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Hermit

The Adventures of "Fish Guy" (Superhero fiction)

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Very nice! :yes:  I like the end/wrap up, it ties off threads, while leaving enough dangling. I agree that Lady O seems to be grooming FG to "take the reins" someday. :rockon:  He'll even have a strong connection to Dr. S's student, and he may have made a break through with Ice princess. Maybe he can head up a team of all power up'd Partials. :rofl:  Good luck with getting published, I know nothing about E-pub but it might be a good way to start.

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To those of you who have taken a crack at E-Publishing, who would you suggest? I have no illusions this would be a best seller, but I'm thinking I might make a little extra money on the side which would be handy for some folks I care about.

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I don't know anything e-publishing, but there is one lesson I learned the hard way and I'm happy to pass it on for free. 

 

Money always flows from the publisher to the writer. Always! If a "publisher" ever asks you for money, for any reason, no matter how they try to dress it up you are dealing with a vanity press. Run away as far and as fast as you can.

 

I paid $2,000.00 for that advice, you got it a lot cheaper.

 

Good luck, Hermit.

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Well, I've been encouraged,  accused of vanity, challenged in a dare as if I were childish!

  

 

Darn folks have me figured out.  :thumbup:

 

I hate the November month for this though. Because frankly? I always have trouble in the thanksgiving week and life will be stressful but if I start early it's cheating so I best just spend the time reviewing this and seeing if I can remember which Samaritans had which secret IDs :)

 

Thanks folks, win or lose I'll give it a go 

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Count my voice among those encouraging, nay, begging for a sequel.  You know you have the Write Stuff.  (cue mental image of Hermit walking toward the launch pad with a bunch of famous authors, for some reason all in spacesuits.)

 

And there's nothing saying you can't plan out what you're going to write beforehand, is there?  Outline, character details, stuff like that.

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Count my voice among those encouraging, nay, begging for a sequel.  You know you have the Write Stuff.  (cue mental image of Hermit walking toward the launch pad with a bunch of famous authors, for some reason all in spacesuits.)

 

And there's nothing saying you can't plan out what you're going to write beforehand, is there?  Outline, character details, stuff like that.

You can do everything you need except start writing. Come Halloween, it is on

CES

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Well, I was going to try to plot out a script, maybe even one of them new fangled outlines I hear about. You know, have a plan? Then plague hit a housemate, family drama, yadda yadda. Not a good omen.

 

So I'm winging this thing. Argh.

 

We'll see what I can get up today.

*Prepares for war on the English language once more*

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1 hour ago, Hermit said:

Well, I was going to try to plot out a script, maybe even one of them new fangled outlines I hear about. You know, have a plan? Then plague hit a housemate, family drama, yadda yadda. Not a good omen.

 

So I'm winging this thing. Argh.

 

We'll see what I can get up today.

*Prepares for war on the English language once more*

You only need 1600 words a day, Hermit. You can do it.

CES

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Here you go, a "start" "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Too far into the season to harbor any hope your team will make it, too soon to lose the pain by watching the playoffs"....Go!:))

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The Adventures of Fish Guy Part DUE!

 

Let me tell you something about superhero costumes; they are a hell of a lot more dignified than what I am wearing now. The buttons around my neck threatened to choke me, the piping was garish, but the real kicker was the stupid hat I had to wear working here. Oh well, at least I was actually getting a shot at working the drive through rather than stuck on fries again.  I was, I thought, getting the hang of it.

 

"Welcome to Meaty Minstrel" I took a deep breath and said the catch phrase they were pushing "Home of the Merry Meat that's the DJ of your belly party. May I take your order?"

 

"I'm sorry?" The customer's voice came on line "Could you say that again?" the voice sounded familiar, latino to be sure, but that was hardly rare in the city of Costa Sagrado, California.

 

"May I take your order?" I repeated as directed.

 

"No, the thing before that," The driver said.

 

I sighed, took a deep breath and said a bit louder "Home of the Merry Meat that's the DJ of your belly party." Honestly, having to say a catchphrase shouldn't make you want to die a little inside.

