LNH: Possum-Man: Relinquished #2: Safety First

Tarq mitchell_crouch at caladrius.com.au
Thu Mar 1 00:07:51 PST 2007

Last time in Possum-Man: Relinquished 1, Sticks Tarqchevskison, a
party clown for hire, had most of his old school friends killed off by
a deranged ex-peer, Duck McMuck. As the net.hero Possum-Man, he fought
McMuck to a standstill in the apartment of his old best friend (and
one of his few surviving ex-classmates), Stones, the timely arrival of
the police tipped the tide in Pos' favour. Unfortunately, Duck was
able to slay one of the policemen and make his escape. In the
aftermath of the attack, Stones moved in with Sticks, completely
unaware that he was now living with Possum-Man.

----=== {PM} ===----

_____         ___  ____
\  _ \        \  \ \  /
 ||_||         ||\\ ||
 | _/          || \\||  O
 ||   OSSUM-MA ||  \ |  O
/__\          /__\  \|

                   2  22

-{ Safety First }-

The cover shows Possum-Man in a black and green variant of his usual
costume, paralysed against a dark wall with a mildly distressed
expression on his face. Green electricity seems to jump around him.

----=== {PM} ===----

"On my head?"

"Yes, yes!"

Sticks put a hand on his head, and yanked off the balloon dinosaur
that had been stuck there by static electricity. "Wow! It was, too!"

The children screamed happily, and Sticks leant down to pull out
another balloon from his bag of tricks. "Well then, let's make a
friend for our balloon buddy... but where can I put this one while I'm
making the second one?"

Several children began to shriek with merriment and lean forwards,
offering their hair as resting places for the rubber beastie. "On my
head, on my head!"

"On your head?"

"Yes, yes!"

"Oh, they'll be no need for that," he replied casually as he pressed
the dinosaur against the plaster wall. He removed his hand and went
back to inflating a second balloon as the children marvelled at the
dinosaur, practically magnetised to the wall, suspended in space,
unable to move.

----=== {PM} ===----

Sticks walked into his apartment, clown costume over his shoulder, and
hair sticking up and out at bizarre angles that nature didn't
originally intend for it to stick. The television was on, some
documentary about American foxes and how they migrate home or
something for whatever various reasons. Fascinating stuff, really.

"Dude," his best friend and temporary flatmate, Stones, muttered as he
looked up from some little cartoon he'd been scribbling in his
sketchbook, and catching a look at Sticks' hair. "You so need to find
yourself a better day job."

"At least I have a day job."

"Hey, there is nothing wrong with what I do. You could always come
work nightshift with me at the steelworks."

Sticks grinned faintly, and shook his head. "Yeah. Sure thing. I'll
just cancel this month's bookings."

With a shake of his head, Stones went back to whatever little doodle
he was doing. By which I mean he was drawing a picture. "Oh," he added
after a moment's thought, "and did I tell you that Moni dropped in
last night?"

"Moni? As in, Moni, Moni? Monica Jade?"

"'Sif there's any other. She told me to tell you hi."

Sticks frowned. His ex-girlfriend, Monica Jade, had fallen off of the
radar just a few months after they'd both finished university. He
heard she'd moved to the Loonited States, for reasons definitely not
supervillain- or plot-related. And now she'd popped up again. How
totally coincidental and trivial.

"So she was like, here?"

"No, no, down at the steelworks. She's come back, looking for work,
knew where to go. Didn't know what business hours they operated,
apparently. Said something about jetlag, I don't know. I gave her a
tour of the place anyway, and she said to say hi."

Sticks nodded, but couldn't help but feel disappointed. He'd been
hoping that she might have been trying to get back to him. But she
wasn't, so sucks to be him, eh?

Grabbing an apple for the road, he retreated into his bedroom,
completely off-limits to anyone other than himself. Hanging up his
clownies and grabbing some spandex, he dived out the window.

----=== {PM} ===----

The Alt.awarra area was settled in the early 1800's after heavy coal
deposits were discovered by the explorer George Bass in 1797. It
wasn't until 1928, however, that the steelworks were built on-shore at
Port Com.bla. Previously, coal would be trained down from the
mountains to the Port and shipped away. But, making use of pre-
existing railway lines, the steel industry was set up and extremely

Eighty years later, Port Com.bla, just south of Www.ollongong, was
still the site of one of the most profitable companies to ever make
their mark in Alt.stralia.

