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Hermit

The Adventures of "Fish Guy" (Superhero fiction)

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On 9/29/2018 at 1:32 AM, Lawnmower Boy said:

Eel, right . . . That's the . . . There's a strong one and a fast one and a . . . Okay, I'm stumped here, Did you mention him/her in one of the early episodes of The Adventures of Pogo?

 

He's called Fish Fry or something like that. 

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(Short but every little bit to help it move along...)

 

Ambassador La'Vesh did not look happy to visit us in purpose, which was annoying given we'd just taken the loss rather than let his people kill themselves.  A pair of twin medics arrived from his ship dressed in crimson and pink garb rather than the militant uniform. Which made sense. It was kind of cool that some of our shows seemed to be on the money at least when it came to the biological analyzers they had.  They looked us over too.

 

"You're tending to my people?" Lady Obsidian observed, "Gracious. We'll need it. We have a rather big problem in the city by the name of Mr. Brute. He and his cohorts are willing to take down whole buildings. I don't suppose you could help with that?"

 

"Undoing the damage we ourselves have done is one thing, engaging in purely internal clashes between humans, even superhumans, is another, I'm afraid" The Ambassador said "And as a rule, my species doesn't like violence."

 

"For folks who don't like it," Tornado rubbed his shoulder as he watched a medic revive Arctic Fox "you seem pretty good at it."

 

"Not I, personally, but I believe an old Earth saying is that if one wishes peace, they should prepare for war. We want peace very very badly" La'Vesh explained.

 

"Great you're peaceful badasses who study history and want kids to die from cancer… there's kind of a blemish on that last part," Pinprick said testily, "Get to the point where you explain why you think you're the good guys."

 

"Perhaps showing first will drive the sincerity of my telling"  The Ambassador said turning to the troops, "Hyadesians please, lift your visors, helmets and show yourselves."

 

And one by one they did. They were, as I said, an almost angelic looking people. Each and everyone of them could have been a model on earth, odd skin tone aside. Then I realized  how alike they were in more ways than general good looks. Noses, ear shapes, the jawlines, "Wait…" I caught myself from saying 'you all look alike' because God help you if you say THAT with a Southern Accent, instead saying "La'Vesh, is this your family? They…they look like siblings and cousins, each and everyone of them."

 

"And as a Hick, he knows a thing or two about cousins"  Pinprick nodded sagely.

 

I resisted the urge to step on him.

 

"No, Eel, they are not but they are a consequence of the sort of 'cure' you hope to bring to your world. Your cure attacks and reshapes genes. Now, ask yourselves- what keeps it from attacking other genes of choice, what keeps it from being turned not  into a  medical miracle, but a biological weapons meant to target those who are different. Our species found the cure, but … we didn't have the wisdom to realize what some would seek to do with it," The diplomat sighed, "This is our shame, this is the mark of the hatred that engulfed our forefathers."

 

"Targeted Genetic genocide?" Lady Obsidian said, "But that's destructive to everybody, it would be like a sentient potato famine. The very next plague your bodies weren't' ready for would…"

 

"Sweep through the 'perfect people' and kill them in record numbers, that too, happened" La'Vesh said, "The Utopia of just a few who think they know best became hell for an entire species. Tell me, Samaritans, how is your species doing in dealing with unity and not seeing fellow humans as 'the other'?"

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Nicely done.  I wondered how you were going to write your way out of that corner.

 

And our hero should be happy that La'Vesh called him Eel.  Guess the ambassador's a not a fan of Channel 3.  He does seem like the kind of guy who'd watch Channel 6 news.

 

And agreed about the "every little bit moves it along."  No reason you can't post a full chapter in two or three parts.

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The problem with short installments is that the plot gets choppy after one too many cliffhangers. (At least, in my feeble brain, it does.) That's a generic problem with short installment fiction, so I really don't have a problem with more, shorter installments. They're better than no installments. Problem is, if I can't remember how the plot has developed when the last installment appears, just before  the heat death of human civilisation sometime next summer, well. . . I'll be cheated of my narrative payoff, which will make me one seriously ticked-off food rioter. 

