Thursday, September 07, 2006

Episode Hiatus

Unfortunately the only remaining episode in our buffer still needs to be edited and finalized. I could post creative non-story material here, but not today. I will still post such material, but for the time being there will be no new episodes on this blog. We need to establish an acceptable buffer and figure out how to keep things on task. As I said you will definately want to check back for news and extra material during this hiatus.



Thursday, August 31, 2006

Episode LXIV, Part II

We return to our story in progress. Jeff Smark (formerly Frodo Baggins) is still on the loose, and Nightrider is slowly going nuts as she tries to track him down. Without access to the codes inside his head the upcoming budget hearings for Q Lab will not go well and they will not have the finances they need for the upcoming year.

* * *

“Any progress?”

“No. Poe is still searching.”

“Blast. Must I ask every day how hard it can be to track down a penniless bum? I feel like an idiot mindlessly repeating myself. Can we—” The voice broke off into a cry of pain as a door opened and flooded the pitch black closet with bright light.

“Oh, so sorry. I did not know.” The offending janitor beat a hasty retreat as soon as he recognized Nightrider. She could hear him muttering “Don’t disappear me,” as he backed away.

Blackbird rubbed his eyes. “So much for security. Can we what?”

“Divert any other resources to help Poe in his search?”

“Not really. His disappearance was ruled an unsolved mystery, just as you wanted. We can’t very well use official funds to pull him in for questioning.

“Ah, I hate it when you’re right.” Nightrider raised her flask to her lips and took a long pull.

“Look, if he somehow found money I’m sure that he is using cash so we have no way to trace him via a financial paper trail. All we can do is put out probes that will let us know if he uses any accounts that he created using our internet connection. I’m sure Mouse Tail can work on programs to sniff such things out. But on a positive note recruitment is up as you requested. I’ve initiated Geo—”

“Ah, ah! Only code names.”

Unseen in the new darkness Blackbird rolled his eyes before speaking in a normal voice. He would have protested but he was too glad that his distraction had worked. “Bogart, Ali Baba, Dulcinea, and Toucan have all passed their background checks.”

“Very good. Do they have initial assignments yet?”

“No. I wanted to consult with you first,” Blackbird admitted.

“Understood. Send me their dossiers and I’ll get back to you.” Nightrider stood up and led the way out of the closet towards the newly completed Annex lounge. Some wag had already scrawled a sign over the door. The Asylum, Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

As she walked across the threshold she turned back to Blackbird. “Wait—where did you interview them?”

“Here in the Annex of course. The main systems haven’t been debugged after the weekly sweep yet.”

Nightrider nodded in approval as she filled a clean tumbler with brandy. “Good. The sweep may delay us slightly, but I think that overall it will be beneficial to evaluate our security procedures so frequently. Now, I may want you to keep running the new recruits out of here. If we can get the access glitches worked out soon I definitely want them based here.

“Let me see, was there anything else? Oh yes, how is Damien doing?”

“Quite well actually. We’ve been running him through simulators at quite a rapid rate, and so far he has held together quite well. Of course we may need to develop some new enhancements in the future, but for now we are just awaiting an opportunity for a live fire test.”

“That is excellent news. At least some things around this place are running as planned. Perhaps soon we can start brainstorming more fundraising schemes—Xanga hasn’t come through with anything recently.”

Though momentarily pleased Nightrider soon refilled her glass yet again and slumped back in her chair. Blackbird was concerned to see her drinking so much, but he knew that she was sensitive about the topic and wouldn’t appreciate a query. He was somewhat sure that things weren’t out of control yet and he didn’t want to jump the gun. If he needed to shake her up he wanted it to be for a darn good reason, not just because she’d had a bit much to drink one evening.

“I was married once,” Nightrider offered several minutes later.


“Aye. Johan was a nice man.” Her voice trailed off into reflective silence. Though she refilled her glass several more times she didn’t say another word until Blackbird assisted her back to her quarters sometime after three in the morning.

