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#936974 - 09/04/17 07:33 AM Re: Young Legion - A Tale of Earth-K2 [Re: Klar Ken T5477]  
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Paradise Valley
CHAPTER NINETEEN:
FLIGHT BELTS: SATURN GIRL, LIGHTNING LASS AND COSMIC BOY
Dorrit Ardeen Ranzz, age 16, Dacey Ardeen Ranzz, age 16, Pol Hu Krinn II, age 14

Ten showed up with three belts a few days later.

“I didn’t make any special modifications to these belts,” he said. “You don’t need magnetic shielding on yours, do you, Cosmic Boy?”

“No, never had a problem controlling stray magnetic fields,” Cosmic Boy said.

“As promised, I have integrated your ultraphones’ circuitry into the belt,” said Ten. “They will display in their interactive holographic panel form.” He demonstrated. “You three are still on your parents’ Winathan server. I could construct a private sub-etheric server for the Club, and transfer and cross-link all our communications, if only the Clubhouse computer hardware were not twenty sola-years out of date.”

“Baby steps,” said Lightning Lass. “A new computer system is on the wish-list. This one was free, built-in to the cruiser, so we can’t complain..”

“And worth every micro-credit, I’m sure,” said Ten. “You know, I prefer the Omnicom to these little ‘phones and communicators everyone else uses these days. I know Omnicoms are a little bulky, but they are extremely versatile and highly customizable.”

“Yeah, ‘highly customizable’ means ‘about a million settings, and you’d better not miss one, and hope they all work together without interference’,” said Cosmic Boy. “Ok for retentive Coluans, but I’ll choose small and simple every time.”

“Let me know how the flight belts work,” said Ten. “If I don’t hear any objections in three days, I will begin general manufacture for the rest of the Members.”


"I vow to use my super-powers to uphold the principles of democracy and the enforcement of law... never for selfish or evil ends!"
#936975 - 09/04/17 07:38 AM Re: Young Legion - A Tale of Earth-K2 [Re: Klar Ken T5477]  
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CHAPTER TWENTY:
TRYOUTS: FIFTH WEEK

Saturn Girl, Lightning Lass, and Cosmic Boy, whom the others had come to refer to as “The Founders” sat at the dais outside, with open boxes of pizza. The other Members had gone down to the beach for the day.

“At this point,” said Lightning Lass, “I would welcome a return of the Justice League of Earth.” She sighed.

“It may be only the twelve of us from here on out,” said Cosmic Boy. “We seem to be doing all right.”

“What we need,” said Lightning Lass, “Is a multi-trillionaire to take pity on us, and buy us a bunch of cool cutting-edge technology.”

“The only millionaires I know are our parents,” said Saturn Girl. “And most of their assets are tied up in the land.”

“Did you get that lecture, too?” asked Cosmic Boy. “‘Realistically, we can have anything we want-- buy anything, go anywhere. But make sure you really want it, because it means putting another mortgage on the Farm…’”

“We heard it every time we asked for something,” said Lightning Lass. “Say, there must be other big, wealthy farming families on Winath. Maybe one of them would be interested in sponsoring a group of young vigilantes.”

“Vigilantes?” said Saturn Girl. “I don’t think that’s what this Super Hero Club is intended to be.”

“Then what are we doing here?” asked Lightning Lass. “I thought morally justifiable vigilantism was what super-heroing was all about.”

“Adventure,” said Cosmic Boy. “It’s all about adventure. Although so far, the only adventure we have had is when I woke up that poor hibernating M’Mannix. ‘Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus’, as they say. Well, it got us on the news feeds.”

“Look, I’m not completely sure what we're doing here,” said Saturn Girl. “But I just feel like we have a destiny, with a capital ‘D’. Our parents are Legends, for Frunt’s sake. They fought against gods, monsters, and demons, and beat them... most of the time. Garridan and Graym have the Farm-- and sure, we’re welcome there, but what do we have ourselves? There’s got to be something bigger.”

Lightning Lass mulled it over. “You know, it’s literally true,” she said. “Darkseid was a god, Mordru is half-demon, and Eyeful Ethel was a monster.”

“I was thinking of Validus, or Mordecai,” said Saturn Girl. “Ha-ha.”

“You know, I was reading up on the History of the Legion,” said Cosmic Boy. “Do you know why Flight Rings replaced Flying Belts? It’s because it turns out the Belts are easily hacked.”

“Well, we’ll just have to make sure we don’t rely on them too much in battle,” said Saturn Girl. “Grife, we really need to start some formal training.”

“After the belts were retired,” said Cosmic Boy, “The Legion would give them away as consolation prizes to rejected applicants.”

“Give them away?” said Lightning Lass, “At a hundred credits a pop, that’s a pretty generous go-away present.”

“Probably more like two thousand,” said Cosmic Boy. “I’ll bet they bought them ready-made, at full retail.”

“Are you sure we shouldn’t try to get the sponsorship of some other wealthy Winathan farm cooperative?” asked Lightning Lass.

“You really want to kill our parents, don’t you?” said Saturn Girl.


"I vow to use my super-powers to uphold the principles of democracy and the enforcement of law... never for selfish or evil ends!"
#936976 - 09/04/17 07:40 AM Re: Young Legion - A Tale of Earth-K2 [Re: Klar Ken T5477]  
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CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE:
FLIGHT BELTS: MATTER-EATER LAD TWO
Hillarie Norjay of Bismoll, age 14

Ten was in Matter-Eater Lad Two’s quarters.

“Have you ever used a flight belt before?” he asked.

“Never,” said Matter-Eater Lad 2.

“Just straighten up your spine a little to rise,” Ten instructed. “Lean forward slightly to move ahead. Lean forward a little more to dip, shift your weight right to move right, left to move left. Maybe it would be better if you practiced outside...”

“No, I think I’m getting it,” said Matter-Eater Lad Two. He had managed to turn himself upside-down, his feet resting on the ceiling.

“I’m curious,” said Ten, “Correct me if I am being inappropriate. There are a great many species in the Galaxy, and I am not completely familiar with all of them. I was wondering about your Bismollean ability to ‘eat anything’. How do you do it?”

“It is a confluence of several improbable mutations,” said Matter-Eater Lad Two, now hovering comfortably parallel to the floor. “Trans-Daxamite invulnerability, of course, but only the gastro-intestinal tract. Lips of steel. Teeth hard as diamonds. A hinged jaw, like a rattlesnake. And, of course, cold-fusion digestion.”

“Ah, so Bismollean omnivorousness is nutritional,” Ten mused. “And the heavier elements?”

“The cold fusion generates enough energy to initiate fission in the bigger stuff,” said Matter-Eater Lad Two. “So we can eat that, too.”

“And iron?” asked Ten.

“Well, you know how Terran creatures eat a lot of cellulose?” asked Matter-Eater Lad Two.

“Distantly,” said Ten. “Coluans subsist on an efficient, nutritive gel, without any additional fillers. Roughage, I believe it is called on Earth. Salads?”

“Exactly,” said Matter-Eater Lad Two. “Iron is like roughage to Bismolleans. Eventually, it all gets excreted.”

“But Bismolleans are able to consume great quantities of matter,” said Ten. “Sometimes, greater than their own weight, it is said.”

“Yes,” said Matter-Eater Lad Two, upside-down again. “The world record is just a little under ten thousand cubic meters. In twelve hours.” He floated upright again. “Three-and-a-half dimensional stomachs,” he revealed, pointing to his belly.

“I have made no special customizations to your belt, although it has been necessary with some of the others,” said Ten.

“Maybe you could put in some large pockets?” Matter-Eater Lad Two asked. “For snacks,” he explained.

“Do I look like a couturier?” asked Ten. “Or a haberdasher?”

“You look like a mini-J’Onn J’Onzz,” said Matter-Eater Lad Two.

“Minor character from the Age of Heroes?” asked Ten. “I know little about him.”

“There’s a statue of him in front of the New Metropolis Town Hall,” said Matter-Eater Lad. “You should go take a look. ‘Manhunter from Mars’. Looks just like you, only taller.”


"I vow to use my super-powers to uphold the principles of democracy and the enforcement of law... never for selfish or evil ends!"
#936977 - 09/04/17 07:41 AM Re: Young Legion - A Tale of Earth-K2 [Re: Klar Ken T5477]  
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CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO:
FLIGHT BELTS: POLAR LASS
Kylda Zimm of Tharr, age 14

Polar Lass, formerly Polaris, showed up at Ten’s stateroom / quarters / laboratory at the appointed time.

