The Legend of Toontown

Gears

Chapter 33

The President

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	An incredible sight met their eyes. There was clanking and buzzing and sawing and flashing. The toons walked into the largest room that they had ever seen before. The ceiling rose hundreds of feet above their heads and the floor was hundreds of feet beneath the narrow bridge that they were standing on. At the other end of the bridge there was the next door.
	Giant gears turned on the walls as cogs were assembled and moved along a conveyor belt. The entire cog assembly process could be seen right there. It started with sheets of metal and ended with completed cogs that were taken through a hole on the opposite side of the wall. This was their answer. This was precisely where the cogs were coming from, and they knew they had to stop it.
	"It's amazing!" Evina gasped. "This is where the all cogs were made! We finally found it! Goopy, how are we going to stop it?"
	Goopy turned his attention back to Evina. "I have a theory, but I can't say for sure..."
	"Please tell." Evina insisted.
	Goopy opened his laptop and typed in some calculations. "I believe all the cogs are connected to a common signal, this powerful one that I've been tracking for a while. It seems to give the cogs commands like when and where to invade as well as other things like software updates. If I could find the computer that is sending this signal, I might be able to use it to shut down all the cogs at once."
	The toons looked at each other, grinning widely. This was the answer they had been hoping for, even though they didn't expect they would ever find it.
	"I bet once we find the president, the machine won't be far from him. Let's Go!" Evina said. After taking a few steps, he felt secure, "I think it's safe to cross."
	They took small, careful steps. One wrong move and they would plummet into one of the deadly moving parts in the machines below. It took the toons about ten minutes to safely make it across the length of the factory and reach the next door.
	Evina opened it with the same terror as before. It was another room but much smaller and cleaner. Evina closed the door behind them and the clanking sounds stopped. They stood in the dim light.
	The floor was again made of white marble and there were statues of famous cogs on each side of the room. This looked like some sort of waiting room judging by the chairs set up around. At the opposite end from them, there was a magnificent set of silver double doors with a gear imprinted in them. Unlike the last doors these ones were black and decorated with rare gemstones and pearls. They were not old or covered in rust. Above them it read:

The President
United Nation of the C.O.G.

