Joe, a Typical Hero of the Future: A Case Study

Hundreds of thousands of people rushed to crowd around the spaceship landing on the runway, some going so close as to be instantly vapourized by the heat of the spaceship or by the exhaust coming from the ship's engines. Presently a hatch on the side of the spaceship opened, crushing several other members of the crowd, and an tall, handsome, humanoid (all typical heroes of the future are humanoid) man (again, the vast majority of typical heroes of the future are, for some unknown reason, male) walked down the ramp.

Each member of the crowd recognized the person at the top of the ramp as being Joe, a typical Hero of the Future. Of course, the deluded masses thought of Joe as being a Hero of the Present, but that's beside the point. Joe had just returned from his typical daily work, namely saving the universe. Today Joe had, single-handedly, saved the universe from a horde of Horrible Huw'gars from Hamon V. As Joe descended the ramp from his spaceship towards the surface of the planet Cargin, he was mobbed by the citizenry of the planet. Joe always found this part of the job of being a Typical Hero to be incredibly boring but dismissed as being part of the job. He made a mental note to enjoy some of the job's perks tonight.

That night, Joe rode his hyperscooter to the premises of The Red Spaceship, one of the trendier pubs on Cargin. Entering the bar, Joe paused for a minute to observe the fancy curvature of the walls, the hypnotic effects of the erratically blinking lights, and the wide variety of beings there tonight. From Ernas from the planet Erna XI, to Zkwejr'ieurywwns from a planet whose name cannot be written using the Latin alphabet, the pub was graced by the presence of members from virtually all imaginable species. Well, perhaps saying that all imaginable species were present is somewhat unfair, since it would imply that their creator (or creators) suffered from a serious lack of imagination. Virtually all of them were humanoid, with two arms and two legs, with only different skin colour or odd bumps of skin on their faces to distinguish one species from another.

Joe then walked straight up to the bar, an act made much easier by the fact that the crowd of people let him through. "I'll take one of everything," Joe said to the bartender.

"Everything?" the bartender inquired quizically.

"Everything that your mixing robots can make."

Out of the corner of his eye, Joe noticed some very nice-looking women standing in the corner. He floated his vast array of drinks toward the women while deciding what cheesy pickup line he should try tonight. "Hi, ladies," Joe said slowly, as if to buy more time to think of a snappy pickup line, "Can I buy you a drink?" The women looked around, saw who was talking to them, and promptly fainted.

After a wild night at the pub, where Joe rang up a bill the size of the Gross Planetary Product of a typical class A2 planet, and an even wilder night in bed, it was time for Joe to save the universe somewhere else. Joe never stayed in any one place for too long, in order not to incur commitments that might get in the way of saving the universe. Furthermore, he had found that running away from monolithic bar bills was the best way of dealing with them.

Checking his Astropager, Joe noticed two distress calls: One was from the planet Bonanza, home of the Billion Bodacious Babes, and the other one from Earth. Joe immediately dismissed the message from Earth, since, in addition to there being less distractions on Earth, the planet was also home to the two most execrable entities in the known universe; namely, Joe's parents.

Joe's parents were the two most boring, annoying, and stupid people in the entire universe, and it was just Joe's luck that he happened to be their son. Joe found his parents so incredibly enervating that, on the day he turned sixteen, he wrote his spaceship pilot's exam and passed it. Having done that, he stole a spaceship and left Earth, never to return, and certainly never to visit his parents again.

Of course, not all typical heroes of the future have incredibly horrid parents. Some heroes' parents both died long before they were born. Other heroes have no father whatsoever, but (with the exception of the asexual, yet of course humanoid, race of Abalaxxions from Abalaxxia IV, who technically have neither mothers or fathers), those heroes are typically the messianic type, not the typical heroes that this case study concerns itself with.

Anyway, back to the story. Having decided to go to the planet Bonanza, Joe proceeded immediately towards the spaceport. After dismounting from his hyperscooter, a goofy-looking man approached him. "I heard you're going to the planet Bonanza. I need a ride there, could you possibly give me a lift?"

