"Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor!" The Middleman hurled himself to safety among the wooden pews as the floor caved in and the mighty pipe organ rose from the ground. He could barely see the tiny, withered figure of the Organist amidst all the dust and splintering wood, but the sound of the man furiously wringing a warped version of Bach from the keys and pedals was deafening. "Dubby! Get clear!"
"I'm on it!" Wendy neatly threw her miniature jet-propelled grapple over a handy exposed beam and let it reel her up to the roof to crouch in the rafters like a young and photogenic gargoyle. "Did all the mourners make it out the ridiculously large and ornate double doors, which Lacey would consider a prime example of the corruption inherent in any politico-religious organisation?" The Middleman was fairly sure that's what she had bellowed over the horrendous noise of the pipe organ – it seemed appropriate. But perhaps she'd just said, "Did all the mourners make it out after the withered corpse of the deceased, long-imprisoned super-villain leapt from his casket and declared the imminent end of everything?"
Either way, the answer was the same. "Both the mourners are clear! Zimmer frames are surprisingly speedy these days. Use your grapple gun to climb over the pipe organ and distract him!" He coughed, which only made his ears ring more. All this shouting was hard on the vocal cords: it was going to take more than one glass of milk to restore his usual commanding yet kindly tones.
"I'll climb over the pipe organ and distract him! Watch my Donkey Kong Junior action!" Wendy shouted back, or it must have been something like that, because she shot her spare grapple gun over the next beam and began to swing from rafter to rafter like a monkey in the jungle.
The Middleman swiftly vaulted over a pile of pews and plastic chairs, and ran towards the Organist and his mighty instrument, only slightly slowed by the scattered debris and splintered holes in the floor. It wasn't until he saw the poison darts streaming towards him from the holes in the huge metal pipes that he remembered what he had read in the Organist's file – the man had sent himself stone deaf with his love for large-scale loud music, but had made up the deficit with his impressively sharp vision, something that he still appeared to possess three days after his death. Not just that, but he had trained himself to have a full 180 degrees of vision – useful for a man who kept his back to his audience – which gave him an unfortunate pair of wall-eyes, but a distinct advantage over two people accustomed to using all their senses, and now deafened by the noise.
Throwing himself backwards onto the floor to avoid the darts, the Middleman signalled up to Wendy by pointing at his eyes, only to see her shrug in confusion. Confound it, she hadn't read the file yet! She'd promised she'd do it before helping Lacey with her "Fake Fur = Real Chemical Waste" campaign, but she'd obviously revised her priorities again. The poison darts flew over his supine body and embedded themselves harmlessly in the back of the pew behind him. He raised his head slightly, but a second wave of darts left him in no doubt that he was trapped in place – one movement closer to the Organist, and he'd be skewered like a clove orange pomander at Christmas! He only hoped that Dubby could somehow compensate for the supposedly-dead Organist's sensory advantage and overcome the sneakily resurrected super-villain on her own.
Wendy may not have read the file, but she was a student of Sensei Ping, and she knew that the first fox to tread the morning dew endangers the den. She didn't try to rush towards the Organist, nor did she swing down to save the Middleman – instead, she neatly dropped from the rafters behind the giant thrumming copper pipes of the organ, where she was completely hidden. The next moment, the pipe organ crackled with electricity, leaping from pipe to pipe and down into the Organist himself, hurling the little old man into the air and starting any number of fires on the wooden frame of the organ. Finally, the organ's dreadful cacophony groaned into silence, only to be replaced by the crackling of a hundred tiny flames on highly flammable varnish. The Middleman was on the case, though, and grabbed a foam extinguisher from the wall, waited a long patient moment for all the fuses to blow, then hosed down the entire wooden contraption, covering everything with thick foam.
Wendy sprinted around the side of the enormous instrument and, with a quick glance to make sure her boss was alive and kicking, jumped on the still-twitching body and punched it hard in the back of the neck.
"Dubby! Defiling corpses is rarely appropriate behaviour! Especially in a church!"
"Hey, he started it with his post-mortem shenanigans!" Her voice echoed strangely, though that was probably just the residual effects of their ears' sudden respite. "I thought that if he's alive, the electricity will stop him, if he's a zombie, the flames will. But no!"
"No?" The Middleman kept a firm hold on the fire extinguisher and took a wary step closer to Wendy and the late Organist.
"Robotically animated corpse!" She held up the control collar that she'd ripped from the body. "I love this job!"
"It all makes sense, now. The Organist always was a mechanical genius. I suspect he must have planned one last strike from beyond the grave, one last spit in Death's cavernous eye, one final –"
"I don't know..." Wendy looked at the collar suspiciously. "It's all hooked into an MP3 player. I think he might have just wanted to play his music one more time."
The Middleman patted the still-smouldering instrument with an odd fondness, now that it wasn't causing permanent damage to his hearing. "He'd been in prison for the last decade. He couldn't leave without –"
"If you say 'touching his organ', I'm going to quit. Seriously. I'm going to take up a life of monastic meditation until my mind is totally clean again, in about a thousand years."
The Middleman leaned on his fire extinguisher. "Dubby, that's why we consider interruption to be not just a bad habit, but a social vice. I was going to say 'bidding farewell'." He took the electronic collar from Wendy's hand, and carefully detached the MP3 player from the control circuits before pressing play and placing it on the Organist's lightly scorched chest. The tinny speaker rang with the glorious sounds of Bach – at a responsible volume – and the two of them stood quietly by the corpse until they heard the sirens approaching.