Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Jan the Intergalactic Aviator: Beware of the Symbiote

“You needn’t worry about those unsophisticated implements,” Magneto gestured towards my tools.

“What, these?” I held up my laser torch and hydrospanner. “How else am I going to build our rocket?”

“I am Magneto. Mine is the power of magnetism.” The mutant clenched his fists and waves of magnetic energy radiated out across the piles of rocket parts. Metal creaked as the pieces shifted and lifted into the air.

With a whirl and a twirl, Magneto guided the pieces together with incredible precision. Like a 2 ton puzzle noisily coming together, each rocket part fit into its space then was in turn covered by another piece of metal or wiring until a fully assembled rocket capsule stood in front of us.

“Wow,” I whistled. “It’s all metal though, we’ll burn up on reentry for sure.”

“I will see to it that we do not, Human Jan. For luminous beings are we, not some crude matter like you see before you.”

Where have I heard that one before? “OK, but how are we going to get up to the space station?”

“I shall be your propulsion,” he announced regally. “Get in.”

We both climbed in and I strapped myself into a seat. Magneto stood with his arms outstretched and concentrated. Not surprisingly, the craft lifted free of the ground and flew into the skies above Ice Station Zebra.

“Impressive,” I whistled again. “Are you sure you can keep this up all the way to the space station?”

“Do not worry about me, little child,” Magneto cooed. “This endeavor will not tax my powers.”

“Watch it with the ‘little child’ bit, buster,” I stuck my finger near him. “I didn’t pick you for a partner and I don’t need to hear your condescending tone on this race.”

“Aha you have spirit!” Magneto’s eyes lit up. “You may not be Homo Superior, but I can feel the latent greatness within you. You truly are much more than meets the eye, Human Jan. And I apologize for my tone, that clearly was not my intent.”

“OK,” I nodded. OK now what? “So uh, can I get you anything? Drink of water? Somtehing to eat? I have a protein bar in my cargo pocket here.”

“No thank you, I am quite fine as I am,” he replied. “Tell me, what brings you to this race?”

“The money,” I shrugged. “Yeah, I know that doesn’t sound very principled but I’m an Intergalactic Aviator and money’s tight. It’s a tough gig out there flying the space lanes, hauling cargo, taking jobs as they come. One time my so-called partner was trying to stick it to me so I wound up dumping him out in an escape pod. Nice idea right? Well except when you don’t make your payday and you’re out one escape pod.”

“Truly your endeavors are the makings of a great story,” he replied. I couldn’t quite tell if he was being condescending now or not. “Mine is a nobler goal: to win this race and lead mutants to victory against the human oppressors. To throw down the shackles of tyranny and bring about an era of peace for all mutantkind.”

“Yeah, without humans, right?” I snorted.

“Many will be spared,” he replied. “You for instance, I would take as my consort. Your life would be one of luxury but you would never taste freedom like you do now. Such is the tragic irony of my benevolent rule.”

“Your consort? Don’t even--!” I spat. “Wait, I thought you didn’t like women.”

“Of course I like women,” he responded. “I am a Homo Superior, not a homosexual.”

“Yeah but your pink helmet and cape,” I replied. “It’s like you came right out of a gay bar on Gay Planet.”

“What this?” he scowled. “My helmet is not pink. Say no more of this nonsense; I thought you were above such paltry, ill-humored observations. Bother me no more as I must concentrate as we approach the space station.”

I slumped back into my seat and crossed my arms. This guy’s getting on my nerves to no end. And yet, I feel this attraction to him. Maybe I’m made out of metal. Ha ha, Jan, good one.

We made it to the station in silence but once inside we huddled together to decide which challenge to take.

“I don’t know who’s out there,” I said looking out to the alien craft looming near. “But I know a lot of alien species. Maybe we could speak with them and be diplomatic. They may understand what’s happened to their ship.”

“No, Human Jan,” Magneto replied. “The bigger threat to this world is from that Symbiote clinging to the side of this craft. Our mission must be to capture and quarantine this creature.”

“Yes but we’re going to have to merge with it according to what the Professor said,” I replied. “If this creature is so dangerous, it would be foolish for us to go after it.”

“The Professor said?” the mutant answered with a chuckle. “Young woman, I am the greatest mutant that has walked this Earth or any other. I have been destroyed time and again only to rise up again more powerful than before. I command the very forces that hold this universe together and I will not succumb to the whim of some half-sentient puddle of matter.”

Magneto launched himself out of the airlock without even putting on his space suit. I sealed the helmet on my own suit and quickly dove after him. I could just barely see the outline of a bubble surrounding him, keeping him alive within his own miniature atmosphere. He floated with arms outstretched towards the alien creature then landed gently on the side of the space station, his magnetic powers held him tight to the surface. With a flourish of his cape, he stretched his hand out towards it, beckoning.

“Come to me,” he whispered. “We shall be as one.”

Using the jetpacks on my suit, I maneuvered my way next to Magneto, then activated my gravity boots to stick to the surface with a clang. The creature congealed and slid forward towards us slightly. Inky tendrils reached out as if probing us with some unseen sense.

“Come,” Magneto repeated sternly but invitingly.

The thing stretched towards him, then hesitated for just a moment. With unbelievable speed, the darkness leapt at me instead. Coating me, covering me, speaking to me.

“Oh my God,” I said in awe as I felt it all around me. I grabbed my chest. “I have breasts. I’ve never had them like this before.”

“No!” my mutant teammate shouted in protest. “You were not supposed to merge with her, you were to merge with me!”

“We do not like you,” we replied. “Our kind feeds on passion, on desire. You are all boastfulness and arrogance. She, on the other hand, has got moxie. We like moxie.”

“You’ll not have me, then you shall pay,” Magneto growled through his teeth. He stretched his arms towards us and I could feel the very iron in our blood shift and move, scattering in different directions. We will not let him do this to us.

“We will not let you do this,” we announce as our tendrils shot out and covered his face. I could feel them pushing deep into his throat as the mutant gasped for air. “Now perhaps you feel the power that we possess.”

He gurgled and gasped and finally sputtered into silence. We knew that this creature was not dead – not yet – so we carefully enveloped him and took him back into the space station.

“We should destroy you all!” we growled as the technicians aimed their stun weapons at us. They hurt. They hurt us but we would not be stopped. We hurled Magneto’s lifeless body at them. They dove for cover, but his body crashed into them and sent all hurling towards the control panels. Not feeling satisfied, we picked it up again and carried it to the reactor core of the space station. With our tendrils, we opened the reactor and prepared to hurl Magneto into it.

“No…” he mumbled weakly.

“Oh yes,” we hissed back. We tossed him into the reactor core and slammed the containment door closed in satisfaction.

“Our enemy is gone, we are pleased,” we said.

Wait, not we. It. It was pleased that we were causing this destruction. This creature was causing this, but this isn’t what I want. I had to stop this.

