paulmundane

General and somewhat random story things

Archive for the month “April, 2013”

Decker 05

Dear Hero Diary:

I have stumbled onto something big!  There’s an entire underground club called the Fun Zone!  And, by the way?  I really mean underground.  I found it in the sewer.

Ok, from what I’ve figured, it’s actually a subway station?  In Regal Park which has no subway station that I know of.  Someone’s turned it into an underground club for kids to drink and smoke at!  Evil!

This is impossible!  I mean, I’ve heard of, like, secret raves or whatever before?  But I never thought they’d be something like this.  I mean, how can you hide an entire club underground right?  How do you lose an entire subway station?

Decker floated past the ruined doors of the Fun Zone.  There must have been nearly a hundred kids in there.  She was so distracted by the crowd, and the lights, and the noise, that she’d almost forgotten about Big.

Big had not forgotten about Decker.  He stood slowly, and ran his forearm along his mouth.  It’d been a long time since he’d been knocked down by anyone.  It’d never been by a girl small enough to fit in his luggage.  He grabbed hold of one of the doors laying at his feet.

“Fine,” Big growled.  “You want in so bad?  Let me get the door for you.”

It was a great quip; completely wasted under the volume of the Fun Zone’s music.  Decker turned at the sound of Big’s voice, but she hadn’t heard a word he’d said.  She managed to yell “what?” at Big, just before he fly-swatted her with one of the oak doors.

Decker spun through the air, and came to a hovering stop in the center of the Fun Zone.  There were tons of physics to being broad-sided by a large flat object that wrestlers could explain, but the short of it was that Decker was more humiliated than hurt.  Around her, kids pointed and jeered from the catwalks.  Someone threw a bottle.

Decker wiped beer foam from her face, and searched for Big.  He was wading through the main floor crowd beneath Decker.  He didn’t waste words this time as he flung the door at Decker.

Decker deflected the door over her head with a kinetic bolt, and thrust a hand forward to fire at Big.  She held her shot at the last second:  there were too many kids around, and she couldn’t fire without hitting one of them by accident.

Big watched Decker hesitate.  He nodded slowly as he figured out her apprehension.  Big smiled at Decker as he rubbed a passing kid’s head.  Big kept a crowd between him and Decker as he put a hand to his ear, and spoke into his radio.

Decker swayed in the air, uncertain what to do next.  She didn’t dare get close enough to hear Big, but she was certain she was missing something important. Still talking into his radio, Big ran his hands over his body, and pointed up at Decker.  Decker couldn’t hear what he was saying, and really hoped he was just talking about her inertial barrier.

There was a crack of gunfire, and something hot jabbed Decker in the shoulder.  Her barrier slowed the bullet, and her Pavlov suit kept it from breaking her skin, but it still hurt like heck.  Decker flew upward in a panic; she’d never even seen a gun fired before in real life, much less had one fired at her.  She spun in the air to find her attacker, only to be winded by a direct hit to the chest.

Her attacker smiled, and cockily waved a pistol in salute at Decker.  The guy had the same mirrored glasses as Big.  He wore a leather long coat over a tee shirt that had the word Fast along the chest.  Fast balanced easily on the railings of the third level catwalk as he took aim at Decker again.

Decker flew zig-zag, making herself a difficult target.  She watched in horror as the bullets that missed her panged along the catwalk railings, and slammed into the wall beyond.  The kids closest to the shots flinched, but the others did nothing to get out of the way.

“Get down!” Decker yelled.  She waved frantically at the catwalk patrons.  A new jabbing pain along her back told her she’d been shot again, this time right between the shoulder blades.  The kids on the catwalk didn’t even acknowledge Decker’s warnings.  They yelled obscene responses at her, even as a bullet shattered a light above them.

Decker fanned her hands out, and let loose with a wide arced blast of kinetic energy.  It was spread out enough to do little harm to the kids, but powerful enough to knock them off their feet.  The kids fell back, safe for the moment from stray bullets.

The sudden parting of kids also left Decker with a clear view of Big.  She’d lost track of him in the fight, but there he was, right in front of her.  He smiled, and gave Decker a brief nod.  Before she could react, Big snapped a long arm punch over the railing, and caught Decker completely by surprise.

Decker couldn’t get out of the way, so she rolled with the hit and let herself be pushed out of Big’s reach.  She fired off one shot at the huge man; catching him square in the chest and knocking him backwards.  She tried to line up a second shot, but the kids around him started getting back on their feet.  She couldn’t take the shot at Big, but at least she was away from his fists.

Safely out of Big’s reach for now, Decker turned her attention to Fast.  He was calmly walking along the railing three catwalks up, and took potshots at the young heroine.  She flinched as she was hit in the shoulder, and again when a bullet slammed into her belly.  One grazed a hot line along the inside of her leg, but beyond that, none of them managed to break her skin.  Despite this, they were still bullets, and they still hurt.  They hurt a lot.

