Thursday, January 31, 2008


I can’t remember the last time I had been so angry. I felt hot, like my I had just stuck my head inside of a broiling oven. I could have pounded both cars on either side of me until they were nothing but mounds of junk. But what really would have made me feel better, would have been to smash Dispatch’s face into the concrete wall behind me.

I just don’t get it. I’ve called this guy for days – it’s not like someone didn’t go out of their way to threaten my life if I didn’t deliver a message. Maybe Dispatch didn’t care about that. But let’s also add on that I wanted to talk about the totems – this unknown coming danger. Yet, when I call to have these conversations, I get no response.

After several unanswered calls and e-mails, Dispatch shows up to me in the parking garage of my new office. The same M.O. as last time when I got suspended –and he came to do it again.

“Leroy, Todd confessed to manipulating your watch that inhibited your powers. You need to learn a bit more discipline. Superheroes have to play by the rules. And as such, your suspension has been extended. Here is your new inhibitor.” He extended his hand to give me the new watch. When I didn’t take it, he walked up to me and tucked it into my jacket pocket.

“Bull-Shit!” Was all I could say.

Dispatch stopped and looked back at me. I didn’t take it back.

“We did this your way. And for that, I almost got my ass handed to me.” I took the watch from my pocket. “Now we do this my way. And if you don’t like it, Mr. High-and-Mighty, you can go to hell.” I dropped the watch to the ground.

“If you are unofficially using your powers Leroy, we will treat you as a threat. Don’t dig yourself into a hole.”

“See, that’s where you misunderstand. Leroy J. Powers don’t hide up in nobody’s hole – or kiss around them. So you can keep your threats to yourself, and save all this tough love for the real bad guys.” I turned and headed to my office. Terra was going to think I lost my mind.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I felt pretty good today. Surprisingly, I made it to work fairly early – and I was up to date with all of my work. The only thing missing was a Frozen Mocha Java Espresso Freeze Blast, made with love from my future wife. When I opened my e-mail and saw a mandatory meeting notice from Ms. DeVane, I figured the universe was apologizing for all the mean things it has done to me over the last few weeks. I locked my computer and headed over to the other building.

Now that my powers were no longer blocked, I felt the itch to tell somebody. Of course, the only person I could tell and it stay a secret would be Terra. Derrick was my first thought, but he’s as chatty as he is fast, so that secret wouldn’t live long with him. I called Terra and apparently she’d already planned to stop by the office. I followed up with a text message. Yo, I gotta tell you something when I see you! I just wanted to get her curiosity going.

Naturally, my first stop was the Mocha Bean Café. The place seemed pretty empty but as long as Candice was working, nothing else mattered. The little guy with the taped-rimmed glasses took my order and Candice came out from the back to prep for my drink. She was moving slower than usual, but still appeared to be in good spirits. I sat down at one of the tables and ate a huge cookie while I waited. I noticed they changed the type of music that they normally played. No more classical – this was more like throwbacks.

Just as I finished my cookie, Candice came over with my Frozen Mocha Java Espresso Freeze Blast.

“Haven’t seen you much, lately.” Her smile was so hypnotic.

I smiled back. “They moved me to another office building.” I wanted to tell her to marry me and she could see me every day. But then I though that may be too forward…

“Un-huh…” Her smiled turned sinister. “I’ll bet you like it, so you can talk to more women.”

“Excuse me?” I almost choked on my drink.

“Don’t act like you don’t have more than one girl friend.” She turned to walk away. I knew she was serious, but she wasn’t holding it against me. “I’ve seen you with the woman at Chuck’s and the woman you work with – we live in the same building.”

I had no excuse for Michelle, but the Terra thing was a rumor. “I think this is all a misunderstanding…” I didn’t know what else to say. She really caught me off guard.

“Time will tell...” She said as she disappeared into the back area.

I went upstairs to the office building, replaying the conversation in my head. For some reason, I didn’t get the feeling that she was upset – just teasing. When I got off the elevator on the 2nd floor, I took my first sip of my drink. WHAT! I lost my bearing for a second; this was the best cup of coffee ever. I had expected to take a sip and toss the rest, like the last few times. THIS COFFEE IS AMAZING. Maybe she put some crack in it?

I snapped back to reality when I saw Ron from procurement at the front desk. Apparently, the Cindy, the temp, had been working the desk all morning – and lost a package for him. She begged him to calm down and take a sip of the tea she’d just brewed in the coffee pot. I guess we can all expect a viscous rumor on her in the next day or two.

At Terra’s office, I did more talking about how great my Frozen Mocha Java Espresso Freeze Blast was, that I didn’t say a word about having my powers back. I don’t think she paid attention, though. Terra was too busy fussing to herself about the faulty data that Malcolm had given when she arrived. I think Terra can take work too seriously.

Grabbing her arm, I pulled Terra from her distraction – but I still raved on about mine. I savored every sip. Before I could really admit to being able to use my powers again, we noticed a crowd forming at the entrance to the main conference room.

“Is anyone else getting fired?” I thought. This office had been full of surprises lately, I wondered what was next.

Just as we reached the entrance to the room, we were over whelmed with the smell of … well, …shit. Literally. My first instinct was to drop my drink and double over to hurl. But something in my subconscious changed all this. This was the first great cup of coffee from Candice. No way was I going to throw it away. I regained my composure and looked further to see what was going on.

There it was, the source. Lying in a fetal position, bathed in his own feces was Ron, from procurement. Wow. This is just a bit embarrassing. I stood there staring for about 5 minutes, drinking my Frozen Mocha Java Espresso Freeze Blast until it was finally gone. This was the best damn drink I’ve ever had. No lie.

Ms Grady rushed over to help Ron, pointing out she’d been a nurse in a past life. Maybe it was in a dream she’d had during one of the many naps she’d taken at work. Oh well. I dropped my cup in the trash and went to stand in the reception area with Cindy, to wait for Ms. DeVane.

Maybe the meeting will be cancelled. Maybe Ron should take a few days off from work.

Monday, January 28, 2008


James Gale. I never thought I would see that guy again. Though it took me a moment to remember, I was glad for the save from yesterday’s trouble. Once I recognized him, he mumbled that we’d catch up soon – it would have been too much for us to publicly call each other out. It’s a super hero thing. You just don’t go offering up another hero’s government name. But I did forget to ask what he went by, as his alter ego. I’m sure I will find out.

I think I’ve had my fill of fun over the last few days. From where I stood, I needed to get this watch off. It was the only thing stopping me from using my powers. The more I thought about it, why would Dispatch make me such a sitting target. Maybe I’m going to have to take Dispatch down a few spaces on my top 50 favorite friends list. This is definitely bad business.

Despite the fact that I had a few more days left on this suspension thing, I called Todd to swing by my office. After I promised to go to the James Bond Convention with him, he agreed to alter the watch. Dispatch could still track me, but the watch would no longer block my powers. Dispatch would never know. THANK GOD!

It is a nice looking watch, though. Todd promised to come back and fix it completely so that Dispatch can’t use it to spy on me. Then I can add it to my collection.

Well, it looks like I’m back in action. Before I get to the crime fighting, I think I should go visit my old office building. It’s been a minute since I’ve seen Candice.


Router’s name speaks for itself. This guy is like a human conductor. Anything that you throw at him, he can reroute it – even back to you (or at you). The only problem is, Router is usually on cloud nine. He is too preoccupied with other thoughts to really focus on the situation at hand. This usually results in Router never saving the day. Just uncoordinated, it seems.

His real name is Todd Bond and he is an IT professional in some government agency. Perhaps because of his name, he has an unusual obsession with James Bond. As such, his costume is a suit with dark sun glasses. He looks more like a secret service agent. Todd is really gifted with electronics, he can fix almost anything – and is responsible for a good number of gadgets used in the Urban 30.

