Mistigris Entry for Blender 35 - And the words are.... vegans / sacrifice / legoland / We had just heard the first signs of the conflict when we were told to move out.  I looked to my right and saw my friend, Bob, crouched in the trench.  Sweat was dribbling down his face, his orange skin reflecting the sun through the smoky haze of the battlefield. /   Up and over! our Captain cried, and we all launched over the top of the trench in unison clutching our weapons with both hands.  We were running at full tilt as soon as we got over the heaped stacks of charred plastic bricks.  This was no-man's land, and you could tell that it was true because no man could seem to survive in this virtual hell. /   Shells exploded above us, and one of the Privates hoisted our division flag as we ran, the large letters declaring Carrot Brigade #3 with the motto underneath: Death Before Salad! /  It gave me a second wind, looking at that flag.  Seeing my comrades charging across the battlefield with me, I felt a strange sort of ferocity. And then I saw our enemies. /   Standing high on a stack of Duplos, a man with long red hair with a tie-dyed purple shirt (signifying him a General!) with freshly cut vegetable scalps hanging from his hemp belt screamed the vegan battle cry: End Animal Cruelty! /   It was at that point that I felt a tremor of fear bounce around inside me, and I knew that I might not be a carrot when this day ended. /   ... It was seriously hot in that trench, dude, and the smell of all of our bodies sickened some of us - reminding us of the smell you might find in a slaughterhouse, of all the animals lined up for the kill. Which is what we pretty much were. /   Kinda funny how we were charging into battle to face almost certain death defending our humane ideals to end animal suffering.  Why couldn't these pinko plants see things our way? /  But no, they couldn't go easily.  These hastily-erected Lego trenches protected both sides, but they were settled in in ways we could never hope - roots anchoring them to their maternal soil.  Here we were, fighting for our right to eat, and they were getting sustaining nourishment just by standing still.  War is crazy. /   I could hear the folky guitar chords coming from the next trench over and visualized the entire regiment climbing out of the trenches, holding hands and chanting.  The squad leaders would be armed with a fork, spoon, and soya-based salad dressing, but most of us, like myself, had nothing more than a pouch full of incendiary hacky-sacks. /   I closed my eyes and joined the group hug in the trench as we tried to imagine that peace would be declared and we would all be at a salad bar by Christmas. /  ... Jimmy was the first to go down.  He took mortar shrapnel in the back; the last time I saw him he had half a dozen potato-peelers lodged in the back of his head.  Those bastards!  Peeler mortars were specifically on the banned list of vegawarfare devices! I gritted my teeth as we charged on. /  And then it happened; we were outflanked! Ranks of crazed hippies in tie-dye shirts and peace necklaces rose up around us! Captain said for us to hit the Legos, and we did.  The little nubs dug into my chest and started to take chunks out.  It hurt, but not nearly as bad as when one of the enemies charged up to me and sunk his salad fork into my leg.  I turned and hit him on the side of the head with my rifle butt; he grabbed his ear in pain as blood gushed out of it.  The salad fork was still lodged right below my kneecap, and I called for a medic.  Then they opened up on us with the potato gun. / Two of the enemy stood there on a hillock of green Legos and started launching dead baby potatoes at us.  Although their means were primitive, the large plastic cylinder the used for a gun was effective in delivering their payload at maximum speed. How dare they desecrate the bodies of our own! / The medic crawled over to where I was and began to spray topical Miracle Grow on my leg.  Although it didn't work very well for regrowth, it killed the pain.  He looked at me through his  glasses and told meeverything was going to be alright; I wish I could have believed him. / ... It was a steady effort just to keep chewing but this was one of the primary directives given us in basic training: if you don't eat the enemy, he'll grow back, and besides, the extra energy would do us good. Bummer.  At the time, I don't think Command Cental knew that they'd be sending us the elite Giant Zucchini unit against us.  I still don't know how I managed to defeat this one, a straggler from his unit.  He must have had stem rot or something, to act so irrationally, and besides, the flavour seemed to correlate my observation. / I was almost through his thick flesh now, nothing but seeds and shell left.  Remembering proper technique, I gathered the seeds and, careful not to drop any on the ground, placed them on a small pile of tinder which I lit with a stick of incense. / The smell was nauseating so I plugged my nose and held my breathas I methodically smashed the shell to bits.  The mouldy zucchini fermenting in my belly made me mondo queasy anyway and I had to lie down. / Big mistake. / I woke up beneath the moon in the midst of a circle of deadly Nightshade commandos (Potatoes and Tomatos) discussing what do to with me.  They'd tied me down with vines and creepers and I hoped that wasn't a trace of dried zucchini I felt on my face. / ... After the doc talked to me, a potato bomb exploded beside us, and the next thing I knew I woke up in a field hospital. / An eggplant nurse leaned over me (eggplant weren't allowed on the front lines - it was felt they couldn't handle the rigors of combat without going all mushy) and tended to my wounds.  