Mia’s Date With an Angel Part 1

Is it time?

You will know when it is time.

I’m scared.

You are made out of my love. You have nothing to fear.

Ok, here I go.

**Wednesday night**

Mia sat on the small balcony of her apartment that overlooked the communal pool. She held a pill bottle in one hand. The pill bottle looked too small to hurt her but the pills inside would do just fine. Sleeping pills for insomnia that she had stopped taking because they worked too well and knocked her out well into the next day. In her other hand, a bottle of cheap gas station wine. Pills and booze. How cliché, she thought.

She took a swig from the wine bottle to bolster her nerves. Ok, it’s now or never. She popped open the pill bottle and spilled the blue and white capsules into her hand. She popped them into her mouth glancing up at the sky as her head tipped back. A streak of light caught her eye. A falling star. I wish I may, I wish I might have the wish I wish tonight. She watched the light waiting for it to fade but it only got brighter and brighter. A flash of light streaked straight down hitting the pool and sending a fountain of water into the air.

“What?!” Mia said. Partially dissolved pills flew out of her mouth. She spat the rest out and wiped her mouth and chin. Below her a body floated face down in the pool, a white gown billowing around it in the water.

Mia grabbed the railing on the balcony and swung both legs over. She paused to consider the drop. Glancing over her shoulder she saw the still body in the water. She stepped off the balcony edge letting her arms take her weight and dangling for a second before dropping. A deck chair caught most of her impact but bounced her on to the cement. She hit with a thud and a light smack to the back of her head.

She rolled over and scrambled to the pool. Without any more thought, she jumped into the water. The cold shocked her but didn’t slow her as she pushed through toward the floating body. She grabbed it and pulled it to the side of the pool. After getting out she reached down and heaved the body out of the water with a strength she didn’t know she had.

Mia rolled the body over. It was a woman, dressed in a white dress that would have been very billowy if it wasn’t wet and plastered to her body. She also had large fake wings strapped to her back. The woman wasn’t breathing. Mia knelt beside her, grabbed her wrist and felt for a pulse. Nothing. She struggled to remember the proper form for CPR. Compressions. She thought she was supposed to start with compressions. How many? Was it five or fifteen? And what about breaths? No time to overthink.

She placed one hand on the woman’s chest, placed her other hand over the first, locked her elbows; the woman’s eyes opened before she could press down. The woman smiled but still didn’t take a breath. Mia smiled back, unable to look away, as a wave of love spread through her.

“Um, hi,” Mia said. She backed off the woman and sat down next to her, still staring. Mia felt something under her move tugged by the woman as she started to sit up. She leaned to one side and one of the woman’s cosplay wings slid free. The wing stretched out and up, extending over her head before folding behind her back.

“So, those aren’t a costume are they?” Mia said. Her body began shivering from the cold night and wet clothes.

The angel, because what else could she be, cooed and sang notes to a song Mia could almost place.

“I don’t –” Mia felt the world tilt sideways and rolled to her side. The angel knelt beside her and sang more notes. Everything was going to be ok, she thought. It’s ok. A hand brushed her hair from her face. She saw the angel looking concerned. Then everything began to fade out but instead of darkness, Mia saw white light and heard flapping wings.

To be Continued

Deep Cover

In one of the dead end alleys of the cubical farm, one of the dedicated workers leaned backwards in their chair and whispered around the barrier to their neighbor, “Hey have you seen Agent Johnson?”

Their neighbor scooted her chair out and answered, “She’s still undercover.”

“But we busted the exotic animal smuggling operation two weeks ago.  There was a shoot out and everything.”  Their eyes narrowed in confusion.

“Well, she said it would compromise future operations if they broke cover right after the bust.”

They leaned back into their cubical and scooted their chair out into the alley as well, “They?”

“Her ‘wife’ and ‘kid’ are still undercover with her,” she said.

“Wait, wait, where did we get the kid?  Aren’t his parents going to want him back?”

“His parents were agents.  After they died in the line of duty, he became a ward of the agency.  Unofficially he’s a junior agent if such a thing existed.”

They shook their head slowly.  “Jeez, that’s rough.  What about the ‘wife’?”

“Oh, she’s loving the suburban life.  Her apartment was on Third street.  The bad part of Third street.”

Their eyebrows shot up their forehead, “Wow, I know our salaries aren’t great but third street?”

