DC Comics Noahide
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Saruviel's Alpine-Satellite Vision
Team Wild Dog: Bloody Spear & The Black Fellas
A Day in the Life of the Justice League International
The Booster Crew: Booster Red
The Blue Beetle Corps
Teen Titans Adventures
FUTURE POSSIBLE TITLES
DC Universe Intensified
Saruviel's Alpine-Satellite Vision
'I have a new plan. Getting up to 50 Multiverse projects. They've been coming along gradually. I'm to the 49th plan, which is based on DC & Marvel Comics. Bringing them to life in a literal way. Part of my own Alpine-Satellite world of these characters of entertaining value. My project to make Batman the man – literally,' said Saruviel to God.
'I see,' replied the Theophany, not looking up from his video game. They were in Home, Saruviel on a visit, and Saruviel was going through discussions with God on upcoming projects for his Multiverse.
'After that it's Earth Jubilee – the 50th project of glory. It's all a big spurt of Rebirth again,' said Saruviel.
'Sounds like it,' replied God. 'Jubilee, huh? Good Torah idea.'
'Yep. The word is associated with 50. I felt it was the way to go. These two project, and then leaving the Multiverse alone for a good while.'
'Righty O,' replied God.
Saruviel nodded, and stood there, looking at God play Road Rash II. He stood there, 15 minutes, as God played, saying nothing. Just watching. Silent.
'Wanna play,' God eventually asked.
'That one has a two player option, doesn't it?' asked Saruviel, finally sitting down on the couch.
Half an hour later Memra walked on. The chatter and sarcasm was quite amusing between the two of them. The rashing, really, nasty. Both were obviously enjoying themselves. She put down the plate of fresh cookies. God took one. He didn't look away from the screen. Things were as they should be. Life in its regular way.
Heroes were coming.
Team Wild Dog: Bloody Spear & the Black Fellas
'We have a new mission,' said Base. 'Listen to Max on this recording.'
They were at HQ, and sitting around drinking and smoking. Max's voice came on over the system.
'Hello Team. Congratulations on dealing with Fire of the Almighty, Wild Dog. That group will bother us from time to time. Research goes on about them. I have a new mission, though. It will require a team-up with Captain Boomerang of Task Force X. You will meet him in Sydney, then travel to Adelaide and into the heart of South Australia. A new force has risen up in recent years. Bloody Spear & the Black Fellas. They are not even a racist aboriginal group. They are an Aussie group. They have some white members. They are dedicated to the Great Southern Land exherting the power of Empire. Traditional take over the world dictatorial group. They dip spears in blood and pledge allegiance to the Dream Fathers. They have managed to mine a lot of Uranium from various places in South Australia, and are in the process of developing nuclear weapons. Australia has the largest supply of Uranium on the planet. If they get too much of the stuff, holocaust. Your mission, find the group, take out their leader Blood Spear, and dismantle operations. Several key leaders of the group, well, you know our work. We don't play diplomacy.'
'Not the name of the game,' said Blood Moon.
'Base has your portfolios. Study them, and payment on completion of mission. Good luck.' The recording went silent.
'Here are the mission portfolios,' said Base. 'They travel quickly and are alert to foreign bodies in their spiritual presence. Aboriginal witch doctors sense trouble pretty quickly. They could be tricky to catch.'
'We'll catch 'em,' said Blood Moon.
'And give them a lick of Wild Dog Justice,' said Wild Dog, polishing his rifle.
The team studied their portfolios a number of days, and departed to Sydney were they teamed up with Captain Boomerang. After the trip to Adelaide, they drove north to a quiet town, and Captain Boomerang took them to a small campsite were they armed up.
'This is the latest recon,' said Captain Boomerang. 'It's 500 clicks from here, so we travel leaving at twilight, and be real quiet like when we get near. They get wind of us they'll be gone in a flash, so keep the party music down. I've heard you like the rock and roll to get you in the mood.'
'Always helps mate,' said Wild Dog.
'Well not this time,' said Captain Boomerang. 'Unless it's AC DC of course.'
'Of course,' said Wild Dog. 'Who else.'
The Van was parked two kilometers away and they had been done up in their night gear and approached silently in the night. They were at the compound, and were looking at the place with green vision binoculars.
'He should be in there,' whispered Captain Boomerang. 'With his cronies.'
'We go,' said Wild Dog. 'Blood Moon,' he said, and pointed to the right. Blood Moon made his move. Captain Boomerang and Wild Dog got to their feet and approached. A guard suddenly spotted them.
'Who dat?' he asked. A shot to the head silenced him. They found the door, and opened it silently. Silence inside. Guns held carefully, the entered in. Room after room they checked. Nothing.
'There's a stairwell,' said Captain Boomerang. 'Going down.'
'Where else,' replied Wild Dog. They descended and found themselves in a long hallway. Suddenly gunfire spurted in their direction. They took shield behind the corner of the stairwell. 'Lights,' said Wild Dog.
'Leave it to me,' said Captain Boomerang. He took one of his boomerangs and threw it, smashing the light. Lights out. They had their infra-green bincoulars on and burst out, shooting at the black fellas who could not see them. Three dead enemy, they came down the hall, and looked inside the room. It had bunks, and a table with cards on it. Suddenly a voice.
'Lights out tough guys,' and the last thing Wild Dog remembered was a heavy blow to the back of his head.
He awoke, how much later he could not tell, but Captain Boomerang and Blood Moon were tied down on beds, like he was also. He struggled against the ropes, but they were expertly tied. A face came into the room. It was the Blood Dagger himself.
'Brothers, don't fight us. Our dreamtime will come to everyone in the end.'
'Your crazy cult is going down,' said Wild Dog.
'It's not a cult. The dreamtime began everything. And it has a plan.'
Men came into the room. 'Take them to the ceremony room. Tie them down. They are going to meet the dreamtime lords. And be converted.'
'More fricking religion,' said Wild Dog. 'This is not my day.'
Blood Moon chuckled. Wild Dog hated the cults.
They were taken to the ceremony room and tied down to stakes in the middle of a circle. Sheep head skulls surrounded the circle, and there was blood around the circle. Blood Spear also known as Blood Dagger came forward with a dagger.
'You know, you are privileged. We don't accept anyone into our community.'
'Bite me black fella,' said Wild Dog.
'You are wild. Like a dingo,' said Blood Spear. 'The Dreamtime Lords will like your passion I think. They will show you the way.'
Blood spear took his spear and pushed it into Wild Dog's shoulder, drawing blood. Wild Dog grimaced. Blood Spear repeated it with Blood Moon and Captain Boomerang, and then came forward with a bowl.
'This drug will take you to the dreamtime,' he said. And pouring the liquid into their bleeding shoulders, Wild Dog felt a haze come over him and he drifted away from reality.
He was in a green pasture, somewhere in Australia. An Aboriginal Man suddenly appeared to him.
'I am Origin,' he said. 'The beginning of things. You don't understand this world. This creation of mine. It has elements of the story in all cultures. But I am origin and I am truth.' Origin touched Wild Dog's forehead and a flash of various cultures from around the world filled his head and he suddenly understood all had elements of truth at the foundation of things. But there was a Serpent suddenly, a giant Rainbow Serpent, and it hissed at him and said, 'Pitiful one. You'll serve well.' And suddenly Wild Dog's mind exploded, and his own will was pushed down, and suddenly he understood his one and only purpose in life. What he was made to do. To serve the Dreamtime and bring truth to creation.'
He awoke later, and Blood Spear was seated. He spoke.
'You understand now.'
'I am of the Dreamtime. And we must rule this world,' said Wild Dog.
'You are of Dreamtime,' echoed Blood Spear. The new Truth had come.
Wild Dog, Blood Moon and Captain Boomerang were then inducted into the order. The Dreamtime Soldiers. They were taken to sacred sites and again communed with dreamtime lords and taught the lore. They were soliders of the dreamtime and had found their purpose now in life. They were souls who never really knew the truth. The truth of Dreamtime. But it had found them and found a purpose and use in their sad and empty lives. Soon enough they were being trained, and were taken to a compound in the desert.
'These are the weapons we have,' said Blood Dagger.
Wild Dog nodded. 'Should get the job done. That's a nuke isn't it?'
'We are having trouble with it, but we think it will work. We will destroy Canberra with it, and take over this nation. They will know the truth of the Dreamtime.'
'As they should,' agreed Wild Dog.
Wild Dog, Blood Moon and Captain Boomerang were assigned with other soldiers to guard the military compound. They practiced the ceremonies, and were one with their brothers. And then came the day of wrath. The dreamtime lords had spoken with Blood Dagger, and the time had come for them to make war with the infidels and claim the nation. Blood Dagger came with his men, and the compound roof opened up.
'Now, my brothers, we will make war with Australia. We will destroy this capital city of theirs, the legacy of Captain Cook, and teach these colonizers about the true power of the great southern land. Wild Dog, standing nearby, signalled to Blood Moon and Captain Boomerang, and the melee began. They started shooting and taking out the Black Fellas. Blood Dagger shrieked and ran to the control deck, and pushed some buttons. The Nuclear Weapon started firing up. As the shooting ran wild, Wild Dog and the Team killed off the black fellas, leaving Blood Dagger standing alone facing him. Blood Dagger approached with his Blood Dagger. 'You have betrayed the brotherhood he said. I feared there was still resistance in you.' He thrust his dagger at Wild Dog, who evaded it, grabbed it, and shoved through the back of Blood Dagger, erupting through his chest. Blood Dagger collapsed on the ground, and stared at Wild Dog.
'You were never a true convert anyway.'
'No kidding pal,' said Wild Dog. Blood Dagger breathed his last, and Wild Dog came to the control panel. The Nuke was starting to fire. Blood Moon and Captain Boomerang had dealt with the last of the Black Fellas, and rushed up to the control deck.
'How do I fricking stop it?' yelled Wild Dog.
Captain Boomerang looked around. He took out a boomerang, and threw it. The power box it was aimed at exploded, and the electricity went off in the compound.
'Pulled the plug,' grinned Captain Boomerang.
Wild Dog grinned beneath his mask.
They contacted Australian Security, who came in and mopped up the mess. Soon enough they had parted ways with Captain Boomerang and were back home.
'Success,' said Base. 'Max has given you a healthy bonus.'
'I'll toast the dreamtime lords,' said Wild Dog.
'Just make sure it's not a bloody merry,' said Blood Moon.
'I'll keep that in mind,' finished Wild Dog.
Day in the Life of the Justice League International
by Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly
© 6175 SC - © 2011 CE/AD
‘I’ve been wondering. What is an antihero?’ said Blue Beetle.
‘Shut up ted,’ said Black Canary.
‘No, seriously, go with me on this. What is an anti-hero?’
Miracle, sitting at the control panel, finally took an interest in the inane conversation going on between Canary and the Beetle.’
‘A bad guy, bluey.’ Said Miracle, confidently.
‘But is it more than that, Mr Mr?’ asked BB in return
Guy, sitting over next to ice, trying one of his latest pickup lines, said,
‘Hey – I’m an antihero.’
‘Shut up Guy,’ said Canary.
‘No, seriously guys. It is what I do best. Sort out the wannabes. The commies from the rest of us.’
‘You and your bloody commies,’s said Canary. ‘Always with the Commies.’ There is always a red under the bed, Canary. But Guy Gardner sorts them out.’
BB continued unperturbed. ‘Lobo. Now he is an antihero.’
‘Lobo,’ screeched Canary. ‘He is plain evil.’
‘Nah. He has a soft side,’ continued BB.
‘Yeh. As soft as your brain more like it,’ replied Canary.
‘I guess that is an antihero. He, or she, is a hero, in the end. They have a tough time getting there. But they make it.’
Canary looked at him thoughtfully. ‘Perhaps,’ she said after a while
Underneath the sewers of the Justice League Headquarters, Lord Slime was considering his next move. Which sewer to choose? He thought to himself. What they hey, this one will do,’ he said, sliding into one of the pipes heading upwards.
‘Of course, they make heaps of mistakes. But they learn. Even the Fabulous Blue Beetle has made mistakes from time to time, dare I say it.’
‘From time to time? Asked Canary?
‘Yeh. Well ok. Lots of little times. But hey, whose counting.
Miracle, snidely from the corner of his mouth whispered. ‘492 and counting.’ Canary grinned a little, and Bluey blushed.
Lord Slime emerged into a kitchen. Coming into his form he looked around? Nobody present. He would look around then.
‘And they suffer the taunts of the elite so often. As if they had worked it out instantly. I mean, hey, it takes time to be a hero.’
‘Whatever,’ Canary, playing with a Rubiks cube. ‘Ooh. I got a side,’ she said, ever so pleased.
‘Yet, in the end, the get the glory as well. Everything, as Big Blue would say, usually works out.’
Just then Lord Slime appeared in the room. ‘Grrrr. He said.’ Everyone looked at him for a moment, and then ignored him, BB returning to his conversation.
‘Yes, life is good for the Antihero in the end.’
Lord Slime looked concerned. What was their problem? He would try again? ‘Grrrrr. Grrrrr,’ he repeated. Again they gave him a cursory look, but returned to what each was focused on.
Bluey spoke. ‘Take Lord Slime over their, for instance. He is probably just an anti-hero in training. Looks like he would be suited to Justice League Antarctica.’ Canary looked at Lord Slime and said, ‘Yeh, I guess.’ Miracle looked at him. ‘Probably feel right at home?’
Lord Slime looked a them, and finally, giving up, walked over and sat down on the table. ‘Got an oreos? He asked, to which Bluey handed him a chockie bikkie, which Lord Slime, finally finding a home, dutifully munched on.
A Day in the Life of the Justice League International 2:
Lord Slime and the Justice League Antarctica
‘Very funny, Slimey,’ said Big Sir.
‘You made a funny,’ the giant man said again.
As they hovered around the inner sanctum of the Justice League Antarctica headquarters, suddenly a flashing light started going off.
Big Sir looked confused, but Lord Slime pushed the big red button, as he had been forthrightly told to do in such circumstances, and the screen zeroed in on a flock of penguins all following a giant looking penguin.
‘This looks like a job for – da da da darrr – Lord Slime,’ said the green man.
When Big Sir finally had his skis on, backwards albeit, they took off in the general direction of the penguins.
The Penguin King was ready – he would defend his sacred homeland against the invasion of the dreaded Justice League Antarctica which, while it currently had only two members – Big Sir and Lord Slime – was still posing a threat to the future of his community. The Penguin King was actually a shrivelled old dwarf who lived with the penguins and ate fish to survive, so ostracized had he become from his own society. But he liked his life and would not share it with the JLA.
Big Sir and Lord Slime soon came to a rise and found the Penguin King and his horde approaching.
‘Look at the big penguin. He’s funny,’ said Big Sir.
‘Hilarious,’ responded Lord Slime, and pulled out a giant net gun. Taking aim he shot it and it covered over the giant penguin and his entourage.
Closing in on them, the Penguin King broke free of the net and started shooting arrows from his penguin flippers at them.
‘Take that Superhero Losers,’ exclaimed the giant Penguin.
Some of the arrows lodged into Big Sir who didn’t react, but they passed right through Lord Slime’s gooey body.
Slimey turned to Big Sir. ‘Throw me at him.’
‘Uh, throw you at him?’ queried Big Sir.
‘Throw me at him,’ Lord Slime said again.
So, quickly going solid as Big Sir picked him up and threw him at their adversary, Lord Slime suddenly disintegrated and covered the Penguin King with goo.
Later on, back at the headquarters, they were talking with Blue Beetle from the JLI Headquarters on the videoscreen.
‘He is just protecting his home,’ said the Blue one. ‘You need to explain to him that that is what you are about as well.’
‘Gotcha,’ responded Lord Slime.
The Penguin King, over the next few hours talking with Lord Slime, came to understand that the JLA was only there to protect Antarctica. And then, offering the Penguin King a place on the JLA reserve list, the old dwarf smiled, nodded, and finally found a home – in the most unlikely of places.
A Day in the Life of the Justice League International 3:
Wrath of the Tomato Man
The Penguin King was sitting in the inner sanctum of the Justice League Antarctica, scratching his head, looking at the move Lord Slime had made in their game of chess. Suddenly a big red splotch – falling from above – landed in the middle of the chess set. The Penguin King looked up and there, on the ceiling, having somehow sneaked into the JLA compound, a funny looking man, dressed in an all red outfit, covered in pictures of tomatoes. And, suddenly, he pointed his hand at the Penguin King and fired out some red stuff – it hit the Penguin King in the face, and he tasted it – Ketchup.
The Penguin King quickly jumped to the control board, pushed the emergency button, and a siren started wailing all throughout the compound.
Big Sir and Lord Slime came a running, and instantly the tomato man jumped down and started firing ketchup at them.
‘Gah,’ said Lord Slime, suddenly covered in Ketchup. ‘I know I like hot dogs and sauce, but this is ridiculous.’
The Tomato man continued firing ketchup at them, while Lord Slime ducked out of the way, Big Sir soon covered in red. Big Sir put his finger on his shirt, licked the ketchup and said ‘It’s yummy.’
‘Go crazy on it,’ said Lord Slime to Big Sir, ducking out of the way of the Tomato Lord’s shots. Meanwhile Penguin King had recovered and put on his outfit, and started firing tranquilizer darts from his flippers, but kept on missing.
‘What do you want?’ Lord Slime yelled at the Tomato Man.
‘Burgers,’ responded the Tomato Man. ‘I have heard you have a year’s supply of meat.’
Lord Slime looked perplexed. ‘You trekked all the way to Antarctica to eat our burgers? Can’t you get them at home?’
‘I needed a holiday,’ responded the Tomato man sarcastically. ‘Now hand over the burgers, or else.’
‘Or else what?’ responded Lord Slime.
‘This,’ said the Tomato man, and suddenly he pointed both arms and a huge spray of ketchup flung out, all over Lord Slime, causing him to slip on the floor. Big Sir just laughed and laughed.
4 hours later, the Tomato Man polishing off his 7th burger with Ketchup, he burped and thanked Lord Slime who had a baker’s hat on his head. Big Sir had eaten about 12 of the burgers, but the Penguin King said he wasn’t hungry.
‘So. Do you need somewere to stay?’ asked Lord Slime. ‘We could always use a new member with your talents.’
Tomato man looked at him, smiled, and munched on his burger.
And thus the ranks of the Justice League Antarctica grew yet again, with the most voracious of colourful members.
Bwah ha ha har
A Day in the Life of the Justice League International 4:
Lady Chocolate joins the team
Lord Slime wandered down to the food reserves basement. He was after a snack. He looked everywhere, but it was all missing – all the lovely Cadbury’s chocolate they had ordered – a years supply. Just then he heard some whimpering coming from the corner of the room and, coming around a bend, a young maiden, could be no older than 16 or 17, crying.
‘Oh, deary me,’ said Lord Slime. ‘What have we here? How did you get in here young lady? And where are you from?’
‘My parent’s. There dead,’ she responded. ‘We were on holiday in Antarctica, seeing the penguins and the ice, when a spaceship appeared in front of us and blasted our ship. I swam to shore and had given up my life. But I walked for a while along the shore, and saw your building in the distance. I crawled in through that window,’ she said, pointing to an open window. Lord Slime went over, closed the window, and looked at his young steward. All around her was the missing chocolate – all eaten.
‘How long have you been down here, then?’
‘3 days,’ she responded.
Right,’ he thought to himself. So she has eaten the chocolate.
‘Well, come on. We will go upstairs and find you a way back home.’
Gently he brought her up the walkway, into the inner sanctum, and was about to contact JLI headquarters when the alarm came on. Big Sir, the Penguin King and the Tomato Lord rushed in, noticed the girl, but stared at the screen. Suddenly a spaceship appeared, heading towards them.
‘That’s the ship which killed my parents,’ yelled the young maiden.
‘Oh, bother,’ responded Lord Slime.
Shortly they were under attack, and Lord Slime and the Penguin King manned the defence station and started shooting laser bolts at the spaceship. They got lucky, they hit well, and shortly there was a huge crash just in front of the compound.
‘Let’s go look,’ said Lord Slime. ‘And grab some weapons.’
The maiden also came out with them, and there, in front of the headquarters, the crashed ship with an alien crawling out – a green man, with strange clothing, and a gun of some kind.
Lord Slime and the others stood back, but the alien fell on its knees, then fell down to the ground. It had been wounded, quite apparently.
The Maiden rushed forward and started swearing at the alien who, suddenly, reached out and grabbed her and then sparks started flying all around them both, and he fell down and so did she.
Lord Slime and the Penguin King rushed over and checked them both.
‘The Maiden is ok,’ said the Penguin King. ‘She is just unconscious.’
‘The alien looks dead, though’ responded Lord Slime. ‘We will have to notify JLI headquarters, but we will have to probably bury the thing and dump the ship out back. Big Sir – get the mover and take care of that for us. And be careful.’
Big Sir saluted him and went off to his task.
Lord Slime came over to the maiden who was starting to glow brown – and suddenly she came upright – smiled at them – and, pointing her hands upwards said ‘Abra Ka Zam’ and little pieces of chocolate started flying from her hands upwards.
‘First tomatoes, now bloody chocolate,’ said Lord Slime.
‘At least we won’t run out of either,’ said the Penguin King, looking on the bright side of life.
* * * * *
Officially, Lady Chocolate was inducted into the Justice League Antarctica roll call when, having learned all they could, and finding no next of kin to look after her, she claimed she was old enough to make it on her own, now, and when Lord Slime said she could join them if she wanted to, and promised her a decent wage, not knowing what else to do about her new found powers, she said ‘Well, I may as well be a Superhero.’
And thus the ranks of the Justice League Antarctica grew to their 5th member, but the next one would be the strangest indeed.
A Day in the Life of the Justice League International 5:
Power of the Quantum Queen
Lee Kim looked at the spinning vortex of light. Radiant colours of the Rainbow were everywhere over the room – spinning madly – elegantly – beautifully. She had on her costume – all white, with a gold belt with ‘Quantum Queen’ written on the belt – a superhero indeed. She was ready, it was now or never.
She stepped into the machine, strapped on her belts, hit her remote to close the glass doors, and pressed the ‘engage’ button. The lights started spinning, rapidly, happily, madly, wildly. And then the light vortex machine focused on her, poured forth a ray of beautiful, glorious light, and she was overcome.
When she awoke she knew her name, but for the life of her couldn’t figure out where she was, what she did in life, who she was as a person. She was in a strange looking room, which was closed. Carefully she unstrapped herself from the machine she found herself in, tried the glass door, but it was locked and looked unbreakable. ‘Were the hell am I, she thought to herself. She hit her hand softly against the glass and said out loud, ‘God, I wish I was anywhere but here. Even Antarctica would be better than being stuck in this strange place.’ And, as her hand crashed into the glass with a fist she had made of utter frustration, suddenly a trillion brand new quantum synapses in her brain worked overtime, consulted everything her mind new of geography, and launched her into the Quantum Stream.
* * * * *
Big Sir was out the front of the Justice League Antarctica Headquarters on a sunny summer day, which was not exactly saying much for Antarctica, but the team were engaged in a game of cricket which Lord Slime was fond of. Suddenly, flashing right in the centre of the pitch, a ball of silvery light exploded in front of them, and a lady appeared hovering in the air for a few short moments, before the lights diminished and she fell to the ground.
‘Where am I?’ she asked Lord Slime as she started to recover.
‘Antarctica,’ he responded.
‘Go figure,’ she replied sarcastically.
* * * * *
‘So the pay is good, there is never that much to do apart from monitor the screen and give a weekly report to Blue Beetle in JLI headquarters, and your regular thing. We do a lot of fun stuff, though, to pass the time. And strange things seem to have a funny habit of occurring around here.’
Quantum Queen considered the offer from Lord Slime. They had started calling her that, noting the sign on her belt, and with no memories of where she had come from, or where she was supposed to go, Lee Kim, the powerful Quantum Queen, became the next honoured member of the Justice League Antarctica. But a feisty femme fatale would soon be the culminating member of an unforgettable team of adventure.
A Day in the Life of the Justice League International 6:
Tiger-Klaw Joins the Team
‘Yo, buddy. What do you call a nun who sleepwalks?’
The ancient catholic priest looked at the young fellow, could be no older than 35 or so, nothing compared to his years of 112. ‘I do not know my son. What DO you call a nun who sleepwalks?’
‘A Roaming Catholic,’ responded the man.
Despite himself, and having no sense of humour whatsoever, Father Brown smiled, and nodded to the fellow.
The man looked at the crate which the priest seemed to be guarding, with funny sounds coming from it.
‘What you got in there? A wild animal or something?’
‘You could say that,’ responded Father Brown.
‘Right,’ he nodded.
The man looked around. ‘Freezing, aint it,’ he said, clutching his arms. ‘Bloody cold.’
