Wuss Brayne is The-Man!

Gettem city was beautiful at night. Unless you were upside down and seeing it from above. Then it was terrifying, and gently sprinkled with urine.

“Oh my god don’t drop me!” screamed the inverted man, flailing at a ledge just out of reach.

The fist clenching his ankle tightened. He would have sworn he wouldn’t have thought that was a bad thing before the pain hit.

“YOU FUNNEL TEXCORP ARMS TO THE BLACK MARKET!”

“I don’t know what you’re talking abaaaaaaaa”

The shadowy figure watched the speck plummet into the empty ornamental pond below. What kind of idiot argues from that position? Apart from a short-lived one.


Wuss Brayne scandalized Gettem society by arriving at the Charity Balls for Testicular Cancer with an actress and a fashion model on each arm, making a total of four. It was the perfect cover story: they’d be well paid to swear that he’d spent the entire night with them. Because he was absolutely going to spend the entire night with them, going to all sorts of places and using all kinds of fancy equipment. Screw crime, there were better options. Being rich was awesome! They’d be paid by selling steamy tell-all features in gossip magazines, or as Wuss thought of it, “free advertising.”

He didn’t even notice the armed thugs bursting into the room, getting as far as demanding “All your jewelr-” before dropping, cut down by expert Brayne non-lethal taze-snipers. It turns out that homeless thugs don’t outperform expertly trained and equipped troops. Not even when they’re led by an unstable madman!


Master keys get you anywhere, but announce that a master was in the building. Far better to use a temp janitor’s card. Security cameras flickered and rewound as he shadowed past to the executive boardroom. Professional adjustments to the media console. A cooling system fails, another overheats, the lamp explodes, and nobody wastes Brayne Industries time with another PowerPoint ever again.


Commissioner Cordon rounded on The-Man.

“I’m sick of commissioning cordons! I’m just a giant police-tape dispenser to you, keeping my cops out until you’ve finished your work. But you only reveal corruption in competing corporations. You only save Brayne Industries facilities. And I’m a goddamn detective! I know who you are, and from now on you’ll help on my terms or the press learns everything.”

“Oh no!” cried The-Man, the combination of growly-bass-rumble and fake-high-pitched combining to make him sound like a sarcastically buried coal miner.

“If people suspect that an unstoppable vigilante protects Brayne Industries while crippling the competition, whatever will happen to their stock? If workers knew that corruption or laxity was punished by beatings instead of performance reviews, what would happen to their work ethic? If these facts were kept in the public eye for years by an endless court case defended by my army of lawyers? Whatever you do, please don’t spread the word from the highest levels of law enforcement. And receive a large donation towards the police retirement fund. By this time tomorrow.”

With that, The-Man vaulted out of the window into the back of The-Car, an anonymous black business sedan loaded with armor-plating, alcohol, and an autodrive system. The sunroof whispered shut as he reclined on the luxury leather seats, pouring a bourbon as The-Car sped for home. He rested his feet on the autodrive system, wondering what kind of moron would spend a million dollars on a car and still have to drive the thing.


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New Problems from Old Ones: Seafood

  • LEGRASSE INSTITUTE
  • SECURITY: BELOW DEEP SECRET
  • FILE ID :>ERROR< >NUMERIC SEQUENCE UNCOUNTABLE<
  • >Commander REDACTED speaking<

The Old Ones roused in their cyclopean tombs, rose from their stygian depths, and fell right the hell back down under our saturation thermobaric bombardment. It turns out sleeping until your prey discover artillery is a mistake! A highly exploded hare and the tortoise, if you will. Doesn’t matter how many-angles you make a blockbuster bomb fall through if it’s still two tonnes of trinitrotoluene when it lands.

But that is not dead which can eternal lie in millions of giblets. The buggers rapidly reformed from any injury. We accidentally discovered that the only way to prevent the flesh reforming was to consume it.

What’s that?

Well, when you have an entire army setting literal sights on the face of madness there are plenty of discharges by reason of insanity. I think we caused the sixties, actually, but it was worth it.

