Me in Comic Books:
The Adventures of Me 2002
The Second Pequot War
(Author's Note: Parts of this story, to some people, may sound too real for comfort. But remember, this is fiction, which diverges from the real universe. So, for this story, I'm going to identify divergence points, sentences that sound real but are fiction, with a "*" afterward. For example, if you see a sentence saying, "I worked on a nuclear energy project in New Mexico.*", or "The restaurant I went to there gives kickbacks to the Mob.*", you'll know it's not real where normal people live.)
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the First Pequot War:
Once upon a time, when white men first came to what would be called New England, there were four tribes of Indians, and two tribes of white men. The Pequot tribe of Indians allied themselves with the Mohawk tribe of Indians and the Dutch tribe of white men, produced a sort of funny-money called "wampum" that was in high demand, and tried their best to subjugate their neighbors the Mohegan and Narragansett Indians. These latter Indians teamed up with the English tribe of white men, and enslaved the Pequots instead.
These tribes still exist today. The Indians lost their homelands for a while, but they've started to get them back. They've all discovered casinos, which is the modern equivalent of wampum. And they're arguing over it again.*
And they're getting some white tribes involved. The Pequot's casino has strong ties with New York City. A water shuttle whisks the affluent between the two places, including some who run the organized crime.* The other casinos are more recent, and are making their own alliances with an alliance of other "businessmen".* (Okay, I'll come out and say it. In the Marvel Universe, the Kingpin sponsors the Pequots; the Masters of Evil are backing the others.)
Watch history repeat itself.
I enter the story when I get a temp job programming some of the computers at the
Foxwoods casino.* (Little-known fact about me: I'm technically a member of the Mashantucket Pequot tribe which operates that casino.*) The tribe gives me low-rent housing on the reservation trailer park, so I save on commuting.
But to save on expenses, I move in with a woman named Eve who shoots pool as her profession. It's strictly platonic and for saving money, as much as I might wish otherwise. And that's just as well. When I'm trying to go to sleep, she's coming in late from shooting pool. And then...
Challenge of the Happy Bears. (22 Mar) They're furry, stronger than a grown man... and they're invading Connecticut now. Usually the superheroes fight these things, but they're not around and we are.
Happy Bears Have Predators. (23 Mar) After the challenge is over, the bears are about as gracious (and willing to stop playing) as whiny four-year-olds. Fortunately, it turns out these Happy Bears have their own natural enemies. They look like teenage mutant armored ninja, and they say they're knights where they come from. They drive the bears away... then they swear allegience to us, follow me to work, and get me in trouble with the boss. Luckily (I suppose), my roommate is sleeping with the boss, and has some influence.
- At first, the bears travel in one big group. It seems that otherwise, grown people get an irresistible urge to smash these bears in the face. But once they figure out there are no superheroes around, they relax a bit. But they're still annoying. Eve and I, plus a security guy named David, talk them into going home if we can beat them in two out of three tests of strength, skill, and stamina.
- I've heard of some of these bears before. About ten of them invaded New York City once or twice. But there's at least twenty here. They all have names as if a teddy bear company invented them. One is called "Workout Bear"... which would seem to be my department, since I actually teach aerobics. But David challenges him to arm wrestling instead. David's awfully skinny, and these bears are superpowered, but amazingly enough, David wins!
- I gleefully move on to the challenge of "Tipsy Bear" in a drinking contest. Also my department, since I make my own beer. At David's request, one of the casino barrooms consents to set us up with shots and beer. And I must say, I did my best. Shots are not usually my department, but a shot and a 12-ounce beer is like one of my average homebrews, so I did pretty well. I was still standing after eighteeen combos, which is 50% "better" than my previous record. But I'm just human, and these bears are supernatural, and beer isn't boring the way arm wrestling is. I lose.
- As the final challenge (or so I hear, because I was kind of indisposed at the time), Eve plays pool with "Lucky Bear". He can do incredible shots without trying, but she can usually do incredible shots when she tries. And she gets better as the challenge goes on, whereas "Lucky Bear" gets bored and lets her win.
