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#ReleaseTheRavenCut


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The Freedom Ledger Online

 

#ReleaseTheRavenCut

by Dancia Devons

 

At the top of the story a video plays of an old ‘80’s film, an older Centurion turns to look as an armoured foot stomps down. A pan up shows a power-suit in with the familiar form of The Raven.

 

If you ask the more discerning comic book fan they will tell you one of the best comics of the 80’s was a The Raven Rises, a comic that imagines a very 1980s future where an old Raven comes out of retirement to save Freedom City opposed by a similarly aged Centurion now working for a government that bans superheroes. What many don’t realise is that there was a film made of the comic, though only a few clips have surface in the last forty odd years. Many consider it a cheaply made film to keep the rights, like Coorman’s Atom Family movie, but many insist that it a fully realized movie on par if not better than ‘78s Centurion: The Movie or ‘89s The Raven.

 

So when rumors began to circulate at the end of last year that a print of the film had been found the internet was quick to call for the movie to be released, creating the now famous #ReleasetheRavenCut hashtag…

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Claremont Canteen, Lunchtime

26th February 2020

Even in a school like Claremont cliches tended to determine who sat where in the canteen, or Teams as they were politely called, so someone who broke the rules could cause quite a bit of gossip. A new girl weaving through the crowd for a specific person would later call a bit of a buzz. In this case she made her way straight to where Davyd’s table and stood and asked politely.

 

Hi there is this seat taken?”

 

Whilst a younger it was obviously the face of Daphne, the Earth bound Grue that was Davyd’s mentor, who probably should be here quite like this.

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Horrorshow

 

Davyd Palahniuk didn't need to eat food.  Oh, he still enjoyed it, and if he went too long without eating something, he'd feel peckish, though that was probably more psychosomatic than physiological.  One of the subtler gifts of his Grue biology was that his systems could now adapt to process pretty much anything, which he'd used to gross out a few of the younger students (and some of his friends) and to grab a bite from anywhere on campus.  If trapped in the vacuum of space, he might starve, or he might convert into something that could photosynthesize, or even dry out and hibernate until conditions proved more favorable, like a tardigrade!  Not that he was particularly interested in exploring the limit of that particular ability.  Although he had been to outer space twice in the past eight months...

 

At any rate, he and his roommate Benicio Wang were sitting with half-finished meals in front of them, looking at a movie trailer on Ben's phone.  It was for a remake of Bloody Mary, an early 1990s horror flick, which likely explained why Dayv jumped when the young lady appeared.  "Ah!  Oh, ha ha, hey," he cocked his head, "Daphne?"  He stood and offered his hand, "hey!  What brings you here?"

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Miss Grue

With a smile and a little nod to Ben Daphne sat down and carefully and deliberately started to open the milk carton. She didn’t need to eat or drink, a gift of her childhood bathing in cosmic waves, but she like to experiment with trying different foods. Especially junk food she wondered sometimes if sugars had an extra effect on her kind. She’d have to ask her uncles at some point about that.

 

I’ve been using the Leagues resources to try to trace some of the cache’s created for nefarious ways by me people, I think I have a lead. So I was wondering are you up for like a field trip? A little bit of a search for our cultural heritage, and partly that Grue tend to work in groups so I need an extra pair of hands.”

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Horrorshow

 

Davyd had sat back down, but after Daphne's pitch, he practically leaped out of it again. "Sure!," he exclaimed, "where is it?  Is it here on Earth, or out on some other world?  Or on an asteroid?  Do you know what's in it?  Intelligence they've gathered on others?  Technology?"

 

"Duuuude," he turned and slapped Ben on the chest, "can you imagine what would a Grue computer would look like?"

 

"Uh, I mean," he quickly turned back to his mentor, a sheepish expression on his face, "can Ben come along?  He can be good at infiltration, and with technology, and in a fight, in case there's any trouble."

 

He tilted back to Ben, "Miss Grue's told me most of their tech is organic, and some of it's psychic, mentally controlled.  But some might have keyboards... though they'd probably be like those silicon gel ones."

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Octoman

 

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At any rate, he and his roommate Benicio Wang were sitting with half-finished meals in front of them, looking at a movie trailer on Ben's phone.  It was for a remake of Bloody Mary, an early 1990s horror flick, which likely explained why Dayv jumped when the young lady appeared.  "Ah!  Oh, ha ha, hey," he cocked his head, "Daphne?"  He stood and offered his hand, "hey!  What brings you here?"

 

"I'm kinda worried the remake is gonna lack the political subtext of the original. Like, that one was all about The Troubles in Ireland. All the best horror movies are like all the best sci-fi movies, y'know? They're ABOUT something. Blood effects look SICK though. Looks like they went practical. Mad respect."

 

Ben didn't recognize Daphne at first, having only seen her in her "superhero mode" shape. "Hey, 'sup" he offered, barely even looking at her. But then the suckers which periodically unfolded from the creases in his palms like tiny flowers blooming caught a big whiff of her, and his eyes widened, recognition dawning. "OH HEY! 'SUP!" He turned his full attention to her. "I thought that smell was just, y'know, HIM." He pointed a thumb at Davyd. "So are you, like, a teacher here now?"

