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Hermit

The Adventures of "Fish Guy" (Superhero fiction)

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When some James Clapper wannabes send their goons to raid your base while you and your teammates are out putting life and limb on the line to save the entire world from some eldritch abomination? Yes, I believe that calls for an immediate response; preferably one that puts the fear of God into them.

 

While I agree, I think that portraying such a thing right would involve quite a bit of writing, and thus deserves it's own treatment.  I'm confident Hermit could, through descriptives and flashbacks, set up the situation such that the reader gets the full impact. 

 

Though a quick, immediate response (e.g. turning the goons over to the authorities with Channel 6 getting an exclusive interview to properly slam Valodorous and goons) could be portrayed in the epilogue.  Still, a more full response should be covered in a sequel.

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Some of you will be disappointed I suspect, but here's a bit more anyway . And no, it's not quite done.

 

As I fought the temptation to say, "I totally made out with your niece, dude" in my best beach bra accent, we moved on to find the incoming superheroes. Lady Obsidian had removed her helmet, though I could see a hair line crack in the faceplate. Given the woman's armor could generate forcefields that my best punches would have trouble getting through, I didn't want to think about what could tear through all that and still hurt the basic structure. Pinprick looks intact, but was in want of a shower looking like someone had let the dog drool all over their favorite action figure for an hour. Arctic Fox was, pardon the pun, as cool as ice as she was talking to Lady Obsidian filling her in. Honestly, I've seen people read off grocery lists with more emotion.

 

And they weren't alone, in addition to my remaining team mates, I saw three other figures.  Two of them were so close to each other that if you didn't know anything else about them, you could tell they were involved and happily so. Their costumes were alike, consisting of red and white. His had the Greek Psi symbol within an Eye shape logo (though it looked different from Viewpoint's) and hers had more white than red, with a logo up the side of an avian design. They didn't hold hands, but she seemed to have slipped close against him anytime he stopped moving. The third fellow was more off to the side, and he looked around with concern and frustration and his body language showed… was that disgust? His costume had a spiral like pattern spread throughout it, and he wore a full-face mask with glass lenses.

 

"Eel, I hear you've been busy," Lady Obsidian said sympathetically, her helmet cradled by her left arm, "Good work all, from what Mabel and Arctic Fox have told me."

 

"Yeah, well, you were right about Valorous," I said trying not to look at Fox as I said it, "Man, I can't believe the government would try this," I looked about at the wreckage still to be cleaned up, "Intruding into our homes, trying to steal tech like common crooks, and then having the nerve to say they're the good guys. Man, I cut them some slack, but right now, if I saw a government agent, especially some jackass in a cape, I would give him a piece of my mind. It's like a modern day 5th columnist movement."

 

I set my jaw.

 

Lady Obsidian sighed, "This is Hawkstrike and Mind's Eye. They decided to accompany us from the ocean to help us out when they heard our base was under assault," She gestured to the woman and man in the red and white outfits.

 

"Nice to meet you," Mind's Eye offered a hand and I shook it. He had a pretty good grip for a telepath.

 

"I've heard about you two," I said, "Nice work in Cape Benedict."

 

"Thank you," Hawkstrike smiled as I shook her hand. Hawkstrike was a martial artist, "It's not just us, Storm Child takes up the slack. He'd be here but our own town needed someone to stick around, and we figured, after the crisis here, we deserved a week in a nice hotel to celebrate."

 

"Two years Anniversary," Mind's Eye beamed at his wife. Hawkstrike smiled back adoringly. Just for a moment, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Arctic Fox stiffen as if she were bracing during a dental drill.

 

"Well, congratulations! I'm new here myself in Costa Sagrado or I'd suggest a classy place," I told them and turned to the third guy to take Fox's mind off the happy couple, "And you are?"

 

I offered my hand.

 

"This gentleman is the reason we were able to teleport back here so quickly," Lady Obsidian said, "This is Vortex…"

"Nice to meet you, Vortex," I smiled as he took my hand.

 

Lady Obsidian continued, "He's with the Star-Watch, a team of U.S. Government agents and superheroes."

 

A sinking feeling, not unlike the cables of the elevator you're in going far too slack too completely without warning hit me, "You're a…"

 

"Modern Day 5th columnist for Uncle Sam," Vortex said shaking my hand in a bit too energetic an arm pump, "Any other complaints you'd like me to take back to the team?"