* * *

Jeff didn’t understand his luck. His apartment complex had kicked him out, but the Acid Springs Resort clerk hadn’t batted an eye at his wad of cash. It had taken him a couple days to batter down his security obsessed mind’s objections to staying in a publicly accessible hotel, but eventually comfort had won the argument. He had spent his first day sleeping, trying to recover from a night of driving up and down every street in Daze Springs. Now with time to relax Jeff thought that he could try to contact Gordon again. All of his recent e-mails had bounced and he hadn’t had enough time to decipher the mystery. At last he had both the time and the proper high speed connection. He might have to mess around with quite a few of his e-mail accounts, but he was confident that he could solve the problem.

* * *

Nightrider wasn’t even sure that she wanted to get up. She’d begun chasing her hangovers away with a glass of rum and handful of aspirin, but her body was starting to adjust. Truthfully it only postponed the onset of symptoms, but she had never been a morning person and the extra time was worth the later problems. Another useless day she thought, theorizing that she would spend most of it trying to track down Jeff Smark.

* * *

As part of his new morning routine Jeff’s computer turned on quickly and connected to the resort’s network, but everything went downhill from there. In a matter of seconds after he hit the net his laptop’s memory was maxed out. Instead of panicking Jeff checked the security programs that he had laboriously reassembled—they were all functioning. Then he realized that it was probably Mouse Tail. If anyone could set up a virus that could exploit the very programs sent to defeat it, it would be Q Lab’s computer genius—the one who had designed the programs in question.

The resort had required a valid e-mail to register so that Jeff could receive communications and special offers. The desk clerk said something about it being a procedure instituted because of the low number of staff. Uncertain if all of his hidden accounts still functioned Jeff had supplied an address more closely linked to his real name. He had figured that even if he ignored any advertisements he would want to read any official communications. Jeff wasn’t sure why the office couldn’t just call him, but he had been too tired at the time to argue.

He now bitterly regretted that hasty decision. It took him more than an hour to ensure that his computer and the resort’s network were clean. He even managed to destroy Mouse Tail’s programs before they could report anything substantive back to their master. He had to chuckle when he discovered the names that Mouse Tail had assigned: Nemesis and Paul Jonas. Nobody in Q Lab could give up sci-fi references, even obscure ones.

* * *

This time Blackbird encountered five separate warnings before he met up with Nightrider—and two were from the new recruits. The closer he got the more he felt as though he were on the set of a bad sci-fi flick. Nightrider was acting the part of an evil overlord perfectly—the part of a thwarted and impotent evil overlord that is.

“Why can nobody find him? WHY?!? Is everyone in this department an idiot?” As she ranted Nightrider began to throw small objects from her desk across the office.

Blackbird quickly moved forward and swept the part of the desk directly in front of Nightrider clear of any remaining ammunition. “Calm down!” he barked. After he shut the door firmly he turned around and began to berate the furious woman.

“What on earth are you doing acting like such an idiot? You’ve read the evil overlord list—you’re acting just like a failed despot. Ditch the horrible plot and start acting intelligent. Did you ever work better as an intern when Frodo yelled at you for making a mistake? I remember you telling me that you would never repeat the mistakes he made with you. It looks like never isn’t very long after all. Now you can kick me out like we did to Frodo if you want. But if you don’t then just tell me that you’re ready to start talking rationally and I can sit down.”

Instead of the sobs or sighs that Blackbird half expected Nightrider nodded, sat down, and closed her eyes. After several deep breaths she leaned further back.

“As usual you are my voice of reason, Blackbird. I have allowed this problem to consume too much of my time. Please forgive my actions.”

“Of course, I’ve seen you frustrated before. But I doubt that Dulcinea or Ali Baba has—they’re the ones that might permanently scar.”

Nightrider grinned along with Blackbird. “Your point is well taken. I will of course remember to speak to them later. Now, if you’re done calming me down, is there any news of Jeff?”

