LNH20: Smash Comics! Featuring Corporation-Smasher #2

Drew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Fri Oct 6 21:03:51 PDT 2017

The coffee tasted different lately. Since he got that new coffeemaker. It was 
sweeter, more syrupy. He hadn't noticed at first, but his head got light when he 
drank it, and he wanted to drink more.

His head was very light now. There were five empty mugs on the kitchen floor in 
front of him, lined up like the points of a star. Coffee grounds had been used 
to make the lines of that star, and to draw a circle around it. His phone lay in 
the center of the star, on the line with customer support, who spoke in hissing, 
incoherent whispers. When the coffeemaker had stopped working and he had called 
in a dazed panic, they had told him what he needed to do.

He held his hand above the phone, palm perpendicular to the circle. In his other 
hand, he held a kitchen knife. He brought the tip of the knife toward his palm...

SKRAMM! His back door splintered, and a figure leapt thru - 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.

He looked up in a daze, eyes unfocused.

"Consumer product of greed and darkness, by the hammer of Corporation-Smasher, 
begone!" She brought her hammer down, and the phone smashed into a thousand 
pieces. The whispering rose into a frustrated wail, then cut off all at once.

He rocked back, the strings that had been holding him up cut. He grabbed his 
head in both hands; he had a killer headache. "What... what the..."

She knelt down. "Hey. What's your name?"

He tried to focus. He couldn't remember for a moment, then: "Bill. William. 
William Jensen."

"Good man." She clapped him on the back. "You'll be all right. But this isn't 
over yet. Don't touch the circle."

Bill glanced over; despite the phone being reduced to tiny shards, none of it 
had interrupted the pattern of coffee grounds. He looked down, and was relieved 
to be wearing pants.

Corporation-Smasher stepped carefully through the kitchen, eyes flicking back 
and forth. She spotted the coffeemaker, leaned in for a look, and shook her 
head. "Azrelion. I knew it." She held her hammer over the coffeemaker, and with 
her other hand, she grabbed the plug between thumb and forefinger and pulled it out.

"That sounds familiar." Bill scooted away from the circle, grabbing a stool and 
lifting himself to his feet.

"It should. You own stock in the company." She put the hammer on the counter, 
grabbed the coffeemaker and carried it back to  the circle. Kneeling down, she 
picked phone shards out of the center, and put the coffeemaker in their place.

"Oh. Um... should you be touching a possessed coffeemaker?" He leaned against 
the counter, misjudging and knocking over a stack of old mail.

"The demons aren't in the coffeemaker. They're in the network." She stepped 
away, lifting the hammer and examining her handiwork. "Internet of Things. 
Horrible eldritch things, in this case."

"Oh. ...how'd you know I own stock in Azrelion?"

"The demons are linked to the company. They sought one who held shares, the 
power of the company, to summon them." She picked up one of the pieces of mail - 
a thick, unopened white envelope with the Azrelion logo stamped on it, along 
with the words 'Important Shareholder Information Inside'. "Also this." She 
tossed it to him.

He caught it. "Ah... but... I don't have any *real* power."

"You *do*." She looked him in the eyes, and he felt shame. "And you could have 
played a part in preventing this."

"H-- how?"

"Not too long ago, there was a man, Virgil Vexilamus, who ran a company. That 
company's products were indicted in horrible accidents. It was rumored that 
Vexilamus had something to do with it; that they weren't accidents at all, but 
sacrifices to some greater goal. But he was officially cleared of all charges." 
Corporation-Smasher sighed, leaning back on the counter. "The board of directors 
of Azrelion decided that, based on how much money his company had pulled in 
before it tanked, that Virgil Vexilamus would make an excellent CEO. But, since 
there was a cloud of rumor over him, they had a shareholder vote to approve his 
hiring." She gestured to the envelope. "Thus."

"Oh..." Bill crushed the envelope to his chest. "I... I inherited those stocks, 
I never really thought about them..."

"Very few think about the privileges they've inherited."

Bill flinched. "Ah... is there anything I can do about it now?"

Corporation-Smasher smiled. "Always. In this case, the power you have is power 
we'll need..."

Twenty minutes later, Bill knelt on one side of the circle. Corporation-Smasher 
sat on the other. The things they needed were laid around the edges of the 
circle. They were ready.

Bill looked at the piece of paper he'd written down the instructions on. 
"Hokay..." He took a deep breath, let it out. He picked up a small portable 
battery pack. Leaning carefully over the coffee circle, he placed it next to the 
coffeemaker and plugged it in. The little amber indicator came on. He sat back, 
outside of the circle, looked at the paper, and said, "Antelune! By light I call 

Bill picked up a filter full of coffee grounds. He leaned in, opening the top of 
the coffeemaker and placing the filter and grounds inside. He closed it up, sat 
back, and said, "Antelune! By soil I call you!"

Bill picked up the knife. He looked up into Corporation-Smasher's eyes, and she 
nodded. He licked his lips. He leaned in and opened the carafe. He held his hand 
over it, palm perpendicular to the circle. He brought the tip of his knife to 
his palm, and pressed it in-- ah! It wasn't quite as sharp as he'd hoped, but it 
did the trick. Blood welled up, and dripped into the carafe; and it hissed. He 
quickly sat back, cleared his throat, and said, "Antelune! By blood I call you!"

The hissing picked up, acquired deeper dimensions, unsettling whispers, as the 
carafe heated up. Bill picked up a small glass of clear liquid, but 
Corporation-Smasher held up her hand. Her eyes were intent as the carafe hissed, 
the whispers became clearer, shadows swirled in the pot and glistening eyes 

"NOW!" she shouted. Bill leaned forward with careful haste and poured the glass 
of holy water into the carafe and slammed the lid on and leaned away. 
Immediately it screamed in a voice of steam, the glittering eyes going wide and 
white mist streaming from the coffeemaker.

Corporation-Smasher stood, raising her hammer high. "By the lives of the people 
and the light they carry! Antelune! I banish you!" She brought the hammer down, 
and the coffeemaker smashed into a thousand pieces, and a wave of midnight-black 
coffee rolled out of it, washing away the circle of grounds.

"Ack!" Bill leapt to his feet, coffee all over his pants.

Corporation-Smasher chuckled. "Don't worry, it's harmless. Banishing demons is 
an endothermic process." And indeed, the liquid was chilly and the brown stain 
was disappearing.

"Whew..." Bill sagged. "So, it's over?"

"You shouldn't be troubled by demons again, though I'd recommend a different 
brand of coffeemaker." Corporation-Smasher hefted her hammer. "I must trace this 
evil to its source. And, needless to say, smash it."

Bill nodded. "Um, so... now that I know I have some power, how should I use it?"

Corporation-Smasher smiled. "Engage! Be part of things!" She gestured grandly, 
her voice raising in enthusiasm. "You have more power than you know - not just 
in this, but in all aspects of life. Speak up for the right thing! When there's 
a chance to help, take it! And!" She put her finger in the air. "Always, always, 
*always* take the opportunity to empower others who lack it! The more we spread 
it around, the better we'll be."

"Ohhhh..." Bill stood up straight. "I will!"

"Good man!" Corporation-Smasher put her hammer over her shoulder. "Take care!" 
She walked out the remains of the door and was gone.

Bill sighed, smiling. He looked around. "Right!" He pounded his fist into his 
hand. "First, call a repairman! Then, get a mop!" Time to take care of things!

Drew "you can do the thing" Perron

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