Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Tarnation - a land ruled by a tyrant with an iron hand. The tyrant's name is Doom, and he has neither mercy nor pity for his subjects. His edicts are transmitted through a set of cleverly designed robots, which stalk Tarnation, coercing citizens into compliance - or death. The tyrant himself lives in a fortified bunker, far beneath the surface of the earth. All fear him, and few dare to oppose himself.

Doom's riches are made by the cold, efficient exportation of tar for which Tarnation is known. It flows into pipes to vast vats, wherein which the necessary chemicals are added before the tar is boxed and shipped to wherever it is needed. (Doesn't all tar come in boxes?) To keep the tar liquid, it is heated constantly to a temperature nearly greater than that of THE SURFACE OF THE SUN, necessitating robot supervision and manipulation. (Doom has a great fondness for robots.)

There once was a man of great power - some named him Zhang, others called him Richards. Whatever the truth, he was Doom's nemesis, and Doom was his. They fought many a time, and never was conclusion reached; until at last Richards (Zhang?) cleared himself of other responsibilities, and traveled at last to Tarnation to fight Doom in his lair. Soldiers, terrified of Doom, fired upon him; he took away their guns and bade them to hide 'til the battle concluded. Robots launched vicious attacks, firing upon Zhang (Richards?) with bullets and rockets and lasers; he picked them off the ground and crumpled them up as though they were tin cans. Such was the power of the Zhang, that he penetrated even unto the bunker of Doom.

At its entrance, Doom confronted his foe, furious at the attack - which he, vile tyrant that he was, saw as unprovoked! The two battled for over an hour, Doom throwing turrets and plasma-bolts and yet more robots at Richards, who in return brutalized Doom in the flesh. At last both, exhausted, found themselves by the tar-distilling vats. In an ironic yet inevitable twist, the Zhang dunked Doom into the tar vats - a painful and fiery death.

If Doom hadn't been wearing his heat-proof tekno-armour, that is. Instead, he climbed out of the vats while Richards' back was turned, grabbed him, and threw him into the vats to take Doom's place.

The Zhang posessed no especial resistance to heat.

For a little while, Doom found himself sad - left without a rival! He moped. Then he ordered his robots to pull Richards out of the tar and frame him on the wall.

That made him much happier.

Happy birthday, David!