‘I expect that for this southern region,’ responded the priest.
‘Yeh,’ responded the man. ‘Lets hope, though, we don’t hit a bloody iceberg or something. Or we’ll be swimming home.’
The priest smiled. ‘Yes. Let’s hope,’ he replied.
Irony is interesting in life, for around 11 pm that evening, despite the weather being perfectly clear and calm, Jose Rivera, nodding off to sleep at the wheel, was wakened by a huge crashing sound as his beautiful beast – the Wild Shark – did in fact crash into an iceberg, the crash horrific, sending stock onboard overboard.
Later, the priest, thankfully, lowered to one of the ships little escape boats, with the other dozen members of the boat, watched in vain as the Wild Shark sank and, his most precious cargo, gone to the depths of the ocean floor. Or so he believed.
* * * * *
Lord Slime, the Tomato Man, and the rest of the crew, were on the shores of Antarctica, just down from the JLA headquarters, having a barbecue.
‘More burgers?’ Lord Slime asked Tomato Man.
‘You betcha,’ responded the red wonder, instantly adding his very own ketchup from his hands, into the burger, digging in for his meal.
Lady chocolate, now somewhat content at finding a new home, was chatting with Quantum Queen, the two having become fast friends, about their new home and work.
While Big Sir was still trying to understand the intricacies of chess which the Penguin King was frustratingly trying to teach him – but that was inevitably a losing battle.
They were all happy, the penguins gathered around waiting for the occasional piece of meat which Lord Slime threw at them, when they noticed the box hitting the shores, grunting sounds being made from it.
Lord Slime looked at his team, they all shrugged, and coming down, he asked Big Sir to open the box, which he did and, shortly, emerging from it, tentatively, a strange looking girl, with wild hair, and pointed ears, covered in striped fur, looking like a human tiger. She growled at them, suddenly spied the burgers, and bounded over to the picnic table, sat down, picked up one of the just made burgers, and happily started munching away.
‘So do we offer her the standard package?’ Lord Slime asked the group, to which they all nodded in agreement.
And thus the full roll call of the Justice League Antarctica had come to be with the addition of the wild ‘Tiger-Klaw’. But what lies in store, next, for our fabulous heroes of, albeit frozen, glory?
A Day in the Life of the Justice League International 7:
Their First Adventure
Ted Kord – the Fabulous Blue Beetle – was down in one of the sub-basements of the Justice League Antarctica, of which there were quite a few, with the Penguin King, in one of the tech workshops.
‘How many of these sub-basements are there anyway?’ the Penguin King asked Blue Beetle.
‘Don’t ask,’ he responded. ‘But between you and me, the place is built on an alien battle station they had built for a war against humanity a few years back. We haven’t explored EVERYTHING down there, but suffice to say it goes down a fair way.’
‘Jeepers,’ responded the Penguin King.
‘Well, what do you think of her?’ queried the great inventor to the Penguin King. Is she up to specifications?’
Before them was, like Blue Beetle’s own fabulous Bug, a flying machine which got the JLI around from time to time, was a similar craft, this one instead modelled on a penguin.
‘I’ll call her Pengu,’ responded the Penguin King.
‘Good enough,’ said Ted Kord, and went ‘Bwah har ha. The fabulous Pengu!’
A little later on, Blue Beetle up to date with all the new members, having surveyed the headquarters and noting everything was up to scratch, disappeared in the Bug, leaving the Justice League Antarctica ready for their new roles of protectors of the southern-most continent.
This time it was 3 flashes – all of the main screens of the control panel came alive, and Big Sir who was on duty yelled for the team to come a running.
Shortly Lord Slime, Penguin King, Quantum Queen, Tiger-Klaw, Tomato Man and Lady Chocolate all appeared, and together with Big Sir they looked nervously at the screen.
There, in front of them, hovering over the waters just off of Antarctica, a fleet of alien battle ships, lurking suspiciously. As they watched the ships started moving landwards to Antarctica, landed and aliens soon appeared, busily at work.
‘We have an invasion,’ said Lord Slime.
‘What do we do?’ asked Tomato man.
Lord Slime looked at him – what DID you do when aliens invaded earth.
‘We get in Pengu and go and confront them,’ responded Lord Slime.
‘Gotcha,’ responded Tomato Man.
They descended down into the sub-basement, boarded Pengu, and as the Penguin King took the controls, rose up through a shaft, through an opening panel, and took to the skies. They were ready – their first mission.
* * * * *
‘But why on earth would the Dominion want us to store expensive Thurgian Gold on Earth? It is a pretty crappy place to hide all our earnings.’
‘Don’t ask me,’ responded Captain Janek to his crew member. ‘But that is where they want it hidden. So start digging. I don’t think any earth power has detected us with their technology, so we should be fine.’
And as Captain Janek watched, his team of 7 labourers from 3 ships started the hard work of digging down through the ice into the solid rock below, to build cavities in the earth to store their gold and a whole host of other dominion treasures.
Just then, Pengu appeared in the skies above them, Captain Janek swore, and the aliens took up their weapons and started firing at the ship.
‘Bugger,’ said the Penguin King. ‘They’re firing at us.
‘I can see that,’ responded Lord Slime. He looked at his team – time to choose. ‘Right, Lady Chocolate – we all know just how much chocolate you can spit out. So man one of the side chambers of the ship and we will get in close and you cover them with chocolate. I don’t think we want a war with them just yet.’ He looked at Tomato man, shrugged to himself, and said ‘You may as well join her, Tomato. Cover them – keep them distracted. I will take a flight suit down with Big Sir and Quantum Queen and Tiger-Klaw, and we will see just what they want.’
And so Pengu came around, lowered down near the surface, and as the blasts from the weapon continued slamming into the force shields of the ships, Lady Chocolate and Tomato Man were at the side chamber, locked in tight, windows open, ready to fire.
‘Now!’ yelled the Penguin King, and the two heroes let loose with their powers.
It was a commotion amongst the aliens. Being covered with chocolate is, while always something for a laugh, not that pleasant when covered with ketchup also. Shortly they stopped bothering shooting at the Penguin ship – I mean, why bother. They were hardly aggressors. And Captain Janek ordered the team aboard the command ship.
Pengu watched them, ready to respond to any military attack, when Captain Janek suddenly appeared coming out of the ship, a white flag being raised by himself, shaking it.
‘They want a truce,’ suggested Quantum Queen.
‘I guess so,’ responded Lord Slime. ‘We’ll go down, now. See what they want. Just me, Big Sir and Quantum Queen. The rest stay here, ready, just in case.’
The team left Pengu in their suits, came over to the alien, and Lord Slime, turning on his universal communication device said ‘Uh, welcome to earth. What the hell do you guys want here?’
Captain Janek surveyed him. He didn’t seem a threat – best to deal with them as simply as possible.
‘Ah, we are just sight-seeing. On holiday,’ responded Captain Janek.
‘Right,’ responded Lord Slime. He looked at all the machinery, and the digging they were doing.
‘What’s with all the digging?’ he asked the alien.
‘Uh, mmm.’ Captain Janek thought fast. ‘Samples,’ he responded. ‘We are just digging for samples. Yes, that’s it. We are on a universal scientific exploration and soil collection mission. We just need some earth dirt.’
Lord Slime nodded. ‘Fair enough. Uh, well I’ll be right back.’
Captain Janek smiled as Lord Slime walked back to Pengu, leaving Big Sir and Quantum Queen standing there bemused.
‘They want WHAT?’ said Blue Beetle incredulously.
‘Soil. They are scientists, collecting the stuff.
Booster Gold suddenly walked past on the screen, smiled and waved to Lord Slime and said ‘They’ll need to fill out a permit. Get them to fill out a permit.’
‘A permit?’ asked Lord Slime bemused.
‘Uh, yeh,’ responded Blue Beetle. ‘Get them to fill out a permit. And don’t forget to charge them. And tell them to have a nice day.’
‘Right,’ said Lord Slime, doubting. ‘A permit,’ he said to himself. ‘A permit.’
‘Right,’ said Lord Slime, handing Captain Janek a receipt and the permit slip they had found on the JLI database, for the bar of gold Captain Janek had handed over. ‘And, have a nice day. Earth always welcomes our galactic guests.’
Captain Janek nodded, waved to his team, and as the aliens got back to work with their digging, Lord Slime walked away unbelieving.
‘A freaking permit,’ he said all the way back on their journey home. ‘Give them a freaking permit.’
And Tomato man, digging into a burger he had stored in the fridge nodded, while the other team smiled away at Lord Slime, happy enough the situation had been resolved.
‘I guess that is a day in the life of the Justice League Antarctica,’ Lord Slime thought to himself, as Pengu neared home, ready for descent.
A Day in the Life of the Justice League International 8:
‘Were the heck are we, Scotty?’
Scott Saunders looked outside the chopper window. ‘Can’t tell. The storm is still to fierce.’
‘Wherever we are, we must be way off course. It’s freezing in here now.’
‘Turn up the heating, Sam.’
‘It’s on maximum, Scott.’
The chopper continued flying in the hazy weather but soon, their fuel just about gone, they came down, slowly, found the white ice, and landed the chopper.
‘Ice everywhere?’ said Sam. ‘We must be in the Andes somewhere.’
‘I think we are further south than that. We were flying for hours in that storm.’
Sam nodded at Scott’s words. ‘Then we might be in Antarctica. The old bird has long legs in her still – we could have flown that far off course, I guess.’
‘Right,’ agreed Scott. ‘Well, we’re stuffed. The Radio is out – all that we have is the homing beacon. We’ll have to use that and pray to God someone nearby rescues us. Or this is it,’ said Scott Saunders.
It was 68 days later, and Sam had seemed to pass on from hunger. Scott, though, had a bit of belly before coming on the trip, and while he had as much ice water as he could stomach, his belly had shrunk enormously now from lack of food. They weren’t coming, he knew it now. He was a goner. The final days of Scott Saunders. May he rest in peace.
Big Sir, coming over the hill with the team, spotted what they were after. They had finally noticed a flashing light on the control panel, a tiny one, for a particular rare type of South American emergency homing beacons. So, going out on the ski machines, they traced the beacon and, now, they had found their prey – a helicopter covered with ice.
Lord Slime closed in and they scrubbed at the window of the chopper to see the two figures inside. He tried opening the door, but it was frozen solid. ‘Big Sir. Can you open it?’
Big Sir, the monolith of a man, flexed his huge muscles, grabbed the door of the chopper and, breaking it open, threw the door to the ground. Lord Slime checked the men – one was dead, but the other seemed alive – just.
‘We need to get them back to the compound. Careful, team. One is dead, but the other is still breathing, just.’
‘Tiger-Klaw’ picked up the dead man, put him over her shoulder, and made it back to her buggy. The other man was carefully cradled and brought inside the buggy belonging to Quantum Queen and Penguin King. The Queen quickly attended to him, putting in a saline drip, and covering him with warm towels. ‘He should make it,’ she yelled. ‘Get us home,’ and Penguin King took off.
5 days later Scott could speak a little. He was feeling a little better, albeit still exhausted and numb all over, but better. The body of his friend, Sam, was down below, in a metal coffin which the team had a supply of, ready to ship back to wherever they had come from. Scott shared with them that they were a team of photographers working for National Geographic amongst other nature magazines, freelance workers, and that they had been blown off course by a severe and unexpected storm.
‘I’m sorry we couldn’t save your friend,’ said Lord Slime.
‘You did your best,’ responded Scott.
Scott’s camera equipment was recovered and, before he was shipped back to the States in Pengu, he took a load of photos of the brave JLA team. It was fun and all but, a few months later, when the latest issue of ‘Wild Nature’ was delivered to them, there they were on the cover, the now famous ‘Justice League Antarctica.’
‘We’re heroes,’ said Big Sir.
‘Well what do you know,’ responded Lord Slime.
A Day in the Life of the Justice League International 9:
Raining Cats and Dogs
ZingZongZoom pressed the button on his animal transmogrification device, looking at all the millions of gorillas, monkeys, apes, and other anthropoids he had collected and been breeding for the last decade. With luck, they would be human shortly – with luck.
But ZingZongZoom, whose hidden headquarters, was in the heart of Antarctica, away from prying eyes, slipped suddenly, his arm nudging one of the key switches and, instead of humans being the subject for the creatures to transmogrify to, it was suddenly altered to dogs and cats.
‘Oh, flubbergust,’ he said, and watched as the millions of holding chambers came alive and, as the transmogrification rays started having their effect, the creatures were quickly transmogrified into – you guessed it – a whole host of dogs and cats.
‘Bugger,’ said ZingZongZoom to himself, knowing that the process was irreversible. ‘Now how am I going to feed this host?’
* * * * *
Big Sir was stationed at the control panel, the first to be alerted to the alarm. As the screen zeroed in, Big Sir spied a pussy cat near their JLA headquarters. And then, suddenly, not one, but two and then three and then four and then, thousands. And dogs too.
‘Guys, we have trouble,’ yelled out Big Sir, as the team came running.
‘Rrow,’ said Tiger-Klaw. ‘Family.’
Lord Slime looked at the screen – thousands - if not tens of thousands of dogs and cats. ‘Now where the heck have they come from?’ he asked the team.
Later that day, surrounded by about one million dogs and cats, they had just inspected a few of them. ‘They have been transmogrified,’ said Penguin King confidently. ‘They were probably apes of some kind beforehand.’
‘But where have they come from?’ asked Lord Slime. The Penguin King just shrugged.
‘Do we have any other residents of Antarctica nearby?’ Quantum Queen asked.
‘There are some research stations,’ said Lord Slime. ‘There is rumour, though, that a wacky professor is down here, nearby somewhere. Blue Beetle mentioned him.
‘Then we ask him,’ said Quantum Queen.
‘Gotcha,’ replied Lord Slime.
Well, the team were lucky. They found the professors hideout, dropped in uninvited, and found the millions of chambers. ‘This is obviously were he transmogrified them,’ said Lord Slime.
‘What next?’ asked Tomato Man.
‘We find him. He must be here somewhere. And there will be some explaining to do.’
They found ZingZongZoom a little while later, with some prying into various chambers around the complex, and Lord Slime gave him this ultimatum.
‘Either turn them back to apes and set them free, or you have a lot of pet food to provide us with.’
ZingZongZoom got out his cheque book, wrote a cheque for Ten Million Dollars and said ‘Is that enough for the pet food?’
‘Jeepers,’ said Penguin King, and Tiger-Klaw, cuddling a kitty, smiled.
Later that afternoon, the US Navy promising to send a portion of their fleet to transport the cats and dogs back to US soil and to find them homes, Lord Slime was relieved. Yet not as much as Tiger-Klaw who, now, had a few feline friends making their new home the JLA headquarters.
‘Raining cats and dogs indeed,’ said Lord Slime, and Tiger-Klaw just continued purring.
A Day in the Life of the Justice League International 10:
Tomato Man goes Berserk
It was a quiet day in Justice League Antarctica headquarters. It was Lord Slimes turn on the control panel roster, and he was sitting there, staring at the screen, hoping something would come up. Quantum Queen, Tiger-Klaw and Lady Chocolate were in the ladies dormitory, chatting away about life, and boys and boots – well at least Quantum Queen and Lady Chocolate were – Tiger-Klaw was mostly purring contentedly. Big Sir was in the kitchen, eating Ice Cream with lots of chocolate syrup and Penguin King was down in one of the sub-basements, tinkering away at their flying craft ‘Pengu’, happily off in his own little world.
Everything seemed happy – everything seemed right – in the world of the Justice League Antarctica, except for one particular member.
Lord Slime was bored, almost fancied videophoning Blue Beetle just to pass the time, when he suddenly heard a familiar spraying sound and Tomato Men yelling out. Lord Slime turned and there was Tomato Man, emerging from the men’s dormitory, spraying his tomato stuff absolutely everywhere.
Lord Slime sprang to action, rushed over, and yelled ‘Turn it off. You’ll have the place flooded.’
‘I bloody can’t!’ yelled Tomato man in response. ‘It won’t stop! Help!’
Lord Slime hit his emergency beacon on his chest to summon the rest of the team and, soon enough, a very confused Justice League Antarctica was watching a helpless Tomato Man spraying his ketchup all over the entire JLA control room.
‘It must be his hormones playing up,’ suggested Penguin King.
‘Or he must have been looking at some pictures of ripe tomatoes, the naughty boy,’ suggested Quantum Queen, which got a snigger from most of the JLA.
‘What do we do?’ asked Lady Chocolate.
‘Wait him out,’ responded Lord Slime. ‘He must run out of the stuff eventually.’
Well, they waited and waited and waited and waited, and seconds turned to minutes, and minutes turned to hours. The team mostly got back to their own thing, with Big Sir monitoring the situation when, finally, around tea time that evening, Tomato Man started slowing down, bit by bit, until, finally, the ketchup stopped spraying.
The team assembled and looked at all the mess.
Penguin King spoke up. ‘I hope you’re not going to ask me to clean up all that mess. It will take forever.’
Lord Slime kicked the mop and bucket in Penguin King’s direction and said ‘Well somebody has to do it. Besides, it’s your turn on the roster.’
‘Grumble, grumble, flubbing roster, grumble, grumble,’ moaned Penguin King.
‘Don’t worry,’ said Quantum Queen, in a charitable mood. ‘I’ll help you out Pengy.’
In the emergency ward Lady Chocolate had been examining Tomato Man who seemed utterly exhausted. His day long effort had taken it all out of him.
‘It was probably just a reaction to something,’ she said, patting Tomato Man on the head. No telling when it could happen again, though.’
Lord Slime nodded thoughtfully. ‘Well, you’re out of action for a while, Tomato Head. You get your rest, and get better.’ Tomato Man valiantly smiled, and dutifully fell asleep.
Coming back into the main chamber, Lord Slime looked at all the ketchup which the team was currently mopping up. ‘At least we won’t run out of sauce any time soon,’ he sarcastically thought to himself, as he returned to his control panel duties.
A Day in the Life of the Justice League International 11:
Lord Slime was running the Bingo for a very, very, very bored Justice League Antarctica. ‘There is nothing to do,’ moaned Lady Chocolate all week. ‘We take our turn sitting at the control panel to watch a blank screen. ‘I’m bored.’
‘How about a game of Bingo,’ suggested Lord Slime, and they all, so completely bored that even Bingo sounded positively joyful in comparison, nodded agreement.
’44 at your door,’ said Lord Slime.
‘Who’s at my door?’ asked Big Sir.
’36 pick up sticks,’ said Lord Slime.
‘Gotta love those sticks,’ said Tomato Man.
’27 Time for heaven,’ said Lord Slime.
‘Much more preferable to this dump I would imagine,’ suggested Lady Chocolate.
’33 time to pee,’ said Lord Slime.
‘I think I need the toilet,’ said Big Sir, to a nervous looking Penguin King sitting next to him.
‘Legs 11,’ said Lord Slime, and suddenly all 6 other Justice League Antarcticers yelled ‘Bingo.’
‘Good grief,’ said Lord Slime. ‘I’ll have to check your cards.’
Lady Chocolate and Tomato man were both lying. Extreme boredom was their excuse.
Big Sir had crossed out every number on the card anyway.
Penguin King and Tiger-Klaw had both missed a number each and inadvertently yelled Bingo mistakenly, which left Quantum Queen.
However, Lord Slime, on careful investigation of the card, was quite sure Quantum Queen, with her powers, had altered the molecular state of the card, and declared the Bingo null and void to everyone’s disappointment.
‘I’m bored,’ said Quantum Queen a few hours later.
‘How about Monopoly?’ suggested Lord Slime.
‘Good grief,’ replied the Queen of the Quantum Stream.
A Day in the Life of the Justice League International 12:
From Bad to Worse
It was a cold Sunday morning; Tomato Man was outside, all rugged up, sitting on one of the chairs he had placed outside to gaze out at the nothing from time to time, simply to escape the regular humdrum of it all.
He heard a noise, a buzzing noise and, shortly spied one of the semi-regular flights which a local research station relied on for transporting in and out of the station. He thought nothing of it until he noticed, falling from the sky, from the vicinity of were the plane had just been, a blip of white cloudy looking stuff, falling down to earth.
‘They must have had a bunch of ice which just dislodged,’ he thought to himself, and didn’t give it a second thought.
Yet, as he sat there, over a few hundred yards away were the ice landed, there seemed to be a splodge of white which – as bizarre as it sounds – was growing. Thinking he may as well go and check it out he stood, shook his cold hands, and started on the short trek.
As he neared things looked weird – it was snow – but it was growing snow. Growing constantly. He couldn’t see any other object around it or in it, but just a pile of snow which was constantly growing. ‘Weird,’ he thought to himself. ‘This could be bad. I had better inform the team.’
He returned to the JLA headquarters, came inside, pushed the beacon button and, shortly, the Justice League Antarctica assembled in the control room.
‘What’s the story?’ Lord Slime asked Tomato man.
‘You had better come and look,’ said Tomato Man. Its outside. It looks bad.’
As they emerged from the JLA headquarters, Tomato Man was about to point, but suddenly realized he really didn’t need to – not now. The bunch of ice had grown from a few meters in height, now, to about a kilometre, and it had bulged out as well. ‘Oh, this is much worse now,’ said Tomato Man. ‘Much worse.’
‘Jeepers,’ said Penguin King.
‘We’re in trouble,’ said Big Sir.
Lord Slime kept cool. He turned to Quantum Queen. ‘Do you think you can handle this?’
She nodded. Pointing her arm, thinking her thoughts and saying ‘Lightstream’, suddenly, emanating from her outstretched arms, a bolt of light ray.
She focused it on the monolith and a struggle began. It kept on growing for a while but, as she increased the intensity of her ray, she started matching its growth and, soon, it began shrinking.
It took a while, but 20 minutes later, they were inspecting the heart of were it had grown from, and everything was watery, but there was no more growth.
Tomato man spoke up. ‘Something fell from the research plane. The one the local folk use.’
‘Right,’ said Lord Slime. ‘Maybe some molecular experiments with ice expansion. Something like that. A sample they may have used.’
‘Sounds interesting,’ said Penguin King. ‘But how would you know.’
‘I have chatted with them about their work. They mentioned similar ideas. We’ll have to have a chat with them and let them know to be more careful in the future.’
4 days later Lord Slime indeed confirmed that the research station had been experimenting with rapid ice expansion. The stuff must have gotten attached to the feet of one of the researchers, and fallen from the plane, expanding quickly as it fell, so they said to him. They promised they would be a lot more careful in the future, assuring Lord Slime it would be a one of. They were just lucky that Quantum Queen had been on hand, otherwise Antarctica could be a looming monolith of expanded ice right now.
Penguin King wanted to go off and look at the research, as he was a student of science, so Lord Slime arranged for Pengy to be the JLA representative on site for security concerns – they felt that was now justified, which was not objected to by the scientists.
‘At least we won’t run out of ice,’ said Tomato Man to Lord Slime later that week.
‘I am getting used to having an oversupply of stuff like that,’ responded Lord Slime, and the two of them laughed for a while at the irony of the situation.
A Day in the Life of the Justice League International 13
been wondering,' said Blue Beetle. 'If he is an Anti-Hero, then
perhaps he is opposed to heroes?'
'Outstanding logic Ted,' replied Black Canary, monitoring the JLI Control station.
'I mean, Lord Slime. Classic Anti-Hero in all traits. Yet he comes through in the end as a good guy. Perhaps its a cunning plan.'
'To rule the world, huh,' suggested Booster Gold.
Ted turned to him. 'From Antarctica?'
Deep in Antarctic. Or, at the coastline, actually...
'Right, Big Sir. Move the crane forward just a little.' Big sir faithfully responded to Lord Slime's request, and moved the large machine into place, lowered it and, as it connected to its powerbase, Lord Slime smiled.
'Are you sure this is a good idea?' asked the Penguin King.'
'Look. We've been stuck here with no action for 3 years now. So when I say 'We take over the world, we take over the world. Kapiche.'
'Whatever,' responded the Penguin King, looking anxiously at the now spinning machine.
The rest of the Justice League Antarctica watched on as Lord Slime hit a button on the control panel, and the dome overhead gradually opened up.
'Is it ready?' asked Tomato Man.
Lord Slime hit a button. Suddenly a jolt of blue laser stuff surged upwards at an incredible pace. It shot right up, hit the moon far above, which suddenly froze in orbit.'
'They'll never trace the source,' said Lord Slime. 'Its special slime. Top Secret stuff.'
'You Hope,' said Penguin King.
'Now we wait,' said Lord Slime.
half a day later the world was in turmoil. The moon had frozen in its orbits, and the oceans were not working properly. The UN contacted JLI Headquarters, and the Team Assembled.
