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 A Horrible Day (All Parts of Three)

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TerishD


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PostSubject: A Horrible Day (All Parts of Three)   April 13th 2012, 4:05 pm

A Fight for Recognition
Story Five: Part One
A Horrible Day

A Necessary Meeting
Nathan Jackson had not yet opened up his laboratory office. He had come directly to his lab. The previous day had been one of experiments, and today he needed to get to work on organizing and interpreting the data. The office was not a good place for that, because it did not have enough blackboard space.

The elder black man paused in his activity as he heard the phone ring. When it was answered after the second ring, he knew that his lab assistant was in the office. Nathan returned to sorting through the data while he waited for the results of the phone call.

The door to the office opened, and a young fair-skinned man walked into the laboratory as he buttoned a shirt while looking at a specific place. He muttered positive words as he turned back to the office. The elder started picking up his papers and moving them to an empty 'table.' As he performed the task he smiled as he thought of the lad taking the time to hide his flying machine, but not taking the time to change clothes.

"Had a rough night, Larry?"

The young man was tucking his shirt into his pants as he returned, "A busy night, Professor. What made it rough was the presence of the news media. They seemed determined to find out things about me last night."

"Scared to go home, huh?"

"Extremely. Luckily, the college is a wonderful place for losing a tail, and your office is a quiet place to get some sleep."

Larry had a secret life as a superhero called Minnow. He had started his double life back in high school, but had always been active as the superhero in the college town. He grew up not far from the city, understood that he would be attending the college, so choose that from the beginning as his base of operations. Nathan had been surprised when he was contacted by Larry's high school science teacher to be the new mentor of the superhero, because the college teacher already thought the secret identity of Minnow was already attending classes.

"What was the phone call about?"

"We have a visitor coming. Somebody from the military showed up bright and early to speak to you, and the guard was not certain if you had arrived yet."

"Well, put your shoes on, then clutter up your 'table.' While I speak to our visitor, you could organize my data. I started, but there is still a lot to go. It should not be hard at all to hide whichever one of your machines is here."

The young man moved over another stack of computer paper as he said, "I used both Trout and Barracuda last night. Felt like doing a lot of acrobatics, so did not bring out one of my big fish. This is Trout. She probably has almost an hour charge left in her, but I will still want to recharge her before I use her again. Barracuda was sent back to the house to start her recharging. If I go out anytime soon, I will need to use a guy."

Larry had five flying machines that carried his superhero self. Three were small machines created especially to be part of his superhero costume. They were about three feet long, less than two feet wide, about six inches thick, and had long showy oval metal pieces etched to appear like fish fins. The other two were over two feet wide, about four feet long, eight inches thick, and the fins were probably cut from the same pattern as the smaller machines but did not look too showy. The larger machines had been built to test the power of his engine, and were mostly used in situations where the task was considered difficult. The fact that Larry mentioned two of his girl machines told the elder that the lad had only wanted maneuverability last night.

The fact that the laboratory door was opened posed a problem to the military officer. Both of the men in the room watched as he stuck in his head to read the sign on the door before realizing that this was the room he was supposed to enter. A slight smile came to the man's face as he took off his hat and focused on the eyes that were watching him. Assured that it was the elder man that he needed to speak to, the officer moved to him as he spoke.

"Dr. Nathan Jackson?" A hand being put forward assured the officer that he had made the right assumption, and he shook it confidently as he spoke further. "I am Captain Robert DeStran with our United States Marine Corp. It seems that you have earned some grants from our government in the past, so I felt certain that you would be a safe contact for me."

"I deal a lot with our government, Captain. Normally I am just looking for money, but I see no reason not to support our military."

"I respect that, Doctor. I have some business that has brought me to your city, and I can pay for your services." The officer paused, but quickly realized that Nathan was waiting for him to say more. "I need to track down and contact a couple of superheroes that you have in town. They are using technology that is of high interest to the military. I would like your support in helping me determine how their technology operates."

Neither Nathan nor Larry broke a smile, although both were holding back laughter. Not only did the college instructor have one superhero as a lab assistant, but he was the one who maintained the special shoes of the other superhero in town. There was thus the realization that what the officer would probably receive was more disinformation than information. Nathan still felt that he needed to be nice.

