SW10/HCC: Summer of Discontent #4: The Myth

Scott Eiler seiler at eilertech.com
Sun Sep 18 17:20:57 PDT 2011

The Summer of Discontent

Part 4:  The Myth


June 20, 2011

The Dragon King of Vietnam Is Back - Or Is He?

Correspondent:  Bill Blau


What Has Gone Before:  There's a Plan to defeat the next great winter by 
moving the Earth back to its old orbit.

As their part of The Plan, U.S. Government agents Rolling Thunder, 
Swordhand, and Rad Man have gone to the Mekong Delta of Vietnam to 
infiltrate a ship of The Trillions and find their command location.  In 
their way were South Vietnam rebels, commanded by a powerful superhuman 
who claims to be Lac Long Quan, the original Dragon King of Vietnam. 
The agents were captured.  They've been prisoners for over a month now. 
  (http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2011/discontent2.txt )

During the captivity, other U.S. agents have carried out other parts of 
The Plan.  (http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2011/discontent3.txt ) 
Now, it all depends on what happens next in Vietnam.


June 14:


Lac Long Quan, the ancient and restored Dragon King of Vietnam, asked 
his chancellor.  "Something is still missing!  Where *is* the artifact?"

"My lord, which one?  You have so many now."

"The one that's missing, you idiot!"

"We still have not located the one that was lost in 1911."

"What *do* you know of it?"

"We know Americans will gain it sometime this year.  We *believe* they 
gained it six days ago."

"Why did it not come *here* the way I summoned?"

"It was destined for the city of New York in December.  You were mighty 
to even divert it to June.  But the place is still New York."

"Very well.  Summon the American prisoners."


The Americans stood before the Dragon King in his throne room.  He 
commanded, "Tell me what you know of 1911."

Their commander was a black woman.  She spat out, "Rolling Thunder. 
Swordhand.  Rad Man.  That's our IDs.  That's all you get from us.  You 
*know* that, mother%^&#er."

"Oh, please.  Your minds are already open to me.  All I ever need do is 
state my command.  But I see you know next to *nothing* of 1911.  Very 
well...  I will release *that* one to send your government a message." 
He pointed at Rad Man.  "You will tell them to bring me the 1911 artifact."

Rad Man said, "Que?  Tu eres loco?"

"You already know your language barrier is transparent to me.  I require 
you simply give them that message.  Those who know more than you, will 
know how to respond."

"Fine.  But one problem.  I stay with my team."

"Very well.  Your team is dead.  Only you remain to carry out their 

Swordhand said, "What you *mean*, dead?"  His energy blades extended 
from his hands.

"American swordsman.  You challenge me in my throne room.  Your life is 
forfeit."  The Dragon King drew his own swords.

In less than a minute it was over.  Rad Man and Rolling Thunder used 
their own energy powers against their enemy, but they'd been weakened by 
a month of captivity.  Swordhand was dead.

Rolling Thunder was almost crying.  She said, "... Rad Man.  Go.  And 
bring back hell."


June 20:

The U.S. helicopter landed in Saigon.  U.S. fighter planes flew air 
superiority.  The rebels were allowing the helicopter anyway, but the 
mission was that important.

U.S. forces escorted Rad Man with three trade unionists from the 
helicopter.  One was middle-aged white male, one middle-aged white 
female, one young Asian female.

They went to the throne room.  The Dragon King was there, with his 
American captives for exchange.  He spoke to the Asian female.  "You 
have the artifact?"

"I do, *Dogfish* King."

"You will not call me that!"  The Dragon King turned to command his guards.

"*This* says I will!"  Before he could speak, the Asian visitor held her 
amulet up.  "The *true* Dragon King of Vietnam sliced your Demon Dogfish 
ancestor into three pieces, and cast its *corpse* into the sea!  *You* 
are descended from whatever fertilized its floating eggs!"

One of the Dragon King's advisers stepped forward.  "*We* did that."  He 
morphed - into an underwater human, a Subhuman.  "Dragon King, you are 
of *our* kingdom.  You know that already.  You always *preferred* below 
the waves.  The amulet means *nothing*."