“Have you ever used a flight belt?” asked Ten.

“A couple of times,” said Polar Lass. “There are some recreational areas in the Tharrite caverns that can only be navigated by air. My family visited a few.”

“Good,” said Ten. “I have integrated the circuitry of your communicator, and added it to our network. I have also been able to merge your thermo-belt into it.”

“Finally,” said Polar Lass. “I have been freezing for the last couple of hours.”

“It is only necessary to maintain your core temperature at forty celsius,” said Ten, “But your Tharrite physiology neutralizes heat with incredible rapidity. I’m sure you are tempted to adjust the thermostat upwards or downwards with every change in the ambient temperature, but if you will try to get used to being just a little cold sometimes, I think your belt and insulated suit might warm you more efficiently.”

“This from the kid who wears the all-environmental force field belt,” said Polar Lass.


"I vow to use my super-powers to uphold the principles of democracy and the enforcement of law... never for selfish or evil ends!"
#936978 - 09/04/17 07:46 AM Re: Young Legion - A Tale of Earth-K2 [Re: Klar Ken T5477]  
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CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE:
FLIGHT BELTS: PHANTOM GIRL
Irinia Apero of Bgztl, age 15

Gentles, do not reprehend-- if you pardon, we will mend!
And, as I am an honest Puck, if we have unearnčd luck
Now to ’scape the ssserpent’s tongue... we will make amends ere long--
Else the Puck a liar call: so good night unto you all.
Give me your hands if we be friends, and Robin shall restore amends.


The holo-vid ended.

“This is supposed to be the Bard’s easiest play,” said Ten. “That’s why I began with it. But I find it immeasurably confusing! The Puck is a liar! Completely untrustworthy. Why should we believe in his consolations at all?”

“Ten, look up ‘sarcasm’, ‘irony’, and ‘unreliable narrator’,” said Phantom Girl.

Ten scrolled quickly through an on-screen dictionary. “Oh, I see,” he said. “Robin Goodfellow is a literary device. As are many of the others, I imagine. The resolution of the plot still seems unlikely, but… thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” said Phantom Girl. “He’s a device, but also a character. Remember that.”

“You are here ten minutes early,” said Ten. “Oh, yes, no doubt for socialization. Thank you. Have you been visit Ronin Nah this week?”

“Yesterday,” said Phantom Girl. “He’s kind of a funny guy. Very brash, a real daredevil. But then, also shy… and he has an artistic side, too. He draws and paints. Alone. In his room. He’s kind of a character.”

“Ronin Goodfellow?” asked Ten.

“No, that doesn’t really fit him,” said Phantom Girl. “Arna, maybe. I like them both. They’re friends.”

Friends are good”, said Ten. “There are few Coluans my age on our world. We seldom see one another in person.”

“That’s too bad,” said Phantom Girl. “Do you like it here, in the Club, with the other Members?”

“It is a... challenge,” said Ten. “Challenges are also good.” He picked up the finished flight belt. “I made this one completely standard, no extras,” he said. “Just remember to keep it in phase with you.”

“Not a problem,” said Phantom Girl. “By the time a Bgzltr is little Winema’s age, we’ve learned to stop phasing out of our clothes.”

“You will want to try it out on Gzbk,” said Ten. “Next time you visit, let me take a look at it when you return. I will see if it needs a tune-up. The physical laws in your home dimension may be slightly different from here.”

“Why do you say that?” asked Phantom Girl.

“I don’t know-- I don’t have any direct evidence-- but I suspect,” said Ten. “Mr. Nah lost his ultra-abilities after several years on Bgztl. There is very little literature on comparison of the variation in physical laws between Bgztl and Earth. The lack is quite surprising, really. I may do one of my theses on the subject in the future.”


"I vow to use my super-powers to uphold the principles of democracy and the enforcement of law... never for selfish or evil ends!"
#936979 - 09/04/17 07:49 AM Re: Young Legion - A Tale of Earth-K2 [Re: Klar Ken T5477]  
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CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR:
FLIGHT BELTS: CHAMELEON
[unnamed] of Durla, equivalent Terran age sixteen

“It really is quite frustrating,” said Ten. “I’m sure there is a solution. Brainiac 5’s work with flight rings is entirely public. He was able to integrate the ring’s circuitry into Reep Daggle’s physical form, who could manifest it as he chose. But I really don’t see that that is possible with a flight belt.”

“My ‘phone’s circuitry is similarly integrated,” said Chameleon. “It is a common practice on Durla. But I will simply have to slip the belt off, if I do any radical shape-shifting. And I can fly under my own power, in any number of forms.”

“Reep Daggle was accepted into the Old Legion on the basis of ‘super-disguise’,” said Ten. “It is hardly useful if you have to leave a loose flight belt lying around every time you change shape.”

“But he also proved that elasomorphism is a much more versatile ability,” said Chameleon. “I will keep the belt. It makes me feel more part of the group.”

“Without names,” said Ten, “How does your tribe distinguish itself, one from another?”

Chameleon wiggled his antennae. “Every object has its unique molecular signature,” he said. “And our language is more than merely auditory in nature. I am… me, and you are… you… and my sister is… her. We are who we are; only inanimate things need names. Two hammers are unique, but they are still only hammers. Beings are truly unique; they are not one another.”

“Durlan philosophy,” said Ten, “has not yet been part of my curriculum. Although I know it comes in as many shapes as Durlans themselves.”

“Yes,” said Chameleon. “The beginning of Wisdom.”


"I vow to use my super-powers to uphold the principles of democracy and the enforcement of law... never for selfish or evil ends!"
#936980 - 09/04/17 07:51 AM Re: Young Legion - A Tale of Earth-K2 [Re: Klar Ken T5477]  
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CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE:
FLIGHT BELTS: SHRINKING VIOLET
Eluia M’Kord of Orzde - age 14

“I assume that, like Phantom Girl, you can extend your powers to include your flight belt,” said Ten.

“Absolutely,” said Shrinking Violet.

“Still,” said Ten, “Let’s run a few tests.” He took out one of his many sensor devices. “I want to make sure the power levels are appropriate in reduced phase.”

Shrinking Violet tried out the flight belt at three feet, six inches, and one millimeter.

“It seems to work fine,” she said, “Although it does seem to gain some power as I reduce in size.”

“Square-Cube Law,” said Ten. “I had thought I had compensated for it in the design, but according to my readings, not completely.”

“It’s fine,” said Shrinking Violet. “I don’t mind being a super-fast bumblebee.”

“Not super-fast,” said Ten, “But there is definitely a little boost.”

“Does everybody have these hidden pockets?” asked Shrinking Violet.

“An idea Matter-Eater Lad Two gave me,” said Ten. “You might find it useful to carry some small tools with you-- which might become relatively large, when you shrink.”

“Chameleon was saying something to me about that,” said Shrinking Violet. “I never really thought of myself as a tool-belt girl.”

On the way out of her apartment, Ten paused for a moment. “That is an unusual lamp,” he said.

“It’s a fragment of luminous white dwarf matter, suspended in an anti-grav sphere,” said Shrinking Violet. “My folks gave it to me as a going-away present. To remind me of home.”

Ten pondered a moment. “It is literally a piece of your homestar, Irulan, isn’t it?”

“Yes,” said Shrinking Violet. “A little piece of home.”


"I vow to use my super-powers to uphold the principles of democracy and the enforcement of law... never for selfish or evil ends!"
#936981 - 09/04/17 07:59 AM Re: Young Legion - A Tale of Earth-K2 [Re: Klar Ken T5477]  
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CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX:
FLIGHT BELTS: THE TRIPLICATE GIRLS
Ffiona, Ffarrah and Ffey Ffar, of Carggg. Apparent age, 15

“This is even more frustrating,” said Ten. “There is a solution, but I do not have access to the necessary equipment. What I really need is a temporal qualitizer. I had to make three separate belts.”

“Well, there are three of us,” said Ffiona. “That seems reasonable.”

“Yes, but you will have to take the belts off to fuse,” said Ten. “With a temporal qualitizer, I could have ‘tuned’ each belt to your individual temporal vibrational frequencies.”

Ffiona, Ffarrah, and Ffey seemed nonplussed.

“That’s how Cargggan triplicating abilities work, isn’t it?” asked Ten. “One of you steps slightly forward in time, one of you steps slightly back, and you ‘fuse’ by cycling through time, synchronously. Three of you, occupying the same space, but not the same temporal coordinates.”

