Mind & Matter Archives
March 28, 2008
Dave: Difficult Subject
Graham considered his visitor a moment before speaking. "Mr. Edwards, I accepted this interview because you said you wanted to learn something about my organization, about our goals and mission. I've since learned you instead intend an 'expose' of a possible 'metahuman conspiracy.' Something far from 'fair' and 'balanced,' as your organization puts it."
He paused, slowly sipping his coffee. "Mr. Edwards, I am a projective empath. I can be your best friend. Alternately, I can throw you into such depths of despair that you dive through the window behind me to your death." Graham smiled. "Do you really want to make me your enemy?"
April 3, 2008
"Okay, I've cleaned it, slathered it with antiseptic, and confirmed your shots for rabies and conventional mouth-borne pathogens."
"But I'll be okay?"
"How the hell should I know in this city? Was the cat girl who bit you a mutant? If so, human or feline stock? Was she a were-cat? A felinoid alien? A cat girl-shaped robot? Do you even know?"
"She -- got away."
"So we have no real idea whether you're likely to suffer from a disease, curse, chest-burster, poison, fleas or what. Next time, bring in the perp."
"Um ... maybe you should look at these scratches, too."
May 19, 2008
Dave: The morning after
"I'm disappointed, Tony."
"It wasn't my fault."
"You absorbed about six square blocks of electrical grid, frying pretty much all the equipment in the process. PECO's not sure when things will be back working for the area. Which area includes St. Joseph's Hospital."
"I didn't --"
"It wasn't just a power loss; the surge as you sucked it up knocked out backup generators, too. Twenty-seven people died, Tony. People on life support. People being operated on. Another 376 suffered major injuries. All because you wanted a cheap high."
"It's not that -- I need it. It's like food, Mr. Thorne."
Tony's eyes welled up. "And it tastes so good --"
May 20, 2008
Dave: Burden of Proof
"How can we know?" Mrs. McNamera said. "These days, what with robots, clones --"
"Don't forget mind control," Mr. Jackson added.
"-- mind control, and, like, that guy who can make people see stuff that isn't there -- how can we convict? How can we be sure he did it?" The others nodded.
"The standard is a reasonable doubt," Duncan said. "How reasonable is it a mind-controlling super-villain compelled the guy to shoplift a six-pack? Or it was really a clone, an android, a doppelganger from an evil dimension, or aliens? It's a simple shoplifting."
Mrs. McNamera considered. "It could have been aliens."
May 22, 2008
INTERVIEWER: So tell us about this deal you've just signed with Kellogg.
ACCELERATOR: Well, whatever Amanda tells me to sign, I sign. (Laughter) No, it's a basic promotional package. Yours Truly will be appearing on cereal boxes, stuff like that. "Wheaties - The Breakfast of Heroes."
INTERVIEWER: Isn't Wheaties from General Mills?
ACCELERATOR: Oops! Sorry about that, guys. It was something flaky. Whatever it is, though, it's delicious, kids, and it will make your muscles grow strong so you can break the sound barrier, just like me.
INTERVIEWER: Are you really promising that to kids?
ACCELERATOR: Uh ... Amanda is making cutting-off gestures at me ...
May 30, 2008
Dave: Nightly Rounds
It was late. Graham leaned against the rain-slicked alley. "You know, we do have these things in the city called cars."
Amorpha shook her head. "A car separates you from your surroundings. On foot is best. for night patrol, unless you can fly. Besides, being cold, wet and hungry will help make you angry against the criminals we fight."
"And being angry will help me bop their heads?"
"No, you need to overcome your anger."
"Wait ... I need to get angry ... so I can stop being angry?"
"That makes no sense."
"Correct. Does that make you angry, too?"
March 11, 2009
Dave: Quite Contrary
“Gah,” Graham said, covering his face against the stench. “What --?”
“This?” asked Mary. “Oh, this is my garden.”
Around them, tall, thick-based plants wove a crazy-quilt of vines. Fetid white flowers blinked here and there, petals slowly waving in the breezeless chamber. Large pods sat at the base of several of the stems.
“I’m afraid to ask,” Graham said.
“Here’s where I grow my friends,” Mary explained. As she spoke, one of the pods split open. Something man-shaped and slimy slid to the ground, curled up in a fetal position. Its eyes opened, and it began to cry.
March 17, 2009
Dave: The Direct Approach Is Usually the Best
“This isn’t working!” I shouted to the others, jumping to the side to dodge the energy blast from the robot’s eye slit, rolling behind burning police car. “It’s got no mind to affect.”
Torchielle threw up a white-hot disk of flame in front of her, barely fending off the next blast. “And the creep’s fire-proof!”
Suddenly, the gleaming robot vanished beneath a Winnebego-sized gray block, spidery lengths of rebar reaching from its jagged edges.
“A really big slab of concrete usually works,” Velvet said, jumping down from the top of the parking structure.
I stared at her.
“What?” she asked.
March 19, 2009
Dave: First things first
“Now,” said the defense attorney, “Mister –“ He glanced at his notes. “—Minuteman. Is that your birthname?”
“My identity must remain hidden, to protect my loved ones.”
“Of course. Now, you’re a registered hero in New Philadelphia, correct?”
“Wherever the bright light of freedom shines, I am a hero to the people.”
“But, more specifically, you have filled out your Form 47-0105/a, correct?”
“Your Nathaniel Act ‘Hero’ registration for the City.”
“I – um – I just moved here and haven’t – I mean, I do have the form, but –“
“Your Honor, I move for an immediate dismissal ...”
April 2, 2009
Dave: Saving the Day
He basked in adulation, the cheers of the crowd washing over him. Doctor Krell’s Nihilbot lay in twisted fragments. Krell himself dangled limply from Graeme’s right hand, twitching in the afterglow of a final empathic blast.
Psiclone! Psiclone! Psiclone! Psiclone!
The masses chanted, the late-arriving heroes applauded, the photographers flashed, the church bells rang, rang, rang –
He rolled over, slamming off the alarm. No parades today. Permit meeting with the mayor. Hostile interview on “PM New Philly” this afternoon, And he really needed to work out soon before he stopped fitting in his bulletproof slacks.
A super-hero’s life. So glamorous.