After a long day of upkeep in the dungeon he oversaw the man, called the wizard, removed his robe and replaced it with a suit. Driving on the surface with such medieval attire could be dangerous, especially if any of the adventures who lived there had caught a glimpse of him during one of their silly raids. He had a convenient lie prepared for anyone who asked what he did for a living, but most people didn’t care. He wasn’t particularly remarkable at all; his short graying hair marked his age, the beard he wore was fake and he also had a convincing wig to go with it. But once he had taken his robe and his fake hair off, he looked so plain in his everyday business suit that sometimes people would run into him by mistake.
That day had been a good one for the wizard. He had been offered a promotion by his boss. The man in charge of the whole project, Adrien Cypher. The wizard had told Adrien he would think about the offer. But he had every intention of taking the promotion. It was just how the game was played, the delicate dance between worker and employer, for some a true art, and for others a strange magic never to be mastered. But the wizard knew a lot about magic, it was his one true specialty, his passion, and the reason he bothered to hide his identity every day when he worked in the underground.
Traffic in the Layered City was sparse
when he went home. But it always was, he left work at 8pm every night. He had
heard many call the sparkling skyscrapers that reflected the moonlight,
beautiful. But they were an eyesore for him, a testament to humanities
abandonment of its birth right, and it’s embrace of science, and the arts of
reason. There was so much to be gained
in the hidden arts of the past. But no one within the Layered City had
listened, save Adrien Cypher, the one man why could see what power was. But a
man like him would look to any avenue for power, he had no passion for magic,
just a desire to see what it could bring about. The Wizard though, he wanted to
feel the power flow though his veins, he would do whatever it took to see the
will of magic done.
That lay-about son of mine probably still
hasn’t found a job yet. He thought about the boy laying
around at home watching TV making excuses for why he hadn’t done anything
productive all day. 22 years old and he still can’t get his act together.
The wizard let his thoughts wander as he pulled into the driveway and stepped out of his car. Maybe he would celebrate his new promotion by going into work a little later then normal and actually eating breakfast for once.
“Excuse me sir,” the voice came from behind him and practically made him jump out of his skin. He whirled around ready to face his would be assailant, and then when he saw who had spoken, he almost jumped out of his skin a second time.
Standing behind him was a young woman with
blond hair and fire in her eyes. She had strange shoes, that looked like long
plastic boots. The wizard knew they were meant to brace her legs so she didn’t
hurt herself while falling or running at extreme speeds. He had to remind
himself to keep calm.
Have I already been found out? He
thought to himself. No, there’s no way, Super Hero’s don’t go into the
underground there must be something else going on.
“How can I help you Miss. Speed Demon?”
Super Hero’s always gave themselves strange names and hers didn’t sound right
as the words left his mouth they got tangled up and caused him to stutter a
bit. Also saying miss before her made up name just didn’t work at all and made
it sound like he was trying too hard. What was worse was that he didn’t feel
that he had the right to criticize to much since he called himself the wizard,
and he even thought of as his true name, more so than the name he was given at
“Sorry, sir I didn’t mean to scare you,”
Speed Demon was being rather polite. There certainly wasn’t anything wrong with
that except for the fact that it ran contrary to her public persona. He had
seen her on the news, she was a fast-talking woman with an attitude, who didn’t
have patients for things like subtly and tact. She flirted as she fought crime and
still found time for silly hobbies like video games and those strange card
games that his son was into. If he didn’t know what she looked like the wizard
might suspect that he was talking to someone else entirely.
“Oh, don’t worry about it,” he responded.
“I just didn’t expect to see anyone outside this time of night.”
It really was quiet, but he liked it that
way. Living out in the Suburbs really added to the ordinary, nothing interesting
about him, image that he worked so hard to cultivate to keep everyone from
suspecting that he was leading a double life.
“Is Jake home?” she asked without giving
him much time to question her.
“My son?” He said confused. “What could
you possible want with him—I hope he’s not in some kind of trouble.” It seemed
unlikely but Super Heroes were sometimes given law enforcement authority when
an arrest was too dangerous for a normal cop to make. But that didn’t make any
sense, Jake knew some magic but it was hardly enough to make him dangerous. And
the wizard didn’t even think Jake himself knew much about the magic he could
use, he just picked it up in bits and pieces from growing up around the wizard.
Jake wasn’t even aware of the double life that his father was leading.
The Speed Demon laughed, though with his
magic senses he could tell that she wasn’t laughing because she found the
situation funny. She was getting impatient but she was trying so hard to be
polite that she didn’t know how else to react. Humans coping mechanisms where
fascinating to the wizard and with his magic senses he could see deeper into
them than most. But agitating a super hero wasn’t something he could afford to
do with that promotion on his horizon so he decided to tell her what she wanted
“I’m just getting home now so I don’t know
if Jake’s home, but you can come in if you want and we can check.”
“Thank you,” she said with a smile. Then
she hesitated for just a moment, seemingly not knowing if she should ask a
question that had just come to her. The wizard’s powers let him understand the
emotions of others, but he couldn’t read their minds. So, he had to wait and
see if she was decided to ask the question or not. “He didn’t tell you, did
“Tell me what?” the wizard said as he
fiddled with his keys to try and find the right one to unlock the house.
“I’m his girlfriend,” the wizard dropped
his keys and stood disbelievingly still for a moment. He turned to the super
hero to use his powers to check her emotions. But to his surprise her emotions
were genuine, he felt love, and stranger still pride. She was proud to be his
girlfriend like it was some sort of accomplishment, like he was some sort of
prize worth winning.
The wizard was shocked. Having a superhero
girlfriend was a luxury usually reserved for sports stars, politicians, and fashion
models. A superhero could go after almost any celebratory they wanted and they
had fan boys and fan girls on every corner of the world. He couldn’t imagine
any of them wanting anything to do with his useless son. And yet he couldn’t
deny what was in front of him.
He scrambled to pick up his keys and
unlock the door trying his best to hide his honest shock. It wasn’t working, he
could tell that his guest was getting agitated with his attitude. He reminded
himself to breath and keep his pulse in check. He was certain that she only had
superspeed as a power but he didn’t want to risk anything if she had super
sense as well. He didn’t know much about the heroes on the surface even though
he could name most of the prominent adventures who went underground and all
their skills and preferences. There was no point in taking risks he could
avoided with a little caution.
The door finally clicked open and he
pushed the heavy door inward revealing his plain looking living room. He didn’t
keep a lot of decorations and he had even less need for heavy and expensive
cabinets that were hard to move. His son was waiting patiently on the couch.
Normally he was watching TV when the wizard came home, but on that day the TV
was off, he had probably known ahead of time that his girlfriend was coming
over at some point.
“Welcome home—oh hi Megan,” his son tried
to contain his excitement by walking over to the entryways as casually as
possible. But the wizard could tell that he was excited to see her and could
barely contain himself.
“Sorry I’m late I had to deal with a
shootout in the inner circle on my way here.”
“It’s fine, I saw it on the news.”
“Did I look cool?” she asked
“I—umm—yes,” Jake said as awkwardly as
Looks they really love each other, the
wizard thought to himself. It makes me sick.
“Dad, there’s something I have to tell
you,” his son said seriously.
Oh no, what now, tell me you didn’t get
her pregnant I can’t deal with a superhero baby in my family right now. He
“I’m moving out.”
“Oh…” the wizard said in shock. “You’ll
be moving in with—uhh—Megan?” Jake nodded affirming the theory.
The Wizard had been deeply afraid at the
thought of having a Super Hero stopping into his house so frequently. The last
thing he could afford with his new promotion was getting caught by a super. But
the news was rather happy for him. With his son gone he didn’t have to come
home every night. He could spend more time working, since his son didn’t know
about the true nature of his work, he had to make sure he came home every day
so as to not arouse the boy’s suspicions. But he had to be sure he didn’t seem
to happy, the boy probably knew since he inherited his father’s empathy. But
keeping Speed Demon from knowing was important, no point in arousing any more
suspicions then necessary.
“Well son,” he started making sure to
weave bits of joy and sadness into the tones of his voice. “I’ll miss you, but
I’m proud of you.” It wasn’t a wholly untrue statement. The Wizard was glad
that his son was finally making something of himself. And it was impossible to
not miss someone when they had been part of your life for so long. But the way
Jake looked at him it was clear he knew what the wizard was really feeling.
“We’ll take care of the moving Mr. Matic,”
Speed Demon said with a smile on her face. “Jake tells me that your rather busy
most of the time so you don’t have to worry about anything.”
At first the wizard panicked, how does
she know my last name, and then he thought about it for a moment. Right she’s
in a romantic relationship with my son, if she knows his last name, she also
knows mine. He had to be careful about who knew his name, any part of it.
Knowledge of a name provided power over a person.
“I appreciate the consideration Speed
“Please, call me Meagan, Meagan Evens.”
well, looks like my useless son has a use after all. Thanks to him I just
learned the real name of one of the most prominent heroes in the City.
“I can at least
hire a moving truck for you. My son has quite a lot of stuff to move.”
help a lot,” she said with a smile. “Thank you.”
The speed demon
seemed a lot nicer in person then she did when he saw her in TV gallivanting
around like she owned the city. But then again, she was trying to impress a
potential future Father in Law so she was probably on her best behavior.
“Well I won’t
keep the two of you any longer,” the wizard said. “You probably have a date to
be getting to…”
Almost as soon
as the words had left his mouth Speed Demon was gone and his son along with her.
Her incredible speed carrying them out the door. He hadn’t even seen the door
open but it hadn’t broken or anything so she must have opened it and closed it
again on her way out.
didn’t plan on worrying about the details of his son’s relationship with a
super hero. Especially if that relationship brought him information he wouldn’t
normally have. And it even had the added benefit of getting the boy out of his
house and his hair.
So, the wizard
headed to bed. He was a master of lucid dreaming and knew how to manipulate his
own dreams to maximize his learning. With lucid dreaming he could think process
information as he slept and he could come up with new ideas. When he awoke the
next day, he had already come up with a few ideas for how he could learn more
about Megan and her other super hero friends while not seeming to suspicious.
He didn’t bother to check to see if Jake was home, it didn’t matter to him
The next day as
he drove to work in the morning rush hour, he was rather elated at the thought
of how fortunate he had been lately. He should have known that nothing good
comes without a price. And some prices are stranger and costlier then he could
When he drove
into the back ally that served as his work parking lot. And shimmed down the
sewer hole that served as his works main entrance. He was in an extremely good
mood. As he put on his fake beard, wig, and his wizard robe, he even hummed a
little to himself, something that was rather out of character for him.
As he walked
into his lab to start his morning work routine, an odd sight met him. One of
his slimes was out of place and had made its way into his lab. Only it wasn’t
shaped like a slime anymore, it was shaped like a person and, somehow, it was
reading one of his books.