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EJ-01 Saving the Comics

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    EJ-01 Saving the Comics

    -=Extreme Justice=-
    Episode One: Saving the Comics
    March 18th, 2014
    Players: Timesheart and Darquirrin

    Time/Place: 21st Century New York City/Early 22nd Century Anthropolis, Planet Furth

    Situation: When two young adult friends find themselves becoming more in tune with the comic book project, their investigation lead them to discover that the world they thought they created was more real than they imagined.

    Human Characters:
    1. Canon Richards, 19, male human - Timesheart
    2. Christopher Masterson, 19, male human - Darquirrin

    Anthropolis Hero Characters:
    1. Americat, male African lion - Timesheart
    2. Strikeback, female ninja turtle speedster/chemist - Timesheart
    3. Tracer, male militant wolf (Sniper, Master of Firearms, Gadgetry Style) - Darquirrin
    4. Firestar, female phoenix pyrotechnic - Darquirrin

    Anthropolis Villain Personalities:
    1. Red Bone (alias, Dr. Frank Newton Crypt)

    Extreme Justice
    Episode One: Saving the Comics

    New York City; Carnival Comic Periodicals
    ~ One Year Prior ~

    "These figures are just plain awful, guys," remarked the company editor. "Marvelous Graphics are making us look like preschoolers. We need at least one title to usurp their Top Three spots or else we might as well just close our doors."

    One of the older inking artists then said, "Sir? That young intern, Canon Richards, has been creating a comic in his spare time. I've seen a few of the pages and it is perhaps the one comic book aspect that could pull our asses out of the lard bucket."

    "And what is this spare time project called?"

    "He calls it..." he paused as everyone at the meeting listened. "...Extreme Justice. It is the story of four humanoid animals who have super powers. But what makes his project more different from anything we have attempted before is that in his furry world, the stars are not cracking lame jokes nor performing bad humor. These guys are serious. And they live serious lives. They live in the 22nd century on a furry version of Earth."

    The editor hummed as he panned his gaze over each person at the meeting. "Where is this intern today?"

    "He went to take his CAD Media Programming friend for a luncheon while our meeting was going on. In their off work lives, they have girlfriends and pretty much live ordinary lives. I know how comic book plot like that sounds, but heroes come from humble beginnings. Canon's project could save the company."

    "The moment he gets back, have him collect his project and then send him to my office."


    Caligero's Garden

    Seated at one of the tables at this outdoor restaurant was three young men. Canon Richards, Christopher Masterson, and a newsboy friend named Billy Freeman.

    "Periodical sales are literally sky high for Marvelous Graphics, Canon," said Billy as he ate his salad. "Carnival Comic Periodicals are not even in the Top Twenty slots at the moment. I am afraid you joined a failing company. Even their stocks are faltering at the moment."

    "I haven't fully joined them yet, Billy," he replied. "I'm an intern there. Marvelous Graphics weren't accepting interns and I had to take what was available." He glanced at the Masterson boys. "And how are things on your end, Christopher?"

    Christopher smiles a little, "They're actually going fairly well. I had to pick up the front end of a car to get my boss out from under it earlier. He was stupid and put the jack too close to where his legs were and he knocked it out. Luckily, he just was slightly bruised. Though it feels like the entire city came in today for oil changes." He shrugs, "Not the most fun job most of the time, but it pays for what my student loans don't." He pauses then says, "And I got my new lab system up and working at my apartment and your CAD design done you asked for. By the way, that creepy landlord is straight out of Ace Venture though. He's still pestering me just cause I was late on rent ONCE...a year ago."


      Canon smiled a bit himself. "I guess I am lucky my father bought me that Studio Loft over on the West Side. I still have to pay him back in 10 years, but hopefully I am doing better by then. Americat would do extra janitorial duties to raise the money. And Tracer would probably just go on a high paying mission and be done with it." He chuckled as he bit into his sandwich. "I am glad you got your new lab set up, Chris. You've worked hard to get that system."


        Christopher chuckles, "I'm sure your heroes would be doing a lot better than both of us." He takes a bite of his food and after swallowing, "Though, I appreciate the lunch. Here, I made this last night for you in the new lab..." He sets down a small disc and presses the sides. A 3D spinning hologram appears of Americat in a battle pose against Red Bone.


