Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Beware the Mysterion!!

One of the weird facts of Hollywood - well actual Hollywood the neighbourhood tucked-in between west LA and downtown, and not the nebulous concept of the movie industry was the fact that the movie industry wasn't there...

Paramount had a studio there, but it was a very small place and kind of dinky even by movie standards, which tended to be very dinky. A couple of offices with small production companies. Weirdly enough the corporate offices of Nickelodeon, and weirder the corporate offices of CNN.

However there was tons and tons of crap designed to sell movie memorabilia, meet people dressed up as Charlie Chaplin and several very nice movie theatres. It wasn't a bad place - well unless you lived there, and had to park. But it was a place. At night it was one of the rare portions of LA that seemed to have a sense of being alive.

Which is why ‘Mazing Girl, on her patrol, kind of liked it.

Plus they had a really good restaurant that had fake snow on top of it, that served pancakes.

Hollywood was good for fake snow. That much she could give it.

She was jumping over the area around 11 o’clock looking for trouble. There wasn’t all that much. A couple of drunks...some kids on meth. ‘Mazing Girl had a policy about drugs of any kind: Unless you were doing something more, she wasn't going to narc on you.  A guy in an alley was tripping on something fierce, and God bless ‘em.

She watched him for a minute to make sure she shouldn't call an ambulance (yeah he'll be fine) when she felt something on the back of her neck. The sensation of evil...of malice.

Well, time to respond.

She leapt off the alley to the top of a building - only to see that it was an outdoor nightclub. Huh? Well...she hoped if she jumped out quick enough people wouldn’t notice her. So she jumped across the street to an office building, and saw people were still looking at her. Some of them where hollering. This particular bar seemed to be full of college frat-boys and movie execs...hard to tell which at this time of night.

Back to business. She looked around. The sense of malice seemed to be coming from about 3/4 quarters of a mile away, in what looked to be an independent warehouse or studio space well off the main strip in Hollywood.  No sense of what it was other then trouble. She could speculate plan - but ahh...

She jumped off the building and landed in front of it in one leap – a good leap for an odd angle, and she smashed the front door in less then five seconds later. It was how she worked: Quick.

Inside was darkness.

"Good evening Nighthawk" said a voice.


A light came on. She saw that the room looked to be a medieval dungeon - or a Hollywood version of one. She could see the flats of the wall in the grey brick patterns, and noted the fact that the dragon head mounted on the wall was papier-mâché (okay, what else would it be?). The fabrics, the swords, all looked like they had been made by Roger Corman in one his later more ambitious Technicolor productions.

And in front of her was a movie projector   playing on a small screen an old- fashioned 16mm movie. 

"Welcome to my little chamber of the dammed," said Mysterion.

And behind the door she had come through a steel mass slid down like the gate of a castle wall - it must have been 2 three inches thick. It would take her upwards of 20 seconds to get through it.

"Ha ha Nighthawk That was the only exit - I am at the end. If you can get through this mysterious cavern of death and destruction you deserve to take me to jail. But you won't, you never will. For I have put dozens of traps...hundreds of ways to kill you, murder you... maim you. This is your doom, you giant canary. Your death...and it was I, Mysterion, who did it!!"

Mysterion... The name was familiar as was the face. He was someone who had fought Nighthawk, she knew, a couple of times. He had been in The Times - his real identity was someone else - you know, she should have paid attention more to all of that.

Instead of a head was a small glowing fire A green jumpsuit below it. Stylish. He talked to a camera in a medium shot - that was obviously done a while ago, and was referring to a different superhero.

Two wooden doors opened in front of her on either side of the grey screen.

"Two doors. One leads to salvation, the other to ruin. Choose wisely."

And with that the movie ended.  Leaving her in the fake setting room.

She paused. She could probably break through the walls of the sets pretty easy.  She could break through the metal door behind her and get a lot of police too. But the door on the right...

She remembered that was advice one took in a maze.

She walked in. The hallway was dark and empty - but as she entered the door behind her closed and lights came on.

Two walls of spikes were coming in from either side.

"Hahahahahhahha!" said a tape-recorded voice of Mysterion. "Hahahahahah!!!”

Hah!  You could literally hear the "ha" in the voice, not just laughter.

‘Mazing Girl waited. She could probably go right through the steel door in front of her. maybe 30 feet away, but he obviously had put a lot of work into this.

So she waited.

"Is this how you thought you would end?" demanded Mysterion, via tape deck.

"Um, am I supposed to answer that?" asked ‘Mazing Girl, "I mean, can you hear me?"

There was no answer.

The walls were closing in maybe a 1 foot each side per minute, and the walls where 10 feet apart - so 5 minutes.

When room was down to about 4 feet she paused. The spikes where sharp. She placed a hand on either side. And held her arms out. Straight out.

And the machines started to hiss.  The engines strained; As for Sarah, not really - she did feel it, but no pressure.

The engines kept going. There was a distinct whine. She smelled a little smoke...and it stopped.

She let go.

The one on the left coming towards her. Weaker then before...

She grabbed it and started to push back, walking towards it - and after about 30 seconds she heard a small boom. And it stopped.

Well, that was taken care.

She walked to the end of the hall. She suspected that the door was supposed to open but maybe she had shorted that too. So she punched and it flew off its hinges.

The room beyond looked like another dungeon - well maybe more like a medieval keep. Like a room where kings ate their meals. He was going for a good middle-ages theme here, and she was kind of enjoying this.

Another projector. Another Mysterion.

"Oh...you survived. Well, that tested your intellect...but now your muscle."

Actually no, the first room had tested her muscle. But well, she wasn't going to correct him.

The room was maybe 40 feet by 40 feet with a 20 foot ceiling.

A door opened on the top of the opposite wall.

Flying in on a rope was a 12 foot tall dragon.

