ASH/HCC: CSS #33 - Un Chien Androide

Dave Van Domelen dvandom at
Fri Sep 13 20:48:40 PDT 2013

     [The cover has LU-62 and a gawky young man in black and white with
darkness at the edges of the scene, like an old silent picture.  They're
being chased towards the viewer by a shadowy but clearly monstrous figure.] 

 .|, COHERENT                                            An ASHistory Series
 '|` SUPER STORIES                        #33 - Un Chien Androide
        Featuring LU-62                 copyright 2013 by Dave Van Domelen

[Once Upon A Time]

     Luis gazed upon the Moon as he carefully sharpened the ceremonial blade,
a half-smoked cigarette held loosely in his lips as he clenched his teeth in
concentration.  Thin clouds started to cover the Moon, but its silver gleam
shone through well enough for Luis's purposes.
     Simone sat calmly in the center of the circle, drawn as nearly opposite
the prison of the gods on the globe as the two had dared...too exact and
there would have been too many witnesses.
     "Let the eye of the gods be opened," Luis whispered, then drew the
impossibly sharp blade across the surface of Simone's own eye.

               *              *              *              *

[Eight Years Later]

     Residents of Perth liked to think they were cosmopolitan, but they
weren't exactly prepared for the sight of a gangly young man pedaling a
bicycle down the street while wearing a nun's habit and carrying a strange
and faintly glowing box on a strap around his neck.
     Marie was one such resident, drawn to her apartment window by the sound
of commotion from on the street.  She saw the bicyclist, and had a moment to
wonder what he was riding from before a titanic spine tore through the rear
wheel, sending him flying!
     "What in...?" she gasped, looking down the road.
     All thoughts of the strangeness of the man's attire were overwhelmed by
the sight that greeted her: a mechanical dog harrying a bipedal figure
standing maybe five meters tall and covered in sea urchin spines.
     Definitely not the sort of thing one saw in Perth every day.

     "Sherman, get up, my lasers aren't doing much more than annoying the
monster!" LU-62 shouted over his shoulder, but Sherman's body wasn't in any
mood to obey his rattled brain.  He could see the action swirling around him
as if in a dream, but his body stayed sprawled next to the wrecked bicycle no
matter how much he shouted at himself to get up.
     A policeman was trying to direct evacuation from the block.
     A worker, whose fellows had fled already, was trying to haul a pair of
pianos out of the path of destruction, with the somewhat dubious help of two
priests who seemed to be getting hauled more than doing any hauling.
     Small ant-like monsters poured from the palm of one of the urchin-
monster's hands, swarming over the ground and devouring the trees and flowers
planted along the sides of the street.
     A short-haired woman in a trenchcoat looked at Sherman with a sort of
detached interest, seemingly oblivious to the danger posed by the urchin-
     A car seemed to float lazily through the air, hurled by the monster.
LU-62 spun around in the air as well, clipped by the thrown auto and
desperately trying to stabilize.
     Sherman realized that the car was going to strike the woman in the
     "Down!" he shouted, his body finally responding to the signals screamed
down from his brain and vaulting towards the young woman, shoving her out of
the way.
     Then something struck Sherman and the world exploded in light and pain.  

               *              *              *              *

[Around Three in the Morning]

