Cruise Report #2
Home Up The Black Hole Literary Review Wm. E. Allendorf, Prop.

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When we last left our Heroes DOCTOR BERNARD K. NITE had just
advised his friend and number one patient, BELLVIEW H. CRUISE to
leave Chicago immediately. This fast departure was not only for
reasons of health, but also to ensure Bellview's continued
freedom. Chicago's police department, not to mention a good many
of its citizens, were very interested in nailing Mr. Cruise's ass
to a stick, and marching it through the streets in triumph. All
because of Bellview's little vacation.

Dr. Nite, a man not unaccustomed to leaving places suddenly and
in the middle of the night, caught up with Bellview just ahead of
the police. Dr. Nite is also the EDITOR of the magazine you are
now holding. Nite informed Bellview that the Rol-Yero– institute
had turned up in San Francisco and that they had to cover the
REAL story.

As we find them now, Bellview and the DOCTOR have chartered a
private plane to take them to Chicago's O'Hare Airport to catch
the next flight to the west coast....


Raoul, our pilot for this little foray, was mumbling something
about our "final Approach" and how we should "extinguish our
cigarettes" as he brought the DC-3 down to a few dozen
exhilarating feet from the ground at Chicago's famed O'Hare
airport. Various packages of contraband made loops through the
back of the plane, as the DOCTOR lit something that I believe to
be of a highly suspect nature, and resumed his explanation of our
trip to San Francisco. "The public needs to know what's going on
out there." he said finally, with great conviction.

"WHY?" I said as I took a from the Doctor's
preferred smoke.

"Well Bellview," he said with the voice of a gaging yak
"....Uh,...what was I saying...oh yes... it's for the cause of

"Of course" I said (by now we were both horribly twisted, and I
was seeing the Doctor as his old self - a three toed sloth with
paisley fur.) "I see the connection. If WE don't let the
American people know what is going on out on the west coast no
one else will have the balls to cover the real story."

The DOCTOR'S reply was cut off by the spastic roar of the DC-3's
twin engines, apparently Raoul was making some minor course
corrections. The plane came in at a hideously steep angle
groundwise, and I noticed that the DOCTOR was screaming into
Raoul's ear.


"ARE YOU BLIND MAN" Raoul screamed near hysteria "THE TIE

"IT'S THE ETHER DOC," I screamed conversationally over the
deafening thunder of the Engines" HE'S HALLUCINATING, HE SHOULD

During our little chat we could clearly hear ground control's
desperate attempt to get Raoul's attention......COME IN UNKNOWN

"Those BASTARDS," Raoul shouted "they think they can fool us by
impersonating our own ground control!" He grabbed the microphone-
"I'll show you!" He thumbed the comm switch, "This is for our
boys!" he shouted with real tears in his eyes as he dove for the
air field.

I, screamingly, pointed out that this seemed like a fairly
dangerous move in a metal ripping, bone crushing kind of way.

The DOCTOR concurred as Raoul made his final approach, happily
reporting that "Han" and the others must have been successful
because "The shields" were "Down". The DOCTOR realized that
Raoul was completely incoherent and attempted to grab the
controls away. Their fighting over the controls of the plane only
brought us closer to the ground more rapidly.

In a flash of inspiration I shouted "Look Raoul, It's Keith
Richards!" and when Raoul turned his head to look the DOCTOR
rendered him unconscious by violent means.

Taking control of the plane Nite announced "hold on, this is
going to be rough" and with all the grace of a Burmese midget mud
wrestler the plane bounced on the ground to the tune of terminal
metal fatigue. "This pile of shit is going to fall apart!" was
Dr. Nite's assessment of the planes performance.

"Don't worry," Raoul shot back dazed "she'll hold together!"

Quickly assessing the situation, the Doc put the plane into a
Cincinnati U-turn that nearly worked perfectly until the left
landing strut gave way under the strain of our bizarre landing
practices and folded like an empty Budwiser can.

"WE'VE BEEN HIT!" Raoul shouted, as the fuselage slammed into the
ground. The left engine began to smoke in that international
language of ABANDON SHIP.