No! I felt it call out to me. We are as one and we are powerful. Do not end this!

“Sorry, Charlie,” I said back as I pulled it off my face. Ah air. Nice fresh, space station air. “One of us has to go and it won’t be me.”

The creature did not give up easily. It promised me power and strength. It offered me the chance to live forever with it as one. It flat out refused to let go of its hold on me.

“This is gonna hurt you more than it’s gonna hurt me,” I growled as I picked up a sonic weapon and aimed it at my chest. The creature screamed and slid off me, melting away from the pain. I seized the opportunity and grabbed the creature, scooping its semisolid form into my arms. It writhed and attempted to get away from me, but it couldn’t in its weakened state. I opened the containment door and threw the creature in. I slammed the door shut, feeling a little smug satisfaction at stopping the thing and slapped my hands together in a job well done.

I then turned around and saw Professor Xavier sitting in his chair staring at me.

“Jan, can I ask you where the Symbiote is?” he asked.

“In there,” I pointed back at the reactor with my thumb. “That thing tried to take me over and kill Magneto so I had to kill it myself.”

“Of course,” he answered slowly and carefully. “And where is Magneto?”

“Uh… he’s in there,” I pointed into the reactor again. “Do you think he’s all right?”

Professor Xavier didn’t respond. He just grabbed the side of his face and slowly shook his head.

Symbiote trouble

Building the rocket wasn't all that bad. While I admit I have no where near the technical skills of my wife Bulma I have enough for this at least, which is good since the instructions for this thing are in Portuguese. I even found ways to make Logan feel useful by cutting wire or cutting sheets of metal

Though something odd happened parts where no longer where I put them. I even found one with a bite in it." Hey Logan? I know you have metal bones but do you um eat metal?"

He looks up from sheet metal he's cutting. “What are ya flamin' goofy? I eat normal food." I show him the part with the bite mark in it. “Okay that's weird... hey bub where did the guidance system doo hickey go?"

We look around until we find or camera android hiding behind a box eating the guidance system. I had no other choice but to connect the android to the rocket as the guidance system.

And Logan decided to punish it by welding metal on it to make it look like a woman...

Either that or he's lonely.

I found some other parts around the ice station that'll do. When we get ready to launch Logan looks around nervously... “ya sure this is gonna work?"

“No." I answer.

“Well no one lives forever." The launch went off perfectly and landing on Starcore... not so much we slammed through outer hull. Stupid guidance android. Logan disconnected it and gave it back its camera. How do ya feel now?"

"Like taking over the world." the machine answers then Logan slaps it, and it starts singing "Jimmy Crack Corn".

This black goop from that the rocket picked up from the outer hull jumps on me, and...

We are Venogeta! We will crush those that are in the way of our goals. Starting with the Mutant, we begin planning our assault when the accursed mutant takes out a bottle of whisky from his seat on the rocket he drinks it takes out a lighter, and spits it on us. The alcohol ignites in the flickering fire...

The flames burn us ahhhhh! Damn what the hell was that?

“Symbiotes nasty flamin' buggers. They don't like fire so much though. Ya back wit' us Veg head?"

“Yes" I respond.

"Good. Let’s go get the next challenge." Imagine our surprise when we found out we had pretty much already did half of the challenge.

“So Veg head? What do the symboites want?" Logan growls.

“Chocolate" I shrug.

"Yer kiddin'" He shouts.

“No, and I have an idea....

So we received a much better ship this time, with out eaten parts, and after gathering the goopy creature, flew back to Earth. Logan made sure the symboite behaved.

I drop the tar like blob in front of the Chocolate Factory we visited in the last Amazing Mutant Race.

"I gotta bad feelin' about this bub.” Logan whines, as we return to Starcore.

“Why the man had candy that turned us both into women besides what's the worst that can happen?"


Sunday, September 28, 2008


“Let’s see…” I massaged my trademark beard. “Who to yield? Can’t be Bennet…”

“That’s so last week,” Puck agreed.

“Can’t yield Henchman, it would make raptor Jesus night awkward. And Koma’s already got enough problems with time zones, being trapped in the bowels of the Earth—”

“You’re confusing direction with depth.”

“Bowels are below the equator. If they don’t like it, they can reverse the Earth’s magnetic poles.”

“We could yield Petrelli—”

“Nay! Congress must be at its most alertness in this time of economic turmoil.”


“Loves pancakes too much. Plus, Magneto plays the banjo. Hey, what was the first name?”


“Yes! No. Koma. Jan. Edwin. Colonel Chickenpox!”

Puck slapped me. “W00t!”

“Okay,” I rubbed my agitated temple. “Let’s yield… Bennet. Because he’s used to it. And for not offering to teriyaki our feet. Also, it’ll prompt him to persevere and audiences love someone who overcomes the odds.”

Sorry, man. Reach for the goal, reach for the gold!

AMR4 - Week 3 Challenge

That certainly was an exciting finish. The sparkling robot with the hidden agenda managed to trounce the competition this week, skipping to the finish line first with the pint-sized Puck perched precariously on his shoulder. Well done, Gyrobo! Perhaps Mr. Bennett might have won if he hadn’t been Yielded by Nathan Peterelli. I suppose I’ll have to ask the Watcher.

The loser this week is West, who didn’t even cross the finish line. I’d send out a search party but I just don’t have the time. Ah well, maybe next year.

Before we get started with the instructions this week there is one piece of housekeeping I have to take care of. It seems like someone lost another mutant partner again. The Blob appeared to have some sort of sever reaction to the alien radiation, perhaps because it was mixing with the nearly toxic levels of Twinkies already present in his stomach. As his current coma-like state does not appear to be the direct fault of Jan however, there will not be a time penalty imposed at the start of this leg. But she does need a new partner. Though this is highly irregular, a mutant contestant whose team was eliminated early this season has “insisted” on returning. If I don’t let him back in the race, he has threatened to resume his genocidal campaign against human-kind. Jan – meet Magneto. Good luck.

The starting point for this leg of the race is Ice Station Zebra. At the station each team will find a work bunker fully equipped to assemble a rocket which will then be used to take the players to the Starcore space satellite. It is there that the teams will find the instructions for the Detour for this leg of the race.

A Detour presents a choice between two tasks, each with their own pros and cons. Once a task has been completed, the contestants must then race to the Pit Stop. In this Detour, the teams must choose between Talk and Walk.

In Talk, each team will be given a near light speed shuttle. It seems that the aliens whose ships crash landed at the North Pole want to know why their crafts were being disturbed by humans. The teams will meet with representatives of the aliens and make first contact, the goal being to avoid an interstellar war and the possible destruction of the Earth. In other words, you might want to try diplomacy.

