LNH20: Smash Comics! Featuring Corporation-Smasher #1
pwerdna at gmail.com
Wed Oct 4 18:15:16 PDT 2017
Everything in the call center was gray. The walls were gray. The cubicles were
gray. The carpet was gray. And the people, soaking in the gray, and speaking
gray words into gray phones, were slowly turning gray.
A man in a gray suit with gray slacks and a gray tie sat, waiting, staring into
the monitor. He heard a beep. He spoke. Someone yelled at him. He heard a click.
There was a hissing, somewhere close by. It was nothing. It was getting colder,
darker in here. It was nothing. He could feel his consciousness ebbing, his
identity eroding into a featureless gray sheet. It was nothing.
KRAKK! The wall next to him sundered and a figure leapt thru the hole - a black
woman in her forties, resplendent in a red bodysuit with a gold belt and a gold
hooded cloak. She had a great golden hammer in her hand, and an image of a
hammer on her chest.
"Inanimous, Gray Demon of Apathy!" she shouted with a voice like a bell.
"Corporation-Smasher is here to end your reign of control!"
His body jerked, muscles working by themselves to push him up out of his chair.
He could feel a dull hate filling his head and his body. He lurched forward
towards her, grunting, moving without conscious intent. All around him, other
gray workers, faces fading, shambled towards the shining hero.
Corporation-Smasher leapt over the heads of the possessed shamblers, landing
atop the supervisor's desk. "It's not revealing itself... I've got to threaten
She spun her hammer in the air. Its shine seemed to diffuse, turning to a golden
glow, a heat shimmer of golden sunlight that spoke of bright summer days when
the sun glistened off the playground slide. And she swung this image down, and
it passed thru the man's head and into his mind, and it hit the sheet of gray,
and smashed it to dust.
His emotions burst out, lovehategriefworryexcitementboredomlove, rushing like a
river that carried his identity back to the shores of awareness. He fell on his
The hammer swung, a sunbeam looping thru the air, smashing thru the hearts of
the controlled, breaking apart the oppression that had dug into their hearts and
leaving them dazed but free. And sure enough, a roar of resentment rung thru the
air, the rage of one denied the power they are convinced they are entitled to.
Corporation-Smasher held her hammer in the air and shouted, "Inanimous, I
command you by the contract you have chained these people with! Reveal the form
of your rule!"
The strange voice howled and grunted, trying to resist the call; but in the air,
the gray drew together, became a great stone slab, with heavy graven words at
the top reading 'EMPLOYEE CODE OF CONDUCT'. Corporation-Smasher shook her hammer
and shouted, "And by the power you stole for your own - let it rise up against
you, and reveal the seat of your rule!"
The voice groaned in defiance; groaned in loss; groaned in defeat. Words glowed,
red-hot on the slab; 'business formal'... 'no sneakers'... 'skirt of appropriate
length'... and finally, burning balefully, 'DRESS CODE'.
"There!" Corporation-Smasher raised her hammer. "For the lives of the people,
and the power to live them!" She brought her hammer down in a thundering blow,
the stone cracking across its surface. The voice howled, and shrieked, and
faded, and was lost, and was gone.
The gray drained from the room, and sunlight shone through the blinds. The slab
was gone, and the people were awake, alert. The man pulled himself up,
remembered his name - Gabriel - leaned on the supervisor's desk, and said,
hoarsely, "Thank you."
Corporation-Smasher smiled. "Thank *you*," she said. "It was your light I was
borrowing." She leapt off the desk and looked around. "Who here holds highest rank?"
Another man - yes, he was the floor manager, Gabriel remembered - stumbled
forward. Corporation-Smasher put her hand on his shoulder. "Tell your superiors
that there can be no dress code here. That their rules are falling. That they
must change sooner rather than later, or the ground will shift under them and
they will sink and be lost." She opened her other hand. In it was a small golden
hammer. "They will not believe it. But give them this, and perhaps they shall
begin to understand."
A woman in the crowd - Marsha? Or Marcia, maybe? thought Gabriel - shouted,
"Hey! Can you make it so I don't need this terrible job to support my family?"
"Not alone!" Corporation-Smasher hefted her hammer in the air. "The weight of
this hammer is the weight of our will to change the world! We've all got to
smash away in solidarity! Increase the minimum wage! Enact universal basic
income! Replace a structure whose goal is endless accumulation of money and
power with one designed to create and distribute the things that people actually
need-- or just want!" She gestured out the window. "This world doesn't belong to
corporations - it belongs to *people*! It belongs to *you*! And don't let
anyone, any leaders, any heroes, any gods, any masters, tell you otherwise!"
Gabriel's heart, his hope, rose up, and he cheered. So did everyone around him.
Corporation-Smasher threw them a little salute and leapt out the hole in the wall.
Outside, the sun sparkled off the river. The world was blue and yellow and green
and red and beige and indigo and yes, gray. Gabriel knew that the world was only
a little better than it had been an hour ago. But if it got a little better
every hour, every day, then one day...
Drew "smashing away as best I can" Perron
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