Sunday, November 06, 2005

Henry's Day Off

My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.

Today is Sunday, and I have decided to take the day off. Though I know that evil never rests there comes a time when even a superhero as powerful and resilient as myself must cast aside the burden of ultimate responsibility for a while. Also, there is cricket.

Since it is my day off I leave my superhero boxers at home and instead don a large floppy hat.

"Lillee Lillee," I chant as some guy runs in to bowl to some other guy. I am so into cricket. I drink beer from a styrofoam cup and try to look like just another cricket yobbo. There's nothing more embarassing than having to sign lots of autographs on your day off... except possibly not having to sign any autographs - yes I am a master of disguise, but surely somebody recognizes me. Dammit.

But wait. My finely tuned super-senses detect that something is wrong. The people around me seem agitated somehow, and a few are screaming in panic and gesticulating wildly in the direction of the pitch. Of course. I realize what it is now. "That was not out!" I shout at the umpire.

There is some kind of commotion going on among the crowd on the other side of the stadium. Probably a reaction to the bad umpiring decision.

"What is it!" somebody shouts from behind me. People should be more considerate - doesn't he know I have super-hearing?

There seems to be some kind of hold-up in the game. Players are leaving the field in a bit of a hurry, and police seem to be running in the opposite direction - toward the disturbance in the crowd. I decide to start up a chant to amuse the other patrons. "Why are we waiting! Why are we waiting!"

"It... it looks like a dinosaur!" comes another voice, also rather loud. What is it with these people. Here I am, just trying to have a nice relaxing day off at the cricket and...

Suddenly my super-magnifying hyper-xray-vision hones in on the source of the disturbance on the other side of the stadium. It appears to be some kind of giant robotic dinosaur. I hurriedly grab my boxers and superhero mask from my pocket and pull them on so swiftly that no normal eye could follow.

I have been waiting for some time to come up against the robo-dinosaur again, having determined that it's escape last time was achieved via quantum fluctuations in the space-time continuum. This time, however, I will be ready. For I have invented a new quantum defluctualizer that will keep the creature anchored in the current space-time long enough for me to destroy it. No random vortices will save the monster now!

I head for the fray at super-speed, leaving cries of "Who was that masked man, and why is he wearing his boxers on the outside" in my wake. Close enought now, I activate the defluctulalizer, and pause briefly to observe the results. The creature bellows furiously, stomps on a few random cricket supporters, and charges directly for me, as though somehow drawn to my super-poweredness.

I run out onto the field, in order to draw the dino-monster away from the innocent plebes. Then there is a strangeness, and all seems somehow slow, as though we are moving through a large pile of dinosaur manure (note to self: get some better metaphors). The stadium wobbles about me and disappears. I am on a wide plane. There is no vegetation. The ground is slightly spongy. There is the giant robotic dinosaur, still charging directly toward me, its jaws gaping in a protracted roar of furious fury.

I dodge left, leap over its wildly slashing tail, my mind racing, formidable mental gears churning in an attempt to analyse this strange turn of events. Close enough, and I activate my flamethrower that is embedded in my wrist. The device howls, its tongue of liquid fire splashing against the body of the mechanosaur with little effect. I howl, my nerve endings screaming through a thousand degrees of agony. As waves and waves of intense pain crash against my brain I realize again that the human body - even a super one - was not designed to house a flamethrower.

I am in flight now, knowing that at this moment I cannot defeat the beast, and knowing not how I got here, and wondering if this will be the end of the line for Henry the Adequate, superhero. The beast is closing. I watch as it's massive foot pauses above and then plunges toward me. In desparation I punch the controls of my flamethrower, but it is exhausted. However in the process I accidentally deactivate the quantum defluctualizer.

Suddenly I am back at the cricket, and the giant robotic dinosaur is not. I think maybe the defluctualizer needs a bit more work. Then I think nothing at all, as the searing pain in my arm causes me to pass out.

I dream of pizza.


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