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35 minutes ago, Lawnmower Boy said:

The problem with short installments is that the plot gets choppy after one too many cliffhangers. (At least, in my feeble brain, it does.) That's a generic problem with short installment fiction, so I really don't have a problem with more, shorter installments. They're better than no installments. Problem is, if I can't remember how the plot has developed when the last installment appears, just before  the heat death of human civilisation sometime next summer, well. . . I'll be cheated of my narrative payoff, which will make me one seriously ticked-off food rioter. 

 

 

This is totally fair.

 

 

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On 10/8/2018 at 2:09 PM, Hermit said:

(Short but every little bit to help it move along...)

 

Ambassador La'Vesh did not look happy to visit us in purpose, which was annoying given we'd just taken the loss rather than let his people kill themselves.  A pair of twin medics arrived from his ship dressed in crimson and pink garb rather than the militant uniform. Which made sense. It was kind of cool that some of our shows seemed to be on the money at least when it came to the biological analyzers they had.  They looked us over too.

 

"You're tending to my people?" Lady Obsidian observed, "Gracious. We'll need it. We have a rather big problem in the city by the name of Mr. Brute. He and his cohorts are willing to take down whole buildings. I don't suppose you could help with that?"

 

"Undoing the damage we ourselves have done is one thing, engaging in purely internal clashes between humans, even superhumans, is another, I'm afraid" The Ambassador said "And as a rule, my species doesn't like violence."

 

"For folks who don't like it," Tornado rubbed his shoulder as he watched a medic revive Arctic Fox "you seem pretty good at it."

 

"Not I, personally, but I believe an old Earth saying is that if one wishes peace, they should prepare for war. We want peace very very badly" La'Vesh explained.

 

"Great you're peaceful badasses who study history and want kids to die from cancer… there's kind of a blemish on that last part," Pinprick said testily, "Get to the point where you explain why you think you're the good guys."

 

"Perhaps showing first will drive the sincerity of my telling"  The Ambassador said turning to the troops, "Hyadesians please, lift your visors, helmets and show yourselves."

 

And one by one they did. They were, as I said, an almost angelic looking people. Each and everyone of them could have been a model on earth, odd skin tone aside. Then I realized  how alike they were in more ways than general good looks. Noses, ear shapes, the jawlines, "Wait…" I caught myself from saying 'you all look alike' because God help you if you say THAT with a Southern Accent, instead saying "La'Vesh, is this your family? They…they look like siblings and cousins, each and everyone of them."

 

"And as a Hick, he knows a thing or two about cousins"  Pinprick nodded sagely.

 

I resisted the urge to step on him.

 

"No, Eel, they are not but they are a consequence of the sort of 'cure' you hope to bring to your world. Your cure attacks and reshapes genes. Now, ask yourselves- what keeps it from attacking other genes of choice, what keeps it from being turned not  into a  medical miracle, but a biological weapons meant to target those who are different. Our species found the cure, but … we didn't have the wisdom to realize what some would seek to do with it," The diplomat sighed, "This is our shame, this is the mark of the hatred that engulfed our forefathers."

 

"Targeted Genetic genocide?" Lady Obsidian said, "But that's destructive to everybody, it would be like a sentient potato famine. The very next plague your bodies weren't' ready for would…"

 

"Sweep through the 'perfect people' and kill them in record numbers, that too, happened" La'Vesh said, "The Utopia of just a few who think they know best became hell for an entire species. Tell me, Samaritans, how is your species doing in dealing with unity and not seeing fellow humans as 'the other'?"

I'm not allowed to like, so I'll just say nicely done.

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(Jerkass has a point, banging on the 4th wall, yes, I am aware that all my attempts can be broken into tropes. I've learned to live with it)

 

There was a long stretch of silence at the Ambassador's question.

