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Pirates of Destiny

By
England, 1977-

In a small antiques shop on Hudders Street, the usual posh patrons of the store were lazily browsing about its counters of nick-nacks at the front of the shop, or snooping through the shelves of tiny glass figurines in the back, most all of which portrayed some type of architecture or cliché person that one might seen in a heavily caricatured, Mary Poppins interpretation of an England.

One might say that this description fit the shoppers themselves as well. Most all of them, the youngest of whom had to be at least in their fifties, dressed much like one another, donning the finest business suits or the most carefully seamed dresses their money could buy. Aside from the store’s offerings, they busied themselves by chatting about their recent investments, or the latest books they read, or how they selflessly gave a pound or two to some tramp on the dole, laughing heartily all throughout.

“I recently purchased a new Cricket Bat.”
“Did you see the latest game of Football?”
“My son was listening to the Beatles earlier. Wonderful little group they were!”

“NANCY!?”

A newcomer’s loud and carelessly obnoxious yell turned the heads of most everyone in the store. They stared at the young man standing in the doorway in shock, bewilderment, and quite possibly fear.

One thing was immediately certain: he wasn’t one of their type. He looked like the quintessential rock-star, the caricature of a caricature of a punk, with his tight black leather jacket and pants hugging his frame. The jacket boasted vampiric/gothic curves on the sleeves, collar, and ends, along with a few studs and chains here and there. The matching and equally tight leather pants played host to a red bondage strap clasped around his right thigh. They were neatly tucked into a pair of knee-high motorcycle boots. Hanging down just out of the jacket’s field of obstruction were more chains and handcuffs hung on his belt loops.

Under his jacket was a red shirt blatantly boasting a swastika. It seemed a bit out of place, as he wasn’t clad in any other Nazi paraphernalia, just the lone swastika, sticking out on his stomach like a bull’s eye as if its only purpose was to add to the already stunningly over-the-top image he portrayed.

Though skinny, his sheer size and height surely made up for his lack of muscle. He was very pale in complexion which contrasted the predominantly black color of his clothes and hair.

His hair was rather short, but it was strikingly black, and obsessively combed to spike out all over in an almost afro-like styling. His eyes were narrow, and while poised were also far-off and spaced-out as they scanned the inside of the store, searching for something.

“NANCY!?” he cupped his hands over his mouth whilst calling again, looking up at the banner above the entryway to see if this was were he was supposed to be, calling again, “NANCY!?”

Getting no response, he decided to investigate, stepping into the store, seemingly oblivious to the hush that had befallen the store as its shopper’s all continued to stare at him. The truth was that he didn’t care about them, or what they thought. Most of the time he’d expect, if not encourage this kind of response from their types, but at the moment he had other things on his mind, and so he continued onward into the shop as they all eased out of his way whilst he advanced.

Hoping to find Nancy, he came to a stop in the middle of the shop, scoping out his surroundings for his girlfriend.

He groaned in aggravated failure, before dodding his head left to right as he broke into a snotty impression of her,

“I’ll meet you here at 3, Sidney! Be sure you’re there on time, Sidney!”

He ended the impersonation by spitting a lugie onto the floor, and then rolled his eyes, aimlessly sauntering onward.

Nodding off as he walked, Sid found himself momentarily lost when he came back to reality, standing in-between two shelves of tiny figurines. That passed quickly, as he soon recognized them as the pair of shelves he had seen in the back of the shop when he first walked in.

Hearing a ting of glass, Sid noticed a tiny old woman standing before him, standing on the tips of her toes attempting to reach a figurine on the top shelf to no avail.

Her left eye happened to catch him, and she suddenly stared at him wide-eyed with a frail and startled “Oh my”. She quickly waddled around and then away from him as quickly as she could.

Curious, Sid looked at the statue the old woman seemed interested in and grabbed it, having a much easier go of it thanks to his respectable height.

He held it up to his face for a better look, turning it this way and that. It was a statue of a little schoolboy, smiling at him as Sidney sneered back.

