I Think I Messed Up the Cadence on That Last Bit

Been a few,

So, something new.

Write it white,

to chase the blue.


Or write it blue,

To flummox you.

But I’ve no mind,

To write that goo.


A time to go.

A fit to throw.

And all this time,

With shit to show.


Except a flare,

For what is fare.

For I can write,

With patient care


A coder true.

Hope I come due.

And get some pay,

To make it through.


My contract ends.

Goodbye work friends.

Some nameless, clueless asshole-cog in contracts who didn’t even know that what they were doing was wrong utterly Fucked Me!

I start again.

Minions – NaNoWriMo Day 6 – Building Your Beast

“Brothers and Sisters!”  Lucius yelled out above the crowd gathered outside of the police station.  “Brothers and Sisters!  Please.”

“Yeah, who are you?” Someone from the crowd asked derisively.

“I’m someone with a purpose.  And an answer.  Who are you?  I know who you are.  You are someone, a victim of the Orange Overlord.  He has picked your pocket clean and now you want blood, am I right?”  Before anyone could respond he continued.  “Of course, I’m right.  The Orange overlord has stolen from us all.  He’s taken our cities.  All four of them.  He’s taken our jobs unless we want to work as criminals and scumbags.  He’s taken our dignity.  Our community.  But our self-respect?  We gave that away.  We gave our selves away.

“I’m here to talk about the Orange Overlords true crime.  His biggest crime.  You see, the media, the politicians, the heroes, they want to say that his biggest crime was when he killed Captain Courageous.  Fool in a mask.  No.  His biggest crime was when he made us all slaves.

“SLAVES!  Word hurts, doesn’t it?  And you can say, but Lucius, I’m not a slave.  But you are.  You are a slave every time you work in that filth the orange overlord has set up to suck in all the vice and vile from all over and into our town.  When you work at the munitions plant.  When you do nothing.  Because you are paying into the system, the taxation system through which the orange overlord draws his true power to corrupt and coerce and crush anyone who would defy him.  You are owned by that system.  You are owned by him.

“They say that when you work, you are trading your time for money.  That time is a little sliver, a piece of the life you have to live on this planet.  So, you are actually trading your life, your soul for money, which is fine as far as it goes.  That would be fine if you turned around and spent your money on your wife.  Your mom, your kids.  But if that money is then taken and given to the Overlord?  You have just given him a piece of your soul.  He owns you.  He has taken your soul from you.

“But now we have him, right?  So, it’s all good.  Right?  Wrong.  We still pay the tithe.  We’ve still had our lives taken from us and we will continue to be slaves to this orange freak until we get our money back.” The crowd was nodding and now they had turned to clapping.  “We will not be whole until we have had reparations delivered to us.  To our kids.  And to our communities so they can fight back against the corruption, the coercion and the filth that crushed us.

“And to that end, we are organizing.  I can’t do it alone.  I don’t have super powers like the orange piece of shit that enslaved us, but together we can effect this change.  We can make ourselves whole.  We can take back our souls.”  The crowd cheered, not huge, but not just a polite smattering.  Those who were into it, were all in.  Those who weren’t stayed skeptical.

“I see you all here.  You wouldn’t be here outside the jail that holds the Orange Overlord if you didn’t hate him.  But are you just going to yell and scream?  You think he hasn’t heard that and not let it bother him countless times?  You think Captain Courageous didn’t scream?  Or the League, or the Allies, or the armed forces that attempted to drive him from the city?  Or the countless civilians and politicians he’s assaulted in his reign of terror?  He could give a shit about you yelling.  But, now that he’s in a cage, the politicians who still collect his outrageous tithe, who aided the evil bastard in his work, those people will answer to us IF and Only if we organize and speak with a united voice.

“I understand that many of you are burned by politics.  But it is the political machine that took from us our souls.  It owns them now and so that is the thing we must fight.  We must fight it on its terms.  But we are Right.  And we are righteous, and we will be free of not only the orange overlord but the stink of his lackeys and his vice and his pain.  We will be repaid and made whole!”

The crowd gave him much more energetic and unanimous applause at this.  Max stepped up to the microphone and gave a much more informative rap up.

“Thank you, brother Lucius.  Now I have flyers up here for our first meeting of the reparation committee.  We intend to meet in the basement of the first Baptist church on 39th street, but” he looked at the stack of flyers going faster than anticipated, “But if we need to, we will relocate to the courtyard to give everyone who wants to participate a chance.  Remember tomorrow, Monday, at 7 PM.  Brother Lucius and I will see you there.


“So, who is Doctor Rust?”

Donnie looked up from his computer to Rog.  He sat in a chair in the middle of the floor.  Nothing was within arm’s reach but several things appeared to be pointing at him.

“That’s me.  Or at least, it used to be.”

Rog snorted a laugh.  “What, were you some kind of super villain, or better yet, a hero?!  I can see it now.  ‘give me your cookies or I’ll rust this car to its axels!'”  A heroic pose in the chair completed the look and Donnie gave him the stink eye.

“No.  It’s my fucking name asshole.  I was even on the Tenure track at Quad cities college before I went to work in the private sector and got swept up by Ted to work here.”

“Really?  Oh shit!  You’re a real-life professor.  Can I call you doc?”

“That would be confusing with Doctor Lorenzo hanging around.  By the way, I’m going to need him for the next phase here.”

“That guy creeps me the fuck out!”

“Ah, he’s not all that bad.  Best acid ever.  Don’t get on his bad side or you’ll be kissing the sky for a week.”

“I kinda figured.  So, what is this “next phase” bit?”

Donnie pulled back from his computer and grabbed his humongous sized soft drink.  “The next phase is consolidating all the components into a rig that might work.”

“What?  I thought you were basically doing all this yourself.  Like, just making the thing.”

A chuckle moved Donnie’s belly.  “You think I’m going to be able to get what is essentially a personalized tank moving by myself in a week?  Haven’t you ever built anything?”

“I rebuilt an engine once.”

“By yourself?”

“Well, no.  I was one of a couple of guys that did it over a weekend… oh, I seen now.”

“Well, I don’t think you really do.  You see, you are going to need weapons that could potentially be explained using the powerset the Orange Overlord exposed to the world.”

“Yeah, you’re right I didn’t get any of that … whatever that was.”

Donnie punched a few keys and something in the back of the lab started to hum.  “I can’t just send you out in a suit that looks like the Orange overlord with a machine gun.  You would right fully look like a guy that was on his way to a costume party while armed.  No, you have to both look and act in a way that the big O would act.”

“Ok.  So, what do I have to do?”

Another flick of the keys and a video of the Orange Overlord in action came up on a screen.  “Here’s Ted kicking the ass of the Allies in 06.  You see what he’s doing there?”

Rog watched the screen as the big man in the big orange and brown suit put his right arm up and punched at people at a very far distance.  “He’s shooting them with his fist.”