 

"I…" I turned red.

 

"Size ten right?" Pinprick looked up and smirked. Ariana covered her mouth, Tornado didn't bother to cover his. Arctic Fox actually chuckled softly, and Lady Obsidian gave me that look a deacon gives you when you fart in church.

 

Well, I had thought God was on my side, but as the Earth refused to swallow me and spare me further embarrassment, I began to have doubts again. I can be fickle like that.

 

"I apologize, I…"

 

He waved me off, "It's okay. Given what you've been through, I can't blame you for going full on Libertarian for a while.  Operation Eagle Eye is, well, kind of intense, though I didn't think they'd ever try this."

 

"You're not with Operation Eagle Eye? As a Super?" I raised a brow.

 

"Different agency collaborates with us, but even among the Eye there are regional divisions and more politicking than you might believe," Vortex answered, "It gets ugly sometimes. But there are folks who work without," A nod of respect to Lady Obsidian, "And some of us who try to keep it on the straight and narrow from within," his face couldn't be seen, but I could somehow tell he was frowning as he looked about, "This offends me no less than it offends you. Though for some different reasons."

 

After putting my foot in my mouth once, I decided not to debate the finer points.

 

Only then did I noticed Lady Obsidian speaking softly to Mind's Eye.

 

He nodded, and he and Arctic Fox went off.

 

"Thank you again, Vortex," Lady Obsidian said, "If you need to rest up…"

 

 

"No no, my continued presence here would just be …" He searched for the word, "a complication. Besides there are others in the sea I should probably offer a ride to." A swirling, well, vortex, swarmed about him as he waved and was gone.

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While I agree, I think that portraying such a thing right would involve quite a bit of writing, and thus deserves it's own treatment.  I'm confident Hermit could, through descriptives and flashbacks, set up the situation such that the reader gets the full impact. 

 

Though a quick, immediate response (e.g. turning the goons over to the authorities with Channel 6 getting an exclusive interview to properly slam Valodorous and goons) could be portrayed in the epilogue.  Still, a more full response should be covered in a sequel.

Fair enough. I'm confident Vain-Gloryhound's name will be mud in the superhero community after word gets around about what he did.

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Some of you will be disappointed I suspect, but here's a bit more anyway . And no, it's not quite done.

 

Not at all disappointed thus far.  And to clarify, I don't expect you to include anything I've mentioned, nor the things others have mentioned.  I'm pretty comfortable with trusting that however you tie things up to your satisfaction will also be satisfactory to us.

 

For instance, I didn't expect the interaction with Vortex, but it worked well to illustrate that things are much more complex than government = bad.  As I've said before, the 3-dimensional nature of your writing is part of its charm. 

 

(And don't forget, there's something to be said for leaving the reader wanting a little bit more.)

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Last week was on average 5 hours of sleep a day, and it addedup on me. Back in the saddle... and ALMOST finished...so sorry

 

 

"Can't we do anything to help him?"  I said worriedly as Mabel's waldo extended the light into the solid white eyes of Mayo one after the other.

 

The aquatic soldier was out of the pool and in the med bay with water pumping into his mouth and lungs thanks to a modified rebreather and a tank of good old H2O. His burns were also being tended but it was the eyes that worried me.

 

"Peace, Caleb," Mayo said, "We will learn what we learn when we learn it."

 

I think he was taking it more serenely than I was. He endured it all with immense patience.

 

Damn it, I want to be serene, and patient. In fact, I want to be serene and patient right now!

 

Okay, truth of the matter was it almost bothered me how at peace he was about it. Particularly when Mabel gave us the long digital face.

 

"I'm sorry, Mayo hun," Mabel said, "Barring some super science I don't have access to, your sight appears to be lost. It might over time return; there's just so much about your physiology we don't understand but at this point, the odds are less than one in a hundred."

 

I felt the urge to punch a wall.

 

"Ah well, if it must be it must be, I didn't enjoy being a soldier anyway," Mayo said after a time.

 

"How can you take that so calmly?" It slipped out of me, "You just gave up your sight for us."

 

"I did not give up my sight," He says, "It was taken, and it's not coming back it appears. Am I upset? Yes. Am I sorrowful? Yes. But while I should learn from the past, I cannot live there," A pause, "Are you okay? Your tone…"

 

"Am I okay?" I blinked at him, "Dude, you're the one who is blind."

