Friday Fiction: Field Work

The Asian leaned against the doorway of the Hall of Dinosaurs and watched as heroes got chewed on by a rampaging T-Rex. Green, scaly – it looked like her little brother’s rubber toys. Hell he’d probably even set it upon his Magnificent action figure at some point. That was likely why she had this itch in the back of her head – she’d seen all of this before.

She smoothed imaginary wrinkles out of the arm of her black suit. Picked non-existent lint off her pressed white shirt, her crisp black tie.

The dinosaur reared back and let loose a bellow.

The Asian yawned in response to its gaping maw.

She glanced into the main hall and watched people milling about, taking pictures of themselves with the stuffed elephants in the foyer. Occasionally, someone walked up to the Hall of Dinosaurs and made sad faces when they saw the “Exhibit Closed” signs, their Smithsonian visit dampened. She really wanted to drop the psychic curtain she was maintaining, just for a second. That’d shake them up.  

But then Magnificent would be mad. And he’d yell. And she’d have to rearrange his memories so that he remembered someone else screwing up on the mission. Again.

Honestly, it was more trouble than it was worth, coming up with superheroes for him to fire. There had been “Raging Dragon,” then “Tyger, Tyger,” then “Not-Jubilee.” Last time he’d asked her who she was, she’d balked and just said “The Asian.” She’d managed to keep that name clear for a couple of weeks at least.

Things started crashing to the ground. The Asian’s expression reluctantly gave way to a look of discomfort as more people became aware that something wasn’t quite right. She was thankful for the dark sunglasses that hid her eyes; she’d hate anyone to see her squint of pain as she started making ad hoc adjustments to the tourists.

“Yes, Bobby, there actually are earthquakes in Washington D.C. But they won’t hurt you. What fun!”

“That? Oh that was just thunder, Linda. Funny how the forecast didn’t mention rain!”

“Woah, Tom. That cheesesteak is really backin’ up on you! Maybe next time you should go to a restaurant that isn’t on wheels.”

The more adjustments she made, the more she realized something was wrong. The fighting on this side of the curtain had stopped, the heroes bickering amongst themselves, but the panic in the hall was mounting. She was going to have to do something drastic. Something she hated more than anything else.

The Asian pushed away from the wall and walked over to Magnificent, every muscle somehow visible beneath his black and silver costume. She cleared her throat, interrupting the torrent of verbal abuse he was heaping on one of the junior League members.

“Sir? We have a problem.”

Both heroes got quizzical looks on their faces, like dogs being told to go fetch something new.

Magnificent turned to face her. “You’re with us.” It was said to reassure himself, there was no confidence in the statement.

“Yes. I’m The Asian?” She waved at the doorway. “Befuddlement, obfuscation, crowd control.”

He looked over at the entrance to the Hall, then back at her, as if seeing both for the first time. “There’s a problem?”

She sighed. This was going to take forever if she couldn’t maintain mental presence even in their short-term memories.

That was when the pack of velociraptors surged in from the foyer, screams of tourists trailing them, blood covering claws and snouts.

Magnificent’s hands clenched into fists with a nearly audible snap. “League! We’ve got a problem!” He ran forward, the other heroes flanking him.

The Asian kept back, already forgotten.

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