ASH: LL&DD #3 - Best Practices

Dave Van Domelen dvandom at
Tue May 29 17:09:39 PDT 2007

     The cover shows a cyborg raptor of some sort struggling under the weight
of an atomic cannon that must be five times its size.  To one side, Doctor
Developer looks on, as if considering how to fix it.

 Coherent                                                  LL&DD #3
 Comics          | ADY | AWFUL    __        __             "Best Practices"
 Presents an     |__   |__     &  | \ OCTOR | \ EVELOPER   copyright 2007
 ASHistory Tale:                  |_/       |_/            by Andrew Burton

     "Tell me something, Deedee," Jennifer asked, looking up from the thick
catalog of museum items she was reading through.  From where he was sitting
on the floor, behind an open computer case, Deedee, Cameron when pet-names
weren't in-play, could just make out several pictures from the book spread
across the coffee table.
     "You are beautiful," Cameron said without hesitation.
     Jennifer smiled back and shook her head.  "And you're insufferable."
She picked up the book and turned it around to show him the contents of the
page.  "The museum just got a bunch of old Tinker Ten gadgets, and we're
having to sort through them all.  The problem is..." she paused, "you know
how every mad scientist has their own style?"
     Cameron nodded.  The nature of Violation Physics meant that it was rare,
nearly impossible, for two super-powered mad scientists to arrive at the same
technology through the same route.  "What about it?" he asked, setting his
tools on the floor.
     Jennifer set the book back on the coffee table.  "Going through all
these weapons, I swear, there are pieces of super-tech invented by one crazy
grafted onto other pieces of super-tech by another crazy.  It's like one of
these guys said, 'Hey, let's put my Atomogun on your Dinoclone,' and the
other was like, 'Sure,' and they did it."
     Cameron nodded again.
     "So, you're an ex-villain," Jennifer asked, "how do they just up and
decide to do it like that?"
     "Standardization," Cameron explaied.  "Only one mad scientist at a time
may be able to create a piece of super-tech, but that doesn't mean the super-
tech can't communicate with other super-tech through perfectly normal means.
If I were going to invent a Dinoclone, and had the Magene to do it, he would
no doubt have many sockets for various appendages and upgrades.
     "By using a standard socket size on my Dinoclone, any other mad
scientist would know that his Atomogun will be able to plug into my
Dinoclone.  If we use standard command codes for the Dinoclone and the
Atomogun, combining the two becomes pretty simple."  Cameron picked up one of
the green cards that had been removed from his computer.  "Plug'n'play super-
technology," he explained, waving the card.
     "How do you know what a standard socket size or command codes are,
     All of a sudden, Cameron averted his gaze from Jennifer.  After a
second, he quietly added, "I don't think I can safely answer that."  He
looked intently at his computer, quickly resuming work on its innards.
     "Oh, no," Jennifer said as she slid onto the floor.  "You can't leave
off there."  She inched around to Cameron's back, walking on her knees, and
slid her arms around his waist and throat.  "You've got something interesting
to say, I know it.  Spill."
     "Nuh-uh," Cameron shook his head.  "This is super-secret vilain stuff...
super-super-secret vilain stuff.  If I tell you this, they'll skip tearing up
my membership card and go right to ripping me to little pieces."
     "Mmmmaybe," Jennifer said in a sing-song voice, "but if you don't tell
me, you may skip straight to sleeping alone on the couch for a while.  How
about that?"
     Cameron stopped to think for a moment.  He was debating which was worse:
actual death or just wanting to die?  Neither seemed too appealing, but only
one currently had their arms around both his throat and...more sensitive
     "Dammit," he cursed.  Knowing she'd won, Jennifer eased her stranglehold
on Cameron, transforming her death lock into a less lethal hanging hug
position.  "There's an...unofficial group...of mad scientists out there known
as the S4: Society of Super-Science Standards.  While their main work is
geared toward fully grasping to mechanics behind violation physics, they
regularly release a set of best practices and standards for making villains'
technologies interoperable with others."
     "Are you pulling my leg?" Jennifer asked.
     Cameron looked down, confirming that there was no way to reach and pull
Jennifer's leg, taking away his one final hope that he could derail the
conversation with groping.  "No, I'm not," he replied, "they invited me to
join a while back, given my track record with mixing together true products
of mad science.  We try not to bring it up very often's not
very villain-like to spill that kind of thing to the good guys."
     "So you guys just decided to sit around planning ways to hook Atomoguns
to Dinoclones...for what?  Fun?" Jennifer asked.
     Cameron sighed.  "Not for fun," he answered, "for minions.  It started
out as a means of standardizing super-tech interfaces, so every villain
wouldn't have to factor re-training time into their plans for world
     "And mismatched minions are certainly not fun," Jennifer nodded,
smirking.  "I'm surprised no one on the white mask side figured this out yet,
what with all the goon squads and so forth that get captured every month."
     Cameron shrugged.  She didn't seem to want to push it any farther, so no
need to tell her.  She might not be happy to know that he'd been the one to
suggest the self-destruct standards that ensured any captured super-tech lost
its more identifiably standardized characteristics.  It wasn't his fault if
not everyone followed that particular standard....


Next Issue:

     Those pesky time-travel stories just keep jumping around!  "First to the
Future" should show up in LL&DD #4...but you never know!


Editor's Note:

     Well, the story originally planned for #3 is still being worked on, and
might even get split into two issues if it gets any longer.  :)  Meanwhile,
Andy had a quick vignette he came up with, so I decided to slot it in as
LL&DD #3.


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