Archive for the 'Mike' Category

Jun 01 2008

Featured Quote of the Day: Mike and the Truth

I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.

Truth is the glue that holds government together.” — Gerald Ford

“If you want to live under something held together by glue, you probably wouldn’t make much of an architect.” — Mike, Director of the Office of Special Investigation’s RETCON branch.

No responses yet

May 30 2008

The Office of Special Investigations Does Clue!

Mike challenges Agent Black and Agent Orange to a game of Clue. Question: if the victim was killed by a noose, was it murder or assisted suicide?

Continue Reading »

2 responses so far

Apr 21 2008

Death’s Sweet Embrace (A Typically D.C. Story, with Assassins and Gelato)

Agent Black stumbles into the Special Investigations lunchroom, his face and suit covered with ashes, dust and blood.

Captain Carnage: You look like you done tried your IRS mojo on a Texas woman.

Agent Black: Would you rather have Agent Orange drive a car or handle a submachine gun?

Captain Carnage: Is that a trick question?

Agent Black: Do I look like I’m feeling tricky right now?

Captain Carnage: Well, is Agent Orange in a combat zone on another continent, or is he somewhere where a red light actually means something?

Agent Black: Washington, DC. In my car.

Captain Carnage: Hotdamn, kid. I wouldn’t get in a tank if I knew O.J. was driving it. Give him the submachine gun, I reckon it’s less likely to hurt nastylike when he gets you killed. Those damn reptiles, they drive like everyone’s limbs grow back.

Agent Black: So, I was driving Orange. He was late to a meeting on Capitol Hill.

Captain Carnage: Hooh boy. I like where this is going.

Agent Black: We got a red light and Agent Orange says something like “why are you stopped? Keep moving, keep moving, dummy.”

Captain Carnage: Alligators reckon green and red’re the same color. When they talk about traffic lights, y’just gotta take it like Congress talking about collateral. They’re talking, but they’re not really talking, y’reckon?

Agent Black: Well, uhh. I’d heard about the green-red colorblind thing before. So I said “shuddap, I know we’re late.” And then the back of our car exploded.

Captain Carnage: Rocket launcher ambush?

Agent Black: Ambushes.

Captain Carnage: Many?

Agent Black: Four cars.

Captain Carnage: Hot damn! So you had to pick between driving or shooting. Damn sure he ain’t doing the driving. He makes NASCAR look like bumper cars. You know he once managed 8 digits of damage with a golf-cart?

Agent Black: I believe it.

Captain Carnage: Since you survived, I reckon you gave him the gun. But how did he shoot it? His hands are big enough to palm a rifle.

Agent Black: I took the gun.

Captain Carnage: But that means…

Captain Carnage: !

Agent Black: I long for death’s sweet embrace.

Later that day:

Agent Orange: Greetings, mammal-Mike!

Mike: The Captain said you had an interesting day today.

Agent Orange: I met a wily mammal-gelatoier.

Mike: A gelatoier?

Agent Orange: A mammal that sells gelato. He introduced me to the seedy and sinister gelato underworld by tricking me with a gallon of orange-flavored gelato. That was very interesting. No doubt Mike-flavored gelato would interest you. But his alleged “orange” flavor was not even remotely similar to my real orange flavor, which proves that it was a foul ruse. I also seem to have lost feeling in my digestive tract. In retrospect, I have concluded that gallons of orange gelato are better-suited to mammals than cold-bloods.

Mike: I think Carnage was referring to an attempted assassination with rocket launchers.

Agent Orange: Oh, there was that, too.

Mike:

Mike: Don’t you think that was a little bit more interesting than the gelato?

Agent Orange: (Mammals). Before today, I had not ever been offered gelato, let alone gelato that was (purportedly) in my flavor. But assassination attempts are a dime a dozen. In fact, perhaps the gelato was an assassination attempt.

No responses yet

Jan 31 2008

Schedule of the Day

One of the Google searches that brought someone to Superhero Nation was “what do alligators do all day?” Agent Orange, our resident mutated alligator, provides his daily schedule.

1 AM: I respond to a WMD scare in Surf City. (It was just a death ray).

2: A purported representative of the British government calls, asking for urgent help “to stop an impending act of anti-supervillain activity.” Terrorist! I hang up.

2:30: Britain reports that Doctour Nefarious just carried out “anti-supervillain activity” at Big Ben. The reports don’t mention which supervillain he acted against, but I’m betting Jihad Joe or Paingod.

2:35: I call the Ministry of Defense and ask them to pass along my congratulations to Nefarious for turning on his evil compatriots. They swore and hung up on me. (And they wonder why we declared independence).

3: A genetically-engineered slime monster attacks Surf City. Dr. Darpa suggests that a salt-spray will kill it, but he doesn’t mention that salting it will send slime shooting for blocks in every direction.

