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isn't quite ashamed enough to present

jr conlin's ink stained banana

:: New Neighbor

He cleared his throat as the door opened and once, yet again read from script he held. “Greetings, new neighbor.” he stated, in a dull monotone that spoke more to how many times he had repeated that statement rather than any earnest joy at the encounter. “i am Dr. Horatio J. Skullcrusher, and it is both my pleasure and federally required mandate that i introduce myself to you and all other households in a 1 mile radius of my new and slash or prospective lair.”

Beatrice Thornapple wasn’t quite sure what to make of this announcement, but yelled at her chihuahua to pipe down anyway. She raised a well fed eyebrow and slowly started to ask, “Aren’t… you… a…”

“Why yes”, Dr. Skullcrusher continued as the tiniest hint of sarcasm easily escaped Beatrice’s attention, “i am a supervillain, and i wish to add that there are many current and recovering supervillans living in relative peace in neighborhoods much like this one. i will also add that under section 202, Paragraph 13, Subsection 21, willful acts of contempt or harassment toward a non-hostile or non-threatening individual classed as “supervillain” by the authorities, unless otherwise required by the state or community, are punishable by a $200 per incident fine.” Dr. Skullcrusher’s welding goggles clattered a bit as he rolled his eyes. His deft hands made turning the page easier than the heavy, black rubber gloves would belie.

Beatrice eyed Dr. Skullcrusher with a cautious eye as she skimmed the city approved paperwork shoved toward her. The diagrams were indecipherable and filled with minute print, but she could see her house was clearly in the chartreuse zone between the lavender quadrant and a spit of houses marked in turquoise. Honestly, the entire map of the neighborhood looked like it was colored in by a five year old tripping on LSD.
“What does this color mean?” she asked pointing toward the approximate area of her home.

Skullcrusher flipped the clipboard around to inspect the area. He flipped a few pages up, then cheerily said. “Ah, well, this zone will absolutely not have to worry about any lingering effects from radiation damage.” He smiled broadly.

“And this here lavender area?”

“Well, there will be absolutely no damage from cyborg armies in that area. i assure you, each zone is well protected against a threat.” He continued to smile broadly, knowing that Beatrice probably wouldn’t ask about the many and various threats that her house was absolutely not safe from. Say, cyborg armies, for instance.

“i suppose…” Beatrice began before being cut off.

“Now, if you’d be so kind, i do need you to sign here so that i can show the review board that we’ve met and you’re fine with the zoning change.”

“i’m not so…”

“And that’s why i’m offering a free DNA test. Would you like to see a stronger, healthier you in less than three months with absolutely no effort on your part? All i need is a sample of your DNA, just a bit of spit or a tiny prick of blood will do!” He positively beamed with delight. Or evil. It was hard for Beatrice to tell.

“Really? A healthier me?” She asked. She had been meaning to go to the gym for a while now.

“Oh, Definitely! Imagine watching the news and seeing yourself exceeding at martial arts and shooting lasers!”

“What will it cost me?” Beatrice cleverly thought to ask, having seen one too many financial episodes of Oprah.

“Not even a penny. Just a signature and a bit of DNA.”

“Well, i can’t see what harm that would do.” She signed the forms unaware of the sampling mechanism in the pen.

“Excellent. i’m glad we had this chance to meet.” Skullcrusher positively beamed with delight as he slipped the pen into a test tube and tightened the lid. “i’ll need to finish off this neighborhood soon. Enjoy the rest of your days.” He bowed and headed off whistling a merry tune.

:: Family History, Part 2

More Conlin Family History that i did not make up just now (maybe, ok, definitely). What follows, i have pieced together from local legends, family lore, and the recently discovered wall etchings at the Ros Comáin Home for the Unsettled)

Elias Bertrand Conlin made it his life’s mission to do something about the greatest act of evil ever perpetrated by one man against humanity. The senseless loss of millions of lives and the complete destruction of the island of Crete were well known and documented by the historians of the mid 1800’s to the point where no greater insult could be made in any language than to call another person a Minion of Brännakattungar.

When Elias was just ten, his father had taken him one summer on a solemn pilgrimage. For days, the train chugged past the fields of graves that nearly filled what remained of France, across the deserts of Northern Italy and finally south to Greece. Father paid the 80 drachma fare and they sailed to see the mighty clouds of steam rise above the Mediterranean where the ocean still lapped against the still cooling dome of raw mantel. At night, even 50 years later, Elias wrote how the sky glowed a faint orange and the smell of molten metal lingered in the breeze. It was a deeply disturbing experience for one so young, but much like the new granite it set Elias’ mind about what needed to be done.

He spent much of his adult life deep in studies of math and the new sciences that were cropping up around him. He journeyed to talk to the greatest minds, spent many a sleepless week pouring over thesis and tome, and during his travels, he spent time tinkering with gadgets and mechanisms of his own design. In his 50’s he spent what little money he had remaining on a one room apartment in Diakofti. For several days, he hauled crates, lengths of metal pipe, and chemicals into the apartment. Thick black cables snaked from the windows to a set of dynamos he secured in the courtyard. These droned with a regular thrum that made some of the older women of the village nervously cross themselves.

Not much is known of the night when lightning from the apartment struck the heavens. Men speak of how the dynamos shrieked like demons as the black diesel smoke billowed into the starry night. Children speak of the dancing curtains of green light that hung above the village. After the echos of the mighty shock has faded to the point where the frightened cries of the sheep could be heard, the bravest men of the village were met by Elias at his door. His service revolver, held limply by his side, still smoking.

“Is it there?” the blood splattered Elias cried to the shocked villagers. The men had no idea what Elias was talking about and stood, dumb, staring at the crazed foreigner. A cautious voice from the back of the crowd asked, “What?”

Elias angrily pushed his way past the ignorant farmers and ran outside. He started to smile when he no longer saw the hellish orange cloud on the horizon, then laughed joyfully when he spotted the distant lights of Crete on the horizon.

He bruskly grabbed one of the confused men who followed him to the shore. “Tell me what you know of Stephan Brännakattungar!” he demanded.

The villager, having overcome his shock, fired back at Elias. “Look, you, i don’t care who the hell that is, but your devilish contraption scared three of my sheep to death.” The other men joined his angry tirade with their own concerns and demands for reparations.

Elias stared at the men with his jaw slackened in surprise. Do these men not realize what he had just done? Do they actually believe that their livestock are more important that the rescue of millions? Elias felt his own blood boil and without a word stormed back to his apartment, slammed the door, and a second bolt of lightning cracked through the sky.

He re-emerged to the familiar sent of molten rock and faint orange sky and walked sternly up to the now significantly more Asian villagers. “There, are you happy?” Elias sneered.

“What? No, of course not.” The villagers cried. One of the refugees spoke up in broken Greek, “My home in Beijing, full of metal demons. i come here, with rest of family to start new life. Now you do same thing that destroy home. You Stop!”

It was then, as if on summoning, that one of the ironically named Protectors descended from the sky. Beams of death burned several shoreline homes as it’s voice boomed “ILLEGAL KNOWLEDGE USED. TERMINATION INITIATING.”

Elias knew better than to dawdle as the rest of the village ran screaming into the hills. His door had barely closed when the third bolt split the island’s night.

Elias exited his apartment to a fresh sea dawn and a cry of “Now do you see what i’ve saved you from!?”

From here, i have no record of what happened to the Elias’ equipment after the villagers had destroyed it. Only that Elias was labelled as dangerously insane was exiled from the island once they released him. Apparently, he spent a portion of his later years writing highly detailed historical fiction, which he swore was true. He was later “hospitalized” after a rather distressing incident at a Cretan barbeque restaurant.

:: Patient

Felt the need to get back into writing a bit. Those looking for technical observations or pithy commentary on social media, feel free to skip this one.

Ryan took a last sip from what he was reasonably certain was his third cup of tea. He debated sifting through the trash to confirm his thought, but decided not to have another reality check bounce on him. Instead he stared out at the rolling hills and watched as the gray mist made the trees beyond the guarded fence dance in and out of view. He wished the steel bars across the panes didn’t get in the way of the scenery.


:: Hooks of the Dead

More opening lines for stories i may one day write:

On that particular bright and sunny morning, Allister decided his balanced breakfast would not include the still smoking box of recently exploded Wheetie Bits.

By his 21st birthday, Ralf was already 38.

Oliver expected to awake with a loud ringing in his ears and his sinuses filled with the acrid scent of singed metal, however when he did finally regain conciousness, he found that his expectations had sadly switched places.

Why are these so damn easy to come up with?

:: Retired Grayhounds

i used to write a series called The Grayhound Chronicles. It was silly, but buried deep in it was a story i kinda wanted to tell. For about three years, i did. Every few weeks i’d publish another “chapter” of about six pages of story, to the point where i’ve got something like 800+ pages of it divvied up into three “books”. There was a lot of silly in there, more than enough to make up for actual “plot”, because i was frequently distracted by shiny things and floating, dismembered heads of Satan offering canapés to visiting house guests.

A little over four years ago, however, i stopped writing it.

There are a number of reasons why (life got in the way, it wasn’t as much fun, Venture Brothers was doing a better job of things), but as much as i kept trying to tell myself i was going to pick it up and finish it, i never really did. What was even worse was that there were a few folks that seemed to like it enough to be fans and kept pressing me to start it again. i’d try, fail, and feel even worse.

So after not getting anywhere for a year, i decided to post up the notes i had. Perhaps i may actually pick it back up again once i’ve got time to work on it (pronounced: retired and rapidly approaching my death bed). Perhaps someone else might step up and finish the damn thing the way it should be.

Granted, a great many folks with literary skills are breathing a sigh of relief and giving thanks for a bullet dodged, but i’m kinda bummed i didn’t get to finish it. i don’t like leaving things unfinished.

Perhaps this will give me the chance to work on a better story for November…

Blogs of note
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