#FridayFlash: Megalo-Man vs. Dr. Tarantula

Megalo-Man vs. Dr. Tarantula

by Tony Noland

With all the titanic power of an atomic furnace, Megalo-Man tore the enormous uranium power cell from from the TransformoTron Projector and heaved it right at the slavering jaws of the gigantic RoboViper. Exactly as he'd planned, the positive and negative terminals of the power cell each hit one of the deadly robot's titanium fangs, creating what scientists call a short circuit.


An enormous explosion blew the RoboViper to a hundred million pieces!

"So much for Dr. Tarantula's plan to terrorize Bastion City!"

"Megalo-Man!" cried Nick Richards, "Dr. Tarantula is getting away!" The ace reporter pointed at a hidden door, where the shadowy form of the dastardly Dr. Tarantula was fast disappearing.

"But Laura! Is she...?" said Megalo-Man, torn between his concern for Laura Williams, the one true love of his life, and his sworn duty to uphold the law, protect the innocent and pursue evil in all its forms.

"She's only knocked out, Megalo-Man! She threw herself in front of me to protect me from Dr. Tarantula's Sleep Ray!"

Megalo-Man breathed a sigh of deepest relief, though he hid it from his best friend. No one must ever know of his love for the pretty nurse, for if his enemies ever discovered... no, it was too horrible to contemplate!

"Take good care of her, Ace," said the Azure Adventurer, "I wouldn't want her to have to get her hair done all over again!"

Ace grinned. He knew his super-powered friend's feelings better than that!

"Go get him, Megalo-Man!"

The hero winked and as he flew away after the scurrying Dr. Tarantuala, he cried out his clarion call of justice: "Evildoers... BEWARE!"

Violins swelled and a rich baritone voice said, "Will Megalo-Man catch Dr. Tarantula before he reaches his Flying Super Fortress? Can our hero recover the three remaining Diamonds of Doom before time runs out? Tune in tomorrow for another thrilling episode of... MEGALO-MAN! Brought to you by Kellogg's Super Atomic Crunch cereal, the nutritious, delicious breakfast favorite of kids and moms all across America! It's Super ATOMIC!"

* * * * *

Eighty four thousand, six hundred and eleven light years from Earth, the radio astronomer stopped the playback. The room was silent for a long time. The astronomer had heard the recording hundreds of times, but the sheer alienness of it always made her middle hands clench with amazement. Her department head, the president of the university, the representatives from the royal acadamy of sciences, the High Council of Warriors... everyone was waiting for the Empress to speak. All of Her Majesty's hands were unflexed, but the astronomer wondered what emotions she was hiding behind that stillness.

"Professor," the Empress said at last, "why have We had no evidence of this race before now? A radio-capable civilization sufficiently advanced to create nuclear powered cybernetic weaponry is of great interest to Us."

The astronomer swivled her eyestalks nervously. "These transmissions would ordinarily be too faint and degraded for us to reconstruct, Your Majesty. It was only a fluke, a fast moving black hole that I was studying. It moved between us and their star and caused a gravitational lensing effect. Um... gravitational lensing is when -"

"We are well aware of what gravitational lensing is, Professor, do not presume to lecture Us."

All of the mortified scientist's eyes twisted shut at once, and she started to apologize. The Empress cut her off.

"We are not angry with you, Professor. In fact, We are well pleased with you." She turned to the High Council of Warriors. "Admiral, begin preparations for an envoy mission to this system. We recommend a carrier plus fourteen light cruisers, but We leave the details to you. We expect you to be ready to depart before the end of the year. You will be Our Ambassador to these beings. Professor, We request and require you to accompany this mission as chief scientist and Vice-Ambassador. The academy of sciences will select six members of your science team, you may select the other three. You will be gone for at least six years, so wrap up your personal affairs."

The Empress wriggled her top forefingers and bared her front row of teeth, all nine of which trembled with excitement.

"We are eager to meet these Kelloggs. Very eager indeed!"

===== Feel free to comment on this or any other post.


  1. HAHAHHA! Nice finish there Tony. Fast paced and fun!

  2. Very, very amusing!

    Can't wait until they meet Tony the Tiger.

    This story was grrrrreat!

  3. Hahaha! Of course Kellogg will be our ET ambassador. Makes perfect sense.

    Love it, Tony.