 

"Yet I think you blame yourself," Blind as he was, Mayo couldn't exactly 'look' around but he did tilt his head to span the room and asked the others, "Do all of you superheroes always blame yourselves for every calamity to those that you know even when you cannot be there to affect it?"

 

"Pretty much, yeah," Tornado said right way.

 

"Oh, they do it all the time," Mabel said allowing exasperation to come through.

 

"Hazard of the trade, I suppose," Lady Obsidian conceded with a dignified head incline even though Mayo could not see it.

 

"Depends on how many drinks I've got in me," Pinprick chimed in.

 

"Even though that is clearly arrogant presumption on your part?"  Mayo said nonplussed.

 

"Pretty much, yeah," Tornado nodded.

 

"All the time," Mabel said with a sigh.

 

"Hazard of the trade," Lady Obsidian repeated but smiled a bit more.

 

"Oh, hell, I hit arrogance before the first shot is down," Pinprick chimed in.

 

I glowered at them, but apparently, I had used up all my intimidation points on the bad guys because they looked amused more than anything.

 

"Fine, you're annoyingly zen, I'm arrogantly presumptive," I groused, "But it doesn't change how I feel. Could you at least express that upset a bit more vocally for a second?"

 

He nodded then looked downward and began to intone, "Oh great goodly gods of the depth and current, why did you curse me with victory over a much mightier foe. Why did you subject me to survival and a possibly long and productive life despite my challenges when you knew it meant Caleb would lecture me? Why, Gods, why?"

 

"Is it wrong to punch out a blind guy?" I asked the room.

 

"Yes," Ariana said squeezing my shoulder and speaking for the first time.

 

"It's frowned on," Tornado agreed.

 

"Now Deaf guys are jerks, you can go to town on them all day," Pinprick said, then noticed the looks he got, "What? Have you seen American sign language? Racist as hell, and they get away with it."

 

We all kept staring at him. Even Mayo who somehow managed to line up right.

 

"Fine," Pinprick threw his hands up "But if you learn what they're signing behind your back you'll feel differently."

 

"Sorry, Mayo," I finally said, realizing I was being silly but admitting, "I just wish there was something I can do. I can't help Doctor Salem, she's in the Balance. And here you are, and I can't help you either."

 

"Arrogant presumption and bigotry against mysticism aside," a voice whispered just loud enough to be heard, "He's actually a rather fine young man. He really does care. Good pick, Vivian."

 

"Thank you," Lady Obsidian said and she did sound a bit pleased.

 

I turned to see Doctor Salem. She looked like hell, wobbly and weak. She had a cane and seemed to be positioning herself by use of it and sheer willpower. Her hand shivered as if cold. She might have looked crone like before, but now her age was more than a matter of appearance.

 

"Doctor, you're out of the Balance," I blurted the obvious.

 

"Most of me, yes," She said with a sigh, "I'll have to go back. Frequently now. I'm bound to the place currently. It will be slow work getting my own energies built back up so I leave again for any duration."

 

"I'm sorry," I said, "I pushed."

 

"Young man, if I didn't agree with you, it wouldn't have happened," She said curtly, "But, as a method of allaying your guilt however silly it is, and because I will need the help, rest assured I shall have numerous tasks for you."

 

"You've giving me your laundry list?" I said surprised.

 

"Among other things," She nodded, "I can't be out as much. The good news, of course, is that the Balance is the perfect place for teaching certain basics of the mystical to a promising student who might yet show arcane prowess."

 

"Whoa," I held up my hands, "I don't like mysticism. I am flattered but I…."

 

"Oh no," Dr. Salem shook her head, "You as a student? By the three-fold goddess no," She shook her head, "I meant Mayo, of course."

 

"Me?" Mayo made a very surfacer like gesture, touching his hand to his chest as he inquired, "I am honored, and surprised. I know little of magic."

 

"Few do at the start," Dr. Salem shrugged, "But you have a wisdom, an insight that I believe would be good ground to plant the seeds in…or perhaps a better metaphor would be I think your waters hold many treasures you yourself have not yet discovered."

 

"I am, unworthy," He said, "And uncertain."

 

"Oh, drop the other part on him," I said to her.

 

"Other part?" He said, proving even the blind lift eyebrows. Which I suppose only makes sense, but you think about the oddest things in moments like your newly blind friend being offered a chance to become a witch's apprentice. Besides, I had a feeling she was about to bring up a point.

