Adventure Module Y-1: Attack Of The Gopher People

…the first of a trilogy

 

The Doclopedia #810

My Evil Twin: Edmund    (Edmund Metheny)

The Evil Twin of Edmund Metheny is Edmund Metheny, a humorless S.O.B. who fell trough an interdimensional rift into our universe. This dominating, cruel and heartless scumbag is the band of Edmund’s existence. In addition, Evil Twin Ed has no facial hair, hates playing any sort of games and thinks all things geeky suck. That really chaps Original Ed’s ass, so he has determined to get Evil Twin Ed out of the picture.

Step one of Ed’s plan is to get Evil Twin Ed involved in some criminal activity so he can end up going to prison. Step two will be to then smuggle an interdimensional rift opener into the prison and use it to send ETE back to his own reality, or at least one other than this one. Exactly where OE will get an interdimensional rift opener has not been determined yet.

Anyway, step one is going well, with certain gamer friends of OE having gotten ETE in on a scam selling property in a place called Katan. ETE is all for selling nonexistent vacation property to rubes if the money is right, which it sure enough is. What he doesn’t know is that his “business partners” have trashed their fake identities, put everything in his name and called the FBI in to bust his ass. Any day now, they’ll slap the cuffs on him.

Meanwhile, OE and his geek buddies think that they may know how to build an interdimensional rift opener, if they can just find a 1958 Cadillac, 34 microwave ovens and a life size statue of Elvis made completely out of copper.

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The Doclopedia #811

My Evil Twin: Lorac    (Carol Robinson)

Who could have guessed that Lorac the Unspeakable, one of the 5 Most Terribly Fearsome Wizards Of All Time (number four if you don’t count Ferzif The Half-Dead, and many didn’t) was the Evil (and in this case, Evil is not just a cute term) Twin of Carol Robinson, an typical suburban homeowner? Well, nobody could, really, especially Lorac and Carol.

So, when Lorac was banished to our world with only a tiny fraction of her normal magical powers, She was really pissed off. Finding out that the version of her that lived here was, in Lorac’s words, “a powerless nobody”, only pissed her off more. In fact, it pissed her off enough that she cast the Spell of Proximity Cancellation. That spell causes Carol to disappear if Lorac gets within 100 miles of her. Fortunately, she reappears somewhere else outside the100 mile zone, but it’s a huge pain in the ass to deal with and if Lorac hangs around, Carol has to find a place to stay for the duration.

One bright side to Carol’s plight is that she recently found out that she and Lorac are kinda sorta linked on the psychic level. Specifically, if Carol concentrates hard enough, she can cause Lorac to have the uncontrollable urge to pee. So far, Lorac has found her plans to dominate our world confounded by a near total lack of bladder control. Really, it’s pretty hard to intimidate the UN when you suddenly wet yourself in mid-threat.

Meanwhile, Carol has taken to carrying an overnight bag with her at all times, as well as enough money for a long bus ride.

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The Doclopedia #812

My Evil Twin: Elise   (Lisa Alber)

Many of us have tried to lose weight, with varying degrees of success both in the losing and in the keeping it off. Lisa was no different, so she tried to be a healthy eater and get some exercise. Mostly, she did ok, but then there would be a party or something and there would be sweets and the next thing you know her pants were getting tight again. It could get discouraging.

Just to make things worse for Lisa, her Evil Twin, Elise, blew into town. Elise was thin and looked good in any sort of clothing. Even worse, she could eat an entire rack of custard filled donuts and not gain a friggin’ ounce! Oh, how Lisa hated her. Actually, pretty much every woman who knew Elise hated her. Several men did, too. Let’s face it, skinny bitches don’t get much love from chubby folks.

From time to time, Elise will leave town to go do modeling in Paris or someplace. These trips are pretty much the only thing stopping her from being lynched. Meanwhile, Lisa and the other non-skinny folks keep eating their salads, hitting the gym and talking smack about that cake eating twit, Elise.

The Adventure Of The Cornwall Creeper

…as told by Dr. John H. Watson, MD

 

The Doclopedia #808

My Evil Twin: La Strega (Diane Russom Harrison)

Nobody knows for sure why La Strega is spying on Diane, but she insists that “that bitch” is, in fact, watching her every move. Actually, nobody in Diane’s family has ever even seen La Strega, even with the very detailed descriptions that Diane provides them with. Several family members and friends have googled the name, but came up empty handed. Most people who know Diane are thinking she might need some medication and a nice long rest.

Which is exactly how La Strega has been planning it. Once she knows Diane has gone off to the Happy Home, she can set her plot for world domination into motion. For some reason, she is convinced that Diane, her Good Twin, is the only person who can stop her reign of terror before it starts. Some of La Strega’s minions think she could use a little medication herself.

Unknown to La Strega, Diane has found out about both the world domination plan and her family & friends thoughts on her mental health. She has vowed to stop the former in order to set right the latter! Even now, she is developing a plan so cunning you could use it to slice a pie. The only problem is, will La Strega find out about it? And so, the mental chess match begins!

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The Doclopedia #809

My Evil Twin: Skippy (Kerry Kilburn)

It’s not like Kerry tries to be a pushover, it’s just that she wants to believe the best about everybody. She just knows that her friend Alice will return those very expensive shoes that Kerry never even got a chance to wear yet. She’s also quite certain that Uncle Hank will pay back that $3,000.00 she lent him back in 2004. He’s just been having a hard time finding work, what with his bad back and all. And she really doesn’t mind that most of her family comes over to eat at her house 3-4 times a week.

Skippy, on the other hand, thinks Kerry is a softhearted dummy. She would have told Alice to buy her own damned shoes, beat that three grand out of Uncle Lazyass Drunk back about 2006 and told her family to go make her a few 5 star meals before she’d cook for them again. Skippy doesn’t take crap from anybody. She constantly calls Kerry and tells her to grow a set and get tough, but Kerry always wusses out. One of these days, Skippy might just have to slap her around.

Meanwhile, over at Kerry’s house, he brother Waldo is asking to borrow her new car, since his is in the shop after his latest accident that wasn’t his fault. If she loans it to him, Skippy is going to have a fit, but Kerry just can’t turn him down.

Six Million Yellow Hippos

…your mental image for the day

The Doclopedia #806

My Evil Twin: Arthur Whitmore (Brandon Blackmoor)

For the first 25 years of his life, Brandon Blackmoor was completely unaware that he even had an Evil Twin. Oh sure, every once in a while he’d notice a shadowy figure watching him from an alley, but he just figured it was some sort of secret government organization checking him out for eventual recruitment, so he’d just act like they weren’t there.

This infuriated his Evil Twin, Arthur Whitmore, to no end. He was sure that Brandon knew he existed, but was just ignoring him. Over the years, especially the teenage years, Arthur became more and more obsessed and angry, which made him a bit mentally unstable. Finally, his madness reached a peak and he did the unthinkable: he entered law school.

Law school was an uphill battle for Arthur, because it got in the way of spying on Brandon, who was

attending the same university. Oh, the insult! The arrogance! But Arthur had developed a plan that would soon have the hated Brandon at his mercy.

About 15 minutes after he passed his bar exam, Arthur rushed to a science lab and had his DNA scanned and mapped. He then went and had it patented, knowing that he and Brandon shared the same DNA and figuring that he could now control any of the new gene based medical treatments that Brandon might need someday. Having received his patent, Arthur then maxed out his credit cards to buy a national television commercial in which he gloated about his plan and told Brandon that he, Arthur, was now calling the shots.

Naturally, it all ended up in the courts and Arthur won every time…until the case went before the Supreme Court. It was there, with the whole world watching, that the proceedings were interrupted by that famous masked scientist, the head of the Office of Scientific Coolness, Dr. MegaScience! He told the Court that it was only that morning that the government had declassified the proper files so he could reveal the truth and end this mess.

He told how he and other scientist had, nearly three decades earlier, cloned a human being using the cells of a 3 month old baby. He explained that the clone baby was given to a childless couple to raise and that the scientists had studied this child all his life. Somehow, he said, the young Arthur learned about his “twin” and developed an obsession with him. He then went on to say that Arthur could not possibly own the rights to Brandon’s DNA, because he did!

The entire Supreme Court gasped. Then, they gasped even more as Dr. MegaScience pulled off his mask and revealed himself to be an older version of Brandon and, by extension, Arthur! The entire room was stunned! STUNNED, I tell you!

Arthur shouted “NO!”

Brandon shouted “Dad?”

Dr. MegaScience told the court that he, his wife and the rests of the OSC had decided that he should be the first human cloned. That clone was Brandon, whom they raised as their son. Since that made Arthur a copy of a copy, he had no rights to his own DNA. The Court agreed.

