SG/LNH: New Exarchs #2 - Cheeezballs!

Dave Van Domelen dvandom at
Tue Oct 30 08:37:10 PDT 2007

[000SUPERGUY: October 27, 2007 - Manhattan, KS]

     "But why a spork?" Janet asked, gesturing at the piece of "mandatory
construction budget item" sculpture in the small square.
     Brad shrugged.  "I'm not sure it's supposed to be a spork, per se, I
think it's meant to be nonrepresentation artwork and we just *see* a spork
because that's what we, as participants in the artistic process, bring to the
     "Well, I don't bring sporks to the table, I use regular spoons and
forks," Janet replied huffily.  "And Spoongirl was a better superguy than
Sporkboy anyway."
     "That's not what I meant, and...hey, do you smell that?" Brad started
looking around, sniffing the air.
     "Ew, yeah.  Are they doing another horse thing over at Weber Hall?"
     Brad shook his head.  "Not that I saw.  And it smells more, um,
cheese-like than manure-y.  You don't suppose New New Call Hall's about to
     "I hope not!" Janet gasped.  "I still need to pick up a few pints of
SuperMoose Tracks ice cream from them for the party Wednesday."
     "Well, you could always get some at Dara's."
     "I suppose.  Ugh, it's really getting stinky, though.  Elvis's
sideburns, what's that!?"
     "It...looks like a floating blob of processed cheese spread?" Brad
ventured.  "I guess that's what's making the smell."
     "Halloween prank by one of the dairy science people?"
     "Who'd invent antigravity cheese, though?"
     "Antigravity cheese that grows on its own..." Janet started to move in
the general direction of "the hell away".
     Just then, the floating cheeezball surged to the size of one of those
"biggest ball of twine in the county" roadside attractions and disgorged a
man in shiny fake leather garments.  The last thing to go through Brad's mind
before the man shot him was that the newcomer looked awfully clean for
someone who had just emerged from a big ball of processed cheese spread....

__--__--__--__--__--__--__--     \\NEW//       --__--__--__--__--__--__--__
 .|,Coherent Comics Presents      \\ //        #2 - Cheeezballs! 
--X-------------------------     E }X{ ARCHS      copyright 2007 by the
 '|` A Superguy/LNH Tale          // \\        Dvandroid (Dave Van Domelen)
--__--__--__--__--__--__--__     //   \\       __--__--__--__--__--__--__--

[October 28, 2007 - St. George, KS]

