Doc Tesseract

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

Saturday, May 21, 2005

My Grand Debut

Remember what I said about forward planning? Yeah; I probably should have applied that. To both my patrol and my costume.

First of all, I designed the costume myself. Superhero tailors tend to keep their names out of the phone books, and there's no way I'd trust my "secret identity" with Joe, our regular tailor. So, I made something out of whatever was lying around the house, hoping someone like Lady Liberty or Talon would spot me and give me their guy's number.

I probably should have given that one some more thought.

So, here's what I wore to fight crime last night:

-a blue and white long-sleeved baseball T
-blue jeans
-combat boots
-black leather gloves
-safety goggles w/ yellow tint (to cover my eyes)

Notice the distinct lack of anything that could be considered bulletproof? Especially for my face? I mean, it would look suspicious for an eighteen-year-old to buy a Kevlar vest, but I probably should have considered it.

I will say this, though. I did call the cop who handled my case and told him to keep the precinct under tight watch; some crooks might be "dropping in." When he asked who it was, I said, "A friend."

I put it all on, and at 9:53 PM, I ported into Philly and landed on top of City Hall. No crime there... or in Chinatown... or in Ludlow... or...

That's what it was like from 10 to 12; port to a new neighborhood, scan for criminal activity, find bupkus, port somewhere else, lather, rinse, repeat. I didn't even run into any other heroes who might be going on their patrols.

I was about to call it a night when I spotted something in an alley in City Center East. Three guys wearing leather jackets were hauling boxes of PSPs out of the back of an Electromat. This looked decidely suspicious. I ported over to the other side of the alley, crouched behind a peak on the roof I'd landed on, and looked over at the store. Sure enough, the glass on one of the back doors was broken. They seemed to be taking their sweet time, so they must have disabled the alarm.


I stood up, looked down at the burglars, and yelled, "Excuse me!"

They all looked up.

"You know, those things don't sell as well once people realize they're stolen." Hey, at least I said something.

"Who the-?" Thug #1 moved for his jacket. Before he could get his gun out, I'd sent him packing to the police station. The combination of the unfamiliarity of being slingshotted through the time-space continuum and finding himself surrounded by armed cops probably drove him to surrender.

Driven by my first successful capture, I ported down to street level to engage Thugs #2 and #3 mano-a-mano. I pulled off some extradimensional acrobatics, porting around the thugs and trying to confuse them. For kicks, I ported behind Thug #2, grabbed him, threw him to the ground, then ported again.

"Who the fuck is this freak?" he yelled.

"Doc Tesseract," I replied, after porting on to the loading dock. "Remember that; you can boast about tonight when I get famous." And with that, I beamed him up* to the precinct.

One little problem: during my dancing routine, I'd forgotten where Thug #3 was. I found out right where he was after I heard a gun click right behind my ear.

"'Bye, freak," he said. Just as I was about to port away-


I heard a wind whip up behind me, then a sound like a sack of meat hitting a brick wall. I turned around to find Thug #3 knocked unconscious and lying against the wall. I turned around to see a black guy in monk's robes floating in midair. The robes had a five-pointed sigil on the front.

Quintessence. Master of the Five Elements**, and Philly's premiere magical superhero.

"And who exactly are you supposed to be?" he asked.

"Doc Tesseract," I said. "I'm new."

"Well," he said, looking at Thug #3, "I guess I stopped you from making a name for yourself."

"Eh. There were two other guys--"

"I don't think you understood what I just said."

Oh. "Well, I can teleport, so it wasn't that big a deal. Hey, since when were you so interested in the affairs of us mere mortals?"

"I'm not," he said coolly. "My medium is with spirits, gods, and demons. But Lady Liberty's out of town on official business, and she asked me to look over her charges and keep an eye out for new heroes who needed help." Then he looked at my costume. "And by the looks of your clothes, I think you'll need it."

"Yeah, well, I don't exactly have a tailor--"

"Of course." He reached into his robes, pulled out a pouch, and then pulled a card out of it. "Here; catch." The card floated down into my hands. On it was an address: 524 W. ALLEGHENY AVE.

"Frank did my robes," he said. "He never lets any of us down. And the first one's free." He reached into his pouch again. "There's something else I'd like you to have." He tossed down a small slate tablet. On it was a sigil almost identical to the one on his chest; all that was missing was a little line near the top that would complete the circle around it.

"Run your finger over the line to complete it," he said. "I will come and find you. Use it whenever you are patrolling; Lady Liberty would have my ass if you came to harm in this town."

As he floated off into the distance, I could swear I heard him mumble, "Nice name, at least." After that, I decided I'd had enough excitement, so I ported back, checked it with my parents, showed them I was all okay and could fight crime like a big boy, and went to bed.

Well. It's a start.

*Look, it's a teleportation-based attack; what did you expect me to call it? At least I don't put on a brogue when using it.
**Yes, there are actually five magical elements: earth, air, fire, water, and spirit. It's like Captain Planet, only less lame.


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