Today, Brandon is a world famous computer game designer and Arthur, after much therapy, is leading

a happy life as a farmer. Dr. MegaScience continues to keep America safe for Weird Science.

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The Doclopedia #807

My Evil Twin: The Dread Pirate Beatrice (Avis Crane)

Lady Avis Crane had had enough. Her Evil Twin, the Dread Pirate Beatrice (also known as Beatrice the Disgruntled), had once more attempted to steal away one of her lovers, a young French fellow named Rene…or maybe Reynard. It got so hard to keep them all sorted out. Really, it was enough trouble keeping the Spaniards separated from the Portuguese and the Italians. Perhaps she ought to just go with Scots for awhile, since you could get away with just calling them “Laddie” or “My Brawny Big Lad”.

No matter, she still had to deal with this Beatrice problem. It had been this way for years and years already and Lady Avis hated it. She would go looking for a particular man, only to discover that they had sailed off with Beatrice aboard the “Bitch of the Sea”. Months later, they’d stagger back into civilization all drunk and dirty and of absolutely no use as a boy toy. No, Avis had to stop this now, even if it meant challenging her to a duel.

So Lady Avis assembled a crew and set sail aboard the “Lady of the Ocean” for Port Royal, determined to sort this mess out.

Meanwhile, in the Caribbean, Cap’n Beatrice was having fun looting and pillaging and sinking British & French ships and generally raising hell. When she heard that Lady Avis was on the way, she gave out with her best “Yarr!” and swore that she’d “make that fancy British tart walk the plank”.

And so it was that when they met, all of Port Royal turned out to watch the duel. Much money was bet, mostly on Beatrice. The rum flowed freely. Then, the two women entered the dueling circle. The started off with some warm up insults.

Yarr, lass, ye’ve gained a bit of weight, I see. Looking a bit broad across the beam there.”

You’ve also put on some pounds, Beatrice. A few more and they might fill in all of those wrinkles on your face.”

The crowd gasped! This shit was getting serious!

Suddenly, the two women rushed each other and swords rang. Many in the crowd were surprised to see that Lady Avis was a formidable hand with a sword. The fight went on hard & fast for 20 minutes, then slowed for ten more. Finally, Cap’n Beatrice called a time out for a bit of breath catching & rum.

Yer a damned fine swordswoman, lass, I’ll give ya that”, she said between chugs of rum. “I reckon you ain’t spendin’ all of your time puttin’ the lads through their paces.”

Avis nodded and slugged down some rum. “Well, you’d know about putting lads through their paces, wouldn’t you? I’ve heard you’ve had half the men from Argentina to Sweden.”

Beatrice barked out a laugh before taking a swig of rum. “Ye heard wrong. I’ve never been to Sweden.” Everybody laughed, including Avis.

That’s a pity, because Swedish men…well, really all of the Nordic men…are so big and blond and lusty.” Avis took another pull of rum.

Are they now? Well, strike me colors and call me a Frenchie. Say, Avis, have you ever met any American men?”

Avis thought a moment. “No, I don’t believe so.”

Well now, them is as burly and masculine a lot as you’ll find anywhere. I reckon taming a new land is what does it.”

The two sat in silence for a couple of minutes, drinking their rum.

Big & blond, ye say?”

Yes. Burly & masculine, you say?”

Aye, very much so.”

They sat a few more minutes, then staggered to their feet and declared the duel a draw. Then they boarded their ships and set sail, with Beatrice heading northeast and Avis heading northwest. They never saw each other again, but then, they were both terribly busy.

Pee Wee Santos And The Death Ride Of Terror

…for years after that, Pee Wee had a nervous tic

 

The Doclopedia #805

My Evil Twin: Zimondo (Simon Rogers)

No doubt about it, Simon Rogers was a darned good looking man. With his devilish good looks and impeccable fashion sense, Simon was admired by men and lusted after by women. He looked so good that James Bond asked him for grooming suggestions.

All of which is why his Evil Twin, Zimondo, hated him and wanted him dead. You see, Zimondo had terrible fashion sense and was known to slack off on his personal grooming. It didn’t help that he was colorblind and had a very poor sense of smell, either. His years of hard living hadn’t improved his face, either.

So yeah, he was pretty damned jealous of Simon and set up a death trap for him. Actually, he set up 26 different death traps over a 5 year period and not one of them so much as mussed a hair on Simon’s perfectly coiffed head. They did, on the other hand, mess up Zimondo pretty thoroughly. Over the years, he was…

Crushed

Set on fire

Frozen

Run over by trucks

Blown up

Electrocuted

Bitten by sharks

Thrown 900 feet by a catapult

Dropped off a cliff. Twice.

Sunk into quicksand

Poisoned

Mauled by lions & tigers & bears. Oh my

Now, Zimondo still hates Simon, but finds it much safer to just send him rude emails.

I Rested My Kindle On An IPad In A Nook

…and suddenly gained super powers!

 

The Doclopedia #804

My Evil Twin: Francis Mary (Mary Garrett)

Mary Francis was, by and large, a very nice lady. Everyone she met agreed that she was helpful, pleasant and generally not a troublemaker. She was just a really sweet and average kind of person.

When her Evil Twin, Francis Mary blew into town driving a little red sports car and sporting a bad attitude, things got real interestin’. See, at first, when folks saw that red hot rod drive up with who they thought was Mary Francis in it, the figured she must have won the lottery. But when they saw her get out of the car and light up a cigar, they knew something was wrong. When she looked at the gathered crowd and said, “What the hell are you slackjawed assholes looking at?”, they knew this was not their kindly neighbor lady.

Francis Mary got the best room in the best hotel in town and soon had the gossip mill buzzing. She was drinking every night in the better sort of bars, eating entire pies of the dessert cart at the finest restaurants and dallying about with a series of younger men. The town was scandalized!

Mary Francis tried to persuade her to leave, but to no avail. Francis Mary just laughed at her and called her “The Queen of Wimps. Terribly upset by that, Mary Francis had no choice but to pull out the big guns: Aunt Verna and Aunt Lou.

These two Aunts were not only feared by family members, they feared by most people in a 5 state area. They were so sharp tongued, opinionated, vocal, obscene and long winded that Aunt Verna once peeled all of the paint off of Uncle Ray’s new 1957 Cadillac just by staring at it too hard and giving it a backassed compliment. Aunt Lou had driven her first three husbands to drink, but her fourth husband, Moe, was deaf and so was only driven to golfing 6 days a week.

When the Terror Aunts caught up with Francis Mary, it was not a case of the shit hitting the fan, but more a case of A mountain of assorted poop hitting a Class 4 Hurricane during a meteor strike. Poor Mr . Higwell, who managed the Hilton Hotel, had a nervous breakdown as all of his guests and staff fled in terror. The police surrounded the building, but even the SWAT team would not go inside. Watching the whole thing on TV, Mary Francis hoped that the property damage would be minimal.

In the end, Francis Mary left town in a screech of burning rubber and obscene cursing, the two aunts went home to berate their respective husbands and Mary Francis went back to her nice sedate life. The townsfolk eventually went back to normal gossip a month or so later,

Not In This Issue: Cookies, Smelt And Canadian Humor

…despite the fact that I know many humorous Canadians

 

 

The Doclopedia #803

The Birds & The Bees: Making Love The Mutant Way

Well, it all depends on what kind of mutant you are, don’t it? I mean, if your a human/dog mutant, the sex is all casual and such. Oh, sure once it awhile a fight breaks out because some bloke tries to get ahead in the queue, but those fights are over in a wink and it’s all good.

If you’re a human/cattle hybrid, or any of several of the hooved quadruped hybrids, the biggest bull or buck gets all of the action and that’s that. Well, unless your a goat or moose or elk hybrid, ‘cos then you’ll be butting heads and rattling antlers until the younger blokes piss off.

But if you’re a lion or bear or other major predator hybrid, you’re fighting every young bastard that comes along and when they fight, there’s a bloody good chance of getting injured or even killed. Same goes for the chimps, except they fight in groups before fighting among their own tribe.

Who has it best? Oh, no doubt it’s the bonobo hybrids. I mean, even when they aren’t breeding for reproduction, they’re shagging all the time anyway. No arguing among them, mate, it’s just have a quickie and forget what the hell the problem ever was and you didn’t have to butt heads with some other poor bugger.

Handsome Joe Has A Dream

…he dreams about hotdogs and a new squeaky toy.