"I do not know how much help I can be, Captain DeStran. I assure you that I am also interested in the technology behind each superhero. Neither however falls into my immediate line of research."

"I appreciate that, Doctor, but your expertise is far beyond my own. I will admit that I been in contact with experts within the military. I am presently just loaded with all sorts of theories. You are here and have a presence in this town. I thus believe that you will have a better understanding of what is actual and what is propaganda."

Nathan smiled feeling that the officer had set the conditions for a workable relationship. "Well, Captain, if you bring me a working hypothesis, I can probably tell you whether or not it is scientifically plausible."

"My boys say that Minnow flies due to anti-gravity."

Nathan waited for Larry to make a sound, but the lad was good at keeping his identity secret and quietly worked at sorting documents. "Anti-gravity would not propel, Captain. It would help the guys at NASA, because they would not have to fight the force in getting their objects off the ground. Whatever Minnow is using, it moves him around rather well."

Captain DeStran seemed disappointed with the answer, so jumped to asking another question. "Are there any rumors about the campus on how to contact the superheroes?"

Larry now blurted out, "You could try running outside and screaming your lungs out."

The military officer's expression did not change as he turned to the younger man and asked, "And you are?"

Nathan made the introduction. "This is my lab assistant, Larry Kert. He is presently only a sophomore, but he came here highly recommended. Larry started working with me on his first day attending this college, and I have found him very responsible."

Captain Destran held out his hand, and a momentary smile crossed his face as the young man gave him a firm handshake. "Now, about going outside and screaming my lungs out."

Larry knew that he was being given an opportunity to save face. "There really is no known method of contacting either superhero. There is no red phone, no Minnow Signal, and no one on campus goes around claiming to pal around with either superhero. Minnow generally operates at night, but he has no regular patrol or days of operation. Ballet Slipper has a police scanner on her motorbike, but that does not explain when or where she shows up. Her more famous exploits occurred because she was at the scene of the crime before the police even knew something bad was going down."

It was a good complete answer, so Captain Destran allowed a smile to come to his face and for a wisecrack to pass out of his mouth. "So, if I am to find someone changing clothes in a phone booth, it would be Ballet Slipper."

"There have been efforts by some voyeurs to put up a few cameras around campus hoping for just such a sight."

“Still, she has been seen in the daylight. How old do you think her to be?”

Nathan replied, “They should both be in their twenties. Minnow has been active for a few years now, so I would place him about twenty-five. I believe that Ballet Slipper is younger than that.”

The Marine officer showed a lack of knowledge in estimating people’s age when he stared at Larry, then asked, “How old are you, young man?”

“I turned twenty-one last month.”

Nathan expected the military man to question the lad some more. The man however looked around the laboratory. Looking at Larry, a shrug of the shoulders told him that he did not know what Captain Destran was looking for. Finally he asked another question.

“Neither of you have any interest in the superheroes? I would have thought some materials displaying a curiosity in their powers.”

Larry returned, “There is no superhero day presently on the school calendar.”

Nathan had to look at the young man as the military man asked, “Superhero day?”

“Any reason for a party is a reason to party. I’m sure it will happen, and Professor Nathan and I will probably do something to support it.”

“Oh, of course,” the Marine officer said while Nathan looked around wondering where a poster or banner could go. “Now, where can I contact you?”

“If we are not here, we probably don’t want to be contacted. If the professor is not here, he is in Oak Ridge making use of the money he got from the government. If I am not here, I am in class or trying to have fun.”

Nathan did give the Marine officer his number, although did make a statement of support for what Larry had said. A phone number was given in exchange with the military man assuring that it would activate the device in his hand. With the information traded, Nathan felt relieved when his visitor left.

Seeing Larry continue to sort through documents, Nathan had to ask, “Do you think Captain DeStran will be a problem?”

“No. If there is something that my older two siblings have taught me, it is that you can usually win betting on government stupidity. I consider most of your government grants to fall into that category.”

Nathan felt insulted, so replied, “No, just as with those funding your own experiments, there is nothing wrong with my science. The stupidity is that we have to hide our beneficial endeavors behind idiotic logic.”

