Thursday, March 14, 2013

Chasing Lady Midnight - Chapter 8

The Long Story Part 2

Well, I tried, but as I said, this is a really long story.
Anyway, I discovered the sudden change in my genetic makeup when I was cleaning my bathroom sink of all things. No kidding. Just as I finished rinsing out the cleanser, I looked up and saw someone else in the mirror looking back at me. So I did what anyone would do.
I screamed.
Actually it was fortunate that no one heard me, but I didn’t realize that until later. At the time I was scared witless, and the next series of events did not help.
You see as I backed away from the mirror I expected to stop at the wall that was behind me. What I didn’t see was the shadow on the wall, and, you guessed it, I hit that and kept on going until I was in my bedroom closet, tripped over my shoe rack and landed on my rear.
It was a good thing the closet door was opened or I would have had a heart attack.
Anyway I got out of the closet and did what any rational adult female would have done. I started to call my Mommy.
That is until I realized I couldn’t.
Not because I didn’t trust her, Dad or Isabel. This is my family, they don’t care if I have powers or not, they love me no matter what and would do anything for me. The Squad, however, is another story altogether.
You see they’re not out to rule the world, or even regular people as so many conspiracy theorists, like the hostage today, thinks. They just want to control every superhero on the planet (and the super villains if they can figure out how to do it), and they have my poor family by the throat. Not because of me. Having been declared by the infallible super scientists as officially having no super powers I am of no interest to them whatsoever. It’s because of Isabel. She doesn't know yet that The Squad owns her, and that keeps my parents in line.
Yeah these people pretty much stink. Does that sound bitter? Good.
This is probably the point where I should explain how these super control freaks got to be what they are because they didn’t start out that way. Most of what of I know was picked up growing up around other supers and what Kari told me even later.
The Mighty Superhero Security Squad is one of those good intention things that went horribly wrong. Even Kari and her fellow founding members, who recognized the danger very quickly, couldn’t seem to do anything to stop it, and believe me, they tried.
But back to the beginning. Before The Squad all the supers worked as independent operators, helping the helpless, defending the innocent and all that jazz. Then a superhero with the power to mess up people’s speech named Babelicon (I’m going to let that one go) had the bright idea that the superheroes should get organized, hang out and help each other battle evil. There was no formal membership, and most of them came and went, it was just a way to support each other.
It was great idea, and at first it worked really well, until it didn’t.
According to Kari it all started to go downhill when a few new members, specifically Wildcat Woman, The Crimson Destroyer, Captain Courageous and Tracker took control by cunning and muscle power. There was an internal battle, but ultimately Kari and the other founding members were “retired”. They were also the only superheroes not forced to be members because they were no longer wanted. Ironic huh?
Kari says that poor Babelicon still feels guilty for starting the whole thing even though it wasn’t his fault it went south. Nice guy, he teaches Sunday school at my church.
Changes came quickly after that. The Squad became a more formal structure and changed its focus from protecting the innocent and helpless, and instead only came to the aid of the rich and powerful. Because only they could afford the price. Everyone else calls the police, and believe me they are better off.
Funny thing, The Squad hasn’t figured out that the regulars are on to them, they think it's just a few malcontents. So even with the media on their side, agents and professional spin doctors The Squad is not popular. Individual members like my parent are
Well the final result is that now every superhero joins the Squad because they have no choice and once they do, their every waking moment is run for them. Want an example? There is a very good reason why a twenty-one year old art student, me, owns a house that she could not possibly afford.
That’s right, The Squad paid for it to get me out of my parents' house. It happened as soon I hit eighteen and graduated high school. They never got over the whole “security risk” issue, and once I was legal they bought me the house and moved me out. Although in my opinion they didn’t get all they wanted. I mean my house is in the same neighborhood as my parents, and I visit often. My sister and super friends still hang out with me as I’m their pizza and soda connection. Junk food is frowned upon in The Squad world view.
The difference is that my family is under constant Squad surveillance while I'm not. How can I be so sure of that? Well my next door neighbor, Ted, checked, and then he set me up with my own anti-Squad security system he invented for himself and Kari. The only downside to that is none of my family, nor any other Squad member, can ever visit my house.
So that’s why I knew I couldn’t tell my parents what was happening to me, because this kind of extra grief they do not need. If The Squad finds out about this, I get two choices, join or else. The “or else” I know enough about to want to avoid it, on the other hand how can I possibly join an organization that basically enslaves its members?
So sitting in my house, with my unexpected makeover (which I didn't know at the time would revert back) I realized that something fundamental had changed. As a normal person I had been helpless against the evil, there is no other word for it, that had ensnared my family and a lot of my friends. But now, I’m not helpless any more.
So I came up with Plan B and went to talk to the only other super person I know who isn’t under The Squad’s influence.
The Russian Accelerator. One of the bad guys. Well former bad guys. So I shoved my black hair into a hat and put on my sunglasses and went and saw Ted, who told Kari, who explained about The Twenty-Oner Effect.
Then somebody came up the bright idea to save the super world by using the new superhero on the block.
Now we just have to save my family and all of the other superheroes, and maybe the villains if comes down to it, from The Mighty Superhero Security Squad, while I try to get a handle on these superpowers that I don’t even know all of what I have yet. All while not getting captured.
Oh this should be a lot of fun.
Okay, end of long story.

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 as well as The Cozy Mystery Magazine on
Her Facebook Authors Page is located at

1 comment:

  1. Cindy, you have me right where you want me - in Lady Midnight's corner!

    ~Nancy Jill


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