Thursday, January 18, 2018

Flashback: P.I. Joe - A Real American Detective!

For this week's Flashback, we're heading back to May 2010, but if you want to get specific, we're going back to some kind of stylized version of the '30s I guess in the film-noir-inspired "P.I. Joe" story.

For that story, I figured I'd do some kind of alternate-universe reimagining kinda thing.  Noir's a style I like so I figured I'd try my hand.  I also wrote a short prose noir story at that time about action figure collecting, no less, which you can check out here if you'd like.

Next time, I'll try to do a New Year-related thing, assuming I remember.  Sorta.  You'll see!  Stick around!

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Monday, January 8, 2018

Numbers' New Year's Newsletter: 2018-A-Go-Go, Baby

[Other years' letters: 2011 / 2012 / 2013 / 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018 ]

Sometimes it doesn't matter how much you prepare.  How much you plan.  How much you hope.

Sometimes, you're just screwed.  And sometimes, there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

The mission was scrubbed from Jump Street.  That's why they sent us in -- we took a detour down Jumpjet Boulevard and kept our eyes peeled for the Smackdown Lane exit.  By the time my team jumpjetted our mechs across the Planet of Ice, it was all over for Madame President, self-appointed "Queen of Space."  Her evil deeds of previous years (read the last few years' newsletters, linked above, and you'll see what I mean) had signed her death warrant.  It was time for payback, and my mech crew and I would make sure she paid in full.

Tactically neutralizing her and her literally-underground base was easier than she was.  These kinds of missions aren't even a warmup when you're an Operator who operates like an Operator operating operationally.  But there was something cold lurking in the heart of the Planet of Ice, and even our transparent orange chainsaws could do little to turn up the heat.

To put it bluntly, my team was defeated and abducted by the salvage ship Brostromo and its crew of slavers/fitness enthusiasts.  They were going to scrap our mechs for salvage and extract whatever proteins they could from our bodies.  The strong would be sold as slaves.  The weak would be ground up into supplements.

They captured my team while I was dealing with Madame President alone, and I managed to stow myself away aboard the gigantic Brostromo, sneaking around tactically until I realized I didn't need to anymore.

No one was left alive.

There was a deadly alien life form aboard the ship.  The life form known only as Specimen Number 2016 killed everyone, and by the time I found what few surviving members of my crew that I could, it had mutated into Specimen Number 2017, and grown even worse.  Logic, reason, dignity -- all that was out the airlock.  And once we had confirmed we were the only survivors, so were we.

Naturally, we set the Brostromo onto a collision course with the nearest sun, just in case the self-destruct sequence we'd activated had failed.  But no.  All that had failed was the 2017.

We were still alive.  We were still together.  But we were low on fuel.  We managed to reach a nearby space colony, but we were out of supplies and even shorter on options.  We decided to settle into a demilitarized zone, housing ourselves in a building that should've been condemned.  There was serious metal fatigue in all the load-bearing members, the wiring was substandard, and it was completely inadequate for our power needs.  In short, it was the perfect hiding place.

We rebranded ourselves as speedrunning mercenaries, using our slick transparent orange skis and powerful transparent orange chainsaws to break lap time records for any local racing team that wanted to hire us.  Soon, we were breaking the recorded data of even the most veteran racers' laps.  This recorded data was played back in the form of holograms commonly referred to as "ghosts," projected in real-time on the race tracks.  The ghost data was appalling.  The other racers played dirty and ate like slobs.  We waited on the grid for the lights to start and always drove clean laps.  Light was green, lap is clean.  We broke the ghost data lap records without breaking a sweat.  We were busting ghosts all over town, and truly, busting made us feel good.

Soon, we could afford to upgrade our equipment, powering our chainsaws with untested, unlicensed particle-accelerator backpacks.  We told ourselves we would only do this long enough to afford to get back home, but fame and fortune got the best of us.

We had movie deals, a cartoon show with characters that didn't look like us (but really sounded like us), comic books, a hit song, and tons of pussy, but we also had enemies.  Time repeats itself, and much like my old nemesis who grew jealous of my matches-sold-to-schoolchildren empire in 2012 (and continued in following years; do read the newsletters if you are interested), we had found ourselves with a new adversary.

One who remains at large.  One we are woefully underprepared to face.

We shall prepare ourselves this year and defend our racing titles, our city, our newfound friends, their hopes, and dreams.  Even if this place isn't our home, but I love this town.

May your 2018 prove fruitful and less shitty than our last few years have been.

- Numbers, Ph.D in Parapsychology, Pseudoscience, Female Anatomy, & Transparent Orange Chainsawing
Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; no job is too big, no fee is too big
January 2018

[Other years' letters: 2011 / 2012 / 2013 / 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018 ]

Monday, January 1, 2018

Flashback: Ages 25 & New Year

Let us all take a moment to hope that 2018 won't be as shit as the last few.  Here is every single New Year's issue I can remember making, and some I can't.  I think I have them all here.

Next time, I'll get a Numbers' New Year's Newsletter up.  I don't think it'll be ready today and I have plans tomorrow, so let's aim for the third, yeah?

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