“That helps keeps our secrets however, so I am not complaining. No, Marine Man does not bother me. He actually seemed like a nice guy.”

The response cooled Nathan’s emotions, so calmly asked, “Plan on going back out?”

“No. I told you that I need to let my machines recharge, and we both know that is the kink in my technology. It works great, but only with a certain type of energy that is not easily generated. It will be a few days before I feel capable, although tests in certain classes will probably demand my time. Marine Man will just have to wait a while before seeing the Minnow in action.”

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Last edited by TerishD on April 23rd 2012, 5:52 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: A Horrible Day (All Parts of Three)   April 16th 2012, 1:37 am

I have to say I like the fact that Minnow is descret and humble. He seems so calm and collected but -- in the reader's perspective -- his mind is so full that it's hard to imagine he's so organized. (Although you have to be organized if you were him.)

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PostSubject: Reply   April 16th 2012, 7:34 am

Discreet and humble? Well, he does work well with others. He comes from what is today a large family (four children), and spent his time with an older couple (the Lorsheins). He thus is not brass and not affected by the normal peer pressure. Larry thus does come across as having a more congenial personality.

Note however that he does have a rough side that is present in many successful people. His work takes a large amount of his time. That is my problem in developing Cindy. I could have made her a bitch, but Larry would quickly dismiss her with the support of those around him. In the end, Cindy was also given a relatively pleasant personality, although I am attempting to keep some spunk in her.

Thanks for the comments.

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PostSubject: Re: A Horrible Day (All Parts of Three)   April 16th 2012, 6:41 pm

You could still make Cindy 'a bitch' by making her overly attractive in turn making Minnow stay for that fact alone. Then that would probably bring down his character's greatness in the eyes of the reader, especially since beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

No need to thank me for the comments, but thanks for being willing to share your work with others. You are keeping this forum going with your amazing talents.

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PostSubject: Reply   April 16th 2012, 9:55 pm

Kellycakes wrote:
You could still make Cindy 'a bitch' by making her overly attractive in turn making Minnow stay for that fact alone. Then that would probably bring down his character's greatness in the eyes of the reader, especially since beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Larry is on a college campus. He is surrounded by highly/overly attractive ladies. He however had avoided female attention due to the murder of his earlier girlfriend and the work of his secret life. In my opinion he however came across too Batmany without a girlfriend (or if he acted as a playboy). I thus wanted a girl in his life. Since I am doing prose, I felt that I could take another tactic with Cindy that might not work in a real comic-book setting. It will be slower to develop, so I hope that you hang around.

Oh, thanks for the compliment. I do try to do well. As I believe you know, I do take my writing with some seriousness. Anyway, it is nice to get some feedback, so again I will thank you for your comments.

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PostSubject: Part Two   April 18th 2012, 4:13 pm

A Fight for Recognition
Story Five: Part Two
A Horrible Day

The Day Turns Bad
I had been warned about days like this. Actually, I had hoped that gaining a position with Professor Nathan would help relieve me of some of the underclassmen requirements. Those paid to reinforce the policies of the institution however made certain that I succumbed to all decisions made by the higher powers. Having survived my first year, I had finally managed to see that my connections would make my upperclassmen years easier, along with those to achieve higher levels of learning, but the drudgery of being an underclassman just had to be dealt with. I thus settled into a chair with a hoagie committed to prepare for a coming test.

A lady sat beside me, and seeing a black leg helped me recognize the voice. “Hello, Larry. I see that you are attempting to survive being a sophomore.”

“Hello Break Neck. You wouldn’t happen to have a copy of the test?”

“No, and it would not help with that professor anyway. The class and test changes according to whatever agenda the mass media is preaching. Watching a news channel can help you know how to answer the questions with references from the book only assuring that you get a good grade.”

“Then I am glad that I am reading the book.” I lifted my gaze from the text to smile at the lady while adding, “Glad that I even bought it.”

My eyes went back to the text. Not wanting to be rude, I did try to glance occasionally at Sherita. She calmly ate some bites of her sandwich. It was not until after drinking some juice that she asked another question.

“Larry, would you tell anyone about me?”

