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Archive for the category “Decker: Hero Diary”

Decker Pause, and Other Things

Right.  Hello, and all that.

So, right now, on my computer box, I’m writing the third part of my Decker story.  Neat huh?

Problem being?  I don’t have a part two to share with you all.  I’m pretty much typing up the end, just after finishing the beggining as far as you, my readers, have seen.  I don’t have  a middle to share.  And I’ll be heck darned if I’m going to lose this ending I’m writing.

Soooo, Decker is on pause, from your point of view.  I’ll post it again when I get a mid bit for it.

Until then, I’ve got two things that I want to do.  The first is set a schedule for myself.  It’s one I’ve been following a bit already, but I figure I’ll set it in stone here.  I’ll be posting on Monday nights from now on.  A chapter a week, instead of the chapter a day or so I did with Tales from the Bucket.  It’s for the best, cause I really can’t get the words out these days as fast as I could before.

Two jobs and all that.

Second thing?  While Decker is on pause, I’m going to be revisiting The Outside.  I’ll be posting a story a week, at about three thousand words or so.  I have big plans for these tales, and a bit of nostalgia.  See, The Outside was the first piece I was working on online.

Oh, by the way, if you weren’t around for their first outing, I’m going to be fixing up and re posting the first two stories before I get to new ones.  There are a few tricks of the trade I’ve learnt since I originally shared The Outside, and they need some polish.  You’ll see.

First one goes up tonight.  It’s called The New Guy.

See you all then.

Paul Mundane

Decker 08

Hero Diary:

My dad used to say that being a hero is about responsibility, not about popularity.  Yes, I do know where he read that.  Thank you very much Hero Diary.  It doesn’t matter where he got it.  It’s true.

The news that evening talked about how White Knight and Black Hat had located a theft ring and broken up a giant underground party.  Reporters speculated about the battle that must have taken place between the two great heroes and the thugs that were running the operation.

Decker flipped from channel to channel, trying to catch every reporter’s opinion.  She didn’t mind that there was no mention of White and Black having help.  It wasn’t a surprise that the news was giving the two full credit.  Decker had convinced herself that she didn’t mind that much.  After all; she wasn’t a hero for the fame.

Besides, Decker had been long gone when the cameras had shown up, and neither White Knight nor Black Hat had stayed to be interviewed long.  They had important hero business to do, most likely, so it wasn’t like they would stop and thank her on camera.

They had stayed long enough to give reporters the short version of the story; where there was a party underground for thieves.  They also stayed long enough to suggest that Mr. Task was directly involved.  They mentioned Task with a level of disgust that belayed a former meeting.  Perhaps several.

Despite this, none of the reporters blinked when Task was mentioned.  The bottom scroll bar on one news channel said that Task’s office had been unavailable for comment, but beyond that, nothing.  It seemed odd.  Odder still; there was no mention of X being arrested.  Decker flicked off the TV, and flipped open her laptop.

Online research always looked easier on TV.  Just type in what you want to find, and voila; there it is first link.  Trying to Google ‘X’ didn’t go very well for Decker, and adding ‘Big’ and ‘Fast’ to the search only took her to parts of the Internet she didn’t want to visit.  Decker wisely decided that adding ‘Fun Zone’ to the current search would turn out badly, and instead searched for information on Mr. Task.

Information on Mr. Task was much easier to find.  He had his own Wiki page and everything.  It turned out that Mr. Edgar Task was the owner of a small software company that mostly made apps.  Decker considered the potential for evil in this, but couldn’t find much beyond overcharging for Flash based games.

Beyond his software company, what Mr. Task seemed most famous for was his stand against masked vigilantes.  Task was vocal in his belief that super heroism should be outright illegal.  He’d often complained that these heroes answered to no one, and that they, by nature, would become corrupt.  He’d even said that White Knight and Black Hat were the worst of the lot for this very reasons.

Task had history with the two heroes.  He’d been brought in on several occasions by the pair on various charges.  Task had insisted that White Knight and Black Hat were continually after him with baseless accusations to shut him up.  No charges against Mr. Task had ever stuck, and he’d successfully sued the various news channels over their coverage every time.  This was the reason not one reporter had followed up when White Knight had declared Mr. Task to be involved.  He’d become untouchable.