“No, Mouse Tail says that he has no idea how far away he is from cracking Jeff’s codes. The problem is that Jeff used much more than a random number generator and innovative passwords. He apparently rewrote sections of Mouse Tail’s programs so that they would better dovetail with other security programs and create nearly unbreakable problems for us. Our best bet for a speedy resolution is to capture Jeff once again. I only wish that we had implanted some form of tracking device in him.”

* * *

Curtis Dangerfield didn’t really practice medicine anymore—he didn’t have time after all of the in (and out of season) fishing expeditions up the river. “Look, I’ll let you look at the X-Ray yourself,” the doctor exclaimed. “But I’ve already examined it three times—there isn’t anything back there that I can see.

“Sure whatever,” Jeff responded dejectedly. He had hoped this appointment would have cleared up his problem—instead he was worrying more. He was now speculating that the supposed tracking system might be built into his body, or into a non metallic frame. Jeff knew it was even a risk coming to Dr. Dangerfield, but he couldn’t stand not knowing. Furthermore he had rationalized that only Dick Lowe should have known of Dangerfield, and even then he didn’t know that the doctor and Jeff were now close friends.

* * *

“We have a lead,” Blackbird reported. “Poe managed to track down a police officer that stopped Jeff from sleeping in his car a few nights ago. He hasn’t been spotted since, so the police are thinking that he skipped out of town—but I’m sure that the car is solid enough. Our people now have the details of the car. If he doesn’t ditch it we should find him eventually. We both know Jeff; he’ll never venture out of Daze Springs until he can come after us.”

“True enough,” Nightrider mused. “Keep me apprised of any further developments.” With that directive she retreated into her office. A well-used dartboard now decorated the wall opposite her desk.

“Curse you Fro—Jeff!” she snarled as she flung several knives and darts towards the board decorated with Jeff Smark’s face. “Everything has been worse since I kicked you out. I still can’t make a profit, because of you. I can’t avoid rules, because of you. I hate you!” Each exclamation was punctured by the hearty thud of steel into wood. Nightrider kept up her rant for at least twenty minutes until she felt just a bit calmer.

She knew that she was letting Jeff get the better of her temper, but on the other hand it was impossible to ignore him. She had thought that her coup would simply remove him from the equation and make life much simpler. Instead it had complicated matters beyond all belief. If she had it to do all over again she mused, she probably would have simply have put up with his idiotic procedures. Anything would be better than the preoccupation that was causing Q Lab’s productivity to grind to a halt. Nightrider would give anything to eliminate Jeff from the picture.

Nightrider glared across the room and picked up her three biggest throwing knives.

“I,” the first thudded into his right eye.

“Hate,” the second blade sliced open his left eye.

“You!” the last blade sank deep into his forehead.

* * *

“I’m coming for you Nightrider,” Jeff murmured. He typed several more lines of code as he mused reflectively. “No rest for the wicked. Hah, I think you’ll really enjoy this new virus.” The former Q Labber grinned evilly as he attached the file to an e-mail he knew Nightrider could never resist opening. Dawn was just breaking as he clicked the send button.

Date: July 04, 2005
To: Nightrider@QLab.elf
Subject: What can the night
Message: never catch?

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Location, Location, Location

Here only a few hours late for your reading pleasure, is our Monday column.

What is the most important part of real estate? Now don't cheat and go read the title. Bah, I said don't read it. But you're right, 'tis location, location, location. We have many featured locations within the Heroes and Villains story, and I'll tell you about a few of them today.

Each of these locations has been created by a different author and given a profile. Those profiles help us (the writers) as we revisit these locations. The profiles contain vital information about each location. They may be short, or quite long. Today we'll look into parts of Mammoth City.

Mammoth City was our first region, and my how it has grown. So many episodes have been set within its boundaries and we have only begun to scratch its surface. In the first far off days of this story we didn't know much about the city.

Mammoth City: A really big city, with tall buildings and a high crime rate.

Can you see what I mean? It wasn't really too much to go off, but it hasn't stopped us from exploring the city. We've gone from Mammoth University to the Zoo, to the slums, to Community General, to many different houses. But today I want to look at the universities specifically. Yes, that isn't a typo. If you recall in one episode Abby Gillis was sent to a university in Mammoth City that wasn't Mammoth U, 'twas Titan University. It hasn't been visited since, but hopefully it will be in the future.

