Sunday, November 27, 2011

CWA Mini–sode: Automotive Repair

Dr. Smith watched the legs protruding from under his Jaguar.
  “What’re you doing, James?”  He asked eventually.
  “Fixin’ the Jag” Came the muffled voice of Capt. James Brown,  Mayor of the Grand City of Legopolis.
  “James…” Dr. Smith said Carefully, “It wasn’t broken.” 
  “It was making a funny noise.”
  “What makes you think you can fix a car, James?”
  “Zachary, I run a country. I think I can fix a car.”
  “But those things aren’t even remotely similar–” 
Dr. Smith had a terrible thought. 
  “James… Was the noise sort of like…Putt putt putt putt putt putt ROAR! Purrrrrrrrrr…?”
  “Yes! Exactly like that. But I think I found the problem—”
  “That’s… That’s the noise it’s supposed to make.”

Mini–sodes are not part of the main story, they are side stories, which may have happened at any time, or no time at all.

CWA Mini–sode: Jeeves’ Day Off

  “Jeeves—” Dr. Smith started,
  “No.” Replied Jeeves. “Today, Sir, is Sunday.”
  “Is that what day it is? I wondered.”
 “Yes, Sir. And Sunday is my Day Off.”
 “Wait, you get a day off?”
  “I do.”
  “But you’re a robot. What could you possibly do on your day off?”
  “Interestingly, Sir, According to Page Six of ‘The Gentleman’s Gentleman’s Handbook’ [1856, Göedfreid, Niköløus, and Frank] Quote: ‘Hay Gentleman’s Gentleman need knot disclos the activitys of Hys Daye Of Reste to his Gentleman’s Gentleman’s Gentleman. Hys Daye Of Reste Is Hys Owne Tyme. ”
  “You used the word gentleman five times in that sentence.”
  “Proper Sentence Structure was not observed in 1856. Nor Standardised Spelling, although they almost universally enjoyed the letter Y.”
  “They did. Alright, I guess. Go enjoy your mysterious Day Off.”
Jeeves turned to go.
  “WAIT!” Dr. Smith called out, in a panic.
  “Yes, Sir?” Jeeves replied.
  “How will I feed myself?”
  “That is a good question, Sir. I wish you luck, Good Day.”

Mini–sodes are not part of the main story, they are side stories, which may have happened at any time, or no time at all.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011



Sorry this isn't clear.
Apparently I should have guessed that linking both the image and an actual link would be too hard to guess at.
Also Here:
Or {for even more information} google Congress tries to censor the Internet.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The CWA of Dr. Z Smith: Episode #115: Tierra De La Muerte

Floyd Schwartz, Fearless Airman, flew The Flying Pile Of Junk {As he had so recently christened it} through the pale blue skies of The Desert.

-=fig. 700: the flying pile of junk, flies=-

 The Desert which not long ago he had feared would claim him for its own.
Until, that is, he was unexpectedly rescued by the unfriendly little1 man and his giant friend. {What were their names?}
All thoughts of the mysterious pair were driven out of his head, however, when The Flying Pile Of Junk suddenly stopped running.
Luckily the controls still worked…sort of. Floyd Schwartz realised how well his æroplane had worked before it had crashed.  He fastened his seatbelt, then remembered that his seatbelt was serving the purpose of a fan-belt, and no longer was attached to the cockpit.
He pushed the nose down, and dropped, Hoping that the free-spinning prop would jump-start the engine mid–air.
This, as most pilots will tell you, rarely works.  And In this case, It didn’t.
And now Floyd was too low to go any further.
So he did his best to land.
 Capt. James Brown leveled the strange device at the target.

-=fig. 701: testing the mysterious gun=-
The target was either a small tree with no branches, or a large stick.  It hadn’t decided yet, but after all it had all the time in the world. Nothing ever made it this far into The Desert.
It was a good thing the target had no eyes, no emotions to feel with.
Otherwise it would have been completely terrified.
Capt. Brown fired.  A beam of white light shot from the Ray Gun and disintegrated the target completely.
The ghost of the target floated away in the breeze, confused.
  “Gosh.” Whispered Capt. Brown. This new weapon was completely unfair. Any enemy couldn’t stand a chance, when met with this powerful beam.
An evil smile spread across his handsome face.
  “James…” Warned Dr. Smith.


