Doc Tesseract

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

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Meeting The Muslim Marauder

It started off easy enough. Two members of Los Huesos had jacked a car and were going for a joy ride at ludicrous speeds. Punch, Judy, and I all chased after the gangbangers, but we're kind of at a loss for what to do. Punch doesn't have any ranged weapons, so he's out. And I can't teleport the thing, because it'll still be going at the same ungodly speed wherever it ends up. The best Judy can do is try to levitate the car, but the bucking up-and-down motion of Punch trying to keep up is kind of making things hard.

Judy was about to try and rip the roof off, when suddenly I felt something moving by us really fast, and then, the car stopped. When Punch slows down and Judy and I get off to see why, it turned out that the hood had been removed. As well as the engine. And there, holding up the two crooks, was Zulfikar.

Zulfikar's a bit of a media darling these days. He's either exalted or demonized, depending on what your politics are. He's also got a very interesting costume: a red bodysuit with a black stripe down the middle and the "moon and star" symbol in white, black boots, and a Power Rangers-style full helmet in red that has a narrow slit for viewing. He also usually patrols New York City, which wouldn't make his presence in Philly wholly unexplained, but would raise quite a few questions.

After he turned the Huesos over to the proper authorities, he came back to us and says, "I take it you're Punch, Judy, and Doc Tesseract?"

"No," Punch said, "we're just impersonators. We do birthdays and, for a little extra, bachelor parties."

He laughed. "Very funny. But now's not really a time for jokes. Lady Liberty recommended you lot to me, and your help is of utmost importance. There's a Sword of Fire cell operating somewhere in Philadelphia."

Great; three weeks in, and now I'm up against terrorists. The Sword of Fire is a jihadist operation with less money and agents than al-Qaeda, but with a distinct advantage: superpowers. They often launch attacks against American landmarks, with some (attempting to open up a fissure under the Capitol and drag the entire building underground) more noteworthy than others (setting fire to the HOLLYWOOD sign).

"It's very likely that the cell will strike within the next few days," Zulfikar continued. "The only problem is, I don't know where. That's why Lady Liberty recommended you. Punch, you have the ability to pick up on any conversation carried over electronic equipment in the Philadelphia area. You, Judy, have outstanding telepathic abilities."

"Well, yeah," she said, "but I don't think I can cherrypick an entire city."

"Don't worry; when the time comes, you won't have to." Then he turned for me. "As for you, Doc, you have the ability to go anywhere in this city instantly, and to teleport others wherever you choose. In the event of an emergency, that will likely be our greatest asset."

I don't really like the sound of that. "So, what's the plan?" I ask.

"Three members of the cell are meeting in Chestnut Hill tomorrow night at 9. We will wait and observe their meeting place until they convene. Once we're sure they're who we're after, we'll attack. Judy will get all the necessary information, and you, Doc, will send them to jail. Here." He handed me a picture of a prison. More specifically, a square in the middle of the prison floor painted orange and surrounded by machinery. "That is the Citadel, in upstate New York. That zone is the neutralization area; any villain teleported there will be unable to use their powers."

"Thanks. So, where do we meet tomorrow?"

"We'll meet on top of City Hall at 8:30," Zulfikar said. "From there, we will proceed to a safe area near the rendezvous point." He paused. "Best of luck, everyone, and I look forward to kicking arse beside you."

And with that, he took off in a blur. The rest of the patrol was rather uneventful. We cut it short, thinking it would be best if we rested up until our big fight with the superpowered terrorists who hate us for being American.

Wow. That above statement doesn't inspire a lot of confidence, does it? I'd better go prepare for the terrorist hunt.


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