Aerobatron (1985)

bymasterandmargarita©

"We need our protein, Joe. Remember?" Donna joked.

"Hit the showers, will ya? I need to close up sometime this century."

"Okay, Joe!" the girls agreed.

They kicked off their shoes and legwarmers and rushed into the shower together. The locker room filled with steam and the sounds of splashing water and laughing women.

Joe pulled off his visor and wiped the sweat from his brow. "Aye yai yai. You girls are going to be the death of Ol' Joe." He redirected to Lucas. "You! Get your ass over here!"

Lucas scrambled to pull up his shorts and approached Joe and Linda, still delirious from the hottest sexual encounter of his life.

"You want to screw around during work hours? You can screw around with me. Put 'em up!"

Joe raised his fists and Lucas reluctantly did the same. Linda stood aside and watched the men get into sparring position with her best poker face. Joe threw the first punch, stopping an inch short of Lucas' nose and causing him to flinch so hard that he nearly fell on his ass.

"Bah, ha, ha, ha!" Joe burst out with a heavy gut laugh. "What do you think I am, some kinda monster?"

Linda giggled at Lucas' stupefied reaction and naked women flooded out of the shower room to join in on the laughter.

"Welcome to the Action Aerobics family," Joe said to Lucas with a pat on the shoulder.

"Ah… thanks," Lucas replied.

"Now, mop all that fucking jizz off the floor."

****


Later that evening, after everyone else had cleared out of the gym, Joe and Linda stayed back to review her practice tapes ahead of the big televised event. Joe wheeled the TV cart into the studio and proceeded to lecture her on a strategy for winning the Aerobathon.

"Are you watchin', Linda? See that V step?" Joe asked, pausing the video tape at the precise moment her foot touched the step platform. "Your landing is still a little too soft. You gotta pound the landing and get some jiggle going up top for the cameras. Always pound the landing."

"Got it. Pound the landing. Jiggle the tits. I've already watched the video a zillion times, Joe."

"Okay, okay. I'm just tellin' ya, it ain't all about the athleticism. The judges are scoring on choreography and overall foxiness."

"Speaking of choreography, do you have my dance music?"

"You bet your buns I do," Joe assured her, holding up a cassette labeled 'Luscious Linda.'

"When the time comes, I'm gonna bring your cassette over to the sound booth and personally hand it to that TV station jagoff. I'm not leaving anything to chance on your big night. Let Ol' Joe handle the details. You just keep your focus on moving those hips, pushing out that chest, and aiming that sweet honey pot directly at the camera."

"Got it, Joe. And pound the landing."

"Pound it like a fucking Veal Scaloppini," Joe insisted. He pushed the stop button on the VCR. "Alright, let's close up and get outta here. Go ahead without me. I gotta take a leak."

****


Joe was shaking out the last few drops in the toilet when heard a loud knocking on the gym door.

"Hold on!" Joe yelled, scrambling to zip his fly and make his way to the door. "Can't you see we're closed, asshole?"

Joe pulled open the door to find himself face-to-face with Striker, the infamous eye-patched assassin. Joe looked down to see an Uzi submachine gun with a noise suppressor poking out from Striker's trench coat. The dreadful sound of a deep, oscillating, synthesizers scored the scene.

"Hey, numb nuts, you got the wrong place. The psych ward is a few miles that way."

"I got the right place," Striker assured him said in a deep, gravelly voice. He stepped forward, pulling the door shut behind him. "I have a message for you from the boss."

Joe spat out his toothpick at Striker's feet.

"Oh Yeah? Well, I got a message for him too. Two words, starts with an F."

Striker fired a round into Joe's foot.

"Ahhg!" Joe cried out. He crashed to the floor and the 'Luscious Linda' cassette tape slid across the tile.

"Hurts, don't it?"

"I had worse in 'Nam," Joe replied, gritting his teeth and putting pressure on his shoe to hold back the bleeding.

Striker walked over to the VCR to eject Linda's practice tape. He put in a tape of his own and pressed the play button. The grey squiggly lines on the TV gradually focused as the VCR auto-tracking kicked in. A handsome, white-haired man in a suit sat behind his desk. The twins from the flower delivery truck stood at his side, wearing shiny sequin dresses. One of them leaned in to light his cigarette.

"Hello, Joe. This is a pre-recorded video tape. Wave of the future," billionaire auto tycoon Frank Cox explained. He took a nice long drag of his cigarette and blew smoke at the camera.

