What's The Deal?
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Previously…

The villain known as Tim Allen has transcended the limits of mortality.

Each day he is fatigued by the mundane trappings of his existence. With each passing minute, he becomes less patient, less content to wait for the comeback he believes he deserves. His mental break is inevitable and fast-approaching.

The noble SCP Foundation has a plan to deal with him, but it is rife with risk and dicey decisions. Their pursuit to protect the world has led them to the lap of the one man who just might be able to defeat their foe… but has the Foundation finally bitten off more than they can chew?

Find out in…


WHAT'S THE DEAL?



The man sat cross-legged upon a velvet cushion. The silk veils that surrounded him flavoured the light that streamed in through the windows, transforming it into a mottled rainbow.

His eyes were closed. His mind was clear. His pager was going off.

That last one was new. He cracked open a wizened eye and glanced around. It was vibrating in a pattern of three pulses — the emergency signal. Behind him, the door to his study squeaked as it swung inwards.

"Sir?" A familiar voice called, stricken with worry. It was his assistant. "There are men outside looking for you."

He nodded. "Did they mention who sent them?"

"They said it was the Foundation, sir."

The man took a deep breath, then at last opened his eyes. "So," he said, "the day has finally come."

"They want us to come with them. They have a minivan waiting outside, but they won't tell me why-"

His posture stiffened. "A minivan?"

"Yes."

He spun around on his pillow to face her. "I don't get minivans. You put 'mini' in front of a word, it's supposed to be small. Mini donuts. Mini fridge. Mini golf. But a minivan is still basically just a van. Don't even get me started on Minneapo-"

"Mr. Seinfeld," she interjected. "They said this was a matter of utmost urgency."

Jerry Seinfeld coughed into his elbow. "You're right. I'll save it for the car ride."


Like most comedians, Jerry Seinfeld was pretty into black magic.

Good comedians are constantly crossing barriers, circumventing expectations, saying out loud what others would whisper. They're breaking the rules of society, so while they're at it, why not break the rules of nature too?

After reaching that point, most of them peter out fairly quickly. Maybe their magical mentor turned out to be a scam artist, or their spellbooks were forged. Perhaps they concluded that they just didn't have the aptitude for magic or, god forbid, that magic didn't exist at all.

But, as anyone will tell you, comedy requires commitment. If you have what it takes to be one of the best comedians in the world, you probably have what it takes to become a mystical master of the seventh circle, too. The skillsets are surprisingly similar.

Jerry Seinfeld wasn't quite on the level of Merlin, but his skills were ample. Most crowds don't need more than some magical sedation and mild telepathy to really get them going, and it was in those subtle arts that Seinfeld excelled.

He also specialized in advanced levitation, but that was rarely relevant to his stand-up routines.


Seinfeld put his elbows on the conference table and steepled his fingers. "Let me get this straight."

The table was surrounded by Foundation bureaucrats. Two dozen pairs of beady eyes were trained on Jerry Seinfeld. At the head of the table Director Blake, a woman in a labcoat, beckoned to him. "By all means, go ahead."

Seinfeld cleared his throat. "You want me to assassinate Tim Allen."

She nodded. "Reductionist, but true."

"And you cannot do this on your own."

"Well," she sighed, "we've been busy putting out some exceptionally large fires. I don't suppose you've turned on the news?"

"I was meditating in my study before your goons showed up."

"Here," Blake said as she passed a thick pile of photos across the table. He flipped through. They were movie stills from what must have been hundreds of different films. His gaze rested on one picture — a still from Pulp Fiction showing the gentleman gangsters Vincent and Jules posing as they point their guns past the camera.

Seinfeld squinted. That wasn't Samuel L. Jackson's face looking back from beneath that iconic afro. It was Tim Allen.

He gasped. "Dear God. He's finally discovered Photoshop."

No-one laughed. "These aren't just stills," Blake elaborated. "The movies are changed all the way through to account for Tim Allen's presence. He's forced his way into hundreds of classic films. And the changes have shown up in every single copy on Earth."

"So, not Photoshop."

He was ignored. "We're passing it off as absurdist cyberterrorism, but that excuse has more holes than swiss cheese. What's important right now is preventing Tim Allen from doing any further damage. You're the best shot we have."

"Because the ancient rock told you so?"

She shrugged. "It's a lead. As far as we know, he has no weaknesses. There are no better plans than this. We have to get you into shape."

Seinfeld frowned. "What kind of shape?"

"With all due respect, Mr. Seinfeld, even with your magic powers, there's no way you could beat Tim Allen in a fight. We're going to pour all the science we have into making you stronger. Then you might stand a chance."

"Might? You're gonna throw me out in front of a demigod because an ancient rock told you I'd get in a fistfight with Santa Claus?"

She smiled. "Reductionist, but true."


Test One: Baseline

Seinfeld stood in an empty hangar, facing a boxing sandbag hanging from a metal stand.

He struck it as rapidly as he could. He pushed out magic in time with his punches, thaumic shockwaves sending the bag swinging more than his aged fists could ever manage.

A solid blow sent the stand back several feet. He raised his fists into the air, and giant, ghostly hands gripped the sandbag. He levitated it off the ground and tossed it. It landed on its side with a thud, ten feet away.

The researchers behind him murmured. Improvements could be made.


The clasps hissed as they squeezed shut around Seinfeld's wrists. He winced.

"This is hardly sporting," he pouted. "You can't restrain me before you say what you're gonna do to me."

The surgical bench reclined automatically. Director Blake was barely looking at him as masked doctors entered the operating room single-file. "We're not trying to be sporting. We're being smart. If you don't know what we're doing, there's less chance you'll run before we can restrain you."

Seinfeld's eyes went wide. "That's terrifying! Why would you say that?"

