Alas, humble reader, for the vicissitudes of a rambling tale are akin to literary whiplash, in which the mind, like the boom of a small vessel daring the foaming peaks of a raging see, darts now one way and then another. And yet, so must it be, for in no way can the modest authors of this tale impart to you, the dear reader, that TRUTH which lies at the base of this narration, without resort to the perambulations which now beset you.
And so, let us merely due our duty without more apology, but, without delay, let us recall to your mind all that has passed, and all that is to pass.
For, as Pierre Saint-Barnabas reflected upon the heavenly disturbance and pungent fungal aroma that drew his mind back to the Howard Metzenbaum Ball Room in Singapore, just at that moment, L'il Timmy Rompkins reclined on his couch with the amiable Melanie Lustiger at his side. His mentor, Professor Klimmingstock, was not far away from Saint-Barnabas; south of Bretagne, he was lifting the manhole cover from the Parisian sewer, carrying his dissapointment like he carried his unused camera - that is, on a string. Hansel Daggerfjord lay in the hold of a storm-tossed tanker in the North Sea, while Bigoyle and Sultan Zhpat looked down upon the emerald maelstrom they had created. Colonol Snack was likewise nearby, leaning against a grafitti'd wall in Ivry-sur-Seine, taking the report of a flustered Corporal Ying with his passel of Singaporean gendarmes, who voiced their humble protestations at their failure to capture Winky. And Elsa? Elsa McConkey lay in the brush of Greenback Tennessee, her love-child Warto beside her, who in turn was beside his fiance Crystal Silverloin (who had only been able to come with a black catwoman outfit on short notice for this reconaissance mission). Behind them, but unnoticed, perched high in a Bradford Pear, was Lt. Frank Corky, who was handcuffed to Herve Quisleau (a distant cousin of Pierre Saint-Barnabas, on his mother's side). Corky watched Elsa as she trained her binoculars on Greenback Tower, his unbendable legs sticking out starkly on either side of the bough that supported him, unaware that he in turn was watched by Shimmy Platudinor. Shimmy turned his own binoculars onto the green windows of the tower, to the observation platform, where he could see his uncle Platu dangling a nervous man by one ankle over the edge of the 1000 foot drop.
And behind Shimmy, disguised as a morbidly obese Kentucky Polecat, was Druppins Patinki, the brother of Ragnar "Fats" Patinki, the Hungarian Assassin dispatched by Big'un Rompkins at One Pickle Place in Cincinnati Ohio. Patinki could see almost nothing out of the tiny eye-slits in his polecat costume, but he had a vague impression of someone being dangled from the observation deck of Greenback Tower, which put him in mind of Lucky Luko, the Czech assassin who had been slain the same night as his brother Ragnar. This caused Druppins' body temperature to rise considerably as he thought of revenge, which unfortunately caused a resonant heat condition inside the polecat suit. This, combined with the entire turkey that Druppins had consumed for lunch, sent him into an immediate coma - a coma from which he never awoke, for Earl Platudinor's groundskeepers found him the next day, and presuming that they had the redolent carcass of an unusually large polecat to deal with, dumped him unceremoniously in the Greenback Tower incinerator, from whence fine particles of Druppins Patinki later descended on the residents of that sleepy little town.
All of these divergent facts were known only to you, the reader, and to a sinister man dressed in a nutter-butter suit, who sat in a darkened van nearby, watching everything from the broadcasts of his army of microbot camera-flies.
And yet, though he could see the present, and in some sense predict the future (whether based on some unknown mystical ability or simply a mastery of the syllogism), he was unable to see the past, unlike your devoted authors, who now, for the purposes of clarity, must take you back to the year 610, in a dirty hira near a scrubby desert town...
EDITOR'S NOTE: SECTION REMOVED FOR FEAR OF OFFENDING THE MUZZIES.
Da Bomb smiled as he remembered that day, and his unwitting protege Mo. Mo had accomplished all that Da Bomb had wished, and more. And now, centuries later, all was falling into place. The first stone was securely in place in Da Bomb's secret hideout in Mecca. The second was surely in the sea-cave temple that Roger Bacon's girlfriend "Mollie" had created for it, and which Da Bomb, Sultan Zhpat, and that infernal Texan Bigoyle now sought with increasing urgency. The third stone could only be in the hands of his nemesis, Plato, or whatever farsical name he had chosen. But Da Bomb now knew, thanks to the carelessness of Darkins and the idiot accountants of the Central Twillings Oil Works, that Plato was living in the South of the United States of America, that place of last resort to which he always fled. And Da Bomb would be dealing with him shortly.
Or so he thought, for as he turned to walk along the seawall, he was drop-kicked from behind, staggering under the blow imparted by the massive frame of Big'un Rompkins.