	The first thing that surprised them was the magnificence of the door, but the most shocking fact was that this was the president's real office. Evina didn't know what to think of it.
	"Good luck." He said with a shuddering voice. He crept over to the door and opened it a tiny crack just to peek inside. He felt crazy doing this. It was very dark and nothing could be seen or heard so he opened it up a little farther. There appeared to be some kind of balcony in there.
	On their hands and knees, the toons crawled along the marble floor to reach the banister. The light was dim enough so that they didn't think anyone could see them.
	"You know," A voice quietly echoed from somewhere down there, "sometimes I feel relieved that the chairman is dead." The toons recognized it as the voice of the V.P.
	"Why is that?" asked another voice. It was the Chief Justice.
	"He treated us like we were toons."
	"Really? In what way?"
	"He never listened to me." The V.P. continued. "I think he hated Sellbots for some reason. He acted like he always knew better than anyone else. But without the proper funding, we couldn't have improved our security. Then he blamed me for letting toons in although it wasn't my fault! The little brutes barged in and it was his responsibility for not funding us!"
	The Chief Justice sighed. "I admit that I've had some similar experiences."
	The C.E.O. was the next to speak. "He was always blaming me whenever something went wrong. And sometimes he would even turn me into... a Flunky." He paused awkwardly for a moment. "And by the way, why won't you let us search for those toons?"
	Evina peeked through the banister and stopped himself from screaming with surprise. The spotlights from the high ceiling of the colossal room pointed down on the four cog bosses sitting around a table; however, in the shadows behind them, there was the figure of something gigantic. It must have been hundreds of feet tall!
	And on the left side of the room, there was a large machine with blinking lights and thousands of buttons. And on the right side, a tall rocket stood, slowly being pumped full of dip.
	Evina gasped and ducked his head down again. "Did you see... that?" he whispered to them. Bebop shook his head and decided to take a look. He crawled back after a few seconds looking very nauseous.
	"You have no right to know of my plans." A booming voice spoke which resonated around the room, "I was not aware that you were so angry with Bill, but you must remember that I built and programmed him myself. If he did all those things then he must have done them for a good reason. You have no right to complain."
	The C.F.O. rolled back from the table. "I really do love this company, but I just can't handle it anymore! We get the worst paychecks now and I'm sure Bob isn't going to do any better than his father. You know... sometimes I wish I could be a toon. Their lives seem to be so much better.
	"You can't handle this?" The deep voice asked, apparently amused, "Then consider yourself fired, all of you."
	The C.E.O. slowly rotated his head up to the dark monster. "Uh... what did you say?"
	"You're fired." The voice repeated a little louder, sounding annoyed.
	The four cogs looked at each other and then they nervously rolled away without another word.
	"I can run this nation and its economy completely on my own. I don't need help from any ridiculous cogs who wish they were toons." The voice finished defiantly. An elevator opened and the four fired cogs rolled inside and disappeared. The voice of the giant figure gave a deep sigh.
	"That must be the president." Evina whispered to the others.
	There was silence for a moment. Nobody moved; they were all listening intently for anything else.
	"And speaking of toons," The president said to himself, "I think it's time to stop this silly game."
	The toons looked at each other, still hidden behind the banister. They had no clue what the president was talking about.
	"Stop mocking me! This is not a game of hide-and-go-seek. How stupid do you think I am?" Massive footsteps were heard and they got louder. The president was coming. "Come out, come out..." the voice called. Blinding, red lights flashed down on the toons. "...wherever you are!"
	With amazing speed they all jumped up and fled from the gigantic hand of the president. They leaped off the balcony and landed on the floor below amazed that it didn't flatten them.
	"You toons are unbelievable." The giant robot remarked, "Did you actually believe I had forgotten about you? I was waiting for you. You came in here and trapped yourself! And I didn't even have to lift a finger!"
	The toons sprinted under the cog's legs and towards the dip rocket as fast as they could. The green fluid was rising higher and higher inside it.
	"In mere minutes, this rocket will launch. I will destroy Toontown! AND YOU WILL NEVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY AGAIN!" He roared with evil laughter that made the floor tremble.
	Evina didn't even get close to reaching the rocket before the president stomped on the ground and sent a shockwave that knocked everyone off their feet.
	His glowing red eyes were full of hatred and they were staring right at Evina. Several potent blasts of laser almost hit him.
	The toons knew that using gags were useless against him so they decided to distract the president while Goopy figured out a way to disable the giant machine.
	The president chased the twins away and blasted them with his laser vision. They fell to the ground unconscious and covered in soot. It only took about a minute for the president to blast all the toons except Goopy.
	Goopy reached the cog control panel and began examining the wires. Then he started cutting some of them.
	"I think I'm missing one..." The president said, looking around for Goopy. He found him in the wires of the machine. "DON'T TOUCH THAT!"
	He ran, bent down, picked Goopy up, and trapped him in his hands. "I don't understand how pathetic, little toons like you have grown into such a big threat to us. It's insulting to be fighting things that are so feeble and brainless."
	Goopy pulled out a small device and typed in a code. He submitted it to the cog computer which began to flash. Then the president looked down at him and blasted Goopy with his laser vision.

~~~~~

	The toons woke up some time later in a small chamber. There was only one door, and it was without a window or a doorknob. The light hanging from the ceiling was faint and flickering. The toons couldn't see anything very well. They wore chains on their arms and legs. Every inch of them hurt from the laser burns.
