[LNH/ACRA] Adventures Beyond Comprehension #9

cabbagewielder at yahoo.com cabbagewielder at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 23 16:54:26 PDT 2006

	Mystery In:
Adventures Beyond Comprehension #9
By Jesse N. Willey

	Rick and Carolyn.  I see them together everywhere.  Science Journals.
Super market tabloids.   I should have seen it coming.  I don't just
mean because I slept with her husband.  Or that Rick and I had been
doing that on again off again thing for years.   It was more than that.

	I've known both of them for years-all the way back to middle
school.  Almost thirteen years.   Rick used to call me his first love.
I'm not so sure.   I'm not sure it was ever really love between us.
  Even if it was, I wasn't his first woman he loved.   There was
always Carolyn.

	Looking back, I see that clearly.   Whenever he said needed somebody
to just sit back and laugh with-he came to me.  We'd hang out have
some good times.  That was it.     When something was bothering him or
he had a problem or something like that-he went to her.  People who
love each other trust each other with stuff like that.

	I'm not innocent there.   Both of my parents were super villains.
My stepdad was a cop in the super crimes enforcement unit.   That sort
of craziness can leave anyone a little cold.   He was the first one I
wanted to reach out to.

	In wasn't because he was the cripple that everyone looked down on.
It wasn't one of those 'freaks should stick together' stuff.   It
is because of the type of person he is.   Sweet and caring to a fault.
 The way he'd do the right thing, even when it cost him something.
Someone who would give his all to help people.   He was like that
before the powers and long johns.

	Eventually, I won him over.   We started really talking.   Not just
about movies or books.   Real conversations about what was going on in
our lives, what it meant to be a hero, what it would be like to be
normal people.

	All the things that just came naturally to them.

	Then there was that afternoon in Las Vegas right after the alien
invasion but just before the Sig.ago disaster.   This is one case where
what happened in Vegas stayed in Vegas.

	I can only imagine what the Sig.ago disaster must have been like for
him.   In spite of his best efforts, over one million people died
including myself.  In the immortal words of John Cleese, 'I got

	I don't think he ever did.

	Maybe he's right.  Maybe no one is supposed to.

	As much I wanted to help him, to show him how much I loved him.... He
became distant.  When the the city's physical scars were repaired he
retreated into the lab.   I'm not stupid.   It's the type of things
Rick deals with are a little out of my league.

	Then there was that night we went out to dinner.


	The four of us, Rick, Carolyn, Terrence and I, were out at some fancy
restaurant.  It was odd.  Rick usually hated such pretentiousness.
His ideal dining experience didn't usually stray too far from a stack
of chocolate chip pancakes from IHOP.

	Surprise, surprise, Carolyn wanted sometime away from Sammy and kids
in general, so here we were.   This was where everything went wrong.

	"So... Rick, I heard you started work on some interesting
alternative fuel sources..." Carolyn said.
	"Oh yeah... you remember that guy I told you about, the one who
tried to fry North Dakota with a solar energy ray gun?   I got some of
my contacts in Homeland Security to send his equipment to me for
analysis," Rick said.
	"I thought solar power had problems enough with calculators," I
	"The power gathering capability is all there... it's really just a
matter of find a different way to divert it to..."

	  I turned to Terrence.

	"You following any of this?" I asked.
	"Not a word.  If they ask us any questions, just shake your head and
	"Hate to break it to you...That works because you're a typical
guy.  People don't expect you to be attentive," I whispered.
	"Heh heh."

	I turned back to Carolyn and Rick.

	"... and then inside the secondary reactor they collide the neutrons
and antineutrons creating enough battery power for more than enough
time to drive to the grocery store and back.   The guy who built it was
brilliant.  Psycho, but brilliant," Carolyn said.
	"Yeah, and thanks to those Son of Sam laws... he can't see a dime.
  Four people lost their homes in the attacks.  Once that stuff is paid
out, the government gets a chunk of the profit... and Henkerton
Industries finally has enough money to launch to set up that
international debt relief fund..." Rick said.

	See what I mean about caring to a fault.  Some of people, myself
included, would have taken the money and run.  Rick-he wants to
change the world.   He's never done anything just for him.

	Okay-there was that.

	But that happened much later.