 

It was Arctic Fox who broke it, "Well, looks like we don't get the short cut to the cure for cancer. Having this thrown in our faces by a superior culture, I now completely understand why over a century ago some islanders ate smug missionaries." And she shot La'Vesh a look that could curdle milk.

"Ah," Despite his diplomatic training, La'Vesh seemed at a loss for words himself there, before clearing his throat once more and saying "I have given you only the slightest problem of it. Some of you would qualify as genetic offshoots of your species. In the wrong hands this could lead to an arms race of genetic coding for superwarriors, or the extermination of superhuman potential."

 

"Like the lady said," Pinprick piped up, "You already sold us. Don't rub it in."

 

"Wait," I said, something about the talk of 'missionaries' rang a bell, "What if you were to cure a limited number of humans, covertly. As you probably know, we have a lot of religions on our world. I'm a believer in one of them."

 

"Ah, are you of the Church of Ceiling cat then?" La'Vesh inquired.

 

"I…what?" I blinked, "No."

 

"I was joking. A little humor to ease what might have to be a negative response to whatever request you're trying to make," he explained.

 

"Oh we don't use humor around here," Tornado said straight faced.

 

"Not to ease things anyway," Pinprick added.

 

It was my turn to ahem, "What I'm trying to say is, if you were to allow us to use the cure on a limited amount of people, it's entirely possible that people would assume a supernatural agency was responsible but disagree on the details enough that eventually it would pass. You'd hardly break any prime directive at all, and no one outside of us would know there is a 'cure' that we passed up."

 

One of the troopers spoke up, "With respect, Ambassador, they have given up much and  did, in a sense, save our lives by their surrender."

He frowned, angelic face falling into cautious consideration, "How limited?"

 

"One hospital" I said.

 

They others on the team looked over at me. Lady Obsidian nodded, "I think I see what you're getting at, but better lay it out for us so we're all on the same page."

 

The plan was approved by everyone, well, almost everyone. When Doctor Bench came out of the mystical realm he'd been stored in he was livid. Furious, and no amount of trying to convince him otherwise would work.

 

"You decided, all of you decided? You got to decide the fate of millions!" He accused.

 

"To keep the cure, we would have had to kill them," I said, and not for the first time, "And even then, you could beat there would be serious talk of other attempts in even greater numbers. Doctor, the Hyadesians are dedicated to preventing this particular version of the cure to us and…" I took a breath, "For good reason. And no, they won't grant us an alternative treatment worldwide but they're willing…"

 

"I don't give a damn," The man was almost shaking, "You, each and everyone of you here, is playing GOD with the lives of your fellow human beings, and we don't even get a seat at the table."

 

Lady Obsidian tilted her head, "Doctor Bench, please. You know far better than any of us as the dangers that they bring up. Gene Editing and splicing are already in our world, the Fumian solution would lead to something akin to giving every set of radicals with an agenda a biological weapon like the world has never seen. It would be blankets and small pox all over again, and on a scale that …"

 

"Oh, please don't lecture me, Doctor Vernon! I am well aware of the risks, but unlike you, I have faith in my fellow human beings to take their lumps and move on! Perhaps you've spent too much time in that suit, but we mere mortals are more robust than you think, and maybe we're more enlightened than you and these aliens think. Thousands of people should not die each day because you're worried we might not be perfect!"  His finger pointed at Lady Obsidian with an accusing jab at the end of each sentence.

Pinprick scowled, "Careful now." I could tell Pinprick agreed with a lot of his points, the look of annoyance and flashes of guilt on his diminutive face were giveaways. But no one talked to the Lady in front of Pinprick like that.

 

Lady Obsidian took a cleansing breath, and said "Perhaps I am too cynical.  It is a danger in my line of work. But we still get to the point where a group of dedicated soldiers were killing themselves to save us from this. And even if they lost, a whole nother army might have come in and this time been less fussy about who died. You think I should have just let them destroy themselves then and risk an intergalactic invasion? It wasn't that long ago we stopped an undersea one."

