I unlocked the syrup vault, shifting awkwardly from side to side, allowing the squish of my Dr. Scholl’s protective insoles to calm my ragged nerves.

Here, at last, I had found where it had begun. Here, also, was where it would end.

A couple of years ago, the highly trained commando unit that I worked for had been taken prisoner deep behind enemy lines. We were told to work for the Japanese on an exotic new “convenience store” concept. Being only trained previously on inconvenience stores, our early demonstrations were ineffective, and our captors savagely beat us. Steve “Nipples” Hemingway was the first to die, his rickets-stricken face frozen in a grimace that I will remember to the last of my days.

Finally we developed the Slurpee technology and our weaponized slush product became the core component of 7-11 convenience stores as they began their march of global domination.

When the war ended and I had escaped, I put together what I could, and set out on a goal for revenge.

The 7-11 battalion warehouse had been well guarded, but it was nothing that a series of rubber bullets fired from the mirror-mounted twenty-five millimeter chain guns on my 1967 Vista Cruiser battle wagon couldn’t fix. Through a series of car chases, near misses and death-defying stunts I had barged into the central research office atop a burning steed shod in General Grabber AT2s and stepped out before the vault.

Advertisement

Inside, I knew, was humanity’s greatest treasure, the source of infinite power. The last genuine bag of “New Coke” syrup from the nineteen-seventies. It is said that in exchange for its safe return, the president of Coca Cola would grant its holder three wishes.

When we were imprisoned, I told my comrades, one day I would escape and give the new coke wishes at my daughter’s wedding, a final legacy from an absent father.

However, having spent all of my time and money bolting criminally powerful superchargers onto already obscenely overpowered V8 engines, I remained childless at age fifty-two.

Advertisement

I fired the remote trigger on the winch and pulled the syrup vault wide open. What i saw next shocked me more than a BuzzFeed article, and that’s not easy.

Standing inside the empty vault was only Steve “Nipples” Hemingway, pointing a revolver at my forehead.