I looked down in horror and saw a spindly stalk where my left arm once was.  She put fresh peat moss on it, and said that I would be alright.  The doc had told me that, too. / After a week in the hospital I was almost stabilized; my arm was almost half regrown, and all of the lacerations had healed up nicely.  I was feeling pretty well when I heard news from the front line: we had taken Veggieburger hill!  Everyone was excited until they brought in a new casualty: a tomato from the front was strapped down to a stretcher, with red juice all over the place.  He was screaming random threats at everyone he passed, and finally he broke down, crying and drawing deep breaths while the life almost bubbled out of him. / Why can't we just.. he sobbed, why can't we just give peas a chance? / At that point my resolve to see the end of this war was concrete. / --- I don't know where I am or who I am, dude.  I've been here for, man, I don't know. I really, really don't know.  A day?  A week?  A month?  All I know is that I was wrong.  I've been wrong all along.  We were meant to eatmeat, man.  We've got incisor teeth.  Those are made for cutting muscle. / They talked to me.  I was tied to the chair but the broccoli were very kind.  They gave me shots to improve my strength and showed me films. Now I realize the error of my ways.  They nourished me back to health with a steady diet of roast beef.  At first I was like, no way, but they told me it was made of tofu.  After the first few meals I was hungry enough not to care. / The fighting has got to stop.  Everyone realizes that, especially us grunts down in the front lines tangling with the onions and the cucumbers.  What we never realized is that they're just defending themselves and their way of life - they've got a right to live too, man.  I mean, plants have feelings to!  They even have a national anthem. / We can't win, that's clear.  Even if we fry them all up and eat them, there'll be more.  They'll grow in the dirt we're buried in.  They've owned the Earth longer than we've been here, before the monkeys, before the insects even.  We can't even live without plants, giving us the air we breathe.  Fighting them makes no sense - if we wipe them out we'll all die as well.  So I have to get our side to stop.  They're sending me in, to show them the error of their ways. / ... So, tell me, soldier, what was it like behind the lines?  I mean down, deep in their garden of hell? / This was General Veganheim himself - five stars painted on his hands in henna dye and a golden hackey sack on each shoulder.  I was sitting in his office with guards outside the door but he was in here alone!  Just me and him... or so he thought. / It was bad, sir.  I mean, it was terrible.  They abused me in ways I can't describe, but somehow I managed to escape.  Thank heavens for basic training.  They had me guarded by gourds, and that was their first mistake. I think I found out why they call 'em squash. / The General rocked back in his ergonomically-correct knee-chair and laughed until he started wheezing.  You know, you'll be decorated for this. Did you manage to... subvert any supplies? / This is what we'd been hoping for.  The rumours of the General's embezelling habit, unheard of on the front lines, were true.  They'd prepared me for this.  Sir, I didn't manage to procure anything... but this.  His eyes went from downcast to ravenous as I took the small innocent-looking turnip from my pocket and handed it to him.  With a wink he tossed it up in the air and swallowed it whole, without even chewing.  That was lucky. / He leaned back and took a deep breath.  Suddenly, he got a disgusted expression on his face.  Soldier... I can smell beef fat oozing out of your pores!  Have you been eating roast beef?  Explain your -- urk! / The assassin was at work - the little turnip who could was also a highly trained killer - no garden variety thug, who was strangling the General in his chair, sacrificing himself to destroy the leader of the Vegan forces.  As the general clutched at his throat I took his juggling sticks from beside his chair and clobbered him on the head with them.  He sank to the floor and after a few minutes his face turned purple. / The turnip rolled out of his mouth and took out a small walkie talkie. The rutabaga has landed, Cabbage Patch. / With the general defeated, the chain of command would unravel and our Vegan troops, demoralized and without direction, would stoop to drinking milk and eating cheese.  Once that happened, the army would nevre be able to re-form again.  Victory was ours!  Now we were free to face the army on the other front of the Victorious Vegetarians. / But first I swallowed a small pill.  If I was found they could not question me, because the pill delivered a lethal payload to my brain.  I was still alive, but they'd never get any information out of me because in a final act of trechery, I would become a vegetable myself! / I helped the turnip roll on to the window sill and from there into a dumpster below as my final act and sat still in the corner, drooling, as my sight faded.  This is a glorious war. / ... This has been the official Mistigris entry to Blender #35 - vegans, legoland and sacrifice.  Pictures by Happyfish and Tincat.  Story by Cthulu and Skrubly. / Soundtrack from Darkest of the Hillside Thickets. / Mistigris 1997 - we eat our sprouts!
-- ansi by happyfish and tincat, lit by cthulu and skrubly.  click here for the original ansi --