Aliens and Hillbillies
After last month's excitement, some of our staff went on break. Matt went to be near his family after the Reduction of Nappanee, and Vince finally took some recuperation after being assaulted by the Herodias Dancers' Guild. But we still have a good newsletter for you this month.
As you may know, the FERG has been monitoring superhumans. Now, we can share our files with you! The U.S. Government is letting us publish some of this information, to give some of the unregistered superhumans an incentive to register. This month, we feature Chicago superhumans, because of this month's firebombing of the Chicago City Tower, the former Sears Tower in Chicago. Plus, commentary by Karl.
But we also have some FERG adventure. It seems there's this artificial alien lifeform loose, called Spanker 4. And that's more sinister than it sounds, because, Spanker 3 was supposedly on Earth eight centuries ago. It destabilized three major centers of civilization, and led to the rise of the Mongol Empire.
Our customers on this search don't mind the publicity, because they doubt anyone will believe it anyway.
Yes, it sounds scary, but it also sounds like more of the same. As Wyatt used to say, we might as well sit back and treat it like an action story. So, enjoy this month's story!
Spanker 4 and Earth's Secret History
by Vince Cortez
There's a big story to tell here, but I'm not sure how to tell it yet! I have to work at writing, unlike Wyatt Ferguson who seemed to do it naturally.
I think I've gotten my diary entries organized enough to tell the whole story now. If you've been checking the FERG page before now, it is a living thing, so always check in later! :)
Saturday, 9th of June: I've come to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to establish a FERG temporary office, to go with some business here, but I need a ticket to get in. So I go back to my hotel room and review some reports on how genies once helped aliens create an artificial lifeform, the Spanker.
- Aliens got interested in Earth sometime around 270 AD, when they swiped the Syrian warrior queen Zenobia to fight in an extraterrestrial war. Apparently Zenobia made such a stir, other aliens attacked Earth in retaliation.
- Yes, it seems the aliens have been interacting with Earth since the Roman Empire. Zenobia taught them a lesson. And the lesson was... Pre-empt your enemies!
- But the aliens were on a budget. Interstellar transport isn't cheap. So they sent powerful artificial lifeforms, one at a time, to cull humans. They called these the "Spankers".
- The Spankers were fairly effective, but history never recorded their presence. They were always deployed to the geographic center of our planet's largest landmass... which is to say, Central Asia. They didn't find lots of humans to cull there, but they set off some mass migrations. Spanker 1 put the Huns in motion, Spanker 2 the Turks, and Spanker 3 the Mongols.
- Everyone fought Spanker 1 and his Huns. So after that mission, the aliens consulted with such Earthlings as they could regularly contact. Which is to say, the Djinni, or Genies. (Wyatt had some contact with real Djinni.) The Djinni gave some guidance on construction and targeting. The Djinni were earthbound, but they sent cicadas as messengers to the aliens.
- So, Spanker 2 blended in with the nearest local major religion. Which is to say, he went Islamic. And so did his Turks. Which set off the Crusades.
- Spanker 3 added programming for minor religions, and included specific targeting. So, he impressed Genghis Khan with the blessing of his own sky god - and then specifically targeted the Earth's largest cities, in China and Persia, and broke their walls. Mongols on mass migration did the rest.
- Historians think the Mongols coerced Chinese engineers to build siege engines to take those cities. But can you imagine an engineer who would be productive, on permanent campout with people who don't believe in bathing? Alien invasion actually sounds more plausible.
- There's said to be a Spanker 4 on Earth right now. That would explain the Giant Afghan Robot Rampage. They say the Chinese nuked that robot in Tibet... but who knows?
- The Spankers burn out after 100 years or so. Or at least Spanker 3 did, which explains the fall of the Mongol Empire. Who knows how long Spanker 4 might go?
Sunday, 10th of June: A French castle of the Knights Templar has moved to the east edge of Speedway, Indiana, and they give tours on Sundays! It seemed a good way to kick off a long weekend vacation, if I could just get through traffic before the tour starts.
- More importantly, the Templars had clues about the Spankers! They were allies with the Mongols at one point, and therefore with Spanker 3.
- It seems the Djinni left themselves a way to neutralize Spankers! And they were working for Egypt at the time. When Mongols got too near to Egypt, the Djinni turned the switch. The Mongol invasion just fizzled.
- Of course, the Templars didn't know what this turn-off method is. But at least they knew there is one. Or was one, 800 years ago.
Tuesday, 12th of June: Our intern Matt can now fly, but he has to avoid the telephone wires. His parents say (via micro-telephone from Nappanee) Matt shouldn't go to school now that he's mentally dominated by aliens... but if not now, when?
But some background info may be in order...