“Correct.  That’s what he wanted everyone to see.  The idea was that he was using a force cannon, but what he was actually doing… “ Donnie hit a button and the frame froze.  “He was projecting his force field out from his hand and making a solid bar of force to hit someone.  And he fucked up a couple of times and swung it like a baseball bat, but not so much that anyone noticed.  The cycle time was actually pretty good, but not perfect.”

Rog nodded and looked blankly at Donnie.  “Why do I care?”

“Because we need to make a force cannon that works like that.  And that fits within the housing of the suit.”

“Ok. so that’s cool.  How hard is that?”

Donnie looked up from his computer.  “It’s really hard.  I’m glad we have some guys in Santa Fe working on force projection tech for a manufacturing process or else we’d be cooked.”

“Wait!” Rog’s head snapped around.  “I thought you were doing this?”

“I am getting the plans, hurrying things along, delivering specs.  And Then eventually integrating everything into a suit I have a top-flight costume designer creating.”

Again, Rog shook his head.  “Why?”

Donnie looked up from his keyboard.  “Because no one can know we’re building the thing.  A little part here, a little power system there.  Some systems, like the pulse cannon can’t be broken down into smaller systems, but many things can.  The motivators for the exoskeleton, for instance, will be sourced from five different vendors under numerous different names.”

“I still don’t get it.”

“That is because you have not opened your mind to the possibilities that the infinite universe surrounds us with constantly, my lad.”  Doctor Lorenzo glided in as if he were on roller skates.  “I understand you need a neural interface, Don.  I came with my latest biofeedback rig.  Hopefully it will do the trick.”

“Yeah. Thanks Lorenzo.  Can you put it on the dummy.”  Donnie quickly poked to the side while continuing to type.

Lorenzo looked at Rog and Rog glowered back at him, full of senseless violence.

“Um, excuse me, Don?”

Donnie looked up at the scene and then pointed to where he’d pointed before.  On the dummy, the mannequin.  It should be coming out of the three dee printer over by the wall.  Hang the thing there and I’ll be over in a bit to get the interface specs.”

Again, Doctor Lorenzo looked at Rog.  “Ah yes.  Very good.  Are you finally going to go for the direct neural interface I’d created for your computers?”

“Oh, no.  I still think that’s a good way to get brain damage.  It’s for Rog here so he can pilot the suit.”

“What?  I heard brain damage in there.”  Rog started to get up and Donnie raised a hand.

“Please don’t get up.  I’m still measuring.”

Rog looked at the pieces of equipment pointed at him and sat back down.  “I’m not liking the idea of brain damage doc,” he nodded at Donnie then turned to Lorenzo, “Doc.  It’s not much, but it’s the only brain I have. ”

“A master of understatement.  But not to worry my strong, uh… strong friend.  The thing Doctor Rust fears is the interface’s display.  You will only be working on the input devices to the suit.  In other words, the interface won’t push anything into your brain, it will just take things out.”

“Oh.  That still sounds like it won’t be good.”

“Rog,” Donnie interjected.  “You are going to be the first person outside of the titanium avenger to ever successfully wear a suit of powered armor in an act of super villainy.  Congratulations.”

“Uh… Thanks?”

“And for that honor, all we need is to take a little risk with your autonomic nervous system.  Small thing, really”

“So, if it’s small, that means you can, not do it?”

“No, dear boy.  We are using you to make the thing balance and walk.  You will likely be fine, but we’re in new territory here.”  Lorenzo looked at the screen and nodded.  “Oh, I like the boots.  That will be interesting.”

Rog squinted.  “What’s the worst-case scenario here?”

Both the doctors looked up from Donnie’s screen.  “Worst case, Red finds out you are getting cold feet and she kills you right here.”

Rog flinched.  “Ok, so what’s the best-case scenario?”

“You become a second-rate version of the orange overlord and become beneficiary of all his hard work, raking in about six million dollars a day in profit from both the illegal enterprises and the legal holdings of Flanderal.  Of course, you only get to keep a little bit of that.  Mostly Red doesn’t shoot you in the eye.”

“Well, I don’t want to be shot in the eye.  How much beer can you buy for six million?”

The doctors looked at each other, puzzled.  “It.  It is difficult to make that kind of conversion.” Lorenzo ventured.

“You’d have all the beer you wanted.  All the bud and babes as well.”

Rog smiled.  “Well then, hook me up!”

Minions – NaNoWriMo Day 7 – Squeeze and Strength

[Author’s note: In this bit, I’m trying out a few things.  I’m also going light on attribution an ambiance, which is how I normally do my drafts – dialog first.

Anyone who’s seen The Strange knows that I get very wordy, but this is a bit much even for me, I think.  Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the episode.  Likes and follows are always appreciated!

Stay Weird



Minions – NaNoWriMo Day 5 – Totally Screwing up my Posts!

Lucius was lost in his thoughts as he and Max made their way to the police station.

“You know what you’re going to say, right?”

“Hm?” said Lucius.  He was pulling a battery powered amplifier and a microphone borrowed from his wana be rapper cousin T-bone on a weak handcart.  Max, for his part carried a backpack full of fliers.

“You know what you’re going to say… I mean, you practiced your shit, right?”

“I know what I’m saying… More or less.”

“More or… Jesus young blood, you’ve got to have your shit together if you are going to start talking about the Orange Overlord like that in the middle of a crowd!  Dude is serious.”

“Was serious.  He’s seriously behind bars right now.”

“Yeah, but his people aren’t.  You are talking about fucking with the way things are.”

“The way things are is fucked, and you know it Max!”

“Yeah, but there are people who make their living off of the way things are now and they won’t want some nappy dread headed jackass mobilizing against them.”

“Is that what we’re doing?  I thought we were showing people how much the Orange Overlord takes from us and demanding that the city stop taking it.”

“You say it one way, I say it another.  That money goes somewhere, Lou.”

“And you think that us saying it should stay with people instead of criminals is a problem?”

“No.  Of course not.  If I thought that I wouldn’t be here helping you.  Look, I’ve been an activist for a long time, trying to get our people a fair shake.  Thing about the Orange overlord, he fucked everybody pretty equally, so that shit sorta went away.  But now, the lids off.  We don’t even know how messed things are going to get and you are going to go in and throw bricks.”

Lucius nodded.  “You know as well as I do that shits’ got to change, Max.  Having the city stop taking the damned Tithe for that Orange piece of shit is the very least we can ask for here.  We’re asking for people to be reasonable.”

“And then what?”

“Then we build, right?  Then we look at what we have and build.”

Max looked him up and down.  “All right Lucius, it’s your show.  I’ll help you.  but examine your motives, keep your shit pure.  Understand?”

“I understand Max.  I’m just tired of having my shit stolen from me by that orange Mother fucker as just a matter of course, like it’s no big thing.”

“I feel you.  We’ll work to make things right.”

“Damn straight.”


“Wilson, you had better not be out there doing drugs with those no-good friends of yours!  Your father would die again if he found out.”