 

Laughter broke out and other familiar voices came out "Oh god, he said it. Mabel did you have that recorded?"

 

"Of course"  came a feminine purr I knew all too well

 

"Valentino? Is that you?" I said trying not bite the mouthpiece of the restaurant's headset off, "I know it's Mabel." Valentino, aka Tornado, is a fellow member of the New Samaritans: The best damned superhero team in the city!

 

Of course, we're the only superhero team in the city, so some would say the fix on that title is in, but given we (with some help from other superteams) prevented the Eldest from using various undersea nations from rising up in an unholy crusade against the surface; I would say we earned it. They're heroes. They're my friends.

 

"It's not just Valentino, huh, the Fish Fillet any good here?" Pinprick inquired.

 

And sometimes they're jerks.

 

"Really? Really? You guys have nothing better to do than bust my chops about this job?" I groaned.

"Nothing more fun, at least," Valentino said.

"Nothing on this menu is healthy" Another female voice. That would be Arctic Fox. I once called her a 'Mean Girl for Justice' and she's that, but she also had heart ripped out not so long ago when she learned her boyfriend was a black ops government spy out to steal our technology.

Life is complicated for superheroes as a default.

'Try the salad," I suggested. No, it wasn't actually healthy, but it was at the least unhealthy thing you could order as long as it was relatively fresh, "And can we move this along?"

"Oh, the attitude from these people, I ought to lodge a complaint" Pinprick snorted.

 

I made a mental note to not hold back so much in our teams' next sparing practice. Maybe a few more bruises would have them reconsidering hassling me.

 

Okay, yes, unworthy of me but it had been a long shift.

 

Naturally, they all ordered things like the "Fishy Fool Fillet" and the "Dockhand delectables" oh, and yes, a salad.

 

When they pulled up to get the goods though, the coms all went off in our ears instead of Mabel talking through the vehicle itself.

"Big news, Sammies," Our Artificially Intelligent Ally chimed up, "The Hyadesians have landed outside the city. Lady Obsidian says it's probably best we show up in force."

 

"Man, I hate those guys," Pinprick said, "They act polite but they're so damn full of themselves just because they have an advanced culture and try all this 'oh we're so humble but we know we're smarter than you'."

Tornado agreed, "Like Canadians on steroids, man."

 

Seeing my look of confusion at details without the core of it, Arctic Fox added, "Aliens, they've never invaded Earth, but they're waiting for our planet to-" She made air quotes "'uplift ourselves to a state of civilization advanced enough to join the Community of Interstellar Advancement'. They claim they are fond of us despite our provincial leanings."

 

"Wow," I said, and realized something. I was trapped! I mean, if I wanted to keep this stupid job I was trapped, "Guys, uhm, if you need me maybe I can bail but otherwise."

 

"We got this," Valentino assured me, "We don't want all of us there anyway in case something happens in the city, heck, Ariana is-"

There was a loud honk cutting through the conversation. A new car was tired of waiting for its turn to order. Which was terrible timing because I kind of wanted to know what was up with Ariana. She may have been Valentino's niece, but she was also my girlfriend.

 

And the newest member of the team if she'd finally picked a name and costume. I'd trained with her, but she hadn't had her superhero debut.  And now, she was apparently ready and on reserve!  Ariana was a partial, that's not denture wear, that's a term in our community for someone who has enough power to slap a normal around, but isn't up to hanging with actual supervillains.  Valorous, the aforementioned heartbreaker and spy, had been a partial with tech that boosted his power all the way up to 'standard' superhero level.

 

He tried to take our tech, so we felt no guilt taking his amplifier belt and the belts of his squad for our own. Lady Obsidian was one of the most brilliant minds on the planet, and she put that genius to the art of reverse engineering and then improving. Yeah, if that was all set, then at least two of us would be in the city ready to handle trouble while the bulk of the team dealt with alien diplomacy.

 

HONK!