Decker shook her head.  There was an undertone in the wiki article that implied that Mr. Task was guilty, or at least that the writer thought so.  Still, there had been no proof in any cases against him, and Decker had even less proof that he was involved in the Fun Zone.  Yes, she’d heard Big call him by name, but that wasn’t proof.  Not by legal standards at least.

Even if it was enough proof, Decker wasn’t sure what she’d do with it.  She couldn’t just fly over to Task’s office and demand he turn himself in.  Decker stared at her laptop.  Finding information on Mr. Task was an admitted break in her case; she just wasn’t sure what to do with it right now.  She was about to close her laptop, when suddenly she considered one more search.

Decker had heard that no one should ever Google themselves.  It was a thing apparently.  She paused for a moment over the keys.  It couldn’t be that bad; Internet wise.  After all, she was looking up Decker, not her real name, so it didn’t really count.

Decker held her breath as the search engine loaded, and sighed when it seemed ok.  There were some sites focusing on power tools, which was fine.  A bit about a British chocolate bar, but again, that was fine.  There was even a woman actually named Decker, but considering how she filled a bikini, Decker wasn’t concerned that anyone would mistake the woman for her.

Decker began idly flipping through site descriptions.  She found a football player, and a comedian.  There was an entire run of kittens, a section on buses, and a badly spelt review of Bladerunner.  Decker was several pages into her search before something really caught her eye.  It was a forum thread labelled ‘That Girl in the Blue Scarf’.

Decker nearly dropped her laptop in excitement.  That had to be about her; who else could it be?  She clicked the link, and connected to a forum simply known as Zone Chat.  It was a pretty basic site:  a few gifs, a simple beige background, nothing more.  Despite this, the forum was busy.  New posts were popping up every few seconds.  More exciting was that most of the new posts were following That Girl in the Blue Scarf.

Decker had a smile when she’d started reading the thread, but it vanished pretty quickly.  That Girl in the Blue Scarf started by mentioning that some new super hero had busted up the Fun Zone, and that White Knight and Black Hat had had nothing to do with it.  Everything went downhill from there.

“Girl’s name is Decker,” one poster explained.  “I was outside when she laid into Big.  You can tell by the way she talks, and the way she acts, that she’s a total…”  Decker covered her mouth in shock as she read the rest of the sentence, and the rest of the thread.

The thread was full of terrible language, and horrible suggestions of violence to visit on Decker.  For some reason, the fact that most of the posters couldn’t bother with proper grammar made the whole of the thread more hurtful.  New posts were pouring in, all with awful suggestions of what to do to Decker.  Decker bit her bottom lip till she tasted blood, and forced herself to read all of it.

Decker attempted to be professional about it.  She tried to stay detached.  Decker attempted to remember that these were kids that had been at the party she’d ruined, and that they were venting.  It didn’t make it any easier.  Reading posts by a group of strangers that wanted her dead, or worse, was difficult.

Decker rubbed her eyes, and bit back a sob.  She was about to finally close the page when the comments took a sudden and surprising turn.  One of the posters had just finished a horribly creative rant about what to do the Decker’s scarf, when they switched subjects.  “On top of that, she ruined the Fun Zone?  Thanks a lot; I was just making The List.”

“Wut R U, new?” another poster had replied.  “Fun Zone fine.  The List s still up.”

“But the Fun Zone can’t be fine,” Decker told her laptop.  She turned to Ms. Fibblesworth.  “I mean, it can’t be.  I found it.  I went in, and broke it up.  White Knight and Black Hat even showed up.  It has to be gone.”  Decker shook her head.  “Also?  What’s The List?”

She looked back at her laptop, hoping to find some more information.  She actually found less.  The last two posts had been removed, and both users banned.  A new post, by a mod called ‘BIG GUY’, explained.

“That’s two gone,” Big Guy typed.  “Anyone else wanna chat about private venues on the public chat?  Anyone?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.  You break the first two rules, you get banned.  You all know this.  I don’t expect I’ll need to say it again.”