 

"You should have let them die, yes! You should have looked after your own!" Doctor Bench snapped.

 

"My own? Mmm" Lady Obsidian shook her head, "I think we're done here, Doctor. Mabel will see you out."

 

"I'll never forgive you for this," Bench hissed, and stormed towards the exits as Mabel lit the way "I hope one day your pretentious little Valhalla burns! We don't need gods like you!"

 

"Jerkass had some points," Tornado muttered.

 

"Don't I know it," Lady Obsidian's fists clenched "Everything he said had…. Well, my retirement just got bumped a year closer."

"Don't even joke" I told her with a smile.

 

She didn't respond.

 

"Am I the only one smelling the stink of future supervillain on Doctor Bench there?" Pinprick asked.

 

'Come on, man," I said, "He's a healer."

 

"Just me then," Pinprick muttered.

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Pinprick's not the only one.  I'm betting Dr. Bench is one meeting with the Fumians (and maybe one powered battlesuit) away from attempted technocracy.

 

Maybe I'm misunderstanding where Eel was going with his idea, but it seems to me that if one hospital aligned with a particular religion started having "miracle cures" it could have potentially worse consequences.  As in, "this proves my religion is real, yours isn't, let's have a holy war to prove it."

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4 minutes ago, BoloOfEarth said:

Pinprick's not the only one.  I'm betting Dr. Bench is one meeting with the Fumians (and maybe one powered battlesuit) away from attempted technocracy.

 

Maybe I'm misunderstanding where Eel was going with his idea, but it seems to me that if one hospital aligned with a particular religion started having "miracle cures" it could have potentially worse consequences.  As in, "this proves my religion is real, yours isn't, let's have a holy war to prove it."

 

Mm I may need to write that to be clearer then. the comment about 'details' meant that some will credit Allah, some Jesus etc. I think I wanted to rush to get to the ceiling Cat joke :o

 

 

As for Dr. Bench...

Ahem.. *Cough* We can neither confirm nor deny

 

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On 1/29/2019 at 9:03 AM, BoloOfEarth said:

*bump*

 

Oh, I'm sorry.  The place wasn't well-lit, and I accidentally bumped into this thread.  :winkgrin:

 

No pressure or anything, but if you're looking for something to do during the next Snowmageddon...

 

I got a dozen  explanations but I'm not sure any excuse.

Typical writer's block.

Family and health concerns.

The "Marathon of the middle' (Actually more like 3/4?)

Anxieties galore.

An energy sucking vampire thrust in my life

but really none of that Excuses the delays

 

Mostly I'm not sure I''m satisfied with what I do have.. and there's that in between stuff to connect it.

But... well, if I don't do SOMETHING i'm just going to do a lot more nothing so...

 

 

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(To her credit, Pogo may have the best ideas)

 

I'll give the Hyadesians this much; they were willing to work around the rules. Of course, they were the ones establishing the rules so I guess I shouldn't be surprised they had made a practice of it. I honestly wonder if the first thing anyone learns once they set up a system is how to game it? Wouldn't it be odd If that was one of the great commonalities of all sapient species everywhere? Or maybe not so odd after all.

 

"Looks like, while it's a bit of a mess around the edges," I told Lady Obsidian, "That we've got all the pieces getting on the board, to use a chess analogy."

 

"oh really?" She said, "We have more heroes than they're ready for, have them injured while we're healthy again, and you have something Mr. Brute wants so you think his options are limited."

 

"I did think all that, but the way you're saying that makes me think we're not as on top as I think we are?" I raised a brow.

 

"We are not, for one thing, Slime and Pogo are here, Viewpoint is being tended to, but has it occurred to you that there's a wildcard we haven't been able to track down?"

 

Oh, it occurred, instantly, "Bloodwatch, you think they'll go after the psycho?"

