Well, no-one likes to go to a doctor.
For an invulnerable superheroine, this was trickier still.
Sarah was generally glad she had good health - and as far as could be told, fairly normal anatomy. Other then skin that was for all practical purposes unbreakable, bones too...well, general invulnerability, unlimited stamina, super strength. And the ability to hum really well.
However, if you gave her an X-ray (the hospital kind, not the superhuman type) you would find her normal enough lungs, pancreases things of that nature. So it all kind of worked, and kept her in, generally, pretty good health.
Which was good, because doctors tended to, like, to want to draw blood, and things like that.
But she was a having a problem, an embarrassing problem, and on this day she went dutifully to the doctors office, as was allowed under her Trade Guild medical plan...
Her doctor’s office was in a big medical building, which was good. It made it seem fancy and important, which she liked in professional service. Her accountant and her lawyer were all in big buildings too. She thought it would be cool to jump up to their offices and talk to them out the window but she knew the glass in these buildings was very thick and hard to talk through, and in this case she had to show her vagina off which would just be awkward 20 stories up.
And besides, she liked the big brass covered elevator.
She got in with about 5 other people. Elevators were fun. This wasn't a fast elevator. but it was a very nice looking one. She could appreciate good art design, being an art designer herself. If she hadn't gotten into movies, she probably would have ended up as something like an interior designer (she knew a lot of people who worked in her field who did that on the side) and she liked spaces.
She looked into the glass reflection to see a woman standing next to her.
Did she recognize her?
The woman was about 5'1 long black hair wearing a pants suit and a tie with a vest. Stylish enough. She had a slightly serious, sombre look.
She looked a bit more carefully at the woman’s face. Huh? Was there...? Did she know this woman? A good/bad thing about working in TV was that you saw a lot of people. Tons of actors, extras, crew members, passers-by on the street. Most days she was introduced to a dozen people, who scarcely went by her. And in her other line of work...well, even more. She wasn't a politician, but ‘Mazing Girl wasn't above shaking peoples hands.
But this woman...
She was pretty. Very small, very thin, with long black hair, and...
She waited for her to leave, not wanting to make the situation awkward.
However, on the 20th floor Sarah got out...and so did the woman she recognized as The Flame.
They walked forward down the hall - and Sarah opened the door to go into...
"Oh, are you here for Dr. Yamata too?" asked The Flame.
"Yeah," said Sarah.
She was 90 percent sure. That wasn't a good percentage. Not to really confront someone. Sarah had been confronted a couple of times about being 'Mazing Girl, But she suspected a large portion of her secret identity was based on the concept that people were just too awkward to ask her about it.
However, the woman noticed it before she walked in and whispered.
Sarah nodded. "And you?”
The Flame nodded.
They walked in.
It was a nice waiting room. That’s what Sarah looked for in an office. Lots of girly magazines to which Sarah didn't read unless she was in a doctors office. Golf Digest which was a better magazine then you might imagine, even for someone who cared nothing for sports and less for golf.
Sarah found a chair. The Flame sat next to her.
"So...what are you in for?" asked Sarah.
"Pap-smear," said The Flame.
"It’s good to check that out every year," observed Sarah.
There was an awkward pause.
"I am having pain when I pee" said Sarah. "I think something with yeast."
"Ugh," The Eternal Flame shuddered.
"It’s getting greener..."
And The Eternal Flame let out a low laugh.
"I can't laugh when I’m in costume."
Sarah smiled at the Eternal Flame and put her hand on her thigh, and shook it.
"Wait, their going to call your name," Sarah said.
"Or their going to call your name," said Flame.
"Yeah," said Sarah.
"I’m going to go up ask to use the bathroom," said Flame. "Tell them. They'll find me as opposed to calling my name out-loud.
"This is silly," said Sarah.
"I agree," said Flame. "It’s the nature of things."
There was a pause.
"However, you know...maybe we can go out for drinks or something like that...no reasons we can't be friends."
Flame closed her eyes. "I don't drink." She walked up towards the receptionist, who led her in.
Sarah waited for a long time. She got an issue of Golf Digest. She then realized that she was the only woman in the room. Which wasn't that unusual for a gynaecologist.
Sarah started to read the magazine, and was instantly entranced in a world of five-irons, tee times, and articles about professionals she didn't know or care about. There was the black dude they profiled. God, that was the first thing she thought about Tiger Woods? She was disgusted in herself.
And she pulled out her iphone and confirmed. He wasn't really black either. Yeah, she remembered that vaguely. He got into some weird trouble a couple of years ago.
And before she knew it was 1:30. Her appointment was for 1:10. No receptionist called her name. She went to the front, and realized there was no receptionist at the desk. She didn't remember her that well from her visit last time, but she was an older black....
Oh, fuck herself.
Sarah shrugged and looked in. She opened the door to the office...
"Is anyone here?" she called out...
And fell over unconscious.
Sarah awoke inside a small cage, inside a large black void. Beyond the metal cage there seemed to be nothing, no walls, no ceilings, just darkness and black.
How long she had been out, she had no idea. She didn't feel any of the after effects of drugs or things like that. In fact, she felt fine.
The cage looked like something you would hold a rampaging gorilla in. lots of thick steel bars, 10 feet by 10 feet. Big...strong. It looked to be very well constructed.
Sarah grabbed two bars of it, and effortlessly pushed them open. She heard the whine of the metal as it went – however, while in the movies this took a while for superman to use his incredible strength against the metal, for her it was easy as plying two slices of bread apart. Actually, as she did so the metal stress literally pulled one of the bars out of the sockets, letting it fall in the air.
She suspected that she had an advantage, no-one would put ‘Mazing Girl in such a light cage.
She put her hand to the ground to feel the floor.
And felt nothing at all.
Sarah shrugged, and grabbed the edge of reality and pulled it back with her arms. Her awesome strength destroyed the fabric of existence easily enough.
The giant black void around her was ripped aside and she saw-a white void. For about a second.
Then what looked to be an Asian garden. The lines of pagodas, chrysanthemums, streams, and pine trees, formed out of nothing.
This looked simple enough.
Then came the ninjas.
They jumped in, spinning about as they tended to do in movies. Wearing black pyjamas, they came in from nowhere.
What her assailants probably didn't know, was that she had actually fought ninjas twice in the ast last month, actually. The thing about real-life ninjas – they don't wear ninja getups. They actually tend to be real good at looking like normal people, particularly ones you don't notice. They had actually looked like a group of bums in one case and star trek cosplayers(which wasn't normal but well).
These looked like something out of a comicbook.
Which was fun for her, as she rarely encountered the absolute comicbook.
One of them came at her with a sword, with a mighty kai, to slash her in her half.
It hit her invulnerable skin and did less then nothing.
She grabbed his hand and his sword and then proceeded to toss him out of the universe.
But now she had something fun to use.
There were about--oh 20 ninjas. conversation of ninjutisu.
She started to move faster then the normal eye could process.
She began, moving a 100 miles an hour, to slash them, cutting them up like cordwood. the blade was extremely sharp, and made quick work of them as they fell before they even realized what was happening to them, falling down to the ground in waves of mook. It was fun.
However, for each ninja she dispatched into small ninja chunks - taking one, tossing him into the ground, and cutting him into exactly 5, more appeared. Exactly...
She had managed to dispatch 85 of them in about 20 seconds. However, this was still taking too much time.
She punched the ground. It was something she always wanted to do. Hell, the great danger was less the ninjas then the part of her that just wanted to cut loose, to be the infinitely strong, infinitely powerful person she fantasised about - which was complicated by the fact that she actually was infinitely strong and powerful.
But with at least 500 ninjas, this should help with that.
The punch sent a giant shockwave through the garden, breaking most of the structures, creating a gigantic rift through the environment, a wave of devastation over the ground. The ninjas flew backward from the punch, flying through the air as if they had been hit by a bomb. Which they had, in effect. The ones nearest to the blast almost disintegrated into nothing, and nothing was there, just them.
And five more appeared.
There were now at least 2500 ninjas around her.
And they started to act funny.
There is a concept in video games called frame rate - the idea if too much is on the screen things start to take a hit - and the reality of, say...Call of Duty changes from smooth sense of the real, to a choppy mess.
The same thing was happening with her world.
They were moving slowly, if at all, appearing in blurry sync, giving a sense that they were copying motions of each other - they flickered in and out of existence, in and out of reality.....
And she noticed to her left a small crack in reality with something past it...
And ‘Mazing Girl pushed her way in.
There probably weren't too many layers left.
She was in a large house. Actually, too large. She was clearly in a hall but everything was at least 10 feet tall. However, it was a hall...the concepts of the universe where ill-defined for space here, ill-defined for reality.
Then she had a sense perhaps of where she was. She was in a child’s home, a child’s space - she was looking up at the railings of a stairway going down into a children’s living room with pictures and shapes that a child would see. It wasn't her as a child. This was clearly a very large split-level home...almost Victorian. She grew up in a tract home bungalow but it was a childhood nevertheless. She looked around for a second and tried to get her bearings.
Then the voice...
"How long can you hide Jarmin? You are still pathetically trapped in your meaningless existence."
It was a loud male voice that had an outrageous accent. However, she wasn't quite sure of it. Well she shouldn't worry too much about races and stereotypes. That was today’s lesson.
Well, not really, but there she was.
She paused. And realized if someone was hiding she probably should make herself visible.
"Hi! HI!!" she shouted, and then waved her hands.
"What?" demanded the voice.
'You captured me in this reality. Tried to lock me in a cage, Attacked me with ninjas – um, what’s going on here?"
"INSOLENCT WESTERN SCUM!!!”
"I don't get that a lot," Sarah said, "But thanks for the compliments."
A door opened. And out came a small man. Wearing a...what looked to be stereotypical...well, Asian clothing (Jesus Christ). She sighed. She really couldn't narrow it down more then that. God she was just the worst person today.
She saw in the door a small boy, standing in the corner turning his head to the wall. He looked vaguely familiar. Well, no matter. Because a huge-10 foot tall Doberman Pincer also climbed out. They normally looked very friendly...but this one...snarled like a wolf
"It’s not your demon American - but it will do I think.”
"No," said Sarah.
She then punched it in its face and it disintegrated.
"What is going?" said Sarah.
Out of a door came The Flame, wearing her street clothes.
"it’s no use, shalk – you can't fight both of us at once. Your can create your mental prisons, but you still need to use your own mind. You can't keep so many inside at once. You were never that good a jailor."
"But you’re a weak nothing!" said Shalk "A little...”
"Well, she is the strongest woman I know," said The Flame. "can you destroy him?"
And Sarah leaned in and punched Shalk so hard that the entire mental universe she was in collapsed.
Sarah woke up on the floor outside the waiting room. Her nose hurt. She had fallen funny. Still, she got up and walked into the room.
She saw that the receptionist, a nurse, and her gynaecologist where all waking up in various rooms of the clinics. As she came into the main observation room she saw The Flame doing the same. And next to her the one identified as Shalk was unconscious.
"shalk is an old foe. an enemy from my past. he tracked me down, I suppose. thanks for your help in dealing with him. he’s quite powerful."
Flame’s voice had changed from normal human, to...well, The Flame’s. Sarah hadn't noticed it inside the dream. She wondered which of them was real and which was fake. Still, she just looked very small and vulnerable in her normal clothing. She was so small. Close-up she looked to be maybe 30 - but still, she had the aura of a child, yet there was something haunted about her.
"He attacked at your gynaecologists," said Sarah, "That’s pretty fucked up."
"where we’re vulnerable and human," observed The Flame, "smart move. i would have done it. and no regrets either. It’s what I am. i take people like him and punish them. but I am no better. not really."
Sarah looked at Flame. " You know - I didn't see your private...hell, I guess. not really, but...you can... "
Flame looked forward. "The world requires me to stay there. To be The Flame that guards it. An eternal vigilance. It’s who I am. The price I bear."
Then Ms Cindy Kramer, their gynaecologist, came in. "so what the fuck just happened?"
The Flame smiled. and talked in a normal voice. "I think maybe there was a gas leak - this poor gentleman seems to have been effected more...maybe we should call him an ambulance."
"Who is he?" asked Cindy.
"I'm as much at a loss as you are, Dr. Kramer."
"Let’s all go see a doctor. I still feel loopy. It’s like someone talked in my head for the last 4 hours, all in Bhutanese. I mean...a doctor who isn't me. I mean...you know what I mean."
"Um...I feel fine, but I came for a yeast infection/"
"Go buy some Monistat, Douche. And remember: Proper hygiene. If you let stuff fester inside of you it tends to break out into really nasty stuff."
Oh...that was the lesson!!! That was the lesson.
Sarah walked out. She then looked for a second more at Flame. Her eyes met hers, for a second they were human. Then Sarah looked down at Shalk. And they were something else. She wondered if the flame would learn it.
But, ehh, she remembered from biology if you didn't let things fester inside your inestines wouldn't work and you would wither and die. So many be keeping the demons had value..and
She walked past the black receptionist and...