“Who would buy this?” Sid laughed, carelessly letting the figurine loosely dangle in his fingers before dropping it onto the floor, where it shattered into thousands of unsalvageable pieces at his feet.

“What else do they got?” his eyes went back to the top row of figurines.

He snatched up another one, this one depicting St. George trampling a dragon atop his horse.

“How stupid!” he tossed that one over his shoulder, sending George rocketing into two other statues on the shelf behind him. All three of them exploded with another glassy crash.

This pattern persisted for another minute or two with Sid grabbing a statue, scoffing at the statue, and then throwing the statue.

“This one’s even worse.”
“Crash!”
“Oh, please.”
“Crack!”
“Haha!”
“Crick!”
“For the love of…”
“Prink!”
“They’re bloody joking!”

Finally, Sid lazily lobbed one over the shelf in front of him, waiting to hear the satisfying sound of its glass smashing into the floor. Instead, he heard a voice along with it,

“Crash!”
“Ouch!”

Surprised, Sid’s eyes widened.

“Who the hell‘s there?” he asked, a bit roughly.

“Watch where you’re throwing things!” the voice on the other side of the shelf demanded.

The voice was raspy, gravely, old, a dark hiss.

Walking around the shelf, Sid was shocked by what he saw. Standing in front of him was a hunchback man, shrouded in a brown leather cloak, his skeletal right hand’s fingers feebly gripped around a battered old staff which seemed to be holding him up.

He looked directly at Sid, revealing his wrinkled, sneering face and his yellow, snake-like eyes.

Finally, the… uh, “man” spoke,

“You’re not like the others,” he grinned.

It took the punk a moment to figure what that meant, but it soon came to him, turning his head back to the other shoppers, who had now forgotten about his presence and shopped freely at the front of the store.

“Yeah?” Sid turned back to the man. “So what if I am?”

He laughed a wheezing laugh.

“I’ve been waiting for someone like you,” he nodded.

A bit perturbed by that statement, Sidney was about to ask something else, but stopped when the man turned around and took a few slow, shaking steps. He stopped after only a few, and looked back at Sid.

“Walk this way,” he resumed his feeble walking, slowly raising a foot, then setting it down to raise the other one, hunched over even moreso.

Shrugging his shoulders, Sid began feebly walking, slowly raising a foot, then setting it down to raise the other one, hunched over as he followed the odd man.

The specter led Sid through a nearby door that almost blended in with the un-illuminated wall, through which they entered a box-filled storage room.

At the end of that room was yet another well obscured door. The man opened it, stepping to the side as he did so, wordlessly inviting Sidney to take the lead and progress.

The opened door revealed a short and slightly curving staircase leading down to a very small room boasting a large round table with a duo of wooden chairs adjacent to one another on either side of it. The only source of light in the room was a lamp shining down upon the table, its illumination barely reaching the chairs.

After leading him down the stairs, Vicious stepped off to the side and let the specter walk past him. The cloaked man went straight to one of the aforementioned chairs and sat down before looking at Sid, and then nudging an eye to the chair across from his own.

“So what’s this all about?” Sid asked as he walked around the table to plop himself into his designated seat.

The punk watched as the specter reached a bony hand into his cloak.

“Oh,” he laughed, continuing to scrounge around in his cloak for something, “it’s nothing very complicated…”

Sid raised an eyebrow at this.

“I’ve just been waiting for the right,” the specter paused to search for the word, “soul to pass this along to.”

Vicious went wide-eyed when the man withdrew a large piece of rolled up paper, tied via a large ribbon, from the confines of his cloak, and then rolled it across the table to him with a flick of a skeletal finger.

Taking a moment to eye the paper as it sat there in front of him on the table, Sid reluctantly snatched it up with a swipe of his hand, only to look at the specter inquisitively.

“Go on,” he nodded coaxingly. “Open it up.”

With that go ahead, Sid tore off the ribbon and unrolled the large paper in the middle of the table, its sheer size required nearly the whole of the table for it to be laid out flat.