 

"Oh now I want to hit the emergency brake" Valentino muttered "And live here."

"But we've gotta go," Pinprick said "Before I'm spotted hanging out in this cupholder."

"Yeah yeah" Valentino said

"Go guys, we'll hold the fort," I told them.

It was only after they peeled off that I realized they'd left their meal behind. I sure hope they didn't get hangry while discussing the fate of the planet with the alien guys.

"Lambert!" A voice sneered behind me. My supervisor, Madison, was an angry little woman desperate to prove she was in charge at all times. Sad thing is, no one was denying that. Worse thing? Right now, she had the right to be.

"Sorry, problem children in the last car load," I answered, "Drove off without their order and everything."

 

"You have to learn to read pranksters," Madison said with her hand on her hip "This is a real city," She announced, "And you need to drop the country boy naivety," She declared in her usual high pitched condescending tone.

 

This was not the first time she'd all but said 'Hayseed' 'Reckneck' or worse. Madison made little effort to hide her disdain for my accent or where I had come from. She also had some very interesting notions about Coastal North Carolina which were more in keeping with the guys in the Beverly Hillbillies than anyone I really knew in the area. Not that I mean to trash the Clampets, if you read between the lines on those shows they often had more sense than folks gave them credit for.

 

But bigots are bigots, and I'd put up with a lot since we'd first met. I let it roll off my skin mostly. And, like I said, this time, from her view, I deserved it. Keep the traffic flowing is supposed to be rule one at the drive through.

 

"Yes, Madison" I fought the urge to snap a salute and before she could lay into me more I called up the next car, "Welcome to Meaty Minstrel, Home of the Merry Meat that's the DJ of your belly party. May I take your order?" I was well away I was probably back on my way to the frier.

But as the next customer chewed me out for taking too long with the car before them that just peeled off anyway, and then proceeded on their own to be unsure of what they wanted, two things occurred to me.  This was not going to be a good day.

 

And I hated this job.

 

Hate or not, rent was rent, and since I had taken Lady Obsidian up on her suggestion to keep one foot in the 'real world' and get a residence off base, I had my half of the rent for an apartment to contribute.  I spent the next hour going through the grind and work of the fast food industry. My parents raised me never to sneer at honest work; and that's the wise thing to do. But knowing what's wise and taking it to heart are two separate things.

 

And every once in awhile I'd get that look of pity from a customer which was almost as bad as the smug look of social superiority. It occurred to me that when Lady Obsidian mentioned Meaty Minstrel was hiring, it had been yet another pitch for me to get my ass back in college.

Damn it, it was working.

 

Then Mabel buzzed in my ear "Eel, we have a problem. You're going to need to suit up."

 

It is probably very wrong that I almost pumped my fist and said "Yus!" right then and there.

 

Instead, I answered, "What's the situation?"  even as I tried to decide whether to fake illness or a family emergency.

 

"You're not going to believe it," Mabel said "There's a giant-"

 

There was a hellish sound that sounded like a high-pitched foghorn going off with two beats, "BuhKAW!"

 

I looked the window and said to Mabel, "Giant Chicken, a Rooster? Yellow beak, dark plumage? About oh, fifty feet tall?"

 

"How did you know?" Mabel said, "I know it sounds really weird but, wait, how did you guess?"

 

"I think it wants to place an order," I told her as I stared at the giant rooster that appeared to be pecking up a garbage can outside of a laundry mat as the people in it screamed and fled. That was a mistake, the movement drew its attention and it eyed one obese gentleman like he was a particularly tasty grub, "Mabel, I gotta go. See who's available for back up for damage control."

 

"You got it, baby, have a finger licking good time" was the response.

 

Sometimes it's hard being the straight man on a super team, but somebody's got to do it.

 

Madison didn't bother to hide her disgust, "Hey, Gomer, get your butt back to work."

 

I walked right past her, hiked a thumb towards the window, "Giant Chicken. I quit."

 

"what you what?" she said in confusion and then looked out the window "Oh my god, there's a giant chicken out there!"

