Salesman | Dogboy Reborn Side Quests

The villainous Glue laughed wildly within his hidden lair. “Ah-hahahah!! That fool Dogboy has taken the bait!” Glue twisted and squeezed his hands in excitement. “Soon he’ll be in my clutches. Now, what deathtrap should I use?”

Glue gazed over his wide collection of deadly machines. There was the giant mousetrap. There was the classic tank of sharks. “Maybe the Spinning Blades of Doom!” said Glue.

Bzzzzt!…Bzzztt!

“Oh, now what?” huffed the villain.

Glue stormed through his lair as the doorbell continued to buzz. Glue grumbled, “I’m coming. I’m coming.” He passed by gold statues of himself and walked under the 15 foot portraits of himself. He kidnapped the famous artist, Art with Sam, in order to commission them.

Glue flung the door open. “WHAT?!”

“Good evening, malicious sir,” said the man wearing a tweed overcoat and brimmed hat, which he tipped in greeting. “My name is Salesman. I am a lair-to-lair salesperson for the Omega Institute. Would you be interested in–”

“NO!”

SLAM!!

Glue followed his door slam with a door lock. He grumbled some more then turned. “GAH!” he yelped with a jump that made it look like he’d just seen a spider in his shower.

Salesman tipped his hat again.

“How’d you get in?” asked Glue.

The man held up a small black circle. “With the handy-dandy Portable Hole. You just stick this little beaut on any surface and voilà instant hole.” The man sat down his sale’s bag. With a click of the lock, he opened it and began riffling through it. “I’ve got boxing gloves on springs, acid spraying squirt flowers, gasses of all varieties; and of course, the ever popular freeze ray,” the man said, pulling the items out one by one.

Glue folded his arms. “Not interested.”

Salesman would not be deterred–his commission rested on getting a sale. “For the more modernist villain: I have swords that can slice an atom. I have bombs with misleading timers. I’ve got drones, spy cameras, and backdoor codes to various government databases.”

Glue let out an annoyed and warning sigh. Salesman either ignored him or didn’t hear him. Instead, he put a hand on Glue’s shoulder. “But, I can tell you are a…” He surveyed Glue’s black and orange containment suit. He could hear the sloshing of glue within. Without the suit, Glue would be a large glob of dried glue. “…uh, man of tradition. I’ve got cartoon bombs and sticks of dynamite…two for one.”

Glue groaned.

“How about some exploding pies?”

“What flavor?”

“Coconut creme.”

“Ew-yuck! I hate coconut creme. How about an ejector trap made to look like floor tiles?”

Salesman lifted his hat enough to scratch his head. He glanced down at his sale’s bag. “Gee, I don’t think so.”

Glue grunted a quick, dry laugh. “I do.” He tapped a button on his wrist computer panel.

SPOING!!

The spring loaded ejection title under Salesman launched him into the air and out through the hole in the roof–Glue had opened the roof; he didn’t want to clean up the mess.

“You’ll regret thiiiiiisss…” said the trailing voice of Salesman.

Glue closed the roof hatch then clasped his hands together. “Now…where was I?”


If you’d like more adventures starring Dogboy, check out the Joe Rover eBooks–available at many online retailers.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!


Copyright © 2019 Joe Rover

Dogboy and related characters Copyright © 2016-Present by Joe Rover

All rights reserved. No part of this post may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior written permission of the author/publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews or as a repost/share with link to the original post.

All characters, organizations, and locations in this post have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation to anyone bearing the same name or names. Any resemblance to individuals known or unknown to the author are purely coincidental.

All rights reserved.

Let’s Read #5

Superman: Dawnbreaker by Matt de la Peña–Chapters 17-31. I’ll try to keep spoilers to a minimum.

This last section was hard to put down. The action picked up as did the suspense. At the end of each chapter, I wanted to read more.

In this section, Clark finally asks his parents about what’s in the old barn (like any fan of Superman didn’t know). But, we do get a nice look at Clark’s reaction; we get about two or three chapters dealing with how he feels about his origins. He does think about it for the rest of the novel, but it was during these few chapters that it is really spotlighted.

We also get to see Clark’s reaction to his suit and find out how Martha was able to make it.

But, the most important part is we finally find out who’s been taking the townspeople and what they want with them. We also learn why Wesco is so interested in the craters–green meteor rocks of course, but we learn why they care about them so much.

We find out if Bryan is a friend or foe and discover the real reason Lex was in Smallville.

Finally, we see Clark get his Superman name.