Fifteen-year-old Wilson Yates rolled his eyes as he put on his hat.  “Come on mom.  Don’t use Dad’s name in vein like that.”

“Then Don’t shit on his last name by being a druggie.  I’m no fool Wilson, I know what pot smells like on your clothes!  Just because I haven’t caught you yet doesn’t mean I’m not going to warn your ass.  Stay away from trouble.”

The berating from the other room in their small apartment continued as Wilson got ready.  He had a couple of apples in his pack, a book and a small hand scale.  He also threw in a new spray bottle of deodorant which he hoped would freshen his clothes a bit

Mom was a total drag, but so was the idea of having to find someplace new to live.

And it wasn’t like Mom was able to give him anything that his job could.  Ever since Dad had died, she struggled.  She struggled so badly that she didn’t notice how the fridge rarely had anything in it or how the pantry was almost always empty.  Forget nice things, his part time job, as he had come to think of it, paid for the clothes on his back and the food in his stomach.  It took the pressure off of mom.  That was his gift to her and it would work as long as she could kid herself that it wasn’t so.

“I’ll be back by ten Mom!  I’ll do my homework at the library.”

“You make sure you do.  School is the only way you are going to make it.”

The lecture continued, but it was unnecessary.  Wilson had no intention of having crap grades.  Besides, school was easy.  They literally told you what to do!  Just do that and you pass, at least.  Only fools flunk, and Wilson was no fool.

He grabbed his hat and stuffed his afro into it.  Thank dad for his white guy hair that prevented him from having legitimate dreadlocks.  He clamped it down tight and went through the door, ignoring his mother’s sad voice behind him.

Like all brownstones, the elevator was suspect, so Wilson took the stairs.  The rhythm of pat pat pat thump, pivot, repeat was a balm from childhood, when dad was around.  It brought a smile to his face which lasted until he went through the front door.  He put on a street face and hopped down the front steps of the tenement.  A right at the sidewalk had him walking toward the bodega and his first pickup of the day.

He was no fool.  It was drugs.  Neatly packaged in little plastic vials with syringes and even instructions.  The Orange Overlord himself had mandated the packaging.  He wanted his junkies alive.

Along with that was something that was actually more problematic to Wilson – a half pound of herb.  That is what Mom could smell and he kept it tightly wrapped and in the bag.  His supplier rang up a customer as if he hadn’t just handed Wilson a couple hundred dollars’ worth of vice.  Wilson kept it as cool as if it were just cheese like the wrapper said.  If the customer thought anything of it, if their skittles were suddenly more interesting than they likely should have been, no one cared.  It was all cool.  Wilson would hit the park and turn these into cash.  Maybe he’d go back and get another front from the bodega and try to turn that before hitting the library for real.  Weekends were a good time to try to hit a double.

Lost in his thoughts, he didn’t notice the van pull up ahead of him and park.  He didn’t think twice when the side door opened, and a guy got out and stepped onto the sidewalk.  He did, however, notice when Trevor got out of the passenger’s seat and turned to face him.

“Wilson.  So good to see you.”

“Oh.  Hi … Mr. Trevor… Sir.”

“Are you surprised that I know your name Wilson?  You shouldn’t.  You’re one of the not so stupid ones.”

“Um.  Yeah, that’s me.” He looked into the van and in the dark of the blacked-out windows, he could see two other of the gang he sold with tied up with tape on their mouths.  Fear in their eyes.

“You can see, Wilson, that we’ve been busy.  Your friends are, unfortunately, not as bright as you.”

Wilson’s heart raced.  His vision tunneled.  He wanted to run.  But Trevor was right, he wasn’t stupid.  “Any way I can just give you the bag?   I’d rather not get my ass kicked.”

Trevor nodded.  “Yeah, we’ll take the bag, Wilson, but you’ll be coming along as well.

He looked into the back at his friends.  “I don’t guess I can just sit in the back and do my homework?”

The man that had gotten out of the side of the van made to take the bag and Wilson did not resist.

“It will be a short trip, but the tape is optional, provided you stay quiet.”  Trevor grinned as he put his hand on his shoulder and led him to the back of the van.  “The handcuffs, I’m afraid, are not.  I’m sure you can understand our caution.”  Wilson sat next to his friend who was bound hands and feet with tape and tape over his mouth.  He was spared that treatment, but the other man held him.  Trevor continued to speak through the door.  “As far as the homework, you will have plenty of time on your hands.  And really, I insist.  Idle hands are the devil’s workshop after all.”  The van door slammed shut, leaving Wilson in darkness.


Donnie’s lab was the same mess it had been the night before.

“What did you talk me into, Donnie?” Rog immediately started playing with stuff and stopped as soon as Donnie gave him a horrified look.  “I take it this shit is dangerous?”

“Unbelievably.  Look Rog, just find a seat.  And what I’ve gotten you into is the only thing that will keep Red from killing you.  You don’t understand, she is ruthlessly efficient and has absolutely no morals.”

“Oh that can’t be right.  All chicks are the nurturing type.  It has something to do with their girl parts.”

Donnie squinted.  “What?  … Actually I don’t want to know.  Just … you are wrong.  Red …”

“What she doesn’t have girl parts?”

Donnie looked towards the ceiling and sighed.  “I’m sure I don’t know with accuracy, but I’m going to guess she has girl parts.  Don’t touch that!” Donnie took the cylinder from Rog’s hands.  “Jesus, dude, didn’t we just cover how some stuff in here is incredibly dangerous?”



“You said it was unbelievably dangerous.”


“Well, I maybe can believe anything this small is dangerous, so it can’t be unbelievably dangerous.  So I guess I can just handle it with the caution I know it should take to handle it safely.”

Donnie shook the cylinder.  “This and just about everything in this lab is incredibly dangerous or fragile or both.  So, don’t touch anything unless I tell you to, ok?”

“Yeah.  Got it.”  He looked up.  “Should you be shaking that like that?”

Donnie looked up, went white and then gently put the cylinder into a form fitting foam case.  He put a note on it and then turned to Rog.  “I will need to measure you.  You don’t happen to know your measurements, do you?”

“What, like for a tux?”

“Yes, exactly.  That would be perfect!”

“Nope.  I mean, I know i got measured once but I’ll be damned if I remembered it.”

“Damn.  What were you measured for?”

“Combat armor.  We got some cool stuff when I suited up for bomb tech.”

“You were a demolitions expert?”

“Assistant.  Had a few go up pretty close to me too.  You think rock concerts are loud!”

Donnie shook his head.  “Ok fine. I still need your measurements.  And this stuff is going to be pretty exact because the suit has to be able to bend with you yet remain stiff.”

Rog raised an eyebrow.  That sounds impossible.  Moves and doesn’t move.”

“The Orange Overlord did a lot of impossible things and now that suit will have to do the same.  Come on, let’s get started.”

Minions – NaNoWriMo Day 6 – Building Your Beast

[Author’s Note: You know, posting on wordpress is really not that hard, yet I seem to be finding every possible way to FUCK IT UP on this project.  Oh well, getting back on par with this part.  Now all I have to do is stay on the beam and tell a story.  No sweat, eh?