 

"Well, I'm not reading minds," Dr. Salem said, "But I suspect Eel is either wondering aloud if I can cure your blindness in the training… " she looked at me.

 

That wasn't it, I shook my head. Though I loved the idea that it might be so. Magic can do some weird stuff that science is still struggling with. Science is like the good student who shows his work in class while Mysticism is more like that kid who can BS his entire term paper without so much as citing a source and the little snot still gets a pat on the head from teacher.

 

"Or…" She continued, "He is considering that you have long wanted a way to help in the fight against mystic threats like the Eldest and his minions. I can teach you, with patience and time, to ward , to shield, and purify. You cannot defeat the Eldest, not directly, but I can help you hold him back and teach you to act as a guardian of the innocents below."

 

"I will be your pupil," Mayo said without hesitation.

 

"Called it," I said smugly.

 

"Of course, I do wonder about your taste in friends, they seem a bit smug," She informed Mayo.

 

"He amuses me from time to time," Mayo said with a bit of a smile, then added, "And thank you, Doctor Salem."

 

She stood, "It's every mystic's duty to take an apprentice at least once in their life," Her hand reached out and took his, "Ready?"

 

"As I shall ever be, I suppose," He  said earnestly then waved to us with his free hand, "Thank you for saving all of the ocean's peoples, all of you."

 

"See you around, Mayo," I told him. The others chimed in with their well wishes also.

 

Mayo then looked at Doctor Salem, "I am ready."

 

She gestured, and there was a swirling about them and they began to fade from view. I heard Mayo get another question out.

 

"Will I be able to see again?"

 

"With your eyes? No, without them? Colors you never knew existed…" And her voice became an echo and the echo faded.

 

 

The next generation of mystics looked to have some promising potential.

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Thank you. Glad you liked it and...

wait, did you actually not see that one coming?

 

YUS!

 

:D

It ambushed us like a moray eel.

 

Totally unexpected yet right on target.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary says blind or not, Mayo is a man of the see.

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The ending is a blur, but hopefully still satisfies... thanks for your patience and making it this far.

 

 

A lot of the rest was clean-up, in more ways than one. We had to make sure the city had public sightings of us as a team again.

 

Who puts out the call to all the supervillains that the heroes are elsewhere in large number, I really don't know, but I wish they'd cut it the hell out. While Slime, Viewpoint and Pogo were okay, they had more a more than an average number of encounters. Viewpoint claimed he'd been attacked by a group of super-villainesses who called themselves the 'fangrlz' and barely escaped with his life.  

 

Pogo, on the other hand, ran into a fellow who was looking for me.

 

"This guy says the oceans aren't big enough for the two of you, and you stole his shtick, He didn't have much time in town, had to be somewhere, but he says he'll be back in a few months to teach you a lesson."

 

 

"I stole his what?" I blinked.

 

"His theme, I never heard of him but apparently, he breathes water, he's super strong like you, and your name was way too similar." Pogo said in a rush, "He said 'tell the punk to get training, for soon he will be tested by the Sea's true strong man! Soon he will face the one, the only- Moray!'"

 

"Oh, sweet mother of God," I muttered, "It's not even the same word!" But despite my grumbling, I didn't doubt her. The Super world has villains and heroes aplenty, but it's a wide spectrum between them, and sometimes what you end up with are just jackasses looking for excuses to fight with someone and prove themselves the toughest. It was akin to the stories you heard about gunslingers in the old west. Get a reputation, and someone must test it.

 

I suppose I should have been flattered, but, pardon the pun, I really had bigger fish to fry. The Moray moron would have to wait. There was so many more important things. Like my hair cut, it was getting kind of shaggy.

 

 

"The chicks would have liked it longer," Aaron observed when I came into the apartment sporting the trim.

 

"I'm a Southern boy, guys with a mullet now a days get put through hell, guys with a southern accent and a mullet get it double," I informed him.

 

 

"You need to go hipster, tell them it's a French cut, the 'moo lay'" He suggested.

 

"I'm dating a very intelligent girl," I explained to him, "She's not going to buy that," I smiled and got my best outfit out of the closet.

 

The date that night was fantastic. I mean it, I treated Ariana to a real date at a real restaurant. The prices were more than I expected, but let me tell you when she came to her door when I knocked, it was worth it. She looked like she stepped off a fashion magazine. The heels she wore put extra swish in the miss, and I was not blind to that.

