Posts Tagged ‘Superhero’

Quick Lass Pt. 3

August 27, 2016

It was a school night but Madeleine Price was already bored. She had already used her super speed to do all of her reading assignments in a fraction of the time. Of course, she had to slow down when she was actually writing out her assignments and do them at regular person speed. If she dragged her pencil along the paper at full speed, she would probably cause a fire from all the friction. In fact, she had lost a book report two years earlier that way. Homework was boring enough doing it one time, having to do it several times over was definitely torture. Homework was boring because it was too easy. If the teachers threw out a challenge on par with foiling a bank robbery now and then, Maddy would be more than happy to do a little math or read Romeo and Juliet.

So instead of doing homework or engaging in extracurricular activities, Maddy was laying on her bed and listening to police scanners. It was still a restless way to spend time but the local police were all stirred up and on the lookout for Quick Lass. Foiling the convenience store robbery was fun but it had put the cops on alert for super fast vigilantes. So, Maddy had bugged her sister Jan for a solution. She needed something to do before she started just going out and running laps in a field somewhere. If she was considering going on a run, she must be really, really bored. Thankfully, Jan had come through yet again. There was a reason that Maddy automatically gave the girl a percentage of her allowance. The genius girl made Maddy feel dumb but instead of leveraging that, Jan liked acting like Maddy’s Q. At least, she seemed to enjoy it when she was not working on her own secret projects.

Jan had developed a device that could tap into police and emergency frequencies from other nearby cities. She had it shuffling around, trying to find something to do outside of her jurisdiction. While she was happy she had not heard any big emergencies, she was getting bored. She had no other hobbies outside of fighting crime. Before her powers developed she had been way into video games but now they were an exercise in frustration. She was able to move her fingers way faster than current technology could keep up with and she had busted a controller at one point. There were few people at school that she felt like she related to. Most of the people she had gotten along with were anti-social and spent their time looking for space for tags at the trainyard or under bridges. She was stuck with fighting crime as her hobby but she could not do that if there was no crime to fight.

The scanner clicked over to Drake City and all of a sudden the dispatcher sounded like things were far more urgent. “Calling all cars. There is a 132 at Drake Nationa Bank. 51st and Cable. Be advised, suspects are armed and one them has some sort of ice projection powers. Surround and contain, SWAT has been deployed.”

Maddy jumped off the bed in surprise and excitement. A “132” was code for an armed robbery which meant that this was an honest to goodness bank robbery. Usually, she only got to bank robberies after the criminals had gotten to their getaway car. Most successful bank robberies were in and out and then they were speeding away from the scene of the crime. That’s usually when Maddy caught up to them and pulled them one by one out of their car. It was fun and the robbers usually looked really surprised. The kind of surprised that made a crook never want to try a robbery again. That is how things usually went but now it was a police siege with the criminals inside and armed and possibly with hostages.

There had also never been somebody with powers at the scene of the crime. Maddy hardly knew what to do with herself. On the one hand, she had never met anybody like herself before. She had always felt separate from the world around her although she suspected that Jan might have some sort of brainiac powers. She wanted to see somebody else with powers and talk with them and share all of her experiences. But the person at the bank would not be interested in that. They were a criminal. Not a vandal or a shoplifter like some of her friends but a real potential threat. Maddy could not imagine hurting innocent people with her powers and the thought suddenly angered her.

The superhuman icicle jerk would have to be stopped. She jumped to her feet and opened her window. There was no time to get caught by her mother or bargain with Jan to cover for her. The police were not equipped for this sort of thing. Somebody was going to get hurt if Maddy did not get to the bank and it was already fifty miles away. She would have to run fast but she would be there in minutes. She did not know if she would succeed but she also knew that there was no time for fear or doubt. Maybe this was why she had been given super speed abilities. Maybe this was her higher calling.

She changed into her costume with a press of a button and jumped out of the window. She started running the instant she hit the ground. As soon as she could, she pointed herself toward Drake City. She caught glimpses of shocked faces and startled drivers who must have seen her only as a blurred streak. She smiled to herself. They were all amazed by her and they had every right to be. In this costume, she was allowed to be special and now she was going to show the world again. She was on her way.


Comet Girl Pt. 3

July 30, 2016

There was chatter on the police scanner about an armed robbery from some man who had some sort of ice powers. He and some other masked goons were stomping around some bank in downtown Drake and it was just a short flight away for Traci to get there. However, there were two many eyes and cameras in the downtown area and Traci had agreed with her mother that she was not ready for Drake to have hard evidence of her existence yet. That was why her father had moved the family out to the suburbs before he disappeared. So he could keep his secret identity hidden a little easier. As far as Traci and her mom knew, that secret was still safe so Traci was not going to do anything to endanger that or her own secret.