"SAVE THE DRUGS!" the DOCTOR encouraged, as he began to stuff
nondescript packages into a large army surplus pack. While Raoul
tried in vain to raise "Scotty", I straightened my hat and headed
for the hatch. Like they say, any landing you can stagger away

The Doc, Raoul and I made it to the main terminal and mingled
quickly to avoid any of the airport security that might have seen
our hasty exit from the downed DC-3. The Doc turned to Raoul and
told him the the police would catch him soon if he didn't follow
the DOCTORS instructions exactly. Wide eyed and afraid Raoul
listened intently.

"First" the Doc instructed "take this Master card" Raoul took the
card. "Good. Now I want you to go to the first rental agency
you find and rent a fast convertible. Insist on a convertible
because nothing else will save you." Raoul nodded fascinated.
"and whatever you do, don't give them your real name!" Raoul
nodded vehemently at this.

"I know what" the Doc said, feigning inspiration. "Tell them your
name is Cruise, Bellview D. Cruise!" Raoul repeated the name a
few times then staggered off in the general direction of a HERTZ

"Right," the DOCTOR said. "That ought to keep the cops off our
trail for a while." Turning in unison, we both headed calmly for
the United Airlines counter.

Dr. Bernard K. Nite reached into the pocket of his custom made,
all purpose, "Urban Cammo" jacket (with reversible tweed lining)
and retrieved two United Airlines boarding passes. The ticket he
gave me was issued in the name J. A. Mutz. I looked on his
ticket and read the name O. T. Orr. It hit me like a Zen koan
that these were not our actual names.

"Orr?, Mutz?" I asked Benn.

"Don't ask stupid questions Cruise!" he hissed trying to keep
silent in the line. "Just board the goddamn plane and remember
your name is MUTZ!"

Just as I was about to argue this point I noticed the woman at
the United reception desk. Something was very wrong with this

"Uh...Mr.,uh, Orr...Have you noticed anything strange about that
woman's eyes?"

"You poor helpless dope fiend" he said looking me over. "As your
physician I advise you to take one or more of these." He passed
me a small bottle filled with many strange and wondrous things.

"Which one should I take for my condition?"

"The blue ones should be good," he advised "and keep it down will

"Jesus, I didn't even know it was up!" I said looking around
wildly. "What about the WAR ON DRUGS! What would Nancy Reagan say
about all this?" I saw sharp eyed California bound passengers
dive for the multicolored pharmaceuticals I was dropping as I
gestured drunkenly with the small bottle.

For the sake of decorum I will not repeat what the DOCTOR had
to say about the first lady, but the effect was that I took the
preferred medication and quieted down.

The Doc stepped up to the check in counter. I was trying to pay
attention but everything in the room seemed, suddenly, very
bright and all the edges were very sharp. The woman at the desk
still had strange eyes... The DOCTOR seemed to be playing with
the ink pen holder as if it were some kind of pet, as the strange
eyed woman watched nervously. I realized that the counter woman
was really an alien with eye lashes like spiders, but since the
Doctor didn't seem to mind the deception, I decided to let it
slide - this time.


We both lunged spastically into the plane jamming our tickets
into the hands of a flight attendant with skin like a rubber tub
toy. As she gave us the passes back she looked at me and
whispered "You must be Bellview Cruise !"

I tried to act as if I hadn't heard her and kept going. The
DOCTOR grimaced but did nothing. Through a drugged haze we both
managed to find our seats and flounder into them.

Suddenly the plane was full of passengers. One of the
stewardesses was explaining the safety features of the United
Airlines exciting 707 "STRETCH" passenger plane. Benn had
noticed the small bag in the pocket of the seat ahead of him with
FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE in bold letters on it. He pulled out the
air sickness bag and took one of the vials of ether from his
carry on luggage. He then sprinkled a great deal of the contents
of the vial into the bag. I put my hand on his arm.

"Doc, are you sure you want to get into that stuff this early
into the trip ?"

"Trust me man" he purred "I'm a physician." he said giving me a
maniacal look. He then put the open bag to his face and inhaled,
sounding very much like the four jet engines of the 707
"STRETCH". Bad craziness seemed imminent so I got up and made
for the john.