	"I knew this was going to happen." Evina sighed, "Now Toontown is going to be destroyed. And I know it was all my fault for coming here in the first place. I would rather have had a peaceful death. Being dipped quickly and unexpectedly from a rocket wouldn't be that bad, but knowing that your end is coming, and having to wait for it, is so much worse. You see everything that has happened in your life coming back to haunt you."
	"But we did it." Goopy interrupted. "I locked into the signal of the cog computer. I sent a command that told all the cogs to self destruct."
	"You mean all the cogs are gone?" Evina asked.
	"Yes, all of them in the whole world... except for the president. He did not receive the signal because he was not created with the machine."
	"Then what I want to know is where he came from in the first place!" Evina screamed. "He wasn't created by a machine and I don't think he just fell from the sky! He was made by an intelligent being! A toon created him! I know it! Some toon started all of this!"
	"Why would a toon start the cogs? That's absolutely ridiculous!" Princesspinkcat exclaimed.
	"Scrooge said he came here to look for someone. That someone must have been the toon who created the cogs." Evina reasoned. "And I think I've seen him."
	The toons were startled by the anguished roar from the president on the other side of the door. He was livid. "You've destroyed them. YOU'VE DESTROYED EVERYONE! I don't know how you did it, but you are going to pay. I am going to launch the dip rocket very soon, but first I will to execute you. And it will be recorded so when I bring back my children, I'll show them your death. Then they will all remember who destroyed their ancestors. Your pain and your terror will bring them joy, their true vengeance. They will become inspired. Then they will hate you forever!"
	"Oh no..." Catman sobbed as gases seeped out of vents in the chamber's walls. It was the same chemical that poisoned them in their apartment.
	The toons felt the nausea come back and their heads began spinning. The chairman walked inside and stood in the middle of the room, looking at Evina with a blank expression."
	"Didn't I tell you?" he asked them, "You are going to be famous now. Cogs of the future will see video of your demise. You will be a permanent part of history. It's a good thing you didn't stay home and become nothing."
	"This isn't what I wanted." Evina said coldly.
	The cog shrugged. "Then what was it that you wanted when you came here?"
	"Just get out of here!" Evina screamed. "You're an illusion! We destroyed you and you don't exist!"
	"I'll leave," the chairman agreed, "but I brought along someone that I thought you might want to see."
	Harry appeared next to the chairman. He looked around sadly at all the toons in the room. He seemed to be struggling to say something but the words wouldn't come.
	Evina cried deeply and looked into the eyes of Harry. "It's my fault! MY FAULT!" he cried. "Please forgive me! Don't go."
	Harry raised his arm and waved. "Goodbye." He said miserably.
	"No! Don't leave us here! I need you!" Evina sobbed as Harry and the ghosts faded away. "You were my best friend! You helped us so much!" Now you're gone and it was all my doing."
	Evina dropped his head and cried and the tears didn't stop. He was wallowing helplessly in his pain and his guilt. He was left empty with the fact that everything bad had happened because of him. Harry had warned him so many times. If they had not come, the cogs probably wouldn't have even resorted to starting the dip rocket. But now there was nothing left for them. The end was here. There would be no hope for them today.
	Then he was aware that the gas was slowly clearing away. He was drenched in tears. The door opened and the hand of the president grabbed the end of the chain that they were all linked to. As he pulled it, the toons stood up and walked in a line out to the hall.
	Their chains clinked along the floor as they walked to the execution room. They saw it was a small chamber that had probably never been used before. The ceiling was opened so the president could look down on them from his giant room above.
	They each stood on a separate, circular platform and then they were raised into the air. A red light on the camera flashed on, indicating the start of the recording. The shackles broke and the toons were disconnected from their chains holding them together, but they still had ropes tied around their hands and legs.
	A tub of glowing dip was placed under each platform. And it didn't take an expert to figure out what was going to happen next. Their feelings of horror were too much to describe. Their hearts were beating quickly and loudly in their chests during their last moments. This was just like those dreams that he kept having, but this felt much worse, and this was real. There was no waking up from this nightmare.
	"Toons," The president addressed them hatefully, "you have been found guilty of many crimes, the most serious of which are listed here: trespassing, impersonation, vandalism, theft, destruction of the entire Cog population, and attempting to stop the nation's plans for world domination. Therefore, you are sentenced to be destroyed this day by cartoon dip. Do you have any last words?"
	In just a few short moments, Evina's whole life suddenly flashed before his. He saw all the good times and all the bad times. He remembered the warm breeze and sunshine in Toontown Central. He longed to be there. He knew now that it was better to be bored and alive than to be destroyed. He saw them hop over the fence and heading to the mountains. He remembered Pete and his magnificent palace. He saw Clarabelle and her warm smile. He saw the native toons and their hospitality. He remembered the cool feeling of the caves and the dry heat of the desert. The feeling of entering Cog Nation was exhilarating. He stood on the top of the apartment, looking out at the city and the beautiful orange sunset behind its silhouette. The storm was approaching and his arms were out, feeling the warm breeze blowing through his clothes, letting the rain fall.
	The memories ended. He turned his head up with his eyes closed, not wanting to look at the president, and directed his words to Harry, "I'm sorry." He whispered.
	Evina shed his last tears and looked to the other toons on his sides. They looked dreadful, with faces full of fear and shining with green light from the dip below. He wondered if he looked just as bad as they did. With all his heart, he wished they didn't have to suffer this with him. He believed he was the only one who deserved this punishment.
	"This will be a demonstration to show the world that nobody ever stands in our way." The president said. "The cogs will remember how they were victorious from the toons, and the toons will never be a threat to them ever again." He smiled maliciously and pulled a lever.
	The platforms dropped and the toons screamed. They plunged deep into the tubs of dip.

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