Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Heritage

Near Mint Condition (IC)

Recommended Posts

Millennium Comics’ West End Store. February 9th, 3:45 pm

The first Wednesday of the month was always a big day at Millennium; in addition to the exciting new issues on the shelves, each branch typically had a guest signing to help bring in more customers. At the Midtown store, noted comics writer Desmond Faulkner was scheduled to appear, a major coup for owner Jerry Webster; not to be outdone, Hans Baird at the West End store had finally managed to convince Grimalkin of the Interceptors to drop by for a few hours, which drew a decent-sized crowd, despite the appalling weather. It helped that she was a pretty locally-based heroine, and a few folks remembered her celebrated ‘kissing booth’ at the carnival in Liberty Park a few years back. The smell of Tic Tacs and Bianca that hung in the air nearly made the sharp-nosed shapeshifter gag, but with considerable effort she kept a warm smile in place as she once again came face-to-face with her public.

Safely behind a conjured table and flanked by two mostly superfluous security guards, a spritely Grim signed anything stuck in front of her, posed for many cellphone pictures and (sigh) kissed a few folks, but only on the cheek.

“Okay, there you go, little miss! Next, please! Hi, how are ya?â€

Share this post


Link to post

Wisp stood in line, her mask firmly in place and her red and white Old Navy hoodie covering her hair she waited to grab a picture with Grimalkin. She was nervous as hell about asking the heroine for a picture but there were stranger requests. It just felt... , weird, asking for a picture and an autograph but at least it was at a public signing and not in the middle of an alien invasion.

Before getting in line she had browsed the shop's back issues shelf, selecting and appraising over a dozen different series as she moved up and down the shelves. Her messenger bag was loaded down with her purchases and the small gray covered sketchbook she'd picked up from Barnes & Noble for her autograph collection.

Slowly but surely the line moved forward and Grim turned to her. "Uh, hi," she managed a shy smile while pulling the small book and a pen from her bag, "Was hoping to get a quick picture and an autograph."

Share this post


Link to post

"Uh, hi," she managed a shy smile while pulling the small book and a pen from her bag, "Was hoping to get a quick picture and an autograph."

The svelte shapeshifter nodded and smiled. "Sure thing!" She took the offered sketchpad, then pointed first at her own domino mask, and then at the young autograph hound. "I like your mask! You in 'the biz', or is it like a cosplay thing? And who should I make it out to?"

Noting the pad she was holding, Grim cocked her head to one side. "Ooh, are you like an artist or something? Maybe you can do a quick sketch of me!"

Share this post


Link to post

"Thanks. And yeah, I'm in 'the biz'. My friends call me Wisp," she said with a nervous smile.

Reaching into her bag she drew out some pencils, pens, markers, and an eraser from within and setting them in a row on the table next to Grimalkin's. "I'm afraid I'm not very good yet. I've been working through those 'How to Draw...' books. Most of what I've got is from the fantasy genre, goblins, orcs, pissed off wizard/private investigator. Things like that."

Settling down after getting the autograph she came for, Wisp began sketching Grim as she sat behind her table.

Share this post


Link to post

"I'm afraid I'm not very good yet. I've been working through those 'How to Draw...' books. Most of what I've got is from the fantasy genre, goblins, orcs, pissed off wizard/private investigator. Things like that."

Grim reached out her hand and summoned a stool into being. "Here, have a seat, Wisp, and chill out for a bit. My brother was totally into all that fantasy stuff growing up; kinda still is, but he hides it well, y'know?" She continued to chat between each signing and posed photo.

"So do you have any cool powers, or do you just beat up bad guys?"

Share this post


Link to post

"Yeah, sometimes you just can't beat 'Grandpa' Tolkien's genre," she said, taking the offered seat. "I've been into sci-fi and fantasy since I was a kid. Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, things like that."

Glancing back and forth between the page and Grim she worked carefully, as if a single misaligned hair on the sheet might be seen as a grave insult. "As for my powers, I'm a teleporter. When I first started using my powers I could only 'poof' about ten feet at a time. Lots of training and large meals has since allowed me to expand that rank considerably. I can't get from here to, say, New York quickly but if I keep at it, maybe I'll be able to at least get anywhere in town in just one poof."

Share this post


Link to post

"As for my powers, I'm a teleporter. When I first started using my powers I could only 'poof' about ten feet at a time. Lots of training and large meals has since allowed me to expand that rank considerably. I can't get from here to, say, New York quickly but if I keep at it, maybe I'll be able to at least get anywhere in town in just one poof."

The Interceptor vigorously nodded in approval. "Teleportation? That's awesome! Wish I had that power; I have still have to fly everywhere. Here ya go, Bethany, have a great day, and stay warm!"