One of the two bathrooms at the tail end of the plane had a sign
that read "OUT OF SERVICE", the other was "OCCUPIED". Since all
I really wanted to do was have a few minutes alone to collect my
frazzled thoughts, I went into the "OUT OF SERVICE". It was the
typical jetliner bathroom arrangement, the warm materials that
make every traveler feel right at home - stainless steel, plastic
and glass. I'd seen drop holes in Bangkok that were more

I caught sight of myself in the mirror and froze. A small part
of my mind screamed at me not to look but it was already too
late. I knew I'd be stuck for hours staring with chemically
altered perceptions at my own twisted face.
. . . . .

The DOCTOR was in a playful mood. This was a pity in that there
were so many innocents aboard. The plane had been off the ground
for half an hour and Bellview still had not returned to his seat.
This could mean only one thing - Bellview was hopelessly stoned
and stuck in the bathroom mirror. Since there was nothing he
could do to save the poor bastard, the Doctor just slouched in
his seat, becoming bored and sullen - a dangerous combination.

The stewardess with the plastic skin came down the isle just as
the Doc was rising from his seat.

"Where is Mutz ?" she asked him.

"He..uh.. had business in the head." he replied suppressing a
smile. She returned his smile sunnily, said "Thank you" and
headed off down the isle.

Dr. Nite strolled, casually, (or at least as casually as possible
for a completely intoxicated man in a very confined space) up to
the "kitchen" area.

"May I help you sir" said an impish voice. The DOCTOR whirled on
the stewardess so suddenly that he nearly knocked the small woman

"Why yes, uh" he looked at her name tag "Mandy, I was wondering
if I might have a glass of water. I have to take some
medication, you see."

"Oh, of course sir." she said half turning to the beverage cart.

"Ah yes" the DOCTOR said looking down at the beverage cart (and
Mandy) with interest. "A beverage cart. Just the thing...."

. . . . .

"Just leave the bathroom quietly, Bellview." I thought to myself.
"You are just stoned. There really is nothing in the mirror."
It didn't help. I couldn't move. This trip was just too
fascinating. I watched as My eyes moved around to the sides of
my head. "Very lizard like." I thought.

The toilet spoke to me in a woman's voice. "You are Bellview J.
Cruise aren't you ?"

"I flatly refuse to speak to my hallucinations if they are going
to appear to me as broken toilets." I replied ignoring the

I suddenly became aware that there might be someone in the small
room with me as a small hand appeared on my shoulder. "You have
to be Bellview Cruise" said the plastic skinned woman. "no one
else could be this stoned and still be mobile."

"Uh... yeah right." I said trying to focus.

"Mandy and I are your biggest fans." she purred (yes purred)
"We've read every Issue of Kallisti Komiks."

I reached into my pocket and pulled out a roll of Zippy the
Pinhead stamps (not legal as postage in many states.), tore off
two and handed them to her.

"Jesus," she said "I've heard about these but I never

"We get you there," I intoned "getting back is up to you."
. . . . .

I opened the bathroom door in time to see a tiny Bacardi bottle
flying through the air headed straight for my head. On reflex,
I snagged the bottle out of the air and drank the contents. I
then looked for the source. A small woman in a stewardess
costume was running up and down the isle pushing a cart filled
with alcoholic beverages. Every so often she would pitch some of
the contents in the general direction of the passengers.

The passengers were in various states of undress. One graying
businessman, only in his tie. Toilet paper streamers were
everywhere. Someone had spray painted STONEHENGE RULES on the
overhead luggage compartment. It was difficult to see into the
first class section because of all the smoke, but I could clearly
hear George Throughgood and the Delaware destroyers blasting at
me from somewhere ahead. Empty suit cases were everywhere.

I straightened my hat and dove headlong into the savage party. I
was in search of the DOCTOR. I was fairly certain that he had
something to do with all this madness.

As I made my way to the front of the plane, Crazy Mandy and
the beverage cart pulled up behind me. She threw four bottles of
Jack Daniels at me with lightning fast jerks of her hand. With
the benefit of years of experience behind me, I simply pulled the
bottles out of the air. As I drained one I slipped the other
three into my pocket. This seemed to please Crazy Mandy as she
giggled wildly and began bombing the first class section with
beer cans.

