For Dwayne via io9: In this sketch, the Yeti is on the loose in New York City, sitting on people's cold desserts. Spidey and Morgan Freeman (as a police officer) must team up to make sure this cryptozoological pervert doesn't sully any more frozen confections. There are so many good scenes I don't know where to start, but my favorite is when the crazed yeti ruins a pensioner's birthday.
February 2011 Archives
By Douglas E. Gogerty
With the cancellation of the Princess's coronation, Prince William did not know what he was going to do. He thought about sticking around the castle and waiting for the conflict to be resolved. However, he did not care for that option. After all, people would not look kindly upon him if the Princess were to lose. He also did not wish to be thought of as a hanger-on.
Further, he considered joining the fight. Showing his worth to the Princess he thought would be a noble pursuit. On the other hand, he was the only known heir to the Lakeland throne. No one would trust his motives. He would find it difficult to get anyone to follow his orders. He felt that he would hinder the war effort rather than help it. Thus, he believed that his presence would not be helpful to Lakeland let alone the Princess.
Therefore, he decided to leave the realm quietly. He had not spoken to the Princess for weeks. While he would have liked to have said goodbye, he thought it best to just depart. She made it clear that she would never marry the Prince, so he had no reason to stay or even say goodbye.
Despite the death of his entire family, his father still had assets in Lakeland. The Princess would not begrudge him a few things. One of the items at his disposal was a suncar. Therefore, he packed his things in the suncar and headed out. He did not know where he was going to go, but he knew he had to get away. Perhaps he would return for the coronation, but perhaps not.
To the west was Calmondak. It was the kingdom Princess Angelina's father ruled. The Prince found it to be his home away from home. He had spent many years there. However, he had gone into the Forbidden Zone. For this action, on a few occasions, someone had attempted to kill him. He was not willing to give anyone another attempt. Thus, it was probably not a place he could ask for asylum.
The kingdoms to the east of Lakeland had declared war. He could not claim loyalty to Lakeland and live in one of these kingdoms. Further, the Princess would think that he was still angling for her throne by declaring allegiance to one of these kingdoms. After all, if this alliance won the war, they may install the sole heir as king of a less powerful and smaller Lakeland. This simply would not do.
Therefore, his only choice was to return to the Pirate Penninsula. He was a man without a kingdom, and he was a man without a home. Perhaps he would be welcomed there. He had done them no harm -- well -- except help his father escape. Nonetheless, no one there knew he did that. Since it was really his only choice, he pointed his suncar in that direction.
After a few minutes driving away from the castle at Lakeland, he stopped. He got out of the car and looked back. He believed he would never see it, or Princess Angelina, again. He stood there a while and pondered things. He mouthed the word farewell and got back into his vehicle. He began traveling down the main road south.
With war, there are always refugees -- civilians attempting to get away from the fighting. However, in this case, most of the citizenry had nowhere to go. Calmondak had declared itself neutral in all things involving Lakeland. Hence, the refugees could not go there. The remaining kingdoms of Morica were at war with Lakeland. Hence, the only place to go was the Pirate Peninsula.
While the peninsula would mostly accept anyone, they would provide no resources for survival. Hence, if you went there, you would have to pay for your own food, water, shelter, etc. Thus, in reality, there was no place for the civilians to go. Fortunately, the Prince had resources.
As he drove along, he marveled at the empty roads. He expected to run into a few carts or people walking. He thought that he might run into vehicles taking the war to the invaders. However, the main road was empty. He was beginning to think he was in the eye of the storm. After a few miles, he would run into a great conflict, and his journey would be cut short. As he continued to travel, he continue to have his doubts about making it.
He kept travelling and as the sun was setting, and his suncar began losing power. The Prince needed a place to spend the night. He was in a war zone, but he had seen no evidence of combat. He thought that perhaps the nearby kingdom simply entered Lakeland and occupied some territory. After all, most of the citizens had gathered at the castle for a coronation. Nonetheless, he could run into trouble at any point.