Mammoth University (quite simply named) was the city's first created university. MSU is big and is known for chemistry, computer science, and engineering. As with the city that isn't much to go on, but as I said before that has never stopped up. Its history department is nothing to sneeze at, despite the meglomaniac tendencies of the department chair, Dr. Pettigrew. Yes, in areas apart from temperment (he never tried to kill me) Dr. Pettigrew is (very) loosely based off the chair of the History Department at The Master's College. I worked for three years as his TA, and so some of Dennis' experiences were either inspired or the descriptions enhanced by my experiences. The analysis program that Hegel devised for him really exists, created by Fibonacci.

I'm not sure when, but with Carry in the mix as a main character I'm sure that we'll get an opportunity to explore other departments of the college. Hopefully Pettigrew isn't the only faculty member that we'll know very well.

The other (currently known) institute of higher learning within Mammoth City is Titan College. From the start you must realize that the name is a humorous reference. Within the Star Trek universe William Riker, always first officer under Captain Picard on the Enterprise finally took command of the USS Titan in Star Trek: Nemesis. Hence the president of the school (hopefully not based on Dr. MacArthur) is Dr. Dean Riker. In contrast to Mammoth, Titan is known for its history program, perhaps Jean-Luc Owen could be the History Chair at Titan, ;-). Also to make things interesting for Abby I indicated that there is a fierce cross-town rivalry between the college sports teams.

That is all for now, but next week we'll be back to explore another aspect of this fascinating universe. Until then, enjoy reading about our Superheroes and Villains.



Thursday, August 24, 2006

Episode LXIV, Part I

Yes, for the first time the episode will be serialized! Read part I this week and come back for part II next time on Superheroes and Villains! :-)

“Don’t drink the Kool-Aid,” Batman whispered to Blackbird.


“Nightrider. She’s on a rules and regulations kick.”

Blackbird stopped and directed a very skeptical gaze at the biological wizard. “Nightrider? She’s never followed The Book in her life. What happened now, did aliens take over her body?”

“Well that would be interesting, but unfortunately no. I think Frodo’s attack really freaked her out. You know how insecure she is…”

Blackbird thought for just a minute before replying, then he reflected that they weren’t near a water cooler. Under Frodo’s old arbitrary rules they couldn’t be gossipers because they weren’t at the water cooler. Nightrider hadn’t enforced anything, but neither had she removed any of Frodo’s rules from the “Official Q Lab Rules and Procedures” notebook. “I was there when she, eh removed, Jeff, so I understand her nervousness. But—” He abruptly stopped talking as Nightrider approached behind Batman.

“Batman, will you excuse us for a minute? Thank you.”

The short, heavyset Korean politely nodded and walked toward his cubicle.

* * *

“What do you mean ‘Q Lab isn’t safe?’ ”

“Did you remember to send the signal to wipe Jeff’s memory before we pulled his chip?”

“No, but you—”

“No. I didn’t either. Not only did he leave this time bomb before he left, but he still knows who we are!”

Blackbird sighed and mumbled something under his breath in response.

“What was that?”

“Only wondering what might have been… If only we had simply killed him instead of dumping him. Now, what options do we have available?”

“Well he shouldn’t have been a problem. We had no way of knowing he had left such a nasty program behind before he left! But as for now we cannot completely abandon Q Lab itself. I myself have too many experiments tied up in those labs. Besides we dumped him with no money, no identification; he can’t do anything more to us.”

“The annual budget is next month. Can’t we just—” He broke off as Nightrider’s expression twisted into horrified recognition.

“Frodo had budgetary authority! It never mattered because we could always persuade him, well up until right before he left. But we got rid of him with so little planning that we did not just forget to wipe his memory—we forgot to extract his passwords and codes.”