In Walk, the contestants must don spacesuits and jetpacks so that they can talk a walk outside Starcore. Apparently some thick black goo has been discovered adhered to the exterior near the hatch and initial scans find that it is made of the same substance as the alien Symbiote race which Spider-Man's enemy Venom belongs to. Each team must take a sample of the goo and bring it back into a seperate self-contained quarantine area of Starcore. Once there, one of the members of the team must allow themselves to merge with the Symbiote so that we can find out what their intentions are. Each lab is equiped with high-pitched sonic stunners to render the Symbiote immobile should it prove hostile. The somic stunners haven't been properly tested yet, but the government assures me there shouldn't be any problem.

Once the tasks are completed, you will then make your way back to the command center of Starcore, the Pit Stop for this leg of the race. Good luck everyone! And remember, as I always tell my students, no one likes a loser.

Week Two Pit Stop

Well, this weeks loser should be quite apparent. Mr. Rosen seems to have gotten lost in the Canadian wilderness, perhaps he wandered into Alaskan territory and was shot on sight. I wish I could say that it was a shame, but I’d be lying and I’m trying to cut back on that.

This week’s judging theme is brevity, brought to you by the letter B.

This weeks winner is

Gyrobo, the little robot who usually makes no sense.


Housekeeping PSA

Ahoy, fellow adventurers!

I’m Gyrobo. You may remember me from such blogs as Last Gladiator Standing, Who wants to be a Super-Villain, and Nobody Lives Here Anymore.

While I’m not in charge of this contest (or its lucrative spin-offs), I’d like to share three tips with y’all that’ll surely put a smile on your faces:


For the last year, Blogger has given us the option of adding labels to our posts. Very few of us have actually used them, so I’ve been adding random words to spice up the epilogue of my posts.

But really. If we all took a fraction of a second to add “Challenge #” and our names to each of our posts, it would be possible to, say, have a link on the sidebar for all posts for any challenge. And a link to show all posts written by any individual.

I ask this of you not because it is hard, but because it is easy, because that goal will serve to organize and measure.

Curly Quotes

In software like Microsoft Word, quotes are fancified. Yes, I said it, fancified.
They’re curled and wrapped and bent to make your quotes look more professional and awesome, like in real books.

Some of you may not be aware that I wrote a web page several years ago so that we could do exactly that to our blog posts.

Shrubquote (also available as an Opera Widget) will take in your straight quotes and curl them, giving your posts the air of authority and style. It works in any browser, mostly.

IMPORTANT! Those of you who have already been using Shrubquote: I moved it to a new host, as the one I was using got onto Firefox’s malarkey malware list. You should update your bookmarks, as the old one is no longer being maintained.

Besides quotes, it also dishes up double dashes and expedites ellipses.

This White Background

“Gyrobo,” you cry, “how did you get that grainy white background on all of your posts? Who do I have to talk to…?”

Well, listen up, underdogs! Here’s how it’s done:

In the post editor, click the “Edit HTML” tab. Paste <div style="background:#fff url('http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v701/Artiki/web_images/hinchey_nav2.gif'); color:#000; margin:0 auto; padding:3px; border:3px solid #335;"> before anything else in your post. At the very end of your post, after all the text, paste </div> and boom! Finito.

You can also put it anywhere inside your posts, to highlight specific areas. Jon did that all the time for those awesome adverts at the end of his challenges at LGS3.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Nepharia and Havok -- Leg 2

I sat drinking something known as coffee at the General Store café. The waitress showed me how to put cream and sugar in it and I found it a rather delightful treat. After ten cups of that, I was feeling really jazzed about our next assignment.

Stepping to the front of the café we noticed the other contestants paying out as well. Havok's brother, Cyclops, was doing some souvenir shopping. Havok snorted as he watched his older brother rummage through the t-shirts that sported newfie jibes and pictures of Mounties.

"Let's get going," I murmured, stepping out the front doors of the general store. We stepped outside and into the Expedition. Havok turned on the GPS that came with the vehicle.

"Why do you use that thing?" I asked. "

"It's a computer," he said, gesturing to its sleek exterior, "…and it's French." As if that made it so much better – you'd have thought he was fingering a Givenchy handbag.

"Right," I answered and threw the Rand McNally road atlas at him. "Find the shortest route – that Garmin is always suggesting the longest route. Either it's been tampered with or it's a result of the French's lack of urgency and a desire to waste our fuel."

He nodded and thumbed through the atlas. "Highway 2 is just up the street here and that will get us going north."

"Cool," I started the engine and headed out.

The farther north we went, the colder it got. We began to see snow in the shady spots and then, further on, in the not-so-shady spots. Then it got deep. That was when we came upon a road block with a funky little striped pole in the middle of the road.

I stopped and was approached by Nick Fury. I rolled my window down.

"I'm afraid this is the end of the road for the Expeditions," he said. He pointed to a parking lot where it appeared others had arrived before us. I pulled in and parked next to another one and we stepped out. Walking back to Nick he gestured to a group of hovercraft and handed Havok a set of keys.

"Which challenge have you decided upon?" Nick asked.

I turned to Havok. He was a little more hesitant this time. "Plays?" he said, shrugging a bit.

"Rays," I said to Nick.

"Doh!" Havok cried, kicking at the snow.

Nick smiled ever so slightly and nodded his approval.

"This could be very interesting," he said. Reaching in the breast pocket of his coat, he withdrew a sheet of paper and handed it to me. "Follow the instructions on this map to get to the crash site," he said, pointing at the paper. "Others will be there to record the results. Good luck." He held out his hand and we each shook it in turn.

Havok eagerly jumped into the Neoteric Hovertrek 6 and started her up. After a few donuts around the parking lot as he screamed gleefully, we were off. And then he started: talking – talking incessantly. I tried to focus my attention on where we were going and how to get there to block out the same stories he told on our trip from New York.

I figured being exposed to radiation couldn't possibly be worse that this. Thankfully, we didn't have to follow the roads and we were able to travel in more of a straight line to our destination.

We arrived at the crash site and were met by Dr. Ames, a few of his assistants, other SHIELD agents and some photographers: they were waiting for us.

I stepped out of the Hovertrek and went to be greeted by Dr. Ames. However, several people moved forward with some devices. They clipped a little radiation meter to our clothes and then waved a variety of wands attached to meters around our bodies.

"Oh cool," a man said. "You're already reading a certain amount of exposure to the radiation."

I assumed he was Dr. Ames.

After waiting several minutes, I asked, "How long do we have to wait before we can expect to see some sort of reaction?" I asked.

"Don't know – it all depends on the individual," he answered. Lovely. I turned to Havok to see how he was.

"Do you feel anything?" I asked.

He just shook his head.

"You sure?" I asked.

He nodded his confirmation, which surprised me.

"Are you ready to leave and go back to the hotel?" I tested.

Again, he shook his head.

"I think he's already showing a reaction," I commented.