“Yes,” said Ffiona, “But I didn’t think that it was common knowledge.”

“Oh, no, I suppose not, but Colu has always been interested in bio-quantum temporal phenomena,” said Ten. “I’m sorry, am I being inappropriate again?”

“No, but she thinks you’re being dense,” said Ffey. “We should be able to cycle the belts with us. I mean, our costumes aren’t specially treated, and they cycle perfectly well. There aren’t temporal whatsits all over Carggg in the clothing stores.”

“Really?” said Ten. “Can you demonstrate?” He took out another of his many sensor units.

The girls fused, then re-triplicated.

“Intriguing,” said Ten, examining his sentors. “There is, naturally, a slight departure from the optimum in any engineering project. But these reconstituted belts seemed to have averaged away their differences. They are, at the moment, perfectly equivalent.”

“Well, there is a little quantum bleed when we’re together,” said Ffiona. “That’s how we know each other’s thoughts and feelings, and share memories. The longer we’re together, the greater the effect.”

“It's what makes being separate so much more comfortable,” said Ffarrah.

“How do you compensate for the attenuation problem?” asked Ten.

“We… well, we don’t,” said Ffey.

“Then, how long since you have been living, primarily, separately?” asked Ten.

“We may as well tell him,” said Ffiona.

“Since we were nine,” said Ffarrah.

“Since that time, you have aged an apparent six years,” said Ten. “That would make you just eleven years old now, Terran Standard . Not really even adults, legally.”

“Oh, we’re adults,” said Ffiona. “Our parents emancipated us.”

“We receive the Stipend, and everything,” said Ffarrah.

“And we are as mature, physically and emotionally, an any ordinary Terran fifteen-year-old,” said Ffey.

“And in twenty years?” inquired Ten.

“We’ll be old women, naturally,” said Ffarrah. “Yes. And by age fifty…”

“Well, there likely won’t be any age fifty,” said Ffiona.

“But it is worth it!” said Ffey. “Being separate, and free! The world is so much present-- more bright, more intense! We feel like we’re living, not merely existing. Can you understand?”

“I make no judgment of your choices,” said Ten. “You may only live another thirty years. The other Members may live a hundred or more. But by then, I will still have my whole life ahead of me. But by the time the others are beginning their senescence, I will be scarcely an adult. I imagine none of you here on Mars will live to see me graduate from University. I accept that. A Coluan’s long life is, at least in that respect, difficult. Other sentient beings lives are so ephemeral. That your lifespan will be one-third of a standard Terran’s is… well, the Coluan lifespan is six or eight times that. The difference between you, and ordinary Cargggans, is to us insignificant. But then, I will have appreciated knowing you, now.”


"I vow to use my super-powers to uphold the principles of democracy and the enforcement of law... never for selfish or evil ends!"
#937219 - 09/08/17 07:27 PM Re: Young Legion - A Tale of Earth-K2 [Re: Klar Ken T5477]  
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CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN:
INDIGESTION

It was entertaining to watch Matter-Eater Lad Two eat. The other members frequently scheduled their lunches to be in the common room with him.

Chameleon had triplicated himself, and was sitting at the table with the Triplicate Girls.

“How are you doing that?” asked Ffiona. “I thought replication was beyond a Durlan’s abilities.”

“Look at the floor,” said Chameleon.

The three Chameleons were rising up out of a lumpy, orange pool under the table.

“It is difficult to move all three selves independently,” said Chameleon. “I am afraid the illusion is not convincing.”

“I’m pleased Ten provides me with his scraps,” said Matter-Eater Lad Two. “Some of these elements are quite exotic, and uniquely tasty.” He hiccuped. “Although something is not sitting right,” he admitted. “In fact, I’m feeling a little funny.”

“You’re always a little funny,” teased Ffarrah.

“I’m… oh, I’ve never felt this way,” said Matter-Eater Lad Two. “My stomache…” He doubled over in pain. “I don’t know what’s happening…”

Chameleon and the Triplicate Girls helped him over to a couch.

“This is terrible,” he complained. “Maybe we should call the paramedics.”

Matter-Eater Lad Two belched. A gout of flame shot from his mouth.

“Maybe we should call the paramedics,” said Ffey.

“Polar Lass!” Ffiona shouted. “We need you!”

Polar Lass and Ten arrived just as Matter-Eater Lad Two produced another flaming eructation.

“Can you cool him off?” asked Ffiona.

“I don’t believe that would help,” said Ten. He took out one of his hand-held sensors. “We need Phantom Girl,” he said.

The remainder of the Super Hero Club had followed Phantom Girl into the Common Area.

“What’s going on,” she asked.

Ten checked his sensors. “It appears that the scrap I gave Matter-Eater Lad Two was inadvertently contaminated with a speck of dekalithium,” he said. “It seems to be reacting adversely with his cold fusion digestive system. I need your 4D vision, Phantom Girl. Can you see it? It should look like a small blob of gelatin… glowing, as if there was a flickering candle inside it. Is that an adequate description?”

“Yes, I see it,” said Phantom Girl. “No, it’s gone… yes… no, it keeps fading in and out. And jumping from one position to another. I can’t seem to keep my eyes on it.”

“I was afraid of that,” said Ten. “Bismolleans have three-and-a-half dimensional stomachs, and dekalithium draws energy from the eleven-dimensional matrix. Dimensionality may be pretty twisted in there right now.”

Master Txarlz, it is necessary for us to return to Colu immediately,” said Mr. Andrews.

“Best-case scenario,” said Ten, “his digestive system shuts down.”

Master Txarlz, I have called for a taxi,” said Mr. Andrews. “It will arrive in approximately ten minutes. We need to meet it outside.

“Worst-case scenario?” asked Phantom Girl.

“Worst-case scenario,” said Saturn Girl, “His cold fusion metabolism goes hot fusion, and we have a thermonuclear bomb lying on our couch. For a few minutes.”

Master Txarlz, I really must insist we leave for Colu immediately,” said Mr. Andrews. “We must meet the taxi, which will take us to the New Metropolis Space Terminal.

“Mr. Andrews,” said Ten. “Shrinking Violet’s parents have sent her a two-millimeter-in-diameter fragment of the white dwarf star Irulan, which currently resides in her stateroom. Unless she can make a Fantastic Voyage into Hillarie’s digestive tract, and retrieve the dekalithium, in a very short time, the New Metropolis Space Terminal will no longer exist.”

“Why would your parents send you such a dangerous item?” asked Ffey.

“I doubt they expected that she would be caught in a runaway fusion explosion,” said Ten. “Shrinking Violet, you will need my flight belt. I will set the shield controls. That should protect you from any danger inside Hillarie. You will need a container for the dekalithium…” He ran out of the room, Mr. Andrews shouting exhortations behind him.

In a few minutes, he was back. He held up an incredibly small vial. “This is a container from the battery pack I disassembled,” said Ten. “Once you get where you are going, you will need to make yourself large enough to manipulate it.”

Shrinking Violet girded on Ten’s belt, took the vial, and disappeared into Matter-Eater Lad Two’s mouth.

“Saturn Girl,” said Ten, “I hope you can track her progress?”

Two paramedics entered the crowded room. “We got an emergency call…”

Matter-Eater Lad Two belched a long stream of flame, and the paramedics jumped, as a number of people dodged out of the way. Polar Lass moved quickly to suppress the resulting flames.

“Bismollean,” Cosmic Boy told the paramedics. “Indigestion. Anything you can do?”

The paramedics, wide-eyed and open-mouthed, shook their heads. “We were never really trained for this,” said one.

“Shrinking Violet’s all right,” said Saturn Girl. “She’s spotted the dekalithium. Now what, Ten?”

“She needs to place it in the capsule. There is a… belt of sorts around the joint. She needs to press the dial in, and turn it widdershins. Counter-clockwise. There should be a click, and the dekalithium will stop glowing. It will then be inactivated.”

Saturn Girl paused a long moment. “Done,” she said.

“Phantom Girl, can you retrieve her?” asked Ten.

The Bgztlr reached her hand into Matter-Eater Lad Two’s belly, and pulled out a tiny Shrinking Violet, holding a vial nearly as large as herself.

Matter-Eater Lad groaned.

Saturn Girl turned towards the paramedics. “You should probably take him to a hospital,” she said. “Preferably one that has a specialist in Bismollean physiology.” Addressing Ten, she said, “I need to meet with you in your quarters.”