Decker flew downward, swooping below the catwalk for cover.  She  fired off a quick succession of blasts into the bottom of the catwalk Fast was walking on.  The concussive force bounced him from the railing, and into a freefall.  He twisted in the air like a gymnast, and landed in a matrix crouch on the main floor.

Fast recovered his bearings immediately, and pointed both pistols up at Decker.  Above them, Big climbed onto the railing of the upper catwalk, ready to leap out at the girl.  Decker looked back and forth between the two men.  Her eyes flared as she powered up. Techno beats shook the house, lights flashed madly.  The kids in the Fun Zone screamed frantic excitement at the combatants.

The music screeched to a sudden halt, and the house lights flashed to bright life.  Big, Fast, and Decker stopped mid-action.  There was a squelch as the club’s loudspeakers came to life.  “Patrons of the Fun Zone,” a female voice announced.  “This is Ex.”

The kids cheered at the name fanatically, and the voice waited patiently for the noise to die down.  “Oh, you won’t be so happy to hear me in a moment,” Ex mused over the loudspeaker.  “Turns out someone has contacted the authorities about our little event tonight.  The police, or worse, will be here in about ten minutes.”  There was a thoughtful pause, and a bit of a laugh.  “Any patrons with any sort of criminal record probably want to consider leaving at this time.”

The crowd went quickly from jubilation, to confusion, to panic.  They bolted as one towards the shattered door to the Fun Zone.  Big made his way to the main floor, and joined Fast.  They both watched the kids flee the Fun Zone, but neither made any move to leave.

Decker rubbed her arm nervously, and hovered above the two men.  Fast had lowered his pistols back to their holsters, and Big was lighting a smoke.  Neither of them offered a second glance at Decker.  Decker considered taking a shot at both men, now that the path was clearer, but it somehow just seemed wrong.  Instead she stayed in the air; uncertain of what she was supposed to be doing.

When the last of the Fun Zone patrons had fled, Ex came down from her office, and stormed across the main floor.  She wore a black body suit with a red X roughly spray painted between her breasts over an old faded logo.  She wore a domino mask, and even had a utility belt.  Ex was built a bit more for her suit than Decker was, but Decker was pretty sure that Ex was roughly the same age as her.

Ex gave Decker a brief annoyed glance, before taking one of Big’s smokes.  “Well, this has been a complete cluster, hasn’t it?”  She took a long drag, and looked full at Decker.   “Power down kid,” Ex suggested.  “I haven’t decided what to do with you yet.”  Ex smiled wickedly.  “You should have left with everyone else, I might have let you go.”

“I’m not afraid of you,” Decker declared.

“That’s because you don’t know me yet,” Ex stated sharply.  She looked over at Big expectantly.

“She followed some of our regulars, Ex,” Big explained.  “Saw them mug a guy, thought she’d intervene.  Said her name’s Decker,” Big added.

Ex shrugged at Big.  “Never heard of her,” Ex admitted.  She tossed her cigarette across the room, and turned her attention to Decker.  “Do you work for anyone?”  Ex looked at the ruined door to the Fun Zone.  “Should I be expecting anyone else tonight?”

“Yes.  You should be expecting the police.”  Decker scrunched her nose at Ex.  “You even pointed out they were coming?”

Big, Fast, and Ex all looked at each other, and chuckled simultaneously.  “Oh, that’s cute,” Ex stated.  “The police aren’t coming down here,” she explained.  “I said that to get the patrons to leave.”

“Lucky to get a cop out to Regal, much less down here,” Big added under his breath.  Fast nodded his agreement.

“But,” Decker looked at the three, and shook her head.  “But you just made this easier for me.”

“Because we cleared out the civilians?”  Ex snickered.  She mimed Decker’s confused look.  “I was watching.”  Ex continued.  “You couldn’t get a clear shot at either of my boys.  Worried about the onlookers.”  Ex offered a slight smile.  “I have to admit, I was impressed.  Most of your crowd would have just powered on through the kids.”

“But,” Decker repeated.

“You were holding back, we get that,” Big said.  “Thing you don’t get is, so were we.”

“The boys didn’t want to hurt our patrons any more than you did,” Ex continued.  “It’d be pretty bad for business if we went killing off our patrons.”  Ex smiled.  “Now that our guests are out of the way, however, the kid gloves are off.”

Fast nodded his agreement.  He holstered his pistols, and replaced them with a pair of submachine guns concealed in his jacket.  Big tore a concrete pillar loose, and tapped it on the ground like a baseball bat.  Ex casually unbuttoned a larger pouch on her utility belt.

Decker looked at the three, and tried feebly to hide her apprehension.  She powered up, letting kinetic energy visibly flow along her arms.  “Well,” Decker started slowly.  “You guys are the bad guys, so you have to know that you can’t win.  In the end…”

Ex interrupted Decker with a roll of her eyes.  “Oh please.  Anything but a monologue.”  She flicked her hand dismissively; and tossed an X shaped blade at Decker before the girl could get on a roll.  The X hit Decker’s field, and slowed to a near stop just in front of her face.  Decker was about to explain Inertial barriers again, when the blade exploded.

