SG/LNH: New Exarchs #7 - A New Month

Dave Van Domelen dvandom at
Mon Dec 3 09:09:02 PST 2007

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Praise the Czar!

SkysabreX 9:23p

Hard to believe it's been a month (LOCKED)

Finally finished getting Hans's new lab set up, although you'll excuse me for
not saying exactly where.  I mean, I figure They have us under observation
already, and whoever's behind the Cheeezballs probably doesn't have an
internet connection to this altiverse yet, but there's always opportunistic
readers out there who know how to get past a friendslock.

No point in being TOO incautious.  Just because They're out to get you
doesn't mean you can't be a little paranoid.

Anyway, at least money turns out to have not been a big hassle, Kat's been
funding it all.  No, bounty hunting isn't that lucrative, even if you have a
basic cable show...Kat just does that because it gives her an excuse to kick
in doors and point guns at people.  But I tend to forget that between her
perfect memory and advanced age, she takes a really long view of things, and
started investing aggressively as far back as the rebuilding of Topeka in
'05.  She had some spending goals in mind then, but it was mostly done on the
grounds that you rarely regret having MORE money.

So, we found a good location where coming and going wouldn't look suspicious,
but isolated enough that any lab disasters wouldn't take out innocent
bystanders.  Well, not too many of them, anyway.  Hans says that the most
truly heinous (yes, he uses that word, but I think he's mispronouncing it)
accident would probably wipe out the planet anyway, so there's only so far we
can be expected to go purely for the purposes of avoiding collateral damage.

Anna's tenure committee has agreed to accelerate its progress on the grounds
that she's likely to have to leave reality soon with us.  Apparently her
department has regular procedures for that kind of thing.  And Anna says that
having tenure will actually help her with some of her ritual magic, it acts
like a protective sigil.

As for me, I've mainly been busy with the superguying work.  Kat's covering
my rent and expenses, I'm officially on the books as a bounty hunting
assistant right now, so I have a shiny new license to let me carry firearms,
including blasters from another altiverse.  Still can't carry it inside
buildings with those "No Guns" decals, though.  Or onto campus.  But my old
superguying license still covers the swords.

The Paleoculture...gah.  I still smell it in my nightmares.  I shouldn't have
opened the inner box without hazmat gear.  But Hans is giddy like a kid with
a new SpoonBox 720.  He's sure he can crack the secret of (relatively) safe
inter-altiversal travel with it, now that he's sure the stuff works in the
first place.

As for the unsafe kind, the flash drives have picked up a half dozen or so
Cheeezballs since we installed them, and Kat made sure we all had portable
computers capable of running the program.  But so far, we haven't found
anyone at the locations picked up...the invaders are probably being sneaky in
the wake of our little tussle with the naugahyde guy.  Still, things are
heating up in general for the superguy population, what with the Unsplodable
incident, Rad's return to Earth, and the whole League thing.  So I doubt our
corner of the world will stay quiet too much longer.

Current mood: Anticipatory (icon of a little penguin jumping up and down)

__--__--__--__--__--__--__--     \\NEW//       --__--__--__--__--__--__--__
 .|,Coherent Comics Presents      \\ //        #7 - A New Month
--X-------------------------     E }X{ ARCHS      copyright 2007 by the
 '|` A Superguy/LNH Tale          // \\        Dvandroid (Dave Van Domelen)
--__--__--__--__--__--__--__     //   \\       __--__--__--__--__--__--__--

[December 3, 2007 - Manhattan KS]

