BR:M-TG ooo Chapter One: March Forth – Part Two

In the small terptfan1 office Simon Legree sat behind his old beat-up desk. He was a tall thin old man with sparse white hair. George stood in front of him. Although there were two chairs in front of the desk, uncomfortable unpadded wooden ones, George stood, because he had not been told to sit.

Legree glared at him. “Wha’d’y’all wan?” he asked. What do you want? Simon Legree was originally from Jorjia, in the Southlands, and had only come to Yoosah two years ago to run Saint D’Clause, so he spoke Anglish2 poorly.

George swallowed, tried to show just enough fear so that Legree didn’t think he was challenging him. “Is it true, sir3, the New Yawk Kinkys are doing a benefit for the school?”

“Yea-up. But don’t get too excited, bwah4. None y’alla be goin’. Strictly fer adults. Payin’ adults. ‘Tain’t no charity! Well, ’tis a charity, but that doan’ mean you kids go fer free. Er at all.”

George said silent prayers to Captain Kirk, god of succeeding against long odds5, and to Luke Skywookiee6, god of controlling living and unifying forces. “Who they playing against, sir?”

“Hain’t been worked out yet. Nunnia7 concern, anyways. Now go play in Traffic.” Traffic was the school band. The band conductor was Mister Fantasy, whom the children loved and Legree hated.

George spoke this next part carefully. He had to seem as if he were muttering to himself, but clearly enough so that Legree could hear him. “Good. At least we’ll be safe.”

“Safe ferm what?”

George startled as if caught. “Um… well, they’re professionals, aren’t they? I mean, our school man-tanks wouldn’t last five seconds8 on the same field as a professional man-tank team.”

Legree rose angrily from his chair. “Now, y’all jes’ listen to me, bwah. Our-uns man-tanks are the toughest, cruelest, best-est machines out there! Don’t jabber at me ’bout no ‘perfeshnal’ team. Ain’t seen one yet could handle monsters like our-uns.”

“If you say so, sir.”

“Ah do sez so! Y’all sayin’ otherwise, bwah?”

“Not me, sir. But some people in town… well, you know how people talk, sir.”

“No, bwah. Tell me how people talk.



“Normally… ah… normally some people say things, people in town. They… they think our man-tanks might be… weak. And that we students are too pampered to ride them properly. I mean, like, as gladiators. Sir.”

“The hail they are!! bwah, we’all’s gonna prove that the man-tanks and students at the San D’Clows School fo’ Lil’ Bastards is as tough as any, an’ tougher ‘an mos’. Ah wan’ yuh tuh put together a wildcat man-tank gladiatoriational team tah beat the &#@%$ Kinkys an’ show everone, an’ ah mean everone, who’s the toughest aroun’.”

“Me, sir?”

“Why oh you. That spells y’all. Y’all’s the one they bin jabberin’ tuh. Y’all can be captin. Now, get! An’ bwah?”


“Don’t. Let. Me. Down. Er else!”

As George left the office and walked down the hall his mind raced. George knew he was something of a natural leader to the other children. He could put together a team. He could run it. Maybe get some of the faculty to help.

George knew he had a talent with man-tanks. He was just about the only one who could operate the Big Bambino, the biggest and most unwieldy of all the the man-tanks at Saint D’Clause.

He knew that the school’s jock10 teacher, “Birdies” Meredith, had once been a man-tank gladiator. He’d operated a man-tank called The Penguin. When he’d quit he gave The Penguin to Danny D’Vito, and turned to coaching other man-tank gladiators. He’d coached Sly and the Family Stallone and their man-tanks Rocky, Rambo, and Rhinestone.

He knew they could attach weapons11, armor, and other necessary equipment to their man-tanks easily enough. Getting the tanks up to professional level would be difficult, but not impossible.

But George also knew the difference between a group of children playing with man-tanks and adults riding and fighting man-tanks for a living. And he believed he knew one more thing.

He and whoever he got to join him… they were going to get killed.

[1] Obviously, his office was not truly terptfan. The Terptf Empire would not be established for another three hundred years. But “terptfan” so fully and accurately describes his office that I trust I may be forgiven this one small anachronism. Return to 1

[2] Anglish was the prominent language in Ballmore. Other languages extant included Spanglish, Rushin, Klingon, Jive, Leet, and Shobizness. The One True Language is descended primarily from Anglish. Return to 2

[3] Sir is a term for a superior. It is, in fact, a corrupted form of the word “superior.” Return to 3

[4] Bwah is a term for an inferior. It may have been derived from the word “boy,” but more likely it was a variation of “Burt Ward,” an actor famous for his portrayals of loyal children. Return to 4

