The Sealife Liberation Organization had a plan, a plan unlike any seen before in the fight for animal freedom.
Bob was the driver. His passenger was a scientist, code-named "Aegir." Norse god of the sea, moon of Saturn, the man explained. Bob didn't care. Aegir carried a small cooler and a tense expression. Bob had no idea what was in the cooler. He knew better than to ask. Need-to-know only.
Besides...the guy seemed a little shaky. Bob didn't know him, but that wasn't unusual. The less you knew, the less you could spill.
"Faster," Aegir grumbled. "We've got to get these pikefish to Sea World."
Bob was annoyed, but didn't say anything. He knew his job. Drive over the speed limit. But not too far over. Speeders - well, they get pulled over, and who knows what a snoopy cop would find. But driving at the speed limit? Nothing was more suspicious.
Pikefish, thought Bob. Stupid code name. Guy's been in a white room too long. Yeah, we're serving a higher cause. Yeah, they call us terrorists - but we're not. Terrorists hurt innocent people just to hurt them. We're different.
And here I am...driving a strange, jittery man with a locked cooler to Sea World.
Guess that's why they gave me the gun, Bob thought, as he gunned the sedan passed a wobbly RV.
When they got to Sea World, the place was crawling with cops.
"We've been sold out!" Aegir hissed.
"So we abort," said Bob. "Live to fight another day."
"Can't. The pikefish won't last."
"Is that a code, or something?" Bob asked. Then he saw the gun in Aegir's hand. His own gun.
"Sorry, Bob. I thought something like this might happen. Here." He tossed the cooler at Bob. "It's up to you now."
There actually were fish in the cooler.
"I'll distract them. You get to the dolphin tank. No matter what."
Aegir took a decoy cooler, and ran off yelling "Free the sealife! Free the sealife now!" The police charged after him.
Pikefish? thought Bob. Then walked briskly towards the dolphins.
The crowd started to panic. I look suspicious, walking against the tide, Bob thought - I should look like I'm trying to get out, not in. He started to walk faster, then pushed people aside as he broke into a run. Hopefully the cops are busy with Aegir. The sound of gunfire provided no reassurance.
There were cops at the dolphin tank. Damn. How could they have known? Someone told them the whole plan. Just drop the cooler and go. I might get out of this -
"Throw it! Just throw the cooler!" It was Aegir.
"Eat hot lead, terrorist!" It was the cops.
Aegir collapsed to the ground in front of Bob. Bob threw the cooler overhand, and heard the splash just as the taser hit him.
The dolphins ate the pikefish. And jumped. High over head. High over the cops. High over Bob and Aegir. High over the whole park. Into the ocean. To freedom.
"Special pikefish," said Aegir, coughing up blood. "My own formula."
Bob groaned with agony. The dolphins were free...but he was looking at a long time in jail. And Aegir...well, he paid a higher price still. "They knew we were coming to Sea World. If those pikefish could give dolphins super-strength, wouldn't it have worked on other animals?"
"You don't understand," said Aegir, with his last breath before dying in agony. "These pikes are for entertainment porpoises only."
So far this season, including last night:
East/West Picks: 16-3-2 (I think this is right)
Home picks: 25-14-10
Power Picks!: 6-3-4
Let's go a little deeper into the East/West/home/away, because it's innersting.
East Home: 15-6-3
West Home: 10-8-7
East Away: 11-10-3
West Away...say, the other three have been above .500. I'm guessing this is going to be pretty horrible - yup, it is: 3-15-7.
Armed with this knowledge, we press forward boldly.
Toronto v. Columbus
East/West Pick: N/A
Home Pick: Toronto
Power Pick!: Columbus
This is it - the sort of showdown that separates contenders from pretenders, wannabes from gonnabes. Toronto's unbeaten at home, Columbus is hotter than a tanning booth - Bill's right, this is going to be a tie.
New York v. Kansas City
East/West Pick: N/A
Home Pick: NYRB
Power Pick!: Kansas City
The Wizards hopefully used that weekend off productively, because they do not want to lose this game. At least two of their rivals are going to get three points pretty easily. Problem is, New York has only lost once this year - in Dallas, over a month ago. They're also the "1" in Columbus' 6-1 record. In short, I think the Power Pick! is nuts. Who comes up with those? Red Bulls, 1-0.
New England v. San Jose
East/West Pick: New England
Home Pick: New England
Power Pick!: New England
Albright and Ralston are back, according to the injury report. Glinton is out for San Jose. I only looked at the injury report to see if there was any reason not to pick the favorite in one of the sucker bets of the century. San Jose did pull off a sucker upset in Colorado, but I think I'm sticking with popular opinion here. New England, 2-0.
Chicago v. Houston
East/West Pick: Chicago
Home Pick: Chicago
Power Pick!: Chicago
Houston is only one game short of a winning streak. I don't know why I'm not getting an upset vibe on this game, but I'm not. Ching and DeRo's goals are back on the scoresheet, but neither of them looked that impressive. The Dynamo will climb the standings in the West, just not this week. Prove me wrong, parity, you're so big and tough. Chicago, 2-1.
Bizarro Chivas v. DC United
East/West Pick: DC United
Home Pick: CUSA
Power Pick!: CUSA
This looks like one of those "Loser gets fired" pro wrestling matches. Except there aren't ties in pro wrestling, which is what this game is screaming at me. Both of these teams are in turmoil, some of it caused by injury, a bunch of it self-inflicted. Kljestan is great, until he makes a stupid foul and gets himself tossed...and he's about due for that again. 1-1.
FC Dallas v. Los Angeles
East/West Pick: N/A
Home Pick: Dallas
Power Pick!: Dallas
Fine, I'm a Galaxy honk, but I think the Galaxy are a lot closer to putting it together than even they realize. Just a little more organization in the back, that's all. Except they're doing it with rookies and has-beens, so they're about three players short of that "one little thing." Crumbs. Dallas has been puke-inducing for nearly a month now, but this is the first week in a while that losing would cost them the first place spot. 3-1, Dallas.