Autor Thema: Superhero  (Gelesen 1481 mal)

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Offline DAOGA

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Superhero
« am: 17. März 2014, 16:54:33 Uhr »
Despite all his wealth, Thomas Adalmar Richards the Third had never been known to be a party animal. But this party, a costume party held in one of the largest and most-respectable houses, was without doubt the event of the year. Rumor had it that even the First Family including the President would attend, and so the old hermit was willing for once to crawl out of his cave. Maybe to use the chance to meet with VIPs, businessmen or politicians with dockets just as full as his own. Which promised a nice evening at home for him and his colleagues, Agent Wylie of the Federal Security Agency thought, because the place would surely be crawling with members of the Secret Service if the President was there, and Tom Richards was certainly able to keep himself out of trouble for a single evening without ´his own´ agents around. Well, he thought that until Tom told him the reason why he would attend.
“I have a bad feeling about this party,” he simply said, and that rang the bells for Wylie. Richards always used to say that he absolutely sucked at clairvoyance, but if he had a bad feeling about something it was already sufficient to sound the alarm and close the gates, and maybe, but just maybe, it was some long-forgotten but suddenly resurfacing memory of a time traveler from the future about something which had happened in ´his´ past but had not happened yet. It was Wylie´s job to take news like that immediately to his boss, and so two days later, when General Wade had finished with presenting his newest report to the President and his staff, he addressed the President directly about the party. To Wade it was not rumor but knowledge that the President would attend, and that he was adamant about it.
“We got a warning that something will happen at that party. We didn´t get details, no who and how and why, but the source is very reliable.” Of course, Wade wouldn´t tell the President that the source was a bad gut feeling from his top crazy. Before the President could say anything, Wade continued: “I know I can´t persuade you not to go there, you made your will about it quite clear before, so I won´t try. Instead I ask for permission to attend too, and to bring some good men of my own with me. They´re to assist your Secret Service if needed, and stay out of sight if not.”
The President knew about the rivalties between his Secret Service that was responsible for anything concerning the President including his personal and spatial surrounding and the other government agencies like CIA, FBI and FSA. So he answered: “I understand your concerns, but there´ll already be more security personnel than guests present as it is, so I don´t see why your men could make a difference where my Secret Service couldn´t.  But still, I will give you my OK if you assign your men to the Secret Service for that evening, and if my chief of Service agrees to the addition. We can´t have a tangle in chain of command if something´s happening.”
The President truly wondered if Wade would agree to that, knowing that every agency took pride in acting independently from the others, and that included not giving a foot of ground or access to command to the competition. But Wade just nodded in agreement, which read to the President that he considered this matter too important to let silly conceptions of personal honor interfere.
He didn´t know that Wade´s best asset there would be actually one of the guests, a man with enough reputation in Washington to get himself an official invitation to the party, and enough power to actively step in if something unkosher occured. Wade´s own men would be there first and foremost to assist said guest and keep unnecessary nuisances out of his hair while he did his job, helping out with the Secret Service ranked second. Of course, one of the agents Wade chose was Benjamin Wylie, because he was closest to Tom Richards and knew how to interpret every order the man gave.
The agent almost jumped up into the air and cheered when he got to see the costume Tom would be wearing. It was the superhero costume again, which Tom sadly refused to don for any other occasion than Halloween and Mardi Gras. With a showoff like Tom Richards, superhero time spelled superhero fun because he always used the mask as an excuse to let loose, and then woe! to every evildoer who´d try something at this party.
So Wylie was in high spirits when he was allowed to accompany Tom to the party in his limousine, more his personal bodyguard of the evening than as a representative of the Agency. He brought out their invitations when courteously asked, and showed his badge when they both got checked for weapons before they were allowed inside the house. Wylie was allowed to keep his service weapon, and Tom Richards had left his famous silver cane at home because it didn´t match with the costume. The important part of the stick, the powerful Level Five matrix, he wore hidden somewhere in his costume, together with the important dampeners which would protect him from his Five´s raw power if something went wrong, and those non-metallic things never caused a ping from the x-ray-screens and metal detectors every entrant got checked with. 