Hope you all are enjoying the ride.

Stay Weird


Minions – NaNoWriMo Day 4 – So Why Don’t We Use the Suit?

Rog sat back.  “So, you don’t have the suit?  He has it?”

Donnie put his hand out in front of the bewildered Rog.  “Dude.  There is no suit at all.  It’s a trick.  An illusion.  It’s something the Orange Overlord created to hide himself.  It does protect him from close in things, but that’s just because it’s a very short range force field.  The power is with him.”

“Ok, Ok.  Fine.  But ok, hear me out.  Why don’t you just put someone else into the suit?”

“Oh, for the love of God!” Red shouted out.  “Donnie, are you sure we can’t kill him? I want to shoot him again.”

“Why are you all so pissed?  Put someone in the suit and … I don’t know… knock over a bank or something.  Solves your problems!”

“And how would it do that?” The mystic called out.  “What the hell do we need with money?”

The older woman put in, “We’ve got plenty of money.  We’re currently in a very good cash position.”

“Ok, then.  Not a bank.  Maybe go beat up some cops.”

“But there isn’t a suit you dumb fucker!”

“So?” Rog shot back to Red.  “And who are you calling a fucker?  We ain’t that close yet, though I’m willing to put you on a fast track.”

Red pulled her sleek white gun and Rog said ” Here we go again.”

“This time can you shoot him in the head?  The morphology of the darts would be totally different if introduced into the cerebral-spinal fluid as opposed to being blood borne!”

The room was suddenly quiet as everyone looked at Doctor Lorenzo.  He shrugged.  “Didn’t want a good opportunity to go to waste.  You know… research?”

Everyone was quite an awkward moment until Rog spat, “Remind me to kick your ass later, doc.”

Donnie stood up and put his hands out.  “Hold on.  Let’s take it easy.  Red, I think I understand Dumbass here.  There is no reason why we couldn’t make a suit.  I can make a suit.”

“You can do that?” Red and Nasim said almost simultaneously.  Heads around the room nodded.

“Well, not really.  I can make something that looks like the suit.  That part’s easy.  Making it work is the tough part.  In theory, I can make a robot.  I think.  But There’s a lot that can go wrong.  I definitely need to limit any signals that could be traced to the bot.  the Orange Overlord never did that, so I can’t.”

Red looked at Rog down the barrel of her gun, but then thought of it and holstered it.  “What about capabilities.  We can’t just drop a statue somewhere and say ‘here you go!'”

Dan picked up a tablet and started to scribble on it.  “I’m…  Anyone got any paper?  this thing… I need paper.”

“Just, what do you think you might be able to do, Donatello?” Red used his full name and it seemed to slap him.

“I…” He looked into her fierce eyes and shook his head.  “If there is a pilot, maybe I can make it walk, talk sounding like the big O and maybe fly a little?  I need time.”

“You’ve got a week, max.  Things haven’t started to turn ugly out there, but it’s inevitable.  Ted has his first pre-trial in a week.”

“So we’re telling him to not guilty?” Nasim said, lifting his ring.

“Yep.  Red said. “Rog, as remarkable as it is, is right about this.  We throw up enough doubt and they will let him off.  What do the lawyers say he’s saying?”

“They say he hasn’t said anything.  Not to the cops.  Not to them.  Not to anyone.” Nasim shook his head.  “He’s not in good shape.”

“Well tell him we’re going to get him out of there and to sit tight.  Donnie?” Donnie’s head shot up at the mention of his name.  “Make the suit.  If you need a pilot…” she pointed at Rog “There’s your man.  I’m not putting anyone who isn’t expendable in that thing and make sure it’s got a suicide switch.”  Rog shot Red a look.  ” Congratulations, Rog.  You’ve found your job.”

Rog looked from Donnie to Red and then at his hands.  “I still don’t get why they can’t just use the suit.”

Minions – NaNoWriMo Day 5 – Totally Screwing up my Posts!

[Author’s note: This one is short.  Likely the next one is also going to be short as I haven’t even started.  You see, I’m painting.  If that isn’t explanation enough, you’ve never painted over stubbornly colorful walls before.

Thanks for reading.  I’m finding this energizing, though a little hard to manage.  Hope you are enjoying it as well.

Stay Weird


Minions – NaNoWriMo Day 3 – Off on a Jog

The beer sat awkwardly in Rog’s stomach.  He paced the room and though it was nice, he couldn’t help but feel caged.  Not that he cared about being caged, as long as the cage was nice, but he wasn’t in the mood for it.

He tried the door and was surprised to find it open.  Not only that, it wasn’t much of a door.  A single good kick could have broken the thing to pieces even if he’d had a key that could have locked the thing.  At this point, the best he could do was lock himself out by doing the knob and only stupid people did that.

He was off down the hall before he’d reconsidered.  Donnie was right, this really was like a hotel, right down to the weird wall mounted light things, the stripped wall paper and the carpet that hid stains in the patterns.  It even had that rigidly air-conditioned feel to the place.

Not letting the weirdness get to him, he thought “hotel” and followed the hallway to where an elevator would be.  He didn’t find one, but he did find stairs.  Going down, he found himself in a polished stone and concrete lobby that would have been nice had all the windows not terminated in raw stone instead of sky.

“You like it?”

His head whipped around, and he saw Red in the same kind of track suit he currently wore.  “Uh… It’s freaky.”

Red nodded.  “Yeah, I can see that.  But Ted liked this kitschy little hotel he stayed in in South America and he wanted to recreate it here for the living quarters.”

“That’s…” Rog blew out a sigh, “That’s a little much, don’t you think?”

“Yeah.  And to be fair, we were half way through doing it when he said he would have been happy with a rough outline using the layout and just getting it done, but we’d already gotten the original architects and the managers…”

“And that’s crazy.  Why the hell do that?”

Red stopped looking around at the lobby and faced him.  “Because we can.  Or could.  Look, the moment you stop doing things to impress people, and this installation is quite impressive, you haven’t seen the pool yet, the moment you give that up is the moment that people think they can take you for granted.  Ted…”

“The Orange Overlord, you mean…”

Red demurred.  “Of course.  The Orange Overlord, for all his power, was always punching up but he always had to make his opponent think he was punching down.  That is the real key to success.  Ted brought it with him from his business.”

“And you buy that?”

“I took it and ran with it.  And speaking of running, I was going to get in a jog before turning in.  I take it Donnie didn’t show you the gym?”

Rog smiled.  “I’m not sure Donnie is the gym type.”

“No.  But he is brilliant.  Losing that mind would have been a real shame.  I don’t believe I thanked you for preventing his brain damage.  Lorenzo said he was very close to a cerebral hemorrhage.”

“Yeah, well, it’s the job.”

Red nodded.  “You are still thinking about your fare, aren’t you.”

“Kinda.  It’s a little hard to shift gears.”