It sucked because Traci knew that taking on a bunch of guys with guns and somebody with ice powers would be really fun. She had yet to encounter anyone with powers yet as most of them had kept a low profile in recent years. Either that or the powers and abilities themselves were just now re-emerging after a long dormant period. Kind of like Dr. Laco’s lectures about cicadas. Whatever the case, Traci sometimes got a little stir crazy attending pep rallies and study sessions instead of being out with other people with powers. That frustration sometimes made her want to punch something. As the tree in the backyard could attest, that punch was a truly destructive force. She and her mom had to lie and say that lightning struck it.

So now Traci was out flying out over the forests one county over in Lucas County. It was peaceful out there and it had become Traci’s version of going out for a jog. Of course, she jogged too but with a few of her friends and she had to pace herself so she did not outrun them all. Out here in the wilds, she could really cut loose as long as she kept a low profile and watched for lights out in the wilderness. The rush of the wind along her body was a total thrill and these were the only times she was sorry that she had cut her hair so short. At least she felt safe enough not to wear her mask out here in the country air. It felt awesome to be free in that night air to dart around over the trees. One day, she would feel this free in the middle of Drake City.

Her watched chimed as she was doing some lazy circles around the tallest oak in the forest which meant it was time to go back home. If she did not get to bed, she would not be remotely willing to get up in the morning to face the day. High school was daunting enough with eight hours of sleep, Traci could not imagine how bad it could get if she was sleepy and slightly grumpy all day. Besides, if she stayed out much longer her mother would worry and there would be a lecture and plenty of guilt. Nobody wanted that. Traci used her compass to point herself toward home and started to fly at a steady pace.

“What are you doing out here alone?” said a shouted female voice from her left. Traci stopped short to look in that direction. There was a woman dressed in some form-fitting black leather costume who was watching Traci with an amused look on her face. It was important to note that both of them were currently several stories above the trees and even further from the ground. Traci scrambled to pull her mask on. This had obviously never happened before.

“Who are you?” Traci shouted back. It was the best thing she could think of saying even if it sounded a little too flustered and silly after she said it.

“I call myself the Hammer,” the woman said. “What do you call yourself, young lady?”

“That’s confidential,” Traci answered. She was trying to keep her voice neutral. She was also trying to keep some space between herself and the woman.

“Mysterious. So, I guess we have to fight now,” the Hammer said.

“Wait, what!?” Traci asked. “Are you crazy?” Of course, Traci did not get an answer to that because the Hammer lunged and swung a fist at Traci’s face. Traci was so stunned that the punch landed and she found herself hurtling through the air. She was seeing stars for the first time in her life. She somehow avoided flying into a tree in that blindness. She looked around and could not see the woman around as she wove her way through the trees.

Suddenly, the woman lunged from behind a tree but, this time, Traci evaded her strike and threw a punch of her own. Her fist connected and it was now the Hammer’s turn to fly off into the trees. Of course, Traci could instantly feel that she had broken her thumb. Maybe it would be good to actually learn how to throw a punch before the next fight. Traci looked around but the Hammer was nowhere in sight. She flew into the night and wondered what that crazy woman’s intentions had been. Was she still out there?

The Mystery Part 8

July 16, 2016

The Mystery

Detective Zaria walked up to Scott where he was struggling, pressed against the wall by a growing Frank. Frank was now twenty feet tall and his palm covered Scott’s chest making it harder to breathe and nearly impossible to move. Scott’s right hand was near one of his extendable batons but there was no way he had room to swing it. Besides, the Detective was close and would alert Frank before Scott could get anything done. Hell, even though her gun was holstered, Zaria could still shoot Scott for trespassing or really for whatever reason she chose. At his current size, Frank was stuck in the doorway he had thrust his arm through. If Scott somehow got out of his grasp and got that arm between himself and the Detective he would be home free. However, that was not the only play.

“Listen, I honestly did not come here to start any trouble. I came here for advice or help but I was obviously missing information. I can just leave and I won’t bother you again.” Scott said, doing his best to disguise his voice. He had not remembered to do so back in the alleyway but better safe than sorry. There really should be a manual for superheroes but Scott would just have to make do.

“Nice fake voice, Mystery,” Frank said, from the doorway. Scott was relieved that he had never told Frank his real name. “You really stepped in it this time.”

“I didn’t know you were dating a police detective. Also, I guess I should have called ahead.” Scott said.

“We’re not dating, you idiot. He works for me. If I wanted, I could have him crush you and bury you out back.” Detective Zaria said. Her stance suddenly looked a lot more relaxed and she looked tired.

“That does not sound legal,” Scott said. It was the first thing he thought of and it sounded dumb as soon as it came out of his mouth.

“Technically, neither does what you do. Focus up, Mystery.” The detective said. “The officer you saved is stable in the hospital right now. If that was not true, I would be handcuffing you right now.”

“I’m glad to hear it. The guy who shot him did it because of me, I think. I could not stop him and I felt terrible.” Scott said. It was the truth, obviously, he had nearly hung up his costume forever. He felt a weight lift when he heard that the officer was still alive and in good hands.

“Then we need to take him down. If he’s fixated on you then you need to work with us to take care of this.” The detective said.

