Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The CWA of Dr. Z. Smith: Episode #99: Kidnapped

Last week As you recall, Dr. Smith had been captured by a mysterious stranger.
 Who, as it turns out, was neither mysterious nor a stranger.

-=fig. 626: captured. again=-

“Von BadGuy?” Dr. Smith groaned.
  “Von TipRău!” Screamed Villiam Von TipRău. “How Many times do I have to tell you!”
  Dr. Smith passed over the obvious question of ‘What Do You want’ Because he already knew.
   “I Suppose you a vundering vair you are?” Taunted Von TipRău.
     “I already know.” Replied Dr. Smith, “Judging by the weird lighting and those sirens, we're in the low-rent district. Fallen a bit from your usual impressively evil lair, have we?”
       Von TipRău Sneered, “Lairs take money, vich I do not have anymore, thanks to you. And after our last encounter, zey are patrolling zee undercity vith regularity. But none of zat matters, now zat I have captured you.”
  Dr. Smith sighed. “What is it this time? Sharks? Pirañas? A giant swinging ax? You know I'm going to escape, why not just shoot me!” Dr. Smith didn't really mean this, but Von TipRău really annoyed him.
 “Ha Ha HA HA! I see you have figured out my plan!”
    “What? So it is Pirañas?”
  Before Dr. Smith had time to react,  Von TipRău had drawn a gun, and fired.
     From point-blank range, he couldn't miss.

-=fig. 627: the ghost of smith present=-
“Death.” Dr. Smith said.
     “You know the rules.”
        I DO.
And lo, Dr. Smith lived again.
  “AAH!” He screamed. The blood rushed in his veins, the hole in his head healed, and he reflected yet again that there's nothing quite like dying.
    “But…But…How?” Stuttered Von TipRău.
     “You Know how some people cheat Death?” Dr. Smith asked, and without waiting for an answer continued “Well Death cheated me. And I won.” He saw a question forming on Von TipRău's face. ”No, I'm not a zombie. I Assure you, I'm quite alive.” And to prove it he snatched the gun out of Von TipRău's hand, and bent it in half. This was a neat trick and a side-effect. For the next six hours he would be invincible. But there would be a price.  There's always a price.
  Dr. Smith lifted Von TipRău up by his neck. “I suggest that you let me go, Von TipRău. And I might, maybe, let you live.”
  Von TipRău seemed to consider this, and Dr. Smith tightened his grip.
     “I See. Good Evening, Von BadGuy.”
        “You'll never make it our of here alive!”
  Dr. Smith smiled. “As I believe I've demonstrated, that's not really a concern of mine.” He then tightened his grip until Von TipRău went slack. As much as he put on a tough guy act, Dr. Smith couldn't have killed this brilliant mind. Evil, Yes, but brilliant. Maybe after he revealed the secret of his near-perfect clones, Or why he was always trying to kill Dr. Smith.
  Dr. Smith dragged the peaceful body over to a corner, and searched the room for his hat and briefcase.
   They weren't there.
    He would have to look in the other room.
     He injected Von TipRău with a sedative, so he couldn't get away even if he came to, and kicked down the other door.
  This was a mistake.

  Dr. Smith lay still at the bottom of the shaft.
   Luckily his six hours wasn't up yet, or else he would have died. Again.

-=fig. 628: the true lair=-
“Hello… Doctor Smith.” Said Von TipRău.
  “I hate cloners.” Dr. Smith replied.
    “Mwah Ha HA HA! So. Vair Is your brown friend? Zeh vun who allvays turns up to rescue you? Hmm?”
  “He'll Turn up!” Dr. Smith lied “He always turns up.”
“Monoids!”  Von TipRău commanded, “Make our friend…Comfortable.”

-=fig. 629: a proper cliffhanger=- 
Dr. Smith eyed the swinging, spinning saw blade.
  It occurred to Dr. Smith, as it never had before, how attached to his legs he was.
 That was when he noticed the shark.
Von TipRău laughed maniacally.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

My 16th Birthday Party

Not held on the day.
SHOT WITH: Canon T3i And Canon 50mm 1.4{The Pretty Shots}
Canon Powershot SX120 is {The Low-rez Shots}
MUSIC: “Smiles” Coleman Hawkins and the Ramblers
“Mambo Jambo; More More Mambo” Martin Slavin and his Orchestra

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The CWA of Dr. Z. Smith: Episode #98: Fortress

Last week as you recall our heroes were in Capt. Brown's office, which was also his single-room-house.
 It was basically a fortress, impenetrable from the outside, inescapable from the inside.
 And there was someone in there with them.
 “Hello Mr. Mayor.” the impossible intruder said.

