[LNH/ACRA/WRIMO] Anal-Retentive Archive Kid: A Judicious Use Of Overkill #6

Saxon Brenton saxonbrenton at hotmail.com
Tue Nov 16 19:30:30 PST 2010

Anal-Retentive Archive Kid: A Judicious Use Of Overkill - part 6
A Legion of Net.Heroes miniseries for the RaccoWriMo writing month 
Written by and copyright 2010 Saxon Brenton 
     Anal-Retentive Archive Kid didn't even realise he was under attack 
until the throwing star had passed straight through him.  There was a 
quarter seconds' worth of shocked surprise from both men, before ARAK 
reached for the controls of the harness to take himself even further out 
of the temporal flow and David reached for another weapon.
     The ninja might not have been able to hit his target, but his use of 
shadow magic gave him another option.  With swift and deadly accuracy he 
launched a second throwing star at ARAK's shadow.  It hit the shadow on 
the area corresponding to the forearm, and just as the intruder faded 
away David had the satisfaction of seeing ARAK wince in pain as that part 
of his physical body took a wound.
     The Legionnaire was now not only disjointed from time but had once 
again speeded himself up to the point where everything else around him 
was subjectively frozen.  Not that that would necessarily be of much help 
if the guards in this building had any sort of devices or magic that 
allowed them to manipulate time as well.  ARAK growled obscenities to 
himself under his breath as he checked the wound.  He also muttered a 
few choice curses about having to even *cast* a shadow when he had 
taken himself out of time - but then this was the flip side of being able 
to see at all when outside of time.  If there was light to see by then 
there was light to block.  Six of one, half a dozen of the other.
     The cut was small and not bleeding much at all, but it was beginning 
to tingle.  He frowned and then cast a glance over at the frozen after-
image of his attacker.  Although heavy darkness enveloped the person 
(despite the fact that David had been stepping into an area that was 
otherwise in full sunlight) ARAK could see that he was dressed like a 
ninja.  They sometimes used poisoned weapons, didn't they?
     Anal-Retentive Archive Kid hastily rummaged around in the bag of 
holding.  He had tried to prepare for as many eventualities as he could 
anticipate and had definitely brought a small vial of a sovereign 
specific for poisons.  A universal antidote.
     If only he could find it among all this stuff!  Not to mention hold 
it steady, since his hand was beginning to tremble.  Was that the effect 
of a poison?  Well it sure wasn't blood loss, not yet anyway, and ARAK 
scowled fiercely at the thought that he might be such a wuss as to go 
into shock from a small cut to his arm.
     Doesn't matter, just find the blasted vial!
     Don't panic.  Ignore the stinging.  Ignore the fact that the skin 
around the cut was turning the colour of a bruise.  Hold your hand steady!  
Yes!  There it was.
     He carefully poured a small amount onto a clean cotton pad and wiped 
the wound, before lightly bandaging it to his arm and then swallowing a 
small swig direct from the bottle.  Then he packed the remainder away.  
He was beginning to feel hyper from an adrenaline rush (again) and he 
wondered whether he had overreacted like that, whether the wound had even 
been poisoned at all, and if it had been whether the sovereign specific 
would even work.  For reasons of Drama not all treatments did.  After all, 
the Urple Healing Ray had done nothing to clear away his HIV infection.
     He was angry now.  Well, angrier.  And he knew himself well enough 
to realise that that was probably not a good state of mind in which to 
carry out the job of judge, jury and executioner.  He closed his eyes and 
took a deep breath, calming his centre and focusing himself on 
administering clear and dispassionate justice.
     It should be said that Anal-Retentive Archive Kid had a jaundiced 
view of the death penalty - however this was for ethical rather than 
moral reasons.  To his mind there were clearly some crimes that 
warranted death - and to think otherwise was soppy left wing nonsense.  
But at the same time he was keenly aware that public hysteria and any 
resulting political interference meant that there were a lot of 
miscarriages of justice.  Including the deliberate miscarriages of justice.
     But he was Anal-Retentive Archive Kid.  His was the obsession for 
finding every fact - weighted and evaluated and squared away with every 
other fact, both in content and context.  Every I dotted and every T 
crossed.  Armed as he was with the tools to interrogate the deepest 
parts of the mind and soul of his prisoners, how could there be anyone 
better suited to the task at hand?
     In was in this state of mind that he returned to examine David.  The 
ninja was still frozen from ARAK's point of view - suspended in the act 
of stepping out of a shadow cast on a wall.  Clearly the ninja was using 
the darkness as a portal of some kind, although this was only incidentally 
interesting to the LNHer.
     That said it did give ARAK a hint as to what was going on when he 
tried to use the telepathic sifter to read David's mind and found a lot 
of it obscured.  Anal-Retentive Archive Kid had heard that some schools of 
ninjitsu who used shadow magic flooded the initiate's metaphysical being 
with shadow stuff.  Being overshadowed in this way made all but the 
surface parts of their minds almost impossible to read, but it also had a 
overwhelmingly corrupting effect on the soul.  ARAK finished off reading 
what surface thoughts and memories he could, then took out the moral 
intuiter and confirmed his suspicions about the shadow binding.  He sighed. 
He had no idea whether to feel pity or disgust for this David Washington 
     Still, to stay his hand out of pity would be as misguided as to act 
in self-righteous anger.  ARAK needed to know the practical outcome of 
this state of affairs.  He took out the karmic tracer to answer the 
question:  What were the proportions of good and evil in David's future 
     The answer was overwhelmingly evil.  Well above the arbitrary 75% 
threshold that ARAK had set, and worse still involving a lot of violent 
and bloody crimes.
     Anal-Retentive Archive Kid shrugged.  He would have preferred to 
have been able to look for mitigating circumstances that he could 
engineer for a different future outcome, but that was impossible.  
Sometimes, you just had to amputate to get rid of a social cancer.
     The final tool that he took from his belt was the holistic 
decreator.  He pointed it at David, and with a single flip of the switch 
obliterated him utterly.  It was a quick, clean execution.
     Execution.  Not murder.  Because murder is what happens to people 
who are innocent.
Character credits: 
     Everyone here created by me.
Appendix: Decreation
     If you were to take a mundane gun and shoot another person then they 
would die.  However the body would still be present.
     If you were to take a science-fiction style disintegrator ray gun 
and shoot another person then they would die and there would be no body.  
The mass would still be present though, simply torn apart into individual 
     However if you were to decreate another person then not only would 
they die but there would be literally nothing left at all.
     Now, certain lines of thought suggest that if the laws of 
conservation of mass and energy are taken at face value then a person who 
had been decreated logically could not have ever existed.  But the notion 
that in a four colour superhero class universe that the laws of physics 
are inviolate is clearly ludicrous.
Saxon Brenton   University of Technology, city library, Sydney Australia
     saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au     saxonbrenton at hotmail.com
"These 'no-nonsense' solutions of yours just don't hold water in a complex
world of jet-powered apes and time-travel." - Superman, JLA Classified #3

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