Sunday, November 7, 2010

Just Say "Uncle." Or "Auntie." That would work, too.

Scene: A super-battle! Not one that's going well, unfortunately. Which is surprising. It's a little hard to believe that robbing the Senior's Center is such a good idea. Except maybe on the day of the big Mah Jong tournament. So you might expect C-list supervillains. That said, there are superheroes who would be challenged by that.

Captain Super-Ultra [Billy Washington]: "Um, why'm I draped across a scooter?"
Little Old Lady [which is in no way suspicious]: "I'm 90 years old. I'm not exactly going to heave you over my shoulder to get you across the street."
Billy: "Got to get back, help my friends..."
Little Old Lady: "Not that you should listen to my advice, but I think Onslaught has punched you quite enough for today. Besides, he's mad at you for breaking his nose, and your little friend with the knives is doing quite well enough on his own ....OUCH."
Billy: "Don't worry, he heals fast."
Little Old Lady: "You know, back in my day, superpowers were things like being faster than a speeding train, not growing a new spleen when the old one gets ripped out. I remember once when Bulletproof... Did I ever tell you about the days when I was the Black Cat?"
Billy: "Only every Sunday, Auntie M... I mean, old lady whom I have never met before."
The Black Cat (Mrs. Jonah Abraham Washington of the State of Pennsylvania): "And keep it that way. So, is your little friend going to throw another of those elemental energy bolts, or will she just lie there for the rest of the battle?"
Captain Super-Ultra: "She's resting, Ma'am."
Auntie Miriam: "Well, she's a very pretty young thing, but someone should tell her that drooling is
 never ladylike. Neither are her hairdo or her costume, mind. What's wrong with kids today? She's got the figure for a catsuit, and you can't say that about many Asian girls."
Captain Super-Ultra: "Auntie Miriam!"
Auntie Miriam: "William Jefferson Clinton Washington, if you can't maintain secret identity protocol, I can't do it for you. But when the Man does to you what he did to Dr. Twilight, don't come running to me!"
Billy: "Times have changed, Auntie."
Auntie Miriam: "That's not what those charming Wayan brothers say on TV. But never mind that now. I recognise the dear thing. She's Wong's daughter, isn't she? Hmm... amd that's the harlot's boy there, throwing chemical control powers around?"
Billy: "Mrs. Neilson isn't a harlot. She had to go find herself."
Auntie Miriam: "Don't you be sassing your Auntie, young man, especially not with that hippie dippie stuff. Boy needs a mother. And a father who can keep a real estate license. Now, Wong would never forgive me if I let anything happen to one of his, and I used to have a boyfriend with chemical control powers...get your little friend over here."
Billy: "You're coming out of retirement? And I don't remember anything about a chemical controller boyfriend back in World War II."
Auntie Miriam: "31st Century, not WWII. Same time as I met Wong. Oh, the stories I could tell if it wouldn't violate space time causality and possibly create a universe-swallowing black hole. Or violate my confidentiality agreement with that delightful Mr. Short and void my royalties for "Lastest Crisis on Nigh-Infinite Earths."
Bulldozer, King of the Ring, Last of the Red Hot Lays, Iatollya of Rock-and-Rollah [No, seriously, he had some business cards made up that say that. Some of them have "Iatollya" whited out and "Ayatollah written over it]: "Keep the beat on the fast kid, Onslaught! And lay some fire on that blaster, Buzzsaw! It looks like he's coming to!
Onslaught: "Big mouth for a guy who can't get out of an entangle!"
Bulldozer: "Me and Lash will be back in it as soon as we can figure out how to get out of this cagey-thing. Jeez. There's a catch right here. Why can't I make it work? Ack! Let go of my thumb, bitch!"
Aunt Miriam: "So. No. I'm not coming out of retirement. And just as well, because the only thing a 90 year old cat can do is make terrible smells and miss the litterbox. I'm going to use my native wits, which should be more than enough for these bums."
This is the point where the narrator's union rules require me to describe our heroes' glorious victory. But let's put it this way. There's lots of tricks that a veteran superhero can teach a newbie chemical controller, but it doesn't feel like a victory when your enemies run away to wash their costumes in tomato juice. 

The Amazing Spleen [Brad Neilson]: "Dude, your Auntie is one amazing woman! Is she going to help us again?"
Billy: "No. But I think that the moral of this story is that you're going to be helping her. Remember how you said you needed a summer job? Her son was transferred to Babylon six years ago, and there's a lot of fixing up to do at the old place before she ..moves on. And someone has something to learn about area of effect attacks that don't result in everyone having to walk five miles to get home."
Brad: "Your car's right over there! And, umh, don't I get a say?"
Billy: "No-one's riding in my car until they've had a change and a shower. Or five. Including me. And about the job, Auntie says. But do me this one little favour? Could you call my parents next time they show
 In Living Color reruns down at the Center?"

This is the third in a series of fan fictions set in the Champions Universe (a property of the Cryptic Games Studio licensed to DOJ, Inc. for the pen-and-paper Hero Games RPG line). It features the adventures of the teenaged descendants of Philadelphia's superheroic defenders of the "Gold" and "Silver" Age, the Liberty Legion. The new Liberty Legion has been operating for several years now as a mostly self-described auxiliary of Philadelphia's real superteam, the Liberty League. For the few people who might be
 unaware of the fact, I would add that Bulldozer, Onslaught, Lash and Buzzsaw are minor supervillains from that setting. They might even be on Champions Online MMO.  Although I doubt it. "Steve Short" is a famous comic book writer, and in this universe many comics are authorised accounts of the adventures of actual heroes. Hence my hilarious reference to a crossover series! Bulletproof is the World War II era "defender of Brooklyn" who subsequently  became a member of the 31st Century Champions 3000, about which there is even less caring than Bulldozer's Internet-specific existential status.  Dr. Twilight was a Black Golden Age hero whose career was ruined when he was publicly exposed as Black and a Communist. Alert the Wayans! No. Wait. Superhero Movie has already been done. There goes my chance at Hollywood. Not that I'm bitter, Mr. Zucker. No sir.

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