 

"Good eye" I said moving to the front, "Folks, there's a giant chicken out there. I'd stay inside if I were you."

 

Naturally three morons rushed right out to 'see'.

 

I should have known better, I really should have.

 

Once I was outside myself, I darted around a corner and found a place to change. Oh how I envy the old serials where a superhero could just slip into a full sized phone booth and pull a George Reeves.  Of course, in this day and age, few people need payphones at all, and any booths would be used as porty potties by some drunk.

 

So it's for the best. Shuck one silly fast food uniform, reveal one awesome costume, slip on the mask and it was Eel time.

You have try phrases like that in your head as a superhero. If you just blurt them aloud and it doesn't catch on, you become the butt monkey meme of the month. Not that I've escaped that. My chosen superhero name is Eel, but most folks know me as Fish Guy.

So, yes, I am certainly a meme victim.

 

The giant beak came down as the large man below the megachicken yelled out "I swear to God, I normally eat beef!"

 

I grabbed him and rolled with him to safety. The beak behind us missed, and instead made cracks in the sidewalk. The chicken's beak was fine, and it just look annoyed at having been cheated of a meal.

 

"That," I observed, "Is one tough bird."

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(Continued, rough draft so errors will abound. comments still welcome)

 

People assume that if you have a Southern accent you must have grown on a farm. The truth of the matter is while I have family with farms, I am hardly an expert on poultry. Chicken coops stink, I know that much, so after I grasped the immensity of this things size, I then became illuminated to the intensity of the stench that wafted from it as feathers flew.

"Oh," I made a face after getting the big man back inside a building, "You are one foul fowl. Now let's calm down, and not eat anyone okay?  Nice rooster, good rooster, rather rank rooster" I continued in a voice I hoped sounded soothing while still getting the attention of the Brobdingnagian bird.

Not respecting my extensive vocabulary, the damn thing kicked me a good sixty feet in the air and smashed me through the window of a second-floor apartment. There was the shattering of glass, a woman's scream, and I looked up to see an open bathroom door and a woman desperately reaching for a towel.

I averted my eyes from her and apologized, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, giant chicken!" I pointed to the window!

 "That is no excuse! Chanel 3 always said heroes were menaces and I always thought they were too rough on you guys, but I'm starting to have serious," Her eyes drifted to follow where I was pointing "It's a giant chicken!" Her eyes widened as an angry avian approached.

"What I said!" I reminded, "Get back in the bathroom, close the door, and lay low."

"The size of that pecker is huge," She gaped.

I was being so good right now, I thought before saying "Bathroom, lay low. Thanks."

And I leapt from the window projecting myself with superstrong legs to punch the chicken right in the head!  I hoped to line up the trajectory, so it fell on the street and not the buildings. I didn't quite get the English on it right, and the thing staggered back into a street light!

This thing wasn't just big and strong, it could take a punch that would go through steel!

And yes, I'm aware some animal lovers would be appalled that I just risked what might have been a killing blow on a chicken. To which I ask if you've ever eaten out of a bucket? If you have, then you have no moral high ground.

Zero.

Zip.

 

"Cock-a-doodle-do!" I said and made scratching motions as I tried to lead it away. An area with warehouses would be best. Some of those are empty half the year. It's why villains often squat there. I needed to get this thing away from the heavier populated area.

Apparently megachicken did not like my scratching the ground, miming a rooster. In fact he really, really, looked quite pissed.

"Buh-Ka!" it bellowed and charged.

"And here we go," I said breaking into a full run of my own. In the past I've often lamented my lack of mobility compared to some other heroes who can run at superspeed, fly, or even teleport. To compensate for this, I've been practicing my sprinting. Unlike my swimming speed I won't be breaking any records for that.

 

Have you ever tried outrunning a fifty-foot tall anything? Talk about a wide stride, that damn chicken was on me much faster than I intended. I'd barely gotten another quarter of a block. From the window of another building I could see someone using their phone to record me. Well, if I had any dignity in this before, and I'm not sure how I could. Fish Guy runs from Fowl Giant- Film at Eleven.