-=fig. 622: nat3 returns=-
“Nate! ¹ ” Capt. Brown said, nothing in his tone suggesting that this kid had tried to kill them less than a week ago.  “How'd you get in here? These walls are solid steel with a mahogany finish, everything, including the windows is reinforced and laced with trip wires, you can't be here!”
Nate smiled evilly, “Your receptionist let me in, I can be quite unassuming, when I want to be.”
Capt. Brown gave a twelve-dollar smile, “Well, never mind. It's good to see you again kid, it saves me the trouble of tracking you down. You're under arrest on charges of, among other things, damage to the city, malicious programming, assaulting the mayor, and at least two counts of outright murder. How do you plead?”
  “Not guilty.”
     “Figured you'd say that.  You are sentenced to death, but only after you pay up for the damages to the city. They amount to $1500.00.”
   “Wait a minute,” Nate said thinking, “I thought I get, under the law, a trial by a court of my peers?”
      “Kid, your peers are other murderous little children, who would therefore be prejudiced in your favour. No. My word is law, and I say you shall repay your debt, and die for your crimes.”
         “But… But what about a lawyer!”
          “You did not request one prior to the trial and now that it's over I'd say it's a bit late.”  He leaned over to an intercom and pressed the button “Please remove the convict from my office.” he said.
            “But don't you want to know why I did it?” Nate asked as he was dragged off,
              “No.” Replied Capt. Brown “We have had plenty of experience with machiavellian ne’er-do-wells, and their reasons are never satisfactory for their crimes.”
-=fig. 623: three stacks=-
Capt. Brown glared at the letters stacked on his desk.
   “So,” Dr. Smith said, “The first stack is letters from people complaining that you wrongly imprisoned thier relatives, the second stack is from people thanking you for imprisoning their relatives, and the last stack is bills.”
   “Gosh.” Capt. Brown said, eying the towering stack of bils, “You wouldn't think running a country as small as ours would cost so much. But it does, especially after idiots like that nate cause one-and-a-half thousand dollars worth of damage. I guess we'll circle back to the bills. This stack is garbage–” –He pushed the “Complaint” stack into the bin–“And I'll sign these later. Next!”
 But Dr. Smith already had some more papers pre-sorted.  He had Decided that Capt. Brown's Office/Apartment needed to stop looking like a paper-recycling facility, and more like the place where a mayor lives/works.
After about three hours, Dr. Smith could see the floor, so they took a break and had a quick dinner.
 “I have to say,” Capt. Brown said “Now that there are less papers everywhere, it does look a lot better.”

-=fig. 624: sunset=-

Capt. Brown looked out at the sun setting over his city.
  Dr. Smith put the needle down on another record, and joined him.
  For a city filled with stereotyped, machiavellian villains, it sure was pretty by sunset.

-=fig. 625: walking along the boulevard=-

Dr. Smith walked home along Main Street.
  The Macy's shop window displayed brightly coloured advertisements:

Want something a
 little more…visual?
 ◆ TRY TV! 
It's the MAGICAL
NEW technology 
from S&B!
 ◆ coming soon 

Dr. Smith grinned privately at the garish advertisements. S&B of course stood for Smith & Brown, which was the company most of Dr. Smith's inventions were sold under.
  Dr. Smith was still admiring the ad agency's handiwork, when someone came from behind, and the world went black.


This week's episode shot entirely on my new T3i!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The CWA of Dr. Z. Smith: Episode #97: Suckers And Their Money

“So what's the damage?” Asked Capt. Brown.
  “There was no damage. They agreed. Three hundred dollars.”  Said Mr. Slant, Lawyer, Zombie.
 Capt. Brown's heart beat a tattoo in his chest.  He was having a hard time containing his excitement.
         “We had to…throw in some extras.”
             “Like what?”
                “A camera. And you cannot create a competitor for six months.”
   This didn't sound good. “Why Six months?”
             “That's how long they believe it would take them to create a TaVee show. However, once they start broadcasting you may, of course sell to whoever you like.
Capt. Brown shrugged, that sounded reasonable.
      “You of course told them it would be in cash, up front?”
          “Of course.” Mr. Slant nodded at Mr. Radio's heavies, they opened their suitcases and dumped the contents on the table.
   A small fortune spilled out.