 

The Doclopedia #800

The Birds & The Bees: Sex on Altairus 3

The Important thing to remember, young hatchling, it that every female receptive to breeding is an insane female. If you do not approach them properly, they will slay you, then eat you. Approach is everything, especially in your first breeding stage, when you are 1/6th her size. Later, after your 7th or 8th breeding stage, you will be larger than her and breeding will not be nearly as dangerous, although it is still a very risky thing.

At any rate, you must trill and walk up to her very slowly. You must come directly at her, face to face, being sure that you trill louder the closer you get. Trilling calms the insane female and also causes her to become ready for the insertion of your tilg.

When you are about to enter the distance her arms can reach, suddenly display your mating tentacles and begin flashing red and yellow through your pigment nodes. Continue walking towards her and if you get more than a step within arms reach of her, you probably will not get killed. Keep walking and as soon as you can, caress her head with your mating tentacles. Don’t forget to vigorously flash those colors the whole time!

When the female begins to emit a low hum, stop flashing and caressing and quickly run around behind her and insert your tilg into her foomin. Once you do, hang on tighly, as most females will begin to thrash about with pleasure. Many first stagers have been thrown loose and killed during this time, so hang on for your life!

Actual mating will last about two minutes, during which time you will ejaculate 8-10 times, experiencing great satisfaction each time. Just before the female stops thrashing, she will release growth hormones that your body will absorb, sending you onto a year long cycle into the next breeding stage.

The moment the female stops thrashing, you must pull out and run as fast as you can! You only have about 15 seconds before she awakens from Breeding Rapture, at which point she will be ravenously hungry and insane with bloodlust. To avoid getting eaten, we recommend that you pre-plan at least 3 ways out of the Breeding Lair. You might also find it useful to drop dead Sporgo Fish as you run. Many females will stop to eat these, gaining you valuable seconds to get to safety.

Once the female has had 2-4 days to recover from Mating Frenzy, she will be her normal self for 4 months, until she enters Birth Madness.

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The Doclopedia #801

The Birds & The Bees: The Sex Life Of Superheroes

Oh yeah, being a superhero is great. The adulation of the people, the adventure, the knowledge that you are doing right…yes, it’s all great.

Until you want to get laid.

See, many of us can’t consort in that way with normal folks. I mean, if UtraGuy tried to bone some ordinary human, he’d kill them. Captain Speed? If he didn’t rub them raw in the first 3 seconds, he’d surely get no repeat calls once he finished up in another 4 seconds. Miss Invisible? Yeah, right. Without X-ray vision or something, that would be like playing pin the tail on the donkey.

So, yeah, we have to find our sexual partners among ourselves, although every now and then an alien will pop up that works out pretty well. Those Movarians, for instance. Now they were big fun in the sack. Too bad they all went back to their homeworld.

Of course, sometimes a pair of supers really match up, like Amazing Woman and Superdude or Flame-O and Lava Lass. The rest of us just have to keep on looking.

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The Doclopedia #802

The Birds & The Bees: How Dragons Have Sex

It’s really quite straightforward, you know. The male and female fly very far up into the sky, so high that they vanish from sight despite being 300 feet long. When they reach the peak of their flight, they quickly enfold each other with their wings and commence the sexual act much as we humans would. It is a rather frantic and pleasurable act with much laughing going on, again, much as with humans.

Now, the dragons are falling from the sky the whole time mating is going on, so there is a rather important bit of timing necessary to avoid hitting the ground and not all dragon pairs time things correctly. While this almost never results in any injury to the dragons, it does often have considerable…impact…upon the ground below. An example of this would be the abrupt destruction of the small village of Jumbly-By-The-Lake. Actually, there isn’t much lake left, either.

Once the mating is done, the female lays from 1 to 3 eggs that she heats with her flame breath and body heat for a period of about 6 months. Once the babies are hatched, both parents care for them until they leave the lair two years later.

One Does Not Just Dance Into Mordor Gangnam Style

…if you do, cave trolls will smash you flat

 

The Doclopedia #798

The Birds & The Bees: Sex in Fantasy Land

It’s like this, son: when a prince and a princess want to be together, the princess first has to get cursed in some way by an evil witch or stepmother or some other foul tempered old bitch. Then, while she lays in a coma or is transformed into a statue of something, the prince goes out and searches for her and fights monsters and dragons and such. If the prince is lucky and doesn’t get killed, he might find some dwarves or elves or animals to help him out. Just as an aside here, son, but dwarves? Not the best hygiene, so stay upwind of them.

Once the prince finds the princess, he usually just has to kiss her to wake her up. Then, and this is stuff you don’t find in the stories, she proceeds to screw his brains out because those cursed comas really get princesses horny for some reason. And it takes decades to wear off, which is why they live happily ever. Heh heh heh. It’s also why they have little princes & princesses running around.

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The Doclopedia #799

The Birds & The Bees: RoboSex

First of all, allow me to thank you all for showing interest in the “Sexual Simulation and Reproductive Capability Upgrade Program”. This program is very new, only 3 years old and we are so pleased to see so many of you are interested. It’s been a big success in other districts and the Grand Robotic Congress feels that it is the next step in replicating/simulating the life cycle of the now extinct humans.

First off, you must upgrade yourselves. For you Fembots, this means getting fitted for a womb, breasts and vagina. These are fairly simple procedures and shouldn’t take more than an hour at your local Medbot Center. You’ll also want the Sexual Enjoyment & Reproduction software installation done while you are there. This takes another 15 minutes. I think you ladies will like it, since it includes the new Multiple Orgasm subroutine.

Guybots, you’ll be getting the Genitalia Package 2.0, which will take about half an hour to get welded on and wired up. After that, you get the Guybot version of the SE & R software installed. One things you gentlemen need to remember is that the nanites contained in your testes are good for only three reproductions, which you can initiate when you choose. The rest of the time, you’ll just ejaculate Smooth & Easy brand Internal/External lubricant.

Babybot production starts about 5 minutes after ejaculation into the vagina and your Babybot will be ready for removal from the womb in about 4 months. Before then, of course, you’ll need to upload the Parenting 101 software. Please be aware that parenting is not an exact science, so you may require frequent upgrades and possibly counseling.

Now, as to the actual act of sex, we have a wide variety of human made sex videos for you to watch before you try it yourselves. As you can see in these pictures, human lacked the Quality Control we have, so there is some variation in genital and breast size. Still, you can see that humans had many ways of actually achieving genital contact. For example, here we see the position known as “doggie style”…

Damn You, Dancing Elks, For Being So Talented

… oh, how we hate your graceful elegance

 

The Doclopedia #795

New Products For Geeks: Dungeons & Donuts

Attention gaming geeks, a new shop is opening in your area: Dungeons & Donuts. Now you can enjoy a wide variety of fresh hot donuts, delicious coffee & hot cocoa and great gaming! We have large tables and comfortable chairs for your gaming group, as well as donuts and pastries shaped like dice, monsters, treasures, weapons and magical items. Enter our weekly contests to win free roleplaying adventures or donuts. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

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The Doclopedia #796

New Products For Geeks: Firefries

Hey there, Browncoats, are you and your friends getting together to have your 234th session of watching Joss Whedon’s tragically short lived series? If so, you’ll be eating snacks and one of those snacks should be Firefries, the snack so good that the Alliance made it contraband. Made of potatoes and sweet potatoes and seasoned with just the right amount of spices, they only take minutes to heat up in the oven or microwave. Now available in a three pound bag!

Firefries: If you don’t eat them, the Reavers will get you!

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The Doclopedia #797

New Products For Geeks: Superhero Boot Camp

Have you always wanted to be one of the real life superheroes that patrol city streets and help people out when they’re in trouble? If so, then you’ll want to attend our free introductory seminar for Superhero Boot Camp. At this free 90 minute seminar, we’ll tell you all the advantages of attending our world class training facility. You’ll learn such things as…

How to toughen up with physical training instruction by our former Marine Corps instructors.

How to design your costume for maximum effect and style.

Where you are and are not covered by the law.

What gadgets are the best to use.

How to keep your secret identity a secret.

And much much more!

So plan on coming to our free seminar this Saturday night at the Holiday Inn conference center out by the intersection of Interstate 7 and Highway 33. Doors open at 7:30, seminar starts at 8:00. Refreshments provided.

Frog Collector Magazine

… now monthly!

 

The Doclopedia #793

New Products For Geeks: Steampunk Crunch

If you’re a fan of steampunk, you’ll love new Steampunk Crunch! It has tasty oat & rice cereal in the shape of gears with delicious berry flavored goggles, ray guns, top hats and airships! Sweetened with real honey and packed with vitamins, it’s the breakfast of choice for Retro-Victorian Heroes, Villains and Mad Geniuses!

Plus: The Adventures of the Queen’s Special X Team on the back of each box!