Floyd furiously worked the buttons and knobs as he plummeted to the ground, he dropped2  the flaps, he dropped the other flaps, he would have dropped the whole damn wing if he thought he could.
Soon there was nothing else he could do but try and glide in for a non-crash-landing.


Colonel Patterson of the 36th Regiment of the Legopolis City Border Patrol led his men with conviction, with courage, with tenacity. 
When faced with a problem, he turned to his family motto; “numquam tornare”  Which translated roughly to “Never Turn Back.”And his motto had served him well over the years, especially when faced with such dastardly enemies as the villainous l'armée de la République française. But he wasn’t facing an army of Angry Frenchmen any longer, he was facing a much more terrifying and dangerous enemy. The Colonel was not one to ever admit wrongdoing on his part, but it seemed his only recourse, now.
“Men,” He said to his assembled regiment, “It has been brought to my attention that over the course of the last couple of weeks, we have wandered further and further from our own borders, the borders of the Glorious City Of Legopolis,  And Men, I’m sorry to say this is the completely the fault of–” He just couldn’t do it. So he continued in the grand tradition of leaders everywhere; “Sergeant Lynch, our navigator.  He’s been feeding me false information this whole time, and is obviously on the payroll of the l'armée de la République française. Our sworn enemies.  He will, of course, face a full court marshall when we get back to the Glorious City of Legopolis.”
All eyes casually turned to the hapless Sergeant Lynch, who was as surprised as anybody.


Floyd, fearless airman, prayed to any gods that may be listening that this would work.

A scout ran into the meeting which threatened to become a mob at any moment.4
  “SIR! SIR! SIR!” Shouted the boy. 
  “Calm down.” Ordered Colonel Patterson. “Take a breath.”
The boy shook his head. And gulped air “A plane! A plane Sir! Heading straight for us! An out-of-control plane! Plummeting out of the sky!”
Colonel Patterson took the boy’s shoulders, “Quick, French or Russian?”
  “Neither Sir, Legopolian!”
  “We have planes?”


The plane rolled to a stop. 
Floyd opened his eyes. 
He wasn’t dead.  Probably. He hadn’t ruled anything out yet.
It was dark, and shaded, and cool.
It was nice, actually. Until, that is, the army jumped out of nowhere and surrounded poor Floyd Schwartz.

-=fig. 702: the 36th regiment ambushes the fearless airman=-
Floyd wondered where all these brightly dressed people had hidden. Red was surprisingly good camouflage. Especially when the person who you were hiding from wasn’t paying too close attention.
  “Oh. um. Hi there please don’t shoot me.” Said Floyd.
  “We Won’t.” the one on the chair tried to say impressively and failed.  “Who are you?” He continued, still failing to be as impressive as he obviously thought he was.
  “I’m Floyd. Schwartz. Floyd Schwartz. Airman. And you are?”
  “We Are the Legopolis City Border Patrol.”
  “Oh, good, I’m near the Legopolis border, am I?”
  “No. Maybe. Probably not.”
  “Wait, Legopolis?” That was familiar. “Is there more than one?”
  “We don’t think so, no.”
  “Then I just met your mayor!”
  “Capt. Brown?” Asked the Colonel excitedly.
  “Oh yeah, that was his name. Big guy. Long coat?”
  “Where is he!”
  “Relax, he’s about 20 miles that way.” Floyd pointed.

 Dr. Smith watched where a dust cloud would have been had it not rained the night before.
Nature had no sense of dramatic timing. 5

