Thursday, February 24, 2011

Jenny's End, Part Two, Two

{This is just an edit. I know it ruins the spontaneity of the blogging and all that, but on mature consideration, I missed a great opportunity for a cliffhanger in the first version of Jenny`s End, Part Two. More below.}

Something like this

Snakes On A Plane [Jenny Wong. Who has an iPhone. Are you surprised?]: "Hello. No. Everything's gone wrong. I. Yes. Yes. What? Yes. Of course, Brad."
The Gyroscopic Man [Gerald Tuney]: "It's times like this that make life worthwhile. Everyone's ready to die now? We seem to be on a rather tight deadline. "
[In their memories of this moment, Jenny and Brad will imagine that when the Lion Stallion breaks through the foliage, Brad is riding bareback, tall and proud, firing his own green beam directly at the tree branch above Tuney. Ah. Youth. Actually, he's clinging on for dear life, and looking at the branch. But it's enough. Branch falls, Tuney is pinned, and the Lion does a delicate little dance on the Segway. A dance that says, "Where's my oat bars already? Oh, look. Scrap metal."]
Twilight [Anita Guzman]:  "That's an interesting new ringtone you've got there."
Jenny: "Well, I like it."
Nita: "Never said I didn't. So are you and Brad an item now?"
Jenny: "Yes."
Avenging Son [Henry Wong, Junior]: "Uh, prophecy, sis?"
Jenny: "The heir of Wong will be the end of the house. Okay. You know who inherits under Mohawk family law, right?"
Henry: "The girl?"
Jenny: "No. That's the new-age touchy feely version. Mohawk land 'goes into the wigwam of her husband.' This land is the 'house of Wong.' I'm going to be the first verse of the prophecy if I have to camp here 'till the wedding. May can worry about the second."
Nita: "I don't think we say 'wigwam' any more."
Jenny: "Nita, you're my dearest, sweetest, oldest friend. I want you to be my maid of honour. I also want you to shut up now."
Henry: "Well, I'm glad someone's plan worked out. And, Jen? You can stop being a bitch now."
[A skeletally thin, balding man in a psychedelic-on-white bathrobe walks up the road into the grove. In spite of the spiny, xerophytic vegetation, his shrunken legs are bare down to tattered sandals. His gray hair is pulled back in a shoulder length ponytail. It is noticeably darker than his massive beard. He looks over his shoulder.]
Eldritch [Birth Name unknown, although he was rebaptised Brother Sunshine in a Tantric ashram in eastern Oregon at midsummer, 1969. Or 1970? 1971? Somewhere in there. They had good acid, those days.]: "I told you so. The children have things in hand here."
The Furious Fist [Henry Wong, Senior]: "I wish I shared your sunny disposition, Eldritch. I find it hard to believe that the children have disposed of Doctor Destroyer."
Ex-Until Agent John Byrne: "Ow ow ow ow. You're hurting me! I told you. It's not Destroyer. Just some loser from Phillie that was following Billy Tatum around."
Mr Wong: "You fooled with my daughter and threatened my wife. You're lucky I don't break every bone in your body. [And then he stops, like everyone else, to see Brad slide off the Lion Stallion. It's not a pretty picture, but that's not what Mr. Wong notices.] Brad. You're alive. How?"
Brad: "Defender projected a holograph."
Mr. Wong: "But ...why? I've been riding you for five years now because I thought you died yesterday. Well, a thousand years from today... Okay then. I guess that's why. I hate time travel."
Jenny: "Is that why you wouldn't let me..."
Mr. Wong: " I'm not going to stand in the way any more, pumpkin." [Billy notes the evasion. Again. Breeders.]
Byrne: "I did not fool with your daughter, sir. She was just using me to get to Tuney. She likes that gorilla over there, and she can have him. Ow ow ow ow ow." [The "sir" sounds almost sincere. Agent Byrne is in a lot of trouble right now.]
Nita: "So, what? It's all settled like that?"
Eldritch: "Let me draw a picture for you, Sister. It has a sacred grove, ancestral graves, a spirit stallion that was supposed to have died 1400 years ago" [The Lion Stallion nuzzles Eldritch's bathrobe pocket. There's an apple in it] "and a prophecy. And you throw teenage chakras into the mix? Of course it's settled. It's a sacred wedding. The Green Man and the Daughter of the Moon. Tom Bombadil and Goldberry. The kami are pleased, the land is fulfilled."
Mr. Wong: "You're as full of shit as the day I met you, Eldritch."
Eldritch: "I know that we don't see eye-to-eye on the cosmic path that we walk as spirits and men. But you watched me exile Mardoom-Thah that day, and I've trained fifty apprentices to do as much and more since then. And I'm the one who is right this time."
Billy Tatum [Pulling Tuney's head up out of the water so he can breathe]"Hey, asshole. Yeah. Me. The stupid one. I felt your bugs in my body. I knew it was you. I was on to you all along. I led you here. I got you. I got your buddy. I got my friends hitched. You got buried. How stupid does that make you? Oh, yeah. Except for the part where Stonechild and me thought you were working for Doctor Destroyer. I guess that stupid is on us. Speaking of, where's the rest of the backup?"
Jenny: "I think the takeaway from all that "suppressor" blah is that doofus here jammed them out."
[Three contrails abruptly break far overhead, stretching west to east.]
Eldritch: "Grok it. I think this square underestimated the Tokyo Super Squad. I'm going to have to buy them   lunch before they head home. And we'd better stand the rest of the brothers and the sisters down, or it'll every other superhero on Earth soon."
Mr. Wong: "On it. And, man? owe the Super Squad dinner. Some people like their food, y'know, cooked."
[The old men pull out their thingies-that-aren't-phones, since this area doesn't have cell coverage, except apparently from the 31st Century. It'll be a long time, because, frankly, they're going to use this opportunity to gossip up a storm.]
Jenny: [Giggles]: "Mom will be so pissed."
Henry: "Why? You still end up with Brad."
Jenny: "But four years ahead of schedule."
Brad: "Do I get a say in this?"
Nita: "Didn't you just call Jenny and ask her out from the future?"
Brad: "Well, yes. But it's a lot easier to do when you're a thousand years away and Sovereign is about to kick your ass."
Mr. Wong [Putting his phone down for a second, because the Peacekeepers are pretty down about interruptions like that]"I was giving covering fire against an army of Mandaarian attack drones so that you could ask my daughter for a date?"
Brad: "You were twenty-five. You didn't even know you were going to have daughters, then, Hank. I mean, Mr. Wong. And since I was about to die anyway, I went for it."
Mr. Wong: "You proposed to my daughter?"
Ex-Agent Byrne: "OW ow ow ow ow ow."
Mr. Wong: "I REALLY hate time travel."
Nita: "[Squee!]"
[Brad reaches over and takes Jenny's hand. The Lion Stallion, looking as impatient as a horse who has been promised granola bars can, nudges him in the back. Brad and Jenny kiss.]