The thing is, eating the flesh doesn’t destroy its power, but transfers the urge to transmit madness which destroys human sanity. But we still had to get rid of all this flesh in the middle of the Pacific. And the Japanese eat a lot of seafood. Have you seen their TV?

After a while we had to spread the load, so we tried shredding the Old Flesh even finer and feeding the West with fish fingers. Ugh, ghastly idea. Fish with fingers. That should have warned us. Still, the idea was that the insanity transmissions would be harmless now that they were just empty filler utterly devoid of any texture or structure. And that’s why reality TV is our fault too.

Still, slightly less damaging to human progress than the return of R’lyeh and the complete destruction of all sanity.

Though we’re continuing to monitor that.

Ambassador Alana and the Warriors

Ambassador Alana saved the galaxy but the taxonomists would never forgive her. Sure, the enemy were an insanely aggressive warrior species, single-minded macho muscluloids complete with ridged heads and a combat evolution causing them to pump blood and expand when enraged. But did she have to call them “Hardons”?

No-one could deny it suited them. The Hardons were dicks. The name put many a human crew in the right frame of mind before venturing through Hardon space: have protection because they’ll try to screw you. But a certain type of historian will always act like history is something politely written down in little books, not something lived and died through in by billions of inconveniently impolite people, so they tutted and fussed and tried to get people to call them Gurzilians. But since most people who interacted with Gurzilians were history, not historians, the slang name continued to be used.

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Ambassador Alana and the Robonics

Ambassador Alana, legendary ambassador of the human race! Brave, bold, and cunning, word of her exploits spreads beyond the bounds of the human Federation, usually just beyond the bounds of their jurisdiction, but surely that is a coincidence!  Modest and capable, she forges alliances with strange new races single-handed and leaves before even the most lightly-armed human support craft can arrive. Often quite quickly!

Entire waves of Federation first contact ships are embarrassed to find themselves sloppily second, welcomed by allies the human race had never met, and presented with expense invoices they’d never dreamed of. Small compared to the profits from the proffered interplanetary trade agreements, but large enough to actually appear on those interplanetary trade agreements. Her inauguration of an alliance with the world of New France depleted the planet’s stock of champagne. The unexpected arrival of a Federation scouting party proved she could pilot her ambassadorial shuttle both expertly and hungover.

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Multiple Endings For The Game Of Thrones

I’ve just finished all the Game of Thrones books, simulating the experience of an old folks home by being left wondering “Who dies next?” (The GoT equivalent of “What happens next?”).

You used to know that the good person would die next, but the series has run out.

You used to know that the good person would die next, but the series has run out.

Obviously the rest of this article is more of a spoiler than finding out that Stephanie Brown had made a costume to secretly fight crime in Gotham.

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 15.30.34

Because writers don’t sit around doing nothing! We sit around hammering at the keyboard until we  feel better. Behold, a selection of endings for the song of ice and fire:

  • A little-known lord looks out over his lands, raises his banners, and then DOESN’T immediately make the absolute worst possible decision given his situation. The entire universe collapses as its most fundamental law is broken.
  • The maesters, motivated by the endless stink of just about everyone in their world, develop a cheap and powerful method for dispensing masking aromas from thin metal cans. A side-effect is the end of winter, and the eventual opening of the world-famous entertainment resort “Starkyland”, just a day’s travel from the scenic Lake Wall.
  • Tyrion’s studies reveal the existence of a piece of mystic jewellery that will fix everything. He sails into the smoking ruins of old Valyria with tough guy Ser Jorah Mormont, girl Daenerys, and a Summer Islander who keeps pointing out how fell things are. After a series of action set-pieces they find and destroy the Fantasy Gem Of Mmakh-Jhuffyn, which suddenly fixes everything. Even the social unrest which would normally result from any such sudden societal change in a medieval kingdom, inevitably causing widespread death and suffering.
  • The red star is revealed to be plasma leaking from a Klingon bird of prey being chased to ground by the Enterprise. The surviving Klingons join the Dothraki and both have just the most fantastic time. Kirk takes forty-five minutes to punch Stannis and sleep with Cersei and this, somehow, fixes everything.
  • Eddard Stark comes back and just kicks everyone’s ass. What appeared to be his “head” was a masterfully crafted pumpkin. You know you’d love it.
  • Jaime’s hand finds a more satisfying new life in the Addams household. They’re aware of its murderous past, which only adds to their fondness for the thing.
"We have guests coming this evening, so NO eviscerations on the new Yeti rug."