Mr. Andrews, Cosmic Boy, and Lightning Lass trailed after them.


"I vow to use my super-powers to uphold the principles of democracy and the enforcement of law... never for selfish or evil ends!"
#937220 - 09/08/17 07:28 PM Re: Young Legion - A Tale of Earth-K2 [Re: Klar Ken T5477]  
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CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT:
INTERROGATION

Saturn Girl accompanied Ten into his quarters, and closed and locked the door.

“My mother always told me, ‘Never trust a Coluan’,” said Saturn Girl. “It appears she was correct.”

Our taxi has arrived, Master Txarlz,” said Mr. Andrews, through the door. “We need to return to Colu immediately.”

“You are going nowhere, until I get an answer,” said Saturn Girl. She closed the door to Ten’s quarters, and fixed her eye on him. Her rage was barely concealed. “Was this intentional? Hillarie told me you were curious about Bismollean physiology. Was this some kind of ill-thought-out Coluan experiment?”

“No! It was an mistake!” said Ten, his voice choking, tears welling in his eyes. “A really bad mistake, but just an accident!”

“Do you want to leave with Mr. Andrews?” asked Saturn Girl.

Ten thought for a moment. Eyes downcast, he said, “No. If I can, I want to stay.”

“I can’t guarantee that,” said Saturn Girl. “But I can guarantee that unless I am absolutely certain that this was no more than an accident, you are leaving right now. I need you to drop your psychic shields, so I can read your mind.”

“But… my mind… I’m not supposed to… “

“I could take them down it myself, but it would hurt you,” said Saturn Girl. “I won’t do that. But either I read your mind, or I turn you over to Mr. Andrews and his taxi without any objection.”

Ten looked at her, pleadingly, then opened his mind.

“Good,” said Saturn Girl. “I need that one gone, too. And that one. All of them. All right, I’m satisfied. There is someone who wants to speak to us, now.”

They opened the door. Mr. Andrews was projecting a hologram of Renlo Tagor.

“Doctor Tagor,” said Saturn Girl. “Is there a high rate of infant mortality on Colu?”

“Why do you ask?” said Renlo Tagor.

“Because your children seem just smart enough to regularly kill themselves,” said Saturn Girl.

“If I allow him to stay, will you allow him to remain?” asked Renlo Tagor.

“I don’t know,” said Saturn Girl. “I will have to have a council with the others.”

“I think Txarlz has learned a valuable lesson about keeping his workspace clean,” said Renlo Tagor. “If you are willing, I would like to continue to commend him to your care.”

“Hopefully, I can let you know by tomorrow,” said Saturn Girl. “Mr. Andrews needs to go take care of the taxi driver, and his fare.”

Ten ran back into his room, tears streaming down his cheeks.

He locked the door behind him, and flung himself down on his bed, wracked with sobs.

Phantom Girl came up quietly through the floor.

“It will be all right,” she said, taking the little boy in her arms. “I hope you can stay. I want you to.”

“I want to, too,” said Ten, through his tears. “Do you think I can?”

“Your Adult Guardian says you can,” said Phantom Girl. “Now it’s just up to... everyone else.


"I vow to use my super-powers to uphold the principles of democracy and the enforcement of law... never for selfish or evil ends!"
#937221 - 09/08/17 07:29 PM Re: Young Legion - A Tale of Earth-K2 [Re: Klar Ken T5477]  
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CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE:
COUNCIL

“Well, we’re all here,” said Saturn Girl.

Shrinking Violet looked around the table. “I see a few missing…” she said.

“Ten is confined to quarters,” said Saturn Girl. “Polar Lass is keeping Matter-Eater Lad Two company in the hospital in Marsopolis. They asked us to give the two of them a call, later.”

“Before we get down to the business on everyone’s mind,” said Ffey, “Can I ask if it’s a good idea for Shrinking Violet to be keeping a piece of a star in her room?”

“I talked to my parents,” said Shrinking Violet. “They told me it’s perfectly safe. It would be impossible to ignite outside of the center of a Fusion Powersphere.”

“You didn’t tell them that’s very nearly where you were a yesterday, did you?” asked Ffiona.

“The newsfeeds have really played it down,” said Saturn Girl. “They may not really understand the implications. ‘Young Legion Discovers Something Bismolleans Can’t Eat-- And You Won’t Believe What Happened Next’-- that sort of stuff. Even the paramedics didn’t seem to pick up on what was going on. Just some ‘fire-breathing’, they told the hospital.”

“As long as no one on Bismoll comes forward with an exclusive, ‘What Really Happened On Mars’ story, I think we’re fine,” said Cosmic Boy.

“Just don’t let Matter-Eater Lad Two eat your chunk of starstuff,” said Ffey.

“I actually don’t think that would be dangerous,” said Saturn Girl. “Bismolleans have a cold fusion metabolism-- he could probably digest it easily. Of course, he probably wouldn’t be hungry again for a long, long time.” She looked at Shrinking Violet. “Not that I want to see you lose your parent’s gift.”

“It’s actually more than just sentimental value,” said Shrinking Violet. “You all should probably know this, I guess. My parents send me Space Dragon Serum regularly for my monthly dose-- it’s hard to come by, anywhere but Orzde or Imsk. It’s the only way an Irulan can maintain their shrinking abilities away from home. But we... I… also need regular exposure to White Dwarf Star radiation. Sleeping in my room every night with my Irulan Lamp is enough. Without those two things, I’d have to return home-- because and Ordean who’s lost their powers can get pretty sick.”

“Perhaps we need a Council meeting to help us all understand how all the other’s powers work,” said Chameleon. “It would be disconcerting to learn, for example, that Phantom Girl cannot phase through lead at some crucial moment.”

“Oh, I can phase through lead,” said Phantom Girl.

“I only meant it as an example,” said Chameleon.

“So about Ten,” said Saturn Girl. “Do we keep him, or not?”

“Do we get one vote, or three?” asked Ffiona. “Because we’re all in favor of him staying.”

“You see?” said Saturn Girl. “This is why we need a Constitution.”

“Speak for yourself, Ffiona,” said Ffey. “He scares the feng shui out of me.”

“So I guess I have the tie-breaking vote?” said Ffarrah.

“I had hoped,” said Cosmic Boy, “That a formal vote wouldn’t be necessary. Maybe if we discuss this between ourselves, we can come to a unanimous, mutual understanding.”

“He has been a valuable asset,” said Chameleon Boy. “He put in a great deal of time and effort on the flight belts.”

“I think he should stay,” said Phantom Girl, “Because he needs us.”

“That’s an interesting sentiment, but I don’t think I follow you, Irinia,” said Lightning Lass.

“Don’t you understand?” said Phantom Girl. “Colu is a world where knowledge and understanding is valued above all else. Ten won’t even complete what we would consider High School for over ninety years. Then college, after that. But Colu is also isolated and insular. Their tenth-level minds look down on all the less well-endowed sentients in the Galaxy. But you have seen that Ten has plenty to learn from us: social customs, interpersonal relations, other cultures, new ways of thinking. He’s socially and emotionally awkward now, but he learns fast. And that is exactly the kind of knowledge that isn’t available on Colu, with its emphasis on pure data analysis and mathematics. I’m pretty sure that’s a lot of the reason his Adult Guardian sent him here, and allows him to stay-- even after he almost made brand-new crater on Mars.”

“Well, you’ve convinced me,” said Ffey.

“You seem to have thought about this a lot,” said Shrinking Violet. “It’s almost as though you have… feelings… for Ten.”

“Feelings?” said Phantom Girl, agast. “Of course I have feelings. I like Ten, just like I like Winema Nah, who, by the way, is a cutie-pie. He may have tenth-level intelligence, but in a lot of ways Ten is just a little boy away out of his depth. Do you think this incident has traumatized him? Well, it has. And it’s going to take some time for him to get over it.”

“She’s right,” said Saturn Girl.

“Have you ever read that old Fairy Tale, ‘Le Petit Prince’,” asked Phantom Girl. “‘Men have forgotten this truth, but you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.’”

“So Ten is our tame Coluan?” asked Saturn Girl.

“Not yet,” said Phantom Girl. “But I think we may be becoming his friends. Something he never had on Colu.”


"I vow to use my super-powers to uphold the principles of democracy and the enforcement of law... never for selfish or evil ends!"
#937223 - 09/08/17 11:24 PM Re: Young Legion - A Tale of Earth-K2 [Re: Klar Ken T5477]  
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I am loving this, Klar! I'm a sucker for a Fantastic Voyage =)

Having Ten go round individually to everyone with the flight belts was a really good way of getting a little insight into everyone, and I like the approach generally that you take with world-building which focuses on details that get missed or glossed over by other writers (including me).


