8FOLD/HCC: Journey Into #21 (HCC51)
saxonbrenton at hotmail.com
Wed Feb 11 17:01:07 PST 2015
[8FOLD/HCC] Journey Into #21 (HCC51)
Eightfold Comics Group Presents
A High Concept Adventure
JOURNEY INTO #21: 'The Truth About Someone Else's Identity'
by Saxon Brenton
The diabolical Professor Longitude was flying for the simple
pleasure of it.
In part he was pleased with the new toys he had to play with. The
various super abilities built into Doctor Longitude's costume (which,
like Doctor Longitude's body, had been stolen and were now at the
diabolical Professor's disposal) were moderately impressive. Mach 5
flight capacity, combined with force field and life support to make
mach 5 flight survivable. Stealth capabilities, and tracking for any
nearby air traffic. A variety of exotic offensive and defensive
systems... The diabolical Professor was particularly looking forward
to investigating the latter.
But right now, he was looping through the sky for the sheer giddy
joy of having successfully pulled off his latest scheme. Ha! Take that
The diabolical Professor paused and took stock of his location.
He seemed to have wandered over the midwest, and was now floating above
the farmlands to the west of Detroit. He wondered if Doctor Longitude
had regained consciousness yet.
He took out device of his own construction and checked in on Doctor
Longitude. To his disappointment the young hero was still unconscious
back at the abandoned warehouse where he had left him. The black cape
briefly frowned to himself at this laziness. In the eternal conflict
between Good and Evil, the key word was 'conflict'. Or maybe it was the
'dynamic' in 'dynamic antagonism'...
He'd lost his train of thought again.
No, wait. The point that four colour heroes should damn well be
recovering from their latest setback and be setting about to overcome
their villainous nemeses. Doctor Longitude should be grateful that he
had merely been left unconscious on the floor of an abandoned warehouse,
with his mind swapped into someone else's body. If this had been a
proper death trap the hero would be dead by now. Killed before he'd
even woken up and had the chance to struggle against the diabolical
Professor Longitude's nefarious machinations! And where would be the
sense in that!?
Well, if the hero wasn't awake to keep the diabolical Professor
entertained with his struggles, then the black cape would take the time
to work on the mystery of who Doctor Longitude was.
Over the past few months the diabolical Professor Longitude had
been greatly entertained by Doctor Longitude's level best attempts to
murder him. During the course of this the diabolical Professor had been
able to confirm that Doctor Longitude was indeed genetically identical
to himself. This hadn't been particularly surprising. The four colour
had claimed to be one of his counterparts from another universe, after
But which universe? The diabolical Professor had investigated,
only to discover that the quantum signature of Doctor Longitude's atoms
was identical to this one. The diabolical Professor Longitude was
briefly non-plussed by this - but only briefly. Had Doctor Longitude
lied? How dull. But wait! It was possible to recalibrate a quantum
signature and disguise what universe someone was native to. A type of
false flagging operation. And even if Doctor Longitude was native to
this continuum, at the very least he had to be a clone. Or maybe the
diabolical Professor had had sex with a reverse gender copy of himself,
and by use of a probability manipulator the genetic information passed
on within the gametes of both partners had produced offspring identical
to that of his male parent!
(Professor Longitude was pretty sure he would have noticed a
contrivance like that, however. Ninety percent sure, anyway.)
The black cape double checked his location again (he noted that in
the past few minutes he had drifted further westwards, towards Chicago).
That made his choice of emergency bases obvious. With the activation of
another device he dimensionally relocated himself to a small pocket
world that he had set up as a bolt hole - no more than a few hundred
square feet, but dimensionally tethered to this part of midwest so that
it could be accessed from anywhere in the geographic region.
Everything seemed to be in order. The diabolic Professor cracked
his knuckles (or at least, Doctor Longitude's knuckles) and set to work.
As was often the case when he went into creative ferment, he wasn't
quite sure what he was working on. However roughly 27 hours later when
it was finished he had a large scanner type device, all Kirbytech lines
and crackling energy, and consisting of a platform where he could stand
upright, plus a control panel and many involuted detection arrays. It
was a temporal scanner, meant to reveal the history of the thing being
The diabolical Professor could hardly wait. As usual when he was
in the excitement of working on a project he felt no sense of fatigue.
He could probably go for another day or three before crashing. So he
stepped into the device, set the controls, and began the procedure.
Lights flashed, and theremin type whines were produced. The
diabolical Professor watched the readouts with interest. The overview
indicated that Doctor Longitude's body seemed to have an extremely short
timeline. The diabolical Professor double checked to make sure that this
wasn't an artefact of having arrived in this universe recently,
but, no, it genuinely seemed that the four colour had only been in
existence for something over a year. It looked like Doctor Longitude
was a clone after all. Then an idea came to him, and he checked to see
whether the results would be the same if Doctor Longitude were some
innocent victim who had had the black cape's genetic profile overlaid
onto him, transforming him into a duplicate of the diabolical Professor
and setting him on a path of revenge. But, no, that made no difference
either. Okay then, whatever, clones it was.