The board went silent for awhile after that.  A few more posts showed up in the thread about Decker, but not with the same fervour that had been shown before.  Decker stared at the site.  She wasn’t going to get any more information here; not tonight at least.  She closed her laptop, and opened her diary.

Hero Diary.

I thought maybe I was going to cap off my first big adventure tonight.  You know, see the news, tie some loose ends, stuff like that?  Instead, I’ve uncovered something huge.  My first case isn’t over.  Not by a long shot by the looks of it.

So I’m totally back to step one right?  Like, I know there’s things I have to do?  Only, just like when I started out, I have NO idea what I’m supposed to do next.

Decker 07

Hero Diary:

I should really go to the police around now.  I mean, I know where the Fun Zone is.  I could bring them there.  They could arrest X, and maybe some of the kids, and return stolen things, and, you know, do police things.

Only, I don’t have time to go to the police, because X is already scrubbing the Fun Zone.  No, Diary, I’m not one hundred on what that means, but I’m pretty certain.  And you know what would happen if I stop to talk to the police?  Yes you do.  We’ve all seen the movies.

I go and get the police, right?  But while I’m convincing them to come with me, X will completely clear  out the Fun Zone.  And I get there, and throw open the doors, again, and the place is empty.  And I’d be all like: no, there really was an underground club here.  And the police would be like: no, we believe you. 

But you’d know they didn’t believe me.  You’d tell by looking in their eyes.  And then I’d find, like, a playing card or something?  And it’d be my only clue.

I have no idea what I’m supposed to do with a playing card, unless it has an address on it.  How would you get anything from a playing card really?

Night time detective classes are sounding better by the minute.

Decker wriggled her wrists against their binds, and mentally added escape artist to her potential night courses.  She didn’t have time to stop and find something to cut her ropes.  The clock was ticking after all.  Still, she felt downright silly flying around with her hands tied.

At least I’m out of sight, right?  I mean, it’s not likely that anyone’s going to see me up here.  One of the benefits of flight, I suppose.  It’s not like someone is just going to wander by and ask why I’m flying about with my hands tied together.

Decker’s ongoing monologue was interrupted as something flew past her at incredible speed.  It moved fast enough to ruffle her skirt, and flip her scarf over her head.  She didn’t see anything more than a streak of white light, but she knew.  She’d just been passed by White Knight, paragon hero of the city.

Decker hovered in the air, mortified.  It was bad enough that White Knight had zoomed past her while she was tied up; but following his light trail, Decker could see that he was headed towards Regal Park.  There was no way it was a coincidence.  White Knight was on his way to the Fun Zone.

Decker flew as fast as she could to Regal Park.  It took some guess work, but she finally found where the Fun Zone would be located top side.  It was a half finished subway station stuffed between a set of project buildings.  White Knight had Ex by the throat.  His partner, Black Hat, was there as well.  Decker circled twice before finding the courage to land on the scene.

White Knight wore an elaborate suit of armour under a white tabard.  No helmet of course, as it would likely block his famous Knight Laser Glance.  He didn’t make any move to suggest he’d heard Decker land.  He had his eyes set firmly on his captive.

White Knight held Ex against the wall; his heavy gauntlet wrapped around her throat.  In his huge templar armour, he looked twice the size of Ex.  He dwarfed everyone in the alley in fact, including his partner.

Black Hat’s uniform was much less ornate than White Knight’s.  He wore loose black pants, and a tight black tank top.  His hands were wrapped tight in boxer’s tape, and his utility belt hung loose on his hip.  He spoke casually to Ex, like he’d known her forever.  Like she wasn’t currently being choked by his partner.  Decker couldn’t hear what they were saying, but she assumed it was about the Fun Zone.  Really, what else could it be about?

Decker landed softly in the alley.  She looked from one hero to the other, and tried to stand tall.  It was hard though.  Here beside two of the most famous supers in the world, Decker felt a lot less like a hero, and a lot more like a girl in a costume.  She tried to announce herself, but her voice jammed tight in her throat.

Decker wasn’t sure what to do next.  White Knight and Black Hat obviously had the situation under control.  They’d found the Fun Zone.  They’d captured Ex.  There wasn’t really anything left, and a big part of Decker really wanted to just go home and hide under her covers and die.

