REPOST: RAC Challenge! Ch. 2

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer at
Tue Aug 11 16:45:10 PDT 2015

Chapter 2 by Daniel Warren..

From: franke at (Jerry L Franke)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.comics.creative
Subject: REPOST: RAC Challenge! Ch. 2
Date: 2 Nov 1995 16:27:49 GMT

We're reposting the initial chapters of the rec.arts.comics Challenge!
leading up to the brand new finale (being written now).  One chapter per day
into December.  Look elsewhere in this news group for Henry Broaddus'
informational posting on the project.


RAC Challenge

Chapter 2: Gunshots and Grapefruits

by Daniel Warren
title by Henry Broaddus
Paragon the Ultimate Man was in trouble. Some people would consider themselves
in trouble if they messed up at work or if they cheated on their wife and she
found out. To Paragon being in a building that was about to blow him up with
two innocent street punks wasn't too bad. But, when the person behind the trap
was his arch-enemy Doctor Malevo and the building was impossible to get out
off; that could be considered trouble.

Above the triumphant cackling of Doctor Malevo, Paragon thought to himself.
"I've got maybe thirty seconds left. Unless I suddenly get the ability to
teleport, I've got to talk my way out of this."

"So Doctor Malevo it seems you've fallen for my little trap, and I've fallen
for your little trap, so what say we both forget about our traps and I walk out
of here right now."

"You think you can bluff me like a pathetic little street urchin. I know darn
well you've set up no trap for me," bellowed Doctor Malevo.

"Oh well, when you're about to be blown to bits it as good a time as any to use
your trump card," thought The Ultimate Man.

"Yeah, then what's in my hand, Doctor"

Paragon held up his hand to reveal a tiny device--the Jas Rswert. "Go ahead
blow me to smithereens, but your little Jas Rswert will go with it."

"You dare to tempt me with my beloved. The one thing I cared for until you took
it from me years ago." And now, now, when I finally have you at my mercy, you
wave it in my face. You pathetic fool."

"We both know you would kill yourself to get this. Let me go, or we'll see each
other again in our next lives."

"You win. Take the kids out of here. Walk away with your skin intact. Be gone
from my cameras and speakers. I can't bear to look at you any longer. Leave
unharmed, for now"

As the doors opened once again the two punks and Paragon walked to safety,
Paragon was left with his thoughts. That was reeeeeaaaaal close. Got to be more
careful in the future, either that or learn to teleport.

The Time: 2 weeks later

Dirk's Diary:

     It's taken me two weeks to round up all those darn ray guns left by
     Doctor Malevo. In the chaos a dozen people were killed and hundreds
     of thousands of dollars worth of property damage. All because he
     wanted to set up a trap for me. Well, now he's going to pay.

For the next 48 hours Paragon used every connection he had. He talked to every
street punk, every alleged mob boss, and every dirty politician he knew of. It
cost him a lot, but he found Doctor Malevo's secret hideout. It was the old
fruit warehouse outside of the city. Paragon got there as fast as he could in
the Ultimate-Mobile. He crashed through the door in dramatic fashion to find:

Nothing. Just boxes of fruit. Paragon realized, with difficulty, he would have
to wait to get some action. Or so he thought...

Doctor Malevo stepped out from his hiding place. "And so we meet face to face
for the first time, disregarding our masks of course, Paragon."

"This is your end," threatened Paragon, "You're going to jail."

Paragon attempted to leap across the entire warehouse, something that normally
would be like falling off a log for him, but instead he traveled only a few
feet. In fact he was also feeling a bit dizzy. And his ankle was hurting
because he landed on it badly. Then it dawned on him. He was powerless!

"Feeling okay Paragon? How's it like to be powerless for the first time in
years? If you're wondering why, I'll tell you. Of course you couldn't stop me
if you wanted to."

Paragon was at this point almost unconscious.

"You see super-powers come from the lack of a substance, not the addition of
them. All humans have the capacity for super-powers, but when they're in
contact with a certain substance, they are powerless. For almost all humans
that substance is carbon. Since humans cannot rid themselves of carbon they are
powerless. But you have a mutated power gene. For you, and others like you, it
takes more complex substances to render you powerless. For you that substance
is grapefruit. Luckily for you once grapefruit is in your vicinity once you
will be immune of it. In other words you will only be powerless because of
grapefruit once. Of course one chance is all I need."

Doctor Malevo then pulled out a gun.

"Good-bye Paragon. Gunshots and grapefruits--That's how you kill a

Paragon then realized he was in trouble again.

   * Next issue: Chapter 3: Ducks and Delirium by Michael Kelly


First off, sorry for any spelling and punctuation errors, I had to write this
pretty fast and didn't have time to check it properly. Second I must say Henry
Broaddus wrote a very good opening story (even if though he is a bastard :-)).
Third, anyone who wants to retcon into non-existence the vulnerability to
grapefruits part, feel free. (It was better than my other idea to turn Paragon
into a radioactive grapefruit). Good luck to Michael Kelly who gets to continue
the chaos next chapter.

Daniel Warren



Jerry L. Franke                        franke at
Computer Science Dept.                 Indiana University
formerly from Florida State University

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