"I'm going to keep this short and sweet. As you know, the time to pay up has come and gone. You know the rules. If you can't pay, then I'm going to take something instead. I'll give you a clue. Tight leotard, long legs, big hair, and an even bigger rack."

"One, she ain't mine to give. Two, you morons are going to be sorry. You picked the wrong fucking broad!"

"He can't hear you. Shut up and watch," Striker said, tapping the glass TV screen with his gun.

"I want you to know that your star aerobics instructor going to be okay," Frank continued. "We aren't going to kill her. We've got something very special planned. I don't want to spoil the surprise."

Joe fought past his paralyzing anger and came to his senses. He remembered the compact snub-nose revolver that he tucked into his back of his pants every night before heading the parking lot. He slowly moved his hand towards the gun.

"Maybe they'll put up a memorial plaque in the gym for you?" Frank teased him from the TV set. "Joseph Pennino. 1928 to 1985. Mediocre trainer, degenerate low-life, and he passed away without a penny in his pocket. It's been fun, Joe. When you get to hell, tell them Cox Enterprises sent you."

"Hey now, let's be reasonable," Joe begged Striker. "Your boss has a beef with me. Just me, you understand? Leave the girl out of this. I'm asking you, man to man. You gotta give me a final request."

Joe knew his pleas were useless. He was stalling for time. He dug into the back of his pants to feel the gun handle in his grasp.

"I wouldn't try that if I were you. Give me your piece," Striker demanded, pressing the stop button on the VCR.

"Why don't you come over here and get it, one-eye?"

Joe could feel his finger on the trigger and braced himself for the moment of truth.

"Hey, speaking of the eye patch," Joe taunted. "I gotta ask—how's your aim?"

Joe whipped out his gun and the 'pew' sound of a silenced gunshot reverberated through the room. A bullet hit Joe right between eyes and cracked the mirror on the wall behind his head. Joe's body collapsed to the floor with his gun still clenched in his hand.

"I aim… to please," Striker replied.

Striker rewound the tape in the VCR. He changed the channel to MTV and pressed the record button, ensuring that the incriminating videotape of his boss' threats would be nothing but a recording of the latest White Serpent music video. Striker pulled out a cellphone the size of a hair dryer and dialed a number.

"Message delivered. The gym is clear. Estrado and Spider are picking up the girl as we speak."

The cell phone exploded in Striker's hand. He growled in pain as the hot plastic and metal bits stabbed into his hand and cheek.

"Go use a phone booth like everyone else!" Joe taunted from the floor, pointing a smoking revolver.

Striker squeezed the trigger of his Uzi and an explosion of bullets pulverized poor Ol' Joe's body. Striker emptied out the entire magazine just to be sure and rained a shower of shell casings onto the floor.

"That oughta do it," Joe conceded, coughing up some blood. With his last ounce of strength he looked up at the TV to see a hair metal band rocking out to a montage of busty bikini models.

"I'm going to die the way I lived. Ogling cans," Joe declared with his last breath.

Striker rolled a pair of grenades across the floor and walked out of the gym. He lit up a cigar and didn't so much as flinch when the fiery explosion engulfed the gym and the window glass exploded into the parking lot.

Meanwhile, several minutes earlier…

"Good night, Joe!" Linda called out towards the bathroom as she exited the gym.

Linda walked her bike through the parking lot. It was eerily quiet for a Friday night. Traffic was dead. All the neighboring storefronts were shuttered and locked. The only light was coming from a flickering street lamp and the distant Motor City skyline, a spectacular view from an otherwise crummy, crime-ridden part of town.

Linda couldn't help but notice a suspicious looking man with an eyepatch, smoking a cigar on the nearby sidewalk. He was wearing military style boots and a long black trench coat. She could feel Striker's eye fixated on her as she walked her bike past him. He looked big enough to be a bodybuilder.

Maybe he's here to check out the gym? Linda figured. She mounted her bike and another man came out of nowhere to the grab it by the handlebars.

"Buenas noches, señorita. Don't you know it's dangerous to bike at night?" Estrado asked in a Latino accent of the Central American variety.

"It's going to be dangerous for you, if you don't get lost," Linda replied, looking Estrado over to size him up. He had mustache and wore flashy chainmail vest that showed off his bulging muscles. The scars on his arms alone told the tale of a hundred knife fights.

"Why don't you hop off the bike and come with me? Let's do this the easy way," Estrado offered.