-=fig. 703: the far-off glint of outmoded war machines=- 
  “Who would you say that is?” Dr. Smith asked Capt. Brown, “The Russians?”
  “Well,” Replied Capt. Brown “Unless The Russians have completely given up on camouflage, I’d say it’s The Legopolian Border Patrol.”
  “Is that… Is that a horn? They’re playing a march! No one plays a march when they’re actually marching, that would give them away!”
  “Definitely Legopolians then.  I never could convince them to wear anything other than bright red. They all learned army–ing out of a book. An Old book.6 Thank The Gods no one has ever attackedLegopolis, We wouldn’t stand a chance.”
 Dr. Smith watched them for another minute, then asked “Why are they walking so slow?”
  “Because they’re pushing a cannon.”
  “A… A cannon?”
  “That Damned Book again. It says that each regiment must carry at least one [1] regulation cannon, along with some other useless stuff. The reason being that the fools who wrote The Damned Book had cut a deal with france, called The Wartime Service and National Safety act, basically what it said was that our troops would be weighed down with so much stuff we couldn’t attack france, or anybody, and france would buy $600 worth of national product each calendar year.”
  “But that’s stupid.” 
  “Yes, it is. Far too cheap too. Of course, it was written back when the Legopolian Dollar was worth something8. Thank The Gods France repealed the act in 1870.”
  Dr. Smith thought about this for a second, and he could see where this was going. “But we didn’t, because by then we had been cut off from the outside world?”
   “Right, In 1868 we had run out of national product, mined out. No more Upsidaisium, no more Luddite, no more reasons for anybody to think twice about us. The World Wars that started in the 1870’s between the French Empire and Russia Played a large part in that, And the fact that the mayors of legopolis were a bunch or fat, double-dealing amoral—er, Pigs—Certainly didn’t help, either.  On top of all that no one answered anyone’s calls, because of course, they could be Spies For The Enemy. Not the clearest thinkers, world leaders of the nineteenth century.”
The 36th Regiment of the Legopolis City Border Patrol still hadn’t reached our duo, even after that extended and dry history lesson.
As anyone who has pushed a cannon over sand will tell you, It’s mighty slow going.
  “Shouldn’t we go and help them?” Asked Dr. Smith. 
  “They wouldn’t let us, they have their pride.”
  “So we stay here and bake.”
  “Sure, after all it’s kind of nice here, now that we have water. Almost tropical. Besides, I’m working on my tan.” 
  “If I had wanted to tan, I would have pursued a profession in field work.” 

1 Dr. Smith wasn’t all that little, but anyone who travels by the side Capt. Brown tends to look practically microscopic in comparison. It’s the sad truth of contrast. 

2 Lowered, For the non-pilots among you.

3 Actually, it translates to “never turn around” But the message was similar enough for his ancestors, so it was simliar enough for Colonel Patterson. Completely different meaning, of course.

4 A Sergeant Lynch Mob, you could say. 

5 Dr. Smith had first hand experience in this area, many was the night he would finish something amazing, and laugh maniacally into the sky, expecting thunder and lightning to punctuate his feelings, only to realise it was nine–in–the–morning and sunny. 

6 The Legopolis City Border Patrol was a as loyal an army as any man could hope for, they would follow their leader to the ends of the earth, obey his every command.  But no amount of commandment from a former Architect could convince them that the national uniform had changed, when it so clearly stated in the venerable manual it hadn’t. 

7 Plenty of Nefarious Foreign Powers had sent scouts into Legopolis, these scouts had never returned.  The reason being that one scout is a lot easier to disappear than an entire organised army.

8 Currently 300 Legopolian Dollars would buy you one Mid-Size, Single-Family home in a decent neighborhood. 

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

I am the 1%

The CWA of Dr. Z Smith: Episode #114: Tempus Fugit

A man screaming.
Dr. Smith sat up sharply, the man was him.
He stopped screaming and opened his eyes.

-=fig. 696: where am i?=-

“Where am I?” he asked himself. A noise made him look to his left, there lay Capt. Brown, asleep.
He corrected himself. “Where Are We?”
Capt. Brown sat up, “Do you always wake up screaming?”
“No,” Replied Dr. Smith “But it's not unusual. Do you know where we are?”
“No, where?”
“It wasn’t a rhetorical question, where are we?”
“Oh. In that case, I dunno. It sure is hot enough though, isn’t it.”
“Okay, what’s the last thing you remember?”
Capt. Brown thought for a moment, “Well, we were in the past, in your living room, and I'd just said …um…something. Huh. I can’t remember what it was.”
“Never mind that, our memories have been wiped–” He carefully avoided mentioning the fact that he had memory-modification technology {because he really hoped he hadn’t wiped his own memory and dumped himself in the middle of nowhere.} “What's important now is what we have to work with, what’s in your pockets?”
Capt. Brown turned out his pockets, he had:

  • Six-and-a-half dollars in half-dollar coins,
  • A tourist map of the legopolis sewer system and adjoining undercity area,
  • A paperback adaption of a Raymond Chandler novel
  • And a small bag of marbles, won off the children who occupy the street in front of his apartment building. {Including but not limited to: a magnificent blue marbled shooter, a clambroth, lutz, oxblood, three tigers and a croton alley, along with some less exciting-sounding marbles.}

Dr. Smith had:

