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Every Time, Everywhere #0003: Going Down the Street


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There are plenty of ways a super-kid could avoid eye-injuries when moving at terminal velocity. Obviously you could just ignore the issue, for instance. However, you feel that wearing flight-goggles just looks cool, which is the whole reason you did a backflip off a fifty-story building in the first place.

You twist in midair so that you're facing the building, then do a forward (downward?) somersault and plant your feet on the wall. After that, it's just a matter of moving your legs really fast, picking a spot on the sidewalk below that isn't occupied by anyone or anything, and then jumping off in time to land in that pose with your right hand and right knee on the ground, your left leg stretched out to the side, and your left hand raised behind you, which literally every hero ever has done. Not many of them are usually wearing a satchel while doing it, but you've gotten the hang of making sure that it lands on your back instead of the sidewalk, which totally makes a difference and prevents anything inside from getting damaged.

This ostentatious display hasn't gotten anyone's attention. A few passers-by glance at you, then up at the top of the building, with no more curiosity than if you'd stepped out the door wearing an interesting dress. The drivers in the street in front of you aren't even honking any more than they already were. You're getting a surly look from a guy in a suit loitering by the front door of the Mercenary Consortium building — which frankly looks fairly uninviting, now that you get a good look at the entrance — but that's probably just because he's a member of the Mercenary Consortium.

Okay. The prevailing view seems to be that you aren't a threat, nothing's exploding, and you didn't even damage the sidewalk, so it's not worth getting worked up over. For most of them, you're probably not even the most interesting-looking person to jump out of the sky like that in front of them. Natch. When you meet other heroes, you're pretty much used to being surrounded by people wearing louder outfits than you.

You saunter over towards the harbor; there are obviously more interesting ways of getting there, but that's just exhausting. The technology looks identical to that of most other Earths you've visited; you see an ad in a Mac store for the same kind of iPhone you have in your pocket. You stop by a newspaper rack to get a copy of the Brighton Sun, because if there's one thing guaranteed to provide a free source of foreshadowing, it's the news. You pick a quarter off the ground and see George Washington staring off to the side, just like in the last however-many universes where you happened to get a good look at a quarter.

Eventually, you reach the beach. There appears to be a large boardwalk at the edge of the water (New Jersey-style, not the kind that goes over a bog). At the immediate boundary where the buildings meet the boardwalk in front of you, there is a 50s-style diner with a large billboard on top that says "Fin Dining."

You enter; the inside is approximately as 50s as the outside, apart from the clientele in their entirely-modern clothing. You come in at just the right moment to hear someone on the radio announce that it's a college radio station, before it segues into Elvis singing some song that probably doesn't exist in your home reality. It's moderately busy, but there's an empty stool at the counter, so you sit down there.

A young woman on the other side of the counter approaches and hands you a menu. "Hey there," she says. "Can I get you a drink to start with?"

You order a soda and look over the menu, which is basically full of names like "Cod Dang It!" and "A Case Of Crabs" and "Rum-Bull" that alternately make you want to track down the restaurant owner and shake their hand, and roll up the newspaper and whack them with it. You shrug, and decide to just order a Flounder Aimlessly, which features the description "Sauteed and breaded flounder with parmesan crumbs. We kind of just threw ingredients together to see what worked, then refined it into the form it is in today."

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2 Comments (auto-closed) (rss feed)


That's an original method of scoping out a place - do something impressive and see what happens.

Dizzy H. Muffin

A part of me was sort of imagining that this was some kind of intro-cutscene in a game, and the player gets control after Jenny stands up.