Black Hat turned casually before Decker could take off, and tipped his famous baker-boy cap at Decker.  “Well, hello,” he said.  “You must be Decker.  Ex was just telling us about you.”

Decker opened her mouth twice, but didn’t find any words.  “I, uh, I don’t mean to sneak up on you,” Decker muttered finally.

“You didn’t,” Black Hat assured her.

“We knew you were coming,” White Knight stated gruffly, never taking his eyes off of Ex.  “I knew you’d tagged along when I passed you in the air.  I could hear your heart beat.”

“Oh,” Decker said, uncertain what else to say.  Her cheeks flushed pink, and she stared hard at the ground.  “Oh.”

“Don’t let him get to you,” Black Hat suggested.  “He gets like that when he’s on business.”  Black Hat tried to pat Decker reassuringly on the shoulder, but pulled his hand away gingerly when it was slowed by her field.  He offered her a sly smile.  “Besides, you won’t be the first young super heroine to get a bit fluttery when around us.”

Ex scoffed at Black Hat’s comment.  He offered her a withering glare, before turning his smile back to Decker.  “Here,” Black Hat offered lightly.  He swiped his hand near Decker’s bonds, slicing them neatly.  She never even saw the blade.

Decker rubbed her wrists, and continued staring at her shoes.  She could feel the heat in her cheeks, and figured she’d gone several shades of red.  The fact only made her blush harder.  “Thank you,” she mumbled.

“You’re welcome,” Hat replied.  He hooked Decker’s chin, and gently lifted her face up.  “Don’t be embarrassed kid,” he offered with a smile.  “Everyone gets tied up once and awhile.”

“Even you?”

Black Hat chuckled.  “Alright, almost everyone.”

White Knight made an impatient noise.  “Where are Big and Fast?”

“I left them at the docks,” Decker replied.  Somehow she felt it was the wrong answer.  “I was in a hurry.  They were talking to someone named Mr. Task; and he said that X was going to scrub the Fun Zone.  I didn’t have time to, uh, arrest them or anything.”

“They’re gone then,” White Knight said.

Decker bit her lower lip.  “But X was going to…I mean…I didn’t know you two were going to…”

“Hey, it’s ok kid,” Black Hat assured her.  “You did alright for a first time out.”  He looked over at his partner.  “She did alright for a first time, right White?”

“Sure, fine,” White Knight relented.  He never looked away from Ex.  “We got this now.  Why don’t you go see if Big and Fast are where you left them?”

Black Hat gave Decker a sympathetic ‘what are you going to do’ sort of smile.  “Why don’t you see if you can track them down,” he suggested with a shrug.  “You did good here, but we’ve got this now.”

Decker looked from White Knight, to Black Hat, and back again.  Black smiled friendly at her; White didn’t acknowledge her at all.  “Uh, ok,” Decker relented.  She wasn’t sure what else to do.  She hesitated for a moment more, then flew back towards the docks.

Black Hat watched Decker fly over the buildings.  He waited until she was out of sight before he let his smile slide off his face.  “Is she actually gone?”

White Knight didn’t take his eyes off of Ex.  He didn’t have to.  “She’s gone,”  White verified.  He chuckled low.  “Lord save us from rookies, eh?”

“I don’t know,” Black Hat commented.  “She did alright here.  I bet I could find some use for her.”

Ex choked against White Knight’s grasp.  “Not likely,” she forced.  “That girl’s too goody-good for you boys.”

Black Hat smirked at Ex.  “Really?  I remember a time when we would have said the same about you.”  He gave her a critical once over.  “And now look at you.  All dressed up in super villain black.”  Black Hat clicked his tongue.  “Sad you’re working for three time loser like Task though.  I would have expected you to cling on to something at least B class.”

“Girl needs to make a living,” Ex replied casually.  “Besides, I was just happy to have an employer that was a little less ‘hands on’.”

“You’re joking, right?”  White Knight looked at his partner in disgust.  “Tell me she’s joking, Black.”

“Damn it White!  Don’t take your eyes off of her!”

