[LNH] Adventures Beyond Comprehension #2
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cabbagewielder at yahoo.com
Wed May 17 14:20:42 PDT 2006
Dalton Asters In:
Adventures Beyond Comprehension #2
The Secret Diaries of Dalton Asters, Volume the First
Rules of Engagement
A Killfile Wars Tie-In Event
By Jesse N. Willey
So, Dalton, you want to know how to survive a conspiracy?
Straight off the bat and I don't mean to sound like a walking
cliché, but never let a woman into your life. Or anyone else for
that matter. I know, it's hard. They worm their way in with their
wide optimistic smiles and their probing questions. One minute
you're trying to keep your distance and the next minute the next
thing you know you're eating those cheese flavored peanut butter
crackers they couldn't finish. Things go hunky-dory and then all of
a sudden you're hanging out all the time.
Where does it get you? Tied to a pillar and about to be sacrificed
to birthing pods of the next generation of deities. Or in a shoot out
with mobsters, terrorists and the feds over the possession of a dirty
bomb. That's easy stuff. Run of the mill everyday crap. The
kind of thing I got bored with years ago because overall it's just so
trivial. Been there-done that. It's just a really good way to
get yourself killed.
So, I changed my tone. I had to. All I've ever wanted was to
stay off The System's radar so I could finally sit down and watch a
little TV without being abducted by aliens or attacked by government
agents. If I kept going out of my way to make myself a target...
there'd be no way to escape.
Then I met Electra. An honest to Phred half human quarter elf
quarter cat super hero. (Phred's one of the birthed young deities I
mentioned a while ago. Long story and not one I'd really like to
get into.) Anyway, Electra has these electrical bolts and a spandex
suit and everything. A complete and total cape. Aside from her
penchant unnecessary bloodshed and a little lack of education she might
make a decent Phantom. She's got that whole femme fatale who has
no idea what she's doing thing going on. It'd be annoying as
hell if she weren't hotter than Mount Kilauea.
Which brings me to my point. Never let anyone into your life. I
was trying to help her find information she needed about her 'secret
origin'. Yeah... all the damn capes have them. It comes with the
territory. (Nothing like us Phantoms. We don't just have secrets.
We're like onions. Nothing but layer after layer of secrecy.) I
try to help her because I have sources on nanotechnology and crap like
that. So what happens?
I get attacked by a fucking super villain. Then I wind up bashed
unconscious in a building run by those scumbags at Canadian
Intelligence. People who have given me nothing but trouble in the
past. They've tried to kill me more times than I can count.
I mean what was I thinking? Helping her find out answers to
questions like 'why am I here?' and 'what is my purpose?'
stuff like that. I don't even know what's up with me. What made
me think I could do anyone else any good? Dalton, you have to stop
thinking with your dick.
Not that your brain is all that coherent.
'The Shopkeeper' is a man I've met him more than once. A
couple of times on the other side of a gun. He says his name is
Marlowe. He is Canadian intelligence's top observation expert. He
does info dealing on the side. Our past few encounters I've gotten
on his good side. Trust me, it takes some doing. The conversation
is dull as hell and filled the standard technobabble. The important
part boils down to this.
"You were right to come to us. While the nanobots aren't our
design... it is one we are familiar with. It's a standard Weinstein
Technologies neurorepair unit. It replaces nerve tissue with a just
as good synthetic nanowire. Only the input mechanism has been
modified," Marlowe said.
Weinstein? I knew a guy named Andy Weinstein. He was a
self-righteous bastard and egomaniacal power broker. In his early
days he visited UFO crash sites and salvaged technology to develop uses
for the general public. It made him billions overnight. His
nanotech helped rebuild a city a while back.
Which brings us to rule two. Coincidences are not your friend. A
coincidence is a knife that just hasn't slipped into your back yet.
The fact that Andrew is connected means whatever it is... there are
about ninety layers of lies and bullshit involved. Especially since
this has all the signs of a posthumous plan. The man did more thinking
than the secret tapes of Walt Disney. Yeah, Snopes says they're a
lie. But they're run by the Illuminati. Of course they'd deny it.
