[SG/LNH] New Exarchs #9 - Cheeezed Off

Dave Van Domelen dvandom at haven.eyrie.org
Mon Dec 31 12:44:35 PST 2007

[December 3, 2007 - Manhattan KS]

     "How's it going on the lock, Corrine?" asked a young man wearing a red
and green striped ski mask despite the warmth of the Candyopolis [we'd make
up a parody name, but you really can't get much sillier than the real thing -
Ed.] store at the Manhattan Town Center.
     "Almost there," a girl in wraparound amber sunglasses replied.  "And
call me Epicycle when we're in costume!" she added with a hiss.
     "Well, we're not really *in* costume," the boy shrugged, lifting his
mask up and popping a piece of Pez into his mouth from a Space Moose
dispenser.  "Yours is at home except for the goggles, and I don't even have
mine done yet."
     "That's not the POINT!" Epicycle sighed, flinching back at the sound of
an energy blast on the other side of the security barrier.  "How are we ever
going to put together a Preteen Patrol franchise if we don't take this
     "I guess.  But...we don't really have powers, Cor...Epicycle.  I don't
even know what your codename is supposed to mean, unless you're planning on
getting some gadgets on your bike or something."
     "It's a space thing, I saw it in one of dad's books.  Don't you remember
my costume?  All space ranger, Flash Gordon sort of stuff?"
     The boy, whose name happened to be Michael, an eminently forgettable
sort of name which is why it hadn't been brought up yet, shrugged.  "That's
another thing.  We haven't exactly asked dad about the Preteen Patrol thing,
shouldn't we do that before getting into a fight?"
     "Gah, I can't believe I gave you the codename Focus, Mikey...you have
about as much focus as...well, a fifth grade boy," Epicycle sighed.
     "But I *am* a fifth grade boy!" Michael protested.  "And you're a fifth
grade girl, so there."
     "You're making my point for...hey, it's opening!" Epicycle stood back
from the security box and tried to strike something like a heroic pose.
     "Did you pick the lock?" Focus asked, pulling his mask back down.
     "I don't think...ah, crud," Epicycle sighed as the door lifted to reveal
police officers coming in to pick up the unconscious bodies of those strange
guys she'd seen surveying people in the mall.  Fire retardant foam covered
some of them, and the fighting seemed to have mainly been down by the Hot
Topic part of the mall.  "We missed it."
     "We could still go out and introduce ourselves?" Focus suggested.
     Epicycle shook her head, pulling off the goggles.  "Nah.  If we're just
gonna walk up and say hi, I'd rather be in costume.  I mean, it's okay to be
in something thrown together on the spot if you're gonna come in fighting,
but we'd look totally lame just walking up afterward like some kinda
     "Um, we are some kinda groupies, sis.  No powers, remember?"    
     "I'm *working* on that!" Corrine snapped.  "And take off the mask, you
look like an idiot...."

__--__--__--__--__--__--__--     \\NEW//       --__--__--__--__--__--__--__
 .|,Coherent Comics Presents      \\ //        #9 - Cheeezed Off 
--X-------------------------     E }X{ ARCHS      copyright 2007 by the
 '|` A Superguy/LNH Tale          // \\        Dvandroid (Dave Van Domelen)
--__--__--__--__--__--__--__     //   \\       __--__--__--__--__--__--__--

[December 10, 2007 - Manhattan KS]