These last chapters were a whirlwind of action and emotion as everything finally fell into place. I enjoyed this new telling of Clark’s youth and origin. I felt like it didn’t drastically change things, just added or filled in some holes. I felt like this story could be standalone or have pieces that carry over into other stories.

Even though I could guess at most of what was going to happen–there wasn’t really a shocking plot twist–I still found the book enjoyable and reminded me why I like the Superman stories so much. I enjoyed the investigation bits. I enjoyed the action. I enjoyed the descriptions of Clark using his powers and how it felt to him–something that you don’t hear or see much of. I would recommend this book to any Superman fan or fan of any superhero. 4.8/5

What are your thoughts on the ending? What did you think would happen once Bryan learned about Clark’s powers? Was this a good Superman story or should it be forgotten?

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.


 

Infinity Train Episodes 1-2 (Spoilers and Theories)

Here’s the complete playlist: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Infinity Train is a (as of now) mini-series airing on Cartoon Network from Aug. 5-9. For now, it is ten 11 minute episodes. Each night two episodes will air. The show is also available on the Cartoon Network app.

In the first two episodes, Tulip is on her way to coding camp. She is already working on a video game similar to Space Invaders. Unfortunately, her divorced parents are unable to take her at the last minute. She decides to make her own way there. Soon, she discovers a train. Upon entering, she is transported to a seemingly endless train where each car contains its own–and sometimes bizarre–universe. She needs to make her way to the Conductor in order to leave.

The first episode gives us a few theories to work with. Tulip meets a round robot that can divide itself called One-One. One side is depressive while the other is more upbeat. Both are pretty naive. One-One is looking for its “mother,” which it doesn’t know who she is or what she looks like. Since Tulip is a coder and interested in video games, it is possible that she is One-One’s “mother.” She could either create the robot as a video game character or as an actual robot.

The next big theory that I have comes from what happens after Tulip tries to escape the train. Outside the cars is a desolate wasteland. She soon runs into a cockroach-like creature that can age people/suck out their souls. It would seem like Tulip has been transported to the future, but I think the train cars are actual other worlds–either imaginary or real–with the train as some sort of hub or container. I am thinking that the train is more symbolic like the place is a dreamworld or the mind. The soul-sucking roaches might be things that cause us to give up on our dreams; they kill us on the inside.

More evidence to my dreamland theory shows up in the second episode. On Tulip’s hand is a glowing number. In the first episode it is 115, but it changes to 114 in the second. The thing is it doesn’t change during her “fails” through the other cars. She has trouble in the crossword, evil plant, and pinball worlds, but the number stays the same. It only changes after she yells at One-One for causing her trouble.

If One-One is her creation and she yells at it, and later tries to sell him/it in order for a way off the train, her dropping a “health point” could mean she’d been tempted to give up on her dreams. She states that all she wanted was to get off the train; she is willing to give up on going to camp (i.e. give up on her dreams) in order to escape.

When Tulip asks One-One what happens if the number reaches zero, One-One says she’ll be gone. He doesn’t say she’ll die–Tulip assumes she’ll die. There are other ways “to be gone,” such as giving up on your dreams or just simply getting kicked off the train. In the first episode, we do see someone getting vaporized by a strange light, but we don’t know if the person was killed or just transported away.

For now, my theory is that the Infinity Train is some kind of dreamland filled with imagination (possibly other worlds). People are brought there to come up with ideas, fight for their ideas, or learn some lesson–this part I haven’t completely figured out. It does seem the main point of Tulip’s story is her fight for her dreams. It is almost like she is deciding something–maybe does she continue running away or does she return to her family.

What’s your theory? Let me know in the comments.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.


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Let’s Read #2

Superman: Dawnbreaker by Matt de la Peña–Chapters 5-7. I’ll try to keep spoilers to a minimum.

Not much to say about these chapters that wouldn’t be a lot of spoilers, but I did enjoy the Smallville TV show reference where a certain billionaire almost runs Clark over with his car.

I do enjoy how hints of the plot are sprinkled throughout. You don’t feel like you’re being hit over the head. You get little clues like how Lana, the girl who knows just about everything that happens in Smallville, doesn’t know about the missing persons. That tells you that whoever is behind it has some power/money.

Also when Clark meets up with Gloria, the one who told him about the missing people, she acts as if she doesn’t remember telling him. There isn’t a moment where he straight up asks her and she says, “What are you talking about?” but she does seem confused or she wants to change the subject. Did someone get to her? Threaten her? Pay her off? Does the villain have some kind of mind-erasing power or serum?

