Written by brad328 :: [Thursday, 19 October 2006 20:10] Last updated by :: [Tuesday, 01 January 2013 21:09]
WRITTEN FOR SGI WORKSHOP 1.9
Editor's Note: Brad later retconned this story – alongside Prison Break and Home Invasion – in a single long story called A Marvel To Behold. We have reseeded all the versions for completion sake, but A Marvel to Behold should be considered the only "official canon"
Later that night
“This is crazy” John said. “Standing around in the middle of the night in some dimly lit parking garage waiting for some mystery guy like we’re Woodward and Bernstein and he’s freaking Deep Throat.”
“It’s not crazy if he has some information that clears your name.” she replied.
“And I have that information.” a voice said.
A man stepped out from the shadows wearing a shirt and tie along with a black trench coat and fedora.
“Oh, that figures.” John said.
“I wouldn’t mock the man who has what you’re looking for.” the man replied.
“I’m sorry, my husband is a little on edge, being a fugitive and all.” Melinda apologized. “Mister …”
“My name is Jefferson Pierce. I’m on the board of directors at Petromerica.” he said.
“So, Mr. Pierce, what does Petromerica have to do with the murder?” she asked.
“James Caldwell was the premiere environmental activist. He had connections in Congress and is single handedly responsible for getting alternative fuel initiatives taken seriously by the President.” Jefferson said. “Large oil companies like ours would take a major hit if these laws were passed“.
“That makes sense. But why hire security guys who have ties to the governor?” John asked.
“Petromerica is the largest contributor to his campaign and he needs that financial backing for a run at the presidency.” Jefferson replied.
“Even if what you’re saying is true, there isn’t any hard evidence that supports a conspiracy to commit murder.” Melinda said.
“I have tapes of the phone conversations on the night before James was murdered that implicate the Governor and Petromerica CEO Steve Jacobs along with the security footage that proves that your husband is innocent.” he replied.
“One more question Mr. Pierce,” John said. “Why me?”
“They needed someone to take the fall and you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Jefferson responded.
Suddenly the sounds of screeching tires filled the garage and a black Cadillac sped towards them. Gunshots rang out as they ran for cover. Jefferson stumbled and Melinda stopped to help him up. The gunman took aim as John ran towards them and dove, knocking them out of the way. The bullets hit his right leg and John let out a scream of pain as the car went down the ramp into the city streets. Jefferson was knocked unconscious from John’s heroic deed and Melinda crawled over to her husband.
“You know I could’ve stopped those bullets.” she said.
“And let people know your secret? No way. Besides, I’ve always wondered what it’s like to get shot…it hurts worse than I thought.” he said.
“You’re bleeding pretty badly, we need to call 911.” she replied.
“I’ll be fine. Just catch the guys that did it.” he said.
Melinda gave John a quick kiss on the forehead then took off her glasses and raced in the direction of the car. Her scarlet hair cascaded down as she grabbed her blouse and ripped it open. Soon Melinda’s clothes were discarded and she became a blur of blue, gold, and red as Mindy Marvel took to the skies.
The car sped down the road. The man in the passenger seat looked behind him.
“No one’s following us. You better slow down so we don’t attract any attention.” he said.
It slowed down and stopped at the red light.
“Did you get him?” the driver said.
“Yeah,” the other man replied. “Hey, the light’s green, get going”.
“I’ve got my foot on the floor, we’re still not moving.” the driver said, panicked.
The men looked in the rearview mirror and only saw a gold lighting bolt. Mindy was holding the bumper of the car in the air, the rear wheels spinning helplessly.
“Now are you going to come quietly or are you going to make this difficult?” she asked.
The man in the passenger seat proceeded to take out his gun and fire a few shots at her. The bullets bounced off her chest and abs of steel.
“If that’s the way you want it.” she sighed as she dropped the rear of the car onto the ground.
The car peeled away out of control where it collided with a light post. The men stumbled out and started to run in opposite directions. Mindy strode over to the man closest to her and grabbed him by his shirt. She threw him into the air where he crashed into the dumpster down the street. The other man kept running and Mindy leapt in his direction. She glided through the air and her gold high-heeled boots touched ground a couple feet in front of him. She stood confidently with her hands on her hips. He pulled out his gun again.
