Truth. Justice. Minesweeper.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Well, I found out who that was who had been following me, and I'm definitely going to need Greyghost's advice on this one. Possibly Cruickshank's too.

So I'm flying around the other night, doing the old skyscraper slalom, the way I do, and I spot someone flying up from behind me. By my watch I had nine minutes to go on this quarter so I swooped around off to the side and hovered; whoever it was could either approach me straightforwardly or continue on through.

He veered toward me. As he got closer, I could see it was a dark-haired guy with sunglasses and a beard. He was propelling himself through the air with the aid of a Coke can in his hands, that was belching out fire beneath him. He was also wearing a bandolier with various other cans of pop strapped across his chest.

"Neat trick," I said over the roar of the Coke jet.

"Yours works better," he said. "Mind if we land for a minute?"

I nodded, and pointed at a rooftop. We went there.

I stepped down lightly onto the gravel, and Coke Can Man maneuvered himself down retro-rocket-style. It looked like a pretty awkward way to fly, but he was good at it.

"So who are you?" I said.

"You can call me Fountain," he said. Fountain! Underhand's new guy! What the hell do I do now?

"That sounds familiar," I said.

He nodded. "And what can I call you?"

I had thought long and hard about this. "Frequent Flyer," I said.

"Heh. You're new, right? Haven't been wearing that mask long?"

That sounded safe to answer. "That's right."

"So have you thought about what you're going to do?" He's trying to recruit me! Holy moley.

"I was planning on flying around some more and then maybe getting some sleep."

Fountain grinned. "You think you'll be left alone to zoom around all your life? You won't."

"Well, no. You're here, for one thing."

"Yeah. And I won't be the last. People will want you to become a vigilante, which means you'll get about ten opportunities a week for someone to kick your ass. Plus the government's always sniffing around people with superpowers. And there are all kinds of people out there looking for ways to exploit you."

"Which one of those groups are you in?" I asked him.

He grinned. "Oh, the third one, for sure. But I'm telling you that up front. I'm not trying to shit you and I'm not trying to screw you."

"Okay... so what do you want?"

"I'm looking for good people. People with superpowers, who are willing to mix it up a bit, who'll stay loyal to the man who pays them. Lots of opportunities for people like that."


"You don't have to answer now," he said, and handed me a card. On one side was a picture of a soft-drink dispenser. A soda fountain, if you will. On the other side was a phone number. "Give me a call next week sometime."

I stood there and looked at the card like an idiot as he shook up another can of Coke and jetted away.

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