The warning came too late.  Ex clipped open a concealed pocket on her wrist while White was distracted, and filled her palm with a glittery powder.  She blew it in White’s face when he looked back at her.

White looked annoyed at first, but that quickly gave way to confusion and pain as he tried to blink away the powder.  Ex smiled wickedly as the big man squinted and shook his head.  $100 dollars of high grade diamond dust; worth every penny.

White let go his grip on Ex, and rubbed at his eyes furiously.  It only made it worse.  Ex took some petty pleasure in White Knights discomfort before she ran towards the nearby sewer grate.

“Damn it,” Black Hat cursed.  He immediately gave chase.  Black Hat flicked his hand, bringing his concealed blade to his palm.  He threw it at Ex, driving it into her calf.

Ex grunted at the pain, and tumbled forward.  She tucked into a practiced roll, and pulled the blade free in one swift movement.  Ex tossed the blade back at Hat before returning to a run.  Black Hat paused momentarily to bat the knife out of the air, before returning to the chase.

Ex fired her grapple gun, and hooked the manhole.  She gave a yank, and spun the cover shot-put style before letting it loose behind her.  Black Hat flipped effortlessly over manhole cover.  It didn’t even come close to hitting him; partially because he was never the target.

White Knight pulled his hands down from his blurry red eyes, just in time to take a flying manhole cover to the face.  He reeled back a few steps, and swore loudly.  “OK.  That is it!” he declared.  White Knight stared fury at the fleeing Ex.

Black Hat skidded to a stop.  He could recognize White Knight’s intent from the tone.  “No, White!  Don’t!”

White Knight’s lasers disco balled from his diamond littered eyes; spraying thin beams of white heat in all directions.  Black swore, and grappled to the roofs to escape the path of destruction.  Ex laughed, and dived into the open manhole, escaping to the tunnels below.

White took a moment to rein his powers back in.  He blinked a moment at the squiggly lines burnt into the walls around him.  It was downright embarrassing.  “God dammit,” he cursed loudly.  “You god damned total…”  White Knight stormed towards the open manhole.

Black Hat dropped down behind White Knight.  “Don’t bother,” he suggested.  “She’s gone.”

White Knight bit back several choice words.  “I can’t believe I just got owned by your sidekick,” he complained.

“Ex-sidekick,” Black corrected.  “You got to admit I did a pretty good job training her.”

“Not all you did with her evidently,” White stated with disdain.

“Yeah, yeah.”  Black Hat clapped White Knight on the back.  “C’mon, chum, lets go find you an eyewash station.”

“Chum.”  White Knight let Black Hat lead him away from the alley.  “I hate when you call me that.”

“Yeah, I know.  That’s why I do it.”

Decker 06

Hero Diary.

I’m so scared.  I’ve never been this scared in my entire life. I’m really hurt, and I’m tied up and I can’t see.  I don’t know what they’re going to do to me.   I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.  It’s taking everything not to cry, or scream, or both. 

But I can’t.  I mean, I’m a super hero now, and super heroes don’t cry, right?  Like, Black Hat wouldn’t cry if HE was tied up, would he?  No.  He wouldn’t Diary.  I’m pretty sure of that.

Decker’s entire body felt like one giant bruise from Big’s punches; punctuated by the painful welts where Fast had shot her.  Her body was still numb from whatever drug Ex had used on her.  Decker had been bound, and blindfolded, and tossed into the back of a van.

Decker lay on her side, her head banging against the cold metal floor with each bump Fast drove over.  She hadn’t moved since she’d come to.  Decker wasn’t sure how much danger she was in yet, and until she had an idea, she didn’t dare let Big and Fast know she was awake.

Up front, Big was talking over the radio to someone he simply called Boss.  they seemed to be talking about what to do with Decker, and really, she didn’t want to interrupt that.  Decker didn’t want to tip her hand at all until she knew what was going on.

Big looked over his seat at Decker.  She was still lying where they’d dropped her in the back of the van.  The girl had been squirming around earlier, but she’d seemed to settle out.  Big squirmed a bit himself.  At seven foot tall, and over three hundred pound of muscle; he didn’t really fit in any vehicle.  Even the bucket seats in Fast’s van were a tight fit.  But that was only one of the reasons Big was a bit uncomfortable.  He was in direct contact with their boss, Mr. Task, and Big never liked that.