 

"Wow," I said before I could reach for the more poetic adjectives.

 

 

"You like?" She asked though the delight in her eyes told me she already knew the answer, she just wanted me to put a bit more praise for the effort she'd gone through.

 

Which was more than fair, "You always look beautiful," I told her honestly, "But wow if you didn't' just jump right over spectacular." 

 

 

I opened the car door for her and admired the way she slid on in so gracefully I think I could have made a happy living just being her chauffeur. The car was the team's, of course, and she knew that, but it wasn't like folks had the plate (We changed that anyway) and it had just gotten a new paint job. As long as I resisted the urge to send it flying above the traffic, we were just another couple on the way to a nice dinner.

 

And it was nice, damn nice. We flirted and talked and there were no villain attacks, no world threats, not so much as a fire that needed putting out. Of course, it couldn't last forever.

 

I had agreed to a patrol that night.

 

 

Of course, I didn't realize that my plans were about to be altered. I had just changed into my costume at the base and was readying to head out when Dr. Vernon called out, "Eel, I could use your help tonight? As she was dressed in her civvies and not her power armor, I was surprised.

 

 

"Certainly, Doctor, do I need to change back?"

 

 

"No, it'll be on the base and I want you in costume. I have a guest, an old friend who I can't trust, so having one of us in costume nearby and one of us out may throw him off," She answered with a smile.

 

"Why would you have a friend you can't trust?" the concept was alien to me.

 

"They can be extremely useful, for one," She shrugged, "Maybe a better term would be the devil I respect, come on."

 

The devil she respected turned out to be a black man in his late middle ages with graying hair and a suit that fit nicely enough but wasn't up to current fashions.

 

"Please, James, have a seat," She gestured to the table and asked, "Would you like some tea?"

 

"Got coffee?" He asked.

 

She nodded, then said, "Eel, would you?"

 

"No problem, ma'am," I said and got her them each a drink, her tea, him coffee.

 

"This is Eel, one of our newer members," She introduced me.

 

"Yeah," James gave me a vaguely sour look, "I've heard of him. A lot lately."

 

"This is James Elroy," She told me, "He's with government intelligence."

 

"You'll pardon me if I don't say it's a pleasure," He grumbled in his coffee.

 

"You don't see my hand stretching out either, so fine," I said.

 

"Knew you two would hit it off right away," She sipped her tea, "You wanted to see me, James?"

 

"Vivian, you know darn well why I came here," He said, "You memory wiped Eagle Eye's agents, and you have amplification belts. I'd kind of like to have both restored?"

 

A chill went through me as I realized exactly what Mind's Eye had done for Lady Obsidian as a favor. Of course, it made sense. Valorous, at least, had weeks to learn anything and everything Arctic Fox was willing to tell him about us. Surely though he would have passed on at least her secret identity by now? What good would a memory wipe do?

 

"I don't have a telepath on my team to help you, sorry," Dr. Vernon formed her fingers into a steeple and cast a glance over them at him,  "I'm sure the government has a few that can do the job though."

 

"At incredible cost and hassle," He grumbled, "And the belts?"

 

"Right here," She slid a bag over.

 

"They've been torn apart," He said with annoyance.

 

"Well, somehow they got around the waists of a group of violent burglars and when some our team defended themselves, they got a bit torn up," She replied dryly, "Not bad designs by the way. I was impressed your R&D found a way around the Genetic Maximum by tailoring for partials."

 

"You have our amplification tech," He scowled, "Damnit, Vivian. You're mad because Eagle Eye tried to steal your tech, but you've got no problem with stealing ours?"

 

"To the victor," she raised a brow, "Don't act all wounded, James. Your people broke into my house…"

 

"That was not my idea and I tried to stop them," He protested.

 

"You didn't try hard enough," She scowled and continued, "Now I believe you when say you tried to stop this, because you have common sense. I don't suppose you're going to tell me exactly whose idea it was?"

 

"You know damn well I won't put the finger on anyone, I have sympathy with you, but I also know who I work for. Besides, I suspect you have ideas anyway," Mr. Elroy countered, "There's new blood siding with some of the old and me stuck in the middle. Trying to help you."

 

"Your help blinded one of my friends," I said, my jaw grinding.

 

"I see he takes after you in taking this whole operation personally," James noted to Vivian.