Easily bypassing barbed wire fences in the dark of night, the Possum-
Man strolled the grounds thoughtfully. To think that last night,
Monica Jade had been here. Craziness. He wandered around the numerous
'environmentally friendly' parks that had been built, and gazed
quizzically at the abstract statues that had been constructed there.

He meandered his way to the actual port, and sat behind a crate on the
dock, listening to the tide lap at his feet. A cargo ship had just
begun to leave.

"Hey!" a voice called out. "You're not meant to be here!"

Without even bothering to check behind him, Possum-Man dived at the
moving ship. Missing the handrail completely, and instead slamming
head-first into the dense metal hull, he fell limply into the frosty

A splash of the putrid urban water was all that he needed to revive
him, and he choked and spluttered before beginning to doggy-paddle out
to the ship.

The boat, however, was a lot faster than a half-drowned Possum-Man who
could barely swim in the first place. Treading water, he let out an
angry "Bother..." as the ship was propelled away from him. He turned to
go, but a sudden scream made him whip around just in time to watch a
figure fall off the boat and into the water. Swimming towards the
figure, he was distracted as a blast of green light illuminated the
ship from the deck, and another boatman screamed and went flying.

Swimming evermore quickly, the boat was still losing him, and people
were still falling overboard as Possum-Man yelped, "Ow, cramp in my
foot, cramp in my foot!! Cramp, owie, owie, burble burble burble
bubble burble blip!"

----=== {PM} ===----

"Ah bah-bah doo-doo, wah, yow!"

Sticks hit the 'on' button on his bathroom radio as he finished drying
himself off. Last night had been hectic, to say the least, and a nice
warm shower had gone a long way to soothing his delicate ego. And
fixing that nasty cramp in his foot.

He whipped out his electric razor and began shaving his chest hair
into the shape of his stylised possum logo as the radio personalities
read the morning news. "...cuh-razy 'liquorice monster' has again been
sighted in the west of the city. Ain't that the funniest? And a-hey
hey hey, in other news, a large cargo ship was stolen from the Port
Com.bla steelworks last night, by what authorities described as a
'funny-looking man in very tight spandex'. Witnesses claim that he
did, indeed, steal the ship. But more of that after this quick
commercial break!"

The newest of many Mr. Paprika jingles began to play as Sticks'
shaving slowed to a halt. A funny looking man in very tight spandex?
It sounded like a job for Possum-Man. But who would bother stealing a
cargo ship? What possible use could it serve?

He finished his possum logo, and then whipped some civvy clothes on
and walked out. Stones was, as usual, sitting down doing a lot of

"Mornin' sunshine," he greeted in a bored tone of voice as he flicked
through the paper. "Finally out of the shower, I see."

Sticks didn't bother to reply, and instead got himself a bowl of
cereal. He sat down in the seat adjacent to Stones, and read on the
STOLEN'. And in slightly smaller letters below that, 'SOUNDS LIKE A

Looking incredulously at the newspaper, Tarqchevskison finished off
his breakfast, and retreated once more into his bedroom.

----=== {PM} ===----

"...and from this," Hank was saying, "we may conclude that the man in
the spandex probably, but not definitely, we can only really guess,
now, can't we, but what I'm saying is that we _are_ guessing,
assuming, rather, I suppose, that he did indeed, probably, steal the
ship. We think."

A light applause rippled through the small crowd, and the police
officer beamed. He'd been working hard all morning, and the fruits of
his labour were finally public knowledge.

"But officer," one member from the press called from the back, "what
do you actually plan to do about it?"

"Do about it?" Hank's eyes widened. What an absurd question! "See,
that's just silly talking, that is. _I'm_ not going to do anything
about it, oh, goodness gracious, no. He's wearing spandex, obviously
very dangerous. I could," he chuckled, "I could, as preposterous as it
seems, even die! Now imagine that, eh? A dead police officer! Load of
good that would do you, indeed."

