Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Seniors' Day

Princess Ma Tian (Mrs. Henry Wong. Mrs. Wong likes to avoid her "Minnie," her English name.) [to her phone]: "No, dear. You may not. As low as you've set your sights in life, you will still finish your homework before you go out."
Captain Super Ultra (Billy Washington): "Jenny wants to be a doctor. How is that unambitious?"
Mrs. Wong: "Bill."
Billy: "Er. A vet. But...
Mrs. Wong. "Bill."
Billy: "Yes, Ma'am."
Mrs. Wong: "It is like dealing with your minions. It is occasionally wise to loosen the leash and let them do what they want to do. As long as it is exactly what one intended in the first place."
Billy: "Yes, Ma'am."
Mrs. Wong: "And that even though one preferred to mother them, there were times when it was necessary to be strict. I can count on your discretion with Jenny, Bill?"
Billy: "Yes, Ma'am."
Mrs. Wong: "This really is so nice of you, helping me with my shopping. Especially with the parties to buy for. Are you sure you will be able to cope? This store has excellent carry-out."
Billy: "I'm superstrong. Of course I can handle it!"
Mrs. Wong: "I keep forgetting. For some reason."
Billy: "Hey! I've put on a lot of weight in the last year. And three inches around the chest!"
Mrs. Wong: "Which is still less than Brad Neilsen in half that time."
Billy: "That's not fair! Brad was a gorilla to start with! And my aunt has been on him night and day. 'Grub this. lift that. Chop these.' So not my scene."
Mrs. Wong: "And speaking of your aunt, where is she? I never knew her to miss the seniors' day discount."
Billy: "Um...."
Mrs. Wong: Never mind, Bill. I am sure that anything you tell me will just crash the universe in a time travel paradox of  blue-screen-death, and I get enough of that with my email."
Billy: "We should get you a new laptop, Mrs. Wong. Your sons could send you photos, videoconference..."
Mrs. Wong: "Eh. I would like the photos. But I am comfortable with the one I have. Why make the effort to learn how to use another when I may not even need it?"
Billy: "Please don't talk that way, Mrs. Wong."
Mrs. Wong: "You're a smart boy, Bill."
Billy: "Not really. I've been hanging around with David."
Mrs. Wong: "You're both smart boys. I trust that this is another thing you will keep from Jenny."
Billy: "I think she already ...she knows."
Mrs. Wong: "There is a difference between knowing, and knowing. As long as she only suspects.... Bill, I want your freely given promise that you will not say anything about this to her."
Billy: "You have it. But Jenny loves you. She would never forgive herself if... you...."
Mrs. Wong: "She loves me like a child. A child who naturally wants her mother to be with her forever. But understand, Bill. I am over a thousand years old. I re-entered the Great Ocean for one reason. Or six. I would rather  have a grandchild in my arms for a minute than live to see the Pure Land."
Billy: "And?"
Mrs. Wong: "Jenny is rushing to the altar faster than she even realises. Her college graduation. That's when it will happen. And you wonder that I encourage her to take a graduate degree! David is not going to give me grandchildren. So everything depends on Junior. He will marry three years this June --his graduation. And I will have fourteen months with my grandchildren."
Billy: "...Wow. Um, how long have you known about David?"
Mrs. Wong: "Bill. I have seen six dynasties, Nationalists and Communists. I've seen a few things. Any chance of you and David....?"
Billy: "He's not my type."
Mrs. Wong: "'Stupid boys are good to relax with...'"
Billy: "Mrs. Wong!"
Billy: "And I know you used to be a mastermind, but Jenny doesn't have a boyfriend. Henry's never had a girlfriend. Aren't you, y'know, overthinking this?"
Mrs. Wong: "I am still a mastermind. I used to worry about Henry, but that's turned out splendidly. You can tell David that he will not need a beard."
Billy: "Also, the prophecy says in plain characters that the House of Wong will come to an end when its heir comes of age. Which, okay, is marriage, since between David and Henry that's three graduations since high school already. But the characters in the next verse haven't been used in thirteen hundred years. Sure, they could mean that you will die when your eldest daughter loses, I mean, marries? But maybe not, right?"
Mrs.Wong: "The Wheel spins, the Buddha bears the load, and the gift of prophecy is a precious jewel."
Billy: "And?"
Mrs.Wong: "It's piffle. Henry has changed his name. No more Wongs. Technically. And the only man alive who can read those characters believed that they predicted my death.  Or he would have realised that I faked it and come for me long ago. I am not being misled. I will see my grandchildren."
Manuel Armenta (Employee of the Month, November 2010!): "Rite Save Card? AirPlan, Ma'am?"
Mrs. Wong: "There you go, dear."
Manuel Armenta: "Thank you, Mrs.....Wong? I shall have my revenge! Bwa-ha-ha-ha!"
Billy: "Isn't he supposed to ask if you found everything today before the evil laugh?"
Mrs. Wong: "I imagine he will. When he's finished turning into a tyrannosaurus."
Billy: "Won't we be too distracted by that point?"
Mrs. Wong: "It does seem to be his conversation stopper. And with the screaming.... Speaking of which, do please hit him now, Bill. And see if you can knock him through the front. I used to hate spilling the displays back when Henry and I sparred. People put a lot of work into them."
Billy: "I hope I can take him alone!"
Mrs. Wong: "Of course you can take him alone, Bill. You've come such a long way. And I noticed that young William is out in the parking lot."
Billy: "What's Billy Tatum doing here?"
Mrs. Wong: "Hanging around aimlessly. It's William."