“Work together?” Scott asked.

“Not like Frank,” Zaria said.

“Hey, being a cop in training isn’t so bad. I’m a little hard to miss so they were gonna catch me eventually. You’re a little more sneaky. Still, it took one bonehead move for you to finally get caught.” Frank said with a laugh.

“A bonehead move that came from a very real emotion. I can respect that and set it aside. The truth is, I think I can use you. Some of the higher ups do not trust your kind but I think you can be useful.” Detective Zaria said.

“Thank you,” Scott said. “I will try my best to help you out in any way I can.”

“Yeah you will,” Frank said. “Nobody says no to Zaria.”

“That’s Detective Zaria. I need you to write out a complete statement of what happened in the alleyway. I also need to stay in contact with you.” She walked back into the living room and then returned holding a small canvas pouch. “This is an orientation packet, of sorts. It has a flash drive with files on known costumed characters both powered and unpowered. It has contact information for me and it has a disposable cell phone. Let him go, Frank.”

“Aww. You never let me have any fun,” Frank said. He released his grip and started to shrink to human size. He stepped out of his bedroom. He looked different from the last time Scott had seen him. When he and Scott had worked together briefly, Frank had long hair and was scruffy looking. He had been big and buff like a cross between a surfer and a biker. Now, he was clean cut and sported a crew cut and looked even more cut. Scott could only guess that police work agreed with him. Scott looked away at Zaria and reached out and took the little package.

“There is also a GPS tracker in that bag but it is push button activated. If you run into trouble, you need to alert us. I do not want to be picking up any more bodies in alleys,” Detective Zaria said.

“Agreed. Neither do I. I will get that statement to you before morning. Is there anything else now that I have been thoroughly embarrassed?” Scott asked.

“No, do the statement. Keep me updated on your activity and I won’t have to arrest you.” She replied.

“Noted,” Scott said, “I will contact you soon. Frank, maybe you and I can talk sometime.”

“Count on it. Next time, don’t break into my place in the middle of the night.” Frank said.

“Also noted. See you later,” Scott said as he headed back into the bathroom and slipped out the back window before anybody could change their mind or pull any pistols. This was actually better than Scott could have hoped. He had been doing this basically alone and now he actually had a solid ally and maybe even back up. Now, it was time to start hunting that maniac out there on the streets. With no leads, it would be a lot of patrols and very little sleep. That suited Scott just fine.

Comet Girl 2

May 21, 2016

Traci Harding’s mom was waiting for her when the bus pulled up at the stop a block from Traci’s stop. She saw her as the bus pulled up and she could feel heat creep up to her face as she blushed. She got off the bus as quick as she could and started walking toward the house. Besides being the mother to a would-be superhero, Nancy Harding was a former track star and had longer legs than Traci. Besides that, Traci was not able to use her powers in public and her mother knew it. There was no way that Traci was outrunning her mother without flying but that was not the intent. The point was to make the conversation private.

“Traci stop. I need to talk to you.” Her mom said, laying a hand on Traci’s shoulder gently. It would take an impact from a car to hurt Traci but the gentleness was always appreciated.

“I know, mom. I just thought the conversation should be private. Right?” Traci asked. She turned to face her mother in their front yard in the midst of all of her mother’s beautiful flowers. Her mother had maintained this house for all of the years since Traci’s father had disappeared. Traci had a lot of respect for her mother but it made her the only parent and a symbol of authority. It could be hard sometimes but in that moment, Traci took a deep breath and smelled the flowers.

“Ok, good point,” Her mother said. “However, when my daughter rescues a malfunctioning plane midair and does not call, I kind of lose my head.” Her mother gave her a hard look but was trying to take slow deep breaths herself.

“I was going to call but I had to get to homeroom . Then the school has a no cell phone policy,” Traci said.

They walked inside and Traci set her backpack down. It had roller wheels on it as was the fashion at school. Traci did not need them with her super strength but they were so popular and they helped Traci stay undercover. She was proud of the backpack. It was cute and she had paid for it with chore money which made it just about the only thing so far that was only hers. It was completely normal girl stuff and Traci embraced that.

“We’re supposed to debrief, Traci. I was worried about you especially when you didn’t call,” Nancy said, a look of concern in her eyes.

“Sorry, Mom. There was a lot of stuff going on. I didn’t mean to make you worry,” Traci said.

“We have rules for a reason. We need to keep the two of us safe both physically and mentally. We’re a team, ok?” Mom asked.

“I remember, mom,” Traci said. “There wasn’t a lot of time but I’ll make time for the next one. I don’t want you to have to worry about me.”

“Besides, my earring fell under the fridge this morning. If you hadn’t run off I would have had you lift it so I could get it back. I had to change earrings and I was nearly late to work.” Mom said with a playful smirk.

“Oh Mom, I can’t always move furniture for you when the world needs saving,” Traci said with a laugh.