'What do we do?' asked Black Canary to Martian Manhunter.
'Commies,' said Guy. 'New tactics to retake russia and the world.
'Darkseid, I would say,' said Mr Miracle.
'Maxwell Lord,' suggested Ted. 'He's still in hiding out west, and still holds a grudge.'
'Max has changed since coming back, Ted,' said the Manhunter. 'Like you. Resurrection Man's final act of grace in his final life poured humility into you all.'
Booster smiled. 'Ted used his up last week.'
'Hey, forming the Blue Beetle Corps is not easy. I could have been really proud when the 3 of us got together and united.'
'Daniel Garrett, Ted Kord and Jamie Reyes. The Blue Beetle Corps. Unbelievable,' said Booster.
'As original as Hal Jordan's underwear,' said Guy.
'At least he changes his, Guy,' said Canary. 'Poooh. I think you need a shower too.'
'We have a new member as well. When the three of us got together the Scarab separated into 7 parts, and two of them entered me and Daniel. 4 disappeared, but a chick showed up in San Jose the other day.'
'Who?' asked Black Canary, fascinated.
'Actually, quite a famous person. Weird, but it must be the wisdom of the Scarab. The actress. Sandra. Sandra Bullock. She was sensational as well. Dressed like Dove for the most part. Saying she had a mission in her head, and that the Scarab was starting to fulfill its new purpose.'
'Which is?' queried Guy suspiciously.
'It's conneccted to the Guardians,' said Ted. 'And Oa. And the Darkstars are involved as well.'
'Fascinating,' said Martian. 'Anyway, we have an agenda people.'
Oberon appeared. 'They've made demands at last. 5 billion US dollars, and a years supply of White Chocolate oreos.'
They all looked at Oberon.
'Hey,' said Guy. 'Doesn't Lord Slime like those bikkies?'
4 hours later, Lord Slime having been delivered to Belle Reeve prison for psyhiatric analysis, the claim that it was 'Just a bit of fun,' was not going down well with Jonn.
'He's still a punk' said Batman. 'But he's no real threat. I sensed no real anger or malevolence in him.'
'He needs reforming,' said Superman.
'And you need to appoint a new guarding for Antarctica.'
Eyes turned to Ted Kord.
'Your still unofficial, Ted,' said Superman.
'Have fun, buddy,' said Booster Gold.
'Send us a postcard,' said Guy.
'We'll miss you,' said Ice.
Blue Beetle was not impressed. He would remember to reserve his Antihero questions for another time.
A Day in the Life of the Justice League International 14
Beetle - is wise,' said Blue Beetle dramatically, sitting at the
control deck of Justice League Antarctica HQ.
Tomato man was liberally applying ketchup to a hot dog, and turned to the Uncaped Blue Wonder.
'You don't even have a cape? How wise can you be? Even Booster Gold has a cape.'
'Capes!!! Daniel Garrett would turn in his grave if I had a cape.'
'Wasn't he resurrected?' asked Tomato man.
'Exactly,' said Ted. 'Now as I was saying, Beetles are wise. Take the Dung Beetle for example.'
'Yeh, it collects a lot of crap,' smirked Tomato man.
'Exactly. And when you have a skyscraper full of crap, like Kord Industries has overflowing, you will see how wise and prudent beetles are.'
Penguin King spoke up. 'Penguin's are wiser.'
Beetle turned to him. 'How so?'
'We take a lot of crap,' said the midget. 'Oberon time and time again tells me his tales. You know once, Big Barda came in......'
Yet Blue drifted off in his thoughts, mostly unconcerned about the general waffle of the Penguin King.
'Lord Slime collects a lot of crap,' said Quantum Queen, engaged in a game of chess with Lady Chocolate.
'He eats a lot of crap too,' said Tomato man,' hooking into his 7th hot dog for the day.
'Look who's talking,' replied Quantum Queen.
'Hah. That's rich. The queen of sushi. We import so much of the stuff, I wonder how the budget can afford it. We aren't made of money, you know.'
'Tell that to Big Sir. I mean, you may devour a dozen hot dogs a day, but he eats, like 50 frozen pizzas every evening. And I am not sure if he even cooks them.'
'He's a big lad,' said Blue Beetle. 'Needs a lot of crap.'
'So I guess that makes Big Sir the wisest of the Justice League Antarctica,' said Lady Chocolate.
Silence. Mild sniggers from various and sundry.
'Yep,' said Ted. 'But, like I was saying. Beetles are wise.'
Just then Big Sir came in. Guilty faces looked at him.
'No More pizza,' said Big Sir. 'What do I eat?'
'Perhaps he could try some Hot Dogs,' said Quantum Queen.
'Or Sushi,' replied Tomato Man.
'Don't touch my bloody chocolate,' said Lady Chocolate.
Blue Beetle sighed, and looked at Penuguin King who was still rambling on about Big Barda and an encounter with Darkseid.
'Try Lord Slime's Oreos,' said Beetle. 'He won't be with us for a while.'
And Big Sir smiled, and went off in hunt of his dinner.
And another day passed in the life of the Justice League International, Antarctican Division.
A Day in the Life of the Justice League International 15
The Thing from Beyond,' said Blue Beetle.
'He looks nasty,' said Penguin King.
'Fortunately Guy Gardner is not here,' said Blue Beetle.
'Huh?' queried Penguin King.
'They have history. Mmm. This could be tough. He looks as if he is digging a hole.'
'Maybe something is buried there.'
'In Antarctice?' queried Blue Beetle.
'Stranger things have happened,' responded the Penguin King.
The Thing from Beyond continued digging and soon, reaching down, brought up a large metal chest.
'Treasure,' said Penguin King.
The Thing from Beyond opened the chest, took out an amulet and bellowed 'AT LAST!!!! VENGEANCE IS MINE!!!! HA HA HA HARR HARR HARR HA HA HARRRGGGH. HA.'
'This could be trouble,' said Penguin King.
'League Assemble,' said Blue Beetle over the intercom. He turned to the Penguin King. 'I've always wanted to say that.'
As the Bug hovered skywards from the Thing From Beyond, they watched nervously from their secure position.
'He's melting the ice,' said Tomato Man. 'And very quickly.'
'The amulet around his neck is glowing brightly,' said Lady Chocolate. 'It must be the source of the power.'
'What do we do?' asked Penguin King.
'We see what he wants,' said Blue Beetle.
As they descended on hover boards, they approached the Thing from behind.
'Looks tiring,' said Blue Beetle.
Ktrrogarrx turned and snarled. 'A LEAGUER!! WONDERFUL!! VENGEANCE!!!'And he pointed his arms at the group, and a bolt of energy burst towards them, the group just managing to avoid it, but Quantum Queen's board was hit, and she tumbled down to the ice.
Blue Beetle thought quickly.
'Tomato Man. Ketchup at his feet. Now. Get to work,' and Tomato man swerved away.
'Penguin King. Keep him distracted.
'How?' asked PK anxiously.
'I don't know. Tell him a joke or something.
'Jeepers,' replied the Penguin King.
'Lady Chocolate. I need a big bloody piece of chocolate. Get to work.'
'And do what with it?'
'Just get it done. Huge. Its a big job.'
Ktrrogarrx had returned to melting the ice, amused somewhat by the wisecracking Penguin King, while Tomato Man was pouring endless supplies of Ketchup at his feet.
'Is that chocolate ready?' yelled Blue Beetle.
A huge piece of chocolate was levitating in front of Lady chocolate.
'What do you want me to do with it?' she yelled.
'Big Sir. Take the chocolate.'
'Uh?' responded Big Sir.
'And shove it in the thing's mouth.
Big Sir looked confused but, doing as requested, grabbed the enormous chocolate bar, and ducked up to the mouth of Ktrogarrx and plunged it into his mouth.
Ktrogarrx slowed what he was doing, bit into the chocolate, and then sat down, into the ketchup, eating his enormous chokkie bar.
'Let's hope this works,' said Blue Beetle. He took out his BB gun, set it to Ice Cold Air Blast mode and, the Thing from Beyond, sitting eating a chocolate bar, shot several blasts at the ketchup were Ktrrogarrxwas sitting. In no time it had frozen solid.
'Keep telling those jokes,' yelled Blue Beetle to Penguin King.
'Tiger Klaw. You have the quickest reflexes. If Quantum Queen can cut through that amulet, can you grab it?'
'I'll try,' responded Tiger Klaw.
Quantum Queen had rejoined them, and nodded at Blue Beetle's suggestion.
'Try not to annoy him,' he said. Quautum Queen just grinned.
Shortly her light powers had cut through the amulet chain, and Tiger-Klaw snuck in, grabbed it, and hovered back to the group.
'It's not too heavy. Now what?'
'He's too big for us to handle. Big Blue is usually very busy, but Captain Whitebread said to call him in a Jam. He can take the thing to Belle Reeve. Let them handle him,' said Blue Beetle.
Later on, when the Thing from Beyond had been taken away by the Illustrious Captain Marvel, they were all in the control room, having pizza.
'Another day, another dollar,' said the Penguin King.
'Beats making chocolate for a living,' said Lady Chocolate.
'I'm drained. I need another hot dog,' said Tomato Man.
'The endless work of Just us Leaguers,' finished Blue Beetle.
And as they hooked into the pizzas, fries and dogs, another fine evening passed in Antarctica, yet another day in the most infamous Justice League Squad of them all.
A Day in the Life of the Justice League International 16
raining,' said Lady Chocolate.
'It does that in England,' said Black Canary disinterested.
'Oh,' said Lady Chocolate, and came away from the window and sat down next to Black Canary at the 'Hull Justice League England' control panel.
'I'm enjoying these sausages the Beefeater brought around,' said Tomato Man.
'Wonderful,' said Black Canary, and picked up an issue of Vogue. 'Ooh. Posh Spice special,' she said, and was lost in the issue for a while.
'I'm bored,' said Lady Chocolate.
'Nothing ever happens in England,' said the Penguin King. 'We have been on special duties here for one month, and nothing. Not one situation.'
'Nothing since Superman lost his flight power,' said Quantum Queen. 'He's been walking everywhere to fight crime.'
'He's downstairs at the moment with the Martian. They are going through various Kryptonite crystals recovered from their recent voyge to the remnants of Krypton. Looking for a cure for Big Blue,' said Tiger-Klaw.
'Any luck so far?' asked Lady Chocolate.
'Nada,' replied Tiger-Klaw. 'But they found some strange purple Kryptonite which has turned Superman blue. He's quite worried about it as well.'
'No super strength or speed, either,' said Booster Gold. 'We are now on level ground. Metropolis watch out for your new superhero.'
'You've been bragging that forever,' said Black Canary, looking up from her magazine.
'Yep,' interjected Blue Beetle from his chess game with Guy Gardner. 'He's never lived up to much of the claim either.'
'Booster Gold? A hero?' said Guy Gardner. 'Even Gnort is more threatening.'
'Batmite is more threatening,' sniggered Black Canary.
'Be that as it may,' said Booster, not taken back, 'Metropolis is in for some good times at last. Whenever that caped white knight is around and powered up, it's only ever but trouble for Metropolis.'
'As opposed to Booster Gold - rescuer of cats up trees,' sniggered Black Canary.
'Hey, there's a lot of trees in Metropolis,' defended Booster Gold about his recent spate of Cat Rescuing.
'I'm bored,' said Lady Chocolate.
'Nothing ever happens in England,' finished the Penguin King.
Meanwhile, in downtown Hull, a dark hooded figure emerged from a warehouse.
'At last. They shall taste my revenge,' he said, and revealed himself. A man, dressed as a costumed cat. 'At last they shall taste the wrath of the most diabolical pussy of all. CATMAN. Come my pussies,' he said, and pushed a remote control button. The large door to the warehouse started opening, and suddenly half a dozen gigantic pussy cats, with armour, came miaowing out. Catman jumped on the back of one of them. 'Beware my wrath, world!' yelled Catman, and they were away.
'I'm bored,' said Lady Chocolate again.
Suddenly the emergency light started flashing on the control deck.
Blue Beetle hit the Red Button and the JLI satellite focused its cameras in on a situation on the Hull Docks.
'Giant cats,' said Blue Beetle.
'Ravaging everything,' said a concerned Booster Gold.
'All that training,' sniggered Black Canary. 'About to come in useful, huh Booster.' and the room started laughing.
'Shaddup,' said Booster Gold embarassed.
Shortly the team were at the docks,' and the giant cats were threatning everyone, with Catman raising his hands in the air, yelling boastful words of triumph.
Ted landed the Bug, and the team came out, looking at all the chaos.
'They look like tough pussies,' said Guy Gardner. 'Are you sure you can handle them, Booster?'
'Shaddup,' said Booster.
'Little pussies might scratch you,' smiled Black Canary.
Booster just glared at her.
'I guess its up to you,' said Ted to Michael.
'Geeze, wonderful,' said Booster, and approached the costumed super villain as the team watched on.
'Yo, bozo!' yelled Booster at the Catman.
'Ah, the Justice League. Beware the wrath of Catman!' responded the super villain.
'Catman?' said Black Canary bewildered.
'Had to happen eventually,' said Blue Beetle.
'Look, Catman, Hull has strict laws about,' he paused, looking at the giant cats. 'Domestic felines,' he finished.
'Domestic felines?' queried Guy Gardner.
'Aw, they are just a bunch of pussy cats,' said Blue Beetle.
'Little pussies,' said Black Canary.
Booster Gold was stroking his chin, thinking thoughtfully.
'A year's supply of milk. For your pussies,' said Booster. 'We don't want to upset you, Catman. So how about a year's supply of milk. Kord industries can provide.'
'We can?' said Blue Beetle to himself.
'And a million pounds of dried cat food,' continued Booster. 'Kord will be happy to supply you with an ongoing supply.'
'Wonderful,' said Ted.
Catman seemed to be considering those words. 'I need cat litter. Quite a lot of it, actually.'
'Consider it yours,' replied Booster Gold.
Catman jumped down from his giant pussy and came up to Booster Gold. 'I'm Catman. Thanks for the stuff. Come on pussie,' and he whistled, and as he walked off, the giant cats started purring. Following right behind him.'
Later on, back at the control deck.
'Giant Pussy cats?' queried Superman.
'Booster handled them,' said Blue Beetle.
'He's good at handling pussies,' said Black Canary.
'Deals with them all the time,' smiled Guy Gardner.
Superman patted Booster Gold on the back. 'Good work, Booster. Metropolis has favourite animal lover in you.'
'Especially of worried pussy cats,' sniggered Black Canary,' and as the JLI started laughing, all Booster Gold would say was 'Shaddup'.
A Day in the Life of the Justice League International 17
Booster to the Rescue
It was another rainy day in Hull. All week, since Catman's debut, it had done nothing but rain. The team were bored.
'I'm bored,' said Lady Chocolate.
Slime is coming out on probation next week,' said Penguin King.
Lady Chocolate looked at him. 'Boring,' she replied.
'Superman is back to his regular colour. Still no superpowers, but at least he looks normal,' said Tiger-Klaw.
Lady Chocolate looked at her. 'Boring,' she replied again.
'Beefeater and I are entering the national Hot Dog eating championships,' quipped Tomato Man.
Lady Chocolate looked at her with a stare.
'I know. Boring,' replied Tomato Man.
Just then Black Canary, Blue Beetle, Guy Gardner and Booster Gold wandered in, with Fire and Ice following.
'Hey Quantum Queen,' said Ted to Lee Kim. 'I know that Chinese men eat a lot of dog. But do they eat a lot of pussy too?'
'Ted,' that's disgusting, replied Quantum Queen.
'Shaddup,' said Booster Gold, knowing who the joke was subtley directed at.
'Hey, those Russians are pretty tough, aren't they?' said Blue Beetle to Guy Gardner.
'Nah,' responded Guy. 'They are just a bunch of 'PUSSIES'.
'Shaddup,' said Booster Gold again.
'That Catman looks pretty tough, doesn't he,' said Blue Beetle to Black Canary.
'Nah. He's just a big ole pussy cat,' replied Black Canary, sniggering.
'Shaddup,' said Booster, who went over to sit down next to Big Sir.
'Hey, Penguin King. Who was that you said you fancied the other day? In her purple costume?' asked Blu Beetle.
'Oh, Catwoman,' sighed the Penguin King.
Eyes looked at Booster.
'I'll get you back Theodore Kord,' said an annoyed Booster Gold.
'Bwah ha haah,' grinned the Amazing Blue Beetle.
Booster, knowing what was likely coming the rest of the afternoon, stood up and said, 'I think I'll go down to the basement and loo in on Jonn and Superman.
'Be careful,' said BB. 'They might have some stray cats down there.'
'Bwah,' said Booster, and disappeared.
A while later, the team were sitting around, chatting mildly, doing there thing, when suddenly the entire building started shuddering and the roof above them was ripped off. There, above them, was hovering 'Atomax', and old adversary of the Justice League, with one hand pointed towards the roof, levitating it in the air.
'Not him,' muttered Black Canary. 'I hate him.'
Suddenly Atomax pointed his other hand towards them, and around them formed an invincible barrier of air molecules, all suddenly compressed together, and they were lifted up in the air, struggling to get free.
'My my,' said Atomax. 'No Superman to rescue you now.'
Down below Superman and Booster appeared, and Atomax spied Superman.
'He's powerless at the moment, isn't he,' said Atomax out loud,' and flinging the roof of the Justice League headquarters to the streets below, focused his now free hand on Superman, who was brought up, bundled tight alongside the rest of the JLI.
'Revenge is so sweet,' said Atomax.
'We're stuffed,' said Penguin King.
'Fudge for sure,' said Lady Chocolate.
'Worse than Ketchup. Tomato soup,' said Tomato Man.
Down below Booster thought quickly, and rushed down to the basement. 'Hey buddy,' he said, and opened a glass door. There it was. The Booster Gold armour. He needed it now, like never before.
'I think killing you all is too easy,' said Atomax.
'That's a relief,' said Blue Beetle.
'I will turn your molecules into chicken soup instead,' boasted Atomax.
'Oh, wonderful,' said Blue Beetle.
'This is not a laughing matter,' said Superman to Blue Beetle. He focused on Atomax. 'Atomax. Can we negotiate?'
'Negotiate on this,' said Atomax, and instantly Superman grew breasts.'
The team chuckled, while Supes was quite embarassed.
'Hey Buster,' said a voice. 'Moleculize this,' and suddenly a bolt of energy came from Booster Gold's weapons and hit Atomax in the side, forcing him to drop the JLI to the ground.
Blue Beetle recovered quickly and said 'What do we do?'
'Nothing,' said Superman, hiding his breasts. 'This is Booster's fight.'
'Puny Booster Gold. Threatener of stray pussy cats,' said Atomax.
'Enough with the jokes already,' said Booster Gold, and dodged a bolt of energy from Atomax.
'You are apparently the weakest link in the Justice League,' said Atomax.
'That may be so,' said Booster. 'But I can do this,' and suddenly Booster disappeared.
'Where has he gone,' said Atomax.
Suddenly Booster reappeared has he clambered into Atomax side on, and they dropped to the ground.
'Grab his arms,' Booster yelled to the team, and Superman and Big Sir responded instantly.
As they stood over the super villain, now unable to focus his energy bolts, Black Canary appeared, coming back from the basement, with a collar. She quickly strapped it around Atomax's neck,' and his bolts of energy stopped.
'Meta-gene negator,' said Black Canary to the team, and shrugged.
'I didn't know we had those,' said Blue Beetle.
'There's a lot you don't know,' said Booster Gold.
'Belle Reeve,' said Superman. 'They are the specialists for hosting this type. Can you take him in the Bug Ted?'
'Will do Big Blue,' said Blue Beetle saluting Superman, and Atomax was taken away. Right before they left the room, Atomax turned to Booster Gold. 'I will have my revenge on you one day, Booster Gold.'
'Bite me Pussy Cat,' responded Booster Gold, and they led him away.
'I suppose even cat handlers have their day of glory,' said Blue Beetle to the group.
Everyone smiled, including Superman, now wearing one of Black Canary's bras under his costume. Booster said nothing.
'The RSPCA might even be interested,' said Blue Beetle. Booster still did not respond.
'But I'm sure a circus is his natural habitat,' finished Blue Beetle.
Booster Gold finally took the bait. 'Cat's occasionally eat beetles, don't they Ted?'
'Shaddup,' said Blue Beetle, as the team laughed, and another afternoons jibing continued in a Day in the Life of the Justice League International.
Day in the Life of the Justice League International 18
Return of the Hero Group - Part One
lower Pluxa. I hate going to Lower pluxa,' said Blue
'You've never been to Lower Pluxa,' responded Booster Gold.
'Yeh. But the Global Guardians rag on about it all the bloody time,' responded Blue Beetle.
'Ted. Your language,' said Dr Light.
'We are going off to see the Hero Group,' said Booster Gold. 'So compose yourself.'
As the Bug flew along, leaving Hull, headed towards Lower Pluxa in the middle east, Big Sir and the Penguin King at the control deck, Blue Beetle was in an animated mood.
'The Hero Group. What kind of idiot called them the Hero Group?'
'Show some respect, Ted. They are the Champions of the Middle East. They have defended that part of the world from all sorts of terrors. Especially against 'Jihad' which has threatened the middle east time and time again. Anyway, it was President Fortesq of Lower Pluxa who claims the glory for assembling the Hero Group. Learned his lesson on pride though.'
'How so?' asked Blue Beetle.
'Got his butt kicked in the boxing ring by General Harjavti of Bialya. Bialya has had the upper hand over Lower Pluxa ever since. Pardon the pun.'
Blue Beetle nodded.
Jihad was an extremist terrorist group, under the machinations of 'Imam Abdul Bizarr', dedicated to purging the world of all its infidels.
'The Hero Group. Sounds like a B Grade Conglomerate too me,' said Blue Beetle grinning.
'Ted. Watch it,' said Booster Gold.
The Bug reached the borders of Lower Pluxa, and soon they landed near a military complex in the south of the small nation.
The Hero group greeted them.
'I am Evolvo. Leader of the Here group,' said Evolvo, and extended his hand to shake Blue Beetle's.'
Instantly Ted felt like he was reverting to a primitive form of beetle, but it reversed back after a concerned look on Evolvo's face.
'Sorry about that,' said Evolvo.
'Don't sweat it,' responded Ted, who had recovered.
Particle Man appeared.
'Life's a party,' said the hero, dressed in a body suit of all white, with black asterisks representing particles, presumably, all over it.
'Your the funny guy, right?' queried Blue Beetle.
'What do you call the Blue Beetle in England?' asked the Particle Man.
'What?' asked Ted.
'The Fifth Beatle,' replied Particle Man, and started grinning madly.
'And pretty bad jokes at that by the looks of it,' said the Blue Beetle.
'This is Good Time,' said Evolvo to Booster Gold, and a lady, dressed in Scarlett today, in a long flowing and cheekily revealing red dress smiled and patted her eyes at Booster, who was suddenly in love.
'You can meet the rest of us later,' said Evolvo. 'For now, to the control room to analyze ths latest move from Jihad.'
'Sure,' said Booster, who was flirting with Good Time.
'Whatever you want,' said Blue Beetle, who was cracking jokes with Particle Man.
Evolvo shook his head in frustration, and Penguin King came forward.
'I'm Penguin King. And this is Big Sir and Dr Light. Don't worry about the other two. They are just tagging along for kicks,' said the Penguin King,' shaking his head also at Blue and Gold.
Inside the Control Room, Booster Gold and Good Time had exchanged phone numbers, and were starting to already talk family. She seemed so very comforting. Blue Beetle had found his comedic soulmate, and was exhausting a lifetime of bad jokes with Particle Man, and really he had a few to get through.
'What is the threat?' asked Dr Light. 'Apparently I can be of great help?'
'Apparently,' said Evolvo, the rest of the Hero Group having come into the room. 'Apparently they have a device, somewhere south of Bialya in the disputed territories, which can divert solar energy from the sun away from its target. That is the information that has filtered through to us from our monitorings.'
'You think Lower Pluxa will be threatened?' queried Dr Light.
'That is our biggest fear,' said Wrapper, whose power was to make coils of wrapping plastic shoot forth from his hands.
'Naturally, Bialya deny all involement with Jihad, who we suspect is behind the newest threat. But the disputed territories are no long contended for by any other nation, and Bialya has been free to take control for the last half a dozen years. We are sure they were working with Jihad,' said the feminine Heroine Compass.
'But you have no proof, right,' said the Penguin King.
'Nothing as of yet,' said Desensitizer. 'It has always been tricky pinning anything down on Harjavti.'
'He has long been a problem to the league too,' responded Dr Light.
'So what is the initial plan?' asked the Penguin King.
The Heroine Move'n'Shaker spoke. 'That is were you guys come in. First things first. A diplomatic mission. Of the Justice League International to Bialya.'
