MISC, CONTEST: Cry for Iran

Scott Eiler seiler at eilertech.com
Sun Aug 2 16:17:38 PDT 2009


Author's Note:  Online version of this story available at
http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2009/iran.htm .  Of course I'm going
to keep writing the story, but I do need to submit it sometime before
it's perfect or else I'll never get it in.

For this challenge, you get to meet my main character.  He's not the
one who has to worry about offspring, but the Iranians and the talking
duck get his attention.

(signed) Scott Eiler.



Many of us worry about the fate of the Galaxy. But simple concerns
intrude as they often do. This simple thing just happens to be
geopolitical. Of course, this world's geopolitics can involve cyborg
animals and second-generation heavily-armed superhumans.

I'm the primary eyewitness for this story, so I'm the reporter. I
report simple things in simple ways. If you had Oscar Wilde, William
Shatner and me all write this story, Mr. Wilde would take 192 pages
with lots of witty commentary, Mr. Shatner 39 with lots of action
scenes, and I'd take five or six with none of the above. The
difference is, I don't report on things I don't see - or at least get
eyewitness accounts of. Other people would invent dialog for your
comfort. Feel free to invent your own.

(signed) Wyatt Ferguson.



Cry for Iran. Commentator: Wyatt Ferguson.

As often happens, it starts with a big news announcement. But it ends
with me on a job.
June 25, 2009
Executive Says, Ducks Are Ideal for Species Upgrade

I'm not going to reproduce the whole news story. Suffice it to say:

    * There's a talking cyborg duck named "Sycophant" who has
catalogued every superhuman power. Superhumans are annoyed when he
knows more than he should; Sycophant is an excellent surveillance
    * Sycophant is owned by Malcolm "Mal" Dunevoy, notorious Tennessee
billionaire, who's training him in commerce. Ducks are trainable, and
known for persistence. (25 Jun)
    * Ducks are lazy. Or at least all the ducks I've ever seen are.
But so are database administrators. Ducks might therefore just be
natural admins, if only properly enhanced. But for now, they're better
at data collection.
    * Ducks also leave their shit all over the place. The news story
was silent on this important issue, but it could be, the cyborg
Sycophant duck wears a diaper during business meetings.

Now, back to my life.

