Superfreaks: Extreme #1
martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 5 19:06:35 PDT 2008
I'm having technical difficulties. :)
Extreme: A Superfreaks Series
Many years ago on the Planet Neon
"Ladies and Gentlemen... the honourable Myk-El!"
Myk-El walked out onto the stage to a round of applause. He stood at the podium and waited for tech support to activate the overhead projector so he could begin his speech. What appeared behind him was a picture of planet Neon.
"Thank you for that wonderful welcome. Ladies and gentlemen, what you see behind us is a picture of our planet taken from space. Every single Neonian relies on this planet. It is our home. And yet our own actions threaten its very existance."
There was a gasp from the audience.
"Every day, we Neonians produce gases that heat our atmosphere. Eventually the planet's atmosphere will grow so hot that nothing will be able to suvive.
"Now I know what you are thinking. We're Neonians! We can survive anything! But can even Neonians survive the destruction of our entire planet?"
Myk-El expected the audience members to take his words to heart and heed his warning. Instead, he was laughed at.
"You're crazy, Myk-El! The planet is not in danger! So what if it gets a bit hot?"
"The planet is in danger!" My-El insisted. "The planet is getting hotter every year! That's a fact! And soon it will get so hot that it will explode!"
That was it. The crowd turned on him. The booing got so loud that Myk-El decided not to continue with his speech.
A month passed.
"Vammo! Vammo! You must come with me! We must escape Neon in this ship I built! It will take us to another world!"
Vammo-El shivered and coughed. "I can't," she said. "I'm too weak. You go. And take our son with you."
"No," Myk-El said. "I can't leave you behind."
"Then save our son."
Myk-El looked at his newborn child. "If only they had listened to me. This would not even be necessary." Myk-El wrapped his son in a blanket and placed him inside the space ship.
"Will he be alright?" his wife asked.
"Yes," he said. "I've programmed a course that will take the ship to a world where people will look at our son and think he is one of their own." He sighed. "The only problem is that our son will be much stronger than any of them. I only hope is will be able to fit in."
The ship took off leaving a doomed Neon behind it.
A few years passed. Try to ignore the fact that the closest star other than our sun is merely several light years away and that the trip should have taken centuries if not millenia. Anyway, the ship crash landed on Earth. Actually, "crash landed" is a bit too generous a description: "plummeted" and "exploded" would constitute more accurate terminology. But the small child, being Neonian, survived. Meanwhile, the crash was seen for miles away. Fortunately the "landing" occured in a Kansas cornfield and not in a major city where hundreds of people would have been killed by the impact.
"Mark! Did you see that?" Joan Clark asked her husband.
"I sure did!" Mark said. "It looked like a huge explosion! Maybe the Ruskies have dropped the bomb!"
"Let's drive towards it!" Joan told her husband.
What they found was a young boy. They decided to raise the boy as their own and name him Kenneth.
Kenneth grew up to become Extreme.
PART I: EXTREME JUNIOR
Extreme walked into Waterlord's office at Extreme Force Headquarters. Waterlord asked him to sit down.
"Long time no see," he told his friend.
"Yeah," Extreme said. "Sorry about that. When you travel at speeds close to light speed you lose track of how much time passes back on Earth."
Waterlord nodded. "Don't worry about it. Earth was still here when you got back. This time."
"While you were gone, Doctor Reed came up with a tracking device that can be inserted under your skin."
"A tracking decice?"
"Yeah. Because the government spent a lot of money on trying to track you down. You didn't tell us you were off planet."
"Yeah. Again, I'm sorry about that."
"And I said don't worry about it. Really."
"But you want me to have this tracking device inserted under my skin?"
Waterlord nodded. "We've actually been discussing the idea for a while. I mean, there was that one time when you were exposed to red neonite."
Extreme sighed. "That was just one time! It's not like you go to Hollywood parties and snort neonite up my nose!"
"What you may or may not do on your weekends is none of our business," Waterlord told him. "We just want to be able to track you if there's an emergency and you're not answering your phone."