 

I leaped, hoping to get some more distance. Superstrength in the legs means you can really hop when you have to; but the damn thing caught me in mid air! One moment I was hitting Olympic high jump levels of altitude, and then SNAP there was pain.

A lot of pain.

The beck hadn't just clamped down on me, it was actually cutting through the skin of the right leg it had trapped and was squeezing harder. What the hell had empowered this thing? I could only imagine what the spurs would do.

If I wasn't hurting and embarrassed both, I might have had the presence of mind to joke about getting a leg up in the world, and certainly threats about eleven secret herbs and spices in the fowl's future would surely have flowed. As it was, I wasn't on top of my quip game.

Heck, I didn't even think to call the giant rooster 'Chicken not so little'

"Let go!" I said and reared my free leg up and plowed it in the side of the face with the force of a wrecking ball. And when it didn't work the first time, I did it again, and again.

Third time being the charm the chicken cried out in pain and dropped me. The bird was really at the multiple shots to its head.

And I? I plummeted to the ground from nearly fifty in the air, slamming into the street below with all the grace of a bean bag with dreams of flight. I rolled to my feet feeling more than a bit tender. I needed to keep pulling this thing away from the populated areas. Protecting innocents is priority one for the New Samaritans.

 

Even if those innocents are idiots.

 

The news van's lights caught Megachicken's attention right away. That, combined with the movement, really drew its attention away from me. And that was something nobody could afford.

Megachicken charged towards this new target and the driver of the van got a panicked look in his face and tried to turn despite the reporter screaming in his ear that they couldn't leave without the story- Smart Driver.

 

I needed its attention again. And to save whatever members of the fourth estate that didn't have the sense to stay away from Poultry that could quite literally bite their heads off. Seizing the bent streetlamp, I tore it all the way out and whipped it around with what I hoped was a challenging bellow and throw it like a drunken Scottish American on steroids at a highland games contest. It struck the back of the chicken where it bent and warped before sliding off the dirty feathers of the beast.

 

I don't know how much the throw hurt it, if at all, but it did cast one baleful eye my way and the chicken chase was on again. I was going slower than before, of course. A wounded leg will do that to you, but at least we were almost at the warehouses and, praise the lord, the news crew wasn't closing in again.

 

They can be taught.

 

I also noticed the chicken was shaken a little, maybe not as quick as it was before after all. That was gratifying. When I kick something in the head, it keeps the old ego bolstered to know said kick is having an effect. That said, it was still gaining again. Possibly because I was challenging it.

"Hey, Buhkaw!" I said over shoulder and held up my hands over my head in what I hoped looked like a bristling comb mimicry.

 

"BuhKaw!" Megachicken thundered back. No, he did not like this challenge at all.  I made another jump, well, hop, towards the warehouse avoiding falling under another talon lash. One more jump and we were in the warehouse parking lot.  Not a car was in sight, no lights in the building were on.

 

I was safe to cut loose and then some.

I turned around and this time when the damn bird tried to kick me, I ran under its legs and took a shot at the right drumstick while the left was upraised. Tough this thing was, but it still needed support and balance. So Roostersaurus came a tumbling down.

 

I nearly got pinned underneath it. Wouldn't that be a hoot? But I had room to move now. I could cut loose, and let me tell you something, aching leg or not? It felt good!

Another leap, another punch to the creature's head and this it felt! Only feathers were really masking the massive bruises I was now inflicting on this thing.  It began to stand up, I tore feathers on my way to prevent myself from falling. They were slick, stinky, and gross and I was going to need a shower after this. I gave him a belly shot on my way down and it staggered again even as I landed.

"That's right, big guy, I've been going easy on you up till now," I grabbed a leg, braced, and exerted myself. I was about to lift something heavier than a post office building. I should know, I had a basis for comparison.

I lifted megachicken up off its feet! And was already to flip it on its back again!