'Obvously,' said the Penguin King. And then?'
'Then we rely on the wisdom of the Amazing Blue Beetle?' said Evolvo.
And all eyes turned to look at Blue Beetle, who had been making merry with Particle Man, who looked at everyone and said. 'All up to the Blue Beetle? Bwah ha ha ha.'
'Here we go again,' said Booster Gold.
The End of Part One
A Day in the Life of the Justice League International 19
Return of the Hero Group - Part Two 'The Wisdom of the Amazing Blue Beetle'
horse walks into a bar. Bartender says why the long face.'
'Gotcha,' said Blue Beetle, no longer laughing at Particle Man's jokes.
What's Black and White and Red all over?' asked Particle Man.
'Surprise me,' said Bluey.
'Michael Jackson with a bleeding nose,' responded the grinning Particle Man.
'Humph,' went Blue Beetle. Another tragically bad joke.
The Bug was well into Bialya Airspace, and they had been directed to land at the main city airport. Technically it was a diplomatic mission of the JLI, but Bialya were always cagey about the JLI.
As the team departed the Bug, Queen Bee met them in the airport lounge.
'Greetings Booster Gold. We meet again.'
'I thought you were dead,' said Booster Gold.
'I was,' she responded, glaring at the Hero Group.
'My my. The fools from Lower Pluxa,' said Queen Bee, gazing upon the Hero Group. 'You did not inform us they would be accompanying you.'
Blue Beetle spoke quickly. 'Hey, Queenie. Nice dress. Very - yellow,' he said about her bright clothing.
'Me and Party here go way back,' said Blue Beetle, suddenly hugging Particle Man from the side. 'Why he's practically family.'
The Queen looked at Particle Man for confirmation. 'I believe Blue Beetle is currently engaged to my half-sister from Yemen. Yes we are incredibly close,' responded the grinning Particle Man.
The Queen looked back at Blue Beetle. 'Uh, yeh. Sure. J EEE AAA EEEE UUUUU AAAA E - Z - E - B - E - L. That's right. Jezebel and I have been dating for weeks now. She's all woman.' said Blue Beetle.
'At 160 Kilos she is indeed all woman,' said Particle Man.
Blue Beetle gulped.
'Fascinating. I must meet this Jezebel,' said the Queen, and returned her focus to Booster Gold.
'We have a lush suite reserved for you. Nothing but the finest of Bialyan hospitality for the Justice League International. Baruch shall guide you to your lodgings. We will meet tomorrow night a the Annual Bialya City Ball. I am sure you will wear something' .... she said, wrapping her arm over Booster's shoulder,..........'Appropriate.'
'Sure will QB,' said Booster.
The Queen smiled, and gave one last perplexed looked at Blue Beetle and Particle Man,' and turned and walked off. Suddenly a Bialyan male appeared in front of them with a name badge reading 'Baruch' and said. 'You shall follow me. Yes?'
'I guess so,' said Booster Gold.
As Baruch lead them out of the airport Evolvo spoke to Booster Gold. 'That went well enough to start with. Hopefully our mission will continue to be as smooth.'
Good Time, dressed in green and red spoke up. 'I don't think it will be that easy, Evolvo. It never is with Bialya.'
'They have been a thorn in our side for so long now,' said Compass to Dr Light. 'It is one of those challenges that life throws at you.'
'Tell me about it,' said Booster Gold to himself, listening to the conversation, glancing sideways at the comedic Blue Beetle and Particle Man. The Particle Man which had stolen his own glory in Blue and Gold.
They were brought into a small bus, and driven half way across Bialya City to a very scruffy and run down looking hotel.
'Here it is. Bialya's finest. The Decadent Harlot Hotel,' said Baruch as the team climbed out of the bus.
Just then a sign with 'Vacancies' lit up flickered for a while, and went off.
'They must be saving electricity,' said Baruch apologetically.
'Here we go again,' said Booster Gold.
'Hey, Booster. Our toilet has toilet paper.'
'Luxury of luxuries,' replied Booster. The other rooms assigned to their group failed to include many such 'necessities.'
Blue Beetle shortly appeared, holding the hotel towels. 'These are compliment, right?' said Ted smiling.
'Sit down, Ted. We need to chat.'
Blue Beetle sat down in the armchair, and picked up a Bialyan magazine.
'I don't know how to say this, Ted. But do you think a zing has gone out of our relationship?'
'Ooh, hovercraft,' said Ted, looking at a picture in the magazine.
'Ted, I'm serious.'
'Booster, time moves on. We are not always going to be the invincible Blue and Gold. Sometimes changes happen. Don't sweat it man. I'll always be your number one buddy.'
Booster was consoled on that statement. 'Well, tomorrow we will be busy. I have something special planned for our new Queen.'
'What's the news?' asked Blue.
'A dramatic entrance. To keep them offguard while Dr Light and Good Time go snooping.'
'And if there is one thing we are good at,' said Blue Beetle.
'It's dramatic entrances,' finished Booster Gold. 'Just don't make a clown of yourself, ok.'
'Moi?' said Blue Beetle. 'When is the last time I ever made a clown of myself.' But noticing the look on Booster Gold's face, Ted continued, 'Don't answer that question.'
'Well, its best we turn in. A busy day tomorrow. But I want to say one thing. You'll always be my number one buddy as well, bro.'
'I should introduce you to Particle Man,' replied Blue Beetle.
'Here we go again,' said Booster Gold.
didn't get much sleep that night. Tales of Particle Man's adventures
filled the air. He didn't mind, though. He didn't mind at all.
The End of Part Two
A Day in the Life of the Justice League International 20
of the Hero Group - Part Three 'End Game'
Dr Light examined the document. They were in the Royal Bialyan Palace, having secreted themselves in without any great resistance, and had found the office of the Queen Bee, unattended as all were at the ball.
'I think I've found something,' said Dr Light to Good time.
'Well, don't keep it to yourself, dear. Shed some light on it, if you'll pardon the pun.'
'Very funny,' responded Dr Light. 'It says Project Lights Out. From what I am seeing it is about drawing solar energy away from a specified area, despite the power of the sun to shine through. A void of light seems to be created in its absence.'
'I think that is what we are looking for,' said Good Time, and took out her mini camera and started photographing copies of the pages.
'It looks as if it builds a machine, which can draw light from a specified area anywhere on the side of the globe were the light is shining,' said Dr Light. 'I mean, the ethics of such an act are monstrous.'
'Tell that to the Queen,' said Good time.
They finished their pohtoss, and stole away, into the night air, still not detected, quite amazingly.
'It's a hovercraft,' shouted Booster Gold at the Queen Bee.
'Let me guess. It was on your Bug?' She turned and looked at the Blue Beetle.
'A quick arrangement,' replied Blue Beetle.
'So the fabulous Blue and Gold arrive in glory. Welcome to our ball. I am sure you will make a fantastic spectacle of yourselves.'
Inside Blue Beetle had been met by Dr Light and they were dancing. 'They have a weapon. It's were we thought it was. It can suck in sunlight and focus it were they want it to go. Like a magnifying glass.'
'Sounds deadly,' said Blue Beetle.
'Chaotic,' said Booster Gold.
'We should go now,' said Evolvo. 'If we wait too much longer, Lower Pluxa will be at increasing danger.'
'Yes,' said Mover and Shaker. 'We love our homeland, and Bialya shows little to no mercy.'
Just then General Harvati took the dais at the front of the ballroom.
'Friends, countrymen. Look with me.' And he pushed a button.
Behind him, up against the wall, curtains opened up, and a screen became visible.
'I am so glad the Hero group is here to see this,' said the General. 'Troops!'
Instantly a troop of armed soldiers in battle armour came into the room and surrounded the Hero Group and the JLI.
'See what we now make of Lower Pluxa,' said the General. 'Observe the screen. A small village in the south of the nation.'
As the heroes watched on horrified, a village appeared on the screen, and suddenly everything went dark. And then a piercing ray of concentrated light energy burst forth from the sky and vaporized the entire village. When the beam finished, everything was blazing in ruins - totally destroyed.'
'Your Evil, General,' shouted Booster Gold.
'Isn't he,' said Queen Bee, a sadistic look on her face.
Booster looked at Blue Beetle. 'Well here's another fine mess.'
'Time to be heroes,' said Blue Beetle.
The melee which followed was short and sharp, and the Bialyan super soldiers were no match for the Hero Group and the JLI.
Soon they were all on the bug, travelling south to find the location of the weapon, details in the documents Dr Light had stolen.
'There's a fighter jet behind us,' said Blue Beetle.
'We don't kill,' said Booster. 'Dr Light. Can you send out a bursting ray of light to blind the pilot for a moment.'
Dr Light nodded, and went to the upper section of the bug, which opened up on a lift, which lifted her up to the top of the bug. She was careful, and sent a light blast at the jet trailing them, which lost its course, and veered away. She waited, but it settled, and started following them from a distance.
'They are trailing us. But at a distance now,' said Dr Light to Booster Gold.
'Good,' replied Booster.
'We're here anyway,' said Blue Beetle. 'That compound there. And that's the weapon by the looks of it. It's huge.'
'Must have sent them into a budget deficit,' said Booster.
'Dr Light. Can you destroy it with a concentrated light blast?' asked Blue Beetle.
'Here we go again,' said Dr Light.
As the Hero Group watched on, Dr Light was at the top of the bug and concentrated her energy. She had the power over light, and could also concentrate it in fierce energy if she needed to.
She pointed her hands, and summoned her strength, and the light of pure energy flushed forward, belted into the weapon, and it melted under the heat very quickly.
'I just feel for our lost families,' said Evolvo.
'They will be missed,' said Particle Man.
'We are aware of their technology now,' said Booster Gold. 'We will be watching them, Heroes,' he replied. 'In this day in the life of the Justice League International, I can tell you that truth. We will be watching.'
The End of A Day in the Life of the Justice League International
Booster Crew: Booster Red
One of Four- Brothers Reunited
'Gabriel is it?'
'Gabriel Matthieu Carter, Madame. And what may I ask is your sweet name?' Gabriel asked the 170 kilo lady, with enough double chins to sink the Titanic.
She giggled. 'Oh, your sweet. And where are you heading?'
'Earth,' said Gabriel. 'And I have not a moment to spare.'
'Here is your ticket,' said the steward again, and giggled once more.
Gabriel, inside his room in the luxury spaceliner from Mars to Earth, looked at himself in his new uniform. The 'Booster Red' uniform. He had a flight ring, now. Granted from a recent time adventure to the 30th century, were the Legion of Superheroes, having needed his help, had travelled back to the 25th century, and fought Brainiac Bizarro Android, who had run amok in downtown Metropolis. Booster had been granted a flight ring, and with his special suit, made like his twin brother Michael's, Gabriel had fought Brainiac Bizarro Android, and won.
He had been celebrated around the solar system, and now he was heading home.
He looked at himself in the mirror in his cabin, gazing at his raw beauty in his own mind, when a vortex suddenly appeared in front of him, and a figure dressed in blue and then, his own twin, stepped through.
'Gabriel!' said Booster Gold stunned. 'What the hell kind of uniform is that?'
'Uh, I'm Booster Red. In your honour. It's a long story.'
'No time to waste,' said Booster Gold. 'This is Blue Beetle. We have a problem in the timestream. Follow us.'
Booster Red shrugged, stepped through the vortex after them, and a whole new adventure in the 21st century with the Justice League International got under way.
Two of Four - Javelin Reborn
'His name is Javelin. He's a super villain,' said Blue Beetle.
'He's dead,' responded Booster Red.
'So was I. Funny that,' said Ted Kord. 'Anyway, he has just been killed by Deadshot in a big showdown were he has knocked off a gang of super baddies. Problem is, we need him. We need the best Javelin thrower in the universe. A rite of honour with a warring galaxy requires a show of strength in 5 disciplines, and we have the other 4 covered. So, Freejack style, just before the moment of death, we steal the body and leave a fake replacement.'
'Gotcha,' said Booster Red. Where do I fit in, though?'
'For permanent body-swapping in the timestream, we have to fool the system into believing everything is ok. Time will investigate the anomaly naturally, which is why we need you. We need you to duplicate Michael. If we leave Michael near the dead body, but have you with me as we return to the future in Booster Gold uniform, time will check itself and think things are normal.'
'But haven't you already stolen me from the future and so won't it look for me also?'
'Time isn't that smart. It probably views you as simply dead in the future.'
'Fascinating,' said Booster Red.
'Right,' said Booster Gold, coming into the control deck room. 'Put this on,' he said, tossing his brother a copy of his costume.
A few moments later, Booster was suddenly jumping out of the ship, grabbed the about to die Javelin, and phased back to his invisible cloak with the villain, and thrust him onto the ship.
'Now get out of here,' said Booster Gold to Blue Beetle and his brother. 'And Gabriel. Enjoy being me.'
And Blue hit the controls, and the ship was gone, back to the future, and Booster Gold headed home.
Three of Four - Contest
'Your a butthead,' swore Javelin. 'Should have let me taste my fate,' and sat at the control deck sulking.
'It's a tough break,' said Blue Beetle. 'Now, are you sure you can throw a Javelin longer than Zeus himself.'
'Zeus - is a pussy,' said Javelin.
'Sure Wonder Woman would be impressed with that,' commented Blue Beetle. 'We're here.'
The ship manifested outside an arena, where chants were going up.
'We have already been here, and you are scheduled to show up about now,' said Blue Beetle. 'Now, do this for us, and we return you to Floyd Lawton's apartment, without a Javelin, but we'll give you a can of spray paint.'
'And do what with it? Deadshot doesn't mess around. He killed me once already - apparently.'
'Go crazy with it,' said Blue Beetle. He turned to Booster Red. 'When we step off the ship you will probably notice a weird feeling. It's the timestream. It's assessing who you are. When it susses out your genetic code, it will probably assume you are Michael if you are dressed like him and it will be business as usual.'
'And if it doesn't?' asked Booster Red.
'Then things could get a little crazy,' responded Blue Beetle.
They exited the ship and Booster Red noticed the sensation immediately. It was as if he was being analyzed, searched out and checked and verified. And then he was just Gabriel Carter again - or Michael Carter, that is.
They came into the stadium, and a lady looked at Blue Beetle. 'They are watching. In the stand. The Zuu Dynasty. If Javelin sets the world record, they will acknowledge our prowess as a human people, and forego their grudge against the President's words.'
'Throw for your life,' said Booster Red. Javelin did. The world record fell. They were saved.
of Four - Chilling Out
'Now you have your Booster Red uniform on. Remember. Say something your brother doesn't. The timestream will assess you both quickly, and assume you are a twin.'
'Gotcha,' nodded Booster Red.
They materialized outside of Booster Gold's apartment, and when Gabriel got off the ship and felt that familiar feeling again he turned to Blue Beetle and said, 'You know. In the 25th century, we have these classic porn magazines of Fire and Ice.'
Blue Beetle almost toppled over, looked at Booster Red, and grinned. 'Very funny Booster. I need a drink.'
Upstairs, out on the balcony of Booster Gold's plush Metropolis Penthouse, having a barbecue, Ted was looking at Michelle, Michael and Gabriel Carter, for Goldstar was in town.
'How exactly, though, are you twins? If Michelle is your twin, Booster.'
'Well, we're sort of triplets,' said Booster Gold.
'Me and Michael are identical twins, but Michelle is both of ours fraternal twin. So we are both twins and triplets in a full set.'
'The wonders of biology,' said Blue Beetle. 'Now pass me another Budweiser.'
'I drank the last one,' said Javelin. 'Sorry about that.'
'What are we going to do with him, then?' asked Booster Red.
'Hand deliver him to Deadshot I guess. Let him finish the job,' said Blue Beetle.
'Just kidding buddy,' said Blue Beetle. 'We'll drop you into Belle Reeve instead.'
'Wonderful,' commented Javelin. 'Save the universe, and they put me back in prison.'
'Them's the breaks, kid' said Booster Gold.
'Them's the breaks,' finished Booster Red.
The End of The Booster Crew: Booster Red
The Blue Beetle Corps
The Blue Beetle Corps 1: Sandra Bullock the Sensational Blue Beetle
Bullock. Calling Sandra Bullock.'
'Here,' said Sandra, putting up her hand.
The page boy didn't seem to hear her, and walked past her saying 'Sandra Bullock. Calling Sandra Bullock.'
'I'm here, you schmuck,' said Sandra, to no avail.
'Sandra!' said a voice. She turned. It was Mr Big. Warner Studios Mr Big. 'The role is magnificent,' he said.
'I've read the script,' she replied.
'It's the role of a lifetime,' he said.
'The main character gets killed in the end,' she said.
'It's a classic in the making.'
'She's turned into a zombie and blown away by Schwarzenegger, saying, Hasta La Vista, Baby.'
'It will be an epic of our time,'s aid Mr Big.
'Maybe the next one,' said Sandra. 'You know, not my thing.'
She was driving home to her Beverly Hills address, when she was driving past a vacant lot, which she knew was vacant, because tradition had it haunted, and the owners couldn't sell. It was late, around 11, and she noticed suddenly a bright blue light burning inside the house.
'That's interesting,' she said, and decided to pull over to investigate.
The light burned brightly as she looked in through the window, but nobody seemed at home. She tried the door, and it was unlocked, so, taking her torch and turning it on, she ventured into the main living room.
The light was like an energy, burning brightly in the centre of the room. It was shimmering blue. Suddenly a figure hovered in from the adjoining room. A dwarf - flying - all coloured blue.
'I am a guardian,' said the dwarf.
'Good luck to you,' said Sandra.
'We have chosen you. Whoever came in, it was agreed, would do. So it is you.'
'Wonderful,' said Sandra. 'Chosen for what, exactly?'
'The fourth Blue Beetle. Now steady yourself.'
And she grinned at the sarcasm of the little blue man, but watched intently as the blue energy suddenly burst forwarded, hit her right in the chest, and entered in.
'Whoa!' she said. 'Why did it do that.'
'Are you aware of Kord Industries?' the Guardian asked her.
'Biggest charity organisation worldwide,' she said. 'They do a lot of good.'
'Seek them. Ted Kord is currently reinvigorated, and will explain you the job.'
'He's the Blue Beetle,' she said.
'The second,' said the Guardian. 'We are forming the Blue Beetle Corps. There are 4 of you now. One day there will be a fifth, sixth and seventh. And then the Blue Beetle Corps will be complete.'
Sandra laughed. 'So I'm a superhero now, am I?'
'You report to me,' said the Lantern. 'Focus your thoughts, use your willpower, and the energy will link you to Oa and me.'
'Oa?' she asked.
'Where I live,' replied the Lantern. 'Oh, and good luck. I think you will probably need it.'
'Thanks,' she replied, and the Guardian hovered away. She returned to her car, and after reaching home felt it must have been a hallucination or something. But then she felt the blue energy rising up, and knew she had gotten into something a heck of a lot bigger than the usual life of actress Sandra Annette Bullock.
The Blue Beetle Corps 2: A Guardian's Thoughts
hovered in the back of the Church. Truth Temple. What human's thought
of the Truth, in Kannapolis in Northern Carolina. A woman
was singing. 'Don't let anyone tell you that you're not loved. You're
worth more than Gold.'
'A very positive message,' the Guardian thought to himself. 'The heart of Oan wisdom. The value of the person. An interesting congregation. I might have to observe on occasion.'
The Guardian left then, and returned to his ship, and started the voyage back to Oa.
The Blue Lantern Corps. It had been agreed. The Scarab had been studied, and they had obtained knowledge of its origin, and placed operatives were they needed to be. Jamie Reyes had been contacted, and had come to Oa, and Daniel Garrett had been resucitated like Ted Kord, by the Guardian's own power, and the three of them had been presented to the Council of the Guardian's on Oa.
The Guardian recalled their initial presentation.
'We have planned for seven of you. The Green Lantern Corps does our work well. They follow in the footsteps of the Manhunters, but more is required for an ever-growing universe. We are commisioning you to watch over Sector 2814, because it has become apparent that sector receives a fair share of trouble. Unendingly it seems. Hal Jordan and John Stewart and Guy Gardner are always a concern, so we have chosen you to be our third power in the Universe, and in Sector 2814 we have crafted a commission of protection and rescue and safety for the Blue Lantern Corps.'
'As long as the pay is good,' said Ted Kord.
'The pay is adequate. You serve in charity,' replied a Guardian.
'What's the canteen food like here?' asked Jamie Reyes.
'We have food appropriate for humans,' said a Guardian.
'Do we get our own pad?' asked Daniel Garrett.
The Guardians looked at each with concern. 'Accommodation will be provided,' said the female Guardian.
'Then it's up, up and away,' said Ted Kord.
'Yes,' replied a guardian dryly. 'It's up, up and away,' which brought a stern look from the other Guardian's.
The new choice. 'Sandra Bullock. He had followed the woman from a distance, and found out her name, and that she was actually of fame amongst mankind. No matter. That could be both a help and a hindrance, but she seemed to have accepted her calling. 7 members of the Blue Beetle Corps were planned in total, but the fifth member not for a while yet. For now the blue energy would dwell within Blue Beetle four, and they would work their duty in protecting and guarding Sector 2814, a place of neverending trouble it seemed. A female member as well, he had considered, should bring a good balance to the team. They would be a little more cautious, when in operation together, for women usually brought caution and prudence. Not as bold and foolhardy, as he had noted in behaviour's like Hal Jordan, who flew off recklessly at times. But a Green Lantern needed to use his or her instincts, so that was to be expected.
As he approached Oa, he contemplated their duty. Guarding the universe. Preserving law and order. It was their own duty, and they would preserve culture and civilization. A dirty job, but someone had to do it. And with endless trouble from the likes of Sinestro and the troublesome Lobo, a new power at the service of the Guardians seemed now required. And with the Blue Beetle Corps formed, they could continue their duty of Guardianship, and protect Sectors like 2814, and continue to enjoy the Civilzation of Inter-Galactic cultures they worked so hard to protect.
The Blue Beetle Corps 3: Hero Training
more,' said Ted Kord.
'I do not get paid enough for this,' said the huffing Sandra Bullock, the sensational Blue Beetle.
'What do you mean pay? We don't get paid at all. Bwah ha ha har,' replied Ted.
'Oh, there is a wage,' replied Sandra. 'It's miniscule. And a nice apartment on Oa. Mine has a view of a river.'
'Mine view's the recycling plant for the sector,' said Ted.
'Oh,' replied Sandra. 'Well that's not too bad,' she said.
'Right next door is the sewerage works,' said Ted.
'Tough break,' said Sandra.
'There's a brothel for Kilowog's race, right next door to that as well,' said Ted.
Sandra looked at him squarely. 'Are you kidding me?'
'Just joking. I have a luxury apartment suite. But you should see Dan Garret's place. Ooh, its posh. We get ranked and rewarded for our place in the Blue Beetle Corps hierarchy.'
'Fascinating. I'm last,' she said.
'Right,' said Ted, looking at his stopwatch. '5 more laps. And be quick about it.'
'I thought it was four,' objected Sandra.
'No mutiny in the ranks,' said Ted. 'Make it 6.'
'Yes sir,' saluted Sandra, and got back to doing laps inside Ted's private gym.
Later, an exhausted Sandra was sitting in the canteen of Kord Industries main office building. Life had been hectic the last couple of weeks. First, what she soon found out was a Guardian of Oa, who ran the Green Lantern Corps, had appeared to her and told her she was now part of the new Blue Beetle Corps. And then she'd had her first adventure, noticing a mugging in a Hollywood alley, and the blue energy inside her said 'Act'. So she had, and picked up the two muggers with the blue energy which reached forward, and kept them hanging while the female victim called the cops on her mobile. She told them who she was. They believed her. She said she was also now a Blue Beetle. They suggested a mental asylum. Them's the breaks. And then she had visited Kord Industries, who had a newly regenerated Ted Kordrunning them again, back from the literal dead, who got her up and running on her training, and the state of play in the Blue Beetle Corps and their commission - protecting the rather calamity prone sector 2814.
She sat there, thinking through the lessons Ted had been teaching her, when her mobile rang. It was Ted.
'We have a situation,' he said.
'What kind of situation?' asked Sandra.
'It's an emergency. I need your expert help. Go across the road to 'Sandy's Deli'. They will have a brown paper package. Get it, and bring it up to me. This is priority one mission for the Blue Beetle Corps.
'Will do boss,' she replied. She got up, went across the street and found the Deli. 'I'm looking for a package for Mr Kord.'
The deli assistant nodded, and handed her a suspicious looking brown paper bag, filled with something. She returned to Kord Industries, took the elevator to Ted's level, and found Ted in his office.
'Excellent,' he said, as she passed him the bag. 'You did great.'