After a few more signitures, she continued to chat. "You'd get along great in my family; I come from a long line of nerds. I'm actually the least nerdy member of my family, much to my shame; other than the Oz books, some Star Trek and about four months of playing D&D, I'm hopelessly square. Oh, I did read all the Harry Potter books, but that's almost mainstream nowadays, right?"

She craned her neck to take a peek at the portrait so far. "How's it coming? Have you captured my mysterious allure?"

Share this post


Link to post

The Interceptor vigorously nodded in approval. "Teleportation? That's awesome! Wish I had that power; I have still have to fly everywhere. Here ya go, Bethany, have a great day, and stay warm!"

fter a few more signitures, she continued to chat. "You'd get along great in my family; I come from a long line of nerds. I'm actually the least nerdy member of my family, much to my shame; other than the Oz books, some Star Trek and about four months of playing D&D, I'm hopelessly square. Oh, I did read all the Harry Potter books, but that's almost mainstream nowadays, right?"

She craned her neck to take a peek at the portrait so far. "How's it coming? Have you captured my mysterious allure?"

"Yeah, the Potter books are pretty mainstream, though I had to stop reading the final one after Rowling killed the owl. Seems like a crappy 'shoot the dog' moment to me. I've been more in a post-apocalyptic mood lately so I've been re-reading World War Z. Just something about the zombie genre... ," she trailed off.

Wisp nervously held the sketch up. It wouldn't be winning her any awards but it looked close, the eyes weren't right and Grim's lips were a little thin but she was mostly accurate. "I still need some work," she sighed, "Thankfully my school has a pretty decent art program."

Share this post


Link to post

"I still need some work," she sighed, "Thankfully my school has a pretty decent art program."

Despite Wisp's own critique of her work, her subject was delighted with the piece. "Omigod, that's so cool!" She waved the younger heroine over to her side."Here, someone take a picture of us both, with me holding her sketch! Wait, I should make something for you, too!"

The changeling held out her hand, palm up, and lo and behold there was a Wisp action figure! The style was somewhat humorous and a little clunky, reminiscent of the WWF Hasbro figures Lynn and her brother used to play with growing up. The fully poseable figure came complete with a removable Old Navy hoodie made of what felt like a cheap, somewhat stretchy fabric.

"Here ya go! I have no idea what you're wearing under the hoodie, so I kinda used my imagination." Realizing this statement might be misinterpreted, her small face went a bit pale before her cheeks became bright red. "I mean, you're wearing clothes under there, obviously! Or at least, uh, the doll is; y'know, little trunks and a workout bra, molded into the plastic..."

Grim poked her head around the line to reassure any children (or more importantly, their ever-watchful parents) with a big, rather forced smile.

"Remember, kids, Grimalkin says 'Always wear your clothes when you're outside!'"

Share this post


Link to post

Wisp laughed at this last statement. Keeping an eye for the same demographics, "I gotta say, that's probably the most interest anyone's expressed in what I'm wearing under my clothes since I moved to Freedom, intended or not."

She slipped the action figure into her bag, making sure it was protected from being damaged by the new hardcover collections she had bought. "This is going on my shelf by my Gundam Wing models. Or maybe my The Slayers figures."

Pulling out a much more beat up sketchbook she started flipping through its pages. "I'm still working on a costume, didn't think I'd have a chance to ask your opinion but since we're talking..., " she said as she came to one page in the middle of the book with a color sketch of a red and white costume.

Share this post


Link to post

"I'm still working on a costume, didn't think I'd have a chance to ask your opinion but since we're talking..., " she said as she came to one page in the middle of the book with a color sketch of a red and white costume.

Grim had a look at the design. "Oh cool! I like your color choices. Mmm, this is a good idea-" She tapped the red diamond on the chest. "Anything that makes dumb bad guys look at your boobs is good; totally messes with their heads." She looked down at her own sleek gymnast's body. "Or at least, so I've been told."

Turning back to her next teenaged fan, the shapeshifter blithely signed his spiral notebook despite his rather odd twitchy expression. She shifted topics as she signed a woman's cast.

"There you go! By the way, not a fan of zombies; once you've actually fought them, and have to shower off the smell and get the bits out from under your fingernails? Not so much fun. Well, there is one cool zombie in town, named Dead Head. Creepy but fun; have you met him?"

Share this post


Link to post

"I hadn't even thought about that," Wisp admitted looking at the diamond on the sketch, "I just threw it in to give the costume some extra color.". Wisp flipped to a blank page and started sketching a herself dressed in a typical fantasy setting's costume.

"I haven't met Dead Head yet. And I see where you're coming from on zombies but I was raised on Romero and more recently Kirkman. Don't know if you watched AMC last fall but that was one heck of a season."

Looking up to see as many people watching her sketch as they did try and see Grim she slid a glance at Grim. "This shop run a convention by chance?"

