LNH20: Smash Comics! Featuring Corporation-Smasher #3

Drew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Mon Oct 9 18:03:45 PDT 2017

Dark were the clouds in the sky, that day, swirling above the glass dome of the 
Roberts Building, headquarters of Azrelion Limited Liability Company. Dark were 
the events on the thirty-seventh floor, in the grand boardroom, where twelve 
directors and one CEO were meeting.

Said CEO stood at the head of the polished walnut conference table. He was a 
fairly normal-looking white man, with respectably-cut blond hair and a blue suit 
with a red tie. Normal, that is, but for the unsettling intensity of his gaze - 
and the misty gray web draped over his head and shoulders.

The web spread over the objects and surfaces of the room's elegant interior 
design, tendrils of gray mist crawling over it, obscuring its edges. Perhaps it 
also produced the whiff of mould and decay that permeated the room, and the 
chill that penetrated the startlingly similar expensive suits of the 
gray-haired, pale-skinned, entirely nervous and uncomfortable men seated around 
the table.

"Gentlemen!" declared Virgil Vexilamus, for the CEO was he. "I promised you 
great riches! I have delivered! I promised you great reputation! I have 
delivered! Now..." He gestured, hand grasping the air like a claw, and thunder 
boomed around them. "I promise you great power!"

A chill wind blew thru the room, and out of the web fluttered flapping, rolling 
things. The directors flinched and ducked, but the things fluttered down in 
front of them, unrolling to show themselves as pieces of light gray paper with 
dark gray text on them, and at the bottom, big, black, bold signature lines.

"Gentlemen, sign on the line, and a great power will be open to you! Greater 
than all the money you have accumulated, the things you have bought, the strings 
you have pulled! *True* power, to take from humanity as you see fit!" Vexilamus 
slapped his hand on the table, a deadened thunk. "*Take* it, gentlemen! This is 
our moment!"

They looked down at the papers, up at him, the power of his words pulling at 
them. One said, "Ah, Virgil, I'm sorry, but I can't *quite* read what this says."

"It's a *very* standard contract for the industry. Perfectly SOP, I assure you!"

"Ah. ...er, which industry, exactly, is that?"

"A *trade* industry." Vexilamus pounded his fist on the table, a slightly louder 
thunk. "Gentlemen, you must act quickly! There are forces moving against us, and 
if I-- if *we* miss our moment--"

SHKRAMMM! A sharp crash shattered the muted atmosphere of the room, and 
splinters of glass cut across the web. Down from the hole in the glass dome 
leapt a figure - a black woman in her forties, resplendent in a red bodysuit 
with a gold belt and a gold hooded cloak. She had an image of a hammer on her 
chest, and a great golden hammer in her hand, which she pointed at the CEO.

"Vexilamus!" she shouted. "Stop this, before anyone else gets hurt!"

"Corporation-Smasher!" Vexilamus clenched his fists, and an angry ripple ran 
down the web. "Gentlemen, ignore her! I'll deal with this! Sign!"

"Damn it, Vexilamus!" Corporation-Smasher stalked around him, avoiding the web, 
glancing around for a trap or an attack. "You're really trying to pull 
*everyone* into the same demonic deal *you* stuck yourself with!"

There were gasps of surprise, despite the obviousness of the situation. One of 
the directors said, "Virgil--"

"Don't listen to her! She's *anti-business*!" Virgil thrusts his arms out and 
the web leapt up, wrapping and twining around Corporation-Smasher's limbs.

"Rrgh..." Corporation-Smasher tensed in the web, then relaxed. "Yes. 
Specifically, I am against the type of business that's unsustainable, 
self-destructive because it drains and uses up the resources it needs to 
survive." Her hammer began to glow. "Resources like the light of human lives. 
*Your* lives, gentlemen!" The glow flared into a shining golden light, and the 
mist of the web burned away under its warmth. Corporation-Smasher thrust out her 
arms and was free!