[Text edits above.]

This is the fourteenth 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.  Some of them are mature for their age, but the author still doesn't recommend getting married right out of high school in this day and age. If that's what happened. Because, you know, time travel and all that. Unless maybe there are chakras and kamis and land-wight magics and like that involved. Then it's probably okay, and you have to admit that it's romantic.

Doctor Destroyer , the Demonologist, the Tokyo Super Squad, and Eldritch are all published Champions Universe characters, although Eldritch has never been established as an outdated hippie, only an "extremely eccentric" San Francisco supermage. So are Mardoom-Thah and Sovereign, but they're really obscure and they're not on the wiki.

This concludes the story begun here with the much requested appearance of a mall cop on a Segway as a team archenemy. Which is awfully hard to work into a short dialogue, what with the traditional red herrings, continuing story arc, dramatic confrontation, and unexpected last-minute triumph by an underestimated team mate. And master villain dialogue. That stuff's harder than it looks!

And, yes, that's an apology to my critics. But let's face it. It's one thing to think to yourself, "Boy, I wish I could tell action-adventure-romance stories without the leaden exposition, unrealistic dialogue and tell-not-show characterisation that I hate to read in others," and quite another thing to actually try it. If you're wondering about my choice of formats, I'm trying to focus on dialogue, and it has nothing to do with using a rough screenwriting pattern without going the whole nine yards and looking like some symp desperate to be discovered by the Motion Pictures. (So, anyway, call me, Hollywood. We'll talk!) 

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