Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

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Tetsuwan Penguin
Robot Revolutionary
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Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

Postby Tetsuwan Penguin » 2 years ago

Well the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade is now over, and I imagined Astro as one of the floats, which brought to mind a Tezuka story.....
The character of Detective McClane (from the Die Hard series) was in my story "Doppleganger".

Uran held tightly onto Chi-Tan's hand as the toddler tried to break free from her and run into the street. Astro and Cobalt stood a few steps away next to Professor Ochanomizu near the curb. The crowd along New York's Fifth Avenue was bundled up in their winter garb to keep warm from an early winter blast of cold air. Everyone was waiting for the annual parade to start, as the pageant started by the once famous department store promised to be as colorful as ever.

When will it start?, Chi-Tan yelled in a voice that reverberated in an echo off the tall buildings lining the street. “Any minute now,” the professor promised, looking at his watch.

The group from the Ministry of Science had been invited by to the city by Neil deGrasse Tyson, head of the New York Hayden Planetarium, as part of a cultural exchange between Tokyo and N.Y.C. More correctly, it had been Ochanomizu that had received the invitation, and he'd been allowed to bring his robotic family along. He secretly hoped that no fuss was going to be made on Astro's account, he knew that the boy robot's fame had reached certain ears in America, Tyson's for certain.

In a dingy side street on the upper west side, an old wreck of a semi-truck was parked with its engine idling, spewing a dense fog of diesel fumes into the moist cold air. In the back of the truck, inside of the rusty trailer with a canvas covered roof, Skunk Kusai and his henchmen were busy attaching a hose from a large tank of helium gas to a large balloon. The goon known as 'Blues' lifted the brim of his hat from over his eyes, while his partner 'Jazz' opened the valve on the tank.

“Won't be long now,” Skunk laughed.

“What are we doing here in the US of A?”, Blues asked. “A bit out of our usual territory, ain't we?”

“Why we're going to add some Japanese culture to this country's Thanksgiving day parade with our special balloon,” Skunk said. “You guys do recognize this particular float, don't you?”

“Yeah, it's one of those balloon bombs you sent aloft over Tokyo a few years back to try and get the population afraid of all robots,” Blues said.

“And one robot in particular,” Skunk said with some anger, “Who happens to be right here in this city as we speak.”

“Astro's in New York?” Jazz gasped.

“I heard it though the grape vine,” Kusai smiled, “and I figured we ought to give him a special honor.”

The balloon slowly filled with the gas and soon took up much of the space within the truck. Skunk pulled on a rope that released the canvas top to the truck and his henchmen allowed the now partly inflated balloon to rise above the top of the vehicle where it could be fully filled with the lifting gas. Skunk looked up at the gondola attached to the underside of the balloon. He knew it was filled with enough highly explosive nitroglycerin and metal shrapnel to raise the terror level during the parade quite a few notches. He grinned at the image now floating above his head, a many times larger than life duplicate of his foe, the robot Astro Boy.

Detective John McClane stood on top of an air grating above the 6th Avenue subway trying to keep warm with the aid of the warm air pushed along by the rush of a speeding express train below the street. He didn't exactly mind the overtime pay, but crowd control for the Macy's Parade wasn't exactly the kind of police work that he longed for. Still, it was better than being put on parking enforcement duty.
In the distance he could see the first of the floats coming down from Central Park West, heading for 5th Avenue via Columbus circle. Getting into his patrol car, he started the engine and slowly turned onto one of the side streets leading toward the parade route. He double parked the police interceptor at the corner, just behind a barricade, shut down the engine, and made his way on foot to the street. The mayor's reviewing stand was just a few hundred feet further south of the area where he had been assigned to keep watch. Reaching the street, he spotted an open bit of curb next to an elderly Asian man, who he suddenly realized he knew.
“Hakase Ochanomizu?” he asked.

“Yes,” the professor replied, as he turned to face the detective. “It's McClane - San, isn't it?” he asked.