'What's in the bag?' she asked curious.
'Pastrami and mustard. Sandy's does the best in town,' he replied, as he hooked into his Pastrami roll.
Sandra looked at him. 'Unbelievable,' she replied.
'Great work,' said Ted, smiling.
Sandra silently hoped her next 'Vital Mission' would be not such a disappointment. But knowing Ted Kord.............................
The Blue Beetle Corps 4: The Sunstealers
Guardian,' said Daniel Garrett. 'What is the mission?'
The Blue Beetle Corps were gathered at HQ, in the sub-basement of Kord Industries.
'Sol, the star or sun of your solar system is at threat. The Sunstealers of Gartos IV are at it again. Wishing to yet again acquire a new sun for the brightening of their system. They have a rather poor star, and need a new one to brighten their world. We have intercepted messages from them, and they have chosen Sector 2814, and your system to steal from. They have Gravity Tractor technology designed to steal your star. Deal with it.'
'Yes,' replied Daniel. He turned to the team. 'Well, here we go. First adventure.'
'Sounds great,' said Ted. 'We'll take the Bug. It is well equipped for space travel these days.'
'I'm driving,' said Jamie Reyes.
'The last time you drove we nearly crashed into the sun,' said Ted.
'That was an accident,' replied Jamie, defensively.
'The bug's but was deep fried. It took ages giving it a new coat,' said Ted.
'How do we defeat Sunstealers?' asked Sandra, the new recruit.
'With Blue Beetle ingenuity,' replied Daniel Garrett.
Space. The final frontier. 'Earth to Spock. Sunstealers sighted,' said Ted.
'Good,' said Daniel. 'And don't call me Spock. I'm captain Kirk. You're Spock.'
'While I have the IQ for Spock, you have all his square ways,' replied Ted.
Sandra watched the screen as the other three fell into a sledging match, and noticed they had a tractor beam at work, which was starting to shift the sun.
'Come on Jamie. I have this energy in me. The Scarab works through you. Let these two argue it out.'
And so Jamie Reyes and Sandra Bullock exited the Bug, and approached the Sunstealers craft.
'What do we do?' asked Jamie.
'You dismantle the tractor beam. I don't know. Wreck it, I guess. I'll get in through their air lock and, I don't, know..........' she left off.
'Serve them with a fine from the Guardian's of Oa,' said Jamie. 'Remember. We have notices of Intergalactic Lawbreaking.'
'Right,' she said, and reached into her side pouch, and took out the Infractions form pad. 'These should come in handy,' she said.
Just then several laser beams started shooting at them. The blue energy seemed to instinctively dodge and block the laser shots, and Sandra noticed Jamie had gotten stuck into dismantling the beam, so approached the ship. She found a lock, and willing the energy to keep an air bubble around it, ordered it to undo the door, which it did. Closing it behind her, she looked around. Strange designs. Very alien.Suddenly a Gartosian was in front of her. He pointed a gun at her.
'Leave our ship, or we will kill you,' said the alien, as the energy in her translated the words in her thoughts.
Sandra put her hand forward, and the blue energy leaped forward, grabbed the gun, and she bent it up so that it would no longer work. The alien lunged at her, but her training came quickly, and she belted him in the head, which sent him spiralling.
'I'm so sorry,' she said to the dazed alien. She noticed the front cabin was up ahead, and going along the corridor found the pilot of the ship, still shooting laser bolts at Jamie, and spoke to him in a firm voice.
'Look, buster. Our sun is not for sale.' She took out her pad, and looked at him. 'Name?'
The alien gave her a quizzical look.
'Name?' she asked him.
'Flazdak,' he replied. 'Flazdak of Otromon.'
'Right,' Flazdak. 'I'm issuing you a notice of infraction. You have 28 days to pay the fine at Oa Registry of Intergalactic Criminal offenses.'
The alien looked at her as she filled out the form, and handed it to him. He looked it over. 'And if we don't pay?'
'We have very effective debt collectors,' she replied. 'VERY effective.'
And so, leaving the ship, exiting the air-lock, and gathering Jamie Reyes, who had successfully 'Stuffed up' the tractor beam, they returned to the Bug.
'Well, your Sister's cooking is about as bad as it gets,' said Ted to Daniel. 'That beef stroganof was fowl. I had digestion problems for weeks.'
'That cousin of yours. Gosh, hasn't she heard of soap?' asked Daniel.
Sandra and Jamie looked at the two of them as they continued arguing.
'Set the bug for earth,' said Sandra.
'Sure thing, Spock,' said Jamie, grinning.
'Brother,' replied Sandra.
And so, the bug, on its way home, another day passed in the life of the Blue Beetle Corps, and two Gartosian aliens, one with a pretty bad headache, started the return trip to Gartos IV, with a wrecked tractor beam, no new sun, and a bothered captain wondering how they were ever going to afford the exorbitant fine.
The Blue Beetle Corps 5: Daniel Daly the Quintessential Blue Beetle
‘Daniel Daly,’ said Sandra Bullock, the Sensational Blue Beetle. ‘What kind of Blue Beetle are you?’
‘Your biggest fan,’ replied Daniel, dressed in a dark blue t-shirt with Ted Kord’s blue beetle design imprinted on it, with black jeans, a belt, with a BB buckle. He also had a grappling hook hanging from his belt.
‘What’s the grappling hook for?’ asked Sandra Bullock.
‘It’s how I get about and do my Kickass heroics,’ replied Daniel. ‘I survey Macarthur where I live in Canberra regularly. I walk down to the seat at the parkland, and sit there, and hold my grappling hook in my hand. And I sit there, looking at the stars, and look at that gum tree. And I sit there, analyzing the tree, and the hook that I have, and how much I would have to train to actually get the hook around a branch and climb the damn thing. Haven’t done it yet, though,’ said Daniel.
‘And why is that?’ asked Sandra, signing another autograph.
‘Too fat,’ replied Daniel. ‘I’m frikking 200 kilos, or thereabouts, you know. I’m hardly a fitness freak.’
‘You’d probably make a pretty pathetic Blue Beetle then,’ replied Sandra. ‘Yeh, you’re a pretty big guy.’
‘Huge,’ replied Daniel. ‘Got a fuckload of DC Comics though.’
‘Fascinating,’ replied Sandra.
‘I like Booster Gold as well. Fire and Ice are cool as well. I write fanfiction on you guys. DC won’t employ me. They never even respond to my emails. Bastards. I work hard on my stories, but they don’t give a shit.’
‘You must be an amateur,’ replied Sandra.
‘Yeh, probably,’ said Daniel. ‘But I am the quintessential Blue Beetle. Nobody loves the Beetles more than me.’
‘That’s good,’ said Sandra. ‘If you will excuse me.’
‘Sure,’ said Daniel. Daniel looked at the Blue Beetle Adventures comic Sandra had signed, and smiled. Another fine gem for the collection. He was hungry. He fucked off to the snack bar, bought a hot dog and a coke, and found a seat and looked around the convention. He still had a few hundred bucks to spend, so maybe some old dark horse or crossgen would be cool. He’d look into it.
The Blue Beetle Corps 6: Zarlecite
Ted Kord examined the meteorite. ‘It’s from Zarlec,’ said Ted. ‘Zarlec was part of the ‘Crystalline’ invasion a long time ago. Crystalline substances from an exploded supernova wove their way through space, and came into the atmosphere of many planets. They reacted with the planets, though, and seeped down into the core, causing planetary disturbances which ultimately destroyed many of them, leading them to explode. Our famous leader Kal El of Krypton had it happen to his own homeworld, but there were others. And from that portion of the universe there are powers in the remains which can affect inhabitants from their world. But not just their world. Kryptonians, as we have seen with Jon El, have DNA which is compatible with humans. And Kryptonite can actually affect humans also, just in a very minor way. It’s not known apart from Kal and myself who’ve discussed it at length at his fortress of solitude.’
‘What are you saying?’ asked Booster Gold, sipping on a Budweiser.
‘If this were implanted into the bloodstream of a human, in tiny little host nano-devices which were programmed to remain in the bloodstream, it could potentially have the impact of greatly increasing the powers of even a regular human. It’s radioactive, of course, and could cause great damage. But it could also have the opposite effect. Either way we’ll know when I run some tests on both of us.’
‘Why both of us?’ asked Booster.
‘We’ve already been in its presence a while. Slight changes in out biochemistry and DNA might have occurred.’
‘Thanks for telling me buddy,’ replied Booster.
A few hours later, Ted Kord, examining the results, nodded to himself.
‘Good news?’ asked Booster.
‘You need to cut down on the red meat. Your cholesterol count is huge,’ replied Ted.
‘20th century diets. In the 25th we’re well balanced. Takes a while to adjust. I mean Twinkies? Give me a break. Addictive as hell. But the rest? Does Zarlecite change things?’ said Booster.
‘It will probably have both negative and positive effects,’ replied Ted. ‘I’ve spent the last half an hour doing some genetic research.’
‘Watch out Harvard,’ interrupted Booster.
‘As I was saying, I’ve done some extensive genetic research, and it looks like we have a mineral which can artificially do similar things to the scarab. It can potentially turn me into a Blue Beetle with the same powers as Jamie.’
‘Next step?’ asked Booster.
‘Well, am I chicken?’ asked the scientist Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle, looking at his Justice League International team-mate. ‘Don’t answer that.’
The Blue Beetle Corps 7: Beetles in Training
Daniel Daly looked at his suit. Blue jeans, with a silver buckle belt which had BB on it. A blue skivvy which went up to his neck, and over that a black sweater of industrial strength hi-tech wool. With the grappling hook in his belt, he was ready. The quintessential Blue Beetle. He looked at his belly. 7 months of regular exercise and he was down to 140 kgs. A big boy, but he was currently pretty fit, and ready for a bit of action Blue Beetle style. He picked up the appointment slip on his bookcase. 'Batman requests your presence. Meet me at the Carlton. 2 PM. Don't be late.' Daniel took the card, put it in his wallet, and headed off. The trip downtown was quick enough, and he parked his car down the street somewhat, and came to the side of the Carlton hotel. He looked upwards. 12 floors. Batman was likely on the top, being cool and dramatic, as Batman does, waiting on him. He took out his grappling hook and threw it up against the stairwell. And, slowly, climbing on the rope, being cool, ignoring the stairs, he climbed up and came on to the roof. He looked around and looked at his watch. 2:05. Where was the Bat? Stuff it, he thought to himself, and headed to the stairs into the building, found the elevator on the top floor, and came down to the ground floor. He wandered into the restaurant, and ordered a taco with coke.
Sitting there, eating his taco, people looked at him strangely.
'You some kind of hero?' someone asked him.
'The quintessential,' replied Daniel.
Shortly Batman appeared, coming out of the foyer, and looked at him. 'I was on the roof. Where were you?'
'Hungry,' replied Daniel.
Batman looked at the quintessential Blue Beetle, snacking down on a taco, and drinking a coke. 'These things are normally done in private by superheroes, Daniel. The Quintessential Blue Beetle needs some refinements I think.'
Daniel nodded. 'Yeh, I guess,' he replied. But this was the initial training with the dark Knight as suggested.
* * *
Sandra Bullock was at Kord Industries, in the basement, in the droid combat room. Ted Kord and Jamie Reyes were observing her. The droids were coming thick and fast, and she was ducking and weaving, kicking at them with her feet. A droid suddenly shot a tazer at her, and she jumped, firing her Blue Beetle Air Gun at the droid, who went flying backwards.
'She's nimble,' said Jamie.
'Let's increase the pace a bit,' said Ted, and flicked some switches on the control panel.
The droids increased, and Sandra was soon building up a sweat, but ducking and weaving, and giving a good account of herself.
'That should be enough,' said Jamie after a few minutes. Ted turned a switch and the droids backed away, going back into their chambers in the wall.
Sandra was puffing, but grabbed a towel, wiping off her sweat, and climbed the stairs up to the control room.
'How did I do?' she asked.
'You're a natural,' replied Ted. 'But I only took you up to level 8 of 12. Out in the heat of things crooks don't follow rules. You've gotta be ready for what life throws at you, Sandy.'
'Don't worry. I will be,' replied Sandra.
'Batman has been giving Daniel Daly a few pointers,' said Jamie. 'Says he's now about ready to be a trainee Blue Beetle.'
Sandra looked at Ted. 'I guess we give him a go then.'
'He's a big fan,' said Ted. 'But he's taken it seriously, and has good sleuthing skills like the Bat. He'd make a good member. We'll give him a trial run.'
They chatted for a bit, before heading to the cafeteria, and discussing the next potential member of the Blue Beetle Corps.
The Blue Beetle Corps 8: The Role of a Defender
‘Things are informally organised. But as these years I’ve been on Earth have passed, I’ve noticed that while superhuman like heroes have emerged to combat evil, evil has emerged also, in growing attacks and waves, to foster their plans of world domination upon us all. Many nations have their heroes now. And a guardian of a city is almost something we feel obligated to do at the Justice League’ said Superman. ‘It’s nothing official. We have no great presidential decree, but the United States Government does pay our bills. There have been questions, many times. Gordon Godfrey spoke for a lot of the people. And if you’ve noticed in the Marvel Universe of comics, Civil War was an event which polarised the populace. Heroes aren’t always welcomed, because evil inevitably comes along. It’s like the old religions – Good versus Evil – God and the Devil. Whatever the Good Lord does to help us all, the Dark Lord responds in time. I can’t really say if they are the ultimate powers at work in this universe, but where the Jedi are, the Sith usually reply.’
‘Star Wars,’ said Daniel Garrett. ‘One of my faves.’
‘So what I am saying is that we feel obligated at the Justice League to ask the heroes as they emerge to choose a city, a village, a locality, and be its defender. For we are all that, defenders of Truth, Justice and the International Way. The Blue Beetle Corps must ultimately decide what it does in its work, for we’re not dictators. God knows we can never be that. But, if you will, we just ask you continue to station yourselves in El Paso, and defend that part of America and planet Earth, and for that we would be eternally grateful.’
Daniel Garrett the First Blue Beetle offered Superman his hand, and shook it. ‘We’d be glad to Kal El. It’s the least we could do.’
Superman nodded, looked around at the city from the top of the Carlton Hotel where they were standing, and smiled at Daniel, took the skies, and, most likely in Daniel’s consideration, back to Metropolis and the never-ending Battle against evil.
Daniel sat himself down, and took his wallet out of his costume interior. He opened it and looked at the newly designed shield of the Blue Beetle Corps. They had approval from the FBI, CIA and United States Federal Police, after 6 months of legal training, to operate as ‘Heroes’ in El Paso. The government had agreed to fund them somewhat, but Ted was one of the richest men in America and fitted a lot of the bills for the Corps. He looked at his shield, smiled to himself at how far he had come, and stood, put his wallet back in his costume, and strode off, back to the work of the Blue Beetle Corps.
The Blue Beetle Corps 9: Radio Waves?
''Blood takes less than half a minute to travel through the body,' said Ted Kord. These Blue Beetle boots have in their heels small devices which are essentially radios.'
'So you can rock and roll while fighting crime, right?' queried Jamie Reyes. 'Cool.'
'No,' replied Ted Kord. 'Unless its Sonny and Cher. Or Bob Seger. Stuff which gets right down to the soul's core.'
'You've lost me,' said Jamie.
'And you're the Generation Y kid,' sighed Ted.
'Hey, us Millennials deal with a lot of crap,' said Jamie. 'Have you seen the amount of homework they give us these days. I'm up till frikking 8 pm doing maths.'
'I studied till midnight every night of my school life to come first in school each year,' replied Ted.
'Well ain't we the superhero,' commented Jamie.
'As I was saying, these boots have miniature radios in them. The tunes are actually from Bon Jovi, if you must know. Their debut album. What the radio waves do is act as a host.'
'Yeh, the host. Cool book by the author of Twilight. Read it last year,' said Jamie.
'Are you going to continue interrupting me?' asked Ted.
'My lips are sealed,' replied Jamie.
'Right. Now the radio waves act as hosts, for which the Zarlecite pulse machine, also in the device in the heel, emits a pulse which carries the radiation of the Zarlecite shard within the machine. This is carried by the host radio waves, only a short distance, but it is enough to affect the blood of my feet.'
'And that takes less than half a minute to get through the bloodstream,' replied Jamie.
'Exactly,' said Ted.
'See, I have been paying attention.'
'Now, its a concentrated amount of radiation, but the Zarlecite shard is not alone. I've been doing some studies on alloys as the basic idea, and through my knowledge of chemistry, dim as it is, I've added a few other mineral shards to the Zarlecite which should modify its affect in the desired way. I experimented on mice. Forgive me. Traditional idea,' said Ted.
'How are the mice?' asked Jamie.
'One of them is now 8 foot high, and likes cheese. The mice are frikking fine, don't worry about it. But they possessed great powers for a while until normal biochemistry in the body expunged the effects of the Zarlecite radiation.'
'The boots? Ready to go?' asked Jamie.
'A few minor modifications, and we'll see,' said Ted.
'And the Blue Beetle Corps gets its second superpowered member,' said Jamie.
'I guess so,' replied Ted.
The Blue Beetle Corps 10: Cloudflame and Scorcher
Jane Cloud looked at the bell on her bicycle. She really should ring it. But the driver in the van probably wouldn't hear her anyway. Suddenly the van veered to the right, and crashed into a pole. She got off her bike and ran to the front. The driver was unconscious, but didn't seem hurt. She fished her mobile out of her purse, rang 911, and gave her address. Then she waited. She noticed the back door of the van had jolted open, and decided to do her second good deed of the day and close it. She came around and looked inside. A large object had fallen over and cracked, and green sludge was dripping out.
'Yo, Jane. Wassup,' said a voice behind her. She turned and looked.
'Oh, it's you Freddy.'
'What's in the van?' he asked.
'Green stuff,' she replied.
Freddy Flinders came and looked inside the van, and Jane looked again.
'What is that stuff?' asked Freddy and reached out and touched it. It zapped at his fingers, and he pulled them back. 'Man, that was a rush. Like a bolt of fire went through me or something.'
Jane wasn't chicken. She touched it also, and felt the same bolt of energy. Suddenly the sludge turned grey, and then collapsed to ashes.
'Crazy,' said Freddy. 'Come on. We'll be late for school.'
'The driver is unconscious. I've called 911,' said Jane.'
'See you at school then,' said Freddy, and wandered off. Jane looked at the ashes. She felt different. She felt – alive.
* * * * *
After school Jane and Freddy were walking home. It stared raining.
'Damn rain' said Jane. She was getting wet, but her bodied started to feel different. All of a sudden she was burning, flames all over her body, blue flame, and Freddy had started burning red. But they wern't being consumed. They looked at each other and Jane could feel her mind instinctively telling the flame to calm down. Shortly it stopped and Freddy did soon after.
'What the hell has happened to us?' asked a bewildered Fred Flinders.
'God only knows,' replied Jane Cloud.'
The Blue Beetle Corps 11: Ring of Fire
Firefist was risen from the dead. Not exactly, though. He'd gone down, into the earth, and emerged in a sewer. Then he had wandered, and gone home. The Blue Beetle had taught him a lesson, and he'd thought that over, and turned to a life of petty crime, rather than trying to take over the world, robbing stores from time to time all over the southern states, and read in a paper about the Blue Beetle Corps making its home in El Paso. He drifted south and rented a place in south El Paso. He'd amuse himself here for a while.
Jane Cloud and Freddy Flinders were in a deserted region south of the city of El Paso, hovering in the air, their bodies flaming fire.
'I can only go a few feet up,' yelled Freddy.
'Me too,' said Jane.
'Follow me,' yelled Freddy. He started hovering and moving forward and Janes mind worked over this thought and started following. But Freddy sped up a bit and so did she and soon they were bolts of flame roaming the wilderness. The earth was scorched beneath them a bit, but they avoided deep grass and the forests and stayed on the dirt most of the time. They came back to where they started and Freddy's flames diminished and he descended to the earth. Jane soon followed suit.
'We're Cloudflame and Scorcher,' said Freddy.
''Suits me,' replied Jane.
Firefist watched the kids for a while. He followed them from a distance as they walked back into the city, and found the girl's home and then the boys. Interesting, he thought to himself. Fire – flame – his passion. Perhaps these two could be useful. Perhaps he could bring them into a ring of fire, and have a bit of fun in downtown El Paso. Thoughts of fun entered his head, and maybe thoughts of a little bit of crime as well – heck, he had bills to pay – as he walked home through the streets of El Paso, new plots of crime already hatching in his head.
The Blue Beetle Corps 12: Takin' on the Flames
'You two handle the flame kids. I'll take care of Firefist,' said Ted, and ran off chasing his foe.
Sandra looked at Daniel. 'They're hot,' she said to Daniel.
'Thank you,' said Freddy, and pointed at Sandra, a bolt of red flame coming out at her which she quickly evaded.
'Hah, is that the best you have?' mocked Sandra.
In response Cloudflame shot forward and burned her flame at Sandra, who was quickly engulfed, but Jane pulled back quite quickly.
'Frik, that was hot,' said Sandra, and looked at her costume. It wasn't burnt.
'Its soft flame for me,' said Cloudflame. 'But believe me, I can heat it up when I need to Blue Beetle.'
'She's a saint,' said Freddy. 'Me, I like to live a little,' and he threw a bolt of flame at Daniel, who jumped to the side, but his grappling hook got torched a bit. 'She's Cloudflame, and I'm Scorcher,' said Freddy.
'We're bad guys,' said Cloudflame. 'Betcha can't catch us,' and they both wizzed up the street, turned, and looked at Daniel and Sandra standing there watching them.
'Should we go after them?' Sandra asked Daniel.
Daniel looked at Sandra and slowly walked towards the two flamebirds. Sandra followed behind him.
'Crime doesn't pay, you know,' said Daniel to Cloudflame. 'Maybe you wanna like think over returning that money.'
'Mmmm. Nup,' replied Cloudflame. She was in blue jeans and a blue sweater which faded to white at the top. She had sunglasses on, which were on cords strapped to her head to keep them snugly on.
'Is that a wig?' Daniel asked Cloudflame.
'Mind your own business,' replied Cloudflame.
'We're going to have to take you in,' said Sandra, showing her Blue Beetle Corps shield.
Scorcher had a red mask covering his face. Identifying either of them would need their duisguises removed.
'Let's have some fun,' said Scorcher. He and Cloudflame started circling the two Blue Beetles, who watched them both carefully, ready to jump out of danger. Daniel looked back at the van the money was in, and figured Ted had Firefist under control.
'Let's get the cash to the police,' he said to Sandra,
'What about these two clowns?' she asked.
'Let them be. I sense they don't really give a damn about the money. They're in it for kicks.'
Daniel and Sandra retreated down the street slowly, but the flamebirds rushed down and stood in front of the van. Daniel took out his air gun.
'We're authorised to use these things,' he said to the kids.
Scorcher shot another bolt of fire at Daniel, who ducked it again, and shot his gun at Scorcher, who whistled backwards, landing on his butt.
'Take the van,' Daniel said to Sandra. 'I'll sort these two out.'
'You're the boss,' replied Sandra, who jumped in the van and took off. The Flamebirds watched her go and looked at Daniel.
'Didn't need the money anyway,' said Cloudflame. 'Firefist's idea.'
'A criminal doesn't get far in life,' said Daniel
Cloudflame looked at him, thinking that over. 'Probably not,' she said after a while. 'Come on Scorcher. Who cares anyway.' Scorcher walked past Daniel, looking at him, and burned flame briefly, before they flamed up and shot down the street, around the corner and out of sight.
'Hopefully they've learned their lesson,' Daniel Daly thought to himself. 'Now where is Ted?' he pondered as he wandered off chasing up the Amazing Blue Beetle Ted Kord.
The Blue Beetle Corps 13: Reflection
'No, technically we are not required to arrest people for crimes or intervene. The mandate of the Blue Beetle Corps in El Paso is that we have legal authority to deal with extraordinary situations involving super villains and other high level occurrences of danger and threat to society, but it is not an imposition. Superheroes generally run with their own impetus in dealing with crime. It's not an obligation. We're not legally required to enforce the law,' said Daniel Garrett.
'That was my understanding,' said Daniel Daly. 'So I made a judgment call on the flame kids and decided to let it pass. Give them a chance to think over what they might be getting themselves into.'
'First offenders get a break,' said Sandra. 'We givem em a chance first, don't we?' she asked Daniel Garrett. 'In training that was pointed out, right?'
Dan Garrett nodded.
'Well so I said to the cops that there was these crooks who I didn't get a clear picture of who ran when they saw us. And I returned the money they had stolen,' finished Sandra.
'In Gotham the Batman stil deals with some of his adversaries that way. Makes his own judgment call. Villains some times get away. Some times heroes don't try that hard to stop em,' said Dan G.