Decker somersaulted her through the air in a cloud of green smoke.  Even when she struggled to regain her bearings, it felt like the room was still spinning.  The smoke from the exploding star lined her mouth with a hospital taste, and left her tongue numb.  Decker stared wide eyed at Ex as the anaesthetic kicked in.  She struggled to stay awake even as her body went limp, but she couldn’t muster the strength to fight against the sedative.  Decker fell from the air in a heap at Ex’s feet.

Fast prodded at Decker with his foot, and looked over at Ex with concern.  Big mirrored the emotion.  “Hey, Ex.  You didn’t.  I mean, she’s not…”

“She’s just out,” Ex replied irritably.  “I’m not paid to make those decisions,” She waved at Decker as she walked away.  “Take her for a drive; I’ll have the boss contact you.  He can decide what to do with her.”

Decker 04

Dear Hero Diary:

My dad used to say poo-gas when things smelt bad; especially if he made the smell.  He got it from one of his cartoons I think.  I used to find it hilarious when I was a kid. 

It’s not so funny now.

Decker floated carefully down the hole.  She wrapped her scarf tight around her body, and held the ends so they wouldn’t touch anything.  She stayed dead center in the ladder-well, and avoided the walls like they were electric.  The hole went down a good dozen feet before opening into a wide tunnel below the streets.

Grudgingly, Decker had to accept that it wasn’t as bad as she’d expected.  She’d pictured the sewer to be a tight tunnel, dripping with brown goop.  She’d expected a torrent of dark water and sludge.  She’d expected rats and centipedes and roaches in the millions.

Instead, the tunnel was actually quite wide.  Wide enough for her to fly through the center with little fear of brushing against the walls or ceiling.  There was a dark stained creek running between two raised walk ways, but it wasn’t the rushing river of sludge Decker had expected.  There was little threat of anyone ever drowning in it without a lot of help.  The walls of the tunnel were dry, and covered with graffiti.  There was a smell, sure, but that wasn’t terrible once you got used to it.  There were a few bugs, and the occasional rodent, but Decker didn’t care so long as they weren’t a swarm.  She wasn’t actually that squeamish; she simply didn’t want to drag her new clothes through a sewer.

Decker flew slowly along the tunnel.  She listened to the noises ahead.  The two boys weren’t even trying for quiet.  They splashed occasionally, talked loudly, and laughed about their escape.  Decker may not have been that great a detective, but these boys downright sucked at being stealthy.

There was something else; just below the din of the boys was a steady thumping noise.  It had the erratic heartbeat sound of techno, and Decker wondered if one of the boys had his music on.  The sound seemed to vibrate through the walls of the tunnel.

Ok, so I’m over the whole ‘this smell will stick to my clothes’.  Mostly because it’s not that bad.  It’s musty down here, but it’s not really poo-gas, you know?  In fact, this tunnel is  pretty clean.  Surprisingly dry.  I mean, there’s litter, and work materials, and I’d really rather not step in that water, but it’s not terrible.  And you know what?  It’s well lit in here.  I mean, full florescent light set-up.  That’s pretty weird for a sewer, right? 

You know what?  I’m thinking that it’s not the sewer at all.  I think something is most definitely up.   Have I stumbled on some super secret underground complex?  I wonder if anyone else knows this is here?

“Well, those boys knew it about this,” Decker commented out-loud.  It didn’t seem likely that they’d just stumbled on this while trying to get away from her.  She looked at the graffiti along the walls.  There was a noticeable arrow motif to the art, all pointing in the direction the boys had run.  The phrase FUN ZONE popped up amongst the drawings in regular intervals.

Evidently those boys are going to a place called Fun Zone, somewhere in this mysterious tunnel.  Decker smiled, and continued to follow the arrows.  This feels right.  It feels super heroic.  I never would have thought chasing a bunch of underage muggers would lead to a secret lair under the city, but it is so super hero.  Decker thought on it.  Well, ok, right now it’s really sorta Scooby-Doo, but you know what Diary?  I’ll take it!

Decker was shaken from her thoughts as the steady beats grew distinctively loud, like someone had cranked the volume.  It was only for a moment, but it was noticeable.  Even when it quieted off, the thumping in the walls was still louder than it had been when Decker had first noticed it.  She was getting closer to the source.  Decker followed the tunnel until it opened up to a large subway platform.  The sound was still muffled, but it was most certainly music.

Decker hovered, head tilted slightly.  A tile mosaic declared this platform to be Regal Park Station.  Two things went through Decker’s mind.  The first being that she had ended up in Regal Park anyways, despite her attempts to avoid the area.  The second thought being that Regal Park didn’t have a subway station.

That’s why the sewer didn’t seem like a sewer.  It wasn’t a sewer at all.  Decker rolled her eyes at her terrible mental sentence structure.  It’s a subway station, and the tunnel was a subway tunnel.  An abandoned subway station.  I wonder if this is even on the maps.  This is awesome!

