Corrupted Lines: An Investigation Into A Dissipated Branch of the Wold-Newton Family
In March of 1894,
womanizer and (mostly) undeserved war
Harry Flashman sat in hiding in a nearly
And Colonel Sebastian Moran was captured by other, more famous individuals. Sir Harry’s relief at this turn of events was greatly tempered when he discovered that his daughter had requested his intervention not to salvage her Victorian chastity, but rather so that she would be able to continue her affair with HRH The Prince of Wales uninterrupted. Selina went on to marry her intended Randall Stanger that June, giving birth to a single daughter, Stephanie, in December of that year. As it would be ludicrous for this scholar to insinuate that the British Royal Family would be capable of producing offspring who were anything but sober, intelligent, serious, and (in short) able to run an Empire, it can be safely assumed that Stephanie was the offspring of Randall and Selina.
The next several years of Stephanie’s life were typical for a young woman at the time. As she entered her teenage years, she enjoyed a reputation as something of a coquette, attracting the attention of several eligible young bachelors. Stephanie kept them busy attempting to woo her with gifts and extravagant promises.
In 1917, however, Stephanie’s life took a drastic turn. A young group of privates were on liberty immediately before they were scheduled to be sent to the front. Stephanie encountered them while slumming with friends in a working-class pub. A drunken dare was proposed at her table. Drawing the short straw, Stephanie was forced to seduce the smelliest, most disreputable-looking enlisted man in the tavern. Journal entries of hers state that for weeks afterwards, she was attempting to cleanse the lingering scent of turnips from her skin.
In March, Stephanie discovered that she was pregnant. Her father immediately disowned her, causing chaos between her parents, and driving her to seclusion at the Flashman estate. She gave birth in August, naming her new son “Bertrand”.
By 1921, Stephanie
utterly weary of the snubbing she was continuing to receive from her
social circle. It wasn’t so much her having become pregnant out
wedlock that offended the local sensibilities--it had been wartime,
all--but rather that she had given birth to the child of a base
Child in tow, she took her share of her grandfather’s estate with her,
off for a tour of
Stephanie spent a
in the Costa Blanca area. Her father’s family sent her a
while she resided there: If she were willing to change her name
the Stangers further disgrace, they would
her handsomely. She took their offer, assuming the name of the
Algar. Stephanie Algar
left the area, traveling to
Growing up in such
environment, it was only a matter of time before Bertrand became
running various errands for the local gangs. He moved up
quickly for a non-Italian, and was given ever-increasing
responsibilities. This lasted until 1933, when he finally came to
attention of the police. The family sent him to
In April of 1935, their child Jennifer was born.
Jennifer grew up as
but talented child. She had a lovely singing voice, and was
quite a catch. However, she longed for
Broadway stage (Jennifer shunned film due to her aunt’s horror
drawn from her own experience), and finally ran off to
Unfortunately, Jennifer was no luckier in love than her mother. In March of 1954, Vukcic was killed in front of his apartment building. As he lay dying on the sidewalk, Jennifer sat in her small apartment holding her tests from the doctor’s office in her hand. The results were conclusive. She was pregnant.
The parentage of
Marko Vukcic is well-known in Wold-Newton
scholarship, and hardly
bears repeating here Suffice it to say
John Watson was not made privy to the romantic
relationships of his
good friend Sherlock Holmes, nor of the children resulting from his
with Irene Adler. Jennifer immediately moved in with her
Stephanie, who had retired to the town of Red Bank,
From the beginning, the twins were close despite their diametrically opposed personalities. Where Miranda was rebellious and playful, Persephone was thoughtful and obedient (whenever not being led into trouble by her sister). They remained close as they grew, Miranda often relying on Persephone to get her out of some of the more difficult scrapes.
In 1955, Jennifer
George Spicoli, a local businessman.
birth to a son, George, Jr., in 1956,
another, Jeffrey, in 1958. George got a job on the West Coast in
Miranda and Persephone’s lives were affected forever in 1964, when the twins were allowed to stay up to watch The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. They became instant fans of rock and roll at a very young age, and soon their walls were covered in posters of all the groups of the British Invasion. The Kinks, Herman’s Hermits, and other, similar groups played constantly from their room.