“You know, I have said it before and I will say it again but you do not need to be the one saving the day.” Mom said. She smiled easily, making sure that Traci knew that there was no pressure.

Traci wondered how her mother had reacted to her father being a superhero. He had been very public and had not only prevented disasters but had also fought a lot of high-profile battles against criminals. He had very few colleagues to save the day alongside so all of the danger was on him. Her mother was a tough woman but she still would have been sitting at home and watching Comet Man’s exploits on the news. Did she worry this much when it was him and not her daughter? What was it like for his costume to run through the washing machine while the two of them relaxed on the couch?

“Mom, there was nobody around for miles. If I hadn’t caught that plane, I shudder to think what would have happened to all those people. Not to mention all the people they might have hit on the ground. If I can be there, I’m going to be there,” Traci said.

“I know. Just like your father. Just make sure that if you’re going to be there, you’re also going to be there after. I can’t lose anyone else, Traci,” Mom said.

“I know, Mom.  I can’t promise anything but I’ll always do my best to come back to you.”


Media Update 5/12/2016

May 12, 2016

Captain America: Civil War

I woke up last Friday with the knowledge that a lot of my friends were going to see this movie on Saturday and since I was attending my high school reunion, I could not join them. I felt bad about that but I knew that I wanted to go out and catch it before any of it was spoiled any further. I had seen a few trailers but I had taken to muting my television during later trailers and looking away. If I was forced to rank my favorite comic book movies, the Captain America movies are still in the top five if not the top three. I remember reading the original comic book storyline and I have rated it five stars on I occasionally like a well-written story where both opposing forces are both right and both wrong. This is one of those stories and the sides are even more even than in the original comic book and therefore, I thought it was even better. This one raised a lot of the same type of philosophical questions that the previous Disney’s Captain America movies posed. Is it just to follow an unjust order? What are we willing to sacrifice in order to be safe? What value is there in vengeance? How far do we go for a friend? The movie is also Avengers 2.5 and has a really strong ensemble backing up the brilliant Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. I absolutely recommend this movie as it is really awesome, touching and a lot of fun.

Kick-Ass 2

This was a strange experience. I remember being really interested when the original Kick-Ass movie came out because it was a franchise that I was unfamiliar with. The movie ended up being pretty good. It was colorful and shot really well like most comic book movies but the plot and characters were given a different twist. More or less Kick-Ass is kind of a depiction of what would really happen if somebody decided to become a superhero. There’s a reason that Bruce Wayne traveled the world to learn the skills to be Batman. You need those skills. The world of Kick-Ass is a world where the heroes are not always smart and skilled and neither are the villains. I then read the original comic book and I was disappointed. Mark Millar is kind of a horrible writer when it comes to his own properties. He writes to intentionally shock the reader with violence, sexuality and language and it feels like a ten-year-old trying to write superheroes. He is also one of the writers most well known for fridging female characters. Kick Ass was not a good comic and I only read a synopsis of its sequel. This movie was equally disappointing and it made me question whether the first one was even worth liking. Every character curses like a ten-year-old whose mother is out of earshot and the jokes are about as mature. The fights are interesting but they are worth little when the script keeps changing the character’s motivations every five minutes. Just pass this movie on your way to something better.

Batman: Bad Blood

I wanted to round out this week with a third comic book company and DC animation is just as great as their television. While television is kind of going for its own story, the animated features tend to more or less adapt established comic book storylines. I have no interest in the Frank Miller animated features and also no interest in the upcoming Killing Joke as I’m not a fan. I am a huge fan of Batman and, of the recent writers, I am very fond of Grant Morrison’s run. Before the reboot, he established Damien Wayne as the new Robin and did a great run with Dick Grayson as Batman. This animated feature adapts Batman RIP which was a good little story. The animation is really interesting and is kind of on par with the recent Suicide Squad: Assault on Arkham art style. As the title suggests, this movie does not follow Batman as much as it follows the Batman Family. Alfred, Damien, Grayson and Batwing were all great but the real stand out for me was Batwoman. Katie Kane was a great character for DC to bring back into the comics. Not only does it allow them to include a well-written lesbian character but she’s just a good character in my view. The movie also brings out a few lesser known villains along with a lot of memorable returning villains. Some of them are merely obstacles and some of them are nuanced, fleshed-out characters. All in all, I really liked watching this adaptation and I hope it leads to more features following Morrison or Scott Snyder’s runs. Check it out, Batman fans.

Links of the Week:
Goth Fitness
Foster the People – Houdini
Justin Timberlake – TKO (Black Friday Remix)
Utada – You Make Me Want To Be A Man
Gatas Parlament – Hokus Pokus

Weekly Updates:
– This week’s theme is comic book superheroes
– Next week is the one year anniversary of this feature. Wow.
– Fun fact: I went to college with Sebastian Stan
– Fun Fact: My middle school’s library promoted Free Comic Book Day
– I finished reading Squirrel Girl Vol. 2 and it was awesome!
– So is the new Hawkeye series so far
– I really want to see Keanu soon. It looks great.