	  I quickly got out of the hot tub.   I put my clothes back on and
went into the house.   It had been more than an hour.   Rick and
Carolyn had huge piece of graph paper spread out across the kitchen
table.   Various circuit patterns were drawn all over it.

	"--- yeah-you're right.  This design does make a lot more
sense," Rick said.
	"Yes, well... I worked with this type of thing when upgrading the
Aero Lass suit.   You would have hit upon it eventually," Carolyn
	"Yeah, and ended up owing your company millions in patent rights,"
Rick said.
	"What makes you think you still won't?" she said.

	That smile.   I don't think she knew what just happened, but she
there was something sinister about it.  It was like she wasn't as
afraid of something anymore.

	"So, what are you two working on?" I asked.
	"A rather intriguing form of power circuit," Rick said.
	"Ah... I am fish."
	"Heh," Rick laughed.
	"What?" Carolyn asked.
	"Nothing," I said.


	And so it became the usual Friday night routine for the next two
months.   Sometimes we'd go to dinner while Carolyn and Terrence left
their son with their sitter.   Other times we'd go some place fun.
I think Rick wanted to spend time with his godson.  I think that's

	Then there was that one night.   It was Friday evening.  I was getting
ready to go.   Rick walked into the bedroom.   There was something I
had rarely seen in his eyes-anger.

	"Amelia-- Terrence left a message..." he said.
	"Is it true?"
	"You know what I'm talking about..."

	 My lips began to quiver.

	"I'm sorry..."

	He walked toward the window.   I tried to stop him.   I-I thought he
was going to jump or something.

	"I should go..."
	"Rick don't..."

	He began hovering off the ground without changing into Guy Redundant
Man.  It is something I'd never seen him do before.   He looked at
me, and realized what he had done, the image of his body began to
ripple for a fraction of a second and then he was standing in costume.

	"You know you can't stop me..." he said.

	By the time I heard him he was already gone.


	I didn't hear from him for almost two weeks after that.   Though I
had vague inklings of where he was.   The news was suddenly became fill
with miraculous stories.   Airplanes having barely avoiding crashes.
An improbable number of missing children and pets being returned to
their families.   A member of congress escaped an assassination
attempt.  The only thing all the incidents had in common were sightings
of an almost invisible blue blur.   He even found a way to channel his
rage into something positive.  Aside from saving the congressman.  What
good is done in saving a Republican?

	One night, I came down the stairs and there he was-asleep on the
couch.   I put on a pot of coffee and he quickly rose.  Odd how the
scent wakes someone up that doesn't even drink coffee, huh?

	"Carolyn called yesterday.  She wanted to know if you were
alright..." I said.
	"Yeah... whatever."
	"She wants to meet you for lunch at The Justice Café," I said.

	He grumbled something incoherent.

	"She's your friend.  No need to punish her for something I
	"She knew..."
	"Maybe she did... or maybe she was like you.  Completely in
denial..." I said.  "About a lot of things."

	   He coughed ever so slightly.

	"Rick... whatever you do.... Be happy," I said.


	He showed up again about a day or two later.  He was just there in the
guest room of the apartment.   I don't know if anything happened but
I sort of assumed it had.   Then a few hours later the Killfile attacks
started.   After that, they were together constantly for days at a
time.  If it didn't happen then, it certainly did then.

	Just like that-she took it.   The most important person in my life
was gone.   Just like that.  After all the effort I put into that
relationship he up and left. Not even an attempt to fix things.

	People think I was a little harsh at Terrence's funeral.  It's not
because people treated Carolyn like the grieving widow and me like a
cheap slut.  Terrence really didn't mean anything to me.  Okay, he
was good in the sack and paid attention to me in a way Rick hadn't in
a long time.   But that is all it was.

	Everything that happened, I brought on myself.

	I don't want to be Carolyn Forge.  With her life and her problems, I
don't think any sane person would.   (It's no wonder Electra is in
therapy.)  I don't want to get in the way of what they are.

	I still want what she has: one of the best guys in the world.

Carolyn Forge, Terrence Coffee and Sammy Forge created by Tom Russell
Jnr.   Amelia Chesterfield and Rick Henkerton created by Jesse N.
Willey.   This document copyright by Jesse N. Willey.

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