It let out of a gout of fire and on its chain in the ceiling started to fly around the room.
She really hoped he didn't have any cameras going, because in about three seconds of work, before it came at her, she took off all her clothing - leaving her bare naked. Top, pants, boots, panties. Everything except her mask.

And them she jumped towards the monster - it looked like it was doing a pattern that circled getting closer to the ground each time or something like that. She was caught in flame as she flew through it for a second, but it didn't hurt. Fire never really ever hurt her. Which was perhaps a shame, somehow. Burning was a sensation she wanted to feel...I mean she was hot.

But before she finished, the thought the dragon was a pile of rubble on the ground.

She had, however, misjudged her jump a bit, and flown into the ceiling and out on top of the chamber of horrors.

She noted that it was a fake ceiling, and above all of this looked to be a series of small rooms with flats, and about 10 feet to the actual roof. A series of small enclosures  from the other side looked plain and industrial.

Working in the movies she was used to that.

She thought about just staying out here, but she had no clothing.

Sarah jumped back in, and in flash was dressed again.

She looked around. The entrance for the dragon was closed. But there appeared to be a small door she could walk through. She had done this puzzle right at least.

She walked through the waiting door.

And fell.

“You’ll never escape. You’re one canary who will not flee the coup!"

The hole was about 40 feet deep, and at the bottom she fell toward some more razor sharp spikes.

She adjusted her angle a bit as she fell, with the practiced ease of a gymnast, put her legs against the walls, and jumped right out before touching the spikes.

Okay, that was the last puzzle.

She punched the wall.  And created a large hole to the industrial side. She noted the wall was wood backed and she wondered if Nighthawk could have done it.

And she was now in the warehouse proper.

She started to do a search inside, running at about 40 miles an hour, to see what was what.

Sarah followed the wall towards an ending, hearing what sounded like darts, some acid. That was the sound of a lion - she wondered if was real - and after a turn, doubling backwards toward the beginning of the building, like an amusement park ride, she was at the end.

"To get past the widdows key anwser me these questions three"

She punched the wall.

And saw Mysterion sitting at a computer. He had security monitors.

"This can't be!!" he shouted.

She had gotten a little annoyed the last couple of minutes - but this can't be. That was a little sweet. "You’re going to jail."

She grabbed the guy, who really wasn't putting up any effort to stop her.

"Can you answer me one question?" asked Mysterion. "Then I'll go quietly."


"Why did you take your clothes off?"

She pushed his mask off to reveal a man with a really good beard. I mean a really, really nice black one.

"Because my clothes aren't fireproof," explained ‘Mazing.

"I could have put that on the internet...but didn't,” Mysterion said, "Because I knew if I did you would beat me up...a lot."

He paused.

"They beat me up in prison."

 She sighed. "I bet."

"This cost me like, 10 million dollars," said Mysterion, "It took me six months to put together."

She sighed. Then she realized something she often did. This guy had attempted to murder her, and she had no sympathy for villains...for idiots like him.

Sarah ran to the front door, holding him in her arms, and punched out into the street...through the steel wall and into Hollywood.

Land of dreams - land of make-believe.

Land she could she see a really tacky limo driving through, a limo that was part hummer.

As she entered the street, Nighthawk swooped to the ground, landing in front of them.

"I'll get you Nighthawk," said mysterion "If it’s the last thing I do..."

"What’s going on?" Nighthawk asked.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Champion of Northridge

There are three elements to the prop game: Prop making, prop buying and prop mastering.

Prop Making was the stuff that Sarah Jennings (the powerful superheroine 'Mazing Girl) enjoyed the most. Building objects that people held was a lot of fun. Usually the skill was to make things look like crap. Sarah was good at that, especially with metal. However the stress of her job meant she had to subcontract a lot of this stuff out.

Prop Buying also had its challenges. She worked on a cop show about two mismatched Policemen having comical adventures in very well lit environs.  She figured out prop strategy on the kind of TV show that you would never think of the props...or remember five minutes afterwards. Still it needed to be done. Someone had to buy their traditional not too intimidating guns, the guys magic laptop. And traditional coffee cups (One of the cops was supposed to be a slob... you would have to use an electron microscope to determine which).

Prop Mastering however was the biggest part of her job. And the most boring. For 10 hours a day she would hand out the props before a scene and make sure no one walked out with them. Usually no. Theoretically she was on set to make sure nothing wrong happened with them, and fix them. However it wasn't like you needed much to fix a laptop that was never actually turned on.  Usually she spent the day with her own laptop turned on working on prop strategies for future episodes...or playing Zynga games.

With a job like this, and finding time for sleep, it was often that ‘Mazing girl didn't spend more time jumping around rescuing kitties from trees (which was okay as kitties rarely needed saving from trees) She could theoretically duck out and, you know, fight swamp monsters, however when she was on set... people often asked for her out of the blue..  And when she got home she liked to watch the Sci-Fi network reruns of Battlestar Galactica, or Firefly, and maybe drink.

Still, her job wasn't actually bad, and had some highlights. This year they had an episode set at a renaissance fair, where the mismatched detectives could get involved in wacky adventures, involving tents, and people with bad accents.

It had been fun getting (mostly renting) swords, staffs and jewellery. Some of the stuff had actually been in the original Camelot musical from the 60s. The costume department who made all the fun costumes, and the set decorators who set up all the stuff (there is a distinct and important difference between set dec and props: no I am not going to tell you what it is) had most of the fun, but still fun was had.

They were shooting the episode at a park in the North Valley. It was rather beautiful in fact, how they put up 20 or so fake tents and got dozens of extras in garb. Sarah had been to her share of Ren fairs in her day back in Florida, and with the abundant trees, lack of trailers to manage, heating, and porta-potties, this was a lot more scenic and beautiful then any fair she had ever been to in real life. But that was the pretend business.