“We have guests coming this evening, so NO eviscerations on the new Yeti rug.”

  • The Others break through the self-destructing Night’s Watch, determined to spread death and misery through all the mortal realms, and realize that they can’t do half as good a job as the realms are already doing. They return past the frozen North border to create a more polite society with sensible weapons regulations and universal healthcare.
  • The Doctor arrives with a secret plan to fix everything and has his head hacked off by the first drunken hedge knight he tries to bluff with a sonic screwdriver.
  • Shipfuls of elves arrive from the east, horrified to learn that the promised lands in the west referred to Westeros. They find that instead of simple struggle between good and evil, they’re now mired in a pointless knot of wasteful conflict without any clear course of action, which is the sort of thing that happens when you run away from problems instead of solving them. They resolve to return to Middle Earth and help the humans actually do things this time, but are all slaughtered by Euron Crow’s Eye.
  • The dragons all drop dead of a bacterial infection which hadn’t existed the last time they were around. It turns out that spending generations in mineral form isn’t a great way to keep up with the Red Queen race.
  • A strange vessel arriving at Pentos reveals that every nation we’ve met so far is only a small archipelago off the coast of a real continent, where we meet five hundred more characters. The projected date of completion of the story advances to 2100 AD.
  • An aircraft carrier arrives from the opposite side of the world. It takes generations of peacekeepers and careful education before the “Savage Lands” can be integrated into global society. The surviving nobles struggle through the rest of their lives by getting reality TV shows.
  • Bill and Ted arrive and have their heads hacked off by a drunken hedge knight.
  • The peasants of the world develop the ability to remember things for longer than a week, and suddenly throw off the entire structure of feudal lordship. They’re about to raise a new leader to guide them when they suddenly realize “Duh!”, don’t do that, and proceed as a loosely-affiliated network of productive communes. Anyone found wearing armor is chained into it and tossed in a lake.
  • Marty McFly arrives and has his head hacked off by a drunken hedge knight.
  • Just as the wildlings were fleeing before the advance of the Others, we find the Others in turn fleeing from an even more terrifying force of destruction. Their shredded corpses are found twitching against the north face of the wall, while the corpses of the Night’s Watch litter the south. The invading army cannot be located, only tracked by the burned castles and slaughtered armies left in a direct line leading to King’s Landing. A maester finds a single man-sized hole in the Wall linking the seas of death, just as that man strides into the Red Keep and through every knight sent against him, five hundred sers slaughtered where they stood. He did not think it too many. Slaine sits on the Iron Throne, blunting it, and proclaims that those who do not lay down their arms shall lose them to his axe. A thousand years of peace follow. He only stayed for four, but the kingdom remained too scared to try anything stupid for a millennium.

slaine


For more improvements on fiction, read Pacific Rim: How The Kaidanovskys Survived and An Infinity Of Alternate Batmen

Too Much Infomercial

“Buy your Prong-Wrong Banana Re-Benders now, because supplies are limited! That’s right, we did NOT create an infinite number of them! They do not compose all matter in the universe. They are neither the Alpha nor the Omega, nor are they end-state Von Neumann machines. You are not currently composed of our molded reprocessed-plastic Musa manipulators. An unlimited supply of any item would soon pass the Chandrasekhar limit, collapsing into a black hole from which nothing could escape, rendering us unable to pass these incredible saving on to you!”