“She has student loans and bad credit from identity theft.  Couldn’t get in anywhere else.”

“The agency could help with that?” they asked.

She spread her hands in front of her and shrugged.  “Not their problem as long as she showed up to work.  But now she’s in a nice house in the suburbs with a kid and wife.”

“I guess but they have to break cover at some point.”

“I heard the chief talking about moving them to witness protection.”

“They’re just going to become a family?”

“The Chief is a really good matchmaker.  We lose more agents to his team-ups than anything else.  Also, they had a big bonding moment during the car chase slash rescue slash shoot out.”

“I wonder if it’s too early to apply for a promotion?”

Five Minute Delivery – Monthly Delivery

teleportericon

“Thank you for calling Fine Minute Delivery. How may we help you?” I recognized the number so I cut my spiel short.
“Hello dear. I have my monthly delivery ready.”

“Yes, ma’am. Same room?”

“Yes. The curtains are blue now.”

“I’ll be there shortly.” I pictured the room. Single bed, small dresser next to the bed, pictures on top of the dresser, a couple of chairs, tv in the corner, and blue curtains. I felt the familiar tug and went.

My client was sitting in her bed hands folded over the blanket. On the chair next to the bed was a bouquet of flowers. I teleported the four feet to the chair and picked up the flowers. My client smiled. I didn’t need to teleport but my client liked seeing me do it.

“Any special requests?”

“No, just work your magic.”

I closed my eyes picturing the grass, open space, regularly spaced rows of stones, the somber atmosphere, the tree right there. And I went. I stood at the end of a grave. The stone was a double wide only half filled out with stone vases on either side. I sat the bouquet down next to the stone and began removing the old flowers.

I teleported home and dropped them in the trashcan outside before teleporting to the cleaning closet for a small hand broom.

“Honey?” I heard my wife shout from the kitchen.

“I’m on a job so I can’t stay,” I said popping out of the closet.

“Mrs. Henderson?” she asked. I nodded. “It’s so sad. She’s all alone.”

“She has kids and grandkids.”

“You said they hardly visit.”

“Well, yeah but I visit her at least once a month.” I paused before continuing, “She wants to meet you actually.”

“Me, why?”

“Well, I got to talking about you last time I did her delivery.”

“And she’s ok with …”

“Lesbians? Yeah, she’s cool. She was more confused by me being trans but she’s cool about that too. I have to get back but I’ll be here for dinner, ok?”

“Ok. Love you.”

“I love you, too.” I gave her a quick kiss on the lips and teleported back to the cemetery.

The caretakers used a leaf blower after cutting the grass but sometimes they didn’t get all the clippings off the stones. I swept Mr. Henderson’s gravestone clean of grass clipping, dirt, leaves, and bits of the old flowers. I opened the bouquet and divided the flowers roughly in half. Some flower arranging later and the stone was looking much better. I took some pictures and teleported back to Mrs. Henderson.

“All done,” I said.

“The nurse in the room jumped in surprise. “Oh, I didn’t hear you come in.” She glanced at the closed door.

Mrs. Henderson smiled and chuckled. “She’s a sneaky one.”

“Are you family?”

“No, just a friend,” I said.

“Well as soon as Joyce swallows this pill, I can leave you to visit.” Mrs. Henderson took the small paper cup from the nurse and upended it into her mouth. She chased the pill with a swallow of water from the glass in the nurse’s other hand.

“Happy?” she asked.

“Very. I’ll be back in a few hours,” the nurse said. She left the room leaving us alone. I sat in a chair by Mrs. Henderson’s bed. She held out a couple of twenties to me. I took them and tucked them away. It was way less than what I charged other people but I was compensated other ways.

“How are you doing today?” I asked.

“Eh, better than some days worse than others. Talk to my doctor if you want more details,” she said.

“That’s good, I guess. I don’t mean to pry.”

“No, no I don’t mind,” she said in a softer voice. “How long can you stay?”

“Just a couple of hours. I promised the wife I’d be home for dinner.”

“So, when are you going to bring her by and introduce her to me, hmm?” She smiled and raised her eyebrows.

“I don’t like teleporting people or animals and it’s kind of a long drive.” Most of the time they make it through fine but every once in a while they aren’t. So, I don’t take the chance unless I have to.

“You teleported that blogger.”