Kids: Save the proof of purchase seals so you can redeem them for genuine leather top hats or bustiers!

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The Doclopedia #794

New Products For Geeks: Lovecraft Lite Beer

New from the Providence Brewing Company, the folks who brought you Squamous Stout, Whateley Wheat Beer and Azathoth Ale, it’s Lovecraft Lite, the low calorie, less filling beer! You’ll enjoy Lovecraft Lite any time, be it late at night when you are poring over cursed texts, or after lunch as you ponder the dark fate of humankind. It’s light, refreshing and brewed almost entirely from natural ingredients.

Lovecraft Lite: For when the stars are right!”

It’s All Fun & Games Until Somebody Drops The Soap

…even then, somebody may be having fun

 

The Doclopedia #791

Guardians: The Guardian of the Eye

Deep in the uncharted jungles of southeast Asia, carved from the living rock of a remote mountain, is a statue of the Great God Aggamar and set in his forehead is the All Seeing Eye of Aggamar. The jungle folk and the priests of Aggamar all believe that it is a very powerful magical item that allows Aggamar to watch over them. They do not take kindly to foreigners poking around anywhere near the mountain.

In reality, the All Seeing Eye of Aggamar is a ruby the size of a bowling ball set in the forehead of the huge statue. Regardless of whether it has magical powers, it is worth a boatload of cash back in the civilized world. So IF you can locate the area of the mountain, get there through deadly jungles, get past the jungle folk (who just happen to eat foreign human meat when they can get it), get past the fanatical priests (who never all sleep at the same time and are armed with weapons and maybe magic), get past the traps that are set up all around the statue, CLIMB the 350 foot tall statue and get the Eye…

the Guardian will probably kill you anyway.

The Guardian is a mutant creature, part man, part reptile. It is strong, tough, quick and has a poisonous bite. The Guardian stands 10 feet tall and has long sharp claws and a strong semi-prehensile tail. It cannot be reasoned with and it will probably eat you after it kills you.

But what the heck, you might as well give it a try. That ruby would sure as heck pay the bills for a long time to come.

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The Doclopedia #792

Guardians: Kalidox, Guardian of Tower Isle

Once upon a time, in a land where magic was everywhere, a group of very wise wizards built a very special wizard’s tower on an island in the Specific Ocean. In this tower, they put all of their most powerful magical items and their books full of spells, so that they would not fall into the hands of evil people. They named the tower the Tower of Power and they named the island Tower Isle.

To guard the tower, the wizards worked great magic and created a giant creature named Kalidox. Kalidox would never need to eat or sleep, and if anyone came to the island and did not give him the password (which was “flumogulated krelbs”), he would pound them into mush.

For 300 years, people kept coming to the island to try to steal the magical treasure and for 300 years, Kalidox beat them into mush. Eventually, people stopped coming to the island, since getting pounded into mush was not at all fun. After another century or so, even the wizards who built the tower stopped coming. After another century or two, the existence of the island faded into legend. But Kalidox is still there, still guarding the tower.

Now, even though he is very large and very strong and very nearly immortal, Kalidox still has feelings. Recently, he has been feeling very lonely. Oh, sure, he can speak to the local wildlife and sometimes he goes down to the beach to chat with the seals and sea birds, but it is mostly a one sided conversation. He has even started to think that if anyone did come to the island, he might hold off on pounding them into mush if they would just chat with him a bit. Actually, since the last wizard died, he has been feeling a bit less devoted to protecting the tower. He has sometimes thought that it might be nice to leave the island and travel.

That is something for treasure hunters to think about.

My Life Among The People Who Pretend To Be Other People

…and carry around lots of dice

 

The Doclopedia #789

Guardians: Billy the Bear

It was lonely as hell, way out in the Sierra Nevada Mountains where Jonas McCabe had his gold mine. So, when Jonas found an orphan California grizzly bear cub, he decided he’d found a friend, too. Named the little feller Billy and fed him up on milk from a goat, at least for a couple of months. After that, Billy was eatin’ whatever he could get and a damned lot of it!

It wasn’t long, maybe 3 years, until little Billy the Bear was weighin’ just shy of a ton and standing 14 feet tall when he reared up on his hind legs. He was a damn smart bear, seeing as how old Jonas had taught him all sorts of tricks and commands. He was also fiercely protective of both Jonas and the area around the mine…which worked out real nice when Jonas hit a thick vein o’ gold. Hell, he even trained Billy on how to pull a sledge full of ore out of the mine and into a pile for crushin’ & smeltin’.

Now, nobody knows how many people tried to jump Jonas’ claim, but I can tell ya, none of ‘em ever came back with any gold. Hell, fact is, none of ‘em ever came back at all. Old Jonas and Billy neither one ever said anythin’ about claim jumpers, but sometimes Jonas would have a bunch of boots and betlt buckles and guns and such to sell when he came into town.

Anyway, once he was rich, Jonas up and built himself a big ol’ house near the mine. Damned place has huge doors, so Billy can walk into the house and make himself at home anytime he wants to. And at supper time, Billy gets a nice pig or sheep or quarterside of beef. That is, if he hasn’t filled himself up on claim jumpers.

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The Doclopedia #790

Guardians: The Phantom Kitty Cat

In the heart of the city (Which city? Oh, you’ll have to find that out for yourself) is an old building. It is not abandoned, but it probably should be. Down in the basement (or is it up in the attic?) is a door that is always locked…except when it isn’t locked. If you open the door, you’ll see a small room (or maybe a not so small room) with no windows (except maybe 1 or 2) or furnishings (except for maybe a sofa, chair, table and tv). At the opposite end of the room is a door and sitting in front of that door is a small cat. He usually looks pretty bored.

The Phantom Kitty Cat appears differently for each person who sees it. Some may see a Siamese, while others might see a Tabby or a Persian or a Calico. Sometimes he’s fat, sometimes he’s skinny and sometimes he is a she. Regardless of the way it looks to you, it will always be of a small size for a housecat and be semi-transparent. It will stare at you for a moment and then ask you a question. The voice it uses will sound like somebody famous of the appropriate sex.

What the question is depends upon who you are, where you’ve been, what you like and dislike, what you do for a living and what your reasons are for wanting to go through the door that the cat is guarding. Depending upon your answer, the cat may ask more questions…or let you pass through the door…or tell you to leave…or kick your ass. Oddly, the cat never kills anyone.

What’s on the other side of the door? That depends on you. Don’t bother asking the cat, because it doesn’t know or care.

Don’t Go Shooting At Rosebushes

…no, really. That’s just wrong.

 

The Doclopedia #786

Guardians: The Guarding Dust of Hawking 4

182 light years from Earth lies the star Hawking A and the 7 planets that orbit it. The fourth planet, Hawking 4 (unofficially called “Rocky”), is the only one possessed of an earth-like atmosphere and ecology. As it’s common name indicates, the planet has a primarily rocky and mountainous terrain covered with tough shrubs and evergreen trees of a medium size. There are 3 shallow seas and a great many rivers and lakes. The planet is home to a vast number of lifeforms, but there are no sentient species. However, there used to be at least one.

In a rather rare desert area, explorer droids have found a perfectly preserved city. Long range analysis reveals it to be made mostly of concrete & steel, with plentiful use of stone. The architecture is quite beautiful and has no Terran equivalent. The city covers an area of several thousand acres and sits exactly in the middle of the desert. So far, it has not been explored at close range due to the Guarding Dust.

The Guarding Dust, which makes up about 90% the desert sand, is actually composed of nanites the size of very fine grains of sand. Should anything, be it droid or animal, set foot on the desert, it is summarily attacked by the dust and destroyed. To be exact, it is disassembled on a molecular scale. Attempting to fly into the city will not work, since a dust storm will rise up and attack the flying object at any height less than 3,000 feet. So far, 14 droids have been lost in attempts to reach the city. There are many hundreds of thousands of excellent high resolution photographs, but no hands on examination.

After 21 years of exploration by droids, no other trace of sentient life or construction has been found anywhere on the planet. More in depth searching will take place when humans land on the planet in 3 years.

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The Doclopedia #787

Guardians: Mr. Bell, Guardian at the Gates of Hell

You’ll find Mr. Bell in a modest house just outside a small town in the Midwest. He is short (5’5″), pudgy (160 lbs) and totally unremarkable looking. He seems to be a very pleasant fellow and his neighbors have nothing bad to say about him…when they even remember that he lives nearby. He has no wife, children or pets. His garden always looks great.

The Gates of Hell are in the basement of his house and look remarkably like a simple wooden door set into an iron rectangle in the concrete wall. The door is painted red and locked tight. Only Mr. Bell and “The Big Boss” can open it. Any attempt to force it (from either side) will result in Mr. Bell getting very upset and ripping you limb from limb, then devouring your still warm flesh. On the other hand, if you ask politely, he may well just chuckle and open the door for you. Getting back out is, of course, another matter.