-=fig. 618: a small fortune=-
Three-Hundred Dollars.
 Enough to buy a reasonable-sized house outright, or four-hundred pounds of bacon and still have enough left over for a a truck to carry it all in.
  Mr. Slant produced a contract, it was as thick as a paper-back novel. “Sign…here. And there…” He indicated a spot on every page. and when Mr. Radio was done signing he tore the back half of the contract off. “Our copy.” He said and handed the front half to Mr. Radio.
  “A pleasure, Gentlemen.” Dr. Smith said. “I'm sure you can show yourselves out.”
Once everyone had left, Capt. Brown and Dr. Smith did a little dance. “WE'RE RICH WE'RE RICH WE'RE RICH!” They sang, badly. “I Will, of course,” Capt. Brown said,“be taking my Agent's Fee of half.”
   “Of course.” Dr. Smith said, Handing Capt. Brown a bill. “We need to split the last hundred in half JEEVES WE NEED FIFTY DOLLARS! I hope you don't mind taking it in gold?”
     “Of course not” Capt. Brown said “That way it'll be easier to spend.”
   A door opened, and Jeeves appeared wheeling a giant chest filled with gold.
    He set it down in front of Capt. Brown.

-=fig. 619: fifty dollars in gold=-
“HA HA HA!” Boomed Capt. Brown. He felt like a thief, a hundred and fifty dollars, and it was his! All his!
   Dr. Smith looked at him worriedly. “Are you alright, James?”
      Capt. Brown had never had this much money at once. He had grown up pretty poor, and then when he became mayor, well, there really isn't very much money in public service.
   “I'll be fine. Hee HEE! I'm buying a new hat! So. What are you doing with your money?”
      Dr. Smith shrugged.  “Put it in the treasury room with all of the rest.”
          “The Rest? How much do you have?”
             Dr. Smith shrugged again. “Couple thousand.” He said as if it were pennies.
 Capt. Brown eyed his Hundred-and-Fifty dollars. It didn't seem like so much, now.
    “What'd you do?” He asked, hiding his jealousy badly. “Knock over a bank?”
       It was lucky Dr. Smith couldn't register subtleties. “No. You know all those little inventions? The Device for Drying Hair, the Spill-Free Ball-Bearing Fountain Pen and all that other stuff? Those little 25 cent royalties really add up.”
     “Well.” Capt. Brown said. “I'm glad you have so much money.”
       “So Am I,” Dr. Smith said obliviously, “It takes a lot of the worry out of life.”
         “Be Seeing you.” Capt. Brown said, through his teeth.
           Dr. Smith caught that, It wasn't even close to a subtlety.
            “Did I do something wrong?”
             “No. Zachary. No. You haven't done…anything.”
               “Okay then.” For Dr. Smith, that seemed to settle it. “Do you want help…?”
                  “No, I'll get it.” He wrestled the chest, which weighed more than he did, out into the street.
Dr. Smith watched him. “Did I say something, Jeeves?”
                Jeeves had been listening. “You did, Sir. You basically rubbed your money in the Captain's face.”
  Dr. Smith was shocked. “Why Didn't you stop me!”
        “It didn't seem my place, Sir.”
          “Take note, whenever I start to do anything like that, stop me.”
             “Very good Sir.”
“James! Wait up!” Dr. Smith ran after Capt. Brown.