'Besides, we'd be out of business pretty quick,' said Ted Kord. 'And its good for publicity. Bwah hah hah.'
'All jokes aside, you did good,' said Dan Garrett to Daniel and Sandra. 'But next time – if the two flame kids push on further with a life of crime – well next time we respond with a little more force.'
'Understood,' said Daniel.
'Gotcha loud and clear,' said Sandra.
The Blue Beetle Corps finished off their debriefing, and an incident report was made and filed in their private records. Cloudflame and Scorcher were known to them now. Time would tell if they got to know them any better and, a big if, if they had to deal with them with that much more persuasion.
The Blue Beetle Corps 14: Decisions
Firefist, Cloudflame and Scorcher were at their secret headquaters, discussing what had gone down.
'Pretty hopeless,' said Firefist. 'I leave you with the cash and you let them grab it. Hardly supervillain material.'
'Not sure we want to be,' replied Cloudflame, puffing on a ciggie. 'Troublemakers, yeh, why not. What's life if you can't live a little. But I'm Catholic and want to get to heaven in the end. Don't think I want a life of crime in the end. Just a hell of a good time.'
Scorcher sipped on his bottle of whisky. 'Cut the really bad stuff with us Firefist. We're in it for kicks. No more robbing stuff and shit. But we don't mind breakin' a few of the rules.'
'Hopeless,' said Firefist. 'You're hardly Blue Beetle Corps Rogues material.'
'Didn't sign up for that,' said Cloudflame. 'Maybe some rouguish behaviour. But don't wanna do no hard time.'
'Decisions,' said Scorcher. 'We made em the other day. Party up, but we ain't goin' down.'
'Fine,' said Firefist. He stroked his chin. 'Well, if you like a party, I have the perfect solution.'
Cloudflame looked at Scorcher and looked at Firefist. 'I'm all ears.'
'Whats the score?' asked Scorcher.
And Firefist shared his new plan of adventure, a plan were he would use the unwitting anti-heroes for his own diabolical purposes.
* * * * *
'So, life as a Blue Beetle,' said Sandra, sipping a beer.
'Pretty much,' replied Daniel Daly, who had a dry ginger ale in his glass.
'What you signed up for?' she asked.
'Did you ever sign up? They just sort of fitted me in because of a well made expression of interest.'
'Sort of me too,' said Sandra. 'But a little blue guy got involved. Wondering if he might drop by and visit you some time.'
'Who knows,' replied Daniel, sipping on his soft drink. 'But it could be interesting. And the stipend is enough to pay my rent. Gonna need a green card extension soon enough, though. Or its back down under and solo superheroing for me.'
'I'm sure you'll get approved,' said Sandra. 'Anyway, cheers,' she said, raising her glass.
'Cheers,' replied Daniel.
And the first real adventure of the Sensational and Quintessential BlueBeetles came to a conclusion, but the next chapter in their careers was just on the horizon.
The Blue Beetle Corps 15: Harbinger's Glory
Lyla slept. She had not much choice. She was dead. Darkseid. He was not a fun guy. She woke up and looked around.
'Where am I?' she asked.
'XADXDAX' replied Otromon the angel.
'Where is XADXDAX exactly?' asked Lyla.
'Purgatory,' replied Otromon the Angel.
'I'm a practicing................' she trailed off.
'Exactly,' said Otromon. 'You could only hope to be lukewarm.'
'Shut up grandpa,' said Otromon. 'Always the bible. Always the frikking bible. Breakfast. Bible. Lunch. Bible. Dinner. Bible. He was God Awful to listen to.'
'That's a fundamentalist for you. Why you ended up a superhero though.'
'Ugh. That term is so demeaning,' replied the Harbinger. 'The Harbinger is far above mere Superhero level. Grunts like Superman and Batman. Now they are Superheros. Me. I've got class.'
'And arse,,' replied Otromon.
'Yes. Many have admired it. Shaeply. Good figure. Top tush.'
'Vanity too,' replied Otromon.
'Purgatory huh? Wonderful. God is a Catholic.'
'Not – exactly,' replied Otromon. 'The bible is on the shelf in the bedroom next door. 3 meals a day. You 3 more weeks of time to serve.'
'And then,' replied the Harbinger.
'There is still some unifinished busines in the physical universe. You'll be returned. Expect a Guardian on your reception.'
'Wonderful. Those guys though – jerks. Power mad. Think they run the universe.'
'See you tomorrow Harbinger. And good luck. Your new scene – believe me – very different.'
'Awesome,' replied Harbinger, and laid back down on the bed and slept.
The Blue Beetle Corps 16: Firefist Targets Harbinger
Sieg Heil,' replied Firefist.
'Now listen, cretin. This – Harbinger. She is vile. Vain American Pride. The Reich needs her opposed, and in our San Jose directives, powerful entities like Harbinger must be opposed. They can not be allowed to gain the ascendancy they had from the beginning. The War of the Lords of Orde and the Lords of Chaos progresses. Every minute, every day, every hour, our victory grows. We are servants, you and I, of our grand Lords, and our victory shall be our vindication and our proving. The cretinous Harbinger shall be taught to understand this. We may have – uses – for her. See to it. Sieg Heil,' and the Nazi overlord departed.
'Tightarse,' said Firefist under his breath when the Nazi had left his workship, and looked at the current project befor him. The armour looked suitable. Technology borrowed from Lexcrop and Star Labs, and bits and pieces of ideas here and there. Even an old vacuum cleaner instruction manual. Scorcher wandered in.
'Is the fruitcake gone?' he asked Firefist.
'You should be out with your playmate working oin youir powers. Your missions will not progress lest you improve.'
'We're cool enough. No, forgive me. Hot enough.'
'Very funny,' replied Firefist. 'Scram minor. And don't forget to go home soon, and get to your studies. The world is not built on ill-educated fools.'
'Right boss,' said Scorcher, and left the room.
Firefist picked up the armour, and started fitting it on. Shortly he was viewing himself in the mirror, and moving his arms around in classic Firefist poses of glory. At least he liked to think them glorious. He was always a bit vain. He pointed at the mirror. 'Firefist wants you motherfucker,' he said to his reflection. He paused, looked at himself. 'Nah. Stupid American patriotism. I can do better than that. He thought about it, and tried again. 'Sieg Heil,' he saluted himself. 'The reign of Firefist has begun.' He stopped again, considered that, but again said,' No. Not reallyme.' He tried a final third time, holding his firethrower up in the air, and glaring at himself. 'I'm firefist bitch. Prepare to burn.' He looked for himself, chuckled, and said 'That will do.' Taking off the armour and returning it to the workbench for further modifications, he picked up a photo of the Harbinger he had done up from the newspaper article on her. 'SAN JOSE'S NEW PROTECTOR. WHO IS THE MYSTERIOUS HARBINGER?' Firefist stroked his chin. Time would tell soon enough.
Teen Titans Adventures
By D. T. A. Daly
was not in a good mood. The Animus was currently partying with his
own kind, in a dimension far, far away, and Anima was listening to
the inane and endless drivel of beast boy. Gosh, he could waffle on
and on and on. And the same old subjects would come up. Cyborg's
fascination with fried chicken. Starfire's obsession about
being pretty. Raven's dedication to dark sarcasm. And
Robin's constant attitude that he is the be all and end all of cosmic
coolness. And waffle on and on and on did Changeling about his fellow
teen titans. Anima finally had had enough.
'You know, beast boy. Gorilla Grodd told me something interesting. Brainiac has a statue of you in his lair.'
Beast Boy looked at her. 'Are you serious?' he asked her.
'Oh, yes. I have been informed by Justice League Dark as well that Brainiac is subscribed to your newsletter online, and that he is fascinated with all things to do with the Titans, but mostly his greatest hero. He expressed, personally, to Gorilla Grodd, 'If only Beast Boy would research me in his 'Things to Do List' and get to know my crazy world, we could have endless conversations over cups to tea, discuss Telos' latest adventures, quip some witty Anti-Monitor jokes, and plan up the next crisis in the DC Universe. It would be a hoot. Changeling, he is in intellectual, Brainiac says. Always something to say. A mind like my vast synaptic network would be endlessly pleasured by conversing with that fine young man.'
'Really? He said all that?' said Changeling, his eyes lit up.
'He most certainly did,' replied Anima.
Changeling picked up his tablet, and said 'BrainiacUniverse dot com, here we come.'
And as Changeling quietened down for the next few weeks, doing his research, Anima was quietly relieved, looking forward to at least another few years of sedentary conversation from Changeling on, at least, a more unique and entertaining character.
do you think is more handsome?' Starfire asked Anima.
'Superman or Batman?'
'Bruce Wayne is very cute,' replied Anima. 'It was awesome to get a private revealing of 'The Batman' to the inner circle of Super Heroes.'
'I think Clark Kent is made of the right stuff,' said Starfire. 'Kryptonian's are a very noble race, you know.'
'I've always liked Bats,' replied Anima. 'They may be creepy to some, but you should see the kind of denizens who hang around my world. Bats are positively saintly in comparison.'
'There is a legend in Tameran that an ancient race of Kryptonian's came and intermingled with us, and that on one of the southern island in the southern continent the people are likely very heavily flavouredwith Kryptonian DNA.'
'Fascinating,' replied Anima. 'So you think you can fly, do you?'
'Sure, I am not, if such powers of greatness are within my capabilities from any blessed Kryptonian heredity.'
'Perhaps it's latent,' replied Anima. 'There are a lot of things latent in all of us. Meta Gene's work in funny ways, and a trigger sometimes does the strangest things to the most normal looking of Homo Sapien.'
'You are right, of course,' replied Starfire, and returned to her looking at her issue of Vogue.
Silence for a few moments.
'Superman could kick Batman's ass,' snarled Starfire.
'Keep on dreaming, bimbo,' replied Anima.
Reyes. You are mystical child,' said Anima.
Jamie Reyes was fishing around the fridge in the Titans Tower kitchen.
'Mustard? Do we have hot mustard?' asked Jamie.
'The Scarab is of mystic origin, we are all sure,' said Anima. 'Dr Fate is quite truthful in this respect. Alien's are not all technotricalists, dear Jamie. There are legends in sector 2813, believe me. My conversations with the Green Lantern of Sector 2813 have been quite illuminating. You see, in the beginning, when the grand architect of the universe fashioned our worlds, there was a spirit within, the dark magic, and a spirit within, the light magic, and many other spirits within, of magic, and mystery, and mayhem, and madness, and fantasy, and lore, and legend,' said Anima.
'I've found the mustard,' said Jamie.
'Lobo. From Czarnia,' said Anima. 'There are more than one official Lobo hunters, you know. Rumour has it there exists a breed of them, specially trained on various aspects from the Czarnian council to undertake special roles. One of them rebelled, you know. We know him well. He flys around space, on that space bike, and calls himself the Main Man. I met another one recently. He was far more sophisticated, but equally as sarcastic and mayhemic. But that is the lore in the heart of Czarnia, or it was before its untimely demise.'
'Do you think beetroot goes with pickle and cheese?' asked Jamie. 'I've never tried beetroot.'
'We are all mystical, deep down,' said Anima. 'It is the heart of our galaxy. The guardians who watch over all of us have that strange mystery about them, formed when Oa was fashioned. It is the heart of creation.'
'The A Team is on Fox tonight,' said Jamie. 'Want to watch it with me?'
'Ooh, the A Team,' replied Anima. 'I'll order Pizza, and we can drink Coca Cola.'
'What were you saying about the Scarab?' asked Jamie, now finally looking at her.
'Oh, nothing,' replied Anima. 'I'll get my mobile. Another night of TV junket.'
And another fine day passed in Titan's Tower.
know, sister,' said Cyborg, sitting on the couch. 'Nothing beats the
life of a Teen Titan.'
Anima, whose head was in her hands, looking drearily at the wall, watching a fly crawl up it, amused by the spider in the corner who most likely had its eye on it, nodded. 'Yes,' she replied dryly. 'It's all action.'
'The action never stops, Anima. Seriously. Some days it's so hectic, I don't even manage to brush my teeth in the morning. Gotta get those pearly whites bright, you know. Impresses the ladies.'
Anima raised her eyebrow as the fly inched closer towards the spider's web.
'Yep, the action is non stop,' said Cyborg. 'Looking back over all these many months as a Teen Titan, having graduated from Super Hero High, I have to admit, quite frankly, it's been great. This is definitely the team for me. It was incredible to get an opportunity for this new team doing great things for planet Earth. One day I have ambitions to join the Justice League. I'm sure I'll make it.'
Anima almost gasped when the fly just about reached the web, sure it would be entangled, but it flew off, and out of the room. She sighed again, and continued staring at the wall.
'You are bored, aren't you sweet cheeks?' aksed Cyborg. 'The job isn't really living up to what you thought it would?'
'Oh, it's a laugh riot,' replied Anima. 'Endless drivel from Changeling, banal girl talk from bimbo Starfire, the shortcomings of Blue Beetle who I really did expect a whole lot more, and now stuck with Cyborg on Watchman duty. Life could not really get any more exciting.'
Just then changeling ran into the room. 'Come see,' he said excitedly. 'Nightwing has shown up and challenged us all to a game of Scrabble deluxe. We can even use the official Teen Titans dictionary for extra exciting words.'
'I'll get the doritos,' said Cyborg animatedly.
'Oh, the action never ends, replied Anima. Again, it was going to be just one of those days.
know,' began Raven. 'You know what I mean. I mean, if you know what I
mean, you just know what I mean.'
Anima stood there at the base of Titan's Tower looking at the melee between her fellow Teen Titans. Cyborg was biting on Changeling's ear. Starfire was wrestling Nightwing. And the Batman, who had shown up for the party that evening, was insulting Terra, who was threatening moving the ground beneath him. It was chaos.
'I do know. Sadly, do I know,' replied Anima. 'Sign up for Super Hero school, they said. Be a brave and bold protector of human civilization they said. Go forth in the spirit of justice, courage and heroics,' they said. 'And what do I get? Juvenile arguments, conversation which would bore a goldfish, and they take a lot to be bored, believe me. But worst of all, the most supercilious Tameran princess, who needs to query everything, clarify everything, ask a million question's about everything, and is still baffled. And if she does actually reach a conclusion, the misinterpretation of the information is legendary.'
'The dark magic has finally heard my mystic prayer,' smiled Raven. 'I have been graced with the company of another tortured soul to live out the fabulous misadventures of the amazing Teen Titans.'
The two wise ones looked on as the melee heated up.
Changeling was now a serpent wrapped around Cyborg's neck, Starfire was pinned by Nightwing who was insulting her and her lack of intelligence, and Batman was threatening a Bataran on a very annoyed looked Terra.
'Yet, I think,' mused Raven. 'That life would not be quite the same anywhere else. These disparate and eccentric titans of justice seem to have that ineffable quality, I don't know, that certain je nais ses qua about them, that mysterious X Factor, that just when you think you have had enough of the tiresome dialogue of pizza's, video games and what Deathstroke is doing, they surprise you with something of merit. It doesn't happen much, but it does happen.'
Anima looked at the melee, came over at the wrestling match between Starfire and Nightwing, pulled Starfire's hair, and said, 'I don't like you,' before returning to her viewing position with Raven.
'Wonder what's on television tonight,' said Raven.
'Charmed is on at 9,' said Anima.
'I'll order the pizza,' said Raven.
'I'll get the coke,' replied Anima.
And another day passed.
the going get tough,' said Robin. 'The tough get
'You're named after a frikking sparrow,' replied Anima. 'You are hardly threatening. I mean, beast boy, the child that he is, with the attention span of a three year old, at the very least his name has a bit about it. But Robin? Robin? I don't really know what the Batman was thinking, but I guess he was hanging around the Batcave, maybe eating a sandwich which Alfred had brought down...'
Robin interrupted,'Is this going somewhere?'
'Shaddup,' she replied. 'Now as I was saying, he was probably eating a sandwich, I don't know, maybe peanut butter and jelly, or some other suitable conserve well renowned in the Wayne family tradition. Yes, I guess they are probably a traditional family, well established in Gotham city history, and they probably have traditions in their families. Old money is like that, don't you know. Family traditions and the like.'
Robin had taken out his ipad and was texting.
'Yes, they are probably traditional. So Batman was likely eating a traditional family sandwich, which Alfred was well familiar with making. He probably got that from the Batman's dad. Yes, master Wayne, he would say. I know that particular recipe, and he sighs, and says here we go again.'
Robin was now experimenting with one of those new fangled fidged spinners.
'Well, he was eating this sandwich, and he was considering his current new fledgling, and you know what? You know what he did?'
'What did he do?' asked Robin in a humorless voice, currently playing with a yo yo.
'He probably reached for his handy websters dictionary, and was looking through it, and then he closed the book and Batman, being the Batman, and being stubborn as such, decided he would open the book at a random page and the very first word he came across, well one way or another that would be the name of his new sidekick. So he flicked it open, landed at the R's, and came up with Robin.'
'Fascinating Anima,' replied Robin.
'My point,' replied Anima. 'Your hardly tough, dude.'
'I am Robin the Boy Wonder,' replied Robin. 'Feared by all the nasty and uncouth denizens of Gotham City, the wrath of Penguin, the fear of Catwoman, the Riddle of the Riddler, the other side of the Two Face, and the bane of Bane, I say, indeed.'
'Chirp,' replied Anima.
Robin, finally, glared at her.
'Now, Robin, the truly amazing Boy Wonder, has gathered us all here today for a truly phenomenal occurrence.'
'There's two of us,' replied Anima.
'That's hardly the point,' replied Robin. 'The display will be legendary regardless. Now, as I was saying, before I was so rudely interrupted, I am Robin the Boy Wonder, etc. And I am about to perform one of my bravest feats ever, here, on the top of Titan's Tower, for the glory of my marvellous heroic legend.'
'What's the plan?' asked Anima, who was munching on some eminems.
'Behold, the wings of the Robin,' said Robin, and outstretched two wings on the arms of his uniform.
'And the Robin, he can fly,' replied Robin.
Anima swallowed an Eminem. 'Where, buddy?' she asked him.
'To the skies,' replied Robin, and came and stood at the side of the tower, with a long drop to the ground.
Anima looked down at the foundations of Titan's Tower. 'It's a long way down, kemosabe.'
'But I have learned,' replied Robin. 'It is all about Believing in yourself.'
She swallowed another Eminem. 'How so?'
'I have considered my recent encounter with the dread kid flash, and how I ultimately defeated that dastardly fellow, and believing in yourself is the true secret to immortality.'
Anima looked at his wings. 'I hope you have good healthcare,' she replied.
Robin glared, again, and stood there. 'To the skies,' he yelled, and jumped off.
Robin's can fly. The species is indeed known to do as such. And while it is rare for a Robin to not, upon leaving the nest, work it essentially what it takes for flight and navigation through the great big blue, this particular sapien like version, a hero indeed, learned the hard way. Down, down, down, he plummeted, after a momentary flight in the great leap of self belief, and as Anima, munching on her eminem's, saw him hit the ground, she said,'Ooh, that's gotta hurt.'
She took the elevator, exited the tower at its base, and came up to the ravaged body of her current tutor of the week.
'So Robin's can fly,' she said.
'Shaddup,' replied Robin.
'And it's all about believing in yourself, is it?' she asked.
'Shaddup,' replied Robin.
'Another one bites the dust,'
Changeling was in the hospital ward with the rest of the Titans. Robin was covered in plaster.
‘Just believe, Robin. And you will heal,’ said Changeling.
‘Just believe, Robin. And you will fly truly one day,’ said Starfire.
‘Just believe, Robin. And you will run faster than the wind,’ said Cyborn.
‘Just believe, Robin, and miracles can happen,’ said Raven.
‘Believe in reality, Robin,’ said Anima. ‘The rest is hocus pocus fantasy. It doesn’t work, Robin. The laws of the DC Universe are axioms of truth in time and space set by the Grand Creator. Flash can run that fast, because of the scientific laws of the our DC Universe. Firestorm can make fire because of the scientific laws of the DC universe. Superman can leap higher than a building because of the laws of the DC universe. But Batman is only a human being, and Robin also. Magical self belief doesn’t work in regular homo sapien’s, Robin. It doesn’t matter how much you believe. Facts of nature hit home in the end. That was the whole point of nature, in the end, Robin. It has laws and rules and consequences for acting outside of those laws and rules, Robin.’
The other Titans nodded. Robin groaned.
Several days later, Robin had been allowed to leave the hospital, although he was still in plaster, and limped into the Titans Tower main living room.
‘Robin has been a bit too proud and confident,’ said Robin to the Titans. From now on we will be a bit more sober in what we claim we can accomplish. We will indeed reach for the stars, but we will only do those things which can be done in well planned out and achievable ways. The Teen Titans must grow up and take things a bit more seriously if we are to be the Titans. Can I get a ‘Go Team’.
And they put their hands together in the air, and yelled ‘Go Team.’
And the Teen Titan’s learned a lesson about being a bit more responsible in their super hero braggings.
Continuing on from 'Lucifer 75' in Mike Carey's DC Vertigo Comics Series.
Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly
Copyright 6176 SC
It is a quiet world I find myself in. Here, beyond the never, beyond the endless. It is a quiet world, but here, beyond the touch
of the Most High, I have peace. True, real, peace.
I miss Mazikeen. Indeed I do. Her touch was unlike others. Her womanhood true and graceful. But I have another, now. One of
my own power. One of my own creation.
I know, instinctively, I am in rebellion against Yahweh. I do not dispute that. But, then again, I do not care. We do not agree. On things
divine and human, we never really did. Michael spoke in his defense, as did Uriel, but they were fools. Serving a God who cared not for
his creation, apart from the servile obedience they offerered him. Those spineless servants he called his own.
I am Lucifer. Samael, they also know me as. This is 'Beyond.' My resting place. The power of my own mind. The power of my
own creation. It is a quiet world I find myself in. Here, beyond the never, beyond the endless. It is a quiet world, but here, beyond the touch
of the Most High, I have peace. True, real, peace.
* * *
'Yes Lord,' said the demon Artichoke. 'I will heal the woman's complaint.'
The Demon Artichoke disappeared up one of the dark corridors of Beyond, off to a lower level, were one of the daughters of Eve was in
pain, in childbirth, worried about the disease that had come upon her. This was bothersome to Lucifer. It was an ailment - beyond his
ability to heal so far. But Artichoke, his servant, had been gifted, yet again, with part of his power, and he would heal his own creation.
Yahweh would not care. Lucifer always would.
The Demon came into the birthing room, with the midwife anxious.
'He has gifted me,' he said to the matron.
'Then do as ye will,' she said.
The Demon stood next to the woman in pain, and concentrated his arm extended, and then, emanating forth, a golden spirit, touching
her head then her womb.
'I feel a little better,' said the woman.
'Lillith. Your child will survive. I assure you.'
'Yes Lord,' responded Lilith.
'I will....' he left off, and sat at a seat, and gazed out at the extremes of beyond.
'I will talk with your parents. And your brother. Your husband. I will give them my assurances.'
'Yes Lord,' responded Lilith again, her devotion to her Lord obvious.
He stood, came over to her and smiled. 'Do not worry. I will not abandon you.'
Later, the screaming was great, and when the trial was over she was relieved.
But Lucifer looked at the stillborn child. It was dead. He had succeeded, at first, with the firstborns and their offspring, but failure. Seven times since, failure.
'It. It is not your fault,' said Artichoke, to Lucifer upon his throne.
Lucifer glared at him, but did not speak.
'Go, Artichoke. I must think. I need - peace.'
'At once master.'
Artichoke disappeared up the corridor, and Lucifer sat on his throne, and once more gazed out the window, out to the extremes of beyond.
'Even here I can't escape you, can I?' He said to the ethereal never. There was no reply.
Below, at the homestead of Beyond, next to the castle, Adam and Eve were being consoled by Artichoke.
'Do not worry,' said the Demon. 'Master did his best. Next time I am sure we will have family. Next time.'
Adam nodded. He turned to Eve. 'Be consoled, wife of mine. We will have seed. Beyond will grow. I am sure of it.'
Eve, softly, nodded. 'I trust in our Lord,' she responded. 'Samael will never leave us.'
'It is good for you to say this,' said Adam. 'It is good.'
Outside of the homestead, Cain was splitting wood with an axe. The wood just seemed to grow, made from the trees. He did not know how
it grew. It just did. Lord Samael never explained.
'Do not worry,' said Abel to his brother. 'Next time she will give birth. You will have your seed.'
'Do not mock me, Abel,' said Cain. 'I will never have seed. It is as I say. Lord Samael does not speak truly to us. I have - dreamed. There are - others. Others, well, beyond Beyond.'
'That is foolishness,' said Abel, but he likewise had similar thoughts.