"What makes you say that?" the man I thought was Dr. Ames in the radiation suit asked.

"He shut up," I answered, "And I can't get him to talk."

"Interesting," he said and he scribbled some notes on a clip board. "What about you? Are you feeling anything at all?"

"Nothing," I answered. "Hey, do we have to sit here the whole time just letting you watch us?"

"No," he answered. "You can do what you want, just stay around camp."

"Sure thing," I answered. I snatched the keys to the hovercraft away from Havok, leaving him standing like a stone in the middle of the radiation suit guys. Hopping into the craft, I started her up. One of the cameramen climbed in with me.

"Are you ready?" I asked with a cheesy grin on my face. The cameraman looked ready – so I did the equivalent of burning rubber in the hovercraft, causing him to rock back heavily and grab a hand hold to keep him steady.

I don't really remember the next 45 minutes. However, when I turned off and stepped out of the hovercraft back at camp, Havok stood as still and stoic as ever and Dr. Ames was furiously scribbling on his clip board.

Looking back over my shoulder, I saw the aftermath of my joy ride:

"Cooo-Uhl!" I exclaimed.

Dr. Ames scribbled some more. Then he came up to me and took the hovercraft keys from my hand, returning them to Havok.

"I think we have seen enough," he said, gesturing off to the south. "You may go now."

Havok slowly walked back to the hovercraft and I climbed in behind him. He started it up and headed south once again.

It was actually a really boring ride home. For the first hour, I couldn't quit fidgeting and really got a bang out of taking my light saber, turning it on and slicing through trees as we went by. Havok said nothing during that time.

Finally, as we approached the Pit Stop, he spoke. "I think we're almost there." And then I couldn't shut him up again. Too bad I can't slice through him with my light saber.


Ladies and Gents,

Here we are lined up in General Store in Moose Jaw. Man, Some of these SUV's are looking pretty bad,especially Vegeta's.While we are waiting Prof. X gives all of us the next set of instructions.

"Head north, to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories. You will then swap out your vehicles for Neoteric Hovertrek 6 hovercrafts which you will use to continue your journey north across the Beaufort Sea to the North Pole."

There is our Detour, between the Rays or Play. Hmmm....Nick Fury or Santa....

Dude, I am totally helping Santa. So North it is.

Riding up with Deadpool isn't the easiest thing, I ever had to do. My muscles are sore from hitting him in the little boys.

So I try something different. I let Him play with a portable DVD player.

That was a HUGE mistake. He keeps playing some strange J-Pop music video.

Raptor Jesus help me.

He screams "MOAR" and hits repeat.

I swear, I am going to crash this Ford into a tree just to end the pain. The Worst part is the Camera Girl is bopping to the music like no tomorrow.

I wonder where they got her.

Just when I was about to kill the lot of them. We arrive at the Neoteric Hovertrek series 6 station. These things are pretty sweet.

Deadpool wants to drive. I tell him,if I drive, I'll let keep playing his Dvd.

"Awesome Sauce, MOAR". He yells.

Once the motor is ready for top speed, I make a sharp turn and DP's Dvd player hits the water and thankfully is gone.

Praise Raptor Jesus.

It takes longer than I thought to get to Santa, I mean the North Pole. The cold air and water hitting us, is freezing.

After we dock the craft. The Elves give a the low down. The making of the toy thing was a cover. Santa doesn't care about good little boys and girls.

I ask why.

They tell me, Santa found out about the little blue pill.

Oh man, not good. The Elves leads us Santa.

"Santa...Who did this to you..."I ask.

"I did". Says someone stepping into the light.

Ok, Wow... Santa must of been a really good boy. Try as I might, I don't see a problem.

I tell the Elves to give Santa the rest of his pills and monitor his heart every other hour.

Lets make some toys. Subsequently later, we come up with two awesome toys. Both robots.

Monkey IronMan

Boxing Cat.

Santa gives us a thumbs up and heads back to his room.

Pit Stop here we come.

Dental for All.

Raptor Jesus rules.

Ho Ho Horrible

“Read this.”

As far as seedy rest stops go, the Beaufort Bed & Breakfast was the bee’s knees. Unlike other chains, this place had a distinctive wild western saloon-esque feel to it. The employees were all dressed in dated clothes, but it was their muttonchops that really shone. The player piano in the lobby— oh, don’t get me started!

Geno (as I’d started calling Puck) put down his quadro-pronged food spear (as forks are called in this here province) to read the old-timey blog printout (as newspapers are called in the 21st century). The story was not only relevant, but now that he was distracted, I had dibs on the noodle bowl.

He let out a semi-astonished gasp at the cover story: the rec center I’d refused to compete in had just been destroyed in a train crash. Smashed into toothpicks.

“Fools!” Geno cried, banging the table futilely. This was the third report of railroad-related demolitions in the last two years.

All too often in this corner-cutting atmosphere of ours will zoning officials give the green light for construction over an active rail line; betting on the off-chance that the railroad barons will “forget” one of their acquisitions had worked in the industrial age, but the world had changed. Tragically, local government hadn’t yet caught up to the world.

“It’s in times like these that I think of the children,” I pontificated. Now reeeeel him in…

Having already read this week’s mission brief while Geno fought off a polar bear, I’d decided almost immediately on a leisurely trek through the frozen northern wastes to break bread with that bearded barnacle, Sinterklaas.

See, I already owed ol’ Nick a favor from back in aught-4 (2004 in oldspeak) when he helped me fight my past self from the future for control of the present. And everyone — everyone — knows that if you stay in Santa Claus’ debt too long he comes back with the grim reaper and turns you into an elf.

It’s common sense, yo.

“Those children are certainly going to have an unhappy Christmas this year…”

“Yeah,” Geno sighed.


He put down the paper, probably ready to pledge his life to whatever I was proposing.

“I say we go to the North Pole and give Santa Claus—” I jabbed at the advert next to the train wreck passage, where Santa’s worldwide talent search took up half the page. “The greatest toy ever invented above and below the sea!”

Smiling, Geno jangled the keys to out new hovercraft. “Hrumph! You must be turning over a new leaf. Given the choice, I thought for sure you’d want to expose yourself to that ore.”

“I’ve already been arrested for trying something similar in the Smithsonian,” I admitted, swinging a scarf o’er me shoulders. “Let’s jet!”
*Explosive boom!*

Geno jumped as an elf wrapped in tinsel smashed a workshop window, sliding stealthily down the snowy slopes into the maw of a blue whale, thrashing at the gnashing teeth like an arctic Ahab.

Union organizer.

“Bwo ho ho!” a violently jolly voice bellowed from aside the pumping furnaces.

Blue flames licked his red suit as the largest man I’d ever seen stepped through the shattered glass, his black boots burning the ground as he pressed down. His eyes were like ice, his beard pointy and silver as knives. Behind him one could hear the cracking of whips and painful, unearthly shrieks. Each step smeared the snow with blood. But there was always more.

