|Dragon Warrior X #2
by Draven Darklight
This computer was pretty sweet, and the free E-mail account was nice, but it was obviously just a marketing thing. Bob's was usually the only game in town for superhero junk, and the computer was just something to help their image and have their catalog installed on every hero's computer in the world. On the other hand maybe I'm being a little to cynical. Plus you really can't beat the service, the first cab I hailed to get away from my former neighbors had a bag with a tag addressed to me sitting next to me emblazoned with their logo. It had the computer, a few changes of clothes, and a booklet listing suggested cities since it was "inadvisable" to stay where I was, and brochures for hotels I could stay in those cities. There was only one for Metroton, the Hotel Invulnerable.
It wasn't actually invulnerable, but was one of the cheapest hotels in the city, with the lowest repair record of any other building. This was because the hotel was a originally an evil plot of the Horrendous Horticulturist. He set up the Rose Inn in a condemned building and slowly chipped away the insides as his hotel plant grew big enough to look like a real Building. The plant looks just like a real hotel, and would make all the food and staff of the hotel itself. The evil plan was it would serve food laced with some mind control agent. However after a few guests left beaming with contentment the hotel decided it would just like to continue being a low cost, high quality hotel and locked it's creator in a closet before calling the police. Since then it's grown from a little five story inn, to a skyscraper of a hotel, but most non-supers won't stay here too afraid of having an origin, even though the hotel has a strangely clean record. It stayed the rose inn for quite some time, until people noticed after some fight it never seemed to be damaged. In truth it just can regrow any damaged sections very quickly.
At least that's what the history in the lobby said. Personally other than looking like the only the super rich could afford it yet only costing a few bucks, it seemed perfectly normal. The staff seemed lively enough, even though they never seemed to talk to each other. I looked at the E-mail and wondered when I would get a reply. Then I heard someone behind me say something. The voice was mail so it was probably a bellhop.
"You do know you forgot to replace the (fill in later) with the city name don't you?" He says. "Or for that matter that you forgot to fill in (the team) with the Crusaders. I mean come on Metroton may not be the most memorable town name, but how could you forget the crusaders."
"I thought you wanted to give the customer the most." I begin
I was going to finish the statement face to face, but it was not the face I was expecting. Instead of a nondescript guy in a classic bellhop uniform, there was a white rabbit like thing floating in the air in front of me. He had a ring of light gray fur around his head that reminded me greatly of a lion's mane, and long thin tail that ended in a gray puff. On his forehead between his eyes was a glowing orange triangle, and his eyes were an orange swirl pattern. Something about that was very familiar.
"So you finally turned around, that's good. My name is Dream Caster VMU, but you can just call me Dream if you like. I'm your sidekick, and not particularly sensitive, so call me whatever you like." He says
I realized what was familiar now. "Please say you're not my dreamcast?" I say
"While it is possible to honor your request, I really don't see the point."
"Every other game system I had was burned to a crisp, and now my last system turns into a floating rabbit-lion thing. I rescued you from what was left of the apartment and this is how you repay me." I say
"Nothing in the apartment was in fact damaged, rather every single pit of the apartment was merged into a sentient being, giving the rest of the tenants their powers and repairing the bracelet. Each person absorbed the properties of the material they were near. I have been sentient since the cosmic rays struck me, but didn't have the intelligence or ability to actually do anything. The incident merged me with everything else in the building, since I counted as sentient, gained all the knowledge of every book I absorbed, including your collection of super hero reference books, the ability to change into this form, as well as a fairly intellect and super exposition powers."
"Super exposition powers?" I say
"No I know what it is, I was just wondering how that's a power."
"I see. Well I can explain almost anything even when I don't know anything about it. If in explanation is needed one will just pop into my head, but this does have it's limits and won't always work." He says
"That is a pretty good power. So can you tell me how this damn bracelet works?"
"The original owner was not aware of the true power of the watch. It can transform you into any form your heart desires, or rather it could. Now it is considerably more limited, and can only produce various dragon themed forms with a manga tilt. Your subconscious is responsible for the forms, and until you run out of ideas each time you use it will result in a new form. After this happens you should get control of which form you change into. You may also be able to gain control with enough time as well."
"Well that's something at least."
"I do have one other ability, but I doubt it will ever help defeat a supervillan. If there is a TV nearby I can play any game for any system that I have absorbed, and can absorb more by eating them."
"Now that is cool."
"Your priorities are somewhat bent, but that is to be expected."
"Are you saying I should be out patrolling the city?" I say
"No, all anime characters are trouble magnets, you either find trouble wherever you go, or it will find you. The fact you haven't left the room for most of the day means that."
Dream never finished as the outside was blasted in, and one of the bricks landed on my face with a wet splat before sliding down. I felt my breasts pop out of my chest and waist thin before I even realized the sap had touched my skin. Hated turning into a girl, but decided since the silver vixen had been male it might be a sore spot so didn't bring it up. Of course after about five minutes I would be completely comfortable, but the transition stinks. I looked out the hole and saw who had blasted the wall away.
There were five of them, all standing on a flying carpet. The gut standing in the middle was wearing denim overalls and a white shirt with a toolbelt and a cape that looked to be part of the overalls. Standing to his left was a woman who looked someone had made a person out of an oriental rug. To her left a guy was wearing a doorman's uniform, but had a wooden door in his chest. The right of the toolbelt guy was a robot that seemed to be made out of white painted metal and had dials for eyes, an oven in his chest, and stove burner coils where his hands should be. Finally to the robot's right was a woman made of bronze wearing nothing but an oversize lampshade on her head.
"I am Super Super." The guy in overalls said. "And these are my..."
"Super Super..." I interrupted, then let lose a girlish giggle.
"Yes, I joked about calling myself that but it stuck, now as I was saying my associates are Ornery Oven, Lavish Lamplady, Carpet Catastrophe, and Devious Doorman."
I laughed some more, but Super Super ignored me.
"And we are the Tenement Twelve."
At this I stopped laughing and asked "But there are only five of you."
"Well the others are sort of busy right now, we are the only ones who held a grudge against you, the rest all became super heroes, or decided you weren't worth bothering and." He trailed off and then looked at me a little closer. "Hey you're not Ryu."
"I know that, my name's Tora by the way."
"Damn it, we got the wrong room." He says
With that the doorman waves his hand causing a door to appear out of nowhere, and then opens it. The others walk into the swirling lights then the doorman follows. The carpet stops hovering and falls to the ground as the wall slowly begins to heal. I notice there is a dreamcast sitting on the floor, but before I can do anything it changes in a puff of light orange smoke into Dream's rabbity form.
"I wish my transformation was that quick." I say
"Even if it might seem like five or ten minutes pass, in reality it is only a few seconds."
"Well it's the perception that annoys me, not the actual time. And why the heck can I not have a single arch enemy like a normal hero, I get a whole team."
"Well yes, but it is unclear whether any of them can actually hurt you in anyway, alone or separately."
"The other current member of the crusaders, firemane I think her name is, has cosmic fire powers and mental abilities right. I really hope I get accepted, and soon."
"Actually it's Supermare, I mean really firemane would be a silly name if you think about it, you have the water main, and then there's the fire main."
So as the hotel finished regrowing the wall we both laughed.
Copyright 2002-2005 Michael Bard. Please send any comments to him at email@example.com