“Now come on, what makes you think this is going to end up any differently?” she asked.
The man looked down at his weapon and, realizing it would be futile, threw it at Mindy. She caught it and crushed it in her hand. She tossed the metal ball back towards him. He grabbed a nearby metal pipe and charged at the heroine. Mindy easily sidestepped the man and grabbed the pipe, throwing him into a pile of garbage. He slowly got up, only to be met by a roundhouse kick, which sent him back into the garbage, unconscious. She grabbed him and carried him over her shoulder to the dumpster and deposited him with his cohort. Mindy gripped the bottom of the receptacle, lifted it over her head, and using her strong legs soared into the night. She landed at the police station and placed the large dumpster in the front. Hearing the ambulance sirens, she took off back towards the parking garage to check on her husband.
A few days later …
“Do you really expect me to release this man into society Ms. Crane?” a woman in a black robe asked. “He’s a convicted murderer and, most recently, a fugitive.”
“Your honor, he did not mastermind that escape attempt. He was taken out of his cell by this woman and, as the bent steel bars and giant hole in his cell wall proves; he had no recourse at that time.” Melinda responded.
“Right, this … Mindy Marvel. Someone who, literally, has appeared out of the sky.” the judge said. We don’t even know her motivations.”
“Well, she’s already brought in three people into custody who have given statements that coincide with the testimony of Jefferson Pierce.” she responded.
“But that’s not enough reason for me to let him out on bail. His pending execution is postponed and a new trial will be set for a future date. However bail is denied and he will be transferred back to the maximum security wing of the prison.” the judge replied.
“Your honor, as both his legal counsel and his wife, I’m asking for some time with him to prepare our case before he’s transferred.”
“I’m willing to give you 48 hours in order to be with your husband and prepare your case. If he is not in police custody by then, you will face a possible prison term as well Ms. Crane.” she said.
“Understood your honor and thank you.” Melinda replied.
“This hearing is adjourned.” the judge said as she banged her gavel.
Melinda made her way out of the courthouse and went to the hospital where her husband was being discharged. She saw her husband limping down the hall towards her with a police officer in tow.
“Easy there, Serpico. It’s not like I can run very well in this condition, give me some space. Mel, tell me some good news.”
“Well, you’re not going back to jail … yet. We have a 2 day reprieve before you have to go back to the pokey.”
“Bad choice of words there honey.” he replied.
“Sorry. So you get some time away from your buddy in blue. I know you’ll be heart broken.” she said.
“Yeah, I’ll be crushed. It’s great when a guy trails you when you need to take a leak.”
John and Melinda walked out of the hospital and headed towards home.
Later that night
“We need to get to Pierce’s office and get those tapes before anyone else can find them.” Melinda said.
The Petromerica office is six hours away Mel, if we left now we wouldn’t get there until tomorrow morning and I don’t think we can do much snooping during business hours.” John said.
“I know a faster way.” Melinda replied as she opened up her blouse, exposing the gold lightning bolt of her costume.
“This really isn’t going to help us keep a lower profile.” he sighed.
“Stop whining.” she said as she stripped down to the rest of her costume and strode towards the back porch. “Now hold on tight.”
“Like I have a choice.” he responded as Mindy Marvel leapt into the air streaking towards their destination.
Minutes later Mindy Marvel landed at the Petromerica world headquarters. The building closed up for the night.
“Locked, huh.” she said. “That shouldn’t be a problem.”
Mindy started to grab the handle of the door when John grabbed her wrist.
“If you rip this door off its hinges, it’s just going to set off the alarm and bring the cops here. This is going to take a more delicate touch.”
John took a screwdriver out of his pocket and went to work on the control pad near the door.
“Why do you have a screwdriver with you?” she asked.
“You never know when you’ll need one. Besides, it doesn’t seem that silly right now does it?” he responded.
“Point taken.” Mindy replied.
John removed the face plate and proceeded to cross some wires. The light changed from red to green on the pad.
“That should do it” he said as he opened the door. “Ladies first.”
“Thanks, now where’s Jefferson’s office located?” Mindy asked.
“43rd floor, room 4316” he said as he walked towards the elevator and noticed the out of order sign on it. “That’s just great. We’ll just take the stairs then.”
“No need.” Mindy said as she forced open the doors. “First floor: lobby, cafeteria, gift shop”.