What was it that Andy always said about the difference between a good
man and a great man? I didn't really pay attention to that blow
hard too closely. He obviously loved the sound of his own voice too
The year was nineteen ninety-seven. The second week of July to be
precise. The place was Roswell, New Mexico. Crappiest tourist trap
not owned by 'The Complex'. Every abductee, 'experiencer'
and wacko was filling up hotel after hotel in hopes that some alien
ship would arrive for the fiftieth anniversary of the famous crash of
Like Earth's arbitrary calendar means jack shit to aliens. Anyone
who knows anything knows the aliens had already made their fiftieth
anniversary visit a few months earlier. Nobody seemed to care because
it was during the Super Bowl. Absolutely perfect cover.
So what was I doing there at the cheesy motel with a flying saucer
hanging out of it? Hmm? My reasons had nothing to do with the
cavalcade of people who wished they could be in my place. If people
knew what alien abductions entailed, there wouldn't be much interest.
Oh sure, there is a little bit of the implants and anal probes but
most of is answering survey questions, ESP and aptitude tests. One of
them said I should be a firefighter. Of course I've got extreme
pyrophobia... but okay.
Anyway, my reasons for being there were really important. Free
breakfasts. After traveling 93 million miles into space I could
really go for some chocolate chip pancakes. The legions of followers
hanging on my every word was just an added bonus. I had been hanging
around with Weinstein and this nice looking blonde who seemed to be his
girl Friday. She wasn't mega good looking or anything but she had
definitely had an aura of intelligence but not full of her selfness
about her. I could dig that. That's when he said it.
"Do you know the difference between a good man and great man?" he
"No," I said.
"A good man is content to just sit back. He goes to work and pays
his bills. He takes care of his kids. If he is ever in a situation
where someone else's life depended what he does next, he'll
probably call people who know what to do. A good man is a simple
everyday ideal. A good man-a good man is easily forgotten,"
Andrew said. "A great man makes himself unforgettable. He finds
something he can do that no one else can do and monopolizes it. He
works on it like an obsession. Whatever he does... he does it with
gusto and changes the world."
"No, that's the difference between man and legend," I said.
"You speak as if there is a difference. There are no great men
anymore," Andrew said. "Well, not until later tonight."
"Tonight I get back something that was stolen from me," Andrew
Weinstein told me about his business troubles. One of his alien tech
pieces was stolen. He suspected costume involvement. I felt I should
listen. He'd listened to my crazy tales for the past three nights.
"And I owe it to you, Mister Asters," Andrew said.
"That story... the one about sheets of metal in the city museum.
The ones that were found in the fields fifty years ago," Andrew said.
"It panned out. Tiny little robots just like you said."
He handed me a sack of cash.
"What is this?" he said.
"Your finders fee. Ten percent of what I paid the museum people,"
"I'm not your lackey," I said.
"Keep it. You might need it."
"Dude, there must more than ten grand."
"Eleven thousand, two hundred twenty three dollars and seventy eight
cents," the girl said. "We rounded up your amount two tenths of a
I threw the money in his face. Comes down the third rule. Don't
make deals with the devil. No, not because he takes your soul. I
believe in devils. I don't believe in souls. We are empty sacks
of flesh, chemicals and water. No... when you make Lucifer's
Backyard Bargain, you lose your credibility. That might not matter to
your foes or your friends. But if you if doesn't mean a damn to
you, you should reconsider which side you're on.
"I'm serious about what I do. I'm not a corporate shill," I
"I'm not asking you to be. You helped me find something that
could revolutionize the fields of medicine, construction,
communications... even defense," he said. "This is the way I repay
"Defensive purposes? That's how you repay your friends? After
I've been hunted by those barbarians in the military industrial
complex," I said.
"I am not a barbarian!"
"I beg to differ. Nanotechnology should belong to all humanity.
Not one man. What right do you have to play god?" I said.
"If we don't develop it for defensive purposes, how are we
supposed to counter an invasion, hmm? The LNH can't be
everywhere..." Andrew said. "Weinstein Enterprises should be
"Just Weinstein Enterprises? What about humanity? What about the
general population of the Earth?" Dalton said.
"I hate to repeat myself, but you speak as if there is a
difference," he said.
"Legally, there isn't much I can do but I'm not taking your
blood money. I'm content to be a good man," I said. "I just
you hope you use those devices for what you claim. I'll be
"I'm sure you will. You could have changed the world. You
could have been a great man. You certainly have the obsession down,"
Andy said. He paid the check and left. "Hey Ellie... what's
playing at the movies?"
"That comedy with Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith," she said.