Now with it open, Sidney’s eyes scanned the paper intently. Immediately, he spotted the continents, a few dashed lines, some markings, and most predominantly inked, an X.

“What the hell is this?” he sneered, not turning his gaze, “some kinda treasure map?”

“Exactly,” smiled the specter.

Sid looked at the man, then the map, then the man, then the map, then the man, and then the map once more before coming to a conclusion,

“This is ******* ridiculous,” he thought.

It wasn’t everyday that you would see a golem-like hunchback in an antiques store with a treasure map, but Sid Vicious, being well veteraned in the punk scene, had seen more than a handful of people that you probably wouldn’t see anywhere everyday. With that in mind, Sid wrote the man off as a loon, then and there.

“Would you like to hear the tale behind the map?” hissed the specter from across the table.

Sid snapped out of his thoughts back to consciousness, and took a moment to smile at the ‘treasure map’ before giving an answer.

“Yeah, sure,” he smirked, holding back his laughter. “Why not?”

Taking in a raspy breath of air, the specter began telling the tale, his demeanor undaunted by Sid’s mockery,

“It started many years ago during the 16th century. It was time of warfare, a time in which weapons dealers, merchants of war, could flourish.

Such was true for the man they called “the Merchant of Death”, Verrci, an Italian weapons monger. Through his dealings with the Spanish Armada, Vercci’s wealth and power skyrocketed, amassing him an astonishing treasure.

“Hahaha! I’m Vercci, and my dealings with the Spanish Armada have amassed me an astonishing treasure!” said Verrci.

Little did Vercci know that with power and wealth comes madness.

With such a vast mountain of wealth, Vercci grew paranoid, and those who worked for him soon fell under his suspicion.

“I’ve got such a vast mountain of wealth that one of my minions might try and take some from me! I’m growing suspicious of them!” Vercci said.

So, assembling his workers and a fleet of ships, Vercci led his workforce to an uncharted island, and forced them to dig a pit deep into the earth.

He forced them all to work tirelessly, day in and day out, digging this chasm.

“Keep working! All day, and all night! Keep digging this chasm!” ordered Vercci.

No one really knows how deep it was by the time they finished, but it is said that the depth of the pit Vercci’s workers constructed was astonishing.

“Wow! The depth of the pit you guys made me is astonishing!” exclaimed Vercci..

Then, carefully, the whole of Vercci’s treasure was placed in the very bottom of the pit. Not one single dabloon went unaccounted for. All of Vercci’s wealth was piled within the floor of his pit.

“Now put my treasure in there!” ordered Vercci.

After that, Vercci had his men construct corridors, pathways, booby traps of all kinds.

“Now build some stuff in there so that people will get lost or die if they come looking for my treasure!” Vercci commanded.

Within the maze of corridors and walkways, there were trap doors…

“Throw in some trap doors!” Vercci ordered.

… water traps…

“…and some water traps!” Vercci demanded.

… poison arrows….

“… and I want poison arrows!”

… spike pits…

“How about some spike pits!?”

… guillotines…

“… and maybe some guillotines!”

Countless traps and mazes, all of which spelt certain doom for any would-be thief who would dare so much as enter.

“We got’s lotsa traps up in here!”

Through his paranoia, there was one of his servants who Vercci still trusted; a man named Voldo.

“I still trust you, Voldo!”

Shut up, Vercci.

“Sorry…”

Once the construction was completed after many long years, Vercci ordered Voldo to slaughter the rest of his workers, and as a reward, he sealed Voldo along with himself, inside the money pit, surrounded by his treasure.

Then, upon his deathbed, Vercci ordered Voldo to guard the Money Pit against all intruders. After Vercci died, Voldo did so, protecting the pit alongside its traps and mazes.

After years of being sealed within the Money Pit, Voldo went insane, blind and deafened, and unable to speak. Only his unmatched skills for killing remained sharp.

One day, Voldo heard his mater’s voice inside his head.

“Voldo! It’s me, your master! I’m inside your head!” said Vercci’s disembodied voice.