Quick Lass Pt. 2

May 7, 2016

Maddy took a moment before building up to top speed. Her boots splashed over and over on the floor of the aqueduct until that water was spraying out behind her. Suddenly, she could hear the sonic boom echoing off the walls behind her and she was glad there was some ear protection to her costume. She could look up and see the mile markers she had painted on the walls when she was really bored one day. Speaking of bored, the miles ticked by one at a time so slowly. Breaking the sound barrier had been for fun but now she forced herself to slow down to sixty miles per hour. It was thirty miles to school and it took a whole twenty plus minutes and that was forever to Maddy.

Maddy knew that she did not belong in her school but her mother just would not listen. She found it hard to connect with the other students when she spent her extracurricular time fighting crime and running around faster than most cars. She could not imagine herself as a cheerleader or a band geek or acting in a play. Sports were out of the question because she could just not hold herself back even if all of the other kids did not have superpowers. The few kids she did connect with were usually skipping school anyway. They were street-smart and were already learning things that actually mattered instead of stupid dates and equations. Some day, she dreamed of hanging out with other superheroes but they were few and far between around Patton. There were a few in Drake City but that was halfway across the country. Jan would squeal for sure if she commuted to Drake even once.

So she was largely left to her own devices and she had gotten used to it. She drifted in and out of classes as if she were in a dream. Teachers yelled at her for not finishing her homework and she nodded absently, knowing the same thing would probably happen the next day. Somehow she was passing all of her classes but it was definitely not pretty. It was a terrible way to live, the only fun she had came from beating up bad guys every night and during the day on weekends. Sure, her mother was upset at her bad marks but the city had to be safe and Maddy had to have a release. Besides, the press had taken to her even if the police had not really appreciated her efforts. They had labeled her the Blur but she had remembered to bring a permanent marker on the next patrol and wrote ‘Quick Lass’ on the forehead of every crook she caught. They had not made the same mistake since.

She decided to flip on her radio. It was really the only decision in a boring situation such as the one she found herself in. It had been all of ten minutes and Madeleine was so incredibly bored. The radio was another of Jan’s modifications to her costume. The ear protection was installed after some jackass had attacked ElanCorp headquarters with sonic weaponry. Maddy had asked Jan if she could install some sort of digital radio system into that part so that Maddy would not get so bored on patrol. Jan had done her one better and had installed a powerful radio and had thrown in a phone, wifi connectivity and 4G. Her kid sister was an amazing child and it was a wonder that she did not want to fight crime with her big sister. She was content to explore the wonders of the universe while breezing through elementary school.

She clicked on the local morning show and sighed with relief that there was something to occupy her other than her own thoughts. After a minute of chatter about the latest local news, a song came on and Maddy found herself tapping her side in time even as she kept up her speed. While the latest Halestorm was certainly worth listening to, Maddy only made it a minute into the song before she felt that familiar itch. Her fingers were touching her earpiece before she even realized she was doing it. She not only changed the station but also the band on the radio. After a buzz of static, Quick Lass could hear the police radio signal.

At the moment, two guys were discussing last night’s big game with the dispatcher. Maddy was almost disappointed that there was not something big going on. Obviously, she would have much rather foiled a crime instead of sitting in homeroom and hearing the morning announcements. Her homeroom teacher was Ms. Dashwood and Maddy could comfortably go a long time without ever seeing her again. It was just at that moment when her thoughts were interrupted by a change of tone in the radio. The dispatcher asked the two men to clear the line before she started to put out the call for all officers. Maddy had listened to the scanner enough that she was starting to learn the codes. This was a code 211 which meant it was an armed robbery. The location was a convenience store.

Maddy made a hairpin turn a mile from school and bolted toward the scene of the crime. She ran faster, quickly reaching 600 miles per hour and it was like scratching an itch. When she arrived, there was already a police officer taking cover behind his patrol car. She ran around the scene faster than the normal human eye could follow. She saw the cop’s car was already riddled with bullets on the side toward the store. She saw two thugs through the window of the store and they both had machine guns. Those were pretty fast but she was definitely faster. The guys were arguing with the clerk who looked like he was doing his best but the guys were on edge. Things looked dangerous as hell but Maddy was ready for it.

They leveled their machine guns at the clerk. They were already in a desperate situation and apparently they had decided that guns were the answer. Guns were pretty much never the answer except in trivia questions about guns. Maddy bolted directly toward the store and did not bother with the door as the crooks opened fire on the clerk. She crashed through the glass at top speed and skidded to a stop right in front of the clerk. She carefully plucked each bullet out of the air and it was a pain because machine guns throw out a lot of bullets with the slightest squeeze of the trigger. She tossed the bullets down at the floor as fast as she could and then kept running.

