Spirit was just the kind of guy who could be her friend. He was a super-hero. He was decent-looking. And he had money. Like…enough of it not to bat an eyelash when he gave her a credit card with $20,000 limit and told her to add some super-heroic modifications to her mode of transportation. CHA-CHING!!!!!
Yup! Guys like Spirit had their hearts and their wallets in the right places. They could be her friend any damn day of the week.
“Uh, oh…uh, what?”
“Lady, are you fuckin’ serious with this req?”
“Ahhh…” she leaned closer “to take a better look at his name tag” and give him an ample glimpse of her personality. “Bruno, is it?” The name tag was badly smudged with something dark and dirty. Gross. “Listen, Bruno, put it on the card and throw it in the bag. You seem like the kind of business man whose time is at a premium. Do us both a favor and make my bike go six-hundred miles per hour.” She leaned back and put on her best Super-Heroine Loves Chocolate expression.
“You’re fuckin’ crazy. Besides, best I can do is four-fitty and you’re guaranteed to break every bone in your motherfuckin’ body within the first week.”
“Gah! You hobo! What do you care? You get paid regardless. Besides, I have health insurance.”
“I don’t like seeing my custom work get shit on by amateur riders who think they are super-human — or worse…professional. I’m just giving you the standard disclaimer. I’ll take your money but you’re gonna end up in the hospital. It’d be a shame to ruin such a pretty…face.”
“Hey Creep…just fix my fuckin’ bike and I’ll be back in two weeks. Besides, I’ve got Uninsured Motorist’s Insurance too.”
“Yeah, and you got an answer for everything. Let’s just review the req okay? Top speed four-fitty, cruising at 145mph – $8,000, light bike armor – $2,500, 7.62mm Machine Gun fixed-mount – $2,500, (4) count ’em rocket launch tubes – 2 on each side, $500 ea., external fuel tank – $1000, smoke screen – $1,500, theft alarm system – $700, theft proof lock s- $500, (2) suits of super-slick cycle-armor – $250 ea., (2) portable tool kits – $150 ea. Did I get that right?”
“You’re pretty quick for a mechanic…and you can read.”
“Charming, aren’t I?”
“Better make that (4) suits of cycle-armor. I almost left $500 on the card.” She flashed him a brief smile.
“Lady, all the armor in the world isn’t gonna save you when the concrete turns your face into tapioca pudding and your body into a pretzel. I’ll see you in a month.” Bruno certainly was a character. If Hazel didn’t know any better she might have thought that he liked her.
“Hey, Bub, I said two weeks.”
“Lady, I’ll see you in two weeks but your bike won’t be ready for four. You wanna come back to chat just stop by tomorrow.”
“Whatever. Jerk. I can’t wait until you need a super-hero and some saving.”
“Yeah yeah…that’s what they all say.”
Guess what day it is…!!!!
FRIDAY!?!? That’s right! And as long as no one needs saving this is gonna be a primo weekend rife with relaxation and lots of fun!
Oh wait? What’s today’s date? Argh! The lunar calendar is so frustrating! If I grew claws and fangs when a full moon was out I wouldn’t have to mark it on my Goggle calendar. Oh wait. Maybe I WOULD! Backwards logic. Instead of running for the hills to lock myself in some concrete bomb shelter I have to run to the drug store for extra tampons. Sigh! Lunar calendar my ass! It’s like this whole thing is a hoax! The Telestic Society keeps such a low profile they must not get very many new members. Ah well…I’ll try again next month…which is almost here. Sheesh! The time has been flying so fast lately. With all the construction at the House and all the investigation and lead-following. Matty, I’m surprised I’m still standing. Thankfully, I’m not answering the phones anymore.
“C’mon Virge…c’mon c’mon…”(Beep beep beep)
“Pickup the phone Virgil. Pickupickupickupickup!”
“Where is that guy? It’s Friday night! That means pizza and beer – or wine coolers – with a nod to you Matilda.”
(Beeee, click) “You’ve reached the MobileLGT Voice Mailbox of
- Vigilance - leave a message at the tone.”
“Hey Verge where are ya? It’s Hazel and this divebox is runnin’ ragged! Hit me up on your way home and don’t forget to pass by Mario Brother’s – I already called in an order but their delivery is backed up like…an hour or something. I’m FIENDING for some garlic knots and a slice o’ pepperoni. I picked up a bottle of Jose Squarevo with our names on it. I think we should slip a little to the Squirrel before we kill the dorm’s security cams. Anyways callmeback kkthanxbai!!”
“Alright wittew Korashi bashi Kobayashi…let’s see what you’re up toooo. I know you’re hiding something. Now be a good boy and cough it up!” (hic)
This shtuff is strong!