The platform looked old.  The tiles were cracked, and stained with years of graffiti and dust.  There was a set of turnstiles leading to a newer looking steel wall, and a set of double doors.  Unlike the old tile and dusty marble; the doors were oak with red velvet trim.  The words FUN ZONE were printed boldly above them.  A large muscular man stood in front of the doors, looking very much the part of a bouncer.

A few kids milled about the platform in tight groups.  They were smoking, or chatting, or drinking.  Most of them were far too young for two of the three.  None of them were the boys Decker had followed here.  The platform kids scattered when they saw Decker fly from the tunnel.

Unlike the kids, the man at the turnstile wasn’t moved by Decker’s appearance.  At best, he was mildly interested.  The man was at least seven foot tall, and made out of impossible amounts of muscle.  His tight black tee shirt the word BIG printed in white block letters.  Big stared at Decker from behind mirrored shades.  “You got business here, little lady?” he called over.

Decker floated slightly closer to the man.  “I’m uh,” Decker swallowed her anxiety at the size of Big.  She put her hands on her hips, and started again.  “I’m after a pair of boys that came down here after mugging a guy.”  She offered a hopeful smile.  “You haven’t seen them by chance, have you?”

Big nodded, and thrust a thumb at the doors behind him.  “Yeah.  Couple of guys went in recently.  Said they were being chased by some sort of super hero.”

“That’s me,” Decker stated with as much importance as she could muster.  “I’m Decker.  I’m some sort of super hero.”  Decker winced at the end bit.  She probably could have done better on introduction.

Big shrugged.  “You don’t look like much to me.”

Decker looked at the big man.  “Well, you don’t look like much to me,” she lied.

Big chuckled.  “Guess I don’t huh?  Not to some big time hero.”  He sauntered over to her, his muscles shifting menacingly under his tight shirt.  “That as it is,” he continued, “I don’t think you have any business here, so you should probably get on your way.”

Decker hovered backwards warily at first, but then stopped and held her ground.  Super heroes didn’t back down.  “I have business here,” she insisted.  “Those boys stole something.”

“And now it’s gone,” Big finished.  “That’s how it goes sometimes.  Whatever they took is gone.  And it’s time for you to be gone too.”

“I came down here to get back what they took,” Decker insisted.  She scowled at Big.  “I’m not going anywhere until I get it back.”

“Yeah well, sorry to hear that.”  Big looked Decker over.  “Bit of a shame,” he said.  “You seem like a cute kid.”

Big swung a meaty fist out, and caught Decker in the side of the head.  Already flying, Decker was thrown backwards by the force of the blow.  She twisted in the air, and recovered her inertia several feet away from Big.  Despite the show, his fist hadn’t actually reached her face.  Big stared at his hand.  Punching at the girl had been like trying to force his hand through taffy.

“The hell?”

“Force field,” Decker announced proudly.  She rolled her eyes.  “Well, ok, more of an inertial barrier I guess?  It’s like a force field, only it slows things down when they come at me.”

“Is that a fact?”  Big reached down, and effortlessly tore the triple arm guard from the turnstile.  “Guess I’ll have to try harder then.”

Big hurled the guard Frisbee-style at Decker.  She stared at the incoming projectile wide eyed, only just flying out of its path.  Decker looked back at the guard, imbedded deep in the far wall of the tunnel.  She was too distracted to see Big’s follow up, and was wide open when he drove a leaping full arm punch into the small of her back.

Decker slammed into the far wall; her inertial barrier keeping her from being turned to paste.  She bounced off of it, into the waiting arms of Big.  He caught her up, and gorilla threw her back at the platform.

Decker hit the platform hard.  Her barrier kept her from being hurt, but the sudden stop still knocked the wind out of her.  She was still catching her breath when Big brought his boot down at her.

Decker yelped, and rolled from under Big’s foot.  The platform tiles shattered as he stomped down where she’d been a second ago.  Decker pushed off the ground, trying to get into the air again.  Big backhanded her across the cheek as she tried to lift off.  He wrapped his huge arms around her while she was stunned, and began to squeeze.

“Your inertia thing can’t help you against this type of thing, can it?” he stated.  “Slow me down all you want, you’re still going get squished.”

He was right.  Big’s arms were slowly pushing in through Decker’s barrier.  She was already feeling the squeeze: it was getting hard to catch her breath.  Decker wriggled as much as she could, and concentrated on flying upward.  She popped from his bear hug suddenly, like a bar of soap squeezed too hard.

Big shook his head in annoyance.  “You’re slippery, kid, I’ll give you that.  But if that’s all you got, we both know how this’ll end.”

Decker’s breathing was ragged, and her heart felt like it was stuck in her throat.  Still, she couldn’t let that one slide.  “Lucky for me,” she forced, “that’s not all I’ve got.”  Super hero banter: part of the job.

Decker thrust her hands forward in a full hadoken.  Unlike when she fired at the boy topside, she didn’t hold back against Big.  Her hair stood on end, and her eyes lit the tunnel as she unleashed her powers in a wide bolt of pure kinetic energy.  The blast caught Big in the chest, and flung him backwards.  He smashed the large oak doors off their hinges as he flew through them.  Decker followed close behind.