The appearance of the rarely seen mysterious man caused a joyful hello when people recognized him by his long blond hair which he´d bound to an elaborated knot on the back of his head so that only the loose hair-ends touched his cape at neck height. So Tom strolled about the whole building in the next two hours, meeting people, doing small talk, admiring well-made costumes and puzzling about who hid behind a certain mask if it wasn´t obvious, and only Wylie who kept in the background as befitted one of the many bodyguards present knew that the slight blue glow coming from Tom´s superher suit was not a cheap trick but a working energy matrix that wove an invisible net throughout the mansion while its master moved around. As soon as that web was complete, all the protecting fields Tom as a Level Five M-Tec used to wear around him would get amplified a thousendfold to encase the whole building and some space around, alarming him instantly if things like poisons, explosives or other arms than those of the allowed guards were deployed in the area, or if the vital signs of people suddenly changed in an alarming way. Since they had come very early, they could watch the arrival of many other guests, including that of the First Family about two hours after their own. They also were well disguised, and both Tom and Ben knew that all the Service men were sweating blood and water right now, because somebody could grab the opportunity to swap the President or a member of his family for a dupe and get away with the original before somebody learned about the exchange. They certainly had worked out some secret signs to recognize ´their´ charges, but just to be on the safe side, Tom slipped the President and all his family members invisible matrix tags which would make them locatable to him everywhere on planet Earth. He didn´t need to approach them to do that, he just let the little invisible ´keys´ fly and they attached to their targets on their own, and he also never tried to get close to the First Family. If they came to him, fine, but if he found the need to let the President know about something he could do that anytime with General Wade´s assistance. Instead, he listened to his feelings all the time and even harder after the web was completed, because that web also worked like a huge ear or satellite dish which fed him information not only of the pre-programmed but also of the supernatural kind, like the premonitions he normally was too weak on the clairvoyant side to receive. And those feelings told him now that he had to get up, to feel open sky above and around him, and they got more urgent by the minute. So he nodded towards his watchdog and pointed at the stairways that led to the roof terrace on one of the lower wings of the building. Wylie stopped trying not to bother the guests with his presence by pretending he was a suit-clad statue in the background, and followed him. “Do you feel something?” he asked, and Tom nodded. “We need to get on higher ground --“ he started, leaving the rest unsaid.
Since the party had started in the early evening and it was fall, darkness had fallen already, with the last glow of natural light from the horizon drowning in the diffuse glow from the city lights. The air was clean and crisp, but his suit and the invisible fields of energy from his matrix which he wore around him kept Tom warm. He didn´t look around to search for the sentinels he knew were there and somewhere on the roof, equipped with anti-aircraft missiles in case somebody shot missiles or sent planes towards the house. Not that they could do much if somebody really meant it. He heard music and noise from the lower floors, the humming of another car and the crunching of tires on gravel from below, the arrival of another guest, he sensed a curious owl passing silently overhead, he saw blinking position lights from planes in the night sky in the distance, one of them coming in his direction because the red and green lights slowly grew brighter. Wylie stood behind him, staying silent because he didn´t want to break Tom´s concentration on his feelings --
“The plane!” Suddenly there was a blinding blue flash in front of Wylie where Tom stood, and then Tom Richards was gone. After the second Wylie needed for his eyes to adjust, he saw that one set of red and green light that just had been light dots among other light dots in the sky suddenly grew bigger by the second, and something that looked like a electric-blue ball of lightning sped towards it, not quite as fast as a real lightning but fast enough to leave a straight trail of blueish light standing in the air. And then they collided, the blue electric thing and the red-green light, and out of their marriage emerged the huge shape of an approaching plane, a big jet, now fully surrounded by a bright halo of blue electric light. And it still came closer, having set its sight already on its target on the ground --
There was a loud swooshing noise from another part of the roof, and another light trail, this time yellow-white, made its way towards the oncoming plane. A little cloud of smoke was shortly visible above the launch site when a second anti-air missile followed the first one, and panicked screams into mikes disturbed the silent night air. The sentinels on the roof realized what was going on and had fired their weapons, but Wylie knew that was about as useless as throwing marbles against a tank, because even if the missiles hit and destroyed the plane, most of its wreckage would go right on in the same direction, carried by its momentum alone and destroying the target like shotgun pellets instead of a single sniper shot. And only then he realized he had his own gun in his hand which would be even more useless against the oncoming force. But the blue light had already met with the plane --
and then the missiles hit and exploded, but the explosions seemingly got repelled somehow from the plane´s shape, flowing off like liquid fire, and Wylie understood, the plane was already under control and so there was no longer the need to let it be destroyed. Hesitantly he put his gun back, still seeing the plane coming closer by the second, but he trusted --
« Letzte Änderung: 17. März 2014, 16:59:37 Uhr von DAOGA »

Offline DAOGA

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Re: Superhero
« Antwort #1 am: 24. März 2014, 17:56:16 Uhr »
and then the huge belly of the plane was right above him and the whole house, so close that he thought he could touch it, the roar of its engines so close nearby making him deaf, and then it was gone from one split-second to next, it had passed by, missing the highest parts of the house for nothing more than two or three meters. 
Wylie raised his head again and removed his hands from his ears, looked after the plane and saw it finally gaining altitude while growing smaller with distance, still glowing all over from blue electric light. “A little sooner would´ve been nice,” he murmured, not able to hear his own voice over the ringing in his ears. “You´re slipping, old man.”