     "...and let us never speak of THAT again," Skysabre said with an air of
     "Speak of what?" Anna asked.
     "Exactly," Kat nodded.
     [Don't look at me, I got snowed in at the Minneapolis airport and just
got back - Ed.]
     "Getting back to things we CAN speak of?" Hans asked hopefully.
     Skysabre nodded.  "Right.  So, is it safe?"
     Dr. Zwarghoff shrugged, looking around the secret lab that had been set
up over the past month.  "Do you mean safe in the 'won't destroy the world'
sense, or in the far stricter 'won't scramble you into pate' sense?"
     "Let's be strict for now," Anna suggested.
     "Keep in mind," Hans warned, "I haven't been able to run any real tests
yet, because not only do They probably have sensors all over the place, but
our mysterious guests from 000SUPERDRY...yes, I do have confirmation of that
altiversal address, at least...probably have gear better than ours, having
been at this for a bit longer.  So the first time I open a Cheeezball, lots
of unfriendly eyes, or noses to be more accurate, will be on it.  But the
simulations say you should be able to make the transit in one piece.  How
long you stay that way after arrival...well, I make no guarantees."
     "That gets into our specialty," Kat nodded, patting the holstered .50
Desert Eagle on her hip.  "And I've been going over some of Paul's other
notes from the storage shed, I've been able to bodge together some special
cheeez-based ammo in case we run into anything bulletproof."
     "Aren't there treaties against that sort of thing?" Anna asked.
     "Only in *this* altiverse," Kat grinned.
     "Fine," Skysabre nodded.  "So, I take it that we're as ready as we can
be on the technical front, barring a real test?"  When Hans waggled a hand in
an "ehhhhn" gesture, Skysabre continued.  "The only thing we need to decide
now is when.  Do we go as soon as possible, or do we wait and try to capture
another invader for intel?"
     "A big advantage of waiting would be that the invaders might have some
means of interaltiversal communications," Anna pointed out.  "If we can nab
one of those, Hans might be able to reverse-engineer one to let us stay in
touch.  I'm not keen on going in with no support and no way back if we miss a
pre-agreed extraction time.  Or any way to know if Hans has technical
troubles keeping him from opening a Cheeezball."
     Skysabre shrugged.  "The altiverses may not be as drama-driven as the
Looniverse, but I'm sure anything that would prevent Hans from opening a
Cheeezball would also kill any communications links we might have set up.  I
think we have to take it as a given that once we're in 000SUPERDRY we'll end
up in at least one desperate chase scene, probably get captured a few times,
and have to hijack enemy equipment in order to get home."
     Despite themselves, Anna and Kat grinned a little at the prospect.  "I
haven't had a good chase scene in way too long," Anna added.
     "You people are insane," Hans sighed.  "I'll stay here in the lab and
wait for the inevitable rear-area attack, I suppose."
     "That's the spirit!" Skysabre beamed.
     "Anyway," Anna shrugged, "I don't have the clear pre-Superguy memories
you two do, since I was made from someone else's memories of what I should be
like, and my lingering connection to the Dreaming has only filled in some of
the gaps," she took a deep breath after unloading all that exposition.  "I
defer to your judgement," she looked to Skysabre and Kat.
     Kat frowned.  "I still don't really *like* how things run in these
drama-based realities, and I'd much rather take more time to gather
information and resources before letting the enemy know we're fully in the
game.  But I have to agree with Richard, that the way this place works means
any extra time we take would be wasted.  Unless another invader drops into
our laps in the next few hours, we might as well get go..."
     "Incoming Cheeezball!" Hans shouted, rushing to the big flatscreen
monitor he'd set up to echo the data plot.  Well, it was mainly hooked to
Spoongle Maps, with a quick overlay to show where the Cheeezball was.  Right
now, the yellow dot on the map was huge, representing position uncertainty,
but it was rapidly shrinking as more data came in to refine the readings.
     "I love drama-based universes," Skysabre grinned.

               *              *              *              *

     "Excuse me, could I bother you to take a few moments out of your
shopping to fill out this survey?" a man nattily dressed in naugahyde asked.
He was standing at the entrance to the JSDFPenney's store, but the scene was
being repeated a dozen times at other points in the Manhattan Town Center
     Skysabre, Kat and Anna peeked out from behind an inflatable display of a
kaiju in a Santa Claus costume.
     "Definitely one of our boys," Skysabre narrowed his eyes to slits.  "He
seems to be research."
     "The fiend," Kat added, flatly.
     "What kind of interaltiversal invader conducts marketing research?" Anna
     "The kind that's looking to make a hostile takeover, that's what,"
Skysabre replied.  "Just hoping to put a velveeta glove on the iron fist."
     "Tell me you did not just mix that metaphor," Anna sighed.





     Answers to probably none of those questions, but at least there'll be a
fight scene involving Number 2 pencils, on the next...SUPERGUY!


Author's Notes:

     Okay, this is a shorter one, but I decided I wanted a little more room
for the mall fight scene, and wanted to get an episode out the door before
the opening gag got too stale.  :)  
     In case you don't get the opening gag, LiveJournal had two significant
changes hit at the end of November/beginning of December 2007.  Firstly, a
tighter filtering system was put in place to block "adult content" from
innocent eyes...and the eyes of anyone who didn't know how to set their user
info correctly.  Second, a Russian company bought out Livejournal, leading to
all sorts of posts about things like welcoming our new Russian overlords, or
in post-Soviet Russia, Livejournal posts to you, etc.  The usual running
capitalist dog jokes.
     And yes, the Cheeezball Alert sound is vaguely belch-like.  Could be
worse.  Probably will be worse next time. 

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