Me in Comic Books: Startup Dreams Escalation 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006.


Me in the Marvel Universe

The Book of Dreams

Hey, Kids! It's more of the original Me In Comic Books stories! Now that optical character recognition technology has finally gotten viable for my old Apple ][e printouts, the originals are finally starting to come online!

This set of stories is different from the original Me in the Marvel Universe, in the same way that night dreams are different from daydreams. These are the night dreams. In the end, the dreams merged together. But these dreams started out as a separate story sequence.

[1994 Note: Another strange Eiler dream. Or two. Or four. Or who knows how many? It's amazing how well they've started fitting together.]

[2004 Note: This sequence started in 1989, and it just kept fitting together and growing. By 1996 it grew strong enough to infiltrate and assimilate "Me in the Marvel Universe". By 1999 it assimilated "The Balance", even though The Balance was the core of a full superhuman universe by then.]

[2005 Note: This sequence shows no sign of stopping. The storyline that comes from it, is one of the two prime drivers of the Eiler Technical Enterprises web site. (The other prime driver is the "Domination of Eiler".) "Me in Comic Books" alone, is the size of six small novels - and as big as all my web hoster's small business web sites, combined. And this sequence is now so strong, the "Me in Comic Books" part of has a rule: Almost all plot elements must come from dreams. And it all started here!]

  • Introduction

    What if you and your friends suddenly got superhuman powers, and the government came to impound you - but you were already defense contractors?

    It starts when an inter-dimensional traveller named the Walking Man arrives at Hyperion Systems. And a biological menace arrives behind him. It unexpectedly converts the staff at Hyperion into paranormal beings. The paranormals fight the menace, while the Walking Man borrows a few atom bombs to wipe out the menace on its breeding grounds.

    Naturally, the military becomes interested in these paranormals, and in the Walking Man. The government eventually binds Hyperion Systems in a contract, and attempts to duplicate the inter-dimensional abilities of the Walking Man... but that leads to them finding Hell. Suffice it to say, that project fails.

    Of course, the U.S. government now wants to study the paranormals even more. However, this is no vagrant band of mutants. These are defense contractors, and their overseers have some pull with the government. An inter-agency battle rages over them.

    A compromise is made. The paranormals working for Hyperion Systems will remain in their jobs, but will be phased onto government projects drawn up to require their superhuman powers.

    Reactions are mixed. Hyperion Systems, Inc., couldn't be more pleased. They enjoy the exclusive government contracts they've just received. Several of its employees, on the other hand, are pissed off. Trouble is, they really have no choice. As some of them try to find other jobs, they wind up unemployed instead.

  • Strange Invaders

    It starts with a world where the floors in all the skyscrapers are numbered starting from 10. It gets weirder from there. And I get to help investigate. Or is that "instigate"? [First Dream, 1989 - and that's what got it started!]

    For their first real mission, Hyperion Systems provides personnel to explore an alternate Earth. There's a viewing device that shows that that Earth might be invading us.

    The teleport device is untested. One powered employee, the one most resistant to damage (namely, Rich), gets to go across first. The teleport is successful, so he stays to explore the place.

    He reports back after a week. It seems that the alternate Earth is being run by bearded aliens which can pass for human if they scowl and wear sunglasses. Rich needs help to find out any more.

    Another employee, the strangest (namely, me, Wyatt Ferguson), gets sent to help him. Scowling and wearing thick sunglasses, he looks just like one of these aliens. He goes and looks around.

    The aliens are doing some strange things. For example, they are renumbering the floors in buildings such that the ground level is called "10th Floor", and changing the elevators so they don't go below "16th Floor". People see Wyatt as an alien on the streets, and go up to him expecting him to pay 10 dollars for a handful of change.

    [1989 Note: To be continued - someday when Eiler feels really weird...]

    [1993 Continuance! Well, one night, I felt really weird...]

