|The twisted wreckage of this weekend.
My roommates are superheroes, but I barely even qualify as a sidekick. I mostly just watch The Contrarian and keep The Hall of Rectitude clean. I might go on one patrol each week.
It probably doesn't help that my main superpowers involve scathing sarcasm and writing strongly worded letters. The last time I was on patrol I fought this guy who could transform into magma (fucking MAGMA!! Do you know what happens when scathing letters get anywhere near magma?), and I pretty much got my ass kicked up and down The Temescal. (And a really bad burn on my hand too. It kinda bothers me in the shower.) If I could only shoot stinging foam or like...cut guns in half with my mind.
This has advantages and disadvantages. I have to get bailed out by the real heroes a lot, and sometimes that can be a little embarrassing. I was mortified this weekend Uberdude had to build a very expensive drone to come and save me when I got caught up in a temporal loop set up by Chronotron. But I'm getting ahead of myself....
One of the advantages is–or was, anyway–that I didn't get a lot of superhero trope relationships. I'm not an orphan. I can date women without them being horribly killed or held as ransom. I don't get villains who decide their first step is to take me out of the picture. I don't even get recruited by shadowy black ops organizations that want me to do morally ambiguous things.
Although I did get asked to write someone's term paper once....
There are...perks to being such a small fry. And sure, there's an evil version of me, but near as I can figure, he mostly just hangs out in the basement and likes NaNoWriMo, so it's not like your usual evil twin nemesis thing.
Frankly, it's been rather idyllic not having to put up with all that normal superhero crap. I don't know how the heavy hitters put up with it. Who needs to constantly be worried that their best friend is plotting their doom over their every game of chess. Maddening!
I fight a little crime so I don't have to hang around The Hall of Rectitude all day wishing I could go on patrol with the real heroes. It keeps me from drinking super serum because "I just wanted to be respected," or some shit like that. But then I also get to do my part to help the cause without having my skeleton ripped out of my body or my spine broken or leg ripped off by the Ochre Ogre. Sonic Gal, Uberdude, and The Brain do most of the heavy lifting, and I get to show up at the photo shoots.
All that changed this weekend. I became the victim of not one, but two classic superhero trope relationships.
I regret to inform everyone that I now have a nemesis.
Not just a cute, evil version of me that lives in the basement, but a full on, fist-raising, "We-shall-meet-again-Chris-Brecheen!" nemesis. ChronoTron has been sent from the future where they are "out of time." (Don't ask me what that means, he just said they were "out of time" dramatically every time I asked for clarification. Must be a plot twist.) So he's been running around stealing little bits of time from the people of 2014.
An hour here. A couple of hours there. Nothing anybody would miss. But when he tried to take time from me, I did notice...because my life is freaking insane right now. If you don't believe me take a busy life and add 18 hours a week of keeping middle schoolers in the middle of their summer from squirming while you teach them study skills. Boy did I ever notice my couple of missing hours!
So I fought back. ChronoTron wasn't expecting that since I usually look like a civilian. My uniform is usually jeans and an ironic t-shirt, even on patrol. I sometimes catch criminals with a right hook while they try to read my shirt. I don't even own spandex.
(Probably for the best.)
|Gets em every time!
There was some sarcasm....and then a scathing letter. And suddenly we were in a full-fledged fight on the rooftops of Oakland (which are shit rooftops to fight on if you didn't know–even in a lightning storm; I'd much prefer fighting on San Francisco's rooftops but the superheroes over there are really snobby about "their turf"). Anyway, fighting turned out to make things worse; it seems in the not too distant future only Technagency (a massive multi-corp that rules earth in all but name) communicates its will only through scathing letters and sarcasm (and also youtube video e-mail blasts) and that only small rebellion (who are "out of time") attempt to be gentle and sincere and not sarcastic or scathing to each other.
So ChronoTron kind of got a bee in his bonnet about my super powers. Like I would destroy the world with an evil multi-corp. Come ON! Does that sound like something I would do?