“That was … I was mad about being ambushed.”

“You want to talk about it?” she asked.

“Yeah, that would be nice.”

Scientist of Death Issue #4

<<Previous Index


“Can I get a discount on this?” The customer shoved the item across the counter. “It has a stain right here.”

I looked at the indicated spot. The slight discoloration was probably not a set in stain and dabbing it with a wet cloth would most likely remove it. Not worth a discount in my eyes but store policy was more lenient.

“I can discount it by five percent,” I said.

“Is that all? I can’t get it half off.”

“No, five percent is all I’m allowed to do.”

“The other woman always gives me half off.” A blatant lie. No one except the managers could approve a fifty percent markdown and they rarely work the registers. I bit back on calling her on the lie.

“I’m sorry, it’s story policy,” I said.

“I’d like to speak to the manager.”

My hand reached for the button on my headset that would broadcast my voice to my co-workers and manager. As I depressed it, I felt a slight wiggle to the button. The switches and buttons on the sonic cannon I had handled the other day had been rock steady with smooth, crisp action. I looked around at the smirking customer, the other cashiers sneaking pity looks at me, the waiting customers in the queue and released the button without saying anything. I took off my walkie talkie.

“I quit,” I said to the customer.

“What?”

“I quit. I refuse to serve people like you who think you can just bully people like me to get whatever you want. I quit.” I grabbed the lanyard around my neck and yanked it straight down snapping the strap. The strap was made to snap apart to keep employees from accidentally being strangled by their lanyard but the effect was still dramatic. One of the other cashiers was speaking into her walkie no doubt informing every other employee of my actions.

I walked through the store to the break room where I retrieved my purse and left the store not physically for the last time, because I would have to return for my last check, but in spirit for the last time. From an inside pocket of my purse, I pulled out the receipt with an address and phone number on it and dialed the number.

It rang twice and the Doctor of Death answered, “Hello.”

“Do you have a workspace I can use or should I find something?”

“I can find you some space.” I could hear the grin in his voice. “Come by tomorrow. Glad to have you back.”

“I’m not back. I’m just working tech.”

“Sure.”

“I’ll see you tomorrow.” I hung up before he could say anything else.

***

The next day, I returned to the office suite the Doctor of Death was using as his current front of operations. The waiting room was exactly the same including Susie the receptionist. I had hoped she would not be here since the last time we saw each other I had shot her with a sonic cannon.

She smiled, “Ms. Parks. So nice to see you again.” Was that a genuine smile or a shark smile.

“Hello Susie. I just wanted to say I’m sorry about shooting you the other day.”

Her smile tightened into something like a grimace. “Of course, mistakes were made on both sides.”

“I’m glad you see it that way.” Or at least you’re willing to pretend you do, I thought.

“I hope you will be as forgiving.” She pulled out the sonic cannon from behind her desk and fired it at me. The edge of my personal force field flared white as it absorbed the energy from the sonic pulse.

“Glad to see my paranoia wasn’t totally off base. If you could buzz me in, that would be great.” She glared at me but pressed the button to allow me entrance to the back. “Thank you.” I paused at the door and said, “For what it’s worth, I really am sorry I shot you.”

“Dr. Ford is expecting you,” she said through gritted teeth. Her eyes locked with mine in a challenge. Never leave an enemy at your back, especially not one willing to attack you from the back.

“Do you know who I am?” I asked casually.

“You’re some tech genius The Doctor wants to work for him.” She was almost sneering.

I walked closer to her desk. “Technically true. I’m also The Scientist of Death.”

“The Scientist of Death is dead.”

“No, just retired.”

“And he was a man.”

“Things change.” She began looking over my face and body for those telltale features. I watched for the moment when she realized I might be telling the truth. “Before I left the supervillain life I would have killed you instantly after you tried shooting me.” I stepped closer into her personal space. “That was five years ago. Today I’m letting you have that one shot but only that one shot. Try anything else and I will end this petty “feud” between the two of us permanently.” I reached out and snatched the sonic cannon from her hands.

To her credit she didn’t flinch or back away. She simply said, “Understood.”

“Good. You have a nice day,” I said and walked into the back.


<<Previous Index

Scientist of Death Issue #3

Issue #1 here and Issue #2 here in case you’ve forgotten how we got here.