(Computer Operation roll 42%, success)
Let’s do a basic dive into the non-Goggle information channels. We all know those are basically worthless. Chat rooms. Hmmm…no one’s talkin’ about ‘em. Relay Chat? Nah. Deep Web? (Computer Operation roll 81%, fail). Let’s try forums. Okay — lots of info here. Advanced Search Algorithm (Computer Programming roll 18%, success) – keywords “korashi” "technics""traffic" “trafficking” “gun” “laser” “energy” “weapon” “alien” “laser” “Jack” “Ballard” “His Superior (whose name Hazel would remember)” and just for shits ‘n giggles “Iron” and “Mike” oh and “patent” / “patents” / “patented”. Okay, now that engine is gonna run for like an hour. (hic) That’ll give me time to go refill my drink and check on the Meat Market.
“Oh, dare you are! I came to get a refill and to check on your scrawny ass — make sure you’re not up to no trouble now, y’hear?”
“Just hanging out. Looks like most of the other dormers are out and about tonight.”
“Oh yeah? Are we the only ones with no lives?”
“No. We’re the only ones who are ‘on call’.”
“Are you shitting me? ‘On call’ like a Doctor? Virgil that’s AWESOME! Why didn’t I think of that?!?!”
“Duh!” Hazel plops down on the couch next to the big man. “What’s on the tube?”
“Not much. I’m watching re-runs of American Gladiators.”
“That sounds kinda gay. Wanna come check out this Search Algorithm I wrote to comb all these different forums for anything about that Kobayashi Techniques company? Admittedly it’s really nerdy but it’s not gay.”
“Sure but I wanna finish this episode first. This is the farewell to Nitro when he goes at it with Laser in the Powerball and Joust.”
“Oh, um…of course. Why didn’t you say so?”
“No. Nononono dude. I’m serious!”
“Uh Hazel you’ve already had three slices of pizza.”
“Gahhhh! It’s so good!!!! I feel like Michaelangelo! Verrge…Verge watch…”
(Hazel jumps in the air like a rabid wombat having a seizure) “KOWABUNGA!!!!!!!!!”
“Alright, take it easy there. It’s almost midnight. You know this is around the time the calls start coming in.”
“You do a great Michaelangelo.”
“Thanks Virge — you’re not a bad Leonardo yourself.”
“Wait, wasn’t Leonardo the stuffy party pooper?”
“Haha!” Hazel darts out of arm’s reach like a dizzy bird.
“I’ve got the radio on wireless and I’m monitoring the channels. C’mon, let’s go see this search algorithm.”
“Oh, we’re gonna see it alright. But first…a detour. I wanna show you the invisible tripwire spell I’ve been working on.”
“Didn’t you say it was called Magic Alarm or Mystical Alarm or something the other day?”
“Oh yeahhhh! I’ve been doing some of my own arcane research and it turns out I’ve been calling that spell by the wrong name for the last 8 years. Old habits die hard.”
“But you said that this spell would alert you whenever someone touches the alien gun or tries to enter the room…or any door or room its cast on.”
“That’s right my dear Watson. Watch and learn…”
They came to the hallway before the Tomorrow Legion Vault that was now home to a briefcase with a highly top-secret alien energy weapon. The floodlights were glaring at the room was lit up like a Christmas tree.
“Hazel, are you in the right frame of mind to be casting spells?”
She begins muttering and mumbling and moving her hands.
“Really? I’ve never heard you cast a spell like that before.”
“The embellishment doesn’t hurt. Besides, how else would you know that I had finished?”
“I dunno. Can we check it out?”
“Sure! Let’s walk into the room. As soon as we cross that threshold I should get a feeling that one of my spells went off.”
“You’ve done this before, right?”
Hazel and Vigilance walked into the Vault and were almost blinded by the great floodlights that bathed every inch of the room in their sterile glow and eradicated any possibility of shadows. As they crossed the threshold into the room Hazel expected to feel the mystic tingle alert her…but didn’t. She waited. And waited. And waited.
“Hazel? Lashe? Is everything alright?”
“Shh!” she hissed.
“What is it?” he whispered.
“Nothing. But that’s weird isn’t it?”
“Well Spirit had motion sensors installed in the Vault along with pressure plates and temperature sensors. You still have time to fine tune it.”
“Nothing to fine tune. The Mystical Alarm bell should be ringing in my ear. Hey what about the lights? Did he get the break-proof bulbs with 1m hours of life and set them behind shatterproof glass with sensors on the housing? I told him we also needed an alarm on the generator and one on the backup and another on the double redundancy backup. The lights in this room stay and stay bright even in a nuclear holocaust.”
“You really are buzzed.”
“Duh! Race ya to the last slice!!!!” Hazel shoves off the big athlete and runs pell mell out of the Vault.
“Hey! That’s not fair! You got a head start!”
Hazel looked over her shoulder as she bolted — quicker than one might expect — and taunted, “the pepperoni is mine!” The look on Vigilance’s face was priceless! And as her ankle caught on something hard she felt her center of gravity immediately begin to shift. The look on the big man’s face was still priceless but now it was one of surprise and…was that laughtOOOF!!!!!
The small red-haired woman slammed face-first into the floor and tumbled ass over tea-kettle until she dead-ended against the wall across the hallway from the Vault door.
A mystical alarm rung incessantly in her head.