He stopped his car but stayed near the main road. He found a nice spot to set up camp. He erected his small tent in a nearby ravine. He camouflaged it with some sticks and leaves. It was practically invisible from the road. He parked the suncar a little distance away. He did not bother hiding it because he felt that would draw more attention to it.
He was extremely cautious, so he did not start a fire. He ate his little meal cold, and stayed close to his car for a while. He kept a watchful eye out for any movement. After a few hours, he was still struggling to stay awake. Eventually, he could no longer stay awake, so he got into his tent. For a while, every sound and rustle would arouse him. Eventually he drifted off.
He was aroused by the sound of thunder. At first, he thought it was an explosion or gunfire. However, another clap of thunder confirmed that it was a storm. He pulled up his camp, and put everything in the suncar. He was surprised that he had slept pretty well as it was after dawn.
He got into the car and thought about leaving; however, it was quite dark. The clouds were thick and blocked out the sun. His suncar would only have minimal power on a day like this. It began raining in earnest. The rain came down quite hard. It was a hearty thunderstorm.
Hence, he was going to have to stay there until the storm passed. The way it looked, it could be several hours before the rain let up. That is not what he wanted to do. He wanted to get on the road. He could make it to the peninsula before dark if he could get going. The rain was keeping him from leaving. He sat in his car and fretted.
For Dwayne via io9: I can't see why Dracula is still a problem in the Marvel Universe these days. Spider-Man wasted him on his night off in 1974.
By Douglas E. Gogerty
Princess Angelina spoke with her many advisors. The invasion had caught them by surprise. The three kingdoms had as many issue with themselves as they did with Lakeland. It was nearly unthinkable that they would cooperate on anything. Thus, Lakeland had not prepared for such an event. Lakeland was quite capable of taking on any of them singly, and they knew it. However, it was quite another thing to take them all together.
Some advisors had experiences with a neighboring kingdom. In this way, the Princess's advisors each offered different advice. Depending upon how it went, they would either want to invade one kingdom or another first or last.
There was talk of divide and conquering. That is, fight the middle kingdom first, and divide the opposing forces. The Kingdom of Nunu was the weakest of the three. Thus, most of the advisors believed that it would be the easiest to defeat.
Nunu had once contained several of the most prosperous and powerful cities in the world. It was a powerful place in Morica. However, these cities were destroyed in the great war and other natural phenomena. The place was a minor shadow of its once greatness.
A ruler would rise up and promise the return to prosperity for the kingdom. However, if it did not happen in any sort of reasonable timeline, a civil war would break out. Eventually, the sovereign would be deposed. Hence, with its internal strife, the kingdom was unable to build anything meaningful, like economic prosperity or a large standing army.
However, the Princess and others thought attacking Nunu was foolish. After all, when the defeat of Nunu occurred, the Lakeland army would be then fighting on two fronts. With their forces depleted as they were, they could not afford to divide their attentions. While attacking the weakest kingdom had its merits, the Princess did not think it was the best option.
That led to discussions of either going north or south. The Maritime Kingdom consisted of a number of of a number of islands and section of land connected to the mainland. However, it could only be reached by land from Lakeland through Nunu. It could not be reached by any other land route.
The Maritime Kingdom was a seagoing people. They owed their prosperity to the sea. They also had plenty of natural resources like iron and timber which they shipped worldwide. Generally, they were a peaceful people, but they wished to gain more farmland. They had to trade for much of their grain as the climate was not conducive to much farming.
Without a land route, it would be foolish to attack them first. Lakeland would have to assemble their naval forces. Also, they would have to take attack Maritime in their strongest defense. Their powerful navy would certainly take its toll on any Lakeland advance. They were much more vulnerable by land. Hence, the logical option was to begin in the south and work north.
