So, this is last part of my story for now. I’m going to glaze over parts because it wasn’t really action or a lot of talking that I care to explain.
As you can see, this story doesn’t end with me duking it out with a bunch of other heroes. That’s never been my style anyway. It never will be. I told you way back at the beginning, I never wanted to be in this super powered business to begin with.
So, I didn’t get to fight my own climactic battle against the supervillain known as TeleGraph. I also missed the chance to kick him in the nuts. Instead, when I woke, the blonde version of Alice was laying across my lap. A blanket covered most of us. Her visible clothes were a mess and burn marks tore holes that trailed along pristine skin. I moved slowly and compared my own markings to hers.
She had either never been hurt, or healed faster than I did. I didn’t know, but she clutched tightly to my clothes everytime I attempted to move. That meant something. I took it as, Jade won and somehow Ted lost. Or maybe they both won, or Ted threw his plan out the window.
A thick envelope was tucked into my T-shirt. I carefully moved my free arm to open the letter then read. The letter used fancy legal words to explain the results of our suit. The Judge did not play around when it came to resolving cases.
I gathered the following facts from that thick series of papers.
One. Ted a villain and licensed hero, most of the crew were. They were in trouble for violation of a ‘no-go’ law. Being business partners mitigated some of the damage but he was ordered not to act against me or attempt to use other people as leverage to influence my decisions. But we were still business partners.
Ted, Emily, and Iggy filed restraining orders against me—or at least some form of them which The Judge approved. I was to avoid interacting with them personally, as I was deemed a threat, but they still had access to footage of my life and I could write specials for their site. I got to be in the news, just not near the newsroom.
Jade, somehow managed to collect an insane amount of money in legal fees then in turn charged me, as well as ensure the damages to a city in Florida—where the Purple Prose crashed I guess—were charged against Show Stopper for violation of the ‘no-go’ orders. The Judge’s interference made it all happen damn quickly.
Even Ted’s ex-wife was punished. To top it off, Golden Sun filed divorce papers at the same hearing. How he got invited was beyond me. So, now Ted’s ex was hanging in the wind. I suspected Ted would be there trying to woo her or something soon. I didn’t want to be around when that happened.
I kept reading the long list of paperwork and reading Jade’s scrawled in notes. Alice stirred at about that point. She clutched my arm but said only one thing, “She’s back in the mirror.” And promptly passed back out.
I rubbed her shoulder but wasn’t sure how else to interact with her yet. We’d had a very short time together. But she’d no doubt wake and pelt me with questions again.
Meanwhile Flux, that fucking robot, hovered in the distance taking these wide scope panoramic shots of our area. If you’ve watched the playback, you can see they’re simply touching—annoyingly so. He put a little heart frame around Alice and me; he also liked happy endings or thought they’d help with ratings. I don’t know.
So, time passed and I oddly kept my job with Hero Watch despite the restraining order. In the four weeks following the trials I’ve done six special clips talking only about people who’d died near me. The list of names slowly grew smaller. I’d play the videos for you but they’re depressing and mean nothing to anyone but me or those who lost a loved one.
The mother of those twins—Lauren and Caleb Todd, sent me a letter of thanks for sharing the last moments of her deceased husband and children. I was emotionally screwed up after reading it but came away feeling better. Like the burden on my shoulders is dimming just a little. You may not give a shit, but I do. I’ll keep going, and at this rate it’ll take me another year to finish spilling out each death in a way that does them justice.
And I’m sure in a year the list will gain more names. My life hasn’t slowed down, just changed—for the better. I’m even working hard on being less sarcastic and more upbeat. Three guesses to any member of the audience who can figure out how that’s going.
Anyway, I’m telling you all this because this is a good stopping point. It’s a happy one. I got the girl. Ted, my messed-up villain, was fined. I had a job still that paid me real money. Jade got even more money. The world was looking up.
But, this is all me telling you what happened after the fact. I’m not trying to rush but after the whole lawsuit thing the results got kind of dull. It’s not action or high adventure. Still, I’ll give you just a bit more.
A week later, after Alice and I had managed to deal with mole people plus a literal snot monster, were holed up in a hotel. According to the charts which Emily and Iggy provided me through the internet, we had at least seven hours before life threw something new at me. Alice and I decided to find a hiding place to consummate our relationship, which was way passed due in her mind.
Sex was her idea, not mine. I mean, don’t think I objected. I was a red-blooded male who hadn’t touched a willing woman of the same species since seventeen. There were things I wanted to do—and had sort of forgotten how.
Alice spent most of the week prior to our hotel stay trying to find spare corners to dry hump in. You deal with a week of that without wanting more. That being said, I was brave, but wanted our first time to be somewhere other than a dank cave lit by moss or some destroyed apartment. After that all bets were off, assuming our moment together didn’t shatter her delusion.
So were in a hotel, going through the warmup lap to deed doing. Clothes were scattered on the floor. The mattress behind us had a fresh bed sheet that Flux copied from somewhere. A second sheet sat over his head.
Then the floating camera rang, and rang, and rang. The blanket over its head that didn’t muffle noise coming through at an ever-increasing pitch.
Alice’s hands cupped my face for a long kiss. She pulled away with a groan. “That is very distracting.”
“We can ignore it,” I suggested. Flux had all sorts of features that we were still discovering. One of them turned out to be video conferencing. Which occasionally helped. He could also increase in pitch the longer he was ignored.