In 1972, at age
Miranda ran away from home. Persephone followed close behind in
keep her sister out of trouble. There is a rumor that they found
employment as domestics with an androgynous scientist while hitchhiking
Back home, Jennifer
a job offer in
both back in
an end in 1974, when the drummer died under mysterious circumstances
and Miranda were attempting to recreate a scene from the Marquis de Sade’s noel Justine. They left the
immediately, unable to bear the whispers and rumors. The two
tour to tour for some time. While traveling with one famous
sisters encountered a young reporter for Rolling Stone. Many
the composite character of
Things picked up for the sisters in 1975, when they both became employed as makeup artists for the rock group Kiss. They followed the group on tour for quite a while, able to indulge their taste for the rock and roll lifestyle while maintaining steady employment. Unfortunately, most of their activities up until 1977 are still shrouded in mystery. Further research is required into their movements in the mid-70’s.
In 1977, Kiss
After departing the
The twins gave birth in March of 1978. Miranda had a single child, Jason. Persephone had twin boys, Robert Marley and Garth Izar (The first named after a favorite singer, the second a reference to Star Trek, her favorite television series as a child).
At this point, a word regarding the parenting skills of the twins is in order. Miranda and Persephone, while certainly talented and well-meaning, were unfortunately lacking in the areas of supervision and discipline. While Persephone’s distance from the twins largely had to do with her heavy workload, it must be sadly stated that Miranda’s neglect stemmed largely from the copious amounts of marijuana she smoked on a daily basis. She spent most of her days in a stoned haze, barely holding down her job at the local beauty school.
In 1980, Jennifer
died in an
unfortunate shopping mall-related accident in
The children did find a babysitter of sorts in the year 1981. The music video channel MTV was introduced that year, and Jason, Robert, and Garth spent hours upon hours mesmerized by the bright lights and loud noises coming from the television. The influence of the scantily-clad women, hard-driving music, and rapid-fire editing of the music videos of the time on their worldview cannot be underestimated, and may rank as the prime factor in their developing value systems.
While Jason and
to be of low average intelligence, Garth was something of a genius (His
From 1984-1988, the two remaining boys existed on a steady diet of comic books (The mutants of “The X-Men”, the fictionalized exploits of Bruce Wayne in “Batman”, and the underground “The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers” were favorites) and MTV. There is a rumor that in 1985, two alien robots on a scouting mission ran across the children, and were impressed enough with their talent for mischief and destruction to pattern their own personalities after them. I have been unable to verify this claim, though if their portrayal in popular culture is accurate, then it does seem a likely scenario.
Jason and Robert
animation festival in
1992 proved to be yet another turning point for the boys. In November of that year, a series of bizarre events led them to being mistaken for hit men by a freelance agent working for THRUSH. Under the mistaken impression that they were being hired to perform sexual favors for the estranged wife of the agent, Jason and Robert found themselves being chased by agents of THRUSH and the United States government across the country, eventually (and accidentally) leading the government agents to those responsible for the theft of a deadly virus.
It was during the
these events that Jason and Robert met their fathers. Ollu
and Buzsla had moved to
The peyote ingestion awoke long-dormant elements of the psyches of both boys. Ancestral memories flooded them, albeit in remarkably different ways. Jason suddenly found himself possessed of the libido of Harry Flashman, the “intelligence” of the young Private Baldrick, and the boundless energy of Norma Cassady. Robert, on the other hand, drew what would generally be considered a better hand. He gained the technical expertise and ingenuity of his mother, and the observational and deductive skills of his ancestor the great detective. This overwhelmed him, causing his garrulous personality to shift into one more retiring and soft-spoken. By the time he returned home, he was able to jury-rig the toaster in the kitchen into a CD player.