“Yes, what are you doing in my city, sir?”

“Well right now, I'm watching the parade, but tomorrow I'll be part of an inter-city event between Tokyo and New York at the Planetarium, where I've been invited by the director. I didn't know I needed to inform the police of my visit, however.”

“No, of course not,” McClane replied. “It's just that I'm surprised to see you, our last meeting was,”

“Yes, I know,” The professor laughed, “You accused me of being a jewel thief!”

“That was a logical mistake due to Astro's twin,” McClane returned, “By the way, is he here with you?”

“He's right over there,” the professor laughed, pointing, “along with his two brothers and sister.”

“McClane turned and saw Astro and Cobalt, along with Uran who now had Chi-Tan sitting on her shoulders so the little 'bot could get a view of the first floats passing by.

Skunk Kusai, and his two plug-uglies held tightly onto the ropes attached to the balloon, and made their way by foot to 5th Avenue where they merged into the parade. The huge copy of Astro floated above them at the fourth story level.

“When do we set it free?” Blues asked.

“When we reach the reviewing stand where the Mayor is standing,” Kuasi told him. Once we let the balloon on its own, it will become a robotic drone, I have the remote control for the bomb in my pocket.”

“Look Ani!”, Uran yelled, “That float looks just like you!”

Astro and Cobalt turned their heads quickly to the north. Floating above 5th Avenue right behind a larger than life Underdog, was Astro in a flying pose. Astro zoomed his vision in quickly, and spotted several figures running down a side street towards the east, and he also noticed that no one was now holding the tether lines on the Astro balloon. His electronic brain quickly identified one of the men who had released the balloon's tether as Skunk. “Not again!” ,he thought. Astro ran towards the professor and yanked on his coat. He then recognized the policeman standing next to him.
“Hakase, Detective McClane!”, Astro yelled urgently. “We've got to stop that balloon that looks like me!”

McClane turned to face the boy robot. “I'm sure that it's just an honorarium for you, though I know you're rather modest.”

“No, there's a bomb on that balloon!” Astro yelled.

“Look Astro, I know that we did have some explosive balloons released in Tokyo by Skunk, but..”

“That's just it!,” Astro yelled, “I saw Kusai running away just as that balloon came into view!”

The detective reached into his coat pocket and quickly extracted a small pair of binoculars. He focused them on the Astro Balloon, and noticed the package hanging from it.

“There is something suspicious attached to the underside of that float!”, he gasped, “And it's heading for the mayor's reviewing stand!”

Astro leaped skyward and grabbed onto the balloon to push it higher, and out of the way of the parade.

Standing a block away, but with the balloon in his sights, Skunk reached into his pocket and pressed a button on his remote control There was a sudden flash of light, and a loud report over 5th avenue as the balloon image of Astro exploded. Windows on the upper floors of a few of the buildings lining the street shattered from the blast, which sent Astro hurtling towards the ground. He landed in the back seat of a replica of the Batmobile.
Quickly regaining his equilibrium, Astro jumped from the moving float, and ran across the busy avenue. He headed east, and immediately spotted Skunk and his henchmen. Astro grabbed a long length of rope that had been tied across several police barricades to close off part of the street, and he quickly tied it into a lasso. Throwing the loop of rope in a manor that would make a cowboy envious, Astro caught the fleeing thugs, and having them all tied up, he carried them back to where the professor was standing.
“I got them, sir.” The boy robot said, handing the free end of the rope to the detective.

“Friends of yours?” McClane asked Ochanomizu.

“We've met,” the professor replied.

McClane and Astro marched the trio towards the double parked police car, and stuffed them into the back seat. “Relax boys,” the detective smiled. “Next stop for you is the Tombs.”

“Great idea!”, Blues groaned at his boss.

“You should have known that Astro would be standing right near the Mayor!”, Jazz added.

“Just shut up!” Skunk moaned.

:tenma: I'm on as Tetsuwan Penguin. Please check out some of the other stories I've written! ;)

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