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 Changes in Awareness - (Both Parts of Two)

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TerishD


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PostSubject: Changes in Awareness - (Both Parts of Two)   September 25th 2012, 3:08 pm

A Fight for Recognition
Story Eighteen: Part One
Changes in Awareness

The Girl Knows
I woke up wondering where Cindy was. She had awakened me earlier in a method I hope she would always do. I heard her saying that she was getting on up, but I went back to bed. Now that I was awake, I moved about the house wondering what she had been doing.

Finally calling out her name, I heard her respond from the basement. I thought that strange, but went down interested in what she might say. Going down the steps, I saw that she had moved things, but nothing in a manner that answered my questions.

She tapped an electronic console while asking me, “Larry, why do you not play down here? Other people have this room as a playroom.”

I moved up to turn a couple of dials in a certain way while answering, “This room has other uses.” I then spoke to a place where I knew a microphone rested inside the console. "Pirahna, activate, with uniform."

Hearing some noise from the attic, Cindy opened a metal panel proving that she had noticed it. It opened into an old chimney from those days before central heating. The original brick shaft had to be expanded, but the work did nothing to make people suspicious. Cindy thus made a number of noises showing her complete surprise at seeing a black suit come from the panel.

Finally, she calmed herself, then asked, “Larry, you’re the Minnow?”

“Yes. I have already told your parents. When I went to Germany, I spoke to them.”

She looked around, then asked another question, “So, we do nothing with the basement?”

“My life is changing, Cindy. Not just with you, but my technology is advancing. I cannot be the superhero much longer.”

She came up to me in her manner of moving her body next to mine while saying, “I will want to see you in the suit.”

“We have a week. I will promise you that I will go out as the Minnow before you leave to return to Germany.”

“Larry, why did you wait until now to tell me?”

Her voice had gone cold. While her warm body was against mine, I sensed a distance between us. The feeling did not scare me however. I had walked that road, and in watching her eyes I could tell that she sensed that in my reply.

“You know about my previous Cindy?”

“Yes.”

I really did not want to talk about that, so blandly replied. “Then that was a stupid question. Don’t die on me, Cindy. I am so scared.”

“You think that I am going to die?”

I saw her eyes that she did not like what I said. I really did not care. If she was going to leave me, it was time to find it out.

“I am scared something stupid is going to happen. The first Cindy should not have died. Mr. Lorshein should not have died, and Mrs. Lorshein should not be a cripple. I have studied and worked, worked and studied, to assure that everything worked. I don’t need stupidity, Cindy. I need consistency. You either need to be here for me, or not.”

“Keep letting me in, Larry. All this time, I could go to you in the lab, in this house, wherever you were. Yes, I might have only learned now, but I really cannot believe that I did not know. Don’t you ever close me off.”

I now put my arms around her, and felt her move her body in a way that I had come to enjoy. When I looked into her eyes, I saw hers staring right back. Feeling that we had crossed a major hurdle together, I smiled while making my reply.

“Deal – to death do we part.”

Now she kissed me. I held her to keep her close. We had more to talk about, but for the moment the actions spoke louder.

“HEY! LARRY! You home?”

I continued to hold her as her face moved away to ask, “Sir Soldier, does he know?”

“Yep.”

“Sherita?”

“No, but she does suspect. Really, Cindy, I have not told anyone. It has been Mrs. Lorshein spilling the beans. She told me to tell you as well, and probably would have this weekend if I had not told you by then.”

She broke from my embrace, said, “I would have been mad at you if you had waited so long,” then ran up the stairs while yelling back to Sir Soldier.

By the time that I had Pirahna back up in the attic, Sir Soldier was speaking from the top of the basement stairs. “Cindy says that you told her.”

“Yes. Do you have a problem with that?”

“No. Okay, well – I am here to let you know that Butch with the eyeball is back out.”

I played with my stereo controls to set some easy listening playing low through the house before making a reply. “Cool. Well, we did it twice already. I say it is time to let someone else have a go at him. Probably call the local news station and tell them that Lab Stooge and Sir Soldier are tired of catching Mr. Mesaba, so we are leaving it up to some other superhero to get the job done.”

“It was Minnow that helped me out the first time.”

I had to think, then realized why I thought that I had done that out of uniform – because I had. “Oh, yes, I used the wings remotely. Whatever, I will just call as Lab Stooge and say that you are the one tired of going after Mr. Mesaba. I can say something like you and he are not any special enemies or anything.”

Cindy said, “Larry, you are the superhero. You need to go after Mr. Laser eye.”

“I showed people how to deal with that nitwit. How about I take you and show you my plane.”

Sir Soldier said, “Uh, yeah, and bring me along. That is one of my orders – to look at that plane.”