  4. This was really fun and easy to read. God, if aliens assume what we're like from TV, they'll never come near us!

  5. I found this story a little disappointing.

    I think that is because, as a #FridayFlash post, I'll never get to read the next exciting instalment of Megalo-Man.

    Well done, Tony! I could picture the first section of the story as a comic book, in full colour, and thoroughly enjoyed how well you captured the style.

    I actually was a little disappointed (at first) when the story changed direction but, as always, you draw us in and take us to somewhere unexpected.

    I needed that laugh today too, thank you.

  6. Delightful & charming. clenching the middle hands & azure adventure were two of my favourite little lines, almost casually offered by the writing, not blowing their own trumpet to announce their presence, but rather wonderfully embedded so as to let the flow continue.

    marc nash

  7. Very campy and fun, nice work Tony.

  8. Her middle hands... great detail.

    See, this is the kind of science fiction I love. At the beginning I was all, "Oh, but if it's 84,000 light years away it doesn't matter if they come because it'll be so long from when the commercial aired... blah blah... blah..." But then you hit me with the gravitational lensing, and suddenly I thought, "Ohhh, but... hmmm!" Very fun story.

  9. Thanks for reading, everyone. Marc Nash, as you might imagine, it took me about six tries to write in those little facets of the story. I went through several alliterative catchphrases before settling on Azure Adventurer. As for the middle hands, I wanted the reader to know *instantly* that these were beings very, very different from humans. Looks like it worked!

    Jen B said: But then you hit me with the gravitational lensing, and suddenly I thought, "Ohhh, but... hmmm!"

    Heh, the best kind of sci-fi is the kind that makes you stop and think, "Hang on... could that really work?" I'm glad you liked it!

  10. This is a great connection point between the enjoyment of childhood and all the fun of comic book adventures and sci-fi extravaganza.
    You are a very talented writer indeed.
    Adam B

  11. LOVE this! Wry humour and aliens: what more do you want!


  12. Ahahahahaha, brilliant, Tony! Very well written, and your last line made me laugh out loud.

  13. Brilliant! Great ending! I once heard a scientist speculating (Berendzen, perhaps) about what aliens would think of us if they intercepted our transmissions and reckoned that was why we never have heard from any. You did a great job with your own speculations!

  14. LOL! That was grrrrrrrrreat! Tony the Tiger will be a great ambassador, Marisa.

    I love nostalgia and that was a fun way to connect it to today's sci fi.

    Wonderful storytelling!

  15. Campy in that glorious Adam West Batman tradition. Not really a tradition in prose, but you KAPLOWED it just fine.

  16. Thanks, guys! I was doing cheesy radio sound effects in my head as I wrote the first part. Maybe it shows?

  17. I like the gravitational lensing accident. Nice touch. Thankfully by the time our transmissions get too far out, we'll be gone. Unless they time travel, then how embarrassing for us.

  18. Ohmigod this is by far your best work yet, sir! A) You've got robots in it, and I'm a sucker for robots. B) It really conjures up proper 60s Kerpow-style Batman. C) That last line, man...

    You're ace!

  19. Uh-oh, what a shock both sides are going to get. Very enjoyable story, Tony. Well done!

  20. LOL funny, I love this. Very original idea.

  21. Those alien astronomers don't stand a chance against the Azure Adventurer ... oh, hang on I see what you did there. Chuckled, I certainly did!

  22. Totally love the camp and kitsch factor, Tony... Very very chuckle-worthy, indeed.

  23. HAHA! This was awesome. Loved it!

  24. Ha! Very entertaining! Great ending!

  25. Ha! Cute story! Loved the ending.

  26. I've often wondered what an alien civilization would make of our TV programs...

    Great story!

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  28. "a carrier plus fourteen light cruisers" -- just a little peace envoy, eh? Be just our luck to have Kellogg's Super Atomic Crunch bring down our doom. Mom always said that stuff was bad for us.

    This was funny. I loved the switch from radio broadcast to alien royal court.

  29. You never know, Jon, the envoy mission includes an Ambassador AND a Vice-Ambassador. Maybe they just want to be friends. Very powerful friends.

    Thanks for reading, everyone!

  30. So many witty details: Nick Richards the ace reporter is my favourite - poor guy with two names the same!!
    Tony, this was fabulous - two completely differently styled stories, both excellent, both campy, both hilarious. Kellogg's will surely come calling for ya!


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