Masters of Evil. (25 Mar) It starts with a beechwood baseball bat which I made myself. I test it out by giving it to the Avengers. Because it's a different kind of wood than it looks, and (like many of my creations) it has a mind of its own and can move itself around, it's saved them from ambush. The Masters of Evil want to recruit me now.
The War. This job's been fun, but it's about to hit the fan.
- There've been at least four groups calling themselves "Masters of Evil" in recent history. I've always wondered why they'd label themselves that way... but then, I'm not one to talk, since I once adopted the nickname "Scum Death" - and inspired others to do likewise*. Still, a name like that does not usually indicate a good state of mental stability.
- But now there's a fifth incarnation of the Masters. It has some new members, like the Wizard and the Trapster (or so he's calling himself now). And it's acting less like a club for megalomaniacs, and more like a secret society of corporate executives who are smart enough to cooperate in price fixing. In this case, they're interested in the casino where I work.
- They've sent these two villains out of hiding, just long enough to trap me and my roommate in our apartment. Before they leave, they put five bombs around the perimeter, and they say if we open a door, use a phone, or tamper with any bomb without disabling all the others first, Boom. So, we're trapped.
- But we're having a party later. If anyone else opens the door, Boom. So we'd better do something fast.
- The bombs look easy to disarm; just press a button. Unfortunately, we have to press five buttons at once.
- But like I said, my sticks have their own mind. I have one I'm working on, which I'm fairly sure can press a button for me when I tell it to. With its help, I can press two buttons at once.
- I now have an icepick that could theoretically help too... if it ever listened to me. It showed up in my closet one morning, surrounded by Nazi regalia like it came from an Aryan pride museum. But it never does what I ask it to, even though I'm technically mostly Aryan. I suspect that if I weren't part Celtic and American aboriginal, though, the icepick would find some other excuse not to obey me.
- But Eve comes through. She says she can take the other three, by throwing two pool balls at two devices at just the right time, while she presses the last button. She must be good if she can do that. Fortunately, she's good, and we survive.
- The party goes on, and it goes well.
- David shows up, and talks with a friend of his named Logan about overcoming psychological self-limitations.
- I catch a guy in the kitchen spiking the soup with something evil (or so he cackles), but it doesn't taste that spicy to me. Still, I have some unspiked soup ready for the rest of the guests.
- We also have "Baby on a String", a real live baby with a harness, whose mother doesn't mind if we swing her. Baby says, "Wheeee!"
- We've even got a port-a-potty set up for our guests' convenience, with a "Bobbing for Toilet Nuggets" sign just for fun, but nobody seems to want to play, even though it's nice and full. (25, 27 Mar)
After Action Report:
- Part I: Biohazard
- One day, some people come in with radiation suits and scanners. They say they're from the Federal government, looking for a radiation source.
- David Benning, our security chief, confronts them. They say their scanners show double the background radiation around him. He gets the casino security team to escort them to his office, where they can calmly, rationally discuss their differences.
- Part II: Rumble
- Then another call comes in. Security's stretched thin right now, with radiation workers and panicked crowds. So I go out with one of the tribe-a-cops to investigate.
- Three professional wrestlers are brawling in the halls. In fact, they're making a lot of damage. They must be Unlimited Class.
- Fortunately, some of my colleagues from "Body Up" are in the house, shooting pool with Eve. These are women who get stronger as they team up, so they're stronger than any number of professional wrestlers. And the pros are shy about confronting these petite little flowers of womanhood, so they slink away.
- Part III: Lizard Kings
- But there's another crisis brewing. The casino recently got some robot dinosaurs, including a big T-Rex and a bunch of "velociraptors". These are running amok now.
- Their teeth are rubber (sensibly so, for liability purposes), but they're still scaring people. And unfortunately, deprogramming the robots is my department. And I can't even catch one, let alone wrestle one to the ground.
- But fortunately, my trenchcoat can... if I throw it in the robo-lizard's face, then jump it alongside lots of security people and press the reset button. Once this approach works, we get all the security people doing it, and make some progress on the little dinosaurs.