    * As part of Tekno-Otelo research against the space aliens, I'm on
assignment to Mal Dunevoy in Boston. He's the one with the talking
duck, but I don't see the duck with him.
    * Mr. Dunevoy (I'm not exactly on first-name terms with him) has a
meeting in the Boston University student union building - with an
ayatollah from Iran! I find this suspicious, to say the least.
Fortunately I am known to need restrooms frequently and have a change
of clothes so as to sneak away. (30 Jun)
    * I find a group of students - and they're welcoming the
superhuman operative Bandolier! Students ask questions, so I learn
some stuff.
          o Bandolier was patrolling there too. She's telling the
students, she was lost in Boston! The Mass Pike is always backed up.
She didn't call for a helicopter; she just hacked the subway system
with her custom Segway. With that helmet and gas mask, she's safe from
injury or asphyxiation. (12, 30 Jun)
    * I recognize Bandolier, sort of! This is obviously not the same
one who hired me once; her thighs look too shapely for that.
          o But I know, the original vigilante Bandolier had a ward.
She is the orphan daughter of two other superhumans: a crazed time-
travelling super-soldier named Megaphone, and a super-powered
nymphomaniac named Nympho.
          o She's 16 years old with the body of a blonde 25-year-old
porn star; like her mother, she's a quick bloomer. Unlike her natural
father, she's entirely serious; she makes a good urban vigilante.
    * Iran's become involved for the same reasons "rogue nations" deal
in munitions. In our world, they also deal in superhumans - and in
those who can cage them.
          o Bandolier Jr.'s adoptive father would probably be worried
about her - if he hadn't disappeared. I get the impression, Bandolier
Jr. thinks Bandolier is in Iran!
          o Iran's been having widespread unrest. Its leadership put
off scheduled elections due to external threat of Islamic superhumans
in Kuwait. Kuwait is relatively liberal and protected by U.S. forces,
therefore a natural assembly point for superhumans who are otherwise
repressed in that part of the world.
          o Superhumans of the world are sympathetic to Iran's
underground; famous programmer (and genius superhuman) Stephen Wolcott
of The Combine is keeping the computer links open.
          o In return Iran's sent an ayatollah to Boston (near a
Combine home office) to investigate expatriate student support. This
gets Bandolier involved. Most students would call the Power Patrol,
but there's a suspected leak there.
    * The leak in Boston turns out to be a new superbeing who also
works for my customer. It's Sycophant the Duck - now proudly calling
himself "Psychovant"! He takes the time to spell "Psychovant" for us.
"P as in Peniss, V as in Vagina".
          o Certain demons take on the aspect of cartoon characters.
Apparently the cyborg duck Sycophant has taken on this extra
enhancement. Mal Dunevoy is acting surprised about this; either he's
really acting, or really surprised.
          o One of Psychovant's powers is shape-changing to human
form. So he was there in the meeting with me and Mal Dunevoy.
          o Another of his powers is to just be a duck. In that form,
he sees and hears a lot of stuff that students say by the Charles
River near the Boston University. That's where his recent usefulness
to Iran has come.
          o Psychovant's been training in commerce for superhumans.
That is to say, he's a mercenary now. Kind of like me, except when I
learned I was secretly working for Iran, I skipped out.
    * Bandolier Jr. now leads a team of student heroes - not student
superhumans. But the original Bandolier was technically not superhuman
either; he just had cool hand grenades. Bandolier Jr. hands these out
as needed - with bandoliers to hold them, of course. And so the
students of Boston University annoy the normal ducks throughout their
campus, so as to flush out the danger duck that the superheroine is
hunting - and let her run some kind of scanner on him.
    * In the end, Psychovant disappears. The Iranian Gov has to live
without him supporting them. In return, Iran declines to turn over
information that Shi'ite militias of Iraq found about alien support
for the Iraqi Allied People's Front in the 1990s - which is what Mal
Dunevoy wanted when he loaned them Psychovant. Oh well, if U.S.
soldiers couldn't find this stuff out from the Iraqi Sunnis, why
should the Sunnis' natural enemies the Shi'ites be able to?
    * Iran has to live without my support too. My boss isn't happy. Oh
well. But I have enough control over my contracts to refuse this one.
I insisted on that when she hired me. It was really quite naughty of
her to try to hide the Iranian connection for this job. And I notice,
Mr. Dunevoy is trying to sabotage some other superhumans. I wonder
what's going on?
    * This could conceivably give our Superhuman World a grudge of
Bandolier vs. Psychovant. Admittedly Psychovant is a cartoon duck, so
for all practical purpose can neither inflict physical harm nor be
physically harmed. That makes it psychological warfare, much like
Batman vs. Joker stuff in the comic books. I hope it resolves itself a
bit quicker than that, though.



The new Bandolier has more important things to do than chase a talking
duck - because her mentor's still in prison in Iran. She found where
he was, from the scans she took on Psychovant - and she's rescued him!

    * Bandolier Jr. of course hired mercenaries. But she's the only
one on the team who can slither through a drainpipe into the prison.
She's not only superpowered like her dad and heavily armed like her
stepdad, she's a contortionist like her mom! (11 Ju1)
    * Thereafter the rescue went like rescues ought to go - for once.
    * Bandolier Jr. had a theoretical chance to take back the heroine
Stonewater too. But she passed it up. Just because one can break into
the men's wing of a prison, that doesn't open the women's wing.
    * Bandolier Jr. has a blog now! She's posted: Yes, her dad was
more worried about her than about himself. But he says she's more than
he could have hoped for.

In most comic books, there can be only one vigilante of a certain
name. But in our own Superhuman World, there can easily be two

As for Iran, the superhumans are staying out of the way. One reason
is, superhumans are busy and usually only deal with rogue nations when
they have superhuman tech. We're worrying about Vojvodina this month,
because there's a rumor they have a time machine... In Iran this
leaves the common people to lead the fight, as well they should.

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