A couple of the new initiates in the Brotherhood of Bronze had been acting up, so I hauled their tuckuses (grammar mavens: should this be tucki?) off to my Fortress of Solitude for some intensive training. You don't get to be a big bronze pillar of heroitude like myself without discipline, as these youngsters were soon to discover.
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Anyhoo, as I mentioned earlier, I've worked out a timeshare arrangement for my Arctic fortress with another fellow, and what do you suppose? Not only was he there, but he'd left his underoos hanging on the doorknobs and was enjoying some spaced-out antics in the Phantom Zone... sans pants! Now, even obscured by the ethereal ripples of interdimensional space, the sight of a stainless-steel johnson is hardly conducive to bringing out the bronze in the youth of today, as it leads to titters and somdomy and who knows what-all at what might be termed an impressionable age.
This is far from the first time I've run across my fortressmate in flagrante delicioso, I'm chagrined to say. Back in the spacey seventies, when he had some cockamamie scheme of redecorating all in crystal or goodness knows what, which I put up with until he had some leather space bikers over and I had to sort them all out. The point I'm trying to make it, back in those days of free love and John Williams mood music and lava lamps, the other Clark - I mean, the other fellow, who's not named Clark, it's just that we have this thing where I call him Clark because he calls me Clark, and he calls me Clark because that's my name, and it all adds up to high jinks, and maybe I should just move on and salvage what I can of this story - has a young lady reporter over. Normally I'd object to this intrusion (our outfit doesn't go in for publicity) but it's readily apparent that this is a close encounter of a decidedly nonjournalistic kind. He's lit up some of those glacial wall-crystals and some of his holographic Marlon Brando tapes, and has finagled her over to this stone slab we sleep on for discipline. Boy, was my face red! (It was actually still bronze.) Anyway, it turned out to be not so much of an issue that I barged in when I did, because lady reporters tend to be a little freaky.
( For those of unimpressionable age onlyCollapse )
I am not waiting by the telephone. I'm Doc Savage. I am preparing to spring into action. (Action is my business.) I am coiled, waiting to strike.
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I am sitting next to the telex machine. There's a difference.
I'll bet you kids don't even know what a telex machine is. In most of the world, they use telex machines as a matter of course. Why, there wouldn't even be an internet were it not for the telex. Telex technology is what made the fax seem possible. And now... if it doesn't have 'In Sink' and teen porn you just don't want to know about it. That's why I'm indulging this world wide fad while it lasts: because young people need help, too, and that's why I'm here. That's why I operate askdocsavage. That's why I help troubled youth better themselves in my boy army, the Brotherhood of Bronze. And that's why I 'go into' chat 'rooms' to inquire about "any boys 14-17 that want to chat." In case you were wondering about that.
It's for the children.
I even have one of those infernal mobile phones now. I feel like my 'dot-com' incorporate lawyer grandson come to life.
So I wait for a call for help, from any part of the world. I conduct my chemical experiments, and continue (as always, even in the deepest dungeon under seven sheets of solid rock) my daily two-hour regimen of scientific exercises. (Details available for Brotherhood of Bronze recruits in a separate, secure entry.)
I am eating a madeleine. It reminds me of blood.
I saw her again today. The one who reminds me of things undone. I just glanced out the window, using a super-telescope of my own invention, and happened to catch sight of her bedroom window just as she was stepping out of her 7:46 A.M. morning shower. I almost forgot about the time change, but as I may have mentioned, I'm Doc Savage. I rarely forget.
There's something about the way her moist raven tresses coil about her clavicle and scapula that recalls fondly a long-ago colleague of mine last seen in Fallen, Fallen Is Brigadoon: A Doc Savage Adventure. There are few recollections that are fonder than we twain with twin machetes slashing at the foliage en route to the last known coordinates of the lost city.
I've yet to meet a more thorough bohemian. The word "adventuress" had fallen into disrepute at that point in time, but the way she "reclaimed" it was simply magnificent. Miss Poppins remains the most capable woman I have ever known.
I'm sorry, I mean "known."
Much as I'd love to continue this walk down mam... ahem, memory lane, it's quite nearly time for my daily immersion in my isolation tank. If anyone needs me, leave a message. I'll be absorbing healing solar rays and listening to Glen Miller. Crazy, as the young hep squad says. Out of sight.
Out of mind.
|Subject:||Hero for hire|
Even after returning from the distant Arctic and founding the askdocsavage service - more than enough for one day for most people, especially when you factor in the usual two hours per diem of scientific study and equal hours of physical exertion - I'm feeling a bit antsy. I haven't rescued anyone in almost ten days, since I liberated scores of schoolchildren from a sort of satanic boarding school in the British Isles.
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These 'students' had been brainwashed into believing that they were some sort of master race, with special powers beyond the ken of mere mortals. They were turned against their own families, using special derogatory jargon to refer to "normals."
The tragic thing is they were given no classical education at all, just sloshing muck about in phials, carving up small animals, inhaling vapours, lighting candles and cursing their parents. They came out of this exclusive school emotionally stunted, pale and sickly, with the literacy level of a common garden vole and thousands of brain cells irreparably lost.
I sorted them out.
Since then I have been embroiled in research at my Arctic Fortress of Solitude. Before you say anything, I know, you that was the other Clark. I mean - not Clark, I don't know what I was thinking with the Clark thing. Another fellow. Who's not named Clark. Just another heroic-type person. Anyway, I had the place first. I've been around a bit longer, you know, and when an Arctic fortress fell into my lap I couldn't very well pass it up. But it's pretty far away, and I don't get out there very often, so I worked out a time share with this other fellow. And next thing I know there are cameras everywhere and all this hullabaloo. I don't take much to grandstanders. Water under the bridge now, anyway, long since turned to ice.
Three of the children I liberated from the school joined me in my seclusion to aid me in my scientific research. Children are so resilient. One minute they're kicking and screaming and calling me names in their cultish cant, and the next they're pleading to let me join the Brotherhood of Bronze. Even one of the girls wanted to join, and we had a good laugh at the thought of a wisp of a girl enduring the rigours of the all-boy army. Maybe when they upgrade to the Siblinghood of Steel, one of the eager young boys said, which wasn't too polite but I had to stifle a snort. But we feared she'd start cutting herself or something - you hear such stories of lost youth in this day and age - so we let her come along as a charter member of the ladies' auxilary.
What passed in the Fortress of Solitude is in the nature of an initiation, and as such is meant only for card-carrying members of the Brotherhood of Bronze. Maybe someday, youngsters. But for now, these weary bones and itchy rippling muscles are headed for a well-earned rest.
And tomorrow, perhaps, doubtless, surely, another adventure will rear its head.
|Subject:||A helping hand|
My name's Clark Savage, but most people call me Doc, whether or not they've been invited to. I help people.
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I don't intend for this journal to become a litany of my and my colleagues' already too well documented exploits (a busybody named Robeson being the main culprit in the distasteful to-do to date). Our outfit doesn't go in for publicity. But in an age of information, it simply makes sense to establish an online presence so that those who are in need can better seek our services. To that end, I have established the askdocsavage help desk, for which this journal is to serve as a - what was it Long Tom called it? - "feeder site."
If the occasional account of my deeds in the service of humankind can help demonstrate to the imperiled that I and my associates are here for them, I will consider pandering to sensationalistic tastes as a means to an end. We are not circus performers, but we are not above flexing our muscles to show that a strong arm is available to lift you out of danger and doubt.
In the meantime...
I'm Doc Savage. And I'm here. For you.