"Where's Mr. Orr ?" I shouted over the thunder of a Throughgood
guitar solo.

"Who ?" replied Crazy Mandy poised with a Miller Lite can cocked

"Uh...THE DOCTOR !" I offered.
She paused again, thinking.

"Oh, You must mean MADDOG NITE !" she yelled happy with the name.
"He's in the cockpit talking to the guys." And with that she
charged back into coach with the beverage cart.

I had to fight my way passed a group of rubber clad people using
their seats as "Floatation Devices" but I finally got to the door
of the cockpit. The spray painter had written "BRIDGE" on it. I
pulled the door open and stepped in.

The DOCTOR and the flight crew were all just sitting around
quietly taking a few tokes from a roll of Maui Wowie and few
pulls from a full size bottle of Johnny Walker Red. The whole
group was trading war stories and talking about old times. Benn
had a rare happy glow on his face as he called me in to sit down
and have a bit.

The Crew had the look of people who flew in this condition all
the time. In fact it occurred to me that they probably did.

Just then the Captain leaned over to the microphone and
announced, "We will be arriving at San Jose air port in twenty
minutes." I settled back to enjoy the landing and think about
how the hell we were going to get off this plane without all due

San Jose Airport was somewhere between an international Airport
and a local "fly in". It was large enough to take some of the
larger mid-size jets but that was the limit. When we touch down
it was already late into the evening.

The DOCTOR and I spent the touch down in the cockpit, as informal
guests of the crew. The Doc made small talk about landing
procedures as I worried. I expressed my misgivings,
philosophically, to the DOCTOR.

"What the fuck are we going to do about those people back

"Calm down, Bellview." he assured "everything is under control."

"But..." I started but he gave me THE LOOK and I knew I'd just
have to sit back and see what happened next.

The plane landed with barely a bump, for which we congratulated
the flight crew. I was the first one out of the cockpit door and
into first class. Halfway down the isle I realized what I was
looking at. Somehow Crazy Mandy and Plastic Rhonda had whipped
the passengers into shape. Everyone was dressed, though a little
rumpled, and in a seat. The bags were all packed and in the
overheads. I couldn't take this.

"What about all the damage?" I said out loud.

"Well Hell Bellview, what do you expect with all that rough air
we flew through."

I turned to look at the DOCTOR in astonishment. The flight crew
was standing behind him. They all had THE LOOK

"O.K. smartass what about the spray paint.

The Doc wiped a damp cloth across the front of the cockpit
door-the paint came right off.

"Any mess left over" he was saying "could be attributed to loose

I still had my doubts but just then we heard the docking ramp
bump onto the plane. The Doc hurried us to the hatch where Mandy
and Rhonda were waiting with the DOCTOR's back pack. They both
kissed us on the cheeks and promised to read the next Kallisti.

. . . . .

The Doctor Spotted the rental car long before I did. It was
parked on the road near our terminal. This automobile was a true
classic, a 56' Chevy convertible with whitewall tires and Rolls
Royce winged victory hood ornament. The DOCTOR started the car
(with a little help from Mr. Screwdriver) and we began the long
vicious drive to the "Madre de Dios Hotel", located on the
outskirts of San Francisco. Dawn had just begun to break over
some hills to the west.

After a quick tour of San Jose, the DOCTOR rolled us on to the
main road to San Francisco-Highway 101. Dr. Nite was holding the
excelerator to the floor as he experimented with the tape deck to
get just the right sound from a Pete Townsend tape.

How the DOCTOR was going to listen to anything at 90 MPH with the
top down is beyond me.

"As your physician" said Dr. Nite "it is my recommendation that
you test the authenticity of those packages." he indicated the
army surplus in the backseat of the car. Their was nearly six
pounds of pure H in four individually wrapped packages, A tape
sealed "pick-nick-o-fun" beer cooler filled with everything from
the sublime to the surreal, a fifth of Wild Turkey and nearly ten
pounds of ready to use marijuana. When I had finished
"testing" I passed the last of the ether to Dr. Nite, and settled
back to review the last 48 hours in a drugged haze.

As always I used my pocket tape recorder to keep notes.

(sounds of a loud car engine, howling wind and the song "Rough
Boys" played to its highest volume.)

