Maxine Maker and the Scintillating Confabulator!

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This was the first Strange Worlds story about Maxine Maker. It was improvised on March 2nd, 2013.

[edit] Episode Summary

The Slime Guts gang, adorned in prep school jackets, stages a series of heists in laboratories across the city, stealing a variety of chemicals, assaulting and threatening scientists, and commanding them to spread the gang’s name around.

Maxine Maker and her trusted assistant Shelby continue working on their gamma radiation project, attaching Maxine’s latest device...the Confabulator! She explains that this will help contain and control the radiation instead of allowing it to disperse chaotically (which has caused poor Shelby no end of upset stomachs and illness). She attaches it using a sonically powered screwdriver tool that she explains was given to her by a Doctor friend of hers...

The Slime Guts’ lieutenant Stan reports to his boss, Madame Slime Guts, who congratulates him on the theft of the chemicals and his rise in the ranks. She reassures her hideously deformed servant Henry that there will be a place for him as well once their chemical warfare has destroyed the city allowing them to rebuild a metropolis of their liking. Stan commands Henry to get the chemicals from the van, which they place in the Radiatortron to prepare it for dispersal into the air.

The police commissioner (a former beat cop who worked the beaches of Ireland) and Detective Bullock call Maxine for help in investigating the theft of the chemicals. From the list of chemicals stolen, Maxine deduces that someone is building a bomb powerful enough to take out an entire city. The police tell Maxine of the Slime Guts gang’s involvement, and Maxine reveals that their leader is Pat, a nefarious former student of hers who has gone rogue. All three take a moment to lament the mysterious events that occurred to Marco, another of Maxine’s students, before moving forward in their investigation.

Madame Slime Guts experiments with her new poisonous chemical compound by forcing the pregnant owner of a nearby shop to drink it. The owner’s husband enters, but is powerless to help as he is beaten mercilessly and repeatedly while his wife’s body undergoes a hideous transformation before dissolving from the inside and dying.

Maxine arrives to examine the dead body alongside a pair of forensic scientists. She pulls a strand of dissolving flesh from the corpse, confirming it was poisoned by the same chemical compounds that were stolen from the labs. One of the scientists tastes it to confirm for himself and almost immediately succumbs to the poison. Maxine sends his partner to get a soda to help concoct an antidote, but he returns too late. Maxine suspects this won’t be the last murder.

Back at the Slime Guts hideout, Stan shoots Henry for getting on his nerves. Madame Slime Guts takes his gun and reminds him that he is neither in charge nor above being disposed of himself. As Henry’s sister arrives and drags the body away distraught, Madame Slime Guts tells Stan to obtain the remaining chemicals to power the Radiatortron and poison the entire city.

Maxine shows Shelby a sample of the chemical with traces of river water from the warehouses down by the docks. Suddenly, a bomb rolls into the room, exploding as Maxine and Shelby dive for cover! Another more complicated bomb rolls in and begins counting down. Maxine leaps up with a bobby pin and sets about disarming it with only seconds to spare. A spring loaded hand holding a note pops out of the defused bomb, a challenge from Madame Slime Guts for Maxine to come face her at the docks.

Maxine and Shelby meet a group of fishermen (who are all fans of hers and have no idea who Shelby is), who tell them about the water recently becoming green and toxic, the trucks going in and out of a nearby warehouse, and their ongoing debate as to whether a body floating in the water is a bloated fish or a human. Maxine and Shelby head for the warehouse.

Inside, Madame Slime Guts and Stan await Maxine’s arrival as the Radiatortron hums to life, a steel cage suspended above. Maxine and Shelby enter and Maxine is drawn to the complex machinery of the Radiatortron, but Shelby stops her as they notice the cage. But Madame Slime Guts releases a second cage suspended above them, trapping Maxine. Shelby runs for help. Maxine taunts her former student, but Pat reveals that the bars of the cage are lined with the chemical compound which is now seeping into and poisoning her skin. Maxine pulls out an antidote which arrests the effects, but the reaction proves sedative as she slips into unconsciousness. A henchman enters, announcing the arrival of the police. Madame Slime Guts commands that Maxine be placed in the dungeon.

Shelby finds the commissioner, Bullock, and a dim witted cop named Muriel on the docks and leads them into the warehouse.

Maxine is held in the dungeon behind radioactive bars with another scientist, but manages to pick the locks of her handcuffs and use the Confabulator in her ray gun to absorb the radiation from the bars, causing them to crumble to dust. Before she can escape, Stan arrives to fight her. Maxine wins, but Pat gets the drop on her with a gun at her back.

Shelby and the cops enter the warehouse. Muriel accidentally activates the Radiatortron which begins counting down to the detonation and dispersal that will poison the entire city. Unable to shut it down, they explore the warehouse to find Maxine, who is being held in the control room as Madame Slime Guts shows her the city that is about to be destroyed. The cops swarm in and open fire. Stan tries to shield Madame Slime Guts, but they are both mowed down. With mere minutes left, Maxine sends the cops out to do damage control. Realizing they might not get out of this alive, she tells Shelby he’s the best assistant and the thing that keeps her going. He cries at the sentiment, and Maxine realizes the saltwater of his tears can short out the circuitry and stops the machine in the nick of time, neutralizing the compound as well. In the aftermath, Maxine and Shelby celebrate being alive, their friendship, and saving the city by going out to get a cup of coffee.

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