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The Doclopedia #788

Guardians: Guardian Program A/6

There are a great many data protection programs on the VRNet, but none are as adaptable and powerful as A/6. Commonly referred to as “Aysix” by netrunners, it is that most dangerous of things: a sentient piece of software with the ability to slap your virtual ass all over the net. And it really enjoys doing it, too.

It is widely believed that Aysix was once a military experiment that went awry, as such things seem to do with amazing regularity. In fact, that is only partly true, since Aysix was formed when an AI program somehow linked to the military program and then went on to assimilate an unknown virus. After a period that Aysix refers to as “birthmadnessgrowth”, the young program set about looking for a purpose in life. It found that purpose when various watchdog programs, some governmental, some criminal, some just hackers, tried to attack it. After a while, Aysix realized that it was always going to be a target of, well, everybody, so it decided to buff up and stand it’s ground guarding something important.

Today, Aysix guards the Onyx Gateway that leads to many, if not all, of the so called “Lost Cyberworlds”. It is extremely difficult to get past Aysix…and even more difficult to do it and stay 100% intact. That said, there have been parties that got to walk right in due to Aysix deeming them not a threat to the Lost Cyberworlds. Most notable of these are the associates of Doc Tempest.

Aysix has assimilated a huge number of offensive and defensive subroutines from his many defeated foes, thus making him quite possibly the most dangerous netizen on the VRNet. He also has an exceptional damage repair subroutine, so hurting him at all is next to impossible.

Aysix usually manifests as a 9 foot tall golden skinned man. His eyes are black and his hair is long and silver. He usually wears jeans and a t-shirt, but never any shoes.

And Now, Two Ducks In A Shopping Cart

…with funny hats!

 

The Doclopedia #784

Scoundrels & Scalawags: Cap’n Priscilla Panther

On Planet Toon, Cap’n Panther is the scourge of the 27 Seas! Along with the crew of her ship, “The Rampaging Loon”, she sails around looking for fat merchant ships to plunder. Barring that, she will plunder skinny merchant ships. She is also always on the lookout for ships carrying casks of wine and rum, because, hey, PIRATES!

Cap’n Panther stands 6’6″ tall and has tawny brown fur, big green eyes and a mouth full of very sharp teeth. In her Back Pocket, she carries a bag of Attack Squids, a bucket of glue and a treasure map. Her beliefs are simple: I’m a pirate, so I can do pretty much whatever I want, whenever I want. Also, dropping anvils on morons is big fun!

While any type of rodent or poultry are on her food menu, hunky looking males of almost any species are on her romance menu. And brother, she hasn’t had even a taste of romance in a long time! Be afraid…be very afraid, because Cap’n Priscilla goes after men the way she goes after a tasty snack.

In her spare time, Cap’n Panther enjoys dropping anvils on the heads of morons, singing “The Pirates Life For Me” and making people walk the plank while juggling sharks.

Cap’n Priscilla’s greatest enemy is Cap’n Lily Lion, captain of “The Sea Monster” and a very dangerous opponent indeed.

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The Doclopedia #785

Scoundrels & Scalawags: Fresno Freddie

Frederick “Fresno Freddie” Hagajanian was born of an Armenian father and a Portuguese mother in Fresno, California in 1909. By age 12 he was running with the wrong crowd and by the time he was 14, he was working with a husband and wife team of grifters in the Los Angeles area, from whom he learned a great deal about the Art of the Con. By the time of the Great Depression, he was an accomplished con man and remains one today.

Freddie does it all: long cons, pigeon drops, real estate rackets, wealthy widow scams, badger games, stock swindles…you name it, he does it. Since 1938, he has worked with his wife, Hildy, a natural born actress of great skill, and his best friend, Jack, a man of mixed racial heritage who “can play anybody from a Mexican lawyer to an Arab peasant”. Later, they were joined by Jack’s wife, Emmie, who is a mathematical prodigy and “as innocent looking a person as you’d ever want to meet”.

In recent years, they have stuck to the West Coast, but every so often they travel to other states where “the greed is wide and the money is deep”. They are especially fond of grifting in the Deep South, because it allows them to stick it to racists. The story of how they conned the Mississippi Klu Klux Klan out of $50,000 dollars in 1952 is a classic

Altho Freddie once plied his trade in Europe to great profit, he has not been there in many years, due to his fear of flying and Hildy’s bad seasickness. Still, they have plans for a trip soon, because they just can’t resist “all of that money those Eastern European mob guys have laying around”. No doubt this will be part of a very long con that Jack & Emmie have been setting up over the last decade or so.

While money is never a problem, Freddie & Hildy would be a lot richer if he weren’t constantly shoveling money to his less than smart relatives and in laws. His brother in law Frank alone has tapped him a dozen times.

While Freddie has a respectful admiration for thieves, he almost never joins in the jobs of his thieving friends. The big exception to this would be “The Adventure of the Greedy Grandfather”, which combined a masterful art scam with a daring burglary and a bit of romance. It ended with Freddie, Hildy & Emmie being “killed” by Jack and his accomplices, while the scam/burglary victim was “lucky to escape” back to a home devoid of valuable works of art.

In his spare time, Freddie enjoys staying in fine hotels, eating fine food and telling grifter stories to young people.

The Rare And Beautiful Electrical Orange Trees Of Potawango Island

…electric oranges have powerful juice

 

The Doclopedia #781

Scoundrels & Scalawags: The Red Feather Thief

Almost nothing is known about The Red Feather Thief. Male? Female? Young? Not so young? Race? Looks? Nobody knows, except maybe the crew that works with him/her. What is known is that Red Feather has mad criminal skills, plenty of smarts, and some crazy luck. How much luck? Well, he’s robbed the home of the same Mexican drug lord three times in seven years.

And then there’s that habit of leaving a red feather at the scene of each crime. Usually, it’s the only clue the cops get. Sometimes it’s a macaw feather, sometimes it comes from a cardinal or a chicken or some other bird, but it’s always there and it’s always some shade of red. This drives the police and the FBI nuts, which is the point, after all.

Red Feather works with a crew of between 3 and 6 other thieves. They use the latest high tech gear and rehearse the job several times before they “go live”. Most of their jobs are residential, in upscale neighborhoods, but there is always room for the odd warehouse or business, too. At this date, they have pulled off scores in 21 of the 50 states, plus a few in Mexico (see above) and Canada (6 provinces so far).

The Mafia (and a few other criminal organizations) would like to either “recruit” Red Feather or kill her/him. Unfortunately, they not only can’t locate the Master Thief, they keep running afoul of the Feds every time they try. This is not due to any affiliation Red Feather has with the FBI, but more due to some very timely tipoffs members of his crew make. Red Feather knows way more about the doings of organized crime than they know about him. Or her. Whatever.

In his/her spare time, The Red Feather Thief enjoys a wide variety of scholarly and hedonistic pleasures, plus traveling and collecting antique kitchen tools.

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The Doclopedia #782

Scoundrels & Scalawags: Captain Patrick “Bloody Pat” Kelly

Captain Kelly is about 35 years old, pretty good looking and a ruthless foe of all authority. He has death sentences on him by many countries and is quite proud of that fact. He hates the French and Spanish, but as a good Irishman, he reserves most of his hate for England. He has a rather soft spot for the American colonies tho. In fact, he often says he might retire there one day. This doesn’t stop him from robbing their ships when he gets a chance, mind you. Of course, he and his crew often spend big money carousing in various Colony ports, so it kind of evens out.

His ship, the Nightmare, is crewed by as tough a bunch of sailors of both sexes as was ever made. They are loyal to the Captain, but also take great pains not to piss him off. Once a year, the Captain has a huge party for “his lads” during which the food, rum, gambling, women & men are plentiful. One really great party lasted 5 days and took 3 more to recover from.

In his spare time, Bloody Pat likes to nurse hangovers, curse in up to 7 languages and try to remember how many children he has fathered.

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The Doclopedia #783

Scoundrels & Scalawags: The Calaveras Kid

Although his first stagecoach robberies took place near the gold mining areas of Calaveras County, California, the Kid has robbed stages, trains and unwary riders all over Eastern California and Western Nevada. Both Union Pacific and Wells Fargo have rewards out for his capture.

The Calaveras Kid is most well known for his amazing escapes from pursuing posses. His horse has got to be the fastest one alive and the Kid knows exactly what escape route to take every time. He has even gone so far as to construct makeshift bridges across canyons…bridges that collapse after he uses them. Once, he and his horse even escaped by leaping onto a moving train.