“I didn’t. Had a Marine Officer, a Captain Destran, come by this morning asking about the technology of our local superheroes. Professor Nathan and I did not utter even a reference about working with you.”

I completely took my attention from the text as the lady replied, “But you showed up that night with Cindy.”

“I still wonder about that, and about Cindy as well. However, she came recommended by someone that I trust, and others that I trust have told me that they like her as well. Do you have any problem with Cindy?”

“No, but Brian is worried. We are proposing a new development of my technology. We will need Professor Nathan to help us, but Brian is worried about our stuff leaking out.”

I had sisters, so felt able to speak with confidence. “Listen, Brian means you well. Every encounter I have had with your brother had me thinking that he really cared for you. Still, Cindy has known about you for some time, and there is nothing about your secret being spilled anywhere.”

“That’s what I was telling him. Still, he is getting jumpy.” I was about to again speak in favor of Brian when the black lady asked, “Still, what you told me is that you would not tell anyone about the Minnow either?”

“The Minnow?”

“He has special technology just like I do. I also know how grateful I was for Professor Nathan to listen to me. I thus suspect that he listened to the Minnow as well.”

I decided to go ahead and put an end to that topic of conversation. “Yeah, Professor Nathan is a nice guy. Still, no, even if we knew about the Minnow, we wouldn’t say anything.”

The lady folded up the paper around what was left of her sandwich, finished her drink, then pecked me on the cheek before leaving. I found myself wondering if she had planned the conversation and picked up the sandwich merely to appear that the meeting was just opportunistic. I decided that I did not care either way, so put my attention back on my book.

Screams along with the noise of crumbling mortar tore my attention from my study. Exactly what had happened did not concern me, but only that something occurred that would need a response. Working with Mr. Lorshein in maintaining his science lab in high school, then with Professor Nathan at college where he kept even more dangerous materials, I knew that fast action to resolve immediate problems helped prevent a larger situation from developing. I thus quickly stuffed the remains of my hoagie in my mouth, then guzzled my drink. The book and other possessions went into my satchel. In no time I was heading toward the catastrophe.

The walkway over a street was now in the street. Not only had people been on the walkway, but beneath as well along with those operating vehicles. I could not remember having heard explosions. Rushing to the collapsed structure I however saw what appeared as clean breaks that would not have happened naturally. Accepting that there was an architectural school on campus, whose duty it would be to determine the cause of the situation, I rushed to simply try and alleviate some of the damage that had been done.

The sound of car alarms did not help the screams, yells, and other noises. I would have liked to been able to focus on the more serious predicaments, but found myself simply reacting to handling problems as I came to them. Seeing others helping those on the edges, I moved into the street to help those trapped in their cars.

Having a car door open just seemed wrong. Realizing that the lady was not screaming in pain, but just talking loudly on her cell phone really unnerved me. Memories of fellow classmates in high school who concerned themselves more with socializing than the education being offered had me think of this lady as being another loser who would make it only on by relying on others to think for her. Relegating her intelligence to a dog that did not have the sense to get out of the rain, I allowed my voice to come out rather rough to stress how wrong I felt her actions to be.

“Get your butt out of harm’s way!”

The response in return was just as caustic. “This is my car, and I am speaking to my insurance agent!”

“Well, if you are going to stay here, have him check on your medical insurance as well!”

Those words caused the lady to get out of her vehicle. She paused to look around to hear and see others much worse off than herself. From her expression I sensed that she did not want to associate with those truly hurt, which seemed supported by her action to rush off beneath a tree.

“Larry! Larry! Larry? Right? You are Larry?” I turned to see Captain DeStran near a massive block of masonry covering the torsos of a couple of people. “Come help me with this.”

Quickly looking over the situation, I replied, “We might need to wait. That stone is probably stopping more bleeding than it caused. Let us work on those who are not so much in need of major medical attention.”

The wail of sirens now tried to be heard over the cries of the people, and Captain DeStran’s face declared that he felt the sound supported his plans. “Let us get these people ready to be transported to the hospital.”

I decided that I was probably better off helping, although did bother to ask, “Do you have some medical training?”

