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Rise of the Snowman 4:
Love is a Mystery, Part 2: MURTHER

This Death Foxfire is a truly fanzabulous killing machine. Up and down I swoop at top speed, here and there and everywhere, killing, maiming, whacking! Organisms explode into the funniest things in the snow, and ah! The freedom of flight! Oop, dodge that missile! Wheeee, they cannot catch the Bonhomme de Neige! I feel happier than a six year old mowing down Nicaraguan rebels in his first video arcade game. I am feeling one hundred percent better. I feel compelled to apologize for last week's installment. Women make me mad sometimes. But it's important to laugh, and fly! What a glorious sensation. My snow-roto was truly a chore and a liability. Deathfox could have shot me down and screeched in glee at any time. Now I could hardly blame him. I see why he always seems so invigorated. This is nothing but delight!

Ah, but what of the cliffhanger, you ask? Yes, what did happen after Francois got me with that rifle butt and the dwuh made off with my baby? Well I'll tell you. It is reasonably impossible to knock a snow-monster unconscious like that--remember Francois and the DWHH taking off large sections of my head, and I, not only retaining my state of mind, but beating the stuffins out of them?--so I grabbed the shotgun and used the butt on him. Or rather, shot him in the butt. Then the face. Then the face again. Then the face.

Oh, my wooly comrades, I confess I am giggling just thinking about it. What a glorious day. This is better than having five girlfriends, which I have! This flying device has LASERS! (I just found them as I was narrating the bit about his butt.) They can cut through anything! Not even my darling Shu Tri's beloved X-Men could stop me in this blessed atrocity. I would start thinking about buying it from Deathfox, but I don't want to even consider giving it back to him if he refuses to sell. Oh, hell, that did it. Thinking about commerce brought me back down. Thanks a ton, you bastard. Oh, but I've been neglecting you, haven't I? All right, updates for everyone.

The Dog took my daughter to his Jersey safe house, where they're currently engaged in watching every movie based on a comic book ever made, AGAIN. That dog is a saint. I bet he'll wear a halo in heaven as he rains down destruction upon mankind. I hope he doesn't get bored and make her watch that movie about the French serial killer who lets three documentary filmmakers follow him around. But that's just an irrational fear of mine. He's a caring and sensitive babysitter. Still, I've heard rumors. . . .

Hold on! That was some knockout blast the other Foxfire hit me with. Can mine do that? OH BOY! But sweet lord, it has to re-charge. I . . . should not have wasted it on that turret. Just another few--damn it. One more--Christ! Could they stop shooting me for one muff-eating second-oh dear. I have to stay in the gunship until right before it hits the ground, at which point I have to leap out. No, I should leap out now. No, I want to stay inside . . . except there's clearly going to be some horrendous explosion associated with this. That's the price of anything fun, of course. Jumping now. I'm in love with my own adopted daughter!

There are snowrotos all over the ground down there, canvassing the area and burning human troops. The snowpeople must have recovered my ruined original!--What? I haven't explained the mystery yet? OK, let me get to that, then.

So Francois had, indeed, inserted the chip. Under torture (Shu Tri tickled his feet with a lighter), he also revealed that Anya was about to leave him for the secret Siberian snowcaves to consult the elders. She wanted to know whether she could return to the community and was hoping they would know what had happened to me. They did. They've had encounters with the Fox, apparently, which means he was bullshitting me when he sent the Dog those ridiculous old files. Few of them had ever survived, which was a sobering piece of information for me and my hopes of trouncing him soon. Francois knew that the snowpeople knew that the Fox had rescued me. So he put the chip, among other things, in her during sex (presumably, I mean come on), and kicked her out with the false memory that she had killed him, was a horrible bitch, and was after me and all other snowmen. That is why, at 8:18 PM two days ago she arrived at the snow-caves, and 8:18 AM yesterday morning, snowmen overran Stalingrad, destroyed Saint Petersburg, obliterated Moscow with a tactical nuclear strike, and yadda yadda, boom boom boom. Soldiers of most every human nation are in Siberia combating the threat of the rampant snow-monsters, and a government contract has been put out on my life. I offered ways to stop my kindred, but the mob of man assassins would not listen. Just as well. I feel sick at my cowardice in betraying my foolish, romantic brethren to that fickle upstart race of polluting machinists and terrible poets. But my compatriots now represent a considerable threat. Brainwashed Anya has returned to the nation of snowmen as a conquering queen, usurping the throne from the elders in combat, as in days of snow-yore. She is now called Empress A for short, her full title being Eternal Snow Princess A to the N to the Y to the A to the A to the A to the A to the