"Then why does the amulet have power still?"  The Asian woman held it up 
still, and addressed the entire room.  "Believe in the ancestor of the 
nation!  Lac Long Quan, the Dragon King!  Believe that *that* isn't him! 
  How *could* it be?"

Rad Man spoke aside to Rolling Thunder, "What's an amulet got to do with 

"Some magic treasure hunt crap, the way things work..."

Another adviser came out - a Westerner.  "Sir King, it's time to take 
ownership of this problem."  He pointed toward the Asian woman.

Rad Man said, "%$#@ that!  She right!  If you all-powerful, you'd be in 
Hanoi by now!"

A diplomat led the U.S. mission.  The Dragon King said to him, "*Silence 
your yapping dog.*"

The diplomat fussed, but Rad Man continued.  "Que problemo?  Vietnam 
Army *plus* an aircraft carrier *too much* for you, 'cause you can never 
intimidate them all in one place?  I bet *I* can finish you off right now!"

Rad Man tried to raise his arms.  But he couldn't move!  The adviser 
said, "As a visitor, you *may not* challenge the King in this room."

Rolling Thunder says, "%$#@ that!"  She was a prisoner, not an adviser. 
  She tackled the Dragon King.

He threw her off easily.  But then Rad Man cut loose.  And the Asian 
woman shouted, "Challenge is alive!  Behold the fate of your Dogfish King!"

Rolling Thunder was near powerless.  She waited for the Dragon King to 
call down lightning.  Or summon crocodiles.  Or something.  But he didn't!

Marine escorts moved in.  The two advisers hurried away, as the King was 
subdued.  He *must* have lost his power somehow!  But there were more 
important things to worry about.

Rolling Thunder staggered right past the ranking diplomat, and asked his 
Marine guard captain:  "We're past deadline for The Plan.  You really 
need us still?"

"Plan's gone into overtime, ma'am.  Let me check status...  Orlando, 
fail.  Denver, fail.  Vojvodina, fail.  You're on.  We're your support."

"Then let's move.  Rad Man, we're go!"

A medic moved in.  "Sir, I have to say for the record this one needs 
hospitalization after captivity."

Rolling Thunder said, "%$#@ that."  And Rad Man says, "We need her. 
She's got a month more local knowledge."

Rolling Thunder *was* even weaker than when the Dragon King defeated 
them.  But now they'd won.  That gave her strength.


The Trillions starship of the Mekong Delta was waiting.  At its doorway 
a guardian said, "You are not here from our allies."

The Asian trade unionist had come along.  She raised her amulet and 
said, "*This* gives us the right of entry!  The right of the true Dragon 
King of Vietnam!"

"We do not recognize that."

But two Marine soldiers were with them.  One said, "Try these!"  He held 
the downed Dragon King's own amulets.

... "You may pass."

As they entered the door, the Asian woman followed.  Rolling Thunder 
turned and asked, "You been in here before?"

"No, ma'am."

"You know what it's like in here?"

"No, ma'am."

"Then this is where you stop.  Guards, she's not with us."  The Marines 
and The Trillions both heard.

So they went into a spaceship, one mile tall.  *Two* miles, counting the 
part siloed underground.  The others looked around.  Rolling Thunder 
said, "Direct us to your engineering controls."

"Yes, New Dragon King."


As they moved through, the forces of the United States were dwarfed by 
the vaulting chambers of the starship.  Rad Man was silent.  Rolling 
Thunder said quietly to the Marine with the keys, "You know what to do?"

He whispered, "Oorah, ma'am.  Got the download stuff with me."

"$#!+.  This ain't no movie.  How you gonna *interface* with these alien 

"Ma'am, we been doin' that for years.  Not long past when they landed. 
Now we get that on a master ship."


The engineers of The Trillions were working in the control room.  They 
looked curiously at the intruders for two seconds, then went back to 
work.  The U.S. party quietly found one unoccupied computer station. 
The Marine with the computer plugged a cable in.  Five minutes later, he 
quietly said, "Got it!"