Normally, Ex would converse with the boss.  The two of them would plan, and tell the guys what to do next.  Big and Fast were the hired help, and honestly, both of them preferred this arrangement.  Big didn’t like to be directly responsible for most decisions.  He was particularly uncomfortable with this one.

Mr. Task had ranted on for awhile.  He was understandably upset about a super hero being in the Fun Zone.  It had been a pretty good set-up, as far as underground kid-thief parties went.  Task was equally unhappy with being directly involved with any decisions.

“I’m not sure why you need me to tell you what to do with her,” Mr. Task questioned once he’d run low on insults.  “She’s a super hero, and she’s seen too much.  Take her somewhere remote, and get rid of her.  Permanently.”

“Get rid of her?”  Big looked over at Fast.  Fast grimaced and shook his head in distaste.  “I don’t know boss,” Big replied.

“You don’t know?  What’s not to know?” Mr. Task snapped.  “One less super hero is one less super hero.  Take her behind the chemical shed and be done with it.”

Big and Fast exchanged another uncomfortable look.  Task sighed his exasperation at their lack of response.  “I don’t understand your problem.  This seems like a simple enough task for you two.”  Mr. Task audibly sneered.  “I wouldn’t like to think you two are going soft.”

“It ain’t that boss,” Big replied slowly.  “It’s just…I mean, she’s just a kid.”

“I don’t care if she’s just a…”  There was a thoughtful pause on the radio.  “How much ‘just a kid’ are we talking here?”

Fast looked back at Decker, and shrugged at Big.  Big shrugged as well.  “Not really sure boss.  Fourteen?  Maybe fifteen?”

Decker kept quietly indignant.  She was older than that, but Big wasn’t the first person to guess real low.  Decker was old enough to hold down a job, and to have her own apartment.  In fact, she was even old enough to drink if she’d cared to.  Old enough in Canada and parts of Europe at least.

At this moment though, the normally annoying mistake was to Decker’s advantage.  There was a long silence on Mr. Task’s end.  “That is awkward,” he said finally.  “Alright.  Get rid of her: but in a less metaphorical way.”  Task sighed.  “I’ll have Ex scrub the Fun Zone; accept it as a loss.  We have to assume that she’ll just be back there.”

“We’re coming up to the bay now boss,” Big suggested.  “We could tie her to something heavy; toss her in?”

Fast nodded his agreement, and mimed a splash.  He shot a hand up, suggesting someone flying away.  “Yeah,” Big agreed.  “We ain’t never seen a super hero actually die to that one, she should be fine.”

“Fine.  Whatever,” Mr. Task agreed shortly.  “So long as she’s kept busy.  Splash her, then get back to the Fun Zone.  Ex is going to need some help.”

“Sure thing boss,” Big replied.  He clicked off the radio and gave Fast a shrug.  “You think we can find one of those old anchors laying about?”

Decker shifted her head slightly, hoping to maybe  be able to peek at the guys from beneath her blindfold.  She had absolutely no luck, and didn’t dare trying harder.  Even now she couldn’t be certain that Big and Fast hadn’t noticed her moving.

Ok Diary, do I even need to tell you that I don’t want to be tied up and thrown in the bay?  I just need to know what’s going on, then I can make my move.  I mean, if I could just see where I was even.  I need this blindfold off.

Ok.  You know what?   I’m a telekinetic.  I move things with my mind.  I should be able to gently lift my blindfold off, right?  It’s a case of concentration.  That’s all it takes; a bit of concentration.

I can do this.  I can lift my blindfold just a little bit, and they won’t even notice what I’m doing.   It’s my power after all.  All I have to do is show a bit of control.

Decker’s hair stood on end, and her eyes flared as she concentrated on a simple lift.  The back of the van exploded dramatically in a flash of blue kinetic energy.  Decker’s blindfold fluttered away behind the moving wreckage.

Decker blinked at the sudden brightness.  Her hands were still tied in front of her, but Decker could see at least.  She pushed quickly into the air, and watched the remains of the van careen away.