A less experienced crime fighter might have announced herself to the crooks but that was a rookie move. They were both still armed so all they saw was a multicolored blur tear through the store. Her fingers still burned a bit from the bullets even with the gloves but she balled her hands into fists anyway. She imagined her fists were like machine gun bullets as she let fly rapid fire punches into her targets. After a dozen hummingbird punches landed on each they went down, slumping against racks of merchandise. The cops were pulling up outside, a lot of them. As they pulled their guns in response to the machine gun fire, they probably expected to see the gun-wielding goons. What they saw instead was Patton’s favorite speedster, Quick Lass. For about a split second as she gave the thumbs up before disappearing toward school.

(Happy Free Comic Book Day!)

Quick Lass

April 20, 2016

Madeleine Price found herself tangled in her bedsheets as she woke up. She rubbed her eyes and squirmed her way out of the sheets, knocking them to the floor. Madeleine yawned big and rolled out of bed. Her legs wobbled and almost gave but she stood up nonetheless. It had been a hard night after all. She had foiled three hold-ups and one bank robbery. She had done it all by herself which left no time to do her math homework. Mrs. Belle was going to be so pissed off. This was the second time this week and if she kept this up, there would be no getting out of sixth grade.

Casually, she picked the first shirt off of the floor that looked clean and slipped it over her head. She reached down and slipped on some gray denim pants that were only slightly torn. She grabbed her sneakers from under the bed. The right one was actually pretty difficult to find but she found it behind a small pile of socks and underwear eventually. She paused in front of the mirror and thought she looked pretty good but she knew her mother had one minimum requirement. She reluctantly grabbed the hairbrush and dragged it through her hair, wincing each time it snagged. She had to admit it looked a little better as she tied her hair securely into pigtails. Still, she despised getting up in the morning, especially when getting up was followed by school.

Maddy picked up her watch carefully from its place of honor on her dresser and attached it around her wrist. Now, the watch was the only possession Maddy had that she truly cared about. It had been designed and built by her sister Jan in total secrecy from any of the adults. It held the ability to “phase” in her hero costume by rearranging the fibers in her clothes. She had no clue how that worked but it worked and for that she was very grateful. After all, if Maddy was going to run around as the superhero Quick Lass, wouldn’t she need a costume? It paid to have it so close at hand and accessible with the flip of a switch.

Maddy looked up at the old poster of Comet Man above her bed and smiled. She had watched the auction for weeks, stayed up until six in the morning and had spent plenty of allowance to get it. The fact that it was now a little vintage made her like it even more. Comet Man had been one of the pioneers in the superhero business and Maddy admired the hell out of him. When her super speed powers had begun to develop, she had put on her costume because of him. If it were not for guys and girls like Comet Man, she might have ended up using those powers for evil purposes. Hell, it would be so easy. Speed powers would make theft a cinch.

She walked down the stairs to the kitchen and picked up the bagel off of her plate. Jan hardly looked up from the coffee machine she was taking apart. However, her mother turned around and gave her a sly little smile that said ‘good morning’.

“Hurry up, Maddy. You’ll miss your bus,” her mother said. Maddy merely nodded and kept chewing her bagel. “No superpowers.” She threw in as an afterthought. Maddy nodded and got up and got out the front door with only a sigh in response. She hated that rule her mother had thought up one day after Maddy had cleaned her room in record time. Even extraordinary girls should experience an ordinary life. What good was a bus to a girl who could run faster than the speed of sound? Actually, what good was a bus that was presently starting to pull away from the curb a few yards down the street. Maddy’s eyes went wide and she ran to catch up but she had to suppress any superhuman bursts of speed and the bus pulled away well before she could reach it.

She changed directions and ran behind her house a little bit until she reached the old aqueduct that still ran from the city to out here in the suburbs. As soon as she had climbed down into the aqueduct she typed in her access code on the watch, spun the dial and activated it. With a flash of light, she could feel her clothes change instantly. Her loose cotton clothing constricting into lightweight but tight spandex. The costume gripped her skin so it would not catch on anything as she ran and it was designed to be more frictionless than normal clothing. She could feel the mask adhere to the area around her eyes like a weird suction cup. It felt weird and nice at the same time. Swinging her backpack back onto her shoulders, she began to stretch briefly. Then she took off running toward school.

The Mystery Part 7

April 15, 2016

The Mystery

If Scott was going to continue being the Mystery and keep up the superhero thing, he was going to need help. Having Heather’s support was great but things had gone really bad in the alleyway and he was unsure how to proceed. Basically, Heather had been like therapy but when you had a problem on the job it was useful to talk to a peer. Besides, he had a contact he wanted to try and get in touch with. It had been a long time since Scott had looked Frank up. He only knew where Frank lived because they had once used his apartment to recover from a really bad night on North Broadway. In the aftermath, Scott had noted the Pigtown address before slipping away.