He went on to tell Voldo that there was one piece of treasure that he was never able to obtain during his lifetime: Soul Edge, a legendary magical blade said to possess unmatched power, not to mention feast on the souls of the innocent and consume the mind and body of those who wield it, but that‘s not important right now.

“Hey, Voldo! I want Soul Edge! They say that it possesses unmatched power!” Vercci’s disembodied voice explained.

And so, Voldo ventured outside of the Money Pit in search of Soul Edge in spite of a few minor difficulties.

“He can’t see or hear nothing!” explained Vercci.

You’re not even in this part of the story!

“I just like feeling included.”

Just shut up!

“Ok.”

Unfortunately, like all things magical, Soul Edge was broken into fragments that were scattered across the globe.

Voldo found quite a few of these, and took them back to the Money Pit. He only had a third of the full sword. No one quite knows what happened to Voldo after that.

The rest of the sword was held by Cervantes De Leon, a Spanish pirate whom Vercci had hired to find Soul Edge during his life.

“Argh! I be Cervantes, and I’m gonna be findin’ Soul Edge for Varcci!” said Cervantes.

Cervantes did find Soul Edge, even though the reasons have long been forgotten by history (aka the author’s to lazy to think of anything), but the sword’s dark power drove him mad, and overtook his mind.

“ARGH! Drivin’ me mad the sword is!” exclaimed Cervantes.

Controlled by Soul Edge, Cervantes sailed around killing the fellow brawny men of the sea aboard his now haunted ghost ship, taking their souls to appease Soul Edge whilst seeking out the Money Pit in order to once again make the sword whole.

“Where be that there Money Pit!?” Cervantes asked.

Some say Voldo still lurks within the Money Pit. Others say he’s still out there, searching for Soul Edge. As for Cervantes, some say he’s still roaming the sea, closing in on the Money Pit to this very-”

“Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,” Sid rolled his eyes as he droned on. “Bellyache, bellyache. Blah, blah, blah, blah…”

“So then,” smiled the specter, “do you want the map?”

Sid thought for a moment. If anything, the map would be good for a laugh or two.

Then, he stood up and proceeded to walk to the side of the table.

“Yeah,” he nodded. “I guess I’ll take it.”

Sidney rolled up the map, and stuffed it into the strap around his leg before heading up the stairs without so much as a ”thank you” for the cloaked hunchback. He was just about to walk out the door when a thought popped into his head, bringing a smile to his face.

“Oh, one more thing,” he turned around, looking down at the man from the top of the stairs. “What sort of ‘powers’ has that sword got?”

“Whatever powers you desire it to have,” nodded the specter.

Sid turned his head away to hide his laughter.

“Alright, thanks,” Vicious smiled as he walked out of the room.

He waited until he had closed the door behind him to burst into full-blown laughter.

With the map in his possession, Sid exited the store and headed for his motorcycle which he left parked on the sidewalk nearby. Stepping up to the side of it, Vicious leaned over to check his hair in the bike’s left mirror, after which he gripped the handlebars, slung a leg over the seat and plopped onto the Harley.

Sidney then kicked the bike into gear, and took a moment to give a glance down to the map tied to his thigh.

“That fool was loonier than John,” he smiled as he proceeded to rev-up the engine and look forward towards the road ahead. “They’ll get a kick outta this one,”

Meanwhile on the other side of town in some hole-in-the-wall recording studio, the other three Sex Pistols were hard at work rehearsing, with Paul Cook banging about on the drums, Steve Jones doing his best to look like Johnny Thunders as he wailed on his guitar, and Johnny Rotten sneering and spitting out his vocals on the mic,

“I don’t want a holiday in the sun
I wanna go to the new Belsen!
I wanna see some history
‘Cause now I’ve got a reasonable economy!

Now I’ve got a reason
Now I’ve got a reason
Now I’ve got a reason,
And I’m still wai-”

Johnny stopped singing when he realized that Steve wasn’t singing his backing vocals, and then listened as he and Paul slowly ceased to play their instruments.