[5] Captain Kirk was also the god of loving exotic women, but obviously that wouldn’t be on George’s mind at the moment. Return to 5

[6] Captain Kirk and Luke Skywookiee were originally from separate pantheons, but by this time the high priest Jabrams had created stories that brought them both into the Siffy pantheon. As previously mentioned, various religions and mythologies are included for historical accuracy, and are in no way a challenge to the Sovereignty of the One True God, KRG, or the rulership of Her 12 Warrior Priests. All Hail KRG! Return to 6

[7] Nunnia here means “Not any of your.” The exact relation of this word to the ancient land of Narnia is obscure. Return to 7

[8] Time units in the Motorized Ages was in seconds. Firsts were no longer used. Return to 8

[9] The interrobang is not being used in this web-serial, as its development is so recent that its presence would be a noticeable anachronism. Other punctuation marks we will avoid include the irony point, the scare quote, and the emojicon. Return to 9

[10] Jock was another term for sports or athletics. It is related to the words “jerk”, “joke”, and “truck”. Return to 10

[11] Weapons were trivially easy to get in those barbaric times. The typical Motorized Age adult had a large variety of swords, handguns, and nukes. Return to 11

BR:M-TG ooo Chapter One: March Forth – Part One

The Saint D’Clause1 School for Little Bastards was a bleak and desolate place. Located in the slums of Ballmore2, Yoosah3, it provided a home for orphans, problem children whose parents could not control them, and children taken from the homes of criminals, religious cultists, and liberals. The school was old. Its power beamer was coal-fueled, the children taking turns shoveling. The school computer took up an entire large room, and barely held one gig of memory.

The year was minus 718 (2016 A.D.E.). The day was Twosday of Threesmonth (Wensday, March 44), and the latest snowfall had just ended. George Joseph Herriman Ruth had just turned 17. George was, as he would have said, six feet two, two hundred fifteens pounds5. He was a dark-haired dusky-skinned boy, and had been a resident at Saint D’Clause ever since his parents died in the Boobquakes6 six years ago. He looked strong, and he was even stronger than he looked, so he had the job steam-shoveling the walk. It was hard work, but at least it got him outside. George pulled the lever, shoveled a scoopful of snow, pulled the lever, shoveled snow, pulled the lever, over and over. The orphans had cheap thin jackets, usually with no temp-controls, but George had been working hard enough that he was actually sweating. He stopped for a moment, not because he was tired, but because the steam shovel had started to overheat.

“Hey, George! Hey, George, hey!” Lenny Bruce ran up to the big boy. Lenny was two years younger than George and looked up to him, practically worshiped him. “George, did you hear the &#@%$7 news, George?”

George sighed. He was one of the few children who had patience with the short, thin, excitable boy, but even he had limits. “What now, Lenny? Another Elvish8 sighting?”

“Not this time, George. George, did you hear? The &#@%$ New Yawk Kinkys9 are coming! They’re coming here! George, they’re doing a &#@%$ benefit for the &#@%$ school, George.”

“Why you gotta swear all the time, kid? Ya know it doesn’t really make you sound grown-up.”

“George, they’re only the greatest man-tank gladiator team of all time!”

“Are they?”

“I don’t know, George. Maybe. Some &#@%$ team’s gotta be… I mean, some team’s gotta be the greatest. Why not them?”

“Can’t really argue with that. Anyways, ain’t I had enough of man-tanks? I just got off a man-tank-duty yesterday.”

“Tell us about the man-tanks, George,” said Lenny. By now Jim Morrison and Hedy Lamarr, two more residents, both about George’s age, had joined them. Jim and Hedy were arm-in-arm. George and Jim were good friends, so George tried not to feel jealous.

Like most institutions of the time the Saint D’Clause School had its share of man-tanks, used primarily for heavy lifting or reaching heights. Motorized Age man-tanks were particularly finicky, and the children were required to maintain them themselves. Naturally, these man-tanks were unarmed, and typically in poor shape.

“Think our man-tanks could take ’em?” asked Jim. With his long brown hair that refused to stay tidy, cubic-bow lips10, lean physique, and knack for poetry he could have any girl at Saint D’Clause. So why did he have to go after Hedy, George wondered. George forced himself not to think anymore about it.

“Yeah,” said Hedy. Dark-haired, green-eyed, she was serious, passionate, and unselfconsciously beautiful. “We could put together a wildcat team11.”

“Could we, George, could we?” Lenny was just about jumping up and down.

“Why you guys asking me?”

“‘Because if we ask Legree he’ll say no,” said Hedy, and Jim added, “but if you ask him…” Simon Legree was their schoolmaster. He was strict, bordering on cruel. He hated children and would have been disappointed if they had not hated him back. He was rarely disappointed.