“Yes, that is bad, though in my defense I never took How to Overthrow Your Boss 101. But can’t Mouse Tail break into those accounts?”

Nightrider chuckled. “Neither did I. I do not think such a thing has ever happened in Q Lab before. There must be a first time for everything, even stumping Mouse Tail. I hope not, but…

“Bah, forget that—I’m sure that he can—eventually.”

“You are probably right, but do not forget Jeff’ penchant for security. It could take Mouse Tail weeks to crack the proper accounts. Unless we had Jeff right in front of us to give directions it could take forever to…Hold on, we must bring Jeff back in long enough to break him. Then we might as well dispose of him, unless we need to extract any more information.”

“Shall I contact Poe?”

“Yes, by all means. Jeff may be penniless, but I don’t doubt that he will have tried to hide from us. Have him fly in as soon as possible. He can land at Mammoth International and drive to Daze Springs. Tell him he’ll be paid over his normal rate, I’ll leave it up to you to negotiate the actual price. Don’t forget a bonus for healthy delivery; we need him in good enough shape to be breakable. But make sure it is small enough that we can divert the necessary funds without Jeff’s codes.”

“Yes ma’am.”

Nightrider laughed. “Shut up.”

“Yes ma’am.”

* * *

Jeff knew that he couldn’t keep running forever, the stress alone was doing unpleasant things to his body. He couldn’t help it, but every time he thought about Q Lab his back developed an itch right between his shoulder blades. It was only his imagination Jeff was sure, but he could not banish the irrational conviction that a tracking device lurked in that exact spot.

With a groan Jeff rolled over, or at least he made an attempt. The front seat of his battered Honda was not within light years of the word “comfortable.” For some reason his last check had bounced and his apartment had evicted him. He couldn’t understand it; he had only missed one payment—unless something had gone really wrong with the money transfer from Gordon’s accounts.

So for the past two nights he had parked his car under working streetlights outside of the North Side Slums and tried to sleep. All of his anti-Q Lab activities were suffering as he caught up on sleep in internet cafes and bars throughout the day. After several minutes of tossing and turning the past few days of exhaustion finally caught up with him and Jeff fell into a dreamless sleep.

* * *

“Is it ready?”

“Yes ma’am, I mean Nightrider, sir!”

“Shut up,” the Q Lab leader grinned.

“Shutting up. But please don’t bake me in a pie.”

“Hmm…okay, but there aren’t enough of you anyway. Isn’t it four and twenty?”

Blackbird laughed. “Well here we are. We’ve strengthened that entrance that the Magenta woman broke through—I don’t think that a Mack truck would even make a scratch now. Those rooms over there are new labs, though for now they only have subsidiary experiments to projects on-going in the main Lab.”

“I like it. But what do we call it?”

“Look over the door.”

Nightrider directed her gaze up to see a large sign that read “The Q Lab Annex.”

* * *

A sharp knock on the passenger side window startled the man awake from the first real sleep he’d had in a week.

For a moment Jeff flashed back to the last night he’d been so rudely awoken—his last day as Frodo Baggins. He was not in a good mood as his eyes cracked open. The sight of light glinting off a silver badge was enough to penetrate the rage of his sleep fogged brain.

“Yes officer?” he wearily queried as his window rolled down all of the way.

“You can’t sleep here buddy.” The officer sounded at least slightly apologetic.

“What? Why not?”

“Ah.” Now Jeff saw a sheepish grin flicker briefly across the observing visage. “I’m not exactly sure. They tell me it is an old ordinance, and Chief Quinsa has just announced that it must be enforced. No exceptions.”

“Even if I’ve been doing this for a couple of days already?” Jeff was nervous. Not only had this spot boasted a working streetlight but it was in range of an unsecured network. He hadn’t found many similar sites near the Slums.

“I’m afraid not. You’ll need to move. The hotel a couple streets over would be best.”

“What about the park? Are there any free benches there?” He didn’t really want to leave his car with his computers inside, but he knew of a network that overlapped part of the park’s parking lot and he was desperate.