There was a buzz of anxious grumbles around the table. "Virgil," said a 
director. "I... I'd have to have a discussion about these allegations before I 
was willing to sign."

"NOOOO!" The pieces of the web leapt up to wrap around Vexilamus, tying him 
tight in their grasp. "I was so CLOSE!" He struggled helplessly in place, 
thrashing back and forth.

The shadows of the room slipped from their places, leaving unnatural brightness. 
They gathered behind Vexilamus, swirling, bright flecks shimmering in the dark. 
"Rrrgh... just needed... a little more time..." He hung his head. "But... I'm 
out." He looked up at Corporation-Smasher, laughing spitefully. "You've won."

"Not yet I haven't!" Corporation-Smasher leapt forward, grabbing the web with 
one hand and pulling on it with all her strength. "Vexilamus, let go! It's over, 
but if you let go of your connection to the demon, you can escape!"

"Hah! Idealist! Naive fool!" The shadows behind him opened, a baleful gray light 
leaking thru, as if the diffuse shine of clouds on an overcast day was magnified 
and sharpened to a painful glare. "I have made far too many promises to escape now!"

"You've broken enough damn promises in your life!" Corporation-Smasher raised 
her hammer high. "Let me save you!" She brought her hammer down-- and it passed 
right thru.

"Heh... fool... none can escape from this power... that's..." The web tightened 
around Vexilamus. "hnnn... that's why I wanted it... could have been mine..."

"Vexilamus!" Corporation-Smasher dropped her hammer, denting the floor. She 
grabbed the web, digging her heels in.

"could have been mine... could have been mine..." The web, the man, were drawn 
into the shadowy mouth. It snapped shut, and Corporation-Smasher stumbled back, 
holding a piece of web. With a quiet susurration, the shadows flew back to their 
places. The web dissolved. Corporation-Smasher was left standing, staring at the 
place they'd been.

A moment passed.

One of the directors stood, putting his hand on her shoulder. "Thank you, ma'am--"

Corporation-Smasher smacked it away. She turned, grasped her hammer, lifted it 
up, and brought it down on the polished walnut table with a thunderous KRAKK!

The table split down the middle, collapsing in on itself in a cloud of sawdust, 
and the directors shouted and scampered away. Corporation-Smasher stood, staring 
into the dust, hands on the handle of her hammer.

When the dust cleared, she looked up. She pointed a single finger, sweeping it 
across the cowering directors. "Each and every one of you is personally 
responsible for this."

A grumble started, and she shouted, "THAT'S RIGHT!" They shut up.

"Vexilamus may have brought this demon, but you fed it, with your words and 
deeds. Every time you disclaimed responsibility, assigned responsibility and 
personhood to the corporation itself, that was worship. Every time you said your 
hands were tied, that you had to please the shareholder, that destruction and 
murder and poverty and helplessness were just business sense, that was a prayer 
to a god who did not care about you, who was fattening you for the slaughter!"

Corporation-Smasher took a moment, breathing hard, body shaking with righteous 
rage. She took a deep breath, let it out, ran her hand thru her hair. "I don't 
know where Vexilamus is now, but I know that, if you do not change your ways, 
you're headed there too. And you'll drag the rest of us down there with you." 
She lifted her hammer, slung it over her shoulder. "I don't plan to let that 

She stepped forward. The directors flinched back, pressing themselves against 
the walls, but she walked past them. She stood in front of the door. "So. 
Gentlemen." Corporation-Smasher turned around. "Remember this. Vexilamus could, 
at any point, have stopped. Changed. Given up what he was doing and saved 
himself." She sighed, closing her eyes. "Learn from him, gentlemen. Do *better*."

She turned away. "I'll see myself out." She opened the door and was gone.

The room was quiet.

There was distant thunder. Through the hole in the ceiling, it began to rain.

Drew "and that's the trilogy" Perron

More information about the racc mailing list