Decker stopped just beyond the doors.  The flashes of colored light in the darkness played havoc on her vision, and the thump-thump of forever techno rattled her teeth.  She could see kids dancing on several levels of catwalks.  There was a small scattering of arcade games, and a full sized half pipe on the main floor.  A small booth just inside the door was crammed with TVs and radios and computers.  Bins of cell phones and varied I-paraphernalia sat on shelves against the walls.  Frank’s wallet was maybe one of the hundred wallets thrown to the far corner of the booth.

Decker blinked as she took it all in.  Big was getting up slowly, but Decker was still distracted by the underground rave she’d uncovered.  “I’m not sure what I was expecting,” she admitted.

Decker 03

Decker flew just above the rooftops; high enough to avoid most gawkers, but low enough to scan the streets for the guys that had mugged Frank.  She kept a running commentary of ‘if I was a thug, I’d turn here,’ or ‘hooligans might go this way’, but in all honesty, she was depending on sheer luck.

Hero Diary;

This would probably be easier if I was chasing a real super villain?  I mean, three boys I’ve never seen, somewhere in the city?  That’s not easy.  If it was, I don’t know, some guy in bright red tights with a death ray? That would be so easy to find.   You know what I mean, right?

I’m wondering if they have a night course on this sort of thing.  Like, remedial urban tracking or something?  Detectives must learn it somewhere, right?

In the end, Decker’s lack of training didn’t matter, as the boys had evidently never studied stealth 101.  When Decker found them, they were walking proudly on the park side of a major road, blatantly passing Frank’s stolen goods back and forth.  From behind, the three looked more like scrawny skater boys than they did full out criminals.  Heck, only one of them was taller than Decker.

Decker landed down right behind the trio.  They were busy admiring their stolen goods, and didn’t notice her land.  She thrust her hands onto her hips, and cleared her throat to get their attention.  “You stole that,” she accused.  “I think you should go and return it.”  Decker thought on it a second.  “Maybe apologize too?”

The three boys flinched at the sudden voice behind them.  They turned guilty surprised glances at Decker.  When they took her in, their startled features were replaced with smug confidence.  She was just a girl in tight clothes and a skirt.  They didn’t know her, and really, nothing about her said she was dangerous.

Her expression didn’t add any intimidation points.  She blinked at the three, obviously stunned.  “Oh. My. Gosh,” Decker commented when she saw the boys full.  The oldest of them was maybe fourteen.  “I mean, Frank said kids, but I figured he meant younger then him, not younger than me.”  She tried an understanding smile.  She managed to switch her posture from super heroic to annoyed mother.  “You guys should really just give back the stuff you took.”

The boys looked Decker over, and laughed.  One of them stepped forward, sneering.  “You gonna make us?” he asked.  He was maybe twelve, and the smallest of the three.  Obviously no one had told him this, and he swaggered like he was the toughest guy in the world.

“Right,” Decker said.  She pushed off the ground, and hovered.  Her smile flickered, and she pointed an open palm towards the advancing boy.  “I forgot the part where I tell you I’m a super hero.”

Super hero bit notwithstanding, Decker’s sudden show of power certainly made some difference.  When she lifted into the air, two of the boys stepped back.  When the air began to ripple around Decker’s outstretched hand, they broke into a run.  The third boy was so full of false bravado that he either didn’t notice that Decker was flying, or he didn’t care.

Decker shook her head.  “Look,” she stated, floating backwards away from the advancing boy.  “I’m trying to give you a chance here.”

The boy didn’t see Decker’s actions as a chance.  He saw her backing up, and assumed fear.  He sneer-smiled, and charged at her.  Decker hovered back further, but it was obvious that the boy wasn’t going to stop.

“Sorry,” Decker muttered under her breath.  Her eyes flared as kinetic energy fired from her hand at the boy.  Decker concentrated, trying to keep her powers to a minimum, but even with her holding the reigns, the bolt of power lifted the boy off his feet, and punted him into the park.

Decker followed the boy’s flight.  She winced a bit as he crashed through some low hanging branches, and out right cringed when the smashed through the bushes.  The boy bounced twice on landing.  Decker bit her knuckle, and flinched with each bounce.   Finally, the boy rolled to a stop on his back in the middle of a flowerbed.

Decker flew a circle around the downed boy.  From the corner of her eye, she could see his friends making a good distance from the scene, but she couldn’t just leave the kid.  She might have really hurt him bad.  “Uh, are you alright?”

The kid’s eyes flew open at the sound of Decker’s voice.  He gave a cry, and scuttled out from under her flight path.  “Ok, you win!” he declared.  He fumbled at his wrist, and threw Frank’s watch at her.  “You win!  No more!”  The kid scrambled to his feet, and dashed off into the park.

So there you have it Hero Diary; I can totally take a grade-schooler in a fight, if I have to.  Decker rolled her eyes, and decided she probably wouldn’t add the last bit to her diary.  Maybe a footnote for honesty, but nothing more.