In March of 1992, Jason took his reward money from the THRUSH adventure (or rather, whatever had not been spent by his mother on drugs), and invested in a small supply of marijuana. Using this as his capital, he set himself up as a low-level street dealer, spending most of his days and nights in front of a local convenience store. During this time, Robert’s appetite for knowledge had increased exponentially. Evidence indicates that during this period, he studied electronics, mechanics, modern dance, contract law, psychology, and many other unrelated disciplines. At one point, Robert put his technical expertise to the test in an eventually successful attempt to assist a friend in sabotaging a dating game show being taped in a local mall.
At about this time, Robert began a passionate but ultimately unsuccessful relationship with a young woman named Amy. A year later, he told the story of this breakup to a friend of his.
From 1993 to 1997, their lives stayed more or less the same. Jason continued to sell marijuana, though his constant use of his own supply meant that he never made enough of a profit to truly improve his standard of living. Robert continued to work on his electronic and mechanical devices, eventually coming to the attention of Mystery, Inc. They contacted the budding genius in the hopes of recruitment.
In 1998, Jason and
The year 2000 saw
Robert in the
Upon arriving at
offices, they discovered that the film was going through location
in Red Bank,
Bertrand died in 2001 of natural causes, having been preceded in death by his wife thirty years earlier.
The wrongful termination lawsuit of Jason and Robert Algar v. Mystery, Inc. is still pending.
The further activities of Jason and Robert remain a mystery, though the upcoming film The Passion of the Clerks promises to shed some light on the matter.
Acknowledgements: First off, this essay would not have been possible without the first
Wold-Newton works Tarzan Alive! and Doc Savage: An Apocalyptic Life by Philip Jose Farmer, as well as W.S. Baring-Gould’s Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street and Nero Wolfe of West Thirty-Fifth Street. Dennis Power’s essay “Immortal Befuddled” was the direct inspiration for this article, and is worth reading as an excellent, original take on the Wold-Newton universe. The encouragement and support of Wold-Newton keeper of the flame Win Eckert was invaluable.
Additional thanks to the researcher Hooper_X for the Transformers crossover, and to the infamous Doc Loki for Kiss tour date information.
 See A.C. Doyle’s “Adventure of the Empty House” and G.M. Fraser’s “Flashman and the Tiger” for further details regarding these events.
 The misadventures of young Private Baldrick were detailed in the British television series Blackadder Goes Forth.
 The troubled story of this child and his descendants will be explored in full in a future essay by this author.
 See the movie Victor/Victoria.
 See the movie Singing In The Rain
 As detailed in Rex Stout’s Black Mountain.
 For further work,
Jose Farmer’s Tarzan Alive! and Doc
Savage: An Apocalyptic Life, and W.S. Baring-Gould’s seminal
 In 1975, young writer Cameron Crowe went undercover as a student at a San Diego high school, where he gathered material that would eventually become the book and movie Fast Times At Ridgemont High. As will be seen later in this essay, this was not his only encounter with one of Jennifer’s children.
 See the stage musical The Rocky Horror Show, and the film The Rocky Horror Picture Show
 For further information, please see the films Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey.
 For further information regarding Ollu and Buzsla, read Dennis Power’s excellent “Immortal Befuddled”, located at http://www.pjfarmer.com/secret/Immortal/befuddled1a.htm
 See the television series The Transformers.
 See the movie Beavis
 See the film Clerks for an overview of a typical day in his life at this point.
 See the film Mallrats.
 See the film Chasing Amy
 Certain highly satirized and exaggerated versions of their activities during this period can be found in the Clerks animated series, as well as the Jay and Silent Bob and Bluntman and Chronic comic books.
 The history of this organization beyond the purview of this essay. For further information, I can suggest no better resource than Dennis Power’s exhaustive “Mystery, Inc., or Scooby Doo in the WNU”. You can find this work at http://www.pjfarmer.com/secret/hyde/mysteryinc.htm
 See the John Carpenter film Prince of Darkness.
 See the film Scream 3.
 See the film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back for further information. It should be noted that Kevin Smith was still not allowed to use Mystery, Inc in this film, though he did use a reference to the silly cartoon based on them, showing their fictionalized selves as marijuana-smoking sex fiends. How much of this was influenced by Jason’s feelings of betrayal at their hands is unknown.