She laughed. "Because it was funny. Relax. This is an experimental procedure, but the principles are well-founded."

"Well, now that you've instilled me with such glowing confidence, how could I possibly be afraid?"

"Quite easily, it seems. Just know that this is the procedure that'll give you the best shot at beating Tim Allen."

The doctors had wheeled in a cart with a cylindrical contraption, about the size and shape of Seinfeld's fist. It was smooth, light blue, and slightly glowing.

Seinfeld shook in his bindings. "What are you going to do with that?"

Blake ignored him. "Tim Allen's only real flaw is that he's too powerful. He can't do anything without spilling raw, reality-bending energy into the space around him. This device will let you capture some of that and redirect it back at him. Whatever he does to you, you'll be able to do to him, at about forty percent efficiency."

"Forty percent? How do I make up for the other sixty?"

"Improvise."

"No good plan ever includes 'improvise' as a step!"

She shrugged. "I never said our plan was good, just that it was the only one we have."

Seinfeld whimpered. "Is it too late to back out?"

It was.


Test Two: Basic Combat

Seinfeld approached the sandbag once more. This time, he had been instructed to stay at a distance.

He spun his hands in a rhythmic cycle. Ghostly, intangible figures coalesced around the sandbag. As they pummeled it from every angle, their features grew more defined: not just nameless spirits, but a dozen George Costanzas, ready to fight.

Seinfeld drew his hands back. The spirits coalesced into a single George with a baseball bat. He wound up a swing and let it go. It hit the sandbag with a colossal thwack.

When the dust settled, the sandbag was on the other side of the hangar. It had left a dent in the wall.

The researchers chittered among themselves. George gave Jerry a high-five, then vanished.


Seinfeld squirmed on the operating table. "What is it now? I thought I was done."

Director Blake shook her head. "No. That was just the first procedure. Next we're improving your perception. Tim Allen can go supersonic in the blink of an eye; if you want to be able to track him, we're going to need to at least double your visual acuity."

"Oh. If I can see twice as much, that means I can produce twice as much comedy."

"Right. Sure, Jerry." She pat him on the shoulder.


Test Three: Urban Assault

Seinfeld sat in the dark. Ahead was a secure compound, a mock-up assassination scenario ready to be put into action.

He focused his attention on the massive, reinforced door. Even from here, he could see its every imperfection, every weakness. He focused his energy at the centre and let the magic overlap with itself until a potent singularity formed.

A spectral Kramer burst through the bunker door. In an instant, half the compound was blasted into dust.

This time, the onlookers cheered for him.


He woke with a start. "Ghng. Another procedure?"

"Oh, no," Blake said. She was sitting next to his bed. "We're working on your protective suit. Any thoughts on the design?"

"If I get to choose, just make Superman's suit. Obviously."

Blake twisted her mouth. "We'd rather not. There are some serious trademarks involved there and we already have more than enough to deal with."

"Well, why not just copy the suit, and then say that it's a different suit because instead of the S standing for Superman, it stands for Seinfeld."

"That's not how trademarks work, and even if it were, we would not do that."

Seinfeld sighed. "Compromises, compromises."


Test Four: Massive Threat Neutralization

This time they had reserved an abandoned parking lot just for him. A mock army was set up, hundreds of simulated soldiers standing in rows, with their guns trained on Seinfeld. He just smiled.

From his mind, he conjured his ideal being — a lion the size of a house, with the talons of a hawk, the scales of a snake, the wings of a dragon, and the head of American comedian and dear friend Larry David.

Larry David unleashed his acidic breath, and within moments the entire army was reduced to a corroded puddle.

Jerry didn't need to hear their reaction. He knew he was ready.


He picked at the sleeves of his skintight suit. His silhouette was unflattering and bore exactly no resemblance to Superman's. He felt queasy looking down at his own body. He had no idea how the doctors had rearranged his insides, but it certainly didn't feel good.

He was surrounded by men and women in labcoats, who were in turn surrounded by heavily-armed guards.

Seinfeld turned to Blake. "Are we sure he's gonna show up?"

She nodded. "We left an ultimatum on the official website for 2006's Zoom. No-one other than Tim Allen would see that message."

He nodded. "Okay, okay. Feeling good." He jumped in place. The building shook slightly, as the elevator below him started to push him upwards. "Time to fulfil the prophecy and kick Tim Allen's ass."

"Well, technically," Blake called after him, "You're just prophesized to fight him. Winning was not mentioned."

"Wait, what?" He crouched by the side, but the elevator had already reached the roof, and Blake was long-gone.

He looked around. The roof was barren. The building was alone in the middle of a plain, specifically chosen to minimize collateral damage. There was only one thing he could make out, a silhouette against the orange sky. The spectre of Tim Allen.

Jerry waved. "Hi, Tim."

He floated down, only a few metres above the roof's surface. "Greetings, Jerry," he boomed. "I have long awaited this meeting."

Jerry focused on his own weight. He levitated upwards until he was finally hovering eye to eye with the mad god. "Yeah, it's a big day and all. So, we're gonna fight, right?"

"Yes," said Tim Allen. "Just as the prophecy foretold."

"Okay, good." Jerry nodded. "So, do you want to strike first, or should-"

Tim Allen became a blur. He tackled Seinfeld and flew upwards, carrying both of them into the clouds. The only evidence of their departure was the thin line of black smoke that marked their flight path.

Inside the building, Blake and the other researchers stared out the window, silent.

A younger researcher by her side finally spoke. "Director Blake, do you ever get the feeling that God does exist, and He hates us?"

She sighed. "Oh, every few minutes or so. You'll get used to it." She clapped a hand on his shoulder. "Trust me."


TO BE CONCLUDED


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