Read the alternate adventures of the Legion after Legion of Three Worlds!
postlo3w
#937228 - 09/09/17 04:23 AM Re: Young Legion - A Tale of Earth-K2 [Re: razsolo]  
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Paradise Valley
Thank you, Razsolo. I was afraid that all this slow-poking around in this new Legion paracosm might be rather tedious for anyone who is not me. I am glad you are enjoying my excursions.

The Young Legion / Super Hero Club is having some difficulty getting started-- but that’s kind of the point, isn't it?

How do you become a band of superheroes when you don’t have the assets of an R.J. Brande / Bruce Wayne / Tony Stark behind you?

So for right now, all they have is each other. Well, that, and the shell of an old, broken-down space cruiser (Mark II). And flight belts.

Somebody else's essay on Legion Cruisers

But something is sure to happen soon. When you put yourself out there as “Heroes”, you are bound to attract trouble at some point.


"I vow to use my super-powers to uphold the principles of democracy and the enforcement of law... never for selfish or evil ends!"
#937271 - 09/10/17 06:25 AM Re: Young Legion - A Tale of Earth-K2 [Re: Klar Ken T5477]  
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Definitely not tedious, I am quite enjoying it...and thanks for the cruiser link, I have bookmarked it as I'm sure it will come in handy for future reference sooner or later laugh


Read the alternate adventures of the Legion after Legion of Three Worlds!
postlo3w
#937346 - 09/11/17 07:36 AM Re: Young Legion - A Tale of Earth-K2 [Re: Klar Ken T5477]  
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Paradise Valley
CHAPTER THIRTY:
A TWENTY-FOUR HOUR, ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT SMORGASBOARD

Ffarrah and Chameleon were in the Common Room, sharing a table for that meal in between lunch and dinner.

“Is that some sort of Durlan dish?” asked Ffarrah. “I looks really unusual.”

“It’s Laban Kishk,” said Chameleon. “An ordinary Earth food. Mars has a wonderful variety of Earth foods, and I have found many to my liking. Poi, Kim Chee, Sauerkraut, Borscht. We used to have Earth Beer on Durla, but I haven’t been able to get it since I left. Did you know Ethanol an intoxicant to most Earth species?”

“Yes,” said Ffarrah, smiling. “I knew that. Maybe someday, if we visit Rimbor, I can get you a Silverale. Or a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster. There’s no minimum legal drinking age on Rimbor.”

“Ffarrah!” Ffey had just entered the room. “Are you eating again?”

“I can’t help it,” said Ffarrah. “It’s like living in a 24-hour, all-you-can-eat smorgasboard! It’s just a couple of sandwiches.”

“Well, if you keep at it, you’ll end up weighing as much as Ffiona and I combined, and we’ll never be able to fuse again.”

“You’re like a repeating decimal,” said Ffarrah. “Same thing over and over again.”

“Just remember, we’re paying for 25% of that 24-hour, all-you-can-eat smorgasboard,” said Ffey.

“Then I’d better take advantage of it,” said Ffarrah.

“Chameleon, want to see a trick?” said Ffey. “This is something very few Cargggans can do.”

Ffarrah sighed, and stood up. Ffey and Ffarrah merged, waited a minute, then re-duplicated.

“Do you get it?” asked Ffey. “We merged without Ffiona. For most other Cargggans, that would be traumatic.”

“And now, I have ‘borrowed’ a little of Ffey’s willpower,” said Ffarrah, pushing her half-finished plate away.

“And I ‘borrowed’ some of Ffarrah’s mid-afternoon snack,” said Ffey. “Ugh. I don’t think I’ll be eating anything else until breakfast tomorrow.”

“The Founders are going into town to do some shopping this evening,” said Phantom Girl, just entering the room. “Any of you want to come? Matter-Eater Lad Two and Shrinking Violet want to take me to the Superman Museum.”

“Thank you,” said Chameleon. “Not tonight.”

“Not me,” said Ffarrah.

“Me neither,” said Ffey. “And I’ll bet Ffiona will want to stay home tonight, too. Somebody’s got to be here with Ten, after all. Maybe he’ll come out of his room one of these days.”

“I saw him yesterday,” said Chameleon. “He seemed in relatively good spirits.”

“He sits in there watching performances of Shakespeare,” said Ffiona, from the doorway. “And not on fast-forward. Some of them black-and-white videos from the early 2Oth century. I think he believes Shakespeare is the key to understanding human beings.”

“Want to go into town with us tonight?” asked Phantom Girl.

“No, thanks,” said Ffiona. “I think we’re good.”


"I vow to use my super-powers to uphold the principles of democracy and the enforcement of law... never for selfish or evil ends!"
#937347 - 09/11/17 07:46 AM Re: Young Legion - A Tale of Earth-K2 [Re: Klar Ken T5477]  
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CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE:
THE SUPERMAN MUSEUM

It was really a shame to use the Ranzz’s Runabout, capable of traversing interstellar distances, to drive the few miles into town. However, there was no other vehicle that could hold a week’s worth of groceries for a dozen teen-agers. Saturn Girl, Lightning Lass, and Cosmic Boy did the shopping. The three others were there to help carry.

Matter-Eater Lad Two had been to the Superman Museum before, and this was Shrinking Violet’s third time, but it was all new to Phantom Girl. The presentation in the VR booth had just completed when Phantom Girl perked up her ears.

“Do you hear something?” she asked.

“Do you have 4D hearing, too?” asked Shrinking Violet.

“No, listen, there’s some kind of commotion outside.” Phantom Girl went to a wall, and carefully poked her head through. “It looks like this guy is threatening the Curator. He looks like a Daxamite, from his clothing.”

“OK, let’s just hunker down,” said Shrinking Violet. “I don’t want to get in an argument with a Daxamite.”

“Maybe we should call the SP’s?” said Matter-Eater Lad Two. “Does it look like it’s going to get violent?”

“OK, come out of there, you three,” said an angry, stentorian voice. “It’s no use whispering. Daxamites have super-hearing, you know.”

Phantom Girl came barreling out through the wall, hitting the Daxamite full in the chest.

“Foolish girl,” said the broad, sturdily-built man, hovering in the air. “You will not be the first child I have killed.”

Faint pink beams of light lanced from the Daxamite’s eyes. They had no effect on Phantom Girl, the floor, or anything else.

“You’re not going to hurt anyone with that luke-warm vision,” said Phantom Girl.

Shrinking Violet and Matter-Eater Lad Two came out of the VR booth through the door, in the more conventional manner.

“What did you do to him?” asked Matter-Eater Lad Two.

“I knocked him half-way into the Phantom Zone,” said Phantom Girl. “It’s only a couple of microns. In the right direction.” The Daxamite was looking noticeably transparent.

“Is it ssafe?” asked the Curator.

“Oh, yeah,” said Phantom Girl. “Bgztlr kids do this with tourists all the time. No one ever gets out by themselves. And when I say ‘kids’, I mean ‘juvenile delinquents’. Not that I myself am a juvenile delinquent, of course. Or ever was. In fact, I really don’t know where I learned this technique.”

The Daxamite swore a stream that significantly increased Matter-Eater Lad Two’s vocabulary.

“Wow,” said Matter-Eater Lad Two. “What’s a ‘Feetal’s Gizz’ mean?”

“It means,” said Phantom Girl, “That when we get back to the clubhouse, you need to wash out your mouth with sodium hypochlorite.”

“I’ve got the Science Police on my ‘phone,” said Shrinking Violet, the holographic display in front of her. “The want to know exactly what’s going on here. What should I tell them?”

“Let me sspeak with them,” said the Curator. “Yess,” he said, “It iss apparently a Daxsamite Pirate. We have a ssmall collection of kryptonite at the musseum; he demanded I give it to him, threatening me with bodily harm. Doubtlessss he intended it to bootleg Daxxamite Anti-Lead Sserum. I wass about to do give it to him, when the girl Legionnaire pusshed him out into another dimenssion… Yess, it would be good if you could come and take him away… yess, as ssoon as possssible…”

The Daxamite let loose another stream of invective, directed at both the teens and the Curator. Matter-Eater Lad Two approached the hovering, translucent figure calmly.

