My Life Among The Dogs That Think They Are Human

…or maybe they think I’m a dog. Whatever.

 

The Doclopedia #28

Places That Don’t Stay In One Place: Professor Pilbon’s Flying Laboratory

 

It was in the early fall of 1881 that young Professor Archimedes Pilbon decided that having to leave his laboratory to go to various locales on missions for the Queen just would not do. Not that he didn’t love going on adventures, mind you, and he certainly wanted to be of service to Her Majesty and England. No, it was the whole immobility situation with the laboratory that just would not do.

So, after a solid month of brainstorming with his assistants and Certain Well Respected Men Of Science, he devised a plan to free his place of research and, indeed, his entire home, from the earthly ties that bound it. Three years and a rather startling amount of money later, he did just that.

The two story laboratory and the attached cottage home now rest upon a very large sheet of that incredible metal alloy, Liftonium. The sheet is 12 centimeters thick and has a 1 meter high railing around the entire thing “so as to keep things from sliding off”. Since the Liftonium really only cancels out the weight of the lab, house, passengers, etc, a very large cigar shaped balloon does the real lifting and a pair of steam engines power the fore and aft propellers. In inclement weather, a series of tent canvases can be unrolled to keep things fairly dry.

The craft is piloted by Captain Dunworthy and his crew of four, who live in a small cabin. Besides Professor Pilbon, there are his three assistants (Smythe, Hergenberger & Soames), his maid/cook Molly, his man Williams and the two dogs, Nipper & Willy. On a few occasions, Pilbon has been joined by his fiancée, Elizabeth.

The Flying Laboratory has traveled to every continent and attracts much attention wherever it goes. Some of this attention comes from men of less than sterling character who would like to use the incredible craft for their nefarious plans. Professor Pilbon and his crew will hear nothing of that and have, on several trips, given such villains a good sound thrashing using both science and a great knowledge of fisticuffs.

Shelly Could Really Rock The Leaves Off The Tree

…all night long

Yeah, I did not post yesterday due to sleepiness. You get two posts today, with the second coming after my bonus 4 hours at work tonight.


The Doclopedia #26

Places That Don’t Stay In One Place: Quantronico Labs

 

Founded in 2003, Quantronico Labs designs and builds all manner of very specialized high tech equipment used in quantum physics research. Fortunately for them, most of the actual manufacturing is done at their facility in Los Angeles, because their main labs in Palo Alto are no longer there most of the time.

The “Quantronico Event” took place on May 3rd, 2007 at 10:17 in the morning. That’s when Charles Cooper and Ichiro Takahashi fired up a new piece of equipment in the second floor testing lab. Nobody remembers what the equipment was supposed to do, but it blew up really well. Cooper and Takahashi were vaporized and the lab was destroyed. A few minutes later, the entire building vanished and re-appeared just outside Salt Lake City. Every one of the remaining 130 employees got out of the building, but when it teleported to San Angelo, Texas 2 hours later, they were all back inside it. The same thing happened 4 hours later when it teleported to Kearney, Nebraska and 8 hours after that when it showed up in Concord, New Hampshire.

The building and the people in it teleport on a regular and predictable timetable. Starting at 2 hours, each move stays double the previous length of time until it hits 64 hours. At that point, it resets to 2 hours again. Any of the original occupants and anyone in the building during the “fade out” will teleport with it, as will any original contents or new items brought in. Amazingly, when the building appears anywhere, it automatically hooks up to the local water, sewage and other utilities. Even more amazingly, the building had completely repaired the damaged lab within a week, although the dead scientists are still dead. Well, if they actually died in the first place.

The locations the building teleport to are totally random and have only repeated a few times in the 3 years it has been moving about. It has mostly limited itself to the United States, Canada and Mexico, but has popped up in France, Australia (twice), England, Egypt and Japan. The building has had a fourth floor added for living quarters and that floor teleports just like the rest.

Naturally, the US government was on this event like white on rice. Unfortunately, it was the sort of thing that could not be contained well and by the second teleport, it was all over the internet and the news media worldwide. In one of those strange twists of logic that only Wall Street can make, Quantronico stock prices quadrupled in less than a day. The Quantronico staff found themselves treated like rock stars wherever they appeared.

