Me in Comic Books:
The Adventures of Me 45 B.C.
Asterix on the Shores of Time
I was involved in one of those DuoPolarity events last Christmastime. Some people from both the invading universes got away - and so did one of our own villains. And, of course, I get to find out where they went. It starts when yet another villain captures me...
- I've gone to Wyoming, to explore Interstate 80 in case I ever want to ride a bicycle over the Rocky Mountains. It seems feasible; it's flat enough, and they'll let me ride on the shoulder of I-80 because there is no other road in some places there, and there are adequate places for me to sleep on a bed, drink a beer, and eat a burger. That's all I ever asked of my vacations.
- My friend Judy (whom I've just reunited with, against all odds) even comes along for a weekend. But she has to go back to Massachusetts to clear up some stuff where she used to live (me too, for that matter), so I'm on my own for the rest of the week.
- Cellphone and e-mail coverage is still kind of spotty out there, so I tell Judy and my relatives not to expect to hear from me for a while. (5 Mar 2004)
- Wouldn't you know, there's a villain I've never met before, who wants me for his Master Plan. He wears a battlesuit, and calls himself Domesday. He spends most of his time hiring minions to fight superhumans. But he's come to collect me personally.
- Why does he want me? Well, I did operate a United Nations time machine during that last round of DuoPolarity. And the machines are keyed to DNA samples from certified operators - which would be me in this case.
- How do I know this? Domesday told me, because he knew I'd be powerless to stop him. I guess from all the people in the world, I eventually had to meet one who fits the stereotype of Comic Book Supervillain.
- And so the big deal Supervillain carts me off to a trailer on a nearby Wyoming mountainside, where he keeps a time machine he captured. I guess he discovered that real underground Supervillain Bases aren't cost-effective, because everyone knows where the caves and the construction are, and they can bomb the living shit out of them.
- Naturally, his plan is to keep his archenemies from being born or something. Aww, c'mon, that plan never works. And I say as much.
- So he gags me. Luckily, I don't have a cold at the moment, so I can still breathe.
- We set off for the year 1969, which would seem to be right for the conception of Domesday's archenemy Ellipsis. Oh, God, I don't wanna watch.
- We land in a sunny place filled with well-kept granite buildings. Domesday looks really surprised. And I begin to understand why, when two people in togas walk out.
- But I recognize one of the people. It's MANIC 5, an evil chaos mage from the future with way too much power for his own good, and way too much interest in me. He was around for the latest DuoPolarity stuff too.
- MANIC 5 has some of those supervillain traits too. So, with a real stereotypical supervillain in his front yard, he becomes talkative. And he gets my own supervillain to ungag me so I can talk too.
- It seems MANIC 5 escaped here, to Masilia in Gallia Narbonensis in the year 45 BC (which is to say, the French Riviera in the time of Julius Caesar) with his invading extradimensional ally Baron Mordo of Whatever (from the looks of him, somewhere in Transylvania) after the DuoPolarity event! Well, that explains the villains that got away from my bro's strike force then.
- Why the time of Julius Caesar? Because it's at least as historically significant as the time of Jesus Christ, and a lot less closely monitored by time travellers.
- MANIC 5, of course, has his own Master Plan. He noticed time being rebooted a couple of years ago. (Hey, it was me who did that! Not that I'm going to let the supervillains in on this.) Now he wants a reboot all his own, with himself at the controls.
- To fuel this plan, MANIC 5 has in his possession the True Cross... of Spartacus! It's the most magically charged power object of this era; Romans take real pride in it. And he and Mordo are casting a sympathetic magic spell to attact a certain other True Cross from the future, in a way that will collapse time so as to allow a reboot, with their hands on the controls afterwards. And blah blah blah.
- And naturally, since time is about to collapse, time travellers like myself and Domesday have collapsed first, right into their courtyard.
- Well, Domesday is so impressed with their plan, he signs on. He's mostly in it for the universe ending and all that, and this seems as good a way as any.
- Yeah, right. If they destroy the universe, where're they gonna put their stuff? I say as much... whereupon they gag me again.
- The villains say, their ceremony is auto-completing right now. With a fresh time traveller like Domesday working with them, it'll go that much faster. Well, shit, and here I am with no way to summon a United Nations peacekeeping force or anyone else useful. Which is my usual response to situations like this.
- But a war cry comes from the shoreline. While the villains were doing stereotypical villain dialog, a trireme ocean-going boat beached itself on the shore. Now, a small horde of barbarians with big mustaches and big swords are charging us! And... they look like Toons!