Men stormed the terrace, men in suits like him with their guns out, alarmed by the noise, but there was nothing to do for them but to follow the direction into which Wylie stared and watch a plane disappearing in the distance.
“It was that plane, so close I swear it took some of the roof tiles with it. But it pulled up in the last second, or we all would look very flat now. And now I´m quite deaf from the noise.“ he coolly told them, and rubbed his ears with both hands to show them why he couldn´t understand the questions they were peppering him with.
Just a few minutes later General Wade appeared, and Wylie told him the same. The General nodded.
“The guests already know, it was loud enough down there, and they won´t be waiting for a second plane to finish the job. I recommended to the Service agents to make some of them swap costumes before heading out, with each other as much as with agents, and to take our guys as entourage for the First Family. I can but hope everybody´s getting home safely.”
Wylie was more lip-reading than hearing what his boss said, but he got it. There might be enemies around the house to finish off anybody who made it out of the crash alive, so the agents and bodyguards had to be extra vigilant while the guests cleared out and for all their way home. He was waiting for orders, but a deaf agent wouldn´t be of much use down there, so Wade didn´t order him to leave. Instead, they stayed on the terrace, surveying the sky and the surrounding of the house, ready for other attacks. “Tom Richards?” Wade asked him silently, only moving his lips, and Wylie nodded. “He got it.” he confirmed. So they waited.
How long would it take Richards to take the plane down somewhere, to secure the attackers inside and do whatever else was needed? Not long, the agents knew, because Richards managed time and again to surprise them with his abilities. So they weren´t surprised when a half-hour later they saw an electric-blue ball of light heading their way from the distance, much smaller than the plane before but not much slower and keeping close to the ground. Nimbly it avoided obstacles like trees and tall houses, weightlessly like a soap bubble it traversed pools and streets and fences until it reached the estate, and then it entered, causing a small panic among agents and the last leaving guests despite the fact that it crossed the bar-iron fence farthest away from both the main and the back gate where the cars hurriedly departed. But instead of aiming at the people it avoided them, hovered up the front of the house, seemingly harmless like a big blue-glowing balloon, and climbed up to the roof terrace.
Wade had already ordered the sentinels on the roof not to shoot their other missiles at the glowing orb, and they had watched its carefully executed moves which told of intelligent control as it came closer.
Now it was right above them above the terrace and slowly came down, like a landing craft, and they saw that the glowing orb wasn´t very big, no more than two meters in diameter. 
“Don´t shoot!” the general ordered again, towards the men with the anti-aircraft armory and two Service agents who´d also entered the terrace, and “Don´t shoot, that´s a friendly force!” his agent Wylie quipped in.
The blue glow diminished and revealed a human shape inside the orb, that of a man in the colorful guise of a superhero, cape, body-armor and facemask included, who slowly sank towards the ground while the orb of light dissolved around him. The blue glow lingered the longest around his breast but when his feet touched softly the ground it had vanished completely. And then he stood there and smiled at the amazed onlookers who, not convinced by General Wade´s stern order, still had their guns and missile-launchers pointed at him.
“All OK here?” the caped man asked towards the general, and Wade nodded. “No secondary attack so far, and most of the guests are gone by now, left in a hurry together with all the bodyguards they could grab. Looks like they relied on the plane alone to do the work?”
The stranger in the cape knew what Wade was asking for. “”I´m still listening into airport transmissions, if there´s a report of a second one missing I´ll know, General. I took mine back to Dulles, airport security´s already taken care of five terrorists. They were armed with guns and knifes, one of them wore a fake bomb belt, and one was still camouflaged as a passenger and tried to slip away after landing. It will be interesting to learn how they got aboard the plane, this smells like an inside-job. The pilots and two passengers got shot, three other passengers were wounded but they´ll live.”
Again, the general nodded, satisfied with that short preliminary report, because he knew everything the man had left out he´d get later in a private talk.
“Now, wait a minute! General, you´re saying that´s not just a guy in a costume but a real frigging superhero?” One of the Secret Service, his name tag spelled Special Agent Sam Cooper, just didn´t get it, he stared unbelieving at the caped man, still not willing to point his gun elsewhere.
“Ixnay on the ooper-say!” Wylie promptly reacted, waving his index finger at the agent. “His ego´s bloated enough as it is already, and we have to live with that guy!”
The man in the colorful suit laughed at that, not at all peeved by Wylie´s condensating remark, and said towards Cooper and his companion, a female agent: “That´s right. I´m one of General Wade´s crazies, the name´s Tom Richards. I´m supposed to do impossible things, so it´s no use to ask how and why.”
“Well, you could have caught that plane a little sooner. I´m still deaf from the engines,” Wylie retorted in a reprimanding tone while rubbing his ears again.