At about 6’1”, Todd is a pretty athletic guy. He’s only about 33, but Riggs says that Todd has an old soul. I think the guy is just slow. What I am surprised at is his ability to meet women. When we see Todd out, there is always a different lady friend. Somehow, he is able to combine working for the government and his IT stuff to him being a secret agent. Women eat it right up. Maybe I should tell all the women I meet that I’m a government agent?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Urban 30 Members: RAZ & TAM

Usually operating as a duo, they joined the Urban 30 because of Derrick. Though Derrick himself isn’t in the Urban 30, he used to be at one point and tried to use his status to pick up women. He flirted with both ladies at the same time – but they were more intrigued with his costume and affiliation. After pretending to like him long enough to get invited to HQ, they dumped him. Dispatch offered them membership and suspended Derrick for bringing outsiders into the HQ.

Raz is about 5’5” and Tam is about 5’6”. Known as Tomieka Davis and Jada Phillips, respectively, Raz and Tam are the more acrobatic fighters. They seem to have more fun bouncing about, than being worried about hitting the bad guys. But don’t get me wrong, these ladies can be bad-ass. As kids they found their powers more exciting when they used them together.

Raz carries an assortment of marbles and metal bearings that she can amp up with some sort of explosive energy. They usually explode like small fire crackers on impact. Then she picks them back up to amp them all over again. Tam has as much strength as me, but has some sort of force field power – somehow she manipulates the molecules in the air to make a barrier between her and her attacker. Though effective in a fight, Tam’s power can be a pain in every day life.

Raz and Tam can be pranksters at times. Once, Tam put a force field in front of Router as he was walking. The guy freaked out and panicked, yelling he couldn’t move and started to hyperventilate. Raz prefers the corny magic store pranks like whoopee cushions and the like.

Though Raz and Tam fight well together, they aren’t so good with others. You can expect them to just show up and feed from each other, as oppose to working with any strategy you can come up with. Mostly, Dispatch will pair them with Mack Truck. I don’t know why, but it seems to work.

Urban 30 Member: MACK TRUCK

This guy is the brawn of the Urban 30. A few of us have abnormal strength, but Mack Truck is the strongest. His real name is Barry Riggs and he hates to be called Barry. He came up with his name because he had an obsession with trucks as a kid. He always thought he’d grow up to be a truck driver. Instead, Riggs works as a manager for a department store.

Riggs is not very tall. In fact, he is roughly 5' 9", but solid. He's got a shaved head, on account of the receding hair line – but he prides himself on great teeth and a perfect smile. Riggs is just over 45 years old and just divorced from wife number 4. I think it’s his smile and lumberjack muscles that will score him wife number 5.

I think Riggs can best be described is an old fashioned kind of guy. He isn’t too good with technology and has a basic way of doing things. At home, Riggs is always fixing things, putting up a wall, knocking one down – he’s hands on. In a fight, Riggs prefers the direct approach. However, while I like to rush in head first because I can be a bit cocky, Riggs will rush in for lack of a better plan.

My opinion is, you definitely want someone like Riggs on your team because he will put himself in danger before he lets anything happen to you. While Riggs is agile for his size, if the bad guys change pattern it can take Riggs a few minutes to adjust.


Yesterday, I tried reaching Dispatch to pass on the message from Bitter. Though I was sure that Dispatch already knew (I think I said before, the guy knows everything), I still wanted to deliver the message in person. Maybe he’d give me some sort of clue as to what that was all about. But that didn’t happen. Dispatch hadn’t responded to any of my messages. I even asked Ean to tell Dispatch I would be waiting after hours at work. Dispatch didn’t show. Of course this makes me think the situation is more than it seems.

I decided that it would be in my best interest to take myself off suspension. For some reason, things are coming to me as Leroy and not as Sonus. Somebody is giving out all of my secrets. Maybe some tough love on the streets will get me a name. That idea came to a stop when I tried to unfasten the watch and it sent an electric shock to my system. First of all… ouch! That hurt. Dispatch wanted me out of the picture… wait a minute. Brice didn’t even get a slap on the wrist. Maybe they are in it together. Damn, maybe Dispatch is sending me those damn totems.

Clearly I was getting out of hand. My imagination was moving too fast. Though I don’t trust Brice, I know that Dispatch is one of the good guys. While I won’t question his allegiance, I will demand this watch be removed. Surely he could understand I need to protect myself.

I had spent most of today in the office, just working on some over due assignments. Something about my new office makes me want to do more work. Could this be some sort of mind control? After I left the office I walked down by the food court. The repairs were almost done, whoever owned it moved fast to fix it. Because of the new stores popping up, this area really started to attract a crowd. Then the deja-vu set in.

As I stood in the food court, trying to decide what I wanted to eat, I saw the same thugs from two days ago. I shook my head, as if I were trying to wake from a bad dream. The Thugs all motioned for me to come out. Blitz was standing outside. What the hell is going on, here? I just didn’t get it. Is there sign on my back? Does my MySpace page say to pass all superhero messages to me?

I wasn’t sure if I could use my powers with the watch on. It was obvious that I could not take it off – but could I still be super? As soon as I stepped outside, Suga Babe and Sno Cone appeared.

“I’m pretty sure I don’t owe any of you money…” I couldn’t think of any thing else to say. Random humor usually works when I’m speaking at work.

“My cousin doesn’t think you passed the message on to your friend. So we came to deliver it on different terms.” Sno Cone was fixing her clothes while speaking. Suga Babe was popping her gum.

Blitz grabbed me by the neck. I started to wonder if this is how Brice felt. If it was this kind of pain, I was hoping the answer was yes. It’s really hard to understand how these guys always showed up in such large numbers – does anyone fight one on one these days?

I had to admit to myself that this wasn’t looking like a fun situation. Perhaps it would be great if the Urban 30 would pop in and save the day. Hell, I’m not biased, it doesn’t have to be the Urban 30.

Just as Blitz tighten his grip, a hard flash of light hit. If I didn’t know any better, I would say that Suga Babe had just been struck by lightening.

“Let him go!” A voice demanded.

Blitz was distracted and I used that time to kick him in the neck. He was stunned, but not enough. He still held his grip on me. Ok, so mental note to self, don’t ever be restricted from using your powers whenever you fight Blitz.

Another flash and five of their thug henchmen dropped to the pavement. Yep, they’ve been electrocuted.

“I don’t like to repeat myself.” The person behind the voice was visible.

This guy looked familiar.

“I expected better from you Leroy.” He flashed a big wave of lightning and Sno Cone and Blitz began to back up. He had three others with him.

Yeah… I do know this guy.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


One draw back to being in the new office is not seeing Candice down at the coffee shop. Though she makes the worst coffee in history, I still wanted to buy it from her. Bad coffee or not, the work day goes on. As it turns out, the flat panel television on the wall was not just for television, it was also my computer monitor. For a while, I had been faking about redesigning some of our older training material, but I'm suddenly inspired by our upgraded technology.

Regardless of how productive I was being today, my mind still trailed to the totems. Even more, someone seems to know who I am, since two of them were delivered here to me at work. I hated this serious cloud over me. Being a super hero is supposed to be fun and fulfilling, not stressful. I don’t want to look 20 years older from all the worry.

On that note, I decided to grab some lunch. Everywhere around the new office was being rebuilt. New, modern offices, posh restaurants and eve a few lounges and bars. I could tell I was going to love it. I could work and party all in the same spot – and probably at the same time.

I stood in line at the food court, I had decided to get a deli sandwich, when I noticed two thugs entering though the glass doors. I held my head down as I smiled – I can handle two. Putting my money back in my pocket I looked up and saw two more. Perhaps this fight is going to get interesting. I excused myself from the line and walk around as if I hadn’t made up my mind about what to eat. What I really wanted to do was study their movement and see if I could catch the imprint of a weapon.