“Well, that’s fine.  We’ll find a use for you or you’ll be eliminated and won’t have to worry about it.”

Rog stopped walking.  “What?”

“It’s nothing personal.  It’s just that this,” and she waved her hand around, “is a conspiracy.  If we had a bunch of people walking around with knowledge of it, we’d never be able to keep it secret.  And the Orange Overlord is a villain and owns the police in any jurisdiction that matters so, yeah.” She pointed out the door to a larger chamber beyond.  “Gym and track are right out there.  Come on.”

They ran in silence around the track.  Apparently in the original building, this was a walkway around the perimeter of the pool deck.  In this replica, the walls were made of rough-hewed stone and the path was a two-lane, cushioned AstroTurf track that went around a gym pagoda, past the pool, also cut into the stone, and then around the hotel building its self, including an out-building restaurant-come-kitchen and a roundabout for golf carts.  It was all very impressive.

“How many people live here?”

“Right now?  We have a full compliment of a dozen.  It’s just the people who are in the know.  We have people who supply the building when we are in lockdown elsewhere.”

“Again, seems like a waste.”

Red panted and kept jogging.  Rog didn’t even sweat.  “You wouldn’t think it was a waste when we were calling up the Orange Accords and the entire US delegation was living here.  It was damned impressive and useful.  Plus, we’ve hosted villain conferences and at one point jailed two entire teams of supposed heroes here.  These walls are thick and I bet you didn’t even notice the blast doors.”

“Hang on, you imprisoned heroes here?”

“Yes.  Ted wanted the world to think they were dead. And the Villains are way easier to mobilize if you give them some perks.”

“You’re crazy.”

“I live in crazy times.”

“Yeah, and I was walking around here to try to not feel like a prisoner.”

“How’d that work out?”

“Well, I no longer feel like I’m in a prison.  Now I feel like I’m in an asylum.”

Red started to unzip her track suit and made her way to the pool, leaving Rog behind.  “Maybe you aren’t so stupid after all.” She shucked the jacket, revlaling a one piece swimsuit and a lithe body.  “Go get some rest Rog.  We’re meeting again in seven hours.”

“Why seven hours?”

“Becuase Ted gets arraigned in eight.”




Lucius woke with a jolt.  His purpose from the night before had crystalized in his sleep.  It was clear, and sharp and like all sharp things, it’s edge cut.

Breakfast was hurried and done.  Marsha was up and over to his cousin’s apartment next door before he even thought about it, his wife Marcy having already braided her hair the night before.  The purpose put blinders on him.  Though his family mattered, the purpose *had* him.

“You ok, Lou?” Marcy asked.

“What?”  He shook his head.  “Um, yeah.  Yeah, Marcy, just distracted is all.  By this Orange Overlord thing.”

“Nothing but good news I think.  Maybe now they will clean up those drug dens and get some of those other factories going.   Maybe people won’t have to work for the Overlord any more.”

“Yeah.  But I think it’s more than that.  I’m… Marcy, do you believe in me?”

She squinted and gave him the side eye.  “What kind of question is that?”

“No, really.” He looked into her yes.  “Really, I need to know.  Becuase I think I got some things to say to people, some things that other people may not like, but I think they are the right things to say.  Do you believe in me?”

Marcy leaned forward and put her hand on his.  “Lucius, I believe in you.  If you think you need to get something off your chest, go for it.  Just don’t get killed or fired.”

Lucius smiled.  “You’re my rock, Marcy.”

“Yeah, well.  I’ll use that rock to beat in your head if you loose your job.  Is this why you are up so early?”

“Yeah.  I wanted to have my thougts lined up.  Wanted to know what I wanted to say.”

Marcy again looked skeptical.  “Ok.  Look, I’m going to be out wiht your cousin and the little one until five.  You can tell me how it went, that cool?  And is Max in this with you?”

“Kinda.  A little.  We talked about this last night.”

She nodded.  “Max knows how to get people riled, all right.  Ok, well.  Just let me know if you need help with anything.”

“Thanks.  I promise I won’t let you down.”

“Let me down?  Honey, you’ve never let me down.”

“And I aim to keep my promises.”




Red stormed into the room.  Rog recognized it as the same room where he’d been shot, and it didn’t make him terribly comfortable.

“Please, Rog, Take a seat.” She said, seeing him lurking in the shadows.  “Everyone, I’d like to introduce Rog.  You all met him briefly yesterday and he’s decided to join our little team.”

“Uh, Hi.” Rog said as everyone looked at him sitting down.  “Hi.”

“Rog, this is Dr. Lorenzo, the person you have to thank for the paralysis darts.”

“So how are you feeling, Rog?”

“Like someone shot me with melting freaking darts, Doc.” he said

“I was wondering if I could run some testes.  I’ve never been able to witness the metabolism of the darts because… well, usually they are pretty pissed off.”

“Yeah, I can understand where they are coming from.”

Red interrupted.  “This is Annabell, our financial and corporate wizard” Red gestured to an unassuming older woman with glasses and curly hair.

“Glad to meet you Rog.”

“Yeah, well I’m kinda…”

At that point a man in a turban and robe flew into the room.  “Red, they moved up the arrangement by twenty minutes and the lawyers are asking for guidance.  Are we really considering pleading down?”

“Rog, Nasim.  Other intros can wait.”

“You are the guy who immobilized me with my eyes open.  Do you have any idea how bad it hurts to have your eyes dry out like that?”

“Am I supposed to care?”

“Shut it!” Red said.  Turning to Nasim, she asked, “You can still talk to them?”

“The ring of far speech will let me talk to them undetected.”

Looking up at the people around the room, Red said, “Here’s the deal.  Ted pleads out he can leverage the Orange Accords to try to get immunity, maybe get extradited to Suriname, which was his backup plan anyway.  Or we go not guilty and make them prove that he’s the Overlord.  If they do, he dies.”

Annabel spoke up.  “I’d think Ted would rather have a chance to win and a quick exit if he loses.  I go not guilty.”

“Yeah, but they had him dead to rights,” A voice Rog didn’t know said.  How could there be any doubt?”

“Nasim.  Ted has always lacked a motive for the actions of the Orange Overlord.  If they hadn’t pulled him from that pile of rubble that had fallen on the Orange Overlord, then no one would have ever believed they were one and the same.  We’ve certainly kept his secret.”

Rog spoke to Donnie, but his voice carried further than he wanted.  “Why don’t you just have someone else wear the suit and bust him out of jail?”

Red spoke up.  “What was that?”

Before Rog could answer Donnie replied.  “There isn’t a suit.”

“What do you mean, there isn’t a suit?  That’s like, the most elemental thing about the orange overlord is that he’s got this kinda armor that projects a forcefield. I’m a dumbass and even I know that!”

“But I’m telling you, there is no suit.”


Red rolled her eyes.  “Rog, he’s telling you that there is no suit.  How many times do you need it repeated.”

Rog looked back and forth between the two.  “Are we talking about the same guy here?”