 

What happened next, I did not expect. I should have, but I didn't.

There was an intense rush of wind, a foul-smelling torrent of air, accompanied by sounds akin to muffled thunder, and I? I was rising off the ground. There was a good reason for that. The now panicking chicken was trying to fly! I don't know if whatever had increased its wing size had made it possible, but by the Spirit of the Colonel himself, the damn thing was taking off.

 

And taking me with it.

 

This is my life.

 

"Oh, come on!" I called out as we took to the air together. We were going up, up, and over the warehouse I had worked so hard to lead it to. Then we began to go down again. I don't know. Maybe the chicken got tired. Maybe the forces of science finally noticed and said: This is just too much. No. Just no.

So here we were about to nest on a warehouse.

 

There was no way that roof was going to hold her weight. I guess it wouldn't be superheroing if there wasn't some property damage. Still, I winced as I dropped down to the warehouse, not because my leg was pounding already and landing from that height stung, but because I knew what was happening next.

 

Well, I thought I knew what was happening next.

 

Yes, Megachicken fell down on the warehouse roof. Yes, the roof began almost immediately to buckle and break under it. It flapped furiously and fell through. I could see all that happening.

 

What I didn't see coming was the woman levitating over the chicken, and then suddenly plummeting down like a human cannonball. Once it began, I had quite the show.

There was a horrendous crack, and I think said lady gave the rooster a concussion. Its huge eyes widened, and then it went out. The costumed woman slid rapidly at first, then suddenly slowed and drifted through the air like a ghost towards me. Just as quickly she dropped before me, grabbed me to bring my head down, and decided she wanted to steal a good chunk of the oxygen in my lungs as she laid one hell of a kiss on me.

"Hi," She said when she parted.

I grinned down at her, "Nice costume."

 

What wasn't to like? The costume was green and red, with a few gold touches to break things up. Her emerald top had a V cut edged in gold which showed a tasteful and appealing flash of cleavage but not anything you'd worry about coming part at the first time she got knocked end over end. The red leggings under a gold belt also worked out nicely and, as she wasn't stupid, the boots did not have high heels. It was form fitting and functional, and she even had gloves of gold and green to keep those pesky finger prints from betraying her. The Mask went down to bottom of the nose level.

"Thanks I," She made a face at something, "What's that smell?"

 

"That would be the giant chicken you just clambered all over," I said, "And that I was fighting before that." I started to pull her in for another kiss, but she was having none of it.

"No, no, sorry, not until we've both had a shower or bath, ugh," a firm shake of the head no.

 

"Are you telling I can't kiss or touch you again because of filthy fifty foot tall rooster?" I raised a brow.

 

"that's what I'm saying," Ariana nodded. Ariana is not a tall woman, and she's pretty, so much to her annoyance sometimes every little thing she does is adorable. Combine that with what I said and, I couldn't help what slipped out of my mouth next.

"Gives a whole new definition to cock-blocked" I grinned.

 

She groaned "Okay, you just blocked yourself, I'll decide how long."

 

I grinned at that "Now, you're being mean, miss…" A thought occurred to me, "Wait, what's your superhero name? I mean, I hope you already picked one?"

"I sure did," She grinned, "Say hello to the newest member of the New Samaritans, Valorosa!" Ariana, that is, Valorosa, struck an exaggerated heroic pose.

 

"Valarosa? I-" Then the metaphorical lightbulb came on over my head. I had learned some more Spanish words since dating Ariana "Wait, isn't that Spanish for Valorous?"

"Si," She dimpled, "Your Spanish is really coming along. Though to be fair that is an easy one. Valorosa is indeed the feminine form of Valorous. I kind of stole his name. It’s a good one, and that jerk certainly didn't deserve it."

 

"Kind of?" I raised a brow, "Does Arctic Fox know about this?"

 

"Know about it?" Valorosa replied, "Who do you think suggested it?"