3:10: Showering.

3:30: Still showering.

3:45: I get dressed. I’m feeling dangerous today, so I reach for a black tie instead of my usual navy blue.

4: I brush my teeth. (Yeah, I brush my teeth, too—it just takes more time).

4:30: Still brushing.

4:45: I check my voice-mail. IRS Agent Percy Leguin called again to complain that the Office of Special Investigations is doing too much “showboating,” by which he means investigating crime that Americans actually care about. The bitch insinuates that OSI agents couldn’t handle IRS work.

5: A citizen that incorrectly filled out a 1040-DX Schedule ECQ gets a very special no-knock home visit about why filling out a proper 1040-DK Schedule FIS is important. I’m sure it’s a mistake he won’t make again.

6: Downstairs, I encounter Agent Black and Captain Carnage discussing female-mammals. For reasons unclear to me, talking about mammalian matters makes Agent Black pathologically forgetful. Unsurprisingly, as soon as he sees me, Black mentions that he’s forgotten his ammo. When I offer to go find some for him, he smiles. (I’m so helpful).

6:30– I come back with the ammo, but Black’s gone. (Mammals). I’ll find him later.

7– As part of the ongoing Friendly Skies program, I get a free ticket to New York. Having a uniformed federal agent on a plane tends to terrify mammals, so I just told anyone within earshot that I was just scamming a first-class ticket. That calms them down considerably. (Mammals).

7:45– Mike is also on the plane with me! He is conspicuously surly and says that “I’m going to carpet-bomb your neural nodes if you ask about the Gators game again.” I don’t remember having spoken to the mind-wiper earlier today. I decide that until Mike gets unsurly, he doesn’t deserve to talk about the Gators.

8– On my way to the office, I stumble upon two gunmen attempting to rob a Caribou Coffee. They are not successful.

8:05– Waiting for NYPD.

8:10– Still waiting.

8:15– I assume that I’ll be here a while. I ask the cashier which species of caribou they have on hand. I’m especially partial to Rocky Mountain caribou, but even Alaskan elk are better than whatever else you can find in New York.

8:17– The cashier admits to me that Caribou Coffee does not actually sell caribou. I make a note to inform the Better Business Bureau of bait-and-switch advertising– they lure in unsuspecting customers with promises of caribou and then sell them coffee instead. (Mammals). Two NYPD officers walk in; I trust that they will take care of this criminal cesspool of deception and lies.

8:45– I reach the local police station and start filling out paperwork related to the coffeeshop arrest.

10– Still paperworking.

10:30– A detective asks me if I’d like some coffee or something. Unless coffee means caribou, no.

10:45– A captain interrupts me. Space slugs are clogging the Hudson again. I tell him that I’m still doing paperwork, but he calls my bluff by offering to handle the paperwork himself. I ask which way it is to the Hudson.

10:55—Goddamn. This was a new suit.

11: I walk down to the Office’s New York branch. Raul, our lobby guard, starts quizzing me with questions designed to weed out potential shapeshifters.

11:05: “Raul, I am coated in slug slime. Let me in immediately or you will regret it. “What does the 5th amendment say, sir?” “Here’s the abridged version. No person shall be deprived of life or limb without due process of law. Without due process, Raul.” He lets me in.

11:45– Still showering.

12 PM: The University of Florida calls. They want help creating a tagline for Albert the Florida Gator’s new clothing line. They like “Prepare to Get Swamped” but think that “Chomping Your Ass Since 1908” sends mixed messages.

12:15: They don’t like “Be a Gator, Not a Hater” either.

12:30—I walk down to the cafeteria and find… Agent Black! I hand him his ammo. He gives me a confused look. He has not only forgotten his ammo, he has forgotten that he has forgotten it. I swear! He’d forget his tail if he had one.

12:35—“He’d forget his tail if he had one.” Aha! I’ve stumbled onto the reason that Agent Black doesn’t have one.

4 responses so far

Jan 07 2008

Quote of the Day– 1/7/2008

Agent Black: Several years ago, the OSI concluded that Dr. Savant had a secret identity and identified three suspects, including another Social Justice Leaguer. All attempts to determine which one have failed. Until now.

Captain Carnage: Why?

Black: Because he’s every freaking one of them.

Carnage: …

Carnage: And that threw y’all off for several years?

Black: He has three secret identities. That was, uhh, a great deal stranger than I had anticipated.

Carnage: Hell, boy, this ain’t no shit. In the Gulf War, I passed out in a Kuwaiti sandstorm and woke up in Costa Rica. Surrounded by decapitated kangaroos.

Black: …

Black: Wow. That’s strange.

Carnage: Or it might have been Iraq, surrounded by decapitated Republican Guardsmen. It’s hard to keep all the details straight.
Black: …

Black: …

Black: You’ve been talking to RETCON, haven’t you?

