Sunday, October 26, 2014

17549--Sound of Thunder

You didn't just hear felt it.

It rumbled, resonating through your flesh, your bones and everything around you.

Whether through lore or science, many people have attributed the effect of lightning's passage to many different supernatural actors.  Accordingly, the kinetic disturbance has also picked up a host of names.  Among the more enduring is "Donar" or "Thor".  Thanks to the modern mythology of comic books and the films they have inspired, the force of nature embodied as a ferocious warrior has enjoyed a popularity as a modern superhero that he hasn't seen since before the changing of the religious guard started cutting down oak trees and nailing up wood crucifixes.

Thor was created from a union of Odin's power with that of Mother Earth, resulting in one of the most powerful beings ever known to Asgard.  One curious development at the core of Thor's comic book characterization, though, has the guardian of Earth and Asgard bound by his father to the immortal's legendary weapon.  To teach his son humility (and humanity, ironically), Odin created an enchantment that tied the power of the storm-who-walks-like-a-man-god to the hammer Mjolnir.  Whomever holds the hammer and is deemed by its enchantment to be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.  Usually, possession is acquainted with more malefic intentions, but I suppose we'll let that one slide for now.  As a father-figure, Allfather Odin is usually regarded as one geared more toward doing good than harm.  Still, y'know, gods can be capricious and their ways can seem quite harsh to mortal sensibilities.  Either way, the hammer was put in charge, a sophisticated leash for the power of Thor.

Now, one of the other great challenges some of you may remember being sent against Thor was the magical automaton called The Destroyer.  I've never liked that.  In my head, I've always tried to re-label it as The Annihilator.  I've never understood why they chose the name they did at Marvel.  The name of the hammer, star of Thor's show, is Mjolnir.  Mjolnir means "The Destroyer".  Bad enough that the robot's super-tough because it's made from the same metal (Uru) as the hammer, but they gave it the same name as the hammer.  That's got to get a little confusing in the heat of combat.

Oh, well, maybe they can work on it during their next retcon.  It can't be too far off.  What time is it?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

17535--Fleeting Time

It has been nearly two months since I last unleashed something new on this site. 

To my regular and even irregular visitors, I offer my apologies.  With my mind awash in writing (Child of Fire and Blood, Part 4, primarily), I had no idea so much time had passed so swiftly.  I may have to consider the possibility that my attachment to the temporal component of our continuum.  Is consciousness an independent variable allowing not only a variance in the perception of time passage, but alterations in one's physical relationship with time?  Well, the Nobel Prize committee is going to have to wait.  Before I go proclaiming myself a time lord, I've got writing to do.

See?  I haven't abandoned you.  I just get sucked into tangents.  It isn't that I didn't think about you at all, just that I've been busy.  During that time, though, I did also think of many things to write and share.  I'd share more bits from my books since some of you tell me you're enjoying them tremendously, but I don't want to spoil your fun in unraveling mysteries or watching them bloom in the course of a story.

I realize I'm my own marketing department, but I make a point of steering in the opposite direction of a Hollywood film trailer.  That is to say, I neither summarize a given story nor put my funniest jokes into the preview.  Those gems you earn by strapping yourself into your seat and diving into the story.  When you're willing to do that, you deserve more than a rehash of any preview.  Hell, there are times I consider being intentionally misleading just so you can be truly surprised.

hmmmmm...Now that I've put that into words, I'm pretty sure I've already done that.

You're welcome.

You can thank me later.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

17532--Such a Crisis


Overlooking the smoldering city, the two legendary titans of justice stood.  Paused in their selfless works, they allowed themselves a brief respite from their struggles.

"With Ultra-Loser and his latest Secret Society of Punching Bags in Tights safely in custody," the dark-cloaked hero's gravel voice spoke, "I suppose you'll be riding the next cloud for home."

"Not that I don't enjoy our time together," the alien powerhouse said, "but yes.  I try to be wherever I'm needed.  I just wish we could convince more misguided souls to use their gifts for good, rather than just beating on them and jailing them."

"They made their choices and earned their punishment," the more grim of the pair said, the smoky breeze tugging at their billowing capes.  "I'd say we've sufficiently quelled the chaos here to satisfy even your overdeveloped sense of responsibility."

"You're one to talk," the superhuman smiled.  "You've collected more cuts in the last hour for you-know-who to tend than I--"

He was interrupted by a rapid electronic tone from his belt.  Both men recognized the beeping.

"League communicator," the dark warrior said with an arched eyebrow.  "Mine's quiet, though."

"Curious," the superhuman said, lifting the device to his ear.  "Hello?  Wha--?  Ma?  How'd you get this number?"

His dark comrade-in-arms snorted, barely able to stifle an uncharacteristic laugh.

"I'll have to have a talk with her about...Dinner?  Well, you know I love your cooking, ma, but we still have so much to do here.  It's really not a--What?  You see us on the news..."

"Busted," the dark hero whispered.

"We're just taking a breather, ma.  There's really no telling...Yes, ma.  Yes, ma.  No, ma'am.  Yes, ma," he said, sounding exhausted as he lowered the communicator.

"Oh, very impressive," his dark companion said, shaking his head.

"Don't sound so smug," the alien immigrant said, handing over the communicator.  "She wants to talk to you."

"What?  But I--"

"Be nice."

"Hello, ma'am.  Well,, ma'am," he said with a sigh.  "Yes, ma'am."

The dark hero handed the communicator back to his larger friend.


"Dinner's at seven," the dark warrior grumbled.  "Roast beef."

"Not so easy to turn her down, is it?"

"I don't have a lot of practice with mothers."

"Practice wouldn't--"

"Because, you know, my parents were killed when--"

"Really?" the superhuman asked.  "This again?  We know.  We all know."

"Hey, I didn't grow up with a bunch of super-powers to make things any easier."

"No, only several billion dollars to--"

"You think I wouldn't have traded that to have my parents back?"

"Of course you would've," the alien said.  "Just like I would've traded my powers for mine."

"Oh, are we making this a contest?" the dark hero asked.  "At least you grew up with parents."

"Lost my whole planet."

"Happy life, adoptive parents..."

"Billionaire, surrogate father..."

"You still have a mother...and stable relationships."

"Whole planet," the powerhouse repeated, "and you're only as alone as you choose."

"So glad we're not competing or anything."

"Of course you are.  I'd be winning," the alien hero said, smiling as he began to rise into the air.  "Casual dress."

"Yeah, I'll have to let you-know-who know I'll be out of town.  Hey, will your cousin be there?"

"Probably, why?"

"I know she's young, but she's...mature."

"What's your point?" the floating man asked, the smile gone from his perfect face.

"Oh, come've seen her.  She may seem young in Earth years, but back on the homeworld, she'd have to be legal, right?  I mean--"

"Stay away from my cousin," the superhuman said before launching himself skyward.

"Yeah, yeah," the dark hero mumbled, stalking off toward the smoke and shadows.  "Like you're going to do anything."

His communicator beeped.

"Hello?" he rasped.

"I can still hear you," the superhuman warned.