“He’ll still say no,” finished George.

“Yeah, George, but you know how to ask him so he’ll say yes.”

[1] Saint D’Clause was one of the gods of Commercialism, the leading religion at the time. Saint D’Clause supposedly gave gifts to good children. He gave wealthier children more and better toys, because according to Commercialism rich people were inherently better than poor people. But Saint D’Clause did not neglect the poorer children completely. He gave them gifts of sticks and coal to burn to keep warm in the winter. Please note that mentions of various religions and mythologies are included for historical accuracy, and are in no way a challenge to the Sovereignty of the One True God, KRG, or the rulership of Her 12 Warrior Priests. All Hail KRG! Return to 1

[2] The name may have changed over time. It may originally have been Baltmore or Baltimorioles. Return to 2

[3] Yoosah was a large territory, encompassing much of what is now known as the Markan continent. Return to 3

[4] Although we cannot be certain of the exact date, I have chosen March 4 because the ancients believed it to be an auspicious day to begin anything. Hence the phrase, “to march forth.” Return to 4

[5] There were two major measurement systems for lengths in use. The Yoosah system was based on feet. Other regions based their system on hands. Other body parts were also used, as appropriate. For weights, they used either pounds or dollars. In modern terms, he was 124 spo tall and he weighed 20 tares and 3 dets. This was large for a male at that time. Return to 5

[6] The Boobquakes were a series of earthquakes that the primitive ancients believed were caused by angry gods offended by human behavior. It would be many centuries before people would learn that most natural disasters are actually caused by the gGrt. May the gGrt be forever damned! Return to 6

[7] An ancient vulgarity, meaning unknown. Pronounced “rassin-frassin-ding-dang”. Return to 7

[8] People still believed that Elves used to exist, but that the last one had died many years ago. A very few people believed that Elves still lived, eating peanut-banana-butter sandwiches and making blue suede shoes. Return to 8

[9] Remember that the word kink merely meant “curly” or “curved.” It had not yet acquired a sexual connotation. The New Yawk Kinkys were named for the curly hair styles many of their founding players sported. Other formerly innocent words that have gained prurient meanings include gay (mirthful), pink (light red), and political (governmental). Return to 9

[10] A cubic-bow was a bow thick enough that it was noticeably three-dimensional. Thus, cubic-bow lips were lips that were deep and full. Return to 10

[11] Back in those days professional teams often faced off against amateurs. The reason why the amateur team was always named “Wildcats” has been lost. Barnstormer teams would travel the lands, playing each other or local “wildcat” teams. They were called “Barnstormers” because of their habits of storming into barns and challenging the local farmers to matches. Return to 11

BR:M-TG ooo Introduction

ruthlogoIt is difficult to appreciate now, more than two thousand years later, exactly what the world-famous man-tank gladiator superstar George Joseph Herriman Ruth, more popularly known as “Babe1” Ruth meant to the people of what was then called the twenty-first century2. Back in the year minus 718 Sovereignty of KRG3 (or 2016 A.D.E., as it was known then4) people were repressed by ignorance, poverty, constant war, twitters5, and, though most of them didn’t yet know it, the machinations of the gGrt6.

Back in the Motorized Ages7 people did not have holomoashes, brainys, or any of the other forms of entertainment that we know and enjoy today. They had to make do with such primitive past-times as idiot boxes8, public executions, and, of course, sports such as football, handball, headball, and backball. But the most popular sport, the most popular entertainment, the most popular thing at the time, was the man-tank9 gladiatorial games. And the most popular man-tank gladiator at the time was Babe Ruth.

But the Babe was more than just a man who operated a man-tank. More than just a man who fought against other man-tank gladiators in fields, lots, arena, and stadia10 around the world. More than just a man who hobnobbed with moashy stars11, kings, and religious leaders12. More than just a sports celebrity. Babe Ruth was more, even, than just the greatest man-tank gladiator of all time. To people facing horrors such as the Cola Wars13, the Y-to-K virus14, and Realiteevy15, Babe Ruth was what they needed.

He was a hero.

And not just a hero. Babe Ruth was an everyman-turned-hero. He was, to use ancient vernacular, an ordinary cho. He wasn’t born rich, he wasn’t born royal or even noble, he had no cyberware or nano-enhancing. He was one of us. And any one of us could become him. And in the bleak days of life before the Coming of the One True God, KRG16, the world needed just such a hero.

People say that there are no heroes now. That may be true. If so, it’s unfortunate. We need a hero now to lead us against the gGrt17.

