Lizard Cops

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Sometimes a show just breaks your heart. You know it could have been really good, the kind of show you’ll think of fondly for forever. But then the network cancels it, or shuffles it aimlessly through the time slots, or maybe the whole world blows up. And the show never gets its chance!

That’s the kind of show Lizard Cops was. It would have been a hit, except its audience all died. That tanked its projected ratings something awful, and it never really recovered.

The lead characters were the last two survivors of a primeval race of lizard-people that had lost the ecological competition with humanity. One was a wisecracking jokester, the other a lizardy prophet. These were Tobias . . .

OFFICER: Freeze! Police!

TOBIAS: I am cold-blooded and unable to freeze in the human fashion!

OFFICER: . . . you look human.

TOBIAS: It’s the silky softness of our convergent evolution! Duck!

OFFICER ducks.

TOBIAS leaps over the officer’s shoulder in a velociraptor jump and knocks down a SKULKING CRIMINAL who was standing behind the officer with gun drawn.

. . . and Cooper!

COOPER: Lo, I am Raphael Cooper, one of the last two survivors of a primeval prehuman race, and I say unto you, be not afraid;

COOPER: For I have emerged from my sleep of ages not to harm you but to bring you great tidings;

COOPER: That you are loved by that God that sleeps in the dark places, in the lizard places, in the deeps of the Earth;

COOPER: By the God of frogs and amphibians; of squelching and the damp;

COOPER: By that God who has chosen thee over we to precede the Snavering Lavelwods as lords of all the Earth.

PASSERBY: Your words . . . they have torn through my icy New York reserve! Thank you, lizard prophet! Thank you! Thank you for ceding us the world!

In the premiere, the two of them are invited to join the New York Police Department by its brusque human police chief, Ragin’ Claude.

CLAUDE: Look. I know you two don’t want to get involved in human affairs. But 9/11 changed everything.

TOBIAS: How so?

CLAUDE: America isn’t safe any more. New York isn’t safe any more. If we’re going to stop this terrorist before the Department of Homeland Security does we’re going to need every prehuman lizard cop this force can get.

But the terrorist they hunt is more cunning and clever than even the lizard cops could imagine.

WEEPING WOMAN: He killed my husband! And then I remarried and he killed my next husband! And then I remarried and he killed my next husband! It just keeps happening!

CLAUDE: My God. He’s reenacting the Book of Tobit.

COOPER: Terror has never been so . . . personal.

TOBIAS: . . . Sara, snap out of it. Listen to me. Sara. You have to stop marrying. When he kills your seventh husband, it’s his sinister Biblical exegesis that New York will die!

WEEPING WOMAN: But . . . I joined the Abstinence Until Marriage campaign! I don’t want to be a virgin forever, officer!

CLAUDE: Cooper?

COOPER: It is time to call the Mayor and make prayers unto him;

COOPER: For if the city is to live, he must suspend the abstinence campaign!

The struggle gets ever more intense as Cooper and Tobias come to the terrorist Az’mod’s attention. Az’mod doesn’t like Western society—but he’s practically JIHADIC about ancient prehuman lizard peoples!

AZ’MOD, SHRIEKING: There is no God but Alec and Mohawk is his prophet!

COOPER: That is a misinterpretation of the . . .

AZ’MOD: Your lizard people offend against my faith!

COOPER: Seriously, if you actually read the Koran . . .

AZ’MOD throws a flash bomb. It flares blindingly. COOPER looks away. CLAUDE blinks. But TOBIAS does not look away, and his eyelids are nonfunctional lizard eyelids!

TOBIAS: I’m blind!

AZ’MOD: Ha ha ha ha!

AZ’MOD flees.

COOPER: Fear not, Tobias. We shall have our revenge;

COOPER: We shall catch him, and try him;

COOPER: And if the trial goes poorly the DHS shall render him unto Egypt to be bound.

TOBIAS: Is that the will of God?

CLAUDE pages through a handy copy of the Bible.

CLAUDE: Looks like.

COOPER: We cannot know;

COOPER: For, of course, what is canon to the Catholics, and should therefore be the literal word of God

COOPER: Is sometimes apocryphal to Protestants.

CLAUDE is still reading.

CLAUDE: Hold the presses, Cooper! If this is inerrant, then there’s some sort of magic fish whose gall can heal Tobias’ eyes!

COOPER: Then God has sent us a message.

TOBIAS: Where we find that fish, we’ll find . . . the terrorist Az’mod!

It was pretty clear that this was going to be the best show ever. But then the world exploded and the broadcast crew died.

Maybe they’d planned to teach the true word of God, set in a world of lizard cops where the Holy Scripture is the only honest guide through the treacherous machinations of criminals, terrorists, and scum. Or maybe they’d planned to break with the concept of Biblical inerrancy and have one or two bits prove themselves … well … only metaphorically true.

We’ll never know. Not now. But it would have been something to see, don’t you think?

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