Wednesday, March 28, 2007


"I think we should take it easy for a couple weeks, lay low. That woman has been front-page news for the past two days, and every tabloid in town is talking about freaks and masked madmen running amok in the city," Alex said. "And we should give ourselves some time to heal," he added, noticing just how big the bruise on Miranda's face had become. He wondered how her other injuries – a cracked rib, sprained wrist, the bruise across her back, and lesion on her head – were healing. Miranda was smiling, though, as she usually did. She lounged in a leather chair in Alex's living room, sipping a glass of vegetable juice like it was a shot of whiskey. The oversized chair fit her like a small couch. She rested her head on one cushioned leather arm, and her legs bobbed and swung aimlessly as she let them dangle over the side of the other arm. Miranda looked up from her V8 and was embarrassed to see Alex eying the unsightly green and brown mark on her cheek.

Alex was somewhat ashamed, too, that he'd come away with only a lump on his head and a concussion. Then he looked over to Thomas, ostensibly inspecting a bust of Socrates, but most obviously preoccupied with his thoughts.

Alex resented Thomas a bit, but he could not quite determine why. Perhaps it was because Thomas had used his power to decisively end the conflict, the fight with the long-armed woman, when he had previously only proven able to distract and confused criminals, while Alex himself had been helpless and unhelpfully unconscious. Or perhaps it was because of the odd mood that Thomas had been in since that night. Or maybe it was because Thomas had come through the whole ordeal unscathed. Alex felt the lump on the back of his skull. He doesn't have a mark on his body, he thought, not even a scratch.

"I feel that something big is about to happen, or maybe it already is happening," Alex said as he stood up. Thomas could tell that Alex was going into lecture mode. Miranda sat up slowly, holding her side, and continued to sip her juice. "First we had the 'New City Devil' kill a convenience store clerk, and now we have the 'Long-Arm Lady' attacking random people on the street. Something connects these two. Something or someone is behind these villains."

Thomas cringed at Alex's use of the word 'villains.' "They were probably just down-on-their-luck freaks high on meth." Miranda looked over at Thomas, surprised that he was talking. He had not said much in the past day. Thomas looked at Alex's stern face. "It is just a coincidence," he mumbled in conclusion.

"Nothing's a coincidence," Alex said. "These aren't isolated incidents. I can feel it." Miranda nodded as if she felt it, too. Thomas rolled his eyes. More superhero voodoo nonsense, he thought.

"There's something much bigger going on here. We just can't see it, yet. We need to wait until it shows itself again."

"Wait?" Thomas spoke up again. "Wait for what?" Alex was about to answer, but Thomas kept speaking, "I'm tired of waiting. We sit on rooftops and wait for what? For small-time robbers and would-be muggers?" Thomas looked to Miranda for support. There was compassion in her eyes, ever present as it was, but she offered no reinforcement. He looked back at Alex. "You're always saying that we're superheroes, right? So, shouldn't we be going after supervillians?"

Alex said, "We just got our butts kicked by a supervillain. Don't you think we could use some practice before whatever evil is coming gets here?"

"Spare me your super intuition power. There's no evidence and no reason to even believe that there is any connection between the crazy woman we fought the other night and that freaky Devil guy." Alex waited for Thomas to finish. His frustration grew. Thomas continued, "Instead of wasting our time waiting for some ethereal evil shadow to fall over New City, or wasting our powers on stopping misdemeanors, we should be getting at the root of crime. We should be going after drug lords and crime bosses, the real evil in this city?"

"I understand your zeal, but jumping right into the big leagues is dangerous. Some of us already put more than we can afford on the line as it is," Alex said.

"You're scared," Thomas said matter-of-factly. "You're scared to actually do something. You're scared to get your hands dirty."

"Thomas," Miranda said, trying to stand up fast. She winced and held her side.

"You're darn right I'm scared," Alex said taking a step toward Thomas. "When we come back with bruises and broken bones from one encounter with one person, you can bet I'm going to be scared. But I guess you wouldn't know anything about getting hurt, would you?"

"Guys," Miranda said.

"I did what I could. And at least I got the job done. I killed her before she killed you." There was a brief pause. This was the first time since that night that Thomas or anyone had mentioned the long-armed woman's gruesome death. "Maybe I should have let her work you over a little longer?"

"All right! Just stop it," Miranda commanded. Both men looked over at her. She was not smiling.

Thomas huffed, "I'm going home." He turned and pulled a cigarette out of his pocket as he walked. He lit it while he was still inside Alex's apartment. He knew Alex disapproved of smoking anything except expensive cigars.

Alex ignored the effrontery and tried to regain an air of authority by calling to Thomas as he walked away, "We all need some rest and some time to think. We'll meet up in a week and discuss the direction we each want the group to follow."

"Yeah right," Thomas said under his breath as he stepped through the apartment door.


  1. Its Thursday, where is the new one?

  2. here i am to bully

    like billy idol, we want mo' mo' mo'

  3. Thank you guys for getting on my case. That is actually, for once, a sincere thank you.


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