One thing though Diary?  That’s the first time I’ve ever used my powers on a person on purpose.  I mean, I’ve practiced trying to control how much ‘bam’ is in my shots, so I’m pretty pleased with the whole not really hurting the kid.  Practice does make perfect it turns out. 

Decker mentally closed her diary, and flew above the trees.  She scanned the streets for the other two boys.  They had a pretty good head start by the time Decker spotted them.  Thankfully, neither had thought to leave the main road.  Instead they’d just run in a straight line.

Decker flew after them.  She stayed high in the air, but her scuffle near the park had gained attention.  Thankfully it was a pretty quiet part of town, what being near the park and all.  There weren’t that many people about, but the few that were snapped photos, or pointed excitedly.  None of them did anything to stop the boys.

Not that Decker needed the help.  She actually knew this part of town pretty well.  She worked only a block up the road, and walked about here quite often.  There was a main strip of low rise shops and apartments, a large section of rural houses, the park, and pretty much nothing else.  Decker smiled as the two boys ducked down a side road.  It was possibly the only dead end alley in the area.

Decker swooped in low, scattering a small group of onlookers.  She dove around the corner of the alley with both hands extended forward.  “HA!” she yelled to a completely empty alley.

Decker looked about.  There were no doors on the sides of the buildings.  There was a large wooden fence at the end of the alley, with no real way to climb it.  No windows.  Nothing even remotely like a fire escape.  Nothing but an empty alley with no escape, and somehow no boys.  Decker looked down, and added open manhole to her list.  She hadn’t see it at first, and wished it wasn’t there now that she had seen it.

“No,” Decker complained.  “No, that’s not fair.”  She hovered over the manhole, and wrung her hands.  Somewhere from deep in the sewer, Decker could hear splashing as the boys made their getaway.

Decker moaned.  “The sewer?  Really?” She stared down the hole again.  “C’mon.  This is my only suit!”

Decker 02

Dear Hero Diary:

I hate flying: said no superhero EVER.  Seriously, anyone who can’t do this has no idea what they are missing.

Decker wasn’t actually writing in her diary of course.  It’d be pretty hard to hold paper and pencil while flying.  Not impossible, but tough.  Decker had considered texting her adventures, but it just seemed wrong.  Heroes don’t text: she was pretty sure of that.  At least, maybe not while flying about.

I really don’t get to fly enough.  I mean, I’d like to fly everywhere?  But, you know, secret identity and all.  It’s not like I can just get dressed and fly to work, or whatever.  But now?  I mean a super hero suit is like a licence to fly, right?

Decker stopped mid flight, and hovered for a moment.  “It is a licence to fly, right?” Decker didn’t want to start her hero career by breaking some hero law.  She frowned.  “How would you even check something like that out?”  She pushed the thought to the back of her mind, with a mental note to do some research later.

You know, it’s sort of funny that I can use my powers to fly at all.  I mean, I can’t use them to lift a book without destroying the entire living room, but I can lift myself?  Weird, right?  I try not to think about it too hard.  I mean, you know when you think about breathing too hard?  Like you stop to think on how it works, then suddenly you over think it and get the hiccups?  I’m worried it’ll be like that, only instead of hiccups, I’ll fall out of the sky, or squish myself like a bug.

When I do think about it though, I wonder if it’s some sort of self preservation thing.  Like I don’t hurt myself while flying because subconsciously I don’t want to?  Though, if my powers had any sense of preservation, I wouldn’t have accidentally flipped my dad’s truck that one time.

Decker shook off the memory.  Today was supposed to be the beginning of her hero career after all.

Not that it was off to a great start.  She sighed and looked around.  It was her third time flying the length of the city.  It was lovely out today, like Mrs. Laurentian had said earlier.  The sun was out, it was warm, and there seemed to be no one in any particular peril.

“They always make this look so easy in the shows,” Decker mused.  “I mean, the hero flies about casually, and then?  BAM! Trouble.”  She was beginning to think crime might be easier to find in the evening.  She hoped not.  Decker had a morning shift at work to worry about.  She was willing to miss sleep if justice demanded it, she’d  just rather not have to.

Decker bit her lower lip, and took a brief glance towards the west end of the city.  Most folks knew the area as The Gouge, even though it was Regal Park on all the maps.  It was the bad part of the city.  It seemed a smart place to look for crime, but so far, Decker had skipped it in her patrol.  Decker didn’t want to admit it, but she’d been avoiding the whole area.

I’m not afraid of The Gouge, Decker insisted to her mental Hero Diary.  I mean, I’m a super hero, right?  So I’m totally not afraid.  It’s just I think I wanted to start a bit smaller, you know?  She thought about what smaller would be.  Maybe like, jaywalking, or a parking violation, right?  I mean, I want to dip my toes a bit first, not dive right in.

  Decker sighed, and turned slowly towards the west.  If fighting crime meant going into the most dangerous part of town, so be it.  She was a super hero after all.  Decker swallowed hard against the butterflies in her stomach.