 

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I’ve been using the Leagues resources to try to trace some of the cache’s created for nefarious ways by me people, I think I have a lead. So I was wondering are you up for like a field trip? A little bit of a search for our cultural heritage, and partly that Grue tend to work in groups so I need an extra pair of hands.”

 

"Hell to the power of YEAH we're up for it!" He gave a sideways fist-bump to Davyd without looking at him. It didn't occur to him that he might not be invited.

 

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"Duuuude," he turned and slapped Ben on the chest, "can you imagine what would a Grue computer would look like?"

 

Ben's eyes widened, further than they should have been physically capable of. He grabbed Davyd's shoulder. "DUDE! I'M GONNA BE JEFF GOLDBLUM!" For a few moments, his flesh shifted and changed colors until he looked and sounded exactly like the actor did back in the mid-1990s, complete with a pair of black-rimmed glasses that were formed from Ben's own body. "MUST GO FASTER! Do your stuff. Jolly Roger! CHECKMATE."

 

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Miss Grue

It good to see you again as well, with the misunderstanding fight as well this time.” she grinned “And I just happen to have a Grue AI on me, though she's more family to me. Please doing rummage around her operating systems to much it’s been to much.”

 

With a smile Daphne bring out a small cube mat black cube around the size of a rubric cube, which she placed on the desk in front of Ben

 

I am Mother Unit! And the Grue have found ways to efficiently interact between the organic and inorganic, though I like to think the distinction doesn’t matter.

 

After a pause Daphne carried on explaining her findings.

 

When the Grue came here in the ‘40s they set up a series of drops with materials and resources for later invasions. I use some of the funds they set up to help others out myself. So I think I’ve found a vault they set up somewhere in New Mexico.”

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Horrorshow

 

"Hi, Mother Unit!," Davyd greeted the tiny computer with a smile and a wave.  He looked to Ben, then back to the M.U., "oh, hey!  Ben here's great with computers -- maybe he can help repair you!  I mean, uh, with your permission, of course."  He turned partway to Ben, "they were caught in a cosmic storm, damaged her ship and computer.  Probably both hardware and software issues."

 

As Daphne continued, his eyes slowly grew wider, much like Ben's had a few moments earlier.  "Grue... 1940s... New Mexico... oh!"  He spun around to face Ben Goldblum, and grabbed him by the shoulders, "Roswell!  Roswell!"  He was practically vibrating with excitement, "this is gonna be awesome!!!"

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Octoman

 

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I am Mother Unit!

 

Ben dropped down so that his chin was resting on the table, his nose just a few inches away from the black cube. "Hey. I'm Ben." He poked at it in a few places with his finger. "Whoa. So, like, what's your interface like? All voice commands? Can you make any kind of visual output? Or do you do, like, a psychic link kinda thing? Are you, y'know, self-aware? Are we talking true A.I. here? HALO-Cortana or Windows-Cortana? HAL or Clippy?"

 

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As Daphne continued, his eyes slowly grew wider, much like Ben's had a few moments earlier.  "Grue... 1940s... New Mexico... oh!"  He spun around to face Ben Goldblum, and grabbed him by the shoulders, "Roswell!  Roswell!"  He was practically vibrating with excitement, "this is gonna be awesome!!!"

 

Ben slapped Davyd a high-five. "HELL YEAH! CONSPIRACY-BROS! Mulder and Scully up in here! The truth is out there and we're gettin' ALL up in its grill!" He turned to Daphne. "So what're we waiting for?"

 

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Miss Grue

From the top of the cube was a little hologram, a tiny rather prim and proper looking (human) woman dressed how you’d imagine Mary Poppins would now a days. The little hologram spoke with the same British Received Pronunciation accent, though she also choose to also continue speaking telepathically

 

No one ever questions a humanoids self-awareness! She sounded a little hurt as she spoke And I’ve been designed to be able to interface with almost all operating systems, included your squishy ones.

 

Daphne smiled at the conversations following along the best she could.

 

If your the X-Files then I’m not sure what that makes me! But as it happens my UFO is parked outside when we’re ready.”

 she grinned “And its not Roswell I’m afraid, there was a more successful landing at Aztec about a year later, the government managed to pass it off as a hoax at the time...”

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Horrorshow

 

"Oh, maybe you and I can be Mulder & Scully," Davyd offered, looking back and forth between his mentor and his roommate, "and Ben can be Kolchak the Night Stalker!  Or, hey, if we're infiltrating, we could all be," his flesh shifted form and color so he now appeared to be wearing a black suit and tie, and sunglasses, "Men -- and Women -- in Black."

 

The young metamorph lit up even more at the mention of Daphne's UFO.  "Baby?  Baby's outside?  Great!"  He turned back to Ben, shifting back to his shorts and tee-shirt appearance, "you'll love it in there, it's suuuper comfy!  The chairs mold right to you!"