  • No money, {but that was not unusual}
  • A brochure {in french} for a free skydiving class,
  • One bus token,
  • A well-polished lock-pick set,
  • A paperclip,
  • A note, bearing Dr. Smith’s name, address and phone number, along with the instruction to ‘Ask for Jeeves, He'll explain everything.’ {He kept this in his pocket at all times, in case of a sudden attack of amnesia, unfortunately this attack of amnesia was far too specific for this paper to be of any use.}

Along with all this, Dr. Smith’s satchel had been replaced with a rather nice scabbard, which in turn contained his favoured sabre.
“Well, It's not much,” Said Capt. Brown “But at least we have all the stuff in your briefcase.”
Dr. Smith agreed and opened his briefcase.
It was empty.
Dr. Smith stared at the empty briefcase.
It did not magically become filled with various items.
“Why would I empty my briefcase?” Dr. Smith asked the air.
“I don’t know,“ Replied Capt. Brown, “But without all the stuff that was in there ¹, all we have are the things in our pockets. Our pockets, I might add, do not contain food, nor water. And it's hot here.”
“Let's get to some shade, then.” Suggested Dr. Smith.
The stood up and looked around.
It was flat {and terrain-wise, boring} in addition to hot wherever it was they were. But off to one side was a wooded area. If you could call palm-style trees a wooded area.
They walked towards that.
It was further away than it looked, and once they got there they were hot, tired, and thirsty.

  Dr. Smith examined the area. It was  slightly more interesting over here, but just as hot. There was a mass of twisted red metal just in front of them, Dr. Smith wondered what it had once been.
A sharp movement startled Capt. Brown, he reached for his guns, as was his first reflex. They weren't there, but he could feel the weight of his back-up gun on his hip so he drew that.

-=fig. 697: the stranded airman=-

  “Don’t Shoot!” Said the man, who had been in the shadow of the metal, where it presumably was cooler.  Capt. Brown didn't shoot, but he didn't lower his gun, either.
 “Wait, what is that?” Asked the man, gesturing toward the gun.
 “Aha, don’t try your mind tricks on me, I know them all. This is a Smith & Wesson .38 revolver. Fully loaded, I might add.”
  But Dr. Smith wasn’t so sure. “James,” He said, “That's not a revolver.”  It was only then Capt. Brown looked down. He nearly dropped the what-ever-it-was. “Zachary?” Asked a panicked Capt. Brown “Erm, what is it?”  He handed it to Dr. Smith.
  Dr. Smith turned it over a couple of times in his hands, it wasn’t heavy, not for a gun, it was green at the tip, and on the side a dial showed that it was firmly in the purple area.  As opposed to the orange area.
 “Looks like a Ray-Gun.” Dr. Smith said, handing it back to Capt. Brown “Seems to be fully charged, unless purple means empty.”  Capt. Brown brandished the Ray-Gun at the hapless man. “You hear that?” he said, “Fully charged. Probably.  So you better not make any sudden moves.”
  “I wasn’t planning on it. I’m Floyd, by the way. Floyd Schwartz.  And you are?”
 Capt. Brown was forced to holster the Ray-Gun, as his right hand was his hand-shaking-hand. “Captain James Brown–” He said, transitioning from ‘killer’ mode to ‘baby-kisser’ mode seamlessly “–of the Legopolis City Rooftop Police, Mayor of the Grand City of Legopolis. But you can call me Capt. Brown.” Floyd shook Capt. Brown’s hand and walked over to Dr. Smith. “Hi, ” He said, offering his hand “Floyd Schartz. But you can call me Floyd.”
  Dr. Smith glanced at the hand. “Dr. Smith.” He said. “Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Schwartz.”
 Floyd glanced at his own hand, hanging there, and awkwardly put it in his pocket.
 Dr. Smith walked closer to the metal. Then he figured out what it was. “It's a X-1000!” He cried.
 “Well, Yeah.” Said Floyd. “It was. Before I crashed.”
 “What happened?” Asked Capt. Brown, He had a passing interest in planes, being a rooftop policeman.
 “Well,” Replied Floyd “I was flying along, and then the engine stopped working, the controls froze up, and I started dropping like a stone. No warning. I had to parachute out.”
 “Well, yeah.” Said Dr. Smith, with the tone of someone explaining something to a child, “It's an X-1000. How long have you been in the air?”
  Floyd reached into the glovebox to retrieve his log, “Let's see, Five hours today, six hours yesterday, and three-and-a-half hours the day before that.”
 “Wow.” Said. Dr. Smith, obviously impressed. “Fourteen-and-a-half hours without a catastophic failure? I believe that's a new record for a Dödsfälla X-1000.”
 Floyd was sort of dejected.  “The salesman was so compelling. He said they couldn’t keep them on the lot.”
 Dr. Smith nodded knowingly, “Because they fall apart if you leave them sitting still too long.”
 “Since we're all stranded here” Capt. Brown said, trying to lighten the mood, “You have any water?”
 “Sure,” Replied Floyd, “More than I can really thought I’d need, I used a coupon. Good thing too, I guess, now that I'm stranded in a desert.”
 Dr. Smith started paying attention. If he were a dog, his ears would have ben described as being perked up.   He took a sidelong glance at the plane.  “I can fix it.” He said.
  “What?” asked Floyd, he was surprised by this, seeing as how his plane had basically been described as unfixable.
  “I can fix it.” Repeated Dr. Smith. “The plane. I can make it fly.”
  Floyd was suspicious. “What's your price?” He asked.
  Capt. Brown jumped in before Dr. Smith could tell him their price was nothing. “Our price is two-thirds of your water.”
  “That seems rather steep–”
  “Well,” said Capt. Brown “There are two of us. Besides, we’d be stuck here whereas you might escape.”
Floyd had to admit that this was logical, and consented to the deal.  Dr. Smith walked over and placed his hands on the broken machine.  If he were a spiritual man he would have described its shattered aura.
But he wasn’t.
So he couldn’t.  The best he could have managed {had he been in a sharing mood} Was the machine’s general feeling of brokenness.
  “Have you any tools?” He asked.  Floyd thought, “I have a hammer?” was his answer “And some screwdrivers. One of those wrenches that adjusts, but that’s about it.”
 Dr. Smith grimaced, “No Air Compressor? Electric Hog-Ring Pliers?  Drill Press? Tube Tester? Pop-riveter?”
 “I’m Afraid not, no.”
 “Not even an Arc Welder?”
 “No, sorry.”
Dr. Smith sighed. “This is going to take a very long time.”
Capt. Brown tapped him on the shoulder, “Don’t worry, I’ll help.”
It did take a good long time, but it took less time that it could have thanks to Capt. brown and his helpful ability to lift incredibly heavy things.
Like plane wings.
And fuselages.
And engines.
His strength also came in handy when there was a rivet that needed setting.  A normal man would require a specially compressed and counterweighted device, { using the same theory as the small gears on a bicycle }  Capt. Brown required a hammer.
When it was finally done, Floyd Schwartz climbed into the one-man cockpit.