Share this post


Link to post

"I haven't met Dead Head yet. And I see where you're coming from on zombies but I was raised on Romero and more recently Kirkman. Don't know if you watched AMC last fall but that was one heck of a season."

Grim shooked her head as she signed a high school yearbook. "No, not really; I started classes last fall at a college which shall remain nameless, so my TV watching has been slashed to the minimum; pretty much just Glee, Bones and Community nowadays."

"This shop run a convention by chance?"

"That I do not know." The shapeshifter peered around, looking for store staff. "Hey Hans, do you guys run a mini-con here?"

A short stocky man with sideburns and curly brown hair stepped from behind the counter. "We have four-day gaming weekends twice a year, but no con per se; we do have a booth at most cons on the East Coast, though."

The Interceptor nodded. "That's cool." Then a thought struck her. "Hey Wisp, if you want me to model costume ideas, I'm game. Here, check it out!" Her body was suddenly surrounded by pale mist, which parted to reveal Grim now wearing the red-and-white costume design from the young artist's sketchbook. The crowd in attendance whooped in delight at the demonstration of power. Looking down at herself, the changeling grinned. "Snazzy!"

Share this post


Link to post

"Bones I can agree with. I haven't had a chance to see those others. More often than not my tv watching is over Netflix. Is it wrong that for a crime fighter I'm fascinated by Leverage?"

Giving Hans a glance she looked around for a help wanted sign anywhere in the shop, figuring teleportation or her well above average strength would prove assets.

Wisp let out a low whistle at the display. "Very nice Grim. Going to have save up and get that design put into production." Letting out a contemplative hum Wisp eyed the costume sketch-made-real. "Hmm, maybe a cape?"

Share this post


Link to post

"Very nice Grim. Going to have save up and get that design put into production." Letting out a contemplative hum Wisp eyed the costume sketch-made-real. "Hmm, maybe a cape?"

Grim looked over her shoulder uncertainly. "I dunno, you think? To me, its hard to pull off a cape if you're not a flyer, but maybe. Plus I always hear the voice of Edna Mode ringing in my ears, telling me they're a really bad idea..."

Out of courtesy, she summoned forth a cape, which flowed majestically over the back of the chair and onto the floor. The shapeshifter stood up and turned around so both Wisp and the gathered crowd could have a look; she'd reproduced the same red-and-white color scheme as seen in the sketch, with red on the shoulders and the edges of the cape, a wide white bar down the middle, and the red diamond iconically placed dead center. Spreading her arms dramatically, she modeled a few classic poses: 'Arms Wide Wings', 'Peering Over the Arm', 'Wrapped in the Night' and a few others.

"What do you guys think, should she go with the cape? Should I go with the cape?" She was having a lot of fun with the poses. "Wow, capes are fun! Maybe E was all wrong about these things..." The crowd was getting into it, though a few vocal 'anti-cape activists' made their voices hear as well.

Share this post


Link to post

Wisp continued her critique of her designs made real, a smile plastered on her face as she enjoyed seeing the reactions of everyone gathered to Grim modeling her drawings. "I think I'll be skipping the cap, at least for the foreseeable future," she decided after a few moments. "I had another few designs. There's the bellyshirt, jeans, boots, and duster costume. ...I may have watched too many Daria and Firefly reruns when I came up with that one."

Flipping the page she revealed a design closer to your typical wizard, complete with intricately carved staff. "Huh, thought I kept the sketches from my role-playing games in a separate book," she muttered, flipping the page again and coming to a design that looked like Wisp only wearing riot armor painted red and white to match her smoke's color scheme.

Share this post


Link to post

Peering over to get a better look at the riot gear look, Grim whistled in appreciation. "Now that is how you show people you mean business!" Out of the corner of her eye, the shapeshifter saw Hans the store manager pointing at his watch; she offered her most heart-melting smile and held up five fingers, asking for just a few more minutes to satisfy a few more fans. Hans shook his head, threw up his hands and walked away.

"Okay folks, we've just got five more minutes before I gotta hit the road; let's see how many more things I can deface, huh?" There was a chorus of groans, but the comic store patrons dutifuly pressed forward. Grim looked over her shoulder at Wisp. "Hey, you wanna grab a coffee or something when we're done here?"

Share this post


Link to post

At Grimalkin's comments on the riot gear design Wisp smirked, "Yeah, seems a little bulky for the way I move though. I drew it mostly as an intellectual exercise."

After hearing Hans call out the deadline her heart sank as she started packing up her books and supplies, until Grim's suggestion of coffee. She beamed, "Sounds great. Anyplace local you can suggest?" Wisp's stomach let out a rather unladylike growl, as if on queue for her to hastily add, "Someplace with cheap but filling food maybe?"

Share this post


Link to post

"Sounds great. Anyplace local you can suggest?" Wisp's stomach let out a rather unladylike growl, as if on queue for her to hastily add, "Someplace with cheap but filling food maybe?"