"How on Cargin did you know that I was going to Bonanza? I only made that decision moments ago and haven't told anyone," replied Joe.

"Well, I guess our author is one of those who isn't disturbed by glaring contradictions and huge plot holes in their story," said the goofy-looking man. "My name is Alxior, by the way, so no further references to me as a goofy-looking man are required."

"Well, it's good to meet you," Joe lied. "I don't mean to be rude, but you are the goofiest person I've ever met, and I don't see why I would even want to take you to Bonanza, you goof".

"Since you said you were glad to meet me, I'm sure you'd like to know me better. Furthermore, I could provide some much-needed comic relief," Alxior replied.

"Well, I suppose so," said Joe. "There's no way that any story featuring me could possibly be funny otherwise. Oh, as long as you aren't clumsy and don't have a Jamaican accent. Get on board, then".

Joe boarded the ship, with Alxior following behind. Joe strolled into the cockpit, sat down in the single seat there, and pulled back on a lever on the control panel. The ship immediately started to ascend through the atmosphere, and into space. After they had left the atmosphere, Joe twiddled a few buttons and the ship leaped into hyperspace.

"Are we in hyperspace now?" asked Alxior, apparently oblivious to the psychadelic patterns the stars formed that were visible from all of the spaceship's windows.

"Yes, we are," replied Joe.

"Why are there so many phrases that consist of the word 'space' or 'hyper' or 'astro' or something like that in front of some twenty-first century word?" said Alxior.

"No clue", said Joe.

In almost no time at all (relatively speaking), Joe landed on Bonanza, promptly ditched Alxior, who wasn't as successful at comic relief as anticipated, and met with the president of the planet of Bonanza to hear about the planet's woes.

"It's terrible, Joe! A Draillib squadron has taken up residence in our orbit and has been attacking the citizenry of our planet as they enter and exit our atmosphere. I almost forgot: they also attack the citizenry of other planets as they enter and exit our atmosphere, but I can't say I really care about those people. We need a Hero of the Present to destroy this menace. Of course, I'm sure you know about the six black holes in Bonanza's orbit, so there's no need to remind you".

"What? Oh, yeah, right, the black holes. Of course I knew about them".

Joe boarded his ship and took off. After exiting Bonanza's atmosphere, he turned his sensors on. He noticed that the six black holes were in a 3-by-2 rectangular matrix. Joe thought that it was interesting how such patterns happen to form into nature. He then saw the Draillib ships. He counted sixteen of the spherical craft. Some of the ships were of a solid colour, while others had stripes painted on their bodies.

Joe watched the spherical craft darting around the black holes for a while, and then decided to approach them. He chose an area in the plane of the black holes where their gravitational pull approximately cancelled out. He noticed that almost all of the ships were now maneuvering themselves into a triangular pattern, at the other end of the black hole field. Attack formation, Joe thought. The one remaining ship, which was coloured white, then darted out towards him. Joe's mind raced as he attempted to figure out what to do next.

Joe's mind wandered to the things he was doing last night, and, surprisingly enough, that gave him an idea as to what to do with the attackers. He touched a button on his ship's console, readying the hyper-cue. When the white ship got close enough, he activated the hyper-cue, sending the white ship spiralling back toward the triangular array of ships. The white ship hit one of the other ships, which in turn hit other ships, causing a chain reaction. The ships bounced around and into each other, and each of them ended up bouncing into a black hole, including the white ship, which for some unknown reason dismayed Joe somewhat.

Having saved the universe once again, Joe headed back toward the planet Bonanza while pondering what "Draillib" spelled backwards was. As he touched down on the landing strip, he found himself once again surrounded by enormous crowds of people. He got out of his ship and was once again mobbed.

As Joe was absorbed in the celebration that was a regular part of his life, he heard two voices, one male and one female, calling out to him:

"Yoo hoo, Joe honey, over here!"

"We're really, really proud of you, son"

Joe looked around, saw who was speaking to him, and promptly fainted.

Next: Joe, a Typical Hero of the Future: The Torture Chamber