Doc Tesseract

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

Monday, May 23, 2005

Dem Bones, Dem Bones

I will say this once, though I may repeat it again often: Quint has a very steep learning curve.

I ported onto City Hall once again last night and, like a good little student, activated Quint's sigil. Soon enough, Quint's voice comes over the line. "We're going to Hunting Park tonight. Port into the area somewhere, and I'll come find you."

I wasn't that familiar with Hunting Park, so I decided to try a random jump into the area. After teleporting down from what I'd guess to be about 300 feet in the air to on top of a rundown theatre, I sat and waited for Quint. About ten minutes later, he floated down to the rooftop.

"You've done well against street criminals," he said. "But they are mere beginners, men without purpose or structure beyond what brings in money. In your career as a hero, you will have to face down men and women who will employ any means and strategy, no matter what the consequences, to achieve their ends. Are you willing to face such a threat?"

Geez, who died and made him Morpheus? "Yeah."

"Good. We must proceed to United Storage. Some members of Los Huesos are conducting a ritual. You will take us there; these men can sense magic."

After finding out just where United was (Quint had thought ahead to bring a photo-- how nice), we jumped out right in front of the building. It looked like a standard warehouse, but there was definitely an odd feel to the place.

"They've set up the shrine to La Santa Muerte," Quint said. "We don't have much time. Can you take us inside?"

"You have a photo?"

"Not this time."

Damn. I never teleport into buildings unless I know exactly what the inside looks like. Would you want part of you stuck in a wall on a subatomic level*? "Sorry, can't do."

"Well, then, there are always less subtle ways. Follow me."

Quint walked around the building, pressing his hand against the wall the entire time. Finally, he came to a part of the building and stopped.

"On my signal," he said, "I want you to teleport anyone you see-- excluding me, of course-- to the police department. Got it?"

"Got it."

He stepped back from the wall, pressed his hands out, and yelled, "Rana!" Something that I can best describe as "the fiery wrath of G-d" burst out from his palms and burned a hole straight through the wall. "By the way," he shouted, as the cries of confused gangbangers could be heard coming from inside, "that was the signal!"

The scene inside the warehouse was something, to say the least: a bunch of Hispanic men in gang colors, carrying heavy weaponry, all gathered around a bunch of older men in robes, who were in turn gathered around a large statue of a woman in a black cloak. Quint and I went to work on the gun-toting men first; Quint knocked most of them to the ground with a mini-earthquake, and I set about sending them into the loving arms of police custody.

Then came the robed guys. "Don't hit them!" Quint yelled. "If they end up in the police department, a great number of people will die tonight!" Needless to say, I stayed back while Quint worked his mojo. Every so often, I'd hit a monk so that he suddenly ended up halfway across the room, which has got to knock a guy off balance.

Then came the pain. The lead monk-- as least, that's what I'm guesing he was, since his robe had the most arcane designs on it-- spotted me, turned, and yelled, "Tortura!"**

Imagine somebody setting every bone in your body on fire at once. Now imagine that they are pouring a heady mixture of gasoline and sulfuric acid on your burning bones. Now imagine something ten times greater than that, and you have a good idea of what I felt like.

It wasn't until I heard Quint say something-- couldn't tell what, but it must have been a spell-- that I felt most of the pain leave my body. Well, most; you don't undergo a full-body papercut to the soul without some lingering side effects. The head monk's unconscious body lay behind him.

"What the hell just happened?" I asked.

"No time to explain. You'd best go home; you've undergone enough for one night."

"Now wait just a--"


Not willing to mess with the nice sorcerer, I ported home, and tried to get some sleep. Operative word being "tried"; I still ached from the attack, and probably got about three hours of sleep before I had to go to work.

Now that I've recounted last night's experiences, I think I'll go get better acquainted with my pillow before I go out on patrol again.

*Yeah, my only scientific evidence for this is old X-Men comics. You think I'm gonna experiment with this?
**No, I can't do the fancy double exclamation points. You may mock me.


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