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Dr Archeville

[House of L Revisited] Prototypical

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It was a very busy day in Gina's lab! Sure, it was almost Christmas, but crime didn't take holidays, so neither did the people who supported the crimefighters! And what was Jack of all Blades going to do if she didn't finish his electrogauntlets before Zappo, the Energy Beast from the Fifth Dimension, found his way back from the space maze he'd been thrown into? Not to mention Victory's upgraded foot servos, the ones that would let him leap tall buildings in a single bound without needing to expend energy by flying! What if Santa Claus was endangered this year and someone needed to leap to the rooftops to save him?


Right now though, she was stuck on the phone with her superior at ArcheTech Labs, delaying all her work for yet another conversation on monster-proofing the labs after the last ransacking by Froggenstein. "Yes sir," she murmured into the phone, "but if it could just... yes..." Her voice got even quieter as she held onto the phone with both hands. "Yes sir, of course. It'll be done by New Year's. Yes... yes... yes, of course. I understand. Merry Christmas." She hung up the phone with a sigh, massaging her temples with her fingertips. That was the worst thing about being an engineer for heroes. Having to work with strong-willed people and never being able to stand up to them, even when they were wrong. If only she had more courage!


That was a foolish hope, though. Gina wasn't a brave person, and she certainly wasn't a bold person. She couldn't even bring herself to speak to the handsomest hero, the one with the most beautiful blue eyes, the most stunning smile... Whenever he was around, her mind went blank and she could barely work, let alone socialize. It wasn't as though he'd ever noticed, anyway, she reminded herself. She was the perfect support technician, competent and as good as invisible. Heroes looked at heroines, not at plain, shy women in lab coats. And it wasn't as though she begrudged Freedom City's heroes and heroines their glory; they worked hard for it! They kept the city safe by putting themselves in harm's way, day in and day out, and they deserved the applause they got. Sometimes she just wished there might be a smidgen of a curtain call left over for others at the end of the day.


Speaking of the end of the day, it had come and was long gone into the evening by the time Gina finished her work for the day. She didn't mind, work was her life after all, and there was no one waiting in her boxy little apartment for her to come home. Besides, when everyone else had gone home, she could concentrate on her own project... Slipping out of the lab, she walked down the hall to an unused storage room, one she'd secured with an unbreakable combotron lock. Opening it up, she slipped inside and turned on the lights. There, gleaming softly under the fluorescent bulbs, was the realization of all her dreams, a red, white and blue chassis with the face of a beautiful woman and the power of a superhero. Her chance to be a hero, her chance to be noticed!


Working quickly, Gina tugged off her lab coat and rubber soled shoes, and climbed into the robotic suit. It was a snug fit, but in moments, she was totally covered by the suit, her own movements directing it in how to move and where to go. "Hello, world," she said experimentally, the words coming out a dulcet purr from the robotic throat. She smiled, and in the mirror on the far wall, she saw the robot suit emulating the motion. It was working! Gina Evans, mild-mannered engineer, was gone, at least for the night, and in her place was the beautiful superheroine, Miss Americana!

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