I have to admit... during that DuoPolarity stuff, while my brother was leading a strike force that let two villains get away, I was leading my own strike force that let one of its own extradimensional targets escape.
- And my target was Yosemite Sam! He'd gone to the time of the shepherd boy David of Bethlehem, to mess with the Bible. I got him to lay off messing, but I neglected to remove him in chains.
- So, at least one barbaric Toon with a big mustache has been unaccounted for about 1000 years by now... and I never did figure out if Toons interbreed with humans. From the looks of these barbarians, I'd guess they do! I'm guessing the Stork brings Toons their babies for real, because any other answer just boggles my mind.
The Toonish warriors crash into us. They ignore me, because I'm apparently no threat to them, gagged up like I am right now. They do, I'm glad to say, give the supervillains a hard time. But this isn't stopping any ceremony.
- If I'm going to ask the Toons for help, I'm going to have to ungag myself. Fortunately, I can spit acid now; I've been able to do that since the Willow Farm Intervention, and I don't know why. Unfortunately, this tastes just like peeing out my mouth. But I'm just going to have to put up with it.
- I free my mouth enough to yell "Help! Aidez-moi!" at the Toons. Hey, Toons may be omni-lingual, but ancient French toons might do better with French language. And I get one's attention! He's a small one, but anything's better than nothing.
- And he surely is strong. My wrists are in shackles, but he just crushes the shackes with his hands.
- Well, my French is limited to "Help me" and "One beer, please", so I have to proceed in English. It's hard, but with sign language, I get the message across. Magic power object this way!
- The big deal supervillains are still otherwise occupied, with a wave of Toonish barbarians. Like their modern counterparts, these ancient Toons are practically unstoppable. So the little warrior and I make it past the supervillains, and touch the True Cross of Spartacus.
And then things... change. I'm suddenly in Massachusetts, in the little town where I used to live! And so are half the people I know from Illinois where I live now!
- But it would seem "Illinois where I live now" is too strong a term for it. I'm staying in a boarding house in Massachusetts now, with most of my friends.
- We're setting up a software development shop, and it seems I'm leading it! Well then, I think I'll call it the Ferguson Engineering Research Group, or maybe the Freedom Engineering Research Group, since freedom's all the rage this year. Either way, it's the FERG for short.
- We're setting up in my old hometown where it's cheap (at least by Massachusetts standards) - and also briefly a center of world civilization!
- There's an old mansion there, which got some survivalist add-ons for Y2K, and became town headquarters when the Douglas Virus hit. And now that time's been restructured, it seems I own that mansion, having sank all my savings into it at an opportune time! I was saving it all for retirement, but if I drop that plan for now, it seems I can employ all my friends!
- The mansion and its outbuildings are big enough to hold a shopping center, a hotel, a pub, and an engineering company. How convenient. We'll be living in the hotel part.
- My favorite thrift store from Illinois has moved there too, because my old hometown is perfect for thrift stores.
- And all my friends from Massachusetts are stopping by to say hi.
- And Judy's there too! Hooray, I haven't lost her again!
I've just gotten a good view of the inner workings of time. So now I know: These Toon-barbarians really are descended from Yosemite Sam!
- Sam went down to Egypt, got tricked into crossing the Libyan desert on a camel, and just kept going west.
- His descendants wound up in one village in what would later be known as Normandy - and got their own series of French comic books, named after the little warrior I met, Asterix!
- Asterix's whole village loaded themselves on a passing Norman ship, in response to a premonition their druid had.
- Asterix, of course, saw me tied up and gagged, but he did nothing until I called for help. Apparently his own village has a tradition of binding and gagging their bard.
And so, the invader that got away from me cancelled out the ones that got away from my brother.
The big deal supervillains got scattered to new lives, like I did. My new life is congenial, because I was driving Time at the time. I don't know exactly what their new lives are like, but I'm in a good position to say, they won't be bothering anyone I care about for a while.
Well, it would seem that ancient and modern together, human and Toon together, Frenchman and American together, have somehow saved the years. But I doubt anyone will believe me. As usual. (6 Mar 2004)
Me in Comic Books:
Asterix is copyright by Dargaud France Ltee, if I remember correctly. Yosemite Sam, of course, is an AOL Time Warner character nowadays. Baron Mordo comes from Marvel Comics. All other characters in this fiction are copyright © 2007 by Eiler Technical Enterprises.