The lady asked, “Seriously? I would like that.”

I replied, “Sounds like a plan. How about I treat the two of you to breakfast?”

Sir Soldier would have climbed in with me and Cindy, but I drove a sports car that did not have a back seat. He thus offered to drive us, but I reminded him that he did not know where we were going, and that I did not want to limit where Cindy and I could go afterwards. We thus took off with Sir Soldier’s large military vehicle running behind my little green car.

As I got settled on the interstate, my phone rang. Cindy answered, but I quickly heard her tell Sir Soldier a few “I don’t know”s. I thus was not surprised to have her plug the phone into the car speaker system.

The voice of Sir Soldier now asked me, “How far out of town is this place?”

I answered, “Far enough that we can do our work without anyone caring.”

“Ohio?”

I knew that was a joke, but gave an effective honest answer. “No, as Ohio is in the ‘we are bored as Hell so will look into what you are doing’ range. We are just going far enough out of town where the moon shiners are working in secret, so won’t talk about your equipment if you won’t talk about theirs.”

“Moon shiners? Should have known.”

Now I made the joke. “Hey, they have ways of shutting you up – give you a free sample. If that won’t keep you silent, well you aren’t really human, but one of them government zombie people that are better off dead.”

“Okay, you got me there, as I am a drinking man.”

As I said, “Confession is good for the soul,” my head turned seeing a large car across the medium. “Hey, Sir Soldier, that was Mr. Mesaba!”

I saw the humvee drop back as Sir Soldier asked, “Should we go after him?”

“I would say yes, as there were others in the car with him. We thus could capture, or at least learn about, his supporters.”

“My vehicle can get across that medium.”

Considering that we were in mountainous terrain, that was a boast, but I knew that he would pick his spot. “You do that. I am going to head to Mrs. Lorshein. Give twenty to thirty, and you should have aerial support.”

“Roger.”

I had Cindy close the connection with Sir Soldier. Her voice changed to being excited as I had her call a number she did not know. When I spoke a certain phrase into the receiver, her body bounced on the seat. Cindy was so excited at that point that she could not stay steady enough to call Mrs. Lorshein, but I had to do it as well as drive my car.

Finally arriving at Mrs. Lorshein’s house, we heard a sound from the attic while we still spoke in the foyer. That was the signal for me to head upstairs. Cindy wanted to come with me, but Mrs. Lorshein told her that there would be many occasions in the future to watch me get into uniform. As I rushed to the attic, the ladies went into the dining room where Mrs. Lorshein spoke of showing some pictures of me and her husband that should please the young lady.

Before I put in my mouthpiece, I called Sir Soldier. He let me know that he had alerted the Tennessee state police. They could confirm the make and model of the car, but were not able to identify Mr. Mesaba. He then yelled as I heard his police scanner say something. I then heard Mrs. Lorshein scream my name. As Sir Soldier told me something over the phone, I heard Cindy coming up the attic stairs.

“Get your butt over here, Larry!” Sir Soldier loudly spoke. “A civilian car just lost a tire and ran off the road. Mr. Mesaba’s alleged vehicle just accelerated. Air support would be appreciated.”

“You got it,” I replied, “but that means no more talking from me.”

“Can you hear me? Do you have a receiver in that uniform?”

I did. Mr. and Mrs. Lorshein used to give me advice as I trained with the equipment. Once my activities got too dangerous, they stopped accepting that I needed to focus on the situation. The method was however still available, and I let Sir Soldier know how to communicate.

It was an old high ceiling attic. In most houses some child might have done work to convert it into a separate room. The Lorsheins however had no children, so the space just held memories. I could tell the attic was going to hold one more as Cindy came to me.

“You really are the Minnow.”

“Yes.” I held out the mouthpiece as I said, “I cannot talk once this goes into place however.”

“How about a kiss?”

“Nope, not that either.”

We thus did it then. Cindy took a moment to touch my uniform and the two wings floating nearby. Feeling that she had her moment, she told me to go into action.

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PostSubject: Part Two   September 30th 2012, 11:40 am

A Fight for Recognition
Story Eighteen: Part Two
Changes in Awareness

Scene on the Road
I drove nothing but a humvee. Nothing special about it. Yes, those that recognized vehicles could tell that it was military issue with four-wheel drive, but not anything that would really alarm anyone. No special lights, no special markings, nothing to cause anyone to slow down or feel that they needed to be concerned about whatever law they might be breaking.

Admittedly, I was driving fast. Driving a lot faster than the government intended for my humvee to go. That was one problem with the higher speed limits. To catch someone going the legal speed one just had to go really fast.