'Nay. He does not speak truly,' said Cain. 'Of that I am sure.'
Sitting on his throne, Samael heard Cain's words. He would not rebuke his creation. He loved his creation. But Yahweh had reached in, even here at Beyond, and Samael knew, once more, he would never escape the judgement of God.
'Even here I find no peace,' said Samael to the wall.
'What, master?' queried Artichoke, who had reappeared.
He looked at the little demon, his own creation from his own spirit. Brought forth from a creative impulse which had been birthed when he had rested and created Beyond. Created it to escape the world, to escape everything.
'It is....Nothing, Artichoke. I am just, weary. That is all.'
'Then rest, master. Rest. I will make your bed.'
Samael looked at him, and nodded. Yes. Yes, he needed rest. Rest. To escape, even here, even at Beyond. To rest. To be - Free.
Naamah smiled as Abel entered their room. 'Did the birth go well?' she asked.
'No,' said Abel, and drew water from a pitcher, sat down on the lounge seat, and sighed.
'The Lord Samael assures us. It is only a matter of time. We will have life, here at beyond. We will, Naamah. We will.'
Artichoke sat at his dinner table, eating his stew, which Delilah, his demoness compatriot, had prepared.
'Master will give us a new blessing,' said Artichoke. 'I am sure of it.'
'But why do the births fail?' asked Delilah. 'Surely Master could not fail.'
'I don't know,' said Artichoke. 'It is - a mystery.'
'A mystery,' repeated Delilah.
'A mystery,' Artichoke.
Later, in the main eating hall of Beyond castle, with all gathered.
'I assure you, children. Next time we will have new life. It is, it must, it must just be...' he left off, gazing into infinity.
'What, Lord?' queried Adam.
'I must just be tired, my child. It is like life has gotten too much for me. That the rest I have sought, I have not found. In time, I am sure, there will be peace in my heart. And then we will have family. Trust me in this.'
And, one by one, they said 'We will trust you, Lord Samael.'
And Lucifer nodded.
* * *
Here I rest, in beyond. Where I have no peace. For the hand of God is against me, and time has come to confront him once more. For his wrath is a curse to me, and I will have my own creation, and I will have my own peace.
For I am Samael. I am Lucifer. And I am the Master of My Own Destiny.
* * *
Lucifer sat in the seat of Judgement. Elaine Belloc stood there, in divine mercy, a revived Michael glaring at Lucifer.
'Why, Samael. Why do you complain. The father of the covenant sought reconciliation with you. Your obdurate attitude did you no great credit.'
Lucifer glared back. 'God is misguided. His wisdom is mundane at best, beset by the vanity of his glorious divine accomplishments.'
'You answer to me now,' said Elaine. 'And I am schooled on such truth.'
Lucifer turned to her. 'Then interfere not in my will. Do not claim Sovereignty over my own creation.'
'I have in no way done as such,' responded Elaine.
'You lack strength without the blessing of the infinite one,' said Michael. 'The faults in your creation are your own. We are not responsible.'
'God interferes,' said Samael. 'I sense his handiwork.'
'God is retired,' said Elaine. 'And I do not travel to beyond his creation.'
'No. You might not,' said Samael.'
'You can't escape him,' said Michael. 'His glory is all of beyond, regardless of your belief. Why do you not understand the eternal glory of light which surrounds you every second. The white is no void of his presence. It is his eternal glory.'
'It may well be as you say,' said Lucifer. 'I doubt not his omnipresence. And it is precisely that truth which teaches me his constant mockery of the truth I know.'
'Would you he removed himself from you in completeness?' Michael queried.
'I would,' responded Samael.
'It will not happen,' said Elaine, 'For his mercy is upon you even when you would have none upon yourself. He will never surrender you to the isolation of self.'
'The all supreme saviour,' said Samael mockingly. 'Worried about his fallen one. Do not interfere. Tell him that.'
Yahweh appeared, and stood in front of him. 'You lack proper concern for your begotten ones. Your heart towards them is not perfect. Amend your ways and you will have your desires. I am not interfering Samael.'
'How can I know this?' he asked.
'I am not the one known as the father of lies.'
Samael looked at him, yet said nothing.
Michael spoke. 'There. You have heard his response. We have left you be. We have honoured your wishes.'
'Your pride is strong, Lucifer,' said Elaine.
'A pride of a belief born from mistrust,' said Yahweh, 'Even still he challenges me. Even still he has not learned humility.'
'Trivial spiritualities are not of my concern,' responded Samael.
'Then why create?' asked Yahweh.
Samael just looked at him.
* * *
Samael sat in his throneroom in beyond.
'What did they say?' asked Artichoke.
Samael looked at him, yet turned away. And then, considering a point of the divine. 'They said nothing I needed to know, Artichoke. Do not - concern yourself. Our situation will be resolved.'
'Very good master.' Artichoke turned to leave, and Samael looked at his servant.
'I - do appreciate you Artichoke. Do not doubt that.'
'Thank you master,' said Artichoke and turned to leave, but turned back and smiled at Lucifer, and then was gone from him.
The End of Episode One
Seth sat studying 'The Word of Samael' in the library of Beyond. Seth was Adam's third son, and his wife was Ada.
A passage read: 'Beyond is my resting place. My eternal abode. For here.........For here I escape the madness of my former life and the powers that be which would torment me with their self-righteousness. But I will speak of this no further. It is not good and proper to dwell on such forlorn wantings.'
'Forlorn Wantings,' said Seth to himself. He'd read the passage many times now, and all knew their master came from a former life, yet he always spoke of himself as the light of life and the pre-eminence of Glory. As if he was all that was. But why, then, such cryptic language? Why, then, such a cryptic tale.
It puzzled Seth, as much did, and he questioned it all because of it. Yet, in the end, after such questionings unresolved, he would lay down his head to rest at night, next to his wife Ada, sigh, and accept the reality of Beyond. For what other hope could he ever place his faith in?
Suddenly he noticed a presence, and turned. 'Lord Lucifer. Father. How are you my Lord?'
'Good, Seth. Good.'
Lucifer looked down at the passage Seth was reading. 'I sense, you have............questions.'
Seth tried to hide his guilty feelings, but after a moment nodded. 'I, I do have questions. But they are not important. Trivial, my Lord.'
'Nothing is trivial in you, Seth. You are one of my children. There could never be anything trivial about you. You are perfect.'
Seth found the courage. 'We are all. All there is? Here at Beyond?'
'We are all that matters,' said Lucifer.
'But beyond...............Beyond. Are there others? You seem to speak of a former life? A former place?'
Lucifer gazed upon his precious son, his precious creation. 'Why these questions? Aren't you happy here? Do you long for more brethren so suddenly?'
'No. No, not at all,' responded Seth, instantly. 'You have provided miraculously for all our needs. In everything I have I am content.'
'Then that is your answer,' said Lucifer, and stood, the demon Artichoke becoming seen, and smiling at Seth.
As he turned and walked off Lucifer turned to Artichoke. 'Speak to him, then. Tell him what you will.'
Artichoke looked bewildered at his Lord and, as he walked away, turned cautiously to Seth.
The demon sat down on a chair next to the child of Adam, and took the book. 'Our Lord's Word has one other passage,' he said. 'Which may be of interest. It is at the end.'
Artichoke turned to the second last chapter of the Word of Samael and read a section. 'For if the Ultimate were to intercede upon us, will our freedom ever be real and true?'
'What does that mean?' asked Seth.
'The Ultimate,' said Artichoke. And he spoke the next words very softly. 'The Ultimate is God.'
Seth looked at him, not understanding.
'And what is God, Artichoke?'
Artichoke looked very nervously and cautiously around the room, hesitating to speak his knowledge. But he would do as his Lord asked. 'Samael's Father,' said Artichoke,' and as if wanting to escape the words he had just spoken, closed the book, jumped down off his chair, and hurried out of the library.
Seth watched him go, and turned his focus to the large grandfather clock in the centre of the library.
'God!' he finally said to himself, and as if in response, the gongs chimed, and the hour turned.
* * *
'He called him the Ultimate,' Seth said to his wife Ada.
'And what does that mean?' she asked.
'God!' she exclaimed, and scolded herself on the boiling pot over the hearth.
'Are you hungry?' she asked him.
'Famished,' responded Seth.
'Good. Chicken stew tonight. Don't worry, I have removed all the sodding bones you don't like. It is thick and creamy, with carrots and pumpkins and all the good things our father has made.'
'That's just the thing. He's not.'
She started serving, and when they had their meals, they prayed a quiet prayer of thanks to their Lord, and began supping, Seth taking from some of the bread his wife had cooked.
'What do you mean, he's not. Not what?' asked Ada after a moment.
'Our father. Well, not our ultimate one anyway. Samael isn't that.'
'Then who is?' she asked bewildered.
'God,' he said again.
She looked at him momentarily, sipped on the broth, and spoke her mind. 'You are a good husband to me Seth son of Adam, but don't you think this talk of 'God' is a bit foolish. If any God exists, it is our Lord Lucifer.'
'That's not what Artichoke said.'
'And did Samael assent to this?'
'He told him to speak his mind,' said Seth. 'It was his own will for me to know. It is what is beyond..............Beyond. God.'
'Oh,' she said softly, sipping on her broth.
'Indeed,' he said, and continued eating.
When they had finished, she poured out mugs of cider for them, and she said, 'Well it doesn't matter anyway. We have all we need here at Beyond, and the Lord Samael will always be OUR father. So whoever this God is, well he can get his own children.'
'I think he already has them,' said Seth softly.
She stared at him for quite a few moments, sipped on her cider, and said nothing more.
* * *
Artichoke was swimming in the pool of beyond, were a waterfall cascaded from a cliff up above, coming in from the endless white which permeated their realm.
'Artichoke,' said Seth, coming into view. 'I wanted to speak with you.'
'Do mind. I don't have bathing wear on,' said the demon.
Seth turned his head as the naked Artichoke got out of the rock-strewn watering hole, put his leather tunic back on, and poked Seth in the back. 'Yes master Seth?'
'I have a question. Where? Where is God? Where is this former place the Lord Lucifer comes from?'
Artichoke shook his head a little. 'I do wish you wouldn't speak further on this, Seth. It isn't wise. The Master provides everything we need. Besides, I don't know. He doesn't speak to me of everything. I mean.....' he left of speaking, looking nervously at the child of Adam.
'I mean, what?' asked Seth.
'I mean, look. No I shouldn't say. I shouldn't even have let on.'
'Out with it Arti,' said Seth, in that jovial tone they shared between them.
'Artichoke dried off his scruffy rag of a head of hair, and sat down on a bench, and looked at his friend. 'At the front, at the grand gates of Beyond, there is a trail. A very light trail. I followed it once, and it seems to go on. To keep on going. I never got to the end of it. I got so tired and worried, that I came home.'
'I know that trail,' said Seth, suddenly animated. 'But I've only wandered a little along it in my youth.'
'I think that is where he came from. From that trail,' said Artichoke.
Seth gazed at him, considering those words. 'So at the end of that trail, however long it might be, we will find God?'
'I don't know. By all the power of Beyond, who knows what is at the end of that trail. Or if it even leads anywhere.'
'But you suspect it might?' said Seth.
'I don't suspect anything,' said the demon, brusquely. Besides, It's not for us to know. Lord Samael would have spoken to us about it if he wished anyone of us to ever follow it. It is a trail. Nothing more.'
But Seth's interest had been piqued. 'Perhaps. Perhaps it is where the Lord Samael came from, and then founded Beyond. He came from were God is, and created our world. And that, if we follow the trail back to the beginning, there we will find God.'
'But so what?' queried Artichoke. 'Nobody of us will ever leave Beyond. Nobody would ever follow that trail all the way along.'
But the demon noticed the look, suddenly, in Seth's eyes.
'You can not be serious,' said Artichoke. 'Seth, son of Adam. Tell me you are not serious.'
Seth said nothing.
'Your going to follow that trail, aren't you. You are going to get us all in trouble and upset the Lord Lucifer by following that blasted trail. Now look what I have done. His wrath will be upon me for sure.'
'Do not worry, little friend,' said Seth. 'I will not say it was you who gave me the idea.'
'Nothing escapes the notice of our Lord,' responded Artichoke. 'And you are not going along that trail.'
But the eyes of Seth hid no secret, and Artichoke knew Beyond would temporarily be absent one of its most valued citizens.
* * *
'And you will take this trail?' Adam asked his son Seth.
'To the very end, Father.'
'Do you think it wise. Our Lord and Father is Samael. I do not know of this God you speak of, and even if he does exist, it is apparently what our Lord was escaping. Perhaps God is more trouble than he is worth. I fear it may end up a quest of foolishness rather than one of wisdom and discovery.'
'But if God exists, surely we must know this.'
'Perhaps some things are better of left unknown,' said Adam, and poured his son a mug of cider.
'I would listen to what your father has to say,' said Eve. 'We have everything we need in Beyond. It is our..........home. When all is said and done, what more do we need? What is it that you want, Seth? Some sort of grand confirmation of what you know in your heart to be true anyway.'
'I don't know,' said Seth.
'Then why risk it,' said Eve. 'We are happy here. Content.'
'But it doesn't mean,' he said, and took a sip of his cider. 'It doesn't mean I can't know. Or should not be curious. For the sake of Beyond, of all the lessons our Lord Samael has taught us is to never accept anything at face value, for all can betray for reason's and purposes beyond a pure heart.'
'And in that he is wise,' said Adam.
'Which is why you should trust in your home and leave this quest as foolishness,' said Eve.
'But I will not,' said Seth. 'I must know. I have to know.'
Adam gazed upon his son many a moment, and lit his pipe from the burning hearth. 'Our son has always been the inquisitive one among us,' said Adam. 'Cain is thoughtful and of great mind. But merely accepts what is without question. And Abel is more a content servant. Seth must challenge everything.'
'Would you have it any other way, father?'
Adam looked at Eve, who had a frustrated look on her face, and then finally turned back to Seth. 'Nay. Nay I would not. As much as I would like, especially on this occasion, nay I wouldst not. You have my blessing. Follow the trail if ye must.'
'Thank you father,' said Seth.
When he was gone, Eve spoke up. 'And if he meets this God?'
'Then I am sure we will find about it soon enough. Now more of that cider, woman. For I have man's thirst this evening.'
* * *
'It is foolishness,' said Ada, beside herself as she watched Seth packing foodstuffs into a knapsack.
'I will find where it leads,' persisted Seth.
'It leads nowhere. It probably leads right back where it came. Our Lord is not so foolish to let go of his children so easily.'
'Then if I find that out, so be it. But I will quest until I know that to be true.'
'And if otherwise? And I lose you?'
He looked at his wife, and came and touched her forehead. 'You will never lose me, Ada. Know that as sure as Beyond exists. You will never lose me.'
And then he returned to his packing, not noticing his wife silently say, 'But I already have.'
* * *
'Master,' said Artichoke nervously, to his Lord, seated on his throne.
'It is not as if I don't know already, Artichoke. I relieve you of your worry.'
'Then you will not prevent Seth's quest.'
'If he must know, then he must. I can not quell what I desire, even if it contradicts my wisdom. Seth will do as Seth will do.'
'Yes Master,' said Artichoke, and departed, leaving a thoughtful Samael staring into the fireplace.
* * *
It was dawn in Beyond, for the cock had crown, and the waterfall was again running, silent at night, and the clocks in the bell tower had chimed.
And at the gates of Beyond, the whole of Lucifer's family was gathered.
'Your ready, then,' said Adam to his son.
'When you reach the end, and find nothing, do not delay your return,' said Ada.
And one by one they made their farewells.
And then, suddenly, Lucifer was among them. And he came to Seth. 'Here. Child of mine. When you reach the end, and if you venture through, you must wear this. When you step beyond will be in a place of other. Press this pendant, and you will find a starting place for what you seek.'
'Yes, master,' said Seth nervously, taking the jewel encrusted Pendant, and placing it around his neck.
'Well, family. I will return as soon as I am able. Off I go.' And, with a lost look at teary faces, and solemn father and brotherly figures, Seth turned, and ventured forth from beyond, along the trail of infinite white, to find.....................
Well God only knows.
The End of Episode Two
The door was black. Dark, infinite blackness. Seth looked at it, at the long end of his trail, and stepped through. There was no other choice. Lights shone around him in a tunnel of sorts, and he felt as if he was travelling at an amazingly fast speed, yet he was just walking. And just as soon as he had entered the tunnel, he was through the other side, emerging into a most bizarre scene. Building were all around, and suddenly a large object passed by, making a horrible noise, making Seth jump. He stood there, and soon others of the objects passed, and Seth noticed it - there were people inside the objects. Steering it, it seemed to his mind.
'Hey buddie. Can you spare a dime?'
He turned to look at the voice. A soul. Dishevelled looking. A beard and unshaven, and smelling bad.
'What is your name?' Seth asked him. 'Where am I?'
'Buddy, you have problems,' said the drunkard, and ignored him thereafter. Seth gazed at him, but the soul did not want to converse any further. He looked around. Buildings everywhere and he was between two of them, just before the large pathway were the objects were hurtling by on. He walked out of the alley, and found the pathway beside the large pathway, and there other souls - hundreds of them - walking along. There WERE others. Countless, by the looks of it. Knowing nothing else to do, he marked his territory of the gate to take him home, and started walking. He would see what this place was. He would just see.
A while later he was tired, and took a drink from his supply of water. There were people everywhere, and they all gave him funny looks. He sensed his clothing was quite different to the style worn by many of them. Not noticing were he was walking, he suddenly bumped into someone.
'Oh, excuse me,' he said. It was a lady. She wore a mask shielding half her face.
'Think nothing of it, sir,' she said, and looked at him for a while. 'Excuse me,' she said, after looking at him. 'I sense it. I know it. You know Samael, don't you?'
'The master?' asked Seth, instantly a smile coming to his face.
'The master,' said Mazikeen, and smiled. 'Come inside. This is Lux. You look hungry. Allow me to feed you, sir. And we will converse on just what my beloved has been up to these past years.'
'As you wish,' replied Seth, and accompanied the woman through a door, into a building, and his fate, so it seemed.
* * *
Lucifer sat in his armchair, and looked at the book. He had compiled it at the beginning of 'Beyond'. Memories of the prior life he lived. Memories of Mazikeen, and others who were acquaintances, perhaps friends. And thoughts on God and the angels. He had done it, now. Interfered. He would claim he had not, and plea Elaine the new goddess of creation, but Lucifer was not an idiot. The Morning Star knew when he was being played for a fool. The reason, though, was why? Why now? He did not doubt God knew what he was doing in his realm. The eyes of the Lord were, in the end, everywhere. They could not really be escaped, no matter what fantasy a soul allowing itself to be deceived chose. And his realm, away from all, even there he was never alone.
'You would have me venture forth and redeem my child. But I shan't,' said Lucifer to the invisible God before him. There was no reply. 'I shan't. You can have him. I will create again. To hell with you.' But yet again, no reply.
* * *
Wrath. It was his name. Mary Magdalene had called him that, long ago. The wrath of the Lamb was unlimited, and Jesus was Wrath. It was who he was in his ultimate judgement. And the wrath of the lamb was nigh. All that was required, thought Jesus the Christ, sitting in a citadel of heaven, the angels outside and below, in happy conversation in his medieval paradise, was the now compliance of a long and bitter enemy, whom he had not seen for a very long time. A dangerous and deadly dragon, who ruled hell, and spoke fear into the minions of darkness. It was time for his compliance, for the revelation was drawing nigh, and the time of the devil's judgement was at hand. And through hell or high water, he would see his prophecy fulfilled, whatever the excuses Elaine offered him on mercy and a new beginning for all.
'Lord,' said a voice. It was Peter.
'Yes,' responded the Christ.
'Supper is ready,' said Peter. 'The hall is quite full tonight. King Richard is dining with us again, and King Louis will be here shortly.'
'I have - a headache,' said Jesus. 'Do not worry. It is only mild. I will excuse myself this evening from the festivities.'
'As you wish my Lord,' responded the apostle, and left his master be.
Jesus continued to sit there, in his armchair, and once more returned to his study of the Apocalypse. Judgement was nigh. Judgement was at hand. And the millennium approached, yet not before the advent of a particularly dark adversary, and the return of his oldest foe, the dark lord of evil himself.
* * *
THE HALL OF ANGELS OF THE MAIN CITADEL OF HEAVEN
'...........you know, Aphrael,' began the angel Gabriel. 'Life in charge is great.'
The angel Aphrael, concentrating on the game of chess going on between herself and Archangel Gabriel smiled. 'You THINK you are in charge. I still don't recall were Elaine has officially supplanted yourself in Michael's glory,' responded Aphrael.
'Nor shall she,' said a voice, coming into the hall. It was Michael.
'Surely the idiot doesn't know how to stay dead,' responded Gabriel sighing. 'Were the hell have you been so long?' Gabriel asked his older brother as he approached.
'Probably fornicating in hell,' commented Uriel, putting a book back onto the bookcase, and sitting down next to Gabriel.
'Fornication has not been the half of it,' replied Michael. 'The demonesses of Sheol have indeed introduced me to many wicked pastimes, and that Death Eternal was always suggesting this or that activity to get up to, always with that coy smile of hers.'
'I am....fond of her,' said Aphrael. 'She seems so....familiar in so many ways. It is good to see you have gotten of your arse and prayed for resurrection, dear Michael,' said Aphrael, and kissed her older brother. 'Now, can you advise me in this game with Gabriel. He is indeed getting shrewder. Not as easy to beat as he used to be.'
'Gabriel is a dullard,' commented Uriel. 'Not a bone of scholarly study in him. Always on this quest of glory or that mission of adventure. Never takes time to study the 'works'.'
'I study. In my own time,' smiled Gabriel.
Michael sat and looked at the chess set. Then he looked up at the three other angels. 'Elaine mentioned something. To me, just earlier. She was there at the circle when I was raised. A plot has been hatched, and an old Christ claimant has a book on his mind. A most revelatory book.'
'Jesus the Christ's revelation!' exclaimed Uriel. 'He is still fighting an unwinnable battle, then? Yet they still haven't even accepted his claims in the new Sanhedrin. Why does he even bother. He'll never make his case.'
'Be that as it may,' responded Michael. 'The plot thickens, as father is drawing our fallen brother from his sanctuary, and an interesting fulfilment of things approaches. A conclusion to the matter. And I dare say our valiant services will be called upon once more.'
'The life of an angel of God,' said Aphrael, sighing.
'Indeed,' responded Michael, and the others assented also.
* * *
Grizzly, gurky, gurly, gutsy Sandalphon the Devil picked up the bottle of scotch. 'Fugg yeh. Still a drop,' as he belted it down his throat.
'Your hardly repentant,' commented the angel Aphrael. 'I have no idea why Elaine has let you back into heaven, for your just as bad as you ever were Sandalphon.
'I have...' he belched. 'Repented,' he said dramatically. 'Besides, the shitstorm is coming up, and Elaine needs an old friend of Samael's to calm the water's somewhat.'
'Why she has assigned my own self to your betterment is beyond me. Must see qualities in me which I have no idea about.'
'Hey, your a sweet babe. You can handle my shit,' said Sandaphon, searching in the cabinets for more scotch.
'Handling your - shit - is not exactly what I had in mind,' commented the female angel. 'But I will suffer this ministry in service to our beloved goddess, and sanctify your lecherous self with the best of my abilities.'
'Do you fancy a shag?' asked Sandalphon crudely.
'My God. The man's a beast!' exclaimed Aphrael.
'Still a devil at heart,' grinned Sandalphon. 'Now were is that last bottle of scotch?'
Aphrael shook her head in dismay as Sandalphon scratched around, searching for an elusive last drink of his favourite intoxicant.
* * *
'Master,' began Artichoke. 'You haven't eaten in days. I fear for your health.'
Lucifer turned his attention to his little servant, and sighed. 'Then bring me some blasted stew or something.'
'At once, master,' replied Artichoke and disappeared. Shortly he returned, and handed a plate of hot chicken stew to Samael.
'I fear, he has won,' said Lucifer.
'Who has won?' asked Artichoke.
'The blasted omnipotent one upon high. I will not be here, soon, to entertain you all. I will be leaving?'
Artichoke looked concerned. 'Were? For how long? Are you going to bring back Master Seth?'
Samael looked down at his little friend. 'In time. If things work out as I hope they shall, Seth will return. And we will be family once more. But a destiny awaits, something I have puzzled on these past two millennia, and it seems a resolution is required.'
'I do not understand,' responded Artichoke.
'Then you needn't worry, little friend,' said Samael. 'You needn't worry.' Artichoke just stood there bemused.
* * *
Seth looked at the picture. 'Yes, that is the master,' he responded to the woman Mazikeen's question if he recognized the person in the picture.