Cooper almost choked, he´d have never talked in that tone so such a being, but the caped man and the agent just smiled at each other in a certain way, which told the agent that they were buddies and maybe even more than that. And suddenly he understood why General Wade had commited his men to the Secret Service without a struggle, it had been their main objective all along to assist the superhero who´d been one the officially invited guests, judging from his outfit.
“I´m sorry about that, but I have been a bit busy. I had to secure the terrorists, to check the condition of plane and passengers and to make sure that there were no explosives or other surprises aboard, and I´m not quite as fast as Superman, you know.  And now I hope nobody found the time yet to ´rescue´ the buffet, because I haven´t had a decent bite tonight and catching planes makes damn hungry,” the caped man answered.
“No more bad gut feelings?” Wylie asked, and the superhero confirmed with a nod, and the Secret Service agents noticed with surprise that the short move caused both FSA-members to relax and look relieved.
Wylie tapped his earpiece with a questioning look at his boss, and then, after getting an approving nod, they both went off to ´liberate´ whatever food was still left in the hall. Wade let them go, knowing that matrixwork ate up a lot of energy and that he could call on Richards from everywhere in the house via Wylie´s earpiece if something turned up that called for another more-than-humanly intervention.
“General!?” Cooper´s voice sounded almost desperate, his world turned completely upside down right now.
“Do you think your agent Wylie´s up to deal with this... with this man, General Wade?” Special Agent Trisha Prince mixed in, seeing that her associate had trouble to find the right words. And both doubted their own eyes when it looked like they were actually seeing concrete-face Martin Wade smile. “Yes I do,” he answered in his curt way. He didn´t tell them that he often compared the odd couple of agent and superfreak to Pat and Patachon but that they performed surprisingly well together in times of need, like tonight. 
“But, General...” Again, the words failed Cooper, and Miss Prince had to take over. “Does the President know about this?”
“He knows, but I think he never really believed my seemingly crazy tales until now. That man called himself a ´crazy´ for a reason, you know, he´s not somebody you´d want to accociate with in public. As for the press and the public, we´ll think of something. Something that´s maybe just as mad but much more believable.”
“I get it. Freak winds,  a ball of lightning, the heroic last struggle of a mortally wounded cockpit crew and maybe some postmortem awarded medals of honor, anything but no superhero.” Cooper nodded towards the general, secretly wondering now what other world-shaking secrets the FSA hid in their closets. As soon as he could manage after that he went to the hall with the buffet. The costumed man and his watchdog were the only two guests in the room, attended to by the old butler of the house who also had refused to leave. “They said they won´t leave because General Wade might need them,” Agent Baker who had not been on the upper terrace with them watching the superhero return because he´d helped evacuating the lower floors told him when he came in, and Cooper nodded. “That´s right,” he confirmed, before he joined the men at the table.
« Letzte Änderung: 24. März 2014, 17:59:29 Uhr von DAOGA »

Offline DAOGA

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Re: Superhero
« Antwort #2 am: 4. April 2014, 11:51:41 Uhr »
“Hi, Agent Cooper. Still curious about me?” the caped man grinned at him, enjoying the expensive food before it would go to waste. 
“Like hell. I hear about a lot of stuff in my job, so why did I never hear about you before?”
“Because it was decided by the powers that be to keep me out of politics, to put it short. Nobody needs a new race of arms with super-powered beings instead of nukes. And I agreed to all terms because I already had a life of my own which keeps me quite busy. I´m an independend mind anyway, and probably wouldn´t condone most of the things politicians and military would want to make me do. But since I also have some influence and can arrange necessary things in different ways, I can afford to stay low-keyed and far away from public interest. And if I do stuff, I mostly take care that there are only trustworthy spectators around, those who can keep quiet about it.”
“Mostly, but not always. He´s really a showoff at heart, you know.” Wylie added with a grimace and then grinned. “And we always have a fun time cleaning up after him.”
 “Are there others like you?”
“Not exactly like me, or I would know. I don´t have super-hearing but I still get a lot. But if you want to know if I waste my abilities by doing nothing - heck, no. I´m in the weird business much longer than you can imagine, and I have enough interests to keep me busy all day round. But I don´t have any intention to play god. I could, you know, if I´d ever had those intentions I´d already rule the world and not just since yesterday, but I never found the need to own this world. Look at all those other wannabe-world conquerors in history and tell me how they are remembered today.”
“Are you - an alien?”
“No, I´m not from planet Krypton.” Amused grinning, he´d certainly been asked about this before. “One of my forebearers was an alien, he lived almost thirteen thousand years ago, the rest of my ancentry is as human as can be. You don´t need to be an alien to earn yourself some serious degrees in weirdness, human beings do that very well too.” 
Cooper nodded again, and remembered something he´d read about. “I always thought catching planes Superman-style isn´t possible.”
 “That´s right, Agent Cooper,” Tom answered.