     "I'm amazed your car made it all the way here," Kat smirked as she
stepped out of the red and gray 1976 Camaro.
     "What do you mean?" Richard frowned.  "It's only about ten miles from
Manhattan to here."
     "Exactly," Kat grinned.  "That engine sounds like it's about that far
from just fusing into a solid mass of steel.  Have you been trying to teach
yourself car repair on this hunk of junk?" 
     "Maybe," he shrugged.  "I think I'm getting pretty good at it, myself."
     "Go on telling yourself that," Kat shrugged, looking at the house before
them.  It wasn't a mobile home, it had a proper basement and everything, but
otherwise it projected the same sort of shabby disrepute you might find in a
trailer park.  The whole town was like that, in fact...a cheap little bedroom
community with a "downtown" that consisted of the post office and one or two
little businesses.  The place was not only off the interstate, it wasn't even
on the U.S. highway nearby.  At least the other dying little communities in
the area had U.S. 24 traffic to give them some reason to spruce up a little.
Perhaps she was being a bit harsh, but she'd seen far too much of the
decaying small town Midwest in recent years to be charitable.  People in this
time, this world, didn't have to all live in centralized fortresses like she
had while growing up in the 2150s, but they still moved that way anyway.  Kat
loved the idea of small towns, but hated how they were being left to decay
and rot.  In the robot-dominated alternate future reality she came from, the
closest thing they had to a small town was still able to transform into a
giant robot.
     "You okay?" Richard asked.  "You looked like you were having a LARIM
[Long, angst-ridden internal monologue - Ed.]."
     "More of a travelogue," Kat shrugged.  "Let's go," she instinctively
patted her shoulder holster.  Gotta love concealed carry laws.
     Richard and Kat stepped up to the front door, its paint just starting to
peel but not quite badly enough to get a bachelor motivated to redoing it.
Richard pushed the doorbell.
     "Maybe he disconnected it," Kat suggested, reaching out and rapping on
the door with a gloved hand.  The sharper than normal sound it made suggested
her gloves had armored bits in them, which made sense given that Kat had
spent decades being accustomed to having what amounted to a fist of metal or
at least stone.  You don't unlearn fighting styles overnight, and broken
hands were a royal bitch.
     "He might still be asleep," Richard noted.  "It's only 9 AM."
     "We can be pretty sure he's not at church, based on what you dug up,"
Kat quirked an eyebrow.  "Although, he might still be awake from the night
before, too.  Pulling an all-nighter on something geekish."
     Richard was about to knock again, when a muffled voice could be heard
coming from inside.  "Go away or I turn on the lasers!  I'm a mad scientist,
and I don't want to be disturbed!"
     "If you're a mad scientist, you already ARE disturbed," Kat muttered
under her breath.
     "Doctor Zwarghoff, we're friends of Paul Oakthorn," Richard shouted at
the door.
     "Never heard of him!"
     "We know you worked with him on the Fromage Initiative!"
     Suddenly the door flew open.  Inside was a scruffy, chubby man with a
shock of wild brown hair starting to go white in places, dressed in a
somewhat soiled bathrobe and pyjamas.  "Are you INSANE mentioning that out
where THEY can hear you?  Get inside, hurry!"
     Following his insistent gesturing, the pair stepped into the obvious
residence of a guy who was not only single, but very unlikely to change that
     "Ugh," Kat wrinkled her nose at the pungent aroma that assaulted her as
she crossed the threshold.
     "Sorry about that, been up all night working.  Um, I mean, it's not me
who stinks, although I probably do smell a little ripe right now, it's what I
was working on.  I'm a dairy scientist, specifically a Caseologist.  I work
with cheese."
     "There's something to be said about leaving work at the office," Kat
     This elicited a nervous bark of laughter.  "But this *is* my office.
I'm a freelance Caseologist now, since They got me blackballed from the
     "That's twice you've talked about some mysterious 'They'.  Presuming
you're not talking about giant ants, who are They?" Richard asked.
     "Giant ants are 'Them'," Zwarghoff replied testily.  "Except for the
ones that are slightly sticky on one side, those are just Post-It (TM) Ants.
No no know who They are.  Everyone does.  But no one wants to admit
it, because it breaks down your comfortable little worldview of reality as a
safe place without sinister forces."
     "Doctor, I'm a nanotechnologically generated clone of a superhuman from
another dimension, I've fought demonic invaders and Chinese gods.  I don't
think my worldview includes anything like your description of 'safe' or
'comfortable', and I still don't know who They are," Richard countered.
     Zwarghoff blinked.  "Wait, that sounds familiar.  Do I know you?"
     Richard pulled out a small red domino mask from his pocket and held it
in front of his face.  "This help?"
     "Oh, yes, immensely.  Uncle Sebastian mentioned you once, and I suppose
you must have been involved in some of those things Paul let slip.  I'll just
be running away very fast now," Hans Zwarghoff turned, only to find Kat
standing exactly along his flight path.  "Eep?"
     "Look, Zwarghoff," Kat smirked [she does that a lot, doesn't she? -
Ed.].  "We know you worked with our friend, Paul Oakthorn, on something
called the Fromage Initiative.  We also know that it was so damn secret that
it didn't show up when I was trying to figure out what Paul was working on at
the time of his death."
     "Ha!  Sorry," Zwarghoff shrank back.  "But, um, go on."
     "No, that was about it," Kat hunched over a little to stare the little
man in the eye.  "What was the Fromage Initiative, and why do you think it's
so funny that I said it killed Paul?"
     "Oh, nothing funny, no...just, um, you're with They, aren't you?
Testing to see if I'll stay quiet, and ready to toss me back in the rubber
room if I blab?" Zwarghoff tried to backpedal, only to find Richard right
behind him.
     "I suspect that if we were with They...and man, is grammar getting a
pounding today...we'd already know what happened to Paul and not need to ask
you, right?" Richard countered.  
     "Well, I certainly didn't bury Paul!  Um, sorry, Beatles reference,"
Zwarghoff turned to face Richard.  "Look, I'm really REALLY not supposed to
talk about any of this.  I signed a lot of very intimidating and legally
binding documents on the whole affair, and while I may scare pretty easily as
you're finding out, it's a matter of you having to be scarier than They are.
Which," he smirked in imitation of Kat, "I don't think you can manage."
     This, of course, would be a perfect time for something dramatic to
happen, so it did.
     The door flew open in several pieces to reveal a man in naugahyde armor
brandishing a hand weapon of alien design.  Despite the dust and dirt kicked
up by his entry, his outfit was immaculately clean.
     "Where is the Paleoculture?" the man demanded.
     "What the heck is a Paleoculture?" Richard blinked.  "And are you with
     "Well, we wanted to call it Protoculture, but that was already taken,"
the intruder shrugged.  "And it's 'are you with them', barbarian.  Take a
night class or something."
     "Do you have any idea what's going on?" Kat asked Zwarghoff.
     "Other than the fact I think I just soiled myself?  No."
     "I didn't really need that information," Richard sighed.
     "So, that's what's making this horrible stench?" the gunman wrinkled his
     "No, it's apparently always like this," Kat shrugged.  "Are you sure you
even have the right address?  The only cultures here are the ones growing on
the unwashed socks over in the corner," Kat jerked a thumb sideways.
     For just an instant, the intruder's eyes followed Kat's gesture, but it
was an instant that was more than long enough.  With a spinning kick, Kat had
the man's gun flying through the air, and Richard had drawn a pair of short,
stout butterfly knives from under his coat and pressed against the man's neck
in the blink of an eye.
     "Ah, blackwater," the man sighed.  "Now I gotta self-destruct," he
pressed a stud on his belt.
     "Get him out of here!" Zwarghoff shouted.  "I have some very unstable
mixtures in the other room, an explosion could set off a chain reaction!"
     In a smooth motion, Richard shifted from pressing the blades into the
man's neck to using the flats to help guide him out the door in a bouncer-
style toss.
     "Suckers!" the intruder said as he staggered into an expanding sphere of
orangey goop that had appeared in Zwarghoff's front yard.
     "D'oh!" Richard lightly smacked his forehead with one of the spatula-
like blades.  "Fell for the old fake-self-destruct-that's-really-a-
teleportation-device gag.  Oldest trick in the book."
     "Oh, Cheese," Zwarghoff gasped, his face now ashen.
     "What?  Is he with They after all?" Kat asked.
     "No, They don't know how to get the cheeezballs to work.  I never told
They that, even after I figured out what went wrong the first time.  But
someone else has, and it could doom the entire world."
     "I think, just maybe, you need to tell us everything that's going on
here," Kat said.