He stopped and adjusted his mask outside of the apartment complex. If it was askew, it might expose his secret identity and he and Frank had not shared that information when they worked together. Besides, it would ruin the whole effect of the sudden appearance of The Mystery. He slipped past the gate and then carefully opened the back window the correct apartment. Shimmying inside was easy even though the window was small. Scott had actually been worried he would be caught in a Winnie-the-Pooh-type situation. This would be embarrassing in a normal situation but here it would have been incredibly more awkward. Most of the time it was alright but it was times like this where Scott realize that having an alter ego was incredibly stressful. In fact, he realized he had a shift to get to the next day and he was in no condition for it.

He carefully lowered himself to the tile of the bathroom and barely made a sound. He gave silent thanks that nobody was in the bathroom at present. That would be almost as embarrassing as getting stuck in the window. So far good, though. Scott checked his equipment and opened the door to head into the hallway. The carpeting was nice and plush and hid his footfalls as he walked down the hallway. As he turned the corner at the end of the hallway, he heard something move in the dim light from the front windows. Scott stepped into the room without fear in his heart.

“Hey Frank,” he said with a smile. “Sorry to burst in on you unannounced. I have a crisis.”

Scott was not prepared for the gun in his face as somebody rose from the couch and took a firm stance, two hands on their gun. Too late he noticed that the person who had been on the couch was too small to be Frank.

“Freeze! Hands behind your head!” She shouted. As Scott’s eyes adjusted he realized that the figure was Detective Azaria from earlier. The detective from the alley. He tensed in nervousness at the memory. She was wearing a tank top and jeans but she was barefoot. Either he had made the craziest mistake of his life or she was making herself at home at Frank’s place. The gun was cocked and ready to go but Scott could see her eyes widen in recognition. This could be either good or bad for his situation. “You! What are you doing here?” She asked.

“I didn’t come here to hurt anyone. I just came to talk to a guy I know. This might even be the wrong place.” Scott said. He started to back up slowly down the hall.

“Put. Your. Hands. On. Your. Head.” the detective said in response. There was a fierceness in her eyes and she enunciated each and every word and it was too aggressive. Scott started to worry that she might actually pull that trigger. He stopped moving. He started to slowly put his hands behind his head. She didn’t look fully awake, all adrenaline and instinct.

“I’m just looking for Frank,” I said as calmly as I could.

It was at this point that something burst through the door to Scott’s right and shoved him against the wall. He was pinned against the wall and, as door pieces fell away from the thing, Scott realized that it was a giant-sized hand the size of a medium-sized dog. Detective Azaria grimaced for a moment with what Scott thought and hoped was sympathy. She holstered here weapon just a few moments before a massive head poked through the door. The guy must have been over twelve feet tall and was immensely strong.

“Oh, look it’s Frank.” Scott managed to wheeze out.

Comet Girl Pt. 1

April 4, 2016

Traci took the weight of the plane on her shoulders as they hurtled through the air at a difficult but not impossible speed. She used her shoulders and then her back as her father had taught her because if she used her hands they might go right through the metal skin and she could easily lose control. Spreading out the weight on her shoulders and upper back was a little awkward but it was more effective. She hoped everybody was alright on the plane. She thought she had heard screaming while she chased the plane but it was hard to tell with the thick hull of the plane. At least they weren’t falling as fast anymore and the weather was nice for cruising.

What seemed like an eternity passed as she grew bored of holding up a 367-ton airplane. The airport could not be too far off now, could it?. She had felt the pilots definitely turn toward a specific direction which she guessed was Drake City and the airport was miles north of the city. She suddenly felt an immense vibration and heard the sheer power of the engines. It looked like three out of four engines had turned back on and the plane suddenly felt a lot lighter. She eased off the plane a little bit and it stayed in the air by itself. She smiled and descended to a few feet below the plane. She could probably just fly away now but it was smarter to stick around in case they needed her again.

Traci wished she had brought some of her homework along. She had so much Trigonometry to do and Catcher in the Rye was not going to read itself. Then she had a vision of trying to explain to her teachers how her homework had ended up scattered over half the county. She giggled to herself and figured that homework could wait. It was tough being a secret superhero and a middle school student at the same time. She had tried to keep grades, cheerleading and the friend situation together but when her powers had manifested, cheerleading had to go. It had been mostly replaced with stopping disasters.

Traci’s mom had forbidden her from acting where she would be seen. She was flying now in an all black spandex outfit that was pretty uninspiring. She had cut her blonde hair short so that she could shove it under a black hat. Her mom had even fashioned a pantyhose-like mask to slip over her face so she wouldn’t be recognized. It did help a little with the wind currently blowing in her face but the whole thing was more than a little annoying. Each day she was more done with flying around in stealth mode. She wanted to make a splash and inspire people and maybe get some of the gratitude for saving people.

Traci’s dad had been a hero and very much in the public eye as the Comet. He had all of the same powers as Traci. He could fly, he was super strong, super tough and his senses had been heightened. He worked alongside emergency services in Drake City for years during the eighties but he usually didn’t fight crime. His journals had said that introducing someone with such tremendous power into situations with guns usually didn’t work out right. Besides, cops could usually handle most things professionally. Her dad had been a shining example for everyone to help each other and was always there when things went to hell.