“Yes. Some. It kinda comes with the job.”

“Then I am going to trust you.”

The block of stone was not small. To move it safely, rolling it away was not an effective solution. I looked at Captain DeStran wondering if the two of us could lift the massive rock. I felt relief when two campus policemen came up to check on us. The military man had them assure that the ambulance personnel would be rushing here, as it was clear that those beneath the block were in dire need of medical attention. The cops declared the weight of a block that size, so stressed that they would need to help.

I might be a superhero, but super-strength was not one of my powers. Regular workouts did assure that my muscles were at their best, but I focused more on body control than power. Grabbing a hold on the block and lifting, I found myself accepting that the Marine and I would not have been able to move the weight alone. Even with the help of the campus cops, it was hard managing to relieve the pressure on those beneath. The plan was then to toss the stone, but feeling my arms growing tired caused me to be uncertain whether we had enough strength between us to power such a move. Working with the three other men, two of which were only campus police, the block struck at enough distance to no longer be resting upon anyone.

Smiles and nods passed among us men at realizing we had accomplished the deed. All turned feeling able to help more. Captain Destran however kept his focus, and barked at the policemen to assure the presence of the paramedics. Seeing a mass of blood under those that had been beneath the blocks, both took off to obey. I also turned to see if there were orders for me, but spun upon hearing the sound of a certain vehicle.

Ballet Slipper rode up as if she was going to help. I however wondered what she could do. There were enough regular people, including myself, doing what they could. As tragic as the situation was, it was not really something requiring superpowers. I however would not speak against Sherita doing what she could, so yelled to her to deliver the only piece of information that I felt she might help with.

“Bre –“ I had to pause realizing that the lady was in uniform and in public, so it would be improper to use my private name for her. “Ballet Slipper! The cuts appear clean, so it might have been set. But right now we need to help the wounded.”

“Of course. Do what you can. Tell the police that I will be about looking for anyone suspicious.”

“I have no advice that I can give you about that.”

The lady did nothing more than nod. I could not help but smile, as it was the response that my alter ego would give. She spoke to a few more before riding off. I watched her go, then turned back to Captain DeStran to nod as a sign for us to get back to work as well.

Moving to clear rubble from others, the military man asked, “How in the world did she have time to change into the costume? Do you think she was just moving around wearing it? That is the only way I could have helped and be in costume.”

“And be in costume?” I had returned to the street to help those trapped in their vehicles, but was not against using conversation to keep my mind from fully being overwhelmed by the tragedy.

“Yes. I got a costume. Being assigned to check on the superheroes, I prepared my own identity.”

My father had spent time in the military, and some of my friends had gone into the service, so I voiced what I felt was wrong with what the man had said. “I thought that you wore that uniform with pride. How could you stomach wearing another?”

“I designed it with military approval, so felt it was just another outfit. We don’t have just one. There’s a dress uniform, a duty uniform, etc.”

“Okay, so who were you going to be? Marine Man? Sir Soldier?”

The man in the car I came to broke my attention from Captain DeStran by speaking of being all right. The rocks had fallen to collapse his roof in a manner that kept any of his doors from opening, although had not fully collapsed his roof. After picking up a rock, then having the man protect his face, I finished breaking a window. I guess that Captain DeStran encountered a situation that had kept him busy as well, because it was not until I was cleaning the frame of potentially cutting glass pieces that I heard him speak.

“Sir Soldier? I like that. Honestly, I was going with Major Mean.”

“Major Mean? You were going to be mean?”

“No. I mean that I was going to be a nasty force for justice. Okay, listen, I liked Sir Soldier. Can I use it?”

I was helping the hefty man in the car through the window as I replied, “Just remember that I helped you. I am not your enemy.”

“Why would I be your enemy?”

“You’re with the government. I am sure that you will come up with some reason.”

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Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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PostSubject: Part Three   April 23rd 2012, 5:52 pm

A Fight for Recognition
Story Five: Part Three
A Horrible Day

Sources of Trouble
Captain Destran did not hush simply due to the animosity displayed in the young man’s voice, but by a need to assess something that occurred earlier. He almost called the superhero by name. ‘Bre…’ Brenda? ‘Bre… Bre…’ Brenda was the only name that he could come up with at the moment. As he worked at helping people, he worked to replay the earlier event in his mind to properly analyze it for what facts could be gained.

