Stories from a Dublin Scientist

Month: December, 2015

The Old Guard

He was a soldier of the Old Guard, investing effort on accouterment rather than tactics. He looked really well marching out into the jungle. I’m told the chief of the Wei-Weis used his epaulets for a new hat.

Written for The Grammar Ghoul Press Shapeshifting 13 challenge number 31.

Picture it and Write: Image Problem

Hi there! This is my offering for this week’s picture it and write from Ermilia’s blog here. Once again, the picture is not mine, I only use it for inspiration. Anyway, enjoy.

Image Problem

Phil Turner of Heroic Associates was looking through a newspaper article on a client. It was the usual hatchet job, cut and paste rhetoric and littered with mistakes, but passable, with some minor changes. He was indulging in some minor editing when he heard a crash and some raised voices from his secretary’s office in the next room.

There was the click of the intercom and the voice of Mrs Perkins, his secretary came through. “If you want to see Mr Turner you have to make an appointment.” Phil quickly realised that his secretary must have accidentally turned on the intercom in the kerfuffle and was speaking without knowing he could hear. There was some muffled voices followed by Mrs Perkins saying, “Miss! Miss! You can’t! Miss!”

There was the crack of breaking metal as the locks of the door was snapped open. In through the doorway, with the protesting Mrs Perkins behind her, came a young woman in gym gear and a hoodie. “Turner!” The woman said “Explain yourself.”

“Sally!” Phil didn’t miss a beat, he placed the article down and gave his cheesiest grin to his top client. “Did you have a chance to look at the sketches from Galloway’s?”

“I did.” Sally said and threw down a lump onto Phil’s table. He picked it up and though at first it appeared to be a piece of wood Phil quickly ascertained that it was sheets of paper fused together by great strength. Along the edges could be seen parts of the images that were on the paper, a bare leg here, an ample cleavage there. “What kind of sexist tripe are you trying to foist on me?”

“Sally. Please.” Phil got up out of his desk and walked over to his client. “You hired me to help change your work saving the city into an income you can live on. You told me yourself that mild-mannered librarian pays very badly. If you pick one of these costumes, pick an image, then we will have something the people can recognise, something we can sell. In days we can have t-shirts, posters and figurines for the kiddies. But you need to choose.”

Sally’s eyes showed less anger, what Phil said made sense to a point. “I understand, but these, these are too revealing, I wouldn’t be comfortable in them.” She looked up, as if into the distance “I want something glamorous, something people would respect., Full body, Maybe even a cape, or a full cloak.”

Phil shook his head, “I wouldn’t recommend capes, you remember Captain Wondrous, he didn’t do very well against that jet engine, did he?” Sally nodded sheepishly, Phil continued “Glamorous we can deal with, full body… we can see.” He thought for a second, “How about pantsuits? We can cash in on the new woman vibe. A powersuit for Power Woman. I like the sound of that.”

“Would I still be able to fight in that?” Sally asked.

“If you need it I can get the best trainers in the business to make sure you can not only kick ass but will look good for the cameras doing it. If it works for the FBI it will work for you.”

Sally looked down at here own, grubby, look. “But, I like this, I’m used to this. It feels like me.”

“Well that is no problem either.” Phil said “Sportswear never goes out of style. You give me the word and I will have Nike and Reebok bidding against each other to kit you out. You could make a fortune.”

Phil put his arm around Sally and began to gently lead her out the broken door back to the exit. “You see Sally. Brain dead henchmen and monologuing supervillains, You got them. Big studios and advertising  agencies, that is my turf. I’m here to look after you and nothing.” He looked Sally in the eye, “I mean nothing will happen without your say so.”

He opened the outer door and said “Give me until tomorrow. I’ll have Galloway design custom pantsuits for you and I’ll test the waters for unofficial bids for sportswear sponsorship. You can then take as long as you want to make a decision.”

Sally, a.k.a. Power Woman, smiled, made a short wave then hurtled into the air at a couple of hundred miles an hour. Phil watched her fly off then turned to his secretary, “did you get that? An appointment for Miss Rogers for tomorrow.” Mrs Perkins nodded her officious nod and Phil went back to the broken door to his office.

He bent down and looked intently at the broken lock on the door. Under his gaze the fracture in the metal began to heal, in seconds the whole door was as good as new.

Fixing things, including himself was a power that Captain Wondrous had kept to himself. The accident had been real, but it was more a fault of the complicated life he had been leading then it was the jet engine. He looked  at it as a sign, to quit heroing and to set up to help those like him to get though the mundane organisation of life. Under his guidance, he swore, they could fight whomever they wanted, go whereever they wanted and wear whatever they wanted.

As long as it wasn’t a cape. Phil was not a fan of capes anymore.