Cry for Iran. Commentator: Wyatt Ferguson. As often happens, it starts with a big news announcement. But it ends with me on a job.
WORLD JOURNAL MONTHLY
June 25, 2009 See Our Other Issues!
CYBORG DUCK IS A COMPUTERIZED PDA!
Executive Says, Ducks Are Ideal for Species Upgrade
I'm not going to reproduce the whole news story. Suffice it to say:
- There's a talking cyborg duck named "Sycophant" who has catalogued every superhuman power. Superhumans are annoyed when he knows more than he should; Sycophant is an excellent surveillance tool.
- Sycophant is owned by Malcolm "Mal" Dunevoy, notorious Tennessee billionaire, who's training him in commerce. Ducks are trainable, and known for persistence. (25 Jun)
- Ducks are lazy. Or at least all the ducks I've ever seen are. But so are database administrators. Ducks might therefore just be natural admins, if only properly enhanced. But for now, they're better at data collection.
- Ducks also leave their shit all over the place. The news story was silent on this important issue, but it could be, the cyborg Sycophant duck wears a diaper during business meetings.
Now, back to my life.
- As part of Tekno-Otelo research against the space aliens, I'm on assignment to Mal Dunevoy in Boston. He's the one with the talking duck, but I don't see the duck with him.
- Mr. Dunevoy (I'm not exactly on first-name terms with him) has a meeting in the Boston University student union building - with an ayatollah from Iran! I find this suspicious, to say the least. Fortunately I am known to need restrooms frequently and have a change of clothes so as to sneak away. (30 Jun)
- I find a group of students - and they're welcoming the superhuman operative Bandolier! Students ask questions, so I learn some stuff.
- Bandolier was patrolling there too. She's telling the students, she was lost in Boston! The Mass Pike is always backed up. She didn't call for a helicopter; she just hacked the subway system with her custom Segway. With that helmet and gas mask, she's safe from injury or asphyxiation. (12, 30 Jun)
- I recognize Bandolier, sort of! This is obviously not the same one who hired me once; her thighs look too shapely for that.
- But I know, the original vigilante Bandolier had a ward. She is the orphan daughter of two other superhumans: a crazed time-travelling super-soldier named Megaphone, and a super-powered nymphomaniac named Nympho.
- She's 16 years old with the body of a blonde 25-year-old porn star; like her mother, she's a quick bloomer. Unlike her natural father, she's entirely serious; she makes a good urban vigilante.
- Iran's become involved for the same reasons "rogue nations" deal in munitions. In our world, they also deal in superhumans - and in those who can cage them.
- Bandolier Jr.'s adoptive father would probably be worried about her - if he hadn't disappeared. I get the impression, Bandolier Jr. thinks Bandolier is in Iran!
- Iran's been having widespread unrest. Its leadership put off scheduled elections due to external threat of Islamic superhumans in Kuwait. Kuwait is relatively liberal and protected by U.S. forces, therefore a natural assembly point for superhumans who are otherwise repressed in that part of the world.
- Superhumans of the world are sympathetic to Iran's underground; famous programmer (and genius superhuman) Stephen Wolcott of The Combine is keeping the computer links open.
- In return Iran's sent an ayatollah to Boston (near a Combine home office) to investigate expatriate student support. This gets Bandolier involved. Most students would call the Power Patrol, but there's a suspected leak there.
- The leak in Boston turns out to be a new superbeing who also works for my customer. It's Sycophant the Duck - now proudly calling himself "Psychovant"! He takes the time to spell "Psychovant" for us. "P as in Peniss, V as in Vagina".
- Certain demons take on the aspect of cartoon characters. Apparently the cyborg duck Sycophant has taken on this extra enhancement. Mal Dunevoy is acting surprised about this; either he's really acting, or really surprised.
- One of Psychovant's powers is shape-changing to human form. So he was there in the meeting with me and Mal Dunevoy.
- Another of his powers is to just be a duck. In that form, he sees and hears a lot of stuff that students say by the Charles River near the Boston University. That's where his recent usefulness to Iran has come.
- Psychovant's been training in commerce for superhumans. That is to say, he's a mercenary now. Kind of like me, except when I learned I was secretly working for Iran, I skipped out.
- Bandolier Jr. now leads a team of student heroes - not student superhumans. But the original Bandolier was technically not superhuman either; he just had cool hand grenades. Bandolier Jr. hands these out as needed - with bandoliers to hold them, of course. And so the students of Boston University annoy the normal ducks throughout their campus, so as to flush out the danger duck that the superheroine is hunting - and let her run some kind of scanner on him.
- In the end, Psychovant disappears. The Iranian Gov has to live without him supporting them. In return, Iran declines to turn over information that Shi'ite militias of Iraq found about alien support for the Iraqi Allied People's Front in the 1990s - which is what Mal Dunevoy wanted when he loaned them Psychovant. Oh well, if U.S. soldiers couldn't find this stuff out from the Iraqi Sunnis, why should the Sunnis' natural enemies the Shi'ites be able to?
- Iran has to live without my support too. My boss isn't happy. Oh well. But I have enough control over my contracts to refuse this one. I insisted on that when she hired me. It was really quite naughty of her to try to hide the Iranian connection for this job. And I notice, Mr. Dunevoy is trying to sabotage some other superhumans. I wonder what's going on?
- This could conceivably give our Superhuman World a grudge of Bandolier vs. Psychovant. Admittedly Psychovant is a cartoon duck, so for all practical purpose can neither inflict physical harm nor be physically harmed. That makes it psychological warfare, much like Batman vs. Joker stuff in the comic books. I hope it resolves itself a bit quicker than that comic books stuff does, though.
Postlude: The new Bandolier has more important things to do than chase a talking duck - because her mentor's still in prison in Iran. She found where he was, from the scans she took on Psychovant - and she's rescued him!
- Bandolier Jr. of course hired mercenaries. But she's the only one on the team who can slither through a drainpipe into the prison. She's not only superpowered like her dad and heavily armed like her stepdad, she's a contortionist like her mom! (11 Jul)
- Thereafter the rescue went like rescues ought to go - for once.
- Bandolier Jr. had a theoretical chance to take back the heroine Stonewater too. But she passed it up. Just because one can break into the men's wing of a prison, that doesn't open the women's wing.
- Bandolier Jr. has a blog now! She's posted: Yes, her dad was more worried about her than about himself. But he says she's more than he could have hoped for.
In most comic books, there can be only one vigilante of a certain name. But in our own Superhuman World, there can easily be two Bandoliers.
As for Iran, the superhumans are staying out of the way. One reason is, superhumans are busy and usually only deal with rogue nations when they have superhuman tech. We're worrying about Vojvodina this month, because there's a rumor they have a time machine... In Iran this leaves the common people to lead the fight, as well they should.