“If it isn’t the nicest man on Earth.”

With a twinkle in his eye and a crossbow at the ready, St. Nick regarded me carefully for a second before swooning in faux shock. “Ho ho ho! If it isn’t Gyrobo. And who is this?” he stared down at my diminutive companion. “More assembly line fodder?”

“This is my lead bass player, Jo-Jack Krajesak.” I glanced at the dingy workshop. “We’re here for the talent search.”

“Trying to buy your way out of purgatory, eh?!” the old man laughed. “C’mon in then.”

He clicked his tongue and held up his hand, leading us through rows of suffocating machinery. I’d been in corporate situations like this before: we’d be thrown into a room with half a dozen idealistic dolts convinced their own product was the Next Big Thing.

The secret to success was threats and bribery.

“You!” Barging across the threshold, I accosted the nearest person. “Support my idea or I’ll pay you a lump sum!”

“Take a seat. The focus gree-oup is about to begin.” Santa passed around a stack of agendas. “Let’s introduce our proposals. I think it goes unsaid that the winner will be rewarded with riches beyond measure, while the losers…” he looked out the darkened window that lit the room. Just outside, frozen elves bound with titanium chains were filling a gaping hole with mud and ice.

The last focus group.

Santa plopped himself down, taking up two seats at the head of the brown table. A large portrait of himself as a young man holding a sword hung just above his cap.

A freckled fellow with a slight limp strode to the front of the room. “I’m Bob—”

Quick as a bullet, Santa flipped the table, tore off Bob’s head, spit down his neck, and flew back to his now-fused double-chair before the table landed. “I find the meeting goes easier when I set the tone.” He clapped his hands once, and two emaciated dwarves carried off the carrion. “Next.”

“Hi, I’m Marc Beetlemen.”

And so he was.

“Hi Marc,” we all droned, captivated by his aura of monotony.

“I’m the marketing liaison for Henderson Fashion. Here’s our idea:” he pulled a rip-chord between his legs, causing his backside to instantly inflate. “Functional parachute pants! It’s all the rage in our European outlets. And it actually saves lives.” His lip trembled. “Except for one. My wife, who died testing—”

“That’s some good brainstorming, Marc.” Santa tightened a mammoth tie ’round his thick, tree trunk-like neck. “Next!”

“I’m Jen Ivanov of Boilerplate Studios.” She unfurled a large concept poster. “We’re planning a do-it-yourself video kit to let children inject themselves into as many as twelve inoffensive, generic movies! It fosters creativity within the bounds of polite society.”

We all clapped politely. Next up…

“I’m Justin Thyme, and this is my associate Penwise Sammywistle,” I shouted, springing to my feet. “And boy howdy do we have a surprise for you!”

Santa rolled a two-foot long cigar in his mouth as I passed out small black boxes. Almost immediately they sprouted spindly, spidery legs and slithered up the representatives’ arms, clamping clandestinely on the napes of their necks. Black tubes connected themselves to their hosts’ eyes and ears.

“Great Fox of Fort Knox! My arms… my legs… I’m… paralyzed!” Santa’s cigar fell to the table, splashing ash on his agenda. “Traitor!” he spat. “I’ll hunt you down and use your skin to shine my sled— father?”

“By now the neural link has been completed. The prototypes are burrowing into your minds, dredging your memories for enough data to build a working model of someone… someone… someone close to you.”

After all, what did most people truly desire, year after year? Just a little more time…

“It’s the perfect Christmas present,” Geno added, “a day with someone you’ve lost.”

“I can see my father!” Santa exclaimed. The others were experiencing similar sensations:

“Skippy! I buried that dog twenty years ago!”

“I can see my wife!”

“I can see Marc’s wife!”

“My great-grandpa!”

“It’s the Brooklyn Dodgers!”


“My parents, back from the grocery at last!”

“Oh God! It’s that drifter!”

“Marc’s wife!”

As if by some grand clockwork switch, the prototypes paused all movement, then detached. They fell to the table, transforming into inert, benign black blocks.

“That… was incredible!” Santa sizzled. “But what if the naughty children got their hands on it?”

“That’s the YuleProtect™.” I turned one of the boxes over to show him a small keypad. “Each unit comes with a registration code in the manual. You have to plug the device into your PC or Mac with this USB port,” I pulled the slot cover, “the embedded drivers should install automatically, and it will allow you to enter the registration number online and receive an activation code.”

“And then you put the code into the keypad?”

“Up to three times. Our research shows most people only have three dead relatives they want to see. Anyone who wants to use it more times should have to call your support line and pay for reactivation codes.”

“What if someone loses their keys?” Marc asked. Marc. As if he had anything to do with my presentation.

“It still works, but it turns your loved ones into festering corpses bent on devouring human flesh. It’s standard DRM.”

Santa half-stroked his beard. “This seems overly complicated for six-year-olds.”

“Bah! It’s not for them. Christmas for kids? That’s so 1990. Wake up, adults are the ones that appreciate nice things. Throw a toddler a ball of twine, they’re entertained for the evening. Throw a ball of twine at a veteran truck driver, and they’ll throw it right back in your face. And maybe damage your merchandise on purpose. The Next Big Thing is going to hit the 18-65 demographic. I feel it! It burns!”

“Hmmmmm… you’ve clearly put a lot of thought into your proposal.”

“I thought it up while convincing my local school board to eliminate summer vacation.”

“But why make people jump through hoops to make it work?”

Prepared to a “T”, I puffed out my chest. “Recipients need to prove that they’re really nice, and not a naughty person just ‘borrowing.’”

“But couldn’t a naughty person enter registration keys from a nice person, use their device, and the nice person who deserves the present couldn’t use it?”

Wow. Santa was as sharp a bargainer as I’d ever seen, I reckon. “Yeah, but it stops naughty people from getting at it easier.”

He frowned. “No, they’re naughty. They’d find a way. All this does is hinder legitimate nice people from using their sparkly new Christmas present right away. And it hurts those who get invalid keys, or who have more than three relatives…”

For crying out cornflakes! This was gonna be a tough sell. I’d have to give him the same speech I gave Electronic Arts.

“It’s much more than just to stave off the naughty! It’ll turn anyone’s computer into a conduit… so you can gather information: what programs are installed on their computer, whether they plan to leave you milk and cookies… even after the present becomes inert, it’ll keep you hip to emerging trends! And people will be too preoccupied with the present itself to care about the privacy implications!”

That got his attention. Ever since that disastrous hip-hop video, Santa had tried desperately to rebuild his street cred. Having a crystal ball of sorts—

“I could predict the next 10 Big Things!” He slammed a nearby control panel. Every chair but mine, his, and Puck’s, dropped into a fiery abyss. When he shook my hand, I knew, deep down inside, that I would make it out of that compound alive.