“Someone stop them!” a voice called from the streets below.  “Thieves!  Help!”

Decker swirled to an excited stop above the sound.  A cry for help!  Plus, nowhere near The Gouge!  She clapped excitedly, and then quickly composed herself.  Heroes don’t clap or sqee excitement.  Decker was pretty sure of this.  Not when there was crime to stop at least.  She flew down to the ground, searching for the trouble.

Decker found the voice’s owner pretty easily.  It was an elderly business type, still half getting up.  He was clutching at a split lip, and screaming fury at the street.  Decker circled the man twice before slowing to a hover in front of him.  “Oh!”  she exclaimed.  “I can help!”  She reached out a hand to help the man up.

“Ahh!”  The man cried, surprised by Decker’s sudden appearance.  He leapt to his feet without assistance, and took a few steps back; nearly into traffic.

Decker threw her hands up apologetically, and made a mental note to announce herself better in the future.  “Sorry,” she replied.  Decker tried at her most winning smile.  “You called for help?”

The man blinked at Decker.  He opened his mouth twice with no sound.  He finally managed on the third try.  Barely.  “You just…” He pointed at the sky.

“Yeah.  I can fly,” Decker explained simply.  She thrust her hands on her hips.  “I’m Decker.  I’m a super hero,” she explained.  “Flying’s a thing we do.”  Decker thought on it.  “Ok, maybe not all super heroes?  I mean, not everyone can fly.  But a lot can, so I don’t think it’s too far off to say it’s a thing we do?”

The man stared at Decker hard.  The whole of the situation seemed insane, and the fact that she was still hovering a few feet above the ground was not helping him cope.  Having girls fall from the sky and offer help wasn’t a regular thing for him.  Beyond his confusion though, something about Decker felt familiar.  “Have I seen you before?” he asked.

“Nope,” Decker answered quickly.  “Never seen me before.”  This was not actually true.  In fact, he saw her most mornings, when she served him his coffee.  Decker recognized the man as Frank; the guy that never smiled.  He was the type that always put his money on the counter, never in her hand.

The fact that he also never made eye contact with Decker when she was working was only part of the reason he wouldn’t recognize her now.  At work, Decker wore large sunglasses to hide her glowing blue eyes, and a hat to hide her navy blue hair.  Reverse secret identity.

Still, it was best not to let him dwell on it.  “You needed help?” Decker asked.

“Bunch of kids,” Frank began, “came out of nowhere.  They swarmed me, and they took my wallet and my cell phone and my watch!”  He pointed angrily to his split lip.  “One of them hit me when I tried to stop them.”

“Yes!”  Decker pumped her fist.  “An actual crime!  This is awesome!”  She took in Frank’s glance, and reigned in her excitement.  “I mean, this is horrible,” she corrected solemnly.  “It’s horrible, really.”

“Right,” the man replied.  He looked Decker over, and shook his head.  “Look, do you have a phone?  Some sort of super hero communicator maybe?  I think I should probably just call the police.”

“No, no I’ve got this,” Decker replied.  “I’ll get your stuff back for you.  I promise!”

Frank watched as Decker shot off into the air; determined to stop his muggers.  She bolted a good several feet before turning slowly back to him.

“They went that way,” he stated, pointing in the opposite direction.

“Of course,” Decker replied, blushing.  She took off again.  “I’m on it!” she declared.

Well Hero Diary; that went well.

Decker 01

Dear Hero Diary:

So, I’ve finally decided to go through with it.  I’m going to be a super hero!  Now that I’m getting ready, I can’t help but wonder why I waited so long!  I mean, I can fly!  I’m a telekinetic, sort of.  Why aren’t I out there, right?  Power, and responsibility, and all of that.  I’ve even got a hero name.  Decker.  What do you think of that, huh Diary?

Decker looked up, and chewed the end of her pen thoughtfully.  “Do you think it’s weird to write this all down, Ms. Fibblesworth?  I mean, Hero Diary?  Is it too…?”  She tapped the pencil on the book, leaving a constellation of tiny black dots.  “I was thinking maybe Decker’s Combat Log instead.  Or maybe Case Files?  What’cha think?”

Ms. Fibblesworth, being a cat, thought little of it at all.  Cats are like that.  They’ll listen, maybe, but they won’t often care.  She looked at Decker with feline disinterest, then went back to cleaning herself.

Not that Decker noticed.  She already had her head back in her diary.

Superhero suits are NOT cheap, btw.  Ok, maybe I could have just gone with, like, spandex or something?  But spandex can rip, and the sales lady told me that if a suit’s going to rip?  It’ll pick the worst time to do it, and the worst way.  She had horror stories, and I don’t want anything like that to happen.  So, five hundred dollars later, I have a suit made of Pavlov Cloth. It’s the most I’ve ever spent on anything ever.  It’s worth it though, right?

