Last week I began sharing a Mystery Science Theater 3000 fanfic from the late 90s. This was based on two pieces of Legion of Superheroes fan fiction, the incomplete “Dreams of a Lost Past” and the complete “Loss”. “Dreams … ” was run in full last week. Now, let me begin “Loss”.
The Legion of Superheroes written about here were a 30th Century team of teenagers using their superpowers to play a never-ending bonkers game of “The Floor Is Lava”, each round of which had a 15% chance of blowing up the Universe. Anyway, a longrunning piece of the setup was how Brainiac-5, descendant of the city-shrinking-and-stealing computer-brain supervillain Brainiac, had a doomed crush on Supergirl. Not because Supergirl lived in the 20th century — they were up to their hips in time-travel — but because she died for real and good and this time we mean it in a pivotal issue of the Crisis On Infinite Earths series. And Brainac-5, most intelligent being in the galaxy, with a whole twelfth-level computer brain, with access to a time machine and the ability to make robot duplicates of whatever the heck he pleased, couldn’t figure a way to keep her in the 30th century while she’s seen to have died in the 20th. If you’re going to keep looking at me like that we aren’t going to have any superhero comic books to read at all. Anyway, “Loss” is about Brainiac-5 dealing with how Supergirl just died in 1985. Let’s read.
CROW: The inside story of the New Jersey Nets.
> An untold tale of the Legion of Super-Heroes
TOM: All the tales too ticklish to untell.
> by Doug Atkinson
TOM: Or At Dougkinson. Whichever.
> The Man of Steel soared into space,
JOEL: Hey, look, there he is.
> carrying his grim
> red-wrapped burden.
CROW: So that’s Krypto’s Super-Pooper-Scooper.
> He came to a stop somewhere outside the
> orbit of Jupiter,
TOM: He’ll have to swerve to avoid hitting the monolith.
> and released it with a gentle push. As it
> slowly tumbled towards the giant planet,
CROW: Bet Irwin Allen’s behind this story too.
> he bowed his head
> and whispered, "Good-bye, Kara…Linda Lee…Supergirl.
JOEL: And all the ships at sea.
> will miss you forever."
TOM: At least if you keep ducking.
> He remained there for a moment, then
> turned back towards Earth. There was a Crisis that demanded
> his attention.
JOEL: Wendy and Marvin need help on their homework.
> The corpse of Supergirl, wrapped in her cape of
> stretchable Kryptonian cloth,
CROW: [ Singing ] It’s magically delicious!
> drifted until it impacted the
> surface of the moon Callisto. With a faint spray of methane
> snow, it settled into the ice.
CROW: Give me a Supergirl, straight up, on the rocks.
> A short time later, a large sphere of metal and glass
> appeared from nowhere. Its front opened, and a purple-clad,
> green-skinned man stepped forth.
JOEL: The Incredible Hulk?
TOM: The Mask?
> Although seemingly
> undefended from the vacuum and near-absolute zero
> temperature, his molecule-thin transuit served as more than
> adequate protection.
TOM: So don’t think he was a dummy.
> Gathering the corpse into his arms, he whispered, "At
> last I have a chance to correct one of the greatest
> injustices in history."
JOEL: Excuse me, it’s called Social Studies now.
> He cradled the corpse for a second
> before stepping back into the time sphere and activating the
> return control.
TOM: No, Mr. Beckett, I’m not going to give you a ride home.
> The sphere entered the time stream, vast
> bands of hallucinogenic color shooting past with neon
CROW: Or neon colors with hallucinogenic numbers. Whichever.
> 11111000001….11111001011…11111010101…until he
> at last 101110101001 flashed past, and the sphere came to a
JOEL: [ Singing, roughly, "21" ] So it seems like 101110101001 is gonna be a good year…
> Its pilot stepped into an enormous laboratory and
> carried his prize to a strange device, which looked archaic
> and out-of-place amongst the high-tech wonders surrounding
TOM: It’s hard to explain the love a person has for his first Mattell Aquarius.
> He gently placed the body on a bench that had been
> specially cleared for this purpose, and turned to work.
