Doc Tesseract

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

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Fashion! Turn to the Left...

You're looking at a guy who's got an official superhero costume!

Last night I went into Philly for patrol again. As per Quintessence's advice the last time we met, I activated the sigil before I did anything else.

"Well, I see you're off to a good start," said Quint (yeah, I'm shortening it for convenience's sake- hopefully, he won't stumble upon this blog and turn me into a newt). "You seen Frank yet?"

"Um... no."


"Well, I ported to W. Allegheny Ave. this morning, but all I found was an empty storefront. I ported in, and there was nothing there."

"Ah, I should've told you that. Look, kid, Frank's not exactly a... stable person."

"What? He dances about naked in the streets?"

"Not emotionally, but spatially. He goes everywhere and anywhere. He's clothed heroes in New York, LA, London, Tokyo, Sydney, Pretoria... hell, I've heard rumors that he designed the Steel Standard's first breastplate back in the '40s."

What do you know; my second night in the superhero business, and I've run into the textile industry's equivalent of Doctor Who. "Well, if not where, then when can I find Frank?"

"Oh, he's usually there between 9 PM and 1 AM. Just make sure you get there fast; some nights he likes to cut out early."

I ported back to 524 W. Allegheny Ave. The storefront was still empty, but I could have sworn I saw a bit of light off in the distance. Once again, I ported into the store, only to find something entirely different.

It looked like a house of high fashion had crashed into Xanadu. Mannequins and dummies stood against the walls, while Oriental rugs covered the floors and sofas and divans invited people to just sit in them and forget everything. At the back of the room was a man hunched over a sewing machine.

"Excuse me..." I said, somewhat reluctantly. I didn't really feel like interrupting this guy's work.

He turned to look at me, then sat up and started to walk towards me. He wasn't exactly old-- hell, he probably looked younger than my dad-- but there was something about him that seemed... ageless. I could see where the rumors came from.

"Yes? How may I help you?" His eyes ran up and down my costume. "By the looks of it, you need some."

"You're Frank, right?"

"If by 'Frank' you mean 'Francesco Montalvo, choice designer of heroes since before you were born', then yes, I am. May I ask you sent you?"

"Quintessence. He said--"

"I can guess what he said, or else you wouldn't be here." He looked up and down my costume some more. "Could you turn around for a minute?"

I did. "Hmm... yes, yes..." He paused. "Well, I'll see what I can do."

"Don't you want--?"

"I don't want or need anything, son. Your choice of clothing tells me everything. In the meantime..." He turned and pointed to one of the sofas. I hadn't seen it before (maybe because, as I thought later, it wasn't there before), but there was a small tray set up near it with tea and some biscuits. "Sit. Enjoy yourself. I'll handle the rest."

I sat for about fifteen minutes, eating the biscuits (lemon shortbread, it turned out) somewhat half-heartedly. I kept listening for any sign of action in the backroom Frank had disappeard into, but I couldn't really distinguish anything. After I'd considered going in to check, Frank came back out, carrying a package. "There," he said, presenting it to me with a few dramatic flourishes. "I know you'll like it."

I did. He'd kept a lot of the favorite parts of my costume, while getting rid of the more stupid parts. The blue and white of the baseball shirt stayed, but were altered into a design where the blue covered my shoulders and arms, and the white came up from my stomach to my sternum as a wide arrow. The pants were a solid blue, and made of the same material as the shirt. The gloves were leather and came halfway up my forearms, and were also blue. The mask was... well, I don't need to say the color, but the eyes were covered by yellow lenses, and it was cut so that my hair would show. The boots stayed the same, though: black leather combat boots, only a bit more squared-off than my boots.

While I was looking over the shirt, Frank reached over and took it from my hands. "I almost forgot," he said. "Every hero needs a good insignia..." He ran his hand over the shirt, and before my eyes, a black infinity symbol ringed by a circle appeared on the chest. "Don't be surprised," he said after realizing that I was kinda freaked out. "I can speak to clothing."

With that, a large grandfather clock over by his sewing machine went off, chiming... well, I don't know what it was chiming; it wasn't anywhere near the hour. Frank knew, though; he turned to me and said, "It was nice meeting you, but I must go. The shirt, pants, and mask are all made of bulletproof material; any shots will be slowed before they can do serious damage."

"Hey, wait! What if--?"

"Oh, if anything happens to it, I'll make sure it's replaced. Now go!"

I ported out onto the street, still clutching the costume in my arms. I turned back to the store, but the light in the back had gone out.

So now I've got a high-quality costume. Villains, beware the snappily-dressed Doc Tesseract!


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