-=fig. 620: chasing capt. brown=-
“JAMES!” He bellowed.
   Capt. Brown finally stopped.
     “What.” He said impatiently.
        “This is yours.” Dr. Smith said, handing him a hundred-dollar bill.
        Capt. Brown had been brought up modest, “No, I can't–” He tried to start, But Dr. Smith cut him off.
          “You're my agent right? It's a bonus. Without your clever talking and that lawyer of yours, neither of us would have any money. I'm still keeping my fifty dollars, and you're not getting any royalties, mind, but this is definitely yours.” He pressed the bill into Capt. Brown's hand, and pointed his finger right up close to Capt. brown's face, saying, quite threateningly, “And don't you dare try to give it back. or Else.”
  Capt. Brown broke into a smile. Very few things are more hilarious to him than being threatened by Dr. Smith, who was at least a half-a-foot shorter than he was. “Alright,” conceded Capt. Brown, His hands up “I'll take it. Thanks.”
     “Alright.” Dr. Smith said, nodding, that seemed to have gone well. It was then he noticed where they were. “Why are we here?”
          “This is where I live.”
             “Well, I know that,” Dr. Smith lowered his voice, “What I meant was, why aren't you taking all this to the bank?”
                 “My house is safer than any bank.”
 Dr. Smith pictured Capt. Brown's house, which was a glorified room. It was also his Mayoral offices, and you could barely see the floor for all the loose papers people wanted him to sign.
  As far as home comforts went, there was cot behind the desk and a bathroom downstairs, but that was it. That was why he spent so much of his time at Dr. Smith's house.
  “James,” Dr. Smith said “I can barely imagine anyone living in your house, let alone storing anything important there. Besides, It's up three flights of steps, how are you going to carry that–” He indicated the large chest, filled with gold “–up three flights of steps?”
   “Don't have to.” Capt. Brown said with a smile, “I'm the Mayor, I have People for that.” As he spoke, ropes fell from the sky, they had hooks attached to the ends.
The hooks didn't fit in the chest's handles, so Capt. Brown whistled.
  A small steel platform fell out of the sky, and Capt. Brown quickly slid the chest off its wheelbarrow onto the platform and clipped the hooks to the platform's provided loops, then gave a shout.  It began to rise.

-=fig. 621: winch=-
    He elbowed Dr. Smith, “C'mon, Let's race it upstairs!” He then took off up the stairwell, as the chest rose straight up, pretty quickly for it's weight.
  They had nearly reached the third floor, when there was a huge crash, and a thump from directly above them.  Capt. Brown charged into the room, and, ignoring the chest on the floor, stuck his head out the broken window; “You're slipping!” He yelled, “I nearly beat you!”
   “What happens when you beat him?” Dr. Smith asked.
      “I fire him.  If he can't pull whatever it is up here faster than I can run up the steps, He deserves to be fired. He knows that.”
     Dr. Smith was mildly shocked, “You were taking the steps two at a time!”
         Capt. Brown winked, “Keeps 'im on his toes.”
           Dr. Smith laughed. Today was turning out to be a good day.
              “Okay,” Dr. Smith asked, “Why didn't it go through the floor? I heard it hit pretty hard.”
                 Well after this room was set on fire¹ I re-enforced the walls and floor with steel. Nothing gets in or out of here unless I want to, this room is a fortress.”
 “Hello, Mr. Mayor.” Said a voice from behind them.


Tuesday, April 05, 2011

The CWA of Dr. Z. Smith: Episode #96: Forgot About That

Last Week, as You Recall…
Dr. Smith opened the door.

-=fig. 614: polite company=-
“Mr. Radio, Mr. Radio's Heavies. JEEVES WE GOT COMPANY!”
A moment's pause,
 “THE POLITE KIND! Please come in. May I ask why you're here?”
“My offices have gone over the tapes of our conversation, and no-one could figure out what I had been sold, or why it cost so much.”
  “Then come in! Come in. Do you like Tea?”
      “Coffee it is then. JEEVES!  COFFEE FOR FIVE!”