“Nope. Those are reserved for bums. You have a car, so you’re no bum.”

“Okay sir,” Jeff sighed. He climbed into the driver’s seat and inserted his key into the ignition. Before he walked away the policeman offered one last piece of advice.

“Don’t just pull around the corner and park. I’ll be watching and your plates are flagged now.”

“Thanks,” Jeff mumbled before shifting the car into gear.

* * *

Nightrider leaned back into her stuffed easy chair, and raised her tumbler of brandy. “I don’t know. Are you sure we did the right thing?”

“Hmm?” Blackbird looked up from the old book he was perusing. “What right thing? Dumping Frodo?”

“Yes. Do you ever have any regrets that perhaps we were too hasty? Perhaps we upset the balance of Q Lab too much with a coup d’état…”

“No!” Her companion was decisive. “If anything it was Frodo that was upsetting the balance. For years everything had run smoothly, even if he did control the budget. Didn’t you notice that it was only after Xanga began to contact us that he changed? I think that he was jealous of the importance that everybody placed on Xanga’s ideas. Heck, if he’d had more power at the time I daresay he would have derailed Queen before we were able to test it.”

Nightrider sighed as she drained her chilled glass and then walked over to a side table to pour herself another. “I suppose that you are right. His budgetary authority was imposed only two days after we began testing on Damien. Hah, there is another point. What didn’t he like about that boy? Don’t you remember when he put his foot down on helping him? He was so irrational and arbitrary.”

“Aren’t they all? The bad ones I mean.” He raised his own glass. “Here’s to your reign, may it be long and peaceful.”

“Hear, hear.” Nightrider grinned before slumping back into her chair. “As soon as we can find him and extract the codes we’ll dispose of him. He is entirely too much of a distraction at large. I know that he can’t do anything—heck, we even deleted his Social Security account, right?”

She took another contemplative swallow of brandy before continuing. “Bah! I know he can’t hurt us, but I cannot stop thinking about him. This should be my time to steer Q Lab towards greater success, but my life is preoccupied with Jeff. First we find his time bomb, then we discover that we still need him, and finally we cannot find him. What is next? Will he fly out of the sky like Superman? How hard of an operation can it be to track down one programmer?”

“Hmmm, speaking of operations have you kept up with the Acidity reports?” Blackbird did his best to distract Nightrider from Jeff whenever possible. He reasoned that such an obsession as she had developed couldn’t possibly be healthy. Sometimes thankfully she allowed herself to be sidetracked, at least for a time.

“No, how is surveillance of that creature going?”

“Not well. You remember when our Queen subject died, of course. I still can’t believe the bad luck we had that he would fall in front of that truck. Of all the people controlled by that monster… We haven’t been able to capture anybody else so that we can implant Queen. It almost seems as though the minions have all disappeared.”

“That won’t work. We have to redouble our efforts to find them. I want to keep on top of the situation, and it is simply impossible without a spy in their ranks.”

“Understood. I’ll look into assigning some of any new recruits.”

“Oh yes, recruits.” Nightrider mused for several moments. “Keep me apprised of the recruitment situation, but please handle the details yourself. I simply cannot stand conducting normal interviews, let alone Q Lab sessions.”

“Yes ma’am.”

“Shut up Blackbird.”

“As you wish…ma’am.”

* * *


What will happen next time? Will Nightrider continue to lose her mind? Will the fire burn down Q Lab? Oh wait, sorry, wrong script. Please ignore that last question.

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Hegel Jeremiah

Haven't you always wanted to know more about your favourite minor character Hegel Jeremiah? (Psst...the only correct answer is yes, so please say it now. Thank you.) He made his first (oblique) appearance in the first Elfaeran Base episode: XVIII. There he was referenced as a computer genius friend of Damien Valiant that had written several programs for him. As I continued to write about Damien I explored the possibility of meeting Hegel. Consequently I had to develop him beyond his name.

