NaNoWriMo Word Count: 39,584
I’ll be breaking the 40k Barrier today, (the count will be updated as I complete it) but I figured I didn’t do enough Macro Corp. this month. So I’m continuing the I Hraet You Guest Chapter Saga to completion.
Beat D7 — The Ethics of Fruit.
Lloyd had been chosen for the front line, riding a helicopter to his first step to glory. Jay sat in the pilot seat, taking them to the point of suspicion while Lloyd rode with Matt, Joyce and Trixie in the passenger area. Doctor Jocelyn Teller, the Amazonian medical wonder, lounged on the seat across from him. Trixie, who sat next to her, looked particularly delicate next to her. Both wore costumes, but none of them had donned their masks. The Helicopter had no windows so it acted as a glorified flying cage. A monitor hung on the back wall that could give feeds from one of six cameras.
It gave Lloyd plenty of time to appreciate his gift from David Hasen. The new costume fit like a glove. Well, a costume shaped glove at least. Every inch of it was crafted from a wondrous material, both soft and durable. It provided free movement and protection in equal parts. The group of heroes had strict costume adherences. They only allowed three colors on the costume, a primary, a secondary and trim. This oppressive regime prevented Lloyd from embracing his true hero potential, but he worked with what he had.
All things considered he managed to treat those around him with a unique visual experience. The base of the costume consisted of a royal purple a few shades darker than his glorious mane. The color signified his unshakable scruples and enduring principles. Lines of deep scarlet ran across his body and across his limbs forming vein like trails. They branched off and split at his knees and thighs, and his short-sleeve body suit at the elbow. Obviously, the color signified the passion pumping through his being, undying and unyielding even in the face of—
“Lloyd.” Matt—or rather Bandit said. He gave Lloyd a tired look. “You’ve been sitting there with your hand raised and shaking for like ten minutes.”
“Oh. I was running through heroic monologues. I’ve narrowed it down to twenty three.”
“You won’t have time for one.” Matt leaned forward, rubbing his forehead. “I get headaches enough on helicopter rides. You’re just making it worse.”
“Apologies. I’ll try and think quieter.” Lloyd said with a smile. He looked down at his mask, a modified hood/goggle combo with points on the tips, and a matching scarlet neck scarf. “Dave has good taste in costumes. I’m really excited to jump into action.”
“You won’t be doing much,” Joyce said, across from him. Her costume hugged every inch of her amazing body and any trace of her hesitance had been long gone. She sported a pale yellow bodysuit with deep purple adorning her gloves, boots, and briefs. A gold colored ‘M’ adorned her slim chest plate. While it covered her sternum it did little to preserve her modesty. “You’ll be supporting us, sure, but I promised Ray I wouldn’t put you in harm’s way if it can be helped.”
“You needn’t worry about that. I’m resourceful and I have a sidekick.”
“I’m not yer sidekick.” Trixie said at his side. She wore a metallic bodysuit, striped with lines of gold. The heroes had been kind enough to provide her a platinum surfboard capable of flight that any self-respecting surfer could manage. She looked amazing as well. Lloyd thanked the strict costume adherence that said women wore skin tight body suits. “—and stop starin’.”
“That’s not happening lady,” Matt said, wearing a smug smile. “You might as well get used to it.”
“He’s right,” Joyce said, sitting up straight. “You can always tally up points in your head and beat common sense into him after the mission. It doesn’t really do anything outside giving you some stress relief though.”
“Hm. That’ll make it a bit easier.” Trixie glanced over at Lloyd. “But I hear ya about it not doin’ much.”
“What the hell is the ‘V’ for anyway?” Matt said, pointing at Lloyd’s chest.
Lloyd paused to consider. “This? Uhm. No idea.”
“What?” Joyce said, halving her eyes. “You made all those revisions to a costumes and you didn’t have a hero name in mind?”
“Well I picked a ‘V’ because of its design.” “The ‘M’ emblem on your chest is nice too. Chestplate I mean. Your chest doesn’t need—“
“I get it,” Joyce said. “As a reminder if you need to talk to us, you need to call us by our hero names.”
“Of course, Dr. Teller— Well you mean I should start now?”
“Yes. It’s Medica from here on out.”
“Right. Of course Ms. Medica.”
“No. Medica. Just that.”
“Doctor Medica? I’m not good with nicknames.”
“You need to be,” Joyce said.
“Fine M—Medica.” Lloyd winced. “And what should I call Ms. Walters?”
“Uh. I dunno.” Trixie considered. For a moment. “Steel Gidget maybe?”
“Your board’s made of Platinum. Don’t down sell it.” Matt said, laughing. “The Form doesn’t get made about much, but that’d be the thing to do it.”
“Plat’nim Gidget then? Works.” Trixie gave a thumbs up.
“Then I shall be the Purple P—“
“That don’t start will V. Idiot.”
“Well. Not all heroes match their emblems, Miss Walters. It could stand for a principle. Like Victory or something. “
Joyce aimed a glared at him.
Lloyd pressed his lips together, struggling to understand his error. “Oh. Right. Miss Gidget?”
“Close enough,” Trixie said.
“You can call yourself whatever you like,” Joyce said. “As long as it doesn’t give hints to your real identity.”
“But yours does.” Lloyd said, considering.
“What? No it doesn’t.”