Nun-murdering hell on a barbeque god bless it. That fall hurt more than I expected. If the ground itself hadn't been covered in three feet of snow, that would have been it for me. As it is, BEHOLD! THE SNOWMAN COMETH! HE COMETH FOR YOU, Princess A to the AAGGH--

They're strafing me! Should have expected that. Icicles won't do much against the modified Navy hull on that thing. I'll have to use my most powerful technique, the ice vomit blast. That reminds me. I need to teach little Shu Tri the ice beam right. Dwuh said they were going to rent Kill Bill 1 when it came out. Is it Tuesday yet? He also said he'd let her watch part 2 if I wasn't back yet by Friday, which is further proof that he is a smart doggie! If I die, she'll have at least three days where the anticipation of getting away with something I wouldn't allow will stop her from missing me. I vow to stay alive. I don't want her watching any more of Tarantino's crap. That guy has no taste.

Ah! I hear a kaboom! Yes--here come the rotos. There's still a legion of them. If they copied my design exactly, a self-destruct switch HIDDEN WITHIN MY BODY should--oh, bullshit! Aaaand they target me. Fire at will, boys. I'll just . . . DISAPPEAR WITHIN THE SNOW!!

Sliding under the rotos as an entity of pure, flat snow, heading whence I saw them come, I realize I'll be molded terribly out of shape, and will look morbidly obese when I stand up. But this is war. Cosmetics can be attended to once I've saved the day and we're having sex. The most sex. Ever.

Hours later. I'm here. Her ice palace. The igloortress is nearby, a smoking wreck crawling with wounded humans. I'll finish it soon. The tank is a mess. I'll just carry in a couple fire-grenades. Had to use the last of my sniper rounds on those Chinese aliens, or whatever they were. The last two hours have been full of surprises.

She's waiting for me on a throne, bored, but laughs when she sees me. I'm just glad she didn't keep any snowtroops or snowmaids to protect her. She doesn't deserve a show today. I throw my first firebomb. She's too fast, especially with the chip keeping her pissed off. She launches herself twenty feet high, begins her descent directly at me. Since she can't change direction in the air, I get into position to shove my last bomb into her throat and hold it there. It's like something out of Frank Miller, I know. But she twists, so I spin on my heels and send my arm--no, tonight it's a spear--through her. The sound of a pin dropping on the floor. She folds. I stomp on the satanic enabler, and carry her out to the tank. That's when it strikes me. I go back in, look at the chip. The maker contracts for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.


It's so clear now. Deathfox planted the chip while she was sleeping, or possibly drunk (she drinks a lot, actually; her sobriety during her recent "crazy harpy" period was my first hint that something was off). He kicks her out of the igloortress, leaving Francois to assume she's left him for me. He or Deathfox hires the assassin across the block to drive me out of my room. Why?

Francois is afraid of Deathfox. More so than of death at my hands. And Francois is not a man ruled by fear. But he's taking orders now. He was already set up in the room below me, and he'd burnt to death a Sumatran couple to get there. Wait--a Sumatran married couple. Deathfox once fell in love with a Sumatran girl, back when he was running with the Dog in their elite assassin team. She spurned him for an oriental human man who did not have horrible tearing claws for hands. He vowed to kill her when he was 25--Oh ... my ... god. It's Deathfox's birthday today and I forgot all about it! But there has to be more to it than that. Why bother with any of this? Deathfox hates birthdays. As a tiny aye-aye, he had too much birthday. Now he never wants any more. Unless . . . a power play. He rattles Francois and Anya, the two most powerful snowpeople who ever loved, out of the picture. Anya becomes the emperor of the snow-military, actually bent on destroying it. He deploys me, I take them both down. I don't want snow power. He becomes the Deathboss. It's like he was hand-crafted in Hell. I guess I did end up getting him something. But that still leaves questions. Why draw me out of the hotel room, and who was that in the replica Death Foxfire? Oh, sweet pirate lord. He shot me down to help increase the cost of his war to both species and force me to deal with the Chinese monsters, who were in the vicinity. Have to do some research on those little guys. But the room. Why get me out of the room and spell "one down"?

No. Oh, no. He got me out to panic me, to draw Shu Tri out of the Dog's house, which is covered in every kind of anti-lemur deterrent. He knows where the Dog's safe house is, and there are no traps for him there. It has never been settled who would kill whom in a battle to the death between the Deathfox and my friend the Dog with Human Hands. Though they have both become an integral part of contemporary pop culture, not even a cartoon has been made on the subject. The last time they fought, it's rumored the Dog ran away. If my daughter is dead, so shall follow everyone who has ever crossed me. Starting with that murderous rascal, Deathfox. Ask not for whom the Snowman comes, monkey. He comes for thee.

And he doesn't give a damn whose birthday it is.                         

Next: Act V!