    Yes, this world's customs are overall weird. The aliens landed somewhere around 1955, as far as Wyatt can tell. They made some "programming" changes in humanity, apparently intended to make the species less self-destructive.

    The masculine ideal of handsomeness includes a high forehead, symbolizing immense masculinity. Instead of a Hair Club for Men, men shave their foreheads. As for women, they win beauty pageants just by looking normal and wearing normal clothes. Facial "wrinkles" with an otherwise perfect body are the ideal of feminine beauty. Aging is therefore desirable in their world. (Don't we all want to age, really? Most people think it beats the alternative.)

    Work is now officially allowed to be 10% fun. Productivity seems not to have suffered. Exercise is enforced in the workplace, which explains why the elevators don't go within six floors of the ground. Buildings now generally go 10 floors deep into the ground, to conserve skyline and etc. which explains why the ground floor is called "10th".

    Everyone works for a living. Nobody has to enforce this; they just do. Somehow, everyone finds a job they can do. Indigent mothers who would otherwise be on welfare run day care centers. Affluent mothers are happy to host these centers in their homes for a share of the take. Computer - semi - literate people never claim to be computer gurus, and are productive as data entry personnel for local merchants (instead of trying to be svstem administrators for programming houses and getting thrown out the doors).

    State supported gambling is nonexistent. People know better than to play a game which the state guarantees they lose on the average. Of course, gambling over sports still exists, but it's nearly fair. Professional sports are even bigger than in our world. The working class refuses to patronize multimillionaire athletes. Fan boycotts have occurred against teams that made major contract deals - and the boycotts succeeded. As such, every city can afford franchises for all major sports. The competency (and technology) level is somewhat lower, though. For instance, top speed for a lap at the Indy 500 is about 160 mph (as opposed to about 230 mph in our world). But boy, are there a lot of races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    [Addendum, December 1994: In our universe, major league baseball and hockey are still on strike over salary caps, while minor league baseball and hockey are enjoying a boom. Maybe these aliens really are smart.]

    [Addendum, September 2004: In our universe, the Speedway is having more races. Maybe the aliens really are taking over.]

    But literacy is even bigger than sports. People read books - especially comic books - even in sleazy bars. It would seem that comic books never suffered a decline in popularity due to censorship. Indeed, they are state-supported as a teaching device. As such, most people read them now, and many have crossed over to read written books. Science-fiction commands major literary attention.

    Speaking of sleazy bars, they still exist. People still drink, but bad driving isn't a problem. Public transportation takes care of that. For those who insist on driving, drunkenness (or lack of sleep, or caffeine overdose, or whatever) is considered irrelevant - only the quality of driving counts.

    Paper money is nearly worthless. The aliens consider that concept to be useless. Coinage is the standard. And barter, on the other hand, is cool.

    Oh... and warfare has changed from conquest to "counting coup". A symbolic defeat is everything these days.

    This "omniverse" invasion thing seems to be an accident. Someone on this other world discovered our world, plus the means to cross to it. And the first impulse was to cross the threshold and "count coup".

    For some reason, Wyatt rules out overthrowing the aliens. Might he sympathize with them?

    But it turns out to be fairly easy to deflect the aliens and their human allies. All Wyatt has to do is go home for a project memento: the "Crown of King Loser", a prize from a project build contest, printed on special film. With the crown (great and technologically verifiable symbol of working for a living - assuming you have a densitometer) along with his own manly forehead (suitably shaved), he joins the invasion force with incredibly high rank. Wearing the crown along with the Seven Flags of Speedway (great symbol of a powerful sport) plus a T-shirt saying "Indy 500 - Life Begins at 220", he takes over the force and leads it on a raid of our Boston.

    The raiding force consists of a flotilla of hovercraft and a fleet of helicopters. The helicopters are armed with paint guns (which are effective enough when they hit the windshields of other aerial vehicles). The hovercrafts have stun guns, and are loaded with infantrymen with restraint devices.