 

"As we increasingly take options away, possibly, yes, and other targets among the police and the like too. I don't know Miser Brute, but it seems to me he doesn't like the idea of coming when whistled for. Oh you might get him, but he'll make at least one more big play. Fortunately, Tornado is on the case again and I'm working out some possibilities with Mabel."

 

"Any theories?" I said, "I mean, what will be his priorities besides a giant 'you're not the boss of me' move?"

 

"He can do the math, even if he doesn't know all of us are in good shape now. He's going to try to get back up," she says "Or, in lieu of that, enough distraction that we can't possibly be at full strength when it's time to tussle because our members will be split up"  Lady Obsidian said, "Mind you, I don't know the man, but you say this is bait he can't refuse. Doesn't mean he won't try to blow up the pier to make sure it gets in reach."

 

"Hey," I said after a moment, "That was kind of a folksy metaphor for a supergenius city slicker scientist."

 

"Yes, you're a very bad influence," She agreed with just enough humor in her voice, then more seriously, she said "you disagree with my take on his tactics?"

"No, I just don’t' know what form you being right will take," I frowned.

 

"That's what we have to figure out" she concurred "With less time, and no telepaths. Isn't superheroing fun?"

 

"Oh yeah, it's a hoot" I said, "I think I'll see what others think and then hope you, Mabel and Tornado can figure out later."

 

It turned out that superheroes are a bold and opinionated lot.

 

Arctic Fox was flat out clear in her opinion that yeah there would be trouble, "Mr. Brute may claim to be a tactical genius, but he's also herding some real nutbars in his group. We're talking folks who enjoy causing terror, and one of them a pyromaniac to boot. He's got to feed them raw meat sometime, and soon."

 

Pinprick wasn't as sure, "They stick their heads out, we might catch them early. Sure, we're playing defense, but we know the town better than them. If he lets someone 'go play' that someone is liable to get arrested and then he's down even more muscle. His son is on the line? He's going to want to stack the deck in his favor big time. You do not play with stakes that high and that personal."

 

"I still don't think he's going to sit on his thumb, and he's got to know that as we out number him, so what, he walks up to visit Eel at Dawn knowing we could jump them? I don't care how powerful they are, they can't take us all.  So, he has to change the game plan," Fox said.

 

Slime bubbled and 'spoke' in that way that he did, words forming, along with a stink that caused Arctic Fox to wrinkle her nose.

 

Can't you both be right? He will make a move because he must, but he will not divide his forces to do it. He needs muscle. I think you are both neglecting the largest source of possible followers for him in this city, one that even if they decline, will add to the chaos he needs.

 

"What source?" I raised a brow.

 

Prison. He will seek recruits in the prisons. He will form a break out. Sometimes I forgot that Slime was a prisoner too once, a victim of an evil empire with a story that I never did get all the details on.

 

"Project Tank is pretty far off," I said, not completely sold, "I mean, this city is a regular stopping point for them, but it's hardly…"

"No, wait, Slime's got a point," Pinprick said, "Sure, there's no super prison here but we have regular ones that if you broke everyone out at once, could be a real threat. And Project Tank runs things through all the time. Maybe Mr. Brute knows something we don't know about that?"

 

I groaned, "We've only got a few hours before dawn what do we do while we wait for Tornado to get the detective work and…"

 

There was a snoring sound from nearby. I turned to see Pogo , dozing hard on a sofa.

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20 minutes ago, Hermit said:

I got a dozen  explanations but I'm not sure any excuse.

 

Speaking as someone with a fair number of similar explanations, I understand completely.  Please know I wasn't trying to add undue pressure.   I just didn't want some great work to go unfinished.  And maybe remind you that any doubts about what you do have (as well as anxieties, if they relate to your writing ability) are quite possibly unfounded. 

 

The more I read, the more I'm certain that Lady Obsidian is grooming Eel to head up his own superhero team one day.  At least, she's trying to keep him using his head for more than a hat rack.

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