"Nah. Let's do it the hard way," a voice startled her from behind. It was Estrado's accomplice, Spider. He had a flat top hairdo and wore a red leather jacket with fingerless black gloves.

"You creeps must be with him?" Linda asked. She looked over her shoulder to see that Striker had disappeared into the gym.

"What do you want?" Linda asked. "I don't have any money."

Estrado pulled out a butterfly knife and flipped it open in a grandiose fashion. The knife was one of many that were holstered into his custom leather belt.

"We want… you," Estrado said, pointing at her with a smile.

Linda froze up in fear. She was still straddling her bicycle as the men moved in on her. Spider's hands crept up to her shoulders. She ignored the panicked heartbeat that pounded under her chest and kept her cool.

"So you guys are looking for some two-on-one action?" Linda asked them. "I could be into that. For the right price."

Spider laughed maniacally and Estrado pretended to ponder the offer.

"What do you say, mi amigo?" Estrado asked Spider.

"I say this babe is wild. I'm about to push it. Push it real good," Spider replied. His hands were inching up to her neck.

"I'm a wild babe alright," Linda assured them. "Can you do me a favor? I need your honest opinion."

"I will always give it to you straight," Estrado humored her.

"Do you think my boobs are too big for TV?" Linda asked.

She lifted up her shirt and waited for Estrado to glance down. She kneed him as hard as she could in the nuts and he doubled over in pain. He dropped his knife on the sidewalk and blurted a stream of curses in Spanish.

Spider put Linda in a chokehold and she gasped for air, clawing at his hands. Linda instantly felt light headed and her vision faded as Spider increased the pressure on her throat.

"Easy, baby. Relax. We're not supposed to rough you up. Just let yourself go to sleepy town," Spider whispered in her ear.

Linda's adrenaline kicked in. She put all of her weight on one of the bike pedals and pulled up on her handlebars, causing the bike to flip backwards. Spider and Linda hit the pavement together and she elbowed him three times in the face, smashing the back of his head against the concrete and breaking his nose.

"You like it rough?!" Spider yelled, bleeding from the nostrils. "Let's get rough!"

Spider grabbed onto a legwarmer as Linda tried to run away. A huge explosion echoed in the distance, knocking Linda to the ground. The blast set off a chorus car alarms and the street lit up like daylight from the flames. Linda and her attackers couldn't help but pause their struggle to look over at the smoldering gym inferno.

"Joe!" Linda yelled out.

She was devastated to see the gym in flames. She forgot all about the men that were assaulting her and watched in stunned silence for a moment. Striker's silhouette appeared in front burning building. He walked in Linda's direction and loaded a fresh 25-bullett magazine into his Uzi.

Linda hopped to her feet. She stomped on Spider's forearm until he let go of her legwarmer. He tried to get up and was met with a hard kick to the gut, collapsing him back onto the pavement.

Estrado lunged at her with his knife and she swung her forearm into his, knocking his blade to the side. She kicked her leg as high and hard as she could, crushing it against Estrado's face and sending him stumbling back to the ground. With Striker closing in on her, Linda took off running.

"Help! Help!" Linda screamed as she sprinted down the street.

Linda was cut off by a delivery van that flew out of the alley and squealed into a stop in front of her. She turned back to see Striker aiming his Uzi. He squeezed the trigger and unleashed a spray off bullets, blasting holes in the side of the van. A round collided with Linda's shoulder. The impact bounced her off of the van to ground and she banged her head on the concrete.

Striker approached casually, entertained by the sight of Linda trying to crawl away on her hands and knees. Every movement shot a jolt of paralyzing pain through her shoulder. Warm blood poured down her arm. Striker kicked her in the ribs and knocked her onto her back. The other men gathered around and looked down at Linda, relieved to see her sprawled out onto the pavement. She didn't have any fight left to offer them.

"Tough day at the office?" Striker asked his goons, amused at their injuries.

"Somehow you forgot to tell us that she trained with Chuck-fucking-Norris!" Spider shot back.

"You're lucky they want you alive," Estrado taunted Linda. He flipped his knife blade back into the handle and stuffed it into his belt.

Linda looked up at the men and burned the image of their ugly faces into the deepest recesses of her memory. They each grabbed a limb and tossed her into the back of the van where a doctor in a lab coat was waiting. With victim in tow, the van sped off down the street just before a team of fire trucks descended on the burning gym.

"You trigger-happy morons almost got me killed!" the doctor scolded them from the back of the van. "She's going into shock! This is going is take a miracle! I told you I needed her unharmed!"