JOEL: You know, sawing a woman in half doesn’t have the same suspense when she’s dead.
> * * * * *
> A brown-haired man in an exotic red-and-green costume
> stood before the thick door and hammered futilely.
CROW: So he’s visiting a Christmas ornament?
> Brainy. Open up already. You don’t want me using my ultra-
> strength to tear this door open, do you?" There was no
TOM: [ Whining, nerdily ] Aw, c’mon, let me in… I’ll cry!
> His hands and feet were braced to rip open the blast-
> shielded door when a foot-wide sphere of metal and energy
> floated to him.
JOEL: Ooh, Carl Sagan’s spaceship is visiting.
> "*breep* Legionnaire Jo Nah will refrain from
> damaging Legion headquarters. *breep*"
TOM: [ Sinister voice ] Oh, yes, you will *indeed* refrain from damaging Legion headquarters. Mwuh-ha-ha-ha-HA!
> Jo turned from the door to face the floating major-domo.
> "Computo, I have to talk to Brainy. Open the door."
> "*breep* My master has set the privacy warning
JOEL: Bet he’s looking for dirty pictures of Catwoman on the Internet.
> and has
> indicated his desire not to be disturbed. No one is allowed
> past this door. *breep*"
TOM: You know, I think Computo is being typecast as the *breep*ing boy.
> _I hate this obstinate bundle of
> circuits_, Jo thought.
> "This is on Element Lad’s orders,
CROW: Element Lad.
JOEL: A lad, a plan, a canal, lanthanum.
> Computo, on his
> authority as leader. Priority override the door…now."
TOM: You cross me, boy, and I’ll get the whole series of actinides on your case.
> "*breep* Complying…" The doors slid open.
JOEL: Such airtight security. You really see why computer locks have replaced latch and key ones that can’t be overridden.
> Jo didn’t
> bother to thank the computer; he just walked in, the doors,
> shutting behind him.
> Brainiac 5
CROW: Detroit 4, in ten innings.
> looked at Jo with undisguised hostility. "I’m
> working on a private project, Ultra Boy. Leave me alone."
> "Yeah, I know what your ‘private project’ is.
TOM: Gerbil farming for fun and profit.
> squinted. "My penetra-vision shows me Supergirl’s body on
> that bench, so don’t try to pretend.
CROW: You’re planning to go to the Genesis planet!
> I figured this was what
> you were up to."
> "How did you know?
JOEL: I don’t…actually I’m kind of winging this whole deal.
> I hid my traces when I stole the
> time sphere."
> "Rond and Dr. Chaseer knew something was wrong when you
CROW: Put on that Afro wig and demanded we address you as "Courageous Cat."
> got that look in your eyes and took of from the bar like a
> Korbalian lightning beast was on your tail.
TOM: The lightning beast’s not Korbal?
> You may have
> designed the time travel monitor at the Time Institute,
JOEL: I mean, sure you may have. I don’t know. Heck, I don’t even know who you are.
> you can’t sabotage humanoid intuition. And when we saw the
> Exchanger was gone from the security room, it didn’t take a
> twelfth-level computer brain to figure out what you were up
CROW: So… what are you up to?
> "Well, now that you’ve satisfied your curiosity, you can
> leave." He turned back to the Exchanger and began making
> small adjustments to its circuitry.
JOEL: Stupid picture-in-picture button never works…
> "Not so fast, pal. Dreamy thinks you’re going to try
> something desperate, and I think she’s right. You’ve never
> been good at handling emotions.
TOM: But you make up for it with your telephone skills.
> You need someone to talk to
> before you do something crazy."
CROW: Now step away from the corpse, return the magic machine to the library, and leave the frozen moons of Jupiter in peace.
> "Crazy?" Brainy’s voice raised for the first time as he
> spun on Jo. "Crazy?
JOEL: [ Cheery ] And proud of it.
> That’s what I am, isn’t it?
CROW: [ As above ] Well, yeah!
> The crazy
TOM: Man, it’s like you’re reading our minds.
JOEL: Let’s blow this popsicle stand.
[ ALL file out. ]
[ COMMERCIAL BREAK ]
[ To be continued … ]