Some people say that there never were heroes. That the stories of Buffy the Empire Slayer, the Batman, the Man in the Grey Cloak, Bugs Bunny, Chuck Norris and Babe Ruth are all myths and legends, fictions and lies.

This I refuse to believe.

I believe heroes were real. Once.

That is why I’ve chosen to tell the story of Babe Ruth, and to tell it in the style of a twenty-first century web-serial18, complete with poor editing, missed updates and reader comments. Although many details have been lost in the Data Purges, the First and Second Retcons, and the mists of time, I have devoted much of my life to the laborious reconstruction of the world of the Motorized Ages, and, while I admit I may take a few liberties here and there to dramatize the narrative, I assert that this work is, by and large, as close to completely historically accurate as is possible in these times.

But, more importantly, I assert that this work is necessary in these times.

Ruth was a hero because he was needed.

I can only hope his story will help inspire someone reading it to be the hero we need.

Throckle No’Goor
Eleventh Initiate
Seventh Temple Of KRG And Her 12 Warrior Priests
Main Conclave
Ballmore, Land of KRG
Threesday, Sevensmonth (Friesday, Maprily 39)
1291 Sovereignty Of KRG (4025 A.D.E.)
All Hail KRG!

[1] The reason for the nickname has been lost. Some scholars believe Ruth had been the youngest man-tank gladiator in history. Others claim he was considered incredibly beautiful, and beautiful people were called babes. Another faction takes the opposite tack, saying Ruth was so ugly he resembled a pig. Babe was a popular name for pigs at that time. Return to 1

[2] The exact dates of Ruth’s birth and death were lost in the Data Purges, but I am fairly certain he was born in the late nineteenth to late twenty-first century. I have chosen to split the difference and have him born in the year minus 735 SOK (1999 A.D.E), thus making him 17 years old in minus 718 SOK (2016 A.D.E.). Although 17 may seem exceedingly young to our eyes, we must remember that the age of majority was 18, so technically Ruth was considered almost an adult. Ages listed here are merely for historical accuracy, and should not be considered an endorsement or a rejection of the current Public Request before the First Initiate to lower the age of majority to 27. Return to 2

[3] All Hail KRG! Return to 3

[4] The ancients did not use the modern calendar, of course. Their calendar had terms such as Thursday, October 21 and Friesday, Maprily 39. The modern system is used here for clarity, though I will also place the ancient date next to the modern one, for perspective. Return to 4

[5] Twitters were roving gangs, up to one hundred and forty members (or characters) each, that would maliciously rob people of their time. Return to 5

[6] May they be forever damned! Return to 6

[7] The Motorized Ages are considered to be the years from minus 953 SOK (1781 A.D.E) to minus 489 SOK (2245 A.D.E). These dates should not be considered exact. More importantly, the people of the time themselves would rarely, if ever, use the the term, preferring “Modern Times,” “Atomic Age,” or “Disco Days”. Return to 7

[8] A form of low-tech pacifiers. Return to 8

[9] Although there are reasons to believe that the man-tank had not been invented until minus 559 SOK (2175 A.D.E), and not used by civilians until minus 535 SOK (2199 A.D.E.), they must have been around much sooner. After all, obviously Ruth couldn’t have operated a man-tank if there had been no man-tanks to operate. Return to 9

[10] An arenum was an ancient sporting amphitheater with a seating capacity of 10,000 to 50,000. A stadium was an ancient sporting amphitheater with a seating capacity of 50,000 to 200,000. Megamphitheaters with 200,000+ capacity were beyond the technology available. Return to 10

[11] A moashy star was someone famous for appearing in moashies, or motion images. A moashy was sort of like a flat holomoash. Return to 11

[12] In those benighted days before the coming of KRG (all hail KRG!), obviously these religious leaders could only have been pretenders and fakes. But this should in no way diminish the importance they played in the Motorized Ages society. The best way to think of it is as the equivalent of meeting high-level Initiates, Fourth or higher, including possibly the First Initiate, today. Return to 12

[13] One of the worst conflicts of the Motorized Ages, spanning decades, involving most of the civilized world, and costing millions of lives. Return to 13

[14] A horrific and highly contagious disease. Symptoms include loss of memory, loss of motor control, and difficulty in performing basic functions. Many feared the Y-to-K virus would wipe out the entire planet. Return to 14

[15] Nobody today actually knows what this was, but judging from the few remaining accounts of the times, it must have been quite terrible. We do know that in many instances an entire tribe would be eliminated, leaving only one survivor. Return to 15

[16] All Hail KRG! Return to 16

[17] May they be forever damned! Return to 17

[18] The web was an ancient communication medium where trolls, memes, and sock puppets would proclaim their affiliations and loyalties. A web-serial was a series of sermons delivered via the web. Return to 18