Carnage: How’d you know?

No responses yet

Dec 31 2007

Quote of the Day: Mike-Catastrophe Part 4

Mike: You’re positive you’re not an alien?

Catastrophe: Do aliens frequently speak fluent English?

Mike: Decryption programs applied to radio transmissions can do surprising things.

Catastrophe: I was checking football club rankings when you found me. Unless aliens are frequently interested in football…

Mike: You’d be surprised. You follow football?

Catastrophe: Sometimes. There aren’t any good teams around here.

Mike: Name three.

Catastrophe: Good teams? Arsenal, Man U and Newcastle.

Mike: Please. If you ever need to make up sports teams in the future, I recommend going with animal names, not randomly selected adjectives and nouns. “New castle?” “Man you?” That doesn’t even make sense!

Catastrophe: …

Catastrophe: You don’t get out much, do you?

This is the final part of a four part series. You can see part 1 here.

No responses yet

Dec 30 2007

Conversation of the Day: Mike-Catastrophe Part Three

Catastrophe: When I said that I was a cartoon character and not an alien, I meant it.
Mike: A cartoon character?

Catastrophe: Well, a facsimile of a cartoon character. The mutagen is presumably influenced by subconscious mental states like memories and impulses. It was the day of the goddamned Hegemon parade and the effing balloon had come loose and trashed my car. So it was on my mind.

Mike: You expect me to believe—

Catastrophe: —not really, nor do I care. What you believe is completely besides the point. The only thing that matters—the only positive thing, anyway— is that at least it wasn’t Peaceachu.

This is part 3 of a four-part series. You can see part 1 here or part 4 here (after 6 PM US Central on Dec. 31).

No responses yet

Dec 29 2007

Conversation of the Day: Mike-Catastrophe Part 2

Mike: We have a non-optional orientation program for aliens. This is very simple. If anyone asks, say that you’re not an alien.

Catastrophe: I’m a cartoon character.

Mike: That was easy, wasn’t it?

Catastrophe: …

Catastrophe: Wait. There are aliens on Earth?

Mike: Uhh… no?

 

This is part II of a four part conversation. You can see part 1 here or part 3 here.

No responses yet

Dec 28 2007

Conversation of the Day: Dec. 28 (Mike-Catastrophe Part 1)

Setup: Catastrophe is a statistician that has been transformed by a mutagen into something uncannily similar to a character on a hit cartoon show, Hegemon (“Gotta kill ‘em all!”) Mike heads the Office of Special Investigations’ efforts to conceal extraterrestrial life and mistakenly believes Catastrophe is an alien.

Mike: Hello.

Catastrophe: I’m reading.

Mike: This’ll only take a second.

Catastrophe: Time’s up.

Mike: …

Mike: Let’s say five minutes.

Catastrophe: That’s 30000% of your original request. Is talking with you really more important than the club rankings?

Mike: And considerably less likely to get you pushed down the stairs.

(This is part of a four part series). After 6:00 PM on 12/29, you can read part 2 here.

No responses yet

Dec 11 2007

Quote of the Day

CAPTAIN CARNAGE: Congress has rescinded its approval of waterboarding. We need alternate forms of data extraction.

MIKE: Telepathy?

CARNAGE: Not likely.

AGENT ORANGE: Mammals.

MIKE: …

MIKE: Mindblast?

CARNAGE: No.

MIKE: We could ask real nice…

ORANGE: Are sensory deprivation and uncomfortable sitting positions still available?

CARNAGE: Yes.

ORANGE: As long as we’re thinking hypothetically…

CARNAGE: Of course.

ORANGE: I have an idea… a technique that draws on sensory deprivation and a decidedly uncomfortable position and is somewhat more likely to scare someone shitless than a wet t-shirt. Additionally, it draws on our agency’s species diversity. I believe the risk of decapitation is negligible, but I’d like to test it first. Mike, could you fetch me a melon the size of a terrorist’s head?

*Mike gets up to leave.*

CARNAGE: …

ORANGE: I call my technique “Unhinging Jaw.”

MIKE: Wait, I want to hear this.

No responses yet

Nov 27 2007

Quote of the Day: Tuesday, Nov. 27

Journalist: Is it true that the government has systematically tried to conceal the truth so that the American people don’t know how threatened they are?

Mike, the head of the Office of Special Investigation’s RETCON unit:  We usually get accused of playing up the terrorist threat. At least you didn’t throw out the psychic amnesia theory.

Journalist: You didn’t answer my…

Journalist: …

Journalist: What was I saying?

Mike: Damned if I remember.

No responses yet

Nov 10 2007

Quote of the Day: Saturday

Office of Special Investigation’s Retroactive Continuity branch mission statement: “Fixing history, one day at a time.”

No responses yet