          Canon smiled. "You do excellent work as usual. Thank you. This will give me more motivation to succeed when all seems bleak. And we can have a meal any time. I guess we should get back to our work places now. I wonder how the big meeting went? Anyway, I'll keep you informed about my internship. Certainly not like we did back in school." He winked.


            Christopher blushes slightly but nods, "I suppose so. Though, at least you have no bullies for me to have to come running to save you from there." He smiles a bit, finishing his lunch, before standing and carefully gathering the tray and trash to put in their proper places before giving Canon another smile and nod, before heading back to the garage.


              Upon returning to the comic company, Canon was given the message to go meet with the editor and of course the meeting went better than Canon had expected. Talk about getting a big break. He even showed off the CAD hologram of Americat that Christopher had made for him.

              ...and that was how it started a year prior. Canon had full control over the monthly comic as well as the story and the characters and their world. Americat, Tracer, Strikeback, Firestar, and Timekeeper made up the roster of the Extreme Justice team. Although the frog was only seen in silhouette when he did appear and he always seemed to have free access to any place imaginable. The frog was mysterious but apparently very powerful. But Furth was not simply a comic book world that Canon had chanced to create; it really existed!


              ~ Present Day Time ~

              It was a Saturday night and Canon was setting up for a movie night with Christopher. It was a gloomy night but they had been planning this night all week. "Snacks in the bowls, drinks in the cooler, and the wide screen all prepped for movie night. I hope Christopher isn't late getting here. I've never seen a night like this before."


                It was getting rather late when Christopher knocks on the door. He looked a little unkempt and obviously had fallen asleep in a pile of tinkering electronics as there was still the imprint of a circuit board on one cheek where it had moshed into his face. "Sorry I'm late, Canon. I went to.... to see Drake yesterday since it was the...anniversary of the accident and got depressed and ended up spending all night in the lab before I passed out. I just woke up. I really appreciate the invitation...I guess after all these years you still know how to cheer me up."

                He smiled a little uncertainly as he walked inside, "Made some progress though on that 'item' I told you about."


                  "I understand, Chris. Drake was a good person before the accident. As long as you remember the good times, he will always be with you. Come on over to the couch; all the goodies are ready for our fantasy movie night."

                  Canon picked up the remote for the wide screen as he seated himself next to his friend. "I finally got one of those kook fan letters the other day. Someone pretending to be Timekeeper sent me a letter telling me that the team were in trouble. Weird part is... this kook detailed next month's plot and I've never told anyone else about it."


                    Christopher raises a brow, "Really?" He sits down on the couch causing it to groan slightly under his size, "Well, maybe that kook is you from another parallel reality." He chuckled lightly, "After all, you created the place."


                      "I mentioned this to our coloring artist and he suggested almost the same thing, except he threw in that if the other reality was real enough to get mail from then it would be also real enough to have always been there," replied Canon. "He said that it was more likely that my subconscious mind simply linked into what was going on in their world and I would recall it when I was awake in our world."

                      At that moment, the plasma screen shimmered in front of the two as it began to display what looked like the inside of the time stream itself. And slowly materializing before them was a character who was an anthro male frog dressed like a old time train conductor. "My name is Armand Charming but my Extreme Justice friends call me The Timekeeper. I am requesting your assistance with an important matter which is vital to not only my world but your world as well." And with that, a scroll tube is ejected out of the plasma screen image where it lands in Christopher's lap. "When you have time, build this device and through it make contact with us at your earliest convenience. It is very important that you make contact with my friends and I. Enjoy your movie." And the plasma image returned to normal.

                      Canon was silent since he didn't know what he thought he just heard and saw. He had never mentioned a frog character in Extreme Justice.


                        Christopher was also in shock but rallied himself a little faster than his friend as he picked up the scroll case that had landed in his lap slowly, examining it, "Textile feel. Hrm, Textured, age, and everything. This isn't a fake. It's not plastic or compound of modern make - It's real, Canon. It's fucking real."

                        He slowly opens the case to look at the scroll inside, frowning at little, "And this is one damn complicated schematic. I'm not even sure what this is suppose to do. I'll the resources at my lab to even start making heads and tails of this..." He gets up, grabbing his coat, "Hey, meet me at my lab tomorrow evening around nineteen hundred, I'll see if I can make some progress on this!" He's grabbed his stuff and out of the door faster than Canon react. It's not that surprising since Canon knows how Christopher gets with any new potential tech toy. But when Canon is looking over the disheveled couch from his friend's hasty departure, he finds a small DVD case with a holographic DVD with Christopher's name on it left behind. Perhaps Christopher's choice for the evening's entertainment. Likely some 3-D modelling or something he did to surprise you. Be a shame to let it go to waste, right?