- Matt thought these aliens must be Kryptonians. But of course the real Kryptonians are in one of those other universes. What we have, that looks anything like humans, is Caladrians.
- The Caladrians wanted to track down a renegade robot. Spanker 4, of course. They thought it might be good to mentally control an Earthling, namely Matt our youthful but highly-connected intern, to do this.
- Matt was still on break since last month. So we informed the Caladrians that Earthling customs required a more suitable host for them. I volunteered. They accepted.
- They said, Spanker 4 can do whatever Spanker 3 did... but he's also programmed for subtlety. As in, supporting local rebellions that might destablize the world. As in, Patagonia.
- So, off I went to Patagonia. Suresh thought I should give this job to Karl so I could go back on break... but hey, the aliens were already working with me. And I live for this stuff!
Thursday, 14th of June: In Patagonia, there's a hotel where terrorists are training. I managed to get close enough to take photographs and then sneak out, but it was snowing, and two women were following me.
- Of course, it was the height of winter there. And today is one month away from the first anniversary of the Patagonian War, so they might be planning something for the anniversary.
- Of course, it wasn't really a hotel; it's a ranch. The owner of record is the Countess de Fremontagne... from the Herodias Dancers' Guild. But she's gone missing since last month.
- But there really are terrorists in training here. Patagonia is remote, and it's not only open to rebellion, it's actively rebelling. What more do terrorists need?
- Still, if Spanker 4 was ever in Patagonia, his work here is done. Patagonia's already destabilizing the world. Spanker 4 would have to burn down Buenos Aires to improve on his work. So, I hadn't really found anything.
- But still, there I was in the Patagonia countryside, and terrorists were chasing me. I could really have used some superpowers to get away. I've granted Chaos Mage powers to others, but that trick never works on me for some reason.
- But for once I had my own powers, thanks to the Caladrians! I flew away, and eventually got my ass on an airplane back to the FERG Hotel to make my report (two days later, because that's about how long it takes).
Saturday, 16th of June: There are guns that walk on their own mechanical legs, but they tend to walk into walls a lot. Chang has to work on that. These are FERG devices!
- As imperfect as these devices are, the Swiss Army has still sent someone to come see them. It seems they're respectful of any kind of clockwork device that has a military application. And they'd really like some mobile observation devices around their borders.
- And there's another observer. He's the boyfriend of one of the FERG's aerobics teachers... the one who probably went to destabilize Saudi Arabia last month. The Swiss think he might be a U.S. government agent, and I'd have to agree.
It looks like Spanker 4 is still at loose. But now, Earthlings know more about what to look for. And maybe FERG tech can help look.
The Chicago City Tower Attack
by Karl Scribner
Last month, I predicted a backlash of U.S. government against big cities like Boston, Chicago, and New York City, where there are powerful foreign elements who align themselves with the enemies of the current U.S. administration, and support criminal secret organizations. That is to say, Italians and Irish who vote Democratic, and consider the Mafia and the I.R.A. to be facts of life.
Well, I stand by my prediction. But I got surprised, when one of the local loonies reacted first. Yes, there are terrorists, and there are alien invasions, but sometimes you really can blame it on the local loonies.
I also predicted, Ellipsis technology would get the world in even more trouble than it already has. As you recall, the superhuman Ellipsis came up with the tech that one Italian used to shrink the town of Nappanee, Indiana to microscopic size. Nobody's figured out how to restore it yet.
Well, I stand by my prediction. But I got surprised, when it was someone else's tech that helped the local loonies firebomb Chicago. It was a DuoPolarity of Boston anti-gravity generator that propelled that tin-paper airplane! Ellipsis paid a license to use one, but the discussions on how to build one in the first place were all over the Internet. Open source, they call it. Wyatt Ferguson was the first to use it in a personal aircraft! But anyway...
Why the Chicago City Tower in particular? Well, they don't call it the Sears Tower any more; Sears moved out to the suburbs years ago, and it didn't want its name associated with any skyscrapers, after the last ones fell. The City of Chicago moved in, as a matter of civic pride. That may have made the building a civic target... or maybe it still had a business target of interest to this particular loonie. Or it was just the tallest penis to spank. Or something. They'll never come up with a Grand Unified Theory of how loonies think.
So yes, repression is underway, and reaction is underway, and private citizens may feel threatened or reactionary, and everyone's tech is dangerous, and private citizens can use it. But this isn't exactly a new problem. Before there were Presidents of anything, there were guns to assassinate them.
The solution? Hell if I know. I have nothing new to add to what history has already taught us. But it's really just more business as usual, and we'll get by somehow. In 200 years or so, we'll probably even have songs and museum exhibits that glorify loonies and terrorists, just like we have those things to glorify pirates now.