Bending into his fur-covered breast pocket, the behemoth passed down a recently xeroxed map to my next rendezvous, where I would most likely sleep for twenty years. Or dance for nickels.
We’d barely taken our first breath outside the workshop when I suddenly remembered. “Sweet Bluebird of Oxford! He said we’d be ‘rewarded beyond all measure’ before the meeting!” I reached out to wail on the steel door.

“No! Stop. He gave me this on the way out,” Puck handed me a folder. Written on the cover: “Pictures of Marc’s wife.”

I rifled through it. “Hey! I know her!”

“You do?” Puck asked, astonished. People should stop underestimating my ability to claim that I know people.

“Yep. Back in my truck driving days, this one threw a ball of twine at me.” I dropped the folder in a lonely snow bank with a modicum of regret.

Stiffed again!

Mission Two: Hunger is Afoot

"Come on," Cyclops said, "you can tell me. Did you shoot him?"

"I already said no! I WANTED to shoot him, but The Company had someone else do it, apparently."

"Then, why did he yield us?" he asked.

"I have no idea!"

"Those stupid-looking pajama bottoms make your butt look big."

Okay, so maybe I had some idea why he yielded me, but I think it was a mistake. He can fly, that's a huge advantage in a race around the world. West can also fly. Ergo, he should have yielded Koma.

"It's time," I said to Scott. "Let's go."

"I'm hungry. Let's get some tacos," he replied.

"You had 30 minutes you could have spent eating something."

"But I wasn't hungry," he whined. "Now I am. I'm starving!"

"Well, I guess I could blow you up. That would give us another 30 minute yield, which is more than enough time for tacos. Do you want me to blow you up?"

He thought it over and finally sulked, "No."

A long drive and a short hover brought us both to The North Pole.

"Ooh, Santa!" Scott cheered as I read the detour. "Let's go with Santa! I've been really nice this year."

I knew that wasn't the case for me. I haven't gotten a present from Santa Claus since I was 3-years old. Ever since I first fired a gun, I've found my way onto his naughty list year after year.

"We'll do the unnecessarily harmful one."

"Awww!" Scott winced. "I wanted a train set!"

We made our way to the SHIELD outpost and were greeted by Nick Fury. "Alright, sissies," he said, "prepare to be nuked."

"Wait," Scott interrupted. "Will this hurt?"

"I won't lose any sleep over it," Fury replied. He motioned over to some SHIELD agents in hazmat suits as he exited the igloo.

The SHIELD agents approached us with a silver serving platter.

"Oh, boy. I hope it's tacos!" Scott chirped.

They removed the lid from the serving platter and revealed what looked like green, glowing ice cubes.

"Those are some weird looking tacos," Scott said, disappointed.

"They're not tacos, you idiot," I smacked him in the head. "They're green, glowing ice cubes."

We had a thorough rub down and were required to wait a few minutes for any side effects to show.

None did.

Fury entered the igloo and said, "Looks like you wimps lucked out. No effects."

We were about to leave when I noticed that Scott looked extremely tasty.

So, I bit him.

"Hey!" he screamed and slapped me. "Don't bite me. Not here."

"I have to eat human flesh," I replied. "Which is odd considering I don't usually like Indian food."

"It's the effects of the radiation," Fury said. "Just so you know, if either of you try anything with me, I'll blow your brains out and let the other one eat them." He waved his gun at us to make his point clear.

"I've got to eat somebody," I said. "Right now!"

"Relax, four-eyes," Fury aimed his gun at me. "It will all be over in an hour. Just everyone stay calm. What about you, one-eye? Got a hunger for some Fury meat?"

Cyclops smiled and replied, "Yes, sir."

I quickly pulled my gun on Nick Fury. "Listen up," I said, "I just want a hand. Something to hold me over while I wait for the effects to wear off."

He held his gun on me. "Not gonna happen."

"How about three fingers then?" I negotiated.

"No. The show producers don't want me killing the contestants, but if you try to eat me I will pull the trigger."

I switched my aim to the camera man who began to urinate, but like a professional, he kept the camera on me. "How about I just eat him?"

"Fine," Fury replied. "Just stay away from SHIELD personnel."

I approached the camera man who began trembling and crying. He yelled out, "Please don't! Eating a camera man causes you to forfeit the competition!"

"Is that true?" I looked at Scott, who simply shrugged. I looked over at Fury. He had no answer either. "Well, can we get Xavier on the phone?"

"No can do," Fury said, "Communication is scarce up here."

"I can't wait an hour," I said. "I have to eat somebody right now!" I aimed at Scott. "Sorry, but there's plenty more mutants where you came from."

"Hold it!" Fury hollered. "I may have something for you." He walked over to a mini-fridge, which seemed redundant being that we were in an igloo. Opening it, he pulled out a packaged foot.

"This was going to be my lunch," Fury explained, "but I can see you need it more than me. I'll hunt down a penguin or something."

"Aren't they only found in the southern hemisphere?" Scott asked.

"Yeah, I have a flying car."

I quickly bit into the foot, rudely neglecting to offer Cyclops any. Eventually, my manners returned and I asked, "Would you like some?"

"No, thanks," he replied. "But I could still go for a taco."

"You're not a cannibal?" Fury questioned.

"No," he answered.

"I thought you wanted my meat," he raised his patched-eye's brow.

"Umm....I...was...just kidding?" Scott responded.

"Then the radiation had no effect on you," Fury stroked his chin. "Interesting. Perhaps there is a correlation between the radiation in this ore and the radiation in your ocular blasts." He was very excited. "Maybe now I can leave this dreary place and get back to where the action is. I've been here for a week overseeing research on these ores. There are no movie theatres here, no bowling alleys. And it gets so cold here, you know how we stay warm? We have to all huddle together naked just to survive through the night. Yes, sir, I can't wait to get out of here."

"I'm feeling cold," Scott announced. "I might get frostbite."

Fury began unzipping his jumpsuit.

I quickly devoured the rest of the foot and said, "Wow, what a meal. That should keep me full until the radiation wears off. Let's get to the pit stop."

An almost-naked Fury handed us our next clue, detailing the location of the pit stop.

"Come on," I said to Scott. "We're going to Ice Station Zebra."

"But shouldn't we get a dose of Fury's body heat first? You know, to survive the elements?" Scott asked.

"No, let's go!"