The suit I got is a basic gymnast thing.  You know what I mean Diary; full arms, bathing suit bottom bit.  Gymnast, right?  Oh, and when I say basic, I mean basic.  It’s black, and there’s no logo or anything.  You know what though?  That’s a good thing, cause I don’t have a logo yet anyways.

Also, you know what?  I almost bought a domino mask, because they were on sale?  But then I thought; I already wear glasses at work to hide my eyes. Glowing eyes sorta go noticed, right?  Anyways,  I figure I’m already protecting my secret identity, only in reverse.

Decker hopped from the bed, and posed in front of the mirror for the millionth time.  She smiled heroically, straightened her back, and thrust her hands on her hips.  Decker held the pose for a bit, her smile shifting slowly from heroic to awkward.  She slouched forward, and crossed her arms over her chest.

“It’s pretty form fitting,” Decker commented.  She twisted to look at the back of her suit in the mirror, and frowned as she plucked at her wedgie.  “I was thinking maybe I’d add pants, or shorts.  Maybe a cape?”  Decker glanced about the small apartment, but unless she counted the bed sheets, she wasn’t in possession of a cape.  Decker wasn’t about to count the bed sheets as hero fare.

Undeterred, Decker tore through her closet.  She pulled out a  pleated skirt and a long scarf.  Both were the same navy blue as most of her clothes.  Born with dark blue hair, and glowing light blue eyes, Decker had been pretty much forced when it came to color scheme for her stuff.  Not that she minded.  Blue was a fine color.

Decker tugged on the skirt, and tossed the scarf over her shoulder in fine aviator fashion.  The scarf was thick enough to drape over her chest, and the skirt was long enough to stop just above her knees.  She posed again, this time much happier with the results.

“I’m thinking I’ll make the scarf my thing,” Decker explained to her cat.  “You know, instead of a logo?”  She mimed pointing at the sky.  “Everyone will be all like: there goes Decker.  She owns a scarf.”  Decker shrugged at Ms. Fibblesworth.  “It’s a start,” she declared.

Ms. Fibblesworth stuck a leg in the air, and continued cleaning.  Even for a cat, this was a high level of disregard.  Still, Decker barely noticed.  She scratched Ms. Fibblesworth quickly behind the ear, and skipped away from the bed.

Decker dashed about her small basement apartment, fighting imaginary foes.  She swung wild haymakers, threw vicious jabs, and gave devastating, though low, kicks.  She was wearing a skirt after all.  Caught up in the excitement, and surrounded by imaginary enemies, Decker brought her hands dramatically to one side, and then thrust them forward in a full Hadouken.  “Bam!” she yelled.

She immediately regretted it. Decker had a tentative grasp on her abilities at best.  Sometimes, they got away from her, especially when she was excited.  Decker’s hair stood on end, and her eyes flared bright enough to light the room.    “Oh, oh no,” she pleaded, “I was just pretending!”  She gasped as blue kinetic power flew from her outstretched hands, and slammed full force into the dishes stacked in the kitchen.

Decker had heard people describe telekinesis like a set of remote hands.  It was used to lift and move objects about.  Delicate like.  Controlled.  She honestly wished that was true.  Decker saw her own telekinesis more like a sledgehammer.  She moved things alright, but with bolts of pure concussive force, and often in an abrupt and forward fashion.

In this case, Decker was moving the dishes from the kitchen counter.  They exploded dramatically despite Decker’s attempts to control her powers.  Dented pots and shattered ceramic flew across the small apartment.

Decker stared at the floor, and watched as a plate rolled to a stop at her feet.  She sighed, and forced a smile.  “Ok,” she admitted.  “That could have gone worse I suppose.”  Decker winced as she heard the thumping on the ceiling; and the concerned and annoyed voice of Mrs. Laurentian.

“Is everything alright down there?”  Mrs. Laurentian; Decker’s landlord, lived upstairs.  She was a nice old lady, but she had the ears of a bat; and didn’t like noise much.

“Everything’s fine,” Decker replied, a bit too quickly.  “I’m just…” Decker looked about.  “I’m just rearranging my kitchen is all.”

There was a long pause from upstairs.  “It’s a lovely day outside dear,” Mrs. Laurentian offered finally.  “Far too nice for a young lady to be cooped up inside cleaning.”

“Yes Mrs. Laurentian,” Decker called up.  She quickly recovered what dishes could be salvaged, and cleaned up the mess.  Finally, Decker pulled on her boots, and made for the door.

“Mrs Laurentian’s right,” Decker told Ms. Fibblesworth.  “I need to get outside.  I can’t fight crime if I spend the whole day inside.”

Passing time

So, hey.  I’ve been away from here a bit now, and you know, may be a bit more.  Did I tell you all that I opened a candy shop?  I did?  Whelp, that’s been time consuming, which is a good thing. 

I’ve also been working through a few little things and stuff, and I’ve let my writing slide.  I was doodling a bit, which is nice, but isn’t finishing a story.  There’s been a bit of writer’s block, and well, time makes fools of us all.

I’m not back yet, mind you; but I am back next week, with a new story idea.  It’ll be great, maybe.

Paul Mundane

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