“What’s goin’ on?” John asked.

Before he got an answer, the sound of a motorcycle’s engine shutting off outside caught his attention. Almost immediately after, the door to the recording studio flew open with a crash, and in came Sidney.

“You guys won’t believe what happened to me!” he laughed as he wriggled out of his leather jacket before tossing it onto the floor as he continued to walk.

Sid made his way towards the makeshift stage the rest of the Pistols were standing on and spotted his bass laying atop an amplifier next to the stage. He picked it up and slung its strap over his shoulder, and then did a rotating hop up onto the edge of the stage, seating himself with his back turned to the others.

“What happened?” Steve asked as Sid clumsily strummed through a chord or two, “did ya learn how to play that thing?”

This remark got a good chuckle from Paul and John, which angered Vicious almost more than the remark itself.

“Shut up!” Sid snapped, turning his head to glare at them, Jonsey in particular. “You just wait an-”

Rotten took a step towards the bassist, holding a pleading hand up even though a green-toothed grin graced his face.

“No, really, Sidney,” his words were dripping with sarcasm, “we are so glad you managed to make it to rehearsal.”

Sid opened his mouth to fire back with a retort, but Paul chimed in, interrupting him.

“Yeah, Sid,” he joined in the sarcastic jesting, “I would’ve been lost without your rhythm to keep me on track!”

Paul barely made it through the sentence before he busted into laughter with Jones and Rotten.

“You yobs better shut up!” Sid roared as he stomped onto his feet.

The others simply ignored his outburst and continued making their jokes.

“Don‘ warreh, John,” Rotten leaned towards Sidney as he mimicked his East London accent, “I’m gonna learn tooh play tha bass real soon! Honest, ah will!”

Again, they erupted into cackling laughter, leaving Sid to literally grind his teeth together.

Fighting through his giggles, Paul stepped off his drum kit and motioned for John and Steve to come closer.

“Hey guys?” he grinned, still cackling through his words, “how many Sids does it take to screw in a light bulb?”

“Hopefully less than it would take to learn a bar chord!” Steve answered.

“BWAHAHAHA!!!!” the three Pistols were nearly rolling on the floor, as John had to prop himself up with his mic stand at this point, and Paul nearly fell off his drums.

Stifling his cackling, Steve stood with his legs spread out a bit more and held his guitar down at his knees, letting his eyes go far off as he swayed back and forth like a drone, mindlessly bumbling on a string or two, effectively imitating Vicious.

“You think that’s funny!?” Sid shot a finger at Steve, and then turned his attention to the other two. “You all think this is so funny!?”

“Y-yessss!!” Paul struggled to answer through his laughter.

“Well I’ll show you!” Vicious declared with an outraged stomp of his foot. He then violently clutched his bass guitar and shook it. “I’m gonna learn to play this thing!”

“GWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!” Sid’s declaration got the biggest laughs yet.

Johnny was now literally on the floor with a single arm around the base of his mic stand and the other clutching at his ribs as he laughed.

“Please, stop Sid!” he removed his hand from his ribs to hold it up pleadingly. “Yu-you’re killin’ me, you sod! Hahaha!!!”

“I’M NOT JOKING!!!” Sid screamed directly at John like an indignant child. “I’M GONNA LEARN TO PLAY MY BASS!!!”

“Yeah, sure,” Jones chuckled. “How could you possibly learn to play that bloody thing?”

Without even thinking about it, Vicious pulled the map out from his leg-strap with a proclamation of, “SOUL EDGE!”

The other Sex Pistols had stopped laughing somewhat, and just looked at Sid, puzzled.

“What?” John laughed.

“Soul Edge!” Vicious repeated himself, shaking the map in his fist. “It’s this big magical sword buried in some island that can teach me to play my bass!”

The other three remained in silence, now looking at Sid with the same confused and concerned looks he got from the people in the antiques store.

“Honesty Sid,” Steve shook his head with an exasperated sigh, “get off the junk, wouldya?”