She had taken over a small background tent that supposedly held furs and other goods. In reality it had nothing in it except Sarah, some props, and her laptop. She got a thrill when, theoretically, a camera would pan over her. She was mainly busy working on an episode two weeks from now where one of the cops spend the time handcuffed to a criminal. It wasn't that wacky really.

"We’re shooting scene 16 after we lock this one," said an Assistant Director, walking up to her.

"Got it," nodded Sarah. She looked around. In this scene one of the cops uses his cellphone and three maids come up and   /delightedly   chide him. There was a large basket full of flowers, a couple of pails, and a cellphone. Plus a gun, but he always carried his gun (which was just rubber). She got out and went to three guest-stars. One of whom she knew, another one who was reading a play script, and the third who was really happy to be here.

"Wow! I am doing this," she smiled with glee "I am really going to be on the show!"

"Just remember your lines, and don't draw too much focus," she said as she handed her a pail.

"I don’t know what manner of strange device he is using, Sisters."

Sarah shrugged. At least she was in good spirits.

She handed the lead his gun, the badge and his phone. He actually had been on Firefly. Don't meet your heroes...he wasn't a bad guy, but he tended to take acting and the show a tad bit more seriously then it deserved. He also was privately rehearsing his lines. In a way they suited each other. At some point she was going to have to ask him for his gun and his badge and he didn't even think that was funny.

Sarah was halfway back to her tent when she felt it. Oh shit. The little prick on the back of her neck that she couldn't quite ignore no matter what was going on. The fact that it didn't give her a lot of information wasn't helpful.

A cop car was driving up. She walked over towards it. A sheriff came out and talked to the security guard and she listened in

"A kids gone missing from a hike with his parents," the sheriff said.

 "Damn...if we see anything I'll give you a call " said the guard. 

"Kids see something like you guys, you know, people shooting a movie, it’s fun," said the sheriff

The guard nodded, "We’ll keep an eye out"

Sarah groaned. There wasn't exactly a lot, with her set of powers, she could do to find a lost kid. Her senses where a little stronger, but this was a big park and kids were small and  elastic . If he was hiding, well, he was hidden. But like a kitten in a tree, when he got hungry he would just come out. He would get bored and go to the swingset that tents where very cleverly hidding.

Yet something in her said otherwise. The part of her soul that actually was a hero and not a 20 something kid in LA. Fuck.

She went to the Assistant Director. "Hey, I forgot something in my car."

The director nodded, "This scene should take half an hour to film."

She went to the set dec guy. "Cover for me if I am late.”

"Sure, you did me help setup those tents this morning."

Sarah went into her tent. She closed it for a second. It was a good space.

Sarah took off her   glasses  and put them down. She liked them but, well...this was important. Off came the light windbreaker she wore, and her T-shirt, revealing her double-D bra that wasn't quite overflowing, but was filled with her   milkbags. She jiggled them slightly. Sarah wondered if they were shooting this tent...they could be too close to her transformation. Actually they weren't right now, she knew, but what-the-hey.

Her jeans and her Mary-Jane shoes went next, revealing her average length but surprisingly powerful legs. Though overall Sarah was a plump girl, if you looked at her naked you could see that she had a large amount of muscle. Even though she had some meat on top of her thighs, her quads where actually quite huge-larger then most bodybuilders. It moved up to her   poucy  waist...which, however, when she bent over showed that her actual abs were there giving her stomach a conclave mass that that peaked proudly, as it curved to her shapely derrière.

In short, in her Hello Kitty panties and old Victoria’s Secret bra, Sarah was spectacular. Not model thin, but anyone would notice she was, well, a-Mazing in her own ways.  As she stood there for a second...yeah, she got a little turned on. What are you going to do about it?

She went to her bag and pulled out her flats, her pants, her top, her mask, and her small cape. She could move quite a bit faster then most people. And within 10 seconds, she was ‘Mazing Girl.

Then there was a knock on the tent. "Hey!" said the unit production manager, "Aaron wants to practice with his sword for the fight.”

And 20 seconds later she was Sarah again.

She went out and handed him his sword.

"This is blunted but it’s still tricky"

And went back to the tent.

20 second latter she was ‘Mazing girl again.


She ran out the back moving at an easy 80 miles an hour into the forest. She started to rush through the forest looking for the kid. Or any kid. She realized she didn't have a good description. That could have been her downfall; however, she had a general idea of what a 'kid' looked liked. She extended her senses as far as they would go. Not very far, but there it was. It was fun to run in the forest. She was blessed with near unlimited stamina (which wasn't actually a problem in bed) which made running through the area, jumping over brooks and grabbing a tree trunk to get a better view, easy.

Her muscles expanded, filling out the hems of her pants, expanding into giant surfaces of womanly form, her arms grew subtly becoming almost like tree trunks themselves. A she ran her hair moved back brushin, moving faster then any human ever could. 

But no kid.

The forest wasn't actually that big, it was maybe three square miles. It went up a small hill to side of the range separating LA from Valencia. She had told herself she would spend no more then 45 minutes doing this. She had work to do. Terrible attitude, but...

She heard something

It was the sound she sought. It was a voice, but she couldn't quite make out where it was coming from.

She ran up the hill. It was fun to be this fast. A normal girl would have been quite winded, and may have ignored the small rock slide she created. Ahh well.  

She climbed only to realize it wasn't on the hill. Behind the hill was a fairly large valley...kind of a canyon, really. It was kind of spectacular if desert was spectacular.  This was something that Sarah, after spending five years in LA, still wasn't sold on. The cliff was steep though.

And about 30 feet down on the cliff was a guy on a small ledge. He wasn't quite dangling, but he looked quite hurt...and out of it. "Help me," he said, very weakly.

"Don't worry! I'll save you!!" declared ‘Mazing girl.

It was a truthful statement of intent; however, it took her a second to try to figure out how. It was a small ledge, and she couldn't actually fly.  The ledge didn't exactly look stable either, nor did the guys position upon it. This was a bit of a stumper, actually.

She looked down at the cliff. It was maybe 80 feet to the ground bellow and full of spiky plants that didn't look  inviting. It wasn't quite vertical but she wasn't a Mountion Goat(or a fan of the little to twee local band the 'Mountion Goats'). A rock climber could have done it with a lot of planning and effort. However she was better then a rock climber.

She scampered down the mountain, leaping from rock-hold to rock-hold looking for places to grab. She had once done been repelling at a summer camp and this wasn't that much harder. She was, despite herself, having some fun. Sarah kind of liked being ‘Mazing Girl and wished for the 100th time that there was actual money in it.

She was about 10 feet to the right of guy. She looked over. There really wasn't any rocks between. She leaned down a bit and pushed off.  She was hoping to grab the edge of the ledge the guy was on. However, well...she kind of missed.

Sarah over shot her mark, and tumbled slightly. Her left hand managed to grab it by the edge with a couple of fingers, and she dangled  50 feet over the ravine bellow. It wasn’t actually all that dangerous, but, well...embarrassing.

She pulled herself up easily and grabbed onto the ledge. She shimmied onto the ledge next to the guy.

"The...my leg...it...crap.”

The guy looked kind of out of it to be honest. And there was a large very nasty gash on his leg that looked like it hurt a lot. Well, such was life. Exposure to the sun probably wasn't helping.

"Don't worry," ‘Mazing girl said. She looked to tend to it...to figure out how to get him to safety...

When the guy let go of something he was holding on to, and fell of the side of the ledge.

"Fuck" Sarah said.

’Mazing looked at the situation and instantly needed to move. She pushed her leg up against the side of the cliff to increase the speed of her jump, breaking off chunks of the rock, and she dived after him. Falling toward the ground, he was about 20 feet from it when she grabbed him, holding her arms around him. Sarah then turned in mid air at several hundred miles an hour to land on her feet at the bottom of the ravine, tucking her legs to absorb the impact.

Still the guy screamed. Loudly. Did he need to scream that loudly? It was a scream of incredible pain as his leg flopped.

Sarah put the screaming man down on ground. That was one way of getting him down, fuck...as if he wasn't loud enough though. Ahh, well.

His leg was definitely broke. The fall didn't help that. She pressed it straight.

When Sarah had decided to become a superhero she had taken some first-aid classes. Nothing really looked too bad. She vaguely remembered seeing something-and jumped easily 60 feet up to the ledge. There was a small pack.  As she went back down she found it didn't contain a first-aid kit, but did have some water. She gave it to the guy.

In the small of her back was a small cellphone like device. It didn't have a touchscreen, but with a press she could call the in police. She told them what had happened and where she was. They would send a medical helicopter to help.

That would take a while.

She gave him more of the water. He was too out of it, really, to tell her his name or anything, or talk. But he did give a vague thank you. She had saved his life certainly. Actually broken his leg worse, in all likelihood. Still, it was a fair trade.

The device had a small clock on it. It had been about 35 minutes. Sarah looked down at the guy...she had told herself 45 minutes.

First-aid rules said you should never leave a guy like this. But the medical helicopters where coming.

Ahh, fuck.

"Don't worry, help is on its way," she said.

The guy moaned.

"I got a job...don't judge me."

She shook her head and with a mighty leap jumped back on top of the hill and raced through the forest.


She got back on set and found the AD. "One of the girls took forever with her lines. But it looks like we got the scene. We’re doing 45 now. Better prep for 55, and the sword fight."

Sarah really should work to prepare for the sword fight where the heroes clash blades with the evil murderous black lord of the fair (who was missing the obvious joke that he was really a plumber or something...I mean, she should write this stuff but didn't). She hadn’t found the kid.

"I want to see life baby, really give it to the camera! That’s the eyes, baby. I want to see action! Passion!! Romance baby...NO!!! no! You’re doing it all wrong!! Cut! CUT!!!”

Sitting in the director’s chair was a 10 year Latino old kid. He was shooting commands to invisible actors and clearly having the time of his life. The line producer was watching him with a tolerant eye as the actual director talked with the cameraman. Some of the crew was laughing despite themselves at the antics. Even the star was giving him kind of a warm smile. Well, as warm as he ever got.

"Hey," the director said, "Want to work a light in the next scene?" he asked the kid.

"Union rules," said the UPM.

"Ahh, okay," said the director. “Your parents are going to come and pick you up."

"Why so many lights?" the kid wondered, "It’s already so bright."

"Ahh...it’s Hollywood magic."

True enough, thought Sarah, as she attempted to organize a vast melee of extras in armour, with halberds, attacking two guys in suits. True enough. Hollywood magic was her life.

 Well, for the most part. Except for the actual magic.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Quick Shout Out

Wanted to Give A big thanks to Dru, the Kooky Australian who proofreeds and helps edits all my stories  He does a great job very cheerfully and quickly for a writer whose not always good at basic spelling

  He volunteered half way across the globe to do it which says something and i am very greatful for as is his basic encouragment to continue. I probabbly wouldn't do this without him what ever this turns out to be.

*Big applause*  He deserves it

The first mission of the Ubergirls

He wasn't wearing a wedding ring. Still that didn't mean much.

It was the kind of observation that indicated one was thinking a certain way. When Sarah, after a second, realized she shouldn't. Nighthawk looked a lot like Batman from the comics. Huge muscles, a huge football players body to house them, thick black hair, and a face that suggested it may have been scarred at some point. In a comic it would look cool and brooding. In a pie restaurant at 2:00 AM it looked kind of sad...and a tad creepy.

There were about six superheroes in Los Angeles. Well...define Los Angeles. Orange County was kind of its own thing and there where two people there. There also was Eagleman, who protected only Eagle Rock (a very small suburb) so he didn't quite count. So there were maybe about 6 people with costumes, 4 others who weren't heroes perse...but when things got heavy did stuff with their God-given super-might. One of them, Bill Roberts, could stretch his arms about 10 or so feet. Kind of fun. He painted houses.