“Mister Daxamite, do you see this?” he asked, pulling a small, grey lump of metal from one of his pockets. “You have meta-vision, or whatever you call it? Do you recognize what this is?”

“It looks like a slug of inertron,” said the Daxamite, adding another curse.

“Exactly correct,” said Matter-Eater Lad Two. “Or, as we Bismolleans call it, Gum.” He popped the tablet into his mouth, and masticated theatrically. “Now settle down, or I’ll have my friend send me in there, and I’ll bite your face off.”

“You wouldn’t,” said the Daxamite.

“Of course he wouldn’t,” said Shrinking Violet. “Would you?”

Matter-Eater Lad Two shrugged.

It took a good forty-five minutes for the SP’s to arrive. The Curator took the teens back to a largish box, and pulled back the roll-top.

“All four bassic varietiess of Kryptonite are dissplayed here,” said the Curator. “Green, red, gold, and white. Blue Kryptonite iss a missnomer, ass it is an artifiscially created ssubstance. Thiss chesst is lead-lined, of coursse, and alsso lined with ssmall graphite rodss, to futher abssorb any sstray radiation. The glassss is leaded, ass well.”

It was not exactly a small collection. Each chunk of Kryptonite was at least the size of a fist.

“Mined on Rokyn itsself,” the Curator continued. “Expressssly for our Musseum.”

Three SP officers came in carrying a wide, low device. “We had a portable transmatter gate sent from Earth,” the first officer explained. “Single-use, set for Daxam.”

The second officer was examining an Omnicom. “Yep, Daxamite Pirate all right. A real nasty character. Name of Yar Gol-Ber. The Daxamite judiciary will be happy to see him.”

The third officer hefted a large rifle. “So how is this going to go down?” he asked. “I’ve got a red-sun cannon here, but how do we get him out of that trans-dimensional niche you’ve got him stored in?”

Phantom Girl walked up into the grey-mauve mists surrounding Yar Gol-Ber.

“Now this is the easiest way...” she began. The Daxamite Pirate took a swing at her, his hand passing cleanly-- and harmlessly-- through her head.

“Do you think I’m stupid?” Phantom Girl erupted angrily. “I may be standing on the outskirts of the Phantom Zone with you, but we’re still out of phase with one another! Now as I was saying… I will give you a little push, and you will fall out of this pocket of space, and into the gate these nice officers have brought it. Then you’ll be home, OK?”

“****** you!,” said Yar Gol-Ber.

“Or,” said Phantom Girl, “I can drag you all the way back into the actual Phantom Zone, and you can wait there until we can arrange for a Zone-O-Phone to be shipped from Bgztl to Daxam.”

“Or,” said Matter-Eater Lad Two, “We can just let him stay there for forty-eight hours, until whatever residual Anti-Lead Serum he may have taken wears off. There is a nice plate of leaded glass right here in the Museum, which ought to make him compliant enough for the SP’s to ship him anywhere they want.”

“Now just a minute! The Science Police would not permit the torture of a prisoner our custody,” said the third SP officer. “These threats are completely inappropriate. Wow, you kids have some nasty imagination.”

“Oh, we’re nasty all right,” said Shrinking Violet. “Damn evil.”

“Look,” said the SP officer. “Why don’t you kids go on back to your little clubhouse, and let the professionals take it from here.”

“Sure,” said Shrinking Violet. “Come on, guys, let’s go.” Matter-Eater Lad Two shambled over, Phantom Girl stepped down from the mists. They made for the museum door.

“You might consider,” said Shrinking Violet, “That we ‘kids’ might be just a little stressed out because this Daxamite Pirate tried his best to murder our friend here, and has been threatening the three of us, as well as the Curator, for the past forty-five minutes while you took you sweet time in getting here.” She took a breath. “I hope you have a Bgztlr on the force, because it will probably take you some time to requisition one from Gzbk. And unless I’m mistaken about how these things work, I imagine you’re renting that Star Gate from Earth on an hourly basis. As long as we’re on this side of the door, we’re ready and willing to help. But if you want to do it all yourselves, that’s OK with us. It’s what you’re paid to do.”

“Look,” said the first SP. “I admit, it would be very helpful for the Phantom Girl to cooperate, and release the prisoner into our custody. But I don’t want to hear you threatening him again, no matter what he’s allegedly done to you”

“What’s the magic word?” said Phantom Girl.

“Please?” said the first SP, reluctantly.

“Actually, the magic word is ‘Nhbkb’,” said Phantom Girl. “But you wouldn’t know that.” She climbed back up into the grey-mauve mists.

“I’ll tell you a secret, Daxamite,” whispered Phantom Girl, “If you decide you want to wait this out in the Phantom Zone, you won’t be alone. Some Bgztlrs, on their last moments, choose to enter the Bgztlr Buffer Zone just moments before death, to extend their lives indefinitely as intangible, immortal phantoms. Thus the ‘Phantom Zone’. Not that it’s looked on very kindly on Bgztl. It’s seen as a moral lack-- a lapse of courage and faith. Still, I have a great-grandmother there… or great-great grandmother, maybe. At any rate, one is sure to encounter a nearly departed phantom or two, even as far out here as Mars. Sure you don’t want play ball, and take a quick trip back to your Homeworld?”

Yar Gol-Ber, grumbling, turned and faced the transmatter device. A shimmering gate opened beneath Phantom Girl and the Daxamite, a dull gray room displayed on the other side.

“Now, on the count of three, I’ll give you a little push,” said Phantom Girl. “One…” Phantom Girl pushed. The interior of the museum briefly turned scarlet by the flash of the red solar cannon.

Yar Gol-Ber, Daxamite Pirate, flailing a moment, dropped out of the half-dimensional pocket, and down through the sparkling gate, sprawling on the gray floor below.

“...and three,” said Phantom Girl.

“Why do you carry inertron pellets in your pocket?” Shrinking Violet asked Matter-Eater Lad Two later.

“They’re not really solid inertron,” said Matter-Eater Lad Two. “They’re inertron-plated lead. But I figured he wouldn’t tell the difference. Limits of meta-vision.”

“So why do you carry inertron-plated lead pellets in your pocket?” Shrinking Violet asked Matter-Eater Lad Two.

“Haven’t you been listening?” said Matter-Eater Lad Two. “Gum.”


"I vow to use my super-powers to uphold the principles of democracy and the enforcement of law... never for selfish or evil ends!"
#937348 - 09/11/17 07:49 AM Re: Young Legion - A Tale of Earth-K2 [Re: Klar Ken T5477]  
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CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO:
“'DAMN EVIL' LEGION THWARTS DAXAMITE PIRATE ON MARS... AND WHAT HE TOLD THE SCIENCE POLICE AFTERWARDS WILL MAKE YOUR HAIR STAND ON END"

Saturn Girl read the headline aloud. “We really need to begin some official training,” she commented.

The Club had gathered in an emergency meeting. Several large boxes of half-eaten pizza covered the table.

“It could have been worse?” Matter-Eater Lad Two asked.

“I think Phantom Girl and Matter-Eater Lad Two did an amazing job,” said Shrinking Violet. “We were facing a Daxamite, for Frunt's sake, and he would just as soon have killed us, as looked at us. Could have killed us, just by looking at us.”

“We have an even half-dozen applications requesting our consideration at try-outs tomorrow,” Ten reported, taking a sip from a tube of Coluan Nutrative Gel.

“Yes, but are they expecting to join a Super Hero Club,” asked Saturn Girl, “Or the Legion of Super-Villains?”

“I’m just glad we finished the parking lot,” said Cosmic Boy. “We don’t know how many are taking taxis, or bringing their own vehicles.”

“Or flying in under their own power,” said Chameleon.

“Hah!” said Ten. “I get it!”

“Get what?” asked Phantom Girl.

Ten pointed to one of the pizza boxes. “Prospero’s Pizza!” he said. “Their slogan, on every box: 'O brave new world, that has such pizzas in it!'’”


"I vow to use my super-powers to uphold the principles of democracy and the enforcement of law... never for selfish or evil ends!"
#937617 - 09/17/17 09:17 AM Re: Young Legion - A Tale of Earth-K2 [Re: Klar Ken T5477]  
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This is the best antidote for a grim and tedious week! You combine humour with the serious side of young, inexperienced, idealistic kids trying to build something.

Fascinating explanation for the Triplicate Girls and Carggite powers in general.

The shrine to Darkseid and the untold tale of Reep and Lu's deaths adds a bit of darkness to this, and what's a hero's journey without darkness?