“I’m not makin’ it up!” Sid yelled, again stomping a foot. “It’s true!”

Sidney took the map in both hands and pulled it open as best as he could to show it to the others. They all stepped closer to get a better view of the map, eyeing its lines, markings, and so on.

“What the hell is this?” Johnny raised an eyebrow. “’Some sorta treasure map?”

“Exactly!” smiled Vicious.

“Bollocks,” Steve rolled his eyes.

“It’s not bollocks!” Sid snapped at him.

“Then what is it then?” Paul Cook shrugged his shoulders.

“It’s a map leadin’ to that sword, Soul Edge!” Vicious explained. “Some little golem fellow in a cloak gave it to me, and he told me all about it!”

Rotten’s already buggy eyes bulged at this before he narrowed them in thought, rubbing his chin as he drifted off into his mind.

Jones raised an eyebrow.

“What were you doin’ in an antiques store?” he inquired.

Sid had to think for a moment.

“Well, let’s see…,” he scratched his head before it came to him. “I was lookin’ for Nancy.”

Another realization soon followed.

“I forgot all about Nancy!” he exclaimed.

Oh, god,” Steve groaned. “Not that horrible bird of yours again.”

“Shut up!” Sid snapped again.

“You know,” John spoke up, turning everyone’s heads to him, “I’ve actually heard about that sword a few times.” He gave the map a closer look. “This thing might not be total rubbish after all.”

Steve and Paul gave Rotten an odd pair of looks, surprised that he was jumping to Sid’s defense.

“A man in a cloak,” John continued, again rubbing his chin. “I’ve read something about that, too.”

Steve took a few steps over to Johnny.

“So you’re saying this isn’t all just a bunch of nonsense?” he asked.

“Perhaps,” Rotten nodded, watching Sid as he stuck his tongue out at Jonesy.

“Even if it is real,” Cook paused his sentence to hop off his drumset, “we can’t just go fetch a boat and go on some ridiculous treasure hunt! We’ve got an album to do!”

Sid frowned as the others glanced at him.

“He’s got a point,” Steve turned to Johnny.

“Yeah,” Rotten smiled, looking at Sid again. “It’s just a rubbish old wise tale.”

“But-” Vicious wanted to protest.

“Sorry Sid,” Steve laughed, “but there’s no way we’re stopping this album just to go and find some-”

“CRASH!”

The door of the studio again flew open, turning the heads of everyone in the room towards it.

“Oh great,” Paul sighed when he saw who entered the room, “it’s Malcolm.”

“Hello boys!“ Malcolm Maclaren, the ‘wonderful’ manager of the Sex Pistols, dressed in his Willy Wonka-esqe dark purple business suit greeted the band as he approached them.

When he got close enough, Malcolm hopped up onto the stage, causing Vicious to step out of his way as he continued walking until he was standing in the middle of the four Pistols. He was sure to smile at each of them. They all glared back.

“I’ve got some big news for you all,” he said with glee.

“You’ve got cancer?” Johnny smiled.

“Even better!” Maclaren beamed.

Pushing his tie out of the way, Malcolm reached into his business jacket and withdrew a stack of white papers, which he proceeded to hand to each of the Sex Pistols.

They all looked at the cover page,

“THE SEX PISTOLS IN PEPPERLAND - A film by Malcolm Maclaren”

“Do you all remember ‘Who Killed Bambi’?” he asked them, already knowing the answer.

“Yes,” they collectively groaned, raising up from their papers.

“Well,” Maclaren went on, “I recently talked with Universal Pictures and secured the rights to produce a brand new movie, starring the four of you!”

The Pistols were dead silent, each taking the news with a grimace. Malcolm let them stand there, waiting.

“Well, go on! Go on!” he grinned eagerly. “Read a bit of it!”

Unenthusiastically, the four punks went about flipping through the pages of Malcolm’s script, muttering through the words as they read,

“Sid fights Godzilla…”

“Johnny Rotten gets beaten up by Bob Dylan…”

“Steve coaches the hockey team to victory in the Stanley Cup…”

“Cook finds a talking dog that can play baseball…”

“… and then the Sex Pistols saved Christmas.”

