The sun is setting over Millennium City as I return to Socrates. I have recently rescued a shipment of ping-pong balls from a gang of slapstick robots who were using them as bait in order to ambush a superhero. I am not proud of this. Someday I hope to get my own comic book, and I have no idea what we'll have to do to make this job sound heroic. Lies will not be enough.
With a certain degree of hesitation, I return to Socrates for my next assignment. Hopefully the last job was just a warm-up of some kind and we can now get down to some real superhero work.
Socrates has a job for me all right. He explains...
This one is a little perplexing and I have to go over it with Socrates just to make absolutely sure that the crazy person in this conversation isn't me.
"Okay, so let me get this straight: Foxbat stole the comics, in order to remove them from circulation."
The voice of Socrates reverberates from the speakers, "Correct, human."
"Okay. Then Foxbat - and maybe I heard you wrong here - but it sounded like you said Foxbat left them on the ground? Right outside the comic-book shop?"
"Again, your recollection matches the events as they are recorded in my database."
"But Foxbat didn't, like, keep them or burn them or leave nasty creases in all the covers?"
"To my knowledge, all of the back issues are intact."
"So - and I'm just offering that as a suggestion - how about the shop owner walks outside, picks up the books, and puts them back on the shelf? This doesn't sound like a superhero-level problem. I mean... the car fires and the prison break... There are other problems in the city, is all I'm saying. This isn't even a heist. This is just... littering."
"Foxbat has left his battlebots behind at the scene of the crime."
"Waitwaitwaitwait. So you're telling me that there are killer robots loose in this public place with civilians around, and you're sending me to save the comic books?"
"Please return to me once the comics are safe."
"Are you sure you're working right? Is there a tech support number I can call?"
"Also, Foxbat has kidnapped comic book writer Steve Short and artist Deano Deschesne in order to force them to make comic books about him."
"Oh? So he took them back to his hideout or ... ?"
"No, they're still in the parking lot with the comic books," Socrates replies calmly.
"So it's probably more accurate to say that he's considering kidnapping them."
"Good luck Star on Chest."
A short flight later I arrive at the comic book store.
Hm. We're here to stop this place from going out of business. Looks like we might be about a decade late. A man is fleeing from the battlebots. But screw him, we're here to save the funny books. If I'm very lucky, then I've arrived just in time to rescue the comics from being slightly misplaced by evil robots so that the illiterate comic store in the condemned building can continue to serve the slums of Millennium City. At least until the robots kill everyone.
The forces of Foxbat consist of foam-fingered fanboys and robotic stage equipment. (And by "robotic stage equipment" I mean "robots with cameras and microphones for heads.")
1) Why would a foam finger do "slashing" damage?
2) WHY ARE THEY USING FOAM FINGERS?