    The plan is to use Boston Harbor as a central staging area which will not be easy for the opposition (mostly police forces) to attack. Special forces will be secretly offloaded at points convenient to public transportation. First open strike will be against all highways within and including route 128. At first sign of opposition the raiding forces will use land routes to concentrate along the North Shore, from Winthrop to Marblehead. When the opposition is thoroughly committed there, the bridges between there and Boston will be interdicted (by dropping cars from helicopters) while the main force strikes along the Southeast Expressway in Boston and Quincy, moving east along the shore as necessary to escape serious opposition. Helicopters will run interference with enemy aircraft as necessary.

    The raiders return victorious with their booty: a red ribbon for each raider (all torn from car antennas), a pile of traffic cones, a warehouse full of State Police radar guns, and Mike Dukakis's subway pass. They take one casualty from police opposition. The dead raider is buried as a martyr, and the raiders decide the price of the raid is too high to ever pay again. They never return to our Earth. Wyatt stays behind to cover the tracks, and tells a story of being their prisoner.

  • Tarzan in Spag's Casino

    Also featuring Siberian tigers, trained dolphins in the town water tank, and the evil High Priestess who wants to marry Tarzan and destroy the rest of us. [Second Dream, 1993 - and that's what made it a sequence!]

    The second challenge to Hyperion Systems is when a strange fog settles over Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. When the fog lifts, one building is changed: Spag's Old School House Store has become Spag's Old School House Casino. It has two live Siberian tigers on display inside. And a long-haired athletic Englishman is trying to free them. Wyatt is sent to investigate.

    It seems the Englishman is Tarzan! Wyatt surreptitiously makes common cause with him to liberate the tigers, then recruits Tarzan for Hyperion Services. Tarzan is welcomed to the company in an elaborate ceremony involving trained dolphins in the Westborough water tank. By this time Wyatt has gained control of the division hiring practices, and has hired all his cool friends from other companies. In fact, one of his friends from Polaroid (namely, one "Jennifer") trained the dolphins.

    The cause of the Shrewsbury fog turns out to be a common enemy of Tarzan and Hyperion Services. A former employee of Hyperion (namely, one "Helen"), who left the company under bitter circumstances, is actually the High Priestess of the Lost City of La. She's trying to make Tarzan her mate, and brought him across the universes along with the Old School House. She captures Tarzan, Wyatt, and one other Hyperion employee who's dating Tarzan now (namely, one "Karen"). Karen duels the High Priestess for Tarzan's freedom, while Wyatt yells demoralizing comments at the Priestess. The combination brings victory for Hyperion.

    [By the way, I was once asked "Which Tarzan?" I responded "The Tarzan." To which I was asked, "But was it Johnny Weissmuller?" No, it wasn't; it was the comic book Tarzan.]

  • Spymaster vs. Howard the Duck

    Good thing this one takes place in a cookware factory. Conveniently near the new Busch Gardens Prairie at the Indy 500.

    The fog happens again, in Indianapolis. When it lifts this time, "Busch Gardens Prairie at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway" is left behind. Wyatt, being a native of Indianapolis, leads the investigation.

    The investigation leads him to a cookware factory just east of the Speedway. The factory's a front for the Spymaster, a costumed spy from the Marvel Universe. A strange fight involving martial arts, cookware, and Howard the Duck (also from the Marvel Universe) ensues. Fortunately Howard is himself a martial artist. Having once attained the rank of Master of Quak-Fu, he is trained to instantly counter any maneuver made with cookware against a duck. The Spymaster is forced to flee. And, of course, Howard joins Hyperion Services.

  • Invalidus

    The Living Embodiment of Total Quality takes on Jim Shooter, editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics. [Third Dream]

    By now, the Services Division of Hyperion Systems is well established in both the software and paranormal services trade, in both public and private sector industry. Wyatt must have mental powers or even control over reality, because he's established the practice of realistic scheduling within the software industry and made it successful. And instead of total quality slogans like "Adding value for our Customers through Excellence and Innovative Technology, he's built a "SCUM Team" around the "Software Creative Urge Mechanism" slogan.

    And that brings upon Hyperion the wrath of a godlike being; Validus, the Living Embodiment of Total Quality, Validus can flawlessly (albeit with a bias) interpret any standards document and propagate it through any media he pleases, from electronic links to bumper stickers. But he works best with slogans.

    Hyperion Systems encounters Validus when it decides to make a deal for comic book publication software. Hyperion sends a representative (namely, one "Jan") to the office of Defiant Comics, only to find that Validus is there torturing their Editor-in-Chief (namely, one "Jim Shooter") for publishing comics with dialog such as "The Coppery Tang of Gore is So... Arousing!" Validus is haranguing Shooter: "So you thought you could slip that one past Tipper Gore, huh? Well. the Comics Code specifically states that,..". But the Hyperion representative saves Shooter by pointing out that Defiant Comics don't include the Comics Code Seal of Approval anyway. Validus swears vengeance against Hyperion Services, and disappears.

  • The Test

    (It's always interesting to take a psychological test when it involves the Joker and Janis Joplin. And this test could mean the end of the company.) [Fifth Dream]

    After all this, the U.S. Government is finding their control over Hyperion Services to be awfully tenuous. The employees of Hyperion are media sensations, and the company is successful enough to thumb its nose at the government. Don't you hate when that happens? The Gov does. One imagines them joining with the High Priestess of La, Validus, and the Spymaster for a climactic confrontation with Tarzan, Jim Shooter, Howard the Duck, and Hyperion Services.

    The first move when that happens is to impound Wyatt for psychiatric examination. The exam starts with role-playing - at which Wyatt expects to exceed. They put out a bunch of action figures, and he picks the Joker. But then a woman comes in dressed as the Joker, and says "You can't play that one, you have to play Janis Joplin." Sure enough, Wyatt is handed a Janis Joplin action figure. Just to make things interesting, he makes Janis a terrorist. Needless to say, he fails the exam. One can imagine Validus and the High Priestess of La laughing, as Wyatt retroactively fails his security clearance and is imprisoned.

    [Continuance] At command of the High Priestess of La. the "fog" strikes again. Multiple targets. Eastern Connecticut is turned into a gambling Disneyland run by Indians. [What, you mean it's happening anyway? Oh well.] All Connecticut residents are required by law to serve two weeks a year as croupiers and cocktail waitresses. So long, "Jan" and "Dana". Utica, New York gets it also, as the breweries there (in alliance with most of Pennsylvania) make their own Disneyland in competition with "Busch Gardens". They conscript their natives likewise. So long, "Kevin", "Steve", and "Leon". So sorry you came from Polaroid just for this.

    Inspired by new "fog" driven laws as interpreted by Validus, several states do likewise. Wyatt is deported back to Indiana to serve time at "Busch Gardens Prairie". And several Massachusetts-born employees are drafted for "Spag's Olde School House Casino". Naturally, all Hyperion employees get extended sentences. Tarzan, Jim Shooter, and Howard the Duck escape for now, due to state boundaries. Even though the Spymaster hunts them.

    But the Priestess doesn't know when to stop. Boston gets it next, followed by Harrisburg. State government in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania becomes determined by the "Wheel 0' Scheduling", run by gamblers on the side. The results go out on the two Commonwealths' Keno networks. Some of the politicians act embarrassed as they conform to the wheel's entries, which are mostly of the form "Some Time" or "When Ever". But most live with it. Of course, mostly nothing gets done; the Wheel is accurate in its mostly negative forecasts. Businesses become subject to wheel gambling as well. Validus is still satisfied, since things are still going according to law, including sanctions. Has Evil triumphed?

    Well, not yet. Luckily, Hyperion is a nationwide company. Its executives are all conversant with the slogans Validus spouts, but it has noticed productivity going down since its employees started getting deported all over the place. It could fight this. Too bad its reaction is to make its remaining employees work unpaid weekends. Has Evil triumphed yet?

    [1994 Note: We'll see. It seems appropriate to get out of this one however Titan Client/Server Technologies gets out of its 1994 situation. Offhand, my guess is "Hyperion II Enterprises" is formed from Hyperion survivors, and takes over the market.]

  • Omniverse the Card Game/Disjointed

    Work sucks - but we know that, so I've resigned. But while I run a card game in a casino in
    Speedway, doom approaches. [Sixth Dream - which helped resolve the plot corner the first five dreams wrote me into!]

    Yes, Wyatt has been deported to Indiana to work in the gambling industry. But the United State Government has failed to find a way to neutralize his apparent mental powers. He's used them for gain. And he really doesn't mind making an impressive living back home again in Indiana.

    This is the night of the debut of "Omniverse the Card Game". Tickets to this gambling session at Busch Gardens Prairie were sold for an incredibly high price. It is a two-round session for the paying entrants. While they all go through their first round, a group of celebrities will play a mock final round for nationwide TV. Players include Kathy Mattea, Jerry Garcia, David Gilmour, Senator Richard Lugar, Teri Hatcher, and Jim Shooter. Wyatt hand-picked these.

    But meanwhile, a catastrophe is happening. Another former Hyperion employee (namely, "Jan" whom we've met - and so has Invalidus) flees the East Coast abruptly. And her head - only - lands in one of the Busch Gardens Prairie hotel rooms. And it's a room that's being demolished by robot workers.

    Her head has to roll over to the phone, dial someone's number with her nose, and poke the "S.O.S." code over and over. She can't speak; her lungs are elsewhere.

    It would seem Jan is used to this. She can teleport, but only in parts. Her parts land farther apart the farther she goes. They can survive without losing blood; it's a form of stasis. The parts can even move by mental will, using stored oxygen in the blood cells. But the oxygen requirement imposes a limit. And the robot workers are coming close to demolishing the entire room.

    Wyatt gets the call on his wrist communicator. (Beepers are out of date!) He hears the S.O.S. code. Luckily the communicator can trace the call. He gets Jim Shooter to take over running the game, and takes some hotel security to save Jan's head.

    As Jan lies in the hospital, her body parts are recovered from throughout northern Indiana. And meanwhile, it becomes obvious what she was fleeing from.

  • The Oversaur

    The Oversaur is an unstoppable dinosaur-like creature which absorbs the abilities of those it eats. It rules its world and absorbs the power of all who challenge it. And it's coming for us. People are fleeing to London to set up a resistance.

    [Author's Note, 1988: This is the kind of dream I get when I read Harlan Ellison before bedtime. And this predated this entire sequence. It was overwhelming Massachusetts - at least - in that dream. And in that dream, "Helen" - in this sequence the High Priestess of La - was going to London to organize the resistance. And the Oversaur is already part of Omniverse the Card Game. Dreams are funny that way.]

    There are other survivors of Hyperion, even though they were the first target of the Oversaur. Hyperion II Systems will rise again! [Author's Note, 1988: My, this gives the Oversaur a certain villainy from the real world.]

    It's not that we actually start winning, but we do find: the Oversaur flees across the universes when it can't consume enough to feed its power at current levels.

    Of course, it helps when Hyperion II assembles a team to contact the Strange Invaders from the first alternate world which Wyatt encountered. They help send the Oversaur elsewhere in search of better prey. See you at the Apocalypse, Oversaur.

    Me in Comic Books: Startup Dreams Escalation 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006.
    Spymaster and Howard the Duck are trademarks of Marvel Comics. And where else but here would you ever find them in the same story? Tarzan is probably trademarked by the estate of Edgar Rice Burroughs, though there's a chance he's public domain by now. All other characters in this fiction are coypright © 2006 by Eiler Technical Enterprises.