[LNH/ACRA] Adventures Beyond Comprehension #5
cabbagewielder at yahoo.com
cabbagewielder at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 24 07:48:04 PDT 2006
Adventures Beyond Comprehension #5
A Killfile Wars Tie-In Event
By Jesse N. Willey
I felt like I was a burning. I wasn't supposed to feel
anything. The experiments had destroyed my nerves. I clenched my
fists and let my fingernails dig into the palm of my hand to be sure it
was real. It was. And the burning would not stop. There was no
fire. Just a burning.
I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. The others
expected me to be a big help in the battle ahead. I wasn't sure if
I could be. The burning was spreading. Finally it exploded out of
me. My lightning fired off toward Carolyn and Rick.
"Electra, what the hell are you doing?" Carolyn asked.
"It's not me!" I shouted.
Angelica the eternally perky showed up. She began blathering
something. In some ways she was worse than Carolyn. There was just
something about the way she moved and the way she spoke that just
reminded me of someone I'd rather forget. Then I felt her digging
into my mind. Nobody mind taps me. My mind is my business. At the
same time, the fire was sated. Part of me liked it. I hated us both
When the fire burned out, I heard Rick talking to someone. I didn't
know why the guy sounded so familiar. It wasn't until he said
something about being an ex-con that I realized it was some louse I met
in a bar a few months earlier. A guy who bragged about being 'a
secret identity thief'. He got money and equipment of various super
heroes and was able to clean them out.
"All right then. Gang, let's get a move on," Rick said.
So, just like that we prepared for our suicide charge. Of course I
was only thinking one thing. I was liability. I was going to get
someone killed. There was a time when I wouldn't have cared.
I've changed. Or maybe I just try to convince myself of that.
Those are the thoughts that feed the fire.
And it was going to grow.
I remember that afternoon with Killfile and I left the lab. We got
all dressed up for a fancy dinner Killfile was holding. He thought
of it as his way of being romantic.
"Do I have to be here?" I asked.
"Our benefactor wants to see your progress."
"Don't you give weekly progress reports to the joint chiefs every
week?" I said.
"This goes beyond the joint chiefs. Beyond the president. This
goes to the man they call 'Wes Gas's Brain'," Killfile said.
"Even Stomper and Doritron were afraid of him."
There was a knock on the door. Killfile's eyes quivered. I think
it is the only time I ever saw him running scared. I followed his
eyes as he opened the door. In the doorway was a man who didn't look
much older than eighteen. He was dressed in a tuxedo. His hair was
dark brown and looked he combed it with a fork in a light socket and
let it stay where it landed.
"Ah... Andrew! A pleasure to see you again," he said. "I'd
like you to meet Carolyn Forge."
"The guinea pig? Killfile, this is a business dinner. I'll have
time to look at the weapons later. Did you even try to get a date?"
"You're one to talk Weinstein," he said. "... that little
blonde who follows you around everywhere doesn't count."
"What about the first daughter? I'm supposed to attend Duck Soup
on the White House lawn this evening in about an hour."
"Hooray, hooray, hoorah," Killfile snarled.
"Andrew Weinstein.... I've read your work on nanotechnology.
I'm a bit of a nanotechnology expert myself. I'm curious how you
solved the problem of immune system rejections I had with my---" I
"Your work? Your work almost set back the legitimacy of
nanotechnology twenty years," Andrew said with a laugh.
"What? I invented..."
"A rather advanced and expensive form of Kevorkian treatment. The
Immune system rejection problem was child's play. Like with
conventional gene therapy it is a simple matter of crafting a carrier
from a denucleated virus that works rapidly and infects every cell in
body. Without a nucleus the biological component is not really the
virus it mimics. Once the body accepts the nanites, they do their
work in a matter of seconds and spends weeks rebuilding the immune
system. Anyone who could be so ridiculously stupid as to not realize
that doesn't deserve to be called a scientist," Andrew said.
"But that means working with HIV or something worse," I said.
"It's worked on you hasn't it?"
"Indeed it has," Killfile said.
"Have you begun stage two yet?" he asked.
"Yes," Killfile said.
"Well, Killfile.... Look at how your little girl has grown,"
I once knew a woman named Janice Kult. One of those occult nutjobs.
Had some sort of weird grudge against Carolyn Forge. Of course, so
did I. Kult though, she was on a whole other dimension of crazy. Her
basic plan involved the sacrifice of innocent people to a demon called
The Shroud. Shroud on the other hand wanted to destroy the world.
The thing was, I didn't give a fuck what either of their plans were.
Kult shared a trait common in with the rest of the super villain
community. She was overly dramatic and had a theatrical sense of
irony. Given her warped sense of logic it made sense to contact me.
"What do you want Kult?" I asked.
"I want two people dead."
"Fine, walk out into the street and off them. What do you need me
"Two particular people."
"That's a horse of a different color. Who?"
"Marie Joy and Caron Forge."
Carolyn Forge's mothers. One biological and the other one who
accidentally raised her. Long story. It's just another one of
those happy endings Carolyn had that I didn't have.
"With their deaths, Shroud's power will grow. Grow until it
consumes all of humanity... except those who have served her," Kult
"What's in it for me?" I asked.
I cared about the deal. I had Faust read to me as a bedtime story.
I know all about dealing with devils. I knew you can't sell what
you don't have. Carolyn the princess-she's the one with the soul.
I was the one who was an empty shell.
"A suit. One that will give you the ability to feel. It could give
you another chance with Terrence. Do you want anything else? Just
name it," Kult said.
"No... that sounds good. Do you want me to do anything else?"
Carolyn's biological mother had moved again. I guess she never
thought that her elusive lifestyle could be used against her. It made
her damn hard to find. Being part elf may have increased her life
span but she'd been out of the costumed hero game a long time.