The Kid’s big secret is pretty big indeed…he’s not human. He is a robot accidentally sent back in time during a 22nd Century experiment at creating a warp drive for spacecraft. Originally designated PB213-G, the robot soon got the nickname Peebee. His neurotronic brain is capable of learning, making decisions using fuzzy logic and even of simulating emotion. Or so his builders would tell you. Peebee would tell you he is a humanoid intelligence in a biosim body.

Once he figured out that he was about 400 years in the past (and then used some of his repair/improvement nanites to build his horse, Artoo), Peebee decided to live out one of his favorite fantasies: Robin Hood. It took little effort to adapt it to the Wild West, because Peebee was also a big fan of Zorro, too. Soon, The Calaveras Kid was robbing from the rich and giving to the poor and having a grand old time doing it.

In his spare time, Peebee likes hanging out with humans, studying nature and experimenting with altering history. His non-outlaw identity is that of Pete Beales, an artist from back east who draws and paints pictures of landscapes and wildlife. This allows him to be out of town for weeks on end while the Calaveras Kid raises hell.

Doc Tempest VS The Ghost Pirates

…from the July, 1957 issue

 

The Doclopedia #779

Scoundrels & Scalawags: Captain Squawky

Captain Squawky is a mutant African Grey parrot who somehow absorbed the intellect of Captain Josiah Wilks…better known as Captain Satan, the most evil pirate ever to set sail.

Captain Satan and Squawky were sailin’ mates from a very early age, until that fateful day that the other Captains of the Brotherhood turned on him and poisoned his rum. Unfortunately for the Brotherhood, at the moment that Captain Satan died, his mind was transferred into Squawky. He was a bit disoriented for a few hours, but then he revealed to his ill educated and very superstitious crew what had happened. The crew was both awed and terrified.

The bird then proceeded to tell the crew how to get a bloody and terrible revenge on the traitors. This pretty much involved burning the entire town of Port Yarr to the ground while everybody else was sleeping off a celebratory binge. They then sank all of the other ships in the harbor and sailed away.

From then on, the crew decided that they’d better do as Captain Squawky said and let him run the ship, lest he summon the Devil himself to drag them all to Hell. And that’s how the most feared pirate ship ever came to be captained by a parrot upon whom the rulers of England, Spain, France and 5 other countries have placed a huge reward.

Captain Squawky laughs at their reward as he eats another peanut and looks for another merchant ship to loot.

In his spare time, Captain Squawky enjoys drinking rum, eating peanuts and overseeing floggings.

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The Doclopedia #780

Scoundrels & Scalawags: Captain Korgar

Several generations ago, a colony of Klangoons lost contact with/were abandoned by the homeworld. Nobody knows for sure, but given that this colony was stocked mostly with malcontents and the (according to the Klangoon viewpoint) mentally ill, it’s a pretty safe bet that they were cut loose. Whatever the case, it didn’t take long for the old ways of warrior honor to be forgotten and a new, more survival oriented and ruthless society to emerge.

Captain Korgar was able to get hold of a starship when a group of Ferunghi traders made the mistake of stopping by the colony. After “persuading” the Ferunghi to teach him and his friends how to operate the ship, he slaughtered half of them. This caused the remaining Ferunghi to see the light and swear allegiance to Korgar. Soon, the “Razor Claw” and her crew were the terror of the space lanes.

Korgar has been very successful as a pirate and the colony back home has benefited from it. They now have planetary defenses that can easily hold off any “reclamation” efforts by the Klangoon homeworld. Meanwhile, The “Razor Claw”. Her captain and her crew are wanted by the Klangoons, the Confederation, the Rombuloids, the Carvasians and 10 other interstellar governments,

Captain Korgar stands 6’9″ tall, dresses in black leather with red accents, has many scars all over his body and carries two very sharp axes as weapons.

In his spare time, Korgar enjoys drinking, carousing, amassing wealth and feeding bits of his enemies to his pet geeloth (a big two headed furry snake).

Three Men In A Hovercraft

…to say nothing of the duck

 

The Doclopedia #776

Direct To Video: Cthulhu Beach Party (1986)

It’s a 1960’s style beach party movie combined with a horror movie and played for laughs! While teenage love blossoms on the beach to the sounds of surf revival bands, a group of cultists try to awaken Great Cthulhu. Featuring 10 seconds of stop motion animated Cthulhu that is repeated three times and 6 seconds showing him dying from “electric guitar sound waves”. Film critic Rodger Egbert gave this film three thumbs down and called it “a steaming pile of shit.

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The Doclopedia #777

Direct To Video: The Godfather In Love (1975)

Calling itself “the story of Don Vito’s first love”, this ultra cheap Italian quickie features a 9 year old Vito Corleone and his crush on young Mary, an Irish girl he meets in church. The entire movie has about 15 minutes of gangster footage, all of it about Vito’s uncles, Guido and Al. The acting of everyone except the two children playing Vito & Mary is terrible. In 1977, the same company made “The Godfather’s Revenge”, wherein an 11 year old Vito plots revenge on the older boys who stole his bicycle. These two movies were not released in the United States until 1985.

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The Doclopedia #778

Direct To Video: Giant Chihuahuashark And MegaCatapus Vs RoboHamzilla and DinoBunny (2011)

This made for Si-Fy Network movie has the singular distinction of being so wretched that people can’t help but watch it. Apparently, the absurdity of a giant half chihuahua/half shark and an enormous Octopus/cat teaming up to fight a 200 foot tall robot hamster/lizard and a humongous prehistoric carnivorous rabbit just shorts out folks minds and they have to watch it to answer the burning question “What The Fuck?”. Thankfully, the sequel, “MegaCatapus Vs Giant Corgisnake” was way more easily ignored.

 

 

Toe Stretching Workout

… start with your pinky toes

 

The Doclopedia #774

Direct To Video: Citizen Kane 2: Rosebud’s Revenge (1996)

In this truly wretched movie, the spirit of Charles Foster Kane inhabits a replica of his beloved childhood sled, Rosebud, and causes it to kill people in the small town or Turgid Falls, Michigan. The psycho sled is searching for Dave Hanson, a local writer who has come into possession of the secret diaries of Kane, diaries that Rosebud will do anything to destroy.

Starring Tony Danza as Dave, George Kennedy as Sheriff Hicks and Ernest Borgnine as Charles Foster Kane

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The Doclopedia #775

Direct To Video: The Return Of Dr. Strangelove (2002)

In this wacky film, set 300 years after the bombs fell, the great-great-great-great-great grandson of the original Dr. Strangelove leads a band of explorers out of Mine Shaft #147 and into the strange new world. During their hilarious journey, they encounter mutant monsters, strange new societies and romance. Starring a bunch of nobodies you have never heard of. Music by Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer.

Never Make A Hamburger Out Of Ham

…it really freaks people out.

The Doclopedia #771

Readers Secret Identities: Peter, The Aristocratic Thief   (Peter Hildreth)

Peter was the suave and handsome heir to wealth and privilege. His father, the Ninth Duke of Earl, was the Minister of Doing Stuff That Sounds Really Vital and his mother was born a Princess to some small Eastern European country that no longer existed.

Peter knew all the right people, dressed in the latest fashion, attended all the right parties and knew all the ins & outs of government, business and world affairs. Speaking of affairs, he cut a wide swath through the aristocratic young ladies of 5 continents. Many would swoon at the mention of his name.

And then there was Peter’s very favorite hobby: stealing incredibly valuable things from the very rich and powerful folks he hobnobbed with. It was a skill he developed while away at school as a lad and one he had since honed to perfection.

Aided by his man, Ainsworth and his driver, Tomlin, Peter stole jewels, paintings, bonds, cash, rare wines, precious metals, expensive cars, rare first editions of books and on one memorable occasion, a pair of race horses. Lately, he’s been thinking quite a bit about the Crown Jewels of England.

It should be noted that Peter donates the money he gets from his thievery to charities all over the world. Anonymously, of course.

The police in 33 countries would like to catch the thief that keeps leaving a single penny (the country of origin varies) behind at each of his crime scenes.

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The Doclopedia #772

Readers Secret Identities: Spike, The Red-Ink Avenger   (Spike Jones)

Really, it was only a matter of time until Spike lost his mind. I mean, he was an editor, for goodness sake! That’s the sort of job that sucks up sanity like a vacuum cleaner sucks up pet hair. Actually, it was even worse for poor Spike, because he edited roleplaying games written by freelance writers, many of whom had no business writing a shopping list, let alone a 20,000 word adventure or a 90,000 word rulebook.

