It's like Bridget Jones' Diary, but with a super-powered vigilante.

September 18, 2004

I Hate Ninja

So I'm on patrol last night - it's pretty dead as usual - and I swing by the future InterBionics building in Old Town. It's one of the many cool old brick buildings in Old Town, and InterBionics is doing a complete ground-up reno on it. I think it used to be a cannery or something. Right now it's just a dark, hollow brick shell.

I patrol Old Town quite a bit as it's where all the bars and clubs are, but I keep swinging by the empty InterBionics building just to check it out. Maybe it's because of that Jason Delacroix guy from InterBionics, who is so obviously a supervillain. I mean, come on, who has a name like Jason Delacroix? Supervillains, that's who.

Last night I'm perched across the street from the building doing the gargoyle thing, listening to some Sky Cries Mary on my cowl audio system (thanks My Guy). On a whim I switch my goggles to infrared and that's when I see the ninja.

He's prowling around the vacant top floor of the building, a guy in a matte black bodysuit. It's some kind of special deal that masks his body heat, because he just shows up as a blue ghost on my infrared. What's he doing? I don't know. This might sound horrible, but I sort of don't care. The Midnight Rambler or Madame Nocturne would probably put this guy under surveillance or try to figure out what he's up to - me, I just see this as an opportunity to hit somebody. I'm not a great detective, but I'm tops at hitting people.

I stand up, stretch out, take a few deep breaths. Okay. Game on.

With one big standing leap I span the distance between the two buildings. I burst through an empty window frame and skid into a huge room that takes up most of the top floor. It's empty except for some construction equipment, scaffolding, and piles of bricks. In the window frames white plastic sheeting flaps in the night wind.

No ninja. Okay, where the fuck did he go?

I switch to infrared again, scanning. That's when I get a shuriken in the chest.

The throwing star hisses out of the darkness and thunk! lands right square in my sculpted chest plate. I roll behind a cement mixer and yank the thing out. It didn't make it past the armor, which is a good thing 'cause it's probably coated in some rare poison or some shit. Still, the star dug into the chest plate a good quarter inch - that ninja's got some heat behind his pitch!

I should mention that I forgot to turn off my com suite and I've still got Sky Cries Mary playing in my headset - the song Sister Ship Twenty Three from the album "This Timeless Turning." Velvet Marauder says check it out. I don't however, recommend fighting ninja while listening to it or any music.

I'm scanning the darkness with the infrared while I fumble with the com suite controls on my utility belt. Got to turn this music down. I'm not used to the controls, and I've got these fucking gloves on, and what an asshole I am going into a fight with my MP3 player cranked, and then boom!

A magnesium flare ignites in the middle of the room and I go blind.

My infrared goggles go supernova and all I can see is a big burning afterimage of the flare. I say "fuck" or something witty and claw at my cowl, switching back to normal vision. I'm blind and effectively deaf because I've got this fucking music playing. I have no idea where the ninja is, but apparently he knows right where I am. Not a good tactical situation.

You know when you were a kid and you had to go into the basement to get something, that feeling of terror you got when you were walking back up the stairs? That feeling you got that the Thing in the Basement was right behind you, coming for you? And you ran up the stairs, suddenly overwhelmed with panic? Well, I got that feeling just then - I was sure that this ninja was RIGHT BEHIND ME!

So I freaked.

I leaped as high as I could in the air, blind, music blasting.

I mentioned before that this was an old cannery or cold storage warehouse that InerBionics was renovating. The top floor had high steepled ceilings held up by thick wooden beams. It must have been one of those beams that I hit - I don't know, I couldn't see shit at the time. Anyway, I panic, I jump straight up into the ceiling and smash my head, then plummet back to the floor, landing flat on my back. The music stops, thank God. Now I can hear what a ninja sounds like when he laughs.

"Fuck!" I scream and spring to my feet and into a fighting stance. I can hear now and my vision is clearing.

No ninja.

"Come on!" I yell at the shadows and the flapping plastic sheeting in the windows. A pigeon flutters somewhere in the rafters.

No ninja.

"Let's go you fucking pussy!" I scream, hitting my chest like a primate.

No ninja.

"Let's do it, you and me, right now!"


I look around cautiously. Nothing. Switch to IR for a quick look. Nothing.

It takes me ten minutes of poking around before I'm convinced that the ninja is long gone. I keep the shuriken - maybe it's a clue, I don't know. On Scooby-Doo they always seem to know what random objects are relevant to their investigation, but I'm sort of lost.

Then I spot it on infrared - a tiny little pinprick of heat high up on one of the walls. I jump up, dig into the brick with my claws and check it out. It's really small, no bigger than a needle, sunk into the mortar between bricks. I carefully grab it by the pinhead and pull it out. I'm no surveillance expert, but I'm guessing this is some sort of bug. I put it in a pouch on my belt - maybe I'll send it to My Guy, see what he thinks.

For the next half hour I search the empty building for more bugs, but find nothing. There could be dozens of them. The one I found was so small that I was lucky to find it.

I search the surrounding rooftops, but find nothing.

What a humiliating experience.

No comments: