Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Have Ray Gun! Will Travel! Please Pay Me! (part 7)

The rocket shuttle brought me back to the city. I was the only one onboard. The smell of rocket liquor overpowered the poo gas. I no longer stink of methane people.

The rocket shuttle crew thanked me for not shooting them out of the sky. I imagine that I must look like a crazed lunatic to them. I have drunk my own urine. I have eaten rocks given to me by the Man With No Name. And I no longer wear pants. Instead I carry the new pants given to me by the space police as a status symbol. I will not wear them until they, and I, have been properly laundered. I do not trust unlaundered pants given to me by strangers. I do not know where they have been.

I am sad, however. The space police demanded the Man With No Name's ray gun. They said it was a thing called "evidence". Bah. The microwave of hate cares not for their space evidence. But I must continue to be polite. Otherwise they will send me to a space doctor. I do not want to be probed. I do not have enough orifices for space doctoring probes. I do not want to have a forehead sphincter. Now I only have my ray gun, a pair of unlaundered mystery pants, and my old pants which smell of rocket liquor overlaying poo gas, and are ruled by the Friendly Peanut. I have not checked the pockets to see what it has done now. I suspect that it has bred.

I now wait to be questioned by the space police. I will assure them that I have killed the Man With No Name and that I am innocent of all charges of property destruction. Then they will pay me. Then I will ask them for their help in locating that nice young man, Dirk Gradient.

Then I will *kill* Dirk Gradient. Who is neither nice nor young. But I must be polite. Space madness.


My mystery pants have been laundered. Somewhere in the process the Friendly Peanut migrated into them. It was banished from my old pants by the bastard spawn of its own loins. Friendly Peanuts can apparently breed with the...leavings...of radioactive roaches. From these humble roots do Esperanto-spewing monstrosities emerge. Who knew?

I now wear the mystery pants. I have also been laundered by the space police while I spoke with them. They were, are, intimated by my great ray gun. They have only their sissy pistols. Space police are not allowed to carry real guns. Otherwise there would be no crime to police. So they fear my ray gun, and fear the card that says I carry it for religious reasons. None have the courage to ask what religion that is. Even I do not have the courage to ask myself.

They have agreed to look for that goddammed bastard Dirk Gradient for me. Their mighty space intarwub is mighty. It has space tubes that travel between dimensions. The result is that the space intarwub is filled with pornographic material from a thousand different stars. I sometimes cannot tell the pornography from the political campaigning. I do not have the correct number of orifices to comprehend it. I do not want a forehead sphincter.

The space police have found out about the mighty exploits of Dirk Gradient. They show me pictures. He is in my rocket ship. Cindy the Girl-Computer is beside him. I have restrained myself from testing my ray gun against the space police. They are many. I am one. It would be an unfair fight. No sissy pistols can stand against my ray gun.

But good has come of this. I have held onto my sanity and learned of Dirk Gradient's whereabouts. It will require another rocket ship ride. I have requested to be seated in the "non-gigantic aliens" section. Those people are just weird.

I am giddy with excitement. Or maybe that is just the new round of space drugs I have taken. But giddiness abounds. The microwave of hate hums in my mind.

I want to stick Dirk Gradient in the microwave of hate. Is that wrong?

I have a ray gun. The space police stole my second. I will travel. Just not with elephant people. The space police paid me. If only they knew what I was about to do.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Have Ray Gun! Will Travel! Please Pay Me! (part 6)

I am very hot.

I am not talking about my body. I am a sexy beast of a man who has been recently laundered, even if I currently smell like a sewer. But I digress. I am talking about the weather.

I am very hot. Because I am in the desert. I am in the desert because the Man With No Name shot down the rocket shuttle I was in. His ray gun must truly be mighty. I am the only survivor of the crash. I am the only one who drank his rocket alcohol. I am also the only one on space drugs. I can only credit these two substances for my survival. How else would I have possibly managed to pick the rocket shuttle filled with soft bag-bellied methane moon people?

This journal entry is being written while I hide under a rough lean-to built from a rocket fin and the stretched out rubber skins of three fellow passengers. They weren't using them anymore. In the distance I can see the mountain where the Man With No Name shot down my rocket shuttle. Unfortunately the space drugs cannot decide if I am at the foot of the mountain, or if I am twenty miles away from it.

The Friendly Peanut is of no help. It tells me this is the will of the Old Ones. Then it tells my pocket lint to build a pyramid in its image. It dispensed with pocket diplomacy and declared itself god emperor of my pants. I hate my life.


I am now at the foot of the mountain. It was actually very close. The space drugs make close things seem far away, and far away things seem close. I can almost see that smug expression on Dirk Gradient's face now. He is laughing at me. He knows the desert sun has destroyed my laundering. He knows I have drunk my own urine to stay alive in the 25 minutes since the crash. He knows all these things. I hate him.

But I must first kill the Man With No Name, otherwise I will never survive in this wasteland. If I do not survive, I cannot kill Dirk Gradient. I must kill Dirk Gradient. Thus I must survive. My hate gives me strength. The rocket liquor gives me courage. The space drugs give me strange hallucinations in which I am purple and the sun is insulting me in high school French. The space drugs make the trip more comforting.

Now I must go up the mountain and face the Man Who Has No Name. I may be dead when you read this. If so, please pump my bloated corpse full of space drugs and rocket liquor. Then mail my bloated corpse to Dirk Gradient. Payment on delivery. I will have my revenge from the afterlife.


The Man With No Name has given me dinner. He is talking about his kidneys The Man With No Name is obsessed with kidneys. This is why he eats only desert weeds. And rocks. The Man With No Name eats many rocks. He wears nothing. He is bright fuschia in color, with purple hair and small antennae. His only friend is a bottle of rocket liquor. I feel his pain.

He has long since run out of space drugs, and has now settled into being happily insane. His ray gun is powerful, but without his space drugs he is powerless. I could overpower him. But I must be polite, otherwise he might think I have space madness.

When the time is right I will shoot the Man With No Name and steal his ray gun. But until then I will munch on my rocks. They do not taste good. I suspect that he ate these same rocks yesterday. However, given that I smell only of poo gas I do not know how anything tastes. I will force the rocket shuttle's airline to pay for my laundering. I will require much laundering.


The Man With No Name is dead. I never even found out what his actual name was. Unfortunately I did not shoot him, so I still do not know if the other settings on my ray gun work. He choked on a rock that he unwisely did not attempt to wash down with rocket liquor. Rocket liquor will dissolve deck plates. It will make rocks edible. Rocks are not normally edible. This is why the Man With No Name is dead.

I have been attempting to contact the space police for some time using my personal communication device. They finally told me a car was coming by with my reward. And pants. Pants free of legumic control. I will have pants not ruled by a tooth-hat wearing Friendly Peanut.

The space police have given me my money and my pants. They would not give me a lift back to the city because I smell like poo gas. However they did say that the rocket line will be sending a smaller shuttle out now, and could I please not blow this one up?

I have taken stock of my life.

I have not one, but *two* ray guns now. I have traveled...and unfortunately am now stuck until I can travel back to where I traveled from. And I have been paid. I have much money now. This will make the next leg of my trip easier.

My next stop will be at the space police station. To inquire after a certain Gradient, Dirk. Space agent. Revenge is a dish best served cold. Currently mine is a solid block of ice at sub-zero temperatures. It is time to bring out the microwave of hate. Long live the microwave of hate.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Have Ray Gun! Will Travel! Please Pay Me! (part 5)

Antarus IV has a problem. Aside from being terminally overcrowded, and smelling of rancid yak butter, apparently some maniac has been reducing citizens to radiant light. But never fear, faithful Antarian Fourians! Clint Corona, freshly laundered space man of space action, is on the case!

My initial attempts at discovering the culprit have not gone well. My initial questions were met with resistance. This resistance was, in turn, met with my foot. I have only one suspect. He will answer my questions once he has found his teeth. He is being assisted by the Friendly Peanut. Its alliance with my pocket lint fell apart. Religious reasons.

Having recovered his teeth, my sole witness has begun reinserting them into his nostrils. Antarian fourians keep their teeth in their nostrils. Antarus IV once had a major problem with airborn insects. A whole ecosystem evolved in the mucus membrane of its dominant life forms. It is best not to think that my sandwiches were made to be consumed nasally. The edge of the space drugs has begun to wear off. I am not sure my stomach could bear the thought of nose food.

The witness can now speak. He does not need nostril teeth for this, but I am a polite man. My boots are tipped with steel, my ray gun is in my hand. I am dangerous, and freshly laundered. And polite. I must not forget polite. Forgetting to be polite is a sign of space madness.

While I write this he is telling me about what he saw. A raving maniac in leather chaps began shooting anyone who looked dangerous. He claimed that they were trying to steal his kidneys. This is sad. By the description, I do not believe that his species has kidneys. Trans-speciesism is a terrible mental illness. What kind of universe must we live in where a perfectly rational being might forget which set of internal organs he is in possession of?

This is puzzling. I did not arrive on Antarus IV before this morning. And even the combined effects of rocket liquor, space drugs, and talking sandwiches cannot have sent me back in time. Thus the only conclusion is that someoneelse on Antarus IV has a ray gun with a "Purify" setting. This is dangerous. It can only be one man...whose name I have forgotten. The Man With No Name is a dangerous and canny foe. He makes Kaz look like a milk deliveryman (...which he actually was, before he won the space lottery and changed his last name to "The Conquerer"). He is not, of course, on par with Dirk Gradient. But Dirk Gradient is a special kind of evil who cannot be described in terms of leather chaps and misplaced kidneys.

This makes my job very easy. The Man With No Name has obviously procured very powerful space drugs. He is seeing imaginary kidney thieving prostitutes. I have had similar visions, mainly while engaged in coitus with actual kidney thieving prostitutes. He will attempt to remedy this by stripping to his underwear and hiding in a small cave with only his ray gun and a bottle of rocket liquor. It is exactly what I would do. Eventually he will ride out the space drug high, and will emerge with bleary eyes and jumbled thoughts. Then I will strike.

My plan hinges on one crucial factor: The slim hope that my ray gun has a setting other than "Purify". I am uncomfortable testing this theory on nearby garbage cans. I do not wish to cause undue property damage. That would be illegal. Nor will I test it on the witness. That would be murder which, while not technically illegal, would be in bad taste. But testing it on the Man With No Name is space justice. So say the space police!

The witness has given me all his space drugs in return for me not kicking his nose teeth out again. I am sure that I am grinning. My face would not hurt this much otherwise. The Friendly Peanut has returned to my pocket with one of the witness' molars as a little crown. It has reentered negotiations with my pocket lint from this superior point of diplomatic authority.

Now I need only find a rocket shuttle to take me to the smallest, darkest, dankest cave on Antarus IV. Then I shall acquire the Man With No Name's ray gun. Then I shall be twice as likely as to kill Dirk Gradient when I find him!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Have Ray Gun! Will Travel! Please Pay Me! (part 4)

The space police came to talk to me. They had heard that the famous Clint Corona was in town. I am now famous. After I accidentally atomized Kaz I had myself laundered. They knew that a freshly laundered man is dangerous, and so they have hired me to track down a dangerous fugitive. They believe he may be one of my archenemies.

You see, for some time now some maniac has been turning other people into radiant light. Most recently he was seen destroying my office. This troubles me. Of course, officers, I will find this dangerous lunatic. My office was my home. It was also home to radioactive cockroaches who violated my only pair of pants. This shall be avenged!

To assist my investigation I require space drugs. Thankfully, I have beaten up a dealer I found in the space police holding cell. He has told me where I might find space drugs. He said he was afraid of my ray gun. Smart men fear my ray gun. That bastard Dirk Gradient will learn why they fear my ray gun. My ray gun is fearsome.

The remaining Friendly Peanut croons in my pocket as I write this. I found another diner and was served another talking sandwich. It screamed when I killed it with a plastic spork. Then I seared its precious bread-flesh with my ray gun and ate it like a cave man, carving off haunches of unpronounceable alien meats. I no longer hunger.


I beat down the dealer I was recommended to. Then I stole his space drugs and gave him to the space police for dealing in space drugs. I am now a public hero. In only one day I have killed a talking sandwich, put a dangerous space drug dealer behind bars, and atomized a wanted space felon. It occurs to me how many words in our culture have "space" attached to them. I believe it is space madness. I shall have to see a space doctor about it.

I have veins full of space drugs now. I can hear atoms hum. I can hear neutrons whistle. I can hear that, somewhere far off in the universe, Dirk Gradient is violating some terrible rocket ship prostitute. *I* should be violating that prostitute, not Dirk Gradient, dammit! But I wouldn't have to if he hadn't stolen Cindy the Girl-Computer away from me. But this is not me, it is the drugs talking. The drugs help me focus my hate. I must focus my hate on the man the space police have asked me to find.

I start with all the lists of men reduced to radiant light on Antarus IV. Apparently conversion to radiant light is the third leading cause of death, behind asphyxiation on Friendly Peanuts, and flying Cannibal Rockets. Antarus IV is a sanity shocked hellhole. But I will follow this list of names. And I will find the culprit. And when I do, I shall discover whether or not my ray gun is still stuck on "Purify"!

I have a ray gun! I have travelled! And now...and now someone is paying me!

My head sings with space drugs. The surviving Friendly Peanut begins to plot with my pocket lint to take over Antarus IV. And soon I will steal back my rocket ship and mount Dirk Gradient's head on the hull!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Have Ray Gun! Will Travel! Please Pay Me! (part 3)

We are still in space. The crack has not widened, but my face has made intimate contact with it. I know its every twist. I can feel a slight edge of vacuum trying to remove my facial hair. And my face. In a vacuum, you cannot smell wet moose. This is how I know I am not dead yet. I smell wet moose.

The elephant woman beside me has begun eating. Her snacks scream for mercy before she masticates them between huge teeth. The package reads "Friendly Peanut Snacks". It advertises that they compliment you on your oral hygiene. They are snacks that will love you till you crush them between your molars. But "Friendly Peanut Snacks" do not work as they were meant to. In the night many snackers find their stomachs whispering horrible things. One man's chest was colonized by a cult of Friendly Peanut fragments worshiping his esophagus as their Savior.

I have curled around my liquor. It is almost gone. The flight attendants will soon inject us with more liquor, mainlining alcohol to our brains. This will render us susceptible to their terrible overtures. Many men will enter the bathrooms never to be seen again. But the flight attendants will feast well.

I should never have flown Cannibal Rockets.


We have landed. I have told the space police I do not know where the elephant woman beside me has gone. No, officers, I cannot account for why my window has been plugged by a great gray foot. I swear, it was like that when I got there. My, what shiny badges you have.

They know that a freshly laundered man full of rocket ship alcohol is not to be trifled with. They have let me stumble off into this brave new world, hundreds of light years from my departure point. It is only noon. I have begun to crave a sandwich ever since the single remaining Friendly Peanut in the bag crept into my pocket. It has begun to tell me about the glories of the Old Ones, and the tentacle horrors that were birthed in ancient nebulae. It tells me about how it is the sperm of an old god, waiting to inseminate a living host.

Friendly Peanuts are pathological liars. I have seen Friendly Peanuts made. That is why I will not eat them. Nothing produced from the droppings of a nanotech rabbit can possibly be good. I do not like my food to speak.

I write this as I wait for my sandwich. A man pressed himself against the window of the diner when I arrived. He stared at me. He wore a large, floppy hat and a bright purple coat. I didn't recognize him at first. It was when he pulled his great purple ray gun that I recognized him as Kazzzz'ort: The Conquerer.

Kaz was an old enemy. I take him out for drinks every time I stop him from blowing up the universe. I beat him many times. I have bought him many drinks. He owes me money. But that was before Dirk Gradient stole my rocket ship. I have no time for men like Kazzz'ort: The Conquerer! That is why I shot him. My draw is very fast. It helps that I try to never let go of my ray gun. Ever. Not even in the shower.