"But your appearance here implies that you'll be a recurring
character. Doesn't that also imply you'll be safe from any permanent

Hank shuffled uncomfortably before replying, "A dead recurring
character? That'll do even less good than a dead police officer, I
don't mind telling you. Don't mind telling you at all, I don't."

The journalist considered this briefly before scribbling it down in
his -- or her -- notebook.

The officer clapped his hands together jovially before continuing.
"So, any other questions?"

"Yeah," came a different voice. "What do you want _me_ to do?"

And the Possum-Man flipped down from the roof of a nearby refinery,
landing on his ankle at a funny angle, spraining it. "Yowch!" he
yelped as he fell backwards. "Oh, gosh, ow, ow..."

The costumed vigilante continued to roll around in pain for a bit,
until, with Hank's help, he returned to his feet. Looking at the
sceptical faces of so many members of the press, Pos smiled cockily
and bowed low.

This was met with tremendous applause as cameras flashed and a few
began writing about how the steel stealing menace had laid a trap for
Www.ollongong's most courageous hero, and how said hero had barely
escaped with his life intact.

Once the fuss had died down, Hank pulled Pos aside for business talk.
"Thank everyone ever, ever, that you came," he gasped. "I need you to
have a climactic showdown with this obnoxious guy in spandex."

Possum-Man frowned thoughtfully. "Obnoxious guy in spandex? Is he, by
any chance, fighting a guy in a trench coat who is, in turn, fighting

Hank shook his head. "Different obnoxious guy in spandex. There are
quite a few of them around, you know."

"Yes," Possum-Man murmured thoughtfully as The Incredible Man With
Veiny Muscles wrestled with The Unfriendly Brick, Kidzip traded blows
with Undone Fly Guy and Dr. I-Shoot-Powerful-Beams-Out-Of-The-Palms-Of-
My-Hands-How-Hardcore-Am-I shot powerful beams out of the palms of his
hands, destroying a small island off the coast. "I had noticed that
there were one or two around."

"But the fact is," Hank continued, gesturing vaguely to the background
one-shot characters, "those guys will never have their names typed
ever again. You, on the other hand, have your own series. Clearly,
you're the best guy to go against this menace."

Possum-Man nodded acceptingly. "It's true, it's true. I'm way more
hardcore than that guy who just shoots beams out of the palms of his

Dr. I-Shoot-Powerful-Beams-Out-Of-The-Palms-Of-My-Hands-How-Hardcore-
Am-I began sobbing, knowing full well that his name was not typed
again, but rather copied and pasted. He grabbed his head in between
his hands and blasted his brains out.

"So anyways, I think I know how I'm going to go about finding this
spandex'd evildoer."


"Well, the ship would have a GPS on it somewhere, right?"

Hank nodded distractedly, but unease prompted him to say, "We were
actually hoping for something a little more awesome and a little less,
you know, nerdy."

Possum-Man blinked behind his reflective yellow goggles. "Oh. Okay.
Well... have we got a more detailed description of the guy?"

"I'll go get the night guard who reported seeing him."

"Thanks, Hank."

A moment later, Hank was back, and tagging along behind him was a
distracted Stones, playing Soccer Bear on a small portable gaming

"This is Stones," Hank began. "He was on duty the night the boat was

Possum-Man nodded incredulously. "Uh-huh. Isn't this the guy whose
apartment was broken into last time we met?"

Hank and Stones regarded each other with expression of equal
confusion. "Heck, I don't know," Stones muttered as he turned back to
Soccer Bear. "I just want to finish this level with all the balls.
This is just insane."

"You can finish off Soccer Bear later, Stones," Pos growled. "I need
you to tell me more about the obnoxious guy in spandex."

"He was fighting a guy in a trench coat who was, in turn, fighting

"The _other_ obnoxious guy in spandex."

"I think he stole a boat."

"What colour was his spandex, Stones?"

"Green or black."

"Which one?"

"Which one what?"

"Was his spandex green, or black?"


"Would you say more of a green, or more of a black?"

"More of a green-on-black."

Hank snapped his fingers. "Aha!"

The Pos glanced over at him. "What?"

"It makes sense. Green-On-Black is a known wanted criminal."

Possum-Man nodded in agreement. "That does match up. What has he done
in the past?"

"He's been accused of stealing boats."