The companies founder and CEO, Tony Parks, has kept the company running and has made sure that his employees can get to their families or the families can get to them. He is working on plans to build a fifth and sixth floor, so as to provide better and larger living quarters. He has also done a surprisingly good job of keeping supplies coming in and assorted stuff going out. He has also increased the staff by 50 employees, many of whom work in daycare, the cafeteria or the medical clinic. All in all, most of the employees love working there, since as one put it, “you get to work and travel at the same time”.

Winker And Lucy Take A Road Trip

…after stealing Dad’s debit card

 

The Doclopedia #25

Places That Don’t Stay In One Place: The Golden Moon

 

Ask anyone what the most famous legend of the Galactic Federation is and 99% of the time, regardless of the tech level of the world, the reply will be “the Golden Moon”. This has been the case for the last five centuries, since the very beginning of Human and Jurr expansion out into the stars.

The Golden Moon is actually golden in color, although that does not mean it is made of gold as some stories say. The vast majority of sightings also put it at being about the same size as Earth’s moon. No probe has ever gotten a reading that shows the internal or external make up of the moon, although in videos the outside does look like it is covered in dust, like many other rocky moons.

How and why the Golden Moon is able to move about the galaxy, not exhibit any tidal forces on the planets it orbits or have any gravitational effect on the natural moons of a planet are unknown. In fact, what is known about this mysterious satellite would fill a very slim pamphlet.

But legends, stories, third hand reports and myths? Those we have plenty of! For example…

The people of Hydrax IV tell of a time 300 years ago when the Golden Moon appeared and within days, a terrible plague that had been killing both sentient and beast disappeared, thus saving their civilization.

Spacin’ Dave Germinger, the famous and infamous former Terran Scout, claimed until his dying day that he once made an emergency landing on it due to a damaged plasma funnel. According to him, he was convinced that he would die there, but a couple of hours later, found a replacement funnel just outside his airlock.

The 87 Actor Gods of Blintirix are said to have ceased their eternal bickering and committed suicide upon seeing that the moon illuminated the land in a very unflattering glow.

Five Jurran Warp Comets are said to have made a warp jump near the moon and, instead of coming out of warp 6.5 light years away, came out 259 light years away.

The list goes on and on.

Baby Got Back Ribs

…Monday, on my porch, in the smoker.

 

The Doclopedia #24

Places That Don’t Stay In One Place: The Amazing Mobile Village

 

It has long been a joke that if you give the Society of Inventors enough money, sooner or later they will invent something useful. Well, the kings of the Five Lands gave them a whole bunch of money in hopes of getting war machines that could hold off the Southern Horde, but what they got was the Amazing Mobile Village.

The AMV, when set up on the ground, consists of 10 two story buildings and a central village green that measures 100′ X 100′. There are several shops, a constabulary and a church that welcomes worshipers of any of the 15 Gods. As of this writing, 82 people call the village home.

When laid out on the ground, the AVM looks a lot like most small villages…except for the enormous and skeletal looking octapodal steel…creature…that stands above it, with the eight legs defining the village boundaries. This is, of course, the part of the invention that makes the village mobile. The “head” of the creature is actually the control center and home to the 6 inventors of this marvel.

When it is time to move to a new location (roughly every 6 weeks), the transport portion carefully picks up each building and attaches it to it’s “rib cage”. Then, it takes the various sections of the village green and attaches them to it’s back and belly. Once that is done, the entire thing starts walking slowly to whatever destination the villagers desire. The movement is quite smooth, but the villagers do tend to put delicate breakables away until they get to a new site.

The question of exactly how the AMV functions and what powers it are closely guarded secrets, but the Society of Inventors learned much building it and are, even as we speak, building an Amazing Mobile Fortress for the kings who pay the bills.

Night Of The Yellow Armadillos

… big as minivans, they is!

 

The Doclopedia #23

Places That Don’t Stay In One Place: Old Gus & His Party Bus

 

On Earth 48, the superhero Earth, the numbers of heroes & villains is pretty much equal to the DC and Marvel universes combined. You can’t swing a radioactive spider without hitting somebody wearing a mask, a cape or a suit of power armor. But all is not well for these paragons of virtue and vice. Besides the stresses of fighting against good or evil, there is the unrelenting competition for recognition among your peers. I mean, if you’re Lex Luthor, you’re constantly looking over your shoulder for Doctor Doom or The Joker. Same goes for Thor wondering if people are paying more attention to Superman or the Hulk. Understandably, many heroes & villains are constantly watching their blood pressure and taking headache medicine.