The Kaanfed Kingdom was just north of the Pirate Peninsula. It was the most balanced of the three kingdoms. It had a prosperous textile production facility. Their farms produced more than enough food for its citizens. They traded their surplus abroad. It was ruled by the brother of the king of the Maritime Kingdom. The two kings' lifelong feud normally kept them from cooperating. Thus, they did not trade, which would have been beneficial to both kingdoms. Thus, their trades were more costly than need be.
It was decided. Princess Angelina gathered her forces and began heading south. They hoped to avoid confrontation until they entered Kaanfed. Lakeland had suffered enough in its civil wars. Any further conflict could damage the already fragile existence of the citizens. Hence, they sent scouts to look for the enemy in an attempt to avoid them.
The caravan moved slowly. However, it was able to move both day and night and in any weather. When the storm began raging, the Princess's thoughts turned to Prince William. She wondered where he had gone. She would have liked to see him again, but she understood how he felt. Her thoughts soon drifted on to other things.
The storm raged for most of the day, and slowed the movement of the army caravan only slightly. They could not use the suncars, so the animals got extra duty. With the rain, there was little chance that these animals would overheat. They would also have plenty of water. The caravan would need to stop and feed them, but they could go great distances without rest.
The scouts reported in regularly. They discovered that the invaders had taken several cities. Thus, the caravan would need to avoid the cities. The Lakeland plan was to enter the Kaanfed capitol. If they could do that with little fighting beforehand, this would force the Kaanfed troops to withdraw to protect their homes. In this way, they would fight on Kaanfed land rather than Lakeland.
However, this had its drawbacks. First, they would have to not engage the enemy. That was going to be quite a task as the locals would want the invaders off their land. Further, they could be easily surrounded by the enemy. The Kaanfed troupes in the Lakeland cities could follow behind. Once the Lakeland army engaged with the Kaanfed army, they could have the Lakeland army surrounded.
Nonetheless, the Princess and her advisors believed that while the plan was daring, it had the best chance of success. If they could take the Kaanfed capitol, they could use its defenses against its own army. Further, they would have negotiation power of the king -- if he was not in his castle.
The army kept moving. The roads were quiet as they moved. It seemed that everyone in Lakeland was marching towards Kaanfed. It was amazing that they avoided conflict with anyone until after they left their kingdom. However, when they marched into Kaanfed, everything changed.
For Dwayne via io9: Unbeknownst to Bruce Wayne, Lucius Fox used to be a mad scientist until Spider-Man showed him the error of his ways.
By Douglas E. Gogerty
The storm raged for most of the day, and Prince William could do nothing about it. He sat in his suncar and worried. He was in the middle of a war zone, and all he could do was sit in his vehicle and wait.
With the limited amount of sun that made it through the storm clouds, his suncar batteries were getting some charge. However, he would not be able to go far. Further, if he found that he had to get away fast, he would lose the distance he could travel. On days like this, he wished that he had another form of transportation. For now, all he could do was sit and worry.
With every clap of thunder, he jumped. Every crackle and boom he thought was gunfire or worse. It was just the storm, but he could not relax. He fidgeted and squirmed in his seat until the storm passed. It seemed that the storm raged and then went away. The sun began to peak through the clouds. He could go farther down the road, but it would not be worth it. So, he decided to set up his tent in the same place he had the previous night.
When he went to the ravine, it was now full of water. The once dry ravine was now a babbling brook. Unless the Prince wanted to camp in the middle of a stream and get soaking wet, he was not going to be able to set up his tent in the same spot. Hidden in the ravine was such a good spot, but it was not going to happen this night. His tent was likely to be much more visible now.
A little way off there was a clump of trees. They were on a bit of a rise, so the ground would be moderately dry around them. He would have to find a suitably flat spot that the trees shielded from the road. That was a bit of a problem. In many places, the tree roots were exposed. The Prince did not want to lie on the exposed roots. On the other hand, if he moved far enough from the trees, he lost his cover. He had a decision to make.