About the only problem I have with the book, at this point, is that it is kind of slow moving. It seems like it is taking a long time for Clark to get moving. He seems concerned about the missing persons but also doesn’t seem to be doing anything about it. At times it is almost like he goes, “Oh yeah! That’s right! There are people disappearing. I should look into that.”

I think it is great that the main villain might not be a Luthor. I just hope that Bryan doesn’t pull a Lex and turn out to be the bad guy. They’ve always done it where Lex and Clark were friends and then Lex turns evil; I hope they don’t do the same with Bryan, so far he seems like a good friend to Clark.

So, what do you think? Who’s behind the missing persons? What do you think is happening to the missing people? Why is Bryan’s brother so interested in the Kent Farm? Tell me your theories in the comments.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.


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File X-001 | Dogboy Reborn Side Quests

Incoming Message

Kkktt!!

This is Captain Stone of the International League of Super-Transbeings. The date is May 16, 2003. We have just received the following message.

Series of text messages sent from Unknown on July 10, 2019

Unknown: It’s all a lie.

Unknown: Ten years ago extraterrestrial life invaded Earth. That part is true.

Unknown: It is also true that the battle was over in three days.

Unknown: But it wasn’t the aliens that were victorious. Earth won that day.

Unknown: The governments saw this as an opportunity. War, famine, crime, violence, hate, climate change, and terrorism were all on the rise.

Unknown: They saw a chance to change all that. The drones, the ships–those are controlled by the Earth Unity Federation pilots. The few aliens we see on patrol are really Earth Unity Federation military units.

Unknown: The EUF scavenged the technology left by the aliens. They pretended to be the aliens. They created the peace treaty in order to set up new restrictions and have the aliens as the scapegoats.

Unknown: The aliens haven’t been on the Earth since July 6, 2009. It’s all been a ruse to keep us in check.

Addendum: It is now July 10, 2009. The alien invaders did arrive as predicted by the message. We, however, were able to intercept them before reaching Earth.

The Citizens remain unaware of any supernatural presence.

Kkkktt!!


Thanks for reading! Joe Rover eBooks are available at many online retailers.

Copyright © 2019 Joe Rover

International League of Super-Transbeings, Dogboy, and related characters Copyright © 2016-Present by Joe Rover

All rights reserved. No part of this post may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior written permission of the author/publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews or as a repost/share with link to the original post.

All characters, organizations, and locations in this post have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation to anyone bearing the same name or names. Any resemblance to individuals known or unknown to the author are purely coincidental.

All rights reserved.

Stakeout at the Docks | Ace Journeyman Side Quest

DING.

You’ve got a message from Glen.

Glen: What’cha doin’?

Ace: Stakeout with Watermark and Windmaker.

Glen: What kind of stakeout?

Ace: Someone’s illegally smuggling domesticated kaiju. They plan to use them in kaiju fights.

John Watermark: What part of “secret mission” did you not understand?

Ace: It’s just Glen.

John Watermark: I don’t care.

Ace: How’d you get into this conversation anyway?

John Watermark: That’s exactly my point. You never know who’s listening.

John Watermark: Or in this case texting.

John Watermark: How do we know that’s really Glen?

Ace: It says so right above the message bubble. Sent by Glen, March 19, 2012.

John Watermark: < : (

Ace: Wow, I didn’t know you knew how to do that!

John Watermark: I’m not *that* old.

Ace: How old are you?

John Watermark: Classified.

Glen: You should’ve let me come. I can help.

John Watermark: Sidekicks aren’t allowed on missions.

Glen: Sidekick??!!

Ace: Glen’s not my sidekick. He’s my friend!

Glen: Thanks!

John Watermark: By all means, that makes it better. Now I really should have brought him.

David Windmaker: Is this a private conversation or can anyone join?

David Windmaker: We have movement. I see three razorbacks, a bladebeak, five deathfoots, six screechers, and

David Windmaker: Is that a mousecat? What’s a cute kaiju like that doing here?

John Watermark: Probably breakfast.

Ace: WHAT??!

John Watermark: The “cute” kaijus end up as meals for the customers.

Glen: I think I’m going to be sick. You gotta do something!

John Watermark: What do you think we’re doing here!?

John Watermark: Now get off the line so we can get to work.

Glen: Who says “get off the line” anymore?

Ace: Old people…like John.

John Watermark: *sighs*


Hope you enjoyed this short tale. Consider leaving a like and sharing it with your friends.