Being close to Knoxville, it did not surprise me to see that a cop took issue with my speed. As the bright lights begin flashing, I started dialing my phone. The 911 operator was polite, but told me to call the state police department. I was polite as I loudly replied that I was doing about a hundred and really did not want to take my eyes off the road to punch in more than three digits. She offered to transferred me, and I told her thanks. As I was talking to the trooper behind me I guess that those in the car I was chasing saw me, because they suddenly swerved and stopped perpendicular to the flow of traffic. Both me and the officer shouted curses in surprise as we did what we could to decrease our speed and determine our response to the situation.

The road was not as heavily packed as it could be. Cars reacted, but modern vehicles are designed for certain speeds. I guess that the maneuver to block the road was however intended to cause some carnage, because I made out the shimmer of a powerful beam toward a sedan that caused tires to shred resulting in the car rolling. I realized that the trooper was still on the phone as I heard him yell to dispatch to send backup to help clear the road.

“Hold it!” I shouted in response. “We have a serious situation here. Mr. Eyeball is dangerous. What we have here is not just a road hazard.”

The trooper asked, “Sir Soldier, you would not happen to have any help coming?”

“Uh, yes,” I did not want to give anything away, but I did want to ease the mind of the officer of the law, “I should. Truthfully, though, more of your team of heroes should arrive first.”

I saw an eye turn on me as I turned my humvee perpendicular on the road while hearing the trooper ask, “What is your plan?”

While eyeing Mr. Mesaba, I answered the question, “I would hope talk,” then closed the connection.

I had not yet rolled down the window, but the bad guy spoke loud enough that I still heard him. “You will not survive this, Sir Soldier.”

The state trooper spun his car to slide up parallel to mine, then jumped out to light a flare and begin warning oncoming traffic. I saw Mr. Mesaba turn his gaze from me, so opened my door. Seeing the bad guy jerk his head back to me, I worked to keep him from making a dangerous decision.

“Where are all your friends? If you had help, I might feel that I was in danger.”

“Your jails can’t hold me.”

“Oh, they can, but some people just have to be convinced that we need to push the line on cruel and unusual with some bad guys. You are making that case, however.”

I saw him turn his face away from me, so I stepped out with a jacket. I really did not want it ruined, but it was all I had to put between me and the laser eye. While I considered it good that Mr. Mesaba put his attention back on me, it did hurt to see my jacket burn from the damage being inflicted.

As I threw the covering down, Mr. Mesaba declared, “It is just you and me, Sir Soldier.”

“You should have ran with your buddies, Butch.”

“Yes, well, I have secrets to keep as well. Where are your buddies?”

“They should be coming, and according to the flow of the conversation you should understand that to be more than just cops.”

I would have charged if he turned his head to look at other vehicles or the trooper. His face however looked up. I think he saw something, but from the way he jumped along with me I could tell that he did not see the arrival of someone I had not planned for.

The colorful fancy cowboy suit just did not look dignified, although the voice that came out had a good tone. “Butch Mesaba, the man with the laser eye. We haven’t met. I’m Boom.”

Technically, a superhero is just a civilian, so someone that I and the regular officers of the law were sworn to protect. My time in the city had however caused me to give some respect to the superheroes. When Mr. Mesaba turned his head to Boom, I did not react to protect him. Seeing some of the tassels on the uniform drop as the colorful suit was ruined as had been my jacket, I just laughed.

“Welcome to the big time,” I said.

“Yes,” he replied with his stance attempting to hold some dignity, “well, I learn. Boom.”

A spray of dirt and pebbles came from the road to cover Mr. Mesaba’s pants. He just looked at Boom with the expression of declaring him to be stupid. As I expected the eye to again show its power, Mr. Mesaba threw his arms up to cover his eyes as a bright light shined upon him.

Boom said, “Whoa, Minnow has gone big-time.”

I had to turn to see the Minnow Plane. The Air Force guys had done Larry proper, and put all the lights that such a vehicle was supposed to have. In order to keep the bad guy in view, as well as look at the aircraft, I moved away from my vehicle. I saw the Minnow Plane suddenly lift, but was otherwise not warned when the car Mr. Mesaba had been traveling in exploded.

I had a uniform designed for reducing the damage from shrapnel. It was still cloth, but I had some distance between me and the vehicle. My uniform was surely as ruined as my jacket, but I rose from the ground accepting that I still lived.

Boom appeared in good shape. As some canister left in the car exploded, I saw him use whatever power he had to redirect the force. Whatever he did was not by using any noticeable device. Seeing me move to look over the wreckage, Boom made a comment.

“It would have helped if Minnow would have said something.”

“He can’t talk,” I replied.

“What? He certainly can.”