                          "Well, so much for the movie weekend," said Canon as he grabbed a broom and started cleaning up the room although it wasn't necessary. "Can't wait to see what he has built by tomorrow evening."

                          And so... after tidying up the room, he popped the disc into the player and hit play.


                            After sliding the disc into the player, the large screen hissed loudly with a blast of snow before going black again then the title screen appeared. 'The Price of Freedom' and under that titlecard in smaller print, 'Dedicated to my Brother; I hope you would have liked this'

                            The title screen is swept away, replaced with obviously CGI animated actors but they are surprisingly realistic. The 3D modelling and CGI are top notch. Clearly a project that Christopher's spent a lot of time and effort on. Three tall, thin men in a government issue suit is standing looking into a window. Each one looks almost identical to the others.

                            The one in the middle states with a monotone voice, "The process seems to be taking hold. Human adaptability is remarkable."

                            The one on the right nods once, his steel grey eyes reflected slightly from behind his standard issue black sunglasses, "Yes. And our good doctor's efforts to enhance that has gone remarkably well. Protocol status?"

                            The one on the left holds up the clipboard, "Echelon Four. Gamete synthesis, cellular construction, and genetic suppression have been completed successfully. Alternate strains successfully integrated. Somatic cell structure, stable. Cloned specimen shows far greater potential than the original host organism."

                            The middle man nods, "Then it would seem we are primed. Give the orders to continue to Echelon Five. Dispose of the unneeded materials and pre..." There was a sudden knock on the door and all three turned to see a older man walking in. A decorated general. He growls in thickly accented English, "Get rid of the evidence. Start with the doctors. We have orders. This facility is being shut down immediately."

                            The agent on the right says, with a tensely gripped fist, but a surprisingly calm voice, "Sir, the experiment has already reached the final stages. We cannot simply..."

                            The general cuts off the agent, "I am more aware of what we can and cannot do than you are, Masters. I also know you have a personal stake in matters here, considering that your sister donated the stem and egg cells for this latest series of experiments. Tragic. But the board is furious with Doctor Krane's methods AND his products. That's an order. Terminate everyone. Including that insane mad scientist!"

                            The story on the DVD continues showing the ruthless execution of the staff of the underground research complex, the staff trying to protect their 'project', the big reveal of what the project was, two young twin boys. Both of which are very familiar to Canon. Christopher and his brother. Agent Masters takes pity on the would-be super-soldier boys and sneaks them out of the facility. It goes on to show their lives, growing up, living what seems like completely normal lives but always being tested and experimented on behind their backs by the evil Dr. Krane who Agent Masters is forced to make a deal with to keep the boys safe and healthy, though he knows nothing of Dr. Krane's ultimate plans. It takes all the little pieces of what you know of Christopher Masterson and puts them into a rather disturbing context. He's done an extremely good job of weaving a story that by the end, you almost question if it's Christopher and his brother's real story or not. You know better; there is no way any of it is real... Yet... it's rather compelling and mysterious. A really 5 star job. It might even make a pretty awesome movie on day.

                            The Next Day

                            The usual hum and snap of the Tesla coils are silent as the entire atmosphere of the industrial garage where the quite young man usually abides is strikingly quiet. The laser light shows and computers are also dead and look to be completely without power. It's hot, hotter than usual, though Christopher tends to enough the warmer temperatures. Enormous power cables the size of full grown Burmese pythons lead from the various power outlets and snake their way down into the basement of the building, guiding you toward your destination.

                            Below, Christopher stands in the middle of large circular worktable, wielding together a few final connections. When he sees you, he looks up with a grin, "I was wondering when you would get there." He removes his goggles and helmet and turns around, pointing to a large sphere floating above a magnetic induction grid. "I just finished. If this works... We'll have created the first, that I know of, completely 3-D holographic interface capable of communication with..." HE frowns, "You know, I'm not sure. Something. I think I understand the principals... but in practice..." HE grins at you, "I have no idea what this will do. Ready to try it out?"


                              Canon nodded his head with a smile as he held up the disk forgotten from the day before. "You need to be careful about losing your programs, pal. I found this after you left." He placed it on the work table. "Let's see what you found out with this device."