The doctor stuck Linda in the arm with a needle and everything went fuzzy.

Linda's last recollection was Striker taking a puff of his cigar and looking into her eyes as he replied.

"You're a doctor. Fix her."

CH. 02
00:16:09


"Tonight on Cox News, it looks like an old favorite is poised to return. The Cadre-Cola Corporation announced that it is going to pull all remaining New Cola off of store shelves, due to poor sales. You'll never guess what they are going to replace it with."

The camera cut to Brent's co-anchor, Marcy, a woman with boxy shoulder pads and a blonde lady-mullet.

"Also in business news, is a Japanese electronic video game system poised to take the US market by storm? One analyst says 'Yes'."

"But first, our top story," Brent redirected. "We have an update on the tragic Action Aerobics dance studio fire. According to county medical examiner, owner Joe Pennino is now believed to have died from smoke inhalation, a fatal result of a natural gas explosion. In addition, aerobics instructor Linda Lockhart is also presumed dead, as she was last seen at the gym on that fateful night. This unfortunate accident, along with a similar accident at auto union boss Jack Rourke's house, marks the second natural gas explosion in two weeks."

"The Motor City Consolidated Gas Company sure has some explaining to do," Marcy said with a chuckle.

"They certainly do," Brent agreed. "The company hasn't issued an official statement, but sources say we can expect a resignation from their CEO by the end of the week."

"Tough break."

"That's life in Motor City for you."

"Up next, after the commercial break. We may be getting an adorable new addition to the Motor City Zoo… but does he have the necessary Koala-fications?"

Click.

"Time for truth or dare!" a teenage girl announced to her friends.

A tiny red laser dot appeared on her forehead.

"Take that, commie scum!" her little brother yelled, ambushing his sister's slumber party and firing a big plastic gun. The gun barrel lit up with a colorful display of flashing lights and the girls screamed and ran around the room.

"New from ToyCo, the Incredi-Laser Dual-Action Commie-Blaster! Squeeze the trigger to see a radical light show! Target your enemies with the patented Incredi-Laser sight system! Shoot foam grenades with the grenade launcher attachment... sold separately."

"Mom! Tommy is laser-blasting all of my friends!"

"Well, are they commies or not?" Mom asked.

Everyone laughed until they noticed Tommy had aimed the laser sight at his Mom's forehead.

"Mom, about that bedtime—"

Click.

"...the Cox Enterprises unprecedented expansion beyond the auto industry is the just beginning," the narrator explained, over a montage of smiling businessmen in hardhats, looking at blueprints and shaking hands.

"Nuclear power. Advanced robotics. Bioengineering. Research and development for military technology. But you don't have to take our word for it…"

"Hello. I'm Frank Cox, CEO of Cox Enterprises. As a business leader, I have already brought the future to Motor City's doorstep. This November, I'm asking for your vote for Mayor."

Frank sat behind his desk and pretended to sign some paperwork. His secretary walked off screen with the documents and he stood up to stroll casually towards the camera.

"As your mayor, I'm going to expand industry like you've never seen. That means jobs, infrastructure, new housing, and safe streets. Motor City is going to be an unparalleled urban paradise. A city where you can live, work, and aerobicise in peace. That's because a vote for Cox is a vote for law and order. It's a vote for the future. This November, vote for the future. Vote for Cox."

Click.

"Haaalll!" Cindy groaned her husband's name in a pouty tone.

"What?"

"Are you just going to sit there and look at your magazine? Can't you see that I put on my best teddy?"

"A Teddy?! Where?! I think I'm supposed to play dead," Hal replied, causing the studio audience to erupt with laughter. Hal flipped to the next page of his Busties magazine.

"Why are you looking at boobs in a magazine when you've got the biggest pair right here in front of you?!"

Click.

"I was watching that!" Estrado yelled at Spider.

"We're supposed to be watching that," Spider reminded him.

Spider pointed his AK-47 towards Linda's nude body on the operating table, just behind the one-way mirror. She was covered in tiny suction cup sensors, connecting her to machines that filled the room with beeping noises.

Estrado reached for the TV channel-changer dial and flipped it back to his favorite TV show.

"I took off the teddy. Can we please have sex now?" Cindy begged her husband.

"Mom, I'm sitting right here!" her son reminded her.

"Bah, ha, ha, ha!" Estrado laughed out loud, along with the TV audience. "Why does he not have sex with his wife already? She is what we call Mamacita!"

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