John walked in and Mindy grabbed his hand and shot straight up through the open maintenance door.
“43rd floor: executive offices, hidden tapes, name-clearing evidence.” Mindy said as she wrenched the doors open with her free hand. “Now, if I were someone with sensitive material that could bring down a CEO of a multi-billion dollar energy conglomerate, where would I hide it?”
“Probably in a safe behind a painting,” John replied. “It’s a shame you don’t have x-ray vision”.
“Well, I never really tried either.” she said as she stared intently around the office. “There it is!”
“So you do have x-ray vision!” John exclaimed.
“No, it’s sitting there on the desk.” she responded. “Why is it there?”
“Because I found it first,” a voice behind them said. Mindy turned around and saw a man holding a gun at John’s head, two larger men flanking him. “It was in a safe behind a painting … a rather obvious choice, don’t you think”?
“Steve Jacobs,” Mindy said. “You’ll never get away with this.”
“Oh, but I already have my dear.” he replied. “The cops are on their way and Mr. Crane; I don’t think they’ll take to kindly to a man who’s already considered a fugitive crossing state lines. And after all the hard work your wife has put in to keep you out of prison. What would she think of you? Out in the middle of the night with someone dressed in spandex and a mini-skirt and quite a ravishing physical specimen at that.”
“Save your flattery for the authorities Jacobs, I will stop you.” Mindy replied.
“I don’t think so.” he said as he grabbed held the gun at John’s head. “I doubt you are even fast enough to stop this bullet so I suggest you hand over the tape to me before I decorate Pierce’s office with bone and brain fragments.”
Mindy hands him the tape and Jacobs leads John out of the office.
“Damn elevator, broken again”.
The two large men advanced on the heroine.
“Oh, you’re in trouble now.” Mindy said.
A quick kick to the chest of the first man sent him skidding across the room. The second man took a swing which she ducked and military pressed him high in the air. Mindy then deposited him into the wall where he cracked the plaster. She turned her attention to the first assailant who was back on his feet. She delivered a knee to gut and then threw him over her shoulder where he crashed through the heavy oak desk. The second man spun her around and drove his fist into her midsection.
“OWW!” he exclaimed as he pulled his hand away.
“Abs of steel, it’s a really great workout.” she smirked as she delivered a right cross across the thugs jaw, knocking him out cold. Mindy then strode out of the office and dropped down the elevator shaft.
Steve Jacobs led his hostage down the stairs, the gun still pointed towards his head.
“Come on, get moving!” Jacobs exclaimed.
“Gee, I’d love to, but I’ve got a hole in my leg thanks to one of your thugs. Maybe you should pay for a better repairman.” John responded.
“Shut up!” Jacobs retorted. “Finally ground floor, the cops should be VERY happy to see you again.
Jacobs sheathed his gun and opened the door of the stairwell where he wasn’t greeted by the boys in blue, but one woman in blue.
“End of the line.” Mindy said.
Jacobs started reaching back for his gun.
“Not quite my dear since I …” he started to say when he realized what was missing.
“Looking for this?” she asked, holding his revolver. She bent the barrel of the gun and then turned the weapon into a metal ball and tossed it to him. “There you go.”
Jacobs, flustered at this turn of events started to run back up the stairs only to be met by Mindy. He rushed back down towards the lobby where he was met by a punch to the jaw, courtesy of John, which laid him out cold.
“Nice job honey.” she said.
“It’s about time I get to hit somebody … man that hurt.” John said holding his right hand.
The flashing red and blue lights of the police cars approached the building. Mindy grabbed the metal handle off the door and bent the metal around Jacobs’ hands, creating a makeshift pair of handcuffs. She then used her powerful legs to propel John and herself into the sky just as the police arrived.
“Man, it’s nice to be home” John said as they enjoyed a cup of coffee in the kitchen.
“It’s good that you’re home” Melinda replied. “The grass hasn’t been cut for weeks; you really should get on that”.
“I’m back for a day and already you’re writing up a chores list?” he asked. “I was hoping to relax”.
“Hey, who’s the one who saved your life?” she replied.
“Good point. But seriously, a vacation sounds like a really good idea." John said. “And I know the perfect place.”
“Sounds fine to me … as long as we get to fly.” Melinda replied, already in costume.