 

"That's because he doesn't buy your 'standing on that wall' crap any more than we do, James. We're on the wall too, even if we are volunteers for it; and finding folks we thought were on our side pushing us off it to rifle our pockets puts us in an understandably bad mood. Yes, I have amplification tech, and not only do I have it, I'm improving it. It still only works on partials, but that's okay. There are a lot of good people half way to being to super-heroes anyway. I'm just giving them a chance if a superhero I trust sponsors them."

 

"You're sharing it!" His eyes flew open wide, "Jesus Christ!"

 

I admit, I was caught off guard too. I mean, I knew Ariana was a shoo in, but I didn't know Lady Obsidian was planning on handing it nationwide to other teams. Hell, maybe she was going global.

 

Dr. Vernon bathed in her 'friend's' panic like it was warm sunlight, and smiled, "I'm very particular. But yes, the genie is out of the bottle. It was going to be anyway, eventually one of your agents would have gotten taken by some villain, and it would out there the next week. I am hoping a controlled release will give us the edge we need against the bad guys."

 

"You know the others will play hard ball," He said, "They'll threaten to expose your team for this, one by one."

 

"I know," She said, "That telepath I don't have on my team?" She reminded, "What do you think she sorted through before blocking memories?"

 

I carefully kept my expression blank as I realized she'd changed the gender of the telepath. Would James see through it? I don’t know.

 

"You didn't," He frowned, "Vivian, those memories are classified. You could be endangering our agents' lives if you let that out."

 

"And some of our people have children. This is one box that hasn't been opened, James. I called you here to turn your junk back over, and beg you to do what you can to keep what you have in your computers and files secret. I'm not as idealistic as I used to be, all I know is these people are the only family I have left, and the people who should be thanking them are threatening them. So yes, I trust other superheroes and myself to decide which partials get elevated more than I trust the government. I trust that we need dirt on Eagle Eye to keep our dirt from being leaked, and I am trusting, that if nothing else, enlightened self-interest will keep us from escalating this. Talk to them, make them listen, or it will get so much worse before it gets better."

 

There was everything in her tone; a promise, a threat, a plea.

 

With a grimace, and a grunt, he took the bag, "I'll see what I can do. If nothing else, this fiasco has cost them some status. And I'm not blind to the fact what you've told me gives me a heads up on covering my own ass from the fall out. Don't expect me to thank you for that too much."

 

"You're welcome anyway," She crossed her fingers, "Do you need an escort out?"

 

"No. I know the way, and I'm sure Mabel is watching me anyway," the government man gave a wave to the air at the last, rose and walked down the hall way. After a few minutes Mabel said.

 

"He's gone, Doctor."

 

"And did you hack his phone?"

 

"The encryption was hard to get through, but the amplifier in your purse helped."

 

"Excellent, I want a back door into their files to erase what they have of us."

 

 

I stared at her, "Why did you have me witness that?" I finally asked. "Mabel's got your back, and I suspect you've got at least one other device in your purse that makes a taser look like a child's toy," she smiled at that weakly, "So why?"

 

"I wanted you to see, and to judge for yourself how far I've gone," She said kindly, "I have friends, Eel. Good friends. I'd like to think you're becoming one, but you've also got an annoying north pointing moral compass. I want to keep you in the loop in this because I know, when you think I've gone too far, you'll tell me. The others?  They… might not. Hell, some might cheer me on."

 

"You want me to be your cricket of conscience?" I tapped my chest in surprise, "You're Lady Obsidian, you've been the conscience of the superhero community for decades."

 

"Even the pope has a confessor, young man, and I don't claim to any form of infallibility," She told him, "You up for it?"

 

"Some of what you said scared me," I admitted, "And I think you're taking an awful big gamble with a lot of people. I think some of those things better be bluffs because if you carry them through you'll hate yourself. I think I liked it better when I did think it was all simple white hats versus black hats."

 

"Oh? A black hat thang is it?" She raised a brow.

 

I guess a horrified look crossed my features for a moment and I didn't know what to say.

 

She laughed, "Lord, Caleb. Ariana is right. You are so easy."

 

"Thanks," I said dryly.

 

"Was that no?"

 

"No, it's not a no," I said, "I'm a superhero, and we don't run from the hard choices. We can't afford to."

 

"Wise words," She smiled and rose inviting me to walk with her.

 

"They should be," I reminded, "They were in your second book."

 

"Ha," she laughed, "Young man, I'm flattered, but you need to get to work focusing on your own story."