Extreme nodded. "Alright. I'll go see Richard about the implant. He might have trouble getting the implant under my skin though."
Waterlord nodded. "Don't worry. We got that part figured out."
"Alright." Extreme got up to leave.
"Wait," Waterlord told him. "I heard that Amazing Woman is pregnant."
"You know," Waterlord said, "when the baby is born we could put a tracking device in him or her too. You know, in case the baby is born with powers. You wouldn't want it flying off on you."
"Yeah," Extreme said. "That might be a good idea."
Months later, little Tyk-El was born. A few months after that, Amazing Woman was back in action with the Extreme Force Six. While they were on a mission together, Tyk-El was left with the babysister, Dr. Susan Reed. Extreme and Amazing Woman returned to find Susan in a state of panic.
"Extreme! Amazing Woman! Thank goodness you're back!"
"What's wrong?" Extreme asked. "Is Tyk-El okay?"
"I'm so sorry!"
Extreme sighed. "What happened?"
"We ran out of milk so I gave the baby some ovaltine."
"Ovaltine?" Amazing Woman asked. "Oh no!"
"Was that wrong?"
"What happened then?" Extreme asked.
"He seemed alright at first," Susan said. "He was very happy. Then he just flew off. I didn't even know he could fly already."
Extreme sighed. "It was the caffeine. I always avoid caffeine because it over stimulates me."
"Yeah, one cup of coffee and you are literally bouncing off the ceiling."
Extreme chuckled. "Yeah. And then the building falls down." He became serious again. "I'm going to go after him."
"I was just going to go find my husband," Susan said. "The baby's got a tracking device under his skin and I thought we might need to track him."
"That's a good idea," Amazing Woman said. "He could be miles away by now."
"If he's even still in the country!" Extreme said.
"Keep your cell phone with you," Susan suggested. "We'll let you know where he went."
"Okay," Extreme said. "Thanks."
Extreme flew off but saw no sign of his son. He flew around for a few minutes and then his cell phone rang.
>>Extreme? It's Waterlord.<<
>>Dr. Reed tells me that your son is in China.<<
"China? He flew to China?"
>>You didn't tell us that your son was flying already.<<
"Look, this is nobody's fault, okay. We all knew that this was coming."
>>Alright. You're going to have to go to China.<<
"China's a big country. Can you be more specific?"
>>Not the way he's moving around. We're going to call on ahead and arrange for you to do a news conference in Beijing so you can let them know what happened. Then the Chinese can assist us. They can help us look for him.<<
"News conference? Do you expect me to speak to them in Chinese?"
Waterlord sighed. >>You said on your resume that you could speak Chinese.<<
"Well, sure, but it's not a superpower. I only speak Chinese as well as anybody else who had studied it."
>>Well you're going to have to do this because the Chinese aren't going to like you flying around their country. They need to understand that you're a father looking for his son. And they need to hear it from you.<<
"Okay, okay. I'll be in Beijing in just a few minutes."
Extreme flew to Tiananmen square in Beijing where a group of reporters and a small crowd of on lookers were already waiting for him. He stood on the podium and spoke into the microphone.
"Hello... um... Ni hao... um... wo de erzi... ta... um... Is it okay if I say this in English?"
Extreme looked out into the audience and saw the confused looks on everybody's faces.
"Fine. My son... he flew away." Extreme pantomimed a bird flying away. "Wo de erzi fei zou le. And now I'm looking for him." Extreme pantomimed looking around. "Wo zhao wo de erzi. That's it. Any questions?"
A reporter raised his hand.
"Ni shuo nide erzi feixing danshi women renwei ni bu keneng feixing, zhendao ni shi shaonianren."
"Okay, no, I'm sorry. I don't understand. Wo tingbudong."
The reporter sighed. "You say your son flew away but we thought you could not fly until you were a teenager."
"Actually, Neonians usually learn to fly around the same time that human babies learn to crawl."
"But we saw on the TV show Spriteville."