 

"Of course, she did," I said, shook my head, and began to chuckle. Trust the men girl for justice to get a bit of her own back.  You know, normally I don't believe in stealing a superhero's name, but in the end? Valorous had been no hero. He had broken Ariana's arm, in fact, and might have killed her if he felt he had to for his "mission". There are a lot of things I regret in this life. Beating the holy snot out of Valorous and taking his amplifier tech off him? Not even close. And the more I remembered, the more I wanted to punch him again. I could only imagine how rightfully ticked Arctic Fox felt.

 

Yeah, Valorous didn't deserve that name.

 

The Authorities began to come in, firemen, police, and animal control. Exactly what they were going to do with a fifty-foot-tall chicken? I don't know. But the news tonight was going to be interesting.

Valorosa was frowning her chocolate eyes intent. I followed the gaze and realized she was looking at the wounds on my leg.

"I'll heal up in the shower" I promised.

 

"Mmph," She said, "Another reason for you to take one."

 

"Wash my back?" I grinned broadly.

 

"Eww, no," Then a slip of a smile escaped, "But once you've got the first layer off, I might let you wash mine? Would that be too daunting a task for the mighty Eel?"

 

"It's a tough job," my grin widened, "But a man's got to do what a man's got to do."

"My hero" She said dramatically.

 

We left before the press could be allowed closer by the Authorities. Ariana believed, and I had to agree, that fighting a fifty-foot-tall rooster should not be your first act on record as a superhero.  The media would get the word on Valorosa another day.

 

The shower was wonderful, thank you, and obviously for reasons that went well beyond getting clean or even regeneration.  Ariana likes to complain I rushed the first kiss between us all because we defeated a bad guy together. But she kissed back!  About two months into our relationship, we got serious, as in, all the way serious. It was a more mature relationship than I'd been in in, well, perhaps ever, and rather than getting scared about where this was going, I found myself kind of thoughtful about that very thing.

 

Then again, I've been burned by romance as much as anyone else. Don't rush things, Caleb.

 

We had gone to the base, so Mabel chiming in on the wall did not surprise me, "Hey there you two, I'm assuming it's two?"

 

Ariana blush prettily at that, and said "Yes, and you know that. Is the team back from their diplomatic meeting?"

 

"Yes, and speaking of meetings," Mabel hinted, "There's one up in the next ten minutes. All Sammies expected."

 

"We'll be there," I assured "Thanks, Mabel."

The light that was active whenever Mabel was 'in' a room went off, and I smiled at Ariana, "Lot can be done in ten minutes."

 

"yes," She agreed, "But can it be done well? Let's get dressed.  What we can do? We can get fully dressed in clean clothes," A light pat and it looked like that was the plan despite my hopes. Oh well, can't blame a guy for trying for a round two right?

 

What could I say, I'm flesh and blood, young and male, and I maybe in love with her. This is a combination that leads to romantic poetry or at least bawdy hip hop. But here I was hiking on clothes and making sure I was respectable enough for our little group talk.

The base was built into an old mall. At first I was surprised, but after I got over that, I started to realize how brilliant that was. A lot of old malls are dying, but the size is huge, and for those that were closed, they have an area of parking space nowhere near a house or private business. In short, innocents won't be endangered unless we have guests, and most folks don't know about the place.

 

Add to that super tech and this is a really nice set up. And the rooms here are so much nicer than my apartment it is hard not using this place as my main residence instead of the secondary one.

 

The others were waiting in what had once been a food court. Everyone was there, though not everyone was in costume. Lady Obsidian, for example, was dressed in her usual professional classy casual combo. The oldest member of our team, Doctor Vivian Vernon was also our leader. She'd been at this longer than any of us.

 

But even she could be surprised.

 

"A fifty-foot-tall chicken is all over the news, the square cube law has been repealed so often I think it's merely a guideline now" She sighed.

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Well, I'm not supposed to worry about editing in the rough draft for the NANOWRIMO , but yikes, the many mistakes even flat out wrong words used is alarming. 

 

The story takes at least one direction I didn't expect in the next patch

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