The Doctor of Death smirked at me, “I knew you weren’t out of the game.”

“I’m just asking. It doesn’t mean anything.”

“Sure, sure.” He reached into a box box behind his desk and pulled out a device I was familiar with.

“Is that a Gurrola Sonic Cannon?”

“Mark two,” he added.

“Bullshit. No one has a mark two.”

“I have a source who found a small cache of them. The only problem is they don’t work and I don’t know how to fix them.”

“May I?” I asked reaching for the sonic cannon. He handed it over to me. GSC Mk 2’s were considered bleeding edge of non-lethal weaponry at their time. Even by modern standards they were incredibly advanced. I extended the projection chamber from over the main housing and locked it in place. What it should have uncovered was a smooth machined aluminum housing for the sound generator and amplifier unit. Instead a section had been cut out and a small circuit board had been installed. “What’s this?”

“After market modification.”

“After market modification? Hmm.” The board had a printed circuit, dozens of resistors, transistors, and diodes, a row of ten switches, and a rheostat. Several wires trailed off the edge of the board and snaked into the housing. “What does it do?”

“I dunno.”

“All of them have the same circuit board installed?”

“Yes.”

I lifted the cannon to my face and sniffed the open housing. No burnt smell, maybe the original hardware hadn’t been fried. Without a careful analysis of the circuit I couldn’t know what it did. The board was held in place by a few spots of solder. A forceful tug snapped it free of the housing leaving it attached only by the wires.

“Ahh-” the Doctor of Death began.

I held up a finger and glared at him, “I’m working.” I tilted the cannon hoping to see where the wires were attached. I thought back to the circuit diagrams of the GSC Mk 3 I had seen over twenty years ago. Nope, still no idea what the circuit did. Taking a firm grip on the wires, I yanked them out with a hard tug.

The Doctor of Death made a strangled gasping sound.

On the other side of the housing I flipped the main power switch and heard the distinctive hum of a Gurrola Sonic Cannon but with an undertone I had never heard before.

The Doctor of Death raised an eyebrow, “Really just like that it’s fixed?”

“You dare question The Scientist of Death. I’ll show you what happens to someone who questions me,” I said slipping back into the hyperbolic personal far easier than I thought possible. I adjusted the cannon for low power and fired at second chair I hadn’t been sitting in. A sharp clap filled my ears. I shouldn’t have heard anything; the joker who had tried modifying the gun must have damaged the damping shield. The chair slammed against the wall which shook from the sound pulse. I turned back to the Doctor of Death with my own eyebrow raised.

“I guess I should know better than to –” He was cut short by the door being kicked in by his receptionist, Susie. She aimed at me and I instinctively fired the sonic cannon at her. The sonic discharge again clapped in my ears and sent Susie flying back through the door into the hallway.

“What was that about?” I asked my heart pounding.

The Doctor of Death hurried around his desk and out the room to check on Susie. “You did fire a sonic cannon with out warning.”

“I guess I did.” I took a deep slow breath. “Still charging into a meeting with a…,” I squinted at the gun laying on the floor, “What is that?”

“Hmm, Morris Maser Gun.”

“Not very non-lethal,” I commented.

“In house security is allowed lethal weapons.”

“I guess times have changed.” As I powered off the sonic cannon and retracted the projection chamber, I noticed my ring finger twitch. “Well, now that you know how to fix them, you really don’t need me anymore.”

“The job offer is still on the table. I could use your tech skills.”

“I’m retired and I should stay that way.” I set the sonic cannon on the desk and picked up my purse.

“If you ever change your mind, just give me a call,” the Doctor of Death said as I walked out through the open door to the empty reception area.

***

Later that night I sat in the dark thinking. I had had fun today. Shooting Susie had been unfortunate but the rest was good. Holding a sonic cannon after years, examining the circuits and making the quick fix had felt like the old days.

Could I work for The Doctor of Death? I had thought my career as a supervillain was over. My plan had been to leave all that in the past after I transitioned. I didn’t need to return to being a face in the League of Evil. All I really wanted was resources and equipment for tinkering and improvement of tech. The heists and warehouse raids had just been a means to an end. But if The Doctor could provide me with all that…

A lamp snapped on. “Why are you in the dark?” Julie asked.

“I was thinking.” She walked around the room turning on lamps until the illumination of the room was at normal levels.

