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Archive for August, 2011

Mavion adjusted the ejector port to align precisely with the primary actuator. David turned the fasten-wand so slowly it was hard to see the movement. A half millimeter mistake could cause a catastrophic failure in the device, which could quickly lead to the end of his life. Yet, it was important that he do this without computerized gauges. They may have greater accuracy, but still a mere human had programmed them.

Mavion had greater need to be on point. He must be responsible for this. He had to determine the course of his life. Safety was always an illusion.

*    *    *

Sevonia Ordonez was a sheltered seventeen year old girl of corporate wealth not unlike Mavion a decade and sixty missions ago. Bookish but blossoming into a statuesque beauty, the girl was intent on her studies in history and philosophy.

These were subjects David had himself enjoyed between the tedium of Virtual Programming 106 and Poly-planar Algebra 202. They discussed them often as he and his associates escorted her to and from classes, lessons, recitals and other engagements that her father, an Aztech corporate chairman, approved of. Although, papi was ignorant to her fraternization with the help.

Nothing went on between them that was … unprofessional. Sevonia, “Sevie” he called her,  clearly has a crush on him but was too shy to try anything beyond a suggestive double-entendre. Mainly her aim was to fluster his implacably on-the-job cool. After several rough assignments, this low prioritized contract seemed the next best thing to a vacation for Mavion.

He felt … safe, but David didn’t see the target on his admirer until the trigger was pulled.

*    *

They caught Nathaniel and Shime by surprise outside the restaurant. He’d curse those two G3’s for their carelessness but it was a Tertiary Risk Assignment, and their deaths did alert David. He had the girl under the table and weapon drawn when they walked into the door as other customers screamed or dived for cover.

He fired over the assassins heads to halt them and avoid hitting any civilian running in between while also letting them know he was another source of danger, so stay clear! The single shot made the weapon jam, which no doubt had been aligned by the best computerized gauges.

The intruders had no such hard luck with their shots. One slammed into the armor over his stomach just before another hammered through his unprotected thigh. He regained his wits from the storm of pain in time to look up from the floor and see a shotgun muzzle aimed for his face at the end of a jacketed arm.

Burning claws seared his muscles as they hyper-reacted. Slowed like this, the attacker was able to watch his wrist broken, elbow dislocated, shoulder twisted then feel the pain of each before Mavion’s palm crushed his windpipe.

A scream snapped David around, his unsteady steps nearly toppling him – if what he saw didn’t. The second assassin had Sevie on her knees sobbing and wailing. Her long dark brunette hair bunched in his left fist and a pistol in the other. Four strides away, but with a agonized leg it might as well have been a mile. A smile crossed the bastard’s face, and for a moment he ever so slightly favored Garner Atwolf.

Mavion eyed the gun with all of his focus – measuring it’s aim as though he were holding it from the reverse point of view. He measured it as pointing to his left eye. Hard choice, but there was nothing else to do. The girl would be dead already if that was the mission – now she was just insurance Mavion wouldn’t kill them. He was the threat that endangered Sevonia.

He tore open his shirt to reveal the armor beneath and shouted with all of his fear for Sevie, hatred for his own failure and guilt for everything he’d done in his career to those that were as helpless as he was now, “COME ON!!!”

The man’s shot spun David’s head left and his whole body twisted to that side as he fell to the floor.

To be continued? …

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David began piecing together his instrument. The activation assembly and impeller rod connected together then fit into the primary housing. Mavion cleaned the leads to the main power cell with a number 4 filament brush. He plugged it into the housing and a high-pitched whine sounded for a moment before fading out, letting him know the device was live. Indicator lights along the bottom of the rod cycled in sequence as the component began to charge.

He could feel the way the tool would hum when he used it. His mystical muscle memory could assemble the entire collection in a minute, but the ceremony required each part receive full attention. Too many things could go wrong when the pieces came together.

*    *    *

Garner Atwolf was a thin man with neatly cropped hair whom wore ovular black designer spectacles although his annual salary as Enereon Vice President of Operations could have bought the best optical surgery for every citizen in Provo, Utah that needed it. The bonus he’d received for exploiting a legal loophole to drill into a local lake could buy each kid a set of those specs, for those that could still see.

The operation released chemicals into the local water supply that gave thousands a degenerative nerve disorder. 65% lethal in most cases, but 90% to those exposed if under the age of twelve. None of those afflicted were employees of Enereon, so they weren’t classified as collateral damage. No required compensation for Enereon to dole out. The protesters strongly disagreed.

A firefight was going on in the lobby of Atwolf’s hotel, so Mavion was rushing him through a service corridor to get to the rear carport. Suddenly, from a service elevator four armed protesters cut them off half way and let David know immediately that someone in his detail had given them their route.