Ok, not exactly the effect I was going for?  But you know what, I did get my blindfold off, so I’m totally calling this one a success!

It dawned on Big, as he was punted out of the van, that he hadn’t really thought about what Decker would do when she woke up.  It was easy when she was unconscious to mistake her for just a twiggy little girl.  Easy enough to forget that she’d managed to knock him about pretty good back at the Fun Zone.

Big wondered if this was how Decker always woke up.  It’d probably suck to be her roommate, he mused.  It wasn’t that he was considering a new roommate, it was just idle back of the mind thoughts as he bounced along the ground away from the van.  Big shook his head as he skidded to a stop, and turned to comment to Fast about exploding roommates.  Only, Fast hadn’t gotten out of the van.

Big looked back at the van.  Decker’s blast had shredded the back off of it, and Fast was inside still, slumped over the wheel.  Fast didn’t make a move to get out, even as the van went over the pier, and splashed into the bay.  Big stared hesitantly at the sinking van.  One of the downsides to Big’s super strength and a near impervious physique was that he was pretty dense, physically speaking.  Big and water didn’t get along, because Big sunk like a stone.

Decker didn’t show the same level of hesitation.  She bolted past Big, and dived in after the van.  She didn’t even consider that her hands were still tied until she hit the water.  Fortunately, flying underwater worked much the same as flying in general.

Equally fortunate was that the van didn’t have that far to sink.  This was water off the edge of a pier, not the edge of an abyss after all.  It sunk faster than Decker could fly, but it settled onto the rocks only a few dozen feet beneath the waves.

Decker circled the van once, hoping to find a sharp section of metal or glass to cut her bonds with.  Inside, she could see Fast still buckled in his chair.  His eyes were closed, and his mouth was open.  Decker had taken a deep breath before diving in, and she was already struggling.  Fast didn’t have that luxury.  Decker flew/swam into the back of the van, still tied.  Freedom would have to wait.

Decker braced her back against the back of Fast’s seat, and placed her hands against the floor.  She concentrated, and fired as much power as she could into the floor of the van.  Decker grit her teeth against the strain, as the seat fought to stay attached to the van.  It felt like forever before the chair finally broke free of its mooring.  Decker spun around, and grabbed Fast by the seat belt as she flew fast as she could to the surface.

Decker gasped for breath as she shot up from the bay.  Her chest felt like a furnace, but it didn’t stop her from cheering triumphantly.  Her jubilation lasted a whole ten seconds before the dead weight of Fast and his chair overcame momentum, and dragged her back towards the pier.

Big watched Decker stagger as she tried to stay in the air.  She had an awkward grasp on Fast’s chair; what with her hands being tied up and all.  Big, on the other hand, had a perfectly fine grasp on the van door.  He had been planning on throwing it at Decker when she surfaced, but now was having second thoughts.  She had saved Fast after all.  Yeah, it was what super heroes did supposedly, but Decker had actually done it.  Big thought about it for a second.  He tossed the van door aside, and opened his arms to catch.

Fast coughed up water, and stared confusion at Decker about where he was, and why she was there.  Decker accepted this as a ‘good enough’ on his condition, and let the chair drop to Big as she passed by.  She then shot off as fast as she could back towards Regal, and back towards the Fun Zone.

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.”

Look at this drawing. That’s what I’m doing when I’m not writing. Or it is today at least.

Look at this drawing.  That's what I'm doing when I'm not writing.  Or it is today at least.

So, suffering some writer’s block for the last week. It’s not that I don’t know what to do with Cole and Jimmie, it’s just getting them from point A to point B. I’ll be able to push through in the next day or so.
Till then, I drew this today. Well, ok, I drew it yesterday, then scanned it, then re worked it in Inkscape today. I really like how it turned out.
This is Decker, by the way. One of my Champions Online characters. Yes, I do use female characters when I play MMOs. I use male ones too, but whatever.
Point being, turned out nice. I accidently formed a way of using the pen tool that I really like. I think I’ll try at free handing a new picture soon without drawing it on paper first. Saving trees…so, you know, Captain Planet and all that.

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