[LNH/ACRA/WRIMO] Anal-Retentive Archive Kid: A Judicious Use Of Overkill #10

Saxon Brenton saxonbrenton at hotmail.com
Sun Nov 28 19:10:04 PST 2010

Anal-Retentive Archive Kid: A Judicious Use Of Overkill - part 10
A Legion of Net.Heroes miniseries for the RaccoWriMo writing month 
Written by and copyright 2010 Saxon Brenton
     Anal-Retentive Archive Kid's hands were shaking.  Only a bare ten 
minutes or so had been allowed to elapse real time, but subjectively the 
Legionnaire had been working more or less non-stop for more than a week, 
eating hasty takeaways and taking only a few snatches of sleep when it 
became absolutely unavoidable, and otherwise sustaining himself mainly 
on sugar and caffeine from innumerable cans of Mr Paprika.
     He couldn't allow himself to rest.  Not yet.  The job was big but 
much too important to be left half done.
       (And this wasn't just personal inclination - although the combined 
effect of the caffeine overdose and sleep deprivation *did* make him more 
determined to carry through with it.)
     Rather, it was the implacable logic of the situation.  If he had 
removed the immediate threat to Elizabeth Greenvale and gone no further, 
if he'd stopped at the clan of the late Sukoyoza and killed no others, 
then this obviously would have set off a gang war as other criminal groups 
moved in to fill the void left by that Yakuza group.  Therefore the only 
way to avoid that was to remove all the other criminal gangs in range so 
that there wasn't anyone left to start a gang war.  Which incidentally 
would have the added benefit of terrorising the few remaining crims into 
keeping their heads down.  Because there was something big and scary and 
there was nowhere you could hide and noone who could protect you.  In 
any case logic demanded that he needed to kill.  Every.  Single.  Fscking.  
Gangster on the east coast.
     Not that he could go quite that far.  It would be overkill of 
overkill.  He could only really bring himself to execute the truly 
monstrous villains.  This was the problem with being one of the good 
guys: Justice had to be done, even if mercy had to have a fork shoved 
up its backside and roasted over an open fire.
     And on a more practical level: he who lived by the story trope died 
by the story trope.  He had hung around the likes of Fourth Wall Lass 
for far too long to be under any misapprehension that if he started 
acting like a bad guy himself that the sheer magnitude of the story 
forces he had unleashed would lash back and destroy him utterly.  One 
did not deal with high tension power cables without being aware and 
respectful of the forces they transmitted, and take appropriate 
precautions against being electrocuted.
     So ARAK was taking his time, judging the minds and souls and 
timelines of each and every potential victim.  Letting some go where it 
was warranted, executing the others.  The minds he had to deal with were 
foul.  The number of such minds was depressing.  He wanted to go home 
and rest.  Get some real sleep!  Sleep!!!
     He stumbled against a wall.  Crap.  He was doing that more often, 
again.  And he was thinking in multiple exclamation marks.  Not good.  
Heinlein had written that multiple exclamation marks were the sure sign 
of someone who wore their underpants on their head.  No, wait, that was 
Pratchett.  Wasn't Heinlein the one who claimed that any sufficiently 
advanced trickery was indistinguishable from magic...?
     He was beginning to feel muzzy headed again.  Up until now ARAK had 
used these signs as an indicator that it was time to take another brief 
catnap before continuing on.  But he only really had one target left.  
He reached for a last can of Mr Paprika (Now there's an amphetamine 
psychosis substitute's pop!) and girded himself as best he could.  He 
would sleep when they were dead.
     He was in a family home.  Well, of course they pretty much all had 
families and homes.  The depressing thing...  No, *another* of the 
depressing things... were the ties that bind and corrupt.  It was like, 
he wasn't just having to deal with the gangsters themselves, plus also 
their lawyers and corrupt police contacts.  (Homer Simpson voice: Mmmmm...  
Dead corrupt police...)
     It was also that all their otherwise non-criminal family and 
associates who might be deluded by some twisted sense of kinship and 
obligation to carry on their antics.  Like ripples spreading out across 
a pool of custard.  Or other non-Newtonian fluid... stuff. 
     So, this was the home of one of someone related to the Lichtenstein 
Mafia.  After working through the Japanese Yakuza, the Chinese Tongs, 
the Indians, Tibetans, Russian Mafia, Sicilian Mafia and seemingly every 
other freaking ethnic group including the bloody Belgians, ARAK was now 
tidying up the loose ends.  The mother of the household had been a 
society lady who under other conditions would have continued to organise 
cake stalls - but who after the necessary removal of her husband and his 
brother had been going to become involved herself in crime as a Don, and 
even after her arrest would have continued to be a mover and shaker in 
the Lichtenstein Mafia from within jail.  So she had been offed. 
     Now, finally, was the loose end of her son Hans.  He would have 
taken up an apprenticeship in the Lichtenstein Mafia under his uncle... 
but even now with both his father and uncle removed he would have grown 
up seething with resentment over his absent family members and taken up 
in organised crime as a professional assassin *anyway*.  
     But not for more than sixteen years, because Hans was currently 
seven months old.  
     Among the ragtag bits and pieces rising and falling from his 
hindbrain a passing movie quote waved and gibbered in an attempt to catch 
his attention:  "They're dead.  Every single one of them.  And not just 
the men.  But the women, and the children too.  They're like animals, 
and I slaughtered them like animals.  I hate them."
     .oO( Whereas I am free of hate, Anakin, ) thought ARAK.  .oO( My 
strength is the strength of ten because my heart and intentions are 
pure. )  He paused and rubbed his eyes.  "Or something like that," he 
muttered to himself, and without further hesitation used the holistic 
decreator to execute the child.
     Execution.  Not murder.  Because murder is what happens to people 
who are innocent.  To people who wouldn't become not-innocent.  Aren't 
going to be...
     Because murder is what happens to people who, when evaluated 
across the full four-dimensional cross-section of their lives, aren't 
ontologically uncoming to a predetermined never-not non-innocent state...
     Look!  The bastard had-has a 87% chance of turning out *really* 
bad, and he needed to be removed!  Okay?!!!
     Anal-Retentive Archive Kid flew erratically back to the Legion of 
Net.Heroes HQ, staggered to the Plot Device Room and checked his equipment 
back in.  There.  Everything back in order, no pieces broken, all 
shipshape and bristle fashion.  And now... sleep.
     Outside the Plot Device Room he noticed that all the LNH members 
seemed to be back.  Huh.  Had he mistimed his return?  He checked the 
date and time at the front desk, did a mental calculation, and came to 
the conclusion that, no, it was only half and hour or so since he had 
checked all that stuff out in the first place.  Well, crap.  It looked 
like ARAK had been bitten by a plot contrivance.  
     There was a bleep from ARAK's comm.thingy.  When he answered the 
call and recognised the voice as belonging to Sally, one of the LNH 
leader's secretaries.  "Ultimate Ninja wants to speak with you."
     Oh for crying out loud...  *Now* what?
Character credits: 
     Sally is Public Domain.  Created by Descrii (Ian Porell).
     Everyone else here created by me.
Author's notes:
     In the final stretch now.  This will wind up either next issue or 
in issue 12.
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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