But there is a stress reliever out there that they all drop their plans for: Old Gus & his Party Bus! When Gus rolls into town, it’s time to party and forget your cares. Leave your spandex at home and get into your kicks, heroes & villains, cos Gus is buying the beer.

Nobody knows where Gus or his bus came from, but the top contender among the rumors is that he was a Time Lord who decided he just wanted to stay in one place and relax. The fact that his bus can hold upwards of 500 people would seem to lend credence to this.

Old Gus looks sort of like some bastard child of Hunter S. Thompson and Santa Claus. His hair is long & white, as is his beard. He’s not overly fat, just happily plump. He has a bald spot, which he usually covers with a beat to shit cowboy hat. His t-shirts are tie dyed and worn under a Hawaiian shirt. He wears blue jeans and sandals. Almost constantly has a burning joint in a cigarette holder. He’s mellow, but a tad sarcastic and sometimes he sees things that (one hopes) aren’t there.

The party bus has close to 60 rooms, from a jungle room to an old west saloon to a room out of a BDSM wet dream. The music is always loud and rocking. There are maybe full service 18 bars and complimentary bowls of every drug worth taking. The staff seems to be made up of young hippies of both sexes. Many rooms have light shows and the smell of incense is everywhere.

When Gus rolls into town, a telepathic broadcast goes out to all heroes & villains: “Party on the bus in 24 hours.” Sure enough, a day later, the doors on the bus open up and for the next 12 hours, it’s time to boogie.

When supers enter the bus, three things happen. First, all powers that don’t actually keep them alive are muted to near useless levels. Secondly, all gadgets that don’t support your life are instantly removed and stored for you. Finally, your costume changes into suitable peace & love style. Once those things happen, you are free to enjoy yourself. Not surprisingly, the very air in the bus has a calming effect, so old animosities are soon forgotten. It would not at all be unusual to see Spider-Man and the Green Goblin sharing a bottle of Boone’s Farm wine and singing “Louie Louie” together. Oddly, the next day, nobody has a hangover.

Old Gus seems to hit a different city somewhere in the world every 5 days. He is beloved wherever he goes and the lives of supers everywhere are just a bit less stressful.

The Kitty Cats Sneak Into Area 51

…and meet alien kitty cats!

 

The Doclopedia #22

Places That Don’t Stay In One Place: The HMS Vagabond

 

Thanks to Weird Science and a large budget, the HMS Vagabond is the pride of the Royal Navy…or would be, if anyone outside of a very few knew about it. Instead, it is England’s top secret headquarters for all things espionage related. Oh sure, other countries know about the various spy organizations to be found scattered over the U.K., but those places are all either fakes or very low tier support. No, the Vagabond is where the action is.

Slightly smaller than a Nimitz class aircraft carrier, the Vagabond can change to resemble any number of large surface ships or it can just submerge submarine style. It can generate a fog bank, is stealth capable and appears to sonar as a large pod of whales. Rumors that it can also become airborne are probably false, but with Weird Science, you never know.

The permanent crew stands at 3,500, but the ship can hold another 3,000 people comfortably. Every aspect of training and supporting British agents can be found here, although Q Branch does most of it’s R&D in remote land based facilities. The crew gets rotated out every 18 months and undergoes a mindwipe before leaving the ship. Most of them then believe that they have been working on various oceanographic ships.

Access to the ship can be via helicopter, submarine or surface craft. On board, the security levels increase as you go down, with the lowest decks being so secure that fewer than 100 people in the world can be admitted. This is where you’ll find the enigmatic “M”, who is, in fact, 3 men who share a single mind. Only one is ever on the Vagabond, with the second being back in London and the third at the British embassy in Washington, DC.

Just in case the Vagabond is ever discovered, it has a dizzying array of weapons with which to defend itself. Most are conventional, but the Weird Scientists have also armed it with Temporal Displacement Beams, Moron Gas and a Shrink Ray.

The Vagabond has no set course and eventually visits every ocean and sea on Earth.