“You’re a doctor. And your hero name is Medica is it not?”
“There’s thousands of doctors in the United States. That’s not a good point.”
“But how many doctors are tall gorgeous Amazonian warriors with long raven hair and supple—“
“Enough. You made your point. I– Bandit. You think it’s really that obvious?”
“Nah. You wouldn’t be caught dead wearing such a sexy outfit in public in plain clothes.” Matt brought his hands to the back of his head and relaxed. “You have that whole covered tease thing going usually. This? Totally different thing.”
Lloyd scratched his chin, considering. “But both approaches work very well for you. It’s hard to say which the superior one is. If I had to say the subtlety of a covered body has more impact.”
Matt soured his face and leaned forward and gestured at Joyce. “No way. Medica looks way better with the goods front and center.”
“Goods?” Joyce said, frowning.
“Front and center?” Trixie matched her glare.
Lloyd scrunched up his nose. “The best bounties are carefully contained and only hinted at, even if the portions are copious and bountiful.”
Matt leaned closer to Lloyd, clenching his teeth. “You’re insane. You need to lay the spread out and enjoy every bit of it all at once. Subtlety is for the weak.”
“Portions?” Joyce said.
Trixie scratched the back of her neck. “Lay out the Spread? I don’t think they’re talking ‘bout fruit.”
Lloyd turned to the ladies. “Of course not. We’re talking about—“
Matt clapped a hand over his mouth. “Presentation of desserts. I love me some cheesecake.”
Joyce narrowed her eyes. “You’re not fooling anyone Bandit. I’m putting that one on the back burner.”
“Thanks moron,” Matt said, glaring at Lloyd. “Off to a great start.”
“Lloyd gets off the hook today.” Joyce said, leaning back in her seat. “It’s his first time on a mission, I’m feeling generous, and he’s actually quite the little gentleman.”
“Him? This purple haired buffoon is just as much of a perv as I am.”
Trixie shrugged a shoulder. “Maybe, but Lloyd has his moments. He’s a goofball sure, but he’s a charmin’ one.
“Thank you, Miss Gidget.” Lloyd said smiling. “I aim to please.”
“We’re here,” Jay said. The Helicopter dipped lower in the sky. A glance at the monitor revealed an abandoned radio tower and they settled to landing moments later.
They pulled on their masks and stepped out of the helicopter to the cool night air of Porbeagle. The tower loomed overhead unlit and ominous.
“Gidget, you want to try out that board?” Joyce said, “We could use a peek at the top of the tower.
“My pleasure.” Trixie toppled her board, hopped on and launched into the air without a moment of hesitation. The moonlight night caught every angle of her glittering garb. She had been away from the waves for far too long, and it must have been nice to be back to her element.
“The communicator in your mask will keep us in touch,” Joyce said, gesturing to a place to push. “The Form and Whisper can hear us too and will be offering support from base. There’s private lines on—“
The horn of a van blared alongside the roar of a familiar engine. It tore down the road to the broadcast tower and smashed through the chain link fence. The van received an impromptu paint job, coated in deep crimson and appeared still wet. It slid to a step feet from their gathering and Patton Hoigleheimer stepped out, draped head to toe in— meat.
“Uh. What?” Joyce said, gaping.”
“Beefy Butcher reporting for duty.” Patton said in an intentionally deeper tone. “I got all sorts. Tbones. Prime cuts. You name it. I got it.”
“Fath— err—Beefy Butcher. What are you doing here?”
He stroked his beard made of ground hamburger. “Well I figured—“ He cleared his throat, momentarily forgetting his hero voice. “I figured you could use some back up.”
“Well. You know. Typically people have superpowers.”
“What? Not all heroes have em’. I’m a masked vigilante, tough as nails. And plus I got a utility belt.” Patton glanced down, pulling free an intimidating butcher’s knife. With the press of a button five more mini knives spring from it.”
“That’d be great if we wanted to murder someone.” Matt said. “It’s fine. We got this.”
Joyce fell to consideration. “You know. We’re bound to be really hungry after this. And the steak you made really energized me. Why don’t you lay low and provide us with a way to recharge if one of us gets hurt?”
“That—“ Patton’s eyes grew wide. “Perfect. I got just the cut too.”
He vanished in his van and the four heroes exchanged tired looks.
“Uh guys.” Trixie’s voice came over the comm. “You might wanna move.”
They looked up and Trixie hovered above them, weapons sprung from the board. And locked onto them. The HUD display of Lloyd’s mask screamed a dozen warnings that suggested he move and quickly. The other hint, you know— the rockets flying towards him— helped too.
So Patton has a knife knife…OH MY GOD THAT’S BRILLIANT. But rockets? How on earth will Lloyd get out of this one?! Arguing about semantics will only do so much, I’ve found.
Well, it should go without saying, but I’m digging the story. I’m preeeeeeeeeeetty sure I’ve said that in some form already, but this absurd situation is more than welcome in the hraet-y universe, non-canon as it may be. Or will it be canon? Guess we’ll just have to see.
That all said, good to hear your NaNo project is coming along. Good luck on your end. Unleash 110% of your writing power!
It’s really interesting writing this in parallel to the NaNoWriMo Novel, and it’s been a blast. Needless to say I’ll be a little sad when it all wraps up.
I have something very specific in mind for Lloyd and co. and the epic conclusion is coming very soon.