It did help his mentality that Larry continued to work. Whatever resistance he had to the military did not display itself in the crisis other than the single comment. Captain DeStran had to allow that there could have been an underlying joke and not animosity, so simply kept to doing what he could until taking a chance to speak to Larry again.

The local authorities finally began arriving at the scene and relieving those volunteers that had been providing what aid they felt was necessary. Larry had been doing what he could out in the street, so was quickly sent away when police cars arrived. Captain DeStran heard some cops thank him for his service, ask him some questions about his time in the military, then after listening to them speak of their own military years he was told to stand down and let them do their job.

Wanting to find Larry, Captain DeStran began heading up the hill on which was the original main campus. He actually felt the young man would have headed to his dorm, but those buildings were so spread out that a wrong choice would also put him on the wrong part of the expansive campus. Considering that Larry would report to his CO, Doctor Jackson, Captain DeStran went where the ancient science building was located.

It caught him by surprise to spot the young man on the sidewalk quite a ways from the science building. He seemed quite displeased by something, although did smile upon seeing the military man head toward him. Captain DeStran could not determine if the pleasant expression was faked.

Larry asked, “What brings you up here?”

“How about you? I thought that you would head to your dorm to clean up.”

The smile dropped in what Captain DeStran considered to be an expression of losing respect for the one facing him. “I don’t live in a dorm, but have a house barely off-campus. It is too much trouble to head to at the moment.”

“House? Well, do you have a car?”

“Yes, but it is at the house.” There was a pause, then Larry said, “I walk when I can, as the exercise is good. The problem right now however is that I need to walk back, but I have a couple more classes so might as well stay on campus.”

Captain DeStran considered that information to be good, as it meant that Larry was available for questioning. “What did you almost call the superhero. You were about to say something other than Ballet Slipper.”

“Probably, as we joke about our superheroes, especially her, because she is female and seen more often.”

“Okay, so what did you almost call her?”

“I don’t think that I almost called her anything. I believe that I was going to tell her to bring her butt off the bike.”

The words flowed from the young man’s mouth rather easily. That caused Captain DeStran to consider the statement to be the truth. He thus decided to ask another question.

“Okay, so why don’t you like the military?”

“Military? I have nothing against the military. Try and get funding from the government however. You think what I said about government intelligence to have been mean, wait until Professor Nathan and I have to rewrite, submit, then present all the crap that we have to in order to have a chance to gain funding. They don’t have any idea about the practicality of the science, but actually make allocations based on some idealistic agenda. Professor Nathan and I often are actually twisting our actual wording of our research in order to get the funding, as just telling the truth probably would not work.”

“Honestly, I can sympathize.” Captain DeStran actually could. “Care to trade stories?”

“No. I mean, yeah, later. Listen, why you haven’t done any research yet, I cannot say. Still, do it. You should learn things. Come talk then. Right now you are just looking for easy facts. Sorry, Sir Soldier, but the truth is never simple. Plus, whatever I tell you are only words from a sophomore lab stooge, so of no worth without corroborating evidence. Go get that, then talking to me might be worth more than the spit in my mouth.”

Captain DeStran felt that there was something to what the young man said, although worked to put the words into something applying to the scholarly setting. “Forcing me to do homework, huh?”

“You don’t really understand the lecture if you cannot make it apply to anything.” He spun upon hearing a young lady call his name as she rushed to him, then turned back to say, “Now, excuse me, as I have business.”

Captain DeStran had to say, “She’s hot.”

“It’s a college campus. Go find your own. This one is mine.”

Honestly, Captain DeStran suddenly felt the urge to go and do just that. Considering that he was effectively retiring with this mission, he accepted the idea to finally settle with a woman. He however saw no reason to fight the young man for what he considered his.

“Talk to you later, Larry. I do plan on doing that homework.”

“You are only at fault if you don’t, Sir Soldier. Have a nice day.”

Captain DeStran watched as the two young people walked to Ayes Hall. That was not the science building, so caught the military man off guard. Accepting that one of them probably had a class in that large structure, he turned to the science building thinking to again speak to Doctor Jackson.

