Doc Tesseract

The adventures of Greg Silverman, retail industry employee, prospective college student and superhero.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Sorry.

I guess it's time to break character.

I started this blog back in May on a whim. I found myself fascinated by superhero blogs such as Sliced Bread 2 and The Velvet Marauder, so I decided to do one of my own. Unfortunately, unlike Dave and Matt, I didn't have a sense of dedication in the face of outside interference. This first popped up during the whole "dragon burn" saga, but I thought I could handle it in college.

Then came the weeks of no posts. In between classes, clubs, homework, and friends, I couldn't find the time. I just... stopped. I should have planned this out in the beginning, but I didn't. And now, I've got a project that probably won't go anywhere.

Maybe I'll resurrect this blog one day. Until then, though, I don't want to waste anyone's time. Thanks to all those who visited here, and keep fighting evil.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Finally! Some Asskicking!

So I was out on patrol last night, standing hunched over like a gargoyle on the edge of 111 Huntington Avenue, which looks vaguely like the Daily Planet. Hey, I have to strike a heroic pose every once in a while. Suddenly, I hear gunshots on Boylston Street. I port across rooftops until I come to the source of the gunfire, only to find a gorilla shaking down an armored car.

Okay, so, maybe it's not a gorilla. For one thing, gorillas don't wear jeans. For a second thing, they're prettier than this guy. He looks like R. Lee Ermey with a groin hernia. But one thing's for sure: this guy is strong. When I saw "shaking down," I mean "shaking down". He has the truck over his head, and is shaking sacks of money, as well as the occasional guard, out of it. The other guards are running away while shooting. Not that it does any help; every so often, I see a bullet fly off of Steroid Boy's chest. By the ape's side is this blond girl who looks vaguely like Faye Dunaway as Bonnie Parker, and whose supervillain disguise apparently consists of dark sunglasses. In the middle of the night. Obviously, I'm dealing with criminal geniuses.

"Hey, King Kong!" I yell from on high. When he and his girlfriend look up, I get down on the street. He turns around just as I fire off a beam, and throws the truck at it, absorbing the blast. Hope The Citadel knows how to deal with armored trucks. Steroid Boy comes charging at me with the speed of a rhino; rather than try to get off another beam in the precious few seconds before I get steamrolled, I port back up to the building.

"How rude!" says the blonde girl. She's been working on her Bonnie Parker imitation; she sounds like Scarlett O'Fucking'Hara. "You'd think these Northern boys would learn a few manners."

"Sorry, miss," I say back, "but where I'm from, we learn not to try and break open armored trucks for the toy surprise." Again, I try to launch off a beam at Steroid Boy--

--only to see it halt in mid-air and fade away. What the hell? Suddenly, I'm finding it hard to concentrate; my mind keeps darting about, and I feel like a jittery housecat on amphetamines. Steroid Boy sees I'm helpless, so he runs at the building and grabs onto the side of it. His hands drive through the stone, giving him instand handholds; with a few more punches, he's slowly climbing up to meet me. I try to port back down to street level, and find myself staring at Bonnie Beta. At least I can gets my wits together enough for that.

"Ain't you heard of us, honey?" she says when she finally finds me again. "We're Brains and Brawn. You can probably tell which one of us is which. And I've gotta say, my psychic static seems to be working well enough. Why, in a few minutes, I doubt you'll even be able to move." I hear the sound of concrete cracking as Brawn lands back on the ground. I port to a building on the other side of the street. This time, though, it's harder; I aim for somewhere about ten feet away from the edge of the roof, and find myself almost dangling over the street below. My ports are starting to get inaccurate; one wrong move and I'm a pancake. All the while, Brawn is climbing after me again.

It takes me a few seconds to get a plan together, but when it comes to me, it seems good enough. I port back down to street level; this time, I'm a good two feet above ground, and about twenty feet from Brains. "Good one, honey," she says mockingly when I finally hit the ground. "I'm surprised you didn't end up in the concrete here. That'd've been a mighty fine mess."

Without thinking (or at least, trying not to think), I charge at Brains. She panicks and throws her hand out at me. I can feel my mind clouding up, but it doesn't matter: I just keep my fists out and hope I hit something. A sudden crack and a clearer mind later, I know I've been successful. I look down, and Brain is lying on the ground, unconscious.

Then I hear a roar like a lion caught in a bear trap. Looks like Brawn saw what went down. I turn to look up, only to see him come soaring down towards me. I put my hands out and-- success!-- fire off a beam. With that, Brawn gets ported off to The Citadel. I send Brains soon after, make sure the guards are okay, then head back to the dorm.

Looks like I really can handle this town by myself.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Human Vacuum

Patrol's been substandard, classes have been easy. Not much in that area.

