Mark A Davis (idea by C.D. Woodbury)
In a massive cave-like underground warehouse filled with strange vehicles hidden beneath dustcloth, a dog-girl was sweeping. Here could be seen a jetbike, there a giant dimensional gateway like a pool set on its side, over there a submarine sitting in dark, placid water. A large saucer-like ship dominated one corner. The girl had grey fur and a dog's head and was dressed in a jeans skirt and blouse with flight goggles and a red scarf. Two metal licenses hung from a chain around her neck. She carefully swept around the base of what looked like a portal into another dimension, albeit currently deactivated.
A phone rang. A young woman in rainbow-hued tights with a rainbow-colored ponytail appeared. "I got it!" she called out, and sat down before a large and ancient computer. She tapped a button. "Anarchy Hotline, this is Broad Spectrum speaking," she said. "How may I help you?"
After a pause she added, "No, I'm sorry, he's not available at the moment. Grandpa Anarchy is dead."
The dog girl emptied her full dustpan into a robotic trashcan. Lights flashed. Something whirred and went clunk. Flames flared up, incinerating everything. A computerized voice said, "Thank you for not smoking!"
"Yes, you heard me correctly. He's kicked the bucket. He's shuffled off this mortal coil. He's feeding the tree. Dead as a doornail, which a weird phrase that I've never understood, why is a doornail any more dead than the door itself, or the doorframe, or the wall or the floor?
"Sorry, just trying to make it as clear as possible."
Broad Spectrum leaned back in her chair. "Permanent? Well, normally I'd say yes, of course. When you're dead, you're dead. But this is Grandpa Anarchy we're talking about. He's died before, you know.
"I'm just his sidekick. I was only on the job for four days when this all went down, so I don't know. If you need immediate assistance I could connect you to the office of the League of Two-Fisted Justice. The other memebers are all still very much alive. Also, there's the Archons of Excellence, and independants like Solar Sister and the Crimson Cyclone, and that new group, the Black Moon... oh? Well ok then, have a good day."
The young woman turned to the dog-girl. "I really want to thank you for coming over to help me out, Dog Is My Copilot," she said. "I have no idea what I should be doing at a time like this."
"Bark!" the dog-girl replied.
"Is there any news from Bluejay?"
"Ok," Broad Spectrum said, "let me know if you hear anything."
The phone rang again. "Anarchy Hotline, Broad Spectrum speaking." There was a pause, and she said, "Grandpa? No, Grandpa Anarchy is currently dead. I could connect you to the offices of the League of...."
Her voice trailed off. "He hung up," she said. "That sounded like the sme guy too. I guess he was just calling back to be sure? Anyway, I...."
The phone rang. "Anarchy Hotline, this is Broad Spectrum. No. He's dead. Didn't you just call? No, he hasn't gotten any less dead in the last fifty-one seconds. Look, if you really need help, I can connect you to...."
The young woman stared at the computer and sighed. "He hung up again. What an idiot. I mean, I know Grandpa Anarchy has cheated death before, but...."
The phone rang again. Broad Spectrum said, "This had better not be the same idiot again, I swear...." Dog Is My Copilot growled softly.
"Hello? Yes, this is the Anarchy Hotline, I'm Broad Spectrum, Grandpa's current sidekick. Oh, it's you again? Why am I not surprised. Look, I don't know what your game is, but... hmm? What did I tell you? Do I have to say it again? Okay then: Grandpa Anarchy is still dead. There, happy now?"
Broad Spectrum keyed the phone off. Almost immediately it rang again. She sighed. "I have a feeling this is going to be a very long day," she said. "Hello, Anarchy Hotline...."
In a building in another part of the city, Kid Gloves and Geothermal Jenny, two members of the villainous League of Former Sidekicks watched as Kid Enigma dialed the phone yet again. Kid Gloves giggled. Jenny rolled her eyes.
"Look" she said, "I know this is the first time one of our revenge plots has ever been successful but why do we need to keep calling to ask if he's dead?"
Kid Enigma said, "I just enjoy hearing them say it."