The tiny heroine furrowed her brow in thought. "Uh, lessee...oh, do you like bagels? The Brooklyn Bagel Company isn't far, and they have great coffee, twenty kinds of bagels and thirty-five different schmears. And their toasted turkey sandwich is just amazing."

- - - - -

At last the afternoon came to an end, and Grim dismissed the signing table and chair with a wave of her hand; the two hired goons made ready to escort her out the back door while she snuck in a few last cameraphone opportunities with a few stragglers. Peering up at the large men who dwarfed her, the shapeshifter smiled. "You guys know I can just poof away, right? I almost feel guilty having you around."

One of them smiled and gestured towards the back door. "After you, ma'am."

Grim giggled and looked at Wisp. "C'mon, there's a limo outside! For like, no good reason!" She waved at the last fans and store staff as she headed out back.

Share this post


Link to post

In a puff of crimson and white smoke, Wisp vanished from the store and reappeared, sitting cross legged, on the roof of Grim's limo. Watching as Grimalkin and her bodyguards opened and came out the door she smirked. "It's a good thing my parents raised me right. If they hadn't, with my powers, odds are good we'd be meeting under far less pleasant circumstances." In another puff of her bi-colored smoke, Wisp vanished and reappeared inside the limo. She opened the door for Grim and then scooted over to the far side to make room for her. "Though, I could make a decent wage working with a locksmith letting people into their cars or homes when they lock themselves out," she added.

Share this post


Link to post

"It's a good thing my parents raised me right. If they hadn't, with my powers, odds are good we'd be meeting under far less pleasant circumstances."

"Though, I could make a decent wage working with a locksmith letting people into their cars or homes when they lock themselves out," she added.

Grim happily crawled into the limo beside Wisp, clearly gleeful at the star treatment. "Tell me about it; I actually started out on the wrong side of the law, before I wisely mended my evil ways." She closed the door with a satisfying thud, and a few seconds later the two heroines heard the the front doors slam as well, indicating the security men were ready to roll. Grim hit the intercom. "Hi guys, we're off to the Brooklyn Bagel Company!"

"Yes, ma'mm."

The massive vehicle pulled away from the curb as the shapeshifter bounced up and down in her seat.

"Man, I frickin' love limos!"

Share this post


Link to post

"First time I've ridden in one actually," Wisp replied. She relaxed into the comfortable leather seat of the limo, "But I could get used to this. Being driven around in a comfortable leather chair with wheels beats having to do my morning 'jogs' trying to lengthen my teleports."

Taking a second book out of her bag she flipped to the last page and looked over a column of numbers, adding another to the bottom before nodding. "Okay, awesome. I'm right about on budget for my allowance this month, I can swing a couple sandwiches and a coffee." Flipping back to the front of the notebook and after making sure none of the pages were disturbed, put the book back into the bag.

Share this post


Link to post

"Okay, awesome. I'm right about on budget for my allowance this month, I can swing a couple sandwiches and a coffee."

Grim's eyebrow went up at this, and she leaned over to rest a friendly hand on Wisp's knee. "Dude, I don't need to eat and I have cash on me; I can treat you to some bagels and coffee, alright?" She smiled and sat back. "I like this; it fells kinda like a mentorship prgram, y'know? The new kid getting pointers and free food from the experienced yet still youthfully alluring seasoned professional."

Share this post


Link to post

Wisp gave a sheepish smile, "Appreciated and I owe ya. And you're right, it feels like a super-hero version of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. I know once I'm out of high school, I'd like to think I'd do the same." Wisp had to all but bite her tongue to keep from making a comment on the youthfully alluring part that might make woman uncomfortable, not knowing how she'd react to a flirty, if even in mild jest, comment by a girl not even out of high school.

Looking around the back seat she added, "You know, if this were an action movie, there would probably be a terrorist or random criminal one of us has wronged aiming at us with a RPG. Or, maybe I've watched too many Michael Bay movies..."

Share this post


Link to post

Looking around the back seat she added, "You know, if this were an action movie, there would probably be a terrorist or random criminal one of us has wronged aiming at us with a RPG. Or, maybe I've watched too many Michael Bay movies..."

Grim's smile was gone in a second as her mouth just hung open. "Uh..." She began to fidget and peer out the windows. "You don't think...I mean, you're just starting out, right? And the Interceptors, we're just not scary enough to have those kinds of enemies..."

Suddenly she slammed the control of the electric window, with lowered it by less than an inch. "C'mon, let's get outta here, 'cause you're starting to freak me out." Suddenly the changeling's body liquified before Wisp's eyes, and the blue-gray ooze rose up and squirted out into the street!

Seconds later, Grim's nervous face popped back up into view. "Are you coming or what?"

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×