“Well?” Malcolm asked once they were done. “What did you think?”

“Rubbish!” Rotten grumbled.

“Absolute bollocks!” Jones exclaimed.

“Utter garbage!” Paul shook his head disapprovingly.

“There’s to many big words, I can’t read it!” Sid whined.

Malcolm sighed.

“Oh,” he said, “That’s unfortunate….”

The Sex Pistols looked at Malcolm inquiriously, worried by what that statement could possibly mean.

Maclaren then whipped out another piece of paper with a blue ribbon dangling off the bottom of it, which he held up for his clients to see.

“You four don’t have any choice in the matter,” a smile crept into his lips as he uttered those words. “I’ve already signed the deal with Gorge Ducas, so you’re all under contract to the studio.”

The bandmates eyed one another, worried that this surefire box office blunder had become inevitable.

However, as a great man once said, “The future is unwritten”.
Or it might have just been Triple H who said it. I can’t remember.

Anyways, Rotten’s face lit up as an idea came to him. He walked up to Maclaren with the best smile he could muster, and slapped an arm around him as if they were the best of friends.

“Gee, Malcolm,” he began, “I wish we could be in this…,” he had to stop in order to muster up enough strength to utter what he would say next, “wonderful film of yours, but we’re going to be busy with something incredibly important.”

“Important?” Maclaren sneered as he shoved John off of him. “What could be more important than this?”

Paul rushed up to Malcolm, nudging Johnny out of the way.

“We found someone who can teach Sid how to play the bass,” Cook beamed.

Malcolm was silent and still, unable to process what the drummer had just said to him. Once his brain had a little time to double-check his ears, the Pistols’ manager found himself howling with laughter.

“HAHAHAHAHA!!!”

“No, Malcolm!” Johnny yelled over his cackling. “It’s all true!”

Maclaren immediately stopped, and eyed John in disbelief.

“You’re serious?” he asked.

“Mhm!” Paul nodded, and then pointed to the map in Sid’s hand, causing the bassist to hold it up. “He’s an old Indian bloke who lives on this island out in the ocean.”

“That one!” John quickly added, pointing to the X.

Getting a bit closer to it, Malcolm took out his reading glasses and eyed the map up and down. He then looked at the Pistols behind him with a smile.

“Wow,” he nodded in approval. “What’s this man’s name?”

The three of them looked at one another, only coming up with “um”s and “eh”s, before Jonesy finally thought of,
“Keeptune… Mc… Good… groove.”

“’Keeptune McGoodgroove’?” Malcolm repeated the name for himself.

“Yep!” Steve nodded. “Keeptune McGoodgroove.”

“Good ol’ Keeptune McGoodgroove!” Sidney grinned.

“Keeptune McGoodgroove!” Johnny exclaimed with phoned-in passion. “What a fellow that Keeptune is!”

Malcolm rubbed his chin.

“And this…” he had to pause and look to John askingly for the name.

“Keeptune McGoodgroove,” Johnny reminded him, still all smiles.

“This ‘Keeptune McGoodgroove’ can teach Sid here how to play bass?” the manager finished his question.

“He sure can!” Steve nodded, “or his name ain’t Keeptune McGoodgroove!”

“You can always count on Keeptune McGoodgroove!” Paul added with a cheery thumbs up for Malcolm.

After that barrage of their most convincing efforts, the Sex Pistols looked at their manager anxiously as he was again rubbing his chin in thought. He stopped and looked at them, ready to speak, their hopes possibly riding on his words.

“Alright,” he gave them a smile. “You fellows run to the docks, I’ll order you a fine ship for your voyage.”

“Will the Sex Pistols find the sword? Will Sid Vicious finally learn to play the bass? Whatever happened to Nancy? Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Do you know the Muffin Man? Why am I asking you all these questions? Why is the sky blue? W-”

“Shut up, Verrci!”





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