Mismatched street clothing, antiquated slug pistols and hunting rifles plus the haphazard masks they wore suggested the betrayal was sympathy driven rather than monetary. The couple of hundred nuyen they could scrape up was a half hour’s pay for an agent of Mavion’s rank.

The VP coughed out a startled cry as he hit the ground hard under David’s pinning grasp. The agent squatted into a firing stance, nearly sitting on the back of Atwolf’s neck to shield the executive and drew his weapon.

*    *

The executive’s armored limousine could be heard screeching off when Mavion returned to the corridor. Atwolf was away and safe, or headed to another ambush later – Achilles Shield’s contract was fulfilled so it didn’t matter to him anymore. What was of interest was finding some clue to the traitor in his unit.

David could taste blood from the cut on his lip from a slug fragment while his side throbbed from where his armor kept a poorly aimed shot from doing worse. The four bodies were still lying where he dropped them in an arrangement a professional would recognize.

The nearest one to the door had died trying to run, but now lay with his head at David’s feet. The pants were damp with urine, the only notable detail or discovery. The next had been effecting a firing retreat and was on its back with a throat wound. It was fitting that the mask rustled up to cover the dead face. Neither did this one have anything. The first two were brave, or at least eager, and died on their bellies pointing towards where he and Atwolf had hunkered down. The left one had taken a point blank face shot, so he started to check the right one to postpone dealing with the mess.

When rolled over, its … her mask fell loose to reveal the face of a woman that hadn’t, nor would ever, see her thirties. High cheeks and almond eyes spoke of Native/Latino heritage. Her skin was a deeper bronze than David’s own, except for infected black and grey veins blanching the right side of her face a puss yellow – common symptom of the disorder. The milky eye nearest the corruption had been dead for a while. Untrained and with no depth-percep, still she shared the point position in this attack on Atwolf. She must’ve been very eager, and stupid.

He snapped his gaze off her vacant expression to continue the search and found something, a folded paper print of all things. A wrinkled low-res picture of a smiling boy, maybe eight years, hugging a smaller girl giggling mid-squirm. Some lake reeds, sand and water framed their apparent autumn frolic. Their resemblance to the woman was as deep as the ache in David’s bruised ribs. Perhaps mother and children were together now … probably not, stupid thought. For the moment, the picture was all that was. … … …

Mavion refolded and replaced it, then rose to casually stride towards the lobby to rejoin the rest of his team were. He didn’t hear anymore gun fire. This was good. Maybe the other protesters had fled, been arrested or gave pursuit to the limo, whichever spared more blood. He’d explain his brief exchange of fire to Summers and have the G2 write the action report.

David didn’t want to recount this job, find any leak, identify these assailants nor find their relations for arrest.  He just wanted this day to end as the ache returned to his notice.

To be continued …

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Lion Spirit lager swooshed around the base of it’s dark bottle as though the bitter musky flavor could be improved by the humid air of the disheveled apartment.

It wasn’t some hundred year old chardonnay composed like liquid aromatic art in the 1960’s from breeds of real grapes aged in barrels of actual oak.

David knew it was an alcoholic byproduct made in the process to synthesize some industrial solvent or machine fuel that was deemed dilute enough for consumption. The brew was combined with taste enhancing chemicals, food dyes and effervescence agents then bottled and labeled as Lion Spirit. Marginal production was the corp-term for selling garbage as though its what was intended, and the means that fed, clothed and sheltered most.

David took a swig of the liquid and leaned back from the small table with a sigh. Under his caramel tan skin, his lean muscle relaxed over the sharp ribs of his thin torso as he dangled his head back, heavy with a bush black curls. The piss-colored light above flowed over vaguely semetic narrow features, stubble dusted thin lips, a lightly scarred left cheek bone and lit his weary amber eyes.

They took in the small dim living space strewn tornado-style with discarded paper Taiwanese food containers and color-faded clothing of mostly dark or gray earth-tones. Colors spoke gang affiliation around here, and David Mavion was for hire. A neat and clean-cut professional would stand out like a diamond amongst turds in the slums. The apathy of the lazy or imbalance of a madman would be judgements made about this hovel that would serve as further camouflage. Why make a search easier for any agent that broke in while he was away?

The sauce-stained table held a small 3” by 6” metal box of precision brushes and fine ceramic tools in slots next to an array of electronic and mechanical components, themselves arranged in orderly fashion by function and in relation to each other. A shiny stack of half-inch long triangular tungsten razors sat next to a hollow cartridge to the right of the congregation.

Compared to everything else in sight, one would think ancient mystics left these as some cryptic message. Not so. These pieces and their organization were the true evidence of who Mavion actually was. The weekly ceremonial these artifacts featured in were his anchor against the dark fetid tides of his chaotic life.

