Thursday, January 10, 2008


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.

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