2015年11月16日 星期一

The Justice League of America v. Taiwan (Part Three of Three)


"This aggression will not stand!" cried Superman at the Justice League headquarters, "Those Taiwanese bastards killed me!"

"Now wait a minute," said the Flash.  "That's not what I said at all.  I said they killed another you, on a different Earth.  The you you is obviously still alive!"

The six heroes - Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Martian Manhunter, the Green Lantern, and the Flash were in the control room, gathered around a large table.  Superman, the leader of the Justice League, was standing at the head of the table, while the five other heroes were sitting around it.

"I don't give a fuck," said the unapologetically racist man of steel, "Those chinks poisoned me with their damned sports drink, and now it's time for payback!  Who's with me?"

Superman looked around the table as four hands went up, the Flash abstaining.  All the scarlet speedster could do was sigh.  It had been a long day, and explaining the situation to the other superfriends had not been easy. 

"But how do you plan on getting to this other Earth?" asked the Flash, "I mean, it's not like I can carry you all there!  I might have my speed force back, but I never had super strength!"

Superman thought about this for a while, and then remembered that he had a machine in his Fortress of Solitude that could take them all where he wanted them to go.

"Let's go!" said Superman as they all filed out the door.  Superman, the Martian Manhunter, and the Green Lantern chose to fly the distance, Batman and Wonder Woman boarded their respective vehicles, and the Flash ran behind the other five.  In no time at all they arrived at Superman's hideout, and within the crystalline walls of this sanctuary they managed to locate the required machine.

It was a large transparent chamber mounted on a metal pedestal.  From the top of the chamber a multitude of wires protruded, and a small workstation was connected to the chamber by these wires. 

Of course it took Superman a while to figure out how the machine worked.  The instructions were, for some inexplicable reason, in Spanish, and Batman had to help him puzzle out the more difficult parts.  After some educated guesses they were finally able to key the correct sequence into the workstation, and the six heroes entered the chamber.

The Flash hesitated before entering.  Part of him knew that something would go wrong - something always did - yet in the end his curiosity overwhelmed his misgivings.  He only hoped that disaster, whenever it happened to strike, would spare him.

As the machine hummed to brilliant life a blinding light filled the space they were in, and then they found themselves in Taiwan, on Earth-T, before their reception in Taipei had been scheduled.  It was a sunny day and the Taoyuan airport was largely empty, save for a single 747 taxiing into position for take-off.

"Let's find this Chiang Ching-kuo guy," said Superman, "He'll know where to find this other guy who kills me!"

The Martian Manhunter easily located Chiang Ching-kuo, the President of Taiwan, in Taipei, and the heroes converged in front of the Presidential Manor, where he was then working.

With a great heave Superman ripped the top several floors from the building, throwing this rubble into the streets where it killed a score of innocent civilians.  Inside the eviscerated building he found Chiang Ching-kuo, cowering beneath his desk.

"Alright you fucker!" screamed Superman, "Tell me where to find the guy who poisons me later today!"

Chiang Ching-kuo, cowering within his Western clothes, was about to reply as a blur passed between him and Superman.  A moment later the kryptonian was sent hurtling through the sky, some kind of blow having knocked him from his perch above the Taiwanese President.  Chiang Ching-kuo ran to safety in the depths of the building.

The other members of the Justice League, hovering not far away, looked across the wreckage of the Presidential Palace to see six other people, hovering in the same manner.  There was a man dressed like Superman, though with green clothes and an emblem on his chest of a figure running.  There was another man dressed like the Green Lantern, though his ring and clothes were red.  There was a man dressed like the Flash, seated upon a scooter.  There was a woman dressed like Wonder Woman, though her costume consisted of the Chinese chi pao.  There was a man dressed like Batman, though his costume was reddish-brown and his emblem also looked different.  There was a giant rabbit, capable of flight.  It was clear from their defensive posture that they had intervened to save the President from molestation, and that in a moment further hostilities were likely to begin.

"We are the... Ying wen dze me jiang?  We are the League of Righteousness!" shouted the man who resembled Superman, "And we will not allow you to harm our nation's leader!" 

The Justice League could not believe what they were seeing.  Was it possible?  Did Taiwan have its own superheroes, too?

"I am Supau-man!" said the greenish superhero who had struck Superman.

"And I am Red Lantern Festival Man!" said the man who looked like the Green Lantern.

"I'm the Taitung Flash," said the man upon the floating scooter.  "Hey, Barry."

"Me?  I'm Wondrous Woman!" said the woman who looked like Wonder Woman.

"The Flying Squirrel... Xia," said the man who looked like Batman.  "Sorry, my English not so good!"

"Jade Rabbit!" said the floating rabbit, "I've come here from the moon!"