My girlfriend ground teasingly against me. I jerked in anticipation. She leaned over and kissed my neck then whispered hotly in my ear, “Answer it, tell them to fuck off. I’ll be under the sheets , staying warmed up for you.”
Alice fell to the side, took the blanket with her, and left me naked in front of Flux. So, with the full intention of telling someone to go away post haste, I answered the screen.
Ted popped up. The background showed a beach and sunset. I couldn’t help being irritated at his face on the screen. He sat a thousand miles away from me and still was too close. I just, had a really hard time being mad at him considering his fucked-up reasoning. Maybe being forced into a video call with my scrawny naked form jarred his ego. I hope it did.
He ignored me then waved his arms at a video feed. It showed one of my little touching pieces on people that had died. “You keep recording utter crap and it’s killing the ratings. Who are these clowns?”
“I’d love to chat but I’m busy, Ted,” I said dryly.
“Two years in a circle, trust me, you’re acting like a clown. Not the circus kind, though some of these videos probably fit right in. But I didn’t call for that reason. I wanted to gloat.”
We hadn’t spoken since the whole Alice hostage situation.
“Sounds great. Leave a voicemail. My people will call your people.”
“Gloating, because I am a diabolical genius. Outright, they gave me a certificate.”
“I care,” I said.
“Adam,” Alice moaned under the blanket.
Ted blinked then continued his proud rant, “Do you know how know how hard it was to get a theoretically impossible device from the future, bind it to you, and come out with my ex-wife a newly single woman? I mean, a fight would have been good, but this is even better. He left her, and all because you showed up and she went nuts. The results are nearly ideal, aside from these clown-like ratings.”
He continued his self-indulgent speech while my ears tuned into Alice’s unsubtle self-pleasuring.
“I deserve an award,” Ted said.
I frowned at the screen. We weren’t friends, we never had been, but I had to respect his drive a little. At least a little. I mean who else figures out a way to get a time travel device, bind it to a person, finds the perfect unkillable man, then plots out a failure plan to get revenge upon his wife and the man who married her? I mean who even works that hard on it? Then has the balls to call me up and complain about profit shares on website hits?
“Good job. I’ll ask the academy for your award next year. I can cover it at the next meeting,” I said.
Ted shook his head. Topless women were in the background and for once they didn’t interest me. I glanced to the side. Alice continued unceasingly with her own show and it sped my heartbeat even as Ted rambled.
“Hey. One more thing. I’m sure you figured out that Flux gave me a bunch of footage. I wanted to say, you’re not a saint. Not at all. In fact if I hadn’t intervened, there would have been another name for you.”
“I’m dying to hear it,” I said.
Ted frowned then rolled his eyes. “The Fiasco. The one and only Fiasco. Walking disaster. It fits you perfectly, even with the slight alterations to the future. Are you aware how many plans of mine you’ve ruined over the years? Not just mine but—”
“You’re killing my mood.” Alice threw off the blanket and stormed across the bed toward Flux. I reached over and pressed the power button on Flux’s front. It didn’t shut the robot off, but our conversation died. The freed up sheet went back over his head quickly.
“Goodbye, asshole,” Alice said, then tugged at my arm. Flux with his ghost costume shet turned away and I shook my head. My girlfriend grabbed my face and pulled it to hers, driving any other thought out of my head. Alice wore nothing but a smile and felt absolutely amazing.
We fell vertical. My body pressed to hers. I gulped, totally unprepared for anything that came next. It’s how my life went, one crazy event after another. The only upside was this one would actually be fun. I leaned over, fully intent on exploring exactly what two willing people could accomplish given a few hours of peace and quiet.
Then, wouldn’t you know it, the wall broke into a million pieces as something powerful burst through. I stared at the wreckage. A woman, stooped over with a hand in the air reached out toward me.
“Adam, I need your help,” she said as dust settled around her. She was way up in the air and a long, giant snout protruded below her. Red eyes, flaming hair, and an uneven gait. It took me four glances to realize this was Cindy and the drunken unicorn.
“We’re busy!” Alice pulled a knife out of literally nowhere and threw it in a flash toward the mounted woman. The horse danced sideways while snorting in laughter or anger or whatever the hell horses snort in.
“No. We have to go now! Adam, you’re the only one who can talk down the Crystalline mother ship!”
I sighed heavily. The woman on horseback, who’d been dead last I checked—told me I could somehow talk down an alien spaceship. There were probably a bunch of little child sized ‘pew pew’ aliens on board. Choosing me made no sense and would probably go sideways.
Still, You should know by now that very little in my life worked out. I’d been this close—this close to the happy end of a happy ending! That would have made nearly everything that happened worth it.
Such is my life.
We haven’t covered teaching at a superhero school yet. I haven’t talked about why I went so far as to hold reality hostage. There just isn’t enough time in a single setting to cover everything. Life isn’t simple—which is why I wanted to pause on a vaguely positive note. I got the girl, almost bedded the girl then life threw me formally dead druggies on a nightmare horse.
Oh well. Rest assured we’ll get there eventually. For now, this is Adam Millard, apparently known as The Fiasco, signing off.
I’ll talk at you folks later.
|Character Dossier Update: Adam Millard
Action: Alias Added, ‘The Fiasco’
Reason: Something ‘Bad’. Follow action plan #05H1T
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