[LNHY/ACRA] The Daily Super Short-Short Story #52 [long, again]

Saxon Brenton saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au
Wed Nov 3 08:35:01 PST 2004

The Daily Super Short-Short Story #52 [long, again]
A Devil Came Down to Georgia 34
Last time: TJ ranted about why it's okay, in his opinion, to beat up nuns.
     Although the three young men were no longer glaring at each other, 
the atmosphere in TJ's flat was still uncomfortable. Fortunately TJ was 
all business, and having made his point about why he neither liked nor 
trusted the two students, or anything that they stood for, he readily 
returned to the main issue at hand. "We might as well start figuring 
out which superheros or superhero groups to try to contact."
     Martin was undecided as to what, exactly, was going inside the 
older man's head. If he was an atheist then he was, demonstrably, not 
a good person, and his short rant and threat against the camps and the 
organisations that ran them was obviously nothing but bitterness caused 
by a refusal to acknowledge his culpability with his own fate. On the 
other hand, his failure to follow through with tirade and the way he 
had moved on to the issue of dealing with the diabolicals suggested 
that he wasn't stewing on it. He seemed to be very goal focused.
     After a pause Martin said, "Actually, I've already thought of the 
best person to try and contact," before going on to outline how he had 
helped Exclamation!Master! against the Banjo Duelling Kangaroos. 
Clearly, the LNH would be the best place to start.
     TJ nodded. Yes, work your contacts. It made sense. Then his stomach 
grumbled. "I suppose we'd better get some dinner," he said. "Are you 
two hungry?"
     "Famished," said Delroy with a exaggerated smile to try and warm 
the situation.
     "What have you got?" asked Martin.
     TJ paused in thought, then said, "Not much, actually." A statement 
that was born out by a quick check of the cupboards. "I'll need to go 
for takeaway." He considered again. "There's a good Thai near here."
     "The Pronsa?" said Delroy, then after TJ had nodded, "Yeah, 
they're good. You got any problems with that, Martin?"
     "No. Do you want us to go with you, TJ? Once you're away from here 
you won't be protected by that blocking that I'm generating..." Then he 
made a sour face. "That I *hope* I'm generating."
     TJ shook his head. He had an ulterior motive, and said, "Kien will 
be looking for you, not me. You two stay here and try to find a contact 
number for the LNH, or and address, or something."
     TJ headed in the opposite direction to the Pronsa. The others had 
pressed some money to him as he was leaving, but truthfully TJ was 
getting too low on cash. As he arrived near his destination he shucked 
off his jacket. It was more expensive than it looked, because it was 
     Normally, he wore it with the charcoal grey side outwards. It had 
subdued red piping, and looked pretty smart. Now he quickly turned it 
inside out, revealing the vinyl side of a totally different cut to what 
he normally displayed. It was a minimal disguise, but that, combined 
with his careful habit of committing robberies well away from where he 
dwelt and worked (never shit where you live), had kept him from too 
much trouble so far.
     The area TJ chose was not particularly known for it's risk of 
muggings, which was to his advantage. He sized up one prospect, shadowed 
him until he was alone, then punched him out with his mutant powered 
fist. Then he quickly rifled through the victim's money, taking the 
bills before returning the wallet. TJ considered the risks of using 
credit cards elsewhere ^Ö even once ^Ö to outweigh the advantages. In 
any case, with so many crimes needing to be investigated by the police, 
he considered it less likely that a robbery for money alone would be 
followed up than a theft of a full wallet with ID cards, in much the 
same way as knocking someone out would be less likely to be given 
priority over a shooting if he had used his gun. And the gun was a 
ranged weapon, but in close quarters his own powers gave him a better 
     Hopefully the hundred dollars or so that he'd just appropriated 
would offset any loss of earnings from having been hightailing it off 
under the domination of an evil sock rather than working for the last 
two evenings. His wages were poor enough as they were.
     When he arrived back with the takeaway he asked the others how 
the search had gone. He had been expecting them to use the internet 
connection, but was surprised when Delroy pushed forward the phone book 
and pointed to the LNH's contact number and address.
     "But this book was put out before the LNH was formed," TJ 
protested. "How did their number get in here?"
     "It looks like their number magically inserted itself in there," 
said Delroy. "There have been a couple of cases where superhero teams 
have caused stuff like that to happen. Cool, huh?"
     They ate dinner, then tidied up. TJ made the offhand comment that 
there was no point in attracting more roaches than he already had to put 
up with. This caused the two students to glance at each other; while he 
had been away they had noted that for a run-down tenement TJ kept the 
place clean. Spartan, almost. After dinner the three of them decided to 
go to the LNHQ first thing in the morning.
     Martin found it hard to get to sleep, and not because he was unused 
to sleeping on sofas. TJ's cold obnoxiousness nagged at him, and he 
wondered whether the astral travel/dream walking that St. Christopher 
had explained to him about would let him get in contact with TJ's mind. 
That seemed to be the way things were working: the physical powers 
seemed to be originating from the heritage of being a Teenaged Giant 
Halfbreed Fallen Angel, and the psychic ones from being an Astrally 
Travelling Werewolf Crusader. And as TJ had already commented, Martin's 
powers seemed to be very versatile.
     Martin frowned in the darkness. TJ again. Lord, that guy was 
exasperating. A sudden burst of anger catalysed a sense of determination, 
and Martin began to focus of releasing his awareness from his physical 
body and probing TJ's mind. He had no idea if it would work, but he had 
a burning need to at least try. Then he'd see what it was that the 
delivery boy was hiding. He was sure it was something terrible, some 
moral vacuum that was typical of scum of the earth.
     He was wrong, of course.
Tomorrow: TJ's Secret Origin.
The Daily Super Short-Short Story series created by Arthur Spitzer, and 
used with belated permission.
The Teenage Giant Halfbreed Angels epithet for the Nephilim/Nephalim
cooked up by Andrew Perron.
All main characters created by Saxon Brenton are Ask First Before Use
for the duration of this storyline, then they'll probably go to Usable
Without Permission.
Saxon Brenton University of Technology, city library, Sydney Australia
     saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au
The Eyrie Archives of Russ Allbery which collect the online superhero
fiction of the rec.arts.comics.creative newsgroup can be found at:

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