It feels good to bounce around the E.C. again.
I head out on patrol under a cloudless night sky. It’s fucking cold. Plumes of steam rise from rooftop vents into the winter air above Old Town. The whole city is covered in a thin coat of frost. Every ledge and roof is slick with black ice, and I slip a couple times despite my cleated boots.
Just to stoke my paranoia I swing by the Interbionics West building and stare at it from the shadows of a nearby rooftop. No ninja. I briefly consider breaking into the building, then think better of it, and move on.
Wombat is waiting for me on top of the Masonic Temple.
Just to show off I leap off a nearby building, snap my glider wings into place, then soar over to the top of the Masonic Temple. I alight on the roof, skidding to a halt on icy shingles right in front of Wombat.
“Hey, that’s pretty cool,” Wombat says. “Are those new?”
“Pretty bad ass, huh? I decided I needed to upgrade. Our mutual friend set me up.”
Wombat inspects the wings, makes appropriately impressed noises.
“Hey, check this out,” Wombat says, and one of his switchblade shovels pops out of his gauntlet. The edge of the shovel blade gleams. “New shovels. Diamond edge, baby.”
I guess to demonstrate the sharpness of the shovels he takes a swipe at a nearby pipe, slicing it cleanly in two. Steam hisses out of the severed pipe.
“Dude, stop! I hang out up here, you can’t just fuck shit up like that.”
Wombat laughs at me. “You’re such an old woman!”
Wombat is a strange cat; a hyperactive Peter Pan with a maniacal streak. He’s good at heart, I just think he needs to be medicated. Because I’m lazy, I’ll just post a description of Wombat from a previous post:
Wombat does not conform to the Western superhero archetype.
He is a squat little American dude, a good two inches shorter and twenty pounds heavier than me. He wears a suit of body armor covered in a fine brown fur (fake rabbit fur treated with fireproof material) and a helmet/cowl that tapers into a snubby little nose. His stupid grin is the only part of his face visible. Wombat has big furry mittens that hide spring-loaded spades that pop out of his wrist – sort of like Wolverine, but with shovel blades instead of adamantium claws.
Instead of a utility belt Wombat has a utility pouch, a marsupial pocket full of gadgets and weaponry. My Guy makes Wombat’s armor and weaponry. As a matter of fact, Wombat introduced me to My Guy when I was first starting out in the hero game.
Wombat’s powers are similar to mine: mid-range super strength, tough skin, dense bones, super-leaping, etc. Wombat has “seismic sense,” a radar based on ground vibrations. He can dig like a motherfucker with those spades of his, too.
There you go, that’s Wombat. See post Wombat, Part One and Wombat, Part Two, 10/21/04 for more.
We bounce around Old Town and Midtown playing “got you last” on the icy rooftops for a while, until Wombat slips on a fire escape and plummets twenty feet into a dumpster. That sort of takes the wind out of his sails. He makes the “time out” gesture as I drop with catlike grace into the alley.
“Okay, time out,” Wombat says, panting. “I got a smashed crotch here. Oh, that smarts. That smarts.”
We walk down into Chinatown through the back alleys. Wombat is walking bow legged and making a big deal about his groin pain. A pack of Judo Boys abandons their dice game and scatter as we approach. Pussies.
It’s my experience that whenever superheroes meet, they either a) fight b) gossip like little girls. Wombat and I usually do both. Last time we destroyed somebody’s Cabriolet. We talk about how Kestrel always gets the good press, how people seem to think that I’m gay, who is behind bars and who has escaped, et cetera. The conversation swings around to health care.
“What do you do about it, do you have a doctor or somebody you go to?” I say. “I mean, I get fucked up a lot, and I can’t exactly go into a hospital. My chiropractor is just a puny little hippy, he can’t do anything.”
“I’ve got a guy up in Vancouver,” Wombat says.
“Yeah, Kestrel hooked me up with him. He’s a doctor at UBC’s medical center, he specializes in parahuman medicine. Very confidential.”
“Really? Do you think you could hook me up?”
“Sure, I can refer you. His name is Arman Naghib. I’m heading up to B.C. this week, and I’ll probably see him. I think Kestrel has staked out Vancouver as his new turf – ever since Northguard got killed by that – what was that thing called?”
“Right,” he says. “Kraken. Ever since Northguard got killed by Kraken, Vancouver hasn’t had a resident superhero. I hear he’s going over really well.”
“Whoop-de-doo for him.”
“Catty!” he says. “Okay, my groin’s feeling better.”
“Thanks for sharing that.”
“I’m gonna split. I’m hunting down a Yiff sighting. I think he may have crossed over into Canada.” (see post Yiff, Part One and Yiff, Part Two, 10/5/04)
Wombat hops up on a window sill, springs across the alley, rebounds off one wall, then another until he’s up on the edge of the roof. He tosses a jaunty salute.
“See ya pal! I’ll email you after I talk to the doctor.”
“Vaya con dios.”
I like saying shit like that.