 

 

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Octoman

 

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No one ever questions a humanoids self-awareness! She sounded a little hurt as she spoke And I’ve been designed to be able to interface with almost all operating systems, included your squishy ones.

 

Ben threw his hands up. "Whoa, hey, no offense intended. So, d'you want us ta call ya 'Mother Unit', or, like, 'Mom', or what? Wait, 'squishy ones'? Do you mean, like, our brains?" He pointed at his own head.

 

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"But as it happens my UFO is parked outside when we’re ready.”

 

"SWEET!" Ben leapt to his feet. "I'M GONNA RIDE A SPACE-SHIP!"

 

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"...and Ben can be Kolchak the Night Stalker!"

 

"DUDE!" Ben slapped Davyd another high-five. "Deep cut! MAD respect."

 

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"You'll love it in there, it's suuuper comfy!  The chairs mold right to you!"

 

"Cool! Usually I'm the one molding to the chair, you know how it is. Hey, what if the chair tries to mold to me while I'm trying to mold to it? What happens if we have a mold-off?"

 

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Miss Grue

Mother Unit will be fine Ben

 

Daphne finished her milk with a smile before putting it on her tray and standing up slowly.

 

Why don’t you carry her out to Baby, she parked on the field just outside. I’ll join shortly, I better smooth things a little with Headmistress. She still scare me and I never even went here!”

 

As if on cue as Daphne left a few of the other students began looking out of the windows towards the quad as the area went dark from Baby dropping her cloak and was now visible. Hanging silently above the quad, just above the heads, was the flawless silvered hull of the craft, showing no harm from the vast distances it had travelled.

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Horrorshow

 

"What would happen?," he repeated Ben's question, then slapped him on the chest with the back of his hand, "well, there's only one way to find out!"

 

"Ooh," he cringed a bit -- actually shrank a few inches -- when Daphne mentioned the Headmistress.  "Yeah, you better go... uhh, yeah.  Good luck: she might still be a bit sore over what happened on Valentine's."  As she left, he popped the remainder of his lunch -- an entire red apple -- into his mouth and chewed it, slowly and thoughtfully.

 

It'll be fine.  I'm sure it'll be fine.  She can sweet talk the Headmistress into letting us go.  Okay, pull yourself up, focus -- show Baby to Ben!

 

"Yo, Beni!," Davyd whispered, though his mouth was still busy chewing the apple.  He brought his hand out from under the table, which had morphed into a hand-face, with the thumb and index finger reshaped into a mouth and two tiny eyestalks coming off the top of the index finger.  "Baby's right outside.  Wanna go see before Daphne gets back?"

 

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Octoman

 

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"What would happen?," he repeated Ben's question, then slapped him on the chest with the back of his hand, "well, there's only one way to find out!"

 

"Now THAT's what I'm TALKIN' about! You're really learnin' how ta LIVE, Man."

 

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Mother Unit will be fine Ben

 

Ben pointed twin finger-guns at the computer. "Right. 'Mother Unit' it is. Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, but hey, stuff doesn't always translate."

 

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Why don’t you carry her out to Baby, she parked on the field just outside. I’ll join shortly, I better smooth things a little with Headmistress. She still scare me and I never even went here!”

 

"I mean, sure, if ya WANT to. But, y'know, like they always say, it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. We could just GO, and tell her about it LATER. Or just go and not tell her about it AT ALL. Just wanna make sure we explore all the options here." He scooped up the computer. "Alrighty, let's...get you home, I guess?"

 

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"Yo, Beni!," Davyd whispered, though his mouth was still busy chewing the apple.  He brought his hand out from under the table, which had morphed into a hand-face, with the thumb and index finger reshaped into a mouth and two tiny eyestalks coming off the top of the index finger.  "Baby's right outside.  Wanna go see before Daphne gets back?"

 

"NICE. Dude, you even gotta ASK? You had me at 'SPACESHIP'."

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

GM Post

From the perfect silver hull a small patch shimmered as it formed a hatch and a beam of light flashed down to the grown, along with a slight hum of power.

 

If you step into the beam it will take you up to the ship, I am told it tickles a bit but will cause you no serious harm. I would have Baby land but that would cause some disruption and I do not want Daphne to get any more trouble than she will be already.

 

A few of the fellow students were looking up at the craft with some awe, and it probably wouldn’t be long before some teachers showed up.

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Horrorshow

 

Davyd began whistling the X-Files theme melody as he approached Baby, growing a second mouth at the front of his throat to perform the underlying arpeggios.  (It wasn't a great performance, but it was better than most people could do with just one mouth.)

 

Hrm, can't really get in with any subtlety.  May as well have some fun!

 

Once he got to the entry-beam, he stopped just before it, and turned to face the gathering crowd.  He struck a heroic hands-on-hips, chin thrust forward pose.  "I have to go now," he announced, in as hammy a tone as he could muster, "my planet needs me!"  He then took a step back, and began his ascent into the ship.

 

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