     "We're as ready as we're going to be," Skysabre said, adjusting the fit
of his mask.  "Those Naugas didn't give up much aside from the fact that
they're, well, known as Naugas and they serve Sung the Stainless.  We got
more than that from Kat hacking the survey pads, but not a lot more."
     "Well, I got a good altiversal fix from the pads," Hans Zwarghoff
interjected.  "It's definitely 000SUPERDRY, and I think I can even be sure I
can put your Cheeezball exit point someplace isolated, based on the minimal
data in the pads.  I'm surprised, though...these guys exercise pretty good
information security.  You'd almost think they were used to dealing with
     Kat nodded.  "Short of getting a telepath in, we're not going to get
much more intel on this side of things, and whoever this Sung is, he's not an
idiot.  Well, he may be an idiot, actually, but at least he's got competent
people running his ops.  We know he's got designs on our altiverse," she said
without a trace of hestitation...a few years ago she wouldn't have used the
word "our", favoring a more neutral "this" or even a "this stupid," "and we
have some idea of his minimum tech level thanks to the pads themselves, but
we already knew most of that from the gun we captured a month ago."
     "At least we're all armed now," Anna patted the bulge under her jacket.
"Slow shots, but strong.  Might be useful."
     "Right, but don't depend on these.  Sung may have a way to neutralize
his own men's weapons," Skysabre warned.  "He certainly seems on-the-ball
enough in other ways.  He might have read the Evil Overlord list at some
     "Worse yet, 000SUPERDRY may be a reality where the Evil Overlord cliches
don't apply in the first place," Zwarghoff warned.  "For all we know, they
have an overriding principle that he's using to stay on the top of the heap,
a 'jerks always win' sort of rule."
     "I think most realities have that rule," Kat smirked. 
     "No, they just have a 'jerks always get the girl' rule," Zwarghoff made
a sour face.  "Anyway, whatever the case, we're going to have to do some
scouting around to get hard data.  I'm going to open a cheeezball, you three
will go through and scout around for a few hours, then meet back at the
arrival spot and wait for me to open a cheeezball back here."
     "I wish we could use those automatic recall doohickeys the Naugas had,"
Anna sighed.  
     "I'm *working* on that," Hans frowned, then blinked.  "Huh, felt like a
call-back there for some reason.  Anyway, they've had years to perfect this
technology, and I've spent most of that time assuming it was unworkable.  And
these aren't prototypes I can take apart piece by piece, they're solid state
production models, a lot harder to reverse-engineer.  There might also be
machinery at the other side that really makes it work, but don't try to bring
any back this time, okay?"
     "Awwww, you don't think we should break into what's probably the most
heavily guarded installation in Sung's base and try to steal something that
might be the size of a building?" Kat smiled sweetly.  "I'd never have
considered that to be a bad idea on my own."
     "Enough sarcasm, Kat, you don't have a demon in you," Skysabre snapped,
referring to the origins of Sarcastic Lad's powers back in the Looniverse.
"We've gone around in circles on this enough, it's time to just go."
     "Right.  Before the ice storm hits," Hans nodded.  "Oh, I've got plenty
of backup generator capacity here, but with everything covered in ice it'll
be harder for the sensors to tell if anyone else is using a cheeezball to
come here.  And I'd rather not be surprised by a counter-strike while you're
     "Just give me another moment here to finish up my spell," Anna had
returned to concentrating on a medallion in her hands.  "Something I picked
up at Burning M00se last summer, it'll keep people from questioning our
presence as long as we play it mellow.  Okay...ready.  Just stay within a few
paces of me and we'll blend in, more or less."
     "I wish you'd had time to make more of those," Kat sighed as she stood
at the ready in front of the faint grease mark on the floor that indicated
where the cheeezball would form.
     "I needed help to make this one," Anna shrugged.  "If it actually works
under the magical laws over in 000SUPERDRY, I'll see about calling in some
favors to get more made."
     "Cheeezball in five seconds," Hans warned, and the trio got ready to
jump.  "Three...two...one...we have cheeez sign!"
     The swirling orange sphere started small, no bigger than a basketball,
but it steadily grew until it was large enough to pass a person through, then
it stopped growing.  There was a sigh of relief at that...there was still a
small chance that there would be a repeat of the incident that destroyed New
Call Hall.
     "Jump now!" Hans shouted, and the three superguys leapt into the gooey-
looking ball.
     "Huh, it worked," Hans shrugged, then turned to the instrument panel to
make sure everything shut down safely.
     As a result, he never saw the little reddish-brown blur streak across
the room and into the slowly-contracting cheeezball....

               *              *              *              *


     "Sire, sensors report a disturbance consistent with a transit sphere,"
Wrinkle reported as he glided into Sung the Stainless's office.  The Emoviate
was adorned with even more surgical steel studs and pins in his face than
usual, and his tattered black garments rustled mournfully.
     "Not the survey team, I presume?" Sung steepled his fingers thoughtfully
as he shifted in his chair.  The immaculately tailored naugahyde of his
jacket squeaked slightly against the leather of his office chair, and he made
a mental note to have that looked at.  The leather was of finest Ptanner
make, but perhaps a few pads of the softer hide crafted by the Suedes would
solve the problem.
     "The survey team would have made contact by now.  Well, with you,
anyway.  They hate me, they never want to talk to me," Wrinkle whined.  "Oh,
Great God Day-o, now I want to slit my wrists, just thinking about it."
     "Not while you're on the clock, Wrinkle, and never in my office.  We
both know how hard it is to get blood out of the Bombyx silks," he gestured
at the elaborate wall hangings.  "So, if it's not the survey team, it's
probably whoever is responsible for the team's disappearance.  In fact, I'd
wager it's the people who have the Paleoculture."
     Wrinkle nodded, forcing back tears.  "Y-yes, sire.  The preliminary
readings suggest that it's not exactly our transit technology, and there do
seem to be signs of Paleoculture in the aromatic profile.  Whoever they are,
though, they've chosen to arrive out in the Clay Flats, and we don't have
many reporting stations in that region, so we can't get a tight fix on their
     "Then they may have outwitted themselves," Sung smiled evilly.  "The
Clays will take care of them before they get close enough to civilization to
pose a problem...."






     Answers to some of these, and possibly some more utterly gratuitous
inter-title continuity bits, on the next...SUPERGUY!


Author's Notes:

     Greg Fishbone's made it known that Preteen Patrol franchises are
available, although whether Corrine and Mike ever get one is up in the air.
For more on Burning M00se, see current issues of Rad.  It's like Burning Man,
but with antlers, and more real mystics in attendance.
     Since writing #8, I've watched every episode of the 1930s Flash Gordon
serial with Buster Crabbe.  Flash was really into strangling people in the
first serial.  It was his go-to move.  Also, Zarkov really shouldn't wear
legless outfits.  And the original Prince Barin should stay as covered up as
humanly possible.  Yes, "original"...they changed actors for him between
"Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars" and "Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe."  It
was an improvement, really.
     But enough nattering on about 1930s serials.
     At the rate time seems to move for me in this series, I should be doing
a Christmas Special some time around March.  Just in time for the Christmas
2008 decorations to start going up in some stores....

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