-=fig. 614: everyone ignore the jester=-
“So…” Capt. Brown started, “You want to know what you've been sold.”
   “Yes.” Mr. Radio said. 
     “You were sold” Said Capt. Brown “The right to broadcast on TaVee. Your network, QPFA would be the first onto this new medium, and as you can guess this is a huge advantage.”
   “Alright, So I'm buying the rights off'f the Doctor here, but if he can retain a butler, why is my contract so expensive?  He obviously doesn't need the money.” 
 “Jeeves!” Dr. Smith said, “Do I pay you?”
   “No Sir.” Said Jeeves. 
      “There's your answer.” Capt. Brown said quickly. “And I assure you it's satisfactory, only one small problem I'm afraid we don't have the papers drawn up just yet.”
   Mr. Radio was shocked, “You've had a week!”
     “Mr. Radio, Have you noticed the screams?” Capt. Brown said “The panic in the streets? The giant copper robots terrorizing the city?”
    “Good. That means we–” He gestured to Dr. Smith and himself–“Have been doing our jobs. There was an outbreak of giant robots, which we stopped. I'm sure you'll hear all about it on the evening broadcast. The point is, it has taken us a week, and in that week we have not had time to deal with silly legal documents. But If you'll excuse me, I'll go and call a lawyer friend of mine, and we'll do this right now.” 
  There's no need for that.” Mr. Radio said quickly, “I've brought two of the best lawyers in the city.”
    Capt. Brown flashed a million-dollar smile, “Which is exactly why I need to call my own lawyer.”
Capt. Brown left the table, and dialed a phone in the corner. Soon, the doorbell rang.
ding dong
“Answer that, will you Jeeves?” Capt. Brown asked.

-=fig. 615: mr. slant=-
A Zombie stood on the doorstep. 
 “Let ’im in, Jeeves.” Capt. Brown said.
 The Zombie lurched over the threshold. “BRAAAAIIINSSS…” It rattled, then stopped. “Heh…Heh…Heh. Just my little…joke.” Said Mr Slant Esq., Zombie.
 “But…But BUT!” Repeated Mr. Radio. “That's a Zombie!”
   “Yes.” Capt. Brown nodded, “And for over three-hundred years he's been the best Practicing Lawyer in the city. Mr. Slant, It's a pleasure.”
    “Likewise…Mr. Brown.”
      “Slant, The Reason I called you here is because–” He explained what was going on.
         “I…See. And you have decided on a Price?”
                    “I see.” Mr. Slant addressed Mr. Radio's Legal Heavies, “Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris!
  The Legal Heavies, of course replied with “quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem”
  “That sounds like legal-speak to me.” Said Capt. Brown. “How Long do you think this is going to take, Slant?”
   “I …Can't say.  They are stubborn.”
Capt. Brown Shrugged, he had expected something like this. “Will You be needing Mr. Radio here?”
     “No. His Lawyers have a good, solid grasp of his…*wheeze*…greedy objectives.”
       “Good. Zachary, Let's show Mr. Radio how TaVee Works.”

-=fig. 616: keep cranking=-
“As long as you keep the crank going,” Dr. Smith said, “The film'll keep going past the mosaic, now the mosaic turns each frame, which is like a little picture, into thousands of little tiny bits, which are fed out this antennae to the computer terminal. You got all that?”  Mr. Radio had been scribbling madly in his book, trying to keep up with Dr. Smith. “Sure…What happens once it gets to the computer terminal?”

-=fig. 617: computer bank=-
“Almost everything. If you are using a large computer bank, as I am, you can choose to save the incoming data as a Digital File which you can then edit, or you can choose to just export the un-edited LIVE footage to a connected radio antennae. You can also, with this bit of free software,” He handed Mr. Radio a floppy disk “Switch between cameras, assuming of course you're using a multi-camera set-up.”
  “What about sound?”
      “You can use any mics you already have, I'm using a standard Boom Mic, It records onto a Record, which you then import into your computer terminal using the standard 33&⅓ Phonograph Record Drive.”
   “It all seems so…straight-forward.”  Mr. Radio was lost. But he had copied everything down, so maybe someone at the office could translate it.
      “It basically is. But all I've done is invent the technology, It's up to you to make a TaVee show worth watching.”
         “I assume all this extra, yet necessary paraphernalia isn't included in the price?”
            “Of course not.”
              “Where'll I be able to get it?”
          Dr. Smith counted off on his fingers, “The Cameras, the film, the mics and the lights; Sears and Roebuck. Or Direct from the manufacturers; Kodak, RCA and General Electrick, Respectively. The Computer banks; Apple Computer Company. Software; Me., at least at first. I'm releasing an API as soon as our deal goes public, so there'll be better solutions pretty quick.”
  “That's it?”
     “That's it.”
Jeeves walked in. “Sir,” He said “The legal deliberations are over.”