Extreme sighed. "Look, Spriteville was just a TV show. It's not how I really grew up."
"So you could fly as a child?"
"And you and criminal mastermind Edward Goodhead did not grow up as best friends only to turn on each other as adults?"
Extreme shook his head. "No. Anyway, if anybody here in China spots my son flying around then I would appreciate--"
Just then Extreme's cell phone rang. He answered it.
>>Extreme. Waterlord here. We've located your son. He's in Taipei, Taiwan.<<
"Taiwan? That's a whole other country altogether!"
"No, it's not!" several indignant people shouted from the crowd. "It's in integral part of China!"
"Do you mind?" Extreme said. "I'm having a conversation here!" Extreme stepped off the podium and away from the mircophone. "Where exactly in Taiwan?"
<<We're not sure but he's finally stopped moving so that means something caught his attention.<<
Extreme nodded. "Alright. I'll go to Taipei and I'll try to figure out what that might be."
Extreme flew to Taipei and used his super hearing. He heard music coming from one of the city parks. He reasoned that his son would have heard the music too and be attracted to it. He flew down and saw his son flying around the stage where local pop star Myndi Huang* was performing.
"Oh! Hao ke ai!" Myndi said when she saw the flying baby.
Extreme flew down to the stage and took his son in his arms.
"Excuse me. I'm sorry about this. Really. He just got away from me."
"Ninde baohai shi zhenzheng didourenxiaide."
"Huh? I'm sorry. I don't understand. Wo tingbudong. Um... bye." Extreme flew off.
"Bye bye!" Myndi said as he flew off.
Extreme took Myk-El back to Extreme Force Headquarters. After drinking a bottle of regular milk, the baby soon went to sleep.
(*Not a real name but a satire.)
PART II: MYNDI HUANG
Myndi Huang finished her concert. She went to speak to her manager and producer.
"I don't know if I can do this anymore," she said in Chinese. "I'm twenty-six years old now and you still have me dressed and dancing like a schoolgirl and singing about how much I love my boyfriend. I'm not the same person I was six years ago. I've grown up. I want that reflected in my music and performances."
Her manager sighed. "But Myndi," he said, also speaking in Chinese, "you have to understand that this is what your fans want. The fans fell in love with cute Myndi Huang. You can't change now."
"Yeah," her producer said, also in Chinese, "and even if you started doing more mature songs and tried to change your image, people are still going to want to hear you singing your big hits when you appear at a concert. It's what they're paying for."
"Well maybe I don't want to do the old songs anymore! Maybe I want to move on! Grow up!"
Her producer sighed and shook his head.
"It's not just about the songs. It's about what people want. Young girls like you because they want to be pretty like you. Parents like you because you're wholesome and innocent. And men? Trust me there are a lot of men out there who like thsoe schoolgirl outfits."
"The point is that if you're not going to give people what they want then somebody else will."
"Fine," Myndi said. "Find somebody else. But you won't be able to replace me that easily! You'll never find anyone exactly like me! People are still going to want me!"
Her producer laughed. "You don't think I couldn't find anyone exactly like you? You must be joking! There are dozens of copies of you out there!"
"Wait," her manager said, "do you mean her clones?"
"Exactly! I can get one of her clones to replace her! Ha!"
"You can't do that! You can't legally use a clone to replace somebody without their permission!"
"Who says I can't?"
"What? American law? This is Taiwan!"
"She's right," her manager said. "Cloning technology is subject to American law because that's where the vast majority of clones are still produced. As far as I know, when Myndi had her cells cultured they were sent to a lab in the United States to be processed. And when the completed clones were sold they were sold under contracts subject to American legal restrictions."
"But there's a way this could work out for everybody."
"If Myndi and just one of the person's who purchased one of her clones would agree then we could have one of her clones replace her and everybody could get a cut. All we'd have to do is draw up a contract that everybody would agree to."
"What do you say?"
"I don't know. Myndi, are you sure you don't want to continue doing the old songs?"
"And if we had one of your clones do it and continued to pay you?"
