Spacer Aside262a
  | Asymmetry | Role-Playing | Villains & Vigilantes | The Revolution | Story So Far | Aside |





Boston, Fenway Park. Stephanie waited outside, Red Sox pennant in her hand. She kept looking at her watch. A banner on the side of the park announced the day's charity game.
    She checked her watch again and began pacing. A group of people walked by, glanced at her and silently labeled the scene "Portrait of a Woman Being Stood Up." She glared at them until they went inside, then rubbed the angry tears from her eye s and walked over to a couple of kids.
    "Here, I have a couple of tickets, why don't you just go in." She tossed the pennant into the trash and stalked away, muttering, "Bastard. Stand me up, pick some stupid, brainless supermodel over me? I'll show him."

* * *

Seattle, GEMINI headquarters. The building had clearly come under recent attack; a chunk of wall had been destroyed, and security and construction teams were busy putting the mess back in order.
    "What got stolen?" someone asked.
    "We lost an awful lot of research and notes."
    "Well, we still have copies, but someone came in and took all our stuff."
    "Do we have any idea who this guy was?" On the wall nearby were two people-shaped outlines in some sort of gluey substance.
    "He called himself El Coquí Azul."
    "Wait a minute, wait a minute..." His lips moved as he worked out the translation. "The Blue Tree Frog?"
    Inside his office, Dr. Scott wheeled his chair back and forth, righting computers, wiping off slime, and generally trying to make the place workable again.
    "So, what do you think he made copies of?" the lab manager asked, threading his way carefully through the mess.
    "Well, checking things over, he stole a lot of work off my Plovian superconducting metal."
    "That's not surprising, that's most of what you've been working on."
    "He also accessed some files on linked nanomachines," Dr. Scott added.
    The other man tilted his head in a surprised attitude. "When were you doing work on linked nanomachines?"
    "Some time ago, part of a different project. You run enough linked nanomachines together and you can use them to manipulate the Plovian superconducting metal."
    "Are those computers?" He sounded a bit alarmed.
    "In a sense."
    "That's... you know the general rule that if you get enough computers together—"
    "Yes, the government comes and cracks down on you." He nodded. It was that problem they had of tending to try to take over the world.
    "I didn't realize that if you made them small enough and put them together, it had the exact same effect."
    "What happened?" the manager asked nervously.
    "Oh no, it's okay. He's a superhero, he's not trying to take over the world at all," Scott assured him. "What was the last mail he sent... 'not during the limits of your miserable carbon-based lifespan,' and then there's a little smiley face, so I have to assume he's joking."
    "Is it dangerous?" was the next question, meaning the stolen research.
    Dr. Scott shook his head. "No. From the notes that he got, he shouldn't have anything on how to construct them; I ended up doing most of the work on that from scratch. No, it's probably nothing, but I'll still send my son a note, just to make sure he knows that this is going on."
    The manager nodded, willing to be reassured. "D'you think we're going to see the Blue Tree Frog again?"
    Dr. Scott wiped a handful of goop from a file cabinet with a disgusted expression. "I hope not. He was really grotesque. When he was leaving he said he was planning on showing the Detroit Warriors who really ruled the city, so...."

* * *

New York. In his penthouse suite, Brandeis McCauley lounged at ease in the bottom half of a set of silk pajamas, a cigar in one hand as he went through the morning's mail.
    "Hm." He picked up an engraved envelope. "Looks like an invitation from George Lapin. It seems he's having a Halloween party."
    On the couch, an exquisite blonde (wearing the other half of the pajamas) raised her head, rubbed her nose briefly. "George? But don't you throw the Halloween party?"
    "Yes, normally, I decided against doing it this year because... because...." He frowned. "Something about a letter. Anyway, George is sending out this invitation to a 'classic Halloween masquerade.' He's apparently having it at the Top of the Hub in Boston." Entertainment to be provided by one of the world's premier jazz trios.
    "Will we be going?"
    "Of course. He's obviously trying to show me up, and we'll simply be the best dressed people there. You'll be dripping in jewels, and I know this perfect costumer. He's a little out of town, but you can get anything through the mail." He frowned again. "Why did I say that?"

| Top | Back to Main Narrative


© 2001 Rebecca J. Stevenson