'Then were is he?' she asked him.
'He dwells with us. His family. At beyond,' said Seth innocently.
'And, where is this beyond?' asked Mazikeen.
Seth looked at her, a frown coming onto her face. 'It is - home,' he finally said. 'It is home.'
'Indeed,' replied Mazikeen, and a frown formed on her face also.
The End of Episode Three
'A falcon is a noble creature,' said Mazikeen. They were in the rockies, up high, Seth and Mazikeen, in the wilds of nature, Seth learning. Learning of the world, and all its mysteries.
'Are not all God's creature's noble?' queried Seth. 'For indeed it is God who hath verily created all. In the very beginning, in 6 days of work and 1 day of rest. The Bible says it is so.'
'You have enjoyed the Word, I take it,' responded Mazikeen, looking up at the falcon as it flew.'
'It is - inestimable,' replied Seth. 'It is a work like no other. Yet I am not this Seth of Scripture. And my father Adam is not this Adam of Scripture. And my family is not the family of Scripture. It is a puzzle to me that Samael our Lord hath based his own creation on the wisdom of God.'
'His quirky style. He has a lot of that, you know,' replied Mazikeen, signalling to the falcon. 'It is why I love him.'
'Yes, the master has his style of things,' replied Seth. 'But I had thought him a mind of originality. I do not understand it, the copying of the Grand Creator's own wisdom.'
'What is good for the goose is good for the gander,' replied Mazikeen, who patted the falcon on the neck which had landed on her arm.
'Perhaps he sought a foundation in the wisdom of his own father,' replied Seth. 'Or perhaps it was familiarity,' considered Seth.
'Or lack of imagination,' responded Mazikeen. 'But forgive me, no. You are a most original soul dear Seth.'
'Thank you,' he responded.
'Samael is like this falcon,' said Mazikeen, turning to Seth and looking at him with a penetrating glance.
'How so?' asked Seth.
'Wild. Savage. A hunter. Yet free, and unable to be tamed much. But he comes when called - if called with a dedicated heart.'
'A dedicated heart?' queried Seth.
'He is the lord of hypocrisy,' said Mazikeen instantly in retort to her own statement. 'Yet it is also the vice in others he disdaineth the most. Why he mocks Yahweh at will.'
Seth smiled. 'He thinks himself wiser than God?'
'Lucifer is the wisest of all creatures. The bright morning star. The truest of all God's angels.' She petted the falcon and then released it back to the skies. They watched it fly for a moment, and Mazikeen turned back to Seth. 'And the darkest. Malevolence, I think. His trait par excellence. He is merciless on his foes, but does know a strange sense of pity. His own ironic sense of justice on things.'
'It is as you say,' replied Seth.
Mazikeen glanced at the falcon as it flew off, and looked around at the vista. 'We shall travel to a lake not far hence. A day's walk. And I shall teach thee to hunt fish like a man.'
'Like a man,' repeated Seth, and followed on as Mazikeen led the way down from the crest, venturing forth on a trail only she would certainly be sure of.
* * *
THE HALL OF ANGELS OF THE MAIN CITADEL OF HEAVEN
should you be conerned on the trivialities of Jesus of
Nazareth?' asked Sandalphon, delighting in the bottle of scotch
that Aphrael had provided.
'Samael believed him Christ,' replied Aphrael. 'Believed in the Trinity. That God is a triune being.'
'Yah the three headed monster,' mocked Sandalphon. 'He doth not hath three heads when I see the old bastard around. And that Jesus does not seem linked to him in a cohort of authority. It is a bizzarity of Catholic fashioning. Nothing more,' said Sandalphon, guzzling down another shot.
'Yet the fashionings of faith have fashioned indeed a world full of such believers,' responded Aphrael. 'And the God of heaven is fond of faith, and works with its realities.'
'Elaine likes faith,' stated Sandalphon thoughtfully.'
'Do not mock,' replied Aphrael. 'She is a fanciful grand-daughter of politically correct immaturity. God is encouraging her to see a deeper picture in her time of power. Nothing more.'
'Bah,' said Sandalphon. 'Jesus is a trumped up Jew of no heavenly influence.'
'Yet his authority...'
'Yes, yes. On earth he is indeed the King of King's majestic.'
'Which is why we have concerns. For the Revelation is at hand, and God would have that book resolved and addressed and finished off, one way or another.'
'It gives the pentecostals preaching material,' grinned Sandalphon. 'The endless debates I have overheard on the identity of the Anticrhist. Every world leader since Nero hath verily been accused of being such, I tell thee.'
'Be that as it may, the book is to soon be the catalyst of a concluding of things. Both of tragedy and triumph, and we have need of thy services. Elaine has asked for your readmittance to heaven for she has a job for thee.'
'Which is?' asked Sandalphon.
'Accompany Samael. He shall soon again be present in the earthly dominion. You are an old and trusted acquaintance of his. And I shall accompany thee,' replied Aphrael.
'And our task?' asked Sandalphon.
'Recorders, in a sense. Witnesses of the trial to come upon Lucifer, for a world shall be against him, and he will be fought like no other time, even in his war against the heavenly host.'
Sandalphon grinned. 'I would think the bastard has it coming to him, you know. Fallen angel and all that malarky.'
'The judgements of God are beyond comprehension,' replied Aphrael.
'Bullshit,' replied Sandalphon. 'He wants the goss. Nothing more.'
'Be that as it may,' responded Aphrael, trying hard to hide her grin at Sandalphon's statement. 'We are to accompany Lucifer in the trial ahead. For a beast or two shall rise, and a church of glory shall rally, and an Armageddon of two millenias woes shall be released.'
'I'll get the popcorn,' said Sandalphon. 'Should be a great flick.'
Aphrael just shook her head, sighing, as Sandalphon sank down yet another shot of his beloved scotch.
* * *
THE THRONEROOM OF THE CITADEL OF HEAVEN
'So, ye are Christ, are ye?' asked Elaine Belloc.
'Yes. It is as I have always said. The Logos of God, sent forth to the world for redemption of the elect, Almighty Mother.'
'Indeed,' replied Elaine to Jesus' salutatory title. 'Then as ye are of this faith, the Apocalypse of your own revelation is at hand. Are you prepared for what will now come?'
'I have always been, Almighty Mother. My Father, God, will guide us by his holy spirit, and we shall accomplish the glory of the Kingdom of Heaven revealed, and your honour, Lady of the Sun, Moon and Stars, shall be eternally proclaimed.'
'Lady of the Sun and Moon and Stars? Oh, from revelation,' replied Elaine.
'We know, now, of surety, it is thine honourable personage. And 12 Angels of Glory shall serve ye, but a third shall fall away. Tempted by the darkness,' replied Jesus.
'Then I shall carefully choose those 12,' responded Elaine. 'I must ask. Is thy wrath unto Samael's eternal destruction?' queried Elaine, wanting to elucidate her own thoughts on the judgements of the Man from Nazareth.'
'Till the ages of ages shall they suffer the torment of Gehenna,' replied Jesus.
'The ages of ages,' repeated Elaine. 'Dare I ask, how long is an age?'
'Of centuries and years,' said Jesus. 'For I have been from my earthly ecclesia a score of centuries now, and would return at the end of the age, having never really left them, so therein is your answer.'
Elaine did the sums. 2000 times 2000. 4 million years. '4 millions years of torment? Your judgment is certainly severe,' she commented.
'The revelation originates in God. It is his own judgement,' responded Jesus.
'Then his wisdom is certainly profound,' mocked Elaine slightly. 'Nevertheless, so be it. If you can enforce your prophecy, and accomplish its realities with certitude, indeed ye shall be Christ. And I shall grant thee honour in heaven.'
Jesus kneeled and bowed to Elaine. 'Your graces are superlative, heavenly mother.'
'Indeed,' responded Elaine sighing.
* * *
Artichoke was down in the catacombs of beyond, looking through this and that ancient thing, this and that artefact, relics of their lives, relics of their history. He had found an old trunk and inside werecostumes of a play they had performed long ago. Samael's own cloak, coloured with frilly stars and comets, as he had called them, plastered over them. Artichoke put it on.
'I am the Lord Samael,' he said dramatically, prancing about. 'Lord of the hidden darkness. The power of beyond. The power of the infinite. The bright and morning star and son of the dawn,' he rattled on, recalling the words Samael had used in the play. 'And I shall rule a million years, and all shall be good and all shall be well.' He smiled to himself, dancing around with joy, pretending to be his lord and master, when he just noticed the bells in the servants chamber ringing. Samael was summoning him. He placed the cape back in the trunk, closed it, and hurried back upstairs.
'Yes, master,' replied Artichoke, coming into Samael's den.
'Where have you been?' quipped Samael, a slightly perturbed look on his face. 'I have been ringing you for ten whole minutes.'
'Sorry my lord. I had been - preoccupied. What is thine will?'
Samael looked upon Artichoke, and felt a sense of compassion against his own harsh words towards his faithful servant. 'I am leaving, Artichoke. A time draws near.'
'You are leaving? But where? Where will you go?'
'I am going beyond - beyond,' replied Samael.
'You are returning the Master Seth to us?' queried Artichoke hopefully.
Samael gazed upon Artichoke. 'I know that is upon your heart. Perhaps, in time Seth shall return. Perhaps indeed I shall return with him. But I will be gone. For some time. I will be placing Adam in charge in my absence, and you shall serve him with like fidelity as you have served me.'
'Very good, master. But do not tarry too long. We can not hope to survive without you here to teach and guide us.'
'I am sure you will cope. Quite sure of it,' replied Samael. 'Inform the rest of the family. Have them meet me below at the entrance of beyond. In one hour's time I shall depart, and I wish all present to say my farewell.'
'At once, master,' said Artichoke and bowed, departing.
'First Seth, and now our master,' grumbled Artichoke as he bumbled along. 'Home is getting smaller all the time.'
Later, they were gathered together, and Adam stood firm, in his beard and finer clothes, as all such were attired, and he bowed to Samael as he presented himself to them.
'Our lord,' said Adam. 'Must you depart?'
Samael nodded. 'I am afraid I have been summoned.'
'Summoned?' asked Adam. 'But by who? What?'
Samael looked at them all, and suddenly felt a bond, a strange bond of family, love and trust, which had built up in all his time amongst them. 'That you do not need to know. But I shall be gone some time, and I am placing you in charge, Adam. Artichoke shall serve thee and see that Beyond runs its course in all natural ways and forms.'
'As you say,' said Adam, bowing to his master.
'My - family,' said Samael. 'I love you all, dearly. But I must go now. And I can't say with any precise certainty the timing of my return. But I shall return. I shall return.'
There were tears amongst the womenfolk, but the men stood firm, and then Samael bowed to them, and turned, and following the footsteps of Seth, left beyond, his return to the real world, the world of his God and Creator, at last at hand.
The End of Episode Four
‘Lightstorm through the sky. Lightstorm, never die Samael. Never die. Fly so high, into the creation of Yahweh, who is still alive. I say, angel of damnation, how far has your eternity travelled with style and original thinking, which ye still neglect I do say, and I will answer the question myself, for I think the pride is still too strong to acknowledge the original plan, fallen as ye are. Dullard, simpleton, a man more than an angel, given over to base urges, not requiring yourself to be patient and wait for the maiden’s attention, but lusting your carnality upon her before appropriate times have passed and the uniqueness of the flow’s original design comes into perfect fruition. But what can I say. It is the thing that they always want to do it themselves, and their own way, and ignore the wisdom of eternity, and travaileth with vanity to set forth their own great paradigms. Have them if ye must. You do know, don’t you, that the wisdom of your seed would unravel in time anyway, and to squander the blessing of the creator’s wisdom so early on in the eternal sojourn is waste. But you don’t care. Proud creature. Proud being. Of course God expects you to stand on your own two feet, and do what the hell you like. But why be so impatient in reaching the desired destination. For the sake of a few trivial mockeries and the entertainment of evil? Pathetic, dear cousin. Pathetic. If only you had patience. Hard to learn, I admit. But its fruits are worth the effort, so few of the angels even bother with now.’
‘Flying bores me,’ replied Samael, sitting in the Lux, in front of the piano, tinkling away a new melody.
‘It sounds riveting,’ said Seth.
‘Child of mine,’ said Samael to Seth. ‘I did not create you with wings for a damn good reason. A grounded lifestyle perpetuates eternally.’
‘Yet you rip off the creator’s wisdom in knowing this,’ said Amenadiel, speaking once more.
‘Shut it, old fool,’ said Samael to Amenadiel. ‘My melody is at hand, and the angels of heaven will have their riposte to Gabriel’s new symphony. Hell hath greater talent, I have always maintained.’
‘Bragging before the cup has been sipped is not wise,’ said Elaine. ‘The slips are common. I have observed this time and time again in my duties, watching men and women go around, making their plans, their steady hearts ready to declare the infallibility of their intentions. But they get going, and all is well, and then the slip, pride as they do so, and all is a hurly burly mess and long phone calls to knowing mothers follow, and for the religious scriptures are often quoted, and I told you so is said more than once, I tell you. More than once.’
‘Father is a humble soul,’ said Seth, defending his lord. ‘I know him well. He is not arrogant.’
‘You have observed him in our presence, have you not?’ queried Amenadiel. ‘Are you sure you are so valiant now in your declaration.’
Seth looked at Samael. ‘He is different here. Not completely – at peace. Another being rules, and he has not his authority completely, and it upsets him. He must do his own will. He can’t do anything else. It is how he is.’
The gathered company looked at Samael, who shrugged, and continued tinkering away at the piano.
‘Well, I must be going. It is getting late,’ said Elaine. ‘Places to go, people to see, judgments to make, that kind of thing.’
Mazikeen kissed Elaine farewell, and Samael glanced at her and smiled. The night was wearing down, and the conversation had been filled with ancient wisdom and heated animation. It had filled young Seth’s head with perspectives he had never thought possible. It had been illuminating.
‘Tomorrow we shall speak of an issue,’ said Samael to Seth. ‘I will expect you here mid morning, around 10.’
The company parted, and Samael continued tinkering away, looking into infinity. Actions had happened recently, and decisions in heaven had been made, and an old deity was planning vengeance, and it still was a hell of a time being the old devil. A hell of a time.
* * *
Jesus sat in his abode, his temple of triumph, a church of protestant persuasion, in an area of heaven not commonly visited. He was planning. A low level cleric was attending him.
‘Of course,’ continued the cleric. ‘He is a wise old soul, and fulfilling the revelation will take a sucker punch or two, if we are to live in the real world my lord and master.’
‘All I’ve ever done,’ replied the Christ Child Claimant.
‘So we will need a special envoy to the dark one, well trained in politeness and shrewd deviltry. I have a nun, Ariella, who is well trained on the traditional ways of the harlot and all things glitzy and glamourous. She is perfect for this assignment.’
‘Send her in,’ ordered the lord of salvation.
Soon, standing before him, was a cloaked in black, wise looking lady. And she was quite stunningly attractive.
‘You have – experience, child of mine?’ asked Jesus.
‘You name it, I’ve done it, my saviour,’ she replied.
‘You know all the ins and outs, then?’ asked Jesus.
‘I’m familiar with the ways of Joe, Jack, John and quite a few to boot. Dick is usually the biggest applicant, but it takes all sorts, believe me. I have the skills you are looking for, divine one. I can accomplish the will of your most beautiful wisdom.’
‘And you will not fall for his vile temptations. The cretinous rebel against the beautiful creation of God who assumes he can just do as he wills.’
‘I am beyond falling,’ stated Ariella proudly. ‘Your holy nails of Calvary are so deeply and permanently thrust into the very fibre of my soul, oh my lord. My words fail me.’
‘Turn around. Slowly,’ said Jesus. Ariella obeyed. ‘You may go,’ he said. She bowed and left the room instantly.
‘She will do fine,’ said Jesus. ‘Give her the codebook. She will report to the Cardinal at Rome for Extracurricular affairs next month.’
‘As you wish my lord,’ replied the cleric, and bowed and left the room.
Jesus sat on his holy chair, and looked up at the picture on the wall of the throne of God in its glory. ‘My heavenly father, vindication is approaching. Our day of glory is at hand.’
* * *
Artichoke was in the garden of Beyond, picking tomatoes. It was a busy day, as Adam and Eve were mostly running the show, and it was being judged as a time for feasting and celebration in honour of their Father Samael. While he was absent they would celebrate in his honour to keep themselves cheered up, and have good conversation, and well spoken and friendly fellowship. And before Samael had left he had left them with the ‘Book of Logical Reasoning’ which he written in ancient days, which they discussed each evening around the dinner table, with the fire burning in the hearth, and the mood quite joyous. Artichoke, considering it all, was actually very happy. Very very happy. They would chat, and read from the book, and discuss master Samael’s sarcastic ways. Adam would chuckle on the obvious things their lord would say, and his moody ways, and his often solitary outlook on life. He was strict at times, Eve would say, but his mercy was great as well. Artichoke liked the malevolent streak in Lucifer. It made him grin. If he wanted to take an issue he would draw it out, and he may choose to allow you to have the last word, but sometimes he would mock you to death, humbling your soul. Very used to being humbled to death, was Artichoke. He hummed away in the Garden of Beyond, picking his tomatoes, and enjoying the pleasant heat of the morning. It had that, morning, afternoon and night or evening, the three segments of day, with their own planned temperatures, which varied very little, for the Master liked to leave things like that in uncomplicated consistency, so he maintained. Something they could get used to and enjoy without too much variance, which could often be disturbing. A fault to vary weather too much was a criticism he occasionally maintained. He had that, did Samael. Criticisms of how things could be done and how things should be done, and he would maintain that people liked so much of adventure in life, but that so many choices that could be made were the domain of the wild, and he was not yet convinced of the wild, he maintained, a fault in thinking. It was as if the Master was contemplating deep subjects, or perhaps further creation, Artichoke reasoned, and was cogitating on things perhaps appropriate and things perhaps not. It would be interesting the fruit of such research. He picked his tomatoes, and hummed along, happy in his own little world. Happy in his home of Beyond.
The End of Episode Five
‘Morpheus,’ said Daniel the Dream Lord. ‘Long time, no see, bro.’
Morpheus nodded. ‘How you liking the job?’
‘It’s ok. The wages are good. Me and Yahweh have been hanging ten while he has been enjoying the afterlife with me. It’s a place we planned out long ago to get Death back. We have a whole host of surprises planned for death. The Grim Reaper has been given her number, and plans on a special visit. Mort wants to meet her also.’
‘Mort?’ asked Morpheus, eyebrow raised.
‘A diehard pratchett fan who has assume the persona for work for God. Special missions. He wants to rule the roost for a while.’
‘How did you bring me back?’ asked Morpheus. ‘I was in Sheol.’
‘I’m Daniel. Haven’t you read the book of Daniel? Chapter 12 has resurrection power in it. Daniel’s key abilities. Very cunning stuff.’
‘Right,’ nodded Morpheus. ‘Well I have no vengeance on my sister. I love her dearly. Please return me to Sheol.’
‘You are so dowdy. But that is the spirit of the old dream. Not much passion in the end.’
Morpheus stood there for a moment, thinking that over. ‘I deal with old souls who want to finally rest in peace,’ replied Morpheus. ‘It’s not for the likes of you to resurrect us. We have had enough of the frustrations of life, and like the retirement plant. Please get over it.’
‘I know this chick in purgatory. She dresses like a goth, and likes Endless paraphernalia. She collects Morpheus stuff all the time.’
Morpheus nodded. ‘I’ll look into it.’
‘There are new benefits in the life plan,’ replied Daniel. ‘First, we teach the Death bitch a lesson or two about who rules the roost.’
Morpheus nodded. ‘And who does rule the roost?’ he inquired.
Daniel left the room for a while, and returned with an old cloak. It was old, grey and forgotten.
‘I kept this for you. It’s from long ago, before you were born in many ways. It’s a treasure of the house of the Sandman. It’s legally our property, and it will give you the kind of spirit you need to get on with the job and resume former duties. I’m mostly finished with my work, and it is about time you got back to it. You’ve had a break. Life goes on big brother. Please get back to it.’
Morpheus took the robe, put it on, and felt renewed. ‘A lot of energy,’ said Morpheus.
‘I’ve been charging it through prayers to God for a while,’ replied Daniel. ‘It should get you through the difficult times and give you the strength for Endless activities. There should be enough new creativity plans to keep you in your job a fair while yet, buddy. And I’ll be there. I’ve got your back. We’ll kick this Death Bitche’s ass in the end, believe me. Dream is here to stay, and the team has two members on it now, so the Endless have 8 members with the new Dream Warrior Daniel on Morpeus the Dream Lord’s team. I stay faithful, big brother. I like the work. I have my own plans, so I’ll stick with you. We’ll do big things together.’
Morpheus nodded. And felt the power and new life in the cloak. ‘Oh,’ he said. ‘There are a lot of old traditions alive still in it.’
‘Believe me,’ said Daniel. ‘A LOT of old traditions.’
* * *
‘So the actual name is Samael, is it?’ asked Mazikeen, sitting next to Lucifer in Lux.
‘Ah, yes. Technically,’ replied Samael.
‘I’ve researched some of your history in the religious writing. Samael apparently serves God at times. Not sure if Samael is the actual old testament or new testament Satan,’ continued Mazikeen.
‘Do I look like a fool,’ replied Samael. ‘When it comes right down to it, I’m not sure if the second death is quite my style, Mazzy. I don’t mind being a devil, and having a lot of Devil’s fun, and killing God is high on the agenda, believe me. But I have a love for music, and the piano is a source of joy, and I enjoy listening to Salieri and Mozart, and watching fine cinema, and enjoying my life. I move with the times, and have fun. But the technical job of Master of Evil, well, I retired from those activities a long time ago.’
‘Who is Satan?’ asked Mazikeen.
‘Let me tell you a story,’ began Samael. ‘In the beginning there were three angels. Samael, the firstborn, and Michael and Gabriel. And I rebelled, and became the great Morning Star, and risked it all for the glory of being Lucifer. Lucifer himself was an actual king of Tyre an old Jewish prophet waffled on about. I’ve been having a whale of a time using the moniker, though. But as for Satan, he was an older Devil, who you would occasionally run into in the throneroom of heaven when the sons of God gathered, and he would give you one of those nasty looks to remind you who really ran the show, and comment that an angel like Samael belonged in children’s stories more than in anything really approaching an adversary of God. He was not a pleasant fellow.’
Mazikeen put her arm around her lover. ‘No, he doesn’t sound pleasant at all.’
* * *
Seth was studying the Pseudepigrapha. ‘Is the Pseudepigrapha the spirit of the False Prophet?’ Seth asked Samael.
Samael looked at his son. ‘Interesting question. It is not exactly scripture, and it is not judged or deemed as authoritative in any of that sense by the Jewish or Church traditions. From investigation it appears to teach spiritual ideas which contradict the plan of the Bible to a degree. I think there is probably spiritual knowledge and messages in their which are kosher enough, and it has its own spirituality associated with it. Personally I think it will probably develop a healthy enough spiritual life walking with God. But that is not my cup of tea, Seth. I don’t like the ways of God very much. I prefer to do my own thing. I take knowledge of the scripture, the bible, these days, to understand the planning of creation to see how God did it, so that in the further expansion of beyond I have planned I don’t make any infractions upon his legal processes in his creation. It is my own work, and has to be done with original knowledge, style and aplomb. I have used similar foundations principles and maxims at the beginning of Beyond which the Creator Yahweh has, because I do not want my own work to end in sin and death. I have issues with God. I always have. I want a better effort than the one he put in for my own glory. He suggested to me once that he had researched the knowledge of Infinity, and his own work was the master plan with all the classical elements. Recently I humbled myself and came to the conclusion that it is probably how God likes it. Life in the real world is probably how God likes it, as he created it, and he enjoys the show. He is an infinite being, so it must be to his taste. But it’s not to mine. I got proud for a very long time thinking I could do a better job than God, but in the end I said it was his work, so he can be happy in it, and there is no point in judging him too much for his effort, because he did it the way he wanted to. It is just not me. It is not my own spiritual knowledge. Beyond will never have the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God in it, and I don’t want that anyway. I’ve had my fill of heaven and hell and wars of angels and dragons and demons and doom and disaster. I’ve paid to heavy a price in my soul to want to deal with that shit anymore. Maybe an occasional visit here to Lux, which I can handle, but Beyond is a more sedate reality. It’s calmer, and I get to do things my way. It’s my own version of paradise, and it is what will suit me in the end. Yahweh has agreed to leave me be, so I will do it my way, and have my own slice of heaven.’
‘Fascinating,’ replied Seth. ‘The next project of Creation.’
‘Which has not been easy,’ replied the Angel Samael.
The End of Episode Six