These kids may surpass their parents and elder counterparts once they get going. Dorrit's long-distance excursion into the mind of Renlo Tagor was an impressive accomplishment and the way Pol and Dacey combined powers shows that they were developing their teamwork as young children, probably by now it's second nature to work together. Big advantage.

I love 10, not just because he's Coluan, but because he's everybody's annoying, yet smarter than you, little brother. In his case, it's exaggerated on both counts. Laughed at the ben-day dots skin.

You've put in a lot of attention to detail, such as the Ranzz's financial situation, Jo's power loss on Bgtzl, the different personalities among all the offspring, the change in Martian atmosphere from terraforming, something a Bismollean can't eat. It all gives a richness to the story.

More chapters, nhbkb!


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#937646 - 09/18/17 05:24 AM Re: Young Legion - A Tale of Earth-K2 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Cramer: I am pleased that you have found Earth-K2 interesting so far.

I am naturally drawn to themes of old age and dying, so of course I have worked out the details of Reep and Lluornu’s deaths. There may be a need in the future to reference them again, but this is primarily the younger generations’ story.

With Earth-K, I brought a lot of deceased Legionnaires back, in order to reconcile the Retroboot and 5YL, so with Earth-K2, I wanted for all the Legionnaires dead (or lost in time) at the end of #23 to remain that way. The body count is pretty daunting. Legionnairing was dangerous business.

(In the Earth-K2 paracosm, 5YG & 5YL never happened. The Legion was disbanded in #23 and... twenty years later...)

It seemed natural for two characters with electromagnetic powers to be able to ‘boost’ each other. In James Kakalios’ book The Physics of Super-Heroes his discussion of Marvel’s Magneto and Electro spawned some ideas.

Dorrit is not really more powerful than her mother; Imra once casually contacted the Guardians on Oa from Earth, with substantially less effort. Dorrit is, however, at least a Class-Two Telepath. Imra is unquestionably Class-One, although Titan has debated creating a Class-Zero just for her. Or maybe going into the negative numbers, like with the measures of apparent magnitude.

I am also fond of Ten, and there is a temptation to over-use him. All these characters have become frighteningly “real” to me.

I have outlines through Chapter Sixty in detail, and have easily enough material to continue for up to a hundred. I don’t want to hog Bits too much, though.

Last edited by Klar Ken T5477; 09/18/17 05:56 AM.

"I vow to use my super-powers to uphold the principles of democracy and the enforcement of law... never for selfish or evil ends!"
#937674 - 09/18/17 05:42 PM Re: Young Legion - A Tale of Earth-K2 [Re: Klar Ken T5477]  
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CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE:
TRYOUTS
FRENQ GOLL, JR. OF XANTHU: PHRENOLOGIAX-2

“My father was a member of the Uncanny Amazers, the original Phrenologiax! I possess all his forty-six of his uncanny powers and abilities!” shouted the bald-headed youth in the black-and-white chequered costume.

“Er- I’m sorry, I am not completely familiar with your father and his powers,” said Cosmic Boy. “Just what abilities do the two of you possess?”

“I have forty-six psychic modules, including propensities, sentiments, and faculties: Adhesiveness; Alimentiveness; Amativeness; Acquisitiveness; Causality; Cautiousness; Combativeness; Concentrativeness; Constructiveness; Destructiveness; The Propensity of Ideality; Love of life; Philoprogenitiveness; Secretiveness; Cautiousness; Love of Approbation; Self-esteem; Truthfulness; Benevolence; Conscientiousness; Firmness; Hope; The Sentiment of Ideality; Imitation; Veneration; Wit, or Mirthfulness; Wonder; Coloring; Eventuality; Form; Hearing; Individuality; Language; Locality; and power over the faculties of Number; Order; Sight; Size; Smell; Taste; Time; Touch; Tune; Weight; Causality; and Comparison.”

“Perhaps you could give us just one example of your powers?” asked Lightning Lass. “A demonstration, as it were?”

“Certainly,” said Phrenologiax-2. The young man wrinkled his brow in concentration. “Using my Faculty of Taste, I can generate for you the sensation of Vanilla Ice Cream!”

* * *

“So, did you actually taste ‘Vanilla Ice Cream’?” Ten asked later.

“Well, no, not really,” said Cosmic Boy.

“But there was sort of a sense of the immanence of the flavor of vanilla ice cream,” Saturn Girl admitted.

“He certainly displayed the limits of his Sentiment of Combativeness, though” Lightning Lass observed.

“Until he can better learn to control his unique abilities, he’d be as great a danger to us as to our enemies,” Cosmic Boy observed.


"I vow to use my super-powers to uphold the principles of democracy and the enforcement of law... never for selfish or evil ends!"
#937675 - 09/18/17 05:43 PM Re: Young Legion - A Tale of Earth-K2 [Re: Klar Ken T5477]  
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CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR:
TRYOUTS
GREGOR SAMSA OF PLANET KAFKO: BLUE BEETLE 3OOO

“Like all the inhabitants of my world,” said the blue-skinned, antennaed boy, “I have the ability to transform myself into a giant scarab.”

The one-hundred-twenty-pound scarab was a shining, brilliant lapis-lazuli color.

After about fifteen minutes, Lightning Lass rang up Phantom Girl in the Clubhouse.

“Can you tell the Zoo we have another animal for pickup?” she asked.


"I vow to use my super-powers to uphold the principles of democracy and the enforcement of law... never for selfish or evil ends!"
#937676 - 09/18/17 05:49 PM Re: Young Legion - A Tale of Earth-K2 [Re: Klar Ken T5477]  
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CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE:
TRYOUTS
PIERRE KERN OF ZWEN: THE NEW STONE BOY

“Zwen, Planet of the Sleepers. You have all the abilities of Dag Wentim?” Cosmic Boy asked.

“Oh, gosh, no,” said Pierre. “Dag Wentim was one of a kind. Able to ignore the demands of the Times of Hibernation, he nevertheless was able to drop off to sleep anytime, at will. I can only petrify at night, while I sleep, or during the Times of Hibernation.”

“The Old Legionnaires used to swear this oath, in part,” said Saturn Girl. “‘I make this solemn pledge: to use my powers for good, to fight for justice and protect the innocent’. Now out Super Hero Club does not require the same oath, but we like to think we ascribe to similar values. How might your slumbering petrificative powers be used for good, to fight for justice, and protect the innocent?”

“I… I’m not sure,” said Pierre.

“Well, think about it, and get back to us when you have an answer,” said Saturn Girl.

Ten had showed up beside the dais, from inside the Clubhouse.

“Before we dismiss this candidate,” he said, “Could I satisfy my curiosity?”

“By all means,” said Saturn Girl.

“I understand that Zwenites are particularly long-lived, for Terrans,” said Ten. “Is that correct?”

“Well, if you mean, we don’t age during our petrification, then well, yes,” he said. “We also have no need to eat or drink or breathe while we sleep.”

Saturn Girl looked at Ten. “This ‘teen’ would be older than my parents, then!”

“Assuming Zwen’s orbit makes the planet uninhabitable for approximately three-quarters of the year, and that even during non-hibernation, Zwenites sleep one-third of the day, I would estimate that young Pierre here was born some eighty-eight Terran Standard years ago.”

“Well, Zwen’s years are a little different than Earth’s, but I guess that’s pretty close,” said Pierre.

"So if I were to visit Zwen in another eighty-eight years time, during the Times of No Hibernation,I would find you a man in your mid-thirties?" asked Ten. "And all your people age at a similar rate?"

"Yeah, sure, that's right, I guess," said Pierre.

“Thank you, Mr. Kern,” said Ten. “This brief conversation has been most enlightening.”


"I vow to use my super-powers to uphold the principles of democracy and the enforcement of law... never for selfish or evil ends!"
#937677 - 09/18/17 05:55 PM Re: Young Legion - A Tale of Earth-K2 [Re: Klar Ken T5477]  
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CHAPTER THIRTY-SIX:
TRYOUTS
KETURAH OF TARTARUS: FRANKENSTEIN-ELEVEN

The young woman was tall, over two meters in height. Her black hair was streaked with gray. Her skin was pale, yellowish, and papery, like crepe. She had no nose to speak of, only two large nostrils in the center of her face. Her eyes were cloudy, bloodshot, and rheumy. All in all, she looked like a typical inhabitant of her homeworld.

