Doc Tesseract

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

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Meanwhile, At the Hall of Justice...

Why did no one tell me we have a super clubhouse?

Last night, I showed up on the newly-ventilated roof of City Hall, only to find Lady Liberty standing there, waiting.

"Hi, Doc," she said. "We've got some important business to deal with. You know where Punch and Judy are?"

I shrugged. "Probably on their way."

"We'll wait, then." A few minutes later, Punch and Judy floated up onto the roof.

"Sorry about that, there was an armored car robbery a few blocks down, and-- " Judy saw Lady Liberty, and stopped. "Oh. Hi, Lib."

"Hey, Judy, Punch. Listen, we've got an emergency on our hands. It's of the utmost necessity that we put our heads together. Doc, could you teleport us to this address?"

Lady Liberty handed me a piece of paper. I knew approximately where it was located, so I said, "Sure." I whipped up a portal, said, "Mind the gap, please," and stepped through. Everyone else followed.

We were on the street designated on the slip of paper. A few minutes of searching revealed... an old pizza shop.

"You guys really like your pies, huh?" I cracked.

"Not now, Doc," said Lady Liberty. She walked up to the door, knocked on it thrice, and said, "Swordfish." She stepped back as the door swung open slowly. "Now, I'm gonna warn you; what's inside is kinda shocking."

"Eh, we eat shocking for breakfast," said Punch. We stepped in, and I must say, it was shocking.

What looked from the outside to be a small abandoned pizza shop was, on the inside, about the length of two football fields. At our end of the room was what looked like a supercomputer covered in plasma screens; none other than the Silver Bullet was typing away at it.

"Glad to see you guys got here safe and sound," said Silver. "The meeting's about to start. Everyone else is at the main table. Come on."

As we walked to the table, I saw everything a superhero could need: weapon racks, libraries of old books, and a trophy room, presumably containing the mantles of fallen foes and thwarted plans. "So," I asked, "who does the TARDIS belong to?"

"The Statesmen," said Lady Liberty. "I asked Empiricist if I could possibly borrow it for a local meeting of fellow tradesmen, and he said yes."

"I thought the Statesmen were based out of DC," said Punch.

"They are," replied L.L. (think she'd object to me calling her "L.L."?). "And Boston, and LA, and Atlanta... the best part of a dimensionally transcendent HQ is how you can enter it from almost anywhere. Plus, it cuts down on air fare."

When we got to table, everyone else was already there: Talon, Quint, Pulse, and Alpha. "Glad you could join us," said Quint. "Sit."

We took our seats. "Let's cut to the chase," said L.L. "There's a madman loose who's willing to do a lot of damage to this city in order to have his goals realized. It's our job to stop him before he hurts anyone. Silver. You find anything on the Net about this guy?"

"Nothing really," replied Silver. "Just a few mutterings about him on message boards devoted to anarchist thought. How about you, Quint? Any psyches out of wack?"

"No," Quint said, somewhat disappointed. "I've poured through every soul in this city, and I cannot find this Catalyst. Either he has some sort of magical defense--"

"Or he doesn't live in Philly," offered Pulse. "He could be doing this from New York or somewhere."

"Good one," said Alpha. "But why blow up Philly? I mean, if he's an anarchist, wouldn't it be better to blow the roof off of the Capitol?"

"DC wasn't where our government was formed," answered L.L. "Philly was. Catalyst wants to go for the disease, not the symptom. But what's bugging me is, how would someone be able to get explosives into City Hall?"

"Any ideas, Doc?" asked Pulse.

Well; that was a surprise. Me, being asked to answer a question posed by one of the big kids. "Well," I said, "maybe his power is being able to create explosions. I was on City Hall when the explosion happened, and I didn't see any flames. I just heard the explosion, and next thing I know, there's wreckage everywhere-- remarkably uncharred, by the way."

To my surprise, everyone nods. "That's probably it," said Talon. "I mean, flames in an explosion will do residual structural damage-- and make it look really cool-- but all you really need for an explosion is a sudden violent outward blast of air in a radial pattern. Maybe this guy can manipulate air."

"That's an idea," said L.L. "And it gives us something else to look for. Silver, Punch, I want you two on constant technowatch. Quint, I want you to keep up the mojo. Not just trying to see if you can break Catalyst's arcane firewall or whatever he's got going, but keeping an ear out for any disturbances in the air. You can do that, right?"

"I can sense a gnat taking a breath in Wilkes-Barre," said Quint. "I can probably handle it."

"Glad to see your ego's still in tact. Judy. How do you feel about deep probing?"

"I don't feel comfortable about it," Judy replied. "I mean, I'll do it when necessary, but I like to obey telepathic ethics. I usually go for surface thoughts when scanning."

"That's okay," said L.L. "Just keep scanning when you go out on patrol. If Catalyst's little manifesto was any indication, he'll probably be thinking about anarchy 24/7."

We talk a little more about various other supervillains, then filter out. I gotta say, it was fun sitting with the cool kids, even if there is a terrorist about.

Now, if only I could get something like that place for a house...


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