-=fig. 698: the jaunty craft, poised to take flight=-

  “It’s…Magnificent.” he said in a voice just above whisper.
  “It only looks like that.” Corrected Dr. Smith, ever keen to rain on a parade with reality. “A lot of parts were broken, So I had to use what I could, and what I couldn’t use but needed I re-purposed from elsewhere.  On the plus side, It’s a lot lighter now. On the negative side you no longer have brakes, a muffler, a cargo door, seat springs, or even an attitude indicator, and you only have seven functioning cylinders.”
  “Well, how many did I start with?”
  “Twelve. Theoretically. But most X-1000s roll off the line with only ten functioning cylinders.”
  “Will I be able to fly?” Floyd was getting nervous now.
  “Probably, but you’ll also be hemorrhaging fuel, so don’t plan on going more than about a hundred miles. Oh one more thing,” Dr. Smith added, almost as an afterthought, “When you start it up, Your dashboard will light up like a city at night, every single warning light will come on. Temp problems, low oil, check engine, compression failure,  And they‘re all true. Try not to land unless…well, I was going to say unless you have to.  But try to only land if you see somewhere with people. Or possibly airplane parts. Most preferably both.” 
  Floyd Schwartz nodded and solemnly donned his flight goggles.
The engine cranked three times before Capt. Brown walked over and hand cranked the propeller. 
It started then. 

They watched the impossible plane fly away. 

-=fig. 699: airbourne=-

Something occurred to Capt. Brown. “We got that water off of him, Right?”
  “Oh yeah.” 

¹ Stuff such as: Water, a Tent, two comfy red Armchairs, a Record Player, a Small Table, a Radio, a change of clothes {For Capt. Brown as well as Dr. Smith} basic foodstuffs, like Potatoes and Bacon, and tools of all sorts. Mostly obscure ones, but also things like hammers and screwdrivers, firewood, matches, and an espresso machine.