The sound of the engine was distant, but something about it caused Captain DeStran to stop. Pausing to think, he realized that it was not a sound that he recognized. He liked motorcycles. Learning that one of the superheroes rode a bike, he worked on his own set of wheels. Wondering what brand of motorcycle he was listening to, he moved down the hill a ways. A flash of yellow caused him to stop, then he began running realizing that he was on the trail of Ballet Slipper.

Bad Guys Found
Sherita really did not know what she was looking for. What kept her moving about was simply knowing that the local police were not looking at all. They had enough to worry about. The accident had shut off a road and killed or wounded a number of people. She had to look for the cause of the trouble, as those whose job it was had to simply resolve the situation.

The roads were important, as the university was a huge campus with a great population. Enabling the mass of people to get between their classes in the allotted time required every thoroughfare to be available. To help keep the routes clear, a number of elevated walkways had been created.

Two guys were looking at the joint of pavement at the top of a flight of stairs. Something about the activity just appeared suspicious. Not having anything better to do, she stopped at the bottom of the stairs.

The two men ran off, and that activity marked them as needing to explain themselves. Sherita took off the protective bottoms of her shoes as she dismounted her bike. Feeling that she was ready to go into action as Ballet Slipper, she raced up the stairs to chase the men.

Hitting the top of the risers, she moved her toes in a manner that activated her shoes. She suddenly zipped along an almost frictionless surface. The pavement was not smooth, and definitely dirty, so she did not know how long her shoes would stay active. She however put her super power to work to supply her with what advantage it could for as long as it would.

The first thing that she had to figure out with her technology was how to make turns. She originally changed directions by just having one foot shut off the technology and use its normal state to supply the force to spin her. The act supported her Ballet Slipper identity in that having one foot frictionless and the other normal caused her to twirl in various ways. The physicists had helped her control sections of her soles, giving her much more ease in making effective direction changes. Sherita still did as much spinning as she could, although really did not need such stunts now in order to turn.

She did only a few simulated ballet moves as she gave chase. The guys were racing as fast as they could. While her shoes gave her an advantage, her antics as Ballet Slipper would have her fall behind those she chased. She thus mostly ignored her superhero personality in order to accomplish her superhero job.

There was a hope that someone would stop those fleeing from her. Sherita however worried that the men had other explosives like those used to collapse the bridge and would threatened more with them. She thus did not call out for anyone to help her. The sight of one man tackling one of those fleeing however did bring her some relief.

The other fleeing man stopped to check on his companion. Sherita now felt able to act as her superhero persona as she moved to take control of the situation. She did a couple of twirls, then a quick darting action that put her behind the man so she could work a martial arts move that put him to the ground.

As the one fleeing man that had gone down due to someone in a military uniform began to scream for a lawyer, the one holding him asked her if she had handcuffs. Honestly, she had considered such, but the actions of the other superhero had caused her to make a simpler option. She had yellow plastic tie wraps. They cost very little, and did not need to be retrieved. She thus quickly secured her man, then moved to do the same to the other.

The military man was looking through packs even as the men began saying that such was against the law. Sherita spoke to let the men know that the flight gave them probable cause, not that they were police anyway. They were merely concerned citizens. They might not have had any legal rights to go through the packs, but being rude and invasive were minor infractions considering what had happened and what they hoped to prevent.

Special explosives and timing devices being found caused Sherita to feel that her job was done. Seeing people using personal cameras also had her feel the need to leave. She thus looked to the military man and hoped that he was on duty.

“Can you handle getting these men to the authorities?”

He looked around, and seemed to gain the same conclusion that she did. “Uh, sure, Ballet Slipper. Glad to have met you.”

She pushed her way through the crowd, then used her shoes to rush her back to the bike. It felt good to have used her technology, although knew from history that she would need to check her shoes. Truthfully, though, considering the number of surfaces she had covered in the chase, she felt that an inspection would help her and Brian form some of their own conclusions before again speaking with Professor Nathan about further developing her technology. She thus reached her bike considering that the day had gone extremely well.

_________________
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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