Nobody and the S.O.S. (7)

Maiden Interrupted

 

Previously

“Look, miss, I don’t care who you are or what you are, you’re under arrest,” Detective Hastings said.

“Under arrest for what?” the Marble Maiden asked.

“For assault,” Hastings replied.

“Really. Are you making fun of me because it’s my first time being a superhero?” she asked.

“Sir, she is protected by the Mask Laws,” Brant reminded him.

“The courts can sort it out later if she really wants to go that route,” Hastings replied.

“Well technically if you want to play that card, you have to catch her first,” said Brant. The room was silent for a spell.

“Toodles!” she said before diving out the back window.

“No!” Hastings yelled. He ran to the window. The backyard was clear save for the two cops manning the perimeter. “Where did she go?”

“The superhero? Don’t remember. Real friendly though,” one of them replied.

“Damn it!” Hastings screamed into the night.

A block away, the Marble Maiden met Nobody at the rendezvous under a large tree behind an unoccupied house.

“Yes! That was great! Did you see? How’d I do?” she asked.

“That was pretty good. You got all the bad guys and none of the innocents died,” Nobody said. Marble Maiden nodded, then seemed deflated. “Something wrong?” he asked.

“You seem like the kind of guy who’d be super critical of my performance regardless of how well I did,” she replied. Nobody arched an eyebrow. “I don’t know. This positive review is wigging me out.”

“Sounds like you have some unpacking to do there,” said Nobody.

“Huh. Maybe. Anyways, you sure you don’t have any notes for me? Nothing I could be doing better?” she asked.

“You… could have been faster I guess,” said Nobody.

“Ah right. Gotta up my times.”

Nobody unfolded his map of Tanglewood and tuned the police band scanner to another channel, searching for the other incidents.

“Sounds like that one got resolved just seconds ago. That leaves two more that we know of,” said Nobody.

“Where should we go first?” Marble Maiden asked.

“Not sure. We could split up and cover both of them.”

“Nice try. You’re still showing me the ropes,” said Marble Maiden.

“You handled yourself pretty well back there,” said Nobody.

“That cop didn’t think so. He tried to arrest me,” she replied.

“Ah. So you met Detective Hastings.”

“You know him?” she asked.

“Ran into him before. Real serious type. Not a fan of Masks.”

Nobody continued to monitor the scanner. Marble Maiden heard a lot of numbers and call signs and police lingo. She made a mental note to learn more about that. Street level vigilantes needed to know the jargon. She’d probably need to invest in a band scanner too. Unless… was that even the kind of superhero she wanted to be?

“Hey, um, Mr. Nobody,” Marble Maiden said.

“You can just call me Nobody.”

“Okay. So, how did you decide what kind of superhero you wanted to be?”

“Not a superhero. No powers,” Nobody clarified.

“Semantics. You’re hero enough,” she said.

“I’m not being nitpicky. There’s an official classification system and an unofficial ranking system. Without a single superhuman quality, I’m just a run-of-the-mill vigilante.”

“All you need’s a costume,” said Marble Maiden.

“To be a Mask. Add powers and you get to be a Cape. You don’t even need an actual cape either.”

“You never answered my question.”

“You asking for my origin story or something?” Nobody asked.

“I’m having trouble deciding what kind of hero I want to be so I thought I’d ask what your process was.”

“I kind of fell into it,” said Nobody.

“Oh. Is this like one of those tales of revenge or…?”

“There wasn’t one definitive moment that shaped my life. There were like… five. Each event pushed me forward on this path. Each one directed my focus, my energy, my will. Revenge? Yes. But also justice for my fellow man. An ideal to strive towards. Protecting the vulnerable from a world of predators and parasites.”

“Criminals?” Marble Maiden asked.

“No. Not your average street toughs. Words can hardly describe the kind of evil I’ve seen. That kind of evil is rare in this world, but it’s never very far away.”

“Dude, that’s intense.”

“Anyway, let’s get back to your question. Are you wanting to fight crime or solve crime? If so, what specific kind of crime? Or do you want to focus on a trouble area like environmental disaster, art theft or, well, things of a magical nature?”

“No I don’t want to pigeon hole myself like that. I just want to kick a whole lot of ass!” she said.

“Okay. So generic crime.”

“Sure.”

“Street crime or organized crime?” Nobody asked.

“Um, I don’t know. Whatever comes my way I guess,” she replied.

“Contrary to popular belief, you can’t just start “patrolling the city” and expect to run into purse snatchers or a bank heist. You gotta do research. Targeting. A fair amount of investigation.”

“Makes sense.”

“You have to frequent trouble spots. You have to know crime statistics; murder rates, gang activity, that sort of thing. You need contacts who can be your eyes and ears on the ground because unless you have some kind of telepathy or super senses, you’re going to be playing catch up with the police every time.”

“Jeez. I didn’t think it was going to be this complicated,” said Marble Maiden.

“That’s the gig,” Nobody replied.

“Beating up gangsters sounds like fun. Going after thugs and street gangs sounds kind of classist. You know, considering.”

“Hmm. Now that can be tricky. If you don’t have an in with Vice, or whoever handles organized crime in the area, you basically have to crash a lot of parties until you hit their business,” he said. Marble Maiden nodded. “I don’t mean actual parties either. I mean places where they do their illicit activities.”

“Oh, classic mob takedown. Start from the bottom, work your way up,” she said.

“If you work slowly and meticulously, you might be able to avoid having the whole criminal underworld come down on your head.”

“Yeah,” she said, sounding equal parts nervous and excited.

“Oh, and you’re also going to have to figure out who your Mt. Rushmore is.”

“My what?” she asked.

“Picture the landmark but with your own personal heroes and you’ll get the gist of it. Okay, here we go. There’s a car chase happening a couple blocks away and heading in our direction. We can intercept if we…”

“I’m on it!” Marble Maiden said, sprinting away at very high speed. She surprised herself at how fast she was moving despite how considerably heavy she was in her Marble form. Must have been a side effect of the enhanced strength.

The getaway car jumped a curb and swerved past several parked cars. There were only two Spiders that had made it out of this particular heist, the rest abandoned to the cops.

“Punch it! Come on!” the thug in the passenger seat screamed.

“It’s fucking over, man. We’re done,” the driver said.

“No. Wait. There’s one thing we still have.” The thug in the passenger seat pulled out a little silver case. Inside was a single black pellet.

“What is that shit?” the driver asked.

“Don’t know, but I’m starting to not give a shit.” The driver rounded a corner at high speed. “Watch it, man! I almost lost it.”

“Sorry! Shit! I’m doing my best!” the driver yelled.

A marble statue stepped out into the middle of the road. Startling both Spiders. The statue held her hand up.

“Stop! In the name of-”

The driver swerved to avoid her, but ended up T-boning her instead. The car folded around her like an aluminum toy. She was carried down the street by sheer inertia until the wreck came to a screeching halt. She pushed the pieces of the car apart and scrambled backwards. The men in the “car” didn’t look so good. Were they still alive? So much blood.

“Oh no. Oh God, are you okay?” she asked. One of them moaned. That was a good sign. Probably. The cop cars in pursuit rounded the corner. Marble Maiden’s feet refused to move. What now?

“Hey!” somebody yelled. She turned her head. A shadow came over her and before she knew it she was running. “Okay, this time I have some notes,” Nobody said.

Next

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