- But there's still this T-Rex we can't stop. And now the Wizard is riding it, with this dorky big pink helmet on, cackling and saying, "Bow before my genius!" Hey, if mounting up a robot dinosaur with a silly hat would make me a genius on the order of Wile E. Coyote, I could have done it ages ago. But since I'm not a genius and Acme didn't make the robot dinosaur, I seem to be out of options.
- Except... Acme didn't program the robot dinosaur, I did. And like any programmer, I have the power to break anything I program. So, I get three of the security people to stand at 120-degree angles around the 'bot, then I start running in circles around it. The dinosaur gets confused and can't pick a target.
- Of course, I immediately get an anti-gravity disk upside my head for this. As I float crookedly in midair with the side of my head glued to a floating disk facing up, the Wizard cackles some more, and says, "So you thought you could defeat a man whose genius gives him control over gravity."
- And meanwhile, the T-Rex starts coming back under control. My security allies, quite sensibly, start running.
- Part IV: The Golden Man
- But then, a sparkling golden man with wrestling tights and big boots comes running down the hall, grabs the T-Rex by one leg, and tears the leg off. This man is maybe the size of the Hulk, only taller and not green at all.
- The Wizard doesn't fall down with the dinosaur, though. I guess he does control gravity, after all. But at least he's distracted.
- Remember that trenchcoat I mentioned? It flies. I may not be a superhero, but over the years I've picked up some things that come in handy. It comes up and holds me while I rip off that stupid anti-grav disk. Oops, there went any chance I ever had of growing back my beard.
- I have the Wizard's attention, since we're both flying under our own power now. (For sufficiently loose definitions of "our own", anyway.) He cackles some more and says, "Your golden ally shall not save you!" He throws a little capsule that shatters on the golden guy's chest and starts smoking. The golden man starts coughing.
- The Wizard turns to me and says, "And now your turn..."
- Part V: Odin's Toothpick
- But then... Remember that icepick I mentioned? It flies up and hovers over the Wizard's right eye. What a sadistic little piece of metal.
- The Wizard says, "...Huh?", and starts doing evasive maneuvers. But he can't lose the icepick. As far as I can tell, it never stops pointing at his eye.
- Then I hear him say, "Oh God, get this thing away from me!" It then flies around to his back, until he lands and surrenders.
- Afterward, I recognize the Trapster (or is it the Trickster? I forgot) in the crowd. He shakes his head and says to me, "I told him not to go public. But he just couldn't resist it. I guess he wasn't really cured." Then he walks off.
- The Trapster made a remark about being "cured". Obviously this didn't stop him from setting up a death trap for me... but it stopped him from being caught in public, or leaving anything incriminating behind. I wonder if villains are being "cured" nationwide? Aside from the Wizard who had a relapse, our master villains seem to be smart enough not to come in and shoot up the place themselves.
- Speaking of the Wizard, we caught his whole rampage on security tape with audio. I'm sure I heard him begging for mercy, but the tapes didn't even show his lips moving there. I wonder what it was I heard?
- And speaking of that golden guy who fought the Wizard... he disappeared afterward. David Benning showed a singular lack of interest in trying to track this guy down. When I asked him why, he told me, but he swore me to secrecy. Suffice it to say, there's a bit of mistaken identity going on with a certain American superbeing whom the Army's always pursuing.
- I still haven't quite figured out that icepick of mine. I showed it to the tribal historian, and he asked around.
So, why'd it pick my closet? The world may never know.
- There's supposedly a metal toothpick which the Norse god Odin once left behind on Earth. Some Vikings used it for an icepick, and eventually it found its way into a Nazi museum in Germany.
- The toothpick disappeared after World War 2, but it's rumored to pop up in museums around the world, surrounded by Nazi regalia.
- As far as legal action goes, we're kind of stuck. The Wizard's the only guy we caught, and nobody here believes he's really the mastermind of a plot against us, because he's just too goofy. And for assets, bearing in mind all the previous suits against him, he has diddly-squat.
- So, the Mashantucket Pequot Nation has some repairs to do on their casino. Their ancestral high-stakes bingo hall is still operational, and the rest should reopen soon, but for now, they're letting their contractors go. This means me. Oh well, it's the life of a contractor.
Me in Comic Books: