Friday, July 19, 2013

Princess Leia in Trouble

Stormtroopers.

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.