For a moment, I really thought I had everything under control – until more thugs came in. This started to feel way too organized. Even more, in my stint with the Urban 30, our bad guys don’t do this much working together. The thugs were at 10 plus, and then the big fish came in. Blitz crashed through the door, along with Suga Babe and Sno’ Cone. My jaw literally dropped to the floor. I was definitely out-manned. Hell, I didn’t even have my costume. Thugs would have been an easy scene, but I can’t go against Blitz, Suga Babe or Sno’ Cone without using powers. Even with powers, it’d be a hard win.

The place had gone in uproar. The thugs were harassing everyone and taking their money at the same time. Blitz combed the crowd smacking every guy whole looked strong enough to take a punch. It began to look like I might have to blow my cover.

“Leave those people alone!” I demand to Blitz.

“Hey sweetie…” Sno Cone and Suga Babe came right over to me. “It’s not polite to yell.” They latched on to both my arms like needy girlfriends. “My cousin wants to talk to you.” Sno said as they walked me to the front door.

Just as we got outside I heard the sound of screeching tires. I didn’t see Bitter anywhere in site, but I did notice the car speeding toward us. Apparently Router had learned to drive, thankfully. In mixed company, I had to be sure to use his hero name and not blow his cover – like mine had apparently been.

Router had approached quickly and maneuvered through traffic. He must have gone to traffic school. But I lost my glimmer of hope when a huge slope of ice appeared and led Router right off the pier. I had just discovered my first real problem with working so close to water.

Bitter walked out from behind a parked truck. Not that I needed to see him to know he was responsible for Router’s splash into the river.

“They only sent one hero to save you.”

I paused for a second. I hadn’t realized how much the temperature could drop when standing next to him. “I don’t know what you are talking about.” I wanted to sound helpless, but I don’t know how to play that card.

“Let’s not play games Mr. Powers.” Bitter looked me dead in the eyes. I hope he doesn’t freeze my eyes, because that would just be a low blow. “I know that you had a conversation with the brain of the Urban 30. And just like I thought, you could be the one to deliver a message for me.

I wondered what he wanted with Dispatch, and how did he see us together. We need tougher security in our office.

“I’m just an average guy.” I lied.

“Then who is that…” Bitter pointed behind him to reveal Mack-Truck, Raz and Tam. “Someone wants to save you.”

I heard Sno Cone whisper rematch before she and Suga Babe let me go. These girls were all about the fight.

Bitter stepped in close to me. “You tell your little friend that I know what he did. And I am coming for him.”

He froze my breath before I could take it in. I dropped to my knees, gasping. Bitter walked away, with no hurry or rush. The thugs slowly exited the food court and Blitz grabbed Suga and Sno and ran behind him.

Router fished himself from the water, cursing about his car. He joined Raz, Tam and Mack-Truck by my side to see if I was ok. Why is it that all the trouble finds me?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I had been on cloud nine since I walked into the new office. The place was so new, with furniture that I had only seen in movies. The company must be doing really well. Even better, I was no longer in a cubicle – I now have an office. I can close my door and watch the flat panel television mounted to the wall – complete with cable. Good times!

After bragging to Terra and everyone else I could call, I got settled in my office. The funny thing was, Ms. DeVane had already shipped my pc and my sounddock for my ipod. In the brown paper bag was a picture from my first day at work, a stuff bear I got from Tina Raine. She left the company over a year ago; she had the biggest crush on me. Tina was only here for a summer internship.

The two totems of Terra and the unknown hero were both in the bag as well as my company mug and an unmarked package. Maybe this new office came with a welcoming gift. I put the first two totems on the bookstand in the left corner, and put my mug at the edge of my desk. The sound dock went to the lateral filing cabinet along the right wall and the bear sat on a small table near the door.

I sat back to unwrap the small box, excited that the company had really looked out for me. Inside the box was another box, and inside that was a wad of tissue paper. I kinda laughed to myself, thinking someone went through a lot of trouble to make this cute. But once I saw what is was, cute was out the window. The next totem… This time, it was me. Ok, so it was kinda cute, because it was me. But I was anything but happy. Apparently, whatever was coming, just added me to the list. So much for being suspended.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


The day after a holiday always feels weird. Thought it was Tuesday, it had a Monday vibe to it. Even worse, 4-day work weeks always feel longer than 5-day work weeks. It's like punishment for having an extra day off work.

I took the stairs up to the second floor this morning, the elevators seemed to be stalled. When I exited the stairwell and walked down the hall, I noticed Ms. DeVane with her back to both elevators. Two security guards held each elevator, patiently waiting for her instruction.

“Mr. Powers, you are three minutes late. Please do better.” She pointed to one of the guards who then reached to the floor to pick up a brown paper bag. “It seems you don’t keep a lot of your personal items at work. We managed to fit it all in this paper bag. “Ms. DeVane passed me a post-it with an address on it. “This is the location of your new office.” How does she talk with out ever making an expression. “Please hurry.”

I grabbed the bag from the guard as he escorted me down to the lobby. I felt like I had been fired.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Despite the Metal Men breaking up Karaoke on Friday night, I still managed to party on Saturday and Sunday. Some time with Michelle and some time with the fellas. Friday was the first time in so long that I had ran from a fight. But I thought it was cute how Michelle tried to take charge and protect me. If only she knew.

Being an officer of the law, and obsessive about folks who can do super things, Michelle dropped me off and went back to the scene. I don’t think she realized bullets won’t hurt them. Either way, it meant I was free to hang out more. One call to Marc, Ean and Derrick and it was on. Though I promised myself I wouldn’t go drinking with Ean again, I figured I might as well enjoy being on vacation from super powers. Not to mention, I just need to try harder not to wake up next to homeless folks.

We went out Friday night. I slept until noon and had a late lunch with Michelle. Then I went back home to change and hit the town with the guys again. There is this great strip club in the warehouse part of town – the girls are straight from a magazine. I think were there until five in the morning. Harlot Blade wanted to see me after the show. Of course everyone knows I don’t pay for a good time. But if she wants to see me for reasons other than business, I gave her my number.

On Sunday, we went back to the strip club. Derrick was hoping to connect with the bartender/bouncer, Helga.

Today I will take it easy. Perhaps I will see what Candice is up to.

Friday, January 18, 2008


Today we lost Martin and Angie, the two special assistants. They hadn’t really done any assisting ever, but that doesn’t have to be a reason for Ms. DeVane. When they got to work, there were two temps at their desks being training. Ms. DeVane reapplied her make up as she crossed over to them to confirm they’d been replaced. To some, she was the devil.

Yesterday, I stopped by Terra’s apartment to update her. I couldn’t help but wonder if I would have run into Candice while I was there. I tried not to make a big deal about it. I didn’t do the same, today, because I was meeting Michelle for karaoke again. I didn’t want to find any reasons to be late.

This was a new spot for Michelle. Some friends had told her it was the best karaoke bar in town, but she usually never gets out on Friday’s. So, there we were, drinking and eating… and singing. I was genuinely having a great time, watching and laughing. Michelle and I eventually did our version of Fire and Desire. And while these two geeks were performing a Michael Jackson hit, all hell broke loose.

The Metal Men broke through the wall. This was crazy. How can villains strike when I’m on restriction? This is so unfair.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


On the way to work this morning I dropped in the Mocha Bean Café. Ever since Terra told me that Candice moved into her apartment building, I’d been trying to figure a way to work that into conversation. Aside from the free cookie for Sonus, we really don’t speak. How can I be more exciting than my alter ego?

Greeting the little guy in glasses and getting my Frozen Mocha Java Espresso Freeze Blast from Candice, I headed up stairs. As soon as I got off the elevator I tossed the drink in the trash. Perhaps I need to put a post-it reminder on my money to not buy coffee when Candice makes it. Maybe she missed a few days during the training.

I got settled at work and immediate signed on to Men’s Health dot com. They’ve got some good articles on ab work outs. A message popped in from Rufus, the company’s CEO and Ms DeVane appeared off the elevator again. How does she time these things? Something felt really strange.

She walked the floor one good time, making eye contact with a select group of folks, then came to stand by my desk. She commanded that we all click the video message from Rufus at the same time.

“You all may know by now the company has merge with another. This is an exciting time for the company and it surely promises growth for nearly everyone. However, there are a few changes that need to be made. We tried to think would be the best way to present these changes to you, but couldn’t agree. So, I’ve decided to allow Ms. DeVane to led this next phase. Please give her your utmost attention – she speaks for me.” The message was just about to be over, when we heard. “By the way, the rumor of a new office build built is true. As of Monday, the doors will open. The following employees will be relocated to the new office. Leroy J. Powers. That is all.” The message ended.

The folks I the office immediately began to discuss the message. I felt a bit out there, considering he said only my name. I thought for sure there would be more.

Ms. DeVane cleared her throat. “I need Sasha Woods and Sherrie Jankins.” Ms. DeVane spoke loudly. Sasha and Sherrie approached with caution. “Security will escort you out. Thank you.” Ms. DeVane walked toward the elevator as four building security guards appeared from no where. “You things will be sent to you. Thank you for your services, ladies.” The elevator doors closed and she was gone.

My jaw was on the floor. I guess the realignment has officially begun.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


This week at work had been too quiet. Everyone is whispering about Debbie being moved to the new office. But the new office has no location – at least nobody told us yet. Well…, I know. Yesterday, Ms. DeVane called me to let me know that I was being moved to the new office as well. I was a bit down in the dumps until I got there and saw that I would finally have my own office. Turns out, despite all my “meetings” I’m still a valued employee.

Ms. DeVane demanded that I remain quiet about it. Considering she scares me just a bit, I think I will keep my mouth shut – except when I told Ean earlier today. And I will probably tell Terra, but that’s it.

Another work day was nearly done. Brice and I have managed to avoid each other all week, despite the fact we sit next to one another. My ipod has been my best friend, along with long lunches and sudden meetings (real ones this time). Just as I put the finishing touches on a project that I had been working on for the last few weeks, my favorite song blasted through my pod. I jumped up and immediately put the ipod on the sound dock for everyone in the office to party with me.

Just as I expected, everyone gathered around my desk to dance. This is yet another reason why I love my job. I didn’t even look to see if Brice was at his desk, or would be bothered. I didn’t care.

I sat back in my chair, nodding my head. When the song stopped, I played it again for good measure. But that wasn’t such a good idea. Halfway through, Ms. DeVane entered the office. Everyone scattered like bad teens in an unauthorized house party. Ms. DeVane was not amused. She walked over to me with a stern glare.

“This is unacceptable Mr. Powers. Do not make us change our minds.” I know she was referring to yesterday’s talk about my move to the new office.

I silenced my ipod and went back to work. Ms. DeVane walked around the office announcing random visits from Rufus next week. In less than 10 minutes, she was gone. Things are about to get pretty crazy.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Despite the fact it was winter, the temp outside was amazingly warm. I can’t explain it but I can’t argue with it, either. So far, I had gone to get my oil changed, done some banking and picked up some food from the grocery store. No superheroing for three weeks – sounds like I will have time to cook a real meal.

Now, I was back out for more errands. Instead of partying on a Saturday night, dad wants me to come over to have dinner with him and mom. So, I hit the mall. I don’t buy clothes often but I felt it was time for some new shirts. I don’t think I’ve ever been big on fashion and trends.

Surprisingly enough, I don’t give much thought to my visit with Terra yesterday after work. Christopher being out is a scary thing, but I kind of think it will keep Terra more safe than anyone realizes. If this totem creator is really after Terra, then I’m betting Christopher will switch sides – at least for that moment. So, until I’m back in action, there may just be some sort of checks and balances. But when I’m back, everybody is getting checked.

While in the store, I got another text message from Michelle. I think this chick really likes me. I don’t really know how to tell her about Candice yet, but I don’t know what to tell myself a bout Candice – so I guess its time to stop bring it up. I definitely hadn’t predicted this for myself.

Just as I reached the cash register with my three shirts, I’m a one stop kind of guy, I hear a loud crash inside the mall. Reflex, I ran out of the store to see what was going on. Down, next to the hair salon was Suga Babe and Sno’ Cone. These are my favorite two villains to look at. They look like they just came out of a rap video. But with the gold teeth and blue and green high lights, over the platinum blonde hair, its hard to tell if they would have been the dancers or the rappers.

I wasn’t sure what brought them in the mall, but they were causing some major damage. Sno’ Cone was Bitter’s cousin. With their attitudes, it only makes sense that they were related. During my days working with Bitter, Sno’ Cone would often be around and invite me back to her place. Her body is amazing, but the slang and loud make up is a turn off.

Sno’ Cone covered the mall floor in a sheet of ice and giggled as she slide to the door. Suga Babe blew kisses at all the folks and used he mind controlling touch to bring the passersby to a brawl. She got her name on account of the stored candy snacks kept on her person at all times. She definitely had a sweet tooth – for food and trouble.

So there I am. The mall is being terrorized and I’m just looking. I thought about changing, but I didn’t have my costume. So then I thought about just covering part of my face with a bandana, but that only works in the movies. I think I would have to just be seen – I couldn’t let folks continue to get hurt. And that’s when Raz and Tam showed up – fresh from the pages of a magazine.

Despite the danger, I think every guy in the mall stayed to watch the brawl… it was like heaven. But heaven faded when more of the cavalry arrived to help detain the Suga and Sno’.

I went home to get ready for dinner with my parents.

Friday, January 11, 2008


I woke up this morning feeling great. I hadn’t even noticed the text message I got from Terra until late last night. I returned the message saying that I would swing by after work. My dad says the best way to squash a rumor is to continue to do what’s true. And since we are just friends, we won’t start acting weird to defuse the rumor.

I stopped in the Mocha Bean Café this morning. It’s always a pleasure to check on the lovely Candice and order a Frozen Mocha Java Espresso Freeze Blast. I was getting used to the little guy with the taped-together glasses and Candice had on the most amazing outfit under her apron. We smiled at each other. When she thought no one was looking, she grabbed two peanut butter cookies and tossed them in a bag. It seemed our connection was building. But it wasn’t. Candice told me to make sure I gave them to Sonus.

Taking quick sip of my coffee drink, I coughed. Why do I keep forgetting how horrible this drink is? Candice was still watching, so I took another sip and forced a satisfying smile. When I walked out of the Mocha Bean Café, I tossed the drink into the trash. I’m just wasting $5.42 every time I buy one. I did eat the cookies though. They were great.

The office was back to normal, except the big sheet of plastic taped over Brice’s office. Kesha was in the front, signing for a baby-something she’d won off ebay. Rona, Sasha, Sherrie and Tanya were in the break room watching some DVD about four women living in the city. I also saw Dave in the copy room with an empty gallon of Jack Daniel’s. I don’t think he went home last night.

Once I settled into my work space, I felt an eerie feeling – like an anvil is about to fall on my head. Jan from accounting walks over and looks into the cubicle next to me, then walks toward me.

“Hey Leroy! I hope things are ok with you and Terra.” She giggles. “When Brice gets back to his desk, could you give him these folders? Thanks.” Jan started to walk off.

“What did you just say.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to imply you were his assistant. Here, let me take them back.” She snatches the folders from me, still smiling. “I’ll leave them in his chair.” Jan bounced off. When did the folks from accounting get to be so perky.

I stood up and peaked over to the next cubicle. Brice was moving in. I stepped back over to my computer and set my out of office message, then forwarded my phone to the receptionist. No work for me today.


I owed Michelle another date. Not that I forgot about it, but I had planned to cancel. The week wasn’t over and I was already feeling spread thin. Yet, when I tried to lie and tell Michelle that I needed to be there for my little sister – her cat had died and she was all broken up. Michelle didn’t buy it. The truth is, my little sister’s cat died two years ago. The cat jumped out of the window, trying to get away from her. Though I believe cats to be agile and calculate their movements, this one missed the tree and hit the pavement. My sister decided then that she wanted a bird next.

I agreed to hit the karaoke bar with her, enforcing that I would not sing. We could drink, order wings and laugh at the others, BUT NO SINGING. I called my dad for a last bit of motivation. I had called him from work to tell him that the Urban 30 suspended me. Surprisingly, he agreed with Dispatch. So maybe it really was a bad idea to hit Brice, but he still had it coming. My dad also encouraged me to go out and get my mind off things – though he wondered why I wasn’t going out with Candice. I hadn’t realized how much I embellished my communication with Candice.

We arrived at the karaoke bar just before the regulars. The good news is, we got a great table and was able to order food and drinks before the server got too busy. The bad news is, we were right up front, I couldn’t hide my laughter for those who couldn’t carry a tune if you placed it in the palms of their hands.

Halfway through the night I realized I had forgotten all about getting suspended – and the fight with Brice. I also noticed that Michelle was quite a drinker. We’d had four shots of some dark liquor that I can’t identify and my voice was giving out from all the talking, shouting and laughing. And then it happened. The karaoke DJ called our names. I was betting my expression was the same as those little roaches in the raid commercials.

Michelle pulled me to the stage, batting her eyes and blowing kisses at me. I was sold. The music cued and my eyes widened. She began to sing and I tried to regain control of my jaw that was still hanging open. But, that alcohol has a funny way of working. When it came to me, I joined right in.

“..There was no time to play…. And building up….. and now it’s SOLID…” I Hope no one finds out about this.

It was a great night, though I sang like I had a spoon full of mashed potatoes in my mouth. Michelle didn’t mind. She kissed me on the stage. Maybe this lady cop ain’t so bad.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


I put the watch on once I got to my desk. I can be a team player. This is an example that needs to be made, and I’m going to do it with a smile. That’s what folks need to know about Leroy J. Powers, he can be a team player. Brice will get what’s coming to him, whatever it is.

We were scheduled to have a staff meeting this morning, but I decided to sit out. Apparently, so did a few others. Sometimes, I think these folks need to be disciplined a bit more. Folks just coming and going as they please, and now Rona and Sasha are at my desk.

“Hey Leroy.” Rona smiled.

“We heard about yesterday.” Sasha finished.

I didn’t speak, I just nodded.

“Oh, cute watch!” Rona was side tracked.

“We just want you to know that we are on your side.” Sasha leaned over to hug me, though I was sitting down.

Now I was confused. “My side?”

“Yeah, Ron, over in procurement, said that Brice sees a therapist and that he was trying to take Terra from you, but you had to go fight for your girl friend.” Rona was still looking at my watch.

“Ron SAID WHAT!” This is unreal. I think this is a joke. Any moment, Terra is going to jump out and yell April Fool’s…. but It’s January?

“Yeah, Ron says that Brice talks to himself all the time. So you had to go in and beat up both of his minds, so he don’t flirt with Terra no more. Ron says he always stares hard at Terra like he wants to say something but can’t.” Sasha was breaking a few sexual harassment rules.

“Thanks for having my back, ladies. I think I need a cup of coffee.”

“Anytime, babe.” Rona and Sasha left.

I walked over to Terra’s office. I just don’t have any answers today.


Despite yesterday’s eruption, I woke up in surprisingly good spirits. I jumped out of bed 15 minutes before the alarm clock sounded and was already making breakfast. I think cooking is one of the few things I can remain patient with. However, since the fridge was a bit empty, there was no fantastical omelet on the menu this morning.

Just as I pulled into the parking lot at work – there was no traffic on the way. It was like folks were on vacation. I jumped out of the car and checked my back pack to make sure the totems where still there, then headed toward the elevator.

“Leroy…” That voice sounded so familiar.

I looked around, but I didn’t see anyone. Perhaps that’s Brice playing in my head. Once the elevator door opened, I realize who the voice was.

“Disp… Tony. What are you doing here?” We usually don’t see Dispatch, he calls us for assignments and that’s it. Even when a bunch of us got together for a Thanksgiving Dinner, the week before we all went to be with our families, Dispatch still didn’t show. In fact, his only party moment was at Mary Queen’s retirement from the hero business. Her hero name was Radiance, but after years of her light powers affecting the vision of the bad guys, it turned on her. But she came to the Thanksgiving dinner. Ms. Queen makes the best cobbler.

“I’m very disappointed Leroy.” Dispatch hit a button on the elevator to make it stop between floors. I knew I was in trouble.

I immediately went to the defense. “See, what happened was…” Dispatch reached in his pocket for some sort of watch. “I’ve been meaning to talk to you about these small totems I found.” I grabbed the two I had in my bag.

“I already know Leroy. But, this is about you putting your hands on Brice. He would not have attacked you, if you hadn’t made the first strike.” Dispatch pressed the buttons on the watch, making it beep. “We don’t attack the good guys.”

“How can we be sure that Brice is a good guy?” I couldn’t believe I was in trouble. I’m like the number one go-to-guy in the Urban 30, and I’m being reprimanded.

“He’s here for a reason. Brice’s membership to the Urban 30 is sensitive. We must do better as heroes to act above standard behavior and assumptions.” Dispatch pressed a last button and the watch began counting, backwards.

“Ok. You win.” I was done being apologetic. “I won’t touch the guy. Hell, I won’t even be in the same room with him. How’s that…” I searched for the happy start to my morning, because my conversation with Dispatch brought my mood way down.

“Put this on.”

“What’s that?”

“You’re on suspension, Leroy. No powers. This watch will tell me every time you do something “advanced” for the next three weeks.”

“What am I, 12 years old? You can’t ground me.” I couldn’t believe this.

“If you are on this team, you take the good with the bad.” Dispatch never adjusted the volume or tone to his voice. He was very quiet and discrete. “I don’t want you to leave the Urban 30. But you are officially on restriction until the watch counts down to 0:00.” He hit the button on the elevator and the doors opened on the next floor. “See you in three weeks.” Dispatch walked away as if we didn’t know each other.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Terra and I walked down the hall toward Brice’s open door. The temperature seemed to elevate as we got closer. Mentally, I try to calm myself. We’re the good guys, I shouldn’t feel so “pushed” everything we exchange words.

We appear at Brice’s office door. “Brice, we really need to talk.” I note to myself how stern I statement is made. It’s not my intention to project Brice as the bad guy – I really just need him to stop holding secrets.

Brice looks up crossly. Nonchalantly, he responds. "Sure."

Always the peace keeper, Terra interjected. "Look. We don't want this to seem like some kind of interrogation. But we need to know what happened on top of the building the other day. She nodded to me. "Show him the totem."

I held out the new totem I found, cutting my eyes at Brice. "What can you tell us about this? I’m sure it looks familiar. Or perhaps you can imagine another one just like it... with YOUR face on it." I didn’t want to admit it, but my temper really started kicking in. Maybe we needed a moderator.

Brice stood to look at me and Terra. His expression seemed blank for a second, then there was a flicker in his eyes. “I don't know from whence these trinkets have arisen, but I will relay this to you and whomever else dare trifle with my pursuit in the knowledge of their beginnings-Don't! I will uncover their origins and when I do, the person, persons or whatever else will know I am trailing them! Now is their anything else that Wonder Woman or Superman would like to accuse me of, or have your thirsts for tabloid-like fodder been quenched?"

Terra squinted her eyes as her brows folded down. "Brice, or Enigma, or whoever the hell you are today, put your ego in your back pocket and listen. This affects all of us. Whoever's making these totems isn't just after you. This is beyond JUST YOU!" She poked her finger into his chest, leaning over his desk – then forced herself back. "Look. Nobody's trying to attack you. Nobody's jumping on you. But we all need to work together on this. As a team. Like we're supposed to be."

Brice grimaced. "A team? A TEAM?!?!?!?...that's absolutely laughable."

Being a part of this exchange reminded me again of my inability to hold on to patience. I walk up to Brice, almost nose to nose. "If I find out that you have anything to do with my friends getting hurt, I'm gonna tear you in two pieces." It was a whisper, but it was loud enough for Brice to know that it was not just a threat, but a promise.

Brice looked me in the eyes. He wanted me to know he was not afraid… But I don’t want fear, I want truth. The truth is, Brice knows about these totems – so tell. The other truth is I will tear down on him like a hungry fat guy with a country breakfast – he should realize that.

Looking me in the eyes, I heard Brice loudly whisper – though his lips barely moved. “You obviously don't know me well enough to know that your power is no form of intimidation to me. I fear you not. Dispatch brought me here for a reason and I suggest you humbly approach him and find out why. I will never bow down to what you believe to be powerful forces of persuasion. Match or no match! So if you wanna rumble, let's rumble." Brice stepped back and took a fighting stance.

This is music to my ears. "Oh... you wanna fight now.” I think I smiled with some sort of joy. “That's my favorite conversation to have." I clenched my right fist as I stepped back to close his office door with my left. "Maybe you need to call Dispatch and ask him why he brought you hear, because as of this moment you are no longer wanted." I flexed every muscle for intimidation. This dude knows I hit hard – and if mind reading is all he's got then he is in a world of trouble.

Suddenly, Terra’s head snapped back as my eyes changed to a deep, hard green. "Brice," her voice slightly changed. "Do we really have to go through this?" She leaned to him. "Please let's work together."

"Terra...we don't have to do anything, but you need to get your showboating counterpart off my back or the whole neighborhood will quake!"

See, now he just threatened me. "What, you afraid of a lil' vibration..." My power is based in vibrations, I don’t scare from a little bit of shaking.

"I remain!" was Brice’s only response.

The tension slightly broke when Ean entered the office. He demanded an explanation, but this was no time for spoken words. “No more talk…” I grab Brice by the throat and slam him against the wall. Cracks form at the impact.

Brice’s eyes glazed red and he grabs my wrist. I felt an overload of pressure in my head. "One day you will learn that my concession to your lead is truly not because of who you are or what you believe you can do. It is my role. Can the tiger not rip the Lion apart limb for limb? Does the wingspan of the Condor not eclipse that of the Eagle? Can the venom of a rattlesnake not paralyze the great Anaconda? Do not test the power of those beneath you for they are the support upon which you draw during battle. Do not attempt to extinguish the wind beneath your wings for your flight will end abruptly!"

Useless metaphors. For a smart guy, Brice might be a bit stupid. He's feeding my power back to me. I feel my temper burst through the ceiling. My eyes roll to the back of my head and I grind my teeth. This is the part about my power that ain’t so pretty. I do a lot of hitting, but when I take damage, it all stores up. Once the bottle is full, it explodes. I manage a cocky smile as I force my focus to Brice. "You want to raise the stakes... Let's do it." I release the explosion of sonic energy directly at Brice. The backlash shatters the windows and blows his computer.

I look at Brice. He’s a bit dazed. "You look like you the anaconda just crushed the breath from your lungs." I pick up his desk to hit him with. "There is a reason the lion is king, b!t@h!"

"Yeah...because he hasn't been tested. Let's do this." Brice regained his stance as the whole building started shaking. I was suddenly light-headed, blurry and unfocused. I struggled to hold the desk, feeling as if I had tried to lift a Mack truck or something. Has to be Brice playing with my mind. I had to push through it.

I dropped the desk and concentrated to push Brice from my subconscious. Just in time to catch him within striking distance. We exchanged punches. Someone taught him out to fight, but he doesn’t hit as hard. I swing a hard left. I wanted him to go down and stay down. Brice drops into a side split, then, slides through my legs – standing back up behind me. This dude watches too much tv.

Before I can turn around, something yanked me from behind.

"Dammit! Enough is enough! This shit ends now!" Terra’s tentacles were everywhere. She usually doesn’t let them out, but I guess the calm me could understand the need for damage control. But I ain’t finished with the damage part.

"You two handle that macho bullshit at another time." She stood in the center of the room while she brought her tentacles back in. Ean was still recording. "Leroy. Take a walk before we don't have a job to come back to. I don't know about you guys, but I need the paycheck.” She had a point about the job. This was definitely the wrong place and time.

Terra walks over to Brice "Will you talk to me?" The calm, motherly side of Terra is hard to resist.

I grab the totem and leave. Outside of Brice’s office, our coworkers were gathered. Though the door was closed, somebody had to explain he damage. Then I thought, I may get fired behind this. Hell, if I’m going to be fired, I might as well go in style.

I walked back into the office where Brice stood next to Terra. They both looked a bit shocked to see me come back, and I wondered how much damn recording space did Ean have on his camera phone. Just as quick as I reentered the office, I stepped up to Brice, pushed Terra to the side and planted my foot right into Brice's chest. The kick forced him through the wall. I wasn't trying to kill him, that's not how heroes do - and we are only on the third floor. But I get the last word.

"See me on the play ground later, school girl..." I called out as I left the office. I grabbed my things from my desk and left work for the day.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


I took one gulp of my Frozen Mocha Java Espresso Freeze Blast and threw it out. I’d almost forgot that Candice can’t make coffee. Dropping by my cubicle to turn on my computer, I went straight to Terra’s office.

Being in the office brought me back to my normal outgoing self. Now that Rufus had made his visit, folks could act like fools. Marvin worked in HR with Daisy. Since Daisy always worked from home, Marvin would always be online in the chat rooms. I can’t mention enough the office is very laid back. The folks here probably do work 30 percent of their day, though some of us have been known to really be overwhelmed at times. I like being here because it’s not too much – and the flexibility of fighting crime.

Tina, the receptionist was checking her e-harmony dot com profile and Ebony, also from procurement was taking a nap in the lunch room. I closed the door for her, though I doubt anyone would have said anything.

I get to Terra’s office and Jan, from accounting was showing pictures of her new born. She gets to be annoying with her kids. I hurry Jan away and show Terra the totem, along with the story of how I found it – I also mention the totem of Brice, that’s now missing but neglect to mention the one of her.

“Do you think we need to talk to Brice, now?” I was hoping she said yes.


I stopped at the Mocha Bean Café this morning. For no particular reason, I wanted to see Candice and get a Frozen Mocha Java Espresso Freeze Blast to break the blah mood I am in today. The fellow with the taped-rim glasses took my order like last time and Candice blended my drink. She threw a few smiles at me while she mixed the frozen drink. I smiled back as I fished the small totem from my pocket. I really needed to ask Dispatch about this one.

When Candice handed me my drink, I placed the small totem next to it and walked over to the napkin dispenser for a straw and napkins. As I walked back, I noticed the little guy at the register staring at the totem, adjusting his glasses. Maybe he was day dreaming about some space movie. I grabbed the totem and my Frozen Mocha Java Espresso Freeze Blast and headed out the door.

Candice waved good bye. This was the most action I’d seen from her and I was too involved with my thoughts to respond. I guess it’s time I stopped holding so much in. Terra should be in her office, perhaps we can confront Brice about this.


Last night I got a call from Michelle. Despite how quiet I got toward the end of the date, she seemed to have had a great time. Go figure. She wants to see me again and because I couldn’t think of any reasonable excuse, I agreed to see her tomorrow night. I know it’s the middle of the week, but why sit in the house bored. Maybe I will get called to save the city and have to cancel on her. I hope so. Even though she is rather nice looking… Still, she’s crazy. She’s obsessed with HSA’s... well, me anyway.

I think I’d better just get to work this morning.

Monday, January 7, 2008


Rufus, the company CEO, never showed up last week. I can call him Rufus now, because he sent a video message to all of us by e-mail that as of that moment, we would all be on a first name basis. Does this mean we are friends? This guy is on cloud 9 or something. Rufus also mentioned that we will be going through some structural changes in the next few weeks – just standard business, no one should be alarmed. I’m not buying it!

Imagine my surprise, however, when I was sitting at my desk this morning checking e-mail instead of doing work, and Rufus pops into my cubicle. I fell out of my seat.

“Mr. Black, how are you!” I stumbled to my feet to shake his hand.

“Please, call me Rufus…” He kept grinning.

“How are you, sir… Rufus.” I tried to act cool.

“I just want to tell you to keep up the good work. You don’t have anything to worry about. We'll be keeping you.” He winked. I suddenly felt real queasy. “Also, you want to make sure your mail comes to the right place. Not too much personal business at work…” He smiled more as he handed me a small wooden statute. The same type of totem as Terra and Brice, but this one of a guy I don’t know. Though there was a familiarity about him, I knew I had never seen him before. “I hope you don’t mind, I opened the package. I thought it was something from one of my mistresses. Nicely wrapped, too…” He laughed a cocky laugh and walked by to shake more hands.

It’s Monday. Rufus just did a surprise visit and I should be scared witless that I wasn’t prepared. Even more, I should be concerned about this new figurine and who it was made of. But instead, I’m stuck staring into the cubicle wall wondering who knew to send that through the company. Someone knows my identity.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


I can be known as somewhat an impatient guy. Most of the alerts we get through the Urban 30 are handled quick and easy. Well, quick and easy in a sense that some bad guy, or gal, is stepping out of line and we show up to beat him, or her, back into procession. But these cases that make you think… The cases where you have to figure out who your opponent is and what they are up to, those are the ones that really frustrate me. I just want it over – and I don’t want my friends hurt in the process.

Since I had owed Derrick the blind date favor, I figured last night was perfect. I’d spent all day thinking about the two figurines and Bitter’s words. Brice was the likely person to explain the root of all this, which means I needed to talk to him. The question was, with his problems spilling over to Terra, was I going to keep my cool.

I’d met Derrick and the two ladies down at Chuck’s. It’s a great after hours spot in the middle of downtown – convenient to everything but parking. What most folks don’t know is that a lot of HSA’s (Homo Sapiens Advanced) hang out here, so it’s really the safest place you can be. Side note: HSA is the politically correct term given to us by the government for being super.

Going to Chuck’s was great for a few reasons. While the drinks were watered down and not so appealing – perhaps not to have us too drunk on the job – the food was great! Adding to that was the fact you were always surrounded by good folks, even if you didn’t know their name. Lastly there was Jazmine. She could sing your address and it sound sexy. All your troubles just go out the door. Her voice is amazing

Derrick was already there with the twins. He’s always early, at the very least – on time. Surprisingly, the twins weren’t as visually challenging as I had expected. Tracie and Michelle were dressed very different, despite their faces being so similar. Interestingly enough, Michelle, my blind date, wanted to sing before decided to be a cop. I started to think perhaps we have a lot in common with the whole law enforcement thing. This was a great start – too bad it was only a start.

As the night moved, I discovered some personnel changes at Chuck’s. Candice, my beauty from the Mocha Bean Café, was a new server at Chuck’s. She smiled as she made note of remembering my face from the café. Even though Candice and I aren’t married yet (or actually dating), it still feels weird for her to see me with another woman. We were very cordial; Candice didn’t seem bothered by Michelle at all. Perhaps I was the only one to feel awkward.

If that weren’t enough, Derrick couldn’t say enough about being a fire fighter – though he left out all the times he’d used his powers to save someone from burning building – he gladly mentioned all his awards. Tracy was in retail. So while Derrick worked once every three days, apparently Tracy was only off once every three weeks. I wonder how this was going to work. Michelle on the other hand loved to talk about being a cop. What was interesting was her view of HSA’s. Apparently, she’s not keen on anyone enforcing the law who isn’t sanctioned by the government. Not that we aren’t… but, we aren’t – it’s complicated.

Michelle went further to say how she is following the trail of an HSA gone bad. This hero wears a dark costume with a bad attitude and no regard for the law. While it seemed he had gone off the grid, her sources say he resurfaced last night. She was adamant that she would take him down.

Great, now my date just became my stalker – and not the good kind. I think I’m going home. Alone…

Saturday, January 5, 2008


I didn’t catch Brice after work yesterday. Despite how I respond to him, I don’t have any personal issues with him – I’m sure he’s a great guy. However, since he’s been a part of the Urban 30, he’s been somewhat distracted, almost in conflict with himself. Dispatch says I’m always too hard on the new guys. But I see it simply as acceptable expectations. This business can be life-threatening, and honestly I’m not sure Brice wants to save any of us if we would need it. I saw a similar trait in Ean, but after some time, I learned it was his nature to be so disconnected. While I know Ean may not rush to the scene, if a friend’s life is in trouble, he’s there. So the question is will Brice be there.

Instead of taking Brice’s call (why did Dispatch give him my personal cell number?), I went to see an old associate. Not long ago, I tried the whole vigilante side of the hero business. I busted up lots of bad guys, but I was going down a road that held less regard for the rules of engagement. I’d break in on the bad guys, and before handing them over to the authorities, I generally kept part of the “loot” to myself. Of course my rent was paid in advance and my car was always detailed, but I eventually learned I was being no better than the bad guys. I was a bully to them, but I was disregarding a lot of things that was right. No one knows that phase of my life. The costume and identity that went with it is locked away.

Even though I didn’t wear that costume any more, I needed it tonight. Clad in my throwback persona, I headed to a darker part of the city. I needed to speak with a guy named Bitter – a name not just fitting to his personality. This guy used to know all the top villains, but they all seem to take off to fame without him. As a result, Bitter isn’t too excited about the good guys or the bad guys.

I found him in his usual alley. He was leaning against the brick wall when a bird crapped on his shoulder. Bitter plucked the air and a rapid wave of frost encased the bird in a block of ice.

“You know I hear its good luck for a bird to crap on your shoulder.” I walked toward him cautiously. He was the one guy I never busted. I bent the rules for him, but he bent some rules for me.

“Then I’ll let it free once I prove that theory correct.” He didn’t smile. “I haven’t seen you in a long while. I thought perhaps someone had finally buried you alive.”

“You’ve always been so warm to the heart.” I smirked.

“Our partnership has been inactive for over a year. What makes you think I won’t be the one to put you to death, slowly?” He meant his words.

“I think you will remember that I can play just as dirty. So let’s skip the pleasantries and get to it.” I meant mine. “I need to know about this…” I presented the small totem of Terra. “..I have 3 more just like it of other heroes. What’s going on?”

Bitter was silent for a few moments. Then, I saw something that I had never witness in the years of knowing him. He smiled. His eyes glazed over, and he was as happy as a youngster at Christmas when he unwrapped his first toy gun.

“Your friends have been marked. Stay away from them. Their fates have been set into motion. You don’t want to share it.” His teeth were silver; he smiled so hard.

As Bitter stepped back, a wall of ice formed – separating me from him. He had nothing more to say. When ever he made such an exit, he was done talking.

I came straight home. Something wanted Terra, but why? And how do I tell Terra that she may be in danger? Maybe she doesn't need to know just yet - she may lose her cool. For now, I think maybe I should have a talk with Dispatch.

Friday, January 4, 2008


No work for me today. I got another one of those early morning calls from Dispatch, and I’ve been going ever since. It’s not so much that the city was in great peril, but this was more of a preventative measure. There were a few events in the city, and our usual guy (Bill) to attend these matters is on vacation. I didn’t even know you could take vacation from being a super hero. But, I’m all about being a team player.

On the way home, I finished following the Mayor around a little after 2pm. He’s and ok guy and all, but a bit stingy. He fed everyone around him, except me. How does Bill do this with no type crummy work without even getting fed? Sucks to be him – and right then it sucked to be me. Anyway, I decided to fly over the building where I found the small statuette of Brice. The fact that it was no longer in my possession means that something is going on; somebody could be in trouble.

I didn’t find any more totems, but I did see on of those low-level henchmen we pounded. I kept distant and followed the guy for a few blocks. Sometimes you really have to question the level of intelligence. I was decked out in my costume, folks on the streets looking at me, and not once did this guy turn back to notice me.