Myndi shrugged her shoulders. "Whatever. Having my clone perform my songs is no different than seeing them being shown over and over again on MTV."
"Alright," her producer said, "let's contact some of the people who bought Myndi Huang clones and see if any of them are interested."
A few weeks later, the trio was auditioning their one and only candidate, a Myndi Huang clone owned by Marvin Filmore of Toronto, Canada.
"I'm really proud of my little Myndi," Marvin said. "I taught her to sing and dance herself."
"Alright," Myndi's manager said. "Let's see what she can do."
The Myndi Huang clone came out and did her thing.
"If you sneeze when you think about me
"Know that I'm also thinking of you
"If you're awaoken in the night by cell phone
"You can bet it's cause I'm calling you
"Sometimes you might wonder if my love for you is true
"You wonder if you and I
"Are really meant to be
"In your heart you wonder if I'm the one
"Love for you well then don't worry any more
"Oh baby talk to me more often
"Think of me more often
"Make sure that you spend more time with me than you have
"Oh please no more small talk
"Tell me what you're really thinking
"Cause baby I do really love you! Love you!"
"Alright! Enough!" Myndi said in English. "What the hell was that?"
"Oh, sorry," Marvin said. "I took the liberty of having your signature song translated into English. You see, I don't understand Chinese very well and I wanted to know what she was saying so..."
"I don't mean that!" Myndi complained. "I'm talking about all the writhing on the floor! What's with all that?"
"Ah, well, I did try to get her to learn the way you danced. Really. But it just wasn't natural for her. I mean, she was basically programmed to be a living breathing sex toy. So I just had her do what came natural to her."
Myndi shook her head. "This just won't do!" She turned to her manager and producer. "It's just unacceptable! Tell him!"
Her producer shrugged his shoulders. "I actually kind of liked it," he said in Chinese.
Her manager agreed. "It worked for me too," he said in Chinese.
Myndi switched to Chinese. "Are you joking? That was disgusting!"
"Actually, it's not much different than what a lot of singers are doing today. Just look at Beyonce."
"Well, I'm not allowing this! I'm not going to have my clone parade around like a sex object."
"But we had a deal!" her manager insisted.
"Excuse me," Marvin interrupted. "I'm sorry but I don't understand Chinese very well and I'd like to know what's being said."
"Be quiet!" Myndi snapped at him and then switched back to Chinese. "I'm not agreeing to any contract under these terms."
"You still have your existing contract then," her manager said.
"What do you mean?"
"You wanted a more modern image and Marvin's clone of you just showed us how a sexier Myndi Huang could work. Just resign your contract and we'll work together to make you a more mature, sexier artist that we could all be happy with."
"I don't know," Myndi said.
"You could be the next Coco Lee."
"Coco Lee doesn't writhe around like that."
"Perhaps she should," her producer suggested.
Myndi sighed. "Hao ba," she said.
"Hao ba?" Marvin said. "That means 'okay', right? So is it good news?"
Myndi's manager switched to English so Marvin could understand him. "Yes and no. Myndi is going to continue performing for us. We won't need her clone after all."
"Oh," Marvin said. "Okay. But what about my airfare? Are you still going to pay for my airfare?"
"Just pay the man," Myndi said impatiently in Chinese. "He's really starting to creep me out."
EPILOGUE: AL GORE
"Ladies and Gentlemen... Mister Al Gore!"
Al Gore walked out onto the stage to a round of applause. He stood at the podium and waited for tech support to activate the overhead projector so he could begin his speech. What appeared behind him was a picture of Extreme.
"Before I begin my usual talk on global warming I just want to bring to your attention some startling new data that scientists have recently presented me with. It seems that they've identified a new major contributor to global warming: apparently, every time Extreme farts he produces a huge amount of greenhouse gases. I want to take this opportunity to urge Extreme as well as any other Neonian who may be making his home here on Earth to please watch what they eat, go easy on the beans and if possible please wait until you're in deep space before you let one rip."
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