"Gah," he complained, "no tacos, no Fury body heat. You are such a bore, Bennet."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Task Two and the Further Adventures of Emma & the Congressman

After receiving instructions on our new task, I attempted to gather everyone around my Expedition. Everyone ignored me, even though I promised them that I wasn’t going to give a political speech. I finally had a few mutants pause and approach skeptically. I could tell I wouldn’t hold their attention for long so I quickly encouraged them to take each other’s hands so we could pray over the successful completion of the next part of the race… Well, in hindsight, I admit it probably wasn't a good idea; but for the record, I would never do that to my mother…

Anyway, when I finished my prayer, I noticed everyone left without waiting…except for Bennett who had to take a 30 minute yield. nah, nah, na, boo, boo. Emma was still there, of course, but she just stared at me like I had developed a third eye on my forehead. I tried to grab the map from her, but she held it over her head. No matter how high I jumped, I couldn’t get it from her. I even tried to fly above her and grab it, but she sucker punched me in the stomach before I could get a foot off the ground.

With a bruised belly, I decided the lord probably wanted her to drive anyway. Besides, we were a little behind the others and Emma felt she could catch us up to them. She took several shortcuts and before long we made it to Inuvik and traded the Expedition. I wasn’t quite prepared for the motion sickness caused by hovercraft; but I said a prayer to make it go away and by the time we reached the North Pole, it was gone.

Emma didn’t even let me look over our options. She chose PLAY, and we began our trek across the frozen wasteland to find Santa’s workshop. I was a little cautious about this Santa guy. He rarely brought me anything when I was a kid, other than a huge chunk of coal. Yeah, I’m glad she chose play…I have some things I’d like to talk over with Santa.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get meet him right away. Emma and I were hustled into a room to help the elves make toys. Actually, Emma was allowed to sit with the head elf and chat. They forced me to strip in front of a bunch of touchy feely elves and put on an elf costume. I was irate about the whole thing really, until someone said photo op and then I turned on my best smile. I can’t help it. It’s instinct.

Anyway, I worked for hours toiling away with no one caring that I was being used as slave labor. I was on the verge of quitting and flying away, when it occurred to me, this is probably how the Israelites felt when they toiled in Egypt so I labored onward until I finished my toy. The other elves looked at it and then looked at each other. Then they picked it up and told me to follow them. Emma looked worried for the first time since our arrival, and she walked up beside me asking me, “What have you done now?”

I was trying to assure her that I had done nothing wrong, when we arrived outside the door to Santa’s Big Office, which actually turned out to be his Big Kitchen. The punk was sitting at a table shoving cookies in his mouth when one of the elves approached him and whispered something in his ear. I don’t know what was said but he handed him my toy and pointed back to me.

Santa took it and called me over. Emma followed behind me muttering under her breath. Santa held up my toy and said that he was shocked by the doll I made and that there was no way he could possible give it to a child. Emma hissed, “Great, now we have to start over again.”

Santa held up his hand saying, “No, no… I happen to know a whole new group who would love this toy.
In fact there is someone who practically asked me for one of these specifically. I just called you over to congratulate you and give you the directions to Ice Station Zebra. I thanked him for the directions, but didn’t move. Emma tried to grab my arm and pull me out of the room, but I eluded her.

I took a deep breath and began to lecture Santa, on how he shouldn’t horn in on the lord’s big day. Christmas was Jesus’ birthday after all… I can’t tell you what happened immediately after because Emma punched me in the face. When I regained consciousness, we were on the road again. Emma looked over at me and pulled to the side of the road. She pulled me out into the cold and stood over me. I was sure a beating was to follow; but instead she paced and said, “I don’t have a problem with God, but you’re acting insane. What I’m about to do is for your own good; and if you ever mention it again, I’ll pull your spleen out through your nose.”

Before I could ask what she meant she grabbed my head and rubbed it between her bosoms. I tried to pray my way through the temptation, but in the end I just drooled and lost consciousness again.
When I awoke the second time, we had already made it to the pit stop. I’m feeling a little conflicted about the whole thing; but even so, I think its further proof that I’m chipping my way through to Emma’s heart. Well I have to go…but I do request that no one mention to Emma what I just told you. I don’t know where my spleen is, but I think it would hurt coming out of my nose.

Thank you,
Congressman Petrelli

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Jan the Intergalactic Aviator: Beware of the Blob

A half hour. A half hour of standing in the general store watching my partner eat everything in sight. It was disgusting, chips, pudding snacks, cans of ravioli and spaghetti, Slurpees, nothing escaped that black hole of his mouth. I think he even chewed on the countertops.

“OK Blob,” I said. “Our half hour Yield is up. We have to get going now.”

“Can’t talk,” he mumbled between chomps. “Eating.”

“You want to be in this race, right?” I asked. “If so, we gotta go.”

“But I’m hungry,” he protested.

“I see that,” I answered. “And I assume you’re always hungry but we have to go and we have to go now.”

“Ugh, fine,” he grunted petulantly. “Where we goin’?”

“We’re taking the Expedition towards the North Pole,” I answered.

“A Ford Expedition?” he asked.

“Yes,” I nodded as I pointed to the vehicle sitting in the lot.

“Wow, a Ford Expedition,” he sighed.

I looked at the driver’s seat, then I looked at my partner’s ample girth, then I looked back at the driver’s seat again. “I guess I’ll drive.”

He started squeezing into the back. “Uh, little help?”

I started to shove him in. Did I mention how disgusting he was? Squishy, gellopolous globs of fat squished through my fingers as I tried to shove him into the back. He didn’t budge.

“Nobody moves the Blob,” he chuckled.

“Come on, get in fatty.”

“Hey, don’t call me fatty, I have a condition.”

“Then just get in,” I growled as I pushed.

“You mean in this Ford Expedition?” he asked.

“Yes! And what’s with this smell? You’ve invented quite an odor here. When’s the last time you took a bath?”

“Heh heh heh, I wash myself with a rag on a stick,” he grunted.

“Ugh. Disgusting.” We managed to get his gigantic, gelatinous body squeezed into the back of the vehicle (with only a small portion of his body squishing out of the windows and back) and were soon on our way.

“Sure do love the ride in the Ford Expedition,” he grinned from the back. “This Ford Expedition is nice and roomy.”

“Funny,” I said into the rearview mirror. The rearview mirror did not offer a pleasant view.

“Yep, this Ford Expedition is certainly a quality vehicle.”

“Why do you keep saying that?” I asked.

“Saying what?” he asked back. “Ford Expedition?”

“Yes, that.”

“Oh, I signed a contract with Ford Motor Company,” he explained. “I get paid to say the name of their car the Ford Expedition. Ford Expedition.”

I whistled. “I’m impressed. You get a nice chunk of change every time you say it?”

“No, I don’t get money for saying Ford Expedition,” he guffawed. “I get a bucket of chicken and a bottle of Gatorade every time I say Ford Expedition. Ford Expedition.”

We made it to where we had to get into the hovercraft. The only problem was that there was no way on Earth that the Blob would be able to ride one of those things. Fortunately, I called in a favor from an old Coast Guard pal of mine and we were soon skipping across the surface like a stone on water.