“You can buy this Instructional Drum Kit For Cats right NOW! Well, not ‘now’, as I filmed this days ago in an unheated warehouse unit, and right this second am staring blankly at an unpainted wall behind the dead-eyed camerawoman. I prefer the wall. It didn’t have dreams. I don’t see their corpses when I meet her eyes, and I don’t have to wonder if those eyes are mirroring her soul or mine. I don’t replay my one and only Hollywood audition in my mind, night after night, tearing my face into ever more desperate rictuses of emotion which I tell myself would have gotten the part but which only ever end in sobbing. That’s what’s happening ‘now’ while you watch this at two AM. If it’s earlier than that I’m drunk.”

“This product is not available in stores, because it’s clearly the inner lining from a series of cheap deep-fryers recalled because they were fat-filled incendiary time bombs, labeled with a pirated copy of Illustrator, and resold as VitaHat, The Polycarbon Protection From Skull Vitamin Loss. If you think you need one of these, buy a proper helmet.”

“But wait, there’s more! So much more! So many countless things you could be doing, oh god, sunshine and puppies and people who smile when they’re happy and not when they’re told to, god, run, please, get up, get out, don’t wait to turn the TV off, leave it as a warning to those who follow, RUN!” >Hits co-host with the Revolve-o-matic Tie Uncoiling Unit, $49.99+delivery, screams, sprints off-screen. Sound of sprinting down concrete floor fade into distance, loud sigh from off-camera, “Okay, cut, call the next one.”<

 

Pacific Rim: The Story of the Irish Jaeger

The movie doesn’t tell the story of the monster portal which opened in the Atlantic, because Ireland dealt with it single-handedly. It turns out that “being invaded from other lands” is pretty much our entire history, cultural legacy, and best way to get us to kick your arse if you try it now we have a tech sector. On the grounds that it was how we defeat all our existing demons, we built our jaeger out of a distillery.

WHISKEYOUTPUTsmall

40% fuel ensured the pilots didn’t feel any pain, fatigue, or need to ask pointed questions about the feasibility of a 100 meter tall bipedal robot. But the real breakthrough was when it turned out that the best way to check advanced psychological compatibility for direct neural linkage was “fighting with sticks.”

Advanced electro-neuro-compatibility screening, using the first tool ever grasped by ape

Electroneurofusion screening, using the first tool ever grasped by ape

We immediately drafted the Kilkenny hurling team.

Photo: Jim O’Sullivan

“I’ll tear his head off, you get the ball!” (Photo: Jim O’Sullivan)

Fifteen championship trained violencies of pure speed. Hurling is one of the fastest games in the world, because if you were up against over a dozen stick-wielding Irishmen, firing what’s not so much a small ball as a large bullet, with no protective padding, you’d move quickly too. Fifteen fellas to divide the load – that’s more help than Jesus had, and even He couldn’t have helped any kaiju fool enough to start a fight with a hurley team in a distillery.

They annihilated everything that dared step out of the water. If they’d been on the coast at the dawn of time, all life would still be aquatic. They learned to use large boats to beat down the monsters, because the largest boats in Irish waters are usually Spanish fishing trawlers, though sometimes they had to keep the fight going for hours until they found one.

Once Whiskey Output ran out of grain during an extended battle. The hurlers disconnected the bridge, stepped out onto the roof with flare pistols, fired them in the air to let the monster know where they were, then leapt across and beat the unholy shite out of it with their hurls. This jaeger only carried distress flares to let the monsters know when they were in trouble. It didn’t have a self-destruct; its final option was to let the kaiju bite and let a million gallons of poteen make that melting-kaiju-acid-spit look like a moisturizing cleanser.

Of course, no kaiju ever got that far. When Whiskey Output sealed the breach (by standing right on top of it and playing Whack-a-Kaiju with anything that stuck its misshapen head through, a strategy which seemed to evade the rest of the world, until they gave up) they marched back to Kilkenny, parked it, and took the lid off the fuel tank. Which was why they were too busy to turn up at the Shatterdome. And wouldn’t have been allowed to drive there anyway.


For more giant robot shenanigans, behold