By Dave Eber
When I finally reached the Junkyard, I knew things were bad. Real bad. Everywhere I looked, I saw piles of twisted metal and rubble. Now, granted, being that it's a junkyard, you would think that I'd expect to see piles of twisted metal and rubble, but this was worse. It looked different, you know, like really trashed, even by the usual standards of the place. I could see that something really big had gone down there, and I started to get real nervous. I started digging my way through the junk, looking for the Prof's workshop. I knew it had to be around there somewhere. At least, I thought it was. So, I'm throwing hunks of charred metal outta the way and getting deeper into the junk, when I hear what sounds like a welding torch going. So I dig my way toward the noise and eventually end up in what used to be the TV Room. And that's where I saw her.
"Prof!" I yelled.
The Prof turned off her welding torch, but didn't turn around. "You're late, Arthur," she said. I knew I was in trouble. She only uses that name when she's mad.
"I'm sorry, Prof. I got here as soon as I could. But I was, uh, held up."
"More like you were involved in another drunken punch-up in some dive."
"Aw, c'mon Prof, don't be mad. I got here as soon as I could, really."
"Well, it's all over. You may as well go home. Everyone else has already left." The Prof turned around and pulled off her mask, and I swear she looked about 10 years older. I felt my heart drop into my gut. Things had been bad alright.
"I really tried to make it. Really. Maybe I can help out here?" I was almost pleading at that point.
"If you want to help, get over to Canton in the 1855 juncture. The Lotus are planning some kind of major offensive, and the Hand and the Ascended are too busy fighting each other to notice. Zheng Yi Quan is supposed to meet up with Kar Fai and Iala Mané at the Two Dragons Inn. Look for them there."
"Sure thing Prof. You can count on me!" As soon as I said that, there was a crashing sound nearby, and I looked up at the ceiling, afraid the place was caving in. Instead, a girl came skipping into the room. She was Chinese, maybe ten years old, with her hair in a ponytail down to her waist. She was wearing jeans, hi-tops, and a backwards baseball cap. When she saw me, she stopped suddenly, and then smiled.
"Hi mister. Who are you?"
"Oh yes. Arthur," the Prof said. "Take Jenny with you."