He decided that he would not sleep much in either instance, so he found as flat a surface as he could near the trees. The Prince gathered up some grass and leaves to cushion the ground a bit. He felt that cover was more important that comfort. Thus, his spot was chosen to be mostly invisible to the road. He grabbed some underbrush to hide his tent even more. When his camp was set up, he was satisfied that it would not be spotted from the road.
Despite the clearing clouds, some light showers fell upon him. The sun was shining, but he was still getting rained upon. He felt that was just his luck.
Also from the wet of the rain, he walked around the damp ground. Thus, when his camp was finished, he longed to be dry. He grumbled at the situation, but what was done was done. Nonetheless, it meant he wanted to start a fire. It would dry him out.
Away from his tent and away from the suncar, he found a spot to build the fire. There was plenty of wood around, so he gathered quite a bit. It was still early evening, and he would not be getting into his tent for several more hours. He also thought a warm meal would be good.
Some of the wood was wet, but it was not long before there was a big hot fire. He used the fire to dry out some of the wood before placing it on the fire. It was larger than he wanted, but it felt too good to contain it.
It was still light out, so it would not be noticed from afar, the Prince reasoned.
Thus, he did not attempt to keep it contained. He dried his clothes as he stood around the fire in some undergarments. He was warm and getting dry and it felt great.
He cooked his meal over the fire, and he kept putting more and more wood into it. The Prince kept it contained with some rocks, so there was no worry about setting the place on fire. Thus, he did not worry about how big it got. He planned on letting it die down as soon as it began to get dark.
As the sun went down, Prince William was still enjoying the fire. It could be seen for miles. It was burning too brightly by the time he realized what he had done. He put some damp grass and leaves onto it in an attempt to put it out. All it did was put out a large cloud of smoke. The smoke turned bright white against the twilight. It was even more obvious than the fire.
Further, there was no wind, so the cloud of smoke hung over his camp. It practically pointed right to him. He smacked himself in the head for being so dumb. He ran up to the road to check it out. In the distance, he could not see anything. He listened for any sound. He stood there for several minutes, but all was silent.
He sniffed the air, but all he could smell was burning damp grass. That did not make him happy. However, he did not know what he was attempting to get from smelling the air.
All signs led him to believe that he did not attract any attention. He let out a big sigh. He decided to completely put out his fire. He gathered up more leaves and grass to help smother the fire. Then he realized there was plenty of water in the ravine. He grabbed a bucked from his supplies and collected some water.
After putting more leaves and grass on the fire, he poured the water slowly onto the fire. It hissed and steamed. He gathered another bucket and made sure the fire was completely out. The big fire pit might be noticeable, but not more so than his suncar. He was confident his tent was well hidden, so he was not concerned about the situation.
It was now quite dark. The sun was completely down. He was going to check the road one more time, but when he turned there was a man all in black standing behind him.
"Aaaaaahhhh!" he yelled instinctively.
The man rushed him, and tackled him to the ground. Before the Prince could utter another sound, the man covered the Prince's mouth.
For Dwayne via io9: I'm beginning to see a pattern here. Does Spider-Man spend most of his time saving birthday parties?
By Douglas E. Gogerty
Princess Angelina's scouts were doing their job well. They spread out before the marching army. They intercepted spies, set false trails and rumors, and found where the enemy was waiting. The enemy had taken several Lakeland cities.
In any event, the large marching army went mostly unnoticed by the enemy. They were able to avoid any fighting for their week-long march southeast towards the Kaanfed Kingdom. It was remarkable that no one noticed the enormous group's movements and they encountered so little resistance.
This all changed when the entered the Kaanfed Kingdom. The Lakeland army's first act was to disrupt the supply line for the Kaanfed army in Lakeland. This got the attention of all of the parties involved. The Kaanfed army was spread through several cities in Lakeland. They divided up their forces in an effort to take these cities and hold them.
However, the Kaanfed army did not anticipate this action from Lakeland. They did not think they would have to defend their own soil. The generals thought they would be fighting in Lakeland towns. Hence, it would take them several days to gather themselves and return to Kaanfed.