"I am back on the job now after a little vacation in Chicago. My
vacation, the DOCTOR assured me, made it absolutely necessary
that I leave the state of Illinois immediately."

"Why was that, doc?"

"Because they were about to call out the National Guard on your


"The DOCTOR and I are in sunny San Francisco to GET THE STORY on
the Rol-Yero– institute. We had both encountered the Rol-Yero–
institute years before in Cuba ..."


Some things deserve repetition. "There is nothing more pathetic
than two full grown men completely stoned on ether." The drive
to the hotel was a horrible, slobbering trip from the moment we
started with that terrible stuff. By the time we reached the
Hotel I was driving, though neither of us remember changing
places. I brought the Chevy (which we had taken to calling the
Blue Rhino) to a screeching halt, using a combination of foot and
emergency brake, while shifting into low gear. Even with all
that, I still over shot a little and jumped the curb, stopping
toe-to-toe with the doorman in front of the double doors to the
Madre de Dios. The doorman backed off unsteadily, feeling behind
him for the door.

"I don't like his eyes." I heard the DOCTOR mumble as he
casually put his hand inside his jacket.

"None of that" I hissed. "remember what happened in Miami!"

The Dr. gave me a strange, nostalgic look but did nothing. "I'll
handle this " I said. The Doorman with the 40 wt. hair was not
taking his terrified eyes off us. I could almost smell the
adrenaline as his instinctive urge to run filled his every
thought. This situation could become ugly, and we didn't want to
attract any attention too early in the game here. We might have
to kill this man. Cut off his head and feet and bury the parts in
the desert.... Jesus, did I say that? I looked at the doorman
for some sign, but he just stared with those wild eyes.

"Now see hear my good fellow" I said in my friendliest voice
"we're friendly. We're Americans, this doesn't have to become

Instead of being assured by my tone of voice, the poor slob began
to whimper in fear.

"WE'RE your friends now, son" the Doc said over my shoulder.
"what's your name?"

"Uh... uh.. Ricardo Blank... uh... hum look se–or I just park the
cars I...I don't know nothing."

"Now, now. Calm down Ricardo," I said. "You don't think we'd
bring you in for... uh ...questioning do you?"

"Uhuh...n-no se–or!" he said in terror.

"If you knew anything, you'd tell us without us having to get
nasty. Wouldn't you?" the DOCTOR said soothingly. "Oh, yes
senor! yes!" said the Doorman.

"That's good" I said "Because OFFICIALLY we'd have to take a dim
view if you were to withhold vital information."

"I understand completely se–or and I would never do such a
thing." replied Ricardo as he groveled out of our way.

With that I tossed him the screwdriver that the DOCTOR used to
start the Blue Rhino and we both staggered passed him and into
the lobby. As we entered Benn snapped his fingers in

"I knew he looked familiar!" he stated.

"Yes! Of Course!" I said, but I had no Idea what we were talking

The lobby was done in early velour with a touch of stucco to give
it the "Old style" flavor. Over the desk was a classic
bullfighter painting done on black velvet. It was what a cheap
decorator might call "early Mexicana"

The clerk checked his file and told us that the room would be
ready for us in half an hour. He then made the glorious mistake
of telling us that the bar was open. We headed off blindly in the
general direction of the bar, where we were treated to a
continuation of the lobby decor. We picked a table under the most
hideously ugly painting I have ever seen, for no other reason
than to sit facing away from it. The DOCTOR asked for a
Manhattan Project, but when the waitress looked at him in utter
bewilderment he settled instead for a bottle of Tequila. I still
had a taste of Wild Turkey in my mouth from the fifth that was in
the bag, so I ordered Bacardi 151 to give it a rhythm.

"Speaking of the bag" Benn said as he pulled the surplus bag open
"I think it's necessary for us, at this point, to take some
extremely dangerous drugs so as to be ready for any thing that
might happen."

Since the Doctor was still horribly twisted from the drive here,
I knew that trying to follow his logic would be insane, but I
couldn't help but agree with the general sentiment. From the
"Pic-nic-O-fun" beer cooler the DOCTOR pulled a small vial of
clear, viscous, liquid. He then took a paper match out of a book
and carefully dipped it, first into the vial then into my rum.
He then repeated the action on his own drink.