Not losing sight, I followed him to the basement apartment of a brownstone. I waited a few minutes before busting in. Something did tell me to call for back up, but I was hopeful that I didn’t need it – and I was right.

My suspect was barreling through a junky closet. When burst through, he looked surprised. But not so much so that he couldn’t turn and high-tail it out the back door. I would have followed, but I noticed another little totem on top of the pile he’d pulled from the closet. It was crafted the same as the one made like Brice. But this one, however, was Terra.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


After lunch I debated going home early. Not that I was feeling bad or anything, but just to not be at work. Lay back, watch cable and just waste time. Everybody needs moments like that in their life. Terra and I walked into the office and picked up our messages from the receptionist. I didn’t have a direct line, and Terra didn’t like to give out hers – I don’t know how a super hero came to dislike daily interaction with people.

I had been telling her about the exotic dancer that I’d met six months ago, and even though I never called her, I wanted to hire for Dispatch’s birthday. He seemed to work so much, that I thought a party would be great for him. And believe me, this dancer is talented.

Stopping at my desk, I decided to show the small statue to Terra. She loves a good mystery – it lets her think of something other than her jailbird ex-husband. I wonder if they are legally separated. Just as I stepped into my cubicle, I noticed the miniature Brice was missing.

“Some Damned Mother/@$&*# stole the totem from my desk.” Terra punched my arm to remind me I was still at work.

When did these folks start stealing around here? This was unacceptable. I think I need to go change into my alter ego and get into somebody’s face. Aside from the fact that the statue might have been a huge clue as to whomever had attacked us, it’s just plain wrong to steal.

Terra dismissed the issue for now. We were at work and she didn’t want to be too obvious about the hero talk. I think she just had her little date with Neil on her mind. She is so distracted lately that she didn’t even comment on the creepy looks Brice gave on his way into the building. But, she’s right. I’ll worry about it later. The fact is I saw it – I know it’s real. So maybe I won’t ask Brice any questions now, but I think he knows I’m watching him.


The morning has been quiet. Folks are really acting like they are all busy, but I ain’t buying it. My particular interest is with Brice [Enigma]. I need him to explain why he ran away from a fight yesterday AND he needs to explain this little figurine that someone made in his likeness. But, Brice has been behind closed doors all morning.

For now, my new trinket stays next to the flat panel computer monitor. I checked some e-mails and edited a few documents for the “Sensitivity” training that Daisy from HR has mandated. Though she claims it is a direct request from the company’s C.E.O., Rufus M. Black, I didn’t see any reason not to do it. The funny thing is, Rufus is on schedule for a visit today, which is odd since he only visits on Tuesday’s.

Since I’m properly dressed today, and haven’t had any calls from [Dispatch], I think I can properly focus on my actual work – at least while I wait for Brice to stop hiding in his office long enough to answer some questions. Better yet, I’m going to get lunch.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


I had arrived on the scene just after Terra and Ean. This group of bad guys I hadn’t seen before – and they just seemed to come up out of the woodworks. Not that any of them were strong at all, they just seemed to be plentiful. Who has the payroll to hire this many henchmen?

This fight proved the perfect diversion to let off some steam. Though she held her own, she seemed distracted. Work had been crazy, returning after the holiday, so we hadn’t had a chance to chat much the last few days. Ean was his usual self, seems like he had too much fun taking down the bad guys. But Brice, where was he? I suddenly noticed him on the roof near by. I heard some loud commotion and saw the cracks in the building. The sun was somewhat blinding, but I did notice Brice doubled over and the silhouette of a person walking toward him.

Moments later, Brice just took off. Heroes don’t run! Where was he going? We’re down here fighting 5 – 1 odds and Brice just tucked his tail and ran away from one guy. I really think Dispatch picked the wrong guy for the job.

I signaled Terra and Ean and flew up to the roof. I couldn’t leave them for too long, but I wanted to see what scared Brice. There was an unconscious henchman up here, but no one else. Brice or who ever scared him was gone. I did see small wood statue that looked just like Brice – hand carved like a totem. All I could do was grab it, and return to the fight with Terra and Ean. Today is a headache.


The day just keeps going. After surviving the bad cup of coffee, made possibly with love (though she doesn’t know it yet) from Candice – which was supposed to ease the pain of having my tires ran through with a stainless steel kitchen knife, I got a call from Tony [Dispatch]. Apparently there was some major business going down. I know this because Terra [Elemental] and Brice [Enigma] got the same notice. I walked by Brice’s office, hoping he’d not show up. I think he tried to read my mind or something. That’s a major violation. I felt a sharp pain in my temple as I locked eyes with him. There is something really wrong with this kat. While he doesn’t really know my powers make it hard for folks to probe my brain, it’s still rude to try without permission.

I would have let opted out of fighting but now I’ve got an attitude. Counting the flat tires, bad java and a crazy, unstable hero trying to read my mind, somebody is going to get a beat down.

As usual, I locked my computer and put a sign outside of my cubicle that says something about a meeting. It’s not like anyone is going to come looking for me. I went on the roof to change. I usually do that in my car, but I didn’t drive today. Normally, I get there first. Terra always has to check on her kid or something before a big fight. I will tell her about Brice’s invasion of my privacy later.


This morning started off a bit rough. Some crazy lady in the next building, jealous of her cheating husband, went on a slashing spree last night. She wasn’t sure which car belonged to her husband’s mistress but with the heavy influence of dark liquor, she decided to hack everybody’s tires. While the husband has agreed to pay for the damage to everyone’s car, I still had to have my auto towed – which put me on the train to work.

Mornings like this demand my favorite refreshment, the Frozen Mocha Java Espresso Freeze Blast – this one with extra chocolate and whipped cream. What made it such a great drink was ordering it from Candice and the guy in the back on the espresso machine. I think his purpose in life was to work in the coffee shop because he has never mixed a bad cup. Perhaps there is crack in it or something – it’s just that good.

I walked into the shop and instantly notice the change. The entire staff must have all had extreme makeovers, none of them looked familiar. Of course this mattered for two reasons – Candice and that espresso machine guy. This can not be happening to me, not now, not today.

I stood silent for a moment and just watched the new guys. They functioned as if all was normal. There was a girl with pig-tails brewing fresh coffee. Another girl was restocking the pastry display and a guy with too many muscles cleaning off the tables – he wore the manager’s pin on his lapel. Some short fellow with too much energy and tape on his glasses took the orders. I was the only person standing in the coffee shop. Though this was early for me, it was just after the morning rush.

I proceeded forward to place my order. Though the folks were different, the menu was the same and I still needed my caffeinated boost. The short guy looked up to me, adjusted his glasses and asked to take my order. Why was he so happy? As soon as he placed my order, he called it out aloud. This brought my attention to the fact that no new person was on the espresso machine. That station was empty. Moments later, Candice walked out from the back area. She was the new espresso machine guy. I think my smile was too obvious.

I stepped aside to wait for my drink, day dreaming about how I would ask Candice out. She apparently likes Sonus, but I’m not clothed as my alter ego right now. Since my last visit, I figured Candice was bit more drawn to me in a mask. Now the trick was to get her to like me without it.

She passed me my Frozen Mocha Java Espresso Freeze Blast.

“Sonus said thanks…” I didn’t know what else to say.

“Excuse me?” She looked confused.

“Sonus, he told me to tell you thanks for the coffee the other week.” Ok, so I was using my other self to get lucky. Is that so wrong?

She blushed. “Oh, you know him?” She looked into my eyes. “Tell him it’s no problem.” Candice used her seductive voice. I almost dropped my cup.

I smiled as I walked out. I think that was a move in the right direction. Now, that she will acknowledge I exist, I can make her fall for me.

I took a sip of my drink. Ew, this is the worst coffee drink I’d ever tasted. I guess someone that good-looking has to have a fault. I just wont let her make me coffee.