 

I walked with her, "Yeah, The Adventures of Fish Guy," I snorted with a chuckle, "That'll be a hit."

 

"Well," She patted my hand, "Maybe not. Probably best if it isn't. Keep you humble, but I would read it."

 

"Thanks, Dr. Vernon," I smiled.

 

"Now, about those college courses…."

 

Some battles, it seemed, were unrelenting.

 

(The End of the Book, but never the story)

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Great!  But I have to ask, was Moray planned from the start as Caleb's nemesis?

 

 

A lot of stuff I'm making up as I go along. But in this case it occurred to me that limiting his choices in a humorous manner might be fun if I ever got a second book out.

 

 

Of course, it's been done by better writers than I.

 

I give you "Where's the Jerk who calls himself the Tick?" 

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I walked with her, "Yeah, The Adventures of Fish Guy," I snorted with a chuckle, "That'll be a hit."

 

It already is.  I go here first before anywhere else on the forum. :D

 

Also, Lady Obsidian is awesome.

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That's a very satisfactory finale to this story.  It ties things up pretty well, while leaving several avenues for future stories - without stopping in a blatant cliffhanger (which I hate).

 

I'm surprised Viewpoint would be upset at being targeted by "fangrlz".  He struck me as the type to be all over something like that.  :winkgrin:

 

Got a chuckle out of "moo lay".  Then again, I'm the guy who referred to the ruins of Detroit in a post-apocalypse game as "Day-twah" (it took the players a while to make the connection), so my judgement may be faulty.  ;)

 

I love how Lady Obsidian is part leader, part friend, part mentor to Eel.  I could see (say, in book 3 or 4) Eel becoming leader of his own team (an opportunity to introduce even more wonderful characters).

 

And the complexity of Hermit's world is quite well done, as Lady O's discussion with her "friend" demonstrates. 

 

I've already said so in PMs, but I strongly advise getting this published.  This is a fun read.  And at 155 pages, it's also a fairly quick read.

 

And of course, it needs a sequel.  Or two.  Or three.  Or four...

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It already is.  I go here first before anywhere else on the forum. :D

 

Also, Lady Obsidian is awesome.

 

 

That's a very satisfactory finale to this story.  It ties things up pretty well, while leaving several avenues for future stories - without stopping in a blatant cliffhanger (which I hate).

 

I'm surprised Viewpoint would be upset at being targeted by "fangrlz".  He struck me as the type to be all over something like that.  :winkgrin:

 

Got a chuckle out of "moo lay".  Then again, I'm the guy who referred to the ruins of Detroit in a post-apocalypse game as "Day-twah" (it took the players a while to make the connection), so my judgement may be faulty.  ;)

 

I love how Lady Obsidian is part leader, part friend, part mentor to Eel.  I could see (say, in book 3 or 4) Eel becoming leader of his own team (an opportunity to introduce even more wonderful characters).

 

And the complexity of Hermit's world is quite well done, as Lady O's discussion with her "friend" demonstrates. 

 

I've already said so in PMs, but I strongly advise getting this published.  This is a fun read.  And at 155 pages, it's also a fairly quick read.

 

And of course, it needs a sequel.  Or two.  Or three.  Or four...

 

I'm glad you two commented on Lady Obsidian in this, because I am hoping she didn't really go too far while still being devious enough to impress. As the writer of said character, I worried I was too close to make a fair evaluation.

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Well done, oh reclusive one!  :rockon:

 

A fun read, with interesting characters. 

 

As I have said before, I will buy this book and all the rest in the series.

 

 

Brilliant stuff, Hermit. Many an enjoyable interlude in my day was had reading this.

 

Thank you.

 

 

I'm sitting at my computer desk. But inside, I'm standing up and applauding for you, Hermit. Well done!

 

So not to ignore you. guys,, and others, THANK you so much for both the praise and the support you have all given. I'm looking into publishing options, probably in electronic form to be honest. Bolo has been amazingly helpful in much especially.

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The good doctor handled the Eagle Eye man well, it's a fairly good way to resolve the matter without it becoming a full-scale war between the government and the supers. Perhaps if it's ever in the budget for them, the Samaritans should consider an orbiting base and converting the old one into a museum? (i.e., kind of like what the JLA did) If someone wants to burglarize your HQ, make 'em have to achieve escape velocity first... ;)

 

On the whole, great story with a likeable protagonist.

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