“It’s not a suit.  The armor is mystical in nature.” Nasim said.  “He brings it forth around his body through his mystic power to hide his identity and channel his otherworldly force.”

Minions – NaNoWriMo Day 4 – So Why Don’t We Use the Suit?

[Author’s note:  This was a terrible way to end this section, but it was getting late, my mind was starting to fuzz and I had Cub Scouts in the morning. Priorities, you know.

Hope you’re enjoying the show.  I’m already itching to give this an editing pass but down that road lies madness.  Only another 27 days of first drafts to go until I get a shot.

Please consider liking and following if you find this to be amusing.  It’s helpful to both keep going here and in general with the other stories I have not forgotten I’m neglecting.  After I rip up some carpet and paint a wall, I may give that the attention it deserves.

Stay Weird


Minions – NaNoWriMo Day 2 – First Night

Across town, a day, the first day without the Orange Overlord, had passed.  The mood was cautious.  People were suspicious.

“Man, I don’t get it.” Lucius said to Maxwell as they both sat on the step to the row house.  “I mean, how do the cops have the Overlord?  The Overlord Owns the cops.”

“Not without his power suit, he don’t” Max said, taking a pull off the bottle.

“Maybe, but that’s not what the law says.  Don’t you read the papers?  They settled with his ass, what was it, five years ago?  More?  That shit didn’t say anything about a power suit.”

Max handed another bottle to Lucius.  “Didn’t say anything about that potato looking bastard they got at the station house either.  It’s an agreement with the Orange Overlord – in quotes.”

“Oh, so now you’re a lawyer or something?”

“I read the papers.  Actually, I read that shit on my phone.”

“The internet man,” Lucius opened the beer and took a swig.  “Shit’l rot your mind.”

“So, what do you think should happen?  We been paying the tax man.  Tax man gives that shit to the big O.”

“Man, I don’t know.  All I know is I want my money back from that if he’s really in the joint, man.  My baby girl needs that money, not the city, not the state and not some washed up potato-looking jackass.”

“You thinking of doing something young blood?”

Lucius looked off across the street at the amber color of the streetlamp.  “I just might be thinking.” He took a long draw off the bottle.  “Yeah.  I just might.”




“Are you telling me that the cops surrendered?” Having taken a shower, Rog now walked around the rather spacious living accommodations Donnie had given him.  The track suit looked ridiculous, but it was clean.

Donnie shook his head then winced at the pain.  Holding his face in his hands he said, “It happened six years ago.  How is it you are just finding out about this?”

Rog found an apple in the kitchenette and a knife.  He tossed the apple up in the air and caught it on the tip of the knife with a smile.  “Ah, well you see, me and the past don’t get along so well.  When they checked me out of the Marines they said I had too many concussions, but I don’t think I ever cared about yesterday if it didn’t bother me.”

“But it’s the Orange Overlord.  The supreme ruler of the quad city and the buffer.  The Orange Accords?  ring a bell?”

“Nah.  I think that all happened about the time I was coming back into civilian life.  Not much of that registered.  There’s about a year and a half that all I remember was taking Molly every week.  Guess it helped, but … Anyway, fill me in.”

Donnie rolled his eyes.  “All right.  Hey, can you get me a water?  Top shelf – fridge.”

“Two bucks.”

“We’re giving you this apartment for free and stocking the fridge.”

“Yeah, I know.  Just wanted to see what you’d do.” He opened the fridge.  “Hey!  Beer!”

“Yeah, go easy for right now.  Red’s probably going to call us in sooner than later.”

“And she can say Hi to my buzz.” Rog handed him the water bottle.  “So, again, what do you mean they surrendered?”

“Well, the Orange Overlord came in about ten years ago.  He started big, by killing Captain Courageous.”

“Wasn’t he a fake hero guy, like for the kids?”

“No, but he was a one trick pony.  Slightly more powerful than a normal man, bullet proof, had a club and was really fast.  He mostly did public appearances, though, you’re right.  One day, the Big O just squished him in his force field.  No job, no speech, no nothing.  Just killed the guy.

“Of course, there was an uproar.  Captain Courageous was the hero to a lot of kids in the city and it was like the orange overlord had just outed Santa as an elf pedo.”

Rog smirked at the joke and sat down at the table.  He took a sip of his beer as Donnie continued.

“It went on like that for a while.  The Overlord did senseless crimes.  Always violent.  The Psychics got feedback damage if they tried to touch him that way and his forcefield took care of most things at a distance.  The armor protected him against anything that got close.”

Donnie leaned back and flipped his hands in resignation.  “Finally, the city had enough.  And it wasn’t like there were any more heroes to fight him.  He either hurt them or ignored them, though courageous was the only one he outright killed.  Lots of property damage, though.  Lots of people hurt.  A few people died, but mostly from knock on effects from the super battles.  The Big O mobilized non-powered criminals to hold ground – used gangs against each other to expand his reach.  Any time the cops tried to shut down his guys, he’d show up and smash up the cop cars and lift their guns right out of their holsters.  Anyway, the city had enough.  They negotiated a settlement.  The Orange Accords. Where the Orange Overlord would get a stipend, be able to keep territory and even serve as law enforcement, flipping the gang idea on its head.  In exchange, the municipality would be able to continue.  Property rights were preserved, businesses could function, and things would go on as normal.  Strictly speaking, even the things that were illegal were still illegal, it’s just that the Overlord could selectively enforce – and of course, get a cut.”

Rog pointed at Donnie with the hand holding the beer. “And that right there don’t make no sense.”

“What do you mean?”

“If this orange overlord is actually the guy that owns Flanderal, what the hell does he need the chump change from Drug dens and whore houses?  Seems kinda … smalltime.”

Donnie nodded. “You aren’t seeing the whole picture.  Flanderal is a manufacturing and technology company.  We make phones and weapons.  That’s actually where I came from.  I’m one of Ted’s top product men.  One day I got whisked off here and I’ve been here ever since.”

“Didn’t nobody notice you gone?”

Donnie rolled his eyes.  “Look at me.  You think girls were lining up to date me?  After my Mom died, work was all I had.  Erasing me from existence was trivial for Red.  She’s really good at that kind of thing.”

“Yeah, and I bet she could suck a golf ball through a garden hose with those pulled in cheeks and Jagger lips.”

“I, uh… I wouldn’t talk to Red like that.”

“Well no shit.  She’s a dame.  You don’t talk to dames like that.”

“That’s not it.  She’s the Orange overlord’s right hand.  Beyond Ted there was no one else who existed in both Flanderal and in the Orange Overlord realm as much as Red.  She’s no joke and will disappear you forever.”

“So, not worth the chance of a blow job, eh?”

Donnie smirked.  “I warn you and you are an adult.”

“Yeah… ”

The conversation hit a lull and they both drank from their bottles.

“So, what happens now?”

“Now?” Donnie said, getting up.  “Now I’m going back to my apartment – just up the hall – I’m going to eat a lasagna, take some of the doctor’s miracle ‘don’t have a stroke’ pills and go to sleep unless Red pulls us all in for a late night.”