“Towards the end of the eighteenth century on Earth, an Italian-Swiss student of Natural History began a series of remarkable experiments. Combining science with the mystic arts, he created a living being through the animation of dead tissue. Some of the material was found in morgues and University biology departments, some was grown in the laboratory. What could not be acquired or synthesized was substituted with inorganic material. The majority of the peripheral nerve structure, for example, was finely drawn platinum wire.”

“The Creature, as he was called, beseeched his creator to form a woman as a companion for him. The scientist reluctantly agreed, but later destroyed his second Creation before it was completed. After several decades, and following the death of his creator, the Creature unearthed records of the processes that created him. He created for himself the She-Creature he had longed for.”

“Alas, being composed of only dead tissue, reproduction in the ordinary was impossible. However, a century or so later, the two created a child by the same arcane methods. Sadly, that child was destroyed after only a few decades.”

“From time to time, over the past twelve centuries, there have been other Creatures constructed by this small ‘family’ of the Unliving. In all that time, there have only been eleven of us formed, including the two originals, and only seven of us survive today. I am the youngest of them all, having been assembled on Tartarus, by my ‘mother’ some fifteen years ago.”

“We are immensely strong, agile, and durable, and possess an accelerated healing ability. In fact, very little other than utter disintegration can destroy us. Our family business is monster-slaying, and our weapon of choice is the sword. Mine is a particularly fine one, an osmium-iridium alloy, with a sharpened edge finer than a human hair.”

She displayed the great broadsword for the Founders to examine. Etched down the center, in letters of gold, was the phrase: “Meine Kraft ist wie die Kraft von zehn Menschen, den mein Herz ist rein.”

“<My strength is as the strength of ten, because my heart is pure>” thought Saturn Girl to her sister. “<What do you think?>”

“<Her litany of powers are certainly impressive>” Lightning Lass thought back. “<And I have no real objection to her appearance. On the other hand, I do not relish the thought of sharing the Clubhouse with the stench of mildew and decay that follows her>”

“<Cadaverous amide>” Saturn Girl replied. “Thank you, Keturah, for considering us as companions in your quest,” she said aloud. “We do not expect to be solely in the business of fighting monsters; you may be doing more good on your own than with us. Also, we do need to discuss your application with remainder of the membership. We will contact you... shortly.”


"I vow to use my super-powers to uphold the principles of democracy and the enforcement of law... never for selfish or evil ends!"
#937678 - 09/18/17 05:59 PM Re: Young Legion - A Tale of Earth-K2 [Re: Klar Ken T5477]  
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CHAPTER THIRTY-SEVEN:
TRYOUTS
OJINA EINSTEIN OF MONDEAUX: LAMBDA LASS

“Lambda?” asked Saturn Girl. “As in, the cosmological constant, the measure of the sum of Dark Energy in the Universe? The underlying variable for Hubble’s Constant, and the expansion of the Universe?”

“Exactly,” said the bright, pretty girl. “I have the ability to create or neutralize space itself!” She waved a hand, and suddenly the grove in which the Club was holding its tryouts became much larger. Scrub and small trees were suddenly farther distant, as were the benches the applicants had waited on. Just as suddenly, the space between the Founder’s dais and Lambda Lass disappeared, and she was right up in their faces.

“That is only a sample of my powers,” she said. “I can teleport, twist and distort local space, even turn objects inside-out. I would be more than thrilled to place my powers at the disposal of your Super Hero Club.”

“Your powers are certainly impressive,” commented Lightning Lass. “And you show good control, as well.”

“We do need to discuss your application with remainder of the membership,” said Lightning Lass. “We will be in touch with you in a couple of days.”

“I would think,” said Lambda Lass, her face turning dark, “That you would accept me immediately, and be grateful for my application. I’ve seen the other sort of losers and monsters who have been applying. You need me, and you know it. You can come crawling back in a couple of days, if I haven’t joined some other team.”

She gestured, and a hole opened up in the air. It somewhat resembled a Boom Tube, but was composed of square helical segments. Lambda Lass stepped through the portal, and it closed with a *pop*.

Ten came out from the clubhouse. “What is wrong with you?” he cried. “Why did you send her away? She controls fundamental forces of the Universe! Think what an asset she would be!”

“You didn’t see inside her mind,” said Saturn Girl. “She’s… not right. You saw what she was like when we didn’t immediately fawn all over her. We need to come up with some pretext for rejecting her outright.”

“Not right? In the head? All the more reason to keep her here, under surveillance,” said Ten. “Make sure she’s on our side, or at least, under control.”

“I do not think,” said Saturn Girl, “That our little Super Hero Club would be an reasonable or appropriate refuge and safeguard for an immature, unpredictable, erratic, and possibly dangerous child.”

“You mean,” said Ten deliberately, “another immature, unpredictable, erratic, and possibly dangerous child.”

“No offense,” said Saturn Girl.

“None taken,” said Ten.


"I vow to use my super-powers to uphold the principles of democracy and the enforcement of law... never for selfish or evil ends!"
#937679 - 09/18/17 06:05 PM Re: Young Legion - A Tale of Earth-K2 [Re: Klar Ken T5477]  
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CHAPTER THIRTY-EIGHT:
TRYOUTS
GHURWIL TANR’R OF JAQUAA: VARIABLE LAD 2

“Well, all Jaquaans are really cousins,” said Ghurwil Tanr’r. “I am quite closely related to Dr. Gym’ll and Oaa Tseldor. My powers replicate the latter’s: it is somewhat rare, but not too uncommon a mutation among my people.”

The little Jaquaan stood only three feet tall, mostly head. He was so nervous his arms were cycling between two, three, and four.

“So you can copy any super-power?” asked Saturn Girl.

“Yes,” said Gurwhil Tanr’r, “Although, I don’t copy them exactly-- more like a close analogy. And I have to have seen it done-- although watching a demonstration on holovid is usually enough. And I do it by transforming into various monstrous forms. There is a degree of randomness to it: I might assume different forms to replicate the same or similar abilities.”

“Can you give us a demonstration?” asked Saturn Girl.

“Sure,” said Gurwhil Tanr’r, stepping back from the dais a bit. His body swelled, melted and shifted, forming itself into an immense, flaming head. The little Jaquaan then returned to his original form.

“Okay, sorry, I was going for super-strength,” he said. “I’m still learning-- like I say, there is a random factor-- let me try again.”

His body swelled up like a balloon again, this time forming a giant, floating eye, with hanging tentacles. He quickly returned to his smaller form.

“Sorry, super-vision,” he said. “Can I try again?”

This time, he assumed the form of a bi-pedal, six-armed, purple hippopotamus-like creature.

“That’s more like it,” said Gurwhil Tanr’r, his childish tenor now a basso profundo. “I’ve never assumed this form before, but it feels very strong.” He resumed his natural form.

“Do you think you could improve control with practice?” asked Saturn Girl.

“Oh, absolutely,” said Gurwhil Tanr’r. “That’s the problem on Jaquaa-- they don’t like to see Variables practicing shifting into different forms. It is thought to be… indecorous. Impolite.”

“Well, it seems to me you are a good candidate,” said Saturn Girl. “Although I will need to consult with the rest of the group. Are you staying here on Mars, or are you going back to Jaquaa?”

“I’m actually going to be on Medicus One, visiting with my Uncle Gym’ll for a few weeks,” said Gurwhil Tanr’r. “You could contact me there. Oh, but I have one other monster-form I want to show you-- and this one, I get right every time!” His body lengthened and slimmed, until he had assumed the form or a near-humanoid. His head was still a little too large for his body, but in a heavy fog or a dark room, his silhouette might be mistaken for a Terran.

The Founders waited for the Jaquaan to call a taxi, and leave for New Metropolis.

“That’s the last of them,” said Lightning Lass. The other nine Members began slowly began to come out of the Clubhouse.

“But Variable Lad-2,” said Saturn Girl, her head in her hands. “Variable Lad Two! The only Academy member the Legion ever lost. Murdered by Cosmic King. How could old Dr. Gym’ll even allow him to try out? And how could we stand seeing him walking around the clubhouse every day? Oh, maybe mother is right after all. This was a bad idea.”

“Wow,” said Lightning Lass. “if you are thinking Mother is right about the Club, you are completely not OK. Do you think you might be stressed out from too much mental exertion? You've been reading minds all afternoon. Maybe you just need rest.”

“And not to be morbid,” said Cosmic Boy,”But Oaa was not the only one. You’re forgetting Mentalla.”


"I vow to use my super-powers to uphold the principles of democracy and the enforcement of law... never for selfish or evil ends!"
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