Did I mention he’s reformed? Well he has, and it’s a good thing for me. You see Ted is my mentor and teaching me in the way of all things super powered. It might seem odd taking lessons from a former super baddie, but my options were limited. Besides we go to the same church.
Ted used to be the fastest man on the planet, and one of the cleverest super villains around. But he never wanted to take over the world. When I asked him why he explained that the profit margin stunk. Besides taking over the world is one thing, running it is another matter entirely and involved way too many headaches.
Anyway, like all the villains do sooner or later do, he pushed it too far. The corporation who was taking the loses for his clever thievery got sick of it, and requested The Squad to convince him to decease. It was a win-win, as the Squad loves to do favors. For a price.
Well after that it was only a matter of time. Ted got caught and got locked up in the super security facility where The Squad keeps their captured super villains. Most spend their time getting bitter and plotting dire revenge, but Ted decided on different route. Instead of becoming bitter, he returned to the faith of his youth and become a model prisoner. Eventually he was paroled after promising to behave himself. Yes there is overcrowding even in super villain jail. He’s still pretty speedy for a man pushing sixty, but he can’t keep up with the new speedsters, The Roller Derbies.
Oh the hits just keep on coming.
“So I see we had some issues on our training run,” he said amicably not looking away from his computer screen.
“We?” I ask him, “I don’t remember any “we” out there fending off four superheroes at once.”
“We all have our place in God’s plan my dear,” Ted responded calmly, “Besides, been there done that. I’m concluded it.”
Sometimes it’s kind of hard to get what Ted means when he tries to use American expressions with that thick Russian accent of his. Most of time I get what he means. Most of time.
“You mean you’re over it?” I asked.
“Right, concluded. So did you wish to see what you did today? It was a Special Report and you are the hottest thing on internet.”.
“I knew those cameras were somewhere. So how bad did I come off? Did I make the 10 most wanted list?”.
“Actually, not so much. Captain Cornflake…”
“Cornflake?” I interrupted, “You mean Captain Courageous? You’d better let him hear you call him that or he'll throw you back in the slammer. The man has an ego bigger than his muscles and takes himself way too seriously. Where did you get Cornflake from anyway?”
“Has gotten stuck in brain will show in a minute. He tried to make suggestion that you were in league with bank robbers. Squad even tried to obtain not only bank images, but all outside cameras footage as well for their investigation.”
“Investigation? You mean smear campaign.”
He nodded and agreed, “Exactly. Fast as they were they were too late to stop footage from getting on web. Once that happened, not even Squad can stop it.”.
“Now I wonder how that happened?” I mused, “They are usually so good a spin control.”
“Lots of people with cameras these days, and many groups, both good and bad, always trying to make Squad look bad,” he pointed out as he looked for the computer link he wanted..
“The opposition must be getting better. That could be good or bad.”
“Depends on how paranoid Squad gets.”
That thought worried me. They were already control freaks, but paranoid control freaks that had super powers? That could be really bad.
“You wanted to know where I got Captain Cornflake from? Watch,” Ted said as he played a video.
“So you think this new super being was in with the robbers?” the reporter asked congenially.
“Well Scott,” the Captain said his dark brown hair, costume and cape all in perfect order, “We still need to gather evidence but it does look…”.
“Don’t any you listen to the talkin’ head here,” the victim said coming into camera, “That girl risked her life and limb for me and I am not going to forget it.”
“The Captain was speaking,” the reporter admonished her, obviously appalled at the idea that anyone would dare to interrupt the Number 1 Superhero of the World. At least that was what his agent kept assuring everyone.
“That’s quite all right Scott,” the Captain assured him benevolently, “The victim has had a shock and most likely cannot remember the full details…”.
“The victim” looked anything but shocked, she looked outraged. Don’t, I thought, don’t do it, let it go. I won’t mind..
You know, I think even if she heard me, she wouldn’t have listened to me.
“Now look here Captain Cornflake…”
“See how brave she is?” Ted smiled as he sat back and crossed him arms.
“I don’t know that I’d call it brave,” I disagreed. Making fun of a super guy with no sense of humor? One step closer to oblivion is what I would call it.
Fortunately the Captain held on to his temper, as he corrected through gritted teeth, “Courageous.”
“Whatever. I suppose I imagined your partner Private Pervis…”
“We take our names very seriously….”
“And I take the fact that I came that close,” she illustrated her point by pinching her thumb and forefinger together, “To meeting my maker today, and you and your bully boy over there are trying to make me say that poor girl attacked me…”
“Are you saying The Squad suggested you lie?” the reporter asked eagerly actually sounding like a reporter.
“Of course not,” the Captain denied with righteous indignation, “I’m sure there was a misunderstanding. We would never…”
“Oh so why are you two shooting around terms like shocked and can’t remember details? I remember just fine and I know a frame job when I see it…”.
Ted paused the play and looked at me.
“Who is that?” I asked.
“That,” another voice announced, “Is a lady who just got into a lot trouble. Along with both of you.”
Ted and I looked up and saw Magenta the Mentalist, one of the founding members of The Superhero Security Squad standing in the doorway.
Mystery and adventure writer C.L. Ragsdale is the author of The Reboot Files a Christian Cozy Mystery Series, and a superhero story called Chasing Lady Midnight. A California native, she loves to "surf" the web to research plot details for her fun, quirky stories. She has a degree in Theatre Arts which greatly influenced her writing style. Working in various fields as a secretary has allowed her to both master her writing skills and acquire valuable technical knowledge which she uses liberally in her plots. A big secret from her past, which is not so secret anymore, is that she used to a major comic book geek. Nowadays she loves to crochet, but she is still a big fan of the old Scooby Doo cartoons.
Cindy posts on her own blog called Short Mysteries and Tall Tales at http://shortmysteriesandtalltales.blogspot.com as well as The Cozy Mystery Magazine on http://cozymysterymagazine.blogspot.com
Her Facebook Authors Page is located at http://www.facebook.com/pages/CL-Ragsdale/219184744858421