I shot Kaz through the window. My sandwich is free because I transformed a man into radiant energy. I am beginning to wonder if my ray gun has any setting other than "Purify". It seems that everything I shoot turns to light. I will have to test this problem at some point in more secure surroundings. Until that time I should be careful. Dirk Gradient may know I am onto him if reports keep coming in of a freshly laundered man turning his opponents into sunshine.

I eat my sandwich as I write this. I know this planet well. It is Antarus IV. It is where I shall begin looking for Dirk Gradient.

You know what I will do when I find him. Then I will no longer have to ride rocket ships beside elephant women and cannibal stewardesses. My sandwich is inviting. It speaks to me. I have lost my appetite.

In my pocket, the Friendly Peanut begins to croon out a prayer to an unpronounceable god.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Have Ray Gun! Will Travel! Please Pay Me! (part 2)

I have left my office behind me. I did not like that office. The radioactive roaches insulted me as I packed. In Spanish. I do not speak Spanish. Nobody except radioactive roaches speak Spanish since Spain was nuked from orbit. Just to be sure.

The office is also gone now, just like Spain. I hit it with the "Purify" setting, and now there is just a smoking crater where it used to be. People are looking at me funny. Perhaps it is because I have just vapourised an office. Perhaps it is because I am carrying my pants over my shoulder, and am counting my money. I must have the pants laundered first. The roaches did...things...in them. Terrible, terrible things.

Overhead great neon buildings glow sullenly. Neon flashing buildings used to kill more people than drugs, wars, or my ray gun. They created awful, horrible seizures in the backs of the brains of rocket ship pilots. The buildings don't flash anymore. There is no law against them flashing. There just isn't any more power for them. A rocket ship pilot had a temporal lobe seizure and crashed into the emergency backup plant that all the neon buildings were illegally tapped into.


I have now had my pants laundered. People are looking at me more normally. This might also be because I had myself laundered in the process. I am now gloriously clean. I am now as clean as the day that Dirk Gradient stole my rocket ship. My hate for Dirk Gradient keeps me young, but it does not remove the need for regular bathing. If only hate would keep me clean. Then I would never have to be laundered again.

My laundry stub entitles me to one free rocket shuttle to the space port. Once they have laundered you they never want you back. I wonder if Cindy the Girl-Computer left me because of the time I asked her to launder me. But I will not dwell upon Cindy. No, I will dwell upon my good fortune.

With a validated rocket permit they let me onto the rocket shuttle without asking to check my ray gun. I have a card in my wallet stating that I must carry it. For religious reasons. Most people do not ask. I tell them that "Purify" is a religious experience that I cannot share with living beings. They believe me, because I have a righteous look in my eye.

I am beginning to wonder if maybe I wasn't driven a little crazy by Dirk Gradient stealing my rocket ship. Is it wrong that whenever I close my eyes I dream of spacing Dirk Gradient? This cannot be wrong. I will have my revenge.


The rocket shuttle has landed. They have given me free liquor. They say that I will need it to survive my next rocket voyage. The great, gleaming phallus-like rocket ship stands before me, the elevator extending from it like a giant inviting tongue. The penis of space wants to eat me before it ejaculates me into the ether. This is not a comforting thought. This is why they have given me liquor.

Aboard the rocket ship I am strapped in and well liquored before they count down the interstellar rocket firing. I am wedged against a bulkhead. My window has a crack in it. I am worried about the crack, but I am a Space Adventurer! Dirk Gradient, puny Space Agent that he is, would worry about the crack. But I shall not!

...Instead I shall worry about the great elephantine she-beast that has taken the seat next to me. She smells of wet moose and her bulk has embeded me into the bulkhead. Is it in my mind, or has the crack gotten wider? Perhaps God will take mercy and swallow me into space. My frozen corpse will drift through the cosmos until it lodges firmly into the stabilizer of the rocket ship that Dirk Gradient stole from me. And then Dirk Gradient will run into a sun. HAH! That will be my final revenge.

The rocket ship has cleared atmo now. We are in the black, and the crack has not yet sucked me into space. But the elephant woman next to me is asking over and over again where her peanuts are. She is weightless and has no peanuts. This cannot be good. I sip my liquor through a straw and try to avoid the thought of how her weight will crush me in zero-gravity. The pilot engages the interstellar rockets, and we are propelled into the cosmos at fifteen times the speed of light.

I am coming for you, Dirk Gradient! I will have my revenge!

I have my ray gun! I am travelling! You *will* pay me!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Have Ray Gun! Will Travel! Please Pay Me!

Racing across the universe on his interstellar rocket ship!
Saving damsels in distress! Fighting terrible space menaces!
No job is too big! No universal conquerer too powerful!
With his plucky assistant, Cindy the Girl-Computer by his side!
Dirk Gradient, Space Agent! Saving the universe, one dollar at a time!

I hate Dirk Gradiant. He has a rocket ship. He won the rocket ship from me in a poker game. That was my rocket ship. I liked that rocket ship.

He also has my girlfriend. Cindy the Girl-Computer and I had dated for years. But Dirk told her about that time he'd gotten me drunk and I'd been violated by an Antarus space floozy. It was only the one time. I was very, very drunk. Now Cindy the Girl-Computer is Dirk's sidekick. She makes more money that way, she says, and doesn't have to sleep with a man who was violated by one of Antarus' infamous triple membered prostitutes.

All I have is my ray gun, this notebook, and the dregs of a fifth of scotch. I have no pants. My pants were stolen from me while I slept off the rest of the scotch. I suspect the radioactive cockroaches in the walls. They hate me. They say so when I try to get them to pay their rent.

Soon I will liberate my pants by cheerfully blowing apart my walls. My ray gun has five settings. Shock. Stun. Kill. Obliterate. Purify. On the last setting it reduces solid objects to radiant energy. The cockroaches fear my ray gun. I fear my ray gun. Dirk Gradient *wishes* he'd won my ray gun. But I am crafty, and would not place it on the table where his filthy Space Agent hands could touch it.

I have managed to liberate my pants. And the cockroaches have agreed, at gun point, to pay their rent. This money will get me off this filthy rock. From there I will go forth to reclaim my rocket ship from Dirk Gradient. Then I will return to my former life.

I have many enemies. They will no doubt try to stop me from reclaiming my rocket ship. But I will not be stopped. No one can stop me. That rocket ship is mine, and once aboard it I can cheerfully jettison Dirk Gradient out the nearest airlock, and let Cindy off at the nearest space-pirate infested planet before going off to fight evil again.

My name is Clint Corona. I have a ray gun. I will travel. Please pay me to solve your problems.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I am in the mood for silly science fiction

Ignore the laws of physics. Hide Schroedinger's box under the bed (the cat will either come out for air...or it won't). Replace all Einstein posters with Heinlein, Asimov, and Zelazny (...I need to re-read my Amber books next). Then proceed to pretend that Star Trek, Star Wars, and every other serious science fiction program never existed.

You have entered a realm where space is funny. Where distance is never measured in anything less than the millions of miles, and speed is relative only to humor and plot. And possibly how drunk the pilot is.

I am in the mood for silly science fiction. I partially blame Megan Rose Gedris over at I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space for this mood. But its also been getting at me ever since I saw that Sci-Fi was remaking Flash Gordon, and after watching a lot of Babylon 5 on my new portable DVD/iPod-enlarger player (oddly called the iLuv [don't ask]). My mind is a swirling vortex.

The worlds of Adelaide Fetch and Vincent Verde are fun to run around in. Poltergeist PIs and cybernetic street ops are fun and all...but I have always had an overenthusiastic love of comedy.

...remind me to tell you about the first 5 pages of script I wrote for a comic entitled "The VEGAS VANGUARD in 'RED KRISTMAS'". Actually, just plain remind me to talk about the Vegas Vanguard at any point, period. And learn the glories of Cosmic Wayne Newton.

Silly science fiction will be coming soon. I feel inspired.

...also it means I don't have to do serious research into...well...anything, really.