Los Angeles was a big city...second biggest in the country. And Sarah was probably the most powerful hero in it. She was extremely strong, faster then a speeding Ferrari and able to jump over tall buildings in a single bound (actually she had jumped over the Bank One tower downtown, the tallest building west of the Mississippi, a couple of weeks ago...just for the thrill). Her powers, her skill...it kind of made her embarrassed to be honest.  It was a lot of responsibility for someone who liked to occasionally lie at home and watch marathons of Doctor Who and eat tacos.

But with great power comes great responsibility.

And this was really cutting into her lounging around time.

If she was the city’s Superman, Nighthawk was its batman. The powerful mysterious figure who stalked the mean streets of LA. In his brooding black bodysuit and bird-like mask (which was very good, a much better costume then Sarah’s own) he looked mysterious and frightening. Even to her. There was something about the fake dead eyes of the bird that made it look horrible.

But now he was wearing a business suit that looked to be worth more than her condo.

One occasionally saw a comic scene where two superheroes met at a bar (stop me if you heard this one) or a restaurant (like the rotating pie restaurant they were in) and talk while wearing their ridiculous costumes. They had done that scene in Iron Man 2 at a donut shop. In reality when superheroes did this they normally changed to what ever normal clothing they had and that was that. Even the superheroes who didn't have a secret identity as such usually had a set of chinos they could squeeze into. It made things less awkward.

Sarah sat across from the guy, wearing an old T shirt with a picture of the smurfs, and a skirt that she had bought for maybe 10 dollars some place with her Mary-Janes. Her glasses were pinched up to her shoulder length red hair. She looked, well...she looked like a nerd. Which was fine. But a p0ur nerd. Maybe a hipster nerd. But in truth poor was a more accurate description.

He obviously wasn't poor.

He didn't give a name, she didn't give a real name, but she could tell this man had millions with a 'M'. Maybe even more zeros. It made sense...Nighthawk didn't boast fancy cars or helicopters but it didn't mean they didn't exist. Batman had a mint behind him. Crime fighting with cash.

She tried to place him. Producer? Possibly, but a little too sure of himself. She knew some producers working in the entertainment industry. Lawyer? Business Exec? Couldn’t work, but still looked a little manicured.  Trust-fund kid? A possibility...a strong possibility. She looked at his hands again.  Did he mani-pedi?

"We already have an informal network going," Nighthawk said. "I want to make it more...official. I have connections with the police. Whenever there’s trouble I want a good team ready to meet the threat."

Even out of his uniform he sounded in charge. 

"So you, me...obviously," she said trying to duplicate her ‘Mazing girl voice. Poorly really. "The Flame, Glider...Knife Girl..."

"Not her. She’s a loose canon. A rogue. We can't depend on her."

Knife Girl was a woman who was kind of like Green Arrow, who threw knives at people. Mostly she did it so the knives hit their clothing or something (she had, she suspected, some form of superpower to aim them). Occasionally they hit someone’s arms. She hurt people. Criminals, mostly...but she kind of broke the unwritten rule of superheroics (and of wrestling) regarding edged weapons. She was also a lot of fun when she was drunk, and Sarah’s best friend of all the superheroes. Her real name was Jamey. She was an actress who did commercials and guest-starred as teenagers in sitcoms (she looked younger then she really was but that wasn't a power perse).

Sarah pondered this. Mainly she pondered if Nighthawk was going to pick up the costs of the pie she was eating. It was a German apple and really good.  He obviously could afford it. She hadn't ordered a beverage.

"How elaborate is this? Do you want, like, a base, an office...support staff?" Sarah looked; he was drinking an orange juice.

A couple of months ago she read an online magazine about the super-world (Yes superheroes read magazines about themselves (So do most famous people)). She learned the Justice Lords of Chicago had an annual budget of nearly 50 million dollars. Base security, team monitoring, IT, PR, business taxes...  And they didn't actually pay their members. Sarah who was on hiatus from her role as a prop master for a TV show, thought about that one. She did a little work on the side working on Indie films, but the union would frown upon that.

"Nothing like that" Nighthawk informed her. "Maybe just phones with a pager app to let us each know. I have some people who can put it together...anonymously of course.  When the police or anyone else needs us, we respond. I already do this personally. Secretly...as to them I am a menace...but..."

She nodded. Knife Girl; She was her friend.

"If Knife Girl is out, I'm not doing it. She’s not that bad really."

"I'm sorry you feel that way," said Nighthawk.

"I mean...that would just isolate her, hurt her feelings. Like I said, she’s got a good head on her shoulders for small group tactics. Whenever we team-up she knows how to take ’em on. Ten men at once...power-suit guys. For the heavy hitters." She didn't mention late night karaoke sessions. She really didn't mention that one awkward time they had kissed in a bar. When the guys had egged them on (which was just as well as Jamey was engaged to a handsome fellow).

"Whenever we get together, it’s just oil and water, Nighthawk remarked, “She can't follow my direction, she doesn't know the proper protocols...

Sarah nodded. Lead. Protocols. It sounded like a team needed a leader, and that’s clearly what he wanted to be. Of course, they weren't in the field, but the more she talked to him in person the more she doubted that this would work well.

She then made a bigger realization. She was ‘Mazing girl.

"And if I, ‘Mazing Girl, isn't in...it’s probably not worth bother of doing."

She was the most well known (currently: in 2013) and most powerful (actually pretty much ever) hero in LA. And now she was also acting a bit like a bitch. Oh well.

Nighthawk shook his head. "I'll think about it," he said, exactly like a producer would say. He stood up. "Separate cheques...I got an orange juice.”

The bastard.


"You didn't have to do that" Said Knife Girl. It was the next night and they where sitting on a rooftop overlooking south downtown LA.

Sarah wore her ‘Mazing woman costume and looked a’Mazing: red pants, red tank, black domino mask matched with her blue ‘Mazing symbol. Knife Girl wore a black cape with knives inside down one side of her body over pants and a white shirt that the cape covered most of. This was a shame, because Knife Girl had really great abs.

Sarah smiled "You’re the best tactician in the city. We need you."

I mean exceptional abs. Grate things and such.

"The thing of it is," said Knife Girl, "Is that every time I am together with Nighthawk we seem to get along okay. I mean he doesn't knife people, but we’re civil. I wouldn't call him a...friend..." 

Sarah smiled. "Nuts to him. He’s a crypto fascist type anyway. Maybe we should start are own team. An all-girl team...no icky boys allowed."

"So you, me, um, the flame?" Knife Girl said.

the flame(always spelled with a lower case)  was a psychic who could read minds and set fires. She was kind of creepy too; in her gingham dresses that made her look 12 (the fact that she was flat as a pancake didn't help). She had a way of looking at you that made Sarah feel weird at times. Like she knew your deepest thoughts. And your weaknesses.  She wasn't against her...girl power and all, but...

"Maybe not."

"Fair enough," said Knife.  

This made Sarah feel bad. It had to be tough to be psychic hero. She wondered if Flame had a nice homelife. Someone to come home to. Sarah didn't. She had felt judgey the last couple of days.

"You know what? It’s not a bad idea. Let’s do it. The Ubergirls."

Maybe they could get Lavender from Orange County. Despite the name she was kind of a ninja...albeit one who wore purple, and who did a lot of good stuff with computers and infiltration. Lavender also made her sound less Vietnamese. Maybe The Black Dancer...who was either a street performance artist in South Central or a superhero, or maybe just walked the uncomfortable line of someone who spent a lot of time on anti gang initiatives.  

They both discussed it some more and then realized that the phone setup, and other things, would probably cost at least 50k, neither of which they had. They could setup a 501c but that never worked out as well as you hoped. It wasn't a bad idea, but...

She felt it run down her spine.

"Something up?" asked Knife Girl, adjusting her suit a bit as she jumped up.

"Something about three blocks away. East." Her vague power to detect crime and evil were, well...very vague, but when she worked she could get there.

"There’s a loading dock there," Knife Girl remembered.

‘Mazing girl nodded. "Want a lift?"

Knife Girl nodded back and ‘Mazing girl put a hand behind her waist, and jumped.

Three blocks worked out about half a mile, which wasn't hard by any means. Still, it was dark and hard to judge plus she was holding someone, who was not of the mind to be merely impressed. She jumped and landed on a small building...and hoped she hadn’t made too much noise.

Knife Girl ran to the edge. She had better eyes the Sarah did. Maybe it was a power...maybe it wasn't.

"Three trucks being robbed. Five guys are unloading, with two guys watching the three drivers. Looks gang related. I'll take out the guys holding up the drivers: they have got guns. You handle the loading guys. I'll come in support if I see an opening. Simultaneous.”

‘Mazing girl noted. "On three...one...two...three.”

‘Mazing girl jumped in the air. She could see two knives flying through the air even as she did so. She landed on top one of the thugs, and it looked like she knocked him out. Also possibly broke his leg.

She looked around. Fighting five guys was tricky. They had two more likely strategies.  Either they all attacked her together, which confused her a bit before she beat them up, or they ran away, which was probably the better strategy for their part (some of them would get away) and less painful for her, as it looked like some of them had weapons of some kind. But mostly better for them. She turned around...it looked like they we’re going for option 1.


They came at her. She knocked one of them out against a van with a quick hit. Normal thugs weren't much of a threat to her, but just to add a little fear to the event, one of them managed to come behind her and hit her with a length of two-by-four. She would feel that at some point. She extended her arm to grab it, but missed, feeling a bit woozy. His next attack didn't have the element of surprise so she was able to dodge it and move in to knock him out. The forth guy was a lot larger then the others. He came at her a massive arm swing she came in with a punch to the gut. Hers was better.

Sarah turned to see the fifth guy to draw a gun at her. She didn't like guns on a personal level. She was more or less bulletproof, but the “less” got to her. And her costume wasn't at all. Just then however a knife went to the guys throat.

"Drop it, Mister, before I drop you." Behind him, Knife Girl was standing and holding her blade fairly close to his femoral artery. Her favourite artery.
He dropped his gun.

"Good work."

Just then Sarah heard a noise from the back of the truck "Did I miss-count?" asked Knife Girl.

"Nope," said the thug.

For out of the top of the cab, breaking through the roof, sprang to life a giant metal monster. 15 feet tall on its spindly legs. He had giant giant guns attached to him, but no arms. Just guns. Machine guns. Out of the top of it was the barest glimmer of a small cabin. It looked a lot like a walker from Star Wars except you could see a lot of the machinery that made it work and it lacked a cool white paint job. It was more gunmetal.

"Shit," said Knife Girl. She dropped the thug and ran, ducking as gunfire came at her.

"Oh shit!" went ’Mazing girl.  She covered her face with her hands and ducked as bullets pelted her. They hurt. She ran backwards behind a cab for cover.

The machine started to walk out, making scary noises.

Knife Girl had found cover too, and tossed a knife at an exposed wire. If it did something important it didn't look like it. The machine turned, however, and shot at her position.

"Not good."

‘Mazing Girl considered her position. The legs were an obvious target. However, there were still thugs lying on the ground and people about and she didn't want to knock it over hurting them with the guns. A powerful punch? Not a lot of great options.

"Not good."

Instead Sarah ran over to Knife Girl, standing behind her. "Any teamwork solution I’m missing?"

"Not seeing one."