“Miracle pills?”

“Yeah.  It’s Doctor Lorenzo, the mad scientist?  Remember him?”

“You know, I think that’s where the VA got the idea for all the Molly I took.  You got him on staff?”

“Yeah.  The Orange Overlord took a few hits in his rise to power. He captured Lorenzo from the Matrix Masters and put him to work here fixing his body.  You’ll catch up with him eventually.”

“Yeah ok.  So, this is like evil genius summer camp or something?  Everybody got a room?”

“Yep.  And it’s more like a hotel.  The only reason we’re all here is because the shit has it the fan.  I had them leave you some food, by the way.  Pulled pork.  Hope you aren’t Muslim.”

“Nah, ain’t got time for that God stuff.”

“Because you are clearly a man of pursuits.”

Rog leaned back in his chair.  “I peruse cold beer, hot women and sticky buds.  The occasional pulled pork kinda slides right in there, though, thanks.”

“You’re welcome.  If we live so long, we can work up some buds too.”


“Yeah,” he said pulling the door open. “Who do you think distributes the shit?  The Orange Overlord literally employs every drug dealer and gang banger in the Quad cities.”

“Well that is a hookup!  But what happens now that he’s out of the picture?”

“I have a feeling Red will address that tomorrow.  Get some sleep.”




In Barkley, the smallest of the quad cities, young men gathered to discuss business.

“Gentlemen,” The one in front said, “I believe it is time to consider the current situation.”

Across the table another man, nowhere near as well dressed spoke up.  “What do you have going on Trevor?”

“Nothing short of a war.  You boys ready to go to war?”

They all looked at each other.  “Not really.  Who do we have a beef with? We’ve kept our territory.  The Makos are running the girls.  We’re running the protection.  The Snakes are running the drugs.  It’s all good.”

“Yeah, but think.  Why are the Snakes running the drugs?  Why can’t we?  Why can’t we run the girls, make the books, supply the knockoffs and the tax free smokes?  Why aren’t we doing payday loans?”

Finally, from down the table someone said, “I see where you are going Trevor.  The answer is because the Orange Overlord would kick our asses, but the Overlord ain’t here no more.  That’s a good argument, but it still doesn’t mean we can just roll up on the Snakes or the Crimsons and take their shit.”

“Why not?  Because, gentlemen, whether you think we should or not, one of those fuckers will get the bright idea of trampling on turf that isn’t theirs.  They will trample, and it might be our turf they turn to first, or next.”

“So?  The one thing we’ve got is muscle.  They come at us, we kick some ass.”

“Unless,” Trevor smiled, raising a finger.  “Unless we kick some ass first.  Strike at the time of our choosing, rather than reacting.  Gentlemen, it’s a whole new era here in the quad cities.  If we want to keep our corner of it, we will have to vertically integrate, which means some suckers will either be getting on the train or getting run over by it.”

Trevor looked out at the dozen young men, their pasty faces frightened, then cowed and now congealing into determined and nasty.  When the time ripened, he continued.  “Ok, so here’s what we’re going to do.”

Minions – NaNoWriMo Day 3 – Off on a Jog

[Author’s note: Day 2 and things are already squirming out of the box.  Lucius, Max, Trevor or any of the hangers on didn’t exist two hours ago, but they are here now!  I think this bit went a little better than yesterday, but this might be kinda hard to keep up all month.  We’ll see.  I’m already seeing continuity screw ups I’ll have to spackle over later.  Oh well.  FIRST DRAFT!!!! W00t!

Hope you are enjoying the ride and if you are, votes on top web fiction, likes and follows are soothing to the soul.  Hm.  That got personal, didn’t it?  Oh well, these words don’t count so stay weird and stay tuned.


Minions – NaNoWriMo Day 1 – When You Gotta Go

[Author’s note: I’m taking a risk here by putting out an unedited block of the story.  Not only does it mis-hit more than a few jokes that could have gotten more lead-in (the dry eye thing in particular didn’t work at the first draft), but there’s the idea of ruining the story for the reader.  But, I highly doubt anyone gives a shit, will give a shit, will want to pay for this, publish it or anything else, so here’s the story as it’s being written.  If nothing else, it is an example of how I do a vomit draft and can serve as an example for other people doing vomit drafts that their stuff isn’t any worse than anyone else’s.  And I didn’t edit that last sentence either.

Hope you find this fun.  I’ll be posting through november and hopefully this manuscript will eventually be edited to be a real book.  Or not.  Tomorrow never knows.

Stay Weird


Rog’s head hurt.  For a moment he was concerned that he couldn’t see.  Then he was absolutely concerned that he could not move.

“Mph Fwrk” he said through lips held closed by some mysterious source.  Through a wall or something he could hear voices.

“Is he awake?”

“It’s really hard to tell, Red.  His thoughts are…”


“Well they are just kind of stupid.  I think he’s awake.  He’s concerned about the spell, but the framework of his concern seems…”

“Whatever, he’s awake.”  The Woman opened the door as she spoke, striding into the brightening room.  “Good morning.”  The woman’s smile was just for show.  Rog smelled trouble.

“Mwrph” he said back.  Rog realized he was lying on a cot.  His eyes were, in fact open, and he could see fine.  What he still couldn’t do was move.

“Can you loosen up the spell on his mouth.  I’d like to talk to our guest.”

Rog’s mouth popped open and he gasped.  “Ahhh.  You know, it’s a good thing that it’s fall and not spring, boy.  I get terrible hay fever.”

The redheaded woman looked back to the person at the door, who Rog couldn’t see, and then back.  “And this is a concern to me… why?”

“That trick with my mouth.  If I was hella congested, you might have killed me or something.”

The redhead looked at him, puzzled.  “You are here, immobile, and after how you got here you are … I … hm…”  The woman walked back to the door and closed it.  The lights went out again.

Rog could hear rustling in the hall and some voices, but they stayed quiet.

“Hey!  Hey!  I gotta pee.  Hey!”  He yelled.  After no one responded he said.  “Ah.  Never mind.  Just bring a sponge or something.”  Again nothing.

He’d started to think about taking a nap when the door opened again, and the light came on.

“Dude.  He’s been immobile all this time?”  It was Donnie’s voice.  At least he thought it was Donnie’s He hadn’t been in good shape the only time he saw the guy so it’s hard to tell.

“You know I can hear you, right?”

“Oh hey!  Yeah.”

Donnie and the Redhead came to where he could just see them.  “You know Donnie, I don’t see why we’re even bothering.”

“You’re bothering because boy are you guys in trouble!  And it’s getting worse by the minute!”

They both looked at him.  Donnie with a puzzle and Red with a smirk.  “How do you figure?” She asked.

“Well for one thing, I got the meter on.  Limo ain’t cheap and while I was helping your boy here get to his meeting I was on the clock.  Totally legit.  Like waiting on a fare, you know?”