Traci had to rely on journals when it came to her dad because he was missing. He had disappeared over Banks Lake years ago after helping to put out a forest fire. One moment he had been there and the next he had completely vanished and he had stayed vanished. Traci had only vague theories on why he had disappeared. His journals said that he had gotten his powers from a meteor fragment and some live wires. Comet had sounded better than Meteor and the name stuck. Maybe the weird energies from the meteor fragment had caused some sort of science-y thing to make him disappear. It was the best idea she had and that was incredibly frustrating.

Everybody Traci knew thought that her father had run out on his family. Even though Traci knew that wasn’t true, she also knew that the effect was the same either way. She missed her dad. In her spare time, she was working on a costume very much like his. When she thought about these day-saving adventures, she referred to herself as Comet Girl. She knew her mother meant well but she was aching to be free. All she could do was bide her time and keep doing what her father would have done.

The plane suddenly hit Traci in the back of the head as it started to descend toward the airport and Traci rubbed her head and hurried out of the way. She watched for a moment and flew fast in the opposite direction. She smiled to herself at how well she had done saving that plane. She would circle around and sneak back into the city and get to her homework now.

The Mystery Part 6

November 23, 2015

The Mystery

Scott was sitting in a corner of the back room when Heather opened the door and walked in. The lights flickered on. It felt like a parody of their usual ritual. He barely looked up before casting his eyes back down at the floor. He wasn’t there at the veterinary office. He was in the alley, trying to help that cop hold onto life. There was blood everywhere.

“Is that your blood?” Heather asked, kneeling down in front of him. Scott supposed this was one of those situations where you skipped ‘hello’ and other pleasantries. Although, as he thought about it, they never really did pleasantries.

“What?” He looked at her like he hadn’t heard the question. She gripped his wrists in return and looked into his eyes.

“Is this your blood on your hands. Are you injured?”

“No it’s not my blood.” Scott said and wrenched his arms out of her grip which was easy to do with the blood still being a little slick.

There was a long silence and she stood up and stepped away from him. “Whose blood is it then?”

“You don’t want to know. I don’t even want to know.”

“Why?” She asked, her voice stern. She was pushing him into answering her questions whether he wanted to or not.

“Because the answer is a bad one. I caused something horrible to happen.” He answered, softly.

She shook her head. “Look, I know who you are. You’re the Mystery. You’re the hero I’ve patched up over a dozen times so far.”

He looked up at her through the beginning of tears. “I’m not a hero. This is who I am.” Scott said and peeled his mask off and tossed it on the floor in front of him. He looked up from that spot and into her eyes. There was another moment of silence.

“If you were expecting shock, I hate to disappoint you. I don’t recognize you. Not at all.” She said. “Just tell me what happened.”

He sighed. There was no use fighting it, he had to talk to somebody. “I was just about to take down Trixshot but this guy in impressive gear took her down instead. Then he tried to recruit me I think. I’m not entirely sure but the answer was no. Then he shot a cop and I barely got away.” It felt good pouring all of that out onto the floor between them. There was no risk as the police already knew all of that.

“He sounds crazy. I mean, as long as we’ve had our arrangement you’ve helped a lot of people. I study you. I know you’re a good man.” Heather said. She pulled up a chair and sat facing him, her expression had softened a little.

“You studied me?” He asked, he looked up at her. He knew what the answer and the explanation must be but he wanted to hear it.

“I’m not going to donate medical supplies to just any crazy guy off the streets. I made sure you were helping people. I kept news clipping and asked anybody I could on the street for information. I found that you were honest in your intentions and that you really do want to help people. If it was any different, I would have called the police on you a long time ago.” Heather said. She grabbed a notebook off the back shelf and paged through it for him. It was full of newspaper clipping and scribbled notes.

“It doesn’t matter. I couldn’t save that cop. He’s probably dead now.” Scott said. Those words were the hardest of his life. He wanted to believe the man was still alive but a gunshot at that range was unlikely to leave a survivor. If Azaria and Parker had saved him it would have been a miracle.

“Maybe.” Heather said and her eyes went down, knowing just saying that hurt both of them. “But you’ve saved other people before. You’re also not responsible for this psycho’s actions. One way or another, he’ll face justice.”

He looked up at her and pushed himself to his feet. “Now there’s something I want to be involved with. I don’t know how to deal with him yet but I won’t let him kill again if I can help it.”

Heather smiled. “That’s the Mystery that I know.” She took the mask off the ground and pushed it into place over his eyes. “I recognize you again.” She grinned.

He smiled in return. Everything wasn’t sunshine again but there was at least a single ray of it. “I have to go.”

“Alright, where to?” She asked. “Or should I not know?”

“I’m not sure but I’ve got the start of a plan. And Heather?”


“Thank you for always being there.” He said. She had always been there since the night he had first stumbled into her clinic.

She looked down and blushed slightly. “You’re welcome. I kind of like being your sidekick.” But when she looked up, he was already gone.

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