It was then they noticed that the machine had circled around in behind them. It was quicker then they assumed. It lowered its guns at them, and prepared to shoot. ‘Mazing girl moved her body to cover the more  vulnerable Knife Girl but wasn't sure how well that would work.

When she heard the sound of hissing...

‘Mazing Girl turned to look, to see that the mech was stoping. It looked as if its engine was on fire, and experiencing the kind of pain a mechanic knew all too well. It shot its guns for a moment in panic, however it just burned up the gun barrels making mini explosions. It looked to be on fire...then it fell down. The glass broke as it did, revealing a small panic-stricken guy, obviously trapped.

Behind the fallen mech stood the Eternal Flame.  Well, it was obviously her. But instead of her gingham dress she was wearing a nice-ish evening gown with a small jacket. As she was maybe five feet tall the emphasis was on small.

The flame walked round.

"it was mainly hydraulics, you see. and that can't stand too much heat. easy to overload the motivators on its legs. as for the guns, well you have seen me do it."

"What are you doing here?" said Sarah. 

"i was going to an art opening of a friend downtown. i heard the commotion and came over."

Sarah felt very bad right now for saying such bad things earlier. Still, there was a small almost palatable sense that somewhere “Ring Around the Rosey” was playing in an extremely minor key. Still...

"You know" said Knife Girl, "We were just thinking about you."

And so they went to an all-night donut place (which the painfully thin flame abstained from) and talked about the future of the Ubergirls.

This ended up, for a variety of reasons, never actually happening...but a fun evening was had by all. 

Friday, July 19, 2013



My Name is Scott Hillman and I'm a writer living in LA. This is my first time keeping a blogBut

This is not quite a traditional blog, if not in a traditional format.

Instead its a short story series i am writing called-well Tales of An 'Mazing Girl. Each story is self contained adventure(though there will be some serialization) of our heroine.

'Mazing Girl ts about the life and adventures of Sarah Jennings.She is 28, works as Prop Master in cable TV. She likes comic books, Warhammer 40k, and occasionally drinking. Shes what a nerd actually is trying to make do with what life gives her in life and adventures in Los Angeles.

She is also the most powerful Superhero in the city.

Let see where the adventures take her shall we?

(Preview: in the next adventure she goes to a pie restaurant. She has German Apple. Its pretty sweet)

Princess Leia in Trouble


She hated stormtroopers.

Well not really, but the point was there.

There were nearly 50 of them moving through the convention hall in a group, her eyes scanned dozens more. She wondered in the movie whether there had been that many. Well, she knew in fiction there must have been millions perhaps billions. But in the actual movie one of the great advantages of stormtroopers was how anonymous they were. You could be a trooper in one scene in the movie get shot by Han, and 10 scenes later get shot by Chewy. Who would know?

Not all of the armour was good, but a lot of it was better then she would have ever made. And the amount of solders in this comic convention room had to exceed that ever created by Lucas.

Sarah Jennings found that interesting more then anything else. She was a prop designer for the movies. Well, mostly TV...but movies were the goal. She worked on making props for a lot of TV shows one would see on USA network, where character matters (goddamit). Fake Guns, fake dossiers, fake everything. She enjoyed her work. It was interesting to watch TV and read fake headlines she had written (with fake by-lines of her friends). As a professional she could still admire the amateur (whose budgets in some cases exceeded hers).

Which was why she was having fun. The room was by any objective measure huge, she had heard mention of football fields, but how many? Well it didn't matter. She was having fun walking around. She hadn't gone to any panels yet, but wanted to in the afternoon. For now she had fun looking at various vendors, selling a lot of toys she couldn't afford, and actually more comic book stuff then she had thought there could be. And of course, lots of nerds...

Sarah was 5'6, and looked maybe 150 pounds She was in the weird zone of 'plump' or 'rubenesque', depending on how you were describing her. She had large enough boobs to be interesting was another way. A redhead.  With enough makeup and enough care and with the right smile she could be cute. Her glasses pinched up her noise in the attractive way. In this kind of crowd, she was catnip...but she tended to avoid that.

Today she was dressed in the most half-assed cosplay imaginable. She had on jeans, a windbreaker and a tea shirt of a Princess Leia T-shirt from an animated cartoon show (it was the Gene Tartoskzy Clone Wars show if you had to know). It was cosplay in the sense that when anyone asked she said she was Princess Leia and that she was on a diplomatic mission to Alderan. 

A lot of women, of course, were putting a lot more effort into cosplay. She guessed that at least 85% of them where doing something like that, and not pretending to pretend...like Sarah was. A lot of them looked to be wives or girlfriends. Nerds had money, and money attracted a certain someone, and some of the way the women wearing Black Widow costumes looked to their men kind of creeped her out a bit. There were also a number of portly Batmen with really hot Batgirls which was at least, you know, something. Though there were plenty of wives that looked more like her in proportions, and their enthusiasm seemed more honest if their costumes less attractive.

Then there were the models. The amount of care they put into their costumes varied, but that put into their bodies was pretty consistently high. Sarah had at times looked at her members of her own sex, this was dependent on the quantity of alcohol she consumed. Some of the Vampirellas, or Witchblades, wouldn't have required much. However, she knew her chances of getting anywhere were at the same level as anyone else here.

A portion of these people where working at various booths either for people with content, or people who just wanted to sell stuff. She wondered about them. Were the cosplaying, or cosworking? It made her think about her own life...

"Hey, can you take a picture?" a guy asked.

"Sure," Sarah replied, looking at two bright eyed guys.

"Yeah, I want me and friend in front of the DC sign," he handed her a camera.

She sighed. The DC logo was pretty impressive, a giant collage of Batman and Superman, with the Green Lantern, Flash, Wonder Woman, Zatana, Martian Manhunter...actually it went pretty deep into the back catalogue. It was nearly 40 feet tall. And had LED lights, bass relief...it was pretty neat. She could if she looked hard enough see how it was created. Wires to make the light work, where the plywood wasn't that well finished. But...well magic.