Yes, before you ask he was based on Miah, at least in name. That much should be obvious. I don't remember where the Hegel came from, but I thought it sounded fun--definately an unusual first name. I don't remember if I intended Jeremiah to be his last name, but when I was writing the character profile I decided that it was too unusual. Hegel Jeremiah at that time appeared to me to be more of a nickname. I have an aunt whose first name is Mary and middle name is Jean. Nobody calls her Mary however, she is always Mary Jean. Before coming up with Hegel's last name I determined that he had a Scottish ancestry (at least partially). When I set him at Peters Community college I realized that I could have great fun with a pun by naming him McGonagall.

Now to his ethnicity, it is complicated. Both of his parents are naturalized American citizens, and both came from the far east. His mother immigrated from India in 1968 and chose to be named Elizabeth rather than her (currently unknown) birth name of Indian origin. His father was born in Hong Kong, but beware, this is where things get complicated, ;-). Hegel's paternal grandfather was a British soldier stationed in Hong Kong who chose to remain in that (now former) British colony after the end of his term of service. He was originally from Scotland, and his surname was obviously McGonagall (though unquestionably purely of Muggle blood). During his service in Hong Kong he met a woman from mainland China whom he later married--she being Hegel's paternal grandmother. Hegel therefore is half-India Indian and one quarter Chinese--he is far more Asian than European. Oh yes, his eyes are brown and he has the typical Mongolian epicanthic fold.

His complexion is probably darker than most Scotsmen and he wears his black hair long, usually in a pony tail. Think of the prototypical rebellious scientist (Riff's hairstyle from Sluggy Freelance). At the time we first see him he is 26 years of age, weighs approximately 148 pounds, and is five feet eleven inches in height. Besides his surname his height is apparently his one concession to his Scottish ancestry. I don't know his birthday yet, so I can't tell you when Hegel will next age--but don't forget that in the Superheroes story we are still in the summer of 2005. I've heard from a fly on the wall that the story was originally to be set without times, or even in the near future--but one reference to the release of Episode III forever changed the nature of the story, and thus it remained buried in time.

Hegel is currently not in a romantic relationship, and may not be ready to pursue anyone for a time. The love of his life was his girlfriend Libby, to whom he was about to propose. The two were on a camping trip in Michigan when they took a boat to Isle Royale (in Lake Superior). There in an incident that Hegel still refuses to talk about Libby died. As far as is known it is only mysterious so far that Hegel has refused to discuss it--he is not under suspicion of murder, and she may have died of natural causes. It may be because of this incident that he finally moved from Mammoth City (where he had attended college in a term that overlapped with Damien Valiant and included tutoring Dennis Brown while he was in high school) to Twin Peaks where he began teaching at Peters Community College.



Calling all fans

I know that we have at least a few readers, though they don't always comment. That is fine, you don't always have to comment. However, it is nice to know that episodes are being read, ;-). Anyway, I want to see if any of you are interested in participating in this project a bit more directly.

Have any of you ever contemplated producing anything fan related? Are you any good with artwork? Have you ever imagined drawing one of the characters you've read so much about? Are you literary? Have you ever thought about producing a poem or short fan-work concerning something from the story? If you've ever thought of doing something like this--or even if you haven't, but would like to, then please contact us. E-mail me (lakotawolff at gmail dot com). We'd love to hear from you.

I'm also planning to launch these stories on a website sometime in the future. I think that a full website would be a great way to interact with the stories and include extras such as writer commentary or summaries. It could also, of course, include a fan art or other fan produced section--but only if some of our readers would step up to the plate to produce something. Now remember, no pressure, but if nobody does it then nothing hapens. A story is a terrible thing to waste.



Thursday, August 17, 2006

Superheroes and Villains: The Movie

Yeah, we skipped from soap opera to movie. Some people complained that the soap opera wasn't quite soap operaish (yes, that is a word, because I say it is!) so we've gone right to the silver screen. We cannot let you discover everything that happens at once, but I think it is time to let y'all have a sneak peak at the auditions, at least day one. It was a long process, but our faithful scribe AllonOak has recorded what transpired.