“Huh? How´s that?” Wylie wondered. He´d never heard about that, actually had never given it a closer thought at all. Comics left out a lot of details, a really good piece of art left the most important parts to imagination, so they were not exactly a good source on how to deal with a real superhero, or how to train one.
“One of the first thing you have to realize if you´re in the rescuing business, if you have to catch a plane, a train wagon, a building or something else, is that you´re not dealing with a small toy. Toys are very compact and sturdy compared to their size and weight, but with the real things it´s quite different. You can move a toy plane around by holding it by one of its wings without damaging it, but if you tried the same with a lifesized plane you´d just rip a piece of wing away, and if you try to stop or divert a plane in flight with your own body you´ll most probably end up creating a decent hole or even destroying it completely, if you don´t manage to catch it by chance on one of the most stable parts of its structure, and those are mostly somewhere inside the machine, not on its outside. Most of the times you get into such a situation you just don´t see the right spot where you can apply force without causing instant damage and endangering human lifes. Real planes are simply not made to be caught by a tiny human being, you know.”
“So, then how did you do it?” Cooper was positively surprised by the patience the superhero expressed towards his watchdog. Wylie sucked up the shared wisdom like a dry sponge, and not only because he had to report everything he learned to his boss, but because he was a fanboy. Yes, that´s what he was. Probably had wet dreams too of becoming a superhero sidekick, you never knew after all when a radioactive spider, a strange ray from outer space or a bucket full of toxic waste would come along. 
The superhero raised his hand, palm upwards, and suddenly a small glowing image of a plane appeared above it. “First thing you have to do before you can apply force is to create a supporting structure under or around the object, especially in the direction of its movement. Even better is a so-called stasis field which blocks out all sorts of G-forces as soon as it´s closed. Only then you can change the movement vector of a moving object, to decelerate or accelerate it without the danger of damaging or destroying it or the passengers inside.” And they saw said support and then said field, appearing in blazing light lines of different colors first under and then all around the little glowing plane. “Lucky for all the people who have been in this house today and the people aboard the plane I´m pretty good in creating force fields of all kind, I specialized in that, you could say.” And with that, the small lightshow disappeared, and the man put his hand back down at the table. A hand that was empty, with no device visible which could have created the little images. This time Wylie didn´t ask, Cooper noticed at once, so he´d probably seen such a lightshow before and already knew how it was done.
“Sounds like you´ve had a pretty good training,” he said, invitingly, eager to learn more.
“Yeah, that´s right. If we had endangered property and human lives by acting without using our brains first, our teachers had skinned us alive.”
“We.” Plural. Not only this one man but more of his kind, and teachers, too. Would they kill him later, Cooper now wondered silently, after he´d learned so much about one of the Agency´s most important secrets?
“If you´re wondering now why I´m telling you all those things, it´s because this knowledge can´t do much harm even if it falls into the wrong hands. A lot of people already know about me, some accepted it, others try to get at me and quite often. The good general has his hands quite full with all the baddies I´m delivering to him, I´m his best bait for prize catches. But the chance that you´ll ever meet one of my colleagues or one of our teachers is very close to nil, so no harm is done by knowing that they exist. Nobody from here can reach or threaten them, and they won´t mess with this world, I can assure you that much, so the only crazy superpowered badass you have to cope with is yours truly here, and the Agency is handling that very well.” Nodding towards Wylie who proudly smiled back.
Agent Cooper was suddenly smiling too, he just couldn´t help it. He could feel that this man was perfectly honest with him, which was as common in their line of business as winged pink unicorns as transports, and he also suddenly understood why General Wade had chosen Agent Wylie of all his agents to deal with this being. Wyle had not the reputation of being bright, quite the opposite, but in his honest and innocent down-to-the-ground-attitude he was probably the perfect anchor for somebody who spent a certain amount of time with his head above the clouds, and not just figuratively spoken. And as a true fan, nothing the superhero could bring up would really surprise him, he´d just go with the flow and ride it wherever it went. Cooper felt a rush of envy wash over him. Curiously he looked at the last man at the table who had kept perfectly quiet all the time, the old butler of the house who had attended to his last guest. A bit uneasy because a butler wasn´t supposed to sit at a table with his guests he sat there, on Richards´s order, patiently waiting for his services to be required.
Noticing the look, the superhero grinned again. “I´ve found out a long time ago that the leading staff of a house is often more trustworthy than all their high-and-mighty masters put together, and James has been a very long time in the service of the family. He probably knows more secrets than you, Mr. Cooper, and he knows how to keep them.”
James the butler bowed to these words, face emotionless but feeling very proud inside. His abilities and services were taken for granted for most of the time but rarely acknowledged.

Offline DAOGA

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Re: Superhero
« Antwort #3 am: 15. April 2014, 17:26:55 Uhr »
“Would you also tell me where you got your powers?” Cooper asked.