Until July 31, 2019, many of my eBooks–like the Ace Journeyman book Alliance–will be on sale, only on Smashwords.

Thanks for reading! And until the next wormhole…bye!


Copyright © 2019 Joe Rover

Ace Journeyman and related characters Copyright © 2016-Present by Joe Rover

All rights reserved. No part of this post may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior written permission of the author/publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews or as a repost/share with link to the original post.

All characters, organizations, and locations in this post have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation to anyone bearing the same name or names. Any resemblance to individuals known or unknown to the author are purely coincidental.

All rights reserved.

Homecooked Fluff

Though not completely inspired by the writing prompt “Fluff” from The Daily Post, it did help to “make better” the beginnings of my new work on Wattpad titled “Homecooked.” I’d planned on starting the story on November 1 but couldn’t resist the word “fluff.”

Ace has seen many strange things in his time as a hero but this morning’s was the strangest. He woke up back home. He’s supposed to be at his cabin near Neo-Geo Mountain. But it just gets stranger as he is greeted by his father; the same one that disappeared years before. How’d he get back home? Why is his father back? You’ll just have to read the ongoing Thanksgiving special.

I’m hoping that the story will be complete before the end of November, hopefully in time for Thanksgiving, but the holidays being what they are…

So here’s a preview of “Homecooked.” And be sure to thank your local fluff provider (like clouds or kittens) for this sneak peek.


“Ace,” said a distant voice. “Ace.”

My head was full of fluff and cotton. I felt drugged and dragged.

“Ace,” the voice repeated.

“Leave me alone, John.” I slapped at the voice like I was trying to turn off an alarm clock.

“Who’s John?”

Sighing with surrender, I forced open my eyes. “You…are not him.”

The man before me looked like a slightly older version of me. He had the same black hair as me, but some gray around the temples. His face sported a couple scars but the medium length beard covered most of that up. His smile seemed to light up the room. “That seems obvious, Son.”

“Son?” I said in a daze. “Dad?”

“That’s my name.” He put a hand on his hip and used his other to stroke his beard. “Technically it’s Samuel, but let’s not get hooked up on technicalities.”

“Dad!” I sat up faster than a bolt of lightning and embraced him a great, big hug. All my fears and worries melted away in that hug. I felt like a little kid again.

He laughed, a jolly almost Santa Claus-like, laugh. “Nice to see you too.” I hugged him tighter. “Teenagers are so weird,” he groaned in response to the “death-hug.” After a couple more seconds, he said, “I’m running out of air.”

I finally let go, but it wasn’t easy. I feared that he would vanish like a dream if I let go. “But-but what are you doig here?” A quick glance around the room told me I was no longer in the cabin Glen and I shared. I was in my room. I was home.

Could Watermark have finally kept his word and found my father?

“You overslept and today is an important day.” He stood taller and his eyes shined with pride. “Today’s the day you and the other heroes of tomorrow graduate from Trans-High and join the International League of Super-Transbeings.” His smile got bigger. “I’m so glad you decided to follow in my footsteps and use your powers to protect the innocent.”

“What about E Ops?”

His face bunched up in confusion. “That old agency?” His expression, for a moment, changed to concern. “How’d you find out about them?” He then shifted back to his jolly self. “Thanks to the work Emil and I did, E Ops was repurposed as PAWS. A lot of house cleaning was done back in those days.” He sighed for a moment. “Some of the agents were corrupt. They tortured or imprisoned transbeings. The worst was John Watermark.”

Dad’s head shook slowly. (Kind of odd that he didn’t connect me calling him “John” and then him talking about John Watermark.) Dad seemed frozen for a moment like he was searching through files of acceptable responses. He then became excited again. “In the 18 years since Emil and I uncovered the mystery of Neo-Geo, humanity has changed greatly. Now we don’t have to fear the Prophecy of 2012. Or even the Xacians.”

“The Prophecy? The Xacians?” Those aliens responsible for creating the transbeing race?

“We destroyed their empire. Dingo and his followers have been vanquished.” I half expected trumpets to play as Dad put his hands on his hips and striked a pose. After another awkward pause, he placed his hand on my face. “All you need to worry about is becoming the best hero you can.” He raised a fist into the air. Now I was sure I heard some kind of cheesy, heroic music playing. “One day, you will join me. And together we will protect the galaxy as father and son.” He turned back to me. “But first, you better get downstairs for breakfast.” Dad then dashed out of the room with a “love ya, son.”

