Truth. Justice. Minesweeper.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Our next meeting was in Bob's condo. The security on this place was not to be believed - cameras and keypads everywhere. I have the idea that this was more to keep out Bob's legion of rabid fans than to prevent any supervillain activity.

As he ushered Perseid and me in, he said, "Now if you guys want to knock over a garbage can and eat out of old sardine cans, at least I'm the only one around to see you."

"We appreciate it," I said.

He chucked his jacket onto the chair and flicked on a large overhead light.

"Now, let's--Dennis, what the hell are you doing?" he said.

"Sorry," I told him, crawling out from under the coffee table. "Reflex."

"That was quite a dive," Perseid said. "I thought you were going to crack your hilarious head open."


"First thing," Bob said. "Where the hell is Greyghost?"

"Fighting a giant in this half-assed sword-and-sorcery alternate dimension," I said. "He'll be fine. There's a guy there who can send him home."

"Okay," he said. "Now what about this Redburn guy?"

"He's a professional magician who's also a dragon in this fantasy world," Perseid explained. "He's got some kind of scheme going where he marries the princess of this one kingdom."


"Shapechanging, both himself and others. Dimensional travel. Flight. Looks pretty tough in a fight," she said.

"I saw his magic act," I said. "I didn't get it at the time, but Greyghost seems to have the idea that his act was real magic and not just sleight-of-hand. Which means that you can't give him a list of super powers; he's just got general versatile magic."

"He's going to be everlastingly hard to track down," Perseid mused.

Bob and I looked at her like she was an idiot. "No," Bob explained, "he's incredibly easy to track down. That's the least of our problems."

She looked at us quizzically.

"He's a magician. His shows are advertised in the paper," I said. "They're advertised online. He wants people to be able to find him."

"Oh, well, yeah," she said. "If you want to count that."

"The problem is," I said, "he's got really subtle, extensive and versatile powers, and you guys both have straightforward physical powers. I mean, never mind that he can turn into a huge firebreathing scale-armored flying dragon, he's also got magic that he can do anything with. What can you guys do against that?"

Now it was my turn to be the idiot. They actually had pity on their faces as they considered my regrettable ignorance.

"Anybody want a drink?" Bob said, getting up.

"Could I have some milk?" Perseid asked. "In a saucer?"

Bob paused on his way to the kitchen.

"Okay, that time I was kidding," she said.

When he came back he had a tray of drinks in one hand and a pad of graph paper in the other, and within ten minutes the two of them had come up with a plan.

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