“I could, but that´s a very long and very weird story and contains aliens from outer space, so I´m not sure you´d believe it.” Grinning again, and the agent was not sure the man didn´t pull his leg until he saw Wylie grimacing towards him and moving his hands in a way which roughly translated as ´Don´t open this can of worms!´. He got the warning.
“A `long story´ from him reads that you´d still be sitting here next year. I could allow him to tell you, though,“ Wylie explained, “he can tell you the most interesting and incredible things, but after a few hours you´d just want to shoot him. He has a way of pulling your whole world upside down, you know. And I have to try at least to protect him from people who´d shoot him, because that´s part of my job.”  But now he grinned too.
“Would I be allowed to ask for your service in times of need?” Cooper asked the superhero.
“I´m a very busy man as I just told you, and if there´s a world-threatening situation I´ll get summonded by General Wade. But you´d be allowed to ask at least. But you also have to realize that I won´t jump at every situation somebody else might consider important. I´m not the kind of superhero that saves cats from trees, you know, I´m the guy they call only when everything else has failed, or in situations that are too weird for normal means from the start.”
“Don´t ask”, Wylie made again. Once again, one of the no-go-areas.   
“Will you allow me another question of very private nature?” Cooper tried something else.
“Try me.”
“Are you two an item?” A question that puzzled him since he´d seen those two acting together, but he was ... almost... afraid of the reaction he´d get.
Double grinning instead, the question actually amused the superhero, as much as his watchdog/sidekick. “If we were gay, Ben would certainly break every record in speed-marriage, just to keep me for himself. But unfortunately for him, we aren´t. So he has to console himself with perfectly chastely, brotherly love for me.”
Even more grinning when Wylie reached for the hand of his protege and stroked it carefully. “Oh, just for you I´d pretend to be gay. And I wouldn´t mind if you took on a secondary wife besides me. Heck, I wouldn´t mind if you got yourself a whole harem, anything to keep you happy.”
And as if to emphasize their words, they were holding hands and looked at each other like a young couple very much in love.
Cooper and even the butler had trouble now to keep steady faces, those two were perfect comedians and not at all shy to play with gender cliches to amuse their audience.
Wade´s crazies, not for use in public, all right. And fun to have around, no doubt. But Agent Connor remembered that he had a job to do and that was not to keep Wade´s walking troubles company. So he thanked them for the interview and went back to his own crew, to do whatever was required of him.

The following day he and General Wade and a few others sat together in one of the conference rooms of the White House, to report about the incident.
“First thing of all, what saved us all yesterday from the almost-sure crash? And don´t tell me it was the pilots. I know they were already dead as a doornail when that plane pulled up, I read the reports!” was the first thing the President asked after he had entered the room as the last one and seated himself. He´d probably not slept that night, not after a plane´d almost flattened him and his family, not to mention many friends and important members of Washington´s high society.
“Guilty as charged,” General Wade answered immediately, raising one hand, drawing all eyes upon him.
A deep sigh came from another place at the table. “Don´t tell us it was your crazies again,” Secretary of Defense William Vandersteen said before the President could ask.
“Afraid so, sir,” Wade said, without the slightest trace of regret. But only somebody who knew him well could see that he was actually amused.
Now it dawned on the President. “You brought your crazies to the party, disguised as your agents?” he asked, in a quite unbelieving tone. Of course he had heard and read about Wade´s crazies, over and over again, in reports that were much too weird to believe, so he simply chose to ignore them as good as he could afford.
“No, sir. Said crazy - singular, sir - got an official invitation, as a honorable if reclusive member of Washington´s gentry. My men were there only to assist him if needed, and help out with the Secret Service if not. I sent men who´d worked with him before and knew how to interact with him in an emergency. Which your Secret Service weren´t able to do, sir, they´d have hampered him or turned against him if anything.”
The President leaned back. He hated it to be left out of something, but at the same time he knew that he was just the President, here today and gone in a few years, and that his own intelligence services left him out of a lot of things he didn´t need to worry about as long as nothing acute came up. The less people knew about certain things the better, because even a president wasn´t above carelessly giving away priceless secrets, other presidents before him had been proof to that. So he understood why Wade had not told him before and especially not on such, well, crazy grounding, but still, he hated it.
“You knew there´d be something happening. You warned me before.” he slowly said, trying to swallow his anger. “Will you tell me now where you got the warning from?”
“Certainly, sir. I considered myself warned when I learned that said crazy would attend because he had a bad feeling about it. - You don´t know that man, sir, but I do.” he added when he saw his boss frowning. “He always says his clearvoyant abilities aren´t worth a sorry nickle, but if he has a bad feeling about something you better prepare for anything. And I´ve learned before that his gut feelings are mostly very accurate. If his guts had acted up for another reason and nothing at all had happened, then we all would´ve had just a nice party.”