Anyway, ChronoTron decided to steal more than just an hour or two from me after he realized my powers. He kept blasting me with the Temporal Syphon ray (which looks like a cross between a Super Soaker and a bazooka). The hours added up faster than I could keep track, and suddenly I was past time to post on Friday because I'd had over an entire day stolen.
"I've just stolen one day of your life," ChronoTron smirked. "One day I might go as high as fifty...but I really don't know what that would do to you."
Then his smile grew. "Aww, what the fuck, let's just find out, shall we?"
He fired up the Temporal Syphon ray to fifty, and re-aimed it. "You weren't doing anything important until late August were you, Chris?"
"Yeah, actually," I said. "I hate feeling rushed when I'm prepping for Burning Man. If you could make it like forty-seven days, that'd be spiffy."
He took aim...
(Sarcasm is really only an intermittently useful superpower.)
Suddenly I was four meters to my left. The Syphon harmlessly hit the roof where I had been. And then ChronoTron was eight meters to his right which put him off the eastern edge of the building we were fighting on.
"Next time, Chris Brecheen!" he shouted as he fell. "NEXT TIME!!!" Then he touched his emergency temporal recall device before he hit the ground disappearing in a bitemporal field flash and a flood of loose chronotons.
Two women were looking back at me. One had fiery red hair in a short ponytail and the other a tight bun of coal black.
"Looks like we got here..." the redhead said.
"...just in time." the other finished.
So that's the other trope I'm now a victim of. You know how superheroes often have to deal with the sexy miscreants in their lives? Yeah...me too, apparently. Not villains per se, but definitely up to no good. Like Batman with Catwoman or Spiderman with Blackcat.
Well now I've got not one, but two of them in my life.
These two are a team and they go everywhere together. They even dress alike, and while their outfits aren't made of spandex nor do they involve the physics defying boobs of most cliché superheriones, their fashion sense could be said to edge away from entirely "practical," and they both wear these really smoking boots. I try to be a good feminist when I'm around them and talk about their dreams and interests, but the effect they have on my autonomic nervous system when they're flirting with me is...distracting.
Technically the only "power" (per se) they have is a telepathic link with each other that has fused their identity into a single person within their psyches. They're just crazy crazy crazy good at math and physics since their parents worked hard to counter the cultural stigma of women in STEM fields. "Dimension" (the redhead) handles the larger applications of dimensional physics and knows how to fold tachyon space (or something). Summation (the brunette) is basically this insane human calculator computer who can do mathematics faster than a supercomputer and she checks the calculations of the applied theoretical dimensional shifts. The end result is that they can "blink" anything they touch several meters in any direction by riding dimensional strings.
They insist on being called Dim Sum together. And they insist that they are really one person. I'm not sure which of those things I find more odd.
And I don't really know why they like flirting with me. Superheroes do that innuendo stuff a lot, but usually it's mostly harmless. Sidekicks don't usually get much attention. But Dim Sum is so, so, so....tempting.
What I will say is that while I can be (and have been) a consummate professional, even in the face of very hot boots and my abject weakness for implied threesomes, they both also really like reading literature and talking about speculative fiction. We ended up in a wicked smart discussion about how zombies have shifted from loss-of-individuality metaphors to contagion metaphors over the last thirty years, and how Octavia Butler probably had the most plausible portrayal of a distopia.
Of course they had to go and be all smart and stuff too. Of course they did.
The boots I could have resisted. But being a sapiosexual who happens to like boots...well, I'm not doing so well with the coherent thought lately. No matter how hard I try to resist Dim Sum, it seems whenever they're around I just end up wanting them to stay. I find myself on patrols two or three times a week, hoping that we'll run into each other.
I even caught myself moaning "More Dim Sum" in my sleep. How pathetic is that?
Ironic, I know. Dim Sum saved me from the Chronotron only to end up being a delicious distraction. One I should resist. But I can't.
Because I am weak. And Dim Sum is so very....
If only they didn't use their blinking ability to rob banks. Because that really should be a deal-breaker for me. It really, really should.