Ah, Mr. Riley. So good of you to join us. I sort of modeled Riley on Templeton Peck, “Face Man” of the A-team, the glib conman who always manages to fool the gullible idiots he’s up against. Now the A-team (the original series), was a prime example of toned down violence. Though many bullets were fired, and many cars were crashed, hardly anyone actually ever got killed or even hit, except for a drama filled episode where “Howling Mad” Murdock got shot in the shoulder, where all heroes get shot. Now this level of violence was definitely a conscious decision. You don’t want to make your firefights too realistic if you want to show your work when little kids can see it. The makers of “The A-team” wanted to make it exciting and spectacular, without the gore.
The Algernon Expeditions, however, are not material for before the watershed. I make no excuses. People will be killed. People will suffer. I have a reason for that. Violent films are often blamed for aberrant behaviour in real life. South Park kills off Kenny every episode except one, and in one case, kids were said to have killed one of their friends, expecting him to come back nest week. I think actually portraying violence is not the problem. It’s portraying violence as though it doesn’t hurt. “Don’t worry Mildred, it’s only a flesh wound!” Well, flesh wounds are nasty painful things that can actually kill you if treated in the way shown in some shows. Even over at the Redridge Chronicles, I never ever portray violence as something that you can just shrug off, and Azerothians have healing magic.
In this chapter, with Riley, Klemm and Nazeem, we have our happy band complete. I’ll be expecting everyone’s opinion on whether Nazeem is a fraud at the end of the story. His little fire trick is cool, isn’t it? Well, as Prof. Wadcroft explains, a mixture of alcohol and water will burn at a temperature low enough that a piece of paper (a dollar bill) soaked in it won’t ignite. What actually happens is that the water evaporates, drawing enough energy from the flames to avoid burning the paper. The same will presumably work with your hand, though it’s gonna hurt, make no mistake. Do try this at home. I haven’t myself. If you burn your hand to a cinder, or set your house on fire, remind yourself that it’s all in the interest of science. And don’t repeat the experiment with your other hand – you’ll need something to type a response to this post saying I’m full of shit.