Doc Tesseract

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

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Debriefing and Cocktails

So, how does one celebrate saving the world from the fiends of Hell? With drinks, of course.

After Azazel got sent on his return trip, Ghostdancer thought it would be good to celebrate with a round of drinks that night, on her-- and out of costume, of course. Quint politely declined, but I, wishing to get in well with the other heroes, said yes.

That night, we met at North. I ended up porting into the bathroom to avoid the ID check (hey, if that's the worst thing I'm gonna use my powers for...). I went out onto the main floor, and managed to find the table.

Everyone-- well, save Quint-- was there. Since we presumed there weren't any supervillains in the bar, we all decided to go by our real names.

"So, how'd you know what was going on in Philly?" I asked Sheila, a.k.a. Ghostdancer.

"Todd [Quint] maintains a network of all the supernaturally-oriented heroes in the US, Canada, and Europe," she said. "When he found out what was going on, he sent out an emergency signal to everyone."

"No offense, but... why you? I mean, I heard you usually patrol out West."

"Yeah, I do Denver and occasionally Vegas. But my powers lie in spirit magic, the recruitment of lost souls to aid you in your ways. They were able to open a passage to the astral plane, which connects all places. I was able to get here in about two seconds."

"Ah. Hey, who was the guy who summoned Azazel?"

"An inexperienced chaos magician," said Hierophant, né Frank. "Apparently, human flesh wasn't enough. He wasn't using the ley line to summon the demon; he wanted to force it into the ley line."

"What?"

"With a demon in the ley line, anyone who lives on it would be directly affected. Normal people would find themselves feeling a little rash or angry, and those attuned to such magical energy would go completely bugfuck. However, demons don't like to do anything they don't come up with first, so when Azazel saw some chump was controlling him, he turned him into mulch. Speaking of which, how were you able to open a portal to Hell? I mean, I've been in this game a long time, and I've only seen that happen twice."

Oh, yeah. That. "I... really don't know," I said. "I got these powers a few weeks ago from who knows where. I didn't even know I could do that."

"Just know that what you did was very rare," Sheila said. "The astral plane doesn't even touch Hell, for obvious reasons. You've got a gift, Greg, and it looks like you know how to use it."

"Besides," ventured Liz [Talon]*, "you could do worse as a sidekick than Todd."

"Uh... sidekick?"

"Yeah, you know: compadre, second banana, one who learns from superior..."

"I... don't think I'm Todd's sidekick."

"Come on, Greg; don't deny the loooove."

"Liz, stop it," said Jesse (known to many as Lady Liberty). "Greg, you're merely getting advice from Todd before going out on your own, right?"

Well, now that Jesse put it that way, I did feel a little bad about being so quick to say no. "Look, I like Todd, it's just... I don't see myself becoming a supernaturally-oriented hero. I want to handle all sorts of situations. Like you."

"Well, you certainly know how to flatter a girl," she said. "Listen, I'm going to talk to Todd about matters. I have a 'sidekick' of my own I'd like to pair you with."

The rest of the evening went well. There was some superhero shop talk, concerning villains who were possibly planning big things. Then, one by one, we all filtered out. Frank left first; he had a long flight back, and wanted to get back to his husband. I left second-to-last, as Jesse wanted to stay a little longer. I ported back home, got dressed up in costume, went on a brief patrol, saw nothing, then ported back home again and went to bed.

So, on one hand, I'm going to have a crime-fighting comrade who's on my level. On the other hand, more experienced heroes are setting me up for playdates. I really don't know how to feel about that.

*By the way, Liz is much more inconspicuous than you'd expect a woman with giant wings and claws for hands to be. When I asked her (as tactfully as possible, of course), she told me she wears a harness to keep the wings down, and special gloves that look like human hands to cover up the talons.

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