I had to warn her. Well, not had to. I'd walked away from
situations like this before. I wanted to warn her. Maybe someday I
could have even form the same type of relationship she had with
The door had a rusted old gargoyle knocker and a door bell. I
grabbed the handle of the gargoyle. It was far too rusted to move
readily. I pushed the button of the doorbell. The building
exploded. The door hit me with enough force to knock me ten feet
away. Somehow, I rolled with it.
The local P.D. showed up. I gave them a statement. I told them I was
with Teenfactor-and that for reasons of national security they could
never tell anyone I was there. The jerks bought it.
Either that or Kult's people offed them before they could file the
report. I don't know. What I do know is that the next morning, it
all went to hell.
The next day two overnight packages arrived at Teenfactor
headquarters. One for me and the other for Carolyn. Carolyn took
one look at her letter and broke into tears. Terrence was already at
I rushed back to my room to try on the suit. It didn't take long
to put it on. My lungs felt warm as I breathed. My whole body felt
heavy for the first time in months. Soon I was feeling everything.
The carpet and the walls. And all the colors.
I was laughing with joy. I laughed so hard till it hurt. Then my
body went into convulsions. My head banged into the walls several
times. Blood spattered down my face.
"What the fuck?" I said.
A faint echoing vibration rattled in my bones.
"That's what you get for taking credit for the work of others,"
came an electronically distorted voice from the suit.
"What I wanted Kult couldn't give me," I said.
"With what you know... I can't let you live long enough to die
with the others...:" The voice said.
I felt my body begin a fireless burn. Then I collapsed.
I could feel the song pounding in my head. I had to think. Think of
something that brought me strength. That one good moment in your
life. During that dimensional event.
I was alone. Just like I always have been. Alone in the world
without me. Erin Joy. Erin Joy. That's what she called
herself. Not Carolyn Forge. Not Electra. Erin Joy. She.... She
was an amazing. She'd done awful things. She didn't let that
hold her back. She had something I don't know if I do. The
perseverance to keep trying in spite of a long string of repetitious
She was strong. I liked that. I know it sounds incredibly weird but
if there was a woman that I'd go lesbian for it'd be her.
To see her bones shattered and jetting out from her skin and blood
splattered across various parts of the remaining multiverse... I
couldn't help but feel helpless. Wanting-and willing-to do
anything save her. She was too precious to die. I was just shit.
It should have been me. I prayed to the God of Apathetic Agnosticism
that stopping the Antimoderator was worth it.
"I wish I could tell you about the road ahead," Erin said.
"About how you'll set things right. How you just made the first
"Shush... we have to get you to a hospital," I said.
"I don't make it. I remember that very well. You might though.
I've done something to ensure that," I said.
"Shush..." I said.
I felt her energy enter me. Vague images filled my brain. I think
they were of my future. One of my futures anyway. Or maybe just her
past. To this day I haven't really made sense of it. I get
freeze frames in lightning bolts sometimes. Nothing concrete. I
can't work with the rest. It's too abstract.
"Remember me..." Erin whispered.
Her body just vanished. There were no signs of it. An optimist
would say that means my doing whatever she did, she changed the past
and doesn't exist anymore. That Erin Joy lives on in the future as
one of the world's greatest heroes.
I am not an optimist.
She died. She went unburied but not unmourned. I keep on a watch on
her memory. I live my life. Each and every day a requiem for the
I didn't want to go. Carolyn and the others were heading to capture
Killfile. A rhythm was driving me. Putting on the Ritz and blam... I
followed them across the dimensional gateway.
"I've killed him once," she muttered. "I can do it again."
I could feel myself move. It was a little slow and wind up toy like
but I could feel it. It wasn't like when I brush against Dalton.
That was gentle. This was a burning. It felt like the tests.
"We all here?" Rick asked.
I wanted to warn them that he'd be waiting. That was a trap. My
vocal cords refused to vibrate. Killfile was there holding a
communication card. My body was beginning to pivot. I was facing
"Yes... unfortunately-all of you. Electra... kill her." Killfile
Once, he wouldn't have had to say way a word. I would have just
"No... you sick bastard..." Electra snarled.
My mind protested. My body had other plans.
The bolt escaped. I saw one of those echoes in the lightning bolt.
Carolyn was dead. Though the bolt never hit her. Rick was next to
invulnerable and super fast. He took the blow. She was fine. She
always had the knight in shining armor there. Lucky her.
The others are super heroes. They do what super heroes do. Have
nice friendly chit-chat with the villains between blows. Killfile
was getting off on it. Again, I'm one to know.
"You think this is funny?" Carolyn shouted.
"This is great... I don't think I've had this much fun
since..." he said his voice trailing off for a second. "... oh
yes... Caron and Marie." .
The fight went on. The burning increased. Rick came up and gave me
a dual palm strike to the head. Thank god. I couldn't take the
pain anymore. Unconsciousness was a respite.
Or it would have been.
I awoke several minutes later. My muscles ached. It wasn't the
same burning as before. More of like that felling that you twisted
your arm something in your sleep but it was a twisted everything.
"Electra... sick'em..." Killfile said.
There were two songs. Putting on the Ritz was up on a full blast.
Not my type of song really. The dance steps demand too much killing.
The other sound was distant and gentle. At first I thought it was
some sort of new age self-help tape.
"If you're blue and you don't know to go..."
"Put your right hand in... you put your right hand out...."
Two songs.... Two choices...
To see the full story see Killfile Wars #6....
Carolyn Forge, Electra and Janice Kult created by Tom Russell Jnr.
Guy Redundant Man, Andrew Weinstein, Angelica Weinstein and Duplicator
created by Jesse N. Willey. Doctor Killfile is public domain.
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