Aside from the creepy Star Wars reference, things seemed pretty great. I went to the window and swooshed open the curtains. A bright and sunny day beamed into my room. My clothes were clean and wrinkle free, unlike the normal dirt-caked clothes from Neo-Geo. And even though the day was sunny, it didn’t have the oppressive heat that Neo-Geo provides.

Our street was busy with the movings and socializing of the neighborhood. People waved, cars passed, kids headed for the bus and tried to exchanged carrots or candy, and Mr. Watson mowed his lawn. I opened the window and let the sounds of birds drift in. I took a deep breath and exhaled sweet bliss. It seemed like ages since I’d last listened to the birds or watched the lazy, puffy clouds drift by.

“Ace,” came the soft voice of my mother. “Your eggs are getting cold.”

I could almost taste her fluffy scrambled eggs as I practically hopped down the stairs.


The rest will be posted here.

Where’s the riot?

All reviews are my personal opinion and do not reflect the views of any person or organization.

Here be Spoilers. Enter at your own risk.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Space Riot by Pat Shand has our spacefaring heroes taking a shipment of medicine to a plant people planet (try saying that three times fast) who are suffering from a plague. Once the Guardians arrive at the star system, they find it to be blocked by a force field. They need to get permission to pass. After some creepy feelings and subtle threats, they are allowed to leave. Once on the plant planet, they soon find that the plague was not a plague but an invasion. The Guardians are soon on the run from an at least two planet strong army.

The use of having each chapter told by a different character is nothing new, but what I enjoyed is that they sounded like that character. The Star-Lord chapters sounded as if Star-Lord was speaking, that he’d written that chapter.

I found the Drax chapters a little harder to find his voice. The Drax chapters sounded more like the author speaking than Drax. But to be fair, Drax has a different short of character. He doesn’t really have the internal dialogue like the others and he’s more literal. I did notice that once Drax began to have a personal conflict, involving a crush on someone (and I mean a love-crush not a smash-crush like Drax thought “having a crush” meant), the Drax chapters did seem to change.

When I saw that each chapter would be “narrated” by a different Guardian, I hoped that there would be a Groot chapter. I wondered how Shand would do that. Would it be six pages of “I am Groot”? I was surprised to see that not only was there a Groot chapter but it delve into the mind of Groot. You get to see how he feels about not being able to communicate with anyone other than Rocket. You get to see a version of Groot that is quite smart. Some stories show Groot as being stupid or naïve; this Groot is wiser and observant.

I also enjoyed how the individual chapters allowed the reader to see more of the characters’ motives and backgrounds. You learn a lot about why the characters act the way they do.

Shand’s description of the Thandrid was excellent. I got a clear image of what they looked like. Maybe too clear. I kept getting an image of a insect that looked similar to a xenomorph from the Alien movies. But this might’ve been on purpose because of how the Thandrid invade. Much like the xenomorphs, the Thandrid burst out from their host’s body (except it’s the head instead of the chest).

I was surprised and not surprised when the first head-bursting happened. Since I had the xenomorph image in my head (no pun intended), I was not surprised to see it happen. In other words, the clues had been there since the beginning. I didn’t feel like this was some cheap scare that came out of nowhere. Nonetheless, it still shocked me because I wasn’t waiting for it, and the description of the baby Thandrid crawling around creeped me out. It wasn’t like a mystery book where you solve the murder in the first chapter and then are waiting till the end to have your guess confirmed.

My main problem with the book is I kept asking, “Where’s the riot?” The book was called Space Riot and yet there was no riot. There was war and fighting and explosions, but not much of a riot. I guess you could call it a riot because the Incarnadinians, the other planet marked for invasion, and the Guardians rebelled against the Thandrid. Also, all the people of the system were held prisoner by the force field, so it was more like the rebel “prisoners” were rioting against the Thandrid “guards.” The war was very one sided. The Thandrid had the numbers and the technology, so it was more of a riot. But the riot idea really came into play when the Guardians and rebels crashed into the Thandrid prison allowing all the prisoners to escape. It then turned into a literal riot and they attacked the Thandrid.

I have to give Space Riot a 4.6 out of 5. The writing was excellent, the book was short enough that I could finish it in a timely manner but still long enough that I felt like I got my money’s worth, and the book kept making me want to continue. It wasn’t boring at all. It seemed like we were always moving forward. Sometimes the forward motion was a little slower but we were still moving forward. But, it didn’t have the same…silliness of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. It seemed like these Guardians were ones that had more experience or were more mature. They still had the same characteristics, but just different.

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