“Nice ride,” the Blob yelled above the roar of the twin fans. “Almost as nice as a Ford Expedition, heh heh. A Ford Expedition.”

“Hey Jan, maybe when this race is all over you and me could go out for a frosty Yo Joe Cola?” Cutter called out to me.

“Just keep driving, puddle pirate,” I smirked back at him.

In no time at all we were meeting Nick Fury and checking out the crashed space ship.

“Brrr, it’s freezing here,” I shivered.

“That’s why it’s called the North Pole,” Fury replied.

“Ha! The Blob doesn’t get cold.” The Blob looked around. “Hey, check this thing out.”

“Careful with that radioactive material,” I warned as I scanned it with my datapad. “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe this.”

“What is it?” the Fury asked. “What kind of readings are you getting?”

“This ship is from planet Xenon,” I explained. “But Xenon exploded a long time ago. That makes this stuff Xenonite.”

“Yeah so?” the Blob eyeballed the green rock then sniffed it.

“Well who knows what kind of effects the radiation from this planet could have. It could do anything... cure cancer or destroy us all.” I explained. “I just need to run some tests and hey! Don’t eat it!”

“But it smells like bacon wrapped Twinkies,” he mumbled in between loud, smacking bites. He then grabbed his immense belly as a gurgling noise rumbled from it. “Oh oh.”

“You think?” I snorted. “You’re going to have one serious case of intergalactic indigestion here in a moment.”

“I don’t feel so good.” The Blob doubled over and howled in pain as his stomach continued to make awful gurgling noises.

“This doesn’t look good,” Fury shook his head.

Suddenly, fat exploded from the Blob’s pores and tore from his belly. Gooey sludge slid across the snow, coagulating, sliding together. Droplets combined forming larger drops, then they rolled together to form globs, then the larger globs slid into each other, forming one giant “blob,” which then quickly rolled over Nick Fury.

“Ahh! Get it off!” Fury screamed. “It’s burning into my skin!”

“Dammit, that thing is going to kill us!” I growled as I pulled my blaster rifle off my shoulder and charged it. “It’s going to absorb us and keep growing.”

“Kill it!” Fury growled. “Don’t worry about me. If this thing gets away it’ll be the end of life as we know it.”

I fired burst after burst of pulsed energy at it. White goo exploded all over the snow and us. Parts of it burned while other parts withered in the cold.

I helped Fury to his feet. “All in a day’s work, huh?” he chuckled as he wiped white glop off his face.

“Oh no, the Blob.” We rushed over to his no longer huge form curled up on the ground.

“So c-c-c-cold,” he shivered.

I carried the 98 pound former Blob to Ice Station Zebra where I met Professor Xavier.

“Frost bite, shock from sudden, explosive loss of fat, muscle, and body fluids, shock from exposure to the elements,” I said to the Professor. “He can’t move, he’s catatonic.”

“Got any……. Chicken soup?” the Blob managed to mumble before slipping into a coma.

The Professor looked at me but words seemed to fail him.

“What?” I said. “I didn’t do this to him. He ate some of the Xenonite. It was like some kind of life form, some kind of Eradicator, that was going to destroy us all.”

The Professor took a deep breath and let it out. He didn’t say anything, but I could clearly hear the sentence “I need a cognac” echo in my mind.

Rule#2 Never trust psychics

Xavier had a problem with my little brain surgery on Sabertooth. He forced me to remove the explosive device, after that he brought the two of us together for a 'chat'.
"Ooooweeeeoooo. You will not Kill each other. Oooooooweeeeoooo!" trances Xavier
"Huh!" That can't have worked.
I take my blaster and aim it at Victor's head. I go to pull the trigger.
"Ow!" It was like someone kicked me in the head. Xavier justs smiles.
"Is it always like that?" I ask Sabertooth.
"No sometimes he puts on a wig and makes you think he's Magnum P.I." answered Victor.

We drove to Inuvik and nothing happened, Victor seemed resigned to His fate. We get to the change over from SUV to hovercraft and Victor says he needs some 'supplies'.
That of course means Beer, the only bar in town is a biker hangout. He takes his damn time too.
The hovercraft is quite cool but an hour later it stops. Victor taps the display.
"Empty" he grunts.
"I'll use my teleporter and get us some gas." I tell him.
"That'd be cheating Koma." blurts the camera man.
"Oh well then I'd better start running." replies Victor and with that he heads off in the opposite direction.
"What was all of that?" I ask the cameraman.
"Sorry but Xavier took me aside went Ooooweeeooo and said You will remind them about cheating." answered the cameraman.
I check the gas tank and there's a claw sized hole in it. This seems a little too convenient.
Then 'BANG' a bullet hits the hovercraft just missing me. My sensors locate the origin of the bullet and the heat signature of the shooter.
He tries to leg it on his ski doo, too late for him.
The shooter, now sitting in the hovercraft is desperately tring to gun his ski doo which he isn't on. I draw my blaster.
"You I can kill." I smile.
"No you can't thats against the rules." blurts the Cameraman
Damn you Xavier.

Much later Victor returns on a ski doo driven by a guy called Nut Fluck Chuck Buck. He offered us some blubber. He also showed us his amusing tattoo.

Off on our way to the North Pole again Sabertooth breaks the silence.
"Did you kill the guy?" he asks gruffly.
"No I left him to a fate much worse." I snicker
Arriving at the North Pole we have a decision to make Rays or Plays.
"I ain't going to Santa." demands Victor.
"You gave up your right to choose when you sent an assassin to kill me." I snap back. "To Santa we go."

Santa's previous toy designer had lost his mojo and we had to make a new toy for Santa to rake in the dough this X-mas.
"I know what kids like." states Victor and grabs some of the elves and dissapears.

I on the other hand thought a toy line with political relevance would work.
The axis of evil play set.
With all your favourites Sadam, Ossama, Kim, George and Tony.

Santa wasn't all that happy with my toy line. Then came in Victor.
"Your search is over." He proudly beamed. "Kids will be rushing the stores for these beauties."
Nahtzee - The Fascist Game for Neo-Nazis everywhere

My Little Pony Glue Factory. What boy hasn't wanted to liquify his sisters ponies.
S&M Rubber Duckie. Kids gotta learn lovin can be painful.
The Chanel guillotine. French Killing in the USA

"Hmmm! Thats very nice Victor." Said Santa. "But the demographic needs to be widened a bit. What I really need is a new action figurine. That and some damn respect from these Kids." Santa grabs a letter behind him. "This is what one little snot sent this year."
I stand there looking at Victor and Santa side by side. No one would send Victor a letter like that and kids all over the world think he's cool. An idea formed in my mind.
"Santa I believe we can help." I tell the not so jolly man.

I explain my idea to Santa.

"Oh I love it." declared Santa joyously. "This is going to change every thing. Thank you both so very much."

Coming this Christmas. This Santa ain't taking no crap.