Saw something strange in the mess hall the other day. I saw this girl with three slices of pizza, a salad loaded with ingredients, and a meatball sub sit down at the table behind Tom and I. Now, I'm not judging; hell, I've had lunches where I had two slices of pizza, fries with ketchup, and dessert. But the strange part is, after this girl finished the meal, she went back and got more food-- this time, a cheeseburger, fries, and brownie with vanilla ice cream for dessert. Did I mention this girl was a thin as a twig?

Is she another hero? Or is this just the death of the Freshman Fifteen?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

I'm Not Dead!

I'm just horribly lazy. Trust me, though; you didn't miss anything exciting.

Classes started Monday, and I've been effectively bulldozed since then. The past few weeks have been relatively quiet here; sure, there's been quite a bit of street crime, but nothing really big. Still, I've been handling solo patrolling pretty well, which is good.

I ported home last weekend to see my parents. There was a lot of hugging, as well as some kissing. We spent a few hours catching up, then I ported home. Next weekend, I'm hoping I can catch up with Punch and Judy.

That's another problem: Tom. He's maintaining insanely long hours. And it's not like he's partying or anything; he stays up until 1 AM studying what little material we have. There's only so many times I can use the "I think I'll go for a walk" excuse when I want to go out on patrol. Maybe if I got my hands on some sleeping gas...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Beantown or Bust, Part 3

So, Officer Possessed looked up at the roof and saw us standing there. He raised his gun to fire, but by the time the bullet left the chamber, Frank and I were on a roof on the other side of the street.

"Is that really a ghost?" I yelled.

"How should I know?" he asked. "I'm not psychic, you know." There was a pause while he reflected on the idiosyncracy of that. "Okay, maybe I'm telekinetic, but I'm not--"

By this time, Officer Possessed had found us, and started floating up to the roof to reach us. You read that right; floating. I shot off a beam at the guy, and he ended up back on the street.

"I've got an idea," I said. "This... whatever the hell it is... is riding the cop. If we knock out the cop, then whoever's inside him will probably get out and look for another host. I'll distract him, you lay the psychic whammy on him."

"Good one," he said. "There's another thing. I'm no occult expert, but I learned a few... invocations. Just in case. If that thing's a ghost, I might be able to drive it out while it's free."

"I thought you said you couldn't tell if it was a ghost," I said. Officer Possessed was flying up at us again, so I shouted, "Give us a moment, all right?", then ported him back to street level.

"At that moment, I couldn't," he emphasized. "But he has to be out of the body for it to work. As long as he has a host, he's bound to this plane in some way. When he's free, he can be given the boot."

"Okay," I said. "Here goes nothing." With that, I ported down to street level. The minute I hit the ground, I saw Officer Possessed reel as if hit by a ton of invisible bricks, then fold up and hit the ground. Frank had done his part, and sure enough, the Ghosts' ghost was pouring out of the guy like mist. After a few seconds, he materialized, and came flying at me. Luckily, I ported to the other end of the street before he could turn me into Linda Blair.

From the rooftops, I heard Frank chanting something in Latin. I could see the ghost spin on its heels and go flying at him. Before I could shout a warning, the ghost hit Frank--

--and bounced right off him.

Frank's incantation continued, this time in English: "In the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I send you from this plane! Now get the fuck out of my town!" With that, the ghost started to lose form, going from a solid if somewhat misty Asian man to mist to nothing at all in a matter of seconds.

"Thanks," I said.

"No, thank you," he said. "If you hadn't distracted him enough for me to get the protection spell in place, I'd be getting jerked around like a puppet."

We looked for the other, mortal Ghosts, but they'd run away during the carnage. "I should've been prepared," I said. "If I'd seen the police station, I could have ported them away."

"Well, why didn't you see the police station?" Frank said.

"I was distracted sightseeing," I mumbled. "Guess I'm gonna need to be a sidekick for a little longer."

"Hey, you did okay," said Frank. "Look, I think you can handle Boston by yourself. But, just in case..." He reached into his vestments and pulled out a piece of paper. "My cell phone number," he said. "I know it's not as fancy as Todd's little sigil system, but it should do."

I took it. "Thanks," I said. "For everything."

The rest of the patrol was uneventful. We stopped at the precinct in Southie, so I could have a place to send bad guys. "I remember when I dragged Whitey Bulger in here, kicking and screaming," Frank said. "Those were the days."

After that, I said goodbye to Frank and ported back to my dorm.

Well, it could've gone better, I thought, but then, it could've gone worse. And hey, I've got time, and I've got help.

I think I'm gonna like it here.

Beantown or Bust, Part 2

I met Frank on top of the Prudential Center. "Glad to see you could make it," he said. "Thought you'd be out on the town, tearing it up."

"Fond recollections of your college days?" I asked.

"Nah," he said. "I was a pious little bookworm going for a theology degree. Of course, things have changed. So, where do you want to hit first?"

I pointed my arm out across the river, towards Cambridge. "There," I said.