"Sounds like fun," he said.
I watched his empire quickly grow from a consumer technologies
company to a large conglomerate. I heard he even wised up on some of
the tax laws and moved his headquarters to his private planet. Yeah
and you thought Disney was nasty. But what do you know. It didn't
prepare me for what happened the time next we met.
So... back to the story at hand. I was driving along the freeway.
I was going to look a newly discover Nazca line structure discovered a
resemblance to an extinct form of mountain lion. That's not the
weird part. The creature (and the pictograph) was native to Australia.
These Australian cats were thought to have extinct around a few
centuries after man came to the continent. Again, not too strange.
Mankind destroys everything. No... the really weird thing was that
these same cats had been spotted all across the globe.
It was during the baseball season. CNN didn't cover it.
Anyway, I was pysched to look into this. Possible temporal
displacement or micro-ecosystem in an until now undiscovered network of
caves. Things like that weren't entirely unheard of. For the
first time in a while I was happy.
Rule Five.... They always get you when your guard is down. Yes, I can
count. Rule Four is something you just aren't ready for.
Besides, it is not very applicable to this situation.
Anyway, I was just checking into a cheap motel on the side of the
road. The manager claimed it was the motel used in 'Touch of
Evil'. I didn't believe him though it did that run down roach
infested feel to it.
As I was headed to sleep... they took me.
A four-foot tall gray alien with four fingers sat lounging in a beach
chair. He was wearing a button up shirt, a lab coat and khaki shorts.
He held a notepad and pencil and was jotting things down in it. I
know... it sounds absurd. But it's true. I've nicknamed him
Doctor Herb Stockholm (after the syndrome he induces in every human
being he's ever met.)
"Now, Mister Asters, which breakfast cereal taste better to you,"
came the distorted voice. "Sample A or Sample B?"
"Sample B. Look, can I go home now?"
"No... we still have some more procedures to run," came a digital
"Doc, last time you said that.... When I came back to Earth all my
body hair was blue," I said. "And I do mean all of it."
"No... no... this is an endurance test," said Stockholm.
"Not that damn exercise bike again."
"Not necessarily. For all you know... I could put you in wrestling
ring filled with jello and have you have to duke it out with coeds of
various humanoid species," Herb said.
My eyes widened.
He put down the notepad and pushed a button on his chair. The wall
opened up and revealed an exercise bike.
"No... now start peddling."
On the one hand, they left me out in the desert near my van. Which,
of course, now had a dead battery. On the plus side, they left me a
great gift. I saw my first naked woman who wasn't on cable
television or some relative in the shower. The down side was that I
had also acquired a partner. Well sorta.
"What... what... oh God... Oh God...... Was that real? Don't let
it be real..." she shouted. "Oh God! It is.... It is... it
"Well... this is an interesting situation. A man doesn't find
himself in this situation everyday," I said. "Not in Bedford
The aliens had dropped Crystal off next to me. Her clothes were
dropped off about 10 feet away from her. I don't know what it was
about aliens and their obsession with leaving people in the middle of
the desert naked just before sunrise. I helped her get up. I
quickly felt the back of her neck for any recent welts. There
weren't any. So I handed her her clothes back. Ye gods, she
dressed like she had just escaped band practice at the Catholic school
from hell. Her long dreadlocks fell toward her back. Well, aside
from the one in the front which seemed to change color every week or
so. That one fell across her forehead. Sometimes I wondered how she
managed to avoid it getting in the way of her bug-eyed glasses. That
day though, I had much more important things to think about.
"Was that real?" she said.
"Yes... look... you don't appear to have any implant scars... so
unless you were up there a few weeks... I don't think they'll be
able to find you again," I said. I reached into my wallet and pulled
out a business card and shoved it into her hand. "If you want
someone to talk too.... These people can help you."
"Thank you," she said.
"Now, if you'll excuse me... I have to get my car started," I
said. "Now go..."
She just never left. Yet another story for another time. This
whole piece just let's the AD/HD show, dontcha know. Sick and
twisted part was, after a few minutes, I didn't mind her presence.
I hadn't learned my lessons yet. And I still had six more rules to
To Be Continued............
Dalton Asters, Marlowe, Andrew Weinstein, Ellie McDonaldson and Doctor
Stockholm created by Jesse N. Willey. Crystal created by Jesse N.
Willey and Tom Russell Jnr.
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