“No, I’m not… ”

“Yeah, and I figure I been out for at least an hour…”

“Better part of a day, really,” Donnie said.

“A day!  Oh boy.  You guys screwed it.  After 12 hours I’m double time!  Keeps people from using short term limos as their own personal drivers, you know.  We got rules about this shit and I’m union!  You don’t fuck with the union.”  He looked at them, then tried unsuccessfully to blink.  “you guys are screwed.”

Red looked at the man as if addressing a child.  “Ok look, as fascinating as this is, Donnie, please tell me why this guy isn’t going down the memory hole?”

Donnie fiddled with his hands.  “Well, I feel like I kinda owe him.  He kept me from getting seriously hurt.”

“Yeah.  And about that.  What are you doing, going off like that?”

He shrugged.  I wanted to play pool.  Guess I was too good for those guys.”

Red scrunched her face.  “We will buy a pool table.  We have some considerable problems now and we can’t have people going off.  At the very least you should have had some muscle with you.  It’s a good thing we have a tracker for you.”

“One of *my* trackers.  Yeah.” Donnie said, a little defensively.

“You guys know I’m right here.  And my eyes are really fucking uncomfortable.  I would really like to blink now.”

To the door she said, “Hey, you can let him have his head.”

“Argh!” Rog closed his eyes and it was like sandpaper.  “My eyes … feel … like a Dead show.  Visine!”

Red rolled her eyes.  “So, this is some kind of blood debit, Donnie?”

“You make that sound dumb. I just feel like I owe him is all.  Doc said I’d be dead if I hadn’t gotten to him, much less taken a few more hits.”

“Well I’m stuck with him now.” Red sighed.  “This day just … ugh.”

“Does this mean you gonna pay my fare?”

“I think so?” Donnie questioned, looking at Red.

Red turned, her long straight hair flying with the twist.  “Well, about that.  You see… you know that nice lady that dispatched you and gave you the tracker?”

“Nice lady?  Gladys is the biggest bitch I’ve ever met!”

“Well she’s had an accident.  Ran off the freeway and into a pole.  Terribly sad.  Freak mechanical failure.”

“No shit.  Well that boyfriend of hers was a mechanic.  Kept tinkering with the cars around the shop.  Probably fucked that up.  I wonder if he feels bad or relieved?”

“Hm.  Well yeah.  And you know Mr. Randal, the owner of your limo company?  Yeah, his house had a fire.  I’m afraid he died of asphyxiation. Another… accident.”  She drew out that last word, sounding ominous.

“Yeah, well, he always was a cheap ass.  Probably didn’t change the smoke detector batteries when you fall back like they say you should.  He was a cheap ass like that.”  Rog hung his head. “Little sad though.  How’s the dog?”


“He had a dog.  One of those yappy little things don’t like nobody but his owner.”

“I … ” She squinted at Rog.  “Exactly how dumb are you?”

He flinched, screwed up his face and then looked around.  “On what scale?”

“I’m sorry?”

“What’s the scale?  I mean, there’s Einstein on one end and a rock on the other.  We going metric here or what?”

The redhead shut her eyes and shook her head.  “Just… Shut up.”

“Ok, but you’re getting my fare, right?”

“Donnie.  He’s your puppy.  Get him a room and get him out of my way.  We’re in lockdown until we know what’s going on with Ted.”  She stormed out of the room.

The two men looked at each other.  “You look like shit.” Rog said.

Donnie looked down and then up.  “And you look like you pissed yourself.”

“Hey, I told them I had to go.”

“Yeah, whatever.  Come on.  Can you walk?”

Rog sniffed, gave a cocky grin and said “Yep” as he stood up and promptly fell on his face like a sack of loosely tied sausages.

“Oh geez!” Donnie said, moving to help him up.  He winced as he started to bend over and felt his head.  “Uh.  the doctor said I’m not supposed to bend over or do anything strenuous.  And helping you up is both.”  He looked at Rog trying to move.  The sloppy, sliding motions had no power behind them and he flopped, ragdoll like on the linoleum.

“Yeah, well, I thought this might be comfortable for a while.”

“There must be some residual paralysis from the spell or some toxin left from the darts.  Or maybe you just have your extremities asleep from not moving in so long.  If so you should start to feel the pins and needles in…”


“I guess about now.  Try to move around.”

“What?  Screw you pall!” Rog laid out on the floor and tried to hover, spread eagle.

“No, it will help.  I think.  That’s what I always do when my hands or legs fall asleep.”

“What so this shit happens to you often?”

“Well, I spend a lot of time in the lab not moving much so… yeah.”

Rog moved his thick, stumpy legs to lift his knees and threw his right hand onto his chest.  “RRRRRrrg  That’s kinda pathetic, dude!”

“Well, it’s a lifestyle choice.  Not all of us are the physical type!” Donnie put his fists on his fat hips. “I’m an intellectual!”

“Yeah, I can see that.”

“You know,” Donnie said in a high-pitched lilt. “I’m tempted to tell Red that she was right and that blood debits are kind of for pussies.”

“AAaaaarr.  Dude, don’t be a baby.” Rog managed to flop over, which made the wet spot on his pants all the more apparent.  “And what was she talking about with a lockdown?”

“Well, you heard all about our problems with our boss?”

“Yeah.  Orange overlord.  Meanest of the mean.  Got it.”

“Well you don’t got it.  We run Flanderal industries.  Ted’s company.  His legitimate company.”

“Your right.  I don’t got it.  The guy that owns Flanderal’s got to have serious bank.  Why is he fucking around being the Orange Overlord?”

“Well it’s complicated, but there are synergies between the two organizations.”

“Organizations?” Rog could finally start to sit up.  “What organization.  The Orange Overlord was just one guy.”

“One guy that controls territory.  you can’t hold turf without boots.  It’s impossible to be that powerful.  You simply can’t be everywhere.  There is a structure and the Orange overlord is at the top.”  Donnie got sad and looked to the side.  “Or at least he was.  And none of us are quite sure what’s going to happen now.”

“So.  Question time… Why aren’t the feds on your ass right now?”

Donnie smiled.  “There are a lot of layers to the ownership of things.  Ted was clearly the majority stockholder, but that could have just been coincidence.  Everything is highly compartmentalized.”

“Like a terrorist organization.”

“More like an army.  Don’t confuse criminal with sloppy.”

“All right.  Fine.” Rog got up on one knee and one hand and hoisted himself up on wobbly legs.  “Great.  So, you’re organized.  You still worked for a bad guy.”

Donnie looked up at him.  “Well, so did you.”

“Excuse me?” Rog squinted.

“Atlas limo.  A wholly owned subsidiary of Trinary transportation, which is owned by Confed delivery which is owned through an offshore shell company by Flandearal.  You work for the orange overlord.”

Rog smirked.  “Worked, you mean.”

“Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire?'”

As they left the room, Rog said, “Nah.  I don’t cook much.”

Minions – NaNoWriMo Day 2 – First Night