Frank laughed. "Really? Afraid the hippies are restless?"

"No," I said. "Just want to check it out."

"Okay," he said, "it's your patrol." With that, I ported us onto Widener Library on the Harvard campus. From there, we briefly hopped about Harvard until we determined that there was no crime there.

"Told ya," said Frank as we ported into Chinatown. "Now, this is more my metier. See, Chinatown's a great place during the day. When night falls, though--"

As if to answer his question, there was the sound of gunfire from a few blocks down. "Don't you love it when irony fills in the blanks?" he said. From what I could see, there was a gunfight going on between two cops and three Chinese guys hunkered behind a car. We ported down the street to get a better view of the action. The Chinese guys were wearing black jackets and black skullcaps.

"Those are the Hungry Ghosts," whispered Frank. "Big Chinese gang. Got their start in San Fran, filtered out to here."

"I'll handle them," I said. I shot off a beam at one of the gang member's guns. After it vanished from his hands (and onto the roof), his comrades turned to look at what was going on. Before they could fire, I shot off two more beams and the other Ghosts found themselves without fire arms. The police took the opportunity to charge forward and arrest the Ghosts.

"Good one," said Frank. "I think you'll--" Then came the screaming. We looked back down below to see that one of the Ghosts was pushing one of the officers away with his hand. No, scratch that; he had his hand inside the officer. And then he climbed into the officer. The officer shook his head, drew his gun, and raised it at his partner. I was able to port the guy onto the roof before he fired, though.

"What the fuck was that?" I yelled.

"Looks like the Ghosts... have a ghost," Frank said weakly.

Beantown or Bust, Part 1

Sorry about the lack of posts. I finally figured out the IP network here at Williamson.

So, we arrived Saturday afternoon. We checked into the Fairmont Copley Plaza, dumped our bags, then went exploring. Over the weekend, Mom, who'd gone to Harvard back in the day, gave me a crash course in Boston. We saw Downtown Crossing, Fanueil Hall, Harvard Square, Newbury St., the Public Gardens, and Fenway. We ate out a lot, so that I'd know where to take my friends. Bartley's Burger Cottage in Harvard is definitely on the list, by the way.

On Monday, there was much crying and back pain as we lugged my baggage up to the ninth floor of Albrecht Hall. My roommate, Tom, however, had moved in on Sunday (moving was alphabetical; damn that "S"), so it went along more smoothly than expected. My parents headed back to the Copley when all was done, telling me they'd be in Boston for a few more days in case I felt lonely. Before they left, though, Dad whispered, "And if you ever need to come home... well, you know..." Great; it's bad enough when I abuse my powers, but now my parents are doing it.

After they left, I got to know Tom better. He's from Georgia ("No Deliverance jokes, I've heard them all"), and he's pursuing a major in journalism. We went down to dinner together, and took part in the big "Thank you for choosing us over BU" welcome speech. After that was over, we went back to the dorm, where Tom, who'd been up since five, decided to go back to bed early.

Bingo, I thought. As soon as I was sure he was asleep (speaking of which, I think I'd better buy some earplugs), I ported home and got into costume.

Okay, Frank, I thought, let's see what your city's like.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

It's Never Really Goodbye

So. Last night, Punch, Judy, and I went out on a final patrol. It would be interesting if we had stopped someone from flooding Manayunk, or setting off an EMP in Wilkes-Barre, or even got a cat out of a tree. But it was relatively quiet, again. Sure, there was a guy in a cheap suit trying to creatively detail another man's car with a baseball bat in Germantown, but other than that... nothing.

And you know what? I liked it that way. I know I've been complaining this summer whenever things get too quiet, but I really just wanted to savor my last night in town. I wanted to spend it with my friends, and I didn't want anything to come between us.

"So," asked Punch after we'd sent Cheap Suit Guy to the hoosegow, "everything's in order?"

"Yeah," I said. "Feels strange, you know, just... leaving Atherton behind."

"You got superpowers this summer, and you're finding college weird?" cracked Judy.

"I know, I shouldn't--"

"You should, Greg. Everyone does. Hell, I did. I knew I'd be thirty minutes away from Dad, and I still felt like I was heading for Siberia. It's just part of how things go."

At the end of the night, Judy gave me a friendly hug. "Promise me you'll have fun at Williamson," she said.

"Done," I said, "as long as you keep having fun at Bryn Mawr." After that, I said "goodbye" and ported home.

Now, it's just a couple of hours until I get on the plane to Boston. It's gonna be strange living in Boston, but you know what? Home's always just one quick port away.

"Goodbye"'s just a different way of saying "see you later", after all.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Final Preparations

So. Tonight's going to be my last patrol in Philly-- for a while, that is. All my bags are packed, and tomorrow at noon, we're getting on the flight to Boston.

I'm gonna miss this town. Even if I can visit it whenever I want.