Blogging from me may be slightly more sporadic than usual, for the next few weeks at least (what do you mean ‘more than usual???’). External forces have conspired against me, and a family member’s health issues (broken bones, of all things!) are taking up quite a bit of my spare time and energy at present. When things become more mobile, I’ll get back to blogging with gusto.
Keep on keeping on, and all that.
And to keep on keeping on, here is this week’s instalment from The Superhero Diaries:
Tales from the Superhero Diaries 6.11: The Museum Piece
“I’ve got one curator out,”
A cut and bruised Simba Kataya explained to Muriel Magnificent as she arrived at Mid Museum. “The other has locked herself in the vault at the back of the building. There are about fifteen of these identical men around the building – quite stocky in build and they seem very focussed on their goal.”
“Do you have any idea if they’ve taken anything, Simba?” Muriel asked.
“I don’t know. I concentrated on the curator who was getting a lot of trouble from three of the gang. I managed to fight them all off to get the curator out – he’s in one of the police vans around the corner. The trio ran their separate ways inside the museum. They are very strong, Muriel.”
“I know. We’ve ran into a few of them just now at the marina. If these are the same as those we encountered, they’re robots. But all of ours blew themselves apart at the same time when one was damaged. It’s as though they are connected – but if these lot are active, they can’t be. Go and get your eye sorted out, and we’ll take things from here.”
“We?” Simba asked and Muriel nodded over Simba’s shoulder. She turned, and saw the Cloud, Lycralad, Bettystretch, Firetop and the Diver standing there. “At least the numbers seem a little better now!” She added. “Remember their strength!” she shouted, as she started to walk away from the group in the direction of the EFB headquarters. “I hope Dr Flopp can work miracles… this is my best cheekbone!”
“Should one of us go with her?” Lycralad asked.
“She’s fought off three of those robots herself, Lycra,” Muriel answered. “I think she’ll be fine. Besides, Charlie’s still there – and the doctor.”
“They’re a brazen bunch!” Betty commented, as she pointed to one of the robots approaching the double doors where the group stood. The robot was carrying an ancient artefact.
“Whatever you do,” warned Muriel, “watch the goods! Remember, some of these, possibly all of them are irreplaceable!”
Bettystretch wrapped her arms around the robotic robber’s legs, tripping him in the direction he walked. The artefact flung out of his arms, to be caught by Lycralad as he flew across its trajectory. He rolled as he crashed into one of the stone pillars, keeping the artefact safe. The robot managed to free himself from Betty’s grasp and strode over to Lycralad, who lay stunned on the ground.
Raymond Reide stood in the doorway, deliberately blocking Simba’s path as she arrived at the headquarters. “What are you doing here, girlie?” he asked with a sneer. “Has the pretty girlie had enough of the fight and come running home, tail between her legs? You can hardly call yourself a hero, can you, deserting your team in their hour of need?”
“Why are you so obnoxious?” Simba couldn’t help herself. The cut on her face was throbbing and she really needed it cleaning up.
“Because people like you make me so, girlie.”
“Just get out of my way.”
Raymond grabbed Simba’s arm harshly, squoze it tightly and shook her in front of him. “Remember who you are talking to, girlie. Your stay with this, erm, team, could erm, be very short indeed.”
“Get your hand off me. Touch me like that again, and I will break your hand. I don’t know who you are, where you have come from, how you managed to weasel your way into this position and to be honest, I don’t care. I was given this role in the team by the government, by an agency of a higher rank than you, so you have no jurisdiction over me. You may be able to treat the others with the disdain you show, but not me. Although you can treat me how you like. Now, I asked you before to get out of my way. Now I’m telling you.” She forced her arm free, and pushed Raymond backwards into the hallway. He lost his balance and fell backwards, landing on his back on the floor, just as Invisible Charlie walked into sight.
Charlie ignored Raymond, and ran over to Simba. “Simba? Are you OK?” he asked, helping her inside. He walked with her to the doorway to the stairs that led up to the medical centre.
“I’m fine, thanks, Charlie. I just want to get this cheek sorted and then I’ll be as right as rain.”
Behind them, Raymond muttered something as he hurled himself up. Smirking, he walked into his office.
In the medical centre, Angela and Dr Flopp ran into the room where Psychic Sue was asleep in bed, connected to half a dozen monitors. The alarms on three of the machines were screaming for attention. The Psychic Recorder was glowing red on top of a unit on the other side of the room.
“Is she under some kind of attack?” Angela asked, not really knowing how to calm Sue.
“I don’t know,” the doctor replied. “This is the first time she’s spiked like this.”
As quick as it started, everything settled down again. The machines beeped and hummed as gently as they had done so before, and the Psychic Recorder regained its normal look.
“We’ll have to note it.” Dr Flopp said to Angela, motioning to the clipboard at the end of Sue’s bed.
Natalie popped her head around the door. “Doctor… can you see to Simba Kataya? She’s in reception with Invisible Charlie. She has a nasty cut on her left cheek, which needs cleaning.”
“Will do, Nat!” Dr Flopp said. “Ange, you finish here, and then come to join us.” Angela nodded and the doctor and Natalie walked out to reception.
The Cloud caught the clay mask as it flew across the room at speed. The robot had thrown it away as he was held back by the Diver and Firetop, neither of whom could use their powers inside the museum. The robot regained his balance, and flung both heroes away from him; the Diver hitting his head on the corner of a unit, rendering himself unconscious. Firetop crashed into a window, breaking the frames and smashing a couple of panes, but caused himself no real damage.
By the main entrance, Lycralad used his powers to create a tight elastic belt to bind together any of the robots who came that way through, attempting to escape with their goods.
Muriel Magnificent had made her way to the vault at the back, and was fighting off three more of the robots who were trying to get something from the curator. One of the robots picked up an old mummy case, and smashed it over Muriel’s shoulders, shattering it beyond repair. This made Muriel see red.
“That. Was. Priceless.” She exclaimed, shouting each word as she kicked, punched and kneed each robot in turn. She grabbed hold of the nearest robot’s arm, and swung it around, snapping it off as she had done with the robot at the marina earlier. As before, the robots broke apart, limb from limb in cascades of bright white sparks, and fell to the floor. A rectangular piece of shiny metal landed by Muriel’s foot. She bent to pick it up, and tried to read an inscription that was etched upon it.
The robots with the Cloud, Firetop and the Diver, Lycralad, and Bettystretch (who had been fending them off in the dinosaur room) had also broken apart.
“It looks like we’ve won again!” Lycralad shouted to his colleagues in the bygone relics room.
“But won what?” The Cloud shouted back. He knelt beside the Diver, who had started to come round.
“Do you have to shout?” The Diver asked. “I have a splitting headache now!”