     Answers to some of these, and likely a flashback or two, on the next...


Author's Notes:

     This series, at least in the opening arc, is taking its main influences
from the 2007 Flash Gordon series, although I may ramble into other areas
later, and certainly don't feel constrained to follow Flash note for note.
Y'see, while working on my Coherent Super Stories series over in the ASH
universe, I realized that due to the way I'd set things up, I really couldn't
do space opera serial stories in my "First Age", because there were no alien
contacts until the 1970s in the ASH universe.  But the "rips, not ships"
style of the new Flash Gordon gave me a way to use my old Exarchs characters
to scratch that itch.  Sure, 000SUPERGUY's space is pretty well filled, but
perhaps a little TOO filled for my preferences.  Jumping over to another
altiverse would let me set up whatever look and feel I wanted, without
worrying about the Hottentotts or Likmi or whatever getting in the way.  :)
Of course, I'm two eps in and haven't gotten to much in the way of Saturday
Matinee SciFi yet, but that'll happen when each episode isn't an epic 500+
line monster.  

     Yes, there's what amounts to a giant concrete spork on the K-State
campus.  It's one of those things that gets put up because any state funded
building project has to set aside some percentage of the budget for art, and
there's always someone in the Art Department looking for a piece of that
budgetary pie.

     One of the brands of premium ice cream available at a regional chain
supermarket here has a flavor called "Moose Tracks", a sort of rocky road
without the nuts.  Hence Supermoose Tracks.

More information about the racc mailing list