Author: Gary W. Olson

Email: swede@acd.net

WWW: http://userdata.acd.net/swede

"Welcome, Rad," said the Fresmen leader, Stilevan. "You are here to experience the Tofu, are you not?" Rad nodded. He looked back at Akane and Manny, who had accompanied him on the trip to Fresno, and Horace the Dragon, who had provided the transportation. They had left in the dead of night, without telling the others.

"Have you seen the chia pets?" Stilevan asked.

"You mean the ones, like, you water and, like, grow?" Rad asked.

"Sort of," Stilevan said. "Come on, I'll show you." They went out to the back side of the tofu mining facility. The sands roiled fiercely, and the miners and their fresmen allies worked quickly. In the distance, sand swirled into the sky. Rad thought he saw something.

"What, like, *is* that? It's, like, huge!"

"It's a chia pet, Rad," said Stilevan. "Bigger than the Epcot Center, and with lots of sharp, pointy teeth. It's drawn by the tofu mining operations." Rad squinted. Sure enough, there it was - a huge mass of foliage and a ceramic looking face - and lots of pointy teeth. Although it seemed to have legs, it was not using them for locomotion. It sped past, and Rad could see why - it was leaving a trail of flames in it's wake.

"Wow, dude," Rad said. "The, like, thrust coefficient must be, like most incredible."

"Yes," Stilevan said. "Chia pets are vicious when angered, but sedentary otherwise. We've found a way to use them for transport."

"How?" asked Rad.

"Er, we... ah... light up their... er... flatulence... and they sort of... zoom across the desert," Stilevan said. Rad watched the chia pet zoom. It appeared to be racing towards a giant, upturned ramp. "Watch this," Stilevan whispered. The chia pet raced up the ramp and rocketed into the air. Eventually, it disappeared into the upper atmosphere.

"Chia pets make the perfect starships," Stilevan said. "Easy to maneuver, mostly invulnerable, and they produce their own oxygen supply."

"Most excellent, dude," Rad said. "Like, should I, like, take the, like, tofu now?" Stilevan nodded, and they went back inside.

Run: November 1989 - May 1991

Main Characters:

Notes: When Bill Dickson inquired if I might be interested in writing for Superguy, the first thing I did (after saying "yeah, okay") was work on coming up with a hero who could headline a series. Around this time, I was also participating in a Villains & Vigilantes game, playing a hero named 'Carnage.' Carnage had kinetic powers, and, due to a suggestion from my roommate, I was playing the character with a thick Californian accent.[*] I decided to take this character and translate it to writing, but didn't think the name 'Carnage' suited him. So, instead, I took the name 'Rad,' from the character my roommate was playing (his character was otherwise unmemorable).

Most of the more popular characters I've written got their start in this series, including Radian, Chalandra Harkness, Dana Wader, and so on. The style is a far cry from my current work in terms of wordsmithing, plotting, characterization, and so on, but its still funny, to a certain extent.


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