[Five minutes later, in a somewhat destroyed parking lot]

Wolverine Boy [Billy Tatum]: "Awesome fight! I finally got to ride my skateboard into battle! And I loved it when you picked up that Aztek and threw it at the guy! Dinosaur. Whatever."
Billy: "My head...Why is everyone cheering?"
Billy T.: "I just said... Plus we won the fight!"
Billy: "I'm telling Mr. Piccolo that you said 'awesome.'"
Billy T. "I don't care what Mr. Piccolo thinks ...you wouldn't tell him, would  you? Hey! Half my skateboard! And it's got dinosaur bitemarks! Epic!"
Mrs. Wong: "Oh, I'm terribly sorry about the damage. If there's anything...."
Could-Mr. Gavin-Or-An-Assistant-Manager-Please-Come-To-Customer-Service-RIGHT-AWAY-OMG-We're-Going-To-Die: "No problem, Mrs. Wong. We have insurance, Mrs. Wong. We had no idea that this employee was a supervillain, or we wouldn't have made him a Junior Retail Leader. I have a gift card here..."
Mrs. Wong: "If you knew that there was a problem [peering at the name badge], Mr. Gavin...."
 Mr. Gavin: "The company encourages employees to become proactively involved in workplace related learning with our sector-leading brand management software, and supports current security protocols!"
Mrs. Wong: "In other words, no-one knows how your IT works, the passwords are all taped to the bottom of the keyboards, and random employees routinely muck around with it, possibly even identifying people from their ShopRite Card use history."
Mr. Gavin: "Did I mention the gift card?"
Mrs. Wong: "We'll take it."


Billy T: "Look out for the intersection!"
Mrs. Wong: "William, have I mentioned how unfond I am of your backseat driving habit?"
Billy: "Should we really have left things so untidy back there?"
Mrs. Wong: "I am sure that the Mechanic will take care of things. I have six children, a husband, a demon of poison and gold, two houses and five horses to worry about. More than enough."
Billy T.: "You know what we should worry about? Where all these old enemies came from! I didn't even know that Mr. W. fought El Sauriano!"
Mrs. Wong: "Rio. Vacation. 2006. It hardly counted as a fight."
Billy: "I can't believe I'm saying this, Billy, but you have a point."


This is the ninth in a series of fan fictions set in the Champions Universe (a property of the Cryptic Games Studio licensed to DOJ, Inc. for the pen-and-paper Hero Games RPG line). It features the adventures of the teenaged descendants of Philadelphia's superheroic defenders of the "Gold" and "Silver" Age, the Liberty Legion. The new Liberty Legion has been operating for several years now as a mostly self-described auxiliary of Philadelphia's real superteam, the Liberty League. 

Manuel Armato ("El Sauriano") is a an Argentinian supervillainI'm taking liberties in bringing him to Philadelphia to work in a grocery chain, but not extreme ones, as his current whereabouts are unknown according to the writeup in Champions Worldwide. The "demon of poison and gold" is another Champions setting property, the evil mastermind, Dr. Yin Wu. I don't have his writeup yet. I'm such a pathetic fan boy. The Mechanic is a superhero gadgeteer and the leader of Philadelphia's Liberty League.

Needless to say, there is only a coincidental resemblance between "Shop Rite" and the actual ShopRite chain. Although I might be drawing on a little work experience here.

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