Rolling Thunder whispered, "Go go go!"

He said, "Uploaded already!"

But at the chamber door, two of The Trillions guardian class were there. 
  The one in front had six arms, and skin like burnt ground beef.  He 
said, "Violators!"

Rad Man said, "I been *so* waiting for this."  He shot his energy powers 
at them.  They blinked.  But it didn't move them.

Rolling Thunder said, "Let's roll!"  She powered up and bulled right 
through them.  Rad Man and the two others ran after.

Rolling Thunder knew they weren't leaving the way they came in.  She 
headed for the rocket surface and yelled, "Burn a hole!"

Rad Man focused his power.  A hole opened, barely wide enough for a 
human body.

The Trillions were chasing.  Rad Man said, "Go!  I hold them off!" 
Rolling Thunder knew she *had* to lead the way out; she was the only one 
there who could fly.  The Marine Specialist jumped out behind her with 
his computer, and hung on for his life.

Rolling Thunder yelled back in.  "Corpsman!  You next!"

The Marine yelled back.  "No, ma'am.  *I'm* on protection duty now."  A 
very surprised Rad Man came flying through the hole - like he'd been thrown!

Two bodies were weighing Rolling Thunder down.  But she still said, 
"Now, Corpsman!  Go go go!"

Rad Man looked back in.  He said sadly, "He not coming."

"Then we go in and *drag* his sorry ass home!"

"No, ma'am.  He's ground beef now."

"Oh, dammit!"  Rolling Thunder cried all the way back to the ground.


Afterward, Rad Man asked Rolling Thunder, "$#!+, what you think that 
amulet was all about?"

"Don't know.  Some kind of faith thing.  People in the room believed it. 
  Even the Dragon King did.  That's the important thing."

One Marine broke in.  "My dad told me, Vietnamese had amulets for lots 
of stuff.  Lots of them were in the name of their real king.  Lac Long 
Quan.  The Commies must have taken away lots of the old amulets.  This 
fake king must have tracked down all the other ones he could find. 
Except this old one.  It just made the difference."

The State Department envoy was listening.  He just said, "Whatever", and 
went away.  But Rolling Thunder said, "Thanks for the intel, Sergeant."

Rad Man said, "The Plan is go now.  They just been waiting on us.  We 
finally done the job."

"Thanks.  But it never gets any easier."


See Our Next Story:

THE STRIKE!  The Summer of Discontent, CONCLUDED! 


Author's Notes:

Shit!  Waah!

I *do* have disposable characters:  two hundred or so from the archives. 
  And I can always make more.  But they will not sell their lives 
cheaply.  I hope I made the disposition of Swordhand and the nameless 
Marine both mean something.

I often get concepts which demand to be included in stories.  The 
artifact from 1911 is one such.  Its story is not even started.  Look 
for it in December.

The new Army of the Republic of Viet Nam is another such concept.  I 
figured, given the current political turmoil of the Superhuman World 
2011, why not.

This story is my response to Rec.Arts.Comics.Creative High Concept 
Challenge, "Mythrepresented".  Thanks to the ARVN, I needed Vietnam for 
this challenge.  Reportedly, Lac Long Quan the Dragon King is 
*extremely* well-known if you ask the people of Vietnam.  (Lac = name of 
nation, Long = Dragon, Quan = King. 
- and other sites confirmed.)  I will therefore claim the story of Lac 
Long Quan as a "well-known" myth for High Concept Challenge.

Crusher Joe Corrigan (should the U.S. Vice-President be mentioned in 
this story) is a character created by Joe Fucile.  All other characters 
in this fiction are copyright 2011, Eiler Technical Enterprises.  All 
this year's stories are online at http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2011/.

(signed) Scott Eiler  8{D> -------- http://www.eilertech.com/ ---------

Turns out I'm an anally-fixated oedipal paranoid with 
south-of-the-border schizophrenic delusions...  But never mind, I've 
found me the ideal job.  I'm going to run for President!

- Major Honey, scripted by Grant Morrison, Doom Patrol #46, August 1991.

More information about the racc mailing list