“And that´s why you didn´t tell me before.” The President got it. No reason to cry wolf and earn yourself some severe incredibility just because a mental case suffered from a defiant stomach. “So, your ´crazy´ is a psychic. But what did he do with the plane, if he did?”
“He caught it before it could hit, and took it back to the airport, at the same time securing the terrorists until the very minute airport security took them over,“ Wade answered quite casually, not caring how incredible every single point of the statement must sound to the others. ”You already got the reports from there, sir. And one of my men tasked with the caretaking for said crazy told me that your Agent Cooper asked details of him, of how exactly he did it.”
"That´s right, sir.” Agent Cooper had not been on duty roster for today, but knew he´d get summoned after what had happened last evening, so he had prepared a report of his own.
“The man was really upfront and didn´t beat about the bush, sir, I think he loves to hear himself talk about his abilities. General Wade´s man, Agent Wylie was with him after he´d returned from taking the plane to the airport. I was there and watched when he landed on the roof terrace, together with Agent Trisha Price, Agent Wylie and General Wade,” he began. Wade nodded at him to continue, and Cooper told his superiors what he got from the ´crazy´ named Tom Richards.

Offline DAOGA

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Re: Superhero
« Antwort #4 am: 30. April 2014, 09:48:14 Uhr »
“Tom Richards again. I met him before, in New Mexico, where he was up to his neck in really weird crap, fighting creatures from other dimensions. And now he´s catching planes, clad in suit and cape. That man is good for every kind of nonsense, isn´t he?” Vandersteen remarked.
“You could say that, sir.” Wade didn´t smile, but his eyes spoke differently.
“So, we got ourselves a real superhuman here, and you didn´t tell me, General Wade?” the President asked him.
“I didn´t because there´s definitely no need for the government to officially get involved with crazies, sir, that´s the sort of relationship you better keep where it belongs, buried deep under the carpet.” Wade reminded him. “He´s not a star-spangled banner to wave around, and no goody two-shoes Captain America comicbook  character, he´s a real, living, breathing being with strong affections and aversions which not always correspond with our politics. He actually refused to be abused for political means right when we met for the very first time. The only chance to see him wearing that suit is at Halloween, or at a costume party.”
“Talk about appropriate clothing.” Vandersteen´s dry humor again. 
“A man in a blue-orange-and-yellow superhero outfit? Now I remember, I saw him at the party. He filled that suit pretty good and even glowed a bit, my daughters were delighted. But before they got the chance to talk to him he was gone, and shortly after we already heard the noise and got dragged away in a hurry. Is there a chance we can meet him in private, with cape and everything and enough time for a talk?”
This time Wade smiled.
“I think I can convince him to make an exception for you, sir,” he promised the President. “But, please, sir, be prepared that he´ll take that chance to give you a piece of his mind about our foreign and other politics. He´s got his own and very clear opinion on such topics and won´t sweet-talk you just because you´re the guy in charge.”
“Please throw me in too, sir, I´d love to chat with him about all his adventures,” Defense asked. “And I´m not afraid to hear some ugly truths.”
“I also don´t mind some unsweetened words for a change, I´m getting enough sweet stuff each day to put me into a diabetic coma. So tell him he can bring it on, General, I dare him.”
The director of the CIA stayed suspicious.
“How do you know your superguy didn´t stage the attack himself, to draw attention on himself?” Director Clamp asked, breaking his silence for the first time.
Again, Wade was amused. “Richards has already trouble keeping a low profile, with all the weird things that are happening around him all the time, he draws such stuff like a magnet draws iron. The man was in the crazy business long before one of us learned about him, and he never grasped the opportunity to change the course of history and immortalize himself, despite his indisputable ability to do so. If he wanted attention he´d probably make a real UFO land outside the White House and reenact ´The Day the Earth stood still´. He´s powerful enough to to that, you know, he just doesn´t has the need. Hiring terrorists and staging an attack he´d see as a waste of ressources as long as there are enough real and quite eager terrorists around who´ll do it all by themselves, giving him the chance to waste them. He actually loves to do that, it´s one of the things he does for sport, he says a good game of rat catching now and then keeps his blood pressure at a healthy level. But since I´ve learned of his existence I´ve kept a close eye on him. The agents I assigned to him won´t be able to stop him if he´s up to something, I believe nobody could stop him if he puts his mind on something, but at least I´ll get a forewarning.”
“Sorry, General - but, men like Agent Wylie, of all your agents?”   
