Thursday, February 28, 2013

Chasing Lady Midnight - Chapter 6

Chapter 6 - Magenta The Mentalist

Fortunately for us she’s retired and she’s married to Ted, a fact that did not go over well with her former teammates. When they found out. After the wedding.
Yeah that was on purpose.
You see she figured since they made her retire she didn’t have to answer to them anymore. The Squad, as they usually do, disagreed. However, seeing as they are not exactly sure what secrets Magenta knows (and she’s not about to tell them) it convinced them to back off.
Needless to say Magenta doesn’t get invited to the reunions.
Magenta, or as she prefers these days Kari, is the only other person who knows what’s going on with me right now. Truth to tell, I was leery about that, seeing as she was one of the original members of The Squad so she might feel it was her duty to fink on me. However as Ted pointed out he couldn’t keep a secret from his wife, besides the fact that you really can’t keep a secret from Kari because she’s a mind reader.
Don’t tell her I said that, she hates the term. According to Kari you can’t really read people’s minds anyway, at least not as easily as they make it out in comic books and TV shows. There’s just too much stuff going on up there at the same time. It’s confusing. You know how people tell you to focus? Turns out there’s a reason for that. Then you have to block out the noise from anyone else’s mind that’s around. Needless to say it takes a lot of practice. From what I’ve heard tell The Squad’s most current telepath, Gamma Wave is nowhere near as good as his predecessor because he hates to practice.
So why did Kari take the alias Magenta? Well it wasn’t because she has purple hair. Her hair is white, it’s always been white, it was her superhero outfit that was the pinky purple color. Apparently that was a trend in superhero names at the time.
You’ve got watch out for fads in everything.
“Why so serious my little cherry?”
Ted has always called her his little cherry, only he says it in Russian which I am not even going to try to pronounce. It drove Kari crazy for a long time because he started back in the day when they were on opposite sides. So what’s so bad about being called a cherry? From what I’ve been able to figure the way he used it referred to a sour cherry, something about her personality …it’s one of those Russian things. Anyway once Ted served his term and they got together he couldn’t get out of the habit and Kari got used to it.
Ah love it’s… strange.
Kari gave him a stern look and admonished, “Aside from almost getting our girl put into lockup you mean?”
“You agreed to test run,” her husband reminded her.
“I know, I’m not blaming you. I was just worried when Protostar showed up. The last thing I want is to start a family fued.”
“That may be inevitable,” he warned.
Man, I hope not, I kind of like my family.
Fortunately Kari doesn’t pursue the subject and says to me, “By the way kiddo, not bad for your first time out.”
That’s tall praise indeed, when you consider Kari’s a perfectionist when it comes to her mission plans, and this one hardly went according to plan. Also I’m a twenty-oner.
What’s that?

Historical Fact Check Break

The way of super powers is always, or should I say almost always, been for the super being in question to start to develop their powers from young childhood and evolve as they grow up. This gives ample time for the fledgling superhero, or villain as the case may, to be trained in controlling their powers so they can be the best super that they can be.
However, every once in a blue moon (so rare that everyone is sure that it is only an old super wives’ tale) the super powers remain dormant until the super being reaches twenty-one. Then they hit all at once. Full strength.
So why does no one believe that twenty-oners actually happen in the superworld? Well, even before The Squad, there was another set of control freaks, the super scientists, who decided to get into the genetic control business by picking who all the supers were going to marry and with whom they were going to …oh there’s no other way to say it…breed.
So if the super scientists say it isn't possible who can disagree with them?
I guess they forgot that the only one who is truly in control is God, and He has a wonderful sense of humor. Me being a case in point.

End of Historical Fact Check Break

Now I wanted a new laptop for my twenty-first birthday, what I got turned my whole life wacky.
Because now these powers of mine are just ON and I don’t know all what I can do because they decide to reveal themselves when they feel like it. For instance, I knew I could manipulate shadows and that I could travel through them. I practiced and was pretty good at it as evidenced today. What I didn’t know is that I have shields. Good thing to have on defense. I just wished I had known about it.
Also there was something else weird going on, but I’m almost afraid to find out that it wasn’t an adrenaline induced delusion like I hope.
For the moment however I answer Kari, ““I’m just happy to still be in one piece, I’d forgotten how much my sister’s Star Blasts hurt.”
“She used to blast you?” Kari asked in an appalled tone.
“Not on purpose,” I assured her, “She just didn’t have best aim, especially at the beginning. She hit herself more than she did me, especially once I learned to dodge.”
“Well I am glad to hear that. We’ll do a debriefing in a minute. I want to go over what you did today. There were some surprises.”
Why do I get the distinct impression that she’s not just talking about the shields?
“Was good. Protostar and friends never knew what hit them,” Ted insisted.
“The Platoon was expected once an UNA was identified. What I want to know is what Tracker was doing there. That is overdoing it.”
“My guess is that they plan for him to take the credit if things went according to plan or place the blame on The Platoon if the thing went south, which it did,” I suggested.
“Sounds reasonable. The Squad’s been taking some public relations hits lately. They might have thought bringing you in would help. Face it honey you look scary with the black hair, green eyes and black outfit. Beautiful, but scary,” Kari said.
“I thought the fedora was supposed to help lighten things up?” I complained taking off the black hat, mask, and leather gloves.
Kari smiled and said, “No I just thought it looked cool.”
“Hair and eyes are going back to normal,” Ted noted.
Normal? What is normal for me these days? Still I look over at the mirror and note that the black hair is returning to the dark blond I am used to and my eyes are changing from emerald green to blue.
I told you my life was wacky.
“So it sounds like I’m going to end up being public super villain number one if The Squad has anything to say about it.”
“There are already starting,” Kari agreed, “It seems our hostage is a well-known blogger for a site that’s been critical of superheroes in general and The Squad particularly. There are already rumors of a hoax being thrown around.”
“A hoax? What are they going to do with the bank robbers? Let them go?” I asked with concern. They may not have super powers but you didn’t need those to be dangerous.
“I hope not,” Ted answered, “But when it comes to Squad protecting reputations these days all lots are switched.”
I think he means all bets are off.
Kari gives a sigh. This has got to be tough on her. That group has a lot of her friends in it, or at least they were her friends. Also she knows that The Squad was never meant to be what it has become. But it was inevitable as they made their first mistake at the beginning when they wouldn’t let God into the briefing room.
There’s a way that seems right to man….
“It’s too bad we can’t bring your parents in on this,” she finally said, “Quazar and Lightening Lass are amongst the best thinkers in The Squad.”
Like I hadn’t wished that a hundred times? But….it’s complicated. Like everything else in my life right now.
“Kari you know why we can’t tell them about any of this,” I reminded her, “Remember, all is not well in superhero land."

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.


  1. Cindy--I can see how the YA audience would fall in love with this story:)

  2. Thank you Linda. I can see it. Super powered young person going up against super control freak authority, totally justified of course. However, she does have some older people on her side too. Ever notice how she uses "super" so much? There's for that, but that's for future chapters.
    By the way, I did like your story too. I'll be interested to read more.

  3. Such fun - love the Russian husband!

    ~Nancy Jill


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