She smiled. She looked at a line. One of the featured guests was Helen Slater, the original Supergirl from the movie, who usually didn't do the convention business. She was signing autographs, and would go to a panel about the 80s superhero movies. Sarah had liked the movie as a child like an inspiration. Watching it recently she realized while Faye Dunaway as the villain was in a separate note very good movie, the romance stuff and a lot of the super stuff had a quiet effect. The boyfriend was pretty much stoned the entire movie too.

As for Helen herself, time had happened to her...but not necessarily in a horrible way. There was still something in her eyes Sarah could see. She had quit movies at some point and became someone’s lucky wife (who probably had the good sense not exclaim "I married Supergirl" every five minutes). Helens eyes briefly looked at her and she smiled back. She also was in a Lassie movie Sarah remembered. She considered getting her autograph for a long moment, as she judged the length of the queue. Could be worse.

It was then that she felt it. The little prick in the back of her spine. She had a sixth sense about stuff like this. It had been a while but this was it. She looked around a bit for a private spot...in a convention hall filled with tens of thousands of nerds. The lines to the bathrooms line looked 20 miles.

And a second later, everyone felt it: There was an earthquake. Not an extremely large earthquake, maybe a 4.0 (though she couldn't gauge exactly). However, it felt very close. Even something small but close would. The figurines were shaking; some of the poorer designed ones were falling over. There was a sense of panic and of fear.

She looked out. It wasn't X-ray or microscopic vision, but just knowledge of stagecraft. The DC sign was dependent on wires hanging onto the ceiling and some of them had fallen out with acoustic tile. The statue was loosing stability quickly. It weighed...hmm, 2 tons. Maybe 3500. A lot to come down on an already panicking crowd.

However, here she was wearing a smile and a Princess Leia outfit (it was cosplay goddamit). People were panicking. She thought of changing into her costume here, and the chances are no one would notice.  Nope. Instead, she started to walk calmly towards the display and the rapidly fraying wires. The booth staff were ignoring it too, though at least some brave writer was telling everyone to stay calm. 

She reached the display and, making sure no one was paying much attention, put her hands against it. Her muscles started to pop out as she put her weight into it. When people look at fitness models and such, most of them tend to think of bodybuilders with tapered waist and thin physics.Strength in women-and mostly in men where people who where fat, who like her could watch there pecs explode and traps expand against the weight.

Hers just did it more then most.

'Mazing Girl could lift about 30 tons when she wanted to, or was politely asked to. She could run 100 miles in an hour and jump half as far. She was one of the most powerful people on Earth. And now was sitting to make sure a fake statue of superman stayed in place.

It wasn't hard precisely, but as she did she felt her muscles expand further. It wasn't as if she transformed as such but as she pumped up from a rubenesque nerd to a muscular brick house it could look like she did. Her regular costume was made of surprisingly light spandex that helped with that. And she was wearing clothing that wasn't designed to. The jacket was nothing...but the shirt....wow, she had spent 75 bucks on it. She felt the sleeves of it start to stretch as it moved across her ripply arms.

It creaked a little and she realized that she was the only thing keeping it from hitting a 100 or so DC comic fans. And Helen Slater.

It was also about the time she realized that there wasn't really any good endgame for this scenario. She couldn't let it drop. She could move it down with some trickiness but that would do wonders for her secret identity. And with so many people here it wasn't like there was a great place.

And her shirt sleeves were feeling awfully tight.

She cringed. Superman why did you doing this to me!?!

By then everything seemed more or less normal. Well, it was a small earthquake in California. You move on with life. When The PA announcer came on: "Its okay. Sorry about the delay, but the Fire department is recommending we temporarily empty the building and then...”

There was a groan in the crowd. Everyone seemed to be proceeding normally and no one was frightened. She had seen panic before. Panic may have helped her in fact. She was slightly peeved.

It was at this time she noticed something. The structure that was holding it up was kind of hollow. There existed a kind of space behind it underneath the tables. She could...well, do something.

She used one arm to hold up the structure as she climbed behind it. A remarkably tight place. Kind of claustrophobic really.

Nope. She got out. It wasn't going to work. She was very quick at changing but she need a little bit of room. She wasn't a keep her costume under clothes type (that was what her bag was for). She maybe could have done it...she was pretty quick about the transformation these days...but still it would have been an embarrassing end. So she stood there, as people slowly left the room.

When an idea came to her head.

"Hey!" she said to a security guard walking by. "I was standing there and I think this statue came loose."

He looked up. "Wow, like...the guide wires..."

"Yeah. I work in set design," she said, "I was trying to keep it up and..."

He put his hand out for it. For effect, with her own hand, she wobbled it just a tad.

"Shit" he said. "Hey! Can we get some help here!?"

A group of event staff and onlookers helped her slowly bring the statue to the ground. Actually being a weak little girl she just let them do the work as she watched. It went smoothly. A Booth guy came over and nodded. "Don’t think we can put it up today but we’ll see about getting it out of here.”

A guy commented, "You held it up by yourself, wow...I didn't know Princess Leia was that strong."

"I'm not really Princess Leia" said Sarah, she then walked out.

They emptied the room, which took about half an hour, so she walked around downtown San Diego for a bit. And smiled. Pretty town. As she did, she saw her.

She looked about 22. Long red hair to her waspish waste, long red pants tapered at the leg (it was easy to run in), high-heels (fantasy), the domino mask that obscured her face...and by the way, a tank-top with her ‘Mazing symbol on it.   Except this one had her top cropped to show off her sleek well formed abs, the tapering breasts that defied gravity, and slim well muscled arms.

Sarah hated her. She just really, really hated her.

Sarah walked off shaking her head. Maybe she should call her lawyer to end all this nonsense.