David sat up, took a silk cloth from the box and gave it a spray of cleanser. He began to wipe down the handle assembly and let his mind wander.

*    *    *

Francis and Abigail Mavion turned their military experience into an A-rated security contractor corporation called Achilles Shield. Mother’s inheritance and high class contacts sold Dad’s expertise and personnel to give their three children a protected upbringing. As the youngest, David was privileged to be beneath their notice yet availed of actual literature – instead of the standardized specialist vocational curriculum and reinforcing entertainment content.

Stories of heroes filled his imagination with dreams of the kind of man he would be. Good empowered ordinary men to win out against circumstance and insurmountable evil. He’d later learn those tales were as exaggerated, or plain false, as their legendary times were removed from the world outside his gated community. The protection he received, and being the only boy in the family, made him special. Yet, something else revealed itself in his early adolescence.

Twenty years before he was born, The Awakening returned, or some say added, actual Magic to the world. Symbol regained extra-personal power and science lost its understanding of every facet of reality. It was a natural force the corporations couldn’t control, so fear and demonize.

David learned Mother had a brother that turned into a troll in the Goblinization outbreak, whom was then disowned. This was why he hid his burgeoning talent, although it was more blessing than curse.

Hyper-Synaptic Reactivity gave David blindingly quick reflexes that preserved the accuracy of an action taken with meticulous patience. If he drew a highly-detailed picture of a turtle while concentrating, the boy could draw it the same way fifteen more times in a fraction of the time it first took. The same was true with dance steps, dart throwing or any other coordinated exercise.

The peaceful, safe life his parents envisioned for their youngest was no more, as this gift gave him too much utility to the company. The youngest Mavion received the best and most varied combat training Achilles Shield Security could afford. David would get the chance to be a hero, but not like those he’d read of.

To be continued …

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As a new comic, I continue to consider how to put my personality into my humor so others can understand me. I think this is a continuing art practiced by all performers, but I don’t have a big (or even small) audience that follows me. I’ll get lucky to get a nerd or two near my level of geek.

I’ve been working on a deodorant bit that of course skews a bit obscure, because this is the type of knowledge that nerd’s love and that binds us in fellowship like the One Ring. If you didn’t get that reference, you understand my issue and are a hermit or should be shunned like one. Let’s dissect this literally (not with a scalpel … but … yeah):

Premise: Know what’s ANNOYING? The LIES commercials use to sell CRAP.

A true observation made with a hostile attitude (power words in bold) that most would agree with. The question posed engages the audience’s curiosity. Crap can be interchanged with shit, which is better for the second S word after sell. So far, so standard.

Axe Body Spray doesn’t drive women crazy. That LIE just drives douche bags to buy Axe

This is joke number one of the bit. I consider this a chuckle-worthy appetizer punch line. It may insult Axe-wearing douches in the audience, but they’ll feel better by the end of this. Showing the nerd flag makes the average person feel superior, and it’s about to get geeky.

I like the Axe knock-off BLADE. It’s cheap. It works.It SLAUGHTERS VAMPIRES!

Blade Fan Fiction

Surprise exaggerated connection between the deodorant Blade and the Black half-vampire vampire hunter comic book character played by Wesley Snipes in movie of the late 90’s early 2000s. This get’s a strong to moderate guy laugh but loses most girls. Those ladies that do laugh, I make note of for after the show.

It keeps your armpits from BURNING in sunlight

Tag based on one of Blades special vampire powers that gets a smaller laugh bump. Geek laughter guaranteed though. This is where the laughs begin to die off if I continue connecting to the character. So, I go meta.

Blade does NOT drive women crazy … (beat) … but it DOES give them JUNGLE FEVER.

Another surprise exaggeration connection but to the actor this time. Comic geekery to movie nerdery. Snipes starred in the controversial Spike Lee movie Jungle Fever 20 years ago where his character gets in an interracial relationship.

Obscure for many audiences, but I LOVE it so much! The Jungle fever idea ties in so well with the Axe fantasy of women going sexually crazy. That I’m a Black comic makes it work on another level. A decent amount of Black people will get it, so maybe this version should go in the arsenal for that audience.

For the mainstream, I may as well keep referring to the Blade character with his $2 billion movie franchise.

Blade does NOT drive women crazy … but it drives the undead BACK to HELL … where they BELONG!

“Where they belong” needs to be strongly emphasized to push the implied opinion that vampires or undead should exist, which is ridiculous but absurdly follows the bit’s attitude.

This is where the bit concludes right now. I’ll audience test the revisions later this week, but you can give me a preview. Comic readers (comic book lovers or comedians that read) let me know your comments and suggestions.

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