"That makes even more sense. How long have you known about this Green-

"Ooh, a couple of seconds know, almost a minute, maybe."

Possum-Man stared blankly at his unhelpful cohorts. "Okay guys, you
know what? I'm going to go and find this Green-On-Black guy now.

Hank let out a small "Yup" of agreement that was buried under Stones'
scream of, "Why do you taunt me so, Soccer Bear?! Damn, this game has

----=== {PM} ===----

Late that night, Possum-Man sat alone on the roof of a single-storey
building that was conveniently located near the docks. He assumed its
purpose had something to do with the administrative side of aquatic
transportation, but he had no evidence either way. And the daytime use
of the building was completely irrelevant, anyway. It was there, and
he was on top of it, and that was really quite very helpful of it.
Well done, building.

The silence that had ruled over the steelworks for the past few hours
was interrupted by a noise behind him, and the hero silently pivoted
around, his goggles giving him limited night vision. There was just a
warehouse. Well, not just a warehouse. There was a warehouse, and in
between his building and the warehouse was a small path. But there was
nothing on the path.


Pos had only turned halfway around when he was suddenly propelled
forward. Barely managing to twist his now-green-glowing body around to
face his assailant, he slammed back first into the giant metallic wall
of the warehouse.

He took a second to catch his breath, and then observed the attacker
more closely. This had to be him -- this was Green-On-Black. Most of
his spandex outfit was black, although his fingers and select parts of
his feet were green. The spandex was cut away to reveal his face, but
what Pos assumed was green face paint obscured it beyond recognition.
He also had on a green belt, and a massive green lightning bolt
dominated his chest.

The next thing that Possum-Man noticed was that the lightning attack
had suspended him against the wall of the warehouse.

Apparently, this hadn't been Green-On-Black's plan, either, because
the villain's face slowly melted from powerful anger to confusion.

Pos strained the muscles in his arm, and was able to twiddle his
fingers in a small wave. "Well, hiya!"

Green-On-Black frowned. "What? You should be dead...!"

"Dead?" Possum-Man queried as he continued to try to wrench himself
off the wall. "Why would I be dead?" Just as he finished speaking, he
slid a few feet down the wall.

Green-On-Black regarded him cautiously. "I just criminally
electrocuted you. Thousands and thousands of volts. You should be in
cardiac arrest, at the very least."

Possum-Man squirmed slightly as he slid a little further down the
wall, and was able to wrench the lower halves of his arms off of the
wall. "Um. Okay. If you say so, chief. Maybe your lightning attack
thingo isn't quite as strong as you were lead to believe."

This, apparently, was not the desired response. His face twisting
again into an angry mask, the supervillain thrust his hands out
towards the Possum-Man, and lightning shot out of his fingertips.
Unable to move, Pos took the full blast to the chest. His arms snapped
back against the metal of the warehouse, almost as if magnetised, and
he began to feel slightly tingly all over.

Green-On-Black's eyes grew all the more furious, and with a roar of
unparalleled fury, the beam of lightning doubled in size, splitting
Possum-Man's spandex open on his chest, before sizzling out.

Both of the capes blinked. Looking through the ripped spandex, Green-
On-Black cried, "What the heck is that?!"

Jumping off of the dockside building, GOB was able to grab Pos' foot,
and drag him down the side of the warehouse wall. When they reached
the bottom, Green-On-Black left him pinned against the wall as he
ripped the hole a bit wider, and began pulling Styrofoam muscles out.

"What?!" he shrieked. "What the... this is pathetic, man. You're meant
to be a _hero_!"

"Hey," retorted Possum-Man in a hurt tone of voice, "we can't all be
The Incredible Man With Veiny Muscles, you know. You're not much more
than an Undone Fly Guy yourself."

Green-On-Black reached in a little further and began pulling out
Styrofoam biceps. "Yeah, no, I agree, but this is... a little over the
top, don't you think?" He reached in even further, and began hauling
out more and more Styrofoam. "I mean, fake abs, fake biceps, fake --
wait, that's not styrofo-"

Possum-Man blushed and giggled flirtatiously.

Green-On-Black hurriedly pulled his hands out and shook them
spastically, as if trying to fling small bad things off them. After a
moment, he went back to his villainous rant. "Gross. Anyway, now I am
_definitely_ going to zap-fry you into oblivion. And man, do you ever
deserve it. You sick freak."

