A letter to:
Doctor Cosmonaut, 86 Memory Lane, wherever commies go when they die
It's not so easy to put the past behind us as we always wish it would be. Or at least, not until that final putting behind. The Freedom League asked me to join up (capes aren't a requirement with this group, pretty clearly). Yeah, yeah, yeah, I hear you carping, but I don't have a lot of options, here. You served your Red masters, and when they said frog, you said "rib-bit"; I serve Truth, Justice, and the Star-Spangled Way, and I've already proved I don't do that very well by myself. You remember, you were there. Or at least, you were there for a while.
You would have loved it, it was a disaster from the git go. These guys are strange, and I'm having a lot of trouble adjusting to crime-fighting again. There are a lot of little things I could mention, like the fact that when a bunch of zombies attacked their base I was practically useless, pinned in a corner and struggling just to keep vertical, but after the fight this clergyman that had been the target of the attack walked up and shivved the wizard I had finally managed to put down. Vanguard started to explain to him that this was a no-no, but I went off half-cocked and stormed out. If I'd stuck around I'd have found out that they did arrest the guy, like I thought they weren't going to.
In my own, poor way, I'm keeping the faith with you, Doc. I suppose public embarrassment is the least one can expect from trying to do a good turn for a commie, but I do owe you one. Or a dozen. I wrote Triple-Forte a bitter letter, and he wrote back explaining my misunderstanding. If I haven't learned prudence in over 50 years of crime-fighting, I suppose I'll never learn it at all. You can't teach an old dog to do gnu tricks.
This particular herd of gnus has some odd ones. Foxbat has been around, applying for admission to the group, and they're stringing him along. It seems mean-spirited, somehow. And then there's Mason: I still haven't figured him out. Just before the zombie attack, he disappeared. Did he have something to do with it? I have to think he did, since he locked the door so that the zombies could corner me. What is his game? Kluxers, zombies, and then in the latest battle he just lay on the floor and pretended to be hurt while the team was getting blitzed by a gryphon, an enchantress, and a couple of fire-breathing dogs. Nobody else seems to notice. But I am a stone. My middle name is Proudence, er, that should be prudence, but oh, well. If I can't be prudent, I can be patient; that I did learn over the years, if not on the Delta then up the river.
Our current mission revolves around some mystical invasion of L.A. that rumor has it is taking place. DEMON (the guys with the zombies), the Dark Masters, the Circle of the Scarlet Moon, and, I suppose, Howdy Doody and the League of Psychotic Ventriloquists. Four women have been murdered in what appears to be a ritual way. Our available clues are sparse, but we pick one and track it down, and it's a winner. (I think that was the thing you hated the most, that we heroes get the lucky breaks in the end. Clean living, you pinko bastard.)
The townhouse of a missing high society couple yields a gryphon nest (we think a gryphon was involved in the murders) and a scribbled note indicating the name of the next victim. We have no choice but to race off to the couple's estate north of town. It's Howdy Doody time!
We interrupt the ritual already in progress, and fight the aforementioned dogs, gryphon, etc. I focus on the dogs, that being the assignment given me by Vanguard. It actually works out okay, they being about my speed (one old dog to another and all that). The gryphon caught me off guard, and rang my bell a little, and then more than a little with a pretty nasty cut across my chest: it would be another scar for my collection, if I scarred very easily, but Triple-Forte gets me back on my feet. There's no gnus like good gnus.
The battle starts going our way, with our various foes mostly down and mostly staying down, although there's still this crow-woman swooping about. No one has interrupted the ritual yet, though, and it looks like it is getting close to completion. Wasn't that Mason's assignment?
I take out the last of the hounds. Suddenly, a careening Mack Truck strikes me from behind, driving a 12-foot lance through me, or at least that's what it feels like. Say goodnight, Gracie.
You know what, Doc? I hate to leave things hanging in the middle of the action like this, but I think I'd better go get some sleep, the quicker to heal this lance wound. I'll finish this another time.
Keep cool, cat, (to the degree possible where you are),