I looked at the glass with the respect that a weapons expert
looks at a fine firearm - that's being pointed in his direction.
I looked up at the Doctor as he said - "It's ugly Bellview, but
it's necessary" Then he threw back his head and downed the
monstrous concoction in one gulp.

I knew that only BAD GENGI could come of this, but the
alternative was to stay straight while the Doc became hopelessly
twisted. . . I preferred to sip mine. Within minutes the Doctor
and I were both seeing tracers, and it wasn't long before we got
into a conversation with one of the bus boys (I had told him to
take a sip of my drink to see if it was all right) about the real
significance behind the bankruptcy of Playgirl Magazine. The
waitress came over to tell us to please keep our voices down and
to ask about why Todeki (the bus boy) was not doing his job. we
told her that Todeki was doing some very important work for us
and would she please bring us another round. The Doctor stood up
suddenly and muttered something about the "slowassed service" and
went to see about the room.

I had noticed for some time now the amount of red liquid on the
floor but had decided that looking too closely would be a bad
mistake. Now, however, I realized the situation. I could see
that the people in the bar were beginning to take on some very
bat-like traits. I tried to be nonchalant, because I knew that
these must be the same bats that had forced Raoul's plane down
and I didn't want to attract their attention. Somehow the Doctor
and I had stumbled into their cave. Aw NO, Doc! The poor
bastard was probably lunch by now. He would never be subtle
enough to pass himself off as a bat, like I knew I had to do.
The poor fool would try to fight them off with automatic weapons
and that would be no damn good. I could tell they were restless.
Someone was screaming... "WHAT ARE THESE ANIMALS!"

"What are you yelling about Cruise san?" said Todeki

"Nothing kid" their was no point telling the poor kid. He'd know
soon enough.

The DOCTOR and Todeki were helping me out of the bar.

"Hey why are we leaving?" I said watching the waves that my words
made in the air.

"You nearly scared those people to death back their." the Doc
informed me "I leave the table for five minutes and you go

"It was a dangerous situation Doc," I said "I had to do what was

"Necessary?" said the Doc laughing uncontrollably "You are stoned
out of your mind you bastard! The shouting was bad enough but
when you started holding off the waitresses with that painting I
knew it was time to get you out of their."

"Ha, Cruise san" agreed Todeki "you were muy loco."

"Don't YOU get self righteous," accused the DOCTOR. "You were the
one telling him that if he threw water on them they would

By now we were all in the elevator on the floor with tears in our
eyes from laughing. The door opened only once on the way to our
floor but the cleaning woman flatly refused to get on saying that
she would wait for the next one. Somehow she made the situation
even funnier.

The Door slid open again and the DOCTOR and I were confronted by
the DOCTOR and I. I recognized Dr. Victor von Ravenscraphtor
standing behind the other us. Both versions of me said: "Uh, hey

"Whoops! Sorry guys!" said Dr. von Ravenscraphtor. "Slight
TEMPORAL VARIATION and spacial flux. Have it fixed in a jif."
Before any one could move the vision of the other Doc and I in
Dr. von's lab jumped and flashed like a bad television signal.
Our doubles were suddenly replaced by a normal looking, cheap,
Mother of God Hotel hallway.

The DOCTOR expressed my sentiments exactly when he said "JESUS

By the time we made it to our door we could barely get in.
Luckily our room was near the elevator so the trip was not too
far. Once we had the door open Todeki announced that he was
going in search of anything sweet. That seemed fairly cryptic so
we let him go.

When we got inside their was a note addressed to me that had been
shoved under the door. I ignored the Doctor's suggestion that we
microwave it before we opened it and ripped the letter open.

Traps be damned. There was only a small card that said "If you
want to find out about the REAL story come to the Mission House
Mary's Restaurant. Look for the Woman in Green. Don't be
MISSLED." When I tried to show the note to the DOCTOR he said
that he didn't see any thing. When I looked again the hand
written message was gone like Dick Tracy mystery ink. Things
were already twisted and we hadn't even gotten to the Rol-Yero–
Institute yet.

(To be continued next issue.)

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