     "That great spiny thing is your fault?" Marie asked through gritted
teeth, her willpower barely sufficient to the task of keeping her voice down.  
     "Well, sort of, I mean," Sherman stammered, trying to sit up on the bed
where Marie had hauled him while he was unconscious.  "It wasn't my *fault*,
really, in that it wasn't a direct consequence of, well, not one I could have
     "What my young friend is trying to say," the robotic wolf interjected,
"is that the monster can be traced back to his actions, but along such a
convoluted path that it would almost be as easy to blame this on some
dangerous gypsy we've never met.  Sherman invented a time machine of sorts."
     "What sort?  The monster-summoning sort?" Marie spat.
     "Hey!" Sherman protested, sitting up too quickly and immediately
regretting it.  
     "No, but like any attempt to break down the barriers between present and
past, it, well...broke down the barriers between present and past," LU-62
cocked his head in a way that would be adorable if he wasn't discussing the
potential end of existence.  "Specifically, we think that a summoning ritual
that would have failed several years ago was altered so that it succeeded.
Monsters of increasing size and ferocity are emerging from a sort of throat
at the bottom of the Indian Ocean and finding their way to land all around
the Indian rim."
     "So?  Nuke the throat thing!" Marie threw up her hands in disgust.  "Or
some super-science clean bomb.  Whatever."
     "Erm, that would make it worse," Sherman quavered.  He seemed more
intimidated by Marie than he had by the urchin monster.
     "Indeed," LU-62 nodded.  "A special team of Anchors in diving gear are
attempting to close it, but the ocean bottom is no place for humans,
especially those denied the advantages of supertech.  As the inventor of the
time machine, Sherman is best-suited to locate the proper time and place to
seal the breach, a task my probability capacitors will aid in."
     "And the proper time and place was in a convent?" Marie gestured at the
habit Sherman still wore.
     "It had a 23 percent chance of being the right place," he meekly
offered, then started stripping off the garment.  "You Aussies have some MEAN
nuns," he added.
     "You have no idea where the ritual was performed?"
     "Oh, we have a fairly good idea," Louie replied.  "But trying to stop
the ritualist there would probably tear the hole wide open immediately.  We
need to reach a point as far before the ritual as the ritual is before the
present day and set up a probability harmonic in the spellcaster that will
once again prevent his spell from working.  And it looks like we're headed
for the second-most-likely spot on Sherman's list...."

               *              *              *              *

[Sixteen Years Ago]

     Sherman burst into the room, now dressed in a slightly threadbare
business suit with overly wide lapels.  "I heard a woman scream, is
everything all right?" he asked, casting his eyes about and seeing the man
he'd come to find.  The fact he and Louie had arrived as the man was
apparently assaulting a woman just gave an excuse to subdue him without
revealing their true mission.
     "N-no...everything's fine," the woman said.  She seemed unhurt, but
there was an edge of anger in her voice.  A slowly reddening cheek on the man
suggested she'd been taking care of herself so far, but if this was a man
capable of even ritual magic, he was probably dangerous even if not obviously
     "This is none of your business, American," the man spat with a fairly
thick Spanish accent.  His fair complexion suggested he was a Spaniard rather
than Latin American, but Sherman wasn't really an expert on such things,
having been raised in the far north of Minnesota.  He turned to a shelf and
idly picked up a book, clearly just pretending to be interested in its
contents.  "Now get out before I am forced to call the manager."
     Nervously clutching the time machine concealed in its small striped box,
Sherman nodded.  "Well, if everything is, ah, okay in here, then...."
     Suddenly, the book had been replaced by a pair of pistols.  Sherman had
no idea if it had been true spellcraft or merely a clever bit of stage magic,
but either way it was an escalation.
     "Yes.  It is.  Now go!" the man gestured with the revolvers.
     With a crash, the flimsy hotel wall burst open and LU-62 was on top of
the man.  Powerful steel jaws clamped shut on the guns and with a sharp crack
shattered the cylinders, shattering unfired bullets around the room.
     "It's.  Not.  Polite.  To.  Point," LU-62 growled.  "Especially with
guns.  Come, Sherman, I do believe we aren't welcome here."

     A few minutes later, Louie and Sherman walked down the stony beach
outside the hotel.  
     "So?" Louie asked.
     Sherman consulted some readouts on the back of the striped box.  "Breach
is sealing.  Getting close to him and flexing your probability capacitors did
the trick."
     "Excellent, Sherman.  Now to return to our home time, hopefully without
any further damage to the fabric of reality...."

               *              *              *              *

[In Spring]

     LU-62 turned his head, the only part not buried in sand, to face a
similarly buried Sherman.  "Well, Sherman, it would seem that your time
machine needs some work yet."


Author's Notes:

     Written for HCC #39, Movie Mashup.  The task was to make a plot by
mashing up three movies.  I picked Un Chien Andalou, Pacific Rim, and the yet
to be released Mr. Peabody and Sherman (based on the Peabody's Improbable
History segments in the Rocky & Bullwinkle show). is a copy of a 1960 restoration of Un Chien
Andalou.  I didn't try to follow it note for note, though, any more than I
followed Pacific Rim.  There's not much plot yet available for Mr. Peabody
and Sherman, but the core of it appears to be, "they break reality, oops" and
that was good enough to run with.  ;)


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