The device gave a final, satisfied sounding ding, telling the
diabolical Professor that he could step out. He made himself some
coffee to keep himself going now that the device had been built and the
adrenaline from the first flush of his project was wearing off. He was
starting to feel weary, but he wanted to examine the data that he had
gathered in more detail.
In specific he wanted to examine the imagery of Doctor Longitude's
life, and so he had set the scanner up to produce video footage of the
person being scanned. There was a hefty amount of it of course, even
for the truncated life span of a clone. The diabolical Professor
decided to skim backwards to a time to when Doctor Longitude had been at
whatever his home base was.
That base turned out to be in the Chicagoland area. Beyond that he
discovered that Doctor Longitude typically rested in a sleep pod, being
programmed and given instructions while he was unconscious. The
diabolical Professor nodded. That seemed like a perfectly sensible way
to keep control of a creation. However it did mean that he was currently
using a body that probably had deep programming. He thought about the
coincidence that during his own random flight earlier he had just
happened to be drifting in that direction. With the sceptical mental
equivalent of a red circle drawn around a particularly pertinent fact
written on a notepad he made a mental note to take steps and remove
any subconscious commands.
There was still no indication of who was in control of Doctor
Longitude. The diabolical Professor continued searching. Finally he
began to find traces of person in charge.
Simon Throckmorton. The original, Silver Age Professor Longitude.
He was alive.
The diabolical Professor Longitude was genuinely surprised by that.
It wasn't as though his father had died in battle against four colours
or had been blown up in a freak airship accident. He hadn't been a
black cape, just a rather prosaic crime lord. He'd died in prison of a
heart attack and there'd been a full autopsy.
The diabolical Professor Longitude paused. After a *suspiciously
short* time in prison. And just because he hadn't been known as a
black cape didn't mean he didn't have any mad science resources at his
The black cape continued on, no longer so much interested in Doctor
Longitude as he was with what the Silver Age Professor Longitude was up
to. Weariness was pressing in on him, but he set his own stubbornness
against it. He had to know what was going on.
It took him a while. Perhaps the diabolical Professor's tiredness
was making him careless, but eventually he found a clear and explicit
statement of what the Silver Age Professor Longitude intended.
"My offspring carries the genetic condition for mad science, and
has an active expression of it that is extreme," explained the Silver
Age Professor Longitude on screen to a blank-eyed Doctor Longitude.
(Later, when the diabolical Professor had calmed down a bit and was
rewatching this scene, he would take interest in the way that the
exuberant and snarky four colour hero that he had fought against was
revealed as nothing more than a facade.)
For now the diabolical Professor watched as his not-anywhere-near-
as-deceased-as-had-been-thought parent expressed his distrust for the
diabolical Professor's powers of mad science and his battles with the
four colour heroes: "At some point I expect his mad genius will reach a
plateau where playing games no longer interests him, and he will destroy
the world with one of his creations before they can intervene. And
probably do so by accident."
The diabolical professor Longitude scowled at the description of
his work as 'games'.
Onscreen the Silver Age Professor Longitude continued, "I will
plan a campaign against him. You will supply the mad science technology
to counter his inventions. Together we will harass him - and then when
he at his weakest, I will destroy him."
And for a second - just for a second - the diabolical Professor
found himself wishing he had just flat out killed Doctor Longitude when
he had held the young man in his power back at the warehouse base. It
was incredibly wasteful to dispose of a heroic opponent like that, but...
He felt angry. Not even, "Pitiful insects, I shall crush you!" angry,
with all the appropriate social niceties of declaring war on them and
composing a proper villainous rant. Rather, "You don't even understand
what I'm on about, and frankly you're in my way. Just f*ck off and die."
The mad scientist grimaced and then sighed. He lifted his coffee
cup to his lips, only to discover that it had gone cold. He could feel
the lack of sleep beginning to catch up on him, and knew that a proper
night's rest would do him a world of good. If nothing else, it would
let him sleep on the problem and compose a suitably epic revenge.
The diabolical Professor Longitude went to bed.
Copyright 2015 Saxon Brenton. All characters created by me.
Written for High Concept Challenge #51: "The Truth About My
This storyline has been developing sporadically as I occasionally
discover new things to say about it. I suppose what you would call the
prelude was _Jolt City Adventures_ #1, which introduced the diabolical
Professor Longitude. The actually struggle between the Silver Age
Professor Longitude (with Doctor Longitude as his proxy) and the
diabolical Professor Longitude appeared in _Journey Into_ #14 and #17.
This episode originally focused on Doctor Longitude as he regained
consciousness and went to get help, but I rewrote the start something
like four or five times. Now, with time running out on HCC51 I've
decided to can that aspect for the time being and shift the focus onto
the diabolical Professor Longitude.
The exuberance of the diabolical Professor makes him easy to write
for. This scene took about 3 hours or so to write, starting at about
1 o'clock in the morning on the 12th of February. By comparison I'm
beginning to wonder if I'll ever be able to get its counterpart scene
with Doctor Longitude into a fit condition to post. :-/
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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