Truth. Justice. Minesweeper.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

I guess instead of typing this out I should just clip one of the newspaper stories, but I feel like going over it for some reason. And why not? My version's as good as anybody's.

About midmorning, I was running some errands on the way home from work. I got off the subway at Crowninshield Square, and as I was climbing the steps to the sidewalk, I could hear commotion up ahead. What the hey, this is the big city, there's always something going on.

Except when I got up there I was in the middle of a panic. People were trampling past me on the run. I held onto the railing so as not to get swept under. The air smelled funny--like smoke and a bit like the furnace when you first turn it on in the fall.

About seventy feet above the square, hovering by the Droopers! billboard, two people were fighting. (I didn't know who they were at the time. I do now.) One, Ms. Moxie, was a red-haired woman in a blue jacket and skirt. She was outlined in a bright blue glow. The other one, Scorch, was a burly blond guy in a muscle shirt. He seemed to be on fire.

Scorch was throwing little flecks of fire at Ms. Moxie. (I have to admit I feel kind of embarrassed typing out these damn superhero names. 'Ms. Moxie', for Christ's sake.) They were mostly being deflected by her force field or whatever it was, but then they'd shower onto the crowd below so she'd have to reach out with her blueness and catch the sparks before anybody got hurt. S was more graceful with the flying; he was bobbing and weaving all over the place. M, though, was holding herself up off the ground on a column of blue energy, which seemed to work well enough but didn't give her a lot of maneuverability.

This was nothing I should get mixed up in. I knew that. What I really ought to have done was duck back underground and not get stampeded or incinerated. Still, I figured I could stay out of the way, and I had a certain professional interest in what was going on. I dashed from the subway stairwell to a storefront doorway.

S got smart. He began scattering his fireblobs in a wide arc across the dozens of people who still hadn't found a way out of the area. M broke off her dogfight with him and floated out over the throng, spreading her blue glow more widely to catch the flames in midair. As she extended the energy out, it got paler. S saw this and swooped in.

He busted through her force field and got her in a headlock, punching her kidneys with his other hand. They plunged to the ground and I couldn't see them behind the hordes of people. There were bursts of fire and blue light, though.

This is the cool part. Some woman had been driving through the square but got caught in the crowds. Now she sized up the situation and steered her car right for a fire hydrant. Water started shooting all over the place. Another guy, getting the idea, held a garbage can lid out over the geyser to direct it at the fight. It took him a second to get the range, but he did.

When the water hit S, a cloud of steam belched up. I still couldn't see what was going on, but seconds later, M flew up out of the square. S hung upside down and motionless in a bubble of blue light beside her. She pointed at the busted hydrant and it shone blue and warped around until the waterspout turned into just a trickle. She waved at the garbage-can-lid guy and the woman in the car and took off with S. I could hear sirens from not far off.

A couple of teenagers were in the doorway beside me. "You see stuff like this much?" I asked them.

"Third time," one of them said.

"Fifth for me," his buddy said. "But the second one kind of sucked."

It was weird. I see a superhero every day, pretty much. But I only ever see him when he's being subtle. Greyghost is always angling and preparing stuff ahead of time. There was nothing subtle about what M was dealing with in Crowninshield Square today; basically a guy was trying to set her ass on fire. What are you like if you do this kind of thing all the time? Specifically, what's Greyghost like?

Not only that, but I could see the square after M and S were gone. As far as I could tell from the newspaper stories, nobody got seriously hurt, but there was certainly property damage. And for what? It's a screwed-up situation all around.

On the other hand, I'm making pretty good coin these days, so maybe I'll just shut my freaking mouth and see if my conscience will let me sleep tonight.
Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?