The man sounded like he knew who Minnow was, but I suspected he just had his opinions, so replied, “Listen, you might think you know some things, but don’t go thinking that you know everything.”

“Uh, yeah, sorry. Where is Minnow going?”

The Minnow Plane was moving off. I heard the distant rotors of helicopters, and felt that official help had arrived. I thus spoke my assumption while moving to the major portion of Mr. Mesaba’s body.

“Probably to catch the guy that fired that explosive round. Listen, you can go help him, but you might as well take off. The proper authorities will be here soon enough.”

"How about you?”

“I’m a Marine. Might not be a proper authority, but I have some presence. Thanks for your help, Boom.”

Sounding apologetic, the man said, “You were on the opposite side of the explosion, so I could not help you.”

“I did not say anything about that. I said thanks. Now get.”

“Well,” Boom paused, then rushed out, “I feel that I should be a part of your superhero group.”

“You do? Well, welcome to the club. Now get.”

Instead of leaving, he stepped up to me to ask, “When are the meetings?”

“What? Things like this don’t occur with any schedule. I did not call up Butch and plan this little get-together. “

“But the Minnow showed up – in his plane. Surely there was some planning.”

While I was beginning to consider Boom as a complete idiot, I had to give him some credit for thinking with that statement. “No, but – we were just in contact at a particular moment. You should know where to find me. Look me up. Maybe we can be in contact at the right time.”

“Okay, thanks.”

The man then again said thanks before saying boom again. He shot into the air in a manner of flying that I really did not want to experience. Feeling that I would have a lengthy report to write, I set to work trying to appraise the situation.

I heard sirens, then turned hearing a number of voices attempting to take charge of the situation. Feeling that I could not go anything more, I lifted my hands. They identified me, thanked me for my help, then told me to file a copy of my report with them. I knew the procedure, even knew some of the men, so told them the situation was now in their hands as I moved to my humvee.

As I left the scene looking for a place to get back on the other side of the interstate, I went ahead and punched a number that I had on my list. It did not surprise me to hear a young lady answer. I however appreciated hearing some useful information as I had my four wheels navigate the medium between the lanes of the interstate.

All that I was given was an exit then some basic initial directions. Probably would not have found the air field on my own, as it was not well marked. Seeing the Minnow Plane over the road at a junction, then fly barely over the roof of my humvee provided the necessary directions.

Met Col. Bennie and a few other of the men that built the Minnow Plane. They were understandably proud of what they had done, and where Larry was having them plan to go. They were also glad to meet me. Feeling that I continued to stay part of good thing, I looked at the plane while speaking with the men that had built it.

Larry spoke of the assassin killing himself. That told all of us that something big was going down. Col. Bennie and his men were however not in the crime-stopping business. Larry and I thus saved any discussion of Mr. Mesaba and those with him until after we finished talking aircraft.

Mrs. Lorshein stayed with Col. Bennie, but Cindy kept to Larry’s side. Could not really blame her, as I felt proud of the young man as well. We spoke of Boom and his desire to join our superhero group while laughing at the thought. Larry said nothing definite, but enough to let me know that he did know of Ballet Slipper and of her own plans for her technology. Cindy also made comments of knowing the female superhero, and seeing how Larry did not refuse her presence at his side I accepted that she had learned more than just things about her boyfriend.

Finally, Mrs. Lorshein rolled her wheelchair to me while asking, “Well, Sir Soldier, have you seen enough?”

“Yes, Ma’am. I can tell you that our military wants this technology real bad. Larry giving the message to wait for him to reach the moon was a good thing, but they are seeing what he is doing with a lot of envy.”

“Well, let them know that the date should be in slighlty over a month. Cindy goes home next week. About two weeks after that Larry and I will go to Germany. When we come back, there is about a month before fall semester, and Larry will probably be bored enough to make the journey.”

I looked to those in the hanger while saying, “I assume the Air Force will have its bid.”

“Well, I would hope that the military presents itself in a dignified manner, but having four separate bidders will help assure a good price.”

“Well, let me say that for once I believe our tax dollars will go to a good cause.”

It was Larry that replied, “Thanks, Sir Soldier. Planning a big cookout this weekend, but would like to keep it private. Tell anyone that wants to show up to wait until Cindy is gone, then we might have a cookout here.”

I nodded while saying, “Sounds good. Will spread the word. Until then, keep a watch out, as I believe the bad guys are making plans themselves.”

“Yeah, so it seems. Hopefully, though, they will stay on the wrong end of the technology curve. I would hate to leave the superhero game thinking that our proper authorities will be out-gunned.”

“Give us this technology, and the bad guys might be facing a whole army of Minnows.”

“That’s scary, but in a good way.”

_________________
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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Changes in Awareness - (Both Parts of Two)
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