Because of their tactics, Princess Angelina and the massive Lakeland army marched right into the capitol city with little resistance. Much of the opposing army was still in Lakeland. Thus the minor skirmishes were quick and the victories went to Lakeland.
Princess Angelina's forces first wished to secure the capitol city. The city was poorly serviced by the major roads before the great war. Thus, a simple route would not be available. Angelina's army had to use lesser routes. The city itself was never very large, but its isolation had been a big advantage in some of invasion attempts.
The isolation was a double edged sword. While enemies would find it difficult to get to the city, so would supplies, troops, etc. In previous invasions, Kaanfed's army fought in retreat towards the city. In this way, they depleted much of the opposition before it reached the city. This is how they were victorious.
With a majority of the army expecting to battle in Lakeland, the Princess's army faced little opposition. Hence, they arrived at the city with nearly a full compliment of soldiers.
The Kaanfed capitol sat entirely south of a river. The kingdom had built a wall to completely surround the city. The Lakeland generals were aware of this fact, and they marched in from the southeast.
There were a few guards at the gates, but they were quickly overrun. The Princess had captured the city fairly easily. However, they would need to withstand the returning army. Fortunately, the city's defenses were sparsely covered when the Lakeland forces entered. Now, the Lakeland army would use these defensive positions against their own army.
However, the castle complex was well fortified. The king of Kaanfed had not gone with his troops. He had a small contingent guarding his position. Therefore, the Lakeland army needed to prepare for the siege. The city's protections would protect them as they assaulted the castle. That is, if the Kaanfed army returned before the castle was taken.
The castle had not seen a siege for quite some time. No army had made it passed the capitol city's defenses in several years. Nonetheless, the Lakeland army greatly outnumbered those guarding the castle. They would need to wear down those forces.
In the twilight hours, the Princess's army built its siege towers and other siege weaponry. They erected trebuchets and battering ram systems. This type of siege perhaps had never occurred in Morica. However, the Lakeland army did not wish to use its gunpowder if it did not have to.
Upon the daybreak, they began flinging rocks and debris at the castle. Further, the battering rams took quick work of the castle gates. There were some skirmishes, but a majority of the Kaanfed forces kept retreating into the main keep.
The Lakeland forces cautiously worked their way to the main citadel. This building was large and sturdy. It was not tall like the Lakeland castle. It was a few stories tall, but surrounded by a wall with a single gate. The gate was heavy and made from steal. It was well maintained and would be difficult to breach. Further, it was well guarded and any approach to the gate was met with much resistance.
However, the surrounding wall had not been as well maintained. The army looked for a particular week point away from the forces protecting the gate. The Lakeland army set up their siege at this place in the wall. After a few strikes with the battering ram, the section of wall fell. With a few rounds with the trebuchet, the way was clear.
The fighting began in earnest when the wall was breached. The King of Kaanfed ordered his forces into the battle. He recalled the forces from the gate to aid in the fighting at the breach. When the gate was abandoned, the Lakeland forces streamed thought the gate. Thus, Lakeland forces could attack the now exposed flank of the Kaanfed forces.
Once this happened, the battle was over quickly. Many Kaanfed soldiers surrendered as the wave of Lakeland fighters surrounded them. The Princess urged her people, and this spurred great courage in them. They fought bravely and without mercy. With the Princess directing the battle,and the Kaanfed King cowering in the citadel, much of the enemy army was disheartened. They began giving up in large numbers.
The battle at the citadel wall ended with the Lakeland forces capturing much of the Kaanfed guards. The siege of the main building was all that was left. The Princess entered the building with a small contingent of soldiers. As she entered the King's hall, he killed himself. The battle for the Kaanfeld capitol was over.
The first victory felt easy. However, the main force of the Kaanfed army would be heading towards the city. The battles were just beginning. Further, there would be spies or scouts informing the Nunu and Maritime armies what had happened. The Princess's forces would not have it as easy fighting the remaining forces.