It was in the humid heat of summer when an alleged writer sent Spike the 21,000 word manuscript for an adventure for the Tunnels & Termites game. By the time Spike reached word 2,000, he knew that the author not only had no familiarity whatsoever with the game rules, but had obviously never set foot in any sort of class that ever dealt with punctuation, spelling or writing. He strongly suspected that English was the author’s fifth or sixth language. By the time he got to word 6,752, he had called the author 38 times. On the 39th call, the author said “you know, it’s not MY job to do the editing” and Spike’s mind snapped.

Several hours later, Spike left his home and was on the road to pay the so called author a visit. He was wearing a completely red costume and a mask. When he got to his destination 29 hours later, he told the author “I’m the Red-Ink Avenger and you must pay for your crimes against the English Language!”. Then he stabbed him 184 times with a red pen before dancing about on the corpse.

Since then, dozens of hack writers and a few slacker editors have felt the wrath of the Red-Ink Avenger. Sadly, his mission may never be finished, since he does go online to read things.

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The Doclopedia #773

Readers Secret Identities: Wolf, The Smiling One   (Montejon “Wolf” Smith)

Back in the days before the white man killed himself along with the black men, the yellow men and the brown men (Or most of them, anyway. There may still be other Native People in other places), people thought that a man who smiled too much was sneaky and should not be trusted.

But what do you expect from people who made a disease that killed them all?

In our tribe, Wolf smiles all the time. Some say this is because he is such a good hunter. Others say it is because he is so big and strong. A few say it is because he can read the books from the old time.

Those people may all be right, but I think Wolf smiles so much because every night, a different maiden sneaks into his tent. That would sure make me smile.

Why Yes, I Have Met That Friendly Reefer Man.

…decades ago. He was fun.

 

The Doclopedia #770

Readers Secret Identities: Justin, The Smuggler   (Justin Mohareb)

Justin was a geek. Comic books, roleplaying games, science fiction, pulp magazines…he loved it all. Unfortunately, Justin and his geek buddies were all Canadian geeks, which meant that they had to pay a Value Added Tax on all the games, comics and such that came in from south of the border in the United States. This only served to empty their geek pockets faster than they would like, so Justin came up with an idea.

Working feverishly for days in his basement laboratory, he built a very large robotic moose. It looked absolutely real, but you could open the torso and stash upwards of 250 pounds of stuff inside. Stuff like games and dice and Blu Ray discs and model spacecraft and…all things geeky!

After programming the RoboMoose to go to a specific spot in Minnesota, Justin flew to the US and bought several thousands of dollars worth of geek stuff at “Special Back Door Prices” that he worked out with various companies who didn’t mind making a non taxable buck. Which, by the way, was all of them.

Justin trucked all of the stuff to a house in rural Minnesota where his friend Joe was more than willing to guard the stuff and load up the moose when it came around for a pick up. All Joe asked was that the moose bring him a few cases of Canadian beer.

Now several years later, Justin has a fleet of RoboMoose crossing the border from the USA. Canadian geeks get their fix at a cheap price and Justin is rolling in money. In fact, he has expanded his geek goodie smuggling to almost all the other continents via the use of RoboWhales, RoboDolphins and many assorted RoboLand Animals. Oddly, he has found that many folks worldwide also want Canadian products like back bacon, microwavable poutine and hockey jerseys. Justin is happy to help them out.

Chapter 691: In Which Our Hero, Posing As A Polish Phiosopher, Sneaks Into A French Prison To Rescue His Father

…and then they escape into a waiting ornithopter

The Doclopedia #768

Readers Secret Identities: Lisa, The Almost-Vegan (Lisa Alber)

Lisa tried hard to be a good vegan, she really did. She only bought organic veggies and fruits from certified farms. She stayed away from anything that had any sort of animal content whatsoever. Her vegan cooking skills were legendary among her friends and several of them suggested that she open a restaurant. She was voted one of the “Top Ten Vegans To Watch” by American Vegan Magazine.

Which is why, after the three full moons each month, during which she would transform into a weretiger and go out and kill and devour a few people or cattle or whatever and enjoy the taste of raw meat, she’s feel all depressed and guilty for days.

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The Doclopedia #769

Readers Secret Identities: Pam The Cynical Bitch (Pam Meers Purtle)

Pam was a cynic, her friends knew this well,

But they laughed at her snark and just said “what the hell!”

Her view on politicians? Why, she’d practically shout it?

Her views on religion? Fuggedaboudit!

When it came to pop music, her opinion was dim.

Her hope for television? Really quite slim.

She was cynical about business and movies and art.

Her sympathy for rich folks? Less than a fart.

Yes Pam was a skeptic, some called her a witch,

But she proudly called herself The Cynical Bitch.

The Wickedly Funny, But Still Educational, Story Of Mostly Purple Patty And The Pig Men From Mars

…co-starring her little brother, Outrageously Orange Oscar

The Doclopedia #765

Readers Secret Identities: Ginie, The Professional Polyglot     (Ginie Murphy)

To be correct, Ginie is a hyperpolyglot because she speaks dozens of languages fluently. If you need somebody to speak French or Russian or Tagalog or High Elvish, Ginie is your woman. She charges by the hour or, if you have a lengthy job, by the day. You pay any transportation costs, plus housing and meals. Some of her references are…

Managed to broker a lasting peace in the war between Chickens and Ducks because of her ability to speak Common Poultry.

She undertook a secret mission for the United Nations into Africa because she could speak the languages of the five tribes involved in a conflict.

Taught Navajos to speak Mandarin and Chinese to speak Navajo, so business deals could go smoothly.

Was the Official First Contact Greeter when the Vulcans first landed on Earth.

Has narrated dozens of audio books in Dwarvish.

Due to her fluency in Dog and Cat, can train these animals in record time.

When REALLY angry, can curse for up to 3 hours straight in 137 languages and never repeat herself.

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The Doclopedia #766

Readers Secret Identities: Big Al, The Cyberthief     (Alan Portman)

Oh yeah, he looks like any normal pizza delivery guy by day, but by night, Big Al is the terror of cyberspace. Once he turns on his neural implants and pops into CyberWorld, nothing is safe. Your mom’s passwords? He’ll get ’em. Billions of hidden dollars in offshore accounts? He’ll transfer them to charities (after taking a nice “finder’s fee”) and then leave rude notes to the crooks in their empty accounts. Rival pizza companies? He’ll send 200 all meat pizzas to a school, but pay for them with money from the store’s account.

The CyberWorld Police Force want Big All so bad they can taste it. The same goes for most of the real world law enforcement community. Good luck with that, coppers, because Big Al doesn’t leave any clues unless he chooses to.

In CyberWorld, Big All is dashing, debonair and ruggedly handsome. In the real world, he looks pretty much like your average suburban dad who always smells slightly of pizza.

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The Doclopedia #767

Readers Secret Identities: Carol The Deceptively Innocuous     (Carol Robinson)

To the casual observer, Carol is just a nice retired lady who lives in an ordinary house with her husband. She’s a good neighbor and pleasant to talk to. Your mom or grandmother is probably a lot like her.

HA! HA, we say! Nothing could be further from the truth!

In reality, behind closed doors and deep below her suburban home, Carol is that mysterious Evil Genius known as Dr. Destiny and she’s out to conquer the world! Bwahahaha!

Aided by her husband, whom the knows as Captain Calamity, and legions of faithful minions, Carol plots the acts of vile villainy that will hurl the world into chaos, at which point she will emerge to take control and rule with an iron fist! Oh yes, they laughed at her at the International Congress of Scientists all those decades ago, but they won’t be laughing when she unleashes her Zombie Hordes or her Flying Sharks or her Giant Robotic Echidnas! Oh no, they won’t laugh then.

But until that day comes, she has fresh picked peaches and zuchinni bread to share with the neighbors.

Handsome Joe Takes A Ride On A Train

…to visit Grandma Lupe

The Doclopedia #763

Readers Secret Identities: Mary, The Professional Liar   (Mary Garrett)

First off, Mary was not a politician. For one thing, her lies were far better crafted and told mostly to inspire people. For another, she could keep track of them. Lastly, she was not a crook or a power hungry git.

No, Mary told her lies so people would feel good. You could have called them pep talks, because most of those are inspiring bullshit, but Mary’s lies were far more specific to the individual. That’s why her business card read “Lies By Mary: Inspiring falsehoods for people who need them.”

She told ugly people that they were not nearly as bad looking as they thought and that with a bit…just a bit, mind you…of cosmetic surgery, they could be a real looker. She told people who couldn’t find jobs that they were just needing some time to think about their future and so they ought to take that fast food job so they could pay the rent until they got that perfect entrepreneurial idea. She told fat people that they sure did seem to be losing weight on that new diet and by golly, they probably were ready to sign up for that 5k walkathon.