He held his hands out from his body a little, and sparks of green
energy began to form around them. Meanwhile, Possum-Man had planned
his next course of action.

"That's all well and good," he began, "but you've kind of lack-of-
noticed that I'm not stuck to the wall any more." And he ducked just
in time to avoid being zap-fried. Launching himself under the legs of
the electric evildoer, he scored a hearty punch to GOB's spandex-clad
crotch on the way through.

Green-On-Black sunk to the ground with a falsetto scream of pain and
rage, eyes squeezed tight against the agony.

This was not enough to contain the villain, however, and he managed to
pull himself to his feet. "Why didn't you die?" he rasped. "Styrofoam
alone can't possibly have protected you so well against my hardcore

"Aah," corrected Pos, "but you seem to failing to understand that
Styrofoam is so completely _not_ a conductor of electricity, that it
instead only stuck me to the inconveniently placed metallic wall."

Green-On-Black growled. "Bah! Spare me your pitiful attempts at
explanation for the non-science-inclined readers and fight me, you
ridiculous net.hero!"

"Mkay." Possum-Man kicked GOB in the neck, incapacitating him. The
villain dropped as Pos grabbed his shin, hopping around and yelping,
"Ow no, my leg, my shin, great pain, get help, now, argh...!!"

After a moments pain, he regained his footing and grabbed some rope
out of one of his utility pouches, tying the villain to the gutter of
the increasingly useful dockside building. Reaching into a different
pouch, he pulled out a yet-to-be-patented possumaphone, and alerted
Hank to the villain's whereabouts and position.

Pos waited in the shadows, standing guard over the crippled Green-On-
Black, until the headlights of the police cars were visible approached
the complex. Content that his night's worth of work was done, he ran
off along the wharf, flailing his arms wildly above his head and
yelling, "I am _so_ hectic!" while he dragged his Styrofoam muscles
behind him and his possum-shaped chest hair was exposed to the
elements. He dived awkwardly into the harbour, and swam away into the

"Ow, cramp in my foot, cramp in my foot!! Argh, argh, cramp owie fuh-
burble-urble-urble bubble..."

----=== {PM} ===----

"Yeah... uh-huh... heh heh, yeah... yeah... uh-huh... hoo boy, yeah... ha ha, yes,
yeah, yeah..."

Sticks Tarqchevskison woke up to the sound of someone talking loudly
and happily, and opened his eyes groggily. Pulling some civvy gear on,
he exited his bedroom to the sight of Stones on the phone with the
newspaper on his lap.

"Yeeeeh-uh-huh-huh... whoo boy, yeah..."

"Stones?" His friend looked up from the paper. "Who are you talking to
at this hour, man? I _know_ you have no friends."

"Hey hey, here he is now-- you have to go? Oh. Kay. Yeah, I'll tell
him you said hi. See ya." Stones put the phone down and grinned at his
sleep-deprived flatmate. "You'll never guess who that was."

"I don't want to. Just tell me."

"You'd also probably be interested to know that it was the second
person who called for you so far today."


His friend grinned and shook his head. "Dude, that was Moni! She
wanted to see you. But you were asleep, and she had to go, and-"

Despite his acute interest in what his ex wanted to say to him, Sticks
waved Stones silent and interrupted with a, "And the first call?"

Stones merely shrugged uninterestedly. "Some weird guy with a kid
who's having a party. Some stuff about you being like, two hours late
or something, I don't know."

Looking at his watch, Sticks let out a falsetto shriek and rushed into
his room to get changed. The door slammed shut behind him, and Stones
was left alone and in silence to read the paper.

He looked nonchalantly at the door for a moment before turning back to


Whew, I managed to get it done by the 1st, just like I said I would.
Sure, I said it would probably be Alt.stralian Yarns, but y'know,
probably isn't definately.

Also, I believe that the obnoxious guy in spandex fighting guys in
trenchcoats fighting ninjas is, indeed, actually, the brainchild of
Tom Russell. As is Soccer Bear, now that I mention it. How about that,

I feel like I had something else I needed to say here, but have
completely forgotten it. Ah well!


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