And with that a second blur passed between the two superhero teams, and Supau-man was sent hurtling through the air.  Superman had returned, and he was spoiling for a fight.

Seconds later the two teams of superheroes joined in battle.  In true comic book form, they talked copiously while they smashed each other through walls, threw each other over buildings, and crushed one another with cars and trucks.  The author of this story could type out their monologues in the space below, but it's Monday and he doesn't feel like it.

As per the usual comic book protocol, similar characters faced off against each other.  Superman and Supau-man took to the heavens for their super-powered fistfight.  Red Lantern Festival Man and the Green Lantern did the same.  Wonder Woman and Wondrous Woman battled in the street.  Batman and Flying Squirrel Xia leapt between buildings.  Jade Rabbit and the Martian Manhunter fought a less interesting contest of mental powers, and the Flash and Taitung Flash, already knowing and liking one another, adjourned to the local convenience store for a beer.

The fight between the Justice League and the League of Righteousness was brief but pointless.  Supau-man, grabbing Superman by his head, vomited forth a large quantity of kryptonite-laced super supau into the man of steel's face.  The man from Metropolis then began melting, and seconds later he was reduced to a pool of liquid, upon which floated a red and blue suit.

"Dead for good this time?" asked the Flash.

Red Lantern Festival Man then used his super power, which was emitting a yellow glow.  The Green Lantern, powerless against anything yellow, found his ring rendered useless.  Red Lantern Festival Man then delivered a swift kick to the Green Lantern's balls, and Hal Jordan fell to the ground, weeping like a small girl.

"That must have hurt," said the Taitung Flash.

While he spoke, Wonder Woman and Wondrous Woman were in the midst of a stupendous catfight.  Both women were pulling hair, ripping one another's oufits, and saying various mean, bitchy things to one another.  Wondrous Woman won the disagreement with a comment about how Wonder Woman's ass looked fat, and the Amazonian retired from the field of battle, seeking solace in a local tea shop.  Wondrous Woman had a 3:30 appointment at a nearby salon, so she left, too.

"That was kind of turning me on," said the Flash, "Too bad they stopped."

The contest between Batman and Flying Squirrel Xia took a bit longer.  There was a lot of swinging around on wires, and everything they threw at one another seemed to miss.  Eventually they were both knocked unconscious by flying debris, and after this they were both dragged into a nearby alley - Huaxi Night Market (Snake Alley) by name - and from there they met a grim fate.

The struggle between Jade Rabbit and the Martian Manhunter was less interesting, and they're lame superheroes anyway.  The Taitung Flash and the regular Flash stopped paying attention after a while, and instead turned their attention to a group of girls that were walking into a nearby KTV.  They were sitting on a pair of folding lawn chairs, and other bystanders had gathered around them.

"Well that didn't turn out well," said the Flash, "But then again I told them."

"Yeah," said the Taitung Flash, "That battle was retarded, too.  Except for Superman getting his face melted off.  So much for the Justice League of America.  Not that the League of Righteousness did much better.  I guess we're down to four now that Flying Squirrel Xia is someone's dinner.  Or five, if you count Jade Rabbit.  

"...but I'd rather not count Jade Rabbit.  He's ridiculous."

"Yeah, I'd have to agree on that," said the Flash.

Supau-man descended from the skies.  The Flash had never found Superman's poisoner, so he didn't recognize him as the man from Part One of this story.  Apparently one his many soft drink experiments had given him super powers, or at least the ability to vomit forth a large amount of super supau.  Stranger things have happened.

"What? You're not fighting?" said Supau-man.

"No," said both of the speedsters.  "We know each other from before.  Or after."

"Yes," said the Taitung Flash, "Barry was here before or after, depending on whether he traveled into the future or the past, and also depending upon whether you subscribe to Hindu cosmology or not."

"Got it," said Supau-man.  "Anyway, you guys hungry?  I'm buying."

"Sure," said the Flash, "But shouldn't we wait for those other two to finish?"

Supau-man looked over at Jade Rabbit and the Martian Manhunter as Red Lantern Festival Man walked over.  Both Jade Rabbit and the Martian Manhunter wore a look of great strain upon their faces, but other than that the two did not move.  They stood stock still, with their arms at their sides, facing one another.

"Naw," said Supau-man.  "They'll be at that for hours, and in the end they'll just give each other a headache.  I know a great dumpling restaurant near here.  You guys up for dumplings?"

The Flash, the Taitung Flash, Supau-man, and Red Lantern Festival Man agreed that they were, and they set off for the dumpling restaurant that Supau-man had mentioned.

It was a sunny day in Taipei.  1978.

And it was a good way to begin the story, if not to end it...





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