Truth. Justice. Minesweeper.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I just blinked at Inkling, or Cabrera, for a second. He blinked back.

"Actually I didn't know this was your store. But, yeah, I'm running from a supervillain. There're two guys out there fighting Greyghost and they're pretty tough. Can you help?"

He sighed.

The other guy in the store, the customer in the chair, said, "Go on. You know you'll feel bad if you don't."

Cabrera nodded, slowly, and took a book down off the shelf. It was a big old beaten up antique wood-bound thing. He started to read it, and as he did, the print from the book started to flow off the pages and up his hands, up his arms. He read faster and faster. The pages flipped until they were a blur. The text whirled and ran just under his skin, reshaping him, creating horns and wings and claws. In seconds, it was hard to see Cabrera himself. He had become some kind of ink demon.

Inkling roared and leapt out through the front window of the store... but it didn't break. He just passed through it like a ghost.

"Wow," I said.

The other guy nodded. "If you don't mind my asking, how did you get involved in this?"

"Well. I guess it's kind of obvious from what I said. I sorta help out Greyghost in some ways."

Another nod. He gestured out the window after Inkling. "I hope you know what that cost him, to transform himself like that."

"I don't. I've only met him once before this, and I really don't know anything about him."

"That demon he can turn into, the one in the book, is an evil creature that's only barely under control. For Joseph to become Inkling, he has to invite that monster into his own mind. It takes him days to recover from it."

"No wonder he doesn't do it much," I said. "I mean, I know super-powers can mess you up, but that's crazy."

"That's why I don't use mine anymore," he said.


"I used to be known as Omicron," he said. "Then one night I was fighting some supervillain, and I used my powers to make him disappear. He wasn't there anymore. And I thought about how easy it had been, and how little I thought about it before doing it.

"That was the last time I used my powers. And the last time I ever will."

I had nothing to say to that. But I did eventually remember to close my mouth.
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