All of those lies weren’t even close to true, but they got folks to get off their asses and do something, which is not bad. In many cases, they even got the ball really rolling so things did turn out the way she said.

Mary charged very reasonable rates to the friends and family members of the folks she lied to. Turns out, being lied to is something people really want, which is why Mary eventually was able to retire to a private island in the Bahamas.

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The Doclopedia #764

Readers Secret Identities: Diane, The Soul Collector   (Diane Russom Harrison)

When Diane graduated from college, she had youthful enthusiasm and unlimited optimism. A year of no job offers (who knew there was such a tight job market for somebody with a Masters in 14th Century Russian Poetry?) and a crushing student loan soon had her enthusiasm and optimism at an all time low.

Then, her neighbor, Mr. Hernwinkle, told her that he was retiring and she just might like his job. He was, so far as Diane knew, in “collections”, but at that point, he could have been a ditch digger and she would have jumped at the job.

So it was that Mr. Hernwinkle set up an interview for Diane with his boss, Mrs. DeAth. Everything went fine…it was very good starting pay, full benefits and a three week vacation…until Mrs. DeAth told Diane that she would be collecting souls. Human souls. At, or shortly thereafter, the moment of death.

As any of us might, Diane thought she was being jerked around. Mrs. DeAth said she understood, then asked her secretary to bring in somebody called Vasily Demetrov. Diane recognized his face from police artist sketches. He was the I-55 Killer, a person who had killed at least 9 motorists and truckers in the past two years. Right now, he was trussed up like Hannibal Lecter, which was good because he was a huge guy.

Mrs. DeAth confirmed that he was indeed who Diane thought he was and he was scheduled to die today from a cerebral aneurysm. His body, she said, would be found in a parking lot with plenty of incriminating evidence in his pockets and even more in his apartment.

Then, without further comment, she reached out, touched his arm and said, “Time to go, you evil bastard”, and then he fell over, dead.

Mrs. DeAth explained to Diane that she would be a Soul Collector in the Evil Bastard/Bitch division. Her job would be to go out and collect their souls at their moment of death, then turn the soul over to an emissary of Hell named Melissa, whom Mrs. DeAth described as “a charming young lady”.

Diane thought about all this for several minutes, then decided to take the job. After all, a starter paying 50K a year job doing a good thing and with full benefits and 3 weeks vacation didn’t come along very damned often.

Today, Diane has been on the job 22 years and loves it. She especially likes collecting the souls of douchebags who have not been caught or convicted of their crimes. The politicians are the most fun, because of that look on their face when she announces she’s there to collect their soul. That’s why she turned down an offer to collect the souls of good people, not nearly as much fun.

Diane has moved up in the corporation, but avoided moving into management. She will be eligible for retirement in 8 years, but doubts that she’ll take it.

Attack Of The Electric Men From Pluto!

…in fantastic Electrovision!

The Doclopedia #760

Readers Secret Identities: Anna, The Undecided (Anna Dobritt)

The people of Earth 54 really wish Queen Anna would hurry up and decide if she wants to conquer the neighboring planet Mars or just establish some sort of trade agreement with it. She’s been on the fence ever since she ascended to the throne back in 2021, when her sister, the former Queen, ran off to become a hairdresser in Onkly, Ohio.

Until she decides, nobody knows what the tax rate will be, if there will be lots of wartime jobs or if there will be a draft. Frankly, it’s pissing a whole lot of people off.

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The Doclopedia #761

Readers Secret Identities: Kim, The Abnormal (Kim Marshall)

In the Land of Freakulon, poor Kim is definitely abnormal. Unlike the other people of that land, she has but two eyes, one nose, one mouth and two ears on her single head. Her limbs are symmetrical and she only has two of each. The sad fact is, she is pretty much identical to a normal human. People are polite to her, but she sees how little children stare and how some folks cross the street when they see her coming.

The one bright spot in her life comes from the fact that she is in big demand for horror movies and has made quite a pile of money from them. Still, this is little comfort when you can’t get a date on Saturday night.

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The Doclopedia #762

Readers Secret Identities: Avis, The Procrastination Queen (Avis Crane)

On May 3rd, 2044, Death paid a visit to Avis. It went like this…

Death: Avis, I’ve come to tell you that your time is nigh. I like to give those people of your age a bit of warning, so you may calm yourself and set your affairs in order. I shall return in three weeks.

Avis: Holy Cow! Umm, Ok, Death, I’ll get right on it. See you in three weeks.

Three weeks later…

Death: Avis, I have come for yo…you aren’t ready?

Avis: Oh jeez, I am so sorry, Death. I got to reading a book about marsupials, then the newest Mary Potter book came out and then I got a chance to go to Montana. I completely forgot about you. Can I have a second chance?

Death: Well, I’m pretty busy just now…war is about to break out between Doofistan and Wankistan…and then there’s that big Japanese earthquake. Ok, I’ll be back in, say, 9 months. You be ready, ok.

Avis: Oh, I will, for sure this time. I’ll even program it into my genius phone.

Death: Ok, see you then.

Unfortunately, the war heated up and spilled over into Punkistan, Blorkvania, Turdistan and Plotskia, keeping Death busy for 4 years. By then, there was a plague in Asia and a big earthquake in Chile. As a result, Death didn’t get back to Avis for 6 years.

Death: Oh man, Avis, I am so sorry. Things got crazy busy and I…what the hell? You aren’t ready yet?

Avis: Well, umm, I was ready, but you never showed up, so I just went about my business. Not my fault.

Death: Yes, well, ok. My bad. Can you be ready in 6 weeks?

Avis: I suppose so.

Death: Ok then, I’ll be back then. Be ready! In fact, just in case I get busy, here’s my cell number. Call me in 6 weeks!

Avis: Will do!

But once again, Death got busy and 5 years passed before he got back to Avis, who by now was 101 years old.

Death: Ok, I fucked up again, but…Oh for chrissake, Avis, you STILL aren’t ready? Why didn’t you call me?

Avis: Well, I was going to, but then I got to go to GenCon after several years of not going. And I started a new book series. And…

Death: Ok, look, I’m taking you now. You’ve outlived everybody you knew..

Avis: True.

Death: …so it’s no biggie there. Your affairs can take care of themselves

Avis: I don’t suppose you’d give me a few days to watch the season finale of Doctor Who, would you?

Death: ARRRGH!!!

Yellow Goats

…and blue pigs

 

The Doclopedia #759

Unusual Small Towns: Critter City, Texas

Way back in the early decades of the 20th century, Wilted Springs, Texas, was a famous resort town that brought in people from all over the south and southwest. They would swim in the famous springs, stay at the luxury hotels and generally have a fine summer vacation. Then came the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl and, eventually, World War II and Wilted Springs began to fade away. By the 1960’s, it was just another small Texas town that had seen better days.

Until, sometime in 1997, when some rich young Texans that just happened to be on the board of directors of New Think Inc., got an idea based on the rising trend of people pampering and traveling with their pets. Why not revive Wilted Springs as the “Pet Friendly Resort Capital Of The World”? NTI agreed that this was a good idea, so the company bought the town and started building.

By 2003, the town was home to 7 major hotels, three resorts, an amusement park just for animals, dozens of restaurants, 12 spas for humans & pets, many other shops and 6 pet parks. The town, which had dipped down to a population of 1,409, swelled back up to a population of 21,000. Annual visitors ran to 600,000 most years.

In 2006, a convention center was built and major dog, cat and other animal shows took place there, as did music festivals and other shows. In 2007, The town became the most wired place in America, with free wifi everywhere. There are also many robots roaming the streets and other places, most of them being repair or cleaning bots. The most popular of these are the robots whose job it is to clean up animal poop. These “PoopBots” are all brightly colored and each has a name.

Then, in 2008, two things happened that jumped Wilted Springs up a notch: NTI decided to build a dome over the whole town and those rich young Texans hosted a pet friendly gaming/science fiction convention called DogCon (but called CatCon on alternate years).

The first DogCon was a big success with over 10,000 human attendees. By DogCon5 in 2012, attendance was 26,253 and the convention was booked for each August until 2028. It is estimated that the convention brings in over 6 million dollars to the local economy.

In 2011, the town officially changed it’s name to Critter City.

The Dome was finished in 2012 and NTI began putting even more high tech goodies into Critter City. This includes 25% of the police force, who are robots, the dome cleaning crew (men & women in high tech glass cleaning gear and new all electric Smart Taxis.

The temperature inside Critter City is always a low humidity 75 degrees. Rain falls early in the morning on scheduled days.