“Thinking about what?” she asked.

“I went to see that guy who recognized me yesterday.”

“Your friend?” she asked sitting down next to me.

“Ex-coworker,” I corrected. “He’s got his own business now and offered me a job.”

“That’s great. Why don’t you take it? It sounds like he’s cool with you and it’s got to pay better than retail.”

“It would pay better. I’m just not sure I want to get back into that … environment.”

“What’s so bad about it?”

“Nothing on the surface. It’s hard to explain. Some of the guys in the industry can get real confrontational.” Laser duel confrontational.

“Well it’s up to you if you take the job. I’ll support you either way.” Julie snaked an arm around me and pulled me into a hug. I brought my own arms up around her as well. How long could I lie about I was really doing? I wondered if our relationship would survive if she knew the truth about me.

Author note: The story doesn’t end here. The Scientist of Death hasn’t even really begun her new villainous adventures. Sorry it’s taken so long for me to get back to this story but more will be coming.

Lisa’s Story: Zombie Apocalypse – Chapter Eighteen

Over the next couple of days I helped Andy move into his new apartment. After cleaning out the refrigerator and letting the apartment air out, I convinced him to move the former occupants’ personal items to a bedroom.

“You really care about your neighbor’s stuff?” he asked while taking a picture off the walls.

I shrugged. “Kind of. Maybe. They might come back.” I hadn’t really known them or most of my neighbors to be honest. A week ago I had broken into every apartment and taken all the food and drinks I could find but I hadn’t touched their personal belongings.

“It doesn’t seem likely.”

“Yeah but you got to have hope or why the hell are we surviving?”

Continue Reading

Lisa’s Story: Zombie Apocalypse – Chapter Seventeen

I walked inside my apartment and Andy followed me. I gestured to the sofa as I walked past it to the kitchen area, “Take a seat. You want a drink?”

“Uh, sure what do have?” Andy asked from the sofa.

“Bottled water, sodas.” The water had mostly come from the superstore while the sodas I had scavenged from my neighbors. I had seen beer and other alcoholic beverages in a few apartments but had left them.

“Root beer?” he asked.

“Sure.” I pulled two cans out of a box and walked around to the living room. I handed one to Andy and sat in my watch chair with the other. We sat in silence for a minute drinking our warm sodas.

“What’s with the couch?” Andy asked pointing to the short sofa standing on end by the door.

“I use it to block the door.”

“Ah, ok. So, today was a lot of fun. What are we going to do tomorrow?”

I couldn’t help myself and launched into my best mad scientist mouse voice, “The same thing we do everyday. Try to take over the world!” Andy stared at me blankly for a second while I broke down laughing for the first time in weeks.

Continue Reading

Lisa’s Story: Zombie Apocalypse – Chapter Sixteen

We made it back to Andy’s store without incident. I stopped in front of the store and looked south toward my apartment. Andy stopped along side me.

“So, if you want I could go with you. Just to make sure they aren’t hanging around. It’s up to you,” Andy said.

The three zombies I saw might not have wandered into my apartment complex. They probably just ran off before I made it back around those few blocks. But what if they hadn’t? What if they were hanging out waiting for me to go home? Not like a planned trap but just on accident. Could I take three zombies? Probably not. Going alone was a risk. On the other hand, letting Andy know where I lived was a risk. He didn’t seem like a bad guy but he was still a guy, a cis guy. I trusted him to watch my back out here but I didn’t want him thinking it was more than that. Go alone or take Andy with me. Either decision could bite me in the ass.

Continue Reading

Lisa’s Story: Zombie Apocalypse – Chapter Fifteen

I woke up early to the beeping of my watch alarm. My head felt clear but my migraines sometimes came back the next day. I mixed a can of evaporated milk with water and poured some into a bowl with cereal. I ate standing in the kitchen listening for twinges of pain from my head. There didn’t appear to be any so I decided to continue with the day’s plan.

After getting dressed, I grabbed my backpack and added my bottle of migraine medicine to a side pocket just in case. I strapped on my machete and grabbed my bat. The apartment complex was empty of zombies when I checked through the windows. At the edge of the fence, I looked up the street toward Andy’s store and spotted some zombies shuffling down street. I stepped back behind the fence and listened. No pounding footsteps came my way. They hadn’t seen me. I peeked one eye out around the fence.

Continue Reading