Please note that this transcription of actual events bears no resemblance to reality or to any persons living, dead, or reanimated. Please direct all slander and libel suits to the law firm of Onion, Acid, and Associates. Call or drop by, they'd love to chat with you! :-)


“So Black Wolff, what’s the audition schedule look like… does it look like ‘big fun’?”

“Tons of fun, Fibonacci! We’ve got… let’s see… a valley girl at 9:00… a history professor at 9:30… high school sweethearts at 10:00 and 10:30, and at 11:00 computer nerd who refers to himself as ‘Rubber Snake’…

‘Great… this is the last time we sign a contract to do all of our casting for a movie in backwoods Nebraska!!”

“umm… we’re in Wisconsin…”

“Whatever… it’s nowhere-ville! *sits down* “Ok... let’s get on with this… maybe we can save on paperwork if we file for bankruptcy ahead of time…”



Fibonacci: “So…uh… Marsha…”

“…the name’s Marcia”

“…Right. So, Marsha, what role do you see yourself filling in this film… I mean, what’s your goal?”

“Well, I, like, really had hoped to be a superhero, who, like, saved people from fashion disasters. Ya, and… um…, I was thinking I could, like, change outfits super super fast, and, like, uh, be able to uniquely identify all shades of color between pink and violet, and, like…”

“Wait. Wait. Wait… Just hold on a sec Marsha…”

“It’s Marcia!”

“Whatever… how do you plan to integrate this into the stated storyline of…’superheroes and villains battle for supremacy over a crime-ridden city…’ … how do you plan to do that Marsha?”

“Marsha! Marsha! Marsha! It’s always Marsha! Why can’t they see me for my real name…”

*Marcia runs out angrily*

Black Wolff and Fibonacci stare after her as she leaves…

“um… ok… put her down for villain…”



Fibonacci: “So, uh… Mr. Pettigrew…”

“That’s Lord Pettigrew to you, young man!”

“…right, so Pettigrew, what do you see yourself doing in this film… what’s your goal?”

“...As with all Sith lords… live… galaxy…”

“I’m sorry sir, could you please remove your apocalypse cloak, we’re having trouble hearing you…”

*still wearing cloak* “I said… ‘As with all Sith lords, I live to rule the galaxy!’”

*Black Wolff glances at Fibonacci*

“You know, I’d be laughing at this guy if I didn’t know somebody like this…”

“Oh? Who’s that?”

“well… actually… my dad…”

“I’m sorry sir, please remove the hood from your cloak so we can hear you!”

“I said… *pushing back the hood* ‘Black Wolff, I am your father!’

*Black Wolff looks up stunned*

“Dad! That’s impossible! I saw you get on that flight to the history convention myself!”

“Well… ya… but what you didn’t realize was that it was a ‘history of Star Wars’ convention… and it was just a few miles from here…so I figured I’d just…”

“Dad, can we please talk about this later, we have auditions to do…”

*Drags Mr. Pettigrew out of the room*



Fibonacci (exhausted): “So… uh… Rubber Snake… what did you have in mind for this film?”

“Well... I work for a certain organization… and we’re ‘interested’ in the premise of your story. But I was thinking it needs a few… ‘modifications’ to make it more believable.”

“Right…So, what do propose we do?”

“Well, we have this really interesting piece of technology… call it… ‘the spoon’… and we were just wondering if you could test your film equipment…”

“I see, so you want us to film this… ‘spoon’”

“Well... don’t try to ‘film’ the spoon, that is impossible… only remember that…”

‘There is no spoon…”

“Well, actually it’s just invisible…”

“That’s it… I’ve had it! OUT! I’m sick of this!!”

“We’ll be in touch!”

“I need lunch…”

“Black Wolff… who do we have after lunch?”

“umm… we don’t have anyone after lunch…”

“WHAT?! That’s IT?!? Oh… we’re dead… we’re so dead… we’re bankrupt… might as well paint a big ZERO on my forehead… heck, why don’t we make me a crazy math professor and write me into the film, too, because I’m certainly not directing this circus…”