“Yes, Director, men like Mr. Wylie, and I almost regret he´s the only one of his kind in my agency,” Wade friendly replied towards his rival from CIA. “Mr. Wylie may not be the brightest among agents, but he has other assets, like being fluent in terms of science fiction and comics. Nothing a man like Tom Richards can bring on will really surprise him, but he understands to a certain degree how that man thinks and thus can figure Richards´s plans out in time. I confess, some of the things Richards himself told me had me at a loss, until Mr. Wylie translated them for me into plain English. A few others of my agents have learned by now to deal with crazy Richards too, but none as effective as Agent Wylie. They have developed quite a relationship, as Agent Cooper learned yesterday. Which would pose a problem with every other subject and is clearly a breach of agency protocol, but since people like Richards don´t stick to protocol either, I accept this case as inevitable exception of the rule.”
“Did you know about that man, Director Clamp?” the President asked, after his unbelieving headshaking had stopped.
“Yes, sir, I knew,” Clamp answered. “We knew he has extraordinary abilities, and also connections all around the world. We tried to get him but he refused because the FSA had first dibs on him, to quote his reply, so if we needed him we´d have to borrow him from General Wade.”
Wade didn´t smile, but some of the others couldn´t stop grinning.
“We also tried to use said connections for our means. A few times Richards agreed, a few times he refused. And he proved a good predictor, because anytime he refused us things went awry later, with us and our associates getting the dirty end of the stick.”
“He often acts like a madman, but he´s nobody´s fool, so don´t try to treat him like one.” Wade again.
“How many of his secrets did he tell you?” Defense asked curiously.
“Enough to make me understand why I´m not allowed to learn them all. Knowledge can be a heavy burden, sir, and if you knew what he knows you´d act crazy too. Or go crazy for real. He can bear that burden, has done it for a long time already, but I would not vouch for us others here including myself to be just as tough.”
“Did he tell you about the source of his powers?”
“Yes he did.” Again, Wade didn´t smile when he saw the curious faces all around him.
“But I´m afraid we´re not able to reproduce said source. It´s not the knowledge we´re lacking, Richards really tried to make us understand how his powers are working and even I got it eventually, it´s the means that aren´t within our reach. Even Richards himself can´t reproduce his abilities or bestow them on another, and he knows more about them than all our scientists put together. Now and then my agents get small gadgets from him, but he never fails to warn them about the dangers coming with them. And my men have learned by now to heed those warnings. Everything comes with a price, and superhuman abilities are definitely not cheap to come by.”     
“General, since he´s your responsibility, your summary in short, please?” The topic was interesting, no doubt, but there was plenty time for more about that later. Right now they had a terroristic attack to attend to.
“My summary about Richards is, he´s posing no threat to us. I won´t lie to you, he´s dangerous as hell and would be enemy of the state Number One if he was on any other side but ours. But he´s a live and let live guy. He has no interest in things like politics or money, he is already wealthier than Scrooge McDuck and has all the influence that comes with it and he never showed any intention to abuse it, and it was his idea, not mine exactly, to work together in the way we do, he´s actually using us more often than we´re using him. But gods help anybody who´s trying to mess with him. If somebody wrongs him he´ll retaliate without distinction of person, and he´s very imaginative when it comes to dealing out penalties. He also has a memory like an elephant and friends who are just as mad and good for every form of mischief. So, in short, as long as we stay on his good side and don´t mess with him there´s nothing to fear. If you want something from him, then go and ask him, but politely, please, he appreciates good manners, he´s very oldfashioned in that point. You can tell him your desire no matter what, he´s used  to quite strange stuff and can even stay silent about something if he sees the need, but please, always be honest. Never try lying to him, he hates all forms of lies and misinformation and deception, and if he discovers some of those it´s payback time. And please remember, as I just said, despite his often mad behavior he´s nobody´s fool, so don´t take him for one.”
“Thank you, General Wade. So then, back to the terrorists. Director Clamp, please?”
The man nodded and started with his own report, about what the CIA had found out in the meantime about the backgrounds of the attackers. Nothing of it hinted at first glance at the involvement of other agitators but the usual Muslim hatemongers, but as General Wade had suggested himself, it didn´t take much to get terrorists going, so research would go on of course.
“If we uncover the culprits behind this plot and find them out of our official reach, I could be indulged to slip Richards a little indiscretion. Since he was there when that plane came down he´ll see that attack as a personal affair. He always does when somebody goes for people close to him, you know.  And as I said, he loves to waste such curs, and in this case he´ll certainly not leave any traces behind that point in our direction,” Wade offered as his closing word, after all the men and women present had had their say.
“We´ll consider the option,” the President said, “but no solo action, OK? Now and then we need to make an official statement in our war against terrorism, by taking out the guilty ourselves in a clean operation which we can present to the public.”
“Certainly, sir,”  the general agreed. “I´ll tell Richards you reserved the right on how to deal with the instigators for yourself, he´ll understand that and confine himself to providing additional information. But if you should change your mind, or find the miscreants out of reach --”
The President just nodded. 

- The End -