapping, Dag refuses to wake up. Johnny is so focused on reviving Dag that he doesn’t notice the shadowy figure now standing right behind them.
JOHNNY: Dammit, Dag, I won’t let you die like this!
SHADOWY FIGURE: Well, there’s not much chance of that.
Johnny turns around to confront–Dag Plastic, MEGA-SPY!
JOHNNY: Dag! I can’t believe it!
Johnny leaps up and embraces Dag with a passion that only a highly-trained ward of the US government can display.
DAG: Whoa whoa whoa, let’s ease off that hugging. A handshake will do just fine.
Johnny releases Dag and steps back, blushing. They shake hands, firmly.
JOHNNY: Sorry, Dag. I thought you were this guy. (Johnny jerks his thumb over his shoulder at the doppelganger on the ground.)
DAG: Lucky for the both of us, I’m not.
Dag laughs heartily and then moves to take a closer look at his double.
DAG: Isn’t that a switcheroo? This palooka’s the spitting image of me!
JOHNNY: You’re telling me. You don’t suppose the Nazis have developed their own L-ray generator, do ya, Dag?
DAG: It’s possible, Johnny, but not likely. Dr. Farthing’s a brilliant man, but he’ll tell you that my amazing transformational powers are a fluke that not even he fully understands. The chances of the Germans replicating the accident are about a million to one.
JOHNNY: Wow! That many?
DAG: Oh, at least that many. But whoever he is, I think I owe this man my life.
JOHNNY: Jeepers, Dag, what do you mean?
DAG: On the way to the rocket, someone knocked me unconscious. I woke up in a storage shed just a few minutes ago. Clearly, this man took my place and got trapped in the rocket instead of me.
JOHNNY: Yes! That’s the only thing that makes sense! Though it doesn’t really make any sense at all.
Dag kneels down next to his fallen double.
DAG: That’s not something he’ll have to worry about anymore. I owe this handsome stranger a debt I may never be able to repay. (Dag slams his right fist into the palm of his left hand.) If only I knew his name!
Suddenly Dag’s double coughs and opens his eyes.
DOUBLE: What’s the matter, Dag? Don’t you recognize… your own twin brother?
(Double orchestral sting!)
DAG: Tab? Is it really you?
Tab stands and pats at the various still-smoldering areas of his clothes.
TAB: Yes, it’s me. A little singed and exploded, but nothing I can’t handle.
DAG: But I thought you were dead! Mauled to death by a bear, in the Canadian Rockies.
TAB: Yeah, that’s what the Canadians wanted everyone to think. And that’s what the OSS wanted the Canadians to want everyone to think. Because the OSS wanted me to infiltrate the secret Canadian L-ray project.
DAG: Canada has an L-ray project?
TAB: No, but the Canadians do. And I infiltrated it, and became the first man to be exposed to L-radiation. In the process, I gained fantastic powers. Ever since, I’ve been a deep cover agent working against MAUVE. And a good thing too, as it let me save you from a fiery death.
DAG: What a stroke of luck! I was just caught in a freak L-ray accident too! Can you impersonate anyone with the sheer force of your mind, like I can?
TAB: Nope. But the Canadian scientists told me that the effects of L-rays are completely unpredictable. So it follows that your powers would be completely different from mine.
DAG: So what can you do, Tab?
TAB: Well, I’m double-jointed now. I wasn’t before. And I’m virtually invulnerable to any concussive force, which is also pretty neat.
JOHNNY: That must be what saved you from the exploding rocket!
TAB: That’s right, cutie-pie.
DAG: Oh, right. Tab, this is my sidekick, Johnny the Boy. I got him from the government.
Johnny and Tab shake hands.
TAB: Johnny the Boy, huh. Is that ironic?
JOHNNY (uneasy): No. What do you mean?
TAB: It’s just with your full, pouting lips, creamy skin, and slight yet curvaceous build, I would’ve sworn you were a girl in drag.
DAG (confused): Why, that’s ridiculous! Isn’t it? You’re not a girl, are you Johnny?
JOHNNY (very uneasy): Nope! I’m Johnny the Boy! Just like the nickname says! Ha ha!
TAB: Not to mention that you smell like flowers.
Dag and Tab look suspiciously at Johnny, whose strained smile accentuates the tendons in her, sorry, his neck.
JOHNNY (screaming): OH MY GOD, DAG, WHAT ABOUT FRIDAY? WE’VE GOT TO SAVE HER!
DAG: What? Friday? Why, Johnny, you’re right! Frottage put her on a train to Berlin. Quick, to the motorcycle! Tab, you should come along. We’ll see how long those MAUVE bastards last with both the brothers Plastic on the attack!
TAB: You’ve got it, brother! (To Johnny, as they follow Dag:) Look, no hard feelings, right, it doesn’t matter to me whether you’re–
JOHNNY: You shut your mouth! I’m Dag’s sidekick because I’m Johnny the Boy. If you ruin this for me, I’ll gut you like a trout.
Dag adjusts his goggles and climbs aboard the motorcycle.
DAG: Tab, you ride in the sidecar. Johnny, you sit behind me and hold on tight. (Tab starts to say something, but Johnny glares at him.)
MAUVE AGENT: Not so fast, Dag Plastic!
Dag, Tab, and Johnny find themselves surrounded by a dozen operatives of MAUVE, all with their submachine guns at the ready!
DAG: We’re three highly trained agents of the Allied forces. Do you really think you can beat us in a fair fight?
MAUVE AGENT: No.
The MAUVE agents open fire, releasing a deadly fusillade of bullets from point-blank range!
HOW COULD THEY POSSIBLY SURVIVE SUCH AN ATTACK? EVEN THE MOST FERVENT OPTIMIST MUST ADMIT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE!
Find out next time in
Episode 15: Surprised By Joy!
DAG PLASTIC, MEGA-SPY!